Thursday, May 17, 2012

Groupon Groupie

 Hello.  My name is Meredith Collins and I'm addicted to Groupon.  *pause for audience sighs and acknowledgement of my admission*

This addiction started a few weeks ago when I downloaded the Groupon app on my phone.  Since that time, I've found myself clicking on the app to open up the glorious savings that miraculously appear every day.  EVERY DAY.  *look away, trying to contain excitement over the wonder of this technology*

Usually, I just look through the items up on sale--Featured, Now!, Getaways, and Goods--trying not to click on the BUY.  It's been a struggle.  *pause again as the sympathetic sigh makes a wave over the crowd.

But then, upon me was a deal I couldn't pass up--2 hours of horseback riding through the Rocky Mountain National Park for 4 people for ONLY $99!  Incredible buy!  I immediately set up my Groupon account and that's when the addiction began...  *look down in shame*

Suddenly, I have the need to get a manicure in Lakewood, sushi in Denver (I hate sushi, but my husband loves it), and a facial in the DTC.  Seriously.  *shakes head in disgust*

I'm looking forward to summer--to seeing all the great savings and adventures my children and I will get to go on, due to Groupon.  I've even added the cites in Florida so I can get the savings when our family goes on vacation!  We can save all over the country!  *oops.  I'm regressing.*

Working on my Groupon addiction is going to take more than 12-steps, I'm afraid.  It's kind of like Kohl's--I feel like I'm getting paid to shop!

P.S.  To my husband, Kent--this is a COMPLETE work of fiction.  Don't feel the need to suddenly check our bank account for any Groupon withdrawals.  It's all under control...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just a Few Little Words...

Last night, after my son finally got home from work, I made my way upstairs to get ready for bed.  Everyone was exhausted from a long week.  After brushing my teeth and throwing on one of my husband's shirts (the best form of PJs ever), I crawled into our bed and set the alarm.

There was a knock on our door and as it creaked open my son made his way in.  "G'night, honey," I began when I saw a look of perplexity on his face.  "Didn't you see," he started with his eyes wandering over to my dresser.  I jumped up quickly and feasted a look upon some beautiful roses.  There was a card propped up in front of them.  MOM was written on the card.  "Oh my god!" the excitement evident in my voice.  "No, I didn't look on my dresser."  He was beaming from ear-to-ear, so proud of the reaction he was getting from a very happy mother.  I reached for the card and opened it--seeing the "From Your Son" perched up on top.

This was the first time my son has done anything like this for me.  Yes, I've gotten things for Mother's Day before, but never has he put his own time, his own money, and his own way of surprising me into something.  And I can tell you, it felt really good to be on the receiving end of things.  I pulled him into my arms and hugged him tight.  I love the way he hugs back--real hugs, not superficial or any holding back.  "I love you, Fuzz," I began with the tears beginning to well up.  "I love you too, mom.  Happy Valentine's Day."  "Don't you mean Mother's Day?" I asked with a grin.  "Yes, you know what I mean," he said with a smile and hugged me again.  It felt amazing to be thought of--to feel appreciated and loved.

I went into Marissa's room to give her a g'night hug and kiss and to ask if she knew what her brother had been up to.  "No, mom, what'd he do?" she asked leaping from her bed and into my room.  "Ohh," she admired looking at the roses and his thoughtful card.  "Can I give you my gift early?  I don't want to look like a loser."  "Seriously?  You're not a loser, don't say that."  I always hate when the kids cut themselves down.  "Can I, mom?"  "If you want to--it's up to you."

She ran down the stairs to get the masterpiece she created.  The girl knows how to wrap a present.  She sat on my bed with anticipation as I began to open her gift--beginning with the beautiful card that she had made.  I love homemade cards, and often miss the days when they were younger.  The artwork, cards, poems, and just stuff they created for me was always so treasured--still is.  "I love your card, Marissa!  It's beautiful!" I told her as showed it to my hubby and began to tear into package number one.

Inside was a beautiful, flowery dress--in swirls of purples, pinks, and whites.  "I thought you could wear this to the Mother's Day tea that we're going to," she told me.  "It's perfect," I said feeling the silky material.  Marissa always picks out clothes for me that I'd never pick out for myself.  I tend to wear black almost every day.  I love black.  One day as we were shopping she asked me, "Mom, are you depressed or something because you're always wearing black!  You need to wear the bright colors!"  I couldn't help but laugh and tell her, "No, I'm not depressed.  I just like black."

Box number two produced another bright, flowery shirt and white capris.  The last time we shopped together I had tried on a pair of white capris, but couldn't imagine myself actually wearing them.  She loved them on me, told me buy them, but I've never worn white pants before.  Just couldn't do it.  "You looked good in those white capris, Mom."  "I love them, Riss.  And I love this shirt!"  "Now you have two outfits for the Mother's Day weekend--one for the tea, and something to wear on Mother's Day."  I pulled her in for a hug, so grateful to have such a thoughtful daughter.

As I hung the dress up in my closet, and put the boxes on the side of my bed, I had to go into her room and give her another hug.  We had had an argument earlier this week, and there were a few little words that had hurt during that argument.  I just wanted to let her know that I appreciated her card more than anything.

I plopped down on her bed, telling her exactly that, and giving her another hug.  And that's when a few little more words came out of her mouth.  "You're a really good mom.  We should celebrate more than one day a year for you."  And that's when the waterworks of happiness began.

It's so easy to tell someone the things you can't stand, the things that need to be changed, and the things that are negative based.  And you know what?  It's easy to say the good things too.  Those things should be said.  Hearing those words coming from my stubborn, teenage daughter's mouth meant the world to me.  I know how difficult it is for her, as I was much the same.

A few moments ago before my kids headed out the door for Brandon's early soccer game (we're leaving 45 minutes after them, as he needs to be there early and wanted to take his own car), he showed Marissa what he had gotten me for Mother's Day.  "I was going to get you a dozen roses, Mom.  But everyone does that.  I wanted something different."  "I absolutely love the vase, and its uniqueness," I told him.  "Yeah, me too."  He gave me another hug as Marissa described, along with me, what she got me for my special day.

And I have to tell you--the best part of this morning wasn't the retelling of last night's gifts.  It was the peace amongst my two babies.  That's right.  No bickering, no arguing, just love.  And honestly, I think that's all any mother truly wants for Mother's Day.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Baby Girl

Today, as I was in the midst of helping my student prepare for their mock trial, my phone vibrated with an urgent text message.  My daughter was in the middle of her French class, wasn't feeling too good, and thought she was going to hurl.  Eww.  I texted her back quickly telling her to get to the nurse and to call me as soon as she could.  I put my phone on and warned my students that it may go off.  "My daughter's sick," I told my sympathetic students.  They are all so understanding.

A few minutes later my phone vibrated again, this time with a phone call.  I took it out in the hall, where she told me she was running a fever and still felt like puking.  I hate it when my kids are sick--especially when it happens with one class period left and without the ability to just leave my job.  "Stay put," I told her, "until the bell rings.  Go straight home with Fuzz and I'll meet you there."  I felt bad not being able to just drop everything and go to her.

On my way home I stopped over at Safeway to grab her some soup and TUMS to help her upset belly.  Poor thing.  By the time I arrived, my son was headed out the door toward work.  During the week I see him for the "good mornings" and "good nights" I miss my son.  Anyway, I raced into the house to find my sick child.  She was feeling much better--thank GOD!  There's nothing more frightening than anyone that's going to puke.  Yeah, just not for me.

She made some soup, I got dinner started, and before I knew it all of her homework was scattered all over the kitchen table.  She had Biology homework, a Biology project, English homework--reading and questions, and was working on something else on top of that.  I jumped on over to see if she needed any help.  And she did.  We worked on her Biology project and homework--I drew and she embellished.  We couldn't help but laugh at my pathetic drawings, although she did say they were much better than what she could create (which I doubt, I am NO artist...).  Over dinner we tackled her English--reading every other chapter out loud and answering all of the study questions.  She completed everything, rather we completed everything, in only 2 hours.

I cherish these moments with my daughter.  Watching her, listening to her, studying along side of her.  It's these simple times with her that I know I'll miss the most when she's out on her own.  When she was little, it was snuggling with a PowerPuff Girls book or putting together a poster for school.  It was the way she would grab ahold of my hand to cross the street or run toward me at the end of the school day, so excited to see me.  Today it was more than just homework.  Today it was living in a moment of her young adulthood and appreciating the fact that she still needed me--even if it was just for some vocal words or reading along side of her.

It's the needing that I think I'll miss the most some day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Running...and not away

Whew!  Today I started Week 7, Day 1 of my Couch to 5K app that I have going on my iPhone.  Honestly, tomorrow is really the 5th week of my new running venture--however, the app only has me running 3 days per week, and I've been running 4-5 days a week--which has put me ahead of the game.

Running is not something I was ever good at.  I ran when my coaches made me, but other than than--NO WAY!  I even faked an injury in high school so I could be the track manager instead of having to run the track.  Seriously.

But a while ago, one of my husband's really good friends and my friend too, began running--using a C25K app on his phone as well.  He's now run several 5Ks and even a leg in a marathon!  I know, right? I was so impressed and in awe of his success.  If he could do it, certainly so could I?  Besides there's nothing I like more than a little competition--even if I'm only competing with myself.

The first few weeks I did think I was going to die.  I was so out of breath, but kept on going.  What I love about the app is how it doesn't just throw you into the fire, instead I eased onto the coals.  Still get the pain, but it's doable.

I remember the week when I had to run 5 minutes straight--on and off with walking.  I didn't think I'd make it.  Whenever I started to falter, I would think of Bryan (friend mentioned above) and say to myself, "If that F*&^%! can do it, so can I!!"  Granted, I don't think Bryan is a F*&^%! in any way--it's just what I needed for my motivation.  And it worked.  Then I had to run for 8 minutes in a row, then 10 minutes.  Each time I went into the gym thinking there was no way I could do it--and each time I proved myself wrong.

Today, as I ran for TWENTY-FIVE minutes straight, I felt really proud.  I've never been a runner, and today I almost felt like one.  Of course, I still look like absolute hell as I'm running--I'm sweating like crazy, breathing out of rhythm until the 10th or so minute, sometimes singing out loud when I don't realize I am, pulling down on my tank as it rides up over my ass...yeah, I'm still a bit of a mess.  But I'm loving it.  I'm feeling great.

And the BEST feeling of all is that I know this is the year I'll be able to actually make good on a promise that I made to my daughter years ago.  See, we've been walking the Race to the Cure for the past 8 years together (9 for me).  Every year Marissa asks if we can run the race and every year I say, "Next year.  I promise, next year I'll train and we'll be able to run it."  And this year we WILL be running the race--and I have a feeling I just might beat her...  =)