So, it’s May

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog, although I’ve not ignored it on purpose. It seems as though I always have more work to do than time to do it, so that leaves very little opportunity for sharing here. But I keep getting notifications that new people are following this blog and I feel like I’m being extra terrible by not saying hello and thank you to them, and to everyone, for their support.

So, “Hello.”

And “Thank you!”

🙂

As far as work goes, I’ve been making a lot of videos. Since I do them all myself, there are a lot of pieces and parts to coordinate. Here are two of my most recent and biggest productions:

You’ll find all manner of family and friends in these videos – if you know me and it’s video-making time, you never know when I’ll ask you to be my next star 🙂

I’ve also been writing lots of articles for Clean Run magazine, including several well-received editorials, which is nice. I’ve also got a regular series on agility-vehicles, and I’ve written several “one-off” articles as well. Writing editorials is one of my absolute favorite forms of work, so I’ve been really fortunate to get that opportunity this year.

In other news, we are coming up on what I’m calling our “accidentiversary.” It’s been nearly a year since the accident that greatly impacted our lives. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please check out When Great Swimmers Drown,  which you might want to share with your friends as swimming season approaches, and the follow-up, appropriately titled The Aftermath.

After the accident, The Girl was cleared to return to the pool to swim at the Junior Olympics, which was a huge blessing for us. But, out of an abundance of caution, the doctor withdrew that permission at the beginning of the fall swimming season as he and his staff continued with various tests. Giving up her spot on the synchronized swimming team was devastating. She lost her goals, a good chunk of her identity, her dreams, her routine, and her closest friends (although we’ve tried to stay in touch). I too have lost some of the same. It’s been a very hard year.

Because neither of us like to mope around or settle, we pushed to find another sport that would work for her. She tried out for a level 1 gymnastics team and was accepted. She worked hard at being a gymnast but could see that she was going to be held back by her lack of upper body strength. She gave it her best effort and did great at two in-house meets but she just didn’t have the drive or love for it like she did synchro. But then we found Trampoline and Tumbling, a sport that falls under the arm of USA Gymnastics.  It involves two different types of trampolines and floor work. It is a much smaller sport than artistic gymnastics, with friendly coaches and small groups that feel a little more like “home” for her, and she’s progressing rapidly. She tried out for the level 2 team and made it, so we are hoping that next year will involve more athletics and meets and physical challenges for her to work toward and enjoy.

I would have never imaged the struggles and fears that we would face as a family since the accident occurred. I firmly believe that in the end we’ll all be better people, but it’s a process.

More to come….

 

Advertisements

There’s Still Magic

20171030_230357

Yes, that’s a Hufflepuff hat and a Potter-themed shirt. 

Today is my daughter’s 11th birthday. On her 10th, I had no idea what was in store for us, the treacherous roads that we would travel to make it to this day. But here we are, a new year, a new adventure. We hope for a safer one, that’s for sure.

 

Last week, I made an off-hand remark on Facebook about finally taking my daughter to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. We are huge Harry Potter fans but we’ve held off on going because it’s a pretty big expense and we don’t have a lot of money laying around to use for the fun kind of big expenses. But it’s her birthday and it seemed like the right time to get those tickets. And my intention was to go and buy them the next day after I wrote that post, but I didn’t because, quite frankly, I was planning on partially paying for the tickets with money harvested from the Change Bucket, and I wasn’t able to get to the bank to turn the change into much more socially acceptable bills. (Does everyone have a world’s heaviest bucket of change at home?) I think there’s more than $100 in there and that would make a nice, painless dent in the ticket price. So, Monday, today, was the day I was doing the bank run and then going to AAA to buy our golden tickets to Harry’s world.

But that little Facebook status I mentioned prompted one of my friends to contact another friend who works at Universal, right in Harry Potter’s world. That friend talked to some of her co-workers, and they all shared the story of the brave little girl who lived… just like Harry.

Those friends got together to make magic for that girl. My girl.

So, I am now planning several trips to Universal on comp passes that belong to hardworking cast members who make magic come to life every day for Harry Potter fans. People who count on those comp passes for their own friends and family donated them to a girl who has had a hard time and who has wished and wanted and saved to see their world for more than a year. People I don’t know but will hopefully get to meet to say “Thank you!”

When I told my daughter about the gift, it took her a few moments to process. As understanding dawned and she realized that many different people completely unknown to her got together to give her this gift, she cried. She felt the magic. She felt the love. I felt it all too.

It reminded me that we all have magic within us. We have the power to love and to share that love with not only family but also with friends and strangers. It’s love, limitless love, that makes magic. And the completely selfless love shown to people you don’t even know might be the most magical of all.

What a shame it would be to go through life a muggle, missing out on sharing that magic.

Soon my family will be immersed in the wizarding world, and our trip will be all the more magical because of the love that got us there.

20171029_185503