If you've friended me on facebook, or you see every one of my tweets, you might know what I'm talking about . . . or at least some of it.
For the first week of August, my family traveled to Oklahoma City for USA Canoe and Kayak Sprint Nationals. OKC has the best venue for Sprint Canoe and Kayaking, and has created a man-made white-water course for athletes as well. It's an amazing place. Live video feeds show the audience the entire race course. The times and places of the athletes show up on the video board as they finish - even when it's a photo-finish for places.
Our team, Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team, won Nationals for the fifth time!
(Lanier Canoe and Kayak from Georgia holds the record by winning 10 years in a row.)
This year, Nationals was also the qualifier for the Olympic Hopes team going to the Olympic Hopes Regatta in Sezged, Hungary this fall. The OHR was created to inspire young athletes and to create a legacy for the sport. Only athletes born between 1999 and 2001 can compete (ages 15-17) this year. 35 athletes were chosen from Nationals to go, 13 come from our team, and two of them are my daughters. (Due to the cost of international competition, we are running two Go Fund Me campaigns. If you are interested in supporting them, just click on the links below the images. The funds will go to airfare, hotel costs, and the competition only.)
This is huge - in a lot of ways.
My daughters are going to compete internationally in a sport that they've fallen passionately in love with over the past 3 years. They've practiced six days a week for over a year, including on the water and in the gym workouts. This summer they've practiced or worked out 5-6 hours a day, with rest in the middle of two workouts each day.
If that was the only thing going on in life, it would be plenty.
However . . .
My oldest just left on a mission trip for Chiclayo, Peru with an awesome team of 15 people from our church. Every other teen that's going has a parent with them, but she requested an independent mission trip. I haven't attended a single mission trip meeting or planning session. She's taken full responsibility for all of it. I did run through a packing checklist with her the night before, but that's all. She will be on a different continent (that I've never visited), giving out health packets (including washable feminine hygiene) at schools, and helping with after-school programs. She is responsible for one DIY activity with the kids - she created a bubble wand out of two sticks and a thin piece of rope. She'll share this at the after-school programs and help kids make bubble wands with found materials.
This is the mission team, on the airport shuttle at 5 a.m. this morning.
Please pray for them to experience God's love overflowing through all that they do for the next 10 days.
I had to stay home, and it's hard. I've always wanted to travel but somehow lost that ambition/dream as life plodded along. And yet, I'm oddly proud of myself for staying this time. It's taken a lot of prayer and perseverance to not go, to not hover, to trust God, to rely on the mission team, and to entrust my daughter with all the responsiblities that surround international travel. My daughter has made me proud with her ability to prepare and plan for an international trip. Yes, she did forget her jacket this morning, but she is becoming an amazing young adult, and I'm thankful for this opportunity to stay back and see that clearly.
So, sometimes I know I should stay.
But, there are also times that I should go.
It's a huge budget squeeze, but I'll be traveling to Sezged, Hungary with other parents to cheer for our kids competing in the Olympic Hopes Regatta this September. My hover-craft momminess will have to still take a side-seat since the team is traveling separate from parents and practicing apart from parents, but I'll be there to shout from the stands. (My funds will not come from GoFundMe - I'm getting there as cheaply as possible - cheapest flight option, cheapest hotel with other parent roommates, and cheapest everything.)
My husband is staying home, which is a bummer - I'll miss him every moment I'm gone. We just celebrated our 20th year anniversary and I love being with him every single day. It's going to be tough to live without him for a week - the longest time away from each other since he left the Navy reserves.
Whether I stay or go, it seems there is always a part of me yearning for the other option.
And, can you imagine why my immune system decided to go wonky and let in the latest cold/sinus nastiness going around? It's not like I've experienced high excitement or stress lately, right?
And, my writing has been reduced to short stories, poetry, and short non-fiction lately. I haven't been able to focus on anything longer in a few weeks. Maybe, I'll bury my head in one of my projects for the next week, with my oldest daughter gone and my youngest daughter resuming 6 hours a day of kayak training (this includes gym workouts, running, and water workouts).
"Shadow Magic" was published by Aurora Wolf on August 1st - so check it out, if you're up for a bite of fantasy fiction.
I'm taking a few days off from blogging this month - I didn't originally intend to post today, but I'm having a mommy-writer moment.
I'll be back the 26th and Mark Noce will be visiting on the 31st.