Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back on Facebook... kinda

Okay, so here's the deal. I opened a brand new Facebook account. I am limiting my friend list to family and a SMALL number of friends (at least for now). Please don't be offended if I don't accept your friend request right away!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I guess we DON'T have the USA to cheer for anymore, but we're Becks so we can still cheer for the German team, right? I actually can't help but cheer for Japan. I mean, who thought they'd even get out of the group stage? It's nice when not all the surprises are bad.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

There are no words...

It's been two days since Italy was eliminated from the World Cup. I can't say I'm surprised, but I can't help but feel disappointed. I mean, they could have at least gotten out of the group stage for goodness sake! At least we still have the USA to cheer for.

And in other bad news, it looks like we won't be making that trip up to Jersey until August. Let's hope that's the end of the bad luck for a while. I have faith that the rest of the summer will be MUCH better.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quick update

June is a crazy busy month. The last day of school was the 18th and we are settling in for the summer. My mom, dad and brother cam down on Father's Day and then Chris' mom and her boyfriend came down Monday and left this morning. Both visits were very enjoyable for everyone. It was great to spend some time with family, especially since we don't get to see them nearly enough. Now it's our turn to drive up to Jersey, and we're hoping to do that next week. We could all do with the change of scenery.

After our trip to Jersey, we're probably going to stick close to home for the rest of the summer. I'll be continuing with my iaido group, Addison and Sebastian will attend camp later in the summer, and we're planning to go on several family outings right here in Virginia. Of course, we'll be spending most of our time lounging around the community pool and generally relaxing. After all, isn't that what summer is all about?

Apparently, Samantha doesn't think do. She is starting Kendo the second week in July. If you aren't familiar with it, Kendo (literally, the way of the sword) is a Japanese sport akin to fencing. They wear protective gear and use bamboo swords to try to strike each other on specific parts of the body in order to score points. Samantha is VERY excited about this, and I think the intense training and discipline involved will do her good. You can learn more about Kendo at the following sites:

Yeah, we've both been bitten by the Japanese martial arts bug. In fact, we're both so fascinated with Japanese culture that we're starting to learn the language. It sure makes for understanding all the martial arts terminology easier!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Monday!

Okay, okay, I know that Mondays aren't generally happy, but I've decided to change my attitude.

Here's how it works. For a long time, I used to treat Sunday as the first day of the week, but I've realized that the week begins on Monday. If you think about it, Saturday and Sunday (Friday, too, for some) are considered the weekEND. Singular. If Sunday was meant to be considered the beginning of the week, it would make more sense to call them the weekendS, because they'd be like bookends. But we don't do that. Therefore, I've decided that, logically, all the weekend days belong at the END of the week. By the way, this also makes the Christian tradition of using Sunday as the day of worship and rest make more sense. God rested on the seventh day, right?

Anyway, that brings me to my happy Monday. If you don't already, you should think of Monday as the beginning of a new week. However, I suggest that everyone look at Monday, not as the beginning of another week of the same old, same old, but as a new opportunity to have a better week. In fact, every day should be greeted with joy and optimism. Every day of life is a gift. Let's not spend our time dreading the week ahead. Instead, we should spend our time doing our best to appreciate today and be happy today. Today is all we have. There's no sense dreading the coming week when we there's no guarantee that we'll even get a tomorrow. Live life... be happy NOW!

It's easier said than done, but give it a try. Make yourself smile, even when you don't feel like it. Trust me, it won't take long before smiling will be a habit. You'll automatically feel better and you'll make everyone around you feel better, too!

*This Moment of Zen has been brought to you by Lack of Sleep*

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dressed up for iai practice

Okay, here is a picture of me after practice last night. It was taken with my iPhone in terrible lighting, but maybe that's a good thing. After all, it was taken AFTER sweating for two hours, so maybe it's better that you can't see me too clearly. :)

It's a shame that you can't see the the sword too well. It isn't mine, but it's pretty nice looking up close.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Midlife crisis? Who me?

I'm not afraid or ashamed of my age and anyone who knows me knows that I'll be 40 in November. With the average life expectancy for women to be around 80 years old, I figure I'm entering the second half of my life. I'm not one to dwell on the past or have regrets. I'm over all that now. In fact, I can look back fondly and feel that I've had a good life, so far. So far... which begs the question, "What now?"

After a great deal of soul searching, I came up with a few options. The following are samples provided for your amusement:

-Run away and start a new life. Okay, that's a little far fetched, but who doesn't sometimes think about this? Admit it, YOU think about it. We all do from time to time, but I hope I don't need to say that this isn't going to happen. I love my family and my life. Is it is an easy life? Not a chance. Would I leave? Not a chance!

-Buy a fancy sports car. I had to rule this one out. I just got a new car in December and it's about as sporty as I could manage and still get my WHOLE family in it. It's an Acura MDX and we affectionately call it the Tardis. If you've ever seen one, you would probably never believe that my family of 6 actually fits in it. I swear it really is bigger on the inside than the outside! Anyway, it's obviously not a fancy sports car and I can't afford another car, so let's move on.

-Go back to school. This one got serious consideration for a while. I have always had the intention of going to graduate school "later" in my life. This option, although not completely discarded, is not logistically feasible at this time. Caring for four children with special needs is a full time job and then some. It would be hard to find enough time to merely ATTEND a couple classes, let alone have time for homework and research. This idea is still firmly in the realm of things I will do "later".

-Take up a new hobby. Well, most people don't need a midlife crisis to do this and I suppose some would think this too lame to be the result of soul searching, and I've tried so many hobbies in nearly 40 years that I didn't think there was much left to try. I was wrong. I've always been interested in martial arts, but I'd never really been drawn to any in particular. Truth be told, I don't like the idea of actually fighting. A few months ago I discovered that I could learn the tradition Samurai art of drawing the sword, called iai (pronounced ee-eye). This I like! There is no fighting, just deep concentration and focus. So the "crisis" is over. :)

I won't get into the details about iai, because I don't think I could adequately explain it without going into it at length and I don't have nearly enough time right now. There are many schools of iai and I am learning Mugai Ryu Iaihyodo. The following are a couple links if you are interested in learning more about it:


Maybe I'll add a picture of me in my uniform "soon", since I have practice tonight and will actually have a sword to wear for the picture. MY sword is being made in Japan, even as I type this and I hope to have it by the end of the month. It's just a practice sword (iaito), so it's not a real katana with a sharp blade, but it's meant to look and feel like the real thing. I will DEFINITELY post pictures of my iaito when I get it. It's sure to become one of my most prized possessions.

Later today? Um... err...

Wow, did I really say that I was going to post something "later today" nearly THREE MONTHS AGO? So sorry! I'm still here and now I actually have some nice things to say. I think maybe I should start to say "soon" and definitely avoid the use of the word "today" in the future. So... I will post an update soon. ;)