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It’s Coming On Christmas; They’re Cutting Down Trees

This year Christmas seems a little less Bing Crosby to me and a lot more Joni Mitchell.  Instead of dreaming of a White Christmas I am wishing for a river I could skate away on.  Christmas is clobbering me.  Let me rephrase that, Christmas is beating the holy living shit out of me.

I’m not normally like this.  I am usually the poster child for Christmas cheer.  I have normally watched/recited “Elf” twenty times by now.  Wept over the dinner scene in “The Family Stone” at least three times and watched “Love, Actually” a few times in spite of it being a terrible movie.  I normally have holiday music going from November 1st on.  My trees (yes, we have multiple trees in our home – like 5 – shut up, some are small) are up and decorated before Thanksgiving.  Though I do graciously wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up the outside lights and décor.  I usually have detailed shopping lists with check marks and budgets all designed with festive fonts and clip art.  On any other year, I would have done my first batch of holiday cookies, prepped gifts for neighbors and teachers and basically have been the holiday cheermister to shame all other holiday cheermisters.  But this year it is just not happening. This year, my heart is shrinking instead of expanding.

I keep waiting for some holiday cheer to wash over me. I am ready to be baptized in tinsel and gingerbread. I keep waiting for it to feel like it is SUPPOSED to feel. But right now, it feels like Christmas has become that one guy you dated in college.  You know the one who was SUCH A GREAT GUY but you just couldn’t love him.  Yeah, Christmas is that guy this year.  Christmas is stressing me out, making me question my sanity and leaving me feeling empty and vaguely sad.  That’s not how Christmas is supposed to make you feel.  Christmas is supposed to be, as my favorite Christmas song so helpfully points out, THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!  But what if it’s not?  What if your year sucked so hard that you almost didn’t believe it could suck so bad, and then that really sucky year just went right on ahead and made for a really sucky Christmas?  Even worse, what if it is your second (or third, or fourth) really sucky holiday in a row? How the hell are you supposed to manage something like that?

My kids are older now, and expect stuff.  They keep talking about our traditions and I have looked at them more than once and said, “What are you talking about?”  My daughter, precocious and easily aggravated at my short memory reminds me that Santa brings tooth brushes and video games or movies in their stockings.  That we make gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve.  That daddy puts the Christmas songs in the piano and we dance.  I smile at her and think, “Oh my god, that all sounds exhausting.”  I have hardly bought anything because my kids aren’t wanting for a single thing.  Their room is bursting as it is, and I have been quietly throwing crap away while they are at school.  The idea of bringing more stuff into the house makes my stomach turn.  They haven’t even noticed the stuff I’ve gotten rid of – why do they need more?

I find myself lying awake at night thinking, how can I make Christmas magical without making Christmas a huge deal? I realize I brought this on myself.  I realize I was trying to give my kids what I didn’t have and in the process I spoiled the shit out of them and made them ungrateful for the amazing stuff they have.  I realize that I’m the one who is hell bent on Santa and cookies and holiday cards and all the rest.  But somehow it just all snuck up on me this year.  Christmas surprised me like an unexpected guest surprises you when your house is a freaking disaster. A panicked mixture of “HELLO!” and “HOLY SHIT!” with the bulk of your emotions being the latter.  The thing is, I don’t want my emotions about my favorite holiday to be so tainted.  I don’t want my kids to see how stressed out I am about stuff.  I don’t want to be this stressed out, but it is what it is.

This is my Christmas wish: I just want, more than anything, a moment of pure Christmas magic.  I want a moment that doesn’t have anything to do with gifts or packages.  I want just one moment of wonder.  I want a moment that catches in my chest and then spreads through me like fire.  I want to look at my children and not see ungrateful brats, but magical creatures I created.  I want my husband to gather me up in his arms and hold me tight because I am his best gift.   I want the overwhelming stress of my life to melt away for a few minutes of unadulterated joy. I want to laugh really, really hard with people I love. I want happiness in spite of some really difficult stuff.  I guess what I really want is a Christmas miracle and enough hope and faith to believe such a thing exists.

 

Sarah Maren Photographers

Would ya like to take a survey??

Jill and I watched a lot of Animaniacs in our youth, and whenever I think of surveys I can’t help but think of the above cartoon.  I have a problem. So, the whole time I’ve been working on the first survey CCM has ever put out, all I could think of was the “Would ya like to take a survey?” line.  It was NOT AT ALL super annoying to everyone around me. Because as you’ve probably figured out about me, I speak what’s on my mind.

So, CLEARLY this post is about us asking you to take a survey – a Cap City Moms survey to be precise.  We are looking for info on our readers,  what you like about CCM, what you think we can improve on and what you hope the future holds!  HUZZAH!!  The survey is annonymous, so feel free to be honest.  We have several bottles of wine to drown our sorrows in if we need to.  But what we REALLY want, more than anything, is to hear from you our awesome readers.  

There are A LOT of things being worked for CCM in the coming months and we are SUPER excited about changes, growth, and getting to know more of you.  Thank you SO much for reading our site, participating in our events and being a part of the growing community of Cap City Moms.  We just adore you!

So!  Take a few moments and complete our survey by

CLICKING HERE!

Thanks for being awesome!  We can’t wait to hear your thoughts!!

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The things I admit on the internet

I feel like I should tell you that I’m having a hard time facing the fact that I will probably never meet The Royals. I mean, I long ago accepted the fact that I will never BE royal (stating the obvious much, Lorde?) but I am experiencing abject disappointment that Kate and I will never swap recipes or go out for cocktails. (Wait-is she even allowed to go out for cocktails? Perhaps our friendship plans were doomed before it could ever start.)

While we could totally add Kate to the list of my friends who don’t know they’re my friends, I have also found myself to be SUPER nosy about the royal happenings during their recent trip to New York. Mostly I just want to know what Bey and Kate talked about at the basketball game. I mean, who wouldn’t want to know?

You can answer that question on your own time after some serious soul-searching.

While you’re doing that, the rest of us will be over here amused by the Fug Girls and their recap of The Royals’ visit to New York.

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Or, you know, wherever you go to get your Royals news. I’m not in charge. I’m just hoping you’ll share your favorite links in the comments.

photo credit/more info

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CCM Runs CIM

 A few months ago, we put a call out to #TeamCCM to see who wanted to run the CIM Relay Challenge with Sarah and I. We were hoping to get a couple others to join us so that we could have a complete team of four people. Imagine our surprise (and delight) when the call for two turned into many, many more.

Cap City Moms Team of Awesome
Cap City Moms Team of Awesome

Yesterday, fifteen badass ladies, and one super rad dude, took to the streets of Sacramento and the CIM Relay Challenge to run 26.2 miles as a team. Cap City Moms’ four teams of four traveled from Folsom to the Capitol having a BLAST as we shared the marathon miles.

Our super rad Cap City Dad
Our super rad Cap City Dad

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I couldn’t believe how much fun we all had. Cheering on our team members at the exchange or driving like a bat out of hell (ahem, following all traffic laws of course) to make it to see the other team members cross the finish, it was FUN. The caravanning and cheering and running together reminded me of other relays I have done over the years and I loved every second of it. Yes, even when it was my turn to run. 7+ miles turns out to be pretty great when you have some of your favorite people cheering you on.

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I’m so proud of this team. They worked hard and got the job done. But more than that, it did NOT matter when we crossed the finish line or what our collective pace was. The entire team was incredibly supportive of everyone’s goals and just getting to the finish line. Our team included folks running their first “big” race and those that have raced many,  many times. Each member of each of our four teams was beautifully and wonderfully different and had different paces or abilities. No matter if we had known each other for years or just met that morning, there was nothing but positive reinforcement and support for EACH RUNNER.  

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It was one of my favorite parts of the entire day.

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I love what I get out of running. It’s good for my health. It’s (so) good for my sanity. But every so often, I get to experience running in a new way that makes me even more grateful that I ever laced up those running shoes in the first place.

These two get me out the door most mornings.

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Sunday was one of those days.

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IT IS TIME TO SET OUR RUNNING GOALS FOR 2015!! We are pulling together our #TeamCCM race schedule and our first two races on the calendar are Super Sunday Run (on Super Bowl Sunday) 5k or 10k and Shamrock’n Half Marathon. Training starts this week! Training schedules are below. Happy Training!!

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Super Sunday Run 5k Training Schedule

5k Super Sunday Run PLUS Shamrock’n Half Training Schedule

Shamrock’n Half Marathon Training Schedule

 

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Ready to Run – Team CCM runs CIM

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The time has come!  We have trained!  We have trained for our training! We have run! We have walked! We have laughed! We have cried! We have done all of things – or near well MOST of the things and now the time has come to run the race.  This weekend 15 awesome women and my adorable husband will pull on their TeamCCM shirts and their running shoes to participate in the 31st annual California International Marathon on four relay teams.  I have to be real right now, Jill and I are RIDICULOUSLY proud of you guys.  Like, almost to a weird place are we proud – but we don’t care because YOU LADIES (and Dustin) DID THIS!  You trained hard, you ran farther than you ever had before, and this weekend you are going to be part of a team that will run over 100 miles collectively.  Basically, you’re amazing.

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We know running can be hard.  Because, DUDE, running is HARD for us.  But!  We are better people because we run.  Better moms, better wives, better humans.  We aren’t perfect or fast (or even in the general vicinity of fast, really) but we are out there.  And sure, we skip a run or five because we hate running in the rain or are buried in obligations, or whatever – but still! We get up, we get out and we get it done.  All that effort, all the nights without enough sleep, the tired legs, the being stupid hungry ALL. THE. TIME, the expensive shoes and constant fear of wondering if we can really do it all pays off this weekend.  This weekend we will line up with our friends, pound out some miles and share 26.2 miles with our team mates.  The feeling of completing a run is only out shown by the feeling of that metal being placed on your neck.  Because with every mile – YOU EARNED THAT MEDAL.

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To show you JUST how proud we are, I put together a little video montage of the photos you shared with the Team CCM hashtag on social media.  Thanks for being a part of this team!  We can’t wait to run MANY more miles with you – no matter how fast or slow they might be!  Congratulations on a huge accomplishment – the race is the icing on this very smelly cake. :)


 

 We will be announcing some of Team CCM’s races for 2015 in the next week.  We hope you’ll join us on a 5K, 10K or half marathon in the new year.  Until then, follow #teamcmm and #CCMrunsCIM on social media to keep up with our race this weekend!!  Run on my friends!  RUN ON!