Happy Mother’s Day

I write a lot on here about how I miss my dad sometimes, but let’s not forget about the force that is my mother.

She has always supported me, loved me, and been my number-one defender my entire life. I have heard enough horror stories from my friends to know how lucky I am.

  Chris is the filling in a Chronica’s moms sandwich.

These past 12 years, she has had to act as both mother and father, talking to me every day, listening to me drone on and on (and on and on) about my feelings, and acting as my personal advisor to all questions lawn/garden and handyman-related. She’s one of those rare people that could help you put a dresser together and then tell you what clothes from it would look the best.

  She’s basically Martha Stewart when it comes to azaeleas of the non-Iggy variety.

She may be a tough old bitch, but she’s my tough old bitch.

Chris and I took our moms to the Moundsville Country Club for the Mother’s Day Buffet. It was…a bit disappointing. The food there used to be really good, and the restaurant was nice. This does not appear to be the case anymore.

 The salad was good and the prime rib okay. But otherwise…

Still we had a nice time and took some fun pictures.

  
 And to my right, you’ll see a giant golf course. Nope, nothing else.

Hopefully everyone had a good time. And even if the food wasn’t great, at least we’re all super beautiful.

   Hey-ey!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you. If I can be half as amazing as you are, I’ll be pretty happy.

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Puddles

Tonight, Chris and I and our friend Erin went to see Puddles, a 6’8″ clown who sings. And it was amazing.

This guy has an amazing voice and sings super-fun (yet sad) covers of songs like “Royals,” “Dancin’ Queen,” and “Chandelier.” Also, he did an amazing version of “My Heart Will Go On” that included a picture montage that really has to be seen to be appreciated.

  Puddles meets world-famous blogger Oh Honestly Erin.
We knew beforehand that there would be audience participation, and while all three of us were terrified that we would get chosen for something, I was the only one who kind of still wanted to be chosen. Alas, I was not. 

  We did get some Puddles Cuddles afterwards, so it all worked out in the end.
It was a great show bookended by some delicious food — The Library for dinner and a surprise stop for a cookie at Le Petit Chocolat.

I feel like we hardly ever see Erin anymore — at least, not enough — and this makes twice in 8 days. Let’s try to keep this up!

Then Chris and I got home and had some internet time, and this happened.

  This is even more exciting than when Frank’s Red Hot followed me!

Great show, Puddles. Can’t wait till next time!

  

Lone Fitness

That title really brings to mind a treadmill in the middle of the desert, a singular tumbleweed rolling across its path. Nothing so dramatic here.

So, I’m sometimes bad at doing stuff by myself, at least for the first time. Chris and I had been taking Zumba together for months, and this time, instead of skipping the two months I’m on afternoons, I opted to join the morning class and go by myself.

With strangers.

And dance to funky Latin beats.

Horror.

But…I went. It was awkward at first. Where do I stand? Am I in someone’s place? Will they cut a bitch if I am? But it all ended just fine. I even made my way towards the front of the class, since the back of it was so heavily populated. I guess I hate being crowded and being in someone’s way more than I hate the thought of someone watching my sweet, sweet dance moves and being jealous. Or laughing at me because girthy.

Another first for me today — I went on a solo bike ride. I just did about 90 minutes total with a couple quick water breaks (and one longer snack break) and went 11.6 miles. I passed last year’s “I can’t believe we made it this far” landmark and kept going. I was going to stop at the first bench after that, but then the cyclist in front of me pulled over and stopped there. And I’m all about the lone fitness, remember?

I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

  No one around for miles yards.
I also rode my bike practically naked.

Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

It’s unseasonably warm today in Pittsburgh, and when I was getting ready, I threw on my cycling shorts and then debated about a shirt. I finally ended up with a tank top with my cycling jersey over it. I love the pockets in the jersey and am not particularly attractive in a tank (thanks for the bingo arms, Grandma), but it was really, really warm. I unloaded my bike at the trail and made a brave (for me) decision. Everything fit in my shorts pockets and bike bag (including the jersey, because safety net!), so I set out in my tank top. It wasn’t pretty, but it was comfortable.

Two seemingly insignificant milestones this week, and I’m ridiculously proud of myself. I hate people looking at me (unless I want to be the center of attention — I’m complex). I guess I don’t like it when I feel like they’re making fun of me. 

I’m positive this most definitely does not have its roots in high school.

Anyway, a good, active week. A fun, busy weekend ahead (Birthday! Mother’s Day! Sad Clown!), and one more day of work to get through before it starts.

Have a great weekend, everyone. And if you’re feeling nervous about trying something new, remember — this fat girl wore a tank top in public, and if that doesn’t deserve some type of legitimate award, I don’t know what does.

Wedding Musings

I’m so excited to get married. I am. I think about random things — first dance, vows, fun touches that we’ll add to the reception because we’re giant nerds, how pretty Chris will look — and I tear up.

Heck, I did right then.  Please enjoy this picture of Graham while I compose myself.

One thing hit me today, though, as I was making breakfast.

 This is technically yesterday’s breakfast. I write a blog of lies.

We’ll be surrounded by all of our friends and family — our mothers, our aunts, our siblings, and the friends we have our ridiculous adventures with. (And a few other people that are invited out of obligation, but whatever. Not you, of course. We want you there. Probably.)

But my dad won’t be there.  Allow me to distract you with another photo. Makeup!

Listen, I don’t mean to give anyone the wrong idea. It’s not like my dad and I talked on the phone every day, discussing our thoughts and dreams and hopes for the future. The guy wasn’t a talker. And we were very different. He had a very scientific, analytical mind, and I…do not.   Also, he liked kids, and I feel more like this about them.

He was just always there, you know? Teaching me how to ride a bike, going to my basketball and volleyball games, teaching me how to drive, supporting me when I quit my job. Acting like I just told him I preferred a different kind of music instead of a different gender when I finally came out to him. “No, I didn’t know that, but okay.”

It will be 12 years this summer that he died, so part of me is frustrated with myself. Like, come on, Monica. You knew he wasn’t going to be around anymore. And most days it’s okay. But some days — like today — it hits me. So instead off doing grown-up stuff, I blog. And look for unrelated pictures to post.

 Oh, Graham.

Chris and I will be walking ourselves down the aisle, probably. Which we would have done regardless of who was available to do it. And I guess that’s pretty fitting. He and my mom raised me to be pretty independent, outspoken, and all that business. Besides, if they wanted to give me away, they probably would have done it when I was an awful, awful teenager.

No pictures. Those were in the middle of my awkward years. But I was a BITCH.

The day of his funeral, my aunt saw a lone mourning dove on her deck. It hooted a few times and flew away. It was unusual, she said, to see one by itself, so it must have been him. So now, every time I hear one, I think of him. They’ve been really loud lately, so I hear them whenever I’m outside or have the window open. Chris texted me this week to say that one flew to her windowsill at work, hopped over in front of her, hooted a few times, and flew away. I called my mom to tell her — our second phone call of the morning, reserved for important stuff — and she said, “Well, I guess he likes her.”

  Indeed.

21.54

Chris and I have been trying to be more active. Physically, not just doing more stuff, since it seems like we are busy all of the time.

We have been taking Zumba twice a week, and today, I did my first solo morning class (since I recently switched back to afternoon shift). Our instructor was talking to me about biking and asked about the Pedal Pale Ale Keg Ride, and I told her about our ride this Sunday.

Which was 21.54 miles.

I realize to a lot of people, that doesn’t sound like much. When Chris was training for her 100-mile ride around Lake Tahoe, her first practice ride was 20 miles. But I’m still pretty proud of myself. I’m 38 and overweight (and rhyme like a…mate!) and haven’t had much practice on my bike. And I did it.

  
Champions!

I hate being the fat girl who blames her bike, but my bike is…not the best. It does fun things like not shift when i switch gears and then shifting without my doing anything. It made some of the hills difficult. 

We rode on the Montour Trail to Chris’ mom’s house and back, so we had a safety net, which was nice. But she didn’t have to rescue us. Plus, we had a nice lunch from Tandem at her house. 

  
Chris ahead of me, as usual.

Also, a fun surprise when part of the trail was closed, and we had to ride on Valley Brook Road. Also, there was a snake in the path. Surprise danger all around!

Hooray for biking!