Remember The Time

Remember that time, I had a pretty good blog.

I would write things.  You would read them.

Sometimes we would laugh at my parenting shenanigans and other times we would cry about my past traumas.

We built a relationship.  We were falling in love.

I took you out for coffee on Saturday mornings and showed you photos on Wednesdays.  We had a routine.

Then I started seeing other people.  Well, I had been cheating on you for months with Roller Derby.  However, recently, I started also seeing Education.

My life is squeezing my blog out.  It is squeezing my time for reflection and creativity in this space to an all time low.  My blog already lived on the fringe of my family time.  It slept at my feet and often got kicked off the end of the bed.

Well, now The Mother Flippin’ Blog is sleeping on the floor in the basement.

Let us take a moment to review my ridiculous schedule.

  • Monday is now assigned reading night after an early evening of helping with homework and making dinner.
  • Tuesday I have an online class followed by half a roller derby practice after an early evening of helping with homework and making dinner.
  • Wednesday is my only free night and my two oldest boys have karate.  After which I try to squeeze in a little homework so that I can be ahead of the curve.
  • Thursday is roller derby scrimmage night (FUN!) after an early evening of helping with homework and making dinner.
  • Friday used to be family night and if I can squeeze that in, I end up staying up until midnight finishing my online assignments and working on my portfolio.
  • Saturday, if I do not have a roller derby bout, I have a day at home with my little ones that I spend cleaning at a relaxed pace.
  • Sunday, a final roller derby practice (Endurance. Uuuugh!) an online class and meal prep for the upcoming week.

This does not include the 40-60 a week I work, have meetings or the time I take to be a good wife, daughter, sister and friend.

I am breathtakingly busy.

I am an overacheiver by trade.  I could be less busy if I chose to get less than a perfect 10 on every assignment.  Why would I do that though?

I could have more time, if I didn’t try to help my children with their homework or insist on tucking them into bed on the nights I do not have to skate.  Who would ever want to miss those kisses and snoozles.

I have also started doing research for my book and sometimes, I open up a dusty box and find anxieties, depression and sorrows I was not looking for.  When that happens, I slip up into my attic and hide until I can allow myself to cry it out on my yoga mat or into my keyboard.

I now remember why crock pots are the greatest invention of all time.  I check my calendar every morning and still managed to miss my first physical in two years.

(Don’t worry, I will call and reschedule.)

I am tired but I miss you.  I will try to remember to call every once in a while until our casual dating can turn into something more serious.

Until then, feel free to date others but don’t forget about me.

Love,

Tashmica

PS – I have recently discovered Tumblr and I love it.  You can find me there on the go OR on twitter @MotherFlippin

Under Pressure

I have been feeling a lot of pressure to perform lately.  Not only to perform but to perform well.  Most of that pressure, comes from me.  I am a perfectionist.  I know that this blog would tell you otherwise.  It would likely tell you that I am really great at letting go, laughing and  botching every 1st attempt at a recipe.  This would all be true.  It would also be true that if did not allow myself to giggle at my own escapades, my perfectionism would drown me.

While I do not allow it to drown me, it does often paralyze me.  If I think I am likely to get the answer wrong, I don’t answer.  I don’t move.  I stare at my shoes and wait for the opportunity to pass.  I wait for the blog to write itself.  I wait for the math class to become unnecessary.  I gently slip under the rock until it is safe to come out.

Let me share with you what has me lifting the rock.

And this time, when I refer to a rock, I am not talking about my husband.

I am a writer.  I suppose I always have been.  This year I have opened my blog up for sponsors and I am committed to keeping the traffic up.

Wha?

Here is the true story.  I am a writer.  I could care less about traffic.  I want to write words that mean something to my readers.  If I manage a sponsor this year, I would be elated. I also like money.  If I manage nothing more than having a few dedicated readers who relate to my many stories than I am blessed.

“Oooh, you’re a math avoider.” These words came from an Academic Advisor at Lansing Community College after discovering I had taken all necessary core requirements except for math and I have about 29 credits.  That is no small feat in avoidance.  I am a champion.  However, I have also decided to go back to school this year and grab a writing degree.  This will help me advance in both my career choices.

I have a lot of children.  I have a spouse too.  Sometimes they like to hang out.  Sometimes they even want a sit down dinner.  I have made a conscious effort to carve out time, one on one, with my boys.  Levi and I had a grilled cheese at the diner this week.  Isaac and I went to a movie.  Isaiah and I went to a Spartan basketball game.  I even managed a date night with My Guy.  

A is for A Team.  I tried out last fall for the Lansing Derby Vixens A Team and made it.  I instantly went from “WOO HOO!” to “OH Crap, I hope I make a roster!”.  I could have decided to not try out.  I had the opportunity to not be as competitive.  I went to a couple of meetings and gave opinions that made certain that everything was as competitive as always.  Now, I must be competitive and I feel myself waffling a bit.

All of these things take time.  They take focus and planning.  They all require an ability to prioritize.  All of these great things make my inner perfectionist scream.

You didn’t cuddle with Isaac near enough when he asked.  Great. Hot dogs. Yeah, that’s healthy.  You are going to fail math.  You are never going to make a roster.

I don’t even know this girl.  Something has gone a wry.  It’s like that joke about having a skinny girl inside you that you can shut up with a cupcake.

I have a perfectionist inside me that I can shut up with failure.

Not big failures.   Not flunking out of college or bad menu planning for the year.  Little fearless steps toward the potential failures are like tiptoeing across a fallen log about to drop.  My eyes are focused on the solid ground on the other side and not the creaking at my feet.

It is scary to do.  It is scary to make plans that will challenge you.  The possibility of failure is pretty scary.

Do you know what’s more scary?

Living paralyzed by fear, under a rock.  I am bearing my weak, negative underbelly because I know with New Year’s Resolutions bearing down on us, I cannot be the only one feeling this way.  It is time to let yourself off the hook.  This does not mean giving up but it may mean a rewriting of those goals.

One day, after sharing my stresses with my baby brother Tony, he had a question for me.

How do you eat an elephant?

Um, wha?

One bite at a time.

Get out that pen and write down the steps you need to take, no matter how small, to meet those goals most important to you.

Eat up ladies and gentlemen. It’s dinner time!

Hungrily,

Tashmica

(Phew…I already feel better.)

PS – If you sign up as one of my customers on my very own Mary Kay Website, I will mail you a free color card sample to try out.  This card comes with three eye shadows, one blush color and a lip color for you to try out.  Sign up today and you will also be enrolled in the Spring 2012 Preferred Customer Program which will earn you a copy of The Look and MORE exclusive samples!

Can I Derby?

Tomorrow night will mark the end of an off-season.  Roller derby practice with the Lansing Derby Vixens will be on again.  Two nights and one  morning a week, I will be back on the track.  I was just putting away some laundry this morning and saw my full drawer of derby clothes….#pumped.

I am looking forward to it.  I am a little scared.

I am not super confident.  I know it seems that I am but I swear before every practice I wonder if this is going to be the time I realize I am not cut out for this sport.  Ask my wife.

A totally reliable source, I kid you not.

She knows because I am always telling her just how awful I played…well, sometimes I come back to the bench breathlessly rambling about some feat I completed that she didn’t see.

*gasp* Oh, my gosh. *gasp* Did you SEE me jump over that girl who fell, spin around and keep skating? *gasp*

What?! No. *gulp water*

It was awesome.  *gasp* I don’t even know how it happened! *plops down on bench* *gasp*

Most of the time, in my own slightly neurotic perfectionist mindset, I am evaluating some skill I did not quite grasp.  I surprise myself with my ability to get very frustrated with myself – especially since I am typically so even keeled.

With the season opening, I am getting a little anxious.  Can I really derby?  Am I really strong enough, smart enough and athletic enough to play this challenging sport?  It seems highly unlikely and very challenging.

Just like other challenges in my life, I have made some resolutions for the 2012 Lansing Derby Vixens Season.

1.  Skate very low.

2. Get up very fast.

3. Stay focused – practice like you play.

4. Play inside the lines – No track cutting.

5. Hit with my whole body – from shoulder to hip.

6. Eat like an athlete.

I tend to eat like roller derby gives me a green light on everything within reach.  In some ways it does.  I can eat without gaining weight.  My activity level is apparently high enough for me to eat as unhealthy as I have been.  My body is thinner than ever.  Unfortunately, I am not as strong as I could be but I imagine with more focus, I could be a beast.

Not unlike this guy.

I can derby.  So far, I have proven that much.

Am I willing to give my body the respect it deserves for allowing me to participate in such an amazing sport by fueling it sufficiently?

We shall see.

Skate. Hit. Win.

Nina Firecracker

PS – I have been pinning all sorts of healthy things on Pinterest on my I’m An Athlete Board.  Check it out!

My First Bout

That is probably the lamest most unoriginal title ever.

It is what happened though. Yesterday, I finally played roller derby in a competitive bout in the Mitten Kitten Mash Up Tournament.

*sigh*

It was more fun than I ever imagined.

I love roller derby. (I know we’ve discussed this but let’s recap for the new comers.)

I love how it has given me a new respect and admiration for my body. I love hearing the tapping of wheels on the track when we line up before the whistle. I love throwing my hips or shoulders into another girl. I love the competition.

Funny. The competition is what had kept me out of bouts. I had to tryout for rosters. My coach and captains evaluated my skills nearly every month of the 8 months I have been on the team. Up until now, I have never made the roster and this time I made it as one of the two alternates.

Which was bittersweet, by the way. I was ecstatic to be named as a part of the rostered skaters. I have been fighting for that spot. Blisters, sweat and bruises all testify to my hours in practice. I am a dedicated, hard working Vixen.

We are VIXENS!

Their wasn’t a guarantee that I would get to play. Only a possibility.

#I Die.

I want to play. I Want To Play. I WANT TO PLAY!

I have never played on a sports team before. We have discussed my years of cheerleading for the Matadors. I have never been an alternate for anything in my life. I have always gotten the role, the spot, the opportunity. Derby has been different for me. It has been humbling. It has taught me what being a member of a team means.

I have helped penalty track, I have pulled up tape and I have traveled to support the team. I sat on the sidelines as an alternate dying to play but watching and cheering on my team. My team. I am a part of the Vixens. Those girls are my team.

They have pushed me for 8 months. We have laughed hard. We have fallen on and around each other (but small). We have volunteered all over this city. I know them as moms, activists, lawyers and teachers.

I am rambling.

Roller derby is not a sport I would have ever imagined on my list of extracurricular activities but I love it. I have busted my tail to finally get here and I cannot wait to see where this takes me.

Whatever it is. Do it. It is going to be hard. Your heart might ache for it. Your body may suffer for it. Let your soul rejoice in it. It’s worth it.

Love,

Nina Firecracker

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Wordless Wednesday: Tai Cheese!


Get it! Get it!!

…Cause I’m doing Tai Chi exercises and smiling.

I kill myself!

I knew roller derby was making me stronger. I knew that the opportunities given to me because of my involvement with the Lansing Derby Vixens have continued to stretch my personal growth. Why this picture and not a cutesy one of my boysenberries?

Because in this photo, you can see it.

Well, maybe you can’t but I can.

I see myself smiling through a Tai Chi warm up for the First Annual Dragonboat Race with my darling Gretta von Detta.

I would have never, ever attempted this last year.  I wouldn’t have even considered it.  Not for a second.  This year, I jumped at the chance to paddle with the only all woman team entered.

And we ROCKED it!!!

Did you see the gun show?

I mean, look at my muscles!

This photo was taken by Trumpie Photography during Tai Chi exercises led by the fabulous and gifted Belinda Thurston of Just B Yoga.

Check out this video of our race!

I wish you all growing pains!

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To The Highest Bidder

So guess who is now sitting on the Service and Fundraising Committee for the Lansing Derby Vixens.
I know that you are shocked that although I also signed up for two other options, that the powers that be derby decided that service and fundraising were right up my alley.
Flippin’ unbelievable right?
I know you are probably also thinking, where is she going to find the time? 
Short answer.
I have no idea.
There.  I am glad we have discussed this and can move on.
I am super duper excited.  When I am a grown up, I am going to be a fundraising superstar.  I love all of the experience I am piling on my resume.  You can never have too much know how.
I also get to work with Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang whose name, you might’ve noticed works well with my own.
For example,
Ahem.
Firecracker….BANG!
Plus, she has a heart of gold that is full of love for her community and causes that support the people living in it.
Agenda Item #1
Planning the silent auction for our next home bout on August 6th Dazed and Confused: Lansing Derby Vixens vs. NEO Roller Derby! A portion of the proceeds will benefit Ele’s Place, “a healing center for grieving children, supporting families in the Lansing and Ann Arbor regions and beyond.”  I have never planned a silent auction before.  No biggie.  I am sure a few google searches and help from my fellow Vixens will have it more than covered.
Agenda Item #2 
Solicit businesses like it’s my job.  I will be pandering, begging, asking and politely inquiring for about 10 days.  
Agenda Item #3
Drop off a huge, massive, ginormous wad of cash to honor a fellow Vixen who tragically lost her child this year.  We have all watched with heavy hearts as she had to lovingly say goodbye to her child.  We want nothing more than to be able to show our love for her and her family by supporting this amazing organization.
I will be hustlin’.  Like the song.  Everyday.  Well, until the next bout.  
Who are we kidding?  Every. Flippin. Day.
If you own a business, online or otherwise and have something you would like to contribute, please send me an e-mail at themotherflippinblog(at)gmail.com.  
*whispers* I don’t know.  Are spammers smart enough to read that?
Generosity is a gift to the world but mostly to yourself and your spirit.
Love always, going once…going twice… and given away freely on a daily basis,
Nina Firecracker….BANG!! (couldn’t help myself)
P.S. I am so happy to be apart of a league that gives money, time and extra effort to the community. Just one more way of making #lovelansing an amazing place to live.
It is good to be a Vixen.

Breaking the Wall **Warning** Gratuitous Derby Post

This post is very gratuitous. I have other things to write about and I know you have things you would rather read about. However, as a new derby girl, I gotta say these videos kind of make me feel like a rock star.
Even if we were just running a drill.
Even if I see errors of my own.
Even if I decide to retire the gray leggings for the way my booty looks in them. (See tragic)
I still need to share them with you.  You are a lucky duck.  You do not have to sit and watch them forty-five times while discussing what I learned, how it applies and what I will do next time like my poor dear sweet family.
I am the girl with the yellow helmet….This note is for those of you who are truly color blind and may not notice that I am the only brown girl on the track.

You might think by the title that I was able to break up a wall of skaters for my jammer.  You would be wrong.  This video is of me, cutting in towards her, missing and hitting the wall.  It is not the first wall I have attempted to take out with my steely hitting skills and it will not be the last.  
This video opens with a sweet one skate maneuver by Firecracker, who was so proud of herself, she threw in the jazz hands and a whoo! for free.  Your welcome.  Then Little Miss Cheeky gave a nice whip (just ask Cotton-Fire, camera crew and narrator) to Jenny Got Your Number.
This is a little thing Jenny Got Your Number and I, like to call a jamming drill. We were basically trying to skate through a pack of girls trying to stop us with the help of our own blockers. My girl Kendra was a booty blocking champ today.
I love this one because it is a great example of what derby is for me. I cut in and hit Mya T Mouse who was practicing jamming. As I cut over to do it again, Jenny Got Your Number pushes me right off the track. I am high on the challenge. You do something well and then you totally miss the mark on the next one. We are at that sweet spot where love meets learning.
Enjoy the videos!

And while I am here, I may as well remind you to get your tickets to the upcoming SMACKalaureate: Lansing Derby Vixens vs. Mid-Michigan Derby Girls on June 11th at the Lansing Center from 6pm-9pm.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Gateway Community Services.  Come see some Vixen action while supporting a great local cause.  

See you there!
Love,
Nina Firecracker
P.S.  XOXO to all my Fresh Meaties, Cotton-Fire, Hi-Def and Duhbullo Reffin for being so darn nifty at practice today. :)