I am a widowed mother of a 4 year old daughter. New England girl transplanted in Upstate New York. Coffee snob and a Mexican food enthusiastic. History nerd. I like to run, read, travel, knit and cook. I blog about grief, life, love and resilience.
Last week in my C25k recap, I told the story of the Pre-K plague and that it wiped me out. I wasn’t able to complete week 2 that week.
I am not back to 100% but I was able to successfully re-do week two last week.
The runs increase from the 60 seconds in week (alternated with a 90 second walk) to a 90 second run (alternated with two minute walk).
I know you are supposed to do the runs every day but I do them on Tue, Wed and Fri. This is because I have to work around my daughter’s gymnastics and dance classes. It’s not ideal, but I am only one person.
All the podcasts work. Chubby Jones talks with you on a friend level and I like that. (She also commented on my blog which gives her bonus pounts).
I did like Nicole’s music the best. I like that she uses faster songs for the run intervals. She also has no chatter, just a countdown to interval changes so if you don’t want any talk, that might be a good choice.
As I wrote my post, I thought about how it was my 44th Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday post.
I thought to myself, “I guess this is the President Obama of Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday posts.”
I was amused.
I share my amusement with Kimmy Gibbler.
She was amused.
Though she is also amused that I tend to mark the passage of time by Presidential Administrations. For example, I might realize I hadn’t done something since college and say “I haven’t done that since the Clinton Administration.”
I guess this week (#45) is the President Trump of Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday posts.
I guess people are going to really love this blog post or really hate this blog post.
I am only kidding. Though I am just going to leave that topic now and move onto number two.
We took a week off from dance after our last class. I was nervous about returning but I also realize that I need to give my daughter a chance to redeem herself. She needs those chances to learn and grow. If public tantrums becomes a pattern, then I will reconsider our participation in activities. Since there is no alarming pattern, I am going to treat it like an isolated incident.
My daughter paid attention and was polite to her teacher and classmates.
I am also grateful for her dance teacher for being understanding. We chatted before class and she was encouraging about the situation.
Disney on Ice.
My friend blogs for Macaroni Kid Albany and she invited us along to Disney on Ice tonight. I am grateful she invited us. My daughter had a great time. I did too, of course. And it was good to catch up since we both busy moms and that is hard to do.
The maintenance guy at Times Union Center.
On my way to Disney on Ice, I needed to meet my friend at the Box Office. I was trying to remember how to get there and I said that to my daughter. The maintenance worker heard me and stopped what he was doing and politely gave me directions. He could have kept on walking. I appreciate him taking the time to direct me and for being nice and helpful.
I was originally going to say Hummus. Don’t ask me why, but I am on a hummus kick this week. I always thought it was overrated but I am liking it lately.
My daughter and I left Disney on Ice, walked to a nearby parking garage, paid for our parking and left. I missed my entrance onto 787 and had to loop back around. As I looped back around near the Times Union Center and saw tons of blue and red lights. This had happened.
I am grateful that we didn’t linger and that we missed the excitement. I am grateful we missed it.
Only one thing could happen to me that could top that but I am not going to entertain that thought.
2017 was a fog. I was surviving.
2018 was the year that I need to stop surviving and start to live again.
When 2018 started, I had a feeling that things were going to be very different by the end of the year.
I was right.
(Funny how that happens…)
Was 2018 a bad year for me?
Yes and no.
There was a lot of death. I lost my grandmother and two friends.
The year was full of hard lessons.
I had to learn that people and things are not always what they purport themselves to be.
I had to learn that I need to look for internal rewards and not to look externally.
I had to learn to release and let go.
I had to learn to live again and make decisions on the direction of my life.
I had shit thrown at me.
But I survived it. And I am smarter for it.
I learned what was really important.
Seriously, I am 40-year-old woman, who has been to Hell and back and I have a small child dependent on me. It was time for me to focus on what was important.
Last year I didn’t write much in December. I was beginning to think this year was going to be the same. However, I think over the next couple of weeks, as part of the releasing process, I am going to write posts about what I am leaving behind in 2018.
Kind of like a farewell rock tour but less cooler. A lot less cooler.
I am going to take all the negativity that was thrown my way, put it on an imaginary Viking funeral Ship, light it on fire (again, imaginary. I don’t want to blamed for starting any fires.) and send it off.
If you have anything you need to release before we begin 2019, I invite you to put them on the imaginary Viking funeral ship.
I got the Pre-K plague this week. I have asthma and I am susceptible to bronchitis so I need to be careful. The cold settled in my chest and that is a huge warning side for me.
This cold wiped all the energy out of me. To illustrate that example, most of my blog posts are written between the hours of midnight and 2 am. Well one night I was in bed by 7:30. Very unusual for me.
I have been taking elderberry syrup and trying to rest.
So I will be repeating Week Two this week. I’ll do it a third time if I have to. Luckily I have a three week buffer between C25K completion and half marathon training.
Today is Friday! You know what that means. Time for some good vibrations gratitude.
I am inviting you join me on Good Vibration Gratitude Fridays!
You are probably wondering how you get in on the action.
It’s easy! If you are grateful for something, please either comment below or share a pic of what you are grateful for on Instagram with the hashtag #goodvibrationsgratitude
Also feel free to follow me on Instragram at @kerrymckim
I am getting used to this new Gutenberg editor in WordPress. I liked it when creating my last post but it is pissing me off while writing this post. And for the love of all that is Holy, I can’t figure out how to name my own permalink. I had to go back to Classic Editor. Not cool, WordPress.
Those of you on WordPress- what do you think?
Here are 5 things I am grateful for this week?
1. President George H.W. Bush
There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said by people far more distinguished than me. I am just happy I got to experience George H.W. Bush as my president. He represented an America that I am not sure even exists anymore.
People can say what they want about the Bush’s and their relationship with the Clintons and the Obamas but I think it is a great reminder that we are all people.
My heart broke for President George W. Bush during his eulogy.
And I was in awe when Senator Bob Dole took every ounce of strength he had to salute the President.
It really is the end of an era.
2. Last Weekend in Maine
I am not going to delve too deeply into the past weekend since I wrote about it (and my unsuccessful search for my Christmas Hallmark Man) here. But it was good to be home.
My next four things (I added a bonus) are all related to being sick. My daughter brought home a nasty cold from school and I have caught it. Last night I went to bed at 7:30pm which is very unusual as I am usually awake until 1am or 2am. I do feel like I am on the mend but I will be taking it easy for the next week or two.
*This story is a satirical piece based on the real life events of Kerry McKim. This written work is meant to be humorous. This story is not affiliated in any way with the Hallmark Channel though some may argue that it should be. Currently there are no plans to be affiliated with the Hallmark Channel…yet.
While the shopping began weeks ago, this years Christmas Story began last weekend. I was home visiting my parents and I decided that it was going to be the day where I get to live in a Hallmark movie.
All the enlightened guru’s say that we create our own realities. Let’s face it, I am bouncing back from a shitty period of my life. I always feel good when I watch Hallmark movies so why not make it my reality.
I have a lot going for me. Let’s look at the facts.
I am a widow ✔
I have a cute kid ✔
I was in my hometown, which is a small coastal Maine town ✔
It’s Christmastime ✔
Now I just to need find one of these single, good looking, successful, emotionally available middle aged men that seem to be wandering around Small Town America.
The “emotionally available” part if very important. I know a lot of these Hallmark Christmas Men have chips on their shoulders. I can handle that. But he needs to be emotionally available. I am the widow who needs someone to show me that love still does exist and it is all around.
I will note that I did have a few things working against me-
❌ I was not there to save the Christmas parade. It seems like I was not needed. The Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce seems to be handing it just fine.
❌ I was not here to save the family business. There is no family business. Unless you count the postal service and I don’t have have the super powers of Candice Cameron Bure or Lacey Chabert to go against that bureaucracy.
❌ I came to realize that nothing needed to be saved. My family home is safe and we don’t have a family farm to save.
❌ I don’t own a vintage red pickup truck. I own a red Subaru Forester and a blue pickup and my father has a new red pickup truck. But no vintage red pickup truck. This is problematic because in addition to the cuteness factor of an old red pickup truck, many Hallmark movies involve a Hallmark Christmas Man rescuing a damsel in distress due to her unreliable vehicle. My late husband made sure I had the safest winter car there is and I have been maintaining the vehicle. Hallmark Christmas Man will have to find another way to help me.
❌ I also don’t have a high school ex-boyfriend. I wasn’t cool enough or pretty enough I guess.
(I really need to get over this emotional block considering I am in my 40s now).
Since I didn’t need to save a business, a home, a farm or Christmas in general, I decided to go to the local Christmas parade.
I got to town about a half an hour before the parade. My daughter is in that phase where any unit of time that isn’t “right now” is “a very long time” so I didn’t want to be standing there waiting.
I was worried about parking. I was having trouble locating a spot and then I see a man directing cars into a Baptist church parking lot. I was excited. I did not attend that church when I lived there because I am Catholic but I had cash in my pocket and my adopted New York ways just assumed I would to pay to park anyway. I tried to hand the attendant some money and he seemed surprised and he declined the cash. He did invite us to cookies and hot chocolate at the church after the parade.
Cookies and hot chocolate at a small town church did seem like something that would happen in a Hallmark Christmas movie. But I am still mad at God and I didn’t want my Hallmark Christmas movie to be one where I find God. Especially if that meant that I would have to convert to another form of Christianity to meet my Hallmark Christmas Man.
My Hallmark Christmas Man is going to have to accept my “It’s Complicated” relationship status with Catholicism
I knew that my Hallmark Christmas Man could have been there eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate but I was willing to take that risk.
I went looking for a friend of mine. She was convinced Hallmark Christmas Man and I were going to go after the same piece of candy that was thrown at the crowds. Our eyes were going to meet. I was going to blush. He was going to say “I haven’t seen you around here before.”
Though that moment never happened. Turns out my daughter is perfectly able to fend for herself when it comes to candy.
As I was looking for my local friend, I saw an old friend of mine. She lives in Florida and I hadn’t seen her in about fifteen years. We had lost contact. She was in town because her father had passed away. She has been on my mind a lot lately and I do believe we were meant to bump into each other. I gave her my contact information and I do hope I hear from her.
I finally found my local friend right before the parade started.
My Dad was in the beginning.
My daughter on the lookout for candy.
I thought I was smart because I grabbed a plastic grocery store bag to hold candy. Turns out it had a hole. Luckily there was enough freebies like a local newspaper and frisbees that I was able to plug up the hole and still be able to use the bag for candy.
There were lots of floats from the community.
I told you, the parade didn’t need saving.
Since my father was at the beginning of the parade, he was able to make it back before the end of the parade.
Santa! I know him!
After the parade, I took my daughter to the office of the local newspaper, The Ellsworth American because they give each kid a book. They had tables set up by age group and each kid could choose a book. My daughter chose a Snoopy book because her teacher likes Snoopy.
It is worth noting that the local newspaper didn’t need me to save it (though it did just get bought out by the Portland Press Herald) and Hallmark Christmas Man was not there.
My daughter had to use the bathroom so we stopped at the VFW Post that my father belongs to so we could use the facilities. My daughter was hungry so my father and the other VFW members invited us to crash the cub scout pizza party they were hosting.
I felt a little awkward but my daughter made friends with the kids and I saw a few old friends of mine. It was great to catch up.
Hallmark Christmas Man was not at the pizza party. But my father, my daughter and I headed up to the Christmas Tree lot to look for the Perfect Sullivan Family Christmas Tree.
And maybe Hallmark Christmas Man would be there. Maybe we would both pick out the same Christmas Tree and fight over it. That seems to happen a lot.
That didn’t happen.
My father picked out the Christmas Tree, not me. And there was no Hallmark Christmas Man fighting with my Dad for the tree.
I will say, it was nice to pick out the Sullivan Family Christmas Tree with my father. (Think of these as flashback sequences in my Half-Assed Hallmark Christmas).
The first reason was because we always had an artificial Christmas Tree growing up but my Sullivan grandparents always had a real tree. My father would tell stories of going to every Christmas tree lot in town with his father (my grandfather). Apparently my grandfather was very particular about his Christmas Trees. Though I have memories from some Christmases of my childhood and I remember those trees.
I could tell my father enjoyed remembering his father during the process.
The second reason has to do with “das stand.”
The story of “das stand” started in 2010 when Bryon and I moved into a townhouse in Albany and we were planning on getting our first Christmas tree. We both felt strongly that we wanted real trees. On a trip to Maine that fall, I bought a $2 Christmas tree stand at Marden’s.
What a bargain!
Only we couldn’t get our six foot Christmas tree to stand up in that stand.
We decided to cut our losses and we went to Wal-Mart and we invested in a $15 Christmas Tree stand.
We used that Christmas tree stand a couple of years.
Bryon and I always left our tree up until Epiphany. We were good Catholics like that. Right before Epiphany in early 2014, two things happened. The first was that I found out I was pregnant with our daughter and the second was that Bryon came down with H1N1.
Epiphany was on a Monday that year and between my early pregnancy exhaustion and Bryon’s flu, the tree didn’t come down. Thursday of that week, we woke to a crash. Our cat had got into my knitting and somehow wrapped the yarn around some tree branches and pulled the Christmas tree down.
By the following Christmas, in 2014, Bryon and I had moved to our house and our daughter had been born. Between the cat and a future toddler, Bryon was adamant that the Christmas tree was not going to come down.
So he bought a Krinner XXL that he affectionately referred to as “Das Stand”.
Bryon and “Das Stand” spent two Christmases together.
The first Christmas after Bryon died, I didn’t feel like having a Christmas tree but I felt like my daughter still deserved one. I got one up with the help of a friend.
The following year, I got the tree up all by myself. It was a “I am widow, hear me roar” moment. I know that because it showed up in my Facebook memories.
Since I am travelling this Christmas, I got an artificial tree at my house (I know, so wrong and not Hallmark at all) and I brought “Das Stand” to Maine for the real Christmas Tree there.
(End of flashback scenes)
I hadn’t unpacked “Das Stand” from my car and my father asked me to go get it so he can have an idea how the 8 foot trees would stand in it. I retrieve “Das Stand” from my car and the boy working (the Boy Scouts were running the Christmas Tree lot) says “Wow, I have never seen anyone actually bring a Christmas tree stand.”
I let the kid think we take our Christmas trees very seriously.
As my father and the actual adult working the lot put the Christmas Tree into the car, the man says “now THAT is a Christmas tree stand.”
I feel like wherever Bryon is now, he would be proud. He might be dead and gone but “Das Stand” lives on.
When we get home, my father saws off the bottom.
And we prepare to get the Sullivan Family Christmas Tree into “Das Stand” while my daughter watches Fancy Nancy or Vampirina or something on Disney Junior.
I cringed as my father cut away the twine. I was nervous that the branches were going to break through the living room window but my fear was for nothing.
I inspected the tree for squirrels but did not find any.
We were leaving the trimming until the next day because we wanted the branches to have a chance to fall.
I was heading out to an exciting night out in my small town. I was excited to have dinner with my friend Charlotte.
And maybe we would meet Hallmark Christmas Man. Maybe he would be out having a drink.
We had beverages, Irish Nachos and sandwiches. I forgot to take pictures of the food. But we saved room for dessert. I love the Guiness Cake with Bailey’s Frosting.
I didn’t find Hallmark Christmas Man.
Or really…Hallmark Christmas Man did not find me.
But I got to spend time with one of my good friends.
I mean, as Leslie Knope says “Uteruses before Duderuses”.
The next day was freezing rain so I stayed at my parents house. I knew the odds of Hallmark Christmas Man actually just showing up at my parents house were slim.
We watched the Patriots beat the Vikings.
My daughter made a gingerbread house. It was from a kit. It was standing and not all the icing made it into her mouth.
I consider it a success.
We, I mean she, needs to bring her “A game” for her gingerbread contest, I mean, school assignment. It’s not really a contest but a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies have gingerbread contests so a non-competitive school assignment might have to do.
Right now it looks like we need a Christmas Miracle to meet Hallmark Christmas Man. Though Kimmy Gibbler reminded me that sometimes Christmas Magic begins to work closer to the holiday when there is a time crunch.
So where is Hallmark Christmas Man?
So far it seems like a Hallmark Christmas Mystery.
Will the widow’s daughter have an amazing gingerbread house for school?
Will the widow’s daughter stay on Santa’s Nice List?
Will the widow continue to be haunted by memories of “Christmas Past” and by the ponderings of “The Christmases That Should Have Been?”
Will Hallmark Christmas Man- in the biggest plot twist ever in Hallmark Christmas History- show up in Albany, thus confusing the widow since Hallmark love only happens in one’s hometown?
Will “Das Stand” continue to hold up the Sullivan Family Christmas Tree?
Where will Charlotte and the widow go to dinner next time they see each other?