Sunday, November 23, 2014

11 miles - Solo

Today I ran 11 miles on my own... no running partner. It was good. I started at Las Sendas and went east to Higley. North on Higley to Thomas and West on Thomas back to Las Sendas. Up through Las Sendas... and can I say from Recker to Power on Thomas there is a nice incline for about 1 mile. Then up through Las Sendas you are uphill and some flat. At about mile 8.5 it was downhill and I knew I'd made it! However, when I got to McDowell, I had to head east on McDowell for about .30 mile, which was a small incline but holy heck I was beat by then. It was an amazing feeling to be able to complete this run on my own. Of course I always, always want to run with Dara but knowing I can do this by myself just makes me that much stronger!

This was on Higley at about 5.3 miles... I had been waiting and waiting for the sun to come up. I started the run about 5:30 am, I guess the sun rises much later than I thought. I don't pay attention when I run with Dara because I have someone with me but this time was different. At this point I was pretty much just on a street that went through the desert so I was ready to get to Recker!

This was at the top of Las Sendas, about 8.3 miles. I had made it to the top and as I said... it was downhill from there! This was a great feeling, I had to get a photo! I love running as the sun comes up or is setting. One, the temperature is definitely much nicer but two- you cannot beat the view. I suppose running in the desert makes it that much better too!

I did PR on this run.. I ran my first two miles at about 10 min/miles. Total PR. Then at mile 4 I was at about 45. Which about 2-3 weeks ago, my 4 mile time was 46:46... so another PR. Last week we ran 10.91 and my time was about 2:15:? and today I finished at 11 mile @ 2:14:49. Not bad for being solo! Oh- and I love my new Brooks too! 

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Missing him always

It's been awhile since I have updated this blog... I didn't even do it on the 3 year anniversary of my dads passing. I went skydiving again that day! It was amazing, my way to celebrate his life once again. I'm doing better than I was 3+ years ago, better than I was a year ago, 18 months ago. I can laugh and smile and I know that is what he truly wanted...  my happiness. That is what mattered to him... that I was happy.
There are still days that I miss him terrible. There are days were my tears come and go quickly and other days it takes awhile longer to not feel that pain in my heart. Last night I had a dream. It was strange... I was with a friend whose husband was dying, then I was at his bedside and it was my dad. he was dying... again. Dang it! Tears just rolled down my cheeks and they didn't stop. I was heart broken and just told him I loved him... I do specifically remember telling him he left me with the devil too! ha- he said she's not that bad. He knows. But what I remember and what I woke up to was the ache in my heart of missing him. What I wouldn't do to pick up the phone and hear his voice. I never realized before that there are just certain things I only want to talk with my dad about. I love my mom with all my heart but still... there are moments I just want to talk with my dad.
Greif sucks... it does "get better" but it never goes away.
I love you dad and I miss you with every breath I take!

My dad- back in the day...

My jump on July 24, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014


32 years ago today I experienced heart ache for the first time. My amazing grandpa (Papa) passed away, I was 10 year's old. I loved him dearly. He was the rock to our family and he was my favorite person! He played the harmonica, sang diddy's - Mr. Johhny Rebeck- that was my favorite. My mom has told me several times when I was about 4 years old, I'd wake up in the middle of the night and call him, yes at 3 in the morning. She'd taught me his phone number and I used it. I remember when he'd be gone for a job and call the house, how happy I was to talk with him. I'd go stay at Papa and grandma's house on the weekends and loved being with him. He taught me how to mix my vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. Back in the day, my mom would take me to the bar where he would be and I'd order a Shirley Temple- he'd make me an animal (I believe a pig) out of a lime. One day I didn't want to go to church so my grandma called him. Papa came and picked me up. We got ice cream and he drove me around Mesa, telling me stories of when my mom was younger. 
I think about him all the time and I know he's always been watching over me. These last few years, I've had the pleasure of spending time with my mom's cousins husband Newell. He's about Papa's age and it makes me realize that I really missed out. I sit and talk with Newell, he tells stories of WWII and I wish it was Papa sitting there telling me stories about his life, his WWII experiences. Even though I missed out, I am still extremely blessed because for a short time, I had this man in my life. He made an impression on me and I've always wanted to do my best to make him proud. I would like to think he'd be very proud of me today. I'd like to think that we'd be able to sit back, have a drink, and talk for hours and hours. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say a bad thing about this man. He was truly one of a kind. Love you always Papa!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014

If you where still here, I'd have called you to wish you a Happy Father's Day. I'd tell you how much I love you and thank you for being an amazing dad. I'd tell you that you're my hero, my heart. I wouldn't yet know the pain I'd have from you not being here any more. So there would be a part of me that took it all for granted.

Today I've cried because I miss you so much. I also watched the video I made for your memorial service... I want my dad! I want you back! I want you here with me. I want to hear your voice and talk with you. It's just really not fair that you are not here with me. And it really, really sucks!

I love you Dad... Happy Father's Day!

your daughter :-)

Monday, April 14, 2014

I hate death

So for some reason, it seems like I'm really missing my dad. I think for the past 6 days I've just stopped in my tracks and cried at some point... because I miss him. Not sure why... I mean I miss him every day but something is drawing me to him right now. I've been taking a class on the Vietnam Era and maybe that is why. It's a constant reminder of him, the sacrifice he made, how it impacted not only his life but mine, and why he is no longer here. I hate that. I hate that he is gone. I hate I cannot call him or go see him. Grief sucks ass and it does get 'easier' as time goes on but man, this is ridiculous. I feel that emptiness more again. That yearning to just talk with him and be with him. I just want to be in Alaska with him. Talking to him about anything. Watching some football game or war movie. Having him drag me to the museum, even though I've been there a million times. Sitting in his office while he works. I wish I would have cherished those moments more. I wish I could hear his voice. I think he needs to come visit me in my dreams soon. I need to hug him and I need to hear him. I don't usually cuss on this site but seriously- FUCK Agent Orange and FUCK everything for taking my dad from me! Ok- my rant is done. I love you dad and I miss you every day, some days are harder than others! Love you more and always-

Thursday, April 10, 2014

National Sibling Day

So apparently today is National Sibling Day.
I just saw a post by the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial that said

"Being brothers or sisters doesn't always mean you share the same last name."

It took me back to that morning in the hospital with my dad... when his best friend from Vietnam walked through that door. My dad had been sedated but was in and out of consciousness. When Pisano came over to the bed, my dad's eyes widened and he tried so hard to sit up. I knew he was happy to see his "brother". But as I sit here tonight I can't help but wonder what was going through his mind at that time. Did he realize that Pisano came to say goodbye? Did my dad know he was going to die? I can only imagine what these two men have been through together, they were in war together, a terrible war. They were in boot camp together, went through Recon together, and stayed together during the war. They had a tremendous amount of respect for one another and I'm certain there is nothing they would not have done for one another or each other's family. I grew up with the utmost respect for Pisano and that moment he walked through the door, I felt protected in this crazy sense but I also felt so much pride that he would travel all that way to say goodbye to my dad. My dad has siblings, they did not come. I know they would have if they'd have had the means to get there. But when Pisano walked through that door, it proved that family is more than blood. It proved the quote above:

"Being brothers or sisters doesn't always mean you share the same last name."

My dad and Pisano were brothers. I'm so thankful that I have witnessed what true, loyal friendship is about... what brotherhood is.

My dad is in the middle and Pisano has the white shirt on. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

My First Jump at Phoenix Area Skydiving!

Skydiving photos


I can't imagine having anyone else for my role model. You will always be my hero, my heart. I know that you are always watching over me and I am living my life the way you'd want me to. Taking chances and doing things that may be scary but that I can always look back on and have an amazing story to tell. It's taken me a long time to take some risks and skydiving is one of the biggest risks I have wanted to take. Now, I'm not going too crazy... I do not foresee swimming with sharks in the future and sorry, but I won't be flying a plane either. I'll leave that one for you! My goal is to do the things I want to do and enjoy every day of this life I have. To be happy because that would make you happy. I miss you dad, more than I ever knew was possible. I wish you could have been here physically today but I know you were with me every second. Today, I got to fly with an angel... you!

Happy Birthday Daddy... I love you with all my heart!
Thank you for keeping me safe! xoxox

Skydiving - Happy Birthday Dad!

For my dad's 66th birthday, I decided to skydive to honor him. He had a pure passion for anything adventurous and skydiving was on the top of his list. I have always wanted to make a jump but I'm terrified of heights and I'm not a fan of small planes. About a year ago, I decided this was it... I needed to commit to jumping for my dad and decided that the best time to do this would be his birthday. So I started to mention to others I may go skydiving. Back in September, I finally told my mom... which meant I was dead serious about this. I was going to jump. About 6 weeks ago, I made my reservation for Feb. 17. I almost vomited just making the reservation but I did it. The weeks slowly kept going by and before I knew it, I woke up on Feb. 17 and headed down to Casa Grande to jump. I wasn't as nervous as I first thought I would be. Maybe I wasn't as nervous because I knew my dad would be with me on the jump. I'm not saying I wasn't nervous at all because I was. I don't know but I was surprised at the fact I wasn't in the bathroom throwing up! I'm not saying I wasn't nervous at all because I was. My mom drove down with me and Aunt Debbie, Uncle Tom, Steph, and Zach met us down there to help cheer me on. That meant the world to me!
I filled out my paper work, thinking I wouldn't be getting on a plane for another 30-45 minutes I was told I'd be on one in about 15 minutes! WHAT!!!?! I'm not ready for this yet... I still have to put my dad's t-shirt on, put on tennis shoes, and not all my family is there yet. Somehow though, it all worked out. I'm talking with Tim, my skydiving tandem buddy and he's tell me when he opens the door I'm going to cross my hands over my chest and lean back. Then tells me when he taps me, open my arms wide open. I'm asking - how many jumps has he had (16,000) and I'm thinking ok, I'm safe. He says he's been jumping for 24 years and was on the US Skydiving team. Thank you baby Jesus for giving me someone who knows what he's doing. He was a second generation skydiver. He's asking me questions and I can't even think... let alone talk.
We head outside, take a photo with my fam... Walk toward the plane, take some more photos. Then we climb in this little freaking plane.. Tim, myself, and the pilot, Justin... Jason, heck I don't remember. This is happening. I am going to jump from an airplane and free fall into the sky. I talk the entire flight now. I tell him about my first flight with Jerry to Alaska. Tim has heard of Willsey, crazy... small world, kinda. He tells me he was on the US Skydiving team, I tell him about the time my dad told me I was flying, then I know it's time. He tells me to come sit in front of him and I think oh hell... he straps me to him. I don't know how I felt at that point, excited, scared but when that door opens it's complete fear. I'm thinking no way... I quit, I'm not doing this as I put my legs over the side of the plane. Before I can back out the plane tips to the side and we roll out of the plane. It was AMAZING! Oh My Gosh... I can do this. We're falling and it's unbelievable. That is when I think, what if the chute doesn't open. HOLY HELL... but it does. Then we start to just float and I can breathe. This is the most unbelievable moment. Tim gives me the controllers to move the parachute. At about this point, the motion sickness comes to surface and I remember every time my dad would take me flying in his little plane how sick I would feel. Now the parachute is turning and we are moving from side to side. Tim tells me to show him my feet, which means to lift my shoes because we are going to land. As we are floating, I tell him about how my dad busted his ankle and that even though I know nothing is going to happen to my ankle, that is my fear, breaking it. He says he understands, it's a mental thing and I agree. We land... and it's a nice, soft landing. Tim tells me to put my feet down and we are now on the ground. He unstraps me from my harness and I'm done. It was seriously amazing.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Color Run - Tempe

Got up this morning to do a little fun run with Dara and Patty. It was a beautiful morning, not too cold and definitely not too cold.

This is the Happiest 5K on the Planet and it was quite fun! Especially when you are with friends.

Can't wait for next year! Blue feet and all… 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Journey is Worth the Ride

It's crazy to think that I'll never see him face to face here on this earth. I can't pick up the phone and call him. Even after 2-1/2 years, that is the one thing I want. After 2-1/2 years though, my days are so much easier to get through. I was driving home from work today and for whatever reason, I thought back to that early morning after my dad had passed away. I remember I finally fell asleep probably around 2 or 3 in the morning and I think I was up within about 2 hours. I was in a hotel and I went out to his house, opened the pick up of his truck and tried to curl up in it.. to somehow be closer to him. It was so cold but I didn't care, nothing mattered. My heart was dead. I decided to drive up to the lookout point in Fairbanks and I just sat and cried. I didn't think anything could ever get any worse than that moment. And honestly, it hasn't and I don't ever see a day it being that bad again… not until the one day I dread, which we won't discuss because it's not going to happen for another 30 years at least. I will say this, I am blessed though. I had the honor of being this man's daughter. We butted heads throughout my teenage years, like any father and daughter, but probably more so because I'm pretty much very similar to him. He was stubborn (even though he continuously denied that trait) and I am stubborn in case anyone wondered. :-) But I know that this man loved me unconditionally and I loved him just as much. When I was little we would end our phone calls with 'I love you more' 'No, I love you more', 'No, no, I love you more'. I don't remember who ever won that battle but I believe we loved each other equally. My heart will continue to stay broke and deep inside there is pain from this loss. However, for those going through the beginning stages of grief, or even somewhere in between, some miraculous thing happens - that stabbing, aching pain that you feel - the numbness and loss of yourself - it slowly starts to return. You'll smile more, you'll laugh more but there will be moments that hit like a freaking hurricane that make you stop in your tracks. A tear will slip and you'll miss him like that first moment. A little pain will seep from your heart and you'll remember that pain but it gets pushed back again for another moment of reality that your loved one is gone. Hang in there because the journey is worth the ride.