Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

September 30, 2013

September 2013 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 9:16 pm

September Highlights (there are two pages of pictures this month – click on 2 above to see second page):

September Birthday Month

My sister and I were both born in September two years apart. My birthday kicks off the month of September (on the first) and her birthday starts the beginning of fall (on the 22nd). For my birthday, Cathy planned a nice party where I got a chance out to catch up with family and friends and also eat some delicious Persian food, celebrating some of Cathy’s heritage in the process. I am not one who usually likes a large party to honor my birthday because I feel a bit conspicuous and uncomfortable in the spotlight, but I do like spending time with people I like and hearing their stories and there’s nothing quite like a birthday to bring people together. Thanks Cat, for making it all happen!

Later in the month we celebrated my sister’s birthday at my parent’s house. It was a much more low key celebration as my sister is also not one to make a big deal about her birthday. But the occasion provided a good opportunity for all of us to come together as a family one last time before my parents head out on their 2.5-month trip to Chile. They are retired now so at least they can both go to their home country together instead of one at a time like they did when they both worked. Because things have slowed down a bit at work for me, I will also get to join my parents for part of the trip. I will only be there for two weeks but I am really looking forward to it as the last time I was there was 2006. The trip will give me a chance to see and catch up with family and also explore a new area of Chile (Coyhaique) I have never been to before. My cousin Madeleine moved to Coyhaique, which is pretty far south (past Patagonia), a few years ago and I hear it is beautiful — can’t wait to see the town.

The Kids Back in the Swing of School and Non-Vacation Life 😉

Even though the kids complain about school all the time, I think school brings them structure and discipline. Gone are the days where they can sleep in until 11:00 (well, that goes for Lilah because Luke usually wakes up by 7 no matter what), hang out at the mall with friends for hours on end, or play video games all day. School forces the kids to organize themselves, make decisions on how to balance their time, and use their brains for matters unrelated to having fun (although who says learning can’t be fun?). One of those decisions came in the form of Luke approaching me and telling me that he wanted to have his hair cut before picture day at school. And not just any hair cut. He was very specific about what he wanted, insisting that he needed his hair to look like it did during Thanksgiving (here’s what that looked like). So on picture day morning he surprised me by coming out of his room in a collared shirt and his new do. Luke also appears to be doing well in school and even though he still plays more video games than I’d like to see  him play, I also see him take out his homework on his own to work on it, which is a bit different than in years past where we would always have to remind him to do his work.

And apparently, according to his sister, Luke is doing okay in school so far this year, getting mostly As and Bs. Lilah knows this because she always goes online to check out her grades, and, in the process, she keeps an eye on Luke and tells us how he is doing. We don’t solicit this information from Lilah, but she is very fond of providing it especially if she sees Luke has slipped up in some spot ;-). Luckily, there hasn’t been much slippage and that’s great news.

Lilah is doing well herself. The only thing that is currently bugging her right now is that she has one B+. She really puts a lot of pressure on herself to do well in school and it’s a good things she does because I’m a bit hands off when it comes to school work. The other day she told me that all her friends think she has “cool parents” because we supposedly allow them to do so many things (i.e. play video games during the week, ride their bikes to the store unsupervised, stay up late, etc..). I didn’t want Lilah to get the impression her parents were “soft” so I let her know that’s nice to know but the only reason we allow them to do so much is because they haven’t given us reasons to treat them any differently. If that changes, then our parent coolness quotient will go down dramatically I assured her.

Great Month of Racing

I participated in two triathlons this month and threw in a 5.2 mile ocean swim just to mix things up a bit and give myself a challenge. I’ve been swimming a lot this year so when the guys at the pool started talking about the Summerland to Carpinteria swim I seriously gave it some thought and then finally said, “Why not, I can do this.” The day of the swim was absolutely beautiful and the conditions were perfect — the ocean was calm, there was very little breeze, and the water was in the mid 60s. The only thing that spoiled the calm of the day for me is when a lady came up to me and asked me if I was participating in the swim. I said I was and then she asked me if I was nervous. I responded that it was a bit of a challenge but I felt good about my chances of finishing it. She then went on to tell me about how a great white had been spotted just a few days before and when she saw the surprised look on my face she added, “sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything.”

It turns out I would have found out about the shark anyway because the swim organizer mentioned the siting to us and also let us know that he was changing the course a tad so that we would swim closer to shore. This change turned the 4.7 mile swim into a 5.2 mile swim because we would not be taking short cuts across the channel, but instead following the contours of the coastline.  I have to admit I took it all in stride and wasn’t too phased by the announcement — probably because I really wanted to do the swim and I also knew that we would have kayakers following us every step (or should I say stroke) of the way.

Even though the swim was challenging, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I think the buoyancy provided by my wetsuit, as well the salt water, makes swimming that distance way easier than if you tried to swim it in the pool. Even though it wasn’t a race, I was really pleased with my performance as I managed to complete the swim in 2 hours and 10 minutes. Completing a challenge like that is definitely good for the soul and one’s confidence for sure. I absolutely loved how low key, but well organized this event was too. For a small fee of $25 you had a full support crew following you and providing you with whatever you needed — water, gatorade, cliff bar, etc.. And for swimmers that didn’t want to tackle the full distance, there was also a Santa Clause lane to Carp option which was about a 2.4 mile swim.

I ended the season with two great performances that landed me in the top 10% of my age group. In Malibu that wasn’t quite enough for a podium finish, but in Carpinteria it was as I secured a third place finish by beating my own PR on the course by nearly 3 minutes. Both races also qualified me for next year’s National Championships in Milwaukee.

I love the fact that triathlon has all these different milestones you can achieve. If you decide to, there are always challenges you can take on to push you toward becoming an even better athlete and competitor. For example, for a few years now, my goal has been to get on the podium in my age group. This year, I finally did that in two sanctioned races. By accomplishing this feat, I now have the possibility of going to the national championship whereby I could qualify for the World Championships — typically held in some cool international location (this year it was London). Now getting a high enough place at Nationals to qualify for World’s is definitely not easy and I’m not sure that I could ever get fit enough in my lifetime to do that. However, I don’t need to think about that right now. Right now, I am just happy to have completed the best triathlon season of my life. I am also getting psyched about my trip to Chile. When I get back, I’ll see about setting up some new goals for next year.

More next month!

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