Friday, February 22, 2013

Advance Auto Parts MONSTER JAM March 8th-9th, 2013

They're Baaaaack!  The Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam is headed back to the Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho and if this year is anything like last year, the show should be great! 
If you've never been to a Monster Jam, you should definitely take the time to check it out this year!  My family attended the show for the first time last year and had the best time EVER! 

I don't know why, but there is something about a car-crushing, high-flying, roaring Monster truck that turns otherwise reserved  people into cheering, yelling, fist-pumping fans!

This year's show has lots of stuff to cheer about!  Not only will it feature long-time favorites like Grave Digger and Maverick, but newcomers Captain America, Monster Mutt Dalmation and Northern Nightmare will be making their Idaho debuts.

In between the truck competitions, fans will stay busy watching ATV races, trying to win giveaways (t-shirt cannons, seat number drawings, etc) and listening to interviews with drivers.  The whole event is very exciting and fast-paced, so it's really hard for kids to get bored.  

One of the best parts of the show is the Pit Party, which takes place on Saturday, March 9th from 11:30AM – 12:30PM (Sat. 2PM ticket & Pit Pass required for entry; available to purchase for $10 Adults/$5 Kids).  The Pit Party gives fans a chance to see the trucks up close and meet and talk to drivers.  If your child is interested in getting driver autographs, a great idea would be to go to the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam website, print out a coloring page, color it and have one of the drivers sign it at the Pit Party.  That way they'll have a cool memento of their experience!

Pit Party
Tickets for the Nampa Monster Jam show are on sale now, with prices ranging from $22, $30 (Gold Circle) and $45 (Front Row). Kids tickets (ages 2-12) available for select seating are priced at only $10 each** 

You can purchase tickets at the Idaho Center Box Office, online at or charge by phone at 208-442-3232. 

Special Bonus!!  I Am Boymom readers can use the code MOMS for a $4 discount on each ticket!!  Whoo-hoo!  See you there!

**Above ticket prices are advance purchase only; all ticket prices are $2 more when purchased the day of the event; tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NHRA Arizona National - Feb 22-24, 2013

 It's Drag Racing y'all!  The NHRA Arizona National is coming to Firebird International Raceway! 

The weather in the Greater Phoenix Valley is perfect for a weekend at the races!  The NHRA Arizona Nationals is the second of 24 races in the Mello Yellow Drag Race Series that takes drivers all over the country as they compete for the championship.  

Current world champion and cancer survivor Jack Beckman will be there defending his title with his 8,000 horsepower Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger (Dodge Chargers are one of my favorite cars of all time!)  in the Funny Car division.  He will be trying to hold off world class drivers such as Ron Capps, John Force, Alexis DeJoria and Del Worsham.

There will also be drivers there fighting it out in the Top Fuel and ProStock divisions so this event will definitely be action packed, loud and FAST! 

If you've never been to a professional drag race before, you should check it out.  My boys love looking at all the different cars and are always amazed by raw power that runs those cars.  One of the best parts of going to the races is going to the pit to meet the drivers and check out the cars up close.  The last time we went the boys walked away with a program full of autographs and a new found respect for the sport of Drag Racing.  They talked about those races for a week!  Flames coming out of the back of the drag cars, the way they ground vibrates when they rev the engines, the wrecks (no one seriously hurt, thank goodness!)...a perfect day!  

Pro qualifying begins on Friday, Feb. 22 with sessions scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Feb. 23 at 12:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24. 

Ready to go?  Then you'll love me for sharing this next little bit of info: I Am Boymom readers can get a $10 discount on tickets by using code: MOMNHRA13 at  BAM!  There ya go.  And here's even greater news!  Tickets for children 12 and under are free with any paid adult ticket.  Can't get a much better deal than that and have a more exciting weekend.  Have fun at the races, y'all!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I Am Boymom...and Bike Mechanic

Ya know what today was in our house?  Bike Repair Day.  We have had 4 bikes in various states of repair laying around in the garage and on the back patio for months now.  With all the snow it's been too messy to ride, but the boys are ready to hit the streets again, so they started pumping up tires and getting ready for a trip to the store.

Then the problems started: One of the bikes has tires that won't hold any air.  And another bike doesn't have a chain.  And the third bike is pretty much just a frame at this point, because tires have been taken off and the seat is falling apart.  So out of all those bikes, only one actually functions.  So...there was only one thing to do.  Jump in the car and drive the boys to the store.  Not really.  It's kind of cold and windy and I haven't showered yet today, so tough luck boys, I ain't goin' nowhere!  Was what I thought.  But then I saw that disappointed red head droop and those brown eyes get all sad and that boy foot start kicking at the dirt.  Dang him and his cuteness!! 

"Fine, son.  Go get the tools and we'll see if we can fix a bike for you."  No patches or green slime to fix the flat tires, so we moved on to the bike with no chain.  We took the chain off the "parts" bike, which was no easy feat, I will just say now.  Thank goodness I had that chain fixer tool thing to help.  Getting it back on the decent bike got even more difficult.  It was too long.  My son started to walk away  in defeat.  What?!  Giving up?!  Not in my house, Little Man!  Only I get to quit when things get too hard!  You, on the other hand, do not.  Because I would be a sucky mom if I let you walk away thinking that it's okay to not do hard things.  My job is to make sure you are better than me. So gosh darn it, we are gonna fix this chain and fix it now so I don't have to feel bad about my mothering skills!  Oh yeah.  And also so you know how to fix a bike in case you ever need to do this when I'm not around.  That too. 
After lots of fights with the chain and the chain fixing tool thingy, we finally got the chain on the bike.  Holy crap what a complicated thing a chain can be!  It's just a string of links, you wouldn't think it would be that hard!  Anyway...then we had to air up the tires.  But we couldn't get the cap off the valve stems. After 10 minutes of looking for the pliers that should have been in the tool kit but were not, we finally mangled the caps off and pumped up the tires.

Then the seat was too low.  After another 10 minute search for hex key that actually fit (there are a LOT of hex key sizes and we had every size in the tool kit but the one we needed!)  we adjusted the seat.  Then he wanted to raise the handle bars.  Which we messed with for 15 minutes before realizing that we had loosened the wrong part to raise them.  By this time the entire neighborhood of boys was waiting on my kid to ride to the store, so he decided the handle bars could wait.  "That's good," I thought, "because my greasy hands are freezing and I'm kind of tired of the audience of 12 year olds who keep trying to give me directions and grabbing at the tools in my hands."  Probably I should have let them do it and saved myself some grief.  But by then I had fully invested emotionally in the whole project.  I was bonding and teaching my son some valuable life lessons, right?

Anyway...I was given the green light to quit so I waved at them as I ran into the house and off they went to the store. 

Where I had to meet them in the car 15 minutes later because my oldest kid forgot his wallet and no one had enough money to lend him for a drink.  ((Sigh.))   

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Word of the Year

I was invited to join the Inspiring Moms Network this year.  I know.  I wondered why I was invited to join too.  I don't find myself to be particularly inspiring.  I want to be inspiring.  I hope to be inspiring.  I seriously dream about being an inspiring person.  But for the last few years I actually feel like the opposite of inspiring.  I guess that would be UNinspiring.  So yeah...the invitation was kind of unexpected.  But welcome. 

Because I am sooooooo done being stuck.  I know.  Some of you have heard that before.  And yet, here I am, still struggling with many of the same issues that I have struggled with for most of my life.  My weight, my depression, my lack of self-worth, my financial instability, having to get jobs I hate when I would rather make a living doing something I love...the list goes on and on.  So I say I'm sick of being stuck, but I never really make a serious effort at getting unstuck.  And when I do finally make an effort it is short-lived.  Because I end up getting sick or some other distraction that makes life hard turns up in the middle of my effort to change.  So I quit.  Well, this year I finally realized I need help.  There is too much to sort through for me to do this on my own.  So I turned my face skyward and asked for help.  And then things started happening.  Not big, biblical things like locust plagues on my enemies or manna from heaven.  Little things.  Like Stacey asking me to join the Inspiring Moms Network.

I know.  It seems like a small thing.  But to me it was monumental.  First, it was an answer to my plea for help.  My cries were heard.  My faith ratcheted up about 10 notches.  Second...Stacey took a chance on me.  My self worth ratcheted up about 10 notches.  Then it fell about 8, because the worry voices kicked in and I started to panic.  What if I let her down?  What if my contributions are stupid and uninspiring?  But Stacey?  She is smart.   She knows how to inspire people.  So she gave me a task almost immediately.  She gave me something to focus on besides my fears and worries.  She gave me a way to chart my course.  And that is what I have been missing in my efforts to get unstuck.  A launch pad.  A starting point.  A "You Are Here" pin on my road map of life.   A "My Word of the Year" assignment.

The Word of the Year assignment almost did me in.  Most of you who know me know I write like I talk, which is A LOT!  So ONE WORD for the whole year?  Felt impossible.  I used to love challenges and sometimes I can still rise to the occasion for something worth fighting for, but mostly I just get excited about a cause and then give up because I am tired.  And overwhelmed.  And unclear about why my motivation has abandoned me.  Challenges are hard and require work.  The kind of work I don't always feel like I have the energy for anymore.

But I didn't want to be the first Inspiring Mom to quit, so I put on my big girl panties and took on the assignment.  And I am really glad I did.  Because the struggle I had with myself to figure out what I needed to focus on this year brought me to a better place.  I'm not all better.  I still have all of my issues.  But I feel like I am one step closer to knowing how to overcome those things that hold me back because I had to stop and think about ONE WORD to move me forward.

Stacey was smart (again) and gave us a great tool to use to help identify our word and there is no way I would have been able to get my word choice drilled down to just one without this little beauty from Christine Kane.  This free workbook was the key to my success because it forced me to answer some questions about what I want out of life and how I envision getting those things.  

So initially, I started the worksheet with 2 words:  stability and passion.  As I worked through the questions, I realized that neither of those words felt right to me, although stability is a major issue in my personal and familial life right now, so I was a little confused about why that word didn't feel right.  

And passion, well, I thought it was missing in my life, on many levels.  But I realized that the passion is not necessarily missing, it's that I don't necessarily pursue the things I am passionate about.  And thinking about why I don't pursue those things is how my word came to light.  Everything good that I have ever done in my life happened because I was unafraid to pursue something I felt passionate about.  I was not afraid to to jump in, head first, and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.  I've traveled the country grooming racehorses all by myself.  I left a good job to go to another country and share my beliefs with the citizenry there. I started my own business and did really well with it for several years.  I competed in a stand-up comedy search on a whim.  All of those things...I did them because I was excited about the challenge!  And I succeeded to some degree in every one of those ventures!  Did I make mistakes?  Hell yeah!  But I DID them!  And the realization that I can do hard things when I believe in what I am doing brought me to the problem that I am dealing with now.  I am full of fear.  

I won't go into all the reasons for the fear right now.  Maybe someday.  The important thing is that I realized that the fear is not serving me or my family very well.  And I realized that the accomplishments I have achieved up until now happened because I was unafraid to pursue them.  And THAT realization is how My Word of the Year materialized.  I KNOW!  FINALLY!  No.  Finally is not the word.  I was just...OK, OKAY!  I'll quit messin' wit y'all!  

That is my word.  I don't want to be afraid anymore.  Fear is an inhibitor when it comes to making progress.  I wanna move forward.  I am intelligent and able to think through options and information to make good decisions about my future and that of my family.  So I need to not be afraid of what I cannot see and start making those decisions with fearlessness as my guiding force.  

BOOM!  There it is people.  I thought it.  I said it.  Now I gotta live it.  And if you wanna share your word of the year?  I'll help you live yours too!