Sunday, August 30, 2009

70 Minutes

That's how many minutes I ran this morning. I ran 5.5 miles in that 70 minutes. I am a very slow runner but I just keep plodding away. With 3 weeks to go until the race I feel very good about where I am as far as my training. I have lost about 15 lbs and I am slowly but surely creeping back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I am realizing that if I want to make the Sprint Tri a reality in October I need to get on the bike and plan to start this week. I am thinking about adding some bike/run combo days. Just 2 months ago I wrote my "This is War!" post. The road blocks are still the same but I have learned how to work through them most of the time. I know that God has been teaching me many things through running. I was thinking the other day that if I was as dedicated and focused on my relationship with God as I am with running I would be so close to Him right now. I am constantly thinking of ways I can improve my running. What if I constantly thought of ways to build my relationship with the one who is making all of this possible? Something to pray about.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


My first couple of days at home with my babies have been the some of the best of my life. They weren't perfect and nothing went the way I had planned but I loved every second. I had someone tell me that I would get bored staying home, that I would regret my choice.Oh really? Do you think I regretted seeing Kate comfort Carson this week by putting her arm around him and patting his shoulder? Do you think that for one second I was bored when Kate was playing with her toys next to me and reached her little hand over to put it on my knee just to make sure I was there? No boredom here and definitely no regrets. You know what I learned this week? My worst day at home beats my best day at work by a long shot. Nothing I could accomplish at work could match what happens when my babies are both right next to me playing.Thank you God! My heart is so full of gratitude to Him because He made this all possible. In about a week Kate will go to Mother's Day Out at our church to get her much needed social time and I will keep Carson with me. My sweet little boy who has been in daycare for the better part of his life will finally get his Mommy all to himself for a couple of days a week. I plan to study him, to get to know him, and to kiss and hug him as much as I want.My prayer used to be "God, please make a way for me to stay home with my babies." Now my prayer is constantly (said with a huge lump in my throat) "Oh God, Please keep me here!"

Friday, August 28, 2009

Daddy Dress

I have been really interested in learning how to sew lately. I trotted on out to Target last week end and bought myself a Singer for a song.:) I figured I would just teach myself how to sew. 2 things I learned, I would need a little bit of help and sewing takes a lot of patience. My first attempt was making a dress for Kate out of one of Jared's dress shirts. It was challenging to say the least. I have a lot to learn. But I did learn that adding trim to a dress covers a multitude of mistakes.:) I figure this is going to have to be one of those things I will just keep trying and trying until I get it right (or at least somewhat right.)So here is the finished product. Please try not to laugh. It is my first attempt. I would also love to learn how to quilt. I would love to make the bedding for Kate's big girl bed when that day comes. I'll let you know what I come up with next!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Best News

On Monday afternoon my many prayers were answered. I told my boss I was resigning to stay home with my kids. He graciously wished me well and commended me on my decision. (No not at all, it was a lot less graceful than that and if I see you in person I will tell you the story but for the sake of the blog I will leave it at that.)
God said yes to my many requests to stay at home to be with my babies. I know that being a stay at home Mom is not so glamorous and it's definitely not everyone's wish. But it's mine and God said yes. I will not take it for granted. Every runny nose that I get to wipe, every spill that I clean up, every wet sloppy kiss that I receive,every tantrum that will happen,I will be there. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. And it is such a priviledge. I use to day dream about the life of a stay at home Mom. And now I am living it. I feel so blessed. But I will not forget. I will not forget what it feels like emotionally and physically to be a working Mom. I think that is a memory that will stick with me for a very long time. I will continue to pray for working Moms.
To tell the truth I really don't know how long this will last. God has given me the opportunity to stay home 3 different times since Kate was born and all 3 times it has not worked out for one reason or the other. Hopefully this time it will. But I am very concious of the fact that it could go away tomorrow. For now I will get in as many kisses and hugs as I can. Have to run now because I hear Carson. He's sick right now. But my heart is overflowing with gratitude because I get to be the one that holds him when he's not feeling well. Thank you God for this gift.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

God is Near

I have been struggling this week. Our kids are sick and I have been struggling with that. It is so stressful when they are sick. It's almost an anxiety within me that won't go away. It kind of baffles me as to why I feel this. I guess it's because I feel like I have no control in these situations. I feel like there is nothing I can do for them and for me to let them suffer through it goes against every instinct I have as a Mom. I try to give them over to God, give their sickness over to God. To let Him be the healer that He is but I still want to be in control of getting them better. I can't let it go. I have been forgetting lately that God is near. I have been discouraged in nearly every aspect of my life lately. Last night about 1.5 miles into my run I just stopped. I didn't mean to stop. My body just stopped running. A body that was able to run just 4 miles the day before could not go one more step. I felt like I had 10 lb weights on each foot. It was so discouraging to trudge back home. I thought a lot last night about what was weighing me down. Was it the kids being sick? Surely that had something to do with it. Was it work? Maybe a small part of it. But I think it was mainly that I had been losing sight of the nearness of God. Losing sight of the fact that he is near everyday. Every minute, every second. I am reading a book called Jantsen's Gift by Pam Cope. It tells the story of how she deals with the grief of losing her son to a sudden death. She tells a story of how one day she was lying on her bed deep in her grief when God spoke to her and said, "I will not leave you. I will not leave you when you feel this bad." I have thought about that quote so many times since reading it. I want it to sink down deep into my mind. I want to believe it. I want to live like I believe that God is near. If I really open my eyes I see instances of God's nearness everyday. A friend's concerned and loving email, a gentle pat pat on my back from Kate, even the breeze pushing at my back as I struggled through tonights run. God uses our kids everyday to show that He is near. The other night Kate was protesting loudly as I was putting her to bed. She hardly ever puts up a fight about going to bed. But even as I turned my back and walked away from her she was crying and standing up in her bed. I realized as I got to her door that I had not prayed for her as I usually do at bedtime. I turned around picked her up in my arms and prayed for her.I prayed for good sleeps and good rest. That God would have His hand of protection over her. And then I said Amen. Kate said "Ah mon!" Reached for her crib and rolled over and went to sleep. Still ignorant to God's nearness I thought, "Oh what a coincidence. What a cute Kate story to tell my Mom." The next night I was on Carson duty and Jared put Kate to bed. As he was coming downstairs I heard Kate crying loudly. He had a puzzled look on his face that she was having such a hard time. I said, "Did you pray for her?" And he immediately turned around and went back upstairs to pray for her. After that she went right to sleep. Then I knew that the night before was not a coincidence. God is very near.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Against the Wind

This week has been an interesting running week.A head cold, sick kids and pure exhaustion have left me no choice but to shake my running schedule up a bit. I always aim to run 4 times a week and to make that heppen this week I have to run both tomorrow and Sunday night. I have already run 4 miles twice this week. Tonight was interesting. I felt slow and sluggish from the get go. Then I realized why. I stayed homr from work to take care of Carson and as it usually goes with sick babies there is not a whole lot of time to think about your own needs. I realized that I had not eaten very much and had what was the equivalent to a glass of water all day. It doesn't take a genius to know that that is not a good set up for an easy run. I had it in my head that I was only going to run 3 miles tonight. I felt like I was barely moving and had to pee about 2 miles in. It didn't help that every house I ran by had their sprinkler on!Just as I was coming up on the third mile I got a little bit of a second wind.Instead of stopping at my house I ran on to complete the 4th mile. I just kept telling myself, "You've already run 4 miles twice, you can't go back down to 3 miles!" Well it was mind over body tonight and it worked.:)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

50 Smiles

When I was a kid my family would take these summer road trips from Chicago to Shreveport to see my grandparents. When my brothers and I would get bored and restless we would ask my Dad, "How many more miles Dad?" He would answer us, "Not miles kids, it's SMILES!" To which my brothers and I would either laugh or collectively groan depending on which part the trip we were on. I always think about my Dad saying that when I run and it keeps me going if not smiling.

Tonight I broke the 50 mile total barrier with a good 4 mile run. I mean I really didn't think I had it in me to run 4 miles. I didn't think my body would let me do it. Let's face it I have been pregnant for 18 months of the last 2 years. I have put on 100 pounds in those last 2 years. Sixty lbs with Kate and then before I had a chance to breathe I was putting on the 40 lbs I gained with Carson.It's crazy when you think about it that way. But there I was tonight huffing and puffing my way to 4 miles.

Tomorrow when I go to cross my 4 mile run off of the calendar in my cubicle I will do it with a big smile on my face. Ha! I ran 4 miles. So bring on your bad week. Bring on your short funds to close, 3% flood insurance deductible, unacceptable survey, no source for big deposits, tractor buying borrower week.(I had to write that last sentence so that someday I can look back and laugh because it's too soon to laugh at the week I had last week. But someday I will). The confidence that I have from running 4 miles will last me through Monday and maybe Tuesday. But the confidence that I have through God and Jesus will last me a lot longer than that. I lost sight of that last week but God still showed me that He is in control and that he is near. He always is.

Back in the Pool

Ready to go. Kate knows that smart girls wear floppy hats to protect their faces from the sun. You know...wrinkles.

Kate's job was to hold the sunscreen. She took that job very seriously.

Look at Carson in the back. He was so happy to be at the pool again

When you watch this video you will know why Kate went to bed at 6:45 tonight. She is becoming quite the little swimmer. I love how she pumps her little legs and is starting to show the motions of swimming.

Fashion Statement?? and New Zhus (Shoes)

Jared is taking the kids to daycare in the morning so I don't always get to see how he dresses them. Carson is easy because he wears onesies and really you can't go too wrong unless it's too small. BUT this is what I came home to find Kate dressed in the other day. Does anyone else think this tests the bounds of stripes and patterns or am I being a fashion snob and stifling my husband's and therefore my daughter's creativity?

Jared totally redeemed himself when he picked out these super cute shoes or Zhus as Kate calls them.This picture is for my Mom, she love Kate's legs. :)

The Waffle Story Part 1

This is a story about a boy named Carson and his endless quest for a waffle...(even though he has no teeth)

And his sister Kate who seems to relish the fact that she DOES have teeth and can enjoy the happiness that is a waffle on a lazy Saturday morning....

Man I want some of that waffle. I wonder what she would do if I just reached over and grabbed it? I mean how bad could it be? I'll just be non-chalant about it....

Here Kate..I'll take a smidge you won't even know it's gone....

Ok Maybe I'll give you just a little bit....

SNATCH! Sorry Bubba no waffle for you!

But why Kate? Why can't I have your waffle?

Stay tuned for the Waffle Story Part 2

This Week's Confection

This week I made a little tote bag cake. As you can see I made it with Kate in mind. Once again so much fun to make and I found it pretty relaxing as I mixed, kneaded, and molded.It was fun to find creative ways to make it look at least a little bit similar to the picture in the book.

Random and Wonderful

These two word basically describe our life right now. Here are some random pictures that are near and dear to my heart.

Like all good baby hair Kate's is long in the back and shorter in the front. When she sleeps she somehow twists it around to where she has this bedhead beehive thing going on.

I really don't remember what brought on this face but I love it. I think I was chasing her up the stairs and she peeked around the corner again. Love it.

Kate is starting to shake her sullen pouty face that she regularly shows me when I try to take a picture. She is starting to really mug for the camera. Exhibit A....

Last Saturday Jared brought the kids down fresh from their bath all bundled up. They are quite the armsful. I just remember thinking when I took the picture, This is one picture I will be showing them later in their life and I'll remember how much I laughed and how much it made us smile.

Kate has some unusual quirks like all kids. Here's one. She loves to take medicine. I don't know if the flavoring they put in medicine now is a lot tastier than it was when I was taking medicine or if Kate is just a little bit strange but she loves taking medicine. She will even take the little medicine dropper from us to suck the last little bit out.

And finally the picture that has made us all rest easier. Literally.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Mean Week

This week was a mean week. I really don't know how else to put it. Professionally speaking I was beat up and pummeled and reduced to tears TWICE at my job. Like I said it was a mean week. From Monday on it was problem after problem. I would think I was doing something right only to find out I had messed it up. Both my mind and heart are not in this job. My mistakes come because I have no passion for this. My passion is about 2 miles away at a daycare playing and laughing and smiling. I miss my kids. Plain and simple. There is no room for this job in my heart. My heart belongs to my family. And when your heart is with something or in this case someone else it makes the problems like I had at work this week seem like a huge nusiance. I get the feeling of "Why am I here when my kids are somewhere else?" It's a constant struggle and I feel like I live in two worlds.I constantly straddle the line between what is necessary and what i desire. When I first started leaving my kids in daycare people would tell me, "Oh you'll get used to it. just give it time." Well you know what? I'm still not used to it and it's been 4 months. I still walk out of there in the morning with tears in my eyes. I don't think I will ever get used to it.Every day I pray that God will provide me the opportunity to stay home with my kids just for a little while. I got to stay home with Kate the first 4 months of her life and then for 4 more months after I was laid off in November. So I feel very blessed for the time that I have been given to be a stay at home Mommy. On the other hand Carson has been in daycare since he was 7 weeks old.I have written this post many times and then erased it because it seems to negative or woe is me. But I want to look back on this time in my life and remember the push and pull I felt. I need to remember and record the longing that I felt for my kids and that my heart's desire was to be with them.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hmmmm.....or Should I Say zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Could it be that putting Carson on his tummy to sleep was his sleep formula all along? He'll never tell!!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rest and Running in the Rain

Tonight I ran in a nice summer rain. It was a perfect rain to run in. Never too hard. I suppose I was very lucky that it didn't turn into one of those famous Texas storms with heavy rain, thunder, lightening, and golf ball sized hail.It was good because the air was heavy when I started my run and the rain really lightened it up.

I felt very rested today. The big news is that Carson slept through the night last night. A feat he has never been able to pull off in his short 6 months of life.12 hours. Not a peep, not a wimper, not a cough or cry. He slept. And we slept.It was pure bliss. I realize that it might not happen again for awhile but it did happen last night. And for now, that's good enough.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Carson's Sleep Formula

So I finally went in last night after he had been crying for a little while longer. I put my hands on his tired little body and I prayed over him. I prayed that God would quiet his little body down and relax him. I prayed that he would have good sleeps and good rest. I prayed for his health and for his physical protection. Then I had a brainstorm which most people won't think is a brainstorm at all. I flipped him on his tummy. And with a couple of minutes of rubbing his head and his back simultaneously he was asleep. He slept for a good 6 hours like that until about 4 am which is a huge blessing. Even then I just went in and put his pacifier in and he fell back asleep until 8. I remember a couple of friends telling me that their babies didn't get a good nights rest until they started sleeping on their tummies. Now I'm not foolish enough to say this is his preferred way of sleeping. But it worked last night and that's enough for me today.I do have to say something about how unnatural it was for me to hear him cry like that last night and not going to comfort him. Every part of me wanted to go and pick up that chubby little boy and hug him close to me. But I knew that would only prolong his "learning experience." Then I had a thought. This is just the beginning of letting Carson feeling some discomfort so that he can learn an important life lesson. When I think about what lays ahead letting him cry himself to sleep is nothing. But it's big enough for today. One step at a time.

Monday, August 3, 2009

This is SO Hard

Right now I am listening to my sweet six month old little boy cry as hard as I have ever heard him cry. I am trying to let him learn the fine art of putting himself to sleep. I neglected to let him to do this when he was younger and now I am paying for it. He has been at it for a good hour now. I have been going in every 15 minutes to reassure him that I am there but he seems to be in it for the long haul.This is new territory. Kate slept through the night at 10 weeks and has never looked back. I didn't realize that I was creating a bad sleeper until he started getting up multiple times during the night. Lately he has been getting up every hour and Jared and I have been doing the big no no, picking him up and rocking him back to sleep. But we are so tired. We would do anything for some sleep so we do the next big no no, bring him to our bed to sleep. He's six months old and should have learned this by now. Oh but my heart is hurting for him and I am wanting to go and pick him up right now. And Jared can hardly stand to hear him cry. I will probably cave tonight. Any advice? Please?!??!? This is SO hard!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wonder Boy at Six Months!!!

Can you beat that? Our boy Carson is SIX months. This little boy is loving his life right now. He is sitting up all by himself for long periods of time. He is eating baby food and rice cereal. He is grabbing at our food non stop. In fact, the other morning when we had all piled into our bed for our Saturday cuddle time. Kate was eating a waffle and before we knew it Carson had grabbed it from her hand and stuffed it into his mouth. He didn't know what to do with it once it was in his mouth but he seemed very pleased with himself. We discovered last week end that he loves the pool. He splashed and laughed the entire time we were there. When he is waiting for his cereal in his high chair he will start banging his hand on the tray. Bam bam!! He goes by many names at our house, including, Carse, Bubba, Bubs, Bubby, and Hubba Bubba. He loves to be tickled. His hair is getting really blonde and a wee bit thicker on the top. He loves his bouncy chair and will jump and jump for some really big bounces.When he sits on my lap sometimes I feel like he is going to jump right off! He is still very cuddly and snuggly. I so love this little boy. And I feel so incredibly blessed that he is my son.

Scenes From a Pink Bench

Dum Dee Dum sitting on a bench. La ti da sitting on a bench....

Hey, Bubba. You have something in your let me help you take it out.

There isn't that better? Why do you need this thing? What's so great about this thing? Wait, why are you crying?

Wow! I gave it back and he's still crying! Can you beat that?

Well, I guess that's that! What to do, what to do?

God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6