Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why I Love to Run

I really don't know when it happened. It wasn't last year I'm sure. It was sometime in the early part of this year. I really started to enjoy running. It no longer became a slog that I kept putting off through out the day. It became fun. It became something that I look forward to it. If that sounds pretty annoying to you, believe I totally get it. I was always irritated by the people that proclaimed, "I love exercise just for how it makes me feel!" Oh blow it out your ear! That's what I used to think. But now I have become one of THOSE people. Do you want to hear something ultra annoying? I made a decision to give running a rest for the remainder of July and August due to the heat and our upcoming vacation. I had a bought a great sculpting video and decided to just focus on doing that until September. But I couldn't do it. I couldn't NOT run and kept finding ways to fit in a run here and there until I just gave up and started up again and now I am running 3 miles 3 times a week. Isn't that just sickening? But first let me tell you why I love it and maybe you will understand.

1. It is my ONLY alone time. Contrary to popular belief work is not alone time. And neither is the day that Jared spends time with the kids. On those days I am doing things. Meeting deadlines, doing chores, taking calls, organizing, planning, cleaning, negotiating, analyzing..well you get it. Not ME time. But AH running is ME time. I am alone with my thoughts. And unless I choose to bring my IPod along, I have silence. Just me and the open street. Alone with my thoughts, ideas, prayers, vision. And sometimes I achieve that very rare state of mind where I truly think about nothing. I don't experience this anytime other than when I'm running.

2. I have epiphanies when I run. I know that this has to do with the fact that my brain clears out when I run. It's like I am a blank slate from the moment I step out the door. I can't find any other reason for this other than it is a straight gift from God. I have new and surprising thoughts about the way I look at life, my relationships with other people, how I want to raise my kids, how I measure happiness and contentment. I always seem to come back from my run with a new outlook on some aspect in my life.

3. Stress level and anxiety reducer- I am person that deals with anxiety. Not just your every day run of the mill "I'm so nervous" anxiety  but some true anxiety. I have been known to have full blown panic attacks for no good reason. Running helps reduce that greatly. I can always count on a good run to calm my nerves and anxiety. And I can say that since I've been running consistently I haven't had one panic attack. Now that's a great reason for me to run.

4. The Physical Aspect.  Ok the truth is that running doesn't necessarily help me lose weight. I know. Bummer.  But it does help me keep weight off. There is a difference.

5. The sense of accomplishment. I just love finishing a race. Thinking about the weeks that I trained leading up to the race fills me with  a great  sense of pride. And everytime I cross the finish line I thank God that he allowed my body to do this. The truth is,   anybody can do these races. ANYBODY. Even half marathons (Side note: I think it takes a special person to do a full marathon. Something I have not attempted yet) . Anyone can do them if you put in the time to train.

6. And Finally...The SWAG! Ok this is totally superficial and has more to do with why I love running races. But I love me a good race shirt. Especially if it's a tech shirt (not cotton). You can get some pretty cool things at these races. Check out what you get at the race I am planning on running in February.

Because I Don't Want to Forget

My most favorite thing that Kate says these days.: When I do something just for her that I know she will like (cutting up her strawberries, or picking out a book for her at the library that I know she will love, or giving her a hug when I know she really needs it) , she says, "Thanks for knowing me Mom." Is there anything better than being known? Just further proof that kids really know what is important in life.

I tell the kids all of the time that "I love you no matter what!" It perfectly describes my love and I thought it would be our cool family saying. But leave it to Carso to make it even more all encompassing by coming up with his own love phrase. " I'm never gonna stop loving you!" and then he throws in an enthusiastic "Never EVER!" Just try to have a bad day after hearing that one. I dare you.:)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Just When You Thought.....

There is no way I could do another post about swimming, but youre wrong...I'm BAAAAAACK!

Carso and his teacher Miss Emily. I must say these kids do a fantastic job.

This is the first time that his teacher let go of his hands and he was all out there by himself with the floatie belt on. He was not feeling it as you can tell.

But here's the thing about my Carso. He got out and ran to me. We talked about being afraid and how it's ok to be afraid. And that everyone is afraid when they do things for the first time. Then I said "You want to get out there and try again?" He looked at me and said, "Yeah I do."

Unlike Carson's class which has dwindled down to a faithful 3, Kate's has kept steady at 5 or 6 every week. I catch her doing some pretty funny things while she waits, but this one takes the cake. She did this for a LONG time.

On her own and loving it.

Here he is trying again. All smiles this time. This is right up there with my favorite things about parenting. Seeing your kids conquer their fears is one of the best things to witness.

Kate going underwater.

And back up again. She is doing this all by herself now in the pool. Tonight she decided to leave her floaties at home. ;) A big step for her.

Now is that happiness or what?

Happiness everywhere you look!

We thought this was the last swim lesson but it turns out we have one more tomorrow. But we hit the $1 bins at Target in celebration anyway.An  Angry Birds notepad and pencil case for Carso.

And this microphone for Kate  which I thought was a mistake but honestly its been pretty cute as she has been the MC of her own shows all week.

Bought these great mini roses at Kroger. Word to the wise, they like the indoors way better than the Texas heat. These guys lasted over a week indoors with no problems but the second I put them outside, they were goners within a dayBut they were beautiful while they lasted.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What I Needed to Hear

My sister in law Care shared this article with me. Oh I needed to read this today. It's called "20 Things Every Parent Should Hear." It was written by Beth Woolsey of the Five Kids Is A Lot of Kids blog.  I printed this out so that I could post this in my office. I need to hear these things every day. Parenting is not for the faint of heart and we need to give ourselves grace all of the time.

1. You are a hero for your kids. You are. You're a go-the-distance, fight-the-dragon, face-the-challenges hero for your kids. Taking a beating makes that more true. Not less.
2. We all struggle. Every parent. Everywhere. We all second-guess ourselves. And we all want to quit sometimes. Hold the good times close, and when things are tough, remember, "this, too, shall pass."
3. Finding the funny may not save your soul, but it will save your sanity. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, look for the humor and embrace the crazy. Laughter is a lifeline.
4. Every day, you will feel like you have mishandled something. Like you've been impatient. Like you've misjudged. Like you've been too harsh. Like you've been too lenient. You may be right. Apologize if you need to and then, whatever. Seriously. Just whatever. Let it go.
5. The crazy, the crying, the cuddles. The screaming, the sacred, the scared. The minutes, the magic, the mess. It's all part of it. And it's all worth it.
6. Family is the best. Even when it's not perfect. And it's never perfect. Ever.
7. At the end of organization, at the end of patience, at the end of perfection, we die to ourselves. And then love rises from the ashes. It sucks. And then it gets better. And then it sucks again. Still, love rises.
8. You will never regret parenting. Except for the teeny, tiny tons of times when you secretly wonder if you maybe regret it just a little. But, overall, never. And overall is what counts in the end.
9. Parenting is like climbing the big mountain. Look for the base camp. That's where you rest, meet other climbers, take in oxygen and acclimatize. Base camp is what makes summiting possible.
10. You are not alone in this strange, vast, parenting ocean. Even in the dark of night. You are not alone. You're not.
11. Kids know the way to magical and they'll give you a free pass to come along. Breathe in the magic as long as you can, because that same kid is going to poop his pants in just a minute.
12. There's a very fine line between enjoying the chaos and barely surviving. Actually, there's no line at all. It's all mixed up together. That "fine line" thing is a lie.
13. If you pay attention, kids will teach you how to laugh loudly, how to love deeply and how to live fully. They will also ruin all your stuff.
14. Any number of kids is a lot of kids.
15. Look for joy. You'll find it in the middle of the busy. Or under the ridiculous. Or hanging from the overwhelmed in its underpants. Joy's like that. It's in the middle of everything. It's completely unpredictable. And it will surprise you when you're not expecting it. Like vomit and diarrhea, except good.
16. You will fall apart and do it all wrong. Forgive yourself. Ask your kids to forgive you. Set an example of resilient fallibility. Set an example of practicing the art of love -- both loving yourself and loving others. No one does this parenting gig right the first time. Or the last time. Or the times in between. Showing your kids how to keep going after getting it wrong is a wonderful gift to give them.
17. Kids are difficult, gross, confusing and awesome. So are you.
18. Parenting will bring you face-to-face with yourself. It may be terrifying. It may break you. But it will also rebuild you, and you will be stronger than you ever thought possible.
19. Balance is a myth. Parenting isn't a tight-rope walk; it's a dance. Strive for rhythm instead of balance, and trust yourself to move to the ever-changing beat.
20. Yes, you will have days where you wonder where the hell the capable and organized you went. Yes, you will sit on the floor of the main aisle at Target by the check-out area with a child who is thrashing, screaming and calling you names. Yes, you will have to tell your child that the dog is not a napkin and to put down the urinal cake. If you do not do all those things literally, then you will do them figuratively. And yes, you will also hold that child and rock back and forth and tell him you love him and tell him he's safe and tell him you're not leaving even though he will someday leave you. This is parenting. It is tragic and triumphant. Messy and magical. Sacred and spectacular. And it is, always, fiercely worthwhile.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Just Keep Swimming...Just Keep Swimming

Seriously, we have been at the pool so much this summer I'm thinking about forwarding my mail there. Kate wants to go EVERYDAY. Carso is not as enthusiastic  but he is getting more and more confident.

Kate said she was a "Kitty Kat princess." I love having a little girl.

The twisty jump

His whole face in the water!

Kate can even stand in the water.

Mr. Man gaining confidence. He told me he was scaling the wall like Spiderman. He went all the way down the wall to the other side. He was so proud of himself and I had the biggest smile on my face because I know that he is getting more and more comfortable.

Her version of the "no look" jump. But it's really cute because right before she jumps in.....she looks! Just to make sure. :)

Here she is jumping  with OUT the floaties.

His "special trick":)

Too Hot to Handle???

This morning I ran a 15k race (that's 9.3 miles:). I expected 95 degrees with a heavy side of humidity. What I got? 72 degrees with a light cool drizzle the ENTIRE time. I could not have asked for better weather. Let us remember this in July in Texas. For most of my training runs I felt like I was literally running through hell. I went out of my way to seek out shade and ANYONE that had their sprinkler system on.... bless their hearts! But today..it was perfect and everyone was reveling in it. I had secretly given my self permission to check in at 6 miles and if I wasn't feeling that I great I was going to run/walk the last 3 miles. But honestly I felt so good I just blew by that 6 mile safety zone and ran the whole thing. The course was very kind. The last half was mostly on a downhill slope. It was an out and back so I got to see the lead runner coming back (yeah I was at mile 3:) I think he beat me by a hour) I for one am so glad that for once this course did not live up to its name.

Post race shot after I got home this morning. Feeling very happy and blessed.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Three Pictures

He discovered blueberry jam this week and he loved it:) Boys are so messy! I love it.

It seems that lately everyone is sharing their run ins with wild life on face book. Let me just say that I could have gone my whole life with out seeing the picture of a snake inside someone's front door. Especially knowing that that house is about 5 miles away from me. I lost some sleep over that one. This is my special little friend who thankfully has stayed OUTSIDE my house. He has showed up at my back window 2 days in a row just begging to come in. Sorry young grasshopper!

I think Kate is beautiful all of the time but I think she is especially beautiful in the morning right when she wakes up. Those sleep baby blues and messed up crazy hair are just gorgeous.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Favorite Things

Here are some things that I found  that I really love.

I use this eye shadow the most out of all of the ones I own. (I'm a self confessed product junkie) Its a shimmery just a little bit more than a neutral shade called Sin from Urban Decay. Its pricey at $17 a pop but it lasts a long time and I think it is  worth it when you find a great shade:)
I own a Nike pair of running shorts that are very similar to these Old Navy shorts. The difference? The Nike shorts were $50 and the ON ones were $12. And the ON shorts totally beat out the Nike shorts for comfortable running (Read: NO riding up) I own about 5 pairs and counting.  A bargain that's better than the expensive brand? Score!

My kids call my Kindle Fire "the big Phone" This thing has been a life saver in all ways and we are definitely taking it on our road trip in August. It has games for the kids to play, books,  movies and of course access to the Web. And I just recently found out I can upload books from the Fort Worth Library. All the options of the Ipad with out the price. I just saw the HD version is on sale for $169.
I just saw this kit at Hallmark and I can't wait to get it. It comes with all of the chalk board inserts from Preschool through senior year and also comes with an album where you can insert the picture and journal about the first day. Now the big miracle will be if my kids will still hold the chalk board thru middle school and high school:)  

This stuff is awesome. I had been noticing a major loss of hair in the past year due to stress and other factors. I actually had see through hair and my pony tail was getting smaller.  I picked this up on a whim one day. This actually does what it says it will do. I have noticed that my hair is thicker and healthier.
I picked this sweet little dress up at Crazy 8 the other day for Kate. I love the simplicity of it. The stripes are little navy scalloped ribbons. I am hoping that Kate will wear it to her first day of school. We will see about that one. :)


I am seriously lazy when it comes to moisturizing. The proof is the fact that I can buy moisturizer and it lasts forever. This stuff is awesome. A spray on lotion. It takes literally 10 seconds.


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