Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkins and Halloween

On Sunday we carved our pumpkins.  Carving pumpkins in Texas is pretty much a waste of time because of the humidity.  Within days they are filled with furry mold and simply gross.  But, the kids like this activity so we do it.  I clean out the pumpkins and Drew helps with the carving.

There was also a little Halloween fun this week.  At gymnastics on Tuesday Emma was allowed to wear her costume.  I also bought a super cute outfit for Elena.

Then there was the big event tonight.  Emma's practice was cancelled, but Jonah's was not.  Initially Jonah wanted to go trick or treating.  However, last night he decided to go to practice.  I asked him again today and he was set on going to the gym.  On our way there I asked why the change of heart.  Jonah said, "I decided since I will miss a week at Thanksgiving I need to be at every practice I can before our first meet."  I was speechless and so proud.  My sweet boy gave up trick or treating for gymnastics and he was so happy to do it.  Amazing!  As great as that was, I was just as proud when Samuel willingly took Jonah's bag with him and asked for candy for his brother who was at gymnastics practice.  Samuel carried two bags around all night and was happy to help Jonah.  I was so proud of both of them tonight.

Elena was Sophia The First and super cute in her costume.  Emma was a cat.  She trick or treated with Ashlynn again and had a blast.  Samuel was a police officer and I thought he was just precious!

We went with our neighbors as we did last year.  It is now a tradition!  Carmendy was a pretty ballerina and Connor was Picachu.  The had so much fun.  Elena gave up early after being scared by a dog, but Carmendy was a trooper!  

Day turned to night and the kiddos were tired.  Leslie and I could not resist this picture!  They just plopped down in the middle of the street for a break.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The race that wasn't

When I registered for the Houston Half and Relay this past summer it was going to be my "A" half.  I knew in my heart that I would be ready to run big at this race.  Then I hurt my hip and that plan went out the window really, really fast.

My hip gets better with time, patience, meds, therapy, and tears.  Yeah, there were some of those.  I can run again and things are going well.  The hip aches after I sit too long especially in the car.  It hurts if I lay on it too much at night.  It hurts after I run long, but my hip has not hurt while running in weeks.  I ice it every night. It is getting stronger!

So, I still planned to run that darn half this morning. I knew it would not be big because I am not in shape to run fast for 13 miles yet.  It will come.  I was even nervous to run this morning.  So nervous that I could barely eat yesterday including forcing myself to eat something for breakfast and lunch.  Eating is not usually a problem for me.  Everything was ready and I knew there was a chance of rain.  What I did not know because I watched a stupid football game instead of the weather was the chance for storms.

I don't like this number anyway...
I woke at 5am and at 5:01 (I swear) I heard thunder.  After checking the radar I felt like the storms would pass in time for the race.  I got ready and headed downtown.  I arrived and finished all my last minute getting ready stuff.  Most importantly I ate my pre-race banana.  Then I learned that the race has been postponed for an hour.  GREAT...

I tried to sleep, but that did not work.  I tried to decide what to do about having nothing else to eat and knowing very much so that I would be hungry at 8am....trouble!  I decided to focus on the "oh well" and just deal with being hungry.  Almost an hour later it was still pouring.  It was not drizzling or misting or lightly raining.  It was pouring rain and it was windy and it was cold.  I was not prepared for that crap at all.

After lots of texting with Drew about my concerns I decided I would run.  My friends had written encouraging things on Facebook (thank you...you are all sweet and wonderful!) and I decided to suck it up and run.  Then I left the parking garage and stood in the windy, cold, raining street and thought this is not happening for me today.

My hip was achy probably from the weather and sitting too much in the car.  I was hungry and I was cold.  I hate running in the rain.  I did that in January for 26.2 miles and ended up with a crappy race and sick.  Knowing this was not going to be "the race" for me...that was never the plan, I decided not to run.  It totally sucked making that choice, but I feel like it was the right decision for me today.  I have been too patient and focused on healing this darn hip to risk slipping, falling, or something else on really wet streets.  I just could not do it today.

So, here I sit still waiting for the rain to pass so I can run 13.1 miles today. I still have to run.  There will be another race and another chance to prove to myself that all is well with my hip.  I just have to be patient and trust that I made the best choice for me today.  There is a bigger picture and I am focused on that....1/19/14!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Trip to the Zoo

On Saturday Drew took the boys and Elena to the Houston Zoo.  His company hosts a family picnic there each October and it is a wonderfully fun day.  Emma opted to stay home because of her gymnastics meet.  Although we hated missing the fun, I think it was a wise decision.  I also think it was a good decision for Drew and the kids to go.  They had tons of fun and posed for lots of pictures.

Apparently they had to sit on this rhinoceros.  I think the picture is kind of funny. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Emma's district meet

Emma had her maybe last meet of the season yesterday afternoon.  I say maybe because she needed to qualify for the South State meet yesterday.  It was a total guess as to what scores were needed and how many girls would move on to the November 9th meet.  All that meant that Emma had to seriously be on her game.  Let me tell you....Emma FINALLY put some things together yesterday and performed so well.  As I said on Facebook after the meet ended, I was bursting with momma pride at her accomplishment.

After the meet two weeks ago, I asked my friend Carmalyn to make Emma a bracelet.  I wanted the bracelet to be a reminder to Emma that she is always capable.  She and I had talked about the word impossible and what a little apostrophe could do to that word.   I so wish I had taken a picture of Emma's face when I gave her the bracelet.  It was like Christmas morning to her and I could tell by her expression that she really understood the significance of my gift.

So, back to yesterday.  The last thing I said to Emma was to remember that she was possible.  And, possible she was.  Emma earned a 9.450 on floor which was her highest floor score of the season.  Emma finally kept her arms straight on her backward roll and she smirked.  She received a 9.150 on vault.  I always think she should score higher on vault.  I am the worst vault judge.  On bars, she had a 9.2  The last event was beam, which Emma hates.  I, however, think when Emma is confident she works beautifully on the beam.  Yesterday Emma was beautiful and was rewarded with a 9.550.  She held her kick to handstand vertical and smirked again.  I loved the smirks because as I told Emma later it showed her confidence.  She knew she was possible and it was on full display.  Her AA was 37.350 which was her highest ever.  She was so happy and it was a wonderful sight.

As for qualifying, it was still a guess and my nervousness was unbelievable.  This had been her goal all season long.  With her low beam score, she did not get an individual place.  She was 9th on bars and floor.  On beam, the event she likes the least, she placed 3rd!!!  Overall, she placed 5th in her division!!!  My sweet and determined Emma had qualified for South State!!!

Sometimes the best things come from the worst.  Her meet two weeks ago was a disaster and our conversation was tough and emotionally challenging.  But, she took it to heart...at least yesterday... and did what she knew she could do.  I could not be more proud of Emma!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Seeking peace

Last Friday was a crappy day for me...at least some of it.  I had spent the entire week stressed about church stuff some of which was self imposed and some of which was real.  Friday it all came to a head and I almost lost it on the Kroger bakery lady.  I ranted and ranted and ranted to myself, Drew, and others, but not the lady at Kroger.  She was only exposed to my rudeness for a brief time.  I begged for my happy endorphins from my first double digit run in months to come back.  They were no where to be found and I was totally sad.  Forcing back tears I made a new plan and that plan was for peace.  I needed to have peace in my weekend and I spent the entire weekend seeking it.

The boys and Drew went on a weekend camping trip so it was just me and the girls.  Instead of letting my mood interfere with our fun I sought out peace.  I listened to Emma and Elena giggle.  I listened to Ashlynn and Emma giggle.  I listened to their conversations.  I so enjoyed their simplicity.  I got outside my head and really enjoyed my book.

I decided I needed simplicity on Saturday too.  We decorated for fall, played, read, watched football, and ate ice cream.  It was kind of the perfect day.

All my stress about church was disappearing and it was almost gone by the time I sat in church on Sunday morning.  My heart finally felt almost at peace when I listened to the Lord's Prayer in English, French, Arabic, and Twi.  It was beautiful, but I still needed something.

My something for the past several years has been running.  It calms me even on the worst runs ever because my soul feels better about something always.  Sunday afternoon I went on a 3 mile run.  I listened to the same two songs on repeat and ran what pace felt comfortable.  I could literally feel everything that had been weighing me down for days fall off with each step.  Every little thing that was still bothering was gone in less than 25 minute and it was great. I finally felt at peace.  I had not run that fast in months and it felt great.  My happy endorphins were back and I felt at peace.

I am learning slowly but surely when I need to keep the peace in my life.  I know it won't always be there...peace and calm and easy street.  That is not what I am seeking.  I am seeking what will keep me calm even on the crazy days and during the crazy weeks.  Listening to the joy in kids voices, reading books so I can escape, running so I can let go, writing down some of my craziness here, and just watching what is around me.  All of that allows me to feel at peace.