Our Daily (G)races

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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday Jonah

Last Thursday was Jonah's birthday.  I simply cannot believe that my little baby boy who was so, so, so calm

and who loved his paci more than anything for the longest time

and who stopped smiling and started smirking in pictures years ago

is now 9 years old.  I say this each time one of my kiddos has a birthday, but time just seems to be passing too quickly.

Birthday morning ice cream!
Jonah is a very high strung, loving, energetic, smart, kind boy.  Jonah likes structure and routine.  He thrives in it and flounders some when things in his schedule are too disrupted.  Jonah likes school and does really well except for spelling.  He is the worst and I mean the worst speller in the world!  Jonah lives and breathes for gymnastics.  The 12 hours a week he is at practice are barely enough to keep him happy.  In the gym, Jonah displays a quiet determination that is fun to watch.  There is nothing he won't try, but thankfully he knows his limits!  Jonah loves electronics of any kind and his time on them has to be limited. Jonah loves his siblings, but also wishes Elena left him alone most days.

I asked Jonah what he hoped to achieve in the next year and his first answer was to get my giants without any spot.  I was so not surprised that gymnastics was on his mind.  His second answer was to compete again at the ESPN sports complex at Disney....more gymnastics.  I think it is safe to say that Jonah loves gymnastics.

On your birthday my sweet loving boy, I wish several things for you....

1.  Take deep breathes my love.  You are so easily frustrated by situations and people.  Please learn to walk away.  You can't control other people's reactions, but you can control your reaction.

2.  Work hard in school.  Continue to love it and do your best always.

3.  Keep trying other sports.  I know you love gymnastics, but you are only 9.  Learn that there are other sports to love too.

4.  Show you big heart to others all the time.  You have so much love and tenderness in you.  Let others see that side of you.

5.  Be the silliest person you know because you are hilarious during your goofy times.  Don't ever be too serious.  Always be silly!

6.  Be willing to try new things especially learning to play the guitar.  I am excited to hear you play.

7.  Remember that daddy and I always love you no matter what!!!!

Happy Birthday sweet Jonah!!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bearkat Dash 5K

Yesterday I ran a 5K.  I am not totally sure why I decided to torture myself like that, but I did and it was pretty fun. I had two goals for this race.  One:  don't fall!  Two:  run a consistent pace under 8 minutes.  It was never my goal to attempt a PR.  I have no interest in that at all.

So, this is a local race and pretty small.  I think the Facebook page said 831 people ran and most of them were high school students.  The race started at 7:30 so I left home at 6:45.  That allowed me plenty of time to find Kim and Carmalyn, warm-up, and use the restroom.  In fact, because the race started a little late I had a little too much time. 

Carmalyn and Kim were volunteering because they are awesome.  They also cheered for me because they are awesome!
Poor Kim has supported me at many races.  She spends a lot of time waiting for me to finish!
Kim's youngest Braden was running the 1K
The course is a flat, loop course.  I ran this many years ago so I knew what to expect.  Easy, easy, easy!  The only not easy part is the high school kids.  Very few of them run races so their race etiquette leaves a lot to be desired!  I was quite frustrated with various young ones at times.

It was a beautiful morning to run.  It was a little humid and not to warm.
This race finishes on the Klein HS track which is kind of fun.  I could hear Kim cheering for me. 

I love this picture for some strange reason
Excuse my horrible form.  I knew that young thing in the green shirt would pass me.  Being more than half my age helps that cause I think!
Braden and I were sweaty messes.  He did well!
I was pretty pleased with my splits.  I did not pay any attention at all to my overall time and I wish I had.  I finished in 24:04.  I definitely had 5 seconds more of get-up and run in me, but oh well.  I am still happy with how I did.  My splits were 7:29, 7:41, 7:40, and a 6:46 pace for the last 0.19.  Yes, I ran long according to my watch and I thank the high schoolers for helping with that.  Manners young ones at corners and water stations!

I finished second in my age group which was 30-39.  I was pleased with that and all my goodies.  I never get fun stuff at races so I plan to use my gift cards!  Standing on a podium was a fun little bonus too.
The speedy lady in first ran a 22:xx...fast!

Overall, I am super pleased.  I never had to run super hard.  Everything felt good for a change and I felt strong the entire time. I know I could have gone faster, but I did not want to and I am okay with that.  My goal is to run a PR half in October and a PR full in December.  This was just a fun thing to do on a Saturday morning. 

And, a big thanks to Kim for taking all the pictures!  She got some good ones!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Some clarification on this 21st anniversary

This morning I spent forever looking at lots and lots of pictures of me and Drew. It was fun to see all the things we have done and places we have gone in the past two decades.  Jeez...that makes us sound really old!  I was on a mad search to find the "perfect" pictures of us because today is the anniversary of the day we met.

I made this collage and posted it to Facebook and Instagram.  I don't think many people know that this is not our wedding anniversary.  That is on Flag Day.  Today is just the day we met, but it is a huge day for us.  We celebrate today in some way every year and always have.  It was the start of our lives together because we both admit we knew something special could....would maybe happen. We all know it did.
I think the top left picture was taken the summer after we met.  I wish I knew for sure, but I do know we were young!  The next was one taken in 1999 in Austin.  The bottom left was taken in 2011 at a NAM benefit.  The bottom right was taken in 2006 in Breckenridge, CO.  The top right is my all-time favorite picture of us taken by Emma last November.

I was 18 and had been at college for three weeks when I met Drew at a party.  He was 20 and a junior.  He talked about things I didn't have much interest in, but I still liked him.  Drew is just likeable and those eyes.  I still love those blue eyes...more now than then.  

As with any relationship, not every moment has been easy, fun, or even kind.  But, love and dedication to each other has brought us through each and every hardship.  I have loved the song "These are the Days" by Van Morrison forever.  "These are the Days" is engraved on our wedding bands.  If you have never listened to this song, do it now! Twenty-one years together sure feels like this song and so does the future...

"These Are The Days"
These are the days of the endless summer
These are the days, the time is now
There is no past, there's only future
There's only here, there's only now

Oh your smiling face, your gracious presence
The fires of spring are kindling bright
Oh the radiant heart and the song of glory
Crying freedom in the night

These are the days by the sparkling river
His timely grace and our treasured find
This is the love of the one magician
Turned the water into wine

These are days of the endless dancing and the
Long walks on the summer night
These are the days of the true romancing
When I'm holding you oh, so tight

These are the days by the sparkling river
His timely grace and our treasured find
This is the love of the one great magician
Turned water into wine

These are the days now that we must savour
And we must enjoy as we can
These are the days that will last forever
You've got to hold them in your heart.

Monday, September 15, 2014

10 unknown facts

Ms. Susan tagged me on Friday to write a post on 10 relatively unknown things about me.  Of course, I did not see this until yesterday and I have thought about it lots since then.  It is really hard to think about things people don't know about me since I share lots of things or things I want people to know about me.  I still don't think I have 10 things people don't know and I used some of Susan's for inspiration so here goes....

1.  I played the flute for a really long time and haven't played it for a really long time.  I wish I still did.  I will definitely encourage my kiddos to continue with their instruments forever if possible.

2.  I refuse to run a race without painting my nails.  I have done this since my first half marathon in 2010 and now it is just habit.  I try to find polishes with names that could possibly relate to running. 

It is usually dark red or silver
3.  I loved the back of my wedding dress.  I looked at all our wedding pictures and wish so much that our photographer had taken a close up of my dress...bummer!

What you can't see if the line of antique buttons down my back...loved that!
4.  I hate 5K's.  They are just pure torture to me which makes the fact that I am running one this Saturday slightly crazy.

I hope I don't end up in the medical tent on Saturday!
5.  Drew and I have lived in Texas since March 1998.  On Sunday part of the sermon was about "where is home".  This is our home in that our house is here, friends, our church, and things we do love.  But, I would move "home" without giving it a second thought if we had the opportunity.  Home to me has always been Pennsylvania.  Since Drew is a geologist, the possibility of this happening is not great.  I still try though.

6.  I usually wake up starving which is unfortunate since I don't really like breakfast food at all.  I find breakfast sweets like donuts, coffee cake, and sweet rolls even more gross than normal breakfast foods.  I make myself eat something each morning because my early morning running habits make me even more hungry.

7.  I always run or walk to the left of someone.  Susan is the only exception to this rule.  She runs on the left and I try to forget how strange it feels to run on the right side of someone. 

8.  My favorite time of year is fall.  My favorite things about fall are cooler weather, being outside, and finally wearing jeans and sweatshirts.  Since I don't really get to do that here in the fall I just focus on college football.  That makes me think of fall and I just dream about being able to do all the other things I like about fall. 

9.  I wish I liked riding bikes.  I really do because I think it would be fun to do a sprint triathlon, but bikes kind of scare me.  So, I enjoy tri's by doing them with other people.  Maybe someday I will be brave enough to do one all by myself!

Scott did the hard parts and I just ran a 10K
Again Susan did twice as much work as I did...just a 5K
10.  I live in Texas, but I really don't like Blue Bell ice cream at all.  The factory tour was fun, but that's all the love I have for it.  I think all the flavors taste bad and I just know all my friends will think this is just totally nuts.  We currently have two pints of Blue Bell in our freezer because the kids like it.  I wanted ice cream really badly last night, but I couldn't make myself eat it.  Since ice cream is my favorite dessert ever this is saying a lot!

They are so little and cute!
Okay, so there you go.  More crap than you ever wanted to know about me!

Monday, September 8, 2014

A letter to me

I realized this past week how much our new schedule is wearing on me.  My kiddos are in three different schools with different schedules and different expectations.  I am tired and stressed trying to manage it all so I can't imagine how my kids must feel.  Well, I do know that Emma is struggling some with her schedule and Jonah a little too.  I also realized over the weekend how much I am dreading this week.  There is so much to do....way more than I like to have scheduled in one week.  Drew is going to be gone and that makes it worse. 

In my state of feeling overwhelmed I decided I HAD to run this morning.  I don't normally run on Mondays, but today it was a must.  I needed to run so I could sort out my plan of action for the week without the distraction of my family.  I had four miles to accomplish that and it worked to some degree.  I am still feeling stressed about making it to Friday with some bit of sanity left, but at least I have things worked out in my head now.

I figured out who I needed to ask for help...yes, this is a must this week.  I cannot do it alone.  I also decided to cut myself some slack.  I have to give up control of things this week that I just won't have time to do well.  That to-do list of things I want to do this month will not be started this week.  The daily things around the house that I like to keep up with....probably not happening to the same level as I like.  And, the best part of that decision is I know it will be okay.

This week it is okay to be my version of a slacker mom.  Keeping my kids from being stressed is my job this week. Helping Emma and Jonah continue to adjust to the "go straight from school to the gym for three hours four days a week and then do homework" is my job.  Who am I kidding?  I am still adjusting to that school-gym-homework schedule too.  It is pretty brutal for an 8 and 11 year old and the mom trying to help them.  Gymnastics x5, scouts x3, school, church meetings x2, youth group, piano lessons, and middle school open house are the biggies on my list this week.

They are my priority
So to help my stress level will be running...yeah...and clouds.  Yes, clouds because I love clouds.  My kids think I am nuts because I point out amazing clouds to them all the time.  I took pictures of them everywhere we went this summer.  I printed out some of my favorites so I can look at them when I feel too much of something.  And, I am going to be purposeful about looking at the clouds in the sky this week.  I think clouds are soothing. These are my favorites from the summer. 

Dawson's Creek
Neuse River with a fighter jet

Eagle Camp
Burlington, Vermont
Lake Champlain...my favorite
Mars, PA

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Emma's gymnastics season is here

Emma had her first meet two weeks ago. It was unremarkable and actually one of her worst meets on some events. Emma is a slow starter so it is a good thing she does not want to be a sprinter.  She looks good while trying though!

Today was her second meet. Things went much, much better. Her score improved by huge margins on floor, vault, and bars. Two weeks ago she had a 7.6 on bars and today she had an 8.95. Her beam score stayed the same. 

Emma placed 9th on vault, 6th on floor, 4th on bars. All around she placed 5th. After earning no medals two weeks ago, she was excited and happy with her improvements.  So was I. 

Emma loves the fancy all-around medal. 

Emma and her friend Bella

Emma hopes to make it to South State again and big hopes to the Level 4 state meet. That is a HUGE goal, but we all need goals. She has to work harder and she knows it!  Go Emma go!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The last of Galveston

Thankfully Sunday and Monday were not rainy days. In fact, because it was still cloudy on Sunday I was able to get some really cool pictures of the girls. 



Besides being in the water Jonah really liked flying a kite. He had a Jolly Roger, but I failed to get a close-up of the kite. He was very serious. 

We never stayed too long at the beach. It is fun, but the girls and I get our full of the sand pretty quickly. A morning is enough and then we are ready for the pool. 

Grouchy and ready to go

Cold boys

There are two pools at the complex and the kids like them equally. It is nice to have a choice. On Sunday it was still a little chilly in the afternoon so while the kids played I watched. 

It was probably 85. I know I am crazy. 

These two had lots of fun together all weekend. It is fun to watch them. 

Elena cut her foot so I got to love on her and Emma took this sweet picture. 

We had the best weekend like we always do. I miss it already. 

From our balcony 

This made me laugh...

Drew works hard and we are blessed to be able to take trips like this. So thankful for him. 

Again Emma taking sneaky pictures. 

Now it is back to reality, school, church, and gymnastics like crazy people!