Monday, July 28, 2014

Stuff and (not) Nothin'

Oh boy. I don't—do not—even know where to begin.

Should I start with the reason that I haven't been blogging? There are two reasons, actually—one good and one bad—and involve my meeting with a brand new spiritual director (she's wonderful!) and my computer going kerplunk yet again.

(I am typing this post on my husband's laptop. He's wonderful, too, for letting me borrow completely and unabashedly take over on it.)

Or should I start with my decision to cut away back on my drinking? It was after this post (perhaps not surprisingly) prompted a concerned reader and friend to send me a link to this online quiz. Wouldn't you know?! I had several habits that were very unhealthy.

I don't know. There's so much that I could write about, but since it's a blog, what would benefit you?

How about a gratuitous picture of my two little men?

 I see London, I see France...

In one week, the rest of the family will be gone at camp—my husband and Jem for two weeks at Philmont, and the big kids at a camp through their schoool—and it will be just me and them. You can bet that I'll be blogging more then. I'll need all the support I can get.

(This is not to say that they aren't super cute. God makes them cute because they're so darn demanding. )

Go ahead and judge me. This was the only way I could get him to come.

Should I talk about running? I'm falling in love with running!

(That jogging stroller cost me 10 bucks at a yard sale.)

(It was a sign from God! "Get your butt moving," He said.) 

 The scale's still stuck in the 130's but I defy the numbers! I won't play that game!
(It can be hard, though, not to play that game.)

Should I talk about what I'm {not} eating and drinking these days? Besides, you know, the booze and stuff?

(Here's a not-so-subtle hint. I'm on Day 3 and desperately miss my Doritos.)

I don't know! You tell me! 'Cause it gets hard when I haven't been blogging that much. When I do, I want to talk for hours.

Maybe you should just come for tea.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My First 5K! (aka the Bacon Chase)

This post is dedicated to Jennifer H., with love & thanks & lots of bacon.

Okay, so technically it wasn't my first 5K.   My first 5K was 25 years ago and for that reason, I don't think it should count. This is my first 5K as an old person, okay? Point being, I could have done worse things with this midlife crisis.

You never know, though. I might still buy that Mustang convertible.

My daughter Cate ran the race with me! Like her mom, she's a big fan of bacon.

I signed up for this 5K back in March. I signed up as an excuse to get my butt in gear: start running; start walking; stop excuse-making; something! Anything to get me off the couch! Except...and here's the one big take-away from this post...I'm not the kind of person who sits on the couch. I'm a busy mom who spends her day serving others, and though I love my life--I truly love it!--I'm beginning to realize there needs to be more.

The Bacon Guy! I cannot FATHOM running a race in a suit.

More than just eating a rasher of bacon, I mean.

Unless it's the bacon at the end of this race.

Running SO fast, I'm but a blur!!
Um...yeah. That.

 That's Cate in the middle, next to the happy bald guy.

My 11-year-old Felicity was the official photographer and I love that she was willing to capture these shots. She is, by nature, a very shy girl, so for her to go up to complete strangers and ask to take their picture...

...required both confidence and a candy bribe from her mom.

I am thankful, too, for the early morning support of my beloved hubby, who forgave me (eventually) for gapping out the start time. I thought the race began at 9:00 and that he needed to get me there by 8:00. In truth the race began at 10:00, which meant two HOURS of downtime for a very twitchy man.

The waiting is the hardest part. 
(Unless you're, like, OLD and actually running the race.)

Like I said, I'm glad he forgave me.

He loves me despite my Alzheimer moments.

As for the actual race...

It was hard.  My body complained the entire time, making tiresome protests like "Your shoes are too tight" and "I'm sick of this playlist" and "The odds are good that you're going to die." As I passed the clumps of waving, cheering spectators, I tried to smile and would occasionally wave back. Eventually, though, I just needed to stare straight ahead and could only focus on the person in front of me.

I liked the guy with "Hold the Rope" on his t-shirt.  I'm trying, I thought, but it's starting to slip!

At one point, I passed a kid with a bike horn."Hee honk," it went, and I thought, "Please stop." Hee honk. Hee honk. Hee honk. Hee HONK.

 I would have veered to wrench it out of her hands but didn't want to make my race time worse.

Finally—FINALLY—I saw the finish line, and I thought—i.e. prayed—that I could do it. I did do it, too, despite the stitch in my side and the pain in my leg and the feeling that I might well throw up. (One guy did. It was my kids' favorite part.) I ran into the arms of my husband—staggered, actually—and gasped, "I did it! I'm dying! What's my time?"

(There was no clock so he went off to ask. My time? 34:00. Or something like that.) 

Why do I run? To keep up with THEM.

And then it was all euphoria: Hugs & euphoria & a Bloody Mary & bacon.

There was the thought, "I did it!"

And "Could I do it again?"

Yes, I could. I will. (I hope.) We'll see.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I am...

...a dozen different people at any given moment--wife, mother, daughter, sister, optimist, pessimist, foodie, friend. It can be hard to know which hat to clamp on! It can be hard to find the real "me".

That said...

I've found an approach for the "mom" in me (and goodness knows, I've got a lot of her) that seems to be kinda/sorta working out well. I thought I'd share it, since the "blogger" in me likes to be helpful sometimes.

 Why yes, I DO talk to my teens via their bathroom mirror. Is this weird?

My teens and I are reading Sean Covey. That's it! That's my helpful (and free) suggestion for today. I have long been a HUGE fan of Sean's dad Stephen, and I pray to him often for help in raising my kids. (Stephen Covey died two years ago yesterday. May the dear man rest in peace.) Being me, I have not one but three of Sean Covey's books floating around--all on loan from the local library--and we read them and talk about them one chapter at a time.


My teen that's exceedingly fond of computer games? He gets an extra one (or two) for every chapter he reads. These are some long and beefy chapters! I could talk about these ideas for hours, but because he's a teen (i.e. straining the leash trying to get away from "deep" talks),  we go over the major points for ten minutes or so and then the kid is free to go.

And by "go" I mean bolt.

Baby steps, right?!  With my teens, and especially my teenaged boys, I must take baby steps and trust the journey.

Oh, and one last thing! There is a wonderful poem at the start of the above book that is titled simply "The Habit Poem." I prefer to call it "I am" because of the refrain at the start of each stanza, but what you choose to call it doesn't matter. Reading it does.

You can find and print a copy here.

I stuck it on my kids' bathroom mirror. : )


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