Wednesday, December 31, 2008
We had the pleasure of hosting Christmas dinner at our home this year. My grandma and great aunt even joined us. It was quite a feast...I am surprised the table withstood the weight of the fix'ns! It was scrumptious! It was the relaxing day I had hoped for.
Mitchell and my nephew played until they were delirious with exhaustion. We adults enjoyed a few rounds of a new game called Buzzword and then our favorite game of all...Balderdash! The more tired we got the more clever the answers we wrote!
Now I am sitting pondering 2008. What a year! As we leave it behind I find myself down with a wicked cold and holding a heating bill for over $500. Apparently we were almost Smokey Acres revisited. Our heater's circuit board (I don't know what it is but it turns out it is very expensive!) has been "arcing" and at some point caught fire and fried itself. All I knew was I punching the buttons on the thermostat to no avail. We went just one night without heat and it only got to 51 degrees inside. Thank goodness the fog set it and kept a bit of warmth close to the ground. We bundled up in sweatpants and blankets and snuggled in deep.
But heat or no heat, I am thankful to have a house we call a home. I am thankful for my dear hubs and our amazing children. We make it through ups and downs together. Though, I do admit that I am hopeful for a few more ups in 2009! Whatever comes our way we will attempt to take it in stride and have some fun and develop more character along the way!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Santa was his jolly ol' self! It was wonderful and amazing to see him after all these years. And, like magic, his pack had the exact presents the boys asked him for as they sat on his lap...well, okay, he had the fifth thing my nephew asked for!
Santa reminded the kids to be good and to mind their parents...Santa is good! And, if they behave today, he will be sure to visit our homes tonight after they are sleeping and leave special gifts for them.
The kids were beyond impressed that, at his most busy time, Santa came to see them. And my brother and I had the joy of giving our children something that was so special to us growing up. We witnessed everything from the eyes of parents and know why our own parents made sure Santa came to see us every year.
Monday, December 22, 2008
So I go to pick up my children from preschool. While I am waiting for them to gather up all their gear I look up and see Katie is making a beeline for me. Katie is an inquisitive little pip who tells me her name every time I see her.
"My name is Katie."
"What's your name?"
"My name is Jennifer."
"Jenfur?" she looks at me puzzled. "I thought you were Mitchell's mommy."
"Well, I am, but my actual name is Jennifer."
"Hmmm...Why are you Mitchell's mommy?"
Good gracious! "Well, I guess I am Mitchell's mommy because God wanted me to be his mommy."
"Hmmmm..." She seems satisfied with that answer but begins to hone in on my face. I think she must see a booger or something. I wait with dread...what is she going to say? And, then she spills it... "What's wrong with you teeth?"
"Excuse me?" I feel myself get hot. We have a mean girl in-training here!
"Your teeth. What's wrong with them?"
"I don't think anything is wrong with them." I squirm under the intense questioning. Where are my children? I start to look around.
"Why do they stick out like that?"
"They don't stick out." Total lie. It is obvious they do. But, really, it is just mean to point out.
"Yeah, like this..." And that evil child does an amazing beaver impersonation.
I think I have flashbacks to high school. I may even have lost consciousness for moment. When I regain my composure I kneel down to little Katie's level and I say, "My teeth stick out Katie so that I can bite things. All kinds of things." She looks at me like I have sprouted a third eyeball and she backs away. Thankfully, my children arrive in a screaming fury at their delight that Mommy-with-the-big-honking-teeth has come to take them home.
I am sure little Katie will mention me in therapy years from now. She probably has dreams of enormous teeth chasing her around. For now, she will likely continue to stare at me from a distance...in total awe of my big teeth. Though I doubt she will, but should she ever question me again I may have to add in a little growl for the full effect!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
The view from our doorstep at noonish is not too bad actually (isn't our "grass" lovely?). You can't see the school, but you can see across the street. These are the kinds of days when I love working from home. Pounding away on the computer with a cup of hot java is much better than battling the fog that wrecks havoc on all types of hair and makes the skin "glisten" in an unflattering way.
Looking at the picture above makes me laugh. It looks like our tree has a wild hair. What is that about? The smaller tree next to it is working on the same design. There is actually an even smaller three to the right just outside of the picture frame. They remind me of the Three Bears...Papa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby Bear.
But, I digress...back to the fog. The fog has Mitchell very concerned about Santa's ability to find our house. He is asking very detailed questions that have Todd and I creating wild answers that always seem to involve "magic." Santa is magic. No, Santa is not at all like God, but Santa is magic. Santa can hear you with magic ears. Santa knows when you are being naughty because he is magic. Santa's sack is magic and that how he fits toys for the whole world in it. It is a magic time of year!
So, Mitchell is somewhat convinced that the fog won't hinder Santa too much. He did ask that we set carrots out for the reindeer so they will be able to keep their strength up. His says Rudolph's nose needs to shine extra bright to cut through the fog!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I live with two very honest people. They can't help it. They don't know about white lies. They don't attempt to spare feelings. They tell it like they see it. They are children.
At first, this was an adjustment for me. It took my dear hubs to put it into perspective for me...they are 2 and 4. They are just observing, not trying to be critical.
Here are some comments I have heard in the last few days...
I was kneeling on the floor getting her dressed and my slacks had that fabric pooch. Ellie patted this and said, "Look Mommy! You are a fatty."
While I was mindlessly singing along with the Christmas CD in the car I heard a growl from the backseat followed by, "Momma! Quit making that horrible noise!"
I came in from doing yard work and was getting undressed for the shower. Ellie walks in and waves her hands hollering, "Shooie! Shooie Mommy! You smell like a poopoo ball."
So that is the bad...but then their honesty forms the sweetest words sometimes...
"Mommy, you sure are handsome."
"I want you Mommy! I loooove you Mommy!"
"I have my happiest days with you Mommy. You make my heart happy. I thank you and God for my whole world." (This one I heard at bedtime a couple nights ago and it still makes me tear up.)
So, I say we be like children. Go out and be honest! Shake someone up! Make them smile! Make them laugh! Be a true friend! And do an honest to goodness chive check for your buddies!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
By the time I reached Starbucks I was awake and excited about our adventure. After a caffeine charge we headed to Kohl's. Madness! I have only been to Kohl's a couple of times so I wasn't too familiar with the layout of the store. Major disadvantage! We had a couple of items that we just had to find. We went scouting and I found myself sidetracked. I completely lost my Mom in the chaos. Somehow, she ended up in jewelry. She called my cell phone and I went in search of her. My mom is a short little thing so you can't spot her by looking over the displays. It wasn't until she popped out in to an aisle that I saw her. We regrouped and refocused and got what we needed too. We met some very nice ladies in line to chat with for the next hour while we waited to pay for our treasures. After that, nothing could stop us!
We went to my new favorite store, Sur La Table. I thought it was just another she-she cooking store...and it is... but they have the most fun gadgets and gizmos! Loved it! Then we were off to Joanne Fabrics and then to a well-earned breakfast at Marie Callenders.
I guess the breakfast recharged my energy stores because when I got home I tackled the yard! When we decided to by this chunk of property I wasn't thinking about yard maintenance. Ugh! Twice a year we have to do major sprucing up! So, I took on the trees! I got 12 of them trimmed and slick looking. My dear, darling husband even fired up the chainsaw and did some major hacking on a mess of a tree in the back. I wanted to try out the chainsaw, but he said he didn't want to go to the ER today...hmph!
As I type this the leftovers are heating, the kids are bathed and yummy smelling, the dogs are snoring, and I am realizing that I am insanely exhausted! But what an awesome day! Our Christmas shopping is near complete! Our yard is looking decent again! And, the sounds of an evening at home are around me. Good stuff!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I am very blessed and have many reasons to give thanks...
1. I have faith in God and trust He will provide for my family.
2. My husband is just amazing. He loves me even when I scare myself when I see my bedhead in the mirror.
3. I have two absolutely incredible children who are happy and healthy and keep things hopping!
4. I absolutely treasure my family...my parents, my brother, my nephew, my niece, my in-laws, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents.
5. I have amazing friends that I can laugh and cry with.
6. I have three doggies that defy their arthritis and greet me each morning with a wagging tail. And, I have three cats who let me pet them...sometimes.
7. I have a home bursting with laughter and love.
8. I have crazy low cholesterol.
9. I have legs that like to run.
10. I have a job. In a tough economy, I am blessed to have a paycheck coming in.
That is just a few of the things I am thankful for this year. Be sure to count up your blessings, you will have more than you realize!
Friday, November 21, 2008
We spent a full day enjoying Disneyland. We rode Dumbo, the Disneyland Railroad, The Monorail, Finding Nemo Submarines, Astroblasters, Pirates of the Caribbean, Astro Orbiter...and, um...yes, The Matterhorn. Mitchell's favorite ride was Autopia. He and I shared a car and he LOVED driving around the course. Driving with him is not for the faint of heart or the weak...it was a rather jolting experience that had us both laughing!
Ellie said she most liked "The Boats." I am not sure if she meant the Storybook Land ride or It's a Small World both of which we rode. Ellie also met Dear Minnie Mouse, who is her favorite character!
We need to rack up some more Dream Dollars on the Disney Visa since Mitchell and Ellie are already wanting to go back. And, judging by his expression in the photo below, I would say that Todd is rip-roaring ready also...
That man just makes me laugh!
So we have some lessons we learned at Disneyland...
Keep a bit of Disney Magic in your heart this Christmas Season...
Be good to our planet 'cause we need her...
Make friends with all gorillas...
And remember, it is always good to be a little bit, well, Goofy!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
"I think those are 18-months," I commented.
"Let's see how they look," he replied.
With one great tug the jeans were on and Ellie was upright. She started to laugh and lost her balance. Unable to bend her legs, she fell over like a board. We all started laughing at that point. Daddy asked if she could stand up. She gave her legs as stiff swing and then firmly declared "No!" then she burst into a fury of giggles.
As I was walking away I heard Daddy tell Ellie, "We need to put these in the giveaway bin so I don't find them again!"
I just love that man!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
In the picture, Jason is celebrating the approaching finish line and I am cheering on the cheering sections! We made it our goal to cheer those who came to cheer us on and the response was so amazing! Our bibs were personalized, so as we clapped for those on the sidelines, they would yell support using our first names..."Way to go Jason!"; "Alright Jennifer!" It was a blast! I still get the tingles!
We were fortunate to have support from friends and family. When you find yourself miles deep in a race there is nothing better than a familiar face rooting you on!
The course was great! The breakfast at the end absolutely hit the spot! I love my shirt and my sweatshirt. It was a great adventure that I would definitely do again!
I am not sure what the next challenge will be. For now, we will keep our miles up and see what strikes our fancy. I know I am not up for the challenge of a full marathon. I wasn't envious of the runners who split from us after Mile 12 to complete the longer distance. We shouted cheers to them and were thankful the finish line for us was just around the corner. I would like to see my dear hubs and my sis-in-law in running shoes. Or, maybe even in a leg of a triathlon relay. I think we will have to see what spring brings!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
We trick-or-treated just a few houses, but the kids' pails were plenty full. We had a group of adults following the kids around. Brenda dressed up and joined the fun as an adorable witch. I love her stockings!
We spent the remainder of the evening sitting around my parents kitchen table while the kids burned off their sugar highs. Something about sitting around that table that brings out the laughter. It wasn't long before stories were being told and memories were being rehashed and we all doubled over with laughter. That kitchen table is the gathering place and could tell many stories about my funny family!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Yes, be thankful.
Be thankful that...
1. No little toes or feet were cut in the process.
2. 95% of the polish coated the tile floor...be extra thankful for Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser! The remaining 5% was split between a bathroom rug (and they are meant to be disposable right?) and the bedroom carpet (and, should we ever move, that carpet will have to be replaced anyway!).
3. The broken bottle contained a color that really didn't look good on my toes anyway.
4. Auntie Sara was visiting and was able to whisk the kiddos into the other room and keep them occupied (painting her toes!) while I attacked the mess. And, I must say Auntie Sara's toes looked downright splendid. The more polish the better right? And, who says the color on the toesies of the right foot must match that of the left foot?
5. I looked into Ellie's eyes the minute that bottle shattered. At that moment, I saw it was an accident and, honestly, what does a pink floor matter? Had I not been able to clean up all the polish (or most of it anyway!) would it have really and truly mattered? No. I see the spots of pink polish on the carpet as signs of an eventful and happy childhood in progress.
Monday, October 20, 2008
And, well, I know I wasn't sexy for certain. Sexy is the opposite of dripping sweat; a goofy gait to avoid pain; a big zit on my forehead. So, I guess sexy is out.
But fierce! Yes! I was fierce! When I ponied up at Mile 5 and told myself that the Tiffany necklace at the finish line would be mine, I was fierce! When I decided I would run through the pain in my foot and LOVE those monstrous hills, I was fierce! When I zoned out and focused only on that yellow line in the center of the road, I was fierce! So fierce is in! Fierce stays! I ran like a girl...fierce!
And, I had bunches of fun!
The race kicked off at 7:00am on Sunday. It took a full 13 minutes to cross the start line! My hubs escorted me to my pace corral and stood by me until the crowd began to move forward. He bravely brought a Starbucks sandwich into the gaggle of girls which had one woman sniffing the air. He kept the sandwich low and discreet and waited to eat it until after we all started running. My hubs was swept up for a couple steps but eventually made it to safer ground.
This race was so unlike any I have ever run before. There was the chatter of women the full 13.1 miles. There were random calls of support from runners to other runners. When the road split between the 1/2 marathoners and the full marathoners, I found myself yelling cheers and good luck wishes to the strong women doing a full 26.2 miles. There was a sense of camaraderie. The course was packed and there was definite support from runners of all different levels and ages to other runners of all different levels and ages. It was truly a great experience.
And, yes, I did earn my Tiffany necklace at the finish line! That little baby blue box was grasped tightly in my hand. I have yet to take the necklace off. It has reminded me that I can do anything no matter what obstacles I face...and also that my hubs will always be there right beside me.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
- My hubs and I round up the kids each night to say prayers. One by one we tell God what we are thankful for and send up any needs that we have or the needs of others. After her little prayer - which I know God understands verbatim - Miss Ellie says "The End" and claps her hands in delight!
- After two nights of Mitchell barely eating any of his dinner I told him, as I tucked him in at night, that we would be having a favorite of his for dinner the next night...mac and cheese with hot dogs! He bolted upright and said, "That's what I'm talking about!"
- Todd had worked in the office in the morning and when he changed into his grubbies to work on a car he left his dress socks on. When I brought the kids home from school, Ellie honed in on those socks. She ran over pointing to Todd's feet asking, "Wha hoppin?"
- Mitchell was going back and forth between a cowboy and a pirate costume for Halloween this year. I told him he needed to decide because I am not a speedy seamstress. "I know!" he exclaimed. "I will be a storm cloud!" My hubs and I looked at each other and just started laughing. Yep! It's our kid that wants to be the big Cumulonimbus. Thankfully, he has reverted back to cowboy!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
My first experience with the wall occurred while training for my marathon in 1999. During a 16-mile run I was hit with pace-wrecking fatigue. No longer would my legs take the strides I needed to complete my run. I was done. Crushingly done.
My second experience with the wall was during my last 1/2 marathon in November of 2007. I ran 8 miles strong and steady. I felt good. I felt that, though my pace was slower than I had hoped, I was going to knock out the last 5 miles with minimal pain. Then BAM! I was done. I wanted to scream! I wanted to cry! Mostly I wanted to call my dear hubs and have him pick me up and cart me home. I ran/walked...well, stumble/walked...those last, horrid 5 miles. I throbbed with pain as I crossed the finish line. I remember asking Todd why I was the only one hunched over and fretting for Ibuprofen. He was so dear and said, "You finished. Congratulations."
So today, what happened? I have no idea. I set out for 10 miles. I ran the first three like a breeze. My pace was quick, my mind was ticking. About 4 miles in I began to get a bit concerned. At 4 1/2 miles I was done. I hung my head and silently cursed myself. I was so upset with me! Then, something happened. I realized, with a great blow, that I just ran 4 1/2 miles. I ran on my own two feet, by my own sheer will. No, I didn't reach my goal for the day. But, I will reach my goal for the race. I have been so blessed with the ability and desire to run. Yes, I had a bad run, but I didn't have a bad day. I bonked, but I recovered. So I changed my thought. Instead of berating myself for only knocking out 4 1/2 miles I am delighted because today I ran 4 1/2 miles!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Then I noticed that kitschy logo that took me back to my Granny's kitchen where a snack before bedtime was a given and was always accompanied by a tall, cold glass of milk. How long had it been since I had a Hydrox cookie? Far too long I reasoned as I grabbed a packaged and tossed it in the cart.
I loaded the groceries in the car taking special care that the blue package with the old time logo sat in the seat next to me. I started the car and opened the package taking only enough time to acknowledge that the Hydrox is 100 years old this year. That is one old cookie! I ate one cookie and, could it be true? I ate another to confirm. And, yes, a third, just to make sure. It turns out the Hydrox cookie sandwich isn't all my memories made it out to be. I am definitely an Oreo girl. The chocolaty cookie part just wasn't as chocolaty and the creamy center part just wasn't as sweet and creamy as the Oreo.
That's not to say that the package of Hydrox will make it through the weekend unscathed. I feel pretty confident that all those cookies will be gone by Monday...Tuesday at the latest. They definitely are not what I remembered but I will enjoy watching the kids dunk them in tall, cold glasses of milk after their baths. Then, someday, they can reminisce about the olden days when we sat around the table as a family enjoying a bedtime snack. And, they will wonder when they last ate a Hyrdox cookie.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
"I don't know."
"What is something you have been wanting to see?"
"Hmmm... I don't know," Mitchell replied again.
"What big animals have you been wanting to see?"
"I know! Camels!"
"Camels? You want to see camels? OK, what other big animals have you always wanted to see?"
Mitchell looked at us nervously, like he is afraid to say it in case it isn't true. He squeaks out a soft little, "dinosaurs?"
"Yep! We are going to see dinosaurs!"
At this point we witness screams of excitement and a general bit of happy thrashing in the car seat!
I must say that we enjoyed Walking with Dinosaurs as much as Mitchell did. The dinosaurs were very life-like with blinking eyes and slow, plodding movements. It was easy to spot the actors in the small dino costumes and the stability bars under the bigger dinos, but I found myself so caught up in the theatrics that none of that mattered. I was so glad we splurged! We actually bought "cheap seats" but were front and center to the stage...it was perfect!
As one can imagine, Mitchell has been talking about dinosaurs non-stop since the show. It the car this morning he asked me so sincerely from the backseat, "Mommy? Can you tell me all about Walking with Dinosaurs?"
"Don't you remember sweetie?"
"Yes, but I want you to tell me what you remember and I will listen."
Aw! So cute! A budding paleontologist!
Monday, September 15, 2008
My husband, my dear sweet husband, offered to walk down the hall and turn on lights so I could at least get myself out of the house for my run. He told me the mouse was more afraid of me than I was of it. I reminded him that the mouse was watching me and that I was the one who ran away!
So I went on my run, which was difficult because I had exerted so much energy freaking out about the mouse that I was actually spent. Seriously afraid of mice! Before I headed home, I went to Walmart to buy some mouse traps. I thought Walmart would be open, but I had to wait about 30 minutes. With time to kill, I went to Starbucks and grabbed a coffee and some breakfast. As I drove back toward Walmart, I passed a dentist office in the strip mall. I noticed it because it looked like a pretty rough place to get your teeth cleaned. That is when I noticed a poster hanging in the front of this dental office. It read...and I kind you not..."Pain is fear leaving the body." What the heck!?!? What does that even mean? Who in their right mind would go there for dental work? I just have one word in response to that...NOVOCAIN!
Now I am sitting here typing as my hubs...the dear man who fears no mice...sets traps. He is so sweet he agreed to set all four traps to calm my fears. My goal now is to get a shower so I can get myself to work. This entails entering the mouse zone! My head actually hurts at the thought. I guess mice are a part of country living though I didn't think of this when I signed the mortgage papers seven years ago!
Deep breath...one foot in front of the other...here I go...
Friday, September 12, 2008
Have you ever noticed the many toilet seat options? Did you know that they have seats that are ergonomically correct for your derriere? They have wood seats, clear seats, seats that are squishy, and seats that look like they are filled with water with fish in them. The have cheap seats and they have expensive seats. And, some manufacturers make seats that are antimicrobial. Yes, and these antimicrobial seats can even go in your dishwasher. Am I missing something? Do people really wash their booty seats in the dishwasher? This makes my stomach lurch. And, if such seats have been created to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew...why would they even require such a cleansing? It disturbs me. I am a Pine-Sol and Clorox girl! The dishwasher is strictly for dishes in this household! But I digress...
My hubs was very amused at my concern that we purchase a good quality seat. And, the kids amused us both by sticking their heads through the seats hanging from the lower shelf. We knew the seats had never been used, but there is still a gross factor here. We went through a number of handi-wipes back in the car as a prelude to the baths when we got home.
I am happy to say that after laboriously looking at every type of seat on display I found a nice Kohler design to rest our buns on. We hope you will like it too should you ever visit our humble abode! It isn't antimicrobial. And it doesn't have plastic fish in it. But, it is a nice place to have a sit down and do your business.
I think it says something about my week when the topic of choice is toilet seats!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Running like the wind without a care in the world!
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I don't care how people vote so long as they get out there and cast their ballots. The right to vote is an amazing perk to being an American citizen. We get to have a say in who will run our country. The power of the people is an amazing thing.
I truly believe that if a person doesn't exercise his/her right to vote then that person loses his/her right to gripe! Why would I listen to a person bemoan American politics if that same person chooses not to have their voice be heard? I get so frustrated on election day when the voices of the few make the choices for the masses.
My husband and I always go vote together. We go first thing in the morning on our way to taking our children to preschool and nursery school. We want them to witness us exercising our right to vote. We want them to be voters when they are older. We want them to care about their town; their county; their country.
So many people think that their vote doesn't matter. Think about grains of sand or granules of sugar. If you keep taking just one grain or granule away...eventually you will be left with nothing. It will take a while, but the pile will dwindle. That is how it is with voters. As voters we need to be a part of the pile! If voters keep choosing not to vote, then the pile will dwindle and the power of the people will be lessened.
Get out there on Election Day and exercise your right as a citizen of these great United States! I will gladly argue politics with you all day long...as long as you vote. If you don't vote, don't gripe about who takes up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Friday, August 29, 2008
What does the offending attire look like? I wish I had taken a picture! He has on a yellow and blue sleeveless t-shirt with a truck on the front. He followed that with a different shade of blue shorts. Not so bad right? He then put on crew socks that he pulled up to his knees and completed the look with brown, slip-on dress shoes. I think the accessory that pushed the envelope is an old, orangey, yellow hat that I wore when I was about five-years-old. I found it in the garage while looking for something for Ellie. The hat is made of canvas that has gotten stiff with age. It is an old-school, beach-style hat that engulfs Mitchell's head like a salad bowl. The best part? It proclaims "CALIFORNIA" in bold, topsy-turvey letters. Yes, my son is styling! He has gone where fashion never dares to go! He just needs a camera slung around his neck.
But, I have to say that despite his gear, the proud smile of his face did indeed make him "very handsome" this morning!
Monday, August 25, 2008
7 - I am training to run two 1/2 marathons just one week apart from each other...and considering a third.
6 - I LOVE containers and will organize anything given the chance.
5 - I am quite shy and over compensate by acting goofy and trying to make people laugh.
4 - I love reading at bedtime...first to my children and then on my own.
3 - I would love to be published some day...children's picture book, novel...something that makes people smile.
2 - I have a learner's permit to get my motorcycle license but am nervous because I am clumsy.
1 - My daughter is two and currently calls my breasts "Mommy's Balls."
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
These past couple of weeks I have been running four days a week and I am so happy to be putting the miles on my Brooks. Between my brother and a new running buddy, I am back to running on a regular basis and am starting to reap the benefits that running gives me. It helps me sleep better at night because it alleviates much of my stress; it gives me a clear mind to focus on the challenges of the day; it provides me with endorphins which help me to feel better about myself; and, goodness, it lets me eat like an absolute cow! I do love food!
My son has a pair of sneakers that he calls his running shoes. He helped me cross the finish line in a half marathon I completed in November. He stood at Mile 13 with my hubby and daughter and grabbed my hand to run the last tenth of a mile with me. (He must have know I felt like I was going to keel over. That is the last race I will ever run without properly training!) Mitchell is looking forward to the Susan Komen event held in Fresno every year. They have a kids run and he can't wait to put on his running shoes and race the other kids. The kids' route is extremely short and they win little gold medals on pink ribbons at the end. So, at four years old, Mitchell is already collecting race day t-shirts and developing a joy for the fury of fast feet.
I know! Many of you are shaking your heads thinking there is no good reason to run unless you are being chased! I felt this way too after my son was born and I attempted to get back into my groove. It just didn't happen. It would take me 20 minutes to run/walk a mile. At the end I was so exasperated and exhausted I never wanted to run again. I hung up my kicks, seemingly for good, but after my daughter was born I began to feel the pull again. I started slowly...running around the block...running to the end of the street... And, before I knew it I was logging miles again and loving it.
My poor husband hates to run so he was thrilled when he heard my brother was also taking up the sport. It saved my husband's knees and his sanity. I love to run in the coolness of the morning and my husband is less a morning person than he is a runner. We have our bikes that we enjoy together, but running is my passion alone.
I am looking excitedly ahead to the runs I have in the next few months. I also look forward to my training which brings me so many benefits. I may not run very fast, but I can knock out a few miles on any given morning. And, I get to be an example to my children to get out there and do something! Plus, there is just joy in the ability to stretch my legs and get my blood pumping on my own terms...not because I am being chased! Goodness knows if I was being chased I would trip and fall and there is not a bit of joy in that!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday we visited my hometown and enjoyed a reunion of sorts. My parents best friends invited us all down for a day of swimming with their kids and grand kids. If you ever want to feel old, watch the little boy you used to babysit play with his own children in the pool!! Ack! In all, we had five children under 5 years old! What fun though! There were the beginning moments of shyness, but those were quickly displaced by belly laughs and squirt gun battles. Miss Ellie found herself as the only girl and rather liked flirting with all the boys...including the now grown man I used to babysit!
Miss Ellie and the boys! Mitchell, Ellie, Carter, Hunter, and Tanner
On Sunday we retreated to Hanford to spend some quality time with one of my dearest friends and her family. We enjoyed some swimming, some yummy barbecue, and some playtime for the kids. It was such a treat to relax in the pool and paddle around with the kids. I love spending time with my Hanford buddy because she is one of those rare souls who truly likes me for who I am faults and all! She is the friend who would not mind a bit if she found you rooting around in the fridge for a snack. Both Todd and I love visiting because her and her hubby's house is as comfortable to us as our house.
Cuter kids than this!?!? I think not! Little Mr. Griffin is on the left and Mitchman and Riley are on the right.