Sunday, October 31, 2010

costumes & photos!

I know that today was Halloween, but really--for us, it's a time the kids dress up in costumes and get candy!  I avoid all the scary, ghoulish stuff as much as possible.  Although, thanks to school influence Miss Rose did request a few "scary" costumes, but I told her those weren't options.

I seem to always put off sharing photos and events--which means it never happens.  So, I'm disciplining myself to share!

If I had Photoshop and the time


I would take Miss Rose from this photo...

And Gracie from this photo...

With Lily from this one...


And we'd have a super cute picture of our three little beans.  But I think all the pictures are pretty cute anyways, and capture different elements of our children.
In case you need clarification, Miss Rose is Jessie from Toy Story.  I did not get the memo to purchase costumes prior to October that most other parents got.  So in early October when we went to find a costume--they were completely out.  In stores and online.  So we settled for Woody (and got the last costume in her size in the store) and a pink Cowboy hat.

I was pretty happy this year that I already had Lily's costume and Gracie's was $3 at a yard sale and we already had the shoes (which were hand me downs).  I bought Lily's costume for her last year, but it runs huge and just fit her this year.

Speaking of Lily.  She really should have been a model for this costume.  I mean, does it get any cuter than this?

 You can't quite tell, but the tights are green and purple striped with a flower on the side.  There are also matching slippers, but we didn't want to ruin them walking outside.  Seriously adorable.

Gracie was in heaven riding this pony.  She had to do it again before the night was over.



Of course Miss Rose looked quite the part as the cowgirl.


Again, no such thing as a perfect picture with 6 kids age 6 and under.  (only the biggest cousin missing in this photo of one side of the family)


And finally, a photo taken by a friend.


It was a fun night and I love my family!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

13 things about 13 miles

I did a 13-mile training run today.  I find it interesting that I did a training run for the same distance I'll be running in two weeks for the race, but whatever.  I knew I chose an aggressive training schedule and I guess it's confirmed.  I have to run 11 miles next week--just 1 week before the half marathon.  But if it gets me anywhere near my goal, I'm happy.

So, here are my thoughts on today's run.

1.  13 is no joke.  It's not 10 miles.  It's 13.  Had I been able to stop at 10, I would have felt pretty good.  Those last 3 miles stretched on FOREVER.  It didn't help that I ended up on a very boring road at the end.  I was supposed to be on a path on the other side of the road, but I never saw the entry to it

2.  It's time to get a running belt, or at least a fanny pack.  I ran with a nylon drawstring backpack because I needed somewhere to put my keys, my power bar and my phone.  It flopped around a bit and would get lopsided.  Kind of annoying, but it did the job.

3.  It's also time for a running belt because I was THIRSTY.  I stopped a few times to drink from drinking fountains, but there were none the last 5 miles or so.  I was dying.  It was mid-afternoon by then and while not blazing hot, the sun was shining.  I figured a water bottle in the nylon backpack would have been really annoying.

4.  Morning runs are ideal.  But not possible today since it rained until about 11am.  I spent my morning w/ kids, cleaning, vacuuming etc.  Probably not the best way to spend the hours leading up to 13 miles.  Could perhaps explain why it was so tough at the end.

5.  Did I mention that 13 miles is long?  As of this moment, marathon training seems asinine.  Not that I was planning to train for one anytime soon, but it just got put off even longer.

6.  Is there a better city to live in and be a runner then San Diego? I had so many great options for my route today, running by the bay or ocean.  Cost of living is the pits, but it was so gorgeous today.

7.  I didn't get lost! I was a bit nervous about this since I was running a new route and I'm not always the best at common sense when it comes to directions.  Like I said, I did end up on the opposite side of the street at the end, but it had a running path and still got me to where I was going.

8.  Everything hurt after today.  My legs, my abs, my lower back.  I may be in a wheelchair tomorrow.

9.  I'm really thankful my Nike+ didn't end early today.  It's been doing that lately, and so I have to restart it, which is annoying.  I've been wanting a Garmin more and more.  I've proved I can be a serious runner, and Garmins are for real.

10.  I don't recommend going to Sea World for an hour with the family after running 13 miles.  Your legs will really hurt.  And your 22 month old will want to be held instead of ride in the stroller, and she'll just want to be held by you--and you'll have really tired legs. 

11.  Going for pizza with the family though, is a good idea.  I don't know if I've ever enjoyed pizza so much as I did tonight.

12.  It's hard to say which was harder--running 13 miles or changing the baby's poopy diaper as she stood in a small bathroom stall---while the 3yr old pooped on the toilet.  Honestly folks.  Did I need to have 3 daughters?  My husband gets out of SO many bathroom trips.  As I crouched on the floor, praying the diaperless baby doesn't pee on the floor with my quads on fire, it really did rival those 13 miles.  Or at least the last 3 killer ones.

13.  If I can do a training run in the middle of the day, after a night of very broken sleep involving a feverish baby in my bed, without any water access at the end, in 2 hours and 15 minutes, certainly I can do at least that well in my race.  If I come in anywhere under 2:15, I'll be very pleased.

Now please excuse me while I stretch again and then hobble to bed.  I just hope I can get out of bed in the morning.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fit Friday: the mind part 2

I just had to share this photo....tonight Gracie put on my running visor and shoes.  And she was actually running through the house in this getup.  Yes, that's the dress she was wearing all day.  She loves her frilly dresses!  And who doesn't run with two dogs under their arms.  This photo is so expressive of all the parts that make up the whole! (she has face paint on one cheek from a carnival we were at)


I know I shared last week the power my mind has over my body and the role it plays in pushing myself on those long runs.  I read something this week on the mind and how memories and patterns are formed that I thought would be an interesting addition.  Hopefully you think it's interesting too!

Our church is in the midst of a series on the book Primal by Mark Batterson.  It's about getting back to loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  I definitely recommend the book.  I'm preparing small group studies based on each section of the book and this past week I was working on "mind."  Mark Batterson has a real interest and affinity for science that shows up in his books and messages.  There was some wonderful teaching and application on loving God with our minds--but I found it applying in other areas of our lives.

Stay with me...the running connection is coming...

In the message Mark preached to his church on the topic he talked about how a memory is made--not just remembering something that happened, but establishing long-term memory, patterns and habits.  Remember when you used to cram for an exam?  An hour after the test (or even faster) the info was petty much gone.  It takes repetition over the course of time to create a long-term memory.

Think of your brain as an etch-a-sketch.  To make a thick line, you have to sketch the same line over and over again.  That's how it is in your brain.  To create a new pattern, to condition a response, you have to do it over and over again.

Over the summer I tried getting up early to run.  I would set my alarm and it would go off, and I'd turn it off.  That would happen a few times a week.  Once in a while I'd actually get up, but it didn't happen often.

This fall when my half marathon training schedule started, I was really committed to sticking to it as closely as possible.  Which meant I'd have to get up early at least once or twice a week.  The only guaranteed run time for me much of the week is the early morning.  I can intend to run after work or on a day off when Bean gets home.  But the chances of something coming up and changing those plans (including my own fatigue or laziness) is high.

It was rough at the beginning, and although I got up more than during the summer, I still hit the "off " button and rolled over at times.  But I kept setting my alarm and as the weeks went on, I got up more and more.  I was retracing those paths in my brain.

I began to wake up before my alarm sometimes.  Or I'd wake up in the middle of the night thinking my alarm was about to go off and was ready to get up and run.  What a wonderful surprise to look at the clock and find out I had a few hours more to sleep!

Now, 8 weeks into my training, the pattern is formed.  I pretty much always run on Monday mornings.  On Sunday night I'm already anticipating waking up and I even look forward to going to bed, so that I can get up and run.  Insane, I know.  But that's how I've conditioned my mind.  Even once my training is done, I'll probably continue to get up 2 mornings a week to run.

"Getting up early" for me is 5:15am-5:30am.   I usually run early on Monday and Wednesday, both days that I work.  I need to be in the shower by 6:30am in order to leave on time.  My wake up time is determined by how long I need/want to run that day.  Last Sunday was a stressful day.  Not one thing in particular, just life adding up.  I was scheduled to run 3 miles.  But I knew I needed longer to work out my stress---so I got up at 5:15 and ran 5 miles.  Oh it felt so good!

So...if you are trying to establish a pattern of exercise, keep on trying.  Keep setting that alarm.  Keep putting your exercise time on the calendar.  Set out your workout clothes.  That is the first step.  Slowly, it can become an established pattern.  Give yourself a goal to work towards.  A 5k perhaps or exercising a certain number of days in a month.

You have to find something you like. Something that challenges you but is enjoyable.  Checking out exercise DVD's from the library is one way to start.  Or your cable company might offer Exercise TV with a lot of free workouts.  Of course you know my exercise drug of choice---running!  Once this half marathon is over, I'm going to keep running, but I know I need to do more cross-training.

**update on me**
My half-marathon is just over two weeks away now.  I'm definitely excited about it.  My schedule has a 13-mile run this Saturday--basically a half-marathon distance at a slower pace.  I still need to figure out my course, but I'm determined to tackle it.  I missed 5.5 miles of my long run last week (due to time and rain) and I missed 5 miles of this week's schedule.  I'm still feeling good though.  The schedule is the ideal and I'm happy hitting 75% or better.

I think my next goal may be to tackle a shorter distance (like 10k, which is about 6 miles) and try to get faster and faster.  We have a lake near us with a running path and its a little more than 6 miles.  Maybe I'll run that every weekend through the holidays and work on getting faster with speed intervals during the week.

How was your week of exercise and activity??

Sneak peek

Last year I bought a Halloween costume online for Lily. It must have been the design from the year before because it was on super clearance. I ordered a 6-12 month because she was just under a year old.

It was HUGE! I don't know that it would fit any one year old, much less a 6 month old. I decided to just hang on to it and I borrowed a costume which I also loved, from my neighbor.

The costume is perfect for this year! And best of all Lily loves wearing it. I tried it on her last night and she was perfectly happy and quite proud to wear the hat, which is unusual for kids her age, at least my kids at that age.

In fact she was not happy when I took the costume off for dinner and was upset when I wouldn't put it back on after.

Here's a little sneak peek. The cutest Lily you ever did see! I hope it's cool on Halloween because there are striped tights to match.





I'm going to have fun showing her off!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reality

My mother-in-law was watching my children today.  She had a doctor's appointment, so I came home early.  I left one job to come to my other job.  I maybe almost a full-time employee, but I am always a full time mom.  Which is a job, and it isn't a job.  There are responsibilities that come with being a mom, which can be tiring and repetitive.  But that's the job that I love and cherish above all.  (besides being a wife to my handsome husband of course)  Sometimes I complain and get frusterated.  But still I love it.

This, is reality at my mom job.  It's the "end" of my workweek.  And we had a friend over last night, so we didn't do some of our regular "after the kids are in bed" clean up.


A sinkful (and counter-full) of dishes.  This photo almost looks vintage because of the sun streaming through the window and the super old tile and faucet.


Bean got clothes washed last night, but I didn't get it put away yet.  And various life paraphernalia.


Our bedroom.  Just messy.  

The little girls are sleeping in the other two rooms, but theirs look much the same. And the bathrooms too.  All of this is cleaned up in probably less than an hour.  In fact I've already done the dishes and the clothes are now folded on a made bed, waiting to be put away.

This is reality.  Pretty typical.  Small kids.  Small home.  Two working parents.  Full life.

Most of the time, I'm okay with it.  Sometimes, it drives me crazy and makes me feel like a complete failure.  But I have to resist perfection on the outside and focus first on loving my kids well and doing my jobs well. 

Even Jesus had dirty feet.  {because he walked all day in the dirt, you know}

I'm linking up for the first time with Working Mommy Wednesday over at Work, Wife, Mom...Life.  It's always wonderful to find other working moms who are making it work just like me!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fit Friday: mind games

I truly believe that fitness, especially running, is mostly a mind game.  Our bodies are capable of far more than we give them credit for.  The human body has changed over the course of time, adapting to various environments.  But still we are prime for physical exertion.  Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers.  They had to walk countless miles through their life.  The whole reason we run marathons is historical legend.

Yes, extra weight and lack of physical activity can make exercise hard or uncomfortable.  But once it becomes more of a habit, the challenge you face at increasing your fitness level is more about your mind than it is your body.  Your body is primed and ready to respond to whatever you demand of it.

When I started training for the half-marathon in November, I was running 2-3x a week, averaging probably 8-10 miles a week.  I would occasionally get in a longer run of 5-6 miles, but mostly my "long" runs were 4 miles.  The first week of my training schedule was a total of 21 miles, more than doubling my average.

I put my body to the challenge, and it met it. 
I said to my legs run, and they said how far. 
I said to my lungs expand, and they said for how long. 
I said to my mind you can do this. 
And my mind said, I don't know.  But if the legs are going to pump and the lungs are going to expand, I will do my best to keep up.
So I turned up the music, and ran to the beat and didn't give my mind much of a choice.

Last Saturday after running over 10 miles (thanks to a Nike+ that messed up at the end)...
My legs were a little numb and jello-like.  But after some stretching, they carried me through the rest of the day.  They were sore walking up stairs or chasing a child, but it was more of a discomfort not a pain.
My lungs said, if we needed to, we could go a little further.  (Good, because you do!)

And my mind said, wow.  We really did this.
I was amazed that I had just run for almost two hours.
While in some ways it felt like I had, in other ways it didn't.
Because my body was made to be used like this.  And I think my mind is catching up.

All of the sudden, running those 13.1 miles doesn't seem so bad.  And my goals are more in reach.  I still may not hit that ultimate goal of a 2-hour half marathon, but barring injury or some other odd circumstance, I will get pretty close.

Your body, it is strong.  It will rise to the occasion. 
The first few miles are always the hardest for me.  But once I get past the second mile, I start to find my groove.  Those early aches and pains and stiffness fades.  My muscles are warm.  I feel fluid.

Your legs, they will carry you.  Your lungs will pull in the oxygen and feed it to your muscles.
It's your mind that says you can't.  It's your mind that doesn't want to.

Your mind, that's where the battle is. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

running through my head

I'm a processor.  That's for sure.  This is one of the places I like to process things.  Hence, what's running through my head.

We met a dog today.  We've been talking on and off about getting a dog and Bean has pretty much promised the kids we'd get one.  We're still waiting to receive a grant that will enable us to do more upgrades on our house.  Our line has been "we'll look for a dog when construction is done."  But we've been waiting for almost a year now.  {love county programs}  We found out about a free golden retriever and decided to meet him.  He's sweet and beautiful.  But he hasn't had much formal training and needs to be neutered.  My friend who loves goldens and has one, says they are people-pleasers, and are easy to train.  But we still aren't sure.

It's major crack-down time on Miss Rose's attitude.  I really need a manual with this girl.  She's so disrespectful to adults that are family, including us.  She is sassy and has attitude.  We correct her all the time, and discipline, but it's not working.  I'm honestly at a loss as to how to get through to her on this.  The last few days have been a bit better with a privilege tomorrow on the line.  But it's so exhausting.

I need Gracie's manual too.  Miss Rose's attitude has a direct influence on her.  She's a feisty one lately.  Part is just being 3.5 I think, but she sees and hears her sister.  And so does Lily.  I've observed her copying the pouting and protests.  Not good.

I'm going to be a parent helper on Miss Rose's field trip to the pumpkin patch on Thursday.  She is very excited because it's her first field trip ever, and her first ride on the school bus.  She's very excited about me going as well.  As a working mom, I don't get to volunteer regularly in her classroom, so I try to do a few special events during the year. Even though I have two weekdays off, it means paying for additional childcare for the little ones.  I'm sure it will be insane (the entire first grade is going) but lots of fun

Sometimes I feel like I still live in a dorm, or a college apartment.  We are still in the process of figuring out systems and routines in this home.  Yes, we've lived here almost two years--but a lot has gone on in those years, not leaving much time.  Our 2nd bathroom was finally completed thanks to my brother, but we need to get shelving and storage in it.  Our sink and the toilet tank are covered in bathroom paraphernalia that doesn't have a place to go.  Our bed has never had a bedskirt.  We have a very unorganized book shelf.  There is always random stuff on the kitchen counter.  I really want a buffet or console unit or small dresser for the living room that will provide covered storage, drawers and still be classy.  Someday...

Lily has the worst habit of waking up randomly and crying.  Usually after a minute of consolation she goes back in her bed and to sleep.  But it happens a few times an evening, and sometimes through the night.  I'm not sure why she cries.  And I wonder if our consolation only perpetuates the issue.  But she's my last baby and I hate hearing her cry.  {she's crying right now...hence this paragraph.  I want to see if she'll go back to sleep on her own, but I'll probably give in soon and go in.  Or send Bean in.}

I'm scheduled to run 6 miles tomorrow.  My Wednesday runs have to be in the morning due to evening church.  The actual running of those miles isn't a problem, it's the time required.  I'll finish in under an hour, but then it's a mad rush to have Ella ready for school and myself ready for work.  I'm so lucky that Bean does a lot before he leaves.  He gets Miss Rose up and going and whatever else is needed.

So, that's what's been running through my head.  What's running through yours?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

*ten*

There are still hours left in this day, but I'm pretty confident I'll be able to label it a Perfect 10.  It's been a wonderful day, in many ways!

The kids slept until 7am today.  That's pretty unheard of for a weekend.  We (usually Bean) wakes Miss Rose up at 6:30am for school, and since Gracie shares a room with her--she gets up too.  Lily usually sleeps (or at least stays in bed until 7am).  Even on weekends the kids are often up by 6:30.  Last week, or was it a few weeks ago they were up at 6am on a Saturday because Miss Rose's allergies were bothering her.  That was brutal!

A good 10-mile training run today!  Spent an hour or so with the family and got some food and water in me--then headed out.  Even though I've run 9 miles, 10 miles is still intimidating.  My course out is challenging--I have to run up some decent inclines for the first 3 miles or so.  I've learned I never feel that great for the first few miles.  Once I get past 2 or 2.5 miles I'm more in my stride.  I brought a few pieces of Power Bar with me today to eat at the halfway point and that really helped.  I was classy and put them in a plastic bag, which I tucked in my shorts. I don't want to buy a running belt--and I don't really like wearing one either (I've borrowed one before).  My method worked and I was pretty proud of myself.

I'm feeling more confident about the half marathon next month.  It's weird, but 10:30 is a pace I have a really hard time running.  I just can't find a groove there.  I usually end up with my long runs being around a 10:00min pace.  Today I think I was just under 10:00.  If I can do that pace on an "easy" run that involves hills--certainly I can stick with around a 9:30 (or less??) pace on race day--which is flat and easy.

I ran by a yard sale with a lot of kid stuff during my first mile and was excited on my way back 90 minutes later, that the stuff that caught my eye was still there.  After I got home the two older girls and I drove over to check it out.  We came home with a princess castle and figurines, a princess costume (for Gracie for Halloween), an Aquadoodle mat, and bath flutes (don't ask... I didn't realize what I was buying) for $10.  All this after yesterday I tweeted about too many toys.  Oh well.  We have too many toys the kids don't play with (and I made a no stuffed animal rule for the yard sale) and these are things they will get use of.

My sister showed up unexpectedly and it was nice to visit with her for a bit.  Her job brings her into the area for the week so hopefully I will see her a few more times and I'm trying to talk her into a long (slow) run with me next week.  She's running the same half marathon, but has been super busy at work and hasn't been able to train much.

It was a drizzly morning and its a gray day.  Perfect for staying indoors and put-zing around.  Bean cleaned out the van, because he loves that stuff.  Well, he doesn't love cleaning but he loves a clean van.  We're going to a Pop Warner football game this evening to cheer on the cheerleaders (obvs one is a frield!)

Yup, I'd give this day a perfect 10.  It was just what we needed.  I'll take another please!

And just because...

Me and my babies a few weeks ago.  We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful city!


And not to leave her out, here is Miss Rose, refusing to join us in the picture. 


Have a great rest of your weekend!  Hope you have a perfect 10 day too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fit Friday: What's the bottom line?

You aren't going to stay motivated, you aren't going to keep exercising and moving unless you have a good bottom line.  And I'm not talking about that bottom.  Although exercising does help that bottom line look a little better and be a little firmer.  But I digress.

Maybe you are exercising to lose weight.  Maybe your doctor suggested it.  Love it, hate it, you're doing it.  Or maybe you want to do it, you need to do it, but you're struggling to keep it going.

Here is my bottom line.  Well, there are a couple.

I exercise because I want to be healthy.  I want to set a good example for my children.  I love to eat, and running means I my metabolism works better and my body needs extra calories--which all mean YUM.  I exercise because I want to feel good about myself.  I need to feel good about myself.  I run because it's a stress-reliever.

I love my dad...but he didn't take good care of himself.  He was doctor and medicine phobic, as many men are.  He also loved food, worked multiple jobs, slept little and probably felt a ton of stress.  All that together with some genetics thrown in was a recipe for disaster.  That disaster was a massive stroke 11 years ago, at age 47.  A huge blood vessel burst in his head standing in the produce section of the grocery store we now live 2 blocks away from.

The stroke should have taken his life.  Instead, it took use of his left arm and hand completely and most of the use of his left leg.  It changed a lot of his brain pathways, although it left his memory intact.  He spent 5 years in rehabilitation and convalescent living before being able to live at home again.  He will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.  We are so thankful though, that he is alive and is doing well.

That is a huge part of why I run.  He didn't set the best examples.  Cheez-its with cheddar cheese melted on top should not be a regular part of one's diet.  Don't 'cha think?  Second dinners at 9pm?  Notsomuch.  My siblings and I have all struggled with weight--mostly 20-25lbs, not the hundreds that he dealt with.  But still, we have struggled.  I don't want my kids to have that struggle.

So I run.  Because when I run I want to feel good and sluggish, so I must fuel my body with nutritional foods (of course with treats here and there).

My husband loves me and according to what he says is very attracted to me.  When I talk about wanting to change my body, he says he likes the way my body looks and feels.  (I still think he wouldn't mind if I had a little less of a belly.) 

But I want to feel about my body the way he does.  And running helps me with that.  I feel lean and strong.  It keeps me from gaining weight.  Because if I didn't have discipline in running and eating--I would definitely gain weight.  It still doesn't come natural.  I'm an emotional eater and I love sugar.

I've shared before how running is a major stress and anxiety reliever for me and keeps me sane in a crazy life. 

I will always be an exerciser.  The last 6 years have pretty much established that.  I'd like to think I'll always be a runner, but maybe I'll get into something else.  Right now running is most convenient and very enjoyable. 

I've figured out my bottom line.  What's yours?

the hook up

We are blessed to get a lot of "hook-ups" in life.
I believe this is one way God provides for our needs and blesses us with "wants" because we are faithful and obedient in our giving to him.

This was a couple weekends ago when went to the mountains with good friends we don't get to see nearly often enough. We rented this HUGE house for peanuts! HUGE= to die for top of the line kitchen, 4 bedrooms with full bathrooms complete with jacuzzi tubs and showers.
The kids favorite part is this huge coffee table they play on, sit on, walk on.
Me and the Bean. These are the friends who gave Bean his nickname long ago. Mateo (aka Matato) only calls him "Beaner" which bothered Gracie a little--"his name is Daddy!"
Who knew, when these guys started calling their buddy "Beaner" that he would one day fall in love with a girl nicknamed Beana and they would have a little Bean Family.


What a great table for Legos! We love having Uncle K there too. He loves playing with the kids.


I want to go back already. Even though I had to care for a very sick Lily much of the time, doing it in a nice big luxurious house made it not so bad!
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

heavy

Bear with me.  This could be a long one.  So much is spilling out of my heart and it will be good medicine for me to record it here.

There seems to be so much loss these days.  The brother of a childhood friend drowned tragically last week.  I've watched too many friends lose babies in pregnancy the last few years.   With young children, that hits so close to home.

Yesterday around noon I received word that dear friends needed prayer as their full-term baby's heartbeat couldn't be found.  I prayed.  Oh how I prayed.  Certainly my prayers were for life.  But I knew regardless, they would need prayer.  I waited.  And the longer I waited, the grimmer it seemed.

And I realized, the word prayer sometimes is so generic.  We throw it around casually and quickly.  "I'll pray for you."  "I will keep that in prayer."  And we do pray, we say a few words, and we move on.  But prayer is so much more than that.  It is beseeching, interceding, crying out, calling heaven down.  Isn't that what we want?  For the God of heaven to come down and intervene.  To do the impossible.  Like Elijah calling down fire from heaven to consume the drenched altar. 

That.  That is prayer.  And I know those were the types of prayers being lifted up yesterday and through the night.

And then this morning they shared, their precious baby girl had been born to them but delivered into Jesus' arms.  I got chills just now typing that.  My heart just aches for them.  A long-awaited sister for their 3-yr old son.  A baby who's gender they had waited to find out.  A little girl they won't see grow up. 

The outpouring of love has begun.  I appreciate how Facebook facilitates the surrounding of friends in prayer.  Friends who otherwise wouldn't learn so quickly of loss and the need of prayer.  At times I know people desire privacy as they deal with difficult things and I always want to respect that.  But I consider it a privilege to pray for loved ones in their deepest time of need.

It's not fair.  It's not right.  It hurts.  It makes my heart ache.  In so many ways.  These are dear, close friends of the heart.  The kind of friend you may not see or even communicate with on a regular basis, but still you know them because you know their heart and you have so many shared experiences.

It's times like these we come together.  When life hurts, we are there for one another.  I pray.  Oh how I still am praying.  For the presence of God to be so palpable each day. 

For I know, it's for His glory.  It's all about Him.  It always seems like these tragedies occur to those who deserve so much more.  The thought struck me today, that God chooses to use his most humble and obedient instruments for his glory.  Those who will rely on him and cling to him.  Those who will glide on grace and receive his mercies.  I think of John 9 when the disciples wanted to know why the man was born blind and Jesus says "it happened so the work of God might be displayed."

I don't know what work God desires to display through this tragedy.  But I know that he will.  And I know that my friends will be incredible vessels for it to come through.  Does that mean it will hurt any less?  Absolutely not. 

But if we don't have faith, if we don't have Jesus, then what do we have?  We have no lens through which to see such tragedy.  We have no promise of redemption.  Because he always redeems.  Nothing returns void.  Everything is for a purpose

Another dear friend said of the loss of her unborn son, "We can't pretend to see His hand, but we are desperately clinging to Him because we know He is the only way through this kind of hurt and pain."

Yesterday after I received the initial information, the next two songs that played on my Pandora station were "Arms of Love" and "Draw Me Close."  Songs I sang with the same friends on a worship team in the late 90's.  In fact, they sang "Arms of Love" at our wedding.  Newer songs usually play on my Pandora.  I felt like it was God's whisper.  And it became my prayer for them.  That they would feel drawn close to Jesus, wrapped in his arms of love, holding them near.

I think of the quote from Narnia about Aslan, "He isn't safe, but he is good."

Where would we be without Jesus in times like these?  I don't want to find out.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Whacha wanna know?

My good friend answered some questions on her blog and I figured, why not join in the fun!  It's just taken me forever to get it out of draft status!

1. Where were you born?
Seattle, WA.  I lived in Washington until I was almost 9.  I've only been back a couple times since.  From what I remember, I did like living there.  But now I'm pretty much a So Cal girl!
2. What is your idea of the perfect job/ If you could do anything, what would you choose?
Right now, probably being a stay at home mom.  As my girls get older and don't need so much hands-on love, I'd love write--lead worship--do missions--teach Bible--do medical work--and sometimes just be a mom.  If you ever see that job description advertised, let me know.

3. What is your favorite food?
Just one?  Mexican.  Especially a piping hot bean&cheese burrito with the perfect red sauce on top. 
4. If you had a day all to yourself, what would you do?
Sleep in, drink Starbucks, read, blog, shop, take a nap, get a mani/pedi, and meet my family for dinner & dessert :)

5. What is your favorite restaurant?
Oooh, there are so many categories of favorite.  Bean &I often end up at Outback on date nights.  We also love Spaghetti Factory.  Ruth's Chris steaks are pretty amazing.  And I love a wrap at Sammy's Woodfired Pizza right now.
6. What is your least favorite chore?
Dishes.  Just ask Bean.  He does most of them.  I prefer to let them pile.  He prefers to do them 45 time a day.  [reading between the lines: we have no dishwasher.  Unless you count Bean.]
7. What is your favorite movie of all time?
All time?  Braveheart.  You've Got Mail.  
As you can see, it's almost impossible for me to choose just one of anything.

8. What is your happiest childhood memory?
Playing with my siblings.  We played a lot of pretend games.  We played outside a lot.  We built things and used our imaginations!

Do you have any questions you'd like me to answer?  Leave them in the comments and I'll answer!
Ok.  Now it's your turn.  But I think I'm going to make up new questions for you.  If you decide to play along, put your link in the comments.

1.  What is one goal you have in the next 5 years?
2.  If you could purchase an entire outfit--head to toe--what would it be?
3.  What country do you want to visit and why?
4.  What is your favorite See's Candy?
5.  What music are you listening to most frequently right now?
6.  What's the last thing you did for yourself?
7.  What time do you wake up in the morning?
8.  What kind of jammies do you wear?
9.  What is your outlet?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Funnies

I prepared this post, then never got to link up on Friday, so I figured I'll just do it now!
 
I actually remember a few funny things my kids said this week, so I'm linking up with my lifelong friend over at Triple Blessing!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have caught this earlier in the week.

You may think this is going to be about Gracie.  But no, it's about the girl in the skirt.

This weekend we were in the mountains for a few days.  On Friday morning we headed out for a walk around the town.  Really it was a walk to the candy store where Bean and I found out what we've been missing in caramel apples.  Yum!  Anyhow, Miss Rose had dressed herself in a skirt and tank top.  She has been venturing more into the world of skirts.  As we leisurely walked down the street Miss Rose said "Mama, I'm not wearing any panties."  WHAT!  She just "didn't feel like it."  Luckily she kept it tame while we were out and about.  When we got back to the house she took a flying leap off a couch--and well, you know.  Bean insisted it was time for panties at that point.

**TMI Alert!**
Miss Rose has asked me before what tampons were for.  I've been able to answer really vaguely and trail off without truly answering her.  Yesterday Lily walked out with one in her hand, Miss Rose following and laughing.  She said to me "I know what those are for.  X told me."  "Oh really, what did she tell you?"  "She said that blood comes out of your bottom when you have too many babies."  Hmmm...well, that's all a 6yr old needs to know in my book.  My sister-in-law tells her son they are mommy band-aids.  Love that one!

Lily...everything she says these days is funny because she is just learning to talk.  One of my favorite things though is when we are in the car and turning a DVD on.  Lily is still rear-facing, but if she turns her head she gets a view of the movie.  I control the DVD from the front, but of course can't see the screen.  We skip the previews and go to the menu.  When the menu comes up, the girls love to call out "menu" to me so that I push play.  I never push play fast enough for them--or the DVD player doesn't respond as quickly as they'd like.  So they yell "menu" over and over again until the movie starts.  It's real fun.  For a few months now, Lily has been joining in.  Although even after the movie starts, she still says "menu--menu--menu" over and over again.  You know you want to to go for a ride with us!


Gracie gets my award for the week though.  We spent our time in the mountains with friends, who have a son named Mateo.  We don't see them as often as I'd like, so even though Gracie has met him and played with him before, this was the first time she forged a true friendship with him.  But she had a little trouble with his name.  In the past, she has called him "Potato."  But all weekend she called him "Mateto" (rhymes with Potato).   He's 4, and he would catch it every so often and correct her.  We laughed all weekend!!

Check out the other Friday Funnies this week!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fit Friday rides again

I'm back!!!  I may ramble a bit, but I'm gonna post about fitness for the first time in a few weeks.

I've mentioned it before, but this is the first time I've ever followed a race training program.  It's my fourth half marathon however.  The furthest I'd run before my first half marathon was under 6 miles.

I'm learning some stuff about running and myself in this process.

1.  Missing a scheduled run is painful.  "It's on the paper, so I must do it."  That's the mentality I've discovered I have.  Missing a day of planned exercise hasn't ever been that big of a deal to me.  Especially since my life is full and unpredictable.  But missing a day of training rattles in my brain until my next run.  It grates on my nerves.  Overall, I'm doing really well in my training.  I may miss a short run here and there, but I've only missed one long run.  I know it's not that big of a deal.  But it's been interesting.

2.  Training makes me hungry.  It's not so much the individual runs, but it's the accumulation of them.   For instance, this week I ran Monday, Wednesday and today.  A total of 14 miles.  And I just can't get full today.  I'd been hoping to take advantage of the calorie burning and lose a few more inches around the belly--but it's not worth it enough for me to go that hungry.  I could, but I just don't want to.  I do feel a difference in my body as a result of all the running, which is enough for now.  (um, it's 9pm and I could eat a lot more.)

3.  Morning running is becoming more addicting.  It's just my only sure run.  Tuesday I was supposed to run three miles.  But Lily ended up in bed with us and my sleep was a little disrupted.  I thought--it's 3 miles, I can do that this evening.  But then Gracie came down with a stomach bug.  And I had to come home early from work.  And Bean had to work late.  And I had a sick toddler and a cranky baby.  And by the time everyone was in bed, I was exhausted.  And I was wishing I had run in the morning.  I was off work today.  But I still was on the treadmill at 6am for my 4 miles.  I knew I would enjoy the rest of the day so much more not worrying about when to get my run in.

4.  I'm trying to kick Diet Coke again.  For reals.  For good.  I've gone without at several points in my life, but it always comes back.  I blame my parents for drinking gobs of it while I was growing up.  I blame my college for having it on tap in the cafeteria and giving me a huge mug to take out of the cafe.  At that point in life I didn't drink much coffee, and so Diet Coke was often my breakfast beverage.  My goal right now is every other day.  I'm craving it less.  It honestly doesn't taste all that good to me anymore.  But there is something about the cold, sweet (although I taste the fake sweet) bubbles.  It's not the caffeine I have issue with.  It's the chemicals and aspertame.  And my kids are already intrigued by it, which I don't like.  I don't want to pass this on to them.

5.  There are other listening options while running besides music.  I have some downloaded audio books and I decided to give a try to listening while running.  I don't know how it would be to listen while street running, but I'm enjoying the change up when I'm on the treadmill.  My favorite by FAR is Stuff Christians Like by Jon Acuff.  He reads the book, and the material as well as his delivery is pure genius.  Don't listen (or read) though if you don't want your cozy little Christian world rocked.  I'll probably post on that at a later time.  I have a couple more books (all I've downloaded for free here.)

6.  I can see myself becoming more and more of a runner.  If I can find a partner or be brave enough, I can see myself running at o'dark-thirty in the morning.  I can see myself training and completing half marathons and marathons.  I LOVE my Runner's World Magazine.  I'm a routine-oriented person who likes having a plan and being organized.  I'm not super anal about it, but that's how I function best. 

A recent article I read in Runner's World opened with this line: "Runners live by the clock."  Something clicked when I read that.  I think that's a big part of why I thrive on running.  It requires routine and discipline.  There are schedules and plans.  I can use my Nike+ to gauge my pace, distance, time. 

The only way I survive life as a working mom with young kids is to plan.  Things may not always go according to plan, but it helps my frame of mind to at least have one.  Running fits perfectly into this way of living.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

dull?

I think I may change my blog name to Never A Dull Moment.  Because honestly, there isn't one.  Although I'd really like a dull moment, or a lot of dull moments.

I figure its this way for everyone with kids, young kids, many kids.  Please tell me it's true.  So often, when I recount whats going on in my life I feel like people look at me funny.  But honestly, I want a dull life.

So Lily was sick all last weekend.  Sunday morning was finally her last fever.  Which reminds me, I didn't give her the antibiotic before bed.  Sigh.  Should be real fun to give it to her while she's asleep.

Tuesday morning started out just lovely, when I couldn't find my house & work keys.  My car keys detach from them and I usually have to trade cars with my mother-in-law when she watches the kids.  I remembered Lily trying to use the keys on the door and being mad that she couldn't reach and I wouldn't lift her up.  I scoured the house in the usual spots, but no dice.  Luckily I live in an ok area, my parents are next door and Bean was coming home at lunch for an appointment.

While in my weekly Tuesday meetings I get texts that Gracie has a tummy ache and Bean has decided to get the girls when he comes home.  I offer to come home after my meetings so he can go back to work.  I spent the afternoon working while Gracie and Lily slept.  Gracie had some little stomach bug that caused some trips to the bathroom and one vomit.  And a night in mom and dad's bed.

My sister in law, who watches the kids on Wednesdays was sick--and we also didn't want to risk Gracie spreading any germs.  I got up and went to work from 7:30am-10:30am.  Came home and Bean went to work.  In between caring for kids, I worked another solid 3 hours.  It is nice that I can work from home often.  Although I always feel bad for my assistant when I do because she gets about eighty-thousand emails from me. 

There were a couple things I forgot at work.  Like email lists on my computer that I HAD to send emails to.  So when Bean got home at 5:30, I headed back to work for another hour+.  Got home, inhaled some dinner and finished helping Bean get kids in bed.

Did I mention that today is our 9th anniversary?  We didn't have any plans, especially since it's the middle of the week and we are broke anyways.  But still, it's been a long, stressful day.  Thankfully Gracie woke up and was pretty much back to normal.  She ate and played most of the day as always.  

Tomorrow Lily has a well-baby check.  I'm thrilled that they won't play Twenty Questions about her not walking, since she has been walking a few months now.  But she's supposed to get shots.  Which should make her super happy the rest of the day.  She's doing a lot of whining and complaining and demanding lately.  I pretty much want to put her on the street corner in a box by the end of most days.  Yet somehow, I love her so fiercely.

Once again, life has sucked the blog out of me!  I'd rather blog about fun stuff!

Someday it will be dull, and I'll look fondly back to these days.

Right?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

helllooo out there

I think it's Winnie the Pooh who says that line often in the Hundred Acre Wood.

Tonight I'm calling out hello to you from my own Hundred Acre Wood.  Blogging time has been scarce as of late.  I miss writing out my thoughts and sharing my little family and life.

*a few snippets from life*

Miss Rose has been experimenting with her feminine side--wearing more skirts and jewelry.  School picture day was last week and I thought perhaps this year she'd wear something cute.  In her Pre-K photo she wanted to wear her school tshirt.  Last year it was a tshirt with a dog on it.  We chose a skirt and cute shirt with a flower the night before.  And I believe she did put it on at first.  The next thing I knew, she was wearing a tshirt with a silly owl on it, with the skirt of course.  I couldn't really convince her to change back--and it wasn't a fight worth fighting.  Oh well, maybe next year.

Speaking of skirts, this weekend Miss Rose headed out in a skirt, and then told me that she wasn't wearing any underwear.  She just "didn't feel like wearing any."  Um, hello!  Kinda required with a skirt.  It's one thing to go commando in shorts or pants (not that I would endorse it) but a skirt??  Luckily she stayed tame on the outing.  But once we got back she did some jump off the furniture, exposing herself--to which Bean insisted she go put panties on.

Lily is giving us a run for our money.  She was pretty sick from Wednesday night on.  As in a fever of 104.9 on Thursday.  That's not a fun number to see on the thermometer.  I took her in to the doctor and she had the beginnings of an ear infection.  She started antibiotics that night, but ran a fever all weekend.  She was either grumpy or clinging to me.

We spent a few days in the mountains this weekend with some good friends.  It's our third time renting a particular house with these friends and just spending time together.  It was relaxing and fun.  Except for the sick baby part.  But I'd rather be taking care of a sick baby in a super nice, big house full of people we love instead of at home.

I've missed my last few Fit Friday blogs.  I'm plugging along with my training.  I did miss my long run this weekend due to our trip and Lily being sick.  I had wanted to run while we were there--but vacation and time together was the goal and I wasn't going to cram something in that wasn't easily happening.

Bean and I celebrate 9 years of marriage this week!  Since we were just out of town this weekend, that will be our main celebration although I'm sure we'll try to get out for a date sometime. I wish we were buying an iPad for our anniversary.  One of our friends were with this weekend is a teacher and was given one to use in her classroom and we all had so much fun with it!  But we are really trying to hone in on paying off debt, so stuff like that just has to wait.

Well, I need to go put away laundry that's covering our bed, so that we can go to bed.  Hopefully I'll be back to this little blogging space before too long this week!