Sunday, January 31, 2010

Training Week 7, Marathon 2

I am spending more time doing cardio then I did when I was running 30 miles a week. I'm waffling with the idea of the cross training getting me ready for a marathon. I just came to the conclusion that if I'm not ready to run in April there's always one in July. But I'm going to keep pressing forward, because there are definite benefits to the exercise and I like to work towards a goal. So I am pushing on. I have felt a little waterlogged, been a little pruny.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: Dick's Sporting Goods, shopping for volleyball shoes
Whitney has one black and one white Asics on. She will only pick white or black because they have to match each uniform.

Me: Which ones do you like better?
Whitney: I don't know.
She runs around the track
Me: So which ones do you like better?
Whitney: I don't know.
She takes them off and drags them along the floor to check traction.
Me: Soooo, which ones do you like better?
Whitney: I don't know.
Me: I played volleyball for 25 years and never had a pair of volleyball shoes. I just played in regular tennis shoes.
Whitney: But it's a whole different generation and a different level of volleyball.
I was all state in high school.
Maddi: I wish I could say that to my mom. She always says "When I was a kid..."
Whitney rubs the bottom with her thumbs to see which ones have better traction.
Me: Which ones do you want? WE.NEED.TO.GO.
Whitney: Which ones do you like?
Me: The black ones.
Whitney: Okay

The black ones were $15.00 cheaper. This is all I based my decision on.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Breaking all the rules

I hate to see parents teaching their kids that rules don’t apply to them. I have some kids of my own that seem to think they can live outside of the law and morality and that everything will be okay. I think (HOPE) they are discovering that they are wrong. There are some things as grown ups that we know are non-negotiable. Show up to work or lose your job. Pay your bills or have stuff repossessed, shut off, etc. Clean the house or…well, this is open to a lot of possibilities that are not good. Get your kids to school or deal with truancy and child services. I could go on, but I know you all know this as well as I do.
What is bothering me is seeing parents allow their children, even encourage them to break rules and say it’s not a big deal. This example is minor, I don’t really even care how it affects me, but I have seen this several times in the last couple weeks. In fact, every time I have been at the Y and used a locker room. The Y has family locker rooms with large changing areas and bathrooms and showers. They have mens locker rooms 18 and up, boys locker rooms 17 and under, womens locker rooms 18 and up and girls locker rooms 17 and under. I don’t really care if you bring your under 18 year old daughter in the locker room with you, even if I’m in there, except it’s posted about 10 places not to. What I do have a problem with is hearing a mother tell her daughter who points out the sign that it’s okay for her to break the rules. It really isn’t. The daughter wanted to do the right thing. Was worried someone would say something or that she would get in trouble, and the mom told her it didn’t matter.
I know kids do a lot of things that they know they shouldn’t and that they have been told not to. So with this in mind, why would a parent knowingly break the rules in front of their kids? Give them permission to? I know we aren’t perfect, goodness knows I am the poster child for messing up. If you can do it wrong, I did. HOWEVER, I feel I must confess here that the majority of the time I was doing things exactly opposite the way I had been raised. The opposite of everything I had been taught. And if I did this knowing I was breaking rules and there would be consequences, what will happen to kids who think the rules don’t apply to them? It’s not okay to drive without your seat belt, even the last 3 blocks home from Kwik Shop. It’s not okay to text while you drive. It’s not okay to drink under the age of 21 just because you are in your parents home. It’s not okay to go through the express checkout lane with 21 items.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Treasured Memories

"But his mother treasured all these things in her heart." Luke 2:51
This verse is talking about Mary and Jesus. This is right after they had to return to Jerusalem when he was 12 because he stayed behind, and they found him in the Temple.
I have scrap books of my kids. Tons of pictures. And I'm not really that good at scrapbooks (and I'm years behind) and anymore most of my pics come from my blackberry or Steve's Iphone. I did check the ads yesterday for a new camera, and Best Buy has some deals...
Anyway, some of my favorite memories of my kids don't have pictures. These are old memories, but they are in focus, as if they just happened yesterday. Some of them only exist in my mind. No one else was there, or if they were they didn't see just how special the moment was. Some come with tangible reminders, a gift bought they bought for me for no good reason out of money earned mowing yards. Something you didn't want, need, or have any use for but it still holds a place of honor on your dresser because of the thought behind it. (Pause with me for a moment while I wipe the tears from my eyes as I think about the cell phone holder that is shaped like an armchair with water and fish in it that you can shake up). I still have these moments with my kids. Even though my kids are adult size.
It's important to me to have these memories, because the nature of raising children is to prepare them for life on their own. I certainly don't want them still living in my house when they are 30. But it's a process. They don't just at 21 decide they are old enough and ready to move out and be independent. It's a process that starts with birth. They are constantly growing into this independence. When they stop bottle/breastfeeding. When they begin to feed themself. When they are no longer in diapers. When they take their own showers, brush their own teeth, fix their own cereal and sandwiches. Then they make some money and get to spend it or save for something big, their decision. They learn to drive, even though there are a lot of conditions on where they go, what they do, who with, etc. And hopefully, someday, they become a grown up and you get to have a new kind of relationship with them.
I often wonder what Mary thought during the time of Christ's crucifixion. What a horror that must have been to live through. She of all people had to believe the prophecy that he was the Messiah, but even knowing this, that had to be the worst kind of torture. We are told a couple of times that Mary kept memories. It's nice to know that while she was the mother of the Messiah, she was also a mother, just like many of us today who treasured memories.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Training Week 6, Marathon 2

Tuesday I decided to try the pool running. I almost didn't, because first of all I knew I was going to feel like an idiot running from one side of the pool to the other. And then I got there without shower shoes or shampoo or a comb. I knew that I still make excuses not to exercise, so in I went. First lap down the side of the pool I was running, it was kind of fun. Back up the other way and I discovered I had chosen to run where the water is pumped in. I got 3 feet from the end and was running as hard as I could, pumping my arms, leaning forward, and the current from the water rushing in was moving me backward. It ended up being a very tough work out, and it went really quick, I ran for 45 minutes and it didn't seem near that long. And it was hard.
Then on Saturday I decided I was ready to run. Maybe not ready, but really wanted to. I have a friend who is training for a 10K in April and she just started running in December, but it has all been indoor and she wanted to try outdoors. So I told her I'd run with her. 4 miles in the Kansas wind. I'm used to it, 15 mph winds with gusts of 25 for one mile. She did an amazing job, but then I knew she would, because she is a strong person. She's still waiting to decide if she really likes running.
My heel was great, I did my other training in the pool, running in the lap pool. It goes from 5 feet at one end to 8 feet at the other. So I ran until the water was too deep and then I swam. I'm exhausted. I did a few laps where I kept running even though my feet didn't tough the ground. I'm sure it was comical to watch, but it was work to move my legs and arms like I was running and keep my head above ground. I'm even beginning to question my sanity. But it was kind of fun.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney: We have to dress up for school tomorrow for the first basketball game. (She's a manager for the boys team).
Me: What are you going to wear?
Whitney: My destroyed jeans. If I wear my black tattoo shirt can I wear your black flats?
Me: Yes.
Whitney: If I wear my yellow and brown shirt can I wear your goat shoes?

Goat Shoes

Named "goat shoes" because Nate told me I looked like something from "Chronicles of Narnia".

Monday, January 18, 2010

Strike 3

Baseball analogies. We use so many of them. Strike 3, hitting it out of the park, step up to the plate, threw him a curve ball, sitting the bench; throw in football terminology, we use punt, and basketball's slam dunk, the world is full of sports terms. I was thinking about strike 3 this week. My middle stepdaughter is 19 and she is in jail. For the third time in 6 months. First time was two days for domestic violence. Second time was 5 weeks for criminal discharge of a firearm. This was the day after Thanksgiving. She was released on probation December 31 and picked back up for making false writings on January 14 (writing stolen checks). We think strike 3 and you are out. I think strike 3 and you are out. But I have been thinking lately, out of what? You get 3 strikes and your at bat is over. You go back to the dug out and wait your next turn. It will be 9 batters from now. It may be 3 innings away, or it may be the same inning. But you do get to bat again. And when this game is over, you get to bat in the next game. And when the season is over, you get to bat in the next season. My son plays spring ball, summer ball and fall ball.
I know I have been guilty of thinking it's over before it is. You can always start over. Lamentations 3:22-23 says "The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." This goes hand in hand with the sermon series we are in at Newspring, Capitalize, but it's been on my heart for a while as well.
I think they I have tried and failed at dieting so many times, maybe this is as good as it gets. And maybe it is. But I'm healthier because I'm aware of it, so I don't need to count myself out of the game. I think that the goals and dreams we have for our lives are more unlikely to come to fruition the older we get, but that's not true. I shouldn't count us out at 40 years old. If I go back to the baseball analogy, it's funny to me that Nate's batting average last season of .356 was good enough to land him top 25 in Wichita city league. That's good stuff. 1 out of every 3 at bats he got a hit. He had 1 success then 2 failures. And that was considered a good season. When I expect perfection, I'm expecting something that is not possible. I need to maintain my "finish strong" attitude I have running. It's not first, it's not last, it's how I perform. Do I keep going through the hard times or do I give up and crumble? Life is hard. Life is messy. We may be down, but we are not ever out because Great is His faithfulness. I can do all things through Christ BECAUSE he gives me strength. I do believe my stepdaughter needs to straighten up and fly right. Cut the cords with her current crowd. Turn her life around. But until she does, she's just waiting for her next at bat. And maybe she'll strike out again. But she will get in the batters box again, and at some point, she's going to get a hit. She's going to do the right thing.
So I will carry on knowing I CAN DO IT. Maybe not the fastest, the strongest, the best, but I'm a finisher. Finishing strong. With a smile on my face.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Training Week 5, Marathon 2

Have decided on a marathon, The Eisenhower Marathon in Abilene, Kansas. It's flat (yay!!!) and close to Wichita. It's April 10. I did my miles this week, indoors on an adaptive motion trainer, seen on this website The description says "Run. Walk. Go backward, forward, up, down. Take short strides and long strides. The AMT®100i moves the way you move". Steve told me to keep my heart rate up, so I looked up my target heart rate at the top of my target heart rate and it was work. My legs feel as tired as if I'd ran ten miles, so it was a pretty even trade. Just no pounding. My heel/foot is feeling no pain. This is when I always get into trouble and think I'm ready to run and then I hurt myself again. So I'm forcing myself to not run, and continue with all the treatments I'm supposed to even though I don't feel pain.
One last thing.
Toenail December 6, 2009

Toenail today, January 17, 2010

No, I have not discovered a miracle cure that makes toenails grow in a month. Had really bad callous I couldn't get rid of so sucked it up and took $21.00 to the nail salon for a professional pedicure. They told me they could fix my toe. I wasn't sure I believed them, but they ground down the top dead yellow nail and put a layer of acrylic over it, like fake nails, but not tip. She made sure it was short enough that I can wear my tennis shoes and not feel any tension. I can't cut it, but I can file it down with a coarse nail file when necessary. It's pretty right again.
My heel feels great.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney: My 628 leader (middle school church youth group) asked who my parents were. I told her my dad is the guy that sings all the time. She asked which one.
Me: Did you tell her?
Whitney: Yeah, she got all excited and said "the guy that always wears jeans and tee shirts?"
Me: Okay
Whitney: She was all shocked cause she thought he was only like 32. And I don't know why everyone gets all excited about dad all the time. Don't they know how weird he is?

In a family full of weirdos, Steve is refreshingly normal. The fact that Whitney thinks he is the weird one speaks volumes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for

Orthotics. Miracle workers for my feet.
Pineapple upside down cake.
My membership at the Y. It’s still cold.
The laughter of my children
Someone else (NOT ME) loading the dishwasher.
Peppermint gum
A new book
My rock star husband

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Someday I will be an old woman

The other night at dinner…
My brother was in town from Seattle over the holidays. My friend Sheila and her family, both my brothers, one nephew, Steve, Nate, Whitney and I were going out to dinner. TGIFridays. On Wednesday. Whitney was coming with Sheila and her family. They were late. I called Whitney to see where they were. “We’re still at Sheila’s”. I asked her if they were coming and she says, “I don’t know”. I hang up and I’m punching in Sheila’s number when I hear laughter from my brother as Whitney sits down next to him. I’d call her out for lying, but I have to appreciate the pretty good joke it was.
I didn’t put my phone back in my purse. When it vibrates on the table, my brother sees it’s our mother and answers my phone. My mom, bless her heart, has too many children to keep straight which one she wants to call at which time, and we all get the phone call “oh, I meant to call your brother / sister / daughter / son, etc. When we are together and she happens to call, we have great fun with this. Last year at my son and nephews baseball game she called me (I knew it was to check on the game) and I purposely didn’t answer. She called my brother. He purposely didn’t answer. Brother number two, also didn’t answer. My sis-in-law is sitting not with us and we roared when her phone rang and it was mom, checking for dad to see how the kids were doing.
This night, my brother takes it one step further by answering it with a Chinese accent asking if he can take her order. She believes she has a wrong number and calls a second time to get the same blonde haired white skinned Chinese man. She figures out it’s not really Chinese at this point, but not why he’s answering my phone. It’s cruel, and someday my kids will pay me back by treating me this way. I hope I remember how funny I think it is right now.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Did I Say That?

I have this Groundhog Day kind of thing going. Not the kind where I see my shadow and it’s 6 more weeks of winter, the kind where something keeps getting repeated. September 2008 through December 2008 I worked 3 days a week due to a strike at Boeing. They buy the majority of our product, so their strike impacted my employer in a big way. In January of 2009 I went back to work 5 days a week. Yesterday at church I got asked if I was working full time yet. The first 2 times she asked me last year I thought she cared and was being thoughtful. The next 3 were mildly amusing. The last two, I’m thinking alzheimer’s.
I’m not insulted or offended, I don’t even take this personally. The world doesn’t revolve around me. My world doesn’t even revolve around me. I just thought about the messages that are sent in conversations that might be offensive, but really are just thoughtlessness or tactlessness.
Like the other night at dinner when my friend asked me if I had eaten something and I told her I wasn’t built like her, I never got to eat that way. That’s insulting. And I will apologize for it. It’s one of the inequalities of life that some people can eat and get skinnier and some of us can’t.EAT.AT.All.
Or the lady that walked by my desk and asked if the picture on my desk came with the frame. And who was it. Like he’s too hot for me?
Or the close family member who told me at least I didn’t have the same problems with my kids that so-and-so has with theirs. Their son is working as a bartender. (Very strictly religious person, dare I say bordering on legalism). Needless to say, this is minor compared to what two of my stepdaughters are up to.
Or when I asked a friend at church the other day how she was doing and she told me how she was feeling and it took me a minute to catch up to what she was talking about because she has a major health issue. She deals with it remarkably, she is a beautiful woman, and sometimes it’s easy to forget she has this problem. I may have seemed like I didn’t care, when it reality it’s a compliment to her that I forget.
I like people. I honestly care how they are doing. But so many times I think I don’t come across that way. Steve and I went and saw The Blind Side movie the other night. The one thing I related to the most was when the mom asked her husband if she was a good person. I understand that so well. No one knows your motives except for you. No one knows that what appears selfish really isn’t the way you feel, and you didn’t mean for it to come out that way. You are not insensitive, you are just overloaded and stressed to the point you can’t remember where your car keys are, what the one thing you needed to pick up at the grocery store on the way home is, or even what you named your second child. (Wait, do I only have two children? Dang, what did I do with that third kid?)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Training Week 4, Marathon 2

It was even colder this week than it was last week. Of course, the whole country is feeling the pain of that. My heel has been hurting off an on for a while now, and I do all the things that I'm supposed to and it feels good so I run and then it hurts and I start over. I make it worse, because I can run with it hurting, and I have. It's very hard for me to stay off of it. So this time, I have a plan. Alternative training. Supposedly I can do alternate cardio/endurance training and not lose it. This includes pool running, which I haven't tried yet. I did run this week and was more faithful to weights than I have been in a while and my body let me know that I hadn't done enough of that with sore muscles.
Time on the spin bike and elliptical machine rounded out the week of exercise. Next week it's going to be normal Kansas winter temps, so I will be a little more likely to head out to the gym. Will let you know how training for a marathon without any actual running works. The experts say you can do it, and I need to keep active.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

A picture is worth a thousand words...

This is Whitney's facebook profile self picture. It's probably one my favorite pictures of her in a long time. Semi-dressed up, hair down and that is natural wave and she is smiling. Of course, as I'm typing this saying good things about her she is sitting next to me on the couch telling me that the way I'm eating Mike & Ike's is annoying her.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How did that sneak up on me?

I know (and have known) for years that my son would graduate high school in 2010. It’s not a surprise or a shock, and it’s something I thought I was well aware of and prepared for. I have ordered graduation supplies (barely made it, ordered them on the last day possible and had to go to the Jostens rep’s actual location and they are only open from 2:0 to 5:30 every day and I was on jury duty and didn’t know what time I would get out and lunch is over at 1:30 and the judge didn’t give me flex time like they do at work and I had to send my mom and was texting her directions from the jury box hoping the judge didn’t yell at me like my boss does for texting on the clock, “turn left across the street from the Sonic, no go past the Walgreen’s”. You’d have to know my mom, but not complaining because she was out there doing it for me, with the instructions “get the bare minimum, and don’t spend more than $125.00. I know it’s a once in a life time occasion, but everything adds up…and all because my wonderful darling son never gave me the form that I asked for and then I promptly forgot and so did he but I did get a postcard on Monday night that told me I had till Wednesday to get the stuff ordered, but that’s all another story. Or it would be except I just told it). I have printed the 2010 baseball schedule to make sure I could be at every game. New cleats, catchers glove and baseball bag, all compliments of older cousin who won’t be using them this year. Lined up a photographer for senior pictures, but gonna wait for a heat wave of at least 35 before I schedule them. ACT’s have been taken, twice, and increased the score, he would like one or two points higher so that he can go anywhere he wants plus be eligible for academic scholarships because his GPA isn’t good enough, but the 26 on his ACT’s will. Imagine the frustration I feel with a kid who can go in and knock out a 26 on ACT’s but settles for a 2.95 GPA. And he’s brought it up his senior year. But then, that is a trait he gets from me, so I understand it, but it still frustrates me.
But I’m getting way off my subject here, (no big surprise). Monday morning on the way to school – pardon me while I chase another rabbit, because while you don’t need to know this, I need to tell it – the van’s heater and defroster doesn’t work. It did till we let someone borrow it who didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and thought if they pushed the switch HARDER it would come on. Broke the switch so now it just blows air and makes a clicking sound. We have just been turning the radio up. Since it is single digit temps in the morning right now, I’m driving every one to school in the car that has defrosters in every window, the side view mirrors and seat warmers. (Whitney doesn’t have a seat warmer so she brings a blanket. And naps on the 7 minute trip to school). Back to subject, I ask Nate if he can get a ride home. He says, sure, oh wait mom, I don’t have 7th and 8th hour this semester. Once baseball starts I will stay and get the field ready and do blocking drills and extra hitting with Dylan and Justin, but until then I have two hours before I have to be back to lead conditioning. WHAT??? You only have 5 hours? And only need 3 to finish up? You are that close to finishing? One semester each of Physics, Pre-calc/Trig, and English? You are taking gifted seminar (study hall for kids in the gifted program, he can study or sleep or even practice more baseball that hour) and weights? That’s all you have? 18 weeks and it’s over?
I can remember so clearly the first time I held him when he was 3 hours old. I remember his first step in Grandma’s yard to pick up an Easter Egg when he was 8 months old. I remember the first guy I dated after he was born (the only one until Steve) and him running up to him and kicking him. I remember his first day of kindergarten when he nonchalantly waved over his shoulder at the door to his class and said “you can go. I’m fine.” I thought I was ready for this, but where did the time go? How did I get here with full knowledge of what was going on and yet still be surprised by it. I thought I was the mom who had raised a great kid that was strong and independent and ready for the world and I was ready to not only let go, but to nudge him out of the nest and encourage him and say “Fly little one.” (Okay, not really, I’m not that sappy).
So I must admit, that while I smugly said that the end of last school year didn’t bother me, and that enrollment and the first day of senior year (and 8th grade for the other one) didn’t affect me, I have been teary eyed a few times over this the last couple of days. (Of course, I cry easy, I’m emotional enough on my good days, so stay away on bad ones.) I won’t be going on and on about this over the next 4 months, but will most likely share senior pics and baseball moments and graduation moments as they arise. Be forewarned.

Wonder boy (Nate, as in “I wonder why he did that”) did ask me if he made it to his 18th birthday without committing a felony or impregnating his girlfriend did he get a bonus gift. But that really is another story, and one I’m not ready to tell yet.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Training Week 3, Marathon 2

I will sum up my week in training in one word.


And then I saw the 7 day forecast. Wednesday and Thursday are going to be highs of 10 degrees and 12 degrees. These numbers scare me, and Thursday's run will most likely be indoors at the Y, either a treadmill or the indoor track or split between the two.
I also got to run with Steve for the first time in a month, and I really enjoy his company. I had to throw in an extra run on January 1, because I couldn't start the year without running (alright, it was because I ate too much at a New Year's Eve/Birthday Party the night before. I was bored.)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney one liners

I'm dad's favorite. I'm like an angel fallen from heaven.
Maybe grandpa will write a memoir and we can make a movie out of it.

And one from Nate

You should've seen that family picture. It's one for the ages. A cross between American Gothic and the Adams Family.