Friday, July 30, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Bumped for Nate this week.

Setting: Family hair salon where Nate gets his hair cut. A small boy is acting up. Very loud, running around, in general, behavior that is not suitable for public places.

Me: You were never like that when you were little.
Nate: Arab?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Off The Top

I bought a premade salad for lunch today. Nothing special about it, just a chef salad with cheese, egg, turkey and tomato on top. That’s how they make it, they fill the container with lettuce and then put a serving of shredded cheese in two corners, turkey and ham in two corners, tomato and egg in the middle. Then when you put the dressing on, all the good stuff is there on top, you don’t get to the four cups of lettuce till you eat your way through. A lot of foods come this way. Cake comes with frosting on top. Pancakes with syrup on top. Potato soup with sour cream and cheese on top. Then there are the sayings; “cream rises to the top”, “top dog” “top of the morning” “make it to the top” and “you want to be on top”. Good stuff is on the top. Good stuff rises to the top. I totally understand this. Don’t we all want to make it to the top? Be the best? And skimming the surface is okay a lot of times, especially when I’m cleaning my house. Of course, then I started thinking, which is dangerous. And I realized how much I miss when I focus on the surface. In the case of the salad, I miss the health benefits of the lettuce. In the cake, I miss the balance of the cake with the sugary frosting. And pancakes aren’t a good example because I love everything about pancakes. Potato soup, mix the sour cream and cheese into the soup? Much tastier. Being at the top means people are gunning for your spot too. And there is only room for one person to be the best and be at the top, and maybe it shouldn’t be me (most likely not). There are other areas I’m content to just eat the top off and let the rest go. I’m not proud of it either. I have some relationships that need work, and I’m content to just lick the frosting off and go on my way. Not invest what really should be invested. And when this is my relationship with Christ, it’s especially bad. Read the book of Genesis because it’s not terribly convicting of things I need to change in my life. Read the 23rd Psalms about how God will comfort me, not challenge me to step out and serve.
There’s also the opposite side though. There are people who don’t like frosting, they scrape it off for the cake. And some of us will eat pancakes with peanut butter smeared on them instead of syrup, rolled up like a burrito so the pancake is on top. There are also sayings that indicate the top is not always the best; “more than meets the eye”, “scratch the surface”, “beauty is only skin deep”, “dig deep” “ogres are like onions, they have layers”, and “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. My challenge to myself this week is to look for the areas where I have been skimming lately. Not going deep. I already know of several. Some spiritual, some just life. And try to make changes where I should and where I can. Eat more lettuce, less cheese and dressing. And probably going to make pancakes for dinner tonight.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Training Update

If it seems like I’m posting a lot about running, I am. Probably because I’m running a lot. What I learned today is Whitney’s volleyball schedule is nuts. Every Tuesday and Thursday for September and October, with a couple of Saturdays thrown in. Oh yeah, practice starts THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. And because she knows she’s on the team – I’ll drop her off on my way to work and go back and get her 3 hours after school is out. Am I killing my kids? Probably, but the crazy mom who ran 57 miles in the last two weeks this can’t say much as long as they are healthy and keeping their grades up except keep working hard. Nate starts baseball practice the second day of college. August 24. Last game was yesterday. Best game he’s played all year. I was thrilled for him, he was happy. Way to finish little league on a high note. Last game before college. I was a little sad. Oh, back to what I learned. I will most likely have to run in the morning before work. Which will be okay during the school year because Whitney & Nate will be so exhausted that they won’t keep me up till 11:30 every night. I like running in the morning, but I like my bed in the morning too.
A little story about my worst run of the season – so far. I know it’s hot across the whole country right now, but Kansas this July has been 100 degrees pretty much every day, heat index of 110 – 115. With humidity of 47% to 68%. Winds of 28 mph. These are Kansas winds. Not gusts, just the wind blowing at 28 mph. I purposely run through sprinklers. So I’m going to compare to Saturday runs, 16 miles planned for both Saturdays.
17th – first 5 miles were great. 24th – first 5 miles were great.
17th – next 5 miles sucked. 24th – next five miles piece of cake.
17th – at 10 miles stopped for Gatorade, salt caps, anything to help with the heat cramps. 24th – 10 miles found a $10.00 bill and drank a diet coke.
17th – mile 11.3 felt like I was going to throw up. Told Steve to keep running and come back for me with the car. 24th – mile 11.3ish hopped over a 3 foot brick fence because I ran the wrong side of the path to miss all the cyclist.
17th – mile 13.5 after walking for 2 miles, wringing sweat out of the bottom of the hem of my running skirt (first time for this), Steve picked me up and drove me home. 24th – mile 12.5 Steve caught up with me from his 25 mile run (and he started a little earlier than me too) and ran the last 5 miles home together. He was quite happy to run much slower for his last 5 miles. I did walk some the last 5 miles, but held to my walk 1 and then run 4. Totally different experiences. There were some differences.
17th – black skirt, 24th – yellow skirt (not sure this mattered)
17th – ran whole way with Steve, 24th – ran first 12.5 alone, last 5 with Steve (looked forward to him catching me)
17th – drank water, Gatorade, ate GU, 24th – drank water, Gatorade, DIET COKE (could this be my “spinach”?, ate GU
17th - struggled to run 11.3, finished 13.5, 24th – never really struggled in 17.4 miles
It’s one of the greatest mysteries of running to me how some days are great and some are terrible. I suppose if I delved into exactly what I ate all week, stress levels, how much I slept, etc. I might find out more, but I never sleep well, always eat odd, and live a life full of stress. So it’s not worth figuring that out. I really believe it’s the yellow princess skirt with the sequin crown on the right thigh and the diet coke.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: Parking Lot

Me: Nate, you need an outfit like that.
Whitney: Yeah, you'd look purty.
Nate: If I wore that, I'd have to kick my own butt.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Favorite Men

This week, more about one you've heard of before. My son is one of my favorite men. He has been playing baseball since he was two, thanks to my brother, his Uncle Kelly. Nate's first present in the hospital was a baseball glove from Uncle Kelly. 16 years later here we are. His junior year of high school he played varsity third base, shortstop and second base. Senior year he got moved to catcher. At 5'9"ish 150 he is not big enough for college catching. No one saw him play infield. So he took a good friend's brother's advice (former college and pro player, currently coaching same academy Nate plays for) and signed up for a top notch quality traveling ball team this summer. Four figure baseball fees. Nate told me, my heart dropped. But God provided the money in less than 24 hours, specifically to Nate, so off we went. He has played at University of Nebraska, University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas, Wichita State University, and a few other fields. About two weeks ago he was pretty bummed because he still had no idea what college would hold for him in the area of baseball. He wants the education, but he wants to play. We had hoped for scholarships, and he was offered two really good baseball scholarships, but when the college is $27,000 a year, $17,000 a year in scholarships just doesn't seem like that much. So I decided to help. Wasn't sure I should, but it couldn't hurt, right? I emailed every baseball coach at every community college in the state of Kansas that I heard had a great program. At his tournament at Wichita State he played and he played well. He called me after the game (even though I was there) and told me he thought the coach was there. I told him yes he was. He said "I think he was here to watch me". I said I think so too. We enrolled Nate yesterday at Butler County Community College, home of the Grizzlies. He met with the baseball coach today, he has all the medical forms and information about the team. There is no scholarship money left, but the coach wants him. Says he is listed as a walk on, but will not be treated as one. Liked what he saw when he saw him play, (and the three coaches that called and said good things couldn't have hurt) and was very happy with the strong high school program he came out of and the strong summer program he was playing for (Yay GOD!!!) Another God moment in this, when we enrolled him, there is a month left till classes. He picked his classes, based on an undecided major, College Algebra, Psychology, Speech and English Composition. There was one seat left in each of these classes in the morning classes that would work with baseball (fall ball in October) and the classes are back to back. He doesn't have one at 8:00 and then one at 12:45. I love to see the hand of God working in my kids lives.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wow - that's hot!

In church a couple weeks ago Mark was talking about men looking at women, as he tends to bring that up a lot. Steve commented that Mark picks on the men all the time and never picks on us women that way. I explained to Steve that women are not as visual as men. I see a handsome guy and I don't think, wow, he's hot, I want some of that. However, I drive by Krispy Kreme and say, wow, they're hot, I'm gonna get me some of that. It's an interesting thing to me that I am more likely to stumble in the area of over eating then just about any other area of my life. Let's not even make this spiritual and about gluttony (which I could). Let's make it greed and unhealthy. I love donuts. Quite possibly my favorite dessert. I recently read about a bicycle race I would love to enter, called the "Tour de Donut" It's a 21 mile race, 3 times around a 7 mile loop. At the beginning of each loop you get to eat as many donuts as you can. For every donut you eat they take 3 minutes off your time. Every winner has had a negative time. I find this hilarious. People train for it, the way cyclist and hot dog eaters would. Kind of makes me a little sick thinking about it, but again, it made me laugh.
Just made me think again, what's your poison? What makes you stumble. What makes you fall off your diet? What makes you fall off your exercise plan? Keeps you from your Bible? What causes you to not be kind? For me, it's everyday life. I just have to start over. Hopefully with donuts for breakfast.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Running Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to me! It’s the second anniversary of when I started training for my first half marathon. I remember all the “you are crazy” comments. I remember the skepticism, even from my loving, supporting husband, who decided when I was actually ready to run my first 10 mile race that he wasn’t letting me do it without him (that’s not technically what he said, but we’ll leave it at that). Now his original skepticism is a deeper insanity than I am afflicted with. Maybe. And my brother who openly told me I was crazy and questioned why I would do it is now training to run the marathon in October (of course, the doctor told him to lose weight or else. I think he didn’t like being outdone by his younger sister, but unlike my husband, my brother won’t own up to it).
I have so many great memories. The thrill of finishing a hard run or a new distance. Finishing my first race. (And second, third, fourth, etc.) I know my favorite trails. I know how to run against the wind and when to run with it. How to run in rain and how to stay in when it’s lightning. The fun of crossing a finish line doesn’t end with childhood. It’s an awesome feeling.
I like running. But I run better when I’m training for a race with a training plan in front of me. Running just to run? I don’t do it so well. I need a goal. I need a finish line. I need a piece of paper that says on Tuesday run 4, on Wednesday run 10 on Thursday run 8 on Friday REST, on Saturday run 24, on Sunday run 10, Monday REST!!!!
I have learned some things too. You can make any distance as hard as you want. I would rather have a black toenail from running than have pretty feet. You can’t finish if you don’t start. I buy ibuprofen, medical tape, body glide, Vaseline, GU, and S Caps in bulk. Given the choice shopping for new clothes, I like to look at running clothes first. There is this great plaid green running skirt I’ve got my eye on. I’m saving up for it. (Yes, I even run in skirts dresses are my favorite clothes. I’m now branching out into “designer” running skirts. Check out my Snowbella Yella Princess Skirt).

In the last two years I have always had a race I’m training for. I missed some, rescheduled some, recovered some, rehydrated a lot, re-shoed, and you wouldn’t believe the number of running socks I go through. I wear holes in them, and then mourn there passing, as finding great running socks is hard. And then they discontinue them. I have run to baseball games, church, and friends houses. I have seen snakes, deer, turtles, lizards, grasshoppers, fox’, three wheelers, dirt bikers and horses. I have run with colds, allergy attacks, flu, and other unmentionable conditions. I have suffered black toenail, and a subsequent infection from. I have suffered chafing. I sweat till hugging me is an “Along Came Polly” moment. (Fat guy on the outdoor basketball court. Ben Stiller, you tube search, you’ll find it).
It has made a big difference in my life. My self esteem, my health, my body, my stress level, and I don’t worry about my health. My kids, while they still think I’m crazy, act a little proud of it. When their friends say, “was that your mom I saw running? She was a long way from your house”, they just simply say yeah, she does that all the time. I’m going to end with this. My 42 year old self would kick my 21 year old butt! (Thanks Carrie.) Seriously the only thing 21 year old me could do better physically was lay on a beach in a bikini. She couldn’t keep up with me now. And that is a great feeling.
First 10 miler - Turkey Trot

First half marathon - trail. Picture is not of me, it is of the trail, and it was hard!!!

Second half marathon - trail. STILL REALLY HARD!!!

Third half marathon of 2009 (yes, I was hooked) street race, not a trail and I thought I flew through it.

First Marathon - next one in October!

Last race - River Run 10K with my gang.

Thanks for running down memory lane with me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: My living room, watching a movie

Whitney: Since he's blind, how does he know he can't hear?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Favorite Men

You hear all the time about my husband and son, and they are definitely on this list. But I'm going to periodically introduce you to some of my other favorite men. Today, meet my nephew Brandon. One of my favorite people in the world. Smart as a whip. Can talk knowledgably about most subjects. Engineer's mind in a baseball players body with a bowling scholarship. He has spent the summer working out of town and I cannot tell you how much I miss this guy. He will be 20 next month and my life has been bettter because he has been a part of it. Things I love about Brandon:
1. He cried when he heard my voice as a baby for the first six months of his life. I spent one Christmas on the opposite end of the house not speaking for peace sake.
2. He loved my son from the moment he was born. He looked after Nate like the quintessential big brother, and still does.
3. His birthday is four days before Whitney's. They have shared every birthday party since she was born except one because of a funeral on his mom's side.
4. I used to make birthday pumpkin pie for him.
5. He makes me laugh.
6. He does not compromise for anyone at anytime for any reason. He is incredibly morally strong.
7. He has always sat and talked with me like he really liked me and enjoyed my company.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Newspring Call Center

Sunday morning at Newspring the 11:15 service felt like it should have been the Newspring Call Center staffed by mothers of infants and toddlers and it was bring them to work day. It was unbelievable. Crying babies, chattering toddlers, and cell phones, multiple cell phones, the whole service were ringing. Not on vibrate, ringing. I grew up in a fundamental Bible thumping church that was more geared toward rules and regulations than relationships, and I lived under a heavy dose of guilt and fear. I’ve shared before the Jesus of my childhood was not the man in the picture holding the lamb or surrounded by children, he was the mad Jesus in the temple. I was raised that you would have the blood of any individual you didn’t share Jesus with or that you kept from knowing Jesus on your hands at Judgment. This meant if I ever lived like I wasn’t a Christian, someone might see me and not become a Christian, and it would be all my fault. This may be a little extreme, and not quite what they meant to teach, but in my formative years, it was the lesson I got. And I reverted last Sunday. At the moment Mark started telling people how they could know Jesus and how they could change their life the babies all let loose. Cell phones, it was worse at that moment than any other during a service full of distractions. What if someone who needed to hear that was sitting right in front of the toddler? The cell phone? What if the distraction kept him from hearing? What is the responsibility of that individual? (and this is purely rhetorical, just my rant for this Tuesday. Maybe I’ll rave next Tuesday and be done.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

I am not a superhero...and proud of it

Ladies - I must get this off my chest. If you got up this morning and cleaned your house and did laundry and went to the grocery store, you are not superwoman, you are human. If you played with your kids, fed them, bathed them, read them stories and put them to bed you are not Mrs. Incredible, you are a mom. If you spent time with your husband, cooked his favorite meal, watched television with him, had sex with him you are not wonder woman, you are a wife. If you went to the Y, took an aerobics class or ran two or even 14 miles you are not batgirl (sorry, ran out of superheros) you are health conscious. In our culture today there is a need to be patted on the back, recognized for what we do. I am guilty of this. It's okay to share war stories and talk about our days, but when did living a normal life make us think we are superwomen? If I see a house that is messy (like mine today?) I think I'm not getting done what should be done (this is in part because I made my kids clean their rooms, generating 4 extra loads of laundry and extra sinkful of dishes). If I'm out of milk (like this morning and Steve and Nate couldn't have their raisin bran and Wheaties Fuel), I feel like I have dropped the ball. If I don't spend time with my kids, make sure they are fed (I don't bathe them because they are 13 and 18 and that would be weird) and taken care it could be considered abuse. If I don't meet my husbands needs, he quite possibly could look elsewhere. And if I don't take care of my health I won't be around to continue to look after my family 20 years from now. I think about the amazing women in my life who take care of their families and themselves in a positive non-complaining way and I think that is the super power. The positive attitude in a busy overwhelming life. The strength to get up and do it over and over again, sometimes on the brink of exhaustion, because that is what is expected.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

HER BRACES ARE PAID OFF!!! After two rounds of orthodontia, thousands of $$$, I own her smile!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Four horsemen of MY apocalypse

1. Teen age girl washing Steve's car says "I would drive a classic camaro, too" (I'm told she was ogling a 2010 earlier in the day). I look for a 1967 camaro. She's talking about Steve's 2001 camaro.
2. I can't find my favorite running bra. And then I notice the pale blue t back showing under Whitney's volleyball shirt.
3. I actually bought a pair of shoes because they were COMFORTABLE! Please, can someone help me?
4. My boy turns 18 today.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More Training

I often think I ought to make a reality show. My life? Truth is stranger than fiction. But my marathon training. It would be a hit. Tonight, for instance. Two mile run with Steve. We both had short ones. But yesterday I let him talk me into going to the Y with him and working out. So I did an elliptical. My quadriceps are killing me. They don't work that hard when I'm running. And the tricep dips and pull ups and push ups were okay (at the time). When we started running though...we are in front of the neighbors house and my muscles start screaming STOP THAT!!! at me. My biceps hurt with every step. Worse than that, my chest muscles are throbbing with every step. So I grab my boobs with my hands, pure instinct, and I'm running saying "ow, ow, ow, ow" with every step. Steve is laughing at me, and tells me he understands, his hurt too. So he grabs his pecs and says, "hey, this does help". Fortunately after a half mile the blood got to pumping good and I felt fine.
I have crossed over to the dark side. I started Steve's 50 mile training plan today, so I can be his pace runner after mile 43 of his 100 mile run. Not sure how many miles he will need company, but I plan to help him out. Fortunately I have a 26 mile training run the weekend of the Prairie Fire Marathon, so I will do a marathon as a training run. One of his original pace runners got into the New York City Marathon, which is the same weekend and the other one qualified for the Ironman Triathlon Championships in Clearwater, Florida the following weekend. Which is awesome for Jake and Kim. Very excited for both of them.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bonus Post

Normally I don't post on Satudays. No reason, I just don't. But I want to tell someone about my day. So you are the lucky ones. Got up at 4:30 to run 13 miles with Sheila. Halfway to her house my left eye was killing me. Went home changed contacts, text Sheila tell her I'm on my way. We run at 5:30. It's windy and drizzling. At 9 miles we are both soggy from the inside out and we call it a day. I go home, shower, and head to Topeka. I'm going to double it up today and see my stepdaughter in the women's prison there and watch a baseball game Nate's in. I get to the prison and the guard looks at me and says, do you have a jacket? I say, no, it's July. She says you can't come in in a sun dress. I say, this isn't a sun dress. She says it doesn't have sleeves (the horror!!!) and it's too low cut. Incredulously, I gesture at my neckline and say, "THIS?" She says yes. Anyone who knows me and my brazen hussy ways...I wear this dress to church where my husband sings every week with the worship team and to work in a professional office. Where I meet with clients. This dress would have passed dress code at my ACE Christian High School. NO LIE!! So I stop at Casey's General Store (Quik Trip) and I ask the guy if he has an extra smock I can borrow. No luck. I don't know where a store is and I really don't want to turn an already expensive day trip even more expensive by buying a jacket. So I go to the ball field. I think (briefly) about asking Nate for his red jersey, since they are in blue, but I'm pretty sure if I walked up to him in the middle of his team and said "can I borrow your jersey? I want to visit your sister in prison and my dress doesn't meet dress code to go in the WOMEN's prison" he might disown me. So I stay for the game. He plays on a highly competitive team. He plays a little more than half the time. Hoping this coach can line up a baseball scholarship. (High school coach hooked him up, $15,000 a year baseball and academics. Sound good? $27,000 a year. A YEAR! Diploma must be made out of solid gold). Anyway, this game? He didn't play. Which means he'll play the 8:00 game tonight I couldn't stay for. I drove to Topeka to visit a daughter I couldn't get in the prison and to watch a son play baseball who didn't get in the game. Well, he pinch ran. Here are my action shots from today.

Number 44

Running to third...he's fast

Pinch runner on first. He's not that little, first baseman was about 6'5"

Then I went home (it rained the last 75 miles, I hate driving in the rain, contacts blur my visibility. But I'm much safer than my mom or dad who rode with me) and ran the other 4 miles of my 13 mile run today. At 5:30, exactly 12 hours later. In the rain. Now I'm going to a cookout (yay!!!) and to watch UFC (Yay??? Not so much). Anyway, happy 4th!!! All in all, it wasn't a bad day.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Today I had a bad day. Started around noon and I couldn't shake it off. At the end of the evening Whitney came in the house and handed me a huge orange flower off a bush that grows wild in the old orchard behind our house. Not often I share something sweet or touching she does, but she does have a soft, sweet side.