Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2:00 A.M. Friends

I read the other day (on a preacher’s blog or something like that) that we should all have someone in our lives that is close to us that either doesn’t know God or is far from God at all times (my kids are in public education and athletics, I have the chance to spend hours upon hours with people like this, and I try desperately to talk about Christ with everyone I can, because I feel this is a place God has put me and an opportunity I can’t miss).
He said we also should have 2:00 a.m. friends. I thought about this 2:00 a.m. friend quite a bit. I thought about it both ways, do I have them, am I one, (and would my friends think I’m one?). I know that I am one. I would help any friend out at 2:00 a.m. whether they are a close friend or more of an acquaintance. This goes back to high school and college years where I was the sober taxi driver. I got calls to come drive drunk friends home, and I did. I got a call from a friend at his bachelor party, night before his wedding, and I was the only one he could think of to call and he didn’t want his family or fiancĂ© mad at him. 2:00 a.m. is a lonely hour. If you are struggling with a problem, a burden, and it causes sleeplessness, it’s a hopeless time. It’s a great time for Bible study and prayer, but it’s a time satan can really attack too. I have been wondering how I let my friends know that when they are struggling with something, anything, anytime, they can call, email, text, and I’ll be there for them. I don’t even need to know what it is. Just that they need a friend. I’ve spent so many sleepless nights. I can’t imagine not being there for someone struggling. I sometimes put a bubble around myself and don’t talk about problems. Partly because I have so many I just don’t want people to hide when they see me coming and partly because it just hurts. So I talk about the good things that are happening, stuff the bad things down, and suffer in silence. I realized this morning that is not fair to my friends. Because just as I would (and do) pray for them, and want to, I know they feel that way about me.
I went to church yesterday. I usually do. We had our annual baptism service. We saw over 350 (I never heard the exact number) people make their faith in Jesus public in baptism. Show that they were followers of Jesus and wanted everyone to know. Pretty neat thing to see. While I was there the strangest thing happened. Little Evie May lifted her hands to me, she’s a year and a half old. I picked her up and held her for a few minutes before she was off and running. I see her occasionally, her parents are friends, but she doesn’t know me well enough to want to be held. About 30 minutes later Brielie lifted her hands to be held. Brielie’s parents are good friends, but toddler Brielie doesn’t know me. I held her for a little while. And as I was walking out of the arena, 3 year old Anna asked if she could hold my hand and walked out with me. Anna does know me, by name even. And for a mom who doesn’t get a whole lot of hugs anymore (cause we aren’t the most demonstrative family and my kids are teenagers), these three little girls made my day. (Along with a big hug from a special 8 year old Ellie). These 4 girls mom’s are what made me think I was selling my friends short. Because while of these three mom’s, I would only tell one of them my deepest ugliest secrets, I know if these 4 beautiful girls were going through anything like what two of mine are and the fallout onto two more of them, (and I’m already praying this never happens) I would pray for them without stopping. So I need the prayer of my friends. I don’t want to pull them down with my burdens, but I need to know that people who love me are praying for me. I don’t think I have a harder life than everyone else. I just have a different life with different trials. But I have a good life. I have a good Savior. I have a good family. I have good friends. And I don’t want to ever be guilty of taking any of this for granted, or not valuing it for what it is worth. So if you need a 2:00 a.m. friend, I’m your girl. But call before 5:00 because then I’ll be out running with my 5:00 a.m. friend.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Training Update

I had great runs this week. Multiple choice question: Did I run better because A. 30 degree lower temperatures B. Steve bought me some new shoes (more on these later) C. I’m down 19 pounds since May 29 D. All of the above. Pretty sure it’s D. Lower temperatures are great. It’s sad when 87 is great weather to run in and is 30 degrees cooler. I ran in the morning and no lie, 50 degrees cooler than runs were last week. Second hottest summer in Kansas history, not since 1936 have we had a summer this hot. I bought a new pair of running shoes two weeks ago. In my normal shopping way, I looked for good shoes, but price always plays into it. Especially since Whitney had another growth spurt and needed clothes for school. I wore my gray Asics one last time and paid dearly for it because my feet felt like stumps when I got done running, and I know better. So I got some great yellow Nikes. Felt great. Then Steve ordered me some new shoes. They are called Newtons, as in Sir Isaac. He paid 3.5 times what I paid for the Nikes. (He does not shop like I do). I put them on and Oh. My. Word. I am a convert. The plantar fasciitis I’ve had for the last 13 months did not bother me a single step. They are hard to walk in, but awesome to run in. And they are bright orange with sparkly green logo. Now, about the 19 pounds in 12 weeks. Since I have pretty much sweated it off with exercise, I have lost a lot of inches. I felt like I was dressing out of the rag bag. Realized I pretty much have been. I have this garbage bag in my closet that I’ve been throwing stuff in that doesn’t fit. But then I have nothing to wear so I’m taking clothes back out of it. Fortunately I like dresses, and they are easier to wear longer. Even my elastic skirts are too big. But the worst part, and yes this is bad, is my favorite running skirt and favorite running capris are too big. And since they are both spandex that’s hard to do. Once I’m really sweaty and they stick to me I’m okay. But the first mile is pretty interesting. I have a problem with shopping. First off, I don’t have a whole lot of disposable income. And what we do have we consistently spend on running shoes. I also am picky. And I love fashion. And I don’t like to look like everybody else. I will bypass wearing certain things that are in style because everyone has them. I could list things, but that’s irrelevant. They can be cute, fashionable, and I might like it, a lot, but I won’t wear it if everyone else is. I have a love for neutrals such as blacks, grays, and browns, but do like color also. But with red hair, and red lipstick, I always have color. Anyway, I like the pounds and inches off, I just think I’m going to get by till I need winter clothes. As long as nothing falls off, I’ll be fine. Marathon is 6 weeks away and I’m not even nervous. I guess that’s because I have run one and I know how miserable I’ll be, but I’m doing it anyway, and I also have a different training plan and a second goal after the marathon which takes some of the pressure away from the marathon, but does add some stress.

Conversations with Whitney

Nate: I hate it when the moon is out and it's still light out.
Whitney: Me too. That's so weird.
Nate: Hey moon, what are you doing?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hungry Men

I have two in my house. Nate has baseball practice 3+ hours a day, 6 days a week. College style. An 18 year old boy can eat you out of the house the way it is. He doesn't want to eat in the cafeteria for lunch, or buy something, and since college is 25 miles away in the little town of El Dorado, Kansas he takes a lunch. Nate needs 2942 calories a day to maintain his weight with no exercise. Steve ran 74.9 miles last week. That is burning around 11,000 calories for the week. You figure his daily maintenance calories for his weight are around 2975 a day plus the 11,000 divided into days is another 1571 he should be eating 4571 calories a day to maintain. He also still hits the gym for weights on a regular basis. A regular donut has 220 calories. He could eat 20 donuts a day and not gain weight. Or 99 chicken Mcnuggets. Insane, right?
Every night before I go to bed I pack lunches. Steve leaves at 5:30 in the morning, I leave around 7:20 and Nate leaves at 8:30. Easier to do it at night. Here are our lunch boxes. Mine is the green one, Steve's the light blue, Nate's the royal blue.

In all fairness, Nate's also holds a couple of gatorades. I pack his lunch in a watertight rubbermaid container and he puts it in this cooler with ice because it sits in his car for 3 hours while he is in class. But it sure is a funny looking lunch box.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The most awesome high school weight room I have ever seen.

Gym is almost totally lit by the skylights.

Indoor wood is reclaimed from South Eastern Kansas farms/Barns.

Outdoor wood in the courtyard is reclaimed cypress from Hurrican Katrina.

*photos courtesy of Ryan Morris
I had the opportunity to be in Greensburg, Kansas on Friday night. Dedication of the new high school. The Newspring Band led worship. Greensburg was hit by an E5 tornado on May 4, 2007. Destroyed 95% of the town and killed 11 people. Since then, they have been rebuilding. I drove through Greensburg a year after the tornado hit, and saw the MASH hospital, set up in tents. Saw the downtown area which was flattened. It was sad. But when we were there this last week, there are businesses. Restaurants and salons. And the school is incredible. Greensburg rebuilt "green". The school is a technological masterpiece. It's also brand new and sparkling clean, and filled with promise. When the band was leading worship I watched them, and the crowd. The crowd was emotional, and I fully understand that. They lived through a horrific tragedy. And who knows what else they have dealt with on personal levels. The band looked like they were having the time of their lives worshipping God. (I know these people, it's true). And they looked like between the ten of them they didn't have a concern in the world. (I know these people, that's not true). However, I left wondering where we would all be three years from now in our lives. Our current struggles and troubles, how would God rebuild them? How many of us would still be spending time together? Sharing our lives, sharing worship? As I look at the storms in my life at this moment (Hurricane Amanda for example) I wonder what God will do in that instance in 3 years. I have witnessed some amazing things in my life that God has done. And I'm so excited to see what he will do in the next three years. I don't expect it to be easy, but I expect it to be good!


You've heard about people who have been abducted and had their kidneys removed by black-market organ thieves.
My thighs were stolen from me during the night several years ago. I went to sleep and woke up with someone else's thighs. That quick. The replacements had the texture of cooked oatmeal and resembled cottage cheese. Whose thighs were these and what happened to mine? I spent the entire summer looking for my thighs. Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans. But then, the thieves struck again.
My butt was next. I knew it was the same people because they took pains to match my new rear-end to the thighs they had stuck me with earlier. And...my new butt was attached at least three inches lower than my original! Now I had to give up my jeans in favor of long skirts.
Two years ago I realized my arms had been switched. One morning I was fixing my hair and was horrified to see the flesh of my upper arm swing to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. I was petrified - my body was being replaced one section at a time. What would they do next?
When my neck suddenly disappeared and was replaced with a turkey neck, I decided you all needed to hear my story. Women, wake up and smell the coffee! Those 'plastic' surgeons are using REAL replacement body parts - stolen from you and me! The next time someone you know has something 'lifted', look again - was it lifted from you?

Monday, August 23, 2010

He did it...

Steve registered for the Ozark Trail 100! Fees are paid, reservations made. Now to complete his training. I'm nervous for him.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Training Update

I had a very rough weekend. I just never felt good. Caused me to miss running Saturday and to cut Sunday short. Since next week is a fall back week with shorter runs, I will just switch my weekends and consider this weekend my fall back week. It's still hot. I'm still tired. And my clothes don't fit. I have also learned that I should not mess with my nutrition and eat something out of the ordinary over the weekend.
Steve registered for his 100 mile run today. Kind of makes it real.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Maddi: I would hate therapy. If I had to sit and talk about all my problems I'd really be depressed.
Me: I'm keeping a notebook for Nate and Whitney of all the ways I've messed them up. Save them hours with their therapy someday.
Nate: We actually have a notebook for you when you go to the nuthouse when you are 70.
Me: Won't take me that long.
Whitney: 50?
Me: Hopefully longer that.
Nate and Whitney in unison: 51?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's the simple things

Took Nate to the college Monday to get his ID and books. Something he is quite capable of doing on his own, but he asked me to go with him and my mother’s heart sang and I did a little happy dance. Fifty minute round trip in the car, I got to help him out and be a part of his life. While I stood in line at the window to get his books, he shopped the bookstore. Hoodies, tee shirts, everything imaginable with the Grizzlies logo. And he came up to me with…SOCKS. A pair of crew socks with the grizzly bear logo on the ankle. He was quite taken with these socks. I told him to go get a tee shirt too. I laughed about the socks, and we left with a small fortune wrapped up in books and $16.00 in socks and a tee shirt.
Sometimes it’s the simple things, the small things that can make our day. It’s a hard world. There is so much stuff out there, and I won’t speak for everyone, but my experience is that life is ugly, dirty and messy. Sunday morning I got news right before church that knocked the wind out of me. But then I had to get in the car with me kids and pretend nothing was wrong. I had to go to church and pretend nothing was wrong. I had to act all day like I was fine, when I was far from it. I had ran 20.5 miles on Saturday and went out Sunday to run 10 and ran them as hard as I could hoping the physical pain would dull the way I felt. It hasn’t. I just have to wait for a resolution. I can’t fix anything, I can’t do anything. Monday night I read Philippians. The study help that went with one of the chapters was an excerpt from a Max Lucado book. I’ve read it before, but the basic premise is would you content if God never did anything else for you. No blessings, no answered prayers. Just eternal life. Just forgiveness. Honestly after I read this I thought no. I wouldn’t be. I don’t think God’s a magic Genii waiting to grant me my every request, but so many Scriptures say pray and ask for what you want. Believing, ask in faith. Pray for his will, and I could go on. Then I read Phillipians again, and something made me look backward this time instead of looking forward. God hasn’t answered all my prayers. He hasn’t given me everything I’ve asked for. He hasn’t healed everyone I’ve prayed for and let everyone I’ve prayed for come to know him. This hasn’t changed who He is. I don’t love him less because He didn’t “perform” for me. The hard times that I had to just keep getting up every day and doing what I always do, begging for strength to get through the day never changed my belief that he is only good. So if I’m not disappointed that he has not answered every prayer my way and given me the perfect little life, if my faith is not devastated by this but actually stronger, maybe I could be content, because I'm not living for this world. I'm living in it, but only for a brief time. I'm not living for my "best life now" I'm living for my "best life later". (If you’re curious about this, read Francis Chan’s Crazy Love. You won't be sorry).
So in this world of instant gratification (I hate waiting) and making everything okay (I can’t fix this) I’m remembering to be content. I’m also enjoying the simple things. Like the pleasure my son found in a pair of socks. Because I think I enjoyed him loving those socks as much as he loved the socks.
Here are a few more simple things this week that I really enjoyed.
Nate flipping cereal across the table trying to flick it into Anneshia’s mouth and her giggles while he did it.
Cheesecake from Walmart’s bakery.
Whitney’s friend Maddi eating pork chops and potato salad after volleyball practice like she hadn’t seen food in a week.
My nephew Jeff watching Pokemon with Whitney for 15 minutes before school every morning. (And my nephew Jeff volunteering to stop and pick Whitney up every morning for high school. Huge benefit for me, and she feels so cool riding to school with her cousin who is a senior, varsity cross country, varsity baseball, homecoming court nominee).
Clean, cold drinking water.
A friend who will meet me at 5:00 a.m. for a six mile run before work.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

10 Things Women Understand

10. Cats' facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Training Update

Another running moment that should be on my training documentary. Wednesday night I had 6 miles and I was by myself. I grabbed my water bottle and my ipod and headed out the door. Turned on my 80’s rock block and set the stopwatch on the ipod and took off. Realized my water bottled didn’t have the handle. Steve had both water bottles with handles on his 13 mile run because he had a 6 mile stretch without a refill stop. This isn’t a big deal. Usually, I put my ipod in the waterproof zippered pouch on the handle of the water bottle, but just slid it in the pocket of my skirt and kept running. GUESS WHAT! The wide comfort waist band is not designed to hold up the weight of the ipod. Every ten steps I had to yank up the side of my skirt. But did I turn around, oh no. Kept going. Got to one mile and my ipod freezes. I pull it out and reset it, but the battery was dead. I checked it before I left and it showed about a third, which should have been enough, but it was deceptive. I’m pretty sure I haven’t charged it in about two weeks. So now I’m running with an ipod I can’t listen to that is pulling down my skirt. And the further I run the more I sweat the more uncomfortable my skirt is when I pull it up because the briefs get yanked into a place they shouldn’t go. When I get 3.5 miles and turn around, I fill my water bottle and ask if they have a small plastic bag I can have to put my ipod in because now I’m sweating like my teenage boy. They give me a rubber glove. Which actually worked real well because I tied my ipod in the rubber glove and then tied it by the fingers around the water bottle like a handle and my skirt stayed where it was supposed to for the last 2.5 miles.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

A picture is worth a thousand words...
Whitney had a big week this week.
First day of high school, this morning.

Fourteenth birthday on the 9th. Here she is with her cake. I made S’mores cupcakes. Chocolate cake, marshmallow filling, buttercream frosting, graham cracker crumb topping and a mini Hershey bar on top. My entire 18 miles of running last weekend went to burn off cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pregnancy Questions & Answers

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.
Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.
Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.
Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?
Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.
Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.
Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.
Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.
Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.
Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One foot in front of the other

This is an emotional week for me. I'm going to tell you why, and then I'm going to tell you more about my training. Because it doesn't make me tear up. (Okay it does, but in a different way). Whitney turned 14 yesterday. She starts high school Friday. Nate starts college the 23rd. Even though he is living at home, it's a major step. I'm pretty sure the living at home has a lot to do with his bed, his television, his laundry and his stomach. I'm not going to complain. And Whitney, too grown up. So on to running...
I told you I'm doing a 50 mile training plan *IT'S KICKING MY BUTT!* And I plan to run a marathon in October and my first unofficial ultra marathon in November with Steve. My goal is at least 31 miles, which is a 50K. And for Steve to live through this. Steve told me the other day that since I'm training for one, I should run one. A 50 mile run. There is one in March we want to do. It's the trail we ran our first half marathon on. So if I stay healthy, I'm going to do it. Or anyway, I'm going to attempt to do it. I've been keeping really good records of my runs through this heat, so it will be interesting to see how it goes, comparing training from June through October and then November through March. I saw some really cool tattoo running tights the other day...
I have been really tired. Dragging. So I have done some research, reading magazines, books and on line, talking to other runners and it sounds like a cop out, but I am over training. Recommendation is take an additional rest day for a couple of weeks, or change one midweek day run to cross training. Will see. I like sticking with the plan. I also am not eating enough. Never been said about me in my life. It's not so much eating more, I think, but eating better. Like instead of pop tarts for breakfast I should have had oatmeal. But pop tarts are grab and go and dry oatmeal straight from the big cardboard cylinder is not great. So I'm going to have to plan better (includes buying enough healthy stuff at the grocery store, because I have a huge box of pop tarts and no apple cinnamon nutrigrain bars, I am out of low fat granola bars and yogurt but still have chocolate chip cookies and popsicles). On the other side of it, it's been a long time since I had a fast food burger and fries.
I'm adding some hill work to my training. My Tuesday 4 miles runs are now going to be on hills. Told Steve I was doing it because I need to be faster, and he said he'll run them with me. I love this guy. I appreciate this so much. BUT! If I'm trying to run faster to keep up with him and help him have better workouts, ie, faster, and he gets faster too, why don't I just avoid the hills and we can both stay running the same speed?

And the winner is...

Courtney in California ... it's on its way!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Training Update

It's hot. I know it's hot everywhere, but Kansas continues to see triple digit temps, to say nothing of the heat index. I continue to run in it. I think plantar fasciitis never heals, so I experience heal pain on a semi-regular basis. I'm hungry alot. I'm sweaty alot. I rarely dry and fix my hair because I'm just going to run again. Thank goodness for natural waves and pretty red flowers to pin on low loose messy buns. And yet I continue to run. No one is making me, I could quit today and live a very good life. I just like to do it. AND this morning I found a pair of jeans in my drawer. I forgot I had them. I got them and they were tight, they were from a store that caters to a different demographic than me. I waited too long to return them. And they are expensive. They were a gift. I put them on this morning and they fit. Wore them to church. And on the way out of church Steve tells me I'm looking really good. I went out in 101 degree weather, 111 heat index and ran 4 miles this afternoon. The power of results. Keep you moving. This was a fall back week, so all the runs were shorter than usual. Longest was 10 miles. However I ran with Steve and he was afraid we weren't going to get 10 so he took us another stop light. It was 11. You would think at that point 10 or 11 doesn't matter that much. But it did. I wanted to quit at 10. Mentally it was all I was prepared for. Of course, if he didn't tell me while we were running, I wouldn't have known the difference. Here's hoping and praying for cooler temps.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney: On the way home from church Nate and I saw this couple on a motorcycle. We thought it was S's parents, but it wasn't. But they looked like them. He was little and she was really big.
Me: Like that children's rhyme "Jack Sprat could eat no fat"...
Whitney: Why are childrens sayings so disturbing? Like Little Miss Muffet.
Me: (laughter)
Whitney: And that ones "slide down my rainbow into my cellar door." What does that mean? It's just creepy. Something about your dollies?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Favorite Men

I want to tell you about someone I don't blog about, but one of my all time favorite guys. My oldest brother, Kris. He is two and a half years older than me. He is funny, irreverant, sarcastic, and absolutely one of the greatest, most giving, generous people I know. Two short stories about him. When Nate was born, he came in my hospital room and told me to never let my pride get in the way. If Nate needed anything, I was to ask. He would never let Nate go without. He has lived up to that, more times than I can count. He has been a positive role model in Nate's life since the day he was born. Story 2, when my grandma died, Whitney was not quite 6 months old. Kris hates funerals. I know nobody likes them, but he has been known to drive to the church, sit in the parking lot, when the service is over go in and speak to his friend and then leave. He hates hospitals too. When Whitney got fussy in the service, Steve got up to take her out. Kris took her from Steve and told Steve to stay with us. Steve was quite surprised, because while he knew my Grandma, she didn't know him, and especially not like Kris. But Kris took Whitney into the lobby. He's a baseball fan, all sports, actually. He likes sports cars. We like the same books. We like the same music. We have a lot of the same friends. He's very smart and easy to talk to. And he moved to Seattle April 2009 and I miss him terribly.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Training Update

19.4 miles Saturday, 10 miles Sunday. I have to say my clothes are hanging and I can see that I'm thinner. Running double digit miles in triple digit heat will do that. I'm watching what I eat, however, all the running makes me so hungry I watch it right into my mouth. On Saturday I ran 10 miles and went into Quiktrip to get a gatorade and water and got a diet coke and a donut. It did not negatively impact the next nine miles. It may not have been the best thing I could have done, but boy was it good.
I had a rough week last week. Life, work especially and heard a woman say "I ran two miles and loved every minute of it". I wanted to poke her in the eye. (In a kind, loving christian way, of course). Because I ran two miles, than two more, and two more, etc. But it's my choice, and honestly, I like doing it, or I wouldn't. (I was just in a mood all week, and I'm way to proud to admit to some of the things that bothered me. I will say, I kept most of them to myself).
Last week I ran 17.4 on Saturday, 8 on Sunday. My big black toenail on my right foot just finally grew out, I had ten healthy pink piggies and Sunday, new black toe, second toe on left foot. Couldn't run for three days till the swelling went down. Which was okay because the chafing under my bra elastic still hadn't completely healed.