Thursday, September 30, 2010

The End of an Era

I knew this day would come. Didn't know when, and it got here sooner than I expected. Nate quit baseball today. Texted me yesterday and said he was going to. Played last night, and played really well. Went in the coaches office this morning and sat down and talked to him. Before I tell you all what was said, when I asked why Nate told me "I'm tired of being tired, stressed out and unhappy. I don't love it as much as I thought I did". The coach first off told him how much he appreciated him handling it like a man and coming to him face to face to talk about it. He said they were very impressed with him the first couple weeks and then it seemed he hit a wall. They knew he was giving them 110%, but it wasn't the same. They also knew he would work it out and had big plans for him and he would be very successful. Coach then asked him if this had been eating at him for awhile. Nate said it had. Coach told him that it made sense. This is the wall he hit. He was done. He was still giving it his all, but his heart wasn't there. Nate told the coach he wouldn't do it half hearted, he wouldn't do that to the team. I am so proud of my boy. The only thing that even remotely bothered me about this is that he discussed it with his girlfirend before he told me. At least she gave him good, sound advice. I didin't care that he talked to his cousin who had also quite college baseball, but the girlfriend was a bit of a wound. I know he's growing (grown?) up as a college freshman. I still want him to be my boy. But those days are gone.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Freebie

There is a movie that is/was out this summer, one an award from the Sundance Movie Festival. I stumbled across it on line by accident, looking for running stuff. Anyway, this 30's aged couple is at a lull in the sex lives. Can't even remember how long it's been since they had sex. BIG PROBLEM THERE. Should never go that long. I won't share my philosopy on that, again, veil of silence, but that's just wrong. This couple decides to spice up their sex life by you guessed it, each of them having a "freebie" a night to do whatever with whomever, no strings, no questions. Everything in me just screams how wrong this is. The review did allude to the fact that the end of the movie did give the idea that this was a bad idea and didn't work out well. (YA THINK???) I won't be seeing it, but I hope this is true.
Marriage is hard work. I have to imagine there are times where not only does Steve choose to love me, but he has to choose to like me as well. The smile? May be only because he loves the Lord and so it comes through to me. But looking for satisfaction outside of your marriage is nothing but a recipe for disaster. I took this especially hard because I have a friend with teenagers who is most likely going to leave her husband in the very near future. I can't stop it, I can't help. I know it's going to be devastating to her kids. And I just wonder when and where it went wrong? Letting an issue slide because it wasn't worth the time, or the effort to work out that you were hurt and why? Not apologizing for when you hurt your spouse? Being indifferent to their needs? Being indifferent to them in general? Not taking the time to treat them like you want to be treated? Not loving them as Christ loved you, forgiving as Christ forgave you? Not being selfless instead of selfish? And it makes me want to be good to my husband.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My husband IS HOT!!

I came home from work today and he was vacuuming! The only time he looks hotter is when he's doing the dishes.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Training Update

I have run 413 miles since July 1. But this morning I went out to run 24 and 2 miles in my right foot was hurting on the top bad enough I was limping. Steve doesn't let me push through some pain. If I limp for two miles, he knows I'm done. Fortunately, we had changed our running plan this week and had gone to a local park that has miles of running/bike trails and Sheila had met us there. She had 8 miles to run. We did the first loop of 4 and she had to get her son to a parade, so I went home with her and Steve finished his 32. (I know, that's crazy!) I'm going to give it a few days and hopefully that will take care of it. RICE, or in my case, RIICE, rest, ice, ibuprofen, compression and elevation. Marathon is two weeks from tomorrow. I don't think it's a sideline injury, and I know my body and running pain pretty well, so I'm not to worried...yet. I will have to run 24 next week as I am taking this weekend off. I still have to plan for my "follow up" marathon in November to keep Steve company on his 100 miler. I may try aqua jogging tomorrow just to get an hour of alternate training in. Will see how I feel. And if my swimsuit still fits. I'm much skinnier. 413 miles in triple digit heat in three months will do that, if you are looking for a quick weight loss program.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: Heights High School gym, freshman volleyball game.

Whitney: Did you bring me a drink?
Me: No, do you have your water bottle?
Whitney: No.
Me: I’ll get you something.

I call Steve and ask him to bring his water jug in when he gets there. He takes a two gallon red and white Coleman jug to work with him every day.

Steve: Here’s your water.
Whitney: THIS IS AWESOME! (Hangs it over her arm like a purse) I’m going to carry this with me everywhere I go from now on. It’s an accessory! Thanks Dad!

I want to point out that there is never any excitement over the green insulated 24 oz water bottle I got for her, or the stainless steel one I generally fill and bring for her, or the Gatorade I get on occasion (except to say “I like red better”…)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Appearances can be deceiving

I had two humorous comments made Sunday morning. Humorous to me, but kind of sadly poignant as well. I get to church running a little late. I walk into church to the child care sign in, moving quickly (and I can walk fast, Steve has been "encouraging" me when I have to walk on my long training runs to walk fast and keep my heart rate up). I have on a dress and a pair of my ridiculously high heeled shoes that I love to wear, hair done, fashion sunglasses on, purse over my shoulder, pink diaper bag, baby on hip complete with red and white plaid shirt under denim jumper, red bows in the curly hair, red socks and white shirt, carrying my venti pumpkin spice latte, iced, (which is why I was late, it was so good, and after getting up to run at 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning and sitting for 12 hours immediately following that at a volleyball tournament a necessity but with Anneshia in the car I didn't want to run in Kwik Shop to get a cheaper one and have to carry her and make my own coffee) I check Anneshia in. The comment is made behind me by a young mother, "wow, you really have it all together." Part of this is due to the sunglasses, she can't see my laugh lines (wrinkles) to know I'm much older than her. Not that that matters, I have friends my age with toddlers. But I just smiled at her and her three little ones and moved on.
When church was over, I met Steve coming off the stage and handed him the baby, pink diaper bag and traded keys so I could stop at the grocery store. When I get to the parking lot to unlock his camaro, the mom in the mini-van next to me says, "I remember those days." What days? The days when your elementary age children are 10 years older than they are now? I wanted to laugh again. Flattered that I look younger than I am (did I mention my sunglasses are really oversized?) But I just smiled and got in the car and went to Dillons for bleach and ground beef.
Neither of these women would have benefitted from me telling them I don't have it all together, and I'm not 20 years younger than I am with my life before me. The fact that I can leave church by myself and get in a sports car and drive off is something I remember doing as well, but now I realize what a privilege/luxury/sad occasion it is. Reality? I miss my kids being little. I like the age they are now, I love being with them and relating on an adult level in many instances, but I miss things I can't get back. It's all about seasons of life. And the best advice I have for mom's in any season of life, is enjoy it. Every minute. Don't wish it away for clothes without spit up stains and donut kisses on your skirt. Don't wish for trips to the grocery store without your kids, enjoy the time with them. Because what is looked forward too right now, a trip by yourself, will become the norm. And then you will miss it. You have all the time to get everything on your list, you won't forget anything, you will get to look at what you want and comparison shop, but you will be alone. Like I said before, I enjoy a lot about this season of my life, and I'm changing with it, and making the best of it. I don't want a new baby to repeat it all. I just want to say enjoy where you are. Make the most of every minute. Because it goes too fast. I walked by a little league baseball field the other day, probably about 9 years old, and looked at those boys and was flooded with memories of a thick bodied little guy in gray pinstriped baseball pants wearing catchers gear. I now see a grown man at second base.
All that to say, you can fool people. I don't have it all together. Never have. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl, always have been, always will be. But I am confident in my not having it all together. I am confident in that fact that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I have been blessed more than I deserve, more than I thought possible.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Favorite Men

This is my brother, Kelly, father to three of my other favorite men. He is my sibling closest in age, we are 18 months apart. We work for the same company and get to have lunch together fairly often. We IM on a regular basis, so we keep in pretty constant contact, especially considering I still see him often. He comes to Whitney's volleyball matches. I watch Jeff's cross country and baseball games. He also takes the time to work on baseball with Nate. He does batting practice with Nate once a week or so to help him out with his college practices, keep him sharp and give him an edge. He also spent a lot of time with Nate right before college tryouts to get him in fighting shape.
He completed his first triathlon, sprint distance, this last weekend. He beat his goal time by 4 minutes. 98 athletes, he was 26th overall, 82nd in the swim, 39th running, and 11th on the bike, which is by far his strongest and the event he loves the most. I am so proud of him.

Monday, September 20, 2010

In My Corner

I watched 14 volleyball matches. Whitney rocked it out.
I fell on my long run Saturday, cut my hand, bruised my thigh, mile 12, still ran all the way home.
I won $40 in our business unit's biggest loser competition at work.
I lost 14 pounds in 6 weeks to win 3rd place.
I bought a new pair of running shorts, two sizes smaller and on the 70% off clearance rack. DOUBLE SCORE!!!
I went to parent teacher conferences for Whitney.
I saw the sunrise when I was getting home from my run Saturday morning. God's creation is so amzingly beautiful

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Training Update

I ran my Saturday long run in the dark again. Whitney had a volleyball tournament Saturday and had to be there at 7:30. 22.5 miles all in the dark. And I fell down. Went a little further than I had ever gone before so I was unfamiliar with the sidewalk and I wasn't as careful as I should have been. I have a flashlight and glow stick, but I wasn't using it. I am so used to something hurting that I don't know how I would act if I got out of bed and nothing ached. On the other side of that, I feel so much better than I used to that I can't complain about it. Usually it quits hurting after I'm up for a while and everything warms up and loosens up. I have a mobile pain in my legs. Never know if it will be my right heel or my left ankle or the top of my right foot or my calf...
The marathon is in three weeks, and my biggest concern is what to wear. Seriously. I'm trying to figure out what running clothes will look presentable and decent in front of other runners and still be comfortable instead of just throwing on something and running. I can't try anything new, because it might chafe or not wear well.
This week I have 58 miles to run. But no volleyball tournament on Saturday, so I can get up at a decent time like 4:30 a.m. to run.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Conversations With Whitney

Whitney: It was so hot at the football game I had to leave the student section and go two rows up so I could breathe.
Denae: I know. It was so hot it was like the devil was hugging me wearing his wool sweater.

Denae is one of Whitney's friends that could easily be one of ours. She fits in our family like crazy. Fights with Steve, hangs crap on Nate and is as loyal to Whitney as a sibling. I looked for a picture of her to put on here with Whitney and I have so many to choose from. I love this girl.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hey Diddle, Diddle

I love to read the books of the New Testament 1 Peter and 2 Peter. There is something about a man that walks with Jesus, lives life with Jesus, sees him taken away to be killed, denies him, sees him come back to life, and accepts face to face his forgiveness for this. When I think about a man who walked with Jesus and saw his miracles and yet still denied he knew him, I wonder how you could do that. But I think my life does not always give witness that I know him. And I have met Jesus and walked with him too. But I was raised by Christian parents and accepted Christ as my Savior at a young age, and everything I’ve done wrong I did after I knew him. I love those testimonies where people say what a sinner they were when Jesus found them and they turned their life around and live for him. I on the other hand, was probably out partying with them and they had no idea I knew Jesus. I have put those sins under the blood of Christ, and I try with everything I have to live for him. Not the way other godly women live for him, I’ve tried to mimic them and I’ve tried to model myself after godly women. Ultimately though, I accept that Christ modeled the life I’m supposed to live, and that’s what I try to do. I really sell myself short when I try to be someone or something I’m not. There is a sign here at work that says “Always remember, you are unique. Just like everyone else”. I love this. We are all created unique, and while it makes me special that no one else is like me, it makes them special that no one else is like them. But it also makes us all the same in our uniqueness. I’m not better, I’m just different. There are women I know I wish I was more like. I wish I had M’s laid back easy going outlook, go with the flow. J’s kindness to everyone she meets. There is no way she can like everybody (is there?) and yet it appears she does. I would love to be more like C with her ability to always say the right thing, even in chastisement, kindly. S’s determination, she’s never failed at anything. R’s organizational and planning abilities. K’s “water off a ducks back” dealing with the past.

And when I was thinking about this, I know I can’t be like these women. God gave them these strengths. If I try to make it mine, it becomes fake, and I definitely never want to be fake. Truth is, unlike M, I get wound up. I can go against the flow and really wear myself out and sometimes, you do need to fight. Generally I get over it pretty quick (Steve makes me). I try to be kind to people, but I’ve also developed good avoidance skills. Big smile and wave and duck into a bathroom stall. Not the nicest thing to do. (And if you see me and I duck into a bathroom, give me the benefit of the doubt right now, it may not be personal, I have grown in this area too. Running 60 miles a week, hydration, salt tablets, abuse of diet coke and the introduction of pumpkin spice lattes into Starbucks fall line up may have more to do with it than just avoiding you, because if you are reading this, you have to be one of my favorite people.) I try never to chastise anyone or address areas of conflict. I’m better off scolding my kids virtually. That’s right, with a text. Don’t judge me. I hate conflict, and I know I shouldn’t duck and run when it really is needed, but I do. Am I the only one who has apologized by email or text to her husband? Again don’t judge me. There is an upside to this too though, by avoiding hard conversations till they have to happen and learning to hold my tongue (the armor of God should include a muzzle for people like me) has protected me from saying some things I would have to apologize for and could never undo the hurt.
I have to be very organized at work, a lot of my job is planning and scheduling. I order millions of dollars of inventory on a monthly basis. I keep about 400 people (if the material isn’t here to build, they can get sent home, affects their paychecks) working building airplane parts to schedules while maintaining a certain level of inventory, actual stock on hand and dollars in inventory. But you’d never know it at my house. We run out of toilet paper and milk and deodorant and diet coke and occasionally gas in the car. And if I could have the time back I’ve spent obsessing about my past and what I should have done differently, I’d add 10 years back to my life. Good point to this, I don’t repeat my mistakes often, because they are so close in my memory.
I’m going to try and make sense of where this came from, not sure if I can, but recently I have been in contact with two women that everything they say is quoted from the Scriptures and/or about God. From asking me how am I meeting my husband’s needs, down to asking me if I fix his favorite meals and do I know what is most important to him in the running of our household. I know what’s most important to my husband. He is a man. He has very basic needs. Sex, food and cable TV. (Whoops, he has instructed - Mandated? Banned? Censored? I’m not allowed to talk about sex on my blog.) And these women made me feel briefly, guilty because I’m not that as godly as they are. I talk about Whitney’s volleyball and the television show I watched and Saturday’s training run. I discuss recipes (sounds better than saying food) and talk to people about their kids and families. I read secular magazines, fashion magazines, running magazines. I’m not going to be the lady tweeting only inspirational sayings or lyrics from songs or Scripture references all the time. I may throw a quote from The Office out there or the lyrics to a secular song. Who’s not uplifted by “hey diddle diddle with a kitty in the middle and they swingen like they just don’t care”?
I Peter 2:15-17 says “It is God’s desire that by doing good you should stop foolish people from saying stupid things about you. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Live as servants of God. Show respect for all people: love the brothers and sisters of God’s family, respect God, honor the King.” (NCV) I should do good. What I do that is good may not be the same as the lady next to me doing good (like dodging into the bathroom). I should live as a free person, but not use my freedom as an excuse to do evil. I believe talking about volleyball to the other parents allows me to build relationships, which allows me to offer to pray, to offer help, to give godly advice, to WITNESS about my Savior. Ultimately, show respect for all people, fragilities and failures not withstanding, and love, love, LOVE. These things I can do. We have to choose to love, wholeheartedly, unabashedly, unafraid of being hurt. An old Michael W. Smith song comes to mind, “love isn’t love till you give it away.” I’m thinking of new ways to show love and remembering to tell people that I love them. I started today. Told one of Whitney’s friend’s mom how much I love her daughter. Think I’ll tell the daughter too. Hope everyone has a blessed day, full of love. I LOVE ALL OF YOU!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Career Day

Nate is working towards a liberal arts degree right now. College Algebra, English 101, Psychology, Speech, Freshman Connect and Baseball are his classes (he actually gets a credit for baseball). 14 hours. He doesn't know what he wants to study, what he wants to do with his life. This is the first time he has been unsure since he was four years old. He asked me what that Seinfeld guy did. I said he's an actor. Nate asked what he did when he stood at a microphone and everyone laughed, I told him that's a comedian. Career Day in Kindergarten Nate said he wanted to be a comedian. Everyone laughed, Nate thought he had arrived. (And he's still making me laugh today.) Elementary school he wanted to either play professional baseball, be an astronaut or a supreme court justice. I explained to him that baseball you have about .0013% of making it, but that's better than the odds of one of 12 supreme court justices or one of 6 astronauts. He said they would be hard to get into, but the hard options he has, the more likely he is to get at least one of them. A little while later he thought he'd like to be a nuclear physicist, on the bomb squad or in the military because he wanted to blow things up. One day he told me that if none of his life plans worked out he would be okay. He could live on Ramen noodles and eat at my house as much as possible. High school brought a whole new idea to him, he was invited to his baseball coach's house to watch KU play in the NCAA tournament. He discovered that while a special ed History teacher/assistant football coach/head baseball coach may not make much money, his HR director at a major aerospace company wife did serious bank, so he decided he could teach pottery like his favorite teacher Mr. Self and just marry well. At Homecoming last year his career goal was to be CEO of his own company and develop stories for video games.
And now, reality. He has to decide. I'm spending a lot of time praying for him, because he has some decisions to make. No matter what he decides I couldn't be prouder. And my life has had a lot of laughter because of this "comedian".

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Training Update

I ran 60 miles in a week. Seven days. This is a new record for me. I'm at the point in (ultra)marathon training where it takes a big part of your life. I'm working hard to keep it where it belongs, I'm making it a point to get to Whitney's volleyball games and to take care of my house and my family. But this is a lot of hours to dedicate to running. And yet somehow, I still love it. This week I had my first totally nighttime run. I have ended some runs in the dark, and 5:00 a.m. is dark, but this was different. Overnight. Steve will have to run overnight in his 100 mile, and that's the time he wants company. So Whitney got "called up" to play on the JV team in a tournament on Saturday, and in the interest of supporting her (really, I wouldn't miss watching her play every chance I get) Steve and I went to bed early Friday night. Like toddler early, and got up at midnight to run 22 miles and 30 miles respectively. This takes some extra planning. Flashlights. More 24 hour convenience stores on the route, however it's cool enough to not need as many stops. Extra 5 hour energy shots. And another toddler early bedtime on Saturday night.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Denae: EWWWWW, my parents were talking about going to a tropical island and "getting it on". Grossest thing EVER!!!
Whitney: Do you want to come live at my house?
Denae: I'm on my way!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cast your Cares

Went to church last Wednesday night. Mark asked the question “how many of you are going through a tough time right now?” I looked around at the hands that went up, and then looked at Steve. I had to ask, since neither of us raised our hands, have we accepted this as normal? Pretty much we have. Life is hard. We (as followers of Christ) were not promised an easy road. I struggle with my faults and failings that make my life harder and tougher than it needs to be, because I have enough trials with the self inflicted ones. But that’s for another day. Or not. We all have struggles. No one is exempt. But we all have something else too. 1 Peter 5:7-8 tell us “7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” After we give all of our worries and cares to God, (and the amplified version says give them to him once and for all), we are to be alert and watch out, so our enemy, the devil, doesn’t devour us. This is where my self inflicted trials come from. Not be alert. Not be watching out. I’m going to try and practice both of these more. Cast all my cares, and be alert.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In My Corner

*stealing this post idea from a friend's blog...

I SAW Whitney's two first high school volleyball games
I RAN 40.72 miles
I MISSED Nate's first college baseball game.
I READ the October issue of Runner's World - twice.
I WENT to Topeka with Steve and listened to worship music and a sermon with him.
I DROVE home from Topeka so Steve could nap.
I LISTENED to Whitney and her friends chat, (and loved every minute of it).
I SMELLED grilled pork chops.
I FEARED running into a skunk in the dark at mile 17.5 on the trail on Sunday's run.
I TASTED gator from Nate's favorite restaurant in Wichita, Da Cajun Shack.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

A picture is worth a thousand words...but I'm gonna give you words too. Whitney played her first high school volleyball games this week. It should be weird, but it's not. What is weird was getting called for the second game to help with food. I'm the mother of a freshman, no one should have my number. Unfortunately, Nate's friends mom's all have it. I'm easily accessible. I also got to hear from one of Nate's baseball coaches from last year what he thought of Nate. Makes a mom proud to hear that their kid is well thought of coming out of high school. Rough years to be around kids. Anyway, some of my favorite volleyball pictures, some of my favorite girls.
Whitney is #17 with her arms in the air. This is on an 8 run serving streak she pounded out.
These four played club together last winter (remember? I bored you all with those pictures too). Now they are on opposite sides of the court, but still love each other.
Six of the girls on Whitney's team.
Whitney and one of the girls on the varsity team. She's a junior, and she is an amazing volleyball player. When she jumps she gets waist high with the top of the net. She can hit the ball real hard. Fun to watch. She also loves Whitney.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I have an area of my life where I am really impatient. The grocery store. I think sometimes people are there just to annoy me. I've been working really hard on this, keeping a pleasant face, not showing any signs of impatience with the other people that happen to have the misfortune of being in the same store with me. And tonight I was doing well. Even behind the three middle school girls walking down the aisle in front of me and super slow motion speed. The whole aisle. Looking behind them to watch me. Even when I got in the line to check out and there were 3 lines open to serve the 50 or so customers that were in line. I believe it was WIC voucher day and vision card day. So I waited. 25 minutes. My stuff is all unloaded on the counter, the girl in front of me's last item has been scanned and she says "Oh. My husband went back to get orange juice. Can you slow down?" My head spun around three times and I think I hissed fire. But I sucked it back in, washed it down with a diet coke, settled my halo back on my now clearly visible horns and finished up.