Thursday, June 30, 2011

1000 Gifts 21 - 40

40. my NCV Bible, 39. healing (after a week of dentists, edodontists and emergency room, really thankful for this), 38. a preacher who makes you laugh, 37. the library, 36. laying outside at 12:30 at night with Steve watching the lightning, 35. a good night's sleep, 34. time at the swimming pool, 33. a two year old eating chocolate, 32. watching people enjoy themselves, 31. meals around the dinner table, 30. the weight of an arm around me at night, 29. Payday, 28. skipping a workout, 27. spending time with those I love, 26. candy bars for lunch, 25. outdoor concerts, 24. a new dress, 23. promises from God that are answered, 22. email (texts, comments on blog) from friends, 21. Fifteen year old girls,

20. The last day of school, 19. Laying in the grass, 18. A hug when I'm happy, 17. A hug when I'm sad, 16. Smiles that reach the eyes, 15. Laughing children, 14. Being able to say "I'm sorry" and mean it, 13. Fresh hair color, 12. Summer storms, 11. Watching Steve cross the finish line, 10. Whitneyisms, 9. Windows to the world, 8. Friends who love my kids, 7. Fear Factor reruns, 6. Steve and Anneshia on the trampoline, 5. Smiley faces in texts from Nate, 4. first nice days of summer, 3. trail runs, 2. blueberry iced tea, 1. MLB

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Conversations with Madeline

I can't help it, this girl is just too funny. And able to laugh at herself.

Madeline: That bug had it's antlers on you.
Whitney: Antlers?
Madeline: Isn't that what they are called?
Whitney: Antennae??
Madeline: Oh. What are antlers?

Monday, June 27, 2011

She's not mine...

More pictures. I was inside the front door taking these, they were locked on the front porch. Otherwise he might be in my bed tonight. And the girls??? Well, they would sleep with the fishys.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In My Corner

Went to the doctor because my sprain foot should be well, and I have days without pain, but sometimes...found out under the sprain I have two healing stress fractures. 4 weeks more no running, no weight bearing exercises, and change my foot wear. Then no restrictions after 4 weeks.

Steve sang in a friends wedding. Congrats B.J. and Shawna. He sang Rascal Flatts "I Won't Let Go". He was amazing. We met a really awesome couple that used to live here in Wichita and now lives in Washington, D.C. Like us, they only knew the bride and groom so we spent the rehearsal dinner and reception with them. If she lived closer she would join the herd. Whitney took this picture of us.

Whitney had a volleyball tournament Saturday. It's still hard to get used to her playing high school volleyball. She has a great jump serve, and I thought it looked really good, she said it's been better. I was proud of her, (always).

Jake and Carrie are on their way home from Boston, for good. YAY.

Spent the night in the ER after the wedding and reception. Steve had a dentist appt. 3 weeks ago for a toothache. The dentist said there was nothing wrong and the pain would subside. He's abused the pain killers, changed tooth paste, and was controlling it. But Saturday night the man that ran 23 mile with torn meniscus (surgery is July 6), Morton's neuroma (surgery is July 13). If he's off for 4 weeks with his knee and 3 weeks having the nerve taken out of his foot (the option that gets him back running quickest) he's doing them at the same time. Anyway, he hadn't slept good in a couple of days because nothing hurts like a toothache. There are no after hours emergency dentists in Wichita on Saturday night and Sunday. So we went to the emergency room. IT WAS SO BUSY!!! Five hours, $50.00 co-pay, pain shot in the butt, shot to the block the nerve in the gum, two lortab and three prescriptions we were back home and in bed at 4:30 a.m. He has some relief and an appointment with the dentist Monday afternoon.

I am so thankful for insurance. And nurses. And nurse practioners. And dentists. And Steve.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney posted these pics on her facebook Father's Day. The quality is not so hot because she took pictures of pictures from her scrapbook. If she took them out they would be ruined and leave holes in her scrapbook. They are cute, but more importantly, out of three books, these are the ones she picked to share with her 984 friends.

Whitney and her cousin Jeff at Worlds of Fun

Whitney and Emily at Sheila and my class reunion on pony rides at Watson Park on a 100+ degree Kansas day.
Whitney and Emily ran the River Festival Tot Trot one year. I think it was 40 yards.

Whitney and Steve at 6 weeks old taking one of many Sunday afternoon naps.
Whitney and Steve hanging out together at one of Nate's many little league baseball games.
Whitney and Steve sharing a sweatshirt.

Nate and Whitney at her Kindergarten Christmas program, he was in 4th grade.

Whitney and Nate on Easter Sunday, he was helping her find eggs.

Me and Whitney in a mall picture booth that did pencil sketch by computer.

Whitney and Kari, Amanda and Ashley (or her sissies, as she calls them)as Whitney was playing dress up in one of Nate's old Halloween costumes.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Think on this

Psalm 37:10 says “Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.”

I’m happy to say that this verse above is coming true for me. The wicked are gone. I don’t look for them, but I’ve made sure I don’t stumble across them either. If I have an infection I get the most aggressive treatment I can to get rid of it. If something hurts I don’t intentionally keep doing it (except for running and weight training). And so I disinfected my life.

I cleaned out my email. I cleaned out my face book messages. I did this by a date range. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I didn’t want to be reminded of things. I also deleted full threads of texts. Again, some positive, some negative, but that’s what had to happen to get rid of the negative. I like to save nice things and read them again. But when you have to wade through poop to get to them, it’s not worth it.

I’m starting fresh. I’m collecting new positive comments. (Please feel free to contribute. Compliments are unashamedly encouraged. You always can tell me how great I am). I even got rid of clothes that had bad memories. I threw a book away.
Memories are harder, but I have lots of good memories; some old, some new, and I will keep building new ones. How can I do this? I’ll end like I started, with a Scripture.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.(AKJV)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Letting Go

I just read a blog where a woman is moaning about her oldest daughter starting kindergarten. I totally get this, but I am preparing for my oldest to move out. to another town with a friend. In two months. Two hours a way. And while we are both ready, or both think we are, I know I'm going to miss him. I've already looked at the calendar to see when the first weekend I can go up on a Saturday is. You know, after he's been gone sufficiently long enough that I'm not clingy but not so long that I have a nervous breakdown but in between volleyball tournaments and 100 mile races.

When my kids were born I gave them my heart. Some people say they stole their hearts, but I gave mine. And as I watch Nate pull away from me, from everyone at home as he prepares to leave I'm saddened, but excited for his future. He told me the other night that it's not high school anymore, life's really different. And it's hard. I have never fought with him, in 19 years until this summer. And a lot of it is my fault because I don't want to give him room to go. I told Steve the other day our kids would all be better off financially, educationally, spiritually, healthy if they would just listen to me. But reality is they are all at least one year out of high school, so I can't make their decisions. They have to learn.

And Nate worries about his little sister who is going to be a sophomore not being "savvy" enough. I asked him what I was doing wrong for her, and he said it wasn't that. It's just high school is hard, but life after high school is much harder and he wants her to be ready.

I know he can make it on his own. I don't expect him back.

I can still remember the first day of kindergarten (5 years 1 month old) as I dropped him off in brown hiking boots, light colored jeans and a green polo shirt. He looked at me and said "I don't need you to come in, I can do this myself." And he is even more independent and strong and wise than he was 14 years ago. I'll pray for him everyday the rest of his life.

Now I have to go because I can't see through my tears.

I had this titled "he's leaving me" but didn't want to give anyone wrong ideas.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I am curious about my readers, so I have a question.
How old are you?
A. Moisturizer
B. Anti-wrinkle cream
C. Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Cream
D. All of the above

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

Father's Day, being Sunday, we went to church. Gonna talk mostly about that, but Steve got to pick where we were eating, he chose Freddy's. YAY!!! Unhealthy food, chocolate shake for dessert. Then three of his four daughters were over for the afternoon and one granddaughter. He finished the day with a 12 mile recovery long run. And lots of carbs for supper. Father's Day is for the dads, but Steve said something to me that is forever going to make this one of my favorite holidays.

And now, I want to tell you about Father's Day service at church. It was hot, and it was outside. But, we started a sermon series in Daniel titled "Tough".

It started with a bike rally in the church parking lot. There were booths selling biker stuff (sorry, don't know the correct term) spray on tattoos, and free ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs, water, tea, and 4 different classes of bikes to vote on in the bike show. I would guess well over 100 bikes. It was really cool.

Lots of leather and facial hair. The service ended with a version of On Christ the Solid Rock with real rappers and people break dancing in front of the stage. It might seem odd to see break dancing and rappers at the same party with bikers getting along, but when I saw the biker break dancing I just had to laugh.

The sermon was good, how can the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego not be good? "The bunny, the bunny, oh I love the bunny, I don't love my mom or my dad just the bunny". (If you don't get this, you need to watch Veggie Tales.)
The pastor ended with the plan of salvation and made the comment "your past and your present don't matter, you need to take care of your future."

This comes after I've spent a couple of months thinking about our present. We all love a good healing and restoration story. We all love the "God changed my life" story. I have found out that some friends love being your friend and saying they are your friend and being okay with your past. But when your present gets ugly they bail on you. I'm fortunate to have friends that will "get dirty" in my present with me. I've even had one that thanked me for trusting her enough to confide in her during my ugly times. That's rare.

I want to be the friend that says I don't care about your past. I don't care about your present. I'm concerned for your future. Let's forgive your past, work through your present and live for the future. Grace is for our past sins, our current sins and our future sins. It's not a one time use coupon. And if God's grace and forgiveness covers all my "stuff", then I want to be one that can love you through your "stuff." There is nothing that is so devastating as hitting rock bottom and then having people you thought would lift you up ignore you. I won't be that person.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In my corner

I don't post this every week. Because sometimes nothing happens worth sharing. I could tell you that I went to church, but I've been going to church since 9 months before I was born. I could tell you I went to the gym, but I go 5 days a week minimum, so big deal. I had a date with Steve, but we do that every week now too.

I'm somewhere around 500 posts in 2 and a half years and since this is my blog they are all either about me or from my head, so sometimes you aren't gonna get anything new. I slid fully into my rut this week (and loved it). So in my world of anything new or possibly interesting, this is what I've got. Which isn't much, but has never stopped me before.

I got sunburned. First one of the summer. I was alone Saturday afternoon so I went to the pool. With a book. I didn't swim, because I had a good book and then I fell asleep and when I woke up hot my choice was head for the air conditioned car and Sonic for a diet coke or get in the water and I chose car. Then church was outdoors so I wore a sleeveless shirt and shorts and two and half hours later, I'm more burned. But it was a great service.

Nate paid a deposit on an apartment, asked for extra hours at work to save money so he can move to Lawrence, Kansas middle of August. He's ready. I'm ready. I will miss him, but when it's time it's time.

I'm behind on laundry. This hasn't happened in months. So I'm going to say in my corner it was a slow, easy, relaxing week, and go put away laundry.

Much love to you all!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

All the single ladies...

Hope you don't find this offensive...

A female minister while studying the book of Ruth said to the single women:

“While waiting on your Boaz don’t settle for any of his relatives. Brokeaz, Poaz, Lyingaz, Cheatingaz, Lockedupaz, Goodfornothingaz, lazyaz, or his third cousin Beatyoaz.

And he also needs to respect yoaz!”

Friday, June 17, 2011

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney has a wonderful herd of her own. Last night Steve and I took Whitney to On The Border for dinner. Whitney wanted it. Not one of our favorites, but Whitney is one of our favorites, so we went. Took Maddi and Denae too. I laughed so hard at these girls all night. Tears in my eyes laughing. I'm going to tell this story. You won't think it's as funny cause you weren't there.

Whitney and Denae are telling me and showing me Shelby's (an older girl from school, just graduated) mad face. Fingers move like you are honking something. A little growl in your throat.
Maddi is sitting next to me, and unfortunately she cannot make the face. Whitney and Denae however, are entertaining me. I notice over my shoulder a booth of four women pointing, laughing and talking about Whit. I turn to tell her, and notice that Whitney has noticed them watching her too. My child does not get embarassed and look away or quit. She looks directly at these women and makes the face, wiggles the fingers and growls at (for??) them. This is where I'm laughing so hard I might pee myself. I think most mothers would stop their daughters, but I can't stop laughing. I ask Whit later what these ladies did and she said they looked away and ignored her, they were really creeped out.

As luck would have it, the table behind Whitney had two girls celebrating their 21st birthday. As the wait staff sang their happy birthday song, Whitney continued to entertain and these waitpersons were paying some attention to her. Steve was egging them on.

All in all, I had a very enjoyable Thursday evening, and probably have a year's worth of stuff I could write about on here. I love these 15 year old girls.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I have a new trainer. It's the guy in the gray tee shirt running with Steve. He works at the Y and he also is Sheila's trainer. So I just butted in with her. I'll always take an extra 30 minutes with a herd girl. First session last night and I'm very sore. It wasn't anything I hadn't done before, but he put on a good training session for us. I'm looking forward to the next one. I like the fact that he is also a runner and triathlete. He is training for a marathon in October, so he's totally on board with what Sheila and I love to do.

He's also thinking he may be one of Steve's pace runners for the 2011 Ozark Trail 100.

I'm very happy with my decision to train with Austin.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Went shopping the other night. Steve needed some accessories. Ties and belts are accessories for men right? Whitney wanted a new outfit. I suggested many, a couple Steve looked at me like I was crazy (translated, he would never let her wear them out of the house) and a couple Whitney looked at me like I was crazy (Little House on the Prairie styles are not fashionable, even in Kansas). She settled on a skirt that I would say is a southwest print with bright orange and white and sky blue, and an orange tank top that she will wear her sleeveless vest over. It is cute. I tend to like girlie clothes a lot more than Whitney does. I like soft fabrics, victorian styles, even my professional attire is softer and prettier than most. I shopped for myself at GNC. Then on to Walmart. Groceries. And about $50.00 worth of vitamins and protein. Healthy stuff, like the GNC stuff I bought.

I'm not much of a shopper. I did realize I need some new clothes when Steve asked if I was going to buy something to wear to a wedding and I said no, and he said, "are you going to wear your black dress or your white dress?" Yep, it's that bad. My other choices are my green dress, black skirt or jeans. So I looked at dresses. But I couldn't pick one out. So Steve picked one out for me. And it was beautiful. And I got to purchase it in a size that really made me happy. And Madeline and Whitney both complimented me. When 15 year old girls compliment you, it means you got it right, or waaaayyyyy wrong. I think I got this one right. I've said it before, I just ought to let Steve pick out all my clothes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Worth Repeating

I was looking for information that I knew was in my blog. I found this from February of 2009. I read this post again, read Ezekiel again, watched an old episode of Friends, and decided to dust it off and share it again.

This is a line from a popular 1990’s television show. It’s not one of my favorite television shows, I watched it, but it wouldn’t make my top ten list. (I don’t have a top ten list, but now I feel the pressure to make one). It’s from Friends, Joey has a girlfriend that Chandler likes, and Chandler goes out with her behind Joey’s back. Chandler says that he knows he has crossed the line. Joey responds that yes, Chandler did cross the line. In fact, he is so far over the line he can’t even see the line, he yells, “THE LINE IS A DOT TO YOU”.

I found this really funny in a poignant kind of way. I have been so far across the line that the line was a dot to me. I know how it happened. It was one step at a time. I didn’t jump on my Tarzan vine and swing as far away as I could and then jump off the vine. I lowered my standards inch by inch. I changed my conduct and behavior just a little at a time. It started with boredom, then new (wrong) friends, because I was bored. Then the wrong places to hangout, more wrong friends, wrong activities, and even more wrong activities until I wasn’t even close to the line. When I did finally realize how far a way I had gotten, it was a long way back home. By that time I was expecting my son, and had no intention of marrying his father. Heaping mistake after mistake (or sin on top of sin) was not the right way to go, and I knew it. Getting married was not the answer, it would have made me look better, but it wasn’t the right thing to do. At that point, I looked at the line and started back. And that meant leaving friends and activities behind. I knew God had never left me. I had never been alone, but I was so far from where he wanted me to be, it was a rough journey back. Sin doesn’t let go easily.

Sin is enticing. It looks fun (and even is fun) for a period of time. I had a boss who traveled to Switzerland and brought me back a box of chocolates. Swiss’ finest chocolates, they weren’t in a box, they were in a little treasure chest. They were covered in white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. They were round, square, rectangles, triangles, swirled, drizzled, they were beautiful. The girl at the next desk and I decided to try them. One bite, and I’m bent over my trash can spitting and I look up at my co-worker and she is rubbing her tongue with a napkin. My beautiful box of Swiss chocolates was laced with fine liqueur. (I’m not much into fine liqueur or any liqueur for that matter). Translated, they were nasty. Worse yet, it took a long time to get rid of the after taste. It kind of stuck to your tongue and the smell lingered too.
Sin is like this. Very tempting, presented like it’s a great time and all the cool kids are doing these things. But when you get to the heart of it, it’s a different story. And it does leave an after taste, and eventually, it ends in ruin. Ruined lives. But God builds from ruins. The God that restored life to dead bodies in the Bible and has promised to restore life to those who have died and their spirits are in Heaven, if he can breathe life in once, and then again, he can restore a ruined life. Even use it for His glory. There is no life so broken that it can’t be healed. The healing for me was not in putting things back together the way they had been. It was in putting one foot in front of the other as I made my way back to the line. It was and continues to be in allowing God to use my ruined life, not pretending I had or have a perfect one, which is what I want. Perfect life, perfect husband, perfect kids. But I got none of that. The only perfection in my life is God and as I have been reminded in the little things over the last couple days, he orders my steps. He makes no mistakes. And he never leaves me.

I have been reading Ezekiel, it’s a book that shows God’s judgment on His chosen nation of Israel, (and his purpose and plan to save the whole world). Israel has made themselves unclean in their worship, and God has removed himself from them and he is judging them with national destruction. But God’s faithfulness is shown, as he revives and restores his people again.
Our God rebuilds from the ruins. And the last verse of Ezekiel ends with “and the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.” I think, and this is just my thought because I’m no theologue, of the powerfulness of the Book of Ezekiel covering the ruin and destruction and ending with the description of Heaven. I definitely want to live in the city called “THE LORD IS THERE”.

I praise God that he is a God of mercy and forgiveness, redemption and restoration. I am so thankful that he rebuilds from the ruins, and builds beautiful from the ruins. I want to walk as close to the line as possible. I never want to drift again. And if I do, I pray that something, someone, will turn me around quickly. I never want to be in the place where the line is a dot to me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

That's Jesus

At church this morning they showed a video of baptism from our second campus. It's a new campus. We've only been attending this church for two and a half months and we were there when they had their first service at their second campus. They baptised four ladies. All four said the same thing in their video. "My name is________, and I'm and addict. I've been clean/sober for however many months now." Then they talked about knowing Jesus.

I'm a sucker for baptism and baptism videos. They make me emotional always. But these, the tears rolled down my face and dripped off my chin. This touched me.

Only Jesus. Only Jesus can change a life like that. Only Jesus can deliver totally and completely.

No matter what your sin is, the forgiveness is complete and free. Restoration and redemption is promised. Man might look at you different, may never think you are what you should be. But Jesus? His love is unconditional. Free. We sang this song by Jesus Culture, Sing My Love

Words can never say the way he says my name
He calls me lovely
No one every sees the way he looks at me
He sees me holy
Words can never hold this love that burns my soul
Heaven holds me
Oh, heaven holds me

Can't hold my love back in you
Can't hold my love back in you
I've gotta sing
I've gotta sing
Sing my love
To you Jesus yeah

(Verse 2)
You will not believe the way he touches me
He burns right through me
I could not forget every word he said
He always knew me
Earth could never hold this love that burns my soul
Heaven holds me
Oh, heaven holds me

If you've ever lived through a storm that made people look at you different then you know you are, you'll understand these lyrics. Whether it's out of your control or whether it's self inflicted, He calls me lovely. He sees me holy. I really needed to hear that this morning. Not real sure about the sermon, I really only got this song and the women who's lives Jesus changed. There are people who will know them always as addicts. They will know them only for the pain they caused to others while they were addicted. But Jesus sees them as holy. He calls them lovely.

The irony of my post last week where I ended "Hello, my name is Patsy, and I'm an addict." Was not lost on me, as I was holding a bottle of diet coke while I watched their videos.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

In My Corner

Steve ran this weekend.

This is what I do while Steve runs between starting line, finish line and aid stations I can get to.

We went to a wedding. I was going to get a picture of Steve, Whitney and I all dressed up together, but forgot. I really wish I would've, because we looked good. There's another wedding in 2 weeks, will try to remember. Got this one of Steve. and this is most of Whitney, she had a cute tribal print orange and blue skirt to finish the ensem.

Side story from the wedding, there was a champagne reception while the pictures were taken, after the wedding before the dinner. Whitney is sitting between Steve and I. Something finally clicks, and I look at Whitney, my beautiful 14 year old and ask "how's that mimosa?" She replies, "I don't know what that is". I tell her that is her orange juice and champagne. (I had one, heavy on the champagne). She says, "it's okay. Why did you wait till it was gone to ask me?" Because that's the kind of mom I've turned into. Steve says, "hey, who's that lady in the green? She says she misses us." Me "that's M, from Newspring." Steve, "ohh", nodding his head. Whitney "no wonder she looked at me so funny when I took this "ORANGE JUICE" off her tray."

I've had a headache for four days in the back of my neck up into my head. I've had it before, it's kind of a weird one, not sure if it's stress or allergies, but it always goes away, so I'll just suffer through. Makes for a some rough days.

Freddrick is no longer working at the Y. I either train myself, have Steve train me, or find a new trainer. I'm "weighing" my options right now.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Slaughter or Conquer?

Romans 8:36-40
36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am a sheep to be slaughtered.
Yes, I am. Have felt that way lately. Slaughtered. Facing hard stuff all
day long. Putting one foot in front of the other. Making it through, only
to start over again tomorrow.

I am a conqueror.
Yes, I am. Have felt that way lately. I have conquered. I have continued to
get up. Put one foot in front of the other. Making it through to start over
again tomorrow.

I am loved.
Yes, I am. Have felt that way lately. I am loved by God. Through Christ Jesus
and no one can separate us.
I am loved by Steve. I hear it, I see it, I know it.
I am loved by my children and I know it.
I am loved by my friends. They tell me, they show me, in a myriad of ways.
I am loved by my family.

Nothing, in all of creation, can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. NOTHING. What a great thing to remember.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tales from the herd

I went to Whitney's facebook page. I could say it's to monitor what is going on. To "creep" on her. To make sure she is behaving. That no one is getting out of line. But mostly it's because it's fun. Her friends make me laugh. At least what I understand. I did finally see the Dougie, and I have learned what a "shawty" is. I also learned what smd stands for. I still don't know what GMBA means but I guess some things are meant to remain a mystery.

To get back on topic, I noticed that two of my friends, (also mother's of two of Whitney's best friends) women I consider part of the "herd" (sorry ladies, I know that sounds bad, but taken in context, you know it's meant as the highest possible compliment) had posted on Whitney's wall. Told her she was beautiful, they loved her, that they wanted to hang out with her.

That always makes me feel so good. When my kids friends parents or my friends make my children feel special. When they treat them like they are valuable.

Thank you so much ladies. I love you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The first step is admitting you have a problem

To the guy wearing the Asplundh tee shirt at Kwik Shop this morning: When you stepped on my foot at the fountain drink counter I smiled and said excuse me because it had to be my fault for putting my foot where you wanted to step. And when you stepped in front of me (again) to pay for your 14 breakfast and lunch items and add three different kinds of tobacco that the clerk couldn’t find one of them in the racks behind the register, and four different scratch lottery tickets, I patiently waited for you. (Let me insert here that you have no way to know that 6:30 a.m. is not a good time of day for me, especially before my first diet coke of the day, but I had the opportunity to suck a massive amount down before I got to the counter, so your life was not at any time in danger). After 8 minutes in line to pay for my $0.63 (and I had correct change) worth of life giving joy inducing headache counteracting caffeinated liquid refreshment, I headed toward the door, just to have you once again step on me as you decided you didn’t need to look at the sunglasses and you started walking before looking where you were going. Fortunately, the lid was on my drink tight and only a little spewed out the straw and onto my (white) dress as I squeezed the cup to keep from dropping it all over the floor.

Now that you have stepped in front of me and did manage to close the door on me on the way out as I was analyzing the damage to my dress we are on the sidewalk and you are walking much slower than I am, presumably admiring yourself in the plate glass windows that run the front of the store. I am still holding on to my “other cheek” mentality, because I do have a diet coke, and there are many people all over the country, maybe the world, who are doing without diet coke this morning. Poor souls, I can only imagine the sacrifice.

I finally ALMOST lost my “have a diet coke and a smile” smile when I realized that you were parked in the car next to me and you went to the passenger side and opened the passenger door to load your lunch box and let me wait (im?)patiently for you to do your thing until I could get in my car. If I had been wearing pants today I could have crawled through my passenger door and into the car and been on my way. Unfortunately, I was wearing a knee length dress and I didn’t want to flash the 12 cars at the gas pumps.

I hope your chocolate milk and lemon lime Gatorade or one of your three tobacco products help you to have the same kind of day my diet coke does for me.

The rest of the story…

I was 16 minutes late to work this morning, all for a diet coke. Then I got to my office and realized I had no money for the pop machine (for my second, third and possible fourth diet coke of the day) and there is no ATM in my new building. Wal-mart is only a 6 minute drive, one way, but there is parking and walking and shopping time, so it’s about a 30 minute round trip if I hustle, and that’s not till my lunch hour. The Pepsi machine takes debit cards, but the Coke machine doesn’t. I don’t know any of my co-workers well enough to bum money off of them (yet). Fortunately my brother works one building over, about 50 yards away and he bought me my second and third so I’m covered till I get off work.

“Hello, I’m Patsy, and I’m an addict”.

This post is dedicated to my fellow addicts I know and all those I don't know, Sheila, Cate, Desiree...

Monday, June 6, 2011

In my corner...

Whitney starts volleyball conditioning today. 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 ish. This will totally ruin her sleeping till 4:30 in the afternoon. Not sure what my summer vampire will do now.

Nate has decided to move to Lawrence, KS and attend Johnson County Community College this fall. This is actually where Kansas University, home of the Jayhawks, is located, and several high school friends attend there. He intends to share an apartment with his friend Sam who is also going to JCCC.

My new office is 64 degrees. Craig, my co-worker says the unhealthy people (overweight people) control the thermostat. I'm wearing a jacket and running my space heater and it's 100 degrees outside.

I just had potato chips and M & M's for lunch. That's all I found in my desk drawer. It was 350 calories, so well within what I would normally eat for lunch.

Meredith and Peggy are both on vacation which means I have a training session tonight with Freddrick, with 100% of his focus. This makes me nervous, as I am still sore from his Thursday and Saturday workouts. Of course, I'm sure I'll work off the potato chips and M & M's.

I did not like getting out of bed at 5:45 this morning, but I am going to love getting off work at 3:00 this afternoon.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Training update

Last week I said I wasn't going to run till fall. Then I felt pretty good so I ran 3 miles yesterday. Meant to take a picture, as inspired by Carrie, but forgot. Since it was 93 degrees when I ran with 20+ mph winds and I ran on the trail I was a sight. Plus, I had already been to a core express class at the Y and worked out with Freddrick and he managed squeeze in an extra set of three exercises, so I was a mess. I know I was, because Freddrick told me so. We were working out on the TRX and Caleb, one of the other trainers and it appears close friend of Freddrick's was utilizing the TRX as well. They were telling us how women hate to sweat and men find women sweating in the gym sexy, because it means they were working hard. At that point, when I wiped the sweat off my face and my hands were so wet I couldn't grip the weights but I couldn't find a dry spot on my shirt or capris to wipe them on, I figured I was the sexiest woman in the gym.

Anyway, the run was great. Mulberries squishing under my feet. Gnats and other assorted bugs sticking to my sweaty body. Scaring squirrels. Sweat running down my face. Tan lines. Dirty ankles.

I was thinking about something I was told a couple of months ago and a conversation I had with my brother last week. (He's a triathlete). I told him I'm a runner, not a racer. I like races, I like training for them, running them, having a plan and a date to work for. I was also thinking about the comment made to me "you win".

I don't look at my life in the context of winning or losing. When I run in a race, only I can determine if it was successful or not. My second marathon I was an hour behind the time I wanted to finish in. But only I know how I felt during that race. Only I know about the 5 miles of sand that made my feet feel like they were shredded by walking on broken glass. Only I know how hard it was on my body to adjust from 50 degree running conditions the weekend before to 85 that day. Only I know about the half mile spell at mile 24 uphill into the wind. I wouldn't say I won, I would say I was successful. And that's how I feel about my lifes battles lately. I didn't win. I didn't even get what I wanted. But I would say I was successful. I would say there were no winners, only losers (some bigger losers than others). I know I had the holy hallelujah beaten out of me.

Just like my race training and my weight training, though, I was in shape enough to take a beating, a hard workout, give it 100% and get up the next day ready to fight again. Ready to power through whatever tough workout came my way. Mile 24 uphill against the wind 35 degrees hotter? 5 days later running in snow? Bring it on. 270 pounds on the leg press for 18 reps? I'm all over it. Three days later with jump squats on the BOSU? I got that too. Just as exercising my body for physical strength and endurance makes me stronger, exercising my faith makes it stronger.

Our sermon this morning was on having a bold faith. Mike read Hebrews 11:6 says "without faith it is impossible to please God". He asked what we we were believing God for right now. Was it bold? Or was it insulting to God. I'll go back to my song because this verse kind of goes with how I feel about this.

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Back to training, I may run a 5K or 10K next Saturday while Steve runs his half marathon. I'll make sure and take pictures if I do.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I dream in cake

I had a dream last week that I had a four foot tall penguin cake. It was shaped and frosted to look like a penguin. I woke up before I got to eat any of it. Cake and donuts are my favorite desserts. I would rather have cake than ice cream or cookies or pie. I like chocolate, vanilla, white, spice, pumpkin, yellow, red velvet, pineapple upside down, german chocolate…you get the idea.

from 2011 issue of Vogue magazine
I like dreams like this. I have always been a night time dreamer and I remember them.

I’ve had some nightmares. Memorable nightmares. When Whitney was little I dreamed that she was carrying two little baskets. The little green cardboard ones that you used to buy strawberries in that were open squares. They had cellophane over the tops to hold the berries in. She was carrying one basket in each hand, but instead of strawberries, they were full of snakes and the snakes were coming out of the baskets and curling up around her hands and arms. I also dreamed (several times) that I was in the Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark pit of snakes with him.

I also have a reoccurring nightmare that I go to work naked. And no one notices.

The one that really stresses me out, though, is a mix of current life and high school. I went to a Christian high school where you worked in workbooks at your own speed. You had a weekly card to put your daily assignments on and the teacher would check them off every day.

Then you had a big card that you were given at the beginning of the year and for every workbook you completed and then passed the test with 80% comprehension (79% or lower you failed and repeated the workbook) you got a star on this chart.

In my dream (nightmare)
I have this pile of work books. I’m a semester behind. I have no stars on my chart. I have 9 goal cards with nothing marked off. I’m looking through the math book telling the teacher “I know how to do this, I can get caught up, but this weekend Whitney has volleyball and I’m behind on the laundry and I can’t miss work and I do have to fix supper…”

I’d prefer to be naked at work then return to high school. Well, I’d really prefer to eat my way through a four foot tall penguin cake.

One benefit of Christian high school was Scripture memory. We had monthly passages of Scripture we had to learn. Full chapters. I may not remember geometry (in a discussion with Whitney about geometry last week I realized it’s not that I don’t remember it, I don’t think I ever learned it. Brent Talbert, classmate of mine, gets full credit for me passing with an 80% comprehension. Government too), but I can still quote in King James most of the passages I learned. This has been a huge comfort in rough times. I will pick up my NCV or Steve’s NLT and read these passages in today’s language. But if the Bibles are not available, I quote them over and over to myself. All through the Scriptures God speaks love and encouragement and peace into our difficult times. This one has been on my heart for a couple days.
"Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger or threatened with death? No! Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us." Romans 8:35-37 (NLT)

There are so many things we are dealing with, tsunamis and tornadoes and the death and destruction from those natural disasters. Cancer and suicide. Dreams that die. Careers that are going nowhere. Family problems. Despite all these things OVERWHELMING victory is ours. I have seen some overwhelming victory in my life, but I can always use some more.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tales from the Herd

This isn't a guest post, I thought I'd share a few pictures and show you how long I've been running with some of the "herd". There are new members, and I love them dearly. But these pictures, well, hold on to your bellies and remember the late 80'S into the early 90'S!

If you check out this picture from 1988 carefully, you will find me standing next to Sheila, and a little further over Sharon, who is in the picture at the bottom at the restaurant.

Rebecca, (Shannon and Sandra I don't ever see) and I went to Houston for Labor Day weekend 1991. Had a great weekend, spent a day at Galveston, all kinds of fun memories. On the highway right outside of Houston we passed these two guys in a convertible corvette talking on a car phone (before cell phones). I held up our phone number (our apartment in Wichita) and when we stopped at a station they had a shop where they built this Cobra and they let us have a ride. I learned what a ratchet shifter was that day and impressed many men with that knowledge.

Sharon, Rebecca and me (and Deborah and Anna) at Sweet Basil, our favorite GNO restaurant.

Sheila and I at the Johnstons Half Marathon 2009

And I can't show pictures of my long time girlfriends without including this one of Sheila's daughter Emily and Whitney at Emily's 16th birthday party two weekends ago. They've been at each other's parties their whole lives.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Asleep in the Storm

I love face book. Except for when I hate it. And I read a lot of blogs. And I find that the ones I like the most are honest portrayals of life. Like Carrie’s pictures after she runs. That’s real. Like Sheila’s guest post of her 10K where she passed the three women in tutu’s to finish in the bottom 25 feeling like she was going to throw up the whole time. That’s real.

I’m competitive. But in an odd way. The more blogs and face book posts about how great everyone’s life is, the more I want to tell you how awful mine is. Your kids rocked their parent teacher conferences? Cool. If I actually went to parent teacher conferences…(okay, I go, but only because they offer dinner). But after I talk to the friends from church (who are also teachers), the volleyball coach, his wife, Nate’s old teachers, and parents of friends who are there for conferences, I have spent an hour and half at the high school and still haven’t talked to Whitney’s teachers. (And have probably had two pieces of cake, but have gotten to catch up with Jolene and Meredith). I would hear a pretty even split of “she’s a great kid, hard worker, love having her in class” with “she has so much potential, if she would just apply herself. She’s too social. I worry about some of the friends she hangs around with” and so on. My two kids are both gifted. Brilliant minds. But they are the brilliance that is used for evil, not for good. Thought processes like this “MOM!!! This 100 questions in geometry is only worth 10 points. Why would I do 100 questions for 10 points? One extra credit question on the test is worth 10 points. Or a ream of copy paper or paper towels is extra credit. Do they think I’m stupid?” When Nate was in the 8th grade he volunteered to clean up after lunch. Because the lunch ladies gave him leftovers and he had gym right after lunch so he missed calisthenics and got to go out right at time for the fun stuff. My gifted, athletic children that carry 2.8 GPA’s (and get D’s in P.E.) but don’t worry about college scholarships because they know they will score well on the ACT’s and they’ll still get scholarship money.

The better your kids are at something, the more I will tell you what mine do wrong. And my kids made JV and Varsity teams in their sports at school early. Were coach (and other player) favorites, and yet, I can still point out where they are lame. And don’t even tell me how awesome you are, I’ll begin to tell you what I struggle with. If you were a bad girl, I’ll want to one up you on how bad I was back in the day. Or just last week. Go ahead, tell me how wonderful your family is and I’ll tell you how dysfunctional mine is. I could say it’s because I want to be real and transparent, but in actuality I can’t compete with how great you are, so I won’t. (But I really truly am happy for your great life and your perfect children and wonderful husband. I really am happy for you).

Truth is I have a good life. We are healthy. We are employed. We have a roof over our heads. I’ve been praying for a friend whose husband has esophageal cancer which spread to his stomach and prognosis is not good. They are young. Young children. I have a co-worker whose son lives in Joplin. They are fine, but they know so many that died and lost everything in the tornado. Steve is going with work or church, not sure which group yet, to help with clean up. I have a friend who is living totally dependent on God for everything. E-V-E-R-Y-THING! Day to day. God is providing, but man what a way to live and what a faith. I have a friend with severe marriage problems, and no desire to fix them. I have a friend with an autistic child. These are problems with my friends that I know about. I can’t imagine the pain some are living with that they have no one to talk to about.
God has been so good to us. Sometimes in the middle of the storm it doesn’t seem that way. But when it all settles and you look around and everything is still standing, you get to think we are way stronger than we thought. At our house, storms water the grass and the orchard and the trail and everything is prettier and fresher and greener after the storm. The storm is the time Steve goes up on the roof and cleans out the gutters. The storm is the time we find out where leaks are that we need to repair. The storm is where we find out how deep our roots go. I found out mine go deep and they are bound to the right stuff and they hold under pressure. Jesus is in the storm with us. (I think sometimes he sleeps through mine, but he is there).

Sure we mess up. We fail. Each other and God. But we weather our storms. We help others through their storms. We celebrate victories. And we get stronger.

Thanks for stopping by today, and know that I prayed for everyone who reads this today. Whatever your storm, or if you are in a season of peace, Praise God for that, I prayed for you.