Monday, October 31, 2011


Two weeks ago when I was in Lawrence I told Nate that I knew God was going to answer my prayers for him in a big way. I knew that it was going to happen soon. (Nothing like putting God on the spot, is there?) Nate told me he was praying too. Which really touched me. So I'm rolling through the days praying continually, which I do. My very specific prayer for one of my girls was answered, and we thanked God and kept praying for the others. A very specific prayer for another of my girls was answered. Praised God and kept praying for the other two. Thursday morning (12 days after my speaking for God) Nate called. He is sick. What can he take. I get symptoms and Dr. Mom prescribes. He doesn't have anything other than tylenol, doesn't think he can make it to Dillons, two blocks away. But Sam will go when he gets home. I spend the day at my desk fighting tears and losing.

I wanted to get in the car and drive to Lawrence. But a day of vacation, two tanks of gas, I'd be worn out, and it's not necessary. And that afternoon, I doubt God. I am afraid that he is going to let me down, and on top of that, not show up and let Nate know that he does take care of him. I'm not only doubting, if I'm honest, I'm a little angry. I've had a rough year, I've relied totally on God's strength to get through, but for one day I doubted why I was even on this earth. All it took was pain in my child. (Not going to go into how I'm God's child and how he feels when I hurt, I get it.)

I get up Friday, it's a new day, and do the things I do. On my way home from work Nate calls. I don't usually answer the phone when I'm driving, but it was Nate, he had been sick, I was worried. He called to tell me that GOD HAD ANSWERED MY PRAYER. Okay, he called and told me what happened, but it was an answer to my prayer. After talking to Nate, I thanked God, tears streaming down my face. (Another danger while driving).

Fast forward two days. Mike is talking about doubting Thomas.

John 20:24-28

One of the eleven disciples was missing. This was a man named Thomas.

After Jesus was gone, Thomas came back to the room where everyone was hiding. When he entered, the disciples told him, “Thomas, oh Thomas, it is true! We’ve seen Jesus! He’s alive! “He said to them, “No. I won’t believe it unless I see the nail marks in His hands. I have to put my finger where the nails were. If I can put my hand into His side, then I’ll believe you.”

Eight days later, Jesus visited the disciples again. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus walked right through the locked doors. “Peace be with you,” He said. Then He said, “Thomas, come here with your finger and see My hands. Touch the wounds in My hand. Put your hand into My side. Stop doubting now and believe.”

Thomas felt very ashamed for not believing. He hung his head, “My Lord and my God!”

How many times does God have to prove himself to me before I stop doubting? I have metaphorically put my fingers where the nails were so many times (just this year!) and yet I still get disappointed by God. I was so thankful for the answered prayer, but it wasn't till Sunday morning I was convicted about my 24 hours on Thursday.

For those of you who have been praying for my kids since this post three of the four specific requests have been answered. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In My Corner

I made two kinds of cupcakes for my two oldest daughters birthday party.

I ate too many cupcakes.

I ran 8 miles.

I went to two ab classes.

I've been freaked out by all the scary movies that are on TV and Whitney's love for them.

I made Oreo Truffles to send to Nate. I wont' be having dessert till Thanksgiving now.

Steve registered to run the Ozark Trail 100. Four weeks after the Heartland 100. I'm excited for him.

I went to a Halloween party.

Steve was hilarious.

I dressed up like the 80's to lead worship Sunday morning. This misses the full effect of the blue eyeshadow and leg warmers. It also doesn't show that I'm giving my best rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time".

Steve dressed up like the 80's (Run DMC tee shirt) and not sure what he was singing here, but he did an awesome rendition of Warrant's power ballad "Heaven". (We also did some great worship music, it's a series called "My Generation" and we've done 60's, 70's and 80's. Lots of fun, lots of great sermons. Tomorrow I'm going to share how today's message really touched me).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Conversations with Whitney

Some of these are repeats, but these faces made me laugh as I was printing them for the scrapbook party.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tummy Tuck Week 6

I am released to exercise and run. I couldn't wait, so I have already been to an ab class and ran two miles. The ab class was fun, I was very careful, my tummy is still really tight, so I didn't do any ball or bosu work. Also limited on push ups and used very light weights. I felt ab muscles working and actual soreness the next two days so the doctor got them fixed.

I was nervous about running and had decided on two miles on the treadmill so I could be done by pushing stop if I couldn't do it. I took my time, I started out slow and as I was speeding up, Austin (my former trainer and a runner of the Steve 50) came over and talked to me. So I slowed down to a walk and talked, (he's getting married in 2 weeks) and the first mile wasn't painful at 14:26 pace.
The second mile I ran.

I felt good, so I continued to speed up and finished at a little under 8 minute mile pace which felt comfortable. I was stiff and sore the next day, but mostly in my legs and that was because I hadn't run a single step for 6 weeks.

A few added benefits, my tummy felt great while I ran. Much less of it out front was awesome. And my pants stayed around my middle the way they were meant too. I didn't have to adjust my clothes while running.

This picture is from four weeks. Same jeans, a lot looser, but still a lot of swelling. The imprint on my tummy is from the binder I wore for six weeks. Still experiencing a lot of swelling, especially at the end of the day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is there Utopia? Can I go?

I've got some heavy stuff in my heart. But I don't want to be deep and heavy and deal with feelings today. I want light hearted and fun. I want something to take the hurt away. The angst of life.

I want to be care free. I want life to be simple. I want to play all day. I want to feel whole. I don't want ugly people in my life. I don't want stupid people in my life.

I want to sleep until I'm not tired.

I want to read Donald Duck cartoons and watch game shows. I want to eat Pizza and ice cream.

I just want easy. For a while. A short while.

Easy isn't to be confused with good. I have good.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Conversations with Whitney

Ever wonder what your children think of you?

Last weekend we were at the volleyball tournament in Sabetha, Kansas. The 2010 census lists their population at 2,571. Perspective??? Heights had 1,554 official enrollment in 2010. Whitney said it's really crowded this year, don't know if that means more students or different schedule.

Some of the volleyball team snuck out their windows. I saw the pictures on facebook. Taken by my daughter. I would like to say the three senior girls involved were the ringleaders, but sadly, truthfully, it was the sophomore girls, (aka WHITNEY BAKER).

And one of the senior girls at senior night says her favorite volleyball memory is sneaking out of the hotel room and taking pictures in the field. Coach has said he's resigning. Said at the senior reception (mmmmmm cake) that next year there will be a parent in every room. In reply to this...

Whitney: YES!!! My mom will hold the window open for us.***

***Yep, but I'd go with them.

She was interviewed for the website.,0,197854.story

I still can't get my links to work, I have got to get a computer whiz to show me what I'm doing wrong. If you want to read it, you can paste this into your browser. She comes across like the intelligent young lady she is. Not the dodgeball looking toughie.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11

Thought of this today. I took Nate shopping Friday in Lawrence. Whitney shopping last night for more dress clothes for the last volleyball game of the season tonight. Two special birthdays this month for two of my girls I get to go look for gifts. I love to give my children gifts.

I have some gifts I'm asking my heavenly Father for right now. What kind of gift do you need? It doesn't have to be material or monetary. It can be relational, or relief of a burden; physical, emotional or spiritual healing. It can even be a special prayer for a gift for someone else. Ask. I am. I'm asking for those of you who come by and read this. That our heavenly Father will give good gifts to those of you bold enough to ask. If you want me to pray more specifically, leave me a comment, or if it's too personal for comments, send me an email. I'd love to pray for you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I believe

There is something in high school sports, at least in Wichita, that I love. It’s a chant from the student section. And when you have a couple hundred teenagers jumping up and down and dancing and yelling at the top of their lungs “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN” it is truly something fun to see.

At Whitney’s volleyball game last Tuesday night we played a school that is undefeated in city league. It’s a privileged school, private catholic school. Heights has a lot of disadvantaged kids. Not so much on the volleyball team, although there are a few. Our tallest player is about the same height as Kapaun’s shortest player. We look like underdogs. We lost our first game of the match 8-25. Big ouch, but we had lost to Kapaun already this year and we weren’t expected to win. And then the unexpected happened in game two. We beat them. 25-21, I think. And to game three, the tie breaker. We were down. By more than 5. But our scrappy little team kept playing. In a gym that had about 100 Kapaun students in their student section, making a lot of noise, and 3 Heights students in our student section making a lot of noise. (And one extremely brave 6 grade sibling of one of the volleyball players, she ran with a poster board that said “heights point” in front of their student section. It was awesome.) And we started coming back. And we ate at their lead. And heard their voices screaming “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN.” Right up to the point we tied it at 24-24. And then beat them 26-24 to win the match. But until that last ball hit the floor, they believed that they would win.

AND…Whitney told us on the way home that when we caught up to them she knew we would win.

I wondered when the last time I had that much confidence in myself or my team was. I wondered how it would look for me to stand up and jump up and down and yell at the top of my lungs “I BELIEVE THAT I WILL WIN”. Why not? Everything in life that is important to me is Jesus, my husband, my children, my friends, people in general. I will fight for what I believe in, but I try to make sure I’m on the side of what’s right. (And I prefer to avoid conflict. I don’t much like it, I can easily walk away.)

This verse came to mind Romans 8:31 “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us”?

Makes me want to be sure God is for me. Keep my actions honoring him. Keep my words pleasing to him. Keep my heart tender to him. And then, I can say it.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

In my corner

I got to spend Friday evening with Nate and Saturday with these two. There aren't words to say how much I love them. I did take him out to eat and shopping for some necessities and wants and got to hug him ( a bunch) and love on him.

But I still see this.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Conversations with Whitney

I was told this last weekend at Whitney's volleyball tournament that she looks like she belongs in Dodgeball, The movie.

Do you see it?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

When you pass through the fire

In my Bible Study I was thinking this morning about what I do. Where I serve God, how I serve God, what I do for God.

I'm not changing the world. I'm not a Paul or Abraham or David or Jonah. I'm not a Ruth or Esther.

I thought this morning though that if I could be like someone in the Bible, really truly be like someone, Enoch would be on the list. We don't know much about him. He was Noah's great-grandpa, the father of Methuselah. Hebrews 11:5 says "he had the witness that he had pleased God well." My Sunday school teachers always taught us that Enoch walked with God. That's really all I know. And for me, it's a great testimony. I'm no Enoch, but I would love to be.

I shared previously that my older kids are all going through tough times. I have friends going through tough times. I have some pretty heavy stuff weighing on me.

A friend of mine gave me some advice this week, from her wisdom arsenal. She said she has told God that the donkey was going to have to do it. (Old Testament reference, Numbers 22). She said we never do it on our own, but when we reach the end of what we can do, God will step in and make it happen, and he can do it in ways we would never dream of.

So here's to the donkey, getting it done.
Balaam and the angel, painting from Gustav Jaeger, 1836.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Heartland 100 Race Report

Heartland 100 Race Report – the crew view

DISCLAIMER - There will be no course descriptions or actual information from someone running this race, as I was only there in the dark and did not run a single step of the course. Doctor’s orders.

I was member of the crew from 4:15 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and then again from 7:30 p.m. till well, still now. He's doing great, but his legs are pretty tired so I'll take care of him for a couple more days.

I took Steve to the start line at 5:15 and waited around for the “ready, set, GO” to start the race. Trail races are different than marathons.
No chip timing, no bands, no gun to start the race, no jockeying for position on the front row.

I left after the last runner passed where I was standing at the side of the road. It wasn’t hard to have a front line view of the 111 runners. I drove the 45 minutes home and took a shower and got my cooler and mac n cheese and 4 dozen cookies for the volleyball team and headed to the tournament. My girls played well. We didn’t win; we played a tremendously tough field of teams and split with some, and played all of them close. Which means lots of points and extra games per match, extra time. Which was good, they played well, but sucked for me cause I wanted them to be done so I could get to the race and watch (check) on Steve.

I got updates after every crew access aid station from Jimmy and Patty Moulds. They were brief, but always said which aid station he was leaving and that he was on schedule. He had a very detailed pace schedule so he could finish in under 24 hours, and I had a copy so I knew exactly where he was, and for the first 50 miles he stayed with that schedule, I knew he was doing great. (I then had to pass on updates to the volleyball parents and Whitney who proudly wore her Heartland 100 Tee shirt that Steve got her to school today).

Steve had an awesome crew and group of pace runners. He had 5 people volunteer to run with him and crew for him. After mile 42.5 he could have pace runners, one at a time for the last 67.5 miles. Jimmy and Patty were there at 9:00 for his first crew aid station and stayed till he crossed the finish line. Heidi showed up at mile 42.5 and ran 15 miles with him. Heidi is a triathlon coach and is a great athlete and encourager, and was really good company for him.

Patty ran the next 6 miles with him. This is the only time they fell off pace and it was because it was overcast and rainy and got dark earlier than usual and without their headlamps they had to slow down to navigate so they were in about 30 minutes behind schedule. She finished running at 7:30 and that was when I wanted to be there, but I was just getting off the highway at 7:30 and knew I wouldn’t make it. As I was leaving the gym, (okay, as I was yelling at a ref for two bad line calls in a row that cost us a game, last two plays of the game we lost 26-24) Jed called. He had got back into town and was going to come out and run the leg Steve didn’t have a runner for. It was pouring in Derby when I left, but remarkably, the monsoon (it felt like a monsoon, carrying a cooler, crockpot, cushioned chair backs and a feedbag to the car) in Wichita had not made it to Cassoday, and didn’t.
Volleyball wears them out.

I stopped at the Cassoday general store to change clothes and get something to eat. I wondered around the two 6 foot long aisles trying to decide which kind of chips and beef jerky I wanted (I know, it was so limited) when the clerk asked what I was looking for. Two quick questions and I left with the best pulled pork sandwich I’ve ever had. Seriously. The. Best.

Jimmy was off and running his 11 miles with Steve and I met Brian Jackson and Patty at the store to follow them to next aid station. When we got to the aid station, Jed and Jenny and Kael and Zoey (their kids who are old pros at aid stations and races as dad is marathon runner and ultra runner himself and mom is a crazy good triathlete) pulled in behind us. Jed and Jenny are good friends with Jimmy and Patty (Jed and Jimmy were on the same college track team) and also know Brian well. We watched runners come in to the aid station and Jimmy and Steve showed up earlier than expected, Jimmy made up 20 minutes of the time they had lost.

Jed was like a race horse at the starting line of the Kentucky Derby, he couldn’t get Steve out of the aid station and back on the course fast enough. Steve did what he needed to do, lubed his feet, filled his water bottles, etc., grabbed a freshly made to order grilled cheese sandwich and headed out.

We drove to the next aid station and waited at the top of the hill. This is 83 miles into the race. And watched people come into the aid station. And cheered for them. And Jenny got out her “Christmas Crack”. This is a trail mix kind of thing she specially makes at the Nifty Nut House in downtown Wichita. I was still full three hours later from the sandwich, so I didn’t have any crack. Earlier than we expected I looked down the hill and saw a handful of headlamps. It was so dark out there we could see runners coming by the little bobbing lights. Most were walking up the hill. But two were running, and I knew it was Steve and Jed. There was no way Jed would walk into an aid station, even if it required running uphill. And it was. Jed brought him in 20 minutes ahead of schedule with 16 miles to go.

Brian was shoed up and ready to go, so Steve (sweaty, stinky Steve) hugged Jimmy and Patty and Jed and Jenny and thanked them over and over for coming and headed out with Brian. I was expecting to follow them back to Cassoday, from there I could find the finish line and wait, and was totally amazed that at 12:30 at night they all went to the finish line and took naps in their cars and waited for Steve to finish. Except for Patty who sat with me at the finish line. I had consumed too much caffeine trying to stay awake since 4:15 and couldn’t sleep. She kept me company.

We watched 100 milers and 50 milers trickle in for the next 3 hours or so. After the 12th train went through town, two blocks down from the finish line, Jimmy joined us. I realized at 2:30 I was starving and got out my last food, a bag of powdered donuts. (Lots of additional crack jokes here because of the white powder and the loopiness of all involved). Jed and Jenny soon joined us and we waited in the cold, humid dark, watching for headlamps.

I watched them cross the finish line walking and running and limping. I watched crews and family members stand every time headlamps showed to see if it was their runner. We were watching for two headlamps as Steve was one of the fortunate runners to have company.

One lone headlamp showed up in the distance and we watched a runner, running very well at the end of 50/100 miles cross the finish line to cheering and clapping. They asked for his number and he says, “I’m just a pacer. Is Patsy here?” My heart dropped, thinking Steve was way behind schedule, that his knee with the meniscus surgery had given out, that he was sitting on the side of the road unable to run and didn’t want me worried, all kinds of things, so I said I was there and I will never forget these words, “We are 30 minutes ahead of schedule and Steve was afraid you wouldn’t be at the finish line”. Much laughter at this, but these people did not know I have slept through aid stations and one finish line.

Steve was about 5 minutes behind Brian and finished the race with a friend, Adam. He was very excited to find the whole crew had stayed to see him finish. He finished strong, beating his goal of under 24 hours, and was ahead of his planned pace/schedule by 27 minutes, finishing in 22:52 and 16th place. He ate some pancakes at the aid station, picked up his beautiful belt buckle
(now we will buy a belt so he can wear this thing) and headed home. I did wash his clothes before I went to bed. Twenty-six and a half hours without sleep and I did a load of laundry before I went to bed. Yep, 100 miles worth of sweat and stink. When another runner tells you at mile 92, both of you at mile 92 that you stink, you really stink. (Thanks Adam, will always laugh at this).

I am so proud of him. Not bad for foot surgery and knee surgery in July.

Having only run marathons, the amount of training and mental toughness required to run 100 miles is something I have only witnessed. But these are remarkable people. I could write two more pages about the runners and the crews and the aid stations and the race directors….

He fell asleep in the car head upright halfway through sending a text. Finger in the air poised over the iphone.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Busy Day

Normally I don't talk about being busy, cause aren't we all? But I have now been up for twelve hours as I type this. Sitting on the floor in the Derby High School commons area, Whitney is headed into the gym for match 5. We are four and one. She is tired too. I forced her to eat a Reeses for energy. Seriously. Last update I have Steve was through mile 42.5 on scheduled pace. Its so hard wanting (needing) to be two places at once.
He has a great crew and pacers, he is not alone.

By 9:00 a.m I had my hobbit on and was eating second breakfast. Had cheered Steve off at the starting line at 6:00, showered, made mac n cheese for volleyball and got to the first game. When its over I will head back to the Heartland 100 and be there when Steve runs the last 40 miles.

So grateful for friends letting Whitney hang with them and friends looking after Steve and keeping me updated. So here is to busy fun weekends. And now to the gym to watch my girl.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Conversations with Whitney

A recent outing with Whitney took us to Mead's Corner in Old Town for a smoothy (for her) and an iced tea and pumpkin cookie (for me). Then we went to the thrift store on the corner. She bought a really cool necklace of a sun, moon and stars and a heart shaped cameo necklace for $5.98. She also found a prom dress (lol).

And this pillow that she didn't buy because it would be like "sleeping with your head on someone's butt".

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I sometimes wonder what constitutes TMI. There is so much I don’t share. (I know that may be hard to believe). So many situations I can’t talk about. I have 5 kids. Four of them are going through extremely difficult times right now. And as much as I would love to ask specific prayers for them, I can’t.

I have some stuff heavy on my heart that I am seeking the Lord for and I can’t share it with anyone. I know everyone has this in their life. Sometimes it’s just heavier when you carry it all by yourself.

And I thought about this today and knew that if I feel this way, there has to be so many other people feeling this way too. I don’t know what it is for you, but as I typed this, I prayed that God would show himself in some way to everyone who reads these words that is looking for an answer to something heavy. That he would comfort you and let you know that while you may not have many (or anyone) you can share with here on earth, that he loves you, and he cares.

1 Peter 5: 7 "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tummy Tuck - 3 weeks post op

Update, I am feeling really good, like I should be normal because I go to work, I go to volleyball games and church, I do dishes and laundry. I think I should be 100% back to normal already and I’m not. Not by a long shot. I get tired easy, still some pain, and just some other post-op stuff I have to deal with. Plus, I'm still healing, and that's tiring work on my body.

I didn’t take a picture in my jeans, (will do that next week). After going to work at 6:00 a.m., going to the doctor after, Whitney's volleyball tri-meet and some chores last night I was too tired to even put my jeans on and take a picture.

I still have a lot of swelling. I haven’t measured my waist, but even with the swelling, my hips are 5 inches smaller. I worked out with a trainer and ran for five months training for and completing a marathon and lost 3 inches around my hips. Not to discourage anyone from working out and running or to encourage surgery. Just my facts

I am looking forward to get back to running in three weeks.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Random Thoughts

What is the fascination with vampires? They drink blood, can’t come out during the daylight, and they bite people. I have a hard enough time hugging people I don’t know very well, biting a stranger? Ewwww. (I realize I’m more bothered by biting them than drinking their blood.)

Why do people send out emails of the people of walmart dot com website? If I want to be grossed out by the people who shop at Walmart, I’ll go to Walmart. Or look on purpose at the website. Being greeted with that unsuspecting in the morning while eating breakfast when I open an email is quite a shock.

My 15 year old daughter would never in a million years dress like me, especially not at the same time. Last week her and Steve bought the same running shorts. Then on Saturday she made sure they both wore them to her volleyball tournament. And she put hers on over her spandex between every game so everyone could see. And they were loud. Highlighter green with orange and blue stripes on the side. It was great fun when someone would point out that “that dude has the same shorts” and she would say, “that’s my dad”.

I get to see Nate next weekend. This is the first time I have thought about putting a smiley face in something I typed.

It’s windy in Kansas. And dry. There are fire watch advisory’s out this week.

I have a phone on my desk at work, a company cell phone and my personal cell phone. I get personal calls at work and company calls on my personal phone.

I watched Whitney construct a quesadilla last night. Tortilla layered with cheese, refried beans, grilled chicken breast, salsa, sour cream, more cheese and another tortilla. It was about an inch and a half thick. Feeding her after 17 volleyball games last week and 3 days of practice is fun. I took her and Maddi to Il Vicino with us when we went out with Jake and Carrie last week. Both girls mowed through their whole pizza, Maddi ate a salad, and then Whitney came and got money for Tiramisu for them to share. All that, and she’s getting thinner.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Want

I want to love my husband.

No matter how bad his mood is or how good his mood is.

When he treats me like a princess.

When he doesn’t. (I can be on the other side of the fairy tale, I can be witchy.)

When he buys me gifts.

When he doesn’t.

When he tells me I look nice in jeans and tee shirt. (I think they said sweat pants, but if he told me I looked good in sweats, I would know it wasn't true.)

When he doesn’t notice how nice I look dressed up and fixed up.

I want to remember he’s human.

He will not always put me first.

He will not always hang on my every word.

He will not want to spend every moment with me.

He may want to choose the restaurant.

He gets to make decisions in my house.

He will mess up.

He will hurt me.

He will not be perfect.



This is for all my single lady friends who keep posting on facebook that they want a man who treats them like a princess, tells them they are hot in sweat pants with no make up and who will basically put them on a pedestal and worship them. THAT’S WRONG. Only worship God.

Are you willing to love? Whole heartedly? 100%? Give someone your best? That means nice sweat pants. Make a list of the things you want to do for those you love.

Remember 1 Corinthians 13 says “love does not demand its own way”. Maybe if the world quit selling the idea of demanding what you want and looking for perfection (cause you ain't no perfect princess either) and settle for happily married imperfection like the rest of us. I love my imperfect man. With everything I have.