Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Whitney's view

My mom doesn’t have feelings, (except for anger at me when I don’t get out of bed). And dad can do ANYTHING and she never gets mad at him.

I really think she doesn’t like to sleep because she stays up later than me and is always up before I am and then she gets angry at me for wanting to sleep longer. She also doesn’t like it when I sleep during the day. Says something stupid like I won’t sleep at night. I don’t really listen.

She eats weird too. She likes the crunchy edges of the brownies and she always wants the burnt grilled cheese sandwich or the steak that has charred edges. Dad and I don’t like them, so it’s a good thing mom does.

Somehow she runs 4 days a week and goes to Zumba classes twice a week and lets me and Nate and Dad eat over half her food and yet she still never gets any skinnier. I think she says it’s something to do with her metabolism and having babies and genetics, but secretly I think she’s eating candy bars all day at work.

She must really like to cook because there are days where we have NO.FOOD.IN.THE.HOUSE. But she can go in and make a 5 course meal with ground beef, a bag of potatoes, corn, flour and sugar.

She doesn’t know what fun is. She never wants me to have a good time. I think it’s because she thinks laundry and vacuuming and dishes are fun, and that’s what she wants me to do all the time. She never goes to movies or just hangs out with her friends. She sees her friends watching me play volleyball or running with them, and once a month she goes out to eat with friends, but they just talk and eat and then go home.

She never wants new clothes and shoes. She likes her old stuff. She hates when it gets holes and wears out. She also has quit growing and never loses weight no matter how hard she exercises, so her stuff fits forever. Good thing she likes old stuff.

I see her cry once in a while, but not very much. Sometimes when she really misses Nate. Or if someone hurts her feelings. She thinks I don’t know, but I can tell. But then she comes out of her bedroom or the laundry room and I can tell she’s okay. Or she pretends really good.

She just doesn’t understand what it’s like to be in high school. She’s really old.

Monday, February 27, 2012

In my corner

I was in three states last week, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

I spent 12 hours driving/riding in my car.

I ate 7 straight meals in restaurants:  Freddy's, Marriott, Chick-fil-a, Olive Garden, Burger King, Panera, Mr. Goodcents.  Highlights were Olive Garden's Peach Ice Tea with fresh peach slices and Panera's Acai Berry Tea.  Pretty sure I will cook every meal for a week.

Spent an evening with Nate.

Watched 3 basketball games.

Watched 20 volleyball games.  Ended up with a decent record, but our wins came at all the wrong times to actually place.

Three nights in a hotel.

Some volleyball mama drama at the tournament.  We have some spoiled brats with really lousy attitudes on Whitney's team.   And a coach who addresses it. 

Trip to Walmart in Missouri with Whitney and 3 of her friends.  Whitney pretends to have seizure in the express check out lane behind me to the delight (seriously, it was like comedy night) of the 20 or so people in the the other express check out lines.    From Whitney's pretend seizure to her friends video taping and taking pictures and my total lack of interest when I saw her, it was very well received. I had two people tell me they had small children and they couldn't wait till they were that old.  They hoped their kids would be fun like that.   My life is rarely boring....

Ran on the treadmill in the Marriott workout room.  Little girl was having her birthday party and they were in the pool next door.  12 little faces pressed up against the window staring at me.  One says "mama, what's she doing?"  6 year old mind could not wrap itself around a person spending that much time running and going nowhere.

This week looks pretty boring...I'm so glad.

Friday, February 24, 2012


tank of gas $49.01
burgers and fries at Freddy's $30.64
eating it across the table from Nate...
hearing his laugh...
hugging him...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dear Steve,

Happy Anniversary.

Our years together have been a roller coaster ride.

You like that. The adrenaline rush of roller coasters and sky coasters. Driving fast. Extreme sports.

I get motion sickness and I don’t like heights. I thought a marathon was extreme until you ran 102 miles through the Ozark hills.

You see things black and white. You may get things wrong and be on the “black” side of what you believe, but you see black and white. You see the black when it's black.

I’m all shades of gray.

I find that we are both moving closer to the other’s way of thinking. I am seeing more blacks and whites and you are seeing more shades of gray.

This life? This battleground that we call life?

We’ve battled together and against each other. But even when we were in battle against each other, you had my back. Even when fighting with me you were willing to fight for me.

I can’t say that I wouldn’t change anything about our life because I would. But one thing I wouldn’t change is doing it with you.

Life with you.

I would do it all again. Every bright, shiny, happy moment. Every heart-wrenching, tear filled moment. I would live everyone again with you.

I love you. I love our life together.

The blacks and the whites and the shades of gray(ce) we live in now.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What are you giving up for Lent?

As a Christian girl with deep roots in the Baptist faith, I have never participated in the sacrificial religious experience of Lent. But every year I participate in the question "what are you giving up for lent"? Because as a Christian, people tend to think that I will. We had the discussion at work yesterday, as it was Fat Tuesday. Today being Ash Wednesday and all, you have to know what you are giving up.

Whitney was watching a really bizarre show last night "My Strange Addiction". Have you seen it? This episode featured a guy in an intimate relationship with his car (named "Chase" hahahahaha) and a woman who snorts baby powder. Up her nose like cocaine. Next episode was a woman who eats cat food and something about moth balls. I had chores, I didn't watch. But these people need to be giving some stuff up.

I realized this morning taking Whitney to school that I need to give up my mild road rage. Not just for lent, but for all time.

There are a couple of other things in my life I need to give up for good. I'm not talking diet coke or facebook. Not even for Lent.

But I'm not going to share details because they are both deeply personal and this is a pretty public forum. When it used to be just me and 12 people who loved me I probably would have shared.

More than likely some of you would laugh at me, (which I'm okay with) and many of you wouldn't find these destructive behaviors. But they are FOR ME. I know they are. One of them causes me emotional pain. And yet I continue to wallow in it like life doesn't have enough pain on its own.

I figure today is as good a day as any other to start.

I'm letting go of something that's harmful to me, that doesn't bring me anything positive or good in life, and yet...

I'm struggling with giving it up. The part of me that enjoys the physical pain inflicted on myself running 20 miles must carry over into my emotional world too.

So here's to change. Not just for 40 days, but for life.

And I can do it, because

"I can do all things through Christ because he gives me strength". Philippians 4:13

"God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient". Colossians 1:11

Monday, February 20, 2012

I believe

My pink running jacket goes with everything. Running tights, workout clothes, jeans and my favorite black tee shirt, my white lace dress and cowboy boots…

Safety glasses don’t go with anything.

Random texts that make you laugh are priceless gifts. One from Whitney that said MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM

And this picture of a swimsuit from Carrie

Coffeemate White Chocolate Caramel coffee creamer (35 calories per serving) can make even a 25 cent cup of Folger’s coffee taste gourmet.

Muscle relaxers for a stress shoulder make marathon training much more enjoyable (they relax more muscles than just the shoulder).

That you should make time for people you love and doing things you enjoy. Combine them when possible. 17.04 mile training run completed. Sheila met me at Sedgwick County Park for 4.5 miles and Steve finished his errand and ran to find me and we met up a half f mile after I left Sheila and he ran the final 6 with me. Made my run so much more enjoyable and easier.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Looking forward

I was looking at my calendar today and it’s going to be a busy fun filled year. I thought about last night as I counseled one of my kids about “crap jobs” and “doing something they love”. I understand crap jobs and wanting to do something you love. But sometimes the things you love you can’t make a living at. I can’t make enough any money running, writing or reading (my 3 R’s), the things I love to do. But I have a job where I can make enough money so that I can have and do the things I love. My advice was you don’t have to have it all figured out and if a job pays you it’s not a crap job. Do the things you love, work the job you have. And never feel stuck. Change can be good.

Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to, and if we don't get to all of them, will have a good time with what we do get to.

We have tickets to the OKC Thunder/Boston Celtics basketball game Wednesday this week.

KC for Whitney’s Silver Heart volleyball tournament next weekend. (We drive through Lawrence, I get to see Nate).

March 16 – 20 is our Spring Break trip to Dallas with Whitney and Denae. Whitney hates spring break after the last two years, so I’m redeeming spring break and making it fun again. Includes but not limited to Mavericks/Spurs game, Six Flags and the Galleria Mall.

April is the Rockin K Marathon/50 Miler

April is also the Free State Trail Marathon/100K (in Lawrence, I get to see Nate)

May is Westminster, CO for my nephew’s wedding (and some trail running for Steve in the mountains and some sight seeing and the Rockies are in town that weekend) Nate’s going with us. Yay

June is the Black Hills 100 mile race in South Dakota and Steve is pacing a friend who is running this. It’s not his first 100 mile attempt, but it will be his first completion.

July is KC for Coleen’s Sweat Fat Ass 50K (I’m thinking of trying all 50 K’s, but don’t hold me to that). We drive through Lawrence…

August Steve is wait listed for the Cascade Crest 100 in Seattle, but has a decent shot of getting in, so he’s training for it, just in case. If he doesn’t get in then he’s just ready for the next two.

September is the Hawk Marathon/50 Mile/100 Mile race. Again in Lawrence…

October is the Heartland 100

November is a long weekend in KC for a marathon and an early birthday celebration for me. I want a big to do with Steve and Whitney this year. Yep, through Lawrence again.

I realize out of my 11 highlights 7 are races. And 6 are times I get to see Nate (I will see him more than that). All things I love.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Matthew 11:28 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Last Saturday night Mark talked about "The Valley of Blessing". To summarize, my words, you are in a valley, you get to the end, and you get the win, but it's not the win with the medal around your neck holding up #1 fingers. It's the pitiful one you see of the marathon runner who falls down 100 feet from the finish line and gets up and stumbles only to fall down again a few feet later and eventually, crosses the finish line crawling. But it's still a win.

Then to drive the point even deeper, Melinda sang a song I've never heard before, and all I can remember is the words I've asked you to take away the pain. I'm not quite that eloquent, as I'm on my knees (or face) before God begging him to make it stop hurting.

I sat there in church between Steve and Whitney with our dear friends Jake and Carrie on the other side of Steve and knew that I've been blessed. I came out of the valley with a "W". I came out with my family intact, with friends that stuck with us and prayed and were too awesome for words. I sat there with tears running down my face and Steve's hand on me, worrying about me. (Whitney, however, was oblivious, which I love about her).

I had the thought this week that if God recently orchestrated a quick departure from the church we were attending so that I would be in this service at this church for this message, it was well worth it. I believe God does things like that. Couldn't say for sure he did but that message touched me deeply.

I beg God to take the pain, but he doesn't. He continues to say "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

I ask him to make it stop hurting and he says "Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

I say I don't want to cry anymore but "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8"

1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD
forever. Psalm 23

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Not feeling all lovely and romanticy today, in spite of the purple iced sugar cookie emblazoned with the word "love" that was on my desk when I got to work this morning.

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I would revisit posts from previous Valentine's Days. Guess what I found? In three years I have not posted about Valentine's Day. Steve and I don't celebrate it, our anniversary is next week. We hit that one hard. Usually.

But in 2009, I did post this one about God's 22.5 ton love for us a couple days before Valentine's Day.

Tonight we will take Whitney to volleyball practice and will go to the Y while she practices. Then, we are going to Freddy's Frozen Custard for a family Valentine's Day dinner. Kind of defeats the purpose of the Y...

Monday, February 13, 2012

In my corner

Whitney’s team won first place in their tournament this weekend.
I have this picture on my computer this morning and one of my co-workers asked if Whitney was the “what doesn’t belong” in this picture. I asked why, because I don’t even notice it anymore:
She does not have the standard pony tail.
She does not have the standard hair band
She does not wear her hair band girl style, but commando style
She has white knee pads when everyone else’s is black
She is holding up TWO FINGERS FOR PEACE instead of ONE FOR WE’RE #1.

Steve and I met Whitney’s boyfriend. Very polite, pleasant, handsome, tall, muscular young man. Steve is not ready to start this again, but it is the last time.

Baby Steven had his first sleepover. Two days after shots and with a cold. I found myself at Walmart at 11:00 p.m. looking for baby congestion medicine. I prefer the 15 year old with a boyfriend over the congested 2 month old.

Eleven degree weather cut my Saturday run really short. That is dang cold to run outside.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mis-use of virtual communication

Did you see it? The video of the dad reading the letter his daughter posted on facebook and then listing his response to her letter, her punishment and shooting her laptop? And all the people cheering him on and saying "sound like my dad" or something like that.

NOT MY DAD! He dealt with us at home, in private. (Usually with a belt).

Teenagers do things that normal people wouldn't do. Yes, you read that right. They live in a teenage world that is different than any thing else. And as parents, we should not ever deal with them on their level. We should be parents. I understand he was upset with her, I would've been too. But, I don't think you address your child's misbehavior and dole out punishment on facebook. Be a grown up. Take a way the computer and the cell phone. Totally on board with that. But the public humiliation of your kid? Why?

There was also the video "Why I love Jesus but hate religion." It was full of so much crap. But it said some good things so people just jumped on board, not realizing that he was Scripturally inaccurate and while culturally relevant, he misrepresented the person of Jesus Christ.

Using your blog to write to the married man you've been having an affair with and address letters on it to his wife telling her your opinion of her and her marriage? No purpose in that, very immature.

Using twitter to lash out at people who have hurt you, knowing that all your followers and all their followers and all the retweets will just add additional drama and pain? Pretty low.

Having said that, I love the virtual world.

I can look at one day worth of email on either my personal account or my work account and have something that made my day brighter.

Facebook, and I can see pictures of family and friends long distance away. I can see pictures of their children, their races and results as they happen. It's amazing how many good friends I am back in contact with and thrilled to have in my life.

Texting is another virtual communication tool that I can't imagine returning to life without it. I remember life before texting, before cell phones. I'm so glad I have them.

I'm just wondering if we are being responsible with our communication. We type things we would never say. We share things with 300+ of our closest friends that we wouldn't think about telling them face to face.

Psalm 34:13 says "keep your tongue from evil". I realize these are not spoken words, but they are in a sense, the same thing. Our words. We should keep them from evil.

A couple other Scriptures, just for chewing on

He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. Proverbs 13:3

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. Proverbs 15:28

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3

Friday, February 10, 2012

Conversations with Whitney

I have senioritis and I'm only a SOPHOMORE!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nachos and Margaritas

My Scripture today was great. Psalms 121. I have scribbles in my handwriting (and a few suspicious spots I'm guessing are tear stains), dated April 13, 2011 above this chapter that says "you made the Heavens and earth, you can change man. You can answer my prayer". (He did).

Psalm 121 is eight verses of awesome. The Lord guards his people. I was going to share it here, but I really think you should open the Bible and read it. I find my Bible so comforting, the leather cover, the thin paper, the words of Christ in red, so if you need encouragement today go to Psalm 121.

Carrie, I love her, last night had a picture of herself post-run (yes, I stole this idea from her) and the caption was "to the lady on the treadmill next to me, yes we WERE racing, and I WON!" Of course I giggled. Then underneath that she said, "Patsy, how's that for rainbows and unicorns". Pretty dang good since you asked.

In the spirit of rainbows and unicorns, sunshine and roses, I posted once about sunburn and thorns.

A comment was left on my blog last week "espresso and dark chocolate" and for a minute I thought they were nicknaming my little girls and I thought how politically incorrect that was, while still funny, then realized it was their version of rainbows and unicorns and then I knew who it was who commented anonymously, based on that. I wonder what your two things are that indicate life is good?

We already have:
Sunshine and roses (picture from yahoo images)
Rainbows and unicorns (picture from photobucket)
Espresso and dark chocolate (picture from yahoo images)

I would add:
Hugs and kisses
Nachos and margaritas (picture from Signal Mountain Lodge Nacho Night)
Rebecca and baseball (some of my best times were spent sitting in the sun drinking beer and watching baseball with this one)

Any others? What are yours?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Does it matter

I opened my Bible today and it opened to a devotional. The first line was "what matters to you, matters to God". I got pretty emotional with just this one sentence.

There is so much in this world that needs God's attention. Homeless people. Starving orphans. Cancer patients. Unemployed. And let's not forget we are facing an election.

I really do know. I know God cares about me. All the little things. I'm not a bother with my prayers. My hurts, even though they are not about hunger or joblessness or health conditions matter to God.

This doesn't address the idea of "do I matter to God". That is supposedly understood, right? I miss that sometimes too. I feel lost and alone. I feel like I'm just existing. That even when I try, I'm not getting it right.

I believe that everybody was brought into this world because God wants us here. There is a purpose for us. I'm more and more sure everyday that my only purpose is to love Jesus. Everything else will work itself out from that. And decisions I make for my life are made through this lens. Not a "what would Jesus do", but what would Jesus want me to do? If I do this in love, how does that look.

There are days I want to be selfish. There are days where I am. But it doesn't make me happy. It makes me feel worse.

It really spoke to my bruised heart to know that what matters to me, matters to God. My husband, my kids, my parents. Whitney's volleyball, training for a marathon, grocery shopping.

I John 3:1 says "the Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children."

Right here in my little corner of Wichita, Kansas, I matter to God. What matters to me, matters to God.

Monday, February 6, 2012

In my corner...

The little girls were over. Mia played with the cooler. Pulled it around with her and climbed on it.
Nish climbed on Papa and played with him all evening. Except for the first 20 minutes, the first words out of her mouth were "Whitney's here". Sadly, Whitney left for the basketball game shortly after.
More of this...Whitney getting the kill.
My parents and my mom's sister came to watch Whitney play. I hadn't seen my aunt in a while, so I was pretty happy.

Other events in my corner included the usual, working out, laundry, dishes, carpool, grocery shopping, cooking, running errands, 40 hours at a full time job. I'm including these things because I don't want you to think I live a glamorous life ALL the time. (As if that's possible). As my friend Cate would say, "rainbows and unicorns" or as my friend Jenny would say "sunshine and roses".

Saturday, February 4, 2012

You are beautiful

Today's long run was cold...and windy...and long...

I got up this morning thinking I didn't want to run. It was 25 degrees. 20+ mph north winds plus gusts. I had put my tights and running shirt on when I got up so I was dressed and ready, but still wasn't pushing myself out the door. As I was talking myself out of it, I noticed Steve had set the garmin for me and put it with my running jacket. (I am technologically challenged where the garmin is concerned). Because of that kind act, off I went.

Straight into the north wind. I ran north when some mile in and outs east and west on residential streets to get out of the wind. Happened to run into Sheila and she ran 4 miles with me. WHAT AN UNEXPECTED BLESSING!!! 16 total miles, made decent time.

In running a lot of people have mantras. Things they say to themself to motivate or encourage themselves. I was thinking about that today. I have a couple of things I say regularly. When I do speed work on the treadmill and it starts to get hard I repeat to myself "stay". Meaning stay on the treadmill. And when it gets particularly hard I'm likely to repeat over and over "I'm gonna die".

But today I found myself singing while I was running. Not unusual, but this song I have never sung before. And it just kept repeating in my head.

Everyday is so wonderful
Then suddenly
It's hard to breathe
Now and then I get insecure
From all the pain
I'm so ashamed

I am beautiful
No matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful
In every single way
Yes words can't bring me down
Oh no
So don't you bring me down today

I thought about the scripture that says "we are his masterpiece". A masterpiece is a beautiful work of art. God calls me beautiful. But more than this, I thought about "words can't bring me down". Usually they can. But what if I decide to LIVE like I believe I'm God's work of art instead of living believing:

You aren't good enough
You don't matter
You don't fit in
You aren't fun

You get the idea. So here I am on about my 12th repetition of believing this, and I will do 13 and 14 and 15 and so on until I get it. And in the spirit of "I am beautiful, here I am pre-run
Post run
And before dinner

Can I tell you a secret? You are his masterpiece too.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Random Thoughts

Facebook and twitter and cell phones add new dimensions to parenting. I get to be so much more aware of my kids lives. Have to be more worried about the constant communication and the intimacy that comes with that. And I get to see way more than I want to know. But just like knowing your kids friends, their parents, what their houses are like, monitoring clothing choices, these have to be monitored also. I did threaten Whitney the other day with a punishment, getting her a flip phone. Not taking her phone away, but giving her a “dumb” flip phone. SMH! At myself.

We are back church shopping. Well not till after volleyball season, until then we will attend churches that have Saturday evening services. Apparently our new church didn’t love us as much as we loved them. Nuff said. I was willing after this last week to not go at all, which is sad because I love church. Steve won’t let us do that. (I didn’t really want to anyway). It’s in God’s hands, right? He has a plan for us, even if we continue to make our own way, off his path, he veers us back on at some point. For some reason I just pictured a herd of cattle trying to go its own way and a dog barking at them to corral them through the gate. I’m not saying I’m a cow or God’s a dog, just a weird thought that came to mind.

My training for the marathon had me concerned, but I couldn’t add mileage too fast without risking injury, so I added high impact cardio classes 4-5 times a week. NOTE TO SELF: You are not tough enough for 30 minutes of 8 MPH sprints followed by Shalen’s Zumba class. Also when you show up to zumba or turbokick after running you are already sweating. Which means you will sweat sooner and heavier than you usually do in these classes. Sweat on hardwood floors can be dangerous. REMEMBER THIS!

I wonder how many times I can cancel a before work run with Sheila before she gives up our friendship? It’s lasted 30+ years, is this the thing that might break it?