Monday, April 29, 2013

My opinion

I've been the recipient of many people's opinions regarding the Boson Bombers. I don't know if it's because I'm a runner or not, but I've kind of kept my opinion to myself.

Here's the thing. I've heard that the explosion in West, Texas was a much bigger deal. I've heard that the Sandy Hook shooting was a much bigger deal.

And I want to know how we measure which tragedy is a bigger deal?

In these three cases it's comparing apples and oranges. Both fruits, both round, but that's the only sameness.

All of these are tragedies, lives were losts. But that's the only sameness I can find.

One was an accidental explosion. One was a mentally unbalanced young man. One was an act of terror.

And you can't really say that had the Boston Bomber's used guns we would have stiffer gun control. Because you don't know that.

Most shootings occur with illegally procured guns. Stolen guns.

Every mentally sick person is not a murderer. Every muslim is not a terrorist. Every factory is not going to explode.

And Marathon runners are not tougher than elementary school parents who are overwhelmed with the day to day of getting kids up and getting them to school and fixing dinner and doing laundry and driving carpool and overseeing diaramas of Charlotte Web (I'll never forget that one) or scale models of a 5th grade bedroom (that one either) or a high school working model of an atom (yep, top three rounded out).


Crazy people. Religious extremists. Accidents.

They all happen.

I am related to a mentally unbalanced person. I can't live in fear.

I work with several muslims. Who can carry backpacks into the building, the room, I work in. I can't live in fear.

There are highly combustible and flammable materials where I work. There have been two accidental deaths on the shop floor in the last year. I can't live in fear.

I also can't determine what is the greater tragedy. None of them took the life of someone I loved.

Then I read an article about the building in Bangladesh that collapsed and the lives that were lost. And the rescue efforts. And how they are blaming it on the U.S. because we buy the clothes they were making.

And I know I will never understand.

But I do know that there is hope for this world. And I'm glad to say that I know that hope.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

in my corner

For those of you on the edges of your seats wondering what I did last week:

Not a whole lot.

Mostly normal stuff.

Cooking - do you want to see pictures? lol
Took Whitney shopping
Pedicure - it's sandal weather but mostly cause my feet get so calloused and gnarly Steve reminds me cause he hates gnarly feet.
Have several birthdays going on that I have to remember to acknowledge
Graduation cards, presents and open houses, depending on the graduate and the location of the graduate
Went to hear a friend's band this weekend, don't do that very often. Was nice to catch up.

Just an average week in the life.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: talking about my mom

Me: You know you and Nate started eating real food at Grandma's house before you were six months old because she knew you were hungry. She also thought she knew better than the doctor. Well, I'm pretty sure she knew better than the doctor.

Whitney: And that's why Nate and I are both so strong and smart. I came from the womb eating peanut butter sandwiches.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Baker's Bakery

Whitney had a project in her Young Entrepreneurs of Kansas class. It was very in depth. Business plan for a business. Verbal presentation. She did "A Baker's Bakery" and made cupcakes. The business plan was the primary part of the grade. The cupcakes at her verbal presentation were the icing on the cake (heeeheeeheee).

She said after school that day she was the most amazing person ever cause she had 4 dozen cupcakes to share.

Unfortunately? she was one of the top two at Heights and has to make the same presentation at Koch Industries on Wednesday. Let me explain a few things. Koch Industries is the sponsor of Young Entreprenuers. The "unfortunate" part is that while Whitney likes the idea of the cash prize, she didn't want to have to do her presentation again. But we went and got all the stuff to make beautiful tasty cupcakes and cake balls, a nice way to present them; like last time, she will decorate her box and make it look good, and for this presentation we got her an adorable pink apron. Because the box is decorated pink, the cupcakes are pink, the cake balls have pink sprinkles.

I'm very proud of her. I have to laugh at the child who doesn't want to win but just can't help herself.

No nerves giving the presentation, no fear that they won't like her cake. She's invincible. UNTIL...

My mom called, she has been sick a few times in the last couple months and has a doctor's appointment. She says she's fine, I believe her, my mom's tough, I'm tough, Whitney's tough.

But Whitney showed a chink in that 16 year old armor. Like to broke my heart. She is definitely grandma's girl.

Monday, April 22, 2013

In my corner

Started running again, 1 mile went good, next time 1.5 miles went good, next time 2 miles went good, next time 3 miles sucked. But at least I did it in a normal amount of time for me so my 5K with Meredith in two weeks should be good. I will give her permission to run off and leave me, don't want to hold her back.

Steve surprised me with dinner at my favorite mexican restaurant and tickets to the Zach Brown Band concert. We had a great dinner, saw a great concert, had a great time.

Whitney's Junior prom. She had a good time, says she didn't much like the after party, probably won't go next year.

(I'm trying to figure out how to wear her dress to work)

Steve is off crutches and back at work and didn't miss a day of working out, other than surgery day. That is great for him, Marquis has upper body and core work for him. I have had the hardest 4 workouts with Marquis that I've had in 10 months. I keep wondering when it will get easy, but I've been told as long as I push myself it's not going to get easy. So I'll dig into the hard stuff because I really do enjoy it (most of the time).

Four months at my new desk at work and I finally feel like I have room to breathe. I am pretty familiar with my new suppliers, I have a handle on shortages and I'm not in danger of impacting the shop, short of catastrophic events which do happen, but that you can't plan for. It's a good feeling to have my feet under me again.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In touch with my inner four year old.

Ever go to Walmart and see the four year old girl who obviously dressed herself and mom didn't notice? She's wearing track shorts and glittery shoes and hasn't combed her hair?

I just noticed I'm her. At least I'm not at Walmart. I'm gonna go change my shoes and put my hair up...

Friday, April 19, 2013


I've been thinking about my life lately. A lot.

Good memories. Good times. Rough times. Not necessarily bad memories, just memories of rough times.

There is an ancient saying from Heraclitus, "the only constant is change".

Change. Always. Nothing stays the same. And if I'm honest, I don't want things to stay the same. I want to change and grow and get better. I want life to change and grow and get better. I want the people in my life to change. I don't want to stagnate.

But even in light of this, sometimes I resist change. Change can be hard.

Relationship trouble requires change. Change of mind. Change of heart. And sometimes you aren't the one that needs to change but you have to if you want it to work.

Jobs/career paths are in a constant state of evolution. Change or get left behind. I had a boss once that said "I reserve the right to be smarter tomorrow than I am today". Good philosophy. Change or get left behind.

And after today's workout with Marquis, I'm going to say physical changes are hard to make and even harder to see. I've been working out with him for 10 months and asked him when push ups were going to get easy. He said, "hmmmmm" and I said, "never? I just have to get mentally stronger?" And he said yes, that's it. I am much better at push ups. Not only can I do them, which I couldn't really well before, I can do explosive push ups, moving push ups, and all sorts of variations. But they are still hard. My body resists the hard work that brings about change.

Lifestyle changes. Reading more, giving up television, eating right, saving money, all require change.

I'm going to continue to try and embrace the changes life throws at me. Life is short. I only get to live it once. I got to make the most of it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wander Woman

I got this in the mail today. If you sent it to me thank you. I love it!

Monday, April 15, 2013

You just have to be human

When the Sandy Hook tragedy occurred, I was horrified. Saddened. Not because I'm a teacher or a parent or have dealt with a child with mental disabilities. Not because I know teachers or anyone in Connecticut. It was a terrible thing.

When I heard about the bombing at the Boston Marathon today I was overwhelmed. Tragic. Horrific. Not because I'm a runner. Not because I've been to the Boston Marathon. Not because a friend was running.


The loss of life, any life is sad. The untimely loss is even sadder. The taking of a life is unconscionable.

As humans we should all value life. We don't need a special connection to a tragedy like this to feel deeply sorrowful. That belittles the hearts of everyone that can't claim a connection.

I cried over both situations. Because the condition of our country is truly in decline.

My prayers for our country and the people of our country and the leadership of our country need to be more frequent and more fervent.

Because I'm human, and because I'm a child of God.

Friday, April 12, 2013

life is good

I was going to post about life being good. Then I realized that's not really what I want to say.

Life is good, don't get me wrong. Things are well. Family is well. Job is going good, I'm healthy, plantar fasciitis is almost completely gone, I can run again.

Life has its bumps but that just keeps me on my toes. Speaking of toes, Steve had the neuroma taken out of his left foot today, did the right one two years ago and it was time to fix this one. Dr. Truong told me the nerve was "a monster". Terribly inflamed, very large. Now we just have to get him recovered and keep him from going stir crazy for two weeks.

So, off the rabbit trail and back onto life is good...

That's not it. When I say life is good I'm saying good things are happening right now, I'm in a good place, I'm enjoying life. Which I am.

What I really want to say is I have a good life. A good life. Lots of people I get to love (and that love me). A job that provides for me and my family (and I like doing it and I'm kind of good at it). Lots of hobbies I get to pursue. Reading, running, working out, writing. None of them will ever be money makers or careers, they will always just be hobbies, but I get to pursue them. I occasionally throw in a craft or two, make a blanket or coasters or some random project.

I can afford to give. Not huge amounts, but I have enough money and time that I can donate some of both. (And the occasional requested dessert, oreo balls are being made for a teacher who has requested them several times from Whitney since October). I don't get to give as much as I would like, but there have been times when I didn't have excess of either so I'm quite pleased that I can.

I hope the same for you. That you can say you have a good life. That you have people to love, activities to enjoy and work to keep your hands busy and provide. Because I believe that you can provide for your family without working outside the home so for the stay at home mom, you are very important (and fortunate) in your labor of/for love.

Conversations with Whitney

Setting - church on Sunday morning after a lengthy discussion Saturday where Whitney tried to explain what a hipster is.

Me: (looking at the worship leader) is he a hipster?

Whitney: No, he's just a dude.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I have no words

A group at work started a biggest loser competition today. I have watched for the last week as everyone who planned to participate has binged on everything. One girl ate 6 donuts for breakfast and laughed. Today was weigh in and day one.

Three people skipped lunch.

I see huge results for them over the course of 6 weeks with no one sustaining the change.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

my opinion

I'm getting good at keeping it to myself. I really don't like to argue. Don't much enjoy confrontation.

Nose piercings, belly piercings, eyebrow piercings? Strictly a personal decision. I have an opinion, and I'm free to voice it, at the risk of offending people about something that doesn't matter. It doesn't speak to character or morality.

Tattoos is the same thing. Now if your tattoos are offensive words or contain nudity, that's another story. We try to protect what our children see but then they see it tatted on your arm in Walmart that's offensive. But again, your body, your choice.

How you educate your children is also your choice. If you choose private school or home school for your children it doesn't mean you love them more or care more about their education than the public school parents. It just means you have different opinions (and more options) than other parents. I know good and bad about public, private and home school. You do what's best for you and your family and I will respect that. However, when your children screw up (and they will) please be prepared to take full responsibility for it, you can't even blame it on bad influences from school. (just kidding!)

I hear on a regular basis how bad running is for me and that I'm crazy or insane. Thanks for your opinion. I keep mine to myself, even when I have to do your job while you are at the doctor for chronic health problems because you don't take care of yourself.

There are so many other areas that get a lot of attention and debate that are more heated and serious.


Equal marriage.

The death penalty.

I just want to say that a difference of opinion is no cause for hate. It doesn't mean I don't like you, I'm uneducated, judgmental or hateful. It just means different.

I try to live this. Really do. Not always easy. In fact, it's hard to love everyone. It's hard not to be heated about things you believe when others disagree. But ultimately, I'm getting good at holding my tongue. Really good. It's been a lot of years in the making, but I have made progress. Not because I don't have something to say. Not because I'm scared I'm wrong. Not because I hate anyone. Just because if it's being used to tear down and not to build up, then I want to keep it in.


there's always room for improvement.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Conversations with Whitney

Setting - Saturday at lunch

Whitney: Who was eating cereal at 5:09 this morning?

Me: How did you know I was eating cereal?

Whitney: I heard you.

Me: From in your room?

Whitney: Yes. I hear everything. You opening the fridge, pouring the cereal and the crunching. I HEAR EVERYTHING!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I've talked about the show The Bible from the History channel I loved it.

Something struck me when they got to Jesus life. First off, it's no secret that David was an man after God's heart. John was the disciple Jesus loved. Jesus cried when he found out Lazarus was dead. He had special people, even though he was Jesus and loved everyone.

As a mom, one thing I love is when people are good to my kids.

So when the wise men from the east knelt in front of Jesus I wondered if that especially touched the heart of God.

And when that man knelt down next to Jesus and picked up that cross with him I wondered if all of Heaven fell in love with him like I did in the portrayal of the crucifixion.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

a letter to a teacher

Dear teacher,

I realize you have probably made sacrifices to be a teacher. It can be a pretty thankless job. And from what I understand the pay isn't great. I'm sure there are benefits. And you get to feel good about what you do some days. Even though that whole "what do you make? I make a difference" thing is a little hard to stomach sometimes, but you haven't ever said that, so I shouldn't vent about that to you. You may feel that way too, but you haven't ever beat me over the head with the fact that I make money and you make a difference so I'll let this one go...for now.

Because I'm sure it can be thankless and hard I'm going to post this letter to you, unnamed on my blog instead of emailing it direct to you. That and because sending it to you would embarrass my daughter.

You were one of her favorite teachers in a class she loved. Up until recently. And you changed that. You made the comment to her that you hoped your children did not grow up to be like her. When she told me this it almost broke my heart. Because I know her. I know how much that hurt her. I know that she liked you. And respected you. And that you are a christian man. And that nothing you said after that would undo it.

I know you probably didn't mean to hurt her feelings. I know you mean well. You teach well. And one unthoughtful comment that you may or may not have meant has changed her opinion of you (and mine).

I know her and love her and I'm always on her side. I know her better than you ever will, obviously. So let me tell you some things about her you don't know.

She is a good kid. Do you know how rare that is this day and age? Good. Kind. Thoughtful. Loyal. Trustworthy. Compassionate. Hardworking. Intelligent. Beautiful. Mature and wise beyond her years.

She loves Jesus. Not in the I go to youth group and Falcon Fellowship and See You At the Pole and carry my Bible in the hallway at school and let me tell you about my last 5 missions trips (not that there is anything wrong with that) kind of way. She loves Jesus in the do unto others as you want them to do to you take care of widows and orphans love others as you love yourself kind of way.

So teacher, let me end by saying this.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Workin' out

I had my first real outdoor training session this week with Marquis. It was a beautiful day. This meant sprints on the football field and bleachers. So hard and so worth it. And painful the next day. The good thing is I think my foot may finally be ready for me to run. Finally. I can work out like crazy. Weights, core, even Insanity (and let me tell you, the longer I do this crazier I think it is and I am).

I did hear a motivational saying that has kind of stuck with me. Mostly I believe you do it because you want to and find it in yourself to do it. I believe physical strength and emotional strength and mental strength are all tied together.

But this one "the only number that matters is 100%. Give 100%. Anytime I'm working out I'm working out as hard as I can. When I run, I'm running to do two things. Finish and finish well. This requires 100%. 100% may be a different distance and a different time, but it's worth giving your all to something.

And not just sports. Family. Marriage. Child rearing. I've not done everything right relationally, but I do believe that I give 100% to my marriage and my children. Just like running, 100% is different on different days.

Today I told Steve to meet us at Bradley Fair when I meant New Market Square. For those not familiar with Wichita, opposite sides of town. 30 minutes drive apart. Not too 15 minutes from home, Steve was downtown, evenly split. Bad directions. Then Whitney asked me to take her to the Heights baseball game at McAdams. I took her to Westside Athletic Field. Not too terribly apart, but I was spending time with my family, running errands, taking care of stuff, giving everything I had to them, to the moment, and I was not on my game.

But I want my family to know that I did work hard for them. With them. Give all I had.