A sour day (YAY!) … 

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a major FOODIE. And I’m happy to say that I’ve raised a bunch of them too! I’ve always strived to teach my crew the importance of balance in their lives but especially in the areas of fitness and nutrition. Despite the hard work and diligence that goes into both, I always wanted them to find the joy them too. When it came to nutrition and the foods they ate I wanted them to understand that it didn’t all just magically pop out of our oven or refrigerator. I wanted them to understand that there was a process and a love that goes into the growing and preparing of food, long before it ever entered our home. So over the years we frequently found ourselves at food festivals and local farms and shops enjoying how REAL food was made. It’s been so much fun!

Today we are heading out to make more food adventure memories. We will be attending a Lemon Festival. With all four of my kids home I couldn’t be more excited to share this pucker-faced day with them!

Well, I hope you all have a sour day!!!

That hot, hilly, and windy 20-miler was so much fun (said no runner ever) …

Today I ran my 20-miler. I have been physically and mentally preparing for it all week. This is a big one. Huge. I couldn’t wait to get it under my (fuel) belt. And then I woke up.

I woke up to the sound of wind. As I started to get ready I realized the wind wasn’t letting up, so I checked the weather report. High wind advisory. SWELL. I already knew I would be racing against time to avoid the heat, which wouldn’t be an easy battle because I mapped out 10 miles of hills for myself. Wind was not going to make anything easier. Not. At. All. But I laced up and got out there anyway. Somehow I survived and lived to write about it. Here’s how it all went down:

Mile 1: The wind appears to have died down. Run woman run!

Miles 2: I was wrong … the wind did not die down.

Mile 3: Suspicious stranger sighting. I’m glad I have my pepper spray but with all the wind I figure using it could backfire. I determine I can out run him. My paranoia subsides.

Mile 4: My left hamstring woke up and is pissed we aren’t still in bed. I also come to the realization that everyone in my neighborhood is still asleep. I am overwhelmed with jealousy.

Mile 5: 10,000 steps. Whatever Fitbit, whatever.

Mile 6: Gusts. I hate them and all the debris that comes with them. Ouch.

Mile 7: I wonder why I didn’t register for the Donate Life 5k that is this weekend. It’s practically in my backyard. Then I realize I would have had to run it over 6 times to get all my miles in. I calculate 6 race entry fees. I am happy I can still do simple math. This skill will be dead to me soon.

Mile 8: Cyclists pass me. I notice all their butts. I conclude that my butt is too big to fit on a bike seat.

Mile 9: The downhill. This is just mind trickery to build my confidence … the REAL hills are coming.

Mile 10: I’m at the gates of Hell. Let the hill repeats begin.

Mile 11: Branches are falling from the trees. Sure let’s make this a terrifying obstacle course too. Because I obviously need THAT in my life.

Mile 12: Blood, sweat and gagging. I REALLY hate hills. Oh and MORE WIND.

Mile 13: If wind was a person I would call it a bad name … and punch it in the throat.

Mile 14: I’m pretty sure everything is chapped.

Mile 15: What fresh hell is this?

Mile 16: Pulling out the big guns. Electrolytes with extra caffeine. This will either get me to the end of this run or give me a heart attack. At this point I see it going either way. 

Mile 17: A brief encounter with feeling TOTALLY BITCHEN. In your face haters. I GOT THIS.

Mile 18: BITCHEN feeling gone. I start my run home. I remember that it’s uphill. I am running into the sun and have a constant headwind. I cry a little and question my sanity.

Mile 19: My ability to do simple math is gone. Everything hurts. I am pretty sure running is very bad for you.

Mile 20: DONE. Elated and thankful. It is over. I did it. And I am pretty sure that once the feeling of wanting to throw-up leaves my body I will want to eat my weight in donuts.

The 20 miler. Even under the best of circumstances I have never found this distance easy. Today was unbelievably hard. It beat my tush. But I have learned over the years that if I try hard enough I can find humor in even the most difficult runs. I gotta say, I like that about myself.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you laugh yourself through some tough times!!!

Working it all out …

I’m not sure if it’s good or bad to have a lot of options. Having many choices does give you more freedom and that is definitely a nice feeling. But it can also make figuring things out and finalizing plans a little more confusing. With someone like me who can ruminate hours over mere dinner options, this can become a lengthy process, HA!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you work it all out!!!

Bug guts …

As a runner I often encounter bugs. I do not like bugs so I enjoy none of it. Luckily most of my bug encounters are brief. Like when I see a bug on the pavement in front of me. I can go around it or, if I’m feeling particularly brave, I can jump over it. I have had more unpleasant bug encounters, however. Like running through a spider web. Or what I like to call a scream-fest. And then there are those runs that take me through a swarm of gnats. That’s fun when your mouth is open. NOT. I did have a bug manage its way into my eye on one run. I died a little. I bring all this up because this morning on my run I had a pretty gross bug encounter. I was particularly sweaty because I was running in a windbreaker. I was running much warmer than I usually do and my face was dripping with sweat. I was almost home and it happened. I felt it. SLAP. A bug hit my cheek. I immediately did what I always do in this situation, I smacked at my face frantically in an attempt to brush the little bugger off of me. That usually works. Not today. This bug was bigger than I initially thought it was. WAY bigger. In my multiple hysterical attempts to get it off of me I had only made things worse. It was stuck on me and with every swipe of my hand it just moved around rather than fell off. How I wasn’t screaming at this point I will never know. Anyway, eventually I got most of the that bug carcass off of my face. Most. Ew. And Guh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t smear bug guts all over your face!!! 

Six years later and still going strong … 

Today is my 6-Year Blogiversary. I can’t believe it. What started off as a few friends encouraging me to formally do something with my qwerky daily well wishes has turned into so much more. It has truly become my hope. There are days when I don’t want to find one positive thing to say about my world. But this blog has motivated me to do it anyway. It has been a gift. A very unexpected gift.

Six years ago today I set out to do a daily blog. A place to find hope for each new day. Even if it was silly or not very hope-filled, I still wanted to keep at it every day. As the years passed I often wondered what would stop this daily writing streak of mine. I didn’t know. But unfortunately I found out last Fall exactly what would stop me.

I was recovering from my second round of meningitis. At first I found myself able to blog daily even through my hospitalIzation but a terrible drug reaction set me back. WAY BACK. I was so sick I couldn’t stay awake for more then a few minutes at a time. It aggravated the pain still lurking in my head from the encephalopathy. I couldn’t stay focused and I had ringing and buzzing in my ears. I was a mess so I reluctantly decided that I wasn’t going to blog until I got better. It took 21 days before I was able to write again.

There were days early on when I didn’t miss blogging one bit. Rest and sleep was all I wanted. That made me so sad. But what made me even sadder was when I became well enough to be aware that I couldn’t keep it up. That my body and mind were not THERE yet. So I waited and thought about the many times when my little blog had pulled me through tough days. I was so grateful to have THIS THING and for the people who encouraged me to start it in the first place. And for the kind souls who actually read my blog entries. Their comments on and involvement with these penned words of mine mean the world to me. And only after having to give it all up did I realize how much this blog had become a part of me … and I missed it dearly. It wasn’t until those 21 days that I realized how important it is that we lift ourselves up EVERY SINGLE DAY. We need to force ourselves to see the good in our lives, even if we don’t want to. Whether it is written on paper, spoken out loud or a thought in our head. Finding even a shred of something we can be hopeful about will do our souls good. I have lived THIS for 6 years now, probably longer. And I can tell you that those 21 days without a conscious decision to diligently seek that hope out were some of the darkest days that I have ever known.

So when will I stop blogging again? I can honestly say that I don’t know. I’ll certainly know it when that day comes around again. But until then, I’ll just keep writing and running and hoping my way through each new day.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate that you’re still going strong!!!

Living lovingly in denial …

I absolutely love having all of my kids at home. The laughter and conversations. The loudness and busyness. Listening to them “catch up” with each other. I love it ALL! Being a parent who was only child I wanted so much so to have a home filled with lots of children. I have been blessed to live that dream.

This may sound silly, but as my kids where growing up it never occurred to me how much it would affect me when they left home to go to college. At minimum, I WAY underestimated those feelings. It has been terribly hard to be so far away from Sidney. I miss her very much when she is gone. And the worry! Let’s not even discuss THAT one! YIKES!

Anyway, I remember when Sid’s second semester of her senior year rolled around, my emotions where similar to that of a roller coaster on steroids. I was utterly shocked at myself. Even I didn’t know it could be THAT emotional, HA! And now, with G3 just a few weeks shy of graduating, I have been overwhelmed with all the same emotions. The same feelings of loss and elation all over again. I’m tearful one minute and excited the next. How is this possible?!?! Isn’t this process supposed to get easier?!?! Because it’s not, at least not for me. And that’s OK. These feelings remind me of just how blessed I am to love so deeply these wonderful beings I get to call my children. I am thankful that our close bonds have made these milestones emotionally charged. Love really does crazy things with your heart. I have written before, that as painful as this growing-up process is, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have found no greater joy than loving my children and watching them plan to leave home to chase their dreams. It truly is beautiful.

I am so thankful that we are all together again. I know it’s not going to last very long. But for now, for the next few months while they are all home, I’m going to pretend that I don’t know that times like these will become fewer and farther between. I’m going to love them like always and relish in the joy I feel just being their mom … appreciating every precious second.

Well, I hope you all have day where you live lovingly in denial!!!