To be the best Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend, and Runner I can be...God willing!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

1.  Sleeping babies---I know I had this listed last week too, but I can't help it.  I love to watch my kiddos sleep.  They are only little for so long.  I also know I should not allow Elena to fall asleep in my arms, but seriously!!!  She is most likely (like 95% certain) our last baby so who knows how long it will be until I get to hold a sleeping peaceful beautiful baby.

2.  I had a great lunch with a wonderful friend yesterday.  It had been too long since we had visited with one another.  It was nice to sit outside, chat, and eat.  I am always so thankful that my friends love my babies and don't mind eating lunch with little kids.

3.  My knee is feeling better and my quad is totally healed.  I am striving for big things on Saturday so I am thankful my body is healing.

5.  The Katie's---these are two girls in my Good Morning Girls group. They have been so faithful in emailing their thoughts each day.  I am excited to be getting to know them better.

6.  Jonah had a great 5 year check up today.  How great is God to bless us with a healthy awesome little boy!

7.  The weather---it couldn't be any nicer in Spring, TX if it tried.  The mornings have been cool.  The house windows have been open.  My kiddos are wearing sweatshirts in the morning.  I hope this weather lasts.

8.  Leftover birthday cake---enough said!

9.  Emma has been so grown up this week...really the past couple of weeks.  She has been less testy with her tone and more willing around the house.  She has really stepped up her game with being helpful, being nice to her brothers, and in general just more cooperative. I am very thankful for her attitude change.

10.  Drew---last, but not least!  He is just great and so funny. Tonight he thought I maybe knew that pennies could conduct electricity in a flashlight if some part broke.  He did this as a kid so he figured I did.  I told him I played with barbies...silly guy.  I love him!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Words of Wednesday

Elena is babbling more and more each day.  It is super cute and I love it!  She can say ma-ma, but I don't think she associates it with me yet.  It often sounds more like mamamamamama....I am still counting it as ma-ma.

I told Samuel yesterday that he wears me out, but I love him anyway (a line from one of my favorite "Olivia" books).  He looked at me and said, "Mommy you crack me up!"  He can be so funny.

Despite these wonderful words, I have been working with Jonah and Samuel to refrain from saying certain words. 

Samuel loves to tell me how rude I favorite thing to hear out of his mouth...NOT!  He is not allowed to say that word.  Instead, he is allowed to tell me that I am being not kind.  We will see how this works.

Jonah likes to ask me and Elena what our problem is...I am not a big fun of this either.  That bad part about this is I say that!  So, we made a deal that neither of us can say it.  We will see how this works for both of us!  

Probably the best words my ears heard today were Drew telling me he would take care of filling the milk cups and getting out pj's so my evening would be easier.  How nice to hear and it did make my night easier!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I ran my longest run ever on Sunday...a little over 11 miles.  I learned some things during this run.  I did not have enough drink with me.  I will either have to take a third water bottle or drink more before I leave.  I also could have used some more gels or GU.   I did not have a big breakfast so that may have contributed to my lack of energy.

I started in the dark so I did not listen to my music for the first four miles.  I like running with my own thoughts for a while.  Somewhere in the middle miles I lost track of the music.  I have no idea what songs were playing nor do I remember what I was thinking.  I think I was just lost in the run which is good I guess. 

Now the only problem is that my knee and left quad hurt.  I rested yesterday and have not run yet today either.  I am wanting to run, but know I should wait another day since I have a 5K on Sat.  On the other, if I run today and it hurts I have three days to rest.  What to do????

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Jonah!!

Five years ago yesterday our little boy was born at 8:18pm.  He came into this world in a hurry and has barely slowed down since then.  Jonah is 5! 

Getting ready for his party!

We had a blue themed birthday party at Collins Park!  Everything was, decorations, shirts, and the cake.  It was a beautiful day and Jonah had lots of fun playing with his friends.  He was especially excited about his cake.

The five layer blue cake

We continued the celebration today when we gave him our presents.  He is really enjoying riding his bike and bike accessories were all he wanted.  So, that is what he got.  His favorites were these:


Biking gloves from Emma, Samuel, and Elena

Our lives have been immeasurably blessed by Jonah!  He is so full of life, caring, energetic, creative, cute and the list goes on....  Happy Birthday Jonah....We love you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I was not thankful for lots of things today.  Samuel was a typical two year old with lots of fits, it is still hot, naps were short, dinner was late and the list could go on.  All those things that frustrated me today still give me reason to be thankful.

1.  I have a beautiful son who has fits to frustrate me.
2.  I have an air conditioned house to escape the heat.
3.  I have children who take naps.
4.  I had food to prepare for my family.

Even those things that frustrate me and cause me to feel less than thankful for a moment in time is still a blessing!

Knowing it was a frustrating day for me, my awesome husband sent me on a run tonight.  I am so thankful for those sweet, precious 28 minutes all to myself!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Words of Wednesday

My days are filled with lots and lots of words.  Samuel talks non-stop from the moment he wakes until bed.  Jonah is not far behind.  Emma is more quiet, but she can talk your ear off as well.  Elena is just squealing and I know words are coming soon.

The words I hear make me angry, make me feel frustrated, make me think twice, make me smile, make me laugh, make me love.... 

The best words I heard today were Samuel calling Elena his sister for the first time and Elena babbling mamamamamama.  Of course, I also cherish every "I love you mommy" that comes my way!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An indoor day

It rained today.  The whole day was not a washout, but it rained enough to keep us inside.  Two boys inside all day makes for a long day.  Since I was not feeling the whole "I'm bored" all day routine, I tried to be creative.  It is not really in me to be creative, but I did my best. 

After a quick trip to the grocery store, this is what we did in the morning....

Samuel loves play dough!

Lunch in pop up tents!

So, the boys had a good morning while Elena napped.  I was able to get things accomplished because they were having so much fun playing with one another.  What a gift!

Then this afternoon they helped me re-arrange some furniture in the family room.  What fun boys they were today!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tennis anyone???

Emma just started taking tennis lessons.  In fact today was her third lesson.  She is the youngest in the group and one of two girls.  So far she seems to be enjoying it.

Waiting for her turn.

Of course, she has to look cute while playing!

Swinging hard! 

Emma is a free spirit so she spends as much time looking at her surroundings and giggling as she does paying attention to her instructor.  Either way she is having fun and that is what matters!

While we wait, the kids swing and monkey around on the bars.  They are very good at that.

After tennis everyone is tired as this picture depicts!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Football and Running

My goodness this week went fast.  I thought Saturday would never arrive with Drew being out of town, but the week flew by!

Today was my first run with my new running buddy, M.  M is generally a much faster runner than I am so this pairing is going to be great for me.  I need the push to go faster and challenge myself.  I met JM at her house at 6:30 and we headed out on 5.3 mile run.  I was hoping to go longer today, but M was in need of a shorter run.  It was the fastest 45 minutes of chatting, running, chatting, and running.  It was relatively cool and an overall great run!  We are hoping to run together one a week.  M is even considering the Seawall half in November...we shall see.

Of course with today being Saturday, there was lots of college football to be watched.  PSU won 24-0!  It was a no nothing opponent, but after last week a win is a win. 
JoePa's shoes...they are great!

I have saved the best thing about my day for sweet Elena Joy is 9 months old today!

She is just so beautiful and we love her so much!!!!  I have loved every minute of being her mommy!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fun Random Friday Things

I have so many things on my mind to share that I decided today is just going to be stream of randomness.

1.  Boot camp began on Monday, but I was not able to attend until today.  I was not looking forward to it, but I knew I needed to go.  I love the women and the strength training is great for my running.  Well, it was fun and I love having D as the leader.  We did our mile run today and I smoked it in 7:08.  I have never run that fast in my life.  I am starting to believe that I can go faster than I think.  I know there is a limit, but I can demand more of myself.  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). 

2.  I am so enjoying my Good Morning Girls group.  I love hearing what verses or passages are being shared each morning.  I want to try to figure out how to put a tab on this blog so I can keep a running list of the verses I read.  Stayed tuned to see if I can figure it out....

3.  Jonah said the cutest thing this week.  It is still really hot when all of us want it to feel fall-like outside.  On Wednesday when I picked him up from school, he said he was going to ask God and Jesus to turn it (the heat) down.  I love it!!!

4.  I am scheduled to run 8 miles tomorrow with a running buddy.  This will be the first time we have run together so I am excited about that!

5.  Drew comes home today.  We have all missed him.  I can't wait to see the kid's faces when he walks in the door.

6.  Our camera is supposed to be fixed tomorrow.   It has been a long two weeks.

Happy Friday !!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday!!

My Mom's group at church has started a 15 week challenge.  Each week one of the ladies list a challenge for the upcoming week...nothing time consuming...just fun.  This past week we had to list at least twenty five blessings and then each day list five blessings from that day.

My list was over fifty before I realized I could stop.  Who knew how easy it would be?!  It was a great challenge because after a day of good and bad, I enjoyed reflecting on my truly great life.  Since today is thankful Thursday, I am listing my top 25 of this week:

1.  E sleeping on my chest
2.  Watching E and J at gymnastics
3.  Playing baseball with J
4.  Watching J and S jump on the trampoline
5.  Ice cream
6.  Good friends
7.  Homemade pumpkin bread
8.  Dinner with a friend
9.  A great preschool for J and S
10.  E loving AWANA
11.  Cheeseburger soup
12.  Good Morning Girls beginning
13.  Running!!!!
14.  Mopped floors
15.  Boot camp starting again
16.  The 15 week challenge
17.  Parenthood returning to tv
18.  Cooler mornings
19.  College football
20.  Playing with my kids
21.  Hugs and kisses
22.  Clean sheets
23.  The Closer finale (so good!)
24.  My hubby
25.  Playing at a new park

I have had a blessed week as you can see from my list.  Life is good!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Good Morning Girls

Today began my journey with my Good Morning Girls group.  I discovered this group reading the Women Living Well blog.  I am in a group with five other women three of whom I know and two that I do not know.  The challenge is to read the Bible each morning and then communicate about your reading via email to your group.  Each day I will receive or start an email about God's word.  Isn't that exciting?!

I was honest with my group telling them that I won't be doing my devotion time in the morning.  That is when I run and that time is non-negotiable.  So, I am reading at night before bed.  I actually think this is better for me in that I get the extra time on my run to think about what I read.

The scripture I read today was Psalm 37.  It discusses good vs. evil.  The beginning spoke to me the most.  Trust in the Lord and do good; commit your way to the Lord; Be still before the Lord; and Refrain from anger.  If you do these things, you will enjoy great peace!  Isn't that awesome?!  Giving it all over to God is hard to do all the time especially for a control freak like me.  However, I know that I can't control everything...four kids taught me that really quickly. 

What I can control is giving up control.  When I do that, things just seem to work out better than if I had done it myself.  My prayer for myself as I begin this journey is to remember these promises each and every day.  I am excited to see what other nuggets of awesomeness I will discover either through my readings or those of my Good Morning Girls!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I forgot about Ike!

Yesterday when I was thinking if I had anything to post nothing came to mind.  Today was a different story in my head.  I forgot that yesterday was the two year anniversary of Hurricane Ike making landfall near Galveston.  That was probably one of the scariest and craziest experiences of my life...all our lives.  At the time Samuel was 7 months old, Emma just started Kindergarten, and Jonah was about to turn three.

We stayed home and the storm hit in the middle of the night.  I remember the walls shaking...literally moving.  An inside door of our house blew open.  I slept maybe an hour all night.  I was too scared, it was too loud, and I was too busy praying to sleep.  We were lucky because our greatest damage was a downed fence and some lost limbs.  Almost every house on the other side of the street had a tree in the yard or on the house. 

We had no power for two weeks...yes two weeks.  I would go running and see power trucks everywhere, but days continued to pass.  We were blessed to have great friends and neighbors help us out, but no power for two weeks is hard.  It really takes it toll on everyone!  Poor Jonah celebrated his third birthday with no power in our house so I could not make him a cake.  I went to the local bakery and bought four different slices of cake to make him a fun cake.  He loved it and really did not know the difference.

The storm created lasting memories for all of us...good and bad.  I just continue to pray it remains a memory and not one we get relive!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A first

Jonah was invited to his first sleepover this weekend.  Our good friends have two little boys close to Jonah's age and they love playing with one another.  I explained to Jonah three times what would happen at a mommy and daddy to put him to bed, no saying prayers with him, no singing songs, etc.  After the third time...he has a hard time paying attention at times...he got it and really wanted to go.

He packed his bags (two) and off he went with Drew.  He called at bedtime so we could say prayers with sweet!

We saw him this morning at church and he had a blast!  He rode bikes with his friends, went on a spider hunt, slept in a tent, ate ice cream, ate waffles for breakfast, and who knows what else.  He loved his first sleepover and I was so happy for him!

As for the rest of the weekend, it was good.  I did not get to run today because I was too lazy to get out of bed this morning.  The last time I did that it rained in the afternoon and no run.  It happened again....

Our camera is still not fixed so no pictures from the 5K yesterday and pictures of Jonah heading off to his sleepover....

Lots of busyness planned for this week.  Can't wait to see how the week unfolds!

5K Recap

Yesterday I ran a local 5K.  It was a fundraiser for a high school in our district  It was early and it was hot, but it went well.  I figured I had a shot a placing in my age group.  I knew that it would be a small race with more high schoolers than mom aged folks.  I was right about my chances to place, but I finished fourth.  Bummer!  I was disappointed about that.

There was good news.  I ran a 25:15.  That is 1:21 faster than my previous best 5K time.  I am running another 5K in three weeks.  I am hoping to get close to 25 flat...we shall see.

As for the race itself, there were tons of kids. Some ran well and others ran, stopped, sprinted, stopped, ran, etc.  It was goofy.  Of course, when they decided to stop it was not on the side of the road, but right smack in the middle...annoying! 

There was also this lady I saw before the race all decked out in make-up.  By make-up I mean a whole face of make-up...lipstick, foundation, and lots of eye make-up.  I also wear make-up to races in the form of eye liner and mascara.  I believe you should never leave the house except for 6am runs without those two things.  However, a whole done up face...REALLY????  I am thinking about trying it next time because the lady could fly.  She was fast so good for her.

I learned from this race that I slowed down too much during mile two.  I also felt like I could have finished stronger, but I had more fun waving at my family yelling for me!  I love that they came and it was worth putting up with cranky kids for the rest of the day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I have decided to post at least three things that I am thankful for each Thursday.  So, here goes...

1.  Sweet Elena just started crawling a few weeks ago.  She is getting really good at it and I would now consider her pretty fast!  What I love about her crawling is just how darn cute it is.  I love to see her sweet little body moving all over the place.  It is amazing and I am thankful that I am remembering to really cherish all her milestones.

2.  My sister and I had the best conversation today.  It was great.  We haven't really talked in days so there was some catching up to do.  We talked about our babies, our houses, our husbands, upcoming plans, girlie things, and the list goes on.  I love talking to her and I am thankful that our kiddos let us have that time on the phone today!

3.  We had smoothies for dessert tonight and they were yummy!  Everyone likes them and what a fun way to eat fruit.  It also seems like ice cream, but way more healthy.  That is a bonus for me since I could eat ice three meals a day.

So, those are some of my simple pleasures from this week. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A no fun day

Today was the first of many busy Wednesday's to come this fall.  Emma has AWANA, Jonah has gymnastics, and Drew has choir.  It is too much for one day in my opinion, but I don't have much control unfortunately.

Emma loves AWANA and thankfully a wonderful family takes her and brings her home...bonus!  The busy part is she gets off the bus, does her homework, reviews for AWANA, and then rushes through dinner.  Last year was easier because her homework came home on Monday for the week.  Now, she gets it daily.  The good news is Emma enjoyed her day and was not too cranky at bedtime.

Jonah is in a new gymnastics class that lasts 90 minutes.  He enjoys it a lot and we are excited that he has this opportunity.  The bad part is that Samuel and Elena have to wait at the gym doing much of nothing while we watch him.  There will be times when we miss some of his class.  However, with Jonah being new to the class I want to try to be there for most of it.  The good news is the gym is mostly empty on Wednesday so Samuel can generally be as silly as he wants to be.

Drew is a non-factor in our Wednesday nights because he has choir.  Choir is his thing so we deal with it.  So, I survived my first Wednesday of the fall.  The kids survived and tomorrow will be a much more relaxing day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I know I am a runner because...

If you know me, you know that I really dislike rain. I would use the word hate, but I really don't like that word.  Rain means you can't play outside.  It means dirty floors, a smelly dog, damp everything, and energy-filled children trapped in a house.

We are currently being hammered with rain thanks to tropical storm Hermine (I think that is the name).  So, when I got up this morning at 5:30a to go running, I checked the radar.  Nothing in site so I was clear to run.  Off I went and I was feeling really good.  About 8 minutes into the run it started raining.  Rain is one thing, but this was more like a deluge.  So what did I do....I kept running away from my house!  I figured I was already went and was going to get wetter so I should at least go to the one mile mark.  I did, turned around, and headed for home.  My three miles turned into two.  Considering it rained almost the entire rest of the day and is still raining, I am thankful for my two miles.

I realized running in the rain that I am a real runner in my mind at least!  Thankfully I don't have to test my "runner status" in the snow!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tempo Runs

Today I ran a tempo run.  It was four miles with the middle two at an 8:15 pace.  The problem was the pace in the middle was very inconsistent.  I ran the first tempo mile at 8:30 which was my goal time.  The second mile was 8:00 and I slowed down or it would have been faster.

I am new to running tempo runs.  I definitely have some work to do on recognizing my pace.  The good news was I was able to run that fast in the middle and still run my last mile.  Again, this is me focusing on the positive.

I am thinking that progressive runs are going to be my favorite and maybe what I do more frequently than tempo runs.  I like to start slow and finish fast.  In almost any run I "come home" way faster than I left.  I have the stamina and some speed.  Now, I just have to figure out how to best use it to my advantage during races.

This Saturday will be my first test on the path to my half in November.  I am running a 5K and I want to set a PR for 5K's.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


My sweet Samuel started preschool this year.  He only goes two days a week to a program at our church.  Well, the first two days of school were a disaster.  He cried both days all day except when he was on the playground or napping.  The second week was better, but as with most things, there was still much room for improvement.

After the first week of school, I was so nervous about how he would adjust to Sunday School.  Until this year, Samuel has been in childcare on Sunday mornings.  This year he is old enough to attend preschool Sunday School.  Last week when I signed him in, he cried.  I walked away hoping for the best.  His teachers reported that he calmed rather quickly and was fine.

So, I was hopeful that this Sunday would be even better and God answered my prayers.  Samuel saw his teacher in the hallway, ran to her, hugged her legs, and walked to his classroom with her!  No tears and barely a good-bye to me.  My momma heart did a big sigh of relief.

Now, if Samuel could learn to love school as much as Sunday School.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Super Saturday

Well, today I had 10 miles planned and I did it!  I have never run that far and it was fun.  I love my long run Saturday mornings.  A cool front moved through yesterday so it was not humid and only about 72 degrees.  The time went really fast.  I slowed down a bit during mile seven so I picked up the pace to get home in my goal time of 90 minutes.  It was mission accomplished.  It was a good thing I was enjoying a good runner's high because I had barely been home when trouble began...

Jonah was going to take a picture of me when after fighting with Samuel for the camera it was dropped on the floor.  Of course, the camera had been turned on so the lens was then stuck.  There is no at home remedy for this problem.  My runner's high was immediately gone and I was completely frustrated for several reasons.  First, we just bought the camera in May.  Second, I was now in a funk.  Third, I had plans to take all kinds of fun pictures for this blog.  Fourth, and last, I was frustrated I let an almost five year old hold the camera.  What was I thinking???

After the camera mess, Drew discovered that Emma had downloaded something on the computer that messed up everything...really?  This all occurred within about ten minutes.  I truly felt like going for another run in hopes of recapturing that wonderful after run feeling.

Instead, I focused on the rest of the day and the wonderful voices that came out of my TV at 9am...Kirk, Lee, and Chris.  I am of course talking about College Gameday on ESPN.  I love college football almost as much as anything.  I just love the competition, the excitement, the stadiums...everything about college football.  Penn State was not on TV for me to see today which was fine.  I was still able to get my fill even if it did mean watching Michigan win (not my favorite team at all!). 

Drew made a yummy breakfast for dinner meal of pancakes, ham, and fruit.  I love breakfast for dinner meals.  We used the gluten free Betty Crocker mix and it was quite yummy!  So, after the rough morning the day turned itself around pretty well.  The best news about the day is:

1.  My run was awesome!
2.  Penn State won 44-14
3.  The camera will be fixed at no cost to us in two weeks or less.  Thank goodness Drew bought a warranty.

I am focusing on the positive.  Life is too short to be stuck in the yuck.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The challenges

So, I said yesterday that the past six months has been about me accepting challenges.  One of those challenges was participating in a triathlon.  Let me be very clear that I am not a swimmer or least not yet!  I am a runner and my brother in law, Scott, is a triathlete.  He graciously agreed in February seven weeks after I had Elena to do a relay triathlon with me.  He was brave.

The training began for a 10K because Scott wanted to do the Olympic distance triathlon.  I had never run that distance before, but I was up for the challenge.  The other kicker was that the triathlon was in North East, MD which is hilly.  I live in Houston and there are no hills here.  That made training tricky. 

We travel lots in the summer so I had to fit in training runs at crazy times of the day and was very thankful for family to watch the kiddos while I ran.  I was able to run hills on some of our trips.  At home, I did sprint work hoping that would help me with the hills come race day.

Me and Scott before the race..full of energy
Race day was lots of fun. The weather could not have been more perfect.  It was overcast and cool which was a blessing since the race was August 15th. Scott did awesome in the swim and bike.  Yes, we were a two person relay!  Waiting for him to return from the bike was nerve-wracking for me.  I kept checking my watch wondering if anything happened on the course.  I was happy to see him and after the timer switch off I ran.  I ran up one hill, then the next, and then the next.  Thankfully what goes up must come down!  I felt great running!!!

I had a time in mind that I wanted to run.  Having never run a 10K and especially on a hilly course, I was not sure what to expect.  Well, I surpassed my goal time and was super excited to have run a 52:15.  The best part was we finished third in the relay division and got fun!!  It was so fun.  Hopefully Scott will be brave enough to do another relay with me next year!

Our medals... aren't they big?!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In the beginning

So, I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while for several reasons.  We live in Texas which is super far from any of our family.  This is going to be a great way for family and friends to see what our life is like from day to day!  With four kiddos, there is lots going on in my life so there is lots to share.

I am not into scrapping.  I don't have time for that and I don't really think I am creative enough to design scrapbook page after page.  This is my way of scrapbooking and I think it will be much more fun for me and my family.

I also love reading blogs other women write.   The past six months have been about accepting challenges that I did not think I was capable of achieving.  Well, no more!  Committing to a blog and keeping it updated is going to be a challenge and I am excited.

So,  who are we?  I am a running mom with four kids.  I love to run, but since I have been pregnant a lot lately I have not run seriously in a good while.  I joined a boot camp in February six weeks after my baby was born.  My love for exercise was re-ignited and so was my desire to run.  I love running.  It is my time to be by myself and with four kids I cherish this time.  I feel energized when I am finished running..crazy I know!  Running makes me a better mom and wife so I run and run some more....

My kids are crazy and wonderful.  Emma is my oldest.  She is in second grade and just turned seven this summer.  She is beautiful in spirit, filled with energy, and my little momma.  Jonah is almost five and full of life.  He is so energetic and 100% dedicated to whatever he is doing at the moment.  His heart is big!  Samuel is 2 and full of terrible two moments on most days.  He is so cute and lovable.  Elena is my sweet baby...8 mos old already.  She is just so sweet, happy, and a true joy to us all.

I definitely have the best husband.  Drew and I have been married for 13 years and I love him to death!  He works hard for our family all day long and is our great spiritual leader!  I could not run if he did not support my efforts.

Stay tuned for updates on our family adventures!