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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Big 8

Emma turned 8 last week..."sigh"!  Her birthday was rather crazy because she had choir camp all day and gymnastics in the evening.  The poor girl ate dinner by herself, but we were all kind enough to wait to have her cake with her.  She had a fun day despite the strange celebration.  Also, she knew fun was to come on Saturday when her friends came over for a birthday sleepover. 

Opening some presents 
Birthday girl in her leotard
I just love this picture of her checking out a gift
More concentration...opening presents is hard!
The oh so yummy ice cream cake
Pink lemonade cupcakes for the sleepover.  They were awesome!
Silly friends getting ready to watch a movie

Monday, June 27, 2011

The moments...

There are many moments in a day.  Some are worth remembering forever and some are so forgettable.  Many times I think all I do is yell, fuss, and referee because no one can get along.  Thankfully those moments pass. Someone smiles or gives a hug and all is well.

Then there are "those" moments.  The ones you want to remember forever.  The ones that make you so glad four little people call you mom.  The ones that make you so thankful for your life.  The ones that make your heart melt.  The ones that make you thank God for your blessings.

Last night we had one of "those" moments.  Emma, Jonah, Samuel, and Elena were talking with each other while eating dessert.  Yes, this may sound strange and made up since Elena is only 18 months old.  However, the older ones were asking Elena questions, she was answering them correctly, and they were all laughing.  Elena was one of them.  She was not the baby, but a sibling who could laugh and talk with the others.  It was wonderful.  Drew and I sat there watching them taking it all in...trying to commit each second to memory.

It is a moment I dream about as a parent.  The times when all the kiddos are getting along, showing love, enjoying one another, and having fun.  It happened.  I, of course, was teary eyed.  I can't wait for it to happen again!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

She is really 8 today

Eight years ago today, my life changed forever.  Drew's life changed forever.  It was no longer about us and what we wanted.  It was now about the three of us.  Emma Caroline Mann was born....a true blessing, a gift from God, and a joy to her Mommy and Daddy.

21 inches long, 6-13 and oh so cute!
We had no idea how to be her parents.  It took me a good eight weeks before I realized I was the person responsible for cleaning behind her ears.  Somehow we learned to parent her and we have managed to guide Emma to her 8th birthday.

Emma, you are full of life.  You love lots of things.  You love to be with people, to help people, to teach people.  You love ribs, shrimp, and anything sweet.  You love to watch tv and you love to read books.  You love to be outside with your Daddy and cooking with me.  You love to play with your brothers and Elena....yes, you really do!

You can be so selfish, which is frustrating to me.  It hides your beauty and you are sad when you realize you have been selfish.  You hate to be wrong and to say "I'm sorry".  You don't like to take your rush too much.  But, this is also what makes you YOU!

I am proud of you for all the things you are and for all the things you do.  You are a blessing to me and Daddy each many moments of each day.  You are strong, determined, beautiful, and kind.  Continue loving life, loving people, and loving GOD!

Happy Birthday!!  We love you!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Daddy-daughter date night

Emma and Drew went on a date tonight.  Emma has been excitedly waiting for tonight to arrive for weeks!

A local Chick Fil A had daddy/daughter date night in honor of Father's Day.  I made reservations for Emma and Drew off they went.

Emma and Drew ready to go!
It is hard to believe how grown up Emma is getting!
The restaurant had a red carpet in the entry and a host seated them.  Each table had a white tablecloth and a waiter took the order.  There was also a dessert menu.  Who knew that Chick Fil A could be so fancy!!

The cow's dress said "Real Princesses eat Chicken"
Emma said that she really had lots of fun and was glad to spend alone time with her daddy!  What a special memory for them!!


My long runs are happening on Fridays for the next couple of weeks.  Since Drew is riding 30-40 miles on Saturdays, it takes up too much of our day for me to run long and for him to ride long on Saturday mornings.  Hence me running long on Friday.  I like the change in our schedule. I also like being able to take two shorter runs on Saturday and Sunday.

I went to bed last night with a plan to run 16.5 miles this morning.  As soon as I stepped out the door, I knew that was not going to happen.  I felt like I stepped into a sauna.  It was horribly gross outside and it was only 5:20am.  I changed my goal to 13.1 (a little half to start my day)!

One mile into my run, I realized two of my water bottles were leaking and I had lost about 5 ounces of water.  Not good considering the humidity and how much I was sweating.  Trying to keep my pace at or just below 10min/miles was tough.  This is usually not the case for me.

At mile 6 when it was light enough to turn on my Ipod, it would not work.  I had sweated so much that it was not working. That was not the motivation I was seeking.  So, I ran by a friends house and hid it by their front door.

At this point, I felt defeated.  It was grossly humid, I had less water than I needed, and no music...argh!  I plugged away for six more miles and called it quits for the day at 12.5 miles.  I was too hot to run any longer and out of liquid.  My shorts were literally dripping water when I got home.  My pace for the run was 9:53 which ended up being an acceptable pace for a long run.

I looked up the humidity when I got home...82%.  No wonder I felt like I was running through water.  Thank goodness tomorrow is a new day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Four things....all about the kiddos!

1.  It has been grossly hot here.  I am not normally an outside person in the summer and now I am really not going outside.  I can barely go to the pool.  Jonah told us the other day and has repeated many times since, "My armpits really sweat fast in this heat!"  HILARIOUS!!!!  Unfortunately it is so true, but probably only a five year old boy would say it so boldly.

2.  Samuel has decided he likes to get my attention by saying "Pppssst!"  It is quite funny as well watching him try to say this word.

3.  Elena is learning a new word daily or so it seems.  Her latest words are towel, bike, off, and bath. She can also make a monkey sound, a pig sound (too funny for words), and a sheep sound.  She has added these to her dog and cat sounds.  I can't figure out why she doesn't say moo.

4.  Today before going to the gym, Emma asked if I could write something down for her.  I was in a hurry so I was mindlessly answering her.  Her question literally stopped me in my tracks and I immediately did what she asked.  Emma asked me to write down the verse I pray with her before gymnastics that is about strength...Philippians 4:13.  "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  It was such a proud Mommy moment for me.

Kids---they never cease to amaze me!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

14 and counting....

Happy Anniversary to me and Drew.  On June 14, 1997 at 10am we were married.  It was one of the most perfect and beautiful days of my life.  I wish I had a picture on my computer to share.  I thank God everyday for friend, my partner, my supporter, my love.  He is the best daddy in the entire world too!  I am pretty lucky!

April in Washington DC
April...all sweaty and gross after a 5K
Palm Sunday
May after Drew's choir handsome!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Are they listening?

We pray as a family at dinner and at bedtime.  During the school year I pray with Emma before she leaves for school.  I pray with the boys as we drive to school or before our daily activities begin.  Elena is currently just doing who knows what while praying is occurring.

Now that it is summer, we pray together before we head out for the day or begin playing at home.  Most days when I say it is time to pray, Samuel goes first.  His prayers are the same each day, but I love them just the same.  He prays for everyone's day to go well and for us all to get home safely again at night.  Jonah offers to pray a couple times a week.  His prayers are very similar to what Samuel says.  Emma never wants to pray...someday!  Then it is my turn. 

I have been wondering all week if any of them are really listening to me or each other.  Drew says they are and I just have to have faith that it (the importance of daily praying) will matter in the long run.  So that is my prayer, that my kiddos are listening.  I pray that they are learning that prayer is important and powerful.  Someday I will know.....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lessons learned on the pavement this week

1.  I went to a running class on Monday. It is sponsored by the organization that does my boot camp.  I won't be going back.  The class was disorganized, too far from the house, and attended by non-runners.  I know this sounds totally awful and maybe it is a little awful.   However, I was hoping to find one - maybe two if I was lucky - running partners.  A non-runner cannot be a regular running companion for me because of lack of experience, totally different running goals, and paces that are too different.  Maybe I will have to check back at the end of the class!

2.  The other grand thing I learned from the class was the reaffirmation that I am really just an average runner.  In my head I like to think that I am a little bit above average.  BUT, I am really just average.  The class leader was 8 min miles fast on short and long runs.  I would love to be able to hold that pace on long runs.  I am not there and don't think I ever will be.  The other ladies were slow so that left me in the middle...just average.  I am working on coming to terms with this.  Drew likes to tell me I am "middle C" in many things and I guess this is another one of those things.

3.  I am not a good pacer.  I ran a 5 mile tempo run on Wednesday.  I was excited to do some speed work and I did run fast...for me!  However, I was all over the place with my splits.  I ran a warm-up mile and a cool down mile.  Both were over 9 minutes and that was perfect.  The middle three miles were 7:42, 7:55, 7:26 (my goal was under 8 so goal met) in that order.  That is so inconsistent.  I do love to challenge myself on my last mile or last hard mile and I did that for sure.  My next tempo run goal is for my mile splits to be within 10 seconds of one another.  I know I can do it.

4.  So far I have not been bothered by the heat and humidity.  Running at 6am helps and I am glad I am dealing well with the heat.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer in the pool

Emma, Jonah. Samuel, and Elena love to swim. 

Well, Samuel does not love to swim, but he is getting braver.  He will now venture to the third step of the pool.

Emma and Jonah are crazy in the pool.  They swim all around, jump off the diving board, and get annoyed when I tell them it is time to leave.

Elena is not afraid of the pool.  She likes to "jump" in with barely any help.  It is a little scary for me.

Next time I have to get a picture of Emma too!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Catching up...

I feel like I spend a lot of time catching up on everything.  There is always something that must be done so the things that I want to do get pushed to the background (except running!!).  This week is the first week of summer vacation.  We have lots on the schedule....lots of fun things planned.  However, I plan to catch up on my "to do" list so the rest of the month can be filled with fun!  These are great examples of me being behind. 

Emma graduated from "Sparks" at AWANA on May 16th. She has attended the program with her friend Ashlynn for three years.  She has learned lots about the Bible, lots about how much God loves her, and memorized lots and lots and lots of verses.  At the graduation ceremony she had to say a verse of her choosing.  She picked Proverbs 17:17 - "A friend loves at all times".   She and Ashlynn said it together.  It melted my heart. 
Emma and her awards!
We are in the process of redoing our family room.  That includes new walls, new paint, a new window, new shelves, new finish work, and new carpet.  We - and by me, I mean Drew - is doing most of the work.  All our free time during the week and the weekends is spent working on the room.  This is another reason I am behind on my normal stuff.  Emma, Jonah, and Samuel love to "help".  Sometimes they actually do help, but mostly not so much.  This project will take all summer and I am praying that we are finished by Halloween. 

Samuel wearing his tool belt and all ready to help!
On a much more recent note, Emma finished second grade on Thursday, June 2.  The 2nd grade awards were on Thursday and I was so proud of Emma.  She received awards for all "A" honor roll for the year and all "E's" for conduct all year.  She worked hard all year and is ready for a fun summer!

Emma and Ashlynn during the ceremony.
As for running, it has not taken a background to anything.  I am still rising before the sun to get in my runs.  I really have no other choice for many reasons.  The most pressing reason at the moment is the heat.  My goodness it has been hot and 6am is the only reasonable time to run.  This weekend was a light weekend...only 11 miles on Saturday and 4.3 miles today.  Tomorrow I am going to a running class offered by Masterpiece Fitness.  I am excited to see what it has to offer.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5 pm

Something happens everyday around 5p.  It is my least favorite time of day.  The kids are tired, hungry, and ready for daddy to be home.  I am tired, trying to make dinner, and ready for daddy to be home.  I dread this time of day because my kids' bodies become possessed by aliens.  The whining increases to unbearable levels, the arguing increases, the demands increase, etc.  

Why does this happen?  I know this happens to other moms too.  What is it about this time of day?

Today was an exceptionally bad day.  I offer small snacks like carrots, but that does no good. I offer drinks.  I turn on the television.  I referee and still NOTHING! 

I was so thankful that two of the blogs I read this morning referenced scripture about controlling the tongue. 

Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  

James 1:19 “Everyone should be quick to listen.”

When they act like alien children, I want to yell because I am tired and frustrated.  Of course, when I yell, the situation usually gets worse because they get frustrated.  It is a bad downward cycle.  Today, I thought of these blogs and what the women authors had written. I thought about these verses and did my best to be a better person.  I was mildly successful.  My bubble burst when they started being rude to each other.  I can't stand rudeness because each one of them...Emma, Jonah, Samuel, and Elena...are better people than that.  So, I raised my voice.  Thank goodness tomorrow is a new day.

On a different note, today was National Running Day.  I planned a cross training workout for today, but decided I had to run today.  I could not call myself a runner if I did not run on National Running Day.  So, I got up at 5:30, laced up my super cool purple sneakers, and took off running.  I had an awesome 5.7 mile run with an average pace of 8:31.  It was a great run!!