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

Friday, September 30, 2011


Sometimes my kiddos surprise me with their sweetness!  Yesterday was one of those days.  I found this on Emma's bed....

I could not stop smiling and giggling after reading this note!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Three Things...

1.  I wrote the other day about my "ah-ha" moment that occurred at MOMS.  Drew must really trust me to leave four kids in my care all day long...have mercy!  Three times this week I have read blogs about Proverbs 31:11 "She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life" and Proverbs 31:25 "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." 

I think God is trying to tell me something!  I get it and am listening...  Now if I could just figure out what my growth area patient Kortni!

2.  Jonah is finally feeling better.  The poor boy has been sick for a week and yes, I am not exaggerating!  He has missed three days of school and gymnastics once. He could barely celebrate his birthday.  I worried all week that I would have to cancel his party on Friday.  I am thinking now that he will be fine.  I am pretty much ready for him to go back to school and I think he is too!  Thank goodness everyone else has managed to stay healthy.  I pray that continues!

3.  Samuel was reading his Bible while tending to his "business" yesterday morning.  It was the most precious thing to hear him tell the stories.  Some of the highlights were "God loves you!"  "Build that ark Noah.  You have a trip to go on!"  and "I told you not the build that tower!"  If that is not great enough, he then starting "reading" the stories to Elena.  I love that he is so sweet to her!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Proverbs 31:11

Monday at MOMS my Titus mom said something that has never ever occurred to me before in my life.  She said that our husbands must have confidence in us as moms if they leave their children home all day with us.  Our husbands must have confidence that we as moms will make the correct decisions about...

our children:  discipline, eating, playing, watching television, etc.
our home, our budgets, our social calendars, etc.

It is true that a mom wears many shoes during the day because we perform so many different jobs.  I make lots of decisions without Drew.  The weight of those decisions did not seem so huge as they do to me now.  That is weird!

I am thankful for my MOMS group and our year-long study of the Proverbs 31 woman.  She is the ultimate mom and wife.  She is something that I will never ever achieve, but she is God's biblical model for me.  Verse 31:11 says " Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value."

It is crazy that one silly statement had such an impact on my thinking.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Jonah!

Today you are 6 years old!  

You were overdue with Hurricane Rita heading for Houston.  I was a total mess thinking about having a baby during a hurricane.  Thank goodness you waited to be born until two days after the storm.  However, when you decided to enter this world and meet us, you did so very quickly!

Your birth represents your personality so well.  You take your time and do things on your own time.  When you do something you do it with your whole heart!  You are 100% whatever you are doing....playing, talking, watching tv, crying, laughing, and the list goes on and on!

Jonah...your Daddy and I are so proud to be your parents.  Your wonderful smile warms our hearts each day.  Your hugs are some of the best ever.  Your silliness makes us crazy (maybe me more than Daddy)!  Your blue eyes penetrate my heart each day!

You are such a blessing to our family.  You are an awesome big brother to Elena and Samuel.  Even though you are Emma's little brother, you do a wonderful job of taking care of her.

You love tacos complete with refried beans, meat, cheese, and sour cream.  No veggies for you!
You like dessert just like me!
You like to bake.
You do not like to color and crafts are "not your thing!"
You can move your body in crazy, contorted ways that amaze my mind!
You still love to cuddle and I am thankful for this.
You like to sleep with Dino and many other assorted animals.
You like to play computer games and watch dinosaur shows.  You become intensely focused on these things.
You like rules and structure ( get this from me!)
When you are sad, you are really sad.
When you are happy, you are really happy!
You love God.  You are our little theologian.
You are super special Jonah!

I know this year holds exciting things for you....Kindergarten, gymnastics competitions, learning more about God's love for you....

I cannot wait to watch your wonderful expressive face learn, love, laugh, cry, fail, and try again!

Happy 6th Birthday Jonah
We love you!!!!

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."  Psalm 119:105
(you love to have this sung to you at bedtime!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Braids, pigtails, ponytails...oh my!

Oh how I love to play with hair.  I love to brush it, to braid it, do whatever to it that my girls will let me.   My awesome nieces, Maya and Hanna, have two of my favorite heads of hair!  They have beautiful and thick hair.
Look at all that wonderful hair!
My girls have not been quite as blessed in the hair department.  Emma just now will let me mess with her hair.  The thought of using a hair dryer almost gives her hives!  Gymnastics has been my hair savior because her hair must go up!
So pretty and fun to do!
Elena, on the other hand, runs at the sight of a brush.  Clips and little ponytails are out of the question.  The first problem is that she barely has hair.  The second problem is that she is 20 months old.  Thank goodness for her cousin Leah who wears clips in her hair all the time.  Leah converted Elena into a ponytail loving (kind of) little girl!  My heart is happy!

Little ponytail with a clip!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So tired, but good things are happening....

I. am. tired!!! 

Waking at 4:30 to run is taking its toll on me...BIGTIME!  I fell asleep yesterday afternoon while reading.  I have contemplated drinking coffee, but I still think the taste is awful.  I feel like I am being super lazy at the house.

The good treadmill arrives on Tuesday!  I cannot wait.  I will be able to sleep a little later on some days.  I can run at night if I want to sleep in the morning.  I am thinking this is going to be life changing for the very least life changing for my energy level.

The crazy thing about being tired is that I have had some of the best runs ever in the past few weeks.  My legs and mind are tired, but I have persevered.  I have run a 1,000 miles this year.  With four months left in 2011, I am aiming for 1,500!  I ran my first sub-7min mile the other morning.  The great thing about that mile is that it was the fourth mile of my run and I still had some left in the tank after that mile!  I was giddy when I looked at my watch. 

I can only imagine how great my runs can be when I am less tired!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Virtual 5-K

Last year when I started running with increased purpose and defined goals I started reading more online about running.  Somehow I stumbled upon a blog entitled "Racing With Babes".  I was intrigued by her nicknames for the girls.  I loved that she lived in Virginia (it reminded me of home).  I liked how honest and encouraging she was about the ups and downs of running. I could/can totally relate to her very type A personality and structured life!   I decided that she would be the perfect running coach for me (she is)

Just like me "Racing With Babes" has lots of running goals.  One of her goals is to run the NYC Marathon as a member of Ethan Zohn's Grassroot Soccer charity.  How cool is that?  I donated to her fundraising efforts and as a thanks "Racing With Babes" hosted a virtual 5-K or 10-K with cool prizes for the winners.

I am a sucker for the chance to win cool prizes so I opted to run the 5-K distance.  I ran my "race" last Friday at 5am in the dark all by myself.  This "race" was the most mentally challenging race ever.  It was so dark, no people, no distractions, no water, and so the list goes.  Every step was a step against myself.  There was no one to catch!  This is what I find most challenging about running solo for speedy runs.  The mind can be so evil when the lungs are working hard!

I persevered and finished in 22:54.  It was not a PR for me (missed by 6 seconds), but I was excited to go under 23 minutes!  I know I won't win because I am not the fastest runner in the world.  That is okay with me.  This "race" proved to me that I am becoming mentally tougher with each step I take.  That lesson will be invaluable one of these days!

Thanks "Racing With Babes" for the challenge!  I can't wait to read your NYC marathon race report!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


In May at Gymfest Emma split the beam.  It hurt her more than just physically.  She became afraid of the beam and she lacked confidence that she could perform on it.  Emma was ready to give up gymnastics because of one fall.

However, Emma is a strong girl and I like to think that Drew and I are good at encouraging her not to quit on keep trying.  On that day in May, she did her routine.  She did not do it as well as she could, but she got back up and did it.  That is what mattered that day.

Since then Emma dreaded every moment spent on the beam at practice.  She was afraid of the high beam.  She "hated" me all summer for making her practice the most on the beam.  She rolled her eyes at me (and she can do it really well) every time I told her to practice a skill again. 

The funny thing about Emma hating the beam is that she looks beautiful on it.  Her long lean body looks so graceful on the beam.  I love watching her on it.

Emma's confidence has slowly returned.  There have not been any other nasty falls.  The look on her face is more concentration than fear.  Anna, her coach, has nurtured, challenged, and coached Emma perfectly on the beam!

On Sunday, Emma asked to perform her beam routine FIRST!  I almost choked when I saw her waiting to go..really!  I was so nervous for her.  But, my strong beautiful girl was great!

The smile on her face is a picture that will forever be in my memory.  It was a smile filled with relief, pride, and a sense of satisfaction.  She earned her first nine at competition on the event that challenges her the most.

Months ago I wrote out Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" and gave it to Emma.  I asked her to put it on her gymnastics locker door. She did and we talk about this scripture and what it means before each competition and before many practices.  On Sunday Emma realized the truth of this scripture!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Galveston for the weekend

We just returned from Galveston yesterday.  We went because Drew's group at work rented a house for the weekend. We stayed at the house along with Drew's boss Keith and his family.  On Saturday a large group of co-workers (like 50 or 60) came for the day. 

The house was nice and super close to the beach.  We stayed in the downstairs half of the house, which was a little smelly.  I think Hurricane Ike caused some damage to the house and some smell lingers.  I have washed and re-washed way too much clothing since we returned home.

Still, we had a nice little getaway!  The kids loved the beach.  Jonah was a regular fixture in the waves and was so excited to try boogie boarding.  Emma liked the ocean and playing in the sand.  She also really enjoyed playing with Keith's 10 year old twin daughters.  By late Saturday afternoon, Samuel was so brave in the water.  It was been awesome to watch his timidness near water disappear this summer.  He let Drew take him way out in the water and in the waves!  Elena also liked the little waves.  It was so cute watching her "jump" over the waves. 

Jonah in the waves
Samuel flying a kite
Elena hanging out at the house
Emma looking for shells
It was a quick trip (thankfully it is close)!  But, it was a fun last glimpse of summer!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Emma's big debut!

Five months after it all began Emma's big day arrived.  Five months ago she was asked to join the Level II girls team.  Really, her journey began in January 2008 at the precious age of 4.  One year ago, she wanted to quit and I encouraged her to stick with it for a few weeks more.  She did. 

She has watched Jonah progress faster than she has.  She has been disappointed.  She has been encouraged by friends and family.  Overall, she has been determined while having fun at the same time.

Emma had her first gymnastics competition on August 27th. 

I thought she was beautiful!

I thought she was brave!

I thought she performed well!

I was one proud momma!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Samuel's first day!

One week later and it was Samuel's turn for school.  The poor guy thought he started school the same day as Emma and Jonah (it may be because I tried to take him to his school on that day...oops!).   It was a tough week waiting for his day, but it arrived and he did great!

He was so excited and just looked so darn precious and grown up.  I know he is going to have a fantastic year!

Could he look any more excited and proud!  Love my sweet boy!!
Samuel is so excited about his new camo lunch box and bag!

Best Run Ever

Every time I leave the house to run I wonder if this is going to be THE RUN.  The run where I feel great, I do not get tired, and the miles pass quickly.  I have lots of crappy runs, lots of so-so runs, and some good runs.  I have had three memorable runs.  Lucky for me all three were races....a 5K, a 10-miler and a half marathon.  I will remember each of those runs forever.  Even still those were not THE RUN.

I had THE RUN at camp.  I set out to run from camp across the sand bar bridge,which is 9-10 miles. I had not run long distance in a few weeks so I felt this would be plenty long enough for me.  I was so excited to run on the hills, along the lake, through farmland, and across the lake on this bridge.  Drew was going to pick me up on the other side of the bridge.  That was the plan.

Well, sometimes plans are just that...plans.  My plan changed and definitely for the better.  A few miles into the run I was wishing I had my phone.  I was feeling so wonderful...perfect temperature and perfect leg cooperation on this day...that I wanted to tell Drew to stay at camp.  But, no phone and he met me as planned.  I think he knew I was feeling IT on this particular day so he encouraged me to run back to camp.  What was he thinking...18 miles when my longest run ever was 16 and that was 6 weeks prior.  He was nuts, but I was feeling IT.  So, I kissed him and Elena and turned around to run some more.

It was the best running decision ever!  I ran back a different way to challenge myself with some more hills.  As I came back into town I was still feeling good and thought I can go longer.  I would have ended at 15.  I took the long way back to camp for a grand total of 17.1 miles in 2:36.09. 

I was seriously dumbfounded and over-joyed with myself at the same time.  My average pace was 9:08 with hills!  I am still in awe when I think about this run and trust me I think about it often!

This run gave me hope.  Hope that I will survive marathon training!  Hope that I can run a marathon!  Hope that in the right conditions I can crush a run and exceed my expectations! 

This run proved to me that I am capable of more than I think I am physically, emotionally, and mentally! 

Running is so much more than just running!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Eagle Camp's beauty

I have been to some really amazing places, but some places are special.  Eagle Camp is one of those places.  Mountains, a lake, farm land, quaint houses, rolling hills, blue skies and so the list goes....

I love running up this hill...Sunset hill because the view was the top is awesome!

One of Drew's favorites!

Eagle Camp

There just are not the correct or enough words to describe how wonderful camp was this year.  Playing, running, biking, swimming, visiting, rest, and repeat for a week. 

Can you just imagine how wonderful it is to be surrounded by a great family with tons of cousins to play with for a week?

Imagine the delight of having someone plan, prepare, serve, and clean up the meals.  That is a mother's dream!

Imagine a nap EVERY afternoon for me...not just the kids!  All the beds were made and I did not do it or fuss at anyone to do it!  The temperature never was above 80 except for one day!  A blanket was needed for night time sleeping! I wore a sweatshirt in August! The list could go on and on....

Perhaps pictures can do it justice....

The boys and Drew kayaking
Elena loving the lake
Pure joy on Samuel's face
Annual Friday night trip to get ice cream...YUM!
Emma with her BCF's (best cousins forever)!
Samuel and Elena "playing" horseshoes
Even a rain shower was fun for Elena and Samuel
Jonah goofing around one of the play areas
Elena loved the many swings at camp!
Emma hanging out during Rest Hour