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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pictures of Summer

This summer I took approximately 600 pictures.  I have yet to go through all of them thoroughly, but I do have some favorites.  These are some of them.

I do think my kiddos are super cute!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I am running another marathon

I know some of you are thinking I already know this.  I have stated in several recent posts that I have started my marathon training, but I never really said "here I go again!"  So, now it feels really official.  I am running a marathon on January 1, 2013.

What is even crazier than me running another marathon is the date I registered....March 7th.  That is only 4 days after my first marathon and I could still barely walk down the stairs.  Apparently I really loved the experience and wanted to do it again.  Truth be told, I did love the entire experience because it was uneventful, challenging, rewarding, and fun.

I am much more nervous this time because I have expectations of myself, which I really did not last time.  I am slightly not 100% physically and I have no base because of my broken toe.  This is not good for big goals.  I am working to overcome this with a great attitude...still working on this.  I have a great training plan.  Now I just have to work it!

I am running the Texas Marathon.

Cute isn't?  I picked it because it is small and local.  I also loved the humor of the race directors.  Marathoners get bigger medals than half this!

I also love college football.  It is a huge passion for me!  I can think of no better way to start the year than to run, crush my goal, and spend the rest of the day watching football!

But that is not the best part.  I am running a second marathon only 9 weeks later.  Why?  I have no idea at this point, but I am am.

TWMM2.jpgThis was my first marathon and I loved it.  If I don't achieve my big goal on 1/1/13 I have second race to give it a go.  After that I think I may stick to half marathons, but who knows?

Anybody want to run with me?

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for Emma, Jonah, and Samuel.

Emma is in 4th grade.  Although she was disappointed her BFF Ashlynn was not in her class and she did not get the teachers she wanted, she was still excited for the first day of school!  She loves school on most days and was feeling ready to get back at it.  Let's hope that attitude continues!

Jonah will be in 1st grade this year.  He also loves school.  It uses all his energy and concentration to sit and focus all day long.  He has so much trouble sitting still when he gets home...poor guy!  I was very disappointed with the teacher he got, but I keep praying it will work out for the best.  Jonah was super happy to have his wonderful friend Victoria in his class and sitting at his pod.

Samuel is in Pre-K this year.  He is happy to be the "big man" at the school.  He likes his teacher.  He just hopes they don't do too many crafts!

Sweet Elena is not going to preschool this year.  She was feeling very left out all day.  She kept asking when she could go to school and "what is the name of my teacher?"  She meant her Sunday School teacher.  I think she will like mommy and me time after she gets used to no playmates!

Apparently I really like teal and so do my kids!

Samuel's back pack is as big as he is, but it is the one he wanted.  He looked so cute!

After everyone was dropped off and in class, it was just me and Elena.  Her expression says it all.....NOW WHAT MOM!

Here's to a great 2012-12 school year!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Running double digits

My marathon plan called for a 10 mile run today.  I was totally nervous about this run.  I have been nervous about it for two weeks.  I know I can run 10 miles, but the last time I ran double digits was June 1st....three months ago!  With my achy hip, the heat, and the humidity my runs have been total crap.  I really doubted if I would make it past 7 miles because that was a struggle last weekend.

I got everything ready last night so I would have no excuses.  I knew I did not need any!  So off I went with my music knowing I would need some extra motivation.  I decided to keep my pace slow so I would have energy left for the last few miles. 

Mile 1-9:45
Mile 2-9:47
Mile 3-9:42
Mile 4-9:52
Mile 5-9:58

I was so tired of running...bad news at mile 5 if you are training for a marathon!  I was also just tired.  My legs felts heavy.  It was hot and there were not enough sprinklers on to keep me cool.  I run through every sprinkle I can find even if I have to run halfway into someone's yard.  I took my GU at mile 5 and that helped tons!  Those things are so amazing.

Mile 6-9:38
Mile 7-9:35
Mile 8-9:31
Mile 9-9:36
Mile 10-9:14---I was working hard to finish fast!

After looking at my splits I decided maybe I should take a GU before I start running.  There is a definite improvement after my shot of energy. 

I was so glad to finish and to finish strong.  I now feel better about increasing my mileage.  My hip felt really good which was a wonderful surprise too!  Icing it three times a day and stretching is working.

I feel like my confidence is returning!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Speed Work

My current marathon training plan incorporates lots of speed work.  Speed work is not something I have done much of in the past.  Overall I think that it is daunting and it scares me.  It means pushing myself past my limits on a weekly basis and really seeing what kind of runner I can be.  If I want to be faster and stronger, I have to do it.

Other than speed work scaring me, I am even more challenged by it because I am so out of shape.  I lost ALL of my speed this summer.  It was all I could do to run on a very infrequent basis.  Truly I am starting over with everything.

The times my coach wants me to run are just flat out impossible at the moment.  I would kill myself to run one mile or one 800 and that would be it.  That would not make a great workout.  I also don't want to risk injury so I decided it would be best to build up gradually. 

Last week I ran my tempo run at an average 8:47/mile pace instead of the 8:24 pace.   My goal is to improve my tempo mile times each week.

Today I had to do track work except I did not go to the track.  I just find that very hard to do with 4 children.  I don't think the track is a very safe place in the dark so it was the treadmill for me.  Honestly, it was probably for the best.  I could keep my 800 times consistent and there was no giving up.

I ran four 800's just under 4 minutes or a 7:53/mile pace.  My goal time is 3:41.  Those 20 seconds just seem impossible at the moment, but it will come.  I know this was the correct pace because I really felt like I would vomit during the last 400 of the last two 800's.  I was giving it all I had. 

I don't think my 800 times will improve as quickly as my tempo times.  I have to improve my endurance and embrace 800's for it to work.  This is a huge challenge for me.   The embracing part that is!

But, I will admit that I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I was finished.  I had done it and I was so happy.  The workout that scared me all week was DONE.  I had conquered my fear and did it. 

Baby steps....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Eagle Camp in pictures finally!

I have said many times that Eagle Camp is my favorite and most relaxing place on earth.  I just love it.  Then I looked at the pictures and wondered why I think it is so relaxing.  We play in tournaments, run, swim, bike, play tennis....well some of us.  None of these things are super relaxing, but Eagle Camp has such a relaxed carefree atmosphere.  What is not to love about a lake, farm lands, and mountains?
We did do a lot of playing and it was great!

Bocce tournament with David and Kristen
Golf croquet tournament with Mark and Hayden
Elena and Samuel playing their version of golf croquet
 Jonah and I were bocce partners and we lost, but had fun!
 After the Wednesday night picnic there is a softball game.  It is a kids softball game and it was organized by Brian, Drew's cousin's husband.  He is amazingly gifted at teaching children sports.  His patience were beyond anything I could ever muster on a baseball field.  Kids of all ages played and it was a total blast to watch!

Brian and some of the players
We also swim so much in the lake.  It is fresh water so sometimes the lake is also a shower!  It is Drew's family tradition to take a swim before breakfast.  I am not a huge fan of this because it is cold!  My Texas body prefers warm water and I like to swim in the warmth of the sun!  I did swim one morning after a run.  I had to lake all to myself.  It was so calm and refreshing!

The kids love to swim to the raft and jump in again and again.  It is very fun to watch. This year the lake was really low so we could walk to the raft.  That is very unusual, but it was nice for the little kids like Samuel and Elena.  Despite the chilly lake temperature it was a great "green pool" (as Elena called it).

 Camp ends each week with the talent show.  The playschool kids perform a song and then other campers sign up with their acts.  This year Emma and her two cousins Maddie and Kristen did a dance to "Love Story" by Taylor Swift.  It was really good.  They practiced all week and did a super job!
One last practice before show time!
So many kids were being silly before the show and it was just wonderful to watch...inhibition at its best!
The joy of being so free to do play, to dance, to sing with family for one week!  It is a gift to all of us!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Being Intentional and Saying YES!

A few weeks ago I read a blog post from I have no idea where about being a "YES" mom.  In the post the mom decided she said no way too often and would start saying yes.  In general, I think this is a great idea so I kept reading.  I decided she had gone off the deep end when she wrote about letting her kids blow bubbles inside the house.  WOW!  I can barely stand the stickiness of bubbles outside.  I am not that kind of "YES" mom!

This is our last week of summer.  School officially starts next Monday for Emma, Jonah, and Samuel.  I started thinking about being a "YES" mom over the weekend.  I felt like no was flying from my mouth a little too easily since we have been home and I really wanted to end the summer on a high note.  No, I am not planning any last minute trips to Disney, the beach, or any other out of the world place.  I just want to have fun with my kiddos!
None of this kind of fun
or this
So, this week I will be a "YES" mom (within reason of bubbles in the house!).  My new rule since we have been home is no dessert during the week.  We had lots of dessert on our trip.  Today I decided to just let them have fun.  We had dessert at lunch and at dinner.  We watched a movie this afternoon.  We are going to the pool twice with friends.  Play dates are planned on other days.  It is going to be a fun week!
We will do a little of this
and eat some yummy stuff
Because I love them!
I want to be intentional with my kiddos this week.  When school starts life is going to be hectic and the moments will be less frequent.  I want the kind of moments that are remembered for years not just minutes.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

There is no joy in running the moment!

I have hated and I mean hated every run since I have been home.  I have run 4 times and every run has been totally crappy.  The joy of running has been sucked out of me and I would like it back!

Running is really a life line for me.  Running usually fills me up in so many ways...spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  I usually feel like my day is going to be better because I ran.  This is not true at the moment.  I am spending so much mental energy to survive every run I feel overly drained when I get home. 

I am hoping it has something to do with the weather.  Houston weather is very unkind to runners and all athletes in general for most months of the year.  The humidity and early morning temperatures have been just gross!  By gross I mean at least 80 degrees at 6-6:30am and 70% humidity or more.  These are horrible running conditions in my opinion.  So for my out of running shape self, it makes running just that much more crappy.
Yeah, I smiled for the camera.  But, look at how sweaty gross I look after just 7 miles.  Ridiculous!!
I started marathon training on Tuesday.  Last year I had a great base.  Beginning a challenging, never been done before task was not very hard.  This time around is totally different.  I am so out of running shape.  Running is hard at the moment...even the easy runs. I have NO running base AT ALL!  NONE!  And, that makes it all the worse.   It is summer and not fall.  I am totally out of my running rhythm. 

For the past four days, I have doubted this is the right path for me.  Am I supposed to run another marathon?  Am I supposed to run two more marathons?  Should I be running any races this fall or will it just be a waste of money?  Obviously my mental game is way off!  Sadly, I am not sure how to get it back. 

I need a good run.  A confidence boosting run.  A run that feels easy.  Legs ready to run in the morning.  A mind ready to battle during the tough moments.  Where has it all gone?  Why do I feel so weak?

So many questions and doubts and just no answers. 

I keep thinking that the next run will be better and I suppose at some point it will.  Since I do live in Houston I am thinking maybe October....not good!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Big Girl News

Tonight Elena is sleeping in her big girl bed!  I cannot believe that my baby girl is not a baby anymore and is hardly a toddler.  She is growing up way too fast.  I just checked on her and she looks just precious sleeping in such a big bed.

Now I just have to get her sheets that are not Christmas/Winter themed!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We arrived home Monday afternoon after being away for 6 weeks.  In that time we were in 16 states and spent more hours in the car than I cared to count.  Our final drive was three days and 31 hours beginning Saturday in Vermont and ending at home. was a long drive.
Our annual ferry picture...Jonah was cold.
My and my Drew
A pretty picture from somewhere in New York
I just loved the clouds on Saturday. The sky always looked really cool!
The kids did a lot of DVD watching and sleeping.  Elena is actually a horrible car sleeper and finally blessed us with a 3 hour nap on Sunday!  Samuel has no trouble sleeping in the car.

Finally, we were back....

I think this is the fourth summer we have spent this much time away from home.  It gets harder and easier each year.  Just like I was not overly excited to begin our trip, I have mixed feelings about being home as well.  There is nothing like bed, my pillows, my closet of clothing, my kitchen, and the list goes no.  However, I dearly miss my family and wish I knew when I would see them again. 

Thankfully, I guess, real life began very quickly.  I had a church meeting Monday night.  Emma and Jonah returned to regular gymnastics practice on Tuesday.  School starts in two weeks.  There is lots to do to keep my busy.  Oh, and I started marathon training on Tuesday. is always FULL and filled with many BLESSINGS no matter where I am!

Thanks for an amazing summer wonderful family!!!!