Saturday, July 29, 2017

10 Miles - Check

At the beginning of the year, I made a goal, one I felt inspired of Heavenly Father to set. The goal was to run 10 miles at one time. I hate running. I ran cross country and long-distance track my freshman year, not because I enjoyed it, but because I was bored for the first one and didn't have any friends for the second (we moved half way through my freshman year). 

During Track, I did make friends, and life became a little less dismal, but I LOST every single race that season. It is not super exciting to have people in the stands watching you lose for 8 laps. There's nowhere to hide. And for 8 laps I had people futily trying to encourage me. Those kind words may have been helpful for some, but for me, it just added to the discouragement. So after that season, except when it came to workout runs for soccer practice, I gave up running.

I ran a few more times in college, including one peer pressured 5K, and a few times later, but as much as I want to enjoy running, it has NEVER been my happy place.

Fast forward a lot of years and I notice weight going on and NOT coming off. We purchased a very little treadmill so I could walk. I never had any intention of running, I enjoy walking. But slowly, I began walking a little faster. And by the end of 2016 I was running a couple of miles very slowly. I still had a few pounds I wanted to lose (especially after a Christmas holiday of eating most of the desserts all by myself - Matthew's family isn't big on them) but I really really didn't want to diet. Blegh. 

So as I was making up my list of goals for the new year I felt like a 10 mile goal was a good one. Something that would definitely stretch me, but wouldn't kill me. Also, it felt like a healthier goal to focus on than losing weight.

I found a half marathon training schedule and adapted it so that it would take the year instead of 3 months. But by July I was getting BORED. So I decided to ramp the schedule and finish early - Saturday, July 29th.

I had been running solely on my treadmill, since it was the easiest to do with young children, but for my last 10-mile run I wanted to do it outside. I didn't want to ask anyone to do it with me because I am still REALLY slow but after mentioning it to two wonderful women, they wanted to crash my party. I am so glad they did. I'm pretty sure there is no way I would have run the entire way without them. They chatted while I huffed and puffed, they never made me feel less than for being so slow, and they never tried to cheer me on like those from my high school horror days. They are my angels and I am forever grateful the Spirit suggested I bring it up to them.

So now that I am done with my goal, my new goal for the rest of the year is to run 15 miles per week. You may be asking the question, do you enjoy running now? Do you think you'll ever do a half or full marathon? No and no. But . . . I do appreciate my body in a way I never did before. It can do hard things. Things it's NEVER done before, not even in my fit teenage years. I may be twice as slow as I was in high school, but I ran 5 times farther than I ever did in high school and that is a big accomplishment for me.

The other question you might be wanting to ask - have you lost any weight? A little. But no matter what the scale says, my body image has greatly improved, even if no one else notices. So did I enjoy running 10 miles? Nope, I almost died for 2 hours. It wasn't really fun at all. But was I right in thinking it was a healthier goal than just losing weight? ABSOLUTELY!! I am so thankful for the growth I have seen in myself. And I'm thankful my children see me putting my health as a priority.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Dreaded and Pretty Adorable Childhood "th"

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way my babies can't say "th". Every day I get "someping" instead of something, "free" instead of three, "fawder" instead of father and "muver" instead of mother, "moobie" instead of movie. And while we are on the subject of mispronunciation, I also LOVE that they say "winned" instead of won.

The poor grammar and mispronunciation. I already miss the day they when I their little voices get older. I guess the one solace is that after they figure out "th" at least I get a few years of poor spelling to look forward.

Wow, I really thought this would have been a longer post. But suffice it to say that despite the sass and whining, there is still so much to adore about this age.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nichole Visits

This past week, my sister Nichole came to Oregon for a visit with her husband, son, step-daughter and grandson. She stayed with our sister in Dallas, Oregon and the kids and I got to play with them for the week while Matthew was gone. It was WONDERFUL. Absolutely wonderful.

We played at the park, went to the beach, hung out at Melissa's house, went to the zoo, had a big family Sunday dinner and had a sister's adventure. With Matthew gone, we had no reason to go home, so we had dinner almost every day at Melissa's. I gave the kids the choice every day to play with their cousins, to stay for dinner, or to go home and watch shows. By Friday I was kind of hoping they would choose the latter, but they ALWAYS chose their cousins. What a lovely way to spend a week.
Beach day and Zoo day

But the best, was our sisters' adventure! Tuesday, Matthew graciously came home after lunch so I could spend the afternoon and evening with my sisters. We met up in Portland and did the 4T trail which consisted of a 3-mile Trail (that went from the zoo to OHSU), the Tram (from OHSU to the bottom of the hill), the Trolley (taking us into downtown Portland for a very yummy Indian dinner), and the Train (from downtown back to the zoo).

We didn't start the hike portion of the adventure until 3:30 or so on a very warm day in Portland. It didn't help that the beginning of the trail was pretty steep uphill. Nichole was certain she was going to die at some point so she brought her ID to help the police alert her husband of her sudden demise. It became the joke of the day. Thankfully after the initial segment, the rest of the trail was mostly shaded and not as extreme. We talked, we laughed, we sweated a ton, and no one died! A perfect adventure for these sisters.

I ended the night EXHAUSTED but so thankful I have these three wonderful sisters whom I love and adore. I am sad Nichole doesn't live close by but I am grateful that her visit prompted such fun gatherings.

Thank you parents for being willing to bring so many children into this world. They mean everything to me.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Crafts

None of the summer crafts I had planned were palatable to the children but they have picked out some entertaining ones of their own.

Snowman bowling pin cups.

Bug headbands.

Fireflies (complete with tea lights to make them glow)

I really loved watching them cut out their supplies and love on their crafts. They were by no means perfect, but they were their own and that was enough. I loved it.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4th

Our 2017 Fourth of July started with the annual church breakfast complete with children's parade. Last year we didn't bring anything. This year at least we had Cheeks' car and Boy Howdy's balance bike. Boy Howdy did great, but Cheeks needed almost constant help with her car. One kind boy helped her a couple of times around the church and then she conned some other father to help her. Maybe next year she'll graduate to something more parade friendly. And perhaps her mother will stop being so lazy and decorate their rides. It was highly entertaining all the same.

Later on in the day, Matthew's brother and sister-in-law joined us for sparklers and a barbecue. It was the babes' first experience with anything firework related (at least at close range). They were excited - Matthew, less so.

We had to use grill to light the sparklers. Our lighter and matches were proving useless.

After the first 3 or 4 sparklers (we had lots) the children took to trying to let the rogue blackberry bushes on fire. Considering we were trying to get rid of them anyway, I did little to dissuade them from their purpose. Thankfully no brush fire was started.

Matthew is determined to buy the good stuff next year. And perhaps some year I can persuade Matthew to keep the kids out late enough to see the good fireworks (right now I am not prepared to keep them out until 11pm+).

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Evening Play Time

When we moved to Oregon two years ago we decided it was time the children start sharing a room. And for the last two years we have had the benefit of listening to them play until they finally put themselves to bed. (I should note that we do an official bedtime routine, but after that they are free to stay up as long as they want so far as they stay upstairs and don't kill each other.) 

They aren't always as charitable towards each other as we would like, but by and large they are good friends. The games we hear played (via the baby monitor) are often completely endearing. In the last few months, they have started asking to be able to sleep in the guest room. Matthew is concerned about the habit, but hey, they aren't asking to sleep with us and they don't make a fuss when we actually have a guest to utilize the space. Often Boy Howdy will sleep here and Cheeks will eventually make her way to her own bed, but it always amuses me when I catch them sleeping side by side or with one on the floor.

We recently had Matthew's father for a visit and he mentioned that they will always remember these nights playing together. I certainly hope they do. I know I will.

P.S. A month or so ago, Boy Howdy was going through a phase of being particularly cruel to his sister. One night he was inviting her to have a sleep over in the lego (guest) room with him but she was rebuffing his efforts. She was trying to go to sleep in her own bed and didn't want to go along with his amusements. I went upstairs to check on them because both were sobbing. Cheeks because she just wanted to be left alone and Boy Howdy because she wouldn't listen to his invitation. Somehow amidst it all, I found myself sobbing as well. Crying that my boy was, for once, actually making an effort to be nice and his little heart was broken over his rejection. Oh how I hope they will always be close.