Monday, February 17, 2014


While making Timothy some toast for breakfast, I asked if he wanted jelly.  I received an enthusiastic, "YES!!!  Strawberry jelly!"  I was a bit surprised since he's not usually a fan of strawberry.  I pulled the jar out and asked, "Is this the one you were wanting?"  Timothy took a minute to inspect it before asking, "Are there little seeds in that one?"  "Well, yes...." I replied, slightly confused.  "I want the strawberry jelly with no seeds, the seeds make my mouth feel funny."  "Do you mean you want grape jelly?"  "YES!!!  I want the grape strawberry jelly because it doesn't have seeds."

Last night at Covenant Kids, a program at church which exposes children to the catechism, Timothy informed his teachers, "No one can play hide and seek with God and win.  You will always lose."  (The Question I believe he was thinking of is: Does God know all things?  And the answer: Yes!  Nothing can be hidden from God!)

Monday, February 10, 2014

My First Half Marathon: RACE DAY!

Four months of training.  Hundreds of dollars. 231 miles. Dozens of early bedtimes and early wake-ups. All for this one day.  This one race.  

Those were the thoughts going through my head as I woke up and started getting ready to run my first half marathon.  All the time, energy, money and hard work that I had put into my training were culminating in this one run.  By the time Curtis and I were in the car heading to the starting line, I was in tears.  I was so ready!  I nervous about the cold, about if my training had been enough, about how little sleep I had gotten leading up to the race, about how I fueled, about every tiny detail that was totally out of my control at that point.  I was excited!!  I was excited to finish what I started four month earlier, excited to do something that I never though I would do, excited to see my husband and kids at the finish line cheering for me.  Needless to say, all these varying emotions got the best of me and I just cried.

The morning of the race was very chilly!!  I had anticipated it and was well layered.  Before we started out, I got to snap a few pictures with my friends and training buddies. 

 (one of the ladies in my running group had "space blankets" that she let us use to stay warm before the race.  It was awesome!!)
 (Kris ran his first full marathon!!  I was excited to see him before the race, wish him well, and thought our matching headbands were awesome!)

The view from the starting line was shocking.  I knew that this was a race that would be run by several thousand people, but I was astonished by what several thousand runners actually looked like.

 During the first mile, I ran with Tori and Hayley.  We didn't take any walking breaks, enjoyed the energy from the other runners as well as from the crowd.  I was able to see several other friends during the first mile.  Those moments really added to the excitement.

At mile about 3, I saw the cutest cheering section EVER!  My four kids, one of my best friends (Erin) and her two kids, all screaming and cheering for me.  It was awesome!!  I was also able ditch my gloves and my jacket.  One lesson that I learned is that when you're layering for a long, cold run, ditch the outter layer before one of the under layers gets sweaty.  My long sleeved shirt was sweaty and as soon as the cold air hit, I was cold again.  Also, never ditch your gloves.  Take them off, but keep them.  If the wind picks up, if your pace slows, you might need them again.  

 All through the route, there were people out cheering us on.  Seeing all the supporters and volunteers who were out freezing for those of us running was so encouraging!  It also broke up the race a little and provided a bit of distraction.

At about mile 6, I started experiencing a lot of pain in my upper legs/hips area. I tried stretching.  I tried taking more walking breaks.  I quickly slipped into a negative head space and ran smack into THE WALL.  For non runners, the wall is when you mentally feel like you're an idiot for running this race and that you can't take another step.  I knew exactly what it was, and was discouraged that I was facing the wall before I had even hit the half way there point.

At mile 10 (or was it 11?) I hit another wall.  It was at that moment when I realized that I probably wouldn't be able to finish in under 3 hours.  I was hurting, I was exhausted, my stomach was cramping, I was cold and I was done.  It was at this point that Hayley offered to give me a piggy back ride.  She told me that I could do this, that I HAD to do this, and that she wasn't going to let me walk the rest of this half marathon.  Hayley was awesome!!

One of the funniest moments during the race was when a man, cheering at a corner yelled, "Only .3 of a mile left!!"  I stopped, looked at him and said, "Are you 100% sure?!"  He smiled, assured me that he knew what he was talking about, and off we went, ready to finish this race!

 Finishing a half marathon (regardless of your time) = an amazing feeling.

We crossed the finish line and were immediatly congratulated by the race director, Chris.  Chris knows our family, recognized me, hugged me and said, "I saw Curtis finish.... awhile ago."  I just looked at him, and he quickly added, "I mean, he's awesome, and congrautlations on finishing!  You both rock!"  Couldn't help but laugh.

Then, I was directed to a sweet girl named Ronni, who was passing out finishers medals.  She recognized me from swim team, gave me a huge hug, hung my medal around my neck as I burst into tears.  

I walk over to Hayley, crying and saying, "Where's Curtis, I want Curtis, where is he, I need him!"  We finally found him, and the celebration began!

The BCS Marathon throws and amazing post race celebration!  There was food or all kinds, water, chocolate milk, Gatorade, beer, margaritas, space blankets and music.  Rather than quickly heading out, we decided to wait and cheer on our friend Jessica, who was finishing her first full marathon.  As I watched more half marathoners and marathoners finish, I couldn't help but burst into tears, yet again.  I couldn't help but relate to every person running across the finish line.  I knew each of them had a story.  I could see the pride, the excitement, the pain, the disappointment on their faces.  And I when I saw Jessica run across the finish line, reaching her goal time, I really boohooed!!

My official time was 3:05.  Every runner I talked to told me not to set a huge goal time, that my goal should be to finish. In the back of my head, I was shooting for 2:45 and my goal was to run it in under 3 hours.  When I thought back to all the hard work that I had put in I was so discouraged.  I had not run hundreds of miles, lost sleep, spent money and worked so hard to run a 3+ hour half marathon!

But then I was reminded that it's not always about the end result, sometimes, it's about the journey.  Every step you take towards your goal should be celebrated.  It was then that I decided I wanted to run another half marathon.  I wanted to take the practical things I had learned from my first half and apply them to reaching my goal.

Running my first half marathon taught me many things.  But the biggest lesson that I learned is that I'm capable of so much more than I thought.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A couple Questions

I believe this to be totally true!!  

In the past minute, Timothy has asked me.....
"Why don't you buy softer toilet paper?" "Why do you press so hard when you wipe me?" "Did you hear that noise?" "Why do my feet make that noise?" "Did you hear my feet make that tingly noise?" "Is there something wrong with my feet?" "Can you measure me on the scale?" "Have I grown?" "Is that why my legs hurt?"

Monday, February 03, 2014

My first half marathon: Race weekend

I can't just blog about race day.  I really need to back up and recap the entire weekend.

Thanks to my amazing parents, Curtis and I were able to spend several days in Kansas City.  It was the first time we've been able to get away, just the two of us, since we became parents.  It was incredible!  We drove back to Wichita Thursday evening.  Friday morning we headed back home, knowing we were heading straight into bad weather in Oklahoma City all the way till south of Ft Worth.  However, we knew that if we didn't leave on Friday, we wouldn't be able to get home till Monday, meaning the kids would miss their Kids Marathon (a 1.2 mile run for kids put on by the same awesome people hosting the half Curtis and I ran) and we would miss our half marathon.
(Curtis and I, heading to Kansas City! Can you tell we were a little excited?!)

(Early anniversary celebration at Melting Pot)

We drove back to Wichita Thursday evening.  Friday morning we headed back home, knowing we were heading straight into bad weather in Oklahoma City all the way till south of Ft Worth.  However, we knew that if we didn't leave on Friday, we wouldn't be able to get home till Monday, meaning the kids would miss their Kids Marathon (a 1.2 mile run for kids put on by the same awesome people hosting the half Curtis and I ran) and we would miss our half marathon.

The drive was SO long! We were in the car for 18 hours.  The kids were incredibly well behaved and God was very gracious.  We narrowly avoided having to spend the night in our on I-35.  We knew we had dozens of friends and family praying for us and the protection of our Heavenly Father.  We made it home without incident at about 3am.  Curtis and I got about 3 hours of sleep before getting up to get the kids ready to run.

 Though the weather in College Station was dry, it was still VERY chilly.  We bundled up our kiddos, loaded them back into the van, and headed to the starting line!

When both Mommy and Daddy are training for a half marathon, the kids are keenly aware of it.  Long runs cut into family time. Mommy and Daddy (mostly mommy in this case!) might be tired, sore and kinda cranky some days.  The entire family schedule is different so that runs can be worked in.  And though Curtis and I tried to include the kids as much as possible, it was still taxing on the kids at times.  Having a race that all four kids could participate in was such a treat for them!  It was all about them, their accomplishments, them having fun!  What a great idea by the directors of the marathon and a great way to celebrate them when so much focus had been on our training.

I was highly impressed by the kids and how they ran!  All four of them ran the entire race with no walking breaks.  They got out there and ran hard, even though they were all quite cold.

Don't they look cute in their running gear?!  My awesome mom made the experience about the kids by taking them all to Target and letting them pick out new running clothes!  They had so much fun and it really built the excitement of race day. Also, notice their warm, blue gloves?  While stuck in traffic on our drive home, I realized that none of the kids had little inexpensive gloves they could wear.  Hayley to the rescue!  She went out and bought gloves for all the kids and put them in our mailbox so they were ready for us!

After the kids ran, they were each given a medal!

I think this race gave my kids the running bug!  Since then, we've gone on several family runs.  All three big kids have races on the calendar for this spring and are excited for their next running adventure!
After the race, we dashed to the studio for Nutcracker rehersal.  Curtis and I also went to the race expo.  I had lunch with my running group.  Then that evening, we watched Elizabeth perform at Christmas at the Creek.  

The two days leading up to my first half marathon were not even close to what I was anticipating.  It was a long, cold, exhausting couple of days.  But they were also days filled with God's goodness, protection, mercy and fun family memories were made.  

Happy birthday, Timothy!