30 December 2012

Bricks and Bums

I HAD to record this experience. My extra stubborn 3.5 year old male offspring, fondly called Big Gunns, is still not fully potty trained. In fact, if life were left up to him in all of his toddler mental capacities, everyone would run around naked, pee outside in the yard, and wear occasional light-up snow boots as an accessory.

Over this Christmas break we have been setting the kitchen timer to go off every 45 minutes and allowing him to go with no skivvies...just a pair of shorts. We figure hey, maybe he just needs a little more freedom of movement in order to recognize his body's signals, right? So he's been doing stellar! Except today...two small accidents, and then...

"Mommy! I. went. poopoo." Picture a toddler in swishy warm up pants (underpants-less!) lifting his leg as he comes around the corner of the arm of the sofa just in time to drop a literal, perfect rectangle of a brick from his pant leg onto the floor.

Oh heck...seriously?! I switched on my go-go gadget arms, somehow reached lengthwise across the coffee table and grabbed a few kleenexes, while simultaneously holding him rock solid. Then in one swift movement swooped him and the brick up (luckily I didn't get confused and switch hands) and ran to the bathroom.

A quick hose-down in the shower, clothes into the washer, and we're good to go. He apologized profusely. I melted.

27 December 2012

I type this through fogged over eyes and muddy thoughts (thanks to a little jewel called NyQuil). In fact, my daughter just rambled off a 62 second list of instructions for me...something about train stations and projects being finished, to which I numbly agreed.

I'm avoiding a "2012 in review" post because I would become annoyed at my lack of consistency in blogging over the year, and the last thing I need is to become annoyed on top of muddy and foggy; too big of a mess to clean up.

Can I just mention for a moment though, what an amazing husband I have?
I am lying here for the second day in a row in our comfortable and warm bed, recovering from the snots and aches, and he is manning the entire house, children, dog, laundry, dishes, bodily excretions from both children and dogs, dinner, and grocery shopping tasks. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is blessed like me. The man is a genius in a sense that he can handle one hundred and fifty seven things going on around him like a champ. Work at odd hours, master's program at ALL hours, taking care of sick wifey, kids, dog...wait, I already did this list....anyway, he still has time to make my life what I want it to be and the most humbling bit of it all, is that he puts himself last. The last to get sleep, to eat, to play. I'm certain there isn't anyone out there like him. He deserves everything cool and sporty and yummy and manly under the sun.

Sorry, he's all sold out. I got the one and only model ever made and he's priceless.

06 November 2012

While at the babysitter this morning, Gunnar went to the polls with Kristen to vote. She gave him a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet to keep him busy. All of a sudden, Gunnar shouts "I found Jesus!". Everyone laughed...as the poll was located in a local church!

Felt good to vote today. I hope The candidate I voted for comes out ahead, but regardless of the results, God will still be in charge, Jesus is still my Savior, and His plan is still in effect.

27 October 2012

Orange you glad you looked?

Saturday mornings I go on long runs. At this point in time until about February, because I'm bored with no company lately and currently not training, means anything over 6 miles for me. Today I ran a little over 7. The cold air was invigorating and I'm glad I chose the trails over running in town. Running around town is boring, and people tend to stare. Nothing worse than a starer when you're trying to focus or just trying to zone out and you know someone is watching. Creeeeep!

So today I went to George Wyth and hopped on and off the paved trail. Mostly I chose to run through the woods. I have 2 mud runs coming up back to back weekends in November (one is 5k, one is 7 miles), and I've been spending my long runs getting used to cross-country and mud and grade changes. Anywho, I was flying along through the forest, having a blast, when I came upon a bright yellow sign. It stood out, because all the other signs in the park are lame-o brown and oh, the word "hunting" seemed to be illuminated...so ya, I stopped to read it.

Caution: This area subject to open bow hunting for deer from October 2012 to (something like) Feb 2012. Whhhaaaaaaaaa?!?!?! I froze. Like a ____ in headlights. Bad joke, I know, couldn't help it. All of a sudden my mortality smacked me in the face and I nearly expected an arrow to breeze past my face. All my clothing was dark except my purple shirt. My pasty white legs couldn't even reflect the sunlight to save me because I had knee high Army socks on the color of poop. After the small freak-out, I read the smaller print. Hunters must shoot from a stand at least 25 yards from marked trails. OK cool. As long as someone is a bad shot, I'm good. You'll want to lecture me on safety, but I kept going. I stayed on the trails, let go of my apprehensions, and continued to enjoy all 7 miles of my time. 7 miles of my life I am glad to have spent the way I did.

I will, however, be investing in a hunter's orange hat (and maybe knee socks) for the future bow hunting season. The end.

17 September 2012


I ran my first half-marathon Sept 8th! It was literally the most difficult thing I've ever done. In fact, those were my first sputtered words after finishing, when asked how I felt! No doubt...giving birth was easier than this. I am not a typical marathon runner. I have hips and belly fat. My form could use some work...ok probably a lot of work. I don't shave my legs enough to qualify to wear the running shorts I wear, but do it anyway. I have alot of work to do before I reach a full marathon, but I'm determined.

At about mile 10-ish, I saw three people from church (thanks to the cowbells!) along the path and for just a moment felt like running off the course and smothering them in a sweaty hug...that's how happy I was to see somebody...anybody I knew and who could fill up my nearly empty mental tank. Around this point I felt like my body could probably keep going, but as usual, my mental state was fading. I seem to battle with myself continuously while running. Its rather exhausting and I'm sure I burn a lot of unnecessary energy fighting with my own brain as to whether I will speed up just a tad, increase my stride, breathe at 2/3 instead of 1/2...etcetera etcetera...blah blah. Anyhow, I crossed the finish line after having just seen my husband and Mattea and Gunnar sitting in their cute little wagon, banging on a drum and shaking a tamborine to make noise and cheer me on. It gave me the last possible boost of energy I had left to sprint toward the finish. I was then greeted with the beginning of an asthma attack, but I was prepared for that and sucked on my inhaler. I finished with a 10:32 avg pace, just over 2 hrs and 20 minutes if I remember correctly. I'm pretty proud of that. For your knowledge bank, that was 11th place in the...yes...ATHENA category. I'm an 11th placer. I registered with the big girls, although during my training I dropped a few pounds below the weight requirement for it. Oops...oh well, there were no scales on race day.

Seriously...the entire process of training for it and completing it was not just a physical and emotional battle and journey, it was a spiritual one as well. I had close calls with asthma attacks, heat sickness, injury, mental barriers, and the temptation to just plain give up. With prayer and friendship from my training partner Olivia Moore, the support of my family and friends and children, I pushed through and feel like God was running just beside me the entire way. I feel like He took my hand, at certain points, and pulled me, while other times I felt Him in the breeze that refreshed me, or the wildlife that crossed my path gracefully and renewed my love of the outdoors. He was in the water I drank, the strength I felt, and at each mile marker I felt His love and confidence in me. I was never alone, and never doubted that I could do it.

24 June 2012

PR with a side of fries

So I do my "long run" on Saturdays in my training schedule for the half in Sept. I'm a recovering headphones addict and have been doing all of my runs sans ear buds. However, when my usual running partner called to tell me she couldn't join me for the 6 miles we had scheduled yesterday, I freaked (internally). Not because she couldn't be there, but because I knew that listening to myself breathe and my feet striking the ground for 6 miles was a mental challenge I wasn't up to. See, I get superbly exhausted listening to my lungs and feet! Truly, its a mental thing, my body really isn't tired, but mentally I'm ... eh... not half-marathon material yet.

So yep, I wore the buds, left at 7:15am, and headed out alone. I felt sort of liberated. Mostly because I was kid-free for an hour, but also because it was early, I was out with the stragglers in the deer herd that live near the trail, and it was cool and breezy. With an empty food catcher and only about 1 cup of water drank I took off.

53 minutes later I heard Lance Armstrong pierce through the buds to tell me I'd reached my goal and run my fastest 6 miles yet. Lance and I are like this (crossing fingers). No we aren't, I'm lying. I like to pretend though!

The side of fries? At about mile 5.5, I see a adolescent beaver next to the trail (a crushed McD's bag nearby) and he has a french fry hanging out of his mouth...just staring at me. I felt like we needed to talk, but I was making good time and didn't have any spare seconds for a lecture or a picture...although both would've been epic.

04 June 2012

Dam to Dam, Jr.

Over this past weekend I ran in the Dam to Dam race with my good friend. OK, I ran Dam to Dam, Jr. In other words, I ran a 5k that the race officials made up for those of us that can't quite crank out 12 miles yet. In any case...super day!

So I tell my friend, who by the way is slim, taller than me, a natural runner, and an amazing, independent, and beautiful woman whom I greatly admire, to come meet me at 7:30. Race doesn't start until 9:15, why not get more sleep, right? Dumb. We got downtown, drove (or creeped) for over an hour, before choosing to illegally steal a spot in St. John's parking lot. We figured hey...its a church...there's a Salvation Army sign...so let's chalk this up to a charitable act on their part in letting us get out of the never ending traffic lines, find the porta potties (or gag chambers as I call them), and get in line before the race started without us!

Anywhooo, I had a goal time but I hadn't been to a race this size before. There was NO WAY I was going to speed through thousands of people, up a long (and tortuous) hill that only got steeper after turning the corner, and still make a 24 minute goal. Seriously, my thinking was again, dumb.

P.S. by the time I got to the top of that stinking hill, which was about the first 1.75 miles of the race, my quads were going numb and I felt like there were pins and needles flying in and out of my lungs with each breath. I thought...no prob, its all downhill (literally) from here, so I will just sprint the last mile and make up for my pathetic crawl up the hill. Have I said DUMB lately?

Without allowing my lungs any time to recover, I take off down the hill. Oddly enough, it sort of felt good...the pain. Like...man, I'm in so much pain, this is awesome! OK then I snapped out of it and when the downhill leveled out, realized I was on the edge of passing out. Screeeeeeech! I slowed down...way way down...i was probably still running about a 9 min/mile, but felt like I was running in place compared to what I'd been doing. Long story short...well maybe too late for that...I crossed the finish line, immediately threw my hands on top of my head, and tried to keep walking although every fiber of me wanted to die. Somehow my loverly friend looked amazing and didn't even seem winded.....dang it.

The best part? Walking straight into a powerade table...then straight into a shredded pork sandwhich table...then straight into a fruit table....a soda table...a chocolate milk table....and back to the charity lot to see if we'd been towed. Heavenly choirs...the car was still there! God smiled on our race day...so did the sun, friendship, and food vendors. Good times.

30 May 2012

I made an old person cry.

So wow, I haven't posted since November? That's a long time. Well, I mean, when you're climbing Everest, the internet connection is kind of weak so....

Yeah right. Truth be told I went through a "lazy blogger" spell.  Actually I've had my nose in a book. Really, there are smudges on the pages where my nose brushed them as I attempted to photographically memorize all of my school books for the past two semesters. Seems to have paid off as I now have 2 years of college edumacation under my belt (or nose) and have maintained my 4.0. Yep. I just bragged.

I'm now fighting the good (no...really bad) fight with a college I attended 7 years ago when I got my EMT-B certification. Seriously, no exaggeration. I just fought with the receptionist. She was old. She may have cried a little when our interaction came to an end. I know! Who makes old people cry?! I do, apparently.

You see, I'm a bit on edge. Really when you think about that saying, it implies the end is near, and at your own doing, and I'll be honest I don't plan on ending anything...just words, just words. What I am planning on doing is marching into the office of "Missy". You see (is there an echo in here?), a mysterious man followed me into the old lady's domain at the college, observed my entire interaction (a.k.a. verbal assault by me on an elderly part-time temp), quietly left, came back 5 minutes later, and in a very secret spy kind of way whispered to me that if I hadn't been helped to go see "Missy". OK, will do...mysterious office dude. He then left, again.

I am so determined to get accepted to start this coming spring semester in the BSN program that I was willing to make someone's Granny cry, attracted a mysterious office dude, drank out of a water cooler that I know was not "open to the public", and voluntarily wasted gallon upon gallon of gas chasing down this piece of paper that my future rests on. Now...if they defer me until next August AFTER ALL OF MY REQUIRED PAPERWORK has been turned in, that is one thing. An acceptable thing. But if I get deferred to next August because of 5...yes 5 employees that couldn't handle a single transcript request....I'm going to.....eat it. Yep. Take it for what it is. I may grind my teeth down to stubs and pass out from a drastic increase in blood pressure, but I will bite my tongue and sit on my hiney until next Fall.

Oh please please pleeeeeeeeeeease find my transcripts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!