Monday, November 17, 2008

Thank you, Lord, for orange shirts

This weekend, RRL and I traveled with a group from church to run the Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon in San Antonio, TX. I paid to do this race in July, long before the BL3 morning sickness set in and my exercise goals changed radically from 1/2 marathon training to just getting off the couch. Being the accountant that I am, I hate to waste money and since the race was not cheap, I was determined that whether they had to push, pull or drag me, I was crossing the finish line. I did not care how long it took, I just wanted to finish and enjoy the fun of the run.
It ended up being a perfect day for a nice (long) jog through the fun town of SA. I finished much faster than I thought I might and lived to tell about it!

Here are a few things that motivated me to finish:
1) THE ORANGE SHIRTS- There was a team of people running this race to benefit Crohn's Disease Research, all wearing orange shirts. The first time I saw one, it nearly brought me to tears. Here were people like me, who had been impacted one way or another by this disease, and were out to do something about it. I thanked every single one of them that I saw, but could never have said thank you enough. Thank you to each of them for what they are doing, and Thank you to the powerful Healer that I serve for giving me such a miraculous 4 years, pain free. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the Lord brought at least one of them across my path every single mile to help motivate me to finish this race (and keep pressing on in my health race). That's pretty amazing considering the 30,000 people in SA to accident, I'm sure that each one of these orange shirts crossed my path.

2) I saw a woman on the biggest hill in the race, really struggling. She was zig-zagging back and forth across the hill. She was struggling up the hill because she was in a wheel chair. She was doing the full marathon (26.2 miles) and I have never seen anyone so driven. Several people asked her if she needed help and she refused each one. What an inspiration!

3) Along the way there were tons of Daddies with their children holding signs that said "Way to go, Mommy" or "Run, Mommy, run" or "Mommy's pit crew". Even though my husband was running ahead of me and my boys were home with their Grammy, I didn't think these families would mind if I borrowed from their motivational moments. Nothing motivates me more than the three (soon 4) I love most. Even just imagining that it was them standing behind those signs pushed me on.

A few not so wonderful moments:
1) About the only kind of power bar or energy drink that I can tolerate is the snickers marathon bars. I have a race routine of eating 1/2 before the race and finishing the rest during the run. I was carrying my left-over 1/2 on the race with me this time and had decided I would make it to the 60 minute mark before enjoying it. At 57 minutes, I dropped the bar in the middle of a crowd of runners and it was unrecoverable. I almost cried.

2) At about the 11 mile mark, I was taking a (scheduled) walk-break. I usually run about 8 minutes and walk 1 minute. As I was walking along, a snooty girl and her friend came running past and smugly said "I hate it when so many people start walking at this point in the race". BAH. ARGH. And how far along in your pregnancy are you? Not nice.

3) At the end of the race, I was exhausted (to say the least). All I wanted to see was RRL's sweaty face. I knew he would finish ahead of me and that there was a HUGE crowd to sort through, but I just needed to find him. We had set up a meeting spot, but it took forever to limp-along and find it (and him). I felt so lost and started to panic before I realized I was in the wrong place and got turned in the right direction. I kept thinking "If I could just call the people we are supposed to be meeting, I could find them" but I couldn't remember anyone's phone numbers. Where I finally made it, and got to release some tears on RRL's shoulder, he sweetly reminded me that I had written the phone number on the back of my race number pinned to my shirt. NICE.

All in all, it was a great weekend, making lots of fun memories with friends and accomplishing a difficult goal. The Lord is good to give us what we need for each of the "races" we run and I was so thankful to have this race to remind me of that!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Guessing Game

Our family has one of the best surprises EVER headed our way. Wanna guess what the surprise is? Below are some picture clues to help.

10,000 points to the person who guesses first. 5,000 bonus points to anyone who can correctly caption the pictures as to how they relate to our "little" surprise.

Who am I kidding? As if I could wait until the end of some fake contest to give away the answer.

So award yourself the points if you labeled the pictures as follows:

1) My dream of owning a mini-van may come true sooner than I expected!

2) Recently I had lose-my-mind moment #1 (for this round) and actually buckled both boys into each other's car seats (KJ in the infant seat, Cbug in the big boy seat). NICE.

3) Foreshadowing to family of 5. Actually, this is us meeting sweet baby GCH for the first time. Isn't he handsome? You might be able to tell in the picture that I am a little green and feeling very sick.

4) Speaking of sick, nothing makes me gag more than opening a can of babyfood. I have to hold my breath to feed poor Cbug.

So NOW can you guess?

That's right...BL3 is on the way! We are absolutely over-joyed and so thankful that the Lord chose to bless us in such an unexpected way. We had our first doctor's appointment today, everything looks very healthy, and BL3 should arrive sometime at the beginning of June (right after KJ's 3rd birthday).

Thanks for sharing our excitement!


Thursday, November 6, 2008


This blog is NOT about politics. It is rarely about anything outside of our little family. But I just can't get something out of my head. Maybe blogging will help. Two days after the election and I'm still very disappointed.

Obama won. I didn't really like either candidate but when I ranked things that were most important to me, based on my core values, I couldn't vote for Obama. But he won.

HOWEVER, that is not why I'm so disappointed.

I'm disappointed in the response...from both sides. This morning on the news I was still hearing about how much Palin spent on her campaign wardrobe. And yesterday on the ride home, the radio station I listen to went on and on about how bad things were going to be under Obama. Seriously?

In the media, and even in Christian media, I've had trouble finding a response that I can support. Our roles as Christians did not change one bit from November 3rd to November 5th. A new leader for our country was elected. And as our preacher pointed out last weekend, we elected a new leader and will see power change hands peacefully. A real honor and privilege.

We may agree with him or we may not (chances are we'll do a lot of both). But we'll stand behind him and we'll pray for him. And his policies on the economy, abortion, or the war won't change in the least my personal responsibility towards the poor, the helpless teenage mom or world missions.

Come on people, let's move on. Lets embrace CHANGE... and I do not mean "change" by Government. I mean change in heart, change in our churches, and change in our communities. If people got half as worked up about providing services for marriage reconciliation as they do about voting against gay marriage, what would it do for our families? If people spent half the energy they spend on welcoming the unwed mother and providing services for her unborn baby as they spend energy protesting abortion, how many lives could we save? And if we spent as much money on meeting the needs of the poor in our own neighborhood as we do on publishing articles about economic policy, how different would our communities be?

None of what I'm saying is new or original. In fact, I've read several really good blog articles lately about these kinds of changes. Thanks to so many of you who are sharing your hearts! I just needed to vent and to move on. I'm moving on towards change in my own life. Are you?

That's my 2 cents.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Birthday, Fall Fest, and a Joke


I did have a wonderful birthday! Thanks to so many of you for the sweet wishes. However, there were a few bumps in the road (feel free to skip over all of this onto the pictures of the boys. I just had to document it)...

Some of my sweet girlfriends did a little surprise gathering at Starbucks after the kiddos were in bed on Tues night. It was so sweet and so much fun. Unfortunately, the party planner made one terrible mistake. In order to get me to come to Starbucks she called, practically in tears, told me she had a huge fight with her husband and asked if I could come meet her. Of course, I threw on sweats, rushed out of the house and drove the whole way there begging the Lord to take care of their marriage and make me a supportive friend. I even drove the long way around to get "prepared" and try to compose myself. When I walked in and saw them all, I was definitely surprised and relieved that no marriages were coming apart and just overwhelmed. It took me a few minutes to sit and change gears into party mode. I made her PROMISE to never joke about something so serious again....and then thanked her for such a fun time.

The morning of my actual bday got off to a terrible start. I forgot to set my alarm and as a result was late to work. I had to take my breakfast with me and in my rush dumped the entire cup of cereal in the parking garage. When I finally breathed a sigh of relief at my desk, I realized I left my laptop at home. Argh. The rest of the day was much better (oh, except that I got ANOTHER jury duty notice when I got home). My sweet coworkers decorated my office and brought lots of yummy treats (so many that I was literally sick the next day).

Even though we technically celebrated in NYC, RRL definitely made the day special. He gave me a very sweet letter including thoughts and encouragement from a few of those that are closest to me. So very thoughtful, requiring weeks of preparation. He also took me to dinner on Thurs at one of my favorite places. What an amazing man!


Here are pictures of the boys from Fall Fest friday night.

-KJ, the soccer player/superhero/accountant. He started as a soccer play, but insisted on taking the calculator, too. And he leaps buildings in a single bound. Not really, but he's so into jumping off of anything and everything these days. We have to really watch what he climbs up on.

-Cbug sure was cute in his outfit from China, but it did not last long so we went with the "I'm a baby" costume.
(Courtesy of KJ- please let us know if you can interpret the punch line)
Knock, Knock
Who's there?
Banana Who?
Banana Beans