bite sized chunks

“SO MUCH TO DO, SO LITTLE TIME!”

You know those huge goals you’d love to reach someday? Maybe they include:

Fitness & health goals…

Businesses open…

Higher Education degrees….

Books written….

Marathons run…

A life of discipleship lived….

Places seen…

A strong marriage built…

Financial goals…

etc, etc.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I love setting goals and going for them. But my proclivity is to think about the end goals, and then want to accomplish all of them RIGHT NOW, TODAY by the end of the day!

Hah! Not possible, of course! But I want to anyway, and that leads to feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Are you good at breaking your goals down into bite sized chunks?

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The Marathon (12 days away!) was broken down for me by a specific training schedule. I have written my daily running goals on the calendar, and boom! Attainable, bite sized chunks…easy as pie! (Because I will have run 500 miles over the course of my 7 month training, I’m working to raise $500 for Compassion’s clean water fund…if you feel compelled to give $5 or throw in $26.20……or $79 to give a child clean drinking water for his or her whole life, here’s the link to check it out).

For other things, breaking down goals hasn’t been as easy. (Especially something as unpredictable as writing a book.)

Picture a funnel with a BIG jar underneath. This funnel is what you pour your energy and efforts into so that you can eventually fill your jar! (Jar full=Goal accomplished!) Funnels frustrate me…in cooking and in life, because patience isn’t my #1 virtue. Funnels don’t magically filter through stuff quickly when you’re in a hurry! They require patience, attention, and time. If you dump too much into the funnel at once, it overflows and makes a mess! (been there, done that.)

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Today, I’m intentionally saying to myself :

“Deep breaths. One step at a time….bite sized chunks.”

I will not rush this life away! I will intentionally celebrate my smaller goals as they’re reached, and eventually accomplish the biggies. Specifically: Getting published.

I sometimes feel discouraged when people ask, “How is your book coming?” Because I want to be able to tell them I have a publishing contract! BUT it’s okay that the time has not yet come. I’m wearing more than one hat right now, and I want to enjoy every aspect of my journey through life, not just the day I reach my goal of being published. (Although that day will be magically magical!)

If you’re wondering about my book update…I’m currently refining my query…finishing and tightening my proposal (YAY!!!) and finishing the last 10% of the (typed) first draft of the book. It’s SOSOOO close I can almost taste it. The day I send out my first few query letters, will be a day that I celebrate. And I will undoubtedly share that celebration with you!

But for today, bite sized chunks. (That phrase makes me think of cookies, which are my favorite dessert ever. You can call me Mrs. Cookie Monster if you want.)

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Which of your goals is most important? How have you broken it down for yourself?

 

Sometimes, someone comes along who changes everything

For me that person was Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, aka SARK. (Of course there are others too…namely, JESUS, Kevin, Coleton, Annabelle) …

But today, you get to find out about how I met SARK. 

I remember the moment I came across SARK for the first time. It was in Barnes ‘N Noble, my favorite pre-kids hangout, and I was in the beloved self-help section…which at times has been my favorite section of the bookstore, despite my annoyance with self-help books that breed narcissism. I was nonchalantly browsing for nothing in particular when the title “Eat Mangoes Naked” jumped out at me. :) Obv, the title is pretty racy and catchy…and the book was was strangely pretty! 

As I pulled it out of the crowded shelf and started my typical 30 second-flip through, it was like the scales fell off of my eyes! I was holding pure gold, people! It was like Christmas morning. There dancing across the pages before me was the HANDWRITING of this beautiful, free-spirited author who THINKS JUST LIKE I DO! She writes in color. She draws in the margins, and makes cool charts and wheels and random thought expressions throughout her stories! A part of me came alive in that moment.

Her books aren’t in a cool, artsy font. It’s REAL pen on paper handwriting! It’s not “in the box” for once! HallelujaH!

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Her books, and her brave new style changed everything for me. I purchased and devoured every single one of her books within a matter of months, feeling inspired and FREE! If you know me, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard me talk about her. I’m sorta obsessed. SARK is the pioneer of REAL creative non-fiction, at least in my book.

The way she writes speaks to me and inspires me. Like REALLY inspires me. Why? Because I have always wanted to write books, but her style finally FREED me from the fear of writing them the way I want to write them! I didn’t have to be afraid of the big scary publishing world saying NO WAY! because SARK had done it, and not just self-published or squeaked by. She was and is wildly successful!

The book I’ve been writing, Bearing Hope: Your Inspirational Companion Through the Darkness of Infertility (that I’m going to be querying within the month most likely!) is creatively handwritten too. When I explain to people by saying, “similar to SARK’s style”…they always kinda nod their head, but I can tell they don’t know what I’m talking about because the people who do know SARK are like, “COOL!!! I LOVE SARK!!”

 

My favorite thing about her creative, colorful handwritten books is that they’re easy to read. They’re fun to read! When someone is walking through a dark season, they need something light. Something easily digested!

Of course my book has its own rhyme and rhythm and is more of an interactive journal book; my goal isn’t to be a SARK copycat. I am insanely excited to share it with you soon!

Now, I have been praying for and just need God to bring along the right visionary agent and editor, because when submission guidelines call for “Times New Roman 12-pt” font, I die a little bit inside.

Today, along with the gorgeous sunshine, I am so thankful for SARK who wasn’t and isn’t afraid to break the mold. I’m so thankful that she came along and changed everything…

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(I’m guessing my face looked something like this when I stumbled upon the greatness that is SARK!)

If you’re reading this SARK (in my dreams), THANK YOU and YOU GO GIRL!! 

Who has come along in your life and challenged everything you knew as truth? Who is a major role model for you?! 

 

Marathon Tuesday…Mini-Update and Runspiration

Well, we’re coming down to it folks.

Nashville Rock ‘N Roll is 18 days away and I’m so anxious! Anxious GOOD and unfortunately, anxious-ridiculously-nervous too.

Three Saturdays ago, I ran 20 miles! My longest run ever by 4 miles. I psyched myself up mentally the whole week prior, choked down some nasty GU’s (why can’t I get used to these?!) and rocked it out. I have never been more proud of myself! (well, maybe when I birthed Annabelle :)).

Then we went to Disney for vacation, where I did not run as much as I was supposed to. :(Thanks to a 20 hour drive each way, a mild case of food poisoning, demanding children and the magic of Disney…the trip wasn’t very conducive to marathon training. But I walked a heck of a lot more than usual! I did run, just no where near as much as I should have. Which probably contributed to my second 20 mile demise…(worth it)

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This past Saturday, my second 20 miler was up to bat. I ran with a friend for the first 6 miles, but I went out a little too strong and ran a hillier course than I was accustomed to. Needless to say, it didn’t feel great. I had to walk a LOT starting at mile 18, and barely squeaked out the 19th mile. At that point I called it a day, and got to my car feeling discouraged and scared that this was my last REALLY long run before the real McCoy. HOWEVER, I did run 19 miles and surely that counts for something!

This mini update is all to say: It’s psych up time!!

Since my “tapering” plan (slowing down to conserve energy for race day) has officially started, I can rejoice in that the worst and hardest of the training is over! Either I have put enough miles and hills and sweat and blood in, or I haven’t. And since I have stayed pretty true to my plan, I have to believe that I’ve done enough!

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I finally get to enjoy the fruits of the last 6 months, cut back on the weekly mileage and save up some serious energy for April 26th! I can’t believe the end is in sight. Seven months ago, my goal seemed so insurmountable. So huge. But bite by bite (I like food analogies), I’ve taken the training plan down…now there’s only a little bit more to go!

You can do almost anything you put your mind to, people! For real. Go lace up those tennis shoes, because there’s no better time to start than now.

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Get a good playlist rocking and take some time to tune out this noisy world we live in! Even if you have to walk. Here are some great training plans to get you started:

Couch to 5K Explanation and Plan

Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan

My Marathon Training Plan (Hal Higdon Novice)

3…2…1…GO!

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Marathon Monday: If it were easy, everyone would do it

As I walked out to the van (yes, I’m one of those moms) on Saturday night after church cramming another granola bar down, I whined to Kevin, “I’m achy and starving all the time and my legs don’t want to MOOOVE!!! Why did I sign up for the full again?!”

“Babe, you just ran 16 miles. You’re going to feel it.”

“Yeah, I guess. But it sucks. I just want to lay on a beach and eat ice cream.”

“You and me both babe. If it were easy, everyone would do it! Remember?

He is so right. I think I was hoping that since training has been going so shockingly well to this point, I wouldn’t feel much of a physical sacrifice.

But that’s simply UNREALISTIC! I have decided that I will ENJOY stretching my limits, physically and emotionally, even when that stretching brings side effects like fatigue and perpetual starvation. Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 3.46.21 PM

I’m so grateful for the experience thus far, and I don’t want to crawl into a cave (aka. bed) and take more ibuprofen when the tough, teachable moments present themselves.

The last 2 weekends I have broken personal distance records, and as slow and monotonous (15 mi on the treadmill last weekend) and anticlimactic as those runs were, I’m really proud of myself for finishing them! “No pain no gain.” Darn it, that annoying football slogan is true…at least in this case. No pain no gain is also true in the case of waking up before the sun, like I wrote about on Tuesday. 

Sacrifice is often necessary to live the life you truly want to live. Gotta love the real life applications from a physical trial like marathon training.

Quick shout out to my facebook encouragers…THANK YOU! Your words and likes (as dumb as that is) mean so much to me! I am so thankful to be able to share the training journey and what I’m learning along the way. I love that you celebrate with me. It gives me the courage to lace up my shoes for the next run.

Quick shout out to Kev…you’re the best babysitter and cheerleader (sorry) and hubby ever! C bear and baby AB are so lucky to have a daddy who loves to hang with them.

Quick shout out to Karmin, Katy Perry, Lecrae, Michael Jackson, and musical theater song writers everywhere...You rock. And I rock out when I listen to you…You especially help me when I pass the 12 mile mark and my legs feel like they’ve been injected w/lead.

And of course, God, thanks for giving me lungs that can breathe and legs that can run. Thank you for my level headed husband, for GU and Nike run. Thanks for this opportunity to raise money for clean water in Africa. (Would you visit my Compassion team page and consider donating $26.20 toward a well where people desperately need it?! My goal is $500 and I’m already 12% there!)

Shoot this is turning into a grammy speech. :) I think it’s because I feel amazing. It’s my rest day, it’s gorgeously perfect outside, and I’m less hungry and achy.

Here’s to another week of marathon 2014 training! (only 23 down…7 to go!)

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 4.26.52 PM(me celebrating with a classic car selfie after my longest run EVER! Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving…maybe ;))

Transformation Tuesday: The Early to Rise Challenge, a review

WOW. The last week has been life changing for me….hence the new Tuesday tagline: Transformation Tuesday. :)

Last week I read a book called the Early to Rise Experience. (I call it the Early to Rise Challenge). If you know me, you know I am easily inspired, easily convinced and VERY easily excited :). I don’t even remember how I came across this book, but I bought it impulsively on Amazon. I would like to say: it is ridiculously awesome to think about how $10 spent on the right book can change someone’s life. (especially to an aspiring Non-fiction author)

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THIS BOOK HAS BEEN MY TICKET TO A BREAKTHROUGH! Maybe you aren’t a morning person and have serious doubts that you could ever become one. The author himself is a self-proclaimed NON MORNING PERSON! It’s not about that people! It’s about…you’ve heard it a million times…creating a habit. I have only been waking up pre-6am for a week and my body is already waking me up before my alarm! (Your alarm clock=your friend Fred who wants to help you have a better life, p55).

I have been waking up anywhere in the window of 5:10am-5:45am and using the hour or two before the kids wake up for a few glorious things.

1) Drinking my coffee while it’s still hot–Need I say more?

2) Spending time with God –Doing a devo and journaling my prayers is the way I ALWAYS want my days to begin. Humbled…prayed up…and with my focus set on the right things. I am no longer being JERKED out of bed and taken ahold of by my day…leaving patience hiding beneath the covers.

3) Writing — Who knew that my brain was so alive and creative pre-sunrise?! Sleeping me did not know. Awake me is loving it. I brainstormed 29 new blog topics this morning!!! Usually I’m so overwhelmed by all the things I should or could be doing that I’m unable to find clear thoughts to pen, or worse yet…never finding the time at all. But before the world wakes, before the sun rises and the world (aka the family) wakes, my idea bucket brims and time to write abounds. I think I might actually finish my first book at some point soon…eek!

4) Running — On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have short(er) runs, so I have plenty of time to accomplish them on the treadmill before the kids wake up. Score! This leaves the whole rest of the morning for me to hang out with my lovies and practice words and walking! (Pre-caffinated–the best way.)

If you don’t feel like you have enough time to get everything done that you want to do (namely, things that matter), I strongly urge you to give this challenge a shot.

I resisted waking up early for a long time. I made a lot of excuses. “I have babies.” “I don’t get enough time with Kevin at night.” “Blah-dee-blah-dee-blah.”

If I can do it, you can do it. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

Marathon Monday: Pushing Through

Well, friends, instead of focusing on the average temp of this winter (16.9 degrees) and the fact that that makes this the third coldest winter since 1905 (what the what!!?!!!!), I’m going to focus on the beautiful fact that Spring is only 24 days away.

As you may have seen on Facebook, I faced a massive mental road block this week. I don’t know what it was, but I woke up on Saturday morning for a “shorter” long run of 9 miles after last weekend’s very cold but good 13 miler. I saw that the temp was 28 and to me, that sounded pretty warm compared to what it has been. So, I semi-bundled up and headed out the door.

Bad idea. First, I didn’t mentally prepare. I thought “eh, I’ve done 13. I’ve done 12. I’ve done 10. 9 should be a piece of cake.”

Secondly, I didn’t physically prepare. I didn’t get great sleep on Thursday or Friday night, I didn’t wake up early enough to get a good breakfast and energy drink down, and I didn’t dress warmly enough. After talking to a health coach, I realize that I also didn’t adequately carb load. (Um, heck yes I should and will be taking advantage of that!)

So after 1 mile of almost falling on ice and feeling like my legs were made of lead, I turned around and headed home…head hung in shame. I couldn’t even crank out HALF of my long run! I was depleted. I came through the front door and burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying! For some reason since I’ve had Annabelle, I have strangely cried only a handful of times. But Saturday I CRIED.

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“What does this mean for my marathon?! What is wrong with me?! Why didn’t I wake up earlier?!” I blubbered.

I posted a little ditty on facebook asking for some encouragement/advice/hugs….and my facebook community delivered.

Your words of encouragement made all the difference. 38 comments!?!? That’s insane. You all helped me realize that Marathon training isn’t meant to be easy. (Obviously…but I really hadn’t thought much past the time commitment that I knew training would be.)

Even if you are following a beginner plan, there are going to be hard…even unattainable runs. I am not a machine, I’m a human. I realized that other runners had faced this in their training too….and that I need to start taking better care of what I’m putting into my body.

NOOOOOoooOOO!! I hate the thought of tracking my food/protein/carbs. As a free spirit, it’s just not something I enjoy or am good at. However, if I want to feel good and perform well, I need to. Only 9 weeks until race day, and a strategy around food will do nothing but help me!! I know I can do this. Lucky Charms aren’t going to cut it for my “carb loading” anymore. (Dang it!)

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I’m not terrified completely about the implementation of a diet/supplement plan…there’s definitely some excitement mixed in there too. A girl from our small group who specializes in training and nutrition (who, might I add, has experienced running a marathon without proper nuturion) helped me get my head around a good, attainable plan for the next few weeks. Image

Let me also add…I had a ridiculously fun and awesome 10 miler yesterday on the treadmill thanks to this trifecta:

1) Mark Driscoll’s podcast sermon entitled, “Jesus Gives Life.”

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2) Mocha flavored energy gel from Cliff Bar. HOLY AMAZING. I will never use any other kind of yummy gel. NEVER!

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3) Some sweet jams from my RUN 2 playlist on Spotify.

Yep. It’s time to toughen up mentally. I’m not going to let this winter kill my (probably one and only) bucket list MARATHON!

I can do this!! AND YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND TO TOO! HANG IN THERE PEEPS!

“Spring is coming…it won’t be long now, it’s just about here.” -Steven Curtis Chapman, Beauty Will Rise

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(This album got me through the pain and depression that came after our first miscarriage. I know every word by heart, and I’m so touched by it. Thanks SCC…and Jill for recommending it :) )

Marathon Monday: GU, Partner Runs, and Power Playlists

It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve posted a Marathon Monday update, but don’t worry, I’m still running! (I know it was keeping you up at night :)

I am totally in shock that I have stayed mostly on track! I’ll say it again: I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD DO THIS MARATHON THING! Granted, I haven’t done it yet, but I‘m encouraged. I keep meeting friends who have totally rocked out a marathon in their lifetime and they’re full of wisdom and encouragement.

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Mostly, I’m in shock at the human body and its ability to stretch its own limits. It’s all about consistency, habits and dedication (even when its sacrificial). This goes for anything else in life: growing in your faith, getting more flexible, reading more, writing more…etc. I’m inspired to keep on as I experience dramatic improvements.

I’ve fallen a little short on the cross training workouts (the day after my long runs), and I missed one run last week–but for the most part I have stayed on track with the training, which is about to kick into high gear with each of the runs getting longer. I’m thankful that I gave my body the extra rest day last weekI cant seem to kill the myriad of viruses preying on my weak immune system. BOO! But the extra day off gave me a little boost to get through the long weekend.
My mom and sisters came into town on Friday to watch the babes while Kevin and I spent our weekend at WINTER JAM! (An awesome high school youth group event at the church.) It was super awesome and life giving, despite the little sleep and extreme amounts of energy expended. ;)

The Winter Jam event left me wondering how I could squeeze in my 13 miler. Getting up at like 5am to run didn’t sound ultra appealing after staying up til 1:30 with the girls, so I decided to run on Sunday afternoon instead of my usual Saturday morning long run. It worked out because the sun actually peeked its big bright head out of the clouds to smile down on me. :) (not the whole time, but for a little bit.)

I was hoping to sign up for a half marathon at some point along my training schedule, but Midwest winters are disgusting and awful so no one plans races. Makes sense I guess, so Vanderveer Park it was!

The great news about this 13 miler was that MY SISTER WAS IN TOWN TO RUN IT WITH ME! I knew that it was nice to have a partner to run with, but since I have mostly been training alone…IT MADE A WAAAYYYYYYY bigger difference than I expected! It wasn’t a total and complete walk in the park, but it really was fun. We talked and ran together for the first 11.5 miles, GU’d up together around mile 9, and then the last 1.5 miles we split up and listened to some power music to finish at our own paces.  (*See power playlist and GU flavor recommendation below ;) 

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To celebrate, we drove through Coffee Hound on Brady for some hot cocoa since our internal temps were not in a healthy zone. It got COLD. And windy. And for the second time in this training season, I got some serious wind burn! But hey! We survived…and we’re both so glad we got that sucker out of the way because it snowed like 6 inches today. Barf.

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Top 5 power songs:

1. Defying Gravity –yep, never gets old ;)

 2. Brave by Sarah Barilles

 3. Good Morning by Chamillionaire

 4. Overcomer by Mandisa

 5. God is Able by Hillsong live

**I highly recommend vanilla GU during a cold run, but not so much when you’re hot. It’s the only one I’ve been brave enough to try. Which other flavors do you like? (“Like” being a relative term)

10 weeks til race day….AHHHHH!!!!!!

Love, your sappy sappy mommy

Dear Coleton,

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Cutie boy, C Bear, C baby, bubba, brother bear:

I write you this so you can look back and see what little 2 year old you was like, and of course as an excuse to shower my sappy mommy love on you:

Words could never describe how much I love you, but I will wholeheartedly give it a shot anyway.

The level of excitement and joy the moon brings you seems similar to the excitement and joy I feel every single morning when I see your beautiful face and sweet, sleepy eyes.

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The way you love your little sissy, “baby” in your words, makes me melt like a snowman in a tanning bed. I dare not say “AB” or “Annabelle” while she is sleeping, or you will remember that she isn’t playing with you and go BUST into her room with the biggest, sweetest “HI” known to man. :o) It always wakes her up, even from a deep sleep, and she is so excited to see you. She adores you, C bear, and I can’t wait to see you two grow up together. What an amazingly unexpected blessing you both are to your daddy and me.

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It takes all the strength and self control I can muster to say no to you when you ask for a cookie in your adorable little voice. “Cook!” “Peas” as you rub your little hand on your tummy for the sign lanugage of please…usually because I wasn’t careful enough to keep a cookie out of your sight! You won’t understand until you have a little you of your own how much you want to give your little one everything he wants. Everything! I want the world for you, C bear! I pray you will look back someday and see that daddy’s and my discipline or withholding was always for your good.

You have taught me patience in so many ways. Not only have you tested and sssstttrrretttchhheddd my patience with your almost-2-year-old-tantrums (which really aren’t that bad…although I shouldn’t speak too soon..), but you have modeled patience for me! You will play in your crib for hours! If you aren’t tired at naptime, you just play happily or lay down and snuggle with your blankie and bunny. You don’t mind if I get you out of your crib at 6:30am or 8:30am. Your laidback-ness AMAZES ME! It’s such a blessing. Now that we see how high maintenance your princessy sissy can sometimes be, we realize how lucky we were and are to have chill-little-you!

You have taught me how to love Scotchie well. “Scotch” was one of your first 5 words, and it was as clear as day, even though you took your time talking about other things! Seeing the way you cuddle your heart out with and BELLY LAUGH around Scotch makes me love him more, especially so he can be around a long time for you. He is your best buddy and it’s one of the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. As a former pet-hater, I never thought I would hear myself say that.

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Busses are your favorite. I will never look at a city bus or a school bus again without thinking of you! Bus was one of the first words you said regularly, and you say it passionately (sometimes with an adorable lisp.) You also have a crazy good Bus-dar! You can spot a bus from a mile away!

Your second favorite toy is a good ol’ dump truck-the bigger the better, but trains illicit quite a bit of excitement too. Let’s be real, nothing on wheels can squeak past you without you snatching it up and hoarding it around the room. You love to hold things in your hands! Buttons, cars, fruit snacks (which you still don’t care for at all!), toy screws…really anything you can carry around. When sissy tries to play with any of your special toys, you get a little possessive. We’re still working on that. :)

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I love the uniqueness that makes you you, buddy. I love how you stand up instead of sit down during your baths. I love the way you still want to be carried down the stairs, even though you’ve been going down them safely since 10 months old. I love how cautious you are, yet how quick you are to run and play when we drop you off at childcare for church, the Y, or a friend’s house. I love the way you suction to us like a starfish when we go swimming together. I love the way you suck your thumb when you see something soft. This goes for a soft blanket, a stranger’s dog, and especially our dog. You’re so good at matching letters and shapes, and you love to see how things work…opening and closing doors constantly. I can’t wait to see what you will do for a career someday!

I love the way you like to help me make your oatmeal every morning, and you eat it the same way every single day. I love how you stick your perfect little forehead out for my kisses.Image

It’s amazing to me how in the last month you have gone from saying maybe 5 words not consistently to saying SO SO MUCH! You are constantly amazing me. I love that YOU are the first child I will see “grow up.” You get to be the big brother! You are going to be such an amazing role model for your little sissy (and hopefully someday more brothers and sisters too!)

Most mommies can’t say they got to watch their child be birthed into the world, and not one SECOND of that experience do I take for granted. Two years ago today I stood in that warm hospital room, holding the hand of your strong, amazing birth mommy as she pushed you out with all the love and strength in the world. I remember your white blonde hair. There you were! The tiniest (6lb 3oz) little munchkin I had ever laid eyes on, and your heart-stopping little scream was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. That room was EXPLODING with love, and not just because it was Valentine’s day. Your birth mommy is an amazing woman, and we thank God every single day that He chose her as the special person to bring you into your family. She loves you so much!

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You know who else loves you more than life itself? Your daddy. The night you were born He was waiting right outside the hospital room so he could hear your first cry! He got to come in and meet you SO SOON after you entered the world! HE IS SO PROUD TO BE YOUR DAD! You should see the way he looks at you after you go to sleep. I hope you grow up to follow Christ and love your wife the way he does. I pray that you would follow in his footsteps, Coleton! 

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C bear, daddy and I have been praying for you long before we even met you! We didn’t know if or when we would ever have a child, but here you are! YOU are our firstborn son, and you are our miracle boy. We praise God everyday for his perfect plan, and pray every night that your little life would be used for His glory and fame. 

Your life verses are 1 Samuel 1:27-28 “For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted me what me asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord. And [we] worshipped the Lord there.”

Happy 2nd Birthday Coleton Samuel. I love you.
Love ALWAYS,

your sappy sappy Mommy

 

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i SO don’t have it all together

Hi guys. Long time no write.

On Monday I was chatting with my AMAZING INSPIRING WRITER FRIEND, and I had an epiphany. I HAVE LOTS OF IRONS IN THE FIRE.

Maybe you’re like, “DUH! I could have told you that.”

Maybe you don’t know anything other than that I’m training for a marathon (because that’s all I’ve been blogging about lately) but yeah. I am trying to accomplish a lot right now.

And surprisingly, I don’t feel like I’m about to burst into tears or freak out on an innocent bystander/hubby/child. (No promises, though…breakdowns are typically unforseen…)

IMG_8538(Photo by Stephanie Michelle Photography)

But, I’m FAR from PUT TOGETHER and I’m FARRRRRRrrrrrr from PERFECT and I just wanted to put it out there that I SO don’t have it all together. Here are 3 places in my life where corners are being cut and where my guilt is usually festering:

1) Hair. As I was admiring a friend’s curled hair the other day, I realized that it had been weeks since I had blow-dried my hair. WEEKS! (Insert hairdresser cheering for no heat damage!) But seriously, air dried or wet messy bun it was. Where even are my hair dryer/curling iron?! OH, in my bag from our Aruba trip! (That huge suitcase I still haven’t unpacked…3 weeks later!) I probably spend an average of 12 minutes getting ready every day, and that’s on the days I shower. It’s not that I don’t care, but I feel like it’s just something that I don’t have time for. I’m sorry to my amazingly handsome hubby. I will try to style my hair better for you…even though you’re sweet and never mention my nappy locks  ;) We all know the best place to go for hairspiration…PINTEREST!!!

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.01.20 PMHow much money would I give to have hair that looks like this? So so so much. Like 5 months worth of my slush fund in a heartbeat if my hair could look like this everyday.

 

2) Dinners. Lately I have really fallen short on dinner prep. That could possibly the understatement of the year. I am embarrassed to count up how many delicious dinners I have cooked in 2014, it’s probably count-able on my fingers. We have eaten many a pizza, frozen Sam’s meal, and hodge podge sandwich/salad/rice+chicken/whateveryoucanfind-type-o-meals. Compared to all of our friends (90% of who eat perfectly Paleo), this makes me feel like a failure. We keep it relatively healthy, but not compared to the people I compare myself to. *sigh*

3) Cleaning. Need I say more? It’s mostly our room that gets the most fallout. I have done a TON better in the rest of the house lately, I think thanks to weekly small group meetings, a SUPER helpful babysitter, and having more energy on the whole. But I’m no Martha Stewart.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.09.25 PMThis is very much not my bedroom. ;)

I write this post because I have been comparing myself to lots of people lately: People who blog more often than once every couple weeks…people with beautifully styled hair…people with spic’n’span houses and who feed their family and dogs paleo.

I just want you to encourage you to NEVER compare yourself to me, or anyone else! None of us are perfect.We all fall short and we all feel guilty, and I am at the top of the list. (Currently working on getting my guilt levels more under control and giving myself more grace).

I write to remind myself that it’s okay. Humans weren’t created to be perfect. If we were perfect, we would be God. And clearly, we are not. Have you seen a sunrise lately?!

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So TODAY,  let’s raise our mugs to our humanity…and tomorrow (or sometime soon) I’ll fill you in on the irons I do have in the fire, hopefully inspiring you to reach for your dreams like I am. Remember…I have the crazy hair to prove it.

Marathon Monday: I feel tough. I feel empowered. I run.

“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” -Robert Schuller

I’m going to go ahead and say that I am tough. Why? Well, because two days ago I got up at 6:30 am and ran 10 miles (my longest run yet) outside. It was snowy. The wind howled by at 25 mph. Hardest core of all, the windchill was -14. At least that’s what my phone said…before it froze to death around mile 6. =( (I was sad not only to lose my GPS, but also to be left hanging in the middle of an amazing Matt Chandler sermon). Luckily by that point I had met up with some lovely ladies from the QCMRTT (mom’s run this town) group and they were able to track our distance and pace.

I’ve missed a few weeks of “Marathon Monday” on the blog, but I haven’t missed a week of running! Mile by mile, I am training my way toward the Nashville Rock N’ Roll Marathon on April 26th. (3 months…eeek!)

The weekly 3-5 mile runs vary from feeling easy to feeling like the worst run of my life, but I just keep putting one foot in front of another. Building up my tolerance. Stretching my lung capacity. Training my heart, my legs, my feet.

Even on days like Saturday when I worry about getting frostbite on my toes and nose, and when my 3 layers on top & 2 pairs of pants don’t keep me warm…I can honestly say that RUNNING MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE.

I really missed it, and I’m so glad that I’m on this marathon journey. It’s quite empowering to train for what I used to see as completely unattainable.

It has not been easy, but it has already been so worth it. The habits are slowly forming, making it slightly easier. But seriously, is it ever going to be easy to get out from under warm covers and workout? I think not ;o)

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What are you working toward in your life? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, break it down into baby steps. Make a plan and don’t give up! Tomorrow is a new day.