Monthly Archives: February 2014

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.


“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!)


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.”


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


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!


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


(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.


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 😉 


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.


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,


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.


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.


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.


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. 🙂


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!


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! 


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.

your sappy sappy Mommy




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?!


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.