Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just a story.

I went out for a run Saturday morning.
Profound, I know.

Tim was up and at em...his saw fired up, coffee cup an arms reach away, talking to himself and screwing up deck beams by 7am.  I watched him from the couch as I sipped my coffee, and perused all of my social media outlets.

After my second cup, the house was still quiet, and I willed myself up to grab my running gear. It's been steamy hot the last bit, and I'm more of a fairweather type.  I knew if I didn't seize the morning overcast cool, I would regret it later.

I hit the pavement by 7:30am, and chose left at the bottom of the driveway.
It's a big, split second, gut decision.
Left means a 3.66 mile committment around the block. A left means there's no turning back, or you have to face "the hill."  Right is leisure, whatever you want it to be.
Since I had no napping babies, forcing me to stay close and run up and down our road, it was an easy decision.

The run started well.  I was clipping along to Def Leppard, dancing in my head,  when it started to drizzle, and then rain.  It felt good tho.  I felt like a "real" runner out there at 7:30am in the rain on a Saturday morning, because who else does that?

I rounded the corner of the first mile, and entered the section of road that I have deemed "the jungle." (Not to be confused with "the treacherous vastlands" section of roadway).  I suppose it's actually really pretty. Trees canopy the road, a lake in the not too far distance, thick green vegetation all over the place, and wildlife lurking in every crevice.

About 1/4 of the way  through the jungle,  I noticed a deer up ahead, poised on the center line. Standing like a statue, his head cocked, and his beady eyes fixiated on me.

Have I ever told you about my fear of being chased by wild animals?  I suppose it began in first grade when there was a stray dog on the playground at school that chased me.  The dog sensed my anxiety, and I remember being terrified and running away from it...not understanding that I was causing the dog to chase me more.  The fear stuck.  I attract a wild animals like a magnet. They can smell my trepidation...or they are as amused by my startled scream as Tim is, not sure. 

Well, I continued to run forward, and the deer continued to stand there, eyes on me.  Dylan's dream, my nightmare.

I kept running along, sheer panic running through me as I got closer and closer...the deer stayed firmly planted.  His beady little eyes not wavering...I swear I saw him lick his lips as if to say "lunch". 

I didn't know what to do.

I didn't want to run right past it, for fear it would chase me.  What if he had friends and I had a pack of wild rabid deer on my tail?  I can only keep pace for so long.  I didn't want to turn around and run home for the same reason... and have to face "the hill" after my sprint out of the jungle. I didn't want to just stop because fear was oozing out of every pore in my body...and truly I didn't want the deer to own me.  What was I going to do, just stop and stand there and have a staring contest with the deer? Sometimes I wish my Nike app. would take into acount the energy I burn in these situations and give me an extra bonus mile.

The road was quiet, no cars in sight to help scare it away.

So I went with my gut.

I started waving my arms around like a crazy wild woman,  making noises over my cranked ipod to try to scare it off the road.

And it worked. 
The deer scampered across.

I pretended I was an Olympian, and high tailed it through the area before the deer told his friends about me.  Watching over my shoulder the whole time as I ran, making sure there wasn't a stampede on my tail.
When I was certain I wasn't being persued, I began to calm myself and glanced over my shoulder one last time for good measure.

And that's when I tripped over the giant turtle trying to cross the road

I once again let out my startled scream and sprinted out of there...until common sense took over me, and I realized I could totally beat a turtle.  And I  slowed my pace back down.

And other than a few pesky squirrels and suspicious looking rocks in the distance, the rest of the run was uneventful.  With my driveway in sight, I finished the leg of my triathalon in Olympic style...and won the gold, naturally :)

Just a quick, little story for today, because I haven't told one in awhile, and this happens to me every.single.time I run.   Horses, coiled snakes, foxes, creepy turkeys, deer... I'm still a city girl at heart.

And I truly need to start taking Dylan along with me.
Happy Wednesday all~

Friday, May 25, 2012

Just for fun...

Tim and his brothers.
Our wedding, 1998.

And 14 years later....

Happy Friday all~

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Our weekend in pictures.

Life has been busy lately.
A good, happy, fun, kind of  busy.
And while there are alot of things I want to share...I'm just going to start with last weekend and work my way around.

On Friday we celebrated Tim's birthday.
The kids decided upon an Angry Birds theme, since he's always sneaking away with either my ipod or kindle to play.
Austin made the cupcake toppers, and the others were in charge of decorating.

And decorate they did.
Our living room bordered dangerous... with balloons and streamers EVERYWHERE!
They quickly ran and hid when they heard his trusty diesel pull up the drive, to surprise him.

Sydney made up a scavenger hunt for him to find all of his lovely presents.  Clues led him through the house and garage to find his new coffee mug, lunch box, Angry Birds t shirt, and years' supply of reeses peanut butter cups.

Happy Birthday Tim.  We love you!

And since I never blogged about it, a few pics from my birthday a few weeks back :)
At last we're the same age again!

Tim and my best gal pals planned a surprise birthday party for myself and friend Cara.

As the story goes...Tim told me he had to run to the shop to grab some drawings he had forgotten...and we could all go together and stop for ice cream at the corner on the way home.
Sounded good to me, I'm always up for ice cream and togetherness.

Well, on the way to the shop, the truck just slowed down and died, so he steered it into the Sams Joint parking lot that we just happened to be driving past.

Naturally he "forgot"  his phone, and had to run inside to call his brother while I waited in the truck with the kids.
(Now all of this is  completely out of character for Tim, because if the truck really died, he would have been foul! And there's no way he would have just gone in to make a phone call.  He would have spent at least an hour tinkering with it, figuring it out by himself, muttering, before even thinking of asking anyone for help :) 

 But I rolled with it, because that's just what I do.

Well, he came back out to the truck and informed me his brother wasn't home.
He truly looked stumped about what to do. 
 After a few minutes of what appeared to be serious thinking, he told me to go inside and call my friend Michelle to come help us out. 

He guided me into the building...and up the stairs, b/c that's where the phone is after all :)


Thank you Tim and friends.
I felt the love!

Ok, back to this weekend.
On Saturday, after a day of final soccer games...we had the priviledge of attending the wedding of our longtime friends.

Congratulations Andy and Wendy!

We had a blast dancing and hanging out like old times...without having to worry about cutting up meat, or spilled juice :)

A picture of the whole group...minus our 33 kids!

Sunday morning @ 7am we hopped in the van and drove to Chicago to witness the baptism of my sisters twins Rowan Douglas and Norah Faith.

It was a beautiful service. 
The ministers words had me reaching for a kleenex.
 It was a beautiful time of community and family... thanking and praising God for these precious babies.

I've still got it!

Happy Tuesday all~

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Only at our house... our kids just happen to catch a chipmunk.

...and hold it and love it, and name it "Munk".... naturally.

...and collect acorns and make it a home.

....and pull at their moms heart strings and convince her to bring it to school.

"Because nobody's brought a chipmunk in this year"

Happy Thursday all~

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My girl

We refer to Ellery as "my girl" around here.
I picked her up when she was born...and I haven't put her down since. 
A combo of her fussiness, and me knowing she was my last baby were the deciding factors.

And she's left her mark.
My spine now has a nice curve to it, and my right hip has been chiselled into a perfect shelf.
While dusting yesterday (just for the sake of cleaning, no company on the horizon...I know, Gasp!) I started flipping through the pages of a photo album I lifted last time I was in Chicago. I have it Mom!

And I found some pics of myself @ age 2. 

Ha. I chuckled.  A few things are clear...

1.This girl gets her size from me! 
2. My mom loved up hair as much as I do.
3.  And as much as I hear the other kids look like Tim, this one really is my girl :)

Happy Thursday all~

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Classic

A few months back I decided I wanted to get in shape.
Like for real this time.
No more babies on the horizon, no more excuses.
Because while my age continues to chug right along, my metabolism isn't keeping pace like it used to.  If I'm honest, this desire has always been there, the motivation to do anything about it has been the lacking component.

I decided I wanted to give running a whirl.
In my mind, people that run seem to truly enjoy it. 
They are serious about their sport.
They look fit, and lets face it, hand-eye coordination isn't really necessary.
However, I know my excuses well enough to know that I needed a goal, something to force me to stick with it.  I have an amazing ability to talk myself out of/justify most anything.

I wanted to run a race. 

Tim encouraged me, and promised me that if I trained, he would run a race with me.
Done. The power of a husbands support.
We hopped online and saw that the Calvin Classic 5k would take place the end of April.
Our alma mater, and the place we first met.
This was indeed our race.

And so the training began.
And it was brutal on my out of shape body.

The first time Tim took me out for a run, I made it all of 1/3 of a mile...and came home gasping, on the verge of puking, certain I was having a heart attack, and glaring at Tim for not even being winded.

The next time wasn't much better.

But as the weeks widdled away, I slowly began to see improvement.
I could make it half way down our road without stopping.
 I could make it to the stop sign at the corner.  I could make it to the corner, and then back home again. etc. etc.

And I learned a few tricks along the always make sure your pants are tight enough around your waist, or they will fall down while running.  Never pull out every swear word you know on the dog for tripping you, while listening to your ipod at maxed out volume. 
And most importantly, never look at your shadow while running if you're as awkward as me :)

Well, a bit into the training, Sydney joined the girls running club at school. As it turns out, the culmination of their program is running in the Calvin Classic.  Pretty cool the way that one worked out.  Competitive Austin trained at school during recess mileage club, and my dear friend and runner Cara also signed up to run.

And as the race drew closer, I gained confidence.
 I began to feel like I was actually ready.
It wouldn't come easy for me, but I knew that I could actually do this.
And I really looked forward to it!

 I began to work out all the important details in my how I'd grab my water off the table while running....the way I'd seen real runners in real races do before. 

Race Day was finally upon us.

We awoke to snowflakes swirling about outside.
Not really how it played out in my dreams, but we rolled with it.
We grabbled our mittens and hats and headed out to Calvin.

We set up a meeting place for Austin to find us at the end.  He was determined to take off and try to win this thing.  And he did well! 24 min 10 seconds, he placed 190 out of 1300... 5th in his age group.

We got in line with the 1300 other runners and took off.
Wearing my number and official yellow moisture wicking gear, it felt good to be a part of such a race. And it was fun to run through our old stomping grounds... past the dorm where Tim and I met, nearly 18 years ago.

I think the cold, and the momentum of keeping pace with the others (ie.Tim) tired me out quicker than usual.  Between miles 1 and 2, Tim said he could see that foggy look in my eyes... but  determined, I pressed forward.

And while my water trick backfired, and spilled down the front of me...we did it! 
I finished a 5k.
In 30mins and 39 seconds....598th place.
Average, which was right where I was aiming to be :)

True to his word, Tim stuck by me through the whole race...until the last quarter mile when I gave him the go ahead to take off...and he sprinted out of there to the finish.

And since we're a competitive bunch, we now have our times to beat next year, and a pretty firm start of a tradition on our hands.