I signed up for another race – mostly because I want to eat and not lose any of the momentum from finishing the triathlon and partly because the next race in October is with very dear friends and its to run over the Astoria Bridge so it involves a weekend away with my spouse.
Finishing the triathlon is not a sentance that my jr. high self would have envisioned – proof that jr. high, while generally miserable, is thankfully not the sum total of existance. My eldest is going into fourth grade so we have two years left to pour in quality while she is still sane. And then according to my wise mother the goal in middle school is to just get them through it.
The next race is a 10K. I ran one several years ago. I came in dead last. I’d prefer not to be last again. Near the end of the crowd is okay. Last, not so much. I had a hard time this week getting into the gym during the day. The Scramble for the Kids is on Monday and so this last week was full of a myriad of details. As a result, two of my excercise attempts happened late evening after the three year old went to bed. Couple days ago the nine year old wanted to know if she could come along. I paused. Sometimes I run because I need a break. And last time she ran with me it involved more of me dragging her than actual running. But the jr. high kid in me wants my daughter’s jr. high experience to include fewer painful PE moments than mine had. Plus the fact that she wants to run with me is a a great honor. So I said sure.
She did great. We ran 2 miles in 25 minutes and were still friends when we came back home.
The almost 4th grader asked if we could run again tonight. I said
after dinner and after I read bedtime books to the little one (Make Way for Ducklings, This is Not my Hat and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore for those of you curious).
We headed out with iPod blaring so we could both hear and I was wearing a light backpack so we could bring home treats. I asked my spouse if a run still counts if it is to the store for ice cream. He said yes. Points for the husband!
We paused at the corner because the sunset was gorgeous. The nine year old had extra energy tonight because she smoked me. I had to push to keep up. We had another mid run pause to pick up pints of ice cream (Peanut Butter Cup, Heath Toffee and cookie dough…go big!). Ran home with ice cream bumping off my back
This two miles we dropped 4 1/2 minutes off our time. Seriously should add ice cream to every run. Actually I think the fact that I was chasing her down the whole time pushed us both to speed up.
She talked me through all the post run stretches and then we sat on the couch and ate bowls of ice cream and then I dove back into golf details. And now the house is quiet, the girls are asleep and I’m grateful for today – for reading and laundry and errands and nap time and quiet moments with my spouse. And for the run. I’m grateful.
Our pastor says that parenting is not for wimps. And so we run. And eat ice cream.
Today was the day. Wahine Triathlon. If you’ve been following along with the brown and purple blogs take note. I did not wear any eyeliner today. I wore sunscreen and my zippy black and pink tri-suit. Here is a picture of all the girls who trained together this year before the race. See us smiling? Those are brave we can do it dont’ panic and no you don’t have to go to the bathroom again before we start in 2 minute smiles.
Since I’m a number girl I spent some time on the couch this afternoon reading results. Results posted and I finished in under 2 hours. Exactly 1 second under 2 hours. 1:59:59. Love that. My swim was my best. (18th out of 35) My bike was my worst. (dead last) The run I shockingly made up time. (27 out of 35) Overall I finished 29th out of 35.
The numbers I really care about are different. I’m a little too happy about my race numbers, age and race division sharpied on my arms and legs. 39 is a fabulous age to be. Wearing it proud.
I love the one person who mailed me an encouraging sign. This makes me want to do a better job of cheering other people on. I took my sign with me to the race today. I love the 11 people who came to cheer us on. I love the 7 people who texted to say they were praying this morning. Mostly I love the number 4. The team of us girls who held each other accountable to train and who encouraged each other and stood together smiling at the end.
The Hula Girl / Wahine event was an encouraging, supportive, well run and super fun event. There were a pile of events people could enter – a 5k, 10k, half marathon, duo (bike and run), Tri-a-Tri, and Sprint Triathlon. All the events start at the same time. Sounds crazy but it wasn’t – they were very well organized and had tons of support staff. The event had signs posted everywhere that made my heart happy. “Find your why”. “You inspire others”. “Finish Strong”. So here is my idea. Next year we should get a whole pile of women to enter whichever event feels doable. You in?
This is what I know. I finished. Six months ago I was 30 pounds heavier and mostly sitting on the couch. Today I did not drown, fall off my bike or crash into anyone. I ran the entire 3 mile finish. I didn’t let the lady behind me catch me at the finish line. I felt great right after I finished. We earned what has to be the largest finisher medal in the history of racing. I swear it weighs several pounds. My girlfriends all did amazing. We want to do it next year. My daughter wants to do the kid’s version next year. I’ll call all of that a win.
These are gosh I’m so proud and happy and amazed and how do I love these girls smiles. Forget brown and purple. Yay for pink!
It’s been a good day. Nothing to warrant a photo or blog post really but as I sit and reflect I am grateful for a mountain of simple pleasures.
My baby is in bed. I can hear her talking to herself. Little happy noises. Earlier she dragged out my highest heels and made me practice walking. These are the ones I threatened to get rid of because while they are gorgeous, they are super skinny heels and I tend to trip. My three year old loves them. She really wants me to wear them. And so tonight I tromped up and down the hall and didn’t fall over once. Maybe all the running and biking and swimming is good for heel training. Point here is that she makes me grin.
My eldest is at camp. First overnight camp. She was nervous. I didn’t tell her I was nervous too. I told her she’d be great. I sat tonight and thought about summer camp and growing up and the fact that fourth grade is no little matter. Love that girl.
My house smells currently smells like a cake baking and bread rising. My husband is making birthday treats for my dear friend. He always says yes to my plans. Currently my plans include a big pre race carb load. Fresh mozzarella and grated parmasan and sausage and pasta. Gosh he makes me happy.
My hands currently smell like lavender and basil and tomatoes from when I watered my garden. I hear my cat meowing, ready for dinner and our nightly cuddle.
Day after tomorrow is my big day. Swim and bike and run. I’m scarexcited. My Trisuit fits if you like the look of a black and pink porpoise.
Ten days out is the 7th annual Scramble for the Kids. Today I got to talk to several generous local entrepreneurs committed to helping hurting kids. I love that.
Today I also witnessed a friend climb out of a personal hole today. Miracle. Inspiring.
Talked to my mama. Planned a belated Father’s Day date with my dad and sister. Smooched one of my nephews.
Within striking range of a goal at work. I love a finish line.
Lots of good stuff. But Eaier today I got a little overwhelmed and sad. It’s because I read the news. Do you do this? Lions and babies and protests. Politics and fights and war. I am a fully engaged citizen. I read and vote and call and write and fundraise. But Sometimes it feels like the yuck is winning. I can get stuck there.
But I decided today to just not.
Counted my blessings. Said a prayer. Called it good.
It was a good day.
Our little miss is three. I can’t decide if I should be sad because my last baby isn’t a baby or happy because she’s reached my favorite age. I love preschoolers. We are spending the day eating cupcakes and soaking up the sunshine at our church’s annual campout. Her big birthday wish this year was for a “rainbella” (umbrella for those of you non 3-year-old linguists). We delivered with a Minnie Mouse polka-dotted umbrella and polka-dotted matching shoes. Did I mention I love preschoolers?
In my standard fashion to celebrate I put together a list of my favorite things about this three-year olds. Photos courtesy of her dad.
1. She watches people and responds with love.
I was holding this girl a few days ago while talking with someone about a difficult life situation. She sat and watched for a while as he spoke about what was going on. After a bit she leaned over and whispered in my ear “I want to give him a hug”. This ability to see people’s pain and respond with a hug or a pat or a quiet listening ear gives me great encouragement and I love to watch how God uses her to encourage others.
2. She expresses herself with passion.
Now sometimes this is not a good thing. Little one spends her share of time in time out cooling off while she hollers. But she also expresses joy and surprise and glee with similar levels of enthusiasm. Self control is a learned trait – and she’ll get it – but energy and life is an inborn trait for my girl and it’ll carry her far in life.
3. She is clearly the most fashion forward person in our house.
The birthday girls adores shoes. And purses. And jewelry. And capes, and dresses, and hair ties and anything that sparkles. She wears them with confidence.
4. Her standard of beauty is not defined by prejudice or advertisements.
My daughter compliments people all the time. All kinds of people. Age or skin color have no bearing. She’s compliments teens and grandmas and little kids. Women in full head coverings and cancer patients and beauty contestants. This girl really appreciates colorful clothing or makeup or jewelry but she embraces variety. I love watching people when she says “You Look Beautiful”. They smile. And they do look beautiful.
5. She loves books.
Like her mama. and her dad. and her big sister. She really likes books.
6. She loves Jesus. I asked this one where she thought Jesus lived. Her answer….”at VBS.” Her doctrine has a little work to go but her faith is already strong and her prayers make me happy.
Happy Birthday to this passionate, goofy, expressive, cuddly and tender person. It is such fun to have her in our life.
There are 22 days left until the mini-tri my friends and I entered. Feel free to skip this blog post if you don’t want to hear about either more eyeliner drama or training mishaps. No heart warming kid stories or inspiring messages. Eyeliner and sweat. That’s all I got. But if you are curious if I’ve quit because I haven’t written about it – fear not and read on.
We’ve been running and swimming and biking and contemplating purchasing a scary tri-suit for about ten weeks. It’s all going pretty well except for the purchasing a tri suit. First time in the pool it took me 25 minutes to swim 18 laps (1/4 mile). Last week I got it down to 13 minutes. My cousin the coach wants me to kick it down to 10 minutes. I have added eye goggles, nose plug and swim cap. All major improvements. I really like the shower at the YMCA – good water pressure and there are a couple of ladies who I chat with while I change. The Y is a hugely welcoming place. I even friended the chaplain on Facebook I like it that much. My happiest training moment so far was about a week ago. I came in from my swim and this very nice older lady said and i quote “I love watching you lap swimmers”. WOOO! Just to be called a lap swimmer by someone who kinda reminds me of my grandma was worth the whole process.
The running part hasn’t hit the fun stage. It’s a pain. But my new pants still fit and I haven’t gained any weight since I started eating again so that’s why I run. I run so I can eat chocolate chip cookies. Decent motivation.
The biking part had me worried. 12 miles is a relatively short ride I recognize in the biking world. But in my world where I had not really ridden a bike in probably 20 years until last fall 12 miles was intimidating. The longest I’d gone so far was 7 miles. My partners in this crazy plan are both much more experienced cyclists and one of their super biking husbands hauled us out to Marine Drive last Sunday for a training ride. 14 miles in the super hot weather later, several pep talks from my partners and some very useful tips from the coach and I feel ready to go. Seriously need to practice drinking water while biking. Or more precisely need to practice putting the water bottle back after drinking. I did not fall off, but I think everyone was surprised including me.
Now the trick is to put any of those three together….
oh – and for any of you wondering – I purchased some more brown eyeliner and a dark boring green. And then I signed up for Ipsy. I figured out I couldn’t buy fancy colored eyeliner so I signed up for someone to mail me random products. I tried on some turquoise eyeliner the other day and one of my friends was so shocked she just stood and stared for a bit. She told me that I needed to repeat the entire story I’d been telling her because she was side tracked by the not brown eyeliner. I laughed. My triathlon partner chimed in and told her that this is just a phase I’m going through. Adding a little color. I’m going to be 40 in the fall remember?
The family and I took a mini vacation this week. First airplane ride for the almost 3 year old. Two days in Idaho at Silverwood Theme Park. My sweet and wise spouse recommended we travel light and park the technology. He went old school with an actual camara. The theory is unconnected to the world is better connected to your closest ones. Better memories.
The one downside to limiting tech access is I had no camara readily available to catch the photos. So I took a few with my heart. Those last longer anyway. My mama always told me to take a photo in my mind. Here are a few to share.
1. My kiddos in matching pajamas. Pink and turquoise stripes with a snappy fox. My big girl is in the last size that fits the range of my little one. It’s sweet to see these two cuddled up.
2. Stickers. I had the brilliant idea that pages of sparkly stars and pink and red hearts were great entertainment for the little one. Turns out she likes to decorate her face with them. Last night she fell asleep in the rental car covered in smiley face stickers.
3. Corn bread and bees. All you can eat BBQ. Big picnic benches and camp ground style pavilions. Butter and pulled pork. Watermelon and Cole slaw.
4. Grins on the tilt a whirl. Red and blue, little squeals. One girl with freckles and one with big blue eyes. The look exchanged between two happy parents.
5. My tough husband kneeling down to get rocks out of my baby’s shoes. She was sitting on a weathered wooden bench under a gorgeous hanging flower basket. Orange flowers. He was asking her about her favorite ride.
6. Floating in a lazy fake river. Clear intertube reflects the water and sky. The eldest daughter dashing and splashing. The youngest cuddled in.
7. Youp youps and yote for breakfast (fruit loops and yogurt). The eldest made my tea. She really loves to make tea in hotels.
Sitting in the dark I’m listening to my children sleep. I’m trusting that their dreams are full of laughter and giggles and joy. Our trip was. Glad I didn’t miss it behind a phone.
I drove over to Walla Walla last week. Four hours down. I attended a one day conference that greatly extended my to do list at work. Rather boring to do list all about writing policy and procedure manuals and new compliance training logs. Really nice hotel, great steak and blue cheese wedge salad. Four hours back. The drive was fabulous. Perfect weather. I’ve been many places around the world and seen some beautiful vistas. I may be biased but The Columbia River Gorge is still in my top ten. I love that where I live is one of my favorite places.
Last week I also went for a run. (For those of you wondering…I also swam, and lifted weights, and rode my bike….six weeks to go until the big er…little tri). I invited my nine year old to come along. She rode her bike. We went over to the school track because I could see her even if she went ahead. She loves lapping her mama. At one point she came up and the following conversation took place.
Nine year old: Mom, can you stop for a second so I can show you something?
Me: No. If I stop running I don’t start again.
Nine year old: Mom. You aren’t running.
Me: What? Yes I am.
Nine year old: Nope, you aren’t even jogging. You are just kinda scooting along.
At this point I laughed. I do way better on my days when this kind of thing makes me laugh not yell. Makes me think I may be able to parent this child and her sister through the dreaded jr. high years. I laughed. And then I kicked it into gear and actually ran. Nothing like a little truth to spur me into action.
Here’s to coaching from nine year olds, cuddles from the baby, dates with my spouse and a big goal ahead. I really do like the view at my house.
I stole this photo from an adorable wedding – and from http://www.photosbybobbi.com. Hopefully she lets me get away with it if you go check out her stuff!