Thursday, April 17, 2014

Number Two Turns Six!

Number Two's 6th birthday is tomorrow.  I sometimes wonder how six years went so fast.  I like to commemorate my children on this blog when their birthdays roll around each year.  Number Two is so sweet and funny.  He's generous, helpful and super imaginative.  He's my easiest, most laid back child, who has a booming loud voice when he wants to.  I often have to say, "A little bit quieter!" 

Yesterday, I was able to go on Number Two's Easter Egg hunt with school.  The children were told they could find 12 eggs.  They knew there were enough eggs for 12 each.  All the kids went in one direction, and Number Two went in the other direction.  He found almost all the eggs on top of the shrubs and on the bottom and mixed in, and pretty soon his basket was filled with about 30 eggs! 

Most of the kids found 12 eggs, but one of the teachers was doing a basket for a child who was out sick.  She said she only had 9.  Number Two promptly counted out three of his eggs, without even asking to give to the sick child.  He then walked around and looked in other children's baskets, and if they had a lot less than him he gave them out.  What a sweet, generous boy I have. 
Before Number Two was born, I was convinced he was going to have brown hair and brown eyes like me.  But, when he was born he had a sheen a fine blonde hair. The nurses used to sneak into my room just to rub his head.  He had chubby cheeks, and he looked like a little baby elf.  He was so quiet.  From day one, he slept well.  Out of all my children, he's the only one who has ALWAYS slept in his own bed.  He needs his rest, and he makes sure he receives it. 
Being a parent is the most amazing thing.  Sure, some days are hard with whiny kids, talking back, not going to sleep, but it's truly amazing to bring a baby into the world and watch as they turn into a fully functioning kid.  It's awesome to see how their personality develops.  To watch them develop strengths like Number Two has: kindness, imagination, mathematically-inclined, friendly, sweet, and grateful.
When Number Two was born, and the nurse placed him on my belly I cried.  I looked into his sweet face, and I saw all the possibilities of what he would become as he grew from a baby, to a toddler, to a boy and then to a man. 
I love you, my sweet white-headed boy, and I couldn't imagine my life without you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Runner's Diary

My compression sleeves came in yesterday, and I tried them out today.  I do have to say they really help the shin splints!  These things are comfortable too.  I don't know why, but the word compression made me think they'd be really tight. They're not.  They fit nicely over my calves and it's like having a second layer of skin.  Plus, they are the fashion statement of the century!  I mean, these things are stylish!!!

I only ran a measly 1.09 miles today.  I'm trying to build up this week.  1 today, 2 tomorrow, 3 Friday.  I'm working on pacing.  This weekend I went running and my pace was too fast and by 2.65 miles I couldn't run anymore.  I'm trying to get to the point where I can pace and run the whole thing without feeling completely worn out by the end.  Today my pace was 12 minutes 30 seconds.  That's pretty slow, but I don't really care because at that pace I could have gone another mile or two easily and possibly increased my 2nd mile pace and definitely increased my 3rd mile pace. 

Number One, the athlete in the family, told me the other day, "Mom, you should take your time running your first and second mile and then sprint the third.  If you do that, then you're sure to win, because most people run too fast in the 1st and 2nd mile and then are worn out by the end."

I'm part of the "most people" he's talking about.  I really do think the cross-training is helping though.  I've been cycling, doing Zumba, swimming, and I feel like it's helped me gain control of my breathing so when I run I don't generally feel like I'm going to have an asthma attack anymore.  My capacity for cardio has increased.  Weight training on the other hand...

Today, because it was unnecessarily cold (thank you Mother Nature for throwing that curve ball--it's almost May, don't ya know?) I kept coughing.  Running is the one sport where it's acceptable to wipe your snot on your sleeve and keep going.  I often think about things like that when my feet are pounding the pavement and also this: If you're running a marathon do you just pee in your pants?  I think I would.  I always have to pee and there's no way I could run that far without going.  There's no way I'll ever run that far anyway.  I'm not a long distance runner.  I want to be able to run 5 miles comfortably and just do it again and again and again, but I have absolutely no desire to torture my body and run 26.2 miles. 

I digress.  This week my challenge to myself is to maintain a 12 minute pace and run 2 and 3 miles tomorrow and Friday.  I also want to run the downtown route on Saturday, so I can work on hills for the 5k I'm running on the 26th. 

Let's get this party started!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Finding Time to Write

I'm trying not to neglect this blog, but it's so hard to find the time to sit down and write right now.  We are beyond busy.  I always want to get on my knees and thank the Lord when gymnastics meet season is over, because I feel like it frees up so much time. 

Number One still has three days of gymnastics, Number Two and Darling Daughter are taking swimming lessons twice a week, and Number Two is also in the middle of soccer season.  We are busy.  Plus, I'm really trying to commit to working out five days a week.  I usually do that in the morning, aka blog time, so it limits my writing time.

Yes, I just gave you a bunch of excuses why I can't write.  Excuses are excuses, and I can be full of them sometimes!  I use excuses to excuse myself from working out too.  My shin is hurting, I didn't sleep enough last night, etc.  You can always find valid excuses when you're trying to avoid something or when you don't want to commit to something. 

But I have some good excuses too.  I've been trying to meat up a couple of stories to send away to a few contests on May 1st.  I have a deadline, and those are my first priority before blogging. My writing energy has been directed towards that purpose.  I still need an editor, or a circle of friends who is willing to be constructively critical.  I'll take just plain old criticism at this point: it doesn't even have to be constructive.  I edit my own works, over and over again, but sometimes having a fresh pair of eyes is what you need.  Where does one find a group of people who are willing to read your work for free and edit?  A group of people who has time on their hands?  I have no idea.  All my friends are in the same busy boat as I am, barely keeping it from sinking with everything going on in their lives. 

Sometimes I get so discouraged. I feel like I'll never make it as a writer if I can't devote my whole existence to it.  I read an encouraging blog the other day, and I wish I could remember the name, but it said this: Everyone's first draft sucks.  I liked that.  The blog also said you must devote one hour a day for the rest of your life to writing if you want to be heard, want to be published, want to get your name out there.  I'm not sure I even have one free hour now.  Somehow, I have to fit it in.  Fit it in between work, chauffeuring to swimming lessons, spin class, dinner time, bath time, and stick it into one of the two free bookend hours of my day before I go back to sleep.  I need to do it. I need to commit to it they way I've recommitted to exercise.  I need to realize everyone goes through rejection and everyone's first draft sucks.  Writing is about work and about dedication and about doing what I love.  Without that, I'd never be heard.

Friday, April 11, 2014


When I was a little, I used to live for Fridays.  I loved NBC's lineup of TGIF.  Step by Step and Boy Meets World, and whatever else used to come by.  I'd sit down on the couch and decompress while watching hours of television, and probably stuffing popcorn in my face too. 

This Friday, I feel like I need a day like that.  My week has been crazy busy with lots of after-work activities.  Number Two and Darling Daughter started swimming lessons this week.  I had out of the house activities on Wednesday and Thursday nights: a dinner and then a baby shower.  And the whole work week has been a little chaotic as I settle back into my regular routine, since I finished up training another employee last week.  And this week, one of my co-workers who actually babysits for us has been struggling, because her father was hospitalized and in critical condition.  I've been worrying about her and thinking about her, and it's one of those times I wish I believed in something so I could pray for her and her father. 

I sometimes do pray, but I don't know who the prayers are offered up to, just to add my thoughts to the collective prayer.  And there is no question collective prayer works.  There have been studies on it, and people who are prayed for have a better outcome than people who aren't. 

I came home last night from the baby shower, after a long day, and my boys were on the couch.  Number One was reading the Bible to Number Two.

He came up and said, "Mommy--do you have a magnifying glass, because the words in this Bible are so small?" 

I laughed and said, "No, but you have good eyes!" 

I walked into the bathroom and Hubby followed me to ask me about my day.  I made a passing comment, "The boys are going to be so religious."

"So.  That could be a good thing, Lauren," Hubby said. 

I nodded, "Yes.  Maybe it'll give them some purpose.  Help them from being sad."

Sometimes, I feel like it would be so easy to be religious and just to BELIEVE.  I remember the wonder and joy as a child of believing in Santa Claus.  I remember going to church and BELIEVING Jesus could walk on water.  I'd love to have that belief re-instilled in me, to put aside all doubt, but my thinking mind won't let me.  My thinking mind questions why religions have to create hate, judgment and wars. My thinking mind likes the beliefs of love, society, togetherness, doing good to others, not judging others, and allowing everyone to have the same rights: happiness, marriage, children, enough food in their bellies, enough clean water to drink; without discrimination.  Human nature is to discriminate though, and I guess no matter what inequalities will never cease to exist.  We will play out the same wars over and over again, each time with new actors. 

But believing in someone who can save, and believing in someone who can take your prayers and heal, that has to be worth it to a lot of people. Having a guiding voice in your head who acts like a father figure and  you which path you should take: maybe this is the joy a lot of people receive from religion.  To me, because my brain won't stop, it's just another thing I question. 

And don't worry.  Number One is definitely being exposed to all sorts of religions.  The other day he offered up a prayer to Zeus, because he wanted the rain to stop.  That kid is currently obsessed with the Greek Gods.  Thanks Percy Jackson!

How's that for TGIF? A little too deep, I think.  Now I think I'll read a little chick lit before my day begins, and tonight I'll sit on the couch with some popcorn and a beer and catch up a little bit on House of Cards. 

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