Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday! Love you HB's

I'm all about reminding myself how much I have to be thankful for these days and so thought I'd dedicate this thankful post to my wonderful husband!

HB's been hard at work finishing our basement.  The house was built by his great-Grandpa in the late 40's but the basement was never finished.  So, that has been our recent project... it was supposed to be done prior to Lauren being born so we would have more space for kiddos, visiting family (mine), etc... but it didn't happen until now - that's how life happens, right?! :) But it's been progressing steadily.  He, along with our brother-in-law, has done all the framing and wiring on weekends and weeknights...  And on top of that "extra work", he always makes time to play with the kids and makes sure he is around to help me put the kids to bed before he goes back to working.  How spoiled am I???!!!!

Hi Honey!!

Doing double-duty watching Lauren while I ran an errand in town

A shot going upstairs and the play space under the stairs...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I need new running shoes.  I realized the other day that the ones I'm currently running in were purchased two years ago.  That might explain some of the extra aches and pains I'm trying to recover from (it has nothing to do, I'm sure, with the fact that I'm getting older and jumped too fast into my training plan...).  Anyway, back to the shoes... I've been having a hard time deciding what shoes to get.  I have flat feet and overpronate quite a bit.  I have bought stability shoes in the past, and to be honest haven't noticed a huge difference between those and "regular" running shoes.  I have also been doing a lot of reading on the barefoot movement and benefits and have been interested in getting some more minimal shoes.  I usually love my Asics, but have not been able to find if their new series of 33 shoes really is a step in that direction and/or if they are good for a flat-footed runner like myself.

Here are some that have perked my interest ...

Asics Gel-Cirrus33
Asics Gel-Blur33

Asics Gel-Excel33

On-Running CloudRunner

Merrel Barefoot Pace Glove

Anyone have recommendations for me (they don't have to be one of the these)??

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Prayer life

In my post about goals, one of the main ones was about my prayer life.  Being that it is Lent, I've been pondering ALOT about this and mostly about my "failure" to meet it.  I intend every day to set aside a few minutes to pray the Rosary (or even a decade) with my girls (even if they play while I say it), or read all or part of the Liturgy of the Hours, or get up early to make it to daily Mass just once in a week, or ... the list goes on

I know I've got those five, ten, or fifteen minutes because hey... I'm having that time to write about it here, right?!

What I'm realizing is two things... First, as a Mom, most of the time you can't "intend" to do something. You just have to do it... does that make sense?  By the time you think about it and plan to do it, the moment and time that you were given for doing it is passed.  I need to get better at seizing those five minutes to say hello to God when they are presented to me.

The second thing I realize was articulated well to me in a post I read today titled "Pray like a Mom, not a Nun" ... "The thing is, my life doesn’t allow for me to pray Liturgy of the Hours every day, say a rosary on a whim, attend daily Mass or spend an hour in adoration every day.  That doesn’t make me less of a follower of Christ.  No, I actually think knowing my limitations and finding God throughout the day allows me to be the kind of Mom he envisions.  I like to say my prayer life is organic.  It changes every day, depending upon where I’m called as a Mom."

So here's my new goal for this Tuesday.  To first and foremost doing a better job of finding God throughout my day and secondly to seizing those moments (not just intending to seize those moments) He does give me to sit down and turn my whole mind and heart to Him, if even only for one minute.

Lauren - 3 months

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The LONG Run...

So... three weeks into my half marathon training, I had my third long run on the schedule - 10 miles.  The weather cooperated beautifully, it was a gorgeous 55-60 degrees with just a little wind (tail wind on the way out, head wind coming back).  Truth be told though, as much as I absolutely LOVED getting out there in this weather, I probably shouldn't have.

As I said, three weeks into half marathon training... did I mention that I really had done NO running prior to that - in fact, I had done no running since I was about 6 months pregnant with Lauren (that would put it sometime last fall...).  Two weeks ago I did a 6-miler, last week was an 8-miler... My body is really trying to tell me to slow down, my left butt-cheek/hip bothered me all week and my right foot was tender.

But, as many runners can be, I'm stubborn this way.  My aches and pains didn't really slow me down, I didn't feel like they were causing me to alter my natural stride (too much anyway)... so I tackled the 10 miles!

Here's the break down:

Total run time: 1:35:06 ... a 9:30 pace and I was shooting for 10:00
Mile  1:  9:32
Mile  2:  9:18
Mile  3:  9:11
Mile  4:  8:59

My butt-cheek/hip finally loosened up at this point and I quit feeling it... yeah!

Mile  5:  9:22
Mile  6:  9:25
Mile  7:  9:53

Mile 7 was the first time in the run that I started feeling the distance.  My feet were starting to hurt a little bit (I have flat feet and when my mechanics start breaking down my arches start rubbing more and I get blisters...).  Both achilles started feeling tight and my right hip was whining at me...

Mile  8:  9:38
Mile  9:  10:42

Mile 9 had a tough .25 - .3 uphill that took a lot out of me.  It also had a nice down hill for me to cruise, but as you can tell it didn't quite help me recover the time I lost!

Mile 10:  9:02

I love seeing my last mile come in "fast"... my goal on long runs is to start out easy and not let me splits be slower than my start and for my last mile (or two or three) to have my fastest times.

So how am I doing now??  Well, let's just say it's been an evening of hobbling - there was no chasing the girls around tonight!  I may need a break from my training to let my legs, hips, and achilles recover.  But my goal was to get through this long run and then take some recovery time if I needed it - so I accomplished that!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Apraxia update

So it's been a while since I've talked about Karen's progress.  We have her in speech therapy three times a week.  Once through the school district while she is at preschool and twice a week at the EWU/WSU speech and hearing clinic.  She works there with a graduate student clinician with oversight from an amazing expert on childhood apraxia of speech - Dr. Amy

The last couple of months there has been a huge jump in Karen's speech (words, attempts, etc.) and her social interaction when she is at preschool.   She now has at least 75 words (that I can "understand") and is starting to put words together in two to four word "phrases" ... I use quotes because they are not typical sentence structure, are pretty stilted, and are usually in the wrong order, but the fact that she is stringing words and/or multiple syllables together is HUGE!

It has been a struggle lately.  When she was a baby she was VERY laid back.  But as she has gotten older, she is starting to assert herself and her preferences (which is mostly a wonderful thing!)... but being unable to communicate those needs and preferences effectively is starting to become a bigger deal.  We are seeing more tantrums and acting out from frustration.  I pray that the progress in her speech will help her feel less frustrated.  I feel so helpless most of the time and never realized how powerless you feel as a parent when you have a little one that struggles with something that you simply cannot do anything to help with.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tackle it Tuesday

So a couple of days into a new week ... what's on my agenda this week?
  • Training plan:
    • Monday - skipped it!
    • Tuesday - 3x1600 mile repeats 
    • Wednesday - Core strengthening with a cardio block from Lindsay Brin
    • Thursday - 5 mile tempo run
    • Friday - Linday Brin Fit Friday Challenge
    • Saturday - Rest
    • Sunday - 10 mile long run
  • Church books - I've been doing the books for our little church for several years now.  I'm a little behind on making the deposit (need to get that done) and getting the last few months of bank statements balanced...
  • Laundry!! (when isn't this on the agenda?!)
  • Pictures - I had pictures of the girls taken in January but haven't given them to anyone yet... need to get that done!
  • Fertility story ... this is something that I really want to share but keep waiting to start it until I've got some time to sit down with it... I just need to share it.  I'd like to get one post out about it this week (I think it will take several to tell the whole story).
  • Ordering seeds for my garden!
and just because, here is a picture of Karen and Lauren!  Can't believe how much they are growing.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lent "restart"

So, Lent 2012 is more than half over and I have to give myself a big FAIL on my lenten intentions.  I had lots of really good ideas of things I wanted to do or give up to help bring myself closer to Christ, because at the heart of it, that is the intention of Lent...

You give up something that you enjoy, or do something extra to put yourself in the desert as Christ did in the bible.  When you give up something, not only do you put yourself "in the desert", but you create an "empty" spot in yourself that is normally filled by a food or activity that you enjoy.  When you couple your giving up of something with prayer, you invite Jesus into this new "empty" spot, thus moving closer to him through the 40 days of Lent.

As I said, I give myself a big fail thus far.  I really haven't made much of an effort to meet those good intentions I had at the beginning of Lent.  However - my old self would just continue down this road, beat myself up, and consider Lent2012 a fail... One of my focuses in 2012 is trying to persevere... and at the heart of that word is knowing that you can only accomplish it if you keep trying.  So, with three weeks left of Lent... I'm recommitting to starting my Lenten intentions and putting myself in the "desert"!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Randomness

I love Fridays.  Most people do, but being a SAHM you would think that there would not be anything particularly different about Friday over other days of the week... but there is and most weeks, I love it!  So, because my mood is a little "free-spirited" today, this post is just some random thoughts...

  • I'm two weeks into my ten week half-marathon training... yeah!!  they say it takes three weeks to make a habit, right?  here's to hoping I don't "fall of the wagon" next week!!
  • We have been having crazy wet, windy weather.  Which is fine since it is spring but I'm really praying we don't have a spring like last year (it lasted until mid-July!!)
  • I just read through my post about goals and realized that while I'm failing miserably at some of them, I'm actually accomplishing some like praying daily with my husband, realizing that I am never, ever caught up on laundry, starting to work at getting comfortable in my own skin again... 
  • Patience... still something that I REALLY need to work on!
  • Jessica - I miss you still almost every moment, every day.  I can't believe my girls won't know you or be able to remember you.
  • I'm already thinking about crider baby #4, if there will be one, when, etc... lots of logistics go into that though, details for that when I've got more time to write.
  • Chocolate milk is a great post-workout drink!
  • We are in the process of finishing our basement.  I'm thrilled about it, we currently only have two bedrooms so no room for guests.  But I'm also not looking forward to having twice as much house to clean!  Anyone else struggle with this?
  • I'm hoping the weather lets up enough that I can run outside this weekend.  I have an eight mile run on my schedule and doing long runs on the treadmill is BORING!!!!
  • My favorite way to pray is by meditating on the rosary while I go for a walk... doesn't happen very often anymore (at least not the walking and praying part).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness!!!

Let the madness begin!! Do you love NCAA March Madness??  We do - my husband played college ball and has a life-long love of basketball.  So, I married into it.  I've always enjoyed sports but never really got into the "madness" until I met Carl.  Now it is a tradition every year.  On the first day of the tournament, his mom makes lots of goodies and several people are invited up to their house and spend the entire day parked in front of the TV taking in the games. I enjoy joining this day-long basketball-fest, but am finding with kids that it is not quite as relaxing as prior years - still fun though!

Our beloved Zags are in the tournament again this year (both men and women)!!  In fact, the women play here in Spokane, so we might have to consider seeing if we can get some tickets to the games!  We saw our lady Zags play in the sweet sixteen and elite eight here last year - fun times!!  It is yet another one of those wonderful memories of my niece Jessica - she had a FABULOUS time at the game... her smile at being there was amazing.

We also fill out brackets each year and submit them in a couple of local pools... let me just say I am BAD at choosing brackets.  I've been tempted to not do it because inevitably I end up picking the wrong underdog, and then feel conflicted in rooting for the underdog that actually is making a run at it because their win will mess up my bracket... :)  Do you fill out brackets for March Madness?  What's your trick?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Trying to move forward

You know how they say progress (or life) is two steps forward and one step back??  Well, lately I feel like it has been more one step forward and two steps back!  I'm still really struggling with losing Jessica and I think postpartum hormones aren't doing me any favors!  I had a couple of really good weeks in January (see my post about goals...) and then things have taken a nose-dive since...

I'm trying to get out of my funk though.  Last week I got myself back on the exercise wagon.  I started my training program for a half marathon in May that I want to run.  I describe that program here.  I also started doing workout from Lindsay Brin who started Moms into Fitness ... I love the variety of her workouts and the fact that she has gone through getting her body back three times, she drinks her own kool-aid, so to speak!!  My current favorite is her Fit Friday workout which is a cross-fit type workout.  It definitely kicked my behind and left me with that pleasant soreness, you know that kinds that feels good because you know you really worked your body?!

Finding the motivation to exercise is so indicative of how I'm doing in the rest of my life... If I'm finding the energy and motivation to make time to work out, I'm finding the energy and motivation to keep up on my prayer life, my house, my laundry, activities with my girls, etc.  Here's to hoping this trend continues and March coming in like a "lion" will be going out like a lamb!