Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bittersweet moments

Last night I spent the evening at Target with a friend who is about to have her first baby.  We shopped for bottles, pacifiers, hooded towels, crib sheets, boppy covers, nursing tops, comfy clothes for after the baby comes, a stroller, a pack and play, etc.  We also discussed the merits of certain pacifiers and why bath robes for babies - while completely cute - are totally pointless (in my humble opinion....)  It was a lot of fun.

Then at some point in our shopping it dawned on me that I no longer have any need to shop in this section of Target other than for gift-buying.  Part of me is very happy to be done with diapers and nursing and carrying babies in those heavy car seat carriers.  Then another part of me can't believe that my baby days are over.  Didn't I just take that first pregnancy test a couple years ago?
 Early days of motherhood....
 Life seemed so simple then...
 And we look so young.  {sigh}

It was a little bittersweet, can ya tell??

Luckily I'll have Lyn's baby to cuddle and hold.  And trust me, I owe that girl some BIG TIME babysitting hours.... :)  I am so excited for her....can't wait to meet her little boy and love on him!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dogwood 2012

If it's May in know what that means.


{Also affectionately known by Chad and me as the "Dump-out-your-wallet-and-spend-inordinate-amounts-of-money-on-rides-and-junk-food" festival.}

I have to admit....after seven years of living here, the excitement has worn off for me.
But not for the kids.

But I ALSO have to I had a great time.
We brought Audrey's friend along.
 Carter was super excited to ride the rides.
Chloe really enjoyed the rides for the first time.
AND - I got to eat funnel cake.

Life is good here in the humble borough of Phoenixville. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What a week!

I was just commenting to my mom that last week after I finished the race, I was surprised  that I felt so normal.  I thought after running those 10 miles, having a friend in town, and having Chad out of town the week before and after the race, that I would just crash.  But I felt pretty good.

This week is a different story though.

I kept wondering why on earth I have been so tired and then I looked back over my pictures this week and now I know why I am exhausted.  So much has been going on this week!

Last Sunday was Mother's Day.  We had my parents and my brother over for a cookout.  It was a beautiful day weather-wise and we all just sat out on the deck and talked and had a fun time hanging out together.
I will be really sad when I don't get presents like "The Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Mom" for Mother's Day anymore....
 On Monday night we headed to the Phillies the drizzle.  It was Carter & Audrey's first Phillies game and I have to hand it to them... even with the rain, they didn't complain at all!
 We got peanuts (among other food items) and Audrey thought it was so fun that she could throw all the shells on the ground.  We had a ton of fun despite the drizzly weather.
 On Tuesday night our small group had a surprise shower for our friends Chad & Lyn.  They are expecting their first baby boy in a little over a month!
Speaking of baby baby boy graduated from preschool on Thursday!
Here he is getting his diploma with his teacher & the preschool director.
They had cute little graduation caps for the kids to wear but Carter said a big "no" to that.
I didn't care....I was just lucky to get him in that button shirt he is wearing!!
 Before "graduation" the children had a concert, which included a series of hilarious antics by Carter including making huge muscles and playing with his face to the rhythm of the music.  One of the things that I love (and am occasionally frustrated by) about Carter is that he is completely uninhibited and doesn't seem to notice or care about what other people think of him.  He is just himself always, which is very different than me.
Today my mom asked Carter what he would miss most about preschool, and his first answer was "Teacher Mindy"... I am so glad that Carter had her as a teacher this year - she is just such a creative teacher and brings out the best in each child. 

Friday was Carter's school picnic.  This included lots of playing with friends, climbing all over playground equipment, and some fun games organized by the preschool's gym teacher.  I love that she was wearing a Superwoman cape while chasing the kids around in freeze tag!  I am so thankful for such a wonderful preschool that my kids have been blessed to attend.  Chloe will start preschool next fall!  Let me tell you, the day SHE graduates from preschool I will be crying buckets.  I will miss that place so much!
And this is the other reason I'm tired.
This little pipsqueak is into EVERYTHING right now!  
Here she is "washing her hands" (which she does about 2 zillion times a day....)
I wish she would have discovered this fun activity at the beginning of cold and flu season!! ;)

We had a busy day today with the Dogwood Parade, t-ball, a play date and an evening at the fair....but I will post about that later!!
First I need a good night's sleep!! :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Reflections on Broad Street

 My "Medal" (blurry, but there it is!)

On Sunday morning I accomplished something that just one year ago I would have never dreamed I could do.  Scratch that.  Six months ago, I would have never dreamed I could do.  In fact, Sunday morning at 8:30 am, I was still not sure I would be able to do this....

I ran the Broad Street 10-Mile Run with 40,000 other people through the streets of Philadelphia!  Without stopping!

What a rush!  What an amazing experience!  What a complete shock! :)

Yes, I have been training since January.  Yes, I have run approximately 3x per week.  Yes, I have been working very hard.  But up til this race, the most I have ever run at once?  Six miles.

I have to give major props to my college roommate and "running coach" Rebecca.  After deciding to run together, she kept on my butt kept me accountable to my running schedule and texted me many, many messages of encouragement.  She is the one who kept telling me that I could do this.  I was not so sure.  I can't imagine having a better running partner that day.  She kept pace with me, she checked in with how I was feeling, she gave me those gummy sugar thingies that runners use for energy boosts, and she made me run out the last few hundred feet full speed.  (Let me tell you - there is not much better than PASSING PEOPLE on the way to the finish line!)
I was surprised by how emotional I felt at different points throughout the race.  I thought I would be excited....but didn't know I would also develop a big ol' lump in my throat and find tears springing to my eyes.

The first time was as I passed the 5 mile mark and realized that I still felt good.  We could see City Hall looming ahead, and I was just enjoying seeing all the different neighborhoods, people, architecture as I ran along.  One of the things I really enjoy about cities is how they are just a patchwork quilt of all of God's people.  It really is amazing.

My second teary moment occurred around mile 7-8.  I had already exceeded my own personal best, and I was still feeling strong.  It was around that point that I realized I could finish this race and run the whole way.  That alone was exciting, but at that point, I felt overwhelmed by the community? solidarity? oneness? (not sure what term to use) with all the other runners. Let's just say that I was not at the front of the pack with all the die hard runners, and the people around me seemed very similar to me - people who just wanted to cross that finish line!  Yet along the race path there were people holding signs that said things like "Don't give up" and "You can do it" and even "Free high-fives here"!   I know that these signs were not meant for me personally, but it kind of felt like they were anyhow.  It was just what I needed to keep going.

Finally, as we hit the last mile, there were a lot more spectators along the sides of the road.  At one point, they were all cheering and yelling for the runners, and the verse Hebrews 12:1 came to mind.  It says:  "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  It was such a tangible reminder to me that in running - AND in life - we are never alone...and we should never give up.  The cheering may not have meant much to some of the runners, but it was a powerful moment for me. 

So where do I go from here?  A few people have asked me if I will do it again.  And my answer is:  I don't know (and probably not!)  It was an amazing experience, and I am so, so glad I did it.  I can cross it off the bucket list.  And I now have this wonderful memory to carry with me in my heart.

BUT, it was a lot of training and work.  Like, A LOT. At times it felt hard to juggle the need to "train" with the reality of my life, which includes small children who can't be left alone while I go out to run.  And there is the pressure of running longer and longer distances, which stressed me out sometimes.  And honestly, I think I am more of a short distance running kind of gal.  A 5K sounds great right about now!  

I do want to continue running, however.  I just want to incorporate other forms of exercise into my this point I feel like I have muscular legs - but puny arms and a poochy tummy!  But I hope running will always be a part of my life.

Finally, I want to thank each of you who encouraged me in this process.  It means more to me than you will ever know!  Thanks for sharing this journey with me.