Saturday, October 31, 2015

My First 5K

I did it!

I ran my first 5K today. 

I had no expectations of doing very well. Mostly I wanted an excuse to keep myself in shape, and jog three times a week. I'll tell you, pushing a child in a non-jogging stroller about two miles isn't easy. Still, I really enjoyed getting outside, starting my day on a healthy note, and having time to myself.

And do you know what? I actually did really well! I would have been happy to finish under 50 minutes, with my reach goal being under 45 minutes.

I finished in 39 minutes and 46 seconds! I guess not pushing that stroller makes a big difference.

I still don't see myself as a runner. But maybe there will be more 5Ks in the future. 

Friday, October 30, 2015


Sorry it's been a while. I've been busy recently, in a good way!

I've been diving into MOPS leadership, and loving it! Our church started a Mothers Of Preschoolers group this year, and I joined as their Crafts and Service Project leader. I'm loving it! It's so great to have a creative outlet, and to be able to share it with other ladies.

I love having a group of moms in the same stage of life as me that I can hang out with, plan events with, and grow with.

I've got lots of plans for this year: chalkboard pots, cupcake decorating, and sandal hangers are upcoming. I'm hoping to have fun but useful crafts every month, so even moms who don't feel like they are artsy can enjoy the cool things they make!

Roy Lichtenstein painting and Mario

We just had our first service project, too. We gathered at our local assisted living center and had a costume parade for the residents. Lots of little kids (and a few moms) dressed up to pass out candy and cards we had made at our previous MOPS meeting. The residents had candy for our kids, as well. It was so much fun to see everyone, even if we didn't get much time to talk with them. I'm hoping that a couple of moms might feel led to volunteer more time with these great people!

Our church's pumpkin patch

Pray for us as we plan more events, and strive to reach out to unchurched moms.

Family of pumpkins! (pardon my thumb shadow)

Friday, July 17, 2015


Here's something I never thought I'd say: I'm training for a 5K.

I've never really liked exercise. I like to be healthy, but up until recently (read: two pregnancies) exercise hasn't been a necessary part of that equation. Now I'm a little older and exercise needs to be a part of my routine.

I've tried going to the gym, but ours has "Kid Kare" fees, and my mom isn't always available to watch August during the day. I lack self motivation. So I gave myself some extra motivation.

I'd been walking with August in the morning fairly regularly. It's nice, spending some technology-free time outside before it gets too hot, just enjoying nature and the sounds of cars passing. Occasionally we stop at our neighborhood park and use the swings for a while.

That's all well and good, but walking simply isn't good enough cardio. So I downloaded a couch to 5K app. It's a simple training program over eight or nine weeks to get me up and running. I shared with my mom and cousin about it, and over the course of the conversation we decided to try to run a local 5K together.

5K is only 3.3 miles, but it's still more than I ever thought I'd run. In grade school I always brought up the rear when the coaches made us "run the mile."

So why the change of heart? Honestly, it's for my family. I want to be healthy, and live a long time for them. I want to be a good example. Whenever I get pregnant again I want to avoid as many health risks as possible. So I'll run now.

Well, jog. Sort of fast walk. It's hot out. I'm working on it. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Allergy Guilt

Yesterday was going to be fun. We were going to go to play group, and August was going to swim in a pool for the first time in months. We were going to join Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A donned in spotted cow t-shirts.

Instead, August had another allergic reaction.

I gave him some scrambled eggs for the first time with breakfast, and he developed a rash on his face within five minutes. I got out the Benedryl right away. I carry it with me everywhere since the first reaction. I struggled to get the dosage right, because I'd rather give him a small dose than an overdose, but who can remember the difference between 1.5 mLs and 2.5 mLs when their kid is turning red and spotted and he's scratching his face and what if his throat starts swelling? I called his doctor, and she told me what to watch for, and that I could give him a slightly bigger dose of medicine. Like the pediatrician told me, I watched him all morning for swelling and difficulty breathing. He fussed because he was itchy and uncomfortable, and took a nap on my chest. We snuggled and watched Cars as the medicine did its job, and he started feeling back to normal.

He's fine, and this just means we need to watch what he eats even more, but I still feel guilt about it. I'm his mother, shouldn't I be able to feed my kid without his body attacking itself? Why would I give him eggs, am I crazy? How could I give him something that makes him feel so badly?

It is a little crazy to feel like that. How could I have known? But I feel that responsibility as his mother. Like I need to protect him perfectly, while still letting him make his own experiences. I feel like my experience as a child caregiver should give me a heads-up, but instead I'm still broken and making mistakes that my child carries the punishment for. That is something I need to repent of.

I need to recognize that my parenting can't save me, and especially can't save my son. This is something I need to surrender to Jesus, even though it's hard. Please pray for me, and for August's health. He's young enough that he may grow out of these food allergies, or we may become a fully nut-free, egg-free household.

I do know that I'll be making his birthday cake myself this year.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Motherhood Controversy

There's a lot of controversy surrounding motherhood nowadays.

In all fairness, it was probably around before, but the internet has a way of bringing conflict to the forefront. I have a love/hate relationship with that sort of thing. I like to be informed about these issues, but I don't like how these inflamed articles bombard me.

We have to breastfeed, or our children will grow up with allergies.

We have to have natural childbirth, to experience the fullness of feminine power.

We have to have a career, or we aren't reaching our full potential.

We have to feed our kids homemade, organic, local food, or our kids will be unhealthy.

We need to only expose our babies to wholesome, educational, Christian media, or else no media at all.

We need to have perfectly clean homes, or our kids will find that one piece of dirt and choke on it.

We need to be careful about vaccinating our kids, because who knows what toxins are in them.

I even talked to a mom at play group who was afraid to put sunscreen on her kids, because of chemicals leaking into their skin. SUNSCREEN, people.

We seriously need to lay off ourselves and each other. There's no such thing as a perfect mother or perfect kid. We're going to make mistakes, and what's good for one mom isn't always good for another. Jesus can redeem our families, whether or not they wore cloth diapers and breastfed until they were two.

By the way, I don't intend this to be another internet rant, so I'm sorry. It's just been on my mind lately.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mothers Days

2012: I was excited. Mother's Day this year was going to be so fun. When we got to surprise my mother-in-law with that ultrasound picture and celebrate together with my parents, I was so happy. I was going to be a mom! I couldn't wait.

2013: The emotional wounds were very raw that day. I was still grieving my baby girl, and the last thing I wanted to hear about were happy mothers in church. I spent that Mother's Day service in the women's restroom crying. Some friends sat with me and comforted me, but the pain was real and poignant that day. I wasn't even sure I could call myself a mom because I never got to mother my daughter.

2014: I stood in church that day, smiling and round. I was happy to be pregnant again, this time with what appeared to be a very healthy child. I thought about the year before, and the child I missed, but the brighter horizon was coming.

2015: My family of three laid in bed early yesterday morning, and my husband slipped a card into our baby's hands to pass to me. I was told "happy Mother's Day" as I dropped off my kid in Sunday school. August cried because he's teething and fussed because he was tired. I changed diapers and clothes, cleaned messes, and planned meals. It was the best. 

Happy belated Mother's Day. Every year won't be a celebration, but it's nice to acknowledge all the states and stages of motherhood once a year.

Friday, April 24, 2015

What I Mean to Say Is

Sometimes I talk like Penny never existed.

Sort of. I've never forgotten her, although the pain of mourning her passing has dulled. There just aren't the right phrases to explain our family in short conversations. In particular, I notice it when I'm talking about my first child, or the number of children I have, or child order. 

For example, when someone comes up to me and August at church or in the grocery store and, usually as an excuse to spend a few moments with my cute baby, they start a conversation with me. A question that naturally comes up is "Is he your first?" Or, "Is he your only child?"

I usually pause before answering this question. The fully truthful answer is "No, we had another daughter who passed away." Sometimes I'll say that, especially at church, but it leads to a longer, not very happy, conversation. Sometimes I just don't feel like getting into it. Then I'll often say "He's our only baby at home right now." It's an odd way to phrase it, though, and again might come across as evasive or confusing for someone who was just trying to make light conversation.

But what can I say? The right, short phrases don't exist in English.

How do I explain that she never felt like ours, at least not solely ours? She was a true gift from God for us to love briefly and struggle over for a lifetime. He warned us, through doctors, about her pending dramatic arrival. She flit into our lives for a short three days to change it forever. We had made a place for her, but her true home was in God's hands.

So yes, August is our first that God gave us to raise in our home. He's my firstborn son, who I love. Any of his future siblings, who we pray will be as healthy as he is, will be our second, third that fit that description. But they will be our third, fourth overall.

But August has a big baby sister, with God in heaven. He'll learn about her as he gets older. She will be a non-present member of our family always. She may have made our lives complicated, but we will always, always love her.