Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mia Mookie

Monday afternoon the kids and I made a trip to the YMCA. My plan was that they would go to daycare while I exercised and then we would all swim together. Mia, on the other hand, had no intention of cooperating. She refused to go to daycare. Crying and clinging and screaming ensued. After 15 minutes of trying to coax her to go and her refusing and after also discovering that the pool was closed due to inclement weather, we left having done nothing but wasted a lot of time and gasoline.

Back at home awhile later Mia and I had a conversation that went like this:

Me: Mia, I love you so much, but sometimes you drive me crazy!

Mia: No I don't. I never even get to ride in the front seat! I can't drive you anywhere!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Children Save Me

I remember that on the second night after this all began, the same night that the news crew showed up at our door and then sat on the roadside filming our house, Chris and I sat on the back porch and I told him it felt like my chest was caving in. The panic, the fear, the pain…it was too much. It brought about the sensation that there was 1000 lbs of weight centered upon my breastbone, forcing it downward into my lungs until I could no longer draw more than the shallowest of breaths, just enough to keep me alive so that I could feel the pain. At that time it wasn’t the pain of being wronged. It was blinding pain stemming from the thought that our family might soon be torn apart.

I had never before and have never since felt like I did that night. Oh, our struggle didn’t prove to be over that night or the next. It’s still not over today, 20 months later. As a matter of fact, my fears were well founded and our family has indeed been separated temporarily. Eighteen more months to go, to be exact. I doubt I would be mentally stable today (ok, so maybe that’s still a bit questionable) had God not provided me with the most blessed relief from that bone crushing fear and pain.

Now, I have heard stories of people surviving horrible tragedies because they felt like God enveloped them in his comfort and gave them that ever-sought “peace that passes understanding”. I have to admit, though, that I don’t think that was my exact experience. Don’t get me wrong. I believe 100% that He has brought me through this trial thus far. It’s just that I haven’t at any time felt any type of direct spiritual intervention that I have heard others describe. Maybe that’s due to a lack of spiritual maturity on my part, but I honestly don’t believe so. I believe that God has provided his comfort and his healing through two little knuckleheads in my life whose names are Luke and Mia.

It’s not that my children have been my shoulders to cry on. They aren’t my counselors. They aren’t some extraordinarily mature 4 and 7 year olds who have behaved perfectly and comforted me with sweet words when I was down. No, they are normal, rambunctious, hilariously funny, and sometimes maddening children. They fuss about getting up in the morning and about brushing their teeth. They create lots of dirty clothes and they spill their milk at the dinner table. They also have the most infectious laughs. They think anything relating to bathroom humor is a riot. Luke laughs so hard that he snorts. They fight with each other. They team up together when one needs to go into a dark room in the house and is afraid to go by him/herself. They are picky eaters. Each night I make two meals, a decent one for me and crap for them. It’s what they like. They love Phineas and Ferb and laugh violently at their antics. They sleep with me every night. I threaten and scowl that they must go to sleep immediately and then when they fall asleep I lie next to them and look at them in awe of their beauty and innocence.

It’s definitely not all roses where my babies are involved, but they do, indeed, save me. They keep me from being too self-centered. They make me laugh. They make me angry at times, the result of which is often an emotional release that I was much in need of anyway. Their hugs and kisses are like a calming salve. Without them 2 years without my husband would be an awfully long and awfully lonely time. With them I have two little pieces of him with me each and every day. I can see him in their faces. I can see him in the things they do and hear him in the things they say.

I'm not one to claim that I know how God works in our lives, but I believe that he does and that he knew what I needed when he placed these two little ones in my life.

P.S. Tonight is a special night for Luke and I. We are eating dinner at Olive Garden then going to see Star Wars in Concert and we are sitting on the 4th row! He has his Luke Skywalker costume ready to go. Please pray that we have a wonderful and safe "date" night.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Weekly Progress

Just tallied my workouts for the week thus far and found that I have traveled under my own power (either by run, bike, or swim) a distance of 16.85 miles since Monday. I've got another workout planned for tomorrow and should break 20 miles easily.

In the grand scheme of things that's not a ton, but when I compare it to the couch potato I was 6 months ago it seems pretty darn significant.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You Know I've Always Been a Dreamer

Over the span of my adult life numerous dreams and aspirations have woven themselves into my psyche. Some have lingered longer than others but all have been a passion at some time or another. I inherited a single trait from my maternal grandfather and that is that I typically pursue whatever passion that overwhelms me at the moment with an obsessive doggedness that cannot be matched. I have to know every single thing there is to know about it. It’s what I talk about. It’s what I read about. It’s what I watch on tv. It’s what I spend way too much time researching on the internet while I should be working.

Saying that I’m thorough would be a slight understatement. And, while I am quite sure that this trait can occasionally be a bit annoying to those around me who have to put up with these obsessions, it nonetheless usually makes me pretty well informed and pretty decent at what I choose to do. Just ask our friends that we cruised with most recently. I think I knew every nook and cranny of each island we went to before we ever docked at port. I knew where the best beach was and which places to eat, which shore excursions we should book through the cruise line and which we could get better deals on by booking ourselves through private companies. My dream was to enjoy the perfect vacation and if spending a few (dozen) hours researching and planning would help that happen then I didn’t mind a bit.

My latest aspirations involve fitness and owning my own business. True to my nature, I am taking steps toward actively achieving my goals in both areas right now. You’ve read the beginnings of my fitness adventure here. If my current dreams come to fruition you’ll read one day of me completing a sprint triathlon. I’ve told 5 people of that dream so far and all have shaken their head in disbelief that I would be crazy enough to consider such a thing. Maybe I am. Maybe I can’t. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I sure as heck am going to find out. Why would I want to be 80 years old saying, “I really wish I had tried it. I think I could have done it.” If I try and fail, so be it. At least I’ll know. If I try and find that the preparation takes too much time from other higher priorities in life, I’ll stop and I’ll try again when it can move up higher on the priority list. Either way, I will have worked toward what I wanted rather than sitting here dreaming about it all day.

I’m thrilled to say that my dream of owning my own business is coming to fruition as well. I’ll have lots more info and even pictures to show soon, so I’m not going to spoil the surprise right now, but within a matter of a couple of months this business should be fully operational and will be the physical representation of a dream come true. With a little luck on our side it will be immensely successful and will prove that a dream and a little obsession can result in really, really, good things.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Still Moving - Getting Better Everyday

Eight pounds lighter and many more miles on my Nikes, I feel better than ever! It’s amazing what regular exercise does for a body!

I never imagined that I would reach this point, but I can now whole-heartedly say that I love running. Crazy! I know!! As a matter of fact, I crave it. Most days at work I spend quite a bit of the day picturing my afternoon run, how far I will go, and where I will run. It’s likely not the most productive habit to have formed during my work day, but hey, it keeps me going.

I still don’t have any form of extreme endurance. Most of my runs are 2-2.5 miles and my goal is to average about 8 miles a week. This is, no doubt, very light work for a “distance” runner, but the key is that I love it and because I love it I push myself each time to go a little faster or go a little further. Just yesterday I ran my fastest 2 miles to date, finishing in 18 min 15sec. Best news is that I ran the second mile in 8 min 55 sec, a whole 25 seconds faster than the first (9 min 20 sec)! I’d say that indicates that I’m capable of an even much better time. I haven’t run a full 5k in more than a month, but I ran it then in 32min 17sec. If I can maintain anywhere near the speed that I ran my 2 miles in yesterday over the 3.1 mile distance I can cut about 4 whole minutes off of that time though! That’s certainly doable. Just have to keep working.

In exciting news, my parents and my kids bought me the Nike+ Sportband for Mother’s Day. (It must be obvious to everyone that I am officially addicted to the sport.) I am realistic enough to know that gadgets don’t improve performance, but this little gadget sure will be fun for a statistics nerd like me. Can’t wait to get it set up and try it out.

In the realm of dreams, I’m considering getting into cycling. Anyone read FatCyclist? If Elden doesn’t make you want to go buy a bike (or maybe even try a triathlon!) you may not have a pulse! Now if I can just find a spare $850 or so to get a decent beginner’s road bike. Hmm…

P.S. It’s likely that after a few more months of training I will come back to this post and be embarrassed that I admitted to people how slow I was running at the time, but at least it will serve as proof of how far I will have come.