Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Well hello, my bloggy friends. It's been too long! Since our last visit I have been battling the crud that just won't leave me alone, Baby Munchkin had his first ear infection, Big Brother and I have been hard at work on his big Literature Fair project, we've planned and hosted a little carnival party, and...

my sweet baby boy turned 1.

In fact, he's been 1 for almost a week now, and I can't believe I haven't sat down to tell y'all a little something about this special little guy. Let's fix that.

Daddy-o and I always wanted at least 2 kiddos. When the oldest was about 2 we learned that we would likely have a tough road ahead if we wanted more babies. All of this made us really appreciate the miracle that our first baby was, but we definitely wanted our family to grow. Our particular issue causes early miscarriage, and we experienced 5 losses over about 5 1/2 years.

During much of this time, I put lots of things on hold, waiting for another child and planning and preparing for that day. I didn't want to return to teaching because my plan was to stay home until both of my kids were in school. I thought about more kids when we were making big purchases, like our house and cars. Gotta make sure they're big enough for when we have another baby. And I put off losing weight and getting healthy, saying I'd do that after my next pregnancy.

About 4 years into this journey, I finally realized that I had, in some ways, been missing out on the joy of my many blessings because I was waiting for this one more thing. I surrendered my plans and chose to trust that whatever God had for our family was what I wanted.

This was the beginning of my journey to health, when I decided to stop putting it off and to live each day the Lord gave me, with all of its joys and challenges, to its fullest.

So, you see, my baby boy is not only an amazing, long-awaited, miraculous answer to prayer, he also represents a journey that truly changed who I am. As we waited for him, I grew closer to God, gained a greater appreciation for the miracle that is my first baby, grew in my relationship with my husband, learned to surrender my plans and my will, and became a healthier, happier me.

Both of my kids really are my inspiration when I run. It means the world to me to see them on the course and at the finish line. And although it's not an easy, stress free job, I am forever thankful that God has made me a mommy.

My 2 high energy boys certainly keep me busy. My house stays messy, and I'm not at all sure I'll always be able to afford the grocery bill it'll take to keep these boys fed.

But they keep my heart full, and I am a proud mommy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Warrior Dash Recap and an Unbelievable Announcement

O.K., I know I'm, like, days overdue for a recap of last weekend's Warrior Dash. I promise I've tried to sit down at the computer everyday this week, but it just wasn't happening, y'all.

Better late than never and all that, so here it is...

We headed down to Florida on Friday morning, arriving at my sister-in-law's house around dinner time. She had graciously agreed to watch Baby Munchkin so Daddy-o and I could both race. After a sleep filled with dreams of leaping fire and scaling walls, we got ourselves together and headed to Lake Wales to meet up with the other warrior hopefuls.

My little sis and I donned our costumes (custom made just for the occasion), while Daddy-o and my sister's friend Jess were sporting plain ol' athletic shorts and shirts (BORING! Although they did unintentionally match. Hee hee). My dad, step-mom, and my oldest munchkin tagged along to cheer us on.

As we arrived on the scene, we were greeted with LOTS of, ahem, "colorful" costumes. As we watched those who had already finished the race, we knew we were in for a good (albeit dirty!) time. We found a place to set up camp, watched a few folks go through the 2 obstacles we could see from the viewing area, and then it was our turn to line up. Here we go...

We started off slow, everyone trying to stay within sight of each other at least. We were there to have fun, not race for time. Daddy-o and I don't get to run together very often at all, so I wanted to stay with him. I run a lot more than he does, so my pace is a bit quicker. We ran at his pace as we moved along toward the first obstacle, a watery mud pit about shin to knee deep. As we hit the water, Daddy-o zoomed past me! Apparently he has mad skills when it comes to muddy water running! Who knew??? I had to step up the pace to keep up with him! Someone find us a race completely run in mud, and he will be a contender!

To summarize the rest of the course... We climbed over cars and ran through monster tires, jumped over 4 foot (ish?) walls and crawled under fences, walked across narrow beams, climbed cargo nets, waded through a pool of water while a massive fan blew in our faces, climbed over hay bales, crawled through thick, black mud in a dark pup tent, scaled a 15 foot (ish - I'm not always great with the height estimations) wall, jumped over fire (twice), and crawled under barbed wire in waist-high muddy water before we crossed the finish line. (I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff, but you get the gist.) It was such a blast! I really thought it was over too soon!

It was a 5k course, and, like I said earlier, we were there to have fun, so we all hung relatively close together. When we finished and saw our times, I realized that, even with the obstacles and the waiting around we did on the course, and with all of us trying to stay together instead of running our "best" race, we finished in a time very close to the time it took me to run my very first 5k! Our time was 45:04, and I completed my first (very flat) race in somewhere around 43 minutes, with Daddy-o a couple of minutes behind me. Unbelievable how far we have both come since that race last May.

If there's a Warrior Dash in your area, sign up and give it a whirl! It's so much fun, there's a great party after (well, all day really), and you really do feel like a warrior in the end!

Oh, what's that you say? You want to know about this unbelievable announcement? I'm getting to that...

Let me just first tell you something I'm sure you've heard many, many times before -- NEVER SAY NEVER! Wanna know some things that I said I'd NEVER do?
  • "I'll never be a runner."
  • "I'll never run a mile in less than 9 minutes."
  • "I could never exercise early in the morning."
  • "I could never run a 5k."
  • "I would never run more than a 10k."
  • "I'll sign up for the half marathon, but I'll never be able to run it all. I'll just train to run-walk, I guess."
Guess what? I've now done every single one of those things I said I'd never do. And those are just the fitness-related ones. Don't even get me started on the things I said I'd never do as a mom! We'd be here all day.

There's one more NEVER I have said over and over again since I started this journey:
  • "I'll never run a full marathon."
Well, I am now officially registered for the 2011 Chicago Marathon!

Unbelievable. Most of all to me! I can't believe that I'm going to do this. Here's the thing, though. I know I can, and I know I will! I'll be training and travelling with a group of 15+ from my boot camp and running group. 15 of the most supportive, most inspirational, most fun, craziest people you will ever meet.

I can't wait.