Monday, April 30, 2012

Run a Half Marathon. Check.

Yesterday was race day. Over the past few months I went from barely being able to run 2 miles to completing a half marathon. And my training schedule has been less than stellar. I mean, to me--it worked out great. But I'm pretty sure no real runner would endorse a training program that has you running just one run per week...your long run. But, with work, life, the babe and everything else, that's all that I had time to do. And I actually think my body liked the fact that I didn't run it into the ground.

The weather was perfect. Warm enough that I wasn't cold in my shorts and t-shirt. Cool enough that I never felt hot. There was a light breeze that dried my sweat in the sun and gave me goosebumps in the shade. The course was beautiful. Scenic. A bit too hilly for my liking. Definitely hillier than I was anticipating {partly due to a last-minute need to re-route the course to account for a portion of a collapsed wall along the trail}. And there was a sea of people. I was never alone. The bands or solo performers along the course put up their best shot, I'm sure. Although there weren't many songs that really rocked. I got to see my cheering squad at the Start, Mile 3 and Mile 6 and the Finish. {There was a snafu with the shuttles, so unfortunately I didn't get to see them at Mile 9}. Considering the fact that I haven't run 13.1 miles since I ran my full marathon five years ago in Nashville, I'm pretty proud of myself. I ran the first half about 30 seconds per mile faster than my goal pace and the second half anywhere from 30 seconds-1 minute slower than goal pace. So it evened out and I was just a few minutes slower than my goal (which was a 10-minute mile pace). And overall, while sore, I'm not the kind of can't-even-roll-over-in-bed kind of sore that I was after my marathon.

Now, some photos of the event {unfortunately, the camera died as I came in to the finish, so there are no post-race pics of me...but I swear I finished. I have the medal to prove it.}

And I'm off!

Burke's First Bus Ride

 Trying to get Burke's attention at Mile 3. There were so many people, he never did see me.

Go Mama!

Still going strong at Mile 6

Pre-race with Aunt Lydia--who ran a PR of 1:45:22! We're so proud of her!
See. Told you I finished!
We ended up with a tired Mama, a tired baby boy and a tired fan club. But it was a great day and a fun race!

Friday, April 27, 2012


It goes like this the fourth the fifth the minor fall and the major lift the baffled king composing hallelujah. Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah.

I love Jeff Buckley’s soulful Hallelujah. It’s penetrating, moody. Beautiful.

And today, my heart cannot stop singing hallelujah. Not Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, but my own hallelujah. It’s the lovesong in my heart that can’t keep from escaping from my lips. Over and over again, the simple yet convicting chorus croons from the depth of my soul. My Daddy—my Jesus—is so good.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In defense of Pinterest

Because when my husband says to me every night are you really pinning again?????? a defense is obviously required.

My first thought upon discovering Pinterest was where have you been all my life?

My second thought: How in the world will I ever have time to do any of the things I’m pinning when I’m so hopelessly addicted to pinning?

So I pinned and pinned and pinned. Then I pinned and pinned some more. Then I finally had enough of my pinned life – a magical wonderful place that was completely fabricated from the messy coagulation of my pin boards and would never exist in real life {because no one's life is a pintastic nirvana}. And I began to create, do, make. {While still pinning, of course}

And when my husband says Mmm…this is delicious! Where did you get this idea? I say Pinterest.

Or when he applauds me for creating some clever household product, I ask if he wants to know where I got the idea. He knows. Pinterest.
So, whenever he asks me “The Question” I just remind him of all of the reasons why he actually loves Pinterest too.

Perhaps its the Guinness brownies.

Or the 30-minute mozzarella

Which I used to make homemade pizzas on the grill. Yeah, they were amazing. He was impressed.

Or maybe it's the more practical a homemade mosquito trap.

{He definitely liked that one, because he's still fuming over the fact that one of the feral cats roaming our hood knocked it over the same night we put it out, spilling nearly all of its contents}

He always asks to use the coconut oil body butter I made with lavender and tea tree oil.

Oh and he thought this multigrain bread was to die for.

And he said that I looked beautiful when I rocked the circle skirt I made for Easter.

{Don't mind my awkward pose. My husband's not the most patient photographer and I was rushed into position}

For whatever reason {and there are many more}, I think I've made my point. My husband clearly benefits from all that pinning!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So Far From Home

I am so proud of my mom!

At 52 years old, she will soon be headed out of this country for the first time in her life. By herself.

{She'll joke and tell you that technically, she went out of this country when we traveled to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls...but there was no riskiness involved, so that really doesn't count}

The reason: to visit her son whom she hasn't seen in over a year. To see her oldest son is probably the only reason she would ever hop on a plane by herself and head to China. That's right. China. As she said just two days ago when the reality set in: it's so far from home.

But, in good motherly fashion, she busied herself by baking 2 pies for my brother {which she somehow thinks she'll be able to transport unscathed in her carry-on}, some chocolate revel bars {his favorite}, and possibly some other delicious edibles that he hasn't tasted since his departure. She's also armed with about five pounds of wax-covered sharp cheese, since his favorite food {cheese} is not something the Chinese find necessary to include in their diet.

She'll be in China for three whole weeks. And I'm so proud of her for stepping outside of everything that she knows into everything she fears and going across the world to visit her son. I hope she has a wonderful adventure and is blessed by the opportunity to spend three weeks with her son who I know she misses very much.

So if you have a moment to spare, please pray for safe travels for my mom. Also, pray that the pies make it to China in one piece and that the cheese isn't confiscated by hungry guards at the border.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Burke Loves His Daddy

So much! Ordinarily, I might wish for a bit of loyalty in a fellow. But my Burke is not overly loyal when it comes to being either a daddy’s boy or a mama’s boy and I kind of like it that way. On any given day At any given moment, he’s one or the other and sometimes both. I love that he loves us both so much that sometimes he can’t decide whose arms to climb into. So we often have family hugs.

Yesterday, my hubby was home on his Easter break. {Thank goodness for the 4-day weekend!} Burke made sure to soak up this extra special Daddy time and got plenty of Daddy lovin’. We ended our day at the park where I captured some of this adorable father-son bonding via Instagram.

 These photos just melt my heart. My boy and his daddy... Love them!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

To My Darling Burke: Ten Months

In one word: chatterbox.

You have so much to say. And you share your mind all. the. time. Unless you're deep in concentration, determinedly trying to tackle whatever obstacle stands in the way of the object {usually the dog. or his bowl} that has caught your fancy, you are chattering away. Mostly gibberish. Lots of ooo's. And occasionally some real words get thrown in the mix. Or sometimes, you just get stuck like a broken record and it's da da da da da da da da da all. day. long.

I love to listen to your sweet little voice. Especially when you say Mama! That's right. You learned to say mama this month and I was pleased as punch!

What's even more exciting is knowing that you've learned to associate words with people, animals and even simple questions or commands. You have been eagerly responding to the question what does the cow say? for a few months now. But this month, you've added quacking to your repertoire. When I ask you what is that? you will respond if you know the answer. You say Dah for dog. Duck and quack sound a lot alike, but we get the point. You say ba when you want or see your cup, although I'm not really sure how you arrived at that word. Another word you love to say is more. When you're eating and we don't get food to you fast enough, it's more! more! more!

You have also learned to say yay when you clap your hands. One is not done without the other. You'll wave hello and goodbye and even say Hi! One of the sweetest things you learned this month was to "blow" kisses. Okay, so you don't actually blow them, but you smack your lips together whenever we leave or ask you to blow kisses. You love to stand at the window, watching for Mama and Daddy to come home from work. And while you're standing there watching us walk up to the house, you excitedly smack your lips together, blowing kisses.

Finally, Love, you figured out how to crawl normally. Yes, you have been able to get where you want to go for some time now. But until this month, if you weren't walking behind one toy or another, you were doing the belly worm crawl that made your shirts take on a dull look from brushing the ground all the time. I am happy to report that your shirts are no longer dull...they're just filthy! You are now into everything. And with the nice weather, that means dirt. You also hate wearing bibs and routinely decide to pull them off your neck right at the messiest part of your meal.

You have a mind of your own, little lover, and the older you get, the more it shows. You are hopelessly stubborn, impressively strong, and intelligent beyond expectation. You are determined and curious, fearless. Yes, you are definitely fearless. You race toward adventure. Laugh in the face of danger. You're an instigator and a wild man. Always moving. So busy. But you are sweet and gentle too. A little lover who strokes his mama's chest and plays with her hair. And you're the world's greatest flirt. You go out of your way to make eye contact with anyone passing by. As soon as you've captured their attention, you flash that toothy, dimply grin that melts even the hardest hearts. No one can resist your charm. And like that, you're the center of attention. Such a ham. Bringing joy to everyone you meet. You are one happy little fellow and you've made me so very happy too!

I love you, Burke!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Becoming Sanctified

Sanctification is getting out of what you know and getting in to what you don't know. Setting yourself free from what you know.

Hearing these words Sunday morning, I was struck by one eternal truth: God always confirms His word. It might be phrased differently each time, but the word remains the same. It’s timeless. Eternal. And steadfast. And there is no room for doubt when it has been uttered over and over and over again by people I’ve never met. People who have no idea that God’s already given me the same word. And that He’s using them to confirm that word.

Until Sunday, I didn’t know the word for what we are doing. I didn’t know that stepping out of the boat meant that we were becoming sanctified. But of course that’s what it means. Because why else would Daddy draw us out of safety? To draw us even closer to Him. And to make us holy and pure. {The phrase refined by fire rings a bell right about now}

As I step out of what I know and jump into that which is unknown, I find that instead of fear, I have begun courting a strange and addicting concoction of excitement and curiosity. My curiosity insists on pushing the envelope. Investigating the depths of my Father’s mysteries and tapping into the abundance of His heart. And my excitement at the sheer thrill of living day-to-day, moment-to-moment all but suffocates me at times.

When the world sees recklessness and foolishness, I see freedom. When it appears as though I've forsaken knowledge, education and even the laws of nature, I am living my best moment. I am becoming holy and pure. I am becoming sanctified.