So I Got Some New Shoes…

I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a runner; that trendy word happens to have a lot of stigma, like (over)sharing how many miles you went every time you do it, having a sticker on your car that says “26.2”, etc. But I do run. I run a few times a week, if weather permits – and no, I don’t run in rain or freezing cold. I guess that’s part of why I don’t consider myself “a runner”. I enjoy it, I’ve participated in a few races, and I like running to be my cardio.

I’ve been wearing Nikes for the past few years, as my “training” (a term a use loosely) has ebbed and flowed during pregnancies and cold weather, and fluctuated from running to lifting to yoga, and back and forth. I like doing lots of different kinds of things, and I think that’s healthy for your body as well.

But dang. This week, I got some new shoes. Nice ones. Running shoes. Brooks, to be exact. I’ve only been running twice in them, but they’re like wearing pillows tied onto my feet! I guess my other shoes had been a little worn, but these are a whole new world. After the first run I went on, I thought, I gotta find a race in the spring! A short run in new shoes and I’m already looking for a race? I must be crazy.

I realized that it doesn’t take much to get a little motivation going.

I’ve never been one to really understand expensive and trendy-looking workout gear. Yes, I understand if it helps the function, i.e. bras that fit well, shorts that don’t chafe, socks that don’t cause blisters, etc. But when the exercise clothes are expensive just because they look cute? That annoys me. I didn’t understand why people would spend the money. However, the busier I get and the harder it is to carve out the time to run (or work out at all), the more I realize there is value in finding the motivation in creative places. For me, being excited about the workout gear makes me excited to use it. New fun leggings? I need an excuse to wear them! Comfy and supportive new shoes? I better go break them in!

Naturally, I’ve had the shoes two days, and I ran at least a little while both days. It’s rainy today, and I’m not ready to get these brand new babies wet just yet, but my enthusiasm hasn’t been dampened yet! (Get it? I got the jokes!)

Now for a question for you: I’ve been considering doing “the runner thing” and finding a bracelet that will keep track of my mileage covered, calories burned, etc. Right now, I’m just running with my iPhone in an arm band (or the stroller pocket, if I’ve got it). Music is a nice perk, but not totally necessary. Does anyone have one they suggest? I’d like to be able to link it up with my phone/computer to import workout details so I can keep track. Mostly because I’m nerdy and I like looking back at it. It sounds like (from talking to a few people) that there aren’t many options for one that keeps track of your mileage when your phone isn’t also on your person. So that’s my main desire. (Also, I don’t want to spend a million dollars!)

Things Toddlers Say 

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’m glad to bring you a long list of hilarities, courtesy of the children! I literally can’t make this stuff up, y’all. Enjoy!

First time with his legs falling asleep…
J: Help me! My legs aren’t working! They’re not working a lot!

EK to Hubby: Daddy, tonight, can you take me on a special date, just you and me?
Hubby: You know what? Sure. I’ll take you out for dessert.
EK: Can we go have gelato?!
Hubby: Sure!
J, running in from the other room: TONIGHT! Can Mommy take me to have ice cream?! And that big girl (aka adult) who gives us gelato can give it to us?!
Me: *dying*

EK had just been out for ice cream with her daddy.
J: You say, “How was your special date?”
EK: No, you say it to me.
J: Oh. How was your special date?
EK: Great!

How the kids know we aren’t fancy: They ask for a towel instead of a napkin. A paper towel, of course.

Hubby: How was your nap?
EK: I didn’t go to sleep.
Me: Really?
EK: I just read a book.
Me: For three hours? (She can’t really read yet.)
EK: Yeah, I had to stay in my room till nap time was over.
Me: Um…

J, the first thing he said when he woke up: I love you and you’re awesome, EK.

 

EK to our waitress after we’d ordered: And also, excuse me, did you know that I’m the big sister who is four and that’s my brother who is three and my brother who is one and may I have my water in an adult cup?
Waitress: *pause* Since you’re the big sister, you can have water in an adult cup if your parents are okay with it.
EK: Okay. And for the brothers, they need cups with lids.
Me: *dying*

Bedtime stall of the week…
J: Wait! I forgot my nightstand water!

A breakfast song by J: This is the way we eat eat eat, eat eat eat, eat eat eat. This is the way we eat eat eat, before we go to play.

Misnomers of the week:
Stomach=stomachache, i.e.: My stomachache is getting hungry!
Potato=batato, i.e.: the food, Mr. Batato Head, etc.

What are your kiddos talking about this week?

Currently: Loving the Psalms

Hey Monday! It’s time to get back in the swing of things, without the snow this time. I’m happy to have a regular currently, and a little Psalms update as well.


Watching || the LOTR trilogy! Extended versions, of course. Now that I’ve read the series, I am excited to watch them again from a more educated point of view. And Hubby’s a huge nerd (and that’s why I love you, babe!) so he was all in when I presented the idea. We’re almost done with the Fellowship of the Ring, hopefully finishing tonight.

Enjoying || Hubby’s presence at home at night. He was SO BUSY the month of December that I got accustomed to him being gone in the evenings more than he was home. We’ve had a blessed two weeks of him being home at night, and are now gearing up for him to get busy again. Busy means work, so that’s a plus!

Thankful || for our community group. There are six couples (and several children) that have been meeting together for over a year, and we’ve added a seventh, and these people are so fun and wonderful. We took a break for Christmas and New Year’s, so last night was our first meeting in a while. We’re starting a study on Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” and I’m totally stoked. It was great to be with each other, to break bread together, to fellowship, and to get our study started. I have missed those people!

Excited || that Grimm has started back! It’s a spring season show, and so we’ve been waiting since last May for its return. I think it’s the last season (BOOHOO) but maybe that means it’ll hit Netflix when it’s done and we can watch it all the time! It started out a little rocky, but we were hooked, and it’s gotten SO much better!

And also, here’s a Psalms update. Because I feel like the blogosphere is my accountability.

That isn’t actually true.

But what IS true is that I’ve studied a Psalm every day, at least for a few minutes. I’ve used my Verses app every day at least once. I now know Psalm 23 (which I decided was an easy place to start) completely by heart. Stop me and ask me! (And actually, I’d love it if you joined me in studying the psalms; I need some people to talk it through with! Let me know if you’re interested!)

I don’t often set “goals” but I do try to point my heart in a certain direction. And though it’s been less than a week since I feel like I truly felt led to begin a journey in the psalms, I’ve been doing it.

And no, I haven’t given up on my “reading for pleasure” resolution, either.

One cannot replace the other. They satisfy, in themselves, two separate parts of me. While they both could be considered “disciplines”, one is more of a spiritual discipline, and the other is no longer a discipline because I enjoy it. I’m not reading for anyone’s else’s satisfaction but my own. I don’t need to learn the characters’ motives or be able to write about the author’s purpose. I just get to enjoy the story. I finished up my Tolkien books (in case somehow you missed it, I had been slowly plugging away at the LOTR series) and have begun The Golden Compass. I probably should’ve read a “fluffy” book in between these two series, but, too late! I’m in too deep to jump out now. I might stop for a rom-com breather after the first book.

Well, there’s a January update for ya, and I can’t believe we’re over halfway through with this month. What are you up to currently?

 

It isn’t really spring.

I was teased today by the coming of spring. It isn’t remotely spring yet, being as it’s only halfway through January. It isn’t time for brunching in the sun, or enjoy the porch in a tank top, both of which I did today. I enjoyed sun bright enough to hurt my eyes, feeling quite hot in a long sleeves and leggings, and thinking of the days ahead with pretty flowers and green leaves.

But it isn’t spring.

It’s merely a taste of what’s to come. A foreshadowing. I must remember that we went sledding earlier this week. We played in SNOW in the same week as this perfect sunny day. So instead of pack away my sweaters, I’m going to take in the vitamin D, enjoy the warm sun on my skin, and prepare for another few weeks of long, hard winter.

You know what? I want another snow this year – really I do. I love playing in it with the kids, and seeing them enjoy something they rarely see. (Here in central NC we only get one or two good snows in a year.) I love the crisp whiteness, the huge, fluffy flakes as they fall, and the silent blanket over our home and yard. But the bitter cold without any snow is just… lame.

I’ll take this cheating little spring day as a reminder that winter doesn’t last forever. I’ll take it as a token that we are headed in the direction I want to go. The days are already getting longer, the solstice behind us. The sun lingers longer than it did just a few short weeks ago. But the cold is not over. The wind and snow will likely visit us again. And I’ll be prepared to enjoy it. I’ve got one perfect, sunny day, a reminder that winter and darkness and lack of sun aren’t the way life always is. Life will have a spring. Every year. Exactly when we need it.

Praying into the Psalms

It just so happens that I don’t really like resolutions. I’m not a great goal-setter, and I never have been. I’ve done it, hundreds of times, but usually, short-term goals are my most successful, and I have to have someone else’s input in selecting them, because I truly am that bad at it. Something that will push you, but something within your reach. Something that’s measurable, but something that’s important to you. LOSE FIVE POUNDS! OKAY, FINE!

So naturally, this January, I didn’t put much thought at all into a resolution. For the last two years, I’ve chosen a word to try to embody. It’s not a goal or a resolution, and that’s why I liked it. I’ve had “embrace (it)” and “pray (first)”. In both cases, I inadvertently abandoned the words. I kept them in my mind and heart for a few months, and yes, I kept praying last year, but I didn’t focus on those two words in any certain way after the first few months of the year.

This year, I didn’t think of anything. I didn’t search the depths of my brain for a word I liked well enough to hang on to it as a “theme” for a while. I’m busy, I thought. I don’t need to add another ridiculous thing to do to my regimen. I’m exhausted. My mind is full of the three tiny children who need me that I frequently have very little left for my own self-care. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just the season that I’m in.

But I happened to be reading a post from one of the bloggers I follow, Sarah E. Frazer, about how she was dealing with some anxiety at night, and she began to go through the Psalms she knew by heart in the middle of the night to help her calm down and sleep. That resonated with me immediately, because there are definitely nights where I have those issues. So I started doing it. When I can’t sleep, or when I wake in the middle of the night with my brain totally spinning, I go over and over the Psalms that I know in my head. It’s a sorry few, but still enough that I can meditate on them, and it calms my mind, and I sleep more quickly. (I began on Psalm 23, because it was the first one to come to mind.)

After that positive experience, I received from my worship pastor a challenge to make everything we said from the microphone (transitions, prayers, etc) to be Scripture. It just so happens that many songs (and therefore transitions) are based on Psalms. So, second point to God for making me think harder about those Psalms. My pastor also had a suggestion of an app that helps you memorize Scripture (bonus points, Dylan!) so I immediately downloaded it, and I already love it.

So now, I’ve had nudges from all sides suggesting that get to work on the Psalms. So now, I’m going through them (in random order, I admit), underlining, taking notes, praying over them, praying the words, thinking of them in the night, and it’s only been a couple of weeks since this all came to me. I know that it likely won’t take me a year, but I’m hoping to really be able to stick with it. It might help that it’s permeating several areas of my life. That’s the way to really accomplish something – choose a thing that will benefit more than one area of your life!


But in all seriousness… I truly believe that this is a direction into which the Lord is leading me. I’m excited to see what He has for me, hidden in his plentiful and  Psalms, that I will discover as I study and pray.

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, all! Glad to bring you a few funnies! EK has been spending a lot of time with her grandmother – since her grandfather has been out of town this week, she’s been good company, so I have less funnies from her, but she’s been fulfilling her familial duties! Enjoy the humor I do have, and hopefully I’ll have some more next week!

EK to Hubby: I love you as much as Jesus loves you!
Hubby: I try to love like Jesus does, babe.

Me: How was your day, bud?
J: Great, my darling poop!
Me: *giant eyeroll*

EK, holding the note I put in her lunchbox: Did you make this for me?!
Me: I sure did!
EK: Well, that is just the sweetest!

EK: Let’s go home and have hot chocolate! Except the baby can’t have it cause it’s too hot.
J: What if we could put an ice cube in it?
EK: That’s a great ideer, J!
A minute later…
EK: Ice is twenty thick, mom.
Cue the rabbit trails.

J, after he turned a toy onto the Spanish mode: Fantastico! Fantastico!

As our friends pulled out of the driveway…
J: I already miss our family.

J to our friend with a week-old baby: Did you put your baby back in your belly? Let me check if you did.

At zero dark thirty, J stumbles into my bed, crying and wailing: I want my mittens! I can’t find them! Give me my mittens!
I go downstairs to find out he has indeed been searching for mittens in the middle of the night.

Getting up from their naps…
J: *yawn* Good to see you, EK.

EK singing the second verse of Away in a Manger: The kwattle are lowing, the baby awakes…. and stay by my cradle till morning last night.

J has been throwing mini-tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants. They’re short, but quite intense, flinging himself to the ground and kicking his legs, etc. Some things he tantrums about: candy canes, snow, mittens, boots, brothers, moms, jelly beans, gummy vitamins, shopping carts, naps, you get the idea. Then today (yep, toddler Tuesday) he threw the biggest tantrum I’ve ever seen. It lasted 30+ minutes, began in the grocery store check out line (where all the employees know us and see us several times a week) and finally calmed down as we pulled into the driveway. His grandmother drug him out kicking and screaming to the car so that I could pay for the groceries. Y’all, it was ugly. More on that later.

Hope you’ve enjoyed your Tuesday! I’ll just be over here, wishing we weren’t out of school again tomorrow. Yikes!

A Letter to My Third Child 

This is a post I wrote a few weeks before D was born. It was up on Mom Babble for a while, and I only just remembered I hadn’t ever published it here. It’s such a sweet memory for me, especially now that he’s 16 months old, running around, beginning to talk, and generally being more self-sufficient than my other two were at this point in their lives. It’s sweet to think of the anticipation I was feeling when he wasn’t quite here yet. I hope you enjoy it.

My sweet little D,

I’m getting really excited for you to get here. There are just nine weeks left until you’re due to arrive, and I already wish I could just see you next week. Mostly, I’m excited to meet you, see what you look like, and introduce you to your crazy siblings. Also I’m getting uncomfortable, peeing all the time, and sleeping less than ever. But mostly I want to meet you.

I know you’ve been in my womb, hearing the squeals and shouts and cries and songs of your family. We may be a loud bunch, but we’re a good one, too. We love big, and we show it often. When you get out here, you’re going to feel the love from all the kisses and hugs you get from all of us. You might also get a love tap or seven from J, but it’s just because he can’t wait for you to be big enough to wrestle him. EK will probably want to choose your outfits and give you bottles and push you in the stroller. I promise to help you look like the boy that you are instead of a princess, and only let her push you fast once you can handle it.

You gave us a scare, when you were just the size of a lime. I took some tests that made us think you weren’t healthy, that you might not make it. Well, you sure showed us! We should have had faith in you and in God, and known that you would be fine. But we had a couple of hard, sad weeks, praying for your safety. You were loved, prayed for, and longed for, even then. We can’t describe how much more you are right now, and how much more you will be once you’re in our arms.

I am sure you will be every bit as amazing as your dad and your siblings. Strong, smart, handsome, musical, hilarious, snuggly, and compassionate… those are things you’ve got going for you. I know it must seem like a tall order to such a little dude, but you’ve got a little while to grow into it.

I hope you don’t mind sharing all those things (and all the other things ever) with your siblings. You’ve got quite a bit of third-hand clothing and toys, in various stages of worn-in. But you know what? There is one thing that you get brand new, just for you, that you never have to share with anyone:

My love.

You see, I have a lot of love. There is plenty to go around. I’ve got a special love for your Dad, that only he knows about. I’ve got a love for EK that’s just for her, shared between this Mommy and her daughter. I’ve got a love for J that will also be different than my love for you; he is a special guy. The love that I have for you will be a special thing that you and I will share. The love I have for exactly you will be special between us, and it will never run out or grow weary. I get all my love from the most inexhaustible source imaginable; I get all my love from Jesus. One day, you will know Him too. You can already have His love – everyone has it. He loves us all with a big, awesome love that we can hardly understand.

Always remember: you’re brave, smart and kind, you can do anything you set your mind to, and I will always love you.

Love,
Mama

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