Friday, June 16, 2017

Running On

Dear Brother,

I'm running again! I was off for over a month. At one point I even told my husband that i thought I didn't want to run anymore, ever. It was that bad. What changed my mind?
Well, 1st off, the weather. We had a lot of rain, and it was very easy to not want to run in the cold downpours. Now with the sun, or even the gray but warm days, I feel like getting outside and moving.
2. My schedule. Now that school is out I actually have time to run.
3. My energy. I started taking a multi-vitamin along with my iron supplements and it has made a huge difference in my energy.
4. Accountability. My daughter wants to run a triathlon, so I'm trying to get her started with running, working her into the Couch to 5K kind of program. Also, my aunt mentioned doing something, so having the two of them motivates me.
5. And one more thing .. I want to lose some weight, at least 5 pounds. When the pants start to feel too tight, it's time to get back on the road!
So now I have grand dreams - a 5K this summer, a 10K later maybe in the Fall or winter, then a half marathon in April. And then, maybe just maybe a full one next year.
 It feels great. And my shoes are happy again.

Higher Education

Dear Brother,

Well this week it happened. My oldest child graduated from high school, my middle child graduated from middle school, and we added a couple of parties, and a funeral in the mix.
Our Boy has been gone most of the week attending senior parties, or just impromptu get-togethers with his friends, enjoying every last minute with his buddies that he can. On Thursday we had a little discussion as to what would be worn under the graduation robe .. a compromise was struck mainly because he has no good pants, and he took the tie off once he saw that none of his friends were wearing one. But at least he had a nice button up shirt on, and good jeans.
I didn't cry during graduation this time! It was definitely a celebratory evening. Our Boy was one of 6 valedictorians, so instead of having them all give a speech, 2 of them gave the speech, our boy opting out of that.

The Girl who Swims is starting the countdown for her graduation in two years...

The next evening we had the graduation of our 8th grader - on to high school! She thinks she is ready ... she has no idea what's in store for her!

So next school season we'll have 2 in high school, 2 at home school, and one in college. How do I deal with this changing of the seasons?!
I embrace life - I am trying to still live by my motto I picked up early this year, Live Life Abundantly. On Saturday we went to a memorial service for the kids' classmate. It was a celebration of a wonderful girl's life, and even though it was sad and difficult, at the same time, it was a great celebration of a girl who lived life fully, and who is now running with Jesus. During the service, someone sang the song "Come to Jesus", and I kept thinking they needed to add a verse for this girl - Run with Jesus. She liked to run, she liked to run with her friends, even though she wasn't a star athlete, she did it because she liked it. That is living life abundantly.
And one more photo to leave you with - we've got another one who likes to hang on the rim...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Go For a Run

Dear Running Shoes,

You greet me each morning, staring up at me with your eyelets, silently begging to be taken for a run. And yet I pass you over for my sandals.
I know, I know, it's been a month since I took you out for a run. But hey, don't stick your tongue out at me - at least I've taken you for walks in the evenings. The days have been long, not only with the sun staying up until 9 pm, but with all the activity going on around here. I have a senior graduating from high school, and an 8th grader moving up, and two homeschoolers that still need to finish their books. It looks like we will be doing some math through the summer. I must say, not having summer basketball has been a nice break, although I do miss it. I miss the games, and the visiting with our sports 'family'. But I don't miss the time it took up. And I know there will be more in the future.
But, dear running shoes, you won't be stuck in my closet forever. I promise. The 11-year-old has mentioned a number of times now that she wants to do a triathlon. In order to do that, we need to get her running first. Which means she and I will be starting a 'Couch to 5k' training plan next week. So you see, all hope is not lost, soon you'll get to hug my sweaty feet again and support me in my quest for mileage.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Up and Down

Dear Family and Friends,

A BIG thank you to those of you who made it to our son's graduation party! It was so fun to see everyone, and yet, we feel like we missed out a bit because we couldn't get around to talk to everyone. The Boy has been incredibly blessed by all of you, not just with the cards you left for him, but for your input in his life. I know that someday he will look back and see just how you played a role in his growing.  Thank you.
To those of you who could not make it, I totally understand. I didn't make it to some friends' parties this weekend either. And so for you, I have pictures of what you missed:
Good friends,

Good food,

Good family,

I must say, having company over is quite an impetus to clean up the house and yard! It was sparkling on Sunday after days of 'spring cleaning'. The kids all pitched in to help ... ok, maybe it was more like mandatory volunteering, but we worked on it as a family, and then got to enjoy it as a family. 
Seeing the people from our church mingle with family members mingle with school friends mingle with neighbors was a little surreal, but yet really cool. The Boy has lived here basically his whole life, gone to the same church his whole life, and only attended one school besides homeschool. That makes for a lot of people he has known for a long time. And because The Boy is pretty outgoing, he also has a lot of people he knows for a short time. It's one of the things I admire about him - like his dad and uncle, he can talk to anybody easily. For some of us it takes a bit of effort. 
The party wound down and the seniors were making plans. But then some tragic news was communicated to us, and plans changed. 
A friend of our kids' - a student at their school, a running partner of my daughter - was killed in an accident yesterday. Every parent's nightmare became a reality for her parents. My heart is hurting for them, and for her friends, and even more so for the friend who was with her at the time. It's going to be a hard week for our school, balancing the pain and grief, and finding the balance with graduation celebrations at the end of the week. This school is small enough, that it is like extended family (- my siblings know what I'm talking about because of the high school we went to). Please pray the kids, the staff, teachers, and the family as we grieve this week. I have a feeling cross country season in the fall is going to be kind of difficult for our team.

Friday, June 2, 2017

It Takes a Village

Dear Cousin,

Do you remember those summers when my mom would let me spend a whole week with you at your house? One year it was a whole month. Those were some fun times! We played in the pool, we rode the horses, we ate tons of Popsicles ...
I never wondered about it before, I just enjoyed it! Now that I am a mom, I wonder if she did it to have some time off .... Oh, I know she had plenty to do - especially in the summer; what I mean is time off ... from me.
I love my kids, I love having them home (I wouldn't have homeschooled if I didn't!) But yesterday my older 3 were at school and my younger two were invited to go to Portland with a neighbor for the whole day. Suddenly my day looked different. Instead of driving from store to store with 2 children who would need snacks, drinks, bathroom stops, refereeing and other attention, I would be driving from store to store by myself. I could stop anywhere and anytime I wanted to. The feeling of freedom was enticing.
And then I got a phone call that a friend needed help with her little ones, and they are much younger than mine, so I could easily imagine and sympathize with how she was doing that morning. So I offered to take one along with me to run my errands - and I got lucky - I got the baby! She is such a cute 6 month old and we had a great time driving all over town. She slept most of the time; and when she was awake she was happy. When we finally made it back to my house we had about 45 minutes of playtime and cuteness overload.
I thoroughly enjoyed having the baby with me. And I also enjoyed having baby's mom come pick her up when it was time. My kids weren't home yet, so I was able to get some other work done also. Maybe it was a brief glance into what being a grandma is going to be like. Not that I need to be one of those any time soon!