Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Running in The Rain

It has been nothing short of wet here in Ohio.  While my home in Texas is experiencing a drought and wild fires I am fighting off a moldy and damp basement, a swamp like backyard and rain.  Lots of rain.

If I wait for a dry day then I will never get to run outside.  So here I am braving a sometimes chilly often muddy run.  At first it was weird and the girl inside me was scream "ick" and "my hair will be ruined!" everytime a drop of rain or splatter of mud graced my presence.  But over the last month I have come to love a good sweaty run in the rain.

Today I ran a hilly course.  It was muddy too.  Very muddy.  I was so glad for the cloud cover and the few blessed drops of rain that aided my tomato red sweaty face.  I kicked mud up my legs and even slid a little down the hill.  Totally satisfying.  Nothing like a little dirt to prove that you worked hard and had a good time all in the same moment.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Being Present

Lately I have found my self adrift in my own mental ocean.  It's as if I am stranded there on a raft without a paddle meandering through the waves of whatever happens by.  If I do happen to focus and pay attention I get mental whiplash from the shock of actually paying attention, that and because of my absentmindedness it is usually something alarming that catches my attention.

Don't get me wrong-none of my children have recently gone to the E.R. or even required band aids from this.  It's just that my mind is going so often in so many radical directions that no one thing has had my attention for more than a few minutes.  I find myself bumping into thoughts of a show watched days ago while crashing through weekend plans.  That sort of thing.

In Yoga the last pose is all about being present, take that back.  The whole class is about being present but the last pose is an exercise to be fully present in just that moment.  To give yourself and that time all of your attention.  Thinking about breathing and feeling and living.  Not dishes, diapers or delivering.  Not kids, candies, or cleaning.  Just breathing.

I need to do more of just breathing and feeling in the moment.  I need to turn of the distractions both mental and electrical.  And just breath. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I have been reading Kristin Armstrong's "26.2 Reasons Women Run".  It is wonderful!  She is one of my favorite bloggers and this book is a compilation of her blog posts. One of the chapters in her book is dedicated to purpose.  I really like the way she worded her idea of purpose (p168).
Just like an interrupting child, your purpose will poke at you relentlessly until you turn and give it some attention.  I've written before on this subject, about women who say they were "born to be a mother" or "meant to be a wife".  To that I reply, "Of course you were; you have a uterus and a ring finger. But those are your roles, not your purpose." And that distinction is important because a purpose is a higher, broader calling than a role.  But together, the culmination of our roles and our purpose becomes our life and, eventually, our legacy.

This paragraph hasn't left my mind since I read it over a week ago.  In the last few months I have felt myself defining myself in terms of mother only.  I have had a difficult time transitioning from mother to wife or mother to friend or mother to coach or mother to Elizabeth or mother to runner or mother to crafter or mother to homemaker.  I know that a large part of this is because I am a new mother for the third time.  A large part of my time and energy goes toward sustaining the life of four other people.  But as I have let this happen I begun to loose touch with the other parts of me.  A purpose would help me feel more in touch, more focused, more energized.

I took this idea with me to the temple on Friday.  I wanted a clearly defined purpose.  Ironically I really didn't have much searching to do.  I have been lead back to it time and time again, and there it is staring me in the face.  I really feel like my purpose isn't too far from where I am at now, but that it will grow and transform as I do.  The impression I felt was the same when I searched for a major it is to "strengthen home and family".

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mercy and Motherhood

Since becoming a mother my perspective on a lot of principles have changed.  As a child mercy meant forgiving me and letting me out of a punishment.  As a high schooler it meant mom would stay up to put my clothes in the dryer for me.  In college it meant an extra day to do an assignment.  I was comfortable with mercy.

Now mercy is different.  As a mother it no longer means that my heavy burden will be taken from me.  It no longer means that the stretch and pain of growth is eliminated or that responsibilities are temporarily lifted.  The dishes are not magically done, my clothes are not dried when I am too tired to do it, the kids are not extra good because I am extra tired, my pre-pregnancy clothes don't fit just because I had the baby.  Mercy comes to me more in the way of opportunity.

My husband will have the opportunity to work over time on a busy night for me. Both kids will take a nap just in time for me to mop the floor or fix an early dinner. The forecast will clear enough that I can still go for a run.  I will gather the energy to finish my day from some unknown reservoir.  A sick child will be better in time for us to attend a social function.

Mercy also allows me a second chance to get it right.  My children are always allowing me this mercy.  They are so good at forgiving and understanding.  They let me try to make it right and then they let the rest go.  This is the sweetest mercy, a second chance.

Mercy no longer avoids work or growth or growing pains.  Instead it gives me opportunities to become better, to do more, to fulfill responsibility.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Today we tasted summer.  It was nice after such a long and cold winter.  We took Isabelle out without a jacket or blanket on for one of the first times in her life.  She was so cute and aware, taking it all in.  
I've been thinking about cycles, like summer, fall, spring, winter. Every change brings on a new set of problem solving and adapting.  New stretches and new growth.  And hopefully the old useless stuff falls off.  I hope that this is true in my personal life.  That as I go through these cycles of life that it refines me into a better person.  That I aid in the process of refining my children into better people.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lenting Chocolate

Since Isabelle was born I have been on a chocolate rampage.  It was never enough.  I found myself seeking chocolate uncontrollably all hours of the day and night.  It was a problem.  Especially since I have some unwanted pounds.  So I thought that I would use lent as an opportunity to break my chocolate habit.  Ha ha.  It has been 4 weeks.

The first two weeks of lent were spent discovering how entrenched chocolate is in my diet.  Can I have white chocolate?  Who knew that supposedly red velvet has chocolate in it?  Not me.  I was iffy about the white chocolate since it does not have cocoa in it but ultimately decided that it would simply act as a substitute for 'real' chocolate.  Red velvet was simply ignorance on my part.  Had no idea.

So two full weeks without any chocolate, although some close calls.  I thought by now the cravings would have let up but they have not.  My husband regularly asks me if I'm catholic and then taunts me with his increase in chocolate.  The biggest thing I have learned from this is that I can do what I say I will do and I can keep promises.

Unfortunately the positive side effects I was hoping for are not there.  I have not lost weight.  I do not run faster.  The cravings are still present.  It feels more like a battle of will at this point.  I can and will hold on but at this point it is solely because I said I would do it.  So here's to two more weeks of chocolate-less bliss.

Monday, April 4, 2011

General Conference

As I listened to General Conference, over the loudness of my children and their constant demands, the main message for me seemed to revolve around temples.  I was listening to learn about Joseph Smith but I felt more impressed to focus on temples.  I have struggled to attend the temple since moving here to Ohio and have definitely felt the resultant impact on my testimony.  My spiritual reservoir is low and I need to refill it.
I guess overall I have felt the gentle pull of the Saviour to regain a deeper spirituality.  It is nice to feel like I am stepping in the right direction.  I have found some friends that have agreed to go with me to swap babysitting and I am excited to take them up on this offer.  I am excited to follow the prophet's council and return the temple more frequently.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Now that it is spring our basement isn't nearly as cold.  Still cold but not as cold.  I am now more willing to come down here and pluck out a few things.  The last couple of months have brought changes.

Josh is talking a lot and expressing his opinions.  A lot. He asks "Mommy holdge me" or "daddy holdge me".  He says "No mommy" and "Sit mommy".  So cute!  But also naughty.  Just like Abby he has me running around like a crazy woman.  Unlike Abby he is aggressive to other kids.  We are working with that.  In part I think it is because he seems to always be tired.

He does not sleep well.  There is a recently ray of hope.  A kind angel in our ward gave us a new pillow top twin bed for Josh.  He has slept a lot better the last few nights.  I feel more confident asking him to go to sleep on his own.  I am starting to feel optimistic that his sleep will improve.

Abby is just getting older.  I think she is almost thirteen.  Or so she acts.  She likes Justin Beiber, I think, because everyone else seems too.  She is quickly learning to read and I am cherishing her notes that become more and more proficient everyday.  Someday soon she will look at these notes and see her 'creative' spelling.  I love it.  I love her eagerness to learn.  It makes up for the annoying things she does-which are many.

She adores Isabelle and wants to be involved as much as possible.  She has started to clean really well.  Probably annoyed at my post-baby house cleaning.  Either way it is nice to see her take pride in her room and our home.

Isabelle has done so much.  Learning to belly laugh and roll over.  She is working very hard at sitting up.  She goes a little longer everyday.  Soon I will be able to just sit her down.  She is eating solid foods very well.  She actually eats and even enjoys baby oatmeal with juice- pear is her favorite.  She is perfect in every way.  I am so lucky to have such a good natured baby.

I have been running more.  I finished my first quilt with a lot of help and am working on my second quilt, with a lot of help.  I am now Abby's soccer coach.  That is interesting.  I have great hope.  Mostly my days are full of mothering.

Adam goes to school and church.  In his spare time he plays with the kids.