Monday, May 21, 2012

McQueen Bike

This last weekend we bought Josh his first bike.  It is a McQueen bike and he loves it.  Since Abby and Adam had a daddy daughter date planned and our favorite dog owners offered up their pooch for the weekend; I decided to take my half of the crew out to the Tow Path.  

We picked up Lainee and headed out.  It was a perfect evening.  It was still warm from the day, but cooling off as the sun was beginning to set.  I got out the stroller, the bike, and the dog.  Josh got on the bike and immediately took off.  "Yeaaaaah"  "I'm going to go sooo fast"  "Whooo hooo!" were the most common phrases he said.

For about half of the ride I jogged to keep up with him and he held lainee's leash.  We went way farther than I expected from my three year old.  He instinctively knew so much about when to pedal or slow down, to stand up when pedaling is really hard, and how to turn.  Most impressively he was not scared about big hills and handled his bike so well when going down them.  I loved every second of watching him ride his bike.  If he never sat on it again it would still be worth every penny we spent on it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Last week I hit a mileage that I haven't seen since before Josh was born.  I also went faster than ever before.  It sounds great and I felt great doing it.  Unfortunately I didn't feel great Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.  I know how to deal with the typical IT band issues and was prepared for that kind of fall out.

This is something new.  Adam said he thought I have an inflamed patellar ligament. Ouch! Basically I feel like the lower half of my leg is going to fall off everytime I lift my leg.  It's a bit uncomfortable.  The landing feels as though the joint is being smacked back together with all the force of my weight behind it. Ouch!

Fortunately the cure isn't too complicated.  Ice, ibuprofen, and a knee brace.  Also at the end of this week I am getting new shoes that I can start running in next week.  I think this will really help me.

Since I am set back anyway I have decided to start an official half marathon training plan.  The race isn't until September BUT if I can complete the program twice then I will have a little bit of time to work on speed and could possibly set a time finish.  Also I can  possibly race in the Dirty Series 19k in July.  Super Fun.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Pretender

I often feel like I am just pretending to be grown up.  Being over 30 is so different from what I thought 30 would be like, even 5 years ago.  Since graduating from high school I just keep anticipating a natural maturity/growth spurt like my children experience every 6 weeks.  I keep expecting to wake up and just know all the things I am supposed to know-like homemaking and mothering skills.  Much like I used to wake up and be able to touch both ends of the bathtub at the same time or when letters became words.  I just keep hoping it will come. Preferably sudden, overnight.  Tomorrow would be great.

There is a lot of pretending in my grown up world.  My confidence in first time adulthood acts, like purchasing a home, or agreeing to watch 9 kids for unknown periods of time-it's all pretending.  I pretend to be happy for my kids and I pretend to be perfect at church (ironic I know).  I pretend to be more flawed than what I actually am if someone compliments me or if they are struggling with something I don't-something I am working to not do (I consider this part of sending a representative instead of my true self and possibly one of my most annoying traits).  I pretend to care about a lot of things that I just don't.  Like being perfect.  Or making perfect stuff.  I am the opposite of perfectionist-which I guess means I am sloppy.

On another note.

I ran another race.  It was awesome.  I can see why trail runners like to go long and fast.  My knees didn't complain at all on my fastest 6 mile race.  This morning when I waded through our concrete jungle my knees and I started a conversation after just 2 miles.  I am considering waking up even earlier to drive to a place to run-something I didn't understand until just a few weeks ago.  The quieter my body the better.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Return

On Monday morning, in the first hour to be exact, Adam arrived home.  To be honest I had a smorgasbord of feelings.  It was taxing for people to keep asking these assumptive questions "Aren't you so excited that Adam is almost home?" And they were often unsure of what to say when I didn't pee my pants with anticipation.

It was especially hard this last week. People know that Adam has been out of the state for two months, but they don't really know how long he has been gone.  In my mind he has been really really gone for an entire year.  Between boards, school, and church he has had nothing left for home.  The few moments when he was at home was spent on the phone, texting, or studying.  Or worrying.  It was too much.

Last summer after boards I literally begged him to give up his church calling.  He felt like he was passing school as a direct blessing from performing his best at church.  I felt like he was severely neglecting his family.  It really hurt me that he didn't ask to be released and that the Stake didn't recognize what was occurring within our family.  No one in a leadership position has asked nonetheless taken into account my feelings, wants, or needs in regards to Adam being in this position initially or for so long and through such a difficult time of our lives.  Ironically in the past Adam had to give permission for me to be a  primary pianist.  

When he left, very little for us changed.  In some ways it was a relief actually.  I did and have told him that he was like living with a woman in labor.  It was stressful for him to be home.  The kids wanted his attention but he was too busy.  Always too busy.  On his way to Texas he was released.  This changed a lot for me personally. It was scary to hope that I might have my husband back.

All of these feelings have made things a little messy.  I am a lot more sensitive because I felt so hurt and so neglected.  I sound needy but the reality of it is so different.  I always thought I could be ubber supportive of any church calling Adam had.  I now know that I am one of "those" wives who have a breaking point.  One of "those" wives who might say no when asked to support him in certain callings at certain times in our lives.  I don't like that about me, but it is true.  I cannot be both a mother and a father to my children.  I cannot live in solitude and I cannot have my life constantly interrupted or changed around at the whimsy of church needs.

Now that he is home it is great.  We are making a lot of happy adjustments.  Some are hard and some are easy.  I am still a little cautious in believing that he will be here more often.  He is much happier and far less stressed- he is the person that I married ten years ago.  I have never wanted anything in my life as much as I want him home.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Happened to Elizabeth Brown?

Last year my life really changed.  It was all dramatic and crazy here in my head.  I've lost friendships and made new ones.  A couple of have survived the earthquake.  I really miss those old friendships but don't know how to rekindle them.  Part of it is because I have changed so much and I don't know how to reintroduce myself to people that I already know.  Part of it is because there is so much pain and I don't know how to say that I really need you to apologize-I'm not the only one who had a rough year last year.  Another part is that  I don't know who all or what all I need to apologize for.  Another part of it is that unless it's happened to you it seems like people really don't understand depression.  And finally I am terrified that it isn't over yet.

I am really scared that the clouds of have cleared just long enough to see the sun before the storm really sets in.  

Do the Dirty- A race recap

I did my first trail "race".  It was more like a group run for me, because I have never really ran on a trail before. My time was horrible (59:45) but the experience was great.  Because of the small numbers (only 95 total participants) it had a really relaxed feel.  The line for the one and only women's porta-potty was shorter than at the RiteAid race where there are literally bathrooms galore, which is always nice pre-race.  However much like a normal run there were no potty's along the way.  This is one reason that I held back.  

The race started relatively close to 8 am.  The race started next a pavilion where they made some announcements about well something about how the trail was marked but I was a little to far out to hear it clearly.  My main goal was to keep up with and then follow the crowd that heard.  

The race started and we were off.  In the first half mile or so there was plenty of room as we were running to the actual trail on a paved path.  Once we hit trail it was single file.  If I had been going to for a PR that first half mile would have proven critical in picking my spot in line.  Unless you were willing to shout out for someone to please move over or elbow your way around it was hard to find a spot to pass.

It was beautiful.  And I kept thinking how clean it was.  It was amazingly clean.  I really enjoyed the scenery and the ups and downs of the race.  Even the big hill was kind of fun-a good spot for the challenge.  And the one and only water station was at the top-perfect motivation and timing for me.  I met a girl who had as little ambition as me and we chatted for the last 5k of the race. 

 It was here that I was super glad for company because this is where the marking got fairly confusing. The arrows changed from pink to white and there was no foot path so we were dodging and poking our way through the forest.   It wasn't long before we were back on a foot path though.

The race ended the way it began and as always I sprinted to the finish.  My babies were waiting for me.  It was sweet.  There is a next time on the horizon for sure.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Dear March

At the beginning of March someone said something to me that I have thought about a lot.  It doesn't seem profound unless you are a mom.  This innocent person mentioned something about me being alone.  The thought was so ludicrous to me.  Me?  Alone?  I could write a Dr Suess-esk poem about how unalone I am.

I am not alone in the kitchen, or the hall,
I am not alone in the bathroom, or bouncing a ball.
I am not alone when I am on the phone,
I am not alone when I scream and moan.
I am not alone when I walk or run,
I am not alone when I sit on my bum.
I cannot think the last time I was alone,
in my life this sets a tone.
The company I keep is younger,
for their mom they hunger.
Grown ups are rarely seen,
by this mom who can be mean.
Never alone, never alone,
This mom is never alone.

There.  My poem.  I was telling my brother what I would do if I could.  I would go to lunch by myself.  Not a friend or foe to talk too.  The only person I would say words too would be the waitress and it would be as few as possible.  It would be hours long.  Then maybe I would go to the movies.  Alone.  I would definitely go to the bathroom just because I could be alone.  I would want to shop at a clothing store just to experience it without utter humiliation. I would also shower and revel in the aloneness, the sacred aloneness.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Church Bullies.

Dear February,

I am not quite ready to write about all of this but it is so heavy that I want to just jot it down.  Today I left church early, with my son, because one of the worst church bully's I have ever had was there to teach his class.  I had talked to the Primary President about it but as our ward has recently been stripped, and never really has a lot to offer in the first place, there is little to pull from.  So as we discussed I pulled him and consequently Abby too.  I was conflicted but of the two choices this was the lesser evil.  I can teach my kids about God at home, instead of correcting and reteaching at home.

It has brought up other insecurities from the past.  A bishop who is young and overloaded, that did not stand up for me last year when this whole situation was at a pinnacle.  He caved under the local mob.  I feel anyway, and since he did not follow up with my request that he assure me that he was doing things according to the Spirit this is my assumption.  It makes it really hard to go to church and perform in a hard and demanding calling that is open to criticism.

 It hurts actually.  It hurts even more to have Adam taken away and misused several times a week knowing that the leadership has little testimony about his call. All sorts of doubt creep in and although we try to know for ourselves we often feel lost.  I have tried to remain steadfast but I feel like I am waning.  I feel like I am dehydrated and asked to run a marathon with no water.

I have not considered inactivity so frequently or seriously since I was a teenager-and that was not even contemplated, it simply happened.  This time it would come after much contemplation and prayer.  and a lot of pleading and crying.  I have not associated church with this much pain in decades.

A girl born in november

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Josh Josh Josh

Dear January,

The weather outside has been awesome!  We have taken advantage of this beautiful weather.  It has definitely helped ease the tensions of my relationships with my children.  Potty training Josh is taking it's toll so it's nice that we can go outside and play to let off some stress.
We have started swim lessons for both Abby and Josh.  Josh is in soccer as well.  He really likes soccer a lot and tries really hard.  Swimming is not his favorite.

Today was his first day and he struggled.  The swim teacher is really strict and wanted me to leave for parts of it.  Which was hard because he was crying.  The whole time.  I could tell that he was scared and having a hard time.

But the teacher just saw another difficult child.  I made excuses, all the ones he was using except the most critical one, that he doesn't know how or cannot breathe through his nose.  I got the impression that this would not have mattered to the veteran teacher.

 Part of me liked seeing him pushed hard, with a no excuses kind of rigidity.  Other parts of me nearly  jumped into the pool to save my baby boy from a bad experience.  Part of me thinks this is good for him and he will reap the rewards of hard work and other parts of me think that he will be forever scarred and will never enjoy swimming because of a militant teacher.

In the end he said he liked it.  I'm not sure he will feel that way next week.



Friday, January 6, 2012

A New Year 2012

Dear 2012,

I have been looking forward to this year since early of last year.  2011 is safely behind me now.  I tied up a few hanging strands right there at the end of 2011 and have resolved to leave much of that year in the past.

I am also going to take the first part of the year to decide on my resolutions.  Honestly I am unsure if 2012 will be easier than 2011.  I hope so!  2011 left me broken and tired.  Maybe stronger, but I don't want to find out.  I really extra don't want to find out.

2012 is already weird because it is so temporary.  Everything here is just for a little while now.  My last full year in Ohio is already gone.  I believe that I had my last Christmas and New Years here since I plan on traveling to Texas for the holidays this year.  Much of this impermanence will determine how much resolving I can do.

Much of this year will be spent having fun!  I can tell already since it started with a party.  This winter is already 100 times better than last year.   All the snow melted off and we defrosted with an awesomely sunny (seriously more sun that July) 50' day.  Ohio has taught me not to waste days like this.

Josh and I began by jumping on the trampoline.  We jumped on each other's shadows, spelled his name with chalk and played "Buzzy Lightyear to the rescue!".  When Isabelle woke up we took a walk/bike ride to the bike park.  We played 3 year old hide and go seek, taking turns hiding behind different trees.  We all jumped off the stump a few dozen times and stood on the rocks.  We played ready set go! and took turns on the radio flyer.  Isabelle is finally old enough to have a good time.  And we did.  I feel so glad for this break from winter, before it really sets in. I just hope we get to thaw out like this every couple of weeks.


A girl born in November