Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunriver 1/2 Marathon for a Cause

And now... I am a runner.

At least that's what the general consensus is.  I think after all the training I went through, my friends and family are tired of hearing me say "well I'm really not a runner..." But I reached my goal and it feels incredibly amazing.  I've logged more miles in the last 8 months than I have in my entire life before that. And while 13.1 miles may not seem like much to all those "real" runners, I can hardly believe what I've accomplished.  

I spent the week prior to the race feeling anxious and nervous but still confident that I would at least finish, if not achieve my ideal time of 2 hours.  Dad and Nadine came into town on Thursday, we picked up our race packets on Friday, and Saturday morning we headed to Sunriver for takeoff.  My dad, sensing my anxiety, turned to me in the car Saturday morning and said "it's just another training run... just with lots of other people..." I confided that I had, in fact, attempted to pretend to be running alongside "friends" during some of my training runs.  I knew from my 10k back in May that a race stirs up adrenaline and feelings of competitive nature.  But nothing could have truly prepared me for how this race would feel.  We took off at a slow pace as the race announcer counted down to start time. I had fully intended to stay with my dad but he made me promise to leave him behind if I felt the need to speed up.  I turned to him at mile 2, keeping an eye on my pace, wanting to stay just faster than a 9:00 mile.  "Is the elevation gonna bother you Dad?" I was still at a conversational pace and needed to speed up.  He was used to running at sea level (quite literally... as he lives in Cannon Beach) and we were racing at 4500' elevation.  I had trained here.  He had not. So when the opportunity to pass some of the slower runners presented itself, I slowly inched ahead figuring he'd keep up if he could.  By mile 3 I glanced back and he waved me on.  

I ran.  I thought about life.  I thought about how far I had come.  I thought about all of the people who had loved me, supported me and encouraged me through my training. The friends who passed by on my training runs, who rolled down their windows to give words of inspiration.  I thought about Joe and the kids at the finish line ready to cheer me on. My friend who was dragging her two girls out to wait at the finish line because she believed in me and wanted me to feel it.  I thought about the pride I would feel from both my husband and my dad, the two men I care to impress the most.  And I thought about my own pride.  I had a goal and I was accomplishing it.  My heart kept beating, my feet kept moving and only slightly did I ever slow my pace.  I rounded the corner to the finish and sprinted with all I had left.  I heard my babies cheering from the sidelines and when I glanced down at my watch to see I had beat my goal time by 6 minutes I threw up a victory punch over the finish line.  I was done and it felt amazing.  The smile on Joe's face as he wrapped his arms (and his sweatshirt) around me left me beaming.  My dad came in shortly after I did, gave me a sweaty hug, a high five and that gleaming proud smile I had wanted.  

We made it.  

We were done...

Until the next big adventure...   

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Twelve Years

(Our selfie before the military ball April 2014) 

Things I have learned in our 12 years of marriage:

- having a partner in every aspect of my life has gotten me through even the worst of times
- marriage is not always fun or easy but it sure is rewarding
- there is no one in the world who knows me as well as my husband
- we may have been young when we got married but we weren't "too young" 
- my husband makes me feel strong, worthy, uplifted, loved and safe
- when your partner for life is also your best friend you can make anything work
- when there are "downs" there will always be "ups" to remind me why it's worth it
- I assumed correctly that he would make cute babies 
- it took this many years for my maiden name to sound foreign 
- though I knew he'd be a great father, he's a better daddy than I ever imagined
- there's nothing like hearing my husband pray with my children before bedtime
- compromise... a kayak addiction can be a serious thing  
- my husband sees beauty in me where I find faults and I find that endearing
- it will never get old to hear my husband call me "hot" 
- it feels incredible to be immensely adored by someone even after all these years

Happy 12th anniversary honey. We've come a long way and have so far still to go. I love you more than you'll ever know...

Friday, August 22, 2014

10 months

Are we really that close to her first birthday?! Please, no...

She recently started getting 2 new teeth but neither of them has fully emerged.  I refer to it (sweetly) as her vampire smile since it's her top lateral incisors coming in instead of the centrals.  Of course we also joke that she'll look even more like Aubrey who is also missing her top 2 front teeth. She's learned how to wave and I think it's the cutest thing in the world.  She does it often because she loves how anyone who sees her will wave in return.  She's also mastered the term "uh-oh" and hearing her say it will bring a smile to anyone's face.  Her brother, in particular, loves to hear her mimic him when he says it to her. We've finally gotten her to start standing on those two tiny feet.  Though it's still with a slight bend in the middle as her butt slowly lowers to sitting position.  She'll spin herself around on her belly on the floor but still has not developed the coordination to crawl.  We're working on it.  She'll do it when she's ready.  The "witching hour" has become a frequently used term in our house as it's the time of day when she gets the least attention because I'm making dinner and her siblings are usually doing their own things.  She has an insistent "whine" that Joe analogized with a car engine attempting to start and can annoy the heck out of anyone in hearing distance.  When it's accompanied by her high pitch squeal it can sometimes feel like unbearable torture. The love I have for her is too big for my heart.  So much that I can't help but kiss her, hug her, squeeze her, and snuggle her every single chance I get.    

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Swinging Baby

Our recent addition to the play structure Joe built a couple years ago... an infant bucket swing. Unlimited entertainment for our sweet baby girl.  She'd stay in that swing for hours as long as it's moving. Of course we had to take down the coveted "monkey swing" (the swinging bar with ring handles on either side.)  But her siblings still have their own swings and they'd give anything to push her themselves just to see that sweet grin and giggle.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Falkners Visit


It's been quite a long time since they've been able to come and visit. It's amazing to see how much the boys have grown in the last 2 years!  So we were filled with excitement when the Falkners made their trip to Bend.  It's so great to see these boys hold on to their friendship even though they only see each other a few times a year.  We went swimming, went to the Crook County fair, rode bikes and scooters, ate good food, enjoyed each other's company and cried when they had to leave.  It's so hard to live far away from good friends...


Monday, August 4, 2014

Blackberry Picking

I am obsessed with berries.  I love summertime fruits. And berries probably fight with peaches for the top spot on my list of favorites.  But ever since moving to central Oregon, any time we want fresh berries we have to make the trek over the pass into the valley because, alas, the high desert is not a prime fruit growing atmosphere (and I am not about to pay astronomical prices for them in the grocery stores!) Since I was denied my chance to make my favorite jams last year due to my pregnancy and bed rest, I was extremely determined this year to make it happen.  I packed up the kids and we tagged along on Joe's guard duty weekend with the intent to spend time with good friends and pick loads of berries.  I got them up on Saturday morning, fed them breakfast and packed them into the truck with my phone's GPS set for directions to Baggenstos farm in Sherwood, Oregon. Luckily we were nearly the first ones on site and when I prepped the kids with "I want enough berries to make jam... and maybe a pie..." their eyes lit up and they were motivated beyond my expectations. We picked just over 8 pounds of berries.  Enough for some jam AND a pie ;)