Saturday, December 20, 2014

Do you run?

Up until about 2 months ago, my answer to this question would have been, "Of course I run. Every time someone rings my doorbell and I am still in my pajamas, I run to hide or put normal clothes on."

I have always hated running and the idea of running. I am sure at some point in my life someone must have laughed or teased me about it because one of the main reasons I hated it is because I felt like I looked ridiculous doing it. I am also pretty slow. And for someone as competitive as me, I hated it when we would have races in elementary school P.E. class.

There you have it. My history. I am not a runner. And have always hated running.

Enter in my brother.

When I went to visit he and Rachel in October, I was challenged to do more about the lifestyle of laziness that I had chosen for myself. Some would argue that I was still in the first year post baby and that I have plenty of time to worry about that later, but it really had nothing to do with the sweet little girl I was chasing around and everything to do with my own struggle with sin.

I just want to sit around and eat sweets and never get off of the couch.

Sounds pretty lame when you just type it out for the world to see, and honestly I have never verbally said those words, but that is the underlying thought.

So, back to the story. Michael and I were discussing laziness and then jokingly I said, "Maybe we should run a 5k together." Michael was supposed to laugh and say something snarky, but instead said something to the effect of, "yeah, that is a great idea."

Somehow my friend Annie got wind of this semi-decision, and sent me a link to a 5k that was about donuts. This girl knows the way to my motivate me. Donuts. I registered before I changed my mind.

Today, I ran that 5k.

I ran today to prove to myself that I can get off the couch and don't have to be the lazy girl that I don't want to be. And I highly recommend the cto5k app. 8 weeks ago, I couldn't run for 60 seconds without feeling like I could die. Today I ran 3 miles in 35 minutes and 30 seconds only slowing down for donuts of course. If I can do it, you can do it!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pool of Entrapment

Something I have been thinking about for almost a year now is finally making it's way into the pages of my blog. 

I find sin to be interesting. Interesting because my sin won't look like your sin. My sin is my own. My struggles are my own. My temptations may not be ones that tempt you.

There was a time in my past when I remember how slowly sin took over. We are warned that Satan is the great deceiver and in my case I did not heed the warning as I should have by guarding myself against him.

This summer I went to the pool. A lot. When I go to the pool, I like to dip my toe in first to see how cold it is. Usually nodding to myself and thinking it feels a little cold, but good because of the heat. Then, I slowly put my whole foot in for one more test. Manageable cold. Worth it. I go to the steps and slowly step by step immerse myself into the pool until I am completely up to my chin in water. When it is time to go I don't want to leave. It took a lot of time getting used to the temperature. I don't want other people to see they way I look as I get out. Plus, it is going to be so cold. Brr. I wait a little longer.

That is exactly how I had given into sin.

I had this one little taste of sin. And it didn't seem so bad. Satan helped deceive me. "Why did people say this was wrong? Meh. It really was ok. Slowly, my whole foot went in. Still - fine. As my body immersed in this pool, I was blinded by justification. Lies. Slowly my sin isolated me from everyone that I loved. I was living in sin. Waiting in the pool of my sin. Comfortable. Blindly wandering around in the dark and completely oblivious to where I was.

I remember one day looking at my life. Really looking. Seeing my sin. Recognizing that it was sin for the first time. And seeing the pool. And realizing that I didn't know how to get out. I was scared. And alone. Leaving my sin behind would bring a new isolation as I would be letting go of the only people that I still had in my life. Leaving my sin behind meant freedom though. I wanted freedom.

My heart and soul cried out to God. "Please! Help me! Get me out of my sin. I can't do it alone. I don't have the strength. I need You!"

God heard my cry. He answered the very next day. He released me from my sin.

It was not easy leaving my sin. I had hurt so many people. Trust was broken with many and I had to prove I was trustworthy all over again. Honestly, this step took years.

There were new relationships that came to be where I had to, needed to, share my history. It saddened my heart to share this, but I needed them to know. To forgive me.

My getting out of the pool was so difficult. Letting go of all of the lies that I had been told and remembering what I was working toward.


Redemption with God. Redemption with friends. Redemption with family.

This holiday season as I look back, I am so grateful that God heard my cry.
Psalm 40:2 says, "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."
I am ending with a verse from a song that we sang in my church growing up:
My heart was distressed ’neath Jehovah’s dread frown,
And low in the pit where my sins dragged me down;
I cried to the Lord from the deep miry clay,
Who tenderly brought me out to golden day.
He brought me out of the miry clay,
He set my feet on the Rock to stay;
He puts a song in my soul today,
A song of praise, hallelujah!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Back From Colorado

We just got back from the longest drive we have ever taken our girls on. While Google says the trip to Pueblo should take about 17 hours, it took us more like 20.

On our way out, we stopped to visit with Adam's coach/dean of men from Vennard. Adam and I always enjoyed he and his wife's company when we were at school and since we were passing through there town, we called them up. It was such a great little visit.

We finally made it to Michael and Rachel's just in time to see Michael at his store and then go back to their house to put the girls to bed for the night. Then, Michael and I went over to church and practiced for Sunday.

The week flew by as each day had something fun.

We hung out with Rachel's family. (The girls made a craft with Rachel and her mom, June.)

We had Christmas together. 

We toured Pueblo.

We visited Focus on the Family's Whit's End and Adventures in Odyssey exhibit.

We drove through the garden of the gods.

We rode the cog-rail up to Pike's Peak. (Although, we couldn't go all the way to the top because the snow plow was broken and there was snow on the tracks.)

We met up with college friend's Derrick and Renee and their family for dinner. It was nice to catch up and hear what they are up to!

We picnic'd at Uplift Mountain and watched Adam do some of the obstacle course. (I was going to post the videos, but my phone is taking too long to upload them.)

We walked around Bishop's Castle.

We relaxed. 

We took some fun pictures.

It was a fun-filled week visiting with Michael and Rachel. 

On the way home, we stopped in Missouri and saw some more friends. We played some Cash and Guns and talked about life. (This seriously was one turn. Do you see how many guns were pointed at me?)

We drove the last 6 hours and arrived home with plenty of time to unpack and do laundry. :)
It was great to get away, see family and friends, and be rejuvenated.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Friday. I love Friday.

Yesterday was a super fun one.

The day started with my 6am wake-up call. I spent time talking to God and then got busy working. Can't do that without my coffee.

Once 8 rolled around it was time to get the girls ready for the day and for gymnastics. (After a FaceTime call from my parents.)

The day wouldn't be complete if I didn't have to give Charlotte a complete wardrobe change right when we are supposed to be walking out the door.

Finally got everyone loaded into the car.

And to gymnastics.

After gymnastics, we ran to Wal-Mart to pick up some pictures I needed for Charlotte's scrapbook and then went home and ate lunch.

I vacuumed the carpets and then put the girls down for naps.

While they napped, I worked on Charlotte's book and folded laundry.

After naps, we had dinner with Annie, Jeremy, and Paige and then Annie and I ran to Wal-Mart to pick up a different picture that I had printed. (Yes, I went to two different Wal-Marts on the same day because I didn't realize that I was printing pictures at the wrong one until it was too late.) Once we were back, the girls were all put to bed and then we played Jeremy's pick of Takenoko and Adam's pick of Smash Up. (Picture is of Takenoko.)

When they left, I finished folding laundry and watched some Doctor Who. (Such a great show!)

What did you do yesterday?

Friday, August 8, 2014

30 Years

My best friend turned 30 over the weekend.

I think birthdays should be celebrated. Life is temporary here on earth. And short. So celebrate with those you love when you survive another year.

So, for Meggan's birthday, we had a kid-free weekend in Chicago with friends. It was extremely fun!

We started the weekend off with a birthday dessert at the Trump Terrace (Yes. Dessert before dinner.), which offered some of the most amazing views of Chicago.

After that, we went to dinner at Local 22. (The pic below is from the bathroom.) I had a chicken-wrap and oh man it was delicious. That plus my sweet potato fries made dinner amazing. We considered doing karaoke afterwards, but none of us were brave enough to be the first to go. Especially when we would have to follow this guy that had the crowd eating out of his hand. We talked about dancing after that, but didn't want to wait in the long line outside of Joe's.

Sunday was exciting as we toured downtown. We went to Millennium Park and checked-out cloud gate "the bean" first and then headed past the faces that spit water. Then, we thought it would be fun to walk 2.9 miles to Navy Pier. Needless to say, we were starving by the time we got there so we ate at Harry Caray's for lunch. Thankfully, we made it there and got a table before the rain brought in a huge crowd. After dinner we walked to the end of the pier and then took a free trolley and the L back to our car.

When we got back to the hotel, we played pool basketball against the Schwirtz's and lost to them by 1. And then after that game we played PIG and I beat them all. Which is pretty funny because I am the least athletic and have played that least amount of college basketball out of all of us. For dinner, we went to good ol' Chili's so we could eat 5 baskets of the bottomless chips and salsa plus our dinners.

The weekend was fantastic. Exhausting. And fun. I had such a good time that I was actually pretty sad to get home.

A quick shout-out to all the parents and family that watched all the kids so that we could have a weekend together. Especially to my parents who had to take on my baby girl which included lots of diaper changes plus two rambunctious little girls.

And to Meggan, may this year be truly remarkable and a thousand times more amazing than you ever dreamed it could be. Love you.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

For Kree

Sorry for my absence, my dear readers.  So much has happened over the last couple of months that I got so behind with writing that instead of catching up, I have avoided it. I simply have not wanted to write because I knew what I needed to share was not going to be easy. But here I am. So let's catch up. Warning: This update is really hard to share and saddens my heart deeply. So, be prepared.

Two months ago, I received probably one of the worst calls of my life. My friend Sara called to tell me that my friend Grace's baby girl, who is just a little over a month younger than my Charlotte, had passed away in her sleep. My heart immediately broke. For Grace. For her family. For the life that little Kree will never live here on earth. And my arms ached to hold her one last time. To see her chubs. And to make her smile. I still can't grasp how quickly she came and how quickly she was gone.

Grace and I were both pretty pregnant when we met. It was nice to have someone so close to the same stage as me to complain to about the final pregnancy months and those uncomfortable parts and some of the awkward things. And also to celebrate with. Talking about names and ultrasounds. Hearing their heartbeats.

When it came time to have our girls, I was so worried that Grace would have Kree before I had Charlotte. And her due date was a month behind mine. But Grace said she always went early so I kept telling Charlotte that she better come out before Kree because she had plenty of time to do so. This time was different for Grace. Kree waited. She came on December 24th. (Charlotte was born on November 12th.)

After our girls were born, we now had more things to talk about. Their weight, their percentages, their sleeping and eating habits. Whether or not we were taking strollers on field trips. How they are growing and changing.

Kree was super strong. And I always felt like she was further along developmentally than Charlotte was. She was holding her head up strong and rolling over much better. Her belly time was long and she could sit pretty solid on laps.

At Kree's funeral, Grace shared all of the amazing things that Kree got to do in her short little life. The list was incredible. I bet some adults couldn't have said they had done all of the things that she had done.

But for me. The best thing Kree did while she was here, was start a great friendship.

If we hadn't both been pregnant, we might not have ended up in the nursery together. We might not have ever crossed paths.

I can't imagine the sadness that overwhelms my friend at times. Or fathom how empty she must feel when all she wants to do is hold Kree. Or grasp how hard it would be to grieve through that while the rest of the world doesn't stop moving forward with life.

My own tears come and go. As I remember this little girl that brought so much joy into the world. And as I think of the friend she brought into my life.

I will always consider her Charlotte's first little friend.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kaylee's Kidbits and Ella's Endeavors

It has been over a year since I wrote one of my blogs on Kaylee and Ella. Can you believe it? Over a year!

They have changed so much!

Ella talks our heads off. Seriously. The child does not know what silence is. She doesn't even have to be talking to anyone in particular.

Kaylee loves to write. Even in places that she isn't supposed to write. Like the table. And the wall. But hey at least she is a pretty good artist.

Ella is a night owl. Loves to sneak up and play in her room. Sometimes I go to bed at 11 and her light is on and she is still up playing in her bed. She, like me, is not a morning person. She needs her space when she wakes up.

Kaylee is such a huge helper. She does a ton around the house to help now. She sweeps and puts away dishes. She folds all of the girl's laundry and then she puts it away. (Ella puts her own away as well.) She even makes breakfast and lunch for herself and Ella with a little help.

Ella helps too. Like I said, she puts away laundry. She also helps with silverware when unloading the dishwasher. She helps dust the furniture. Keeps her room clean.

Kaylee loves Legos, Barbies, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. And all things Frozen. She is so imaginative and creative. I love watching her play.

Ella is a cuddle bear. She likes to sit on our laps and snuggle. She is so loving in that she constantly interrupts conversations and movies to say, "I wuv you, Mom." Makes my heart melt.

Kaylee has also become more affectionate. She gives hugs and cuddles and says I love you much more than she used to. She usually likes her space so I am really enjoying her recent change.

Ella loves dresses and accessories. She wears dresses everyday if possible.

Kaylee played t-ball in the spring and loved it. She seemed to get a little bored with being outfield, but loved to hit and run the bases.

Kaylee and Ella both love Charlotte. They dote on her all day every day. Sometimes it is overwhelming because they are always in her face. They help me with her. Kaylee will feed her her food and Ella will help feed her her bottle. It is so sweet to watch them with her though.

Both girls have grown up so much. My Kaylee will be 5 soon. I can't believe it. Until I talk to her and hear her grown up response. And I think, "when did you get so big?" 5 going on 15.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Top 10 Board Games (2 Player)

Adam likes to pick on me about being predictable when it comes to the boardgames that I pick for us to play. What can I say, I like what I like. Anyways, it got me thinking about those games so I decided to make a list.

My Top 10 Board Games (2 Player)

10. Carcassonne - This game is a tile-placement game where you are matching sides to create a French landscape in hopes to score the most points on your cloisters, cities, roads, or farms. Carcassonne is quick with 2 players. I prefer the basic game since I have found it difficult to keep my "sore loserness" in check when it is just Adam and I playing. The basic game can be mean, but not as mean as with the other expansions. I like this game because it is unique in the fact that you design the board as you go.

9. Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries - In this game, you collect cards that correspond with the board to place out trains in order to complete routes on tickets that are hidden from others by connecting different cities. In all honesty, I like this game because Adam is great at most games, but this game is one that I most consistently beat him at. So aside from winning, I enjoy this game because of being able to complete routes secretly and see them come together on the board. And it is a really pretty game.

8. Castles of Burgundy - Castles is all about building your settlement in the order that will help you gain the most points overall. This game is also in my original top 10 games ever that I wrote last January. I like this game because I enjoy putting my settlement together and that you can win with lots of different strategies. Adam likes to ship a lot and I like to collect the different buildings.

7. Galaxy Trucker: Anniversary Edition - This game is fun and crazy. Everyone races to build their spaceship before the time runs out. Then, you face all sort of good things like goods to ship and bad things like space pirates that shoot at you and hope that your spaceship can survive the trip. I hated this game the first time I played it because I ended the game with 0 points. One of the expansions in the anniversary edition even adds negative points, but I was playing the base game the first time I played. After playing a few times, I learned how to build my ship better so it can withstand the torments that it faces, making me a little better at the game. I like this game because it is unique in it's game-play as well as it doesn't burn the brain like others can. All around just lots of fun.

6. Suburbia - In this game, you lay tiles in your own little city to make money in hopes of gaining a higher population than anyone else. Everyone also has their own secret goals that gain them extra population if they are completed by the end of the game. I like this game because of the interaction between the tiles you place in your city. For instance if you place a lake next to a tile, you get $2 for that tile. So, it really matters where you place your tiles.

5. Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy - Legacy is about, well your legacy. You are marrying people off in hopes to have the most prestigious legacy. I like this game because I enjoy watching my family line come together. If you were to play this with more than 2 players, you better have a very large table to play on because the family trees take up quite a bit of space.

4. Le Havre - This game is all about gaining wealth. You want to purchase buildings that are efficient and help you gain more wealth. You also want to gain resources to use to build ships to gain food to feed your family. I like this game because it moves quickly and has the building aspect that I enjoy.

3. Trajan - In Trajan, you are trying to get the most points by gaining power in different areas of Roman culture. The turns are guided by a Mancala like mechanic. This is my favorite part of the game because you are limited to certain actions by the number of cubes you have in each bowl. I also like this game because it seems to have multiple ways to win. I enjoy trying different strategies.

2. Ginkopolis - In this game you add tiles to the edge of the city or to the existing city to give you points, resources, or more tiles. I like this game because I feel like I could always do better. Adam and I just played this for our best of 3 and I lost because of silly mistakes that I had made. I already look forward to playing this one again and hopefully this time I will win.

1. Agricola - Agricola is a farming game. You have your own individual farm and farmers that you use to take actions in hopes to make your own farm more successful than all of the other farms. I like this game because I get to build my own little farm and watch it grow. This is a game I feel as though I have gotten better at, but honestly still feel terrible at. I also like this game because it is so logical that I feel like anyone can understand how to play.

If you haven't played one of these games, you should definitely come over and play or find someone who owns them and play. It would totally be worth your time. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...