Thursday, March 29, 2012

Forget the Money

Ever get paid and forget that is was pay day?

Me either.

Until I got this great new job.  

I work a 14 hour shift on my feet each day.

My hourly income works out to about half of minimum wage.

I deal in snot and poo.


Small hands learn to place puzzle pieces as I watch.

Bright eyes light up as new words are formed.

Sleepy faces press on my shoulder.

Chubby toes take tenuous steps as I hover.

Bouncy curls learn to share.

Pensive ones open up.

Laughter every day.


Today I forgot that I get paid for what I do.  I am not a saint, nor do I want to work for free.  No, I chose a career that fits well with our family, just as everyone does.  Though, I feel as if I am one of the "lucky ones."  

I am made for my job.

I am made better by it.

I learn from it.

I pray the same for you.

What would you do for a living if you could do what you really want?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vacation and the Aftermath

I love to write.  Though, when my immensely blessed life takes over, writing takes a back seat.  I want to update the blog - but there is to much.  Let me sum up.

I am an in-home daycare provider.  I haven't had a brand new baby to care for in a couple of years - so this last week was a refresher course!  He is such a happy baby...cooing and laughing...oh how I love that new baby smell.  And don't worry, I'm okay with sending him home at the end of the day.  My baby days are over.  God has me right where he needs me!

Our 4yo and my newest little love!

In the same week that our newest little buddy started care, we went on a mini-vacation to see my sister and brother in law in Kansas City!  It was so fun to see my sister...I miss her so much.  We used to live in the same apartment building, many moons ago.  Then, I got married and she moved to be closer to her then boyfriend.  And then she got married...  Growing up is hard.

We ate out more in 4 days than we did in the previous year!  Our 2 and 4 year olds didn't even know what a Happy Meal was.  They learned very quickly...

Cameron, David, Susan, Alahnnah, and Liam
 While we were in KC, we visited the Zoo - my sister went with us.  I don't know if I've mentioned it - but my sister R.O.C.K.S.  She has lost 165lbs, folks.  That's right.  One. Six. Five.  I love that she was able to walk around the zoo for hours and hours with us.  You take that for granted.  Don't.  She has sacrificed more "simple pleasures" that you can imagine for her hard fought weight loss.  This is the 2nd "Major Life Altering" experience that she has endured in her young life.  My sister, Amy - an inispiration!!

I love this!  Our son Cameron & Aunt Amy in ACTION!
Our crew at the KC Zoo
We had a seriously relaxing time while we were there.  I visited the local YMCA for a little swim - did you know that you can go to any Y in the country if you're a member??  Pretty neat!  They did have a "Bring your own towels" policy that was a minor inconvenience.  Hubby was so sweet and ran home for some of Sis's towels.  My sister and her hubs took the kids out for ice cream - so we were freeeee...!

We did a little bowling while in town.  The Ranch Bowl is a nice little bowling place with cool neon carpet!  We had pizza and burgers and nachos for lunch.  Hmmm...healthfood!

Daddy teaching Cameron how to bowl

Hubby and I got a nine mile run in, around Longview Lake, on Friday Morning.  Big thanks to my family for watching the kiddos.  Can't wait to race 10 on Saturday!!

Cameron says "Take me home!"
It's been a great past week. Though, we've been busier than ever, I've had so many moments of "Wow, thank you Jesus for my life!"  I totally don't deserve what I've been given.  Each day is a gift.  I know that sounds cliche - but think about it.  No matter what you do, who you are, what kind of power you've been thing rings true:

Know Jesus
Know Peace
No Jesus
No Peace

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beautiful Day

I have a sunburn that I'm pretty proud of.

Today was one of those early spring - too hot already - Nebraska days that I got to spend outdoors 90% of.

Started off the day by finishing up an epic 10 hour night's sleep.  That's right - I went to bed at 10pm and slept until the kids woke us up at 8am.  I got up at 5:20am to turn off my teen's alarm that was attempting to wake the whole neighborhood while he was in Des Moines...but other than that TEN HOURS of sleep!

My run today was 8 miles and I was shooting for an 11min mile average to be on track for "Operation 2:20 Half."  The weather was partly sunny and 60 degrees, but WINDY.  I had great music, a great Run-Forrest-Run kind of attitude, and managed an 11:03 average.  I'm still walking for 1min or less each mile to try to avoid the usual Big Injury of every racing season - so I think I'm pretty set for my goal race in May.  I plan to only walk the aid stations during the race.  I keep praying that I WON'T be injured for once!

I came home all shades of high on endorphins, showered, and had a picnic lunch with 5/6 of our crew on the front porch.  I then proceeded to rake, pull, clip, bag and sweep the outside of the house for about 3 hours.

After another wardrobe change and a Marine shower, I was thrilled to have a tiny visitor that we haven't seen since December!  One of my Daycare Sweeties that had moved away came to visit for a couple of hours while her Mommy and Daddy took care of things in town.  She's only 2, so it took a little bit for her to warm up - but by time she went home, I did get a hug! <3  I love my "job!"

During that time, we had the Loan Closer come and have us sign a litany of documents to close our home refinance.  We are gonna save a boat load of cash - SO happy.  We locked in a 3.75% rate, are getting $150 back AND don't have a house payment for April!!  How's that for a good thing??  Now, to get back that Gazelle Intensity that I had before we got our taxes back and felt too good and comfy for a while.  We still have debt, so we are still slaves.  Slavery sucks.

I grilled some lovely steaks for dinner, and finally had that slice of cheesecake that I've been wanting for weeks.  The kids had baths and the teen is on his way back from the Youth Conference.

I'm praying for all people out and about tonight.  I've heard soooo many sirens today already, I can't imagine what this night will bring.  St. Patrick's Day on a Saturday.  Those words have got to strike fear in the hearts of Police, Fire, EMS, and ER.

Stay safe!  Stay Sane!  Live to see another day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is our oldest daughters 10th birthday!

I love you like crazy, ya little shit.

My girly-girl loves art, meat, nail polish, ring leading and general orneriness.  She wanted her Daddy's famous blueberry pancakes and bacon with a side of sausage for her b-day dinner.  We topped it off with Red Velvet Cupcakes.  I don't even think I had to yell at her today...she was gone most of it.

Happy Birthday, Alahnnah.  Mommy and Daddy love you!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Long (GREAT) Weekend

Don't know where to start with this weekend, dear people.  After a rough week, I felt I was ready for some serious relaxation.  But, as anyone knows, weekends can be busier than the weekdays!

I find that an adjustment in my attitude is all it takes to turn "Crazy Busy" in to "Needed Relaxation."  I started out Saturday morning with a beautiful 7 mile run.  I ran about 25sec/mi slower than I would have liked..but the sun was out, the robins were darting around, a saw some baby squirrels.

And I had over an hour of PEACE and QUIET.

Since it's all about attitude, I didn't so much mind rushing through my shower and primping to get to the Hair Salon for the very best stylist in the whole wide world to do this to my hair!!

Woops, that's Carter.  I mean - THIS!

Yeah - that's me.  :)  I love Amanda Tapping as Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1.  I pretty much take a new picture of her in each time I get my hair cut.  Yep - I'm that geek.  Hubby sent me the recent pic - so blame him.

After my hair cut, I prepared a meal for a couple of families from church to join us for supper. Hubby went and scored some brownies and cookies to go along with our baked pasta.  I loved chatting and having more kids running around.  I used to stress a bit over that - the cleaning, the food - but I don't any more.  A home is more friendly and inviting when the host is relaxed.

This morning (after a 9mi spin on the trainer) we attended a birthday party for one of my daycare sweeties.  I've had him since he was 17mo old and he turned 4!!  Chucky Cheese - the place where we can all be kids.  We had a TON of fun.  Our kids had never been to anything like that before.  It was a special day.

After that it was home to relax for a little bit, then I got a call from a dear friend and Sister in Christ who has been dreadfully ill.  I cooked up some rice and went through the cupboards and took her over a care package.  Came home and took the casserole out of the oven and headed to...

The Pot Luck at Church!  After we all ate, we had a wonderful revival service.  We sang and were taught by a very practical man.  I was engaged and challenged and really felt the Holy Spirit moving in my heart.  Great, great, day!

David and I are STILL up at 10:20pm.  I think we are all amped up from the "Weekend that Wasn't."  I have to get up at 4:30 in the morning for a swim to run brick, then we have Revival Service again in the evening.

I better go to bed.  I hope you all were blessed this weekend - and have a great week ahead!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Biscuits and Boys

Happy Friday!  I had a good little swim at class last night, and then went back for another mile this morning.  

I didn't want to.  Murphy had a hold of  me.

I got up after a night of tossing and turning.  I seriously had to use the restroom FIVE times in the night.  ??? The 4:40 alarm was just way to early - then I realized that I had laid out my swim suit, but no clothes.  Went in and found some in the dark.  Then I got out to the car and poured my hot coffee in my lap.  I didn't realize we needed fuel in the car last night, so I had to stop and get that.  

Murphy is a punk.  I win.                             
And I came home to a left over home made biscuit which just begged me to fry and egg and top it with cheese.  Oh lordy - recovery food at it's best!  Of the things that I've learned to make myself, biscuits and cinnamon rolls are probably one of my greatest triumphs.

I do see a theme to my workouts this week.  If I waited for conditions to be perfect, I would never get my workouts done.

Speaking of cooking triumphs, I have a new one for ya.  The newest quick/easy/cheap meal that my kids are loving for lunch involves these three simple ingredients.

 I make at least 6 servings when I cook, so adjust this recipe as needed.

5c. water
2T butter
1/2t salt
2.5c rice
16oz package chopped broccoli (frozen)

Bring water, butter and salt to a boil.  Add rice and broccoli, lower heat to low and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.  Brilliant.  Actually made it twice this week.  My kids like a little soy sauce on it - the second day was a slice of cheese.

And then there's Cameron Allen, age 2yrs 10mo.

I really think that this week will go down in the record books.  By Wednesday I was so simultaneously stressed out and having super sore muscles that I wished I still knew a good pusher.

We started on the "Potty Train" and had some really super good days.  If you've ever potty trained a kid, you know that really smelly/disgusting messes come with the territory.  Yes, well, this guy decided that his bowel wasn't going to be undersold this week.  He made some world class messes including:

  • Dumping all of the cleaning and health additives in to his older brothers 30gal fish tank.  
  • Feasting on a tube of toothpaste
  • Using one of his older sisters bottles of body wash as lotion...and floor cleaner...
Yes, he's been a busy boy.

I'm starting to rethink the exclusion of non-essential calories in my diet.  They may be essential after all.  TO MY SANITY.

Seven mile run tomorrow morning, then a trip to my stylist for a good whacking.  Ahh...things are looking up already!  Have a great weekend. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Training Healing and Enduring

What an absolutely gorgeous looking Spring day it is.  All this sunshine makes me want to chuck the school plan for the day and do something less know...something fun...something not here!

I can't even focus properly on the computer task items I'm supposed to be doing.  I have a tab open for my 8th graders school work to correct, one for this blog, one for the bank website, and another to order next years curriculum (yes, I order early to save big!).
Continuous effort
 - not strength or intelligence -
 is the key to unlocking our potential.

What I'd REALLY like to be doing is flying down the road on my bike - but I think we have a few weeks before that will happen on a regular basis.  While it looks very inviting outdoors, it's still only 32 degrees out there.  Brr...

This week, I have come to the reality of my next race being a scant 60 days or so away.  I have a couple of fun runs in there, but my Half in May is one that I would love a big fat PR on.  I decided to give up all non-essential calories and add some weight training in the mix.  I haven't missed the non-essential calories (well, okay, yesterday was hard) but all the squats and lunges have made my legs quite sore.  I normally consider the Yoga that I do as body weight training...but to get stronger and faster I know I need to do some lifting.

I'm officially one week post Dental Fun, and my mouth feels pretty good.  The place where they took the tooth is a little sore, but I can finally brush past it and not come out of my skin.  The screw that was placed for the implant on the other side is no trouble whatsoever.  In fact, I'm not supposed to chew or brush over it and it's hard to remember because it feels so good.  It sticks up a little, and I can see that being an issue.  I won't have the crown put on it for 3 more months.

Can't say I'm totally hating that I have to have all fruits and veggies sauteed or steamed.  I do like raw produce, but I just can't chew anything right now.  I was already missing two molars on the lower left, and now there's one gone on the upper right as well.  No chips, or gum, or granola, or anything remotely hard and crunchy.  Oh well, live, learn and adapt.

March is a CRAZY busy month.  We have several birthday parties, dinner hosting at our house, practices and performances of This Day of Resurrection, our family mini-vacation to KC to see my sister, a new daycare baby starting, swim lessons, and more.

Taking things one day at a time and trusting the Lord to give me the endurance that I need in life AND in training!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Advice from Overweight Doctors

Today's post is inspired by Amanda over at RunToTheFinish.  Recently, she was advised to limit her running based on her physician's claims that it messes with hormones and causes a litany of health issues.  The limit proposed was less than 25 miles per week.  For someone training for a marathon, this limit seems very low.   Part two of this advice came in today's post, where Amanda told us that the doctor that gave this advice is quite overweight, has trouble standing and difficulty breathing.

Here's the discussion question that came from this:

"Would you have trouble taking advice from an overweight doctor/nurse?"

For me, it sort of depends on what kind of advice.  If they are advising me to take a course of antibiotics for an ear infection - okay.  They have been trained in the application of prescription drugs and know which ones are best for a specific ailment.  Their weight has no bearing on their intelligence.

But what about nutrition advice?  Advice about over training or recovery from injury?

Ever seen somebody in scrubs smoking a cigarette?  Want to run right up to them and shake them?  I do.  I used to smoke (for 15 years) and I used to be 80lbs overweight.  Had I received advice to loose weight from an over weight doctor at that time, I would have laughed.  I'm certainly not being judgmental, here. I'm just putting this idea out there to think about.

It comes down to experience.  You wouldn't take parenting advice from someone who had no children.  Would you?  Even if they had a Masters Degree in Childhood Development? Even if they had years of experience in "the field" and had written 12 best selling books?

Our doctor is a triathlete and has 3 children.  I feel fairly confident that when it comes to exercise, nutrition and child rearing, he's at the very least "been there, done that."  Does it mean that I will always agree with him?  Probably not.  Does it mean that I'm more likely to take his advice than a physician that is a non-exerciser with no kids.  Absolutely.

What do you think?  Does this reek of overweight discrimination?  Could this be applied to any other profession?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dental Bad Swimming Good

I am super crazy about our kids.  But if I hear the voices of the two older ones again today, I'm going to run screaming down the street and in to traffic.

Dental Implant - Fun
Maybe I'm a little irritable.  My mouth hurts because I had the post portion of a dental implant installed yesterday.  And I had a tooth on the other side removed.  It was way cracked and super fussy, so good riddance.  However, the fact remains that I am missing a molar on the upper right, and healing over a screw that was installed on the lower left.

I have had an amazingly small amount of pain since the procedure yesterday morning.  But tonight my swim class started, so I think I just over did a little.  And I'm sorta hungry - my diet the last 36 hours has been like a 1 year old who sleeps 15 hours a day, while I'm still a 36 year old who runs her butt off 15 hours a day.

I'm pretty excited about my class.  I signed up for it at the YMCA for the bargain price of  $30.  Turns out that our little class is taught by this super capable guy  who also happens to be all of that AND a 2 time IronMan.  Wow - I think I got a helluva deal.  I also ended up knowing a gal in the class.  

The major thing that impressed me is that he's teaching us Total Immersion technique.  I've read and watched and practiced what drills I could find from this technique.  I was "this close" to buying the program, but wondered what I could really do without feedback.  

Hooray for feedback!  And what a bargain price.  I can't believe my good blessings at being able to take this class.  I must make time for 2-3 swims per week while I'm taking this class.  I wanted to switch gears for my upcoming Half on May 6th, but I think I will have to eat some extra Wheaties and make time for the swims while I have this cool resource available. 

Ever had major dental work?  I'm hoping to be nearing the end of mine.
Ever taken a swimming class?
Ever been EXTRA glad to put the kids to bed?