Friday, October 30, 2009

Sous Chef




It seems as if I have acquired a sous chef in my kitchen. Baby A loves pots and pans. It usually starts even before he eats breakfast. He will crawl right over to the cupboard where the pots and pans are kept, open it, point and make his cute little yell until I pull ALL of the pots and pans out for him. Then he will "ask" for a spatula or large spoon. This keeps him busy for hours (yes, hours!). If he happens to get a piece of food while he is on the floor, he will put it in a pan and pretend to "cook" it like a pancake, flipping it frequently.

The pots and pans stay strewn about the kitchen until his nap time and then come out again after A wakes up. The other day I got so tired of them being out, that, while all of the boys were playing outside, I put the pots and pans away. Well, that little chef, must have heard the clanging of pots, because he came crawling in from the deck and "yelled" until all the pots were in their correct place, all over the kitchen floor!



Oh, my little chef! I cannot wait until you can become the master chef!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Little by little

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. I finally made doctor's appointments for my husband and I. We have been looking for a new primary care physician and have not had physicals for a while. Today, I called our new doctor and made appointments!

2. I have played tackle games with the boys most days this week. Even Baby A joins in! They LOVE to tackle. No tea parties going on here!

3. I registered for the Columbia Metric Marathon (26.2K/16.2 miles). It is December 6th . . . there is no getting out of it now!

What are your successes? Share them at Faith and Family Live!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Run for Vocations

Warning, really long post!

Yesterday, I ran in the Marine Corps 10K as a part of the Run for Vocations team for the Archdiocese of Washington. This was my first real race in, well, it was my first real race. I was nervous to run in it. I am not sure why. I had been running well over 6 miles for a while, but to actually run 6.2 miles in a race was a little different. A few days before, I realized that this was a RACE. You know, where you actually try to run faster than you normally do. Where you "leave it all out on the course." For some reason, I had deluded myself that a nice easy pace would be fine, that I would be fine with my finish if I ran how I normally do. Then it hit me, "Katie, you are running a race." I started worrying about times. How fast could I really run? Could I finish in my goal time? The nerves set in.

The day before the race, we went, as a family, to the Marine Corps Marathon Expo. I just wanted to see what it was like. The, we headed to the Run for Vocations vigil mass. Monsignor Panke, the Director for the Office of Vocations gave a great homily on the Year of the Priest, Priesthood Sunday, St John Vianney, Patron of Priests. After mass, all the runners gathered and Fr. Panke spoke to all of us and gave us a blessing. His words really struck me and reminded me why I was running. He spoke of how we were all running to Glorify God. It may not feel like it when you are in pain, but what we were doing was bringing glory to God. He then spoke of how this was for the seminarians, both current and future. We were to offer up our pain, our discomfort, our suffering, to strengthen those men called to the priesthood.The meaning of this race for me finally hit home. The nerves went away. And suddenly I knew, I needed to run HARD. I needed to do my best, and anytime I felt like I could not go faster, or my legs were too sore, I would say a prayer and ask God to strengthen those men called to be priests. What made it even more meaningful was when I realized, I may actually be running for one of my boys! That made me want to run even harder.

Sunday morning, my husband and I were up early. I put on my shorts, Run for Vocations T-Shirt and a sweater, ate, drank a little coffee (and water), and we headed out the door. The race started at 8:05 AM. While on the metro, my hubby had a great idea to write my goal split times for each mile so I could see if I was running a good pace, needed to speed up, etc. Well, I did not want to do it. It was a good idea, but really, write my split times on my arm? No. Not happening. The he brought the pen out. I am so lucky he can deal with my stubbornness. OK, all set. Split times on my left arm. My own personal cheat sheet.

We were downtown by 7:15 AM. It was COLD!! I was freezing and regretting that I did not bring a pair of sweatpants to wear, at least before the race. We met up with some of the other Run for Vocation folks. I hit the port-a-potties (the lines were HUGE), and then warmed up. By the time I finished my short warm up, it was time to line up. They had the start well marked and you were supposed to line up by projected finish times. My husband kept on telling me to line up with the 50 minute group. But, we had seen a bunch of Run for Vocations people crammed in the back of the 60 min + group, so we went over to join them. Right before the benediction was going to start, my husband, who knows better than I do, and is so lovingly persistent, called to me from the sidelines. I knew he was trying to get me to move up in the pack. I ignored him. He called to me again, and one of the other Run for Vocation runners, said "Your husband is calling you." I guess I could not ignore him any longer . . . I went over to the side and he helped me to find a good place much further up in the pack. A moment later a gun shot off and we had started. As I crossed the start line, I almost started to cry. This was my first real race. The first time I was actually ready to give it my all and not allow any negative self-talk to get the best of me.

The run itself was pretty nice. We started right by the Smithsonian Castle and then headed over the 14th Street Bridge, with a beautiful view of the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial. Right before we went over the bridge, I saw the mile marker for mile 1. I had my timer going on my watch. My first thought was, "Oh, my Gosh, I am over a minute ahead of my goal time." I guess being surrounded by thousands of runners, and being placed in a pack of faster runners (thank you, Sweetie), just naturally made me run faster. My second thought was, I need to slow down a bit. I wanted to make sure I had enough energy at the end, so I slowed down a little. Miles 2,3, and most of 4 were a blur. I felt great, stayed minutes ahead of my goal times. I was having fun. Then I started to get tired about half way through mile 4. During mile 5, I made the mistake of trying to drink water. I was passing through a water station, where people are lined up with cups of water. Runners gracefully grab the cup, drink the water and throw the cup down without breaking pace or missing a stride. Well, that was not me. I purposefully slowed a bit to grab the water. First mistake. I could feel pain in my legs. OK, forget the pain, just drink the water. I actually did get some water in my mouth. Not enough to make any difference. Most of the water spilled on my shirt. I threw the cup down and tried to regain my pace. My body was not having it though. The rest of mile 5 was tough.

But, somewhere, a little before mile marker 6, the street was lined with Marines. Hundreds of Marines. Clapping. It was kind of cool. Then the music started. I knew I was getting closer to the end. I saw the mile 6 marker and decided to speed up a bit. The last .2 miles were fine, oh ,except for having to run up a HILL that takes you all the way up to the finish. So much for trying to sprint through the finish line (Right near the Iwo Jima Memorial). When I crossed, I looked at my watch . . . I was over 2 minutes below my goal time! I was so excited. From the finish, I walked down and had a Marine place my finishing medal on me (my losers' medal as K likes to call it . . . in his mind you either win or lose, no gray. If you did not come in first, you lost . . . he's 3). I did not get my official time until I got home and looked it up here. 55:42






I had a great time and I now know that I have the running bug. There truly is something about challenging yourself like that. And not only challenging yourself, but then allowing that to be used, by God, for His Glory.
That's me. In the green, with my head down, receiving my medal.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It all adds up . . .

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. I got a few of the things done that I mentioned in this post. All of the fall clothes has been neatly put away. I bought, and hung curtains in two rooms; the boy's room and my and my hubby's bedroom. The new curtains are heavier and darker. The boys are now sleeping up to a hour longer than before. They are no longer rising with the sun. Mission accomplished! And, I got to check another one off that list. I bought a camera. It is finally here and I will be able to actually post photos soon!

2. I took the boys to Historic St Mary's City last Friday. It was cold and rainy and we almost did not go. But, we did. I was prepared with coats, hooded sweatshirts, and changes of clothes for all (but myself!). We had a great time. And, because the weather was so yucky, less than half of the people that signed up for the home school day actually came. So, we were able to see and experience most things without a crowd. Our old camera decided to turn on that day, so I have photos. Unfortunately, it has not turned on since that day and I cannot get the photos off of the memory card. If I can, I will post them soon!

3. Thanks to a friend that suggested we swap kids to go to our parish's 40 hours of adoration, I got to go to adoration without any kids! An hour of quiet, uninterrupted prayer time!

What are your small successes? Share them at Faith and Family, Live!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

26.2

Running.

26.2 K

26.2 miles

A metric marathon. A MARATHON. In a post I wrote, what seems like ages ago, I shared that one of my dreams was to run a marathon. At the time I wrote that I had no intentions of actually running a marathon anytime in the near future. But here I am, training for a metric marathon (16.2 miles) and praying about running a MARATHON in March.

After I got home from the gym this morning, I was talking to my husband and trying to figure out when to get my long run in this weekend. He looked at me.

"When did this start? The running thing? When did it start exactly?"

Now, my husband could probably guess around when, but I knew the exact moment.

Our August vacation in Cape Cod. I was a few months into my Transformation Challenge. I was working out regularly. I did high intensity cardio on the treadmill, and ran outside a few times, but never ran more than three miles. And the times I did run outside, they were pretty pathetic. Each run I did do, I battled my own negative self-talk. I was convinced I could not do it. I could not run. Period. And when you are constantly telling yourself that in a run, you believe it.

So while we were on vacation, the town that we were staying in was having a 5 mile race on our last full day there. I wanted to run in it. I have no idea why, but I did. The day before the race, the route was getting marked out. We drove down a few of the streets that would be filled with runners in less that 24 hours. I looked at the hills. 5 miles. I thought, "I can't do it". So, I did not even try.

A few days later, I was at home at the gym and I remember thinking to myself. "Katie, you really can't run. 5 miles! What were you thinking?"

Then this verse popped in my head:

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Then, it came to me again.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can run whatever distance. HE will give me the strength. All of this is for HIS glory.

I prayed through the rest of that run. Two days later I ran 5 miles and I have not turned back since.

You see, running has become a spiritual journey for me. I believe everyone has a Goliath in their life. Something God is calling you to face. Something that you do not think you can defeat. Something that only the power of God can get you through. As silly as this may sound, My Goliath is running. The thing that only a few months ago, I really did not believe I could do, I now love to do. I use my time running as a time of prayer. I have my iPod loaded with upbeat Christian music and Praise and Worship and I hit the road. My faith has grown stronger in those runs alone with Christ.

I still get nervous each morning of my long run days. Will I make it? An extra mile? Oh, not sure . . haven't done that amount of miles yet. Do I have to do this? Is my cell phone charged in case I have to have my husband come and pick me up? And then my husband looks at me, "Just run, Katie." And out the door I go. The worries fade with the first few strides. The journey of strengthening my faith has begun.

So, the natural next step for me is a half-marathon. About a month ago I found one in December that is not too far away. Prefect timing for a training schedule I have, so I decided to train for it. But, I have found a metric marathon, which is closer to my home and is only the week before the other race. What's three more miles when your are running that far anyways? ;-) And, I am praying about running a marathon in March (My husband is too . . . it will be a time commitment for the whole family).

I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me in those miles ahead!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - The Evening Edition

Outside my window...
The sun has set, all is dark. Cool air has set in. I love Fall!

I am thinking...
Gosh, it has been a loooong time since I have "daybooked".


I am thankful for...
A fun day with my family.

I am wearing...
A black tank top with a cream cardigan and jeans.


I am creating...
Well, there are lots of things I WANT to create, but have not started yet. I need to get the rocking chair cushions re-covered. I have the fabric cut and pinned . . . just need to sit down in front of the sewing machine for a half and hour and they will be done. After that is done, I really want to knit a blanket.

I am going...
To finish cleaning the kitchen, read a little and go to bed after I am done writing!

I am reading...
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

I am hoping...
That we do not get a frost too soon. I still have watermelon on the vine that are not quite done yet!

On my mind...
Running . . . more on that subject if I ever get to the post I have planned.

From the learning rooms...
Busy week this week. That's all I can say!


From the kitchen...

Tonight we had baked chicken, rice, green beans and homemade apple pie!

Around the house...
Hubby is reading to the boys in bed. All is quiet.

One of my favorite things . . .
The smell of fresh baked apple pie.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
School, school and school! Then a field trip to St Mary's City!


From my picture journal...
Here is a picture of the camera that I will soon be using to take photos for my photo journal! Just bought it and waiting for MR. UPS Man to deliver it! (Our old camera died!)

To see other day books, or share your own, go to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, October 9, 2009

So few of these days

I have not had much time for blogging lately. And I am OK with that. I am not ready to stop blogging completely. So, for now, I will write when I can. Since the start of school, we have been busy and I do not find that I have much time to sit at the computer and write anymore. School activities take priority. I have so many things I want to write. So many made in the USA products I want to tell you about. So many drafts of posts in my post box with titles, but no text . . . just waiting for a few spare moments.

Home projects loom too and are taking time. Our dryer broke, so we bought a new one that is too much for our 40 year old fuse box to handle and the fuse shuts off every few minutes while the dryer is on. (Anyone know a good electrician?) Our kitchen floor looks like it has seen MANY battles (OK, it has!), and needs to be replaced. Our camera decided to take its last photo and will not even turn on any more. So I have been in search of a good, quality camera that will not break our budget. Heavier curtains need to be purchased for two of the bedrooms in our house to keep the light and the cold out. Fall clothes have made their way out of their storage bins and into bedrooms (they have not made it into the actual drawers yet!). I am training for a half-marathon, so the early morning hours a filled with running (more on that in another post!).

But for now, I am sitting at the computer, writing. The boys are outside playing. Yes, we should be doing school. But, today is a beautiful day. There are so few of these days left. K needs to learn his ABC's and J needs to learn the complexities for the English language, but for now, they are "soldiers" at their fort. There are so few of these days left. I want them to enjoy it. I want them to enjoy the weather and each other. We will have plenty of time to learn all that is needed to learn when the weather turns cold and we will have countless hours IN the house. But for now, they play, and I write . . .

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate (for H1N1), that is the question.

OK, it is not really the question for me, but here is a video from Fox News about why NOT to vaccinate for H1N1.



You can also check out this brief article at Mercola.com.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Small But Significant


Here are my small successes for the week:

1. After months, well, after almost 18 months, I finally went to a physical therapist this week. Since my last c-section, I have had breathing trouble and pain near the incision. After talking to my BIL, who is a doctor, he told me it was probably due to my c-section. He recommended a specific type of physical therapist. I met with her on Monday. She said that my breathing trouble and pain is probably caused by scar tissue. I have another appoint next week.

2. I started collecting donations for the Run for Vocations that is in a few weeks. Anyone want to make a donation? Please email me!

3. The Indian fascination that I mentioned in last week's Small Successes continues in our house. Ever since we visited Jamestown Settlement, J has been asking me, on a frequent basis, to help him make an Indian Village and Fort. So, this week J and I went to the craft store and bought the necessary materials. We have most of the Indian Village finished and have some of the fence for the Fort done. If we get a new camera that works, I will post photos when it is done.

What are your small successes? Share them at Faith and Family, Live!