Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great Pro-life Pregnancy Ticker

First, I am not pregnant! Just want to get that out there before anyone asks. But, I have been spending time reading blogs and forums for pregnant runners . . . did you know that you can run a marathon while pregnant?!?!? And yes, I am addicted to running!

Anyways, back to the purpose of this post. Through my reading, I have found this pregnancy ticker by Prenology and thought it was amazing. If you scroll down on the Prenology website , you can see the images that show up on the pregnancy ticker. What I like about it, is that most of the images are real!

Here is an example:

* To clarify: The group is NOT a pro-life group that makes this ticker. I just called it pro-life because the images are so beautiful, that it is clear that it is LIFE!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The First Step

They say the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Hi, my name is Katie and I am a runner.

I think I have a problem. I have become addicted to running. Now, I never thought this would actually happen to me. I figured I was just too slow to be one of those people who actually "needed" to run. I haven't even run for very long. But, here I am realizing that I may be addicted to running. And the only reason that I think this is because I have withdrawal symptoms.

I have been totally off of running for 2 weeks now and I still have 4 more weeks to go in my air cast before the Dr. gives me the OK to try to run again. Darn stress fracture! I am still working out; biking, learning to enjoy the elliptical. But, it is just not the same as running.

When I get to the gym in the morning, and walk past the treadmills, I look wistfully at the people running on them. I try to guess how fast they are going and I try to peek at the console to see how many miles they ran. (Weird, I know) I find myself gravitating to conversations about running. If you can't do it, you might as well talk about it right? And of course, I have the other classic withdrawal symptoms:I get more agitated more quickly, my patience level is just not what it is while I am running, I sleep longer and am prone to lots of mood swings.

A few days ago I looked at my husband and said, "I think I am depressed." He asked me when these feelings started and I replied "Right around Christmas." He said, "Katie, that is when you had to stop running because of your leg." He then proceeded to remind me how happy I was when I was running. How I was less stressed and enjoyed everything so much more.

OK, so maybe I am addicted to running . . .

Is there a 12 step program for runners? ;-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sphere of Influence

Since starting to run, I have become a Runner's World fan. I rarely get a magazine subscription unless it is a gift, but I subscribe to Runner's World. And I read it, every issue, cover to cover.

In the magazine, there is a regular feature called the Newbie Chronicles. This past month, the author, Marc Parent, wrote a piece called A Mile in His Shoes. It is a cute story about how his 6-year old son asked to come running with him one morning. I loved this story and I highly recommend you read the whole article here. But, the last two paragraphs are really impactful (I have copied the last three below).

We finished together and collapsed on the lawn and slapped hands and howled congratulations. Later that week, Susan got him a trophy—a golden runner atop a wooden base with a brass plate on which was written his name, the date, and the words First Mile. By the end of the month, my two older sons were running at my sides with Susan and Will trailing behind. And it's true what they say, the family that runs together gets super tired together and uses up all the hot water on showers and laundry. In its wrap up of the Christakis/Fowler study,

The New York Times concluded, "If you want to improve the world with your good behavior, math is on your side. For most of us, within three degrees we are connected to more than 1,000 people—all of whom we can theoretically help make healthier, fitter, and happier just by our contagious example.

"No one is an island. No one runs in a vacuum. There is always someone watching you leave the house, dig it out, come back, and do it all over again. You are being watched by a roommate, a brother, a spouse. The driver of every passing car. You are being watched by future generations. My grandmother ran in college! someone might say of you one day. My great uncle took it up in his 30s and ran marathons into his 60s! We are inexorably entwined within each other's influence. You may run by yourself, but no matter how early you start, no matter how remote your location, you never run alone.

Wow. Although this article is about running, and I do hope that somehow by my own, often pathetic, attempts at running, I somehow inspire others to know that they too can do it. But, I share this for another reason. I know we, or at least, I often forget how much my life can be an example to others. The way I live out my faith . . . others see it. The values I stand for and uphold . . . others see it. The way I parent, love and value my children . . . .others see it. The way I love my wonderful husband, speak of him and treat him . . . . others see it. Simply by living a good life, praying, showing up to daily mass, Sunday mass, and standing in line at confession; my life becomes an example to those around me.

I have seen it with my own kids and my running. K, now runs laps around the house yelling "marathon!" K and J often ask to go out for a run with me around the block.

And they see me praying the Liturgy of the Hours in the morning when they come down to breakfast. My boys see me striving to put Jesus first. They see the good and the bad of me. They see me ask for forgiveness from God, my husband and from them. I pray that my example creates a desire in them to "Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness." Matt.6:33

" Proclaim the Gospel always, use words when necessary."

So, my friends, go spread the Gospel today. You never know whose life you are touching.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Win the Joggster X Jogging Stroller at Mom Trends

Wouldn't Baby A look so cute in this Joggster X Jogging Stroller with me running behind it? (After my stress fracture heals, of course!) I hope I win!

To enter go to Mom Trends.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In Praise of Sonlight

Homeschooling can be a challenge. From choosing a curriculum to the daily implementation and teaching, it can be daunting. But, I have found a homeschooling gem in Sonlight.

I am not a teacher by training. I have no idea what books to read my children. I could go into a library and search through books, but, I will be honest, other than the classics like Charlotte's Web and The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, I do not know what books to choose. I want to read my children quality books. Books that are well written, have rich story lines, incredible characters, and books that weave in positive morals and life lessons. Books, that Charlotte Mason called, Living Books.

I have been using the Sonlight Curriculum for a year a half now. I chose it because I liked it's science curriculum. J loves science and I searched for a curriculum that had a solid and extensive science program. I liked Sonlight enough to stay with it again this year for first grade.

Sonlight is a literature based curriculum. Simply put, we read tons of books. Most of the books we have read, I have never heard of. But, I have loved them all. Some of the books are so beautiful that I am in tears while I read them to the boys. We finished Mountain Born a few weeks ago. And, as we read it, I wondered why I had never read it before. When we finished it, I thought, this is the type of book every child should be read or read himself/herself.

So, after finishing that book, we started Understood Betsy. Once again, I had never heard of the book. I looked at it and read the back. I thought, "Gosh, this looks boring. I think we might skip this one." I started reading the first chapter and I was unimpressed. But, J was interested, so I continued reading. OK, now, with just two more chapters to go, I am amazed at how beautifully written this book is. Sonlight, you have done it again.

I am so thankful for Sonlight, I am thankful that I do not have to guess at what books to choose. I am thankful that I do not have to worry that we will read a book with questionable morals. Or, really, a book that is any less than a Living Book.

Sonlight, I am hooked!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yogurt; its what's for exercise

Since my leg injury, I have had to come up with new ways to exercise. The other day, K looked at me and said,
"Mom, are you going to do Yogurt now?"

"Yogurt, K?"

"Yes, Mommy, yogurt."

"Oh, Do you mean YOGA?"

"Yes, mommy, yogurt."

Yogurt. I never learned that exercise.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It warms this homeschooling mom's heart

Yesterday J was reading and he looked at me and said,

"Mom, I love reading. It is so much better than looking at the pictures!"

I guess maybe I am doing something right.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Movie Review and a Question

My friend Sam over at Thy Will Be Done does Movie Review Mondays, so I thought I would join in. This past weekend my husband and I watched Julie & Julia. And, I liked it! It was a cute movie, although my husband thought it was a bit slow moving at first. The movie follows the life of Julia Child as she learns how to cook and how she begins to write her book. At the same time, it chronicles Julie Powell, who is depicted as a someone trying to find herself and chooses to do so by cooking her way through Julia's cookbook and blogging about it.

I enjoyed the story line and how the movie parallels the lives of the two women. What I enjoyed the most was how the movie portrayed the marriages of both of these women. I like movies that show the day to day love between spouses, and also, the ordinary life of marriage.

I also found the movie to be funny. As a blogger, I could relate to Julie when she would get excited that someone commented on a post. But, as the movie went on, it really got me wondering, Why do I blog?

As the movie continued and Julie's blog gained a following, tension arose between her and her husband about posting and how much time she devoted to the blog. And also the question of how much information to post came up. And through this, I really got thinking about blogging.

I have read a bunch of blogs. Some simply educational, some review and giveaway blogs, but most are blogs in which people discuss their life. And in the "personal" blogs, I have read blogs in which the blogger freely shares about marital troubles and many details about day to day life to blogs in which the blogger specifically states that he/she would not share the specific ups and downs of life. I tend to fall into the latter category. I do not feel like my blog is the place to "air all my dirty laundry". I started my blog so that family members that live far away can read about parts of our life that I may not remember to share in a phone conversation. And, even though, when I have the time, I will continue to do Made in the USA reviews and Giveaways, I try to remain faithful to the original purpose of this blog.

Since watching the movie, I really started to ponder "Why do I blog? What purpose does it serve? Am I a better or more fulfilled person because I do it (or is someone else's life made better by me blogging)?" The reason I ask these questions is because I never want to feel like I am a "servant" to my blog. I know when I start to feel pressure to blog, or worry about the fact that I have not posted lately, I need to step away from it. And, I am not saying that blogging has to make you a better person, but any blogger would admit that it takes time away from family, housework, etc, etc. So, if it is a time consuming activity, but does not somehow better us (even if it is just by being a leisure activity that relieves stress), why should we do it? I am not saying that we should not blog, but I am just pondering and thinking out loud.

OK, even though I have not answered the questions, I am asking, anyone out there in the blogosphere to share her thoughts and feelings on these questions:

Why do you blog?
What purpose does it serve (for you)?
Are you a better or more fulfilled person because you blog?

Is someone else's life made better because you blog?

Please do not be shy! I look forward to your answers!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Beyond Measure

The boys were playing and laughing earlier and I just thought, "Gosh, I am so blessed."

It made me think of the song Beyond Measure by Jeremy Camp. I love this song. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Honestly . . .

Thanks to Collen at Martin Family Moments, Alyson at Life's Little Miracles, and The Krazy Girl at Hang on Baby Jesus, this is Gonna Get Bumpy for bestowing this award upon me. I have been "awarded" this by these women over the last several months and am finally getting around to posting it.

So, in order to accept it, I need to share 10 honest things about myself and then bestow it upon 7 others.

So here I go:

1. I am a sucker for cheesy romantic comedies. I can watch them again and again. Need proof? I have watched Bride and Prejudice (A Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice) 6 times . . . it is totally cheesy, with cheesy songs and dances, but I love it!!

2. I am not good in social situations. I try to be outgoing, but I am very shy and introverted. Thankfully, I married an extrovert who is so friendly and outgoing!

3. I have caved to pop culture and read two of the Twilight books. Oh, and I have seen both movies!

4. I love fireplaces and will sit directly in front of a fire for hours. It is a good thing we do not have a fireplace in our house!

5. I have always wanted to adopt. If we ever have enough money, I would love to adopt a young child from the US.

6. My husband is the best man I know!

7. I do not mind cooking, but I LOVE to bake. If I had the time, and an incredibly fast metabolism ;) , I would be baking breads and pies all the time.

8. I do not like driving over long bridges.

9. Yes, I did just run a half marathon, but, the first time I ran 3.5 miles over this past summer, I came home and promptly vomited! If I can run a half marathon, anyone can!

10. One of my hidden talents: finding great things at at amazing prices at Thrift stores, on Craigslist and on Ebay!

OK, so now I need to pass this on to 7 other bloggers. Here are some of my favorites (other than the ones who gave the award to me):

1. Half a Dozen Productions

2. Thy Will be Done

3. A Wink and a Smile

4. The Story of a Seed

5. Catholic Mommy Brain

6. Together for a Reason

7. Thoughts of a Wife and Mother

Monday, January 4, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook - Back to School Edition

Outside my window...
It is cold!

I am thinking...
About starting up school again today . . . back the the "grind." I happy to get back into our routine again.

I am thankful for...
Having some time to sit and blog!

I am wearing...
Fleece lounge pants with little green frogs on them! I love wearing these when it is cold.

I am remembering...
All the great times we had as a family the past two weeks.

I am going...
To work on my long to-do list!

I am currently reading...
Nothing . . . I am in the mood for a good novel, but I am not sure which . . . any suggestions?

I am hoping...
That my leg heals quickly so that I can start running again this week. I have something called Anterior Compartment Syndrome in my left leg. I have not run much in the last three weeks and now I have not even been able to workout this past week (by physical therapist's orders). I miss running and working out. I am so much happier and easier to live with when I start my day with exercise.

On my mind...
I am really trying to pray and figure out what God wants of me this year. At this time of year, I just really want to dive into contemplation and spend countless hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I do not get to do it as much as I would like . . . luckily God is so Good and He meets me where I am at and speaks to me through the craziness of life.

Noticing that...
Just when I think I am getting better in social situations, I find myself in one and feel as shy as ever!

From the school room...
We are getting back into the swing of things today. I have realized again that I am not as confident in my homeschooling ability as I let on. I had a dream the other night that I was working with a school class. During the dream, I kept on thinking, my kids should be in school . . . they would be so much better off in school. I am hoping this is a normal fear that homeschoolers have. I am just going to try my best and give it all to God.

From the kitchen...
Our family fave . . . Roasted Chicken, Rice and peas!

Around the house...
All is quiet. A house full of sleeping men.

One of my favorite things . . .
Reading to baby A. Just him and me. I love having his warm little body in my lap!

From my picture journal...This is a photo of K taken during the big snow we got two weeks ago. They LOVED the snow and were outside playing more than they were in the house.

Want to read other Daybooks? Go to Simple Woman's Daybook.