Friday, July 29, 2011

7 Quick Takes

1. This week is the first week of the summer that we have had NOTHING to do.  No camps, no lessons, no trips.  And it has been . . . . WONDERFUL.  I purposefully have kept us home most of the time.   It has been great too because one of my children desperately needs some consistency and this week has provided that.  It has gone so well, that we may just need to do this again next week.

2.  I am not running right now.  Shocker, right? Problem, too, especially since I am supposed to be training for a marathon.  It is a long story, but to make it short . . . I have had chest pains for the last several months.  I do not feel chest pain while doing Insanity or any other exercise EXCEPT running.  And it is not bad while running, but it is miserable for the rest of the day and night after running.  I have been to the Dr and he is convinced that it is somehow caused by scar tissue build up that is pulling on my rib cage causing a lot of muscle tightness and he says I just need 'body work" (It makes me sound like a car, doesn't it??). He scheduled me for an echo cardiogram just in case, which will be next week.  I have been to a massage therapist and chiropractor and felt better, so I figured I would be fine running.  But after feeling miserable after a 5 mile run on Monday, I have decided to wait until after the echo cardiogram to run again.  But that means, I am staring to get grumpy.  I have not worked out since Monday (except with clients) and I am a bit stir crazy.

3. We are getting ready to remodel our kitchen.  I am really not a fan of our 50 year old metal cabinets and the gold speckled counter tops.  We have saved up money for this ever since we purchased the house 7 years ago and now is finally the time to get it done.  We are not doing anything extravagant, although I would like quartz/silestone counter tops (they are expensive!!).  But, I never realized how much work it would take just to get the kitchen done. We are doing this as cheaply as possible, so we are not hiring one of those "kitchen design companies" that does it all for you.  And I am finding it is quite stressful. We are hoping to get it done before September, so there is a lot to do in the next couple of weeks if we are going to pull it off!

4. We have done school this week.  Can I admit? I have loved it! I am realizing that one of my children needs it for retention purposes.  I guess we are becoming one of those families that does school all year.

5. I am in search of a good novel to read.  Any suggestions?

6. It is going to be another HOT day here.  I guess we will be heading to the pool!

7. I have a great recipe to share soon. For now, all I will say is that I love Clean Eating Magazine.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Thanks Jen at Conversion Diary for hosting!

Friday, July 22, 2011

7 Quick Takes - Steubenville edition

1. My hubby was at a conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville this past week.  He flew out on Monday. I really wanted to see the campus again since it has been about 8 years since we have been back, so I drove out with the boys on Wednesday to spend the day there and then the whole family would drive home together after my hubby's talk on Thursday.

2. It was great to be there. Within 5 minutes of being on campus, I was at the conference mass.  My husband watched the boys (there was no way they could sit through mass after being in the car for 5 hours) and I was able to go to mass ALONE!  It was an amazing mass!

 3. Later that night I was able to go to the conference praise and worship (once again alone).  Being a Catholic girl who had her "reversion" surrounded by pentacostals and charismatics, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE praise and worship.  It has never gotten "old" for me.  Plus, today's praise and worship songs are just so beautiful.

The praise and worship time was amazing and it was a great reminder of just how BIG our God is. After feeling caught up in the smallness of things lately, it was the perfect reminder that our God is bigger than all of the littleness and that HE is in control and HE has overcome.

Bob Rice, who leads praise and worship for the conferences, led us all in a song called Great I AM. It is a beautiful song and if you have a few minutes, watch this video of it!

4. We saw many old friends while there.  It was nice.

5. The campus has changed so much since we had worked there!  It was great to see it.  It was also fun to see the boys running around on campus. It made me wonder if one of them would go there one day.

6. We also drove around the town too.  I wish I could say that I had missed the town of Steubenville, but I haven't. It is not the most beautiful of places and the air quality is a bit lacking.

7. We ended up leaving campus to come home much later than expected.  Then, we decided to take the "scenic" route home and drive through the Antietam battlefield.  It was really beautiful.  Unfortunately, we got there just at dusk, so the park was closing, but we did get to watch the sun set.  The boys were thrilled to see about 30 deer walking through the fields too!

Have a great weekend everyone. Stay cool!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fair Weather Runner

I rarely use the "H" word, as in strongly dislike.  I think it is over used and a bit too strong for most situations.  But, after this past week, I think that I could use it for one thing . . .

Summer Running

Now, I love to run. But after a run in the middle of the day in the Maryland heat and humidity I think I could use the H word for it.  I know it was not the smartest thing to do . . . head out for a 4 mile run at around 11:30 AM, just when the sun was getting warmed up to reach its peak.  But, I figured that I should try to run in the heat.  After all, I am running the Annapolis 10 miler at the end of August . . .it cannot get any hotter than that!  So, I decided to run in the heat of the day.

A mistake. A very bad mistake.

3 miles into the run, I shut off my garmin and WALKED. I walked for about a half a mile before I decided that I should run again just so I could get home sooner.  It was hot.  I was soaking with sweat and I had drunk most of my water bottle.

While running that run, I kept on thinking, "This is why I have no desire to run Fall races" I "strongly dislike" training in the summer." To me it is torture.  I would rather run on a treadmill for hours than in that heat.

Give me snow on the ground to run through, rather than the stagnant hot air on a humid day.  Give me layers of clothes and running gloves to keep me warm through a run in the middle of winter rather than wishing there was a way to make clothes more breathable and "wickable"!

So, yes, I am a fair weather runner.  I would gladly run every day in the winter, than to head out in this heat.  I guess the treadmill and I will become close friends until mid-September!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Table Edition

I finished refinishing our table about two weeks ago now, but am just getting around to posting about it.

This table was given to us (freecycle), so it was worn when we got it.  The table is a solid table, but not the most beautiful table. I will be honest, from the moment we got it, I was thinking of the day that we could get rid of it and get a nice, new, pretty table.  But as time went by and the boys added to the scratches and gauges, my desire for a new table faded.  But, this summer, I decided enough was enough.  I was tired of the ugly, scratched up table and decided to refinish it.

The table before. Yes, there are permanent marker marks on it!!

Notice the dark finish that highlights all the srctahes!!

Stripping the finish.

What we ate at while our table was getting refinished.

Progress. Notice the top portion vs. the bottom.  The top had been sanded more that the bottom portion.

After the new stain.

Table: After!!
I am not going to sugar coat it, this was a difficult project.  I had delusions that I would have it done in one week.  After four weeks, the family began to get restless eating at a card table and so I was forced to spend any spare time tyring to get it done. 

The sanding was the most lenghty part of the project.  About 80% of the sanding was done by hand!  Then, I borrowed a friend's electric sander which helped tons.  The only part of the project I am not happy about is the polyurethane coating.  First, it is too shiny for my liking.  Second, the first two coats went on great, but the third bubbled a bit (and got some bugs stuck in it too!).  I may decide to sand the third coat down again and try it again, but for now the table is in use.  I bought nice place mats that the boys can bang their forks on all they want and NOT damage the table. So hopefully, this table will have lots of years left in it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Everything You Do

I heard the song "Everything You Do" by Stephen Curtis Chapman today on the way home from the pool.  After spending all morning running the boys to tennis and swim lessons, I needed to hear this song today.  And I think it instantly became a favorite of mine.  So, take a few moments and check it out.  The lyrics are on the video.  And Moms, you will totally be able to relate to the first verse!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Raising a missionary?

Sometimes I am struck by the things my 8 year old ponders.  The other night, we were watching this video, Lift the City and Catholic Eucharistic Flash Mob.  As we were watching it, J asked a couple of questions about the Franciscans in the video.  My hubby and I answered them and then, out of no where, J says,
"You know, sometimes when I am at Sunday mass, I think about becoming a missionary and doing that."

What? Really?  I was amazed that my little man of 8 thinks of going to other countries to spread the gospel and share God's love.  I have no idea what God will call him to, but this I know, that that little boy will do it with great love of Christ.

Friday, July 1, 2011

7 Quick Takes - Some Friday Randomness

1. Marathon What??

I think I am in denial. In 120 days, I am going to be running in a little race (just 26.2 miles) with 30,000 of my closest friends.  I should be training for this, right?  I really need to get my training schedule put together and get my body running.  I mean, I am running now, but I really need to RUN.  By next week, the training schedule will be done and on the wall.

2.  No more laundry
Our washing machine has been slowly breaking over the last month and it washed its last load two days ago.  About a month ago the sensor that sensed when the washer was full of water broke.  How did I find out?  By the inches of water on the laundry room floor that even seeped out of the foundation of our house to the outside.  Well, after procrastinating in getting it fixed and just hanging around the washer to manually move it to the next cycle, the motor burned out.  The washer is done for.  We need to go buy a new one this weekend before we have no more clothes to wear.

3.  Our dog is in the house??
This morning I put Rosie outside.  I just noticed she is back in the house.  And the screen door is closed and locked.  How did she get in? She crawled through the giant hole in the bottom of the screen.  Every year we have to replace the screen on that door.  I am really not sure how it gets so ripped up, but it does.  I guess it is time for the annual replacement of the screen.

4. The fab four
Do you all know who I am talking about??  The Beatles.  John, Paul, George, and Ringo.  A friend of ours just had a baby boy and named him John-Paul.  You know, after the Pope.  But, every time I look at the birth announcement and see his name, I mentally rattle off "John, Paul, George, and Ringo" and want to break out into a Beatles song.  Maybe it is the fact that this baby's middle name starts with the "soft G" sound as well (just like George does).  Who knows.  I explained it to my husband and he assured me that I am probably the only person that thinks of the Beatles when they meet a baby John Paul.   Please tell me there is some else out there that does the same thing????

5.  A Thank You
I want to thank you all who read this post and commented, sent me a email or message on Facebook.  I struggled with posting that post and now I know that it was the right thing to do.  It is good to know that others out there are praying for me and that I am not alone in that struggle.

6.  Finishing the table
About four weeks ago I started to refinish our kitchen table.  Well, as soon as this post is over, I will put the final coat of polyurethane on it!!  With having people over for dinner over the weekend and my oldest stating, at breakfast this morning, "Mom, I am tired of eating at a card table." I am getting it done today!!  Eating at a card table for weeks has proven to be a challenge.  There has been kicking under the table, milk getting spilled because of a slight jiggle of the table, and kids getting grouchy because they are sitting too close to each other,  I will be thankful when we are back at our big table, but I am already trying to figure out the major consequence given to the first child who scratches that table . . . .

7.  No plans
Other than having dinner with some friends and family, we have made no major plans for this holiday weekend.  How about you??

Thanks Jen at Conversion Diary for hosting!  Have a great 4th everyone!