Monday, April 29, 2013

The definition of me

This is a repost from about a year and a half ago.  It was something that God shared with me on a retreat at a time when I was struggling with the things that I thought "defined" who I am.  And, I do not think I am alone in this.  I think, we as women, can often struggle with tying who we are to what we do, what we have, how many people read our blog, etc.  And, God has impressed it upon me again and again that those things do not matter.  Our worth, only comes from HIM.

I am not defined by the house I live in.

I am not defined by the clothes I wear.

I am not defined by the number of miles I run or how fast I run them.

I am not defined by what time I get up in the morning or go to bed at night.

I am not defined by the homeschool curriculum I use or the grade level my children work at.

I am not defined by the number of kids I have. Or don't have.

The only thing that tells me who I am is Life in Christ.

His life.

His love.

His blood out poured for me.

By that alone I am worthy.

By that alone I am defined.

By that alone I strive to live.

Friday, April 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Running Inspiration Edition

Thanks, Jen for hosting!!








Happy Friday everyone!! Go for a run!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sole of the City 10K recap!

My first race in almost a year and it is DONE!!
First, I did not plan on this race.  I had heard about this race at the Zooma Annapolis Kick-Off about a month ago and then saw a few moms in our Moms Run This Town Chapter mention it.   It looked like fun.  I had never run a race in Baltimore.  And I was confident that I could run 6 miles.  I had not run that far more than twicein the months before the race, but my IT band issues have subsided and my hamstring has been happy too, so I thought, why not!
Me and two gals from MRTT - For those of you who know me in person, please tell me that my face does not always look that huge!!

OK, onto the race details.  The start was really neat.  It began right next to a fire station.  A few people spoke very eloquently about the tragedy in Boston and to run this race for Boston.  The National Anthem was played and then we were off.

We started the race and, at first the three of us (above) planned on staying together.  I have NEVER run with anyone in a race before (expect my hubby), and all I have to say is that it is hard.  It is hard to run next to each other when there are so many runners around.  I got a little bit ahead of the other two ladies and at about a half mile into the race, I decided that I would run ahead.  So, I wished them a good race and pulled out my ipod to get the tunes pumping and I was off.

But wait, there was NOTHING playing on my ipod.  I always check my ipod before a race, just to make sure it plays.  This race?  Nope.  I charged it but that was it.  After fiddling with it for a few minutes, I decided to forget it. This would be my first race I would run sans music.

And that worried me.  Music typically drowns out the part of me that tells me I cannot do it, or that this is hard, etc, etc.  Every negative comment I tell myself while I run would come and one of my lines of defense was gone.  I thought I would be miserable for the whole race.

But it turns out, I wasn't.  And it was kind of nice.  I tuned into the people around me more than I have before.  We ran through Baltimore Inner Harbor, which was fun and I enjoyed it just a bit more.  I heard every single runner who thanked the police at the street crossings.  It reminded me of why I love to run in races and why I like other runners so much.

The whole race was nice.  Mile 5 is always a struggle for me, mentally, and this day that was no exception.  It was a hilly mile and was my slowest.

Mile 1: 9:32 pace
Mile 2; 8:41
Mile 3: 8:43
Mile 4: 8:47
Mile 5:9:15 (ACK!!)
Mile 6: 9:01
Last .29: 8:00

Time: 56:19 min (According to my Garmin)
Overall pace: 8:57 min/mile

I am really happy with that.  It was definitely not a PR, but I felt good the whole race and have felt fine since. 

Oh, and the funny thing is is that there was nothing actually wrong with my ipod . . . the volume was so low that I could not hear anything (and I even played with the volume during the race).  I guess I was not meant to run with the music this day!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Five Faves - Jumping on the bandwagon

Joing Hallie and the rest of the ladies for my five faves this week!

source: Apple a Day blog

 This chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I first saw it on a blog and then searched Pinterest to "pin it."  I make it all the time for when we have guests.  Last night I made them because one of the priests from our parish came to dinner.  He asked me, more than once,  if they were homemade because they tasted to good and looked so perfect.  Seriously, go make these today.  You will not regret it.

2. Mary Kay Miracle Set
I have always had skin that looked like a teenager's.  I had tried and tried many different skin care products over the years and the Mary Kay Miracle Set has been the only thing to keep my skin clear and looking good.  The worst part?  When I run out and have to wait a week for the reorder . . .my skin will inevitably break out!
Yesterday I was listening to classical music while cleaning the house.  Vivaldi was playing.  My 6 year old came into the kitchen and began reading.  He suddenly looked up and said, "Mom, this is Vivaldi."  I was amazed.  We have done composer studies and read great books on classical music, but I really have the Classical Kids CD series to thank for his ability to know different classical pieces.

Classical Kids are fictional stories.  The composers are in the stories and the story gives true details about the composer.  The composer's pieces are played throughout the story.  They are engaging and fun and my boys have LOVED them. 

4. Spotify
I love being able to listen to music on Spotify.  The thing I like the most is being able to listen to cheesy 80's and 90's songs that I would never want to own, but just want to listen to once for nostalgic purposes.

5.  This 5 year old!!

It is so hard to believe that my "baby" turned 5 this week!!  Perfect way to end my FIVE favorites . . . with my FIVE year old!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes

1. Lots of life going on here!  It has been a BUSY, but fun week!! On Monday, the boys and I went to visit Colleen and her family.   I think the blogosphere can be strange in that you honestly get to know people you never met and you consider them friends.  So, it was great to finally meet her.  My boys loved her kids too and keep asking me if we can visit them at their house when we go to Cape Cod over the summer! So, you might just have some summer guests, Colleen!!

Colleen and I
Two of my boys and two of Colleen's with the deer skull and antlers they found!

2.  I have a new job . . .

You know besides being a mom, and homeschooling my children, and life coaching and personal training on the side . . .
I am working for a company called Run Pretty Far. They make super cute running apparel.  The founder of the company, Jenn, is amazing.  This opportunity just fell in my lap and it is needed right now, so I am thanking God for His hand in all of this.  I will be working at a few local race expos for Run Pretty Far.  And, it is VERY part time, but perfect for our family's schedule!
One of my favorite shirts from Run Pretty Far

So, if you are at a Race Expo in the DC area and see a Run Pretty Far booth, come say hi!  It will be me!

3.  I am actually running a race this weekend!
I am running the Sole of the City 10K!  This is the first race I have done in almost a YEAR! It is hard to believe I have been injured for that long.  I am still not 100%, but I can get through 6 miles without any pain, so I consider that a win.  I am going with some ladies from our local chapter of Moms Run This Town, so it should be fun.  I have no time goal since I am not even close to PR shape, but it should be a fun morning!

4. Boston

I had heard about the explosions at the marathon just minutes before leaving from our visit with Colleen.  With things like this, we sort of do a "media blackout" in the house. There is no need for our kids to over hear about what happened in Boston and have them worry, especially since their mom likes to run in races.  So, I have heard and read, "just enough."  The whole thing just makes me so sad.  So sad, especially because the people who were most affected were family members, who  enthusiastically came to the finish to see their loved one accomplish a goal.  It made me think of my second marathon and seeing my boys' faces as I approached the finish line and how that moment was so different for those in Boston on Monday.

Yet, being a runner, I have see the whole running community rally this past week.  So many running groups and individuals have been doing so much to help the community of Boston and those affected by this tragedy.  Another Mother Runner put together a great post of ways to help.  Running stores are putting together events.  It is beautiful to see the outpouring of compassion that is happening right now in the running community.  It makes me so proud to be a runner!

5.  Need your input . . .


 What color do you like the best?????

6. Do not forget about my Albion Fit Crew giveaway!!

7.  Some Little Flower Cuteness for you to start your weekend off right . . .

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Albion Fit Go Long Crew Giveaway (Yay! A giveaway!)

I am always on the look out for nice, cute and reasonably priced fitness and active wear.  Thanks to Colleen for her review that I found Albion Fit.  Albion fit is a family owned company in Albion Basin, Utah.  They specialize in cute and trendy (and really comfortable) women's fitness and workout clothing and swimwear.
Here are some of my favorites from their web site:

Black Blousy Swim Suit . . . LOVE THIS!

26.2 Jacket - I just love the name!!
Albion fit was kind enough to send me their Go Long Crew in Fuchsia for review.

The shirt is super soft and really comfortable!  It has thumb holes, which are perfect for me because my hands are always cold!  I have not run in the shirt yet because it came in the mail right when our temperatures hit 80+ , but I think the shirt is ideal for yoga!

And guess what??? One of you will be lucky enough to win one!!

So, enter below.  There are LOTS of ways to get extra entries.  If you are on Facebook or Pinterest, you can earn extra entries . . . so go pick your favorite item on Albion Fit and tell me what it is for an extra chance to win the Go Long Crew in Fuchsia! 

And you all can get $15 off any order $50 or more by using the code: fullhands15 (expires 4/30)!  Happy shopping!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What I Wore Sunday #4

Joining the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple again for What I Wore Sunday!  Come join the fun too.  This week I had come home, got on my favorite pair of yoga pants and got all comfortable and THEN remembered that I had not had my hubby take my picture yet for WIWS, sooooo, I got all dressed up again just for this picture . ..

Shirt: Apt. 9 (Kohls)
Linen Pants: Old Navy
Shoes: Hush Puppies (Who knew they made heels?!) (Thrift Store Find)

The Gospel reading from today is one of my most favorite (John 21: 1-19).  And, even though my allergies were bothering me today, it was not my allergies, but the Gospel that was making me tear up in mass.  There are so many things I love about this reading, but what struck me the most, today, is our commission when we proclaim our love for Christ.  Just as Peter's life was truly no longer his own, when he recommitted his love to Christ that morning on the shore, our lives, when lived for Christ are not our own.  We are in service to HIM and to those He has placed in our lives.  But, even before He asked Peter if he loved HIM, what did HE do?  He showed Peter, and us, that HE first takes care of us.  That HE loves us and that when we commit to serving HIM and HIS people, HE will take care of all of our needs.  What a great message to start our weeks on!

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Linking up with Grace today.  Praying for Jen and little JT who is still in the NICU!

1. The weather has been weird here.  And, I do not like to complain, but it has been HOT.  We hit 90 on Wednesday!!  Doesn't Mother Nature know it is just April?  Of course, it has thrown off our homeschooling.  The boys keep on asking me if we can go to the pool!?!?  I tried to explain to them that the pool does not open for another month and a half. I think the heat is getting to them.

2. Since it has been warm, we have taken advantage of it and gone on two field trips this week!! The first was to the National Arboretum.  The cherry blossoms are in bloom right now and I really wanted to see them.  We have not gone to see the cherry blossoms since J was a baby.  And, as much as I would love to see the blossoms near the Jefferson Memorial, I am just not a fan fighting the traffic and wading through all of the tourists in DC, so we hit the lesser know, but beautiful National Arboretum.  The nice thing too, is that it is right inside to boarder of the city;  so we just hop in and out.  We had lots of fun and the afternoon was perfect.

3. The following day we went to Historic St. Mary's City.  We try to make it to their Homeschool Day each year.  I love it.  St. Mary's was the first Catholic settlement in the New World and the first colony in MD.  The boys had fun and were put to work on the tobacco plantation.

4.  I shared this on Facebook, but did not here . . .  we have designs for the Run for the Little Flowers Shirt.  
Sorry for the weird picture . . . I had to take a screen shot in order to post it.  (The top is the front of the shirt, the bottom is the back)  I took a poll on Facebook to see which one we should use, and Option 2 was the favorite.  Funny, it was not my favorite.  I preferred #3.

Which one do you like??

5. Some more pictures from the Arboretum
6. Should I be worried?
My 4 year old spent the day on Wednesday begging me for a hammer, and nail and a pocket knife!  My other two NEVER asked for those things when they were his age.  When questioned as to why he wanted these items, he just replied that he had work to do outside!!
7.  Because you haven't seen enough pictures already   . . . .

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome! It's messy in here!

(Written a few days ago)

I am in a mad dash to clean the house.  We will have dinner guests in about an hour. The boys are outside playng in the dirt, which means in about 45 minutes, there will be dirt all over my kitchen floor. 

I do not like to clean.  Most days,if you came to my house, you would be greeted by my nice brown chair, full of laundry . . . sorry, you can't sit there.

The kitchen counters would have paper, kids cups, and random items that were left on the floor, on them.  The sink would be full of dishes . . . .

 If you happened to knock on the door during school hours, you would see books everywhere, pencils strewn on the floor, and our chalk door containing scribbles . . .

But, when we have guests even if it is a mom friend with their kids for a play date.  I clean. And clean. And clean.  And the house looks nice.  Really nice, I think.  And today, I am wondering why.  I mean it is nice to have the house clean for guests.  But wouldn't it be even nicer to be REAL and let friends walk into my house when it is at its normal state?  I know when I walk into a house that is perfectly clean, no toys on the floor, etc, I begin to feel that somehow I am not quite the mom I should be, because, after all, my house does not look like that all the time.  

But what if I let myself be just a bit more real around other moms?  What if that helped just one more mom feel more comfortable about having messes around her home too?  Because after all, isn't that what friendship is about . . . being real and allowing others to be real around you.

So, welcome to my home.  Welcome to my mess!  Won't you come in and have a cup of coffee?