Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Actually Did It! (an overdue post)

We are ready to run!

A picture before the race.  I was nervous!

Coming into the Finish Line.  What a GREAT feeling!


I never thought I would actually know what it felt like to pin a bib number onto my shirt, lace up my running shoes, and participate in an actual race.  I never thought I would actually run in a race and get home and start researching for the next upcoming race I could participate in.  Last week I completed the goal I set for myself earlier this summer -- To train and compete in an actual 5k race.  My original goal was to finish in 30 minutes or less and I made it in 29:03 (23rd in my age group out of 85)!

I know that running 3 miles may not seem like much to many, but to this chick it is a HUGE accomplishment.  I have always been a very strong anti-exerciser and this goal was one I reluctantly made.  I knew that training was not going to be fun, and I knew there would be tons of days I would know I had to go out and run when I would rather sit home and relax.  In fact, I think it is safe to say that I was definitely the most vocal about hating all forms of exercise than any of my family and friends.    Paul even told me that he didn't think I was going to actually follow through with my goal, because he knew how much I hated exercise.

I think there was a long time that I enjoyed being the girl that hated exercise.  It was a nice and easy way to excuse my reason for not actually doing any.  I would make jokes that it was from the devil and only crazy people do things like work out.  I know it might sound hokey, but I really feel like this was a calling from God.  I really feel like God put some urge in me (because I know I did not have it in myself) to get my butt outside running.  Trust me, there had to be some divine intervention here.

Training wasn't my favorite, but I made a goal (advertised it all over FB), and somehow stuck with it.  Much of what kept my going was my commitment to run in order to raise $1000 and 1000 preemie hats for Rosie's Cozies to give to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.  We have surpassed our monetary goal, and I am hoping that over the next couple of days I collect enough hats to reach our hat goal!

Everyone keeps asking me if I have caught the "running bug," and in some ways I have. Do I love heading out to go running? Not really. I enjoy the personal time to myself, but I can't say that running is my first choice for how I want to spend some free time. However, I know there are benefits to exercise, and I hate to admit that it's been obvious. One is my lack of migraines (wahoo!), less anxiety, and increased energy.

On a sweet side, the other day I told Belle we were going to run up to the UPS Store. She put on her tennis shoes and when I opened the door to the van she started crying. When I asked what was wrong she said, "I don't want to get in the car! I want to run to the UPS Store!" Another time I was going to have to push the girls, and Belle was adamant that she was going to run next to me and DID NOT want to ride in the stroller. Again, she put on her tennis shoes and ran next to me for a couple blocks before hopping into the stroller. Hopefully I can be a positive example to my girls about a healthy lifestyle that focuses on HEALTH and not vanity.

Thank you to all who encouraged me and kept me motivated!  Paul told me he didn't think I would actually do it, but he still encouraged me the entire way, and was shocked when we made it to race day.  I am happier that I not only achieved a personal goal, but an even larger goal for Rosie's Cozies that helps many others than just my own little bubble.  Everyone that donated to the project is a hero in my heart and kept me motivated more than ever to keep training.  Now, onto my next race...AND maybe some training for a 10k??

Click here to see the video about The Bridge Run and my interview:
1,500 Gather In Downtown GR For Bridge Run

Lastly, enjoy this video highlighting Rosie's Cozies (you will need some tissues).

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday, Belle!

Dear Belle,

3 years old! How did you become such a big girl! This past year you have gone from toddler to little girl. In true motherly form, this wouldn't be a birthday post without my list of things to remember from this past year.

  1. This year you became a big sister.  This is a role you are phenomenal at.  You have pretty much held a great balance between loving on Evie without being overly interested and hurting her.  Evie laughs at everything you do, and you love to make her smile.  You, my girl, are one amazing big sister.
  2. You remember everything!  This is a good thing and a bad thing :-)
  3. Animals are still one of your favorite things.  Surprisingly, you are more into things like turtles and frogs than you are into soft and fluffy animals.  This makes Rick the Reptile Guy your best friend.
  4. Purple.  Your favorite color.  You love to tell us that this is your favorite color.  You also know that green is my favorite color and blue is Daddy's favorite color.
  5. You want to do everything on your own...yet you want me to do everything.  You are an independent girl who knows what she wants, yet there are still so many times you just want your mama to do it.   
  6. You love all things that are messy....playing with water, painting, coloring with markers, eating.  Everything somehow ends up all over your arms and on your face.  
  7. You are the queen of one-liners.  Holy smokes you have me laughing (and everyone on Facebook) daily.
  8. You love to sing like your mom.  
  9. You like to watch movies with your daddy.
  10. You have just begun to play with your dolls, little ponies, and stuffed animals in scenarios.  There is always a mommy and a daddy and I love to hear the things you come up with.
  11. You are one confident little lady.  You are very rarely shy and will talk to most anyone.
  12. You are a champ on your bike!  This summer you learned how to ride a bike and it didn't take long for you to be zooming up and down the sidewalk with no problem.
  13. This year may have been one of my biggest challenges in motherhood yet.  You are a night owl like your mom, and once we moved you to a big bed you wouldn't stay in your bed or in your room.  We tried it all!  Thankfully, these issues have been resolved for the most part.  You are a much happier little girl, and I am a much happier mama!
  14. You are a whiz on the iPad.  You can turn it on, find the app you want, and play away.  On a funny note--you now think everything is a touch screen.
  15. I love that I can have conversations with you that make sense (usually) :-)  
  16. Your prayer is, "Dear God, Heavenly Father.  Have a good day.  Glory. Amen."  Verbatim.  Every. Time.
  17. You love it when your dad reads the book "Oui-Oui" to you at bed time and you know that since it is in French I cannot read it. In fact, you could "read" it to me.
  18. I love that we brought you to Shedd Aquarium this summer and you still haven't stopped talking about it.
  19. Your favorite animal is a cat and you keep saying you are going to get one.  Your insanely allergic father would have to move out before this happened.
  20. You love to chat with everyone at Meijer.  I must do some more stranger danger education :-)  Honestly, you make best friends with everyone!
  21. I love how you walk around church like you own the joint.
  22. You could watch the exact same movie or television show over and over again.
  23. Nothing melts my heart more than when you give me a huge bear hug and say "I love you, Mama."
  24. You love to be naked.  Love it.  You love to lay on the couch with your blankies and your paci completely in the nude while watching TV.  I have also caught you outside on our deck naked and have had to stop you from answering the front door before putting clothes on.
  25. You are THE BEST helper to bake with.
  26. If there is a hard surface, it is inevitable that your head will meet it in some form creating a cut or a bruise.  I am surprised we haven't had CPS called on us yet for the amount of injuries you have incurred from your own running around.
  27. You are Daddy's little helper at church when he sets lights or clears the stage.  He is training you young.
  28. I can bribe you do to most anything by offering you some sort of junk food.  
  29. Your favorite food is popcorn.  Hmmm, I have NO clue who you get that from. 
  30. You and your dad make some impressive forts.
  31. I love how you associate books with your Mema and instantly grab them for her to read them to you when she visits.  I'm pretty sure she loves it too.  
  32. You refer to McDonald's as "Old MacDonald's," Lucky Charms as "Monkey Charms," your underwear as "under-dunders," toilets that flush automatically as toilets that are "commando," and you are constantly referring to knives as scissors and scissors as knives.
  33. Every birthday gift I bought from you you found--Even the ones in the top shelf of the laundry room.  I have a feeling we will be finding very random locations for upcoming Christmas gifts.
  34. You truly treat your birthday like a national holiday, and talk about it months in advance.
  35. I may be bias, but I think you are the coolest 3 year old around.  You are forever melting my heart, cracking me up, and making me love life more and more each day.
Happy Birthday my sweet girl!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Preschool and 10 Months

Today this girl took off for her first day of preschool. She has been so excited to head off to school and we have been talking about it for a long time. I really debated sending her this year or not, and it became more and more clear that Belle was ready for school.

Belle is busy. She is a kid that moves from one thing to the next. She loves to play with dolls, watch movies, ride her bike, color, paint, make Evie laugh, go to the zoo, read books, etc, etc, etc....and this is just enough activities to keep her busy for a few hours :-)  This girl needs more activity than I can give her.

So, it was decided that Belle was sure ready for school. I just hope that school is ready for her! I have a feeling I am going to be hearing some stories from Miss Katie and Miss Jeni of things Belle says and does.

Also today, Evie turns 10 months old!  I always say that I am amazed at how fast things go, but this first year has been flying by!

Evie is crawling everywhere and pulling herself up onto everything.  She continues to be a very easy and happy baby.  She loves to watch Belle and often abuses poor Mac by eating his ears or pulling his tail.  She also has a HUGE desire to splash in Mac's water bowl and eat his food.  My day is often spent fishing dog food out of her mouth and pulling her hands out of his water!

While celebrating each of these milestones today, I still remember what happened in our country 11 years ago.  September 11 is a reminder that life is precious.  Thank you to the soldiers and their families who sacrifice so much, and may those who hurt from having lost ones they love find peace and comfort.  I hope I remember to hug my girls and the ones I love tightly everyday and to cherish each moment I have with them.