Sunday, July 30, 2006

Third Place Hammer Heads

"Why do I keep beating myself over the head with a hammer?, Because it feels so good when I stop."

We did it again. This time Kenton joined in and we all finished well. Me, my dad, and Kenton ran in the St. Mark's Heal 2 Heel 2 mile run yesterday. We ran through the neighborhood, across Hillside, through the WSU campus, and finally back down that hill to the finish line. Kenton blasted off and quickly left my dad and I behind, only to be passed by us at the half way mark. I came in a few seconds before my dad at 17:22 and Kenton was about a minute behind us at 18:10. (My Dad's 49 by the way.... that kinda of leves us without excuse about saying running is too hard... way to go dad, thanks for the inspiration). I was really proud of Kenton. He'd only ran that far two times before. Jedidiah (Kenton's baby brother) got the bug and saved his money to sign up for the youth challenge. He ran a 1k in less than 5 minutes. I was so proud of him. As you can see he was very tired. Little Judah got a medal for his hard work of running through the parking lot all morning. He kept his NeeNee on her toes as she held all our stuff and took pictures.

This run sponsored the health clinic at St. Mark's and they had a great day of fun going on. As Kenton was getting his free massage, we all stopped dead in our tracks when we heard over the PA, "Third place in the male 24-29 age group with a time of 18:10, Kenton...." "What did she say?" There was a long pause as the officials were taking pictures of the other winners. Again, we froze, Kenton had gotten up, "As I was saying, Third place, Kenton Hansen." We all just laughed, his first time out and he gets a medal. Even more to our surprise, I hear my name for the same category for females.
We all walked away with a medal and our chins a little higher that morning.
Running is hard. It's hard to breathe, you sweat, your mouth feels like you swallowed dirt, you constantly doubt yourself, you continuously lose your breath, your muscles, hurt before, during, and after. But when your done, it feels so good.
So why do we keep beating our heads with hammers?
Because it feels so good when we stop.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Let's Ride!

As I sat outside with Judah and he picked one of many berries off the plants, he asked me, "did the birds paint this grape green?" I said, "No, God did." With amazement and searching he inquired, "God hangs out here!!??"
Yes, Judah he does. What a fun way to introduce Judah to the fact that yes, God hangs out everywhere. We furthered our discussion by explaining why we can't see him. That's a tricky one to convey to a two-year-old. We left it at an understanding that we can't see him, but we can feel him. So when the winds blows Judah goes, "There! There's God there."
This past week it has been so incredibly hot. Three days in a row it's been over 100 degrees by 11AM. Just to get our exercise in we have to rise as early as possible, however when it's 80 degrees at 5:45 AM, there's not much hope of a cool start. Judah's beloved walks to find "litebugs" have been pushed as late as possible, just to avoid the heat. We managed to wrangle up a few bugs, but even they were not very active this past week.

They're in there, but they weren't much up for posing for the camera!

After nearly 48 hours indoors, I had to do a double take when I saw the weather report say the high for Friday was 88 degrees. Oh, it was wonderful, a cool down! The temperature was over25 degrees cooler for our morning run, I felt "chilly"!

So with this great break in the heat we decided to make the most of it. We jumped back on our bikes and made the longest trip we'd ever done yet. We rode from our house (Douglas & Hillside) to my parents house (Central & 119th). It was long and man, we felt God the whole way! The wind seemed to change so that each way we were riding into it! While we "felt" God I thought I was seeing him appear. Kenton typically rides infront and as we progressed this shape starts to form on his back. I didn't alert the press, because they only seem to care when someone sweats the shape of the virgin mary. I thought it looked very Christ like, what do you think?

Maybe you don't see it, but I thought it was funny. It looked like Jesus on the cross, or an angel or a worshipper. Whatever it was, we were definitely being watched over as we rode. Kenton hit a patch of sand and I watched him skid and slide and I expected trauma to take place, but He got up from this crash un-injured. Not even a scratch! Judah was actually alsleep and woke up saying, "Daddy, What you do?"

I don't know why he was having so much trouble, I just fly along and never have any problems!

(oh, yeah... except for when I'm lugging the extra 40 plus pounds that is Judah and his trailer, up hill!)

While the ride left us un-marred, Kenton was not lucky enough to avoid getting some sort of reminder.

As he says, He's melaninly challenged!

Lot's of fun.... anyone want to start a biker gang? We could go show off to all the ten year olds by popping wheelies, like Kenton does!


Monday, July 17, 2006


As you can see we went all out to celebrate our anniversary! (Romance is so over rated!) We had a blast playing video games, racing go-karts, playing mini golf (I totally beat Kenton, perfect score on the 'back nine'), riding carnival rides, and reaping our awesome prizes! We walked away with several friendship bracelets, Chinese handcuffs, two bouncy balls, a mini parachute man, and a game of Old Maid.

We ended the night by dinner at our favorite place, Chipotle. But because it was a special day we were going all out and having burritos with chips and guac. Having waited for this treat for so long we were so upset when the lady said they were out of chips. How can Chipotle be out of chips? Regretting our decision to venture to this atypical location, we called up our normal Chipotle right by our house and asked if we could buy some chips. We explained it was too late to make it before close, but we'd be there soon. The manager recognized Kenton's voice and said she'd give us all the chips they have to get rid of at the end of the night anyway. YES! So we finish up, head back towards home, pick up our chips only to find out that the manager had phoned the other store and that manager said to come back the next night and we'd be treated to a free meal. Free chips and a free meal! Sweet! Could it be any better for two Chipolte fanatics? YES, yes it can! We opened the bag of chips to find a coupon for YET another free meal! Three meals, and chips for the price of two burritos!!!! WE LOVE CHIPOTLE!!!!!!!

For whatever reason there are traditional gifts to be given for each year of marriage. Year one is paper, I gave Kenton books, he gave me things that cost paper money (ha!). Year two is cotton. We both purchased clothes for the other. Year three is leather. I gave Kenton a new bible and he got me a book with a leather book mark. Year four is fruit or flowers. I gave Kenton pomegranate juice, a cactus, and clothes with the Apple logo. He got me this really cute apple necklace.

We had fun! Happy Anniversary to you all too!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

July 12, 2002

"I know we've only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days. The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days. And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days. And the fifth day you went to see your mother and that seemed just like a day, and then you came back and later on the sixth day, in the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming like two days, so in the evening it seemed like two days spilling over into the next day and that started seeming like four days, so at the end of the sixth day on into the seventh day, it seemed like a total of five days. And the sixth day seemed like a week and a half. I have it written down, but I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it."

Oh, How the time can fly. I think at this time four years ago, I was being pushed up and over the wall to the light and video booth at church. I was in the middle of getting my make-up done and the flower lady showed up to decorate the church and the door to the booth was locked. The worship center was dark and she needed lights to decorate. So when life gives you lemons.... you hoist the bride up and throw her head first into a video booth!
Without too many other hiccups the ceremony ran fairly smooth. And here we are today. What a journey it has been and I'm so glad that in many ways it's only just begun. (Ah.... anyone got any Carpenters to serenade this post to?)

As we looked ahead and planned for this special little celebration, this year we took a whole new approach to the festivities.
So, if you've even spent two minutes with Kenton or I you know we like food. We've had a fickle relationship with this mutual love of cuisine. In the past, our beloved was a consuming passion that began to show quite heftily around our waistbands. About year ago, we decided that maybe it was time we spent more time apart from this obsession of ours. And to our splendor, we have gotten much healthier as a result. SOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....... very long story short, we wanted to fraternise with our old flame to celebrate this milemarker. To "earn" this sweet reward we made a deal that we would work for it. That meant cutting calories and exercising everyday for three weeks. We were faithful and have been bitten by the running and biking bug.
Every morning we've put on our cheap shoes and hit the pavement.
I'm up to two miles at a time and Kenton is cutting seconds off his fast mile every morning. We put over fifty miles on our bikes this past weekend, and had a few minor crashes as you can see by our road rash.

Here we are yesterday morning, after we both took our turns running, knowing that our plunder was less than 24 hours away.

Yeah, I know we look good! Whatever... it's been freakin' hot and humid at 6:30 in the morning!

We made it, and today we have been treated to all the fast food, all you can eat, and chocolate infused snacks that make this such a great country to live in! While canoodling with this former love has been nice and very temporary, I can say with the utmost satisfaction: Nothing tastes better than spending your life with someone who is running this race with the same fervor and passion as you, and that they are chasing the same goal as you, and that they are giving it everything they've got to love you with the love Christ gives to us. Un-ending, perfect, appetizing, and filling love. Today is a great day.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy Birthday America!

After the several questions of "why?" We were able to explain the 4th of July to Judah by telling him it was like a big birthday party for our country. When we went too deep for his two year old intellect by telling him that were celebrating our independence from the king, we just backed it up and let it be a big birthday party for now. Maybe next year we'll get into all that other stuff! Either way, we had a good time playing with all our fireworks. Judah purchased some on his own with his potty training money, but his Mr. Randy hooked him up with the rest. He really likes the chickens! Here's to all of our independence and hoping you and yours had a great holiday!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


As I climbed out of the car still dripping a little sweat, I said to Kenton, "Isn't it funny how life changes?" He agreed with me as I un-pinned the number off my stinky shirt. Today I did something I've never done before, I ran a "run." Not only did I complete this run, but I did it with my Dad.
As I sit here still a little giddy about all the new possibilities that could arise from this charter adventure, I can't believe that only a few weeks ago, this wouldn't have been possible.
I got this little bug about four weeks ago that inspired me to go running in the morning. The motives were probably vainly driven. I probably gained a pound or ate too much the night before, but whatever it was, I followed through with it. The first day out I couldn't make it around the corner with out nearly keeling over and calling it quits. But as a few days passed I was getting a little further each time. Still I had no real motivation to keep up with this "freakin' hard" task.
A few days later when I was probably to the end of this little phase, my Dad caught wind that I've been out there every few mornings getting my butt kicked by the pavement. He starts giving me advice and incredible encouragement. You see, many weekends of my childhood were spent waiting at finish lines to clap and cheer for my Dad, so he had accredited advice to bestow. Next thing I know he's telling me that there's a run out in Derby on the fourth of July, there's a mile run, and he's willing to do it with me. Am I interested? Are you kidding? A mile seemed way out of my grasp at this point, when a block was causing hyperventilation. I said, "I'll think about it." I had a reason to run now, I hadn't fully committed yet, but I knew I wanted to, I was just scared. So, I learned what marked a mile in our neighborhood and kept pushing it. Started timing it, and found myself walking less and less each day. I started wearing headphones and tuning out my deep breathing, and kept going. 15 Minutes, 14 Minutes, 13 Minutes, and then it came, 10:05 and NO walking, I ran the whole thing! 9:57, 9:48, 9:30... it was getting easier! So I tell him, "Okay, I better do this thing or I'm gonna regret it." His response, "Sweeet!"

So, after running a mile at 6 Am, I shower and head to Derby with my boys, to go run this "Fun Run," that was making my stomach churn. I was so afraid of looking dumb, not knowing the "runner's jargon." I didn't even have proper shoes, "they're all gonna laugh at me," I thought to myself. "This run is for little kids and old geezers, am I going to be able to finish?" Race starts at 8:30 and around 8:15 my Dad and I go stand around the herd. We climb in the back of the mass and can't make out a word that the man on the megaphone is saying. I'm continuing to joke with my Dad about who will give up first, or was he so out of practice that he was going to have to duck out rather than be seen giving up on the mile run? We're trying to make ourselves feel better by pointing out the five year olds we're gonna take down. All the while, I'm shaking in my cheap shoes, thinking "Oh, God? What if I come in very last? I really don't want to do that." Amidst all this banter, we both are caught off guard by the loud bang of the starting pistol.
Never having done this before, I just follow my Dad and take off.

So we were off, nevermind that before we really get a stride going, the swifter among us were already rounding the quarter mile mark, but no bother, it's too late now, your in this 'til the end. We round our corners, pass several kids, a few moms waiting on their kids, one tired woman, get some personal praise from a neighborhood spectator, hit the last turn and hear the encouragement of the five year old near us, "This ain't no hill!" Who can't give it a little more push with those words? We climb this "hill" and have Grandma #1 and Grandma #2 pegged as the one's we've gotta pass. I think we got one of them for sure! I see our little fan club clapping and waving and I couldn't be more comforted that they were there. Then there it is, a beautiful orange line sprayed on the lot with the wonderful word FINISH on it. I crossed it, looked at the clock and called it good. 9:18. Now, that my be lame to you, but it was my fastest time yet, I'll call it a victory.

We drank our water, ate off the "buffet," and parted ways.
I can't describe fully what this little run has done for me, for Kenton, for Judah, for our lives, and mostly for my relationship with my Dad. I can't tell you how fun it's been to email my Dad each morning with my new time or longer distance. To have him express his excitement for this new challenge. At a family event, I smiled as I walked off and heard him tell my uncle, " Hey Jim, here's my new runner."
I couldn't get the grin off my face this morning, I was genuinely proud of my little accomplishment. An accomplishment that wouldn't have been possible in previous times. But here I was stinky and tired, placing my number 1179 next to this computer and just praising God that life changes, and today I ran a mile with my Dad.

Monday, July 03, 2006

So Much Fun You Could Spit!

We've started a new habit around here. For the last two Saturdays we have been postponing "getting ready" in case there's something that comes along that would negate the shower/bath. Yeah, I know ground breaking news, but it's so not like us to leave the house with out trying to look our best. Kenton's so self conscience about his bed head he'll do his early morning lawn mowing with a winter beanie on. So, what does that all mean to you? Not much. Unless you like seeing what we spent our Saturday afternoon doing. We had fun hitting one of the "free" water parks in town. I say "free" because there is a price.... Especially if you're brave enough like we are to venture the the park at 17th and Hillside. But you know us, "we're loners, rebels, you don't want to get messed up with our sorts!" (Only true movie goers will get that whole bit.... any guesses?)
All that craziness to say we had fun, and we were so glad we didn't get ready, because we would've just had to do it again.

I know, you're so jealous of our tans! (Sheesh! Turn down the lights!)

Mommy was kinda a wuss and was not enjoying the freezing cold water, but Daddy and Judah were having a blast!

And it's all fun and games until a friendly little game of let's spit water on Mommy breaks out!

Judah's not too skilled at this game yet, he normally laughed so much on the way over, that he'd run out of water to spit.

It was a fun time, wish you all were there. You could have gotten spit on too!