Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Lizard I Can Be"

Oh my! Christmas is in less than a week. I can't believe it. Every year brings many familiar feelings. When we pull out the box of decorations I still stop and reminisce at particular ornaments or knick knacks. I'll think back to my bursting anticipation as a child at Christmas time. Or I'll think of the adventure of buying and setting up our first Christmas tree as a married couple.

We went to tree lots and were flabbergasted at just how much it cost to buy a real tree. We ended up at Wal-Mart picking out one that had been laying up again the front of the store. We Got it home and realized we had no ornaments except the one stuffed bear ornament my grandmother gave us over Thanksgiving. It has two bears holding a heart that reads, "Our First Christmas Together 2002."

Now as I pull out the ornaments I get to tell Judah about where each came from. He enjoys reviewing the decor he has traditionally chosen over the years. This year he was very excited to adorn our tree with his new pick of the season, Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer.

Judah get so excited now that he's older. He loves everything Christmas. Trees, snow, lights, cards, Santa, Nativity Scenes, and Christmas Carols.
The latter, carols, has become so consuming the season. He listens to Christmas music 24/7. He even listens to it while he sleeps.
Because of all the frequency, he's learned the words to nearly every song, whether he meant to or not. I over heard him singing "Mele Kalikimaka" the other day. I was so surprised at how well he knew the words. The the next morning he woke up singing "Holly Jolly Christmas" As I listened closely I had to hold back my laughter.

He Sang: "Have a holly jolly Christmas..........Oh, ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see. Somebody waits for you, LIZARD I CAN BE."

We can't tell him the real line, it's just too funny right now. "Lizard I can be," has become our anthem around here this year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"You Ran That Race in a Second"

"Mommy, you're so cool. You ran that race in a second"

It's good to be a super hero in someone's eyes. Those were Judah's words to me as I explained to Kenton, "I was second."
I let him think I was that fast for a few hours, then I had to tell him, "No, I was the second finisher, or second place, it took me a little longer than a second."

Saturday the 6th was The Jingle Bell Run. Along with many lovely people, We raced a four mile course on a beautiful December morning.
I was blessed to set a new PR and officially finish in 27:59. I was the second female finisher for the course. That is where Judah got the clever idea about my finishing time. I was awarded a sweet gold jingle bell for being the fist to finish in my age group.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Fish and His Boy

As incentive to work hard at school and gain green happy faces, we promised Judah a fish.
Judah had been struggling to obtain many green happy faces in his first few weeks of school. We made the deal that once he filled a whole week with good marks, we'd take him and buy him a "rainbow fish."
After several near successes, he did it. On October 19, 2008, we went to Wal-Mart and brought home a lovely little beta fish.
Judah named him, Loupy-Doupy-Ooup. Kenton and I called him Lou for short.
Lou quickly adapted to our home and became a little member of the family. We hadn't had much luck with other fish before and after a few weeks, we were so happy to see Lou thriving in his little bowl.
Judah decided to officially change his name to, "just Lou, it's easier."
As it got colder, we moved Lou in to our bedroom, because the kitchen was so chilly and now we all were growing really fond of our Chinese Fighting Fish.
Once in our room, I found myself observing him more and eventually talking to him.
"Hey Lou, how you doin' buddy?"
Judah would pop in and say, "hey buddy, it's me, what 'cha doin'?" Or, "Hey Lou, I drew you a picture of us together so you won't be lonely when I'm gone."
We taped the picture up on the bowl and had a magnetic L resting on the front of the bowl for a while too.
"Mommy, Lou starts with 'L', I'm going to give it to him, 'L' for Lou."
Lou even began to show a vivid interest in anyone who would come up to his bowl and talk to him. He'd flutter right over to the glass and start flapping his fins rapidly.
I thought I was going crazy. I told Kenton, "He's a strangely social fish, I think he likes people."
After the laughs and jokes, people started seeing what I meant. He really was social and likes people to talk to him.
We had grown so attached to a three dollar fish. A reward we thought wouldn't make it through the following week was now a deeply loved member of our family. A family who never really has or ever intended on being pet lovers, had become emotionally invested in a fish.

This morning we discovered Lou had jumped out of his bowl. He had done it hours prior. There was no hope in bringing Lou back. Lou was gone.

It was ten minutes until school started and I was a blubbering mess. I knew we couldn't tell Judah before school. I tried to get it together and dropped him off.
The sting in it all was that we had made plans to go to the pet store after school to buy Lou a Christmas present, per Judah's request.

Kenton made plans to be home from work so we could talk to Judah together. When Kenton told him that Lou had jumped out, Judah thought we were joking. He was laughing, because he knows his Daddy is always making jokes.
My face screwed up as my eyes welled with tears, "I'm so sorry baby, he really did."

Poor little boy. His little smile was erased so quickly and replaced with tears and a trembling lip.
I grabbed him and held him tight as he sobbed into my shoulder.
All he said was, "I want him back."

Lou was too special to receive the traditional burial at sea, he was placed in a small box and buried in the yard. One of Judah's large river stones marks the spot where our beloved Lou lies now.

As we placed him in the ground Judah squeaked out a, "bye Lou."
We came in and held one another. Kenton asked him what his favorite thing was about Lou. With tears still pouring, he said, "He would flap his wings when I talked to him."

I don't like being a mommy today. I hate watching him go through this.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The (sorta) Long and Winding Road

In the midst of my broken Ramus (I hate my non-running life) depression, I found myself walking in to the local running store, First Gear, one spring afternoon.
I was headed in to sign up Judah for the kids 1K race. It was my first reason for entering the store in months.
As soon as I cracked the door open, the usual friendly face of Raquel greeted me with, 

"Well, there she is right now." 
I'm sure I even looked over my shoulder,
 wondering what she could be talking about. She said, 
"we were just talking about you."
I think, "We?" "Who's we?" At that moment Oliver walks around the corner. Oliver is a friend I met when we took the 2007 marathon training class together. Oh yeah, and he's a crazy fast runner too!
Long story short, he was trying to get in contact with me about being a racing partner for Wichita's Marathon Relay race in October. I was honored by his words. He referred to me as a "serious runner." He also explained that he felt like having me as a partner would give us a good chance at winning.
In my funk, I felt a light flicker back on. October was five months away and the window seemed plausible, that I might be a runner again by then. I explained to him my injury and how I was on board as long as my PT would support my desire.
I left our chat, with some sense of hope, that my precious passion wasn't dead, and that the Lord was giving me something to tangibly believe and hope for. It was quite unique how our paths crossed that day.
I continued on my way. Every few weeks I'd get a phone call from Oliver. He'd be checking on me and seeing if I was still interested. I gave the custom response, "As long as I can, I want to."
By July, I was approved to go on my first treadmill jog. Then I was allowed to do a couple of miles outdoors. I was approved to do some very short races, like one and two milers. I slogged through some hot Kansas heat runs. Gradually increased mileage and dealt with every new aliment along the way. I embraced cross training, learned to love my bike. I appropriately named my bike, Ramey, after my injury. I went for my first long distance race in September. I'd been struggling through some pretty painful tendinitis on my feet, but pulled off a PR at the Wichita Half Marathon. I felt encouraged as Oliver and I went over our finishing times at the after party. We got even more excited the next week when we took first at Wichita's Race for the Cure, and we grinned big together as we claimed our awards the following week at Octoberfest. Things were looking good for our team.
I was giddy that the Lord had brought me to such a place of health and healing.
One week before the race, the nag in my right foot was persisting and I couldn't seem to stretch it out. I had friends praying over my foot. Wonderful friends de-railed our entire small group to lay hands on my foot and pray. I was encouraged to recognize this gift of running and fight against any and all attacks of the enemy as I went forward. Things seem to get worse. I could barely walk or even get a shoe on. I stayed off of it, rode my bike and pondered all that was going on. I called Wendy, my hero. 
She got me through my first marathon. She tattooed my heart with the truth that "All things are possible with Christ." She is afflicted with lupus but runs, lives, hopes, and believes. She has defied all the odds over and over. Her faith is incredible. Like I said, she's my hero.
I explained to her what was going on, and how I didn't know what to believe. Do I believe in healing? Or do I just say, "Lord, your will be done?"
She never makes my pettiness seem insignificant. I worry about coming to her with my problems, when I know she's living with a disease. She never lets me feel that way for long. She told me that she was going to believe for me, because she knew I didn't have the strength at that moment. She prayed for me and told me she'd see me Sunday, since she was racing too.
I walked away from that conversation with a renewed belief that I was going to put my anchor in the Lord and let him do his thing.
Did he ever!
I hopped out of the car Sunday morning to go inside the Derby Rec Center and wait for the start of our race. It was chilly so I took off for a jog. There was absolutely no pain. It was incredible. I found Wendy relaxing on the floor of the gym and I a smiled a smile that wouldn't leave my face the rest of the day.
Oliver showed up to cheer on our teams first leg. He stood with Kenton and Judah as I popped in line with Wendy. The gun shot and we were off. I told Wendy I loved her as our paces shifted and I ran pain free on my way.

It was a great day for this race. The wind was at our back. The Lord flew my body through the course faster than I'd ever gone. There were many warm faces along the way. I was just all smiles as I passed. At the 10K mark I noticed I was at 46 minutes. That was my best 10K race time and I was running 13.1 miles this day. I thought to myself, "Lord, what are you doing?" It was just incredible to be seeing his hand in this.
I rounded the corners of the air force base and the halfway point was in sight. I could now make out Oliver standing and waiting for me to give him the "baton," or slap bracelet. I kicked it in and literally slapped that bracelet on his wrist and yelled, "go get 'em" and "have a good race!"
I waited for Wendy to finish and in those minutes, I looked down at my Garmin and noticed my time was just under 1:44, my best time by four minutes. What a day!

We hightailed it to downtown and waited briefly for Oliver to show up.
My Dad and I went down a ways to see him coming in. He's incredibly fast and so for the last two blocks we tried to keep up with him and run him in, I couldn't keep up, but I could care less, my work was done.
His 1:34:12 finish and my 1:43:56 landed us a 3:18:08.
We placed second. With our necks adorned, my smile went on for miles.
There are so many details I could include. About the weather, the course, the people, etc. But I'm just so impressed by the encounters The Lord has designed in my life. By the graciousness of my Father in Heaven. By the passion put in my heart for this sport. By the honest to goodness miracle that took place in my life that day. I'm overwhelmed by the desire I have to give Jesus all the credit for all the good and perfect gifts in my life.

Psalm 131:3
 3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD 
       both now and forevermore.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Fifth Anniversary of Judah Owen

Well, he's our only. He's our baby transformed into a big boy. He's too smart for us to handle sometimes. He's hilarious. He's very sweet. He's a really good friend. He's incredibly ornery. He can spell his own name. He can read ten words. He loves "eggs in a frame." He's afraid of the dark, but hates to sleep with a night light. He loves to build masterpieces, that his Mommy accidentally mistakes for coffee cups and straws and throws them away. He always wants his Daddy to snuggle with him at bedtime. He loves to win and hates it when cheating is his only option to win. He came home from school last week explaining how he's "crazy about Hannah."
He's learning to always hold the door for ladies and elderly people. He loves to use the cross walk to get to school in the morning. He's a really good dancer. He has great pitch for a little kid. He hasn't mastered the zipper or catching a ball, but he is a pretty descent video gamer. He's not afraid to drop from the monkey bars. He prays with his hands behind his head, he got very sad when he learned that Pharaoh "kept hardening his heart," he loves to sing, "nothing but the blood of Jesus," he was ecstatic when he learned Jesus can walk on water, and when I look into his eyes, I can see a faith I only wish I had.
Judah's arrival 5 years ago, was a miracle. A beautiful surprise. As I held him then and I still try to now, I thank my God for letting me experience His love through my beautiful child.

3 John 1:4

4I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Oh yeah and He's spoiled rotten!!! :) We partied hard at MyGym

Happy Fall Y'all

Pumpkins, hay, corn mazes, and slides OH MY!
We've done it all this fall. We joined my family in Norman, OK for a fun day out on the pumpkin patch. Some of us had more fun than others....Kenton!

I'm just glad that he didn't really hurt him self on that slide!

My nephew, Landon, loves "Noopy" and "The Great Pumpkin." So he showed us all how to rock the P.Patch right.

We had a great day.

Judah went on his first school field trip to the pumpkin patch out at Cox's Farm.

He rode on the bus with all his friends for the first time. (They have to keep their bus safety vests on the entire field trip, and his coat didn't hide his, in case you were wondering what was up with that!)
We had fun helping many first timers understand the concept of the pumpkin patch. He has many diverse cultures in his class and many children were very confused at first. "You want me to go pick up a pumpkin?"
On Halloween, his school concluded Spirit Week with Pajama Day and a party.
Harvest greeting to everyone!