No take backs!

Man! As soon as I hit "publish" I regretted even talking about the half marathon!
I have never done a road race, and I'm not competitive... why did I sign up for this? Follow that up with several people who are real runners saying they've never done a half... I have some serious regrets, here!
Oh well- cats out of the bag and I can't wrestle it back in! ;)
Like I said, my goal is to finish... period. I do have a training schedule (it was for beginners!) and I've been doing a lot of reading on running- its it's own little cult world, isn't it? I thought I was more of a "techie" but I find myself leaning more towards the "minimalist" group... I went for a 4 mile run last Saturday sans-iPod, and I loved it! There is just something freeing about running without music-I'm down with that!
Spending the last year getting healthier has been quite the adventure. The foods I'm eating (quinoa- for example, would never had been on my radar a year ago, let alone in my lunch bag!), the activities I've done (Insanity, running four miles at once *gasp*), and the respect I've gained for what my body is capable of have been the best and biggest changes over the last year.
So, you healthy folks- what are your favorite healthy food? Favorite body-changing workouts? Favorite gear or gadgets? Favorite blogs to read? :)
I'd love to know what you all do to make yourselves feel like wonder-women! Spill it!



Just checking in.... promise I didn't fall of the face of the Earth!

Actually, "real life" has been very busy- my real job has gotten REAL! :) I was hired in October and trained to work for a new surgeon. She's here, and has hit the ground running. From the few weeks I've worked with her, I'm really impressed with her as both a physician and a person. It's really nice to work for a doctor that you respect, and honestly this is the first job in a long time that I haven't had that "Sunday Dread" feeling... You know- when you realize that the following day is a work day, and then you just feel like crying? Hasn't happened here yet. That's a bonus!

I also spent a long weekend babysitting my 5 month old niece. Had to sneak a quick photo session in with her:
She's gorgeous! We have had a lot of people compare her looks to Madigan at the same age. What do you think?

They could definitely pass for sisters! (My niece is my brother's daughter).

I also have been busy working out... I think I'm officially ready to announce that I signed up for my first race... a half-marathon.
It is my goal to finish it- I'm fairly sure running the entire way is out of the question! But I have a "go big" mentality with goal setting, and needed something to work for. The race is April 9th- feel free to plan on being there with hand-made signs to cheer me on!! I'm gonna need all the motivation possible... I'm using a 12 week training program so we will see how it goes. :) (Any advice from you runners is greatly appreciated!!)

That's about all I have to say for now!


Heaven is For Real

Last night, I downloaded a book onto our kindle titled "Heaven is For Real".

I could. not. put. it. down.

I read the entire thing immediately after downloading it.
This is a story of a Nebraska family who comes muchtooclose to losing their young son. Months later, and over the course of a few years, the son begins to talk about his near death experience with bone-chilling, child-like honesty and accuracy.

I suggest you read this book if any of the following apply:

If you believe in God.
If you don't believe in God.
If you're not sure if you believe in God.
If you have ever lost a child, or have a child, or know one of those children who speak directly and honestly.
If you like to read.
If you don't like to read but swore you'd read one book this year.

This is an easy-to-read, engrossing and deeply moving story.
Read it.
You'll never regret it.



Back when we were trying to get pregnant, I felt very alone. I didn't have any "in real life" friends who had difficulties getting pregnant- it was lonely. Seeking more information about infertility, I came across an online support group for infertile women. I found so many women there, just like me, wanting more than anything to become a mother to someone.
Several of these women "graduated", and a few of them even had children the same month as I did! Some did not and although I know it was hard, they continued to offer support to me and I to them as much as we could. I can honestly say that I have true, blue friends in this world- friends who's faces I've never seen!

One friend is married to a children's musician (among this family's plethora of talents), who sent Miss M a care package full of music and threads from her hubs. Madigan is a huge "Fanbot"- I'd offer a better picture as proof but when she's got her "Madigan-bot" shirt on, she's a robot dancing fool....
So I was clap-my-hands-and-laugh-out-loud excited when I read her most recent blogging adventure. Read up, soak it up, and follow along with her.

She's not the only never-been-met friend of mine with an amazing story. Check out April, another friend from the same support group. She's got a daughter close in age to Madigan, and a son that her family is now in the midst of bringing home from Korea. If you'd like to get in on her amazing fundraiser, then I suggest you click on that as well.

I guess if this rambling has any point at all it's this:
Maybe sometimes the things in life that seem to make us feel so empty and isolated in the beginning are actually the things that, given a little time, will make our hearts and lives feel so overwhelmingly full.


Poet, I'm not....

Today, Madigan is two and a half.
It's been amazingly fast, and more than anything I could have ever imagined.

A little back story on the post below. I wrote this when Madigan was about 4 months old, in one of those early morning times when it's just you, your baby and a very quiet house. I've had it saved for quite a while, and I'm pretty sure I've never shared it before, because it feels pretty personal to me still.
I can't think of any better time to share than right now. She's growing up, day by day, right in front of me. Before I know it, she'll be a mother herself, and hopefully she finds some joy in those early morning hours, just as I did.
Without further adieu:

As I sit in the stillness of my house, the quiet hours before dawn, I rock my baby and I cry.

Her dreamy eyes, such a vibrant blue, look up at me from nursing, and blink heavily. I think about all the things her life will see; the injustice of the world that I cannot explain, and the beauty of this earth that God created with her in mind. She closes her eyes and drifts to sleep, and I cry.

As I hold her up on my chest, I feel her warm breath on my neck. I rock her to the rhythm of her breathing, slowly, back to sleep as the house sits quiet and dark, and I breathe with her. She lets out a squeak, then a deep sigh, and just breathes. I think about her little voice and I pray that she will use it to speak up for the less fortunate. I pray that some day, she will use her voice to help others in need, and soothe the souls of those who hurt. I think about her voice and the changes she can make with only her words, and I cry.

Her tiny hand grasps my finger and squeezes it tight. I squeeze her back, needing her more than she needs me, I think. I dream about the days, not too far from now, when that tiny hand will let go of mine and swing through the air during her first steps. Some day, that tiny hand will hold the hand of a young man; it will wear a wedding band, it will hold my grandchildren. I ask God to use her hands, so tiny and perfect, to touch the lives of others with a positive influence. I hope that she will know the most effective way to use her hands is to fold them in prayer. She lets my finger slip from her hand, and I cry.

I feel the weight of her tiny body in my arms, so small but so perfect. Her little body is so wonderful in every way, so soft, and so thoroughly her own. I hope she learns to love her body for its awesome ability to move and to do. I want her to have confidence in her physical appearance, to be blind to the images imposed on her from society. I pray she makes wise choices regarding her body and her health. Her tiny body lays warm against my arms, and I cry.

My tears are a mixture of love and sorrow. Love for my daughter, for my family, and for my God who has given this all to me, despite the fact I feel so undeserving of this. Sorrow for those who cannot experience this, who struggle with the ability to reach motherhood despite all the medical efforts and prayer and tears of their own. And as I lay her gently down in her crib, I see a fleeting smile cross her beautiful lips. I see her smile in her sleep, I think of the greatness which she is capable of, and I smile too.

Happy two and a half, Miss M. You're still as marvelous as ever.


Let it snow...

Miss M was terribly happy this past new year's weekend when I opened the shades while she was eating breakfast, and she discovered it had snowed!

So, we bundled up in several layers and grabbed a dinosaur (of course?) and into the wild we went! Madigan has always been adventurous! She ran around for quite a while. Her dinosaur got stuck in the snow, and we had to "shovel him out" with a broom.

Don't worry- we saved him. This dino won't go down in an ice age! Note the pink cheeks- she was starting to get super-chilly! So we finished up our snow day exactly as you should:



Happy 2011!

So, I thought maybe I should go public with my "resolution" this year... :)
Might it keep me honest? Hmm... maybe, maybe not. After all, I've always said the things we want to accomplish don't have to be defined or outlined anywhere- we do them on our own.
On that note... *cough*

My goal is 211 workouts in 2011!
It's not a huge goal, but it will keep me at it week after week. Maybe if I'm ambitious enough, I'll post a ticker... (ambitious = if I can figure out how to post a ticker? anyone?)

Anyway, I have a few posts to get around to doing this week, including one filled with pictures of a small person playing in snow.

So- dear reader(s), have you a goal for 2011? Feel free to share!