Saturday, September 24, 2011

Marathon: T-Minus 24 Hours

Well, it's here! Pretty much exactly 24 hours until Go Time. I've trained, not blogged a lot about it like I thought I would, and I'm ready as I will ever be. My stomach has had butterflies flying around in it since last Sunday, but I am so excited to see this through!

Last night most of the runners gathered for a 'carb up sesh' at Daniela's (one of the runners and a dear friend) house. Of course, a gathering of women is never complete with out some talking around a circle and a few tears of emotion, right? All of us kind of said why we were doing this run, and my response was two reasons. Of course, I run for these women and our sisters in Uganda that have been terrorized and mutilated and need our support. But, I would be lying if I was not running for selfish reasons also. In school the two things I hated most were math, and running. I was always the one coming in last, heaving out of breath. I came last in everything sports-related. Basically, if my self-worth were based on my athletic confidence and ability, it would be ZERO. So I am doing this to prove to myself that I can tell my body what to do, not it tell me I can't. Because I can. The moment I ran 6km, I knew I could do this. And now, my furthest run has been 16km (a miracle in itself) and tomorrow I will run 21km.

Simply put, my purpose of running this race is to raise money for these women that have had body parts severed, been raped by numerous LRA soldiers, ostracized from their communities and had their dignity stolen from them. I know it doesn't exactly hit home for many here in Canada, but for me it hits home as a woman. How blessed am I to have been born and raised in this country, a place of freedom where I can walk in confidence and with out fear? A place that I don't have a constant, daily fear of being harmed? How blessed am I that I have a nose, mouth, ears? Legs to run? How could I not inconvenience myself to train for a race, if it means I can help someone that desperately needs it? I am able, so I must.

Last night all the runners were given these special, amazing little cards that a woman in Texas and her four year old daughter made for us. Just to bless us and encourage us! Each one is hand-made, different, and has a hand written (not printed on a computer) note, and this amazing Franciscan Benediction. I think we were all in tears when Tina read aloud:

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half truths and superficial relationships,So that we may live deep within our hearts,May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,So that we may work for injustice, freedom and peace.May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy. And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world,So that we can do what others claim cannot be done.Amen.

I think that pretty much sums up this whole cause.

I would LOVE it if you could donate to our cause and sponsor me in my run. Please click here:

Thank you in advance!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just Your Average Extraordinary Child.

Today Finn had his twelve month shots. Nope, you're not reading an old post. He will be two this month. Yep, I kept putting it off and putting it off, and finally made the appointment and got 'er done. I was expecting tears and flailing limbs, and he did cry especially during the last needle, but for the most part he was AMAZING. Oh, what? The last needle? Yes, he had FIVE shots. Two in each arm and one in his thigh. What a trooper. (Side note, what did we do in these situations before iPhones and kid apps? Probably saved me and Finn today.)

Also during this visit, Finn was weighed and measured...and he was all average. Average weight, height, and head circumference. Pretty much right in the middle for everything. That's Finn though... virtually every medial point any book says, that's where he his. Not too big, not too small; not too chubby, not too thin. He weighed the average amount and was the average length at birth. He sat up at the expected time, crawled and walked at the projected ages. It's safe to say that he's pretty much your average kid. (Except for his cuteness, in my unbiased opinion...)

As I drove away from the clinic, my 'average boy' in the back seat, I pondered that. I began to wonder about his future as a child...will he always be average? Will he think of himself as mediocre, second rate, undistinguished, unexceptional? Dear Lord, I hope not. I remember school...all the kids that are almost-prodigies get all the attention, all the awards, all the blue ribbons, all the trophies. The expressive ones that sing well make the leads in all the plays. The best basketball players will make the team. The class clowns get all the laughs. The smart ones get the A's and their names on the honour roll.

With my hands on the wheel, I made a promise to myself: I will make a purpose to tell Finn his whole life that he is exceptional. Incredible. Talented. More than enough. Amazing. Memorable. Bright. Incomparable. I will tell him that whatever he loves doing, to do his very best; even if he doesn't get the trophy, lead, or honour roll. Those things are just bonuses. He'll be our ordinary kid, with an extraordinary heart, who will do extraordinary things.

I have always loved this quote by Marianne Nash, and just recently came back to my attention during a message at church. It gets me every time. I think I need to design this in to a poster and put it in his room, so he can read it every day or every night when he's falling asleep (in the years to come, of course!) and know that he is meant to shine in this world. He was born to. He has a responsibility to.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Marianne Nash)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Finn and the Sprinkler

Can you believe these photos chronicle Finn's first time playing with a sprinkler? It occurred to me one day that he had yet to have his first experience with one. I remember back to my childhood and how much fun my friends and I had with this simple little contraption. Clearly, it's still cool.

Snack break.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

SheLoves Half Marathon: Week 4 - The Worst Yet.

I think week four was the worst, in a general sense. Two of the seven days were terrible runs, but the bright side is I totally learned a lesson. Apparently it was an important one, because I made the same mistake twice. I think God might have been telling me something here?

On day four, which was a short run, I only ran 3.7km in a half hour. Not a bad distance, mind you, but I felt like crap at the end. On my way back home I was extremely thirsty, and when I got home my head was pounding and I felt dizzy. Oh and my knee was killing me. "Lesson learned!", I wrote in my journal...ha!

Fast forward to Saturday, which was my long run day. My goal was 7km. In the morning Finn and I went to the mall, I got a Slurpee, then we went to the park and played. Later on that evening Chris and I were going on a dinner and a movie date, so I was pretty excited for the day ahead. It was a great day - everyone was in a good mood, there was warm sun, and it being Saturday just made the day even better. One o'clock rolled around and it was time for my run. MISTAKE! Do you know how warm it was outside? About 25 degrees, cloudless sky...just pure sun. The section of the park I jogged in had little shade at that time. I hardly drank any water and I nicely polished off that Slurpee about an hour previous. What was I thinking? After 25 minutes I couldn't go on. I had to pee, I wanted to crap my pants, my stomach was hurting, it was hot and I was sweating a tonne...need I go on? I stopped running and sat on a park bench in the shade to catch my breath. I started to cry. Basically, every good feeling I had from last week's 6km success was completely deflated.

I walked home, dragged myself through the door, climbed (quite literally) up the stairs and sat down across from Chris. I broke down. Tears. Sniffles. Ugly cry face. Shrill voice as I try to explain why I'm blubbering like a baby. I cried to him about what a failure that was, and I began to doubt my ability to do this. How am I going to run 21 kilometres if I can't run 7? How am I going to do this? Chris assured me that it was just a bad run, that I shouldn't have ran in the heat of the day (concept!) and I definitely should not have had that Slurpee. I should have ate better and drank more water. He was right, and THIS time I learned the lesson: what I put in myself will directly and faithfully affect the way I function. Honestly I am glad I learned it the hard way, because now I know and I take more care of what I eat and how much water I drink, especially on long run days. I don't ever want to feel like that again, if I can help it...

Thank God for new days and new weeks. Whew!

Want to know info on how to sponsor me in this run and cause? Click here!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

SheLoves Half Marathon: Week 2 & 3

Week 2
I don't think I felt like posting about week two because it didn't go as great as I anticipated. It was just one of those weeks where most things went sour, the kid was fussy, and I was off my running goal by .03km. I forced myself to look at it from a different angle: 4.97km is the furthest I had ever run in one session, so it was actually a triumph after all. Week two taught me that:
  1. Not every run or every week is going to be a good one, and I'm glad to have learned that early on in the training.
  2. I need to look for the positive thing in what seems like a failure. 
 And that's all I'm going to say about that. Let's move on.

Week 3
Like I said, week three was better! I changed my routine. Instead of just running five days a week, which I learned from others is not a great idea as it can lead to injury faster, I now do:
  • two short run days
  • two cross training days
  • one long run day
  • two rest days
This is working much better for me, I think. The first cross training day wasn't terrific. I went on the elliptical and quickly learned I was not a fan of it. It was so I just went on the treadmill and jogged for a bit. Next crosstraining day I did the bike, and it was much better and really worked my legs!

Where I would defeat my small giant...

Fast forward to Saturday: my long run day. I was nervous - it felt like a small giant I had to defeat. My goal was to do 6km with a run 3 minute, walk 1 minute method. In 45 minutes I not only met my goal but surpassed it by .24km! I had Wake Up by Arcade Fire playing at the time, so it felt pretty epic. I almost cried...I never thought I would ever run that far. I have not felt this good about doing something physical since I gave birth to Finn. It felt THAT good. I walked back to my car with a big smile on my face.

My kicks, 6km, and post-run face.
Honestly, I felt like if I can run 6km, I can run 21. If I can do something I never thought I would or could do, and I did it, what is stopping me from running 7? 10? 15? 21? Watch out next Saturday...I'm coming for you and your 7km!

Monday, July 4, 2011

SheLoves Half Marathon: Week 1 (Run for Your Sisters)

`Hey y'all, I'm just going to get straight to the point here: I'm running a half marathon in September. *double take* WHAT? It's true. Last Saturday (one week ago today!) I signed up for this. I have this friend that had a vision to do this herself, and to raise $2500 to pay for reconstructive surgery for women that have been mutilated be LRA Soldiers in Uganda. (Read Tina's story here)

Once I saw this, it was like God took a match and struck it on my heart, and a flame was ignited. Already many other girls, many of them friends from our church, were getting on board. It was one of those things that every time I thought of it, I began to tear up. My heart pounded, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. So I went out on a limb, signed up, and paid my entry fee for the run. That was on Saturday, and Sunday I began running. I dug out (literally) these old sad 'running shoes' I remembered I had somewhere in a box. I dressed myself in my yoga pants, put on two bras, a tee-shirt, stretched, grabbed my iPod (does anyone else always type 'iPood'?) and stood at the door. Here we go! 

I stood at this treadmill for five minute pressing buttons to no avail.

The first run was what I expected it to be- TOUGH. I remember huffing and puffing, my face hot and tomato-like, and wondering how much longer it was going to be. Still had ten minutes. OF MY FIFTEEN MINUTE RUN. Then this song came on - Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine. There's a line in the chorus that says

Run for your children, for your sisters, for your brothers...

That line, mainly just run for your sisters, has been on constant repeat in my head this whole week. Honestly, it sounds like a skipping record. Run for your for your for your sisters... That's what I'm doing - running for my sisters in Uganda. My sisters that had their dignity violently stolen, and had backs turned on them from the people they loved and trusted. Thinking of that made motivated me to keep going. At the end, I was sweaty, red-faced, and noodle-legged.

Me after run #2. You can't see the redness of my face, but know it is there.

Last run of week one! New shoes, new sports bra and feeling pretty great. :)
The next day, though, was easier. So was day three, four, five and six. I am currently running five days a week, which 500% more excersize than what I was doing before. It feels challenging, and great at the same time. The fact that this whole thing is for a great cause is what motivates me. Otherwise I'm not sure I would have got passed Day One.

Please take a second to see why we are doing this- Watoto Living Hope. (we are currently working on sponsorship details, if you feel so inclined to sponsor me!)

Week Two...let's do this.

I think this is where the image is from: loveartalways

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Work of Art

Here is Finn making his first work of art with paint. That tray of Crayola watercolour paints brought me back to my childhood. They haven't changed a bit!

Ta Daaa!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Father's Day Vol. 2

Last Sunday was the day of the year in which every father is celebrated and given awesome gifts like ties, tube socks, painted rocks and golf-related items. FATHER'S DAY! The day for us started out interesting...Finn had been sniffly the day or two before, and that morning after he drank his milk he brought the bottle to the shelf to set down and barfed all over it and the floor. So needless to stay, he an I stayed home from church that morning. Chris was playing guitar so he went by himself, sadly. However we turned that to our advantage and surprised daddy with an entire big jar of chocolate cookies (which he devoured over the course of about three days).

 Finn made dad a card, complete with his very own artwork.

When dad came home, we presented him with his gifts (the cookies and a 12 month subscription to Guitar Player magazine) and snapped a few photos. He sure loves his daddy! As you can see, Finn had to test out the cookies too.

Not to be forgotten, I had to get in on the action. Happy Father's Day Chris! I hope you enjoyed it. We love you. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Beach Day #1

We decided to take a family trip to the beach today. It was the first of the official summer season (warm weather!) and technically, Finn's first time running in the ocean. Last year he dipped his toes in with one of us hovering over him while he was suspended by the armpits, but that doesn't count as a run. This year, he can walk and run on his own two chubby toddler legs, and that's just what he did. And he loved every second. Chris and I, on the other hand, forgot a towel and wipes so drying off and changing the dipe was interesting. Thank the LORD he didn't do a real number. Yikes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Best Friends.

Since Finn has decided to grow up and get a hair cut, he has decided that Dad will be his best friend. Whenever Chris is around or off work for a couple days, Finn follows him around like Chester the Terrier, always at Chris' side. He wants 'up' all the time and cries when Chris goes to the bathroom. It's hilarious. They play Hot Wheels together, read books together, play Lego...all the fun boy stuff that mom's are supposed to stay out of. Is this just a natural part of boy genes? Cars, laughing at farts, Lego, and Thomas? 

I knew that Finn held his father in high esteem when one time the three of us (well, the two of them but I was trying to butt myself in) were playing with the car ramp thing, and I as the mother of course thought Finn was way too cute to leave him standing there, so I was trying to give him kisses. Finn calmly walked over to the books, picked one up and handed it to me, and continued on with his playtime with dad. He didn't act annoyed or shove me away, but it was definitely his way of saying, "Mom, get out of here. This here is man stuff. Oh and stop kissing me, it's lame." 

And, side note - I'm not jealous, at all. I might joke about it, but I can't think of a better dad for Finn than Chris. I'm so happy that Finn already finds things he likes about his father, and really loves just being with him. I can handle being the one that he comes to for snacks. :) 


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Big Haircut

Ah, the first haircut. It doesn't seem like much to many people, but moms know the significance. It's a point when your baby becomes a little boy, and is no longer mistaken for being an adorable little girl that happens to wear boy clothes. For the rest of the day after Finn got his first haircut, I chased him around with our camera, snapping photos of what felt like our newly grown up little boy. Am I weird for thinking this? Maybe...but I don't think I'm alone here! I...?

Sitting good for Aunty Jenna!
A reward for his hard work...
Lunch time, and suddenly four years old.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rockin' Awesome Easter.

Happy Monday! Don't you love Spring? We went to the park yesterday in the gorgeous sunshine, and didn't have to put on a sweater. Today, it's pouring buckets. I love it all...rain and sun, cold and warmth. :)

Last weekend was Easter and we spent it with my family in Osoyoos. Finn's grandma (my mom) entered him in to the Easter parade contest, where the kids decorate their trikes, bikes and wagons. The judging took place in the Smitty's Restaurant parking lot (I love small towns) and Finn won 2nd place in the Most Creative category! What a champ. (Thanks Papa for helping with the decor...)

 Of course, the parade happened to be smack-dab in the middle of lunch and nap time. Why wouldn't it be? So naturally, Finn passed out in the stroller and we had to wake him for the big debut in the parade. He wasn't too happy about that...

Super cool Canucks jersey from Uncle Chad, Carly, Gigi and Papa!

Alas, the parade was a success and I'm happy for the memories. These photos will live on forever and bring many laughs through the years, I'm sure. :)