Then she actually took care of business! Hooray!
*See new header.
Escalator at Peachtree Center
Like this escalator, this post is long. Watch out!
So over the course of the last 12 weeks, I have run 193 miles + the 13.1 miles I did yesterday. Whoa!
The morning began with a 5:00 am wake up call. I had a hard time getting to sleep the night before, so The Daddy turned on Sportscenter and then I was OUT. I woke up several times during the night. The winds were strong and kept blowing our patio furniture and gas grill across the porch. HJ began coughing at 5:00, so even though my alarm was set for 5:05, I got up.
Scheduled to meet Heather at 6:00 in Dunwoody, I ate two tablespoons of peanut butter, two slices of toast, a bottle of vitamin water and some caffeine blast ball thingy to substitute a cup of coffee. With me I took a bottle of water and a Clif bar for the MARTA train ride. I was supposed to meet Heather at a Marta station up GA 400. Just as I was making the exit from I-285 to 4o0, Heather called and said she was there waiting for me. I said, "Be there in five minutes." UH, make that 15.
So I missed the exit and had to travel 3.5 more miles before I could turnaround and get back to the right exit. I got off at Northridge, stopped at the light and waited to go back south on 400. I turned onto the EXIT RAMP.
Yes, I am about to begin driving NORTH on the SOUTHBOUND lanes.
I noticed the arrows on the ramp were painted in the opposite direction as I was traveling, annoyed that I had missed the first exit. Then I saw the WRONG WAY signs. I quickly threw it into reverse and backed out of my mistake. Thankfully at 5:45 am, there wasn't much traffic to speak of.
Adrenaline pumping, I turned to the correct ramp. I really wanted to import an aerial photo of the exit ramp so you could see just how easily I made this mistake, but I'm not that talented in the way of imaging.
So a couple of more wrong turns and I'm there ready to meet Heather. The ride down into the city began our people-watching adventure. Heather didn't bring her I-pod for the race, so I ended up not using my little, pink shuffle. I never would have imagined running 13 miles without music, but the people-watching, the people dodging and the scenic course through charming neighborhoods and districts made it bearable.
When we got off MARTA, we were at the station with the longest escalator in the world. (OK, so not in the world.
Last in Line:
When we got to the streets downtown, we could hear the national anthem. Once we were in Centennial Park, we found some potties and stood in line after we got our picture taken. The lady told us, "You have plenty of time! There are about 2,000 people ahead of you waiting to start."
Last to Start:
Once we took care of business, we started trying to find the start line. UH. Where is it? You know how in a downtown setting, sounds echo? We could hear the announcer, but we couldn't find where to go. Once we finally got inside the barricades onto the street, we realized we were the last ones to start. LAST ONES TO START! I kid you not. It was kind of a weird beginning.
Upside of being the last to start:
YOU ARE PASSING EVERYONE! I mean, there were people walking, for goodness sake. At the start line. WALKING. I don't know what to think about that. It made us feel super fast, though.
Downside of being last to start:
YOU ARE DODGING PEOPLE LEFT AND RIGHT. The entire race. I kept waiting for the road to open up, but 15,000 people is a lot of people to have to pass. Ha. But, there really were 15,000 runners.
Last Mile: Finish Strong
The last mile was the hardest. I did have a few moments of dizziness and weakness, but that's when we started walking through the water stops. And I started drinking Gatorade. Man, that stuff makes me think of soccer when I was 7- or 8-years-old. My friend Julie gave us the advice to walk through the water stations to catch our breath and because those wet cups are slippery!
So back to the last mile...
I didn't know where The Daddy, my girls and in-laws would be standing, so I was keeping an eye out for them. And they were keeping an eye out for me. Green shirt. Green shirt. Green shirt?
If The Daddy hadn't shouted my name, I never would have seen them. But when he did, we were so close to the finish line. I just raised my arms waving and made some kind of a loud noise, like YEWLP! I didn't think to stop. He didn't have time to take our picture until we passed them by. So we've got a really flattering view of my backside. Nice. It really was our fault for running too fast...
So it turns out that we surprised The Daddy. I had a sensor on my shoe that sent text messages to The Daddy with my pace so he could judge when we would be crossing the finish line. At the 10k mark, our pace was 9:26. He figured we would slow down on the second half of the race. We didn't. Well, a little. To 9:34. Woo-who!
That put us crossing the finish line 2 hours and 5 minutes~approximately~ after we started!
I had never run that far.
I had never run that fast.
And as we ran those last steps, the loud man on the microphone told us to "finish strong." And I thought of Paul.
In 2 Timothy, Paul tells us that he has fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith. I hope I will, too.
I love The Message version:
You take over. I'm about to die, my life an offering on God's altar. This is the only race worth running. I've run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that's left now is the shouting—God's applause! Depend on it, he's an honest judge. He'll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.
Things I have learned through this experience:
- I can do all things, through Christ, who strengthens me.
- Stretching helps.
- I like running.
- I sweat. A lot. (I kind of knew this before, but...)
- You HAVE TIME to do the things you really WANT to do.
- You don't HAVE TIME for things you're not that interested in.
- I have friends and family who believe in me.
- Jason Mraz is my alternative power source. David Gray, too.
- I hate drinking water.
- Following a training plan is good.
- Snow skiing does not substitute for running. (My only real derailment in my training.)
- I can comfortably run five miles. Even with hills.
- Three miles is the perfect distance.
- I sweat. Like a hog.
- I can surprise myself.
- I feel thinner. Must be the 3 pounds of water weight I lose each time I run.
- I feel thinner, even though my scale doesn't think so. AND that's ok.
- Making a plan to do something is important.
- Sticking to the plan is hard.
- Positive words do wonders for my confidence.
- I should use positive words more when I talk to others.
So that was my experience. I don't know if I'll do it again, but I'm looking forward to being lazy again. 206.1 miles later.
So in the past few weeks God has been teaching me to be content with what I have and with whatever comes my way. I've been home bound with the girls some, so I've had a lot of time with them. I've also had a lot of time to stand in my dining room contemplating fabric swatches, plates, iron thingies to hang on the wall, etc. Hmmmm. Am I content?
I was pretty bummed that I missed Bible study two weeks in a row, it's no secret. When someone in your house has a fever and barfs, I guess it's time to stay home. But then when someone continues to have a fever and misses MMO the next day, it's trying. Again, I was pretty bummed that HJ and I didn't get to go to the Silver Comet Trail to test out the jogging stroller I borrowed. But now everyone is well. Am I content?
I'm only 3 and 1/2 years into this motherhood thing, but I feel like I'm just now learning how to give up "stuff" for the sake of others. My "stuff" ranges from the simple to the divine:
- completing a task in one sitting (LAUNDRY, oh my word, THE LAUNDRY)
- drinking an entire cup of coffee or hot tea before it gets cold
- taking showers on a regular basis (working on it, really)
- shaving my legs when I do get a shower
- window shopping
- eating junk without the zombies coming after my goods
- eating junk whenever I want (now I just sneak it while hiding in the pantry)
You know how if you pray for patience, you'll be given OPPORTUNITIES TO EXHIBIT PATIENCE? I've been praying for compassion. Not for me, but to be able to show it. The Daddy broke his thumb playing flag football, and I've not been sympathetic. The Daddy was sick earlier this month, and I've not been sympathetic. AE has been sick for a few days this month. I've been praying for the spirit to overtake me and act on my behalf, but I'm learning that it doesn't work that way. I have to take action and use prayer as a power source NOT to do what I cannot, but to CHANGE how I react. Somehow I'm thinking that my ability to show compassion is linked to my feeling content. Am I content?
So, when I was looking for something on COMPASSION, I finally turned to a place that's bound to have some true answers. Here's what I found:
As I ask for compassion, I am learning to give compassion and recognize it in my own life. You know, like the compassion that others and God have shown me.
Now I need to look up contentment...
Oh, no. What happened?
Did these things move all by themselves?
Band of terrible two-sters?
We. Can. Breathe. Now.
The floor has been rescued.
And order has been restored.
Here's to a little Spring cleaning that went on here today. The crazy dog left his mark by shedding all over everything in the playroom in addition to the "little bit of everything" on the floor rather than in the bins.
How do you keep the kids' toys clean? Slober. Dog hairs. Etc.
What are your secrets to clean it all without having to touch EVERY. SINGLE. TOY.?
Here's a few of the details on where we got things:
- Round table from Land of Nod (LOVE THIS AND SO WORTH THE MONEY!)
- Little green chairs I THINK were also from Land of Nod, but maybe PBK (gift from Nana!)
- The kitchen set is the Classic Kitchen from PBK (no longer available? I didn't see it on the website. We bought the three separate pieces one at a time for birthdays and Christmas, fridge, oven/sink and pie cabinet. I bet you could find it on ebay!)
- Two pink "club chairs" from PBK (BIG one and LITTLE one)
- Flag banner is homemade from AE's first birthday party. I just cut out the triangles and hot glued the fabric to grosgrain ribbon.
- I painted the bookcase to match the kitchen set. It was an old hand-me-down and was stained a dark brown. NOT GIRLY enough for us, so I spray painted the inside pink and used a high gloss white paint leftover from the trim in our house.
- All the baskets on the bookcase are from Land of Nod. Love them: they are inexpensive and sturdy!
- Got the curtains on clearance from PBK. I think $6.99 each.
- High chair and crib from PBK
- Old wooden rocking horse from antique mall
- Easter tree on table from some catalogue- we decorate it with eggs for Easter.
- Princess dresses hang on wall from cute wooden pegs from the PBK outlet in Dawsonville, GA
Since we've had some warmer weather, the crazy dog has had plenty of outdoor time. The grass is still brown, but some green IS poking through.
If you click on the pictures, you can see Mr.
Crazy Bailey UP CLOSE and PERSONAL. My favorite is the second picture. Head on. Crazy eyes. Gotta love him.
So, here's a project that has made me visit about 5 thrift stores in the past two days. I'm scouring the earth for more "silver" serving trays that have been neglected. I might even head out today in the deluge with two kids to a fabulous Goodwill in Woodstock.
So it started like this.
Then I bought/had these things.
Next I taped off the area that I wanted to be "chalked".
Then I sprayed it. Here's what it looked like when I removed the paper. Before I put the paper on to guard the sides, I taped with painter's tape to ensure a clean edge.
And there's the final product! We'll use this beauty to announce birthdays, menus (for all our fancy dinner parties) or other holiday greetings.
In retrospect, I would have cleaned the tray better before I started. Like getting the tarnish off. And any little fuzzies. I bought the piece for $7 at the Scott Antique Market when I went with Lou Lou in January. Remember, that's when I met HIM and HER.
Lou Lou and I saw these silver serving trays all done up for much more than the $7 + the paint ($5). So I had an "I can do that!" moment and two months later... well, you know the story.
She said: Decorating
HJ just walked to the toilet and said, "Daddy's chair!"
Also, I will declare AE to be potty trained. I declare it. That means there is no turning back. We have (she has) had four days in a row of poopie in the potty. Naptimes in underwear. Holding it in until we get to the potty. Horray!
Here's to a rainy day and clean underwear!
She said: Potty talk
Not the best photos, but you'll get the picture! I've been finding swatches for our dining room chairs. Bought them in January, so maybe we'll get them reupholstered by the end of the summer. 2010. HA!
I thought I'd let you chime in on your favorite swatch with a poll. Now the results of the pollmay or may not influence our decision, but it's good to hear from you. Especially if you leave a comment to say why you picked the one you did. Shameless, I know.
Here's what the chairs look like:
Here's the dining room so you can see the colors:
Over the weekend we indulged ourselves with some family time. Ah.
Saturday morning brought banana pancakes, as usual and a trek to the Chattahoochee River Park. Sans stroller, no less. In retrospect we should have used at least the single stroller. AE handled the 1 mile walk well, but HJ suffered a little road rash. We did however encounter a multitude of dogs, runners, walkers, cyclists and various woodland/river creatures. The girls heard and saw geese, mallards and frogs/toads (still don't know the difference). The Daddy and I spotted a dam, clearly the work of beavers, and AE correctly named the animal responsible. Thank you, Curious George! If you've ever watched PBS, you know the episode I'm talking about! HA!
Later we let AE go without a nap so she could play with her friend next door, and The Daddy and I CLEANED UP THE GARAGE. It felt so good. Spring cleaning. I like it.
Sunday was church for the girls and me while The Daddy took his daddy and friends to see some good ol' racin' at the AMS. I think it was nice for The Daddy to enjoy a NASCAR event without having to work it. His friends loved it and his daddy lost hearing in one ear. While the men got burnt and sweaty, Nana and I took the girls to lunch at The Right Wing Tavern. Kinda sounds like we took them boozing. And on a Sunday, no less! There, we sat out on the porch right next to the train tracks in Downtown Woodstock, our old stomping grounds. HJ shouted, "School bus! School bus!" about 20 times. I guess local churches use them to bring in all the car-less sinners. Of course, when she says "school bus" it sounds more like "cool busssss".
All that action brought our weekend to a close, but The Daddy extended his time off from work with a sick day in bed yesterday. Poor thing. We're not sure if it's sickness or allergies. Down here in Atlanta, it's just as well spring. Pollen. I'll have to take a picture to show you. Growing up in Tennessee, I never remembered our cars getting the coat of yellow/green dust. I don't remember seeing swirls of that dust in the streets and floating down the river. I do remember the shock I got the first time I experienced the yuck it can cause, on your car, on your clothes, on your skin, in your throat. Oh, I love spring, but with it comes some serious sinus drainage.
I'm old. I'm talking about sinuses.
Today after nap time, I put the girls to work on my car. After donning bathing suits, (NOT ME THE GIRLS) we filled a bucket, soaked the car and got to scrubbing. It worked out well for me, and they had a blast! I didn't take pictures because I was too worried about HJ dunking her head in the bucket and drowning or AE sticking the hose up her nose. This activity is one we will definitely partake in again, even though we are still considered to be in a "drought". My vehicle had not seen a sponge since 2007 most likely, so we didn't give the girls a bath tonight to make up for the water lost!
In the future:
I've got another poll up my sleeve. Just getting everything ready. And I start back to MOM's Club again tomorrow. Hello, Wednesday's Word.
The Daddy's been out of town, and I've been running.
Poppy (my dad) came to stay with us while The Daddy was in Las Vegas--on business--and helped this mother stay sane during the second time C. had to go out of town this month. Didn't I mention he was gone on Valentine's Day? Oh, right. Well, he made a special point to return in time to help celebrate my wrinkles and gray. And it meant the world to me.
Some girlfriends met me out for dinner on Saturday night at Maggiano's and then we went to Barnes and Noble to play a board game. Yes, I'm 33 now. Ha! But I am the oldest in the bunch...
Sunday after church we headed over to Nana and Papa's house for my birthday dinner celebration. The menu:
- Chicken casserole
- Carrots Au gratin (yum, if you've never had these!)
- Garlic butter corn
- Strawberry spinach salad
- Sister Schubert rolls
- Cheddar corn muffins
Dessert! A homemade hummingbird cake with homemade cream cheese icing. Nana got the recipe from The Flying Biscuit's cookbook. On her first try, she nailed it! YUMMMMMMMY!
Last weekend we went to the outlets with Nana and Papa to do some shopping for the girls, and I also got to add quite a few nice things to my wardrobe as an early birthday present. I got several sweet cards, a couple of books, some cash and something else, yet to be revealed. I can't wait!
In case you were wondering, I took this to the couple who requested no cheese. I paired it with Strawberry Spinach Salad with homemade poppy seed vinaigrette, crescent rolls and chocolate chip cookies.
We're four weeks away from the 1/2 marathon, and I think I'm getting addicted to running. Today is a stretch and strengthen day, but I feel like some thing's missing. That's why I'm blogging. I may get back into a daily posting rhythm once all this training is over. High hopes for April! HJ will turn 2 and our marriage will turn 7!
So now to fill the void of running, I will proceed with the cleaning. Man, I'd rather run!