Wear Blue

Monday is Memorial Day. It’s a day when we remember those who have died while serving in our country’s armed forces. Traditionally, the flag is raised to the top of the pole and then immediately lowered to half staff to honor the fallen, then at noon is raised to full staff again, symbolizing how those of us still living will continue to rise to fight for liberty and justice.

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My family doesn’t have a flagpole to honor those who sacrificed their lives for us, but there is another way that we can show our gratitude, and all it requires is committing to dedicate a few miles to a fallen soldier.

It’s called Wear Blue: Run to Remember, and it’s probably the easiest way that you could make your Memorial Day a little more meaningful, even if you don’t know anyone who’s lost their life for our nation.

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Here’s what you do: First, decide how many miles you want to dedicate to honor our fallen servicemen. Then, go to www.wearblueruntoremember.org and click the link to commit your miles. You can complete the miles however you choose – run, walk, bike, it doesn’t matter – you can even get them done on a treadmill! If you know someone who has lost their life in the line of duty you can enter their name as the person you’re completing your miles for, but if not they will email you the name of a fallen soldier. You can also explain why you chose to commit the number of miles you did – I chose to complete 4 miles because it’s going to force me to push myself harder than I normally do, which is what I know our military men and women do on a daily basis.

I received my email with the name of the serviceman I’m running for yesterday. His name is Riley Gallinger-Long, and he was a Navy Hospitalman assigned to work with the Marines as a medic in Afghanistan. He was killed on August 11, 2011 while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. He was 19 years old. The most amazing thing about this is that he was assigned to the exact same military base that I was born at.

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I’m also going to be running in honor of my Great Uncle, Albert Stuart Simpson. He was serving in the Army when he died in Europe during World War II. I only just learned of my Great Uncle’s sacrifice, and I’m glad that I can add his name to my miles as well.

Wear Blue is hoping to reach 10,000 participants willing to commit any number of miles this Memorial Day. I hope that you’ll sign up, put on something blue, and join me in remembering our military men and women who have died serving us and our country.

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PS A huge thanks to my friend Carolyn, who told me about this event and also invited me to join in. She faithfully wears blue for every run she participates in, and inspires me to run for something more than myself. <3

My Favorite Part of the Day

When I started this blog, my tagline was “Finding Smiles in Everyday Life”. I wanted to write a blog about finding those sliver linings, those beautiful and joyful moments that occur if we just take the time to look for them, acknowledge them, and allow them to be absorbed.

In the end though, it just didn’t seem like me. It was a little too perky, a little too chipper. I definitely make it a daily practice to look for those sunshine-y moments, but I didn’t want anyone to think I walk around with a permagrin. I’ve also got a cynical, sarcastic, realistic side that refuses to shut down no matter how huge my smile. As Jay says, I’ve got a sassy side. Fortunately for me, he likes it. :D

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t see life’s highlights when they occur. Despite all those lovely qualities I mentioned above, there are still a number of daily occurrences that are sure to cause me to smile: getting the kitchen cleaned before taking Emily to school in the morning… Julia’s spontaneous kisses… Jay walking in the door at the end of the day… finishing a running event… scheduling a night out with a friend.

But if there’s one thing I had to pin down, one thing that earns the trophy for being my absolute favorite thing in my day, it’s picking Emily up from school. I’ve mentioned before that I love sitting in the car line, and that a big part of the enjoyment I get from it is that I’m able to utilize that time to get things done. But to be honest, getting to the school early means that I’m already parked at the dismissal gate… which means I get to see Emily even sooner.

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Now, I am NOT that mushy momma. I like my “me-time,” I hated baby-wearing, and I’m not offended if my girls would rather play on their own or with a friend than be with me. It doesn’t bother me if we don’t snuggle during movie time, and when they get hurt I have no sympathy if it happened after I warned them a million times to be careful before that exact thing happened. I don’t even think about Emily all that much during the day (or Julia if I’m not with her), because I know that she’s safe and having fun.

But when the end of the school day rolls around, something lights up inside of me. Knowing that she’s about to get in the car and that I’m about to be reunited with part of my heart just makes me so incredibly happy. I’m sure it helps that she ‘s a good student and genuinely loves school, but to be honest I think even if I knew she wasn’t a big fan of it I’d still be just as excited to see her.

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Next year Julia starts Pre-K, which means I get to do a second pick-up everyday. The following year she’ll be in Kindergarten, and the girls will be at the same school and I’ll be back to just one pickup again. But to know that I’ll be getting both girls back with me every day, well, I think my heart might just bust with joy. <3

The Green Miles

I think I’m becoming a running-event snob. Last year I participated in a St. Patrick’s Day 10K, and although I really enjoyed it, it was a pretty small and low-key event. There weren’t a ton of people, and even though everyone was dressed in green it just wasn’t buzzing with the race-day energy I’ve grown to love at larger events. It was my first 10K and I’d gone by myself, so I’m sure I would have had more fun if it had been a shorter race and I’d had a friend with me (or even someone at the finish line), but in the end I showed up in my green, ran my race, and left – as did everyone else who participated.

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This year my friends Jen and Carolyn wanted to sign up for a different St. Patrick’s Day run, one that was being held downtown. Since every participant over 21 would receive a free beer it was sure to draw a larger crowd. It was also a 4-Miler (an uncommon race milage), offered a finisher’s medal, and was the kick-off event to a huge St. Patrick’s Day festival being held downtown that day. It was definitely looking to be the energized event I’d grown to love.

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Jen and I found some fun St. Patrick’s Day shirts at Old Navy for about $5 and bought them just in case we decided we didn’t like the event shirts (which actually turned out to be pretty cute). Our event packets also came with long green bead necklaces, and we wrapped them around our wrists like bracelets so they wouldn’t smack us in the face as we ran.

This race was way crazier than what I’d experienced the year before at the 10K. Everyone was dressed to participate – Carolyn even wore a giant beer mug hat – and there was green everywhere you looked. (Yes, I know my shirt is glaringly white, but I swear there’s a shamrock on it. :) )

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We saw some pretty goofy getups – I think my favorite was this guy and his enormous fuzzy green mustache:

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The course took us down one of the main downtown roads and then doubled back, as opposed to weaving through the city blocks like other runs that I’ve been to in the same area. It was my first 4-Miler, and I really loved it. I try to make sure I’m always able to run 3 miles, so a 4-mile run pushes me a little harder than normal without being quite as strenuous as a 6.2-mile 10K run would be. Plus it was nice to be able to add a new distance to my list of completed runs!

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After the run we received our medals, which featured a funny little leprechaun, the same image the event shirts had on the front.

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Then Jen, Carolyn, and I went to the beer tent with our free beer tickets, and while they enjoyed their drinks I traded mine to a guy in exchange for taking this photo. I hate beer.

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This run sealed the deal – I absolutely love and prefer these big running events. There’s definitely something to be said for the less chaotic runs – the Ocala Half Marathon is still one of my favorites and I still plan to squeeze in a small event or two a year. But there’s just no comparison to the mass craziness of hundreds of people and the insane amount of energy in the air that goes along with all that craziness! :)

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Hoping I Get it Right

Girls, I love being your mom. <3

I’m just not always sure I’m doing it right.

See, when you’re a mom you are constantly bombarded with decisions. It starts when you find out you’re pregnant and you realize you are about to spend the rest of your life making choices – choices that have the potential to impact the way your new little baby’s life will turn out. Breastfeed or formula feed? Cloth or disposable diapers? Jarred baby food or pureed at home? As a mom you can see the pros and cons of either choice all too easily. And so you agonize over which choice is best for your baby. Some moms go in with a solid plan, knowing exactly what they want to do… and then find out that it’s just not going to work the way they wanted. And then they agonize too. Agonizing comes with the job.

It’s like that being a mom. The list of choices you have to make never ends. So you weigh the options, discuss with everyone around you to get their opinions, and eventually – perhaps even reluctantly – make choices. Many times the choices are potentially big – which schools to send your kids to, which friends they are allowed to hang out with. Those are the hard ones… the ones that are most likely to upset your children. They are also the choices a mom will sweat over for years, not knowing if she made the right decision until her children are grown and she sees the outcome.

Our pastor recently asked what we are most tempted to worry about when it comes to our children. My answer was this:

“That they will be confident being who God made them to be, and not succumb to the world’s desires for them to be “ideal,” whether it be their physical image, their faith, or their personality. I want them to always know that they can lean on God, my husband, and me and never feel alone in the world.”

This is what I’ve thought about more than anything else since I became a mother. There is no way of guaranteeing that anything I do will actually work. I have no idea if the choices I’m making are the right ones; if they are, in fact, molding you each to be that kind of woman that I pray you’ll be: confident, loved, and trusting in God.

Trying to live by example is hard. I’m flawed, and I want you to see me work through those flaws. But when I allow you to see them, am I teaching you the realities of sin and humanity or am I demonstrating behavior that you will find acceptable and justifiable? I work hard to stay in shape, but are you learning how important it is to care for your health or are you learning that you can only be okay with your body if you’re fighting to avoid weight gain? And later, when you’re older, if I tell you about my experiences in dating will it give you useful insight into your own relationships or will you feel like it’s permission to make the same mistakes I made? I can present everything to you the right way, but I have no control over how you choose to interpret it.

I guess what it all boils down to for me is that you know, without a doubt in your minds, that you are loved. Choices will be made for you, and they might not always be the right ones. I can guarantee that you most certainly won’t always like them. I don’t care about that. I care that you know I love you, and that the choices I’ve made as you’ve grown are all a result of that love.

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I’ll continue to make tough choices for you as you grow. I’ll also teach you how to make tough choices of your own. It won’t be easy, but I’m okay with it.

Because I just love being your mom.

And for what it’s worth, I’m incredibly proud of the girls you are growing up to be. <3

Date Night Tips

Over the past few months our date nights have become much richer. We almost always end the night feeling closer than before we started, and more eager to have another night out together than we used to. We’ve learned that anything that gets us talking – and listening – to each other is sure to result in us feeling more connected. I started reflecting on the best date nights we’ve had and I realized that along with building in opportunities for conversation, there were other factors that helped us feel more connected when the date was over, and that most of them actually took place well before the date night even began.

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Lower Expectations
I cannot tell you how much I’ve struggled with this (and still do). Unmet expectations are like death to a date night. For example, I spent years thinking that if Jay wanted to spend time with me then he’d contact the babysitter and plan out a night. You can guess how often that happened – at the end of the day he wasn’t thinking about anything but relaxing on the couch with me. Now, if I want a night out with my man, I book the babysitter. Jay is just as happy to be out with me regardless of who planned the night, and when there’s a special occasion he’s ready to take over the planning so that I still feel special and loved.

Dressing a certain way is another expectation we needed to let go of. Date night doesn’t have to mean dressing up to the nines, unless the night’s activities call for it (which also is an expectation that we needed to let go of, and why we started enhancing at-home date nights). Don’t expect your significant other to put on that sports jacket or those high heels just because you’re going out. Yes, going out should always feel special, but you should also be able to enjoy each other’s company without the frills. Expecting each other to look a certain way means that you are putting your wants before theirs, and that means you’re entering the date thinking more about yourself than your significant other. Trust me, that’s usually not a great way to kick things off. The best date nights will occur when both parties are accepted and appreciated (and visually enjoyed) just for being themselves.

Plan Ahead
One of the most effective ways to sabotage a date night is to enter without any sort of plan. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve walked out of our house, sat in the car, and spent 15 minutes in the driveway just trying to figure out where we want to eat and what we’re going to do after dinner. Sometimes we spend another 15 minutes at dinner looking up movie times on our phones, only to decide not to see a movie at all. For us, indecisiveness opens the door for frustration: “Just pick a place to eat already!” One of us inevitably settles for something we really didn’t want just to make the other happy, and things just won’t be quite the same after that. Now, I’m not saying you have to plan out every detail – there’s definitely something romantic about spontaneity – but at least have a short list to work from. We try to get at least a general sense of what we’d like to do and usually we’ll choose the restaurant in advance. That way, even if we haven’t planned anything else we can at least head to the restaurant and talk about the rest of the evening there.

Part of planning ahead for us also means what we want to talk about. Obviously you want conversation to flow as naturally as possible, but sometimes you get stuck in a rut and revert to always talking about work or the kids. That’s why we like to have something conversation-stimulating planned, whether it’s a silly game or simply saving date night for conversations like where we’d like to go for our anniversary or what we’d like in our dream house. It helps keep things moving along, and prevents us from just staring at each other (which is perfectly fine if you’re having a lovey-dovey moment, but not so fine if you’re just out of things to talk about).

Find a Good Sitter
This is the last thing that helps enhance our date nights. We’ve been blessed with good babysitters we’ve met through our church, and it has definitely allowed us to just focus on each other during a date. We walk out the door and have absolutely no worries about anything. We still think about our girls and talk about them, but knowing they are in good hands certainly makes the night more enjoyable.

No date night is perfect – we recently ended a great date night arguing over something silly for days later. But going into a date ready to talk, listen, compliment, and focus on each other increases the odds that no one will be sleeping on the couch that night. :)

Now go out and have fun! <3

PS – You can check out my other date night posts here!

Lucky Charms

My girls and I love Lucky Charms. In our house it’s a Saturday morning treat – something yummy and fun to munch on in front of the TV so Mommy can sleep in a little. They each have an entirely different approach to how they munch: Emily saves her marshmallows for last, while Julia eats them all first. And both of their methods are different from mine… I eat my marshmallows in bites mixed with the toasted oat pieces. Call me crazy, but it’s occurred to me that the way the girls and I choose to eat our Lucky Charms is a direct reflection on the way we handle life’s difficulties.

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Marshmallows First: Gimmie the Good Stuff

Julia just wants the marshmallows. She doesn’t want those tasteless toasted oat pieces – in fact, those things are just getting in her way. She will inhale every single colorful marshmallow shape and immediately ask for more, completely ignoring the fact that she’s still got to get through those oat pieces before her bowl can be refilled. Usually, upon being faced with the reality of having to endure that which she thought she could pretend didn’t exist, she enters some sort of “denial.” I’ll hear it all – “I don’t like those parts!” “I’m only hungry for marshmallows!” “Please don’t make me eat those other things!” Eventually, Julia gives in and eats the oat pieces, although it almost kills her every time. My favorite thing about her approach? Every Saturday morning she begins eating and only has eyes for the marshmallows again. Her optimism is incredible – part of me thinks each time she’s sure that this will be the week she won’t have to eat those toasted oats. But although her weekly shock of reality is exhausting for me, I love her ability to constantly forget the negative and focus on the positive.

 

IMG_6654Marshmallows Last: Ending on a High Note

Emily has the completely opposite approach. She prefers to eat all of her oat pieces first so that only the sweet marshmallows are left. I recognize this method – it’s exactly what I used to do as a kid too. She realizes that the bad in life is inevitable, and for her it’s better to get through the stuff she doesn’t like first, giving herself more time to savor the good and end on a high note. Emily carries this mentality in just about everything she does. She completes her least favorite homework assignments first and gets the boring chores out of the way before starting the ones she enjoys most. At dinner she’l eat her least favorite thing first to get it over with. She’s aware that life has disappointments, and that there’s not always a way around them. So she chooses to trudge through those disappointments first, which allows her to focus on her goal or “happier ending.” I love her approach so much because that’s the kind of thinking that fosters determination and, in the end, results in success.

 

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Then there’s me. I prefer a more balanced approach, eating my oats and marshmallows together. I don’t like the bland taste of a marshmallow-less cereal, I like a little burst of sweetness with every bite. Too many marshmallows in one mouthful is unrealistic – life is not full of endless good things. Too few marshmallows in one bite is also not reality – life is full of beautiful things and happy moments scattered among the unpleasant. I tend to roll through life the same way I eat my Lucky Charms: I take the good with the bad. For me, enjoying all the good things up front only makes the bad much more difficult to cope with. And focusing only on the negative first makes it hard to find joy when the joy rolls around for its turn. My days are full of high and low moments – some days higher, some days lower. But taking them together helps me stay balanced more easily than if I chose to focus on one over the other.

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I don’t think there’s any right way to eat Lucky Charms, and I don’t think there’s any right way to look at life’s ups and downs. I also realize that as we grow our tastes change, our desires change, and the way we look at life changes. Who we are today might not be who we are tomorrow. I love that we can choose to view life’s troubles – and eat our Lucky Charms – any way we want to. :)

DIY Jewelry Wall

We have an odd closet situation in our bedroom. There’s a small narrow hallway that leads to our master bathroom, and it’s flanked by closets with mirrored doors. The mirrors aren’t too bad, since they give the illusion that the space is wider than it is, but the closets themselves are pretty small. I’ve given my side a mini-makeover – and added the same shoe rack to Jay’s side to help him stay organized – but for the past 9 years I’ve had no clue what to do with this bizarre wall.

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Then one day, as I was digging through my jewelry drawer, it occurred to me what I could use that space for. My jewelry had been stashed in gentle piles in a drawer for a while, and as my love for long necklaces grew it became increasingly difficult to keep everything from getting tangled up. I clearly needed a better system, and that wall was exactly the space I needed to solve my problem.

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I’d had my eye on Target’s line of paints since the day they put them on the shelves, and this little wall seemed like the perfect place to experiment – especially since it would be completely hidden once the door was closed. I chose Divine Pond and bought one of the sample-sized pots. I found the paint to be very thick – it didn’t glide on easily or thinly enough to get even coats on. It worked out well for this small wall, but I don’t think I’d use it for anything larger.

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The next step was to frame the space to make it look more finished. I bought some pre-painted white crown molding at Home Depot, measured the sides of the closet, and cut the pieces to fit.

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I should say here that absolutely nothing in our house is straight, standard, or normal in any way. Closets are odd sizes, floors aren’t level, windows are irregular, and there are places where the the walls are taller at one end of the room than another. This space was no different, and despite triple-checking my cuts and measurements the crown molding still didn’t want to fit properly. Eventually I wedged it in, nailed it as best as I could, and filled in any gaps with paintable caulk. Up close it’s not that great, but I wasn’t too worried since it looks fine from afar and again, the closet doors are always closed.

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All that was left was to put in the hooks. I found these on Amazon (not an affiliate link), which were perfect because they are coated with vinyl, which prevents them from making that metal-on-metal sound that makes my teeth curl. I ran a row of them across the top of the wall for my longer necklaces, then hung the necklaces on them so that I could see how far down to hang the next row. I repeated this with the next row for my shorter chains. I hung the last two necklaces on the bottom, measuring from the bottom up to be sure they’d fit.

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I still have a bit of space so that I can add to my collection in the future, but since I’m not much of a jewelry shopper I think it will take me a while before I run out of room on this wall.

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I’m really happy with the way it turned out, mistakes and all. It’s so much easier to see what I have now, and there’s no chance anything will get tangled up this way. Plus, with the Tiffany blue paint I kinda feel like I have my own personal jewelry store right in my bedroom. :)

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I Wanna Play, Too!

I’m sitting in one of those indoor kiddie fun zones, watching my daughters play. We find ourselves at places like these from time to time for various reasons – birthday parties, days off from school, rainy-day playdates, Groupon deals too good to pass up, etc. This time it’s a giant room filled with humongous bounce houses and inflatable obstacle courses. For $20 the girls can play as long as they like, and I get to enjoy either 2 hours of great conversation with a friend or some much-needed time to myself.

But almost every time we come, what I really want to do is join my girls. I want to stuff my shoes in a cubbyhole, throw on a pair of cute socks with funny animals on them, and have the time of my life jumping, bouncing, and making a total fool of myself. I want to shoot down the slick yellow slide so lightning fast that I fly off and land right on my bum. I want to giggle like a schoolgirl when I can’t keep my balance while bouncing. I want to go absolutely crazy and not care what anyone else thinks. I want to play.

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Instead, I’m sitting on a hard blue plastic chair, jotting down these playtime fantasies in one of Jay’s notebooks. Although it’s relaxing, and I’m definitely enjoying myself, it’s just not what I’m wanting to do. I can’t go play with the girls, no matter how much I want to. Being a grown up means that there are some grown-up restrictions, and that some things just cannot be. Case in point:

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  • There are giant signs on the equipment telling me that I’m not allowed. I don’t think my girls will understand that we’ve been asked to leave because I couldn’t follow the rules and behave myself. This place used to let parents join in (as evident in the picture below), but I guess the rules have changed. :(
  • Who would watch my purse? On this occasion I’d brought the girls on my own for a bit. Those cubbyholes are great for shoes, but I’m not about to stuff my nice purse in one. It’s one thing if a kid walks off with Julia’s $3 Old Navy flipflops, it’s quite another if I lose my Kindle, phone, and wallet. And keys. The girls like it here, but I think they’d get sick of it the second they realized we couldn’t leave because someone had “accidentally” driven the wrong car home.
  • The girls need their space. Yes, I could follow them around and join in, and I’m sure that they would get a great deal of joy out of watching me be completely silly with them. But, on the flip side, it won’t allow them the room they need to “spread their wings.” They need some parent-free time to develop their imaginations, invent their own games, settle their own problems. No one wants their mom breathing down their neck every minute… it kinda hinders things a bit.
  • Other parents might have a problem with it. Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to care what other people think. But I’m pretty sure it would creep me out to see some other parent hanging out in a bounce house with my girls, so I try to show the same respect to them. Not to mention the dirty looks I’d get when another kid starts trying to drag her 80-year grandma on the equipment because “their mom is doing it!”
  • Truth? I’d be exhausted in 5 minutes. No amount of running prepares you for monkeybars, bounce houses, or the number of steps you’ll be required to climb in order to fully satisfy your child’s slide expectations. And even if I could somehow manage to do all that, I wouldn’t have energy to drive them to Burger King afterward.

So there you have it. All the reasons I have to resist the urge to join my girls on playgrounds. The thing is, despite the fact that I’m not always allowed or that it might not be the best idea, I love that I still want to. I know there are a good many fuddy-duddy parents out there who have zero interest in doing anything remotely immature. They want no part in coloring, Barbies, building forts and hiding in them, playing tag, Legos, and especially not playing on jungle gyms and inflatable obstacle courses. I’m glad that I haven’t reached that yet, and I hope I never do.

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I just need to find a place that lets me play too. :D

PS – That last picture was taken before they stopped letting adults play. Stinkers. :P

5K on the Runway

When an opportunity strikes, you need to recognize it and jump on it. And sometimes beg others to help you make it happen. And stress a little when you realize it might not happen. And take a leap of faith and start whatever is necessary to make it happen, even knowing full well that it may not. And if everything works out, you say a prayer of praise and thanks to God because after all that, it happened.

At least, that’s the backstory of the coolest run I’ve ever done.

IMG_5869Early in February I noticed on Facebook that a friend had registered for a “5K on the Runway” with her running group. I dug a little deeper, and I discovered that our local airport was holding the event on a newly built runway before it was finally opened to regular air traffic. I immediately knew that I had to be a part of it, but I didn’t see how it was going to happen because it fell on the same day Jay was going to be out of town. Go figure. A couple of friends offered to help me make it happen, but in the end my sweet mother-in-law stepped in and took the girls – which made for a bizarre night of loneliness – but also meant that I could do my run! :)

The race was to start at 7a, and everyone was required to be parked by 6a because the airport had strict restrictions on when the event had to be finished and everyone had to be off the runway. It was my understanding that the first plane would land on the new runway within a few hours of the event’s completion.

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We had to wait outside the gates for a while until the airport was ready to let us all on the runway. Once they did, the huge mass of participants flooded through and headed to the start line, a bit of a walk from the gates. Unfortunately, due to the lack of parking, the walk from the parking areas to the gates, and then the walk from the gates to the starting line, the race was a little delayed as the event organizers waited for the last stragglers to get there. It’s a little hard to explain, but to get to the start line we had to walk some of the actual 3.1 mile course where the race would finish, so they couldn’t start the run until everyone made it to the front.

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It didn’t take too long though, and then we were off! It was pretty insane being on the runway. We weren’t all that close to the planes or airport buildings, but seriously, it was still super cool being able to take pictures like this:

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And while we were running we could see planes taking off, which was also really incredible.

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The course looped back on itself a couple of times. We started out heading west, then made a U-turn and headed east for a while before making another u-turn and heading back towards the finish line to the west. I always enjoy places in these runs that give me a good perspective of just how many people are a part of it – like reaching the top of a hill and being able to look down at all the runners in front of me – and the last u-turn was definitely good for that!

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The weather was looking a bit gloomy, which motivated us to get to the finish line a little quicker. Just as we crossed the finish line the rain started to fall, but after a hot run it was a welcome shower. :) I was fortunate enough to get a picture of myself crossing the finish line, but only because I ran into a sweet friend while on the course (the girl in black) and when a friend of hers took her picture she noticed I was in the shot too and sent it to me.

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I ran the race with my friend Jen again (she’s run a few other races with me), and also met up with another sweet friend and my former college roommate, Christine. These runs can be fun even if you’re alone, but I highly recommend meeting up with friends if you can – it’s so much more fun!

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 8.17.10 PMIt was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime run, one I’ll never forget. Anytime I pass by the airport I think to myself, “I ran 3.1 miles down there!” I loved every minute of it, and it was totally worth all the trouble we went through to get there. Actually, the only thing I didn’t like was the free t-shirt. Doesn’t it look like the plane is about to land and everyone is running from it out of fear? :D :D :D

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Another Slurpee Holiday!

Somehow I almost totally missed this, but thankfully I have a few friends out there who posted this amazing info to my Facebook page, and now I’m sharing it with you!

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Tomorrow is “Bring Your Own Cup Day” at 7-Eleven!!!

Here’s how it works:
Between 11am and 7pm you can bring any container to your local 7-11 and fill it up with your favorite Slurpee flavor – and it will only cost $1.49 (the average price of a medium Slurpee). How awesome is THAT?

Just be sure that your container isn’t too large – it will need to fit through a 10-inch cutout located in the store. Be sure that it’s clean and won’t leak, and that it has a “definite shape,” which I’m assuming means that you shouldn’t try to fill a balloon with Slurpee deliciousness. Although, now that I think about it, a Slurpee balloon fight sounds kinda heavenly… maybe something to add to this summer’s bucket list? :D

Looking for some creative container suggestions? How about a…

  • teapot
  • favorite cup
  • empty 1/2 gallon milk jug
  • carafe
  • mason jar
  • vase
  • beach pail
  • flowerpot
  • wine glass

Again, be sure that whatever you bring is CLEAN (especially if you’re thinking out-of-the box with something like a bucket). :)

As for me, I haven’t quite decided what to bring yet – but I’m leaning towards filling this huge Thermos and sticking 3 straws in it for the girls and me to share!

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Have a great day tomorrow, everyone! :)