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Gratefulness Post Week 4

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 (Day 24 of 366) - I am so proud of the kids today... Bailey came home with her test scores from school, testing out at fabulous levels in reading and math. She exceeded her mid-year goals by 6 points for reading and 3 points for math. When I told her that she rocked it, she smiled and said, "That means we are going to Orange Leaf tonight." Apparently, the last time we went, I was telling the kids that it was a special occasion place (it's a bit pricey for ice cream or frozen yogurt for 4 people)... I apparently said something about it being a good place to go to celebrate good grades on report cards and great efforts in sporting events, etc. My never forgetful daughter was on it as soon as I said she did great. So, we had Orange Leaf. Jake also impressed me today... he did fabulous at swimming lessons. He has been kind of lazy (Jake's favorite) at his lessons. He's only going to do enough to get by. But, today, I think his teacher saw that he could do more than he has been and she told him to do it all alone. He swam all the way across the pool and back, using proper stroke technique. She laughed when the lesson was over, because she had just recommended that he stay in the same class for another month. She said I could move him up, but that it would probably be good for him to have to work a little bit harder before going to the next level. So, I told him that he has to swim like that at each lesson if he wants to move to the next level. He understands that concept... I think he thinks he's moving up to a new level on a video game or something. Haha. In any case, I am thrilled to see that all their hard work is paying off... and that they are really applying themselves.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 (Day 25/366) - I say it all the time, but I seriously am grateful for my "second family" of friends. It isn't always easy to have a date night, especially an impromptu one, or to have time to go to some work-type functions that don't include kids when most of your family lives 2 hours away. I am not complaining about my family at all... they all step up and help us every single time we need them. But, sometimes, you just need to be able to leave the kids for a couple of hours to go and have adult time. That's where our second family comes in... so many of our friends have taken turns watching our kiddos from time to time so that we can spend a couple of hours out. I am so completely thankful to have them... to know that the kids are probably more excited to hear that they are spending an evening with them than to spend it with us on most days. Thanks to Paul and Rebecca for keeping the little people entertained for us tonight. I totally appreciate it. And, while I'm at it, I'm also pretty grateful for some good food and drinks with my hubby tonight. It was good to get out... to take time to talk about nothing and everything. I also am thankful to live in a city where I can always think of a handful of places that I've never been (sometimes more than others) and where we can have a chance to try new things out. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012 (Day 26/366) - Today, I'm thankful for an awesome mother-in-law, who came to watch the kids for us tonight so that we could go out with Paul and Rebecca to a fabulous fundraiser. I'm thankful for a new dress and a gorgeous husband who pulled the car around in the rain for me, so I wouldn't have to get soaked after the event. I'm thankful for amazing food, paired with delicious wine, and wonderful friends to share immature "that's what she said" looks and snickers over silly things that more mature adults would never dream of. I'm extremely grateful for a wonderful life tonight.

Friday, January 27, 2012 (Day 27/366) - Good food. A visit from family... Brad's mom, my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend... me getting to go grocery shopping alone. A good simple day. Oh... and awesome comments on my new Facebook profile pic. You guys totally know how to make a girl feel good. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012 (Day 28/366) - I woke up to the sounds of my family in the house. Not just my kids and hubby, but my brother, his girlfriend, my parents, and Brad's mom, too. Not all of them were up and at it yet, but it was nice knowing we were all under one roof. Have I mentioned how blessed I am to have a family that I love so much? My baby brother was already dressed in his running gear when I dragged into the kitchen. He was waiting for me... I had talked him into a 9-mile run. I was totally dreading the run alone, so I was thrilled when he said he'd try to do the whole thing with me. I knew it was a sacrifice for him... not only because he has no real desire to run 9 miles, but also because he'd have to run it at a really slow pace if he didn't want to leave me in a cloud of dust. So... off we went. The first 7 miles weren't bad... I thought it was great temperature-wise, but Colt was freezing. :) He'd rather run in the heat. I think I'm all alone in this love for the cold weather... but oh well. After mile 7, I could really feel the pain in my hips, which was kind of weird since they don't hurt usually, but I pushed through and finished out the complete 9. It was great running with the little brother... and it was even better to come home to a plate full of oranges and grapes that Bailey and my mom made sure were ready as soon as we walked in the door. I spent nearly the rest of the day eating, too. Gravy, biscuits, and sausage at about 11 a.m. Then, oatmeal and toast at about 1. Steak at Texas Roadhouse around 4. A bowl of cereal at about 7. Chicken salad sandwich at 9. About 30 cocktail shrimp at 10:30 p.m. I may or may not have eaten more than I am admitting publicly. :)

So, you are reading this and thinking that I've lost my mind... once again. Yes, I know it sounds crazy... and I know you wonder why I'm running 9 miles. I read an article about how runners should just not tell non-runners about running anything over 4 miles, because no matter what, non-runners will think you have lost your mind if you tell them you ran that far. I get it. I really do. I think it sounds kind of crazy, too. I was thinking about all of this while I soaked in a bubble bath with exhausted muscles and an always-growling tummy after my run. I think I run because I love the feeling of complete exhaustion. I love the way my muscles feel like they've been pushed to the edge and have survived. I love the way my skin feels a little bit tighter and slightly windburned like I've been out skiing all day or bathing in the sun. I love the emptiness in my stomach... because I know I've pushed my body to the max... and I deserve to eat and drink whatever I want, guilt-free. I think a lot of it comes from my childhood... when I was a little girl, I remember my middle brother (Cory) and I would climb in the hills, playing and running, fighting over this and that, and coming home completely exhausted and completely famished. The food could have tasted like sawdust and the bath could have been lukewarm, but in that moment... when you are exhausted and starved, everything is 100 times better. I worry my kiddos will never know exactly how that feels living in a city.

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment; full effort is full victory.” - Gandhi

Why 9 miles? I'm not sure if I'm going to do it yet, but the idea of running a marathon is always in the back of my mind... I get postcards about marathons in the mail... I see articles and beautiful photos from various marathons from around the world in my Runner's World magazine. It's all calling to me... making me want to do it. But, I'm still not sure I'm ready. The 9-miler on Saturday was the first test. I made it through without injury and without feeling like I would die. So, I'm sticking with the marathon training schedule to see how far I get. I'm not committing to this 100% yet, because part of me didn't really WANT to go farther than 9 miles. Training for a marathon means running a 20-mile training run at some point... if I'm not sure I want to go more than 9, I'm not sure I want to do 20. But, there's something to be said about the fact that I didn't hate myself for running it. And, despite my tiredness tonight, I was pretty excited about the idea of running 10 miles next weekend. There's also the whole "stress fracture and weak ankles" thing to consider, too. Until I decide, I'll keep on running... 

Sunday, January 29, 2012 (Day 29/366) - Less grateful today. Had to think hard for this one... it isn't ever a FUN day when you spend most of it working on income taxes. On the brighter side, I slept in this morning. I wasn't completely sore from running. Bailey and Jake wanted to stay in all day, so we were able to be lazy. I spent at least an hour staring at a photo of Snowshoe today... crying internally... wishing we were there. Oh, I know this is supposed to be a grateful post... but geez... I would be FOREVER GRATEFUL if I could go on a weekend ski trip to Snowshoe... and maybe, just maybe, try to snowboard. Sigh. I'm grateful for other things though... Brad did dishes. I fixed myself a delicious omelet. Brad is learning one of my favorite songs on the guitar. Want more? Hmmm.... I had a dream last night that I ran a marathon... in 11 hours. I was devastated. Dawn and Maria ran it with me and were equally as slow. :) I think the marathon thing is creeping into my mind a little too much these days. :) And, I totally know that Dawn and Maria could totally run a marathon much faster than 11 hours. Oh... and really, how could I forget this... Jake can draw a stick person! He was so excited and kept drawing them. He even wrote *almost* all of his name (the K and lowercase E can give him a tough time). AND... Bailey is the sweetest sister in the world. She giggled quietly when she saw his stick man and said, "Jakey... you are doing such a great job... you are trying so hard." She was as proud as any momma. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012 (Day 30/366) - Today, I'm grateful for grilled salmon on the actual grill... outside... in January. Beautiful weather in the 60s. An outside run, even if I'm a little more sore than I thought. I'm really grateful for our DVR and a stockpile of shows to watch when we can't find anything else that interests us... less grateful for poor refereeing done in the WVU vs. Pitt game. But, as my dear friend Amanda pointed out, "Remember the Orange Bowl? 70!" :)