Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Gift

Tis the season of Christmas Dance Shows:
So much fun~
Co-op Tea Parties

Unexpected gifts.

Shopping with friends.

Ice Skating.

Cousin Fun!

Neighborhood Buddies.

What a fun time of year.
It was also a holy time.

Quiet early mornings lit only with the tree and God's word.
This is the first year in a long time that I wasn't ready for Christmas to end.
It was simpler.  It was slower.  It was holier.  It was better.
We did less but we enjoyed more.
My children learned how to give not only to recieve.  So did I.  My children were lavished with gifts of time and extravegant love from unexpected people and it was a blessing.  We learned about Christmas and its history and why we celebrate the way we do.  We focused ONLY on Jesus and we celebrated that we don't have to be good to receive good gifts, because we can't be good.  We aren't good.  We are terribly wreached and Jesus gave us the best gift ever in spite of us. 
What an amazing and good God!
That is worth celebrating.
I loved Christmas this year.
Christmas was a gift.


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Stewart's

I haven't done a weekly update in a while so here we go:
We recently started a little home renovation project.  Sophie's bedroom used to be a bonus room.  However we closed a cutout in the wall and added a closet to make it into a bedroom a few years ago.  Andrew's room is a walk-in attic that we finished the same time we did Sophie's room.  However, to get to Andrew's room you had to walk through Sophie's room. 

The older the kids got the more of an issue this has become.  Especially when they want to have sleepovers.  So....we are "building a bridge".  It consist of making a bridge from the existing stairs over to the wall....where we are cutting out a door into Andrew's room and sheetrocking the existing opening between their rooms shut. 

I love it! 

While all the workers are here we went ahead and had them rip out some built in desks, that we never used,

and add a bookshelf. 

I am so happy with these changes.  They are still in process and while we have hoped to have it done in time for Christmas we may be held up waiting for paint.  We will find out this week!  Hopeful!

Randy also took a QUICK road trip to Pennsylvania to pick up a new car.  The Mama Van had bit the dust, and Randy had been diligently searching for a good deal, on a used, 8-passenger vehicle, with low mileage.  He found it!  Only was in Pennsylvania!  His dad graciously made the road trip with him to share the driving load.  The kids had so much going on I couldn't get away.  They both agreed the trip home was much better then the trip there!  We are all enjoying the new (it used...but new to us!) ride!

We also had Andrew's heart checkup this week.  He has been a patient at Duke since he was 3 for an irregular heartbeat, that originates from an unusual place in his heart.  About 40% of his beats were unusual so although it has never caused him problems they have followed him.  I got so emotional this time, just remembering when we first brought him there.  How scared he was and how scared I was.  I remember the grandparents and daddy all showing up that first time.  Whew.  I snapped a picture last week of my BIG HEALTHY boy on that same table he was on 12 YEARS ago!  This time he didn't even cry and the best news of all.....he had NO IRREGULAR beats for the second visit in a row.  So he has been released from care with a clean bill of health.  PRAISE THE LORD!!!!

We've been to lots of basketball games and basketball practices.  Some piano, guitar, and dance lessons. 

We've had lots of Christmas fun:
A Christmas Party with some of our buddies!
Complete with presents!
I love my new teacups!

A ladies Christmas Event at Church to help prepare our hearts for the season.  Loved seeing all the decorations and the blessing of songs and talents being shared but my favorite was visiting with my friends.

Jackson had a slumber party with one of his best friends.  He still hasn't stopped smiling from all his adventures on The Curl Farm.

Lydia and Audrey went to an American Girl Christmas Tea with a sweet friend from church.

Randy and I went to the FBC Deacon Christmas Party and were treated to an absolutely delicious meal prepared by one of the Deacon's. 

He is an amazing cook: Homemade Pumpkin rolls, Wedge salad, Pork Tenderloin with Holendase Sauce, Meatloaf wrapped in bacon, Sweet Potato Casserole, Roasted Vegetables and for desert: Apple Pie, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting, or a Homemade Oreo Cheesecake. 

YUM!  The fellowship was so sweet and encouraging.  I enjoyed getting to know people better.

It has been a busy, full, fun week!

My favorite moments were both Sophie moments.
Early one morning last week she was making eggs for herself when Andrew stumbled in and asked if she would make him an omelet.....and she said yes!

I love when they surprise me with their  kindness to one another!

And my VERY favorite was last night at home fellowship....she raised her hand to read a verse.  Her daddy didn't see her and started reading before she could be called on....but be still my beating heart.  I almost evaporated into a puddle of tears right there.  JOY!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Flower.....

She's like a flower gently unfurling. 
Caught in Winter's grasp too long.
Slowly learning to trust and breathing deep the safety of Spring.
Newness.  Life.  Beauty.  Growth.
The flower trembles joy as her petals stretch wide.
Vulnerable.  Exposed.  Swaying.  Dancing.

Rivers run down her petals and onto her roots.
Rivers of loss and sorrow and goodbyes.
Yet she is standing and rooted and basking in the summer Son.
Enjoying the beautiful garden filled with colors and textures and scents all busy growing and becoming.

The days grow shorter. 
Dark comes early.
The giants flanking the garden shake loose their colorful fall foliage.
Their wisdom spills all around and brings comfort to the little flower.
She is Warm. Secure. Held. Cared For.

The sudden chill catches her by surprise.
Winter's coming.
Yet as the little flower carefully bows her head she notices the others around her.
Surrounding.  Hovering.  Covering.  Caring.
Not alone.
The flower closes her eyes and enjoys winters gift of rest.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Today the girls and I had our first of what I hope will be many Christmas Shopping Trips together.
We hit a few of our favorite shopping shots to buy Christmas gifts and finished it off with a trip to Starbucks and a group photo to remember our special day.  I love these sweet girls!
Now if you are wondering why I look so tired it is because we were out on the town LATE last night.
Andrew had a game in Wake Forrest last night at 7:00 and we didn't eat dinner until AFTER the game.

This was one HUNGRY crew!

It was also a happy crew after a big win!
Way to go FLIGHT!
Life is going well.
We've been eating.

We've all been spending time with friends.

Drinking Tea. Making Crafts.  Praying. Walking. Talking. Eating Sushi.  Shopping.
Playing Board Games.  Watching Basketball.
Friends are important.
We've been learning.
That 10 hours of sleep isn't always enough....some people need 12!
That home renovations are dusty.
That Grandma REALLY likes and appreciates Christmas decorations!

Friday, November 22, 2013


I am thankful.

For a husband that is strong and is faithful and is funny and is nice to people outside our house....and inside our house.  He does dishes.  Washes dirty younguns. Folds laundry.  Teaches science lessons.  Whatever I need.  He is always serving and loving me.  I'm so thankful.

I am thankful.

For my children.  That overflow my heart with love.  I adore them.  Each and every one.  The ones that I stay up late praying for that in their self righteousness they don't miss their need for a Savior and the ones I wake up panic stricken for and praying that in their lawlessness they don't miss the their need for a Savior.  I'm thankful that I get to be their mom.  I love being a mom to obedient children that long to please and to prodigal children that long to be independent.  I love it so much.  I am also totally humbled by it.  The job is too big.  It drives me continually to my Savior.  I can't do it.  I don't know how and I am pretty sure most of what I am doing is probably wrong....but I'm so glad and so thankful that God chose me to do it.  I wouldn't trade it for the world!

I am thankful.

That I am not alone.  I have a Savior who goes before me.  I have God's word that guides me.  I have sweet friends that hold me accountable.  I have a Mama that prays for me.  I have a husband who walks with me.  I have a pack of younguns that are stalking me.  I am not alone and I am so thankful.

I am thankful.

For my church.  I love it.  I am thankful God led us here.  I am thankful that I am groaning in my sanctification (it isn't easy....its work!).  I'm thankful that I care about that.  I'm thankful that this is expected of me. 

I am thankful.

I never thought about idols too much.  Certainly not in the daily sense.  Now I do.  I am thankful for that.  I am always manufacturing something or someone to worship.  I'm thankful I am beginning to recognize these and destroy them.

I am thankful.

That I have lost weight.  I did not know how unhappy and how out of touch I was.  I am changed and I love living.  Not just doing and being and going....but really living life.

I am thankful.

For simple pleasures of life too: Hot tea on a chilly morning.  Sweet stories bestowed as lavish gifts upon a child.  Warm sand and salty beach breezes that simply remembering can buoy this Summer Girls mood on a cold, dreary, winter day.  Hugs.  Blankets.  Praise songs.  A good book.  A nap.

Sometimes I am even thankful for the hard stuff.
Like for dyslexia.  God uses it to teach perseverance.  Without the struggle I wouldn't taste her accomplishment.  For speech problems.  God uses it to teach understanding.  He teaches ears to listen.  Really. Really listen.  For unruly little boys.  God uses them to teach grace.   He uses them to reveal the sin hidden in my self-righteous heart.  So grateful for unruly little boys.  So. So. Grateful.  Sometimes I'm even thankful for grandmas.  That forget.  That don't know that they have eaten.  That need too much.  That repeat everything...that are broken and needy......learning to be thankful for grandmas. 

I am thankful

That sometimes just wearing your sons team colors is enough.  That occasionally a batch of Reese peanut butter cookies will make my mans day bright.  That often a gentle word and pile of grace will turn away wrath and defuse anger.  And when it doesn't I'm thankful for Jesus. 

What he gave is enough.  Every. single. time. 

I'm thankful that I don't have to have the answer.  I'm thankful that he saves those that don't behave.  I don't have to do it right. I want too but I can't.   I'm thankful that I'm allowed to mess up.  I'm thankful that he doesn't.  I'm thankful that he rescued me and he can rescue anyone he chooses.

I'm so thankful!
Blessed beyond measure!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Twas 2 Nights After Halloween

It's late.  The house is quiet.  The kids have all finally faded off to Dream Land.  Grandma has settled.  The men folk are away at the youth retreat and even Mindy is snoring at my feet. 

I like a quiet house.  A Lot.  It gives me time to think.  To ponder.  To plan.  To be.  Ahhh.....Add a cup of Orange Spice Tea and it really is quiet nice. 

I've been planning Christmas.  The shopping list.  The budget.  The gifts.  The parties.  The memories.  The food.  I love planning. 

This is the plan.  Do less.  Be more.  Buy less. Give more.   Decorate less.  Serve more.  Acquire less.  Require more.

That is it.

I really do want to light up my little section of the universe for Jesus. 

I don't want to be weird, but  I do want to be different.

Sometimes life can seem so pointless and busy and empty.
I want it to be on purpose and have space to savor moments and for it to be full.  Really. Really full.

I think when we live how God intends it becomes fuller.
In the giving and the serving and the being and the loving there is purpose.  There is meaning.  There is fullness. 

We get to be his hands. 

So this Christmas season I know it will get all hectic and I know I will get busy and I know it will fly by in a whir of fun activities and parties and good food and sweet family and friends....but I'm planning now....

I want to give gifts to people who need them.  The thirsty.  There are people in the world without access to clean water.  Unbelievable.  The hungry.  With growling stomachs, hungry.  The lonely. 

I want to spend time with people I love.  Family and friends.  Ones who will miss me one day.  Ones I will miss.

 I want to mourn the ones lost this past year and celebrate the ones still here.  Yet rest in the comfort that this loss is for a season.  We will spend eternity together. 

I want to light up dark places because Jesus lit up the dark of my life.  He rescued me from darkness. He still rescues me from my sinfulness.   He is the bright star of Christmas.  Shining.  I do NOT want to glorify myself....but to glorify HIM!  He is worth celebrating.

I want to teach my children.  To love others.  To give to the poor.  To serve.  To live for a purpose.  To follow Christ.  Yet I'm so much better at teaching them to fight for their own rights.  To want things.  To chill.  To be passive.  Oh....I want to do better.  Change me Lord. 

I do want to give my kids good gifts too.  What parent doesn't?  I just want more then that.   I just want this Christmas to be different.  Better.  Holier. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What is Beautiful?

What is beautiful?  Is it smooth and flawless skin?  Or does it have wrinkles......  laugh lines?  Furrows and divots that suggest tears and laughter and living?

What is beautiful? Is it shiny, silky hair perfectly groomed?  Or is it a mound piled atop a head bent low.  Scrubbing toilets.  Emptying trash.  Wiping noses.  Wild and messy.....Is that beautiful?

What is beautiful?  Is it perfect words and eloquent prose? Is it knowing the right answer.....Every. Single.  Time.  Or is it broken?  Is it real?  Is it lost and empty and needing it not quite all together.....

What is beautiful?  The perfect outfit.  The coordinating jewelry and shoes?  Or is beauty displayed on the tattered T-shirt.  Spattered with a remnants of life.....dirt, waste, stains.....

Is living beautiful or just looking?

Is working beautiful or just buying?

Is serving beautiful or just pampering?

Is beauty skin deep or is it perhaps deeper? 

What is beautiful?

Fall Break

What a fantastic week this has been.
The Home Builders Academy was on Fall Break!  Yippee!!!

I love breaks from school!

I did a lot of baking .....and had a lot of helpers.



Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Spice Bars
Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese cinnamon frosting.

I got to make some delicious fall recipes: My favorite was Julia's Roasted Vegetables.  YUMMY!

It has become a staple at our dinner table!

We had play dates at the park. 

I read stacks of library books to the children.
I sat on the front porch with a cup of hot tea and read my own book too!

I celebrated a birthday with a sweet friend. 

Watched my boy play some good football.

Took several long walks and enjoyed the autumn hues and the crisp weather.

Ahhh......I like fall.

The fair!


The friends....
The chill.....

This week there was time to linger.  In the Word.  In relationships with friends and family.  We got to wake up slowly, stay up late, take bubble baths.  There was time for the fun stuff that the business of school so easily crowds out. 

Breaks remind me to live slower.  To savor more. 

I LOVE breaks where we slow down enough to enjoy each other....

We still had music to practice and appointments to keep, but without the pressure of school the pace  was so nice! 


Monday, October 14, 2013

The Great Weight Update.... weight loss is now officially DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!

In the last month I lost.....drum roll please.....was 1.8 pounds.  Yep....That is it. 


I think there are several reasons:

1.  I have been at this for 16 months.  My body is getting used to the loss and I have a lot less to lose so naturally things will slow down.  I mean I have lost 88.6 pounds!!! That is a lot of change!

2.  I have stopped my super demanding exercise routine in favor of a much gentler and normal exercise routine.  I hurt my ankle pretty badly and whenever I try to run the pain comes as a throbbing reminder to STOP.  So....I am not burning nearly the calories I was burning which means I have had to make tremendous dietary changes.  UGH!  It also means my weight loss has slowed down....

There is no way around it...if you eat less then you burn you lose weight.  If you don't you don't!

So....I am going easy on myself.  I still have 15 pounds to lose before I am the correct weight for my height.  So barring a growth spurt, I'm not done losing yet!  Yet I am not on a time table.  I am still losing weight, be it a snails pace!  I am still eating a lot less then I used to eat and making MUCH healthier choices!  I am still working out....except now it is more like:
Tuesday-elliptical for 30 minutes
Thursday-walk with a friend for 30 minutes
Friday-run/walk for an hour
Saturday-walk for 20 minutes
Sunday-elliptical for 30 minutes
But compared to my former life this is great.  No, I am not running 9 miles, and yes that makes me sad, but I'm doing what I can do for now. 

I am still destroying food as an idol...every. single. day.  I am talking, praying, feeling, walking, thinking, writing.....and not nursing everything with food....which was my idol of choice.  I don't mean to make it sound simple.  It is not.  It is a daily and sometimes moment by moment reliance on the Lord and his truth. 

Weight loss really is a journey.  Sometimes on the fast tract and sometimes on the scenic tour! Ahh..

My focus is divided in many ways right now: Grandma's daily care, my children's daily care, discipline and disciplining and education.  Not to mention coping with a couple learning issues with my kids, loving my husband, serving my church, helping the poor, cultivating relationships, taxing kids all over creation, AND taking care of myself.  So I can't focus ONLY on losing weight and exercising and what I am eating......

It is not all about me and my weight loss.  The Lord has really helped me destroy the idol of food and comfort and I do still struggle with these areas....but he is faithful!  I do not want to make another idol.  As Dr. Davis says, our hearts are idol making factories.  They really are.  If not bout comfort.....that won't work......I know exercise....if not about dietary restrictions.....everything in moderation.  Such. a. journey.

So...I've had a healthy breakfast  I am resting my bum hurts!  I've made grandma coffee and started the kids breakfast and spent time in the word and I wish I had run a few miles....but I'm going to rest.  I'm going to keep at it.  Slow and steady and hopefully next month I will have lost a few more pounds...but now it is time to feed, and teach, and train my kiddos and tomorrow I hope to hit the elliptical!

I can tell you this....I like being healthy.  I like testifying to the work God has done in my life.  I like learning and growing and racing and running and training and living!

Still swimming....just veeerrrrry s-l-o-w-l-y.....


Monday, October 7, 2013


So....How come I'm not blogging as much as I used to?  Hmmm.....I don't know. 

I think because a lot of reasons.......

Life doesn't fit in a blurb on a page.  It is too full.  It is too complex.  It has too many layers.  It's not simple. 

Life is precious and vulnerable and can only be shared authentically with a select group of people.  Too much openness with everyone can cheapen the real relationships in life.

I'm enjoying my life a lot of the time and feeling overwhelmed  and lost in my life some of the time and the beautiful thing is that I have people in my life to share it with and to vent to and I don't need my online journal in the same way that I once did.

I've also learned that when you write something're done.  You can't explain it anymore.  There is no additional context.  No answering questions and no correcting misunderstandings and so I don't write things as freely as I once did.

We've also been busy.  Like everyone else on the planet. 

Busy eating cupcakes with friends.

Busy learning.



Savoring life.

And we have been busy with some music lessons and dance classes and football games and doctors appointments thrown in just to keep life interesting.

So I may not blog as much, but I am living more....and I like it!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Laughs for the Day!

     My kids.....Oh, How I love them!  They drive me crazy...but they also delight me, entertain me, teach me.  I am a blessed woman!

A few funnies from our house lately....

     Lydia, who loves Polar Bears and has a huge collection, has a favorite bear named POLEY (pronounced Pole and then E).  She has also taken up reading EVERYTHING and ANYTHING including tags.  A few weeks ago she wondered aloud why so many things were made of "POLEY ESTHER".  We had a nice chuckle and when we asked her exactly what she thought "POLEY ESTHER" was she said, "polar bear fur".  Why didn't I think of that?

     Now my kids aren't the only funny ones......we spent a weekend at the beach with my brother and his kids and they were all a riot!  My dad, better known around here as Pa, arrived a day after the rest of the crew.  So when he arrived we all sat down to catch up with him.  He said something to me followed by "Sweetie".  Audrey turned and looked at him and said,
"Why did you call her sweetie?  You are just a friend." 
We laughed so hard and then assured her that it was okay for Pa to call me sweetie because I was his little girl.  She was stunned.  How she has missed this over the years I have no idea....but now she knows!  All the cousins were interested in learning who was related to whom and how.  After she finally had it down she announced she hoped that this year she could become an uncle!  Now Joshua, her cousin, refers to her lovingly as "Uncle Audrey!"

     Jackson went to Andrew's football game with Randy last weekend.  A mom of one of the boys on the team, who also goes to our church, was in a covered tented area cooking hot dogs for the game.  Randy and Jackson waved hello and went on to the game.  A few hours later Randy was chatting with our youth minister, when someone asked has anyone seen, Mrs. _________________?  To which Jackson quickly replied.  "Yes, she is in the tent cooking with some man who is NOT her husband!"  We did clarify afterwards that while we do want to be very careful not to give any impression of impropriety (and she was not) that it is in fact okay to cook at sporting events with other peoples husbands!
Love my boy!

Finally, today on the way home from Weight Watchers Lydia was complaining of a stomach ache.  She didn't feel good and thought she may throw up.  Audrey without cracking a smile said, "Do you think you might be pregnant?"


Monday, September 16, 2013


School is goodish except when it isn't.  It is full.  It is all day.  It is non-stop.  It keeps me hopping!

Andrew- is a high school sophomore!!!!
At co-op he is taking:
Environmental Science
Worldview (BEST class EVER)
World History
British Literature

Extra Curricular
Guitar Lessons
Football (and basketball in the winter and swimming in the summer)
Youth Group and Home Fellowship Involvement
Helping Care for Great Grandma

Other Classes
Critical Thinking (meets once a week in Chapel Hill)
Principals of Micro Economics (online class that was TOTALLY self-initiated)

Personal Devotions
Algebra II
Reading the following books:
         Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
         The Cat of Bubastes by G.A. Henty
         Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
         Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
         Here I Stand by Roland Bainton
         Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
         A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
         Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
         Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
         Eric Liddell: Pure Gold by David McCasland
         The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
         Animal Farm by George Orwell
         The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

Sophie is in fifth grade
At co-op she is taking
World view
World History: Middle Ages

Girl Talk Group
The Gospel Project and Home Fellowship Involvement
Helping Care for Great Grandma and Lincoln
Starting training for 1 mile run
(Hoping to start gymnastics very soon, plans to play basketball in the winter)

Family Devotions
Reading Tutoring (includes spelling instruction)
Story Time (Just completed The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and started Harriot the Spy)

Jackson, Lydia, Audrey-the twins are in second grade and Audrey is in first grade.
At Co-op
Music and Devotions
World History: Ancient Times
Language Arts

Extra Curricular
Lydia-Dance and Piano
Jackson-(plans to play basketball in the fall and would like to do karate.....)
All-involved in choir, The Gospel Project, Home Fellowship, Helping with Lincoln, and training for a 1 mile run.

At Home
Math (J/L one level, a another level)
Reading (each a different level and J is more a tutoring program)
Language Arts (all the same....First Language Lessons)
Writing (all the same......Writing with Ease)
Penmanship-Print (all the same Handwriting without tears)
Phonics (all different levels same publisher)
Spelling (L and a at different levels. J is part of his reading program)
They also watch a Magic School Bus movie each day for science :)
Story Time (with Sophie all the same)

My school day is:
  • Devotions with 4 youngest and Lincoln
  • Language Arts/Writing Instruction with 4 youngest.  Give leveled assignments to each child.
  • Writing Instruction with youngest 4.  Give leveled assignments to each child.
  • Bounce between kids and help/observe as they do Explode the Code Phonics sheets (2 sheets per child per day) and Penmanship.
  • Math with instruction with Sophie
  • Math instruction with Jackson and Lydia
  • Math instruction with Audrey
  • Snack for everyone
  • Start Magic School Bus
  • Read to 4 youngest from latest chapter book.
  • Lunch
  • Reading with Sophie
  • Reading with Jackson
  • Reading and Spelling with Lydia
  • Reading and Spelling with Audrey
  • Check Andrew's Math
  • Grade Papers and put in folders.  Record Andrew's grades.
  • Prepare for tomorrow.
  • Help kids as needed with co-op assignments/homework
  • Prepare for co-op

That is what we are doing this year!  It has been tough getting into the swing of things this year.  The house has been revamped, we have a new room mate, we have a packed schedule, and full course loads, and a couple reluctant learners.  Equal a lot......So we are still trying to figure it all out and leaning heavy on the Lord.  Day by day!  He has a plan and it IS good and it is FOR my good.

Being Conformed Daily,

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monthly Weight Update

Well....Another month has gone by.  I only lost 2.2 pounds this month.  UGH!  BUT.....Randy and I did run in our first 10K YEAH!!!  A 10 K is 6.21 miles.  Randy ran it in 50.14 and I did it in 1:08. 

My Mom and Dad, Randy's Mom and sister, My brother and his wife, and 2 nieces, 2 nephews, and 4 of our kiddos came to cheer us on and what an encouragement that was!  They would meet us on the course and cheer and hold signs.  So sweet!

About a month ago I injured my ankle and was under strict doctor orders not to run at all until my race.  So I did NO running for the 3 weeks prior to my race....well I did run back from Bob and Ruth's one time....just to test the ole ankle out....but other then that I was on my best behavior.  So I was nervous about being able to run it.  I was thrilled that I did it.  It really was a beautiful celebration of the change in my life.  I did have to stop and walk a little between miles 4-6, because my ankle HURT....but I did run almost the entire 6+ miles.  It felt so good to run again!  However....the day after....and every day since....including thighs are screaming.  Going from no running to 6 miles as fast as you can is a little hard on the old body!  I had missed my running though.  My ankle held up fine and seems to really be on the mend.

One of the unexpected benefits of the race was that the kids got pumped up.  They all decided that they want to be runners too.  They asked if we would coach them. :)  So we agreed and they are planning to run in a one mile race as early as next month.  I am happy to see them excited about doing something so good for their bodies.  Training starts today....they are badgering me!

So my stats are one week shy of the 15 months mark and 86.8 pounds gone!  Randy is 14 and a half months in and has lost 102 pounds and is 2 pounds from his goal weight!!!!

So....the challenges continue. 

This month was hard.  Several things happened all at once that messed with my head.  Grandma moved in.  School started back.  I hurt my ankle.  This all made exercise next to impossible and I became very afraid that I was going to revert to old habits.  Eating to deal with the stress.  Not exercising because I got out of the habit and it took too much time. 


God really has changed me.  I am not exercising as much because I am injured....but I am not quitting.  I didn't want to go to Weight Watchers today....because I knew I gained weight. I ate a lot more then usual while we were at the beach.  Hello Krispy Kreme and Blue Bell Ice Cream!   I also hate to take the break from school to drive over and weigh in.  BUT....I decided to face the damage.  This is my real life.  It will not be success only.  So yes...I was disappointed I gained a pound.  I mean 3.2 would have been a much better report....but I'm glad I faced the scale.  I'm okay with the gain.  I'm not a lazy/glutton.  I am a busy woman, who is hurt, who was on vacation, who was celebrating her birthday, who had a fantastic time, who ran a 10K, who rode waves, who went for walks on the beach, who is more then a blip on the scale.  I also don't quit.  So even when life gets busy and stressful and weight loss becomes routine I will keep at, not because I am awesome, but because Christ is.  I will continue the journey.  I will lose that pound and more because I am going to use my body for his glory not for my comfort!

Still Swimming,

Friday, August 30, 2013


This is the first time I have sat and propped up my tired feet and sipped tea and munched popcorn in a while. 

 I am TIRED. 
I am sick. 
I have a yucky cold/sinus infection. 
I am hurt.
 I injured my ankle from what was diagnosed as over training. 
Which makes me sad....but that is a whole other post.
I am resting it and that is hard for me.
Life did not get the memo that I am worn out and it is coming fast and furious. 

So grandma is here.  She is all settled in and it has been an adjustment.  I expected an adjustment period.  I anticipated changes and sacrifice.  I knew things would change and they have.  I thought the biggest sacrifice would be giving up our space.  Giving up our big bedroom and closet and my most wonderful jet bathtub....but surprisingly these things are easy.  I don't miss my room at all.  My new room is cozy.  It is quaint and sweet and much easier to keep neat.  I like it.  My old closet was too big.  I always felt like I didn't have enough clothes.  Now my closet is small and my wardrobe seems big.  Perspective.  The tub.  My sanctuary.  My nightcap.  My retreat.  Is not missed.  I enjoy the girls bath just as well....well almost.  But nevertheless it was not the sacrifice I imagined.

What it turns out that I miss the most is my freedom to come and go without forethought.  To jump in the car and go on an errand or outing.  Now I need a grandma sitter.  While Andrew is a fine babysitter I am not comfortable leaving him responsible for Grandma, because if she falls or gets hurt or needs help I don't want him to shoulder that responsibility.  So my coming and going is more regulated and planned.  Don't get me wrong though.  Having grandma has been much more of a blessing then an inconvience.  I do get to come and go plenty.....I have so much help and support from The Stewarts, Home Instead, and a sweet lady named Ann. 

Grandma causes me to slow down.  She requires time.  Patience.  Repeating the same things over and over and over.  It reminds me of my children, as toddlers.  I wasn't nearly so patient, or slow, or willing to repeat.  I wish I had a do over there....Well grandma has provided a chance to model what I wish I had done with my own children....been a little more patient....a little more slow....a little less hurried. 
Grandma is kind.  She is polite.  She is HUNGRY.  She thinks I don't feed her....but I do....2 breakfast, 2 lunches, a dinner or two, lots of coffee and snacks!  She is thoughtful.  She is strong. 

Now that Randy and I moved into Audrey's room and booted her into Lydia's room they got bunk beds and they are LOVING their new bunk beds.  These two are B-F-F

They LOVE sharing a room and vow to share even when Grandma doesn't live here anymore....We'll see if that really happens!

Grandma is not all that has been going on.....

 We celebrated Lincoln's Birthday!!!!  I can't believe that he is 3!!!!  Love him!

We spent some time at the hospital with Audrey.  She swallowed a penny and felt like it was stuck. It was not stuck!  It was very scary for her (and me) but I think she has FINALLY learned not to put stuff in her mouth!  Today she was at the doctor.  She has a big ole inflamed lymph node behind her ear but the doctor isn't concerned and sent us home with and antibiotic and instructions to use warm compress and ibuprophen.  They also discovered a heart murmer, which they suspect is nothing, in the midst of all this!  So I guess we get to spend more time at the doctor. 

We've been doing school and all that entails....Whew...I get tired just thinking about it!
That is a whole other post for another day!

I also think we have said goodbye to the pool for the summer and that makes me sad.  I love the pool.  Sniff.  Sniff.

What I have been thinking lately is this.....
I have a good life.  I am blessed by living with people who love me and need me.  I am learning the blessing of serving others.  I am starting to seeing the beauty in the low things of life....the tying of shoes and the bending of my will, in wrinkled worn out bodies that keep on going even when it is hard, in the dressing and undressing, in the cooking and serving, in the cleaning of potty chairs and emptying of waste, in the mundane and the dirty and the low things there is a beauty there.  There is a way to love there.  There is a way to honor God in the dailiness of the meaningless and unimportant and filth of life.  I am learning....slowly.....learning.

I am also learning that sleep is a sweet blessing to the weary.  I sleep well!