Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Staying fit and having fun!

In June every year our city does a Run/Walk event. We have been participants in it for quite a few years. It has become a family tradition and we all try to encourage each other each year to go further and faster than we think we can. S convinced me to run the 10K with him. It's the longest distance I had ever run in a race. (I ran 9 miles one time, but had to take a break in the middle - so I don't think it counts.) In college I spent one semester getting up early every morning to go running with one of my roommates. I made a goal for myself - that by the end of the semester I was going to run 5 miles without stopping. Well, I had worked my way up to about 3 miles and I decided it was time to go for it. I did it - I ran 5 miles without stopping, and I was never going to do it again. That's what I thought. I don't really enjoy running that much. Little did I know that I would marry someone that would end up being a runner, loving it so much, and want me to run with him. So I ran the 10K with my husband, and at the end of it I decided not to do that again! S may have a different plan! I was pretty impressed with my 4 oldest kids - they ran the 5K with their grandpa. Well, I guess we better start training for next year... actually, I won't be training until May. I'll give myself a month off after the baby's born, then I'll get to work.
Here are the 1-milers from our group - Grammy, my two littlest girls and a family friend. Apparently all three of the girls ran the whole way. They were very excited about it.
How were we all feeling by the end of the day? This pretty much sums it up!
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mr. "Smith" Goes to Washington.

Here's another event from the month of May. Here we are in our nation's capitol. S had a conference to go to in Washington and wanted me to go with him. In fact that's how I get to see a lot of interesting places - he doesn't like to go anywhere without me, and I'm more than happy to tag along. It's nice to be loved, I must admit! He was there to work on his lobbying skills and to push for some changes recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians. It was his first taste of what it is like trying to talk to a congressman - and his assistant. They smile and tell you what they think you want to hear, and it isn't until you leave that you realize what just happened. Well, this was only his first time. He'll be better prepared next time - and there will be a next time. He really enjoys politics and feels strongly about trying to make a difference in the world. It was a fun trip, too. There was so much to see. I did most of the sight-seeing by myself while he was in meetings, then we went around together to some of the more popular spots. We definitely had to see the White House. It didn't look as big in person as it does on TV and in movies. Although you can't get very close to it, so it's hard to judge. The capitol building, of course, and the Lincoln Memorial were on the top of our list, and we made sure to see some of the war memorials. The World War II Memorial brought a couple tears to my eyes. There were a lot of quotes on the walls that we took time to read. It was pretty impressive. We also went to a couple of museums. The other thing that stood out to me was how everyone was dressed. While walking down certain streets I felt a little out of place in my blue jeans. Everyone was in suits. It was also interesting how the city sort of shuts down in the evening. After having been in Chicago a several times, where everthing comes alive in the evening, this was different. I can't wait to see where he might take me next.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Time Out For Women

I had the opportunity to go to Cincinnati for a Time Out For Women conference back in May. I knew about it but wasn't planning on going. Then a friend convinced me that it would be a good idea, so I asked my husband about it. Very rarely do I go anywhere on my own, and certainly not on a girls' weekend out of town. So I expected him to say it wasn't going to work, and that he didn't want me to go, etc. He surprised me when he said, "I don't care." So arrangements were made and I was on my way. I was so glad I went. It was one of the best spiritual experiences I've ever had, plus I got to hang out with some amazing women. Basically, it seemed like the speakers and singers were celebrating women and all that we are and can become. It was inspiring and made me want to go home and do better and be better in every area of my life. It made me see myself, my husband, and my kids differently. I had such a great time and was able to strengthen some friendships that have become very significant in my life since then.

I was part of this group of four that rode down together and shared a hotel room. The one night we "slept" there was interesting. We were supposed to have a roll-away bed brought in so that we could each have our own bed. Well, they didn't have one for us (that's a whole other story) so we ended up sharing beds - two per bed. There was a lot of laughing going on and a couple of us ended up needing to leave the room to walk around the hotel at 3:00 in the morning so that the others could sleep. We had a nice talk and finally calmed down enough to go back to bed for a few hours of sleep before getting up for another day of conference and a 6 hour drive back home. I want to go every year, it was so good! (Well, next year might be out now, since I will have a new baby! We'll see...)
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

My tribute to J - what a sweet boy!

(Like I said before, I am so behind in my posts that I will attempt to go in chronological order starting in May and catch up to current events by Christmas time. We'll see.)
In keeping with my tradition I started last year (I already wrote about D and Na), I wanted to write a little about J and what I love about him. The month of May was J's. He had his first orchestra concert, and he loved that he got to wear the sunglasses for one of the songs. He has really enjoyed playing the cello and I think he'll probably stick with it.
Next came his birthday. 11 years old. I really like having him around. He has a great sense of humor. In fact, he often laughs at things that no one else gets - or maybe he's telling jokes to himself in his own head. Anyway, he is quick to laughter and can get us all to laugh pretty easily. He is our child that we say has a very tender heart. I find myself using the words "such a sweet boy" when I'm talking about him. He's a natural at sticking up for others and befriending those who need a friend. He has a confidence about him that I can't explain. He loves being in the spotlight and he's not afraid to talk to people or try new things. Even as a baby, I couldn't stop him. If he wanted to do something, he would find a way. It's an "I can do that" attitude. He even learned to walk at 8 1/2 months old. (Way too early for a baby to walk, in my opinion. It's very stressful for the mother!) This could be why he had so many injuries as a baby. Everything from bumps on the head from tumbling down the stairs as a toddler, to flipping over his scooter bike and knocking out his front tooth at 2 years old, to sticking his hand in a moving treadmill. We wondered sometimes if he would make it to adulthood. Another thing he has in him is a sense of competition - wanting to win, or be the best at everything... I wonder where he gets that from! His parents aren't like that at all! :) Sometimes it can be painful for him, especially in a good game of Candyland with his sisters, or in a game of basketball with his dad. It will be a happy day for him when he can beat his dad (or mom) at a sport. We are hoping that this drive in him will serve him well as he grows up and get him where he wants to be. Just one story about him that might illustrate his personality a little. A couple of years ago, we would all get up early in the morning for family scripture study. J freguently would be found rolling back and forth across the floor during our discussions. We didn't think much about it, we were just happy he was up with us. We didn't think he was listening, that's for sure. But one morning, S asked a question about something we had just read, and J, in the middle of one of his rolls, called out the answer. We all just sat there staring at him. He was listening and understanding. I guess the rolling helped him concentrate, who knows, but it was very funny and we saw a little bit of how his brain works. He's a pretty smart kid. He also enjoys drawing and inventing things. Give him a good pile of garbage and some tape and he can come up with something interesting. Sometimes the things he comes up with are pretty cool, I must admit. After all that, the thing that I think I love the most about him is that he wants to do what is right and that he is so excited to go on a mission, get married in the temple, and have a family. He'll make a great husband and father someday. I sure love him!!
Speaking of competition, later in May he won the essay contest for the D.A.R.E. program in his class at school. That meant he got to read his essay to the fifth graders and parents at the "graduation" ceremony.
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thrown for a loop!

It has been a LONG time since I updated my blog... and boy has A LOT happened. J's birthday was back in May, I went to a Time Out For Women, S and I went to Washington DC, we did the Dow Run as a family (I did the 10K for the first time ever), Ni had a birthday in June, the boys went to scout camp for a week, Na had a birthday in July, and went to girls' camp for the first time, the boys went on their annual fishing trip on Lake Michigan, we bought a new car (and got rid of the old van), we found out we're having another baby, we went to Florida to visit S's sister and brother-in-law, school started, in September E had a birthday, K had her first day of preschool, we went boating/tubing.

Oh yeah, why this picture... This is the day after we found out we are going to have another baby. Surprise! Number 7! Look, I was still smiling. Don't be fooled though. I did a fair amount of crying and praying for a lot of the night and ended up getting only a couple of hours of sleep. I finally woke S up at 6 am and asked for a priesthood blessing. It made all the difference in the world. That is why I was able to smile. It is now November and I'm 18 weeks along. We found out we are having a boy and we are all very excited. The thing that worries me the most, I must admit, is that I'm not as young as I once was. I am trusting that my body will hold together. I was in pretty good shape before all of this - so that's good. Maybe it will help. And here I thought that K was going to be the baby of the family. So much for my plans.

Speaking of my plans, I looked at my last post on spontaneity and realized that I needed to fill in some gaps before moving on to the next things. Funny how I talked all about doing things that aren't planned and that things still turn out all right. That's what I'm counting on for this new adventure.