27 February 2009

A little warning would have been nice!

"The world is full of women blindsided by the unceasing demands of motherhood, still flabbergasted by how a job can be terrific and torcherous."

Anna Quindlen

Mothers everywhere, who are under the impression that things will get easier when:

a) your child sleeps through the night
b) your child can walk by him/herself
c) your child can feed himself
d)your child is potty trained
e)your child is in preschool
f) you child is in Kindergarten
g) your child has a hobby
h) your child can do homework on his/her own
i) your child is old enough to help out

I am here to burst your bubble. Lol. Motherhood gets easier in some regards and more difficult in others. It gets busier (chaffeur, anyone?), and dirtier (always have wet wipes with you, even for the 9 year old!), and crazier (starting with me). And I for one, 4 children later, am just as tired as ever. But I truly was among those that thought my reprieve would come as I checked each item off my to do list. That list just gets longer and longer, my friends.

So yeah, we may never escape chaos, but there is joy amidst that chaos. I think we become better at our calling as we go along... more efficient, more organized, more REALISTIC. With that comes confidence, and the ease to enjoy motherhood. Hence, we tend to laugh at ourselves more easily when we, say, try to put socks on our kid's hands instead of their feet. :)

So I'm here to set the record straight, it woulda been nice for somebody to have done so for me... The next time somebody catches you in a fluster and pauses to tell you "It gets easier, dear...", you may look back at them with an all knowing eye and be not deceived. Because they're not saying that your burden becomes any lighter, they're just saying that you learn to adapt.

Just one more reason to keep on keepin' on...

22 February 2009


Today I met a woman who lost her 19 month old baby in a drowning incident. Today I met a woman who's a cancer survivor and less one leg since 8 months ago. Today I met a woman who survived unemployment while raising 11 children. Today I met a woman who suddenly found herself married to a selfish man. Today I met a woman who's battled with depression and anxiety since she was a young child. 5 women courageously shared their challenges with a congregation of over 100 women. 5 women who aired the most intimate details of their lives to give 100 women the strength to carry on. 100 women who could in some part relate to every one of these heart wrenching stories went home with lots to think about. How can I not be happy when I know that someone else has it worse than me? How can I improve my attitude and rededicate myself to motherhood? How can I better serve others? How can I show my family how much I love and appreciate them, before its too late? How can I perserveare? There is so much to be grateful for today, that I'd better find extra time to spend on my knees. There are so many little things I take for granted each and every day. I will wake up tomorrow more devoted to my calling as a wife, a mother, a friend. I will be more appreciate of the simple gift that is life. I will find someone to serve. I will choose to be happy.

15 February 2009

Surfside Beach Half Marathon

To sum it up, this race was no fun. Not even a little. I had psyched myself up for a breezy, sunny, fun run along the coast and what I got was wind, humidity, rain and fog. The trip as a whole, however, was a blast... I have been training with 2 of my good friends (Tannie and Esther) and we had such a great time doing this together.

We lined up behind the "line" (drawn in the sand) at 5 to 8, participated in the national anthem (accompanied by a bugle), had a prayer, and waited for the horn. I took off at a fast pace, energized by my tunes and the comraderie I felt by sthe friends running alongside me (Tannie, Esther, Shelah, Amy and Lyn).

The first 2-3 miles were fine. Then we turned around into some pretty fierce wind and it stayed that way until mile 9. That was the most difficult part of the race, and the middle 5 miles or so are usually my strongest. I couldn't shake the negative talk, or stop thinking how much I hated running. Lol. We'd decided our mantra for this race would be "Keep calm and carry on!" and instead I thought it might have been nice to have someone screaming "Stop wimping out!" in my ear. I was feeling pretty discouraged.

It was so dead out there - not a lick of sunshine - and you weren't really passing anything, so very few benchmarks that I could use to get myself just a little further like I normally do. Not a lot of random people out there cheering you on... except for Tannie's brother Alex and his girlfriend Rachel, who took pictures and ran alongside me every few miles.:) Thanks, guys. I ended up using the water stations to walk a few steps, and reset my attitude. The walking didn't really help (and added to my time of course) and in the end I wished I hadn't stopped. I usually don't. But at the time, it was that or quit.

The turn around at mile 9 was a big relief. I was super happy to let that wind help me along from behind. And it suddenly died. LOL! I was a little disheartened by that, but happy that I didn't have to fight anymore, and I could just run. And the last 4 miles were pretty easy, and went by quickly!

I crossed the line at about 2:36. 5 minutes slower than San Antonio, but with the elements working against me, I think I'd have been hardpressed to make my goal time of 2:10. I'd have been really happy with 2:20 and think that was doable. So I am disappointed to say the least. After crossing the finish line I ran into the tent to get out of the rain, and it was packed with runners. There was nowhere to stretch, or walk it off, and I was both sweaty and wet from the rain. Ugh. I finally found a chair and just sat for a bit and cleared my head.

Everyone received a ticket for a free Maui Wowie smoothie. But the booth was out in the rain and I was afraid that if I didn't get dry I would be freezing for the rest of the day (I am always cold after I run, but moreso if I stay in wet clothes for every long). Still, I wanted that smoothie so bad... and I wanted to take one back to Tannie (who wasn't feeling well and left right away), and within minutes of getting in line the rain slowed and Rachel provided me with a dry windbreaker.

Esther and I went back in the now less crowded tent and got some good old Texas BBQ and sat and ate and basqued in our accomplishment. Then we noticed a small stretch station in the back of the tent and got in line for that. Felt so good. We picked out some seashells for our kids on our way back to the car, and headed out. The rest of the afternoon we lazed around Alex's apartment and stretched and talked. We indulged in IHOP for dinner and headed back to Austin around 6.

As difficult as the race was, and as many times as I thought to myself "I am never doing this again!", I am planning for my next race, probably a 10K (which I've never run, in fact I haven't even done a 5 K). Races are like having babies - it's painful, but the joy far outweighs the pain, enough that you almost forget how hard it is. I guess I am just determined to keep on keeping on. And my training over the next 4-5 months will mainly consist of hill work, because I am running the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay in Utah in June and my first leg is 3 miles straight up a mountain. Yeah, wish me luck with that.

It is interesting how much I have learned about myself from running... that I can do anything I put my mind to (a theory I've tested before but somehow running just really seals it for me). And that having a fit mind is just as important as having a fit body. I am going to work on the positive self talk so I can push harder in less than ideal circumstances.

11 February 2009

From the bottom of my heart...


A little known fact about me is that I hate to cook, but I LOVE to bake. Just to put it in persepctive for you, if I were to realize I was missing an ingredient for dinner, I'd call Andrew and tell him I just didn't have the energy to tote 4 kids to the grocery store for just one stupid ingredient. If, however, I was missing an ingredient to say, chocolate frosting, I'd climb mountains to acquire it. I'd climb mountains with 4 kids totalling 170 lbs. on my BACK... I don't care if it is the finest cocoa in the world, I will make sure I attain it without haste.

This recipe for frosted sugar cookies is one of those that I look forward to making all year long. On Valentine's Day. And I can ONLY make them once a year because they are SO good that I find I cannot stop at 1. Or 3. *blush* Plus, they are truly a gift from the heart. It's like ripping my heart out to give them away! Lol.

The recipe belongs to an old Sunday School teacher. She was quite the woman. She must have made a few dozen of these cookies every Sunday, because there were always enough to go around the entire ward! When I got married and moved away it was one of my top priorities to attain this recipe for myself.

Christine's Never Fail Sugar Cookies

(dough does not need refrigeration)

2 c sugar
2 c butter flavored Crisco (or butter/marg)
6 eggs
6 tsp baking powder
7 c flour
4 tsp vanilla

Cream sugar and Crisco. Add eggs, vanilla, and then dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Roll/shape and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

The frosting recipe I've settled on belongs to my good friend Brooke and is really easy.

1/4 c softened butter (make sure it's VERY soft)
3 c powdered sugar
1 or more Tbsp milk
1 t vanilla

Mix thoroughly.

ENJOY my friends! And try to share! ;)