Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Into the Mouths of Babes

Now that my daughter is on the move, I cannot turn my back for even a second. She has eaten dogfood and she has unplugged my webcam. While I was vacuuming she crawled out of the bedroom and into the bathroom to brush her teeth. This bodes well for future dental hygiene.

Here, Papa and Jillsie model their bathing suits.

Another recent favorite includes this one in which Jillsie demonstrates her ability to pull herself up to standing. She is saying "MOM! MOM! MOM! Enough with the camera! Get me out of here and change my diaper already!"

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Be warned: I start talking to Jillsie about 45 seconds into this thing, which sounds kind of jarring.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

My First Race & I Placed

It feels a little silly to keep using the word "first" in my postings, since I've really done all these things before, but I suppose I wasn't the Gutsy Mom back then. I was just some gal trying to get in shape for her wedding. So, we're starting over.

This morning my husband and I actually were motivated enough to get our booties out of bed at 6:15, wake up the princess, and get all three of us out the door by 7:30, having had breakfast and coffee. The only minor snafu of the day was that we went to the wrong town for the race, and, at the last moment, thanks to a frantic phone call to a friend in the correct town, we had to haul ass over to the correct town. We were pinning on our race numbers as the race began...

Not only was this my longest run so far (3.1), it was also my fastest pace so far (11:53). If we hadn't gone to the wrong town first, we would've had time for me to do a walking warm-up before the race, and I could've started off running, but as it was, I started off the race with 10 minutes walking. I had the good fortune of linking up with another Gutsy Mom, whom I met for the first time there, and we huffed and puffed and chatted our way through the first ten minutes. I was sad to bid farewell to my new, gutsy friend when it was time for me to run (she kept walking), but I had to stick to my guns.

I finished with a time of 36:53. Turns out I won my age group, which, to my amusement, was the Women's Masters. In the real world, Masters are usually 45 or 55 years old. But here, in our special little world of freakishly young people, 30 and over counts as Masters. Anyway, an actual first for the Gutsy Mom -- I placed! And no, I was not the only one in my age group.

My husband won first place in the Men's Masters, and Jillsie, who rode along with me--quite happily the whole way, I might add--was also awarded a medal. Three for three medals in the Gutsy Family; yeeeeehaw!
Okay. Must. Go. Veg. On. Couch.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Welcome to the "Family"

In a newsletter filled with assorted items pertaining to my husband's job, I just read a letter from my husband's uber-boss, in which the uber-boss thanked all of us "Family" members for supporting our spouses. I sat there thinking, "What's an educated man like my husband's uber-boss doing capitalizing the word Family throughout his letter?" How bizarre!

Then I scrolled down a little further and read this item, which is official guidance from my husband's employer. I've had to change some words, but this is no joke.

Capitalize the Word "Family" in All [Official] Correspondence
The Director of [My Husband's Employer's] Staff (D[MHE]S) recently sent a message requesting widest dissemination. In the message, the D[MHE]S stated that in recognition of the fact that [My Husband's Employer's] Families are a key component of readiness, and shoulder a great burden of sacrifice, supporting their [husbands and wives] and often enduring long periods of separation from their loved ones, effective immediately, the word "Families" will be capitalized in all [My Husband's Employer's] correspondence.

Thank God we're finally getting the recognition we deserve, a recognition, mind you, that the Germans afford to every single noun in their language, but we Americans reserve for the very few, such as God, Harvard, My Husband's Employer, Jesus, and, now, Family.

It's bad enough that my sweetheart is being sent away on absurdly long business trips, but now my reward for enduring it is the official sanctioning of grammatical errors. Great. Drive the knife in deeper, boys, the Gutsy Mom is bleeding!

Who's Cuter Than Jillson?

Too Far Gone

My friend Vicki wrote an amazing entry into her blog the other day called "The Secret Lives of Us Brave Wives." Boy did that strike a chord.

Combine that with the insane position I find myself in--trying to balance being the "volunteer" in charge of a group of people married to my husband's co-workers (don't get me started) with my family planning goals, breastfeeding goals, fitness goals, future career planning goals, a miniature crisis of faith, and the fact that my husband is likely to be departing on a lengthy and dangerous business trip soon, and I am feeling a little crazy.

Who said this? "I am not crazy. It is just that my situation requires a crazy person." I've held that quote in my head since high school; it's gotten me through a few doozies.

So I am taking up the act of Practicing Optimism. The other day I planted 30 flowers in my front yard, and I thought of my mother the whole time, planting the way she taught me. I cooked a huge meal for a family I don't even know who just had their fourth baby. I nurse my daughter and I feel invincible. I hold onto my husband at night and I feel like the seaworthiest battleship ever created tied to the safest mooring ever created. I pull the perfect shot of espresso from my Happy Machine and make an iced latte that would have every barista in the Pacific Northwest drooling, and I feel secretly accomplished. I drive through this gorgeous countryside with my CDs blaring, singing at the top of my lungs, with Jillsie babbling along in the background, and I feel that all is right in this world. And then I try very hard, very very hard, not to break down into unstoppable tears.

Which leads me to this. I recently plucked an old CD compilation out of our collection. I made this CD several years ago during my husband's first lengthy and dangerous business trip. I listened to it every day driving to and from work. It was filled with songs that, at the time, were guaranteed to lift my spirits. Yesterday I listened to the CD in the car for the first time in years. I heard this, and it made me inordinately happy:

I never lived through the Great Depression
Sometimes I feel as though I did
And I don't have answers for every single question
But that's okay, 'cause I'm just a kid

I've seen pictures of my mother
When she looked exactly like me
And I've seen all my friends running for cover
Running from something they can't see

And it's not easy to get a handle on my life
But I have tried it time and time again
But I still cry just like a baby
And I answer back to feel a little free
And I still fly even though I'm gonna fall
But I'm too far gone to let it get to me

Well I'm not much like my generation
Their music only hurts my ears
And I don't hide my pain to save my reputation
It's too hard to keep up with these years

And it's not easy to make a habit disappear
But I have tried it time and time again
But I still cry just like a baby
And I answer back to feel a little free
And I still fly even though I'm gonna fall
But I'm too far gone to let it get to me

My First 50 Runs

There are so many different things I want to write about today. But I'll start with an update on the goals. I weighed in this morning at 159.5. YEEHAW. This is a total loss of 13.5 pounds. Only 4 more to go to weight goal number one (155.7).

On Thursday I ran my 50th run. That's 50 times that I have laced up my shoes and put one foot in front of the other.

I think I am going to start a Beginning Running Club here in our neighborhood. I've spoken to enough neighbors who see me huffing and puffing by with Jillsie and the dogs, and they've asked how to get started. It would bring me immense satisfaction if I could help even one other woman feel good about herself through accomplishing running goals. I have wanted to do this since Austin. Back then I wanted to coach asthmatics and other "unlikely" runners. So I will do this. It would fit nicely into my secret plan to work for Girls on the Run again some day.

So there we have it.