Friday, December 31, 2010

Dreaming Big Dreams and Sharing Them With The Universe

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”  Shel Silverstein

I know that I use the Shel Silverstein quote quite a bit but I think it really says it all.  

I guess you can say that I've always been a dreamer.  I've always dreamed big for my life and believed that our dreams really can become reality.  For most of my life, I've had a pretty clear idea of what I want to accomplish and I've been confident in what I need to do to get to where I want to be.  I can honestly say that so far, all my dreams have come true.  

A big part of seeing my dreams unfold has been my belief that anything really is possible.  I've focused on blocking out the naysayers and the negative Nancys in life and instead, I've believed in myself and been blessed enough with loving support and encouragement from so many dear friends and family that believe in me.  

It is just recently that I've realized the power of sharing my dreams with the universe and sharing them with confidence and belief that anything is possible.  It is easy to feel scared to put our dreams out there for all the world to see.  This can make us feel vulnerable, scared of looking like fool if we fail, and scared of seeming silly to others.  There are always those people out there that probably enjoy seeing others fail or those that feel better about themselves when they make others feel silly about their dreams but I believe that there are many more people out there that are truly joyful and supportive about our dreams and want to see us achieve great things.  In fact, I think that it is when we finally put our dreams out there on the line for all to see, that the magic starts happening and our dreams begin to become reality.  

As vulnerable as it sometimes feels to put my big life dreams out for everyone to see, I'm going to take my own advice and put a few of my life goals out there!  I also know that our big dreams today might end up changing tomorrow, next year, or many years from now.  That is part of the fun of dreaming big....anything is possible and a dream doesn't have to bind us down....dreams can come and go.  

So, here are some big dreams of mine, long long term and shorter term:

1.  I'd like you all to meet Little Cherie Lynn. 

She is the main character in the children's book that my Mom and I are writing and illustrating.  My Mom is obviously the illustrator (I can't do art like this) and I will write the story.   My big goals for the next couple of months is to read read read about the steps I need to be taking to put this thing together and send it off to publishers.  Once we get the story and pictures together, the trick will be the packaging and presentation...oh, and connections are NICE so please, if you know any tips or contacts, please please send them our way!  I think a dream has to start somewhere and so this is our start!  There is a small part of me that has those doubts that start to seep in my brain but I've got to keep shooing them away and remind myself that "anything is possible child, anything can be."

2.  5 year goal:  Start a nonprofit business focused on parent education and early literacy education.  I especially want my focus to be on helping struggling families in lower socioeconomic areas who are without resources, education, etc.  I think that it is never too early to start reading to our children and helping parents know how to help their children thrive with early literacy.  One of my ideas (an one that my friends has also had and started taking action on) is the idea of having a packet to hand out to new mothers at the hospital that includes children's books and material for parents about things they can do with their child to help them get a good head start with literacy.   Not sure how this dream will unfold but I think just putting it out here for all of you to see is a start in the right direction.  

3.  10-20 year goal:  Open my own children's bookstore.

Here are just a few of the many books on my shelves that you might find in my bookstore:

4.  Recent Running Goals:  Okay, I'm going to say it.  After my hamstring injury I spent a lot of time on the couch.  I had plenty of time to cry but more time to DREAM Big and boy did I have an appetite for some comeback action.  I started dreaming bigger than ever before.  I couldn't even walk normally but I told my husband that I was going to break 3 hours in the marathon.  Ha! Ha! Okay, so maybe I was getting ahead of myself.  Especially since that would mean a 22 minute PR.  Talk about dreaming big.  I had it all figured out as to what I would have to do, the training I would do, and I really had myself believing that I would and could do it.  Maybe someday but my dreams have already changed..see, that's fun about can dream them up and sit with them for awhile and then take a new direction.  Yes, a sub 3 would be wonderful but for now, I'm thinking just running another 3:22 would make me happy!  Very happy.   I'd like to do at least one Marathon this year that I really train for.  I've never really followed a plan seriously besides the one I was training for in October when I ripped up my hamstring.  I dream of running the New York Marathon and Boston Marathon over the next 3 years.  

5.  Ironman.  Enough said.  A dream for another day.  

1.  What are some of your BIG dreams?  I'd love to hear a 1, 5, or 10-20 year dream!

2.  Do you get scared to share your big dreams with people? You know the goals you have for yourself that are most near and you ever get scared that others might think they are silly or beyond you?  

3.  Who are your most supportive people in your life...the ones that make you believe that "anything is possible child, anything can be"?  

4.  What is your favorite book?


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Training, Racing, and The Purpose It Serves In Your Life

Before I get going on my blog today I have to do a shout out to one of my new Pacific Northwestern blog friends Becca at Frances Kay!  Yesterday on my way to the gym, I checked the mail and got one of my first ever "just because" blog mail gifts.  Becca sent me some awesome tunes to run with!  Can't wait to get my iPod all set up to run with today!  Thank you Becca!  Becca and her husband have their own sandwich shop and catering business in the Northwest.  You can check our her hubby's blog too:    Graze Catering Walla Walla.

I woke up this morning with an e-mail from Kovas at Midwest Multisport Life.  I know many of you may have received the same e-mail.  Anyway these are the questions he asked:

"Why do you race? Why are you willing to pay to run on public streets or trails, sometimes paying large amounts for travel and accommodations? Why are you willing to plan a race around a particular weekend? What ARE your motivators to race?"

I really appreciate his questions.  They made me think and reflect on my running life, as well as helped to get my writing brain flowing.  They served as a great prompt for my morning writing.  After responding to him, I realized that my e-mail was long enough to be a blog post.  So, until I have something better to write about, here is what I sent him:  

Hey Kovas,

Good questions.  Originally, I raced because I was on a cross country and track team.  I raced because it was my way of paying for college and doing my "job".  I hated it really...always sick to my stomach and nervous about how I'd do or what I was "expected" to do.  Because of the pressure and nerves, I never really pushed past my personal barriers.  I could never run like I knew I had the potential to run. More often than not, I was throwing up and crying because of too many nerves to "perform" the way others thought I should. 
 After college I began to run for ME.  I ran because I loved the feeling it gave me.  Eventually I started racing again but instead of racing against others or for a team, I raced only against myself and for myself.  My times were the best they had ever been and I finally felt what it was like to be in a zone.  I felt an ease to running that I had never felt before and I discovered that I was better than I ever realized I would be.  I ran my first marathon not knowing what the Boston Marathon was or even having an expectation for a only goal was to finish and have fun.  When I ran a 3:22, I had people telling me that I qualified for Boston.  Boston?  why not.  Now that I am trying to get back in to racing again after kids and a serious injury, I realize what I had then and how I took it all for granted.  I hope to run again like that or even better.  So now, I race because it gives me a personal goal to work towards.  It gives me structure in my life and I feel that it makes me a stronger person.  Working towards a racing goal does this for me:

*  Allows me to do something for just ME.  (this is important right now as a Stay at home mom who misses her career a bit).
*  It is a Model for my kids to show them that we can do anything and keep striving to conquer big goals and work on improving our self.  
*  Allows me to live a healthy lifestyle
*  When I am training and running, I am more focused on believing in the reality of my other dreams in life.
*  Mood Booster.
*  Personal Satisfaction of knowing that I'm Mentally and Physically strong and doing something only a small percentage of the population can and do do.  
*  OH, another big motivator is VANITY....gotta say that racing and training helps me stay in awesome shape and have a great body.  Love the way my buns look in my favorite jeans when I'm in training.  :)  Hey, that's a big reason why many many women race....having a nice ass.  :)  

So, here are a few of my thoughts off the cuff....had to type fast since i have little kids at my to get some order to this house!  :)  Gee, this should be my blog for today.  I should just copy and paste.  hmmm, maybe...


Thanks again Kovas.  Loved your questions this morning and excited to see what kind of responses you get.  Eager to read your post when you've compiled it all and put it into something for us all to read (whatever you have planned).  
Just for fun, I'll leave you with this college cross country picture.  This was after a race in Kansas.  Must have been in 1999 or 2000.  Gosh, I'm making myself sound old.  


1.  Do you think it is important for your kids to see you set big goals for your life?  And do you make time for personal ambitions in your busy life?  

2.  If you are a runner, when did you start running?

3.  What is are a few things on your bucket list and/or some big life dreams you have? (this will be asked again in my next blog post...)   
Longer term:  Ironman (haven't even tried a sprit tri yet), Travel the world, spend a summer in Italy, learn a second and third language, Run the NYC marathon.... Midlife:  Many big goals related to early literacy, creating a nonprofit parent group, publishing a children's book, opening my own children's bookstore....this will be my next blog be continued....


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Creative Wee Words Wednesday

Thank you so much for your supportive comments about my Fairy Magic post.  Made me feel okay about posting some mommy stuff on here and not losing all my special runner friends.  I woke up inspired to do more of what I love with my kids and a huge part of that is cultivating their creative spirit (and mine) through projects and allowing them to discover the world through their questions, ideas, and creations.  

2010 was my first big injury that kept me from being able to run but it was also the first time I've experienced a big comeback after an injury and this feeling is priceless! I will never again take running for granted!

A big part of 2010 for my husband was building up his personal electrical engineering business.  

And the Glorious Sunshine came to visit us today in Portland!  Even if it was only brief, it was sun and it has been way too long!  Such a mood booster!

Now the hubby is home EARLY so that means that I get to go run.  Hoping for a 7 or 8 miler today.  

1.  For those of you that know about these races, what would your recommendation be....should I sign up for the Newport Marathon in June or the Portland Marathon in October?  

2.  What were the highlights of your 2010 year?


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fairy Magic

When I started this blog two months ago, I had intended it to be an outlet for me to express myself and write often, but I also wanted it to have a focus so that I could write with intention and build a community of readers that I could connect with and relate to.  I had intended to make it a balance of writing about running and motherhood.  I think I've done an okay job of writing about a variety of topics but I have not given as much attention to the motherhood aspect of my blog and so I thought it might be time include a few posts about some of fun stuff we do around here.  I know that most of my "readers", "friends", "followers"  (or whatever you want to call my blog community)  are fellow runners who write running blogs.  I hope I don't scare you away with my motherhood blogs that I throw in here. Please don't stop reading....I promise to write more running and non-mommy/kid blogs too!  

I believe that childhood should be magical.  I believe that kids should believe in dreams and all that comes with it for as long as possible.  I believe in the unbelievable.  I believe in helping my kids to believe that anything is possible and anything can be.  

Shel Silverstein says it best:  

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”

The Jewel Fairy 

Around our house you will surely find plenty of this:

These are the various collection of "fairy jewels" that my girls have around the house.  They believe that fairies really do live around us and they continue to look for flowers, trees, around our house, and even in the bookstore on occasion.  

One of the exciting events in our house is having the Jewel Fairy come visit!  Now, I'm not exactly sure how the Jewel Fairy came to be but I think it happened on a day that I was just bored and felt like spicing things up.  The first time the Jewel Fairy came to visit started with me just telling the girls to run to their room and close the door because I was going to do a special Jewel Fairy dance and song and if we were lucky, she would leave jewels under our Japanese Maple Tree.  They giggled and ran to their room while I stomped around the house and made some silly noises, and sprinkled plastic and glass jewels under the tree.  When I was done with my noise making and jewel sprinkling, I called them out to see the magic delivery!  It was great fun.  The smiles on their wide eyed faces told me that this would be happening again. And Again.  Sure enough, they never stopped asking.  "When will the Jewel Fairy come again Mama?!"  I had to tell them that she only comes on occasion and not just when we want because she has other jewels to deliver.  I will be sad when they stop asking for the Jewel Fairy.  It has become part of the magic of their childhood.  I hope they at least pretend to believe for a long long time.   

At the beginning of the holiday season, we had a jewel fairy play date where four other girls came for a visit and a jewel fairy experience.  Since it was  close to Christmas, I went to the craft store and bought some Christmas colored "jewels". I mean the fairy brought Christmas jewels of course. Gosh, I hope my kids are not precocious enough to be reading this blog yet.  Anyway, they looked like this:

I also bought a package of these little bags for the girls to keep their new found jewels in.  

Here is the magic Fairy Tree where she always delivers the jewels

The Jewel Fairy Playdate Crew

Fairy Houses

I'm convinced that just a simple cardboard box can have limitless possibilities.  After watching Tinker Bell and The Great Fairy Rescue, the third Tinker Bell movie, the girls were inspired to build their own fairy house in hopes that the fairies would come live with us.  We still have this fairy house outside our front door and I'm convinced that they really do come to visit from time to time.  

Fairy Parties

Here are just a few snapshots from my daughter's 3 year old Fairy party.  This party will be a new post someday.  So much fun and magical indeed!  

And here is our favorite of all our cardboard box creations!  

How about a Hodge Podge of questions to choose one from!  Even if this post made you vomit and want to fairy gag yourself!  

1. Have I scared you away from reading my blog yet?  Hope not. 

2.  Do your kids believe in fairies or other imaginary creatures?  

3.  What are your favorite uses for cardboard boxes?  

4.  What do you think is one of the best parts of childhood?  

5.  Did you have a "magical" Childhood?  For me, I guess this depends on what you would consider magical.  Since we were raised as Jehovah's Witnesses (disclaimer:  I am no longer part of this religion or anything similar.  Glad too), we were not allowed to celebrate holidays, birthdays, or believe in anything remotely magical.  I had a wild imagination though!  


Monday, December 27, 2010

Garmin Virgin and Time For Books!

Just a quickie  post (do you like how I've used the word quickie and virgin in just the first several words of this post?) before I close the computer so I can use this designated mommy/kid quiet time for some reading.  I've found that since I started this blog, I don't get nearly enough reading fit in my many books just stacked up here collecting dust.  My most recent goal is to actually get into a study/reading mode and devote a solid stretch of time to just reading, taking notes, learning from my books, and escaping in a good story (usually my book club book).  I definitely enjoy all the blog reading that I've been doing but I realize that I need a balanced literary life and that means getting off the blogs and into some good ol' books!

I'll get to the Garmin Virgin part in a minute.

Here is what is on the reading list for the next hoping for 2 hours.  Yeah right, between my Mommy ADHD and the many interruptions from these little people wanting their every need met by ME, I am not so sure what will be accomplished.  But I have high hopes.  Oh, speaking of that ADD (and ADHD), as I was saying....Here is my reading list for this week:

1.  Brain Training for Runners.  Loving it so far!  I started it last night and everything I have read so far is great!  Thanks for the recommendation Jill!  This just might be what I use for my next marathon plan.  In addition to accounting for all the important components of a training program, it also accounts for drills to help train the brain/body to improve and change running form, which as many of you know, can be a hard thing to change.


2.  Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant (Book Club Book for this month).  I will finish the book this month. I will.  I will.  I will not be a Book Club slacker.  And I will bring thoughtful and reflective conversation to share about the book.  I have high hopes for this month and getting a grip on my book club slacker self.


3.  My Garmin 205 Manual.  So much to Learn.  Here are a few lessons I've learned already:

  *  You are in control of your Garmin.  Your Garmin does not control you.

  *   Do NOT look at your Garmin every 2 seconds or you will slow down! And you will look like a fool doing it.

    *  Try to forget that the Garmin is there.  You will run much better if you allow yourself to just settle into your natural rhythm without worrying about what pace you are running.  

*  This brings me to figuring out how to set up my Garmin so that it automatically records/has a lap set of every mile.  I know it should be able to do something like this?  And I think it should be able to alert me with a sound at every mile.  This will help me to just let go of the constant checking.  

*  The Run will be much better if I just allow myself to relax and run like I know how to run.  I can look at the Garmin stats later.  I've been doing just fine with my running without a Garmin so no need to let it totally mess up my mojo!  

Off to get some reading done!  Thankful for this  quiet time carved into my day!  

1.  What is on your current reading list other than blogs?  

2.  Do you have a Garmin?  If so, was there a learning curve for you when you first started running with it?


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joyful Day; Gift of Life

Joyful Day,
Glorious Life.
Waking up at 2 a.m,
Expecting it, embracing it,
       knowing that they grow up 
In the blink of an eye. 
Excited Child,
    shaking with anticipation, wonder, 
and the 
       magic of it all.
Led back to bed,
     but first, with a shared and knowing wink,
     a quick check outside 
            to see that the reindeer had eaten their veggie snack,
only a bit of carrot left behind
As proof
That they were there.

Tired parents.  Eyes Heavy from missing sleep.
But smiles on our faces
        From ear to ear.
Remembering. Understanding.  Experiencing again.
The joy of giving.
    And Receiving too.
Celebration of a child being born to us, our Savior and Lord.  

Gifts given from the heart,
Most adored.
    Made with their hands,
Treasured forever. 
Irreplaceable gifts,
    Only one of their kind.  
You and Me.

Thankful for Blessings. 
A Family,

Knowing that tomorrow
Is a New Day.  
Fresh Start.
New Opportunities for Growth,
To be a better You
   and Me.
A Gift we have 
Because of Love and Grace

Hope your day was blessed with love and joy!  

Who did you spend your Christmas with ?
We spent our morning with just our family of 5!  We had little sleep since my 5 year old couldn't help but wake up at 2a.m.  She was so excited!  My husband handled it so much better than I would have since I do not do well without my sleep!  At 2 we drove over to my in-law's house with my mom, sister-in-law and family.  Lots of love!  And many hand made gifts.  Treasures.

Did you get any running related gifts this year?
I got my Garmin 205 that I was hoping for!  I didn't have time for a real run today so I just went on a short and easy mile before we left for our family dinner.  Just enough to play around with it for 8 min and 2 seconds.  Enough to let me know that I. LOVE. IT!  

Oh, and of course, I also got my cool running necklace from Meg, my Secret Santa.  You can check that out HERE.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Not A Creature Was Stirring, Not Even A Mouse. Well...

 Candle Lighting Service

 Letters To Santa 

 Cookies and Milk.  Don't you know that Santa drinks Soy Milk?

 New Christmas Book by one of their favorite author and illustrator

 Santa Loved his cookies and milk!

 Stockings are stuffed

 The Reindeer loved their carrots...only a nibble leftover

 Kids are PASSED OUT!

 Santa saved the letters in his her journal.  First time my 5 year old wrote it all by herself and invented her spelling the best she could.  Priceless!

And Mommy is Kissing Santa Claus!  Gosh, I love this Man!

Ho! Ho! Ho!  Merry Christmas to All And To All A Good Night!  Here's hoping for a long run tomorrow (maybe with a new Garmin?!)