Monday, June 27, 2011

With Sickness Comes Reflection....

Some randomness here.  Many thoughts running through this head of mine but nothing coherent.  I do know that after the past 24 hours of having the flu and seeing my kids so sick, I value my health so much more.  I think sometimes being this sick for a day or two can really help to make life seem so much richer once it is all over. Our life has just kind of been on hold around this sick house. I would be so embarrassed if someone walked in my house right now....
Piles of laundry,
Sheets being washed and rewashed due to being thrown up on again and again,
Bowls next to the couch, beds, and any other place that we've all been lying around.
Everything has just gone to crap and nobody has the energy to clean it up.
The only one feeling frisky and full of energy is the little 2 year old boy running around! 

  • Blog Reflections. Reading so much about this Blogger Conference in Boulder this past weekend has really led me to start reflecting on my own blog.  So much to learn if I really want my blog to lead to something more down the road.  I've only been blogging for about 8 or 9 months now but I'm ready to take some steps that will allow me to get connected with more writing opportunities and any other networking opportunities that might lead to the next step for me.  
  • Getting back in touch with my Passions! Even if it doesn't involve my blog, I'm ready for something.  Not sure what this "something" is but I find myself missing the passion and joy that was  "buzzin" in my daily life when I was teaching.  My house is filled with books about literacy instruction, helping to "grow" readers and writers, developing reading and writing skills, etc. ....this is a HUGE passion of mine.  Not just teaching but connecting with kids and being an influence in their life.  Helping kids live a writerly life and truly find their voice as a writer and discover the joy of reading.  I miss this.  Greatly.  Not quite ready to return to the classroom but I am ready to be a part of something so big again.  Where I know that I am making a difference. 
  • Motherhood: On the mother front, I'm challenging myself to bring back some of the creative exploration activities that we used to do daily.  I'm bring my art easel back out (even if it does mean keeping it in the dining room), getting theme based books from the library where we can "study" things we are interested in, encouraging messes and questioning the things around us, etc.  I have the rest of my life to have a neat and tidy house but I only have so many more years where I'm setting up an environment in my home where my kids are free to create, explore, try out new ideas, and learn through art and science.  Not sure what this will mean for our summer but I've definitely lost a lot of this side as a mother since being home. 
  • Running.  I've been feeling really strong with my running lately.  A sub 8 min pace for base pace runs has been feeling right on again and my legs feel fresh and ready get back into things again.  However, having a kidney infection and now this flu has really knocked me on my ass a few times and I'm realizing that it has taken a lot out of me...more than I realized.  At this point, I'm trying to rehydrate, get some good foods down my pie hole and focus on positive thoughts and gratitude. 
  • And finally...Gratitude.  I'm convinced that a huge part of living a life of intention and experiencing more of the "good stuff" is through a focus on gratitude and embracing a spirit of being thankful for what we DO have going for us.  Even the things that might feel like a bad thing in our life can be blessings in disguise...things that are difficult and painful but that lead to growth and the ability to appreciate things we might not have noticed before.  So, I'll end this with a short list of things I'm grateful for: 
*  The forced break that being sick brings.  Even though being sick is NO FUN, it does tend to give me a much needed time to "be still" and just slow down.  
My patient and loving husband who has been home to take care of us today.  Although he has been working from home, he has still be there to pick up the slack, clean up the puke, rub our backs, etc.  
*  My children are getting their appetites back!  And their spunky little personalities.  They've only been sick for 24 hours and I already miss their energy.   
*  Health!  When you're sick for a few days, man oh man, you appreciate health so much more!  
*  Opportunities for growth and the parts of life that keep us wanting more.  The aspect of life that keeps us feeling inspired and dreaming big.  When this "fire" comes and the ideas are flowing, it makes me feel so ALIVE and capable of anything.  Anything.  This is a cool feeling.  

  1. Jill asked a good question earlier and I'd like to hear some of your answers too...Why do you blog?  Do you want your blog to lead to other opportunities, do you do it just for sharing your life with friends and family, a way to reflect on your training, connecting with other moms, athletes, writers....what is your purpose for having a blog?  
  2. I'd love to hear a few things that you would put on a gratitude list for today.  What are some things (big or small) that you are grateful for?  
  3. Twitter....I just signed up for a twitter account for Runninghood.  I don't have a CLUE what I'm doing or what even makes it different from facebook.  Tutorials are welcome.  



  1. Hmmm... why do I blog. Well, I started it years and years ago as a way to just rant about stuff... but I blogged sporadically. I started blogging regularly in October as a way for my in-laws in Canada to keep up on what my husband and I are up to.... and hopefully to entertain some people along the way. I also love having all of these thoughts and memories and events chronicled so that I can reflect back on them and remember the things that would be lost if not written down. So that's why I blog. :-)

    I'm sorry to hear you're sick! I hope you kicked it (I've had bronchitis this week... who gets bronchitis in the summer?? Me, apparently).

  2. I hope you're all feeling better soon. As awful as it is to be sick and as terrible as it is to watch your children be sick, the worst is when you're all sick together and you're still trying to take care of them. Ugh. So glad your husband could stay home and help!

    Part of why I blog is as a journal. I love to read back over older posts. Part is an outlet to give a break to my family who can only listen to me obsess over races and paces and training for so long before there eyes glaze over. And I've really enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other bloggers and be inspired by how much is out there to do. And there's more to it, too, but that's a blog post in progress. :)

  3. Sorry your family is sick. It sounds like you are making the most of it though. I love that first big meal you can eat after being sick.

    Oh, I blog for myself so I can go back and read race reports, injuries I've worked through, and recipes I post.

  4. I blog as a way to keep accountable. I also blog as a way to reach out to other runners and learn what is working for them and to get motivation.

  5. I agree with you on the being thankful for your heath part. Ever since my intestines stopped functioning (yay IBS!), I have truly missed the time before this, when I didn't have to worry about everything.

    And Twitter... I still don't get it. I joined years ago and kept trying to get into it. I just recently forced myself to, since so many bloggers are tweeting away or as I want to say, twittering away. Follow your fav bloggers and any other "thing" you might like (magazines, websites, celebs, etc).

  6. Ugh sorry everybody's so sick. Flu sux! But it sounds like you've made the best of it and used the downtime for some good reflection.
    As i told Jill, my blog is really a brain dump, a creative outlet. I spontaneously type with no planning and little thought. I love the friends I've met and the interaction with other runners and moms. Who knows where it will lead? I am grateful for my blog as it stands today. However low-tech it may be. : )

  7. I'm new! :-)

    Thanks for stopping by my corner of the blogosphere and introducing yourself. I have been browsing around here and will stick around.

    Tonight's post struck a chord on several topics: Blog Reflections, Passions, and Gratitude!

    I feel like my blog has reached a point where I'm ready to do more with it and need to commit to committing to it... I started it as a way to find my writing voice, and have really grown into it. I have more confidence (online and offline) and have found other creativity that I didn't know was there.

    With that, I also feel like I'm on the edge of something... A friend and I were toying with a business idea that fizzled for a few reasons, but I still have that feeling that something is buzzing around me.

    And the gratitude... Well, I'm a person that tries to live with an "attitude of gratitude" most times, but I had that scary situation of encountering a would-be jumper from the GG Bridge last week that really put things into perspective. Thanks for your comments in that regard.

    Keep up the good work, and I hope you and your family are well soon!

  8. Oh Amanda, I hope you feel better quickly. Sometimes being sick does force you to stop for a while, it is usually a blessing in disguise.

    I am grateful I got out for a run today. I am grateful that I have piles of books to read with no end in sight. I am grateful that my seeds are growing, and soon I'll have flowers--even though I have ignored them completely the past two weeks.

  9. I think sometimes getting sick is our body's way of making us stop and reflect. Because i'm definitely not very good at it when i'm up and going all the time!

  10. We need a Twitter class together :). I'm not sure I'm keeping that Twitter account you found me on but if I change I will let you know first. Just don't Tweet something to it cuz I'm not sure how to log in. Haha. Twitter was one of the things stressed at the conference.

    I feel a lot lately that my life is missing "something" - I think it's work related. Or running related (hell, if I could just run that'd be awesome!) so I admire you strength to recognize the need for change and I'm sure whatever you do, it will turn out great!

    Feel better NOW!!! :)

  11. Hey there girl:) Thinking of you in your pukey house with your pukey sheets and your pukey bowls...Not envying you right now...I am thankful for at least the "still" slow down time for you. Yes, make time to EAT, drink, replenish that body!!!

    Getting back in touch with your passions-I understand this so much. Don't always talk about it but I understand it. I'm quietly conscious these days of how important this is to my happiness....

    Searching for something, Waiting for something, Ready for something. I don't think it will be long before we all find out what that something is... what that "next step" is for you!!. Not long at all....You know my thoughts on your potential here. You know how much I believe in you, my dear PASSIONATE talented friend!! So many gifts you have, way more than just writing. Only a matter of time! I know in my heart that big things are in store for you-big benefits for MANY because of the treasure you are!

    I read Jill's post. I think you already know for me personally, my blog is about everything I want it to be at this point. Just looking for a place to vent my training and ramble about nothing:) Initially desiring a couple of running connections since I had a little void there and I've most certainly been blessed here!! Don't care about stats, don't care about followers in terms of numbers but DO care about the many unexpected good friends I've made through it. Like I told Jill, this is just me personally! I think a blog is an AWESOME tool for bigger things if that's a desire!

    I don't remember if I ever commented on your header! So awesome! Today I am grateful that the forecast predicts Sunny and warm for my FIRST weekend home in what seems like FOREVER!!!

    This is by FAR the longest ever comment and of course I'm not looking it over....Heal up!!

  12. Holy smack. That looks even longer after I hit publish. Sorry about that. I always babble after midnight:)

  13. It's so good that your husband could be home to help out. It's also good that he wasn't sick. I hope you're all feeling back to normal really quickly.

  14. Oh Amanda, your posts are always so thoughtful and honest. Every time I read your blog I feel inspired to dig deeper within myself - as a mom, as a woman, as a runner...and as a blogger. I'm not sure why I blog really - I think when I started it I was feeling like the outlet would be good for me. It would be a place I could put all these thoughts and emotions that jumble inside of me down more concretely. A way to help me get in touch with myself more, work through things and also a place to chronicle my journey as a runner and as a mother. The thing is though, even though all this time I said it would be for me and I didn't care if anyone read it, I realized I do care. I want to feel like a part of this community of women who run - to share with everyone, support and be supported by all of you. So sometimes I feel like a "failure" with my blog because when I go to write oftentimes the outcome isn't what I intended it to be or I just don't write as much as I want to. Maybe it's because I'm usually sort of distracted when I write - the kids are being loud or the baby wakes up, etc. I tell myself that with time it will all come together and I will get better at the balance of it all. I get so much from reading your blog and several others and I want to give back to all of you with the same level of thought and inspiration!
    Anyway, sorry for the babble! Thank you for your blog. Thank you for being so honest and open about everything you write about. I feel good things are on the horizon for you with your writing, your running and your mothering and I am grateful that you share it all here. I hope you and your family are feeling better soon!! xxoo

  15. I blog 1. As a day to day journal of things I find interesting, 2. It's given me access to review products I hadn't thought of or couldn't afford, 3. Keeps me mentally stimulated outside of work, knowing I have to post.

    Twitter is what you make of it, very time consuming.

  16. Blech! I'm sorry you live in sick!
    I feel gratitude that my back doesn't hurt today...bliss...

  17. I blog because I enjoy talking about running and want to discuss it with others who do as well!!

    I hope everyone feels better soon. It must be so tough!

    I just joined Twitter recently too and am also super confused!!

  18. Great post! You truly are a great writer and I love reading your posts. Love the new layout and love all of your reflections.

    I hope you and the family start feeling better soon.

  19. Yay, I'm back and can now get back to my blog reading and commenting :)
    1. I love the new look of your blog! The picture of you and your kids is great.
    2. I'm sorry that you guys are sick. Praying for a fast recovery!!
    3. I blog because it's fun. I blog because it's not work to write. I blog because I want other girls my age to learn from my cooking mishaps and successes :) I blog because I want to inspire others - whether it's their faith, their cooking, their running, or anything else.
    4. My gratitude list for today is - thankful for a full-time job, thankful for an amazing husband who loves the Lord more than he loves me, thankful for a membership at the rec center so I can run inside instead of running in the TX heat, and thankful for a wonderful 5-year wedding anniversary trip.
    5. I have twitter, too! @thecookinglife - how do I find you?

  20. why do I blog?? I'm still thinking about that one. I do so love connecting with other people and learning from them. I hope to do the same but I'm not as gifted as you my dear.. :)

  21. I am SO SO SORRY that you have been sick but you are SO makes you appreciate your health so so much!! It must be so hard to watch your kids be sick. Our bodies definitely need time off and I am glad that it has allowed your to be still. Your hubby is the best. I blog because I LOVE the relationships that we build and I LOVE writing and documenting my life:) Hope you are feeling 100% SOON!!

  22. Great new look to your blog - your family is SO beautiful! Hope you guys feel better soon:)

  23. I'm really sorry you & your kids are sick - nothing worse than being sick when they're sick too! Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    Why do I blog? I started just over a year ago mostly to hold myself accountable as I started my running journey and to connect with others. It's been a fun ride so far and I have no idea where it will lead.

    As for twitter - I'm on there kinda stumbling along and trying to figure it out. Start by following some of your favorite bloggers and brands and see where it goes from there.

  24. Love the blog header. Beautiful happy family! Blah about being sick. I hope all this means that you are getting sickness out of the way and you will be healthy during your next training cycle. And sick kiddos...nothing worse than that!

    Why do I blog? Mostly for myself. Yes, selfish like that. I started out by recording my training, my thoughts, then it got bigger and I started to censor things a bit...confidentiality issues with my patients. I loved that I got to meet so many great people through it, you included, of course.

    I think there is a danger in trying to make the blog bigger. It can become artificial and forced. My absolute favorite blogs are Mother running rampant and Mary Iron Matron. Amazing writers with no bull shit. I read their blogs even if they often don't read mine. I met them both and they are awesome.

    Good luck with the next step. Just stay who you are and what you are: awesome:)

  25. Sometimes your posts leave me with such a calm. Thanks for that. :)

    I blog for the social aspect of it. I've "met" some super awesome people here! And it's nice to be able to talk about running with someone other than D, who couldn't give a rat's rear end less about it.

    Today I'm grateful for my sweet pepper plants that finally look like they are starting to bloom! Yes, it's the little things...

  26. I'm sorry you're sick and hope your on the mends soon! I love your new blog look and the cute family pictures!!

  27. Yeah, Amanda's on Twitter.

    Sorry about you being sick. I am actually feeling a little pre-flu myself. Out of the blue, just a few hours ago too. Weird.

    I Blog just for the fun of it. I like the support and connections I've made. It's fun to try to entertain people. I will never do product reviews or try to get Followers, I just write and see what happens.

  28. I just checked twitter. runninghood is someone else. What is your twitter name.

    BTW, twitter is simply a micro blog. You may not like it cuz you have to limit each tweet to 140 characters :-) But hey, if Super Kate can do it, so can you.

  29. I hope you're all feeling better soon! Being sick in the summer just seems to make it even worse than normal.

    I blog for a combination of reasons - reflecting on my training and goals, accountability to myself, connecting with others. I'm pretty sure no one in my family reads my blog regularly aside from my husband.

  30. i couldnt agree more. being sick makes us slow down our bodies and our minds. Thank goodness for that! I love that you are getting more creative with the kiddos. I bet they feel amazingly blessed!