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Running My First 5K

Two months ago I decided I wanted to run my first 5k. I ran one twenty-four years ago in junior high and didn’ t really like it. Ever since then, I have shied away from running. However, I’ve been reading The Ultimate Weight Solution by good old Doctor Phil McGraw and I’ve been working on the “keys to weight loss freedom.” He is very blunt, but it is part of the book’s appeal for me who needs to be hit over the head with something.

He says, “Nothing will stop you from being anything other than healthy, vibrant, in shape, this will happen because YOU make it happen.”

I have always known that I am the one who is in control of my lifestyle and my weight, but it really “clicked” this time.

He says, “The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. You’ve got to be your own best friend first, accepting and loving yourself from the inside out, before you can be truly happy and before you can live with purpose and passion.”

I have decided I want to live a life of ‘purpose and passion.’ Dr. Phil encourages his readers to set ‘realistic’ goals. I set a long-term goal and a short-term goal.

My long-term goal is to lose forty pounds by December 31, 2017.  On April 22, 2017, I set the goal to train three days a week to run a 5k on June 3, 2017.

In order to achieve this first goal, I downloaded a couch to 5k app on my phone and used it three– sometimes four– days a week to train. I hoped by doing this I would lose one pound a week.

At first, it was hard to train because the weather in April was crazy here in Utah. It was warm one week, snowed another, and rained a lot. However, I got up at 6:00 in the morning, checked the weather and decided I would run rain or shine.  I had my faithful chocolate lab, Koda, as my running partner and we would go.

This last week before my race, I started getting shin splints in both my legs and they really ached. However, today I ran anyway. I was not able to run the entire 5k, but I ran until my body said, “Hey you! I hurt! Stop! Stop!”  I would walk for a minute then pick up the pace.

I was inspired by Wonder Woman. I know it sounds corny, but as I looked for races to run I found that Smith’s grocery store was sponsoring a “Super Hero” run to raise money for Primary Children’s Hospital. My husband and I and our boys love superhero movies. I find them fun and inspiring at the same time. I knew “Wonder Woman” starring Gil Gadot was coming out the day before I would run the race. I found this photo.

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I told myself I could have courage. I could be confident in myself to finish the race. I dressed up today with my Wonder Woman t-shirt and my awesome Wonder Woman socks and I ran. I ran with courage. I did it! I really did it!

Here are some fun pics:

The app even printed out a certificate of achievement for me.

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Now, my teenage son plans to join me and we are going to run a 5k on Independence Day. I also plan to run a fun night run with glow sticks and a Harry Potter themed 5k in July. The same company that made the app has another app to encourage me to run faster.

Guess what? After all of my training, I am down seven pounds and I am on my way to my end goal in December. So, the next steps for me to continue on to my forty pound journey are:

  1. Run three more 5ks this summer, maybe more!
  2. Learn all I can about nutrition and plan my meals and snacks.
  3. Reduce my sugar intake for 75 days until our 17th anniversary in August. Then I will indulge in a delicious piece of chocolate cake. I am hoping it will be “too rich” and I won’t be able to finish it all!

Here we go! I will have courage because I love myself and I am in charge of creating my life. I want to live with ‘purpose and passion’! We are off for my reward of seeing the movie. I am glad my husband agreed so easily. He says, “Wonder Woman is the most important movie of our time.” I can’t imagine why. 🙂

Lawnmowers Declare War Against Karen

I love spring. The bright colors of the yellow daffodils, the red and purple of tulips, and the sweet blossoms on the tree bring joy to my soul. At first, I love the warmer, longer days and how the grass all around is turning lush and green, but then it grows. The grass reaches up toward the sun each blade stretching taller and taller until I am struck with horror that now I must mow it. (Cue horror music, dum, dum, dum).

Ever since we became homeowners, mowing the lawn has become my task as my husband is extremely allergic to cut grass. He tried to put on a gas mask and mow a few times, but it is embarrassing being the only alien yard worker on the block. I do not mind the task of mowing the grass, but I swear they met in a secret meeting to declare war on me even before the first time I mowed.

Our father-in-law gave us his old lawnmower when we moved in our first home as he now had a riding lawn mower. We were very grateful as it was a part of homeownership we had not considered until that point.  As we tried to prepare the new lawnmower to cut, we discovered it had a huge wasp nest in it. So we ended up borrowing our neighbor’s lawnmower for a few times until we could get it working.

Well, eventually my husband fixed the carburetor on the lawnmower and we were in business until I somehow broke the handle on the starter cord. We tied a wrench on the end of the cord and luckily there was a cease fire for a few years.

Eventually, the old tame lawnmower gave up the ghost and we got a young recruit from Saratoga Springs. We had moved over the winter and were excited to welcome him to our new home. He was fresh and young and worked hard. I was happy. I thought all my problems with lawnmowers was in the past until the day he fulfilled his secret suicide mission and ran into the railroad ties in our garden bending his sharp sword.

My husband purchased a shining new lawnmower. He was fancy and had an automatic start. I could not have been happier. He worked wonderfully until the day he needed new oil.  While I had never added oil, I figured I could do it and everything would be fi. Poor lawnmower! He was never the same after that. He smoked and puffed and refused to work again when I stopped to empty the cut grass from his stomach.  I found that if I bagged the grass while he was running that I could finish mowing the lawn, but he got back at me when he lunged at me with his blade.

Luckily, the lawnmower missed but the impact broke the bone in my middle finger. He laughed as I went around all summer giving people “the bird” as my finger was in a splint. I sighed with relief when the growing season ended.

Now here it is spring again, the birds are chirping and last week the dreaded day came when it was time to mow the long grass again. I filled the engine with gasoline and clicked the starter and the lawnmower burst into flames. The outside water had not been turned on yet and so I had to run into the house with a bucket and fill it will water. Then I ran back to the garage and put the fire out. I guess a bit of gasoline had leaked onto the top of the lawnmower and the spark made it start on fire.

I swear the lawnmowers have declared war and will continue until I no longer choose to mow the lawn. I have a teenage son who could mow, but now the blasted mower won’t work. I guess this is the year we hire a lawn mowing service.

 

 

Week Two: Writing Your Baby’s Story

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Here are some questions to help you write about your baby’s birth and delivery.

  1. When was the baby born? Include the date and time of day.
  2. Where was the baby born?
  3. How far did the mother travel to get there? Who drove the mother there?
  4. How long was the labor?
  5. Once the mother arrived, how long until the baby was born?
  6. Who was the mother with during labor and delivery?
  7. Who were the doctor and nurses attending the labor and delivery? Share anything memorable about them.
  8. How did the mother ad father prepare for the baby’s delivery?
  9. What were some of the special circumstances surrounding the delivery?
  10. Who visited the baby at the hospital?
  11. How long did the mother and baby stay in the hospital?
  12. Who took them home?

As I wrote about having each of my three boys it was fun to remember the different circumstances around each of their births. Some of the highlights from my own writing.

We learned our children have large noggins. Bless their souls. They have such healthy large brains that they needed a big skull to put them in. My first son was two weeks late and ripped his way into this world and so with our second child, we asked our doctor if we could schedule me for an induction to deliver him early. It was a good thing because his head was a lot larger than our first baby’s head was. Finally, our third baby was born with a large noggin two, but the dear little guy’s bones fused in the back, so he had to have a special surgery at three months old. (I will talk about that later in another post.)

We wanted to name our first son Ethan but decided on Michael. I thought he would have several kids in his class with the same name but it suited him better. It was funny because later he had three kids with the name of Ethan in his class in third grade. So the common name was uncommon.

Our second son was born around Christmas. I remember feeling closer to what Mary would have felt like to hold the Christ child. He was and always will be my favorite Christmas present. I remember my oldest son’s Primary teacher asking him why Mary was so uncomfortable on the donkey and he said, “Because she was all full of Jesus.”:)

Our third son was born when our favorite NCAA basketball team was in the Sweet Sixteen after years of having bad luck at the “big dance.”  I remember watching the game when I was in labor and screaming more at the players then at my pain.  I also remember being surprised when some of the other parents in the hospital named their newborn babies after the star basketball player at the time, Jimmer Fredette. We teased my mother-in-law that our baby’s name was also Jimmer. She didn’t like that so much.

 

 

 

Week Three: Writing Your Personal History

The questions from week two took me a few weeks to complete. I had a fun remembering my early years. The highlight was remembering my two best friends. They were sisters, only eighteen months apart, and I was only six months behind the second one. We had a great time playing together (unless we were fighting.) 🙂

They had a large yard with a playhouse and a tire swing. They had trees to climb and a fun tree house. They had a large petroleum tank that we liked to climb on and pretend it was our “horse.” In the spring, we liked to pick the white and purple lilacs growing around their house and play “He loves me, he loves me not” and to play ‘wedding’ where we would sprinkle the blossoms all over the “bride’s” head.  We played with Barbies and other toys. We liked to play “skating waitresses” and we would use the shingles off their dad’s shed for “money.”

We liked to play “Red Light, Green Light” and “Mother, May I?” and “Swinging Statues.” We also liked to play games with the boys across the street and jump on their trampoline. They came to my house sometimes, but mostly we played at their house.

We liked to dress up and lip sync to The Bangles songs like “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian.” We also really liked to watch She-Ra, Duck Tales, Mary Poppins, and Jem and the Holograms. We loved the day we became ‘cousins’ because our grandparents married each other.

 

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My third birthday. I am the one in blue with pigtails.

The questions for this week are:

  1. Tell about your early fears (of the dark, of animals, being alone, staying with babysitters, etc.)
  2. What were some of the funny things you said or did when you were little? What were some of the embarrassing things also?
  3. Can you remember your grandparents and visits with them? Did they take you with them sometimes? Also your aunts and uncles?
  4. What were your favorite pastimes, activities?
  5. What were some of your problems at this early age (0 to 5)? Have you been grateful for some of these things that you have been able to overcome? What could you tell your grandchildren to assist them with some of these same problems?

 

Writing Your Baby’s Story

I recently started writing about my own history and decided it would be fun to write a few blog posts about starting a history for your children. My “babies” are thirteen, ten, and six. I decided it was better late than never to write about their births, their first year, and their toddler years. I plan to share a few questions you could answer to start their story.

Here are the questions for this week:

  1. When did the couple find out about the pregnancy?
  2. What was the mother’s reaction to the pregnancy test? The father’s?
  3. To whom did the couple first tell the news?
  4. What were other’s reactions?
  5. How did the mother feel while she was pregnant?
  6. Did the mother have any weird cravings?
  7. What were some of the fears of the expectant parents?
  8. Were the parents given any advice?
  9. What was the family like before the baby was born?
  10. Where did the family live? What did the parents do for a living?

I recently started three documents and wrote the answers to these questions for each of my boys. It was fun to compare the answers even though they were the same questions, especially to number 2. When I found out I was expecting my first baby I was so excited, but I had also felt a bit of relief because we had been trying “for so long.” It was six months. I was 23 years old and thought that six months was SO long. It is funny to look back on it now.

When I found out I was expecting our third child, I was thirty-three and my reaction was very different. I was profoundly grateful. We had lost three babies after our second child over a period of four years and I wasn’t sure I could keep a baby to full term at this point. However, I found out when I was sixteen weeks pregnant and it was already passed the time that I had lost the other babies. It was truly a miracle. I was so happy to know that I would be blessed with one final little baby.

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Geeking Out Over LOTR Mini Reunion

Spring Break 1992, I was thirteen years old. I remember “laying-out” to get a tan in my swimming suit in the backyard. However, upon closer examination of my reading material you would not find Seventeen or the latest Sweet Valley High books,  you would find J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion” in my hand for ‘light’ reading.  I had devoured The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Series two times already that year so I needed something different.

I remember being so obsessed with The Lord of the Rings, I wrote my own mini spin-off about Legolas. In this novella, he fell in love with a mortal whose description was strangely similar to mine. My seventh grade English teacher wanted us to practice our penmanship so I had to purchase a new pack of lined paper just so I could turn my novella in, fifty pages and all. And what other thirteen year old girl spent her weekends and summers with her older brother and his friends playing MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing)? Only me, (but hey some of his friends were cute.)

Has it really been fifteen years since the first Lord of the Rings movie came out?  It seems like yesterday, my then new husband and I ran off the theaters after our college finals.

I love this photo Dominic Monaghan shared on Instagram yesterday, of course, I like the actors and think this is fun, but it has been more fun for me to the first time I became acquainted with the characters they played.

My favorite has always been Aragorn. He wandered Middle Earth for ages as Strider, dirty, and a bit angry and yet as each challenge comes in the book, he rises to the occasion, eventually fulfilling his mission as King of Gondor. His character sticks out to me because I just when I think I’ve got things figured out and then a challenge or a trial comes throws me off track, but I can’t let them stop me from becoming the best person I can be.

Yes, I am a Lord of the Rings Geek and I will always be.

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Stranger Dialogue

Have you ever watched people conversing but could not hear what they were saying?

I think it is so much fun to make up dialogue for strangers as if they were characters in one of my books. It is a great way to spend time you have to waiting.

The other day I saw three teenage boys walking on the sidewalk. It had snowed the night before and it was very chilly even though it was mid-afternoon.  One of them stopped and showed the others something. I dreamed up him saying, “Hey look, snow!” As if they had not noticed until that moment.

There are also two teenagers at my son’s junior high who like to show the world they are in love every day after school. They smooch and lay on the grass with each other. When I picked up the kids in our carpool for Christmas Break, we watched them saying good-bye to each other for the two weeks.The kids helped me with dialogue.

“It will be alright,” he said rubbing her back. “I will tell Santa you have been good and he will bring you some cookies.”

“Oh, thank you, but I don’t like cookies,”she said and sniffed.

It is a very fun activity to do when you know the strangers can’t hear you, but probably even more fun if you are daring enough to do it when they can.

I love this clip from Gilmore Girls.