like I need coffee in the morning. My body craves it and without it I go into withdrawals. It snowed here yesterday. I may have sworn a little.
I asked my husband, who is usually a meteorological genius, if the sun would be coming out today. He said it was supposed to be sunny all day. It is not...but it was for exactly ten minutes this morning. I dropped the kids off at school and hightailed it to our favorite park just a couple of blocks away to witness this...
Holy sunshine batman, it was gorgeous...and then it was gone.
Even though I'm usually a hermit when the temperatures dip below 60 (ok 70), I did bundle up and force myself to the park with the rest of the family earlier this week. I'm so glad I did, because this kid, who has a million facial expressions, graced me with just a few. He never fails to make me laugh.
and a tear...(and doesn't she have mad accessorizing skills?)
And there have been a few wrestling matches before school (the worst kind of wrestling matches if you ask me); and husbands calling during "crunch time" (the 10 minutes before we have to be to school on time) telling me I need to move the car because he rode his bike to work and they are coming to pick up leaves and our car is parked right in front of the leaf pile and I get all fired up at him...yeah, these tantrumming times are just the sprinkles on the cupcake of life. But when it comes down to it, I'll remember the whole cupcake, not just the sprinkles on top.
After many crappy, cold days, the glorious sun finally shone down it's lovely, warm rays on us. My favorite way to run a half-marathon; the fall air nipping my cheeks and the sun warming them up. It was beautiful; exactly the kind of day I'd hoped for.
I love the start of a race. All of us lined up, alone together. Adjusting our music players, jumping up and down to stay warm, doing our last minute stretches.
Joan Benoit Samuelson (the first woman to win an Olympic Gold medal for running the marathon) was there at the start; saying that events such as these keep our running community strong, and Holy Crap! I was standing only a few feet away from her!
The National Anthem is sung as I get a lump in my throat; get ready, get set, go! And we do. We all go as one; feet pounding; hearts beating so fast; so many people cheering for us; a smile lights up my face as we all run alone, together. It's a beautiful thing to look ahead and see a sea of runners, then look behind to see the same. We all share a common thread; this running thread that joins us together. It doesn't matter if you're fast or slow or short or tall; it doesn't matter if you have the most expensive running gear or the latest running fashions; it doesn't matter because we are all there for the same reason...to get our run on.
And get my run on, I did.
On the way to the race, my 6 year old asked me, why do you want to run so many races all the time?
Well buddy, someday I want to run the whole marathon, not just half of it. To me, the marathon is like the World Series of baseball, or the Super Bowl of football.
He gave me some fuel for my run; some thinking fuel. Why do I run so many races? Why do I want to run a marathon? And then I saw a sign on the trail, a motivating one that might stick with me for a while.
"If you don't chase your dreams, then who will?" Yes indeed, who will?
I don't run for the times; I hardly ever check my watch; I don't keep track of my "splits" because, honestly, I don't even know what a "split" is. I just run. And, if I feel I can go faster, I do. If I feel I can sprint up a hill; I do it. If I get thirsty; I stop for a water break for a couple of seconds. I keep gummy bears or jelly beans in my pocket, not the specialty running gels or goop. I always smile when I run, because really, honestly, I just so love to run. So a marathon is the next logical step in my dream sequence.
Seeing my family cheering me on halfway through, gave me another lump in my throat. I think I am the most vulnerable when I run; my soul is bared to the world; my emotions rise to the top and as I cross that finish line I wipe a tear away.
I finished that race with my best time ever, 1:51:04, and I had the best time ever. There was no 'wall to hit', just pure, honest-to-goodness, fresh, crisp air, with the best cheering squad a girl could ask for. And that husband of mine? Well, he's a keeper. Dropping me off at the start; loading up all the kids to cheer for me halfway; loading them up again to meet me at the finish. I couldn't do this without you.
And someday, I will run my marathon. Dream? You have been warned, I will chase you and hunt you down.
Stasha, this one's for you...SO proud of you for beginning your running journey. And Eden, I ran mile 3 for you.
My heart is singing today and everyday, lately. Don't stand too close to me, or you'll get some happy dust on you. I know it can't stay like this; these really good parenting moments, all strung together stretching into days then weeks; I know the unicorns will stop flying over our house soon enough. But while they're still flying and sprinkling their happy dust, I'm enjoying every.single.second I can.
This setup has become the norm. Kate eating with her babies; taking her babies for walks and car rides; to the store...literally everywhere. It makes my heart burst, because I so vividly remember playing with my dolls when I was little and those are some of my favorite memories.
This peanut butter face with pen scribbles on her arms has also become the norm.
The kids have two glorious days off of school, and even though it was cold and rainy today, we bundled up and headed outside to run the wiggles out...after watching The Lorax and the kids made fun of me for crying at the end...I can't help it, I love that movie. I cry every time I watch it.
The boys played football...
The girls played with their baby dolls, gave piggyback rides, and rode on things.
And this picture was from earlier in the week, when the sun was shining and the air was perfect and so very fall like. (I know, it's not a perfect photo, with the shadows and bright spot on her face, but it so captures my Anna when she's happy).
And this post that's gone viral, about the mom who is never in any of the pictures with her kids; well, it really made me think and cry a little and decide that I'm going to be in these photos with my kids. I will never look perfect; I'll always think I weigh too much, my smile is uneven, the wrinkles are popping up out of nowhere, the adult acne is out of control, but, I want to be in them despite all of that. So here are some with the timer on my camera.
I know I've said this before; but I have to say it again...the reds are really my favorite. They stick out like a bright flame of life; burning their fiery red and telling the world I'm right here and I am beautiful!
If you need, I can send the unicorns and happy dust your way too. I would love to share.