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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bubbles and Birthdays and Being Five

My baby turned five today. Her butterfly cake fell into pieces when I took it out of the pan. We used the whole tub of frosting to "glue" it together. Kind of a perfect mess just like a lot of things right now.

I was back and forth between smiling and laughing to swallowing down the lump in my throat all day.

"I'm not a kid anymore, mom", she said matter-of-factly, on our way home from picking up the big kids from school. A school where she'll have kindergarten round-up later this week.

My sweet, spunky, spirited, so stubborn child is a mighty force to be reckoned with.

She sparkles and delights and tantrums and tattles and dances and squeals and cartwheels and runs and disobeys and sings "Uptown Funk" at the top of her lungs down the aisles of the grocery store. And when I suggest a different song, because the "n" is missing from "funk", she just sings louder. And the mom-look I give her is given right back in a dare and a glare. And sometimes I'm too tired to battle, so I join in and sing along and onlookers can keep on judging, because all we can do is our best.

She is still a kid baby. And her love, her unconditional love always shines through.

Some nights I go to bed exhausted and guilty and questioning, "what could I have done better and differently for the kids today?". And the thing that always comes to my mind and my heart and soul is just love them. Just love them like they love you. Unconditionally.

Happy Birthday, Kate. May your bright light always shine through.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The One About Running...

Once upon a time, there was a little, awkward, ugly duckling who tried every sport available to her and succeeded at none of them. Basketball was out because I was tiny, and clumsy, and couldn't run and dribble at the same time. Softball required hand-eye coordination, something I still lack, thanks to a bum left eye. Gymnastics wouldn't have been awful except I was afraid to try everything that wasn't on the floor. Strike, strike, and strike...I'm out.

And then in the 7th grade, in gym class, we were required to run the mile. And everyone was panting, and grabbing their sides all out of breath. And then there was me. The ugly, awkward, clumsy duckling. Running laps around the football field with all my breath and not holding my side. And as I passed my gym teacher standing on the sidelines, she yelled to me, "I think we finally found something you can do, Jenny!!", because people called me Jenny. And that's when my love affair started.

It didn't happen all at once. It wasn't something I would do every day. It wasn't until high school when boys were breaking my heart, and I needed to escape the cruelties of being a teenager did I turn to running completely. Running through teen angst, running for weight loss, running so I could eat cookies, and cake, and chocolate. Running to keep slim, running and running and running...and then something happened when I stopped running to stay thin. I ran for myself. I ran to stay sane. Duh...something clicked. I *needed to run like I needed to breathe. I didn't realize that when I took breaks from running, I wasn't myself.

My's mine. It's my sanity, my saving grace, my therapy session, my unclutter-my-thoughts-and-leave-it-on-the-trail, my talk with God, my nature fix. It's the time when I rationalize everything in my head and make it right and tuck things away and reassure myself every little thing is ok and alright and it all happens for a reason. It's my passion, my soul, the one thing in my life I am more than happy to share and get excited about!! The more runners in this world the better!!!

I thank God every time I run for my runner's soul and spirit and legs and lungs to run miles. After years and years and years of running, I have realized that running has saved me. After years and years of pounding the pavement and thousands and thousands of miles, I've discovered that running has given me more than I can ever give back.

I am positive I wouldn't be alive if not for running...and my children.

I can tell you that running isn't always easy. But NOT running is harder. Life is hard sometimes, but running through this crazy, awkward life makes it easier.

If I could be anything in this life, it would be a unicorn who sweats glitter and runs on rainbows. But being a runner is the next best thing. 

Monday, April 6, 2015


The cracked ones are my favorite. They're the ones that have character. They're the survivors. The ones with the smooth white shell, no flaws, no imperfections, sure, they're nice and all, but my eye is immediately drawn to the cracks. The way the colors are a little darker along the lines of the crack.

Nothing in this world is perfect. Not eggs, not people. Maybe chocolate; chocolate may be perfect.

There's a reason why nothing is perfect and nobody is's the flaws that give people character; it's the flaws that give people the strength it takes to keep going. Not at first maybe; at first it sucks. Things might suck. Situations might suck. But it takes bad days to appreciate the good days, right? It takes being cracked and bent and a little bit broken to appreciate the happy; the good; the unbent. Sometimes you're left with scars. Scars are signs of healing. Healing is good. Scars are ugly in some people's eyes, but look! You survived. The pain might have been torture. It may have left you vulnerable and weak and a heap of crying tears, but you're stronger because of it.

Cracked; bent; bruised; scarred. Not broken. Healed. Stronger. Capable of hard things.

My babies...might be scarred. But look at how beautiful they are because of those scars. Imperfect, beautiful, strong, kind, empathetic, amazing little people. Gosh, I love them.