30 days of thanks: day 10

I’m very thankful for my home. It’s old and drafty, and even a little crooked in a few places- but it’s home. I’m thankful to have these walls to fill with warmth, food and laughter and a place at the table to share with friends and family. I’m blessed to walk past the stairs that need a coat of paint and see the doorframe marked as the kids grow and the stonework we put up ourselves. Truly, I am thankful to call this old place home.


30 days of thanks: day 9

Thankful that my children are making friends with such sweet, well-behaved, smart and funny kids.

I know there will be plenty of bumps along the way for them as they grow, and I am so glad they have been able to seek out on their own friends that share the same interests and values that they have to learn and grow with.


30 days of thanks: day 8

I’m thankful for my husband. I really don’t know how I ended up being lucky enough to build a life with such a generous & caring guy. My girls could not ask for a better dad to lead by example and show them the love, respect, and care that they need to expect from the future men in their lives. Plus, who could be more fun than their dad!?!?- that’s a game I will never win at :)

He’s always willing to help friends or family, and no project is ever too big for him to jump in and tackle ( despite my sometimes dire warnings that perhaps he SHOULDN’T try to tackle it- but if he listened we would never be nearly this far with home renovations and repairs!).

When things get rough, he pushes through- constantly reminding me that there is a bright side ahead and that we will get there. His faith is great and inspires mine to grow. His love for his children literally just shines out of him.

I am thankful everyday for the chance to see yet another page in the life story that I get to write with this guy.


30 days of thanks: day 7

Date night. Kids are away. The house is ours.
If you are a parent I really need say no more- this is something to be thankful for.


30 days of thanks: day 6

Today I am most thankful for close calls that go your way. Phew!

Got a call at work today from the school – my daughter knocked her head “really hard” and maybe I should come early for her… Those are the times when I really sincerely dislike the 30 minute commute from my office to their school.

Thankfully, it’s not a concussion and while she’ll be very sore tomorrow, she’s ok- and today I am thankful for that.


30 days of thanks: day 5

I suppose this one is a given: today is an Election Day and I am thankful for the blessings of life in a democratic country. I am thankful for my freedom. I am thankful for my voice in our democratic process.


30 days of thanks: day 4

I am so thankful for my parents. Two truly caring and giving people who are constant reminders to me of the sort of parent I want to be when I grow up ( in case that growing up thing ever actually happens to me).

I can only hope that I can live up to their examples for my own children throughout their lives.


30 days of thanks: day 3

Today I am thankful for Sunday afternoons spent with good food and family.

We are so lucky to live close to both my and my husband’s parents and siblings- we are able to see everyone frequently and the extended family plays a large part in the daily lives of our kids.

Sundays are often spent in each other’s homes- sharing meals and stories from the week, keeping in touch. I think we are pretty blessed to have this Sunday routine to experience with our girls.


30 days of thanks: day 2

Today I am thankful for new friends.

In the years after college, moving through various jobs and towns, getting married and starting a family, making friends can really fall to the bottom of the priorities list… It’s hard enough staying in touch with the old ones as your lives so dramatically evolve. As a mom, you work hard to schedule those play groups and encourage the kids to make friends, and suddenly discover that as an adult that task can be pretty intimidating!

I have been truly blessed in the last year or so to have met some of the kindest, most sincere people in our little town- and thank my lucky stars for the new friendships that have developed in my life – for myself and my family. The support, laughter, and even just help with the little things and quick favors that have come my way through these new friendships have brightened so many days.


Run for your life- the Muddy Viking 2013

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I am not a runner. I can count on my fingers the number of times I have “run” since being under the prison-guard menace of middle school gym teachers. I’ve struggled with weight since I was a kid, and mostly I lose the fight. Fitness just isn’t my “thing” and given the choice of sweating or having a bowl of Death By Chocolate ice cream- I’ve always chosen the ice cream.

So imagine the surprise I met when last winter I announced my intention to join one of the “mud runs” that have been popping up. You? Really? Why??

The reason: turning 40 looms ever closer, and if I don’t change my life now, it literally will never change. I’ve spent 30+ years with one excuse after another why I just “can’t” … can’t excercise, can’t diet, just need a little more time, just need to get through this other project, just need the weather to change…..

Off and on throughout the year I made pretty steady use of the treadmill, with this crazy idea of doing a mud run in my head. The “off” times got more frequent as the summer came- just so many other things to do (ie: excuses not to exercise). My intention to do the run began to lose a lot of steam, until I saw a number of good friends and women I really admire participate in various running events, and all of these fantastic people earnestly encouraged me to go for it. I was terrified as I hit the submit button and paid my entrance fee, but knew the deal was now sealed (see, I don’t part easily with hard earned cash so now I HAD to do it). I can’t say I really trained much more at that point- tried to do a couple miles every few days and put the race out of mind…until yesterday morning: race day!!

The Muddy Viking is a 4 mile off road course with 26 obstacles. I knew going into it I wouldn’t be able to do most of those obstacles (rope climbing? Ha ha ha… Jumping the fire pit! Are you kidding?), but was really truly amazed to find myself actually DOING many of them!! Going down the giant slip and slides was incredibly fun, and I needed that laugh in the face of how HARD the 4 miles was! At the 1/2 way point I was greeted by a wall- and no way around it… Two friendly people on the wall extended their hands and I said “no… I really can’t….” And then over the wall I saw my two children- jumping and cheering for me. I grabbed those hands and went over that wall!! I knew at that moment there was no way I could stop!!

The course was really beautiful – fall leaves through the wooded trails. Running up the creek beds through water, rocks and mud made me thankful for all the times I did that as a kid. Sliding down muddy banks over tree roots – that I can do! I was grateful for the ropes the crew tied to trees to help pull ourselves up the other side of the deep muddy banks! Not able to swim well, I was tempted to skip the obstacle in the lake- but my husband urged me on and I did give it a go… an was thankful to discover the lake water wasn’t very deep when I fell into it. Waist-deep through the swamp, elbow deep in the mud pit… this was insanity!!!! (but really pretty fun!)

This was one of the hardest things I have ever attempted thus far in life- and that moment when I crossed the finish line, drenched in swamp water and mud, exhausted and hurting…greeted by my cheering family- I’ve never been so proud of myself.

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I am incredibly grateful to my friends and family who cheered me along, ran the race along with me, and encouraged me to accomplish this goal, your support made all the difference. Tomorrow, I start my first fitness class- the next step in what I hope to be a real, true change. No more excuses.


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