Behind the Scenes: The Finish

Hey, friends…breakin’ the rules a bit today and posting a video.

(Special thanks to my friend, Chris, for shooting this gem, a word I use loosely here.) 😉

Raceway Wood 5k Finish from Tobin Schroeder on Vimeo.

I’ve been a runner for several years…runner, as in I’d go out and run/walk/run some more, maybe a mile or two at a time.

About two years ago, determined to get that pesky baby weight off, I decided to really run…and started training and doing 5k’s and worked on slashing my time down. I’m still no star, but I can pull around a 28:00 5k, sometimes-a-little-faster-sometimes-not, and I’m happy with that. Running is something I enjoy, and it’s a good way to have a little me time before the crazy of a day begins.

I crank up my playlist of worship music, sing along, spend some time in prayer…and though the hardest thing is to take the first ten steps, I am always, always glad I took the time for it each morning.

This past Saturday I ran a 5k at a place in our community called Raceway Woods. It was actually a famous racetrack several decades ago, and this 5k was the first organized race event there since the late 60’s. A few friends and I signed up, and since I’ve been running and training (well, for the most part) this summer…heck, why not?

Let me tell you one thing, friends.

Ignorance is bliss.

Well, as much bliss as can be found in a place that has so many hills.

I look decently strong at the end of this video, but what you can’t see is all…and I do mean ALL…of the behind the scenes.

The race itself was SO. HARD.

I had no clue…zero…what I’d signed up for, other than 3.1 miles. Maybe that was why I actually showed up for the race. 😉

The first mile was a breeze because it was downhill. I pulled it in 8:18…and my quickest pace on a 5k is around a 8:45…needless to say, that was good motivation to keep my feet moving.

At the beginning of the second mile, there were a few smaller hills…nothing horrible, nothing I loved. Just kind of in-between.

And then, toward the end of the second mile, I encountered it, huffing and puffing what felt like my last-ever-earthly breaths.

It stared me down like Mt. Everest towers over an ant.

I. Couldn’t. Run. It.

In fact, I’m not exactly sure how I made it up that hill, but I eventually found the top of it. (I think it took a long time, though…and potentially for part of that mountain climb, I even slipped into a semi-delusional state.)

And while mile #3 was nowhere near as hilly, it was mostly gravel.

Gravel = just not as fast.

So you see me pushing with all I have at the finish, but really, I just want this race to be over.



Finito. (Is that a word? It is now. ;))

Two days later, I’m still feeling it. It’s mostly good pain, but it’s pain.

And maybe it’s not so much the pain of the actual race but the fact that last week was so up and down, just like that 5k. I had some really amazing highs (hello, getting published!) and some heartbreaking lows (maybe later).

Maybe it’s a good metaphor for me…this race.

Maybe it’s the reminder my heart needs that I can’t always call the shots and run a smooth, perfectly flat (or even downhill!) course. There are going to be those twists and turns and climbs that make me come to the point where I just have to push on in a strength that’s not my own.

Maybe it’s a reminder, too, that sometimes the pain we feel is good, even if it still hurts…because it’s a reminder that He heals.

And, that He can still work in spite of the pain.

I’m still in processing mode, but I don’t think it’s an accident that I ran that race on this particular Saturday.

My time was slower…and it took me a day or so to be ok with it.


Thirty-one minutes and twenty-seven seconds of sweat and tears. (No blood this time, thankfully.)

And a reminder that He’ll stick with me and help me finish strong, no matter what the course looks like.


Happy Tuesday, y’all! As usual, I’m hanging out at Crystal’s place, joining some of my favorite bloggers for our weekly link up.

Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.

“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.

I hope you’ll take some time to hop over for some funny and sweet stories that are guaranteed to give you a deeper glimpse into the moments that make up our days. Thanks so much for stopping by, friends!


Behind the Scenes: Confessions of a Former Park Street Girl

Today’s photo comes courtesy of a girl who doesn’t necessarily love going back to her hometown.

The why of that is far too long and complicated to get into…it’s just difficult.

I go so Mae can see her grandparents…

…so I can see my family and a handful of friends who live there.

But it’s hard to be in a place that hurts…so much heartbreak and un-belonging. (I’m in the business of making up words these days. ;))

One of the ways I survive (and I say that carefully…it’s obviously not real survival ;)) is by running. I run here, but running there is different because that physical run often turns into a head-on sprint into my past.

Last Tuesday morning, I went for a run through the neighborhood I grew up in.

So much of it hadn’t changed and yet it felt foreign.

I had run from my mom’s house, past my elementary school, through my old neighborhood, down by the park and public pool, around the lake, and on my way back, I decided I needed to run back by the place I’d lived for the first fourteen years of my life.


I really wanted to take a full-on picture but didn’t want to look like a creeper. Instead, I settled for wrestling my iPhone out of my sweaty armband and snapping a photo of the street…but my house is the white one that you can kind of see through the trees. 😉 

Running by it was bittersweet…out of my years spent in C-town, those spent in that house…on that street…are the ones that I’m (mostly) ok with revisiting. There were special moments in that neighborhood…bike rides with friends on sidewalks that are still there, getting knocked out with a baseball in the side yard one spring, sledding down our hill every winter, 4th of July fireworks-watching from our backyard.

I do smile when I think of those things, even the baseball knocking out part. 😉

But what I’m kind of glad you can’t see in this picture is the stop sign at the end of the (very long) block.

It’s the corner of Park and Kirby, and it’s an intersection I wish never existed. Ever.

Because when I was ten, that’s where my closest friend in the neighborhood died.

Car accident.

I’m brave enough to drive through it now, but I couldn’t for years. Years.

I ran through it, and while I tried to put out of my mind what had happened there 24 1/2 years ago, the tears still sprang to my eyes.

Some memories are embedded too deeply to ever be erased, I guess.

I’ve tried giving thanks over and over for my hometown, for the pain it holds, for the memories that are there, for the pieces of my heart that will always be tied to this town of 9,000.

I find it hard to say thank you for pain, but He does work through it. He gives and He reminds that He is always good, even when families shatter to bits and girls are mean and friends leave this world way too soon.

Just a few confessions from the small-town piece of my heart I left behind 21 years ago.

Thanks for taking a walk down Park Street and memory lane with me today. :)


Happy Tuesday to you all! Today I’m linking up at my friend, Crystal’s place for some sweet and silly and sometimes-tear-jerking storytelling…the kind where we show you pictures and tell you what’s really going on behind the camera lens.

Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.

“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my words…I hope you’ll hop over and read more about what’s happening in the lives of some of my favorite bloggy-sisters!


What’s Coming…

I ran a 5k yesterday.

It wasn’t my first, and it won’t be my last because I’m a runner, and even if I gripe and complain sometimes about the actually running part that comes with being a runner, it really is my escape and a loved and necessary piece of my life.

I hadn’t particularly trained well for this race.

I’ve been running about twice a week and throwing in a Tabata workout here and there, but my last two 5k distances were minutes over what I was expecting to pull in a race. So I think it’s safe to say there was some discouragement (and grumbling ;)) when I rolled out of bed yesterday morning at 6 a.m.

A friend picked me up at 6:50ish, and we headed down to the race area. She had looked at the course map, but I had decided a few days prior that I had no interest in seeing where the race was going or what hills may or may not be included. (I hate hills. With a fiery passion, perhaps.)

All I knew was that there was a finish line, one that I would be very happy to see.

And that was enough.

I pinned on bib #914, stuck the little timer-thingy (proper term, please?) on my shoelace, trotted down to the starting line with my friend, and we were good (well, ish) to go. 😉


Here’s me before the race…and before I found out about all the hills. That’s why I’m smiling. 😉

The first mile is typically the hardest for me, but when I heard the time shouted out at the marker, it was encouraging to know I was still going to break 30:00 if I could maintain my pace. It seemed though, as I was approaching the halfway point…and perhaps the ridiculously painful hill (One of about TWELVE…ok, ok, I’m exaggerating. I think there were four or five.) that this feeling of I-can’t-do-this-anymore began to overtake my mind, and I couldn’t shake it.

I made the decision at that moment, as I literally struggled to keep my feet moving, to do two things.

First, I started singing whatever song about being strong that I could think of. (I’d left my headphones in the car.) Steven Curtis Chapman’s His Strength is Perfect, won that little contest. As a side note, I haven’t heard that song in probably a decade…no clue where it came from.

Perhaps I needed the truth found in those words?

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone; He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.

At that moment, truer words had never been spoken. 😉

And, second, I started looking around me.

Also at that moment, we were running the part that went near the river.

Confession? Even in my pain, it was pretty.

And the beauty that surrounded me pushed me through that mile and into the next, where the adrenaline finally kicked in and my strength returned. I wouldn’t say the last mile, plus the dinky little .1 added to it, was a walk (or run) in the park, but I crossed the finish line…

…the one I was beyond thrilled to see…

and there was such relief. Like, I’m-pretty-sure-there-were-tears-in-my-eyes, relief.

In the end, I was so thankful, I hadn’t known what was coming (aka: THE HILLS). Not only would I have most likely psyched myself out of trying and pushing myself completely if I had known how hard it would be, but I would have been too focused on just getting to my goal to find something beautiful along the journey.

How true is that in life?

How many times do I wish with everything in me that I knew exactly where the crazy of life was taking me?

…or that I could know how it will all turn out?

…or even simply for a promise that it will be beautiful?

I get so caught up in wanting to know what’s going to happen that I forget to focus on the gifts that come with each step along the way.

The lessons from that 5k run and the grueling 28 minutes and 58 seconds (yay for breaking 29!!!) yesterday are planted in my heart forever.

Yes, I will probably be a little more intentional about training for races in the future…

But maybe I’ll be a little more intentional about finding beauty along the way, too.


My God-Sized Dream: How I Live

What’s a typical day in your life like right now? How can you see God’s hand in the middle of the “small” and ordinary too?

When I first saw the topic for this week, I smiled and started singing a song.

One that, for reasons unknown to me, somehow made it onto my running playlist about a year ago and became a favorite. I especially love the chorus.

Turn up the music, turn it up loud
Take a few chances, let it all out
‘Cause you won’t regret it
Looking back from where you have been
‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did, it’s how you live

“How You Live” Point of Grace

Though it may sound a bit flaky, I try to live my life in this way…with the music cranked up (sometimes literally), looking for the adventure in every step, and dancing throughout my days, too. (As long as there’s coffee. ;))

On a perfect day, I start with a run.  I usually do between three and four miles, but  I only did 2.4 this morning…on Monday nights I work out with friends, and our workout went late last night and was topped off by a frappuccino and a chat with my dear friend :), so I didn’t push it. I’m not Super-runner Woman, either (though I would look good with a cape, huh?!)…it’s something I became intentional about in order to shed those baby pounds and turned into something I enjoy.

When I get home from running (before 7 am) I get the coffee going and get ready for the day.

Key word here = coffee. I drink a ton of the stuff. True confession. But not black…always with creamer. Bailey’s Creme Brulee is my favorite. Mmmmm.

I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and it’s the job title I wear most proudly.

I’m mama to the most incredibly wonderful, spirited, sweet girl, Mae. Ever the non-napper, she almost always gives me a wonderful night’s sleep, so she usually isn’t awake before 7:30. (Unless we’re in time change mode. Ugh.) I love that it gives me time to hop through the shower and get ready somewhat before she’s up.

Once Mae is up, it’s the usual. Breakfast, sometimes-playtime, sometimes-Sesame Street. If she goes the tv route, I use that time to do some Bible reading and blogging. It’s when most of my daytime writing gets done. A lot of people start their mornings early. early. early. with spending time with God. I have found  that it  simply doesn’t work well for me.

I love Him.

But my mind is not coherent enough before my run to focus. Instead, I crank up a pretty sweet playlist of praise songs for my run and worship Him in that way. I love it, and I usually sing along. 😉

The  rest of our day varies, depending on the day. Some days we head to church for Bible study or to help with Feed My Lambs; the other days we’ll chill at home and  do art projects or read stories or play princesses or bake. (She’s a huge play doh fan right now, too.) We save errands for the afternoon, usually, because my ever-so-sweet girl mostly-dropped her afternoon nap last summer. (She takes about one a month.)

It’s a simple day, usually, and sometimes there will be more writing or catching up online interspersed with what we do.


My main goal as a stay-at-home mama  is to simply enjoy her and be the best mommy to her that I can be. The days are already passing too quickly, and she’ll be off to preschool in just five short months. Tear. 

My hubby usually gets home around 5:30, and  we’ll spend a little time together as a family,  eat dinner, and then it’s off to bathtime and bed for the non-napper girl we have. :) She’s usually in bed and asleep before 7:30 which gives us some time to unwind. Sometimes T and I will play a game or watch a movie; sometimes we’ll do our own thing…me, usually write; him, catch up with his favorite blogs or watch a TV show. Fun fact: we really love playing cribbage. I know it’s an old-people game, but it’s fun! You should try it. 😉

Being a SAHM was not something I ever thought I’d be, but I love it. I’ve realized, too, that it’s something I should never take for granted. My husband works hard so I can be with my girl, and I know there are a lot of mamas who wish with everything in them that they could be home with their kids, too. I am extremely blessed, and so thankful I can spend my days with Mae. :)


One of the things God has over-and-over convicted me about is my prayer life. I grew up always thinking that to pray, I needed to stop what I was doing, fold my hands, close my eyes, and talk to Him in that way. And while there are times for that, I try to make prayer part of my lifestyle…and I talk to Him throughout the day. Sometimes in a sentence, sometimes longer. While I’m washing dishes, vacuuming, or even changing a diaper.

I love that He hears me…and that He listens no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

I also love that my daughter is learning the value of speaking to her Father, too, no matter where she is in her day. Often, we’ll pray for Putra, our Compassion child…his picture is on our wall in the kitchen, and she likes to look at it. Mae knows that we can talk to God about him, and that we can do it while we’re playing princesses, too. :)

In relation to my dream(s) and pursuing them in daily life, my biggest goal is to place them in His hands each day and pray for opportunities. Right now, my sweet friend is reading through my book, and I’m good with that…in some ways, it’s a break I can use to reflect on what He’s asking of me and what could potentially be next. As for my other dream of writing for a bigger blog, I talk to Him about it…and just keep doing my thing…

…writing  in this space, which I truly love. I really do, even if the number of blog posts a week has dwindled a bit. (I’m trying to focus on content more instead of word count. Please don’t count the number of words in this post. ;))

I’m trying to be faithful with the smaller things…and trust that He’ll bring the big things when it’s time. His time.

More than ever, right now, I’m content with that, and it’s a good place to be.

Just living the life He’s created for me, following Him in obedience, and trusting that His plan will happen.

And it’s Tuesday! Hop over to the lovely Holley Gerth’s place to read more stories of what God is doing in the lives of my dreaming sisters! We’d love for you to join us. :)

God-Sized Dreams


Those 12

This post should probably be otherwise titled, That Post When I Reflect Too Much.

However, I want you to actually read it. 😉

Exactly 364 days ago, I set some goals, which you can read here. (Or you can just scroll down, too.)

Time to see how I did! (And to look forward to all that 2013 holds…which I very much hope includes some brown and tan paint over some purple walls. Do I get bonus points for choosing the colors at least?)

Spoiler…oops. Sorry about that. 😉

Here we go!

1. Start…and finish…the canvas painting for Maelie’s room. Check. No drama here. I just painted it one Sunday afternoon, hung it on her wall that night, and that was that. :)

2. Redecorate our front living room. (The purple needs to go! Soon.) Well, friends, the purple still needs to go. We actually bought the paint in October, but between life and more life, the living room is still an unfortunate shade of purple.

3. Start an Etsy store so I can sell my jewelry. Ok, so I’m not selling jewelry. But selling hats on Etsy counts, right? 😉 

4. Take some kind of lessons…guitar, voice, djembe…still deciding, but leaning toward djembe. I went with guitar and started in April. It’s good…am learning a lot and even played a real bar chord, though it wasn’t pretty. :) 

5. Complete a marathon. (Edit…1/2 marathon.) Didn’t happen. Though a half marathon is on the list for this May, and then we’ll see. I don’t have any plans to run a full marathon yet…to be honest, though I love running, four hours straight of running does not really sound even remotely enjoyable. I think I need my marathon-running friends to give me a little push here. :)

6. Run a 5k in less than 30 minutes. This actually happened several times during the year, which was a boost. I broke 30 for the first time in May and am now running my regular 5k around 28:00 flat, give or take. My fastest clocked one was around 27:15…factor in a few stops for cars that don’t yield to pedestrians (or runners). I’ll take it. :) Would still love to hit the 26’s…we’ll see. :)

7. Continue blogging at least three times a week once January 24th has passed. Yep, got that one covered. :)

8. (Re)Learn how to sew and make a bag out of some of my Indonesian batik I still have. Nope. I thought about pulling out the sewing machine several times but never actually did it. I love to teach myself new things, but sewing scares me.

9. Finish the rough draft of my book, Lessons From Indo: On Life, Love, and Squatty Potties, and submit it to at least one publisher. Am late on this one, but the plan is to be done by May. Extremely grateful for the chance to be part of the God-Sized Dream Team…these women are such an encouragement as I navigate something that is really new. It’s one thing to write a blog…it’s a completely foreign place to write a book. Really praying it will happen in 2013!

10. Continue developing discipline in my life by spending time in God’s Word each day…whether two minutes or two hours. This one could be a post all on it’s own. I’m not sure why I even set this goal because for me, it was unattainable. Don’t misunderstand me…I love my Father and His Word. But, honestly, I didn’t read the Bible every day. I don’t know if that makes me a bad Christian or just an honest one. Maybe I’ll hash this one out more later. :)

11. Guest write for another blog at least once. (The Patch doesn’t count.) I didn’t pursue this one like I should have…I found myself most content just writing at my own place and linking up other places, which provided some new bloggy friends. To me, that’s worth it. :) But I do have a guest post coming out next month on (in)courage…not sure of the date but will let you all know when it’s up! This one, in particular, was really a blessing because one of the editors wrote and asked me if they could use something I’d written. I must be doing something right. Thank you, God. :)

12. Go on an actual vacation with Tobin (and no Mae) to celebrate our 10th. We stomped our feet (well, not really) through Marbella, Spain; Tangier, Morocco; and Paris, France. It was a crazy adventure, as all trips we take together seem to be. We missed Maelie, but it was good time to spend together, and we had a really memorable time. Spain gave us our time to relax, Morocco was an insanely crazy adventure that left me dying to go back and explore more, and Paris was a dream come true, complete with bread. (We even kissed under the Eiffel Tower!) 

It was a wonderful 2012, though not everything turned out as I had first pictured. In many ways, it was better.

Here’s to a wonderful 2013!

Blessings to each of you, and thanks for being part of my barefoot journey!

God is so Good.


Just Some Thoughts…

Hey, friends…so, I was thinking about Indonesia today and trying to get back into book-writing mode, and this story just clicked with where I am right now…I’m sure it will make it into the book, but I thought I’d share anyway. :)

When we lived in Indonesia, there was something I had to get used to in order to survive there. (Both mentally AND physically.)

I had to resign myself to the fact that when I walked along a street…which was most often a busy street…there would be motorbikes, angkots, cars, buses, carts, and sometimes even horses :) right next to me…often, whizzing by me. (Well, minus the carts and horses.)

And I mean right next to me. Like, within inches. Or less than that.

For someone culture-shocking…which was me the first three months we lived there…it can be overwhelming and scary. But eventually, this extrovert who cannot stay home and never go out accepted the fact that it was just life there.

And it became a normal part of life there as it does for everyone…but potentially a little too normal.

Fast forward two-plus years.

Several mornings a week I get up to run. My route is pretty set…I’m not a creature of habit; it’s just that my mornings are my time, and I’d rather lose myself in my world of worship than pay attention to where I’m going or potentially get lost. :)

One thing that bugs me…and I mean really bugs me…is the fact that when I’m running on the street, drivers go around me by, like, TWELVE feet. (I’m really not exaggerating here.)

I’m not a selfish runner. In fact, if I can get off the road and run in the grass, I usually will. I don’t want to be that pain-in-the-butt runner who hogs the road and makes traffic stop simply because she won’t move.

Recently I caught myself becoming annoyed with drivers who would either stop and wait ’til I passed or move waaaaaaaaaay over…because, to me, it’s perfectly acceptable for them to whiz by within a foot or so.

Oh, how Indonesia has altered my perspective.

As I was running this morning, I started to think about how easily I became accustomed the closeness of vehicles in Indonesia…despite the fact that the situation could be dangerous…or even deadly.

For me, it was just Indo-life, and I learned to make it part of the adventure rather than stress over it.

But as I thought about that more and more throughout the day, I started to wonder…

What kinds of things do I allow to become close to me? Are they things that don’t belong there?

It’s so easy to let that little sin that’s “really no big deal” creep in and become a normal part of everyday life, almost to the point of excusing it because that’s just the way it is…or, worse, not even realizing it’s there.

And while Indonesia driving might be an exception to the rule, there should never be an exception for sin.

I know I’ve got a few (or more) of those little things…things for which I make excuses because it’s just how it is. How I am. Wrong.

That was a challenge to me this morning.

So as I laugh to myself at the drivers who feel the need to put a football field between them and myself, at least I’ll have a good reminder…

To keep those things that are dangerous at a distance.

But, should you be one of the people who pass me in the morning, (hey, admit it, we’re practically friends by now!) just know that you can drive a little closer to me. You can even stop and say hi if you want. :)


Scattered Musings

Ever have an extremely contemplative, yet scattered, day?

That’s me tonight.

I’m currently munching on a really bad protein bar. I told myself I had to eat all the ones in the house before I bought more. This current one I, unfortunately, purchased a large box of without considering the possibility that they might be bad.


It’s kind of funny how certain things start to clutter the pantry after awhile…for me, it’s protein bars and random boxes of crackers. I have no less than five different brands and probably ten flavors scattered throughout the kitchen. Oh, weird me.

So I put Mae to bed tonight and was all excited to run on the treadmill. Having one in our basement is a perk on evenings when Tobin is gone and I want to get a few miles in. So I resurrected the thing from it’s 8ish-month storage, hopped on, started running at the highest level it will go…and golly, this thing is shakin’! Feels like an earthquake!

After a couple attempts to stop/start it again, I realized an important little piece that holds the base together had popped out and was g.o.n.e.

No running for me.

I did some strength/cardio stuff instead. Not nearly as fun or as sweaty as running. (Did I really just say that?!)

At any rate, I’m sending hubby to the basement to hopefully fix the thing for me. Some days it’s just easier to run on the treadmill than run in the cold.

Though I have unofficially promised no one…ok, ok, myself…that I’ll do one day a week outside.

Ask me how I’m doing with that in the middle of January. :)

Tomorrow is a pretty crazy day for us. Gymnastics, a meeting, family pictures. Plus, my Bible study is SO lucky…I’m baking them my favorite cake. :) That, too, needs to be done tomorrow.


It occurred to me a few days ago that last year, I spent the entire month of November writing about the things I was (am) thankful for…and I (obviously) haven’t been doing that this year. It was almost a convicting realization.

It’s not that I’m NOT thankful…I guess I’ve just chosen to express that thanks in different ways this year…though I’m sure I will officially post something at some point.

I was talking to God about that, trying to explain that I really AM so thankful for all He’s given and blessed us with. In the middle of that explanation, it hit me…

Duh, Mel…He knows.

Perhaps because true gratitude is a reflection of the heart. Though that can be shown on the outside, and should be, the fact that I haven’t been talking doesn’t make me ungrateful.

It gave me something to think about for sure. :)

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is nine days away. We’re heading to Minnesota to see Tobin’s family and a few friends, too. It should be an eventful trip with an ever-wiggly, active toddler and two rambunctious golden retrievers. Yay for family bonding at it’s finest? 😉

Thankfully, I thought ahead this time. I got a steal of a deal on this, and while it has the potential to ensure that Tobin and I are singing Veggie Tales songs for the entire weekend, it will keep a certain little girl entertained during the 12-14 hours we will spend in the van. :)

Between that and her A-B-C Turtle, which is a favorite toy on long trips, and coloring, I’m hoping it’s an enjoyable trip.

And, hey, if it’s not, at least we’ll have grandma and grandpa to provide us with the sanity we lost on the way there. :)

P.S. If you have any tips for long road trips with two year-olds, I’m all ears. Please. Talk.


Well, I’m about out of words (yeah, right, like that ever happens!) and morning is coming way too soon. Off to bed I go so I can (hopefully) run on my non-earthquak-ing treadmill bright and early.

Happy almost-Wednesday, friends!


Laughing at Myself and Chatting to Whoever Will Listen

Ok, I’m a funny girl.

Potentially the kind that doesn’t realize she’s funny until two days later.

Take, for instance, the post I wrote two days ago. Death by Dum-Dum?

Though it was election night (and, by the way, there was no dancing in our house :() I was not referring to my president when I titled it. Just wanted to clear that up there, though it did kinda make me smile when I thought about the irony of it all.

The fact is, Obama’s our president for the next four years and, like it or not, that’s the way it is. No amount of foot stomping and tantrum throwing from people old enough to vote is going to change things.

So I accept it and pray extra hard for our country because we really need it.

And I may, or may not, crack an extra-big smile when I think of the completely un-considered title of Tuesday’s post. 😉

I laugh at myself for other reasons, too.

Like today when I was just belting out a song with the radio and realized the guy at the stoplight next to me was totally watching.

Yeah, yeah, dude…you just wish YOU could look half as cool while hosting an impromptu karaoke session in your vehicle.

Does anyone ELSE do this? Please tell me I’m not alone in the I-wanna-be-a-rock-star concerts that take place each time you get into your vehicle?

At any rate, I turned the corner and laughed a little. Didn’t bother my self-esteem at all!

I have SO been in the mood for any-and-all-things gingerbread. Candles, lattes, my favorite cake. And, today, Mae and I were walking through the store, and I caved. I completely broke down and bought gingerbread cookie mix.

I don’t think I’ve ever bought a cookie MIX.

Cookies are just something you make from ingredients. Not everything thrown into a bag.

But, we shall see. Cookie baking is on the list for tomorrow, and I’ll let you know if they’re any good. I have a feeling, since they’re gingerbread, they’ll totally hit the spot. :)

So I’ve been on a running break this week…think I mentioned it once or twice. 😉

I hurt my foot. :( I’ve had two stress fractures before (one in my leg, one in my foot) so I knew what to look for and would bet a lot that’s what’s going on. It makes me sad because I’m itching to run…get out there, pound the pavement, and shatter my not-so-wonderful 5k time from Sunday’s race. Can I blame it on the chocolate? Never mind…that was AFTER the race. 😉

Anyway, I posted a 29:01 on Sunday, which was frustrating. (And it has taken me that long to be able to talk about it.) I can run it in 27:30 when I really push myself, but for some reason, that particular morning I just couldn’t get through the pain. It was a bummer…a few tears even dripped. :(

One of my friends is going through the I-really-shouldn’t-run phase now, too, because of a different injury, and we chatted yesterday about how crabby it was making us that we just couldn’t run.

For me, it’s knowing when it’s ok to push it again. I’m thinking I may try intervals sometime next week, but until then…yay for Pilates?

WOO HOO!!! Ok, that was forced exuberance.

I’m trying to look for the good in it, and though I miss that time of cranking up the music, tuning out the world, and praising Him, I have enjoyed, just a teeny-bit, sleeping ’til seven. But I’ll be ready to go at 6 a.m. next week for sure!

Hope you all have had a good week, and guess what?!?!

Tomorrow’s Friday…gotta love that. :)


Got Chocolate?

Please forgive the lack of words this weekend. :)

This is what I did this morning…like, really early this morning. (Well, this pic was later…after we’d showered and put on our uber-cute hoodies from the race. My favorite goodie bag so far. :))

I will totally get up way too early to run a 5k if it includes good friends and chocolate. T’was fun. And chocolatey. :)

Hope your weekend had some kind of chocolate, too.


Coffee Thoughts


A bunch of scattered thoughts.

Coffee, definitely.

And sleep, early. Hopefully. :)

Yes, I am completely aware of what an insane oxymoron those last two lines were. 😉

I was realizing that over the last two weeks, most of my posts have been somewhat shallow. I hope that those of you who read here often know that’s really not me. It’s not, I promise…and I’ll always tell you that one of the things I really can’t stand is superficial.

It’s just that sometimes it’s so hard to be deep when life feels so upside-down.

I can’t go into it tonight. Maybe I’ll share part of it later…I’m just processing a lot and waiting on God for answers. Not easy, especially when the emotional, dramatic tendencies tend to so easily take over my thoughts and days, making things often seem bigger than they are.

I beat myself up for feeling things I do and for not having answers.

That’s basically the drawn-out description of the word, Wait. (You know, that thing I do so well.) 😉

It seems like more often than not, my plans tend to not turn out just as I’ve pictured them. Really, I think we could all say that. I’m human…something I especially rock at. 😉

It’s so hard for me to give things completely to God. I want to, but in my prideful, less-than-thinking-of-others moments, I get it in my head that I can somehow do a better job.

All of those really scattered pieces to say…I’m thankful. For a God who takes me…in all of my wandering and flailing and fighting…and loves me unconditionally. What an encouragement to my heart to know that He can take something of the mess I am and make it beautiful.

And, honestly, after the last year or so, I’m expecting something pretty amazing. I love that He can do that.

More importantly, that He will.

So now that I’ve been a little less shallow… :)

Life is…life.

With a two year-old, it seems that it’s always an adventure. We are in the thick of No way! and Go away! and I find myself wondering what happened to my parenting and my daughter. Our days are filled with so many wonderful moments and memories I’ll hold forever, yet one solitary incident leading to a temper tantrum which then leads to a time-out can ruin a good part of a day.

I know she’s two. (It’s what everyone tells me.) 😉

I know she won’t always fight me when I force her to take off her princess jammies. (You know, the ones she’s worn for a consecutive twelve days.) 😉

I know we’ll both grow through these mother/daughter battles and emerge with a stronger bond.

Because I know she’s two. And I’ll blink and she’ll be sixteen.

I’ve tried to focus on the joys that make up a day. I can honestly say that each night when I sing to her and pray with her, I fall in love just a little more. The frustrations of things melt away, and my heart feels so full I think it’s going to burst.

She truly is such a big part of my JOY. :)

She also starts gymnastics this week, which we are BOTH excited about. I think she’ll love it. And hopefully she’ll quit doing somersaults off the end of the couch. 😉

I’ve been good with running this past week, and though it’s sometimes-tough to drag myself out of bed so early, I’m always glad I did it. My goal this week is 20 miles. (Gosh no, not all at once!) I’m slowly upping my distance, though, and it feels good.

Now I just need to quit making dessert.

I made this today. It’s one of my favorites, and it was so amazing. (I sent some to our dear friends across the street because I knew I’d eat it all if we kept it.)

My other downfall is this. (Which I cannot seem to find on the internet. But go look in the freezer section of your grocery store…I promise it’s there.) Thank you SO much, Cool Whip, for taking two of my very favorite things and throwing them together into one container of gooey, yummy-ness. (Hope you could sense the dripping sarcasm there…)

Cool Whip frosting…no cake required. (I can so see myself doing a commercial for them, can’t you? ;))

Well, I should head toward bed. Early morning tomorrow, and I definitely need to be up to run off all of that frosting…

Hope you all had a great weekend. 😉