Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Place for Santa

I have read a lot of things recently about the place for Santa, especially among the christian community. And I am not here to judge.  Santa comes to visit our house every year, yet I thought you'd like to see where we place Santa in our house.  I think this pictures says it all.   :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More Than a Run

This past weekend was great, but was so much more than just a 1/2 marathon for me. :) I have been so excited to share my thoughts with you and hope that I can get it all out and coherent while C watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. . we will see.

So this weekend was great for the run, for our marriage, and for my mind, soul and heart. 

First, the run.  It was great to run the strip at night!  But did you know that although the strip looks very long, it is truly only about 3 miles one way.  So a lot of the run was through neighborhoods with homes and businesses which was okay, but the strip at night was by far the best part.  I caught myself several times smiling at all the lights and in amazement that the whole street was closed and I got to run on it!  Well run/walk/jog on it!
The race was very crowded, not a place where if you were going for a personal record I think you wanted to be.  It was very hard to get through the crowd and move forward.  They began with a wave start, but I guess they quickly abandoned that theory and everyone just went at once, which made for slow going at first.  I mainly just walked the first part because I could walk as fast as some were jogging and there was no room to move.  So that was nice as I could take in all the lights and truly appreciate the run.  I met some amazing people in my corral, yes they call them corrals, just like cattle.  A women who chose this to be her first 1/2 and another who has a goal to finish a half marathon in every state.  They were amazing women.  I had two personal goals in this race and met one, which was just finish in less than 3 hours and that was accomplished!  The other one, I will try to set in Phoenix for that 1/2 in about 6 weeks.  I guess I better get to the speed training then huh?  I have no end race picture because it was so cold and raining off and on, I just wanted a nice warm shower!

This was a good once in a lifetime race, but I think they need to plan a bit better in the future to get the bugs figured out.  I was probably mid-pack of all the 1/2 marathon people and at several water stations there was little to no water left, so that meant that all the people behind me likely did not get any water and that is bad, especially when it happens at mile 7.  Also, they ran out of medals for participants!!! Oh my, that is not good.  So, if you are planning on doing it, give them couple years to get the bugs figured out! 

Leaving for this one was also really good for our marriage.  It is good to be away without 3 small monsters (and I mean that in the kindest way) in tow.  There is something about sharing a meal together and not having to cut up food or having anyone not like it or want to snag it off your plate.  It is nice to worry about only yourself for a bit, sleep in, take NAPS, and not have to be somewhere to do pick up or drop off.  We saved our 10th anniversary dinner for a beautiful and amazing restaurant in Vegas called Andres.  It was the nicest dinner we have ever had, and the food was WONDERFUL!   Jeff gambled and we just hung out and just spent time "being".   It was good and I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband who totally supported me, spent a long time just looking with me at the expo, and waiting in the cold for me to finish.  AMAZING! :)

And lastly, this was good for my mind, soul, and heart.  As you know I was very anxious about the run.  I know I should not have been, but I just couldn't calm my nerves.  So that morning I was listening to my iPod and had a little epiphany.  The song by Nicole Nordeman "You are Good" came on here are the lyrics.
When the sun starts to rise
And I open my eyes
You are good, so good
In the heat of the day
With each stone that I lay
You are good, so good

With every breath I take in
I'll tell you I'm grateful again
When the moon climbs high
Before each kiss goodnight
You are good

When the road starts to turn
Around each bend I've learned
You are good, so good
And when some body's hand
Holds me up, helps me stand
You are so good

With every breath I take in
I'll tell You I'm grateful again
'Cause its more than enough
Just to know I am loved
and You are good

So how can I thank You
What can I bring
What can these poor hands
Lay at the feet of a King
I'll sing You a love song
It's all that I have
To tell You I'm grateful
For holding my life in Your hands

When it's dark and it's cold
And I can't feel my soul
You are so good
When the world is gone gray
And the rain's here to stay
You are still good

So with every breath I take in
I'll tell You I am grateful again
And the storm might swell
Even then it's well and You are good

I know that was long, but I cried (I know shocking) as I listened to these words over and over.  The run was not about pleasing others there, or making my time I had planned, or even about pleasing my husband and making him think I was a super cool runner.  It was about an audience of One.  I have learned that when running there is a stride and a breathing pattern that is specific to each runner.  And as I listened to the words "with every breath I take in , I will tell You how grateful I am", I thought about my breathing pattern in running.  And when the song talked about what kind of offering I could bring to someone who loves me unconditionally with total grace, I thought, my gift is my run.  My run was a gift to my audience of One.  My run was a small offering of just how grateful I am for the blessings and just how good my God is, no matter what. 

So there is my long story about the run.  I hope you were able to hang in there to know my heart and hear my story.  If not, that is okay. . it was long. :)
As we are beginning the Christmas season, I pray that you would be blessed and feel love and experience grace as you never have before, for there is nothing more to be grateful for than this. 
At the Expo

Trying to stay warm about 1 hour before race time

Now I am am REALLY trying to stay warm before race time in about 15 minutes