Seasons

Can you believe we are half way through the first month of the year? Did you make resolutions? Are you hanging in?

I have been quiet. Life has been quiet and delightful. The extraordinary, chaos of having imagesour house full of kids over the holidays has died. The bustling of shopping, the parties, and entertaining through the New Year is gone. The snow continues to fall and its quiet. That placid, calmness that is carried in after a new year begins is incredible! Winter season.

This is always my regroup-reassemble-organize-tea-time-book-reading time of year. It’s cozy and delicious.

In these moments of quiet is when I hear God. It’s when work happens. It’s when closeness arrives.

I’m still riveted by my word for the year: patience. I often find myself fidgety, and saying “OK, let’s get going on this, and see what it all means.” Then I am gently reminded to be quiet. Wait. Lean in and be patient.

0e7f937cb212216ba9409e26c270df10As days creep on and God peels back layers of me like an onion, its literally captivating me to see what is and what will be revealed. What wisdom is he going to drop on me? To know him better? To live more profoundly through him? What needs resuscitated in me? In the life of my husband and I? In our family? How will he use me this year?

Our last child is a senior this year. Knowing this is plaguing me. It’s gone so fast. Too fast! We have loved the dickens out of our kids and have had the MOST-WONDERFUL time raising then, goofing off with them, laughing with them, having grand adventures with them, traveling with them and living this life-journey with them. We love them with such fierceness. Our best things ever in life have been our kids. So now….we are in this pivotal, transition. We both know it is going to be a time of patience and change and growth and modification and revision. As well as resurrection.  The best-friend couple coming back into a place of being “just a couple” again. Older. Smarter. More in love, with decades of growth and passion and zeal under our belts. Already the hubs and I are both sorta going..”HUH?” We’ve talked about this time coming for a while and now it’s almost here. We are excited and thrilled to be transitioning into this next phase of life. It’s bittersweet though. No more “crazy” of a houseful of kids, but onto the “crazy” of just being a couple again. Very thrilling!! A whole new season. A whole new circus ride!images-1

 

Another thing going on in the Fun-House  is race season prep. I’ve also had great patience regarding this. I’ve been reading over training plans, meal plans, rest plans….you name it. In some ways I’ve had to be patient, coming off of a recent running injury and a less than stellar year health wise. All that is behind me now, and I’m starting to round out the season. I talked with a sweet friend of mine yesterday and told her I have a whole new approach this year. I’m not racing frenetically. Not getting pulled into races randomly. Not falling into any type of pressure. The season is well planned out. Allowing me for some incredible training and race time with family and friends, but not enough to consume me. It’s all about having a lot of fun! (It always is) and balance. I’m being kinder to my body and kinder to my soul. Eating better and DRINKING better (as in H2O, which I am admittedly horrible about.) Turns out, the camel approach…not always the best for our human bodies. I will get to do some fun traveling to Pittsburgh, PA (GO STEELERS!) back to my place of birth to run and ruckus with my cuzzies and see A LOT of family and to California (HOLLA being able to race a 70.3 in my hometown!!) and end it all with a most-epic adventure in August! The icing on the cake!! Honestly!  THE ICING!

It’s not a busy schedule by any sense of the word. But a fun-butt-kicking-laugh-alot-and-train-with-good-friends-season! It already feels good!

It’s a Joy-Filled season all authored by the One who knows and loves my soul in the most furious of ways. Who knew exactly what kind of year I needed!7efb6abf00184733b6b41d1a0db1fc6d

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Happy New Year 2014

Wow!  I am in shock at how fast this past year has gone.  Twenty-Thirteen for us was an incredible journey of life, love and adventure!  Life moves fast, and we can oftentimes forget over the year what we have accomplished.  I made a little video on my Instagram of this past year with my family and it really brought it into perspective.

photo copyThe wanderlust in us was definitely fed as we traveled to Hawaii, Costa Rica, Seattle (a few times) Canada 2 times, Honduras, Oklahoma, drove the California, Oregon and Washington coasts and ended the year with a family Christmas ski trip to Big Sky, Montana.  What a year!  We feel blessed beyond measure!photo

As I sit here, I am in awe of how God designs us.  As a small child I always had the desire to travel, even though I came from a family that didn’t do a whole lot of traveling.  We camped often and made the trip home to Pittsburgh, PA every few years, but my parents never had the desire for “exotic” travel.  It was never their thing.  Wasn’t their dream.  Interestingly enough, it was always mine.  Same with my hubs.  His family was similar; not a lot of big trips, but they had their fare share of adventures.  He also from a young age had the hearts desire for travel.  God bringing the two of us together was no accident.  He created in both of us a heart for travel and adventure.  Had either of us been different, it might have not worked out for us.  Serendipity.  His providence.  God definitely knows what He’s doing.

tumblr_m27ph7F7bL1r6479vo1_1280We dream.  And we dream BIG!  I recently read something about dreaming that said 80 percent of Americans say they do not have dreams.  I’m not talking about night-time, as you slumber, dreams; I am talking about the type that you fantasize about, that you get excited and giddy and enthusiastic and passionate about.  The type that you sit and day dream about, or sit for hours on end with a cup of tea and talk to your hubs about.  Those kind of dreams!  This post that I read also stated “awakening and owning the dreams that God has placed in our hearts isn’t about getting stuff or attaining something.  It’s about embracing who we are and who He has created us to be.” (from the book Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge)  He has created in my hubs and I the dream of travel and adventure (among other things) He has placed in our hearts that desire and through our faith in those dreams, He has opened up ALL sorts of experiences.images

We have already been dreaming for this year.  We are already elated for what will be awakened in us.  We are moving into this year with renewed passion, courage, brave-determination and a confidence in He who planted our dreams.

I love the new year.  Think of those words: NEW YEAR.  You have the ability to start over.  Wipe the slate clean.  Let go of the past.  Forgive.  Imagine.  Move forward into your dreams.  What are they?  Have you sat down to consider them?  Have you made new goals?  Have you day-dreamed?  Sometimes our dreams can seem unattainable.  Sometimes, we hear a whisper of a dream in our hearts but are too afraid to go for it.  To have the unbridled courage to reach out and grasp it.  To allow ourselves to be unchecked, uncontrolled and unconstrained in our ambitions, desires and passions.

Do you have the dream of travel?  How about running your first marathon or half-marathon, 5K or your first mile?  How about learning something new?  Learning to swim or a new language or to play a new instrument?  How about learning to surf?  Jumping out of an airplane?  How about a Triathlon?  Maybe…even a chance to write for Runner’s World Magazine as I did this year (link here) Dream BIG!!

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What are your dreams for the New Year?

Splendid Fall

It’s Friday and I am so happy for that! We have a full weekend with NOTHING on our calendar!  Thankful!

The past 3 weekends I (we) have been on the run, out-of-town.  One Canadian adventure to see friends and participate in some fabulous wine events/tastings for 4 days during their Fall wine crush.  A quick out-of-town to the Gorge to see Maroon Five with 7 crazy girls, only to have them cancel due to weather.  I mean…what’s a little hurricane force winds, right?  We had a blast, nonetheless….and last weekend, in Seattle.  Seattle was a wind down weekend.  After an amazing summer, we wanted a little closeness with our Cub.  High school flies by, as we saw with our older kids.  They literally step onto the high school campus as freshman, and in the blink of an eye, you are watching them cross that stage, being handed their diploma.  The older they get, the harder it is to really have that quality time.  I heard the idiom once that trying to have quality time with teenagers is like nailing jello to a wall.  That’s some truth right there!  Now, I’m not a helicopter parent.  I don’t hover over my kids and require them to sit on my lap when they would rather be (and should be) out exploring the World, becoming independent, and finding out who they are and their place in this life, but we really felt like we needed some good one-on-one time with her.  So off to Seattle we went for along weekend.  Everything about it was delectable.  We laughed, shopped (that girl can SHOP) indulged in some amazing food, and sought out some sites that we had not visited in a long time.

In Canada at the Farm to Table event.  Gorgeous 6 course dinner, paired beautifully with wines from the Okanagan Valley.

In Canada at the Farm to Table event. Gorgeous 6 course dinner, paired beautifully with wines from the Okanagan Valley.

What's a trip to Seattle without seeing the Gum Wall?

What’s a trip to Seattle without seeing the Gum Wall?

....and the Fremont Troll?

….and the Fremont Troll?

An afternoon in Who-ville.  Loved these Sonic Blooms and hearing their symphonic sounds and we walked under them.

An afternoon in Who-ville. Loved these Sonic Blooms and hearing their symphonic sounds and we walked under them.

What a great food city Seattle is.  We just enjoyed the moment.  Really savored our family time.  I adore moments like that.  When the world stops spinning, the other people around you are faded out into the background of your minds photo, and all that is there is the three.  We talked about past trips to Seattle, and had some funny stories of when it was the five. It’s weird being a parent with your last child at home.  Thankful are we, that we enjoyed every drop of our kid’s lives growing up.  And still do.  As our older two are off into the world, gleaning their careers, finishing school, and getting ready to move away, we are still proud parents, watching them, relishing who they are becoming as adults, but it’s still strange, to be on the cusp of an empty nest.  We have “trained them up” (Prov 22:6) and now it’s time for them to leap out.

On another note, I am LOVING this fall running weather.  The crispness in the air. The stunning scenery of the changing leaves.  This is truly one of my favorite times of the year.  The colors here are amazing.  God has given us such a beautiful world to live in, and right now, it’s like living in a painting.  I think I forget ever year…. I forget what it looked like, and then fall arrives, and I see it again with fresh eyes.  I am wowed every year!  Hope you are out enjoying it.

I have been laid up with an injury the past few weeks, which has taken me out of my fall marathon.  That saddens me.  But I am so thankful, that with a little rest and some therapy, it is starting to feel better.  I have been out doing some short 4-5 mile runs.  It’s not where I want to be, but it’s where I need to be.  And sometimes, after an injury, you come back stronger than ever, right?  I’m banking on that.  I’m trying to keep a good focus on my form, and trying not to overdo it on the days I feel strong.  That’s a hard thing for a runner.  I’m on “simmer”  which I suppose is just about perfect for Fall.  It’s giving me some time for the other things I love.  Reading, decorating, cooking new recipes (speaking of simmering) and planning my race season for next year.  I have a few races picked out that I am excited about!

Have you started planning for next season?  What races will grace your calendars?

Driving up my hill to our home and stopped dead in my tracks by the beauty of Fall

Driving up the hill to our home and stopped dead in my tracks by the beauty of Fall