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

De Dos Semanas en el Paraíso (Week Two in Paradise)

Week two is always by far the best week while we are here. We’ve settled in, we’ve slowed W A Y down, and really gotten into the flow of being in Costa Rica. We have spent a large part of this week surfing. Mainly in Jacó. Nice, soft, rideable waves that won’t kick your a$$ too badly. Most days.
As I surf more and more it teaches me so much patience. You cannot rush anything out there. It is a total love/hate relationship for me. You work so hard, paddle, paddle, paddle, out and wait. And wait. And….wait. Patience. The times that I rush, I always regret it because the ocean is all too quick to give me a “smack down.” And oftentimes, quite notably. But then it happens. Your patience gets rewarded. You are blessed by a perfect, beautiful wave, and all is right with the world…anything too soon, would’ve ended in a completely different ride. It reminds me, that rushing anything, ruins the experience, entirely. And that only through patience, do we get the spectacular and extraordinary.

We have hit quite a few beaches while here. One day at Playa Blanca. This little cove is beautiful. Crystal, blue,water, and a pristine, white beach. It’s a tanning beach. No waves but great swimming. This was where I donned my swim goggles and went for a actual swim. A training swim. The entire day, it was us, and 3 other people on the entire beach. Total seclusion!

We spent a day south in Manuel Antonio. We’ve been down there several times, but its a fun place to hang out, catch some sun and do some hiking in the rain forest. On this particular day, we saw, turtles, and two different types of monkeys. White-faced Capuchin and squirrel monkeys. It’s always fun while hiking to see these little guys playing in the trees (they are all over the rainforest) You hear one, then you can hear the whole neighborhood coming! Swinging from tree to tree. We watched them for a long time, and then off they went. We also spotted a couple of wayward raccoons, or maybe they spotted us….and our lunch.
M.A is a great little town with lots to see and do, and some pretty good restaurants. Even though this is probably our tenth time down there, it never gets old.

Hiking in Manuel Antonio

Hiking in Manuel Antonio

Jungle of M.A.

Jungle of M.A.

Trekking through in search of monkeys.

Trekking through in search of monkeys.

We had one night at home that we were without power, briefly. As we went about with our flashlights finding candles, we couldn’t help but hear this scratching sound. Now on a side note….noises here are just a way of life. At any second you can hear 30 different noises. Scarlet macaws, geckos, roosters, dogs, waves, wind, sirens, little cockatiel birds…you name it. But this was a scratch, scratch and then nothing. Then again, scratch scratch and then nothing. We figured some sort of bug had made its way in. Another side note…bugs….a way of life here. And my gosh, they are some of the most interesting bugs, ever. So we took flashlights to go in search of the source. Evidently a crab had decided to make our casa, his casa. And not the tiny hermit crabs that race all over the beaches here, this was an actual crab…..much bigger and he may have NOT been shown the door, but a nice pot of water.

I am still running the beach early, every morning. Soaking this all in. This is always when I have my best prayer time. Anytime I run alone, there is that intimate time with God.

I run out, always to beach left, and head towards Esterillos Centro and Este. I watch my feet hitting the sand, leaving my footprints as I run forward. As I leave them, I leave behind, something I need to let go of. Something weighting me down perhaps. Something I need forgiveness for.  Sometimes its something that has been stuck, that’s needs to be let go. I leave behind bad attitudes, bad thoughts, negativity, and anything weighing me down. I pray down the beach, leaving each and every piece of me, that needs let go of. And when I return, just like that! the footprints are gone. Washed away by the ocean tide. I have laid down the negative and God has taken it all away. I am able to pick up the positive on the way back. The answers I have been praying for. The questions I have given up to God. They are there, waiting, for my return. It makes me so thankful to see those footprints washed away, and feel so much lighter on the way back. This is also when I pray for my family and friends. Email messages that I have received. The fun Skype calls I have had. They all get lifted up. I love how knowing that just as the tide has washed away my footprints, God has washed all of the ugliness out of my life. And I’m brand new. Just like the miles of pristine sand ahead of me. I am so thankful for that, and that God is so merciful to me. I have had some pretty specific things answered for me on this trip. I’ve asked God for very clear direction, and opened and closed doors, and He gave me just that! Wow! What a story! What an adventure! What a God!!

If we were ever stranded here, I am making dresses out of these babies!!

If we were ever stranded here, I am making dresses out of these babies!!

Say hello to our little friend....ok actually they weren't that little.  And they were a little intimidating!

Say hello to our little friend….ok actually they weren’t that little. And they were a little intimidating!

Playa M.A.

Playa M.A.

Just lovin' life together.

Just lovin’ life together.

My birthday was this week. How lucky are G-man and I that we BOTH got to spend our birthdays in paradise? Not a bad way to do it, that’s for sure! However we are looking forward to celebrating with friends when we return home!

Not a bad way to wake up on your birthday. Gracias mi amor. Te hacen la vida maravillosa!!

Not a bad way to wake up on your birthday.
Gracias mi amor. Te hacen la vida maravillosa!!

One more week to go (and I’ve ALREADY got some things to tell you about, including: Hubs vs the jellyfish while surfing)

Beyond Blessed!!