Sunday, March 18, 2018


Today I ran a half marathon and I am so competitive I don't even want to type my time on MY own blog.  I have no idea why the narrative in my head (the entire time I ran and beyond) is that "I am not good enough. I am slow.  I should be able to run faster.  I will never be as fast as..."  As I type it I know it sounds so silly.  I finished a half marathon and I teach my own children and my students to be proud of accomplishing a goal they set.  Today I met a goal of running and finishing a half marathon in MARCH that I was slated to run in MAY.  I should feel proud!  As a part of my training I was prepared to run two months ahead of schedule.  I ran it slow but I finished.    

Fast forward a few hours, the twins had their last soccer game today at 1:50.  Macy has wanted to score a goal the entire season.  She talks about it on the way to each and every game.  We even made a deal that she could get a ring pop from the concession stand if she scored a goal during one of her games.  Today was the last day for her to meet that goal and she did!  She scored TWO goals.  She was so proud of herself.  She didn't think one single time about how long it took her or that she isn't good enough because it was her first goal all season.  She didn't care that others had scored goals before her.  She just celebrated and felt proud of her accomplishment.  She was confident that she had done her best.  

I am realizing as I type this sometimes I want to be more like my kids.  They have something special that lets them feel joy and pride and pure happiness without any feeling of self doubt.  It was so eye opening as I thought more about this and then read this scripture today as well.  

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."  Hebrews 10:35-36

Some may or may not think that running this half marathon today was "God's will" but I have been finding myself in dark places where I know I go when I do not take care of myself.  I am slipping back into this black hole of depression quickly and this was one way I could do something about it.  I have to take care of my body and my mind.  This half marathon and the training schedule I keep when I am training for something like this gives me time alone, doing something that keeps me feeling happier and more willing to find the light.  I know it is God's will for me in this season.  He knows I am able to experience hope and love in such a different way when I exercise and spend time working through my thoughts in  a healthy way.

So here's to a 2:24 minute half marathon.  I don't care if people run a full marathon in the time I ran the half today.  I did MY best for half way through my training schedule and I am proud to say I am feeling a bit better moving forward with a plan and an attitude that says, "I am good enough.  I am fast enough.  I am glad I am running.  I am glad I finished."  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

To Marry or Not?!

This evening the twins came with me to the gym.  I needed to run five miles (since I opted out of my TEN after walking outside and realizing the wind chill was 20 degrees) and they were more than happy to accompany me.  They brought their soccer balls and played on the turf field next to the treadmill while I ran.

The best part of the entire evening was our drive home.  I love the conversations I get to have with them and driving is my favorite place to have these conversations because no one is distracted.  We are all stuck with one another in the best possible way.  So here is how is went down.

(Johnny) "Mom went I grow up I am going to get married."
(Me) "Oh yeah, who are you going to marry?"
(Johnny) "I don't know yet Mom.  I have to wait until I meet her."
(Me) "Well, okay, that sounds good."
(Macy) "Mom, I am not getting married.  But I do think I will get a house and a cat."
(Me) "Oh a know I love cats..." (as I roll my eyes)
(Macy) "Yes, a cat, or a dog, or a fish, or a horse, or a mouse, or a cow..."
(Me) "Wow!  That's a big list of animals.  Where are you living Macy? I am not sure you can have all those animals in Fort Thomas."
(Macy) "I don't know yet.  I was thinking across the street from you and daddy.  And I am not getting married.  Ever."

I am holding this conversation hostage on the blog so that someday I can share these small details of their futures with them when they are a bit older.  She definitely sounds like she has her mind made up.  


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Heaven Boxes

Johnny, Macy, and I were driving home this afternoon and we decided to stop and "honk" at Charlie.  It is our way of saying hello when its cold or raining outside.  Sometimes we just drive by his headstone and give him a little honk.  The twins each get to honk for him and Macy always has to honk his age.  Today she honked three times and then a quick fourth because she said, "He'll be turning four soon mom!"  I guess I can't argue with that.  

As we left we drove around the bend and visited a few other special people and then passed by the mausoleum.  Macy asked what the building was and what the words were that were on the wall of the mausoleum.  I explained that it was a building where people's bodies are kept that have died.  I said the words engraved on the outside are the names of the people inside each section.  I told her and John that each small square was another person's body.  Without hesitation she said, "Oh, they are heaven boxes."  

Tears welled up in my eyes and I said, "Well, yes, I guess you're right."  I stopped and thought for a few minutes.  Then I said, "Macy, did you know Charlie had a "heaven box" too.  He had a "heaven box" but his was buried in the ground."  

She smiled and said, "I am glad he has heaven Mommy."  

Through more tears I responded, "Me too Macy Kate.  Me too!" 

Monday, February 5, 2018

She Took a Bite of Her Candy Bar

She took a bite of her candy bar... 

If you are a fan of "This is Us" the way I am, you know exactly what the title of my blog post is referring to.  You remember the doctor walking over to Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and telling her that one of the complications of smoke inhalation is that it puts a terrible stress on the lungs.  The doctor continued to explain that Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) went into cardiac arrest.  He said, "It was catastrophic and I'm afraid we've lost him."

She then, looking confused (and more than likely in shock), took a bite of her candy bar.  

He had told her calmly.  You could see the desperation in his eyes.  You could tell he didn't want to tell her but when she didn't believe him he had to tell her again.  He said, "Mrs. Pearson, your husband has died."

I was told Charlie would more than likely die.  I was told the damage that had been done to his brain due to the seizures he was constantly having was irreversible.  I was told that if he were able to make it even to the next day it would only be a matter of time before all of his organs would shut down.  I remember telling the doctor standing in front of me that day that I wanted him to go away.  I remember saying "You must not believe in miracles then...".  I was furious.  I couldn't think straight and I wasn't kind.  I didn't know what I was supposed to do with that information.  I just walked away from him and tried to put all the things he had just said out of my mind while I sat with Charlie.  

Even on a television show you can see mixed up pieces of your own story.  I know in this show in particular so many stories have been told and brought to life.  Families walking through the many stories they've shared get to see something similar to their own life play out before them on a television screen.  If there is one thing I can say about this show it is that they have kept it very real.

They are not sugar coating or making endings "happily ever after" until the characters have lived through the hurt and suffer through the real, raw emotion.  On this episode that moment when Rebecca took a bite of that candy bar made me sob.  I've lived that exact same feeling, that exact same thing.

The moment John and I left the hospital after Charlie died I asked him to drive me through McDonalds.  I have no idea what I got to eat or drink that night at nearly midnight but it was a moment in my life when nothing felt right and I had no idea what my next step should be.  Shock took over my body and all I could think to do was go through a drive-thru.  
When I came to school today I heard mixed reactions about that exact moment in television.

One person said, "I get it." While someone else said, "Why in the world would she have taken a bite of that candy bar?  Why wasn't she running to find her husband and check to see that he was ok?!  Why did they write that part of the story that way."  I wanted to defend Rebecca, but of course she is only a character on a television show, so I held my tongue.  I thought to myself, 'That is the difference between someone that didn't know their next step after an extremely traumatizing time and someone that hasn't yet experienced trauma similar to what played out before us last night after the Super Bowl.  Some of us get it and some of us do not understand, yet.'

It also reminded me that judging another person's reaction to trauma isn't fair when you can't say that you have been there.  It isn't really fair regardless of what you've experienced.  We all walk through it differently and for me I appreciate that this show shared what real shock may look like in a moment when people think they "know" how people should act.    

I am one of those people that can say, "I get it."  Of course I have not lost my husband but I did lose Charlie.  I had no idea what my next step was supposed to be after we left the hospital that night.  I knew I needed to pump even though I didn't have a baby to feed, I knew I needed to eat even if I wasn't hungry, and I knew I needed to lay down even if I couldn't sleep.  I did all of those things and then some that probably "wasn't right" to some when they think about what they would have done.   And just like Rebecca last night in the show, I live with the weird/guilty feeling that I went to McDonalds after Charlie died.  I will never forget that moment and I will always wonder, "Why did I do that?"  "What is wrong with me?"  I will always think about what I "should have done" according to "other people" that may or may not have gone through something similar.

Grief and shock are real things and I just hope (similar to the light that has been shown on many other real life circumstances) it brought some perspective to those that may or may not have felt that weird awkward, "now what?"  I am three and a half years away from that evening and I will never forget it.
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