Monday, May 30, 2011

Mushrooming 2011

Heading up th hill with daddy. 
Did you know that mushrooms grow by Ash trees? I did not until today. I did, however, know that an HHR should not be used as an off road vehicle to find said mushrooms.... unfortunately, my husband didn't know this tidbit of information and only five minutes into our hike on a two track in Roscommon County, we bottomed out on some deep sand.  Now for some reason, it was the vehicle's fault....not my husband's.

Yet, despite our the HHR's mishap, Jesse, the boys and I enjoyed an afternoon of mushrooming. We didn't find many, eight total - but with two little boys we found a whole lot of porcupine poop, tons of bugs, three toads, a slug, a couple great walking sticks and lots of other kinds of mushrooms...all in all it was quite a successful day with two little boys zonked in the backseat most of the way home.

I did feel a bit guilty picking the mushrooms. They seem to have this mystical quality about them, as if magic trolls set up home within the mushroom village....but then I rationalize my "giant" like ways and think if the trolls are so magical they'd figure something out....they probably would try some of the magic words my husband used on the SECOND time he the HHR bottomed out....

Can you see the toad?? - From a four year old perspective it's pretty up close and personal :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One Foot in Front of the Other

Today I started training for my first marathon....before you go... seriously Katie... one more thing, when are you going to fit this can stop yourself - my husband has already rolled his eyes at me once, if not several times....but it's a priority to me....actually it's my privilege.

Now I'm not the coolest, hippest looking runner with new flashy clothes, shoes or gps training devices. I have decent running shoes, I listen to Pandora on my phone while the stopwatch application keeps my time and my clothes are just anything that doesn't restrict my running. Nothing extraordinary.

I did start running my fair share of 5K's in college, took some major time off during my wedding and two pregnancies, then got back on "track" to complete my first half-marathon in under two hours last fall.......which was the coolest runner's high I've ever had.....

Runner's high - it's the adrenaline rush after you've accomplished a half mile run or 13.1 miles....a feeling of accomplishment, pushing through the cramps and mental weakness, getting over to the other side where you walk around afterwards like... yeah I'm amazing...You can only experience it.

It's also healthy to get out and do at least.... at LEAST...30 minutes of fairly intense exercise DAILY. This isn't your stroll around the block looking at the neighbor's lovely spring flowers. This is a pumping your arms, increasing your heart rate, leave those flowers in the dust kind of movement.

Also, setting a goal, working through obstacles and celebrating successes as well as achieving the goal are all huge life lessons I hope to teach my boys. Maybe someday they'll make the connection as they lace up their running shoes.

You can also eat more after you run than before....another reason I eat ice cream every night after a run - yes, I realize this might be counterproductive....but I also have a fairly tight relationship with Ben & Jerry, the Blue Bunny and Country Fresh and I'd rather just give in then fight temptation :).

The two I think about every time I lace up my shoes...
Aunt Casee & Grandpa Bum - beating the odds daily.
Seriously though, there are so many amazing reasons to encourage anyone to run....but my reason is so much more. I have family that will never run again. Cancer has taken away their lung capacity to breath deep. Cancer has taken away the movement in their legs. Cancer is a bitch. It's an awful way to say it, and I'm usually pretty smooth with word choice, but I have no desire to give cancer the time and energy to come up with a considerate, romantic way to capture its raw approach to essentially turning lives upside out and inside down. It's awful. It's unfair. It's nondiscriminatory. It shows no empathy or sympathy. It's a bitch.

So God has given me lungs to breath deep. To handle the cold winter runs and the hot humid ones as well. He also blessed me with two legs that move, maybe not as fast as the competitive side of me would like, but when my mind tells my feet to put one foot in front of the other, they follow directions.

So I  have no excuse to not lace up my shoes everyday to train for this marathon....because someday - looking at my family's health history - I may not have this privilege. And to waste what I have at this moment in my life would be so irresponsible...because so many would and have died trying to get just one more chance to put one foot in front of the other...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I don't buy cards. They're a waste of time. People read them for a moment and then throw them away - well most people. My mom still has Christmas cards from the 70's. Not sure if she thinks someone will one day wish they would have kept one of the cards they sent to family and friends in 1983 - but if you do, and you sent my mom a card, I bet she'll have it :)

All joking aside, I didn't buy my mom a card this year. I guess I'd rather use technology to share my thoughts since she now is finally on Facebook and understands the meaning of the words "liking", "messaging" and "posting". So I've come up with the top three things I appreciate about my mom.

1. She can justify anything... I think sometimes she calls me just so she can talk with someone to justify what she's simply telling someone else why she's doing what she's doing makes it okay.

My mom and her three grandkids -
Gunner, Gauge & Baby Emma
2. I believe she invented the pros and cons list. It doesn't matter what decision I've had to make - from choosing between dance class and basketball in the 8th grade to how I should prioritize my life as a mom - her response is always "Well have you made a pros and cons list?"

3. Her level of optimism can't be measured - it's off the charts people. She ALLLWWAAAYYS has something nice to say about something - even in the worse possible situations.

If you know my mom, you're shaking your head, smiling and laughing because you know this is her.....and I'm sure even my mom is shaking her head too....but she should know as my life continues to fill up with new adventures I find myself calling her and share why I'm giving up one event to go to another.

And if she didn't asked me for a pros and cons list, I'd be extremely disappointed, because almost thirty years of training has taught me to come prepared and ready to list each item, sharing the weight it has on the list.

No matter what decision I go with, I know she'll be sitting next to me with the oddest looking rose colored glasses  ....and I can't imagine my life any other way. Love you Mom today and every day of the year.