Monday, November 24, 2008


I'm not sure if it's just me, or a part of me that is exaggerated a little more than others, but I have a thing with the weather. I think I mentioned recently that it isn't wise to get me started about the national hurricane center. Well, the Atlantic hurricane season is drawing to a close. I suppose I could discuss my obsession with the sites I have bookmarked with the northern Aurora forecasts. I don't live in Alaska, but I've seen them from here and they are truly an other-world experience. It really isn't peak aurora season here either, though. What's really funny, is that where I live, it's gonna be cloudy with a chance of rain, 90 percent of the time, for the next six months. I have no idea why I'm obsessed with the weather. The tides fascinate me. Trying to decipher whether it is going in or going out at first glance is a subject of pride with me. I figure I run along the beach often enough that I ought to know. Some of my favorite runs have been the ability to sneak along the 'never trodden upon' sand at really low tide. It's a little challenging lately with the baby jogger. But the other day we (the baby in the jogger and I) played hide and seek with a harbor seal for a good mile or two from the seawall, so it was okay that I wasn't on the sand. But I'm digressing from the weather.

It's November. For the next four months I will hope for snow. Otherwise it will be cloudy with a chance of meatballs as it hovers near forty degrees day and night. It is so damp here that I have a de-humidifier running in my home several hours a day. But back to snow. This morning it was 32 degrees when I awoke. And unlike the rest of the world that uses a metric thermometer, 32 degrees here is freezing. But no snow today. Just a life-altering sunrise.

I used to try to decide if I was a sunrise or a sunset person, and never came to a concrete conclusion. Until today. When I pulled up the blinds, the sky was still dark on the eastern horizon, with a hint of light from the impending sunrise. The moon was but a sliver of silver with a shadow of it's better half. I sat with my hands glued to my ceramic coffee mug hoping the heat transfer would tame the chill of early morning. And as I sat, the night turned to day. The moon began to fade against the sky as a pink glow emerged. Mount Rainier appeared in all of its glory as a silhouette against a painting in transformation. Clouds slowly formed in pattern to celebrate the light as the pink turned to a fluorescence. I have no idea how long I watched, transfixed by the show, until it became a yellowish light and the day had begun. The vision, though, carried me throughout my day and somehow uplifted me every time I remembered it - like it had been a promise of the day to come and a celebration of my every moment.

I wish I could share a photograph - but maybe I just did. And I just decided that I'm a sunrise person. Although, sunsets can be pretty amazing - reflecting back in thanks on all that has been.

But now, I have to check the forecast, for tomorrow . . . I get to travel over the mountains and oh so hope that I will get to glimpse some snow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tech Savvy - keep up!

I can't keep up. It still amazes me that my 93 year old grandmother (who died a few years back) was trying to understand email. Trying. Blogging evolves too quickly to begin with, now there's twitter and facebook and linkedIn . . holy moly. I'm lucky when the laundry is washed (mind you - I didn't say folded), there is food in the house to eat (and mind you again, I didn't say cooked or prepared or on the table), and especially when I get a run in.

It's crazy how some people are doing it all - they're texting all day, and they're on facebook, and they're twittering and they're keeping up with a blog. I don't know if it's the time it takes to do it all that gets me, or the time it takes to try and understand it all. The time to actually maintain your own stuff is monumental, but then to check and respond to everyone else's stuff is a whole other agenda entirely. But I suppose it's connecting people. And that length of time that I can type a blog or read someone's wall on facebook and connect - would take me so much more time and money without the technology. It really is an amazing thing - this interconnectedness.

Our oldest wants a facebook account for her upcoming b
irthday that will officially mark her entrance into teenhood. She just wants it so she can build a city on the site. Most of her friends don't know a thing about facebook - yet. She has a blog. Some kids her age are into that - but it takes time and dedication. She has an email address. She has a cell phone. She chats with her friends online, but her phone is merely a tool for emergencies and important endeavors.

Our second oldest is 11. She has an email address. That's it. But she can use skype and have videoconferences with her friend in Australia. How cool is that.

The youngest two - they see the computer a
s a toy and cell phones for talking to family. That's the way it should be. Let them play a little and then go outside and play in nature.

I was gonna say - 'go outside and play in the real world' but I stopped myself. This . . . internet, chat, cell phones, facebook, blogs, twitter - it is the real world. Today it is. And I'm trying to keep up. And I'm trying to educate my kids to keep up according to their age, but yet to instill in them that there is still a physical world right outside the front door. It's not in the computer. Somehow I'm learning there is a balance.

Aahh, yes - and baby pictures. Although, truly, because he's walking everywhere, he's now graduated from babyhood to the land of toddlers.







Monday, October 27, 2008

The Sun That Won't Stop

How funny that it was raining when I wrote last. It seems like October has been sunny every single day. I always razz my brother about the weather in October. He says his birthday during the month is the most beautiful day of the year - we share our love of the fall and all of the things it entails, including colorful running weather with the leaves crunching underfoot and that crisp feeling in the air with the bright blue sky. I complained to him that after his special day, the weather was gonna sour and it'd be all his fault. Somehow it turned even more orange and golden outside. Usually around here it's just rainy and windy and the leaves all fall off.

I took little Jack outside today. Not really to the park, but there was a park involved - some swings and some stairs to climb up to the slide. Every time he swings forward he closes his eyes to the wind that gushes toward his face. And he laughs at the rush of it all. The stairs - he has learned to climb those with his little legs, although he'd rather climb up the slide itself. But the most fun he had was not at the playground, but at the beach. For, you see, someone nearby was feeding the seagulls, which meant there were many around. And they were so much fun to chase. The clever monkey learned to walk a couple of weeks ago, but he can go faster on all fours. He simply couldn't figure out why the seagulls would fly away when he got near.

My day is so taken up with I have no idea what, that I sometimes forget that I never even considered going for a run. But then - there was my grand accident to consider. My lovely fall after my dizzy spells. It sounds grand, but really - I fell on my butt and I've never had a little whoopsiedaisy become so debilitating. It was 3 weeks ago, and I think I might be able to run. I can stand on one foot when I put on my socks - and that's recent progress. Sitting comfortably is getting easier. And my dizzy thing was a bad relationship I had with my friend the pump. Super Jack is now on formula and happy as can be. Maybe I'll try to run tomorrow. Or at least go for a walk.

After all, I have cooking to do. I'll be busy. I cooked a pumpkin tonight and I have to puree it and turn it into gluten free pumpkin spice cake with an apple glaze. The kids need treats for their lunches, don't they? And the weather really is supposed to turn yucky and little Jack and I will need an excuse to stay inside and play - until I find him some rain boots . .

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Where Am I?

It's been awhile and I soo miss blogging. I've been anonymously reading once in a while, but when I have a free moment I'm usually busy being the chef and chauffeur and activity planner of the household. I thought when the girls started school it'd be so easy to transition back into running and blogging. It's happening, but it's so so so slow. Progress was great until the baby decided to wean himself cold turkey and then I got sick, and two family members were out of town. Crazy September. Now it's October and it's raining. Fitting for Seattle. All the talk around here is about Halloween costumes - so far it's a vampire, an alien, a witch? I think, and baby Jack-Jack from The Incredibles. I'm gonna dress up as a chef, a chauffeur and an activity planner.

Time has flown by so fast with this little munchkin - I can't believe he's 10 months old already! He's on the back patio - asleep in the rain in his baby jogger - (complete with the rain fly of course.) All the talk around here lately is the next big race - but it's not mine. It's the mighty Ironman my husband registered for. How cool. I'm totally in awe of the ironman and so impressed with his new endeavor. I want to marathon train some more, but I keep pushing out my goal race. I have some flexible plans in my head, but I just want to be consistently training for a while before I commit.

Other than running and all things baby, my focus has been on gluten free blogs a lot lately. I've thought of writing about cooking instead of running, but I enjoy reading about cooking and then playing in my kitchen. We (our family of six) eat primarily gluten and dairy-free in our house so it's always exciting to discover new ideas. Our twelve-year-old has a passion for cooking and is becoming quite the talent in the kitchen. She's taking two cooking classes concurrently. What a hoot. My other fascination is the national hurricane center - I can't get enough - I shouldn't even get started.

Running used to bring me quiet alone time that transpired into all sorts of writing. Now it brings me a flat course, the baby in the baby jogger with the rain fly and diapers and a bottle and the snack cup with the tight lid and the blankie . . .
Katy is all pissy at me - she didn't tell me, she pops off to my hubby about me - because I haven't been blogging. She's so funny. And I've had some other emails about where I've been. So, I'm here. Not at my computer with the new quiet keyboard, but in the kitchen with the laptop so I can see the baby on the patio. It's always about the baby. Maybe I'll post some pictures soon - Jackson with his 8 teeth and his almost walking feet. And guess who just woke up? Later.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Teetering on the Edge

teetering on the edge of what? insanity mostly. hang on - gotta put on my new reading glasses. I'm teetering on the edge of getting old and I have too many kids. I think I'm up to four - not sure - there's always a different number running through the house. teetering on the edge of being a runner. some weeks i run, some weeks I don't get it in. I'm not sure about that fall marathon I've been dreaming about, and I'm gonna have to leave it at that. I ran today. I put on my running shoes and made it through the entire zoo with baby and jogger in tow, in under two hours. I can NEVER accomplish that with the older kids. Then I left my car parked and walked to the lake, ran around the lake, and walked back. Three hours in all with that jogger. That's because it's sunny in the city and it brings people out. Teetering on the edge of summer. It's hot out today, the cruise ships are back and the geese have had their babies. That's how I can tell. Jackson's teetering on the edge of everything. He got two teeth this week and learned to roll over. He's on the verge of sitting up, and that would be most excellent. I'd love to let him sit and play with his toys and not always pack him around. My back would really appreciate it. He's getting so big - 5 months already - and he's already been camping in a yurt and dipped his barefeet in the sand down at the beach. Teetering on the edge of summer was that camping in a yurt. I can't wait 'til real summer and camping outside. Only two short trips planned - not including the cabin and the kids school camps. Short because we're not sure how Jack-Jack will handle a long ride in the car. And I don't get to overnight on the kids' school trips because I'm still attached to a nursing baby and he might keep little campers up at night. Teetering on the edge of writing and being a blogger. I wrote a cool post on Mother's Day. Wrote is the key word there - I never typed it. The clicky keyboard is too close to where the baby sleeps and it seems to wake him up. (the mister says he can get me a quieter one) Thus, lack of writing. When the day is almost through, and I can steal a moment, typing would wake him up and ruin my moment (and his). So I wrote with a writing utenstil and paper with the intent of typing it later. Later never happened. I think about blog post topics all the time - I guess I'll get back into it when it happens. I miss reading blogs and seeing what goes on around the world in everyone else's lives. I think the handwritten post was a lot about the passage of time. Looking back, looking forward, and living in the present. Trying to, at least. With a 12-year old on the verge of teen things (oh, my), a 10-year old who needs a million sports daily to exist properly, a 7-year old who thinks we don't love her anymore (she confessed this to her teacher who told me so), and the little guy who zaps all the energy away. Living in the present is what drives us to insanity. Living in the past brings me laughter and learning and living in the future is the stuff of dreams. Future? Right now I think I oughtta live one day at a time. And just hope in the future that there is cookies and sunshine like today.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Sometimes in life I have these moments where I feel like I can do anything. It's sort of a euphoric feeling - like I'm on top of the world. Even more than a feeling like the world is out there and I can live in it and do as I please, it's as if I'm one with the energy of the universe and I'm about to accomplish more than my mind can conceive. It's an amazing reflection on the power within.

Everyday isn't like that. I'm working slowly to get back in shape and it isn't always easy with an infant and my family schedule. But it isn't ever easy for anyone, really. It's a lot of where you set your goals and how hard you work to achieve them. And never making excuses. Just accepting life and moving forward with it. Kind of exciting really. Lately I've been thinking about two profound questions. At the beginning of the day - What am I going to get to do today? And at the end of the day - What did I celebrate today? It's all just a little bit of livin'.

The Iditarod started yesterday - and damn if it ain't just a little bit o' that livin'. I think it's the most fascinating study of the human experience that I've ever seen. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow . . . " - William Shakespeare
Sometimes I mourn the days gone by and live for the thrill of tomorrow's unknown. It seems to somehow all meld together and go by so fast. One looks forward to the future, but when it's gone, wonders where it all went. Having a new baby has been one of those reminder lessons to live more in the present and enjoy each and every moment. And what would those moments be if you didn't laugh and cry and allow yourself the emotion?

I can tell I'm getting ready to blog again, because I start writing in my head throughout my day. Finding the energy and the time combined is another issue entirely. When my husband walks in the door, home from work, here's a common scenario:

"Hi honey! (baby crying) Can you take him? He's cranky, he needs a diaper change, and I think he just wants to be held - he won't let me put him down. #3 needs help with homework - something's going on with the computer, #2 is mad at me and wants to know if you'll go to the gym to shoot hoops, and #1 is having a pre-teen moment, and will you tell her to turn down her music? Hey honey, when you're done changing his diaper, can you pour me a glass of wine and help me fix dinner?"

That's the reality. I swear it. But at least we can laugh about it. I love my family. I wouldn't change a thing. We just spent some of our tax money on a zoo membership. The river otters are my favorite.

My first sorta run
It was back in early January. We'd just spent a week at the cabin. I watched my husband and kids go x-c skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, iceskating . . . I went for a walk to the end of the street and back, and it made me sore. I didn't feel up to doing all those cool things, I was with the new baby - but I was still sorta bummed. I didn't get to see the kids do all those cool things or be with my husband experiencing it. So the next week we were at home, and it was raining profusely and the kids had been sick and on school vacation. I had to get out of the house. We had a new little stroller and one of the kids had asked Santa for a kickball, and Santa came through. I piled the kids into the car and we drove to a nearby elementary school. The three girls played a game (or 2 or 3) of kickball in the pouring rain, and I hung out in the covered blacktop nearby - baby in stroller, walking laps around the basketball court. It was the highlight of winter break to watch how much fun the girls had, and to be outside. (I think I walked 30 seconds per lap - I had to clock it - some sick internal runner disease.)

My first real run
January 27th. It was sunny. It was a Saturday afternoon. I really had nothing else to do. I had gone for several walks in the previous weeks. My husband convinced me that I should go and that it would be good for me. Baby Jackson was now 7 weeks old and we'd been glued to each other 24/7. I got dressed and ready to go, but then I procrastinated. At this point my husband had to do some persuasive encouraging. I cried (hormones), but my husband convinced me that Jackson would be okay without me. I wasn't gonna be gone very long, and if he fussed, he'd be okay.

It was a great run. I went 29 minutes without stopping. I was only supposed to go 20. But it was sunny and I couldn't resist. The back pain was something outta this world - that whole childbirth thing caused havoc - but who cares when you can go running.

Running last week
I have four kids - somewhere around here. It seems at any given moment I have a combination of three. It's great that I can stuff a jogger and three kids in the car, hitch two bikes to the back, and off we go to the park for a 2 plus mile loop. Everybody gets exercise. The next day was the same, just a new combination of kids. I love the park.

My run two days ago
I'm up to three miles - or supposed to be. I got ambitious and made out a training plan. I really wanted to run that marathon this summer, and believed I'd be ready. And maybe I would have been. But then I remembered that I have this little breastfed baby and it might be cruel to just assume that I can be gone for hours at a time at my own leisure and that he won't get hungry. Sure, I can run a 3-4 hour marathon, but what if I injure myself on the course and it takes me 6? So, I've adjusted to the idea of a fall marathon. Back to those three miles. I was supposed to go Sunday. Oops. So Monday came. Monday morning I had a piece of glass stuck in my foot. I'm not sure where from - I brought in a bike off of the porch on Sunday night - maybe something then - I dunno - no time to inspect it. So there's this glass, and my back was killing me - I tote this baby, who's growing like a weed, around all day and feed him every 2-3 hours in random precarious positions, so my back is really outta whack. I don't think I'd slept much the night before - I don't think he'd slept, so that usually means me too. I didn't want to go running. With this family of 6, two are up and gone to work and school and an early hour. I'm up next to feed one, waken the other two, feed the other two, dress one, encouraging dressing and lunchmaking, etc. By the time I've finally got two more off two school, I have a small window of opportunity before feeding time again.

Sometimes you have to force yourself to get out for your own good - I did run. (I took tweezers in the car, but never managed to get the glass out 'til later that night. Honestly, I just didn't have time.) I imagined my run in my head like one of those credit card commercials:

new mizuno tights for Christmas $70
shiny green i-pod $80
specialized nursing sports bra $75
Ironman BOB babyjogger $375

The opportunity to go run three miles? Priceless.

And to clarify . . . those tights are beautiful - I feel like they're too good for me and that I need to feel faster and fitter to wear them. All things in good time. The i-pod I have turned way down so I can hear the baby if he cries. The sports bra. I gotta say, I tried many a nursing bra, and hated them all. I finally went to a specialty store. I laughed at the idea of a nursing sports bra - like I'm gonna feed the baby while I'm running! But truths to be told: my friend designed it for the company, and it's comfortable and I really do need to feed the baby on the go after a run, and I don't have time to change clothes first. And the amazing BOB was a baby shower gift on Valentine's Day. I think everyone should take one for a test drive.

Now here I am - somehow a runner again - somehow a writer again. And somehow a mommy all over again. But I guess I've been them all along, it's just learning to adapt through change. It was sunny in Seattle today. I hope the sun shines down across the land.