First birthday

First birthday

Saturday, December 13, 2014

You Don't Have to Go Fast. You Just Have To Go.

Half marathon #3 is in the bag, and, surprisingly, it was my fastest one yet. (But don't get the idea that it was fast. It wasn't. Almost everyone I knew finished before me).

It almost didn't happen, though.

My training buddies have been busy/out of town, so I had a hard time making myself really push hard during training. I did get in two good 10 milers, and ended up really enjoying running them by myself. So I was at least ready for this thing.

But then I got a cold/virus/something that made me gross and snotty the week of the race.
And then I pulled a muscle in my back the day before.
And then I saw that there was a 90% chance of rain/storms on race morning.


I really was about to call and switch to the 5K when a sweet friend came by to wish me luck and give me some GUs and running socks. I guess God knew I needed the extra push.

I felt pretty awful on race morning. My right ear was stopped up, my nose wouldn't stop running, my back still ached and it was definitely pouring outside. But I trained for this thing, and I determined that I was going to run it NO MATTER WHAT. I figured even if I ended up with the worst time ever, I would at least have a good excuse (okay, several).

But once I got going, it really wasn't a big deal. It was sprinkly and cold, but it made me forget my nose/ear problems. The rain actually felt really good once I got warmed up. I definitely felt pretty done by mile 11 (more mentally than anything - I just felt bored), and I kept having heart palpitations toward the end which made me slow down more than I probably would have otherwise. But I felt like I could finish strong and was able to sprint the last half mile, finishing in 1:57:22, right at 8:57/mile.

I love how flippin' awesome you feel when you realize you just ran 13 MILES. And you're DONE.

My finish was made especially awesome by my boys waiting for me at the finish line. I loved seeing their smiling faces and hearing Samuel scream "Yay Mommy!" (even though he had no clue what was going on!)

I still feel like I could have pushed a little harder and done better. But it was almost 3 minutes faster than last year despite a lot of adverse conditions, so, really, I can't complain!

My feet were pretty torn up afterwards. I had been considering training for a full, but, honestly, after feeling bored toward the end, having the palpitations bother me, and have my poor poor feet hurt for days afterwards, I think I've decided 13 is enough for me. For now anyway. ;-)

So there's my half marathon for the year. We'll see what next year brings!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thankful List 2014

This was also in the works last week (for Thanksgiving). I won't elaborate much since I'm strapped for time. Here's my list this year!

1. Jesus and the freedom I have in Him!
2. My wonderful husband who works SO incredibly hard and still makes me swoon.
3. The cutest little boy in the world! I love being his mom!
4. The rest of our family - we are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives to love!
5. Getting to stay home with Samuel. Even though I sometimes question if I'm living up to my potential, I know there is no greater work.
6. Running. It's my catharsis.
7. Winston-Salem, our life and home here.
8. Amazing friends! Where would I be without them?
9. Food. And baking. Also cathartic.
10. Heat/Electricity.
11. Sunshine!
12. The playground.
13. Smell. Fresh Christmas trees. Pumpkin pie. Burning leaves. It enhances life so much!
14. Not being able to have everything I want.
15. My (newish) car!
16. The Swiffer sweeper. It gets used sooo many times a day.
17. Netflix. It's pretty much all we watch.
18. We get to go to Arkansas for Christmas!
19. Books. And the ability to read and grow and continue learning.
20. Calvary and our awesome church family!

I have so so many more things to be grateful for! We truly have been blessed beyond what we could ever deserve. I hope we can give use what's been given to love out of our saucers. <3 nbsp="" p="">

Month 22!

I've had this post half-done for a week now. Haha.

A few things about Samuel at 22 Months..

Talking: This has been the biggest thing this month. He's been talking a LOT of the last few months, but this month he really started putting sentences together. Some other (non-sentence) favorites are:

- Hiding behind our recliner, poking his head around and saying "Heh-Woh!!"

- Everything is cute. "Mommy, Cat cute. Blocks cute. Josh cute. Mommy cute!"

- He calls himself "Cecil" (which I find flippin' adorable!) So sometimes he tells me, "Mommy, Cecil cute."


- Anytime anything goes wrong: "Oh no! Oh my!"

- Sometimes randomly: "Oh, mommy. Oh, Cecil. " I guess that's how I sound to him. Haha. 

- "Owl owl! Hoo Hoo!" (All penguins and snowmen are "owls," so we've been seeing a lot of them now that people are decorating for Christmas!

- Here's an excerpt I wrote down of Samuel talking to himself in his crib one morning: "Bash? Noooo. haha! No No No. Teddy! Teddy! Night night Teddy! (Kissing noises). Happy happy happy! Nana! More? ::Monkey sounds:: Yeah! Yessss!"

So yeah. He still doesn't enunciate well, but talking to him is extra-fun now!

Music: I feel like this should be a category now because Samuel has definite opinions about what we listen to. He's been obsessed with the song "Happy" by Pharrell. He would BEG to hear it ALLL the time. I finally got my friend  Tara to burn it onto a CD for me and we listened to it constantly for about a week. Now he's changed his minds and he only wants to hear Veggie Tales. He calls the song "God is Bigger Than the Boogie Man" "Eyyyyes! Eyyyes!" So most bedtimes now involve singing that song multiple times. So far he is NOT a fan of Christmas music. We're going to make him come around though. ;-)

TV: Ugh. I have a love/hate thing with our television right now. It's the only time he will sit still, but he beggggs to watch "shows!" all the time. These days we're watching:
- Leap Frog's "Scout and Friends":Shapeville Park and Numberland
- Chuck the Dump Truck
- Cars: Mater's Tall Tales
- Any Thomas the Tank Engine
- Veggie Tales
- The occasional SuperWhy

Eating: He's getting really picky, but he acts like he's starving allll the time. He just only wants crackers and cereal. (Oh, so much cereal!). He *will* try most new things if you tell him it's a cookie or a doughnut. ;-) I've been pretty consistent about giving him what we eat, especially at night. If he eats it, cool, if not, he can be hungry. Mean? Perhaps. But hopefully he'll come back around soon enough. ;-)

The biggest problem is snacking, which I am super guilty of myself. I've made out a schedule this past week of when and what we should eat each day. I'm hoping maybe we can do a little better about getting all of our veggies/fruits in at appropriate times. We'll see!

Play: He's really gotten into playing ball this month and his Mega Blocks. Tractors, trucks, cars and trains are, as always, a huge hit! He likes putting some of his big cars on the ottoman and trying to "ride" them... Um, no, child. Not happening. And, of course, he climbs. He always climbs. :-)

A few other random things:

- He has his momma's allergies. His nose runs All. The. Time. Poor baby.

- Knows most of his shapes, all his letters, we're working on numbers and colors. Numbers usually go, "1, 2, 4, 6, 9!!" Haha.

- He surprisingly HATED the inflatables at the Y and our church trunk or treat on Halloween. Like, cried when we went in there. I was shocked considering what a daredevil he is! He did like the basketball game though.

- He (usually) loves bath time, and is obsessed with brushing his teeth.

- We had Samuel's first dentist visit a few weeks ago to check out his extra baby tooth. All was well, we don't have to have it removed, and he did AMAZING letting the dentist check him out!

- He finally started voluntarily giving hugs and kisses. I love it!

- He had his first Starbucks this month -  a Caramel Apple Spice. Probably a mistake, but it was kind of the cutest thing ever!

- He knows were the all the neighborhood playgrounds are, and gets *really* upset if we run/drive by one and don't stop. So that's fun.

- We got his school pictures back! And I paid way way way too much money for them. But I love them oh so much.

Oh! And we measured/weighed him recently too. From what we can tell he currently weighs 25 1/2 lbs and is 34 1/2" tall.

Here's a few other cute pics:
He loved this hat he made at preschool!

Our morning cuddle time - He lets me hold him while he watches a "show!!"

Annnd he's waking up from nap. :-) So thankful for my sweet 22 month old!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Date Nights!

Eric has been on an elective month for the last few weeks. It's been really really really nice.

I don't think the general public understands how rare it is for resident families to get to see each other for more than a couple of hours a time. Or to get to have lunch together (or sometimes dinner for that matter). Or to go places in the same car. I kind of forget that normal people do those things.

Well, this month has spoiled us for sure. Since he basically gets to choose what he does, Eric's been mixing it up by:
1) Following a private practice nephrologist (kidney doctor) around and talking with him about what life is like post-residency. (News flash: it's sweeeeeet!). 
2) Working on a research paper with one of the medical students and attendings.
3) Working in his own clinic a few days a week (the free clinic downtown - all the medicine residents have to put in a few days a month). 
4) Going to various academic lectures etc. and getting free lunches while he's there. Nice.

That seems like a lot, but it's translated to a lot of not going into work until 9 (like normal people I guess??) and being home by 4/5/6 at the latest. And only having to work 1 weekend out of 4. (Once again, this may not seem that great, but after a month in the ICU with 90-100 hour weeks, it's gold.)

So we've been taking advantage and have basically gone on 4 dates in the last week. That's right, 4. It's not that fiscally responsible, but I don't even care right now. :-) 

1. I found a groupon for a local driving range/putt putt place. We've been wanting to work on our (non-existent) golfing skills, so we got a babysitter and took off for a couple of hours last Saturday afternoon. As expected, Eric's not too shabby. I'm terrible. Like miss-the-ball-40% of the time-terrible. But it was fun. :-) 

I'm terrible about taking pictures of the two of us, so this is all we have!

2. One of the perks of being a resident is that the department puts on dinners twice a week from November through January for incoming interviewees to meet with current residents/ask questions etc. They're usually at fairly swanky places and they need at least a few spouses to tag along too. So Monday night we left Samuel with a friend and took off downtown to a fancy restaurant we would probably never actually spend the money to go to, all expenses paid. Granted, we had to chit chat with people we didn't know all night. But we got to dress up and act all swanky and I had the best chicken I've had in forever, so I can't really complain. It was definitely date-esque. And hopefully we'll get to do this two or three more times in the next couple of months. :-D

3. This is probably the least romantic thing ever, but Samuel had preschool yesterday so Eric took the morning off and we went to the dentist for the first time in forever and got our teeth cleaned. Then, since we'd already arranged for Samuel to stay late in case our appointments ran long, we went and enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch at Panera. Just us, eating soup and sandwiches on a cold day, cuddling in a corner booth. Perfection (the soup and cuddling, not the dentist part). 

4. Our YMCA offers a Parents Night Out a couple of times a month on the cheap (like, less than half as much as a babysitter). Since Samuel LOVES the Y, we arranged a few weeks ago for him to try it out tonight. He had a blast, and we got 4 hours of us time, which we spent running a few errands, trying a new restaurant, doing some Christmas shopping (aka playing with the toys at Target) and filling our Operation Christmas Child shoebox, and then heading back to Panera for yummy hot chocolates with caramel sauce. In the big mugs, because we weren't in a hurry to get away, <3 nbsp="">

Seriously, these things are soooo good!

Anyway, needless to say, it's been amazing. It's back to reality and long workdays/weeks/random night shifts etc. on Thursday. But this month - it's been just lovely. <3 comment-3--="" nbsp="">

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Work/Home Dichotomy and Why Being a Woman Kind of Sucks.

Let me preface this by saying that I love my life now. I love staying at home with Samuel and being there for all of his crazy antics and teaching him things and hugging and kissing him when he falls down and all those good things.
I love keeping an extra little baby.
I love that I have time to work out and (sometimes) clean my house and catch up with friends and fold laundry and maybe catch a House Hunters during nap time.
Seriously, I'm one lucky lucky chica. Really, I am.

Unfortunately, there's the other part of me. The part of me that skipped 4th grade and became a national merit scholar and graduated valedictorian with a bajillion and one scholarship offers. The part of me that worked really hard and graduated summa cum laude and got named student of the year by two different departments.

Then there was the part of me that moved 1000 miles away and had a terrible time networking. There's the idealist part of me that turned down perfectly wonderful jobs that would have made us really good money because I wanted to do something that made a difference in the lives of others. The part of me that, instead, worked in a thankless job that was way below my skill level for 2 1/2 years while my husband was in medical school (though I did occasionally feel like I got to make a contribution to society, which was the whole purpose of taking that job in the first place) because I knew eventually I would get to go back to school and really figure things out.

And I knew this entire time I wanted to have children, though I never really worked that into the puzzle when I was planning my life out as a newlywed. I didn't know I wanted to stay at home, but I'm glad that I am.

But at least once a month I start to wonder... what about when I'm done? Babies don't stay babies forever.

I still want to go back to school. I still want to have a career. I want to believe that that intelligent, driven woman is still lurking back there somewhere. That she's still capable of learning and applying complicated concepts and giving new insights into problems that really affect people.

But sometimes I get scared. What if mommying fries my brain? I mean, I make sure I read a lot and try to stay semi-up-to-date on things and I have been working really hard to find some creative outlets etc. It's not like I'm not doing anything.

Still, it's not the same as being in the scholastic/work world. What if, at 35, I finally decide to go back and find that I just don't have it anymore? What if I can't cut it? What if - because, hey! my child(ren) might go to school, but they'll still be around! - I don't want to cut it because I still don't want/need to sacrifice that time that I could/should be giving to my family? I definitely know myself well enough to know that I will want to go ALL IN. What if I just can't do that and balance a family?

I know lots of women work and have kids. It's not a bad thing. But at this point in my life, with a husband who often works 80+ hours a week, I have a hard time seeing beyond that.

Maybe I won't ever go back. I mean, ultimately, that's okay. As long as I'm doing what I feel God has called me to do - and right now, I am - then I can just take it one step at a time. But if I'm not supposed to do more, why do I still have this desire to?

Sure, I feel sad sometimes when I hang out with some of our female doctor friends. I know that was a path I could have gone down and chose not to. I also know that they will eventually face the same dilemma I'm in only from a much different perspective. How many female doctors have I known/heard of who quit entirely to stay at home? It happens pretty often.

I guess ultimately I should be grateful that things have worked out like they have. I didn't take a prestigious job that would be difficult to quit and I put off school because Eric was already accruing enough student loans for both of us. I went ahead and had a baby at 25 and now, instead of having a lucrative career that I had to put on hold to stay at home with my children, I can do it without any qualms about what else I should be doing.

It's really the best thing, and I'm grateful for the way things have gone. I still often wonder what will be, though.

Once again, don't get me wrong. I love my life now. But these two lives I really want - they're two that I don't know can ever really coexist. Maybe when I'm 60.

Anyway, there are  the rambling thoughts of an overly tired mother who should have gone to bed an hour ago. Congratulations if you made it this far. ;-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

21 Months

Oh my, my baby is getting way too close to 2!! He's definitely acting like it too.

At 21 Samuel is... a mess. A funny, loving, wild, spirited mess that we love more than life itself.

In an average day, He...
Changes his mind about things approximately 350 times. He cries about at least half of these.
Changes clothes twice, though sometimes as often as 4 times (no, literally, I mean he is a MESS. It's one of his favorite words)!
Gets some form of time out/toy time out/picking up food we've thrown on the floor about 15 times.
Hugs and kisses us and rolls on the floor laughing at least once an hour.
Hurts himself at least three times.
And runs and runs and pretty much never stop running unless Thomas the Tank Engine is on (or we are eating or sleeping).

This month has been definitely been one of our most challenging. Thankfully, Samuel's words have improved drastically. We still have a lot of communication struggles, but lots of people have commented to me how impressed they are with what they can understand from him. That's reassuring.

I'm pretty certain he still doesn't understand what "hit" "kick" "throw" and "time out" mean though. And I say "Samuel, stop screaming and use your words please!" about 28 times a day. That's enough to make me want to pull my hair out!!

(Please don't get me wrong, though, I would not trade this for anything in the world)!

Here's a few other stats about my sweet boy:

Play/Toys: Samuel learned how to jump - for real this time - soon after he turned 20 months. It's definitely one of his favorite hobbies right now. He now knows where the park is and gets REALLY mad when we go by and don't stop. He loves it (as he should - we're there almost every day)! He learned how to climb in and out of the bathtub last week, too, so now he plays in there just for fun too. He also loves making animal sounds, singing (we finally figured out the song he was begging us to sing for weeks was "Wee Willy Winky" - it's now in our nightly rotation), playing with his new Thomas the Tank Engine toy (he sleeps with it sometimes), and his John Deere tractor. He's still a huge fan of bubbles. And dirt. He's also really into his cars/track and has been known to play with them in his room for 15-20 minutes at a time, which I find pretty impressive! He also loooooves brushing his teeth and playing with the sink. Fun.

Eating: Anything with cheese, apples, raisins, crackers, green smoothies, and "cookies" -  aka any type of healthy-ish baked item I make. ;-) I still try to give him some of whatever we're having, but he usually just throws it on the floor unless it's chicken.

Sleeping: He's been a great little sleeper this month! We had a few rough nights due to teething - poor baby boy has an extra tooth that will probably have to be removed - we are going to the dentist next week. Other than that and a few rough nap times, though, he's been a champion sleeper. I hope that keeps up when DST ends!

TV: So. Much. Thomas! Curious George gets in there some, and Super Why. Veggie Tales has been a favorite a few days too. We tried Mickey Mouse and he was NOT impressed. I definitely allow/encourage the TV watching more than I should probably, but, seriously, this kid does not sit still. Maybe one week next month we'll go TVless. We'll see.

Words: Samuel says a ton, but one of the funniest things he's doing right now is saying, "Oh my! Oh no!" to pretty much every little catastrophe. I.e. if the baby I watch sometimes starts to cry a little - "Oh my! Oh no! Josh! Oh no!" It's really cute.
He also likes to count, but only to two... "one.... two.... uh... one... two..."
I hear him in his room a lot saying, "Night night teddy! Teddy teddy" ::kissing noise::" He loves his teddy.
He likes to say "bye bye" to his "wee wee" when I put his diaper on. Oh my.
He's obsessed with the word "happy" this week. We listen to the song by Pharell sometimes and I think he's trying to sing it. It just sounds like he's saying it over and over again though.
He likes to "cheese" sometimes -- like on the playground the other day (pictured below), he climbed up a ladder, looked at me, and said, "Mommy! Cheese!" Silly goose.

He's really into the color "blue." I don't know that he actually distinguishes it from other colors, but he likes it. A LOT.
He also knows the difference between "Stop" and "Go" - Not sure where that came from!
His "backpack" is also a favorite subject of conversation.
And, since he's going to be a dinosaur for Halloween, he likes to remind me that dinosaurs say, "ROAR!"

There are lots more things, I'm sure. but it's almost midnight, so I should turn in. Month 21 has been crazy and hard and exciting and fun. I can't wait to see what this little guy learns in Month 22!

My Epiphany

So I had a bit of an epiphany at Bible study this morning.

Our session this week was about our ministry/spiritual gifts and how we can best glorify God using who we are/what He gave us. Like pretty much every believer who has spent any amount of time in church, I've heard this for basically my whole life. You were given gifts and talents and you need to to use them in the right way.

So one of the things that I've always been good at, one of my natural, God-given talents, is singing. There are plenty of people better than me to be sure, but I can carry a tune and have been pretty successful in choir/voice/performance competitions throughout the years. So, of course, I started singing in church at a young age and went on to lead worship in college and be involved with our worship team here.

The thing is, I've never liked getting in front of people to sing. Even long before my anxiety issues surfaced, I felt more than just a little nervous in front of crowds. I've never felt particularly worshipful in those leadership situations, and, frankly, I've most often taken on those roles because I felt I should. It was my gift and I was supposed to use it, right? And I have always just assumed that the problem was probably with me not walking closely enough with God and that I would eventually grow out of the discomfort as I grew in Him.

But today we discussed how to know what our ministry is/should be. In Beth Moore's "Children of the Day" study of 1 Thessalonians, she points out that "What do you look like when you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?... What is your passion? What are you bursting to do when your heart is flooded with divine affection? That's very likely the stream of your calling....You're supposed to look like the version of you that loves Jesus with every particle. That's the real you."

And I realized - When I'm walking closest with God, I may want to sing and sing loud - but I don't think any part of me has ever wanted to get up in front of people and lead them in singing with me. Ever.

And maybe that's okay.

When I'm overflowing with love, I want to talk to people one on one, to get to know them, to connect. I want to serve others, to make them feel apart, to make meals or clean bathrooms or serve food to the homeless.

That's who I am, who I'm supposed to be.

I've spent my whole life trying to fit this mold because that's what I was obviously supposed to do. I've felt SO guilty the last several months because I really should be singing with the worship team, but with Eric's schedule and my sinus issues and anxiety, I haven't been able to. Something about it never felt quite right anyway, like I was always trying to force it. I guess that's because I was.

So I'm giving myself freedom - Freedom to not be tied to leading worship anymore. To not feel obligated to use that gift in the way everyone else thinks I should. To further embrace things I truly feel passionate about and to worship without guilt of what I "should" be doing. I love to sing, and plan to continue to do so. It will not go unused, but can only be enhanced because I can finally freely worship without self-condemnation.

Maybe I will lead again one day, I don't know. Maybe that's something God has for me down the line. For now, though, I'm embracing the liberty to worship freely and to pursue ministries where I feel like I can truly bloom. And I'm looking forward to seeing what that looks like.

"We always pray for you that our God... will, by His power, fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith." - 2 Thess. 1:11