Thankful Thursday 2017 Ed.

Thankfulness is a trait that Will and I have endeavored to set as a pillar of our marriage.  Considering we’ve only been married for about 4 1/2 years, I’d say that we are still early on in our marriage.  That pillar of being thankful is still being formed, and this year I plan to use this blog to help foster that.

One of my goals for 2017 is to blog weekly.  I have already failed the first two weeks… To accomplish this goal I realized that I need to ear mark a day for blogging, and Thursdays seem to jump out.  When Will and I were dating, for a while we gave is day of the week its own trait.  Thursdays were Thankful Thursday.   So, at least for the first part of the year, we are embarking on Thankful Thursday – 2017 Edition.

Thankful Thursday - 2017 Ed.

Here’s why I think Thankfulness is so important. If the love of money, or the love of more if you will, is the root of all kinds of evils (1 Tim. 6:10) – then thankfulness is the opposite.  Thankfulness is the root of all kinds of goodness.  Thankfulness fosters joy, it fosters generosity, it fosters love, patience, and selflessness. 

Short and sweet.  That is my goal for the year and my heart for this space.  I want the Pomeroy Life to keep building and strengthening that pillar of thankfulness.  I want to record our daughters smiles and frowns, firsts and falls. To cherish our friends and family. And ultimately to uplift God who blessed me with the breath in my lungs, His Son Jesus, and all the rest which is just the icing on the cake.

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Here’s to 2017, to goals, to being thankful!  What are some of your goals for 2017?  What are you thankful for?

Lessons from the First 10 Weeks with Charlie

These last ten weeks have been so full of wonderful moments, lessons learned, laughs laughed, frustrating moments, and lots of learning to do things one-handed.

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I don’t know how Charlie was ever inside of me, but she was.  The weirdest part is how not weird it is for her to be here.  It’s just natural, like she was always supposed to be here with us.  Things are different, but the change has been natural.  We are still learning how to go out for dinner, how to help each other with her, and how to get places on time (why is that such a struggle?!).

But if I had to say how we are doing overall, I would say that as a family we are doing great!  As a married couple, Will and I are finding an even deeper love and appreciation for each other. It’s  heart melting to watch each other parent and nurture our daughter.  As far as babies go, Charlie is pretty awesome!  She sleeps through the night most nights and makes hilarious faces.  She rocked the baby acne for a while and now has outgrown that and moved onto cradle cap.  Charlie plays in the bath tub now, has a favorite spot on the couch, has a favorite toy (Mr. Monkey), likes to suck on frozen pacifiers, and she enjoys running with me!

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When I look at Charlie, play with her, put her down for the night – I see all of the ways she’s growing and changing. Then I wash her laundry and think to myself  “surely she can’t fit these tiny clothes anymore.”  But you know what; she does!  Somehow she still does.

The Lesson

Above all the ways to sooth her, all the things I can now do one handed, the best thing I have learned is being in the moment.  When Charlie is awake the rest of my to do list becomes shockingly insignificant.  When Charlie is crying, figuring out how to make everything better is top priority.  When Charlie is smiling and playing everything else just fades away, and a perfect hour passes in the blink of an eye.

So in the end, I guess all of the lessons learned from the first 10 weeks with Charlie boil down to one thing. It’s like my mom always says – So many things can wait while you hold your children.

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Cohosted Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza

4th of July When Will and I bought the Walsh House back in February we didn’t know what this adventure of home ownership would hold, but we knew what principles we wanted to guide it.   We wanted our home to be a place that was open to all, full of life, full of love, and we wanted to make the most of the gem of a backyard God blessed us with.

This year for Fourth of July our good friends Jaclyn and Zach asked if we would be interest in co-hosting their fourth of July party so we could put to use Jaclyn’s party planning skills and our back yard.

 Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza  Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza  Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza

Jaclyn had such a fun and beautiful vision for the party; she and her mom made so many decorations and lent the perfect serving dishes and tent.  We brought Jaclyn’s idea of a hot dog bar to life, had a celebration station for recording the great things that have happened this year, and a photo station to help cement the memories made.  We had 30 people there at one time, and several others come and go throughout the day.  Needless to say, there was no place to park in our cul de sac.

Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza

And let me just say co-hosting is the way to go.  When there are two couples involved you have the ability to do more, to create a more intentional environment, and to stress less because you have some one to share the burden with.

Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza
celebration station
Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza
Photo Station with us and our roommates =) #thepomeroyden

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Jaclyn's Mom's awesome banner!
Jaclyn’s Mom’s awesome banner!
hot dog bar
hot dog bar

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But it wasn’t the decorations or the well displayed food that made the party – it was the people who came over, the laughs echoing in the air, and the smiles that filled our rooms and yard.

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Izzy Pup even got a special 4th of July Treat
Izzy Pup even got a special 4th of July Treat
people everywhere!
people everywhere!

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love birds
love birds

There are so many wonderful moments from that day – watching babies toddle around and discover new things, our friend Peggy receiving glowing reviews of her deviled eggs, her boyfriend Brian being RIDICULOUS with the sparklers, the feeling of a home bursting at the seams with love and joy, meeting new people, inspiring others to make bed frames of their own, getting Ben to take pictures with us, and when people would ask what the hot dog toppings were – even though there were labels right in front of them.

Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza
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One of the best things though, is looking back at the end of the day and knowing that we are living the life we feel called to – the life we want to.  We set out to have a house that was open, a house filled with love and joy, a house that though ours is shared with others, to be good stewards of this chunk of the world God blessed us with.  After every one was gone and the house was mostly back in order, Hubster told me how proud he was of Jaclyn and I, because what we did on the 4th of July exemplified what we stand for.  Our door was open to all, and for that day our house was a home to a solid 40 people (10 times more than usual). My response – “It’s not really standing for it if you don’t live it out.”

So here’s a question to think about next time you are throwing a get together or a party – why are you doing it?  We put a lot of effort into this party because we wanted to create an environment for memories to be made and people to bond.  Our framily is pretty tight-knit; people see each other pretty frequently.  Jaclyn and I wanted to provide them with an opportunity that was out of the normal routine, an opportunity to draw nearer and laugh a lot.

After this Red, White, and Blue Extravaganza, I am already looking forward to next year!

Red, White, and Blue Framily Extravaganza
The lovely, thoughtful, loving, and visionary Jaclyn and I. It was such a privilege to get to host this party for all of our friends with her!

Memories to Treasure

June did not include too many projects around the house other than the bed that we built for our room.

But it was filled with family and friends from near and far.  So much happened, so many people came and went.  I have to share it here because there were so many June memories to treasure, and I do not want to forget them.

We kicked it off with sending my sister birthday wishes from afar and welcoming Will’s family from Sweden into our home for a delicious dinner and a  good old fashioned American s’more roast.  They were pretty fantastic, and Will and I really hope we get the chance to go visit them in Sweden.

June Memories to Treasure
Hubster was our grill master for the evening, and we got to put our wonderful backyard to use! Can I just say again how thankful we are for the backyard we have!
June Memories to Treasure
We wanted to make them feel welcome so we gave them Swedish Fish (which are an American thing). I was so worried they wouldn’t think it was funny, but the risk paid off! They laughed so hard when they opened their gift.
June Memories to Treasure
This was their first time roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.
June Memories to Treasure
oh how we love that girl! She brings so much life and joy to the world.

That was a wonderful evening that I do not want to forget.  Magnus and Agneta were such good humored and wonderful people.  They are generous and warm hearted, and full of interesting conversation.  I am glad we got the pleasure of spending time with the people who sent us our Christmas goat in the mail all the way from Sweden!

More locally, we got our luau on celebrating our good friend’s first daughter’s 1st birthday, and finding out that they are having a second daughter!  We also had the pleasure of celebrating the marriage of two of our other friends here in Lexington!

June Memories to Treasure
Amelia’s party with our Home Depot colored lei’s
June Memories to Treasure
at the Matney’s Wedding with our lovely Lexington Framily…. that color coordinates freakishly well.

We were able to celebrate our niece Mary’s 10th birthday with her and enjoy an evening with Will’s family up at his mom’s farm practicing yoga, learning gymnastics, grilling, and catching up on everyone’s lives.

June Memories to Treasure
look how adorable she is!
June Memories to Treasure
she is growing into a very mature, smart, and all around lovely young woman.

We also had to privilege of opening our home up to some of our best friends!  We had Will’s best friends from grade school plus one wife, and one newer but wonderful friend spend the night with us.   That was followed by a 10 year high school reunion of sorts, and although the weather felt like October we still had a great time shooting, cooking out, and definitely enjoyed the bonfire!

June Memories to Treasure
first smash burger experience for everyone but Will and I.
June Memories to Treasure
oh how I wish these two lived closer! Ruthann and Lydia you fill my heart with so much love! Your love for God and those around you, your desire for wisdom, and your joyful/encouraging demeanors are a blessing to the world!
June Memories to Treasure
just riding in the trunk of a car. no big deal.

June Memories to Treasure

That weekend was followed by having my two best friends from high school stay with us for a couple of days.  Can I just say that it is so convenient to have your two best friends marry each other!   It is also one of the most joyful things that you can experience; their wedding day was my favorite wedding (other than my own) that I have ever been to, and one of the most memorable/best days of my life.  My heart was bursting with love and joy for them!

June Memories to Treasure
in high school we always used Paul’s family’s grill…. I think we upgraded some.

June Memories to Treasure

June Memories to Treasure
Paul and Mel are big Royals fans if you cant tell. But he jumped at the chance to cross another stadium off his list.

Will and I are so blessed to have such good friends.  His friends go WAY back, so much so that they are more like family than friends.  They welcome in wives as if we had been with them all along.  No matter what curves come from life – I know that those guys (and their respective families) will ALWAYS be there.  They will always be there for prayer, advice, dreams, laughs, visits, and phone calls.

We are also fortunate to have Paul and Mel, another set of friends who no matter the time lapse will always be there and always love you as much or maybe more than the last time you saw them.  We might not be a group of goofy high schoolers getting into shenanigans any more, but we are still goofy, we still get into shenanigans, we still know how to put away some s’mores, and now we have a deeper friendship strengthened by years and life experiences we never imagined that we would have.

Behind the scenes, there were multiple irons stuck into the fire.  There are new endeavors underway in the Pomeroy Life, and this was the perfect month to start them – a month when we had so many people coming and going to bounce ideas off of.  A month that gave us the chance to include those closest to us in some of our big adventures.

June was quick and exhausting, but if I could put that month on repeat I would.  So many friends both new and old.  So many things to celebrate, so many adventures.  June was a month to treasure (my word for the year).

June Memories to Treasure
High School pal, college roomates, each others bridesmaids, and friends for life.

 

Grace Upon Grace

This topic has been on my heart and mind for some time now – Grace.  It is a topic that I in no way grasp the depth of – Grace Upon Grace.

Thankfully though, it is a verb that I have displayed before me on the regular.

Confession – I have many faults, vices, and unsightly character traits.  I am impatient, stubborn, defensive, and competitive; I can be vain and insecure, prideful and temperamental. And most of those are exponentially worse when I my blood sugar is low – aka “hangry.”

Grace & Glory
Things like these little beauties in our backyard demonstrate God’s grace to me – He has blessed me with a world full of beautiful things.

When I compare that tone of that resume to the vibrant hues of my lie, I am at a loss.  There’s only one thing I can contribute it to – Grace.  I am the recipient of that which I do not deserve.  On an intangible level I have received powerful grace beyond my wildest dreams from the Lord, but recently I have been noticing how it is played out before me in tangible ways.  I see it when I look back over the years of parenting from my mother, in the joy of the simple things, the rejuvenating power of rain, and most vividly in the grace extended to me from Will.

He is probably the most gracious husband on the planet.  Recently I have been very overwhelmed by how much grace he pours out on me.  Point and case – building the bed frame:

Carpentry is not a natural gift for either of us.  There were plenty of mistakes made along the way as we built that beauty.  One major one was me putting the posts/legs on the foot board in the wrong spot.  This turned what was supposed to be a quick assembly of all the pieces I had made into a much larger ordeal which killed the drill battery.  This was big because Will had been at work all day.  He got home at 8:30 and the last thing he probably wanted to do was help me assemble a big heavy bed frame.  But you know what – it was the first thing he did when he walked in the door because he knew how important it was to me.  And when we realized that I had majorly screwed it up – he took a deep breath and took everything in stride.  He never once raised his voice or took an unpleasant tone with me.  He calmly worked through the situation with me as we tried to figure out how to fix it.  Nor did he get impatient with me when we realized I had forgotten to charge the backup battery for the drill.

Grace Upon Grace
I love our faces in this picture. This is real life. This is when you need grace.

Since we are exact opposites in nearly every way there is ample opportunity for grace. He comes home from long days at work and is gracious with me as I attempt to swallow my hanger till we eat dinner.  He works hard to provide for us. He does not bite back when I lose my temper.  He does not snap when I am impatient.

He gently leads me and shows me a better way by example.  To put it simply, marriage is a journey of me learning many things – particularly about the depths and constancy of God’s grace through the reflection of it I see in Will’s grace toward me and those around him.

It is the same with God.  No matter how many times I fail to look to Christ and/or look like Christ – He is there with open arms and a loving heart to lead me in a better direction.  God’s grace is powerful.  It can change situations by changing our hearts.  I know I need it for my short-fused temper, my defensive tone, and my competitive nature. I know I need it in order to better love Will and everyone else around me.

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What I am learning about grace is that it does not matter – God never runs out.  Every morning is new dose stronger than my two cups of coffee.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;    great is your faithfulness.

John 1:17 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.”

Let me close with this prayer for you and for me:

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

On an Exemplary Marriage – My Parents

There was once a young guy, and as is the case with most young men, a certain girl caught his eye.  She was his opposite in most every way.  Before this turns into a fairy tale or is mistaken for Will and I (because we are most definitely opposites), let me clarify – I am talking about my parents.

Last month my wonderful parents reached 40 years of marriage!

(And right now they are on their celebratory cruise so I won’t get in trouble for singing their praises for a few days)

This is my favorite picture of them from our 40th Anniversary family photo shoot.  It captures how much joy they still bring each other after all this time.
This is my favorite picture of them from our 40th Anniversary family photo shoot. It captures how much joy they still bring each other after all this time.

Will and I have been married for 2 years and 10 months. We have hardly put the full scope of our marriage vows to the test yet. I say that because I know I am blessed to have the longevity and richness of my parents’ exemplary marriage to look up to, but I also know that I have absolutely no clue just how valuable that example may prove to be as life goes on for Will and I.

40th Anniversary Family Pictures (17)

However, I already know a few key things that I have learned from my Moms and Pops.

  1. Keep God first – in your relationship with each other, in your goals, in your finances, in your parenting, in the battles you pick… Basically in everything.
  2. Never stop acting like moony teenagers – flirt with each other, hold hands in public, laugh, don’t take yourselves too seriously, etc.
  3. Embrace each other’s families.
  4. Support each other’s interests and endeavors.
  5. Serve together.
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My mom was very relieved that Dara and I forgot our props for the photos of the two of them.

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Their lives are not filled with pinterest perfect decor or instagramable date nights.  They aren’t caught up with any of that.  They are content to live below their means and find value in the simple things – like how my dad brings my mom a weekly Sonic drink, or how my mom would always keep Dara and I (mostly me) quiet after my dad would go to sleep since he had to be up at 4:30 every morning.

My parents grew up in their church.  My dad asked my mom out for their first date at church.  He proposed to her at church.  They got married at church.  They raised us as a part of that church. And they have never stopped serving people at and through the church.  It’s not really the church part that matters, it’s the fact that my parents were actively seeking to have a marriage that focuses on making an eternal impact.  They have opened their hearts to so many people.  I know from experience serving with Will, that sometimes you can serve more fully when you are serving with your spouse.  As a team you can bring out the best in each other and love others more completely.

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This is what I see in my parents.  They are a team.  They push each other to love those around them more completely, because that is how Christ loves us and calls us to love others.  Sure they also push each other’s buttons too, but they know how to laugh about it, give grace, and pick the battles that really matter because they both have their eyes on the love of Jesus.

I hope you guys are enjoying your cruise!  Thank you for being there for me with advice, wisdom, and the lifelong stockpile of actions to back it up. My gratitude for the two of you and your marriage only continues to grow.

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ps… if you are in Lexington and looking for  a good photographer, check out Jenny with Rugged Joy Photography.  She was wonderful to work with!

Parent's Anniversary

School’s Out for the Summer!

School’s out for the summer! It’s over!  9 more credit hours of school down. 2 more A’s in the books.  1 semester closer to completing a degree in dietetics.  I am so pumped!  This is the first time I have a substantial break in school since I started 14 months ago.

Freedom. Time to recharge.  A chance to focus on other things.

You will not be needed for storing/lugging my books for a while Mr. Backpack.
You will not be needed for storing/lugging my books for a while Mr. Backpack.

This summer is going to be great!  There are a lot of house projects that I want to accomplish this summer, memories I want to make, bonfires I want to burn, tents I want to pitch, and some ol’ ballgames that I want to be taken out to! All that being said, I also think that this summer off is going to help me refresh my passion for nutrition and gain some more vision for how to use my degree.

To celebrate and let me know how proud he is of me Hubster came home yesterday and asked to take me out to dinner or whatever I wanted.  Seeing as we had tasty leftovers in the fridge (and I am not a huge fan of eating out) I opted for a double scoop from Graeter’s.

oh Mocha Chip... you never let me down.
oh Mocha Chip… you never let me down.

We earned those double scoops.  Both of us.  I might have put in the hours of homework, but Will put in hours of encouragement, of working hard to pay tuition, making the occasional dinner, helping out when I was super stressed out about my homework, and coming to my math rescue on more than one occasion.

To the bookshelf with you giant heavy books!
To the bookshelf with you giant heavy books!

Summer is going to be great! I will share the Summer Bucket List for thePomeroyLife so stay tuned!

Also, look forward to seeing pictures of our redone table and chairs very soon!  You got a little sneak peak in the photos of my books and backpack.

 

Achieving Our Goals – 2015 Check In

Lately Will and I keep getting ourselves into the circular argument when we talk about goals.  Turns out we both have the same goal – to help the other one accomplish their goals and dreams and see them be happy and fulfilled.  We decided circular or not, it’s a good problem to have!

Well, at the beginning of the year Will and I shared some things we wanted to accomplish/grow in this year.  You might recall that we set goals for things to do together as well as individual goals.  That circular reasoning problem I just mentioned, I think it has been working in our favor.  For only being a third of the way through the year, I think we have accomplished a lot and grown even more.

2015 Goals 2

For the goals we set together:

  • Grow Together Spiritually –

I am really happy to say that we have been been praying together multiple times per week and learning how to challenge and encourage each other to act and think more like Jesus.

Achieving Our Goals
  • Meet our Car Fund Savings Goal – We have a plan in place to meet our car fund saving goal, and we are steadily chipping away at it.
  • Go on Vacation – Either to Glacier National Park or a Short-Term Mission Trip – summer 2015!
  • Build a Headboard for our Bed – summer 2015!  I am taking the summer off from school to work on this and many other house projects.  
  • Be More Organized about the Garden – Starting with Making a Planting Schedule – The Garden is up and running!  Will turned an old hot tub deck that was in the back yard into a nice, neat little raise bed.  Now our challenge is fighting off the bunnies! 
  • Go on 3 Camping Trips- We have gone on our first of 3-4 camping trips!
Achieving Our Goals
Achieving our Goals
We are pursuing friendships in large part by opening our home up to our friends.

For Will’s Goals:

  • Develop a Morning Routine – particularly morning devotion time. – This ties in with the above goal we had together.
  • Read 6 Books – 1.2 down! 
  • Learn Basic Programming
  • (he will probably have more goals once we buy a house…. aka a honey do list)  – He has put in a pallet wall in the house, built a planter wall outside, and has a nice long list of things he wants to accomplish.  For his birthday I told him to pick out a hammock so that he can enjoy resting in the yard that he’s been working so hard in. 

For my Goals:

  • Find a Place to Volunteer – I spent the first few months of the year raising money through my race for OCA, and now some of my good friends and I have started handing out PB&J in downtown on Monday nights to some of the people who hang out in the parks. 
  • Eat Fewer Sweets  – I have my ups and downs… Right now I am on an up! 
  • Finish Menu Planning Certification Course – Summer
  • Finish the T-Shirt quilt
  • Run a Marathon

Achieving our Goals

  • Downsize Wardrobe – did this when we were packing to move.
  • Develop a Routine for Being a Better Friend (ie – phone dates and such) – I was doing good with this for a while, but I really dropped the ball the last month. 
  • Cook Through a Cookbook

We are over a third of the way through the year, and I am very pleased to say that I think we are doing pretty well achieving our goals!  We have been busy beavers, but we have still been enjoying life.

Crossing the Finish Line

Saturday morning came.  I approached the starting line, and 3 hours 22 minutes and 8 seconds later I crossed the finish line.

KDF Marathon
Me before the race.   I run because it’s what I can do.

At the suggestion of a friend of mine who PR’d in the half-marathon, I read up on Thursday about how to run in the rain. I never run in the rain.  I don’t enjoy it, and I am afraid of slipping.  One of the perks of having a gym with an indoor track is that I have a place to run when the weather is bad – which is the only way I was able to get in enough training for this race.

I went to Kohl’s on Friday night and bought some new shorts that would hopefully help prevent chafing (they did!), I put to use that free hat they gave us this year because it’s breathable unlike my other baseball hats, and I put to use my Brook’s long-sleeved shirt from the Iron Horse Half in 2013 and the Asics shirt they gave out for this race. Both of those shirts are moisture wicking, not cotton, and lightweight. Another tip I put to good use – Vaseline.  It makes a barrier to help prevent chafing from clothes and blisters from your socks and shoes.  If it’s cold, it can also help keep you warm.

KDF Marathon
This is the first race that I haven’t worn my “Red Racing Shorts” or since I was wearing them the first time Will saw me “the Husband Getting Shorts.”

Now for the real stuff, let me just tell you, I was dying.  God gave me a lot of stubbornness, which usually I think is more of a character flaw than a gift – not on Saturday morning folks.  Stubbornness helped me keep pushing my way through.  That and the slogan on the shirts this year “I run because…” I knew why I was running.  I was running because of a commitment that I made to myself, to Orphan Care Alliance, to all of you who donated (THANK YOU!), and to God.  Running is something God gave me the ability to do decently well, so I run because sometimes I get the opportunity to use that gift for the greater good, to make the world a better place, to make an impact.

I have to say I have never been more sore and exhausted, but more happy at the same time.  Ok, maybe when we won nationals my junior year.  Finishing this marathon is definitely right up there with bending in a corner kick and being part of an amazing team of girls who were national champions in college.

I know that I ran 25 miles 3 weeks ago, but I have only run over 15 miles 4 times in my life.  That isn’t a strong base, which is why my legs felt like they were going to fall off from about mile 17 on.  I sorta knew that would be the case though, so I strategized a little for it.  Three weeks ago when I ran 25 miles, I realized that I had a shot of finishing with a Boston qualifying time – much faster than the guess I plugged when I registered.  My bib had me placed in coral B at the starting line, which was the 3:30 pace group for the marathon.  To qualify for Boston I needed to be under 3:34. I knew that my legs were going to start hurting, and that consequently I would slow down.  Rather than stick with the 3:30 group which I knew I could do, I jumped up a coral to the 3:20 group.

KDF Marathon (6)

 

As sore as that made my legs, I don’t regret it.  I ran the first 12 miles at a crazy fast pace with a woman I met at the starting line.  Guess what?! She is a dietitian!  That’s what I am going to to school for at the moment. It was so encouraging to meet her and hear her story and passion.  I feel like that was a gift from God.  She ended up finishing 7 minutes ahead of me because I had to slow way down after running so fast for so long, but it made the first part of the race very enjoyable despite being sprinkled on.

After that, the hills came.  Then I hit the wall around miles 15-17.  That was terrible.  I kept thinking “This is too soon;  I have too far to go to feel like this right now.”  But some crowd encouragement, remembering why I was running, and a little prayer helped me muster through it.  As I was pushing through “the wall” to a second wind the rain came.  COLD rain – about half an hour of it.  I was soaked, freezing, couldn’t really feel my fingers, and extremely grateful for the free hat that they gave us. The rain stopped after that, but there were still several miles to go.  Miles 20-22 were a difficult stretch, but again God placed someone right there to talk to and be an encouragement to each other. After a quick prayer at mile 22, God gave me the final boost of energy and stubbornness I needed to keep putting one in front of the other.  I knew that the distance I had left was the same distance I run from the gym to our house – I just needed to make it home to where Hubster was waiting, proud, with warm dry clothes.

I finally made it to the home stretch.  I turned the corner for the finish line (about 200 yards I would say).  Will was right there as I was turning with a HUGE, proud smile on his face.  Seeing someone love you enough to stand in the rain while you do something crazy is a pretty good motivator.  I kicked it into the highest gear I had left for those last couple hundred yards and heard them say my name as I crossed the finish line.  Running in a race gives so much more understanding and depth to Hebrews 12:1-2 and 2 Timothy 4:7.

After the race.  I have never understood why they give out those emergency blankets, until today!
After the race. I have never understood why they give out those emergency blankets, until today!

I did it.  My first ever full-marathon.  3:22:08.  12 minutes under Boston Qualifying.  I was so exhausted, sore, and excited all at the same time.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw up, cry, or be able to move again. I really did feel nauseous (the rest of the day), and I did almost start crying (especially once I found Will again), and seriously… I have never “walked” so slowly in my life.

On the way home in my nice dry clothes.  Shout out to McDonalds on Market Street for being such gracious hosts to all of us runners!
On the way home in my nice dry clothes.
Shout out to McDonalds on Market Street for being such gracious hosts to all of us runners!

When we got home I took a hot shower and did a yoga video called “Runner’s Stretch and Unwind.”  Then we napped, and then Will and I ate this GIANT Reese’s Bunny he had been saving for me for the last month as I was trying to stay away from sugar till the race was over.

After our nap we went to John’s Walk Run Shop.  What better way to celebrate a marathon, than with some new running shoes?  AND these are my favorite color!  I can’t wait till my legs recover enough to take them for a spin!

Mizuno Wave Riders This is a new brand/style for me.  I am excited!
Mizuno Wave Riders
This is a new brand/style for me. I am excited!

Thank you all for your support, prayers, and encouragement.  I definitely could not have finished that race without it.  Without my amazingly loving/supportive Hubster, my family, some God given athleticism and stubbornness, and I wouldn’t have run this fast without the help of soccer teams and guy friends past who taught me I am faster than I realize.

Here’s to hoping I make the cut when registration for Boston opens up later this year!  You can see below that not only did I finish the race and raise around $900, but I was the 132 person to finish the marathon, the 23 woman to finish, and the third woman age 20-24 to finish. I ran an average of 7:43/mile.  Apparently that’s really good for a first timer because everyone I was running around was on their 6+ marathon and was very shocked to find out it was my first.

KDF Marathon (4)

 

All in all, it was a great experience.  I am glad I did it.  I learned a lot about myself, even more about how great Will is, and experienced so much kindness from everyone’s support and donations to OCA.

 


UPDATE:

I posted this too soon I guess, they just updated the OCA page, and God brought in $10 more than my goal!  Thank you to everyone who gave!  You were part of raising $1010 for Orphan Care Alliance (all of the runners for OCA combined raised about nearly $10,000)!!!!  So blown away!!!!


Approaching the Starting Line

Race weekend is upon us.  Hubster just took me to register and get my shirt and bib! Earlier today I went to get the necessary pre & post race snacks.  And the butterflies in my stomach are getting warmed up.

picking up my race bib!
picking up my race bib!

It’s been exciting to watch God bring in $700 through my efforts and thousands more through other OCA runners’ efforts.  And it’s not to late to donate if you want to, but haven’t yet: http://orphancarealliance.org/donate-runner/  I made a commitment to do what I can to help, to be the boots on the ground “earning” (for lack of a better word) that $700 and raising awareness.  Well, it’s about time to really honor that commitment.

This year I got a free hat along with my free shirt this year - perks of running the full?
This year I got a free hat along with my free shirt this year – perks of running the full?

If this was a half marathon, I would not be nervous.  I have ran 4 of those, and I have ran the Derby Half the last two years.  But no this is a FULL MARATHON.  That’s 26.2 miles and hopefully only 3 and half hours of running (only…).  I know I ran 25 miles, but that was 3 weeks ago in gorgeous weather without thousands of other runners and spectators watching me #strugglebus my way through those last few miles.

Pretty pumped to put this on Ellie after Saturday!
Pretty pumped to put this on Ellie after Saturday!

With Saturday morning’s starting gun imminent would you join me in praying for these things:

  • No Rain!
  • Energy, Strength, and my mental game to be on point.
  • That tons last minute donations would pour into OCA from all their runners, just blessing the socks off of the work they are doing in the community. http://orphancarealliance.org/donate-runner/ 
  • Giving thanks for the work OCA & it’s volunteers do and asking that it would multiply – making a huge difference in Central, KY.

I have no idea how this is going to go down on Saturday, but what I do know, is that God gave me the ability to run so until He takes it away I will keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I often say that without soccer to play anymore I still a jock, just a jock without purpose.  At the moment I have a purpose – to use the abilities God gave me to glorify Him and raise awareness of the need to love our neighbors and care for the orphans. (Matt. 22:39 & James 1:27).