Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Our little lion!

Who needs candy when you can collect leaves?

Or use the bucket for a hat??

I love trick or treating!!
(He only went to 2 houses- don't tell him though, he thought he was too cool!!)

Enjoying my sucker with my dinner.  Mommy should give me one of these every day!
It was hysterical watching him eat the tiny tootsie pop.  Once it was gone, he tried to eat the stick too!!

Hope your Halloween was just as fun!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

God Pause for Sunday.....

Psalm 36:5-10 (Click to view Bible text below.)
My 8th grade confirmation class gave me a gift recently. It's a fleece blanket that they hand-tied as part of a service project. But it's not just any blanket: it's the biggest blanket in the world. Seriously. This blanket is longer than my couch. My whole family can snuggle under it and still have room left over. Its size and weight makes me feel like I am being completely cared for. Thinking of the students who made it warms my heart.

That's the image I get from this Psalm: God's love as the biggest blanket in the world. It stretches from the ground to the sky and back again. It envelops all of creation, people of every age and creed and race. This love offers comfort and peace, security and warmth. It never fails.

Can you feel this kind of love in your life today? How?

Wrap me up in your love today, gracious God, and warm my heart. Amen.
Shelley Cunningham
Christ the King Lutheran Church, New Brighton, Minn.
Master of Divinity, 1998
Psalm 36:5-10 (NRSV)

5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Ladies, I feel guilty for being pregnant.  Is this normal?  Am I crazy?  I have no idea.  But I do feel this way.  I had a few people I really didn't want to tell my news to because I didn't want to hurt them.  I know how long some wonderful women wait to get pregnant and I know those who continue to miscarry time and time again, and I have definitely had my fair share of conversations with God asking why.  Why is it that 16 year olds who don't want to be moms get pregnant at the drop of a hat but 30 year olds who have college degrees, great jobs, and amazing marriages can't seem to?  Why must fertility treatments be so expensive?  Why does adoption have to be so difficult?  Why isn't wanting a family good enough?  I've never gotten answers, and I know those who are praying so hard for their babies haven't gotten them either.   

I come from a really long line of exceptionally fertile women (on my mom's side).  Seriously, my aunt got pregnant twice (out of three babies) while using birth control (one of those times was TWO forms!).  I realize how lucky I am to take after these women.  It really is a blessing.  With Spencer, we had no idea how long it would take us or what the pregnancy would be like.  Both, it turned out, were fairly easy/lucky.  Yes, I was a week overdue, but I didn't have many complications (until the actual labor part) and I felt great even at 40 weeks and was working full time.  This time, we hoped it would be just as easy to conceive and the pregnancy is a little different (more on that later) but is, so far, progressing without complication. 

I know that being pregnant is a blessing, and I wouldn't change it for the world.  I just hate that I might be making other people upset/feel that it is unfair/sad/etc.  It's NOT fair.  And I wish I could just give everyone who wants one/deserves one a beautiful baby of their own to love on.  It's NOT fair.  My goal for myself is for extra prayers this week and next for those who are waiting on their little, crazy, sweet, bundles of energy.  Yes, someday you, too, will get to pick up all the food off the floor when your one year old dumps it all over, you'll get to fight with them over changing diapers, you'll pick up more books than you can count, you'll fight with stains that just won't come out, but MOST importantly, you'll have someone reach for you, say momma, and kiss you so sweetly that you know nothing could ever be better than this. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our newest family picture........

Boy, it takes a lot of work to keep that a secret around here for 13 weeks!  We're really, really excited to have another little one around here to love on.  I'm not so sure how much Spence will love it, but he'll adjust over time, right???  Right???  I mean, we all did!

I have lots to share with you all over the next few days, weeks, months and hope you'll all stick with me through pregnancy posts AND Spencer posts.  I'll try to keep up with other "adult" stuff like fashion and decorating too!!

Any and all prayers for a safe and healthy pregnancy would always be appreciated :)  I still get all giddy and smiley every single time I make this announcement.  My heart is so happy about this little person!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy 34th (really??  how did this happen??) birthday to me!  We celebrated while we were up north last weekend with my family- apple crisp and vanilla ice cream, fun presents, time spent with family and friends, AND an Ipad 2.  Holy shoot, peeps, I never thought that would be something I would own!  I still don't even have a smart phone!  But, thanks to an awesome husby, I now have one and am listening to it on Pandora as we speak.  We were going to go out for a nice dinner downtown tonight, but instead we decided to skip the long dinner and head to the Apple store instead.  Hey, we already had a babysitter booked, and I want to make sure this thing is protected from a certain 17 month old and figure a few other things out with an Apple geek.  Yea!!!

If anyone has any app recommendations or case/screen cover recs, I will gladly take them!!  Yes, I already have blogger, pinterest, FB, and Pandora loaded. 

I already know that this is going to be a GREAT year!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Spencer, 17 months

Hey, buddy!  You were 17 months old last week!  It's amazing how much fun you are right now.  This is the best age.  You love to play, you love to communicate, you love to help, you are still really cute, and the tantrums are occasional, but very minimal.  I'd keep you here forever if I could!!

We had a gorgeous Indian summer at the beginning of October, and it was nice to let you wear all your cute summer clothes just a few more times before packing them away for our long winter.  You're wearing 12-18 month clothes currently.  Some are getting too tight in the waist, but the 18-24 is WAY to long on your little legs.  You are in size 4.5 Wide shoes- your feet are definitely short and chubby.  I'm not looking forward to buying you winter boots because I've heard that fitting short chubby feet into boots isn't easy!!

Here you are "helping" in the yard.  You love to pick things up and take them where ever we tell you to.  You love to throw things into the garbage and shut doors.  You are so excited when we praise you after doing something.  It takes a lot longer to get little things done, but I know it's worth it as you are learning that everyone helps around the house and helps mommy and daddy.  Your very favorite thing to do is put away shoes.  You LOVE all our shoes.  It's too too funny.

Your favorite things to play with are your bike, your Things that Go flashcards, your books, and your new Elmo doll.  You also love cars and trucks.  At daycare they say that all of you (boys and girls) love to get out the dolls, wrap them in blankets, lay them on the floor, and pat them on the back to put them to sleep.  Chris says it's really funny to watch 8 of you lined up saying "night-night" to all the babies.  I can only imagine how funny it is!!

(At Millenium Park playing in the fountain)

You are still working on learning words.  You can say quite a few animal noises (moo, baa, woof, bow wow, doodle doo (for rooster), hop hop (for bunny), neigh, a wiggly nose kind of snort for oink, and a elephant type noise) but you don't say dog or cat or horsey yet.  You say momma, daddy, mimi and bobo (Abuelo), Gigi, up, please, more, Mo-Mo (elmo), baby, night night, eat, vroom vroom, bus, bike, plane, choo choo, and a few more I'm sure I'm missing.  It is really wonderful to have you communicating with us.  We're really trying to teach you help because you definitely get into situations where you need us or where you get stuck, and it would be helpful to have you be able to tell us what you need.  It hasn't stuck yet, but we're working on it!

You have a few temper tantrums (usually after a long day at daycare or when you are really tired), and it's mostly because you want something and we can't figure it out or because you are being naughty and we correct you on it (throwing food on the floor during dinner is a perfect example).  They usually only last a few minutes and we really have to let you work it out on your own.  You are definitely independent now.  It is funny that if it starts in another room and we move to the kitchen or to the family room, you will get up, come over to where we are, and restart the tantrum in front of us.  It's nice to know that you still want us to know that you need us and want us to be involved (even while you are screaming and throwing yourself on the ground!)

(One of your favorite things- flips off daddy or mommy's shoulders!!)


(Signing more after being flipped)

You are a sweet little guy, Spencer Young and your daddy and I feel blessed every day to be your parents.  You're getting so big and if you could just take a moment or two longer to grow up, I would appreciate it!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dear Katherine,

Why, yes, I would love one.  You are such a darling for making something so cute just for me ;)


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicago Marathon 2011

Marathon training is a LOT of work.  I know I could never in a million years do one (let alone two, three, or twenty).  I don't have that kind of mental determination, I would never take that kind of time for myself, and I don't believe that running at 0400 is any kind of enjoyable.  B had some great (and not so great) training runs this year, and we both knew he was more than ready for this race.  A lot of his long runs were in the 9:30-9:50 pace and he was very comfortable there.  He was really, really hoping to beat his last time, and we both knew that with the training he had been putting in, it was a definite possibility.

The only problem we foresaw was the weather on Sunday.  It's been exceptionally warm here for the past two weeks (70s, 80s) and the forecast for Sunday in Chicago was 84 degrees.  Well, they didn't miss the mark on that one!  It was HOT.  When I left the hotel at 7:30 with Spencer in tow, it was so warm, I didn't even put a jacket on him.  That's how warm it was that early.  For those of you who don't run, this sounds wonderful.  And, as a spectator, I wasn't complaining!  But for B, this is about the worst thing that could happen.  He, and many other runners, would rather run in 30 or 40 degree temps than in 70 or 80 degree temps.  You already know you're going to sweat buckets during a 26.2 mile run, and adding heat to that means that dehydration is a severe threat, chafing can be worse, and you're a lot more tired than normal.  He felt pretty much all those things on Sunday.  I saw him for the first time at mile 8 and he was already saying how he didn't feel like he "had it."  He didn't look bad, though, so I just encouraged him and told him he'd be fine.  He gave us both kisses and kept on his way.  Spence and I navigated the city (side note: crowed el trains and a jogging stroller do NOT mix; 2nd side note: I'm glad we're out of the city.  I would hate doing that every day with a baby!!) and met up with him again at mile 16.  I was nervous as I waited as he was behind his expected time and the text messages I had gotten from the runner tracking weren't the times he needed to PR.  I saw the guy he was running with and he told me that B was "a bit behind him".  So we waited some more and finally saw him.  He looked exhausted.  He said there was no way he was going to PR and was having a hard time even running.  While Spence and I were standing there waiting, even I was sweating, and I wasn't doing a darn thing, so I know B had to be soooo internally hot.  Most of the runners on the course looked way more bedraggled than at many of the other marathons I've watched. 

B came in at 4:51:39, which is about an 11 min mile pace.  WAY behind where he had been training and where he wanted to be.  He was really disappointed with the whole thing.  I felt so bad for him as it's hard to know that you have prepped, prepared, put in tons and tons of hard work, and then something you have no control over ruins your mojo.  That's the way he felt- like his mojo had been taken away from him by the heat.  He's always wanted to do at least three marathons, which is great because this won't leave as bitter as a taste in his mouth as it would if it were his one and only or his last.  I think what has also helped him was that every single person we knew who ran had a bad run.  Two women we knew who have easily qualified for Boston in the past were about 30-40 minutes slower than their average time, so B being about 30 min behind his previous time is about right.  It doesn't necessarily take away the disappointment, but it does take away some of the sting. 

He was happy about his little marathon gift- a new Tervis marathon tumbler.  I saw it this summer and snatched it right up, knowing it was perfect as a reminder of all the hard work and dedication he puts forth during marathon season. 

I'm really proud of him (and so glad that Spence was such a trouper during the whole thing!!), and I know that the next marathon will be much better.  Here's to 2013!!!!  (Yes, he's skipping next year and won't run another one until then)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Marathon Weekend!!

Well, it's a huge weekend for B!  Sunday he runs his 2nd Chicago Marathon.  He is excited as he had a great 20 miler (ahead of pace) and has been feeling really good.  I know he's ready, he knows he's ready, and SYT has no idea what's going on, so we're all quite excited! 

It's going to be harder this time around to watch him as I'll have a stroller and toddler in tow, but I'm hoping we'll be able to see him a few times on the course!  The hardest part is that B will finish right at Spence's nap time.  So do you forgo the nap to watch your husband finish an amazing journey but deal with the aftermath at lunch with all your friends?  Or do you miss the finish line to make the rest of the afternoon more enjoyable?  I can't imagine not being there to support B, so we'll just have to roll as best we can with a mini nap while B showers and we pack the hotel room before lunch and pray that Spence doesn't melt throughout the lunch celebration.

We're leaving early Sat morning, we'll head to the expo and then go settle in at the hotel for a bit, hopefully getting some rest time/nap time in.  I'd like to hit a few stores in the afternoon (have to shop when I can peeps!!) and then we'll have an early dinner at our favorite Lebanese restaurant before tucking into bed to watch the Michigan game and fall asleep for our early morning.

A few people have thought it's weird that B wants Lebanese food as his pre-marathon meal.  He doesn't carbo load at all for races.  He always asks for clean protein, a carb side dish (pasta, rice, or potates) and a veggie.  This works for him.  We'll get the mixed grill at Semi Ramis (soooooo good!), grape leaves, and hummus, and call it an evening.  Clean, healthy, and delish!  I'll probably even convince him to order some extra hummus and pita so that we can take it home with us on Sunday!

B ran the marathon in just under 4:30 last time (4:29:45 if I'm remembering correctly- B you can correct me in the comments!!) and is hoping to come under that time this year.  I don't think he's looking to pound that time- just beat it by a few seconds to minutes.  I think if he comes in at 4:27, he'll be thrilled!  I'll be thrilled just to have him done and healthy!  It's going to be a WARM day out there which makes me a little nervous.  Runners like it cold, especially northern runners!!  A 75 degree day is great for spectators but not so much for my hubs!!

B, I'm so proud of you and all the dedication and time you've put into this.  Spence and I can't wait to see you on the course and cheer you on!!!  We've even got a tiny token of our love for afterwards!!!   If the going gets tough, just remember #it gets better (ha!) and think about that massage on Monday morning!!  Love you!