Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Haley's First Mile and the Story of Mine

Haley ran her first race! The Turkey Trot Kid's One Mile was the perfect distance for Haley to run.  After she was done, she asked me if she could run another race the next day.  Addicted already?  At least it's a healthy addiction!  During the race, one child stopped at a port-a-potty for a quick break.  It reminded me of my first race--The Sixth Grade Mile....allow me to tell the story:

You weren't allowed to join the track team at Logan Middle School until you were in 7th grade, but once a year the 6th graders were invited to have a fun run on the track.  I remember showing up with my white Keds and my street clothes, ready to take on the world.  The gun went off, and for the first 200 meters, I was in first place--sprinting ahead of all the boys.  Reality set in after 300 meters, and I soon drifted back in the pack.

Now, as you well know, one mile is 4 laps around the track.  If you can imagine with me, at one end of the track there was the starting line (which is--of course--also the finish line) and at the clear other end of the track there was a bathroom.  Halfway through my 3rd lap, I started to feel thirsty.  I had sprinted so hard in the beginning and was pushing a good pace, but now was starting to feel it.  Not knowing any better, I exited the track and got myself a nice, long drink and even took a bathroom break.  After taking a couple of minutes to catch my breath and recover, I joined the mass of others--who were now VERY spread out and even lapping each other--in finishing my 3rd lap.

Now, what happened next changed the rest of my life.  I turned the corner and started running down the "home stretch" to finish lap #3.  The coaches must have lost track of who was on which lap because--next thing I know--I hear the coaches shouting and yelling my name. "ANNIE HALEY!!!!!  BRING IT HOME STRONG!!!!"  I started to pick up the pace, not completely sure what was happening.  Others started to line the track and cheer for me, "ANNIE!  You're almost done!!" (Huh?  I am?! ) FINISH STRONG!!!" I started to sprint towards the finish line, trying to convince myself that I had run 4 laps.

I crossed the finish line and immediately my 6th grade P.E. teacher came up to me with his stopwatch and eyebrows raised in excitement.  I had won.  I had made an AMAZING time....possibly even broke the 6th Grade Mile Record (can't remember for sure).  The high school cross country coach came over, introduced himself and started recruiting me for the team.  The other coaches surrounded me, talking of my talent and my potential.  I stood in the spotlight beaming, completely ignoring the voice that was telling me I was a deceitful, conniving cheat.

It wasn't until after placing in the Division 1 Wisconsin High School State Cross-Country Championships that I confessed to my coach what I had done years earlier.  I've often wondered how different my life would have been if I hadn't stopped for that drink on lap #3.  Here is a picture of Haley finishing her mile on the track...Oh, and Yes....she ran the entire thing.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Do you ever...

Do you ever lay on the ground and look up at the pale, white moon in the afternoon sky and think about how you are sitting on a speck of cosmic dust suspended in space at the mercy of its Creator?

Just wondering...

Do you ever sit on the driveway with your four-year old after breakfast and talk about the miracle of skin cell reproduction?

Do you ever hide your to-do list for a day so you can spend more time looking at your husband in the eyes and being there to listen when he decides to talk?

Do you ever sit at a lake with waves lapping and sea gulls laughing and listen to nothing but your thoughts?

Do you ever paint ceramic tea cups with your six year old and have as much fun as she is blending the colors?

Do you ever sit down and do nothing else except watch your children play as the autumn shadows dance on the wall?

Do you ever look at your baby and marvel at how she used to be the size of a poppy seed?

Do you ever look at everyone around you and marvel at how they used to be the size of a poppy seed?

Do you ever look AT YOURSELF and marvel at how YOU used to be the size of a poppy seed?

Do you ever look deeply at your reflection and ponder how one day God will draw your last breathe and you will cease to exist on this earth?

Do you ever put down the broom and have a tickle party in the middle of the day because the dirty floors will always be there...but your kids will not.

Do you ever say no to something so that your family can take a walk together in the last rays of the day?

Do you ever watch the sunset and linger as long as the colors?

Don't book your weekends.

November in Virginia

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blogging Binge

Blogging Binge:  When you have neglected your blogging duties for over three weeks and finally sit down to chronicle the memories of the last month.  Hope you enjoy!


Colby can't just enjoy something himself. If he finds something he really likes, he wants EVERYONE he knows to experience the bliss as well. Last year he read a thought-provoking book and purchased copies for thirty people. You probably were one of them! The latest joy has been his Nike Plus running watch. For months he told me that I needed to get one.
I refused. Haley's princess watch that I bought her for Christmas two years ago will suffice.
He BEGGED me to let him buy me one. I told him that if he bought me one....I would return it.
Last month he bought me my own Nike Plus watch and hid the receipt.

I love it.

I know, I me a laggard on the innovation bell curve, but I am not quick to try new things. I need a Colby in my life to force me into putting off the old and trying the new. If you don't have a Nike Plus watch, you should. I'm not going to buy one for everyone, but just take my advice. Because I know my pace and how far I'm running now, I can set goals and work my way up. I'm already at 5 miles and am training for a 10K next week.

In this picture, Colby is showing his Dad some of the exercises we've been doing with Jillian Michaels and her new SHRED workout. I gained a lot of weight with this last pregnancy and Jillian has been whipping me back into shape. Not only have we done the workouts, but we have really gotten into watching THE BIGGEST LOSER on Addicted actually. It has actually motivated me seeing how 400+ pound people can lose weight. If they can, I can too, right?

More Grandparents!

Nonny and Poppy drove their new car "Desmond" over 1,000 miles to come see us (Grandkids have a way of making you do absurd things). The weekend included bike rides with my Dad on Rt. 234, a trip to Old Mine Ranch to ride horses and feed animals, eating out, going to the 3rd annual Pelt Catanament, and listening to Gracie coo. The highlight of their trip was when Colby and I discovered a green sticker my mother had put on the back of her cell phone. It read "PLEASE...IF YOU FIND THIS PHONE, PLEASE CALL ME AT (###) ###-####." Colby and I looked at it, looked at each other and said, "Isn't this YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER that you're asking them to CALL?" True Story. We love you Nonny! Don't lose your cell'll never get it back!

Reformation Day

We like to celebrate Reformation Day by getting free candy. Some of Haley's friends at church must have explained proper Halloween etiquette to them, because they came up to me Sunday after church saying, "Wow! All you have to do in America is knock on the door and say 'Trick or Treat'! That is SO EASY!" Last year in Iceland, the kids had to go up to complete strangers and sing a song for them in order to earn candy (Darcy made up a rap and that seemed to pass.) This year was easier and we racked in a lot of chocolate to make up for the black licorice and other foreign candy from last year.

P.S. Haley's Mulan costume: $1.00.  Gotta love Northern Virginia yard sales!

Great Grammy and Great Grandchild #11

Fall Fun Activity

There are few things nicer than returning home after a run on a cold, windy morning to the scene of your kids making homemade applesauce with their grandparents and the house smelling better than a Yankee Candle.


Haley Jane is 6. It's happening...everyone says it, but now we're experiencing it. Colby and I were both emotional as we recounted how quickly the years have flown and how unbelievable it is that our baby is a first grader. To celebrate the big day, we went to church and brought back eight girls with us. Haley had made out an itinerary that we executed quite well...right down to the princess pinata. After a princess lunch, princess pedicures, pin the jewel on the crown, a princess treasure hunt, and a princess cake we were ready for presents. In this picture, Haley is opening the Jasmine Barbie she had been asking for all year long (that I found at a yard sale for $1.50). Score.

A Celebration of Haley Jane

To celebrate the life God has given to Haley Jane, I made a slideshow that documents the last six years.


Darcy ADORES her little sister. Sometimes a little too much. If you have been around our family for more than 90 seconds, you've most likely witnessed Darcy diving into Gracie's carseat, smothering her with kisses, and gritting her teeth and shaking because of how cute she is. It's a scene straight out of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck ("We know you love them, but don't hurt the rabbits, Lennie..."). Gracie just blinks and tries to suck on Darcy's chin.