Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Ok, so some of you have emailed and it seems this RACKs idea is taking off. I'm glad you all are as excited as we are about this. This has always been a passion of mine. We do this as we feel called throughout the year but, this Christmas we are making a list and a point to do more.
I've heard from some of you that you are worried about the $ it will cost to do this. I decided to get a list together of ideas that would not cost a lot. In fact I think the whole list will cost less than $10 total.

Things to keep in mind as you create your list:
RACKs are not about the money you invest, instead it is about the way you make a person feel.

Here are just a few ideas that are meaningful and cost are not high.
1. Buy a box of Candy canes and attach one of them to the RACK note, leave it on a windshield or a neighbors door. (There are what 12 in a box, you can do this 12 times, just because it is the same to you doesn't mean it is the same to everyone you gave it to.)

2. Make cards and call a local nursing home or retirement home. Find out who doesn't get much mail and send a card from Santa. :)

3. Visit a local nursing home with candy canes in hand.

4. Make Hot Cocoa and deliver it to someone working outside or someone you think could use a pick me up.

5. Donate clothing to those in need.

6. Bake Cookies and then package them to give to someone who could use a treat.

7. Stand outside a busy store that doesn't have automatic doors and open them for others, do this for a period of time.

8. Donate your time to a cause--whatever cause that may be.

9. Write a note to someone who has made an impact on your life and tell them why.

10. Donate gently used books to a school or library.

You can go here for another inspiration!
52 Random Acts of Kindness - One a week for a year!

So, go spread kindess and be a blessing to others.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What do you do when your child tells you they know Santa isn't real?

I've suspected for a number of years that Little Man was on the fence--maybe even just playing along to make us feel good. The kid has an amazing heart, so I wouldn't put it past him.

Well, turns out I was right. He let us know that he knew that Santa was not real. That we were Santa and he was OK with it all. I knew it was coming, in fact my husband and I had a conversation just a few weeks ago wondering when it would all come to a head.

So, was I shocked? No. (Although, I still got tears in my eyes because this was just something else to add to the long list of things that say he is growing up fast.)

Was I prepared? Actually, yes I was. Because I had time to prepare.

You see one day when he was 5, he let us know clear as day that there was no tooth fairy and there was no Easter Bunny. The kid had not even lost a tooth. So, I never got to play the tooth fairy. Sniff, sniff. Although, thankfully he's did a good job allowing friends to still believe.

But, that day, he gave a hint that he was totally on the fence and was not really all into the Santa thing either. I skirted that one, as I was not prepared to have my 5 year old tell me there was no Santa either. But, I knew he was questioning the whole thing and even wanting that conversation. But, what's a Mom to do?

Simple, be prepared with the truth. The simple, honest truth. So, I worked at it and then last year, I came across something so well written that I knew it would help me with my truth letter/talk. So, I began my letter to Little Man and used some of this writing to help me.

Here is the link to what I used for inspiration. I hope this helps you writing your own letters or having your own talk.

 Link: The Simple Truth

Because this did help me, it helped to explain it in such a wonderful way to him.

The outcome: He's thrilled to be on Santa's team and I have to say he's a great addition!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

How the Marathon became more than just a race day event (part 2)

The Day of the Marathon....
Of course, I failed to sleep the night before. I was up a lot. I had not been feeling well; I was thinking that was all part of the taper madness that I had been dealing with leading up to the race. (By the way, taper madness is not fun. You can do a google search for more information on that.)

Anyway, I woke up and starting prepping at 4AM.  I got my food in me, made sure I had everything I needed and mentally got my head prepared for what I would face. Then, I got my family up, ready and out the door.

Along the way, I was getting pep talks from my son. I really think he liked being on the other side of things. I am usually the pep talk one, but this time he got to “mother” me. I soaked it in and thought what a great heart he has. I also wondered if that is what I sound like to him before games.

We arrived at 6AM, just as I was supposed to.  Then, we waited around until 6:30AM when the race began. I met a few ladies at the start and took pictures for them so they could remember their morning. It was their first Marathon and they should remember it fondly. As for me, I got a few last minute hugs from my husband and son-just what I needed and I was on my way.  

The course was not well marked, which lead me to follow a map that was not drawn to scale and didn’t have all the streets on it. There must have been at least 3 times I thought I was lost. I wasn’t, but I had to stop to figure this out. Why couldn’t I just follow those in front of me? At first, I could and did follow the few in front of me- we were keeping close in a pack.

However, they decided to take off running around mile 1 ½. Yes, I did say I was the walker division; apparently there are loose rules for that. I was frustrated, but reminded myself that I didn’t train to run this, I trained to walk it. So, that’s what I did.

I had anxiety over the course until it was better marked. I decided that I would keep a pace that I knew I could finish and reach the goal of under 6 hours. But, most importantly I wanted to enjoy this day. When shooting for anything under 6,I  knew I wouldn’t get my reach, reach goal. But, instead just a time that would allow me to take in all there was in this first marathon of mine. Looking back, that was a great decision as; I can now look back with fond memories on that first marathon. I was able to cheer others on, encourage them and hopefully helped a few along the way to achieve the results they wanted that day.

My support crew helped with this being such a wonderful memory. I got emails, text messages, phone calls, care packages all to make sure I was mentally ready for this day. Then, the day of I had 3 amazing friends who each joined me for a few miles and it was wonderful to have the company, it made me feel so loved and cared for. (Girls if you read this, you were awesome and I am so blessed!)  Of course, I had my husband and son out there cheering for me. They met me at miles 6, 7 and 25. My son had notes for me at miles 5, 10, 15, and 20.  What more could a girl need?

The notes were as follows:

Mile 5’s note: Believe in the Lord and you will have succeeded. We are counting on you. C’mon!

Mile 10’s note: Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength they will soar on wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31. We are counting on you. Try your hardest. Do your best.

Mile 15’s note: I believe in you. Do your best. Try! C’mon try! Go baby! Go Power walk Go! Don’t give up now- go!

Mile 20’s note: Make this count. 6.2 more miles. C’mon Go power walk. Run, do anything except give up!

While out there, I twisted my ankle twice. It kind of hurt, but honestly I couldn’t feel it that much at that point. Plus, I knew I was not stopping! I carried my supply of water and gummies with me. Along with a few other supplies just in case I needed them.

Around mile 22, I didn’t want to give up but between mile 22 and 23 I knew I had to get in it mentally. It became tough; it wasn’t that I didn’t think I could physically do it. It was more that my brain was telling my body to stop and I was fighting with it. It’s hard to put into words, but whatever it was I got through it. I knew my legs were swelling and starting to hurt. But, I knew if I stopped that I would pass out. I could feel that. So, I focused on the fact that I had only a few more miles to go. That way I was able to get myself snapped out of it and get back into the mental mindset that I needed to have to finish. I had a friend with me at this point and I think that truly helped me. 

Mile 25 came and I saw my son and husband there waiting for me. I waved and smiled. (I smiled a lot during this race.) At this point it was so good to see them. Then, my son joined me and took over for the friend that was there for those few miles before. His presence was just what I needed to finish.

After I finished and I got a hug from my husband, I knew that if I stood still any longer that I would indeed pass out. So, I walked around and we grabbed a few pictures thanks to my friend and her family. Yes, I walked around more and I took the stairs down to the car. I got in the car and could hardly believe that it was over. What a day, what an experience. The scripture that stuck in my head all through training was there with me then at the marathon and it is so true. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

What’s next? Well, I have more goals to reach for and I plan on reaching for them, as this is just the beginning.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How the Marathon became more than just a race day event (Part 1 of 2)

Yes, this started out as something on my bucket list. Something, I wanted to accomplish and tackle and cross off that list. But, along the way it became so much more. As I found myself training, I also found myself growing deeper.

You see, I feel (and have talked to others that would agree) that marathon training has a lot of parallels to life, faith and relationships. What you are putting into it, you will also get out of it.

When training for a marathon, it becomes important to focus on what you are putting into your body, your training and your head. Your nutrition will either help or hurt your long mile days. Your training, if you do it diligently will pay off for you at race time. And it’s important to fill your head with ideas, hopes, desires that are pure and positive as those will carry you through the long miles.

The same holds true in everyday life. The food you put into your body affects your health and well being. The way you choose to live your life affects you and everyone around you, and what goes in that head effects how you live your life. It’s one big circle of sorts.

I went on this journey without someone who was going to race with me that day, which seemed silly and foreign to many. I got the “you mean you’re doing this alone? “  Yes, I was- well sort of. At the start, I had my wonderful son to guide me though the long training miles. It was pure joy when he would accompany me on his bike. You see, I love the close relationship that we share and this journey just enhanced that even more. 

My son made me laugh with the things he would say to get me to train harder. His motivational speeches were priceless. I still heard them in my head even when he wasn’t with me on the long sessions anymore. In fact, I can still hear him saying, Mom, just think there is a pack of hungry wolves behind you. Think about them closing in on you and know that all they eat is ladies. Hilarious! Then, there was the time he told me I should sprint the last ½ mile after we had already gone at least 3 miles longer than what I was supposed to go that day—which was out of pure mistake on my part. But, at that point, he saw no reason that I shouldn’t push myself harder. Really, he was right. Makes me smile and laugh every time I think about his motivation. Those days and miles are soaked in my heart forever.

My husband also supported me along this journey with encouraging words and patience as I took some time planning the long training. Even when I had to use a Saturday or two to do a long training session.

I had other family and friends that would not train for such a thing, to them I was nuts, but were a great support for me. I was given motivational pep talks, text messages, phone calls and emails.

Of course, I was never without the LORD. We never are in the things that we do. So, did I have to be the one to lace up my sneakers and hold myself accountable, yes? Was I really alone? No.

After my son was back in school, and I found that my training was no longer filled with our special time together. I missed him and his motivation. But, the training then became my time. My time to focus on my faith, my life and those around me and I found myself looking for ways that I could improve all of those things.  I found that extra time to take care of me rewarding-- even if it was beating my body with 20 miles of pavement.

You see, I am the type of person that strives to always do better; I am not a very complacent type of person. I want to be better, be stronger, and shine brighter. I don’t want to just do that in a race, but I want this in all aspects of my life.  That’s not something I learned through training, it is something that training reinforced.

Honestly marathon training didn’t lead me to any huge revelations. Instead, it allowed me time to clear my head, open my heart, and allow my mind to listen. Listen to what the Lord had in store for me. After all, 20 miles on a given training day, allows a long time of listening.

Another reinforcement that came was a reminder that HIS timing is always right. I truly feel that the marathon hit me at the right time. I had always wanted to do it when I was younger, but I feel that God worked it all out so it could hit my life at just the time I needed it to.

There were tough times in training that reinforced what I learned from labor and delivery—which was that my body was stronger than I give it credit for — that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.

I saw a shirt once that read:

At mile 20- I thought I was dead

At mile 22- I wished I was dead

At mile 24- I knew I was dead

At mile 26.2- I knew I had become too tough to kill.

 At mile 20, I didn’t think I was dead and at no point did I ever wish I was dead. Wishing I was at the finish line already--sure. Dead, no way, I was living a dream and cheering others on for their dream, goal, personal best, etc. It was magical, a painful type of magical.

Everything in life requires some type of dedication on our part. Your faith doesn’t grow deeper without putting the time in, your relationships don’t get better without putting time into them and your body won’t be stronger without taking care of it.  You have to make the choice to commit. Like I had said before there were no new revelations in training, just good reinforcement. Sometimes that is all we need is some good reinforcement.

So, the day of the race, what was it like? One word…Amazing. But, I am saving that story for another day- maybe tomorrow. :) As you've already read too much today and if you made it this far through my rambles, I am impressed!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

So, how did it go? and Thanksgiving!

I bet you are all wondering. Ok, by you all, I mean those of you that have been reading about the Marathon and that it was coming up.

Well, it's over and I am still here to talk about it. :) More than that, I will have a post that I am getting ready to share with all of you. But, more of that later, when I get my thoughts together and ready to share with all of you.

I also wanted to share some thanksgiving things with each of you. Since that is fast approaching.

Kids thanksgiving Party idea: GO HERE! But, be prepared to be in awe of everything! Totally cute!

Check out eighteen25 blogspot for ideas by clicking here.
photo from http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/ 
The crafts below are by the tipjunkie. Be sure to click on the link and explore all the ideas!
all crafts 20 Thanksgiving Crafts To Make
Go Over to the TipJunkie for more ideas!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Because I got emails on the Random Acts of Kindness blog post...

and you all thought it was a great idea. Well, here you go...add this to your file this Holiday season!

Random acts of Kindness does not have to be limited to Christmas, but what a perfect time to get started. There is even a print off that you can use. Enjoy and have fun! Be sure to let me know how it went if you do it. Making our family list now. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Turkey-onsie homemade...

This could be a no sew project. :)
Pinned Image
Found on guess where...pinterest!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Random Acts

So, I've discussed this many times. When I was teaching, with family, and most recently with my Youth Group at church.
So, when I came across this, I had to share it with all of you...
Random Acts Birthday