My dearest treadmill,

This is a hard letter to write. You and I have had so many wonderful times together — helping me get back in shape after Will was born, training for the ten-miler, listening to Britney Spears … even when times were tough, I always knew you were there for me. You really mean a lot to me, treadmill, so what I have to say is painful.

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You see, I’ve been cheating on you.

It started innocently enough, as these things do. You see, my new job comes with a fantastic perk — a discount on a gym membership! The gym. My old gym. My second home throughout 2011 and 2012. You know how much I have missed my gym membership since I stopped working, and Steve and I went to meet with the membership team over there one night a few weeks ago. (This doesn’t mean you were a second-rate gym replacement, treadmill! I love you for you, I promise.) Sure, we signed some papers and got keychains for the whole family, but it didn’t have to mean anything.

A few days later, I brought Will to the child care area while I — I’m sorry, but I have to say it — ran on the treadmill at the gym. Will it help if I say it was a really crappy run? (That’s a lie. It was a great run. Those treadmills have TVs, and built-in people watching. Is it my fault that my usual treadmill view is this?

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I’m sorry. That was harsh. It’s not your fault either.)

But here’s the thing — Will had a great time in the child care area. They had different cars and trucks, other kids to stare at play with, and lots and lots of room to crawl. Can you offer me that? Sure, running during naptime has been great this last year, but Will is down to one nap a day now, which means that naptime runs cut into naptime chores a lot more than they used to.

Though it may add insult to injury, I also have to confess that … I haven’t even been running much at the gym. I mean, they have yoga. Yoga! The thing I have missed so much since Will was born, the beloved practice I have struggled to maintain — it’s suddenly all available to me again. My gym has an amazing yoga program and I can take a vinyasa class almost any day of the week. I’ve been working on arm balances and challenging myself with new binds and deeper backbends. (I am sure you can appreciate with me, treadmill, the answer to prayer that this new job has been. Meaningful work + flexible schedule + great pay + regular yoga practice with child care included? It’s over the top, really.)

So yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of yoga again and it feels so great. But it doesn’t end there. I’m sorry. I really am. I’m sorry — but I’ve discovered spinning.

Please don’t look at me like that.

You see — can I navel-gaze a minute? Will you indulge me? — you see, my heart just hasn’t been into running these last few months. Ten-miler training was really difficult for me both physically and mentally; you may recall that I found out at the end of January (six weeks before the race and at the peak of training) that my thyroid had gone from mildly hyper to wildly hypo, thanks to the fact that I apparently no longer needed my hyperthyroid medication. (Normal TSH levels are something like between 1 and 3; mine was over 7.) I felt terrible and run-down and miserable and tired and unmotivated nearly all the time, and I found training in general very tiring. I haven’t run further than four miles since the race and my weekly mileage has often been under ten miles total. Before the weather got really hot I was doing a lot of stroller running, and my speed is actually great these days (I think because my runs are so short I can go all-out with speed more often), but even though my latest bloodwork showed normal (and unmedicated!) thyroid levels, I’m just not in love with running right now. Like homemade yogurt, we are on a break.

Enter spinning. I hate to have to tell you this, but I’ve been to a couple of spinning classes and it is really fun and definitely just as hard as running! (I’m sorry. Again, I’m sorry. It’s just the truth.) I am headed back for another class tomorrow morning and I will definitely be pretending I’m climbing the Pyrenees in my red and white polka dot jersey.

Now feels like it would be a good time to start a new paragraph with the phrase but it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. Except — I can’t. It has been all sunshine and rainbows. Will loves the child care area, I love my workouts — they even have a rooftop pool, though that has little to do with working out — the routine is great and it’s so much easier to take Will to the gym on Saturday morning while I go to spin class instead of trying to figure out when to fit in a run around Steve’s tennis matches. I lost a lot of workout motivation this spring after I finished the ten-miler and I’m glad I’ve got it back, even if I’m not running as much.

I just hate that it’s come to this, treadmill. I promise I’m not leaving you forever. You’re not destined for a yard sale. I still love you and you were an integral part of Will’s first year. I am sure you will continue to be irreplaceable during times to come as well, when the gym isn’t a part of our everyday lives. Take heart! I can’t bring Will to child care when he has a runny nose, for example, and some days a naptime workout will make the most sense. I still love you.

But I had to come clean. I’m a cheater. I am.

I’ve talked about this before, but while I’ve always enjoyed and valued cooking from scratch, this past year I’ve discovered that I also really enjoy some more extreme kitchen-and-home DIY. I waxed rhapsodic about home-brewed kombucha, I plotted homemade yogurt, and I experimented with oil cleansing. A huge — hugepressure canner took up residence in my kitchen. It has been a lot of fun, BUT it must be said. It has not all been successful fun. Here are the ways I have totally failed at my extreme DIY domesticity.

1. The kombucha.

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So beautiful, right? —  but where I struggled with homemade kombucha was both in execution and need. First, I have not been able to make a good batch of kombucha. I can’t seem to get it fizzy enough! However, I think a large part of my lack of success is because I just don’t have a lot of experience with it; you get better at most things by doing them, so I suppose if I were to keep at it, my kombucha skills would improve. The bottom line is, though, that I just don’t drink enough kombucha to make brewing it myself worth my time. I know, I know — there goes my merit badge. And I know, I know: ferments are so good for you! I do still have my collection of SCOBYs, though, so I may give it another go this summer just for fun when I start getting a lot of fruits and berries in my CSA. I do like peering at what’s growing in the jar as it ferments.

2. Oil cleansing. Now, the oil cleansing method sounds so intriguing, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it sound … too good to be true, maybe? THAT’S BECAUSE IT IS. I don’t know why I’m such a fool, but I experimented with oil cleansing for way too long and my skin is still trying to recover. I freely admit that I am jealous of the thousands and thousands of people who wrote glowing reviews of the OCM claiming that it was life-changing. I wanted this to work. It’s so natural! So cheap! So easy and promising and nourishing! I was (and still am) tired of feeling like my skin was dry and then slathering on a thick layer of moisturizer. But I finally had to throw in the towel, because my skin, instead of being dewy and younger-looking and fresh and glowing, was constantly irritated and inflamed. And there goes another merit badge!

However — I have found another cheap, natural and very hydrating and nourishing cleanser that is conveniently oil-free that my skin happens to love. Raw honey! Raw honey doesn’t remove makeup, so I usually only use it in the morning. Smear it on a dry face, leave it for a minute or two, and rinse off. Done! At night, I’m using a more traditional face wash that’s paraben- and sulfate-free, and things are getting back to normal. Lesson learned: if you have a good skin-care routine, don’t mess with it.

3. Homemade yogurt.

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This pains me to write, because it’s not like I found making my own yogurt to be too inconvenient or time-consuming or messy or annoying. I didn’t. I actually really like making yogurt. No, it’s far worse than that. You see, the reason homemade yogurt and I are on a break right now is this:

I like store-bought yogurt better.

I know: it’s almost too horrible to comprehend, isn’t it? And yet, there it is. I like store-bought yogurt better. It’s the pectin. Homemade yogurt is too runny for my taste! I guess I was just raised with the thickened stuff and it’s what I’m used to and prefer. The other issue with the way I was making yogurt was that the yogurt maker I have has you culture it in seven small glass jars, which makes just over one quart of yogurt total. I could then strain the yogurt to thicken it, which I did several times — the only thing then is that you wind up with about a pint of Greek yogurt, and we can go through two quarts in a week.

Now, I will say that I haven’t yet tried making yogurt in my crock pot, but I have a friend who does that to great success; she strains two quarts of Greek yogurt every week. I am definitely interested in giving that a try if I can come up with a way to keep the milk culturing well enough. My friend uses a crock pot insulator, so maybe I’ll try that out. I know you can also use coolers filled with hot water, heating pads, towels … what I really want is a warming drawer under my oven, but that’s not a part of my life right now. Heh. But seriously, if I could make yogurt in larger quantities successfully, I’d definitely do it. So this hasn’t been totally taken off the table. Like Ross and Rachel, we are just on a break.

But take heart, my friends: my merit badges have not all been torn off my happy-hippie-homemade-scouting vest. For one thing, canning is going well — I processed twenty-seven jars of strawberry jam a few weeks ago, and I’ve also tried out chicken and beans to great success. A few more weeks and canning season will be going strong, with tomatoes, peaches, and pickling cucumbers getting ready to ripen. My goal is to can a ton of tomatoes to use throughout the next year, and I am looking forward to making my own bread-and-butter pickles, hopefully with cucumbers from my garden! I am also hooked on home-canned chicken (excellent for salad toppings and casseroles) and beans are super easy if I can remember to soak them the night before.

I’ve also had a lot of success with homemade deodorant. (Stick with me here.) Mine is a mix of coconut oil, cornstarch and baking soda, with a few drops of jasmine essential oil; it works every bit as well as Dove ever did and there’s no potentially harmful ingredients in it! Plus it costs a fraction of what conventional deodorant does. I am also using a shampoo bar. I have never had much of an interest in doing the whole baking-soda-as-shampoo thing (it’s too utilitarian for my tastes), but I love my shampoo bar! It works every bit as well as conventional shampoo, with all natural ingredients and much less waste. I was following it with an apple cider vinegar rinse, but I ran into a few issues with that: the same utilitarian feel (I like luxury bath products, ok?), plus it kind of smelled like vomit and I found the actual rinse kind of awkward and would often wind up spilling it on the floor of the tub behind me. These are terrible problems, I realize, and I appreciate your sympathy here.

Overall, though, I think I’m finding a happy medium when it comes to an all-natural lifestyle. When I’m trying new things I like to jump all in and then assess to see what I want to keep and what I can let go of. I did the same thing when I started running; I’ve spent enough time out on the road (and the treadmill) by now to know that I love running — but I have absolutely zero interest in a marathon. I’m coming to similar conclusions here. I love and highly value a natural lifestyle, but I am not going to forgo Western medicine in favor of herbs and essential oils, and I’m okay with buying my yogurt at the store simply because I like it better than the stuff I make myself. It’s all a work in process, though. I’m sure I have many more merit badges to earn still!

I’m still alive!

Obviously, things have been pretty quiet on the blog front, as I was reminded just today by my dear friend Melissa. That is partly intentional and partly just natural; I haven’t had too much to say lately. Truthfully I’ve always felt like my blog is the story of my journey out of grief — and now that that isn’t so much a part of my everyday life, I guess I’m not sure what the story is. So is there one? We’ll see. I thought I would stop by with a little update on how things are going.

First, there’s this guy:

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Behind him is our makeshift baby gate, which was totally ineffective once he figured out he could just push them out of the way.

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He is now 14 months old. The above picture captures him in a rare moment of repose. He is not walking yet (we are in no hurry for that milestone to arrive, honestly) but he is EXTREMELY busy pulling up, standing, cruising, pushing cars, stacking cups, and looking at the one page on his “baby’s first 100 words” book that has all the pictures of cars and trucks on it. He also now has three teeth, including one of his upper front teeth (it just poked through on Sunday!) which means soon he will be looking much more like a toddler. I know it’s very unusual to not have any top teeth at this age, but I just feel fortunate that I got to keep my baby looking like a baby for as long as I have. Soon enough he’ll have all kinds of teeth and be walking and talking — I am savoring these last few baby days for as long as I can.

This is also happening:

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Can you believe it?? In the back are two out of control cucumber plants and some bell peppers. The mass of green leaves are green beans. In the foreground, which you can’t see, are summer squash.

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SERIOUSLY out of control. We have had a very wet, cool spring which I think has helped matters tremendously, and it’s so exciting to watch the progress! I hope I’m not sidelined by any blight or blossom end rot.

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I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this.

There are also tomatoes in containers on the deck, like I did last year:

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I tried spinach in another pot, and peas and lettuce in the ground around the deck, but it didn’t take off. Too much clay and not enough sun around the deck (and, uh, too many neighborhood bunnies); poor soil quality for the spinach. Poor soil quality actually almost ruined my tomatoes, too, but a trip to the garden store for some fertilizer and compost tea helped them to perk back up. I am actually learning a lot about gardening this year and it’s been a lot of fun. I’m at the stage now where I’m realizing how little I know, but a) I’m starting to develop the resources I need to figure out the answers to my questions, and b) I also am starting to know my limits so as to not become overwhelmed. All I need to know is how to help my plants thrive this year, and next year if I feel able to, I can learn more and go from there. No need to start the urban homestead just yet. I just hope I get to eat some homegrown produce later this summer and feel like the effort we’ve been putting in has been (somewhat, at least) worth it.

Really, though, the vegetable garden has been a lot of fun. We rebuilt the raised beds (and by “we” I mean Steve and my dad) and filled it in with a mix of really high quality soil, and the difference in this year’s garden vs. gardens past is pretty amazing. Again, I think a lot of that is because we’ve had a lot of rain, but the most important garden lesson I’ve learned so far is that soil quality matters. Amazing, right?

I was unsuccessful putting vegetables around my deck, so I think I want to replace them with some perennials, but that project is more slow-going. I have made tenuous peace with the ugly bushes; we are going to replace the largest one with a hydrangea or a berry bush of some sort (anyone know of a nice, hopefully flowering bush that does well in a fair amount of shade?), but not anytime in the immediate future. One thing at a time!

The last update that I want to share is the most exciting, though. Are you ready? Here it is:

I got a job.

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YEAH.

I got a job working for my church coordinating the nursery! It is actually a perfect opportunity — it allows me to use (and build!) my gifts and professional skills doing meaningful work that I think I’ll really enjoy. It is a shared position, and I will be working about 10-15 hours per week, including every other Sunday and every other Wednesday during the school year. I can bring Will with me to the nursery and do the rest of the behind-the-scenes work from home. I will also, for the first time, be supervising others, so I am definitely thinking through and praying about how I want that to work.

It is a real answer to prayer, though. I’ve talked about it before, but I have struggled a lot in the past year without having any kind of professional identity or outlet for using my gifts, so I am incredibly thankful for the chance to join the working world in a way that also allows me the flexibility I want right now. To be totally honest, I often wonder whether I’ve let myself down for “opting out” when my career was in such a good place, and I still miss it painfully, so truthfully I am SO grateful for an opportunity to just continue working, treading water so to speak, while also being able to care for my child(ren, someday) and maintain my own schedule. It shows me too that God hears our hearts and that He does honor those deep desires.

Oh, and I do have a long-term plan here, I think. Since I just said above that I miss my career so much, the obvious question is, well, why not return to it? — I just think I’ve decided that rather than return directly to the workforce, I want to go back for my MSW in the next few years if it’s possible. Which is yet another reason why I’m so thrilled about this opportunity.

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Look, I just couldn’t find any picture that had a big enough smile.

 

Compare this picture:

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… to one taken almost exactly a year ago.

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Amazing how much the human body grows and develops in just one year, isn’t it?

Will turned one on Thursday — capping off a week in which he 1. got his first tooth (!!), 2. officially dropped to one nap, and 3. started riding in a convertible car seat. Where did my baby go? All of a sudden he seems so big. Time is going by so fast these days and I wish I could slow the hours down.

I kept hearing when I was pregnant, over and over again, that being a mom was so hard. Having babies was so hard. Life would be so hard, it’s so hard, it’s just so hard.

And yeah, it is hard sometimes. I have some days and weeks where I am lonely and tired and I wish I had coworkers to talk to or something more intellectually stimulating to do. I rinse out a lot of diapers. My body is never again going to return to its pre-baby state.

But hard is not the first word that comes to mind when I think about motherhood. I think joyful, I think amazing, I think huge, I think awe-inspiring. It is all those things — and also fun, weird, frustrating, humbling, hilarious — before it is hard. Life is amazing (I mean Life here, not my own small little present-day) and I feel stunned and overwhelmed sometimes when I think of the enormity of the task ahead of me. What a tremendous responsibility parenting is. But I feel so blessed and fortunate that it is such a joyful responsiblity. I have done nothing to deserve all of the goodness and wonder in my life, and yet: here it is all the same.

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“Long ago, before we were married, H. was haunted all one morning as she went about her work with the obscure sense of God (so to speak) ‘at her elbow,’ demanding her attention. And of course, not being a perfected saint, she had the feeling that it would be a question, as it usually is, of some unrepented sin or tedious duty. At last she gave in—I know how one puts it off—and faced Him. But the message was, ‘I want to GIVE you something’ and instantly she entered into joy.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

I can’t help but relate to H.

 

I finished Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours last week feeling pretty settled in the fact that I don’t think she’d like me very much.

Don’t get me wrong — I gleaned some good wisdom from her, especially stuff that I can take with me when I eventually resume working outside the home again. Learning more about how to be more efficient and mindful with one’s time is something I am always interested in.

But I would love to hear her thoughts on my lifestyle in general. Cloth diapering? Homemade yogurt? Cooking from scratch? Cleaning your own house?? — Based on an entire chapter in which she chronicles women’s triumphant liberation from the tyranny of homemaking, she clearly doesn’t think very highly of it in general, which is a sad thing to me. I’m not morally opposed to some of her suggestions, but her basic advice in the “home” section of the book seems to boil down to if you don’t want to do it, pay someone to do it for you, which I think is overly simplistic, not realistic for a lot of people, and frankly short-sighted. I think eschewing a lot of these humble, everyday, unglamorous errands and chores is, in a way, eschewing a lot of life in general.

Yeah, it gets old and tiresome and tedious, but there’s something inherently satisfying in homemaking to me that I think I would miss — a lot — if I were to allow someone else to maintain my home for me, do my cooking, wash my clothes, and do my gardening. And I read a blog post* today that elucidated that feeling pretty well:

A few weeks ago, as I was turning on the dishwasher before we left my place, she said something like, “Dishwashers are what’s wrong with the world.” Something about that sounded right. I asked her to explain.

“Life is composed of primarily mundane moments,” she says. “If we don’t learn to love these moments, we live a life of frustration and avoidance, always seeking ways to escape the mundane. Washing the dishes with patience and attention is a perfect opportunity to develop a love affair with simply existing. You might say it is the perfect mindfulness practice. To me, the dishwasher is the embodiment of our insatiable need, as a culture, to keep on running, running, running, trying to find something that was inside of us all along.”

We used to have to spend a lot more time and attention maintaining our basic possessions. Dishes had to be washed by hand, stoves had to be stoked, clothes had to be mended, and meals had to be prepared from scratch.

Little was automated or outsourced. All of these routine labors demanded our time, and also our presence and attention. It was normal to have to zoom in and slow down for much of our waking day. We had no choice but to respect that certain daily tasks could not be done without a willing, real-time investment of attention.

“It helps to cultivate patience,” says Lily, “and the enjoyment of a task which we usually discard as ‘not worth it’, too boring, too mundane, blase. It gives us the chance to take a little peek into the tiny but enormous world of simply noticing what is around you, and engaging fully with it. If you are someone who is naturally averse to washing dishes, you abhor it, you avoid it at all costs, you grudgingly go through it as quickly as possible… Well then, this is the perfect opportunity to engage fully with those feelings, and to gently scrub them away, until what you are left with is the realization that life is an amazing, and beautiful, and precious gift, no matter what kind of activity you are engaged in. You are surrounded by great textures, and images, and formations of light, and sounds, and smells, and everything, all the time.”

I think there is a lot of wisdom here. This time of year, you hear a lot of people talking about how much they’re looking forward to summer vacations or bemoaning that they just need a break from the mundane. One of my goals in life, generally speaking, is to have a life I don’t feel the need to escape from. As I’ve said to Steve many times, doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen and vacuuming the floors and doing the laundry and all that goes into homemaking is, in essence, Sisyphean (Laura Vanderkam even uses the same word!)It makes no sense to me to spend so much of my time fighting against it when these “primarily mundane moments” are all around me. If I want a life I don’t feel the need to escape from, I need to be at peace with everything in it, not just the pretty parts that I like.

So this is why I can’t fully get on board with Laura Vanderkam, though I think her advice probably works really well for people who have a very different life than I do or who are truly more pressed for time than I am. As a stay at home mom I need to use my time wisely, but I have a lot more flexibility with that time than a working mom does. But even if my time were more divided and I did find myself feeling more frazzled and rushed every day, I still think I might stop and do the dishes (or fold the laundry, or pack my own lunch, or plant my own flowers). I want to be fully engaged with all of my life. Not just some of it.

Anyway. In other news, I did this to my hair:

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I think the lighting here makes me look kind of sickly … but you get the idea. Now I just need to find a mountain to climb so I can start singing about how the hills are alive. I love it.

* Raptitude.com: one of my favorite blogs these days. Go check it out.

… or so says Laura Vanderkam in 168 Hours. I started reading it on Tuesday and am about 2/3 of the way through it — so far, so good, although it has made me continue to miss being in the workforce! (I know, I know … move on …) — Her comments on balancing career and home were an encouragement to me, though, instead of making me feel guilty, lazy, or condescended to. It makes me feel hopeful that someday I will have the opportunity to put some of this advice to practice.

In the meantime, the first immediate takeaway that I have from reading is the reminder that how I spend (or waste) my time is a choice, not a mandate, and that the best way to make the most of my time (and thus, my life) is to, well, spend as much of my time as I can on those things that are important priorities, not mindless time-fillers. I am especially bad about this at night, but I’m working on it. Reading books, not surfing the web on the iPad. Getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. Cleaning up in the moment rather than letting clutter sit. It’s a process, but it always will be.

This week in particular was a good example of living according to my priorities. Now that the ten-miler is finished, I’m not attached to a training plan anymore — and consequently, my workouts became a much lower priority. It was suddenly incredibly easy to just “not have time” to get a three-mile run in simply because random other things happened to pop up. Of course, this isn’t at all how I want to be prioritizing my time, so I’ll have to do some things a bit differently next week. Just yesterday I realized (as it was happening, of course) that I wasn’t using my time wisely if I wanted to be able to run, do some errands and get some baking accomplished while also having enough time to hang out with my babe and not feel frazzled trying to get everything done. I managed, but barely. It’s becoming so clear to me that managing my time in accordance with my values and priorities is something I really need to be working on. If I have a hard enough time with it now — as a stay-at-home mom to one easy-enough baby — how much harder would this be if I had multiple children and/0r a career or graduate school to balance as well? So I can consider this time in my life a good time to practice these habits and start living fully in the way that I want to.

Anyway. Today is Easter (He is risen!) so here are a few pictures from brunch:

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Will and Steve arrived late to brunch because Will took a nice long nap after church. (We lucked out after we had to wake him up a full two hours early to take him to the early service!)

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Look at this big gummy smile. Someday he will have teeth and I will miss this! (By the way, do you think he needs a haircut?)

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Happy Easter!

Whew! I did it! Yeah, it was a week ago, but still. It’s still pretty fresh in my mind.

My official time for the 2013 Charlottesville ten-miler was 1:34:47 — basically right on target with the time I was hoping to get. Whew. The race went really well (even though it rained for the first few miles). Lots of hills and a tough last few miles. I wish I could share my official race photos with you, because they are amazing*, but you have to buy them in order to do so and the pictures are just too awe-inspiring to share publicly.

So now I am done with my race! I had a great experience and will definitely do it again in the future, but for now I guess I feel a little … unmoored. I’m so used to having a concrete goal in mind that it’s a little strange to not have anything on the horizon, running-wise. Actually, it’s not a little strange; it’s really strange. I think I do really well with a goal in mind, so I probably need some objective to work toward just to prevent myself from getting lazy.

My immediate next decision has to do with whether or not to run a half marathon next month. I can do it as long as I keep my mileage up, which shouldn’t be a big problem, BUT I would probably be running it alone and I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle, logistics-wise, if I don’t have anyone to run it with. And along with that, running 20+ miles per week doesn’t leave me with a lot of time to do anything other than run. I’m pretty bound to working out during Will’s naps, so I need to use my time wisely. And while I love running, it’s not the only form of exercise out there. For one thing, I know I desperately need to build some muscle strength, and for another, I miss yoga a lot.

(Speaking of yoga, I went to a class this past Sunday and was the only student! I thought it might be awkward but it was actually a really great experience. Since I was one-on-one with the teacher, I was able to request a more restorative practice, and she was able to give me plenty of guidance without being too in my face. It was really great. I hope to be able to make it to the same class again this week. Will I be the only student again? Stay tuned.)

So if I don’t do the half marathon, I think I will stick with speedwork and shorter runs for a bit and try and lower my 5k time. The only 5k I have ever actually raced was in November and I finished in 25:56 — a great time for me, and one I am sure I can improve.

Anyway. On Wednesday I dusted off my yoga mat and did some push-ups, tricep dips, planks, and ab exercises. I am still sore. Apparently I have my work cut out for me. Now to see if I can turn these ideas into a real goal …

P.S. Steve and my dad installed a new sink over the weekend. We went from this:

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(Look at the faucet. And the hose is on the left hand side because it leaks.)

… to this:

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Aaaahhhh. So beautiful. So much better.

*and by amazing I mean hilarious.

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