Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Family Event

Well, we have ourselves a runner.

Blake ran a local 5k race over the weekend.  We weren't sure what to expect, as it was his first official 5k, and he hasn't been running as much since track season ended.  I told him that if he could do it in under 30 minutes I thought he'd be doing great.

I was at the finish line with some of the little ones.  I couldn't believe how strong he looked as he came in!  He ran it in 25:49, and was barely winded.  I ran this race years ago, and I remember it being kind of overwhelming.  It's on the city streets, and it seems to take you further and further away from the park, and all the while you know you have to get back there somehow!  I really thought he might end up walking some of it, but he didn't, he ran the whole 3.1 miles.

I'm so thankful that he's found something he likes to do, that is so good for him.  I think he has a lot of potential, and I can't wait to watch him grow and develop as an athlete.  I'm also hoping that having a runner in the house might get me back into it.  We'll see.

And in one of those full circle, how funny is that, kind of moments, I was standing with Blake right after he finished the race and I looked up and saw an old friend from high school.  I ran cross country and track with him, and he was the best runner on our team, far better an athlete than I could ever dream of being, and my son had just beat him in a race!  Of course, he's 30 years old and was pushing a stroller as he ran... but still! ;o)

The other highlight of the night was the One Mile Fun Run.  Open to any and all participants, we challenged the younger kids to try it out.  I even put my running shoes on and jumped in there with Isaac.  He was so cute!  He would run all-out for a minute and then just stop.  I would ask him if he was done, and he'd say, "No, me run!"  and start running again.  We did that for about a half mile, then he stopped and asked me to pick him up.  So we dropped out, and walked over to the finish area to wait for the other boys, except when we got there, Isaac took off running again.  He ended up looping back around and running through the finish line while everyone cheered, thinking he had finished the whole race.  It was the cutest darn thing ever.  I wish I had pictures.  Owen, Peyton and Oliver all finished the mile in around 12 minutes.  They all looked so proud!  I don't think it occurred to any of them that they could run a race like their big brother.

The weather was beautiful, and it was such a fun way to end the weekend, all together as a family, being active.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Word of Advice

If you've had a long week, and you're tired to the bones, and your mind won't stop spinning with all that is on your plate... If you're working at the computer, even if it's something important, and even if the hours in the day are too short to do it all, if you're busy, occupied, tied up... even if you're all these things at once, and a little voice from behind you says, "Mama, will you play Go Fish with me?".... do it.

Drop everything and run, don't walk, to the floor with that child, and play Go Fish like you're five years old again.

It'll be worth it.  I promise.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And Another!

Yet another birthday celebrated in our family today.
Isaac is the big 3(He still pretty much acted 2 today though ;o).)
We took him to the zoo, had pizza for dinner, cake and presents.  It was a nice family day.
I kept forgetting that it was Father's Day as well!  I guess that shows where priority falls.  A 3rd birthday trumps a grown-up thing thing any day of the week.
Mr. Smith did get to sleep in a little bit, (The man gets up at 4:30am six days a week, 8:30 is like sleeping half the day away.) but that was the extent of the recognition for him.  He got his gift earlier in the weekend...which leads me to the Big Event we had this weekend... which leads me to how. darn. exhausted. I am right now, and I'll have to save it for another post...
Happy birthday, Isaac!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Have to sneak on here before the day is officially over, to acknowledge my baby's big day.  Sebastian is ONE.  I can hardly believe it.
I think I woke up this morning and realized a new identity.  I am currently a woman without an infant.
That doesn't seem to happen very often.
Now if he decides to wean anytime soon, we'll be in truly uncharted territory.  The last time I was neither pregnant nor nursing (or both), was in July of 2007.  That lasted for exactly one month.  I've had 3 pregnancies since then, 2 healthy babies and a little saint in heaven.
We'll see what's in store for us this year.
God is so good.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Saintly Intervention

Full disclosure:  I am not a dog person.

I have never really had the patience for animals as pets.  I don't like a dog that is too invasive, attacking you (albeit with love and excitement) as soon as you walk in the door.  I have a lot of duties to juggle on a daily basis, and adding puppy care and training to the list was not something I was eager to do.  Still, I considered it for the sake of my family.

Many times throughout our 12+ years of marriage, Mr. Smith and I have toyed around with the idea of getting a dog.  We've researched breeds, gone to shelters, talked to breeders.  We both grew up with dogs for pets, and he, especially, wanted to have one for our family.  Right about the time we were getting serious about getting a dog, several years ago, we realized that Owen is allergic to them and we wouldn't be able to.

Fast forward to 2 years ago.  My sister and her husband did extensive research, and decided on a cockapoo as their choice breed.  They brought home a boy puppy named Bruno.  A year later they gave Bruno a playmate, his half-sister, Paisley.  Our boys fell in love with these puppies on many visits.  We realized that the claims of them being hypo-allergenic, non-shedding dogs were 100% true.  Owen had no problem being around them.  We began to consider getting our own.

As conversations on the topic progressed, and excitement at the possibility grew, I put in an email to the breeder, asking him to let us know when they had a litter available.  He did.  We went out the next day.  We came home with Bosco.

He was incredibly cute.  A little ball of fluff and joy.  The boys loved holding him, playing with him.  He was sweet, tiny, slow moving, and timid.  For about 3 days.  Then he woke up.  He chewed on things, pottied in the house, began nipping at the little ones, and he barked.  Oh, the barking.  Not too long into this puppy adventure, I began to have serious doubts.  About our sanity, mostly.  About how we could possibly keep this up.  How I could possibly learn to love and care for this little fireball that was wreaking so much havoc on my daily routines.  All I could see when I looked at him was a chore.  Sadly, dollar signs would flash through my mind.  I suppressed thoughts calculating the amount of money he would cost us over his lifetime.  I tried to push aside the anxiety I felt over this decision to add to our family... with a dog.  A dog!  What were we thinking?!

I knew I could quickly be consumed with regret if I didn't change the way I was thinking.  There was no going back, Bosco was a part of our life and I had to come to terms with that.  Really, I had to embrace it.

I thought of St. Francis of Assisi.  What a wonderful saint.  And one of his loves?  Animals!  Surely if this great saint could hold animals in such esteem as part of God's creation, then I could learn to love this puppy.  I began to ask St. Francis to help me.  I asked him to pray for me to love this dog.  Whenever I started to feel overwhelmed, I would think of St. Francis and know that there is good in caring for and loving God's creatures.

My heart began to soften.  I found myself enjoying time with Bosco.  I would stop several times a day to rub his belly and scratch his ears.  I felt a smile cross my face immediately at the sight of those eager puppy eyes, tail wagging, hoping I'd play with him and shower attention on him.  Even when he was being naughty, even when others in the house were fed up with him, I, a non-dog person, could see the bright side of having this furry creature in our midst. 

I don't see dollar signs anymore.  I am no longer counting the cost or the toll, but now the fun and the blessings.

I can promise you this:  This change was not within my own power to obtain.

Thank you St. Francis.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing an open mind with a change of heart.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Giveaway Fun

Amy's hosting a giveaway, over at Knit Together.
An adorable Saint Michael the Archangel doll.

(and while you're there, congratulate her on the good news!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baby's First Haircut



my little blondie

Sebastian was getting so shaggy!  Plus, he's a little furnace, and I knew he'd never make it all summer with all that hair.  It actually wasn't his very first, I've had to trim it before to keep it out of his eyes.  This is the first time I took it all off.  I could eat him up!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What If There's Not an Infinite Supply?

Is it possible, that God gave me a massive amount of patience for use throughout my lifetime, but when it's gone, it's gone?

That I was supplied with this generous, yet finite, quantitiy, and I've used it all up in 12 years of parenting?

That's not how it works, right?

Which means this is just a lull.  Just a momentary lapse in my ability to tap into the God-given, grace-driven well of patience, for the use and good of my children?

Phew.  Good thing.  Cause parenting is impossible without it.

I'll let you know when it returns.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Please Vote!

This website is taking votes for the "Top 25 Faith Blogs by Moms", and a pagan blogger is currently winning... so disturbing!  We all know Catholic Icing is a great site, but she entered late compared to the rest.  Let's try to catch her up with votes!  You can vote once a day, just by clicking on the orange circle.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Right Now

~ all of the neighborhood kids have left for school
~ my 5- and 7-year-olds are eating their oatmeal on the patio, and chatting like old pals
~ the baby is crawling around from brother to brother, babbling
~ the 9-year-old is telling me (in detail) about how his daddy taught him to spin a pitch
~ my windows are open, it's going to be cooler today
~ I'm looking forward to a morning out, with beautiful weather and good friends
~ I have a hot cup of fresh coffee in my hands

Right Now
I am blessed.

Right Now
I want to capture this moment, this simple morning, and remember it forever.  When life gets complicated, I want to have this moment to conjure up, to bring relief, a sweet memory.  Living in the moment.