Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June at Random

It's absolutely beautiful here. Perfect temp, sunny and breezy, shimmery light, no bugs. If you don't live around here and you just felt a tinge of jealousy, remember that my skin will age quicker than yours and I will be at greater risk for skin cancer. There are always two sides to the same coin.

My errands went quickly and I'm waiting in the car - windows down and sunroof open - while Michael finishes up weight training. Surprise of all surprises, I have a minute or two to blog. In a way I feel like I'm spending the summer driving my teens to places they need to be, and I'm having a hard time adjusting to this type of summer schedule. My younger ones are begging to go to the beach, and all I've been able to manage thus far are short and simple trips that last an hour or so. 

But life is good. I slow my mind down to take it in. I noticed particulars of life with my kids that make me smile, and wish only to be mindful to see more. For instance:

*On the way here Michael rode in the passenger seat with his socks on his lap, skateboard tucked to the side, his knees up to the dash (at 6'1" he can't help it), eating the flesh of a coconut split in half. 

*I took a short bike ride with Andrew this morning so he could show me the homes of more "clients" for his garbage can business. He has a dozen clients now and has increased his profits from $6 per month to $70. Anyway, he found a cool bug as we biked along and wanted to take it home. Since he was on his unicycle, I kept his biting beetle the length of my thumb in my cruiser basket. It hisses. 

*Jacob has wrapped his arms around my waist numerous times today and I stopped long enough to hold him tight. This is super important to him.

*Olivia looked cute and confident as she ran into the ice-cream and candy shop... her summer job.

Well, I've only got some iPhone picks available today. They help me to remember the little things too.

Driving with her is not as scary anymore, until suddenly it is. 
She is doing awesome, but it's a good thing I enjoy adrenaline coursing through my veins now and then.

A painting project I expected to take one day turned into three. I was tired, but now I'm glad it's done.

Three days spent painting rafters is not at all bad for building arm muscle.
Wood stain/tannins that bleed through builds patience and a healthy feeling of "good enough" after 5 coats.

Jon hired Andrew to make and bring me coffee in his stead. I'm spoiled, I know. I get coffee in bed every single morning. I'm so not a morning person, and they feel sorry for me.

A quick, Sunday afternoon trip to the beach to test a new wetsuit and new-to-us board.

He dreams at night and during the day of being in the waves. 

After a couple hours of driving, plus several lengthy errands, we made a quick stop on the way home to check out a new spot. Seriously the coolest place. How is it, local people, that you don't tell me about these places? Why did it take me nearly 6 years to find this?

I'm on a running schedule again. It helps me so much to have an actual piece of paper that tell's me when and how long to run. I'm certain that's telling of my personality...

Also, night runs are the best. Morning runs are the pits.

How I found Jack one morning. He plays hard, therefore he sleeps hard.

He was working on his Father's Day note for the poster my kids make each year.
Then he took Jon out for coffee on Sunday with money he made selling lemonade.
He is our generous spender.

She was looking over the fall course catalog, wearing my dress, looking cute, while I did handstands.

I'm getting closer to not needing the wall. Hanging upside down is so energizing. 
The dorky socks are to keep the wall clean.
Yes, the bedroom walls are seriously under decorated. 

I love finding her selfies on my phone. Most times they are silly, but this one was cute.

Jon and I sort of slept outside one night last week, and we woke up to five ducklings in our pool. There was no sign of a parent, and no way for them to get out. We spent some time chasing them round the pool in the dingy, boxed them up, then took them to the wildlife rescue place. We are so Californian. Upon our return, Andrew's big, beautiful butterfly had hatched and we let it out into the big blue sky.


It's a day later, I'm happy-tired, and wouldn't you know it... here I am again. 

I look through the above pics and see how many there are of me, and I think it's rather funny. In reality, the kids' photos far outweigh mine in number, except at the moment theirs reside on my camera's memory card. 

For a brief moment, I wonder what some of you will think. Maybe some will think it's vain or lacking in humility, or someone will judge my clothes, or judge my motives, or think some other negative thought about me that I cannot guess. I wonder if I should take them down just to avoid being the object of negative thoughts, and the reason for ruffling some one's feathers.

Olivia and I talk about this sort of thing. We all know how some people plaster the internet with photos of themselves. I guess this could be vanity and a waste of time. But for others, it could be a creative expression or a celebration of a happy and blessed life. Who am I to determine some one's motive?

Here's the thing I tell Olivia: It's no less wrong to live in fear of what others might wrongly judge, always trying to please others (which is an impossibility) than it is to be filled with vanity and pride. I'm seeing with increasing clarity that I allow what I think folks might think to dictate my choices. I'm guilty of letting the fear of man stifle joyous living.

This past spring, for instance, I watched on Facebook several friends train and complete long distance runs. I loved following their training progress and I silently cheered from my side of the computer screen when they achieved their goals. They posted pictures, results, medals, happy faces. I never for an instance thought they were being proud, but rather I admired their work and accomplishment, and their freedom to simply celebrate. The funny thing is that I trained and ran too, but could not bring myself to post anything just in case it came across as prideful. It is a twisted, false humility that masks the fear of man! Can't we just celebrate the good things in life with each other? I think most people do, and it's certainly the kind of person I want to be.

So, yes, I did run. Running and the injuries I've incurred by running have only made me work harder to feel better and enjoy life more fully. And I'm rightly proud of that as I continue to push myself. I've loved the results I've worked for. Is that really so bad to say? 

But three weeks before I ran, I had to nearly stop training because of a foot injury (couldn't tell if it was a stress fracture or tendinitis). In fact, the whole 12 weeks of training didn't go very well at all, despite an iron infusion for chronic anemia at the beginning. Having to pull back during my peak weeks of training was a real disappointment. I had long let go of my goal to finish my second half marathon under two hours, and just determined to finish the race and enjoy it. I knew running was a risky gamble, but I tried to let my foot heal well enough for race day. When the day came, the odds were very much against me and I imagined having to be picked up and driven back embarrassed. I stubbornly lined up with my group in wave 2 and looked for Michael and Olivia waving past throngs of people. Then I had the best run ever, only slightly annoyed with my foot, and finished under the two-hour mark. I was a happy, limping girl during the days that followed, but the feeling of accomplishment was more than worth it, as were the weeks of foot recovery that followed.

I'd like to think that personal accomplishments should be reasons to celebrate the gift that it is from God who enables, rather than a reason to cower in fear of what others may think. Yes? The point is not running, or finishing well, but embracing the freedom to enjoy things that make us thankful!

Jon is my sweetheart. He tells me to live and be who God made me to be. His small words in passing are big deals to me sometimes. Just saying.



  1. Well, I for one, admire everything about you!

  2. I really enjoy your posts. Thank you for your thoughtful words & honest truths. I'm inspired.

    1. Thank you, Jini. So fun to get a comment from you! The big, beautiful hat you wear inspires me!! :)


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