Marathon Man

My husband ran a marathon last weekend (September 20th, 2009). You don't get to say that very often...at least, I don't. This was his first one...possibly his last! So I thought it deserved a blog. He's wanted to do this for about 2 years...talked about it, thought about it, researched different marathons...finally, we were in a situation where he could do it. I.E., not working at a church where those few Sundays off just can't be used for a marathon! So, right after we moved up here, he signed up for the Boulder Marathon and began to train. He ran, and ran, and ran...finally, September came. We popped Pax out of bed, left while it was still dark outside, and drove to the Boulder reservoir for the 8 o'clock start. Adam was excited, ready, and off! With about 1500 other marathoners or relay marathoners. We waved as he ran by, and then Pax and I had a fun morning going potty in the port-o-potties (I thought most kids were scared to go in the port-o-potties?? I'm pretty sure Pax peed about 7 times that morning...JUST SO he could go in them!). Ok, so that's not ALL we did...Pax ended up in his diaper playing in the reservoir with a little girl and some dogs, getting muddy, exploring the "woods", playing in the car, eating, and watching and waiting in the HOT sun for Adam to finish. And he did it! We cheered him on the last 1/8th of a mile, and he finished in 4 hrs, 20 minutes..I'm so proud of him! I know I could not have done what he did. It was great watching him start, watching him finish, cheering for him, supporting him throughout it all-my husband is now part of an elite group of people who have run an entire marathon. He said it's the hardest thing he's ever done. Now we're just trying to figure out why people do more than one...or two...or run Ironmans (100 miles!!)...but...hip, hip, Hooray for Marathon Man!!


My God is so GREAT...

...so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do! This has been running through my head for the past few hours...with the hand motions (ahh...the joys of teaching preschoolers! hand motions to EVERYTHING...right, Jinny??). I just have to tell you this awesome story, but it'll take some background, so hang on. It's good.
For those who don't know, my sister Erica died 7 years ago last June (no, that's not the good part. duh.). It was very sudden, about a month after I finished high school; she was 24 and super healthy. What we DIDN"T know was that she also had a genetic clotting factor called hyperhomosystemia. It causes your body to make more homosystine than it usually would; if your levels are too high, you get blood clots. Combined with the birth control pills she took for bad cramps, it caused a blood clot in her leg which broke off and went straight to her heart. She died very quickly..it was devastating. After the fact, we were all tested for the gene-I have it, my mom has it, my brother has it, my dad has it. Double whammy in the genetic pool. So. What does this mean? I take prenatals all the time, whether preggo or not, because they contain the right mix of B-6, B-12 and folic acid to keep my homosystine levels at a safe range naturally, no drugs needed. Too high=blood clots, too low=too much bleeding. When I became pregnant with Pax, I became adamant about trying to control my levels naturally as long as I could (pregnancy alone has a greater risk for clotting, and we weren't sure what my risks for miscarriage would be with this disorder). I have a good friend with the same blood issues; her doctor immediately put her on blood-thinners for her entire pregnancy (which involved a needle every day...yucky). My doc was great about it, let me take the pre-natals plus extra B-6, B-12, and folic acid, and tested my blood levels each month. They went up a bit, but stayed in the safe range and I was able to control my homosystine levels naturally throughout my whole pregnancy. So, this time, same thing, new doc...and I prayed. I prayed that not only would my levels stay low and to not have to do shots, but that God would somehow REMOVE this issue from my DNA. See, I know my God can do cool stuff like that. I started on the extra pills, and after my first blood test....my doctor thought I had LOW homosystine issues because of the numbers. I stopped taking the extra pills, just to see what happened (too low is bad, too). They stayed low. After my Doc visit today...THEY ARE STILL LOW!! My doctor actually called them "remarkably low", as in, "I don't know why they are so good...with this factor they should have at least gone up a little." But MY GOD!! He has the power to create worlds, calm storms, and change DNA! Now, I haven't gotten a new genetic screen yet...but I believe my all-powerful God is working to heal my body; I see the proof in the numbers, the doctor is surprised...and I know that my God cares enough for me as His child that He listens to my prayers and answers them. Even in things that seem too big (or to small?) to be possible. Won't you celebrate with me?? It shouldn't be like this. I shouldn't be able to stop all the vitamins and keep my numbers low...especially when pregnant. Last time it took extra supplements just to keep them in a healthy range. But My God is so Great!!! And my numbers are "remarkably low!!" (see? told ya it was worth the read!)



Erin and I have been friends since she was a Senior in high school and I was a Freshman. We were in youth group together, and stayed in touch on-and off until I was a freshman in college. We both ended up working with the youth group at the same church, hung out a lot, had fun...she's great. One of those people that, no matter how long it's been since you've seen them, you know that you'll pick up right where you left off. I missed her wedding 2 years ago because it was on my due date with Pax, which I was very sad about. But I was not about to miss this! Erin and her husband, Aaron (yup that's right!) had a beautiful, healthy little boy last Thursday night. This pregnancy has been especially meaningful (and scary, at times, for Erin) because they lost a baby boy last summer. Erin found out at around 20 weeks that the baby was no longer alive; at the same time she found out that she had a massive tumor on one of her ovaries. We're talkin' football-sized. They believe this is what caused the baby to die; so Erin and Aaron not only had to deal with the loss of their little guy, whom Erin had to be induced to deliver anyways, but as soon as she recovered from the birth she had to undergo surgery to remove the tumor, and tests to see if it was cancerous or not. Thankfully, it wasn't; Erin healed well and they were warned not to get pregnant again until the New Year. But a little surprise came their way a little early! Asher Benjamin Peter was carried safely to delivery and born healthy. I'd asked Erin if I could take some newborn pics of Asher when he was a few weeks old; the next day she asked me if I could take some maternity pics of her, as well. I just wanted to post a few, because I had so much fun and she has such amazing hair!! Plus, she is (and has been!) a dear, dear friend...and I know some of our mutual friends read my blog. So, without further ado...Erin! One week before Asher's birth....
I call this next one the "yes, this is what I always do when I'm 9 months pregnant..." look :)

Congratulations, Erin and Aaron! Can't wait to take pictures of your sweet little guy!!


Comfort zone

Today was the first day of MOPS at the church we are attending here. I've been super excited about this, because, although I went to MOPS only once in Durango, I figured it'd be a good way to start meeting some other mamas, maybe make some friends...and heaven knows I'm missin' my friends. Adam is always amazed at how big of a deal having good relationships and spending time with those people is to me...not to make him sound weird, he's a guy, not a hermit...but women, well, we're just wired differently then guys. Guys need relationships, too-but not the same way we ladies do. Or at least, my husband does not seem to need them the same way I do. I thrive off of being around people, having TRUE friends, and I left some amazing ones in D-town. Still my dear, dear friends, yes, but life goes on, and things just change.
Anyways. Back to MOPS.
After dropping off Pax ("see ya, mama!" yes, my kid may have inherited my "social neediness" gene...) and getting set up at a table, eating, meeting some new mamas, all that MOPS jazz, the pastor of women's ministries at the church came up to talk.
She was great. She talked about comfort zones, getting out of them, the GROWTH that God does in us when we step out of them...and I started thinking.
1) My ONLY comfort zone right now is my husband. Maybe my kid. I've gone from "pastor's wife" and well-known (face, at least, perhaps voice..) at a small church in a smallish town to wife of a pre-med student, living with my parents (which, although a blessing, is not a comfort zone...it's very different to live with your folks when you are married with kids than when you were the kid), depending on God every week for our income, trying to start a new business venture, one friend that I actually see, starting to go to a huge church (8,000 members is a bit of a change from 500!) a month ago where you don't even know if you've seen the same person twice except for the pastor; auditioning for a worship team of AT LEAST 30-40 people (I made it...that's another post, though...I've never actually auditioned for a team before. Good experience.) and pregnant. Which, for me, means I cry a lot and can be moody. To sum it up, no comfort zone in sight.
2) God is teaching me so much through this. I can't even write about it all now, still processing so much....but I do know this: so many people find their comfort zone and stay there until they are FORCED to leave it. By God, by man, whatever. I know lots of these people...and I'll tell ya: they're missing out. Hugely. God's best work in me (well, in my narrow view, anyways) has always been when I'm out of my comfort zone. This doesn't mean it's fun, it doesn't hurt, or that I even go looking for opportunities out of my comfort zone as much as I should...but it's always, always amazing. And I know this time will be, too.
3) If you are settled in your church, your town, your crew...reach out. Please. As an advocate for all newbies everywhere, I'm begging you! It's not easy to leave everything behind and start over, again. It's even harder when you're married and have kids, oddly enough. To have someone genuinely care, see your newness, your lonliness, your "I have to pee but I don't know how to get to the bathroom"-ness long enough to really talk to you-not just say hi and ask your name, which they forget 2 minute later-makes you an angel for the day in my book. And I'm not even shy! It's just so nice to not have to ALWAYS be the one trying to make a relationship happen in a group where everyone has all the relationships they "need". I've been here many, many times over the past 10 years, and it doesn't get any easier to be new. (Well, ok, at least this time everyone speaks the same language as I do, so that's easier)
But seriously....
meet new people. ask about their lives. talk for 5 minutes and LISTEN. And then, if you like them (maybe even if you don't!) ask them to coffee. or dinner with the fam. or to a playdate at the park or something. step out of your comfort zone and let them into your lives, BEFORE you know whether or not they will be a friend. It could seriously change someone's life....maybe even YOURS!
Maybe that doesn't seem like a "big enough" step out of your comfort zone, but, for the newbie, it's huge. And God will work through it. And you will never be the same. And that's a very, very good thing.
ok. off my soapbox. Thank you to all the people who have reached out to me in my past newbie-ness, and who did change my life. Even if you don't know it.