28 August, 2011

Why I Envy Runners

Let me clear something up. My title may have implied that I have a desire to run. I do not, have not, and will never have a desire to put on short shorts, a tight top and a pair of expensive running shoes. Running shoes in my world are best for long days at the office followed by a teaching night on my feet. They are light and they breathe. Beyond that, they serve no purpose in my life.

That being said, my best friend from high school is a runner. She loves to run and becomes distraught when time or injury prevents her from doing so. I’ve been keeping up with her over at her blog and I can honestly say that the other day I envied her passion for self-mutilation.

As I read her post I couldn’t help but envy the fact that her hobby, her passion, is something that allows her such an amazing stress relief. As I read her post I could feel how the pressure just melted away and I wished I had something in my life that gave me that physical and emotional fulfillment.

I actually packed my running shoes, shorts and a t-shirt into my work bag for the next day. Sadly, they are still sitting in my work closet mocking me because, oh yeah, I hate running.

It is what it is. I will never be a runner, but I love to walk and it is almost fall in Wisconsin. There is nothing more wonderful than an after dinner walk on a cool fall night in Wisconsin. I guess it is more about making it a priority (there’s that word again), than it is about what you do. My friend runs because it is a priority. It is something she MUST do and just does. It is a very part of her and as such is so healthy for her.

One thing I can do that most runners do is cook. This particular recipe came upon recommendation from my dear runner friend and it is AMAZING. Don’t be fooled. It is the easiest and most perfect end of summer recipe full of wonderful fresh produce and herbs. A quick stop at the farmers market and about an hour and you’ll have yourself a beautiful corn and tomato pie. (I have just revealed to you my newest obsession the Smitten Kitchen blog – why couldn’t you have come into my life at the beginning of my relaxing summer instead of the end??? Oh, and someday I have to tell you all about my homemade ricotta experiment…my heavens, it was as smooth as my baby girl’s cheek!!!)

20 August, 2011

The defininition of insane...

…is doing something more than once and expecting a different result the second time.

So why is it that my 18 month old daughter continues to open the drawer in the coffee table and then slam her fingers in it?

Oh yeah, she’s 18 months. And a girl. And my daughter.

Three strikes and this little girl is out her independent own!

John Ross was such a mellow little guy compared to this one. She screams, growls, and pushes. She’s either all in or all out. Even at 18 months she’s yelling at the kitty and demanding her birth-right time with her daddy. She throws diapers and calls them footballs.

And yet…she is sweet, loving and completely obsessed with shoes!!!! Anything that shimmers or shines is “pittee” and her eyes are the dictionary definition of sparkling.

I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses this one. I harbor some early fears that being this perfect storm of her papa and me, she will actually try to accomplish some of the daring things I only dreamed of in my younger years.

More on that later…intervention is necessary in a train track bludgeoning…and the antagonizing suspect is not male!

04 August, 2011

Forever a Bridesmaid

I recently came across some photos that my sister had given me from her wedding last year. There were photos of she and her hubby and photos of the wedding party, but there was also a photo of myself waiting to walk down the aisle as one of her bridesmaids.

At the time I had just stopped nursing Clara and was feeling a little down on myself. I was back to work, over my ideal post-baby weight, and I had just cut my hair because a lot of it was falling out post-partum.

Yet, I remembered a comment my sister had made when she first gave me the photos. She said, "Look at these photos of you girls walking down the aisle. In the pictures of you and Jenny (her sister-in-law) you can clearly tell that you are looking at your husbands."

I remember that moment. I looked down the aisle and finding the gaze of my husband at the altar. It was a very sacramental moment for me as I recalled my own journey down the aisle and all the things we had already been through. My heart filled with love and peace and my eyes welled up with happy tears. Walking down the aisle became a testament to the power of a God-filled marriage. We were "leading the way" for my beautiful sister and her husband. I was truly to be a handmaid, serving her by example and presence.

In a world where weddings have become a greater focus than the marriage this comment really made me reflect on the role of the bridesmaid. Sometimes it seems as though a wedding and a bridal party is all about an opportunity for adult dress-up. Yet, the beautiful ritual that is the Sacrament of Marriage prevents us from becoming too caught up in it. We are reminded that the old traditions of the bridesmaids, dressing, carrying, and leading, are not just folly. We stand as witness to the marriage, but more importantly as servants and guides.

My wedding day was one of the most powerful and sacramental days of my life. Moreover, standing up in my sister's wedding with my husband was one of the most powerful renewals of our vows and our vocation that I have experienced to this point. I am reminded that marriage is a journey and it is a journey that we do not take alone. We travel with God, our three in One. With God we co-create, we sanctify, and we serve our marriage and our world and while we do that we lead the way for other holy men and women who are watching our example.

All that from a wedding photo and a 20 minute drive to work...