Saturday, January 31, 2009

2009 Eugene Marathon | 5K Race

Just wanted to post a quick update to my original Eugene Marathon post. After thinking about it this week I have decided to register for the 5k Race that happens on Saturday, May 2nd. I am so excited! And nervous. And I have a feeling I'll probably get my butt kicked by all of the seasoned runners, but I don't care! It's really a small start...but it's a start. Hopefully next year I will at least be doing the half-marathon. It's going to be awesome!

This year Eugene Marathon is partnering with the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center to continue the cause of their "Jog for Jim 5K" - Outpacing Parkinson's, so a portion of my entry fee goes directly to this organization. One more great reason to get involved! The "Jog for Jim 5K" is a separate race happening on May 17th of which all the proceeds are donated to the Michael J Fox Foundation to help find a cure for Parkinson's Disease.

For more information about these events check out these websites:
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 Eugene Marathon

I have a confession to make. Last year I used some of my hard eaned money to buy an elliptical machine. When I lived in Hillsboro I had used them in the gym at my apartments, as well as Bally's, and just really enjoyed it, so I bought it with confidence knowing I was not going to be one of those people. You know the ones. They buy excercise equipment with the best of intentions only to use it to hang clothes on, and then they eventually move it to the garage. Well not me. I knew that would be several hundred dollars well spent. I could get my workouts in while the kids played, in the warmth and comfort of my own home. You would think.

Well, rewind to another thing I enjoy doing: running. And several months later of having my shiny new elliptical machine sitting in my living room messing up my furniture arrangement, I still wasn't using it. Why? Because I want to run. I don't want to be all warm and comfy and burn calories while I laugh with Regis and Kelly (well, okay, actually that sounds nice). I found out that really I just wanna run. To feel the earth move beneath my feet. The wind on my face. The rain. The cold. To be able to look at the world around me and be a part of it. So that's what I've been doing, as often as the chance arises. My friend Sara and I run while her husband watches the kids. And I must say, I feel so lucky to get the chance, because otherwise I would only get to run like every other weekend when the kids are with thier dad. Thank you, Sara and Landy.

So a few months ago Sara asked me if I wanted to train for a marathon with her. Keep in mind I had not been running since I moved back to Roseburg in January 2007. And I missed it. So of course I said yes! Honestly, the thought of running a full marathon kind of makes me laugh. I have a long way to go. But I'm excited because I think I can do it. I know that to train for a full marathon would take me a year, so I figured start small. Set small goals and then work to increase them. That's where this post comes in. I'm making it official that my first race will be the Eugene Marathon, which takes place this May. That's just shy of 13 weeks away. I figured that if I want to run the half-marathon, I would need to increase my current runs by 1 mile a week. So at this point I need to decide whether I want to run the 5K Race, or the Half Marathon. I will make my decision by the end of the week before I register. I am excited, nervous, and hopeful. I also think it would be fun to get a group of people together to do this, so if you think you might be interested let me know! For more information you can check out the official Eugene Marathon website at

The Light Comes On!

Have you ever found yourself in a certain place only to stop and think, "How did I get here?" This happened to me tonight. I realized I wanted to share something but then thought, "But how did I happen upon that?" I need to start paying more attention. Anyways, lately I have been really drawn to reading Proverbs. I know this stems from making some pretty good and quite avoidable mistakes that I really don't want to repeat. I read Proverbs and the light comes on. Tonight when I was online I found an article that I thought would be great to pass on. On the website The Biz of Knowledge I happened upon a post written by Bill Belew titled 6 Reasons to Study Proverbs. Although the title indicates 6 reasons, there are actually 7 included on the list, which I found to be a little quirky.

Here they are:

1. They help one to grasp wisdom and discipline.

2. They provide understanding of deep thoughts.

3. They lead to wise behavior-- doing what is right, being fair,
determining the correct outcomes of disputes.

4. They give insight into otherwise gullible people.

5. They give forsight and knowledge to the young.

6. They give direction to the understanding.

7. They help solve riddles.

I have no desire to repeat my mistakes over and over and over again. I think this will help me learn how not to. Good words.

You can reference the actual article here:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bits & Pieces

This weekend was just one of those weekends that I love. Pretty much it consisted of lounging around the house with the kids, playing, sleeping, relaxing, and just doing whatever. Over Winter break I got into a bad habit of staying up into the wee hours of the morning and then sleeping really late, and somehow I've managed to slip back into that. Tonight is Sunday, which means tomorrow will bring the start of our regular weekly routine. :( I really don't like getting up early.

Friday I went over to Sara's house with the kids and played Scrabble with her while the kids played around the house. Then we laid them all down and watched Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns. This the second movie of his I've seen, with the first being Why Did I Get Married. And they are all absolutely wonderful, I plan on just buying them all for my library. You will laugh, you will cry....they're great. Rent them. Watch them. It's worth it.

Saturday I slept way in, and of course when I finally got up my daughter was telling me it was okay, I should go back to sleep! Of course, she's only 8, but if she could run the house I think she would. The rest of the day consisted of me putting off my homework (mistake) and getting nothing accomplished--not even laundry (second mistake). That will mean that this week I'll be trying to squeeze it in with work and school. Shoot. Out of all the household chores I do, folding and putting away the laundry is my least favorite.

Later that evening the kids and I watched An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong before the kids went to bed. You'll want to check out the following post related specifically to this movie. After the kids go to bed is usually my time to do whatever I need to do in peace and quiet, whether it be read, study, do homework, mess around on the computer, whatever. It's really my quiet time. So Saturday night, although I'd intended to finish my homework, I sat down at the computer and checked what I normally check. MySpace. Email. My blog. Twitter. Some of these are time wasters, but the common thread they all have is connecting in some way to other people, which I never consider a waste of time.

Anyways, somehow I mosied over to YouTube and was listening to music when I happened upon a song that brought back very special memories from my childhood, so I figured I'd share it here. I was blessed with a mom that loved music, ever since I can remember. She sings, plays guitar, piano, congas, you name it. That must be where I got my love for music from. Although I don't play any instruments (yet) I do love to sing. Well anyways, there are certain songs that are very special to me because they are songs that she used to sing to me and my sisters when we were little girls. I want to learn them on guitar so I can sing them to my children, too.

The first I want to mention is called Would You Lay With Me, which I believe was originally sung by Tanya Tucker. You can listen to Johnny Cash sing it here: Although my mom of course sounded more like Tanya than Johnny, it's closer to how she sang it and played it. There's a few other video clips for the song as well, one with Tanya Tucker singing the song set to a clip from the hit TV show Lost. I don't watch Lost, but included the link just for kicks. You can watch it here: Watching the clip makes me want to watch the show.

The second song that I found was by sheer chance. I wasn't looking for it this time, although I had before on the Internet to no avail. The song is called Sentimental Ol' You, a country music song from the 70's or 80's that was originally sung by Charly McClain. I found two clips. One is of this random guy singing it and playing it on his guitar, and the other is a hilarious clip of a bunch of New Zealand people line dancing to the song. It's pretty gosh darn funny, here's the clip: According to my mom, I was only four when I had all the words along with my own motions down pat.

Another song that takes honorable mention on my list of memories is a song titled Mary Ann. I could only find two, count them, two, links on the net in reference to this song. One is just the lyrics through this folk song website: The other is lyrics with a really funny calypso instrumental version of the song that you can listen to here: Trust me, the song is a lot of fun when done just acoustically. One thing I noticed is that neither of the links had the verse that my mom taught us, which goes like this:

Oh Mary Ann, Oh Mary Ann, oh won't you marry me?
I'll build you a bamboo hut with brandy in your tea.
Keep your mean ol' momma home, she never will say yes.
If my ma don't know now, she can guess.
If my ma don't know now, she can guess.
All day all night Mary Ann, down by the seaside siftin' sand.
Even little children love Mary Ann, down by the seaside siftin' sand.

Sunday went much like Saturday. I ended up sleeping in, only this time on accident. Missed church. Then spent literally the rest of the day doing homework while the kids did activities around the house. But, it was a very productive day. The only bummer was I had to miss the run I had planned with Sara since I'd put my homework off the day before. Darn it. I will make it my goal to not do that again. All in all, though, it was a great weekend at home. There is no time more well spent than time spent with family and friends.

An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong

Saturday night I watched a great movie with Katie and Josiah that I have to recommend to any parent, especially those nearing middle school age. An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong is about a fourth grader and her friends dealing with bullying from a more popular girl in their class, and it touches on issues that many children deal with in school. Here's the NetFlix synopsis:

In the first American Girl film based on a modern-day character, young Chrissa finds her life turned upside down when she transfers to a new school, as she struggles to find her own way, make new friends and deal with a clique of bullies. Chrissa tries to adapt to her new surroundings, but she is targeted by a close-knit group of girls in this story about friendship and standing up for yourself.

I will tell you that not only did Katie love this movie, but I loved it, and want to buy it so we can watch it again. Trust me, you will not be sorry you watched this with your children. One of the key lessons in the movie is summed up in something the character Chrissa's mom says at the end of the film. It's never smart to be less than who you are, or to let anyone take anything away from you. A valuable lesson for children as well as adults.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One Little Word

One of the things I enjoy doing when I have time, which these days seems to be rarer and rarer since I've been in college, is scrapbooking. Pretty much it's kind of like journaling my life with photos, in an artistic way. One scrapbooker who's blog I think is just great, Ali Edwards, does an annual project called One Little Word. The idea behind the one little word concept is to give yourself something to focus on throughout the year. (You can check out her blog here

When the new year started I already knew that there were areas in my life that needed focusing, so I decided to participate and choose a word for myself. If I could choose one word that sums up what I want for myself in 2009 it would be shine. In every aspect of my life, be it in relationships, personal disciplines, how I relate to my children, academics, truly give my best to my life, myself, my family, and my friends.

Here is the definition:
Shine To give or cause to give light; to be eminent, conspicuous, or distinguished. radiate. luminesce. glow

I guess in a way it's just an expression of my desire to do better, and to see improvement in certain areas of my life. All the little things adding up, each moment, each decision. To be completely honest, I, like many people, have moments of sheer determination and clarity only to have those moments followed up with failure. But I think it's important to remember to not completely give up on your goals or desires just because you make a mistake. At those moments we need to just keep going. I have already seen this in so many areas of my life, although I wish I could say it wasn't so. Already I have made some pretty good mistakes in areas that are really important to me. I let down a friend. I didn't stick to my budget. I said things that I later regretted in a big, big way. I skipped a run, and didn't turn my homework in on time. Just to name a few. No, this is not confessional. I guess it's just my way of recognizing and accepting that although I have expectations for myself, I'm far from perfect and need to allow room for grace. For myself and others. And hopefully those in my life will give me room for grace as well. I want to see just how far one little word can reach. The sunshine is always there...sometimes it's just hiding behind the clouds.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Note to Self

I have never really been one to make resolutions, although that is tradition for many to do when January rolls around. Instead, I set short term goals every few months and try to reach them. As I look back on 2008, I have seen how easy it is to forget why I do what I do in different areas of my life. As I was reflecting on the past year, I realized that for the better part of it I was stuck in the moment. I became caught up in so many distractions that I lost sight of some of the things that are most important to me. As I step into 2009, it is with a strong desire to get back to what is meaningful in my life. Below is an excerpt from my scrapbook from early 2008. I think it's the perfect reminder to prioritize the coming year.

Note to Self









Don't forget what is most important to you! Sometimes life can get so busy that it's easy to forget why you do what you do. Stop. Reflect. Sometimes you might need to take some distractions out. That's okay! Remember your reasons...