September 28, 2009


My sister, Cyndi (at the end of a good go-get-'em cheer), my friend who is responsible for getting me into this, Kristi, and myself after a long Labor Day run.

".........let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Almost two months ago I completely lost my mind and signed up for the Houston Half Marathon. A dear friend of mine had been working very hard at convincing me that it was actually fun to run around Houston for 13 miles and being one that loves a good challenge, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

The crazy part is that if I had waited just one more day I would not have made it in. The half and whole marathon filled up in under 48 hours.......darn it all! I have to admit that I did take some pleasure in letting people know that I would be running 13 miles come only "elite athletes" think it's a good idea to run continuously for 2 or 3 hours so that had to somehow change people's perception of my athletic prowess.

My sister, Cyndi (who you may remember from here), was kicked out of Israel back in June and can't go back until the end of December. She decided to spend the interim here in Houston with us and I have loved, loved, loved having her here. She is a runner. For real. Like when I ask her how far she runs in Israel she tells me that she will run from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and back. I mean, how cool is that?

Oh, and let me clarify. My definition of run means that at some point between my left and right foot hitting the ground, there is airspace......however brief and far apart it may be. Her definition is let's see if we can run 4 miles in 20 min or less. I will actually get winded and start sweating just by riding my bike next to her while she runs.

When I officially started "training", she was kind enough to run at my pace, which presented a whole different kind of challenge for her. It wasn't long before I had built up some endurance and she was complimenting me on how much better I was breathing (translation: I was actually breathing instead of gasping for air) and how much my endurance had improved (translation: I wasn't talking about how I was going to die at any minute).

It wasn't long before I was comfortably running 3 miles and was ready to increase my mileage except that I was experiencing a lot of pain in my right hip. We did a "long" run one day and after 5 miles, I was in so much pain it was barely tolerable. It has been frustrating and annoying. I need to have it checked and I wonder if my goal of running the half marathon will be realized.

With my recent focus on running, I have realized the depth of truth in the verse I posted at the beginning. It is not a mistake that Paul chose the action verb of "run". It is hard to run a race. There is training involved, aches and pain, endurance, and most of all perseverance. You have to be devoted to getting stronger by running almost every day to achieve the goal set before you.

Walking is easy.

Recently I have had friends do a lot of walking:

Walking away from their marriage.

Walking away from the challenge of raising godly children.

Walking away from fighting inner demons.

Walking away from friends.

Walking away from financial responsibility.

Walking away from God.

Walking is easy.

Signing up for the race, staying committed, running through the pain......that is the race marked out for us, even when everything in us screams out to quit.

Running to your spouse to save a marriage.

Running the race of godly parenting.

Running from strongholds satan uses to destroy.

Running to friends for support and encouragement.

Running headlong into financial discipline.

Running to God.

One day we will all cross the finish line and I pray that my Father will be standing there proud of the work I did, forgetting all the times I walked away only to be pulled back into the race by His gentle prodding, gently smiling at the callouses I wear from training, and calling me by name because of the relationship we've forged while He ran with me.

That will be the ultimate Runner's high.

*I am dedicating this post to you, Dana. I will always be your running partner.*

September 22, 2009

The Top of Nob Hill

I have been missing from Blogger world for awhile's amazing how much more I get done when I limit my computer usage! Surprise, surprise!

Taking a break from chin whisker conversations, as much fun as those are, I wanted to update about a whirlwind of a trip I took with Scot last week. I got an email from him the Thursday morning before letting me know that he and I would be leaving early Sunday morning for a business trip to San mom was already scheduled to fly in on Saturday (thank you very much frequent flier miles) and I had better get busy.

Get busy?? Yes. This was one of those convention type events for the pipeline industry and there were about 2 events scheduled per day. Unfortunately, I live my life as a "soccer mom" and don't have the quantity of grown up clothes that would be required for a trip such as this so I was forced into a marathon shopping spree. I would rather sit and stare at a blank wall than go shopping for hours on end so I was not excited about this.......especially since I needed a dress for a black tie affair and was regretting my decision to eat this last year.

After a crazy 48 hours, most of which I don't remember with any clarity, I was packed and ready to go. By the time we got to the airport, I was very much excited about having a week with my husband in a city I have never been to before. One of my dearest friends was going to be going as well......her husband works with that was an added bonus for sure!

We arrived early enough on Sunday to have the whole day to ourselves. We stayed at The Fairmont which is pretty much at the top of Nob Hill. That means walking TO anywhere was was walking BACK that made up feel like your heart was going to explode out of your chest. We spent Sunday down at Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 with a gazillion sea lions hanging out, stumbling upon a chocolate festival in Ghiradelli's Square, taking an obligatory shot of Lombard Street, and walking 14 blocks to an amazing restaurant my brother recommended. We got to sit at the Chef's counter and watch all the cooking take place. I HIGHLY recommend this was called A16.

The nice thing about going on trips like this one is the opportunity to do things I wouldn't normally get to do. We took a fun tour through Napa that included a lunch in one of the wine cellars. I don't like wine.......I have really, really tried because Scot loves it. I just honestly have not had many that don't cause a full body spasm when I taste it.

Monday night was a welcoming cocktail hour and that's where I learned that "Smart Casual" doesn't really mean any one thing. Being a very international crowd there were women in full out sparkly cocktail dresses down to khakis and a top. The week was going to be so intense, my husband, who can pack for 2 weeks in China in a carry-on, had to create a spreadsheet to make sure he had all the clothes he needed.

Tuesday we got to hang out by ourselves. We went to a wonderful cafe near the hotel for lunch where Carmen Policy ended up sitting right next to us. I had NO idea who this dude was, Scot knew immediately. Apparently he was the President of the 49ers back in the day when the Cowboys and 49ers were swapping Super Bowl victories. He ended up buying our lunch and spending quite a bit of time talking football with Scot. My sweet husband was in heaven.....a real treat for him.

Then we walked up and down some killer hills to work off that wonderful lunch.

Wednesday Janah and I went on the Alcatraz tour. Scot and Janah's husband had meetings all morning so they didn't get to go. I happened to be married to a history buff who feels the need to read every single sign when we go to museums so I figured we shaved about 3 hours off the tour by not having him there. It was honestly one of my favorite things about the week. The audio tour is really great and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting.

Thursday night was one of my favorite evenings of the week. CAT sponsored the night by renting out the AT&T ballpark where the Giants play. We got to eat on the field, hang out in the batting cages, and enjoy a live band with fireworks. It was really amazing and I felt very fancy that night!!

Friday morning was the brunch and fashion show for the wives. I was working really hard at talking my friend, Janah, out of going. It wasn't until her husband sweetly informed me that she had been looking forward to the fashion show that I went back to the outfit drawing board and attempted to channel my deep down hidden "ladies that lunch" self. It was a nice morning - the brunch took place in an art gallery and the space was wonderful. The models were crazy skinny and scowled the whole time........poor things! Someone give them a brownie!

Janah and I took no less than about 15 pictures of ourselves and just could not get a great shot.....we finally resigned ourselves to the fact that it was less likely the picture taker person (I think everyone there had a chance to snap a shot at us), it was the subjects in the picture. Bad outfits for photo taking, wrong lighting, 2 foot difference in our height......pick any excuse! This was the best out of them all!

The best part of the fashion show was when it ended, they extended an invitation for us to try on the fashions ourselves. Girl, I'm from Texas where we eat Mexican food at LEAST once a week. I couldn't get back on that bus fast thank you.......I did NOT need that kind of torture!

That afternoon I drug Scot back down to the Wharf for one more bread bowl of clam chowder. I am not lying when I tell you that I tried on my formal dress for that night before we went....just to make sure I had not eaten my way out of it!! Praise God it still fit so off we went! Pure heaven!!

Friday night was the formal black tie event to finish the week. The best part? Seeing Scot in a tux for the first time since the day I married him. He looked heart skipped all kinds of beats!

Every single picture I have of the week I took with my phone since I was under the impression that my camera wasn't working.....until we got home and Scot pushed one button on it and all of a sudden it was working again! Anyways, we don't have any really good pictures of us that night, but we sure had a great time. There was a great band and we danced for hours.....I have never seen Scot dance for as long as he did that night. It was so much fun!

We had to catch a shuttle at 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning so suffice it to say we got about a two hour nap before heading back to Houston.

It was a wonderful trip and a true blessing all the way around. I left swearing off make-up and more than one outfit change a day......that was a little intense!

I loved getting some time alone with Scot and I definitely fell in love with San Francisco.

The length of this post astounds even me so for any of you who have stuck with it and aren't even related to me, I appreciate you!

September 11, 2009

False Advertising

Do you see the serene look on this patient's face as she undergoes laser hair removal??


Picture me without a cute headband, laying on the table with funky dark glasses on because what I'm about to do to my face could render me blind........awesome....

I'm relaxed and ready to start down the road to my whisker free future when Hilda (who is very disappointingly named Carlene), drops her glasses in place and says "Let's get started".

What happens next is truly a blur as I was trying to cope with the feeling of having 1,000 hot needles poking into my face without writhing in pain.......or screaming. I could almost see Hilda throwing her head back and emitting an evil laugh while I wondered if those glasses were really protecting my eyes, or just masking the fact that I was crying.

It honestly took about 5 minutes and then we were done. I wondered if there was blood streaming down my face and neck after the torture. I have never had to struggle harder to be polite and to show self-control than when Hilda told me that next time:

"I will kill some more"

She then left me to regain my composure in the little room before meeting me out front. It literally felt like someone had punched me in the jaw.....over and over and over again.

I proceeded to the desk with the sweet girl that has never had a zit or chin whisker, and begin the process of setting my next appointment. I casually mentioned how much pain I'm in and the fact that they should offer a Vicodin cocktail prior to laser hair removal. The adorable 12 year old receptionist just laughed and said

"Yeah, everyone says that".

Ok, so is it just me? Maybe you people ought to consider WARNING those of us that have no clue that this experience is so excruciating. Maybe that's why "Hilda" is so free with showing off her armpit, because you are so mesmerized by the promise of what could be, that you get sucked in at any cost.

Round 2 is October better believe I will be inhaling some Advil and packing my own ice pack for that visit!!

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