Sunday, December 29, 2013

These Shoes

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See these shoes?  In August, 2013, they became mine.  If they could talk, oh, the stories they would tell...
These shoes have carried me over 530 miles.  They've run races ranging from 5K's to Half-Marathons.  They've run in rain and snow and sleet and wind.  They've run on 90 degree days and 19 degree days.  They've run through forests, mud and streams.  They've run on sandy beaches and through rough terrain. 
These shoes have helped push strollers and have pedaled bicycles.  They've traveled from Ohio to Michigan and even Nevada. 
These shoes have helped me burn over 57,000 calories.  They've been sweat on, cried on and puked on.  They've carried me even when I wanted to be doing anything but wearing them.

These shoes have spent over 87 hours helping to make me a better person.  They've helped me reach goals I had never even dreamed of before. 

These shoes have taken wrong turns, and these shoes have carried me home. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ten Years

Someone asked me today what I was feeling ten years ago...

Ten years ago, I was 27 years old.  I was living in Davison, Michigan, substitute teaching, and driving a Pontiac Aztek. 

Ten years ago, it was 2003.  I had spent the first part of that year moving into a new home.  A brand new house. I chose furniture to fill the rooms and curtains for the windows and artwork for the walls. And then, in August, I got to paint one room BLUE.  Baby blue. 

I remember the day I found out I was having a boy.  Up until that point, I had just been happy to have something growing inside me.  In an instant, my outlook changed.  My life would soon be filled with cars and trucks and trains and dinosaurs and dirt and bugs.  A boy.  A big brother to any more children I might have. 

A few short months later, he was here.  Owen.

After the birth, which you can read about here, I remember sitting alone in my hospital room with him.  Aside from the disbelief that I had just birthed another human, I couldn't get over the fact that they were going to let ME, someone who had no experience with babies, just take that tiny little bundle home and figure everything out.  No rules, just go.  I was someone's mother now.

If there ever was a textbook baby, Owen was that.  He slept well, he ate well, he sat up on schedule, crawled on schedule, walked on schedule.  He was a good baby.

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Then, all of a sudden, he wasn't a baby anymore.  He was a little boy.  A little boy who loved cars and trucks and trains and dinosaurs and dirt and bugs. 

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And while some kids might outgrow these things, Owen has not.  If he's not outside digging up worms or collecting insects or catching minnows in the creek, he's inside reading about sharks and tornadoes and volcanoes.

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Is he still my little fisherman?  Yes.

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Is he still playing basketball?  Yes.

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He's also added a new sport: Swimming.

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If you're a parent, I'm sure you've taken your kids to endless practices for extra-curricular activities, and your number one thought is, "WHEN IS THIS PRACTICE GOING TO END?!"  That's not the case when it comes to Owen and swimming.  When he is in the water, he transforms.  His awkwardness is gone, his shyness is gone and he is amazing.  I don't know very much about swimming or strokes or diving, but I'll tell you this: Owen makes it look effortless.  I look forward to his practices every week.  I love watching him, eager to see his progress. 

He's in fourth grade.  He wants to be an entomologist when he grows up.  He is soft-spoken, until he has something he wants you to hear.  He has a great sense of humor.  He loves Star Wars.  He loves guns, knives and swords.  He drinks a half cup of milk in the kitchen before bed every night.  He'll eat his weight in steak if you'll let him.  His mind is filled with endless trivia.  He is the best big brother I could've ever imagined having for my children. 

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Today, Owen is ten.

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