Thursday, June 16, 2016

Here We Go Again

Remember when I wrote about our chickens, and how I knew they were a gateway animal?  Well, since the original five chickens, we've added two ducks, three more chickens, two turkeys, then lost three chickens and two ducks, and re-added three chickens and two ducks.  Are you keeping up? Currently, that's eight chickens: Mabel, Lizzie, Ruby, Harriet, Bernice, Grace, Tatiana and Rosie, two ducks: Waylon and Willie, and two turkeys: Lewis and Clark.

Today our family got a little bit bigger...

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Meet Winston, age 8 weeks:

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He is a Boston Terrier and Boxer mix and he is the sweetest little boy in the whole world.  The kids have been begging for a dog for over two years and we finally have the space and the time to raise this puppy right.  He was waiting for the kids when they came home from school today, and their reactions were priceless...

Emerson: Is he really OUR puppy?  This is the best family ever.

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Alayna: I wouldn't have to share him if I was the only kid in this family!  Today we got a puppy and went to dinner for Dad's birthday-this day could only be better if it was also Field Day at school!

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Grey:  I'm going to keep him forever.  Well, at least until he dies.  I can't wait until winter when I can play in the snow with him!

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Nash, when made to share the puppy:  I haven't held him in a WEEK!

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Owen:  This is what our family has been missing!

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I can already envision little Winston being forced into doll dresses by the girls, and getting pulled around the yard in the wagon behind the tractor by Greyson.  And Nash went to bed very sad tonight that Winston couldn't sleep in his bed with him.  I reminded all of the kids that Winston is here to stay and there will be plenty of time to cuddle him and play with him and love him. Tomorrow? Tomorrow is the last day of school, and all of the kids asked to be woken up early so they had plenty of time to snuggle with our new little puppy for school.  Right now, though, I'll wrap this up because it's almost bed time for this mama and I need to sneak a few minutes of snuggling in while I have the chance.

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Completely Amazing

I think about a lot of things when I'm running.  Most thoughts pop into my head and then pop back out just as fast. Sometimes, I manage to remember all the things I put on my virtual shopping list, or that one of the kids needs something extra for school that week.  On rare occasions, I think in-depth about a certain subject for longer than five minutes.  Last week, as I was working my way through a twenty mile training run for my upcoming marathon, a thought struck me: marathon training is a lot like pregnancy.

I'm not claiming to be an expert on pregnancy and birth, but hey, I have birthed five babies.  And I'm definitely no expert on running, but I'm quickly approaching the completion of my fourth marathon training program.  Whether you're having a baby or running a marathon, both have profound impacts on your life.

Pre-conception and the casual runner
Pre-conception is that time before you're pregnant, when you eat healthy, take your vitamins, exercise and basically get your body in optimal condition for conception to occur.  Likewise, as a runner, you eat healthy, take your vitamins, and run a few miles every week and maybe even a half marathon or two in preparation for a bigger goal.  You have a feeling this is going to be completely amazing.

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Two pink lines and commitment 
It's official!  You're going to have a baby!  You're going to run a marathon!  Your mind is racing!  "I have to tell the world!  Or should I wait, and just savor this moment?  Must. Tell. Everyone. Even strangers!"  THIS IS GOING TO BE COMPLETELY AMAZING!

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The first trimester and the running routine
Now that this is happening, what next?  What's going to happen to your body?  What should you be eating?  HOW much should you be eating?  You have great days and completely horrible days and your hormones are all over the place, but THIS IS COMPLETELY AMAZING!

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The second trimester and the love of the sport
You're finally getting the hang of things and finding your groove!  You're eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep.  People are starting to notice something new about you-you're glowing!  THIS IS COMPLETELY AMAZING!

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The gender reveal and marathon selection
This is it!  You finally know if it's a boy or a girl!  Blue or pink?  Baseballs or ballet slippers?  And you've chosen your marathon-THE marathon that will change your life!  Somehow, things just got a little more real, and you know exactly where you're headed.  You have a specific goal and you're making preparations so when the big day arrives, you'll be ready.  THIS IS COMPLETELY AMAZING!

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The third trimester and the looooooong runs
It won't be long now!  The end is almost in sight, but you're so tired!  And where is the food?!  You haven't eaten in two hours and if you don't eat NOW you will surely die of starvation!  But wait.  Your doctor told you you shouldn't gain any more weight?  You have to run HOW many miles on Saturday?  You're exhausted but you can't sleep.  Your mind races.  "What if things don't go as planned?  What if I can't do it?"  But despite your fears, you are so ready to get to the main event.  THIS IS COMPLETELY AMAZING!

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Labor and marathon week
Your due date is here, and your contractions are playing tricks on you-they're here for an hour and then gone for four.  You search the internet and scour your pregnancy books and make phone calls to the doctor, but they all say the same thing-enjoy these last days of pregnancy!  Rest!  Eat well!  Stay hydrated!  Marathon week is no different.  You've trained for months, and the final day is approaching.  Fuel your body and drink plenty of water.  You've come so far and all you can think is, THIS IS COMPLETELY AMAZING!

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Delivery and race day
The big day is finally here!  Lace up your shoes, and aim to execute your plan.  Be prepared for anything-your plan A can sometimes become an impossibility, so have a plan B.  And, just to be safe, have a plan C, too.  Be determined, but flexible.  You start out excited, but remind yourself to breathe and take it all in.  As the time goes by, the excitement and anxiety build.  Can you really do this?  At some point, you might run out of gas.  Much like a stalled labor, hitting the wall in a marathon can really mess with your head-and your plans.  Then, from somewhere deep inside, you hear a voice-a voice that says, "This is it!  I'm ready!  My body can do this!  My legs are not giving out!  This is the final push!"  And there, finally within sight, is the finish line.  THIS IS COMPLETELY AMAZING!

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A mother doesn't ever forget the moment when her newborn baby is first thrust into her arms after birth, and a marathoner never forgets all it takes to cross that finish line.  There is joy, and there are tears, and there is a sense of accomplishment that no one can take away.  THIS IS COMPLETELY AMAZING.

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Post-partum and recovery
After a having a baby, as well as after completing a marathon, you're a little bit of everything.  You're elated and tired and proud and sore and just completely filled with wonder. "Wow, I wasn't expecting my body to feel like this!  Who knew I could laugh and cry simultaneously?!  I can't believe I did that!  Wait.  Yes I can.  I am amazing!  I am a mother.  I am a marathoner.  My life is completely changed.  When can I do it again?"  THAT WAS COMPLETELY AMAZING.

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