Current Exercise and Weight Loss Goals

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tithing Blessings

Last week I got to substitute teach the home study seminary class. It was really cool. I haven't been "forced" to study such a big block of scriptures for a lesson in a long time. We were talking about the last 2 books of the Old Testament. We focused on tithing for a few minutes and reviewed Malachi 3:10:

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

When I gave birth to Tanner I quit my job at the YMCA and since then, I haven't "worked" outside the home. Only occasionally, have I had the opportunity to pay tithing in the past ten years. Well, when I started cleaning houses in September last year I got to start paying my own tithing again. I love it! It feels so good.

We have been the recipients of some of what I call "tithing blessings" over the past month.

First, I have more housecleaning work than I can do. I feel so lucky in that as a working mother, I have found a way to make very good money by the hour and I can set my own hours. I do NOT like leaving the home to work, but I love the people I work for!!!!! I feel that the windows of heaven opened right up and poured out the work offers for me. When I first started cleaning, I didn't know if I could find enough "clients", now I don't have room in my schedule to "receive" all the jobs!

Second, we have a neighbor up the street that I have waved to for 4 years. He walks his dog almost every day and I wave and say hi when I see him. I did not even know his name. But, several weeks he came to the house and gave Shane a big cardboard box of pint-size milks!!! With 6 kids (and a chocolate-milk-loving husband), we go through a lot of milk. This neighbor said they get milk from a dairy for their church and they had a lot leftover. He said he takes the leftovers wherever God tells him. He said "God put you in my heart, so I brought the milk to you." This was a huge blessing to us. Tommy (I finally asked his name) has brought us milk 3 or 4 times now and he has also brought us little single serving apple juices. There was so much milk at times that we "did not have room enough to receive it." We even needed to call friends over to take milk home!

So, I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for these blessings. It is so easy to focus on the hard things that happen every day. It's nice when the blessings are so obvious that you can't help but see them!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Friend Won the Women's Division!

I'm so stoked! My friend Michelle won the Women's Division of the Flying Pig MARATHON! I told her Friday night that finally getting to meet her was like meeting a rock star! And was I right!?!

I called her cell phone after church and she told me she won! She said a helicopter followed her the last 10 miles of the race! And she was asked to come back to Cincy tomorrow and throw out the first pitch at the Reds game!!!! I teased her and told her if I had known she was going to win, I would have asked her to sign my marathon poster Friday night! She laughed and I told her that next time I see her she has to sign it!

I just got to see her finish on the 10 o'clock news too! They quoted her as saying she felt like a rock star!!!! I told her so!!!
What a blast! Michelle has been an amazing friend to me for the past 3 years on the beginners forum. When I first started posting she gave me so much encouragement and advice. She also writes fabulous "race reports" soon after she runs. I can't wait to read this one!

When I first started posting on the forum in 2005 I had no idea what a great group of people I would meet. Michelle has been one of them. In November 2005, I met 2 people from the forum, Luis and his wife Lorrie. Lorrie ran the whole 10K with me on Thanksgiving morning. She said it was her honor to run my first 10K with me.

Yesterday, it was my turn. It was MY honor to walk with Sylvia in her first ever 5K. I was so happy to "pay it forward" and do for Sylvia what Lorrie did for me 2 years ago.

Running makes me sore, but most of all it makes me happy.
Congratulations Michelle! And even more important: CONGRATULATIONS SYLVIA!!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Flying Pig Day

Here is Sylvia and I at the Health and Fitness Expo Friday night. It was an absolute blast. We had so much fun. We checked in and picked up our racing bibs, marathon posters, and t-shirts. We went to all the booths and got fun give-aways like trial size toothpaste, little energy bars, Smuckers jellies, pens, bandannas, stickers, magnets, etc. (There was Scope too, but that doesn't mean we had bad breath. Really.) There was also LOTS of cools Flying Pig stuff to buy. We showed great restraint in this area and left with most of our money still in our purses. (but not all our moolah!$$$$) I got to meet my friend Michelle who I have known on-line for almost 3 years but never had a chance to see her face to face. She's a top marathon runner. (she actually "wins" marathons) To me it was like meeting a rockstar!!! She was really nice (not a surprise).

We went home totally pumped up and determined to bring big bucks to the expo next year. I "need" that pink jacket, seriously. (and the hat!)

Saturday morning was WET!!!! We got the most awesome parking spot thanks to Eric! It was raining, but not too bad for the start of my race. I was VERY nervous and the butterflies in my stomach were huge! I started the race and got to wave to Sylvia and Eric. (They yelled out "BOOGETY, BOOGETY, BOOGETY BOYS! LET'S GO RACING!- the traditional start at NASCAR races. It was a great way to start the race.)

The best decision I made during this race was head for the first port-a-potty I saw. Very smart. I felt much better and I ran a lot more comfortably after that. My plan was to run and when I got tired take a break and walk. However, I ran almost THE WHOLE THING!!!!! I walked at one water station and once to check my voice mail because I missed a phone call. (It was Karlin. She's so great! She told me she was proud of me and hoped I have a good race. So cool!) That's when I was just crossing the bridge over into Kentucky.

The two best things that happened while I was running was when the conductor running the train on the train bridge waved to me. I waved back and a minute later I heard behind me the train whistle blowing for all us runners. Later, while running along a street in Dayton, Kentucky we ran past a senior citizen apartment building. Several older people had come out to watch the race and several women were waving to us from the windows. I got to wave to two sweet women who had the BEST SMILES! They really made the race more fun.

The hardest part of the race was crossing the big bridge back into Cincinnati. It was the 6th mile and SO STEEP! Lots of the runners were walking. Who could blame them? Coming over the top of the bridge was so great. At that point you know you are almost done and you are actually going to survive. I could see Sylvia and Eric waiting at the "FINISH SWINE" (why didn't I get a picture of that sign?) and I knew I was done. I finished the 6.2 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes! I'm so happy. (Two years ago it took me an hour and 7 minutes. At that time I had been running all year and weighed 20 pounds less than I do now. ) Sylvia and Eric congratulated me and then Sylvia walked me down to the goodie tables. We got the coolest hand towels!

We rested back in the car and snacked until it was time for Sylvia's race, the 5K at 11 am. I'm not going to write much, because it's her deal and she's a better writer anyway. But I will say-SHE WAS AWESOME!!!! It was absolutely POURING rain at the beginning and for about the first half of the race. These are pictures of us on the Kentucky side of the Purple People Bridge heading back into Cincy.

After we crossed the bridge we headed to the finish line. I skipped ahead off to the side (because I couldn't cross the finish line since I didn't pay for the race. I was just the walking buddy.) I got to stand be Eric and cheer for Sylvia as she finished the race. It was a great moment to see her accomplish her goal.

Here's Sylvia. She was just yards from the finish line----still smiling!!
There she buddy crossing the Finish Swine (cool-I do have a picture of the sign!) Isn't she great!

Here's Eric congratulating Sylvia! This is right after the big hug and before the Congratulatory Kiss!
It was a FABULOUS DAY! We had the best time and can't wait to do our next race! I'm grateful to Eric for being such a great pit crew. He held our stuff and cheered us on. Thanks Eric. My brother is far away in Texas. It's nice to have another one here. Especially one as nice as you. You are a blessing.
Sylvia, You are the best. I loved spending the day with you. You are ONE DETERMINED WOMAN! I am so PROUD of you!
Thanks everyone who was rooting for us. The encouragement was priceless!
(Hi Dad and Grandma!!!! If you want to see a great picture of Sylvia and I at the start of her race go to the links on the side of my blog in My Favorites and click on "The Man of Steel Leg" link. Eric put a picture of us in his blog and it's fun to see us soaking wet.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Call me a DUMBELL!

Two weeks ago, after a run on the treadmill, I came up to my bedroom and began to lift weights. However, the kids needed me, so I left the weights and went back into Mom-mode. At 10 pm that night (after work) I had finally gotten the kids to bed and I was walking fast through my bedroom (in bare feet) and kicked a 10-pound dumbbell!!!! Oh man, did it hurt. Overnight, my toe (next to my littlest piggy) swelled up and turned a bit purple. A day later I did some walking and running, but it was miserable. So, there went my training plan out the window! For the next week and a half I did no running and only the most necessary walking.

Saturday is the Flying Pig 10K. I'm not really ready. But, I'm very excited! Yesterday, I ran/walked 4.25 miles in 61 minutes. Today, I ran/walked 4.25 miles in 56 minutes!!! Saturday will be hard and quite possibly wet as they are predicting rain. But, hey, racing is fun, rain or shine! (Okay, I'm just doing it for the t-shirt!)

I'm so excited to be experiencing this weekend with my buddies, Sylvia and Eric. (Go Syliva!!!!! You're going to do great!)

Wish us luck!!!! (I just hope to survive the 6 miler and maybe have a smile left at the end! :) )