Monday, August 18, 2014

running

Here's another running update, not that you really care, but you know, just in case.

I signed up for a half-marathon and it is just a few weeks away.  I haven't been training like I thought I would, but now that both boys are in school, I'm pushing myself (and a stroller) out the door most mornings.  Or at least I did this week.  Pushing a stroller is the pits, but I tell myself I can subtract 2-3 minutes from my time, right?  Right?

I also ran a 5k on Saturday.  I hadn't trained for that either.  I wasn't racing it, just happy to do it for a good cause.  I ended up finishing first in my age group with a time of 26:10.  The boys jumped in a "'flator house" and ate their weight in sugar cookies, grapes, and post race food.

Corey tried to get some photos, but I wasn't sure where he was so I got trapped in the middle on a few.



I stayed behind the girl in pink for most of the race and passed her at the turnaround.  Then it was back and forth until we came in the parking lot.  It was uphill and I was gassed, but apparently she still had something left.

Near the end, a couple of women passed me and I was ready to watch them fly all the way to the finish line, but somehow I dug deep and passed them.  After the race one of them told me she was trying to stay with me and I said I was trying to stay with the girl in pink, then she said she was trying to stay with me, too.  Aaaagh so close!
 


Saturday, August 16, 2014

wintergirls


I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book, Wintergirls, after coming across it on Goodreads.  It's definitely not for everyone, but it tackles the subject of eating disorders.  The Wintergirls are Lia and Cassie, best friends who make an oath to be the skinniest.  It starts out as a New Year's resolution of sorts, but quickly becomes an unhealthy competition in who can make themselves the smallest.  Lia struggles with anorexia, counting calories all day anytime a bite of food is considered or tempts her.  She is living with her dad and stepmom after a couple of stints in a clinic and failed attempts to live with her over-controlling mother. 

Cassie is found alone, dead in a motel room.  Lia feels guilty because the girls hadn't spoken in months, but the night Cassie died, she tried calling Lia 33 times.  Lia didn't answer because of their fight months before.  Then Cassie's ghost begins appearing in Lia's room, then the rest of the house, and even school.  Lia figures out that Cassie wants company in the afterlife and it frightens her.  It also stresses her to no end and with the guilt of her death, Lia starts controlling the one thing she can:  food.  She cheats on the scale, which is what her stepmom and dad use to hold her accountable, pretending to have just eaten as soon as they walk in a room.  She gets down to her first goal weight, which only empowers her and pushes her to lose five more pounds.  Lia also begins cutting and won't tell her counselor any of this because she knows they'll throw her back in rehab.

Can Lia overcome all of this?  Or will she join Cassie in death and they can live eternally as Wintergirls?

This book was hard to read and made me cringe more than any horror story I've read.  Because eating disorders are so real and hit pretty close to home (I've not struggled with one, but know women who have and also volunteering with teenage girls made me aware of how serious they are) I found myself reading some scenes through half-closed eyes.  I felt empathy for Lia and her struggle and wanted so badly for a switch in her mind to be flipped, but I know it's not that easy and I can see now why people have to really fight to overcome body image issues.  If anything, I will take that much more care to protect my kids, especially my daughter.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

volunteering

I could write a novel about how much I love our church and especially our small group experiences. Most recently we got to volunteer at a food bank that reaches those in need locally. We met during our usual time, Monday 7-9. The food bank is awesome allowing groups to come outside of their regular operating hours. When we arrived, we watched a brief video telling us about how the food bank was started, who they serve, and about their many locations around the United States.



After the video we were broken into two teams and while our task seemed simple, we were more than glad to do it.  First a few people bagged breakfast cookies, then the bag was taped closed, labeled, and boxed.  Between the two groups, we filled four pallets in a little under two hours.  It didn't feel like work at all because we were laughing and turning it into a competition.  We heard some astounding statistics about our area, one that we always consider well off and affluent and we don't see the direct need.  One example the guy gave us was from earlier this year.  There was a snowstorm coming and while most counties canceled school the night before, one county did not.  The superintendent should've had kids released much earlier than they were and roads were pretty badly iced over by the time school was let go.  It was a nightmare on the road with buses and parents rushing to pick up kids.  He caught a lot of disapproval and criticism.  Apparently he waffled with his decision because he knew lunch was the only meal a lot of kids would receive that day and maybe over the next couple of days with the inclement weather.

action shot by Claire

All we did was bag breakfast cookies, but realizing that these would go with other items to feed families that can't afford to feed themselves was rewarding and humbling at the same time.  Of course, it wasn't all work.

action shot by Claire

Thursday, August 7, 2014

back to school

Guys, July just ended and the crazy people in Georgia are back in school.  We got a call last week that a spot opened up for Oliver in the pre-k room and with that, I was kissing summer goodbye.

This morning I woke the boys up (rarity), fed them breakfast, helped pick out clothes, and packed Oliver's lunch.  We drove them (they'll ride the bus from now on) and walked Oliver to class.  Clark is too cool to carry his lunch and way too cool to be walked to his room.  We watched Oliver put his backpack and mat in a cubby and then walk over to a table of blocks with some other boys.  I could tell he was a little nervous, but mostly excited.  

 


Corey left from the school for work and I took Logan to the park to meet some other ladies and their daughters.  It was so weird not to have any other kids with me, but also really nice. 


 

We came home and Logan took a loooonnng nap.  I ate lunch, watched some tv, and twiddled my thumbs.  We met the boys outside when they got home.  They both had a good day and didn't want to tell me a single thing about it.


Oliver did tell me he cried a little, but he also made some friends, played outside, and said he would go back tomorrow.  So two thumbs up all around.