Monday, July 29, 2013

Sermon on Prayer... Sometimes We have to do something too.

Doug preached on Sunday for the first time in almost 2 years! I was excited to hear him prepare this week. One of the things that I have always enjoyed is talking with him during the week about what he is going to preach about. 

The video isn't great. I used my iPad and I was too far back, but you can listen to it if you like!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Milestone into Insanity

As we headed out to the Jacket Glow Run tonight Doug mentioned that I had crossed the line into an area where 98.8% of the world would think I was crazy. Sadly, he was right. But I don't care... it pumps me up!!

So how did I become a part of this tiny percentage? Well, simple. I run. A lot.  Like how bout a 14 mile training run this morning and then a 1 mile family run followed by a 5k tonight.

Yes, that put me at over 18 miles on the day. 

This morning's 14 were good. Not fast.. it is summer in Texas you know and it is hot and humid!

And here I am with the little girls tonight. 
 Lexi ran with Doug in the 1 mile and I ran with Kylie.  Lexi did awesome. She ran the 1 mile in 13 minutes. Kylie ran 3/4ths of the course and reeled people in with her grin as she ran along. We finished in 14:30. Not too bad for a 3 year old!

Then we had the Glow Run. It was DARK and a little unnerving at times. I was thankful that I run the trail regularly (like even this morning..) so I knew the turns and the bad spots in the road.

Here I am with my teaching friends after the race! I ran a 9:41 pace!! I was super pumped as I really just wanted it under 10 minutes given the day.  My official time is higher... but the course was long and an inaccurate course skews times badly.
All in all, it was a great day. Now granted I am laying on the bed with an icepack on my left shin right now, but other than that all is well.

I am so proud of myself! I ran over 18 miles today!! Yippee!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The difference between chronic and acute.. the difference is frightening.

I've waited a few days to share this story. I've waited for my nerves to calm. I've waited to make sure that Maddie is okay. I've waited... because I am thankful that I have a story with a happy ending to share.

If you have read my blog regularly over the years you know that Maddie has health issues. I know that I share more of these issues with the public than she would prefer. But I do so for a reason.  Because even though there are days when I feel like we are alone, I know that we are not. So, I know that in the future, some person might stumble upon a post of mine and get the reassurance that they desperately need at that moment.


In Maddie's life we have had a few acute health scares. Not many thankfully. We live in the world of chronic health problems and to be honest, have gotten pretty comfortable dealing with these ever present nagging problems.

But we are not novices to acute. When Maddie was 5 months old, she had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin called Erythema Multiforme. She was so swollen that she struggled to breathe. It took weeks and lots and lots of medicines for her to recover. I think it was at this point she got her first nebulizer.

This picture shows her looking better. It was a very scary time.

I won't belabor the point with more horror stories. Let's just say we have had them.

Moving forward.

This summer has not been kind to Maddie. She had to cancel an overnight party with friends for a late birthday party becuase she was sick and then she had a bad asthma flare July 1st. Looking back, I should have been more aggressive, but we have gotten complacent. We have an incredible doctor and lots of instructions.. so I didn't call for help. I figured we could handle it.

So Maddie spent a couple of weeks not feeling well and then was able to go with my mom and her cousin to my sister's house for some time at "Ma Camp." Nothing too strenuous. The biggest thing for these girls is that they don't have their younger siblings there with them! So after four nights away from home I went and retrieved Maddie from my sister's house and immediately noticed a cough. A similar cough to the one that Maddie has for most of the year. Nothing new.

That night, Friday night, before bed Maddie took a breathing treatment and went to bed. As you might remember, that was the night my Grandmother died. Saturday morning, I got up early and went and ran with my running buddies. Doug left the house as I was coming in to play golf. Maddie was still in bed. Later that morning, Maddie finally came out of her room and I could tell something was wrong. She was in tears and struggling to catch her breath. I asked her to do a peak flow and she could not force enough air out to get a reading.  I immediately had her do a clearout (3 breathing treatments back to back to back). After the clearout she was a little better and I asked her if she needed to go to the hospital. She said no, that it was getting better. She was able to do a peak flow and it registered her into the low yellow zone. This started a cycle of breathing treatments every 3 hours. Maddie stayed in bed the rest of the day. I checked on her, but pretty much went about the day with the girls. Cause man, we've done this before.

Doug came in mid afternoon and we discussed calling the doctor, but we were doing the protocol, so we didn't see a real need to call the on-call doctor.

Later that evening, Doug asked me if Maddie told me about what had happened during the night. I said no. So he told me what she had just told him and then I went and found Maddie and got the story from her.

Take a deep breath and remember that she is okay..

As it turns out... about an hour after Maddie took her breathing treatment Friday night and went to sleep, she woke up with her chest burning.

She was cold and felt like she had a fever.

She was unable to take a deep breath.

Her muscles were clenched tightly and she couldn't reach down to pull her blanket up.

She couldn't roll over.

She couldn't reach out and get her phone off her bookcase.

She couldn't call out for help. 

So she laid there until she went back to sleep.

Oh my.. at this point I am ready to wail.

My heart does stop a second when I think of the might of's and the almost's.

I think it has been even more so these last couple of days as we attended my Grandmother's visitation and funeral.

When I found out what had happened, we talked about what we could do in the future. She now sleeps with her phone in her bed. We talked about how we should have gone straight to the hospital when was able to call for help. We looked over the paperwork and I talked her through what the emergency protocol is and what that means.

Lesson for parents with kids with chronic un-fixable problems.... Maddie asked what they could do for her at the hospital  Wow. She lives in the world of kidney disease and auto-immune problems where treating symptoms is the only thing they can do and where stopping the problem isn't an option. She didn't see going to the hospital as something that could help her to breathe. ouch.

Today we went to the specialist office. The staff was as bothered as I was that we didn't have any health warning/symptoms that were different. Lots of questions were asked and answered. In the end.. this is what we were told. "you know how people say they are having an asthma attack.. most often they are having an escalation of problems, a flare... you had an acute attack."  Even worse, going over the last month, it was apparent that the attack on July 1st was acute too.  It was suggested that we find a way to have her rescue inhaler with her, in her bed so that if needed she can get a puff and have the ability to call for help.

So I'll be making a cute little over the headboard inhaler and phone keeper for her!

It's been a few days now and I've stopped going into her room repeatedly during the night, but I can't help but want to go sleep in her room and hold her a little closer.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Yesterday we buried Grandmother.

Anytime family gathers, I try to get pictures. You just never know if you will have another opportunity.

Look at this picture of my sisters and me. We look more and more alike as we age! I am so thankful for my sisters!

We also got a picture of the grandkids. It's been probably twenty years since we had a picture of all of us together. I am thankful for this family. I am well aware how lucky I am to have cousins that I also consider to be friends!

Doug did the funeral. He did a great job. I am so thankful for this man!

And I am thankful for my friends. Friends who will send a plant so that I know they are thinking of me... even though they know that I will probably kill the said plant...

This last week has had some hard stuff. Closing a chapter of life is hard. In the midst of that Maddie was really sick, that is an ongoing battle. But in the end, I am so thankful for this life that I have. I am beyond blessed.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Another 100/200/20 done!

This morning I got up and went and did my crazy 100/200/20 workout with a friend. We started at 5:15 and finished in just about an hour.  I was beat, but it wasn't as hard as last week! That's cool.

And now I have the hardest workout of the week completed!

It's going to be hard couple of days around here, but working out sure helps!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

97 years + joy= makes a well lived life.

My Grandmother passed away Friday night.
She was 97 years old. 

My Grandmother, Lynn was truly a remarkable woman. She lived and loved wholeheartedly. I can't remember a time when she didn't smile or laugh or love others. Even in the midst of sorrow and trials, she was one who would find and show joy.

It was absolutely time for Grandmother to go. But it doesn't make it easy. The last two years of her life have been very difficult. Two weeks ago she had a stroke and even though her limbs were constricted so much that she was almost in a fetal position, she still was talking and "happy." Truly, she was amazing. While she lay in that bed in pain, she smiled. A nurse came in and asked her how she was doing and she said okay. The nurse said "really?" And Grandmother's response was so typical of her... "No, but I can pretend that I'm okay." I don't want you to think that Grandmother was fake.. she wasn't! But she could find joy in any circumstance and did.

This last week I have spent a lot of time looking at pictures trying to figure out which 40 pictures would sum up her life. That was not easy, but it was a gift. As I have waded through pictures, I have had to privilege of looking into my Grandmother's face and seeing her love and her joy year after year.

So tonight, while most of these pictures didn't make the 40 cut as they are of mostly of my kids... I am going to leave you with a piece of her legacy.

And so we say goodbye.
Or as you always said.. 
"We'll see ya when we see ya!" 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

50% DONE!

When I set my 2013 running goal, I new it was an ambitious one.
But as we all know, I'm all about setting goals and making them!
And it's no fun if the goal is too easy!

Well this morning, after our scheduled run, I saw that I was at 497.4 miles and that would just NOT do!! So while I hadn't originally planned to keep going and run with our short distance group, I quickly changed my mind and headed back out.

Today was GOING to be the day I hit 500 miles!
And I did!!

I am really pumped. I slacked off in April after the Big D and allowed my body some shorter miles for a month, so I was really behind in my goal. But I knew that when fall came, the miles would be ramped back up running 1/2 marathon races and marathon training miles. So I really didn't think I'd hit the 500 mile mark until later this summer.

Now I am DETERMINED that I am GOING to get all 1000 running miles in 2013.

Friday, July 19, 2013

What kind of light am I? Spotlight or a Candle?

I want to be a light in this world. 

But I have no desire to be a spotlight.
I've spent a good amount of time on stage, and I know what it feels like to be hit in the face by 1000 watts.

A stage light, or a spot light produces
a LOT of heat
is blinding
and is really only good for one area.

But a candle,
breaks the darkness gently
provides a light strong enough to see through the dark
 without blinding the person.

That's the kind of light I want to be.

Ironic isn't it.. You thought I'd say that I want to be a spotlight. didn't you?

Matthew 5:15-18
The Message (MSG)
"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.
 God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.
 If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you?
I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand- shine!
Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It was a rear kickin' kinda morning!!

My friend Martha and I met at the park at 5am for our FITNESS CHALLENGE!


To be honest, I wasn't sure how I would do.

But we completed

100 reverse leg lowers with crunch
100 pushups
100 tuck jumps
100 jump squats
200 squats
200 jumping jacks
20 burpees

Plus we ran a total of 3 miles at a 9.43 pace!

So how did we do it?

Well, we ran .25 first. Then we did 10 of each of the first 4 exercises and 20 of the next two and 2 burpees. Then we ran .25 again and then did another set of exercises and so forth. After the first 5 sets, we stopped for water and I accidentally had us run an extra .25 (sorry Martha) and she didn't point it out until we were on our 9th set. So we ended up running further than we needed, but it was good for us!

We finished at 6:02am.

I really enjoyed the workout. I was stronger than I thought and that made my day! I'm thinking that I am going to make this my Wednesday morning workout!

I can't wait to see how much faster I can finish this in 30 days!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

30 Day Fitness Challenge.. You with Me?

One of the coolest things about Facebook is the random (and really not interesting) things about your life are archived for you to find later. Sorry facebook friends.. I use status updates for this reason a lot!
Anyhoo. As you all are more than aware, I am a year into reclaiming my life and as I sit here tonight eating McDonald's, I am feeling the need to put a new challenge in front of me. Yes, feel free to groan. In the last year I have lost close to 40 pounds, have run a couple of 1/2 marathons and have become stronger. And while yes, I am training to run the Dallas Marathon, running has become fun and social and not as challenging. I need to change that. 
So here is what I am doing. First, I am going back and looking at what I was doing last summer and am going to give myself a FITNESS TEST tomorrow morning. Then, over the next 30 days I am going to bust it and see where I stand. I know my running is way, way better, but can I still do the deck of cards workout? Probably not. I’m thinking I’ve let things slide! Then at the end of 30 days I'm going to do the Fitness test again!

A quick recap from last summer… these are my facebook posts!!
July 26: Warning: when the instructor says "it's just 10 moves today and then we go home..." don't get excited. What she didn't say was that it was 10 moves with 100 reps of each plus "bonus" running laps between each exercise! Let it be known, I did EVERY single REP. Ouch!
July 27: Accomplishment for the day.. Doing better headstands than my children!
August 7: Who is this new me? A couple of months ago I would have used my sore muscles from yesterday's workout as an excuse to not do anything for a week. Today, I did an hour of bootcamp followed by a 2.5 mile run! And guess what, I feel better now than when I got up this morning!

September 10: Deck of Cards workout = 111 reverse leg lowers with crunch, 111 pushups, 111 tuck jumps, 111 jump squats, 200 squats, 200 jumping jacks and 40 burpees for grins.

August 16: Best way to start day 2 of inservice? Doing more than 100 burpees. oh yeah.

August 25: I RAN 5.04 miles this morning at an average pace of 10:54!! AWESOME!!!
September 30: 4 months ago I decided to take back control of my life. In doing so, I started running. On June 1st I posted a 2.46 mile jog with an average pace of 14 minutes. Today, September 30th, I just finished an easy 4 mile run with a pace of 9:50. Yep. I'm proud of myself!!

I have to say, I miss that excitement.
I ran 12 miles on Sunday and guess what, it wasn’t a big deal. 
12 miles! And it was hohum. Crazy stuff.

So tomorrow at 5am… I am doing the Deck of Cards Workout. (Minus the deck of cards, because when it’s just me, the drama of flipping the card and moaning gets lost!) Anyone want to join me…

What’s my game plan?

  • 100 reverse leg lowers with crunch
  • 100 pushups
  • 100 tuck jumps
  • 100 jump squats
  • 200 squats
  • 200 jumping jacks
  • 20 burpess
I’m going to do them in sets of 10 and (20’s for squats and jumping jacks and 2 burpees) and then jog for .25 miles then do another set. Will I make it through 10 rounds? Probably not. But I have to start somewhere. And it’s not like I’ve been a total slacker, I put in two workouts today!

Should you want to join my fitness challenge meet me at 5am. Text me for more info!

Kid Created Artwork and Curtains

Yesterday the little girls and I worked on making custom curtains for Lexi's room. This in turn opened the door for artwork. The girls had a great time and it was really easy, fun and not too messy!

If you need kid created custom curtains, you can see my guide for that... here. You use the same supplies, just trade out the canvas for curtains!

So, here is what we did...

We started with 3 shades of pink, plus glitter paint that we added to each of the colors. I like using 3 shades of the same color for projects like this... when they end of mixing colors, which they will, you don't end up with sludge, you end up with pretty variations of the same color!

 Plus you need plastic bottles of different sizes.

Pour some paint on a paper plate. This makes clean up soo much easier!

Then take a bottle and press it into the paint and stamp it onto the canvas.

 It's that easy!

Just for clarification, Kylie is using a mounted canvas and Lexi is using a canvas panel. Use the mounted canvas as it has natural give. The panel was harder to make an impression on!

We used a cork to make the centers and polka dots.

And of course, a paintbrush. Cause as Kylie explained, it's not painting unless you have a paintbrush!

Kylie's masterpiece!

After Lexi finished her curtains, she completed her painting as well.

I have to say, I love two projects completed with one set of supplies and very little cleanup!
Here is the guide for the curtains should you need it!

How to customize curtains by emilymclemore