Running, Sweet girls

Another running injury

For a decade now, I have identified myself as a runner.

I’m not a crossfitter or a cyclist or a walker – I am a runner. I run. I have shoes specifically designed to run. I have a running partner who apparently is as crazy as I am because she and I like to run at 5 a.m. in my pitch-black dark neighborhood.

Running, like any type of exercise, has its own community and own sense of words – fartlek, PR, intervals. How’d you do in your last half marathon? Oh, I made it in right under 2 hours – and you, as a runner, know what that means. You as a non-runner can understand a bit, but a runner who hears that knows if that halfie runner is faster or slower than you. You know the amount of time and effort that went in to prepping for that half marathon. You know how limp that person’s legs must feel right now – they feel like gelatin.

For the past three weeks, I have not been able to run.

It started mid-January, when I hopped on an athletic club’s treadmill and started to run. Immediately, I felt a sharp, unyielding pain in my right knee. It was not some random pain or one that I thought I could ignore. I sometimes, to Kyle’s chagrin (and probably most medical professionals’), “play through the pain,” but I couldn’t this time.

There happened to be a trainer nearby, so I asked him his thoughts. He, as politely as he could, suggested that it could be that I hadn’t warmed up. I tried hard not to scoff, as I never warm up (which, of course, may be a problem, but I digress).

He also suggested tendonitis.

I tried warming up. I walked for five minutes. My knee didn’t hurt at all walking, but the moment I started running, the pain returned.

So I stopped.

Last week, I actually went to see a PT, who also determined that I have extremely weak hips, which could be adding pressure to my knees. Therefore I started hip strengthening exercises.

So for the last three weeks, I’ve rowed a little on a rowing machine. I’ve done the elliptical. I’ve lifted weights. I’ve done Zumba. I’ve done everything that hasn’t made my knees hurt.

I haven’t run.

Running has always been the easy exercise, the one I could burn 300 calories in 30 minutes and add a piece of cheesecake to eat after dinner. I could burn 500 calories in under an hour. But – only running is not good. This is coming from a self-identified runner, too. I’ve always known I needed to cross train, to participate in other activities. But I haven’t because it’s just been easier to run.

Now that’s come back and bitten me in the rear.

I’m trying to enjoy other exercises. I like running on my lunch break. I like doing Zumba on the TV in my bedroom. I love rowing (go figure). I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing something different and not feeling the pressure of getting a certain mileage in every week because I physically cannot right now.

But I do so miss running.



Social media

Dress rehearsal

It’s time, it’s time, it’s time, it’s time!!

It’s my favorite time of the quarter! The time when I get to see my students’ hard work come to fruition! The time when I sit back in awe at how creative and brilliant our future as a whole really is! The time when I get so excited because my students have once again gone beyond the necessary and gone to the extreme! It’s dress rehearsals for group projects!

This quarter, my social media class divided into six groups to partner with six start-up companies. And when I say start-up, I mean one-person operations. One is a photography business, one is a prayer journal (that I have mentioned before), one is an online boutique, etc. These are businesses that would benefit greatly from social media management skills. My students will, in one week, propose a social media campaign that will show them what platforms they need to use, what audience demographic they should target, and give them examples of posts for each platform.

Tomorrow – tomorrow – I get to critique their dress rehearsals for these pitches. Dress rehearsals are vital to get all the bugs out of the system before the clients see the finished, flawless project. Not only will they see any technical difficulties they may have with the presentation, but they will receive feedback on their presentation as well as with their hard-copy pitch. These are all intelligent students with fantastic editing skills – but nothing is perfect. I am a pretty dadgum good copy editor myself, and when I was close to graduating with my undergraduate degree, I asked several editors to look over my resume. They tweaked a few items but overall praised it. I took it to a technical writing firm, and before I sat down for the interview, one of the interviewers said, “Hey, you have a proofreading error on your resume. Did you know that?” None of my proofreaders saw that.

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Obviously, I did not get the job.

But I digress – the point of that little rabbit trail was to explain that even group work editing needs assistance.

They had a team workshop last week, and as I flitted around from group to group, I was so impressed with their ideas. They’re working with such a variety of creative businesses with a wide range of social media capabilities. One businesswoman is quite adept at social media, and her posts are already amazing. Her group is working to help her take her business to the next level, using her knowledge to boost her sales even higher. Then we have businesses whose heads are not sure how to use social media or what to do to increase brand awareness on any platform – and those students are working on a game plan that gives specifics of what to do, where to do it, and when to do it. And – wait, there’s more! We have business leaders who don’t have time – they have a family or another job or this profession is a side gig – at any rate, my students are working on a plan that will help them grow their social media engagement with a time management plan. It’s great – it’s so great, y’all. This week is exciting, and I am already so proud of all of their work.

And, yes – this is me this week.

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It’s time, it’s time, it’s time, it’s time!


The reckless love of God

Grace, grace, grace that is greater than all our sin.

Come thou fount of every blessing.

You are good, good, ohhh…

In “churchspeak,” we talk a lot about God’s goodness. God is good. He is only good, He encompasses good, He always is good and always will be good. We praise God because He is good. We praise Him because He is the father of all good things.

But what are these good things? What are these blessings? How do we define God as good?

I’ve been focusing this month on God’s goodness – what is God’s goodness? Is it the peace that surpasses all understanding? Is it being able to be joyful and prayerful in all circumstances? Yes, yes, of course it is. It is this – but it is so much more.

This is a bit of a revelation to me, very new, very raw, so if I say something that you think is “well, of course that’s true, dummy – how did you not grasp this?” or “Is she for real?” – Just remember – rawness and openness here.

As I mentioned, I’ve been thinking about what God’s goodness is to me in my life. How has God been so good to me?

I’ve been praying it – asking God to help me understand more of Him. Yes, God brings peace to my anxious mind. God is full of love – not hate or division. God gives unlimited grace, despite us being so undeserving. God gives mercy when we have gone astray.

It’s all this – and more.

In worship Sunday, it hit me – hard, really hard, where the tears started coming without being prepared. I wasn’t prepared to meet God in that sermon. My voice is sore, so I can’t sing, I was a few minutes late – I wasn’t really in a worshipful mood.

But it really doesn’t matter when God has something to say, does it? It certainly helps to be in a place to worship, but I believe because of my requests this month on wanting to see God’s goodness – He responded.

God’s goodness in my life –

I see it in my church, where I worship freely, with believers of God, believers who want to know more about Him and want others to know the love God has for them.

I see it in my friends – oh, and I could see so many in that one service – friends who I have depended on, who I have served beside in ministry, who have encouraged me when I was despondent, prayed for me in the darkest times. I could give so many names of sweet loves who have built me up, over and over, because of love.

My relationship with my husband – I take it for granted too often that we do have such a solid, steady relationship. We definitely have our moments – please don’t hear me ever say that we are perfect – but the family and the life we have built together is wonderful, and I am so grateful to have him as my helpmate.

God’s goodness – it’s in all that and more. I can remember conversations I’ve had with individuals, divine interactions with strangers, people who God has put in my life, molded me, influenced me, changed me.

Again – for some of you, this is no big surprise. But for the past decade or so, I have worked hard to pull myself away from material blessings. Yes, I have been blessed materially – but I never want that to be the focus of my love for God. So to remember days and people and situations in my life where I have seen His glory, where He has used others to bless me – it was humbling and eye-opening.

God has been so, so good to me. I see His goodness with new eyes.

Parenting, Sweet girls

Blood and guts

The Artist may end up as a doctor…or the next Stephen King.

Earlier this month, Kyle had a minor surgery. I say minor, but he did have 12 staples and was home a couple of days recovering. So minor – but it was still surgery.

We let TA know about the surgery, that Daddy would not be able to play around for a while, etc. Especially that first day, even though he would be home with us, TA, her sister, and I needed to let him rest. Then we would see how things progressed throughout the week. TA was relieved that Kyle wouldn’t have to spend the night in the hospital, and the first day she was gentle and kind, and every morning she would ask, “How are you feeling today, Daddy?” Kyle quickly recovered and started walking around the house, and we took his gauze off, revealing 12 staples. Because we know how TA loves blood, guts, and gore, we decided to show her.

His staples absolutely fascinated her.

But then – she wanted to take them out.

As in – she wanted to be at the doctor’s office when they were removed so she could take them out herself. Because what 5-year-old wouldn’t want to do that?

This is nothing new for TA, though. Kyle is a Type I diabetic, and he has an insulin pump and a sensor to track his blood sugar. TA loves to watch him put in new pumps and sensors. She loves watching him check his blood sugar with a stick, when that occasionally occurs. When her baby sister has a cut or a scrape, she wants to check it out, wipe it down with alcohol, and slap a band-aid on it.

So, again – her desire to take the staples out – it was just her.

The day Kyle got his staples out, I picked TA up from school, and she asked, “Did Daddy get his staples out today?”

“Well…he should be at the doctor’s office now.”

“CALL HIM! CALL HIM CALL HIM!” she urged. “I want him to bring them home!”

“Bring what home?!”

“The staples!”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. My dainty fairy artist wanted her father to bring his post-surgery staples home.

I called Kyle up and told him her request.

“Yeah, she told me about that this morning,” he said, laughing. “Tell her I will do what I can.”

And, of course, you know he brought those staples home to her.

That evening, right before dinner, Kyle handed the staples in a plastic bag to TA.

Her eyes lit up like it was Christmas all over again. She jumped up and down, squealed, and then ran to her room. In a couple of moments, she came back and said, “Come here! Come here! I have to show you something!”

We went in her room and saw her accomplishment. TA has a “special things” section in her room, on top of her dresser.

Right beside a covered red rose toy from “Beauty and the Beast” and a photo of her and Disney princess Belle, she had placed the plastic bag of staples.



#isms, Volume 4

The Engineer: “Where are we going?”
Me: “To the dentist.”
The Engineer: “Sissy goes to the dentist.”
Me: “Yep. Her teeth are going to the teeth spa.”
The Artist: “They’re going to take my teeth out???!!!”

The Artist: “When my sister turns 3, will she still be a baby?”
Me: “Well, you two will always be my babies.”
The Artist: “No — will she be a baby, or will she be a kid?”
Me: “I guess technically she’ll be a kid.”
The Artist: “I don’t want her to be a kid. I want her to be a baby.”
Me: “Why?”
The Artist: “Because she’s so cute!”

The Artist: “So you teach?”
Me: “Yes. I teach college students.”
The Artist: “And you’re Dr. Judith.” Bursts out laughing. “That’s so funny.”

(Finding The Engineer climbing up the bottom side of her sister’s bunk bed…)
Me: Don’t climb up the bunk bed that way! Go up the ladder!
The Engineer: I’m not crying. I’m climbing.

(While painting a frog)
The Artist: “The pee pad is green.”
Me: “The what?”
The Artist: “The frog’s pee pad.”
Me: “LILY pad.”

Me: “What do you want for breakfast?”
The Artist: “A breakfast bar.”
Me: “Do you want anything else with it?”
The Artist: “Yes. A chocolate bar.”

Doing Social Studies homework:
Me: Circle the picture that shows the children being responsible. This picture is of a kid walking a dog. Is that responsible?
The Artist: No.
Me: What? Why?
The Artist: Because he may have been walking the dog without asking his parents if it was ok.
Me: Ah. Well, let’s say he did ask his parents.
The Artist: Oh. Good point. Yes, he’s responsible.

To her Sunday school teacher…
The Artist: “I drove myself to church today because Mommy is sick. Daddy is picking me up today.”
None of that was true…good thing she was in Sunday school.

Me: “He’s like Mr. Chris.”
The Artist: “You mean like Santa?”
Me: “Huh?”
The Artist: “Chris…Santa.”
Me: “No, it’s not Kris Kringle.”

(after being in time out)
Kyle: “Are you ready to say you’re sorry?”
The Engineer: (angrily) “Sorry.”
Me: “You need to say you’re sorry to me.”
Engineer: (glowers)
Me: “If you don’t, you can go back to time out.”
Engineer: (walks back to time out)

The Artist: “I wish we had an Elf like Snowflake (the Elf on the Shelf at her school).”
Me: “Your sister would touch him.”
The Artist: “We could put him somewhere high.”
Me: “We’re not supposed to touch him. He’s magic.”
The Artist: “We could just tell her not to touch him.”
Me: “She wouldn’t listen.”
The Artist: (Resigned) “Just stop.”