Thursday, April 29, 2010

The proof is in the Pie-ing

Every Spring we have a great finale party for our Wednesday night activities at church.  It is always a good time, food, bouncy castles, carnival games, prizes, and of course pies.  You can trade in single tickets for the chance to have your name drawn to throw a pie in the face of the pastors, the youth director, a few key volunteers, and me the Children's ministry director.

Like I said it is a good time.  And as getting pied in the face is not a regular occurrence I thought I'd share photographic proof of the pie!

Remember to take a deep breath before being pied or you will feel like you are going to suffocate on cool whip.

The aftermath

Plus one photo of baby goat enjoying his first bouncer experience with a few eager confirmation girls whose faces have been protected because they aren't my kids - aren't my paint techniques awesome?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Calling all Couch to 5k Challenge Peeps!

So my friend Missy  had the brilliant idea to include a spot on my sidebar to list all of the awesome folks participating in my Couch to 5k challenge and their blogs.  This way we know who is fighting the good running fight even when we don't have a C25K post up.  So, if you 'd you are playing along, participating in the program, are planning on participating in the program or need an extra blog nudge in that direction leave a comment here.  I'll add folks along the way but this will give me a good basis to work with.  I'll be adding that tonight hopefully after the baby is in bed.  Just leave your name, blog name, url, and twitter name in the comment for me to make life nice and easy!  Thanks!

P.S.  Don't forget to write those posts and use the MckLinky.  And spread some love around.  I know a lot of you have jumped on the C25K bandwagon and that is so awesome.  I want to be able to support you like you guys are supporting me!

Other Couch to 5k relevant posts from this blog:

Wordless Wednesday: Scenes from the World Wide Cat Wrestling Federation Championship

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review : God is Not One by Stephen Prothero

As a self proclaimed geek, theology junkie and church worker I was definitely intrigued when I was contacted by TLC Book Tours to review a new book by Stephen Prothero - God is not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter.  As if I would ever turn down a chance to read  book!

And the topic of this book is something I have always been curious about.  There has been a trend in religious discourse to say that all religions are part of a single Truth.  There has been a popularized idea that all religions are essentially the same and the differences amount only to a religion's details.  Despite this concepts well meaning intentions of religious tolerance, Prothero describes this as a dangerous idea:

It is comforting to pretend that the great religions make up one big, happy family, but this sentiment, however well-intentioned, is neither accurate or ethically responsible. God is not one... We know in our bones that the world's religions are different from one another. We pretend these differences are trivial because it makes us feel safer, or more moral. But pretending that the world's religions are the same does not make our world safer. Like all forms of ignorance, it makes our world more dangerous.
Prothero agrees that most (if not all) religions carry similar ethical and moral callings but there are main and crucial differences in the human problem that religion seeks to solve as well as the way they solve it.  For example, the human problem in a Christian viewpoint is sin and the goal then of religion is salvation.  This is intrinsically different from the problem and solution of say Buddhism where the problem is human suffering and the solution is enlightenment.  Because each religion seeks to solve a different problem they are not even seeking a similar solution.  Naturally, when you add up the differences within in religious traditions to solve the problems as well you come up with a vast network of differing points of view of the world, the divine and humanity.

For my own part I found the book fascinating and was excited to dive into it.  Since he takes 8 of the most influential and widely spread religions in order of their worldwide numbers and scope of influence Islam was the first religion discussed.  Here in describing the uniqueness of Islam was so helpful.  Prothero purposely discusses both positive and negative parts of the religious traditions and often connects them to related religious political and economic movements.  Particularly because Islam and the Muslim people are so often pigeon-holed as terrorists I found this to be refreshing and I appreciated the insight into the tenants and movements within the religion.

Ironically however I found myself wanting more from the Christianity chapter.  Perhaps this is because my own theological background is found here, but the brevity needed to talk about the wide variety of denominations, movements and historical perspectives within Christianity left me wishing he could go more in depth.  For example, from a Lutheran point of view in particular everything he said about the Reformation was true.  But I found myself saying "Yes, but..." and wishing I could add to further clarification regarding the major theological change and consequences that 95 theses had on the world.

This "Yes, but..." gave me pause throughout the rest of the book.  It was truly fascinating to read and learn about the complexities and differences of religions, particularly many of the Eastern religions that I haven't studied as thoroughly, but I kept wondering what practicing theologians would say about their own chapters.  Would they have similar desires to explain and inform the message of their religion?

In my heart I think that the answer is yes.  However this urge to explain (and to defend?) may be the exact reason that the book creates such a helpful dialogue.  Even within our specific versions of the great religion there are differences than need claiming and opportunities for tolerant dialogue about the differences.  The fact that Prothero has so much history and theological mire to wade through for each religion only cements his thesis that the differences between (and within) religions are critical to name.

I confess that I have tendencies toward wishing/hoping/believing that God's grace will be sufficient to move beyond religious distinction in the end but I see that Prothero's point is crucial in an increasingly small and connected world.  To be truly tolerant of religious belief and to find a peaceful co-existence the differences must be known, understood and claimed with authority.   Maybe it is enough to recognize that the religions of the world are asking and answering different questions.

And in the end maybe we can all admit, as Prothero writes:

If there is a god or goddess worthy of the name, He or She or It must surely know more than we do about the things that matter most.  This much, at least, is shared across the great religions.
If we can admit that, name our differences, and share our solutions to the problem of humanity then maybe religious tolerance can exist beyond the false claim that all religions are really just the same.  

*Stephen Prothero can be found at his website  He also tweets @sprothero.

* I was not paid to write this review and it is really just the surface of so many thoughts I have about the book.  I did get the book for free from TLC book tours however and the opportunity to write about things than interest me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Couch to 5k - Week 3

I don't know how to keep titling these posts.  This the third complete week that I've been tracking this Couch to 5k thing and yet this week was the first week I've completed Week 1 of the actual Couch to 5k challenge.

Yeah, you read that right, I met my goal of the week - I completed the first week of the Couch to 5k Challenge.  It was.... hard? easier than I expected? empowering?  frustrating? Or really, all of the above and more.

It was hard and yet easier than I expected.  Day 1 seemed much easier than I anticipated and I was feeling good and confident.  Day 2 however was a struggle the whole time.  I've been running inside this week as I still haven't figured out the best podcast method for me (we have ipod complications in our house right now) and I was able to return my running shoes if I didn't like them after a few runs (I love them!).  But Day 2 I was running in our apartment's tiny gym closet.  There were other people there, I was self conscious and on a treadmill that wasn't like the one I'd used the other day.  To make matters worse I was dealing with some pain caused by friction on Day 1 (if you don't know what I mean then you are probably too skinny to understand it).  I completed the workout but I found myself grabbing on the sides during the run and walking slower in the interim.  I was cranky about it too.

Day 3 was redeeming though.  I did the work out and even upped my time a bit (I've been confused about the actual time they recommend for week 1 as I've seen different things).  Since it was Sat I was able to sneak away during baby goat's nap.  I made it back before he woke up and had the workout done before dinner which made the whole day easier to deal with.  I had the gym to myself and managed to run everything without holding on.  While my jogging pace is painfully slow (4.2) I did try to keep my walking pace at least (3.0).

Now that week 1 is done for the first time I find myself alternately empowered and worried about my ability to complete this challenge.  On the one hand - I did the first week!  It wasn't as bad as I thought. And I've run more this week than possibly ever?  I don't like running yet but it was tolerable and I felt good afterward.  On the other hand - I now have tangible knowledge of just how far I have to go before this is a reality.   When something seems impossible with a vague frame of reference it is one thing, but when something still feels impossible with a specific frame of reference however it can seem even more daunting.

I'm going to fight against this thought of impossibility.  I need to remind myself that something that takes a long time to accomplish does not make it impossible.  I have a strong tendency towards over-exaggeration and if something takes a long time it seems almost impossible.  It is the math part of me.  For example if healthy weight loss is 2 lbs per week then I do the math and even with no plateaus, setbacks or drama it would be a LONG time before I got in my weight range.  The numbers make it seem impossible, but it isn't impossible it just needs a long term commitment.  This challenge is the same way.  I now have some base numbers for my brain to play with and when I do the math it shorts out my circuits and makes me think it is impossible.  BUT IT IS NOT.  I just am not there yet.

I've been debating what my goals are for this week.  On one hand week 1 went well and was easier than anticipated.  On the other, I haven't run outside yet and week 2's program makes me scared. (90 seconds of running, I'm still counting every second of the 60 second runs from Week 1).  I'm going to play it a bit by ear but here are my goals for the next week.

  1. Do the program 3 days this week with at least one day being an attempt at Week 2 workout.
  2. Research stretching, warm-up and cool down things to help with soreness and safety. (Please share what works for you).
  3. Figure out the best solution to the podcast issues and get some downloaded for workouts.
  4. Work out with another program (or even just go walking) once this week.
Please take the time to write about how your own week went and come share them here with the MckLinky.  Any support is welcome here as well or input on good stretching and stuff too.  Thanks blogland, you're the best.

    Other Couch to 5k relevant posts from this blog:

    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    Lazy Sunday

    Pardon me while we take a lazy Sunday around here.  I'm working on some great posts for next week including the Couch to 5k Challenge, a book review, and baby goat turning 14 months.  But today is for resting as a family and the scaling of Mt. Laundry.  Happy Sunday everyone.  I hope your naps are long and your worries light.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    This and That

    It is time for some random thoughts from the mind of Liz - the sleepy mind of Liz:

    * I drew a contest winner from my Ten Thousand Villages giveaway earlier this week and the result was #6 or Missy  The Marketing Mama!  Yay Missy!  I'll drop you an email and get them sent out to you.

    * Baby goat seems to be on the mend.  At least he made it to day care the last two days.  I want a break from all this illness so badly.  I want him to feel better but I also, selfishly, would like full nights sleep and to catch up on some of the things that have been left behind due to the illness parade of 2010.

    * Have you added your blog to the Lutheran Geek's Couch to 5k Challenge?  There are a few more days until Monday and we'd love to have more blogs to support.  In the meantime visit the blogs that are there and give them some love.  It goes such a long way.  Or join me on twitter and you'll get to hear about the aftermath of tonight's run.  I'm surprised and inspired by all the people doing this with me now.  Even my mother went out and bought some running shoes so we'll see where it takes us all.  I took some super secret before pictures last Monday but we'll see if I get the guts to post them any time soon.

    * There is another MN Blogger Get Together in the works and Molly is organizing it this time.  You should go and read about it and RSVP to come!  Yes, you!  I see you lurking there.  Best of all, we are taking donations (food and $$) to help end childhood hunger as Molly is one of the blogging correspondents for the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign with ConAgra Foods.

    * I am officially done pumping now.  I successfully pumped for 13+ months and even though we couldn't breastfeed traditionally I'm glad that I pushed through and made pumping work.  I'm hoping to do a post about the whole process and would be happy answer any questions  you have RE: pumping exclusively so feel free to leave them in the comments or drop me an email.

    * As nice as it is to be done pumping I don't think it is a coincidence that it was only after baby goat's transfer from breast milk to cow's milk that we joined this continual illness parade time loop we've been in lately.  Boo.  Also, I desperately need to go buy new bras which isn't my favorite activity.

    * I have had to shop for baby girls lately and can I just say there is CUTE stuff out there for girls.  I'm just sayin'...

    * I'm also hoping to add some guest bloggers every so often, particularly if I end up sick again.  If you'd ever want to be a guest blogger let me know and when I figure out the whens and wheres I'll be in touch.

    *  I got a special surprise today and got to have lunch with my Texas cousin and his bride!  They were married last year in TX shortly after baby goat was sprung from the NICU so we weren't able to attend.  It was good to see them, meet Emily and have a fun lunch.  And since he is a blog stalker here I thought he deserved a shout out!  Thanks for lunch Joey and Emily!

    * Farm Babies at the MN Zoo is still going on right?  I haven't missed it? Baby goat needs to meet a baby goat.

    * Our small apartment is starting to get even smaller with a rapidly improving "toddling" baby goat.  That we have too much stuff, too little space, and tight quarters were even more apparent in the many sick days we were home this week.  Obviously now that it is getting nicer we can go to the park and stuff but we need to look into other options soon I hope.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Metro Dentalcare Children's Dentistry

    A few weeks ago I was invited to tour the Children's Dentistry Office of Metro Dentalcare down in Burnsville. The concept of being asked to do things simply because I have a blog is new to me and I jumped at the opportunity.  Plus, rather selfishly, I realized I had no idea what sort of dental care baby goat might need in the future.  My idea of him and his teeth was teething = sucks, teeth = brush?

    I mean I knew we needed to establish good habits of dental care but I really didn't know where to start.  So it seemed fortuitous to be invited to tour a children's dental office.   Honestly, I didn't even realize that they HAD special offices for children.  I'd grown up going to a regular family dentist and most people I know did too.  From the moment I walked in however I could tell that there might be something to this children's dentistry approach.
    The play castle in the waiting room
    Plenty of fish in the waiting room, including Dora and Nemo look alikes:

    I was a bit early so I had a chance to sit an observe for a moment before meeting with Jana who showed me around.  It was spring break and there were lots of kids around and all of them were...happy.  They were at ease and the staff was pleasant and clearly knew how to work with kids.  Coming from a field where I work and teach children it made me glad to see.

    Jana came and gave me a tour of the facility and answered my questions along the way.  Each room was decked out in a theme with a tv over the chair and the TVs only carried age appropriate shows.  The colors were bright and the place was clean and modern.  I sort of wished that they could be MY dentist.

    The under the sea room.
    And boy did I learn a lot.  It turns out that Children's Dentistry is a lot like Pediatrics.  A general practictioner does the job well, but the specialized care really allows for a more specialized and focused care.  Children's Dentistry, for example, encourages babies to be seen when they are 12 months old (or when their first tooth arrives) rather than 2-3 years old like general dentists.  This is a quick visit, and they confessed, more about teaching the parents how to care for their baby's teeth than and actual tooth inspection.

    Did you get to watch TV at the dentist as a kid?  I got to read Highlights.
    I learned that instances of cavities in kids is on the rise, particularly in baby teeth.  Certainly sodas, juices and chocolate milk takes some of the blame, but the worst culprits I learned were gummy, chewy candies.  They get in all the crevices and just stick there eating away at enamel.    But there were ways around it.  There is a way to seal teeth now that can be done to save teeth from the sugar attacks.  This was another benefit they described in Children's Dentistry - the ability to do certain techniques, such as sealants on baby teeth and smaller mouths.  Apparently done wrong it can actually lead to pockets that can increase decay but at Metro Dentalcare they have learned to do it right.

    Pink Dentist chair in the puppy room

    I asked a lot of questions about everything from pain medication (nitrous oxide is easier on kids) to questions about teething and the order teeth typically appear (the eye teeth are ususally last).  I learned about when kids typically lose their teeth (6-8 yrs old usually), tricks to encourage brushing (I was sent home with a cool brushing chart), when to let kids start brushing their own teeth (around 5 depending on the child's independence), and how long to brush (they have a handy sand timer to help!).  I learned a lot, but the most important thing that I learned was that people who go into Children's Dentistry specifically really love kids and are great with them.

    The Dentist, Deanna Alevizos, snuck out between kids to meet with me and it became apparent to me that she not only believed that she had a vocation to work with kids, but that she was passionate about creating a safe, fun and prevention oriented dental practice for kids.  She confessed that even when she had been a general dentist she's wanted to open a Children's Dentistry instead even though it required her to obtain another degree (in Pediatric Dentistry).  She even goes and treats very intensive kids cases in the hospital one day a week.

    Jana - the Dental hygienist, practice supervisor and tourguide extrodinaire and Dr. Alevizos

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed visiting a dentist's office but it was fun.  In the end I left feeling like the kids at Metro Dentalcare Children's Dentistry are in very good hands and I hope that baby goat will be able to benefit from them too.  (Still need to check that insurance card).

    I was among like minded folks there - people who thought children needed respect, fun, teaching and a safe environment to thrive so I left feeling good.  Of course I knew I was with like minded people too when Jana was unable to point out the nitrous oxide door without giggling.  I giggled too...

    Thanks to the Burnsville Metro Dentalcare Children's Dentistry and Arik Hanson for arranging my tour.  I had a lot of fun.  If you want to know more about Metro Dentalcare or Children's Dentistry please visit their websites which have a lot of great information.  Also, consider a visit to my friend Missy's blog as she also had an opportunity to visit and blog about one of Metro Dentalcare's many locations.

    I was not paid to write this by the way.  These are simply my observations and opinions and my only "payment" was a chance to ask all my neurotic new mom questions and get a handle on this whole "my baby has teeth now what?" thing.  Thanks!

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Couch to 5k - Week Two

    Well it is Monday and its time to check in on the Couch to 5k challenge.  As you recall last week I spent the week down with bronchitis and feeling guilty about my inaction.  The reality of it was that my lungs were down for the count, not to mention the rest of me.  Because of my tendency toward asthma they have been slow in healing but I am feeling better everyday.  I did make some progress towards my goals this week however.  As you recall my goals last week were:

    1. Buy those running shoes
    2.  Walk at least 3 times during the week - push lungs by jogging when able and work towards the C25K week one work outs.
    3. Download C25K podcasts.
    4. Give myself a little more grace in the process.

    I'm pleased to say that I made progress on all of them.  I did buy my running shoes and I'm very pleased with them.  I went out walking once and even did a few short trial jogs to get prepped for a real week 1 this week.  I need to download some podcasts yet and hopefully if baby goat naps well this afternoon I'll be able to do that then (did I mention I'm home with a sick baby again?)  Most importantly I allowed myself some grace.  I did the work that was needed, I enjoyed my parents visit and Mr. Goat and my first overnight date night since baby goat's birth.  For that grace I feel more like jumping in full force this week.  I was gentle in my recovery and now I have the energy to go get it.

    The plan for this week is a full C25K week one workout week.  The first walk/run...TONIGHT!  I'm so thrilled.  Mr. Goat will come home and watch the baby and the plan is to run out before dinner tonight.  I'm anticipating it to be HARD.  Sometimes even impossibly hard, and yet....I'm excited?  I feel that this is my first real opportunity to jump in swimming since this thing began and I really want to prove to myself that I can do it.

    I'll probably add a bit of update on this later after I run tonight and let you know how it went.  I certainly will update on twitter.  I never thought I'd be excited to go out running bu the day has come and I'm looking forward to it (with a small iota of fear and dread still).

    So without further ado my goal for this week:  Week 1 of the Couch to 5k challenge.  I'm jumping in and will get it done.  My schedule makes it look like I'll be running Monday, Thursday and Saturday this week.  Assuming I can still move afterwards I'm going to try to get our walking a few times too to help those lungs continue to heal. 

    I've got my inhaler and my shoes.  I'll have some music and some motivation and a bra.  Now it is just a matter of taking the time and really taking those first steps.

    EDITED TO ADD:  I did indeed go out and do the Week 1 Day 1 workout today.  I am so pleased with myself.  I even was able to jog the entire time when it called me to jog.  Go me!

    Please share how your journey is going too and add your link below:

    Other Couch to 5k relevant posts from this blog:

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    You guys keep rubbing off on me - A Giveaway

    I have to tell you, you fellow bloggers will keep making me a better person.  I mean really.  First my friend Emilie started a blog and she wrote such beautiful things about being pregnant, and her family and I wanted to write too.   So I started writing and more of my friends did too.  Then I started meeting new bloggers who taught me all sorts of things.

    Like Missy who organizes bloggers to give back for Haiti, or Molly who arranges to have us blog to stomp out childhood hunger in America.  Or Trish who reminds me of the importance to buy locally.

    Bloggers like Jen whose story and ideas got in my head and gave me this *crazy* idea to run a 5k in the fall.  Or in fact Matt whose story inspired me to run this specific 5k.

    And so many many more.

    In the last week people have said how proud and inspired they are by me and I think to myself, "Me? You should meet some of these bloggers I know.  They are inspiring!"  And I'm a little in awe at the power of the blog to connect, share and inspire others.

    Today I was at lunch and noticed across the way a Ten Thousand Villages.  They specialized in fair trade goods from around the world.  If you go in you find textiles, jewelry, stationary, pottery and various gorgeous hand-crafted pieces.  They buy items from under and unemployed artisans giving people around the world a real chance at earning a living.  They pay fair prices for both the cost of supplies and labor and seek to improve both the standard of living and sustainablity of underpriviledge communities.

    I went in and found a partial store (at Lyndale and 76th St in Bloomington, by Potbelly).  It turns out that they are working to raise money to bring a second store to the Metro - something on the Minneapolis side of things.  I found out that all the small profits they are earning are going toward a new store right now and that all the store clerks who work there are volunteers.  They volunteer because they believe in the empowerment of fair trade around the world.

    I knew then that I had to pick something up and maybe it was time for a little giveaway to show you all how much you have been inspiring me lately.  As it turns out, since it is a partial store they don't take credit cards yet but I had a little cash on me. 

    I confess I spent more time than I intended searching the beautiful items for the perfect giveaway.  I'd almost decided on a great pair of earrings when I saw these:
    These are handmade paper cards made in Bangledesh.  They are beautiful sea greens with cream and gold marbled together.  They are a lovely set of cards that can be used for any occasion.  And they were familar.

    You see I bought this same set almost 4 years ago while visiting my sister in Ann Arbor, MI at another Ten Thousand Villages.  I was taken with them then and bought them for a gift for a yet undecided person.  In January of 2008 I gave them to my friend Emilie at her 40th birthday.  The same Emilie who started this blogging journey for me.  The same Emilie I've written about before who died too soon from a sarcoma cancer leaving behind her husband, her two sons and a blogging community who loved her.

    She was the recipient of these cards years ago because I knew she'd appreciate their beauty and their support of women around the world.  Today I found another set and knew they were perfect for one of you blogland.  In honor of Emilie and the way you ALL inspire me daily I purchased another set to share with you.

    A comment gets you an entry.  Just let me know: "What blogger inspires you?" and leave an email or other way to get ahold of you if you win.  I'll do a random number generator next Wednesday - April 21st.  You can follow me on Facebook for an extra entry (leave another comment).  Or you can follow me on twitter for an extra one too.

    This is a giveaway simply because I felt moved to share this with you.  No one gave me anything to talk about Ten Thousand Villages or even anything to talk about the people who inspire me.  I am inspired and so I want to share that with you tangibly. 

    I am honored to be a blogger.  Most people don't understand what we are, and we are so much more than any blogger label.  In the end we are simply people choosing to share the startlingly beautiful everyday-ness of our lives.  And occasionally give back in honor of those who help us see the beauty.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    What a difference a year makes.

    A year ago baby goat left the hospital for the first time in his short life.  He was 46 days old and he left the day before his "due" date.  I had been discharged from the hospital approx 40 days before him amidst pain, tears and guilt about leaving my son in the NICU while they sent me home.  But a year ago today he was set free from the wires and monitors and scales.  He was 6 lbs 13 oz. a relative giant to his birth weight of 4 lbs 7 oz.  (Despite some feeding and apnea delays gaining weight was never much of an issue for baby goat - he was one of us from the beginning.

    We were thrown into the reality of life with a "newborn" after a very different and difficult first few weeks as parents.  Baby goat was trained to eat every three hours.  He seemed to think that 3am was 3pm.  He had reflux and needed medication twice daily.  He slept strapped into his crib in a sling designed to keep him at an angle to keep him semi upright while sleeping.  We were tired.  We didn't know where anything was because the nursery had been thrown together by our family while I was in the hospital.

    But we were home and we were happy!

    This year is such a different picture.  Baby goat no longer has reflux - he's medication free (unless you count the antibiotic for his current ear infection).  He sleeps in a flat crib and likes to sleep on his side or tummy like his dad.  He's a kid - a gigantic solid kid at 13.5 months and 29lbs.  (We still never had problems gaining weight).  He's crawling and pushing walkers, strollers and wagons anywhere he can.  He's starting to fling himself at objects he wants in an attempt to make the one or two steps he can take work before gravity takes over.  He babbles.  He says mama and dada and hi and "ba" - bottle, ball or gimme depending.  This morning I swear he said "cat" and I know I've heard him try say repeat his two syllable name at least once.

    He's got 6 teeth and two more peeking through.  He gives kisses and hugs.  He fights diaper changes and going back inside.  He's all boy but learning to be gentle too.  He has friends.  He chases cats.  He eats real food.

    It was a year ago.  It seems like ages and yesterday all at once.  He's been home for a year and we are still happy!

    What difference does a year makes?  A lot it seems...

    ...and yet hardly anything at all.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Couch to 5k Challenge - Week One

    Well it is Monday already. It amazes me how quickly this last week has gone.  Have you been working on the Couch to 5k Challenge this week?  I've heard from a lot of people who are in various processes of starting it.  I just want to say you all are AWESOME!  Seriously.  Whether you've made it through all of week one, just found time to buy your shoes, or even have been debating the program with fear those are all first steps.  I KNOW, oh, how I know how scary this program is.  The thing is though - it isn't the program itself that is so scary, it is the thought of actually changing.

    I spent some time writing some freelance Sunday School lessons this week and one of the lessons that I wrote focused on the Israelites wandering in the Wilderness after they escaped from Egypt.  Have you ever read this part of the Bible (Exodus 16-17).  Here are the Israelites following Moses, they have been shown amazing miracles and plagues to escape Pharaoh.  They saw the Red Sea part and they walked on dry land.

    But instead of trusting what do the Israelites do?  They whine.  They complain.  They dig in their heels.  They say "We're Huuuungry, maybe we should have just stayed in Egypt.  Harumph."  In years past I've looked at this story and have thought they should just suck it up.  I mean they KNOW they have support on their side and that they'll be ok.

    This time around I realized something.  There is fear in the unknown and sometimes it comes across in ways we don't intend.  The Israelites didn't want to be slaves in Egypt but they had to leave and trust that there was something better intended for them.  That is a hard leap to make.  It is a hard leap for me to make too.  I KNOW that this challenge will get me more active, healthier, happier, etc but it is still a hard jump to make.   I know what it means to have fear holding you back and I know that sometimes the mental battles at the beginning of a challenge are harder than the physical ones down the road.

    So how did you do this week?  I hope you'll blog about it - about the success or the fears, the setbacks or the triumphs.  We all need to the real life-ness of it all for us all to keep our own path in perspective.

    Earlier in the week I was mortified.  I have been so sick and I never did get out running.  In fact it was a week where I did the bare minimum necessary to stay afloat.  When I did get to the Dr. I found I have an ear infection and bronchitis.  Now with an antibiotic and a new mandatory inhaler I'm on the mend, but I was so ashamed at the thought of coming here with a giant fail my first week out.  I didn't run once, I didn't even walk.  I didn't buy my shoes (though they are on hold) and I haven't downloaded the podcasts yet.  But I'm not mortified any more.  This was the reality of my last week and I can't change that.  I can worry about it or look to the next week and decide what to do.  I'm not giving up after one failed week.  I hope you don't either.

    So here are my goals for next week:
    1. Buy those running shoes
    2.  Walk at least 3 times during the week - push lungs by jogging when able and work towards the C25K week one work outs.
    3. Download podcasts.
    4. Give myself a little more grace in the process.

    I hope you had a much better week than me, but good week or bad I hope you will blog about it and link us here.  We are best in our support of one another and I know that I am inspired by everyone who has said that they are taking this journey with me.  Thank you, it means so very much to me.

    (As always if you do blog add it to our McLinky here and try to comment on at least two of our other challenge member blogs, support will be the key to our success!)

    Other Couch to 5k relevant posts from this blog:

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Gimme a Break!

    We can't catch a break around here lately.  In the newest development in sick land baby goat now has an ear infection.  Luckily we were able to get on top of it, finding it at and urgent care visit for a burn instead.  I'm so glad I happened to say, "Could you just peek in his ears while we are here?"  I was on the look out since the Dr. warned me it was a possibility and his antibiotic was now out of his system.

    So maybe that was my break, catching yet another sickness before it took us out of daycare again.  Nevertheless, I now have the resident sickness and am cranky and tired.  And now I am going to bed to try to sleep until Mr. Goat gets home from his bachelor party. (I did tell him to go, how often is one of your best friend's home from Israel to have a big party celebrating his wedding, but that doesn't mean I'm not cranky about it.)

    I'm trying to be gentle with myself.  I know that the work will get done and people are more grace-filled than I give them credit for.  I'm trying to reschedule my day to take *myself* to urgent care too in hopes of hearing out of my ears and breathing without coughing.  I'm trying to remain positive and do only what I can.  As my friend Kate put it after I was stressing:  Stop the negative talk, please.  God doesn't make junk.  You are the daughter of a Risen King.  A true D.O.R.K, right??  (I LOL'ed at that.  Just add D.O.R.K. to my self proclaimed and loved Geek moniker too!)

    So that's where I'm at.  I will have a C25K update on Monday and some other fun stuff around here next week too so I hope you'll bear with the germs and misery for the moment.  Night all, this mom is hitting the cough syrup and hitting the hay.

    Thursday, April 08, 2010

    No more "Woe is me"

    I'm feeling very much in the mood for a "pity party" over here, but I don't really have the time to be posting and even less time to be dwelling on all of the frustrations of the day. Instead I am jotting down a few things I am grateful for today in a hope of getting over it.

    Gratitude to change my Attitude
    1. I'm grateful that it is April 8 and baby goat isn't in the hospital, unlike last year.
    2. I'm grateful that I have a flexible job so I can stay home when my son is sick.
    3. I'm grateful for a husband who willingly stays home with said sick baby last night so I can still go to the Bon Jovi concert.
    4. I am grateful for Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi's jeans and the collective singing of a stadium full of people.
    5. I'm grateful that I have my blog and lots of online and IRL friends who support me when life seems difficult.
    6. I'm grateful for Easter candy and diet coke.
    7. I'm grateful that tomorrow is another day to try this again.

    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    Happy Birthday Mr. Goat!

    Today Mr. Goat is 29. We had a little party last night while we were still at the ILs and we have our big birthday date in a few weeks when we both have the time and the baby sitters available.  Still, it seems only fitting to acknowledge his birthday here as well.

    I really don't know what I would do without Mr. Goat and it is more than just having someone else to take care of baby goat when things get stressful.  He really is my partner.  He doesn't pretend to understand all my quirks but he always excepts me for just who I am. He makes me want to be a better partner and a better mom.  He makes me feel beautiful.  He makes me feel needed. 

    This last month has been really rough in the Goat household.  With a few singular days as exceptions someone has been sick for the last 4 weeks and it hasn't ended.  Add to that a busy church season, lots of extra stuff to do, deadline, taxes, and everything else we've both been stretched beyond what we'd want.  And yet he can still smile while wrestling a toddler into using the nebulizer.

    I love him for the man he is, the partner he is, the friend he is, the father he is.  Happy Birthday Mr. Goat.  I love you!

    P.S.  You all should wish him a happy birthday too - it takes a tough man to deal with a blogging wife :)
    P.P.S. Have you joined the Couch to 5k challenge yet?

    Monday, April 05, 2010

    The Couch to 5k Kickoff

    It is here the first Monday of this daunting thing that I talked myself into doing.  Honestly today has come and I'm feeling a little panicked.  I mean, did I really convince myself that it was a good idea?  But then I think of the support I've been given and all of the people who are on board to go ahead with this challenge and I am touched and moved and inspired to get going.

    So today is the official kickoff of The Lutheran Geek's Couch to 5k Challenge.  See, I even have a fancy blog button that you can borrow for your posts.  Some people have expressed confusion about just how this is going to work, particularly since we are all in different places on our journey.  I've established some very loose rules for this challenge but I'm a naturally forgiving person so I want you to make it work.  Here are the rules for ME and what I suggest for you as well.

    1.  Each week set a goal for the week's Couch to 5k challenge.  It may be "complete week 3 of the program"  or "repeat week 7 until I am able to do it without cheating."  I will be doing this myself.  I am likely to be repeating weeks here and there.  I want this to be flexible because I don't want anyone to get so off track that they feel guilty coming back later.  (Find the program as it is suggested here)

    2.  Each Monday write a blog post about the couch to 5k challenge.  Write what worked, what didn't work, what was hard or easier than you expected.  Be honest.  If you failed just say so and ask for support to get going the next week.  I know that I will be.  Include pictures if you'd like, and please use the button and link to my blog.   But most importantly every post should have two things:  How last week did, and the upcoming week's goal.  (Don't have a blog?  Consider a facebook note and post the link here too!)

    3.  After your blog post is written come here and add your own to my Mcklinky.  With the exception of this week I'm going to work hard to post mine early on Monday mornings so that you can link up whenever it is convienient.

    4.  Part of the reason that I'm committing to this challenge is the support I've been given and so I want to pass it around.  I'm going to commit myself to commenting on EVERY linked post each week, but I would ask that you post encouragement to at least two other linked posts a week.  We all need support and love.

    5.  Have an end goal.  I'm going to run the Liz Logelin Foundation 5k in September (Date TBD) but you may find yourself, or even set a loftier goal.  However I am hoping to have a huge group of novice runners running with me.  Plus we'll have to have a party afterwards too!  So consider joining us for that, but more information will be forth coming as it gets closer.

    6.  Have fun, challenge yourself and keep trying.  (I will need reminding of this rule often).

    So, those are the rules as I am setting them.  Are you in?  I hope so!   Even if you aren't ready to start now there is a lot of time between now and September.  You can start at any time you feel ready.  New challenge members are always welcome. Likewise, if you miss a week come back and try again.  No judgment here, just support.

    So since this is the kickoff I have no week previous to summarize but here is in my goals for the next week: 
    • Get out and try the first day of the Couch to 5k challenge at least 3xs this week.  Keep trying until I can do the first day as it is written.  If I master that I'll continue with week 1.
    • Buy new running shoes.  (I the right size on order which are coming in this week).
    • Download the Couch to 5k podcasts.
    I hope you will join us.  Lord knows that I'll need all the help I can get along the way, and I'm guessing I'm not alone.  Please take a moment to write a kickoff post of your own and link here!

    (P.S.  Sorry it is so late at night - the holiday celebrations and computer battery life had me delayed today!)

    Saturday, April 03, 2010

    April Fool's Day - Universe Style

    I didn't have any pranks pulled on my by friends or family this year, for which I am grateful.  However, the universe seemed to be in on some great cosmic joke during this week's Maundy Thursday/April Fool's Day combo.  Here is just a few of the fun occurrences of my April Fool's Day:

    1.  April Fool's day began at Midnight, shortly after I posted my Smiling post, with a sobbing baby gasping for air between coughs.  Then a nebulizer treatment and nurse-line call we took the steps to calm him down and get things cleared out.  We did the ER midnight debate dance but ultimately the nebulizer worked its magic and we all went to bed.

    2.  Mr. Goat had to stay at home again with the baby and take him to the Dr as I had a major church event that day, preparing, serving and running a Seder banquet for 100 for our 5th grade first communion kids.  So I drove off leaving two tired and cranky boys behind.

    3.  In preparing for said banquet I cut my finger open while chopping onions. (I should not be given knives)

    4.  We were serving chicken legs for 100 (those who know me well know the fear this strikes in my heart)

    5.  At said banquet a child threw up (the parents said it was do to an antibiotic and not our cooking).

    6.  Most of my clean up crew was inexplicably unavailable at the last minute (70 degree weather anyone?) so my kitchen crew cleaned up too.  I missed Maundy Thursday services to clean up with them.   Some of my helpers ended up putting 6 hours in for me from prep to clean up rather than the 2 they signed up for.

    Actually, what is funny is that Thursday seemed like SO much stress and trouble at the time, but a few days removed I'm just simply grateful that I had people willing to help through the bumps in the road.  There was a nurse line, and Mr. Goat who stayed home, there was a Dr. who took baby goat's breathing seriously, there was a whole crew who stayed beyond their duties to make sure the work got done.

    It has been a hard week.  Baby goat certainly has had bronchitis and quite likely pneumonia (two other daycare kids have it too), but our doctors started the antibiotic early and the steroid a few days later to get a jump on it.  As sick as baby goat was I don't think he got as sick as his daycare friends because of the doctor's willingness to treat a small rasp in baby goat's asthma prone lungs promptly.

    And can I just say that Mr. Goat is awesome.  He stayed home for two days straight with a sick sick kid as I was stuck as work in the final prep for Holy Week events.  At work one of the days I mentioned that Mr. Goat was home with baby goat and they said, "Oh, do you trust a dad for that?" in a half joking way.  The answer is yes.  Mr. Goat was a trooper and did everything that I would have done.  It is true that I wanted to be home but it was because I felt like I wasn't helping baby goat get better, but I never had a moment of worry that Mr. Goat couldn't handle it.  Dad's deserve so much more credit than they are given...especially Mr. Goat this week (feel free to give him a shout out in the comments). 

    Thursday was a rough day.  A day where I was going 100 mph from morning until about 8:30pm.  But no matter how fast I was moving my mind was back with my boys at home.  Still for that whole busy day I could not have done it without countless people who helped just because help was needed.

    The universe may have been trying to pull a great cosmic April Fool's joke on me but in reality the joke's on the universe.  With more than a little help I came through the other side in good spirits and even laughing over the events of the week.  No Foolin'

    (But baby goat, please remember in the future, when a member of your family works for the church, no Holy Week illnesses are allowed!)