Vacay run

Most people who see me gearing up for a run on vacation would say “Jami, this is vacation, you’re supposed to be relaxing, go back to bed”. Except when you take into consideration that running is extremely relaxing and peaceful for me AND vacation is when I have my hubby available to help with the little ones. Long runs are when my brain unwinds, when I have time to truly appreciate what goes on daily during my vacation time because let’s just be honest here; as a mom of 3 little ones vacation is … well a bit  chaotic at times to say the least. When I wake up early before everyone else in a cabin on a gorgeous lake and look over at my husband, he does the motions with his hands, you, go, run.(  ūüėė I love this man. ) I jump at the chance to begin the day with some time to myself doing one of my favorite things and heading out on a route that I’m not even sure where it ends. Nobody can interrupt and ask mommy for a drink, a baby can’t cry, it’s just me on my run; sometimes listening to my music, maybe a podcast, maybe praying, listening to the lake, but doing what needs to be done to take care of me.

Some mornings sleep won, but others….the gorgeous Kentucky Lake and warm weather was heavenly. And the hills provided a challenge I don’t get at home unless I create them on a treadmill. I love checking out God’s creation and finding new running paths wherever I go!



Dads are a pretty big deal

Earlier this week on one of our trips to the grocery store, I allowed my oldest two kiddos to choose a card for their daddy for father’s day. ¬†(a $6 card mind you, what is the world coming to?!)¬†My husband and I aren’t huge on gifts for eachother but I love to write down for him what the kids appreciate about him, especially since they are so genuine at these ages and the time they spend with him is so very special to them. ¬†When we got home, we sat down at our kitchen table, got a pen out and I asked them what they thought was so special about their daddy. ¬†I contemplated having my second grader write, but I didn’t want this to take an hour, or 25 sheets of paper, so I just did it. ¬†ūüėČ We don’t tell my husband enough what we appreciate about him and he’s an excellent daddy to our 3 babies. ¬†I feel like pretty often, he comes home from work and the kids seem to all want his attention at once which turns into one of them becoming a bit frustrated and then before you know it we are eating dinner then preparing for bed time. ¬†It was just as good for the girls and I to sit and discuss what we appreciate about him as it will be for him to read it I”m sure!

 

Now, my children are normal. ¬†They love getting new toys, they are stinkers every once in awhile. ¬†But it amazes me every time we do something like this what comes out.¬† ¬†It’s not that their daddy buys them things. ¬†It’s not that he works his butt off each day so that we can be blessed with the home we have, the food in our fridge, the clothing on our backs and the vehicles we drive. ¬†They could care less if we had do downsize our house and be a family with one vehicle. ¬†They would get used to it if we didn’t ever go out to eat and had to live on a super strict budget. ¬†As a matter of fact, I think absolutely everything on that list is free. ¬†Daddies are so very important to children especially little girls. ¬†They teach their little ladies how they should expect to be treated by a husband¬†and show their little men how to treat a wife one day. ¬†It’s a huge task. ¬†I’m not here to tell you my husband is the best (nor am I) but that being a good mommy and daddy is something that takes constant work. ¬†It takes diligence; prayer, spending time with good friends who you can ask for advice, those you can just be around and soak up what they are doing with their children and use it. ¬†It takes apologizing to your spouse and your children, giving yourself a break, and stopping often to realize what matters, reading Bitty Baby books and helping to find turtles in the deep down river.

I’m so appreciative of the fact that I was blessed to grow up with an amazing daddy so I knew exactly what to look for in a husband one day. ¬†I can’t remember a time growing up when my dad wasn’t outside playing catch with me, coaching me, teaching me, spending time with me (my love language). ¬†He set high expectations and I was an extremely strong willed child so I was determined to meet them. ¬†There wasn’t a second that I didn’t doubt he loved me or my brother and I was positive that when he was absent he was working hard to support our family because that was his personality and it still is today. ¬†The man is battling¬†cancer and people hardly know it because he never complains. ¬†He’s a rockstar. I’ll never forget being in high school and he was my coach and I was upset after a game because he was giving me constructive criticism and him saying to me “Jami you’re better than them, if I didn’t care about you, I wouldn’t tell you any of this but you’re better than that”. And he was right. ¬†I was better than that and I”ll never forget him telling me that. ¬†Good fathers know the balance between love and discipline, they care enough about you to not try to be your friend but to teach you so that you can can grow. ¬†They realize they are training children and their job is of great importance. ¬†This weekend is to you daddies. ¬†I hope you know how incredible you are!

 

“Train up a¬†child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

From http://www.fatherhood.org:

“In a study examining father involvement with 134 children of adolescent mothers over the first 10 years of life, researchers found that father-child contact was associated with better socio-emotional and academic functioning. The results indicated that children with more involved fathers experienced fewer behavioral problems and scored higher on reading achievement. This study showed the significance of the role of fathers in the lives of at-risk children, even in case of nonresident fathers.”

7 years

My baby girl turned 7 this past week and when we asked her what she would like to do on her special day she responded typically for her personality. ¬†Since she was born my husband has called this little lady his “little boy”. ¬†She loves the outdoors, searching for critters and all things nature. ¬†You can often find her exploring wearing rubber boots, barely brushed hair and dirt smeared on her body somewhere…I love it. ¬†So her final decision¬†was…go pickup Burger King ¬†and visit a small nature reserve near our home. ¬†She especially loves this particular area because we once had a painted turtle AND a softshell at the same time (don’t ask me why we had them at the same time, it was pure chaos) but we set them free there and she has high hopes that we will visit this park one day and they will come slowly crawling back into her arms. We were the only ones there and my husband and I have seemed to be at eachother this week so walking peacefully through the park seemed to be just what we all needed. ¬†Our entire family was able to slow down, enjoy the beautiful view and the sounds, spend time together, and celebrate that we have been a blessed to be not just a married couple but a family for 7 years now.



Play in the rain

I thrive on routine.¬† I love a challenge, measurable goals?¬†Sign this girl up.¬†Creating lists and checking them off truly gives me happiness.¬† But….every once in awhile I crave some spontaneity.¬† Probably MUCH more often than I’d like to admit it.¬† Especially if it involves time with my husband or any kind of laughter.

fun

So when my little lady asked yesterday if her cousins could come over to play even though I thought I would clean, pack for vacation and get a long run in on the treadmill (as it was supposed to rain all day) I thought you know what, I can do those things any other day, and honestly, I DO do those things every other day. We made the call, had my little beauties of nieces over to play and we all played in the rain for hours.¬† It was a blast.¬† We didn’t fear the clouds or the thunder, we were all just kids.¬† Pure fun all day.

 

My best friend is fat

At my best friend’s last doctor’s visit, her practitioner was a bit shocked. “Wow, she’s gained 25 pounds in the past year, what’s going on? We need to do some testing.” ¬†“Are you active at all?” ¬†The response, yea she’s active, completely active, she runs often, swims like a maniac, and I can even vouch for her on that because she is one of my favorite running partners. ¬†She never turns me down. ¬†No matter when I want to run, she wants to run with me.

Because of her weight gain, I haven’t been asking her to run as much. ¬†I won’t lie to you she looks rough. ¬†She has fatty tissue on her chest, that wraps around her front shoulder, it looks painful. ¬†She doesn’t complain, but I can imagine it would hurt her to run. ¬†I try to be sneaky about running, I don’t let her know I’m going, make sure she doesn’t see me on the road, and don’t dare let her hear the jingle of a dogleash. ¬†(You thought I was a complete jerk there for a little bit didn’t ya?)¬†The other day I thought, you know what, she wants to run with me so badly, she’s 9 years old, what the heck? I”ll take her, if we have to walk no biggie.

 

IMG_2524

That dog made it 3 plus miles at a 9:30 pace no problem. ¬†We stopped half way so she could swim in the river near our house, something I don’t take advantage of nearly as much as I should. She loves to swim and I figured hey if I’m taking her out go big or go home right? As we headed back,¬†I felt like a complete jerk for leaving my running buddy out because of her weight gain the past few months, concerned she couldn’t do it. I know, I know that’s what you do when someone needs exercise the most, make sure they get none, bad dog owner here. Apparently a good run was just what she needed! We returned home and it was sprinkling out just enough to feel perfect after a run on a humid day so we sat outside and what does she do? Runs over in the yard and finds one of her 10 balls and brings it to me, reads to play fetch (if you have a retriever you get it) this dog wasn’t exhausted at all and was ready to take complete advantage of my attention.

dog1

Lesson learned from my dog: If your best buddy has gained 25 pounds this year and they are a dog or a person for that matter, invite them on a run, or a walk, or a bike ride, or something! It won’t do any harm! They may just want more!

What do you want to get accomplished today?

For awhile I was struggling with getting things done. ¬†I had a bit of an issue with this as we adjusted to being a family of 5 but then we settled in and got into a routine and everything was running smoothly. ¬†I was getting up early, going to the gym, starting our homeschool day…my little guy would nap and play peacefully and we would go on. ¬†And then he became mobile. ¬†Everything changed. ¬†I feel like I am constantly chasing him everywhere and trying to get things done, then getting ready to go to all of our activities with my chores half completed around the house. ¬†All the while I’m frustrated that I’m not getting my workouts in that keep me sane.

I refuse to be that mom, the one who is crazy busy and stressed, and never taking care of herself, frustrated with her children, her husband and her life. ¬†I understand that life changes and seasons like this happen, but I’m determined not to get stuck in them, and to be aware enough to realize when I’m in a rut like this and make some changes. ¬†So, I came across a blog where a woman listed the things she needs to get done each day and the amount of time that these things realistically took up. ¬†Not fun things, chores that need to be done. ¬†Non-negotiable, and I have some control over my non-negotiables. ¬†For me this daily list was:

  • Bible reading
  • Exercise
  • Cook 3 meals and clean up
  • Clean floor (I don’t know which one, but it never fails that some floor will need cleaning ūüėČ
  • Get my children ready for the day
  • Get my children ready for bed
  • Feed my son and put him down for a nap
  • Play with my children and be present
  • Pay bills/add items to budget
  • Do a load of laundry
  • Feed dogs
  • Get myself ready for the day

When I added the realistic¬†time slots in for these activities, I came up with about 9 hours. ¬†My day is full. ¬†Without any homeschool or any extra-curricular activities, or volunteer activities. ¬†This doesn’t include any of the time I spend on the race I direct with a group of friends or the time I spend volunteering or helping out others if they need it. ¬†It means that at this time in my life, with 3 small children, I need to do some SERIOUS re-evaluating of our schedule and need a bit more practice saying no. ¬†There isn’t even any time in there to chat with my husband. ¬†Remember that man I chose to marry to spend my life with?

face

I think as mamas we are so busy and especially as Christian mamas we forget to take care of ourselves. ¬†The past few weeks, I have been taking time to get up early and make myself run, (more like Clint attempts to wake me up several times because I ask him to the night before) ¬†because once I get out of it, it takes me awhile to enjoy it again, and now that I’ve made it non-negotiable, I am loving it again. ¬†Running is a part of me and I’ve missed it. ¬†My husband and I spend time talking when he gets home from work where we don’t allow our children to interrupt us at all (really…they spend the entire day with me, they can keep themselves busy for 15 minutes!) and I cherish that time. ¬†I get him all to myself. ¬†Because honestly, at the end of the day, he and I are spent! ¬†I’m not saying, start being selfish, go shopping, spend hours at the gym, and do date nights each week, but you’ve got to figure out what it is for you that helps you to function best as a mommy. ¬†Because if you’re angry, frustrated, tired and aren’t doing anything to your best ability, you’re honestly doing more damage to your family than you¬†are caring for them.

I’d love to know what you do for yourself to make sure you stay on top of being a blessing for your family! Let’s pray for eachother to continue in the right direction and be realistic about our priorities and time ūüôā

 

31.jpg