Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Move for the Woods

On Eclipse day, this guy was battling a virus and home from school.  It worked out for him, as he had more time to gaze at the eclipse from his backyard!

The Woods are on the move.  Literally.  After 12 years in our home, we are moving.....across the street.  For some, this may seem odd.  To us, this seems just right.

For the last year, we've been praying about our home.  Our house had arrived at the point where money was needed to renovate and repair.  In my heart, I wanted to live on land.  I had dreams of my four sons running around in any endless field of grass (our grass) with trees aplenty.  (Of course, in this vision the boys are all getting along perfectly, and I have my feet up without a care in the world.  Can any house promise that?)

During our year long search and prayer, door after door closed.  In fact the ways the doors closed would be the great topic for a future blog post.  We said if by the start of school "our house" didn't appear, we'd feel confident that God wanted us to stay in our current home.

A week before school, a house opened up across from our neighborhood.  In house size, it is smaller than our current home.  But the land outsizes our current lot.  We've grown by two acres.  And there is a front porch that wraps around the home and offers views of the seemingly endless grass (and the boys playing happily...right).  The best part is the neighbor friends are just minutes away.  Hopefully they will jump across the road and keep us all company.  The minute we walked into this home, we knew this was the home that God had provided.  So glad we waited!

A few days ago, we accepted an offer on our home!  For the next few weeks, we'll be occupied with fun stuff like inspections, appraisals, and mortgage agreements.  My hope is that I continue to blog even when the time seems crunched.  (Look for a future blog outlining our journey to our new home and God's hand in the process.)

If you don't see a blog post for a few days, please don't think I forgot about this electronic journal (therapy).  I just might be busy for the moment, until I'm situated on that front porch watching my boys....getting along.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

First Injury

Sweet friend Nicole drives the ship.

Running friends celebrating grieving our kids return to school with a lake day.

One of the best presents ever.  My friend Nicole gave this to me to cheer me up after the injury.  It's a framed picture of our Runner's World article and photo.

Caleb gave me a crash course on marching band on the football field.   My takeaway: it's harder than it looks.

The perk to having a Dad who is a Doctor is that when croup hits in the middle of the night, you know who will take good care of you.

I sat on the crinkled exam table, a foreign position for me.  Certainly, I never envisioned stepping into the role of patient.  For 27 years, I have run without ache or injury.  I imagined that an injury would hit someday.  But I thought that someday would be about the time I was handed an AARP card.

Friends, there is a reason 40 year olds don't waterski.  Our rapidly aging bodies aren't meant to balance, swerve, and jerk like those half our ages.  I learned that lesson the hard way.

When the doctor arrived in the room, I outlined the accident and pointed to my throbbing hip and bum.  He stretched; I yelped.  He frowned; I wanted to cry.  In a soft tone, he uttered the bad news.  

"A hamstring strain or tear," he affirmed.

An X-ray followed with an MRI two days later.

While I'm awaiting the results, he told me the best case scenario (six weeks off running and PT) and the worst case (surgery and 20 weeks off running).

I tried about a million ways to get permission to run, but technically not run.

"What about the elliptical?" I asked the doctor.

He shook his head and said "no."

"How about the weightless treadmill?"

Same response.

"What about stairs?"

No change.

"Jogging in place?"

"Thinking about running?"

Every question was met with the same answer.  Running or anything similar to running was done, for awhile.

I asked my friend Nicole what I should do with my free time while I wasn't running.

"You should blog and write," she replied.

And so I am using my time to write.......about running.  

It's the next best thing.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Freshman Son

Yes, these three neighbors are all middle schoolers.  (Although neighbor Stephen's height leads one to think otherwise.) 

Every year, I think "This is the year where Cooper will take the stellar first day picture."  His fifth grade shot was just as goofy as last year.

 Neighbor Ryan did what I thought was humanly impossible to do.  He convinced Connor to "dress up" on his first day of school.  Sometimes peer pressure isn't so bad.

My new 7th grader.

3rd grader

I think Chris was clutching Collin especially hard in this photo because we just didn't want to see him go back to school.

My new freshman.

When the boys were little, a silver-haired lady often sized up my crew and uttered, "Time goes so fast.  Enjoy every minute!"  Inevitably, these comments were tossed out while one son was engaged in a massive fit at Target.  Because those words were said during a not-so-precious moment, I internally disputed her words.  I wanted nothing more than for time to in fact speed along.

I couldn't wait to get past the potty training years, the sleepless nights, the soiled diapers and bedsheets, the weighty diaper bags, and the endless baby food bottles.

But somehow all of these things came and went. In a blink.  And somehow I ended up with a child who is months away from a learner's permit, battling acne and facial hair, and entering high school.

Now I plead for time to slow down.

Our oldest son had a rough start in the world.  To say he was a "pistol" would be an understatement.  I wore the skin off my knees with all the prayers I shot up for this son.  What I learned is that our prayers don't have expiration dates.  The prayers I so desperately prayed while he was in the height of his "energetic, determined state" came to fruition as a teen.

Now he can discuss North Korea, Kurt Vonnegut, stem cells, and Pokemon.  He makes witty comebacks and thoughtful responses.  If he sees the kitchen a wreck, he'll pitch in on the clean up....really!  We enjoy watching him blossom into his own person.  And he's transformed into all of these lovely things within four years of leaving our nest.

Time slow down.

I'm vowing to be intentionally present in his life for the next four years.  I don't want to wish away the inevitable teen angst and school-related rigors.  I know when you wish away time, it happens.  Then, you wish it would come back.