Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Vase

This tiny vase stands all of four fingers tall.  Before any of my babies were born, I imagined what life would be like to be a mom.  I imagined what the house would sound like with two babies at the end of the hall.  How would it smell?  How would it look?  Would there be 'life' in the air when you walked through the front door?  How would it change when they were 7 years-old versus when they were 7 days? 

My whole life I wanted to be a mom.  Everything else came second to that one desire.  As I walked through a fair one afternoon with my mom, my belly beginning to show the growth of two tiny people inside, I came across a vase so small all it could possibly hold would be a single dandelion.  I began to dream about my two little babies growing up to be toddlers and bringing me their precious dandelion bouquets from the yard and I knew I would be taking that miniature glass jar home.

I pulled my vase out again this week when my growing-up-too-fast 4 1/2 year-old-last-baby brought tiny blue bells clutched in her dimpled hand to me with a proud, chocolate-smudged face.  I gushed over how pretty they were and told her I had just the spot to show them off.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Marathon :: Idea vs. Training

Running a marathon seemed like a great idea at the beginning of this year (by the way, who said it could possibly be this close to April already when I'm pretty sure it was January just yesterday?!). 

Like every year for the past four, I started out training pretty gung ho in January.  I was out every weekend finding a new trail to conquer.  About mid-February, family illness derailed me a few weeks again this year, and I struggled to recommit, but the deadline of race day loomed before me.  Normally, I would put the ax to the grindstone and drag myself back outside for some hill training during the week and distances on the weekend in March to meet April with weakened conviction yet a passion to finish strong. 

This year, however, I personally avoided the family illnesses in February, yet still became home-bound caring for The Sick.  Then March came and I got hit with something that took me out for about 10 days that, fortunately, the children avoided.  Now, April is marching right on into the house and I have commitments and schedules and life blooming itself right into my path of training, and my conviction is truly waivering.  I'm pretty sure this has been the toughest year yet, and this is the year I wanted to succeed in that marathon.  (Last time I trained for a full marathon, I didn't make it to the finish line due to bad weather, although I did finish the distance in my own personal race later that spring.)

I have a friend on Facebook who posts her workouts every day with distance and motivational speeches all typed out for the world to enjoy.  I used to see them as motivational, too.  Now they goad me.

How do you best overcome a waning spirit?  Sit on the couch and type letters to yourself?  Or throw on a pair of tennis shoes and go out for a run?

Thank God He made the sun shine today.  I guess I'll be seeing you later!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Planet Walk :: Spring Break 2012

Friday was our first day of spring break.  I reeeeeeeeeally wanted to travel this year for spring break.  Somewhere warm and beautiful and inviting.  Somewhere on a beach.  Like reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally badly.

Then I told my hubs I wanted to take the family on a mission trip to Chicago in June, on a trip west to the Grand Canyon in the summer, to Disney at Christmas, and I wanted to go to Peru on mission in August.  And he laughed and laughed and laughed.  And said we could do ALL of that. {:)!!!}  If I didn't go to the beach on spring break. {:(}


We are celebrating Spring Break St. Louis-style again this year.

And I'm {pretty much} OK with that... under the circumstances!

Friday we sat around aaaaaaaaall morning playing video games and totally vegging out {pretty much feeling sorry for ourselves}.  At noon, I gathered all my spring chicks together and said, "First person to convince a friend to come over gets to take them on a planet walk, a soda stop, and have frozen custard for dessert...ready, set, GO!"  They scrambled to get out of their pjs, find the phone book, and be the first person to find a friend who wasn't on a beach somewhere.

Meiners won.

We went to lunch at Fitz's soda company in University City for lunch, root beer, and a brief look at how they make their famous drinks!

It poured and poured and poured while we ate.  When we walked out of the restaurant, all we saw was blue skies, puffy clouds, and an adventure ahead of us:

Not many (if any!) of their classmates will return to school bragging that they traveled from the sun to Neptune!  At a ratio of 1 inch to 80,000 miles.  But my kids can!

The Delmar Loop is an uber cool area in the city famous for Chuck Berry and Rock 'n Roll, and the St. Louis Walk of Fame!   And recently, St. Louis' own Planet Walk

We ended our afternoon at {the world famous} Ted Drewes for frozen custard:

Bob Costas, Katie Couric, John McCain, Tony LaRussa, So Taguchi, and so many others have frequented this same location for yummy treats!  It was a nice ending to a super fun day.

One day down.  Nine more to go....;)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hearts in Harmony Event :: Part Two

Part One can be found here.  More about what Hearts in Harmony (and The Space Between) is about starts here.

We were engulfed all day with requests for photos and interviews and singing on stage (eventually all four of the kids arrived from their other activities and were able to sing with Erin as she performed)!  The whole day was fun, exhausting, memorable, and did I say fun, exhausting, and memorable?!

Cornbread from 92.3 WIL was with us for the first half, making things crazy-super-fun as you can see below!

There was jumping roping and hula hooping, EKGs, ECHOs, healthy snacks, and heart healthy quizzes for all the kids to enjoy!

One of the best parts was having all of Pookie's doctors and nurses show up to share in her fun.  We are so, so grateful for - and adore - all of these amazing people!

My other favorite part was hanging out with Dan Gray from KPLR Channel 11 and Fox 2 News most of the day.  He and his {gorgeous} wife - I didn't get a picture of her: Bummer! - (and their teenaged kids!) stayed nearly the whole time and were so sweet and gracious!  We've been fans of his for years, but now - immeasurably more!   (You can see his coverage of Pookie, the song, and the Hearts in Harmony event here.)

By 2:00, we were famished, dehydrated, exhausted, humbled, honored, happy, grateful, and a little relieved to be able to sit down...kinda like now, after finally posting all these photos!  ;)

One more giant thank you to St. Louis Children's Hospital for giving us this amazing opportunity.  There may be a chance in the near future to help us get The Space Between played on local radio stations during their listener-driven hours ... I'll be sure to keep you posted!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Hearts in Harmony

Even as a kid, my mom always warned me to not overdo lest I wear myself out too much and fall on illness.

Whelp.  February 2012, one of my favorite months of all time, came and went.  Then came March.  And illness has spread from one of us to the other to the other to .. well, me.  And I can't seem to shake it.  But the blog must go on, right?  There are stories to tell!  I have to get back up and get going!  (Feverish, exhausted, delirious a little...sure.  But there are stories to be told!  Write stories under these circumstances?  They'll be {in}famous for sure...)

February 25th was our Hearts in Harmony event!  Oh man ~ when the marketing agency called me last fall to initiate all the eventual hooplah surrounding Pookie and her heartbeat in a song written and performed by Erin Bode, February 25th seemed loooooooooooong in the future. 

And then it was here!


And what a day!  What an experience.  What a time of our lives!!

First of all, my amazing and brilliant twins were awarded the opportunity to participate in our school district's Academic Olympics.  Holy Cow.  Stress.   We had to get Meiners to basketball with Coach Daddy, Pooks and T to the high school for Academic Olympics before rushing Pookie right on out of her event and on to Heart in Harmony.  She looks a little scared here, doesn't she?  Thank God for Grandmas and Grammies who made all the above possible!  ;)

Pookie may have been {un}deniably nervous, but Mr. T was definitely in his element ;)!  Mr. T performed for the Math Olympiad.  He called me later and told me he'd answered 18 out of the 30 problems.  Because he insisted on using only a pencil and paper even though the students were allowed to use calculators.  I told him I was so proud of him for staying true to himself - a true mathemetician, for going old-school - no calculator, and for being an awesome representative of our family and God's kingdom.  He is such a super kid.  Totally obsessed with Pokemon.  And math.  But an amazing spirit I am so lucky to call My Son.

Pookie represented with Storytelling.  And she is a little storyteller.  I completed a parent's personality assessment of the kiddos in a parenting class I took at church recently, and one of Pookie's attributes included, "Wild Storytelling..."  ;)  (She was an "otter;"  T was a "golden retriever."  I oughta write about that when I'm feeling better, too...)

Then came The Event.  Can I promise more tomorrow?  The Tylonol is kicking in and I'm feeling better, but ooooh golly can I imagine that Memory Foam Pillow in my immediate future and  I don't want to miss any important details NOR fun pics! 

I'll see you again tomorrow!

P.S.  To see Pookie's story on NBC, click here!

Monday, March 5, 2012

That Old Adage

Recently, I've felt more and more like this little guy:

A few weekends ago, the kids brought these two little guys home from school for the weekend. 

They played with them, entertained them, fed them, and basically doted on them all weekend.

Some took to the gerbil concept more easily than others.

But in the end, a good time was had by all.

I asked the kids how the teacher was sure these two gerbils wouldn't have babies.  "Because they're two boys, Mom," I was reassured.

Funny thing is, this one gave birth to three babies on Friday:

Welcome to parenthood, Oreo and Milkshake!  Let the rat race begin!  ;)

Meiners MAKES his ZhuZhu pet into a gerbil by adding a paper tail!  I just love that kid's creativity!

edited to add: bwahaha!  My friend just called asking me if I was pregnant ~ like the gerbil I referenced above!  Haha!  NO!  I meant to refer only to the rat race I find myself in because of all the running we do with four kids in various activities!  I can totally see where she'd get that inference, however, so please allow me to set the record straight!  No more babies over here!  {Unless they're gerbil babies!  And even then, no thank you!  Oreo and Milkshake are living out their days of parenthood back at school where they belong!!!  ;)  LOL - still laughing about this one!}
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