Monthly Archives: March 2017

Happiness Is

We just finished up Sue’s run of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”  The last song is “Happiness is” which fit perfectly with my friend’s post yesterday.

We’ve had lots of happiness lately.

Happiness is… watching your daughter blossom just a bit more in her second play this weekend.


Happiness is…Getting some one-on-one time with Sue to speak to her what is on my heart,

do you know when I see you the most alive, the most you? When you are at practice or on the stage doing a show. You are amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, God made you amazing, always be who He made you to be.” She came over to my side and as I hugged her, and blinked back tears, I said, “I know sometimes at home you feel overshadowed by an older sister who is very strong, and a Patrice who is, well, Patrice, but you are strong, smart capable, and amazing. I know there are things that don’t come easy, but there are other things that just make you shine. Walk in them all. Be you, be strong and amazing and beautiful. I had a lot of people tell me what I couldn’t do, what I wasn’t, that I wasn’t strong and here I am, kind of old…some of that I can fix, I can run my butt off, but some I can’t. Don’t let people whether they be family, friends, or random people tell you what you can and can’t do!


Happiness is…getting a kitchen full of flowers thanks your daughter’s “stardom”

Happiness is…getting out for a run amidst the business of life and pushing myself to improve bit by bit, bunch by bunch.

Happiness is…feeling pretty every once and a while.

Happiness is…remembering how to do a fun braid your daughter wants in her hair.

Happiness is…a pretty cute puppy and a lovely Easter flag.

Happiness is…finding more things that can be thrown away as part of #40 bags in #40 days.

And Happiness is…my girls looking sweet and sassy.

The days are crazy and full.  I am so thankful, I am here, by the grace of God, to enjoy them all.

*Thank you to my friend Kimberly over at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something for the inspiration for this post.

What Am I

I identify as, and am, a lot of things:  Christ follower, wife, mother, homeschooler, daughter, friend…but one thing has escaped me.  No matter how hard I tried, I could not bring myself to say I am a runner.

I get out there, I run, but I see other runners, moving so much more easily and quickly and I think, “now that’s a runner.”  I was even, after doing a 7-mile run, saw a picture of someone running, and thought, “I wish I could run like them.”

I ended up frustrated and looking for reassurance, so I took to one of my fitness groups on Facebook–“when do you feel like a real runner?”

Unanimously, they reassured me I was a runner…someone who runs is a runner was the message.   One lady even pointed out my pace is 2 minutes faster than what is required for most races (I had no idea–glad those races I did early in my running didn’t kick me out!)

I walked away feeling better, but still a little unconvinced.


I kept turning the thought over and over in my mind.

Would I want my girls to ever doubt their efforts?  Sue is doing her second play this weekend…do I want her to doubt the hard work she has put in?  Does her lack of a union card make her less of an actress, singer, or dancer?  No!  Caitlyn runs on her own and with me.  Am I going to tell her she is not a real runner?  Never!!  Patrice loves to create.  Am I going to tell her she’s not a real artist?  Not in a million years!!

As P!nk says “You’re so mean when you talk about yourself, you are wrong.  Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead…”  And she’s right, I am.  I am very mean when I talk to myself, I internalize the bad and the ugly, and that is what I hear, what I listen to.

But yesterday, I decided to change at least one part of that broken record.

I am a runner.  I ran 11 1/2 miles+ last week.  I am at 10 so far this week.  I am training for two different races (a relay in April and a half marathon in September), I am working on improving distance and pace, my mind is either thinking about my last run or planning when to fit in the next one, I consider my running jacket and pants one of the best purchases I ever made…AND…I ran two miles back to back under 13 minutes (12:27 and 12:32 if you are wanting to know as badly as I am wanting to tell you!).*

If all of that doesn’t convince me I am a runner, nothing ever will.

*Just a few notes concerning that pace to put it into perspective for you:  I am only 4 ft 9 inches tall, my pace in August when I started running again was a 19-minute mile, and I am carrying about 35 extra pounds.  No excuses, just perspective on how far I have come.

Pi and Pie

Yesterday, 3/14, was Pi, 3.14, day.  Most years I remember too late that it WAS Pie/Pi day.

Not this year.

A wonderful friend put together a Pi day curriculum for me.  We practiced finding the circumference of circles using pieces of yarn and Pi.  We watched a couple YouTube videos, made Pi cootie catchers,  and a paper chain showing how there is not a number pattern in Pi.

To round out the day, the girls made an apple pie from scratch.

I did not have any of the finished product as it was full of gluten and apples, both a no-no when it comes to eating low FODMAP. So, I didn’t have any of the finished product.  Problem is, I had little nibbles of crust and apples as I helped the girls make the pie.  It’s not because I don’t know gluten and apples are a no-no according to low FODMAP eating.  I know they are, but sometimes, okay, often, I think, “all of this special eating is silly.  I don’t have food allergies so I am probably making a big deal out of nothing.”    I begin to feel ridiculous for the demands I make when it comes to food.  I tell myself I am just doing it to be a pain in the butt or feel “special,” so I stop.  I eat pie crust.  I eat sliced apples.

And then, within an hour or so, I find out eating low FODMAP is important, it does improve my life, it is worth the extra effort.  I was so sick last night I could hardly sit up during dinner.  My stomach hurt, my body was overcome with weakness.  I even had hubby take Sue to her play practice and I sat down on the couch and watched an entire movie…I have no idea when the last time was I watched a whole tv program at home, let alone a movie.  I just don’t sit that long.

Ignoring the rules of eating low FODMAP literally knocked me on my butt.  Lesson learned, for a while…

That was our day.  The Pie and the Pi of it.

How Do We Love

A number of years ago I thought I had figured out the solution to the race issue for myself.  I would go along with the mantra, “I don’t see color.”  I thought that would take care of it…but it doesn’t, it is at best a cop-out.  It was my way of saying, your life must be just like mine simply because I say it is.

Turns out, it is not that simple.  Life rarely is.

Recently, we have seen a lot of division in America.  A lot of hate.  A lot of anger.  A lot of destruction.  It is hard to see.  It is hard to acknowledge.  It is hard to understand.  It is even harder to fix.

In response, I have heard a lot of people say, “this isn’t the America I love.”  Thing is, that’s kind of like my thought above–I just won’t see color–it doesn’t work that way.  Loving America is like being a parent.

Loving America is like being a parent.  You have this child you love.  Your child is cute and sweet and has so many positive attributes, but there are behaviors and attitudes that are not so lovely.  As a good parent, you can’t just ignore the negative things your child does; you can’t just turn a blind eye and say, “well, that’s not the child I love.”  No.  As a loving parent, you will see the challenges, you will see the issues and work to help your child change, grow, and improve.  You will help them become more than they are now.  That is love.

It is the same with America.

I can’t see things in America I don’t like and ignore them.  If I truly love my country and its people, I have to choose to face the struggles, face the darkness and work.  I must work to make it better.  I must work on the spiritual level.  I must work on the cultural level.  I must work on the societal level.  If I am not willing to work on those levels, if I just want to turn my head away from what I don’t like, that is not love I am showing, it is laziness.

Is what you feel for America love or laziness?  Do you love America, and the people around you enough to be part of the change, or do you only want to wish America were different?  Will you work or wish?