Archive for December, 2010

Running Safety

As I got ready to take off for a run on a cloudy day, my husband stopped me at the end of the driveway and told me that my grey long-sleeved shirt and long pants made me blend in with the road.  He suggested I put on my high visibility vest I had just gotten from our daughter for Christmas. 

“I am already behind schedule; I will be alright,” I said.

I was a little over three miles into my four mile run when I got a sharp pain in my chest.  I started walking a few steps.  The first thought that popped in my mind was, “Is this it, Lord?”  followed by, “If I fall down on the road, I will blend in, cars won’t see me, and I could get run over.  I don’t want my family to have to deal with that.”  Thankfully, after a few steps, it passed.  The pain must have been indigestion or something.  Next time, I will definately wear my vest.

Later, I reflected on the event and thought about how my first reaction was to speak to the Lord and not feel fear at the thought of death.  Cool.

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What a Holiday!

There are some things you want to forget, and this holiday week there have been plenty of events that I hope fade quickly from my middle-aged brain. 

12/23  On the way to Wisconsin to celebrate Christmas and bring back Terry’s mom to spend the week with us, we were rear-ended on I-94 on the north side of Chicago.  Traffic had slowed to 15-20 miles per hour, but the car behind us hit our Pathfinder going about 50 miles per hour, catapulting us forward and knocking the spare tire out from under our vehicle.  Terry saw it coming in the rearview mirror, but by the time he could say, “He is going to hit us,” BOOM, we were hit.  Terry was sitting up, but I was leaning forward, so I hit the head rest hard enough that the front of my face hurt. 

The police officer had us pull off of the highway at the next exit and go to a shopping center parking lot to fill out a report.  As we went through the parking lot, a car started backing out.  Terry honked his horn, but the guy kept backing.  We had to stop hard so that he wouldn’t hit us.  “Do we have a sign on us that says ‘Hit Me’?” I asked in exasperation.

Needless to say, we turned around and headed back home to assess the damages.  I thought I would feel a lot worse the next day, but I only had some muscle tightness in the neck, shoulders, and back.

My sister-in-law’s grandmother passed away this day, also.

12/24-25  Celebrating Christmas with friends and family was the highlight of the week.  We made some new friends Christmas Eve and celebrated Gavin’s first Christmas on Christmas Day.

12/26-28  Sunday started out fine, went for a great run and ate dinner at Miranda and Kyle’s.  We brought Gavin back home with us, along with my niece and nephew, because they didn’t want to go to their great-grandma’s funeral.  It was supposed to be a couple of days of great fun with the kids.  At about 3 a.m. on the 27th, I started getting sick out of both ends.  About an hour later, Terry started in; what can I say, we do everything together.  Gavin woke up about 5 a.m.  We had him on the bed as we took turns running to the bathroom.   We had to wave the white flag and have Gavin’s dad come get him, and my niece and nephew left a few hours after that.  What a bummer!  Terry and I were so sick the rest of the day; even after the explosions stopped, we were achy and wiped out.  I lost 5 pounds in 24 hours.  I don’t feel so great yet today, but much better than yesterday.

I keep telling myself that New Year’s eve is going to be a blast.  As long as it isn’t the same blast we had after Christmas.

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Benefits of Making It Yourself

We are out of cookies!  We haven’t had cookies for a couple of days.  Do I really want to buy them and have the temptation in front of me?  We do have cookie mix, but that would mean taking the time to mix and bake.  Hmmmm, making it yourself is kind of like freezing your credit card in a block of ice; you get some time to ponder it and reconsider.  By the time you get the package of mix and bowl out, you just aren’t in the mood.  If you are still in the mood, at least you will burn some calories mixing it yourself.  There is a shiny, red apple on the table.  It’s not a sweet, crunchy cookie, but it is sweet and crunchy and ready to eat.

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Marriage Secrets

A lunch break discussion turned to relationships:  good ones, bad ones, happy ones, sad ones, etc.  I reflected on my marriage relationship and how we have done over the last 17 years.  No relationship is perfect, but why does our marriage work so well (especially after we both had first marriages that ended badly).  Here is my top 10 list of how my husband and I make it last:

10.  The blog name says it all.  Even after 17 years it is better to keep laughing at those little quirks that you thought were so cute when you were dating, rather than let them become annoying habits that you want to strangle your mate over (like a weird laugh).

9.  Learn from your mate.  If your mate is better at finances, learn some of their secrets on spending, saving, delaying gratification, etc.  Maybe they can learn from you how to loosen up a little and not vault every penny earned.

8.  Admit when you are wrong.

7.  Graciously accept an apology when your mate admits they are wrong.  No, “I told you so,” or “Wow, let me get this one in the history books.”

6.  Look for ways to  support your mate.  If you have a snow day, get up when they do at 4:30 a.m. and clean off the driveway while they shower and eat.  Remember, love isn’t really those butterflies in your heart (that could be acid reflux); love is an action verb.  Also, figure out their definition of giving and receiving love.  Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages is an excellent resource.

5.  Show gratitude for your mate’s efforts to love and support you; don’t take your mate for granted.  A sincere “thank you” goes a long way.

4.  Fight fairly.  Two imperfect people coming together will have disagreements.  Learn to fight fairly, which includes attacking the problem, not the person.  Also, it is better to listen twice as much as you speak; give credit to truthful statements, even if you don’t like what you hear.

3.  Do things together.  Workout, play golf, see movies, clean the house, work in the yard, attend sporting events, go grocery shopping, etc.  You don’t have to share every activity, but find common interests and enjoy them together.

2.  Share the same faith together, praying and worshipping together.  It would be a good idea to discuss this one before you say “I do.”  If you don’t share the same faith, at the very least allow your mate to pursue their faith without provocation.

1.  Apply grace.  Let your mate be who they are and turn a blind eye to some of their personality flaws.  If you are a neat freak and she is a messie, find a way to make her more important than a pristine home.  If you don’t like how he does laundry, each of you wash your own clothes.  If your husband takes 6 months to complete a project that a handyman could have done in 6 days, don’t criticize his efforts to be a do-it-yourselfer.  You did not marry a carbon copy of yourself, no matter how much you feel like the two of you are soul mates.  Some things you have to give up control over…go ahead, loosen up that death grip.  Love your mate for whom they are, what they were created to be; stop trying to make them conform to your (or society’s) ideals.

These are the highlights of 17 years of wedded (mostly) bliss.  There are many other things that go into a happy marriage, but that is a good start.

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Hello, Again

Well, school, home, grandchild, etc. have kept me very busy.  Today we have a two-hour delay.  This is only a delay from school.  At home, I get up at the same time, or earlier, to snow blow the driveway.  I like to do this for my husband, since he doesn’t get delays from work.  I am not complaining; I love to use the snow blower!  Although, it would be nice to sleep in, too. 

Three days ago we had a delay.  I blew out the driveway and took a shower to get ready for school.  I figured I would get to school early and get some things done while it was quiet.  I got out of the shower and heard my cell phone ringing.  It was an automated message notifying us that school was cancelled.  I was wide awake and showered, so I made some scones.  Today I waited a little to see if school might be closed, but it looks like we are going to be open.  Off to the shower!

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