A Wife Loved Like The Church

Archive for April 2010

Yesterday I took the girls for a walk to Jonathan’s work. It’s two blocks from our house and we cut through some apartments and the library parking lot, making it not necessary to take the stroller. I strapped Hannah in the mei tai and let Julia hold Jack’s leash. We had to cross a large street that is currently under construction with no crossing signals. We do this several times a week and our routine is always the same – I have Hannah on my back, I pick Julia up and carry her across while holding Jack’s leash. Only this time, we had another element to worry about – a balloon.

Right after I picked Julia up, she let go of the balloon she’d been carrying from home. Rather than fall to the ground, it immediately got swept into the street by the wind. My first thought was to jump out and get it – but reason quickly took over. So instead I watched as it got farther away and Julia began melting down. “My balloon! Mama! My balloon!”. I told her that the balloon was gone, there wasn’t anything we could do about it and we’d get her another one. And in that very moment, I knew I had a blog post.

You see, I love comedian Brian Regan. And in his routine Standing Up he actually talks about parents’ reactions when children lose balloons. He says how parents usually act miffed by how upset the child is when they lose their balloon, blowing of the situation by telling the child it’s not a big deal, there are plenty of balloons in the world and they they can always get another one. He goes on to say, “Imagine if that balloon floating away was your wallet. ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get you another one.’ ‘No, I want that one!'”. I realized that to Julia this balloon was just as important as my wallet or phone – something I’d surely track down.

So I ran across the street to chase down the balloon. In order to try to catch the balloon before it got even further away, I kept carrying Julia in my arms (remember Hannah’s still on my back) while Jack trotted by my side. I’m sure we looked pretty hilarious running after a half deflated purple balloon that seemed to always be just out of reach. After about half a block, we found it behind a building just quietly rolling around on the ground. When I picked it up, Julia started squealing with joy “Balloon! Mama, my balloon!”. Her face showed such delight and joy – making it totally worthy my efforts. I told her I would hold on to the balloon until we got back home to ensure we didn’t lose it again. We finished our walk about 30 minutes later, all making it safely back – balloon in hand.


I completed my half marathon yesterday. Whew. It was intense. I’m glad I did it and I’m glad I’m done.

My original goal was to run in the Drake Relays in Des Moines which take place next weekend. But, between traveling with the girls and Jonathan starting a new MBA class that weekend, it just didn’t seem possible. I didn’t want to forgo all my training from the last 2 months, so I came up with a better idea:

Run for Haiti

I told Jonathan that we should organize our own run, inviting people to run various miles to raise money for Haiti to send to Compassion International. We wanted to make the run on a donation basis – ranging from $1-5 per mile. I talked to Leah, since she was the first person I knew who would be on board with it. She said she’d run one of the routes and I went from there. After doing a facebook event and sending out an email, we had 10 runners (including myself) who either ran or walked anywhere from 3, 5, 13.1 or 16 miles. I even was blessed to have company for the vast majority of my run. One of the girls who ran is training for a marathon and used today as her long run. God really knew what He was doing, because we turned out to run the same pace, which was delightful. Very nice to have a running buddy for a long run like that!

I ran the last 3+ miles on my own. I’ll be completely honest – I ended up walking about 1/2 mile or so. I started getting so dehydrated that I was feeling faint and starting to blackout. Not good. I stopping running and walked to a gas station that was on my route. I took a break while I got some water. After that I ran the rest of the way home, but at a much slower pace than before. Initially I was disappointed for having stopped, but realized it was the best thing for me. The last two miles were the most challenging, yet I stuck to it. My reward when I got home? Julia running to me full speed yelling “Mama!” as I was crossing the finishing line. Nearly made me cry.

My recovering has gone smoother than I expected. As soon as I crossed the finish line I felt like I hit a wall. The last 3 miles of the run I started getting a headache (most likely from needing more water) and it was pretty intense once I got home. We ate some pizza (my request – Papa John’s pepperoni) then I got cleaned up. After that I was pretty useless for about 2+ hours. I took a long nap, drank plenty of water and took some ibuprofen. Stairs are presenting some challenges, but over all, aside from the headache that last all day yesterday, I feel pretty great. I’m thinking I might be able to bump my recovering run up to Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

I am thrilled to say, that as for helping Haiti, we had spectacular support. We raised a total of $260 for Compassion International. How amazing is that?!

I want to say a big thank you to all the people that ran with me yesterday. I was, still am, blown away by your support and desire to be apart of this event. I also want to say thank you to everyone who has cheered for me along the way. This has been a great experience for me and I truly appreciate everyone’s encouragement and support. I can officially say “Been there. Done that.” Now to check it off my 30 before 30 list:

#1. Run a half marathon

Or die trying.

I don’t actually think I will die. But, I will say this, I am really looking forward to my run being completed. I have thoroughly enjoyed running and pushing myself beyond what I thought I was capable, but at some point I’ve started to lose steam. I wasn’t able to complete my run on Easter after the tire changing incident and have felt sort of deflated after that. Last night I went on a really awesome power run and felt some boost come back. I think it gave me the confidence I need to push through.

Come Sunday, the 18th, at 9 am, if you’re in the Iowa City area, you might see me running by. And if you do see me, I’d love a little cheer, a holler, or even a “go get ’em!”. Then when I wake up Monday morning, I hope to proudly say – “Been there. Done that.”

photo credit

Have you ever heard of the Five Love Languages? It’s essentially the five ways people give and receive love. I really wish clothes were on the list. Because I love getting clothes (or shoes!). In fact, over the years I think God has really shown me some love by giving me amazing deals on clothes – especially when I least expect it.

On Monday, I took the girls to Wal-Mart for a quick errand. Since we didn’t have anything planned, no real shopping to do, I decided to just stroll around the place (a rarity with two kids).  When I got over to the shoe department I found these:

They were marked down to $5 so I thought I’d treat myself to them. After all, they are polka dotted, which I love.

Anyways, when I was checking out, I looked at the total and thought “Um, that can’t be right.” It was $4.78. Remember, the shoes were $5. I leaned over to see the checkout screen better when I noticed….

The shoes were only $1!

I did a little happy dance and celebrated feeling loved.

Thanks God!

I’ve been a little hesitate to share my super secret recipe for tortillas on my blog. Not because they are really super secret, but because, well… I’m a little self conscious. You see, Jonathan’s grandmother taught me how to make tortillas about 2 years ago. It took me a few months to really figure it out and then a few months after that to not feel totally lost when making them. Once I felt more confident, I shared my wealth of tortilla-making knowledge with some friends. And then I freaked. What if people don’t like them? What if they don’t turn out right? What if, heaven forbid, Grandma learn I changed up the recipe a bit? It’s hard to follow in the footsteps of an 87 year old Hispanic grandma who’s been making amazing tortillas since she was 2. Yeah, I can’t compete with that.

But for your sakes, I’ve gotten over it. For now at least.

Here’s what you need:

Olive oil, salt, baking powder and flour

Oh, and your KitchenAid and dough hook.

Let me just tell you – this KitchenAid is amazing. Not necessarily this one, but just using a KitchenAid to make tortillas in ingenious! It does all the work. Hello? How nice is that?!

Add 2 cups flour

2 Tablespoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon salt

3 Tablespoons olive oil

At this point, you want to mix all the ingredients together. Note: You don’t have to use olive oil. You can use any oil (or butter). In the past I’ve used ghee (fancy word for clarified butter) and it makes some of the softest tortillas you’ll ever taste. Also, technically, you should use 2 tablespoons of oil. I bumped it up to give the tortillas a little more softness. I’ve used as much as 4 tablespoons per batch.

Add 3/4 cup to 1 cup warm water – mix well

You might notice the dough looks super sticky. It is. I added more flour to making it easier to handle. Sorry I didn’t measure, just dumped…

This is what you want your dough to look like:

Cover your tortillas and let set for 10-15 minutes.

Here’s what your dough will look like:

You’ll want to pull the dough apart into golf ball sized pieces.

You can get about 16 tortillas out of one batch. Be sure to cover them with a towel so they don’t dry out.

When you’re ready to roll them out, press them down a little with your hand (to make it flatter) and then dip in flour.

Then roll it out!

Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes, or until they are golden.

As a friendly tip, cook them on a low temperature. I set my griddle on medium-low when I first start my tortillas and let it heat up the entire time. WHY? Because it allows the griddle to be hot enough to cook the tortillas without over cooking (i.e. burning) them.

Here’s the outcome:


The whole process seems pretty long and drawn out – taking up to an hour from start to finish. For me, hands on time is about 15-20 minutes – which is just rolling out the tortillas. Mostly it’s waiting – waiting for the tortillas to set, waiting for them to cook, etc. Even with all the time you invest, it is so worth it!

Bon Appetit!

I just bought my first pair of skinny jeans this weekend, despite swearing them off as “nothing I would ever wear”. You see, I firmly believed they would give me an upside-down pear look. But, they don’t. And I actually like them. Shocking, I know.

Even more shocking – Jonathan picked them out for me. They wouldn’t have been my first choice, but as some might know, Jonathan is the better dresser and fashionite then me. So over the years I’ve learned to trust his taste.

And here they are:

*Please pardon the lack of make-up and slightly disheveled look. After all, it is 9:30 on a Monday morning. I’ve only had my first two cups of coffee, so I’m proud to be out of my pj’s already. 😉

I got my first tattoo at 20. At the time I never considered what my kids might say about it.

I got my second tattoo at 24. By then I was married and we were talking about having children. I realized one day my children might ask for a tattoo because of I have one (or maybe they won’t because it’s not cool to be like your mom).

Since getting my newest tattoo, Julia keeps asking me about my “owie”. The first night I told her it was called a tattoo and pointed out my other two to her – hoping to remind her that they aren’t really owies. She wasn’t convinced. Instead, she started calling the owie on her ankle a tattoo: “Daddy, look. My tattoo.” Sweeeet.

Yesterday, she kept pointing at my tattoo and saying “Mama, owie.” Again I went through explaining that it was a tattoo and not an owie. I asked her to point out my other tattoos and to touch those (since my new tattoo is still a little tender she hasn’t been allowed to touch it). After that, a lightbulb went off. And then… the moment I’ve been waiting for…  “Mama, I want tattoo.”

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