A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘I must be crazy

I come from a really big family. I’ve got four brothers and one sister. My mom is the oldest of five children. Each of my aunts/uncles have several children. Which means I have something like 1 bijillion* cousins {and like 14 bijillion second/third/fourth cousins}.  *Bijillion is the official number used when counting large families. 

And being from a big family has always left a soft spot in my heart for movies about big families. Perhaps one of my favorite is The Family Stone. I love stories of families that are big and loud, fairly dysfunctional, but loving and fiercely close.

Sadly, my family isn’t very close. We’ve all gone our own ways, and haven’t done the best job of keeping in touch. While I’ve seen changes since moving back to Texas, it’s still not Hollywood awesome.

But then my two younger brothers moved in with us last year.

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 9.39.58 AMAnd it’s been amazing.

In fact, it’s better than Hollywood awesome.

We are doing life together. Fighting and laughing. Arguing and agreeing. And forming a bond that is deeper than I could have ever expected.

I see my brothers in a whole new way. When I moved away from home, they were 7 & 9 years old. Little kids, who I loved because they were my brothers but didn’t really know. Now they are 20 & 22, and I love them because I really know them. They are ridiculous and funny. They can be so, so lazy {I mean, who would ever sleep until 11 am?!? Oh wait, I would…}. Yet, they support me and rally behind me like only brothers can do.

While it’s crazy in our American culture to have so.many.people living together, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s cramped at times, wildly messy all the time, and occasionally smells like a frat house. {And don’t even get me started on the ping pong table in our garage.} But this life, this life with family, is beautiful.  Our lives will never look like a movie, but it is so much better than any Hollywood rendition of family.

All of us have an inner critic. A voice within that tells us we can’t achieve our goals, we can’t be victorious.

I spent yesterday morning silencing that voice within me that said I couldn’t finish a marathon. I did finish and it was great.  ::


I ran with my two friends, Adriane and Erika. The weather started off a bit chilly, around 40*, so we made sure to layer up. At Mile 6, we dropped our first layer with our support team. Then at Mile 8, I stripped down to my base layer and dropped it with our next support team.

Let me stop here to say something – This race, all the training, could not have happened if it wasn’t for the support of my amazing husband. Jonathan spent so many mornings taking care of our kids while I was out running. He spent hours Sunday tracking my progress on the course, finding spots to meet me so that he {and our kids and my brother} could shout and cheer for me.

The first 10 miles were nice and easy. I was in a good groove, felt mentally and physically good. At Mile 10, we stopped for water and GU. And that’s when I hit the runner’s wall. If you’ve run a marathon, or read about marathons, there is an infamous “wall” that runners hit. Most experts say it’s around 20 miles. Mine hit at 10 miles. But there’s a reason for that…

You see, I’ve run the Austin Half Marathon twice before. The first 10 miles of the course is the exact same as the marathon course. At Mile 10, you see this sign ::


On the right side of the street is a sign that says :: “13.1 —>” The last two years, I’ve always gone to the right. When I came up to the split, my body said “go left” my mind said “go right”. It was awful. I spent the next 3 miles struggling mentally to get over the idea that I could be done if I had just stayed right.

But I didn’t stay right. I went left. And I kept running.

After getting over that wall, I was able to regain my mental strength. I turned on some music and let myself get lost in the moment. Things went really well till around Mile 21. By this point, Erika had gotten a good break away, but Adriane and I were still together. We were starting to have some serious pain. We took a few walk breaks and even joked that our butts were on fire because our glutes hurt so much. Surprisingly though, the pain seemed to lessen when we ran {or maybe it didn’t lessen, we just ignored it}.

At Mile 22, we saw all our families and friends. It was so, so, SO good. It was the boost we needed to get us through the last 4 miles.

Mile 23-25 are nice downhill miles. See, most people think of Texas as being flat. Well… Austin is part of the Hill Country. And it is called the hill country for a reason. If you’ve ever been to Austin, you know that it is not a flat city and has some pretty nasty hills. Especially if you have to run them.

Having those two miles of easy, made running Mile 26 possible.

As we got closer to Mile 26, you can see one last steep hill in the distance. That hill is literally the only thing between you and the finish. You top that hill, take one right turn and you’ve crossed the finish line.

That hill. Oh that hill. That hill became the voice within that told me I couldn’t do this. After beating my body for 26 miles, that hill represented every person who said this wasn’t possible, every time I wanted to quit, every moment that seemed impossible. But I just made it possible. I just beat that hill and crossed the finish line. I just became a marathoner.


When I crossed the finish line, a flood of emotions erupted. I was yelling and shouting, yet nearly in tears. Six months of training for this one day. Incredible.

Now, here I am, on an ordinary Monday. I’m drinking my coffee and blogging. I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I accomplished a life long dream yesterday, that I became a marathoner. It’s a bit overwhelming. But it’s a good overwhelmed.

Now, once my legs stop hurting, I’ve got another race to plan.

I’ve always dreamed of being a runner. When I trained and ran my first half marathon 3 years ago, I finally allowed myself to believe I was a runner. And while I day dreamed of pushing myself to run a full marathon, the idea of starting {and completing} a 26.2 mile race seemed like a monumental feat.

Not any more.

This Sunday, February 17th, I will be racing in the Austin Marathon.

Last summer, I convinced two of my closest girlfriends to train and race along side me. {Clearly, crazy gravitates to crazy.} We have spent the last 6 months training for two half marathons and now the Big Mama race this weekend.

Adriane, Erika and Me - post 18 mile run

Adriane, Erika and Me – post 18 mile run

Erika and Adriane have challenged and encouraged me. They have stood beside me through injury and flu {well, they kept their distance while I was sick, but did send sweet texts}.  They have pushed me physically and spiritually. Without them, this race wouldn’t happen.

Come next Sunday, I will proudly bare the title “Marathoner”. It has been an incredible experience, a journey of discovery – learning not just how much punishment my body can endure, but how much I need good community and how unbelievably faithful the Lord is when we commit our body and soul to Him.

Funny how you can find yourself shying away from who you truly are sometimes.

I told all y’all {yes, I did just type all y’all} in September that life was too busy to blog. That was true. But there is more to it than that.

You see, about six months ago I wrote a post that is very dear to me. It caused some outrage and it caused some good discussion. Both of which I am totally ok with. What I didn’t realize {or rather didn’t want to admit to myself} was that with some of the backlash came a shying away. I didn’t want to write for fear of it causing another riot. And while I am not one to back down from my beliefs, I am also not one to keep arguing just to argue.

It felt good to walk away from blogging. To defriend some Facebook “friends”. To take a break. However, I’ve wanted to write again for a few weeks now. Yet, I keep getting gun shy, keep worrying about riots. I went so far as to make an alias blog. But what good is an alias, when what I really want is for people to know me?

Who am I?

I’m a girl who loves spontaneity, but can’t live without structure.


I love my Savior beyond words. But I’m not always great at acting out my Christian faith.

Learning more about Christ brings me to my knees. Knowing how depraved I am without Him makes me need Him even more. The closer I grow to God, the bigger He gets. That might seem terrifying, but it brings me comfort more than anything else.

I talk too much. Yet I don’t always speak up when I should.

I start arguments when I don’t feel accepted and loved.

I’ve fought dirty before. It’s not a good thing.

I married up. I am so happy for that.

I work for two princesses.


Before kids I never knew what it meant to love people so deeply beyond myself.

I do now.


I like beer. Shiner, specifically.

And red wine.

I drink often. But not excessively.

Running is a passion.

Then again, so is eating. Which is why running happens.

I screw up. A lot sometimes.

Other days I’m a freakin’ super hero.

I love music, but frankly don’t care for live music. You can call me weird for that one.

I day dream too much.

I try to act cooler than I really am. Which probably makes me less cool than I really am.

I’m more like a librarian that laughs at her own nonsensical jokes.

I am who I am. Yet I will change. I will mess up. I will offend. I will repair. But, I am staying put. I’m not shying away. This is who I am.


You know those days, where every good intention is overshadowed by real life. Where your kids fight the entire time you’re out grocery shopping {“I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you!”}. Where your daughter decides to touch the ceiling, which means she literally climbs the wall, falls off her curtain rod and tears a hole in the wall. Where your 30 minute appointment turns into an hour and a half. Where, during said appointment, your daughter {who climbed the wall} colors all over the baby scale while the adults aren’t looking.

Those days where your two oldest don’t nap and your youngest decides to stay awake till 10pm. Those days where all you hear is “Mom. Mom. Mooooooom!!”. Those days where you go to a birthday party and leave more exhausted than your kids. Those days where you’re certain you’d hire a nanny on the spot if you could.

As crazy {and I do mean c-r-a-z-y} those days are, they also mean days where your husband cooks dinner and cleans out your car. Those days you manage to squeeze in a workout, which gives you a much needed break. Those days that end in a complete blur and you’re ready for bed by 8pm… no make that 6pm… but stay up much later than you should. Those days that seem like they might make you go gray before your 30th birthday. Those days are what make life. And no matter how hard those days are, those days are still good.


Maybe it’s because I had just had a really good workout. Or maybe it’s because I really, really miss running. Or perhaps the crazy heat and pregnancy hormones have finally done me in. Whatever the case may be, last night I signed up for the Austin Half Marathon in mid-February. It’s the same race I ran last year ::

{I was pregnant with Baby Boy and didn’t even know it}

I’ve been debating for a while as to whether or not I should do the race this year. If Baby Boy comes when he is suppose to, it gives me just under 3.5 months before the race to get ready. If he shows up later than expected, that just limits my time.

However, I will say that I’ve been reading up on racing after delivery and will be pacing myself. Unless my body is ready, I don’t plan to run the entire race. My goal is to run 6.5 miles. Anything I can do over that is gravy. The rest of the race I will be walking.  I haven’t set out my exact running plan yet, but it will look something like this :: 1 mile walk, 2 mile run, 1 mile walk, etc.

As I’m staring down the final weeks of my pregnancy, I’m realizing I’m going to need some motivation to exercise once Baby Boy arrives. Now that I’ve paid the runner’s registration fee, I can’t back out. Jonathan won’t let me.

Do you have any races you want to run? What’s your motivation for working out?

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew. I set goals for myself that seem achievable, but are pretty unrealistic {especially when raising 2.5 kids}. And then when I fail, I am overly hard on myself.

In January 2010, I set out on a quest to accomplish 30 things before I turned 30. All great goals, though some were a bit lofty. Like knitting my girls a blanket, when I can’t even knit. Or sewing a dress, when I don’t know how to sew. Or getting my teacher’s certificate {which in Iowa would have meant getting my Master’s and in Texas means redoing part of my undergrad}. Then there was a cross country move, financial choices for not taking a trip overseas and realizing why on earth would I want to start my own business {I am so not a business type person – I will leave that to Jon}.

Now, while I typically would hang my head in defeat, I’ve realized, my 30 before 30 is about setting goals for things I want to accomplish. And it’s totally okay to change them up some along the way. While I might not have learned to knit in the last year, I did learn to finally bake with yeast {and that’s saying something!}.

So, without further ado, here is my revised 30 before 30 list {the first ten are the new additions}. And, if things don’t get done, I’m okay with that – so long as I keep making progress.

1. Learn to play Over The Rainbow on my ukulele

2. Potty train Hannah

3. Learn to build a fire without using matches

4. Learn to crochet {pot holder}

5. Form a pen pal relationship {specifically with my friend in Switzerland}

6. Finish War and Peace {currently reading}

7. Attend a UT football game as a family

8. Learn to bake with yeast {I’m still experimenting, but I’m feeling pretty confident with yeast now}

9. Take the girls camping overnight

10. Take both girls on a horseback ride

11. Run a half marathon (DONE!! 4/18/10)

12. Learn to sew a dress (Learned to sew, now just working on a dress, still)

13. Learn conversational Spanish – 25 phrases {I am up to about 15 phrases – Muy bueno!}

14. Write a children’s book for the girls

15. Learn to play 3 Christmas carols on the piano {I can currently play 2}

16. Read through the Bible {I am about half way through}

17. Have a Girls’ Getaway Weekend (DONE! 9/16/10-9/19/10)

18. Go on a family mission’s trip

19. Visit Colorado

20. Host an over-the-top 5-course dinner party

21. Finish my wedding album (DONE!! 12/27/10)

22. Get a tattoo (DONE!! 4/3/10)

23. Read The Great Gatsby

24. Submit a recipe to Southern Living

25. Speak before a large audience (50+ people) (DONE! 3/3/10)

26. Boldly share the Gospel to the people on my prayer list (While this is on going, my brother did get saved!!)

27. Own a Leg Lamp (DONE! 11/18/10)

28. Learn to make crepes (DONE! 2/21/10)

29. Have another baby {due November 2011!}

30. Learn conversational French – 25 phrases

Do you have a bucket list? What is on yours?

Visit Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

I have feathers. In my hair. On purpose. And quite frankly, they kinda rock.

I have four sections of feather extensions {two on each side}. Two are larger feathers {more of what you think when you think “bird feather”} and then the rest are long and thin {think rooster feathers}. I’d totally go for more, but, as it turns out, feather extensions aren’t cheap. Here in Austin, they average $20-25 a section. Thankfully, my awesome new stylist said she wouldn’t charge me for each extension, just one. You can buy kits, but it seems just as pricey to me, since they are geared more toward salons.

The extensions last up to 4 months. As your hair grows out, you can go back in for them to readjust the feathers {or, with some pliers, do it yourself}. Once the feathers are in, you can wash and style your hair as normal. I was a little worried the first time, but the feathers did fine. My larger feathers reminded me of what a wet bird looks like {sort of poofy and crazy} but they calmed down. I’ve been told, the feathers take on your natural oils with time and blend in completely with your hair. I haven’t noticed that yet with the two larger feathers, but have with the thinner ones.

So far, I’m in love with them. Love, love, love. Jonathan was a little shocked at first – just because I had gotten four sections and, honestly, because of my two big feathers. I think they freaked him out a bit. 😉 I figure it’s just a stepping stone to preparing him for me getting dreads.

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

While I originally only planned for my series to be three parts, I thought you’d all like to know how my half marathon went last weekend. In a nut shell it was awesome.

Before arriving, I was so incredibly nervous I thought for sure I was going to loose my breakfast. I was snapping at Jonathan while he was driving and was just getting overly annoyed and anxious. Everything was going completely opposite of how I’d planned {and specifically how we’d prayed the night before}. However, as soon as I stepped out of the car {with plenty of time to spare thanks to my wonderful husband} I felt a flood of relief. Just like a switch, my nervousness was gone and I felt total peace {thanks God!}.


Half Marathon Training {The Finish}


1. Prepare to be overwhelmed – The most amount of people I’ve ever run with was 30. Sunday I ran with 20,000. Yeah, that’s a lot of folks. And at times it was a bit overwhelming to keep my eye out for people passing me and me passing people. Not to mention the bum rush to water stations and bathrooms.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – When I ran my half last spring I didn’t hydrate well enough. And I paid dearly for it by the end. This time around, I’ve trained with hydration breaks and made sure to stop at every water station I came to. At one point I was tempted to pass the last few by {because of the crowd} but then I remembered “HYDRATE!”.

3. Don’t give up – Somewhere around the 8 mile marker, I was done. My feet were hurting, my time was off and I was ready to lay in the grass and wait for the “dropped runner” cart to pick me up. I started using every metal trick in my book. I made up games. I gave myself a pep talk. I counted how many people I saw in certain colored shirts. Whatever it took to keep me focused {and running} I did it. Running a half marathon is tough, but don’t give up. You can do this. You can do this.

4. Enjoy your victory – My time was off what I expected and half way through I was really beating myself up for it. But once I crossed that finish line I thought “I don’t want time to steal my victory”. And so I didn’t. And I won’t. I ran my race, I did it well, and I succeeded.

Standing outside P.Terry's waiting for my burger and chocolate shake

5. Reward yourself – As a little extra motivation, promise yourself a reward once you complete your run. Maybe a nice night out. Maybe a massage. Or maybe those running shoes you’ve been eyeing for the last year:

*happy sigh*

For Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical and Part 2 – The Mental and Part 3 – The Emotional}.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.

I cried when I finished my half marathon last April. Well, I suppose I didn’t technically cry, since I was borderline dehydrated. But I did cry out. The last mile of my run was overwhelmingly emotional. A mixture of victory and defeat {I walked mile 11 when I wanted to run the entire race}. A relief at being done. A sense of accomplishment, mingled with a desire to do more.

Running is every bit emotional as it is physical and mental. Yet we tend to gloss of the emotions. But I’m here to tell you: It’s your party, cry if you want to.

Half Marathon Training {The Emotional}


1. Finding your center – Wow, if that didn’t sound New Age-y, I don’t know what will. But honestly, running can really help you focus, sort through your emotions, and recenter yourself. Just channeling your efforts into exercise can help clear your mind of “emotional baggage”. I attribute it to all the time aloneyet another reason I don’t listen to music while I run.

2. It’s a BIG deal – Whether you’re completing your goal of a 5K or a marathon, finishing is a big deal. You’ve likely spent weeks training – time away from your family, friends, work {and truthfully favorite t.v. shows}. And coming from a former non-runner, crossing that finish line means so much more than time and speed. It means accomplishing something great. Sometimes accomplishing something great is celebrated with tears.

3. You’re a BIG deal – Once you’ve transformed from non-runner to runner, something about you changes. You understand you can rise to the occasion. You can conquer. You can do something you never thought possible. Whispering in the mirror, “Sarah, you’re a runner” in the wee hours of the morning before I go running gives me the emotional {and mental} confidence to succeed. Despite the stretch marks. Despite the abs that will just never be the same. Despite whatever I’m feeling, I know I can do this. And you can to.

How do you feel after a run? Have you ever cried?

My half marathon is this Sunday. I’m going a little crazy this week with “Am I ready, am I not?”. But come Monday, it will all be done. And it will have so been worth it to wake up and say “I am a runner.

For Part 1 and Part 2 of this three part series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical and Part 2 – The Mental}.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.

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