That's the whole idea of Good Mail, something tangible to let another person know you were thinking about them. It's extremely simple, but so rewarding. It might be in the form of a note, a card, or a little do-dad that caught your eye and made you remember your friend. It's simply spreading a little kindness, generosity and joy. It truly is a bit of joy and goodness right in your mailbox.
That said, I need to document some of the goodness that has come my way recently...
Lisa saying congrats on my marathon. The sticker says goal--how appropriate and very sweet! Thanks Lisa.
Stephanie. Look at the FLAMINGO on the stamp!! Love it. She also sent along some stamps from her stash for A. to play with. Thank you Steph.!
Lacie letting me know she was happy for my marathon accomplishment and she was thinking of me. Thanks Lacie!
Mique sent me this FLAMINGO covered journal and a sweet, sweet card for my birthday and marathon. So funny, because I had just posted about my journal addiction and sneaky Mique had this on its way. I love it!! Thanks Mique!
Jill was so kind to send me this pretty card with a thoughtful note about completing my marathon. Thank you Jill!!
Natasha filled with a set of Mary Engelbreit cards, sticky notes and a rubber stamp. She also sent a thoughtful card congratulating me on the race. Thank you Natasha!!
Amy, sent me this fun card to say "Way to Go" on finishing the marathon. It sings All Star by Smashmouth--how fun is that? Annelise has kind of taken over this card though, that's okay. Thank you Amy!
Kristi sent a thoughtful note with her congratulations about my recent accomplishment. Thank you Kristi!!
Receiving so many kind words and expressions of thoughtfulness fills my heart with joy. Like Jill says, documenting it reminds me of the blessings in my life. I consider myself so fortunate to exchange good mail with not only Friends in Real Life, but also several Bloggy Friends.
Now, I'm in the mood to send some Good Mail. Want to give it a whirl? Send me your address through an e-mail and wait for a bit of joy to arrive in your mailbox!
A. was at Pre-K today, and sure there were things I could do around the house. Things on my list to tackle, groceries to buy, yada-yada, blah-blah.
Instead, I took myself to the early bird matinee to see this:
It was delightful. Mostly. I mean, the premise IS a teenage girl in high school faced with a positive pregnancy test, but that happens you know. It's PG-13 and the language is a bit rough around the edges. And yet.
I liked it.
I liked its quirkiness, its off-beat humor. I LOVE Jason Bateman (Can I just say, LOVE him). I loved that she used a hamburger telephone. I loved how they focused on adoption. I loved her attitude. I liked that there was running in the movie. I liked seeing Dwight (Rainn Wilson) from The Office, I miss him. I loved the soundtrack. It was quirky and cool. I loved that they included a Buddy Holly song. (I may need to watch The Buddy Holly Story soon. Again.) Jennifer Garner was beautiful, controlling and sweet at the same time. I liked that I arrived 2 minutes before show time and I was not freaking out about missing the previews and thereby jeopardizing the entire fun movie experience (a la Scott).
Quick SP before going in. 2 ladies looked at me funny as I was taking my picture with my cell phone. I just smiled and continued to document my experience. They must not be bloggers.After the movie I treated myself to soup and salad at La Madeleine before picking A. up from school. I think I floated home on a euphoric cloud.
Just so you know, in the spirit of a guilt free movie experience, I did vacuum, straighten and clean sinks and potties before I left for the movie. And, no it doesn't bother me to go to the movies by myself from time to time. I promise, I'm only barely a nerd.
If you were given an extra hour, what would you choose to do with it? Hmmm...
This girl can't help it. If an extra hour dropped into my lap, I would gleefully lose myself in a good book. Right now, The Count of Monte Cristo has me in its grasp. Since it has 1200+ pages, I think I'll need several "extra" hours!
What would you do during your 25th hour?
Visit Lelly's Blog to see how other friends would spend their 25th hour.
Odd sidenote: Ever since reading this challenge I can't get Wilson Picket's "Midnight Hour" out of my head. Pesky song.
Lacie was in town with her sweet family for the Men's Retreat taking place this weekend. Here we are posing in front of our soups in Robyn's kitchen. Using the self timers on our cameras was quite entertaining as we dashed back and forth to pose. At least we can say we got our exercise, right?
Look how happy they look in their new home--my freezer!
Our first soup swap was small and simple, but it definitely was a success.
Now for George Costanza...notsomuch...
Well, howdy-do! Wanna help me feed the deer?
Time for a refill!
they will come.
Many moons ago, well...okay, last April, I jumped feet first into the world of blogging. A dear friend, Lacie, was moving to another town, and she started a blog to keep in touch. Blog? Hmmm...I thought to myself, "Self, this seems like it would be fun." Since I'm a joiner, (Got a bandwagon? I'll jump on it.) I absolutely HAD to try this crazy little thing called blogging.
I have stewed and brewed over changing my blog name to one that is broader, something more universal since I talk about all sorts of topics (thank goodness) and not just marathons and flamingos. However, I can't come up with anything else. Any suggestions?
How did you come up with the name for your blog?
Pop over to Lelly's Blog to uncover the mysteries behind other blog titles.
On one hip, very cool music man, Dan Zanes.
Truth be told, I have been known to turn the volume up when we listen to his CDs in the car. Or when we see him on TV. Shhh...don't tell anyone.
His music is just a whole lot of fun. And I'm a grown-up and all that.
Oh...yeah, Annelise likes him too.
You can find and listen to some of his CDs HERE.
Which song is your favorite?
Just ran across this fun swap and wanted to share the goodness. I can't resist sharing a little bit of LOVE. Can you?
Hurry though, today is the last day to sign up!! Go ahead, you know you want to!
****EDITED TO ADD**** The LOVE swap sign-up has been extended one more day, so hop over there and join in on the swappin' fun!!! Go...now....
Once again, I am a little late with my SPT. I figure it's better to at least do this late, than not at all. If you are interested in trying out SPT for yourself, you can read more about it here.
My spin on this week's challenge might be a tad different. That's one of the fun things about SPT, it's open to interpretation. I enjoy expressing myself creatively in many ways, from crafts, making cards, scrapbooking, and of course through blogging. I am also learning to express my creative side through photography.
The most important way I see and express the "me within" is through journaling.
I went through my stash of filled, partially filled and blank journals and was surprised by how many I have collected. Yes, it's a weakness, one of many. I am always thrilled with the anticipation of writing in a blank, new notebook. The potential. The life waiting to be documented. Some are spiral bound with a nice cover, some are just spiral notebooks or composition books. Some were prayer journals, some were for daily happenings (or non-happenings as the case may be), some recorded our journey through infertility and adoption, and some recorded my running adventures.
When I opened them up and arranged them for a picture I was so happy to see the progression of time and the memories recorded. Yes, there are sometimes huge gaps between the dates and often I'm just rambling about mundane, daily tasks. Still though, it's a record of me. That makes me truly happy.
Hop over to Lelly's blog to take a closer look at some other creative minds.
Steamed? Grilled? Well, those are all yummy, but we also like ours up on the big screen. Today we had a family date. First, we enjoyed our favorite Tex Mex lunch, then it was off to the movie show. Any guesses what we saw?
Sadly, A. left her shades in the car.
Now that she is 4, and this was of all things, the Veggie Tales, I was hopeful that we would be able to make it through the entire movie without a cryin' jag. See, A. either gets scared or if one of the characters gets hurt or is sad, she emphasizes with them. Loudly. Strangely enough, Madagascar is the only movie we made it all the way through, and it remains an all time favorite.
Things were going well, until the incident with the rock people and a tad too much big mean pirate guy. Oh well. She did enjoy most of it, especially the Rock Monster (Did you know that was a take off on The B-52s Rock Lobster?) song at the end. She even played pirate for a while when we got home.
Personally, I like the Veggie Tales. Not only do they have a moral and often biblical message, they are adorable vegetables. I especially like the silly songs (my favorite is Larry's song "I Love My Lips"), I'm just strange that way I guess. So enjoy a bit of silliness on me...
Is it Joan Jett? Anne Wilson? Eddie Van Halen? Steven Tyler?
Nope. Straight from a time warp or a casting call for "I Love the 80s", it's Bed Head Annelise. This, my friends, is what I deal with every morning. 80s rocker hair.
I have always enjoyed Kelly's Five for Friday posts. They seem to be an ideal way to assemble a hodgepodge of happenings. So, since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I'm totally copying.
1. I recently crawled out from under this...
and discovered this...
I had heard about Nutella, but never tried it. Yesterday, I toasted a slice of cinnamon raisin bread and smeared a dab across the top. Nutella, where have you been all my life? I'm in serious trouble.
2. I hope I hide it well, but lately I haven't felt very smart. I'm not sure how to describe it other than Mom Brain. I feel like I have variations of the same conversations over and over. Dullsville. I have been inspired by April's word of the week. She enlightens us each week with a new word to stretch our vocabulary a bit. I. Love. This. I just pop over there and BAM! I instantly feel smarter. This week the word was charily. Perfect word post marathon. I walked charily around the house for several days, trying not to wince. Thanks April for helping my Mom Brain.
3. Another way I try to fight Mom Brain is by escaping into a good book and allowing the language to wash over me, all the while hoping I absorb some of it. For several days I've been at a loss trying to decide my next book. While the Earth is still rotating on its axis, this has caused me to be very out of sorts. You know how I feel about my books. I started two, only to quickly dismiss them (Time and Again by Jack Finney and Saturday by Ian McEwen. Sorry guys.). I don't really think of myself as a tough customer, but the book has to grab me fairly quickly or at least show promise in order for me to stick with it. Now I've settled on The Winthrop Woman, however, I am still in that precarious early stage. I'm sure Ms. Seton is trembling with anticipation in her grave.
4. Annelise has a couple of favorite new phrases. "Mom, you've been in your pajamas for HOURS!" or "Mom, are you going to wear your pajamas ALL DAY?" or "Mom, you wore that yesterday." Yes, they are true statements. Not sure what this says about me exactly, but I'm pretty sure I'm in a decline fashion wise. Sigh.
5. Because I know you have been wondering, I am still mulling over my word for 2008. I have tried on a few to see if they fit and I still haven't been able to choose. I imagine my word should challenge me yet remain comfortable, like favorite jeans (or in my case pajamas). I'm sure I am putting way to much pressure on this little word and over thinking the whole thing. It happens. Mom Brain is not helping either. Sigh.
How do you combat Mom Brain? How do you feel about pajamas? Have you ever tried Nutella?
Last Friday night my running group, Bay Area Fit, hosted a very special event called the Blessing of the Feet. It might sound silly, but it truly is an excellent way to end the official training season and set the tone before race day. After a pasta supper we listened to some motivational talks, celebrated achievements, and yes, blessed our feet.
There were over 500 members in Bay Area Fit this year and most made it to the start line Sunday. The group is made up of experienced runners and beginners. Their motto is get up off the couch and Change Your Life. It works.
I received a huge surprise Friday night during the award presentations. I was just sitting there minding my own business, enjoying the show...when they called my name!! What?!? The coaches had chosen me as one of the "Outstanding Returning Members". I was floored and walked up on stage in a daze!
Receiving this award meant a lot to me. During the race, when I realized things weren't going how I had planned or trained, I was even more embarrassed because of that plaque. Now I see though that sticking it out to the finish was most important, so I guess they'll let me keep it!
During the race, when A. wasn't cheering the runners and ringing a cow bell...
She found time to color on the convention center floor.
That number has always made my heart beat a little faster and given me a little thrill. Silly as it may sound, now I feel like I've finally earned the right to have the sticker on my window.
Sunday afternoon I was convinced I would NEVER run another marathon. I was going to stick with the Half and write 26.2 off as an error in judgment.
Yesterday I told Scott that I WOULD try again next year and I wasn't going let the Chevron Houston Marathon get the best of me.
He almost rolled off the couch.
Call me crazy. I can live with that.
This video has been making its way around the web, so you may have already seen it. Let me just say, having just completed this feat, this video is right on the money. Well, I wouldn't know about the last guy's problem, but still...
Monday morning A. bumped her arm and was crying in her room upstairs. Marathon Mom (me) actually asked her to come DOWN so I could comfort her. Proud mom moment, but stairs are NOT my friend right now.
Tuesday has been worse than Monday. I keep muttering, "My quads, my quads, why hast thou forsaken me?" I am hoping tomorrow will be better. I should have tried to at least walk or do the elliptical today, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Thursday I will ask more of my legs. Right now sitting for the potty is painful, so I'm just trying to survive!
The day had arrived. The event I had spent several months training for was finally about to begin. As I made my way to the starting corral on the Marathon side I was teary eyed and nervous. It hit me what I was about to do. Thankfully, as I wandered through the people waiting to start, I found several of my running group buddies and being with them calmed my nerves.
Soon we were on our way, a huge sea of people with a common goal. It was exhilarating!
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4
I kept going, trying to stick with my run/walk intervals. I was still close to my target pace, so I felt okay. Quick visit to the lovely Port-a-Pottie and back on the road again.
Now I was leap frogging with the 6:00 hour pace group. Okay. Somewhere around mile 17 I made a mistake. I looked back.
Thankfully, I did not turn into a pillar of salt, but still...
The pace police cars were on my heinie!!! How did THAT happen?
I had become part of a small band of stragglers and we were being pushed along by the police and the threatening vans whose job was to pick up the support stations. Uh-oh.
See, the Houston Marathon has a course time limit of 6 hours. I knew that. However, I did not realize how early they start breaking things down to adhere to their policy. And what this realization would do to my mental game. I now know I should have used the anger I felt at those pace cars to dig deep and pick things up. Instead, I felt defeated and slowed even further.
Our little band of stragglers continued on. Even when we were pushed off the course onto sidewalks, bike trails, across construction sites, etc. we kept going. When we saw the dismantled support tables, the crews picking up the trash, the course cones being removed, we kept going.
I struggled with feelings of disappointment, worry, frustration, and embarrassment. Some kind ladies were handing out bottles of water along with pretzels and crackers around mile 20. I wish I could send them a thank you note! I had been worried about fluids since they were dismantling the course ahead of us. These ladies saved us!
At mile 22 Scott was waiting along with some other kind supporters checking on the stragglers. I was terribly embarrassed of my performance and didn't want him to take my picture. However, it is part of my whole experience so I guess I'm glad he didn't listen to me.
I missed shaking former President George Bush's hand at mile 23; I missed the belly dancers (they were packing up but told us to hang in there); I missed spectator support the last few miles. The sweet lady I was with kept saying she didn't care about getting a medal or a shirt, she just wanted to finish. I was not the bigger person, I still WANTED my stuff!!
Eventually we made our way into downtown and closer to the finish line. Our little band of stragglers crossed the finish line as they were taking everything apart. Yes. We were met by enthusiastic cheers from our personal supporters. It was more intimate that way.
One of the volunteers handed out medals to the families that were waiting in the stands so that we would get one when we finished. Thank you! Other volunteers stayed longer inside the convention center to hand out finisher shirts, I was so thankful they waited!