Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Running 101: Shoes

Well, I'm still plodding along with the running....I'm up to 9 miles!!! Woo Hoo!

I thought I'd share a quick funny story about my shoes.

As you may or may not know, I began this whole running thing back in March. I had been wanting to give it a try and actually started running last year, right before I turned 40. A couple of months into it, I ended up getting mono of all things! Who gets mono when they are turning 40??? Me, of course.

I was knocked on my butt, literally for about 3 months. That was the end of my running career.

This March, one year later, I was trying to do anything to pull myself out of a low period in my life, and just kind of prove to myself that I was alive. That's when I went back to the running. Back then, it was cool and of course it's about one million degrees out and the humidity is like a sauna, but I'm still hanging in there.

In April, when I had been running a month and had signed up to run in the MCM, I was talking to my Dad on the phone.

Our conversation was something like this:

Dad: "You know Kat (because that's what he calls me) if you're serious about doing this, you really need to get a good pair of running shoes."

Me: "Yea, I know Dad. I'm gonna do that."

Dad: "You know you can't just go to Kohl's and get any old pair of running shoes."

Me: "Oh......yea, I know that." 

(Thinking to myself, shoot, what about my 20% off coupon??)


Me: "Okay, where can I get some good running shoes??"

Dad: "I know just the place."

So, a few days later my Dad ended up meeting me at Road Runners, a running store, to help me pick out some real running shoes.

When we got there, the salesman had me walk across a pad that was hooked up to a computer that took a scan of my foot. From this, they could tell about my arches and the weight distribution on my foot. Then, they had me run on a treadmill while they videotaped the back of my calves and feet.

(There's nothing like seeing a close up of the back of your fat calves while you're running.....not pretty:)

From the video (which they also showed me in slow motion.....lovely) they could tell the amount of pronation that I had....that's a fancy running word to see if you lean in on your feet when they land.

So, while I'm huffing and puffing away on the treadmill my Dad is talking to me.

Dad: You know that when I used to run my thighs were as big around as some people's waists.

Me: Uh, Dad, that's not really making me want to do the whole running thing.

Then, the salesman walks us over to the wall of shoes and shows me the section I should choose from. I pick a couple of pairs. He measures my foot and then tells me that for running I should get shoes one size bigger than I normally wear....(which by the way is huge for my height.)

I tell him, "Again, that's not making me feel so good about the running thing."

Sheesh! Men!

I bought the shoes, (they ended up being 1/2 size bigger than what I normally wear......they are size Huge and a half. :)

Here they are:

Lesson learned: If you want to run, get yourself some good shoes. They really aren't that expensive at all, and they've made a big difference.

PS. For all you family members, once I upload my pix I'll post some good ones from this weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Play Room - My First Window Mistreatment

Ta Da!! What do you think??? It's my first "Window Mistreatment"!!

No, I didn't think of this idea myself....once again, I have to give credit to The Nester.
(Boy, my house is looking much better thanks to blogging!!)
Here it is....and the best was FREE! I already had the fabric left over from our Morning Room curtains. I folded and folded and tacked it up with upholstery tacks.

I also took some rope & clothespins out of our camping bin and hung up some of my Little Buddy's artwork....isn't it cute??? Again....FREE!!
This is what the window looked like underneath.....just your basic basement window well.
Don't go thinking I'm is what it looked like behind me. (Yes, the inside of this closet is green.....that is what color the whole room used to be.)

Meet Dakota, my design assistant.

PS. For all you paint color googlers....the color is Plantation Beige by Duron. It looks a little darker in the basement.

***Updated 8/20/08  I am one of the featured bloggers on Blog Around the World today and it is also my 100th post.  To read about it and enter my giveaway....go to today's post here!! 

Thanks for stopping by from the Nester's place.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dining Room --- Stuff on the Walls

Do you remember this Spring when I went to my local mission store and had a great time picking out all of these plates???

The Nester had done a post about hanging plates on your walls....and I was totally inspired. This was so long ago people, that she has since moved to and decorated a new house!  

(She's done a few posts on if you want to see other great pictures of plates on the wall...head on over there and click around.)

Well, I finally got around to having Bri help me hang them up in our Dining Room. 

We used to have a tapestry hanging on this wall. I wish I had a before pix to show you, but no such luck. The tapestry went bye-bye this Spring. I never really liked it. I had gotten it for cheap when an elderly couple down the street was having an estate sale. They were moving to a retirement home. The tapestry was in there Dining Room and looked okay. The price was right so I snatched it up, before another ruthless shopper could get a hold of it.

Anyway, this Spring, one of my friends was having a yard sale for charity. I had set aside a pile of stuff to donate to her and at the last minute decided to add the tapestry to the loot. I literally took it off the wall, rolled it up, and handed it to her.

So now, only a mere 3 months later, I've finally got plates on my wall.

What do you think??

When we finished hanging these up, I said, "That looks so much better and a lot less grandmother-y."

Bri replied, "Uh, sorry Honey, but I don't think you can get much more grandmother-y than hanging plates on your wall!!!"

Then, Veruka came in and said, "Ewww, What's up with the plates on the wall? It looks like something an old person would do."

My apologies to the Nester. I don't care what they say, I love it.

Here's a close up....I picked out lots of different patterns and textures. I think that probably helps add some interest. They are all creams and whites....which helps tie them all together. 

(That kind of sounded professional didn't it?)

If you decide to do this, I recommend laying your plates out on the table or floor. Then play around with them, to see what works and where.

It is also much easier if you have a second person to help you hang them....a friend, a kid, a sister, or in my case a husband...(thanks Honey!)

We (I mean Brian) also hung this cool piece on our other wall. I had picked it up even before I got the plates. I like reminds me of the wrought iron, scroll work in Charleston.

I also like that it has some dimension. See how it sticks out from the wall?

Here are the finished walls.

Come back next week to see what the Nester inspired me to do in my Playroom!

PS. For any of you (Dad) who were concerned about why my blog came up under "How to torture your family"...
Click here to find out.

PS.  An update for you paint color googlers......the paint colors are Behr Harvest Brown and Behr Velvety Merlot.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How'd you find me??

My statcounter at the bottom left side of my blog has a neat feature. Not only does it tell me the # of people who've been to my blog, it can tell me what people googled that led them to my blog.

Some of them are pretty funny and pretty strange.

Here are my top 10 favorites:

10. Tales from the Homefront - That one's obvious and googled the most.

9. Poetry project - Hmmm. You wouldn't be trying to copy someone elses project would you??I'm sure teenagers never use the internet to cheat.

8. Crutches - Got it, maybe someone needed to research the different types or wanted a picture of crutches.

7. Boy on crutches- Strange!!?? Why do you want to see a boy on crutches?

6. Laundry Room makeover - Hopefully, they liked what they saw. :)

5. Big hair- I think maybe it's coming back.....of course, the year I get my sassy short haircut.

4. Beth Moore's hairdo - I bet this person was sorely dissappointed. They were looking for Beth, and all they got was my blog! Ha!

3. Plantation Beige by Duron - There are tons of people googling this! Who knew???

2. Tobacco Road by Duron - Again tons of people looking for pictures of Tobacco Road paint. I'd never have thought to google paint color pictures.....

....and the #1 strangest phrase that people have googled that led them to my blog is:

1. How to torture your family- Who is googling this???? Apparently, the people at google, think my blog will tell them how to do this!

Monday, July 21, 2008


It has happened, the sun, the moon, and the stars must have all aligned 3 kids are away until tomorrow!  That's right, you read correctly.....all 3 kids....left Sat with GMa & GPa and won't get home until Tuesday afternoon!   

We've hit the trifecta.  Believe it or not, this rarely happens. Both sets of grandparents watch our kids once a year while we have a work trip to attend, but other than that the trifecta rarely happens.


I can literally count on one hand the number of times that all 3 kids were gone....even for a few hours at someone else's house....and we were at home.


Staying at home with my kids is a decision I've never regretted. However, 13 years without a break is a long time.  Even though they are now all 3 in school, it seems as if the moments alone still are not enough.  Does that make any sense?  I don't know if it's our busyness, or if it will just take awhile for me to get there.  

Lately, I have to confess, I've been feeling run down, worn out....kind of 'over it'...if you know what I mean.  Summertime will do that. This break has been such a blessing. Thank you, thank you, thank you...M & D.

This morning I came across a blog that a friend of a friend started.  (I told you I do that can be dangerous!)  Anyway, this couple just lost their baby boy a month ago. He was born healthy, went to the hospital for dehydration and things spiraled from there.  He ended up seeming to have one problem after another and eventually died.  He was just 6 months old.  I had been following their story the whole time Baby J was in Hopkins through their hospital website.  Today was the first time I'd read her blog.

Understandably, she speaks of unimaginable sorrow, and how she's just trying to survive each day.  She and her husband have 3 other kids.  Here is something she wrote:

"I pray for the millions of parents out there.  I pray that they know the true gift and miracle of being a parent and that they use that gift wisely.  May they see the magic in their child's eyes and NEVER take a single moment for granted."

Whew!  I think that one was for me.  I am hoping and praying that by the time my kiddos return tomorrow, I am rejuvinated, ready to engage, and ready to be a better mom.  I have much to be thankful for.  It is sometimes so easy to take it all for granted.

If you want to check out my friend's, friend's blog, her name is Amy and here is the link:

I wanted to leave you with a short funny story.  This was what I was originally going to post about today, it's funny how sometimes you sit down to write and something entirely different comes out.

At the beginning of the summer, some neighbors of ours were getting ready to have some work done on their home.  A small sign was placed in their front yard listing the company's name and # and a port-a-potty was delivered and placed on the side of the house.  We happened to be driving out of the neighborhood while the port-a-potty was being taken off the truck.

Mike TV was with me and he says to me:

Mike:  Cool, it looks like the Joneses (not their real names) are putting in a port-a-potty. Awesome!  

Me:  I think they are getting their basement finished.  The port-a-potty is for the workers to use.

Mike:  Oh, so you mean when their basement is finished, they will take away the port-a-potty?

Me:  Yep.

Mike:  That is too bad.

Is that the way an 8 year old boy thinks, or what???  :)

Have a good day.  I'm out of here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So How's the Running Coming Along??

Well, let's just's coming along.  Slowly, very slowly.    I am currently up to 7 miles. That's right people, 7 miles!!!!  In my little world, that is A LOT.  However, I've still got a long way to go......figuratively and literally! 7 miles is not 26.2 miles....if you know what I mean.

When I started running back in March, I could run about 2 houses down the street.  Seriously, I could barely finish a mile around the High School track.  I am not a natural runner by any means.  I think my body naturally wants to walk, sit, or even lay down....but run, not really, not so much.

So, that leads me to why am I doing this.   That's usually the second question I get asked....right after question #1, which if you remember, is 

#1 "Do you know how long a marathon is?" 
(Go HERE for my answer.)

#2 "Why do you want to run a marathon?"

Well, it's on my list.  My OLT List.  What is OLT you ask? Once in a LifeTime.  Funny thing is that just this week I just watched the movie The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman (love him, by the way.)  My OLT List is kind of like a Bucket List.  I started my list when I turned 40's basically things that I want to accomplish or do in my life.  I read somewhere that only 1% of the people in the world can say that they've run a marathon....that intrigued me. 

So, I know you're dying to know.....what else is on my OLT List???

1.  Go back to Hawaii  (Did that but, I still want to go again....can you ever get enough?)
2.  Go to Alaska.
3.  See all 50 states....I've been to about 45.
4.  Write and publish a book.
5.  Run a Marathon.
6.  Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride.
7.  Go on a Helicopter Ride.  (Did was scary, but cool.)
8. Go Sky Diving.....Jump out of an Airplane.
9.  Go Rock Climbing.
10.  See the Pyramids in Egypt.
11.  Go to Europe....Italy, France, England, Germany.

There's more....but I think you get the idea.

The key phrase here is Once in LifeTime.....Once.  I want to do it and check it off.  I'm not trying to become the next Bruce Jenner.  Don't worry, all of you real athletes, I'm no threat to you. I'm sure that after October 26th I'll be back to my usual routine at the gym, 20 minutes on the eliptical machine.  I can't see me sticking with the running thing long term.  Many, many days I say to myself, "You should've done the Hot Air Balloon ride....and skipped right over running a marathon!"

Something many of you guys might not know about me is that when I was younger (11 years old) I was diagnosed with a bone tumor in my left thigh.  I had surgery to have it removed.  The recovery took a couple of months, but then all seemed well. Unfortunately, that was short lived.  The doctor didn't get all of the tumor and it grew back.  So, the following year (6th grade) I had to have a second operation.  This time they got all of the tumor, but in order to do so, they had to remove a huge piece of my bone.  This time the recovery took about a year and a half.  That's right....a year and a half....from the end of 6th grade to the middle of 8th grade. During that time I had a body cast for the first few months....a cast from my toe to my waist. When the cast came off I had to use crutches and then even worse, a metal brace.  The brace was metal with leather straps.  It had hinges that would squeek, at the ankle, knee, and hip. It was attached to my shoe.  It looked exactly like the leg braces in Forrest Gump that he ran out of.  I hated it. I'm sure you can imagine what it was like having to wear that during Junior High.  

(By the way, for all you young people, Junior High is what Middle School used to be called, back in the 'Old Days')

Surprisingly, most kids were very nice to me during that time. I had lots of close friends that stayed by my side and I actually made tons of new friends.  I can't explain why, you'd think I would've been an outcast...but I wasn't.  God was good to me.

That period of my life has shaped me in many ways.  It grew me up quickly.  If you know what I mean.  I was wise and a deep thinker after that....a 30 year old in an 11 year old body.   That operation and long recovery was totally worth it, the tumor never came back.

So, for me to be able run in a marathon is pretty cool.
This post is way longer than I intended.  Sorry about that. I will keep you posted on the running....there's more to come.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I have a small dilemma.  As you all know, my youngest is 8. He's right in the prime of the "Birthday Party Years", as I like to refer to them.

This coming week he has four birthday parties.  That is right, four.   Two of the parties are for good friends of his, the other two are for kids that he that he is friends with......but kids that he doesn't usually play with.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that he has so many friends and is invited to so many parties, but on the other hand, it seems a bit excessive.    Plus at $15 per gift, we're looking at $60 in gifts this week alone.  

My dilemma is this:

How do I say no without lying?

I don't want to lie and say that he is busy, when he is not.  I don't think that's teaching him the right thing.  But how do I decline gracefully???

You'd think I'd have this figured out by now, since he is my 3rd kid, but I'm stumped.  

How do you handle Birthday Party Overload?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tiger & Twirling

Last week Little Buddy was part of a golf camp.  He was soooo cute!  Look out Tiger Woods.

The golfing cousins!

My Girl marched in a parade and then twirled in her last competition of the season.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Missing this Boy!

He's been away all week this week with our church at camp. It is always so strange when one of my kids is away.....especially for a week. It just doesn't feel right. There is an emptiness that I can't stand.

I get to pick him up today at the church at 2PM and I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day in Charleston

So, one of the days, while we were in MB, my Sis & Bro-in-Law watched our kids....and Bri & I drove into Charleston, SC for the day. I hesitated putting this post up...just because it sounds so BORING, but it really was a fun day.

It is NOT somewhere that my kids would've liked, but it was nice for a grown up day.

We got there and went on a horse drawn carriage tour of the city. It looked kind of like this one, but ours had 2 horses pulling it....(actually they were mules...not that it matters, but just thought I'd state the facts.)

Here is the view from our carriage.

It took us around the city, and we looked at a lot of beautiful houses.

Many of the houses in Charleston have porches (or piazzas, as they call them). A lot of them have a front door that opens onto the porch....isn't that cool?

After our carriage ride, we walked around and looked at more houses. See, I told you it was going to sound boring.

I LOVED the windows on the houses. They all had real shutters....the kind that actually close.
It was so charming.

O Romeo, O Romeo, where for art thou??

We learned that the more panes on a window...the older it was. Fascinating, I know, isn't it?

(I think Brian should get some bonus points for this trip...don't you?? This was not really his thing...if you know what I mean.)

The other thing that was neat to see was all of the wrought iron scroll work on the houses.

We saw this funny sign.....not sure why it's so blurry, I guess the photographer messed up. :)

We also saw this pretty rooster, I know....the excitement just won't stop!!!

We walked around Battery Park. The history there goes back a long time. It was interesting.  These people fought the Indians, the Spaniards, PIRATES (that's right I said Capt Jack Sparrow), and then the Northerners in the Civil War.  Whew!

Then, we drove around and guessed it...more houses..... and some other things like this church...

...and this building that was used to store gunpowder....also the oldest surviving building in Charleston.

View of the water.....Charleston is actually a peninsula that is surrounded by 2 rivers...the Ashley River and the Cooper River.

This is a view of Fort Sumpter in the distance. It is where the Civil War started. We didn't have time to go out to it, but if we go to MB again, we may take the kids there. They are actually very interested in the Civil War.

We ate lunch at a local restaurant, and I am not kidding, this is what Brian ate:

Fried green tomatoes, stuffed with crab cakes, covered with cream of crab soup, served on a bed of grits.

Doesn't that sound gross? It actually wasn't that bad.

I had baked fish. :)

We'd had enough "southern food" for the day, so we had dinner here. Fun!

That's it for your history lesson. Have a good day!