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There’s stuff in my brain that really wants to come out via a blog post.  There are many thoughts on life as it relates to running, or training for a race…. It’s all there, sort of on the tip of my tongue, but it’s stuck.  When it becomes unstuck…oh man, it’s like, you’re gonna be so blown away.  You’re gonna want to stitch it on a sampler.  Make a t-shirt.  Get a tattoo.  Quote it in your facebook status.  Hire a skywriter.  Just you wait.  Hold on to your hats…..

Maybe I shouldn”t make such grandiose claims.  Just in case it comes out semi-sucky.  Oh well, in any case, stay tuned!

I say that I want to live like a dog while thinking in terms of the essence of a dog, not so much the whole licking oneself and eating garbage.  Anywho, I think humans are amazingly adept at complicating life.  Sure, we live more complicated lives than dogs do, but for the most part, we take ourselves way too seriously. 

I am a dog person.  I looooooovvve the puppies.  And I call all dogs puppies.  The actual puppies are called baby puppies.  Yup.  Feel free to laugh, I’m sure you may already be doing so.  I do not care.  The incredible species of canine has brought me unending happiness in my life. 

I have recently joined forces with a local animal rescue (Fur Angels Animal Sanctuary), as a foster mom.  It was a no-brainer for me, but it took some convincing for my husband to be on board.  He’s a newbie dog person, his eyes opened to the wonders of puppies by his lovely wife.  We’ve had only two fosters so far.  The first was a baby puppy, about 4 or 5 months old and a TOTAL cutie!  We (and by “we” I mean, the kids) named him Marty after the zebra in “Madagascar”.  He was snatched up in just 7 days due to his age and complete adorableness.  I’m proud to say that I’ve heard from his Mom and Dad that he has recently graduated from puppy obedience class.  Yay Marty!

Currently, we are fostering Bella.  She’s supposedly a pit bull mix, but she looks more like an oversized Boston Terrier.  She’s a sweet sweet girl, about 2 years old, and has made huge strides since being with us.  She was terribly nervous and anxious when she first came home, but a loving home, good food, and plenty of affection has turned her right around.

I love being a foster mom for these pups who so deserve a second chance.  Having two dogs in the house has had it’s challenges, but I am still reminded every day at how life would be much happier if we were to take our cue from these amazing animals.

Dogs Love Unconditionally

If only we all loved like they do!  “Did you lose your cool and yell at me?  No problem, I forgive, because I love you so so so much.”  There’s really not much a person can do to their pup to make them stop loving them.  I see God in how they love.  I have even been reminded of how I need to forgive and show love to my husband and children because of my puppies.  Puppies do not look for faults or conditions, they just LOVE.  Purely, passionately, and with plenty of affection!

When They’re Happy, They’re not Just Happy, They’re  Unspeakably Joyful!

I think humans are the only animal who try to control their emotions because of a subconscious feeling that showing emotion makes one vulnerable.  When dogs are happy though, their ENTIRE body shows it!  I just LOVE to see our two dogs wiggle their whole body in a no-holds-barred expression of joy!  If we expressed joy, praise to God, happiness over whatever (Yay! You pooped in the potty! – Yay! I managed to take a shower before noon!), in the same way, wouldn’t we also inspire those around us to feel some of that joy?  And wouldn’t that be amazing?

They Take Time to Rest

I know, I’m sure some of you may be saying, “Well, duh.  It seems like sleeping is all they do!”.  True, we often say that our own baby, Gracie, takes an average of 7, 915 naps a day.  But I think their ability to just drop, relax, and sleep is fantastic skill.  I can’t tell you how many times I climb into bed and my brain is still going 1000mph, unable to turn off.  If I could behave more canine-like, I’d have no hang-ups from the day, I’d just lay down and be asleep in seconds.  It makes me question, am I doing too much, or am I just putting way too much importance on things that I do, that I can’t put aside those things at the end of the day, to rest.  Good heavens, even the Lord rested!  And since we’ve lost the whole idea of keeping a Sabbath, it appears that many of us have also lost the ability to rest.  And not with a “I’ll do it tomorrow” sort of attitude (that implies that no work has been done at all), but rather with a “I’ve worked hard today, done what I needed to do, and tomorrow is a new day” attitude.

Dogs Greet Loved Ones With Joy

Without fail, every time I return home, even after a quick trip, the puppies greet me as if I had been gone for years.  It’s like the return of the prodigal son every time I come in the door!  It’s so edifying to be loved so purely, so passionately.  I know that when I greet my friends and family with that same attitude of love and genuine happiness to see them, it makes them feel pretty darn good, too.  Being greeted like that communicates to a person, “I am loved, I matter to her!”  Wouldn’t that just fill your “love tank”?

There are so many things I can learn from my puppies and I can see how I may be revisiting this topic. 

Oh crap, the dogs just tracked in mud.  Well, friends, nobody’s perfect.  🙂

Listen people.  I enjoy working out.  I think I’ve made that clear.  However, my Irish heritage does not lend itself to cute apres-workout complexion.  I look like a red-faced crazy person and my friends….the face STAYS red for a while afterwards.  Even if I put really cold water on there and stand in front of a fan.  But again, like I said in my previous post, I am embracing this look.  I can rock this look.  I make the red face look good

Proof:

Rockin' it

So don’t feel jealous friends.  Perhaps you, too, can one day rock this look.  Just work out like a fiend and see what happens.

I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because there’s been a lot going on.  Not so much schedule-wise, but emotionally.  Some stuff from the past has reared it’s enormously ugly head over the last week and frankly, I’m really emotionally drained from it. 

I don’t think I’ll blog about what it is specifically, because it’s personal and I’m still dealing with it and I’m not sure what the outcome will be.  The good news is, I’m dealing with it.

I think throughout all of this, I’ve been learning a great deal and growing even more.  I can see how my thirties have so far been a decade of extreme growth which is fantastic, though at times very painful.  Here’s really the main thing that has become clear to me.  My past does not dictate who I am.  Yes, it’s a part of me, it’s what brought me to where I am, but it doesn’t mean I have to keep “punching that card” of monotonous living.  I’ve spent too much time saying “no” to things that I was scared of, or just didn’t see myself doing.  Par examplay, I never considered myself a runner because I really detested it.  So when my friend asked if I wanted to do a 5K with her, I immediately said, “No way, thankyouverymuch”.  But then the more I thought about it, I realized that I was holding myself back from something that might turn out to be really amazing.  And I have to say, since I started my training, I have seen, and I feel improvement and it’s so encouraging.  I actually look forward to the next time I get to run.  I know, I’m crazy.

So I’m not going to let this horrible thing from the past hang over me anymore.  I won’t let it hold me back.  If I want to try something, I’m going to try it.  I mean, within reason of course.  This new life credo does not lend itself to things like crack or ghost hunting or hiking in the woods to throw things at sleeping bears. 

This morning while I ran (a full 5K mind you!), I had a seriously spiritual experience.  The temperature was perfect, the wind was lovely, the sun was delicious, and the birds were a-chirpin’!  I didn’t hear anything else, but nature.  And there I was, doing something I never would have done if I hadn’t made a conscious decision to try something new. 

And now my waist is smaller, endorphins are pumping through my body, and I’m feeling pretty awesome.  As I ran/power walked through my workout, I found myself crying.  I just started to tell myself, “You are not ‘that girl’ anymore.  You don’t have to shrink back from physical stuff anymore because you’re scared you will come in last or other people will be much better than you.  This isn’t about anyone else, it’s about you.  You deserve to be the best ‘you’ you can be.  Just look at you now!  Running and pushing yourself to keep going and finishing completely dripping with sweat, red-faced, and grinning like a fool.  You are amazing!”

So that little self-motivating speech is not just for me, but for all of you reading this.  Don’t let your past patterns keep you from trying new things, learning something new, and discovering how amazing you are!

While joyfully singing and dancing around in my kitchen this evening, I reached up to open a cabinet and apparently subconsciously went with the superwoman strength reach coupled with the poor hand-eye coordination girl and jammed my finger into the edge of my microwave.  Some flat metal part of the microwave went right under my fingernail. 

In case you’re wondering….that really hurts.   A lot.  And the pain continues as you attempt to clean up after your children and inevitable jarring of your finger again and again thereby revisiting the previous immense pain. 

Okay, so maybe IMMENSE pain isn’t accurate.  But you can’t argue with me that breaking a bone, having surgery, labor pains, etc. don’t make getting papercuts NOT painful.  Geesh, did that sentence make sense?  You know what I’m getting at, right?  Also, washing dishes with that separated skin from under the nail is quite painful as well.  I think we all know the moral of the story here.  Stop being so joyful.  At least around metal appliances. 

In other news, as the mother of three kids, there is always something hilarious being said by one of them….at least the ones who speak.  And Myles is starting to speak now.  Oh yes, thanks to Daddy, he now says, “Pooper!” because Craig called him a Little Pooper.  Thanks sweetie.

Anyway, the observations of the world around them are so fascinating and mostly entertaining.  Today I heard Cole giving Caroline a lecture on the health benefits of water.  “It’s chock full of protein Caroline.  And that’s really good for you.  It also has Vitamin C.  And that’s good for you, too.”  This kid is so smart, he knows stuff even I don’t know.  They should totally put that on the label.

Being the mom of an adopted Ethiopian boy is also quite entertaining at times.  I love how my kids will introduce him to new people.  “This is my baby brother, Myles.  He has brown skin and black curly hair.  Let’s play pirates!”  They’re so honest, so matter-of-fact.  And then it’s on to playtime.  They might as well have said, “I’m wearing a blue shirt today with jeans.  Let’s play pirates!”

Oh yes, and I’m aware of how this blog is severely lacking in pictures.  I’ll work on that.