Category: background

Wait – who are you?

Just because.

I know I have an “About me” link up there in the header, but I just realized that maybe, just maybe …

I should pause …

Re-introduce myself …

Give a little context …

That sort of thing. Especially for Holidailies and people who may not know me and why I’m all “Babies! Running! Blah!” all the time.

You’ve already gathered, I think, that I’m Erin.

I have three kids. (You probably have guessed this. For one thing, the category navigation on the right is a dead giveaway.)

I don’t work at home.

I run (slowly) because I want to be healthy. I take ridiculous pictures after the runs because I’m in a contest with my husband to have the worst post-run picture. It was a lot easier to win in August.

I post these pictures online because I want different images of fitness on the internet and in my kids’ lives.

When it was just me and my cats, I’d blog all the time. Now I typically write in December of most years, when my brother reminds me of Holidailies.

(He’s not my brother by blood, but by that feeling of “Oh! I’ve found you!” when life randomly connects you to a brain and heart so similar yet different that you know you must need each other.)

And I love Holidailies. I love it for the sense of family reunion, of so many familiar faces coming back together after 15ish years of writing online, joining together, and maybe going separate ways.

So there you go — context. Maybe?

Also: I hate chevrons. I hate them so much as a design motif that I thought about buying the domain name “ihatechevrons.com.” I may also be a grumpy old man.

Sometimes …

Photo Credit: Cheyenne Sprouse, Heartsongs Photography
Photo Credit: Cheyenne Sprouse, Heartsongs Photography

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you probably know that I sometimes struggle with working outside of the home.

My big dream was to be a stay-at-home mom.

I wanted to be a doctor, but didn’t really strive for pre-med studies and med school because I didn’t want to prioritize school/residency over family timing. I wanted a family early, I wanted several kids, and I wanted to stay home with them. I admired the women I knew who did the pre-med and doctor path. I was probably a little relieved to not pursue it because I’m kind of lazy and the idea of cadaver-cutting squicked me out.

Ha, ha – the joke was on me. Will and I didn’t get married until a month after my 29th birthday. Seth was born two months before my 31st birthday. I would have had PLENTY of time to get through med school before my first baby’s arrival. God had other plans and timing.

Those plans – obviously – did NOT include being a stay-at-home mom. For whatever reason, I’m the primary income for our family. Will was home most of the time with Seth and then Nora while he did his home inspection training and then started his business. My mom has been Jude’s primary daytime caregiver.

So occasionally I wallow around — you know, as you do — in the what might have beens. What would it have been like to be a doctor? What if I’d pursued a career I actually wanted? What if I could have been a stay-at-home mom?

That’s not really very healthy, you know?

And sometimes I think, “I’d give ANYTHING to be at home with the kids … ” and start to wallow some more.

(Hint: not healthy either.)

I’m trying to get out of some mental bad habits, and this is one of them. Because I WOULDN’T give anything.

Photo Credit: Cheyenne Sprouse, Heartsongs Photography
Photo Credit: Cheyenne Sprouse, Heartsongs Photography

I wouldn’t give up the dreams my husband has been able to pursue.

I wouldn’t give up having my mother live down here with us.

I wouldn’t give up the support we’re able to give to missionaries and other people around the world.

I wouldn’t give up the career that has been so obviously God-given, since I have tried over and over to leave it and yet it still remains constant.

I wouldn’t give up the world I’ve found with this career – a world of incredible teammates, working for an amazing organization, and parts of myself that I didn’t know existed.

I wouldn’t give up the friends I’ve gained through this job.

I wouldn’t give up the advice and counsel I can give to my husband (and others) as they go after their dreams, because of what I’ve learned in this serendipitous career.

I wouldn’t give up the time my babies have had with their daddy, learning French and being immersed in daddy love and learning to be fearless (something they wouldn’t have learned with me).

There are lots of things that are great about this. And I get to relish the time at home when I get it.

There are two verses that have meant a lot to me while I’ve struggled with this idea of contentment. If you’re not interested, it won’t hurt my feelings if you stop reading here. If you are, I hope they come to mind some day when they can help you, too:

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.”

Psalm 27:14 (NAS)

“God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time, but he has also placed ignorance in the human heart so that people cannot discover what God has ordained, from the beginning to the end of their lives.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NET)

I also love the NIV translation of this verse: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

I’m In: WDW 10K & Homes For Our Troops

I’ve been running, off and on, for about five years now. My biggest obstacle to improvement and consistency has been getting pregnant and having two more babies! I’ve started running again during every maternity leave, only to get lazy and complacent … and then eventually ended up pregnant again and couldn’t keep running. It just didn’t feel good.

This summer, with my work stress levels about to make my head pop off, I decided to start running again. No matter what, I would get out there and go. I’ve been sticking to a Beginner 5K training plan on RunKeeper – which I’ll finish next week! It’s time for the next challenge …

I’m joining Team Homes For Our Troops at the Walt Disney World Inaugural 10K during the January 2014 WDW Marathon Weekend!

On January 10, 2014, two of my friends and I will run the first WDW Marathon Weekend 10K. The course runs through Epcot, and I’m super excited to have my very first RunDisney experience. (I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last … )

We’re part of a charity team, each raising at least $500 for Homes For Our Troops (HFOT). HFOT is a charity committed to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and have returned home with serious disabilities and injuries since September 11, 2001.  From their website:

We assist severely injured Veterans and their families by raising money, building materials and professional labor, and by coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at NO COST to the Veterans we serve.

I want to blow that $500 goal out of the water!  I have so many personal connections to the armed forces – father, grandfather, uncles, friends … Our Vets are treasures. A home is one of the most important assets anyone can have, and I’m excited about this opportunity.

So here’s where you come in … 

It’s a Disney race. Half the fun, apparently, is the crazy costumes that people wear. So I’ve decided that if I meet my fundraising goal, I’ll run in costume.

For every $10 you donate, you get one vote toward choosing my costume character. (Alice in Wonderland, Cheshire Cat, Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast, Daisy Duck, Mrs. Incredible … I’ll come up with some fun options!) If you donate $30, you get three votes. $50, five votes. Like that!

If  you donate $25, I’ll send you a HFOT support sticker (10 available!) … and you get two character votes!

If you donate $50, I’ll send you a HFOT “We Support Our Troops” car magnet (5 available!) or lapel pin (5 available!) … and you get five character votes!

If we somehow get to $750 total, I’ll let my three-year-old have final say on putting together the costume for the character who gets the most donor votes. Yes, this girl:

IMG_2686  IMG_2298

Oh yes, this could be interesting. You’ll vote on the character, I’ll give her three costume options, and she’ll choose the one I actually wear.

Are you in?!

In the meantime … other suggestions for characters? I’ll start building and posting potential costume ideas as they come to me …

If you donate and would like one of the thank you gifts, please be sure to leave your contact info in the donation site’s options! 

For more info about Homes For Our Troops, please visit their website: http://www.hfotusa.org/.

Owie

The eleventh day (on this, the 22nd day of July) prompts: What’s the worst injury you’ve received?

It may have been the time I sliced open my hand in the 5th grade. I was slicing an apple with a very long knife (first mistake). It got stuck, so I picked it up to get the knife through (second, major mistake). The knife went through, all right, then went right into my hand. Ouch.

Then there was the time I got stung by a jellyfish and ended up in the ER with shots of demerol and benadryl. Woooo!

Once while I was in high school, I was walking out of my bathroom and trying to pull my hair out of my collar. I caught my elbow on the doorframe, didn’t realize it, and kept walking. Unfortunately, my elbow stayed with the door, pulled me back, and jacked up my shoulder. My orthopedist (who I had on speed dial by the time I was 21) said I was lucky I was so flexible or I’d have torn everything in my shoulder.

I went skiing once. I fell getting out of the bus and messed up the ligaments in my left knee … which had healed about six months earlier from a surgery to get rid of another injury’s effects. Orthopedist’s comment: “What made you, of all people, think you could go skiing?”

Or how about the time I was in three car accidents within six months and wrecked the same shoulder I’d hurt in high school.

Then I went and had three kids and I’m not even going to talk about that adventure.

Moral of the story: okay, so I don’t really have a moral to the story, but it surely can’t be a good sign when you’ve got an orthopedist on speed dial.

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