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Things are not all sunshine and roses over here lately. In fact, it’s kinda matched the Kansas City weather we’ve had this month – a lot of rain and stormy skies. We’ve been having the kind of days where I want to just curl up in the corner and mumble “I love my kids. I love my kids. I love my kids.” over and over.

I’m going to be honest – there’s been so much yelling, fighting, and crying this week that I’m officially dreading that tomorrow is the last day of school (and only a 3 hour day at that!). I should be excited about the Last Day of School tradition we started last year, and then checking off our Summer Bucket List, but instead of looking forward to it, I’m dreading it.

I’m anxious.

What if they keep fighting? 

What if  they continue to not listen?

What if I keep yelling and wanting to cry?

The other day I was so fed up with not being listened to, that I turned and started talking to a kitchen cabinet, because I figured it would generate about the same response as talking to my kids (specifically the 7 year olds). True story.

Clearly I’m losing it.

I know they’re excited and wound up about the end of the school year. I know they aren’t behaving this way for teachers and adults at church, for which I am insanely grateful. I know they’re good kids. This has just been an epically crappy week… and it’s only Thursday.

I need an extra dose of grace right now. Grace for them, because I know their tiny little brains can only process and handle so much, and there’s a lot going on right now. Grace for me, because I’m not a complete screw-up of a mom and everyone has their bad days.

Needed - an extra dose of grace |


I know that something beautiful can and will come from all of this rain, but my gosh, it’s hard to focus on that right now. All my head wants to focus on is how desperately I want a vacation…. by myself!

Today I’ll be forcing myself to focus on what is good in my life – my wonderful husband, my silly Lily, and my sweet and caring boys. A dog that drives us crazy and makes us laugh all at the same time, a roof over our heads and that our basement hasn’t been too wet, considering all of the rain we’ve had. Money to buy groceries and clothes for our growing kids. Fun family time ahead this summer, and that my boys had an amazing school year with fantastic friends and teachers.

With some focus on what’s good and right in my life, and grace for my behavior and the behavior of my kids, I can and will turn this week around.

I will turn it around.

  • May 21, 2015 - 1:40 pm

    Margaret - Ah! Thank you for posting this. I just had a bad morning with my 6 year old, and I’m feeling a lot like this right now. Very encouraging to read your focus on giving our kids, and ourselves, grace to pick up and try again!ReplyCancel

    • May 21, 2015 - 2:16 pm

      Helen - Ah, so sorry you are in the same boat, Margaret! I’m glad my sharing could encourage you though. Here’s to calmer kids and moms! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2015 - 3:50 pm

    Esther - My Emma is 7, and she has been INSANE the
    Sat couple weeks. Getting in trouble in school, which she never does, and NOT LISTENING at home. Sweetheart, you are not the only one. Virtually hugging you right now!ReplyCancel

    • May 21, 2015 - 5:49 pm

      Helen - Virtual hugs right back to you, Esther! These kids!ReplyCancel

  • May 22, 2015 - 5:56 pm

    Kara - I adore my children. I marvel at their every achievement. I thank God every day for them. I am constantly amazed by the amazing miracles I have the opportunity to raise. I would lay down my life for them without even making a conscious decisions. I love them more than myself.

    But I don’t always *like* them. And that’s okay. 🙂ReplyCancel

Last night the boys and I made a quick little video, to try and help with a fundraiser at their school. We had a blast putting it together, and did so much laughing while shooting it! Even better – we laugh still while watching it, and so have family and friends.

It’s been quite a while since I posted a video here, so I thought you all would get a kick out of seeing just how big and grown up Jackson, Ty, and Chase are getting. And yes – those would be braces Ty is now sporting (he’s clearly our most expensive kid right now)! Gah!

Anyway – a little back story, the school they’re at has two playgrounds – one that’s more appropriate for Kindergarten and 1st grade, and one that’s used for 2nd-5th grades. Next year they’ll be in second grade – what?!

The K & 1st playground is nice and new, while the 2nd-5th playground is quite sad. The PTA has been trying to raise money to fix it up, but it’s been sloooooow going. I thought we’d kick it up a notch by showing off just how sad the playground is, and try to drum up some donations for next week’s Walk-a-Thon!


I still can’t believe I actually did it, or that I can now say “I’ve run a half marathon”! For real though…. this mom is a FINISHER!!


And look! I didn’t even pass out! It’s amazing, really.

Oh, and guess what…. I’m pretty sure I still hate running.

I hated every mile of training, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that I’d plunked down the cash back in January, I’m sure I wouldn’t have trained for longer than a month before giving up. Of course, I knew my running “history”, which is why I did just plunk the cash down before thinking too much. I laughed hysterically when around mile 10 I saw a lady sitting by the side of the course with a sign that read “This sounded like a good idea 4 months ago”!

True that, lady. True that.

I do want to share some of my race experience though, and feel like I should get it typed out before all of the soreness is gone, so here we go…. (All photos are cell phone pictures)

half pre race

This is my friend and neighbor Melissa and me, before the Rock the Parkway half marathon. While I have lots of friends who are into running half marathons, and have tried to half-heartedly (ha!) to talk me into doing one, Melissa is the one that finally got me to crack and just do it. She’s plenty faster than me, but was willing to do a few training runs with me, and humored me when I’d need to walk. I “need” to walk a lot. Again, that kinda circles back to the whole “I hate running” thing. I was so grateful to her for her patience and encouragement!

half start

7:30am finally rolled around, and I worked my way to the wave I had signed up for – you can see the starting line waaaay down there! Wave A started right at 7:30, but my wave (Wave F) didn’t get to start until closer to 7:45. Takes a while to funnel 7,000 people through that narrow starting line!

Once we finally started, I kept telling myself “don’t go too fast, don’t go too fast” and just watched people zip by. No worries, Helen…. slow and steady, slow and steady!

At Mile 2 my cell phone buzzed, and I glanced down to see a “You can do it!” text from my friend Brenda, in California! Such a fun little boost to my already racing adrenaline!

At Mile 4 my FitBit buzzed. Yep. 10K steps at only mile 4!

At Mile 6 I thought “man, I’m doing awesome!”. The only time I’d walked was through the water stations. I am not coordinated enough to drink water while running. I make a huge, slobbery looking mess when I try, and I also might gag a bit as I choke. Yeah, I’m awesome!

Mile 8 had one of the bigger hills of the course (I think). I made it half way up before thinking “eh, screw it. I’m walking.” WOW! I made it just over 8 miles before taking a walking break! You guys – you don’t understand how huge that is! During all of my training runs, I think the furthest I made it before a short walking break was 5 miles. I made it 8 on Saturday!

Mile 9 is where my friend Stephanie caught me, which was fun! I’ve admired Stephanie and her running for a few years now. We chatted while running, and then I watched her take off, ready to set her own PR (Personal Record).

Mile 10 I Hit. The. Wall.

My feet hurt. My legs hurt. My stomach had actually rumbled (what the heck?! who gets hungry in the middle of a Half?!). Mentally I was done.

half mile 11

When I saw this sign, I knew I needed to snap a picture as I ran by. I was not enjoying myself at all, but I knew it was only 2 more miles to go, and something about taking that picture, and posting it to Instagram while running was a little boost to my moral.

Shortly after that, I passed a lady holding a sign that read “Never Fear! 13 is near!

I choked up reading that sign. Seriously – I had to actually hold back tears! I wish I’d given that lady a big, sweaty hug. Her sign refocused me.

I took a lot of walking breaks between miles 10 and 12, but then tried to run as much of 12 as possible. By the time I could see the finish line, I could not wipe the big grin off my face!

half finisher

Melissa snapped that one of me, right after I got my medal. Seriously – who’d of guessed a person could smile so much when she wants to just collapse from exhaustion?!

I wasn’t the fastest person out there – I finished in 2 hours and 51 minutes, but I FINISHED.


Sorry – I’m a little excited!

half 2

That’s my friend Stephanie there on the left – I had been so tempted to take a running selfie when she caught me on the course, but I knew it wouldn’t be pretty, so decided I’d count on us finding each other at the finish line.

half 3

And Melissa and I post-race! She also had a PR – woohoo!

The race was amazing! The feeling of accomplishment was awesome. The awe of watching the leaders cruising up to Mile 10 when I was only at 3 was insane. The random people lining the course with cow bells, cheers, and hilarious signs made the experience so enjoyable! And the weather – the weather on Saturday could not have been more perfect!

half medal

And there it is – my bling! It’s heavy, and huge, and my kids think I should wear it all the time! Don’t judge me if you run into me at the grocery store and it’s around my neck. I finished a half marathon people, and I’m proud of that!

p.s. I loathed the training so much, that I’m betting this is not only my first but also last half marathon. Who knows though – I may forget how crummy the training was, and remember only how awesome the race part was. Kinda like how we forget how miserable the sleepless nights with a newborn are and suddenly find ourselves wanting another baby. That was strictly for illustration though – this kitchen is closed! 

  • April 14, 2015 - 1:34 pm

    Shelly Cunningham - You ran for almost three hours straight. That is straight up AMAZING!!! I am beyond impressed! You go girl!ReplyCancel

    • April 14, 2015 - 5:51 pm

      Helen - Ha! Oh goodness – I hadn’t looked at it that way yet! Whew! Thank you, Shelly!ReplyCancel

  • April 3, 2016 - 11:02 am

    Finally, Real Progress » Three Times the Giggles - […] I’ve been on quite the up and down, hot and cold, on and off, journey to health in the last 8 years. I’ve tried the gym, I’ve bought DVD systems, single DVDs, the Wii Fit, even training for a Half Marathon last year. […]ReplyCancel