It is hard for me to believe that when I woke up this morning I had a 16 year old in the house. How did that happen? It seems like only yesterday that I was trying to figure out how to take care of a newborn for the first time.
16 years ago today you made me a mother. A job that I felt ill-equipped to have. You are the one that gets the job of training me through all the firsts. From your very first bath, to the first driver, to setting all of the rules. I had no idea what I was doing and a lot of days I still don’t, but we are both still alive, so I must be doing something right.
A couple of years ago I was trying to find a life verse for you. Luke 1:45 seemed to fit just right.
God has gifted you with many talents and abilities and I get so much joy in watching you grow.
I can’t wait to see what God has in store for your life. I know you have no idea where you are headed, but I know without a doubt you will do great things. Happy Birthday my beautiful Taylor. I love you more that words can express and no matter how old you are, you will always be my little girl.
I just keep thinking about that statement. I feel blessed that I did get to see him the day before he died. I stopped by for 5 minutes to pick something up and I did take a few moments to pop my head into the living room and tell him hello. As I quickly headed to my next commitment I yelled from the back door, “Bye dad, I love you”.
But my heart aches that I didn’t give him one last hug. That I didn’t get to really tell him all of the things I wanted to tell him if I would have known he was so close to the end.
We are able to celebrate his life, he lived it well and he shared so many stories with us about his life that we have so many memories. But, I was not ready for him to go.
I told my girls that he is now in a place that he can breathe and he can walk without pain. But my heart still hurts that he is gone.
Another crazy school year is underway and there are so many things that I want to tell my dad. He didn’t get out to see our girls participate in their activities anymore, but we made sure we reported every detail after they were done. He was so proud of his grandkids.
My littlest will miss stealing candy from grandpa’s candy dish and spending many nights at his house instead of having to sit in the bleachers to watch her sisters’ events.
My middle and oldest will miss telling grandpa all about their latest race or game.
We will all miss the stories of his own glory days as a Milbank Bulldog.
Life will never quite be the same without him here. He pushed me to push myself. He believed in me more than I believed in myself. He helped me to never settle. He helped form and shape me into the person I am today.
I miss him more than words could ever express.
I have heard many women speak about how they have trouble understanding the love of God as a father to them because they never experienced that love from their own father. What an incredible gift I was given through my dad. If God loves me more than my dad, I have no need to worry about life.
Little did I know that with a quick decision that was made last November, I would enter into an adventure that would lead to one of the biggest leaps of faith I have taken so far in my life. And somehow in this crazy idea I would take all of my family along with me.
I was sitting in my third OTA Conference listening to all this talk of possibility and the future and making a difference in my community and something happened. That something led to many sleepless nights that had my mind racing, incredible conversations on possibilities and a decision that I could not run away from.
In November 2015, with my sister by my side (and a whole lot of help from our family, friends and community) we rented a store front on Main Street and opened a Pop Up Holiday Shop. Whimsy on Main opened its doors with three tables filled with craft supplies and cookies to lure people in. The next week we had product on the walls and shelves and we worked our tails off through the holiday season.
We labeled ourselves a pop up shop. We could have easily closed the doors after the holidays with no debt, exhausted and fulfilled that we survived and our little adventure was a success. But that didn’t happen. We kept our doors open through the tough winter months and started dreaming even bigger.
On a little side note, my sister and I were both working full-time jobs during the week and working our little shop every Saturday and Sunday.
In March I had the opportunity to step onto the OTA Conference stage myself and tell my story. It could have been the end of the story, but I knew it was just the beginning. This dream was not going away.
On April 1, 2016 we moved our shop down the street. We now had a beautiful store front with amazing character and we were sharing the space with a photography and art studio. The environment doesn’t get much more creative than that.
My sister and I were still both working full-time while adding more products and planning for the future. This entire time my husband was actively participating as CFO and keeping us on task financially. He was also the loudest voice that told me, this is only going to work if you keep your full-time job.
This is when I like to say that God stepped in. (Actually He was there all along, but maybe now is when we started to listen for His direction)
As a family we made a big decision one week ago. We decided that I would leave my full-time job and pursue Whimsy on Main full-time.
As soon as the decision was made I felt a peace that I have not felt in a very long time. I am scared out of my mind, but I am so excited I can hardly stand it.
It is a huge leap of faith for our family and it will include sacrifices for all of us. It isn’t easy to walk away from a comfortable salary to invest time and money into a new business, but I have no doubt it will be worth it.
In two weeks I will end one chapter and start a brand new one. There were many reasons that lead us to this ultimate decision that I will share in the future. For now, I am counting down the days until I can begin each workday as a full-time business owner on the main street I grew up on, in the town that I love.
It has taken me a long time to say those four words. Even after taking far too long of a break from running, I can still call myself a runner.
When I look back at this time last year, I was struggling to run for 5 minutes straight. It hurt, my mind told me I couldn’t do it.
Last night, right before sundown, when the heat was finally bearable, I decided to go for a long overdue run. I struggled to get into my running capris, it would have been quite an amusing sight for anyone that would have caught a glimpse of that. I grabbed my flipbelt, iphone and headphones and I was off.
I told myself it didn’t matter how far I ran, I just needed to work up a sweat, but in the back of my mind I was thinking 2 miles would be an accomplishment. Considering that in April I ran a 15K (9.3 miles) you would think that 2 miles would be a piece of cake. However, when you haven’t run for 2 months, I knew that 2 miles would be pushing it.
But I did it. From the moment I left my driveway until the final step it was 2.24 miles to be exact. And it wasn’t easy. My chest hurt, my knees hurt and my mind told me that it really wanted to walk.
This morning I moved a little slower to the shower as my knees reminded me that they do not love to run. But the rest of my body is saying thank you.
I have my two medals from my races this year hanging up for me to walk by everyday to remind myself that, “Yes, I Am A Runner!” I am busy planning my next race so I can start a training program to get me out running on a regular schedule. (I know it shouldn’t take a race to get me motivated, but it really helps me)
There are so many reasons for me to get out there and run. Not only is it good for my overall physical health, but it is good on so many other levels.
I am sure there are more reasons to get out and run, but these are the ones that are on my mind right now.
For years I have told myself that before I am 40 I am running the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I am getting closer so I better keep up my running so I can check this off my bucket list. The 2016 event is already sold out so my sights are on 2017, I guess that means I better keep running.
I woke up to dirty dishes, messy rooms, sticky floors and dusty shelves. It would have been easy to spend the day inside the house with all the tasks waiting to be done. But, Nadia and I put on our dresses, got in the car and left on an adventure.
You see, broken arms add a little twist to summer. No more swimming, jumping on the trampoline gets a little tricky and extreme summer heat doesn’t really work with a cast.
Shopping, books, and frappucinos are a perfect way to spend a hot summer day.
We did start our day outside before it got so hot we couldn’t breathe. Nadia’s broken arm has slowed her down and in the process she has really started to notice the world around her. She has always loved nature, but she is really expressing how beautiful it is and she loves capturing it on camera.
We spent a little time appreciating art. Her creative spirit loves to explore all the different mediums and dream about all the things she will create. We talked about where the different artists were from and how so many of them are from the great state of South Dakota. She knows she could be one of those artists someday.
Fabric and craft shopping kept us cool in the heat of the day.
We finished off our day with a little Starbucks and the bookstore.
There was a time that I thought I had really missed out on something by not having a boy and having a house full of girls. Saturday was a great reminder of the special times I can have because I have all girls in the house. It was a wonderful day to not only share my passions with Nadia, but to focus on her passions.
And lucky for me I have two more girls in the house and I get to plan a couple more adventures.
They are never too little to encourage them to have big dreams, learn as much as they can about their passions and share their gifts with the world.
It was a long day. I’ll run tomorrow.
I have too much to do. I’ll run tomorrow.
I am tired. I’ll run tomorrow.
I sat on the couch tonight, making every single excuse I could think of NOT to run. It was already 8:15 and I needed to start getting the girls ready for bed. But I had to stop making excuses. It has been a month since my 15K, I had only run 2 miles since the race. So I laced up my shoes and went to the gym. (and my hubby even came with me)
I did not have a lot of time before the gym closed so I decided to just run 2 miles and ease back in to my training. The best part was how I felt when I was done. Despite my month long break after my 15K, I wished that I had more time to run longer.
I haven’t decided that I am ready to sign up for my next race, but I know that I want to run. I need to run. I actually missed running. My body can’t take the long miles it takes to train for another long race right away. But I have a few ideas about what my next big race will be.
My motivation to start running in the first place was our family vacation to California in June. Now we are 19 days away from boarding that plane and I just took a month off of exercising and eating healthy. Not exactly staying on track before hitting the beach.
So it is back to the gym, drinking more water and focusing on healthy eating choices. No more excuses. My skinny shorts may not go in my suitcase in June, but hopefully they hit my wardrobe by the end of the summer.
I had trained strategically for this race, I had built up my miles slowly to prevent injury…BUT the Sunday before the race. 6 days to go when I was doing my final high miles day (8 to be exact), I did something to my knee.
We are suffering here in South Dakota with our spring windy weather. Last Sunday was no different. My running buddy and I thought we were so smart. Her hubby drove us 8 miles south and dropped us off in the middle of nowhere on a country gravel road and we were going to run home.
Well, about 2 miles into our run, the wind changed directions. Not cool South Dakota wind, really, like running 8 miles wasn’t hard enough on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere with the smell of cow manure filling our nostrils.
I knew that something was wrong when my knee didn’t go numb. I always have a little pain in my knee when I run, but this pain wasn’t going away. But we changed directions with the wind and kept running.
I found out early in the week that my fat pad on the back of my knee and my MCL were both inflamed. So I got all taped up, iced like a maniac, rested my knee and acted like a baby all week leading up to the race.
The morning of the race I took 3 ibuprofen, laced up my shoes, smiled for the camera and said a lot of prayers. I didn’t really care how fast I ran, I just wanted to run. I didn’t want to walk.
Looking back I realize now that it really is okay to walk through the water stops, water is important. But I was so afraid that if I walked, even if only for a minute to drink water, I might now run again. So I didn’t stop.
My amazing running partner, stayed with me at my 10:15/mile pace. I kept my eyes on the road ahead and kept counting down the mile markers. Our husbands were at the 5K mark cheering us on.
We hit 10K and I knew we only had 5K to go….3.1 miles. I knew I could do it, I had to do it. My knee pain was numb, the weather was almost perfect, my lungs were not burning too bad.
And then we hit mile 7. Only 2 miles to go and my body started to scream at me. My hips started to burn with every step, but I was not going to stop. We got to mile 8 and I was starting to slow down. My friend still had WAY more gas than I did so she sped ahead.
At this point it was just about getting to the finish line. Between mile 8-9 there were a couple of brutal hills (well in my mind anyway) but I kept plugging along at my slowest pace of 11:01. My slowest mile of the race. It felt like a 20 minute/mile pace. Then I saw my hubby near the finish line, smiling and cheering me on. I saw the finish line and I knew I was almost there.
I finished the race. I didn’t walk. I survived.
It is 2 days later and I am still awfully sore, but I did it.
I am planning a little rest from the higher mile days. I am looking forward to 2-3 miles just for fun without a specific race/training plan.
I am sure before long, I will get antsy and sign up for another race. Maybe just a 5K or 10K, but I know that wasn’t my last race.
One of my runner girlfriends told me that I needed to change the name of my blog posts because I can’t say I am a wannabe runner anymore.
I am a runner. Honestly, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to say that, but I kinda like the sound of that. I am not sure what is next, but I know there will be a next race. In fact, I think there will be many more.
I thought hard about it. I didn’t want it to be a chore, but I wanted to participate. I wanted to find something meaningful yet simple. I have been wanting to refocus my time on scripture so I decided to draw the scriptures. Or at least add a little color to them in my sketchbook.
So day one was Monday, April 6.
I paraphrased the scripture a bit, (actually I got distracted and just messed up the order a little bit, but that’s okay). Hopefully through this 100 day process on instagram I will be “Strengthened, rooted and built up in Him”.
So then Tuesday I added Day 2…
Now today, Day 3 is a special day in my house. It is my 15th wedding anniversary. So I thought it was appropriate to use one of our wedding scriptures.
Fifteen years, it amazes me. And this project is appropriate to the last 15 years. We are blessed to have built our marriage with God as the center. Our focus on Him throughout the last 15 years has brought us closer together and helped us get through the craziness of life.
This guy is pretty amazing. We have shared so many memories in the last 15 years. God has sent us on an interesting path along the way. What a blessing it is to be married to this man. He puts up with all my crazy ideas. He survives in a house full of girls and he treats us all like princesses.
So I reflect today on my 100 Days of Scripture in Color by praising God for Love that Never Fails.
You can follow my #100daysofscriptureincolor on my instagram account here.
Last Friday afternoon I wsoke up to a crazy busy day. I knew I had to stay on schedule to get everywhere I needed to be that day. I also knew that I had a 7 mile run hanging over my head that had to be done Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
I was running a little behind schedule already but I knew I needed to get in at least a 3 mile run on my lunch break. I laced up my shoes and started to run. I decided to take a different route (I get really bored if I don’t mix things up a little bit). I was prepared to run 3, I was ready to do my quick 30 minute run and shower and get on with my crazy day.
As I got closer to hitting my 3 miles I felt so good that I decided right then that the rest of my day could wait, I was going to keep going. I ran up one street and down another, weaving through the streets by my house. Then I headed out to through the cemetary and out onto the nature trail.
As I hit the nature trail my May My Run app told me that I had completed 5 miles. I knew that the nature trail would put me at 6 miles and then it was 1 mile to my house. I was going to finish 7 miles, I had no doubt that I could do it.
One of my biggest obstacles in my training was the voices in my head telling me that I couldn’t do it. I was never going to be able to get trained for this 9 mile race.
On Friday, there were no voices. Not once in my run did I think I couldn’t do it. One of my high school friends commented on my facebook post after my run and said, “That’s the turning point!…when the voices in your head no longer win.”
It was so awesome. 7 miles, who would have ever believed I could do it, I sure didn’t, but now I know I can. And this week when I head out to run 8 miles, I can do it. I am not saying that it will be easy. It will probably hurt. I might not be able to move the next day. But I can do it.
Two week countdown to the 15K and I am going to be ready!
I had read an article on facebook about the best races for running swag and the Get Lucky 7K just happened to be the exact same weekend we were headed into the Cities. I knew that I was about halfway through my 15K training so I decided that this would be a great first race.
After I signed myself up I started trying to convince my oldest daughter to run it with me. She was just coming off of basketball season so she hadn’t been running and did not think she was ready for a 4 mile run. I didn’t give up though, considering that I run about as fast as she could walk and she would get a really cool jacket and a big medal, she finally gave in and told me she would do it.
Thank goodness we decided to stay at the motel right next to the starting line because she rolled out of bed about 20 minutes before we had to start the race. Here we are all smiles before we started the race. I was prepared for the race thinking it could have been 20 degrees that day, but we got lucky and it was a beautiful 50 degree day.
There were 11,000+ participants in this race. It was crazy and a little overwhelming, but so much fun. This is the starting line. Yikes!
I had told Taylor I had two goals. The first goal was to run the whole race. I DID NOT want to walk. My second goal was to run 11 minute miles. For me that was what I told myself would help me to run the whole race and not walk. We weaved our way into this mess of people and walked our way up to the starting line and then we started to run.
It was a beautiful day and the race route was surrounded with spectators cheering us on and a little music along the way. Every 1K we ran there was a flag telling us we were another K closer to the finish line.
My amazing daughter coached me through the whole race. It was awesome. There were a few hills along the race course with a lot of people to weave through. She encouraged me to pick up my knees and focus on getting up the hill. At one point she said, “Mom, in no time we will be over this hill and we are running, just look at all the people that are going to walk up this hill.” Yes those are people on that hill. Thousands of people that we had to weave through as we ran up that hill and so many of them were walking.
We got up this hill, rounded a corner and saw the 6K sign up ahead. I text the sign to the rest of our family so they kept their eyes open on the finish line. I wasn’t running 4 miles for them to miss seeing us finish the race.
We crossed that finish line together. We ran the whole race. It was so cool. I told my husband it was probably one of the best memories I have with one of my girls. What a fun experience. And less than one year ago, I could not have done it with her. There is no way I could have run 4 miles. And I just did it with my biggest girl.
Before this race I had only run 4 miles twice during this training and when we started that morning I reallly didn’t know if I could do it. And not only did we hit my first goal, we beat my second goal, too. Our average pace was 10:31. WOOHOO! When you have never run a 4 mile road race before, you couldn’t even run 5 minutes straight 8 months prior without crying and you are 37 years old, a 10:31 pace is a win.
My girl and I celebrated with a few pictures. It was a perfect memory for this mama. She was full of smiles and I loved every second of it.
I can’t wait for us to be able to do it again. And next time her younger sister is going to race with us. As we were running she said we should find some cool destinations to do more races together. Yes, I agree, yes we should. Who knows, maybe we can get their dad to run with us and eventually the littlest sister, too.