Monday, April 29, 2013

What keeps me falling in love...

One of the pictures from his eHarmony profile. Look at his arms. Can you say, rawr!?!
That might be one reason I love him! He is pretty good looking. 
Remember how I posted our Love Story Part 1 a few months ago? Well with this blog post, I wanted to share a few reasons why I fell in love with Todd. Yes, if you're not into being sappy this morning, you can skip on...

Sometimes I catch myself thinking how blessed I am to STILL get butterfly feelings around him and thinking about him. For example, last week I was filling my car with gas across the street from Todd's work, and I caught myself being truly humbled in that moment to be so thankful for someone who provides for me and for the amazing company that takes care of him. So with that, I love that he is dedicated to his job and tries his best each day.

We spent quite a bit of time this weekend with each other which is a rarity as we both are coming and going most of the time between his hunting and my volunteer/MK stuff. Yet, when we are together, we are constantly joking. He can be a serious person, yet 85% of the time he has to pull a funny. He keeps life fun and shows me, who takes things all-too-seriously, to lighten up.

Todd does his best to help me in whatever it is I need him to do. He runs errands, cooks, cleans a little when pestered, and is my biggest cheerleader. He would kill me for telling this but he has even helped with a few Mary Kay things like loading my car or putting stickers on my books.

He is one of the best gift-givers, ever. I don't know how he does it, but he pulls off big surprises most of the time. He conjures up great stories to go along with the gifts, too. He took me on a trip, redid our kitchen, bought Willie, bought a "pool", ie. engagement ring, and countless other great gifts for Valentine's Day and Christmas.

Finally, for this post anyway, I adore that he is so passionate about something. This guy has spent thousands of hours perfecting his ability to hunt. He doesn't half-ass it at all. He even made it his career for a little while. I bet if he could make a decent living at it, he would. I cuss a lot about the constant dump of gear that lives in our kitchen, no matter the season. I always trip over boots and have to "hide when company is coming" the camo, guns, bullets, special deodorant and spray, arrows, gun cleaning supplies, magazines, calls, socks, you name it. Yet, this is what he absolutely loves. He spends 90% of his days working on something related to hunting from food plots to scouting to taxidermy. There was a time in my life that I resented all-things hunting, but I've grown up. I decided if I want to enjoy time with him, then I better like it. He is at a place in hunting where he enjoys helping others, too. He has taken numerous friends and family on hunts when he himself didn't get anything. This turkey season has been no different. He has talked about it for a long time. In February, he made sure everything was ready, even though turkey season doesn't start until April here in Missouri. He got his bird this weekend and was happy about that. I think he has been more happy, though, watching and helping his friends get their birds.

And for a million other reasons, I love him to pieces...

Todd's Missouri Spring 2013 Turkey

Monday, April 15, 2013

Belief barrier...

I have been truly blessed this month of April with a lot of things. I already live an incredibly blessed life, but this month has been off the charts. 

First, my Mary Kay team has grown by 1,484% (yes, you read that right!) and it's only the 15th of the month! That is a HUGE belief thing I have worked on this year. I know if I want to be a work-from-home mom and still have a great income, I have to work hard in the coming year to become a Director. I have personally added five new team members in a three week span. I know because of the hard work I have done and continue to do, God will bless my team and I with finishing Director in Qualification and our FREE Mary Kay car by July 1st. I'll keep you updated on all the other things Mary Kay as they progress for our Firecracker team in the coming months. 

Second, I was dreading my long run, like most weeks, this weekend. Yet, Saturday was so incredibly busy and blissful with my MK business that I knew it would be a good day to run. And it was! Temps were in the low 60s, overcast, a bit windy, but I'll take that. I was supposed to run 18 miles, but I felt great and pushed through to 20 miles. Now it's just a down hill slide into the actual marathon on May 5th! I never thought almost two years ago to the day that I raced for the first time a 5K and had to walk, that I'd be finishing a marathon!!!

You bet I was listening to Eric Church on my final half mile!!
Finally, look at this little lady! My niece, Hadley, came with her mom to spend some time with us while the boys were turkey hunting in Nebraska. Although they didn't have the best of time up there, we had a blast hanging out each day. She is such the little miracle baby, and I am in total awe of how good God is to bring this beautiful, smart, bubbly little girl into our lives. 

She lights up my world when she smiles like that! So cute!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A little Brew to Brew recap...

Yesterday, I ran the Brew to Brew race with a few fellow Saturday Morning Runners from the St. Joe area. There were three teams from our SMR group and ours by far was the most eclectic I think. We had young and older, guys and gals, all different abilities.

The race starts at Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City and ends at Free State Brewery in Lawrence. It is a 44.4-mile relay race. Our team consisted of Mike, Matt, Christi, Rebecca, Jennifer and me. Here is a little recap of our race day:

Our "Hamm it Up til You Schlitz" B2B relay team.
6:00 am--Pickup in St. Joe
6:15 am--Pick me up in Dearborn
7 am--Arrive at Boulevard, bathroom break, shot gun a few beers (the guys did this!), divide leg assignments
7:35 am--Decide we probably should head over to the starting line for Mike to kick our team off
7:40 am--Mike starts our team off and runs legs 1 and 2
8:00 am--Drive to what we thought was the first stop
8:20 am--Realize we completely missed the end of leg one/start of leg 2 and realize we're at the end of leg 2! Mike had to run 9 miles with no water!! So sorry!
9:00 am--I start leg 3. Ran 8 miles at an 11-minute mile pace. Burned 900 calories! *Wasn't my best race day, but I was there to have fun, and not mess up my stomach any more than it already is by trying too push myself
10 am--Arrive at the start of leg 4 where Jennifer ran with me the short 2.3 miles
10:20 am--Jennifer kicks off leg 5, pushes through to leg 7
11:30 am--Mike and Matt kick off leg 6. It is the most hilly of all the legs. Poor guys. We drove the Durango and kept cussing it ourselves, and we didn't even have to run it. We pick up Mike after leg 6. Matt continues on to leg 7 where he has to ride a boat over the river to then run to Linwood
12:15 pm--Travel to Linwood. Fun little town with the "Linwood Cafe" where they offer air conditioning. Ha!! It was a window unit
12:30 pm--Christi and her mom kick off the dusty legs 8 and 9. They have to run 8 miles on nothing but a country, gravel road. I don't mind it so much as that is what I have to do at home, but some runners are totally not prepared for that kind of hilly terrain
1:45 pm--Drop Jennifer off at the end of leg 9/start of leg 10 and pick up a runner. We weren't allowed to pick up our two runners. Bummer!
2 pm--Drive into Lawrence and find parking, head over to the Liberty Hall for lunch
2:30 pm--Wait for the girls at the finish line. Finally eat lunch and drink one beer

The girls of the team at the Linwood pit stop.
I am being a little anticlimactic about the whole event in my description, but I liken this race to a Missouri float trip! If you've ever been on one you know how different every "party" can be from young people totally drunk off their ass to old timers just pushing through for the best time. It was a lot of fun. We spent more time trying to figure out where we needed to be and taking pit stops for bathroom breaks. All in all, the best part was finishing as a team of people who have never ran together before and the people watching. Oh my!

Actually come to think of it, the best part, honestly, was seeing my second cousin, Megan, after not seeing each other for five years! She sends me a text asking if I was at the same table as her. Who would have thought?!?!? Of all places! So glad I go to to see her and catch up, no matter how brief it was.

My long lost cousin, Megan, and I at the finishers meal! 
*~* What has been one of your favorite races? What made it fun?*~*

Monday, April 1, 2013

That Phone Call...

He is the one who has always done his best. Been there for everything he could (even the 7th grade quiz bowl meets!). Always been the person I can talk to. Love him so much!
I've been wanting to write this for a day or so, but still am finding it hard to find the right words to say without tears coming to my eyes. I first want to say I cannot thank you all enough for the thoughts, messages, calls, etc., about our family and my dad over the last few days. I know there was a lot of prayer going on and it certainly helps, a lot.

For those of you who do not know, my dad has glaucoma and had his first of two eye surgeries on Wednesday in St. Joseph. I was pretty nervous about it. It's not a big surgery, but it's your eyes! You know what I'm sayin'. You can live without a finger or an appendix, but your eyes! My great grandparents also did not listen to the doctor as they should have on their recovery and did too much and both lost their eye sight. I was scared my dad wouldn't do the recovery as he should either. Most men do not.

His surgery went great and he went home to rest. Thursday was his post-op appointment with the surgeon. It was going okay until the nurse took his eye patch off, and he mentioned to my mom that he felt hot and did not feel so well. He proceeded to pass out four times in the doctor's office and get sick. Not cool. The doctor said he needed to go to the ER across the street. That's when my mom called me while I was just sitting down to a lunch meeting. (It was that phone call I've been dreading my entire life)

I paid for my drink and rushed over to the ER to see what was going on. He proceeded to pass out again one more time in the ER and get sick. His heart rate as at a 35 when I got there. Who knows what it was while he was at the eye doctor or just getting to the ER. Either way, not good. They ran all the tests they could for heart attack, stroke, etc. Thankfully, all that was normal. The shortened version of the next three hours was that the doctor did not like the idea that his heart rate was still so low AND that he passed out that many times. He wanted to get some answers so they admitted him and said he would stay the night.

I was pretty cool about the whole thing until I came back to the hospital after my Mary Kay party Thursday night. It was the thought of my dad, in the hospital, being by himself. I couldn't do it. I couldn't leave him there all night. The last time I was in the hospital, in that part, was when one of the biggest influences on my life, Janet, didn't leave. It was too much, to say the least.

My friend, Anna, texted me to see how I was doing. She is such a great Christian friend so I felt like I could just lay it all out there and she would understand, provide some guidance. I said I'm okay. I said it wasn't the phone call I ever wanted to get. I was dreading the day I would. I've actually thought about this day, not often, but I have thought I was going to have to deal with my dad going through a heart attack or stroke. You see my entire family has something wrong with their heart. (My personal doctors are pretty on me about keeping everything in line because of my genetics) Why I think about it, I don't know, but I still don't know how you can prepare for the potential of something going on with your parents.

I've been working really hard since January 1st on my trust in the Lord. What is supposed to happen in my life will because He puts me there, in that place, in that season. I could go on about this, but I'm at peace where I am with life. I've even mentioned to another friend that I am not as faithful as I should be because life is good. Isn't that when we still need to pray, be thankful, not just in the bad times?

To say I wasn't prepared for that kind of trust in God is an understatement. I think it's different when it's dealing with you, but with someone else you love. I couldn't tell you how many times I prayed, said I know I should be thankful for whatever happens, I know He will keep him safe, etc. I finally broke down to my friend, Anna, via text, and said I wasn't prepared for this kind of day yet. I have been good about growing, I think, in trusting His timing and the things that happen in my life, but this. Not yet. She said sometimes it takes events like this to put our faith into perspective. It's so true! I feel like I am growing, but I'm still not there yet in trusting Him. That's my fault as a human. I still sin. I still don't trust Him as I should.

Beyond all that faith stuff, I spent some time with my dad after I went back to the hospital on Thursday night. I told him all this stuff, and snuggled in his bed with him that night. I didn't stay because he said he would be alright. It still kills me thinking about leaving him. Aren't dads supposed say that though, they'll be just fine? I knew he was in the best place he could be.

Anyway, I stayed close to my phone Friday while at work. He had some more intense tests done and waited to hear what the cardiologist would say. The doctor didn't come talk to him until 10 or so that night so he stayed another night in the hospital  His heart rate was still not great. I wondered what his normal is compared to what a normal heart rate should be. I asked a lot of questions. The nurses were great to answer as best as they could. I stayed again until late that night because I didn't want to leave, but I felt better about it compared to Thursday night.

The cardiologist said his heart looked good. There was really nothing to be alarmed about in the short term, but this was something to watch. He needs to watch a couple of things. We will get through it, and he will be okay.

Again, I really want to say thank you for the thoughts, prayers, conversations, etc. It is so nice to have such a support system. I know we are surrounded by such great group of friends and family who truly want to help.