Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday, Grayson!

Dear Grayson,

Today you turn 8 years old. Eight years ago, you were placed in my arms, and our family of four became complete. You are growing up so incredibly fast, but thankfully your little body is tinier than most your age. You likely want to be bigger, but I love that you still fit perfectly in my arms.

At 45 pounds, you weigh what your little brother did at 5 years old. But man, you can pack some punch into that little body of yours. Your muscles are strong, and your legs are fast. You can run an 8 minute mile, and I think one day you could give Ninja Warrior a run for their money :)

Math is still your thing. You ask Griffin and me to make up math problems for you ALL. THE. TIME. When you finish tests early at school, your teacher often finds you doubling numbers over and over and over again. You talk often about how you want to be a math teacher or an engineer when you grow up, and your Lego Building Skills are on point.

This summer you will be participating in Summer Academy, a three week learning experience for high achieving students. You are SO SO SO excited to go that you ask constantly how many more days until it starts. You decided not to go back to Trout Lake Camp this year. I think you are a homebody like your father.

You also LOVE Board Games. You love to play Monopoly, Mastermind, Sleeping Queens, and Guesturres. I am simply waiting for the day you fall in love with Pictionary :)

You still play tennis, and you were stoked to find out you moved up to the next level for the final spring session. Again, you are always the smallest one on the court, but you can hustle!!! You and Griffin talk often about being doubles partners when you grow up. I would LOVE that :) Speaking of Griffin, the two of you have an incredible bond. It is truly a blessing to watch the two of you together.

Friday, March 17, 2017

50 for 50. YES, I am crazy.

2017 is going to be different. 2017 is going to be HARD. 2017 is stretching me in ways I never anticipated. But by golly, 2017 has me joining a new church, finishing out my first year as a professor, and it WILL have me crossing the finish line of 50 miles and $50,000.

Almost seven years ago, I signed up to run my first half marathon. Almost four years ago, I signed up to run my first full marathon. Two and a half years ago I declared I would NEVER run an ultramarathon. But Here I am. I have set a goal to run 50 miles and raise a lifetime total of $50,000 for Team World Vision. So what does "Here I am" look like for me this year?

I can't lie to you. I am SCARED OUT OF MY MIND. I am a fairly confident person, and I tend to set big goals. But this one scares me. I am still in base training, and I am already running more than 100 miles a month. I am reading about stretching, fueling, shoes, etc., and these are subjects I thought I already mastered. My legs are constantly sore, and my body is tired. Declaring that the Twin Cities Marathon will be a training run makes this sound impossible. Fundraising is awkward, and it's humbling to continue to ask people to donate their time and their resources.  But my heart is full. I am continuing to spread the love of Jesus, and my boys continue to learn that we can ALL do hard things. I also have AMAZING friends and family who are rallying behind me in any way they can. I have running partners, financial supporters, people who simply encourage me with words/cards/emails, and a husband who comes alongside me in any way he can. God continues to remind me that I am NOT on this journey alone, and we go farther together. I am scared. I am tired. But Here I am.

So many people shake their head in disbelief when they find out I am training to run my first ultra marathon (50 miles). I get it. Running 50 miles can seem crazy. But that's not the point. The point is that I have legs that work and a heart for Jesus. God is continuing to remind me that I am a daughter of THE KING, and my story matters. What I do with my story matters. Running 50 miles isn't crazy. Rasing $50,000 isn't crazy. What is crazy is that there are kids in Africa who die because they don't have access to clean water.

God constantly invites us to join Him. So Here I am. Running more miles than I ever imagined I would. It's hard. Sometimes it downright sucks. But I am doing it. I serve an incredible God who gave me the ability to do big things in His name. So when I hear people tell me I am crazy, it simply fuels my fire. Because I am crazy. Crazy about Jesus. Crazy about clean water. Because Water is Life. And EVERYone deserves a chance at life.

Be crazy with me by clicking the link below :)