Learning to Struggle (and Run)

A break from the norm. Not light-hearted stories or updates, just what is on my heart.

I have always said (or rather told myself) that I don't run. That I can't run. I'm just not a runner. I've tried to run and I made it about 10 minutes before I thought I was going to die. For most of my life that was fine. Join a gym, watch trashy tv, drown out my thoughts with music and do the elliptical, problem solved...no running.

But then I had kids. And then I quit my full-time job to be with my kids. There goes the budget for the gym. Now what?

I tried Wii Fit, some videos, some little exercise routines, but nothing stuck. Or rather I didn't stick with anything.

Then Dan applied for the FBI and started training. Running a little over a mile 3 days a week and daily sit-ups and push-ups. He loses over a pant size in a few months.


Honestly the bulk of my baby weight came right off. It was that last 5-10 lbs...the belly weight that sat funny on my pants waistline.

So I tried to run. And I hated it. I wanted to quit. I told myself that it just wouldn't work. I told myself that every other runner that I passed was some marathon runner and was secretly laughing at me. Dan tried to encourage and motivate me...it only made me frustrated. I felt defeated, worthless.

How come Dan could just decide to do something and do it? Why did I struggle?

I started to examine my life. I prayed a lot. I realized that I am not disciplined, I am a victim, I don't struggle. I realized that my aversion to running was symptomatic of the state of my heart. I think I can do it all. If I don't think I can do it, then I don't do it. I don't struggle.

I don't recognize my own weakness which ultimately means I don't recognize God's strength. His greatness. When I try to live out of my own self, I deny myself my relationship God. If I never struggle I never get to experience how big and good and kind and sweet and gentle and loving and patient and powerful my Lord and Saviour is...

So I committed to run. I committed to struggle. I prayed that the Lord would help me recognize those lies that I told myself. I prayed that my time would be a sweet time of meditation and conversation with the Lord. I prayed that I would recognize the victories and not be defeated by the setbacks.  He has been gracious to answer these prayers. Running has become a sweet time for me. Time to be alone with my thoughts, with the Lord. (Alone time is a rarity for me.)

I love where the Lord has me in life. Every day is hard, but every day is sweet.

Thanks for listening...


7 months!

Happy 7 months Cheeks!!

We went for Mark's 6 month well visit yesterday. (Yes at 7 months) Found out two very surprising things.

The first surprise was that this chunk did not gain a single pound since his last doctor's visit, which was almost 3 months ago!! He still weighs 18 pound. I was certain that he had made it past the 20 lb mark!

He is now in the 75th percentile for weight. Although he is still in the 98th percentile for height, he is now 28 inches long.

The second surprise....first ear infection! I had no idea. Poor kid! 
This is his first prescription, but he loves it.

Love you Mark!!

thanks for listening,


Déjà vu

I mentioned earlier that my boys were the exact same size when they were born. They also looked/look a lot alike.

Can you tell which boy is which?

Boy #1:

Boy #2:

I think they look a lot alike exact for the cheeks!


2 years ago

It was only 2 years (and about 3 months) ago, when this sweet face was born. 

My precious Little Man.

And now...

I love kissing that face.


Brother Mark

It is like I am going back in time with these posts...sorry! 

The other day Luke spent the whole day calling Mark, brother Mark. I loved it. I wish he did it all the time. It makes me want to break out in a gospel song and yell 'Praise the Lord' in a televangelist voice.

Here are some pictures of Brother Mark's birth day. Hard to believe that this was only 6 months ago...

Mark looked JUST like his big brother Luke when he was born. They were pretty much the same size, too.

9 lbs 4 oz  22 1/2 in

Big boys!

Mark was born at 9:45 in the morning, so we had the rest of the day for family to visit.

Gammy and Pap meeting Mark.

Aunt Meredith (soon to be mama herself) meeting Mr. Mark. 

Grandma came down to stay with big bro Luke while Dan and I were in the hospital. The week Mark was born was a pretty big week in DC (where Dan's parents live). There was an earthquake early in the week and Grandma had to leave the day after Mark was born to beat a hurricane!

thanks for listening,


Mark's Baptism

Mark was baptised on January 15th. It was a sweet time with family and with our church. Mark's was especially sweet because my dad was able to stand up with us as our elder and offer a prayer for Mark. 

Luke was a wiggle-worm through out the whole thing! He finally sat still the longest on Dan's shoulders. 

Mark is such a sweet little guy. I can already see a difference in personality between Luke and Mark. Luke is so full of independence and spunk. Luke also prefers Dan to me. Mark seems to be so much calmer and is much more of a Mama's boy than Luke ever was!

Bob and Martha (Dan's parents) came down for the baptism.

Most of my family was able to make it! My sister Caroline's hubby had already left for Fort Riley and my sister Meredith was on a ski trip with her youth group. 

One of the things that I love most about baptisms is the reminder that as parents we aren't alone in raising our kids. Not only has God provided a wonderful and supportive biological family, but our church family is amazing. We are so grateful to be a part of Cross Park Church.

This is Dan's blessing for Mark. If you remember he also gave a blessing for Luke at his baptism (which you can read on this blog). I love having this written blessing for our boys to remind us and them God's wish for our lives.


As a father seeing you a happy beautiful boy brings joy to my life. 

It is hard for me knowing that you were born into a world that has turned away from its creator and seems to have turned from hope.

Since birth your mother and I have given you over to God knowing that we cannot provide for you or protect you. Even with the benefits of being brought into God’s covenant family, which are abundant, we are all still sinners and will fall short.

One thing that I do know is

 “… That in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who were called according to his purpose.  For those the he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed in the image of his Son, so that he may be the first born among many brothers.  For those he predestined, He also called, those He called he also justified, those he justified he also glorified.”

-Romans 8:28-30

Mark your name is a reminder to me that God uses all things to bring new life to His people. 

Knowing that the path will not always be smooth, rest in the fact that your Lord and savior will walk down it with you, that he has already walked it, and he knows the way.

Walk down that narrow road son knowing that if you give your life to God he will use it and lead your every step.  He will lead you to new life.  He will lead you to His Glory.

Thanks for loving us!


I'm ba-ack!

Well, at least that is my goal. I enjoy writing and would like to make more time for it.

Lots has changed since my last post...oh...almost 2 years ago!

Luke is now 2 years old. Full of personality and two-isms...that just means that we hear a lot of no's and he hears just as many from us.

Mark has also joined our family.  'Cheeks' as I affectionately call him. He is my big, chunk of a 6 (almost 7) month old.

I am the Nursery Coordinator at our new church, Cross Park. This is a huge blessing for our family and allows me to work from home and serve our church. Cross Park is a church plant from our old church and meets less than a mile from our house.

Dan is still at Vanguard, but is in the midst of applying for the FBI. Special Agent Dan...has a nice ring to it.

One of my new goals is to make it back here regularly for pictures and life updates. I also just hatched a dream to write a book. Most likely due to the fact that I just finished reading the book my dad wrote for Luke. A tradition that he is hoping to follow with each grandchild. He is going to be busy! Two more kiddos this fall!

Anyways...I hope to also throw out some of my ideas for my book on here and to practice some creative writing.

Thanks for playing along!