Sweet Words

I meant to post this last week when it happened, but with the triathlon, I forgot.  As I was sitting here tonight it popped back in my mind and made me tear up again.

Last week I went and hung out with a friend of mine.  We went and picked up her kids from school and then went for pizza.  I was sitting next to her 8 year old, Maisey, and we were coloring on the kids menu.  I said, “Art isn’t really my gift, but I can tell that it’s definitely one of your gifts Maisey.”  I went on to tell her what I really liked about what she was drawing.  Then she said: “It’s ok that art isn’t your gift.  I know what your gift is.  Your gift is love and joy.”

My First Triathlon!

Yesterday I participated in my very first, but not last, triathlon.  I had a BLAST!  I wasn’t really sure if I was going to like it or not because I was so nervous about the swim and the transitions, but now I can’t wait to do another one!  I met up with my friends at 4:45 in the morning and we headed down to Peachtree City for the big race.  What was really awesome is that my cousin Zach and my friend Elizabeth (from my last post) were also racing.  I have been wanting to do a race with Zach and Lindsay for awhile, so I was glad to have at least one of them with me this time.  I will join Lindsay in one next season for sure!

It was awesome to have my parents, my future brother-in-law, my Aunt Jody, and my cousin Gretchen (Zach’s wife) all cheering for me!  Actually Zach was cheering for me too because he was done with the race long before I even got off my bike.  But he is a genetic anomaly, so that doesn’t really count.  We will just say I let him win.

I had two goals for this race:

1. Finish

2. Don’t walk during the run

I am proud to say that I accomplished both.  And, now that I have done one, I have a time to work on.  Here are some pics (compliments of my mom) from a great day!

My car, loaded up with bikes and gear!

My transition area.  Notice how it’s still dark out.  So disturbing!

The swim.  I am the one wearing the bright green swim cap.

Coming out of the water.  I am the third one back.

Starting out on the ride.

Heading back into the transition area after the ride.

Getting ready for the run.

Coming up the last hill.

Giving my dad a high five.

Crossing the finish line!

Zach and me after our first race together!  Notice how he is dry and not looking tired?  That’s because he finished in an hour and six minutes!

The North Point crew.

Swim, bike, run!

Hanging out after the race in our Atlanta Challenge shirts.

Solid Foundation

I was just watching the Larry King Interview of Steven Curtis Chapman and his family before I deleted it from my DVR.  When I watched it the first time I was really mad at Larry King and they way he interrupted them and was kind of rude.  But my mom says that’s how he always is.  So this time when I was watching it I just kind of ignored them and was just listening to what the Chapmans were saying.  They said a lot of great things, but something that Mary Beth said at the very end of the interview hit so deep in my heart.  Larry King was asking her if she ever doubted God or her faith through this whole thing.  She said no and then said:

“When it got to its darkest darkest point and we went as far down as we could, we might not have ended landed feet first, we might have landed on our face, but this foundation was solid.  And it was there.  And we landed.  And it’s a day at a time.”

So well put and so very true.  I think she should write some songs too.

Eat Light, Eat Often

I have been learning a lot lately from my friend Elizabeth.  Actually, we just met last week, so our entire friendship has been very educational!  She is the Wellness Director for Chick-fil-A and has been helping us out with things at North Point Ministries.  

Here are a few things that I have learned from Elizabeth:

  • Figure out your training range for your heart rate and stay in it.  It’s frustrating at first, but it pays off.  I tried this last week on a run after I talked to her and I was able to DOUBLE the distance that I run.  That’s right, I said double!   I am running five miles with no problem and could go even farther if I didn’t get bored.
  • Eat a protein rich snack (100-150 calories) within a half hour of working out.  This boosts your energy and blood sugar and gives your muscles something to work off of.
  • Eat light and eat often.  I had always heard this, but couldn’t really figure out a way to do it and always felt slightly deprived of the things I like.  Because I’m training I discovered that I need to eat about every two hours.  Elizabeth taught me that my snacks and meals should be rich in protein and fiber, and I can even incorporate little treats!  My favorite thing to do for my afternoon snack is to bring a bag of almonds (a small handful) and put 5 peanut m&m’s in it.  I make myself eat the almonds first, so I am getting the protein that will keep me full, but I am also getting a little chocolate fix that is balanced out by all the good stuff in the almonds.  I love it!  I have also found that half of a Clif Mojo bar or a whole Clif Kids bar is a great snack, especially right after a workout.  All snacks should be 100-150 calories.
  • Each meal should consist of five handfuls.  One handful of protein, two handfuls of fruits/vegetables, two handfuls of grains.  It’s also ok to substitute in some of your favorites in the grains place every now and then too.  For example, if you go to Chick-fil-A and want the fries, don’t eat the bun on your sandwich.

These little tips have really changed a lot of things for me this past week and it is something that is manageable and that I don’t have to think a lot about.  I feel a lot better because my body is never lacking in the energy it needs, and my jeans fit a little better!  Both of those are wins to me!

A Day In The Life of Cooper

I had my camera over at my parents house this afternoon and followed Cooper around with it while Ella took her nap.  Cooper’s life is really pretty interesting.  Here are some of his favorite things!

He is a really big fan of climbing these days.  It’s a good workout and helps to maintain his stunning bod.

Once he gets to the top he likes to kick back and relax with a toy.

Maybe watch a little Cosby.

Those Cosbys are hilarious!

Another thing Cooper likes to do is look out the window.

Sometimes you get a better view if you stand.

Or if you smoosh your face against it.

He really cracks himself up when he does that!

Occasionally his view out the window is impeded by the blinds.  Cooper knows it’s important to plan his next move carefully.

He has found that the best method to deal with the blinds is to reach as far as he can, pull the string to a manageable level, and insert the wood pieces into his mouth.

After that he likes to take a walk.  He’s still not so sure about this area of his life, but once again, thinks it could do some good things for the bod.

He likes to end his walks with a good tickle to work his abs.

He really loves his mommy.

And he’s a pretty big fan of his Aunt Kelly, or at least he pretends to be so that she will give him diet coke and cookies.

After this kind of a day it’s always good to eat some pizza.

Sometimes while he eats pizza he likes to stare at the fan.

He really only eats the pizza so that he can move onto the real love of his life:  ice cream.

Yeah, that’s an ice cream beard.

Cooper likes to wrap up his day with a bath.  Here he is with his buckets.

Here are some of his other favorite bath toys.

The End.