New Lily

After a Diagnosis of Cancer, We are Left Feeling… Hopeful

James and me after the birth of our 9th child, Sam.

Quote of the Week: Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

On February 29th my husband, James, was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of his throat. I suppose there was some point in my life when I wondered what it would be like to hear the words from a doctor that someone I loved had cancer. But, I never thought it would be my husband, 48 years old and healthy, the father of 9. [Read more…]

Dedication Miles, Running with a Purpose, and Throwing Caution to the Wind

ifeet runningmagesI’m leaving for Washington, DC tomorrow and will run the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. Trying to dismiss the hamstring pain that seems to now be creeping around my hip, I thought I would re-read a favorite book, “Born to Run”, to get psyched up and forget my soreness for a while. I should have remembered the kind of emotion the book evoked from me the last time I read it, but just like that time, I got sucked into the way Christopher McDougall tells a story. If you haven’t read his book , I highly recommend it, whether you consider yourself a runner or not.

This time, though, I realized that one of the reasons I enjoyed reading his book so much was the intriguing people he wrote about. They are not like most of us, who, while we all may be a little nuts, are definitely more sane than crazy. The characters (real in every way) in McDougalls’s book are definitely not afraid of pushing themselves and living on the edge…the closer to it the better. These are people who run for long distances (way longer than 26.2 miles) for the fun of it…literally. FOR THE FUN OF IT! I guess we can all live a little vicariously through these wild runners who seem to throw caution to the wind.
[Read more…]

Hot Sweaty Mamas!

Having just finished the book, Hot Sweaty Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom by Kara Thom and Laurie Kocanda, I am struck by something. As a twin, I have had the fortune in life to have another person who thinks just like I do. This sounds like a trite statement, but it is a profound thing. My twin sister doesn’t even have to say anything, I just know how she feels and what she means when she says something, and she feels the same way about me. I believe it is a gift; a “twin thing”, and I really didn’t think I would ever experience it outside of this “twin language”. This book has proved me wrong. [Read more…]

The Rule of 70

pizza-junk-food-600A lot of people ask two questions: 1. How much of weight loss comes from diet? and; 2. How much of weight loss comes from exercise? These are very good questions. While important, they ignore another component – genetics. Our DNA certainly plays a key role in the size and build of a person. In our family, I have really seen how this is manifested in our children. Even with the same parents, not all of our children are built the same. So, after considering the genetic aspect, then it comes down to diet and exercise, which are the two components we can control. While it might be easy to assume that it would be about 50/50 (diet/exercise), I think it is really more like 70/30, which is why I call this the “Rule of 70”. [Read more…]

Quote of the Week: “When I Run I Feel His Pleasure”…

RunnerPURPLEOn Monday I wrote about endorphins, those neurotransmitters in the brain that have been known to induce euphoria. Today I am writing about another kind of euphoria that can also come from running and exercising…the spiritual kind. Although we have all heard of the slogan “mind, body, spirit“, it can sometimes seem strange to integrate the three in a literal way. One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie, “Chariots of Fire”. In the movie, runner Eric Liddle of Scotland (a missionary and winner of the 400 meters in the 1924 Olympics in Paris) is explaining to his sister his desire to run in the Olympic Games. He says, “God made me for a purpose. But he also made me Fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” [Read more…]

My Favorite Workout: The Cardio/Core Combo

IMG_0019The other day I wrote about my least favorite workout…Plyometrics. Lest I appear like a whiner, I will write today about my favorite kind of workout…the Cardio/Core Combo. I like this kind of workout because I never have time to get tired of one thing. Typically I don’t use weights for this, just my body and a few extras (like bands and a medicine ball). However, it is still considered “strength training”. Using a timer, I only do each exercise for about one minute, but I am always amazed how hard this can be. By doing Cardio first, I feel warmed up and ready for the Core exercises. The other reason I like to get the Cardio out of the way is that I am forced to do the Core work under time pressure. I usually don’t have much more than about an hour and 15 minutes to exercise, so I have to work fast and I don’t have time between sets. My first choice for Cardio is always running, but I don’t like to run more than four days a week if possible. When I can’t run, I usually do the elliptical machine or the exercise bike (we have a Lifecycle at home…but no elliptical). One thing I like about the elliptical or bike is that I can read while I workout. Since it is difficult to find time during the day to read (and I usually fall asleep immediately after I open a book before bed), I love the chance to fit it in. [Read more…]

The Wonderful “Realness” of Motherhood

Rabbit“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are real you don’t mind being hurt.”-The Velveteen Rabbit

I think one of the hardest parts about being a mother is that we are real… and so are our children. Parenting is a continual act of living in reality…even if we would much rather just live in a world where our children didn’t get hurt, didn’t make mistakes, didn’t have to suffer. I remember when my first four or five children were little. My oldest was no more than 10. Sometimes it felt like I was the mother duck and they were my little ducklings; if I looked behind me, they were all following…my little brood. I’m sure I thought this was real, and it was. But it was also only temporary. As my first few children embarked on the teen years, the “real” was not so easy. When I looked behind me I didn’t always have the same view. What I saw was the older ones venturing off in different directions and I couldn’t as easily herd them back. I started to lose that control that I must have believed I would always have. It hurt a little, and my fur got a little tattered. [Read more…]

Youth is a Time for Extraordinary Toil…

swimming1Quote of the Week: Youth is a time for extraordinary toil. Plato

I witnessed something extraordinary yesterday. It happened at a swim meet (Tarheel State) in Huntersville, NC. At this meet there were a lot of very fast swims, best times, and records pushed. But the extraordinary thing that I saw wasn’t any of those things. [Read more…]

Me and the Energizer Bunny

BUNNYThe Energizer Bunny is alive and well…! Actually, I’m not sure where the credit is really due, to the battery… or to our Lifecycle stationary bike.  We’ve owned this Lifecycle since 1992, when my husband bought it for me before #2 (Mary Kate), was born.  It has moved with us from Bloomington, IN to St. Louis, MO, to Indianapolis, IN and finally to Charlotte, NC.  Along the way, the bike has been a loyal friend to me. Especially during my pregnancies and postpartum months (years, to be more accurate).

As I got increasingly larger during pregnancies, and it was harder to run, I would ride the bike.  When it was raining or snowing and I couldn’t get out, I would ride the bike.  When I was sidelined by injury, I could usually still ride my bike.  And sometimes, when I just wanted to read and not think about exercise, I rode the bike.  We don’t have an exercise room, so the Lifecycle has always graced our bedroom or closet (large closet). [Read more…]