New Lily

It’s Cross Country Season at my House..Just Watch the Laundry Pile Up!

Just a few of the running shoes around our house these days!

Just a few of the running shoes around our house these days!

It isn’t hard to figure out what season we are in.  It isn’t summer or fall…it’s XC season (at least at the Hetzel house it is)!  As the coach of the Grace Academy cross country team, I am running with the athletes about four days a week…and my kids are running too (#8 and #7 – C.C. and John-run with our group and even # 9 hops out of the baby jogger often).  #4 (Peter), #5 (Annie), and #6 (Grace) also run for my team as high school and middle school runners.  That’s a lot of shoes lying around…especially when you consider the additional spikes, too.

Death by laundry...

Death by laundry…

Many people think of football when they think of fall and the start of the school year…not me.  Cross country practices, meets, and invitationals fill our fall days. Tempo runs, stride outs, Indian runs, Kenyan outbacks, track workouts, ladders…this is our language. Unfortunately for me, it means a lot more laundry too. What are your fall days filled with?

A Family Run…Priceless!

#5, #8, and #9 after our run at the trail.  My husband, #4 and #6 had already headed to Starbucks for post-run treat.

#5, #8, and #9 after our run at the trail. My husband, #4 and #6 had already headed to Starbucks for post-run treat.

I was supposed to run early last Sunday.  Although I have developed a policy of not running on most Sundays, we had decided to go to a late Mass and it was a gorgeous morning.  The alarm woke me up, but I was too tired from a recent trip to Italy  to actually get out of the bed.  I lamely texted my running friend and told her I was a no-show.  I kept on sleeping.  When I finally did awake, I noticed #8  (C.C.) and #9 (Sam) in the bed with us.  I heard a few of the older ones already downstairs making breakfast.  It’s always hard for me to head out on a morning run when everyone is home. Typically, I sneak out early before everyone is up.

Sunday, however, it was too late to sneak out. I was just about to hop on my Lifecycle when my husband announced he was going for a run and asked if I wanted to join him.  #4 (Peter) was going and so was #5 (Annie).  It was tempting…I could leave the younger three with their sister #6 (Grace).  Before I could respond, the kids who had invaded my bed started to yell that they wanted to come too.  So much for a nice, long, leisurely run. Oh well. [Read more…]

Keeping Advent and Christmas

An Advent wreath is just one way to bring meaning to the season…

I move away from the fitness subject today.   I find that I become easily frustrated this time of year.  It’s not the hustle and bustle, the baking and decoratons, or even the Christmas cards (which I am hoping to finally get out this year).  It’s the bombardment of the “shopping mall version” of Christmas that always seems to get me down.  Don’t get me wrong… good ol’ Saint Nick himself isn’t the cause of my angst. We celebrate his visit in our home on December 6th (the Feast of Saint Nicholas) when shoes are filled with treats and surprises and we get a glimpse of the special giving of the Christmas season.  Even the modern jolly, plump Santa is hard not to like, after all. [Read more…]

Together We Are “16 Kid Fit”!

Sisters16 kids! That is how many children my sisters’ Susan, Elizabeth, and I have all together. When we get together, like we did last week when Elizabeth came to Charlotte to visit from California, it is nonstop fun for all of the cousins.

Athletics are a big part of all of our lives. Between the three families, we have quite a few sports covered…swimming, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and cross country to name a few. There is always some event to watch, and last week it was my nephew’s AAU basketball game…very exciting! But the real excitement was on my sister Susan’s driveway, where a different kind of intense basketball took place… the cousin rivalry variety! It was Thomas, David, and Ben versus Adam, Charlie and Peter, and it was a thrillling nail-biter that came down to the wire. [Read more…]

9 Kid Weekend…No Time For Exercise Today

soccerSometimes we just can’t fit it all in! When I woke up to my seven year-old asking about breakfast at 6:30 a.m., I glanced at my phone. Three text messages. Both of our highschool boys had stayed the night at friends. One message was from my 15 year-old asking if we could get him to to his morning practice. Another message was from our 17 year-old who was just checking in with us to tell us he was on his way to his morning swim practice (seems like we should have coordinated that better). The other message was from our 21 year-old son at the US Naval Academy. He was supposed to do a PST(I think that stands for physical standard test which I think consists of maximum push-ups, maximum pull-ups, maximum sit-ups, a 500 yard swim in camouflage, and a mile and a half run). His message had come in at 3:45 a.m., because he had been sick all night and was wondering if it could be food poisoning. He later sent a message saying he was sure it was the full blown stomach flu.

After sending him a quick message of encouragement, I got up to start the day, which would include three soccer games, three swim practices, possibly a nephew’s basketball game, and a combined birthday party for two of our daughters in our backyard (12 girls for pizza and ice cream)! Although I would like nothing else than to escape on a VERY long run or lose myself in a spin class, it looks like the only exercise I will be getting today is walking from the parking lot to the soccer game and fielding some birthday games in the yard. [Read more…]

Who says you have to workout to get a workout?

lawn mowerSo much for best laid plans! When the alarm sounded off in my ear this morning, there was no way I was getting out of bed. Even a second blaring of the alarm 10 minutes later was not going to arouse me. When I set the alarm last night, it was 10 pm. That was right before Thomas, my 16 year old, asked for help with the second paragraph of the paper he was struggling to write. About two hours later I emerged from the bonus room (he was still furiously writing), only to remember the email I needed to send before I went to sleep. At about 12:45, I finally fell into bed. [Read more…]