Monday, June 06, 2011

Monday Musings, Post #1

I have so many half-composed blog posts in my head, but I don't post them because the task of putting the words together in a full and complete package is too time-consuming right now (read: I'm already spending three to four hours a week running, and I've got eight kids to attend to as well!).

But I miss writing, so I'd like to start putting a few smaller thoughts into posts on (some) Mondays. If you enjoy it, leave some comments and I'll do it more often.

* I've been refining our summer schedule and plans. All the work is divided up into three charts and one team is assigned to a different chart each week. Since we spent last week in Arizona, this week will be our first on the new system. I'm having each team member give the other a letter grade every day, hoping that will motivate the kids to work hard. We have a full and fun summer planned, with swimming twice a week, movies once a week, library once a week, summer orchestra, horseback riding, Daddy trips (ah, those wonderful Daddy trips!), and other fun adventures. I'm hoping the "work hard, play hard," theme will carry us through. Cross your fingers for me.

* I'm going to be doing all my long runs on Saturday mornings this summer. That's usually when we clean the house, but I've moved all the jobs to Friday mornings and divided them up. Saturdays will be running days and project-completion days. And this Saturday will be my first half-marathon!

* Most of my clothes are too big for me. I've gone down a size and a half and most of my pants, especially, are really baggy. I'm not complaining; it's a great thing to experience, but at the same time, I'm too frugal to spend money on clothes when I'm hoping to be down another size and a half by the fall. So I'll probably look frumpy for a while. Bear with me.

* When all of the kids are home, I always find myself with less discretionary time (I do have eight kids!) but more flexibility. I can run errands alone or take just the kids I want along, go outside to play with some of the kids without worrying about listening for Katie to wake up, or go on a run without having to coordinate with my husband's schedule. That freedom is wonderful, and one of the bonuses of having older kids.

* I try really hard not to put too much of a burden on my oldest child. I remember talking to an older woman five or six years ago who was the oldest of twelve. She said she loves it now, but hated it growing up because she felt like every time she turned around, her mother was shoving a chore chart in her face. Lillian is wonderful and responsible, but I try hard to spread that responsibility out, and it's fairly easy to do because the first three are so close in age -- born in three years and one week.

* I read several books while on vacation last week. The Bookseller of Kabul is disturbing and sad, a story about a real family in Afghanistan. From the introduction, you expect the bookseller to be progressive and somewhat of a hero (he saved books from the Taliban, after all), but it soon becomes clear how much women are devalued even in this home. The tyranny that prevails in some homes there is nothing short of evil.

* On a lighter note, I enjoyed reading Mile Markers, a book of short insights on running (I think gathered from the author's Runner's World blog). She had some meaningful, moving passages, and I kept hoping that someday I love running the way she does. Right now, I cycle through liking, loving, and loathing. I also found myself envious of Kristen Armstrong's description of the bonds she has with her running friends. I'd love to have someone to run with. Anyone want to join me for some (slow) early-morning three to six miles runs this summer?

* Redbox is awesome. We used it for the first time on the way home from California in March. Four hours of movies the kids had never seen before for only $2? Priceless was the peace it bought us. And the "return them anywhere" policy is awesome, as is the "reserve what you want in advance online" feature. We used Redbox heavily for the ten-plus hour drives we had on our way to California.

* Running through the desert on a cool summer morning is refreshing. Running with your son while seeing jackrabbits, lizards, roadrunners, and woodpeckers is pure bliss.

* I had two weird dreams this week. In the first, I got off the bus at the starting line pumped and ready for my half-marathon, only to look down and see I was wearing my slip-on shoes, not my running shoes. In the second, I was pregnant with our ninth child and looked at the calendar to realize I'd gone four days past my due date. But I was feeling so great, I hardly noticed and I'd skipped my doctor's appointment the week before.

* Do you think if I lose another thirty pounds, I'll get faster? I don't really mind that I average 12 minute miles, but maybe I'm really a 10-minute-miler who is only slowed down by the extra weight.

* I made up summer rules for our family. There's only five. What do you think?
1. Follow the Golden Rule.

2. Work Hard, Play Hard

3. Be Responsible (close doors behind you, clean up your messes, do your chores, follow instructions)

4. Ask first (for going outside, TV, Wii, friends, snacks other than fruit)

5. Stick Together (help your chore buddy, watch out for each other, stay with your partner outside)


swedemom said...

loved your musings. I would comment more but I need divert some disasters.

swedemom said...

Perhaps I meant avert. . .
Whatever. It's been a day!

Corri said...

It sounds like you're all set! I hope you have a wonderful summer.

(And I am completely in awe of all the dedication that you've shown to your running plan. Amazing!)

Maryanne said...

I feel the same way about blog posts-- it's seeming that I have an idea but never can get the time to write it up as a whole post. I really liked this! lots of great ideas and thoughts (as far as running, yes, I think you'll get faster if you lose more and keep at it-- I used to be a runner in a life very far away, but am hoping to start again after this one). As for clothes, maybe make a DI run? Even if you found two things that fit better, I'd think it would be motivating.

Sarah L said...

Hello! I have been reading your blog for awhile -- I love your stories about your family -- but I've never posted before. I just had to on this one though because ... I ran my first half marathon two weekends ago and, no joke, showed up at the race with two left sneakers. One was my roommate's, one was mine (I had put on flip flops to drive to the race). I had to drive (like a madwoman) home and back to the start line to barely make it (it was a 9000 person race).

Anyway, hopefully that means that nothing bad will happen for you since I already did an incredibly foolish thing!

Laura@livingabigstory said...

I'm so excited for you with your running ... I can't wait to read how your half-marathon goes!

(And congrats on your weight loss -- YEAH!)

Holli said...

Congrats on the weight loss!

I like the summer rules. Keeps to the basics, but covers so much. Have a great summer!

Liz Wheeler said...

I always love your posts and updates Christina. I miss them when you don't have as much time to post. Yes, I think you will get your mile faster. Thanks for the reminder about the oldest. We are working hard this summer to teach our oldest a lot of things since we will need her help when the baby comes (in a couple weeks).

Stacey said...

I love your musings! And I'm so excited for your running and weight loss goals. Maybe it will help me get motivated in a week when I get clearance to start running. Your summer is so organized. I'm tragically unorganized when it comes to summer. I'm a "wake up and decide what to do" kind of gal in the summer. I do think you'll get faster. It just takes time. And I always run my races faster than I train. I think it's adrenalin. I hope you have a great week!

Claire said...

I'm going to have to steal those rules for my summer too...thanks for the idea!

rachel said...

I like your rules! What's the golden rule?

Handsfullmom said...

Rachel, the golden rule is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."


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