tulsa run.

The Tulsa Run began in 1978 with a challenging and scenic course running through the best of downtown Tulsa and the scenic River Parks. 32 years later, this Tulsa tradition is still going strong and each passing year only adds to its interesting history.

saturday morning was the tulsa run.  the only time i have participated in this event was in 2008.  the course is approx. 9.3 miles (15k) and runs through the hills of midtown and down the river.  the biggest challenge though is the monster hill right after the eight mile mark.  it's like a sucker punch right at the end of a nice run.  the first year i was not prepared and thought i might die.  this year however i ran the hill last week and was expecting the burn.  i strategically walked on two, short, steep parts of the half mile hill to conserve my energy and run the remainder of the run through the finish line.  it worked like a charm.  my butt is sore today but it's the good kind of sore.  the kind where you know you worked out the day before but can still move and function perfectly - you just get a little reminder occasionally.
the weather was chilly at the start line but the wind made it cold.  tera, my run partner, and i met before we went downtown.  we were running around and the sun was shining so when we got to the parking lot we made the dumb split decision to leave our jackets trash bags in the car.  whoopsie.  we definitely should have worn those to keep warm before the gun.  oh well.  we survived.  lesson learned.  once we got near the start line, we crammed ourselves in the middle to try to avoid the wind.  perfect solution.  once there, i spotted my friend and her mother.  i had so hoped i could see them so it was a really nice way to start the run. 
i have worn a garmin forerunner while running for years.  it is a form of security blanket.  i like knowing how far i've run, my current pace and my total time.  it helps me to speed up or slow down, depending on the length of the run.  well, the worst thing happened yesterday - i thought my garmin died.  r.i.p.  i tried to start it about 10 minutes before the gun and nothing happened.  nada.  it didn't even pretend to turn on.  at first i thought my fingers were too cold and i just wasn't pressing it down hard enough but after several attempts, i had no luck.  i felt like i was running the blind.  in a way this brought me anxiety but in another way it was nice.  i just ran.  i forced myself to just run and not worry about my pace.  i ended the run with a chip time of 1:31:01.  i guarantee you if i had had my garmin, i would have ran at least 2 seconds faster.  dangit.  oh well!  that still left me with a 9:46 per mile average pace.  i'm happy with that time.  i had hoped to beat my 2008 time and i did it by two minutes.  score!  i plugged in my garmin when i got home and nothing.  i was sure it was gone.  i repeated this over and over throughout the afternoon with the same result.  then randomly i plugged it in last night and it worked.  like normal.  i've even turned it on today and it seems to work perfect.  i'm going to test it out before i buy the same thing again but i'm a little worried.  i do not want this to happen for my next run, my first marathon run.
mr. h brought james down to see me run.  the thing is, i didn't know exactly where he'd be so i had to be on the lookout from about mile 5 on through after the 6 mile mark.  luckily he's awesome and i saw him twice.  he had the camera and was trying to get some pictures.  i know it would be difficult to track me while also watching james.  when the race was over i asked how the pictures were and he said that he got several of me running away.  i didn't stop for a photo op or kisses.  i was running!
but he did manage to get my reaction when i first saw them:

and running off:

and signaling that i'd see him after the turn around:

after the turn around and 6 mile marker, i had my eyes peeled again.  i waved and called for james as i passed but this is the only picture that was taken:

i don't have the perfect run picture but i appreciate the thought.  i know there are so many people and i know how hard it is to multitask with a toddler.  kudos to mr. h.  james had a good time watching all the people and took a long nap after the run festivities.  my run partner is the skinny girl in the purple.  she actually spotted them at the first pass.  i was even looking on the other side of the street but i'm super lucky and got to see this guy.  twice!

tera and i finished the last three miles of the run and got our bottle of water and snickers bar.  we waited at the finish line to cheer on our friends that were still running.  it feels so great to hear you name as you run.  i love how it makes me feel so i like to return the favor when possible.
this week's saturday run was nice.  next week i'm on to a 22 mile training run.  the tulsa run was a nice break in the normal training runs.  it was nice to run and cross a finish line.  my next finish line will be after 26.2 miles.  i look forward to that feeling again.


thumbs up.

it's finally fall here in oklahoma.  it's freezing at night and in the morning but manages to mess your wardrobe up by being sunny and in the 70s during the day.  it's a tricky time of year.  layers are about the only solution.  i mean, if your office is anything like mine it's either hot or cold.  it doesn't seem to matter what the weather is outside.  it's freezing in the summer and hot in the winter.  if you wear that plush sweater, you'll regret it and sweat to death.  anyway, i was having the same dilemma with james.  no, obviously not what to wear to work but what to wear while riding in his carseat.  big jacket?  no, seatbelt won't fasten.  hat?  maybe.  he's about 50/50 if he'll keep it on longer than 5 minutes.  vest?  maybe.  they do have a cute one i could buy... oh who am i kidding. i bought it and forced the kid to wear it yesterday. 

is that adorable or what?!! 
at first he didn't really like it but he got used to it.  i mean, he was acting like he couldn't walk.  seriously james?  the vest just throws off your balance??  it was pretty funny to watch.  i could tell he wasn't uncomfortable.  i don't really know why the vest would constrict his stride but he eventually adapted and moved on.
since fall is is full swing mr. h and i decided to take james to the park again last night.  i know that once daylight savings time hits and the weather turns colder, the park will only be a memory until next year.  well, we may take him on the weekend but i'm talking about for an evening adventure.  we decided to try a park we haven't been to before.  i hoped they had swings.  i still want to take pictures of a swinging baby!  we got there and discovered it was a park made for big kids or kids older than james.  and didn't have swings.  great!

james just looked at it for a while.  not sure where to go or what to do.  but once he ventured towards the playground, we realized one thing.  james cannot walk on sand.  this sand was thick and he would trip and then get it all over himself.  i'm not going to lie, he didn't like it but neither did i.  i mean, i didn't want to get sand in my tennis shoes.  sand and flip flops is one thing.  sand in my fall jacket and tennis shoes is another.  overall, it was pretty close to a death trap for my 1 year old.  we had to watch him like a hawk.  james seemed to enjoy himself regardless.

we played and played walked around behind james and made sure he didn't fall off anything until the sun had set and it was getting dark and cold.  mr. sunshine was not happy that we were leaving but he was tired and rubbing his eyes.  i love little family adventures.  i think james does too.

even though this picture clearly shows that james gives this park a "thumbs up" rating, i doubt we'll bring him back before next summer.



slim.  i'm referring to james.  funny, right?
this is the newest nickname given to james by mr. h and his dad, papaw.  james had been running a fever for several days last week so i went ahead and took him to the doctor.  it was the typical visit - when we got there he was fine.  perfect.  no fever.  not whiny.  into everything and talking up a storm.  fine.  the doctor said that he had a virus, one with a name that i cannot say or even begin to spell, but she could tell that his fever had broken by a small rash on his chest.  so, there was $25 bucks right out the window. 
he did however sit on the scale and for once he hadn't gained a ton of weight.  at first, i thought he lost weight but in fact he didn't.  but due to my error, he got the nickname slim.  at one year james weighed 29 pounds and 3 ounces.  he now weighs a little less than 31 pounds.  my baby has gained less than two pounds in three months but grown almost two inches!  this is huge.  he is thinning out.  i can tell by his wrists.  he doesn't have those rubberbands around them anymore.  it kind of makes me sad.  i think he looks older without all the rolls.  i miss the rolls. 
don't get me wrong, my kid still has meat on his bones but i think he's finally starting to level out.  his doctor has only been saying he would since he was six months old.  i've never been able to buy clothes ahead or on sale for the next season because i had no clue what size he would wear.  now, i'm not going to start shopping like crazy but i feel more confident that i'll be able to predict his size better from now on.  that is kind of exciting.  i'm a mother.  you can tell by the things that excite me these days.  and i'm not buying james anymore clothes for a while because i'm already jealous of his fall wardrobe.  he got outfitted by the gap while i'm still searching my closet to figure out what on earth i wore last season.  no, but seriously - what did i wear??



yesterday i had an appointment directly after work.  so, the boys were on their own for a while.   this doesn't worry me.  mr. h is a great dad and is very interactive with james.  i call on my way home and this was part of our conversation:

me: what is buster doing?

mr. h: he's having a big time.  he has a new chair.

me: did you buy him a new chair?

mr. h: no, he likes the recliner.  like the big recliner.  he can sit.  he can play.  he can rock.  he likes it!

me: o-o-o-h.  can he get down?  is it safe??

mr. h: yes, he can get down.  and i'm watching him.  he's surfing now. (he says this with enthusiasm and joy.  delight.  laughter.  as if it were one of the cutest things he's ever seen)

my thought: really?  my 1 year old is an adrenalin junkie?!!  climbing the coffee table isn't enough of a rush these days??

me: the strawberry on his forehead just healed.  if he gets hurt....

mr. h knew where the conversation was going and decided to make james get down.  or at least get down while i was on the phone.  when i got home all was well - no new bumps or bruises to james p. sunshine. 

mr. h documented what i missed:

honestly, i don't know if i'm a weenie or what but i cannot see myself letting james chair surf on my watch.  good thing he had fun while i was gone!  little boys are scary.  they're dare devils.  they make me a nervous wreck. 


pumpkin patch

we took james to the pumpkin patch last year.  of course i knew it was more for me than for him and of course i thought "next year i'll be able to get the perfect picture".  nope, not so much.  james is a talker.  his teacher comments on how much he "talks" all the time.  so, in most pictures, he's making so weird facial expressions because he's jabbering away.  as of now, we can have entire conversations but he only says a few recognizable words but i know he's trying so hard that i entertain the idea.  i can't wait for us to have real conversations.  (it would make mommy/son date night much more enjoyable.  i took him out to eat, alone, while ben was on vacation.  we survived but it wasn't quiet as wonderful as i had hoped.) 

so, last year james didn't want to pose on the pumpkins and couldn't sit up.  here are some of the blooper snaps that i never posted.
it's rough to be james.  obviously.

this year james loved being outside and on the pumpkins.  it was a rainy day but we had a birthday party to attend and luckily it stopped raining for an hour so we could enjoy ourselves.  we just put some jeans and rain boots on and were set to go.  i tried and tried to get a good picture but he was talking, throwing the prop pumpkins and just too interested in everything else going on.  me and my camera were on the very bottom of his priority list.  i'm okay with that.  after a bit, i stopped trying and enjoyed the day.  all the pictures carry the true memory anyway.
james had a lot to say.  until...he got to ride a pony.  he loved it.  we didn't know it at the time because he didn't make a sound and had a death grip on the saddle horn but after james, and mr. h made many circles, mr. h deemed it time to get off the pony.  as soon as we put james down, he just wanted to get right back on.  it was so cute.  i'm so glad he enjoyed the ride.  he's a little cowboy already.  (go pokes!)
see those beads?  those were a party favor.  he loved them!  they are in every picture since he got them.  if he dropped them, they needed to be picked up immediately.  he didn't wear them like a girl as a necklace, but he was proud to have them. 
as a party favor, we were given food to feed the goats and chickens.  i think it was a makeshift petting zoo.  while the petting area was fun for some kids, james wasn't wanting to hold the food and have a strange animal eat off his hand.  he would watch very closely though if mr. h or i did it for him.  they also provided anti-bac hand sanitizer so i was game to feed the goats for him.  you would think they were either starving, poking their heads through the fence, or stuffed because they wanted nothing to do with you or the food you were offering.  i thought goats ate everything all the time.  i'm no expert though.  maybe these were picky goats. 
once it began to rain again, we knew it was time to go.  james was tired and we were ready to make the trek home.  overall, we had a great afternoon.  rain or shine.  it didn't matter.  i'm so glad we didn't let a little water stop us.  we're ready to take james to ride a pony again.  i hope there are more places throughout the year.  i would hate to have to wait another year for him to get the chance.
or we may take this handsome guy out to the pumpkin patch again this year.  twice in one year?  yea.  no problem.  we're proud to support local business anyway.


pay it forward.

after my saturday morning run, i was on my way to starbucks when i realized that i had forgotten to put some cash in my bag.  i had this awful feeling. i did not want to drive home to get cash or my debit card.  i knew once i got home, i would not leave.  i knew i would be without my routine, celebration coffee.  i needed that iced coffee.  i deserved it. 
i don't take my purse while i run because it would just be left, unattended, in my car for hours.  just seems like more of a hazard and something i'll worry about while i run.  i run to not worry.  i run to clear my mind. 
i did however find my starbucks gift card.  score!  i knew it had some credit on it but i had no clue as to how much.  none.  so, i pull into starbucks and dig through my car searching for dollar bills, coins, money.  any money.  i walk in completely uncertain what is going to happen.  the starbucks near my house has some prissy customers and workers that aren't exactly the most friendly bunch.  you can tell they all try so hard to be different that, in turn, they look the same.  they color their hair.  the males blowdry their unique hairdo.  they wear toms or converse.  they have piercings.  can you picture them?  it almost surprises me that they work at starbucks.  i want to inform them that it completely defeats their purpose but i don't want spit in my coffee so i just keep my thoughts to myself. 
anyway, the young cashier asks for my order.  i sheepishly reply that i'm not sure and that it will depend on how much i have left on my gift card.  swipes card - $1.45.  one dollar and forty-five cents.  you can't get anything at starbucks for less than two bucks.  i'm embarrassed.  he can tell.  as i'm counting my change i say that i don't carry my purse while i run and i forgot to grab cash so this will have to do.  he then asks how far i ran.  i tell him twenty miles.  he then says, "what a great accomplishment.  you can have whatever you want.  on the house.  we'll get it."  are you serious??!  does he have this authority?  does he see the tears that are collecting in my eyes?  i try to get him to take the giftcard and change but he refuses.  i still got my venti, iced coffee with cream.  for free.  i was so happy i wanted to jump the counter and give him a hug.  i had said thank you several times but it just didn't do justice to how grateful i really felt at that moment.  as i left the coffee shop, i realized that i needed to pay it forward.  i am a firm believer in karma.  the universe gave me a treat and i needed to pass it along.  i haven't had the opportunity yet but my eyes are open and i'm patiently waiting for my chance.

dear mr. starbucks employee,

thank you, thank you, thank you!  i will not tell your boss.  and i know you're glad that i did not jump the counter and hug you.  i'm sure i smelled like roses.  i will pay it forward and good karma will come to both of us.  gracias.

your sweaty, saturday morning customer


while the cat is gone...

...the mice will play. 

first time attempting to use the camera self-timer.  between james and the dogs, it was harder than i thought it would be to get a descent picture.  i'll probably try it again.  i'm up for the challenge.


mr. h left for an extended weekend to go on his annual pheasant hunting trip with his dad.  this trip always leaves me at home alone - with trouble.  the first year, the water company turned off the water to fix a leak and then broke the valve when turning it back on.  this required a new crew and many more hours without water.  then utah, our german shepherd, jumped our six foot privacy fence and got hit by a car. they drove off but i found my injured, smelly dog on my porch.  i don't know what happened but he smelled so bad but wouldn't let me touch him.  i'm thinking that he was getting into roadkill when he was hit.  or road rash makes dogs stink. i'm not sure.  i'm just glad my dog lived to tell about it. 
last year while ben was hunting, i was at home with a 3 month old baby.  to be honest, i think it was okay.  i was nursing.  and working.  the memory is a blur.  i'm going to take that as a good sign - there is nothing significant to mark the weekend alone.
now we're at this year.  james is 15 months old and into everything.  i knew he would keep me on my toes and running from before sun up until bedtime.  it was so much fun.  i got so much james time i hardly know what to do with myself.  everything was running smoothly until saturday night.  james was burning up.  he was running over 101 degree fever.  dreary.  this continued on to sunday. nothing is worse than a sick baby.  but what was nice is that i got to snuggle james all day.  the toys were untouched.  he only wanted to be in my lap.  snuggle time is few and far between these days so i embraced it with all my heart.  we went to the doctor on monday and he had a baby virus but it was passing.  i had to stay home with him on monday and half of the day yesterday.  it was nice.  i enjoyed the extra time with my baby. 
mr. h returned home yesterday afternoon.  james is perfect.  there is no trace of his illness.  the sheets are clean, the dishes are done, and the floors are vacuumed.  i had to sweep three times actually.  not by choice.  it's either vacuum almost everyday or get rid of my dogs.  therefore, i'm stuck with the dyson close at hand.  we missed mr. h while he was gone but you know what?  i'm so proud of myself for running the household alone.  i'm used to the teamwork that we use everyday to raise james that i was a little nervous flying solo.  i enjoyed it.  don't get me wrong - i enjoy when mr. h is in town more but i enjoyed all the extra time i got with james this long weekend.  i like it even more now that james is well and mr. h is home.  all is right at the hale household...until next years hunting trip.


hello twenty.

You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go, go, go
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello

hello saturday.  today was yet another personal record saturday.  20 miles.  twenty toe tingling miles. 
in the beginning, the sun was absent and the air was crisp.  i've enjoyed the fall temperatures.  i've enjoyed pushing myself further than i ever thought i could.  or ever thought i would.  people, i've decided twenty miles ranks up there with childbirth.  if you can run twenty miles, you can dominate childbirth.  both are almost impossible to fully describe, in words, all the vivid feelings and emotions.  how hard they both really were. (i had a hard childbirth so up until today, it was by far the hardest thing i've ever done.)  obviously there is a huge difference though - childbirth gave me best trophy i could ever ask for every single day.  after running twenty miles, i only have the memory.  those who were with me remember but other than that, it's gone.  goodbye miles.  goodbye hours.
i cannot describe how i feel.  i am excited.  scared.  relieved.  happy.  content.  sore.  tired.  strong. i am proud. 
i set an aggressive goal and i met it.  i'm telling you - it feels awesome!  my toes are a little bitter but they'll get over it.  sometimes i think i'm delirious while running.  i can't tell you what all i thought about and some miles are a blur.  isn't that funny?  it's like drunk running.  without alcohol.  drunk off adrenalin.  drunk off motivation.  drunk off determination.  
running is just as much a mental sport as it is a physical one.  i want to express my gratitude to the positive people i have supporting me in this journey.  without you, a marathon might just be a pipe dream but it is my reality.  i'm honored and grateful.  i hope i'll make you proud.

**if someone has a personal massage therapist, please send them my way.  i hope that i can get out of bed in the morning.  james does not care that i ran.  he wants to play.  and dammit - what my baby wants, my baby gets!!


the box it came in...

last saturday morning, while i was running, mr. h took james to lowe's and target.  they went to lowe's to get paint and to target to get a toy lawnmower.  mr. h has seen another little boy down at the park with one and he says james loves it.  (he also says that the other little boy is not a very good at sharing.)  unfortunately, they were fresh out of bubble lawnmowers.  i think they must be a summer item.  so, they scoured the isles for the perfect toy.  lucky for james.  he would have just gotten another walk behind toy but instead he got this:

this "toy" is for 18 month old babies toddlers and older.  this is not a cute little 4-wheeler that you push flinstone style.  this thing has a battery and push button motion.  james is unsure about it.  sometimes he loves it.  sometimes he screams if you try to make him ride it.
sunday morning mr. h was going to let me sleep in (which means i can sleep until 8 before i feel too guilty and then crawl out of bed) but the entire time i kept hearing the loud mini 4-wheeler go or mr. h telling james to "push the button". 
vroom vroom
push the button
push the button, james
vroom - see
push the button
vroom vroom
james, push the button
push the button
push the button
there was little sleep going on with all the commotion.  i wanted to forbid mr. h to say the "button" line one more time but then i found myself saying it too.  if by chance james did push the button, his steering skills are non-existent.  then you'd hear a loud boom or thud, depending on what james has run into.  overall i can tell he likes it but i definitely think he'll like it more with age and practice.  this is a toy he'll grow into.  he does like to walk behind it and push it though.  it still makes the motorized sound.  which to a young boy, is pretty cool feature of the toy anyway.  right?

but for now this is one of the greatest parts of the 4-wheeler...

...the box it came in!!


one hundred.

so, this is my 100th post!  as exciting as it may seem, it's really thrown a wrench in my consistent blogging.  i felt like i needed to do something special or write something fantastic for such a special occasion.  i mean, i feel like it is special but then again - how long have i been blogging?  i'm not going to look but i probably should have hit the 100 mark long before today.  so, i've been thinking and thinking.  what has happened lately that is special?  should i do my first give-a-way?  should i wait for something spectacular?  now, nothing has sparked that light bulb and i still haven't come up with anything grand so i'm just going to get this post over with and move on to my random daily (or trying to be daily) posts.  happy 100th post to my alter ego.  well, it is me but my misspelled words and lack of grammar knowledge is more apparent.  blogger's block has got me but i will overcome.  i will persevere.

dear blog,
happy 100th post.  it's been fun.  it's been real.  number 200 - you, you better watch out.  i'm comin' for you.



what a beautiful buzz...

by 8 am i had great morning.  all smiles.  i have a buzz.  i ran ten miles.  ten hilly miles.  ten strong miles.  i set a personal goal for myself and i beat it by over five minutes.  sweet success.  days like today make me feel so good that i crawled out of my warm bed before the sun and hit the pavement in this crisp fall air. 
last night i took an old playlist and updated it.  it was bliss this morning.  at times i love having a motivational, fast pace song and at others i love having just a good tune.  just one i enjoy listening too.  but today right as i was at the 9.5ish mile a great running song came on.  eminem.  loose yourself.  it gave me the extra burst to finish strong.  finish fast.  finish breathless.  finish proud.  then as i was walking to my car i heard a song that made me feel utter joy.  it was like my theme song was playing in my ear right then and there.

turn up your speakers and jam out with me.

i, of course, made my trip to starbucks to get my celebration coffee.  i ordered and went to was my hands and splash my face with water.  i was surprised that my iced coffee with cream wasn't ready and waiting on me when i return.  so, the maybe sixteen year old boy handed me an iced coffee with cream and i was on my way out the door.  i walked to my car with my head high, my shoulders up and enjoying the morning sun.  i didn't even take a drink until i got home.  something wasn't right so i look at the cup and saw this:

i have "jed's" iced coffee with cream.  i'm not a fan.   luckily i'm in such a good mood that i don't care.  i mean, i won't drink it but i honestly don't care.  off to shower and enjoy the rest of my saturday.  well, i will probably listen to loving cup one more time though.


wide load.

i'm referring to these:

my son has w-i-d-e feet.  when he was in the nursery (for children 1 and under) at daycare they were not required to wear shoes.  of course when he was a baby i paid way too much for the cutest shoes and he would just lay there.  then james started to move and shoes would not stay on him.  he would take them off and the teachers would never put them back on.  now that we've moved up to the big boy daycare, he must wear shoes.  i love it!  but i've spent so much money on shoes that just don't fit.  they seem to squeeze and i imagine they would just be super uncomfortable.  so, with some internet research, i found that new balance makes some wide tennis shoes for toddlers.  the one thing i really enjoy about purchasing things online is that you can read reviews.  i love it when an item i'm interested in has sizing reviews.  so, i read the reviews on these shoes and the parents loved them and made them sound super wide and like their kids instantly started tap dancing once they were put upon their feet.  james needed some magical tennis shoes too!
i ordered the wide.  they came in the mail courtesy of zappos in 24 hours and we were stoked.  until... we put them on and they barely (barely!!) fit.  the velcro barely fastened.  bummer.  luckily, new balance makes an EXTRA wide version of this shoe so we ordered them the very next day and they fit!!!  victory!!  i finally have found a shoe that seems to be comfortable.  these might just be the first pair of shoes that james actually wears out.  finally - money well spent. 
since we have tried many, many shoes with no avail we will be ordering several colors of this shoe.  good thing we think they are stinkin' cute.  no pun intended.  james does have stinky feet though.  phew!  he wore out some sandals due to odor.  thank heavens its sock season!


ever feel like this?

or like this?

felt like you just want to scream?  let it out??

yesterday was one of those days for me.  i'm just trying to put it behind me and find ways to move forward.  the problem is - i'm a worrier.  if you kind of know me, you think i'm super laid back.  if you really know me, you'll know that i worry and stress.  almost to the point where it is just ridiculous.  it stops me from getting a good night's rest, being the happy person i want to be and i worry that my worrying will make me be less of a mother.  see - i can worry about worrying!  i have issues.
here's what i really want to write about and coincidentally erin and amy are wrote a "getting real" blog yesterday and i just couldn't believe what perfect timing it was.  we all like to blog about bubblegum and rainbows but sometimes life is hard.  sometimes that bad comes with the good.  so, i'm going to join in and tell you about what's been heavy on my heart. 
worrying.  what happens is when i get really stressed i worry about everything and therefore things that shouldn't be a concern get too much attention and things that should have priority get lumped into the same hat as everything else. i tend to worry for days and then go numb. it's not healthy. or proactive. i create a rut for myself. it's definitely a huge vice of mine.  i've even thought about counseling to get some sort of peace.  to talk about the things i cannot control and need to stress less about versus the things that i can take proactive steps to making the stressful things in my life change.  i thought a non-bias, third party point-of-view would be a good person for me to bounce ideas off and help me to separate and prioritize the daily stresses that wear me out.  well, simply because in the end it worrying doesn't help.  during this last fight with some catalysts that lead to a stress meltdown, i've tried to take a different approach.  i've tried to look at the positive.  i've tried to look at the good side of the situation.  i've tried to share some of my load with my husband but mainly with God.  i know that i cannot handle it on my own.  i know that i do not want to handle it all on my own.  i am finding reassurance in knowing that with prayer, faith and proactive actions i can overcome this stressful cycle.  next week will be new.  next year will be new.  i'll have different stresses all the time.  i just know that i need to find a balance in having the stressful times not suck the life out of my wonderful times.

now, i know this was a downer post for me but you know what?  i feel good.  i'm a real person with real feelings.  at times they may be too sensitive but at least i feel something.  this week i've really wished i could stay at home with james.  i like my job.  i like my company.  and i really like most all my coworkers but lately some aspect of my work environment have made me very stressed.  so in being proactive, i would really like to win powerball.  i haven't bought a ticket yet but i know what i'd do with the money.  so, if you'll pray for me to win this week - i'll get your back next week and pray for you.  deal? 


one year {by andrea murphy photography}

this post is much over due but with the blog challenge and daily life, it just got pushed back a bit.  better late than never, right?
as you know, andrea murphy is one of my friends who happens to make a living by taking pictures.  lucky for me.  for james' first portraits we wanted to do something a bit different so we went downtown.  no, it isn't rare for family portraits but it isn't the typical baby portrait session.  i had envisioned a "preppy" shoot and then an outfit change to get a fun "urban" shoot.  well, then life happened.  it was over a hundred degrees with the heat index making oklahoma equivalent to that of hades.  then, james just wasn't working the camera.  i could tell something was wrong but i assumed the heat.  (i blame the heat all the time.)  but it turns out that james was actually coming down with bronchitis and an ear infection.  this was confirmed by his doctor two days after the photo shoot.  luckily, andrea got some great snaps and we didn't need to have another session.  i mean, we'll see her in a few weeks for our family session.  we see her all the time.  i love it!  i think she does too.

anyway, i would like to show you a few of my favs and get your opinion as to which one i should order for my wall.  i like so many that i just can't choose.

my instant fav:

but i love all of these too:

minus my foot, of course.

but i think these really reflect his ornery personality:

it's funny how we can go from this:
all smiles.

to this:
mr. serious.

well, i've just overloaded you with photos.  the funny thing is that i looked at them when they first became available online but haven't looked since.  so, i really enjoyed this post and getting to pick them over to see which ones i like more.  i love them all.  i'm not bias.  at all.  i promise.

AND i just want you to know that i purchased the cutest shoes to match but his feet were too wide.  i asked mr. h if i could butter them for the pictures but i was denied.  i also had a cute matching baseball cap but james wasn't feeling it.  regardless, i like his outfit and i like that you can see his fat wide feet and his growing blonde hair.  stud muffin.