Comment and task accepted

As a blogger… can I call myself that if I don’t have my poop in a row and blog on a regular basis?  Well, I have a blog and I write for it… so… a blogger I shall be.

As a blogger… Something that excites me is seeing people leave comments for me.  Just a small little blip that says, “Hey, we are out here reading what you have to write… and we like it (or we don’t)”  I don’t mind hearing someone disagree with me.  I don’t write for the accolades, I don’t write for people to gush over me… I write because it does something for me and I hope it raises thoughts in my ‘readers’.

Anyway, I posted a few weeks ago and it was a Friday.  I found a cool place to read and follow called “Lisa-Jo Baker” (www.lisajobaker.com).  On Friday, she posts a prompt and people are supposed to blog from the hip on the topic for 5 minutes.  No thinking, no editing… just let the fingers fly.

Well, I did just that a couple of weeks ago and found that someone read my post.  My half-marathon coach Amanda at www.runtothefinish.com happened along my post and decided on my prompt for this Friday.  It is Thursday today, and I only have a few minutes (the lunch whistle is about to blow), but I am going to try and get started on this week’s prompt.

Amanda suggested I write… Why I am excited to train for a half-marathon?

Quite often, people probably don’t think of the word excited and half-marathon to be in the same sentence.  Just a few short weeks ago, I am not sure I was thinking that I would be one of the people that would put those words together.  But… here I am, and oddly… I am excited.

I have only just begun the journey this time around.  As you may or may not know I was registered for the Fargo Half last May (2013) and didn’t get the training in so opted to do the 10K – which was a great experience for sure.(read about that incredible journey here).

So… Why am I excited to train for a half-marathon.

Maybe I should make a list of the reasons…

  1. My support team is seriously SERIOUS this time around. Jodi and Amanda McLatchie are not letting me give up on myself just because I am a busy mom.
  2. I love my running shoes (Brooks Ghost 6)… bought an extra pair to wear just for running, and a pair with a gore-tex upper since the roads/paths are so darn wet.
  3. I need to use my Garmin so my friends don’t feel like they bought me a gift that is sitting on a shelf.
  4. I can feel a difference in my body and how much more prepared I am physically already.
  5. My knees and feet are doing well so far.  Usually, they hurt by now and I am ready to give up.
  6. Hairball is playing at the post race party.  I haven’t seen them but hear they are amazing.
  7. It is the 10 year reunion of the Fargo Marathon and the course will be a special one this year.
  8. I can’t have a cupcake at the cupcake place if I don’t attempt the half… and if I don’t train… I won’t make it… so for the love of a cupcake… I am excited to train for a half-marathon.
  9. I have people cheering me on near and far because of social media sites and it sure feels good to have people on your side.
  10. I want to finish something I started yet again… and for the learning to love myself journey I am on… this is an important goal to reach.

Thanks to Amanda at www.runtothefinish.com for being my coach and encouraging me to get this done.

Trying to find a clever way to end this post… you know as a ‘blogger’ it really should have some sort of amazing message or something… but it doesn’t.  Just me… telling about a journey I am on and putting it out there that I will be running a half-marathon in May of 2014.  THIRTEEN POINT ONE miles…

And here are three reasons I am excited as well… My three cheer leaders (and challenges to the training)… I want to show them I can decide to do something and get it done.  I have 5 miles to get in today (Sunday)… we will see how they cooperate with me needing an hour and 30 minutes to myself.

 

Robin always has something to say…

Well, I have been thinking a great deal about blogging lately.  So many things going on in my mind, but where do I start?  I have a few minutes to share some thoughts and I will jot a few notes so I don’t forget some of my other ideas to share.  And, why am I doing this today?

Because my friend, JoAnn missed me.  Yep, I have a reader who has been looking for my new posts and she told me she missed me. 

Since she and I spoke I have had a friend of mine from my childhood on my mind, in my heart, and for sure in my prayers.  I think of him often, and pray for him more than he will ever know, but right now… my bath taking, baby strolling, drummer boy buddy needs prayers.  If you can find a moment to say a quick one for him… please do. 

For years he has struggled with addiction problems.  The first time he went to rehab I was a freshmen in college and his girlfriend and I were both pregnant at the time.  I remember it being around Mother’s Day.  What an amazing gift for him to get his addictions under control before his baby was born and as a way of saying I got this world… I am going to make a great dad.

Many years have passed, our boys are both grown and adults now.  He has been sober off and on throughout the years.  And I pray… harder than I ever have for this trip to rehab to be the one that sticks.

I was looking for a nice quote to share… but addiction isn’t nice and pretty and rehab and recovery are hard work… I found this small tidbit and wanted to share it with everyone to see into the disease just a little bit.  craig richard

Love to my friend and his family!

Take Care of You
-robin

Five Minute Friday – Prompt —– SEE

I am trying something new.

Fridays are going to be prompted by someone else and will be called…

Five Minute Fridays.

Lisa-Jo Baker (amazing blogger) will be providing the prompt and I will link up on her site to share what I wrote. My faithful readers (all 6 of you) get to follow along for the fun of it.

She picks a prompt word. I set a timer. I write. Five Minutes. That’s it.

You can read here on what it is all about.

What it’s all about… Click the link and check it out!

(Random Picture… Taken by Olivia this summer for 4H project)

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See

Looking out… there is snow.

Cold is out there too… can a person see cold.

Who knows…

Looking in…

Now that’s tough stuff.

How far in are we looking to see?

Just inside the building?

Or further… inside of me?

Inside the building I see suckers

Coffee cups

Pens

Plants

Products

Inside of me…

I see pain

Frustration

Self Doubt

Not self-love.

I see years of hanging on to things not working out so great…

I see excuses

I wish I could see…

Hope

Dreams

Calm

Self-Love

Confidence

Clear level headed thinking (wouldn’t that be nice again…)

With work…

With pushing through…

I can see…the hope I dream of.

Prayers needed this Christmas… (Dec 20, 2013)

My sister is a nurse… (and a post about her will come another day)… as the sister of a nurse and the wife of a fire and rescue volunteer I am often found praying for accidents before others know they happened.  Jacki will shoot me a text or call and ask if I can take her kids because she is in the ER.  The pager goes off and I hear the call for my husband to move quickly and take the jaws of life to the scene of an accident.  And so many times, the fear races through my mind… “What if it is someone I know?”  Not that every single person doesn’t deserve equal amounts of prayer, but the thought always goes through my mind.  As I sit and write, my husband races off for another call.

Yesterday was one of those days. A text comes through at lunchtime for me to pick up Jacki’s kids after school because she will be in the ER.  Knowing this is a three hour time frame, the ER patient(s) must be very serious.  And, as usual, I begin to pray for the person(s) involved.  And because my sister is a nurse and my husband is a fire and rescue volunteer, I am often one of the last to know if it is or is not someone I know since they are not able to talk about the incidents they are involved in.

As it turns out, there was a head on collision on a corner just a few miles from another corner where last March a family lost their daughter due to icy conditions, two corners that have taken lives on more than one occasion and I pray do not take anyone this holiday season.

I am asking for my friends, family, and any other readers who may come by this post, to please say prayers throughout the day for my daughter Olivia’s friend, Mija, and her parents.  Based on the information I know at this time, Mija, Ron and Michelle are in the hospital in Bismarck being treated for injuries related to the head on collision yesterday.  I have no details of the injuries or condition of Ron, Michelle, or Mija.  I just know being transferred to Bismarck is a good indication that the injuries were severe and will require a great deal of recovery.

Ron is the pastor at Bowman United Methodist Church.  A church that has taken my daughters under their wing and welcomed them as their own.  Chad and I are so grateful to have such amazing people looking out for our girls and their Faith journey.

BUMC

I pulled this pic of Mija off the web and based on the date it is two years ago… She was helping decorate the tree at the church where her dad, Ron, is the pastor.

Mija

Please join me in lighting a candle today to help us shine a light and emit a warm glow of love and prayers for Mija, Michelle and Ron.  Draw a small heart on your hand or a sticky note to remind yourself each time you see it to say a prayer for the family, the medical staff, our community and the church family in the coming days.  The Olson Family lifts others in prayer day after day and now it is our turn to grow our faith and trust that our Heavenly Father will ease their pain and help them through this difficult time.

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I will do my best to update my post as I hear how the family is doing.

I am going to ask for a few additional prayers for my daughter, Olivia this week.  She and Mija are very good friends and the uncertainty of Mija’s condition is very difficult to grasp for her at this time.

Christmas is coming… Let’s just enjoy it… (December 18, 2013)

Thought

I love the someecards.com images that go around.  Some make me laugh so hard.  Some are just plain crazy.  Some are the opposite of what I believe or view in life.  But in general… these things are so funny.  I have even gone online and created one myself.  I don’t remember what it said, but it was for Jodi.

Anyway, yesterday I was talking about how I love Christmas and I love finding the gift that someone is going to love to receive.  I also mentioned that gifts don’t have to be something you buy from a store didn’t I?  Well, if I didn’t.  I should have. That is a key to remember this time of year.  So often we think we need to outspend others for some reason.  Or buy gifts beyond our means when in reality, spending time with someone may be enough (unless it is kids… then find them a present… even the tiniest of gifts can make their day)… unless the ungrateful shits… and in that case sometimes we just have to shake our heads and then figure out a way to teach the lesson that is involved in the gracious acceptance of receiving (like yesterday’s post).

As the days go by and I still don’t have a tree up, not a decoration in sight (except the damn elf… Gary)… I still whole heartedly confirm my strong love of the Christmas holiday and season. 

I am slow at the shopping thing, slow at the decorating thing, slow at all of it… but I get done what needs to be done.  We get where we need to go and we have a pretty nice time.

Some traditions are forming at our house and tomorrow I hope to talk a bit about traditions, their importance, and how sometimes it is okay to let the traditions go for a bit and come back to them again in time…

Short and sweet today…

Looking for a great way to finish it all off but it just isn’t coming.  So…

Peace out!

Christmas is coming… Let’s just enjoy it… (December 17, 2013)

Gracious acceptance is an art, an art which most never bother to cultivate.  We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be harder than giving… Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you. ~Alexander McCall Smith

So much of the holiday season has turned to the Christmas Wish List.  I have one.  I make a wish list in my mind every year.  As the year goes by, I pay attention to the things people I care about are talking about.  Things they may want or need but won’t probably get for themselves.  I listen and pay attention to what the little kids are dreaming of getting as a gift. 

Do I have my head in the wrong place?  Maybe?  People are often complaining and upset about the cost of Christmas, the shopping, the busy stores, the online chaos, the shipping, the wrapping.  All things I strangely LOVE. 

Some families do gift exchanges and draw names.  Some don’t exchange gifts for people over a certain age.  Some focus only on the children.  Some try to make sure to give to charity in place of buying gifts.  Some families have crazy and over the top piles of gifts that turns in to total chaos and others have one or two gifts for each person and that is all.

Is any one way or the other correct or the best way to have Christmas.  Nope. 

Do we have to give a gift to anyone who bought one for us?  If we don’t, should we feel guilty about it?  I’m going with nope on this one as well.  A big huge NOPE in fact. 

The quote I chose today covers how I feel on the giving and receiving of gifts at all times.  I am not the best at giving gifts for birthdays or random times throughout the year, but when it comes to Christmas, I love watching people open presents and seeing the joy on their face as they find something inside that tells them how much someone else cares about them. 

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.  ~Mother Teresa

Learning to be accepting of and thankful for a gift that is given is sometimes really tough.  We want to reciprocate and make the giver of the gift feel appreciation by giving back.  But in reality, when the thought and love and kindness that went into the original gift can only be reflected back through a gracious acceptance of the gift.  That is all that the original giver ever really intended in return.

Take some time this year and think about someone you have given a gift to (no matter how big or how small) that was so much appreciated by the recipient.  Think back to that moment and remember how it felt to have the person open/receive the gift and remember to show that sort of gracious acceptance this year as you receive gifts and kindness in the coming weeks.

Here is a quote printable designed by Crystal Wilkerson of www.crystalwilkerson.com (her website has been down, but I am linking anyway so she receives proper credit for designing the page).  I love love love her work and pray her page comes back again someday so I can learn from her journal prompts and challenges.

Thanks

Christmas is coming… Let’s just enjoy it… (December 16 – 2013)

For it is in giving that we receive. –St. Francis Assisi

The holiday season (starting in October with Halloween) has brought me to a strange place in this world.  In fact, I am feeling a little “out of place” this year. 

I was in a bit of a ‘mood’ at the end of October and lots of things were getting under my skin and frustrating me.  I was letting the world bring me down and I needed to find a way back up.

This post is going to be a bit disjointed and I apologize in advance.  What happened is this…

People were all over social media complaining about all the hustle and bustle of Halloween and how the candy was such a problem.  Some people switch the candy out for a toy, some people toss it in the trash, some people just don’t take their kids trick or treating because it is like ‘begging’ for candy.

Well, here’s where I am… It’s Halloween and it is fun for my kids.  We eat the candy and then we toss some a few weeks into November.  Why do I have to hear about all the world and their disgust with sugar, candy and the chaos of Halloween.  Well, truth be told, because I was choosing to hear it by reading it on social media. 

Then comes Thanksgiving (or did it).  The commercial side of our world stole Thanksgiving from so many of us with the moving of Black Friday to Thanksgiving Day.  While I love a great sale and had fun going out one year for Black Friday, I really just enjoy reading the newspaper ad and making lists that I will never fulfill.  But, because people want to get out there sooner, the stores open sooner.  Does it impact my life… not really.  I feel for the people who have to work on the holidays, but there are some people who would prefer to work on those days.  I have never had to do it and hope I never do.  I want to be with my family.  But, am I going to whine about all of this and make it the focus of my Thanksgiving… nope.  Just had a nice peaceful day at the farm and LOVED it. 

Even before Thanksgiving ends, people start the chatter of Christmas preparations.  Are you ready?  Are you done shopping?  Are you exchanging gifts?  Do you have a spending limit? 

All questions to get ready for Christmas.  What bugs me this year though is the negative attitude toward the holiday season in general.  People are griping and complaining all the time about being busy.  Not having the budget to make things work. 

Well, guess what… we don’t have to do it.  We don’t have to be so busy.  We don’t have to spend so much.  We need to step back and realize that just the simple act of shoveling someone’s driveway is going to make a difference. Sharing a smile or a small chat with someone we have not seen for a time.  Sending a letter to an old friend (not cards to the whole world).  Putting a snapshot on your card instead of the photo of the year taken by the photographer of the century. 

We need to slow down and take the time to give of ourselves.  Grab some unused items from your pantry and get them to the community food bank.  Give blood.  Find something small and meaningful to give as a gift instead of trying to out purchase the gift you got last year.  Just celebrate the season and the holiday in happiness without all the chaos and crazy.  Just let go… Just let go…

Just let the wonder of the season be present in our days and nights.

It is my intention to blog each day now through the New Year.  I may post just a picture, just a quote or I may go crazy and share my soul.  Regardless, I am going to do something to spread holiday cheer and try to stop some of the negative and disgruntled thoughts that surround me each day.

-God Bless You

RobinChristmas 2008 Robin (49)

The Thankful Project… Day 28 (2013)

Well… this is it.  The final post for The Thankful Project that I learned about through Jodi over at www.touchingyourheart.net (my sister blog) and started by Kenzie over at www.thechasinghappyblog.com

Thanks to both Kenzie and Jodi for making this an amazing November for me.  I slowed myself down on the Cool Whip (aka Facebook) and took the time I had leftover to do my blog posts and to work on my house and my messy life a bit… not enough but some.

So on to my final prompt and a look into what is on my ‘to do list’ next…

11/28 Prompt: free write

For this prompt we are able to write about anything we want.  And I choose…

The Tivey Family

Years ago, I was a young girl playing anti-i-over at “The Farm”… the one in Gascoyne where my grandparents lived.  I have a foggy recollection of Mike and Jodi being there and I am not sure why.  I may be making this up in my mind.  I really don’t know.  I just have some memory of meeting Jodi when I was young and I was at Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the farm.

I knew they were a part of our family but it didn’t make sense to me why.  As it turns out… we aren’t really related… here’s the true family tree of how we are connected… My Aunt Nita is married to Tom Braun.  Tom Braun is a brother to Ken Braun.  Ken Braun is Mike’s step-dad.  And there you have it… our family tree.

Anyway… Over the years Mike and Jodi were involved in family events with us and then for awhile they sort of faded away.  Not sure where they went, but what matters now… is they are just across the street… ALWAYS!

Jodi has become a major supporter of mine and by my side through some pretty rough times in my world.  She referred to us as neighbor/family/friend for quite some time and now she is my boss too.  She makes sure I take my meds (most of the time), she tries to encourage me no matter what excuse I give her, she is there to listen when I need a friend.  She even went out chasing a lightning storm so I could try to get a picture (and it was way past her bedtime).

Mike is someone that is a tough read… but somewhere along the way I have come to understand him more (I think) and I know he would do most anything for me… all I have to do is ask.  He will tell me to do it myself but in the end, if I need his help… he would be there in a heart beat.  Don’t tell him I said this… but I don’t know what I would do without him across the street.

And Amanda… quite simply… an amazing young lady who has grown to be my friend.  In reality we are so much alike and I am old enough to be her mom so she is also my soul-daughter. Trevor asked awhile back why I refer to her as ‘my neighbor’ when in reality she is one of my best friends.  Yep… I have a 25 year old BFF!  I look forward to watching her get married in June and start her own life and family but it breaks my heart thinking I will have to let her go.  I have joked for years with Jodi about the day Amanda moves out for the final time… and in reality I think it will be harder on me than it will be on Jodi and Mike.  They have been preparing for years… I have only had the last few years with her as my daughter-friend. 

So… Tivey Family… know that you are a vital part of my life and I could not and do not have any intention of ever letting you fade out of my life again.  Love you!

Tivey 2007 (10)

And… I was planning to share with you my next blog challenge or journey but when I went to retrieve it and link to it… it vanished.  Guess I better find something else. 

The Thankful Project… Day 27 (2013)

Well, two more prompts from the Thankful Project and I will be finished and can say I completed a blogging challenge.  I was not always caught up and on time… but I did each and every post.  Go Me!!!

11/27 Prompt: a simple pleasure

At this very moment I am sitting in my simplest of pleasures… silence.  As much as I love music and in days gone by some form of music would have been playing in the background… and as much as I love my children… I do enjoy the peace and calm and quiet that comes from everyone being asleep or gone.  And at this moment… that is how I sit.

Now… to make this simple pleasure even better… add a bowl of ice cream and I would have it made!

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah. 

Random photo of the day…

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The Thankful Project… Day 26 (2013)

Nearly finished with this project and let me just say… there have been some tough ones to figure out just the right thing to write.  Today is no different.

11/26 Prompt: a criticism

When I was in high school, I was dating a really great guy.  Funny, loved to dance, cute, caring, and did I mention funny.  Anyway, he and I were talking one day during a bit of a family crisis at our house.  One of my grandparents was terminally ill with cancer and as such we had some pretty serious talks that winter.

One of the things we talked about was how my family functioned.  It was amazing how we could all pull together and live in strange conditions to help care for my grandpa.  But, Jay noticed something about our communication style and an overall dynamic of our family.  We were quick to blame and slow to take responsibility for being wrong.  In other words, we like to be right.  Who doesn’t, really? 

I think part of it is human nature to want to be right, but the part that I didn’t realize was how quick we all were to find blame someplace else in a sticky situation.

As a result of that conversation all those years ago, I still think about the idea of looking for blame and the innate need to be right.  I work hard to try and adjust my behavior but it does not make it any easier nor do it very well everyday.  I find myself blaming and needing to be right more often than not.  So… I am thankful for the chat Jay and I had all those years ago and the reminder that that little criticism about my family is something I can learn and grow from.

Random pic of the day… Miss Olivia fell asleep at a ball game.  I was on the floor taking pictures as usual and she needed a rest.  So tired she even fell asleep with her sucker in hand.

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