Monday, November 9, 2015


Recently, while thinking about Thanksgiving approaching, I was feeling blessed for my beautiful family and wonderful friends.  And that led me to begin thinking about all of the many things I am thankful for.  So, I decided that I would write a list of 27 things I am thankful for...one for each day of November leading up to and including the big feast...plus an extra!! Please note...these are not necessarily listed in ranked order!

1.  My husband, Prince Charming, who has been the love of my life since high school (that would be 23.5 years as of this writing).  We have made it through thick and thin. We've celebrated each other's successes, supported each other through difficult times, and have begun a beautiful family together. He is a very hard worker and I am proud of all that he has become.

2.  My smart, sweet, and beautiful daughter, Little Miss, who blows my mind with her math skills and performing talent. She may keep me on my toes at times, but she is an amazing little girl who has a heart of gold (standing over my shoulder, she tells me she wants me to write diamond instead of gold).  Ahhhhh, my princess!

3. Chub-Chub. He is an energetic, silly, loving, little "big" boy. He loooooves to play with his cars!  I don't think there is a single square foot of our house and car that don't have a hot wheels hidden somewhere. He is my shadow and loves to "nuggle" with me.

4.  I'm thankful for Miracle Man.  I'm incredibly humbled and grateful to have him in our lives.  Having almost lost him when he was 7 weeks old, we give thanks each and every day that he smiles upon us. He is silly, giggly, and loving. He loves our dog, Boomer, more than anything in the world, and Boomer is incredibly tolerant of him.  We love watching him make amazing gains in his development. He truly is our Miracle Man!

5.  My mother, who has shown me a different side of her than I ever knew before.  She has been a great support to me recently.  Having had a strained relationship in the past, the effort she has made to reunite us has been incredible.  I am thankful for the love she has shown me. And I am thankful for the beginning of a new chapter in our lives together.

6.  My dearest friend, Dee, who has been my rock for many years.  I could not have survived the past 4 years without her constant support and love.  Even as she battles cancer, she still takes care of me and my family. I think she is applying for sainthood sometime soon.

7.  My little sister, who has shown me love and support through very trying times. I can't even count the number of times she has been to the hospital with me and my children this year.

8. My little brother, aka Lil' Bro. He's hilarious, and sweet...and very loving.  Although he lives far away from me (waaaayyyy too far), and I haven't seen him in 3 years...and despite his own busy life, he still manages to offer me his love and support. Plus, he idolizes me! 'Nuf said!

9. My older brother and his family. We've shared some wonderful times together over the years. I just wish they didn't live on another continent. It makes it super hard to visit!

10. All of my sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, other family members.  Each of them have shown me kindness and love over the years.

11. Boomer, my first dog.  He is incredibly sweet and patient.  I love how his big butt wiggles along with his tail when he's happy.

12.  Kallie, the first dog I've raised from a puppy.  She is just what I needed.  Her companionship and love mean the world to me.

13.  My friends, many of whom are reading this right now.  How could I not be grateful for the love, time, support, and special moments we've shared? You've all contributed to my journey...sometimes in ways you cannot even imagine. Kindness given and received infiltrates the soul.  This is what you have done for me.

14.  Cheetos.  The crunch.  The cheese.  What's not to love?

15.  My kittens, Komet and Kupid, who have moved right into our lives and our hearts.  They are non-stop purring machines that love to cuddle.  They came to us at a difficult time and helped fill a void.

16.  My Ipad.  I know it's a material thing, but this material thing has given me countless hours of entertainment and knowledge on the days when my fatigue and pain mean that all I can do is hold down the couch.

17.  My bed.  It is incredibly comfortable. Sometimes it is the only place where I can get comfortable.

18.  My home.  It may not be the nicest, biggest home in the world, but it's ours. And it is filled with love.  It is also our sanctuary from the crazy outside world.

19.  My readers.  There may be only 2 of you, but I'm grateful for that!  Thank you for your support!  You're AWESOME!!

20.  When my children listen and follow directions. 'Cuz that's like...never.

21.  My health.  Despite the challenges I face, it could be worse!  I am thankful that it's not.  Hey, I'm seeing the glass half-full!

22.  Movie nights.  When the whole family is hanging together, "nuggling". Plus...the kids aren't fighting or running around the house screaming like wild banshees!  BONUS!!

23.  My neighborhood. There are many wonderful people living here!  I am having a blast getting to know our neighbors over the past several years.

24.  Random strangers at the store.  'Cuz sometimes, a lady just needs to talk to SOMEONE!  ANYONE!! Especially someone taller than 42 inches!

25.  Books! Tangible old-school books, eBooks, audiobooks, hard cover, soft cover, picture books, non-fiction, fiction, you name it.  I am grateful for the authors who can transport me into another world and teach me things I did not know. 

26. Music.  It fills my soul. It can heal me, calm me, pump me up.  It can ease my troubles, and bring such joy!  I love to watch my kiddles dancing to music!  That is truly one of the most enjoyable moments I experience as a parent of young'uns.

27.  Hot showers.  The warmth radiating over my aching body soothes me like nothing else can. I only wish my hot water lasted longer, and my energy wasn't zapped each time I take one. But I truly am grateful for this fabulous remedy.

Twenty-seven things is a long list, but at the same time, it's hard to narrow down the people, places, and things I am grateful for to only that many.  I challenge you to try it, too!  There really are many wondrous people and things in our lives. 

Gratefully yours,

Marathon Momma

Sunday, November 1, 2015

This is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!

Halloween has been my favorite holiday since 1976. The day I was born. OK, maybe not that long...since I wasn't aware of anything for a few years yet. Still, I have always loved Halloween. I was the girl who continued to trick-or-treat all through high school. And into college, I still wore costumes. Then it was time to start having Halloween parties while I was in grad school and that continued through until I had the twins. I have always decorated to the nines for my favorite holiday. I have more decorations for Halloween than for Christmas...and we're talking like six or seven giant bins! The fun and excitement of Halloween has always captured my heart, and the child in me never gave it up.

This year, was a little different, though. I was feeling overwhelmed, my body has been in pain, and I was feeling depressed. Although I felt guilty about it, I didn't decorate or do any of my usual fall or Halloween activities with my children. Last weekend, we did finally go buy our pumpkins. But I didn't have the energy or desire to carve them. I had purchased the boys costumes ahead of time, but not Little Miss's. That ended up being fine, because she decided she wanted to be a rockstar, anyway. And we already had things around the house that we could use to pull together a costume for her. So that worked out fine.

As Halloween was nearing this week, and Little Miss kept asking to carve her pumpkin, I finally relented and spent Thursday evening doing that with the children. Well, sort of. Little Miss carved her own and she did a great job! 

The boys well, they didn't really want to have much to do with it. Chub-Chub did try to carve a little and scoop out some of the pulp and seeds. 

But Miracle Man didn't want to even touch the pumpkin guts! It totally freaked him out! He did, however, take the stem off!

So basically, I carved three pumpkins-mine and the boys's!! Here they all are:

Little Miss's is the bottom left pumpkin.

So, there. We carved the pumpkins. But we still didn't have any decorations up. The kids kept asking if we could go ahead and put them up, and so I figured that we would do that on Friday. Sure, there would be only one day left before Halloween, but at least it was a day before and not the day after! Besides, I decided I would only pull out a few things so that it wouldn't be as exhausting and as much work for me.

Friday night came (all too quickly)! And there we were, pulling out the Halloween decorations. All of a sudden, MiracleMan  started running around the house shrieking, "Aahhhh! It's a spider! Aahhhh!!" He had pulled out one of my furry spiders and was so thrilled with the thing that he was making a huge deal out of it!

And it was at that moment that I realized that I had to do this for my children. No matter how terrible I felt. It was important to them. And they loved it!

The more they all screamed and shreiked and got excited, the more I kept pulling out and hanging up. Miracle Man's excitement especially continued to escalate! He grabbed my phone and started snapping pictures. He's a budding photographer (wink, wink). Here's a sample of his work:

They almost look like pics from a horror movie, don't they!?

Chub-chub was fun, too. His excitement for the night was setting up my giant skeleton that stands over 6 feet tall and says things when you walk past him. I set him up inside the house on Friday, but on Saturday I put him outside the house where the trick-or-treaters would be walking past. Mwahahahaha!!!!

Chub-chub couldn't wait to open the box and put him together, but once he heard the skeleton speaking, he wanted me to put him back in the box! Immediately!! Which I did NOT do! Of course, that doesn't quite compare to our dog, Kallie's, reaction. She was quite unnerved by this giant skeleton man! She wouldn't stop barking at him!! I had to turn him off and "introduce" him to her. She did eventually get used to him last night and all was well.

So, in the end, we had a great time, even if I got to the point where I was flat-out exhausted! The kids were thrilled to have decorations up for Halloween! And I was grateful to them for bringing me back some of my Halloween joy. 

When Saturday finally dawned, I couldn't wait to take them trick-or-treating! We cleaned a little bit and prepared some food, as we also got ready for trick-or-treaters. The boys took their afternoon nap, and once they woke up, it was time for costumes! :-) The boys were firemen, and Little Miss was her rockstar costume. She was too cold in it, though, so she covered up with her jacket. Kallie was a bumble bee, and I was a "good" witch (though some might argue that point). Prince Charming pulled out his cow costume that we got for him many years ago. Our whole family was ready to go!

We had a nice evening, walking, chatting with neighbors...and the kids brought home a ton of candy for us! Oops! I mean for themselves....yeah, themselves!

Today, I'm a train wreck. Every single part of my body hurts. And I am feeling incredibly fatigued. I didn't really move around the house much today at all. But, I am thrilled that I had enough energy yesterday so that I could enjoy trick-or-treating with my children! 

And in the end, I'm grateful to my children for reminding me, once again, that this is all about them. And I have to push through my pain, exhaustion, and depression, for them! They need me. They need me to show them how to have fun and how to celebrate holidays. They need me to teach them that it's OK to still be young and not have to shoulder any adult burdens. They need their momma to be who she used to be...even if only for a day!! I'm thankful for my kiddles...in some new ways, even.

Feeling blessed,

Marathon Momma 

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