Today I read two really special somethings written by mothers who have children with special needs. One from a friend and one from a stranger. They both touched my heart. The first was an opinion piece from the NY Times, written around this time last year. It's called Notes from a Dragon Mom. Emily Rapp talks about how her expectations for her child are completely different from most parents. She knows her son, Ronan, will most likely die by the time he's three because of Tay-Sachs Disease. So much of what we think about parenting has to do with the future, and her child doesn't have one. There's no phase he'll outgrow or a part she wishes she could fast forward through. She talks about how many decisions (like organic food or cloth vs. disposable diapers) don't matter to her little family. I love the wisdom she ends with:
Parenting, I've come to understand, is about loving my child today. Now. In fact, for any parent, anywhere, that's all there is. 
 The second was a letter written by my friend, Ryan, to her daughter who just turned one. Lucy was born with NKH. She has three older siblings, two brothers and a sister. Her sister also has NKH. I was thinking about Ryan when I read Notes from a Dragon Mom. She shares her journey as a mother so honestly. Often times, she talks about her relationship with God. I learn much about myself and the kind of person I want to be when I read her words. What we face in our every days as mothers is not at all the same. I don't have nurses and frequent unexpected hospital visits, I don't have four children and have to balance the special needs of two who have a rare disease and two who just need a sense of routine and normalcy. I didn't know before my children were born that they would struggle for their lives, I didn't think that I might never get to see them open their eyes or hear them cry. In her letter, she tells Lucy she is a light in her heart, one who is bringing her closer to the Father.

Some of my most sincere, connected prayers in the last few years have been for Ryan and her family. In a way, Lucy and her siblings and parents are a light in my heart too. I pray for miracles for them. And because of Ryan's openness, I've been able to see miracles happen. I've been able to see humanity elevated in the way friends and family step in to meet the needs of this one family. I've been able to see how a parents just like Jake and me, have shifted their expectations and dreams, and how they love their daughters and care for them, and how they help them live with maximum dignity.

I hope that whoever I meet, and whatever needs they might have, I will be able to help care for them with the same loving kindness I'm continually learning about from mothers like the ones who have taught me so much today.

Three days

A neighborhood newsletter (or two) ago was calling for volunteers to seal and put address labels on future newsletters. Labels equal stickers, and four-year-olds love stickers. I thought it would be something fun for Cora and I to do during "quiet time." Another neighbor also volunteered, and after discussing it, we thought it would be easiest to have the newsletters delivered to me. I was thinking something in the ballpark of 300-400 newsletters. No, that's not how many there are. I finished my half the day they were delivered. I was going to drop the rest off with the other volunteer, but the weekend happened, and I decided to just finish them up on Monday. I can't remember if there were 804 or 808 all together. Two sealing stickers and one address label on each one. Yes, I stuck 2412 or 2424 stickers. I think it took somewhere between 6 and 7 hours. Part of me thinks it would be way more fun to spend that much time hand delivering them to all the houses in the 'hood. That is all. Until next month, Newsletters.

On Saturday we went to a birthday party of a neighbor who was turning one. This family lives on our street, and they were expecting their fourth child when we moved in. They already had three boys and weren't finding out the gender of this baby until the big day arrived. They had a girl. She is so sweet and cute, and her party was wonderful. Her mom did a lovely, thoughtful job with her first girl party. I'd been trying to think of what to get for a one-year-old. I didn't know what to get my girls when they turned one. Magnolia got a big girl carseat! Jake's great-grandma, Grandmother, made all of these really neat things, one of them was a little roll with pockets that held simple little animals. Both my girls have loved it. It's perfect for little hands. And they're also great for little teethers. They can hold them and chew chew chew and they're easy to throw in the washer. I started making my own version a few hours before her party. It turned out really cute, by my sewing machine was acting up, so it took much longer than I thought it would. So did the face/ear details on the animals. Anyway, I only finished two of the animals before the party started. I'm going to make her two more, and keep them simple muslin (I LOVE muslin...just like I love burlap), but I want to make more - and in another set, there will be an alligator. 

Monday nights are great around here. Jake gets off at 5 and is home by 5:15. I hadn't started dinner yet, though I had quick options in mind: burgers or leftover soup from lunch. After I gave him the options, he asked if I had any cash. The answer to that question is almost always, "No." Just as it was last night. He went to another room for a few minutes and came back holding up a ziploc bag with money in it! He asked if I wanted to go out to eat. The answer to that question is always, "YES!" We counted it up, 15 one-dollar bills, and enough change to bring the grand total to $27. We went to Taj because it had been months since we've been. Eating out was simply not part of our make it through the last couple of months of summer budget plan. On our way out the door, he said, "You can only eat so many vegan burgers and lentils." Agreed. 
After dinner, we went to Whole Foods for some milk and bananas, and then we were off to Douglas Park. An evening with my little family is so rare. There was no rush to get through dishes and pajamas and brushing teeth. After the park, we drove around downtown per Cora's request. She always asks to drive through downtown if we're on our way home at night. After the girls were in bed, Jake and I had a great conversation. Everything about it was practically perfect in every way. We're going out on a genuine date on Friday. Dinner and a show. Just Jake and me. I might wear lipstick. And we might take Scoot if it isn't raining. 

Odds and ends

Today was one of "those" mother days. Magnolia has been straight up contrary. Spitting, throwing, clinging, pushing, even occasional hitting. She's also all rashy all over right now. So she's contrary, and I feel bad for her. Tonight she was helping me make dinner (biscuits and gravy), and I went to see how much milk I needed for the biscuits because I forgot to write it down. I came back and the mixture of everything but the milk was being placed into a vase, dribbled on the counter, and eaten.

We started over. She ended up in a time out while I was making the gravy when she slammed the cabinet after I asked her not to. It was 2.5 minutes of pure bliss because I got a break from either prevention or clean up. When I was in the shower this morning, all of my shirts were on the floor in my bedroom. I think they're still there. I did sweep up the pretzels that were thrown across the living room.

Jake is also sick. He feels flu-like. Achy and congested. I rubbed Vicks on his chest and behind his ears before I tucked him into bed. It reminded me of how my mom used to take care of me when I was sick. Vicks was a miracle worker, and she knew exactly where to put it. She also used to rub my knees when I had those awful growing pains. I like remembering those things and dwelling on them for a while.

I went visiting teaching tonight. When I left, Jake was lying on the rug in the living room. I covered him up, propped a pillow under his head, and went on my way. One of the gals at the visit relayed the story of her baby having a diarrhea explosion at a restaurant while out with the sister (girl) missionaries this afternoon. While her child was not being contrary, my day suddenly seemed much easier: piles of clothes, sweeping up pretzels, and starting dinner over didn't seem like much compared to a public poop explosion - a high chair LP fountain. Bless her mother heart. [and mind too, because I really need tomorrow to be a little better.]

Hey, it is tomorrow because it's almost 12:30. That means it's FRIDAY! Hopefully Jake will wake up feeling better so that day of the week actually matters in my world. I'm still up because I'm washing diapers. Two nights ago I was up with Goo until 2, and I secretly swore I would go to bed at 9 each night this week. Well, after VT, I needed to go grocery shopping, and I actually really enjoyed being able to go, except for the screaming child in Walmart, but for real, it was almost 10, if I was little and in Walmart in my Spiderman jammies, I might be screaming too. It just put a cramp in my mini-vaca style. I drove around downtown for a while afterward, prepping myself for the sinkful of dishes and 2 loads of laundry that needed to be done, but when I got home, Jake was in the kitchen, and the dishes were done. Tender mercy.

I put him to bed after he told me about some things he'd listened to, one of which was an On Being episode with Joanna Brooks called Mormon Demystified. I listened to it while I did laundry (and ate a bit of chips and salsa). I loved it, and I cried twice. I really like Joanna Brooks. I appreciate the familiarity I feel when listening to her talk about her faith transition. It's comforting.

And finally, my foot has been hurting in the same spot I injured it earlier this year. I don't like it because, just in case anyone has missed it, I'm in the middle of training for my first half marathon, and feet are kind of important in running. That, in addition to a little stranger in my two-year-old's body, a sick husband, and floors that need to be mopped, I think I can officially declare myself in a bit of a funk. Whatever though, I'm going to make tomorrow (today) great. And Kamla, I might be coming to see you next week because this foot thing is no bueno.

I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye

While in the crane pose this morning, I was staring at a speck of white lint on the floor in front of me. The lyrics to Kimya Dawson's "I Like Giants" popped into my head. A portion of the lyrics:
When I go for a drive, I like to pull off to the side
Of the road, turn out the lights, get out and look up at the sky
And I do this to remind me that I'm really, really tiny
In the grand scheme of things and sometimes that terrifies me 
But it's only really scary 'cause it makes me feel serene
In a way I never thought I'd be because I've never been
So grounded, and so humbled, and so one with everything
I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything
Yesterday I read an Op-Ed in the NY Times by David Brooks. Among many things he said, the thing that I'm still thinking about is this: Ambition is fired by possibility. It's a really nice summation of a million different things I've been thinking about over the last few years. Perhaps those without ambition simply don't have hope. (Ambition for what? A number of things...maybe even any ambition at all) I know that my ambition for trying to create a future that is really exciting to me has ebbs and flows depending on how well I've been able to stack the cards against me (and those cards not on my side are made up of things that are very real (like kids and paying bills and stuff), and things I'm afraid I can't overcome). I'm really good at deconstructing things, apparently possibility even. But something even bigger than my ability to talk myself out of my own competence keeps getting my heart all fluttery when I allow myself a moment to dwell in possibility.

How do I keep that glow of possibility going so that even when I'm bombarding myself with doubt, my ambition won't just fizzle out [Maybe the right question is how do I cut self-doubt]? How do I help make sure others are aware of the possibilities that exist for their lives as well?
We all become important when we realize our goal
Should be to figure out our role inside the context of the whole.  

Scrunchy nose

It's official. I'm pathetic. In my very landlocked location in the middle of the country, I have turned to watching youtube videos of sunsets over the ocean and listening to wave sounds. I need the ocean. RIGHT. NOW. Since that isn't going to happen according to my preferred timeline, I'll keep looking at videos and through pictures of when I was there.
Cora at 7 months with her feet in the sand. Magnolia hasn't been to the beach of an ocean yet!

Hapuna Beach

 Portland Breakwater Light (Bug Light)

When I got to school to pick Cora up, her PE teacher met me in carpool line and let me know that Cora had tripped and hit her head on the wall. She went to the office, they put ice on it, and the nurse took a look at her. They always let parents know if a head bump happens. The nurse also called me a few minutes after school got out letting me know what happened and the care she received. She's fine. I'm not even sure that there will be a mark in the morning. I'm glad to know she's in good hands. 

We got Cora's school magazine in the mail that was a sort of kick off to their 50th year. In it I saw this picture:
One of our friends in an old ward said that there used to be an LDS building in our neck of the woods. I had no reason not to believe him, but I'd never heard it before, and I'd been around for longer than he had. He was right. Apparently Cora's school bought it long ago, but it was torn down when they built the new middle school. Jake and I used to imagine where the best placement for a church building would be down in our area (we've had to drive 20 minutes to church for most of our time in OK). It makes me happy to know there used to be one, even if I think it would be super rad if it was still there. It was cute, too. Paul and Leslie - can you imagine walking 4 blocks to church? I think I've decided we (the LDS church) should buy the old church on 13th between Shartel and Classen. I miss walking to church.

Christmas Concert, teething, Stats, and voting. Yep.

Jake and I are in a choir that will be performing at the Civic Center on December 22, 2012. Well, I am singing, Jake is playing. It's looking to be pretty rad. 300 member choir, full orchestra, and as of right now, admission is free. I'm not sure how ticket distribution will work just yet, but I'll let you know when they're available. You'll want to be there. Mark your calendars. And while finding me might be like playing Where's Waldo, Jake is solo with the choir on Go Where I Send Thee. He played it tonight at rehearsal, and it was fantastic.

When I went to pick Magnolia up from the kind volunteers who were watching the children during rehearsal, I thought she felt a little warm. We got home, I took her temperature. 102.4. I'm pretty sure it's a teething issue. She was "teething" for about four months before her first tooth came through. For the last two months or so, she's been dropping hints that her two-year-old molars are trying to make an appearance. I think this is the real deal. Bless her sweet little baby heart. 

Because I think this is interesting, and I might be the only one, I present to you...

Statistics [sort of]

While on facebook the other day, a little blurb popped up about my friends who just liked Mitt Romney. I went to his page, and found that 97 of my friends like Mitt. I went over to Barack Obama's page, and found out that Mitt has an edge among my fb friends who openly support a candidate, as only 74 of my friends like Barack. Then I looked at how many people overall like Barack on fb: 28,666,630. Mitt: 6,989,525 (Barack's number makes me laugh a little bit. I'm sure there are already several conspiracies from some super religious right folk who think the thousands bracket is a sign.) 2,087,893 are talking about Mitt. 1,961, 557 about Barack. 

Then I wanted to see if there was a correlation between my fb friends of the voting population at large. And this is where the [sort of] of statistics comes in. 171 of my friends openly support a candidate, which amounts to about 19% of my friends. When compared to the percentage of the voting-age population, I was relieved to find that my fb peeps were seriously under-representin' as the average voter turnout in a presidential election year is somewhere around the mid-50% range. And then I was like, "Uh-buh! Where are the other almost 50%?" At any rate, I determined that there were a lot of variables (is this the right term?) in my fb friends that are not represented in the voting population. Like, I'm Mormon. I have a lot of Mormon fb peeps. Not only is Mitt the Republican candidate, and people in the Mormon church generally hang out on the right in politics, but he's also Mormon. 

What's that? You haven't heard that Mitt Romney is Mormon? He is. Big whoop. ;)

Also, not all of my friends are voting-age, though that number is very few. And just about every member of my family is conservative (but most of them are also Mormon, so I'm not quite sure if that should count as a separate variable), and I'm friends with a lot of my family on fb. Hmmm, except for the family members who have de-friended me because I'm not quite conservative enough for them. I digress. What I've found is that the number of those who like Mitt vs. those who like Barack is not an accurate representation of the voting population at large because I am Mormon, Mitt Romney is Mormon, many of my fb friends are Mormon, and Barack Obama is not Mormon.

Are you registered to vote? Go here if you're not so I won't have to say, "Uh-buh!" as much. 

Some more random fb friend tidbits:
14 of the 97 who like Romney are not Mormon, but 5 of those 14 are family.
5 of the 74 who like Obama are Mormon, 3 of the 5 are family.
2 like Obama and Romney and those 2 are Mormon.

Pistachio Velvet

A long, long time ago [I can still remember when], we were about to move to Chicago. We had the floor plan for our apartment, and I was making plans. I really wanted some pistachio velvet channel back chairs. I didn't find them, but I found some great wingbacks instead. When we moved to Dot, we sold the wingbacks because I wanted something with a lower profile. 

Somewhere a long the way, getting close to, if not more than, a year ago, I walked into my father-in-law's shop, Vaughn's Cabinets, and I saw some of the most beautiful chairs I'd ever seen, even with the bottoms falling out. They weren't channel backs, but they were pistachio velvet. My heart went pitter-patter, but they were sold. A few weeks ago, my brother-in-law posted a few pictures of the new store at the cabinet shop, and there the chairs were, with fixed bottoms. The buyer never came to pick them up. My heart started palpitating again, and when we were in-town over Labor Day weekend, I asked if they did layaway because we're still really poor until October.  Lucky for me that was pretty much a deal, and they were ours. 

I've been patiently waiting for the end of the month so we could cut a check, but Parker (the BIL) brought them up this afternoon on his way to the airport. They are lovely, and I'm so glad they're finally home.
I love old chairs with squishy, bouncy springs. Won't a little table with a mason jar of fresh flowers on top be sweet between them?
And I super love the shiny lacquered honey colored arms and legs.

On to more serious news, Dot is making me nervous...
Exhibit A

There were no cracks in the walls when we bought her. We did have an earthquake last year, and Dot is built on a crawl space. I don't know if it would take that long for cracks to show up, but for real...We want to remodel our bathroom this fall, but I guess it's par for the course: We moved in and replaced the hot water heater, and not long after, part of our sewer line. The fun parts have taken a backseat. 
Exhibit B
Exhibit C

Exhibit D
Exhibit E
Yes, that's five all together. From what I can tell, the cracks are all on what's left of the plaster walls, which are much more prone to just cracking on their own, without scary things like foundation issues. Most of the ceilings, except for in the dining room are sheetrock, as are about half of the walls. Hmm. To call a structural engineer or not....

Almost there

Yesterday I had a message from a friend I haven't seen in a long time. She read my last post and just happened to have a dehydrator she no longer wanted. I called her and we had a nice chat about her plans for retirement, and a whole new world that has been opened up to her because she went to a mind/body/spirit retreat in NM over the summer. Her excitement for what lies ahead was contagious. She dropped off the dehydrator today, and I am so excited to start experimenting...and pretending like I am Matthew Kenney.

I often pass by a convent that is home to a group of Carmelite Sisters [of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus]. I love that there is a convent less than a mile away from my house, and I mostly enjoy running by it and thinking about what those women are doing. I would like to visit soon. The convent is the end building in a row of old houses that, until last year, served as the Villa Teresa school. Due to funding issues, and aging nuns, they had to close. It feels a little lonely.

It's September. Jake gets his first full paycheck since the end of May at the end of this month (19 days!). When we entered into the summer months, after two jobs fell through, we were worried we could potentially be $10,000 short by the time the end of this month rolled around. We did some more math, started donating plasma, and thought we'd be around $1,500 short. Jake got more than he had in the past for playing for his summer camps (YES!). That coupled with some summer gigs, and a few other things, and with only 19 days left, we have, let me see... $572.73 in our checking and $10.19 in savings. I think we might make it! I went grocery shopping today and used our plasma cards for the first time. When you donate plasma, they just credit an account that you have access to through a card they give you on your first visit. I don't think we'll be regular donors anymore. On two separate occasions, Jake's line infiltrated. After the second time, my mom sent a check in the mail with a note for Jake to give his veins a rest. I'm so happy we saved those cards. As I swiped and they were approved, I felt like it was free money.

We have a few things that will come out at the end of the month, but Jake has a few recitals left to play. The one blow was a bill I got a few days ago for two of Magnolia's well-child visits that were a YEAR ago. A month or so after the visits, we got several checks from our insurance company saying that we may owe that much to our provider. I called the doctor's office, they said we had a few things pending, but didn't owe anything, so I deposited the checks and forgot about them. For real, it was a year ago. So when I got the bill, I was like, "What in the world?!?" It's over $400, and it's due on the 18th. I'm calling tomorrow to see if I can have it pushed back to the 1st. Their year-long delay and our month of September just don't match up very well.

And lastly, in an attempt to avoid the nail biting budgeting sessions that took place at the beginning and all throughout our summer, Jake started looking around at church jobs. He found one. He'll be playing at a nearby church for their Sunday services as well as choir/musical group practices on Wednesday. We recently drew up a get-out-of-debt plan (aka: pay off our student loans) that would take five years. With the extra income from the church, we're looking at 2-2.5 years. Like, whoa. We also frequently include getting a raise from OCU in our prayers. I'm just sure it will happen. ;) Well, I'm really sure that the hours he puts in, and the quality of musicianship he brings certainly warrants more financial breathing room than we currently have. Yes, of that I am definitely sure. Either way, I can't help but feel grateful (and perhaps even more so when the 19 days are over and we're still in the black). The impossible is happening.      


...and of course it's by John Prine.
Blow up your tv, throw away the paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try to find Jesus on your own
Jake had been listening to the Avett Brothers station on Pandora while making lunch, and it was still playing when I was doing the dishes. Spanish Pipedream came on, and I thought the chorus was just about perfect.

I'm sad I'd never heard of John Prine until we spent a summer evening in Highland Park, IL at Ravinia watching/listening to A Prairie Home Companion. John Prine was one of the guest musicians. We've been fans of his music ever since. It's fun discovering new-old songs.


I've kept a low profile this election season. I grew weary of the diatribe that would come to my "personal" spaces on the web in reaction to me sharing my opinions and thoughts. After the last presidential election, I learned hard lessons about how people can literally cut me out of their lives because my opinions were different from theirs. I used to know that I would never meet a person I wouldn't love. It's still true, but because some relationships I valued were damaged and even broken, I've found myself hesitant around people, which is new to me. I was so disappointed in the lack of civility and how dispensable I became to some.

I still don't know if just not talking about politics and issues is the solution to the lack of civility, but I've come to realize the most important thing is doing something about the little fire inside. Being an active member of the community, of a cause, of something we really believe in, in whatever way we can, is far more valuable than throwing words back and forth at one another. I'm admittedly still licking wounds from things that turned personal that shouldn't have. I'm working on not thinking twice about what someone might do with me when we don't see eye to eye. This whole being weary of people has left a hole in my heart that I feel is just about to close. Loving people, and how I treat and think of them because of that love, makes me happy. It's a valuable driving force, a vitality that I've missed.  

Do you ever get names stuck in your head? I was listening to NPR this morning on my way to pick Cora up...or drop her off, I can't remember, and they were talking about an upcoming segment with Mara Liasson. Over and over again, all day, "Mara Liasson." It's so weird. It's happened before, especially when I was pregnant and I would mull over the names I was planning on giving my girls, but I think it had more to do with making sure it was just right.

When I was a child, I would get hung up on the consonant sounds 'r' and 'n.' Like I had a tick, and had to say them, either aloud or in my head, for a certain amount of time until my brain was satisfied. Maybe I really like the 'r' in Mara. I don't know. I hope this is over when I wake up in the morning.       

A picture... and a thousand words, sort of.

This photo pretty much sums up my day. Almost a week ago, I was determined to trade in Comet [the cleaner] for something a little less harsh. I was at Whole Foods getting milk [Whole Foods has the best soy milk, hands down, and the cheapest, too when you buy the two-half gallon package, like we do. Whole Foods is the cheapest for anything? Yes. Bulk quinoa is also cheaper than Sprouts], when I decided to take a look at Mrs. Meyer's Surface Scrub, ugh, $4.99. But right next to it was Bon ami, and it was $1.34...or something like that. Worth a try. I took it home and cleaned my bathroom and fell in-love. Nothing overpowering in the smell, only five simple ingredients, I wasn't worried about my girls touching it to help, nice. 

Fast forward to today. I'm at Walmart getting the last of our groceries. I always get all of our produce from Sprouts (formerly known as Sunflower), and get the rest of it, like canned beans and bread and other things that come in packages, from Walmart. I fear people's judgement at Walmart when they look at my cart without a fresh item in it. I want to go tell them to look in my car to see all of the fruits and vegetables in the back, just waiting to be consumed by my family and me. Anyway...I'm wandering down the cleaning aisle looking for some Drano when I see the cute little chick from the Bon ami can. It's only 88 cents, but that's not all. It has a save 25 cents coupon on top. I just got one and went on my way, and then I was like, "What?!" So I turned my cart around and picked up two more. Happy cleaning to me. 

I spent the afternoon filling out paperwork for this idea I have. And then got to dinner. I made a recipe from the Engine 2 Diet book. It was basically beans and rice, but with quinoa instead of rice, and kale on the side. Quinoa is great. Kale is great. When quinoa and kale get together, magic happens. I LOVE them both. Kale is my favorite "leafy green." I think I've only been eating it for about a year. It was one of those "Where have you been all my life?" moments. While at Walmart, I also picked up some canning jars to make Jake some salads to take to work - I found the idea on Pinterest several months ago and just now got around to it. I enjoyed putting the salads together, and it took like 3.5 minutes. I'll be going back for quart jars.

In the middle of putting the salads together, I had the best idea. I love "Mason" jars. They're so simple and useful. They please my aesthetics. We've been planning on replacing all of our plastic "tupperware" (food storage containers doesn't sound as cool) with glass, and in that best idea moment, I thought, "That's silly, canning jars are way cooler and way cuter." I don't know why I've never thought about it before. I'm already imagining opening up the fridge to perfectly uniform glass jars - with leftovers and lunches all neatly and beautifully lined up.   

And finally, Magnolia had her first haircut. I didn't keep Cora's hair, I think there's something weird about it. Magnolia's longest layer was really long, so it was just easier to put it in a ponytail first. I took a deep breath, hesitated for a second, and then lopped it off. Now I have it, and I can't just throw it away. She still looks like my sweet baby, and I'm glad for that because I didn't want to do anything that would make her grow up any faster than she already is. What a sweet little sugar-plum-lollipop-lovey-lou.

Mostly about Running [and art and farewells]

On Saturdays, I run the longer distances in preparation for my half-marathon in November. Six was the magic number of miles I was supposed to run today. And I did. Last week's run was hard because my knee was being obnoxious. It only acted up once today, which was fabulous. I'm just terrified to "run through the pain" after the whole foot fiasco I had earlier this year. I love running downtown. Today I took wider swoop that took me through Deep Deuce, and that is where I saw that the old Irving school is for sale. I hope something great goes in. It's been a title company (I think). I'm feeling a West Elm. Or a super amazing grocery store. We're are seriously starved for good grocery stores in our part of the city. As more people move back downtown though, that will change. But I want it sooner rather than later[!!].

More about running: This whole week was really good. I was looking forward to rolling out of bed this morning to run. Last week I had this epiphany: I'm training for a 1/2 marathon because I've never done one before. It's okay that I can't just go out and conquer it. I'm running distances that increase slowly each week because that's right where I should be. They shouldn't be easy. Apparently I have this thing with just getting in and getting it done. I like that the training is becoming more enjoyable as I go along. My little ah-ha moment today was this: If I could be running, I'm not going to be walking. I have this thing about stopping when I don't really need to, I guess it's a sort of boredom, my mind winning some game against my will, but they're learning to work together. And where they meet, there is joy. I'm running because like I used to run when I was a child and young teen. I just liked to do it. I liked to see how far I could go. I put in the laps on the tracks Westwood High and Kino Junior High just because I wanted to.  It's okay to want things, and even better to act on those little desires that just won't leave you alone. I could want to accomplish running a half marathon and even a full one all the livelong day, but unless I do something about it, it just remains a dream deferred. These things feel so obvious, but I have to really work on them.

We went to the Art Museum this afternoon, and I enjoyed a painting called Bowery Scene. I never got too close because I was making sure my girls were staying interested, but it kept catching my eye from everywhere I was in the gallery. And lastly, while writing this this, Jake was listening to Leontyne Price's farewell performance at the Met. I was completely overcome with emotion at the end.


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