Inner Workings on this Christmas Eve.

I'm sitting outside the Barnard Memorial Methodist Church in Holdenville, OK. There is a Christmas Eve Candlelight service happiness inside. Magnolia was very tired and on the verge of a meltdown in the middle of What Child is This? She and I put on our coats and went out to the car. She fell asleep within minutes. I'm feeling especially grateful we brought our Volvo down instead of the Prius because the heater in this car is amazing. I'm a little sad to be missing communion and the candle lighting, but really, I don't mind much. I understand tired, and there's something nice about this quiet moment. The stars are lovely.

I've been feeling so sentimental about my girls. About my little Goo. And lately (it's been going in waves for the last year) I've had this deep down longing for another baby. I always imagine being the mother of another daughter. I even get weepy sometimes when I think about it - like right now. Most of the time it's hard to imagine having another child because I often feel like a single parent with Jake's work schedule. And while it's true, love grows for each baby you have, so does the worry. I can't imagine how another child would multiply the worry I try my best to keep at bay every single second of every single day. 

But tonight, with my lovely three-year-old sleeping behind me, I'm letting myself imagine what it would be like to carry another little love, deliver [her], feed her, stay up staring at her, watch her grow and discover new things. I'm thinking about Mary, and find myself longing for God to plant an angel babe in me (with Jake's help, of course, I can't imagine being the mother of God's only begotten daughter). If it just happens, I won't have to sit and wonder if I'm supposed to be the mother of three. Knowing when we were ready to start our family was so much easier than trying to decide if our family is complete. 

An Evening Run

I just got home from an amazing run. The moon was bright, and the sky was crystal clear. I saw so many stars that it didn't seem possible that I was in the middle of a city. I've never enjoyed 45 degree weather as much as I did tonight. It was perfect.

I registered for my first half marathon a couple of months ago. It's the Lost Dutchman Marathon in my hometown. The race is on February 16th, and I'm so excited about it.

Can I tell you the other part? Okay. On the same day I registered for my first half-marathon, I registered for my first marathon. My first marathon will be the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 27th.  I knew that I wanted to run the OKC Memorial Marathon, and I've always wanted to run some part of the Lost Dutchman Marathon, so I thought the timing of both races in relation to one another would be good for keeping me motivated.

I've been following a training plan that I really like, though in the second week, I met Runner's Knee for the first time in my life, and it is no joke. I've been trying to keep that in check while still getting a decent amount of miles in. So far so good, I've just had to adjust a few things for the time I took off. Runs like the one I had tonight are really great for building mental momentum. I missed my long run on Saturday. I was supposed to go 5 miles. I decided to make it up today, and I didn't map out a 5 mile course before I went, I just winged it. I even ventured out of our neighborhood and into Midtown, which I never do at night. Well, used to never. When I got home and plotted my course, I'd gone 5.16 miles. I try not to think about time, that's not why I'm running these two races, but I must admit that I was a little puffed up with pride when I realized my average pace was about 2 minutes faster than my training plan had prescribed. I found a really good rhythm and went with it. There's something deeply satisfying about my mind and body working together so well.

Tonight I loved running.

PS: I ran to Evangeline's debut album, Verbatim. Have you heard it yet? Here's a sample. I know she will accompany me on many runs in the future.

Broken Soles [sort of] and Clingy Kids

Today, two pairs of my shoes broke within twenty minutes of each other on my way to church. The first happened on a pair of ridiculously sentimental heels while I was trudging through the snow in my back yard. I'd just reached the fence when the ankle strap broke free from its stitching. They are unwearable without that strap. Why are they sentimental? I got a new outfit to wear to church the first time I came to Oklahoma to see Jake. Those shoes, along with a black pleated skirt and a black and white striped sweater made up the ensemble. These shoes are classics. Black with sweet details. When I was at Dillard's, ten-and-a-half years ago, it was between the pair I got and another pair. A woman saw me trying to decide (I had shoe from each pair on my feet), and said, "Always go with the ankle strap." I did.

After my shoe broke, I ran back in and grabbed some flats. These flats actually broke last week. I was at the park after school with my girls, and the sole just completely fell off. Um, weird. I super-duper glued it back on...because I'm like that, and today, I took about 20 steps before it came off again. Let it be known that I spent way too much tim on Cyber-Monday looking for new black flats. I found some I like, but I really hate spending money unless I absolutely have to (some might find replacing a sole-less shoe sort of a necessity), that's when the glue came in. If I would have known I'd have to re-glue the sole every 20 steps, I would have bit the bullet.

Okay, and the most heartbreaking part is that the heel of my beloved Seychelles came off several months ago. They've been looking at me all sad and mopey in my closet. It happened not long after my super gushy post about them. I was at Red, White, and BOOM! on one of my many trips with Magnolia to the bathroom, when all of the sudden there was an awful clicking against the asphalt. Somewhere at State Fair Park lies part of my shoe. May it rest in peace.

Having two pairs of regular players give out today has made visiting a shoe repair store one of my top priorities. I've really been missing my Seychelles. I think my love for them is what made me skip over all the Cyber-Monday deals. There are a lot of cute current Seychelles, but I just don't love any of them as much as mine. I think I'm going to let my black flats just die. The outsides still look nice, but the insides are shot. Maybe I'll try glue one more time...

In other news, while at church today, I relived a moment from Chicago. Let's go back to Chicago: It was July, and the choir was about to sing two songs, one I can't remember, and the other was Come, Come Ye Saints. I'd arranged for a friend to sit with Cora, and brand new Magnolia was attached to me in a baby carrier. I got up to go up, and Cora had a complete melt-down. Like a screaming freak-out. I wasn't going to leave her in that state, and especially not leave her with my friend [who looked frightened], to deal with. So after a few seconds of grabbing onto my skirt/falling down in the aisle, I scooped her up, and we went out to the foyer. She calmed down quickly, and I listened to Jake play the organ like a boss to Come, Come Ye Saints over the speaker. My sweet little Coco snuggled and relaxed after a bit, and when the choral numbers we returned to the chapel all peachy.

Now to today: My girls always sit or play while I'm rehearsing for choir. Today during rehearsal, they were playing with the children in-front of them. Side note: whenever I take M to the bathroom, which is always at least once during the service, Cora is content to just stay in our pew coloring. I arranged for the person sitting behind us to take care of them while I went up to sing. I thought it would be easy, they'd watch like they do when we practice. The person behind us would likely not even need to get up.

That was not what happened.

Cora was clinging to me with a look of horror, Magnolia was saying, "No!" I'm in the aisle dancing around trying to get my much-bigger-than-a-five-year-old five-year-old to let me go, all while trying to hand Magnolia off. The choir is up and ready to go, and I'm just about to sit back down when Cora's Sunday school teacher hops up and grabs Cora. I scoop Magnolia up and take her with me. As I picked her up, I said, "You're coming, but you have to be really quiet."

She smiled, and said, "Okay." I got up front, but not before my shoe fell off when I got to the top step. Not even the broken one, mind you. We sang. I enjoyed it. Magnolia kept her head buried in my shoulder most of the time, and I couldn't help but smile when I looked out and saw Cora sitting on the edge of her seat watching.

And just for the record: When Magnolia had to go potty about five minutes after the choir sang, I asked Cora the usual question: "Would you like to come with me or stay here?" To which she replied,

"Stay here."

I almost laughed, but told her she was coming with me, and explained on our journey down the hall, that it doesn't make sense for her to be afraid of me going up to sing in the same room as her, but not being afraid when I had to leave to take Magnolia to the bathroom. I think she got it.

Garage Guilt and Snow Days

Lately, mostly when there is a notable weather event, I've been feeling guilty that I have a garage. I felt that way for the first time the first time it was cold this fall [I know I just said "the first time the first time." Any recommendations on how to avoid that are welcome]. I stepped out of my garage into my backyard and into the brisk air, and I couldn't believe my hunk of metal that I drive everywhere had a roof over its hood when there were many human beings in my very own city (many in close proximity to my home) without that basic necessity.

It's been cold and winter stormy in Oklahoma today. I had to work really hard at getting my car back into my garage after I picked up Cora from school. If you'd like to know a quick way to warm up when the wind chills are in the teens, I'll tell you: shovel snow and chunk through ice. Our driveway is short and steep, and it leads to a one-car garage. There isn't much room for error - in this case, sliding one way or the other. And there was no way to avoid the tracks I'd made when leaving that had since turned into a layer of ice. Shoveling was easy. Chunking was tricky. It took about 20 minutes. Let it be known that this was the first time I have ever shoveled snow. Man, that one inch was for the record books. When I pulled the Prius in, I felt like I'd just won an epic battle.

But you can imagine how this intense determination to get my car into its shelter multiplied the guilt I felt about having a garage as a prize at the end of conquering an icy driveway.

It's supposed to snow more tonight. I think there's something really fun about waking up to a still new world after it's snowed all night, but there's also something a little sad about missing the show. I hope I wake up at least once so I can peek out the window for a minute or two. Or ten.

Cora's school is cancelled tomorrow. We're waiting to hear if OCU is closed too. OCU closed at 4 today, but it was opening night of It's a Wonderful Life tonight, so he went back for that. He actually just got home. I love snow days, even just snow mornings or afternoons because my whole little family gets to be together for a few hours, which rarely happens. If it takes a snow day for Jake to get part of a day off, I'll take it! I have every intention of baking lots of goods and watching Chronicles of Narnia tomorrow. All while in my super warm cozies and snuggled up to the cutest people in the world.


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