Monday, April 28, 2014

I Finished Something

I did laundry last Thursday, and here these baskets sit on Monday morning.  Taunting me with their need to be folded and put away.  And while I know many adults who struggle to complete that task that is laundry, for me it points to a larger issue I've had all my life.  I don't finish things, I don't stick with them, and my enthusiasm that marks the start of projects for me never lasts through the drudgery of the day-to-day.

So when I joined the Y in late January and met with a trainer there about my goals; my answers to her questions didn't surprise me.  One of my goals I listed was to be able to run a 5K.  Having never run an entire mile in my life, this felt like a bit of a lofty goal for me.  She asked me to rate my determination on a scale of 1-10 and I rated it an 8/9.  She then asked me to rate my belief that I would complete my goal.  Ummmmm, 5? 6?  Because I don't stick with things, even things I really want.

In my head, while I really wanted to run a 5K, I figured my chances were good that it would be filed away with a long list of goals and things I had started strong with and simply didn't complete.  See my various efforts at keeping up a specific plan for meal planning, budgeting, cleaning, reading, home school, diet changes...

But I downloaded the Couch to 5K app for my phone and started.  Because I'm good at starting things!  And then it got hard and not as fun, and I wavered.  Thankfully, Scott's firm is a sponsor for a race that was this past weekend and I was able to sign up for it.  It was great motivation to keep moving forward.  Then I found out that the race I had just signed up for was not just a 5K, but a 4 mile race.  Gah!

A few weeks before the race I had basically resigned myself to the fact that I would just walk part of the race.  No big deal, whatever, it's not THAT important that I run it.

Then I had a heart-to-heart with myself.  I'm tired of not finishing.  I don't want that to be the narrative of my life.  So the week before the race I tried to pick up the pace.  I started running outside and maxed out at the 2-3 mile mark.  The only way I could run over 3 miles on the treadmill was if I only ran a 12 minute/mile pace.  And even then I couldn't get all the way to 4 miles.

I went to bed very nervous on Saturday night.  And on Sunday morning of the race I was still telling people that I would be walking part of the race.  All the while in my head desperately wanting to actually finish it having run the whole thing.

So I prayed.  I want to finish this race, but just like everything else in my life, I'm not a finisher.  Make me a finisher.  Empower me to actually finish something that I don't think I'm capable of.

And I started running.  My iPhone was telling me my pace and I kept trying to slow down because I was so scared of not finishing.  But I just kept moving and it felt GOOD.  I stopped myself from full on crying twice because I was actually doing this.  And I wasn't walking.  I was feeling good and I was going to finish this thing.

And as I sprinted the last 100 yards to the finish line, having not walked any of it, I could hardly believe it.

I finished a 4 mile race with a pace of 11:09/mile.  The fastest I had ever run a long distance and the farthest I had ever run.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

After a day of hosting a whole house overflowing with people, I only have energy for pictures.  I hope you all had a blessed Easter.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Puzzle Pieces

I feel like maybe one day we will have all the pieces of the puzzle sorted out for Evelyn.  It seems as though each year we continue to gather more up and begin to see a clearer picture of our first born and what makes her unique.

This year's portion of the picture was really illuminated by her attending preschool.  Being able to watch her interact with her peers, work alongside them, and learn with them has been telling for us.  It confirmed some suspicions for us and her teacher become a fresh set of eyes for us in which to analyze what might be going on.

This led us to having Evelyn reevaluated for speech delays as well as now also having an occupational therapist evaluate her fine motor function as well.  And while a couple different potential over-arching diagnosis terms have been thrown around, she is still officially label-less, but receiving services for both speech articulation delay, fine motor delay, and below average visual motor integration.

I'm glad that we've caught these things relatively early because with help, she should eventually be right on par with her peer group.  We have no idea why she struggles in these areas while excelling in others.  That part is still a mystery.

In the mean time, besides therapy, we are extending therapy activities to home to help her progress as quickly and smoothly as possible.  I went over a list of things we could get for home with her occupational therapist and came up with a box full of things for under $100 that Evelyn and Annie can do together that they would find fun and not laborious.  Annie starts preschool next year, so I'm doing the therapy activities with her as well so that she can be as successful as possible when doing PreK activities next year such as writing and cutting.

Here's what we ended up with.

This is much firmer than play-doh and playing with it helps strengthen the muscles in your hands.  The therapist often uses it to hide objects such as beads or coins in and has Evelyn work them back out again.

Great for the snapping and unsnapping, making and copying patterns, and working on simple addition at the same time.

Just pray for me now that Abraham doesn't find this one.

The tongs from this are good for lots of fine motor games.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Rolling In

Spring feels like it's finally creeping in.  That means afternoons out playing in the wet and mud.  And worms.

I handed over the camera to one of the teenage neighbor girls who was out playing with the kids.

The kids always act different around a camera when it's not mom behind it.

So much puppy love from this little boy who did a lot of growing up over this long, cold winter.

And getting this little one to do anything other than beg to watch Frozen is nothing short of a miracle!