Monday, November 29, 2010

All they want for Christmas is...a pig!

My friend Megan and her daughter Rylee had their acting debut recently in this video from Gospel for Asia, the Christian missions organization Megan and her husband Joel work for. This video shows a great way to give to the most needy at Christmas time!

I love the Gospel for Asia Christmas gift catalog (which you can browse by clicking here). It gives ways for people to share Christ's love in a practical manner, and the gifts you can buy truly fit all budgets, starting at just $1. From Bibles, to goats, to camels, to goats, to chickens, to church buildings, each gift has the potential of truly changing lives!

Gospel for Asia is a great organization. Every penny you give to the mission field (including what you give through the Christmas gift catalog) goes to help people living in Asia. None of it is used for administrative expenses here in the U.S.; those expenses are paid by other donors.

Last Christmas we gave money for a rickshaw. I love knowing that a man in Asia now owns a rickshaw, instead of having to rent one every day. Renting a rickshaw for a day can take as much as half of the driver's daily income!

This is one of my favorite organizations, and if you feel moved by what they do, I'd love for you to check out their Christmas gift catalog, and see what your family might want to give. If you have kids, they can help you choose!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving, in pictures

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful! I went on a longish run in the morning, ending at Starbucks for a Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino. Yum!

At about 4, we all loaded up in the car. Even the cold weather and overcast skies...

...couldn't ruin our good moods as we headed to Maggiano's for a special dinner!
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As we waited for our food...

...Daddy played Tic-Tac-Toe with Zoodle, and I got a little cuddle from Chickie.
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The family-style Thanksgiving menu was amazing...bruschetta and salads to start, and then the main courses and side dishes...

...followed by dessert, including their delicious tiramisu.
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Best of all, we came home with LOTS of leftovers!

Wes spent some time at a friend's house, and after putting the kids to bed back at home, The Engineer and I browsed Black Friday ads.

We didn't get up for any of the 4 a.m. store openings, but we did all head out at about 8:30 a.m. to shop...and of course we found plenty of bargains.

More time with friends on Friday night rounded out the Thanksgiving holiday nicely. I hope your Thanksgiving was full of gratitude and joy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Of edamame, feasting, and more!

Time for a quick little update post. (While part of me is enjoying not blogging much during November, the other part of me, well, misses you guys!)



I love edamame (soybeans, preferably salted!) and have discovered that Costco sells it in a big box of perfectly-sized, microwave-ready containers (at a discount compared to what I can buy at the grocery store.) How nice to be craving something that's good for me!

Instead of heading out of town this year for Thanksgiving, we're saving our travel for Christmas. But that means that since we don't have any family in town, we don't have anywhere to eat Thanksgiving dinner.

I spent a day last week pretty upset about that. But the next day, a friend came over for a playdate, and she knew just how to remind me how loved I am and how blessed I am to have such great friends when we don't live near relatives. Now I'm looking forward to eating turkey with my little family at a restaurant (no dishes!) and then to enjoying some homemade pie at a friend's house. The time with relatives at Christmas will be extra-sweet!

My (almost) 12-mile run on Saturday went great. That was my last long run before my December 5 race. My legs are feeling great, and I'm looking forward to meeting that 13.1 mile goal in 11 days!

Zoodle has decided he loves to make messes and doesn't like to clean up. This is resulting in situations like him staying in his room for an hour until he's finally willing to put his books back on his bookshelf. Sometimes discipline isn't very fun for Mom or kid.

I've been spending hours crocheting...and while I'm crocheting, I'm often watching Say Yes to the Dress on Netflix Instant. It's shallow reality television, and I enjoy it way more than I really should admit.

On that note...I think I have time for an episode or two of Say Yes to the Dress before the kiddos are done with their quiet time/naptime....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Micro: Hooked!

It seems like this is turning into a crochet blog! I'll just have to beg your patience--I'm elbow-deep in yarn these days as I try to finish a bunch of orders before Christmas. I expect I'll have more creativity to spare for writing when I'm using less creativity to design and stitch!

This slouchy hat was a custom order. It's fun, comfy, and warm!


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Newest hat designs

Here are my newest hat designs! The first three designs were for one family. A friend of mine ordered hats for herself, her husband, and their young son and daughter. They had some great ideas for what they wanted, and it was really fun to be able to make their ideas come to life!

Wavy Multicolor Beanies:
These can be made in any size and are unisex. I made one for the dad and one for his son (who is Zoodle's age.)

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Kitty Cat Earflap Hat:
I've made two of these--one for my friend's 9-month-old, and another in a smaller size. Soon I'll be making one for a toddler, in black.

Please note that the ears are now more "three-dimensional" but I forgot to take a picture after making that improvement!

Also, these (and other) hats can be made double-thick, with two strands of yarn. The hat on the right was made that way.

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Slouchy Ribbed "Cable" Hat:
This fun, warm hat has a look similar to cable-knit though it's really just an overlay design over the ribbed hat. The hat could be made without the overlay design, or with the design in a different color. I really like this hat!

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Zigzag Beanie:
Lastly, this is a simple hat I made for a friend. It is unisex.

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I haven't listed these as custom options in my Etsy shop, simply because I have quite a few hats to complete and my turnaround is longer than it was when I started the shop! However, I am still accepting custom orders; I just need to communicate with each customer so that we both have realistic delivery date expectations. I'm thankful for all the business!

Thanks for supporting me, whether it's just by buying hats, or by encouraging me! I appreciate you!

To visit C. Beth Crochet, click here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Micro: Back on track

My running is back on track! After the last two weeks of physical therapy (for pain in my IT band), I went out for my 11-mile training run Saturday.

And it went great! My legs are feeling so much better, and they really came through for me on this run. It makes me so much more confident for the half marathon on December 5!

I just wish I'd gone to physical therapy earlier! Sometimes I can't be a do-it-yourself type, and this is one of those times I wasn't able to fix myself. Thankfully I ended up at a place that is helping my body to become strong and loose again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pac-Man and iron-on

When we visited The Engineer's parents a few months ago, his mom pulled out a shirt that my husband must have worn when he was a pre-teen. The front had his name ironed on, and the back expressed his affection for a particular video game.


I was enchanted by this well-worn t-shirt! It just screams "1980s"...from the Pac-Man reference, to the iron-on letters (which are, of course, fuzzy!), to the fitted style of the shirt, to the spelling of "LUV." Check out the ultra-soft texture of our favorite yellow video game character:


I love it (or should I say "luv" it?) so much that I've adopted it as one of my sleep shirts.

It's totally awesome. (To the max.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Micro: Kitty cat hat!

I made this hat for a friend's daughter...and it's too small! It should fit babies ages 2-6 months, approximately (and would probably be most comfy for little ones on the smaller end of that range.)


Designed and stitched by C. Beth.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weakness and joy

I had a rough run yesterday. I went ten miles total, but for the last two-plus miles, I was walking because my darn IT band was bothering me enough that I needed to stop running on it. For quite a bit of that final two miles, I was on the phone with my husband, telling him my frustrations.

I've been going to this fantastic rehab clinic for the last week, where a doctor has been doing therapy on me, and I've been taught what I can do at home to work on my issues.

All that is working great on some other (more minor) issues I was having. And my IT band did well on my shorter runs this week. So (even though my doctor told me it would be fixed in two to three weeks) I had such high hopes yesterday. Hopes that left me disappointed and weepy.

I'm not sure what's going to happen from here. I still have four weeks to get this worked out before the half marathon I have scheduled, but I really don't know if that's going to happen or not. I don't like being in limbo.

But as I stood outside Starbucks after my run, drinking my guilt-free Frappuccino and waiting for my husband and kids to come pick me up, I realized some things.
  • I believe God is personal. I know him. And no matter what disappoints me in life, He's with me. So If I can focus on Him, resting in his hands, I don't have to place my hope in things that I can't really depend on, like being a perfectly healthy runner. I'm still frustrated with my body, but I'm thankful that it's helping me shift my focus back to the One who I can depend on.
  • I ran about eight miles yesterday (with lots of stops to try to deal with my issues, but still...eight miles.) I let the two miles I couldn't run determine my mood, instead of being thankful for the eight miles I could run. Whether or not I can run 13.1 miles in four weeks, I want to enjoy and be grateful for every single mile that my body lets me run. And the nice thing about gratitude reminds me again to focus on the One I'm grateful to.
I'm writing this on Saturday afternoon, and I'm still tired and disappointed and know I could cry at the drop of a hat. But I also have joy because today reminded me what's important to me. I can focus on a strong God...instead of a weak body.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The fastest trip to Wal-Mart ever

Last Thursday night, The Engineer asked me, "You remember that the potluck at my office is tomorrow, right?"

Uh oh. He'd mentioned it once, asking me to make soup for it--and I'd promptly forgotten.

The next morning I got myself and the kids ready, but I needed more ingredients for the soup. When I took a moment to consider what time it was and how long it would take to go shopping, make the soup, and drive to Daddy's office, I realized I needed to hurry.

My normal response to being hurried is to rush the kids, snap at them when they don't move fast enough, and generally work myself into a frenzy. Not the best state of mind for a mom (especially a mom who's about to drive somewhere!) This time I took a different tactic.

With a voice full of excitement, I asked the kids, "Who wants to take the fastest trip to Wal-Mart ever?"

Zoodle wasn't overly enthusiastic, but was willing to move quickly. And Chickie immediately got caught up in the thrill of doing something different. She raced to the garage door, rushed into her seat, and encouraged me to hurry. We got to Wal-Mart, and I put them both in the basket, and they had fun while I zoomed it around the parking lot and the store, pushing it faster than usual.

All in all, it was a fun trip--and a fast one. The kids cooperated because I wasn't pushing them; instead I was making our hurried errand into a game.

At what other times could I take a lighthearted attitude and accomplish more than I manage to with my stressed-out attitude? Hopefully the fastest trip to Wal-Mart ever is the start of my fastest parenting improvement ever...we'll see!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This month is NaBloPoMo...National Blog Posting Month. A lot of bloggers have committed to blogging every day in November.

Well, I'm instead practicing LoBloPoMo. I'm giving myself permission to post at a Lower frequency than usual. I'm at the point where I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed...with clutter in my house, at-home exercises that are getting my legs healthier for running, crochet projects in the queue, etc. I need to make all of that higher priority than blogging.

I've got ideas for blog posts, and I'll still be posting at least a couple of times a week. But I'm also going to enjoy LoBloPoMo...while also instituting FaCleHoMo (Fall Cleaning House Month), LeGeHeMo (Legs Getting Healthy Month), and StiThoHaMo (Stitch Those Hats Month)!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Your very own "I Voted" graphic!

Back from election day 2008 by popular demand! Well, not really popular demand, but I wanted to post it again....

American readers--did you vote? If so, and you're a blogger, feel free to snag this graphic.
(Yes, I know it's incredibly feminine. If any male bloggers are upset about that, I'd be happy to make you one with a picture of a backhoe, baseball cap, or big screen TV.)

Here's the HTML code....

I'd love for you to leave a comment here if you use the graphic, but it's not required!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A family race!

Well, yesterday was Halloween...and race day! Hubby, the kids, and I all headed just a few miles from our house for our races. The kids were cold. And tired. (And in costume.)

My not-too-enthusiastic Batgirl & pirate before the races started:

First was the kids' 1K (0.62 mile) race. Zoodle (age 2 1/2) started slow but finished strong...

...while Chickie ran the whole way, keeping this superhero stance for the last quarter mile:

Then a friend of ours took the kids, and it was time for The Engineer and I to start our 5-miler. We won't have any photos of him until the professional ones are available, but he did awesome. He got 3rd place in his age group with a time of 37:03 (7:24/mile)!

Best of all, my IT band did great. I focused on keeping better form based on some stuff I read on the ChiRunning website; massaged the problem areas before the race; and taped it with KT Tape. I don't know exactly what did the trick, but it felt fantastic. I'm still keeping my appointment today because I want to keep this from coming back if possible. The only thing that worried me was that my right arch started hurting again for the last couple of miles, but it wasn't bad. I'll keep massaging it and working on my form (LIFTING my feet instead of pushing off), and I'll ask about it in my appointment tomorrow.

Here I am feeling good and looking weird (with my Vibrams and my crazy KT Tape!)

I placed really low in the rankings; I'm not fast! But I got a PR (personal record) for five-mile time! I was way faster than I thought I'd be, and I was thrilled with my time. Here are my stats:
Time: 50:34 (10:07/mile)
Mile 1: 11:29
Mile 2 & 3: Average 10:37
Mile 4: 9:05
Mile 5: 8:46

Mile 5 was my fastest timed mile ever! That floored me! I love running negative splits (starting slow and speeding up) but I bet I could improve my overall time if my my splits were a little less drastically different.

I got a burst of adrenaline at the end and sprinted to the finish. What a great race!