Summer running

Our girls decided to run a mile each morning this summer! They're following their mama's example, and meeting at the Pink Sisters then running a mile around our neighborhood.  They make a visit to Jesus before heading home.  

They met us back at the Vacek's where Kim and I were having our post run coffee out back.  We all ate a super yummy breakfast of baked oatmeal and fruit in back together. They are so sweet!
Way to go girls.


My Own Half

It didn't happen like I had planned these past four months of running... but nevertheless, it happened.  I ran the Lincoln half marathon this morning.  There was no driving around to find a parking spot, no standing in line 50 people deep to use the restroom, no line of port-a-potties down the street, no waiting 30 minutes to cross the START line, no weaving in and around of people, no water stations, and sadly no crowds of cheering.

Two Sundays ago when there was a sea of people (12,500 to be exact) that filled the street waiting to start the marathon, TJ, Thomas and I were at Children's hospital in Omaha.  I was super disappointed and sadly admit that I was pouting (at least only in my head) that I couldn't be there running.  I knew I wanted and needed to be with Thomas, but what your head knows and your heart feels can be two separate feelings.  I can honestly say that I had thought of this half marathon at least once every day since 1:40 in the morning on January 1st.  (That's when I was able to register and it filled up within twelve hours!). I had run and really trained for the last four months.  But alas, it wasn't meant to be.  Once I got over the fact that I wasn't going to be able to run and experience the awesome atmosphere on race day and getting to run with my dear friend Kim, I knew I owed it to myself to still run it.  
And so two Sundays later, I stood on the empty start line in the street as the erie stillness and quiet were the only "cheering" that sent me off as I began my race.
I started off with praying the rosary and offering it for Thomas.  I found it ironic that I had a slight headache as I started to run.  Poor Thomas has had terrible headaches for the past two months.  It made my prayers for him that more real as I could now imagine for just a moment how he feels all day, every day.  
I kept telling myself to start slow.... "Slow down Kristi or you will burn out by mile ten." Then once I turned onto Sheridan I kicked it up a bit.  It was such a beautiful morning with the morning sun shining between the trees!  To feel more like I was running the actual race, I ran on the street, not caring that cars had to swerve around me.  "I'm running the half people, watch out for me!  We don't run on sidewalks!!" Is what I wanted to say, of course!
Since there were no water stations I had to stop at a gas station along the way and grab a water and use the restroom! But other than that I was sailing along.  After finishing the rosary I realized I needed some music to keep me running.  A little "Mumford and Sons" pandora station made my steps quicken!  As I turned onto 20th street, the big hill of this race, I got a text from Kim wondering how I was doing. It was such perfect timing knowing that she was thinking of me at that moment I started up the hill.  Then as I turn on to 10th St., the last dreaded 3 miles, I had to really push myself.  I laughed aloud as the song on Pandora was singing to me, "run fast for your mother, run fast for your brother, run  for your sister..."
With one-mile left, my phone rang and it was TJ, which I of course didn't stop to talk to him, but that truly helped me sprint through that last mile!  
Then it was done. No cheers, no running through the middle of the stadium, I just stopped on the empty street that I had started on.  And I felt so good! So good to have finished what I started. My pace was 8:21 and I finished it in 1:49:40.

When I got home I put on the marathon medal that my brother-in-law Andy gave to Thomas after he finished running the Half this year!


It hurts.

If God gave mother's insight into the suffering, pain, worry and anxiety that inevitably goes along with having and raising children BEFORE having them, I would have never done it.  Never would have had a child, let alone five.  Six actually with our Joseph who is already in heaven.  Never would have signed up for it.  Never.  Never ever.
That's why I'm so glad He has designed motherhood for us to be blissfully unaware of the heart wrenching moments.  He wants us to trust Him after all.
Oh, but let me tell you it's hard...so hard as all mothers know.  Dreadfully hard.  When our precious ones get hurt, sick, fall behind, make deadly choices that affect both their body and soul...it can drain the life out of a mother.  Wash away the excitement, fun, hope, and pure joy that having children brings.

For the past two and a half months Thomas has been suffering from Tics, a disorder that has caused his body to go through severe jerking movements.  He has a continual headache, and his body is sore. Not to mention he jerks so hard and uncontrollably that he bites the inside of his mouth and almost knocked over his desk at school.  We have seen multiple neurology specialists, had an MRI and EEG done,  tried six different medications, been to the emergency room twice, Boys Town hospital, and spent three days at Children's hospital in Omaha.  He's had more blood drawn and IV's than he'll ever care to remember.
(After his first ER visit we got him a tower to build and his grandpa also gave him a catapult to build!)

The most difficult part I think is having to watch him hurt and know there is nothing I can do to fix it.  I couldn't make the jerking stop, I couldn't even find comfort in giving him an ibuprofen to give him relief from his headache.  Nothing was working.  
(Getting his EEG done)

(He had to be put under for the MRI)

He has not been at school for a full day in weeks, and we decided to finish off the year with a home bound tutor.  The noise at school is just too loud and between the jerking and the drowsiness, a side effect from all the drugs he's tried, it's just too much for him.  

I am grateful for the extra time he has been home though.  He is pretty drowsy all day and his head hurts nonstop, but he usually turns on the Food Channel or watches "Leave it to Beaver" on Netflix.  He's been experimenting in the kitchen too.  The other night I was making a turkey for dinner and he thought we should have gravy to go with it.  He proceeds to find a recipe and make gravy.  We all loved it so much and after dousing our dinners with it, TJ asks him what was in it.  Come to find out that he doubled the butter on accident...sure did make for one tasty gravy!  Food is something that makes him happy, and when his days are spent mostly not feeling well, we give him all the food he wants!  

I am so grateful for TJ and am reminded of this especially now. He is so good with Thomas.  He doesn't panic and freak out as intense as I do.  When Thomas needed to be taken to the emergency room, TJ grabbed him and off they went well I blubbered at home. Then when Thomas needed to be taken by ambulance from Lincoln to Children's Hospital in Omaha, TJ was the one to ride with him and keep him calm.  

I think the biggest thing I'm struggling with his dividing my attention between Thomas who desperately needs it right now, and our other children who still need me as well .

(Getting to go to the fun room at Children's hospital to play the wii )

What kills me the most is the look in his eyes when he doesn't feel good.  It's this desperate look for me to help him, and I can't.  

(I love this picture... Look at the words on his shirt!)

Came across this while reading in "The Imitation of Christ" today....perfect, of course.

"Christ: My child, permit Me to do with you what I will, for I know what is best for you....
Disciple: Lord, everything you say is true. Your providence is far better for me than any care I can take myself.  Those who do not put all their trust in you run a great risk of falling.  Therefore the Lord, if only my will remain firmly fixed in you, do with me as you please, for whatever you do with me and be good.  If it is your will that I'd be in light, may you be blessed, Lord but if it is your will that I be in darkness, may you also be blessed.  If in your mercy you comfort me, be you blessed, but if it is your will that I be afflicted, still be you always blessed.
Christ: my child, this is how you must stand if you want to walk beside me, you must be as ready to suffer as to rejoice, as willing to be needy and poor as to be rich and have abundance.  
Disciple: Lord, I willingly bear for you whatever you are pleased to give me. With indifference I will take from your hand good and bad, bitter and sweet, joy and sorrow, and for all these things that may happen to me, I thank you with all my heart."