Unprepared for Easter — or Are We?

Bible Time

After my eleven mile run on Sunday, I collapsed on the couch with a bottle of water while my husband watched some of The Bible on The History Channel. They were reairing previous episodes of the epic miniseries to lead up to that night’s new episode. Moses was just getting ready to part the Red Sea when LittleBrother wandered into the living room.

“Who’s that?”


“What’s he doing?”

“He’s about to part the Red Sea.”


“What do you mean why? Go read your Bible,” I joked.

“I don’t have a Bible.”


“Well, I have a baby Bible.”

He wandered to his room and came back with The Baby Bible Storybook. I mean, it has baby right in the title. I helped him find a story about Moses and read it with him. As I finished, I was forced — once again — to realize that our two sons are very different. We didn’t gift our older son with a real Bible until after he learned how to read. It’s not like we didn’t have lots of other Bible-like things — like the Veggie Tales Story Bible and Baby’s First Bible and the Jesus Storybook Bible. But BigBrother, when comparing their ages, learned to read this coming summer whereas LittleBrother has been reading for nearly a year now. I forget that a lot.


And so I asked him, “Do you want a real Bible?”


I smiled. I told him to wait as I walked back to our bedroom, went to one of my secret hiding places and pulled out The Adventure Bible which I was so happy to get from Zondervan this past year at BlogHer ’12 specifically for this purpose. I dusted off the cover; it’s been sitting since August and, well, dust happens. I probably could have given it to him then, but I think I was in denial for quite some time that the kid was actually reading since we didn’t work with him nearly as much as we worked with our older son.

I walked out and handed him the Bible.

“This is for me?” His hands moved over the cool, dust-free cover.

“Yes, Bubba.”

“Will you read something to me?”

Will I read something to him? Of course I will.

Holy Week has kept us busy with Resurrection Eggs and extra church services and planning for Easter with my family and baseball practice and snow and school and a performance at school and baking cookies for said performance at school and on and on and on. While I haven’t yet purchased anything other than two books for each boy’s Easter baskets (as in not one jelly bean, not one chocolate egg; NOTHING), I did download the Easter Reading Chart. In the evenings after dinner, we all get our Bibles and take turns reading a verse from the day’s reading. Then we talk a little bit about theological concepts that are far above my ability to adequately explain. Shortly before the conversation veers back to Star Wars territory, I sit back and watch them flip through their Bibles, watch them run fingers over the maps in the back and trace their fingers along the rivers. My heart feels full.

Bible Time

I may be unprepared for Easter morning treats right now, too close for my Type-A personality, but I must say that this has been our greatest Easter season thus far.


Get Outfits They'll LOVE at Zulily

52 Weeks of Brotherhood, Week 12

52 Weeks, Week 12

52 Weeks of Brotherhood

52 Weeks of Brotherhood

Oh hey, another iPhone week.

52 Weeks, Week 12



I took these two to COSI this past weekend. I almost took my DSLR, but I didn’t want to lug it around by myself. As such, I kind of missed out on taking a real photo of the boys this week. It’s okay, because there was also this gem:


I love these goobers.

Speaking of COSI, I’ll have a nice giveaway this weekend. Check back then!

Training for the Cleveland Half: Running My Own Race

Right before the Freeport 5 Miler two weeks ago, Sassymonkey sent me an email. She told me to kick butt and run my own race. She’s a smart one.

The race went well.


But, man, I’ve been struggling with that whole “run your own race” concept.

I read a lot of blogs by female runners now. I read them for inspiration. I read them for information. I read them for encouragement, for product reviews, for tips and tricks and advice. I read running blogs by the big bloggers and small bloggers alike. Each of these blogs teaches me something about myself, about running, about health, about life. I have learned so much since I started actively seeking out running blogs this past fall.


I have also learned that I am not the fastest runner.

It’s kind of a bummer at times.


I’ll be running along, happy as a running clam, and a time check-in will sound on my Runkeeper app. Hearing my average pace and my current pace often makes me sad. Especially on, say, mile 10.5 of an 11 mile run. While I could easily turn off the pace check-ins, they are important to me right now as this return to running has been a learning process for me. My body, after that back injury in 2010, feels new and different. I am not quite in a place where I want to give up information about pace. I don’t yet trust my body to hit and stay at my preferred speed — either too fast or too slow.

And so, the app tells me my pace, and for a moment I think, “Woo! Right where I wanted to be today. Look at me go!” And then I’ll have a flash of a recent post or tweet by a much-faster-runner and my face falls. I then begin talking to myself. (I talk to myself a lot on runs, so if you see me run by and my lips are moving, just smile and nod. Maybe wave. Holding up signs is also acceptable.) I repeat, “Run your own race. RUN your OWN race. Run YOUR own RACE. RUN YOUR OWN RACE!” And then I get all Baz Luhrmann and deep and emo-before-emo-was-a-thing and repeat, “The race is long. And in the end, it’s only with yourself.” Then I remember that I forgot to put on sunscreen. And then for a little bit I get lost in memories from 1999 and eventually wind up back at, “Man, I was so much more fit and ran so much faster in 1999.” Then I sigh and go back to chanting, “Run your own race, Jenna! RUN YOUR OWN RACE IN 2013!”

It’s hard.

This whole process has been hard. Which, I mean, obviously. If running a half marathon was easy, everyone would do it. Like getting tattoos. Or something. Running longer distances may feel easier now than it used to, but any time I do a speed workout, I feel like I’m going to die or going to fall over or pass out or cry or just plain old quit. Great running friends have reassured me that speed will come in time, but I get all, “I don’t have time for “in time.” I want it now!” Something about our present day culture and immediate gratification belongs here, but I’m stuck with the fact that I am slower than I want to be. I will finish my first half marathon, I have no doubt. Finishing my first 11 mile run this past weekend feeling downright giddy showed me that, but it will be a slow finish.


And that’s okay. This is my own race.

I am forced to put my perfectionist personality aside and focus on running this race with and against myself. It’s good for me; to focus on just running the best race I can at any given time on any given run forces me to look at other areas of my life. Comparing myself to others on any number of topics isn’t fair to myself or others. Weight loss, career success, writing, fashion, oh my goodness all of my gray hair, our kitchen, and, you know, parenting. Letting go of the comparison and just letting myself be in the moment, running the best race I can or writing the best piece I can or being the best mom I can is remarkably freeing. I struggle with it, but I’m getting there.