Saturday, March 31, 2007

Oh what fun

So I mentioned yesterday that I was 2 up on Mike right? (LOL) Well today I just didn't feel like exercising while Izzy napped... I figured that I would in the evening because I knew Mike had some things to get done for tomorrow. And then he asks me to help him put together the new church name tags (we celebrate our 2nd Anniversary as a Branch church tomrrow) so I agree to help. So we put Izzy to bed and get started and I realize this is all Mike's plan to try and catch up. (okay so not really but since Mike insists I'm a drama queen... I have to act like it) See... we started about 7:30ish and just finished and my clock says approx 10:39ish. There's no way I'm going to exercise now... grr but thankfully Sunday's do not count so all I have to do is force myself to exercise everyday next week and I win! Wohoo!!!! I think I can manage that! Only 1 week to go. And that also means... only 1 week until Thailand! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So anyway... the above are pics of how we spent our Sat night. :)

Mike was finally able to go wakeboarding with Brett this afternoon (we were invited as well but I just didn't know how Izzy would handle several hrs on a speedboat so we opted out this time) and he seemed to have enjoyed himself. He's got a great base tan for Thailand. Then we met at Toys r Us because I'm in desperate search of an Easter basket for Izzy but no luck... though I managed to pick her up an Elmo bath toy for my hopeful basket.

Mike's had a busy week... and since a few of his nights have been fun related (rugby seven's, wakeboarding) he's offered me a Monday to myself! What a great guy! Now I just have to decide what I want to do. I'm thinking... haircut, Esprit Outlet... maybe Salvation Army (maybe I can find a basket there) I'm even considering a long run somewhere other than Hung Hom. I'm sure that while I'll have a million things I'll want to do... I'll probably just do a few and come home to be a family. It's too hard on me to be gone for long periods of time. I'm always afraid I'll miss something special.

Speaking of special.... Isabella can now say her own name (well nickname that is... Izzy), act like a monkey, say 'this way, Laurel, Shay', trys her hardest to repeat everything, jump off things with two feet (usually jumping so that she lands on her butt... seems painful to me but she loves it!), say 'Mumble' and is attached to her stuffed Mumble (penguin from Happy feet), and I'm sure I'm missing a ton of things but that's what comes to mind now. Oh yeah... she's eating!!!!

Again, I have more to share but this cut and paste thing is getting to me. At least I'm getting quicker at it! LOL

Have a wonderful day!!!

Just because I can... here's Izzy when she crashed on our bed after playing hard with Soda (Makiko's son). I knew she was exhausted but it was already about 5ish when we got home from their place so I decided to just put in a video for her to watch then I got a phone call and after I hung up it seemed awfully quiet so I checked on her and she was out! Too cute..

Friday, March 30, 2007


couldn't go to bed without mentioning....

10 days to Thailand!!!!!!


I'm up by 2 in my competition with Mike!!!! Wohooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just a picture recap of the evening... my 'f' and 'r' keys are still not working so all this cut and pasting is driving me wild. I'll have to write down everything by hand so I can type it on another computer when I get the chance. So anyway...

Makiko gave Isabella this slide since they moved back to Japan (insert tears) and I'm sure you can understand Mike's enthusiasm by this (hehe) but she LOVES it and played on it all day... but especially before bed. She's begun to tilt her head now as she walks or runs (no idea why) so I caught this picture hoping to get a better veiw of the curliness that was going on but it wasn't very clear so I took another close up to show it off since she finally has some!

Okay... that's enough... my heads starting to hurt.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Isabella qui ks

I know some of you would argue but we really do have the sweetest, cutest, most adorable little girl EVER! These pictures prove it. She's so creative, so imaginative... just blows me away and makes me smile for a different reason each day.

Today we had our Annual General Meeting for church and while the meeting was a meeting... the fellowship afterwards was awesome. I spent some time chatting with another mom (of which our 3kids were playing together.. it was too cute they were all holding hands walking around, looking at the flowers, etc...) and we've decided to get a group together (just ladies and no we're not going to attempt the 20K like the men) to go hiking. I'm really looking forward to that but also praying that it happens with enough warning so someone can watch Izzy. We also spent some time chatting with another couple who I really enjoy talking with but never seem to get the time to. And then when I went upstairs to get Isabella (the youthgroup watched all the children) it was adorable to see her, Timothy, Hannah, Kathryn, and Jacinda lined up at a table playing with playdough and watching Veggie Tales. I wish I could describe the scene better but I think it will forever be remembered in my head. She looked so mature... so not my baby... but a little girl.

Then we came home, took a nap and then met Adelina, Nick and Kayla for dinner. They took us to their club and the evening was just fabulous. I really do enjoy spending time with them and Kayla and Isabella get along so well. She looks absolutely fantastic for being 7 months pegnant with twins and it's been un talking 'baby stu' with he.

Okay... I'm stopping o now because two o my lette s a e not wo king and it's d iving me c azy... I'll w ite mo e when it's ixed!

Have a wonde ul day!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sweet Moments

As I type, Isabella and I are lying on my bed watching Elmo. It's kinda become our thing since Mike left on Wed. She's not been sleeping well (really? now there's a shocker) and when she wakes up in the morning she's still not awake (and well neither am I) so I bring her into bed with me and we just relax for a Elmo video before facing the day. :) We've also been eating our breakfast here... a treat for her because since she stopped eating well she's had to eat just at the table. (No we don't always eat at the table... sometimes it's just one more thing to do as we have to pull it out, open it up, etc..) But for some reason as we sat here this morning it just hit me as special. It's our thing and our quiet time together and I love it because it's not that often that she sits still for more than 2 minutes and she'll even snuggle with me. I find that life moves way too fast for me and that sometimes I have a hard time cherishing every moment because it just goes by too fast but these morning times are so precious to me because I'm not chasing her around anywhere, not having to entertain her, I'm able to just sit and watch her... watch her enjoy Elmo, watch her giggle, watch her snuggle with puppy. Sweet moments that I had to capture in writing.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

17 days and counting...

I am so ready for this trip to Thailand... I just cannot wait to wake up to the ocean, sip on smoothies all day long, enjoying every moment with my family. It's just going to be such a sweet time! We're finally into the teens!!!

But I'm doing terrible with my 21 day challenge. The whole pop thing is going best and getting up at 7... the worst. Shocker, eh? Well I had every intention on getting up at 7 on Tuesday until the middle of the night woke me up causing me to run to the lu. Yeah... I felt like I did last summer when John and Sarah were here. Body aching like never before... I'll spare you the details but I literally could not get out of bed. I begged Mike to come in and massage my body (we have a handy dandy handheld massager) because I just ached and ached. It was awful. I finally managed to get out of bed around 11am but only for a few short hours. How wonderful it was that Pastor Ed allowed Mike to stay home all day with me and Hannah was able to come over in the evening while Mike was out. I have NO CLUE as to what caused it and I'm thankful to say that while my stomach is still a bit tender... I felt great the minute I woke up on Wed. In fact, I ran my best run ever Wed night and felt like I could've run all evening. Wierd.. so Mike and I decided that once a month I just need to lay in bed for over 24hrs. LOL Wouldn't that be nice! I couldn't even look at the computer my head ached so bad. So needless to say... I haven't gotten up at 7am at all and I'm quite okay with that. ;) I'll try again soon.

I have a bit more that I need to write... especially about our fun day today with Adelina and Kayla but surprisingly I'm not in the mood to be on the computer. I'd rather read so I'm outta here.

But I have to share that as of yesterday... I was 1 up on Mike in our challenge. I'm sure it's all evened out at this point as I didn't get my workout in today (for very good reasons) but at least for 1 day... I was in the lead!!! Wohoo! A few people mentioned to Mike this past weekend that I might be a bit competitive... what do you think? LOL

And I can't really forget to wish my sis and big ole HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! {It's an especially sweet birthday for her... well number wise anyway.... and just wanted to wish her the happiest of days!!!!} (yes I know it was yesterday but I didn't blog so I decided to write it

Saturday, March 17, 2007

2 for 2

just a few pics from our trip to macau

Here's the layout I made about Isabella's one day of potty training

Well... we're 2 for 2 though Mike insists he should get like 5 bonus days for his run this morning. Every Saturday he runs about 20K with some friends in preparation for a 100K race next fall and well... it's hard to argue with that. LOL This may be a harder challenge than I thought and I'm quite convinced that there will be a tie in the end but if this causes us to develop a very consistent, healthy habit... then it doesn't matter who really wins... right? :) But I'm way to competitive not to at least try and out do him! hehe

I've been looking at the calendar, doing some planning and realized that on Monday, we only have 21 days left until our trip to Thailand. (Yes, I have been thinking about this A LOT lately!) And some of you know what 21 days means... it's supposed to take 21 days to break (and I'm assuming make) a habit. So I decided to push myself a bit with some other challenges. So here it goes... starting on Monday, I will...

1. Get up every day at 7am to run (or do some sort of exercise.. I don't know that I can run 21 days straight)
2. No pop (soda for those of you who don't know what pop is... Mike)
3. Only 1 dessert a week (and I'm only saying one in case something just happens to come up... like a dinner at my favourite dumpling place for my red bean dessert dumplings...hehe)

So the whole pop thing is going to kill me because well I need to just face it... I'm addicted to Coke Light. Even my friend Amy from MN knew how bad my addiction was because when she came to visit me in the hospital after I had Izzy she was sweet enough to bring me a bottle of Coke! And the waking up to get my exercise out of the way is going to kill me too but well it'll be good for me and I pray that at the end... it wil become a habit and that it'll give me a bit of quiet time before Izzy wakes up.

Today was quite interesting. Isabella threw her paci down the lift shaft and therefore refused to fall asleep for a nap. The weather went from extremely warm and humid yesterday to really cold and almost typhoon like wind. Isabella was cute today.. I have pictures but my computers extra slow tonight so I'll share tomorrow but anyway... we have these big rice bags and she insisted on being put inside one. So I put her in and carried her around a bit. Then I washed a few dishes and came out and didn't know where she was. So I called her name and up she pops from inside the bag. She was trying to put on her shoes. Ahhhh... crazy kid. :) I'm feeling almost giddy and I'm not totally sure why... beware Mike it may be a long night. So anyway.... I want to read a bit so I'm outta here!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mommy... the phone's ringing

Yeah I finally scrapped! Okay.. I cheated a bit and used a template from Melgen Designs and Sweet Genevieve's kit Soft Spoken both available at

Well I don't have much to post about today.

Actually, the cutest thing happened today and it just made me realize how smart my baby is and how much children learn through watching. I hopped into the shower while Izzy was playing in the living room and out of nowhere a little arm reaches into the shower with the phone. I had no idea (didn't hear it ringing) why she had done this but I thought it was cute... so I grabbed it and set it on the dehumidifier. Isabella decided to stay in the bathroom and play for a little and the phone rang again. Before I could get to it, Isabella picked up the phone and again reached into the shower and handed it to me. I don't know why such a little thing surprised me but I just thought it was precious.

And it was my sister... always good to talk to her. So we chatted for a bit... actually a long bit and then Izzy and I headed outside. She was such a good girl today... eating properly, playing well, even giving me the opportunity to clean up a bit and her nap was amazing! I put her down around 2:30 and she didn't wake up until about 4:30! And even when she woke up... I sat her on my lap and she fell back to sleep until about 5:15! What was sweet about that (besides the fact that this doesn't happen very often.. her sleeping in my arms) was that it forced me just to sit and relax and I finally got to finish (well almost anyway) the scrapbook page that I want to frame and hang on our long, white, bare walls.

Today's reading in 'A Heart Like His' talked about when David was hiding in the cave and how he handled his feelings in this situation. Beth Moore points out how wonderful it is that God 'inspire David to write his feelings' (aka the Psalms) and I couldn't agree more. We don't always get to read the deep personal thoughts of the people mentioned in the Bible but God inspired David and we get the inside scoop on how 'the man after His own heart' communicates with God. We get to see that it's okay to share our frustrations, our hurts, our pains and just cry out to God. The focus of this chapter was Psalm 142.. a prayer from when David was in the cave. If we study this Psalm, we are given an amazing example of how to respond when life gives us difficult circumstances.

1. David prayed. We know that praying is important but how often is that our first response?
2. David cried aloud. There are often times when a good cry is all you need to gain sanity yet we try to be macho or keep our dignity. God can take it... cry out to Him!
3. David poured out his complaint. I think sometimes we feel that it's a bad thing to tell God our frustrations, troubles, etc.. but God wants to share in everything... the joys and sorrows and in reality... He knows them anyway.
4. David rehearsed his trust in God. This was powerful reading for me. The whole idea behind this verse is that it's easy to be attacked by the enemy when we are down so we need to be constanly reminding ourselves that 'God knows our way.' I think I will memorize Psalm 142:3 'When my spirit grows faint within me, /it is you who know my way.' to quote when I'm struggling with a difficult circumstance.
5. David longed for God's presence. I'm not totally understanding what Beth is pointing out in this observation so I'm not going to add my own thoughts here. LOL
6. David confessed his desperate need. Too often we try to fight/deal with things in our own power but David (who killed Goliath, a lion and a bear) cried out to God and admitted that he couldn't do it on his own so why in the world should we?

Beth Moore ends with this statement: 'We often get far more specific sharing our hearts with a friend than we do with our God who can truly intervene and help us!' and it made me think about some things I've been dealing with lately and how I've approached them. I definitely have approached people more than God and why??? Especially in some of the situations they CAN'T do anything except offer prayer so why not go to the Father myself?

This study is awesome! Not only am I learning more about the Bible and David's life... I'm learning how practical and how much it applies to my life right now. The Old Testament is very difficult for me to understand and study but this study is really opening my eyes up to a whole new world (if that makes any sense... i feel like I've been saying that a lot lately... lol). It's amazing how God speaks when you really take the time to build your relationship.

I've been hearing a lot of questions lately about how does God speak to you, how do you know what He wants you to do, etc... but when the answer given is.... you need to build your relationships with Him, take time to listen to Him, etc... the words may not be 'that sounds like a lot of work' but the eyes say it. I know myself that I've thought... where am I going to find the time to do this or that but you know what... it all comes down to priorty and what's important to you. If you are that interested in something... you make time for it.

This is one of my biggest parallels into my preparation for the 10K. I wanted to do this race more than anything and I wanted to do it well and while I didn't prepare as much as I should have towards the end... I MADE time to run, I woke up early to run (yes Mike.. I did a few times. lol) And what happened? I reached my goal and in the process developed a love for racing. A few months ago I was feeling distant from God but I was lazy in taking time to develop my relationship with Him. When I decided it WAS that important to me, I started making time and my relationship has grown tremendously and passion has returned. While God is always with us... our relationship with Him takes effort just as a relationship with a friend does.

Woah... I guess I had more to write than I thought. I still haven't uploaded all my pictures yet but at least I have one of my little sweetheart. It's actually from our trip to the states but hey.. it's better than nothing.

One of my very first pictures of Isabella in which I said, 'Say Cheese' and she did it!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

One more for the evening...

Mike came home for lunch today so I could hit the gym. I've been trying to get up in the mornings but every night that I plan too... I don't end up falling asleep until after 1am or Isabella wakes up (yes they're excuses) and I just can't get my butt out of bed in the morning. So today I pushed myself a bit and it felt WONDERFUL!!! I always do this and think... why in the world is it so hard sometimes to get my butt moving when I know how good I feel afterwards? I pushed my lifting too and it just feels so could to be strong.

So I wrote all that to say.... Mike and I have challenged each other to see who can be more consistent in exercising over the next few weeks. The goal for me is to make exercising first thing in the morning a habit. So far... we're 1/1 but you better believe I'm going to give him a run for his money!!! LOL

Oh yeah... I forgot to mention the cutest thing Izzy did the other night. Mike was tickling her so hard that in the midst of her big belly laughs... she snorted! Oh it was adorable. And she's now saying (very clearly) 'bubbles' and has discovered that riding in the bottom of the stroller is much more fun than in the actual seat. Oh yeah... she also is definitely going to be a climber (we're hoping for rock climbing) as she figured out all on her own how to climb up the playground equipment that are just holes in the wall! I'm so proud. I feel like I'm forgetting something but oh well... that's enough blogging for one day!


Learn it, Live it

Tuesday night is my night to fellowship with the ladies of our church. In December, we studied 'Love and Respect' a series that I absolutely love and highly recommend. Now we are studing 'Learn it, Live it' a series on spiritual disciplines. This series has a study section and then a 'do' section which I think is wonderful because it forces us to put into practice what we are learning rather than just discussing it. Anyway...

Our first discipline we studied was prayer and to be honest, the 'learn it' section was somewhat basic to me but the 'live it'... well I think it's changed my prayer life forever. There are a few options that your group has to choose from but ours was to:

Choose a passage of Scripture (try Psalm 23, 51 or John 17). Individually write the first verse of the passage you chose on a sheet of paper. Pause to reflect on its meaning. Then write a prayer to God based on how God speaks to you through this verse. Continue writing each verse until you've prayed through the entire passage.

I've prayed through scripture before but never like this. Never taking it verse by verse and reflecting on just one verse at a time. To me it really helped me feel connected to God, I could understand and hear what He was saying to me, I knew how to pray and what to pray for. I think writing it out really helped me to focus on what I was learning and not to forget it too.

The first passage I prayed through was Psalm 119:57-64 and while it was all so wonderful, verse 60 almost haunts me. It says, "I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands." How many of us really hurry to obey? So often we stop to think about it or make excuses, whatever it may be but I pleaded (and still do many times a day) that I will have that desire (and actually do)... to hurry and obey. Verse 58 ("With all my heart I want your blessings. Be merciful as you promised.") really helped me to see a side of myself that surprised me. There is something that my heart truly desires right now but it's not God's time and this verse reminded me (okay so maybe this isn't exactly what the verse is trying to say here but this is how God spoke to me through it) that His timing and His blessings are so much better than what I could ever dream of. And I thought of Israel when they demanded a king. That was not God's plan at all... He had something so wonderful in store for them (David) but despite what Samuel warned them of... they insisted and so finally God granted their request. What happened then... DISASTER! I don't want to demand something from God and He grant it to me... I want it to be His blessing. And I truly meant that (which is what surprised me... lol).

I absolutely loved praying in this way and will now make this a regular part of my prayer life. I fall in habit of praying whenever it's convienant for me (and use Isabella as my excuse) and what ends up happening is praying before falling asleep (and well I'm sure many of you know how this goes... 'Heavenly Father.... snore... oh yeah where was I?") and I miss the deep communion with God.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Really need to update...

My oh my... I'm not doing so well recently in keeping up with my resolutions... one being blog every day so I don't forget even the tiniest of ways that I noticed God at work.

Okay... so back to well a week ago... (yikes!)

Actually last Wed, I got a call from Makiko (the Japanese mom I met on the bus to TST) asking us to come over to visit on Thursday because she was returning to Japan permantantly and wanted to spend some time with us before she left. I was so bummed because she is the sweetest woman I think I've ever met. And I was even more bummed after spending the afternoon with her on Thursday because all of the children (she's got 4 ranging from 3-11) got a long so well and we had some great conversation despite the language barrier. But she made me promise that if we ever visit Japan, that we need to come to her place. How sweet!

While during our visit (which was only supposed to be for about 2hrs but we were having such a great time it ended up about 4/5hrs) I noticed Isabella was scratching her belly A LOT. I noticed in class on Wed too but I looked and there was nothing. However, at Makiko's I noticed a rash around the top of her diaper. It made me nervous but I didn't think too much of it. Then we got home and after Isabella crashed on our bed, I checked her stomach again and noticed that the rash was covering parts of her entire chest area and under her arms. That threw me into somewhat of a panicked mode. All I kept thinking was... 'She's got the chicken pox and now all the children in her class and Makiko's family will get them too.' So as soon as Mike got home, I got his opinion and he immediately called Dr. Kelly. We are so very blessed that Dr. Kelly is so generous in caring for all of us. She has given us her private numbers so that we can reach her at any time and being in a foreign country... well that just means a lot. Anyway... she happened to be at home and as Mike described Izzy's belly, she said to bring her over to her building (also feel very blessed that she lives just two buildings away from us!) because she was convinced that yes it was chicken pox. However, once she saw Isabella she decided it was just a rash. So it was a bit of a whirlwind evening for us but I praise God for how He has provided for us and meets our needs and that He protected Isabella and all these other children she was around from the chicken pox for now. I know they're miserable when you're older but I just can't imagine a 2yr old with them wanting to scratch.

The weekend was our youth group retreat 'Reveal' and it was excellent. Mike and Hannah did a fabulous job helping all of us to understand how God reveals Himself in us, to us and around us. It was a lot of hands on type of learning rather than teaching (which stretches our students here) but I really think the students enjoyed seeing God in that way. Jill, Ryan and Hunter (new teachers this year at CAIS with a little one) joined us and it was a great way to build relationships with them as well. We had great attendance (in my opinion anyway) and a few students that surprised me by coming. Some of them are really coming around and it's really fun to look back and see how some were so shy around Mike and now they just live to pick on him. It's taken a long time for the relationships to build (in comparison to what we're used to in the states) but they're growing and now we feel kinda like we've earned the right to stretch them in their spiritual lives. I know what I mean but it's hard to express so I hope that made sense. LOL

And of course after all that planning and then the actual event... poor Mike ended up sick on Monday morning. So Izzy and I went to class and then walked around the mall/had lunch to give him some peace and quiet. This week is Keswick, then camp and then a week to kinda catch his breath before he can totally relax by the pool, with a smoothie in hand in Thailand. :) (Had to throw that in there as Mike keeps teasing me because I'm always talking about our upcoming trip.)

Well there's more to share but I need to get something posted before I go to bed. :)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Race Photos

I'm SOOO excited!!!! I actually have race photos and found out what my actual time was and it was MUCH better than I anticipated. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am.

If you're interested in seeing the photos you can look HERE and if it asks for a bib number mine was B2926. There were 4 photos of me! Granted the first one is impossible to see me with the logo overtop and the others aren't so flattering but hey... it's me in my first race!!! And I went to check out the previews of the types of photos they sell and my time read... 1:06:36!!!! Wow... now I went and typed in several other bib numbers to see if this was just a standard number but it wasn't so I'm hoping this was my actual race time!

***ETA This takes you to the first page of the site. Click on HK Marathon and then type in the Bib number and whala

Oh wow... this just really made my day!

Okay... I have more to share about my day but it's much later than I want to be up so I'll try to write more tomorrow before heading out to camp.


Monday, March 05, 2007

World Domination

Another gorgeous day here in HK! Although it quickly cooled off in the afternoon causing us to go from wearing short sleeves and pants (actually we could have gotten away with shorts but I didn't feel like it) to wearing coats and pants. Crazy how fast it cooled off. Mike was so wonderful in letting me sleep in and then taking Isabella to her make-up Little Gym class while I cleaned the flat. It was so great not to have a little one following me around wanting to help me clean. LOL While I love that she wants to help... it always makes the process longer and I just desperately wanted the entire flat clean. Anyway....

We've gotten hooked on the game Risk, thanks to another Youth Pastor (Dave) who keeps inviting us to play. I think I enjoy the fellowship more than anything but tonight the game rocked! Why? Because I was the one who dominated the world! LOL We started playing around 8pm and around 11:15 I rolled the final victory. It's funny because I was hoping (around 9ish) that we would just give up (it didn't seem like the game was going anywhere...especially for myself) but the Mike (who was currently in the lead) lost a few territories and the game took a spin. :) But in attempt to gain a continent (and being made fun of) I gained 75 armies which allowed me to start in Asia, conquering the world until I ended in the one country I defended the most all evening... Africa. Now that I made it sound like this is really important.... :) It's really just fun for me because I don't ever remember playing this game to completion nor do I ever remember winning... and just ask Mike... I NEVER win board games when I'm playing against him. So anyway....

Here I am rejoicing in my victory and the bottom pick shows my red armies covering the world. :)

On another note... I expected to wake up sore from the race but I woke up feeling great! I really wanted to run again this morning but time got away from me and that's okay. My motivation is totally back making me want to push myself to build my endurance, beat my time, and just continue to live a healthy lifestyle. While I haven't mastered anything... preparing for this race has taught me so much about what it really means to be healthy and I feel blessed to have a few people ask me to help them develop a healthy lifestyle. Totally fun for me... if I had the money, I would instantly start classes to become a personal trainer because I know the struggles that lie in losing weight, developing proper eating habits, learning to enjoy different types of exercise and to push yourself beyond what you can imagine and I know it would be so fun to encourage and support others in the process. It's hard work but the way you feel once you get started is totally worth it. Okay... off my soapbox.

I'm still continuing to think through everything that this race has taught me so I promise to respond to your comment Margie... on the spiritual parallels of this process but for now I'm off to bed. I have to turn my chip in tomorrow (I was so afriad I was going to make Hannah late to church on Sunday that I didn't bother to turn it in) and I'm anxious to see what time my chip read.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

HK Standard Charter 10K

Lining up in the waiting zone.

A few shots of the runners...

there's just a few to compete with.

Posing in front of the line...

taking my place in line.

2 minute countdown

10,9,8...... 3,2, RUN!!!!

My attempt to get to bed early last night was unsuccessful. Not because I didn't try but because I couldn't sleep. I was so nervous, excited, fearful... and of course I dreamt that I was late, forgot my number cloth, etc.... which woke me up probably every hour. So when the 4:45 alarm went off my first words were.... 'You've got to be kidding me.' LOL

I got ready, then Mike got up and got ready and we were out the door by 5:10. We took a cab, who informed us that he really couldn't get us that far but that was okay. We just wanted to be a bit closer than Hung Hom. We got to East TST and the cabbie dropped us off in the middle of the highway! It was crazy but thankfully there really weren't many cars out and there were tons of people on the streets. We made our way to the waiting zone and tons of people were already lined up. I was convinced that I would be at the end... a place I REALLY didn't want to start at but I managed to squeeze in about half-way through the pack. I was able to be at the edge so I could be with Mike until the race started. He was so great to get up with me and see me start. It was raining at the beginning so I sent him home instead of trying to meet me at the end. I figured he'd be soaked and I didn't think he'd actually get to see me cross the finish line so there was really no need for him to make his way over there.

So I got in line and at about 5 minutes before hand they let us move a little closer and then again at 2 minutes they moved us up to the starting line. Unfortunately there wasn't a lot of English spoken by the announcers (at least I didn't hear any) but everyone started cheering and then I could understand the count down and new the race was beginning. It was so exhilarating to cross the starting line. I was still pretty much walking at that point (with my 9000 friends) but it was fun nonetheless.

We started to spread out a tiny bit and I found a comfortable pace but I learned quickly that it's impossible to keep a steady pace with that many people. I dodged and weaved, got pushed, almost tripped and on occasion found some empty space to pick up speed. I was amazed at the people participating in this. There were definitely some seasoned runners and quite a few first timers. There were children and elderly. It was amazing to be a part of that. There were quite a few people who walked a large majority of the race as well. This was encouraging to me because I wasn't so embarrassed when becoming overheated and my knee acting up caused me to walk for a little.

So as I said, I started well... kept a comfortable pace and was feeling great through the first 5K. By that point though we were in the tunnel and breathing became difficult for me. The tunnel was very warm (imagine that being underwater with no ventilation and 9000 people and I found myself becoming very overheated. And then I started to see people on the sides with oxygen masks or passed out... this made me a bit nervous and I think I panicked a bit. I decided it would be best to walk half way up the hill at the end of the tunnel for fear if I didn't I would too pass out. I was so glad to get out of there! The fresh (as fresh as it gets in HK) air and breeze felt absolutely wonderful! And then there was the 2nd and 3rd hill that no one told me about. lol There aren't many hills where I run (to run up) so I was not prepared for this... especially at the end.. but I pushed through. Unfortunately, my knee began to bother me a kilometer 6 and I had to on occasion walk for a few seconds to give it a rest. I was so TOTALLY bummed to have to walk but I knew it was best for my life for the next week. (I refer to the first time I decided to train in which I pushed and pushed and then couldn't walk for the next 3 days!) It was so wonderful to see the sign that said, '500 left', and to cross the finish line! I felt relieved, energized, and simply exhausted. I really should never have given myself the break that I did while I was at home. It really affected my running abilities but alas... I did. I was really bummed at my time. It read 1:27:?? (didn't pay close enough attention to that). My goal had been 1hr but it felt great to look back and see thousands of people still behind me! LOL After the race, I collected all my goodies (water, sports drinks, chocolate, fruit) and caught the ferry back to Hung Hom. It was so surreal to be done. All the training, preparation, excitement of this race... over. It left me craving for another chance, an opportunity to beat my time, and a nap. 4:45 was awfully early. :)

While I was bummed about my time, I am so proud of myself. I'm so proud that I went through with this, that I pushed myself, that I was dedicated to something, that I learned to enjoy another sport. I had a BLAST and would do it again in a heartbeat. I felt like I accomplished something big but that there was more out there to reach for. I felt strong and powerful.

It was absolutely a GREAT experience and I look forward to the next chance I have to race. I'm seriously considering either the Singapore 1/2 marathon or the Macau 1/2 marathon both on December 2 of this year however, I'm also considering re-running the 10K to both beat my time and prepare for next year's HK 1/2 Marathon. I for-sure want to run the 1/2 marathon here in HK next year and maybe the following year to complete my first marathon. I guess I'll have to put off that second child for at least one more year. lol We'll see though... a lot could happen in that time.

A couple of things I learned:

1. It's very difficult to keep a steady pace when you are amongst so many people. I tried to stick with a few people to help me stay within a comfortable pace but with the need to dodge and weave so often... it was hard to stay steady and not trip over someone.

2. Take a watch or my iPod with me next time. I had no way to judge my time or pace. I feel as though if I had one of these, I would have pushed myself a bit harder.

3. Wear a tank-top. I always exercise in one so why didn't I race in one? I'm going to be hot and sweaty no matter what the temp is. LOL

4. Do not give up on your training the weeks before your race. It really killed my endurance and knee.

I know there is more that learned... I was making mental lists on my ferry ride home but of course I can't remember them now. Maybe in the days to come.. they'll pop into my head.

So if you've made it this far... you deserve a medal! :) Thanks for the support and encouragement throughout this process.

brief update

For those of you who may be interested and might check one more time before bed... I MADE IT!!!!!!!!!! I survived my very first race. Updates later today but as far as enjoying myself...

LOVED IT! Would do it again in a heartbeat. I guess this means.... 1/2 Marathon.. here I come!

Saturday, March 03, 2007


It's here! Just a few short hours and I'll be running my heart out... literally I'm sure. It'll be pumping so hard I'll feel like I'm going to explode.. a mixture of nerves, excitement, fear... and of course the whole exercise thing. I'm actually REALLY excited now and am dreading the results of my unmotivation this past week. But... it'll be okay. I'm sure the adrenaline will kick in and keep me going.

Yikes... I can't belive it. I must be crazy to run amongst 9000 other people! There's a total of 47000 people participating in the 3 events... CRAZY! But I must admit that I've been having a blast talking with some friends who are also participating and feeling a part of the culture and biggest event here in HK.

Well... I NEED to get to bed. 4:45 comes awfully early for me. Keep me in your prayers please!

Friday, March 02, 2007


~Some pictures from our day today~

I really do have a lot to write but I'm just not finding the energy to sit and write. I think it's because I know it will take a long time to gather and write out all my thoughts. Anyway.... only 1 more full day until the race. Right now I'm at the point in which I really just want it to be over. I know it sounds wierd but I should be pumped, excited, and motivated to run this week but I'm the complete opposite! I can't wait until the race is over so I can get back to running for fun for a bit. Wierd... I know.

~Can you believe this???~

I couldn't believe my eyes when Isabella pointed to her diaper, ripped it off, and ran to the potty! I was so proud of her! And then it happened... she went number two and it scared her to death. She now refuses to have anything to do with the potty. I'm totally bummed. I know she's still awfully young but a Mom can hope right?