Election Thoughts

I shared this as my Facebook status early this morning as I was thinking about the election and trying to soothe a crying, teething little boy. 

Here are my election thoughts:

Happy Tuesday-after-the-first-Monday of November. Yes, it’s #electionday. ‘Long’ may come to mind as a descriptor for the past months of campaign season. 

How do we move forward from this election – on national, state, and local levels – with the hope of seeing unity, compromise, or positive change? Maybe the answer does lie somewhere in the middle of our divided political landscape. But it’s never that simple. The many and complex issues facing us don’t have a single answer. 

I do have another thought. If you’re passionate about an issue and you’re voting on that issue, what are YOU doing to effect positive change? What if more of us took our election worry and stress and channeled it into support and action for an issue we care about? Nobody can do everything, but we can all do our part in our own way. 

If you want more investment in education, how can you help the kids and teachers in your local schools?

Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, what can you do to support women’s health, single parents, and women facing an unplanned pregnancy? 

If you are concerned about unfair or excessive regulation, how can you take part in public meetings, education, or comment periods?

If you believe in a strong military, what can you do for local veterans and current service members? 
No matter what your political beliefs, how can you support the American values of equality and fair treatment and opportunity for all people? 

I don’t pretend to have all these answers. I ask these questions of myself just as I’m asking you. And I think about the international issues of war, destruction, displacement, and poverty that I feel so powerless to address. I think about all of it as I wonder and pray about today’s outcome. 

I will vote. I hope you vote too. Vote your conscious. Vote your gut. Vote for your children. Vote based on careful research. Vote for who you are resigned to vote for. No matter who wins the many elections on the ballot, I remind myself I am capable of working for the things I care about. 

Find a way to go out and make a difference in your own community. No president or elected official can fundamentally change how we treat each other and what we can accomplish. That important work must be done person to person, and we are all just the people to do it. 

#vote2016 

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TC 10K – Twin Cities Marathon Weekend

Two weeks ago Saturday morning dawned the coolest, most crisp morning of the fall. Somehow the weather knew it should deliver the first freeze in time for marathon weekend and then revert back to warmer days. (No, I did not run the marathon.)

Speedy and I were still up early as we loaded into the car and drove to Saint Paul for a 7:30 start. He slept the whole way during the dark drive, and the sun was barely starting to color the eastern sky as we looked for a parking spot. 

The temperature was just above freezing, but the air was still and calm. If it would have been windy or rainy I would have skipped the race or tried to find someone to watch him while I ran. 

As it was, I bundled my half-sleeping baby under blankets, hat, and mittens, and we walked through the State Capitol grounds to wait in line for our numbers. 

I still haven’t been running a lot since little man arrived, but I love running with the stroller when I make the time. I’ve worked my way up to reasonable comfort over six miles, and I had several friends I wanted to connect with and introduce to Speedy at the expo. 

This race was about having fun, making a happy memory with my son, and reminding myself I’m still capable of running for an hour and covering the miles. 

There were a very few strollers and we all lined up near the dead back of 2,000+. The morning was gorgeous, and I chatted with a few moms who wished me well or said my stroller made them lonesome for their own babies. 

My mental game throughout was carefully navigating through and passing as many people as we could.   I would be thrilled if I finished under one hour, but I assumed that would be a stretch. 

The first mile was absolute bumper to bumper congestion, and I said quite a few “Sorry!” and “Excuse Me’s!” as I jogged along with my sleeping boy. 

The course is an out and back along the last few miles of the main race course, so I recognized everything from running the TC 10 Mile in 2012. The Summit Avenue neighborhood is stunning, and a few eager spectators even came out to cheer us along.

I had my phone in my stroller to track time and distance, but it was tucked away where I wouldn’t look at it or stress over it. I finally found a good groove around the second mile and felt like I had space to run the pace I wanted to run. Normally I’m exhausted by mile three when I’m trying to race a 10K, but with the slow start and adrenaline of passing people I kept motoring along.

I got a few cheers now and then and I couldn’t keep from smiling as I soaked up the autumn race atmosphere. Before I knew it I could see the Cathedral of Saint Paul, and I pushed hard as I worked toward the final long downhill into the finish at the Capitol. 

The clock read just over 60:00, and with my start at the back I knew I’d broken the hour mark. Happiness and tiredness set in as I eventually fumbled for my phone and stopped the GPS. 

  
Surprised would be an understatement! 8:59 pace — bam! I didn’t even worry about the extra distance I’d accumulated; I attributed it to the hazards of my first stroller 10K. However, several days post-race an email arrived where they apologized for a set-up mistake and amended the official distance from 10K to 6.48 miles. This makes me even more proud of my 58-minute time.

After checking on Speedy and munching on a banana I made my way back to my car to change and feed him. He was exceedingly patient with me through all the chaos, and I know he enjoyed watching the people everywhere. 

   
 
After finding some hot and free Caribou coffee we made the walk to the other corner of downtown for the expo. I found my friend Jill right away and then later my friend Lani. Speedy was thrilled with both. At the expo we especially enjoyed the free things that made crinkly noises and Sarah and friends at the Another Mother Runner booth. If you are a fellow mother runner you need to check out their website and podcast.

  
The Twin Cities are a little far to drive for a 10K, but this year it was 100% worth it. Whenever harvest schedules cooperate I do hope to keep Twin Cities Marathon weekend a tradition. Too bad I can’t push a stroller in the ten mile, and I don’t think I’d want to in the marathon!

This race also reaffirms my content belief that I can be a runner — and even feel success at being a runner — without keeping a strict training schedule right now or running all the miles. I can enjoy the outlet and peace of running when it fits into my day, and I can be content in whatever amount of time that is. I can also spend time working, farming, being with my son and my husband, and doing all the daily to-do’s. I will never be caught up on all of them, but I can weave them together each day into something that works for me. Praise The Lord for the time he gives me, and I pray I can use it wisely and intentionally. 

In case you’re a running numbers geek I’ll close by sharing my race splits. They turned out just beautifully if I do say so. πŸ˜„

  
   

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Six Months In

Speedy turned six months at the end of September. This motherhood journey has been more rewarding than anything I’ve ever experienced, and I find awe and happiness in the daily journey. 

I also finally have a good excuse to be behind on laundry, vacuuming and home organization. πŸ™‚

I still worry about getting everything done and feeling behind at work and home, and I enjoy cleaning and housework less than ever. Except I realize I don’t mind changing diapers or doing Speedy’s laundry. I am happy to bathe his little wriggling body even when he screams. I can’t help but smile as I sort his blankets and toys and match up his little socks. Even cleaning the floor around his high chair isn’t as bad as I thought. I have found new meaning in the term ‘labor of love,’ and I hope this happiness might rub off on some of the non-baby household tasks!

  
He has changed so much in six months, and I know the changes won’t slow down. At his six month check he was 16 lbs. 14 oz. and 28 inches long. He’s still near the middle for weight and at the top of the charts for height. 

We started vegetables and fruits a few weeks ago, and he likes almost anything we provide. He gets mostly spoon fed purΓ©es and rice at daycare, and at home we are trying baby led weaning. Always this involves a lot of mess because you give baby larger peices of soft foods and they can explore and learn to feed themselves. We’ve progressed from the basic banana, sweet potato, and squash to including things like eggs and even meat. 

It’s fun to watch him pick up and taste, and he still nurses well and gets most of his nutrition from breastmilk.

Speedy has also been settled in his room since the middle of the summer. I completely forgot I was going to share finished pictures, so now is the time. When we first moved in four years ago the future nursery was dark and drab.

  
We tore out the carpet and paneling and finished the drywall, and the blue paint was actually done before we knew he was a boy. It looked more grey when we picked it, but I have come to absolutely love this blue with the light wood. (It’s Behr Celestial Light if you’re curious!)

   
  
 
   
   
The large dresser was a find from a local antique shop several years ago, and the top is the perfect size for his changer plus a few supplies. One of my favorite features is the blue rope light behind the crown molding. It gives a perfect soft glow for middle of the night diaper changes. This was 100% JR’s idea and credit goes to him. 

I thought about putting my gliding rocker in the nursery, but it fills up the small room too much. I like to have open floor space for playing and sorting, and I don’t mind walking down the hall to the living room to sit down with him.

It’s still lacking curtains, but otherwise our baby room is cozy and  complete. 

   

 Happy six months little man! 

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

It’s been a tough season to be a Twins fan. How tough? 56-100 as of Sunday. 

While we had a good stretch in July after the All Star break we just couldn’t hold together anything consistent. It’s looking like we will not only finish last in the league but last among both leagues. 

Now for the bright side. Presumably, it can only go up from here, and at least it’s a good year to teach Speedy about the ups and downs of being a Twins fan.

We made it to Target Field for the last home game of the year on Sunday. Amazing seats with friends helped ease the pain of the 100th loss, and the Speedster looks so amazing in a baseball cap I’m still smiling about it.

   
    
   

It’s important to revisit the World Series Trophies every now and again.

A little sun, a little drizzle and a mellow September day made for a great afternoon for baseball. Now we just keep praying for the weather and the fields to dry out so we can get back to working on fall harvest. October is right around the corner! 

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The babies of 2016

Hello readers. Once again it’s been awhile. I always hope to blog about once a week, and my intentions brew until suddenly I have fourteen things to write about and another month has quickly slipped by. At least I’m not bored! 

We finished chopping our corn silage (part II) yesterday and covered our pile last night. This is a major victory given the rain and muddy ground we’ve navigated the past few weeks. There will still be a few late nights of harvest for  remaining corn, but the silage is thankfully stored for another year.

Right before silage harvest my family welcomed two little additions. I couldn’t be more thrilled for Speedy to have two more cousins so close to his age. 

Born on August 29th at 9:42 a.m., Cousin Caleb was 6 lbs 9 oz and 20 1/2 inches. Congratulations to new parents Laura (my sister) and Kevin! 

   
    
 
Visiting Caleb was fun for us and a vivid reminder for me of just how much Speedy has grown. 

Eight days later another boy cousin arrived. Ryan was born on September 6th at 4:47 p.m. at 8 lbs 1 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. Congratulations to Julie (my sister) and Dan and big brother Adam! 

  
   
 
  
Somehow I missed getting a picture of Speedy with new cousin Ryan, but he and Adam posed perfectly for me. They are such a wonderful bunch! 

Needless to say, my family has been blessed with a whirlwind of babies in 2016. Three new grandsons mean my parents are now grandparents to one girl and six boys. Rather ironic for the parents of five daughters! 

Now it’s time for a little recoup after the long days of silage harvest. This little man will enjoy seeing his daddy more. πŸ™‚ 

  

Posted in Agriculture ( in general), Being a Mom, Crops, Family Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment