Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Holding onto it all

The past week and a half has been filled with readjusting to life that is not consumed with workout plans and event logistics.  We are not packing lunches and throwing them into a cooler to head to the beach for the day, instead we are running late for the bus, oversleeping and running in circles on the weekends.  We enjoyed our family time more than I thought we would..saying we enjoyed ourselves would be an understatement, it was truly amazing.  We had fewer disagreements, more play time with siblings,  silly charades for post dinner entertainment and all went to bed exhausted every night to wake up to the sunshine and birds each morning. As soon as we landed in Baltimore I felt the home stress creep back into our lives.  In an effort to not have this trip of a lifetime kill me mentally with the biggest let down ever post return...I am trying to focus on little things that my kids can do that still amaze me.
grahamfam six pack doing our thing
This past weekend we finally made it to Sunday School and I was sitting in the back of church during the opening and watched my kiddos from afar.  My nine year old was standing and singing songs that she sings every week and doing all the hand motions.  She was in her element of fun and friends and was not concerned with anything else around her.  She looked so peaceful and happy.  If you have a nine year old girl you know that is not always a daily occurrence.  Music is one of her favorite things and at church she just loves to get into it with her whole body and heart.  It pretty much melts me.

While our leader was discussing the upcoming season of children's choir she mentioned the ages of the members of choir and called out to my five year old specifically saying how happy she was that she was finally old enough to join in.  Within a second of that special announcement my little sweetie turned her head so quickly on a swivel and smiled with glee and excitement at me that she is finally big enough to sing in the choir.  Her innocence and sweet eyes get me every day...she brings so much to our family...making me laugh out loud when she leans over the older kids shoulders while they are reading and says...it's okay...I can't read anyway!

Next up is the big guy.  Not only is he almost as tall as me but his heart is big enough for our whole family to fit in to.  He takes the time when he walks in the door after school to go around to each of his siblings and give them a kiss on the head.  He asks them each how their day was and then he circles around to me.  After he completed his Family Consumer Science Project last night which consisted of him making meatloaf, roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus and cleaning all the dishes he gave me a huge hug and said, I have no idea how you do this every day.  Me either buddy, me either.  Thank you for always knowing when I need a hug and pitching in without asking...you are my number one helper.

Last up is my baby boy.  I keep referring to him as the baby but he will be four in just a few months.  There is nothing baby about him other then his tantrums that he can get away with from time to time as he is still three.  He is the hug and play magnet in the house, everyone needs to know what he is up to and wants to be a part of it.  His laughter is medicine for all of us and his smile can brighten anyone's mood.  He puts out his hand to hold mine as we walk into the grocery store or head to the corner to get the "big kids" from the bus.  He doesn't know of a life that consists of just him...his life is filled with so many people that love him that he can't help but give that love back to all of us.  

just us
Then we have hubby...he will be the first to say that Kona was amazing and a challenge he was so happy to have the opportunity to compete in.  But much like all of his races the day in and day out come right back to you after the finish line is crossed.  We were lucky enough to stay and celebrate him and our family a little bit more on the big island.  The day after the race just the two of us headed into Kona and walked and held hands and just took in the moment a little bit more, a little bit longer, and definitely a little quieter.

For all the times I hear that the days are long and the years are short...I know this to be true...I also know that before I know it the years will be long behind me and the days will be short ahead and my kids will be grown and on their own and all of this will hopefully be an amazing memory in their hearts.  My little one just asked how I can come up with all of these words...and I guess in all of my chaos of life with four kids, a hubby and running endless miles and trying to keep us all together...I have a lot of time in my own head.  I take my alone time on the road while running to breath quietly, I try to think of my kids and what they have going on.   I try not to focus on the pressures of it all and trying to solve the problems that are upon us, instead I take that time to reflect on the good...it helps the miles tick by more quickly.  Sometimes I just think of the tree I need to reach to get to the top of the hill.  

and done
So now that this has come and gone...we move onto our next big thing because that is just what we do.  I will identify my spring marathon, I will start to train, and I will try again for the Boston Qualifier.  I will sit down with my coach/hubby and figure out the best way to tackle this monster of a dream.  I will meet my mileage goal for 2016 and pick a much smaller number for 2017.  Hubby can tackle the to do list that I have been compiling for post Kona...he'll love that!  Our kids will keep being themselves and that will cause us to scream, laugh, and love all at the same time and we will all try to slow it down as best as we can and not feel like we are stuck on the hamster wheel..and continue to look to find the special in the day in and day out...and hold onto it all.

Embrace the suck...choose you...slow it down and hold on to it before it's over.


  1. What a fabulous tribute to your family, Julie! Your oldest son sounds particularly amazing.

    1. Thanks Deb...he definitely holds a special place in my heart!!