The Talk / History Lesson

In current world news, on today’s newest episode of “I’m seriously not qualified for this job!”, I’ve been tasked with talking to a teenage girl about how underage drinking and smoking are very serious and should not be taken lightly. Great, just great. Not qualified, under qualified, whatever you want to say. This was not included in the parenthood guide! Well, maybe it was, but the kind doctors and nurses simply forgot to give me mine when they gave me all the other paperwork to complete post-birth. I was robbed!

simpler times

I’m not cut out for the enormous responsibility of these oh-so-important life talks. I genuinely don’t know what to say. But then I think back to working with children from unimaginable hardship. In a leadership position, I climbed my way up; somehow I did it then. Younger, more confident perhaps? Now I just sit here cringing, thinking WHY ME?! Again, I’m not qualified. No joke, Kel. My mother told us the story of her father finding out she smoked. She said her father made her smoke an entire cigar (his poison of choice) as punishment/lesson learning/complete craziness if you ask me. She said it was awful. Plot twist: it didn’t make her quit smoking though. She just learned she didn’t like the taste of cigars. Seriously not helpful, Mom. I can, with complete honesty, say I have never smoked anything. Not once. The smell of cigarettes gives me the feeling of all the oxygen being pulled from my lungs. Can’t make this up. I literally feel like I can’t breathe. And I can smell cigarette smoke from other cars if sitting in traffic. Weird, I know. Smoking may be the grossest habit anyone can have. But it is a habit and I know too many who have struggled to quit because it’s truly an addiction. As for drinking? Let’s just say – when I think back to what I used to do, I’m lucky to be alive; we’ll leave it at that.

The advice given to me was to talk about the safety aspects: cancer, juvenile record, even death. Sounds harmless, no pun intended. I feel like if I cap it off with a sentence sounding like ‘I was once your age and I did the same things, blah blah blah’ then it’s a well rounded conversation. Yet somehow this feels like a giant cop out – back to the unqualified statement. On the subject again of my misplaced parenthood book, it probably states do not include stories of your own teenage misadventures. But I imagine it doesn’t give you other available options either. Those of you in possession of this elusive book, feel free to chime in, please.

my face after ‘the talk”

There’s no winning here, is there? I suppose we just do what’s best in the moment, hope it turns out alright, and pray our children don’t end up in a mess only a miracle can fix. But there is a little voice inside me screaming ‘I’ll be damned if my child behaves this way!!’. She probably will. Face it now, Kel. My time is coming.

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I ask you –

Did you get a book?! If you did, can I borrow it?

Any weird adverse reactions to another’s addictive habits?

Tell me what I should say! P.S. this isn’t my child I’m talking to. She’s 4. Let’s not rush things.

On Your Left

I’m about 24 hours out from starting a new training cycle. What I mean is…forgive me for not returning your calls, texts, plans, and anything else that doesn’t include running or eating. I was speaking to a co-worker several minutes (could’ve been weeks, it all runs together; runs, get it?!) about her Spring race plans and she mentioned she still had “unfinished business” with a marathon goal. (To be clear, this woman is an ultra runner, 2000+ day streaker, and super speedy marathon finisher. We’re not even close to being in the same category!) But she’s fun to talk to and very encouraging so she gets a free pass. As I shared my triple half marathon goal, her sounds of incredulousness made me laugh. Here’s this woman who runs high double digits regularly yet thinks my 13.1 for 3 days is insane. Just means we’re all a little different. And equally crazy. Next time I’m going to tell her my life goal of completing a Ragnar. Look it up. It’s awesome!

Lone Star state beauties

There’s no getting around it. I have a shoe addiction. Running shoes specifically. There’s something about the sleek, cushioned, makes-me-feel-like-I’m-running-fast beauty of new shoes. I’m currently rotating 4 pairs. Excessive? I don’t know. Like I’ve said for years: you can’t do enough to take care of your feet. They’re all you get! No replacements available. But, if it came down to it, and I couldn’t speak for myself, YES! I want a foot transplant! Please remember this! You can take my voice; you will never take my feet! I may not be able to berate you with my tongue, but I want one last opportunity to run you down and kick you. Enough of that.

Thursday nights’ Freedom small group is going well. These are the most courageous, strong, and honest women I could ever know. How I got so lucky to lead this group is beyond me. Many times in my life I fretted about being able to be open with other people, especially women. Nothing against women, but being one myself, I know how ugly we can act. Freedom in Christ, amongst other believers, was never a part of my plan and for this I’m thankful because without Him I wouldn’t have made it this far. Life sure is funny like that. I miss my 6am group, but Thursday nights are special in their own way.

Lastly, the title of this post is the most common phrase used by every runner. A close second: where’s the bathroom? I’m not entirely sure this is true, but it’s true for me! I try to smile and wave, clear my throat unnecessarily within earshot, and do all the other things to let people know I’m about to pass them, but obliviousness tends to rub me the wrong way. So if you see me at the lake or in my neighborhood or on base running and I look grumpy, it just means I’ve said “On Your Left” one too many times.

pleased I won’t be running in this

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I ask you –

Last call: anyone willing to train with me for the Texas Triple scheduled for Memorial Day weekend?

Is kicking people as I pass them allowed?

My shoe collection reminds me of the cutest video I have of my mini, age 18 months, walking around the house yelling for her shoes to appear and she looks at the ceiling as a viable option.

Day in Photos, pt 204

More like “Week in Photos…” because I realized the amount of photos in my phone spans more than just a day. Let’s get started!

One person in serious condition, nine others taken to hospital after nursing home fire in Iowa Park

I’m no adrenaline junkie, but when in the right place at a terrible time, you throw on your coat, grab gloves and snow boots, and run a block to help remove nursing home residents from a burning building. It’s like bronchitis but with more coughing. Thankfully everyone is okay. I’m so blessed to have been able to help and speak with the kindest people. Ms. Joyce may never read this; however, she was inspirational in her strength and testimony of God’s power to save. Apologies on my terrible wheelchair driving abilities. She was very forgiving.

Super sledding! All the years of minimal snow really paid off. Could’ve left off the below freezing temperatures though. That vacation home at the ocean wouldn’t even have saved me this time. We got a lot of laughs moving to Texas with 3 snow boards. haHA! Who’s laughing now?!

But there have been many gems of awesomeness to exit the mouth of my baby. At day 2 of no internet connectivity, she exclaimed in true dramatic fashion “Total darkness!” I make her walk uphill, barefoot, in the snow, too.

waiting on her friends to call back

She also enjoys speaking into the 1-way handheld scanner as if the police department can hear her. If anyone is searching for her channel, she can be reached at her handle, “Kaylee Donut Lord”. I kid you not.

When I shared with mini that her dad was sick, went to get medication for himself, and ended up with a cracked windshield, she said “Why didn’t he call JG Wentworth?” so they could “give him money!” She has all the life advice you could ever need.

no survivors

Lastly, it took a few too many days for us to realize the noises originating outside were not from birds hitting the windows but instead from an explosion of soda cans. Apparently the mini fridge was not insulated. This must be how the local 7-11 makes slushies. Now you know.

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I ask you –

Is your phone overcrowded with dozens of random photos?

Need some life advice from a 4-year-old?

Happy to be back in the 50°/60° temperatures this week. Hallelujah, we made it!

When the Sun Goes Down –

artistic effects unintentional

It was the end of a long, tough day. From discussion earlier, I had stated I was going home to eat cookie dough with the intention of it making me feel better, to heal my sad heart. The other person said they were going to drink beer. To each his own. As I scooped out bites of cookie dough – sugar free – the tears came. The grief that was building poured from me. My final thought? Great. Now I’m still sad, even full of cookie dough.

Which reminds me of when I was pregnant with my mini. One night I sat on the couch eating my favorite chocolate chip cookies. And I began to cry. Then I cried more, without any reason at all because hormones are hell, and my thought was this: Who cries while eating cookies?! Only a pregnant woman.

Before I forget, prior to the cookie-dough-and-crying fest, I developed what I now know as “amazonesia”. It’s a thing. Minus the part about Amazon and the part about amnesia, I went grief shopping. Add to cart…oh look, it’s pink, add to cart. Retail therapy is the other moniker.

clearly I needed more shoes

And, if you’re reading this, then I have survived the run streak. Hmmmm. There is a schedule button, so perhaps not. They say it takes roughly 21 days to develop a habit. At day 25, the constant daily running began to become painful. But since the habit was there and the finish line so close I continued to run despite some questionable MCL/ACL bruising. If you recall, I took several weeks off when training for a December half marathon so hopefully there isn’t a pattern emerging. (Full disclaimer: I wrote the above lines prior to completing the run streak because I full well intended to complete it. Alas, my body had other plans and Day 27 was officially my final day of streaking. Huge thanks to the poisoning o’food I received. Too bad it wasn’t February already because then I would have only been short a day. Life goes on.) And if anything good was to come of hours upon hours of living inside my bathroom, I did write an incredibly funny blog post; stand by.

One month to recuperate then it’s time to begin training again. Unless I’ve already decided to start running again by the time you read this. That’s always possible, too.

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I ask you –

What are your grieving habits?

Have you heard of Amazonesia?

Share a time something good came of something horrible.

Collection of Phone Photos

action shots are my favorite

Interestingly enough, my mini now prefaces all the photos she takes with a huge, dramatic sigh and the words “Are you going to put this on the blog?” Ummmm yeah, of course I am.

me need stool, me is short

And if you ever wondered – fairly sure you haven’t because WHY would you – if PMS had a truly physical characteristic, like something you could really see on the outside, it’s this. I was craving pizza so bad, I had my husband drive me to the grocery store. In my pajamas! In my robe and slippers, if it’s not clear enough. This. This is what I’ve come to.

smiling because I’m getting pizza

Lastly, I was eating pizza for breakfast one morning. Could have probably omitted that admission from this story. Suddenly a memory came back of mini putting a too hot piece of pizza in her mouth. Instead of spitting the piece out or doing any of the easiest options, she requests I blow into her mouth. I’d like to say I didn’t, I’d like to tell you all I laughed at this ridiculousness, I’d like to say lots of things here besides what actually happened. I blew air into her mouth. Because I have zero sense and would do literally anything to ensure she doesn’t needlessly suffer.

True, unfailing love is mostly without boundaries. All this work for naught.

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I ask you –

Do you keep a stool in your kitchen?

Have you ever wondered what PMS looks like? Wonder no more!

Share a crazy story of love for your child(ren)!

Re-Introduction + Updates

Run streaking is going very well. I’m only a little surprised. What is very apparent to me is the amount of excuses I can make to not complete some of the prescribed runs during a training cycle. Yet I’ve managed to run every. single. day for this goal. Sometimes it’s only a mile, sometimes it’s three; but I do it. Granted the mileage isn’t high – no long runs, for sure. This is a proverbial marathon, not a sprint. Only maybe yesterday did I even consider I might want to continue the run streak through February. What else do you have to do?

have coffee bar, will travel

If you’re new to the blog, we have a bit of a co-parenting style with my sweet mini me. Every other month she takes off to Tennessee to live with her dad. The amount of ‘missing’ her I feel has no words; however, we do what’s best for her and she’s had this type of life since she was born. Is there an award for most traveled under the age of 5? When she’s off on another month long adventure, my schedule looks like this: get the whole bed to myself (almost), cram literally everything I can into one month to make the time pass by quickly, and plan all the things I want to do with her for when she returns next month. Never said I was exciting.

HI! My name is Kelly and I can’t focus. Only when required. There tends to be many moving parts in my life; I wouldn’t have it any other way. Where’s the fun in one iron in the fire (or however it goes)? Fires may not last long so pile on the irons, is my motto. Never before have I said that so just work with me here. Please remember many of my blog posts, ahem, all of them, are typically written weeks in advance so you may be reading this up to a month after. This protects mine and my family’s privacy and allows ample time for me to overthink what I’ve said in a moment of clarity. Take nothing at face value; I mean no offense to anyone. All this being said, I paid for, designed, developed, and wrote this blog for my own use so I reserve the right to say what I want and in whatever humor I see fit. If you’re disappointed, join the club!

I love what I do. The sphere of influence I have is nothing next to His. My hope is to bless others in the same way I have been so very blessed. I’m not only a blogger; I’m a writer, a storyteller, a coffee-drinker, a joke teller. My jokes are particularly awful if I’m being very honest – which I’m not. My jokes are great!

The “I ask you” section below and located at the end of nearly every single one of my posts is not rhetorical unless stated otherwise. Please leave comments, questions, words of encouragement, whatever is on your heart when you read these posts. The back and forth of a friendship is my vision for Running on Fumes.

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I ask you –

Do you have a coffee bar? Which is better: making your own or purchasing from whomever makes the best for you?

How many irons in the fire do you normally juggle?

Please share a vision you have for your life!

And the Numbers are In!

2020 total miles: 318.25. 2019 was about 140 miles higher, but since I only ran one half marathon the entire year I’d say it was a success. Granted that one half marathon was 14 miles long – must have been the wet and wild adventure we took off course.

Nothing like a new pair of running shoes to put you in a good mood! I recommend it for everyone. My toes are splayed out like they should be, ankles are inline, and quad load is below normal. Sounds super sexy, right? My little lady calls new shoes ‘go fasters’; I couldn’t agree more. They make you want to sprint!

Run the Rail, New Boston, Texas, Oct 9, 2021. Race numero dos on my list of three. This one is near my parentals so maybe they can support my need for homemade cooking. I should ensure they read this. One more race added to the list then I’ll have a full plate. Of course nothing is official until I all-caps-it and post it here. Sometimes it still doesn’t happen even then. Whoopsies!

Relatedly unrelated, I have a confession. A short time ago, I was feeling dissatisfied in my work life. A position in a prior career field was open and I was seriously considering making a big move. After crunching some numbers, praying, asking for advice from others, etc. it became apparent this wasn’t the best option for me. Hello, Kel, you only spent 4 years trying to get to where you’re at now. The silence of what I had asked for was more telling than any answer I could have received.

Suddenly a different opportunity appeared. To be the storyteller I am at heart. Even before I could complete that mission, more people reached out for help with their own personal goals. It took a minute, but I soon realized I wasn’t feeling dissatisfaction with my job. I was feeling as if something was missing from my purpose in life. I asked, He obliged.

Funny how purpose shows up in the most unexpected ways.

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I ask you –

Do you get excited about new shoes? What’s your favorite pair?

Do you go through periods of feeling unsatisfied with your work?

Tell me your advice when going through a low period in life.

Say ‘I’m Sorry’, Now Say It Again

What if we lived our life knowing there’s not a single word we say that doesn’t matter. Note the lack of a question mark; this is most assuredly statement material. Profound! And if you knew this, would it influence the words to exit your lips? I dislike conversations where “it doesn’t matter” is used flippantly, in a disregard type of manner. To me, it’s basically saying I don’t care what you think or say. At the least, it’s extremely hurtful. At most, damaging.

Lifting people up should be a common goal; however, it seems this isn’t so. We waste a lot of time tearing others (or ourselves) down rather than being a part of growth. If you lose your why, you will lose your way. Full disclosure: I didn’t come up with the previous line on my own.

foot prints in the…snow

This world is a crazy one, but there’s not one reason to be unkind. A few nights, maybe weeks, ago, my little love bug was sitting on the couch. She asked me to lay my head in her lap so she could run her fingers through my hair and massage my head. This was at the end of the day I’d given her a foot rub. (She tried to return the favor but I’m too ticklish; a calamity of errors!) Her kind gesture really got me thinking: how often do we dismiss another’s kindness? All those doors you’ve held open, all the polite words you’ve uttered, all the cars you’ve yielded to on the highway. Small examples of something huge.

tread lightly, oh mean one

A few (more) nights ago, I snatched up my phone as it began to ring and yelled “Stop calling me!” to whomever was on the line. An equally angry woman yelled back “You stop calling me, lady! You called me at 10:27 this morning!” As I prepared my retort, she hung up on me. I realize yelling at someone sounds nothing like me. Full story: for days in a row, I kept receiving phone calls from numbers with the same area code and prefix as my own. Never answering, the voicemails would be exactly 22 seconds long with a social security scam schpill. I blocked the numbers but it continued with a final digit difference. I’d had enough. But after what the angry lady said, it dawned on me she was most likely receiving calls from my number with the same garbage message. And, of course, my little child overheard this debacle. Ugh. Not my finest moment. Even after my explanation, she calmly stated I must call back and apologize. Which I did. The other woman didn’t answer; I don’t blame her.

Recently I was told “You never have an opinion. And, if you do, you don’t share it.” Partially paraphrased but the gist is there. If it had been appropriate at the moment, I would have laughed and maybe not stopped. My opinions are everywhere! Hello! Do you read this blog?! I am opinionated to a degree; I just choose not to argue. A discussion is one thing, but if the other parties are only able to express their opinion in loud, overbearing voices, well, I don’t have anything to say. End of story.

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I ask you –

What are you opinionated about?

Do you have a flippant phrase?

Recount a time you were not proud of your phone behavior.

Looking Forward

What’s next in 2021? I steer clear of the word resolutions because it gives me anxiety. Goals is the preferred noun.

the one that started it all

My planner states “find 3 races”. I used find instead of run because what if we’re at the same impasse in 2021 that we were in before. Can’t even imagine.

Soooooooooooo istartedlookingatdoctoralprograms. I have to write it fast because I’m a little in shock myself. Before my mini was born, I made a silent promise I would fulfill my own dreams while ensuring she could have a strong future, too. It’s hard to quantify the importance of our young people seeing their parents/family members/peers succeed. Granted a doctorate isn’t a single year goal, but the planning phase has commenced. I’m narrowing down schools, examining financial requirements, and viewing time tables. Oh boy.

best be bigger than this!

For one, I can’t believe she’ll be 5 this year. Secondly, let’s rearrange our whole lives for me to get (another) advanced degree because I’m a career college student. Lastly, wait… she’s going to be 5?! But she was just born yesterday!

at 7 months old

I’d also like to complete my book. Yes, really, this time. Even with so much time on my hands last year – you, too, right? – it got pushed to the back burner. Not by design but by priority. I think I needed to focus on a lot of other things, like recovering from an unexpected car crash and making a significant job change, in order to appreciate where this book has taken me. Rightfully so, a publisher may also state I have to break it into two books. Humble brag hahaha That sounds like such a terrible problem to have; however, it would mean quite a bit of re-write on my part. This is a ton to think about.

Of course my plans change about as fast as the weather in Texas so we’ll see what happens next. And if 2021 is half as crazy as the previous year, there’s really zero telling. Stand back everyone!

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I ask you –

Do you prefer “goals” or “resolutions”?

Care to share one of yours?

Anyone want to guess how much a doctorate costs these days? How does gofund me work anyway?!

20/20 of 2020

As I was falling asleep one night, I began thinking about the general consensus on 2020: it sucked. But I’m no bandwagonner. That’s a word, right? It didn’t really suck for me. Sure, some parts were more difficult than others, but to be expected.

the look says it all

When I first moved back to Texas, I felt like swiss cheese. The shape seemed to be what everyone wanted; however, some important parts were missing. Speaking of swiss cheese, why does it cost the same as cheese without holes? Like shorts. Why do they cost the same or more than pants? Nevermind.

2020 has been a turning point. The holes represented what I was missing spiritually and mentally and I’ve made incredible strides in these areas over the past year. Suddenly it seems like things are finally coming together. I’ve seen others close on their first home, be promoted at work, celebrate the turn of a presidency, find more time with their families, and the list goes on.

Ladies of Lakeview

I’ve always wanted to host or be a part of a cookie exchange. I was born for cookies. This year was primed for it until, you know, 2020’s issues. So when invited to a small gathering of other cookie-loving, child-rearing, incredible women and friends, I said yes before I even knew what was expected. Really should have done more research. And not one to venture off without my trusty sidekick, we had an amazing night! Next time, I’ll bring individual bags for cookie sharing. And a shopping cart. Apparently you leave with nearly the same number of cookies you arrived with. Who knew?!

No, I didn’t finish my book. Yet. Completion was a goal in 2020, but writing here on the blog has expanded my growth in so many ways. I’m lucky to have witnessed others grow, as well; it’s incredible. Related: why don’t adults get praised for growth like children? You know, people always fuss over children – Look how much you’ve grown this year! Us? No one says a word. Well I’m praising you! We made it. It was lonely, dark, and, frankly, sucked at times yet growth has happened.

Maybe it’s just how you turn the mirror as to what angle the past year is visible.

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I ask you –

Describe 2020 in one word. Go!

What were your 2020 goals? Did you complete them?

Have you ever been to a cookie exchange? Next year I’m hosting my own and you’re all invited!