Pippa’s Joke


Warning: This post contains information about *poo* by a small child. Reader discretion required.

I sat on the couch and saw 21 month old Pippa standing in front of me, clearly pushing something out into her nappy.

“Poos” Pippa stated.

“Do you want to go on the toilet?” I asked.

“No” she replied.

“Do you want to go on the Potty?” I asked again.

“No” she again replied.

Pippa looked at me with a sly look on her face.

“Carpet” she said mischievously. She then added, “Funny girl.”

I laughed.

It didn’t take long for my not quite 2 year old to grasp onto the fact that toilet humour gets easy laughs. I hate to admit it, but it’s true.


Father’s Day Reflections

The first Sunday in September is the day for celebrating Fathers here in Australia. So yesterday the girls excitedly gave Daddy their handmade cards and crafts, while he received them with smiles. I tried to do a “Let’s talk about the things we love about Daddy” kind of thing, but let’s just say that at 3 and 1 years of age, that didn’t go super well. We enjoyed a lovely morning at Church, followed by a long, leisurely family lunch in the sunshine. I called my Dad later that night and had a nice chat too.

It was a great day, but I didn’t really do anything for Paul. He’s not big on presents (that’s an understatement) and Father’s Day isn’t a big deal for him. But I was reflecting on what to blog about tonight, and I want to write this post for him. To say thank you for all of the ways that he is a wonderful father to our girls.


1. I love the squeals, laughter and pure delight that erupts every time you come home. Daddy coming home is the highlight of the day some days and it’s beautiful to watch.

2. I love that even though you grew up in a household of boys, you now love your household of girls, and wouldn’t want it any other way. You may not have had sisters growing up, but that doesn’t stop you from being a big softie who is happy to sit and have a cup of tea, comment on a cute hairstyle, or join in a ballet dance. You’re man enough for that.

3. I love that you are so capable, even though it sometimes makes me feel insecure! I have no hesitations whatsoever when you have the girls by yourself.

4. I love the way that even though you are a serious guy, you light up and joke, play and get some good silly going on with the girls, because you love them.

5. I love the way that you enjoy the time in the mornings when it’s often just you and Heidi up. A special quiet time in the morning with your daughter, and rather than seeing her as an interruption you cherish that time together. That’s beautiful.

I could go on. But you are waiting to chat with me, so this must come to a close. You are a great Daddy, a great Husband and my very best friend. I love you Paulie.

Writing Again

The problem with not writing for a long time is that it becomes overwhelming to start again. It’s impossible to fill in all of the gaps, but surely I have to say something about what happened in the midst of the blogging-abyss? I didn’t mean it. I didn’t intentionally stop blogging – I just wasn’t sure whether I should keep writing. I read books about blogging and being professional and writing the most awesome blogs ever and making billions of dollars on blogs and became crippled with indecision and inability. I couldn’t decide what (or perhaps more accurately, who) my blog was for. I couldn’t dedicate time and money to it so that it would become the worlds absolutely best blog in the world. And so I stopped. And once I stopped it was hard to start again. But lately I’ve wanted to have something slightly productive to do with some time that I have. Blogging came back up as an option, and even though I haven’t actually worked anything else out about why I’m writing, and how I will do it, here I am again. It feels good!

<<Insert Obligatory Update Here>>

Well… We are currently Candidates/Appointees with OMF International, aiming to leave for Japan in January 2015 (4/5 months away!) and have been doing Partnership Development since the start of this year roughly. Of course, Paul continues to study full time, and is in his last Semester of his Masters of Divinity. Heidi now goes to 3 year old Kinder twice a week (a total of 5 hours) and I continue to look after the girls full time. Pippa is almost 2 chronologically, but most definitely almost 2 in terms of the developmental challenges that parents face with 2 year olds. Enough said!

As I sit here writing, I realise I have a lot more to say about things, but just want to keep this post short. So, thanks for tuning in – I look forward to getting back into blogging a bit more!

Parenting and Humility


Once when riding a train in Japan with my husband, 15 month old daughter and my 6 month pregnant belly, I was on the receiving end of that delightful thing called judgement. My daughter was exhausted, and while we had a little pram for her, she had been in it for most of the day, so we let her out of it while we were on the train. She was really tired and despite our best efforts, she was inconsolable. So Paul was trying to calm her down by holding her, rocking her, whatever he could do. I would normally have done this for a while too, but it had been a long day, and my body was tired. There were two non English speakers (clearly not Japanese people either) sitting across from us on the train, and while I couldn’t understand all they said, I did catch some Japanese words that they used. More importantly though, I caught the glances, the hushed whispers and the darting looks of judgement across the train. They offered me some food (a small packet of small crunchy things!) for Heidi, which I refused up to 4 times before giving in, and smiling politely, received it from them. Very reluctantly I let Heidi have some. Let me say, we did have food for her, but knew she wasn’t hungry, but just exceptionally tired. After an initial interest, Heidi then spat it all out. As horrible as it sounds,  I did a little internal jig! We may have only been sitting across from them for 15 minutes, but the way they were suggesting to one another, “Why doesn’t she do this? Why is the Father holding her? Surely the Mother should comfort the baby?”, I was quietly seething with rage. And let me just say, I don’t anger too easily. I often have to think for quite some time to remember the last time I was angry. So for me this was big. Let’s just say that when we got off the train, Paul was concerned that he had done something really wrong. I’m pretty sure he sighed with relief when he learned my anger was directed elsewhere.

Somehow parenting has become one of the most keenly debated topics of society today. Dummies, bottles, ‘breast is best’, slings, prams, cloth vs disposable, sleeping through, control crying – the list goes on! There are  many contentious issues regarding parenting that it can be hard to find your way and when books contradict one another, different parents experience different things, and everyone else seems to know what is right, unfortunately judgement is rife. Add in cross cultural differences, generation gaps and linguistic barriers, and it’s any wonder those ladies on the train in Japan had something to say to my apparently horrendous parenting skills!

In some ways judgement is understandable. If parents are making informed, considered decisions on the way they raise their children, many times parents have chosen one option over another. And let’s face it, as human beings, our default position is that our choice is the right choice. Of course I think it’s right to (insert parenting issue here), otherwise I wouldn’t have chosen it! But does my ‘right’ choice mean that your choice is, in fact, ‘wrong’? Why has parenting become a matter of right and wrong? Of course, there are some things which should have no grey areas. Child abuse, be it physical, emotional or sexual, is always wrong. But for the most part, parents judging other parents is not about a huge concern for a child (although that can happen) but is primarily about feeling better about your own parenting decisions! Judging others can lead to an ego boost – “Look how poorly they are doing” translates as “Wow, I must really have it together!”

Like most sin, judging others is easy to justify, explain and permit. It makes us feel good while making others feel bad. It lifts ourselves up, while dragging others down (even if just in our own minds). Judgement on others and how they parent is not living by the fruit of the Spirit. Yes, discernment of our own parenting styles is important. Yes, we will be different to others. And yes, we should be concerned about the welfare of others. But as Philippians chapter 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Christ has shown us the ultimate example of humility, and it is that kind of humility that we are to imitate. False humility is no good. I can’t pretend to think others are better than me, that’s just plain old patronising. We are to truly consider others better than ourselves. It’s not easy, and I by no means do this as I should. But it is what we must strive for. Judgement is also damaging because most of the time we don’t have the full picture. We’ve all done things in moments of pain or desperation that we would never normally do. But if that’s the only snippet that someone sees of you, what kind of judgement might be made? We don’t know of sicknesses, extended family worries, marriage struggles, work issues, LIFE issues – there is so much going on for everyone and often we can assume all is well when people are doing it tough. Instead of offering a listening ear and an understanding heart, we make a quick judgement based on an external thing like clothes or appearance or whether the child has a dummy or is eating a hot chip. It’s just not right.

Parenting is an ever changing, constantly evolving thing. Just as you think you have things figured out ‘for now’, everything changes again. None of us have it worked out completely. And we are all human and don’t know everything, all the time. But we can collaborate with one another, as parents, and share with each other, encourage one another and really understand one another. We are simply trying to do our best in a big, busy world where thankfully we have an even bigger, much more capable God who we can trust on and look to for help. Instead of judging one another, let’s remind one another of the humility and sacrifice of Christ, and of the work He has done. Let’s try and follow his example, and give sacrificially to those around us – humility and love are a great place to start as we discuss parenting in a godly way

Next time someone shares with me the struggles they are having with their children sleeping, instead of offering unsolicited advice, I might just offer to look after said bub while Mum has a sleep herself.

I love to hear from those of you who read my blog, so if you have a moment, please feel free to comment and share some ideas of how we could encourage (and practically help) one another in this difficult parenting game? Or perhaps you have experienced judgement in regards to your parenting: If so, what is something helpful that the ‘judger’ could have done instead? Thanks again to everyone who reads my posts – it’s very encouraging to me and I love being able to share some thoughts with you all!

My Own Beautiful Love Story: A Marriage From A Friendship


My husband and I knew each other for about 6 years before we got married. For probably 4 of those years we were really good friends. Not the kind of friends hoping for more, or just waiting to start a relationship. We were just good friends. We saw each other at Uni, hung out with the same friends, traveled on mission trips together, were in Bible studies together, and enjoyed catching up here and there. But one of the moments of our friendship that I treasure (albeit a long moment) was over the time that I lived overseas. We emailed at least monthly – more often fortnightly –  for two years. Those emails were often long, sincere and encouraging. And still just as friends.

On our first Wedding Anniversary, I had the ingenious idea to compile all of our emails over that time into a bound book. You know, year #1 about paper and all, I thought that would be pretty cool. Paul loved it. And I loved it when he handed me the exact same gift. I am not kidding. Somehow, we had both thought of the same, somewhat abstract gift and secretly made it and gave it to each other without having a clue about the other persons identical idea. We laughed. And we read. It worked out really well, as we had each included some emails that the other didn’t have, so when you read them side by side, there is a very comprehensive record of our correspondence.

Today, as I hunted for some Superannuation details in a box in a cupboard, I stumbled upon our books. I pulled them out and read through them. What precious memories. And I couldn’t quite believe the things I was reading. We wrote about relationships – who we had crushes on, who we were dating, how we were feeling post-dating. We wrote about Jesus – the passion for the gospel that we shared, but looked very differently as I lived and served in Japan, and as he worked in a secular, financial, government area. We wrote about the future, and the dreams and hopes we had. We joked together. We encouraged each other about the greatness of the God we both shared a relationship with. We wrote about challenges we both faced. And more.

As I read through those emails, with some passing of time and changing of circumstances, clarity descended. We were fundamentally passionate about the same things. We shared the same desire to see Jesus proclaimed wherever we were. We helped one another to focus on Jesus when others things threatened to consume. We laughed, joked and enjoyed one another. We were good friends to one another – speaking hard words in love when necessary, keeping in touch well, catching up and visiting when possible. We appreciated one another.

And it’s these things that haven’t changed. And it’s because of these things that we enjoy a special, meaningful relationship as husband and wife. We have the same passion. We keep Jesus as our focus. We help each other when that is threatened. We have fun together. We are friends. We speak lovingly, even when the topic is difficult. We touch base, and connect with each other. We value and appreciate each other. We are by no means perfect, and fail at these things at times (too often). But with a foundation of friendship, our marriage is a gift from God. It is a beautiful love story that only God Himself could have orchestrated. Neither of us would have believed it all of those years ago, and I certainly hope that we can look forward to what God will do next. Because He certainly does some wonderful things.

The Marriage Course

We love being married!

We love being married!

Paul and I have welcomed two beautiful children into the world, moved house three times, travelled to Japan four times together, been to WA, NT, ACT, NSW, VIC and SA on trips, shared only one car, studied full time and part time, worked and stayed-at-home, yet have still only been married for four years. Four years! It seems so much longer than that…in a really good way. I mention this not because it is our anniversary (no, that was a very busy day on our recent Japan trip which sadly had not a lot of celebration time worked into it), but because we are currently doing ‘The Marriage Course’.

Don’t worry, we are not in any way facing crises or difficulties that require counselling or therapy. We are very much in love and enjoy being married to one another – praise God! Our church runs the course every year as a way to nurture and strengthen marriages. People in all sorts of marriages can participate. And until now we haven’t been able to join in, as Paul always played basketball on the night of the course. As he is no longer playing, we were excited to give it a go!

The course we are doing is officially called ‘The Marriage Course’, created by Nicky and Sila Lee, and is a part of Alpha International. We have been heading out each Monday night once the girls are in bed and in the capable care of various, generous babysitting friends of ours, looking forward to some time together, delicious dessert, and time to really invest into our marriage.

Each week has a different topic, and so far we have done ‘Building Strong Foundations’, ‘The Art of Communication’ and ‘Resolving Conflict’. Overall, I have been quite impressed by the quality of the course. Each week we watch a DVD, where Nicky and Sila, along with other couples who have been interviewed, discuss the particular topic. You are given moments where the DVD is paused, where each couple talks only to each other about a particular issue, or attempts a particular exercise (listening etc). There is no group discussion about issues, and you can’t really hear the other couples talking with each other. It is definitely less corny (hokey for my American friends) than I was expecting. Nicky and Sila have a very genuine, comfortable presenting style, with warmth and laughter that I really appreciate. I have to try  not to giggle fairly often. I think that’s a good thing.

I don’t think we have come across any new, amazing information that we were completely unaware of before, but it is great to remember some things we may have forgotten, and to try and implement some of the suggestions just to see how they go. Doing our homework together has been really fun too! So far for me the two most significant things have been:

1. Remembering again the ways that Paul feels most loved by me

In the first week of the study, we are encouraged to make time for each other and to nurture each other. And how can we nurture each other if we don’t know each other? So we took a look at the things that we felt most loved by, and discussed those things with each other. We already had a fair idea about what those things were. Paul loves ‘Practical Help’, or as the Five Love Languages book describes, ‘Acts of Service’. Which in an extremely unfortunate turn of events, probably is just about the lowest for me. I am no good at this. And so enter difficulty number one.

Every day I want to show Paul that I love and care for him in ways that mean a lot to him. It just happens that it does not come naturally to me at all, and is a struggle sometimes. OK, often. But Paul is a really very wonderful husband who encourages me, is gracious to me, and understands that most of the time I am doing my best. I don’t feel pressure from him. It’s just one of those battles with sin. It’s easy to do only what is easy and comfortable. But I want to love in a selfless, sacrificial way. A Christ-like way. But it is hard, a lot of the time. But isn’t that what marriage is? Loving each other even though it’s not easy? Committing to do our best for one another, even when we are so inclined to be ugly, mean and selfish?

So it was a good reminder for me.

2. Practicing better listening skills with one another

This has been excellent! For those of you who know Paul and I well, you won’t necessarily be surprised, but one of the unique attributes to our marriage is that we don’t suffer from that typical problem of a quiet, closed, un-talkative husband. My husband is a great communicator. Truly. It’s just that sometimes I need a bit more talking room. And through doing this course we have both realised significant ways that we can improve our listening. I need to stop “giving advice” – and I thought that was just what men did! I was wrong! When I realised that…ouch! And don’t mention interrupting. Oh boy!

Since we have both been trying to stop doing the wrong things (interrupting etc), and do some active listening skills, our interactions and conversations have really changed. Deepened. Opened up. We are learning about each other more than before. And it’s lovely.

We are by no means perfect, and we definitely don’t have everything figured out. But it is great to be investing in our marriage both for the future, but also for now. It is definitely not easy to take the time out for each other. Having two little ones means that we could just collapse in tiredness at the end of the day. But it has been worth it, even if we are tired and grumpy in the car on the way to the course! It’s a great thing to do, and if you have the chance to do it one day, I would encourage you to give it a go. Your marriage is precious, important and worth investing in.

And a big thanks to Russell and Helen who host the course at their home. The yummy desserts and lollies really help get us there some weeks!

Stay at Home Mum: Taking my own advice!


Mummy. Mama. Mum. Mom. Mumsy. So many different words to express that one special relationship. What is it in your household? I am currently known mostly as Mummy, occasionally as Mama, and frequently (by Pippa) as Mumumumum. It’s amazing though how just one word, one concept, one relationship, can effect your life so wholly, completely and utterly. While I worked part-time when Heidi was a baby, I am currently a Stay-At-Home-Mum (SAHM) with the desire to continue being one at least until our hoped-for move overseas in maybe 18 months. It is an absolute privilege to be able to do this. Many women (millions, I’m sure) have no such option. The choice is, well, not even a choice. No work? No money. No money? No food. I am entirely aware that pretty much primarily due to being born into this wealthy country, Australia, that I have even an option here. And it is one I am truly grateful for.

This does not make it an easy task though. And it is one that has been a little challenging lately. I feel like I am going through the crazies associated with being at home with small children a lot, mostly for the first time. Considering my oldest is not quite two and a half, I feel like this is not such a bad effort. But in saying that, maybe it’s happened before and I am simply choosing to suppress and forget those feelings! Either way, it feels fresh for me right now.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of bringing these two little people up into the world. I’m feeling underwhelmed by the prospect of another day trying to get a baby to sleep and needing to entertain a toddler. I’m feeling frustrated by my lack of enthusiasm for getting out and about. I’m bored from being home a lot. In short, it’s a conflicting time!

I spent some time thinking about the advice I would give to myself, if I was the giving advice to myself kind of girl. Here is that  advice:

Don’t be ruled by the routine. Even though babies and toddlers need to sleep and eat, try not to be controlled by their routine. You are the Mama, you make the decisions. If you need to get out of the house even though it’s in the middle of nap time, just go out anyway. You will feel better, and more able to care for the kids if you are feeling good, calm and present.
My rebuttal: But the kids’ sleep is way more important than my sanity. If they sleep they won’t notice my crazies. Until they wake up…oh…then they might notice the rubbish in the fridge and the vacuum up the tree. Hmm.

Enjoy the little joys in the day. That first wobbly moments of standing alone for a few seconds won’t happen for much longer. That tender stroke on the face and whisper of “You’re so precious Mummy” will spark a fire of affection for your toddler that can keep you going in the middle of the next tantrum. Hold onto the good moments like they are a life jacket in a stormy gale – they may just keep you afloat the next time you think you are going under.
My rebuttal: Sometimes good moments are nice, but what I really need is a 10 minute break and a hot chocolate. Oh. Maybe I could do that. Yes. Good idea me. (So here I am!)

Pray together. With the kids. Even the little ones. Remember Mel, those times when you were having a grumpy morning and you could feel those frustrations rising and your patience decreasing (why not the other way around) ?You should sit and pray with Heidi. Out loud. Thank God for her. Ask God to help.Think of the wonderful things about Heidi and thank God for them. It really helps. God really helps.
My rebuttal: But I like being grumpy. Self-pity makes me feel worse. And I love revelling in my disastrous life. It’s awesome down here. Or maybe not so much.

Have a plan. Even though you are not a naturally super organised person, it can be helpful to have just a few things roughly in place. When you might have lunch, and what you might do before lunch. Stop looking at Pinterest and feeling crap. You don’t need a perfect morning filled with crafty creations that cost a fortune and make you lose it because it’s not quite working. Say something like “Let’s draw” – with blunt pencils on crumpled paper. Or “Let’s go for a walk” – which consists of the baby being popped in the Ergo and the toddler walking about 50 metres over 20 minutes, examining each gumnut, crack and leaf on the ground. The walking part of “Let’s walk” is so insignificant it can’t even count as exercise!
My rebuttal: But I can’t be bothered. And my kids are bored which is so annoying. Oh…

Talk about it with your spouse. There is nothing like bottling up feelings, seething resentment and bubbling bitterness to make life suck. Talk, listen, specifically explain your feelings. Remember that generally guys have a harder time hearing the feelings we are saying, and not just listening for the problem. So to help him out, be clear. And then clearer. And then add some clarity. Getting it out of the system is half (if not more) of the battle.
My rebuttal: But I like Paul to walk on egg-shells around me wondering about what is wrong. Then we can snap and argue ALL the time. I love that.

So I think I may have just convinced myself to take some of my own advice. I might just have to let you know how it all goes. Next week is looking better already!


Sleeping Like A Baby…Finally!

Being a baby is really tough...

Being a baby is really tough…

Babies and sleep, how much sleep they have, how to get them to do it, and how long they do it for are all hot topics for parents-to-be, new parents, and weary-eyed parents. Other people also seem to be interested in babies and their sleeping habits too. A baby is often deemed a “good” baby or not in regards to how much they like to sleep. And I have to admit, a sleeping “good” baby contributes significantly to whether you feel like you are a “good” parent or not – untrue as that may be. So please join with me as I jump for joy with excitement, enthusiasm and, well, joy (!) as I announce to the world…Pippa has finally worked it out. Yes, that’s right. It only took about 8 months of practice but she now knows how to sleep. And an extension of that is, you guessed it, that now I (and Paul) can get some rest and sleep too. Mind you, it still feels like there is a possibility that it may all just change again, but here is what happened and why I am currently enjoying the benefits of a sleeping baby!

Cracking down on routine

During the Semester break, sleep was getting worse. After our tiring (yet brilliant) trip to Japan, and with Paul and I both being at home, there was not much of a routine for Pippa. We had always been fairly strict on an eating and sleeping routine with Heidi when she was a baby, and she always did sleep well, but we had let things slide a bit with Pippa. So as we headed away for some family time for 5 days at Phillip Island, we decided to really make a big effort to help Pippa sleep during the day. She generally has slept well during the day, but only when at home. She isn’t such a deep sleeper that she nods off the moment the car or pram moves. Which makes for some hard decisions: go out, have fun and Pippa misses her sleep, or stay home, be bored and at least Pippa sleeps. Up until the time away I had generally been choosing the first option. But when, as we intentionally gave Pippa solid time and opportunity to sleep, it really helped. She began having 2 naps each day of about 2 hours each. That’s a good amount of sleep! But the big change was a baby who slept in the evening!!

Evening sleep had been ever elusive

Pippa had never slept well in the evening. Prior to the recent ‘crackdown’ I could have literally counted on one hand the amount of times she had slept for longer than 30 minutes in the evening (roughly 7-10). This might not seem like a big deal, but when you are up with your toddler and baby from 7am or so everyday, and then you put said children into bed around 7pm, that evening time is precious. Time to yourself, time with your spouse, time to clean, time to relax…oh those few special hours before bed are golden. And we had been enjoying them for quite some time when it was just Heidi in the picture. And then picture all of those golden moments of blissful peace and quiet being snatched away…that’s right, go get some tissues! The first half of this year rather than enjoying that time of the night, it was the dreaded black hole of the day. Time no longer existed, life just seemed to get sucked out of me, of Paul, and Pippa just whined and cried and whinged and…you get the picture. And then it happened! Once, then twice, and then, most of the time! We found that the old adage is true.

Sleep is conducive to more sleep

When Pippa began getting good sleep during the day, she began to sleep well in the evenings. And, she also began sleeping well overnight too. As did I! I am not really sure at what age this principle ends. I am guessing there comes a point where too much sleep is just too much sleep, but for babies it seems that the idea of keeping baby awake so that they will sleep at night would be a disaster. They need sleep to sleep. And Pippa definitely proved this point!

Food and more food!

Just keep eating, just keep eating.

Just keep eating, just keep eating.

Just after we began seeing some amazing changes in the way that Pippa was sleeping, they stopped again. It had maybe been 6 nights and then she began waking up a couple of times each night, screaming and screaming. We tried letting her cry a little, but nothing helped except for a drink of milk from Mummy. We couldn’t work out what was going on. Then at our routine Maternal & Child Health Nurse appointment, the nurse noticed that Pippa hadn’t gained quite as much weight as might have been expected. She recommended more food. And then I thought about it. Yep, she was a slow eater. And we weren’t giving her enough time to eat. The next night when I really paid attention, she ate for at least an hour at dinner, and ate more than I had seen her eat before. Way more! And she began sleeping again.

So it continues

The drastically improved sleeping has continued. She sometimes wakes for milk in the evening around 9 or 10pm, but now she often sleeps from 7pm-7am. It is like we have a different baby, and it has given me new energy, new enthusiasm for life! I feel fresh and ready for the day when I wake up! Well, maybe not everyday, but definitely a whole lot more than I did before. Pippa is a happier baby, and I am a much happier Mummy/wife/human being!



My Disclaimer

In saying all of this, I am not giving specific advice but merely sharing with you what has helped my family, specific even to Pippa. She has settled into a great routine, and sleeps well consistently now, rather than consistently badly as she did before. There is often no easy solution for helping your baby to sleep, but perhaps trying a couple of the things that helped us might help you too.

Fitness Frustrations

My running has not gone well over the last 2 weeks. And being in the middle of training for my first 10K this is not such good news.

I teeter between feeling like I have reasons for this, and guiltily suspect they might be excuses. But I think they really are reasons. Maybe. My reticence to even decide what they are shows my inner turmoil!

Last week Paul was studying like mad as he had 3 exams in 4 days. We then had Saturday to pack, and we left our home at 4:30 Sunday morning. So my decision last week was not actually a decision. I didn’t have time to get out of the house because Paul had so much study.

This week, we arrived in Japan late on Sunday night. It is hot, humid and rainy, and the days have been long. But the major factor in all of this has been a certain child of mine who has been up numerous times during the night. Think 10, 12:30, 2, 4:30 etc. so I’m fairly exhausted and in the I frequent moments of time where I could have an opportunity to get out, sleep is winning.

When I think that my reasons for running are health and family, these reasons to have not been out to run are valid. Putting family first in this way must happen. I know fitness is important, and is part of caring for my family. But that doesn’t always mean I can run when I want. The struggle is to not feel like a failure, but to keep going as soon as I can.

My commitment to doing the 10K hasn’t waned, but my ability to run has just at the moment. I’m actually still hopeful to get out tomorrow. Pray that I can! I want to run at least once in Tokyo!!

Fitness Friday #3 & #4

I have to catch up on some Fitness Friday blogs, as life has conspired against me getting them done in the last few weeks. So here goes.


Week 1 of my 10 week training program saw me enthusiastic and motivated…yet unwell. My first run went really well, but this is what the week looked like:

Monday – 5 x (5mins jog/2mins walk) Total time = 35 minutes. Killed it. Ran faster, because I want to run faster. Felt good.

Wednesday 7 x (4mins jog/1min walk) Total time = 35 minutes. In bed all day. Well, as much as one can be whilst looking after a baby and a toddler. No exercise done.

Friday 3 x (10mins jog/5mins walk) Total time = 45 minutes. Still recovering from 2 days in bed/on the couch, and nowhere near ready to do this. Although I feel better than the other couple of days, it’s not simply a case of the sniffles. It’s the achey head feeling that makes a run near impossible.

Possible catch up runs over the weekend – This was a good thought. I was on a Women’s Church Retreat, and had thought I might enjoy a run beside the beach. But then Pippa got sick, and instead of it being a relaxing weekend, I was up at night with a screaming baby, with no husband to help. She also decided to mostly not sleep unless she was in my arms for the weekend. Thus no running occurred.

Feelings – I was so discouraged to not be able to get into my running routine as I had been hoping to. But I kept reminding myself that it shouldn’t make me give up on everything. And so I looked forward to week 2 with optimism, if not a little apprehensively.


I was feeling mostly physically better, although both the girls and Paul have the dreaded cold now, which does impact my ability to get out of the house. Still hopeful.

Monday – 5 x (6mins jog/2mins walk) Total time 40 minutes. Good run. Happy that I could get out, and felt fine.

Wednesday – 7 x (4mins jog/1 min walk) Total time 35 minutes. I run for the first time in the dark. I’m not keen on doing this, as I don’t feel very safe, but it was dusk when I began, and I tried to stick to well lit paths. But I felt great!! I went about 5K, and considering there was 7 or so minutes of just walking in there, I was glad my pace seems to be improving. I felt fine when I got home, like I could have kept going. Great buzz.

Friday – 3 x (11mins jog/5mins walk) Total time 48 minutes. So different to previous run. I am not feeling good again, as the cold has paid me another visit, though not such a severe one this time. I head out late in the afternoon, and manage to get about 20 minutes through the program until I feel sick in my stomach and very dizzy in the head. So I have to walk all the way back. And I am worried because Paul is unwell with the girls both awake at home, but what can I do? So I finish feeling discouraged again.

Feelings – I am so inconsistent! A great run (by my standards) leaves me feeling great, and a bad one, well, just the opposite. But I guess that all I can do is my best, and stick with the plan.

Overall – I’m wondering about the smartness of my desire to do the 10K in 60minutes or less. If I was just thinking about running 10K I think I would feel less pressure. I’m not too bad at the long and (very) slow. Speed is not my friend. But it’s not bad to aim for something, is it? I just don’t want to disappoint myself. But maybe I won’t? See how conflicted I am? Well, I have made the commitment, so maybe I will just stick at it and see how it goes. I am hopeful that I will surprise myself rather than disappoint myself.

On another note, I’m looking forward to spending a little bit of birthday money (from January!) my parents gave me the other day. I’m looking at getting a running case to strap my iPhone to my arm, some headphones and maybe, if I have some leftover, an iTunes voucher. I think music might help me find a good pace. Any recommendations on iPhone cases? Is that even what they are called?

I’m into another week now, and am planning on running tomorrow. I feel like there is always a reason not to run (ie: I have to get up a few times during the night as Pippa is teething, and Paul is still not well, and, well, everything). But I guess there is always still a reason that I should run (ie: health, example, post-run endorphins, mental health, energy). I hope that the latter wins out!