Saturday, August 30, 2008


I have a TON to write today and am struggling with how to put my thoughts together without really confusing you guys.  Sorry--in advance--if I lose anyone :-)

First...blankie number two is NOT working.  In fact, Layla responded to blankie number two by stepping on it...blowing her tongue at it..and then "fading" it (for those of you who haven't witnessed at Layla fade--its her way of giving the cold shoulder and its HILARIOUS!).  So...back to the drawing board, I guess.

Second...she has just clearly said "Jesus" and it has got to be what angels sound like when they say His name!  It is the absolute sweetest thing I have ever heard.  She must think it pretty strange that I keep asking her to say it.  I think I should probably make a recording of it :-)

Dad and I busted through the 20 mile mark today. was not an easy run with the temperature getting hotter and more humid.  The first part was actually very nice, but by the 15th mile it was starting to really heat up.  I find that the hardest thing about running in the heat is staying well hydrated.  It seems like when I wait to long to drink, the sports drinks just slosh around in my belly and cramp my stomach up.  Nice!  Dad was very patient with me, though.  I hardly said two words during the last 1.5 miles.  I think it took every single drop of mental energy to focus on my form and not letting myself go my conversation with dad completely STOPPED.  He started trying to talk to me with less than a mile left and all I could muster were some "uh huhs" and maybe even a little grunt or two..HA!  Poor dad.  After today's run, I went home and spent some time with Layla before her nap and then I grabbed my hoodie and hot tea and made my way into a nice COLD ice bath.  Good times.

We did talk about a few things today that really made me find a new admiration for my dad.  Somehow we found ourselves on the topic of living with regret--and I still don't know exactly how.  Dad was telling me about a conversation he had with one of his friends about a new photographer who has busted on the scene and is charging upwards of $20,000 per wedding--I know...CRAZY!  But I think the conversation between dad and the other guy was about whether or not dad regretted not being the first to the gate with that guy's idea.  Dad informed me (although I already knew this about him) that he has always been the type who works very hard and very efficiently...but doesn't have the desire to climb any sort of  "ladders to success".  I told dad that my thought was that there are two types of people:
(1) People who label success via worldly standards and as such, are terrified of living with regret
(2) People who label success via Godly standards and can't quite comprehend that fear of living with regret.  I am so proud to say that my dad very nicely fits into this category as evidenced by the way he will drop EVERYTHING to chase make believe dinosaurs with Bradyn, watch Layla just be Layla and listen to me ramble about something probably meaningless.  I couldn't be prouder.  I think making your daughter as proud as dad has made me should--in someone's book--qualify as a success, right?

Its interesting... Neil and I have gotten a lot of encouragement (and advice) about Nashville and the decision that we'll have to make.  I've heard from at least a few very well-meaning people that they would "hate for us to have to live with regrets".  And I was astounded.  Regret over something so temporary?  Regret would be missing the opportunity to see Layla really KNOW Jesus as her Saviour, not deciding to stay here (or going there) because that's where God leads us.  I guess I just can't wrap my brain around making a decision because I don't want to live with regret?  Its just a little weird for me.  I do think there is such a freedom in knowing that as long as I'm--WE'RE--consulting God--we'll look back on life and the decisions we made and be pretty stinkin satisfied.  Different strokes for different folks though, I guess :-)

This whole little dissertation on regret (or lack of it) lead dad and I on to the final serious topic of the run--HA--before I flaked out on him.  It kind of relates...a little?  At least it seemed like it did several miles into our run.  

While I was running at the beach several weeks ago, I passed this MASSIVE house.  In the front yard was a sign that read, "Private residence, not for rent."  HA!  The sign was HUGE.  It was almost as if the owners were saying that even if they stayed in the house for one week out of the year, they were still so loaded with sweet moola that they didn't need to rent it out.  I caught myself thinking...'hummm...must be nice."  I was already a little way down the street--and picking out furniture for my new MASSIVE beach house--when I heard a very quiet voice say "but I can take it all away in a moment".  WOW...I was completely humbled by God in a matter of two seconds.  God so nicely reminded me of that again as I started to feel just a little too proud of my running accomplishments.  AND I was reminded of it the other day--I won't go into the specific circumstance, but know that he did LOUD AND CLEAR.  Not really sure what's going on--or what craziness He may be preparing me for????  Maybe God's just bringing some things to my attention--trying to help me stay focused on my priorities and what is important.  Strange--it just seems like one of those molding and shaping principles that we are working on.  Maybe I'm reading into it WAY to much.  I tend to do that.......often :-)

For those of you who made this far...CONGRATS.  You all must be very patient or bored...or both.

Enjoy the weekend.    

Thursday, August 28, 2008

poor blankie...

Hooray!  One more week of hill repeats on the book.  Last night's were AMAZING!  I felt like dad and I were flying...and I think we were.  Our last hill (the big one) was fifteen seconds faster...which is a significant increase when you talk about running a hill.  And dad said I am started to recover after each hill faster and more efficiently!  YAY for progress.  I continue to be amazed at how thoughtfully and perfect God made our little bodies.  Last night dad and I ran for a little over an hour with 10 hill repeats sandwiched in between a warm up and cool down run.  Dad and I joked on the way back to our cars that we really could have done hills all night, but we didn't want our friend, hill, to get tired of us.  HA!  

Can I just say...switching gears a little...that we have had a four alarm emergency in the Broere house in the past 24 hours.  Layla's MUST HAVE blankie is starting to shred at a rapid pace.  At first glance yesterday, it was barely splitting at the seams (so we drove to Winston to unsuccessfully find a replacement) and by nap time, it was completely ripped down the middle...YIKES!  So I got out a needle and thread and made some quick stitches while my patient Layla looked on.  I informed her that her blankie had some ouchies that mommy had to fix--and she proceeded to kiss it over and over!  AND the award for super husband/daddy goes to Neil...he actually finished up stitching the blankie while I started dinner.  Such a wonderful and talented man.  I wish I had taken a picture of him sitting on the couch with a needle and thread and pink blankie on his lap.  SO CUTE!

SO I searched relentlessly yesterday afternoon and last night for a replacement and after no success ANYWHERE was informed that the blankie I am searching for is also used by scientolotot Suri Cruise.  What in the world!?!  So I've put in my order with a local baby store in Winston and in the mean time am going to try to substitute a satin and velvet blankie?  Same company...same color...slightly different blankie (the current one has a chenille backing --which Layla doesn't seem to like at all so maybe I'm safe?).  Neil suggested I get the same velvet, chenille, satin blankie but in a different color...I'm unsure.  I think the color would really make Layla upset..but we'll see.  Daddy may be right on this one.

Here's a pick of mommy and daddy's handy work.  You can see from the picture that the blanket has actually started peeling back at the satin seams.  Should I be avoiding the dryer with the next one?

I'll keep ya'll updated.  

Monday, August 25, 2008

Check ups

Layla had her 18 month appointment today :-( which meant more shots..YUCK!  On the positive side...we are almost done!  The appointment came at a perfect time.  She developed blisters on the inside of her mouth several days ago...blisters that were accompanied by a fever..ick!  She must have had them all down her throat as well, because she has barely eaten in days.  AND yesterday she had  blotchy spots on her back and belly AND a short dizzy spell after playing outside.  I was up tossing and turning ALL night--worried sick about what was going on.  I researched her symptoms online and deduced that it was probably fever sores...but I needed a REAL doctor's opinion before I could be a little less worried.  

I held my breath and prayed like crazy as the doctor looked in her her little blotchy spots...and then told me that there was nothing to worry about except that she had more than likely contracted the virus that causes fever sores.  Apparently, the first bout with fever sores is the WORST and she'll never have them that bad again.  The dizziness was from exhaustion (she had been awake since 5am...only napped for 2 hours and barely ate for three days).  Poor Layla.  I guess I learned that despite my best efforts, she'd eventually get those nasty fever sores--I think Neil's whole family gets them and my dad and I do as well.  Poor poor poor Layla...I wish I could just reach in and take that little virus away from her!  But I am thankful--very very thankful--that it is fever sores and not something more serious.

BUT other than that, Ms Layla is right on track..she's in the 70th percentile for height and 30th for weight.  The doctor said she is likely going to be long and lean...just like her mommy--HA--100% KIDDING.  And Layla showed off some of her new words with the doctor, thankfully.  I was so afraid she'd clam up and not say a word.  I tried desperately to teach her how to recite the 13 original colonies on the way to the doctors office, but failed :-)  Kidding again.  I would have been so proud of her if she would have just grunted and pointed the whole time because she really controlled herself from slipping into a tantrum and from yelling--and that's really all I hoped for.

AND over to the topic of running....

I finally broke down and got my new running shoes.  I absolutely loathe spending money on myself until I absolutely have to...and my feet were telling me that I HAD to have new shoes.  I was a few weeks past the 400 mile mark and knew it.  So I went to and ordered my new Nike Skylons...I made a switch from the previous shoe because it felt a little too heavy to be dragging around for 26.2 miles and up hills.  I LOVE them!  They are super responsive and fit like a glove--and they weigh only 8oz .  I'll be interested to see how they do when I start speed work in the next few weeks (YAY-I only have three more weeks of hard hills left until I "graduate") and how they hold up after 200 miles.

Last night I had my first time run with Amy, my neighbor--who is more competitive than me--if you can believe it!  Needless to say, she was afraid I'd think she was slow as I let her set the pace (she hadn't run more than 3.5 miles in two or three years) she set a somewhat fast pace for 5.5 miles.  I honestly thought she'd wear herself out by 3 miles, but oh no!  At our 4th mile I got a call from my hubby that Layla was awake and sort of we literally sprinted the last mile so that I could get home quickly.  We finished 5.5 miles running roughly 8 minute miles--a little less.  SO I am planning to take Tuesday off in order to rest up for Wednesday's hills.  I'm actually not supposed to be doing any faster stuff until I get the all clear from I better rest up for Wednesday--otherwise, I'll get the same talk about doing too much too fast :-)  And I'll disappoint dad for not listening (even though the pace for this particular run was not my doing)...and that's the worst!

Dad and I have scaled back our long runs the past two weeks to 14.5 and 16.5.  We'll pick up mileage again this week as we work our way to 26.2 in 3hr 39 minutes.  We're almost there guys!  Neil and I drove to Charlotte on Saturday to spend some time together for our anniversary and I was able to see some of the route I'll be running in December.  I got so excited and nervous!  It feels so great to be competing in something again.  I've missed that side of me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lessons learned

wow--so much to talk about since last I posted :-) is mine and Neil's 4 year anniversary!  Each year at this time, I am always amazed at what God has done in our lives--how He manages to do so much in one little year is beyond my comprehension.  It does remind me not to focus too much on daily bumps in the road because I get to see a small snapshot of what can be done in a year--and can't even imagine a lifetime.

I'm also reminded of how blessed I am to call the most amazing man in the world my husband.  I should remind myself of this more frequently--and I am making a promise to do so this year.  I guess I should sum it all up by saying that my Neil William is a man who has allowed me to wholly admire, respect and honor him without any fear.  And, if you ask me...that's pretty BIG.

SECOND...never--NEVER NEVER NEVER will I again attempt to take a single dose of any medicine while tending to a 1 1/2 year old who is cranky and needy.  I was in desperate need of Tylenol yesterday evening and reached for the bottle, grabbed two...swallowed them and then proceeded to slip into my "running gear".  As I was leaving the house, I told Neil that I felt kind of funny--just a little jittery or something.  I drove to meet my dad to do our weekly hill repeats and felt really strange the entire way there.  I told dad I was feeling really weird--secretly hoping he'd take it easy on me.  Not a chance...he said a couple of hills would knock it out of me...he was right...except not in  a good way (I had to pull over to throw up on the way home..YUCK).  We proceeded to add two more hill repeats to our repertoire.  By the seventh repeat I was really feeling beyond yucky.  I think I swallowed puke at least twice--my fingers were sort of tingly and all I wanted to do was sleep.  Despite the puke breath and tingly fingers, I finished really strong and I was proud that I made it through.

Once I got home, I went to the medicine cabinet to inspect my bottle of Tylenol.  Ummm was Tylenol PM...that's right...TYLENOL PM!!!  No wonder I had to stop and throw up on my way home from running. Yikes!  I have three different bottles of Tylenol--each looks identical except the PM has blue on it.  You don't really see a small strip of blue when you're focus is on your fussy child, that's for sure.  Thank God (really) that I didn't take four!  

Classes started back.  Most of you probably know that I teach Political Science at the local community college.  This semester my class size increased by 40%...there's only one empty seat!  And all of my students seem really eager--and quite a few of them are very passionate.  So, I am super excited to see how this semester takes shape.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We're back...

Whew...back from our final vacation of the summer!  We had such a great time enjoying the beach with Neil's family.  I enjoyed some time with my hubby kayaking at sunset, enjoyed twice daily showers with my very sandy Layla An, and finally got to spend some time with Neil's mom, who is so much fun for me to be around (oddly enough, she reminds me a lot of my dad in some ways??  strange).  And Layla got some of the best compliments this week...ones that made me so proud of her.  She was complimented on her gentle spirit, her ability to share her toys without even a word and her easy going attitude (she was happy and content everywhere she went).   

Oh and I grumpily (if that's even a word?) ran every morning--between 5-7 miles.  If anyone has ever run at a North or South Carolina beach, you know exactly why I say "grumpily".  It was a long flat stretch of highway--in fact, the only highway on Hatteras Island, I believe.  So you can imagine running with transfer trucks, fishing trucks, and some pretty nasty northerners whizzing by and add to that FLAT FLAT FLAT roads.  My legs were aching by Thursday evening for sure.  And I also--being slightly out of it when I left for the beach the morning after my long night run--forgot my (1) running skirt (2) sports bra (3) SOCKS.  So, all week in old cheerleading shorts, Neil's mom's socks and a normal bra--YUCK.  I do have a whole new appreciation for fabric that wicks away moisture :-)

So last night when I put Layla down for bed, I darted down the st
eps and went straight for my running shoes.  I was beyond excited to get out and get my feet back under me.  I enjoyed a very nice and quiet run with small but WONDERFUL hills --YAY!   And then dad and I hit the road early this morning to do a short 14.5 mile run....AMAZING!  

I'll be posting some beach pictures soon...none of mine were any good so I'm holding out for ones that Neil's sister or dad took :-)  Until then, here are some adorable little pictures of Layla playing in her new tutu.  I finally got it in the mail while we were away on vacation...she LOVES it.  We almost had to put her to bed in her "dancing costume".  

Saturday, August 9, 2008


We made and I pounded pavement last night for 3 h 15m!  WOW...

It definitely put me out of my comfort zone.  As you all probably know, we normally run on Saturday mornings; however, I'm leaving for the beach with Neil's family today (YAY) and wanted to get a really REALLY good long run in before leaving.  

Running at night was COMPLETELY amazing!  There was a stretch of road where, thankfully, there were white lines--otherwise we would have been unable to see where we were going.  It was complete solitude.  Dad and I didn't say much on that stretch--just listened to the rhythm of our breath and our feet.  WOW!  Have I already said it was amazing?  And after running in the NC heat for months, it was nice to have a break.  I barely even sweat last night..strange!

I did learn a few things...

(1) I do really great at mile 18...yep..that's and I started running (as I quote him) like our "rears were on fire" at about 18 miles and it felt great.   Our last two miles were literally the fastest two miles that I've ever ran.  I kept waiting to hit the o-so-fabulous wall, but it never happened...YAY!
(2) My stomach can really hold some Gu.  I opted for two packets last night and other than a slightly rumbly tummy, I was fine.  Whew, glad that's out of the way!
(3) Neil was told by his manager (my hubby is a wonderful musician...see Dillon James) that he needs to seriously consider moving to Nashville.  ICK!  That big and scary opportunity didn't seem so big and scary after mulling it over AND over in my head for 2+ hours.  This morning it does...but last night it didn't...HA.  Looks like I'm going to be putting in some major miles the next few weeks just to think.  Um, guys liked how I snuck that little tid-bit-of information in there?  Sorry Tasha...Beth...Tiff...I should have probably made a phone call first :-D
(3)  Running that late at night means sleep is not really possible.  I was riding a huge roller coaster of endorphins when I had to climb into the shower and then to bed.  My sweet little husband was so kind to wake up and ask me about my run.  I feel asleep pretty quickly, only to roll over and feel like my joints were about to explode.  So I crawled out of bed (ouch) and walked around the house for a while, felt better, went to sleep...woke up hours later THIRSTY! I am...6:30am and ready to head out for a quick run.  And boy, I am so excited!

I'll try to post something while I'm away on vacation...but it all depends on whether or not we have wireless. here's a quick picture of my sweet little Layla I know I've said before, she loves listening to Etta James and Stevie Ray Vaughn (uhhh ohhh we are in trouble!) on Neil's i pod.  So here's a picture of her with "her" ipod.  Notice the shoes...she put them on all by herself!  Wrong feet...but wonderful accomplishment!  I was--am--so proud of her!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hills...part 2 and feeling the blues...

So, we had hills again and I.  I really think he HAS to get something out of hearing his much younger daughter behind him breathing heavily and commenting that I believe my heart is giving out while he's totally moving in a controlled, easy manor. 

 My imagination never ceases to amaze me.  Today I told dad that I thought my blood was pooling...probably wasn't...but I was convinced of it on that last hill.  Fortunately, I am stubborn (if that's the correct word) enough to keep going and pushing harder.  I just told my mind to leave my body alone and let it do its work for at least 20 more minutes.  After which, I agreed to let my mind scold my body for what it just did.  Interesting, that mind and body split :-)  Is this running thing making my crazy?  Nah...can't be that..maybe just more aware?  Oh, but I was just reminded, mental patients don't really know they are "mental", right?  

All in all, the hill repeats went really well today.  We increased them by two repeats, which surprised me that today seemed easier than last week.  I should correct that...mentally easier than last week.  I guess I was just more prepared for what was going to happen.  I am really starting to enjoy pushing myself..

On another note, I was doing laundry after Layla went down for her nap and as I was hanging up Neil's work shirts, I noticed he wore his J Crew blue polo shirt the other day.  I guess what made me stop and pause is that THE blue shirt, above ALL other work shirts, is my most favorite.  I think the color looks nice on him and the fabric is SO SO soft.  I was shocked and disappointed that a morning and afternoon went by without me even noticing him in my favorite shirt.  I feel terrible.  I'm going to apologize to my sweet little husband first thing this afternoon.   I think I must have neglected him that day...awwh man and that feels awful to say!  How does life get so busy!?

Poor Neil...poor blue shirt.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Knock knock knockin

Dad and I are knocking on the door of mile number 18!  Today we spent 2:50 minutes on our feet, pounding pavement.  Today, my hips and feet felt that 2:50--which is a good thing, I think?  I was tired at the end of the run, but I still had just enough in me to pick up the pace and finish strong.  Dad and I actually picked up our pace during the middle of the run today as well, so that was a nice little change for my legs.

What did I learn today?  Today dad and I talked very little about running, but I did use that time to talk to him about some of my "me junk".  The past couple of days, I was in a sort of funk with my job.  My job satisfaction level was kind of low...and being human, I wanted to blame it on anyone but me.  I had a very REAL realization that I was being sort of selfish (okay really selfish) and lost my focus quite a bit.  I really need to work on disciplining myself to keep in mind that no matter what I'm doing during my day with my sweet little Layla, I'm doing each and every (sometimes mundane...sometimes exhausting) chore for God...and not for a "thank you" or "you're doing a great job".   Aghhh..but is is SO much fun to be selfish and whiny from time to time.  HA!  

So dad listened and reiterated what I great friend Anna is to me.   She more than listened to my whininess this week...she encouraged me and that means the WORLD!  And he reminded me of the importance of keeping my heart in a Godward orientation...easier said than done sometimes.

Okay okay the run...
The last two miles were not very easy.  We decided to plant more sports drink at mile 12 and not just at mile 6.  Believe me, the potassium cramp in my rear and my calf at mile 16 reminded me of how important fluids are.  I'm actually thinking of trying some Nuun next week?  We'll see.  I did do the Gu Roctane at mile 9 or 10 (thanks Cindy) and the blueberry was really not so bad.  

Well, I'm off--with a very happy heart, actually--to make a cake for tonight--yeah...I don't know how I get myself into these things.  I decided today would be perfect for making a cake, doing laundry and changing sheets.  Probably would have been a better day for a little nap.  ANYWAY,  we get the pleasure of  FINALLY meeting the guy who has stolen Neil's sister's heart (okay so maybe he didn't really steal it...I'm thinking maybe she's giving it willingly) ;-)  So exciting!  And tomorrow I'm having my recovery run with Toddy.  Her and her husband are coming over for a run and ice cream--so much to look forward to this weekend for sure!

Friday, August 1, 2008

6 Random Things about Little Ol' Me

Okay...I was tagged by Michelle to do this goes.  By the way, the this post took up Layla's entire nap time today thankyouverymuch!  I did manage to get laundry done and my core exercises as well--in between trying to come up with interesting things about me 

(1)  I am deathly afraid of birds--every kind (even water fowl).  I think this must have started when I was little.  As a child, I was flogged by a duck and a goose.  I don't really recommend trying to pick up a baby goose or duck while the mother is around.  I'm just saying.

(2)  I am a people pleaser with a GIGANTIC rebellious streak.  Now, someone please explain that to me?  I am a walking contradiction.  My father is the same I blame him :-)  Thanks dad!  So, if you want to know how to get to me...just act disappointed and I'll cave in a heartbeat.  Or, you could deny me chewing gum and I'll probably give up in a matter of hours.  As for my rebellious streak, please don't ever offer me unsolicited advice because I'll probably do the opposite.  I don't like rules--especially silly corporate/organizational rules.  I tend to dance right along on the edge of breaking the rules--I actually think I get some sort of excitement out of seeing how far I can bend them.  Neil is the same way...we may have an interesting time with Layla :-)  

(3)  I am a perfectionist who is anything BUT organized.  I think that makes me a SUPER perfectionist.  This is my argument...My closet is a papers are car is messy...and do you want to know why such a perfectionist would have such messy stuff.  WELL, the thought of having to clean my closet to the level that I would find satisfactory makes me completely stressed out--it would take me hours...days even...the same with my papers and my car.  I know there has got to be someone out there that is the same way.  Again, I'd like to thank my dad for this little personality quirk.

(4)  I adore old people.  I want to kiss on them and squeeze them.  I like to hear their stories.   And if I were 5 and didn't have a clue as to appropriate behavior, I'd probably like to squish their over sized noses.  When I was in middle school, I wanted to work at a nursing home until some old lady at the local nursing home tried to run over me with her wheelchair because I told her that her fingernails looked nice.  (Natasha, Beth, Tiffanie and guys probably know EXACTLY who I am talking about here---circa 1991 GA trips to Britthaven).

(5)  I would be as happy as a June bug if Neil and I had acres and acres of land...lived in a white farm house with a old screen door that squeaked and creaked with kids running in and out of the kitchen--five of them.  I want a big oak tree in the back yard with a tire swing.  Someday...maybe.

(6) Aghhh...this may get me in trouble...but oh goes.  Uber liberal women...especially the femi-nazi type really get under my skin.  I want to slap a string of pearls around their neck and put them in an apron or something.  Is it just me, or do these women seem hardened, joyless and cynical.  They confuse the heck out of me--those femi-nazi ones.  Why shouldn't a female rejoice in being feminine...wear a stinking skirt to run in if you want....respect your husband...know that choosing to stay at home and be a mommy is a respectable career move.

So now that I've probably alienated half of my readers :-)
I one.  Although, I'd like to see random things about some of you guys...but no obligation (Natasha, Anna, Beth, Matt).  Does that qualify as a tag?  HA!  Seriously...only if you guys have time.