Monday, August 31, 2009

Push-up Challenge

My gym (Anytime Fitness) is one of those gyms where I know the owner really well and chat with her on a regular basis. I'm not the only one either - she seems to know each of us members and is involved in our lives. Shoot, she's even given me advice on men before. She does what she can to give inspiration to her gym members to keep them motivated and to make things fun. Recently she announced the beginning on the Anytime Fitness Push-up Challenge. I'm not sure if it is a franchise wide event or if she is only doing it at her clubs but when my trainer Shaune found out about it she told all of us that we have to participate. The challenge is this - go from wherever you are in your push-up abilities to doing 100 push-ups by October 31st. I was out of town when the program was released to the members and didn't run into Jen to get it until toward the end of the week last week so I'm starting the program today. I can fairly easily do 15 push-ups now. I probably could do 20 if I really tried. It's not a bad start but I still have a ways to go in only 2 months.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. If your interested in doing the program along with me let me know and I'll send you the weekly workouts. It's three days a week so nothing that isn't totally "doable".

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Friday

Moving on from the dreary posts of yesterday (ick - get OUTTA that funk):

Juli and I were at the baseball game together last night and we got to talking about why sports are so fun. We realized there is nowhere else in life when you get to just outright cheer for something or someone.

I decided this ought to change. Today I have cheered for myself for:

1) Excellent laundry folding
2) A quick and efficient shower
3) A beyond stellar parking job
4) A well written email

Yes - that strange cheering you hear from Mill Creek is just me enjoying my own greatness.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I’m not really a “heady” person. I’m not a brooding artist – although music makes a big impact on me as you know if you’ve read my blog long enough. I don’t sit around all day and contemplate the meaning of life.

I like sports. I like mindless romantic comedies. I like laughing at the stupid stuff. I’m a glass is half full kind of girl.

But when I get hurt by people in whatever capacity they are in my life I get stuck. I don’t know why. I think it’s because I don’t expect it. I always go into relationships expecting the best. Expecting joy not pain. I was severely disappointed by a friend yesterday and I’ve been pouting about it since then. I say pouting because I realize disappointment is part of life and I’m being childish but my heart hurts. (stomps foot) I had let down my guard as far as beginning to trust this person and it turns out my trust was placed inaccurately. They hurt me anyway.

I've been feeling a bit (a lot) invisible lately and this situation with my friend hasn’t helped that matter. It seems that the people I really want to SEE me and KNOW me frankly don’t. It leaves me feeling a bit insignificant. That feeling really hit me last night when four cars in about a 15 mile distance almost pulled into me merging into lanes on the highway. It was like people I love didn’t see me, strangers didn’t see me – I felt insignificant and invisible.

As I was driving to Rotary this afternoon I was thinking about the situation and the hurt I was feeling. I was praying about it but feeling like that wasn’t really helping – sort of the “falling on deaf ears” scenario – when the song I Know You’re There by Casting Crowns came on the CD I was listening to. Without thinking about it I started singing along.

The chorus went through once and caught my attention. When it came through again I stopped singing and realized God really was listening and that I needed to place my trust in him because he would never prove to be unworthy. The chorus of the song goes like this:

'cause I, I know You're there, I know You see me
You're the air I breathe
You are the ground beneath me
I know You're there, I know You hear me
I can find You anywhere

It was of some solace that while my pain wasn’t gone, and my sadness didn’t immediately dissipate, I knew God heard and that he had gone through far worse than what I was going through and all for my benefit. My situation doesn’t benefit God at all, other than the fact I think my being happy makes God happy, and yet I realized he was there for me, loving me, listening to me.

The pain eventually subsides again. Eventually. I continue to hope the amount of times this sort of situation arises in my life won’t be enough to make me lose faith and trust in mankind completely. Through it all though I’m lucky to have a personal relationship with a creator who loves me, even in my weak and doubting, pain filled moments. He hears my crying.

From Rick Warren's Daily Devotional

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 LB).

Even as you make a decision to follow the dream God places in your heart, you can expect a delay. God will not fulfill your dream immediately because this is another step toward building your faith.

In Habakkuk 2, God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.”

In this step of faith-building you will most likely start asking the question, “When, Lord? When are You going to answer my prayer?”

And we hate to wait. We don’t like to wait in a doctor’s office, or in traffic jams, or at restaurants, or for Christmas presents, or for anything else. But what we hate worst of all is waiting on God.

Have you ever been in a hurry when God wasn’t? It’s so irritating! You’re ready, but God isn’t. God wants to work on you before He works on the project. Every believer must go through the University of Learning to Wait (ULW). Some of us are still working on our degrees from ULW!

• Noah waited 120 years from the time he started building the ark until it began to rain.
• Abraham was told he would be the father of a great nation and didn’t have a child until he was 99.
• God told Moses he would be the leader to lead his people out of 400 years of slavery, but then made him wait in the desert 40 years.
• Joseph spent years in prison before God raised him up and he became the ruler God wanted him to be.
• God had David anointed as king, but then David waited for years until he actually got to be king.

We all have to go through these waiting periods. Even Jesus waited for 30 years in the carpenter’s shop before setting out on his public ministry.

Why do we wait? It teaches us to trust in God. We learn that His timing is perfect. One of the facts we have to learn is this: God’s delay never destroys His purpose.

A delay is not a denial. Children must learn the difference between “no” and “not yet,” and so must we. Many times we think God is saying, “No,” but He is saying, “Not yet.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

Me on vacation

Vacation and I sometimes fight. It started three years ago when Adrienne, Erica and I went to Maui. I threw up all over the island for the first 24 hours. Then in Hawaii last year I picked up some bacteria. We won't go into details on that one. I threw up in both Colorado and California earlier this year. I'm not usually someone who pukes so I don't really know where that has come from. It seems that my body rejects the idea of relaxation or something - at least that's the theory. So heading into my week off at the lake (pictures and more details to come) I figured I would have at least some type of physical reaction to the whole thing. Thankfully I didn't but it is funny to look back and see what it took to unwind.

Saturday: Get up early. Work out with Shaune. Run around like a chicken with no head. Drive six hours to Hayden, ID.
Sunday: Get up early. Go for a long hilly run before breakfast. Think about reading a book. Sit long enough to read two chapters. Check my cell phone about 60 times. Spend some time in the lake. Fish. Watch a movie but jiggle leg as I do so.
Monday: Get up a little later. Lay in bed and read for a while. Sit in the sun for a while. Swim. Take Keith into town. Go to the gym. Come back. Play with Kelly. Crack a beer. Drink it at the beach. Crack a second beer. Drink it. Stay up too late watching a movie.
Tuesday: Sleep in a bit later. Go fishing. Spend the rest of the day in the water. Read 4 magazines. Consider running during the day but decide to wait until after dinner. Go for a run too soon after dinner. Almost vomit on the road. Come back. Go to bed at 8:30. Sleep more than twelve hours.
Wednesday: Sleep in. Spend the day in the lake. Decide to swim instead of run. Finish book 1.
Thursday: Sleep in. Decide running is for the birds. Take the dog for a walk instead. Finish book 2.
Friday: Sleep in. Make breakfast for the family. Hardly move from the sun all day.
Saturday: Sleep in. Mope about having to leave the lake. Decide to go to the gym in town. Decide not to go to the gym in town. Shop with Jessy instead.
Sunday: Plan to leave mom and dad's at 8:00 am. Get out of bed at 8:00am instead. Leave around noon. Decide to go to church. Decide not to go to church. Decide to work in the garage for a while. Decide not to work in the garage for a while. Finish book 3.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Soundtrack for my life (today)

A year ago I created a "playlist" that fit my life at that time. I thought maybe I should do it again and see where I am now in comparison to then. Here goes:

1. The More Boys I Meet - Carrie Underwood
2. Ooh Oh - Keri Noble
3. Everything Glorious - David Crowder Band
4. I'm Alive - Kenny Chesney
5. Single - Natasha Bedingfield
6. White Horse - Taylor Swift
7. Facedown - Matt Redman
8. Oh Love - Brad Paisley
9. You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift
10. Silent Movie - Natasha Bedingfield
11. Life #9 - Keri Noble
12. Shake Me Like a Monkey - Dave Matthews Band

Interesting - it's a bit conflicted.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A weekend that is good for your soul

I had a tough week last week. Coming back to reality after Grandpa's funeral and realizing that reality didn't include him anymore was far more difficult than I expected. I tend to be a bit of an avoider when it comes to unpleasant things. I think I've taught myself overtime how to ignore sadness around me. A perfect example of that was with the 9/11 NYC attacks. I was one of very few people who didn't sit by the TV and watch and stay tuned to the radio at all times for the next however many weeks after it happened. Instead, I turned off the radio, gathered newspaper articles for a time when I might want to read them and went about my life. I'm not saying this is the right way to deal with sadness but it is my coping mechanism and is what it is for me. It was the same way with Grandpa. I didn't think about losing him until I had to. It's easy to get stuck in grief and I did a pretty good job of doing that last week so this past weekend I decided it was time to shake of the cobwebs and enjoy my weekend celebrating life instead which is what grandpa would have wanted anyway.

I went to Brian and Suzannah's house for a house warming/bday party on Friday. It was great to see so many good friends. Brian and Suzannah's house is great. They have an INCREDIBLE yard that Moxie and Cinnamon went crazy running around in and have officially moved into my "neighborhood". I look forward to many warm evenings at their house.

On Saturday morning I got up and loaded the Volvo with my camping gear (not an easy feat for someone used to using an SUV for camping trips - but Babe is broken) and the dog and we headed over to Moxee, WA. Moxee is a small town only a few miles south east of Yakima. I had never been to Yakima which is a bit silly and I wanted to take Moxie to Moxee. Everyone talks about Yakima not being a nice town but I thought it was really nice. I did a lot of driving around and looking at places and I found numerous hidden spots that I found myself thinking I could frequent.

In researching Moxee, WA when I decided to name Moxie after it I learned it is one of the top Hops producing towns in the world. They hold a Hops Festival the first Friday and Saturday of August every year so I thought it would be a good excuse to head over and check it out. The Hops plants were amazing to see. The town itself is hemmed in by the plants that are about the height of a two story home. At first I couldn't figure out what they were which is a bit silly but they are sort of surprising to see.

After spending a few hours at the festival we went and set up camp at the State Park in Moxee. It was the first time I had ever camped by myself but I had some planning to do for Bible study this week because I was leading and it seemed like some good quiet time to spend with God. I thought it might be a bit scary but it was a crowded campground with very friendly people and a very attentive Park Ranger so I didn't worry about it. Turns out the Park Ranger wasn't actually a nice protective Park Ranger but instead a creepy stalker I'm asking you out for drinks Park Ranger but I didn't know that until the next day so it was all good.

I got to spend my quiet time with God focused on waiting on his timing/call and Moxie and I had fun hiking along the dyke next to the Yakima River and avoiding the skunks that kept coming through our campsite. After the incident with the park ranger on Sunday morning I quickly packed up camp and headed home.

I got home early enough that I was able to go watch a friend play baseball. It's something I've done a few times this summer and each time it has been a highlight of that day or weekend or even week sometimes. He's a good guy, someone I'm happy to have in my life, and I enjoy being able to cheer him on at something he loves to do. It's sort of like how I enjoy doing that for Pete and Steve too. There is something in my nature that gets joy out of supporting the people around me. After the game we went to Dairy Queen with his parents and another friend of his and were there for a few hours. It was nice to have the social time after a day of solitary time. God clearly made us for fellowship.

On Monday (which isn't really the weekend obviously but I have to document this) I met up with a friend of mine that I have known since grade school days. We met at summer camp and would renew our friendship every summer. We both worked the whole summer at camp in 2000 and our friendship has been a comfortable one since then. We see each other about once a year, despite our best efforts, but each time I see him I go away with joy in my heart. He is a FUNNY guy and because of that I'm funny as well which makes me feel good. We went to a Mariner's game. My seats are great seats thanks to Uncle Kit. I never complain about them. This time however, Chris had some friends who were sitting in the second row in the same section as us. Second row vs. seventeenth row is quite a difference. About the 6th inning the guys made two seats open up and had us come down to join them. I never in a million years would have thought I would sit second row at Safeco field. It was sort of like I was in this weird dream. I know it seems silly but you have to remember - I started going to games in the Kingdome with my great grandpa when I was a kid. We always sat upper deck and I would pray that I would get picked to go down on the field when everyone else got injured. As long as I can remember I've loved the Mariners. It's as much a part of me as anything else. It's definitely how I've held on to the special relationship I had with Grandpa James since he passed away. I think about him every time I walk into Safeco Field and think about how much he would have loved to have seen a game there.

I remember cheering for Ken Griffey Jr with Grandpa when he first started playing with the Mariners. When Chris and I first sat down in the second row Griffey was at the top of the dug out steps and he turned around and looked in our direction. I've always told myself if I was in a situation where I could meet the players again I would act "cool". When I met Dan Wilson I couldn't talk and when I met Freddy Garcia I was a smarta**. I had determined with myself that I would be somewhere in between those extremes if I ever had an opportunity again. So when Griffey and I made eye contact I put my hand up and waved to him - not really what I would have planned but whatever - and he nodded at me. I turned to Chris and must have had the funniest expression on my face because he started laughing and asked what was going on. I told him and the other guys that Griffey had nodded at me and they all started cheering and high-fiving me. Then of course I freaked out, took Chris by the shoulders and shook him telling him - KEN GRIFFEY JR NODDED AT ME!!!!!! I became the lame fan again but you know what, I'm ok with that. We got to hear Ichiro talk, in perfect English mind you, to Mark Lowe about his performance and I was "this close" to Russel Branyon who doesn't know it but is going to marry me someday. It is a night I won't forget.

After a week where I was mired down in mourning my weekend gave me a quick jolt into the reality of joy and hope. I'm looking forward to a week at Hayden Lake with my family next week and coming back rested and ready to finish up the summer strong. Isn't life remarkable?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Dr. Jack Fowler January 31, 1922 - July 27, 2009

My grandfather passed away a little over a week ago. It didn't really hit me until I was in Spokane for the funeral earlier this week. My cousin Joe and I kept saying that we expected him to come out of the living room from taking a nap on the couch to bark at us "kids". Deb and I both agreed the best term for him was feisty. (both his bark and his feistyness were good things) He was my dad's step dad. He and my grandma got married when my dad was in high school and were married for 43 years. I will always remember him for his habit of eating his napkin at the end of a meal and the time in high school when my friend Kristen and I went to visit him and grandma and we were eating spaghetti. I looked over at grandpa and he had a mouth full of noodles hanging out of his mouth. I started to giggle and grandma, who is ever so proper, gave him the stink eye. He immediately put the noodles in his hand and ate them from there - with his hand over his mouth. He had a dry sense of humor that was right up my alley and I think tried to act more gruff than he ever was. He had three biological kids and three step kids, twelve grand kids and twelve great grand kids.

I didn't realize how much I would miss him until this week.

From the Spokesman Review:

Jack Fowler put inspiration to work
Flying dentist who envisioned ski area dies at 87

Where some might have seen a long commute to work, Fowler saw a chance to fly one of his beloved classic biplanes. Where some might have seen hazard, flying into the Guatemalan jungle, Fowler saw a chance to help people with no dental care.

And in 1960, where many people had seen a mountain basin above Sandpoint, Fowler saw the perfect spot for a ski resort. Almost half a century later, the little ski area he helped establish – Schweitzer Mountain Resort – has become a regional landmark and one of the country’s top ski destinations.

“He just always had a new thought,” said Debbie Huestis, Fowler’s stepdaughter. “He was such a visionary, and he would apply the passions of his life – whether it was skiing or flying or dentistry – to make that happen.”

Fowler, 87, died early Monday, surrounded by family and loved ones at his home near Marshall. He died two weeks after being diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer that had spread through his body, Huestis said.

His family remembered him as a man with a hunger for adventure and a desire to help others, a practical man who worked constantly and deflected attention.

“He had absolutely no ego,” said his wife, Dorothy Fowler, 83. “He would be the first one to correct you if you started bragging about him.”

The story of Fowler’s inspiration to create Schweitzer has become a part of the ski hill’s lore and was recounted in the book, “Looking Back on Schweitzer.”

Driving back with his family from a miserable ski trip to Montana one day in 1960, Fowler stopped in Hope, Idaho, for a break. There, rising above Sandpoint, was a snow-packed mountain basin – the ideal place, he thought, for a ski hill a little closer to home.

For three years, he worked with others to promote the idea and raise money. The hill opened in 1963, with a single chairlift and a rope tow. He later sold his stock in the ski hill, though he returned with his family often – most recently in January.

Schweitzer is now owned by Harbor Properties Inc., and it includes a lodge village, 2,900 acres of terrain and 10 lifts, and is regularly included on lists of the best destination resorts.

“He just couldn’t believe it; he never envisioned it being that huge,” Dorothy Fowler said. “He’d just scratch his head. … The thing that amazed him is people building million-dollar homes up there.”

Born on a farm south of Spokane in 1922, Fowler went to military dental school, served in the Air Force and opened a dentistry practice in the Spokane Valley in 1949. He became a pilot in 1960, and flying – along with building and restoring airplanes – became one of his life’s passions.

He frequently flew between his office near Felts Field and the family home near Marshall. “They ended up calling him the flying dentist,” Huestis said.

He rebuilt nine planes and built one for his wife, who became a pilot the year after they married in 1966. During the 1970s, they flew to Guatemala frequently to perform dentistry for people without access to medical care.

Fowler encouraged and supported his wife’s sculpture – and she’s become widely known for her work in bronze. Her sculpture of Spokane native Michael Anderson, who died in the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia, stands near the Spokane Convention Center.

“They were such an inseparable team with every single aspect of their life,” Huestis said. “It was never just one person accomplishing something. It was always both of them.”

Jack and Dorothy Fowler had six children, 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

“He always loved a challenge,” his wife said. “He’d get things done. There was no ‘no’ in anything.”