My Running Girls

I don't think my anyone would call me FAST these days. But I run a lot, and I've done it for a long time. I met my "running girls" training for the 2003 Portland Marathon. We don't see each other a ton outside of running. I know this because when I see Raelee with mascara on, KP with her hair down, or Cristina in heels I do a double take. But put 'em in shorts, turn 'em around, and I could pick their rears out of a line up of booties.

Here we are after 20 miles of running...
Even though the majority of time we're together we're in sports bras and haven't showered yet for the day, I love my time with these ladies! When you're running for an hour or three you get to know one another fast and well. Here are 20 ways to know you've found a running girl...
1. Running girls don't tell you (when you show up yawning at 6:30 am on a Saturday) that you have a crooked pony tail and last night's mascara smudged under your eyes. Because they know you already know.
2. If you stop mid-sentence while you're running up a steep incline, they don't think twice. They know you'll continue as soon as you catch your breath. Same goes for conversation under the east side of the morrison bridge- conversation pauses and then resumes as the din of traffic dies down.
3. Running girls will share their water with you at mile 8 and don't expect you to take the lid off. Maybe wipe off your mouth boogers, but you're welcome to share their lid.
4. You stay in touch during the week but if a particularly exciting/juicy thing happens, running girls collectively agree to save that story for the long run on Saturday.
5. If you're trail running and terrified of stepping on a snake, one girl will help you keep an eye out for them and one will yell "SNAAAAKE!" here & there just to watch you scream.
6. Conversation usually covers all topics, taboo & otherwise. Most often in this order:
miles 1-3= catch up on recent events (what did you do last night?)***though this conversation is entirely trumped by any traumatic event that happened during the week (break ups, marriage proposals, etc.) if such a thing occured
miles 4-6= what are you doing the rest of the weekend? what's going on with your family?
miles 7-10= one or more of the following: sex, politics, religion
miles 11+= what are you hungry for, and what hurts?
7. Even after 8 years of running up to the Leif trail head from various locations in the pearl, no one can agree on how far it is.
8. If life's got you down and you start to cry on a run, this will happen: You'll hear the simultaneous BEEP of stopwatches pausing. Feet will come to a halt. Arms will wrap around you, and if you're lucky, someone will come up with a wad of TP to wipe away your tears. This is especially kind because if someone's carrying TP on a long run, they probably had other uses for it in mind besides wiping away your tears. THAT's how loving they are.
9. A solid 2-3 miles can be spent debating the relative merits of goo, sports beans, clif shots & the like.
10. If one of your girls leaves for 2 years to chase a european dream, you'll miss her like crazy. You'll celebrate with her when she departs to live her dream, but you'll celebrate way more when she finally moves back home!
11. You used to spend Saturday morning runs talking about how little sleep you got because of your wild & crazy Friday nights. Now you spend the time talking about how many times the kids woke you up.
12. If you're looking for your running girls amidst the chaos of the St. Patrick's day run, feeling frazzled and wrecked because your mom had a stroke that week, when you finally spot them you'll make eye contact and start to cry. They will hurry across the street and hug the heck out of you. They'll offer to come pull weeds in you momma's yard - and mean it.
13. If one you get fat with child, running girls will tell you that your ass still looks small & when you're done being pregnant, they'll start running with you again -even though you can't go very far or very fast.
14. Sometimes you buy your running girl's starbucks. And sometimes she buys yours. And whoever orders knows to also ask for: two cups of water, please.
15.When you're in a portapotty a running girl will give you a 15 feet of privacy.
16. If you trip and fall while running, and snot comes shooting out of your nose and your bare ass gets exposed because your spandex got caught on asphalt, a running girl will make sure you're ok before she starts laughing.
17. If you meet early in the morning to run, and show up with a box knife for protection, a running girl will recognize how clever this is.
18. A running girl will say to you once every 4-6 weeks: You're looking great! Are you losing weight?
19. If a girl's sweet daddy dies, running girls will show up to give her hugs and share her tears of grief.
20. If a girl gives birth to a sweet baby, running girls will show up to hold him and share her tears of joy.

That's what running girls are about.


Hell Hath No Fury...

...like the wrath of a mom whose child has just been woken by a dog barking at a knocking solicitor.

Grrr. Maybe I need a "no soliciting" sign. I just think they look so unwelcoming though. I was a girl scout once. I know what those signs mean. They mean: crotchety old people live here and even though you just hiked up two flights of uneven broken concrete stairs and through 3 cobwebs, we will not only NOT buy your stupid cookies, but we're not even gonna let you practice your sales pitch. GO HOME GIRL SCOUT.

Anyhow, the problem isn't so much the knock, it's that IF the dog (not the most discerning fellow to begin with) so much as suspects someone outside (creepy man, annoying sales guy, stray cat, errant squirrel, self reflection in the glass) is approaching the door, he loses it. COMES UNGLUED. Woe be it to anyone in his path. Sometimes I worry he'll fly through the front window glass! It remains untested just what he'd do to the person on the other side, but I suspect it would not be as much as that pesky paper man deserved on Saturday.

Picture this. You just ran 20 miles. With an elevation climb of over 1200 feet in total. It sounds like I'm making this up but I promise I'm not. I'm marathon training. Anyhow, you come home. Then go shower at your in-laws because your shower is not quite ready for use. Still. After 5 weeks. Ok, enough of that- it deserves it's own blog post. You love on your baby girl, then you put her to bed. Your husband has vacated the premises. You're sights are set on your book & bed, and a few blissful, heavenly hours of sleep. Then comes the knock. Intrusive. Unwelcomed. Simultaneously the dog levitates from a deep sleep on the couch, rips the cord out of both the laptop & the wall socket, and sounds the all dogs alert...right at the window outside your daughter's door.

I had half a mind to "let the dogs out" so to speak, but instead I made a great production of looking to be restraining a vicious attack dog & opened the door, scowling in such a way as to make a "no soliciting" sign look like a welcome mat by comparison. The guy steps back at Rucker's lunging advances, which makes me feel 1% better. I said, (still dramatically faking an attempt to hold back Rucker) THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME FOR ME. IS THIS AN EMERGENCY? He said, "Well, no..." I said: WHO ARE YOU WITH? He said: The Oregonian.

That was the nail in his coffin.

I said: I'M SORRY, I CANNOT TALK TO YOU. IT'S NOT A GOOD TIME. And with that, I closed the door. In his face. And then after the dog settled, I listened...and realized Jo was still sleeping. How she slept through that I'm not sure. I thankfully tip toed to bed for a nap.

After my nap, I awoke to find THIS in my front yard:
Don't get me wrong. I know where I live. I live in Milwaukie. As shown clearly in this photo, we don't mow the lawn as often as we should, we have weeds, and quite obviously I have an aversion to picking the paper up off the ground in a timely manner. BUT I DID NOT WANT AN OREGONIAN BOX AFFIXED TO MY ARBOR!

That's the screw in my post, I guess.

Oooh I was so mad. It isn't screwed on straight. I didn't want a big yellow box on my white fence. The nerve of that guy! I called customer service & complained. They'll be by shortly to remove this eyesore. I told them to tell the guy NOT to bother knocking to announce himself. Just take your 4 screws and yellow box & go away.

Meanwhile I'm drafting the verbiage for my un-"no soliciting" sign. This is what I've got so far:

1. Despite all traditional conventions and culturally instilled instincts: DO NOT KNOCK ON THIS DOOR.
2. If you know us, call my cell* & announce yourself so that we can:
a) confirm we want to see you
b) determine if the child is sleeping, and if so, lock up the dog

3. If you do not know us...

a) are you selling** something? If so, go away. Go on now. Hurry up.

b) did your car break down & you need to come in & use my phone to call for help? Nice try. I know what's up. I'm not falling for that one, creep.

c) if my house is on fire, please knock. I know how I carried on about NOT knocking in point 1, bug fires & flood are exceptions. Knock. I promise I won't be mad.

*If you know us, you call, we don't pick up AND both our cars are there, then you've caught us avoiding you.

**If in fact you are selling girl scout cookies, and you've got something besides those gross tre-foil shortbread kind, go ahead & knock. I wouldn't trade a barking dog & crying baby for a oregonian box, but it's a fair trade for thin mints.


The bottom of my oven is like a montage of dinners gone by.

Here are my reasons for not cleaning it:

1. I'm nostalgic about food
2. I don't think it is safe to use oven cleaner when there's a toddler in residence
3. Preheating serves as a tidy way of testing the smoke detector
4. If you season a cast iron skillet why not also season your oven?
5. It's bbq season anyhow



I just posted this on Katie's blog- but I'll repost here:
Finley Noelle Heihn was born at 1:48 am today (Friday 8/20/10) weighing 7 lbs and measuring 21 inches long!!! (This is Michelle, posting for Katie, by the way)

So- back to the news. Matt is doing fine. His hand hurts from where Katie squeezed it, but the doctor believes he'll make a full recovery. The doctor didn't think any meds were necessary, but tylenol may be permissible if his discomfort persists. He's also a little tired (as to be expected, he hasn't gone to bed yet and it is nearly 3am!) and a bit hungry. He said he may have Katie run down to the cafeteria to pick him up a little snack. Oh wait. How's KATIE doing? Oh, well she's doing fine too! ;) Can I just say, since Katie wouldn't blog this about herself, that she is an AMAZING woman and momma! Her contractions got to be 3 minutes apart around 10:30, so they left to the hospital around midnight. At 1:37 am her water broke and delivery prep began. Katie is such a champ- NO EPIDURAL folks. Again she's not in to bragging, so I'll brag a little for her. I hear that natural childbirth is REALLY hard. Like when you get to the mall & there are no close parking spots hard. Or go to the beach & realize you forgot your fave sunglasses hard. Not for the weak of heart! Which Katie is not. What an amazing momma- I mean seriously- who looks so good after GIVING BIRTH!?
Congrats to Matt, Kate, Savannah & Zerkes & Max- who of course are pacing around on four paws just drooling to meet little Finley!
PS- now that I've got Kate's password I may or may not choose to do impromptu (read: uninvited) guest posts here & there.... ;)


Isn't she beautiful?

I should not be vain about myself, but I can be vain about my daughter, right? :)

Where's the sock?

The things we do to entertain ourselves


Girls weekend in Lincoln City!!!
Patty & Melissa- my beautiful girls! Plus Kyson

Taylor, who was MEZMERIZED by Homeward Bound, the movie. She sat like this for 120 minutes straight. Including credits.

TJo & K-anne


Lovely ladies


The tired old kitty from across the street, but I love Jo's half blinky smile in this


That's roman-numeric for twenty. My profound insight is this: if you plan on running 26.2 miles, you have to be able to run 20 first. I met my running girls Anna & KP just south of Neskowin & we ran 10 miles past Pacific City & back! It was exhausting but DEFINITELY better than the way I felt after a bad 18 last Saturday. Here's AY & KP at the turn around:

And here we are when it was all finished. Tired, gross, and sweaty.


Kimberly Surprises Sara in the Airport!

Kimberly surprised her mom & siblings by coming back to the US unannounced after being in South Africa fighting against prostitution & human trafficking (in the name of Jesus!). What an amazing surprise- especially for her mom Sara who didn't think she'd get to see Kim until next spring. Watch the video of the airport reunion on katie's blog, here: http://yourheihness.blogspot.com/2010/08/best-surprise-ever.html

Then on Sunday Kim, Sara & Lex flew back to Portland to surprise Luke, Chris, the girls & kiddos. They were shocked (well, except clever chris) - here's the video of that reunion- touching. Luke's sitting on the couch for the duration (well, now that's a profound statement! hee hee) because he is that surprised - you can't see it but his mouth is hanging open in shock!


Crazy Like Me?

Things have trended in the direction of "normal" in the last 6 weeks since we hired a helper for mom. Dad & I have resumed our normal work schedules. Mom's made a lot of progress in this time, and we are collectively in love with our caregiver. I'll do a mom update soon, but for now, let me focus on myself. It's what comes naturally to me.

Luke's kicked his domestic contributions into high gear since my mom's stroke. He helps a LOT and for this, I love him. There are other reasons I like him, but my main reason for liking anyone at all is based on the level of housework I derive from them. This is why I like myself so much.

Anyhow, so Luke's been helping out. I've been slacking off. And Luke's standard of cleanliness is clean to my CLEAN! This means my house was in kind of a cleanliness purgatory. Junk was mostly put away, but it had been AGES since anyone scrubbed a floorboard or dusted shelves. Add in the tiling saga and you can imagine how things looked. Despite all this we decided to have some friends over for dinner last week. That seemed like a good idea until I started looking at my house from the perspective of prospective guests. Uh-oh.

Simple fix? Ha haaaa! Hire it out! Really. I bought a deep clean maid service package. It was my ace in the hole. Or up the sleeve. Or wherever aces go. Imagine my surprise and terror when the maid service COULDN'T FIT ME IN THAT WEEK!

So with lots of stuff going on, the SMART thing to do would be to assess the situation and clean the stuff that matters- sweep & mop. Clean the toilet, etc. That is the LOGICAL thing to do, so why suddenly a week before the dinner did I have the overwhelming urge to clean out my fridge and reorganize it? I bet not one guest looked in my fridge, much less cared what it looked like. I think this is insane, but I couldn't help myself. In the time it took me to turn my fridge upside down I could have probably accomplished all other essential pre-company cleaning tasks. Now that I think about it, the last 2 times I unleashed on a fridge was when I was prego w/Jo (right at the end- NESTING!) and on my parent's fridge a week after my mom's stroke. Maybe I have some sick (albeit PRODUCTIVE) association with stress & fridge cleaning. On a related note, I do not have OCD and I don't really know anyone that does, and maybe this is a flippant thing to say, but really I think if you're gonna have some sort of mental affliction, OCD is at least productive!!! People who are hoarders or bipolar or schizophrenic - now that's not value added for anyone! But OCD...well now I bet those folks have a clean fridge and bathroom.

The other ridiculous thing I decided to do before company came was to wash all the inside & outside windows. They were definitely overdue, but again- why worry about windows when you have dust bunnies stuck to your ceiling fan?! Then I pulled some weeds. That almost makes sense- but I pulled like 20 weeds and I have about 2,000. It was like I was short circuiting while cleaning. I'd be in the middle of cleaning the kitchen & then veer off into the bathroom to reorganize my make up bag. I'm not kidding- that happened.

So I thought, are there other crazy people out there who do the most unnecessary anti-productive cleaning tasks in preparation for company? Then I had a flashback to every Thanksgiving in memory...when my mom would send us up to our rooms with pine-sol soaked rags to clean scuff marks off the interior of our bedroom doors. We'd try to reason with her: NONE of the 25 guests would be inspecting our interior door frames. Then we'd see flames of fury in her eyes & skulk off to scrub our woodwork. So it seems that maybe I inherited this mess. Thanks, mom.



Sunday we had our dear friend Alvaro & his boys over for a BBQ. It has been years since we've seen Alvaro so we invited over some of our favorite peeps to celebrate: the bunches & the becks! Sadly I did NOT get many photos, but here's what we've got to share:

Cristina y Alvaro!

Jo was showing the boys how to use the fan.

big bunch & baby bunch

mini-mike, mini-cristina, and mini-michelle...all mezmorized by a cracker that becky is bribing them with. mike, cristina & I are outside the frame, also mesmorized and staring at the cracker...

This is how my house parties of evolved- we used to eat, drink, and watch our friends make fools of themselves. Now we eat, drink, and delight in the way our kids dance to baby einstein banjo music!

Aunt Linda & Uncle Bart

...they're the best. Here's Bart & his two best gals (well, after resident faves abby & libby of course!)

Jo is saying: Auntie Linda, thank you so much for this adorable outfit and gorgeous, giant hat. I am unsure of the general size of this hat, but my mom loves it so I wear it to make her happy. Love you!

Ty & Dana's Wedding

Last weekend we went to the most beautiful outdoor wedding ever! Ty & Dana got married at the bride's family home in Wilsonville on the river. The bridal danced down the aisle & wore matching neon pink & black converse. We left fairly early but after the reception was underway the WATER SKIED down the river in front of the house in their WEDDING DRESS & TUX!?!? How cool are they!?
The wedding site- isn't it gorgeous?

Ty & Dana
Sweet pea

family portrait...well, we tried