Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Easter is on!

Yes, it's true, we're going to have Easter Dinner, the invitations are on their way - even though it's March 23, even though it could be cold and rainy and we could have dear friends eating in bedrooms and closets (I'm also trying to imagine the Easter Egg Hunt inside - oy vey).

But we're not going to think that way! We're going to pray for fair, sunny weather. I've included a photo of dessert - we're having Strawberry Tiramisu - click here to go to the recipe.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Parenting experience does not equal good parenting

You'd think with 26 years of experience that I would have mastered some basic parenting competencies. I'm confronted with the selfishness of my parenting style today. I exercise parental authority (or try to) based on specific outcomes and expectations. For instance: when my child is asked to perform a certain task and they do not accomplish the task acceptably - loading the dishwasher does not mean putting unscraped, unrinsed dishes in the machine haphazardly and then closing the door - I see that as a personal affront, rather than a job poorly done.

Why am I so offended, why do I see complete high-handed rebellion in my child's actions? Because that is what I have in my own heart. I am most repulsed by my own sin patterns - when they appear in other people!

I don't see a child in need of training, love and encouragement; I see a child who has failed to meet my own needs for order and peace. And this is scary, because there is a battle going on for the heart and soul of my child, and I need to be his ally and protector, rather than his adversary. Oh, there is so much to work on - not so much with him, as with me.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Fat Girl Running, Week 1

Tonight marked my first training session in the No Boundaries program. We met at Fleet Feet at six o'clock and divided into groups: rabbits, gazelles and cheetas. I'm not kidding. For some unknown reason, I was not put into the group at the lowest fitness level. So go ahead, laugh, I'm a cheetah. I look more like a cheeto, but whatever.

They give us very cute light-up necklaces (mine was purple) and took us out back to a huge parking lot, where they had marked off a course with cones. We are to run to the right of the cones - got it. The course is one-half mile, no problem. We will interval walking two minutes, and running two minutes. Well...okay. This was supposed to be a program where folks could train to walk, walk/run or run their first 5K and we'll spend half of our time running? I feel myself freaking out, wondering what possessed me to think I could do this. I grab my phone to call Charlie, only to remember that he's at a concert at church. I'm on my own.

I tried to talk to people but all I could think about was having a coronary on my first night of training. I mean, death really brings a halt to your new health regimen. No HEMSI vehicles in sight, no paramedics, no medivac helicopters. Okay - if I perish, I perish.

First two minutes - we're walking, and I can walk - great. Next two minutes - we're jogging, fine. Towards the end of the two minutes, I'm feeling a little strain in my shins, but I'll live. Next two minutes, walking, something I know how to do. Next two minutes, we're jogging. But this isn't like the first two minutes. The pain in my ankles and legs burns; I am not having fun, but two minutes is not that long, right? I swear, the second two minutes was longer, but it didn't matter because I was going to drop dead in a parking lot underneath a stampede of rabbits, cheetahs and gazelles.

Since I've lived to write this post, you know that I did not drop dead. But oh my, what is it going to take? I asked my coaches, Jennifer and Cheryl, what I needed to do. I'm a little panicked because how am I going to be ready for next week when I couldn't keep up with the pack this week? They were so sweet and told me to work up an interval pattern that I can manage. I have a schedule, and Lord willing, I'll be ready for next Monday.

If any of you are considering a program like this, let me offer some advice.

Super-Handy Training Tip #1: Hydration. They tell you to do it, but for heaven's sake be careful. Some of us "hydrated" to the point of explosion. You do not want to be in a parking lot running with 100 people and suddenly be the four-year-old who forgot to use the bathroom before she left the house.

Super-Handy Training Tip #2: Do not use your first group training session to try out your new sports bra. It just might cut off your circulation to the point that you're seeing Pee Wee Herman running next to you; I think he was in the "gazelle" group.

Super-Handy Training Tip #3: You are not going to be the slowest person in the group. If you're fortunate like me, you will be running with a woman who just had liposuction and was still tender. I kicked her butt.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Here's the recipe for the lasagna I made tonight/today/all day.

Homemade pasta and three sauces later, I was ready to assemble. Really, it took all day. First the tomato sauce; then the Bolognese sauce (had to simmer in the oven 2 hours); then the bechamel. The ricotta had to be placed in cheesecloth and drained for four hours...

I told Charlie it was going to be either the best lasagna or the biggest waste of time. It was great, but I was way too tired to enjoy it. I worked in the yard while sauces were simmering and right now I'm exhausted. I can barely lift the Advil to my lips.

This is not to say that it's not worth it. Spread it out. Use your freezer. Enlist your friends. A warning: it is very different and not a typical lasagna at all. Don't bother with side dishes, don't feel compelled to have salad or something green, forget the bread, even. The lasagna is enough, but for heaven's sake serve it with a big glass of red wine.

Good night!