When Jazzie is happy, she is a joy to be around. However, when she is not, you better watch out! Jazzie can be extremely stubborn and I am seriously worried about what things will be like when she is a teenager. I am not kidding.
The only thing that I can do that has any effect as far as punishing Jazzie, is taking away iPhone privileges. She loves to play her games and texting with her friends and taking that away from her is the worst I can do. As of tonight, she has lost her iPhone privileges (a result of being disrespectful). I told her that when she can come to me and apologize in a sincere way, she can have her privileges back.
... we received Tahlia's referral. Here are the first pictures we ever saw of her:
You may know that it was not love at first sight. I had fallen in love with Jazzie immediately upon seeing her pictures, but it was so different when I looked at Tahlia's. I tried really hard to feel something for this girl that was staring back at me, but the truth is that I felt nothing. I had haunting thoughts of there being some sort of mistake and up until the very moment that I saw Tahlia for the first time in China, I had doubts whether or not all of this was meant to be. However, upon taking her in my arms, all those doubts went away. She is my girl and I love her and there is no doubt that she was meant to be with us.
I have taken Tahlia's picture with her own referral picture on the anniversary of our referral day every year. Here she is today:
Happy Referral Day to my sweet girl. It's hard to believe it's been six years!
Well, I got back from The Netherlands yesterday. Even thought the trip was short, it was good. My dad had some complications with his blood, so they had to delay the surgery until tomorrow. Even though I wish I could have been for the surgery, I am glad I got to at least see my family. My dad was SO happy to see me and I was thankful that I could be there for my mom. I was able to drive her to the hospital several times a day (she doesn't drive) and it was nice to be with her in the evening, so she didn't have to be alone. I also got to spend time with my sister and her family. It was great. My dad still has a long road ahead of him, but I will feel much better knowing that he came through the surgery alright.
With me being gone, I did not have an opportunity to blog about an important event. This past Saturday marked 8 years since Jazzie joined our family.
May 14, 2003:
It's hard to believe that I have been lucky enough to call this girl my daughter for 8 years now.
Happy Family Day, Jazzie. I love you :-)
And just in case anyone has not seen it, here is our travel video:
I can't believe that a week has already gone by since the marathon. What an experience! The day after the race I was so incredibly sore! I could barely walk and all my muscles hurt. On Tuesday my muscles felt better, but I was actually feeling nauseous. I had a hard time doing anything; all I wanted to do was lay on the couch. All day long I felt like I was going to throw up. I think it was from sheer exhaustion and my muscles releasing a bunch of lovely toxins. By Wednesday I was just about back to feeling like normal again and I went to pick up my 26.2 sticker which is now very proudly displayed on my van. My knee is still recovering (plus somehow I picked up a couple of different injuries), so I have been taking it easy this week. I have walked, but I have not been running even though I REALLY want to!
Last night my neighbors threw me a "Post Pig Party". A few of them actually came out this past Sunday to cheer me on and I cannot tell you what a wonderful surprise it was to see a bunch of my neighbors standing on the side at mile 19 with signs and screaming my name. So the party last night was MUCH appreciated and a lot of fun. I LOVE my neighbors! Here's my cake:
Back to the marathon: such a great experience! Even though it was rainy for a good portion of the race, a lot of people came out to cheer on the runners. I couldn't believe how much energy we were getting from them. Many of them were handing out snacks like oranges, candy, pretzels and banana's. A nice little treat during our run. One house was handing out shots of Jagermeister which I cannot even IMAGINE being able to enjoy during a marathon, but it was FUN. While I was training I had come to the conclusion that this was probably going to be my only marathon. The schedule is no joke and the time commitment is just to great. However, as soon as I crossed the finish line, I wanted to do it again :-)
I will leave with some things that I've learned from training and running the 2011 Flying Pig Marathon:
I am much stronger than I thought I was.
With proper training and a lot of hard work, I can achieve great things.
If I truly believe in myself, there is no stopping me.
Running is as much mental as it is physical.
The most giving, generous and encouraging people were the people I least expected it from.
On the flip side, some people have reacted differently than I had hoped for or expected from them. I feel like there might be some jealousy there, but it hurts a little regardless.
So just about all of my friends and family have been incredibly supportive, but NOBODY has been more supportive, more encouraging (and more proud) than my husband. He has been amazing throughout my training and he was there for me all the way on Sunday.
The girls spent the night with Cera so that Matt could drive me downtown where he stayed all throughout the race. He was there shortly after the beginning of the race and showed up at different spots on the entire course. I don't know how he did it, but he kept showing up everywhere! He had a whistle and many times I could hear him before I could see him. Whenever we passed him he was clapping, whistling, waving and cheering us on. With each and every time I saw him, I got more energy and wanted to keep going even more.
There was one point when I overheard a woman that was running behind me say to herself: "Who is that guy?" After I mentioned it was my husband, she said: "OMG, I love him. He is everywhere!"
Later we saw Matt standing next to a police officer who was directing traffic. However, with Matt whistling and waving his arms, it was more like he was directing it. Not sure if the police officer appreciated it, but it was too funny...
Apparently Matt (by now dubbed "the guy with the whistle by many runners) got several hugs at the finish line from some ladies thanking him from being out on the course cheering everyone on.
I realize that I ran the marathon all on my own, but with the help from this...
... I was able to get this:
Thanks for being there and for cheering me on, babe. I love you!
Well, today was the big day. After training for four months, it was finally time to run my very first marathon. My training group and I walked to the starting line together and started running at 6:30 AM. It rained pretty hard at first, but after about 5 miles it slowed down and the weather was near perfect for running after that. Going in to this, I was of course worried about how my knee was going to hold up. It was hurting me slightly for much of the race, but at mile 20 it starting hurting me more. But there was NO way it was going to stop me. By mile 23 it had gotten worse and I needed to take more walking breaks, but I ran when I could and FINISHED!
I am tired and sore, but I feel a HUGE sense of accomplishment. And the crazy part is that even though I said I would never train for a full marathon again, I kind of want to do this again!!!
Mile 23 and hurting:
My coach stayed with me the whole time. She is awesome and really helped me through. At least the sight of Matt made me smile:
When I finally crossed the finish line I burst into tears. Tears of relief, tears of joy, tears of pride; all the work I did finally got rewarded.
Got my medal and a bagel ;-)
Called my mom in Holland to tell her the news:
I have to thank my husband for being an amazing supporter today. More about that tomorrow. He deserves a separate post for that one :-)
"For all of us, the miracle isn’t that we finished, the miracle is that we had the courage to start." John Bingham