Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Favorites: Oversized Sweater

So, I’ve been looking for ways to changes things up on the blog, and incorporate some new ideas. This will be my first real attempt at that – although I’m still working on some formatting ideas.
Sure, you probably couldn’t tell, but I’m drawn to fashion. Not HIGH fashion as much as PRACTICAL fashion. I LOVE things that are hip and in-style, but I NEED things that work with my day-to-day life – otherwise, I never get to wear them. And where’s the fun in owning clothes you never get the chance to wear? (Nwhere, that’s where. I’ve been there, done that!) So, I’ve been working to incorporate more pieces into my wardrobe that are functional, and fashionable. (and let’s just add COMFORATABLE in there, as well) I thought maybe I’d share some of my new favorite things with all of you, and see what you think – and maybe inspire you to give something new a try. So, here we go!
One of the things I picked up recently, was an oversized sweater that I’m just crazy about. (and I got it on SALE!) It’s so comfy and PERFECT for fall, and I think it looks great with a pair of skinny jeans and boots! (plus I think it could absolutely work with a pair of cute flats, too). Something that’s versatile, comfy AND cute? Couldn’t pass it up. (and did I mention it was on sale?)
Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like it’s a look that’s “put together” and I also get to feel snug and cozy at the same time. That’s a giant win-win for me.
Sweater, Gap - $20
Tank top, Forever 21, $3.50
Skinny Jeans, Old Navy - $29
Boots, Younkers, $30 (on sale last season!)
So, let me know what you think of this new idea for posts! (unless you hate it, then maybe just don’t tell me ;P)

And Then There Were Two

Remember when I said I wanted to run another 5k? Did you believe me? Be honest. You thought I’d slack off, right? It’s ok. I forgive you for doubting me. (I’m kidding! I’ve been humbled by all your support!)
Well, 5k #2 was on October 9th in Iowa City, and it was awesome. Even more awesome was the cause I was running for – raising funds and awareness for clubfoot research. Of course, you’ve read the last post and know all about why it’s a cause that’s personal to my husband and myself. So this particular race held a special place in my heart.
My hubby and I turned the roadtrip into a mini-getaway for the two of us. My awesome mother-in-law stayed with the boys, and Josh and I headed out the night before the race. We headed over to the University of Iowa campus to pick up my race packet and then went to our hotel. I had looked for one that would be a little different and fun. I didn’t even guess how “different” it was going to be. Turns out, the whole place was “themed.” And the decor? Well, it was entertaining. ;)
The sign on the door to our suite…
View from our balcony over the indoor pool and restaurant area.
Portrait of a knight (of course).
View of our room. The loft suite. The bed is upstairs.
We forgot to get a picture of the “stained glass windows” (as they’re advertised) that were actually regular windows with tape on them in the shape of diamonds… Yes, really. Don’t get me wrong, it was clean and nice – but the themed stuff just made us laugh!
The next morning, we headed over to campus and met up with my sister-in-law, Amber, who ran with me.
(Be warned, the following pictures feature me in running tights – I apologize in advance)
I made a pin to wear during the race. I wanted to have Austin close to my heart while I ran.
Austin Pin
Amber and I warming up after hearing from a couple of the doctors from the clinic and Dr. Ponseti’s sweet widow.
A view of registration and the inside of the UI Recreation Building.
Ready to Run!
Herky and the cheerleaders came out to cheer us on.
And we’re off!
And here we come around the bend to the finish!
And we even had enough energy for a little ‘jump for joy’ before we crossed the finish line ;)
We actually improved our time by about 30 seconds from our first 5k. I was especially happy with that because I’d been incredibly sick just before this race and hadn’t been able to run for 2 weeks. I got a couple runs in before race day, but was worried I’d be really slow. But we did well! And even had to truck up some serious hills in this run!
After the race…Amber was ravenous. ;)
Post race. Feeling great!
So, 5k #2 is in the bag! What’s next, you ask? Well… 5k #3 is THIS Saturday! Look for me at Race for the Cure in Des Moines! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Best Feet Forward

This past Saturday, I ran in the Ponseti Races in Iowa City. Most of you know our youngest son, Austin, was born with bilateral clubfoot. He’s been going to Iowa City and treated with the Ponseti method since he was just two weeks old. It’s been an incredible journey. Incredibly tough and incredibly amazing.
Running this weekend, for this particular cause, has put me in a reflective mood about Austin’s journey. It’s been ages since I’ve given an update on him. I think that’s because it’s been going so well and, let’s face it, we tend to talk more about things when they’re an “issue” and not when things are going smoothly.
So, here’s a little “photo journey” of our little Austin.
We found out at our 20-week ultrasound that Austin had clubfoot. We had no idea what that meant, but with some research, quickly found out.
We had a 3D Ultrasound done a few weeks later…and could clearly see his crooked little feet.
But God gave us such peace through everything. When Austin was born we didn’t feel stress over his little feet. We knew God had brought us to Iowa for a reason, and this was yet more proof to that. We found out the man who developed the most effective treatment for clubfoot – that also involves no surgery – was based right here in Iowa.
So when Austin was two week old, we headed out to Iowa City for his first set of casts. He had four sets total.
Here’s one of his first sets...
At the doctor’s office…One set off, waiting to put another on.
At home in one of his final sets of casts.
Decorated by Mommy, Daddy and Zack :)
After four sets of casts, and seeing his feet change SO dramatically, it was time for the Mitchell brace. At first, he was in this brace 23 hours a day – with an hour break for bath/playtime. He didn’t get a real bath until this time!
He spent three month wearing the brace 23 hours a day. Then “graduated” to just wearing it during naps and bedtime (about 16 hours a day). Now, we’re down to just wearing it at bedtime! It’s so a much a part of his routine that we don’t think much about it anymore. He’ll wear the Mitchell brace at bedtime until he’s at least 4, but hopefully we’ll be able to keep him wearing it at night until he’s 5. (it will lower his chance of relapse dramatically).
Now? Our Austin is walking, running and playing like any other little boy. You’d never know he was born with clubfoot. In fact, when I tell people that (who haven’t known him since birth) they’re usually shocked.
We’re so thankful God brought us to where Austin could get the best treatment possible. And we’re so thankful to Dr. Ponseti for answering the call God put on his life.
Race Pin 2

Take Two

So… you remember that last post? You know, the one where I told you about all the sickness around our house, but how it was all going away now… Yeah. Turns out that post was a little premature.

Not to say it wasn’t relevant. It absolutely was. But, turns out, we weren’t done with sickness. And, know what else? We still aren’t.

You see, not long after my sweet hubby found out he had pneumonia, and started on his recovery… he passed out in our kitchen. Yep, out cold. I should explain that I WAS in the room with him and YES I tried to catch him. I ran toward him and caught him before he hit the floor… but not before he hit the cabinet AND the countertop (sorry, babe!)

Now, you wouldn’t think you’d have a fight after your spouse falls unconscious to the floor. But, of course, we’re pretty unorthodox around here. Josh woke up after about 30 seconds (which felt like an eternity to me) and calmly asked me, “What happened?” I told him, and what does he do? Laugh. Right there, still laying on the floor, he laughs. My reaction? Irritation. (of course) Josh just found the whole situation hilarious. I, however, had been scared to death.

Instead of giving you the long version (trust me, it’s VERY long) I’ll just tell you that after several doctors visits (with two more to come this week) and some misdiagnosis along the way, Josh IS on the mend. We’re waiting on some more test results this week, and covet your prayers at this time. But we’re trusting God with the outcome (and the bills).

In the midst of all of that happening, I got sick, too. And (as you moms know) it’s rough to be the sick one… especially when you feel you need to be taking care of others in your house. But my hubby is the best – and even though he wasn’t feeling 100% – he took care of me, too. I ended up being sick MUCH longer than I thought I would (and I’m still not completely recovered, to be honest).

Then while I was (am) recovering… Austin got sick. And now Austin’s recovering… but now Zack is sick.

Yes. Seriously.

And so, I’m off… to try again to disinfect/sterilize/scrub down our house… And hopefully, I’ll be back (to blog again) soon.