Thursday, April 28, 2011

Embrace the Camera: Newsworthy

It's time to Embrace the Camera on this Thursday!

Some of you probably don't know this, but in my pre-mommy life I was a television news producer. (are you shocked?) I actually left TV while I was still pregnant with Zack - and moved to a different 'broadcasting' job. I actually hadn't intended to leave TV, but that's another story...

The station I last worked for was WHO-TV, here in Des Moines. I was the producer for Today in Iowa, the morning show. Some of the best people I've ever worked with in news were (and still are) at WHO. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss them (and sometimes the news business.).

Well, Zack is (of course) a big fan of "WHO-TV" (which he always calls it) and loves to go visit our friends there. So this week, we took a trip downtown to visit the station.

This pic is the only one I snapped with the camera (though I got a couple others with my phone)  I'm lucky enough to have talented friends - because Brooke took the rest of the pics! :)

Austin quickly became Brooke's little shadow, even sneaking up on set during a LIVE cut-in. 

 "Doing the news" Austin is following Patrick's lead... checking out the computer ;)

Zack decided that while Jeriann was doing a weather cut-in, he needed to write down what she said. He took his job very seriously.

Once Austin got in the anchor chair, he had no interest in leaving it.

The boys were also fascinated with the Weather Wall.

I loved getting to visit with everyone at the station, and the boys loved getting to see everything 'behind the scenes.' Not to mention they love all the people there as much as I do!

Fun facts:
  • Zack believes Chopper13 belongs to "Miss Brooke" and refers to it as "Miss Brooke's helicopter".
  • Joe (the director) is now Zack's "new friend Joe" and Zack keeps telling everyone how they both 'picked Camera 4'
  • Patrick was nice enough to post some pics of the boys behind the scenes on their blog, The Morning Buzz (which you Des Moines folks should totally be following).
Thanks to all my friends at Channel 13 for welcoming us so warmly!

Now you go Embrace the Camera!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taking That Next Step

Taking some time to 'Pour My Heart Out' on this Wednesday.

It's been nearly 3 months since our loss. Since we said goodbye to the child we won't get to meet this side of heaven.

Some days 3 months feels like an eternity. Others it feels like just yesterday. I suppose that's the same for any kind of grief.

It comes in waves. 

One moment the tide is low, I can breathe and move freely. The next moment the tide has swallowed me up and I can't get any air in my lungs.

My saving grace is grace itself. I have a life preserver that never fails me. One that gives me air when I feel like there's no way to get a breath. One that holds me together, when I'm sure I'm going to crumble into pieces.

So do not fear, for I am with you; 
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; 
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
Isaiah 41:10

I'm still figuring out how to walk out this path He's set me on.  Still trying to figure out how to fully lean on Him when every ounce of my flesh wants to take matters into my own hands. I've certainly been stumbling more often than not lately, but I won't quit trying.

He won't let me. 

He calls me forward. Calls me to take that next step, and then another. He's moving me forward to a new place. A place where I'll be closer to Him than I was 3 months ago. I just have to take that next step.

And then another.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future'" 
Jeremiah 29:11

If you'd like to 'Pour Your Heart Out' - click the link and join us!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rainy Day Run

As I've mentioned before, my sis-in-law and I are training to run Dam to Dam, a 20k race here in Des Moines, in June. To help us ramp up, we're running a couple of shorter (but longer to us) races in between. Our first race of the season will be an 8k this Saturday.

Due to a variety of frustrating circumstances I hadn't yet run 8k (5 miles) - ever. I had planned to hit that mark last week, but that didn't work out, so last night I was determined to hit that little milestone. But then I heard the forecast: Rain. Lots of rain. So, my sis-in-law and I decided to head to the gym so we could still run. But upon our arrival, we discovered every treadmill was full. Ugh!

Now, most people would probably either a) Wait around for treadmills to open up, b) Use a different cardio machine, or c) Go home. Well, Amber and I went for option d) Go outside and run in the rain.

When I first entered the gym, it wasn't raining all that hard. When we walked back outside it had picked up quite a bit... But that didn't deter us. And you know what happened? We ran 5 miles! And not just in the rain, but in the pouring rain. At one point it was raining so hard, and blowing so hard in our faces, that we couldn't keep our eyes all the way open. But we kept going and felt GREAT afterwards!

Feeling a little wired after our run (the "glare" is from rain on the camera)
I don't think I had a single spot on me that was dry, but I didn't mind a bit. We had such fun doing it, and added another adventure to our repertoire. And now I know for sure... Saturday's 8k is gonna be cake. (somebody remind me of that when Saturday rolls around) ;)
Soaking wet and feeling awesome.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Embrace the Camera: Center Stage

This past Sunday, our church held our AWANA closing program. This was Zack's second (and final) year of Cubbies, so it was a bittersweet night for me - knowing my oldest was soon no longer going to be a preschooler. Zack was excited to get to sing songs with his group on the "big" church stage, but the night didn't exactly go to plan.

So today I'm "embracing" the camera in a little bit of a different way. I've got a photo of me and my favorite Cubbie - but I've also got a little video to share with all of you.

The Cubbies took the stage and Zack was smack in the middle - and obviously taller than most of the kids. I knew we were in trouble when he immediately reacted to the bright lights. He didn't want to face forward because he didn't like them shining in his eyes... and then when he turned around he saw all the band instruments... Oh boy. I'll just tell you now: Zack didn't sing a single song.

Trying to explain it just doesn't quite do it justice... so I'll just go ahead and present the video evidence.

Zack's Second Year Cubbies Award Ceremony from Kristy Heilman on Vimeo.

(*NOTE* The video is a little long - but you'll get the gist after a few minutes. Also, my apologies for the 'crotch grab'...)

I know one day I'll laugh more about this, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed. He had been so excited to sing on stage - and I'd been excited to see him do it - and then things just didn't pan out. But I guess even though he wasn't singing, he was most definitely giving a performance that was very "Zack."  (Side note: Just have to give a shoutout to Zack's friend, Birdy, to his left. She is SO adorable - it's no wonder my boys adore her!)

Either way, I'm very proud of our little Cubbie. He memorized every single verse in his book this year, and we had such great conversations about what he was learning each week. So, this mommy is a little sad to see her oldest move out of preschool - but Zack is so very excited to be a "Sparky" next year. And while I'm hoping for a little more singing during his next on-stage performance, I'm trying to remember that this is a memory made and a time we'll never have back again. So, I'm just enjoying each moment as it comes. :)

Now you go Embrace the Camera!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When the Teacher is the Student

It's been a few weeks since I last 'Poured my Heart Out' - and the last time I did, it was a difficult post to write. In my post yesterday, I hinted toward working through some things, but I'm not quite sure I'm ready to "pour out" about all that just yet.

So today, I thought maybe I'd go in a less "deep" direction (mostly because I don't think I can handle getting too deep right now) and pour my heart out about my other job - which I actually haven't written much about here before.

For those who don't know my other job (other than being a full-time wife and mommy) is working as the Nursery-Preschool Director at our church. It's only supposed to be about 10 hours of work a week, but as with most jobs in ministry, it frequently takes up just a smidge more time. ;)

As with any job, some weeks things go smoothly, and some weeks they don't. Sometimes it's frustrating and sometimes it's not. Sometimes it wears me out and sometimes... well, it usually always wears me out in one way or another - BUT it's a job that comes with rewards of a different variety.

My job is to recruit volunteers, organize schedules, keep nurseries clean, prepare Sunday school lessons and crafts, and things along those lines. And to be honest, a lot of the time you don't get to really see how any of that makes a difference. But I also volunteer teaching a Sunday school class every week and that's where I get to see that work actually in action.

I get to see the kids enjoy playing with the toys that they could easily find since they were organized. I see them engaged in the activities from the lesson, I see them enjoy making a craft that goes along with our Bible story. And I see them remember what they learned when they tell their parents about it. 

In teaching those two and three year olds about God's love each week, I find I learn a lot myself. It's amazing how a lesson simplified to be understood by preschoolers, can reach the heart of an adult in a completely new way. And God's timing is nothing if not perfect - He has a specific message for me exactly when I need it.

It's made me realize that many times I can over-complicate my relationship with God. That many times whatever barriers I think are there, I put there. God is always right there, waiting for me to turn to Him. If I feel far from Him, it's because I've turned my face in the other direction - never because He's left me. 

"God has said,
   'Never will I leave you;
   never will I forsake you.'
 So we say with confidence,
   'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
   What can man do to me?'
Hebrews 13:5b-6
So today I'm thankful for the simple lessons I'm learning in the 2s&3s Sunday school class that I teach.

Now it's your turn to Pour Your Heart Out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


That title? Yeah, that's pretty much what life feels like around here these days. I have all these grand notions for blogging, home projects, personal projects... And none of them seem to be coming to fruition. Or they're at least not finished
There's been lots of going and doing and busyness, and we haven't had much of a break lately, but to be honest I don't think that's been the biggest problem. I have a sneaking suspicion my head has been my biggest obstacle.

So now, I'm trying to take steps to get my head "back in the game," so to speak. And once I figure out things in a little more detail, I'll be doing my very best to share the journey with you.

In the meantime, I'm doing my best to focus on the little moments of joy... like this one.

Austin Reads Mommy a Story from Kristy Heilman on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Embrace the Camera: Lunch Date

So, the camera and I haven't been spending a lot of time together lately - at least not with me in front of it - but I do have a few pics to share from when the hubs & I celebrated our anniversary last weekend.

And so, I wanted to "Embrace the Camera" today.

My man and I celebrated seven years of wedded bliss this month.
Us - 4/3/04.
Because our anniversary fell on a Sunday this year, I wasn't sure we'd be able to do much. But we ended up having an awesome downtown lunch-time date (thanks to Grandma & Papa taking the boys for the afternoon)

We started out by taking a walk in the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, playing with the camera, and just enjoying the awesome weather (even if it was a little lot windy).

This sculpture - 'Nomade' - is my favorite.
Had to take a break from all that arduous strolling. See my hair? The definition of 'windblown'

Please ignore my ripped boot...

My awesome, curly-headed, hubby.

After our stroll through the park, we headed over to Centro for brunch. While the service was seriously lacking that afternoon (sat waiting for 20 minutes for a server to even come to our table!), the food was still delicious.

Then, my hubby let me go next door to grab a delish mocha at Starbucks, before we went over to the Science Center of Iowa to watch 'Tornado Alley' on the IMAX. As if I wasn't freaked out enough by severe weather... Yeah, it didn't help. But it was very cool to see.

It was a terrific afternoon. It was almost surreal to have that much alone time with my man! We jumped right back in to "regular" life after we picked up the boys -- I carted Zack off to Cubbies for the evening -- but that lovely break in our day just to spend time together was absolutely priceless.

Now you go EMBRACE the camera!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Runaway Week (or 5 years)

Time has gotten away from me this week. Like, I have no idea where it all went - or how I got from Monday to Friday so quickly. (though I'm always looking forward to the weekend) It's mind-boggling, really. And the fact that I haven't gotten to blog anything I've been wanting to this week? Irritating.

I fully intended to 'Pour My Heart Out' and 'Embrace the Camera' this week - along with sharing many other thoughts and events with all of you - but instead I feel like I've just been trying to keep my head above water. And somehow it's difficult to type when you're treading water...

So, as I try to gather my thoughts and try to figure out where this week went... I'll share with you Zack's 5-year pictures we took a few weekends ago. (and when I say "we" I mean my husband and not me)

Forget the week, where did the last five years go?! 

What can I say... the boy loves to pose.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Help a Brother Out

The other night, I asked Zack to go get his jammies and put them on. This (of course) usually is delayed by something, but this time it was taking an unusually long time. And then I heard the boys giggling. 

That is usually a sign of trouble.

So I went to check it out and discovered Zack had decided he was going to help Austin put on HIS jammies (which he's never done before). Well, we decided to let them have at it, and low and behold - they did it! Of course, Zack wasn't in HIS jammies, but he was more worried about helping his brother, so we figured thatt was an ok reason for delay.

And here's the end result - Zack was appropriately wearing his 'big brother' shirt.


Now, I'd love to tell you that these first two pictures were where we started, but I've pledged to be honest with you, so.... 

The following three pictures were the ones that were actually taken first, after some pushing and shoving (then apparently they were able to stand and be sweet to each other).

Hey, I'll take it. Every house needs kindness and compassion - along with a little silliness.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Taking a Break (unintentional & otherwise)

So, I really didn't intend to be gone from the blog for a week. A WEEK, for goodness sake. I've had several posts floating around in my mind, but haven't had made the time to actually write them. I guess I've been spending more time contemplating.

*Double exposure photo done by my awesome husband*

I think part of the problem is I'm worried all these things I'm thinking of writing about are too 'heavy' or 'depressing.' Not that my life is either of those things - just many "deep" thoughts lately - many related to our loss.

For today, let's talk about something a little lighter, shall we?

So, by now you all know I've developed a love for running. Well, I've had to slow down my regime in the last couple months - all for health reasons. Our miscarriage, followed by two bad viruses back-to-back, forced me off my regular routine.

Last week, I was finally getting back up to the mileage I'd been doing and then last weekend, I was hit with a new problem - an injury.

After my knee injury two summers ago, there was no way my hubby was letting me run with an injury. After a talk with a physical therapist this week (thanks to my awesome gym!) it looks like I'm dealing with peroneal tendinitis.

See that lovely little tendon? Yeah, it hurts. Even when I'm just walking. Or sitting. Honestly, the pain has lessened some today, but I'm still doing my fair share of limping.

The good news: The PT said I didn't have to lay off it completely - I just have to be careful not to overdo it. (like I'd ever overdo something. please.) And she gave me the added warning that if it didn't get better, I'd probably need treatment (*groan*)

So now I'm trying to keep doing cardio in forms that don't aggravate my foot, ice it regularly, and hope to try running on it again in a few days to see how it feels.

My goal this summer was is to do Dam-to-Dam in June with my sis-in-law. So, this latest set back is leaving me worried and frustrated. 

Worried that I won't be ready for a 20k.

Frustrated I can't train the way I want to.

But once again, God is using my circumstances to get my attention.

  • I'm learning I need to trust Him in everything - even delays in training for a race.

  • I'm (still) learning to be patient - that things aren't going to always go my way and in my time. (have I mentioned I'm not very good at that?) 

  • And I'm being reminded that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8)
I'm praying the healing is quick, but lessons stay with me. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you.
James 1:2-5