Sunday, October 17, 2010


OK, yesterday was the day that has been marked on the calendar for months.  Since June 4th when I signed up for the half marathon, there has been an internal clock for October 16th.  It honestly came much quicker than I thought it would.  It seems like only yesterday when I was laughing about this “opportunity.”  I knew running the 1/2 wasn’t my idea so when I’d jokingly talk about it with people, I knew it was a God invitation.  But I would decline it over and over again.  It wasn’t until Amber started telling others I *may* do it that I started to seriously consider it.  Really, God?  Me?  Run a half marathon?  The guy that hasn’t really ran in years except to get ice cream from Marble Slab.  This guy?  The guy who told Amber when she did a couple half marathons a few years ago that I would support her every way I could but would NEVER do one.  Were you not listening?  You got the wrong guy, God.  To me, it was the same conversation that Moses had with God on 1/1000th the scale.  Really God?  Me?  I stutter … I’m not a leader … I can’t lead these people out of Egypt.  I feel your pain Mo.

Nonetheless, I accepted the invitation/challenge on my birthday of all days.  And the training began.  It wasn’t really training in the beginning.  I had to get to a comfortable 3 miles even before thinking about training.  So for the next few weeks, I worked out to being able to “comfortably” run 3 miles.  I then found a 12 week training program for the half marathon so I had the plan.  I sent letters out letting family & friends know about our adoption, the orphan crisis, and me running the marathon for our adoption.  I asked people to pray for me and our daughter and if led, to sponsor me running the race.  The goal for the sponsorship was $3000.  Well, through His people, God met that before the race.  He is faithful!  Absolutely amazing!  So humbling as I described a couple stories before and I could tell you more and more of those stories.  We raised the goal to $3500 and I think we’ll hit that as well since we’re $100 from that and some people said they want to still sponsor me but haven’t gotten it to me yet.

Yesterday morning came way too early.  I was up at 5am to get ready.  The race started at 7am but we had to be parked before 6:30 as they were closing roads.  Amber decided to get up with me to go cheer me on with Silas.   We got Silas up at 5:40am as we wanted to leave the house by 6am.  As I was putting him down Friday night, we talked about getting up early for the race for sister.  (Side story but when we ask Silas who I ran for, he says ‘sister’ … LOVE IT).  So I turned the light on in his room and he slowly pops up and says, ‘Race?’ “Yeah, buddy, we gotta get ready for daddy’s race”.  ‘Yea Daddy!’ (what Amber and him had practiced for the race) “Thanks buddy!” … Wow, boy knows how to make his daddy smile :)

The drive to the race was uneventful.  We actually got there quicker than I thought we would.  We met up with my buddy Kris that ran the 10k with me.  He and his wife just got back from Israel and he wasn’t sure if he was going to run.  He ran over there but once they got home, he got sick.  So he had only ran once in about 2 weeks but he decided to still give it a go.

It was pretty chilly Saturday morning but it was perfect running weather.  But with that cold weather came one thing … having to pee.  Kris said the same thing.  This started the conversation of what he experience when he ran the Nashville half marathon last year.  This is probably TMI but I couldn’t believe it.  So, skip the rest of this paragraph if you want.  :) Kris was about 5 miles in to the race last year when the guy in front of him actually poo’ed on himself.  Down his leg and everything.  I’ve heard of competitive runners doing that because their time actually matters.  Kris is not a fast runner and for someone in the middle of the pack to do that was pretty hysterical/wrong/nasty/etc.  Anyways, back to my story … it was a couple minutes before the start of the race and I figured that once I started moving, the feeling would pass. 


Silas chugging his milk as we were hanging out before the race


Me and my boy pre-race.


Kris and I all smiles with no pain before the race


Silas stretching with me … his better stretches weren’t caught on camera but they were hilarious


The starting line…


Apparently Silas LOVED this pig.  I guess the pig was talking to another adult who was trying to fix his arm in the pig suit.  Silas just kept pulling on his leg yelling ‘pig, pig, pig’ until the pig finally turned around.  Silas was so generous to offer up his little dinosaur to him…

The gun goes off and here we go.  The moment that all that training had been for had begun.  It didn’t take long for the crowd of runners to spread out and for me to get him my normal pace.  I warmed up quickly and felt pretty good.  Each mile always feel farther when it’s not on your own turf.  Well, I get to mile 2 and still gotta pee.  I see porta-johns but decide to keep going.  The first 6 miles or so actually felt pretty good.  My pace was about normal for me.  I did the first 6.3 miles in 1:04:33 which is a 10:15 pace. 


Amber and Silas met me right around the 6.5 mile mark. 


Kris running by the same spot a couple minutes later.  Interesting how he’s all smiling … I don’t think I had a smile anywhere after 5 miles.

So Amber had to entertain Silas for the race … pictures became one way of doing that along with eating breakfast, playing, etc.  Here are a few of the pictures from the wait…


I love this picture!


Mama and Silas waiting for me to run by


Silas about to practice his running … on your mark, get set, GO!


Here he comes!


Look at the concentration and determination.  We may have ourselves an athlete here.  He’s definitely QUICK!


How can you not love that boy!?!

The next 6.8 miles were another story compared to the first 6.3.  Especially the last 2 miles.  I was really starting to wear down and still had to pee (sorry for all the pee talk).  I decided at mile 11 to stop to go.  BAD MOVE.  By stopping my lower back and calves thought it was time to lock up.  I could not get them loose again.  I did a run/walk for the last 2 miles.  I’d walk and try to stretch them out but it didn’t really work.  There was definitely alot of praying and alot of thinking about my baby girl.  As I said on Facebook, I was praying for the rapture those last 2 miles.  Come now LORD JESUS!  :) 


About 1/4 mile to the finish line!


AHHHH … there it is!

All that matters is that I finished!  That’s the main thing.  And my goal was 2:20.  Can you guess my time???  2:19:39!! I’m telling ya … God is faithful!

My buddy Kris finished in 2:27:52 which was a personal best for him … which is incredible being that he had only ran once in 2 weeks.


After the race by the finish line


Kris and I after the race … yes, that is about as fake of a smile as you’ll see out of me.

How am I feeling today?  Sore as you can imagine.  My quads are pretty painful and stairs are my worst enemy.  Nevertheless, I’m alive and well.  And it’s fun to tell the God story … the marathon is just the instrument God used to see if I would be obedient to Him.  It’s crazy to see how close I was to saying no … who am I kidding … I did say no many times … His grace let me finally say yes to Him.

So some things I learned from this race….

  • I hope to not see that much of the town on foot again
  • If I do ever do a race again and gotta pee, bite the bullet and go early on in the race
  • I already knew this but Africans can flat out fly (guy that won it is from Kenya and his time was 1:05:43 (that’s 5:01 miles!)
  • If God invites you into something that you have no real desire doing, He will carry you through it.

So here’s the real question– What is God inviting you to and you’ve been telling him He’s got the wrong person??  It’s funny that we think that the One who created us doesn’t know us or what is best for us.  If I could suggest something to you … respond today with “Here I am Lord, send me!”  He will guide you, direct you, lead you.  I am living proof of that.

Thanks again to all you who have sponsored me, encouraged me, and prayed for me.  I sincerely could not have done it without you.  THANK YOU!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Humbled and Silas’ Birthday

So a couple hours after my post last night, the goal was hit by the person who told me not to limit God with my goal.  This person is the person who will be going to Ethiopia in a few days on her second mission trip in the last few months.  Humbling.  This past Sunday  I had someone give me their last $30 cash they had for the entire following week as they didn’t get paid until this Friday.  They also had to go out of town and didn’t know if they had enough gas for the trip there/back but thought they’d be ok.  A half hour after giving me the $30, this same person received $32 from someone who had a yard sale that this person put a few items in that they were just going to get rid of.  This same person also received an extra tip for some work they did for someone.  Very humbling.  Then tonight, I received a very generous check in the mail from someone who I know has the right to be struggling in so many ways.  The note inside the card? “Enjoy the journey.  May you reach your goals – cherish each day”  So humbling.

I tell you these couple stories to tell you that God is faithful.  It is very difficult for me to accept these donations for my race because that money could be used in Korah by Jody or by someone who needs it to survive for the week.  However, I know these people prayed over this and it would be robbing them of the blessings from God.  My prayer has been that God would multiply their gift tenfold back to them …whether that blessing is financial or another answered prayer is between them and Him. 

The one thing I would say to you is to follow God’s direction in your life.  He will not leave you high and dry, He will not leave you, He will honor HIs commitment to you.  He loves you so much that He sent His Son to take the sin of the world upon Him.  He loves you so much that He had to turn His back to His own Son.  He loves you so much that He raised His Son back to life to be our intercessor.  If we would actually accept God’s invitations in our lives, it would be so transforming that we would not be able to believe it with our own eyes.

So, I have increased my goal by $500 as you can see on the thermometer on the left side of the blog … so a new Project 10-40 is starting again to put me over my new goal :)

Switching gears real quick … there have been a couple referrals so we are UNOFFICIALLY #57 on the girl’s list now :)  Movement is GOOD!

Also, today was Silas’ 2nd birthday.  It is amazing how much you can love a little person.  He has been looking forward to his birthday as we’ve been talking it up since Amber’s birthday late September.  He really wanted birthday cake LAST NIGHT for some reason … he kept saying “HAPPY CAKE … HAPPY CAKE”  Then as I was laying him down last night, I gave him a kiss, and said, “happy birthday, son … I love you.”  Usually, he will respond to ‘son’ with ‘buddy?’  Like, I’m your buddy, too, right daddy? And I’ll respond, “Yeah, you’re my buddy". He’ll then respond with every person he knows … Momma?  Yeah, you’re momma’s buddy.  Pappaw?  Yeah, you’re pappaw’s buddy.  Etc.  Etc.   But this time, about 5 seconds later as I was shutting his door, I hear ‘Happy to you’ in his singing ‘happy birthday’ song voice :)

We went to Chuy’s tonight to celebrate and the kid put away some SERIOUS chips and creamy jalapeƱo ranch sauce.  Was very impressive.  Still need to do a true birthday post but still haven’t gotten through the videos yet … here’s a couple pics from tonight though…


The boy loved dipping his chips.


More dipping…


The waitress gave him a little thing of ice cream = happy boy.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY SILAS!  We love you, son! 

Monday, October 11, 2010


The week has arrived … RACE WEEK!  I really can’t believe it is here.  Months of training has actually gone by real quick..  The days of 100+ temperatures and trying to run in that seem like a distant memory … kind of.  We went up to Indiana this past weekend for Amber’s cousin’s wedding so my last long run before the race was going to be on unfamiliar turf.  I ended up doing 8 miles on rural country roads.  If you read the post below, I was hoping to do 12 but after a couple words of advice and listening to my body, 8 was definitely enough.  I was still feeling some the effects of the 11 last Saturday so I didn’t want to be sore all this week going into the race.  It’s amazing to think that in August we were up in Indiana for Amber’s class reunion and I struggled to do 5 miles. 

Some things I got to experience on this rural run that I don’t on my normal route at home are…

  • Jumping over the bottom half of a deer leg … looked pretty fresh.
  • Running through the ‘dust bowls’ from corn fields.  It is SO dry up in Indiana (brother-in-law told me they had half inch of rain all September).  So anything being done in the fields creates so much dust.
  • With no shoulders on the country roads, it’s an adventure in watching/dodging cars.  Especially when coming up over a hill. 

I plan on doing 2 more runs this week … one tomorrow and one Thursday.  I imagine instead of my usual 5 miles that I will probably do 3-4 tomorrow and 2-3 Thursday.  And then raceday Saturday morning.  It is really surreal that it’s about here.  And over.  There are a lot of things I will not miss but now is not the time to focus on those … the need is to focus on finishing … and finishing well.  My goal is to finish in under 2:20.  I still can’t believe I will be running for over 2 hours straight. 

Project 10-40 has been successful as well.  We are only $80 from hitting the goal.  Thank you to everyone who has prayed and sponsored me to bring our daughter forever home.  I am praying for each of you as well.

Also, tomorrow my boy turns 2… talk about time going by quick.  It’s amazing how big of a boy he is now.  He’s talking so much and understanding even more.  His personality is fully coming out.  While up in Indiana, Amber’s sister threw him a party … we have pictures/videos from it that I have to still get through.but let’s just say the boy was hilarious.  I’ll try to get his birthday post done this week but I’m warning ya, it’s a crazy busy week so you may not see a post until after the race…so to hold you over, here are a couple pics from the wedding…


Silas and I playing outside.  He is packing a pretzel in his cheek and has one in each hand.  I really believe he could live on pretzels … or at least he thinks so.


Silas with his momma


Silas and I having fun at the reception

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Official Number

We got our official number email today and it was as we thought … 61.  Then, tonight, we got an updated email from our case manager with a correction … we are actually…



How sweet is that!  We’ve made it to the 50s!  We’ve had some serious movement in the past 2.5 months … 19 spots since we initially got on the waitlist.  We don’t expect that pace to continue but we’re happy for the movement so far…

Update on Project 10-40, we are 35% there … thank you for your support!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Noah, Counting, and Bible Verse

Thought I’d share a couple videos we took tonight…it’s funny how we ‘torture’ him to do stuff on camera that he does normally just hanging out at the house…it’s crazy how much he’s soaking up these days … and I can’t believe he’ll be 2 in 9 days!

OK, every night, the first book I read Silas at bedtime is a Bible Story out of his children’s Bible.  For the past few weeks, he ALWAYS wants to hear the story of Noah … well, I guess some of it has stuck with him :)


The boy is counting pretty good these days … Most times he needs prompted but will do it on his own sometimes.  He will never repeat ‘one’ and always starts at two. 


At church this past weekend, they gave us a little card about the stories they’d be teaching in Silas’ class this month… and it also had a Scripture for all of us to memorize :)  You’ll see 2 tries at this … he is less distracted during dinner when we usually work on it.  You will see him laugh when hearing Deuteronomy … similar to when we try to teach him Amharic.  It’s hard not to laugh at him when he laughs.  Also, you will see what I amtalking about with him not saying ‘one’ when we say the Scripture reference :)


Alright, think that hits my blog quota until after the marathon :)  Speaking of which, we are 10% complete on Project 10-40.  Thank you to those who have sponsored me!  THANK YOU!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Adoption, Marathon Updates and Project 10-40

Alright, first things first.  We believe we are unofficially 61 on the waiting list which is good movement for September.  We should be getting our official numbers from AGCI in the next week or so.  We also received our FDL letter from USCIS so the US government has given us permission to bring our daughter home from Ethiopia.  That is officially the last piece of paperwork we needed so it is truly a waiting (and fundraising) game now.  This wait will be much different than the wait for Silas.  Silas is so much a little person now.  He will be 2 on the 12th which is just nuts!  It’s amazing how much he’s learning on a daily basis.

OK, the half marathon … it is less than 2 weeks away!  That’s crazy.  I did 11 miles yesterday morning in about 1:41.    As I stated on my facebook status yesterday, those are words I never thought I would utter.  I never thought I would run double digit miles at one time.  I am going to try to do 12 miles this coming weekend and then the infamous 13.1 miles on the 16th.  There are alot of praises to share…

  • My foot – I had xrays done early this summer when I first start running to show that I have bone-to-bone going on in my big toe’s joint.  It was bothering me quite a bit.  I have not had much pain at all in my toe/foot for quite a while.  HUGE PRAISE
  • Overall health – besides a strained muscle in my back and a strained muscle in my neck, I have not had any major physical issues besides being sore.  I was definitely feeling it today and my ankle is pretty sore today.
  • Time with God & daughter – the time I’ve had to spend with God and praying/thinking about our daughter has been priceless.  When you’re out there for almost 2 hours, it definitely helps encourage me to know that I’m running for our daughter
  • Sponsorship – We are at $2600 which is amazing.  We have had dozens of people sponsor me to run the marathon … this is such a humbling thing … especially for someone who has an issue with a little bit of pride.  I am so thankful for so many people joining us to bring our daughter home and for her to be an orphan NO MORE!

The goal for the marathon was $3000 so we are just $400 away from that … so, if we can get 40 people to donate $10 or more, we will hit or exceed the goal.  So, here we are with Project 10-40.  $10 (or more) for 40 people = goal met.  If you feel led to give, thank you!  Every dollar is put into a separate account that is only used for our adoption expenses.

Alright, will leave you with some Silas pictures.  Last weekend, we went to a pumpkin farm and Silas had a great time.  He rode a little ride with Amber, did a hayride with me, fed some goats, gotta ‘drive’ an old tractor picked out a pumpkin,


Silas going through a hay maze all by himself … was proud of him :)


Momma and Silas riding the ‘train’ … he was yelling ‘CHOO-CHOO’ for this picture.  He LOVES trains.  The guy driving the tractor for this asked me if I wanted to ride with him.  I asked him if he had any grease to get me out of the can.  Let’s just say we chose Amber to ride with Silas….


In a typical fall picture setting…


In a sea of pumpkins…


Kid loved being out with the pumpkins


Boy loves tractors as well … pretty much anything with an engine and a steering wheel.

Alright, that’s all I got tonight :) … thanks for joining us on this journey!