Sunday, October 21, 2012

jordan is a marathoner

Jordan completed his first marathon today!  That's 26.2 MILES!  I'm so proud of him.  A spectator lady asked me if it's actually 26 miles or if it's "just a 26 K or something".  I assured her that it was definately an accurate 26.2 MILES... silly lady!  This spring, Jordan signed up for the Grand Rapids Marathon and got his friend Jeremy to commit, too.  He has been running long distance steadily since January when we started the 25k training.  He has mostly stuck to the training and he has remained injury-free.  I believe he was as readily prepared for the race today as he could be and he did great!!

Mom and Dad Barkel went with me and the kids to cheer him on.  We got our first glimpse of him at mile 18.    We laughed because all of a sudden, Jeremy was right in front of mom's face throwing his shirt at her!  She had no idea what was going on!!  Jordan came by just a few seconds later and I gave him some more energy beans.  He looked exhausted but was flying by.  We hardly even got a chance to cheer him on.  And actually, we were lucky that we caught that glimpse of him because he and Jeremy were running at about a 9 minute/mile pace which was faster than what Jordan and I had estimated.  So we were figuring on watching at that marker for 15 minutes or so before the earliest possible time that we would see the guys.  And there they were ahead of schedule!  We got back to the car and drove over to the finish line.  The emotion is always thick there.  While some runners are blitzing by, others are clearly struggling.  But everyone finishes and I think I give a greater applause to the ones that struggled.  It was a longer and harder race for them and they overcame something much greater in themselves.  I was so proud and relieved to see Jordan at that 26 mile-marker.  He appeared to be in good shape although he said he didn't feel that way.

He finished in 4:27:57!!  He said he definately hit the wall at mile 20 which was the furthest he had ever run.  He didn't drink a whole lot during the race because it made him have to pee immediately so he was very thirsty afterwards.  And he had a headache throughout the race.  But his body was in mostly good form... it wasn't until he stretched afterward that his legs started to cramp up but not as bad as in previous races.  So I consider it to be a great success.  He wouldn't give an answer on if he would do it again until one week after the marathon.  So we'll see....  But I think he will ;)

Here's my marathon man:

And the kids with the signs we made:
Not sure the signs served their purpose today.

Natalie came up with this phrase

And I just thought it'd be funny to get one of dad with Charlie's sign since it just doesn't make any sense!

the . foyer

Ok...we totally do not have a foyer.  It is just the typical front entry that you would find in any other 1950's ranch.  This is what it currently looks like but (as with every other room in the house) it is subject to change.

Here is the before when we moved in.

Here's an embarassing in-between!

So as you'll see in my previous post, we tore up the tile and vinyl flooring and laid down the wood flooring which we then sanded and painted.  A few years previous to this, Jordan knocked out a wall and framed a doorway that now connects the front entry to the laundry room.  And I put up the board and batton.  It was a first for me in the carpentry department but pretty simple.  The hardest and most time consuming part was actually deciding on the space between the boards.  And something that we have to work around with our house is the radiant heat.  You probably noticed the box on the wall...we have yet to figure out a camouflage.  I would love a great light fixture as well but our ceilings are just not tall enough.  Oh well!  I am grateful for the change in this room.

laundry . room

Another post on what our home currently looks like.  I'm still taking it just one post at a time and this time I'm concentrating on the laundry room.  Our laundry room has changed pretty drastically in the 6.5 years we've owned our home.

This is what it looks like now.

This is what it looked like when we moved in... white marble flooring, a horrible layout, and old appliances.

Luckily we haven't had to live with the 'before' image of the laundry room for long.  A few years ago, we changed the layout when we were forced to get a new washer and dryer.  In January of this year, Jordan and his dad, uncle, and friends took out the flooring down to the sub floor.  That included tearing up vinyl and tile.  The kitchen and front entryway floors were also torn up at this same time.  It took a couple months for the dust to settle!  This was on a Saturday.  The next day, we picked up the new wood flooring we had ordered and began to lay it on Monday.  Jordan's work was slow so he had the week off which was what prompted us to finally get started on this daunting remodel.  So we laid the new wood floor over Monday and Wednesday throughout the three rooms (Jordan had to work on Tuesday).  On Thursday, we moved all of the furniture into the girls' bedroom and tore off all of the shoe molding.  We were preparing for sanding the floors throughout the whole house which is what we did on Friday.  All the while, our kids would play with their toys or watch movies as we worked.  The day we sanded everything, they hung out downstairs.  They had been sleeping down there the whole week and thought it was pretty cool that they could pretty much do anything they wanted down there while we worked.  They were actually pretty responsible!  On Friday morning, we picked up the sanders.  Then we actually had to move this huge industrial serger for my sub-contracting business downstairs.  We finally got started sanding around 10 am and didn't quit until dinnertime.  It was another night of take-out which is pretty rare for us!  Then right away on Saturday morning, we began painting the floors.  We painted until early afternoon.  The last area to get painted was the landing by the basement stairs.  There was no place to go except down.  The paint took a couple hours to dry to the point of being able to walk on so we stayed in the basement and all of us napped - even the dog.  And then we started the second coat which went much faster.  We were done by the end of the night.  What a week...we were exhausted but so glad to have it all done.  And it completely changed the look of the house!

And here are some of the finishing touches.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Tonight, Jordan and I went on a date (yay!).  It always seems like it's been too long.  We thoroughly enjoy getting out and away from the kids :)  We ventured to the mall.  And as we were driving under the parking garage, a lady driving towards us began to turn into a spot.  We slowed to a stop and as she was turning, she looked at us and was viciously shaking her head and clearly yelling at us.  We first just stared at her, then I turned around to look behind to see if there was a car behind us she was yelling at - nope.  So we asked each other, 'was she yelling at us?!'  And we just laughed about it because we had no clue what was going on!  We parked as well, just a few spots away.  And we knew we were going to see this lady again.  So as we're all walking towards the mall, Jordan very politely (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic here!) asks her, 'why are you upset with us?'  And she flips out again!  What we caught from her yelling was something about us flashing our lights at her.  I quickly stated to her that our lights go on automatically and must have come on when we got in the dark.  But she had some rebutle to that statement and wasn't going to drop it so we just walked on.  There was another lady with her, both of them middle-aged (perhaps menopausal?!) and she just had this big smile on her face through it all.  And I think we did too!

At first, this fiasco reminded me of our kids.  I'm pretty sure that everyday since Natalie started school, there has been one little meltdown.  Not that she didn't have those before but they are more frequent now and more 'mature meltdowns' as if she were already a teenager.  She'll just get so upset over nothing and out of nowhere, she starts accusing me or another family member of something we did that offended her but we're all clueless as to what it was.  And she always makes an announcement to everyone that goes something like, 'Ok... [states problem], I guess no one wants to be my friend, I'm just going to go in my room and never, ever come out.'  And she leaves and we all just look at each other in confusion.  Even Charlie will say in so many words, 'what's wrong with NayNay?'  Natalie tries to give us a guilt-trip!

Ruby takes a similar approach to her tantrums.  She gets upset over having to change her clothes.  Lately, she always wants to wear the same skirt over and over again.  At least it's over pants so when we just stay at home for the day, I let her get away with it.  But after days of this or if we're going out and I tell her to take it off, she begins to argue.  She cannot understand why Rapunzel and The Chipmunks don't have to change their clothes.  And the arguement sometimes leads to a tantrum when I have to remove the skirt myself.  And we go from unhappy Ruby to enraged, won't be calmed down, Ruby.  The face of the menopause lady.  Ruby just gets MAD!

And then there's Charlie.  He is so busy and into everything!  So we've been having our bouts.  Lately, he has tantrums over having to give me something that he shouldn't play with... a fork or knife, daddy's chalk line, a sharp scissors....  I usually have to wrestle it away from him and then he incorporates a scream into his tantrum.  So far I haven't had to deal with a tantrum in the store but we've all seen that kid in the store that just lets out a scream and his mom doesn't know what to do.  Oh I hope I don't have to deal with a Charlie tantrum in the store!!

Back to the screaming lady....  Part of me took pity on her.  If we had flashed our lights at her purposely, she'd have reason to be a little annoyed since it probably didn't make sense to her why we would do that.  And I realized that I pitied her because I also see myself in certain situations where I'm so sure of what I saw and so angry but there is absolutely no reason for me to be upset!  And a lot of times, after the fact, I realize how childish I acted or felt.  And it doesn't hurt the other person (or it shouldn't when they had nothing to do with it) but it only brings my own attitude down.

It's all part of our human nature and sometimes, it's hard to break free from that.  It feels good to have that pity-party or to throw that occassional tantrum.  But we gain nothing.  And we just look stupid!!  There are different times when I catch myself getting into that mentality of 'poor me...' and it does nothing at all for me or anyone else!

So thank you, crazy-angry-lady for reminding me that jumping to conclusions and formulating judgements and throwing pity parties do nothing for the betterment of any of the people involved!