Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Conversations with Cooper - Part 6

Last Thursday was my mom's birthday. To celebrate, many of us went out to dinner. While there Cooper was talking to my cousin and her boyfriend. This was the beginning of their conversation:

Amy: Hey Coop, what's up?
Cooper: Nothing.
Amy: Whatca doing?
Cooper: Just chillin'.

He never fails to amaze me with the things he says, picks up, and repeats.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lessons from a Half Marathon

On Saturday Allison and I ran the Middle Half half marathon. This was our third year to run this race and my fourth half marathon over all to run. Of the four I've completed, this was my second slowest time and about 6 minutes slower than last year's race. Allison, on the other hand, ran a personal best 1:55. Over 2 minutes faster than last year. She is such a rockstar!

The interesting thing about this year's race was that the course, for many of the runners, was 0.509 miles longer than a true half marathon. This was the same course as previous years, however, at about the 1.5 mile point in the race a police officer blocked the correct turn creating the longer course. The race director sent an e-mail  and posted it on the race's Facebook page, but there wasn't really anything that could be done officially because some people ran the correct route and some did not. Unfortunately, Allison and I did not.

As I have done in previous races this summer, I tried to think about some lessons I could learn from this race. I have come up with a few:
  • Training is essential - This year I suggested we try a different training method. I thought it would save our legs and allow us to recover easier from long runs. In hindsight, I think we had too much recovery time. While we did just as many, if not more, miles than in previous years, we didn't do enough long runs in consecutive weeks to allow our bodies to get accustomed to running for  along time.
  • Your mindset can help or hurt you - Leading up to the race Allison and I talked a lot about how we didn't think we were as prepared and couldn't imagine that we would be able to eclipse out times from 2010. In the days leading up to the race, however, I tried my best to get us both in a good frame of mind. I even set a goal, that I thought would be tough to achieve, especially for me. Starting the race I was in a good frame of mind, other than I couldn't find Allison. I did, however, lose a lot of that when I learned we got off track on the course.
  • Run your own race - In the two previous years Allison and I have started together. We typically run about 10 miles together and then she speeds up and I try my best to keep up. This year was different because we lost each other just before the race started. This was great for her because it allowed her to run at her own pace and listen to her body and not my watch. Because of this she was able to run a personal best time on a course that was almost a half mile longer than she had ever ran before.
  • Take motivation where ever you can get it - At mile 11 a guy came up from behind me and said, "We've ran this whole race together. I'm not letting you slow down now." After about a minute I started to fall behind. He then said, "I'm not kidding. Speed up and let's finish this thing together." I don't know if he slowed down or I actually kept up with his pace, but in my mind I was totally motivated by his kindness to me in pushing me past what I thought were my limits. I am trying to figure out his name because I want to contact him and tell him thanks again for helping me.
Between miles 10 and 11 I told myself, "I'm never doing this again." Then about an hour after the race was over I started thinking about when I can run another race in order to get myself back under the 2 hour time. I'm a glutton I guess.

This is a great race. Even with the course error it was still a great day to run. The weather was awesome and the atmosphere at this race is always great. I am sure Allison and I will be signing up next year when they open up registration.

What are some lessons you have learned from an activity or hobby you do?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Conversations with Cooper

I know this usually comes on Thursdays, but this week "Conversations with Cooper" is brought to you on Tuesday, sponsored by the letter C and the number 4.

I've written recently about Cooper's new found love of Jeeps. This obsession love for jeeps hasn't waned, as evidenced by our recent conversation.

Lately Cooper is not so much of a morning person. We typically wake him up with just enough time to get ready and get out the door at or about the time Allison and I like to leave. We don't mind letting him sleep (we actually wish he could sleep until he woke up on his own), but if we want to get to work on time we don't have this option. After he got out of bed and got his clothes on he met me in the bathroom to brush his teeth and hair. As I was brushing his hair we had this conversation:

Me: Did you ask your mom if she would cut your hair into a mohawk? (Side note: while washing his hair at bath time recently I have been putting his hair in a mohawk. One night he asked if we could cut his hair into a mohawk and I suggested he ask his mom. I am sure you all know how that turned out.)
Cooper: (in a very low whisper-y voice) No. I don't want a mohawk any more.
Me: You don't? Why not?
Cooper: I just don't. But I still want to get a jeep.

I don't really know why he thought of that or what it had to do with a mohawk. Maybe he was just wanting to make sure I didn't forget that he wants us to get a jeep.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Slow Week at the Bussell House

Although it doesn't ever feel like a "slow week," there really hasn't been much going on at our house this week. A few things that pop out 1) I'm glad to have Allison home all week, 2) we're trying to figure out why Cooper won't go to sleep at night, and 3) I'm looking forward to celebrating Allison's b'day this weekend.

What about you? What are you looking forward to the rest of the week/weekend?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More Observations from Acts

I am not sure if it's because I don't read carefully enough, if I've just missed these parts, or someting else, but I have made several observations that I've never thought of before. If you missed my most recent observations you can find them here.

This time it's Paul and Silas in jail. They have been put there, essentially, because they drove a demon out of a girl that was making money for her owners by being a fortune teller. After they drove the demon out the brought them in front of the chief magistrates who, in turn, had them beaten and thrown into jail.
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose. When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison open, he drew his sword and was going to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul called out in a loud voice, 'Don’t harm yourself, because all of us are here!' Then the jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he escorted them out and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?'" Acts 16:25-30 (HCSB)
 My first observation is of Paul and Silas's faithfulness. It says "they were praying and singing hyms to God." What it doesn't say is "they were whining and complaining about God letting them be put in jail for nothing and they were plotting their escape." I'm not sure about you, but when I am wrongfully accused or am paying for something I didn't do I tend to get angry. It's at these times that I also start trying to figure out how I am going to get out of the situation. Notice I said "how I'm going to get out." These are the times that I am horrible about not leaning into God and putting all my eggs in His basket, so to speak. Because of their faithfulness God took care of them and allowed their situation to be resolved.

Second, they didn't try to leave whenever the jail door was flung open and their chains were removed. I've never been in jail, but I imagine that most people who are in there, whether or not they are guilty, would make a bee line for the door if it were open and they thought they could get away with it. Not these guys. And it's because of they faithfulness and the fact that they didn't take advantage of the situation that they were able to minster to this jailer and lead him to a relationship with Christ.

I wonder how often I miss opportunities to minister to someone simply because I am irritated, upset, or consumed with my own circumstances? How much better would I be at reaching people for Christ if I would quit worrying about how I am going to get out of our current circumstance and make the best of the situation God has placed me in?