The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


The Marathon

I ran the Chicago marathon.  I never thought I would actually run that far, but I did.  I’m going to give you all a very abbreviated version of the experience.

My family came with me to cheer me through it.  I think that was the best part. We took this selfie the day before the race.  I love those humans. We had a lot of fun in Chicago.

IMG_0681The night before the race I took some sharpie markers and wrote names on my arm to help me get through the tough miles.

IMG_0721Carmen is the reason I was running the race.  She put my name in the lottery, so if the race went poorly I would remember who to blame.  But, I also wanted to cheer for her.  I signed up to track her during the race. It was fun to see the messages come through on my phone telling me where she was in the race.

IMG_0727I had my family sign their names so I could remember that I had people who could scoop me up off the pavement and take me home.

IMG_0722This is a list of the amazing running people in my life.  All of them have inspired me through their training and races.  I love talking to them about running and hearing what they are doing.  They are the reason I kept training.
IMG_0730Carmen and I managed to find each other before the race.  We gave each other a hug and then went off to our corrals.  She runs a lot faster than I do, so we don’t run together and that’s why we are still friends.  If I had to run with her I’m pretty sure at mile 24 I would have looked at her and said, “THIS IS YOUR FAULT!”IMG_0009_2This is my favorite photo from the race.  I was at mile 19.  My family managed to see me a few times during the race, it was very encouraging.  Ike gave me a sweet hug and Ellen took that photo.  IMG_0030_2My goal was to finish and be able to walk around Chicago with my family.  I finished and I was able to walk, it wasn’t pretty. My knee hated me for a few days, but yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Because I’m Happy!

We spent part of our spring break in St. Louis.  Clay’s home office is there so we dropped him off to work and we went to have fun.

IMG_2753Clay’s office is located just down the street from Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.IMG_2757It is a beautiful office building with a fabulous view.IMG_2759It takes so little to impress us and even less to entertain us.IMG_2767My older two hadn’t been to the Science Center for many years, so that’s where we went.  The first stop was to master the flight simulators.IMG_2770This is outside the planetarium.  I was all about the selfies this trip.IMG_2773A sign said, “Do not feed or climb on dinosaurs.”  So, we just ran from them and poked them with large sticks.IMG_2782Technically, this is not climbing, it’s planking, captaining, and riding, so…


IMG_2822And the dino asked me to dance, so….still legit. IMG_2792

My kids built the arch.  Yep, they did.  My heart just about burst watching the four of them together.  Because, how many more of these moments do I really have left?  My guess is, not many.  Ellen is already out on her own and Seth is graduating this year. They are spreading their wings faster than I can catch them by the tail feathers and make them sit down and be a BABY!IMG_2795 IMG_2796 IMG_2798 IMG_2800 IMG_2803 IMG_2809I’m having a major Mom Moment right now.  I’m so proud of these four ridiculous human beings.  They are my reason for doing just about everything I do.

IMG_2810I’m amazed that I get to be their mom.  I hope I make them as proud as they make me.  I hope they love their children even more than I love them.  I know I’m going to love their children a ridiculous amount, so that may not be possible.IMG_2818 We ended the day by finding a very hip coffee shop that also made gellato in an old part of the city.  I love visiting St. Louis with my kids, we are such a rag-tag bunch of Kansans, but dad-gum we’re happy!

The Harlem Shake and My Hair

Who thinks the Harlem Shake is just dumb? Who thinks it’s fun? Who doesn’t care? If you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, then God bless you and carry on with your life.

Yeah, enough about that, let’s talk about me and my hair.

I got sick of my hair. I just felt like I had sported the long hair for long enough.


I started off slow and just hacked away at my bangs.  I had bangs for at least a week before Clay noticed.

I cut my bangs, they are crooked.  I took this with my phone while I sat waiting for my son to finish a musical rehearsal in Kansas City.  I was bored, I had to wait 2 hours that day.  I need to learn how to knit because I finished all the little projects I had brought with me and then it was just me and the phone.

I cut my bangs, they are crooked. I took this with my phone while I sat waiting for my son to finish a musical rehearsal in Kansas City. I was bored, I had to wait 2 hours that day. I need to learn how to knit because I finished all the little projects I had brought with me and then it was just me and the phone.

When the bangs were no longer doing it for me I decided I needed to do something more drastic.  So, one dark and stormy night, I pulled my hair back into a pony tail and asked my daughter to chop it off  in a straight line. Except, somewhere in her primary education, my daughter was never taught how to cut a straight line and I had crooked chopped hair.


I may have panicked a little and asked everyone to leave the bathroom (yes, there were at least four of us in the bathroom at the time). I shut the door to asses the damage. I spent the next hour hacking a path through my hair and then realized I couldn’t do this alone.

I called my friend, Beth, to come over the next day and straighten the back for me.  It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great.  Beth reminded me several times not to cut my hair without calling her FIRST.  Beth is a very smart woman.


I sported my home-made chop for a few months.  I went to Clay’s office Christmas party in St. Louis where I danced on a stress fracture all night in high-heeled boots.   Then for more fun I got up the next morning and walked all over Forest Park.  By the time I got in the car to head home my ankle was drooping over the side of my shoe and I’d stretched the top of my sock out so much that it looks more like a cloth diaper than a sock.  So, that was fun.

I wasn’t allowed to exercise anymore, so I had a lot of time to think about my bad hair cut.


Finally, I decided to go get my hair done by someone who can see the back of my head and cut a straight line at the same time.  Then I realized…..crap this short hair is a lot of maintenance.  I’ll probably be sporting that long hair again this summer.