Chase Fireflies


I Did It!

 I finished my first 5K this morning! 

Before the run

Here’s me before the race.  I’m psyched to be here….

we’ve had little sleep (Adden was sick through the night!)
but we’ve found parking, Paul’s parents are watching the kiddos (too cold for a sick guy!)
Paul is cheering me on 
and there is an electric atmosphere here:

35,000 people on behalf of someone else
running in honor, in memory, and in celebration of wives, moms, friends, sisters, aunts…
and there are strong and beautiful survivors

mid run

My run was great! 

Considering all things:  the sleep, cold, haphazard training, the hills!
And the walkers.  I got stuck behind a few hundred walkers, but oh well. 
I suppose I looked like a speedster in comparison.  (and I’m not that!)

The most incredible part was the last half mile. 
There were HUGE CROWDS!  Crowds of people lining the streets cheering us on!
I knew I would cry at the finish line, but I didn’t anticipate tears with a half mile to go.

All I could think of was the great cloud of witnesses I’ll see one day. 


I did it!  The final time was 31:03. 
And I exceeded my goal of fundraising, with $180!  Thank you friends!

Looking forward to many more races to come!

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Tomorrow I Run! Yeah!

 race for the cure

I’ll run my first 5K tomorrow.  How am I feeling you may ask?  Crazy excited and completely freaked out. 

I’ve done as much training as I have been able, which is to say not much.  One should probably not gallavant to Europe  weeks before the race and train with buttery croissants, chocolates, and 7 course meals. 

Nevertheless, I clocked 30:11 upon my return – my fastest time yet!  Just eleven seconds shy of my goal.  Maybe a new strategy to consider?

Whatever the outcome – I am going to do my best.  I’m running with 35,000 others, the biggest race in all of Pennsylvania.  Yikes!

Here are some of my concerns:

Getting trampled by really long-legged fast people.
Running in a sleepy haze . 
Frostbite – lower 30’s – really, in May?

Disappointing Running Woman (my sister-in-law Ashley- she’s the real runner/my coach!)
Getting lost.  (A valid concern unless I strap a GPS to my body.)  This race better be well marked!
Making it to church on time! 

Parking  (that’s Paul’s concern)
Hurling over the finish line and frightening small children.

Here is why none of them matter:

I am healthy and strong. 
I feel God’s pleasure when I run.  I can worship with each stride.
This run directly supports breast cancer education, screening, research, and treatment.

Two of my closest friends have fought/are fighting this battle with their moms. 
It’s what I can do to love them…
And honor the beautiful women who have made them who they are.

I’m rather emotionally attached.
I can do this thing, whatever the outcome.  See you at the finish!

If you would like to support me, please click here.

Thanks, friends!  Much love!

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France: Louvre Antics, Etc.

Friday started off with a trip to Sacre Couer, a Catholic Church set high upon a hill.  The history of this church is fascinating and tragic;  a subject for another post. 

From there, we got Korean for lunch.  It was here that my poor mom learned that her famous mac n’cheese has been forever trumped by my favorite dish of all time:  dulcet beem en bop. 

Sacre Couer

After stuffing ourselves with rice, red pepper paste, and Kimchee, we subway-ed it back to the hotel for a nap.  Next stop was the Louvre, where we were in rare form!  Do my mom and I look anything like Mona? 




This is officially called the Winged Victory of Samothrace but I wouldn’t have remembered that.  If you google “Louvre Lady on Ship,” this is what you’ll find!

Lady on Ship

One of the most stunning things for me in the Louvre was the sheer volume of art portraying Christ and Biblical themes.  He was the central figure in each gallery, as if the ancient artists were echoing redemption through the ages.  Loved it.

Water into Wine

Clearly a lot to contemplate here:)


After spending the evening in a museum all to ourselves we walked out to this view.  Still can’t believe we’re in Paris….  Tomorrow we’re off to the country via a rental car with my brother at the wheel.  Yipes!



France: Chocolate, Monet, & Cooking Class

Dude.  Check out these guys.  So good, with the exception of a meringue that I swear was squirted with my brother’s shampoo.  On Day 3 we toured Gerard Murot’s Patisserie.  Here we met a guy crazy about making chocolate and us crazy about eating it. 

Gerald Merlot

From the pastry tour, we headed to the Tower of Montparnesse, the tallest structure in France.  Somehow, my brother swaggered his way up to the 58th floor and got us entrance into the snazziest restaurant I have ever stepped foot in.  DAN IS AMAZING!

Mom and Dan

Below is a pic of the Museum D’Orsay.  It houses 19th and 20th century artists, particularly the impressionists.  I LOVED THIS MUSEUM!  I’ve always had a strange thing for Monet and Degas – and then Van Gogh – well he was just one odd cat.  Fascinating, beautiful art here.

Museum D'Orsay

Here was our surprise of the day.  Dan had arranged for us to take a French Cuisine Cooking Class in Paris!  It was soooo much fun!  We made fish, vegetables, and souffle. 

I was delegated the hardest part of the meal – a peculiar sauce (not a wise decision on the chef’s part.)  Continually fearing that I would break it, she intermittently went nuts and all nervous-like.  (Who knew that you could break a sauce!)

Dan, on the other hand,  got major commendations from all of the women for his culinary skills (though he isn’t watching what he is doing with the knife below.) 

Dan with Knife

Tomorrow we head to a Korean restaurant and the Louvre.  Can’t wait to see Mona!


France: 2 Days In

According to my blog, I never left France.  Oops.  I am home.  Just forgot I had a blog!  And I’ve gone back to teaching, writing, consigning for the spring, and being a momma and wife. 

Our trip to France was incredible, but it is good to be home.  What you’ll find in the next few days is a delayed random photo recap of history, architecture, food, art, friends, and the three of us – my mom, brother and me. 

L'Arche de Triumphe

Upon arriving in Paris, we travelled first to the L’Arc de Triumphe – a monument honoring those who fought for France.  250 steps later (on no sleep, mind you!) we got to the top to the most fantastic view.  And there was the Eiffel, completely catching me off guard.  So breathtaking!


My brother was in rare form.  He was thrilled to host us, although perhaps a little anxious about us two girls  in Paris.  We’re not always high maintenance, but maybe upon occasion…  We spent the rest of our day eating crepes along the Seine and trekking to our hotel via the subway, bags in tow.

Classic mom

After a great night of sleep, we were raring to go on Wednesday.  (Look how cute my mom is!)  We woke up to buttery croissants, hard boiled eggs, coffee, and fruit.  We toured a history museum and ate lunch at a vegetarian restaurant (my brother aims to please his sister!)

Notre Dame

After fantastic falafel, we headed to Notre Dame.  Prior to our visit, Notre Dame was a big church with a hunchback, compliments of Victor Hugo.  Yet I kept finding myself wiping away tears. 

Light of the World

 Scriptures came alive to me here in flickering candles and flying buttresses;  in ancient carvings and light streaming through mosaics;  in every beggar and thief.  Someday I’ll get a chance to get it on paper.

Feeding the birds

Following Notre Dame, we walked down to the Seine armed with birdseed.  As it goes, we started out begging a lonely bird to eat our offerings and ended up with every great uncle and 5th cousin, once removed, attacking us.  It was fantastic.

Love my brother

Also fantastic was this boat ride.  Along the Seine, you’ll see the Museum d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and every aspect of Notre Dame.  But frankly, they had nothing on time with my mom and brother. 

Having fun

More to come one of these days!