Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Going the Extra Mile...and Reaping the Reward

 You are all good people. You do good things. You do so much for your families, church groups, friends and neighbors, many wonderful things are done by YOU! As I ran last Saturday and I contemplated stopping at mile 23 (truth be told, my husband was insisting...and really I agreed...I didn't want to disturb my actually Boston Marathon training by running my legs to the ground), but I kept thinking of going those "extra miles." There were only 3! I mean, after running 23, why not just keep going?

Before reaching 23, I knew from experience what usually happened around mile breakdown of body and mind. I didn't want that to happen BEFORE my actual marathon.

I remember with clarity, some 8 years ago when I ran my second marathon and first attempt at a Boston qualifying time. I was all smiles and high fives until a light switch went off at mile 18. It was like I had been hit over the head with a brick. And then my legs felt like bricks. I recall the pain being similar to child birth (minus the epidural)...seriously! I just wanted the blasted thing to be over. I remember seeing scores of runners pass me...feeling defeated, I almost quit. But I didn't. I kept saying, "Just put one foot in front of the other Heather." And I did. I guess what, I finished...and qualified for Boston.

So while running I thought to myself it was pretty awesome to run 23 miles. It was a good thing...pretty awesome feat if I say so myself. I mean, who runs 23 miles on a Saturday morning...not many people. It would be totally fine to hop in the car and be done with it. I would have accomplished my goal by working my body and mind for a longer distance.

But I kept thinking about what I would get if I finished the race...if I just ran those extra miles. Not only would I have accomplished something "good," I would receive a final reward from my effort.

1. The opportunity to run through the finish, where crowds would be cheering!

2. A medal would be placed around my neck.

3. A warm blanket would be set on my shoulders (something I couldn't wait to was COLD).

4. Fuel for my body (bagels, apples, bananas, chips, yogurt, juice)

5. A massage.

I thought about the rewards of going the extra mile...and the joy it brought to me that morning. I thought about you...and what more can be accomplish if we all would just go the extra mile. If we take the good that we do now and commit to be better what amazing things would happen. Whether we decide to show more patience in our homes, write that card of appreciation we have neglected to send, give of our time, or donate the extra we have...the rewards are great!
And the greatest reward is the joy we will feel in our hearts when we truly give of ourselves.
I see Sandy and Rich running that extra mile each day as they care for their precious Brittany. I want to be just like them when I grow up.

You do so much good...thank you. I am now only $100 from my goal! Please consider joining us as we help raise money to find a cure for NBIA as I run the Boston learn more click here

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Massanutten 2011

Another successful trip to Massanutten!  We all agree...this was the best year of skiing.  This assessment was given due to three lovely factors:

1.  All Porters can now ski (Ashton voiced his disdain of skiing...or any outdoor activity... by telling his instructor he wanted to quit after 2 hours.  Garth, Sommer, Calvin and I came and gave him a pep resulting in him sticking it out)! He was only willing to do 2 more runs after he completed his Slope Slider's course...but we will take that!  It was awesome to have all 7 of us able to do something like this together.

2.  The weather rocked!  Friday brought us crystal clear sky and freshly made snow.  Saturday threatened us with rain but blessed kept away.

3.  We loved skiing with the Uhler Family!  They joined us on Friday night where each Porter kid matched perfectly with a Uhler kid.  Sommer skied and then switched to snowboarding with Kayla.  Calvin and Cole were MIA for two days somewhere on the slopes, tearing it up on their boards.  Ethan and Jake not only sped down the hills, they took many an adventure in the woods and surrounding areas.  Tate and Brett made plenty of noise and allowed Ashton to tag along.
And everyone seemed to be obsessed with "the arcade."  Thanks Garth for taking them (if anyone wants a cheapo bear from the "claw" game...give us a call...)
The adults were pretty cool too.  We especially enjoyed our "adult only" dinner and "adult only" outdoor hot tubbin'.  But mixed with skiing with all the kids, the Porter vs. Uhler basketball tournament and diving show down, we loved every minute of it.

Sommer was the epitome of a ski she looked cool!
 The three boys went to ski school and had a blast (ok...two of them had a blast). I was amazed at how quickly Ethan and Tate learned the art of skiing.
 Ashton was too cute handling his mini skiis.
 Tate was a natural and was hitting the black diamond minutes after class ended.

 Calvin didn't leave the slope until 10 pm each night.  Stud.
 Here is Ashton getting on the lift for the first time...we were all hiding, hoping he wouldn't see us and ask to leave class...success.
 Garth and Sommer taking their first run.
 Here is Ashton coming down after his first try on the mountain.
 This is Calvin after two days of skiing.
 Here is Sommer and Kayla getting ready to give boarding a try.  They loved it...although they said it was painful.
 Here is Ian and notch snowboarders!

We love our trips to Massanutten indeed!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hawaii Happenings

I am sick at looking at myself running in that last post!  So it is time to finally share some new happenings...and we have been happening indeed.

I mean...look at those toes (and old looking feet) just relaxing in Hawaii!

Garth and I were blessed to head over to Hawaii a few weeks ago to spend some time with my parents and Mike and Nikki (can you believe I haven't seen my bro and sis for at least 8 years...sad I know).  But it was just like old times...laughing, laughing and more laughing...mixed with sunning, sunning and more sunning!

I can't express how wonderful it was to spend time with my mom and Nikki.  And the hard work we all took part in getting the most amazing tans.  We were exhausted every night...and then we would eat, feeling much better.

Garth preferred the more "active" Hawaii vacation and took up cliff diving with a bunch of locals.  I don't think the locals busted up their shoulder though.  I do have to give myself credit for snorkeling around that black rock corner far far from the beach (and safety). Have I told you I am afraid of open water (or closed for that matter).  I was doing pretty good until someone said there was a huge turtle under me...I mean...right under me...creepy...I was too freaked out to actually see it...but who knows, I might have actually touched it!  And then as we crept our way around the rocks, I started to notice dark murky waters that led to shark territory.  After those thoughts entered my mind...I was "outta" there...and safely found myself on the sand where I went back to "working on my tan."

We also went to church while in Hawaii. I love going anywhere in the world and finding our church and feeling right at home...Aloha!  And Garth enjoyed wearing plaid shorts and a Hawaiian shirt with sandals...Aloha!

Don't start thinking that all I did was lay in the sun all day...there was "one" time I rode 26 miles down from the Volcano...a whoppin' 10,000 feet.  You might think that was easy (Garth says he never had to pedal) but gravity was on his side.  For me to keep up, I had to pedal like a fool (my parents followed us from behind in their car and confirmed the "fool" and "pedaling").

You would have thought we were riding motorcross bikes with helmets like these.  But no, simple mountain bikes.

I would have loved to see the crater of the "so called" Haleakala Volcano but no...too many clouds hanging out...lame (that was a waste of $15 bucks).

And man oh was freezing up there.  I was wondering where Hawaii went.  But lucky for me, it wasn't long until mom and I were safely back to work at the beach.

Is this lady the cutest thang?!  We had a blast relaxing by the water...talking and talking!  Love you Mom! 

We had a lovely picnic on the beachfront our last evening. After sharing a delicious pizza, it wasn't long until the ants took over and finished it.  That all happened when we encouraged Garth to ride the waves one last time before we ended our vacation.

You would think Garth was showing off here for some ladies on his final wave...oh wait he was (or my funny brother cut and pasted him) decide

Our dear friends, Laura and Tung, met us in Waikiki and we had a lovely brunch on the beach.  We were given these lovely leis too.  Man, they are good to us!  I think we might move in with them!

We think it was a little unfair when we woke up to this view the first morning.  But we took full advantage of it...don't worry.

This was seriously one of the best vacations I have been on...ever! 
Aloha and Mahalo (and Power to the Pope...or so the birds say).