Sunday, October 24, 2010

WO-mans Best Friend

A few years ago I talked with Jeremy about getting a dog. I really wanted a big dog and a Boxer was what I saw our family with. We did a lot of research and just decided we weren't ready.

A year ago I talked with Jeremy about getting a dog. I really wanted a small dog and a Brussels Griffon was what I saw our family with. We did a lot of research and just decided we weren't ready.

A month ago Jeremy talked with me about getting a dog. He really wanted one because his boss breeds them and an English Mastiff was what he saw our family with. We did a lot of research and decided we were ready.

His name is Franklin Woo Grist, a.k.a. Frankie, Bubby, Frank Frank, Frankie Boy, Woo Woo, etc.

I know it sounds funny to have a dog named Frankie and his middle name Woo but I have to reminisce some.

When I was in 6th grade my brother, sister, and I were outside playing in the yard with some friends. A man drove by in his truck and stopped right in front of our house. He had a sign on his truck that said "Free Puppies." We ran inside to tell our parents. My step-dad came out and talked with the man and we got our first "family" dog. I was in love with him. We didn't know what to name him so my parents left the name to my little sister who was 4 years old. The very first name she said was "Hooter." That was his name. My dad added a little "male-ness" to it by calling him "Hooter Brown Morgan." Man, I remember that dog! We had him for 6 years before we lost him to the countryside. I would say he was "WO-mans" best friend. Going through a lot in my homelife, I could cry out to Hooter and never have to worry about him losing love for me. I loved to watch him lay on the grass on a warm day soaking up the sun or chase rabbits off into the field. Thinking about him now takes me back to childhood and how grateful I was to experience the joy of a pet. One of the nicknames we called Hooter was "Wooter." I was very sad the day he ran off into the field and didn't come home. After looking for him in our little red truck for days, we decided he wasn't coming home...and he never did.

Here it is 20 years later and we have a new family member. It feels like having an infant in our home at times but I am enjoying this while it lasts because this baby will someday be that of the size of Godzilla. I talk about Frankie like he is my child...and he is. Entering him in a Petsmart Halloween Contest was the start of something rediculous and I love it!
I hope Maddy enjoys every minute (frustration and joy) with Franklin Woo as much as I did with Hooter Brown!

Future Frank

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Simply the Best!

With training STARTING off awesome and ending with side stitches at every run, I went into this marathon with a mind set of enjoying and finishing. I am glad I had that in mind because they hit at mile 11 and didn't stop until after I was done. I had to walk most of the end. I beat myself up for not making my time but I quickly got over it as I was reminded that I have 46 more states to complete and there is no sense in pouting over one!

Look what just happened! I got to run Chicago, I ran with 38, 132 people, over 1 million spectators and volunteers, I got my name in the Chicago Tribune, we rode in our very first taxi, we saw one the 7 great lakes, got to see the "Adventures in Babysitting" building, we were on Chicago's news by waving in the background, saw the Chicago Theater, visited our first comic book store, and I got to reunite with Dean. I finished the marathon in 4 hours and 52 minutes. It wasn't my BEST race but I'd say it was my BEST race!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The North Face

It was March 2006 when I had first discovered "Runners World" magazine. I remember reading about Dean Karnazes and how he was going to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Dean is the spokesperson for The North Face, the Ultramarathon Man, and the world's fittest man. At that time my plan was to run a 50 miler but after reading on Dean (and talking with Jeremy) I decided to do a marathon.
In one of my previous posts I describe what it was like to run with Dean. It was my first blog and may sound crazy to others but it was the one of the best days of my life. It was also then that I decided to do all 50 states.
Fast forward 4 years. Here it is October 2010 and the time for me to run my 4th marathon is here. I was keeping up with Chicago marathon through Facebook. All the updates of runners and expected people to fill the course. All that was fascinating but one thing stuck out. Dean was going to be there! I immediately was brought back to that initial feeling I had when I experienced running with him. If you read the post you would have read that Dean was "Mayor of the road." He didn't hang out with the top runners at the front or pick and choose who to talk to. He talked to everyone. And when hypothermia hit me at mile 18, he was there. Trying to shield me from rain and eventually giving me his jacket, until I had to quit. That was the most memorable time of running. It was also the time that I was introduced to The North Face, I love that brand!
As we drove in to Chicago on Friday, I got word that Dean was going to be at The North Face store that night. But big cities and traffic determines your arrival and we didn't make it on time. I was told by a friend of mine that he would be at the expo the next day. And since everything has a purpose and I got to experience that.
We showed up at the expo at noon only to find out Dean would be there at 1:00-2:30. Jeremy and I looked at each other and said, "well, looks like we're waiting an hour." The volunteer showed us where to stand and as we arrived we noticed we were 1st in line. Maddy having a bored look on her face couldn't understand why I was so excited to see Dean. She patiently listened to me tell my story and she responds with, "I know mom. I saw him before." I had to laugh as I put myself in her shoes.
A guy came and stood behind us asking if we were in line for Dean. When we said yes he introduced himself to us and we talked for 45 minutes. It's amazing how when you start talking to fellow runners you are instantly family. Although this guy runs 2hr 45 min marathons, he was so welcoming and encouraging and interested in my story. I was able to share how God brought me from Lame to Leaping once again showing me my purpose.
The line began to get longer and my heart started to race. I get to reunite with the person who gave/gives me inspiration to go for my goal! With my map in my hand, I was ready for him to see my accomplishments and have him sign it!
"Hi!" he says as he pops out of nowhere. There he was. His running gear on, camelback in tact, and The North Face gear on-he had arrived. "Sorry I'm late. I had planned on running all the way here but I got lost. I see you guys are the first in line. How are you today?" he says. I had been rehearsing "who I was" in the mirror earlier that morning and finally got to say it. "My name is Wendy and I ran with you during your 50/50 plan in 2006. I am from Wichita and didn't get to finish with you due to hypothermia." He then hugs me and says, "YES! I remember! You poor thing! Wasn't that a brutal day! Did you see the video? Wow, the weather... Did you go on to do the marathon?" "I did. Here is my map. You inspired me to do all 50 states and I was wondering if you could sign it for me."-I nervously say. He looks over the map, takes a photo with me, hugs me again and says, "see you in a couple of states."

Something I learned from that experience is how excited I was to reunite with Dean after so long. I wanted to share my experiences with him and show what I had accomplished. It made me think of how God wants us to be that way with Him. We have so many experiences we could share with Him and rejoice with Him if we would get that hyped to reunite with Him. I don't do that enough. That experience showed me how I need to be excited to share those things with God too. I have to look up and forward in everything I do. I mean after all...God is The NORTH Face!

"I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back."-Philippianss 3:12-14 The Message

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


This past Sunday our message at church was about "Matters of the Heart." We were unexpecting this message because we were going over a series called "OMG" and talking about different religions. It's amazing how you go through things in your life and God speaks so clear through something. I have to admit I was really enjoying our series and when we walked into church and the message had changed, I was kinda bummed. BUT, God quickly turned that around.
I have been struggling with forgiving someone who I feel wronged against. This person has been going through a lot lately and really "needing" me. I haven't been the best communicator in contacting them a lot and I was confessing to someone that I feel justified not to. I mean I was wronged, I was hurt, I put up with a, I can be this way right? I am sure you know the answer to that.
I have also been seeking God on an issue of me having to ask forgiveness from someone. While praying on these matters I felt the question arise of "if you can't forgive this person how would you feel if someone did that to you?" I had to think about that and it actually made me sad. It humbled me to the point of empathy.
Our pastor said that forgiveness is a choice not a feeling. How true is that. I remember all the time telling people how much I had forgiven this person for "wronging" me and then something would appear that would make me angry and put right back in the place I was before-justifying why I had rights to hold a grudge. How selfish.
Confessing my heart to a friend was a hard thing to do and my heart didn't look so pretty. When the things you think about come out in words, you end up looking rediculous.
This life can be a "tug-o-war" at times. You know you need to pull from this direction because it's what God wants but you end up pulling from that direction because it's what you want. No one wants to get dirty so they do the things that seems easiest to "them."
"What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise."-Romans 7:15 (The Message)

Well, I have decided to get dirty. I'm going to get in the mud and cut the rope that pulls me from one direction to the other. It may get hard, it may get tough, I may get weary...but you will never know until you let go.