Mother's Day

I was lucky enough to get to spend Mother's Day with my mom...

Lucky for me, she lives at the beach. We spent a wonderful weekend playing bocce with Gran and Da...

eating sand...

looking adorable...

giving smoldering looks to passing dogs...

venturing into the still cold ocean...

building sandcastles...

going to church in downtown Charleston...

and talking to moms and grandmothers on the phone...

I love this picture because it captures my mom perfectly- smiling on the beach with her sunglasses and visor on, the wind blowing her hair and the sun shining down on her:)

Here's a poem my mom sent me that I love:

The Lanyard - Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

It was the best Mother's Day I could have asked for- to be with my beautiful children and my beautiful mom in a beautiful place. Speaking of which, our too-short visit inspired me to begin planning a great escape sometime in late September- a week at the beach at my mom's with NO KIDS!!!



Last Saturday Eric ran the North Carolina marathon. If you look closely at this picture, you might notice something missing...

That was him coming down the home strech in all his barefooted splendor. This:

is what always happens when I try to take a close-up action shot. I zoom in too far and can't find my subject and end up cutting off their head or missing them completely. And in my defense, he was running almost a 6 min. pace right then, so he was kind of hard to follow!

Here are the adoring fans- Eric, Brigham, Harry and Eli (who were there cheering on their dad, our friend Paul, who also ran the race). Eric had made the ten o'clock news the night before and while we were waiting for him to come across the line, people kept seeing the boys' sign and saying to them, "that guy is your dad? Wow!"

His feet the night after the race- not so bad huh?:

He came in in 12th place overall with a time of 3:11:19, which was just 20 seconds shy of his goal of qualifying for the Boston marathon. He and Paul even got in the local paper the next day. I had to beat off all the other reporters, but here's my interview with my speedy husband:

What did you think when you first heard about barefoot running?

I looked at my (barefoot) buddy and laughed. Then I took my shoes off
and loved it.

What made you want to try it?

I really didn't take any convincing...something about it just seemed
right from the beginning. I usually don't shy away from ideas that are
unconventional, especially if their antithesis is a product of our
bag culture. I'm also a severe tightwad...it doesn't get much cheaper
than running barefoot for physical fitness. I suppose the shorts are
the next thing to go.

What's the hardest part of running barefoot?

Starting. There was a tough transition time for me where running for
more than three miles at less than a 7:00 minute/mile pace caused
blistering. It took several months for me to realize that this was
primarily an error in my running form: having heard that I should
strike with the balls of my feet, I discovered that I was emphasizing
the ball too much. As soon as I shifted my foot strike to the
mid-sole, everything cleared up and I could run longer distances at
faster paces.

What do you love most about it?

The feel of the road under my feet and the lightness of my legs. It
sounds weird, but your feet become MORE sensitive as you run barefoot.
Most people find this counter-intuitive, since barefooters also
develop thicker skin. However, the sensitivity is a good thing: you
begin to appreciate the different textures of the surfaces that you
run - I think it's probably akin to a blind person who develops a high
sensitivity on their figure tips after learning to read braille. You
also develop better foot sense, which promotes safety when running -
without a barrier between your foot and the road, you can more quickly
asses the quality of the surface that you're running on and how it
might affect your joints. The other part that I love is the
weighlessness; I've worn shoes twice while running in the 1.5 years
that I've been barefooting, and both times they made my legs feel
constrained and heavy. In one instance, my mile time actually worsened
when I was using shoes.

What is the craziest/funniest thing someone has said to you while you were
running barefoot?

I can't remember all of the goofy things that people have said, but
the funniest thing I heard during the marathon this past weekend was
that I had run so fast that I left my shoes behind. It created a good
mental picture that propelled me forward.

Way to go sweetheart! We are SO PROUD of you!! Do me a favor and keep your shorts on though!