Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I'm on Day 23 of my running streak. My "training" for the NYC marathon doesn't formerly start until July 15 and I'll be honest...I won't be sad when this little streak is over on July 4th.

It has been SOOOO good for me for the last 23 days but today was really hard to get up, head out the door and attack the mountain. And I know that not one day in the next 10 is going to be any easier. I am pretty sure that is the point. The closer you get to a goal, it is harder to achieve.

During one of our devotions the other day, our camp director shared the story of Team Hoyt; a father and son running duo that has raced across the globe in triathlons, marathons, and a multitude of other races. The catch? Dick Hoyt, the son has severe cerebral palsy leaving him without the ability to use his limbs, voice or assist in any way. He wanted to compete in these races to show how you can still have hope in life when you have lost everything you have put stock in.

It has been a great encouragement to me as I try to complete me running streak. Dick Hoyt's father has made it possible for him to run these races. Just as my Father in Heaven will make it possible for me to run the race He has marked out for me. Whether that is physically running, spiritually running or simply living the life that He made me for.

I am grateful for these earthly examples of great fatherly love that point me to the hope we have. An Inheritance of Hope not of FEAR!

Check out the story of the Hoyt's here. 

Remember, you can donate to my Inheritance of Hope fund here. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Every Runner Has a Reason

I am proud to announce that I am running in the New York City Marathon on November 3, 2013! I am 19 weeks away from Marathon Sunday and I can not believe it is going to happen.

I have run 21 days straight here in Colorado on my running streak and I am not going to lie, this week is going to be the hardest ever to try to pull of as I am going to be on planes and buses and with 55 high school students on a massive road trip. But, we will see if I can do it. The reason I am running?

I have a few:
I went to high school on Staten Island in New York. I have always wanted to run the NYC Marathon. This year when it was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy and the devastation on Staten Island in particular, I really wanted to run. It became a passion of mine.

Then, I found out I could run in the marathon if I partnered with a charity. The charity buys race bibs and then you raise money for them. They organize a team and you get to run the race. The big problem is finding a charity you believe in and want to raise money for.

Many of you remember my friend Amy Patwa who passed away in January. She spoke about a charity called the Inheritance of Hope that sent her, her husband Adam and their daughter Charis on a retreat to the Magic Kingdom in May of last year. They did all kinds of great things and had a focused time to discuss her end of life, their plans and what the future would look like when she passed away. It turned out to be one of the last things that she was able to actively take part in. As she said just a few months later, "The timing of this was perfect. I couldn't walk around the Magic Kingdom now!"

It turns out, this charity raises their funds through runners. And now it is a a charity that I have become passionate about alongside Young Life.

They have a team of 8 runners that are training and raising funds nationwide for families with children that have a parent with a life-threatening illness. I am hoping to raise or exceed my goal of $5,000. This will be a joyful fundraiser that helps to create a legacy of hope within a family that is facing tremendous medical challenges.

Inheritance of Hope (www.InheritanceOfHope.org) helps young families who face the terminal illness of a parent build their legacies through Legacy Retreats: four day all-expenses-paid events where families come together to make memories, build a community of support, and gain tools to manage the challenges they face.  Inheritance of Hope also funds a $1,000 Legacy Scholarship for college-bound seniors living with a terminally ill parent and offers various other support services that address the deep needs of these families. 

The Inheritance of Hope helps to turn a difficult, awful circumstance into one that focuses on the hope that we have in Christ and provides counsel, support and love to families as they struggle to do that in the face of mountain medical bills, daily bad news from physicians and quite simply...trying to raise children. 

I am raising money to help send a family on retreat when they need it most. 
To provide hope and rest for them. 

This verse gives you good insight on the name of the charity: 
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." ~ 1 Peter 1:3-5

I know what it has meant for me and my family simply to come out to Colorado for a month and we aren't facing a major life illness. It has been such a blessing!

Would you help me to give a focused, retreat for a family through the Inheritance of Hope? 

This is my fundraising page if you would like to join in. Inheritance of Hope Fundraising Page

There are a LOT of weeks to go until the marathon. It would be so encouraging to have the fundraising taken care of and to know I am running for ALL OF YOU! 

I am running in the Asheville 1/2 Marathon on September 27 and then the New York City Marathon on November 3. WOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Week 3 OV-ER

I can't believe that I am writing about how this week is already over! We did SO MANY THINGS. We wanted to wring out all that we could of this week, which meant day trips out of camp, nights that we stayed up until midnight (like the high school campers) and going on 9 mile hiking trips to the top of a 13-thousand foot mountain!

It has been AMAZING! We are slap-worn out! Everyone is crying. Emotional. Exhausted. It is wonderful. Over 150 kids stood up and proclaimed that they accepted Jesus into their hearts last night on the final night of camp. It was incredible.
One boy said, "I've never heard any of this before. I want Jesus." Talk about the tears.

So here at the pictures:
Asher has "joined" the Work Crew and helps with the welcome every week. He carries bags and has turned into a little mascot. It is hilarious. 

Camp was super full this past week with over 400 campers. We have even MORE this upcoming week! The dining hall is JAMMED. 

Lucy and the other little girls on the assigned team find ways to get all their gear from the Volleyball tournament. It is hilarious every week. 

The rodeo is one of my favorite events every week. It never gets old. 

It is blowing me away every single day here. 
This is the setup for what is called the "Western Revue". Matt and Will sing Western songs, tell jokes, do Western-type performances. It is hard to describe but it one of the best nights of the week at camp. It involves all of the assigned team kids. Here, Matt is giving them all instructions on being in the McAwesomestache Family Band. 

Here is the band. 

This is what is looks like when the lights come one and 400-something high school students and leaders are here! It is all set out doors under the Colorado sky and lit by lanterns. It is truly a magical night. 

We went to Rancho Caballo on Tuesday. It is a ranch that is run by Trail West the Young Life Family Camp that is 30 minutes away. They have a little petting zoo type area and gave our kids pony rides. The family camp does incredible things that is similar to a week of YL camp but based on family type activities. So they take families on jeep rides, go rafting and do awesome YL clubs and events all week long too. We were excited to visit for the day. 

Again, Asher looks like a giant. Hilarious. Next year he will have to ride the actual horses they have. Geez. 

On Wednesday we went to St. Elmo. A ghost town where you can feed chipmunks and well...that's about it. It is pretty random. But our kids had a blast. 

It was the night that never ends again on Wednesday night!
The kids were geared up and ready! 

On Thursday, it was High Country Day. We hiked Mt. Chrysolite. Asher wanted to go on the hike so after going to bed at midnight, we got him at up 6:30 and got ready for the mountain. Ever gone hiking with 400 high school students before? It is something to behold. 

He made it to the top like a champ! I was so proud of him! We had a great day hiking together. Matt had to help some campers for much of the hike up, but Asher and I had so much fun planning his birthday, chatting about life, third grade, etc. It was the highlight of the month for me. I don't know if you can tell by how much I am CHEESING FOR THE CAMERA! 

It is truly one of the most beautiful places to behold. Mostly because it is takes such an incredible effort to get 400 people of all kinds of abilities to the top of the mountain. I cry every time. 

This is Greta Millet. Matt did program with her dad back in 2002 and 2003. When she was younger than Asher. Now she is a camper. AND, she lives in Boerne,TX. Same town as Amy Noll. AND her parents started YL in Albany, GA. Where my parents live.  Pretty bizarre little world I live in. 

My little man feeling the accomplishment of a 13k mountain under his belt. 

Just taking it in. I love them.

This was how much snow was on the top. It was a LITTLE CRAZY. Up to Asher's waist.
This is why we haven't done the hike the last two weeks. 

This is about a 1/2 mile from the finish of the hike. And Asher is still in a good mood sticking his tongue out at the camera. He is hilarious. I love him! 

Our family portrait at the top! 

The sound intern took this picture on Wednesday night. Asher has taken to jumping on the wagon and helping to lead the dances with Matt and the program team. It is hilarious because he really can dance and he has NO fear. He just dances, HARD. It has been a great week here. 
We only have a few days left! We are meeting up with our high school friends to take them to Crooked Creek so they can have the best week of their lives next week. But this is our LAST week at Frontier Ranch. I can believe it!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Week 2 Update

This week has flown by!

I have been battling a cold that has now turned into a sinus infection, so if anyone wants to come out to Colorado and pay their last respects, now is the time. It really fees like death is knocking at my door (sadly) and I am hoping for a quick recovery. But in the meantime, I thought I would share with you some highlights from the week.

The kids have been having tons of fun! Frisbee golf, the bead cart, the Knoxville campers brought with them a game called "Spike Ball" and Asher has been killing it. Also, he and Charlie (his 7 year old best friend here) have been playing basketball and volleyball day and night and the work crew have been mightily impressed with their skills.

Lucy is writing and drawing as always and her stories are hilarious. I mean, hilarious. She has a brown haired doppleganger named Jessie and they spend from sunup to well past sundown together making up dances, singing songs etc. It is a kids paradise here.

I have been on my running streak here (39 days of running between Memorial Day and 4th of July), you just have to run at least one mile a day and post a picture daily of your accomplishment. It is through Runners World and I am so afraid that today will be my first day of missing. But I feel so icky. I don't know if even a 15 minute mile will be good for me. Ugh. I will be sad. I've run 12 days straight.
Me: Running outside in Colorado. Breathing what little oxygen there is. 

We'll see, I might do it anyway.

We've had a lovely week and these campers leave tonight! New ones (almost ALL from Texas) pull into camp tomorrow. It will be our third week already! CRAZY.

Matt is definitely exhausted. 

The sunsets here are incredible.

Matt and Will in their characters Quince and Splish as British Talent Scouts at the VMA's. It takes too long to explain. 

The pool party on the campers first night. SO MUCH FUN. 

The kids on the cart at the Volleyball tournament. 

My handsome cowboy. One girl even said he looked like Brad Pitt. I'll take that. 

Me and my little cowgirl.

Eat her with a spoon.

Handsomest kids around

And the sassiest.

Asher said "three high school girls wanted their picture taken with me last week." I bet they did. Heartbreaker.
He then spent the night on the cart leading camp in the dance. No lie. HE BROKE IT DOWN. It was awesome. 

This is our cabin. Lookout. Jim Rayburn would spend his summers here. It is AWESOME.

Our living room. Its casual. 

Obviously, our days are SUPER FULL. It is like living three days during one day. No wonder I'm sick!

We can't wait to have another week and a 1/2 here!