Plano Balloon Festival (with a Half-Marathon Thrown In)

I think I’ve mentioned before that my sister lives in Plano, Texas.  This weekend was their annual Hot Air Balloon Festival and since all of the men in our family have become ridiculous long distance runners, they all signed up to run in the race that accompanied the festival.

The actual event lasted the entire weekend, but we only showed our face on Saturday night and Sunday morning for the race.  We wanted to see the balloons light up on Saturday night, so we kept the children up past their bedtimes.  It was well worth it.  Hot air balloons are amazing things anyway, but to see them all on the ground and lit up is truly spectacular.  The only thing that could ruin it would be a band doing some of the worst cover songs I’ve ever heard.  Nothing worse than watching majestic hot air balloons light up the night with the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” playing in the background.  It really sets the mood.

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Sunday morning we rose bright and early to head out to the race.  Luckily, we arrived just in time to watch the balloons coming in for their landing.  It was so awesome!  And no terrible cover songs in the background this time!  Woohoo!

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While we waited for the guys to finish the race, we gorged ourselves on funnel cake.  They’re burning 5,000 calories, we’re eating them.  Makes total sense.

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The guys did so well in the race.  Both Michael and David came in around 1 hour 45 and my dad at 2 hours.  Not bad at all.  Michael said he wanted to finish faster than he did at the last one and he accomplished that goal, so he was pretty proud of himself.  My dad said he just wanted to cross the finish line without the assistance of a wheelchair.  Goal set and made!  Nice job, guys.  My hat is off to you.  I could never have done it in a million years.  It makes me proud to know the men in my life are such disciplined, hard-working people who set goals and then do whatever it takes to meet those goals.  They are excellent role models for our children and for ourselves.

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Of course, this means that I can no longer complain about ANYTHING being too hard for the rest of my life without Michael mentioning training and running in a half-marathon.  Good grief.

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a marathon weekend

Last weekend, I spent a lot of time with my family. My sister’s family lives in Dallas, so we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like. My niece, Keagan, is almost 2 and busy as ever! It was fun for my sister and I to switch babies for the weekend.20130310-154352.jpg

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20130310-154623.jpgMy sister and her family used to live in Jonesboro, but moved to Dallas last spring because her husband was offered a job at UT Dallas. Jonesboro or Dallas? Hmmmm. Not too difficult of a decision, I’d say. Anyway, some of their dear friends came down for the Little Rock Marathon and they were able to spend some time catching up over a delicious spaghetti dinner. The kids loved it.20130310-154521.jpg

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20130310-154556.jpg20130310-154635.jpg20130310-154708.jpgSunday was the Little Rock Marathon. My husband and my sister’s husband ran in the half marathon. My dad ran the 10k.

I am not a runner nor do I aspire to be one, but I greatly admire them. There is great personal discipline in running. I watched my husband train for months for this race! I don’t remember the last time I was so disciplined in anything in my life!

I think this is why the apostle Paul compares the life of a believer to running a race. Both require great discipline, tenacity, and an ability to keep moving forward despite the pain or difficulty you may be experiencing. As I watched each person crossing the finish line, I would get emotional. So few of the thousands of people running that race were doing it to beat someone else or to win. They were doing it because they wanted to finish. Just cross that finish line. No matter what time was on the clock or what place they came in. They completed what they had started.

This is what we are called to as believers. Not to be better than the person standing next to us, but to complete the race the Lord has called us to run in the best way we are able, in total and complete dependence on Him to help us complete it; allowing Him to carry us at times and carrying others when we can.

It almost makes me want to run a marathon. Almost.

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