Category Archives: Marriage

Induction Myths and the Godfather


This is a two part post. First part, a brief blurb about pregnancy induction myths.

Here’s my thing, sometimes even MEDICAL induction doesn’t work. They can be straight up pumping you full of Pitocin and stripping membranes and women STILL get “stuck” and end up with C-sections. Some more honest “natural induction” websites admit this and state, “these will only work if your body is already preparing for labor…” and yet some women still swear that these things work (WITHOUT FAIL! 100%! DID THIS AND 30MINUTES LATER WAS IN ACTIVE LABOR!) while other disgruntled women post (HAD SEX THREE TIMES A DAY FOR A WEEK AND STILL PREGNANT! THIS IS BS!) My take? C’mon people, if spicy food worked every time than why is the pre-mature birth rate not through the roof in India or Thailand? I can drink a gallon of Red Rasberry Leaf tea every day and if I’m one of those women for whom that particular herb helps than boy howdy I could go straight into labor! More likely, I’m just REALLY going to have to pee. As for walking or sex, goodness gracious, Potato wouldn’t’ve survived past week two if those were always “affective”! Pregnancy has to be a little bit resilient to every day life and activity otherwise noone would ever be able to carry full term. When you’re body starts prepping for labor, sure an extra dose of sperm delivered prostaglandins might help move things along, but if you’re body ISN’T prepping then those helpful swimmers probably aren’t going to do a whole lot. And even if you are beginning to dilate, your cervix may still just kind of chuckle and stick with it’s own time schedule. Some women are more susceptible to certain outside influences (which is why bedrest is still prescribed as practitioners try to keep the pregnancy to full term) but every single pregnancy is different, so no, NONE of these induction methods (medical or natural) are a guarantee.

With that said, I still like to try them out, because it’s a nice bit of distraction while I am waiting for Potato. Here’s my list that I’ve already tried.

-Walking (kinda been doing this one for awhile…)

-Red Rasberry Leaf Tea (it tastes good, strong, but a nice variation to my usual green tea)

-Spicy food (straight up munched some jalepenos. Yum!)

-Eggplant parmigiana (not lying, some people swear by it.)

-Warm bath (feels so good on my back, had no idea it was an “induction” technique until after I took one)

-“Positive Visualization” Ok, so I tell Potato to get out all the time (lovingly, jokingly, dead serious) and I happily imagine not being pregnant (while trying to ignore visualization of life with a newborn, haha) but so far this has just provided entertainment as I talk to my belly and hasn’t actually given me so much as a Braxton Hicks.

Things I refuse to attempt

-Castor oil

-Black or Blue Cohash

-Pineapple (I really don’t like pineapple)

Despite my attemps, despite Potato having dropped over two weeks ago, I am still pregnant. Seriously, that’s ok. Yes, I may be doing deep knee bends in the grocery store aisle and arguing with my unborn child, but in all honesty I want Potato to be healthy. If that takes another week or two, well, I’ll just amuse (slightly scare) all the more people in public with my increasingly strange calisthenics.

Part Two:

On to the Godfather! Wondering when I was going to get to that? Let me explain briefly. I’ve been wanting to do a post with baby photos of both Brian and I for speculation on what Potato will look like. Unfortunately, the photos of me as a newborn are faded and aged, and so small that scanning them to the computer makes them even more blurry. I’ve got some nicer “later months” photos, but I really wanted the “baby” baby shots. Fortunately (or unfortunately if you’re Brian) his family had all of their photos digitized to play as slides years ago so HIS baby photos are pretty crisp. Muahaha! So, without further ado 🙂

My beautiful picture ………………..GodfatherBrando

                                                       Anyone else see the resemblence? Is it just me?              (photo source)


In Case You’re Curious…


…the world thinks Brian is a jerk.

Brian tends to be more:

  • Demanding , Asserting                    
  • Firm , Strong                                
  • Calculating , Analytical
  • Conservative , Inflexible
  • Careful , Cautious
  • Risk-taking , Courageous
  • Perfectionist , Precise
  • Brave , Adventurous
  • Right , Correct
  • Competent , Does Right
  • Contemplative , Thinker
  • Flexible , Adaptable , Agreeable
  • Steady , Dependable
  • Confident , Self-reliant
  • Pondering , Wondering
  • Guarded , Masked , Protective
  • Preparing , Researching
  • Systematic , Follows plan
  • Driving , Determined
  • Direct , To the point
  • Devoted , Dedicated
  • Outspoken , Opinionated
  • Quiet , Reserved
  • Bottom line , Straight-forward

Brian does not tend to be:

  • Kind , Nice , Caring
  • Gentle , Soft , Humble
  • Bold , Daring
  • Trusting , Gullible , Open
  • Obedient , Submissive
  • Promoting , Encouraging
  • Hyper , Energetic
  • Enthusiastic , Influencing
  • Smooth talker , Articulate
  • Entertaining , Clowning
  • Winner , Competitive
  •  Joyful , Jovial
  • Talkative , Verbal
  • Animated , Expressive
  • Merciful , Sensitive
  • Sociable , Interactive
  • Generous , Giving
  • Smiling , Happy
  • Dynamic , Impressing
  • Serving , Sacrificing
  • Peppy , Playful
  • Hospitable , Enjoys company
  • Exciting , Spirited
  • Helpful, Assisting

Brian’s response: “I’m not ‘a winner’? That’s messed up.”

I just shake my head.

Although I will be SO GLAD when this particular class is over, it has provided some funny discusions. Probably not what the instructor had in mind, but oh well.

And for the record, although there is much truth to both of those lists, I don’t think my husband is a jerk. He’s amazing to me 🙂 Maybe that means he has a split personality? Right now both of them are grumpy from schoolwork all day…

Oh, and I’m at 30 weeks! Yay!

I Love Running


loverunningThe girls over at We Shall Have Pie are participating in this contest hosted by #RunChat so after my uber whiny post yesterday, I figured I’d give it a shot, too. 🙂

I love running because of the conversations it elicits between me and my husband. Our friendship deepened into romance because of those running conversations and they’ve continued to be a way of bonding throughout our marriage. Nothing says love like discussing the potential lethalness of rabid squirrels or the inconvinience of restroom breaks in the woods.

I love how even on days my legs hurt and my breathing is ragged and everything is tired, running still gives me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

I love how running always offers a challenge, but never judges me as a failure. Any day I run I’ve done something worthwhile; no matter how slow the pace or short the distance.

I love how running allows me to explore the outdoors, it’s my grownup playtime. Maybe thats why I hate the treadmill so much?

I love the energy running gives me, and the legs. I have pretty nice legs when I run consistently, and my husband’s legs aren’t that bad either 😉

And finally, running for me is an act of worship. I don’t have to be actively praying or thinking spiritual thoughts, but I often have moments of sheer joy or wonder at what this body I’ve been given can do and the world in which I can do it. Running is a form of communion and a blessing in my life.

Ah, little Potato, I hope you find an activity/hobby/pastime that brings you as much pleasure. In the meantime, you will be accompanying both your parents to a number of races after you’re born, you’ll be too small to resist.

Being Crazy = No Homework. According to Brian.


I’m helping Brian with his listening homework again for his Human Services class. This is how it goes: I read him the scenario/exercise and slowly, excruciatingly, try to draw out details from him to answer the question. 

So I was using the book to explain to him about the Drama Triangle when it comes to how you relate/perceive/communicate with other people, it has three types of participants: persecutor, rescuer, and victim.

Me, reading aloud: “The PERSECUTOR operates from the “I’m OK-You’re NOT Ok” position.”

*pause to glare at Brian, he starts laughing.*

Me: “People behaving in this mode are often fault-finding and nit-picking…Persecutors are experts at zeroing in on what people do do that’s wrong rather than right.”

Brian is now laughing pretty hard.

Me: “They are quick to form a rebuttal to what has been said and often listen to how something is going to fail or not work.” This is SOOOO YOU! Even if you don’t say it aloud. “People often feel like dumb and stupid children after communicating with a persecutor.”

Brian, now red faced from laughing: Hey that part’s a little harsh, I don’t do that.

Me: How many times do I tell you you come across condescending?!

Brian, laughing again: Well I’m talking about other people, not when I’m talking with you…

Me, exasperated: But I’m the only person you really communicate with!

Brian’s just laughing.

Me: Seriously, how many times have you come home and told me about a conversation you’ve had and you say, “That person is just weird.” Or, “That guy’s messed up.” Or, “He was a little odd.”…

Brian, interjecting: In my defense, most of them were pretty messed up…

Brian is laughing so hard right now he almost falls out of his chair, I put my head down on the book and moan, “I don’t even know why we’re doing this because if you were truly honest you wouldn’t be doing ANY of these exercises.”

Brian, slightly alarmed: Don’t be THAT honest! I don’t want people to know I’m a nutjob.

Me: But you ARE a nutjob!

Brian: Hey, that other book I read said God wants me to be just the way I am!

Me: No! It said God wants to help shape you into your full potential! And I don’t think you being a nutjob is your full potential!

Brian: Maybe He wants me to be the nuttiest nut job ever!

Me: You WANT that to be what He wants so you don’t have to do your homework.


I wish I had recorded the entire conversation, it was pretty ridiculous. BUT I think, maybe, at the end of this semester Brian may learn something about himself despite it all.


Me: If you don’t want people to know you’re a nut job, maybe you should actually work on some of these things so you are less of one…

Brian: It’s a lot easier just to learn how to act like I’m not one.


Then again, maybe not.



This weekend my husband and my SIL’s husband completed the GoRuck challenge in Philadelphia. My SIL Rachel and I were just along for the ride, and for goading our reluctant hubbies out the hotel door to be on time for the 1am start.

What is the GoRuck you ask? It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to some individuals, but it resonates with a few. It’s an 8-12 hour, 15-20 mile event rucking with a 45lb ruck PLUS additional weights from 25-50lbs randomly distributed throughout AND a bunch of grueling exercises interspersed-with the 45lb ruck on at all times of course. It’s a team building exercise on steroids appealing to masochists everywhere. Read more about it here. There are events across the nation and this weekend’s event was in Philadelphia.

We’ve already established that my husband is a little bit insane when it comes to endurance events (I couldn’t be more proud of him :P) but what really surprised me was the ease with which he roped Jimmy (My BIL once removed) into participating as well. I believe Jimmy having spent the past 4 years cooped up inside over his lap top finishing TWO Master’s degrees might have contributed to the eagerness with which he jumped on the crazy bandwagon, but he has since embraced the nuttiness with complete abandon, good naturedly wrapping up his six bricks in duct tape and bubblewrap and squishing them into his pack. Brian is trying as hard as he can to get him to run the Promise Land 50k this April and Jimmy has yet to outright refuse.

It was fun for me to have Rachel along, a fellow spectator to our respective husbands’ strange behavior. Someone to laugh with as Brian and Jimmy work themselves up into a complete grumble fest of misery as they wake up from their short naps to prepare for the event. Maybe it’s a guy thing, maybe just a personality thing, but when I get ready to complete something challenging (an Ultra, let’s say) I mentally try to cheer myself on, get all excited and pumped up. Brian gets increasingly gloomy and pessimisstic and talks about how everything is going to hurt and be awful and it’s probably a really bad idea-and then afterwards he signs up for more events. I guess we have different motivational styles? Anyway, Rachel and I dutifully kicked them out of the hotel and dropped them off at the Art Museum (Rocky steps, that’s where the GoRuck started and ended). We tried not to rub it in TOO much that we were headed back to the comfy hotel beds for a good night’s sleep while they were slogging through mud and grass and the ick of Philadelphia streets at drunk AM…ok, we rubbed it in a little bit, it was funny.

The next morning they limped back to the hotel. The are currently very bruised and battered, but they survived and earned their GoRuck patches. (All that for a single patch.) You’d have to ask them for the details, but from the snippets of stories I’ve heard it was definitely a challenge. Jimmy at least admitted that he had fun (several hours, at least one good meal, and several naps later), Brian is still grumbling-but he already has the patch on his hat.


**I’m a little bit jealous. I’m glad Brian has being able to do so much running, but I miss running with him, and I miss Ultras. I miss being a little bit crazy, too.

You Think I’M Nuts…


This post is an homage to my husband’s determination and calls into questions his sanity.

I have run 2 ultra marathons in my life, Holiday Lake 50k+ (about 33 miles) and Promised land 50k+(about 34 miles). I’d love to run Holiday Lake again next February, but that is where my running ambition ends.

My husband, Brian, ran 20 miles (10 straight uphill, 10 straight downhill) on Tuesday, 19 miles Thursday, and will run 10 miles tomorrow. He’s “building up his legs” in preperation for this coming year. If, IF, he can maintain his running schedule what with his graduate classes and ROTC, AND remain injury free, he is planning on racing 555.7 miles starting December 31st, 2012 and ending December 14th, 2013. Those are just the miles he’s racing, he’s hoping to stay around 50-60 miles weekly, with a few months of 70-80 miles a week.

He’s running a few 5ks with me, which is sweet, I appreciate the company. One, maybe two 10ks, maybe a marathon (he calls marathons “good training runs”) and then multiple 50ks, a few 50milers, a 100k and also, oh yeah, Grindstone again.

Yup. That race he ran in 2008 after a knee injury killed his training pre a 6week trip to Russia which was a lot of fun, but cut our caloric intake by half. We came back lighter and a little sick, he had a little over a month to get into “shape” and then he ran 23, 200 feet of elevation gain AND an equal 23, 200 feet of elevation loss (that’s 46,400 feet of total elevation change. How about them mountains…) over 2 days. 100 miles. 37 HOURS and 44 minutes later he limped across the finish line. We slept on the floor for the next week because he couldn’t climb into bed. He spent most of the day laying down, with me rubbing his legs down with icy hot every so many hours and alternating heat and ice packs on pretty much everything. I paced 30 of the last 36 miles with him because he was bonafide delusional, kept talking about a house we had to get to or they wouldn’t let him finish. I gave up arguing with him and instead repeated, “The house is over here, you just have to keep going…”

He wants to do that again?! True, he’s in much better over all shape now than he was then, even his “slow runs” are much faster, and if he can keep on his schedule he’ll be in ridiculously good shape instead of pretty pathetic shape like the last time…but really? I am torn between awe and serious concern for his mental well being.

Did I mention Grindstone is in October? Guess what’s in Novemeber…Mountain Masochist 50 (+) miler. They call it Masochist for a reason. And that last race in December? Hellgate 100k (supposedly 62 miles, but those who have run the race state it is closer to 66 miles).

It would be awesome if he could pull this off. Seriously awesome. That would be the Lynchburg Ultra Series AND the Beast Series, plus a few extra 50ks he’s running “for fun.” He’s probably not going to get another shot at this since the LUS and Beast series are around here and we have no idea where we’ll be stationed once he gets commissioned Spring 2014. I’m praying he can pull this off. I’m also praying that he isn’t certifiably insane.

I’m planning on taking the Potato to some of the shorter races to cheer him on 🙂 I’ll probably go with him and sit in the car and scrapbook for some of his longer weekly runs, too, just to try and keep him motivated.


***By the way, the other big prayer request is that I do NOT go into labor on April 27th or April 28th. That’s the date for Promise Land 50k, required for both the LUS and Beast Series. Obviously, he’ll miss the race to be with me, but I’d rather that didn’t happen. I know I can’t decide when I’ll go into labor, but I’m really, really hoping it isn’t on those dates! I’d love to see him meet these goals, as crazy as they may seem. 🙂


Nobody knows…


…but Brian.

Here’s the gist of our slightly unusual decision about finding out the gender of Potato. Initially, neither Brian or I wanted children. I did a slow, but thorough 180 starting almost two years ago. What clinched it was a conversation with my older sister after she got pregnant with Little E. She said, “I never really wanted kids. So I told God if he wanted me to have kids, He’d have to change my heart about it. And He did.” To read a FANTASTIC (recently nominated for honorable mention) essay in her own words about transition to motherhood, click here. I ended up praying a similar prayer and God has answered resoundingly.

Now I wanted kids, and Brian still wasn’t so sure. But after much discussion he agreed. (Turns out his dad also really didn’t want any kids initially, so it must be a Keefer male trait). My feelings have oscillated between “I am CRAZY! There is no way I want one of THOSE things following me around and spewing foul substances out of every oriface.” and “I’ve handled cleaning up floor and cabinet covering splatter diarrhea from a full grown Irish Wolfhound for three days straight coming off of night shifts picking up a wide variety of people covered in equally noxious…stuff. I can SO be a mom.” Brian has been pretty stoic and more focused on how to budget. (Side Note: I love his straightforward, logical, not easily excitable self! It allows me to bounce off the walls all I want without worrying about forgetting or messing up something important.) Having made the decision to be a dad, he has proceeded with Brian like planning, actively researching and voicing an opinion on everything baby.

Well I decided I didn’t want to know the gender of the baby until birth. It seemed like fun, I saw no reason to know ahead of time, we had a boy and a girl name picked out, we knew it wasn’t going to be twins, and I figured I’d stock up on some pretty cheap, generic onsies for those first few months anyway after hearing the catastrophic poop stories of my niece that ruined more than one outfit.

I think it was after the first OB appointment around 9 weeks, Brian and I were in the car and he said something like, “You know, it might be easier for me to prepare for the baby if I knew the gender beforehand.” A simple statement that meant a great deal. This was already one of the largest undertakings of his life, there were already a thousand unknowns of parenting he couldn’t plan for, knowing at least the gender would give him a way to mentally and emotionally prepare as much as he could for the soon to be life-changing addition to our family. By asking him to wait until the very last possible minute to know the gender, I was essentially asking him to put all his meticulous research and planning aside and fly by the seat of his pants like I tend to do for everything (planning for me is a HUGE stressor, for him it’s a coping method).

It was a pretty easy choice after that. He’d find out, I wouldn’t. He could tease me for the next several months and I could mock attempt to weasel the gender out of him. More importantly, he could take time to prepare himself to meet this new little person. I am LOVING not knowing. It’s great. I’m really liking this whole pregnancy thing (except when I feel bloated or slow running) and I have no issue with talking and poking and laughing at my little Potato completely unaware of its gender. It makes no difference if it’s a girl or a boy. I can’t wait to find out…at the end, but right now I’m enjoying the anticipation.

An unexpected side effect: I knew my siblings (on both sides) might be a little impatient to know the gender news and slightly miffed that Brian is the only one who knows, what I didn’t realize was how entertaining the bribes would get for Brian to spill the beans! In their defense, Brian might have taken more enjoyment than I anticipated in doing a little taunting, especially to my fiesty, impatient younger sister. Sorry Rachel… Potato loves you regardless!

Quick Jingle Post


Brian and I ran the Jingle Run 5k in Roanoke this morning. Now, it was the most poorly planned race I have ever run (started 15 minutes late, no-one could figure out where the start line was or which direction we were supposed to line up in) but I am absolutely planning on doing it again next year for one main reason.

Everyone Jingled.

They handed out two jingle bells in your race packet in case you missed the “Jingle Run” memo, so literally, everyone jingled. It was awesome.

The gun went off, everyone started jogging, and instead of just the tramp of a thousand pairs of feet, a storm of rhythmic chimes erupted over the start line! For the first two tenths, I couldn’t stop giggling. It is difficult to be grumpy about running when jingle bells are involved.

Difficult, but not impossible, as my long-suffering husband (who I nagged into tying his own bells onto his shoes) made the comment after one top-to-bottom bell bedecked runner passed us: “I wonder how many elves she killed to get all those jingle bells…”

Brian’s Take on Pregnancy


Although an active participant, Brian agreed to try and have kids – he didn’t come up with the idea or particularily encourage it. So when the little pee stick read preggo I was a bit concerned about his reaction. So far, he seems to be taking everything in stride and employing a healthy dose of humor. Without further ado, here are some Brian quotes.

Me (about my mood swings): “You can’t blame PMS! I’m not going to PMS anymore for nine months.”

Brian: “Well then you’re PBSing. Pre Birth Syndrome. Yup, I just went there.”


Brian laughs as I walk down the hall hugging my chest.

Me: “Don’t laugh, they hurt!”

Brian: “Now aren’t you glad you don’t have huge ugly ones? Think how much worse that would be.”


Me: “Ugh, I can’t lay down just yet.”

Brian: “Are you “getting all nauseous” on me already? Sheesh.”


Me, talking about my digestive tract: “My system is all messed up, it’s either one extreme or the other.”

Brian: “Well then, I’m having sympathy poops.”

He is still firmly set on having a girl, he’s not so clear on the reasons why except some vague implication that having a girl will be easier (I don’t know what universe he thinks we’re in) and because the girl baby stuff is cuter.

I’ve also eaten my weight in Papa John’s Cheesesticks with ranch sauce. Haven’t had them since highschool, now they’re a staple part of my diet.

Military Wife…toughest job in the world.


HA! Totally kidding about the title. Actually, it kind of bugs me when people say things along similar lines for multiple reasons, but the primary one is: My mom taught me not to keep score cards. Meaning, I don’t compare me or my life to anyone elses. However, due to Brian being in the Army, we are PCS moving to Virginia…and I don’t know if our marriage will survive. Extended training-is tough, deployment-is super tough, moving-might be the death of us all.

I may be exaggerating a wee bit…

a very tiny, wee bit.

Perfectionist husband meet procrastinating wife. Brian and I have two VASTLY different approaches to getting the house ready. Me? I’m in the mood to weed…so lets go weed, and maybe plant something, and clean the baseboards in just this room of the house. Brian? Lets verbally review the entire list of things we need to get done before the house sells and lets do this first, then  this, then this…it takes twenty-thirty minutes to talk about what needs to get done-I’ve tuned out after the first five…

Me: …but I feel like weeding…

Brian: well, painting is the first thing on the list…

Me: But I got new gardening gloves….

Brian: You can weed AFTER you paint, so you aren’t all sweaty painting.

Me: I have to do BOTH today?! (And then, not surprisingly, I don’t feel like doing either.)


THEN to make matters even better. Brian is super enthusiastic about boxing, moving boxes to the garage, moving furniture, taping things shut, more boxes…finding anything left to pack…un packing and re packing just to pack something…tape…box…stuff..uhhhh

Notice anything missing? Yeah, how about painting. Or weeding. Or scrubbing the baseboards. Or wiping the walls. Or cleaning the windows, the bathroom, the kitchen… Nope, somehow, those are all supposed to be on MY list. So while he’s super supportive (You’re so cute, you’re doing a great job!) it hasn’t escaped my notice that somehow I’m doing ALL of the cleaning. All of it. Plus the painting. I don’t mind the weeding stuff because he’s far more allergic to the outdoors than I am, but seriously, windows? Baseboards? His excuse for the painting is “Well you’re better at the painting/decorating stuff than I am…”  How come it takes forty minutes of argument for me to get him to let me hang ONE picture, but as soon as there is painting touch ups around the house I am “so much better” at the painting/decorating stuff?

And he is persistently a verbal list maker. I got a little beyond my normal level of frustration yesterday and half yelled at him, “If you tell me ONE MORE THING I haven’t done yet I’m stuffing your head into a toilet and flushing!”

Yes, I threatened my husband with a swirly. It worked though.

Alright, I’ve procrastinated for twenty minutes writing this post, I really should go clean a few more windows. Buh.



DISCLAIMER: My husband is awesome. He really has been encouraging and supportive and his annoying organizational skills have come in handy on more than one occassion. This post was just to illustrate differences in our personality, I am by no means angry at him, he’s the best. Just to clarify 🙂