Sunday, May 18, 2008

Xuwen Sisters, Vacation, Marathons and Bridging Cultures! Whew!

Above: Libby and Maliah had a fun playdate at Liberty Kingdom!

On Thursday, May 15, Billy, Libby and I drove down to Corpus Christi, TX to join our friends Doug and Cristie (and the whole Martine/Gill Clan) for a weekend vacation. After arriving on Thursday we chilled out on the beach and met up with the Martine Fam and then went out for dinner where we had the delightful surprise of meeting up with Kristie and Shawn Martinez (Kristie was Libby's nanny for summer camps last year!) On Friday morning the skies were gray and the wind was chilly so we took Libby to the Aquarium. She LOVES fish so that was an easy distraction from the beach.

Friday afternoon - more beach and pool! Friday night - "Family Ties" team meeting for Beach To Bay. Then Saturday morning - RUN RUN RUN! Saturday afternoon and evening - more beach, pool and more Martine/Gill FOOD! Mrs. Billie Gill and Cristie can COOK! YUM! Sunday morning - more beach, pool and a quick drive home (boo hoo).

Doug and Cristie are the dearest friends. They are AMAZING parents! Billy and I are always learning from them. We are so grateful the Lord allowed us to meet them through our adoption journey to Libby (and theirs to Maliah!). It struck me in a fresh way, over the weekend, that Libby and Maliah have known each other longer than they've known us. What an incredible bond they have. I cherish that so much. I believe it is an extra special, intentional gift from Jesus. His ways are so AWE-INSPIRING PERFECT!

Cristie - I enjoyed our time together, friend - and the run!! You are one of the most precious, kind, gifted, loving, thoughtful people I know. You have a heart of gold. You are genuine. You work SO HARD! AND your heart for adoption and missions is greatly admired! Love you, friend! Can't wait to train some more and run next year's race as fast as the Kenyans! HAHA!

For those thinking, "I've never known Cindy to be a runner".... you are sooooooo right! So here's what happened: The race we ran was the Beach to Bay 6 Man Marathon in North Padre (truly the highlight of my vacation!). We had 6 runners on our team. I've been training for 2 months with Cristie. She started me out running one mile and lifting weights. Then we worked up to 4 miles. I ran my first 4 mile run just 2 weeks before the race. Once we arrived in Corpus we realized my leg was actually 4.7 miles and I got a wee bit nervous about the extra distance - having only run 4 miles in an air conditioned gym with no wind! I had to pee at least 3 times before the run due to my nerves and still when I started my leg I felt like I had to go again. For the first two miles I felt like I had a full bladder and it was all I could think about! UGH! Also - there were supposed to be mile markers. I kept looking for the one mile mark and was probably well into my second mile feeling quite discouraged that my first mile was taking FOREVER! Finally at the second water station I ran by a volunteer and asked what mile we were at and he said 2! Boy was I glad to hear that. My first mile wasn't a 20 minute run after all! HAHA! My leg was 4.7 miles and I ran it in 48 minutes! I was totally proud of myself! During the race I learned that running outside is truly different than a treadmill (much harder on your body!). I'm a little soar today. Anyway - I DID IT!! And I didn't die! YEAH! There could be no greater moment than finishing up my leg and seeing Cristie dancing at the end ready to take the baton.
Below are some FABULOUS photos from the beach!
Enjoy the pics! Chow!

Just had to include this photo - affectionately titled "Shapely Head". After returning home this evening I started working on the computer. I turned around to check on Libby and she was wearing a shape sorter on her head, playing guitar and watching TV. I just had to giggle! So cute!