Sunday, February 6, 2011

Loggin' it for Lilly

When Colleen and I were young, we would FIGHT!  We'd strike with stinging words and throw fists, shoes, and even wire hangers.  Eventually the white flag would wave (I'd have to say it was usually Colleen as I've always had a few pounds on her), or our parents would step in; each time our mom and dad would signal the end of the battle with, "Girls, you'll regret being so mean to each other: you'll be best friends someday."  At the time, we didn't believe them . . . we'd pack in a few more blows and be done with it.  Well, until the next fight was ready to roll. 

But as we've grown, we have become exactly what our parents said we would be.  Best friends.  And perhaps we needed to beat-the-holy-snot out of each other in order to prove our loyalty to one another.  I once wrote:  "Colleen, thanks for being my partner in crime, my daydreaming co-pilot, my mothering mentor, my morning coffee-on-the-phone-date, my Wonder Twin superpower sidekick, my sister, my best friend."  Our parents were right, and thank goodness they were.
Curly Girl Design
We're adults now and the fist fights are finally over.  Instead of bouncing wire hangers off each other, we now bounce around ideas on parenting, cooking, and the stuff that makes life, life.  We're also the first to respond when the other is facing loads of challenge.  We've supported each other as women, as sisters and as best friends for years now.  Sure, the white flags wave from time to time and if one of us is in need, the other is the first to arrive - fully equipped with reinforcement and the exact prescription to lighten the load.  For the past few years, we've held on tight.  We work out the knots and hold each other up when the load seems too heavy.  And boy, has that helped a girl out! 

We've been side-by-side through all of life's loads.  There's been thyroid surgery, appendectomies, infertility, Down syndrome, baby boys and neck surgery.  And through it all, we've held each other up and moved through some pretty tough challenges surprisingly well.       

I know as women and as mothers, we all wear a number of hats and carry loads of luggage on any given day.  And it's not a competition between us women to see who might have the heaviest load.  But, I'd say that Colleen has met her quota for weight-bearing loads this past year.  As her sister, I know that Colleen is now feeling it; the motherload of all loads.  Although she remains one tough mama, and doesn't wallow in woefulness for long, I know that she's tired of battling and getting the wind knocked out of her.  And I wish more than anything that I could drop everything, rush to her side, pick up her extra bags of luggage, schlep them over my shoulder, and run this marathon for her.  We're twins and I'm quite sure we could switch places even if it is for just a few short days - no one would notice, right?  Her little white flag is waving and, although I know that I can not fight this fight for her, I will remain her support, her sister, and her friend. 

Through all of this, I realize that Colleen stays so strong because of one thing - Lilly.  Instead of rolling up into the fetal position or winding herself into a ball of nerves, Colleen is trying so hard to push forward.  She realizes that if a second surgery is truly a possibility, she's going to have to be at her strongest.  This not only means that she must prepare herself mentally (again), but she realized after Lilly's first surgery that she must become stronger, physically.  Lilly is growing.  She's going to be four in March and is getting taller and adding on weight as she grows.  When you couple Lilly with the weight of a cumbersome halo, she's bionic and becomes one heavy kid.  The first surgery not only took a tole on Lilly, but Colleen realized that her own back and arms suffered after weeks (more like years) of picking up Lilly, moving her up the stairs, down the stairs, into bed, to the art table, into the car, to the store, back up the stairs, to the dinner table, down the hall and into bed.  Whew!

My sis is one strong gal
Instead of sitting on the couch and eating chocolate all day (although that sounds like a pretty fabulous option to me) Colleen's determined to be her best for Lilly.  After reading a blog post by another inspirational mama, Rachel Coleman from Signing Time, Colleen has decided to run like hell.  Not away from what she, Lilly, and her family are facing, but running like hell to be the best she can be for Lilly.  She's running outside, rain or shine, and pushing a 60 lb load - a jogging stroller packed full of snacks, board books, and two cheerful kiddos.  She's training to become strong. . . strong for Lilly.  Colleen continues with yoga in order to build muscle and is amping-up her running to build endurance.  She and a number of friends have recently signed up for the Girlfriends Half Marathon, and the goal is to support each other as girlfriends and run for those women/little ladies that cannot run for themselves.  

As much as I'd like to drop everything and run to Colleen's side, I realize that's not an option.  But what I can do is be the best sister and aunt I know how to be. . . and I can run like hell, too.  I've decided to run in honor of Lilly and log my runs, dedicating each mile to her.  Lilly wants nothing more than to move, dance, walk and run - something that all of us take for granted.  If she's not able to walk and run on her own right now, I'll do it for her.  Wouldn't it be great if we all dedicate a few steps, a 30 minute walk, an extra mile, to Lilly.  Let's log-it-for-Lilly!  Seriously!  Let's see how many miles we can walk/skip/hop/dance/run for Lillian Elise.  

Email or FB me the mileage that you would like to dedicate to Lilly this upcoming week.  I will update the blog over time with the mileage busted-out for little miss Lil'.  If you'd like me to include your name with your mileage, great; if you'd rather not include your name on the mileage postings, just let me know.  Let's do this for Lilly!

Colleen, thank you for staying strong for your little girl and your family.  I'll fight right along side you (even if it's only in spirit) and carry any extra loads that you need help haulin'.  And Lilly, your Auntie Kiki loves you and will be running for you until you get back on your own two feet.

"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you."   - William James   


  1. Bawling like a baby... love All you girls so much! Lilly can totally have my miles! In fact, while I was running the other day, a song by JJ Heller came on called, Your Hands. Thought of Lilly girl and Colleen the entire song... Need to figure out what my miles will be for next weekend and I'll let you know. Love you!

  2. This is a beautiful post, Kate. Thank you for it. I have always been a non-runner, but the hubby just bought a double stroller and is determined to get us out. Lilly would be double extra motivation for us!

  3. Stumbled upon your know,the world of the internet,how the heck I got here is beyond me.But here I am and I just read every post and well,I'll say what you already know and that is,your Lilly girl is amazing.So lucky to have an auntie like you.Blessed all of you to have each other.

    She is a fighter.A trooper.A sporting that extra chromosome extraordinaire.We have one ourselves and are surrounded by many of these loves,that come into to this world,fighter harder than they should have to but somehow they manage to show us the way.They are our beacon and source of light through the darkness.

    Have 3,yes 3 of the Keep Calm and Carry On posters,hanging in various places in my home.We also subscribe to the Slow and Steady mantra here ... Zoey sets her own pace and we follow.

    Anyway,just wanted to pop on and say hi and will so enjoy watching you Lilly conquer the world!

    We are runners here in this house.Mostly our oldest.Very active in Team in Training,honoring our little love and her warrior buddies.I ran the Nike Women's in SF and plan to do that one again.Good luck to you and all those running for sweet Lilly.

    Does her momma have a blog?

  4. Hi Zoey's mama! Thank you so much for the kind words. Colleen, Lilly's mom, doesn't have her own blog. . . this has been my first attempt and I've asked Colleen to jump on here from time to time.
    So glad you found us. It's so nice to hear from other mamas, unties and friends who know exactly what we're going through. Spread the word and let me know if you and/or friends might like to log a few miles for our Lilly girl.
    Thanks again,
    Aunt Kiki (Kate)

  5. Kate...
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your feelings, for inspiring and reminding me of the ONE thing that matters most. Am tying up my Nike's and flying like the wind, more likely like a little breeze and loggin' it for Lil'.
    1000 Hugs ~~

  6. I haven't been running much lately ... but I will be thinking of you next time I'm out walking ... and the next time .. and the next time ... this is an awesome blog and an awesome idea! Hugs guys! love, Missy

  7. I just came across this blog through Kelle Hampton's. Could my girlfriends and I join in? I train with 2 other wonderful ladies. If so, please contact me at What a wonderful idea!

    Thanks :)