Monday, September 26, 2016


I have never been a runner before now. When I would drive places and see people running I thought that looked like the most miserable exercise on the planet. They looked so sweaty, hot, and uncomfortable with those big weird phone holders attached to their arms and tiny speakers attached to their ears.

Now I am one of those people.

The past month I have taken up running as one of my favorite forms of exercise, second to my exercise classes at the Y. I started small, a mile here, a couple miles there, but it didn't take long before I had built up my confidence to realize I could run more. I could run harder! I could run a longer distance today than I ran yesterday! I can run even when my legs hurt and I have a cramp!

I run shorter distances during the week (2-4 miles), and on Saturday mornings I do my long run. My first long run was 5 miles. The next week was 6. Then 7. Last Saturday was just under 8 1/2. My goal is to run a half marathon in November. I know that I can do this. We can actually do a lot more than we realize. Sometimes when I run I feel like God is telling me to look back and see how far I've come. Sometimes when I am running up a hill I feel that angels are pushing me and I'm able to run faster than I thought I could.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cameron Holbrook and Hillary Holbrook

Cameron Holbrook and Hillary Holbrook

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cameron Holbrook and Hillary Holbrook

Here are our children- Evan, 2; Elliot, 5; and Owen, 7.

You can email me at if you have any questions.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The baby, age 2

My favorite thing in the world is when it is time to zip up Evan's footy pajamas. Clean diaper, legs are moisturizer, and his little belly pokes out. ZzzzZiiiiiip it to the top, then he looks at me with all the love in the world, and I pick him up and kiss his little baby neck. We sit in the rocking chair and read a book....usually a train book. Then it is prayer time.
Oh, Evan is saying the very best prayers. "Mmmmmen" he ends. It is time for bed. "No" he says simply and sweetly. Lights out, nightlight on, one last "night night." I close his door and a few minutes later...crying! He coerces me back with those baby cries that he can still turn on and off. 
"Sunbeam." He says. 
"Jesus wants me for a suuuunbeam, to shine for ...." I begin to softly sing.
"I am a child of Gooood and He has sent me..."
"Sunbeam" he interrupts.
Oh what a game this is!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

After Christmas

While we were waiting in line to pick Owen up from school, I cheered up a little bit from the back to school blues. The sun was out and children were playing in the snow, despite the chilly temperatures. I decided we would all play in the snow after school. 
Evan refused to put boots on--"NO" he simply stated when I offered to get them out of the closet. His first experience in boots, while memorable, was primarily negative. They seemed to inhibit his natural speed! 
After spending 10 minutes helping Elliot and Evan get dressed we headed out. First, the Safly's backyard. There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than watching my children run like playful pups  in their natural environment. 
After an hour outside we finally went in. Evan's poor hands and feet were so cold! I cranked up the thermostat a couple degrees and Evan and I warmed up in his bedroom, playing cars and reading books. 
I have noticed that my children are much happier and in good spirits when they have an opportunity to play outside, even if it is 20 degrees and cold! I am in better spirits too. As it turns out, a little bit of outdoor play is the perfect cure for the back to school blues. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Richly Blessed

 Yesterday it occurred to me, as it does every spring, that 9 years ago Cameron and I were dating each other seriously and having conversations about future plans that included both of us. How thankful I am for a courtship that was blessed with ease in understanding our feelings for each other and realizing within a very short time of knowing each other that we both wanted to be together forever.

Now I look at my 3 children and when I think of meeting Cameron I am in awe that we now have 3 beautiful, amazing, talented, different children that I have the opportunity of spending my days with. I am thankful for each one of them in so many ways. Elliot, I am thankful for his beautiful face and his happy and jovial personality. His ease to forgive and forget and love unconditionally. Owen, I am thankful for his seriousness and wisdom way beyond his years, and his adorable laughter. I am thankful that he cares so much about every aspect of his life within our family. Evan, I am thankful for his baby-ness. How cute he looks when he drinks a bottle or sucks on a binky or crawls in a madly quick pace across the house. Each child is so different from the other but together we make quite a team.
Just a few months away from meeting Cameron.
Being a single adult was a rough patch of life for me. 
When our family was made of only a husband and wife!

First we added Owen. He taught me, and is still teaching, what being a mother was all about!

Sometimes I feel like Owen is really an adult stuck in the body of a child!

2 1/2 years later came our happy one, Elliot.  He taught me, and is still teaching, the craziness behind multiple children!

I love Elliot's beautiful face. 
And here is our sweet little Evan Bevan. (Bevan is not his middle name, by the way! We happen to come up with funny nicknames for our kids) Evan teaches me what having 3 kids is all about. And it's the best thing in the world and maybe a little crazy sometimes!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Baby. Beach. Dollar Tree Erasers.

Soon, he will be one.

My mother heart is sad to think of this. The first 7 months were incredibly hard. RSV. FTT. Issues with reflux and weight gain and bottle drinking. But once we figured all of the issues out, things got really good around here. He is just the cutest little boy. I just love him so much.

Saturday was so perfect for our family. I think it was perfect because we had a few weekends of traveling and craziness, and it felt so good to be together again in our own town. We started a tradition last year, and we continued it this year. We went to the cutest little pumpkin patch in Madrid for the second year in a row. It is small and quiet and peaceful. It is the perfect country setting.  After picking out our pumpkins, we picked up a pizza in Polk City at our favorite pizzeria and headed down to the shores of Saylorville Lake. We ate the pizza straight out of the box and the boys threw rocks in the lake. It was so perfect. It was so fun. 

I had some heartburn last year over the fact that Evan was in our family and didn't yet have a stocking. Well, I finally fixed that problem! The first 4 stockings (E,C,H,O) were made all at the same time, which made it easy because the first one was more like a trial run and by the last one I had all the kinks worked out. I wrote down the pattern but, since it had been 2 years since making these stockings,  I found myself puzzled by some of the details. Even though it took a little longer than it did making the stockings in the past I am impressed with myself that I was able to duplicate it as well as I did (it is the red "E" stocking on the far right). Also, our stockings used to spell ECHO. I like this because my favorite Christmas song uses the word Echo. Now we really can't make a word out of this. I suppose if we had another child, it would have to start with a "T" so we could spell out "Cheeto." Or, 2 more kids to start with an "R" and an "I" to spell "Cheerio." OK, this is my OCD speaking.  And obviously these thoughts are totally foolish. Time to quiet that down. 

I changed my magnet board and printed pictures off my computer from past halloweens. I made magnets out of Dollar Tree erasers.