Run Happy | This post is not about running.

I ran two half marathons within 7 days of each other this month.

The R House Half Marathons

Kim and I trained and ran them both together. Well, we run together for the first few miles and then we usually run solo. In a time of my life where I am rarely alone–it’s the running solo that I truly love. (Although, Kim is so fun, isn’t she?)

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The first race was rough. Rough, I tell you. 

It wasn’t a pretty. It was through my city. No awesome scenery. Most of it was on a road dodging traffic.

The scenery (or lack thereof) really got to me around mile 8. I started spiraling.

Do you ever spiral? You know, where you just start thinking about everything that STINKS about your current situation? And it just builds and builds and builds until you are bawling? I’m sure you NEVER do this.

My left foot felt like it had a pulled muscle about an hour into the race.

We ran past a pasture of horses and I wanted to puke. The smell!

The course was on/off/on/off the road and then sidewalk and then road again. It was so frustrating especially with a sore foot.

We ran about .5 of a mile past a tall iron fence where the sun was flickering through each of the slats and I thought my head was going to explode.

I almost got hit by a car. (Lady wasn’t watching the police who were directing traffic.)

I needed water.

I didn’t know what mile I was on.

And so on. And on. And on. Spiral of unhappiness.

AND THEN this runner flew past me looking really strong. Looking effortless! He was wearing his hat backward. THIS hat.

Run Happy. Run Happy. 

As soon as I read it, Vanilla Ice started pumping through my headphones.

All right stop, collaborate and listen. 

You know what, Vanilla? I will do just that. (He is so wise.)

Stop the spiraling.

Collaborate with myself.

Listen to reason.

“Choose to be happy, Lindsey,” I told myself. CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.

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Sure, this race wasn’t going as smoothly as I had envisioned it. Parts of it stank, literally. I was limping along. But, I was IN THE RACE! I was doing it. One foot went in front of the other. Miles started to tick away.

I wrote this post in my head between Gu shots and power ballads.

And then, wouldn’t you know it, the finish line kind of came out of no where and there was my family cheering me along, waiting for me to finish.

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Sometimes life stinks. Sometimes we don’t get what we think we “signed up for.” Sometimes we think it’s just not worth it and we want to give up. We are limping along, bruised and broken.

And then someone who has more experience runs in front of us with a reminder to be happy. They show us that it can be done and done with grace.

Choose to be happy.

Run happy. 

Bring Closure to your community, watch on Hulu.

This summer my husband and I hosted a screening of Closure for our local adoption community.

(Don’t know what I’m talk ing about? Learn about Closure.)

SLC Tugg Flier Presented by The R House

I did not pre-screen it, but I knew when I saw the preview that it was something that I wanted to bring to my beloved city. As a movie theater (and movie theater popcorn) enthusiast, it was important to me to see it on the big screen surrounded by folks that were going to be touched by Angela’s story as told by her filmmaker husband, Bryan Tucker. I wanted to experience it together. I wanted us to feed off each other’s energy.

The whole experience did not disappoint. It was a huge success!

After welcoming everyone to the event, I settled in between my parents-in-law and my husband in the front of the theater where I could listen to erupting laughter (there are some really funny parts!) and sniffles.

The film is raw and fair to all members of the adoption constellation. No one looks like “the bad guy” and your heart is just filled with love for this growing family as they keep making connections with one another.

Closure Documentary Screening SLC

I was especially touched by the relationship Angela has with her adoptive mom and how her mom supported her and cheered for her along the journey. I didn’t see jealousy and I didn’t see a mom who felt threatened by Angela finding her roots and embracing them. During a scene where Angela is talking to her mom before calling her birth family for the first time, I snuck to the back of the theater to take a picture (above). I shot it out on Instagram with the following caption,

My dream came true! Watching @ClosureFilm with my local adoption community. My heart is SO full. Tears are flowing! @angelatucker‘s mom is inspiring. I hope every adoptive mom in this theater is learning from her example. Love learning from her. Totally falling in love with this whole family! Thank you for sharing your story, @angieadoptee! So powerful. This is a MUST-SEE. BRING IT TO YOUR CITY. @beetucks #adoption

It really is a must see for everyone involved in adoption. My favorite part? There’s a scene in the film that I wasn’t expecting. It rang so true to me and touched on some pretty sensitive emotions after our failed adoptions and reversed adoption. It’s the scene where Angela finds her “foster family” and the foster mama talks about what it was like to let her go. Such a powerful scene! Thank you for including that, Bryan.

Panel after Closure Screening

After the film, we had a brief panel led by my husband who is a social worker. The panel included a birth mother and adoptive mother who had been reunited but the son (a teenager) wasn’t quite ready to move to face-to-face yet. Then there was a woman who was adopted (several times actually due to disrupted adoptions) through foster care and her story of reunion. And lastly, we had an adoptive couple that I look up to as wonderful examples of doing openness right. They have 7 children, 6 of which were adopted through foster care. Each child enjoys a level of openness with their biological families. Each panelist shared their story and their reaction to the film. (Spoiler alert: They all thought it was fantastic.)

I was especially touched by the woman who was adopted. She said that she turned to her friend in the theater so many times during the film and said, “This is so right on. This is exactly how I felt too.” There couldn’t be a better testimonial to the night!

I also have to tell you about the tears that my husband shed as he spoke of Angela’s birth mother. He was deeply moved by her pain which appeared to be caused, in part, by the closed adoption. He asked the theater to really think about who closed adoption truly benefits. Great food for thought. If you’re not sure about open adoption vs closed adoption, I invite you to watch this film with that question in mind.

Debriefing after Closure

After the panel we migrated to the foyer where we must have stayed for a good hour–making connections, talking about the film, sharing about our families, building a stronger community. It made my heart happy. This is why we need YOU to be involved in the adoption community. This is why, friends. 

Now I am sure you are dying to see the film. There are many ways to make that happen.

Bring it to your community. <<< This is my recommendation. I could have purchased the documentary and watched it in my jammies at home. But I knew I wanted to see it with my local adoption community! There is power when all sides of adoption are gathered together to learn and be fed. As I emailed with Bryan and Angela about this post, I love what Bryan said about bringing this film to your city.

One thing we hear over and over is that this film is meant to be watched in community, and I truly believe that as well.  As you already know, doing a Tugg screening is not easy, as it does require some commitment to promotion, etc., but I do want people to know it’s possible to succeed!

Closure Documentary on Hulu

Watch on Hulu. YES! Hulu! Stream it for free. (Image from Closure’s Facebook page.)

Closure on Aspire

Look for it on Aspire. The first airing will be 11/5 at 8pm ET. (Image from Closure’s Facebook page.)

Connect with Bryan and Angela and their journey on Facebook and Twitter.

 

One last thing… after you watch this film you will wonder, “How can I get my hands on that soundtrack?” Question answered HERE.

What I learned while hiking Utah’s Ensign Peak.

We hiked to the top of Ensign Peak last week. 

Hiking Ensign Peak | The R House

(This summer Josh was all, “I NEED to be in the mountains.” So, we’ve been doing a lot of hiking as of late with our little fam. Camping is still not on my radar though. Let’s not get carried away.)

Ensign Peak for Kids | The R House

This was a different kind of terrain than our previous hikes this summer. More deserty. Tyson took one look around and said, “What the heck? I thought hiking was supposed to be about exploring in the forest.” So, there’s that.

To Tyson’s point, what the heck is Ensign Peak? On July 24, 1847 Brigham Young lay ill in his wagon after traveling thousands of miles to escape religious persecution. When he arrived at Ensign Peak, B.Y. looked down at the Salt Lake valley and proclaimed, “It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on.” It’s one of my favorite quotes. I mean, there’s a difference between “this is the place” and “this is the right place.”

Desert Mountain Beauty | The R House

Anyway…

The last time I did this hike was on my mission in 2002. I served on Temple Square.

When our family arrived at the summit, we were greeted with “Oohs!” and “Awws!” and cheers from a zone of Temple Square missionaries. We saw them hiking up (the more difficult way than we were taking) and Josh made a point to tell the boys that they were missionaries like mommy was before we got married. I listened to them discuss how cool that was. I’ve never been so proud of that decision I made at the last minute 13 years ago. I love my husband for that moment he created.

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My kids have heard about my mission so many times that they must have felt comfortable just jumping into the zone picture the missionaries asked me to take at the the peak. The sisters were enthusiastic and incredibly sweet to the boys …and when I told them I served on TMSQ as well, they erupted into cheers. I had to choke back a few tears, friends. I’m not sure why, but I loved it so much. Sisterhood! Solidarity!

Ensign Peak | The R House

View from Ensign Peak | The R House

As Josh and I overlooked the valley with the kids and were pointing out all the cool things you could see from the view to our kids, the sisters started a little devotional. We listened to them sing High On a Mountain Top each in their own language–English, Spanish, French, Korean, Mandarin. I was overwhelmed with love, the Spirit, and nostalgia. In their prayer to start the devotional I heard them thank God for us and asked Him to bless “The Family.”

Top of Ensign Peak | The R House

You guys. It was so choice.

They didn’t have to love on us like they did. I mean, they didn’t even know us! What great examples.

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Let’s be more enthusiastic. Let’s embrace people. Let’s take time to learn about them and their families. Let’s sing more. Let’s pray for people who come into our lives–even the relative strangers. Let’s love more. More heart.

 

Semi-related: Check out Jackson’s form as he jumped over the log “steps” on the way down the mountain. I can’t handle the cute, you guys.

Jack Attack Jump | The R House