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Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009, at 10:26 AM

The number three seems to be the major number in my life right now.

Three is the number of years it has nearly been since I stopped writing my column "Express Lane" in the Gazette. But with this blog, I've returned to writing, at least occasionally.

Since I ended that column, I've had two kids -- not the three which would have really added symmetry to this article -- plus numerous wrinkles and unwanted pounds. Meanwhile, the ideas about potential columns piled up in my head, needing an outlet.

What will I write about? I'm sticking with the title "Express Lane" which leaves every option open from kids and family to community events to exercise and health issues.

Which leads back to number three again. Three is the number of months until I tackle a half-marathon -- actually it is a little less than three months at this point, which makes me a little nervous. It's the longest distance (13 miles for those who are curious) I will have run -- in a race or training -- not including the miles I log chasing one my seven children during the day.

With the exception of a dire need for chocolate, why would anyone run 13 miles just for the fun of it? Personally, I'm doing it so that I have a goal to work toward as I exercise. I'm also hoping it will help shed those remaining pounds from my last pregnancy. Guilt is starting to set in. Common thinking is that it took nine months to put on the baby weight; you should give yourself that same amount of time to take it off. That's easy to say when it's a first or second pregnancy and you are 10 years younger. Increase the number of children and the number of years and that philosophy is harder to meet. And with baby Eli celebrating his eight-month birthday in a few weeks, I'm nearing that cut-off date and I'm going to miss it at this rate. I'll have to start putting in a few miles extra, I'm just not sure where or how.

Could I come up with more connection to the number three? Sure, three is number of times I've woke up in the morning without a small child laying next to me. Three is the number of dogs I've head to bury in the past three years. I'd like to say we've only lost three cats in same time frame, but that would be lying. And since that seems to be the topic which sets off the biggest backlash from readers, I would be opening a can of worms I'd like to remain sealed...at least until the next entry.

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Rhonda, welcome back I look forward to reading your blog.

-- Posted by eajwmom on Mon, Feb 16, 2009, at 2:41 PM

Ronda! I'm so glad you're doing a blog, and glad to hear you're doing the half this year. Another bonus to running the Lincoln Marathon or Half Marathon: the Pastathon the night before and the Post-Marathon celebration. Good luck!

-- Posted by saveryhinze on Thu, Feb 12, 2009, at 1:31 PM

I've got not children yet (unless you count 4 cats and a dog) but I've also started exercising lately. No way am I gonna run 13 miles, I never had that much wind. But Tae Kwon-do has me aching from head to toe and I'm loving every minute of it. Half the fun is watching the little kids and their short attention spans. Those girls with the yellow belts have form memorized that I haven't got a clue about yet (I've only got one so far). One of the best things though is that my hubby comes along. I doubt he ever expected me to do something he had done 10 years ago. He's found out just how much flexibility he's lost. I'm finding out that I don't have as much writing time but the pants I couldn't fit into a month ago are now fitting. How cool is that? I think I'm happy with that exchange.

And I have no clue how you do it with 7 kids. I have only one brother & no sisters.

-- Posted by amystrauch on Thu, Feb 12, 2009, at 1:30 PM

Welcome back! Hopefully it won't be another 3 years before your next post! :)

-- Posted by dlfiend4ever on Wed, Feb 11, 2009, at 12:05 PM

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Express Lane
Ronda Graff
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