Sunday, July 31, 2011

Warrior Dash-2011

That's right folks! I competed in yet another Warrior Dash. This time my friend, Julie was my partner and our other friend, Kevin. IT WAS FUN!!!!

We started the fun-filled weekend on Friday. Julie and I loaded up my car and drove to KC. Dinner was at Minsky's (of course) and desert at Green Apple. I took a "scenic" drive to get us to the hotel. We checked in, changed into our suits and hit the hot tub.

The next morning we got up, got dressed and got PUMPED!

Julie's READY!


Our pre-dash picture.

The dash was not what we were expecting. The course was muddy, hilly and rocky. If you ask me, the trail should have been one of the obstacles. The 3 of us stuck together and encouraged each other. We enjoyed the conversations, challenges and YES, weather. It was rather chilly when we were wet. Each of us finished the course with NO injuries and huge smiles on our faces. The clean up area wasn't as effective as one would think, but we didn't care. It was SO MUCH FUN!

Our post-dash picture.

The whole team.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Training-week 18 (20 MILES)

You read that right! I DID IT!! I reached 20 miles! I feel AMAZING!!! I even had to do it on a treadmill. I will take you through the run step-by-step (figure of speech).

I got to the gym after 9:00 am. I was giving myself approximately 4.5 hours to complete this task. I knew that the treadmills at the YMCA stop at 60 minutes. So I decided I would run 4 legs of 5 minutes each. In between each leg, I would walk to the drinking fountain and refill my water bottle. Then get back on the treadmill for the next leg.

LEG 1:
These first 5 miles just sort-of tacked along. I didn't run at my max, but I wanted to make sure I would have enough "gas" to get me through the full 20 miles. I finished the leg and took my picture.

I walked over to the water fountain and filled my water bottle up. I ate a few pretzels and walked around for a few minutes. That's when I looked up and saw her. MY SISTER! She had come to join me. I got back on my friend, TREAD, and Jen got on the one next to me. I started my leg number 2 and she started walking.

LEG 2:
These next 5 miles flew by. Jen was chatting with me periodically and I was getting encouraging texts from both my husband and Julie. Talk about feeling the love! Next thing I know, I finished my leg and took my picture.

I walked over to the drinking fountain and refilled my water, ate some pretzels, a few gummy bears. I was feeling wonderful, got back on the treadmill and started my next leg.

LEG 3:
These next 5 miles had a series of milestones for me. (Those of you who know me, know I'm a cheerleader to those around me. Well, while I was running this section, I started hearing the "cheerleader" in my head.)
  1. I had reached my previous longest distance on the treadmill.
  2. I ran 13.1 miles 10 minutes faster than the last time I ran it.
  3. I was keeping a rather constant speed the entire time, so far.
I finished the leg and took my picture.

Still feeling pretty good, I walked over to the drinking fountain and stretched a little. My left knee was feeling a little tight. I also thought I might be getting a blister on my left big toe. I was way ahead of my 4.5 hour projected time, so I "got back on the horse" and finished this bad boy.

LEG 4:
This was a little harder to motivate myself to do this one. I started running and realized I only had to run 2 miles to reach my longest run EVER! Right around that same mark, Jen finished walking for 2 solid HOURS! I was so proud of her. She completed over 5 miles. It was her day of from work, and she chose to spend a big chunk of it with me... SWEATY! I finished the leg strong. I felt AMAZING! I turned to her and through my arms in the air. I didn't care WHO saw me. I DID IT! 20 miles, basically staying in one place. So I took my last few pics.

I walked over to the water fountain and filled up one last time. Met Jen at the stretching area and worked out some stiff joints. She had walked so much, that her shoe's sole split on the bottom. This was my FIRST 20 miler. I'm sure it won't be my last, but I will never forget it.

Thanks to my support team. Jen, Jake, Owen, Allison, Julie, Patsy, Angela, Amy, Megan and anyone else who knew I was doing this and had faith that I COULD do this.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Training-week 17

I may have found a new love of the treadmill. After my "failed" run outside a couple of weeks ago, I'm very gun-shy to run out in this CRAZY Kansas heat! So today my long run was just 7 miles, my personal challenge became to see how far I could run before the treadmill shut down. (It stops after an hour.) I totally surprised myself. I got 6.31 miles done in 60:00! So of course that means I had to run .69 after I re-started the machine. But I felt GREAT!!!

My next long run is this Sunday... 20!!! (again)

I'm thinking of trying it on the treadmill... why not?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hangin' Tough


I know that some people might find it silly, lame, waste-of-money... you get the idea. But these guys really know how to entertain! I bought our tickets (Jake agreed to go with me) while we were still in Boston. I had them stuck on the fridge for over 4 months! This was a weekend trip long over due and much appreciated.

I'll basically hit the highlights (not in any order).

  1. We got SO MUCH sleep.
  2. No kids for 48 hours!
  3. We ate at Minsky's for 2 of our meals. (calzone one meal, chicken tostada pizza the other)
  4. Bought furniture at Nebraska Furniture Mart for the basement's "game room".
  5. Put make up on (second time in over a year)
  6. I was 5 FEET from Nick Carter and AJ McLean.
  7. Jake quote, "QUICK! Go touch a Back Street Boy!"
  8. There were NO Men's restrooms. Jake had to use the "family restroom".
  9. I saw lots of women in NEON outfits.
  10. There were 2 guys dressed as boy band members. (hat side-ways and overalls with only one strap fastened)
  11. TONS OF WOMEN! All shapes and sizes.
  12. They played one of our favorite songs as an intro to the NKOTB. (Drop Kick Murphy's)
  13. Matthew Morrison was one of the opening acts! (My GLEE experience is complete!)
  14. I was deaf for about 2 hours after the show.
  15. We were up to almost MIDNIGHT!!! (we don't even do that on NYE)
Needless to say, I loved every minute. I didn't take any pictures, but I LIVED every minute. We really enjoyed our weekend. (Thank you, Jen.) Our next big "sans kids" trip... Kauai, HI!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The move is COMPLETE!

Yes. You read the title correctly. As of 2:37 pm, I have finished unpacking. I am very pleased with myself. When it comes to doing a project, I don't stop until it is completely done. It has taken a little over 48 hours to empty 4 large totes, 24 boxes (extra large, large, medium and small ranges) and to get Jennie all of her belongings that we borrowed. I still have a few areas to organize and go through (from my purge). But I can now sit and say... we are home.

Big Bike

Daddy was off today, so we went and bought Owen a "big boy" bike. As you can see, he was VERY EXCITED! I think he was a little apprehensive about riding it. I told him it would be just like riding his little bike, but that he could probably go farther, faster with a bigger bike. As soon as we got home, we pulled the bike out of the car and Owen ran and got his helmet. He got on... and off he went. He rode around for about 15 minutes. As he pulled into the drive way on one of his loops, he says, "Mommy. You were RIGHT!" These 4 little words will ring in my mind for years to come. The smile on his face, will forever be etched in my brain. He is one HAPPY boy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our NEW favorite spot!

We have discovered a GEM! It's this wonderful place called Peachwave. WE LOVE IT! It is becoming a special treat for us. We eat dinner and then head to our new favorite spot for desert. I'm sure most of you know of this place, but I love everything about it.

You pick what flavor of frozen yogurt you want, how much of it and what toppings to add. They even have cool colored spoons. I predict we will be found here quite a bit with these "hot" days.

Allie showing her selection off.

Owen bragging about how good HIS is.

She's just taking a break to soak up the "goodness".

He enjoys EVERY last drop.

(I will post about dad's 60th party as soon as the pictures are ready.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! We are celebrating it with our neighbors. Last year they invited us over to celebrate (Jake was already in Boston). Unfortunately last year, we had to call it an early night (Owen got sick). But NOT this year! I took a ton of pics, so enjoy the ones that made the cut.

Ready to PARTY!

2 dudes with some food

Joe and Kris Jittawait

Our host Neil, last year we had an issue with the punks going out.
This year he got out the blow torch!

Owen shooting a Roman Candle.

Allie shooting a Roman Candle.

Owen knows where to sit at a party!

The back of our host's truck!
The smaller ones were on a table and 3 other neighbors brought their stock too!

Owen and daddy enjoying the show.

Kids chasing the parachute.

Kids watching fireworks.

The crew before it got dark, and some other families showed up.

The "magic school bus" on FIRE!


The kids and I before we called it a night.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

The WALL and the REBOUND (Training week 15 & 16)

I was suppose to run 20 miles today. It was going to be my long run for week 15. Last Wednesday we had just gotten home and I was itchin' to go run. Jake offered to run my 20 with me (a few days early). We left at 5:30 am. It was humid. VERY HUMID! But we ran along. Until I got to about mile 13. Something happened to me that hadn't happened before. My legs were sore (that happens) and able to continue running. But my stomach suddenly felt nauseous. I was getting light headed and starting to get a headache. It was almost like running with a hang-over. I slowed down and drank some water. It didn't help that much. I thought that if I walked a little it would pass. As soon as I started running again, BAM! I was feeling worse. I told Jake I couldn't go any farther. So at around mile 15, I sat in someones backyard and waited for him to run home and get the car to pick me up. YEP! I died. I hit the WALL! Jake showed up about 20 minutes later. I was feeling really good. I had stretched while I was waiting. I sort-of wished I had been able to finish the 20, but I have plenty of time to reach that goal. I wouldn't want to injure myself.

Now to talk about the rebound. Yeah, you read the title right. Week 15 & 16. I have been running my long runs a few days early because of our move, so I was thinking a little off today. I checked my schedule (not the date) and saw I was to run 8 Yassos. So I went to the YMCA and started my yasso runs. I wasn't expecting to get them all done. Especially after the rude awakening last week. (I ran 17 in Cambridge!!! Why not 20 in Wichita???) But I surprised myself. I did all 8 in less than an hour and felt fabulous. I think I could have ran a few more. But that is on the schedule in a few weeks. ;)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Home, SWEET Home!

Where do I begin?

I LOVE being home!

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Space, our house is SO BIG!
  4. 2 cars
  5. getting back into a routine
  6. play dates
  7. conversations, it may seem silly-but I didn't have any "girl" chats in Boston
  9. neighborhood pool
  10. knowing exactly where places were AND how long it would take to get there
  11. neighbors, they talk to us, know us, care about us
  12. going through all the junk we've had stuffed in places and GETTING RID OF IT!
  13. making plans to improve our house
  14. talking about plans for vacations
  15. getting birthday invitations (We have at least 5 parties to attend before school starts!)
  16. my BED, I don't remember it being so comfortable
  17. my dog, Nick
I could go on for a while, but I'll just end it with..

Home, SWEET Home!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Journey is HALF the fun!

We left Cambridge, MA on Saturday (June 25th) at 4:30 am. The kids woke up ready to go, so we loaded up the car and started our long 1600+ mile drive HOME! Above is the view that we had driving through western Massachusetts. It was beautiful. We drove until about 5:00 pm, with the usual bathroom/fuel stops. We stayed at a hotel (that had a pool/hot tub) in Cleveland, OH.

My tired kids. We did manage to swim a little after dinner.
night 1

We woke up around 7:00 and started driving the next leg. Our stop for the night was St. Charles on the west side of St. Louis, MO. Yep, that place had a pool too.

A rest stop in the town of Effingham.
Jake's joke, "I'd like to have an Effingham sandwich!"

My kids reading a book in bed.
night 2

We ate here at lunch time.
Who can eat 50???

We stayed in Kansas City at Great Wolf Lodge on Monday night. We got there around 2:00, checked in and hit the water park. Minsky's for dinner with the Birdsells. It was so nice to know we were back in Kansas. Jake woke up early and was READY to finish this trip. So we loaded up one last time and drove to Topeka.

We visited GG in Topeka.

Then we drove on to Salina for lunch and visited Grandma and Papa.

Grandma modeling her Boston jacket.

We made it in to Wichita in time for dinner. The kids picked Red Robin. It was a long trip, but we were blessed with good weather, minimal traffic, nice beds, good food, great kids and fun conversations. A perfect way to end this past "Year in Boston". We will NEVER forget this.

Now that the dust has settled...

I need to review over our last few days in Cambridge. The weather was wonderful, so every day after school (Owen's last day was June 23) we would hang out on the playground with our friends.

Allie, Ava and Nora

Owen, Jonas, AJ and Jaylin

Christina and Jeremy

The Fortners

The crew playing a math game.
(Jaylin, Owen, Zoe, Allison, James, AJ and Jaden)

The Beans and us went to Chuck E. Cheese one day after school. I had over 50 tokens from a previous visit to get rid of, Michelle had bought some and I ended up buying about $5 more. The kids had FUN!

The girls on a ride.

The boys playing air hockey.

My kids and their "vampire teeth".

On his last day of school, the first grade teachers had an ice cream social. I got there in time to take a few pictures.

Owen and his sunday.

Brandon, Owen and Sik Fung.
(They all had identical sundays.)

Mrs. Headley and Owen
She was an amazing teacher!

Our last night in Cambridge was Friday, June 24th. We spent the day playing with the Beans. First the kids went to their place, so I could clean the apartment in peace. Then I picked up all the kids and we played at our EMPTY & CLEAN apartment. At dinner time, we walked to Harvard Square and ate at the IHOP. The kids had so much fun with their buds.

Last dinner in Cambridge.