Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking ahead

It's still hard for me to believe that 2011 is almost here. That's a common theme around here, because I can never believe the girls are as old as they are. I think that means I'm getting old.

I have pretty much repeated my resolutions from 2009 in 2010, so I think it's time to write some new ones.

2010 was a tough year for me in many ways. Mom found out that she had breast cancer, Hubby lost his job, and I lost my job. But, even with all the uncertainty, when I look back I do have good memories. Mom handled breast cancer like a champ. Hubby got a new job, and well, I'm still looking and trying to take advantage of this time while I can. Plus, we had another year with Maddy and Libby and it's been wonderful, stressful, funny, and enjoyable all at the same time. Watching them grow into full blown toddlers has been amazing to say the least. The verbal skills and their personalities are definitely shining through.

So, for 2011, I hope to ...

1. Keep running. I ran 4 half marathons and walked a 60 mile/3 day event in 2010. 820 miles for the year, give or take a few. I had hoped to be a little closer to 1,000, but I'll take it. I also hoped to run a 5th half marathon, but I just didn't quite make it. I don't think I'm going to make a goal of a specific number of races, but just try to run consistently and finish at least run 2 halfs.

2. Simplify/Less Stress. If the house is trashed; it's ok. If I don't have the perfect outfit; it's ok. If I never lose this extra 5 pounds; it's ok. If my to-do list isn't finished; that's ok, too. I do want to simplify my eating - cleaner, healthier, easier. I want to simplify our house - get rid of the clutter, and enjoy our home, finally do some projects that I have envisioned. I want my daughters to have a simpler life - do they really need every toy out there? I want them to have the experiences and remember the important stuff.

3. Do something for me. I'm not sure what this will be. An art class? A writing class? Bikram yoga, again? Finally figure out the manual setting on my camera? But something just for me.

4. Find a job that I love. Amen to this one. Right now, I'm feeling a little stressed to find a job. But, I really don't want to take just anything. I want to feel great about it and find somewhere that can be fulfilling to me and that I can contribute to the success of the company and make a difference.

5. Be a better Mom/Wife/Friend. Oh, I think this one needs a lot of work. Hubby and I need to plan date nights and actually take time to talk. I need to have more patience with Maddy and Libby. I need to be the friend that picks up the phone more.

So, on that note ... Happy New Year, my friends. Hubby and I enjoyed a home cooked meal with our daughters (even though all we heard was "I don't like it"), but it was a nice dinner, nonetheless. I'm going to pour another class of cab and wish in 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking for...

Anyone know who else makes a similar product? This one is now unavailable. Here is the link.

Pottery Barn Kids has a few that are similar, but I really like the more simplistic design of this one. Once we moved in the cute kitchen, all I feel like I'm staring at are two big blank walls, oh and 9,000 pieces of Melissa and Doug food.

I thought it would be cute to have somewhere to display Maddy and Libby's artwork from school, along with photos. Or, I could hang the front loader frames that are easy to change out.

Or the clipboard look. Hmmm. As seen here. I kind of love this look.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010













Excuse the blurriness. Excitedness = not stopping to stand still for a photo.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house; not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. The girls were both napping, and Hubby was out; buying a few presents that we had forgotten about. The dogs were at camp, frolicking around, and Susan D. was baking
and eating gum drops.
Merry, Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just remembering

I hope that I will always remember mornings with my girls like the one I had today.

We were supposed to be meeting up with friends for Story Time with Mrs. Claus and lunch following. Unfortunately, one of my friend's daughters was sick, so they had to cancel. Since we were ready to go, we headed over to Barnes & Noble.

There were quite a few people there, mainly a couple of years older, but we sat down and waited. They weren't perfect, but they managed to sit still and listen for most of the time. Maddy had spotted an Elmo with book so as soon as Mrs. Claus was finished, we made a bee line to look at it.

Not that we need anymore Elmo's or books, but it really was cute - the book has 3 Christmas songs, plus it had an Elmo. I told the girls that they could pick out one book as a special treat. Maddy obviously had her choice and Libby found a set of Corduroy books.

We checked out, held hands in the parking lot without fussing, and headed over to pick up bread to make french toast casserole. They nibbled on cookie samples and were enthralled by the bakery. We walked down a few shops and had lunch at Subway. They were so good and ate their lunches, told me they were "careful" when holding their milk. They did pull a few bags of chips down that I had to replace, but other than that, I couldn't have asked for much better.

I guess it's these days that you want to remember forever when you can look at your children and just smile. They were so cute and sweet, and other shoppers said hello and asked about them. This is so much better than days with hitting, biting, screaming, or crying and it just seems like there have been a lot of those lately. Those are the days that I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing as a parent. Today was one of those days that I'm like "Yeah, I can handle this. I took two 2.5 year olds out in public to several places and didn't need my husband or a friend with me to do it. Go me."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa 2010

So, this pretty much sums up what we thought of Santa this year.


Oh well, there's always next year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Overheard

Hubby and I were reading books to Maddy and Libby before their nap today. Hubby was reading one called "Who Do You Love." It shows different animals and who they love. The bees love their majesty, the Queen; Bunnies love all of their baby bunnies; The Owl asks "Whoo, whoo, whoo do you love?"

Hubby asked Libby who she loved and she loudly and confidently replied "Meee!"

Gotta love it and I secretly wish that she will feel that way forever.

Friday, December 17, 2010

On my list

Does it mean I am officially old if I want one of these?


But, but, but it's a Bissell Sweep & Steam and you can clean tile and hardwood floors with it. Plus, it vacuums and steams at the same time?

Anyone out there own one? Love it, like it, hate it?

I think I want it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Day

Snow day fun =

PBS overload ~ Sesame Street, Curious George, Super Why, and The Cat in the Hat. How much TV is bad for 2 year olds again?

PJ wearing.

Finding a reindeer craft for the preschool Holiday party next week.

Tracing and cutting out 12 pair of hands on red paper for the reindeer craft.

Hanging and unhanging ornaments on the tree.

Coloring with crayons, block stacking, book reading.

Taking all of the silverware out of the drawer and lining it up the floor. No, that one wasn't Mama approved.

Junior League work ~ strategic planning and survey questions.

Thinking about how a 4 mile run from yesterday has made my quads sore.

Receiving lots of Christmas cards in the mail!

Relaxing with the movie, Leap Day while the girls were napping.

Pretzel Crisps, Granny Smith Apples, and Extra Sharp Cabot cheddar for lunch.

Oh, productive stuff like house-cleaning, job hunting, or that stuff? Nah, but I did find out about and applied for an interesting job opportunity this week.

While a relaxing day, here's hoping for no more snow days and no delays for tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You know that CoverGirl lip gloss that's supposed to stay on for 8 hours? The one that never stays on for more than 30 minutes?

Did you know that on 2 1/2 year old children, it will stay on until you take it off, just like the ad says.

This is what happens when I go upstairs to get dressed and forget that my purse is within reach. 2 glosses and 2 Burt Bees chapsticks were out and plentifully applied. Thank goodness not on the upholstery, carpet, etc.

Luckily, a little eye makeup remover and a baby wipe took it off enough not to get funny stares at the grocery store.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Obviously, I can't count

Hubby's 40th birthday is next week and I ordered a cake for a dinner that we had last night.

4 candles x 10. We told him he had to blow them out that many times.

I thought we would have 12 for dinner, so I ordered a cake to feed 12-16, but ended up with 9 for dinner, but I think only 6 had cake (losers).


So, do you know what that means? I'm left with a truck-load of yummy cake.


If this stays in the house, this may be my downfall.
Cake, anyone?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Trying to get back on the horse

After a couple of friends who read my blog, and even Hubby started asking me why I haven't been blogging, I figured it was time to check in.


I'm still here ... just haven't been writing. I didn't really mean to take a break, but it just happened.


I'll blame it on travel-work stuff-holiday preparations-cold/sinus thing-writers block-reading a good book-telling Maddy and Libby "don't touch that" multiple times a day, etc.


So, what is on my mind?


It's December 9 and I still can't find the candles for our windows.

My tree is half-decorated. Partly to keep ornaments out of two year old hands, but partly because the boxes are still in the basement.

I'm making a soup with Velveeta for dinner and I had to ask where it was at the grocery. It's not refrigerated and that kind of grossed me out. What is Velveeta, because it sure as heck isn't cheese.

Fifth half marathon for the year isn't gonna happen. The above cold/sinus thing has kept me from running since Thanksgiving, so I'm giving myself an extension and trying to run 5 within 12 months. My goal, my rules.

My cousin sent Maddy and Libby a Jingle Bell Elmo and I have heard Jingle Bells via Elmo about 10,000,000 times a day.

It is freezing here in NC. It snowed on Saturday and the snow is still lingering. It's just unheard of for here.

I am loving all of the holiday crafts that M&L are making in preschool. Mitten shaped paper ornaments, popsicle stick stars with paint and glitter, red poinsettias. Cute.

Oh, and did I mention that I lost my job? Yeah, not I what I needed/wanted/expected to happen, but I'm wrapping up a final project and will be finished by Christmas. I try to keep things happy and full of rainbows and sunshine here, but I just feel like it's not being truthful if I don't mention it. My new mantras include "everything happens for a reason, put on your big girl panties and deal with it, and don't forget to take those happy pills."

But, life does go on ... Hubby and I celebrated 5 years of wedded bliss in November, we are healthy, our children are healthy, I enjoyed a much-needed girls trip to New Orleans the weekend after I found out about the layoff, and I do believe that everything will work out.

So, that's it in a nutshell.

And just so I'm keeping this full of rainbows and glitter ...

"Keep your face to the sunshine, and you cannot see the shadows." - Helen Keller

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Predictable

Predictable is boring, right? Or does it mean stability?

How much unpredictability can a person endure before they crave the comfort of knowing what is going to happen tomorrow.

Does the person who works in a factory knitting socks enjoy the fact that they know their job will be the same day in, day out ... or do they loathe having to make the same stitch, in the same color, hour after hour, day after day.

2010 has definitely been a year of unpredictability and let's just say that the planner in me has had about enough. I'm definitely seeking stability, oh, but with flexibility and a little creativity thrown in for good measure.

Sigh.

Friday, November 12, 2010

NYC Recap



We had a great mini-vacation to NYC that involved 26.2 miles of running (Hubby) and a lot of eating (me).

Hubby ran the marathon for the second year in a row with a time in 4:07. His goal was under 4 hours, but I thought he did a great job and shaved over 20 minutes off his time last year. I watched from Central Park and had a blast watching the elite runners finish, as well as seeing Bobby Flay red-faced and serious on the course, along with thousands of other finishers. So inspiring.

Pre-race

Just being a spectator and not a runner of this marathon, I will say that they seem to have theiract together ... everything from the Expo to the race day logistics seems smooth, especiallywith 45,000 runners and 2.5 million spectators. The only issue I had were that the text messages I was supposed to receive updating me to Hubby's whereabouts didn't come as timely as I had hoped.
Post-race

We decided to rent an apartment this year and I have to say, that was a big thumbs up in our book. Not only were we convenient to pretty much everything (57th Avenue and 6th), it was less expensive, roomier, and we had a doorman. Of course, it came with a few drawbacks ... on the first night, we couldn't get the key to work in the lock and it took us forever to get someone tohelp. We also had to wait for 3 hours for the super to check a suspicious non-flushing toilet. But, all in all, I was happy with our decision and would do it again.


Here I am showing how small the kitchen was, but it was perfect for our needs. I could touch from cabinet to cabinet. Not what you'd want to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, but again ... perfect for most New Yorkers.

We did some of the typical New York sightseeing/touristy things ... MoMA, Magnolia Bakery (ehhh - wasn't that impressed), boat cruise around the city, Top of the Rock, caught a show(Promises, Promises), ate NYC pizza (Joe's and John's ... I may be slightly partial to Joe's), window shopping on 5th Avenue, crazy taxi rides, etc. One must do for me is to buy the City Pass ... we did this last year and also this year. The City Pass that gives you tickets to all the major museums, Empire State Building,etc. It's so worth the price even if you don't use every ticket.


Statue of Liberty from our cruise.

We also found a great tour in Greenwich Village called the Foods of NY Food Tour. They host several different tours around the city, but this one was perfect. A three hour tour filled with historical tidbits, and 6 different samples of Greenwich Village hole in the wall restaurants and bakeries. I really loved Greenwich ... so much more quiet, laid-back, arty, and unique. I would definitely like to spend more time in this area again. You can see where my eating marathon took place!

Holy Cannoli from Rocco's

Holy macaroni and cheese from Home.


Holy big chocolate chip and oatmeal cookie from Milk & Cookies.

My favorites ... hmmm, almost all of them. I would definitely have to say Home Restaurant (we decided to go back for lunch the following day), Milk & Cookies Bakery, Rocco's Bakery, Amy's Breads plus these rice/risotto balls from an Italian specialties shop. Oh my gosh.

Did I tell you that the day after our food tour, we walked from 57th street to 12th? Holy food coma. We spent some time in Chelsea, visited the Chelsea Market and the High Line Park. While High Line isn't the prettiest park in the world (read: manicured), it was a great idea to take a train trestle and turn it into a 1.5 mile walking trail above the city. It's still under construction, but made for some pretty neat vantage points above the city streets. It's a little bit gritty, but it's nice to see something turned around in positive way.
Cool street view


Flowers and bricks.

So, here's my long-winded recap and if you're still reading, thank you.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thinking about ...

Thinking about ...

My friend, K who was put on bed rest yesterday. She is almost 25 weeks along with boy/girl twins. Please keep her in your thoughts and feel free to send her entertaining blog posts.

Running. Why is it that you take a week off and it feels like an eternity and that much harder to get back in the groove? I ran 5 miles on Tuesday and plan to go tonight. Hoping for a longer run this weekend, because #5 will be here before I know it!

The fact that when it's time to give Maddy and Libby their medicine (antibiotic - ear infections), Libby will blurt out "Maddy turn!" and put her hands over her mouth. After a couple of days, we figured out that bribing with Elmo or a special snack is the way to go and we don't have to deal with crying/flailing arms. What is funny is that Libby still takes it better than Maddy, but she still tries to get out of it. I guess I can't blame her.
I also wanted to share a picture of M&L's preschool class. I think I can safely say that I could never do the job of a preschool teacher. I'm still amazed that they were able to get all of these kids lined up and stand still long enough for the parents to snap a few photos. Plus, they dressed up in costume and had fun. Oh, yeah ... no idea why M&L are the only ones NOT wearing their spider crowns.

All for now ... happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Spice, oh yeah

A bag of Betty Crocker pumpkin spice cookie mix fell in my shopping cart a couple of weeks ago, and I'm so glad it did.

I made these cookies tonight and they turned out to be very good. Kind of cakey in texture, and when paired with homemade cream cheese frosting, you can't really go wrong. Paired with milk or coffee and they would probably be even better.

Of course, the cookies are very easy ...they do come out of a pouch. All you do is add an egg, butter, a little water and mix it up. The frosting took a bit longer because you, or your Hubby has to sift 2 cups of powdered sugar, but it's definitely worth the effort. Don't buy the stuff in the can because the homemade is so much better. Just ignore the fact that the ingredients are cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. I'm definitely not looking up weight watcher points for that one.

Happy Fall!

Runner Susan, need your help

Runnersusan, I need your help. I'm getting a pop up message to log onto your site when I am on my site. My readers (all 12 of them) are also receiving this message at well.

I noticed your site is under construction. Can you offer any advice how to fix this, or why it happened?

xoxo,

Susan D. who wishes she had the boot collection and half marathon times of Runner Susan.

a post just to post

I've found that there is a strange pop up coming up when people visit my blog. It's actually for a blog that I read. Not really sure what is going on, but I'm going to see if adding a new post will make a difference.

Hmmmm ... it's Wednesday, what's going on in your world?

Today means a Halloween parade at preschool, work, crockpot lasagna on the menu for dinner (even though it's 70 degrees outside), Sesame Street songs, and I'm sure other adventures around the house.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkins and witches, oh my.

Yesterday, we attended our church Fall Festival, complete with "Trunk or Treat." I didn't know if the girls would "get it" or not, since this was truly their 1st trick-or-treating experience. They quickly learned that all of the people would give you candy to put in your little buckets. Even though they really didn't eat much candy, they still liked that idea.They also loved our neighboring car who let them take nearly every piece of candy out of their bowl and put it into their buckets. I was just happy it was MnM's. Just kidding, sort of. Mini Butterfingers would have been better.

Oh, and yes ... no witch costume for Maddy. No way, no how, wasn't going to leave the house without screaming and tearing at the costume kind of meltdown, so we decided a happy uncostumed kid was better than a miserable, costumed kid.

Maddy did oblige me by wearing the witch hat when we got home. Do you like her ink?


Libby did end up with one lollipop that she thoroughly enjoyed, plus a new frog tat.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cute and practical


These boots from Nine West are hitting many of my loves ... they are wedges, and the fact that they are "practical" since you are getting 2 boots in 1. You can upzip and remove the top if you want to wear them under jeans, or want to go with the shorter boot look. I haven't decided how I feel about ankle boot trend. I still feel like if I wore them in the 7th grade, then I shouldn't be wearing them now. Actually, I don't think I owned any ankle boots back then, but I think the cool girls did and I think we called them granny boots.
One of my friends pointed these out to me in a Southern Living and I've been looking for them ever since and found them on Zappo's.
Brown or black, brown or black ...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

True love

Libby loves Fig Newtons. I mean really, really, really loves Fig Newtons.

We keep them in a glass canister on the kitchen counter and several times a day, she will typically run over to the counter, point, and say either "cookie", or "I want one."

Today, I had an appointment to get a haircut after preschool. Bad timing on my part, but my sitter had arrived and Libby asked for a Fig Newton. She let them have one and then told them that when they were finished, it was time for a nap. Libby was adamant that she wanted another cookie, but the sitter held firm (like I wanted her to) and told them that they could have another one when they woke up from their nap.

Somehow Libby ended up with a package of fig newtons (the small, 2 in a pack ones) and took it upstairs with her. When they woke up this afternoon, she was still clutching that little pack of Fig Newtons in her hot, little hand. I'm actually surprised she napped at all, knowing that she was that close to getting another cookie. I'm also surprised that she didn't figure out how to open up that package and have a little snack in bed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

4 down, 1 to go

So, I did it. Signed up on Friday, ran a half on Saturday. I typically am not that much of a non-planner, but I've been thinking about this race a lot, but I just didn't know how I would feel after the Komen walk, so I didn't want to commit ... mentally or financially, until I knew that I was "ready."

Ok, so I probably really wasn't "ready" by a lot of people's standards, but I came back from the walk without blisters, any major pain, and I knew that my legs could take the miles. I did a mid week, longish run and felt OK, so I decided to go for it.

Race day was great. Sunny and cool ... a perfect day for running. I met a neighborhood friend around mile 2 and we ran together until mile 5. She has great form and was keeping right below a 10 minute mile. I knew I couldn't stay with her forever, but I felt good for those miles.

We split off right around mile 5, and I was still feeling good. I shedded my long sleeve shirt at the turn around, and remember thinking to myself, "ok, I can really do this."

Keep in mind, this race is on the greenway that we run all the time, so I guess it's good and bad. You definitely know what to expect ahead of you, but it's also familiar.

Around mile 10, I started having some cramps in my left calf. Ugh. I slowed up, walked a bit, stopped to stretch, did a little talking to myself and kept going.

By mile 12, you are back in the park where eventually you'll finish and I also knew that I was getting ready to tackle the hill that I will always remember as one of our hill repeat hills. I ran up it, but stopped again to stretch at the top. After that, Missy Elliott came on the iPod, I perked up and remember thinking "Susan, you walked 60! miles last weekend. You can run 1-2 more."

Did anyone mention that running is 90% mental and 10% physical?

So, Missy and I ran in the last 1-2 miles and I pushed repeat on her song so I could make it to the finish line. Which is on top of another hill, I might add.

I saw my friend who I ran with cheering me on, so that was good to see a familiar face, along with a few others. Let me give my PSA for race spectators. Please cheer for people, even if you don't know them. You have no idea how much this lifts their spirits ... especially when they are finishing a race that ends at the top of a hill.

So, I finished. #4. Not a PR, but still respectable for me. 2:18:37, I think was the chip time.

A little sore yesterday, but nothing too bad. Yes, I had a few people tell me I was crazy and a few that said amazing. Don't think I'm either one of those, but it was good to finish #4, because now completing #5 doesn't seem that bad.

Silly goals. Silly goal-setter.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So, I'm up ...

Having coffee, dressed in my running clothes, and trying to fool myself into thinking this is just a Saturday morning training run.

The problem is that I have a timing chip on my shoe, and a bib number pinned to my shirt.

So, I did it and signed up for the Cannonball Half.

Here goes nothing ... hopefully I can give a good report in a few hours!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pondering

I've had my running clothes laid out for the past 2 mornings, but when my alarm went off shortly before 5am each day, I quickly turned it off and rolled over. I am finally dressed in running clothes and plan to hit the gym after I do preschool drop off.

Amazingly, I did not return from the 3-Day walk with any blisters, or really any soreness. I had some weird top of my foot pain, and a few twinges when I would go up steps, but nothing that made me feel like I had just walked 60 miles. Who knows ... maybe I did stretch more than I thought, or maybe all the running from this summer helped keep me in shape. Or maybe it was the copious amounts of Biofreeze and Tiger Balm that I used.

Anyway, there is a little, local half marathon this weekend that has been on my "calendar." The thing is, I haven't done any running in over 2 weeks, I haven't registered for it, and I haven't arranged childcare.

My plan is to see how I feel on my run today, and go from there. If I'm feeling bold, I will go ahead and register and find a babysitter, and just try to get out there on Saturday and do it. Hubby's running 21 miles on Saturday, so that's why he won't be available.

Am I crazy? Ok, maybe I don't want you to answer that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More 3-Day Walk D.C.

My sweet friend and teammate, Rene put together this moving slideshow that recapped our walk beautifully. Hope you enjoy.

Also, here is a link to Leonard Pitts' article. He walked in the DC walk in memory of his Mom and we stalked him, found him on Saturday, and got to chat with him about his experience. He wrote a great recap. Maybe if I learned to write like him, someone would be paying me for this blog.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Walk

So, I think that most of you know I recently walked the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure and all I can say is WOW. It was truly an incredible experience.

A group of my teammates and I drove to DC on Thursday. We arrived in time to enjoy some great pizza and a walk to Georgetown for a cupcake. We split one that night, and bought others to enjoy the next morning for our pre-walk breakfast.
Mmmm, cupcakes.

After a somewhat restless night for everyone, we got up early to catch our 5am shuttle that took us to the opening ceremony location. As soon as we checked in, I knew it would be emotional. The signs on people's backs in honor or memory, the opening ceremony itself, the survivors circling a flag of remembrance. I truly felt lucky that I had the ability to walk 60 miles. Throughout the next 3 days, I would often think that this was way easier than chemo. Or losing a breast. Or losing a loved one.

Our team at the opening ceremony.
(The guy with the pink beard behind us is actually not a part of our group!)


One of my favorite signs.


Then we walked. And walked. And walked some more. On Friday, we did 20.5 miles throughout D.C., even stopping for a moment as the Prime Minister of Jordan passed by us and his Secret Service made us stop. We headed into Georgetown, and made it to Maryland. All along the way, they have pit stops where you can grab a snack, refill your water bottle, stretch, use the porta-pottie, etc. The event logistics are amazing to me, and must take a dedicated staff and incredible volunteers. After we had walked on Friday, we were bussed to our campsite for the weekend ... a huge farm in Maryland.

Part of our row of tents, complete with appropriate decorations.

There we could pick up our luggage, set up our tent, enjoy a hot shower via mobile shower tractor trailer units, and eat dinner. One important note ... plastic utensils make steak very hard to eat, but I enjoyed every bite. The campsite has a 9pm lights out policy, but I think everyone is so tired by the point, it is an easy rule to enforce.

Saturday, our schedule was 24 miles and this time we actually started the walk to camp and no buses were involved. This day we stayed in Maryland and had great support from cheering sections, and also just people set up in parking lots. I almost cried at every large cheering station as the people are thanking you for walking for their Mom, Wife, Sister, etc.

This was one of our favorite cheerleaders and he was out on the course all weekend, cheering on his wife. She is a survivor and had done many Komen walks and was walking in 3 walks this year! Plus, he had chocolate and a cool wig.


On Saturday night, Nancy Brinker (Susan G. Komen's sister) who started the foundation in honor of her sister spoke and it was such an inspiration to hear her story. Again, lights out at 9pm and I found that chicken was easier to cut with plastic.

We were up at 5am on Sunday so we could take down our tents, put our bags in a truck, eat breakfast and hit the road. We were bussed to another area of Maryland and we walked to DC. The Dupont Circle cheering section was great and we got to see some of the sights ... complete with a walk past the White House.

Day 3, still smiling, and ready to go!

Our team nearing the end of Day 3, in front of the White House.

As we finished the walk, we were cheered on by crew members, volunteers, onlookers, other walkers ... you name it. There was music, cheering, clapping. It was incredible and emotional. Our team linked arms and came in together. We started together and that's the way we wanted to finish. Each and every one of us walked every single step and our feet showed it. Lots of blisters, but you literally could feel the strength of all of us combined.

We stayed in a holding area until all of the walkers were in, then we all lined up together to walk to the National Monument. This was exciting to have the entire 2,000+ people together since we had been spread out most of the weekend. The survivors followed us, wearing special pink tee shirts.

The closing ceremony was just as emotional as the opening, with good speakers, music, and of course the survivors raising a flag. One of our team members who is a survivor was asked to be on stage! Even though we couldn't see her from our point, we were thrilled that she got to have that special experience.


The one shoe salute for all of the survivors as they walked into the closing ceremony.

At lunch on Day 3, our team captain asked if someone offered to donate the amount that we had raised if we would walk again the next day, and I can definitely say that I would. I really felt like I had made a difference, and it was incredible to witness it. Individually, I raised over $2,800; our team raised nearly $27,000; and the D.C. walk raised $5.3 million. Incredible.


With our team captain and my tent roomie!

A huge thank you to my family and friends for their love and support throughout this amazing journey.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I'll be walking

and walking, and walking some more.

It's almost time to leave for the Susan G. Komen 3 day walk for the cure and I'm still amazed that it's here.

I was scared that I couldn't meet my fundraising goal, but I did.

I was scared that I wouldn't have time to train, but I did.

I've been amazed at the generosity of friends, family, and friends who I've never met, but have gotten to know through blogging who have supported me. Whether through financial donations, or through emails and talks, I know that I will be carrying the love of many people with me and that is why I know I can walk 60 miles.

Our team has raised a collective $26,000 for breast cancer research and community programs and I am inspired by each and every member.

I'm way behind on blogging, but promise to do a big post with photos and a recap when it's all over.

I will tell you know that my PINK LL Bean duffle is almost packed and I've probably never packed more pink clothes for one weekend in my whole entire life. See you next week!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hey, is this thing on?

Yes, I'm really here ... just not here.

Life is good. I went to Portland, OR last week for a Junior League conference. Portland was great. We were able to squeeze in an epicurean walking tour of the city. If you go to Portland, please try the Pearl Bakery's fresh croissants and Hot Lip's pizza. Both were wonderful, in my book. The tour didn't take us there, but we did try VooDoo Doughnut. It's definitely a hole in the wall, but not my favorite doughnut ever. It probably is worth a visit to check out their off color menu options.

Also while I was there, I took two very scary public speaking workshops. I know they are good for me, but I don't know if they were good for my blood pressure.

So, I'm back from the trip and trying my hardest to get back on EST.

Lately, my life has been consumed with:
  • Junior League meetings
  • Work, and going through a merger
  • More Junior League work
  • Getting ready to walk 60! miles next weekend
  • Pulling out pumpkins, witches, and ghosts ... oh my!
  • Fun and adventures with two 2 year olds. The latest, a meltdown on the playground today because the swing that Libby wanted wasn't available. She had the choice to pick a new swing or go home, and when she practically threw herself on the ground, we decided to go home. I think I have officially become "that Mom" at preschool.
  • Slightly obsessing over a pair of Dansko boots.
  • A dead battery in my camera. I've heard it's cheaper to replace the camera, so I may be shopping tomorrow.
  • A desperate need to buy shoes for my children.

That is all ... I'm around and checking your blogs, just ignoring my own. I promise I'll be back.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Disturbing

On so many levels.This is a picture of a shoebox with 6 sets of "princess" shoes that someone gave Maddy and Libby when their daughter outgrew it, but with 4 of Maddy and Libby's babies shoved into it. The princess shoes are disturbing enough, but the babies kind of creep me out ... especially when their are groupings of them and I look over and they are all staring at me. I find them in sporadic places around the house ... placed into plastic pitchers, sitting in the stroller, thrown down the steps, sitting in the high chair, shoved in shoes boxes, etc. You get the idea.

I always loved my dolls growing up, especially Xavier Roberts adoption dolls and Cabbage Patch Kids, but the amount of dolls that M&L have been given this year is getting a little out of hand. It almost reminds me from the scene in Sex and the City when Stanford is dating the guy with the crazy doll collection and they have to take them all off the bed and carefully place them around the room before getting down to business.

Just hoping that 10 dolls don't turn into 100.

Oh, and yes, all of our dolls are twins. Keepin' it real.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brain Dump

I had a college professor who would assign free-writing assignments every week. You were to open your notebook and just write whatever was on your mind. It was a great way to just start writing or get over writer's block. From all the gibberish, there were usually a couple of good topics to develop.

Some days, I feel like I need to do this, but I usually can't even wrap my head around what I want to say.

This week would be a little like this ...
  • A collective 18 miles (ran 6, walked 12) = longest distance I've ever done in one day.
  • Extra 5 pounds from all the crap I think I can eat when I move my body 18 miles in one day.
  • Dialing for dollars.
  • Overdue highlights.
  • Overdue pedicure.
  • Need to pack
  • I was "that" Mom carrying two screaming toddlers down the sidewalk at school. I really hate being that Mom. I will admit that I probably showed my ass by raising my voice, but it makes me crazy when I have no control over 2 little girls who are running into a parking lot. Not cool.
  • Dog hair.
  • Need clothes, but don't want to shop.
  • Self control
  • Looking forward to movie night with the girls.
  • Mom's radiation is over. Big hurray! Now, one more monthly medication/treatment until April to worry about.
  • My Meme's house sold yesterday. This is where my Mom grew up and where some of my first memories are from. Sad that I wasn't there to say goodbye.
  • Who knew that when your BlackBerry goes crazy, the Verizon guy will just tell you to take out the battery and reinsert.
  • Invisalign.
  • Money Trees.
  • I have to walk 60 miles in 3 weeks!
  • Pumpkins
  • Recipes, and Weight Watchers
  • Big girls forming cognitive thoughts ~ Libby, while pointing to her leg. "Boo-boo." Me: "Yes, you do have a boo-boo." Libby: "I fall down."
  • Down pillows, down comforter, and a fan. Night, night.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mad Men

Are you watching?

I am and I will admit that it is all over the place this season, but when Henry rammed his car into Don's boxes that had been left in the garage, I thought about what an unclassy thing it was to do, but how good it must have felt.

But, Don still had the last laugh as he put the unopened boxes straight into the dumpster.

I fell asleep before the last 5 minutes were finished, so I need to go back and find out if Don's 2nd date ended as surprising as his 1st.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you?

I know for most Americans, including myself, 9-11 is still such a negative number. I think I will always remember where I was, what I did, and how I felt on that day. I can only liken it to the Space Shuttle disaster that happened when I was young, or how my parents must have felt when JFK was shot.

I was the Marketing Director for a shopping center and was sitting at my desk checking email. Since we actually worked in the mall, we had Muzak piped into our offices, but I always turned on my radio so I could listen to music, news, or CD's.

The DJ's came back on and started reporting this horrible news that didn't even sound real. A plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers?! What? I ran into our conference room where we had a TV and told our Secretary to come in. We told everyone in our office to come watch what was happening, and while we were watching the news, everything just started unfolding around us. 2 more planes, and a slew of footage that is still haunting to me.

I called my then boyfriend at the time and asked if he had checked on a friend who lived in DC, and luckily everything was fine. His friend worked near the Pentagon, and ex boyfriend had just moved from DC, so it was more than a little surreal.

Malls are notorious for never closing because they don't want to lose the sales, but we quickly heard from our home office that they would be closing all of their shopping centers across the country.

I just remember driving home thinking that something else was going to happen and wondering what would be next. I had serious doubts that any of us on US soil would wake up the next day and I don't think I've ever felt fear like that before.

Thank you to the men and women who fight to protect our country every day, and to the men and women who lost their lives that day, we will never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Preschool!

There are some days that I still can't believe that I am the mother of two 2-year-olds. Seriously, someone tell me how this happened.

Ok, ok, I know how it happened, but someone please tell me where the time has gone.

Maddy and Libby started their 2 year old preschool class on Tuesday. I really love their teachers ... no nonsense, laid back, loving, fun, and kind. Since they are on the ease in schedule, on a couple of days, we've been able to go to the playground for an hour after school and play until it's time for lunch.

There is so much more structure than their last class and I really think it's good for them. Libby was already showing me where they line up to go outside and promptly hopped on the circle. Today, she was bringer of snack and got to stand on the star, so I'm sure she was thrilled over that.

I thought they grew up and learned so much last year, so I can only imagine what this year will hold.
Sigh. My babies are growing up.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Half #3 by the numbers

Hours it took to drive to Virginia Beach ... almost 5.


Hours it took before we actually got on the road to leave ... almost 4.


Trips to the Doctor before we got on the road ... 1.


Trips to Rite-Aid once we made it to Virginia Beach ... 2.


Trips to the half marathon Expo ... 2.


Number of running t-shirts purchased ... 2.


Meals that consisted of carbs ... too many to count!


Race Day wake up time ... 4:15am.


Pots of coffee on race day for our group ... only 1.


Number of runners who were ready to get out of our cars and yell at the nice policeman who almost wouldn't let us out of the neighborhood to drive to the start because our road was supposed to be closed for traffic at 4:30 am ... 15!


Number of policeman who decided he didn't want to deal with 15 women ... 1.


Porta pottie trips pre-race ... 2.


Number of Elvis' seen at the race ... 3.


Number of pace bands worn for the race ... 2.


Number of times on the pace bands that I actually hit ... 0.


Number of miles that I felt good ... 4. (Miles 1-4)


Number of miles that I had leg cramps ... 4. (Miles 9-13)


Finishing time of the day ... 2:21.


Number of minutes faster than last year ... 6.


Number of minutes slower than my typical training runs this summer ... 6.


Number of ice cream cones eaten post race ... 1. (Best hot day, post run treat ever!)


Number of naps taken over the weekend ... 3. (Two short ones by the pool, one decent one inside with the fan.)


So, all in all, it was an OK race. I did beat last year's time, but the leg cramps? Who knows!? All I know is when the 2:15 pacing group passed me and I could only stay with them for a few minutes, I knew I was in trouble. I think it mentally defeated me and I slowed down. I tried to speed up towards the end, but just didn't feel like I had it in me and I couldn't seem to get rid of the cramps ... I ate, I drank, I stopped and stretched on a curb, but nothing helped until I stopped running.

I also think that any of the Rock & Roll races are well done. This is my 3rd that I've participated in and you can always count on a good course with lots of support, a big expo with lots of great vendors, bands and entertainment, and good after race supplies (Va. Beach has icy towels, popsicles, water, and Cytomax at the finish, along with bananas, a food bag, and of course your medal.

About half of our group had PR's and the other half wasn't overly excited about our times, but we did it and that's the important thing.

Now to really figure what races will be numbers 4 and 5 this year!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Run, run, fun

We leave tomorrow for our big race. It's really hard to believe that we've been training for 16 weeks ... 334 training miles that included a 13 miler and 15 miler, plus a lot of miles in between, with the majority of those miles starting at 5:30 am. Lots of those miles included some great conversations, some good songs on the iPod, a few blisters, one not so fun run with a surprise porta pottie visit (Thank, God.), some brutal hills, some familiar trails, a love of running that has grown, and even a few sub 10 minute miles.

The heat and humidity has been brutal all summer, so hopefully it will pay off when we're running at the beach. We've been keeping an eye on Hurricane Earl, decided to delay our departure by a day, and hopefully we will arrive to sunny skies and nice ocean breezes.

Here's to my 3rd half marathon of 2010 and not worrying about #4 and #5 for at least a couple of days!

Cubbies, stars, and weather bears ... oh my!

Maddy and Libby are starting in the 2 year old preschool class next week and last night was the parent orientation.

Wow, what a big difference from their last room. We have cubbies, colors and shapes of the month, leaders of the day (with a star to stand on and the weather bear to dress!), Dixie cups to drink out of, a potty!, and no high chairs to be found.

I've heard great things about their teachers, and they seemed great. Full of energy, but also with a laid back attitude - probably perfect for 2's. I can't wait to see how much Maddy and Libby will learn and grow this year. We were sad to see that their last class was separated with many of the kids going to the Older Toddlers because they hadn't yet turned 2. We do have 2 little girls that they knew last year, and a set of boy/girl twins that will also be in the class.

Today, is the orientation for the children, so I'm hopeful that they will be as excited as I am!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stubborn

So, in March, I put this goal out to the internet of running 5 half marathons this year. So far, I've run two and my third is this weekend.

It's the 4th and 5th that are wreaking havoc on my life and turning me into an obsessed woman.

I've been planning on running a local half marathon in October, but the clincher is that it's the weekend after the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk. When I talked to my running coach about it, she said absolutely no way should I run it.

I have found two other half's that are nearby, they are both Sept. 18, and both look pretty hard. (One goes up a mountain, and the other is in the mountains/foothills of NC ~ described as "mainly flat, but remember that we are in the mountains.") Also, I'm debating if should I really run another one that close to the Virginia Beach half. Or, I can look at it that I'll still be in half marathon shape, and should just go for it!

Of course, I have no idea how I'll feel after the Komen walk, or what kind of blisters I could have, so I'm tempted to go with one of the September races so I can get #4 out of the way, but I like the idea of having a little more time in between races. I have found 2 choices in December that will work with my schedule, so hopefully that should take care of #5. What to do, what to do?

Anyone walked a 60 mile/3 day event before, then run a half marathon the next weekend? I don't want to get injured or do something stupid, but I've also realized that I'm more stubborn than I thought and really want to make this goal a reality this year.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Moving to the country, I'm gonna eat a lot of peaches

Peaches have been so good this season ... it really doesn't seem to matter where you buy them. Farm stand on the road, farmers market, Harris Teeter, or even (gasp) Wal*Mart.

I really love to eat them with my cereal, and my cousin gave me a handy-dandy peach pitter and slicer from Williams-Sonoma. This thing works like a charm unless you have an overly ripe peach, and then you get a big, squishy mess.

I think I may tend to like a little cereal with my peach as witnessed this morning.













Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Ramblings

Oh, my posts just keep getting fewer and further between.

So, here are today's rambling thoughts ...
  1. I surpassed my minimum fundraising goal for my upcoming Komen 3-Day walk. My latest donation pushed me over the $2300 mark! So excited that the "hard" part is done ... now to walk 60 miles!
  2. I lost my third toenail of the year. It's always the same toenail that I lose and I just went up another half size on my shoes. I can't figure out what is causing it. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the toe"nail" underneath is a pinkish shade, so it almost matches the rest of my painted toes.
  3. I started this blog almost 4 years ago! Can you believe it. Here's my very first post. Obviously, I had no idea what I was doing back then either. It's funny that some things remain the same ... Hubby's still cooking dinner, we're still running, Zeus and Zoe are still around, and I'm still volunteering with the Junior League.
  4. My Mom cracked me up today. By the way, she is doing well ... she's done with chemo, is now halfway through radiation, and will continue to receive another anti-cancer drug every three weeks until April. I believe that she will do another scan after the radiation to check things out. Oh, and how she cracked me up ... She told me that her hair was coming back, but unfortunately her facial hair was coming back as well. Nice and coarse, Mom told me. She's always made me promise that I won't leave her in a retirement home with whiskers coming out of her chin.
  5. I had my mammogram yesterday and talked with my OB about a lot of different things ... possibly having genetic testing to see if my Mom had the Braca gene and possibly passed it on. It is the gene for breast or ovarian cancer. That is something that I'm not even able to wrap my head around and think about right now.
  6. Note to self: When you eat cake three nights in a row, and Feeney's twice in one weekend, and you hop on the scale on Monday morning, don't question where the extra 4 pounds came from. Apparently running 15 miles DOESN'T give you the ability to eat anything you want!
  7. Oh, I found blue crayon marks on the sofa. Joy. Thank God for washable crayons and washable slipcovers. Too bad it's on the body of the sofa, so the whole big slipcover is going to have to come off.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

15 miles and Feeney's

Well, I did it. My half marathon plan called for 13 miles on Saturday, but there were several people who were going up to 15 and I wanted to see if I could do it and I did it. 15 miles ... whoo-hoo!

It was actually a very good run, with the exception of the last mile or so. Someone told me that your body wouldn't know how to react once you went past 13 (or whatever mileage is your highest) and that was true. I could feel myself slowing down and really had to think about what I was doing so I wouldn't get sloppy. But, I did it and felt pretty good.

I was surprised at how quickly the miles went by. We got to mile 7, then to 10, and it hit me that I was really going to do 15.

My Garmin froze at 11.66 miles, so that stunk, because I'm a little OCD about using the Garmin for miles/pace, etc. My time kept going, but no pace and no distance. The guy who I ran with had the same problem, but he was able to restart his so that made me happy.

Now, it's taper time and in 2 weeks, race day. Wow.

I also discovered another new love ... Feeney's frozen yogurt. A self serve froyo bar with lots of yummy fresh fruit, chocolate candies, gummy worms, sprinkles, sauces, etc,etc. So, so good. Great flavors and let's just say that I was worried my cup was going to cost $18 (you pay by the ounce), but luckily it didn't. Here's to hoping that $3.50 isn't bad. I am glad that it's not too close to my house, but I can definitely tell that this may be my new addiction. Yum.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ending with cake

Yesterday, I worked, came home and did Mom duties until 6:30, then went to a meeting at 7pm that lasted until after 11. So, I got home around 11:30, read for a few minutes and tried to go to sleep as quickly as possible.


I woke up about 5:15 to walk 5 miles with some teammates at 5:45, came home at 7am, showered and got ready for work. I worked, came home and did Mom duties, and did enjoy 30 minutes of light dozing while Hubby read books and played with Maddy and Libby.


I am exhausted and ready for bed. It's only 8:34 PM. Plus, I have to get up a little before 5 to meet my running girls for 6 miles at 5:30. This is the point in the training that I am over it ... especially these early morning runs 3 days a week.


But do you know one good thing? Both days ended with cake. Yummy cream cheese frosting, strawberry filled cake. Carb loading, right!?
More days should include cake.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Proud parent

I'm so proud of my girls and their different accomplishments ...

Maddy has gone to the bathroom on the potty for two nights in a row. Yeah, Maddy!

Libby has been counting to 10, usually missing the number 6, but she gets the rest. Yeah, Libby!

It's funny ... I don't think Maddy has any idea what she has done, even when we applaud and basically act like idiots over her achievement. However, Libby, while sitting on her potty tonight, pointed to the other potty and said "Sister potty." Then, she clapped.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A little look

After I get home from running on Saturday mornings, Maddy loves to put on my socks. Kind of gross, but it's so cute to see my ankle-length socks come up her calves. Yesterday, she put on both my socks and shoes. A future runner, perhaps?

When I'm lucky, Libby and Maddy will give kisses. I was just surprised to see that they would give one to each other. I guess it doesn't matter that 3 hours earlier, they were probably biting each other.