Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Dry Run

Even though Saturday we were all together as a family, Monday morning I offered Chuck some alone time. A friend and I planned to hike with our kids, and since she was going husband-free, I thought I would too. Plus, it was good practice for the 25 days this summer where I will have two (TWO!--my life is hard) boys with me all day.

So off we went to Great Falls, well, we and about a million others. Only one of the five kids (cough, cough, OLLIE) struggled hiking but the others did great, giving the two moms nice time to chat. When our friends had to leave, we ventured to the overlook and then back to get popsicles. It was a pretty good morning.

In the afternoon, we invited two families over for dinner and let the kids play in the sprinklers. Hooray for Monday holidays!

P.S. What did we do Saturday? Checked out another trailer, of course! But I really think these are maybe not for us. At least, this one wasn't. At least, it wasn't right now. Then we went to a park that was way too big and didn't allow for any lazy parenting. Then we hung out and enjoyed a lovely evening.

P.P.S. And of course I am happy for a Monday holiday. I am also super happy for those who gave so much for me to take it all for granted, not the least of whom is my own dad.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What It Takes to Get Me Sewing: Birthdays

Hmmm....apparently all of my latest sewing has been for birthday kids. I need to find me some new motivation.

Hat for a one-year-old. Seriously, people, had I had daughters, I think I would have as many bonnets as I have ties for my boys. I love them. I love making them and I love babies wearing them. Tutorial from The Purl Bee.

Hat for another baby, same tutorial.

One of my cousins commissioned me to make this hat for her little boy who just turned one. I love these hats. I love when my boys wear the ones I made for them. And I finally figured out how to get Ollie to keep his on: tell him it keeps the bugs off his head. Because I have two boys who are afraid of bugs, this totally works.

Strawberry bag for a six-year-old. Cute, right? Pattern here at Jacks and Kate.. And if you're not reading this blog, you should. It's adorable.

And the only non-birthday gift. This wipes case was a thank you to a friend who watched Ollie during a babysitting emergency. And while I'm talking about wipes...why did I not know about their greatness BEFORE I had kids? I mean, these should be a staple in everyone's house, no matter their situation.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Last Race Post, Promise

Apologies, but I'm still pretty tired and just can't seem to make myself go to bed early to catch up. Anyway, one last post on the race. You had to expect race photos, right? They just crack me up. I can't always remember at which point the pictures were being taken, so I had to guess given the redness of my face.

Face not too red here, so must be near the beginning. Plus, I was focused. Look at me! I'm a woman who knows where she's going.

Face getting redder...

Even redder still...And JAZZ hands, people! I got the jazz hands! you think I'm excited? Can't tell.

Sorry for the watermark on them. But you know I ain't buyin' these, right?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How I Did It

Before I forget, I want to document exactly how I ran a sub-two-hour half marathon. The 12 weeks of training were as I mentioned on Monday. But on the race day, here's what I did:
  • Woke up about two hours before the race started and ate a banana with some peanut butter and drank a pint of water.
  • Got one of my running buddies to french braid my hair. No swishing ponies!
  • Warmed up with mile walk to race start.
  • Forwent headphones because I usually listen to podcasts and I was afraid the talking would slow me down; I just wanted to focus on my speed.
  • Drank small amounts at every water stop, including those at the beginning.
  • Ate one sport bean at every mile.
  • Set my Garmin to beep at every mile so I could monitor my pace.
  • Started out slowly, and then picked up the pace.
  • Ignored early warnings of dehydration and just kept going. I had goals, body!
But now that it's done, I've been asked what my **new** running goals are. For summer, it's all about just running. The heat and humidity are usually run killers, so as long as I'm doing something, I'll be happy. But maybe come fall, I'll work on my 10K pace in preparation for this race. Because you know I'm doing it. Or maybe I just need to practice running in a bunny suit.

Oh, Rhett. There you go again, photo bombing our picture.

Monday, May 19, 2014

St. Michaels Half Recap

When I started training for this race 12 weeks ago, I chose to do Hal Higdon's intermediate training program. I'd used his programs in the past and really liked them. But this time, I really wanted to do better. Faster. And by faster, I wanted to finish in under two hours.

But two hours?! Eek! That's fast, and I'm not fast. I've got endurance, sure, but not speed. I knew I'd have to take training seriously. So I did the pace runs. I did the tempo runs. I did the interval training. I did the strength training (yes, with real hand weights.) And I did the long runs. So come last Saturday morning, I knew I really had done all I could. While I knew my goal was do it in under two hours, mostly my goal was to run as hard as I could for the 13.1 miles and hope it was enough.

AND I DID IT! I'll be honest: it was wicked hard. I started getting really tired around mile 10.5. And at mile 12, I really really really wanted to walk. But because I had my watch, I knew I had zero time to spare. So I kept going. My final time? 1:58:57, with mile splits of 9:05. Chuck joked that I could have sat down on a bench for 60 seconds. Um, no. But I did it. It was crazy hard, but I did it.

Other than the hardness of the race, it was a super fun weekend. I went out there with three other women from church. We got a break from our families and enjoyed the beautiful small town of St. Michaels. We had perfect weather. I had perfect company. The only imperfect thing about the weekend was when the hotel water source started delivering sandy water in the pipes. But otherwise, it was such a good time. We've already recruited two others to join us next year.

Immediately after the race.

At the BBQ party. We clean up nicely, don't we?

Friday, May 16, 2014

I Can Do Hard Things, Right?

I'm running a half marathon tomorrow. I've set a lofty-for-me time goal and am kinda freaking out. I'm nervous about everything and just want to be able to say, "I ran as hard as I could for 13.1 miles." Hopefully that'll be enough.

Race report on Monday...or Wednesday, whenever I recover.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Scrabble Wall Returneth

Remember the scrabble wall? The one I had to take down when we put up the bunk beds? The one I got to put back up when the boys requested that the bunk beds be dismantled? Still love it.

P.S. And of course their room always looks like this. They never rip off all the bedding and put it on the floor. They never take out all the animals from the stuff animal jail and put themselves in instead. They never leave clothes on the floor. They never throw diapers all over the floor. Gosh.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Because I Have To

Yes, I would have liked to have been woken up later than 6 a.m. Yes, I would have liked to be able to say that my children obeyed the first time, every time, all day. Yes, I would have liked some alone time. No, Sunday School and Relief Society do not count.

But at the end of the day, eating 
a dinner of sandwiches and crab chips outside on a gorgeous May day, followed by AMAZING homemade strawberry pretzel ice cream in homemade waffle cones...well, I can't (or at least, shouldn't) complain.

P.S. I don't like the apostrophe in Mother's Day. I feel like it should be Mothers' Day. That one's for you, Mom.

P.P.S. Can you tell that in the first picture I have no make up, but in the second I do? Yep, feelin' old.

P.P.P.S. So what if I'm wearing the exact same dress from Mother's Day two years ago. I like it. But this year, I have awesome
yellow heels.

Friday, May 9, 2014


On the way to Williamsburg, we drove within miles of my childhood home. Because I knew (1) it'd be a long time before we'd be down in that area again and (2) it'd be much easier on the way down compared to the way home when we'd be hoping to beat traffic, I dragged my family to the house.

To the surprise of the adults in the car, I was able to navigate straight to it. I was pretty impressed with me.

Then. (I couldn't find a pic of me, so you get this of Emily, her friend, and my mom. My mom, it should be noted, is about my age in this picture. Those legs! That car!)

Now. Except for different windows on the garage and a missing tree, I'm happy the house looks like I remembered. Maybe next time I'll be brave enough to ask to go inside.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

30-hour Trip

I recently got a bonus at work. It wasn't large enough for a pool, but it was big enough to afford something more than a Jelly-of-the-Month club membership. Since I'm an adult with fairly inexpensive tastes (except for that camping trailer), I decided to take the family on a little trip. I wanted it to be something we wouldn't have done had I not been given the bonus. One of my running friends recommended Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, so that's what we did.

It was a quick trip, out and back in 30 hours, but we had a great time. I was constantly impressed with how well Rhett and Ollie took to the water, especially since they freak out every bath time when they have to get their hair shampooed. They did pretty much everything offered at the park, including the scary-to-them stuff. Rhett's favorite was the wave pool, and Ollie loved the little kid slides. Of course they both loved having a TV in their "tent" (a separate sleeping nook for them). They were good little travelers (except when eating at restaurants), and we'd definitely go back.

Slides he could do all by himself! The first time he did it, he was terrified. But at the end, he got out of the water and starting jumping up and down--that's how happy he was. It was possibly my favorite memory of the trip. The second favorite memory is Ollie's HUGE eyes as we careened down the family raft ride. Oh that boy.

Friday, May 2, 2014

April Showers

It started raining Tuesday, but not so hard. Wednesday morning I was even able to get out and run five miles before it got really bad. But then really bad it got. Getting two boys to school with umbrellas in rain boots is about as bad as school drop-offs get. Especially when one of those boys is only two and doesn't quite have umbrella-holding down. We had one errand to run in the morning, but came home immediately after so we could laze about the house and watch the rain. And watch the rain we did! Watch the groundwater fill up in our window well, is more like it. Right before lunch I texted Chuck to come home and help get that water out, which he did. When he left an hour later, all was well. Until he hit the roads, which were now rivers. He would have fared better had I given him a kayak. So he picked up some stuff to enable him to work from home and came right back.

But then...hallelujah of hallelujahs...when school was let out, the rain let up. It was a miracle. We donned boots, coats, and umbrellas and decided to walk to our little creek. (BEEP BEEP BEEP...Before you continue reading, take a look at the first picture in this post
This is the exact spot we were going to check out. Note the little creek in the first picture. Note the size of this creek. Its shape. Its color. Now you may continue.) When we saw our little creek had turned into a full-on western river, well, I knew we had to trek to the park to see Rock Creek. I mean, look at this! It's full and raging. Spectacular.

As we approached Rock Creek, the playground, and the soccer field, it became clear that we weren't nearing a creek. We were nearing a small lake. The creek had overflowed its bed and spilled onto the playground and soccer field. In the first picture, you can see that the water came up to the bottom of the swings and slide.

And here you can see the trash cans in the way back. Look how covered they are! Isn't it incredible?! (Look here for views of what this park looks like during non-storm times and hurricane times.)

Before we got to the park, Rhett complained about what seemed to be a fruitless activity--taking a walk. On the way home, however, we heard nary a complaint. He was only mad that we didn't let him swim. Sorry dude. Maybe during the next storm.