To be the best Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend, and Runner I can be...God willing!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday!!

We have been doing a 15 week challenge at my MOMents group at church.  A recent challenge was to list 25 things I was thankful for that day.  Here is my list from today...

1.  Cooler weather (it is about time!)
2.  Walks with my kiddos
3.  Running and not sweating
4.  Picnic lunch in the backyard with Jonah and Samuel
5.  New candles
6.  Kisses from Elena...the absolute best!
7.  Halloween costumes
8.  Projects getting finished
9.  Leftovers for dinner
10.  Clean floors
11.  Vacumming
12.  Talking to Kelsey on the phone
13.  "Scared Shrekless"
14.  A foot that is healing
15.  Greek yum!
16.  Hot chocolate
17.  Painting my fingernails
18.  Painting Emma's toenails
19.  No homework
20.  Elena sleeping all night
21.  Having the windows open all day
22.  Planning a Halloween party menu
23.  Drew picking up the dry cleaning
24.  My family
25.  Snuggles with my kiddos and Drew

I hope everyone else had at least this many blessings today!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Words of Wednesday

There are so many milestones in each child's life.  All are special for their own reason....the first smile, the first word, the first step, and then...

"I need to go potty Mommy!"  This came out of Samuel's mouth on Saturday and he has been in underwear since then...5 days ago!!!  Woo hoo!

These were the best words I heard again and again today!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Please tell me this is temporary

I am injured and I am hoping it is temporary.

In May I registered to run my first ever half marathon.  I have been running with this goal in mind for almost six months...more than half of little Elena's life.  I have been training for the half since mid September.  I have sacrificed sleep, energy, and time.  I am healthier, stronger, and faster than I have ever been in my life.  Now, I am injured.

The top of my foot starting hurting during the last mile of my 10 mile run on Saturday.  I did not run on Sunday and babied my foot all day.  I tried to run this morning and my foot hurt as soon as I put on my shoe.  I took three steps down the street and came home.  Frustration....

I went to the running store today and talked with a very helpful woman and bought new shoes.  I am praying this helps and I am back to normal in a few days.  The half is November 20th.

I have struggled with my desire to run.  Is it the right thing for me and my family at this time in our life?  I pray about this everyday.  I have faith that it is the right path for me.  I hope this is not God's answer to the contrary.

I guess I keep praying....

Sunday, October 24, 2010


We stayed home this weekend...the entire weekend for the first time in one month!  It was glorious to sleep in my own bed, make food in my kitchen, watch tv in my living room...

I think the the kids liked being home.  We all love to travel, to visit friends and family, and to explore.  However, there is just something relaxing and reassuring about "your home base" as well.

Drew got to go for a 20 mile bike ride on Saturday.  I went for a 10 mile run with M.  Everyone except Elena got haircuts.  We watched football.  We played, laughed, and just hung out with each other...what a great weekend.

Fun highlights from our weekend include Samuel trying to ride a "big" bike (Emma's first bike)

Samuel trying to figure out how to pedal forward...he prefers to pedal backwards

I love when I get Elena from her nap and I am greeted by this beautiful smiling face....

Happy girl after a long Sunday afternoon nap

 Emma and Jonah spent Sunday afternoon with Kathryn.  They got to eat ice cream, play at the park, make crafts, play games, and have so much fun being big kids....

E and J with Kathryn...Kathryn is holding her thank you flowers
What a wonderful weekend at home!!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sunday in Austin

On Sunday we went back to the park where I rock climbed.  We hiked down to the creek and let the kids play on the rocks.  They had a blast.  It was a fun way to spend the morning and to end our weekend!!

And, our family picture....

They can't all be perfect, but this is us!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adventure Race in Austin

On Friday, October 15th Gail and I loaded the kids and our stuff into the van and we headed to Austin.  Drew met us there because he was away on a business trip.  The kids were generally good on the ride and as always I was thankful for the DVD player.

We arrived at the hotel in time for dinner, which I brought with us.  My pre-race meal was chicken, baked sweet potatoes, and peas...yum!  Drew arrived shortly after us just in time for dinner.  After a little playing around in the hotel it was time for bed.  Unfortunately Elena did not sleep well so I did not get a great night of sleep.

Up early on Saturday, I ate, fed Elena, and headed for the race site.  Drew and I previously decided that they would try to catch up with me during the day since the race would be all day.  He drove me and then went back to the hotel.  I met up with my team and we got ready for a day of unknown adventures.

My teammates were Jenn (my bootcamp instructor), Sheri (Jenn's mom), and Balie (Jenn's brother's girlfriend).  Jenn bought us super cool shirts which were really comfortable.  Our team name was 4G!

The race began at 8am.  We had to solve a puzzle before being given our first passport.  We headed out on bike to a forever far away park.  The ride was cold and I realized why bikers may wear gloves.  I was glad I had on a helmet.  We biked about 7 miles uphill to a park, solved a riddle from three clues and biked back to the staging area.  After biking down a hill, Jenn said we hit 24 miles/hr.  I just laughed because I did not come close to that speed.  I don't like biking downhill and saying it scares me is putting it mildly.  My brakes got a workout of their own!

Our second task was running to a farmer's market.  The third was again biking to a park where we kayaked.  The fourth was running and it was a bummer.  We headed the wrong way for a few blocks and lost a bunch of time. 

The fifth stage was the craziest.  We thought it was going to be easy because the passport said completion time 15 minutes.  Well, that was true.  All we did was blow up a bike tire, patch it, and toss the tire around a cone three time...easy!  The hard part came with stage 5b...yes 5b!  We had to bike uphill on a major road  to yet another park.  The ride was challenging, but I was pleased that I made it to the top of the steepest hill without walking...yeah for me!  I was getting more used to going downhill on bike at this point and braked less.  We arrived at the location and learned we had to rock climb.  I don't know what I was thinking or if I was at all because I said I would do it.  Who know that it was real rock climbing.  This is just not my thing at all.  When I saw what I had to climb I was beyond scared. I talked to Drew on the phone and told him to pray for me.  I said several prayers myself.

Climbing I guess is relatively safe.  I was harnessed in and someone had me on belay...some dude was holding another rope on ground as extra support.  Everyone was very supportive of me because they all knew I was scared out of my mind to make the climb.  This is what I had to climb.
Distance can't quite see the bottom.  There is a climber for scale!
So, off I went.  The two professionals talked me through the first part of the climb.  It was hard, but manageable.  At the first plateau I just kind of freaked out.   I did not think I could climb the rest of the rock.  There was a crevice that I just could not figure out where to put my feet and hands.  This is it. 
Yes, the small openings are what I had to climb up...crazy!
I told everyone I could not do it and was so appreciative of all the encouraging words.  After several deep breaths, off I went again and I managed to get to the top.  My belay rope got tangled on a rock during this part of the climb so I had to untangle it before I could move around the side of the rock to ring the bell.  This was nerve-wracking for me as well because I had to hold on with one hand.  This is the top.
The tree at the top in the middle is where the cow bell was located.
 After reaching the top, I got cheers from those waiting on the ground.  I was so truly relieved and amazed that I did it.  Of course, I still had to get down.  My instructions were to back to the edge of the rock and lean back like I was sitting on a recliner then push off.  Down I went...slowly, but I went down.  It was sweet relief to be back on the ground.  I really have never been more proud of myself.  I was so scared to do it, but I was strong enough physically and mentally to do it!!! God is great because the prayers also helped!
A triumphant me on Sunday at the bottom on the rock.
Pretending to climb
Daddy helping Jonah climb
Emma "climbing"
A little re-enactment from me on Sunday
After this wonderful challenge, we still had to complete the race.  I was so energized that I was ready to finish strong.  We had a great ride downhill back to the staging area.  Our last task was running.  We had to toss some fish and drink some beer.  We finished as a group just like we began in just over 7 hours (if you subtract waiting time).  It was a great day!
After the race, Sheri, me, Jenn, and Balie
Me and Emma after the race
My battle scar that I suffered thanks to a bike pedal

So, that was the Merrill Oyster Racing Series report.  It was a long day, but it went fast.  I had fun, but I don't think I will do it again.  I think Drew would enjoy it especially if there was as much biking as I had to do.

To keep the family busy while I was being adventurous, Drew and Gail took the kids to another park in Austin.  Austin is filled with parks.  They got some great pictures.

The kids had a great day.  They also got to go swimming at the hotel.  I did see everyone before stage 5 and the dreaded rock climbing.  I was so happy to see their smiling faces. Jonah left flowers for me in my bag because he loves me...isn't that wonderful?!

That was Saturday in Austin.  Stayed tuned....more pictures to come tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thanks Meemaw!

Meemaw went home today...sniff, sniff!  The kids loved playing with her, sharing activities with her, reading with her, and everything else too!  I loved the help and the company during the day.

Drew and I asked Meemaw to come this week so she could be with Drew in Austin while I was participating in the adventure race (more about that tomorrow!).  She was tons of help and went on several fun adventures with the kids on Saturday.  They went hiking, played in creeks with small waterfalls, went swimming, and ate a picnic lunch.   As if that was not enough, when we got home Meemaw and Emma worked on a school project...yeah less craft time for me!

It was a wonderful week and we can't wait for our next Meemaw adventures!

Looking at pretty flowers
Meemaw and Elena watching the others
A group picture in the cave
Sunday's picnic lunch

Helping Emma with her school project

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Rest of our Trip to PA

The reason we went to PA was to see a Penn State football game.  We are huge PSU fans.  There is just something so special about seeing a game in person as well as all the activities that come before and after the game.  The kids love tailgating...all the food and juice they can drink with hardly any supervision or a "no" from mom and dad.  They get to wear winter clothes!  They get to play in a camper, meet new people, go shopping, and the list goes on and on.

Well, the game itself was a bummer.  Drew and I took all four kids into the game with Mammy and Pappy to help us!  We had seats on the visitor side at about the 35 yard line in the first and second row...barely gets better than that!!  The band was great as always, the kids were high-fived by the Lion fun!  The atmosphere in the stadium was just fun...such a different experience from watching a game on tv.  PSU lost, but the kids enjoyed themselves.  We did miss Kelsey and family.  The had to stay at the cabin because Hanna, Maya, and Scott caught the stomach bug during the night.  We were so sad to miss sharing this experience with them!

It was chilly in the morning
Posing with their face stickers
Playing football with her daddy!  I love this picture of Emma
Jonah taking a break from playing football
Samuel running for a first down!
The family picture!

Part Two of our Trip to PA

So, even though our trip was over a week ago I still have info to share.  Life has been so busy that it has been difficult to remain current!
I am going to let the pictures tell the story of our wonderful trip to an apple farm.  This was the first time the kids picked apples and it was so fun for them.  We also saw animals, played on hay, and enjoyed being on a farm.  It was a wonderful way to spend a glorious fall day!
Jonah reaching high!
Using the apple picker to get a high one!
See my apple?
Standing eating apples
Picking and posing at the same time!
Eating her apple!
Taking a break in the wheelbarrow
The babies, Leah and Elena, watching the apple picking adventures
Posing in a tree!
Kelsey and Scott in the tree!
After the apple picking, we headed to the animal part of the farm!  The kids loved the pigs and climbing on the hay.  Samuel was kind of a pickle at the this part of the farm so he is absent from some of the pictures.

Such cute kids!
So adorable!!!
Thinking about the I like it or not?
Emma posing with the apple load!  The apples were delicious!
Jonah, Samuel, and Emma 

And, or course the family picture....

We had so much fun!  It was a great activity for our family.  I am so glad that Kelsey and Scott took us here!