Thursday, May 21, 2009

Turning 30 is not so bad

I did it! I am now a part of the "30 and over" club. Michael threw me a party in the North End (the Italian district - on the water - in Boston). We ordered dinner from Blue-Ribbon BBQ and played Boccie ball with our friends. It was such a wonderful birthday. Thank you Michael. You are so thoughtful.

This vitamin holder and One-A-Day vitamins were from my dear marathon buddy, Ryan Butters. This may have been the best gift I could have imagined for! Thanks for reminding me that I am supposed to feel old!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nature Hike

Some friends of ours and I took our children to a nature preserve in early May. The kids loved discovering all the plant and animal life that flourished in this garden. They especially loved the picnic we had while we were there!


Andrew and his best friend Carter.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boston Marathon 2009

This is the line in front of the State House to get on the buses that take you to Hopkinton - the start of the race.

Destination - the finish line - picture taken the day before the race.


These are the two girls that I trained with. Both ladies qualified for Boston. Needless to say they are fast! I almost died training the long runs with them. It was really hard moving my normal pace a minute (or more) faster in order to keep up with them. . . for 14 miles!


I felt incredible the entire race. Kristy Williams joined me at mile 20 right before heartbreak hill. It was really nice to have her to run in with!


These are the guys that I started the race with, Allen and Ryan. It was so much fun running with them . . . the jokes just kept coming and coming. It certainly kept my mind off the race for the first several miles!
video
I stopped for a moment to give Andrew a hug. He was so upset that I said goodbye and kept running. It took weeks for him to get over it. Every time he sees something with the Boston Marathon emblem on it, he says that "he doesn't want me to run it anymore. He wants to run it and win it!" I wish him all the speed in the world. Luckily, he's already off to a good start, my little Andrew doesn't stop moving!

The marathon was just as meaningful for me this year as it was last year. Catie is still battling cancer so I wanted to run and fundraise for Dana Farber again. I was a little more hesitant to put myself through all the training and the time commitment this year because I was still carrying injuries from the previous year, but I knew that I wouldn't feel right about it if the marathon came and went and I hadn't taken the opportunity to be a part of it. So, I started physical therapy and went weekly for about three months during training. A month before the race my therapist told me that I wasn't to run again until the marathon. I was instructed to cross train in a pool and run in deep water - as exciting as it sounds - it wasn't. Running in water for an hour gets a little boring, and redundant. But, it helped spare my body from further injury. Because of my injuries, the farthest I was able to train was 16 miles . . . after investing so much time and energy to get up to a 16 miler, I was really disappointed that knew I wouldn't be able to run the marathon like I had hoped. When I began the race in Hopkinton, I wanted to at least make it half way through. As the miles ticked away, I was shocked how good my body felt. I kept my pace slow and steady to preserve myself for the last few miles. Surprisingly, I felt stronger and had more energy than the first time I ran. I never hit a wall, I felt happy the entire time and, best of all, I finished!

All in all, the training and the fundraising went really well. We ended up raising over $10,500 this year. Thank you to all who supported and donated. Your help has made a difference in so many lives.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Naptime


Andrew is three and a half and he still takes naps. Granted, his bedtime is getting pushed back later and later (I realize he is probably ready to stop napping, but I love my quiet time in the middle of the day to get a few things done). Before he woke up I was able to capture this picture. He takes such great care lining each one up on the pillow, tucks them in and sends them off to sleep before he drifts off himself.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Happy Birthday my precious Jacob


We celebrated Jacob's birthday with Michael's section again, so this was my attempt at making a carousel cake that fed more than 90 people. In fact, we had three pieces left at the end. The bottom layer is a double 16 inch round cake that took 4 cake mixes and the carousel on top took another two.

Jacob loved blowing out his candles, but several section mates loved helping!



I adore my little Jacob. He is just so darling, kind hearted, and precious. I am so thrilled that he came into our family . . . I'm even grateful now that he came sooner that we expected! It has been a wonderful 2 years. Happy Birthday sweet little boy.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Crimson Kids Easter Egg Hunt

Once a month the children's organization on campus, Crimson Kids, usually plans an event for the children. This was the first event that the "new" Crimson Kids group was in charge of. The kids loved it but weren't too hot about the bunny.



A section mate of Michael's volunteered to be our Easter Bunny. What a champ! He really took a hit for the team wearing that costume. Although it terrified most of the children!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break 2009

This is the 5 bedroom villa that we were in, the view and the room we stayed in.





Nothing to do but kayak every day. Talk about living!

These two scary creatures swam right up into our private beach. It was incredible!





LOVE these boys. They had such a blast. And their most difficult decision everyday was wether to go to the beach or the pool. Hard life. Really hard.


Despite 50SPF sunblock, Jacob still managed to get tan through the holes in his Crocks. It was darling!



Turks and Caicos was amazing. I have to thank Kristy and Joel for their memories of the trip (most of my blog is verbatim what Kristy wrote . . . because I am actually blogging 8 months later!) and Joel took some amazing pictures of our little cove.

For those wanting a little more detail than the summary above the pictures, read on. We were joined by Rich, Rethsey, and their 5 month old girl Nayeli, along with Joel and Kristy and their son, Thomas. Kristy, of course, found our lodging on the internet; the pictures looked decent, but we didn't have a good sense of what the area would be like or how the house would look in real life. When we arrived at the house, located on the south side of the island (opposite from all the resorts) on Sapodilla Bay, we were very pleasantly surprised. The house was much nicer than expected and the set up was perfect...we had our own little private beach and were walking distance to a bigger beach (~50 yards). We had 4 sea kayaks at our disposal and plenty of lounging chairs and umbrellas (contrary to what the rental agreement suggested). Also, we had rented out the main house, which has 3 bedrooms, but were able to use the guest house as well. A pretty perfect set up!

Saturday afternoon and evening was spent enjoying the beach and ocean and the gorgeous views. Joel and Rich did make a trip to the grocery store and were shocked SHOCKED at the prices. They spent ~$170 on food, including 3 boxes of CocoRageous (think chocolate flavored rice crispies). CocoRageous quickly became the signature dish of the trip. I won't name names, but many people ate it for breakfast, mid-day snack, dessert, and even snuck in another bowl before bed. We bought at least 4 more boxes before the end of the trip. Sunday was a low key day, with more relaxing, followed by our own little church service in the evening (the island doesn't have formal LDS services). On Monday we were greeted by some heavy winds, so we decided to drive up to Grace Bay - the resort area- and check things out. The beach/ocean was pretty, but very different from Sapodilla Bay. There were actual waves! Where we stayed, the ocean was shallow (knee-deep) for at least 50 yards, with no real waves to speak of (perfect for little kids!). Perhaps because of the wind, the beach was largely deserted despite the long line of large resorts along the beach. We walked around a bit, scheduled scuba trips for those who were planning to go for later that week, and had a less than stellar meal at one of the local restaurants. After our Grace Bay trip, we decided on a few things: we were okay to eat at home the rest of the time, and we were happy to be far from the resort side of town.

Tuesday was a stay-at-home kind of day, filled with time at the beach, in the ocean, in the pool, and on the kayaks. On Wednesday Rich and Rethsey went scuba diving. And Thursday Kristy and Joel took their turn. Both couples loved it and said the scuba was fantastic. Michael and I are not certified, and didn't have a huge desire togo this time around. It was so incredible to have absolutely nothing to do . . . no agenda . . . nothing but family time. So relaxing! So relaxing. Friday was another stay-at-home day, and on Saturday we said goodbye while the others headed to the airport and then relaxed until our flight went out the next day.

It is always nice to head back home, but we absolutely needed a break from the cruel winter and from the constant grind that is our lives. We love being busy, but having a week with nothing to do but spend time together was truly wonderful.