Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Sunday, June 30, 2013

6 Months of Running in Review

I cannot believe that tomorrow is July 1st.  Half the year is in the rear view mirror....crazy!  When 2013 began I did not have many specific running goals.  I wanted to renew my love for running.  I wanted to run a strong marathon in March.  I figured I would just figure out the rest after that.  Well, one out of two is not bad!  So, this post is entirely for me so move along if running is not interesting to you!

I did not realize how much I disliked running last fall.  I think it all began with my broken toe last June.  I should have taken time off to heal and did not.  I mostly pushed through it and when I started marathon training in August...ugh!  There was just no joy in my runs and it all felt like work.  It was ugly for five months.  My New Year's Day marathon was more than awful for many reasons.  Seven days later I started running again and it all felt good.  I was happy to be running again.  Oh how wonderful that felt....to like running again!
So happy after a 16 mile training run!
Then came the Woodlands Marathon.  I was super confident all would go well.  Everything was perfect....my training, the weather, my head....everything.  Then is all started to unravel at mile 4 with no water.  So, it ended up being a bust and so so frustrating for me.  I was so over running races.  And, I took that very seriously until Memorial Day weekend.  For almost 3 months running was just for the sake of running.  With the exception of May, I ran whatever I wanted whenever it worked for me.  The Angel Run half marathon was a good run for me.  It was not perfect, but I ran well.  I did not run great, but well and I was happy when the race was over.  I had not experienced that feeling....after race joy....in a very long time!

So, now what.  I have run three races so far this year.  I have logged 921 miles with my highest month being February with 180 miles.  I feel ready to race again and to challenge myself.  I am getting a little tired of running just to run.  The desire to follow is plan is almost back.  This is all a good thing because I was crazy enough to register for my 4th marathon.  The BCS marathon according to their website....
Join us at 7:00am on December 8, 2013 for year 3 of what is currently the highest rated marathon in the state of Texas (marathonguide.com). You’ll have the opportunity to explore the Bryan/College Station community as well as experience the Aggie spirit while you run throughout the Texas A&M campus.
I have to admit that I am super excited to run this race.  My training begins in August.  I have decided to create my own plan this time.  I am taking full ownership of this race from start to finish.  We shall see what happens.  
I am also running a half marathon in October and I hope to run a few shorter distances throughout the fall.  And, I am trying to talk Drew into running a trail 5K with me in Vermont in August.  I think he will say yes! 
So, my goals for the next 6 months are to love running.  When it starts to feel too much like work, I am taking time off.  My other goal is to stay inside the mile I am running.  I spend too much time worrying about what is next.  Two goals is it.  That should be easy....ha!  Time will tell!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bucket List---Our Hodge Podge Dinner

Another one of the items on our Summer 2013 Bucket List is a Hodge Podge dinner.  I cannot take credit for this idea.  Emma told me all about it after watching an episode of Kate Plus 8 way back when.  Basically each child receives a dinner category, picks the food of his/her choice, helps me grocery shop, and then helps make that items.  It is a very fun and interactive way to prepare a meal.  We don't do this too regularly because the meals tend to be a little crazy, but that is part of the fun!

Our categories were drink, appetizer, vegetable, fruit, meat, and dessert.  Meat is easier to understand for my kiddos than main dish.  Everyone picked an item from a hat and was allowed one trade.  We ended up with this arrangement...

After some trading, thinking, and looking at cookbooks we had this menu...
Homemade Lemonade
Deviled Eggs
Beet and Carrot Slaw
Raspberries and Blueberries

This was amazingly yummy!!!
I added some other veggies as well which is kind of against the rules.  No one minded!

Since we had this meal the day after we said good-bye to Yuengling Drew and I honored her with a little Yuengling at dinner.  We named her after our favorite beer.  I am so glad we brought some back with us from Florida.  I have to say that Drew kind of hates when I take pictures of us with my phone and so we are laughing ourselves silly or at least I am.  I don't know why it bothers him so much.
Excuse my after pool look
Two things down and many more to go, but we are having lots of fun in the process!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bucket List----A Lazy River

When we returned from Disney last week the kids and I checked out our summer bucket list.  We knew we had two weeks to do some of the things on our list before we left again.  We talked about several things and today we went to a lazy river.  We actually went to the Rob Fleming Aquatic Center in The Woodlands.  It has a lazy river and so much more....
Their faces when we walked in were priceless.  The big blue bucket in the one picture dumps huge amounts of water every couple of minutes.  Samuel loved that.  Elena hated that.  That contraption also has a mini slide and other climbing areas.  Elena wanted so badly to go down this little slide.  Every time it was her turn she would get scared and go back down the ladder.  Maybe next time...

The other two pictures are of the large water slide.  Only Emma and Jonah were tall enough to ride the water slide.  You ride down it in a single tube or with a partner in a double tube.  Emma and Jonah went down together and separately many times.  I went with Emma and Jonah each once.  It was kind of scary and tons of fun!  There was a lifeguard standing in the entry pool to whisk your tube to the side exit.

The lazy river was also a huge hit.  We floated around it so many times....so many times!  It was also very peaceful.  It was slightly separate from the swimming and play area so it was quiet.  It was great fun for all of us.  We used the double tubes, the single tubes, swam/floated, and walked.  Elena realized that she could be in the lazy river without her floaty vest and she loved that!

This was definitely one of the most fun activities of our summer so far.  I know they want to go back, but it will be a special treat kind of place.  Fun like this does not come cheap, but their happy faces were worth every penny!

One thing accomplished on our list and many more to go....

Monday, June 24, 2013


One weekend in late May 1999 I went to work for a family reunion kind of event for my residents.  I came home with a puppy.  Since this was before the age of having every form of technology possible, Drew was surprised when I walked in the door holding an adorable 6 week old mostly Australian Shepherd.  No one else picked her, but I loved her immediately.  Drew loved her too and we decided upon Yuengling as her name.

I wish I had a picture on my computer of Yuengling as a puppy.  She was adorable, pesky, and full of energy.  We thought we would do the whole kenneling thing at night, but I could not take the whining.  Yuengling slept in our room from day one.

In her younger years Yuengling was full of energy....sometimes just too much.  She also created her fair share of problems for us as well.  My favorite was the eating of our Berber carpet.  That little event resulted in surgery to remove the carpet.  She narrowly escaped being hit by a car.  She would wonder away almost daily if we let her, but she always came home.  Her sniffer just got the best of her.

Yuengling was 4 when Emma was born.  Every time one of the kiddos cried as a baby Yuengling would pace until Drew or I took care of the situation.  It was very sweet!  For the most part, I think Yuengling just tolerated the kiddos.  But, if Yuengling sensed a threat to them like another barking dog, she would come to their rescue.  She was protective of all of them despite being annoyed by their constant noise.
Meeting Emma for the first time
The exception to just tolerating the kiddos was Elena.  They had a special bond.  Elena loved her to pieces and constantly played with her.  Elena would lead her around the house on a leash as if they were going for a walk.  She would cover her with blankets while sleeping.  The gave her toys that Yuengling always ignored.  Elena just took care of her like a baby and it was very sweet to watch.

Elena still asks when Yeungling is coming home from the special doctor.
In the past two or so years Yuengling's health started to decline.  She was mostly deaf and her vision was definitely not very good.  She also had lots of issues with her hips and needed medicine for that.  Walks were out of the question because it was just too taxing for her.  Occasionally she would get these bursts of energy and just play like her old self with all of us.

Yuengling annoyed me at some point or another every day, but I still loved her.  The same was true for all of us.  Friday was a shock for everyone.  When we returned home from an evening out, we saw her on the floor and it was just not right.  I thought she fell and broke her leg, but it was probably a stroke.  Her left side was not working.  All her other symptoms were similar to a medical event she experienced five years ago.  She recovered that time, but Drew and I both knew this time was different.  We knew when she left the house on Friday it would be for the last time.  We had the kids say their good-byes which was heart-wreching to watch.  Each wanted to take one last picture with her.   Drew carried her out to his truck and more good-byes were said and more tears were cried.

We don't know what happened for sure.  We do know the chances of her walking again were very slim.  We also know she probably had head trauma from the repeated head banging on the tile floor.   We trust that our decision to have her put to sleep was our last act of love.  Fourteen years was a long time to have pet of her size and we are thankful.  We miss her every day!  There will never be another Yuengling!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy 10th Birthday Emma!!!

Our dear Emma turned 10 today.  Every year I think "I can't believe how old Emma is getting" and this year is no different.  I remember her birth like it happened this morning.  And, now ten years later I stare a beautiful young girl instead of a baby.  We can have conversations about silly and serious things.  I watch her set goals and achieve them.  I am so proud that Emma is kind and helpful.  The list could go on and on.  I am so thankful that Emma made me a mommy and Drew a daddy.  Emma is a blessing everyday!  Our lives are forever better because of our Emma!

Emma's day began as every birthday does in our house....with a pint of ice cream of her choice.  It is hers to eat whenever she wants no questions asked until it is gone! She picked chocolate chunk raspberry.

To celebrate, Emma wanted to have lunch with her friends at The American Girl store.  She melted my heart after deciding that Elena should tag along as well!

So, Emma and three friends had lunch at the AG store this afternoon.  We had a lovely lunch with her friends and everyone's dolls.

The girls' dolls had their hair styled.

Emma, after saving her money for the past several months, purchased Saige who the doll of the year.
Emma, Ashlynn, Camille, and Emma

And, Elena got her first AG doll as well....a Bitty Baby that she named Miranda.

This evening we had Emma's birthday dinner.  Are you ready for this?  Emma asked to have shrimp, sauteed mushrooms, and deviled eggs.  I made coconut lime shrimp.  For dessert we had homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie ice cream cake.  It was delicious!

It is going to be a big year for Emma.  She will be in 5th grade.  She is working hard to move up levels at the gym and to master some challenging skills.  I know there will be other great things happening this year.  I also know that Emma will be challenged, hurt, strengthened, loved, and full of life all year!  I know that she is ready for her first double digit year!!!

We love you Emma....Happy 10th Birthday!!!!