Our Daily (G)races

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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Dancing with the Stars live!!!!

Last night Emma and I went to see the DWTS Live Tour.  Holy cow was it AMAZING!!!

Emma and I faithfully watch the show in the fall and spring.  It is my favorite thing to watch each Tuesday morning while running on my treadmill.  Emma watches it as soon as she can which is usually Wednesday for her.  In November we had a little party for the finale. So we are definitely fans of the show. 

When Drew and I were discussing Christmas gifts for the kids we had no idea what to get them.  They need nothing and we have plenty of things in our house.  So, we decided to give the kids experiences hence the DWTS tickets. 

We got to see the mirror ball trophy...pretty cool.

The show itself was just about two hours filled with singing, dancing, talking, and silliness.  Mark, Witney, Val, Sasha, Kym, Keo, and Emma were the main dancers.  There were two additional female dancers and one male dancer.  Alfonso danced and was also the MC for the show.  The cast interacted with the crowd, answered questions, and made fun of themselves...truly very entertaining.

I don't think I can express how amazing it is to watch them dance in person.  It is way more impressive than watching them on television.  Some of the dances were just breathtakingly beautiful.  Of course, Witney and Alfonso did the "Carlton" and their winning freestyle dance. 

Mark played some of his recently released songs.  And, who knew that Val is an accomplished violinist.  He played with Mark and Dylan Chambers as well.  It was really cool.

I really could go on and on about seeing DWTS live.  I highly recommend it.  Emma and I had a blast.  Emma took lots of videos and pictures.  She commented on just about everything which says something because Emma usually doesn't say much.  I am so thankful that Drew and I decided to give experiences this year for Christmas. This was a great memory to make with my dear Emma!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The gymnastics trip that really wasn't

Almost three weeks ago Drew and Jonah headed to California for a gymnastics meet.  Jonah had been excited for this trip for weeks!  After each practice Coach Bill talks to the boys about who knows what.  I say that because Jonah hardly ever remembers anything to tell me.  However, for the weeks leading up to the CA trip Jonah always had something to tell me from the talks.  He was just happy to be going on this trip.

The day before they left Drew's mom aka Meemaw went to the gym to watch Emma and Jonah.  She called from the gym to say that both kids injured themselves, but she wasn't sure to what extent.  When they got home that night it was quite obvious that both ankles (yeah they both injured their ankles) were not good.  Both were swollen, already bruising, warm to the touch, and painful.  My heart was crushed for Jonah.  His ability to compete in CA was seriously in doubt.  But, everything was paid for and you just never know, so off Drew and Jonah went early, early, early Friday morning. 

On Friday Jonah was in a lot of pain.  Walking through airports was not helpful.  Still, he managed to practice some. There was no tumbling, vaulting, and dismounts.  Saturday was a meet time decision according to the coaches. 

Saturday morning early Drew learned from Jonah's roommate that Jonah was ill.  Sometime during the night he had developed a fever and horrible cough.  Now he was definitely not competing on Saturday.
Drew wheeled Jonah back to his room on a luggage cart
I don't hover when my kids are sick, but being home while Jonah was sick in a hotel in CA was hard for me.  I probably texted Drew a 100 times to make sure he was doing everything possible to get Jonah healthy and just to check on them.  By that evening Jonah was better and Sunday was still a meet time decision.  Drew and Jonah took a drive into the mountains to escape the hotel and get Jonah some fresh air.  Poor guy did not look great.

On Sunday morning Jonah decided he was going to compete.  His coaches did not expect him too.  Drew didn't and neither did I.  But, Jonah decided he wanted to try.  Sunday was a team competition so he could be entered in some or all of the events.  The coaches decided to try all six since he didn't compete on Saturday.  Jonah competed on vault, pommel horse, parallel bars, and rings.  Everything for Jonah was rough.  He was still not feeling 100% and his ankle was definitely not 100%.  It was not his day, but he tried his hardest on that day and everyone was so proud of him.
Getting encouragement from Coach Peter
Getting encouragement from Coach Mark

I excluded the vault pictures because they are just awful.  Because of the ankle Jonah was not able to power off the springboard and he barely made it over the board.  It was absolutely his worst vault ever.  The vault was the third event and it really re-injured his ankle.  He competed then on the PB's and finally stuck a landing.  That did in his ankle.  Jonah called it a day and skipped high bar and floor. 

The pictures from after show his fatigue and sadness.  Still, Drew, the coaches, and I were so proud of him.  He really should have watched and been a cheerleader.  Instead he wanted to do what he went to CA to do.  He did some, but at a price that is still being determined. 

The meet was in Bakersfield.  Since they flew in and out of LAX they had to drive back to LA.  They stopped at the beach and Jonah finally had some fun in CA.
Jonah and his friend/teammate Connor


So, it was definitely not the trip anyone envisioned for Jonah.  He managed and showed some crazy courage.  He injured his ankle three weeks ago today.  He still can't tumble and vaulting is not much better.  I am worried about my Jonah and this season for him.  Meets start again on Saturday and he competes just about every other weekend for two months.   Who knows what this season will be like, but I am certainly praying no more injuries and healing.  Jonah deserves some great level 6 experiences!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My 20 Loves

This is definitely not my idea for a post.  I am totally stealing it from who else but Susan!  I read it on her blog earlier today and thought it was such a cute idea.  So, this is all about 20 things that I love/like a lot.  In no particular order here goes....

1.  My family...duh!

2.  My church....it is a wonderful place to worship, be involved, and give back.

3.  Our church friends....all our close friends with very few exceptions we have met at church.  They are our family here and our lives would not be the same without them.

4.  College football...because it is simply awesome and PSU is the best.  I am honestly sad every year when the college season ends.  It is a really long time from January to September.

5.  Snuggling on my couch watching television with Drew.  It is the only us time we have all day and I look forward to it.

6.  Sweatshirts...man I wish we lived somewhere colder so I could wear them more often.  I have a small obsession with them and would definitely own more if we did not live in Texas.

7.  Ice cream...I just love it.  Soft serve is my favorite.

8.  Sharing my love of football with my kiddos.  It makes me happy to watch them developing a like for the sport.  It is something we watch together a lot for many months.  It is especially fun to watch Samuel replay the plays.

9.  Running...it is my time and it makes me really happy.  Even hard runs or runs that are plain awful still make me happy.  I only regret the runs I skipped.

10.  Taking my kids to a park....they love them.  I enjoy watching them play on the equipment and make up crazy games.  One of the nice things about living in Texas is that we have park weather pretty much all year.

11.  My sisters...what more can I say.  Kelsey and Kristin are awesome and I wish all the time we lived nearer to each other.

12.  Hot chocolate or hot tea...I love holding a hot mug in my hands. 

13.  Painted fingernails...I always want my nails painted and it is relaxing for me to do it myself.  My mom things my obsession with dark colors is a little nuts, but they suit me.

14.  My girlfriends....love them to death.

15.  Listening to my kids learn to play instruments.  Thankfully we don't have any drum or violin players so all the noise is very pleasant.  Elena still doesn't play anything, but she sings all the time.

16.  Cooking dinner for my family....it is tedious thinking of what to cook each week, but the cooking part is fun.  I am so thankful that I don't really have any picky eaters and I can make anything. 

17.  Being the one who picks Elena up from school and the one who greets the others when they get off the bus.  I am so thankful I don't have to work and am able to be the first one to ask about their days, get them a snack, and give them a hug.

18.  Wearing hats...I am super lazy when it comes to my hair.  Hats are a life savers on more days than are probably acceptable.

19.  Being a mom...it is blessing being a mom to Emma, Jonah, Samuel and Elena.  They give me so much joy!

20.  Drew....he is it for me.  Drew always loves me, gives so freely to me, supports me, and loves our family.

Monday, January 26, 2015

3M Half Marathon recap

On Saturday I drove to Austin to see my friend Susan and to run the 3M Half Marathon with her. I was super excited to visit with her and to enjoy some girl time.  This was the first race I have run since my stress fracture.  My foot has been feeling pretty good lately so I was excited to be back in "get ready for a race" mode.  It has been too long!

Saturday night we went out to dinner with Susan's Austin friends.  We did a little carb loading at Buca di Beppo and it was quite yummy!

Susan stayed with me Saturday night.  It was fun to visit and chat about whatever.  I was also really nice that we had to walk a block from the hotel to the start.  That meant we could sleep in on Sunday!  Susan had us take pictures of our flat selves.  I had no idea what she meant at first.  My brain was being a little slow!

The plan was to match...purple girls!
Sunday morning we were up at 5:45 and leaving for the start at 6:30.  It was pretty chilly and still dark.  Thankfully we did not have to wait long for the start (7a).  A few pictures later and we were off!

I was freezing and Susan was being silly!
Me, Val who ran with me and Susan, Bianca, Susan, and Chrystal
I thought that maybe Susan's goal was to run a sub 2hour half, but wasn't sure until Saturday when we talked about the race.  Susan is a super strong person and a great athlete.  Way better than me for sure, but she isn't overly confident in her ability to run "fast".  It is hard. I am not discounting that at all.  I know that Susan had it in her.  This is a great course to run a fast time.  It is a net downhill course with some small climbs, but generally flat.  This was the time to run 1:59.59 and the weather was perfect for a great race.

I was obviously happy to be running
The funny thing about pacing Susan is that she gets so mad at me.  I say this based on one experience, but I knew it would happen again.  It doesn't bother me because I know I would be cranky with someone pushing me outside my comfort zone as well.  My job was to be Susan's biggest cheerleader, help her run the tangents, watch the course for her, and be totally mean if I had to be.  I reminded her to breathe, made sure she knew which way were were turning (shortest distance plan), told her to use her arms, and told her to suck it up on multiple occasions.

Happily running
Susan said after the race that she started to feel bad around mile 6.5.  I would never have known that.  I thought she was running really well until about mile 9.  By then I knew she was tired and not sure her goal would happen.  At mile 10 we had a "little discussion" about what was going to happen for the last 5K.  It went something like me yelling at Susan to decide right now what it would be...running hard or giving up and enjoying the last three miles.  Susan used some colorful language and got really angry with me.  But, it worked.  From that point on, it was all encouragement and reminders.  The 1:59.59 was hers to achieve. 

It was a really pretty day to run
The 11th mile was emotional for me.  I knew we would finish under 2 and I was so proud of Susan.  Mile 12 was hard for her.  That last mile always seem to last forever.  There isn't much left to give and it is big time hard.  Susan started with the "I can't" and I started with the "no negative talk now...just run hard now!"  I probably talked to her the most during those last two miles.  When we turned the last corner and could see the finish I just wanted to cry.  It was going to happen.  I saw Nicholas, Susan's oldest, and yelled at him to run with his mom to the finish.  I so wish I would have been faster with my camera for that moment.  Priceless! 1:59.38...enough said!!!

Susan's friend Val took this picture of us immediately after we finished.  Susan was exhausted and overwhelmed.  I was just so happy for her and beyond proud of Susan. These are the pictures I always wish I had.  The ones that capture the moment and I could not be more thankful to Val for snapping this gem!  I can't say anything the picture doesn't show.

Susan's friends Chrystal, Bianca, Val and us

Nicholas and Susan
I can't eloquently express what an honor it is for me that Susan trusts me with the task of helping her achieve her goals.  I am beyond grateful I've been able to do it twice now.  Truly grateful to you Susan!  You are such a strong runner and definitely inspire me to push when it gets hard and uncomfortable.  I will carry this experience with me in a few weeks when I go for my 13.1 goal.

Anyone who PR's a half deserves a little post race treat.  So we had one....

Mimosa and Diet Coke
More of Susan's Austin running friends
I was gone from home for one day and it was jam packed with wonderful memories.  As always I wish Susan and I lived closer to one another.  Since we don't I am glad for texting.  It is great for our long distance friendship!  I am thinking Susan that a new marathon PR is next.  What do you think....fall 2015???