Thursday, February 27, 2014

Running with the family- A dream fulfilled

Many years ago i remember watching my mom run round and round the sports arena in our town during the winters. I know she ran outside a lot too but i suppose the reason this sticks out to me is because i started running round and round too. I don't even think i was wearing tennis shoes and was still wearing my school clothes but i remember seeing how fast i could go around. 
My mom has always run and if i remember correctly, she ran the night before she had her first baby! So i guess you could say that the love of running was in the genes!

About 5 years ago my mom decided that for her 65th birthday she wanted to run her first half marathon with her girls. She trained very well but during training started having some pain in her leg. By half marathon day she was having pretty consistent pain but if you know my mom, there was nothing going to be stopping her from running that race!

We all had signs on our back and wrote on our legs so that people passing us could cheer her on. She had SO many cheers and i think that alot of what kept her going. She was in a lot of pain throughout the run but as no surprise finished!!

When she had her leg checked out after the run (she had it checked before too and had been given the go ahead by a dr) she had a full blown stress fracture in her tibia! It was a memorable day and i admire her for fulfilling that dream even with so much pain!

Her dreams didn't stop there though! Fast forward 5 years...she had a new dream! She had gotten back in to running and had been running ever since she healed up from the stress fracture. My dad was also doing a lot of running after he had come back from knee surgery. She decided that she wanted to have another try at the half marathon and this time it was going to be my dad and mom and all 6 kids to celebrate their 70th birthdays!

We had to do some talking to the boys and i think there might have been a threat thrown out there by one of the sisters that if they didn't do it we would just drag a dummy along with their name on it? It must have worked! :)

My mom started having a lot of problems with her sciatic while training for this race. She has a couple of slightly bulging discs and stenosis. It got so bad that she had to have several injections just to help her with the everyday pain!

But again, when my mom sets her mind to something...

She was in a lot of pain once again this entire 13.1 miles. Both Dad and Mom did so great though. My dad has diabetes and often struggles with low blood sugar. My sisters and i were prepared  with anything he might need in case of a drop of sugars but i don't think he used hardly anything!

We had so much fun along the way (i don't know that i can speak for my mom on the fun part)! But in spite of the pain that she was in i think i can speak for her that she was having fun out there with her husband and 6 kids all fulfilling a dream of hers together!

I'm pretty sure that i wasn't the only sibling fighting back tears as we crossed the finish line together!

Thank you Dad and Mom for being a great example in many many ways throughout life but in this instance for making staying physically fit fun and always an adventure! Watching your determination has made me more determined to continue to try to accomplish some of my own dreams!

This will be a memory that i know all of us will treasure forever!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Halloween 2013

Every year the school has a little halloween parade where the kids can show off their costumes to all the parents. They parade through the hallways and into the gym.

and the parties, of course the parties...

Raegan's choice of costume changed daily and changed again when we got to the store. She ended up being a little beautiful Spanish dancer (because of the pretty dress of course!) and Ethan was our handsome little pirate!

The oldest two haven't given up dressing up either. Avery spent the evening with friends...

Trey tagged along with us scaring all the small, i'm kidding he didn't scare the kids. Not intentionally anyway! He has since used his costume in his school video production class so it was worth the money spent i guess!

This picture i took the morning after halloween. It pretty much speaks for itself!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Flag football

Ethan tried his hand at some flag football this past fall. He had a blast. He is such a little go getter!

It was a team made up of mostly boys from school so he knew his team mates already which made it fun for him.

Celebrating their season with a cookout after the final game...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ethan turns 8

This post should have actually been right before the marathon post because Ethan's birthday was the day before i left...which is what happens when you blog about October the following February! It all starts blurring together and you forget when everything happened!

Ethan is still my cuddler even at 8 yrs old! He loves hugging on his Mom and i told him he better never stop!

He is a very good student and quite the perfectionist. His 2nd grade teacher just gave him rave reviews in our recent parent/teacher conference which of course always thrills a parent!

He is growing like a weed and has recently been experiencing growing pains, so i probably should be ready to buy a whole new wardrobe soon!

For his party we booked at a recreation center and had a pool party. These 11 kids in the party room wore this mom out! (you can get a little taste in the video below) He has some hyper boys in his class that is for sure!! We were happy to get out of the party room and let them take over the pool!! I think it's so sweet that he has some very good friends that are girls as well and he wanted them at his party too! 


You are such a fun part of our family and i'm so happy that God chose me to be your mommy! Happy 8th birthday to a very special boy!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Chicago Marathon 2013

My adventure to run my first Chicago Marathon began last winter when sign up day came and 1000's of people tried to all sign up at once and crashed the website. In the first minutes of it being open i registered so many times i couldn't even tell you how would freeze up and i would have to start over and over and over...and finally i got all the way to the end. I still panicked because i wasn't sure i was registered but once i checked my bank account and realized they had taken the $175 out of my account i realized i was in! Shortly after is when the site completely crashed and the rest of the entry period turned into a lottery, so i was very thankful to have gotten in!

In June after starting my training out by spraining my ankle 
and being in a cast for a couple of weeks, i got my training off to a real start. 

A long hot, humid summer with many very early morning began! So happy to train alongside various great running buds but the majority of my training i did with my fantastic training partner Laura! We were both in the same start corral so we knew we could at least start the marathon together. 

This picture was after our last long run together on a Sunday morning, which is when we did a lot of our long runs thanks to a local running group that puts out aid stations on Sunday mornings!

Finally it was time to go to Chicago. I flew with my sister and brother in law who were also running. We wandered around the expo for awhile...

For dinner i met up with a big group of runners (a bunch of rockstar runners that i am privileged to run with!) from the running club that i am a member of   and we all had our share of carbs! We did get a group picture but i didn't get my hands on that one...

Before i ever signed up for the marathon i joined a team of runners that was going to go to Chicago to run and raise money for orphans in Ethiopia. My sister and her husband were also a part of this team. I was extremely thankful for the generous people who gave to this cause and i met my goal of raising $700 of which 100% went straight to help these kids. The members of the running club i belong to stepped up in a big way and were a huge part of this amount along with many others! Thank you if you were one of those people!!
 And then, after all the training and travelling there was one more thing to a marathon! My last marathon i really tanked so i was nervous but training had gone great so i had hopes of feeling good to the end...this was my stick it in front of your face inspiration...

and no, i didn't purchase any of the ridiculously priced photos but i did screen shot some :)

Laura and i showed up to our corral with time to spare. It was chilly but not bad and we had our throw away clothes so we were pretty warm. We had time to use the porta potties, i snacked on my peanut butter and banana and we just chilled and stretched a bit.

We waited till the very end to toss our clothes. They had bins that you could throw them in but i wish i had a picture of the flying clothes right before the gun went off!

We had to do a lot of weaving in and out of people but Laura and i stuck right together. We were both feeling great! There were SO many people out lining the streets, it was just amazing and took your mind off the miles that were clicking by!

At around 20 miles my quads started cramping up. I was thinking "NO, stop it right now, i need my legs to cooperate!" They did not though and i had to slow and Laura and i parted ways.

For the next 6 miles i had to stop at least 7-9 times to stretch and walk as my quads would just cramp till they were in a charlie horse! I remember on very kind person on the sidelines that said "can i get you some water and went and got me a water bottle. I don't know why i had so much cramping but assume i probably didn't drink enough at the water live and you learn!

When i saw the sign that said 800 meters to go that felt almost thought was "oh goodness, that is like 2 whole times around the track!!! I was not feeling comfortable to say the least! But it's amazing what your body will do in spite of what my mind was saying and i crossed the finish line. It was a bit dis-heartening as i really wanted that sub 4 hour marathon but finished in 4:05:45. This still was a personal best for me beating my time when i was in my 20's so i will take that, and there is always a next time to get that sub 4 hour!

A couple of these pictures are when i was hurting really bad! The guy in the blue hat encouraged me and got me going again for awhile.

After crossing the finish line and making my way through the finishers chute which is a very long walk by the way i met up with Laura who had crossed in 3:57. 

a tenth over the marathon distance :)

My official results...

It was a beautiful sunny day by this point and i had met up with my brother in law who had finished 5 minutes before me and we hung out and waited for the rest of my sister's group.

Me and my sis after she came in...

This marathon was such a great experience! I could have done without the cramping but even with that i had an amazing time and want to do it again! They just announced that it is going to be lottery this year so i will be entering the lottery to see if i get to go back to Chicago in 2014! 

Monday, February 03, 2014

Random happenings

This is a random blog post with some pictures of carious happenings in the fall...

I wanted a good picture of Trey and his cat Cheta (yep that is how he spelled it). She is also know as "baby" by Raegan. Trey still believes that he can one day have this cat trained like a dog. At least he gave up on the idea of walking her on a leash. I have a love hate relationship with her. For some reason when i sit down at my desk she likes to come climb up my back and bite my hair. She drives me crazy but i love her almost as much as the kids do.

This past fall i called it quits to serving at Chilis. I had worked there for almost 9 years so having weekends free again has been wonderful to say the least! I have no idea why this picture ended up side ways but i'm too lazy to go change it...

Trey went to homecoming with some friends. He even said he danced a little (would have loved to have been a fly on the wall). He is really loving high school and has become quite the good student!

And then there was the day we went to get his excited he was...yea that is not the day this picture was taken. He missed it the first day so we had to go back the next day and he missed it just barely again! Thankfully, third time is the charm!! He is a good far!!

Avery is still in orchestra. She plays the violin. They had a fall concert where they could dress up. These are two of her best buds the past couple of years.