2011 Women’s Half-Marathon Nashville, TN

I’ve been dying to write this post about the race last Saturday but there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  I still can’t believe the race is over with after all of those months planning for it and the anticipation.  It was such a wonderful experience and I’m so proud of myself for completing it!  Huge accomplishment!

Now for the race details that I don’t want to forget…

I completed my last long run (10 miles in 1:30) the Friday night one week before the race.  I was so pumped about my time and felt that I could make my 2 hour goal during the actual race.  I knew there was lots of hills so luckily I was prepared and tried not to focus on them too much.  I was definitely a bundle of nerves but I was ready for my taper down week.  I did not run that Saturday or Sunday and planned to pick up on Monday with 4 miles.  Unfortunately my stomach had other plans.  I felt “off” all day on Monday and just chalked it up to nerves.  I hardly ate at all that day but drank about 100 oz of water.  Then that afternoon I started feeling so so tired and thought it was just my afternoon slump time.  I was telling George how tired I was but told him I would somehow perk up to do my run after he got home.  After all it was only 4 miles and it wouldn’t be too bad once I started running.  Then around 4:45pm it all started.  I knew I had a virus and 5 minutes before 5pm I called George and asked him to go ahead and come home.  Luckily he was about to leave and I had to lay down on the couch until he got home.  It all went downhill from there.  I had a nasty stomach bug and major chills all night long.  It was absolutely horrible.  I was so weak but couldn’t sleep and only slept about 2 hours the entire night.  I haven’t been that sick in years (besides being sick after both c-sections).

Around 1:30am George came into the room and told me he had gotten sick.  Uh-oh!  That’s when I really started to freak out.   How were we going to care for the kids??  George had eaten alot more than me that day so he threw up 8 times I think he said.  It was bad.  Luckily I stopped throwing up but I was still a hot mess and could hardly walk I was so weak.

On Tuesday morning George was still throwing up but I wasn’t so somehow I managed to pull myself up and get the kids ready for school.  They showed no signs of the virus & I knew we couldn’t take care of them so off they went.  It was so hard getting them dressed, breakfast, and making lunches.  I really didn’t know if we were going to make it and I kept laying down in bed for a few minutes and then I would get them dressed, etc.  I couldn’t believe how weak and dizzy I was!  Luckily I pulled it together and got them to school.

We both spent the next few hours in bed and I picked them up at school at 1pm.  Then Ru-Rus was a huge lifesaver and came down around 5pm to help with the kids.  George had stopped throwing up earlier in the day but we still both felt like poo and just wanted to lie down.  Ru-Rus saved the day and brought some new toys for the kids and chips, cookies, Gatorade, etc.  The kids were in heaven!  They played in the floor all night and had the best time.

On Wednesday I felt much better but still wasn’t 100%.  I was really starting to get nervous about the race and whether or not I had the energy to run.  I had hardly eaten all week besides crackers and the race was only a couple days away.  Plus I hadn’t ran all week.  Finally on Thursday I felt much much better and I met George at work while the kids were at school and we ran about 3.5 miles.  It felt great to run and it gave me confidence that if I could run 3 miles I could do 13!  We both slowly started eating more and I tried to rehydrate as much as possible.

Friday was really crazy.  I had so much to get done and we didn’t leave until 2pm or so.  Both kids were really acting up and Emma had been a huge whiney mess all week so I was on the verge of losing it.  Both kids slept the whole way to Nashville which was really nice.  I finished reading “The Help” which took my mind off of the race.

We got to downtown Nashville around 4:30 I think and made our way to the Convention Center to pick up my packet and check out the Expo.  I had borrowed my friend Lindsay’s double stroller thinking it would be easier with the kids.  Well once we got into the Convention Center the kids went whacko.  They were crying and fussing and I was about to pull my hair out.  I was so nervous about the race and didn’t have the patience to deal with them and thousands of people.  After I picked up my packet I took the double stroller and went to the Expo by myself and George took the kids to walk around and play on the escalator.  At this point I was really regretting bringing them to the race and I wanted to sit down and cry.  I had hardly slept all week and things just weren’t looking good.  I really enjoyed the Expo besides trying to maneuver a double stroller around with tons of people.  I bought a 13.1 magnet for my van, some new sweaty bands, and talked to a few people.  It was nice but kind of overwhelming at the same time.  So grateful though that George let me walk around by myself!

After we left downtown we headed to get dinner (O’Charley’s) and to my Aunt Marsha’s house.  She had invited us to stay the night which turned out great.  Hudson really needs room to run around and release all of his energy and they have the perfect big house for that!  My cousin Monya is a cheerleader at school so Emma and I went to watch her and the football game that night.  George stayed at the house with Hudson so he could get ready for bed.  The football game was so fun but really cold!  Emma loved watching Monya cheer and she has spent the past couple of days at home doing her own cheers.  :)

We got back to Aunt Marsha’s around 10:30 that night and didn’t get to sleep until 11:30ish.  I was so nervous and the alarm was set for 4:55am!  I ended up and only got 1.5 hours of sleep that night b/c of my nerves and Emma could not sleep.  It was miserable!  I was actually ready to get up at 3am and just watch tv but I was afraid I’d wake people up.  I was so glad when 4:55 came and I got up and jumped in the shower.  I wore my most favorite running outfit as you’ll see in the pictures below.  My black running tights, purple dri-fit shirt, Asics, and my new sweaty band.  I also put enormous amounts of Body Glide all over especially in the sports bra area b/c I’ve had some major issues in that area!  It helped a ton!  Then I had 1/2 of a protein bar and 1/2 of a banana with some water.  I wasn’t hungry at all but knew I needed to eat.  Emma was a huge pain in the rear that morning so we really struggled getting her ready.  Note to self-next time DO NOT take the kids to a big race!  ha!  My Aunt really wanted to keep both kids at her house but Emma loves going to our races and I wanted her there so we let her go.  We did opt to leave Hudson behind though b/c he’s just so hard to take places right now.  I knew it wouldn’t be fun for George to watch them for 2 hours during the race and it all worked out great.

We got downtown around 6:15am, got parked, and made our way to the port-a-pottys.  If you know me at all you know how much I DESPISE public restrooms and I think I’ve only used a port-a-potty once in my life.  I will hold it for 10 hours if I have to.  BUT my bladder was screaming and I knew I couldn’t run for 2 hours like that so I had to suck it up and almost lost my breakfast.  Yuck is all I have to say.  Once I got that taken care of the excitement really kicked in.  I loved seeing all of the other women and some were in funky outfits.  Even though I had very little sleep I was pumped up!  Here’s a few pictures we took before the race…

Emma was refusing her picture at this point so I didn’t push her.  I realized we were running low on time as it was 6:45am so I made my way to Coral 2.  I had put my time down as 2 hours when I signed up and I saw the pacer guy with the 2 hour sign.  My stomach was doing flips!  So many people everywhere and then I kept trying to find George & Emma and couldn’t.  Finally I found them and George took some pictures…

JoDee Messina was there and sang the National Anthem which was really cool.  I have to admit the whole time I was holding back tears.  This race was so emotional for me.  I think because this is something I’ve always dreamed of doing but never thought I would actually achieve it.  It was just something that other people did.  Now it was a reality and I was doing this for me and I had worked so hard for it.   I had to keep telling myself to pull it together b/c you can’t run if you’re sobbing!

After the anthem the countdown started and everything got blurry.  I wanted to freak out & cry but that wasn’t going to happen!  I quickly turned on my music and started my RunKeeper b/c we were running!  It all happened so fast!  My music was blasting into my ears so loud and I didn’t want to take my armband off to fix it b/c I was afraid it would slow me down so I ran for 2 hours with the loudest music ever.  It was painful at times.  :)

Remember those hills I mentioned??  Well our first mile was up a major hill but not far after that hill we went across a bridge over I-65.  I remember looking out at the sky and it was so beautiful.  I started to get choked up again.  It was the most perfect morning for a run and downtown Nashville is absolutely gorgeous.  It was around 50 degrees which is kind of cold but for running 13.1 miles it is amazing.  :)

The race itself was set up great.  There were bystanders everywhere cheering us on and aid stations everywhere.  I don’t remember the exact mileage but I grabbed water at the first few aid stations and had a few sips.  I wanted to make sure I was hydrated.  At one point there were several people handing drinks out so I took it only to realize it was a cider drink.  Not what you want when you are running!  I quickly regretted that decision but I was ok.  It seemed like at every turn there was a massive hill to climb and I would seriously start laughing every time b/c it was so crazy.  Who in the world created this race path??  I’m so thankful I started training with hills b/c otherwise I would have been in major trouble!

I keep trying to think what the hardest part of the race was and I remember mile 6-7 being somewhat hard.  Before mile 7 was the only time we back tracked and at first I kept thinking “why are these girls running back?” thinking they had lost their minds when I remembered we had a turnaround.  So I saw the women who were at the very front thinking I wasn’t too far behind.  Yeah right!  That was the longest stretch!  Then after we turned around it was back up hill again.  What a joke!  I will never stop talking about those darned hills!

I do remember after mile 7 we went up the long hill and then veered to the right.  It was so pretty!  There were all of these gorgeous little bungalows and families were outside with their dogs and babies cheering us on.  There was never a moment where someone wasn’t cheering us on.  So cool.  Oh and there were some really funny signs.  I can’t even remember what they all said but they constantly made me laugh.  I loved it!  Little girls also handed out orange slices and some other things that I didn’t pay much attention to.

Around mile 10.5-11 is when we came back downtown and there were gobs of people waiting and cheering us on.  I had realized my pace had slowed a bit around mile 6 when I took my GU gel and I fell a little behind my 2 hour pacer when I had been way in front.  That really discouraged me b/c I felt like I couldn’t catch up.  Well once I got to 10.5 or so I caught up and passed him!  I was ecstatic!  I also looked over to my left and saw George & Emma cheering me on and taking pictures.  I started to get choked up again but told myself to suck it up b/c I had more hills to tackle!

Once I passed them we made a left turn for the “I WILL HILL” and boy oh boy did it suck.  Luckily it wasn’t too long of a hill but when you are 11 miles in those steep hills really burn.  I made it up with the help of numerous cheerleaders and then we turned right and headed over the Titans Bridge and by LP stadium.  The view was absolutely gorgeous and it felt great being so close to the end.

I remember thinking how the end of the race was going so well and I was determined to make my 2 hour time.  That all changed around mile 12.  :)  We looped around and came to the bottom of the Korean Bridge.  Now I had been warned about the Korean Bridge but didn’t realize just how steep of a hill it was.  I got to the bottom and stopped for a minute and at that point I was ready to cry.  I had smiled the whole race and had the BEST time and then I was thinking what kind of a cruel joke is this?  At that exact moment on my ipod Miley Cyrus came on with “The Climb” and I started laughing.  It is such a powerful song and it was rather comical for it to come on at that point.  For the first time in the race I allowed myself to walk a bit and then I started to run for a sec and then started walking again.  I was wearing down at this point.  I thought about taking my other GU gel but then it wouldn’t really kick in until the race was over.  So finally after hearing these girls chant my name and tell me I was almost there I perked up and tackled the rest of the bridge.  I was determined to run it even if I was slower than grandma.  It was so hard but once I reached the top I was on fire.  I gave it all I had and rounded the corner to the finish line.  There was one last little hill and I saw George and Emma waiting for me cheering me on.  I was mentally & physically exhausted.  Once again there was gobs of people cheering us on and I pushed as hard as I could.  Once I was able to see the time clock I realized I was almost at 2 hours.  I could taste that 2 hour mark & wanted it so bad.  I ran through the finish line at 2 hours 40 seconds but my official chip time was 2 hours 11 seconds!  I made my 2 hour goal!  If I wouldn’t have walked on that crazy last bridge I would have been under 2 hours but I really don’t care.  I averaged a 9 minute mile for over 13 miles which is awesome in my book!

Once I ran through the finish line they were waiting for me with my gorgeous medal!  It is so nice!  Then I made my way through the crowd to find George & Emma.  Then the fatigue really set in and my head started throbbing something crazy!  I thought I was going to fall over and die it was hurting so bad.  I tried to get some water & gatorade in me but it’s so hard to eat & drink after running 13 miles.  I was so hungry but couldn’t get anything down.  I did manage to pose for some pictures with 2 of my favorite people!

You see that little charm down towards the bottom of the medal?  I had purchased a bracelet at the Expo for $15 and after the race they transferred the charm to the bracelet for me.  I’ve really enjoyed wearing it!  Normally I don’t wear bracelets but this one I do.  :)

We walked around for a few minutes & I sat down to rest for a bit.  Then I took Emma to the Publix food tents and we got some goodies.  Emma enjoyed that part!  We listened to the awards for a bit too and found out I need to run 30 minutes faster and I could win!  ha ha!  Maybe in a year or two.

Overall the race was a huge success and I’m so proud of myself and everyone else that ran/walked it.  I was on cloud 9 the rest of the weekend.  Surprisingly I wasn’t too sore or tired that afternoon.  I did sit down and relax for a bit at Aunt Marsha’s house but then I was up playing with the kids again.  They don’t let you stay down long!  We had such a wonderful visit with my family and my Granny, Uncle Arnold, and even my dad came down for the afternoon/evening.  So what started out as a crappy week ended up being an amazing weekend!

So long Women’s Half Marathon…maybe I’ll see you again next year!

My First Half-Marathon=COMPLETED!

This is going to be short and sweet b/c I’m sure both kids are about to wake up BUT I ran the entire half-marathon and didn’t have to be carried off on a stretcher!  haha!

I was really really nervous about it b/c last Monday George and I both came down with a nasty stomach virus.  We felt all better by Thursday but I still wasn’t eating much and my energy wasn’t completely back.  Then the night before the race I only slept for 1.5 hours.  Yes, you read that right!  I was a bundle of nerves!

Somehow I managed to pull off a 9 minute pace for the entire run and my official chip time was 2:00:11.  Oh.my.word I couldn’t believe it!  So close to being under 2 hours but that’s ok.  I LOVED every minute of the race except the last massive hill which happened to be a huge bridge.  I had a huge smile on my face almost the entire time and it was the most beautiful run so all of those crazy hills were worth it.  :)

I’m going to do a more in depth post later but wanted to get this up quickly.  Here’s one last picture of me and my little cheerleader!

Now Turn To The Right and…

Shuffle!

Emma’s been doing a lot of shuffling at dance these past couple of weeks and it’s so cute!  She is loving Stage Arts II and her teachers Ms. Beth & Ms. Julie.

I just wanted to share a couple of pictures that I took tonight and then I’m watching the new show “Up All Night” with Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph.  We’ve watched a few minutes already and so far it is funny.  I’m looking forward to all of my shows starting back up this fall!

Yay for tomorrow!  It’s F-R-I-I-I-D-A-Y!

Quinoa

I’ve been wanting to try Quinoa for quite some time now but never got around to it.  I finally broke down and bought a box at Earth Fare last weekend ($6.99) and found this super simple recipe at Allrecipes this afternoon.  It had great reviews and was really healthy so I thought we would give it a try.  It did not disappoint!  George and I both gobbled it up and wished we had more!  The true test was the kids.  BOTH of them ate it!  I was impressed.  The only negative from Emma was she didn’t want to eat the green & orange stuff (celery and carrots) but she ate the chicken that I added and a few bites of quinoa.  Hudson really took to it so I will be making this again!

Here it is all mixed together before it simmered for 25 minutes…

Simple Savory Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced ** I used 1/2 can carrots
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock **I used chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice **I used 1/2 fresh lime
  • salt to taste
  • I added cooked diced chicken & added a bit of salt & cumin

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock, quinoa, basil, and turmeric. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 25 to 30 minutes until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid. Once done, stir in the lime juice, and season to taste with salt to serve.

**I will say that next time I will double the recipe b/c we definitely wanted more and it would make awesome leftovers!

Here’s proof that the monkeys ate it!

Last night I was giving the kiddos a bath and realized I hadn’t taken a bath picture in a long time.  Most of the time Emma and Hudson take a bath together but Emma has also started taking showers.   She loves taking showers like mommy and daddy and gets a kick out of fogging up the mirrors!

I can’t believe tomorrow is already Thursday!  I have a feeling this next week is going to fly by b/c I’m really nervous about my half-marathon!  I’m also anxious about that 10 miler coming up on Friday.  I can do it…I can do it…I can do it!

Everyone needs to try out that quinoa recipe!  I promise you will like it.  :)

Anyone have a favorite quinoa recipe they would like to share?

Sore Legs

I had big plans to be productive today and get the kid’s winter clothes ready for the consignment store.  Weeelll…somehow I’ve lost that motivation in the past hour and want nothing more than to be l.a.z.y.  :)  I’ve realized that the 4 hours I get alone on Tues/Thurs goes by so incredibly fast and I have so many things I want to get done that I get overwhelmed thinking “what do I do first?”  So I might as well do nothing except read a book and drink coffee, right?

My legs and knees are so sore today!  I can walk but they just ache when I do.  After my 9.2 miler Friday night I took the weekend off and ran 5 miles Monday morning.  My legs felt like lead for pretty much the whole run but I did my normal pace.  Then the kids and I went to the gym and I did a full body strength workout for an hour so I know that is making everything worse.  On my training plan for today was an easy 3 mile run or cross train for 30 minutes and I opted to run so I could get it over with early.  Once again, my legs felt like lead but I sped up on the flat surface a bit b/c it felt good.  I’m supposed to do 5 miles tomorrow and strength again but I’m thinking I might do 3 instead b/c on Friday I need my legs to be rested for 10 miles.  I don’t want to start my first 10 miler with achy knees and legs.

Next week my training plan calls for 4 miles on Monday, 3 miles or cross train on Tuesday and 2 miles on Wednesday.  Then I have 2 full days of rest before the big half on Saturday.  Definitely looking forward to next weeks taper down!

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures to share today.  Emma still has a cold (it has been a week) and it really bothers her in the middle of the night when she has coughing attacks.  I keep thinking she is going to start throwing up b/c she gets so choked up but luckily she hasn’t.

Hudson has been all over the place as usual.  Right now he loves to color on the chalkboard and I found random marker on the walls last night.  Little stinker!  He’s also becoming interested in his colors so I’ve been working on those with him.  Yesterday he said “purple” and it was so cute!  I love having him repeat words!  He’s also obsessed with the game “hide and seek” and wants to play all the time.  He’s really bad at giving away my hiding spot though.  :)  He’ll pretend to count and he gets so excited when it’s time to “seek.”

This weekend George is participating in the Warrior Dash in Manchester, TN.  I’m kind of nervous about it b/c it looks crazy and I have to watch the kids in a big field by myself.  It’s going to be really fun & neat and we’ve got some friends that are doing it too.  I’m hoping to get some good pictures!

Then on Sunday I have a Thirty-One home party and I’m really excited about it!  We have an awesome hostess special this month and I love when my hostesses get lots of FREE products!!!

I guess I need to get busy and move away from the bed.  :) I’ll try my best to post pictures this week!

This Weeks Long Run-9 Miles

Today my long run was supposed to be 9 miles and then next weekend will be 10 miles and then taper off the week of the race.  Last night was such a beautiful night that I decided to go ahead with my run a day early.  I’m so glad I did b/c it was such a nice evening with lots of people out and about in the big neighborhood across the street.

I started my run around 6:20pm and finished just before 8pm with a total running time of 1 hr 30 minutes for 9.21 miles.  That’s the farthest distance I’ve ever completed!  A couple of months ago I ran 9 miles on the treadmill and I remember hitting a huge wall at 8.5 miles where my whole body felt like shutting down.  That made me really nervous but I’ve been running & doing strength quite a bit since then and it has really helped.  The only pain I felt last night was toward the end my knees were aching a little and around mile 4 I had an intense pain in my lower left abdominal area that went away after my GU gel break.  Other than that I was fine during the run and afterwards my legs/feet/back were/are sore but not too bad.

The BEST part of my run was close to mile 5 about 40 minutes in when George and the kids drove up!  I had asked him to bring me some water and my GU gel so I wouldn’t I have to carry it the whole time.  About half way up the BIG hill in the neighborhood I let Emma get out and run to the top with me.  I had to slow down quite a bit but it was such a nice break.  Once at the top I had a quick drink of water and a Tri-Berry GU pack (really good!) and took off running again.  The kids were not happy but I told Emma she could meet me back in our neighborhood after her bath to run some more.

I finished up my lap in that neighborhood and headed back closer to home b/c it was already dark at 7pm!  I don’t like running in the dark alone if I don’t have to.  The weather felt perfect at this point and I felt like I could run forever.  It was around 6.5 miles when I made it back to our neighborhood and I kept looking for Emma but didn’t see her for a couple of laps.  Then all of a sudden I saw little flickers of light in our driveway and even though I couldn’t see her I knew it was her due to her new light up shoes!  They all ran towards me and Emma and I ran a lap together.  Then I continued on while Emma ran up and down the sidewalk and George and Hudson watched.  It gave me another boost to get keep going.  Overall I was very happy with my pace staying in the 9 minute range except when Emma ran with me and I had my water/GU break.  I know I should be able to maintain the same pace throughout the half-marathon in a couple of weeks.  Each week I feel much more confident that I can run the entire 13.1 miles even with the hills.

Today we have Emma’s soccer game at 11am and then George is going hashing with his running buddies tonight.  I’ve got to give my legs a couple days of rest b/c since Tuesday I’ve ran 23 miles!

I snapped a couple of pictures of Hudson playing with his trains a few minutes ago just so this post wouldn’t be without pictures!

Hudson at 21 Months

Yes, I know this is really late-about 2 weeks…but better late than never right?  :)

This little guy can be quite the handful these days by testing his boundaries and scaring his momma half to death!  He’s so much like his sister but so different too.  I can say that if Emma does something, he follows right behind!  It can be good and bad!  ha!

I love the picture above that I took yesterday afternoon.  Hudson had just woke up from his nap and immediately grabbed all of his cars & trains that he could hold and had to have them on the kitchen table while he ate.  It cracked me up!  Don’t even think about touching them either or he would scream.  Did I mention that Hudson screams???  Oh.my.word.  One thing his dear sweet sister taught him.  I can’t wait until the screaming stops.

Other than screaming, what else are you up to Mr. H?  You have your 2nd birthday coming up in 3 months!  I was looking at pictures of you from last summer and I can’t believe how much you’ve changed in the past year.

  • Still in size 5 diapers
  • Clothes are 2T for shirts & pants.  Shoes from Stride Rite were a 8.5 I think the other day.
  • You’ve become picky when it comes to eating.  Some favorites include french fries, chicken fries, mandarin oranges, peaches, yogurt melts, cheese, any chocolate, peanut butter, yogurt, carrots, peas, corn, and chips.  :)
  • You are still an excellant sleeper and we still just lay you down for your nap anywhere from 1-2pm and you go right to sleep.  At night you usually go down around 7:15pm or so and we read our 2 books and go “ni ni.”  I LOVE putting you to bed.  You blow me kisses, eskimo kisses, say “ni ni” and it’s just so.darn.cute!  Never gets old.
  • The last 2 days you’ve gone to school you have NOT cried at all!  That makes me very happy and I know you have a great time.  You love Ms. NeNe.
  • Your favorite things to play with are trains, cars/trucks, chalkboard, play kitchen, and racing with us around the house.  Or anything Emma is playing with.  :)
  • You’ve been going through your “independent” stage recently where you like to “buckle” yourself in the carseat & booster seat.
  • I taught you to say “love Momma” 2 days ago and it was so so sweet!
  • You repeat almost everything we say or ask you to say.  Last night at dinner you gave us the perfect “thumbs up” and I had you say “dude” and it was so funny.  Then you said “you got it dude!” and Daddy and I about died at how clear it sounded!
  • This morning I put you in time-out b/c you threw your yogurt on the floor twice.  You are great at sitting in the time-out chair (unlike your sister) and then you always say “I’m sorry” and you give hugs & kisses.  Well this morning after giving me a hug/kiss you had to give Emma a hug/kiss.  Then you gave yourself a hug by putting your head to your left shoulder.  Oh my goodness, it was so funny!  We both laughed and then you blew yourself a kiss.  What a hoot!

I could go on all day about all of the cute things you do.  Of course, you also do some not so cute things like hitting, screaming, pulling Emma’s hair, etc.  We are working on it though.

We are at a really good stage with you and Emma and I love doing things together as a family on the weekends.  You just fit in so well and go with the flow.  I look forward to the next few months and your big birthday!  You are the most adorable little guy and on most days we wouldn’t trade you for anything!  :)

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Oh how I love thee!

After the kids and I left the gym today I decided to stop by Starbucks for an iced latte.  You know I had to replace all of those calories & carbs that I had just burned!  ha ha!  I was just thinking the other day that I could NOT wait until fall and for my favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks be available.  Well surprise, surprise!  I pulled up to the drive-thru and I saw it on the sign.  Momma was in heaven!  I’m sure the lady thought I was crazy b/c I asked her if I could really get it.  I thought maybe it was a cruel joke or something.  :)

It was just what I needed after I pushed myself on my last 1.5 mile on the treadmill.  It’s the little things in life.  :)

Utensils? What Are Those?

The other day the kids were eating popcorn and next thing we know, they are on the coffee table taking turns eating popcorn like it is the dog bowl.  Silly silly kids!  I think Emma did it first and of course, Hudson followed.

Recently I’ve been in love with all of our lightroom presets and can’t stop using them!  I promise it will only last a few more weeks and the pictures will be back to normal.  :)

Something I wanted to remember from a couple of weeks ago.  Emma has been asking lots of questions recently.  One night we were getting ready for dinner and she says “mommy, why did God make me a girl?”  I came and with some answer hoping to satisfy her and then she says “how did he know to make me a girl?”  I tried to tell her that God is super smart and he just knows how to do everything, blah blah blah.  I could tell by her face that she was contemplating this answer & didn’t like my answer.  So then George pipes up and says “well you see Emma, we have x & y chromosomes” and goes into this big spill about it.  Then he looked at me and asked “how many chromosomes do we have?” and I shrugged.

Poor Emma kept looking at me thinking what in the world is he talking about!  George and I realized we need to be better prepared for her next round of questions.

My half-marathon is now in 16 days I believe.  I’ve got 1.5 weeks of training left and then I taper down the week of the race.  This Saturday I’ll do a long run of 9 miles, then next Saturday will be 10 miles.  I’m not afraid of 10 miles and know that I can do it but I’ve heard from 2 people that they hit a wall at mile 11.  That scares me!  Hopefully with my GU gels and if I pace myself that won’t happen to me.

Our weather has been rather crazy the past several days due to Hurricane Lee.  It rained almost nonstop for 3 days!  We finally woke up this morning and it was NOT raining!  I’ve gotten used to running outside in the mornings so yesterday’s 5 mile run was on the treadmill.  At first I was kind of dreading it but about 1 mile in my friend Tracey showed up and we ran/talked for 30 minutes so that was nice!  Tracey signed up for the Huntsville half-marathon in November and George signed up too!  Lots of running this fall!

I caught the weather on tv this morning and the weather man said the highs will be in the low 80’s and lows will be in the 60’s for the next week.  I love it!  It’s so much nicer to run in cooler/less humid weather!  I would love for my half-marathon to have cool weather.  Fingers crossed!

Sweet Baby Rose

Our good friends Paul and Carmen welcomed their first child into the world yesterday afternoon!  Rose is absolutely precious with a head full of dark hair and the sweetest little face.  Ashli and I went to visit earlier today and we even got to hold her.  Until I made her cry that is!

I loved the purple bow on her hat!  She also has the longest little delicate fingers and I just wanted to hold her all day long.  Nothing like snuggling a newborn!  I miss mine being that small!

Paul is such a natural with her and I know he’s going to be wrapped around all of her little fingers.  :)

My friend Ashli is about 20 weeks with her 1st little bundle of joy too and I can’t wait to meet him/her in January!  I love that our friends are having babies right now!  Ashli is such a natural too and will make the best mother.  :)

Congratulations Paul & Carmen!  Rose is very lucky to have you both as her parents and I look forward to watching her grow.  She’s loved by so many and you know I’m already ready to babysit!  :)