Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oh 2009, you have been very good to me!

This past year has been a great year for me, from running another marathon to having a baby! Here is my year in review:


January- I completed the Disney Marathon for the second time. This time, Hubby was actually in the country to see me finish.

February- SURPRISE!!! I'm pregnant!

March- My baby sister got married and I was Maid (Matron) of Honor.

April- We got to see our baby for the first time in an ultrasound but we couldn't yet tell what the gender was.

May- We found out that our baby was going to be a girl, and I cut and donated my hair to Locks of Love.

June- Hubby and I spent our 5th anniversary in my favorite city - St. Augustine...

and our beautiful niece, Ariella, was born.

July- I lost someone very important to me. I miss you, Grandma!

and we took a few family maternity pictures.
August- I officially turn in the final assignment for my M.Ed in Reading Instruction and Curriculum.

September- Chris finished painting our Classic Winnie the Pooh nursery.

My beautiful daughter was born 10/12/09 at 12:35pm.

I turned another year older and had a great Thanksgiving with friends.

December- My Sweet Pea's first Christmas. She may not remember it, but we'll never forget it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

32 life lessons

In honor of my 32nd are 32 life lessons that I have learned:

  1. Get over it... not everything is worth fighting over. Choose your battles carefully. Stressing over little things that aren't worth it only takes up time and energy in your life that are better spent on happier things.
  2. Stand up and be heard... some things ARE worth fighting for! Never give up on those things you believe most in.
  3. A child is God's way of trying to show us just how much He loves us; how much He sacrificed for us when he gave his only son.
  4. Having a daughter that is a total Daddy's girl is paybacks for being a total Daddy's girl.
  5. Choosing to make no decision is still making a decision to have others decide for you.
  6. Only you have control over you and your actions. No one else controls you or can make your choices for you.
  7. Traveling is the best way to learn/teach tolerance of others. The further from "home" the better!
  8. Guardian angles DO exist... but that doesn't mean you have to take unnecessary risks. Help them out a little, their job is hard enough as it is!
  9. No matter how big a mistake, family is still family. Love the person, hate the choices that have been made...but always love the person.
  10. ALWAYS pack more in the diaper/race/overnight bag than you think you will ever need.
  11. A good book and a bubble bath is the best way to relax after a long day.
  12. Having blessings in your life is the biggest blessing of all.
  13. Family is important, but sometimes having friends that are like family is even more important.
  14. Always have a camera handy!
  15. He who dies with the most still dead. It isn't as important to leave 'things' behind for those you love, but instead leave memories behind that they will fondly remember and characteristics they will aspire to live up to. Kindness. Generosity. Love. Integrity.
  16. Practice what you preach. "Do as I say, not as I do" just doesn't cut it. Be the example for others to live by.
  17. The laundry will be there tomorrow, but you will never get this moment with your child back.
  18. It's never to late to go back to church.
  19. Laugh as often as you can...even if no one else is laughing with you!
  20. Never lie to the doctor.
  21. Tell your grandmother you love her every day.
  22. Never let them see you get upset. Don't let them know where your buttons are!
  23. Everyone has a strength, even if it is hard to find - Genghis Khan was an incredible horseman and Hitler was a great speaker.
  24. Everyone also has weaknesses. Einstein failed 3rd grade math. No one is perfect no matter how much they may pretend to be.
  25. Hit the save button often.
  26. Experience is the best way to learn.
  27. Learn to laugh at yourself.
  28. Sounds are always louder when you are by yourself in the dark.
  29. Finishing a marathong (or something you never thought you could) is an increadible rush.
  30. Never pass up the chance to watch The Princess Bride (or your favorite movie).
  31. Helping others is the greatest gift you could ever give to yourself.
  32. 32 is not nearly as old as I used to think it was!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

First and foremost, I am so very thankful that I have so much to be thankful for this year!!
  • I am thankful for my beautiful daughter. :)
  • I am thankful for my wonderful husband who is helping me to raise our beautiful daughter (and who realizes that I need some out-of-the-house-me-time once in a while!). I am thankful that he is home for the holidays again this year and not deployed to some far-away country.
  • I am thankful that my husband was able to keep his job when so many of his co-workers were being laid off a few weeks before our daughter was born.
  • I am thankful that we are financially able for me to take a little while extra off work to take care of my daughter even though it means about a month without pay.
  • I am thankful that all of my family is healthy this holiday season. No one is on chemo or radiation.
  • I am thankful that I have amazing friends who help to pick me up when I'm sad/frustrated/overwhelmed.
  • I am thankful that my doctor finally cleared me to run again!!! :)
  • I am thankful for the great news that my cousins were able to adopt a second child and that a co-worker of mine is also approved to adopt a daughter. Both are very wanted children and will be blessed to have such awesome parents.
  • I am thankful for a church family where I feel comfortable and like I have been there my whole life, even though it's been less than half a year that I've been going.
  • I am thankful to have a nice home and comfortable furnishings.

Last year's list

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Word Verification - cycle

I just post a comment on a friend's blog and, as usual, was asked to type in a word verification to certify that I am indeed a human being.

Usually, these things are random letters or made up words that make me giggle as I imagine what the meaning of this crazy word would be.

However, this particular time, I got a real word: CYCLE. Well that's no fun. I know what cycle means. When I was training for my Olympic Triathlon, I did a bunch of cycling (much to the dismay of my rear-end!).

But it did get me thinking about that time of constant cycling on the open road. Sometimes it was really peaceful as we often rode near on a road near the river with little traffic. However, many times it was stressful as many drivers didn't pay attention to us, didn't care, or just didn't realize that we did in fact have a right to the road as well.

A bicycle is a vehicle...just like a car, truck, or motorcycle. We have to follow the rules of the roads like riding on the right hand side and obeying traffic signs. If we are considered a vehicle, then we should be treated as a vehicle. Meaning, if you want to pass us, just like you would a little old grandma who is out for a Sunday drive, you wait until the oncoming traffic is clear then you move over into the other lane and pass. Don't try to squeeze between us and the oncoming traffic. If you hit us, you are definitely in the better position to walk away!

Most bikers are courteous and ride as close to the edge of the road as possible knowing that at top speeds a car will easily be going faster. Cycle "packs" have their own rules too. The last rider will notice a car first usually and will yell "Car Back!" which will be repeated all the way up the line to insure that everyone knows there is a car coming hat is more than likely going to try to pass (similarly, the first person will yell "Car Front!" which will get passed back when there is a car coming towards them.) This allows all the bikers to be ready for the bigger vehicle to pass by 1)being aware and 2) moving over even further if there is room.

Amazingly enough, there was a news piece on about a group of cyclist in a nearby county that is trying to get something done about enforcing traffic laws concerning cycles and cyclist... if nothing else, to make the public aware. Too many cyclists have been forced off the road, hit, or otherwise hurt by careless drivers.

Please pay attention to who is on the road with you as you drive. Cyclists are out there, and even with a helmet on, they are much more vulnerable than you are in your vehicle.

Comment on this post please, and let me know what your word verification is. What do you think it means and what does it make you think of?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Menu Planning

I haven't done this in a while, so I'll see how it works....

I can't even remember the last time I cooked to be honest. Lately, my wonderful hubby has put his grill to good use, as well as his wallet and taken me out to eat. However, I think it is time I get back in there and try again. So here we go...

Monday: Happy Labor Day! Hubby is going to grill (again)...and I still need to go grocery shopping!

Tuesday: Tater Tot casserole

Wednesday: Pizza Pinwheels (probably with turkey pepperoni and various veggies)

Thursday: CORN (Clean Out the Refrigerator Night) - I have a Dr.'s appointment which always runs late so this night will be up in the air! Probably left over casserole from Tuesday and/or something frozen that hubby can grill on his day off :)

Friday: Quick and Easy Ranch Chicken, not sure what veggie to go with it yet but probably either corn or green beans - my favorites. This is a new recipe for me. The girls at work are giving me a shower after school so I hope this really is quick and easy! It looks like it is.

Saturday: Childbirth Class from 9:30am to 5:30 pm- Dinner out afterwards or something easy like sandwiches or leftover casserole (if there's any left!)

Sunday: Baby Shower/BBQ at my friend Alexis's house! I'm sure there will be lots of goodies left over!

Since I have to go grocery shopping... let's see what I'll need:
Tater Tot Casserole - I already have green beans so I'll just need tater tots, hamburger meat, and onions
Pizza Pinwheels - I have tomato sauce and I thought I had pizza crust but it looks expired, so I'll need Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough, turkey pepperoni, green peppers, and motz cheese (I'll use some of the left over onions from the TT casserole too)
Ranch Chicken - I already have seasoned salt, breadcrumbs, and parm cheese, so I'll just need 6 skinless chicken thighs, a new bottle of Ranch dressing (I have some but I don't think it's enough - and I'll need some later anyway), and cornmeal.

Go check out what Org Junkie and her followers are having this week!

Monday, August 10, 2009

First day of school pedi

I hardly ever get pedicures. Most endurance runners will understand why - They take off your hard earned, and much needed, calluses! I earned these calluses with (literally) blood, sweat, and tears... and miles and miles and miles of running!

But I figured since I have to take a few months off, and to celebrate making it thought the first day of school 7 1/2 months pregnant, I should pamper myself a little. I used to go to a woman who knew not to take off all the calluses, that I mainly wanted the foot/leg massage, a little exfoliating, and painted toes... but she is gone/closed/moved/one-day-there-the-next-day-gone. I had gone to her for 3 yeas so I have no idea what happened to her. Lisa where are you?!?!?!?!

She was the rare American. Not that I have anything against the Vietnamese salons, they usually do a great job too, but when you want something very specific, it is sometimes hard to understand them and get them to understand you. Case in point - my heels.

I tried the tell the beautiful Vietnamese woman that I am (was...will be again) a runner and because I have to take a few months off, I don't mind some softening of the calluses and filing of my heel, but lets not go crazy. She smiled politely and asked when my baby was due... then she brought out the razor and went to town on my heels! Don't get me wrong, they look and feel amazing and soft... but it's a good thing I don't have to run multiple miles anytime soon!

The rest of the experience was simply wonderful. The massaging chair, leg/foot massage, and the paraffin wax was worth every penny. Not to mention my shiny new red toes (That I can only see if I sit with my feet up- which I should be doing more of anyway!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Not the best day I've ever had... and a list of things to be thankful for

Yesterday was one of the most trying days of my life. Yet, it started out so simply and great.

I woke up early and went to early church and Sunday school. One of the women in my Sunday School class brought a big bowl of fruit which I loved! After class was over, she offered to give me the rest of it which I gratefully accepted!

I came home, ate some more of the fruit and a sandwich for lunch and decided to take a nap.

I woke up a few hours later and decided that I REALLY wanted a chocolate milkshake from the McDonald's down the road. So I grabbed my wallet, my cell phone, and my sunglasses and walked out the door, locking it behind me as usual. about half a second after I shut my door, I realized my mistake. I had forgotten to grab my keys!!

So here I am in the middle of the day in the summer sun...the Florida summer sun... seven months pregnant and I can't get in my car or back in the house! I called AAA who gave me the number of 2 locksmiths. Neither of the numbers worked. I may have typed them in wrong since I was trying to listen to my cell phone and type on my cell phone at the same time.

So with no luck there, I call 411. This lady tells me that there are no locksmiths in my town (???) but gives me the number of 2 in a nearby town. I call both of them. The first doesn't serve my area and the second was out of order.

I call 411 again, get a different lady who gives me a credit for the last two but misunderstood the name of my town and gave me a listing for a similar-sounding town in the state...does me no good as they are several hours away!

I finally call 411 a THIRD time and this lady quickly puts me through to someone who does serve my area. I explain that I have been out in the sun for 30 minutes already trying to get someone to come,that I was very pregnant, and tat because of the heat I was staring to feel ill so to please ask the guy to hurry. She said she would do so and that it should be only about 20 minutes or so.

I waited 20 minutes....then a few more.... and a few more. Finally after waiting 45 minutes I call back, get someone different and explain again that I'm not feeling well and the guy still hasn't shown up. She puts me on hold and when she comes back she assures me that he is on his way and would call me shortly.

At this point it starts raining, which is good in that it cooled down everything but bad in that if forced me under my small front stoop which has nowhere to sit down. After waiting another 20 minutes with no phone call from anyone I call AGAIN. This time when they put me on hold, they can't find the guy who is supposed to be on his way. Te girl assures me that she would keep trying to call and would call me as soon as she got ahold of him. She repeated my phone number to me but had it incorrect so I correct the two reversed numbers. She wondered aloud if this wasn't part of the problem saying maybe the guy couldn't get ahold of me. I find this slightly ridiculous as the guy had my address, he could have come by and seen me standing there.

After another 15-20 minutes they STILL hadn't called me back! At this point I'm getting really mad but don't know who else to call in my area of no-where-ville. I call my friend Alexis who lives about 20 minutes away to if nothing else come keep me company, sane, and to please please please bring me something cold to drink. She came immediately and also brought snacks! :)

We sat in her car for a while when she decided to call the place for me. She got a bit more snippy than I did but really got no further than I did. At this point I had been locked out of my house for 3 hours!

After a while, she decides to check all the windows, sliding glass doors, and doors again just to be sure, and yep... all locked. 1/2 joking around, she pulls out a credit card this former Miami girl proceeds to break in my door! Because I didn't have my keys, I couldn't lock the deadbolt behind me so it was only the door lock. I would have never known how or even thought of trying to get in with a credit card in the door jam!!

Once we were in the house, she again calls the locksmith and cancels. They try to tell her that they are going to have to charge me but she flat out refuses saying we waited for 3 hours for someone who was "on the way" the whole time.

We then decided to go to dinner after all the "excitement" of the afternoon. While at the restaurant, my mom calls my cell and asks if I had gone somewhere for the day. I kind of laughed and asked her if I could call her back when I got home. She agreed and Alexis and I went back to our dinner.

Once I was home again, I called my mom back, but instead talked to my dad who told me that my grandmother had passed away earlier that afternoon and that they had been trying to call all afternoon (but obviously didn't think to call my cell phone until later).

My grandmother was an amazing woman, but had been very sick for a long time and was unfortunately no longer herself anymore. We often wondered how she had hung on as long as she had. It was a peaceful death at home with my uncle holding her hand and my cousin singing to her... she just slipped away.

Of course I am very sad and will miss her dearly, yet in a way, it is almost a relief that she is now free of her troubles here on Earth. Growing up, she lived just across the street so I was very close, both physically and emotionally, to her. When I was 5 or 6, my grandfather passed away and eventually my aunt, uncle, and cousin moved in with her to help her. This was the uncle and cousin that were there with her at the end.

In a book I recently read, a boy had been abandoned and raised on the streets by a kindly old man who took in many abandoned children (in this book, couples were only allowed 2 children so often 3rd children were abandoned at birth). This man had a profound faith in God and taught the children that whenever they were having a hard time, they should recite every good thing they can think of and end the list with, "And God loves us."

I started thinking of my list yesterday to keep my spirits up (and my anger down):

I had my cell phone with me so I could call for help.
The rain cooled everything down so I didn't get too hot and started to feel better.
I have a great friend in Alexis who dropped everything to come help me out.
As Alexis pointed out, I didn't have a small baby with me, or have my child locked in the house while I was locked out.
I was able to eventually get in my house and into the AC.
My grandmother is no longer suffering with her illnesses.
Grandma is in Heaven with her Lord.
Grandma was surrounded by those who love her.
...and God loves us.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Run the Disney Marathon in 3 minutes

Feel the energy... This is why I love to run marathons, and can't wait to start training for Disney Marathon 2011...

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Daddy's Little Girl

From holding me in a small white dress, to holding me in a long white dress, my dad has always been there for me.

When I was little he taught me how to shoot a BB gun, ride a bike, ride a horse, and anything else I wanted to learn. He never said, "Little girls don't do that" instead, he would usually laugh, say something along the lines of "Don't tell your mother" and off we would go.

We went to the beach several times every summer. While Mom was sitting on the shore or looking for shells, Daddy was in the water with my brother and I playing, splashing, and pretending he loved us climbing on his back to jump off.

When I was in high school, he worked for the phone company and drove from house to house repairing the phone lines. I was a swimmer. At that point in my life, that was about the only way I described myself as everything I did revolved around swimming (I ran track to stay in shape for summer swim team, I did summer swim team to get ready for the high school team...). Swimming was my life. Daddy knew this, but he was rarely able to take off on Tuesdays and Thursday for my swim meets. However, if it was a home meet, my dad would drive around the pool as often as he could to ask me how I was doing. If I was about to swim, he'd pull over and park so he could stand by the fence to watch, even if it made him a little late to his next appointment. Those few minutes of him being there meant more to me than the parents who showed up to every meet, every time, because they had the time to do so. It was something he didn't have to do, he did it just for me, just to support me, just to say, "that's my daughter out there!"

In 2003, we found out that Daddy has cancer. Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Rare. Aggressive. Hard to treat. Scared the crap out of me. Suddenly the man I thought was as solid as a rock wasn't, or so I thought at first. I vowed to be strong for him, as strong as he had always been for me... but I soon realized, that he was still a rock, he was still strong, and he was still holding me together. Even when the doctor told him he was considered terminal and probably had only 3 years to live, he never gave up. He never gave up in himself, in his doctors, or in God.

Many things will forever stick in my mind about my dad but probably the most important one was what he said to me while he was laying in a hospital bed as I started to cry.

"What are you crying for? There is nothing to cry over. I haven't shed a tear or lost a moments sleep and neither should you. God is taking care of this. It's in His hands now. If He needs me here, He'll leave me here. When He wants me home, He'll take me home. It's out of our control so why worry?"

He was right, there was nothing to worry about. My dad is still strong, still fighting, and still going long after the doctors said he should have passed. He has had chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplants, more clinical trials than I can count ("Even if it doesn't help me, if it helps them find a cure for someone else, my job is done."), and finally last year, a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor - who we found out this year lives in GA.

I remember praying that God allowed my dad to see me get married and to hold his grandchildren. God is great, and he has answered my prayers with a resounding YES. My dad not only saw me get married, but mustered up the strength to walk me down the aisle and dance with me at the reception. In October, he will see my child born, his newest grandchild (my brother already has 2 sons so I can't say "first grandchild").

God is great, but my daddy comes in a pretty close second! Happy Father's Day Daddy, I love you!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, June 12, 2009

For Today...

A friend of mine did this the other day so I followed the link to the Simple Woman's Daybook as well and decided to play along!


Outside my window... The sun is starting to set on another beautiful day.

I am thinking... that I can't wait for one of my best friends to come visit tomorrow! I haven't seen her in a few years and I've missed her!! She and her husband can probably only stay a little while but I'll take what I can get :)

I am thankful for... only being on a "modified" bedrest where I can still get up and do what I need to as long as it isn't for too long or too strenuous. I can't imagine being on full bedrest for a long period of time. I would go insane - and my house would fall apart haha! :)

From the learning rooms... I've put off my homework until the weekend, it's due Monday. I work best under pressure, or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

From the kitchen... While Chris and I were in St Augustine, I bought 3 cookbooks from the Columbia Resturant gift shop. Orange Recipes, Key Lime Cookin', and Key Lime Deserts all by Joyce LaFray. I have a tree in my backyard that has both key limes and lemons on it (it must have been spliced). I've never really known what to do with the key limes other than key lime pie, which I love, but now I should have pleanty of new ideas! I should have plenty of ideas for all the oranges I pick from my parents grove as well (other than just peeling and eating - which is probably my favorite way to eat an orange!).

I am wearing... the most comfortable thing I can find. It's amazing howquickly this baby is growing! Things that fit me last week are getting snug this week.

I am creating... a beautiful baby (girl?).

I am going... to travel the world one day. Besides, I have lots of friends/family all over the world that I need to visit! At this very moment I have friends/family in Japan, Korea, South Africa, the UK, and Prauge. Chris can probably dig up some more old military buddies that are stationed overseas too.

I am reading... Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince...again. Every time a new HP book or movie comes out i feelthe compulsive need to read the entire series all over again from the begining. Because the movie of Half Blood Prince is coming out next month, I had to do the traditional re-reading!

I am hoping... like every expectant parent and family member, for a happy, healthy baby for both myself and my sister.

I am hearing... the clackity-clack of my keyboard, the air conditioner, oh and there goes the leaky toilet refilling that my husband is supposed to fix! lol!

Around the house... I just redid the small guest bathroom and, for the moment at least, it is my favorite place in the house! Light tan walls and white trim (this was already done, I didn't repaint) now with dark brown towels, light blue hand towels, a white/tan/brown/dark brown/light blue checkered rug, light tan soap dispencer and tissue box with light blue outline flowers and dark brown trim, and misc art of the same colors. I love it!

One of my favorite things... other than my newly redecorated guest bathroom, is my new iPhone 3G. I may be a bit iPhone dependant at this point as 1/2 my life is on this stinking thing - all my phone numbers and many addresses, a list of my daily blood pressures for my ob/gyn, grocery lists, other shopping lists, to-do lists, all my music, and of course my newest addiction...scrabble!

A few plans for the rest of the week: It's summer break and I'm on modified my plans include a lot of sitting with my feet up reading, watching movies or TV, and sleeping. Perhaps some light cleaning now and then in short bursts, and of course my homework for my online class!

Here is picture thought I am sharing... my newly re-decorated guest bathroom!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Baskets, baskets, and more baskets

I love baskets!

This is a fairly new realization, as I didn't really know just how much I love baskets until I started reorganizing a few things and realized how many things I actually have in baskets. I have baskets of books, baskets of candles, baskets of towels, baskets of gizmos, baskets of cords, baskets of cleaning supplies, baskets of remote controls, baskets of purses and bags, baskets of running and other exercise equipment, baskets of bath soaps and salts, and even a basket full of soon-to-be-used Winnie the Pooh baby stuff. Then of course there are the required laundry baskets too.

(These are only SOME of my baskets!)
My husband, on the other hand, likes to store things in old ammo cans. There are ammo cans galore in the garage full of...well... some actually do have ammo in them although not the original ammo that came in them, and who knows what else is in there. But the funniest is when he decided to reorganize the pantry and thought it would be good to use an ammo can to store the packets of flavored rice and noodles...

Oh well, at least he tried to organize! :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Locks of Love

A few years ago I cut my hair in front of a classroom full of students for Locks of Love. The class read a book (I can't remember the name of it now - sorry) about a young girl with a disease causing her to lose her hair and preventing her from regrowing it. Her best friend, at the end of the novel, chose to cut off her long beautiful hair to donate to Locks of Love for a wig for her friend. It was the first time I had actually donated my hair, in fact, it was the first time I had ever cut THAT MUCH hair off!

It was a great experiance and I'm glad I was able to share it with some of my students.

It was such a great experiance that I did it again, but this time I waited until after school was out to cut my hair. Last Friday, I walked into the local Hair Cuttery and chopped off about a foot of hair! I forgot to snap a "before" pic prior to having my hair washed so the best I have is my wet hair hanging down my back before the cut.

I have to say, I LOVE MY NEW SHORTER HAIR! I keep forgetting that it is short though. I go to hold it back while getting a drink from a fountain, I keep brushing my neck forgetting that my air doesn't extend down that long anymore, and I often get way to much shampoo or conditioner in my hand before washing (what's left of) my hair. I cant remember a time that my hair was this short before, but I think I really like it!

It is so much easier. It really is a wash and go style. My long hair was kind of wash and go,but it was more of a wash, fight the tangles, firght to dry, go, get annoyed with it, tie it back in a ponytail. This is literally wash, comb (easily) and go. It dries pretty quickly on its own so I don't even bother dragging out the hair dryer unless I really need to.

The only problem I have found so far is a minor one. I always knew I had two cowlicks in the front of my head making bangs difficult to say the least (which is why I don't have bangs), but Ihave now discovered yet another cowlick in the back of my head!! Luckily, this cowlick isn't too onery and will lay flat it I get it wet and either blowdry it or even if I let it dry natural, however, the next morning....POP... there it is... time to pull out my spraybottle! :)


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy 5th Anniversary

Today is my 5th wedding anniversary, however, in an effort to preserve my husbands few personal days for when our child is born, we decided to take a small romantic get-away a few days early during his off-days. Since it is so close, and I went to college there, we decided that St Augustine would be the perfect place. We stayed at a little bed and breakfast right downtown called The Inn on Charlotte. It was a beautiful old house and I have to say, Lynne, the innkeeper, makes a FANTASTIC breakfast and is a wonderful host! The room was small but very cozy, private, and romantic with a beautiful (and very comfie) bed and an in-room jacuzzi tub for two!

Because we weren't staying long, just a couple of days, and because I'm pregnant and didn't want to walk all over creation, being right downtown was perfect for us. We didn't do too much, but we did visit the Castillo de San Marcos (the old fort), walk down St George Street and visit many of the shops, Walk through the Spanish Village (It was free with our military ID!), look through the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse. We also walked around the old Mission Grounds (Mission of Nombre de Dios) and the shrine of Nuestra Senoria de la Leche y Bien Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery - appropriate huh?).

I also took hubby to visit my old Alma Matter, Flagler College. It was amazing how many memories came flooding back just walking on campus. Good memories, funny memories, some I'd rather forget... I wouldn't have changed a thing about my college years though, it helped to make me who I am today. (I'm not real sure why the picture below turned sideways when I tried to add it but I couldn't get it to turn back around.)

It was a wonderful little anniversary vacation for us before the baby is born, just the two of us; my favorite person and I, in my favorite city.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day 2009

Last year on Memorial Day, I wrote about the history of the holiday and yesterday, a friend of mine also wrote an awesome post about a military hero whom he never even met. But this year, I'm thinking about funerals, military funerals to be exact.

Recently my paternal grandfather passed away. Unfortunately, I didn't know him as well as I would have liked to. Although he was a vet of the Korean conflict, he did not have a military funeral, but the flag was neatly folded there in his casket. As a sailor in Hawaii, he created maps for those on the ground out of the pictures the spy planes took.

I hate funerals. Even when you believe that the deceased has had a wonderfully full life and is going on to a better place, it is a sad event for all. The worst funerals though, for me at least, are military funerals. Even if I did not know the fallen, as soon as I hear the guns and Taps, I'm lost in a flood of tears.

Tears of sadness, and tears of pride. Pride in my country and my country's military men and women who have all volunteered and are out there standing guard to help protect me, my family, and my friends, often at great risk to themselves.

I'm afraid of many things, spiders being one of them, but my biggest fear is having to hear Taps at my husband's funeral while a sailor in a crisp dress uniform hands me a folded flag "on behalf of a grateful nation."

Unfortunately, due to my husband's chosen career path, wills and funeral arrangements are something that we have been forced to talk about at an age much younger and sooner than many. He wants a military funeral with a big party afterwards. A party, not a reception; complete with alchol and music, dancing and laughing. He wants those left behind to celebrate his life and remember the good, rather than mourn and be sad. I've often laughed (half heartedly) and told him that I'm not sure I can pull that one off. He usually just hugs me and tells me that "Teddy, Abdul, and the guys will take care of it, don't worry." Then he laughs and reminds me of the promise I made him make that he can't die until after I do anyway :)

I've gone off on a tangent again and let this post get away from me, so I will just simply end it with the lyrics of Taps, a heartfelt "THANK YOU" to all who have ever worn a military uniform and put their life in danger for the sake of me and others, and a wish for everyone to have a wonderful Memorial Day.

Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar drawing nigh,
Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.

Then goodnight, peaceful night;
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear,
Friend, goodnight.

(and all other branches)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Stupid Joke Thursday

A little while back, my school had our annual talent show. One of the jokes that the 5th grade MC said has stuck in the minds (and apparently the hearts) of ALL of the kids so I thought I would share it. I doubt it will be as funny written as it is orally - especially when you see the kids who have added a little dance to the punch line - but maybe, just maybe, by posting this I'll get it out of MY head!



What do you get when you cross a brown chicken with a brown cow?

Brown-chick-n-brown-cow (said in the same manner as "Bow chicka wah wah") I said... imagine first and second graders saying this and adding a little disco style dance move to it. Just picture it...and try to get it out of your mind! haha

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday Teaser

Here's the deal: I open my current read to a random page and find two interesting (consecutive) sentences to share with you.

This week's read is an old one that has been read numerous times; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I'm compulsive. I admit it. Everytime a new book or movie came out I went back to book 1 and read them ALL all over again. The next movie is coming out this summer so here I am, starting over again and giving myself plenty of time to get through them all before the movie comes out, because well... I do have a life after all!

So here are my teaser sentences from page 201:

"'I've heard of those," he said in a hushed voice, dropping the box of Every Flavor Beans he'd gotten from Hermione. "If that's what I think it is - they're really rare, and really valuable.'"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Oops...I was wrong... :(

Well, my last post may have been a while ago...and a bit hopeful. Unfortunately, since then, I have learned that I now have high blood pressure. Although running would be a great way to help combat HBP normally, being pregnant, it isn't allowed. The doctor does not want me to do anything that would raise my heart rate unnecessarily as it could harm the placenta and in turn my unborn child.

So I guess my running shoes will be taking a bit of a longer break than I planned. I have however bought a Yoga for Mommies DVD to try. I haven't tried it yet, it's kind of a let-down from running to yoga but I'll give it a shot.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Not giving up my running shoes

A friend of mine told me the other day that "baby booties are better than running shoes anyway." Well, I have no intentions of hanging up my running shoes just yet...

Ok, so I may have to dust them off a bit at this point but I don't plan on retiring them for the entire 9 months! I haven't run since about 2 weeks before I found out I was pregnant. I just haven't felt like running between the morning sickness that lasted all day every day and the fatigue that made it so that I could hardly keep my eyes open...

oh yeah, and did I mention my full time teaching job AND going to school for my masters?

No, I'm not hanging up my running shoes for good, I just had to give them a small break. I'm feeling better lately so I'm hoping to be back in them soon, although I'm thinking I may have to do more treadmill work than roadwork so I don't get too hot. I would choose to be pregnant in the hottest part of the year in the hottest state!

I even bought a new maternity running skirt from to get me going, and I plan on registering for a jogging stroller so I can go after the baby is born too!

::yawn:: Maybe I'll start next week...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I know I said I would have great news soon...and I do! To find out where I've been lately and what I've been doing...please check this out!

To give you a hint... I've been busy making a human! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I know I haven't posted much lately, but there is a reason for that. I haven't felt very good lately, but I promise, there will be a great post soon!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Love Story

Happy Valentine's Day! In honor of today, I thought I would tell my own love story; the story of how my husband and I went from being best friends to best friends that are madly in love with each other.

I graduated High School in 1996. My best friend, Chris, was on swim team with me and had recently wrecked his car (with our coach's son in the car - can you say "Extra Practice"?). Because all of his meager McDonald's wages were going to fix the car, he didn't have money to buy me a graduation present - He was two grades behind me so he wasn't graduating yet. Instead of getting me a gift, he (committed a felony because he) punched a hole in a quarter and put it on a chain for me :) The note attached to the coin necklace was really sweet and said things like "No matter where you are, you can always call me and I'll be here for you." He wanted me to always keep it to remind myself that he was only a phone call away - at the time, pay phone calls only cost a quarter. That quarter, on the exct same chain, is STILL hanging in my car today.

Fast forward a few years. I'm recently graduated from college and have just broken up with my long time boyfriend. Chris had joined the Navy right after his HS graduation and was stationed in Japan but had finally decided to come home and marry his long time girlfriend. Chris and I remained close with letters and a few long distance phone calls so of course I am invited to the wedding back in our hometown.

The wedding was small and simple yet nice. Afterwards, a big group of us was going to go out together and catch up since we hadn't seen each other in years in many cases. Chris's dad came up to me and put his arm around me.

"You have enough money for tonight hun?" he asked.

Laughing, I reply, "Yeah Dad, I'm good." He was always looking out for everyone (and I had always called him dad).

He squeezed me a little closer into a hug, slipped a $50 bill in my pocket and whispered "It should have been you up there, ya know," and walked off leving me stunned. I had NO idea what to make of it, and I wasn't about to ask Chris. As long as his new wife made him happy I was OK, I wasn't going to get in the middle of anything.

Fast forward a few more years. Chris and I were still close friends even from around the world. More phone calls now than letters, but the phone calls came in the middle of the night (more on THAT later). One night in particular, Chris called me to tell me he and his wife were getting a divorce for reasons I won't get into here and now. I told him I was always here to talk and almost said "I love you." I caught myself before I said it, wondering why I would say something like that to him, even if was just trying to confort him. He was my best friend after all! It wasn't until the next middle of the night phone call when I hung up and still thought "I love you" that I started to catch on that maybe I really did feel this way about him. I couldn't say anything though, what if he didn't feel the same way? Then I would lose my best friend. No matter what the TV shows say, a friendship can't recover from something like that. Best to keep it to myself.

Fast forward a bit again. Chris is coming home! I was SO excited! He was going to drive the hour from our hometown to come see me for the weekend. My friend's band was playing at a local bar/club/restaurant and I was going to take him there to see them then he was going to crash at my house rather than driving back to his parents in the middle of the night. I told all of friends that "my best friend" is coming! A few of them laughed at me and claimed that I insisted all to much that we were "just" friends for us to really be just friends.

My first clue that Chris thought of me as more than just a friend, came as I was out on the dance floor. He walked up to me with a shot of tequila in each hand, handing one to me. I laughed and said, "Oh no, tequila makes me want to rape and plunder!" at which time, he raises an eyebrow and proceeds to hand me BOTH shots! ;) Another clue was when the band started playing "Faithfully" by Journey and I said "Ohhh I love this song!" Chris grabbed my hand, led me out on the dance floor, and danced with me...CLOSE. Much closer than the "just friends" way I was thinking!

At some point later in the night (or was it EARLY the next morning?) we were kissing on my couch and have been together ever since.

A few months later Chris and I went on a month long road trip through the Southwest. Apparently most of my family and friends thought we would come back married or at least engaged, but we hadn't even thought of that yet.

A few more months later I still wasn't thinking about it, but apparently Chris was. My school's Christmas party happened to be the night before my 26th birthday and was being held at the same bar/club/restaurant that Chris and I had gone to on his first night back home and the same friend's band was playing again. Just before midnight, Marcia, my friend and the lead singer of the band, announced to EVERYONE that it was my birthday and drug me (kicking and pouting) up on stage to have everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to me. Chris came up too because he was helping to drag me up.

After the singing, Marcia handed the microphone to Chris. Confused, I looked around to all of my friends smiling excitedly up at me like they knew something I didn't. Chris began talking about how we had been such close friends for so long, then held up the quarter on the chain he had given me back in HS. After explaining to everyone the significance of the quarter and that it had been in my car since the day he gave it to me, he moved his fingers and a diamond engagement ring fell and clinked against the quarter. As I stared to figure out what this was all about, he said, "Since you've held on to this for so long, I thought maybe you would like to hold on to this for even longer." Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

With tears in my eyes I couldn't even speak so I just nodded "YES" as loudly as I could! Everyone cheared and the band immediately began playing "Faithfully," the first song Chris and I ever danced to.

Seven months later we were married, back home, in the church I grew up in, in the town we both grew up in. Of course, our first dance song was "Faithfully" and Marcia was my maid of honor! This June will be our 5th anniversary and I love him more and more every day.

As for the middle of the night phone calls, Chris now admits that he called at that hour only to see if I had anyone over - and if I did have an "overnight visitor," would I still talk to him. Apparently he felt the same way about me the entire time.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

When I was younger, I read every Stephen King book I could get my hands on and watched every horror flick my parents would let me see. However, in my old age (ha), I've decided there is no need to freak myself out unnessiceraly. In honor of the spooky Friday the 13th, though, here are 13 things that creep me out even when I'm not trying to freak myself out!


13. Ghosts. Not all ghosts creep me out. In fact, I've never "met" a really scary ghost. I have had what I believe are ghostly encounters, and even stayed in a haunted hotel room in Savanah, GA once with my (ex) boyfriend. I worked at the St. Augustine Lighthouse which is suppsedly one of the most haunted places in the USA, and often eat at a local resturant which is supposed to be haunted as well. The thought of someone not moving on does creap me out a little though!

12. My sister. OK so my sister herself doesn't really freak me out, but some of the things that she (we) does (do) kinda freak me out. We are the ones that call each other at the exact same time from 1000 miles away, think the same thought at the same time, send each other the exact same Christmas gift and ramdomly burst into song - the same song at the same time. No, we aren't twins, we are 11 years apart and in fact, we are 1/2 sisters so it must be on our mother's side! Sometimes Mom even joins in on the freakiness! Get out of my head!

11. Being/Getting lost. I have ZERO since of direction so I easily get lost and turned around. I hate not knowing where I am, where I'm going, or how to get out. I would love to shake the hand of whoever made the first GPS for commercial use. I love my Garmin! :) It has saved my life, my sanity, and my husband from having to come find me!

10. Kenyans. Not the whole person, just their legs. Have you really watched these guys (and girls) run a marathon? WOW..How do their legs move so fast for so long?!? Is that movement even natural? Ok, so this is actually more of a jealousy thing than a creeped out thing...

9. Sonic Booms. Living so close to a place where the space shuttles come in, I KNOW what a sonic boom sonds like. Growing up I THOUGHT I knew what they sounded like... I WAS WRONG! The booms of my memory were loud, but not earth shattering. The booms now though...are literally earth shattering - and house shaking, window ratteling, and double. Yes, double. Growing up several hours away from where I live now, the booms kind of blended into one boom, here there are two distinct booms - when the shuttle first enters the atmosphere and when the tail end of it clears it as well- BOOM BOOM! Friends that don't live here laugh that I know not only when shuttles are going up, but when they are coming DOWN again. I want to be prepaired fo that BOOM BOOM!

8. Dreams that come true. I don't remember my dreams very often but every now and then I'll remember one and a part of it will later come true. Last night I dreamt I had to fill out a DCF survey on one of my students... lets see if it come true. I really hope not.

7. Spiderwebs. Not cobwebs nessiceraly, but spiderwebs. Where there are webs there is usually a spider (see #1), and the feeling of a spiderweb on your face...UGH >>shudder<<

6. Birds flapping their wings. I don't know why but I have always been afraid of birds fling towards me. It's their wings. I don't know if there is some kind of traumatic event in my past that had to do with bird flying at me but I don't even like going into the aviary at parks!

5. Things that go bump in the night. With a military hubby that is often away from home or is working nights, I am home alone quite a bit. Sometimes the house will creak, the cat will knock something over, or something "strange" will go on that freaks me out. I am in a house that has many guns, including my own pistol, and having a hubby that is a weapons instructor I know what I'm doing with them, but that doesn't mean my heart doesn't skip a beat when something goes bump.

4. Unexpected bumps in the road. I love being sporatic and spontanious when it's fun, but I HATE haveing all of my hard work fly out the window because someone else changes their mind. I saw a quote once, "An oversight on your part does not make an emergency on my part." Sounds great, but unfortunately in the real world, it DOES mean it's an emergency for be (if I want to keep my job that is!). Jut the fear of doing a ton of paperwork only to have to start over from square one, and learn something new, at the drop of a hat freaks me out!

3. Hurricanes. I have lived in Florida my whole life and been through many storms but it wasn't until 2004 did I really go through a Cat4 hurricane dead on. Hurricane Charley slammed into the SW Coast of Florida right on top of my house and it totally changed the way I prepare for hurricanes and treat Tropical Storms! Watching your screen porch being ripped off of your house and your shed blow away tends to change your mind on some things!

2. Being trapped in a small space. I don't mind elevators or small rooms as long as I know I can get out. However, if I feel like I can't get out when I want/need to... I turn into a not nice person!

1. SPIDERS! - Yes, I am arachniphobic. Sitting still they just look icky but when they start moving those unnatural 8 legs....>shiver<... I'm GONE! Yes, I know I'm bigger than they are, that they are probably more scared of me than I am of them, and most won't hurt me...but when faced with one of those 8 legged demons, all rationality goes out the window!

Friday, January 30, 2009

25 things about me

Do you know these things about me??

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.


1. After teaching Special Ed for 3 years, I taught regular ed for a year and decided where I waNted/needed to be was back with my special ed kiddos and have been teaching it since.

2. I married my high school best friend (not my high school sweetheart) 8 years after graduation.

3. Three people have asked me to marry them (for real). I said yes to two, but only followed through with one! :)

4. My friend Janet and I got completely trashed on screwdrivers once (when we were young and dumb right Janet? haha) and had to stop on the way home (her boyfriend, now hubby, was driving) to pee on the side of the road in some stranger's lawn. My cell phone fell out of my pocket so after they dropped me off at home, Mike had to go back to find it!

5. I HATED running in high school but now I've done 3 full marathons, about to do my 4th 1/2 marathon, and numerous 5 and 10K's.

6. I'm not a fast runner, I just haven't figured out when to stop yet.

7. I'm about to be in my 4th wedding other than my own, but it is the first time I've had to buy a real bridesmaid dress - the other's were more casual.

8. I am completely, irrationally, terrified of spiders. Even the little bitty ones freak me out if they move. It's the legs...It's isn't natural!

9. My husband and I are exactly the same hight - 5"8' so if I wear heels, I'm taller than him.

10. I wear heels anyway.

11. Except at our wedding. I wore ballerina flats so I wouldn't be taller in the pictures.

12. I also was afraid I'd fall on my face, less chance of that in flats.

13. My dress was so long you couldn't see my feet anyway!

14. I love reading book/novels written for teenage girls.

15. I love sappy old black and white movies, but Princess Bride is unequivically the best movie ever!

16. I haven't done a single thing on my homework this week.

17. It's due Sunday, I'll do it Saturday.

18. Even though we have a lawnmower, when my hubby deploys, I hire someone to mow. It's the one chore that I can not stand to do.

19. I want to live in another country for a while, just to experiance it.

20. The top thing on my "bucket list" is to go to Pompeii.

21. I was a guest at my husband's first wedding. Sat right up front... Had an interesting conversation with his dad afterwards that we still laugh about to this day.

22. I've lived in 5 places in Florida, but have never moved out of Florida.

23. However, I have friends all over the world!

24. I have 2 tattoos, a fairy on my foot and a sun/moon on my back. I drew the one on my back. I'm the only one who knows what all it means.

25. My nickname in HS was Squirrel - because in 6th grade I drew a skunk and before I had it colored in, the guy I had a crush on said it looked more like a squirrel, and somehow it stuck as a nickname. Guys are mean! lol

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Menu Plan & Workout schedule

I have a really busy week this week! I have papers to write for my master's classes, I have lessons to plan for my wn class, workouts to accomplish in order to reach a few running goals I have set for the near future - I have a 10k in less than 2 weeks, and a 1/2 marathon in March.

Monday: Left over pizza
(Class at the gym, Stretch)

Tuesday: Spaghetti Dinner at school
(Run 5 miles, core workout)

Wednesday: Cheesy Broccoli and Ham casserol
(Class at the gym, stretch)

Thursday: Meatloaf - haven't decided what to put with it yet
(Run 5 miles, core workout)

Friday: Grilled Chicken, shells and cheese, salad

Saturday: Dinner out with hubby before he leaves
(Run 7.5 miles)

Sunday: Airport food - bleh

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Most Magical Marathon

Disney Marathon Weekend has come and gone ... and I am still able to move!!! While some hard core endurance runners may not be too impressed with my time, I'm happy with my accomplishments. It was my 3rd full marathon, and each time I have improved my time. My first one I walked, with a sprained ankle, for most of it and finished right around the 7 1/2 hour mark...not pretty at all. My second, Disney Marathon 2007, I finished in 6 hours 26 minutes with blisters all over my poor feet. This year, however, I finished in 6 hours and 17 minutes feeling fine (muscle soreness and a small bit of chafing in a strange place, but nothing major at all). I even danced, jumped, and worked up another sweat at the victory party because I felt so good! Here is how my day went on Sunday -

1:30am - Hubby wakes up and starts the shower. Being on night shift normally, he wasn't really able to sleep all night even though I didn't have to get up until 2am.

2am - Even though I've been awake for a little while, the alarm goes off and I officially get up and start getting everything ready. Race Ready capris, singlet with all my ribbons, Garmin, toe socks, Sharkies, sport beans, Luna moons, muscle fuel, sun block, chap stick, ear phones, iPhone, band aids, hand warmers, salt packets, ID tag on my shoe, emergency info on the back of my race number... check check and check. Make hot water in the coffee maker for my oatmeal and shovel it in.

2:40am - Robin knocks on the door to get me so we can start walking towards the meeting area. Chris is busy making a sign for me, "Go Princess Nicole!" Could he be any cuter? haha

3:00am - Robin and I meet the rest of the Team in Training full marathoners for pictures.

3:15am - Get on the bus headed toward the start line. "Are we nervous yet?"

3:30am - Arrive at Epcot staging area, find a place for our team to gather, stretch, and warm up. Eat my banana.

4:00am - Hubby surprises me by arriving early and meeting me in the staging area! YAY!! I told you he was sweet! :)

4:30am - Check our finish line bags,use the porta potty (3 times), and start the LONG walk towards the corrals. Seriously, that has to be nearly 2 miles right there...can't that count towards our 26.2??

5:00 - In the corral, huddled together for warmth, eat my granola bar and shake up my muscle fuel in the bottle of water I brought. Looking around at all the people who are running this thing with us. Thousands of people of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life getting ready to run over 26 miles. Some for personal glory, some to prove to themselves that they can, some for charity, and some just because they thought it would be fun (?fun!?!). Whatever the reason, we were all here, waiting anxiously for the start.

5:45am - Wheelchair start. WOW are they FAST!!! Can I hitch a ride?

5:50am - official start. Fireworks, fire blasts into the sky, Micky, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald there to wish us all luck and get this thing rolling! Unfortunately, there was a split start and the spectators were only allowed on the far right hand side - I was put on the far left hand side so even though Hubby was there, we didn't see each other :( I called him after I passed where he should have been and he decided to go on to mile 9 and get a good spot to make sure we could find each other.
Mile 1 through 5 - Feeling GREAT! Adrenaline is pumping and I can't believe we've already done a few miles! Running though Epcot with all the lights in the sidewalk and the "golf ball" illuminated was definitely a cool thing to see to get you motivated!

Mile 5 - Still feeling pretty good but Erin (the girl I was running with) and I decided it was time for yet another potty break. The line for the porta potty wasn't short, and stopping sucked but we decided that not stopping would suck worse later if we didn't stop now! The worst part was trying to hold your breath as to not inhale the aromatic fumes in the porta potty and squat over the seat so as to not actually touch it all while out of breath and with tired legs. We get to take this 8 minutes off our final time right?

Mile 6 - On the road to Magic Kingdom, not nearly as cool as being in the park but we do go over an overpass with runners running under making for a very cool picture. Erin stops to snap a picture (I have asked for a copy) and we keep on going towards Magic Kingdom.
Mile 9 - Right at the sign for mile nine is my awesome husband with his "Princess Nicole" sign, and of course a kiss for luck and encouragement!

Miles 10 and 11 - Through the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella's castle! Lots of energy, people cheering, characters dancing, go...go...go... :)

Mile 13.1 - Half way there!!! I'm feeling great but Erin isn't. She's hurting and feeling nauseous. I gave her a salt packet hoping that it would help her to get some sodium in her. She said she felt better after a water stop. Worried that it was her Sharkies that was making her feel this way, she was afraid to take more. I worried that this wasn't a good idea. Her body will need fuel to finish the race!

Mile 15 - Animal Kingdom! The cast members have live animals on the course to chear us on! Goats, sheep, parrots... Erin still isn't feeling great but is hanging on. She loves the animals!

Mile 16 - Another potty stop for Erin. I didn't need to go so I took the time to stretch out a little and text message a few friends as to our progress!

Miles 16 through 19 - Erin isn't doing good. She is no longer able to keep our 3:1 pace but isn't giving up. We see Coach Michele at a medical tent at mile 19 helping another group of Brevard TnT gals with a few issues. Erin is finally able to convince me to go on without her (Only because Michele promised me that she would stay with her) so I ran on with Cathy, Shelly, Ashley, and one other girl doing 4:1's

Mile 19 through 24 - I'm doing OK hanging with the group running 4:1's even though Erin and I had been doing 3:1's

Mile 24 - I found the wall!! I'm not sure what happened but around mile 24 the wind came out of my sails! I suddenly felt DEAD! I wasn't about to give up and quit but I could no longer hang with the 4:1 group and fell a little behind.

Mile 24 through 26 - I was behind the group but never really out of sight of the group. I had to slow down a bit and walk a bit more but I never gave up all together. I refused to let myself "walk the rest of it." Instead, when I needed a break, I picked out a time or a landmark and walked until I reached that point and started to jog again.

Mile 26 - Only two tenths of a mile left! I can see (and HEAR) the finish line!!!!! Hubby told me he would be there but I can't find him. Knowing he is there to see me finish is a great feeling even though I can't see him. I see the race clock in front of me and it isn't the time I had hoped for but I know it is still better than last year's and I'm feeling pretty good!

26.2 - FINISH LINE!!!!!! So happy to be done, proud of what I have done, and ready for an ice bath! The weight of the Micky medal on my neck feels amazing! Pose the for picture with the medal, one hand holding the medal, the other hand in a Sign Language "I Love You" sign for my Daddy,and I'm off to find Hubby.

After the race, even though I felt SO much better than after previous marathons, walking through the parking lot to my husbands truck was quite a trip, but not nearly as funny as I'm sure the scene was with me trying to get into my husband's big Redneck Truck!! THEN, after we arrive at the hotel, I have to climb up a flight of stairs to get to my room!! WHO PUT THOSE THERE!?!?!

Hubby started a luke-warm bath for me to get into and then started slowly filling it up with ice in order to ice down my poor legs. I wouldn't ever get into an ice cold bath, but if I start off luke warm and then add the ice, I'm OK. I also poured about a cup and a half of Apple Cider Vinegar into the bath (for some reason, it really works!) and soaked until my legs were numb - about 20 minutes. I then stood and showered off in a luke warm (which felt really hot after that ice) shower to wash out my hair and get rid of the vinegar smell.

6:00 - 8:00 pm - The Victory Party was a BLAST! Believe it or not, I was on the dance floor doing the twist, the cha cha slide, the electric slide, the conga line, and even "How low can you go?" although my low wasn't very low! The DJ had all the cancer survivors come to the dance floor at one point and played "I will survive" as they all danced together. It was a great sight to remind us all why we were there! (The picture is of the survivors dancing)

8:30pm - A few Tylenol PM's to knock out some of the soreness, and I hit the hay right after the party.

It's possible that had Erin not had such a bad race and needed to stop, we could have made less than 6 hours, but all in all I'm happy. I am glad I didn't leave Erin until I knew that someone was there to keep her company, those miles can be very lonely when you are feelig crappy and have no one to keep you going.

Yesterday and today I feel OK. Only one small blister on my toe and my body definitely knows it worked hard, but I'm not dieing and I'm not cursing the day I decided to sign up for this crazy thing called a marathon. In fact, yesterday, I signed up for a 1/2 marathon in March!

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." - John Bingham

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Marathon Packing

I have 4 things that I HAVE to do tonight: Finish my homework, pack for the weekend, paint my name and make the ribbons for my singlet, and of course WATCH THE GATOR GAME!!!!!

This weekend should be interesting, as all marathon weekend are! My husband is actually going to be here for this race, his first (my fourth), so he will actually get to see me cross the finish line and see all of the craziness both before and after. So that you can see just how crazy it should be (and to help myself stay organized), here is my packing list, and what bag it goes in!

Finish Line Bag: When I go to pick up my entry packet, Disney wil give me an "official" bag to put items into that will be transported to the finishline ready for me when I cross. So that I don't forget anything, I pack these all together in a different bag then I just transfer it all over.

Endurox Recovery Drink
warm shirt/jacket
flip flops
The Stick
Transportation Bracelets

Race Ready's My shorts are from a company called "Race Ready" and have cool pockets all over it for all of the things I need on my 26.2 mile run. Here is what will go into those pockets:

salt packets
Sport Beans (3 packs)
Sharkies (3 packs)
Advcare Packet
Water (drunk before we actually start running)

Running Clothes
race ready's
toe socks (pack 2 pair just in case it rains - one pair will be dry in a plastic baggie)
TnT singlet
sports bra ;)
Brookes shoes
Garmin Forerunner 305 HRM
Throw-away sweater for the start of the race

Other General Packing
cell phone charger
camera & camera charger
personal items
Change of clothes for Saturday
Change of clothes for Sunday post race
Purple dress for Victory party
Extra change of clothes just in case
Food (it's Disney, which means everything is expencive!)
epsom salt
bubble bath (to hide the smell of the Apple Cider Vinegar)
Apple Cider Vinegar (Pour in an ice bath to help get rid of sore muscles)
Tylenol PM
Waiver (can't run without it!!)
Pasta Party tickets
Victory Party Tickets
Transportation bracelets
Massage pad

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Teaser - Peter and the Shadow Thieves

Here's the deal: I open my current read to a random page and find two interesting (consecutive) sentences to share with you.

Today's teaser comes from the sequel to Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves. It is a very interesting twist on the Peter Pan stories! According to the publisher, it is great for ages 10 and up. I read Peter and the Starcatchers to a group of students a few years ago so when I saw this, I had to read more of the story! These teaser sentences come from page 178 (of 556):

" 'We can't fly away,' he whispered. 'People don't fly in London.' "

Monday, January 5, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Well the Chicken and Corn Chowder from last week was a definate hit! I can't wait for another chilly night to make it again!

This week:

Tonight (Monday) - Hubby is out of town visiting his dad who is going to have surgery tomorrow so I'm on my own. I'm thinking Nachos with beef and cheese!

Tuesday - Hubby is still out of town so I'll just do something simple

Wednesday - Pizza Pinwheels

Thursday - Spaghetti with meat sauce

Friday - DISNEY MARATHON WEEKEND!!! Pasta Party so LOTS of carbs, breads, pastas...

Saturday - On our own in Disney. We will probably try to find even more pasta to carbo load before the race.

Sunday - RACE DAY!! Victory Party!! The carbs here will consist mostly of the alcholic variety! :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 in Review

I started typing my fist paper for my first master's class of 2009. It was weird putting "2009" on the cover page! I had to pause and double check to make sure that, yep, it really is 2009.

It made me wonder where 2008 went, so I thought that a "Year in Review" might be a good idea.

January: My husband was deployed for the second Christmas season in a row. I wasn't blogging regularly at this point so I don't have any blogs around this time but I do remember being a bit depressed. I also remember having like 20 people in my house for Christmas! I had my biological father, his wife, their son (my 1/2 brother), his wife, and their three children. I also had my biological mother, her husband, their 3 kids (my 1/2 brother and sister and my step-brother), my other brother, his wife, their son. Then there was my sister's best friend Paul, his parents and younger brother. Oh... and me, making 20. I had NEVER had that many people in my house - expecting me to feed them! Luckily, My biological mom and my Bio-dad's wife did chip in a make a few things to bring but I made the ham, and a few sides. Somehow, we made it though the day!

Another huge thing that happened in January was that my father got a life saving bone marrow transplant from a wonderful anonymous donor! 1 year later and Daddy is doing AWESOME!

February: Deployments SUCK! No other way to put it. Being alone often gets to you.

March: Deployments still suck, but you have to suck it up and think about all the wonderful things that you do have, even when you are missing the one you love.

April: Daddy is recovering well and is staying in an apartment near the hospital for regular checkups and blood work. Going to visit him and taking him back and forth to his appointments really makes you think.

May: My husband is finally home, and my little brother graduated from HS and prepared to follow my husband into the US Navy. Both Hubby and I gave him some advice that I hope he listens to. Months later and I can report, some he did listen to, and some...well... hopefully he'll learn from his mistakes :)

June: Summer Break is finally here! YAY More time to get bored, and think about who you really are.

July: Because my dad and my little brother both have Lymphoma, in 2005, I got involved with Team in Training, a group that trains for and run/completes marathons/triathlons/century bike rides while raising money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I had previously felt that training and raising money would be too much for me this year because I'm also working on completing my Master's Degree but after receiving a very upsetting e-mail from a friend of mine telling me that her fiance had been diagnosed with Lymphoma as well, I couldn't keep it on the back burner and I was literally off and running again.

August: One of the hazards of living in Florida is the hurricanes...and this year, the tropical storms got us too!

September: September 11th was very emotional this year.

October: My brother got married! <--Pictures there, but there are even more HERE! I also started my serious attempt to learn how to cook and cooking more often this month.

November: I decided to participate in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) in honor of my birthday on the last day of November and posted a blog every single day of November! One of the most memorable, and saddest, events was the passing of my Uncle David in early November.

December: December was busy! I decorated the house, Ran 20 Miles, went camping with the in-laws, Thought about my Christmas Wishes, remembered why I can't give up, and thought about the Angles Among Us.