beautiful, blue eyes.

this weekend we had some company - sweet lucy.  she was so cute.  and i'm not just saying this because she is the daughter of our close friends.  in fact, she lives in another town and we don't get the opportunity to get them together near as often as we'd like.  she is only six months older than james but i could tell a big difference in their mannerisms.  besides a difference in vocabulary and motor skills, lulu's hair was in a ponytail decorated with a purple bow.  oh how i love little girls with bows.  i can only imagine all the money i would spend for hair accessories if i had a sweet baby girl.  and it's good thing james isn't a girl because he still doesn't have very much hair.  i'd be googling how to make a bow stay on a head without hair - for sure.
we had such a fun afternoon catching up and watching our kids interact.  i've come to the conclusion that little girls are just born with the motherly instinct.  they try to help.  they love on baby dolls and other little babies.  not that james isn't a good "helper" but i can just tell a difference.  i'm normally not around little girls. (not for long though.  two of my best friends are having baby girls in february.)  but i've only witnessed little girls hug on and try to help baby james.  of course, he cried every time.  funny right? soon he'll really enjoy those moments. 

 you think he's telling her that she has beautiful, blue eyes?

and she's outta there.  no thank you.  she's going to take her beautiful, blue eyes and go play with the car. 

this is what it's really like trying to get a picture of these two.  this picture is perfect.  lucy kept climbing up and down and james just isn't quite there yet.  he can climb some things (like the coffee table.  he's a professional coffee table climber.) but not this bench.  i could tell he was jealous.  she did try to help him up but he cried.  i don't know what is more humorous - lulu thinking she could lift james up or his crying reaction towards her kind gesture.  either way, i cannot wait to see these two grow up together.  i've always assumed that they'll be more like brother and sister but he'll have her back and make sure she only dates the good guys, the true gentlemen type guys.  but maybe they'll be boyfriend and girlfriend.  i mean, we know her parents are cool so it could be a pretty sweet deal.  maybe they'll just secretly have a crush on one another.  what will the future hold?  i'm not sure but i think it will be pretty fun to kick back and find out.


white rock.

You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming.

                                                                                                                                         - Frank Shorter

yep.  you guessed it.  i will attempt another marathon.  i will be running on december 5th. 

it's hard to believe i signed up for my next marathon on the same day i stuck a needle through my toenails to relieve the blisters underneath.  don't worry, i'm not a bada$$.  it really didn't hurt.  i should have done it days ago but i was chicken.  i was scared.  i'm a weenie.  but i did it.  i did both. 

i signed up for round two.  i'm ready to meet the beast.  i'm ready to try again.

this time will be drastically different.  i don't know the weather conditions in texas.  i don't have the route memorized.  in fact, i haven't even really looked at the course map.  this will be a much bigger event.  there will be over double the runners.  the marathon relay and half marathon are sold out and the full marathon is eighty percent full.  roughly 20,000 people have signed up to run next weekend.  i can't believe i'm one of them.  i can't wait to feel the buzz before the start line.  i can't wait to meet up with my friends and running comrades.  i can't wait to cross the finish line. 

**prayers are appreciated starting now.  thank you.


thankful and blessed.

i am so thankful and blessed.
i am a mother.  a wife.  a daughter.  a sister.  an aunt.  i love.  i am loved.  i cherish my friendships.  i have my health.  i have have a job.  a job i enjoy.  i have food and shelter.  i have the lord, heavenly Father.  i am blessed. 

at moments like these, i know i am truly blessed:

sleeping love. 

my cup runnith over.

happy thanksgiving.  be thankful.  be blessed.


route 66...in pictures

unfortunately, i didn't get any "before" pictures.  i was too busy trying to prepare and get out the door.

so, here we are at mile 6.  still smiling.  this was the first pit crew stop.
tera:  there you are!!!
me:  telling larry "there's my boys!!!" 
 i got to see this guy!  doesn't he look like he's having a blast??

twinkies.  we got some goodies for our packs and were set to climb the cincinnati hill.

see you in 7 or so miles!!!

 we're past the half way point and rounding mile 14.
tera is smiling.  i'm looking a little winded.
how rad is that sign?  definitely the motivation i needed!!

because the mile 15 turn onto riverside was a doosie.  the following pictures were at the 19 mile marker.  these are after fighting the brutal winds for four miles. 

i'm being blown away...haha.  i'm pretty funny for just running 19 miles, right?

surprise!  do you see my mom?  hi mom!!!
 your medal is waiting.  you're right.  it is waiting so we must go. 
 bye.  love you.  see you soon...

 oh wait!  is that them?  they aren't supposed to be here!  what a surprise!!
tera's face is priceless.  she is funny after 20 miles.  that is just funny.

but we must push on.  we'll see you soon.

mile 22.
and yes, those are smiles.  who isn't happy after running 22 miles??

home stretch....26.2 miles.
5 hours and 14 minutes later, we crossed the finish line.

muah!  i made it.  and i'll make it again.  only faster. 


route 66.

sunday i joined the two percent.  i made it! i did it!  i'm still so tongue tied about the whole experience.  i think i'm still in shock.  i trained for months and now it's gone.  it's shocking.

did i meet my goal?
yes.  and no.  did i run across the finish line.  heck yes!  and i had a great time.  did i meet my goal time?  no.  not by a long shot.  the funny thing is i don't care.  not one bit.  not even the tiniest bit.  this was the hardest thing i've done.  this took willpower and strength and i proved to myself that i have both.  he weather conditions were less than perfect.  i was hoping for nice 40 degree, no wind weather.  did i get that?  no. not even close.  it started humid and in the sixties and ended humid and seventy.  and then there were the winds.  20 to 30 mph winds.  brutal winds.  they kicked my butt. literally.  my butt is so sore.

brutal was the word of the day yesterday.  i think i said "brutal" more in one day than i have in the past 10 years.  i heard runners saying it.  everyone was saying it.  the winds were brutal.  they beat me up.  it's like i was in a five hour fight with them.  in the end, i won, of course, but they put up a hellofa fight. 
i knew that the first 15 miles of course were going to be challenging.  15 miles of consistent hills.  this alone is a big feat.  then add those brutal winds and it changed the whole ballgame.  the first 8 miles were hilly but i've run them many times before.  i knew them.  next up was a loop through downtown.  this was more difficult than i could have even anticipated.  the hills combined with the wind tunnels were torture.  torture only to be followed by 6 miles directly into the 20+ mph winds.  holy smokes.  i've never felt like i was running so hard only to realize that it pushed me backwards.  no, kidding.  but that is exactly how i felt. 

i've trained.  i trust my training.  did it fail me because i didn't meet my time goal?  absolutely not.  there is no way i could have prepared myself for the journey yesterday.  i've run the course in much better conditions and i was exhausted but in such a different form.  i could not have prepared for the weather conditions. 
when i asked an experienced marathoner what she thought about the run, she replied that this kind of run makes her not want to run another.  she said that she usually runs the route 66 and it's nice but this was the hardest one yet and one of the hardest marathons she has ever run.  we also asked several first timers who they were doing and most everyone said that they had missed their time goal.  the most amazing thing is that no one was upset.  no one was disappointed.  we knew we were doing something twice as difficult as we thought and we were doing it.  we were going to cross the finish line.  no matter what.  it was much harder than i anticipated but it was so much more rewarding.  i thoroughly enjoyed the laughs and chatter along the course.  i enjoyed meeting other runners.  once i had realized that i wasn't going to meet my time goal, the pressure was off.  i was going to make the most of it.  i met some great people.  i met people who've run a marathon in every state and they were routing for me.  people twice my age, ladies just like me and veteran marathon maniacs and they were all supportive.  they didn't care about my pace or my time.  it was just a known feeling to enjoy the run.  no one cares about your time but you.  as i was running i knew that i would do another.  i knew that if i could handle a hard marathon, i can handle an "easy" one.  right?

pit crew
oh my goodness.  i had the best pit crew.  i could not have made it without them.  the husbands met us at five places along the course bearing inspiration, gu, water and smiles. at some points, we weren't very nice but we apologized before we left.  it was so nice to see familiar faces and have something to look forward too.  my mom even surprised me and joined in for the stops in between miles 19 and 22.  i had another sweet friend, my sugar momma, waiting at mile 25.  i don't think that i can express my gratitude to everyone who came out to show support.  it means so much to me.  i actually start to cry when i think about it.  mr. h, thank you.  i love you.  thank you for your support for this whole journey and the support you continue to give me so that i can meet my goals.

technical difficulties
did i think this would go off without a hitch?  well, yes but i should know better.  my ipod didn't cooperate.  well, not really my ipod but the earphones that make my shuffle work stopped working.  at first it turned up way too loud.  like ear piercing loud and would not turn down.  so i took out one earbud and tried to make it work even though i thought my right eardrum was going to pop, i made due.  until then it wouldn't let me change songs either.  oh no!  i have a variety of music styles downloaded so that i can play according to my mood.  this was just awful.  now i'm going to have to buy new earbuds.  i hope they aren't too expensive.  i actually should have another pair that came with my iphone but i'm not sure where they're at.  go figure.  anyway, the music that was awful but not as bad as the wind.  i just would have really enjoyed some tunes for the home stretch.

war wounds
i found a new blister yesterday.  how is that possible? it's big too.  so, i've got three total and some painful toes.  i know that toenails are gross and it's not flattering to talk about them but i wouldn't be doing this justice if i left the little, swollen guys out.  four out of ten toes hate me.  one is so mad that she might just take off and leave me.  this has happened before so i'm not shocked.  at least its winter so flip flops aren't a staple item in my wardrobe. 
my hips are sore.  it's more like the saddlebag area but they still hurt.  my husband says i walk like a penguin.  they normally haven't been so sore but i know it was from fighting the wind.  digging in and having to push myself forward.  this also attributed to the toe damage.  my shoulders and back are sore but not like i expected.  i'm not complaining though.  oh, and yesterday my jaw was sore. really?  weird.  but true.
overall, i feel pretty good.  i mean, i don't know how i'm supposed to feel so i'm just going to go with good.  nothing that will detour me from running again.

will i run another?
after the run, my sister asked me how i felt.  she asked if i felt proud and accomplished.  my immediate answer was "yes.  i feel proud and accomplished but i don't feel like i achieved what i set out to do.  i will run another so that i will get that opportunity."  and i meant it.  now, can someone just guarantee me that if i sign up to do another that mother nature will cooperate this time?

i am so happy.  i had so much fun. i had a wonderful experience.  i really think i had so much fun because i didn't worry about my time and enjoyed the moment.  i stopped and hugged family and friends.  i chatted.  i laughed.  i was supportive of other runners.  i received support.  overall i couldn't be more pleased with my first marathon experience.  now, i just have the itch to run (key word being run) another.


two percent.

i read that only 2% of the population will ever run a marathon.

today at 7:30 am i will attempt to join that two percent. 

wish me luck.

below is the journey i will take.  enjoy the scenery.

please say a prayer for me.  pray that i trust in my training.  that i am a confident runner.  that i will cross that finish line. that i will run across the finish line. and remember to listen for my name.  i have been training for this moment.  i have have been training for months.  it all comes down to one long sunday stroll.  it all comes down to this.

Isaiah 40:31
“But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”


really feels real.

last night was packet pickup.  this is when it really feels real.  i've ran for months.  i've talked about it for months.  and now it's so close i can taste it.  my first marathon is on sunday.  i am so excited i can barely sleep.  i want to eat, breath and drink plenty of water dream positive running thoughts. 

i will succeed.

i forgot my camera.  but of course i have to document the occasion.  iphone style. 

582.  it's a good number.  right?



james is obsessed with this book.

when i read his daily report for daycare and it says something like "james enjoyed reading or playing with books" i get so happy.  i mean, i know he's not reading, per say, but i like that he is interested in them.  for the past week we have been reading the my first word book nonstop. 

it's the first thing he wants to do after school.

he will sit and "read" by himself for the longest time.  long enough to change clothes and get dinner going anyway.  he'll say "book.  book.  book!!!" until i go pick up the book or read it with him.

i love that this book is big and the pictures are so big.  i will admit, it is outdated.  it was printed in 1991.  so, the picture of the phone and vacuum cleaner are a bit dated but it makes me laugh.  grandma brought this book over last friday and he's read it every single night.

i love that it makes him so happy.  i love that he'll repeat the words after me.

i love it when james picks up the book and want to sit in my lap or next to me to read.  i love everything about it.  i'm so glad this book made it's way over to our house.  there is something so rewarding about reading with my baby.  it makes me feel good.  it makes me feel warm inside.  i feel productive with quality time and education.  there's nothing like it.  i hope he continues to like books because i'm really enjoying james' new hobby.



if you remember my post about james' new, big boy daycare, you'll remember that i mentioned the carousel room.  this is also the recess room for the younger kids.  so, i finally took some pictures.  the trick was going and getting some pictures while no children were in the room.  1. i'm not allowed to photograph other people's children and 2. i don't want to have pictures with a bunch of random kids running around. 
so, after our thanksgiving lunch, i walked down there to see if this were my perfect opportunity.  i mean, let's face it - i don't take my camera everywhere and so i rarely have it up at daycare but this day i did so i was going to try to take pictures.  score!  it was empty.  now i'll show you james' playground.

pretty neat huh?  i was not this lucky as a child.  if you look closely you can see the plexiglas that surrounds the carousel so that children aren't using that piece of machinery as a jungle gym.  that would obviously be a law suit waiting to happen.  most of the time, like 99% of the time, james plays in the area right next to the carousel.  so, they pretty much just get to stare at it.  the room has a western vibe by the murals on the wall but then there is the big, overpowering carousel and then toys.  odd combination but i'm positive none of the kids mind.

this is the play area for james, when they don't go to the outside playground:

see the wild mustangs?  i hope they don't run over a kid.  i'm just kidding but i told you there is a western theme.  below is a fountain with some kind of wild cat.  there isn't water in the fountain but i think it would be really neat if it worked.  but i completely understand that having a fountain in the daycare playroom would be a nightmare.

they also have family night when you can go and all ride the carousel together.  we haven't been yet but i really want to go.  now that it's cold outside i'm sure we'll be at the shindig.  when we go, i'm going to ride this horse:

now i want to go play.  james is so spoiled lucky. 


showing off...

yesterday was thanksgiving lunch at james' daycare.  since the parents were invited, you know me and the hubs had to go.  we used to visit james at least once a week (sometimes two or three times!!!) during our lunch break when he was in the infant wing.  now that he's moved up to the big boy wing, he eats lunch around 11 o'clock and goes down for one nap directly following his meal.  this one nap falls right at our lunch time so we can't go visit often.  don't get me wrong, we still go there.  sometimes we just want to see him sleep.  sometimes we just want to say hi to his morning teacher.  sometimes we go and he's crying because he doesn't want to fall asleep so i get to rock him.  his teacher says that james often falls asleep before he can finish his lunch so that they must wake him up and make him walk around the classroom so he can continue to eat.  he really still likes to take two naps but tolerates one, i guess.
so, when we got to his daycare for our feast, james was the only one not in his chair.  he was climbing up the stairs to the slide and ready to go down until he saw me and then came over.  they said he looked tired so they were waiting until his food was ready to strap him in.  the daycare does a good job of combining kid friendly foods with healthy choices as well.  now, it's not an organic menu but we don't eat all organic menu at home so i cannot complain.  of course we like to eat as organic as possible, but it's just not what actually happens everyday. 
yesterday's menu was turkey, of course, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with apple sauce for dessert.  they let the kids feel themselves and they give them a spoon to attempt to use hold.  at home, we let james feed himself some items but we do not give him as much freedom. 

this is why:

he was a mess.  obviously. just shy of hosing him down, he got a "bath" with a warm wash cloth.  he made a mess on the floor and it was just plain embarrassing.  i noticed other kids were messy but not this kind of messy.  the only saving grace is that the teachers were so kind and were quick to james' defense and said that he must be showing off for us because he's never that messy.  well, then.  thank you for the show, messy baby james.  i hope that our next thanksgiving dinner has more food in belly, less as paint.

oh, and i'm glad they put the full body bib on him yesterday.  several kids had them on and i thought they were ridiculous.  kids never surprise me.  and the dark spot on his ear isn't food.  they were making turkeys with stamps earlier.  i haven't seen the masterpiece yet but apparently it was messy too.  but no, the blue-ish, purple, red-ish spot on his forehead isn't stamp ink.  it's the remnants of the attack yesterday.