Reflections of a Mom's Life

Friday, November 27, 2009

2009 Thanksgiving Pictures

We spent Thanksgiving in VA. I'm always thankful that we can all be together so often. All the food was yummy and the kids LOVE being with their cousins. From the pictures, it seems like everyone was in the mood for picture taking. Lots of posed shots. kind of rare... I'm sure happy I have all these pictures though!

Nanny, Janet, Grace, & Savannah

me and my nanny!

me and my mommy!

Nanny & Granddaddy

Mom & Granddaddy

Austin & Tom - Austin has one red leg because he broke his foot! bummer!

Austin, Janet, Mom, & Nanny

Janet & Daddy

Ashlynne, Grant, Baylee, Jackson, Emma, & Harrison

Addison and her Nanny!

That night we went back to Grace and Tom's and spent the weekend. Tom fixed a yummy dinner and we all stuffed in one more meal! Here are Addison & Savannah cuddling up under blankets before bed! :) Aren't they cute!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Decorating for Christmas

I always get SO excited about decorating for Christmas. I got so excited this year we pulled everything out the weekend before Thanksgiving. Now that IS awfully early to decorate by most people's standards I know. But, last year I realized...we are never home for Thanksgiving. Maybe one day, but for now, we always have to be somewhere else. I loved the idea of coming home from our wonderful Thanksgiving in my house all set and ready to go for Christmas! So we pulled everything out early and I was right, I loved it.

The first thing we ALWAYS put up are the kids decorations on their tree. We put it upstairs in the play room and fill it with all kinds of fun ornaments that they have made or collected over the years and we use colored blinking lights. I really like the tree downstairs to have white lights and show off all the special and pretty ornaments I've collected through the years so we get the best of both worlds this way! Nobody misses out! :) We turn on Santa's Rockin Wiggles DVD...for some reason the boys have always loved the music on this DVD and while we never watch the Wiggles anymore it is one of our decorating traditions. I do love Christmas and sharing it with your children just makes it that much more meaningful!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Outer Banks 1/2 Marathon, November 8, 2009

I ran my second 1/2 Marathon in the Outer Banks this weekend! Can't hardly believe I've run two one year! There was a time in my life where I thought running for any reason other than a life threatening situation would be CRAZY! I've only been running for a year and 3 months. To be honest, I'm still in a lot of shock. I just never thought this would be me...and neither did Anthony or any of my family! :)

I'm so glad that it IS me now! I LOVE it. I'm so proud of it! I'm so thankful for it! I'm so amazed at what you can do when you put your mind to it! There were many times over the weekend and even during the race that I thanked the Lord for the health to run, for the ability to run, for the desire to run, for the opportunity to run. I really am so thankful.

We left on Saturday around 12pm for the Outer Banks. We were all so excited! It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get there. We went straight to the expo so I could pick up my packet.

finding my name and bib number

hey y'all!

getting my bib and timing chip

my fans! they were so excited for me and i was loving every minute of it!

after the expo, we headed over to Pizza Hut - a real sit down one that you don't see very often anymore - and ate some yummy pizza! then we headed to the hotel so we could get settled and in bed early. we dressed the kids in their clothes and put them to bed. we were planning to leave at 5am so we wanted to make getting out as stress free as possible. the night before a race is stressful enough and i had to fight those feelings and try not to be a total freak show to my family! :)

5am departure to the starting line!

runner drop of and potty stop :)

saying goodbye

my fans waited patiently to see me run by...

here we go...well, there go the fast runners :)

enjoying she always does!

this was Anthony's attempt to get my picture. the plan was for me to run on the right side of the road and he would be waiting for me at the YMCA. i got excited in taking off that i forgot the Y would be coming up so quickly and was in the middle of the pack. oh well! :) we saw each other at least and i waved but he wasn't able to catch me on camera.

hanging out and killing time while mommy was racing

here they caught me at mile 8 and i was still feeling good

here is the bridge that we ran over. it was beautiful and hard. mile 10 so i was getting tired anyway. :) really wanted to walk some of it but just pushed through and enjoyed the downhill...finally! :)

Anthony found me just after the bridge and passed me in the car. it was so fun to hear them yelling and screaming as they were driving past. just the push i needed to make it to the end!

the race was really GREAT! i ran with the 2:15 pace group in an effort to meet my goal time. i didn't really know if it was achievable. i hoped it was but i'm still just not sure of what i'm capable of most of the time. it was funny...i was talking about that with one of the pacers, a seasoned marathoner and runner, and she said that most of the time you never really figure that out. every race is different. very interesting.

up to mile 10 i was able to stick with the pace group but once we hit the hill i fell behind. they were running ahead of pace and i knew we had banked some time. i just had to do what i could at that point. was able to keep them in sight but tried not to stress. i was feeling SO tired and while my pace was good, by mile 11 and 12 i was hurting and willing my legs to keep running. walking sounded so appealing but i continued to push through and ignore those desires! the last two miles were HARD but that's to be expected i guess and i had pushed myself much harder than i ever had before.

it was SO good to see the finish in sight! my pacer was already waiting at the finish...they got there early...and ran with me to the end...yelling that i had done it! met my goal!!! it was an incredible feeling to know i had not only RUN the 1/2 but finished just under what i had hoped to do! amazing!

official chip time - 2:14:51 10:18 pace
my last race i finished in 2:24 so i was SO happy to shave 10 minutes off my time!

sore but happy! this will sound weird to many of you but this race i really felt like a "runner". the first one i was just excited to finish. i didn't know if i could run the whole thing. i hoped to, but had determined not to be upset if i couldn't. i had a goal time but was just going to be happy to finish. period. :)

this time i was hoping for more! hoping for a pace and time i hadn't run before at that long of a distance. hoping i was capable and would have probably been disappointed if i hadn't been able to do it. but the whole time, i knew i was a runner. i knew i could push myself. i knew i could run it all. i knew i could do it even if it was hard. it was a different feeling. it was more challenging and i loved every minute of it. i love being a runner.

gotta love the medal!

the first picture i take he is always silly. his punishment is me posting this on the blog. :)

love my man! i couldn't do any of this without him. we didn't have anyone to take our picture at the race so this is the only one i have! he is such an encourager to me! he loves that i'm running. he loves that i want to run with him. i know he never saw that one coming! :) he is so proud and he makes me feel amazing! he watches the kids when i'm training and have to be away for 2 hours on a Saturday and he never complains. he's excited for me! i love that we can have this in common now. Anthony...thank you SO much for loving me the way you do and for making me believe i can do anything! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!