Friday, January 30, 2009


I've heard that true runners run in the rain.  Actually, I've heard that true runners run in any conditions, but I'm picking rain this morning as mine.  I left the house around 6:30 and it wasn't raining at that point.  Of course, I got about 5 minutes away from the house and felt the rain, then I felt the heavier rain, and then I finally felt the pouring rain.  There's nothing like running in the rain, really.  It was quite nice; too bad my legs ran out of steam a bit earlier than I expected.  I did a total of 2.09 miles and came home looking like a drowned rat.  But it was good. 

I had to order the next set of math books for Hannah and Kali yesterday.  Kali only has 5 lessons left in hers (we do about 1 a week) and Hannah has 9 left.  Sure, there are times that we're slacking over here (or, as Hannah says - we're "slack-a-lackin'!) but my girls are motoring right through math and grammar.  I'm not quite sure what I'll do about grammar for Kali now.  She's following right along with Hannah and has fairly well mastered 2nd grade grammar already.  I guess I'll just need to have her do extra work on her writing when she's really reading.  This homeschooling stuff sure can get interesting!  I'm glad that on stuff they excel in, they can move as fast as they'd like and on things that they're not so good in, they can slow down when they need to. 

Time for some breakfast.  I'm certain my muscles are screaming for some protein by now, but I didn't want to get out of my office just yet!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Celine Dion concert

Holy shit - what a night! Here's a little video that you can watch while you read. :) Of course, I cannot watch it without crying big puddles; it's one hell of a song.

I've been waiting over a year to see this concert! Mary got me the tickets last Christmas and I've had them in my black book just waiting for last night. As always, life gives you lots of roadblocks and things to overcome, so I wasn't sure what was going to happen last night or if we were even going to go! (long story, don't feel like going over it - don't worry, no one has grown 8 heads or anything, just life in general).

Hey, now that you're done with the first video, here's another one for you:

I won't be able to run to this song without more big puddles. Good thing I run in the dark.

The opening act by Gordie Brown was hysterical! He's a comedian who does parodies of singers and actors. OMG. Mary's favorite was the parody on Elton John. It had something to do with a thong and was sung to "Don't let the sun go down on me." I'll leave the rest up to your imagination. I was dying with fits of laughter.

I won't go into concert details, that would get a little mundane after a while. I am glad that I DIDN'T bring my camera. I didn't want to worry about trying to get pictures while I was trying to enjoy the concert. And see, now y'all have videos to watch anyways.

The concert was amazing. I cried like a baby for half of it. Thank goodness for the sleeve on my jacket! And speaking of amazing, we had amazing seats! We were on the main level (not the floor) just to the center of the stage on the right. OMG. The stage was amazing, the lighting, the dancers, and all the other stuff that was going on, too. The show she put on, while making me bubble over in puddles, was fantastic. There are no words to describe what it was like to sit there, with my growing-into-a-woman-teenage-child, (oh shit, more puddles) enjoying some much needed stress-free time, and singing (since no one could actually hear me - thank god) while replaying the past year in my head (since I've waited that long to go).

Here's one last video for y'all to enjoy. I think I'll take this day to reflect on a bunch of things. I'll probably do that over some bread dough and laundry. Oh the fun!

Hey Mary..... since I know you'll eventually check your old mama's blog.....
Thank you. Thank you for an amazingly fun night with my amazingly fun daughter.
And just think, someday you, too, can have a $10 beer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Can you hear the sound of my frustration? I'm having 'one of those weeks.' You know, those weeks where you wish you could crawl in a hole, curl up, and sleep? Yeah, those weeks. Where is my island when I need it? I'm going to go hide out there with a good book and a drink - or two.

My run today was about as good as my mood. I did a total of 3.3 miles, and while I ran 85% of it, I'm still not happy about it. Maybe I expect too much, too soon, but dang it - that's just how I am. Maybe I just need to shut up and keep running and stop bitching. But really, the only time that no one needs me for anything is when I'm running. That's the only time that I need me. And somehow I feel like I'm letting myself down. Blech. Maybe I just need some Bailey's in my morning coffee. ;) That would solve everything.

Hopefully Miss Kali will be feeling better today. She had some kind of bug the other day, seemed better yesterday until she went to bed last night. Poor thing was just miserable and crying until 11:00. Then she passed out and started snoring so loudly that I had to bring her back to her bed. She's louder than Alex!

If the girls can get all of their schoolwork done by Thursday, I told them we'd go to Busch Gardens on Friday. Of course, then I look and see that Friday will only be 60 and cloudy! Oh well, better than 52 - I hope.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Brrrr....another cold day down here in sunny Florida. When I left at 6:30, there was ice on my windshield.

I ended up running just over 2 miles with a total of 2.5 miles for the morning. I noticed I ran a bit faster than normal, even though my dang calves were killing me for the first mile or so. I ended up taking my jacket off and tying it around me, though I did leave my gloves on! Hey, that must have looked strange. I'm glad I got those 2 miles in; it felt really good. Tomorrow I'll do some ab work, and maybe I'll whip out the jump rope for a while. Monday, I run again.

I'm trying to keep myself accountable, so you will all hear about my workouts. If you don't hear about them, then I'm slacking and you need to smack me.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Hannah is 8!  EIGHT!  How on earth did eight years zoom right by me - again?  My middle child is growing at the speed of light.  She is funny, intelligent, beautiful, and has a sarcastic sense of humor.  Hmmmm.....she must be my child! 

I spent a fantastic day with Hannah at Hollywood Studios for her birthday.  (Alex and Kali were at Sea World, since "free on your birthday" at Disney would have sucked us dry getting all of us in, and Mary was in school.)  We went on Tower of Terror and screamed like crazy.  Oh my gosh, I thought I was going to fly out of there!  We went on Rock n' Rollercoaster where were screamed more - twice.  We went on a bunch of other things and giggled like mad.  Even though we were frozen, the day couldn't have been more perfect.  For our late lunch/early dinner (which we have dubbed Linner) we went to the Sci Fi Cafe.  Hannah decided she had to order from the adult menu.  She said "moooooom, I'm eight!  I'm almost an adult!!"  Ha ha ha.  They knew it was her birthday, and she got a yummy hot fudge sundae for dessert. 

Speaking of the whole Disney/Birthday thing, they certainly do go out of their way to make your day special!  We were in a store getting some gloves (yes, we were FROZEN!) and suddenly Goofy called Hannah to wish her a happy birthday.  Then during the parade, if anyone saw her button, they'd yell out "Happy Birthday" to her over the speakers.  One cast member gave her a Tinkerbell pin.  It went on and on and on.  She was beaming.

And while we're at it, please check the top of this blog for a tab marked "Hannah's World."  It will link you to her brand-spankin'-new blog.  She should have some pictures up there soon, too. 

I had to do a little changing on this blog, too.  Poor IE kept giving me fits with this, so I had to take some things out.  Of course, now I have stuff to put back in and rearrange.  Oy.  Never a quiet moment, right?!

Back to the birthday girl............

After our wonderful day at Hollywood Studios, we went back to the hotel and met up with daddy, Kali, and Mary.  The next day we all went over to Sea World for a few hours.  Hannah was dying to get on Kraken with Mary, but Mary was a bit freaked out to take her on.  Hannah won, and loved it so much that they went on twice.  Mary still can't believe she wasn't scared.  Thankfully it was a bit warmer out that day, too!  We ended our fabulous two days with dinner at Red Lobster (thank you Pat and Bill!) and got home around 9:30.  I was very happy to see my bed.

Hannah got a really cool Kodak digital camera from grandma and grandpa for her birthday.  She went a little 'picture happy' and took 254 pictures while we were out of town.  She is like me, isn't she?  I went picture happy, too, and took about 420.  We'll both put up some pictures, but certainly not all of them!

Tomorrow, I take my lazy butt out for a run.  I was mad at myself when I realized I could have run from the hotel over to Downtown Disney and went around there.  Dang it.  Though I was totally exhausted from the day before, it would have been great!  Next time. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day!!!

Good morning, all!! It's INAUGURATION DAY!!!!! And as I said, I would try to blog throughout the day.

I woke up at 5:30, read my email, had a banana and some o.j., and got ready to run. I had changed up my songs on my iPod just for today. :) Got my jacket on, grabbed the rest of my stuff and headed out the door. Holy hell. The winds were whipping and it was coooooold! Remind me that running 2 days in a row is not a good idea. Really. I made it about 1.5 miles and I was DONE. Ugh. Normally I run every other day with other exercises (or sleep) on the other days.

As I was attempting to run, I kept thinking about what a wonderful day this is going to be! I had America's Song on my iPod (from Oprah's show yesterday) and was trying not to tear up.

The girls got up early and started watching inauguration coverage right away. They are as excited as I am, though maybe not for the same reasons.

It is now 8:50 am. My chili is simmering on the stove, and the Obama's just got in the car to go to church services. Hannah is showering, Kali's brushing her teeth, and Mary's watching with me.

It's a new day.

I shall update more as the day goes by.

10:20 am: I'm more overjoyed now. We watched Barack and Michelle arrive at the White House. Hmmm...I wonder what was in the box she gave to Laura Bush? Inquiring minds want to know.

My chili is simmering on the stove and my bagel dough is like my hope - rising. All of my girls are on the couch, watching everything. The sea of people out on the mall is just amazing. I wish we were there with them.

12:40 pm. OMG. I have no words but these:

President Barack Obama

Hope has arrived.

2:45. The bagels are done, the chili is still simmering, and the bread is baking in the oven. The house smells fantastic! I am eagerly awaiting the start of the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. The girls are playing on the computer and Alex is back in his office, so it's me, the TV, and all the food cooking in the kitchen.

Uh oh - the luncheon is ending, it's back on TV. Yay!!!! Gotta go watch.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Various Ramblings

Story of my life, right? I do seem to ramble
on from one thing to another. Maybe I have a 'touch' of ADD?
Scatterbrained? Who knows. Either way, I'm a rambler. Better than being
a wanderer!

Here's my favorite picture at the moment.....


I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for tomorrow.  I am giddy; positively giddy.  We will be celebrating all day long, and watching history unfold throughout the day.  I'll blog more about that tomorrow, but I just wanted to share that picture I found.

Speaking of pictures, you know I always have more!

Here's some yummy bread that I made the other day.

I had planned on using 1/2 for dinner, and 1/2 the next morning for toast.  It didn't quite work out that way.  The whole loaf was gone when dinner was done.  I had made some Rosemary White Bean soup and the bread went perfectly with it. 

Here's Mary's favorite food!!  We were hanging out at Aunt Michele's house on Sunday.  She recently moved in and needed help doing a few things.  I tried to sneak out with the massage chair, but it wouldn't fit in my bag!

This is what happens when you eat too many Doritoes and sink into a comfy chair.

These are my new shoes.  My lovely, comfy, shoes.  I put another 2.5 miles on them this morning, in the wee hours while it was foggy and slightly creepy outside.  I'll tell you, the more I run, the more I love it.  Sure, things ache afterwards, but that's expected.  Makes you realize your alive, anyways.  You can't lie about running.  You can't say "oh, I ran 200 miles" and then try to fake your way through it.  I like that.  When I can no longer feel my legs in the morning, and I'm wanting to stop, I just keep on going.  It's not far yet, but eventually I'll get there!

Two more days until Hannah's birthday!!!  Of course, we have some freaky cold snap coming down (I have heard rumblings about snow flurries late tomorrow night/early Wednesday morning) and when we go to Orlando, the high MIGHT be 55!!!!  What the hell is up with that?!?!?  My baby can't freeze on her birthday!  Ack.  That is just so wrong.

Tomorrow I will be baking/cooking all day long.  Here's my list of things I have to make:

Chili - for inauguration night
Corn Bread - ditto
Rice - ditto (In honor of our 44th President - he likes his chili over rice)
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels - Breakfast on the road on Hannah's birthday
Breakfast Cookies - ditto
Bread - for sandwiches at lunch on Wednesday and Thursday
Pasta Salad - to go with lunch

That's it - so far.  Alex will pick up a cake for Hannah and we'll all met up back at the hotel Wednesday night.  Hopefully we won't be frozen little popsicle people.  Thursday might be a bit warmer; we'll stop off at Sea World that day before we come home.

I'll try to blog throughout the day tomorrow about what's going on here and our reactions to witnessing such a historic event.  (Okay, "a historic" threw my off there, and I had to go check it out.  Depending on how you say "historic" - some regional accents tend to drop the "h," you would either say 'a historic' or 'an historic' and the grammar freak in me had to double check it.)  That ends your grammar lesson for the day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Shoes - part 2

Okay, so the shoes went back yesterday morning without a problem. Because of my 'we can put out forest fire' size feet, I, once again, ended up with a guy's sized shoe. :) I got some Asics GT-2140's and gave 'em a good test run this morning. 2.75 miles total, which 2.25 of that was running. They were niiiiiiiiiice. Seeing the ice on my windshield at 6:15 this morning was not so nice though. Yuck. I noticed I had a little more pep in my step while I was running, but was still picturing Bob from The Biggest Loser when I wanted to stop.

Because of the running back and forth to Tampa, we ended up doing school work today! Hey, such is the luxury of our flexible schedules, right? And lucky me, Alex did the work with the girls today while I was making dinner. It was nice to be able to watch them while they were working, and it was nice for Alex to see exactly what they're doing now.

Only 4 days until Hannah's 8th birthday!!!!! She's so darn excited, and I'm still amazed that 8 years have gone by already. Wow.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


So I went to "the big city" today and went to the running store. The shoes I ended up with are going back tomorrow. They were lovely while I was there, but after wearning them 1/2 the day, they were no longer lovely. Thankfully, there's no problem returning them, so hopefully I will come home with lovelier shoes. :) And even though it's supposed to be about 28 in the morning, I will go out running. I'm going to skip the park and just run through the subdivision by our house. The park, while nice, is starting to get a bit too repetitive (read: boring) and I need a change. Boring is no good for me, then I get unmotivated and ticked off. ;)

Of course, since I spent a huge chunk of time in Tampa already today, and have to go back tomorrow and then stop at a friends house, it looks like we'll be finishing up our school week on Saturday. Thank goodness for flexibility, right?!

I really need to clean out my office. It seems as though that all things lost migrate in that direction. As do lots of miscellaneous papers, toys, books, and just general stuff. It needs to find its own home and not my office. Maybe I'll do that on Saturday, too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I nearly forgot!

Do you like the blog layout changes? I like change (as long as it's good change! Hey, maybe there's change in my couch?!) and I thought the blog needed one. I'm still working out a few kinks, but I like it so far.

I went to CVS today and I'm oh-so glad I did. I had some CVS Extra Care Bucks that I wanted to roll into more CVS ECB's. Here's what I got:

5 Boxes of SoyJoy bars (made with non-GMO soy)
1 Bottle of Pantene Curly Hair shampoo
1 Bottle of Pantene Curly Hair conditioner

Wanna know how much cash I spent on this stuff???? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Yep. Seriously.

The total was $37. I handed over my $3 Pantene coupon and then $34 in ECB's that I had. I then got my receipt and got back another $30 in ECB's from the SoyJoy bars. :) I love going to CVS! I'm going to see how long I can keep rolling my ECB's (they normally expire in a few weeks, so I buy stuff that I'll get most or all of my money back on in ECB's to keep 'em going).

Alex was laughing when I told him that my 2 bags of stuff from CVS didn't cost a dime. Or even a penny. Pretty cool, huh?


Winter is finally on its way to Florida. According to my computer, Friday's high is only going to be 55. Break out the parkas and open up the warming centers!!!! Hopefully the cold front will pass through quickly; Hannah's birthday is next week and we're headed to Orlando.

I went back to the park on Sunday and today and ran 2 miles both times. I think I need to work on my thigh muscles and check my shoes; my calves keep seizing up and it's keeping me from running as far as I could. Or heck, maybe my out of shape butt is keeping me from running as far as I can!!! Either way I'll work it out. I'm back charting all my workouts and food on Spark People ( so that I can see where all my wasted calories are going. If I'm going to be working this hard on my running, I don't want to weigh the rest of me down while I'm trying!

One week until Barack Obama takes office!!!!! I cannot wait. Hannah keeps talking about it, too. I'm certain it will be an all-day celebration around this house. May we see better days soon.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Circle of Life 5K

We're baaaaaaaack!!! Before I begin, I'm warning you there will be TONS of pictures, so settle in, get a cup o' coffee, and let the viewing begin. :)

and I left yesterday for Disney. We got to Pop Century, our hotel,
around noon, checked in, and lugged all our stuff up to the 3rd floor.
Why are we always on the upper floors?!

As we got to the front of the hotel before we checked in, this is what we saw....

I suddenly got very excited and super nervous.

This is what happened after we got to our room.......

We had our sandwiches and decided it was time to head out to Wide World of Sports for the expo and to pick up our packets.

This was our view from our room.  Nice!!!

We hopped on a bus and went to the expo...

When we got there, there were two entrances to get in.  One of the workers told us, "Volunteers to the right, Runners to the left."  I thought "holy hell, I have to go LEFT!!"  It was strange.  I got a bit more nervous at that point.

We picked up our packets here. 

I kept looking at everyone and trying to figure out which race they were running.  After a while, I realized that was pointless.  ;) 

We found our names on the board, too!  That was cool.

We went back to the room and checked out our stuff.  Here's our bibs for the race. 

And here's our pin that we got.  :)  I was almost afraid to wear it before the race!

We had no clue where to eat last night; nothing was sounding good and I didn't feel like driving anywhere.  We ended up at Planet Hollywood.  I had a yummy grilled chicken sandwich and Mary had a burger.

We headed back to the room after dinner so we could relax, get our jammies on, and watch some of the Gator BCS bowl game.  GO GATORS!!!!

I was a good girl (ha ha ha) and watched about 20 minutes of the game, threw on my little eye shade things, listened for a few more plays, and was sound asleep before 9:00.  Mary, on the other hand, watched the entire game.  When I woke up, the first thing I did was check to see who won the game.

GATORS RULE!!!!  I was thrilled to see that they won.

I got up at 4:00, but had to do a few things before I whipped out the camera. 

Mary wasn't as eager to wake up as I was. 

We were dressed and watching game replays by this time. 

See!  Final score - 24 to 14 Gators.  The hotel had blue and orange balloons tied all over before the game.

Mary called this the lazy girl stretch. 

Check out the smoke over the pool.  This was about 5:15 in the morning.

I set the timer on the camera to get this shot.  My parents had shirts made for me and Mary.  It was too cold not to have our jackets on, so I had to make sure to get a picture of them somehow!

All ready to go!  By this time I think I was a nervous wreck.

Finally!  We arrived at Animal Kingdom.

There were sooooo many people there!  Tons more people came after I took this picture.  I had to check my bag with my camera in it, so I didn't get a picture of the full crowd. 

Check it out!!!!

I am not very photogenic at 6:20 in the morning.  I promise I usually look better than this.  Oh hell, at least I hope I do!!

This was by the big stage they had set up.

I had to stop taking pictures at this point, so I'll have to tell you the rest in a story.  The crowd was huge, the energy was wonderful, and the music was fabulous.  They had The Lion King music playing the whole time.  Timon and Rafiki were up on the stage, and men on stilts were walking around the parking lot.  We all lined up in our appropriate places and started getting ready.  The wheelchair racers went first, and as we counted them down, a few fireworks went off.  OMG, I was positively giddy. 

Mary and I had hoped to walk half and then run (please note that we say "run" but we mean slow-ass jog.  It's still running to us) the other half.  Mary said we should start out running, then walk, and run the end; I figured that sounded pretty darn good. 

The race officially started and we finally got to the start line - yay!!  We started running and trying to check out everything that was going on.  It was sooooo incredible to see the amount of people that were there with us.  There were little kids running with their parents, friends running together, and people that (according to their shirts, signs, etc) were there working on their health.  People were running, jogging, walking, and lots of them were singing The Lion King songs.  It was awesome! 

By the time we got to the entrance of the park, we were at Mile 1.  I felt great, Mary felt great, so we decided to keep on running.  It was incredible to see the park while it was empty.  Workers were lined up along the route to cheer everyone on.  Some guy kept chanting that he wasn't going to be driven to the end in a golf cart; I told him he took my line. 

We got to the first water stop and realized we were at mile 1.5.  Mary needed to tie her shoe, so she stopped off to the side and I told her I was going to keep on going.  I slowed wayyyyyyyy down so she could catch back up to me.  We went around the big turn and we saw Mile 2!!!  Holy cow, we were still running!!!  We passed the 2nd water stop, I grabbed a cup as I went by, took a sip, and tossed the cup in the garbage without missing a beat.  All along we were talking to people and laughing.  Dang, I was fairly amazed at this point. 

We ran past Mt. Everest, through Africa, and a bunch of other places I cannot remember at this point.  It was incredible.  I kept looking out for the photographers and hoping they would get a halfway decent picture; I'll find out when they post them in a few days.

We knew we were getting close to the end and there was no way in hell either of us was going to stop at this point.  We saw Mile 3 and knew there was just .10 of a mile left to go.  OMG!!!!!  And there it was - the Finish Line.  I grabbed Mary's hand and we ran the last little bit together, smiling for the photographer (and ourselves) and we crossed the finish line with our hands up in the air!

We did it!  We RAN the ENTIRE FREAKIN' THING!!!!  I'm not sure when I've ever been more excited with myself about something I've done.  Okay, sure, there's the whole birthing kids thing, but that's painful!!  And yes, there's the whole wedding thing, but I knew I could do that.  ;)  But this.  This was different.  This is something I didn't think I'd be able to do, and a few months ago, there was no way in hell I'd be able to do it.  Heck, running from one light pole to the next was a major accomplishment!!!  But I ran 3.1 miles this morning, with Mary, in Animal Kingdom, while the sun was coming up.  I'm not sure it gets any better than that. 

I now understand the whole runners high thing.  It's amazing.  I'm hooked - totally - and want to do another one NOW!

Here's my medal, my bib, and my lovely shoes. 

And here's Mary's. 

The obligatory together shot.  :)

After the race, they had fruit, muffins, and water for everyone.  I grabbed some water and a banana before we headed back on the bus.  When we got back, I got a cup of coffee, went to the room, and sat down for a few!  We showered, dressed, and packed our stuff up.  By this time we were starving, so we left and headed off to Cracker Barrel.  I think we ate out the entire place in about 2.5 seconds.  Seriously. 

We drove home, completely satisfied with ourselves and saying how we couldn't wait to take a nap!  We got home, I talked to Hannah and Kali for a bit, showed them our stuff, and then snuggled in the bed with them.  I woke up 3 hours later. 

So here I am, finished with my blog update now.  I am beyond thrilled with our results.  It was so much more than I expected it would be.  I can't wait to do another one!!!!!!  And I'm really hoping to do this one again next year, and every year after that, with Mary.