/> SLO in Arkansas: October 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

We had a great Halloween this year! The weather was perfect and we had a fun time dressing up and attending all kinds of festive activities. The best part was there was no crying this year!! Tyson did so much better and loved his costume, and Jace loved his too and was so cute running around. They loaded up on candy and I am already looking for people to give it to so I am not stuck in the house all week with it all by myself!!

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Fall Festival 2010

We attended the annual Fall Festival at our church this year and it was awesome as usual! I appreciated it more than usual this year as I helped decorate for it too and realized how much work goes into having it! The boys loved everything and had a wonderful time. Here is our one rare picture of the entire family. My children still don't look at the camera very well:)
Tyson and his friend Chloe. They are in Sunday school together and love hanging out. We try to get a picture of them together every Halloween which is cute:) We told them to hold hands and Tyson kept starring down at her hand and then grinning but would never take it!!
Tyson is in love with firetrucks and was so pleased that there was a real one parked outside of the festival. He wasted no time getting in the driver seat. He is sure he was made to drive one of these things. It worked out well that he was a fireman for Halloween!
My super cute Superman!!

We all had fun playing games, eating popcorn, hotdogs and chili, collecting candy and visiting with friends. The boys were awesome and loved all the fun, especially the mini hay ride outside. After the festival we packed up and headed over to the other church down from our house to make a round at their Trunk-or-Treat. They were all very creative and the kids came home with full pumpkins of candy. After that we managed to trick-or-treat at a few houses on our street before Jace looked like he was ready to pass out. After eating some candy and brushing teeth, the little guys are out!
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Pumpkin Carving

Silas is our awesome pumpkin carver in this family. He is so much more artistic than I am, and does a great job designing and carving our pumpkin every year.
I asked him for a spooky bat this year, and he did a great job as usual:)
Tyson had fun helping scoop out the guts and Jace had fun watching.
Jace was mesmerized watching daddy carve the pumpkin. He can't wait to get older so he can help out more!
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Fabulous Fall

I am LOVING this fall weather this week! It is just perfect and beautiful and we are soaking up every minute of it possible. The boys had Fall Harvest parties at school Thursday this week and had a great time. I was thankful it was cool enough to get another wear out of their Halloween shirts:) We rarely make it in the house after I pick them up from Mother's Day Out when the weather is this nice. We just open the garage door and pull out all the toys. They boys played for an hour before Silas got home and then we all played some more. They are just so happy being outside in the fresh air.
I love this picture of Jace sitting on the front porch! He has the cutest little grin on his face:) He loves the pumpkins and pulling the flower petals off my mums. He also loves playing in the massive piles of leaves we accumulate in the yard. I tried to get some pictures of Tyson, but he doesn't stop moving much and most of his were just blurs!
I have spent more time in the kitchen this week than ever. Wednesday morning we baked spooky Halloween cookies. Tyson had fun flouring the counter and rolling out the dough for me. Jace got to participate by pushing the cookie cutters into the dough, and Tyson and I moved them all to the cookie sheet to bake. I managed to decorate them while they were napping, since I imagined a major mess if I let them get their hands on tubes of icing!!! We have all enjoyed eating them though:) I made a batch of cupcakes this morning with the boys and we decorated them for the Fall Festival at church coming up. They will be sold at the bake sale.
Everything else here is good. The weather couldn't be more perfect for enjoying all of our fall festivities. I am excited for our Fall Festival on Sunday at church and some trick-or-treating after that. I am also excited that after tomorrow morning I will have completed my hardest week of training! I am running 10 miles at 8am and it should be a very good indication of how the actual race will go. I am pretty excited for this run, and hope it goes well. Do you know how hard it has been to not eat any cupcakes and limit my cookies this week too??!! I am trying to eat well so I feel good for my runs, and these holidays and all their yummy treats are killing me! Only one more week from tomorrow and it will be over!! I can't believe it is already so close. I am more excited than nervous today...hope that lasts!!
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ju Ju

I can't believe my baby is 14 months old! Jace is such a fun part of our family and keeps things interesting at all times with his antics. He is growing and learning so fast it is scary sometimes. I love this top picture. He was so tired one day that he just passed out in his high chair during lunch. He dropped his morning nap between 12 and 13 months old and has only been taking one 2 hour nap a day since September. It has its benefits for sure, but I miss having some quiet time in the morning with only one kiddo awake! We usually eat lunch around 11 or 11:30am and he naps from about noon til 2:15pm.
He has started talking too, although he often resorts to more grunts or screaming to get what he wants. I will tell you what though, the one word he uses more than anything is definitely a magic word....MAMA! That kid has me wrapped around his finger for sure. When he wants something he just tears up and looks at me with his chin quivering and says mama, mama, and that is all it takes!! I have got to work on this, but for now he can have whatever his little heart wants:) He also says daddy, juice, ball, uh-oh, and bye. I am sure I am forgetting some others, but those are the important ones for now. He sure understands everything you tell him though, and will respond to most simple directives to go get something or do something. When he wants more juice he brings you his cup and then runs to stand by the refrigerator until you get up.
Lets see, what else about Jace at this age? He loves bath time with Tyson and would stay in there forever. He would live outside if we would let him too. He loves playing with dirt, sticks, rocks, grass, rakes, brooms, etc. He is very busy once he gets outside and plays hard until we drag him in. He wants to do everything that big brother does, and gets so frustrated when he can't. He has almost figured out how to unlock the baby gate at the top of the stairs by watching how we do it. Twice this morning I came back up to find him standing there with it open! He just shakes it and pushes so hard he can wiggle it loose sometimes. He is great and fast at getting up the stairs, but still hasn't figured out how to get down them yet. He can crawl up on the couch and ottoman, and has figured out how to get off them and how to get down off of big beds too. He loves to drink out of a straw. He might turn into a corn dog if we don't watch how many he eats soon:) Most 18 month clothes are almost too small so he wears a lot of 18-24 month stuff. The kid eats all day long too. He eats his own breakfast, then usually some of mine, and then steals Tyson's as well! Then he is ready for a snack, then lunch, then another snack after nap, then a big supper before passing out for the night. He sleeps 12 hours at night from 7 pm til 7am. He loves watching football and can call the Hogs. He has a few nicknames at this point too. We call him Jace a lot, but Tyson calls him JJ, and we also call him Ju Ju. When he is getting on some one's nerves, he is usually referred to as "that baby!" As in, mom, that baby messed up my train track again!!! Or "no baby, that is my juice!" Poor Tyson gets tortured by Jace half the time. It will be interesting to see how things go once they are a little more on the same level and can play better. Anyway, Jace is a doll baby and in such a fun age right now. I love these toddler years (most days) and feel like we are in a good place. My little boy is growing up.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting close

I run the half marathon two weeks from tomorrow! I think I should be getting excited, but really I am just getting nervous it seems:) My training runs are at their hardest and longest this week and next week. I just completed my 9 mile run yesterday morning, and it felt awesome to do! Even better was that we managed to maintain a 10:20 minute pace the entire way. I think it was actually faster than that, but we stopped at least twice for water and refueling so we lost a little time there. I think we should be right on track to hit about 10 minute miles for the race. I only have one more long run, the 10 miler, before actual race day. 6 more runs total before the big day. That seems so short to me! I don't know why I get so nervous about it. Silas says it is just "my process." I know I will love it once it is over.

Speaking of being over, I have been focusing so much on this half marathon that I haven't thought too much about what I am going to do once it is over. I guess I need to decide since I only have two more weeks for this event. I am scared to say it out loud, but I am seriously contemplating a full marathon in the spring. Yikes!!! If I have already made it half way through the training, I might as well keep going, right?? I guess the biggest determining factors will be 1) how the half goes, and 2) how my breathing does once it actually gets cold. Right now I am contemplating the Little Rock Marathon which I believe is in March. That means the bulk of the running will be through the winter, and me and my asthma just do not like cold weather much at all. I guess I will just see how it goes and take it one run at a time. If I do commit to the full, then I guess 5k's are out for a few more months. I think I should be fine to run the full (assuming I don't hurt myself!!), to still be on track for my triathlon stuff. I can get back into some shorter distances and speed work after the spring, and be ready to compete by early summer. I am hoping to complete at least two sprint triathlons next summer. Once again, we will see how it all goes!
So far I am feeling great and healthy. I have stuck to my training plan almost perfectly and feel that I am adequately prepared to run. The biggest decisions left are picking out my outfit for race day and figuring out just how I want to fuel during the race. Pretty sure I will be using Gu and sports beans, but not sure how many miles apart yet. I am thinking maybe every 4-5 miles right now will be good and get me through with plenty of energy. I did not plan properly for my 9 mile run as I decided about 15 minutes prior that I would be running that far, and I definitely felt my energy tank about mile 7. All I had was water and about 7 sports beans, which was definitely not enough to sustain an hour and a half run! I am really hoping this warmer weather holds a few more weeks until the race too, since that is what I am used to running in. As long as no Arctic cold fronts move through, I should be fine!!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Just a few pictures of the boys in their Halloween shirts. It finally got under 80 degrees one day so we pulled them out for school! Hope it cools off a bit soon so they can get at least one more wear out of them!
My two goobers. They were glued to the TV and wouldn't look at me for anything!! At least they stood still for a second:)
A picture of Jace without his paci!
Not sure what Ty found so funny as I took this, but he was laughing at something:) We had our hayride and bonfire last night with our Sunday school class. I took my camera but didn't take any pictures while we were there. The boys had a ball though. We roasted hot dogs and smores, ate chili, had a hayride, played with glow sticks, sang songs, rode bikes and ran and played. Tyson cried when we left and kept saying he wanted to go back to the "farm." If we are outside, that kid loves anything we do! Next even on the fall schedule....Fall Festival at church for Halloween:)
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

We packed up the fam and headed out to Peebles Farm Saturday morning for a fun fall day at the pumpkin patch. The weather was picture perfect and a huge change from our trip there last year! Silas wore shorts this time, and we had blankets and hats and gloves last year. Anyway, it was a fabulous day and everyone enjoyed our time there.
They had a lovely cotton patch where you could go and pick cotton. And of course a pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin. This year they also had a pretty patch of sunflowers growing too. We wandered around the gigantic corn maze for a while, but had to leave after Jace realized there was actual corn everywhere and kept trying to eat the nasty dried corn cobs!!! They had a small petting zoo area and hay tunnels and a merry-go-round. I think that was Tyson's favorite part! This year they had a corn cannon where you could shoot ears of dried corn out in a field towards targets. That huge gun was Silas' favorite part, and he and Tyson had fun shooting:)
Of course with all the fun activities to do, my children spent the majority of their time playing in the dirt with sticks! Jace thought he was in heaven with all the dirt on the ground, and we had to pick him up and carry him if we wanted to go anywhere since he would just squat down and starting digging when left to his own devices:) Boys!
We did manage to pick a great pumpkin and get a few pictures. We didn't do the hay ride there since we are having one tonight with our Sunday school class. We are looking forward to that. I enjoyed the drive in the car on the beautiful day and the boys loved running and being outside, and of course the dirt. We finished the outing with a yummy lunch at the Bulldog cafe in Bald Knob where I used to eat all the time when I worked in Searcy. Then it was home to rest, run and watch some Razorback football (too bad they lost!).
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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Eight was great!

I ran 8 miles last night and it felt great!! I was intimidated about it all day long and turns out it was not really a big deal. I ran a little different course than usual for the long run since we went at night and the place I usually run is out in the middle of nowhere and creepy after dark! It absolutely amazes me how fast the miles fly by when you are talking. I don't even remember the first 3 miles! Anyway, we ran about a 10:45 pace which is about 30 seconds per mile slower than usual. I think it may have been due to the more hilly course, and the fact that we didn't start running until after 8:30 pm and I was just worn out from having a busy day already. My goal is to run about 10 minute miles for the race so we will see. Anyway, I felt great when I was done and feel good today too. Not sore or anything, which is nice. I ran 7 miles on Saturday afternoon, 4.5 miles on Monday night, and 8 miles Wed night for a whopping total of 19.5 miles in the past 5 days. I think my legs deserve a little break today:) I am participating in my first bike race this Saturday morning and I am really excited! I will be riding in the Harvest Hundred which conveniently benefits the counseling agency I work for at church:) My plan is to ride the 25 mile route, but that is still to be determined. I may just go 10. Anyway, I am super excited for the ride and it will be a good change of pace from all the running lately. I think I have hit a turning point in my mind and feel pretty confident about the half marathon now that I hit the 8 mile mark. 5 miles is just not that much farther and I know I could go out and do it now if I had to. I can't believe I only have two more long runs left before the race...my 9 and 10 mile runs!! I am getting excited.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Running Reflections

This may get long....sorry!

Anyway, I have a lot going through my mind lately so I wanted to blog it so I can remember this journey. Do you ever have days where you wake up and say...who am I and how did this get to be my life??!! I have been thinking that a lot lately, but in a good way. I have noticed that I say things like "Look at my cute new spandex running pants." WHAT?? or "Check out these new pink and purple running shirts I just got" again WHAT!!!! Or how about "I need you to run to Gearhead on your way home and grab me some Gu's for my race this weekend." Who says things like that?!! I have just started to realize that so many things have changed in my life, and at first I thought it all felt foreign, but I am coming to the realization that it feels....comfortable. I have been lost for so many years and I knew it, but I didn't know how to find myself again. I finally feel like I have come home, and it is an overwhelming feeling.

Do you know how long Silas knew me as an athlete? 4 minutes. I played for 4 minutes in my first soccer game as a senior before I tore my ACL, and he never saw me play again. Sports have defined me my entire life. I was the athlete in the family, I played sports 365 days a year, year in and year out. And in September 2001 that was taken away from me in an instant. I thought I was ok with that since what do you do once you are out of college anyway and there aren't many opportunities for competitive sports? I was a newly wed in May of 2002, and entered the workforce full time. I tried to be a good wife, and housekeeper, and social worker. I cooked and cleaned and tried to embrace my new roles. And as the years went by I started to feel more and more lost as something that was such a huge part of me was fading away. And then I became a mom in July 2007 and have been on a wonderful adventure raising my two precious little boys. But I felt more lost than ever. Some days these past few years I have looked around and just wondered, who am I?? And the problem is that I was trying to be someone and something that I am not. I thought I should like trying new recipes and cooking dinner....but I didn't. And it has finally hit me over the head full force lately. I don't like to cook, I like to compete. I don't like to sew and do crafts, I like to sweat. I am an athlete, and I had forgotten who I was for so many years. I have tried to be all kinds of other things, but that is what I love and a huge part of me that has been missing from my life. And I have found it again this year, and my heart is full! And the best part is that I am finally getting to show Silas who I am and be proud of that. And he has been the most loving, encouraging and supportive person ever during the past eight months. I could not have done any of this without him. I feel so much more alive lately, and content, and confident, and less stressed out that I have in years. I am still struggling with labels, and find it very hard to consider myself a "runner." But I just love sports, and running, and biking, and swimming, and those are all things I can do at this stage in my life. I get to compete again, and have fun, and I am LOVING it!!!

I know this is all random and jumbled, but I had to get it out somehow. I am so thankful for so many things this year, and for all the ways I have been blessed. I have an amazing husband and children who love me and support me and are always there to cheer me on. I am still slowly adjusting to all these changes in my schedule and life, and once again trying to figure out how to balance being a mom, wife, worker, friend, athlete and all the other many roles I play on a daily basis. I am a little overwhelmed at it all, but in a good way. I am happy. And I'M BACK!!!