/> SLO in Arkansas: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011


I have decided to race this half marathon in the morning. I am super excited, and a bit nervous. I am aiming to take about 9 minutes off of my previous time, which is about 45 seconds per mile on my pace! Yikes! I am rested and ready to go:)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ready to Run!

I can't believe how fast my half marathon has gotten here. I guess when the days and weeks are packed full, they just fly by! I will run the half this coming Saturday. I change my mind daily on my plan for this race. One day I am going to race it all out with huge time goals, and the next I am just going to take it easy and enjoy having lots of people to run with on my long run for the week:) I won't really make up my mind until Friday night or the morning of the race. It all depends on the weather, and how I am feeling. I woke up this morning with a sore throat and we sat out in the rain for a while at the ASU football game this weekend, so I am really hoping I don't get a cold this week. I am going to take it easy running and just try to rest a bit this week and hopefully I will feel rested and fast when Saturday morning rolls around:)

I ran 16 miles this past Saturday morning at 5:30 am. I really wasn't feeling it! I was tired and would have rather stayed in bed than run for 2 hours and 44 minutes, but we got it done. This is where having a running buddy is priceless. There is no way I would have made myself go if she wasn't going to be there waiting for me. We talked each other through it and checked it off the schedule. I will tell you what....I enjoy marathon training up until 16 miles. There is just something about hitting that kind of mileage that makes it not be as much fun anymore!! My feet are torn to pieces with blisters everywhere, and no matter how much I try to prevent it, something is going to chafe after running almost 3 hours straight! I am at the point where it just gets very time consuming, and the long runs just really wear you out. Despite that, I am still having fun, and very thankful for the mild weather and fun running partner I have. Talking for hours makes the miles fly by thankfully, and it is so nice to have someone to encourage you along when you get tired. We have a few more weeks until we bump it up to 18 and 20 miles, and then it will be time to taper as we head towards the race. It really has seemed to go fast this time around, even though I have been training a lot longer than I did for Little Rock. I ran 32 miles this week in 4 days, which is my highest training mileage to date. I don't really get sore anymore, thank goodness. Just a little stiff the morning after a long run, and sometimes the bottom of my feet hurt from the hours of pounding the ground. I can tell my body is handling the training a lot better this time around since it has done it all before, and I have quite a few less pounds to drag around. 10 more weeks til the marathon! I am sure it will go fast!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mom's 60th Birthday

Wow, what a fun weekend we had celebrating my mom's 60th birthday! My sisters and I (with awesome help from our Dad) have been planning a surprise birthday for my mom for the past month or so. We pulled it off perfectly, if I do say so myself! We all packed up the kids and headed to Nashville Saturday morning to meet at my parent's house. We all skittered in right on time and were hanging out in the kitchen when they got home from their morning outing. She was surprised to say the least:)

We all hung out and visited for the afternoon, enjoying a perfect middle TN fall day. The kids ran like crazy around the yard chasing each other and enjoying catching up with their cousins. They played croquet, tag, dug in the dirt, and cheered their G-daddy on while he mowed the yard. It was precious. The grown-ups enjoyed the cool weather and sat outside or in the hammock chatting and watching the kids play. Then the real fun began. The men played a vital role in our plan, and we are so thankful for their willingness to help us out! Since we have 6 kids between the 3 of us girls all under the age of 5, it has been a long time since we have spent any uninterrupted time together with mom. We left all the kids with the men, got dressed up, and took mom out on the town!

We headed to downtown Franklin where we walked up and down perusing all the awesome shops. These are the kind of shops I would never set foot in if I had my kids with me, so it was quite a treat to browse and not worry about my boys breaking anything:) After shopping we hit the Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte which was perfect for the fall day. We shopped some more before heading to our dinner. Caroline had made us reservations at a perfect local place called Red Pony in Franklin. It was trendy and cute and lively, and oh my goodness, the food was amazing!!! Renee met up with us after work and the 4 of us girls ate and ate and talked and laughed for hours together. It was so much fun, and much needed time together:) Life gets so hectic and crazy raising small children and I really cherish this time I had to reconnect with my sisters and Mom. I am not sure who had more fun!

We headed back to the house full and content, and had a blast celebrating mom and a new decade. The guys had a bonfire for the kids and they roasted marshmallows, which were a big hit! It was a fast trip, but I love the memories we created. We all headed home the next morning to get back to our crazy lives, but I am so thankful for our time together and the blessing of family:) Hope you enjoyed your birthday Mom!! I love you!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall is Coming!

There is a change in the wind and cooler temperatures to go with it, which I am LOVING! Today is only 68 degrees...and of course all the windows in the house are open:) The boys enjoyed playing outside after lunch and not sweltering in the middle of the day, and I am happy to get them out and have some fresh air.

Sorry up front this post will be very random, but that's how I roll this week:) I had a calmer week work wise (thank goodness) and was able to go to lunch with my new running partner Liz while our boys were all at school. We picked a Thai place in downtown. It was an interesting lunch for sure!! I felt like a moron in there...I have no clue about sushi or anything Thai. She ordered a huge sushi roll and shared it with me. I was pretty scared to eat it with all the orange and black circles on top (caviar??)! There was crab meat and avocado inside too. I got one down, but that was it for me! I ordered some lettuce wraps hoping they would be similar to PF Chang's, but alas, were not. They were disgusting! Ha! We had a great lunch visiting and trying new things, but Thai food is not something I will be going back for any time soon:) I am a burger and fries kind of girl. It was nice to have a "girl lunch" though and hopefully we can do it again soon.

On the parenting front, lets just say this week has been "challenging." I am worn out emotionally and physically with the boys. Jace is full on Terrible Two's, and Tyson is just emotional and very in tune with my stress level, so we feed off each other constantly. He is also learning about "telling the truth vs. lying" which is not easy to deal with some days. Jace is Mr. Independent and it's driving me nuts-o! He yells, "NO MAMA I DO IT!" to just about everything we try to do during the day, and in reality, he can only actually "do" about 10% of what he is wanting to do on his own. Like he tries to get the gallon of milk from the fridge and pour it on his cereal. Breakfast time is the worst around here and it starts my day off with a major power struggle. Yuck! There is lots of spilled milk, crying, and time-outs. I don't really know who does more of those things, me or the kids!! Parenting is not for the weak, that is for sure:) The boys are like monkeys and can and do climb anything and everything these days. They get things off the top shelf of their closets, get stuck hanging off the side of the bunk bed and bookshelves, and climb the cabinets in the kitchen. I can't put anything out of their reach anymore, so I have resorted to locking entire rooms of the house and hiding things in there! I keep telling myself, this is just a phase, and this too shall pass:)

One fun new thing in our lives this fall is BSF! I have grown up with Bible Study Fellowship as my parents have both participated for years, and my mom was a discussion group leader for years and years while I was in high school and college. They didn't have a group in Searcy, but there is one here, and so I signed myself and the boys up last spring in hopes we would all get in this year. We did! Our first meeting was on Wednesday morning and we all loved it. It is an all women's Bible study based only on the Bible, and thousands of people around the world all study the same thing together every week. This year we are studying the book of Acts, and I am very excited. We have a lecture time, singing, and break into small discussion groups to talk about our questions we answered on the text for that week. I have really been scattered with my Bible reading and study, and this is very organized and in-depth, so I should learn a lot! My favorite thing is how amazing the children's program is. They are very structured and teach the kids Bible verses, songs, etc for the 2 hours we are there each week. I am thrilled we all got in (the kids have a HUGE waiting list) and am excited to see how we all grow and learn this year through our study of Acts.

I am hitting the meat of my training for the marathon, so the next 2 months should have some pretty big mileage (for me anyway). This week I should hit 28 miles, which isn't huge at all, but it is the most miles I ran in one week during my entire training for the last marathon!! And I am only up to 14 miles for my long run:) I am excited to get up into the 30's and really hope the higher mileage base will help tremendously come race day. I am LOVING the cooler weather too...you just can't beat temps in the 50's and 60's for running:) I am still trying to work on my speed a bit too. I had a 5 mile tempo run this week and averaged an 8:34 pace. My last mile was my fastest at 8:06, which felt great. I usually start off too slow, so I am working on getting going a bit faster and finding a good pace I can maintain mile after mile. I run my half marathon in 3 weeks and am getting excited and nervous already!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I know Tyson doesn't need to take a nap anymore during the day, but man I am having a hard time letting him give it up!!! He sleeps great at nap time, but is never ready to go to bed at night. I find it easier to let him stay up a bit later than to give up my precious hour or two of quiet time (sanity time!) during the day:) I know all good things must come to an end, but I am dragging this one out as long as I can!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Let 'em hear ya Howl!! Go Red Wolves! Have I mentioned how much I love football season?!! It's the best time of year:) Silas and I were so excited to take the boys to their first live football game this weekend. The ASU Red Wolves had their home opener against Memphis yesterday, and it was a great day for some football.

The weather was awesome and it turned out to be a perfect day. We packed the boys up after nap time and headed out to tailgate with some friends from church and their families. The boys loved running around playing with the kids, and Silas and I enjoyed eating some great food and hanging out in the sunshine.

We ran into tons of friends from church tailgating in various areas, and had fun hanging out with lots of different people. The boys had a blast. We even lost Jace at one point. He had wandered off, and we found him in a crowd of Memphis fans playing bean bag toss with some older men!! They were nice to him and treated him well:) We finally made it into the stadium and the boys loved all the music, the band, and excitement. The Red Wolf mascot rode out on the field on a motorcycle and the boys loved cheering and waving their flags like crazy when we scored. They had hot dogs and coke to top off the night.

We left at half time since we had been there for hours and it was getting late. I am so proud of how well the boys did! We had so much fun! It helped that we had a huge win too....lots to cheer for and be excited about! We are new ASU fans since we didn't go to school there, but it has been fun having a school in town to go watch and cheer on. Of course we still have lots of other college teams we love to see win every weekend too:) It was a great fall day filled with friends, football and food. Just what I needed after my crazy week:)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 09, 2011


I think I might actually be at risk of losing my mind in the near future. As long as it comes back, I guess that is ok! I have really been struggling to adjust to our schedule since school started back, and I am at the point where I am just feeling completely overwhelmed. I know it's just a phase, so I'm not letting it get me down(too much), but the stress is really taking a toll on me. I keep hoping that each new week I will get my to-do list down a bit, but it seems to be growing instead. Work is the main thing overwhelming me at this point, and I know it is just because I got so far behind over the summer months with not having regular babysitting. Things have really built up, and suddenly everything is falling into the Urgent category! Yuck. I am not sleeping well at all, and have seen almost every hour on the clock some nights this week. It doesn't help that I am also getting up at 4:45 or 5am some mornings to run. The days are very long, and the nights are very short at this point! I am just doing the best I can everyday to get done what I can, since I know that's all I can do:) I am just ready to have a nice relaxing day for once, and enjoy this awesome weather and do something fun. Hopefully tomorrow will be great. We got tickets for the whole family to the home opener of the Arkansas State football game, and are taking the boys to their first real game!! We are tailgating with a group of friends beforehand and the game starts at 6pm. We are all really excited about some good ole college football and food!

My running is going really well, but the miles are starting to stack up now. I ran 14 miles this morning before 8am. It was a great run, and absolutely beautiful fall weather. 58 degrees when we started and nice and cool. I loved it! I am at the point where I have to put more thought into running though. I can't just walk out of the door and run for 2 1/2 hours with no preparation. Running isn't really stressing me out, but it's just one more thing to plan for and squeeze in some days. I am in the hardest part of training now too. The next runs will be 14, 16, 18 miles, then I race a half marathon, then 16, 18 and 20 miles before I start to taper for the marathon in December. It is pretty time consuming, and time is something I don't have a lot of these days! I am feeling strong though, and have added a 4th day of running during the week when I am able. I am also trying to push my pace down on my shorter weekday runs, which feels great! I am just really enjoying this training cycle so far, and hope it continues to go this well to the finish:)

I know this is just a busy time in life and it will all settle down soon. Some days I just feel a little crazy!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Pottery Barn Vs. WWF

How can something this cute be so destructive??! I grew up with girls, all girls. We were sweet:) Well, I was the tomboy, so I was the dirty destructive one, but that is beside the point! Anyway, my current dilemma is a decorating/storage issue. It's driving me crazy too. I am trying to organize all the toys and at least provide the boys with a place to store everything on shelves in their room or closet. They make a big mess, but at least we can clean it up:)

The problem comes with the fact that I have visions of cute Pottery Barn like rooms filled with colorful bins all nicely placed on the shelf with cute labels and toys right where they belong. But in reality, my adorable children break everything they touch....especially if it is pretty or if mommy likes it! They love things to death, literally. I have been using clear plastic shoe boxes for storage of small toys, which are functional, but not cute or pretty at all. But my children stand on them, crush them, ride down the stairs in them, etc. They are very creative with the ways in which they crush them to pieces. So not even functional is working anymore. Baskets wouldn't stand a chance with these two. Cloth bins won't last more than a day (they LOVE to climb inside these and stretch them out). I actually found some clear plastic Hefty tubs at Lowe's that are called, "virtually indestructible," but I wouldn't put my money on those, plus they are ugly!

Silas finally found a huge black box which he deemed perfect for toy storage in their rooms. I took one look at it and said, yep, that will work, but it is black plastic and made for the GARAGE!! It's not cute, pretty, or anything. Sigh. Life with boys. I am at a total loss here on how to resolve what I want with reality. How in the world do you combine Pottery Barn with Wrestle mania/King Kong??

I am open to suggestions if you have any!!!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Pre-K 2011

The boys are officially back in "school" and we are settling into a routine finally. They were both so excited for their first day, and I could barely get them to sit still for any pictures. Tyson started Pre-K and is loving it. His class is huge this year....21 kids and 3 teachers! He has a very structured day and has already been talking about the things he is learning. The kid is so smart, and loves soaking up all the new information.

He was so proud of his new Spiderman backpack this year too:) He proudly wears it into school, which I am thankful for...one less thing for mama to carry:)

Poor Jace's backpack is as big as he is, and when it's fully packed he can barely stand up with it on! He kept trying to wear it around too, so I took a picture. He loves to carry his lunch box into school, which is more his size:) He has transitioned well and seems to really like his classroom and teacher. His teacher actually came over to our house and did a home visit the week before school started, which was a nice way for the kids to get a little more familiar with her before school started, and for her to get to know the parents better. My kids are spoiled and loved on so much there, and I can't believe we are starting our 4th year there this year!

I have been super busy working while they are in school on Tuesday and Thursday, so I haven't really enjoyed the break yet! I am hoping to get caught up on a few things I have gotten behind on with work these next few weeks, and then maybe I can take a few days while they are gone to get the house nice and clean or even relax a bit:) Actually what I am really looking forward to is being able to run after I drop them off in the mornings and enjoy some cool fall weather and sunny days. This running in the dark, either very early or very late, is getting old! Overall everything is great on the school front and we are looking forward to a great year!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Jace!

My baby boy is 2 years old! He has always seemed so much older than his age though, so it's like he is just catching up to how people see him anyway:) We celebrated with some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse decorations and a firetruck cake like Tyson. He was very pleased with his cake and did great blowing out his candle.

All three of my boys:) I am definitely outnumbered around the house, but I couldn't imagine life any other way!

Me and my crazy kids.

Jace got a look and find Mickey Mouse book for a gift and I think Tyson loved it more than Jace. He could not keep his hands off of it and wouldn't let poor Jace find anything before he would point it out and yell....There it is!! The boys are getting so big and really changing by the week. They are at each other's throats all the time, but are able to play really well together some days too. I love those days! So far having a 2 and 4 year old is fun, and definitely much easier than when they were just 1 and 3!

Official stats:
weight: 31 or 32 pounds (75th %)
height: 37 inches (90th %)

Jace continues to be a big kid! He eats like a human garbage disposal, and the doctor said that seems to be working for him:) He is healthy and happy and growing like a weed.

Things about Jace at age 2:
He loves his blankie and paci. He sleeps with a stuffed Nemo fish and a duck (quack quack). I have tried to transition him into a twin bed but that kid just loves his crib so much! He asks to get in it and goes right to sleep, so I'm not in a hurry to change anything. We are working on getting rid of the paci, and trying to limit it to nap and bedtime. Most days he is pretty good with that. He eats almost anything you put in front of him. He loves black olives and kalamata olives. He drinks salsa by the bowl full.....people actually stop and watch him drinking his salsa when we eat out at the Mexican restaurant in town:) He is very independent and loves going to Bible class, and has loved his first week at Mother's Day Out this past week. He loves to stomp on bugs, dig in the dirt, and play with tractors and forklifts. He is a rough and tough kid and when he and Tyson fight, Jace usually wins. While he can be a brute or aggressive, he is also sweet as pie. The other week when I dropped him off in Sunday School his teacher said....."He just melts me with those eyes!" I thought it was just me he could get away with anything with, but apparently he has learned how to do "the look" with other women as well:) He loves his brother to pieces and is always wanting to do things or be "just like Tyson." One of his favorite phrases is, "Look at me Tyson!" He has started asking for it to be his turn at dinner to say the prayer. He folds his little hands and bows his head, and says a sentence or two in a really high pitched voice. Silas and I crack up every time, but try so hard to not let him hear us. It is really adorable!! He thinks he is a big kid and is such a fun part of our family. We love you so much little J-J and are so excited to watch you learn and grow this year!
Posted by Picasa