Saturday, October 31, 2009


Ghosts and goblins, witches and bats, Frankenstien and Dracula. They were all here on Halloween. But at our house it was all Horton (Drew), the Whoville clover (Emma), and bumblebees (Sadie).
Our Halloween tradition continued on this year. This was Emma's first Halloween, so we introduced her to our traditions. You know, like tailgating in the driveways with pizza while handing out candy..... come on... isn't that what everyone does!?! What? No you say?


Well, that's what we do in our neighborhood. We hand out candy from the end of our driveways and watch and visit with all of the truckloads of trick or treaters. We usually have about 200 - 300 by 7:30. It's a lot of fun to see that many costumes.

This year was a bit different though because Drew and Sadie were really able to go trick or treating. We pulled them around in the wagon (well, for the first couple of houses anyways, then they wanted to hop out and enjoy the festivities (we knew they wouldn't last long in the wagon, but oh well, we tried). At one point a real bat was actually circling over our heads. We see them every once in a while, but it was pretty appropriate, I have to say, to see one while out trick-or-treating.
Drew and Sadie melted hearts when they said "trick or treat" and received lots of good candy.
Then we went back to our house for dinner and to help hand out candy.

Here's where I have to say thank you to my friends for all of the help making sure things run smoothly while I am tending to my own children. My friends handed out the candy while Melinda, Michael and I were taking the kids around. Y'all are awesome!

Daniel trying to write his name in glow stick.
An adorable picture of Sadie before we went trick-or-treating.
Drew and Sadie in the wagon
The novelty of the wagon was starting to wear off for Sadie. She was ready to get out and be a part of the action.
Drew and Emma playing with their glowsticks that Daddy got for them. I can't believe that I don't have any pictures of Drew and Emma together when both of them were still in full costume. Emma didn't last long in hers. All there was to it was a pink fuzzy hat that I knit for her and glued a tan pompom to (which was suppose to be the speck of dust), but that came off almost right away. Then, with the pull of one string, she had a pink fuzzy loop instead of a hat. Guess I need to work on my knitting.... hehe
Oh No!!!!! I spilled my candy. Good thing Aunt Mina was their to help.

After we fed the kids, we took them out to hand out candy. This was everyone's favorite part of the night. They got to run around a bit and then they shoved handfuls of candy into all kinds of character's bags.
It was so funny too, because Drew said Happy Halloween to every single trick or treater he gave candy to, and there were so many that he was saying faster than he could keep up with.
My well-mannered little guy. I was a proud Mama.
Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween

Then it was time to pack it up and come inside to watch the LSU game. All of our friends flowed between the munchies set up in the kitchen and the game on TV in the living room. It was a great time to just hang out and have fun.
It was a great night. A fun time was had by all.

It's Like Riding A Bike....

It's been a long time since Colin or I have been on the bike (9 months before Drew was born to be exact). So Colin was more than ready to get back to it. After a renewed semi-obsession with his bike and a new road bike (along with some new Mellow Johnny's gear), he focused on training. Then it was back to racing.
Colin has started out a trial run at the short track series here.
Every Saturday, Colin proceeds in his race-day routine while I get the kids packed up with the wagon. We go out and cheer Daddy on! So much so that he has actually called his team "Go Fast Daddy" (Drew's favorite thing to yell at him as he flies by).
Daddy had these grip clamps stamped for his team "Go Fast Daddy"

It's a beautiful time of year to be in the woods as a biker or as a spectator. So we have all enjoyed the crisp, fresh autumn air that this has brought us out into.
What a magical place for a little boy to play.
What a funny little look. Her interest is piqued. I can tell from that cocked eyebrow.
The kids watch racers warming up from their wagon.

Colin racing through the woods.

The kids love going and seeing all of the people, playing in the woods, and standing near the fire (at a safe distance of course) for the night races.
The kids cozily tucked away in their wagon all piled up with blankets at a safe distance from the fire.
Ready, set, go! The start of a night race.
That's Daddy up front
Daddy is "spent" after his race.
Congratulations Daddy, on your podium finish at your night race.

Daddy has racked up some more medals too.
I love that Daddy takes Drew up with him to receive his medal.
Thumbs up for winners.
Drew is so proud of his daddy!

It's been a fun experience so far and we look forward to his up-coming races.

Friday, October 30, 2009

.... And On This Ranch He Had A Zebra, Eee I Eee I Ohh

Melinda and I decided over the summer that there were so many things around here that we needed to venture out to instead of our normal routine of things. One of our first ventures was to Lazy Five Ranch. We knew we wanted to do the pumpkin patch thing, and Patterson's is a great place to go, but, if you remember, we had just been there in the spring for strawberries. My kids had already been there with Mrs. Tonia also, so we wanted to go to a different place.
So Lazy Five it was.
We had a great time. We went on the wagon tour (neither of us were willing to take our cars on the "safari"). Sadie and Drew really enjoyed feeding the animals. Emma and I sat on the inner row. I don't think she's ready for all of that business, although the little daredevil that she is would probably disagree.
After our ride, we walked around for a bit and visited some more of the animals around. Drew particularly liked the kangaroos and jumping all around like them. I particularly liked the fact that jumping around endlessly like kangaroos was burning off some of Drew's relentless energy (if I could only bottle it).
Then it was off for a little swing in the park
and on to the pumpkins. Emma was adorable in her little pumpkin sweater sitting with all of the pumpkins, some even bigger than her.
A good day in good company. What else could I ask for?

Some scenes from Lazy Five Ranch. We didn't get to get very close to the zebras. Apparently they have a bad tempermant. The poor potbellied pigs could hardly walk because their potbellies were dragging the ground. Drew and Sadie enjoyed feeding the little goats too. And the gourds and pumpkins were aplenty.
Drew and Sadie get ready to feed the animals.
Sadie is not afraid of no stinkin' bull!
This big guy visited with all of the kids and Michael.
Emma wanted to feed the animals too.

Colin was so excited that he got to feed the giraffe..... chosen for his height.
Notice the big guy in the middle..... sleeping!
It was such a beautiful fall day. I'm glad we made it out there when the leaves were so pretty. The drive out was gorgeous!
A sweet moment between a daddy and a Sadie
Colin and his long lost brother (can you see the resemblance?) I had to post this to show y'all the silliness that I deal with constantly.
Emma and I sat to swing with Melinda for a bit. (ok.... really I forced Melinda to take a picture with us...hehehe)
Drew loves to swing. "I wanna go fast" is what he always says.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Eat Your Heart Out, Holly Golightly

So one of my very favorite movies is Breakfast At Tiffany's. Colin loves that I love it. He thinks it is so me, quarkey and glamorous all at once (I don't know about all that). I've seen it like, 110 times.
Well, eat your heart out Holly Golightly!
I don't have to sit at the Tiffany's window eating my breakfast while gawking over the beautiful jewelry in their display cases anymore.

I can eat my breakfast at my own home looking at my Tiffany & Co. necklace (aka my medal).

Also, yet one more reason why the details about this trip are so tailored to my parent's memory. My mother was always told how much my father looked like George Peppard in this movie.

I am not kidding you when I say that he looked soooooooo much like this when my dad was in his 20's.
So there it all is. My memories and mementos from San Francisco are now forever immortalized (at least virtually). I hope you enjoyed reading about all of the details of our trip. We've been talking about planning our next one, so I will apologize ahead of time for another barrage of posts one day from another Karen and Mary Beth trip.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Coming Home To A Ready Household

So I have to say that I was a bit nervous about what I would coming home to. Colin had the kids all by himself for the long weekend. Mrs. Tonia still had them on the weekdays during work hours, but outside of that, Colin was on his own.
Well, it wasn't long into my weekend when I saw that they were all doing just fine without me.
A mama likes to believe the world stops when she's away, but really it doesn't.
Colin kept the kids very happy. These are some of the pictures that he sent me while I was gone that reassured me.

Apparently Daddy had everyone sticking out their tongues while he took pictures for Mama.

Then when I came home, I didn't see what I expected. I'll be honest, I was expecting a sink full of dishes and toys, toys, everywhere toys. But the house was spotless. There were even fresh flowers on the table

(they were my finish line flowers, he said this was as close to the finish line as he could get..... awwww, so sweet!)
It was so good to be home and to hold my babies and be held by my hubby.
I love my life!
It's good to be home!

The Blessed Road Home

The morning after the race, I woke up at a rediculously early hour considering what I had done the day before (and after going to the victory party the night before). Karen's flight left much later than mine so I gave her a kiss goodbye and caught a shuttle to the airport.
I made it with no problem and I settled in at the gate waiting for my flight. After a coffee and a pastry I felt much better.
They started to call for boarding for my flight and so I slowly made my way over to the gate.
I congratulated a few other girls that I saw that were wearing their finisher's shirts and Tiffany's necklaces.
There was a woman in front of me in line with a mask around her neck to protect her from germs. It was a site that I am familiar with. My mother had to do the same thing.
She struggled down the hallway to get onto the plane. When the line stopped at one point, she put down her bags and sighed. She leaned back onto the wall and took a couple of deep breaths. These were also very familiar sites to me. She had the exact same weary look in her eyes that my mother would get after pushing herself to hard to keep up.
All of the sudden, all I could see in this woman was my own mother.
I asked her if I could help her. She looked at me and laughed a very efforted laugh and said, "Darling, you've helped me enough by running the race yesterday."
I was stunned, left standing there like an idiot while she picked up her bags and struggled on. I just couldn't believe she would act like I was the one who deserved to be honored. It's a dizzying feeling when a hero calls you a hero.
I almost immediately teared up and then had to face 39 rows of people on the plane with my sniveling crying as I boarded the plane.
I was barely even able to look for my seat, which is why I thought I had found the wrong one.
The charmed trip continued when I found row 40, seat C. It was one of those emergency exit seats. Exactly what I needed for this 4 hour flight.

Look at that leg-room!
It was certainly "Dr.'s orders" to stretch out the day after the race, so this was perfect.
So I looked around to make sure that I was at the right place and then I sat down. I called my sister and boo hooed to her for a while. Then, I noticed that the lady that I tried to help earlier was about 5 rows up and across the isle from me, so I could see her.
It made me start crying again. This time, I just buried my face in my hand and cried. Then there was a tap on my other hand, and I looked up.......
(A romantic comedy writer couldn't have written it any better, but I tell you that every bit of this is the absolute truth.... no exaggerations)
........ and there was the most gorgeous European man was holding out a Kleenex for me and he says,"I keep this for just such emergencies" in his most gorgeous European accent. OMG!!! You are kidding me, right! I actually laughed. I didn't mean to, I certainly didn't want to be rude, but if this scene was in a movie that I was watching, I'd say out loud, "oh yeah right. Whatever!"
Then, the best part......
...... he sits down next to me! Now if you know me at all, I am not the kind of girl who notices other men.... ever. So it was perfect that he sat down with his perfectly beautiful European wife. Some women would be frustrated by that, however I find that it really made what he said even that much more genuine. He was truly being what we all dream that those beautiful Europeans are like, and not some sleazy slime. It was perfect.
So I tried to compose myself for the flight.
When we were ready for take-off, the flight attendant came and folded down a seat that was right in front of me, facing me. My face was probably red and puffy (I'm telling you, I was disgraceful). He noticed my shirt and asked me if there was a marathon in San Francisco this weekend. I said yes and explained the whole darn story of how I got here. Poor guy. That's so not what he bargained for. As I told him, I started crying again...ugh. Then I told him that I was sorry, I didn't mean to unload on him like that, it's just that this was the first time I actually sat down and had time to think since arriving in San Francisco. He said, "oh no, not at all. You need to get it out." He touched my knee and said, "go ahead, get it out." Again, not a sleazy slimy move, I'm pretty sure I was NOT his type if you know what I mean. So I felt ok talking to him. I let out the rest of the story and he hopped up and got me some tissue from the bathroom.
What a mess!
Then, it was time for him to get back to work. He told me that if I needed anything, just let him know. It was very kind of him.
Then the guy next to me, across the isle piped up and said that his wife ran the San Diego marathon for Team In Training. I was so amazed. He and I talked for a long while about running and cancer awareness. Then after a long time, he mentioned something about his treatment. That threw me for a loop. After inquiring, I found out that he had just found out that he had cancer. He had just had surgery and would be starting chemo treatments as a precaution to be sure it was all gone in two weeks.
I just can't believe how many people are affected by cancer. It seems everywhere you look.
Then it was just about time to land and my little flight attendant guy came to visit me again. He sat down and strapped in and told me I looked much better. I told him thanks to his therapy session. He smiled and told me "anytime."
It was a great trip home.
My next flight was uneventful. Delta was doing a little fundraising of their own and offered pink lemonades for $2. All of the money went to breast cancer research, so of course I ordered one.
It was the perfect finishing touch to my perfect trip.

Just Do It? Just Did It!

So I made it. I crossed the finish line. I was met by a line of firefighters lined up in front of limo's holding silver platters with our Tiffany's necklaces on them.

I picked the firefighter that looked most like Colin. He told me congratulations...

(This actually is not the firefighter that I got my necklace from)

.....and handed me my little blue box.

It was the most beautiful site I've seen in a long time!
After collecting all of my post-race chachka and food, I went on to look around at the activities that I could partake in while waiting for my sister to finish. There were massages, stretch clinics, and other girlie type activities.
I went on to get my lunch and check in at the Team In Training tent. I met up with one of the Louisiana girls, Sarah. She was so sweet and supportive of me waiting for Karen. She got me a spot up front near the Finish Line and waited for Louisiana finishers as well.
It was chilly and so we wrapped up in our foil warmers and waited cheering on all of the finishers.

She was awesome. I was a nervous wreck waiting for her. I can't even imagine running that kind of distance. But she has trained hard for this. She was ready.
I can't even explain how wonderful it was to see her coming up. I noticed her first because of her pink visor. We were yellin' like crazy. Her coach, Maury, ran with her in.

When she passed by me I yelled like crazy. She finally saw me. I've heard her say since that I was crying.... that does not surprise me, but I wasn't aware of it.

She crossed that finish line and collected her necklace too.
I know it must have been an awesome experience for her. In her words:

"As I crested the hill, and could see the finish line just a few hundred yards below, I really began to sob. Then I saw my coach, smiling big as ever, running towards me to run with me in. I honestly don't know if I would have made across the finish running if she hadn't been there with me. I had just about reached the point that I thought I'd walk the rest of the way in, even though my goals were 1) to finish and 2) to finish running.

Then....the sight that meant the most. My sister.
She had waited 2 1/2 hours at the finish, AFTER RUNNING HER OWN RACE, for me to finish. She had tears streaming down her face, the biggest smile I'd ever seen her wear, her Fight Like a Tiger T-shirt, and she was waving her arm wildly over her head and screaming my name. For that moment, I not only saw her, but also my parents. She was a living, breathing reminder of why I was doing this crazy race. I could see my mom beaming through her smile, and I could see my dad choking back tears of pride in her eyes. That was why I ran the race...and I'm so grateful that she was there for me at the finish.

I crossed the finish line, grabbed the first "little blue box" I saw without paying any attention to the firemen in tuxedos holding the boxes on a silver platter (one of the most heavily advertised perks of this race). I grabbed my t-shirt, some gatorade, a sandwich, and told Mary Beth I was ready to get back to the hotel, so we made the LONG trek to the busses....which was almost as bad as the last mile of the course."

It was such an exciting time. She actually walked around a bit afterward. I would have fallen down and had to be carted off if I ran that long. But she still looked good.
Karen, I am truly amazed at your strength and even more impressed by your perseverance.