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More exciting news!

This post is going to kill me.  Or make me pull out ALL of my hair.  I have now almost completely finished twice, and lost it… twice.  So here I am, starting over again.

Last week when I posted about my exciting news with training for a 10K, I was keeping another little piece of information from you.  We are moving back to North Carolina!

I don’t know if I ever mentioned before that we used to live in Raleigh.  Well, actually, Garner.  We lived there for about three years from 2009 to 2012 before moving to Madison.  A new and fantastic job for Ryan in Charlotte will be bringing us back to the Carolinas!

Being a midwest girl who loves her home state, I never thought I would want to move back south.  The heat always got to me so I wasn’t disappointed when we moved back to the midwest three years ago.  Although I am a little bummed that we are leaving right as the best time of year starts here in The Mitten, I am so excited to be starting this new chapter.  I am so happy to be taking this step and laying some roots as a family.

This kind of leads me to my next piece of exciting news.  I will be running for the real Lt. Dans in the inaugural Run Forrest Run 5/10K at Notre Dame.
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My cousin Lori, who has also become an avid runner in the past year, sent me a link this race and asked me if I would like to run it with her as my “farewell run” before I move.  I didn’t even hesitate to say yes since it is for a very awesome cause!  It is a charity 5/10K run that supports the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program and wounded hero USMC Sgt. Michael Frazier.  I think Gary Sinise is a pretty rad dude and he has done some amazing work with the Wounded Warrior Project and with his own foundation.

She gave me the option of either the 5K or the 10K.  While I would LOVE to be able to do the 10K for this race, I am just not ready for one.  We chose the 5K since I know I can knock that out easily.  Ok, probably not easily but I can do it!  ;)

She also told me that the attire was red, white, and blue and I knew that wouldn’t be too much of a problem.  I already have my blue capris and my NY Giants shorts (that are red, white, and blue) if it is warm enough.  But that is unlikely.  All I needed was a shirt.  While I was out this morning it dawned on me that my veteran husband has a bunch of 82nd shirts that would be perfect!  Too bad none of them are here with me.  I emailed Ryan saying that I wished I had one of his shirts to wear and after some discussion he convinced me to order one.  I am pretty pumped about the one I went with.  82nd shirt

The smallest size they had was a medium and it has got to be a men’s medium so I am sure I will be swimming in it, but I love it.  I a little bit wish I had more red in my outfit, like red pants/shorts instead of blue, but I will survive.  Can you tell I am just a tad pumped for this?

So while we are talking about Charlotte and races… I am also registered for my first Color Run of the year!  I am also pretty excited about the Shine Tour this year.  As soon as we knew that we would be moving to Charlotte, and had a good idea of when we would be there, I went ahead and registered.  And can I just say that I am stoked that there will be night races this year?  There will be an additional night race sometime this year in Charlotte.  Needless to say I signed up for the email on that!

Oh  my gosh, I am so happy that I am so excited about my upcoming runs!  What are YOUR favorite kinds of races?

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It’s no joke – I’m training for a 10K!

I left off last week letting you know that I would be sharing some exciting news!  I also gave you a bit of a spoiler telling you that part of it had to do with training.  Well – I’ve decided to actually follow through with 10K training.  No this is not an April Fool’s joke, although I might be wishing it were later on.

I searched countless 10K training schedules to try to find one that worked for me.  Beginner 10K training, 5K to 10K training, beginner Half-Marathon training… you name it, I searched it.   All of the schedules that I found had three or four run days with some Cross Training and Strength Training days mixed in with a rest day each week.  Some had speed training days or days that called for sprinting uphill.  Each program seemed great in its own way.  There were just a couple of problems.  I am a SAHM with two toddlers and currently no babysitter.  Even when my parents aren’t on vacation, (they left this morning for a week in California.  Yep.) I don’t have access to a track or hills.  But I wasn’t going to let that stop me!  I decided just to use my trusty ol’ 5K to 10K app.  All it asks is for 30-60 minutes a day, 3 days a week.  I don’t feel guilty if I miss Cross Training or Strength Training days because it doesn’t ask for them.  It does give me run cues … when I have it turned on properly … so I know when to steady jog and when to tempo run.  It really seemed like the right program for me right now.

I had actually planned on starting last week but timing was just not working out for me at all.  It ended up being a busy week in the evenings so I hit the treadmill when I could to at least get some running in. The week kind of fell apart but the weekend came and I had done some outlet shopping.  I left with ONLY workout clothes.  I wasn’t upset.  Two new pair of leggings, one pair of capris, a tank, and a couple other accessories.  I was set for a fresh start!

Monday 3/30: 2.01 miles – 20:00, pace: 9:56  Monday always seems like the best day to start a new routine so that’s when I hit the pavement for my first 10K training run.  It was a 20 minute steady run.  I had a new pair of leggings on, music going, and it was 55* and sunny!  I was determined to make this a great run.  I planned the route out in my head and darned if it wasn’t the PERFECT distance.  I walked my 5:00 for my warm up and got to the place I always get to.  I jogged my 20:00 and did a little loop in that time and ended up right where I started my jog for my 5:00 cool down.  It was kind of funny how it worked out.  I felt great through the whole thing.  I don’t know if it was the motivation to start a new training program, the weather, or maybe the new leggings, but something was working for me!IMG_6856

Wednesday 4/1: Somewhere a little over a mile – right around 10:00, pace: no idea  I was kind of oddly excited for today because, although my parents are gone I cannot just go off for a run, I had walked the perimeter of the yard last night and found that it is a quarter mile.  I figured if I ran the perimeter of the yard while the kiddos were down for a nap, I might actually be able to get in a full workout that counted for something.  It was brilliant!  It was another lovely day, I had another new pair of leggings on, babes were down for their nap… what could go wrong?  This was actually going to work out.  Or so I thought.  It was so lovely that the dogs wanted to be outside.  Well, Liddi wanted to stay outside and Sammy decided to go back in when he heard the truck a couple of houses down working on a new driveway or something.  Liddi found a perfect little spot in the sun on the porch next to the door.  I started out on my warm up walk.  It was just over one lap.  I started my jog and things were fine.  It was a little rough to run in the grass which was not level at all.  Bumpy from moles and other natural dips in the land.  I came around again and Liddi was still laying in the sun.  Then she saw me.  She got up and barked a bit.  I came around a second time and she was in the yard sniffing  starting to wander so I corralled her back to our yard.  She was being pretty good so I wasn’t too concerned.  I came around a third time and she was still in the yard being a good pup.  The fourth time is when it all went to crap.  I found her in my step-sister’s yard, she lives next door, so I tried to corral her again.  She wasn’t having it.  So I scooped her up and jogged up to the house.  I tried to pause the app while I stopped to put her in since it was just switching over to my tempo run.  I got her inside and just as I was going to unpause, I heard “JOG” which meant I messed something up.  Not sure how I did it, but I think I skipped the tempo run somehow.  If there is a skip button, I hit it.  I was flustered and hit “quit” and realized I just lost everything.  Upset I called it quits and let the poor pup back out into the sun where she wanted to be.  If I had thought I had the time, I could have restarted.  I really didn’t want to risk having the babes wake up and start crying while I was still outside. IMG_6879

I was chalking it up to a failure until I stopped and told myself it wasn’t a failure at all.  I still got in around a mile.  A failure would have been not running at all.  I know I will have good days and bad days alike.  I can’t really even call this a bad day.  Just a crummy mishap.  So no, it wasn’t what I had hoped for but it was better than nothing.  I’ll try it again tomorrow!

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WDSD Run lead up and recap

As you may have noticed I was down for a couple of weeks.  It came at a really inconvenient time since I was trying to get back into 5k shape for the World Down Syndrome Day Virtual Run.  We all got a strain of a cold that just would not let go.  It was lame and it made my training suck.  Instead of recapping all of the crummy half-runs, I’ll skip to the recent ones that actually got me closer to being prepared.

Tuesday 3/17: 2.51 miles – 25:30, pace: 10:09  I took to the streets.  It was the first time I have run outside since September.  It was hard but great.  I knew I had to do at least 2 miles and really needed to push for more.  I ran toward my grandmother’s house and past to Ashley’s (my friend from high school) house.  I wasn’t quite to her house when the mile notification beeped.  I decided I was almost there so I would run down and turn around.  As I ran up to her house, she was walking out.  I stopped for a minute to talk and that’s when my Garmin died.  Good thing I knew it would happen so I had started the MapMyRun app as well.  She was on her way out to walk her dog so we didn’t chat too long but it was still a really nice surprise to see her.  I ran back to the house where I knew it would be time for my cool-down walk and checked my app.  I was SO close to 2.5 miles that I just sprinted the last 0.1 miles to get there. When I stopped the app it logged 25:30 for a pace of 10:09.  I know that I was actually running at a faster pace since the 25:30 included the time when I stopped to talk.  No problem, it was a great start!

Wednesday 3/18: I had planned on a 3 mile run but my mom ended up having the day off of work so we ran some errands and my run never happened.  Kind of a bummer also since I think Wednesday has  been the warmest day in the past two weeks.

Thursday 3/19: 3.5 miles – 34:22.8, pace: 9:49  This run was horrible.  When I had seen Ashley a couple of days before, she was on her way up to walk her dog on the bike & run trail/path that was just finished last summer.  I asked her to let me know if it was clear since the week before it was still piled up with snow.  She reported back that it was completely clear so that is where I planned to run.  It is a little over 4 miles from my mom’s house and back as a big loop.  With my warm-up and cool-down walks it would work out distance wise for me.  I hadn’t decided what total distance I would try yet, but I just started out and figured I would decide later.  This run was really rough.  I have to admit that there were plenty of breaks to catch my breath that I also used to stretch.  It was chillier than I had realized which made the run more difficult for me.  I ended up running 3.5 because once I hit 3 I didn’t really want to walk the approximately 1 mile back.  I kicked it into a higher gear and just finished off an additional half mile.  The first mile was ok.  Not too bad at all but I knew it was only the first of at least 3.  The last mile wasn’t too bad either, especially that last half of a mile.  It was the middle 2.5 that dragged on. Nevertheless, I finished and I was happy I got it done.

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Although no negative splits were had that day, it was still a decent overall pace. Less than 10 minute mile, fastest 5k, and longest run… I’ll take it!

Friday 3/20:  Friday was a planned rest day.  I wanted to be refreshed and ready to go the next day.

Saturday 3/21: 3.21 miles – 30:38.1, pace: 9:33  World Down Syndrome Day Virtual Run!  I ran 3.21 miles for my girl!  There was really nothing virtual about my run other than the fact that I wasn’t running alongside thousands of other folks.  I woke up and ate the leftover half of a taco I had from the night before.  There really wasn’t much to it, it was plain shredded chicken with some cheese in a tortilla.  I figured it had some protein which would help but nothing spicy to upset my stomach.  I planned on running early (for my standards) so that we would have the rest of the day to just hang out.  I waited until it was officially light out and planned my route.  I was going to run to Ashley’s again plus a little extra loop to add a little distance.  I noticed when I was about half-way through my route that I was not half-way through my distance and when I checked my watch at half-way through my distance, I was MUCH more than half-way through my route.  I kept running and decided I would figure something out along the way.  I kept trying to find ways to add a little distance, unfortunately there are not many options where I was.  I turned down one dirt road unsure of where it went.  I figured I’d go down a little bit of it and turn back.  I got to what seemed about 3/4 of the way down when I noticed a “Private Property” sign.  Not wanting to invade anyone’s privacy, I turned back.  Just as I did two German Shepherds were running toward with with some mighty loud barking and startled me.  They may have been very nice dogs, but I don’t think they really wanted me around right then.  I turned down the next, and last before I was home again, dirt road that I knew was a Dead End.  I figured any little bit would help, I only needed a little more. Before I knew it, I was done.  It was another struggle, but I had made it.  IMG_6741

I actually achieved negative splits!  Outside!  I had purposely set my pace faster on the treadmill one day to do this, but I was able to do it outside!  Granted, my last mile was only one second faster than the previous, but it was still faster!  Woo!  I also got my fastest 5k!  Over all, I am pleased.

Sunday 3/22:  Sunday was another planned rest day.  I was too busy enjoying the weekend with my family!

Monday 3/23:  I fully intended to run 4 miles today… outside.  Until this happened.  IMG_6743

It wasn’t there this morning.  Then I saw a post from a friend in Chicago.  There was an inch or more of snow on the ground.  I feared it was headed this way.  I was right.  Mid-morning it started.  It has not stopped and now there will be no running for today.  I suppose I will do some treadmill work tomorrow.

Stay tuned for more training recaps and much exciting news… semi-spoiler: some of it involves my training plans.

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Recapping. And, how is it March?

I intended to post something on Sunday but my nieces were still over for most of the day and by the time they went home I literally didn’t have enough energy to take ten minutes to write about the previous few days.

Today, I am failing to find words for anything so I will just jump right into the recaps…

Thursday 2/26: 2.25 miles – 20:30, pace 9:06 Before I did any of the running, I did a little Vasisthasana because my friend, Salt, had challenged me to it almost a week before.  I had somehow missed her challenge but I was not going to ignore it!

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Friday 2/27: 1.5 miles – 13:51, pace: 9:14  I really wasn’t feeling it on Friday.  It was the end of the week with no running breaks since Sunday and I was S.O.R.E. sore.  Plus, I was sure from trying to capture the Vasisthasana in photo the day before.  I wasn’t going to skip so I pounded out mile and half and figured some was better than none.

Saturday 2/28: 1 mile – 10:00, pace: 10:00  Saturday morning my nieces came over.  They were over for the night and most of the next day.  For a moment I considered taking Saturday as my rest day and running Sunday.  BUT, I knew I was going out that night and there was a possibility that I might not be in a condition to run the next day.  So I got my clothes and shoes on and started up the treadmill.  I started out with my warm up walk as my older niece talked to me.  Then I cranked it up to 6 and started jogging.  “WOW! You’re a fast walker!” She exclaimed.  Yeah, I suppose I am.  She went around to the front and sat and stared.  A few minutes went by and I could feel her stares burning into my legs.  She asked how long I would run.  Asked what number it was on.  Asked some more questions and I just couldn’t do it any longer.  Those ten minutes felt like an eternity.  I was still sore from the day before and the audience wasn’t helping time go any faster.  I finished a mile and called it good.  I would consider running the next day depending on how I felt.

Saturday night was awesome.  We had some cousin time for my cousin’s birthday (same five of us from MY birthday) and I wasn’t stupid about drinking.  (Disclaimer: I don’t drink often.  I hadn’t been out since the Color Run in September so sadly it doesn’t take much for me to be stupid about drinking.  I easily forget when to stop.)  I am so glad that I got to spend some time with my family and hope we get to do it again soon!

Sunday 3/1: Rest Day  I know what you are probably thinking but nope.  I wasn’t hungover.  Not a bit.  I woke up early, 6:30 and got out of bed.  My nieces were still here and I was not going to be on display running again.  By the time they left I was so worn out by them that I didn’t even want to think about getting on the treadmill.  I needed a rest day anyway so it worked out.

Monday 3/2: 1.5 miles – 14:12, pace: 9:27  Oh Monday was terrible.  I woke up feeling kind of crummy.  We all had.  I really think we may have gotten something from the girls but who knows…

I walked by the treadmill a few times and glared at it.  I didn’t want on at all.  Not one bit.  I mustered up the little bit I had in me to get dressed and get on it.  To my surprise, I felt great.  I wasn’t sure how much I was going to do since I had worked down in milage over the previous two run days.  But to my surprise I felt really great while I was doing it.  I did some intervals which I really think helped.  I only stopped at 1.5 because poor Eva had gotten herself stuck between the end table and the sofa.  Once I got off to help her they started fussing for some snacks so I called it done for the day.  I kind of wish I had pushed further but I couldn’t leave that poor girl there.

Tuesday 3/3: 2 miles – 18:59, pace: 9:29  I was actually excited to get on the treadmill Tuesday.  I continued with the intervals for two miles.  I started to get tired just past 1.5 but knew it was a mind thing and pushed through.

Wednesday 3/4: 2.5 miles – 23:12, pace: 9:16  I woke up not feeling 100%.  I wondered if I still had a little bit of whatever it was we were all experiencing a few days prior.  At one point I had convinced myself that I was just going to take a rest day.  I know I am stronger after a rest day and figured 2.5 miles would be easier after a day off.  I changed my mind.  Yes, today was rough.  I struggled through most of it and cranked up the speed a couple of times before I had originally planned just so I could get the mileage done.  I was sucking air.  Hard.

Plans: Getting comfortable at 2.5 miles before I increase the distance again.  So glad I am 0.71 miles away from my goal.  I need 3.21 miles for the World Down Syndrome Day Virtual Run, so being comfortable with 3 at that point will do.  I know I could push for the extra 0.21.  But really, being comfortable with 3.21 or even 3.5 would be better.

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Five Things Friday! – What’s been happening?!

So many things have happened since my last blog post in July.  I am going to try to narrow it down to five topics in chronological order.

1. September 10 – I turned 30!

There really isn’t a whole lot to say about that.  I was looking forward to it and it was so much fun!  I am not one to let age bother me.  It never has and I hope it never will.

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My two best friends, whom I have not seen in a long time, came to visit and hang out on the lake with me!  I also had my brother and three of my six cousins there!  I did a little wakesurfing and got up on my first try!  I am so grateful for my husband who planned the whole thing and even stayed back at the house to watch the bables.  I’m grateful for my friends for taking the time and making the trip.  It’s not often that I get to see them and it meant a lot.  And I’m grateful for my family for spending the time with me as well.  But let’s face it, it was a nice weekend at the lake, they were going to be there anyway.  ;)

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2. September 27 – South Bend Color Run!

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I ran The Color Run with my cousins and little cousins (their kids).  Ok so the kids ended up walking 98% of it, but we still had so much fun!  We wore $ Super Man shirts that my cousin Liz made so we could all match and stand out.  My dad ended up taking is all out for brunch after it was over and it was decided right then and there that it would be a big Money clan event next/this year!  Some of us will run and others will walk.  I am really looking forward to it!

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3. October 1 – I’m ‘running’ my own business!

In august I tried Jamberry for the first time and fell in love.  I had seen Jamberry around long before then (I knew a girl who was a consultant back before Jamberry went through their big product overhaul and rebranding/remarketing) but never really was interested in giving it a shot.  My consultant talked to my about joining and I had thought it over.  It sounded like a great idea and I really wanted to be able to contribute since it had been a year that I had not been working.  I talked it over with R and we decided to wait just a little while to see what might pan out.  I had my mind set that I just probably wouldn’t.

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Then, a couple of weeks later, I decided that I would just go for it.  I had birthday money left over and figured I could just use that and if I could, at the very least make back the money I spent on the kit, it wouldn’t be a total wash.  I did.  I made back the money in about two weeks.  I achieved so much more in my first two months than I really thought I would!  I’m so glad I did it because it is fun for me.

(I promise I will not overload this blog with Jamberry posts.  Although it is a new ‘running’ aspect in my life, I’ll keep it to a minimum!😉 )

 

4. December 24 – Bables are One and a Half!

My kids turned a year and a half on Christmas Eve.  I cannot believe how much they have changed in that time.  Even in the past year since I started blogging.  Shoot, I cannot believe how much they have changed in the past two months since they turned 1 1/2!

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Eva is walking!  She has been cruising with her scooter/walker for some time but she is doing such a great job!  She walks for a stretch and if she falls she is able to stand back up on her own most of the time!  They are both speaking some sign language and William is starting to practice some words.  I am so very proud of those kids and they are why I do this!

 

5. October to Present – Running break and away from home.

Number five is more of a chunk of time because things have just been … up in the air I guess.

After The Color Run I ended up taking a short break from running.  No reason in particular other than I had not been feeling well when I ran over the summer.  I also had started the Jamberry business and my focus was there.  As the month of October went on we made a decision to stop dumping money into our over priced apartment and I would come into Michigan for a short time while we looked for something different.  I was finding it hard to run as I didn’t really have anyone to sit with the bables until around 4p and things still weren’t settled down until after dinner.  At that point I would just get lazy.  All the while there was a treadmill in the other room.

Time went on a apartment hunting was not a success.  Christmas came and went and things started to look up.  We were able to start looking for a house and were getting very excited about that.  I took the bables back into Madison for their 18m check-ups and we looked at a couple of houses while we were there.  We decided to stay and extra day while R and I put an offer in on a house we fell in love with.

The offer was accepted that day and things really seemed to be falling into place.  Until the home inspection.  The home inspection uncovered a variety of things that all added up to something we just couldn’t take on.  We and the homeowners signed a mutual cancellation and from what I understand they have removed the home from the market to get some of the things taken care of.

So we are back in the state of uncertainty while we continue to search and wait for another break.  In the mean time, I decided that the five month running break needed to come to an end.  I have some races in mind, starting with the World Down Syndrome Virtual run on March 21 and I need to be prepared for it.  So treadmill running with breaks to check on kids (because I cannot seem to run more than five minutes without one or both of them crying this week) will have to do!

Missed Blogiversary and Back in Action!

A little over a year ago I set out on a mission and started blogging about it.  The ultimate goal was Couch-to-Half Marathon in one year.  I set my sights on the Disney Princess Half Marathon that is held in February each year.  Well, it was last weekend and I was not there.  I can’t recall if I ever posted about when I had to make the decision to register or not. That time came in July and we were not really in a place where I could make the commitment.  I was actually feeling pretty ok about it.  I set out on the whole journey so that I could run for Eva.  But at a little over a year and a half old, she wasn’t going to remember it.  I would rather go all-in at a time when she can really enjoy the Disney experience.

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After a longer-than-planned running break, I am back and recommitted to running. I’m using the Lenten Season to refocus and retrain.  It might be a little bit, ok a lotta bit, cliché but it works for me.  I have also registered for the World Down Syndrome Day Virtual 5K/3.21mi Run again this year.  I have less than a month to get back into running shape and I was hoping so hard that it wouldn’t be a struggle.

10978507_800923983330670_9065347185723061963_nI didn’t really think I would need to start the C25K program from the beginning but I started out a week ago on Week 5 Day 1.  After the first three painful minutes I started to feel pretty good.  I passed the five minute mark where I should have taken a walk break and just went for a full mile.  I have been making up my own program this past week and we will see how the rest of the time goes.

Recap of the past week –

Wednesday 2/18: 1 mile – 11:56, pace: 11:56

Thursday 2/19: 1 mile – 10:00, pace 10:00

Friday 2/20: 1.5 miles – 15:00, pace 10:00

Saturday 2/21: 1 mile – 10:00, pace: 10:00

Sunday 2/22: Rest Day

Monday 2/23: 2 miles – 18:48, average pace: 9:23 (first official negative splits!)

Tuesday 2/24: 1.5 miles – 13:55, average pace: 9:16

Wednesday 2/25: 2 miles – 17:34, average pace: 8:47

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Five Things Friday!

Where has the past month gone? I knew it would be a very busy few weeks for us. I guess I just didn’t realize how busy it would really be.

Today I bring you: Five Things Friday: Five Things That Have Happened Since Last Time!

1. Father’s Day – Alright this was a actually the last time I posted so technically that doesn’t count, but what we did for Father’s Day does!
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We, like a lot of others, did the DAD pictures. I was only able to pull this off as a surprise because Ryan was out of town and my mom was here helping me out. There were tears, oh so many tears, but we managed to capture some great shots.

2 (a). A First Birthday! – I was really in disbelief about W and E turning a year old. It just didn’t feel right. Didn’t feel like it was time for that yet. But I suppose the calendar doesn’t lie!
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Their birthday fell on a Tuesday so we didn’t really do anything special, except for …

2 (b). A “Cake” “Smash”! – Cake and smash are both in quotations because what they had wasn’t really cake (it was really an all natural banana bread muffin) and they didn’t do any smashing.
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Again there were tears. I really think they aren’t too fond of sitting in the grass. They weren’t too sure about their “cakes” either. Once we got inside and I broke it into bite-size pieces, they loved it!

3. A birthday party! – I suppose this could be 2 (c) but since it didn’t fall on their birthday, and was at the lake, it gets its own number.20140718-142406-51846888.jpg

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The bables got to take their first swim in the lake! They also went for their first tubing ride, but I don’t have any of those pictures to share right now. (If any family is reading this and has pictures from that day, please email me!)20140718-142712-52032087.jpg

The other great part of that day was that seven of my Gramma’s eight grandkids were together. We had some awesome cousin time!

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4. The Fourth of July! – We spent Independence Day at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens.  It was a very nice relaxing day with our little family!20140718-143818-52698283.jpg

 

5. Baby Quilts! – I began to make a couple of quilts for the bables.  I used some of the money they babies got for their birthday to start the quilts I wanted to make for them.  I thought it would be a great gift for their first birthday and those that gave them money would have contributed.20140718-145756-53876549.jpg

Besides all of that there has been some running, a bunch of not running, and some more running.  We have another trip into Michigan planned for next week so another couple of busy weeks for us, but not like it has been.  Until next time, I hope you enjoy some of the cuteness above!