no apologies for the cuteness

With holidays comes adorable Easter dresses.

Bonus if they are dressed alike because what can be more adorable…

…especially when the darlings are at an age where they can’t really complain and protest. Actually at this age they LOVE it! So seize it while you can.

It’s a very narrow window of time when you can truly get away with such cuteness…

…and enjoy the total cooperation; because it’s fun that we are all dressed the same!

Remember that when the day comes (and it WILL come) when the kids look at these memories and then back at you wondering out loud, “What the hell were you thinking, Mom?!

Then you smile back at them because you have no apologies for such cuteness and you are absolutely certain that someday they will do it to their children too.

Scroll back to the top if you don’t believe me.

I run like a big girl

So…

How did it go?

I’m upright. I’m walking. I am managing going up and down the stairs under The Big Top. It hurts a little but I’m going up and down those stairs. I guess you could say I did okay with the half marathon comeback.

The day before the race, the boys joined me at the expo in downtown Modesto because what else were they going to do that day? Help Hollie and Ben move when Bill is still not 100% cleared from heavy lifting? Watch Netflix and play video games? It’s a beautiful day, let’s hit the expo, see what else they have and grab some grub because this mother runner needs to fuel up.

Oh and take my picture please because I’m wearing a cute dress…Old Navy!…and I am having a great hair day.

While at the expo, I made the decision to drop out of my age division and sign up for the Athena division, basically the big girl division. This involves stepping on a scale in the expo much like The Biggest Loser without the dramatic music and giant numbers flashing above your head. Still one must step on a scale and everyone within ear shot now knows how much you weigh. It’s just a number, I tell myself. A number that is now bigger than my darling husband; who, naturally, dropped about 10 pounds so far during his post STEMI recovery. I can’t hate him because I am certain that I can run a half marathon and he can not. So I am now officially in the big girl race division.

It’s all about that bass.

Back home, it was time to check out the swag,

and get my gear ready because come 5:00 in the morning, it is not the time to be looking for those socks or ear buds.

This kind of pre-gaming probably wasn’t the best idea but I reasoned it was to support my favorite dance team and studio…a little wine tasting, a little bit of good food and a little bit of shopping…the perfect way to unwind those pre-race jitters.

Bedtime soon followed because 5 am was going to come soon enough.

See?

A little oatmeal, blueberries, yogurt and coffee…definitely coffee and I was ready to go.

This lady is why I signed up for this race in the first place. She told me there was wine. She also told me that it would be her first half marathon. I warned that after about 2 miles I would take off and settle into my pace but I promised us both that this would be fun. It would be. The atmosphere at the start was happy, friendly and very comfortable. We were among friends all looking forward to a beautiful morning run.

Soon enough, I ran past Sandra and settled into my own pace. It was faster than I had planned but I felt good and I felt strong. It was about 58° under the shady college neighborhood so I figured that I might as well keep going at this pace. I soon passed this dapper gentleman above who was race walking and literally passing runners of all shapes and sizes. He smiled at me as I passed him saying “Great day for a stroll isn’t it?”

“Perfect day!” I agreed as I waved and ran on past him. Later I found out that he was just 12 minutes behind me crossing the finish line race walking all the way.

At the 7 mile mark water station, I could see that I was not going to maintain the fast pace I was running. No problem. It was a comfortable pace for a few miles but definitely not the long haul. I was planning to finish strong. It has been five years since I last ran a half marathon race. There was no PR planned for the day; just a respectable finish under a 12 minute pace. So at 7 miles, I walked through the water station. Drank some water. Drank some electrolytes and had a small snack. Back to running settling in a 11 minute pace, I decided that I would walk through the water stations.

And I would most definitely smile and wave at the photographers. Big girls run and look good while doing it!

It got warm soon enough. Not as warm as I imagined that it would be. Still, it was warm. I’m glad that I chose to allow short walk breaks. I was encouraged that I stayed with most of the pack that I had been running with since the 5K mark. The race organizers were true to their word. This was a fast course. Soon enough my pack and I were on 9th Street trying to power through because we were but 2 miles from being done when zooming past us was the marathon winner, Jesus Campos! With a series of 5:35 miles, he definitely ran past us all like he stole something complete with a police escort. We all cheered in our pack and found the energy to push through.

I was literally 6 minutes behind the marathon winner and ahead of the female marathon winner. Yes, I ran the half marathon. Still, I was beyond thrilled with this time. Just 3 minutes slower than my personal best and after a five year hiatus this was super…even better than what I had expected too!

Even better, I did well running in the Athena/Big Girl division placing 9th out of a 30.

Big girls do run and run sometimes faster than even they imagine…at an 11:55 average pace!

I’ll gladly take it and celebrate it.

After an ice bath.

You think running 13.1 miles is tortuous and hard!

and a massage…

and resting while rocking these sweet Pro Compression socks.

and along with a lot of hydration, a little celebration, thanks to the Modesto Marathon.

be on the lookout

If you happen to find yourself in and around Modesto come Sunday morning, be on the lookout for these sweet running tights. I will be wearing them while running The Modesto Half Marathon.

Current weather conditions promise it to be a very bright, sunny and WARM race.

I might die!

Kidding.

Still I just might because I am not a hot weather runner. Ignore the the half marathons past…The American River Parkway Half, The Disneyland Half, The San Jose Rock and Roll Half…all ran in the heat. Those were more than 4 years ago and I STILL hated running in the heat then as I do now…perhaps even more now because hot flashes make it even hotter…take your breath away and perhaps suffocate you hotter.

Yes, I just might die.

But at least I know I trained well in spite of the last two runs of my training which absolutely, positively sucked. I have been hydrating well all week. And I have some sweet running tights and equally colorful kicks to run through Mo-town come Sunday morning!

If your in my neck of the woods I do hope that you will come cheer me on. I need lots of cowbell and cheering. I won’t promise a PR time like the inaugural Stockton Half or even negative splits like my very first half marathon race because I am 5 years older and slower and this is a comeback for me. But I do promise for you lots of fun cheering racers on and a beer and wine garden with food trucks galore at the finish line.

But if you aren’t in my neck of the woods and want to be a creeper still want to cheer me on you can sign up for instant updates of me out on the race course where you will receive start time, splits and finish time sent directly to your phone, email or Facebook.

adapting

If you are going to live under this Big Top, you got to learn to adapt because it can be a crazy circus.

Zoë’s Albert is doing just that…finally. It helps that he can open doors so that he can pretty much go where ever he desires.

Currently that would be in Daniel’s room, Yeah, that is going over REAL well.

Daniel continues to struggle with work on adapting. Not the first trait that pops into your head when you think about someone living on the Spectrum.

At least he is not alone in adapting to Albert taking up temporary residence here under The Big Top.

I’m betting that Daniel will adapt to Albert opening his bedroom door and chilling in his room under his bed faster than Zelda will adapt to Albert period.

because sometimes you just have to pull over and let it out

Scratching your head a little over that title, eh?

Yeah me too.

Have you ever had that moment where you knew that you were going to be sick but it was absolutely the last thing that you wanted to do because…who wants to get sick…where you are at…who you are with…who really wants to just hurl right here, right now.

Of course my darling husband and a couple of my kids swear by the nonsense of letting it go (so to speak) because you’ll feel better after.

They are totally, completely weird that way…truly….I judge them all the time when they choose to share their weird theory…and then I feel nauseous because I just can’t deal with vomit…not at all.

Oops!

I should have told you what this was about.

No not really actual vomit.

Except there is this one time…it’s kind of gross…still…

Okay.

Way back in 1993, Bill and I bought our very first brand new car, all bright and shiny and red with that fresh new car smell and only 8 miles on the odometer…a Mercury Villager! Thus began my long journey, that seems to have no end, of me driving a minivan. It wasn’t that bad…except now when I really don’t need a minivan. But that Villager! I loved it. We were literally the first family at my daughter’s school to have one and we always caused quite the stir at the drop off and pick up. While I was collecting my kindergartener, Hollie, I would spy other moms pressing their noses against the limousine tinted glass to gaze upon it’s gorgeous interior. I loved that car! It was perfect for a young mom with two small children and one on the way. And it was the first brand new car that I had ever owned.

Oh yeah, I was pregnant when we bought it. Yeah, I was struggling with hyperemesis too. Big surprise. But after nearly 8 months of it with Zoë, I was a pro…at least I thought I was. I knew the vomiting was inevitable but at least this time I could control it…?…I know, I’m an idiot sometimes. So there I was coming home from a routine OB visit, driving my gorgeous, red minivan, when…oh no…NO!….OH NO!!!….It’s coming….where is a bag, a towel, something, anything….there’s nothing??!!…oh dear god…it’s coming…

Frantic and not knowing what to do but determined not to throw up in my shiny, new car, I pull over a block from home and…

Yeah.

I never, ever drove that way home as long as we lived on Amelia Drive ever again.

Oh, and family, I did not feel better afterward! I actually felt worse and it had nothing to do with the homeowner of the house I stopped at to puke on their curb saw me. I just did; even if my body was forcing that vomit out.

I’m being gross, aren’t I?

I’m sorry.

It happened again the other day. I tried and tried so hard to keep it down, to somehow will it to not come out but…

And then after that came the words…ALL the words. All the words forcing their way out of my mouth…and they just kept coming and coming and coming…

I just can’t seem to get away from the Mean Girls references, can I?

What can I say?

It needed to come out…all of it…and it did. Of course I was miserable after…as is the one whom received all those words…so many words…hundreds…more than a thousand…all tumbling out on top of each other , forcing their way out.

It all had to come out.

All of it.

And, because it’s me, I felt even worse.

Ugh!

But sometimes you just have to pull over and let it all out right there.

So I did..

Excuse me now, I have a big mess to clean up.