Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Proof is in the Pudding...errr...Pictures.

At my first race I crossed the finish line with the most determined, I'm gonna kill somebody, look on my face. So this time around, I remembered to muster every bit of extra energy, blink the sweat out of my eyes, and smile for the cameras. :) Say cheese! Fear not my friends, the clock in the background is the official race clock and started counting when the first group crossed the starting line. (The group Dave affectionately refers to as the Gazelles). Each of the 32 groups started at 1-3 minute intervals so my group started 31 minutes after the clock. You may also notice that I was not exaggerating the crowds. Most of the pics were like a Where's Waldo puzzle. As an aside, they sent me a link with all my race photos by using the number pasted on my chest. My number was 19861. Well, there was a picture in my bucket of runner #19867. Understandable mistake. The weird thing was, she was wearing the same exact outfit as me! Too strange. Anyway, enjoy the pics. It will be awhile before there are anymore race photos. Grace and Peace!

This is my "Thank you Jesus, I'm still alive!" pose.

The crowd did thin out a little at about mile 13.1

This was me coming in the home stretch. Notice I am in front of that guy.
Yeah for beating at least one man across the finish line who wasn't 85 years old!

Here is a shot of the "Gazelles" starting the race.
I'm right there behind them. You just have to look real hard. :)

Where's Waldo #1, Right there next to 100,000 other people.

Where's Waldo #2. I think that's me. Maybe. It's someone with a blue shirt anyway!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Music City Half-Marathon

What would make 31,000 people run for 13.1 miles in 87 degree heat? You've got me? At least in Pamplona there are bulls chasing them! But I did it! I Ran the Music City 1/2 Marathon in 2 hours and 22 minutes. My previous race time was 2 hours 17 minutes and I was trying to beat that time, but I am happy with 2:22. Factoring in the heat and hills and crowd, oh ya, and the fact that I had a baby 6 months ago, I am pretty happy with my time. I was able to hang with the 2:15 pace group for the first 6.5 miles but then it just got too crowded to keep up with them and I wasn’t having any fun. So I eased up a bit and really enjoyed miles 6-10. The last three miles were rough, but I “ran” the whole way. I use that term loosely. I have no war wounds from yesterday except a sunburn and sore quads.

The biggest factor was the crowds. There were over 31,000 runners! I felt like I was shoulder to shoulder with people for the first 7 miles. I placed 9,137 out of 22,749 finishers in the half marathon. I finished 4,422 out of the 14,505 female finishers in the half marathon. To be in the top 30% of female finishers makes me feel pretty good, I have to say.

As I was crossing the finish line I was sort of sad because I had no one there to cheer me on or hug me in a congratulatory manner. But once I got past the finish line and saw the crowds I was so glad Dave had not brought Emily into that mob of people. When I got back to Franklin, my sweet husband, Emily and Dave's mom had on display a giant balloon bouquet, gorgeous red and yellow tulips, champagne, Gatorade, and snacks. The funny thing was that they couldn’t find a congratulations balloon, so he bought one that had a little girl on the front and it said “13 Today” so Dave added a “.1” because the half marathon is 13.1 miles. Too funny! I love my husband!

As much as I enjoyed it, I will probably not be running this particular race again simply because of the crowds. I plan to run the St. Jude Half-Marathon again this December in Memphis. I am still contemplating running a Full Marathon next May in San Diego with my brother. The jury is still out. As Dave likes to remind me, I am not a gazelle and you have to be a gazelle to run that far. For now, I am just going to enjoy my recent accomplishment and my hot tub.

Funny Race Moments:

Two girls running with homemade T-shirts with writting on the back;

  • Girl 1: "It's my first time"
  • Girl 2: "That's what she said!"

Man with his three small sons on the sideline cheering on his wife;

  • Dad's sign: "#22356 is my wife!"
  • Boy 1 sign: "Run Mommy, Run!"
  • Boy 2 sign: "You can do it Mommy!"
  • Boy 3 sign: "Don't puke Mommy!"

At about mile 3 I saw a tiny, frail old man who had to be at least 85 years old, no joke. As I ran past him I said to him, "Good job, you're doing great!" Then I noticed he wasn't wearing a half marathon race tag, he was wearing a FULL MARATHON race tag! Are you kidding me?!?!?!

Sign at mile marker 6 "Beer this way. 20.2 miles ahead!"

Friday, April 24, 2009

On Your Mark..Get Set...GO!!!

On December 7th, 2007 I ran my first half marathon (The picture above is after the St. Jude race in Memphis). At the time, I thought it would be my only half marathon. I distinctly remember coming into work the following Monday and my boss asking me, "How was your first half-marathon?" And thinking out loud, "Are you kidding me! One is enough." Now, Sixteen months and one bouncing baby girl later, I am running my second half marathon. What am I thinking?!?! Tomorrow I am running the Music City Rock N' Roll half marathon in Nashville. The cool thing about this race is that there is a different band set up at every mile marker. Actually, there are like 15 bands in the 13.1 miles that make up the route. I don't know that it will make up for not having my iPhone, but I've heard it's pretty awesome. As much as I am looking forward to the race (I know that sounds crazy) I am really NOT looking forward to waking up at 4:15am. That's right people, 4:15 am!

Wish me luck! Pictures to follow, that is if I have the energy left to post them!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Sunday afternoon, after all the Baby Dedication festivities were over and all the family was on it's way home, I decided to try and fit in a run. Usually on Saturday mornings I go for my long run. This past Saturday I had scheduled 11 miles, but with everyone coming in town and getting ready, I decided to push it until Sunday. Well, we were under a T-Storm watch, but the sky was sunny with storm clouds on the horizon. So I thought, I'd better go now before it arrives. Turns out, the storm traveled faster than I did. About two miles into my run, it started raining. So, I'm thinking to myself, "No big deal. I'm already wet, I might as well keep going." It was actually kind of fun. Just a light rain, enough to rinse the sweat off.

Well, all of your southerners might already know this, but a light rain can turn into a torrential downpour in about half a second. And that's just what happened! It started raining so hard that I literally couldn't keep my eyes open. I couldn't see the ground in front of me and was splashing through puddles 3-5 inches deep. So I was frantically looking for shelter to get my phone out and call Dave to come pick me up. Well, the only place in sight was the front porch of someones house. I called Dave, but figured I'd better ring the doorbell and let them know I was there so they didn't look out and see some strange, drowned rat on their front porch. Well, the Lord works in mysterious ways. The nicest old couple in the world invited me in and wrapped me up in a towel. Jack and Betty, my new found friends, volunteer at the Collierville Library and had just returned from a book drive that morning. They have the most beautiful garden out front that I have run past many times. Ms. Betty was a kindergarten teacher who has been retired for 10 years now. She keeps nursery at Collierville First Baptist on Sundays. Of course I whipped out the old cell phone with pictures of my sweet Emily. Turns out, they have a niece named Emily! Mr. Jack would like for me to bring my Emily by sometime to say hi. They offered to drive me home, but by that time Dave was pulling into their drive way. Thank you God for the opportunity to meet some new friends.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ready, Set, GO!!!!

This past week was amazing. If I were to fill you in on all the details, I'd be typing until my fingers fell off. So here's a quick recap. My Mom and sister came to visit over their spring break. They are AWESOME. Period. Alyssa is a baby whisperer when it comes to feeding Emily. She's the best at it I've seen. My Mom soaked up every second she could with Emily and we miss her already.

This weekend, Emily was dedicated at church. You might call it a Christening/Baptism, etc. But at our Non-Denominational church, we call it a dedication. All of our family was in town including Emily's sweet, sweet Godparents! They might as well be family. Saturday night we had a wonderful dinner and some QT at the house. Sunday morning was the church service. Dave and I don't have any family in Memphis, so our church friends have become like family to us. I don't know why, but it made me tear up to have my actual family there with us in church with our church family. I can honestly say I felt the presence of God on my heart that morning in a very distinct way. During service everyone came down to the front of the church with Dave, Emily, and me and Dave read a verse over her and the whole church prayed for her, promising to raise her up as a Godly woman. It was so special to have everyone there for that. The verse we read is below.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance.... in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:9-12

And because the weekend wasn't eventful enough, last night after most everyone had left, Emily came thisclose to crawling! She was on her tummy and pushed up onto all fours. Then she would rock back and forth on her hands and knees for a few minutes like she was getting her momentum up, but then she'd flop back on to her tummy. It's only a matter of time people!

I just want to thank everyone who joined us this weekend. It really was such a blessing to have you all there for that very special day. Know that we love you very much and are humbled that we have such amazing family to help us raise our little girl. God Bless you all!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Universe to Jennifer: You are still a mess!

I am a giant mess. I mean, for a former cheerleader, I am pretty clumsy. I spill drinks, drop crumbs, splash coffee on my walk back from the break room, etc. I dare say, there is not one maternity shirt left from my pregnancy without a spot on it. I mean, with a target that big, how could I keep from dripping all over my tummy?!?! Well, sometimes I have a good run of cleanliness that makes me think, maybe I'm not such a klutz after all. Maybe those other times were just a fluke! Then the universe turns and I have one of those days where EVERYTHING I do is a disaster. It's like the world wants to remind me that despite my best efforts, I will never own a pair of pants that have not been the victim of my afternoon chocolate frenzy. My best black shoes will always have scratches from where I have managed to get my heel in the 1/4 inch gap in the driveway and topple over. My hair will often have a section that has dried baby food in it, hours after I last fed Emily. Thank you universe for reminding me that it is I who should be wearing the bib, and not my 6 month old daughter. Today, if you see me coming your way, run! I will probably spill something on you.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all! What a great day to celebrate our risen Lord and Savior! He died so we could live and be forgiven of our sins. Praise the Lord!

Our day started with breakfast with our church family at CTR which was awesome! Then Dave and I helped in Klubhouse, which is the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. I love watching the kids understand the real reason we are all there. Of course their attention is not 100%, but every now and then you can catch a glimpse of some of the kids really soaking it in and it is wonderful! Ms. Ami did a great job as always. We started with a scavenger hunt around the church to find objects that relate to the Crucifixion and Resurrection story. I took the 3rd grade girls and Dave had the 5th grade boys. For the record, I ran through the halls in 3 1/2 inch heels, and my girls won! And for the record... Dave's team cheated! They took another team's bag with the candy and next clue. Maybe next year Dave! :) When we all came back together Ms. Ami used all the objects we'd collected to piece together the whole story. I was riveted! And I could tell she really had the attention of the kids. To finish the service we each wrote our name on an index card and took turns nailing it to the cross to symbolize how Jesus took all our sins with him on the cross so that we don't have to carry them. It was really powerful!
The rest of the day was very relaxing. We had time to snap a few pics in the backyard before nap time! Then we all laid down to rest. We are looking forward to Grandma Dee and Aunt Alyssa's arrival tomorrow and having the rest of the family in town next weekend to celebrate Emily's dedication! I can't wait! Love you all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One of Those Days!

This morning I woke up thinking, "Oh, what a glorious day!" Emily had her 6 month check-up today so we got to sleep in a little. I knew I was going to get to spend a few extra hours with her this morning, which helped my good mood. By 9:15am all my delusions of a wonderful day were gone. First, our lovely doctor was 35 minutes behind schedule by 9am. Interesting since they open at 8:30am. Whatever. Then my doctor spends 2.5 minutes with us and says, "Well, the Nurse will be right in with her shots." Super. 35 minutes later the nurse arrives. Hello?!?!?! You knew which shots she needed before we arrived. They are the same immunization shots every 6 month old gets. Maybe you could have had them ready? So after over an hour in an 8x10 foot room with a now, hungry, sleepy child, I get to help hold down my sweet girl while she screams her head off. The nurse very carefully (aka. super slowly) gives her 2 shots in the legs and and applies band-aids. Did I mention slowly! Finally I nursed her to calm her down and off to dreamland she went.

The good news is that she is the image of health! She weighs 14 pounds even (25%), 25.5 inches in length (50%) and a head circumference of 42cm (50%). She is sitting up by herself, although not for extended periods of time. When she sees something she wants over to one side, she pretty much face plants as she leans over. The doctors said this is normal and that by 9 months she will learn to put her arm down to cushion the blow. She is transferring objects from one hand to another (the doctor was very happy about this fact) and she has superb strength, particularly upper body strength (If you met my child, you already know this).

Action items for Mom and Dad:

  • Solid foods three times a day now (We had been doing breakfast and dinner. Now she gets lunch too!)
  • Fruit and cereal for breakfast
  • Fruit and veggies for lunch
  • Meat, fruit and veggies for dinner
  • Start teaching her to clap her hands
  • Teach her to say "Bye-Bye" by waving her arm
  • Start reading books with big pictures so she can associate words with things, like "House," "Mommy," "Dog," etc.
  • She gets to start drinking from a sippy cup. We've tried this already and it is quite funny. The cup has a valve that keeps the juice from pouring out unless you suck on the spout. Well, she can't suck hard enough to get anything out yet so she gets frustrated. So we have to take the valve out so she learns that juice comes out of the cup. You should have seen the puddle of apple juice on my kitchen floor and on her outfit! SO cute!

The doctor suggested pureeing my own baby food since "the stuff in the jars is so expensive." Well, therapy is much more expensive and this working Momma can't handle another chore without a mental breakdown. So, at $0.50 per jar, we will buying our baby food from Wally-World! Don't worry Grandma Jamie, we buy organic baby food! :)

I can't believe my baby is 6 months old already! She is growing up so fast, but each day holds new and wonderful moments. I am so proud of her and love rejoicing in the small accomplishments. I look forward to each new milestone and each new chapter. But at the same time, those moments are bittersweet, because I know she will never be this little again. Praise God for He is Good!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Girls! Girls! Girls!

We survived! That is, I survived a night without my precious girl and dancing until after midnight. And my sweet friends survived a weekend with an infant around. It was a new experience on both accounts. I learned that I cannot have more than 2 drinks without feeling sick. And my friends learned that a baby crying in a monitor sounds sort of like a cat. Also, baby's come with a lot of crap. Not literally, but packing to go to lunch includes a full trunk of baby gear. I thoroughly enjoyed my night out with the girls. This photo (Which was hard to choose one that wouldn't appear on two other blogs) is the "After" photo that was taken as we were leaving the bar. The funny thing is, the person taking the photo is a police officer!

As much fun as a night out on the town was, my favorite part of the weekend was our trip to the Botanical Gardens. It was beautiful! And Emily absolutely LOVED it! We walked around for nearly two hours. The weather was great and the company was the best! I am so glad that my little girl loves the outdoors as much as her mommy and daddy do. I see lots of trips to the zoo and hiking in our future. The best part, was seeing Emily interact with her Phi Mu Aunts. They love her so much and it shows because she loves them back. Her Aunt LawLaw was even up and playing with her at 7:30am (See picture below).

This weekend was a reminder that I have the best girl friends ever! And that no matter how long its been since we've seen each other, and no matter how far apart we live, we will always be friends. Love you girls!

Friday, April 3, 2009

On The Road Again

Well, off we go again! This weekend we are headed south. It is Emily's first Girl's Weekend in The Ham! The car is packed (And I must say, I did an excellent job packing! One bag for me, one bag for Em, a food bag, stroller, Pack N' Play, some toys and the Bumbo seat. Not bad for us!) Tonight we will relax at Ginger's new house and catch up. I can't wait to hear about Caroline's big move, and Kelli and Anna's back to school adventures. Mostly, I can't wait for everyone to see Miss Emily. Lawren still hasn't ever met her and the rest of the Phi Mu Superfriend's club only saw her for a quick lunch when she was only 6 weeks old. Saturday will be some fun in the sun (much needed for my pasty legs) at the botanical gardens and hopefully a little shopping. Momma needs a new Easter dress! Then Dave will come whisk Emily away to Montevallo to see her Pop and MeMaw so us big girls can celebrate Kelli and Ginger's birthdays in style. I just hope I don't embarrass myself. I don't even remember what the inside of a bar looks like it's been so long. I can't wait to see everyone! Love you all and drive safe!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Showers Bring Baby Showers!

Not for me, mind you. My dear friend Courtney is due with her first baby May 5th. So like any self-respecting friend would do, I took it as an excuse to go out to eat with all our friends and have cupcakes! We surprised her last night with a baby shower at Ciao Bella in Memphis with 14 of her co-workers/friends. Luckily we didn't scare her into labor. The food was yummy, the company was great and the mommy-to-be got lots of good stuff for the baby. The little stinker (Courtney, that is) wants to wait until the baby is born to find out the sex. The only person who knows is the ultrasound tech and her husband, Dante. He hasn't told anyone, much to our disappointment! There was lots of green and yellows and some completely adorable stuff that I would have stolen if I hadn't already had my arms full of Emily and her stuff. Courtney, we can't wait for Baby Tarena to arrive. Play dates, here we come!

Emily with my sweet friend Joan at the party!

On a sad note, Dave did not get to spend time with Emily last night. Instead, my poor hubby spent yesterday hugging our toilet. He has some sort of stomach bug. It's hard to see my manly man reduced to a shriveled up pile of blue sweatsuit on the couch. He was finally able to keep down a chocolate milkshake last night after the party and an Arby's sandwich. I still don't understand how he can eat that stuff when he's sick. I don't even like it when I'm well. But, hey, at least he kept something down. He seems to be feeling a little better, this morning. He politely kept his germs confined to the couch last night, but please pray that his stomach bug doesn't bite me or Emily. So far, so good.