Monday, September 29, 2008

Ready to Travel?

I am still in somewhat denial that I we are actually leaving here on Friday. I am excited to get back to Ohio. I just have a few minor details to take care of:

1. rental car
2. packing for 4 for weather in the 60's-yikes!
3. what to bring to keep Andrew occupied on the plane? (I would love to be able to read an adult book.)
4. clothes for the wedding
5. a couple maps-Ohio and Virginia-it would be no fun getting lost!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goodbye to a new friend

It is now official-Diana will soon be heading south to Cabo. And while I wish her the best, I will be sad to see her and her family go. They will be there for three years, but are not sure where they will be when they come back to the US. Diana and I have trained together for many months, and have become friends in the process. Our religious beliefs are miles apart-she is Mormon, I am Catholic. We have had many discussions on our runs of our differences and similarities. I have been able to ask her questions that I could have never asked anyone else. She is such a wonderful person and a great mom to her children. It has been nice to start my days with our early morning conversations about everything that is going on in our lives. I've given her the whole synopsis of the Twilight series because she refuses to read the books. We also have had many funny "dog moments". Diana is deathly afraid of any dog.

Diana and I are different in most aspects of our lives, which maybe makes it easy for us to get along. Diana was a CHEERLEADER-one of those words that should somehow have only four letters. She did run cross country and track though-of course, for purely social reasons. So, she has definitely taught me about running for the fun of it and truly made training for our triathlon enjoyable. If I would have trained for it by myself I would have been much more serious and would not have had as much fun. She has told me that she didn't need to be successful running in high school-sorry, I needed to be. Also, Diana is much younger than I. She was kind enough to point out one morning that she was still in high school when I was coaching-thanks Diana! Just rub it in a little more. I have told her that if I was her coach she would have run much faster than she did. Since I didn't get to work her hard when she was in high school, I've been making her work harder now. Diana is also paranoid about running by herself-it doesn't matter what time of day it is. If I didn't meet her, she would run on the treadmill. That has never been a problem for me, but now some of her paranoia has rubbed off. I'm going to be jumping at every movement when I'm running by myself.

Diana is going to be on our "mud run" team. It should be lots of fun. Hillary got together a team of five women for this five mile race in Scottsdale in November. We have to stay together for the whole race-finish arm-in-arm. While trying to race we have to go through boot-camp like obstacles-belly crawl, tire run, climbing over a wall, jumping over hay bales and a mud pit. Who knows what else they will have us do! We brainstormed for our team name yesterday-we are now the Dirty Soles. So we have some training to do before she leaves us for Mexico!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flight Details

I am sitting on hold with Northwest Airlines. I just get a little nervous when the guy on the other end of the phone says "I didn't want to cancel all of them. Why is it doing that?" Then he puts me on hold.
I called to make sure that we had seats together. I didn't want any of the kids to have to sit by themselves. More for the sanity of other people on the plane, than anything. Oh.... how I wouldn't just love to have them not assign us seats and then have Andrew sit by himself. I'm sure the person with that coveted aisle seat would switch with me after having Andrew chat with him for a few minutes. When I say that he will talk to anyone, believe me. We talk to most of the people at the grocery store...we ask people why they are on crutches...we ask people where their kids are...we ask people why their children are crying...we ask people how old they name it-Andrew has probably asked someone it.
Right now I'm just hoping this guy didn't cancel our reservation!

Oh-he's back.
Maybe our reputation follows us...that was too easy. We are together for all of our flights! Maybe I should call back and see if they can do anything about that fee for the first bag?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Camera Found

Me before the race. I thought I would clarify because Maggie asked me who that was.

Diana before the race.

All smiles. My bike is behind us with the Ohio State (Go Buckeyes!) towel over it.

And still smiling when we are all done!

Sorry, I have no action shots. The next triathlon we do will have to be in cooler weather so our spouses can bring the kids and get some photos!

Diana may be moving to Mexico for a couple years-more on that if it happens-so I may have to find another training partner!

Mrs. Who?

I just had to share this. Maggie wrote this tag for our new baskets for toys. We were sorting out Andrew's toys-guys, balls, cars, another bin of guys, fake tools, and miscellaneous. Well, Maggie wanted to label them all. She asked me what miscellaneous meant and I told her it was just a mixture of everything that didn't go in the other bins.

Then she came back with this label for our new basket. Too cute!

Just a comparision

Just wanted to show a comparision of what the sky normally looks like from our house. This is the view to the south this morning. Beautiful skies.

Went hiking this morning with some friends-it was below 80! Of course, they picked me up at 5:30am, but it was a great morning for a hike.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Tri'd it!

I finished my first ever triathlon last weekend! It was a sprint one-5K run, 20K bike and 400m swim. This is reverse order from your normal triathlons.

It was definitely fun. I really wasn't nervous before the race-just worried about how the bike ride would go. Diana and I got there and basically just followed what everyone else was doing. We checked in and then had to get our "markings". Race number on both arms and then your age on your right calf-yes! I am not kidding. I could not believe they did that. It did prove to be helpful though as people were flying by me on the bike. (You go 23-year old!)

The race was Saturday evening at 4:30PM. It was a mere 108 degrees at the start. They started the race in 3 waves-men under 40 first. 10 minutes later, men over 40 and finally, 10 minutes after that, women and relays. The course was much hillier than anything around Gilbert. The first mile plus of the run was downhill and the rest was uphill into the sun. It was brutal! I finished the running part in 4th place with a time of 23 something.

Then, onto the worrisome part-the bike ride. I worried about a couple things-wiping out, riding with other people around me and getting a flat. Luckily the wiping out and getting a flat did not happen. Riding with other people around me was not as bad as I thought it would be-I just apologized a lot whenever I thought I was getting too close to people. Oh! Almost forgot-one of those hope-they-don't-remember-me moments. When one participates in a triathlon there are these "transition zones" marked off with duct tape. Well, being the rookie that I am-I did not realize that you are not allowed to ride your bike in this transition zone-oops! You have to walk your bike to the tape and THEN get on-oops! Sorry about that! They yelled at me and I got off my bike and just apologized to everyone around.

Back to the bike ride-I had been told by numerous people that the bike part was going to kill me. Not because I am a terrible biker, but because I don't have a race bike. They were definitely not kidding. After being 4th in the run, my bike effort was 60th-yikes! I was pedalling my little legs as fast as I could and people were just flying by. After only riding on completely flat roads, the race course was either up or downhill-the same loop three times. I was always hoping the next turn was going to be the one where we got to go downhill! I still ended up in 27th place for women-not bad, I guess. So-no matter what Lance Armstrong's book is called- it IS about the bike!

The results are here. Diana really should have been 32nd. Her number was 32, she is 32 and she finished 32nd. I was yelling at her to get out of the pool (you had to get out and cross over this mat to be officially done), but the girl behind her got out of the pool before her.

As soon as my camera comes out of hiding I will post some pictures. It's not's just misplaced.

Ohio/Virginia Trip

While we are very excited to "vacation" in Ohio and Virginia, I got some interesting news this week. First of all, we are flying Northwest-who is now charging for your FIRST bag! I guess it is a good reason to travel light! Second bit of news-our flight home (which I will more-than-likely be with my three well-behaved children by my lonesome) has been switched from having one layover to now having two layovers! Of course, this is after our drive to the airport. Looking on the bright side-it will probably make for a good blog entry. (That or a national news story!)
Seriously, Maggie wants to take a sewing needle on the plane. I have explained that this will definitely not be happening... But she continues to push the issue and has even asked me if the alarms will go off if she puts it in her pocket! For some reason she wants to spend her time on the plane sewing.

Dust Storm

View to the south of our house.
These pictures were taken immediately after I got home from picking Maggie up from soccer. View to the north-notice the contrast in what the sky looked like most of the day.

What can I say? There is really no fitting way to explain a dust storm. I don't think there's anything in the Midwest quite like it. The one thing that is amazing is that you can see it rolling in. The big brown mass filling in the sky. You just want to make sure you are home-or not on the road-when it hits your area. They are just unpredictable as far as how bad visibility is going to be.

Friday, September 5, 2008

No Snow!?

Imagine poor Andrew's heartbreak-we were talking last night about how we had 4 weeks until we get to go to Ohio. Andrew started jumping up and down-"Yeah! We get to go to the snow! We get to go to the snow!"

I had to break it to the little guy that there would be no snow when we went to Ohio. Man, was he bummed. I sure hope he has not jinxed Ohio to have an October snowstorm!