Thursday, April 29, 2010

Still missing and loving him.

Two years ago today, I lost my Dad.  He was an incredible Father, Husband, Pop Pop and Friend.  I have so many wonderful memories that I hold onto... 

  • Taking a bath in Aveeno when I had the chicken pocks in kindergarten (I refused to do it for my Mom and would only do it for him).
  • Whenever I was sick, he would make me the best poached eggs.
  • When I was in 4th grade, I hit a tree with our snowmobile.  He wasn't the least bit upset that I crashed it...he just wanted to get me to to the hospital to get my arm casted.  He never once said anything about my driving or complained about the damage I had done.
  • Building a mousetrap car with him for a 7th grade project (wonder where that is??).  We were both so proud of our car and that it went 36 feet (enough for an A).
  • Teaching me how to drive (and the fact that when he took me for the drivers test he knew the was an old Army buddy!!  Can you say PASSED?!).  Buying my first car together...Loved that Red Chevy Cavalier!
  • Walking me down the aisle, dancing to butterfly kisses....
  • The weeks of maternity leave we spent together....we did so much with those kids!!  Gymboree and out to lunch, Cabela's, the zoo, parks and playgrounds, etc.  I couldn't have survived those weeks without him. 
  • So many home projects...far too many to list.  What stands out most was his patience.  I swore I would never do crown molding or any kind of trim work again.  He was so patient up and down the ladder until it was absolutely perfect.  Yup, that's my Dad...a true perfectionist in anything he put his mind too.  If you walk through our house, you'll find him in every room...either something he built, painted, fixed, hung or even just a favorite picture. 
I miss you, Dad. I love you, Dad...more than you could ever know. Thanks for 33 wonderful years with you.  I hope know that you live on in me and the kids.  I can only hope to leave the legacy that you have left.  I can only hope to have the grace, dignity, and courage you had when it is my time.  You are truly "a hero to this little girl".  Watch for some balloons headed your way tonight...

With that, I am wiping away the tears now and getting on with my day.  We will be having mountain pies over a fire for dinner tonight.  My Dad loved mountain pies and camp fires.  Oh yeah, Boston Cream donuts for dessert, too! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A busy week ahead!

The kids went back to school just in time. This week is CRAZY!

I have client appointments every day!  JAL has his 6-year well check tonight while ARL has dance.  Tomorrow I have to meet two women from Craigs list sales (one before my client appointments, one after).  Thursday is the 2 year anniversary of Dad's we'll be doing something special in the evening in memory of him.  Friday night we are headed up to my Mom for a family dinner.

I got out for a quick 3 this morning right after the kids left.  28:28...not as fast as with Lisa, but still improving!

Welcome to the craziness of my life...wouldn't have it any other way!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Back to School!

I would like to take a moment to publicly thank whichever kind judge in Montgomery County ordered an end to the strike!  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!  

It's time to get these kiddos back to school!

My baby is 6!

They grow up so fast, don't they? I can't believe my baby is 6!  He had a phenomenal day yesterday...a great party, lots of great gifts, and all of his favorite foods!

I went out for a (wet) 5 yesterday AM with Lisa.  It was misting on us the whole way.  I've never run in the rain before and I can't say I enjoyed it.  I had to keep wiping my face with my sleeve.  I could have wrung out my hair when I got home. 

I am really looking forward to Broad Street next week!  I am injury free, adequately trained and ready! 

Friday, April 23, 2010

My best 3 miles yet!

28 minutes! WOO HOO!!

A great way to kick off a wonderful weekend!!  A great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my baby who turns 6 on Sunday!   He's my funny guy who has a big heart!  He always wants people around him to be happy! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another beautiful run...

Headed out to get 3 in this morning before my Mom left to head back home. She was helping out with kid watching for the first part of the week due to the strike.  ARL had a blast with her and my sister...they went out for sushi, went shopping, and went to see my grandfather (who will be 91 in a few weeks). 

I am working from home with ARL.  JAL is at daycare because we all know I get nothing done when he's home.  I am looking forward to tomorrow...It's take your child to work day!  ARL is coming to Bridgewater (my home office) with me for the day!  She always enjoys these days and the timing couldn't be better with the strike!

The laundry room project is in design phase.  Our contractor hopes to build it this weekend and install next week.  I cannot wait!  I hate the backpacks, violin, laptop bags, etc. all over the floor.  I am not good with disorganization!  It breeds stress for me!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Getting faster...

I ran 3 this morning in 29:05!  It seems I have broken the 10 minute mile mark for my shorter runs...but not for the distance runs.

I really need to stop caring so much about my times and just enjoy my runs. The weather was crisp, cool, and beautiful. The trees are still blooming and my asthma is controlled on the inhaler (despite all this pollen). 

I'm looking forward to seeing my Gidge tonight (whose been away with Grandma since Sunday) and having a nice dinner!  Hubby is cooking stuffed chicken breasts on the new grill (my prize winning recipe) while JL and I are making a pasta salad recipe he found in a kids magazine.  Throw in a glass (or two) of Chardonnay and I'm thinking it's going to be a great evening!

Praying for a successful resolution to the strike tonight...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Broad Street Ready!!!

I ran 8 miles this morning.  My times are continuing to improve...I ran it in 1:24.  My last 7 mile run was 1:17.  I'm ready!  10 miles...flat, fast, straight, with wind at your back...can't wait!

Friday, April 16, 2010

As if I need more stress in my life...

You all know I work full time.  I also volunteer for Lung Cancer (which is becoming more time consuming as we plan our November Free To Breathe race) and I've got the entrepreuneur thing going on. product concept is still in innovations testing.  Yes, I'm dying to know how it is going.

Anyway...I'm busy.  I don't have time to figure out what I'm going to do with my kids during a strike.  I don't want my kids going to school to June 30 (which is by law the last day they can go).  If the strike lasts for 8 days, they will be in until 6/30. 

The teachers demands are not outrageous.  No raise this year, 2% in years 2 and 3, and 2.5% in years 4 & 5.  Seems reasonable to me.  They have been working w/o a contract since September, so I can't even be mad at them for striking.  I don't like the board's "spin" of the numbers on their website. 

Can't we just figure this out and leave the kids in school where they belong??

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our never ending TO DO list...

As I mentioned before, Spring has me in full cleaning/purging mode!  Our list (started 3 weeks ago) looks like this:

  1. Clean all the Windows, Vacuum & Febreeze valences/curtains
  2. Take everything out of kitchen cupboards/drawers & clean insides
  3. Wash & Wax both cars
  4. Seal the granite
  5. Update both kids bedrooms
  6. Install closet organizer in son's closet
  7. Spraypaint urns & firepit
  8. Get new natural gas grill and patio umbrella
  9. Mulch
I'm ecstatic to report some nice progress and our list now looks like this:
  1. Clean all the Windows, Vacuum & Febreeze valences/curtains
  2. Take everything out of kitchen cupboards/drawers & clean insides
  3. Wash & Wax both cars
  4. Seal the granite
  5. Update both kids bedrooms
  6. Install closet organizer in son's closet
  7. Spraypaint urns & firepit
  8. Get new natural gas grill and patio umbrella
  9. Mulch
 I love progress!  It's very rewarding to get all this stuff done! 

In running news, I've done 8 so far this week.  Times are pretty good.  I set my goal for Broad Street---1:45!  Will do a nice distance run with Lisa on Saturday AM.  I am thinking 8 or 9.  Only a few weeks left...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Our little drama queen lives up to her reputation!

ARL had her stage debut this past weekend in "Mulan". We were all so incredibly proud of her! It was an exhausting weekend with 4 shows...but she rocked all of them!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Just a little update...

A busy weekend for sure!  2 shows down...2 more to go!  So far (knock wood) they have gone great.  ARL is having a blast and can't wait to do this again in the fall.  She has decided to give up soccer to focus on the performing arts...Theater, Dance, and Music!

We've decided to tackle a few home projects.  We are updating the kids rooms to give them more age appropriate rooms.  For example, we got rid of JAL's Blue's Clues Thinking Chair (will be up on Craig's List soon) and replaced it with a cool baseball bean bag chair that he loves.  We are also installing a closet organizer in his room.  I think JAL has more clothes than anyone else in the family!

I think spring has sprung me into an organizational cleaning frenzy!   We are also updating our laundry room and building "lockers".  Not exactly like this picture, but you'll get the idea:

I cannot wait for this project to be finished.  I am so sick of the backpacks,laptop bags, dance bag, violin, soccer cleats, etc. just sitting on the floor wherever they are dropped!  Also, I have a big and curtains to clean, cupboards to empty and wipe down, cars to wax, and granite to be sealed.  Nothing like spring to get me cleaning!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Check us out!

Mike and I have been featured on in his series "Confessions of a Newbie Runner".  What a great honor!   Thanks, David!!

Today's run kicked my butt...guess I wasn't ready for the heat yet.  For the first time in a long time, I had to stop and walk.   6 miles in so far this week....will head out for a distance run on Saturday.

This weekend is my daughter's on stage debut!  She plays a hair dresser in Mulan.  It will be a busy weekend with her in 4 shows + we have tickets to the Lion King in Philly on Sunday.  No rest for us!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Putting it all in perspective...

As I posted on Friday, we headed down to Baltimore to stay with our good friends for the weekend.  We planned a Saturday trip to DC to catch the cherry blossoms and do some exploring and then an egg hunt and Easter lunch at our friends home in Baltimore on Sunday.    Some events of the weekend lent a perspective on living and life that we often take for granted.

Allow the story to unfold...

We left Baltimore on Saturday morning and headed to DC.  The husbands dropped us off on the mall and went in search of parking.  An hour and a 1/2 later, they had given up on finding a spot near the city and were taking off to a town called Roslyn to park and catch the subway into DC.  We felt terrible that we had seen so much of the city while the poor hubbies were endlessly driving.  Once they finally found parking, it took them an hour to come back into DC (walk, subway, walk) and find us.  It was not a good way to start our day.  We spent some more time exploring.  The cherry blossoms were in bloom...the whole city was light pink.

The kids tired out (and the adults) and we decided to head for home.  Again, the guys had to walk, ride the subway, walk some more, than drive through the horrible DC traffic to come pick us up.  We were all exhausted, frustrated, and ready to head home.

We left the city and had just got on 295 when the unimaginable happened.  A white van on an access road to the right of us cut off a woman in a land rover.  She swerved left to avoid him, saw herself heading towards a parked 18 wheeler on the side of the road, swerved right and ended up jumping the curb and flipping upside down...RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.  Her car careened across the highway on its roof.  Luckily, no one on 295 was in her path at that moment.  A moment later and our friends (the Honda Ridgeline on the right side of the photo) would have been involved.

As Wayne (our good friend and driver of the Ridgeline) jumped out to help, we saw the woman begin to emerge from the broken window.  Thankfully and miraculously, she was uninjured.  We were at the accident scene about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before they let us go.

So, we started out for home again.  Once on 95, we again feared for our lives.  There was a group of about 20 or so motorcycles that were driving insanely fast and weaving in out of traffic.  One came very close to our right fender (so close I screamed).  They were being incredibly reckless and had no regard for their own lives, let alone anyone in cars around them.

I went on Youtube to see if I could find anything close to show you what we experienced:

The bikes don't seem to be going as fast, but the speed is hard to judge.  The video does give good perspective of the sound of the bikes as the approach.  You can hear them coming and in a split second they pass you and are gone.  The really scary part is how fast they weave in and out and cut you off to pass.  We all feared for our lives and safety on the way home.  Michelle called 911 to alert the police...but likely the police could never catch them.

Normally, I would end my post by saying something like I hope everyone got all their favorite candy and had a yummy Easter dinner.  Given my new perspective on just how fragile life is, I'll end with I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Easter.  Treasure every never knows when it is all over.

Friday, April 2, 2010

7 miles to kick off Easter weekend!

I'm so ready for the weekend....Gorgeous weather and a trip to Baltimore/DC.  The cherry blossoms are blooming and we will be exploring DC in shorts!

I ran a new course this morning that my neighbor told me about.  It's 6.1 door to door so I added a small loop in the neighborhood to get me to 7 miles.  Felt great!!  Time was 1:17.  Not great, but not too bad, either.  Four minutes faster than my last 7 mile run!

Off for the weekend...Everyone have a great holiday and don't eat too much candy!