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Fun Run Pictures

Thursday, May 27, 2010
So, I know I blogged about Bailey's Fun Run at her school a week or so ago, but I never posted her pictures. :) I have to... they are just too cute. 

Here they are!

I had to throw one in of Jake, too. Didn't he look cute?! :) 

My Garden...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The next list item that I'm working on was actually one that I had forgotten I had even added to my list. My best friend and her hubby have been planting a vegetable garden at their home for the past couple of years... and we love to go up to their house when all the veggies come in and steal a stash of tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. Last year, we had so many cucumbers that we even gave some away to some of our friends and some still went bad. :) Anyway... each year, we say we are going to do a little garden, too. And, each year, we get busy and don't do it. Then, when late June comes around and everyone is pulling out fresh veggies, we are regretting the fact that we didn't plant a garden. 

Part of the reason that we haven't done it is because we are always so busy in the spring. There are sports (tball, etc.) to work around, the boat preparations, vacation planning, among other things, and we just don't ever get around to it. Another part is that neither of us really have much knowledge on what to do to successfully plant a garden and neither of us have ever had a green thumb (probably because we are usually too lazy to water and/or tend any of our plants). 

So, I decided that I was going to actually make it happen this year. Cilla had told me about a nursery that she and Bret had visited that had everything we could want. I think what really made me do it is that she said they had strawberry plants and blackberry bushes... two things that I knew I would love to have and that the kids would really enjoy. My plan was to go out to the nursery and get some tomato plants, a blackberry bush, and maybe a bell pepper plant. Cilla had given me a few strawberry plants, so I thought that should be plenty. 

Well, this place was freaking awesome and it sucked me in so fast. Before I left the nursery, I had purchased:
3 tomato plants
3 habanero plants
3 banana pepper plants
3 bell pepper plants
1 squash plant
1 zucchini plant
1 blackberry bush
2 pumpkin plants
1 watermelon plant

Yep... all of that. Now, people, we live in the largest subdivision in Lexington, not the country. :) 

However, we do have a good sized yard... a little less than a quarter of an acre (I know for your country folks, you are laughing... I would be too on a normal basis). In Lexington, a quarter of an acre is a really good sized yard. Anyway... I came home with all of this stuff. And Brad looked at me and said, "Where's it all going to go?" And, I pretended to have a plan. 

Really, I was thinking, "What the hell did I get all of this stuff for? I don't even really like peppers and what am I going to do with all of these pumpkins in the fall? Etc." 

This all happened on Friday night, which is also the night that a HUGE, HUGE storm came through Lexington. Yep, after I had just sat all of the plants on the back porch. So, I'm laying down with the kids and then I hear the storm coming through. I come running down the stairs, grab Jake's Spongebob umbrella (you know, big enough to cover my head, barely), and sprint onto the backporch to save my plants that are being knocked over as I watch. 

I saved them all. :) I was the hero. And I was completely and utterly soaked. My hair wasn't, but the rest of me was so soaked that when I came running back into the house from the porch, my flip flops hit the tile floor and I about went flying through the air, plants in hand. Fortunately, the table stopped me and I didn't die saving veggies. 

While Brad and Bailey went to practice on Sunday, I started my garden. I had walked through the yard about 50 times on Saturday morning and had a semi-good idea of where everything would go. Having never gardened before, I didn't really know how hard it would be to till the ground without a tiller. Ha ha ha. 

I spent Sunday evening in a pool of my own sweat, digging with a hand shovel in my new garden, pulling up grass and weeds in like 90 degree weather (I did get a good start on my tan though!). About halfway through, I thought I had lost my mind for sure and thought that veggies could be purchased at the Farmer's Market. But, I stuck with it. And, I have it all planted now. I worked on it and finished it all on Monday morning. Well, almost. The pumpkins and the watermelon are still sitting on the porch to be planted. I should get them in the ground tomorrow morning. I am SO proud of my little garden. I am semi-obsessed. I've been out there to check on it about 5 times each day. lol. I have a little fencing around it to keep the rabbits out. And, so far so good. I thought it looked like a rabbit had been in there yesterday, but if so, the plants seem to be making it. I'm even getting little banana peppers! :) YAY! 

This is what I accomplished on Sunday. I extended it on out to make it about twice this size on Monday (if you can see the shovel in the background, that's how far it goes over now). I will post complete pictures of the full garden and my pumpkins and watermelon after I get those in the ground. :) 

What's perhaps the most hilarious part of it is that I really made the crazy choice to do this on a whim. I hadn't really consciously decided that since it was on my list, I would do it. I just did it. And, now, if I actually get veggies out of this garden, I can mark it off that I have learned to plant a vegetable garden! Of course, I don't have any veggies just yet, but if I do, then that's one less thing on my list! So, here's the start of my "progress reports" on this particular item. And, I'm pretty excited to share... I'm going to post some pictures of the garden as it grows!  

Training Day 1... Again

I am back at more than just blogging, I suppose. :) I ran for the first time since my ankle problems this evening. I wasn't sure how I would do since I hadn't trained in a couple of weeks and because I wasn't sure if my ankle was "really" ready. But, good news! I had no pain in my ankle. It's a little tired feeling tonight, but that's it. The bad news? Well, I am practically starting over with my training. I ran 90 seconds and walked 90 seconds alternately for 21 minutes, so I'm better off than the first week of the training, but not much. So, it did hurt me not to run during that time.  I'm not disappointed that much... maybe a little disappointed, but not much. I am just happy that I was able to run at all without feeling like I should amputate my feet when I got home. lol. 

So, I'm starting it back up. We'll see how it goes. :) 

Oh... and tip for those of you with ankle trouble. The doctor told me that a good exercise to strengthen and stretch your ankle is to use your toes to write the alphabet in the air while you are just hanging out on the couch. He said if you do it a few times a day, it will help. It does seem to make my ankles feel better. So, maybe it's worth a try! 

Bailey's Last Day of Preschool

So, first things first... 

Today was my baby girl's last day of preschool.... ever. It does. not. seem. real. I cannot believe that she will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. It seems like only yesterday when we were looking for a home in Lexington and talking about how we didn't have to worry about schools or anything for a while because she was just an infant. My how it flies by. 

Bailey enjoying the Musikgarten portion of her last day

She had a great year in preschool this year... I have no regrets about moving her in August to the Christian school. She learned so much. She made great friends. She just grew up. So, it was definitely bittersweet at her little end of the year party today. We still aren't positive about which school Bailey will go to next year, but many of her friends are definitely not returning to the Christian school. I would say there's a good chance that Bailey won't either... which means that many of the little friendships she's formed will not go anywhere from here, except the occasional hello or hug when we run into them at the mall, at ball games, etc. For a child that is so social, that's a pretty big deal. Good thing she doesn't really seem to "get" that just yet. :) 

Bailey and her friend at school... 

I am really excited about Bailey starting school, after summer (of course). I think she will love it and will do well with it. She loves preschool and loves to learn. And, I honestly, love each age and stage that the kids go through. So, I try not to get to emotional about her growing up and moving on. Yet, I have to recognize that it is going by so fast... and I wish I had a pause button every now and then. Just for a little while. :) 

I also have to admit that I am so excited that summer is here. The pool opens on Saturday, we go on vacation in 22 days, and we are getting the boat on the water next weekend. These are the months I have been looking forward to the most since I started staying at home with my kids in February. I love the summer... spending all day in the sun, eating great grilled food, staying out on the back porch until late at night and not even needing a jacket to stay warm, spending days on the boat without a care in the world (a complete escape from any reality)... I just LOVE summer. And, with this being the beginning summer breaks for Bailey, I think I appreciate it that much more. No more getting lunches ready early in the morning. No more going through her folder to make sure I didn't forget to sign something. And, my favorite thing, no more getting up early on a consistent basis. :) 

Summer is here and I couldn't be happier. 

Keeping the Roads Hot...

Hello world! 

I know I've been MIA the past few days, but I'm back! For those of you who I owe e-mails, responses are coming. :) 

It has been a busy few days. I have traveled to and from my parents' and mother-in-law's several times since Saturday, which has consumed a big part of my time. 

Brad spent Saturday morning golfing, while Bailey, Jake, and I hit the neighborhood yard sales. I got two FABULOUS deals at the yard sales - a $3 toddler car seat for Jake and a double stroller (side-by-side instead of row seats) for the kids for $50. The cheapest I had found the strollers was $100 and that was for a used one, so I was pretty pleased with the purchase. It will be nice on vacation, especially when we need to push our stuff instead of the kids to the beach. lol. After our bargain shopping, we made our way to my mother-in-law, Kathy's house for a cookout/party on Saturday evening. 

Sunday was spent shopping with my mom and playing in the yard at their house. Then, we headed back to Lexington for Bailey's t-ball practice. While Bailey and Brad went to ball practice, I started working on my next list item. :) More on that in a bit. 

And then, the week got started. Bailey had preschool on Monday morning. Then, that evening, we made our trip (yet again) back to my mom and dad's house. Tuesday morning was spent taking my mom to visit the college my youngest brother will be attending in the fall to get his financial aid and paperwork all completed. More on that in a bit, too. :) 

Jake ended up staying with Kathy on Tuesday night, since we had to come back for Bailey's t-ball and her last day of preschool was today. The class was having a party and I wanted to attend, so it helped me tremendously to have Jake taken care of. However, that meant one more trip today... only halfway this time... to get my little man and bring him home. Thank God we aren't traveling for Memorial Day. lol. :) 

So, now that you understand why I haven't really written... I'll catch you up on all the little and big details that I've been squeezing in between my trips. :) 

Just for your viewing pleasure... here are some pics of the trampoline and the great times we are all having with it! Best investment EVER!

NCAA Championships!

Saturday, May 22, 2010
Well... I have been updating the blog! If you visit my blog page and see the buttons at the top, you can go to my list any time! I know some of the buttons need to be updated - I'm working on it. :) What's even more cool to me is that I have started adding links to my list about the things that I'm working on. So, you'll see a link to the blog about our Taylor Swift concert experience. You'll also see a link to all of the posts about my training. And, with this, you'll see a link to the NCAA Championship that is marked off.

Which brings me to the reason I'm blogging tonight. I have already marked it off of my list and have never officially blogged about it... the NCAA Men's Basketball Championships in March. 

As most of you probably know, Brad and I are both huge WVU fans. So, when WVU beat UK in the Elite 8 (to everyone's surprise, including ours), we were, needless to say, VERY happy. Not only are we huge WVU fans, but we live in the heart of UK Wildcats country and have to see Blue year-round. So, it was kind of nice to be able to wear our WVU proudly, even if we were a little scared that it might cause us to get our tires slashed or our house burned down. :) 

What was even more exciting is that on the night of UK's defeat, our good friend Travis sent us a message on Facebook saying that he had tickets to the final four and the championship that he would sell us. The tournament was held in Indianapolis, an easy drive for us, and it made sense, especially since WVU hadn't been to a Final Four in about 50+ years. History in the making and so close to home... how could we pass it up? So, after we contemplated how to pay for these tickets and actually looking at our retirement account (lol), we decided to go for it.

Indianapolis is a great city... and we had a great time. WVU lost to Duke in the Final Four, breaking our hearts and making me agree with all UK fans (for once) that I actually HATE Duke. They are so freaking good... it still hurts. :(

However, that didn't affect how much fun we had when we went back to the championship. Butler had a great story, so it was easy to pick who we would root for... anyone but Duke is a good rule of thumb, but Butler was a great pick against any team. Funniest story about our trip though really had to be our dinner when we went to the championship. We drove up for the evening and ate at a place called Rock Bottom Brewery (at the suggestion of our friends).  Since it was raining, we chose not to go walking around town, but instead went to the brewery bar. They have an awesome basement with pool tables and bar tops all over. It was a really fun atmosphere... something I could really see working in Lexington well. But, I digress. 

Brad and I decided to hang out and watch the footage on TV about the upcoming championship while we had a beer and waited for a table. The only beer they served were beers that they brewed in-house. So, I ordered the light version and settled into a corner with Brad. The cup was probably 16 ounces (maybe 12, but I think 16). So, I was thinking I would probably be fine to drink a couple... I usually can handle that, especially with food without it having a big impact on me. Well... I drank one and then got a second as we were seated. I started noticing that I was texting everyone and that I was dropping my fork repeatedly. It occurred to me that I was really buzzing and Brad was totally cracking up. I was so confused on why I was already feeling it... until he explained that it the in-house brewed beer had a much higher alcohol content than my usual Miller Lite. After three beers, I had to hang out for a while because I knew I'd never make it up the steps at the arena. :) So... word to the wise... pay attention when drinking locally brewed beers... apparently they can be much stronger. :) 

Here are a few photos of us having fun in Indy at both of the games. You can see more at my flickr page! 

Pics from the Taylor Swift Concert

Friday, May 21, 2010
So, I never did officially show off pictures from the Taylor Swift concert... and I just went through and added them to my flickr account. Check them all out there... 

Here are my favorites! :) 

The Blog Evolution... or something like that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
My blog is evolving. I’m sure you all have noticed it. It’s transforming… spiraling out of control? Well, I might be a little dramatic, but hey, that’s what you get with me sometimes.

I started my blog at the encouragement of a wonderful friend. She inspired me by starting a blog about her children, their journey through life, and the ups and downs of parenting. I had been struggling to keep up with updates to friends and family who live out of town, scrap booking  about the kids’ different stages of lives, keeping up with baby books, and trying to keep my thoughts straight about how I felt about many things. Heck, I would have been happy if I could have just had photos printed before they were a year outdated. I wanted a place to air my ideas and thoughts, vent about crazy things that happen, and, well, you get the idea. So, Life with the Ootens was born.

I have sporadically updated it, trying to keep up with life and post about how we are handling different stages of our lives. I’ve posted daily for weeks and then spent months away from the blog, avoiding it entirely because I had too much to say. Until recently…

I can’t quite pinpoint what happened to make me decide that I wanted to live life a little differently. I could reel off a hundred different things that played a role in my decision to live by a “list,” but that would take a while. It’s easier to just say that I needed to do something new and set some goals. So, as you all know, I created my list.

Now, I’m at a point where I’m trying to decide how to reorganize my blog accordingly, so you might see some changes in the very near future. I’m pretty excited about it. No worries though… I won’t be losing any of the aspects of my parenting and updates on the kids. And, I will most definitely be posting about my list, my life, and all the struggles and successes that go along with it. After all, it is a blog about Life with the Ootens, as hectic as that might be. J I had contemplated separating my blogs into a family blog and a list blog, but it just doesn’t come naturally. There is no way to separate my life into neat little segments, no matter how OCD I am. The kids are definitely a huge factor in why I want to accomplish so many of the things on my list. It is important for me to be their mom (number 1), but more important for me to have an identity other than just their mom. So, it will remain one blog.  Sidebar – the idea that me being more than a mom to my kids is already taking hold. I am already seeing positive response from that with Bailey. She thinks I’m incredibly cool because I’ve been running. J She told my mom all about how I have been training really hard. So cute.

There are more things that I want to write about this whole blog evolution (as I am proclaiming it). One of the biggest reasons that I started this is because I wanted more from my life… wanted to help others… wanted to be on a mission to help my friends, my family, and myself to live the fullest life possible. You simply cannot imagine how happy I am that my very best friend in the world tells me this morning that she’s been working on her list... and she reads it to me. None of you understand what it means to me that you even read my rambling blog posts, much less to think that they actually impact your lives in the slightest way. She’s not the only person out there that’s made me feel like I am doing more than just egotistically rambling about how I want my life to be and what I want to accomplish (as if everyone in the world really wants to know). Another friend confided that she is contemplating her own run in the fall. Another friend is working on the soundtrack of her life (and I fully expect a blog to come from that – hint, hint). I keep getting wonderfully positive e-mails from you guys. You all inspire me to want to keep doing this. You guys keep telling me things on your list and I know that I’m never going to completely finish a list because you remind me of things that I’ve always wanted to do that aren’t on my list. Lol. 

All of you readers (I think there are three of you – just kidding) out there are making me so happy. I can’t wait to open my e-mail after I’ve blogged something. I hear you all encouraging me and it makes me smile. But, I have to say that what is making me happier is hearing about your different goals and “list” items that you are doing. It’s funny that some of you are worried that I’ll think you are “copying” me by doing things on your list. DON’T! I’m not listing these things so that no one else can do it. In fact, I think that might just be what I love the most about my blog in its new stages... I am finding common ground with people that I didn't even realized I shared with them. I am hearing fun stories about things they've done that are on my list or hearing about how I definitely need to make parasailing a priority for this summer because it really is that awesome. I think we all have a list that we have kept mentally. Most of us have never written it down or made it public. Most of us change it frequently, without even meaning to. If my list helps you mark things off your list, or even begin to keep your list, go for it! I would feel honored that anything I have done or will do could have a positive impact on someone else. But, please, I beg you… share, even if it’s only with me and you don’t want me to tell anyone. Because, THAT is what is keeping me inspired… that and my kids, my husband, blah, blah, blah. 

The list goes on… Literally.

Up Hill Both Ways...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I'm trying to work on a couple of freelance grant projects, but my computer is downloading a new version of Adobe, so I am waiting...

In the meantime, I thought I'd try to post something. Typically, I have a running list of things on my mind that I'd like to post about, but tonight I was planning on writing about the benefits of arts programming in central Kentucky, not about myself or the kids. lol.

So, forgive me if this isn't the best post in the world!

We put the kids' trampoline up this weekend. We've had it in our garage since the day after Thanksgiving. Yep, you read it right. I bought it then for the kids' birthday for a whopping $160. We showed it to them on their birthdays, but really had not had a good opportunity to get it up in the yard. We are now officially the greatest parents in the world. lol. The kids are so thrilled with it that Jake actually woke us up on Sunday morning at 8 a.m., asking us to go jumping with him. They jumped that morning, in the rain and freezing cold, for about 30 minutes before we forced them to come in. They love it. And, they aren't the only ones. Brad has had his fair share of enjoyment showing off his youthful spirit and doing three back tucks in a row, totally impressing his children. lol. Bailey and Jake's version of his flips are quite hilarious... somewhat dangerous-looking, as they typically involve their foreheads hitting the trampoline, but hilarious nonetheless. And I, even with my ankle hurting, have enjoyed a few bounces and laying on the trampoline while the kids try to bounce me in the air. There's something about it that makes you smile, no matter how old you are.

What's really funny about all of this is that, while Brad still can manage his flips on the trampoline and still looks like a teenager with a big grin on his face the entire time, it has made me realize what old fogeys we are becoming. We have spent more time talking about how "back in the 80s, we didn't have those nets around the trampoline protecting us from falling off the side or getting caught in the springs." :) I think I've had that conversation with everyone in my age group in the past week. We've all compared injuries and mishaps and all of the crazy stunts that we tried that my kids' generation would never even attempt. It just makes me feel like I should tell the kids that I walked ten miles to school in the pouring snow, up hill both ways, sat in the classroom with no heat, and had to come home and cut firewood after class. lol. That's something my papaw would have said...

In all seriousness, I catch myself doing this all the time! I catch myself telling Bailey and Jake about how good they have it and how we didn't have all these luxuries in my day. And, I shudder each time I'm saying it because I know what I sound like. Yet, I continue to do it. I suppose each generation feels that way toward their children. And, theoretically, it is that generation's own fault for providing that luxury to their children. So, why should we lecture them about it when we are the ones providing it and enabling them? I guess to make them appreciate it. But, man, I so hated to hear my grandparents and parents ramble on and on about how great we had it and how terrible they had it. I hate to do that to my kids, too. But, I know I won't stop. lol. It must just be a natural instinct.

So, Bailey and Jake... when you are older and are reading this, you now know why I drove you crazy with my stories of the old days and that I hated that I couldn't stop telling you about it, but you'll do it to your kids, too. So... get over it. :)

The list and the rest of our life... :)

Here's just a little update on our lives and my list.

We (FINALLY) have our vacation plans lined out. The week after we set our vacation plans initially, Brad found out that he had jury duty. Fortunately, it was postponed until July, so we are now ready to hit the road in June. That initial vacation was planned for Destin, Florida, but the oil spill hit and looks to be hitting the shore about the same time we would be. So... again, more changes to the vacation. So, after a month or so of searching and figuring out when, where, and how much we could pay, we have found a place in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

We are so excited to get to the beach with the kids. We have never been to Hilton Head and have always heard great things, so we are pretty pumped to be trying something new. Bailey and Jake crack me up. Bailey is super-excited about going to an island. She was a little concerned about how we'd get across the water, but once we had that squared away, she decided that it would be fascinating to be on an island. lol. Jake is just excited about going to the swimming pool. That's really all I hear about from him. :) Brad is really thrilled about the golf... as is my youngest brother, Colt, who will be going with us (along with his fabulous girlfriend, Emily). I'm just happy to be going to a beach, where I can lay and relax and eat dinner at a restaurant every night.

And, well, I have to admit, that my vacation planning also revolved a little around my list. No big surprise that I might be able to mark a few things off of the list. :) Parasailing, a visit to Charleston, South Carolina, and/or Savannah, Georgia, searching for seashells with the kids, and even flying kites on the beach with the kids. I think there's a good chance I can accomplish some things. :) So, be prepared in early July to get a bunch of blogs about that.

Running is still an option... my ankle is getting much better. Special thanks to everyone who has taken a moment to encourage me and wish me well. It means so much that you guys are there for me. It's only because I have someone pushing me (other than Brad) that I will even consider trying again, so THANK YOU. The swelling is going away a little each day, so I'm hoping that by the end of next week (think Memorial Day weekend), I'll be able to get back out there and try again. I'm still shooting for the Bluegrass State Games in July. I might not reach my goal of running without stopping by then, but I'm still going to shoot for it. And, if I don't do it the first time, I will just keep training for it and run one without stopping later in the year. I know I can do it... it just might not be as soon as I had hoped.

I have a few other things that I'm going to blog about soon... some related to the list and some things about my rotten little kiddos and my adorable husband. I'm a blessed woman... that's for sure.

Soundtrack of my life

Sunday, May 16, 2010
I've always heard people say that we all have soundtracks for our lives. I honestly can say that certain songs will take me back to completely different times in my life. For instance, hearing Mariah Carey takes me instantly back to my bedroom in high school, where I laid on my bed and belted out the entire CD for hours. For any of you who know how wonderful (insert sarcasm here) my voice is, you know why that is so hilarious to me. I can hear a Boyz II Men song and I think of my friend Jackie and the many evenings we spent entertaining my parents by singing these songs while standing on our "stage" (the ledge in front of our old fireplace). Yes, I do realize that 13 was a little old to be doing that, but we had a great time. lol... And the list goes on... I could probably turn on the radio right now and find a song that would "take me back."

Anyway, when I was a little girl, I really enjoyed reading poetry. It took a while for me before I realized that so many of the songs that I loved were poems in and of themselves. Sometimes, I hear a song, listen to the words, and something about them will just stick with me. I thought about starting my own little collection of these lyrics, but that seems kind of silly to me. I don't know why, but I just don't want to be the hoarder of song lyrics for some reason. Probably because I'm already tracking and hoarding so many other things.

So, maybe I'll just post one every now and then that is fun or interesting or somehow affecting me.

The first one is American Honey by Lady Antebellum. When I first heard this song, I thought it was kind of cheesy or silly. Then, I read the lyrics... and it's really sweet. I can relate with it in terms of missing the "good ole days" when things were slower and easier and I spent hours upon hours roaming the countryside behind my grandparents' home or laying in a field reading a book. I've said it in my posts before, but it makes me sad that my kids won't have that slow, country lifestyle. You learn a lot about how to be comfortable with yourself and to just "be" when you don't have anything in the world to distract you from yourself. Yep... I know... that was as clear as mud. lol.

So... here's the lyrics for American Honey, if you haven't already heard it 1,000 times on the radio. :)

She grew up on a side of the road
Where the church bells ring and strong love grows
She grew up good
She grew up slow
Like American honey

Steady as a preacher
Free as a weed
Couldn't wait to get goin'
But wasn't quite ready to leave
So innocent, pure and sweet
American honey

There's a wild, wild whisper
Blowing in the wind
Calling out my name like a long lost friend
Oh I miss those days as the years go by
Oh nothing's sweeter than summer time
And American honey

Get caught in the race
Of this crazy life
Trying to be everything can make you lose your mind
I just wanna go back in time
To American honey, yea

There's a wild, wild whisper
Blowing in the wind
Calling out my name like a long lost friend
Oh I miss those days as the years go by
Oh nothing's sweeter than summer time
And American honey

Gone for so long now
I gotta get back to her somehow
To American honey

Ooh There's a wild, wild whisper
Blowing in the wind
Calling out my name like a long lost friend
Oh I miss those days as the years go by
Oh nothin's sweeter than summer time
And American honey
And American honey

Random thoughts for today

Thursday, May 13, 2010
Blackberry cobbler has been on my mind since Cilla and I talked about it yesterday. I need it. Bad. :) With ice cream.

I hate trying to plan a vacation around 5,000 different variables that change daily. Hopefully, we'll be able to sit on a beach in a few weeks, drinks in hand, smelling of suntan lotion, watching the kids build sandcastles and splash in the waves. Fingers crossed.

My son is going to break hearts... I hope I can teach him to respect women and not use them. He is so manipulative. Tonight, he tried to get me to let him stay up late by kissing my on each cheek and the forehead and saying, "Mommy... I love you SOOOO much."

I miss my hubby when he's gone, but love it that eggs and pancakes are easy to fix for the kids and they love having it for dinner.

I just realized that the reason our generation loves to drink their problems away is because that's what they do on television. Every show I've watched in the past two days has involved a woman at a bar drinking because she doesn't know what else to do. Nice.

I took Bailey and Jake to McDonald's for the $.49 ice cream cones this evening. Bailey literally had it up her nose. Jake literally wouldn't eat it because it got on his hand when he held the cone. What's wrong with this picture? Where was my camera?

I'm amazed that Bailey is about to finish her last year of preschool. Is it really possible that she will be starting Kindergarten in a few months? Bittersweet... so bittersweet.

More Running... but not me

Bailey typically goes to preschool on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but today was an exception. Part of what happens when you send your child to a private school (preschool or not) is that you get involved in the many facets of fundraising for that school. As a professional fundraiser, you would think that I would appreciate and understand that, but I have to say when forking out the cash for tuition, you tend to feel differently. lol. In any case, today's fundraiser was a fun run. I can't help but see the irony in it, with my recent interest in running and all.

Jake and I dropped Bailey off at school this morning, ran a couple of errands, and then made our way back over to the area of the field that was set up for said event. Two makeshift tracks with small cones were set up in a grassy area... one for the preschool and kindergarten classes and another for the first through third grade students. It was a mad house, to say the least, when it first began. Kids were lined up everywhere. I was sure that I would lose sight of Bailey almost immediately. Of course, I did for a portion of the race because she ended up on the wrong track for one lap. lol. However, I was incredibly impressed with her stamina. The maximum amount of laps the children were allowed to run was 35. Bailey ran 34 and a half before they made them stop (time ran out). If you count the one she ran on the wrong track, she did it! :) It wasn't an extreme distance or anything, but she did a great job. Many of the kids her age ran 20 laps. And most of them walked at least a few of the laps. Bailey ran them all. Her face was SO red... but you know... she did it. And she really enjoyed it. Perhaps we have a little cross country runner on our hands? I don't know, but I'm really excited to see her enjoying this activity. I want to encourage her to keep it up. Maybe she'll keep me going.

As for me... well... a few dozen ice packs, Aleve, and a x-ray later... my ankle is "officially" sprained. Fortunately, no breaks or major tears... just enough to make me wear a brace and ice my ankle every 30 minutes or so. Enough to keep me from running for two weeks... and enough to put me so far behind that I'll probably end up starting the whole program all over by the time I actually get back to it. I'm so frustrated, but fortunate that the doctor didn't tell me that I shouldn't run ever again at all. lol. So... we shall see.

About the kiddos...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
In order to not focus on my frustrations about my ankle, I figure now would be a good time to give everyone an update on the kiddos.

They are, as always, great... busy, but great. T-ball is consuming our lives right now, as Bailey's team fights to bring back a great team from last year. We are young (we only have three 6-year olds, with one of those being a first-time ball player and another being a very young 6-year old). So, our season has been up and down. They have improved SO much since the beginning of the season, which is truly exciting. We are doing much better than many of the teams in our league, but hey, we were nearly undefeated all season last year. As competitive as we are, we like to win. Brad is helping coach and I help by keeping the stats for our team. That means, Jake and I are confined to a dugout full of kids that yell and scream, love to hit each other, and find ways to get on each other's nerves. lol. It's really fun... despite how it sounds. Bailey is doing decent. She's still not ready to play the in-field. I can't recall if I posted a blog about her being hit by the ball while she dug in the dirt instead of paying attention at the beginning of the season. That was when they were thinking she might be able to play the in-field. That isn't happening. :) She does really well with hitting and running the bases. It's slightly frustrating for us with Bailey. She can run so much faster, hit the ball so much harder, and actually throw so much better than she does when she's on the field. We can't really understand why it is that she just takes her good ole sweet time getting to the bag after she hits the ball, but she does. I guess she's just a little girl... lol. As competitive as she is with everything else, I just don't see how she hasn't figured out that she's racing the ball to first base. But, oh well... she'll figure it out or not and we'll move on with life. In any case, she enjoys going and likes the social aspects of the sport, so we continue. And, we love it, too, which helps. :)

Jake's soccer season is just about to end. His last practice will be on Saturday. The team is just now figuring it out and it's already time for it to end. lol. Brad is the coach and it's quite hilarious to see him and our friend, Paul, keeping the attention of ten 3-year olds, but they have managed pretty well. Jake is so proud of his daddy for being the coach, even if he only plays a portion of the time (the other portion is spent chasing Paul's son, Joseph, around and then tackling each other). Every time we mention soccer to Jake, he says, "Jake play soccer... and Daddy play soccer, too." It's so cute. He's so eager to be a part of all of these sports. T-ball practice proves to be difficult because he just can't understand why he can't get out there and play too.

Another thing Jake is saying that is so cute... "On Monday." Every time Jake asks me if we can do something, like go visit grandparents or Cilla, I'll say, "One day..." Jake has turned that into Monday. Now, every time he asks me if we are going to some specific place and I say no, he responds with, "Ok... we go on Monday." It's hilarious.

Well, I know there's so much more to write, but I'm tired and have to get Brad motivated to pack. Yep... he's out of town for a few days for work. So, I'm on my own with practices, kids, etc. Fun times. :) He will be missed, but thank God I'm not working. Life is so much easier now. :)

My training

I'm still here, in case you all were getting worried. :)

A few new developments have delayed my training. Yes, I'm still planning to do the 5K. In July? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not sure at this point. I'm extremely frustrated, but trying to be patient with myself and not take it out on everyone else. Yes, poor Brad. :)

So, after my last day of training (Training Day 5), I was having a lot of pain in both of my ankles. Yet, the right one was much worse, even swelling. That was almost a week ago. Still swollen, still hurting, although I haven't run any. Since it isn't bruising and the swelling doesn't seem to be getting any worse, I just keep icing it and taking Ibuprofen. Thanks to my good friend, Kristyn, I also found out about a wonderful product called BioFreeze. It is wonderful while it lasts! I wish I could apply it and it would work miraculously for days instead of a few hours, but it's much better than nothing at all. It seems to numb the pain, which is probably what I'm going to need if I ever run again. lol.

At this point, I'm not sure when that running will begin again. I'm so disappointed that I can hardly find the words to express it. I want to do this so bad - just to prove to myself that I can - and my freaking ankle is holding me back. I even feel like I'm not as bad of shape as I had thought and that I actually might be able to do this without it killing me in the cardio-sense (I know that is probably not really a word). Yet, here I sit five training days in and holding. I'll keep you guys posted on how this all develops. Brad has "advised strongly" against me running this week. He thinks that I need to give my ankle time to "heal." So, I'm trying to be a good wife and listen, even though I really want to ignore him and the pain and keep running. Boo.

Training Day 5

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This evening, I ran. This evening, I thought I would die. Tomorrow, I will barely be able to walk. My ankles are those of an 80-year old. I walk like an 80-year old. My new shoes aren't here yet, so I am hoping they make it before the end of the week. If my new shoes don't make a difference in how my ankles feel... I don't know what I will do.

It's been one of THOSE days. I'm feeling the pain and not sure if I'll make it now... it's a total bummer.

And.... my list... keeps... growing...

Sunday, May 2, 2010
I have made my list and it keeps growing. I can't even begin to stop adding things. So, I'm going to list what I have here, but know that it will likely change constantly. :) I was trying to stick to around 100 things, but well, I tried.

Now, here is the deal. I think I can accomplish about 20 things off of my list in the next twelve months. I think I can... some of the things are simple things that I just need to make a point to do. So, I think that is going to be my goal... I'm going to try and have at least 20 things marked off my list by May 1, 2011.

And... here's the big reveal:

My List (Changing Daily)
1. Parasailing at the beach
2. Serve the homeless
3. Habitat for Humanity
4. Planting a wildflower garden like my great-grandmother's
5. Learn to plant a vegetable garden
6. Learn to make jewelry
7. Make a memory quilt for my parents
8. Research my family tree
9. Go to a UK football game
10. Go to a UK basketball game
11. Go to the NCAA basketball Championships - DONE! NCAA Championships 2010 Duke versus Butler (After Duke defeated WVU in the Final Four Game we attended and Butler defeated Michigan State University – Indianapolis, Indiana)
12. Go to a NCAA football Bowl game (preferably WVU’s game)
13. Run a 5k
14. Participate in a triathlon or a duathalon or both
15. Take Bailey to see her first concert – DONE! Taylor Swift at Rupp Arena on April 29, 2010
16. Go back to see Taylor Swift. :)
17. See Dave Matthews in concert again, preferably with Bret, Cilla, Rebecca, and Paul. :)
18. Swim with dolphins
19. Learn to ride a horse (without feeling terrified)
20. Teach Bailey and Jake how to shoot bows and arrows
21. Teach Bailey and Jake how to ski
22. Ski in Colorado, Vermont, and/or Canada
23. Visit Savannah, Georgia
24. Visit Charleston, South Carolina
25. Travel outside of the country
26. Participate in a mission trip (this might have to wait until the kids are older)
27. Teach Bailey to tie her shoes
28. Teach Jake to walk into a room and feel confident with himself (no nail biting)
29. Go to the Super Bowl - hehehehe.... definitely have to win the lottery for this one
30. Learn how to write HTML code
31. Learn how to decorate cakes (beyond the little stars that I can do)
32. Learn to play guitar
33. Camp out with the kids
34. Ride a four-wheeler (again)
35. Drive a motorcycle
36. Snowboard… without injuring myself
37. Ice skate
38. Teach my kids to make crawdads fight
39. Learn to golf
40. Teach Bailey and Jake how to play tennis
41. Build a children’s boutique that features specialty clothing, including items that I make
42. Visit Hawaii
43. See a volcano
44. Learn to surf
45. Sing karaoke
46. Get tickets for Brad and Jake to see a motocross competition together... just so I could hear about the look on Jake's face. It's crazy to see how much a motorcycle can impact a little boy - it's genetic.
47. Take the kids to a monster truck show
48. Help the kids learn to throw and kick a football
49. Go snorkeling
50. Go deep sea fishing
51. Read these books: http://www.newsweek.com/id/204478 Yep… all of them.
52. Help my kids learn (and love) to read and read them the Little House on the Prairie books (my mom read them to us as kids)
53. Organize all of my photos and family videos (this will probably never happen because I can’t ever get caught up!).
54. Catch fireflies with my kids
55. Find a way to organize kids’ toys… really…
56. Raise money for breast cancer awareness (think at least $5,000)
57. Read the entire Bible from beginning to end
58. Get my kids a dog and teach them to take care of it
59. Learn to water ski
60. Grow old with the love of my life by my side
61. Go to Vegas… and gamble a lot. A whole lot.
62. Go to the Kentucky Derby
63. Visit New Orleans, but not during Mardi Gras – that would be too many people for me to handle…
64. Visit Los Angeles
65. Drink a green beer
66. Take my kids to Disney world
67. Have an in-ground pool
68. Get a couple’s massage
69. Learn to save money for Christmas to give our credit cards a break J
70. Pay off our credit cards – HAHAHAHAHA! I know… it is hilarious.
71. Take a world geography class or at least attempt to learn where various countries are located, since I have absolutely no knowledge of these things.
72. Have a Halloween party, complete with costumes and bobbing for apples
73. Host Christmas dinner at my home
74. Go some place really fascinating for New Year’s Eve
75. Do a tour of New England, including Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia, complete with historical tourist stops
76. See the Grand Canyon
77. Climb a mountain… like really hike and climb a mountain not a hill in eastern Kentucky
78. Go to Nashville and watch the country music stars at the CMA Music Festival
79. Teach Jake to pedal his bike
80. Teach Bailey to ride without training wheels
81. Win the lottery so that we can actually do this traveling before I turn 80. :)
82. Capture a caterpillar and watch it turn into a butterfly with the kids
83. Milk a cow
84. Take the kids to the circus
85. Spend an entire day wandering the hills where I grew up with my own children… showing them the blackberry bushes that my grandparents and I picked berries from and the little “pond” where I thought a huge turtle lived
86. Teach my kids to appreciate everything they have… even if it means sacrificing all of the things on my list to show them what is really important in this world
87. Learn to can vegetables
88. Learn at least ten new recipes each year
89. Read all of the “Fifty Books Every Kindergartener Should Read” with both of the kids this summer
90. Learn to speak Spanish
91. Learn to paint… not walls and stuff… like paintings
92. Go to a Nascar race
93. Learn to tango (with Brad, who will object vehemently… scratch that… he just said he would… I think he’s the best man in the world.)
94. Sit on top of a mountain and watch the sunset with my family
95. Learn to toss a lasso properly
96. Go to a rodeo
97. Stay in a lavish hotel with room service and a poolside bar (again, since we did that for our honeymoon)
98. Get a famous person’s autograph
99. Make homemade ice cream
100. Fly kites with the kids on the beach
101. Wake up early with each child and take them to find seashells at the beach… one at a time
102. Sit on a covered porch during a thunderstorm
103. Help other people do things on their lists… like I’m totally taking Cilla to play putt-putt golf.
104. Find a recipe for tea that I actually like
105. Jump in a pile of leaves again
106. Buy Brad a motorcycle because I love him and he wants one so bad. Guess the surprise is out on that one?!
107. Ride a jet ski – no I have never done that, can you believe it?!

:) We'll see how it goes!

Complete Randomness

Saturday, May 1, 2010
Have had a good day watching the Derby and drinking a little too much. So, you all get to know what's on my mind. Yes, someone should be taking away the computer, but Jake's asleep, Brad is laying down with Bailey, Cilla and Bret drove home instead of coming here (yes, Cilla, feel guilty... :) ), and Brecca and Paul (as Bailey calls them) have not yet arrived for our "party." LOL

At least I'm not drunk dialing people.

My list is rocking... I keep adding fun things... and I can't wait to share them. I don't care if Brad thinks I've lost it. I'm putting it on here... I can't believe how much it has helped me to stick with my running. It has to be that influential with the rest of my list. And, Brad thinks it's cool, even if he doesn't tell me. I feel like Earl Hickey... making my list. :)

My kids are incredible. Yes, they rock... Bailey told us tonight that she'll never smoke cigarettes because they are so not cool and they are so incredibly disgusting. Jake basically broke his nose today and pushed it back in place and went on with life. We were in the other room and he must have fallen and hit it on something. I freaked out when he came in and it was all swollen in one spot. He was crying, then pushed on it a little... the swelling was gone and he stopped crying. We gave him some ice, but he acted like we were crazy. My bet is that he has two black eyes tomorrow. And, just so everyone knows... this was all happened well before any alcohol was opened in our home. :) Please, don't judge. I promise they are well taken care of and I only drink when they are about to go to sleep or are already in bed. I promise they are completely happy and safe. I was just trying to say that he was tough.

Damn... I feel like you all think I'm a terrible mom all of a sudden.

I'm cooking cheese sticks and watching School of Rock. I love this part of the movie... where the principal sings the Stevie Nicks song. It makes me want to sing. Speaking of... my list... karaoke is on my list. You know, totally drunken solo-karaoke. Yes... I will do it.

Brad's gonna crack up when he sees what I've been doing while he was helping Bailey get to sleep. And, Bret... hmmm.... be glad I'm in a good mood. No more comments on me killing the blog lately. LOL...

I love you guys... hope you had a great Derby day.

Training Day 4

So, last night I decided that I would really push myself. My patience has been wearing thin on my training schedule. Bailey and I went out and ran a day or two ago and, while we only ran about half of what I normally do, I really felt like I wasn't going hard enough... that just maybe I needed to skip week 2 and move on to week 3. Patience is not something I have. So... I thought this might happen. But, I wasn't sure if I'd be brave enough or in good enough shape to make it through.

I did it. I did the week 3 schedule and even added to it. And it felt good. Don't get me wrong... I was heaving... And I had to count down the last 15 seconds each time, reciting to myself that I was almost there. Here's what my training log looks like:

With all of that being said, I have to buy some new shoes. My ankles are killing me and my heels have blisters where my other shoes have worn spots on them. They just aren't made for running. I'm hoping to buy some before my next run... probably a pair of these: