Monday, March 31, 2014

The nesting projects begin

I'm sure it's been covered before, but I don't nest like a normal person.  Normal pregnant people clean and organize and things like that.  I do things like build patios, stock up on running shoes and repaint most of my house.  At least we've come to know that this is normal for me.

I've been itching to hit a few house projects for a couple of months, but with the crazy of life and adjusting to Aaron's travel, it just keeps getting put off.  Enter a rapidly approaching third trimester (27wks today! yay!), and "let's get this done!" has kicked into high gear.

First up, the main bathroom.

Oh, this poor bathroom.

It's seen a couple of changes over the 8 1/2yrs we've spent here, like painting the vanity, and little things like changing the shower curtain.  But it had been beige in there for way too long.

I found a rug I loved a couple of months ago, so I bought it with changing the bathroom in mind.  Slowly stocking up on the things I would be using to change it up in there got me to the point where it was go time.

And so two weeks ago I went for it.

Bye bye beige!



It always takes me longer than I anticipate to finish these projects, but this time, it was done in just over 24 hours.  Ten people using one bathroom is some serious motivation!

Painting, replacing hardware, repainting the vanity...plus way more deep scrubbing than I expected.  It was harder for me to deep clean the shower and tub than to run 9 miles the weekend before.  Not sure what that says about me.  Or about the bathroom.  I'm just going to ignore that and move forward.

Went a step further than I anticipated and the light fixture as well.  Good choice, long overdue.  Super happy with how it turned out, loving the change!


And yes, I restricted my children from using it the day I finished so that Aaron could actually see it done, and still super CLEAN, when he got home.

Especially loving the hooks behind the door for towels, for some reason my picture of that won't load.  huh. I'm having all sorts of blog upload success lately.  Anyway, similar to this:

We have tried a number of different hooks in the bathroom and in bedrooms to keep kids' towels from piling up all over the place.  The 3M hooks that work great in our master bathroom keep getting broken in the main bathroom.  I hate the over the door hanger things.  This has been fabulous!  Granted it's been a whopping week and a half, but it is super sturdy and provides more places to hang than any other alternatives we've tried.  Not to mention it looks a little nicer!

Big project number one crossed off the list, and now, on to the next one!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Slowly getting things back up and running....

Nothing like a random smattering of posts as far back as August.  About half of the posts stuck in draft mode for so long have finally published (yay!), though some have weird placement, especially where pics are concerned.
Huh.
Hopefully the rest will cooperate before too long.

I'll have to add it to my list of nesting projects.

Run for the Fallen

It's race season again!
Though I should probably say "race" season, because let's face it, I may be running races but I'm not doing any actual racing this year for obvious reasons.

This past weekend I had the privilege of running for an awesome cause.

Though the city I live in isn't exactly a small town anymore (30-something thousand people now?  maybe closer to 40,000?), there is very much a small town feel here.  Very much a sense of community, where neighbors know each other and a number of people who work in our schools also live in our community...for the most part it is really a fairly close knit area out here.

On January 30th, one of the officers that worked for our local Sheriff's office was killed on the job.  He had stopped to check on a car pulled over to the side of the highway to see if it was an abandoned vehicle or someone who may have needed help.  He was shot twice without warning while he was still sitting in his car.

I didn't know Sgt. Wride personally, but have always been grateful for the fabulous officers that serve our community.  Whether it was working with them in helping with local events, talking to them about neighborhood concerns, or just having them wave each time I'm out running, they are a very welcome presence in our community and we are incredibly grateful for their service here.

A 5k was put together to celebrate the life of Sgt Wride and as a fundraiser for his family, a small way for our community to thank them for their sacrifice and service.

I wasn't sure what to expect as far as race size, as when I had registered just a couple of weeks ago there weren't even 100 people registered.  The turnout was amazing, with approximately 700 people there.
While I often get emotional during our national anthem, the pre-race ceremony and color guard were particularly humbling and emotional.  There weren't many dry eyes left after the national anthem and hearing from Sgt Wride's wife, seeing the dozens of officers there, and the many people lining the course.

As to the race itself...
It was a morning that was colder than we've had for the past couple of weeks, wind chill from the nearly 40mph winds pushing the temp down to mid 20s, but people seemed to mostly deal well with waiting an extra 40min at the start while waiting for three busloads more than were expected to arrive at the start.  (Although I was glad I didn't have kids with me, as there were a ton of frozen and crying little ones trying to keep warm.)

Aaron and I were both running, though the cold really started to get to him after standing around for over an hour, so he headed off to run the course on his own before the official start.  (we have great paved paths out here, so he just ran along that since the road wasn't patrolled yet)  I forget how easily he gets cold with the bald head!  It was a good thing he went ahead though, it took him nearly an hour after he finished to start getting feeling back in his hands and feet again, as it was a much colder morning than anyone expected it to be.

The course was almost the same as my favorite local 5k, so I was excited to run it, and hopefully snag a relatively quick finish time.  It started a little bit back from the start of the other 5k that runs along here, which unfortunately put the first 1/4 mile uphill.  That was not something I anticipated.  Between that and my legs being frozen, I had a slow and stiff start, and didn't really feel like I found my groove until the very end.
I was able to maintain a decent pace, but could tell it wasn't going to be as quick as I hoped.  It was also very obvious that my body has made a shift from a month ago when I last "raced", and that things are going to just slow down from here on out.
Then my shoe came untied at about 2 1/2 miles.  Which was ironic because a friend and I had discussed shoe tying at the start line and I mentioned that I had only ever had my shoe come untied twice, both times in a race.  Go figure.
After having to stop and tie my shoe, apparently I was irritated enough to kick into high gear, as I found a little speed left in my legs after that.  The course was a little long at almost 3.3 miles (darn uphill start!), but my pace after mile 3 was a 7:08 pace!  Nice to know I can still negative split and have a finish line kick.
Aaron had made it to the finish before the actual race even started, thankfully it was a few degrees warmer on that side of the valley than on the start side.  Despite the fact that his fingers were frozen he was still able to snag a couple of pics of me coming in, which was fun.  He happened to get one that is one of my favorite running pictures ever, which is even more fun.  My running pictures always seem to be snapped at just the wrong time, making it look like I'm fake running or out for a slow jog or something.  I never end up with those pics that make it look like you're floating.
But now I have one.



(I don't even mind that it is frightening just how much my backside has spread over the past 25 weeks.)

Finish time by my watch was 26:47, 8:15 pace for the (slightly long) course.  Official finish times/places still haven't been published, but if I counted correctly I should have been about 10th female.  Though I'm totally good with that finish time, it is hard to be slowing down.  Considering that just a couple of months ago I logged a 5k over 4 1/2 minutes faster than that, the ego does take a hit.   Which feels odd to say because a few years ago I would have been thrilled to be able to run that pace at all.  Perspective is an interesting thing.

The race itself was good, but above everything else, this race made me very grateful to live where I do.  What a blessing to be surrounded by so many wonderful people who really care about the community and about those who serve us so selflessly!  One of those days where your faith in humanity is bolstered and you are grateful to be even a tiny part of something good.

For a peek at the day, you can go here: http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_10130.shtml

Thursday, March 13, 2014

One day she'll be my running buddy

But until she's old enough for that, she sits and watches me when I'm on the treadmill.


Aaron picked the right dog.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

24 week check in

The breathe a sigh of relief week, because even a podunk hospital will take you seriously if something seems to be going wrong.  The big magic widely accepted viability cutoff week.

Even when everything is flying along and is totally peachy, there is always a bit of reassurance once you pass this point.  At least for me there is.

And here is your fair warning that if you're offended by bare bellies, you should stop now.  Or cover your eyes and scroll quickly or something.  I'll spare you a weekly update, but I have enjoyed looking back over the past couple of pregnancies at the updates I've blogged, so every few weeks or so until the very end I'll update.


24 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: by my scale I'm up about 15 pounds.  By my dr.'s scale at my appointment last week, 12.  I'm going with mine being more accurate since I'm always wearing the same thing and it's the same time of day when I weigh in here.

Maternity Clothes: Nope!  Yay!  Well, ok, I have a couple of long shirts that are technically maternity shirts that I've worn once or twice, and when I have a hankering for skinny jeans I do have a pair of those with a panel that I have to break out.  Real skinny jeans stopped happening a while ago.  But in general, low waist jeans a little bigger than normal are still doing the job.

Sleep: Meh.  Some nights are better than others.  Overall I really can't complain, usually I'm only up once in the night, but some nights include a lot of tossing and turning.  I find that usually on the nights when Aaron is home I sleep like a rock.  It's so nice.

Miss Anything?  Some of my clothes.  And some running related things; I do miss running fast (well, my version of fast anyway), I miss speed work and fast hill repeats.  I think I miss hard workouts in general.  I do miss really long runs as well, and am a little envious of my friends who are in marathon training mode right now.  But I think that is partly due to the days being a little warmer...if we were stuck in the polar vortex here, I'm guessing I wouldn't be longing for a 3 hour run!

Movement: Baby isn't as constantly active as most of my others have been.  I have an anterior placenta, but have with the last couple of kids as well and it didn't seem to make a difference in what I was able to feel as far as their movement, so apparently he's just a pretty chill kid?  I will admit it causes a little paranoia when I haven't felt him for a number of hours, but on the flip side it makes me appreciate it that much more when I do feel him being particularly active!  LOVE watching him jump around in there.

Food Cravings: Strawberries

Making me sick: Red meat, as is the case in most of my pregnancies.  And I haven't been able to stomach pita chips since I got pregnant.  Weird.

Showing: Yep.  For sure. The belly isn't huge, but I have thickened up a ton everywhere.  I see these cute little ladies who don't look pregnant anywhere but their belly-like that pregnancy Barbie from a few years back where you could just pop off the belly and she looked normal again...total novelty to me because my thighs/hips/butt/waist thicken from the very beginning!

Gender: Boy!

Wedding ring on/off: On

How are you feeling? Every pregnant woman's favorite question!  Honestly, pretty darn good.  Feeling very blessed to be healthy and strong and not struggle through pregnancy the way so many do.  It definitely makes the hard work to be in shape between pregnancies worth it!  I will admit that at the end of the day I am pretty wiped out, and I get tired more easily than I would like to, but considering that this is my tenth baby, I appreciate how awesome that is!  Especially now that I'm officially medically "old" to be doing this.

Looking forward to: Eventually figuring out the right name for this child.  Since none of our kids' names start with the same letter, we figured we'd stick with that route, so any A, C, D, E, J, L, M, S, T names are out.  You'd think that with 17 letters left to choose from it wouldn't be that hard.  Our last name makes it a little bit tricky, we have to project ourselves to childhood and how any particular name could be twisted to be obnoxious and/or inappropriate with our last name. We have a list of about 20 names that are up for consideration, but none of them seem to fit just right.  This may be the first time that one of our babies arrives without a name!  Plenty of time still, but weird to not know yet.  We've found the right name by this point with all but one of our kids in the past.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sweet Tooth Sunday

It's baaack!

It's been entirely too long since Sweet Tooth Sunday was happening.
It's also been entirely too long since regularly blogging was happening, but I digress.

Since I'm in an indulgence phase at this point in time, I'm back to lots of baking and treats and all of those things that I cut out when I'm working to get down to a trimmed out place where I run faster.

I'm not up too terribly many pounds at this point, and I'm past halfway, so I'm good with a little indulgence.

This evening I needed something good, but not too rich, and super simple.

Found the perfect fit.

Go back with me a few years to the Coconut Cake.  Still completely delicious and ridiculously easy.  (There are pics there.  I'm lacking pics tonight.)

Since I was feeling the coconut vibe, but didn't want the heavy frosting, I whipped up some cream and added coconut extract.  Coconut whipped cream is fabulous.  You can actually whip coconut cream (like out of the canned coconut), but I had open cream hanging out in my fridge which saved me from jogging back downstairs to the storage room for another can of coconut milk.  Yes I was feeling lazy this evening.

Then the berries.  I'm loving berries right now.  Not super convenient when it's still winter, but at least strawberries are getting easier to find and a little less expensive.
I used our frozen mixed berries-blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  Because the frozen ones tend to be a little tart, I let them sit in a little sugar for a bit while cupcakes were baking.  4 cups of berries and between 1/4-1/3 cup of sugar.  Just mixed it all around and let them sit and get soft.

I did have to taste it and make sure it was acceptable of course.


And then it all got thrown together.


(I'm super irritated that my external flash isn't working, please excuse the horrid shadows.)

Oh my goodness it hit the spot.  And the way the juice from the berries soaked into the cake...mmmm...delicious.

The kids all loved it, Emily (literally) screamed for more.  I genuinely felt bad for Aaron that he wasn't here this evening to partake.

But wait.  There's more.
What?

My friend brought over some pineapple jam.
Stay with me here.
Her son is living in the Philippines and sent her the recipe.  Equal parts pineapple and sugar, with a little vanilla.   It's not thick like jam, more like a pineapple syrup.
Being a pineapple lover, and especially a pina colada lover, my brain instantly went back to dessert.  I couldn't *not* try this.
Coconut + berries + cream + pineapple goodness = almost inappropriately yummy.

Yes I had dessert twice tonight.
It was totally worth it.
Good thing my appointment with a weigh in isn't until Thursday!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day Date Dash 5k

Time to start racing again!

I can't even begin to express how excited I am that Spring racing is here, despite the fact that it's still winter.  No complaints on my end, I have running friends who are having races snowed out at this point.  Others who are snowshoe racing because they have so much snow.

Today, in mid February, I got to race in shorts.
Unreal!

It was a little windier than I would have chosen, but with as warm as it was (nearly 40!), the wind was doable for sure.

I talked Aaron into doing this race last week.  What a good sport.
I also may or may not have signed him up for a half marathon with me in June as a Christmas gift.
Good thing he loves me!

With his working out of town currently, I actually was left wondering if he would even be here to run with me today.  His flight was supposed to get home Thursday night around midnight, he got stuck in Atlanta overnight, and then the weather was bad there leaving us wondering if he would make it home at all this weekend before he had to be back in Tennessee on Sunday night.

I told him if he really didn't want to race he could have just told me no in the first place instead of going through all of that hoopla to avoid it.
He didn't find that as funny as I did.

Hey, grasping at straws when the whole weekend schedule gets bumped and you play single parent all week to nine kids is completely understandable, isn't it?

Thankfully he did make it home for a fun Valentine's night with the kids, and for the race on Saturday.

We had to have our traditional arm's length photo for all of the races we do together.



 The race was good, course was nice.  I could have done without the uphill in the last mile, but I played the mental game I do on hills ("I am a strong hill runner!  Keep pushing!"), which seems to work well and let me pass two people.

I didn't set out to really race this, as with every pregnancy race my first priority is baby and how my body is reacting.  I happened to be blessed with a very comfortable running day and a little speed in my legs, which was a fabulous treat!  I realized at about mile 2 that I would at least be in the top 10 women, and toyed with the thought of being able to pull an age group placing.  Am I the only person who tries to gage people's age group from behind in races?  This is a much easier job in triathlon than it is in running.
I was able to pick of a few more people before the end, which is always fun.

Finishing a little quicker than I thought I would, especially with the uphill (25:10) was a treat.
I ended up taking 4th overall female, and 1st in my age group, which was even more of a treat!

Before I go, your fetal trivia of the day, at 21 weeks baby is now approximately as long as two tubes of Nuun.  And is poking out to say hi.