Monday, November 29, 2010

Pizza, Pudding, and Popcorn

This alliterative lunch theme was a hit with my kids, who helped me pick out the 3rd P item - popcorn.  We had pizza leftover from Sunday - we typically order pizza on big house-cleaning days (which is how we spent Sunday afternoon) - so the kids were excited to have leftovers today.  I suggested the pudding, and asked them what other "p" food I could include.  Perhaps not the most balanced meal, but certainly fun.  I think their lunchtime should be enjoyable, so I played along!  They did enjoy their lunches, and Mister J declared that I "make the best pudding ever!" 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A little bloggy help

I mentioned, through a blog comment earlier this evening, that I am currently looking for some new casual dinnerware.  I even went so far as to lay out my specs:  ivory with a pattern (but no extra color), non-rimmed bowls, mugs instead of cup/saucer.  Five hours later, what should I find in my inbox but a list of suggestions with links from my bloggy friend!  And?  She totally hit the mark.  I think I found my favorite - now I just have to start saving up! 

It's very similar in design to some dinnerware that I found earlier in the year at one of the big box stores - which I bought, brought home, then found that about half of the boxed items were flawed.  I have continued searching, however I'm not a big 'shopper' so it's been a slow process.  But now?  I just may have the answer!

Oh, you want to see the design?  It's Antique Bead from Ballard Designs
There were a couple of other suggestions, including this one, which I also like:
Primvere, also by Ballard Designs, and also at the top of my list. 

So, what's next?  Well, I'll run these photos by Big J, and see what he thinks.  If we find one that we both like, then we'll just start saving up.  Getting excited!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Prayer

For the second year in a row, Miss M has volunteered to say the blessing at our family Thanksgiving meal (11 adults, 5 children, 4 generations).  Even her prayers are sweet, sweet scene-stealers....

"Thank God for our food, so we can grow up big and go to college, and have Thanksgiving with God."

Can I have an "AMEN!" ?

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

For the Record...

Yes, probably boring to anyone but me, but here are my race stats for the local Turkey Strut 5K this morning:

Place 453 (out of 913)
Rank 454
Mile 2 - 28:23
Rank - 443
Mile 3 - 14:20
Gun Time - 45:01 (one second over my training goal - and this includes 1:15 to get to the start)
Gun Pace - 14:30
Chip Time - 43:44
Chip Pace - 14:05

Definitely not speedy, but I'm very pleased with how it went.  I started out running solo, but caught up with a friend along the way.  Also, I forgot to charge my iPod, it was 43 degrees, and we even got rained on a bit.  BUT - it was a great run for me, and I'm looking forward to our end-of-training-run in just a few days!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Overheard #39

As Miss M was sitting down to write her Christmas List last evening:

"Mom, can you help me write my Christmas options?"

Love her!  It was a joy to help her spell out the things on her list, which were:
Box of Princess Dress Up - a box of dress-up clothes from Costco.  Unfortunately, I think they are sized too small for her.
Moving Chair with Flashing Lights - a massage chair, also at Costco.  This short description really doesn't do justice to the detail with which she originally described it, but we had to fit it all on one page!
Toy Story 3 - self-explanatory

Sunday, November 21, 2010

5K Wrap-Up

I'm so glad I decided to do a practice 5K before my goal run next month!  I learned a few important lessons:

1) Running with a group of 200 people is not like running with 100 or so folks at my twice-weekly coached runs.  Especially with many of them are kids.
2) It is very difficult to anticipate which way another runner will move (if at all) when they hear you coming up from behind them.
3) Even on a closed race course, the sound of the police escort motorcycle right behind you will still unnerve you.
4) Running with earbuds in both ears is not necessarily a good plan for me.
5) It's hard to drink a cup of water without spillage - even when walking - so be prepared to wear some of it.  It was definitely worth it anyway.

And confirmed a few things I already knew:
1) It's so much more fun to run with a friend.
2) I really need to hold off on the base layer of long sleeves until the high temp is in the 40s.  I was a little too warm, especially since there was almost no shade on the course.

I'm so glad my husband and kids came along - I have some great photographs and had a great cheering squad!  I'm posting just a couple of photos - because many of them are close-up with photos of other folks I don't know, and because I'm still a bit self-conscious about how I look in my running gear :)

Attaching the timing chip to my shoe.  I was geeking out just a little bit....

Approximately one mile in the course.  Got to see my family again at the 1.5 mile mark - what a treat!
Come to think of it, the kids were using a second camera that morning.  I need to take a peek at the run from their perspective!  I'm sure they also took some shots of the bouncy house they were looking forward to enjoying post-race.  (Update: Lots of closeup self-portraits and photos of the ground [and most of those with Miss M's feet].  Some good shots of the family walking from starting line to mile one to the halfway point and back to the finish. No photos of bouncy house taken by the kids.)

I was really surprised to learn that the timing chip saved me 14 seconds on my time!  The group was large enough that it took me 14 seconds to get across the starting line once the race began.  I opted to start near the back, not knowing how my pace would compare to everyone else's.  I quickly realized that I was a little too far back, pace-wise, but that's just a part of the learning curve, I suppose.

The most exciting thing - besides crossing the finish line - was realizing that I finished nearly 4 minutes faster than my end-of-training goal!  It wasn't my best run - the music threw my pace off a bit, I think, and I got tired early on - but I still did well.  It was also a relatively flat course compared to what I usually run, which probably worked in my favor.  Nevertheless, it gives me a new goal to work towards!

For now, I'm looking forward to running with my running buddies again and sharing the lessons that I learned in my first 5K!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Overheard #38

This morning, upon coming downstairs and finding the kids not only awake, but playing Wii....

Mommy: "How long have you two been up?"

Miss M: "About an inch and a half..."

A) It's Saturday and B) that was funny, so I just didn't fuss about the whole playing-wii-without-actual-permission thing.  They have been waiting  for the weekend this week (they usually don't ask "When's the next no-school day?"  It's been a long, busy week...), so I'll let them play just a bit longer.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Exciting! Or, One Big Reason for the Blog Quiet Over Here

OK, maybe only exciting to me.... I'm running in my first timed event tomorrow! Whee! 

I'm ten weeks into my twelve-week training program, and I'm running a couple of 5Ks to help me prepare for the target run.  This run has around 250 runners (yep, I was a late registrant), so it'll be a good 'break-in' for the big race in two weeks. 

Ten weeks ago, I could barely run for one minute.  When I began training, we were running 1-minute run, 2-minute walk intervals and our 'long run' for the week was 1.25 miles.  Now the intervals are 4 minutes running and 1 minute walking (or more when/if you can), and our long run this week was 3.25 miles.  My 'short run' next week is 3 miles - so I'll be running a 5K on Thanksgiving Day! 

Have I mentioned that I'm excited?  Heck, I'm not just excited, I'm proud, too!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Technical Socks and NEW Shoes!

Last week, I realized it was time for new running shoes.  In fact, I'm close enough to my 5K that it was "now or never" time - to ensure enough time to break in the new kicks.  I can't tell you how exciting it was to realize that I'd worn out a pair of shoes by running!  So, this new pair should get me about 500 miles - which turnsout to be less than a year if I keep up this pace.  Want to see what I got?

It's the Pro-Grid Omni by Saucony.  I also added a pair of SuperFeet inserts - the green ones - and I can already feel some improvement over my previous pair of inserts.  I have to add, though, that there is definitely going to be an adjustment period for the new shoes.  Mondays are my longest run of the week, and I'm not sure I'll be wearing the new running shoes tonight.  (Plus, it might be raining - a really good reason to wear the old, dirty shoes!)

I also picked up a pair of technical socks for running.  I chose Feetures! Original No-Show with Tab.  I love that they wick moisture (just like my other technical apparel) and that they are very soft and seamless, but I'll have to get used to them being a little more 'slippery' in my shoe (which may work out somewhat over time, but is definitely expected with synthetic fibers).

I'm running my first "real" 5K this Saturday (by "real" I mean one that had an entry fee)!  It's not my target race, but I'm running this one as a practice for the target race next month.  Saturday's will be timed, and I don't think I'll be running with anyone that I know, so it should be interesting.  I may try to find/charge/load songs to my iPod shuffle if I can find some time this week.  It'll make the time go by more quickly, for sure!

Just as an FYI to my readers, I'm not compensated by any of the companies mentioned above.  I'm just sharing my personal experience with the items that I have purchased and used in pursuit of my own fitness goals.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Silly Boy! (also... Overheard #37)

Last Saturday, upon realizing that the knees of his blue jeans were green:

"Oh, man - grass grease!"

Monday, November 1, 2010

October Fun!

Here are just a few of the photos from our trip to the pumpkin patch and a photo of my favorite trick-or-treaters.  I love fall!!!  Enjoy!

 A trip to the pumpkin patch isn't just a chance to pick a pumpkin - there are wagons, a cornstalk 'house' and a place that's set up specifically for taking pictures (which we never end up using). 
 The kids do a lot of running around before we ever start looking at pumpkins.
 See what I mean?  Miss M, in particular, doesn't stop for the camera - at all.
I loved these bumpy pumpkins!   And the regular ones, too.  Fall is my favorite season (but can you call it fall when you wear short sleeves to pick out your pumpkins?).

For Halloween,  the kids dressed up as Optimus Prime and Cinderella.  I have to admit I was a little sad that their costumes were completely store-bought.  I have had so much fun making costumes these past few years - mostly Mister J's, since Miss M has worn some lovely second-hand costumes (until last year when I made her into Angelina Ballerina).  Whether I made it or found it second-hand, there was always some work - and some love - put into each costume.  But - when I realized just how much they loved their costumes and saw them having such a great time getting 'recognized' at each house, I got over my pity party pretty quickly. 

We opted to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood this year (rather than travel around a bit to festivals and family members' homes like last year), and spent about two hours walking around with our neighbors and their two children.  The kids had so much fun together - and the adults had a good time, too!