Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Haunting

Happy Halloween...

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...from two little monsters!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Pics (2007-2009)

Reynolds Farm (October 2007)
Summers Farm (October 2008)

Reynolds Farm (October 2009)

Wow, how time flies!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Patch 2009

For playgroup on Thursday, we headed up to Pennsylvania and enjoyed a beautiful fall day at Reynolds Farm. We admired all of the many pumpkins and gourds...
And enjoyed a fun-filled hayride to the pumpkin patch...

Abby picked out her very own pumpkin...

Then we spent the rest of the morning playing on the slides, in the sandbox, watching the goats and running around in the corn maze.
Of course we couldn't leave without our traditional picture by the pumpkin growth chart...
We sure do enjoy some beautiful country out here!!! I sure do love this time of year!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cheese Boy

This is what happens when you leave a bag of cheese just a little too close to the edge of the table...

And if you know about my love for cheese, you'll understand how tragic this truly was!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baltimore Marathon -- October 10th, 2009

From all accounts, the Baltimore Marathon was a huge success. I had these huge knots in my stomach with worry about something going wrong (injuries, sickness, weather, etc.) and just the idea of running 26.2 miles was rather daunting. I had three main goals going into this race...
1. To run a consistent pace throughout,
2. To finish strong
3. To enjoy myself.
I knew that I had put in the time and training and was just hoping that everything would work out right when it came to race day.
We met up with my two sisters and their families on Friday afternoon and picked up our race packets before carbo-loading in Little Italy that night. Fortunately the kids slept well that night in the hotel and I slept about as well as could be expected!
The race began the next morning at 8 a.m. and I was thrilled with my final results. I finished with a time of 4:38 (my first marathon took me well over 5 hours) and that was even with rain, wind and some nasty hills to contend with from miles 16-20. Most importantly though, I had a much more enjoyable experience overall. I gave"high-fives", smiled, laughed, pumped fists and waved when given extra hollers from the crowd and really just tried to take the whole experience in. It's not everyday that you have thousands of people cheering you on in accomplishing something so incredibly difficult. And I was able to kick it into high gear in the final home stretch, passing about 8-10 people along the way.
Don't these marathoners look like they're having a grand old time?!?!?

My sister Lara sustained a pretty severe hamstring injury just a few weeks ago which prevented her from running the full marathon. She did her own modified "marathon" that morning though, doing 20 miles on the stationary bike at the gym and then joining in on the last 6.2 miles of the marathon. Although she was disappointed with not being able to run the entire distance, I was so proud that she would even attempt to do what she did. Most people would have just bagged the whole thing!!

Me nearing the finish line...

The end is in sight...

My cheering section right about mile 9...

Don't let all my positive talk and smiles fool you though. This race was TOUGH!!! There were many times I would just repeat again and again to myself, "Just keep moving..." I had a really difficult time at Mile 12. It was kind of a boring part of the course, I had no music to entertain or distract me, my legs were starting to burn and I wasn't even to the halfway point. Talk about discouraging!! I started to let some of these negative thoughts in which of course dragged me down even further. Finally a clear thought came into my mind that told me very distinctly..."Yeah, this is tough. It's supposed to be tough. You knew it would be tough. So stop thinking about it being so hard and just do it!!" I realized at that point that I had two choices, I could wallow in the agony that I was experiencing at that moment, or I could acknowledge that it was tough and keep moving through it. Fortunately I chose the latter and ended up accomplishing something great. (Kind of like life, don't you think?)

Was running this marathon hard? OH YEAH.

Was it painful? VERY MUCH SO.

Did I ever want to quit? PROBABLY MORE THAN A FEW TIMES

Did I ever wonder "what in the world am I doing out here?" OF COURSE

But was it great... thrilling... exciting... wonderful... challenging... momentous... something I will remember and be proud of for the rest of my life? MOST DEFINITELY

So the question remains...will I do it again?


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baltimore Marathon...Been there, run that!!

Just a quick update...the Baltimore Marathon was an amazing experience. The hills, wind and rain were a bit treacherous, but I felt good, no injuries, and I cut almost an hour off of my PR from last time (amazing what not being pregnant can do!!) More details and pictures to come soon...

Friday, October 9, 2009

This is it...

After months and months of training, the starting line of the marathon is now less than 24 hours away!! We head down to Baltimore in a few hours to enjoy the race expo, do some carbo-loading, and have fun with family (I'm running with my two East coast sisters so it's kind of like a mini family reunion in a twisted sort of way!!) We'll stay at a hotel in downtown Baltimore tonight and be up bright and early tomorrow to prepare for an 8 a.m. (EST) start time. Wish me luck, condolences, empathy, sympathy, or whatever else your heart desires. Until next time...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Born Learning Festival

On Saturday morning, we took the kids to the "Born Learning" Festival in downtown Hagerstown. They had a lot of different games, activities, prizes, free books and a free lunch from Chick-Fil-A. One of the stations was a dress-up area where the kids could choose what they wanted to be when they grow up. They took their pictures wearing the different outfits and made them into magnets for them to take home. I thought they turned out pretty cute. It was a really fun little festival and we got a lot of great creative learning ideas from it.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy General Conference Weekend!

In preparation for General Conference, I have been helping Abby learn the names of the 12 Apostles and members of the First Presidency this last week. I found these cute "Apostle Cards" here and made up a few games with them to help make the memorizing more fun. I'm constantly amazed by what this little girl can do!!!