Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Our house has not yet sold.  There is only a week left, roughly, on the contingency on the new house.  So, that's stressful.

2.  I am in DC for the next few days.  It is always great to be back.  I think I've made roughly 25 trips since moving back to OK.  Is that possible? It will always be my home away from home and, yes, I still truly love my job.

3. I failed to tell my friends I was coming this trip until this afternoon as I've been so wrapped up in house issues in my spare time at home.  Luckily, I think I'll get to meet a friend for dinner tomorrow anyway.  This evening, I went for a run instead, and it was quite lovely.

4.  We hung out at the farm on Sunday to celebrate Mother's Day with my mom.  E is totally in love with her new fountain, which is perfectly his size.

5 . Grandma's house is tremendously more fun than our house with lots of adventures, pirate treasure hunts and wild animals.

6.  On Saturday, we had lunch with Brent's parents and walked around outside the new house again.  Still love it.  Then, we went to the Science Museum with a bunch of our friends.  Can you spot all of our kids in this photo? It was particularly nice to get to spend some time with the Palfreymans, who now live in FL.
7. When we packed up our house almost every book went in the storage unit.  We've all  been going a little crazy with our now, more limited, book selection so we made a big trip to the library between storms to replenish our choices.  They still love the library lizard.

8. Baseball is still happening intermittently.  Most of the games have been rained out and rescheduled of late, but I'm told they actually got to play today.  I'm less optimistic about tomorrow's game actually happening, but we shall see!  In good new, B still loves it and his 2nd grade teacher came to the game tonight so it was extra special.

9.  M amazes me more all the time.  She is so much more grown up and self-sufficient than even in the fall.  She will sit quietly and do all of her home school work without any supervision or complaint.  It is amazing.  Her reading also seems to have taken another leap, which is extra cool.  It is hard believe that next week is her last MDO program, but she is definitely ready for the next big step.  I think she will miss her fun family days like today when she gets to go on adventures with Grandma and Aunt Audra, but I'm sure we'll work them in somewhere around her school schedule next year.

10.  E continues to potty train sort of ? Sigh.  Otherwise, he is completely adorable, talking in full sentences, and still delightfully affectionate.  Tonight on the phone he told me he had gotten to have Gatorade at the baseball game no less than a dozen times.  Love that snuggly boy.

Thanks again to everyone who is helping out while I'm in DC.  I so appreciate all the extra support and love for our kids and our family. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Five on Friday

Random favorites in the middle of chaos:

1) Yoga with Adriene - I am doing this 30 days of yoga series via her utube channel.  Each day is only 15-30 minutes, so I often add other things to the end or do it in combination with my cardio, but it is good and really interesting to have all that variety in yoga options.

2. Redfin.com - This is a house hunting website I hadn't used until recently.  It gets listings pretty fast and will send me push notifications of things that fit my search criteria.  Also, Brent and I share favorites so I can see what he favorites and we can leave each other comments.  It, like every site we've tried, isn't perfect and the house we put an offer on isn't even listed.... but that house shows up almost nowhere for some reason.  All the better for us!

3. Lemon Mint Leaf Candle - As part of our preparations to sell our home I bought candles and things so it will smell nicer than whatever we cooked for dinner or diapers or whatever our house normally smells like.  This scent is by far my favorite. I don't even usually like scented candles, but this one is great. (This peony & clover option is in second place).

4. Yumbox - Ok, these are stupid expensive high end lunch boxes, but the DO NOT spill things like yogurt, dip, applesauce, etc and this seems to result in my children actually eating all their vegetables so, yeah, we got one and we love it.

5. StitchFix - Evie Draw String Funnel Neck Sweatshirt - Yes, I am adoring a fancy "sweat shirt."  This is my attempt at seeming vaguely put together and cute while being super comfy.  Somehow not having my alma mater's name on the front makes it dressier? Who knew?  Out of my three stitch fix boxes I have purchased four items.  The sweatshirt, a cool flowy cardigan, a work shell top, and a navy dress.  I am very happy with all of my purchase and M & I have the most fun trying things on and taking photos of the various outfits.  It is great, easy entertainment and maybe slightly improving my wardrobe choices too. Hooray!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ten on whatever day this is...

1.  I'm not going to attempt to recap life right now, just going with straight random thoughts gathered as the tornado sirens intermittently go off in the background.  At some point, I'm not sure how useful they are.  I think they've gone off at least 7 times.

2. Our house is on the market.  - Feel free to make an offer. It was a whirlwind 3 weeks from the day we randomly started on this journey until it was listed. I feel like I should write that story soon before I forget it.

3.  We have "tentatively" entered a contingency agreement to buy this house - there are many ways this may not work out.  I'm therefore trying to manage expectations.  It is a great house in amazing shape, just a few miles further north than we'd planned.  We shall see.

4. (Make that eight times) We saw a really beautiful double rainbow tonight. So lovely. Then the storm began again. I am glad kids got to play in the sprinkles in the lull in the storm.

5. After the super stress filled day that ended with making an offer on the house, we had family pictures with Heather Warren.  This playground was super fun. I was amazed at how strong M was and how long she could hold on to this. I'm glad it was offer the offer as I was much more relaxed once the decision was made.  It was good to just be together and wander the woods.

6. On Friday, B was out of school for no particular reason so we had a play date on a beautiful afternoon at the Myriad Gardens with the Korenaks.  So fun!

7. (I think that is 9? Do they ever really stop? Am I hearing things? Tornado right over I-35, that is bad).  Work has been a little stressful lately too with lots of mandatory "all hands" meetings.  Luckily, Uncle Able pitched in and took E to school.  Riding to school with Uncle Able comes with complementary hats and is way more fun.

8.  In vaguely related news, E decided he randomly wanted to start wearing underwear to school.  He seems to be doing fairly well with that.  He still isn't the greatest about telling us when he needs to go.  TMI....etc... etc... but small progress??

9. This is M's new spring/summer look.  Cherry flipflops, hi/low Maxi dress, sun hat - very stylish and beautiful.  The hat doesn't always work with the wind, but every single person complements her when she wears it.  Love it.

10. Today, I left my house to pick up the kids at about 2:25 (aka at the last minute).  I opened the garage and there were some women in the driveway parked behind my van.  They looked like a few of my mom's friends and I thought maybe she was stopping by? Turns out they were there fore a showing that my real estate agent had forgotten to tell me about.  Of course my house was "not quite perfect" as we hadn't had a showing in a few days and we, well, live here in between.  I ran through the house in about 3 minutes doing the quick pickup an grabbing my work laptop, ditching wet towels, etc.. I walked out very confused and flustered.  My real estate agent called theirs to apologize and apparently they were fine with it and planning to make an offer???? We shall see, but SUCH a crazy, wild afternoon and that was before the tornadoes. (Yes, the sirens are still/again going off). 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Relay Recap

After months of anticipation our marathon relay took place last weekend.  My sister and mom have great recaps on their blog with mostly different photos, but here is the story from my perspective. 

There are good and bad things about being the final leg in a relay.  One upside is getting to wake up slightly later :)  We did attempt to see Kari run a portion of her 1st leg of the relay, but got stuck in marathon traffic/parking woes and had to give up and attempt to catch Audra. 
Catch was definitely the right word as both Audra & Kari were at our ahead of our projected paces for their portions of the race.  When we arrived at 63rd and Classen to wait for Audra Brent went to get coffee as estimates suggested we had more than 20 minutes to wait and cheer.  Estimates were off and he missed Audra entirely.  We did get coffee, which was nice on a surprisingly overcast, almost chilly day.  

We piled back in the van and drove down to where the course turns west onto Britton.  We had only maybe 10 minutes to wait before Able arrived.  We told E to run and high five him and E took off running south, right past Uncle Able and kept going.  The rest of us laughed and got high - fives before encouraging Able on his way!

There was, realistically, quite a while to go before my turn as Able still had nearly 5 miles left to run and then Zach had a 5k portion.  However, traffic on race day is crazy, we needed to find a bathroom, and really needed to be at my spot early as everything was ahead of schedule. It took a few tries to get there, but we made it to a great parking spot with lots of grassy areas to play. 
So, we might have been too early for the kids' attention span as they got a little crazy while we waited.  What happens at hand off points is you hang around trying to stay warm and wait to hear your team's number called over the speakers.  When they call your number, in theory your teammate is close by, but not TOO close as about 5 minutes or so pass before they actually arrive so you get to pace and stare down the road for awhile. 
Zach arrived about 30 minutes earlier than our plan had predicted meaning everyone before me had really good runs... no pressure, right? 
Relay members pass along a velcro ankle bracelet that has the timing chip -- Brent captured our hand off for posterity.  Off I went feeling OK, if a bit sluggish.  The first 3/4 of a mile were at a fast pace for me, but I'd found someone who I felt I could follow/hang with for awhile and just kept up with here.  Then, I made a mistake. I had decided I would walk through 2-3 of the water stops on the course, a plan made when I thought it would be hot, but oh well.  I took a sip of water and got my breath while I walked through the stop.  When I started, pain started shooting through my right hip that has been tenatative and sore for a week or so. Very much not a good thing with nearly 5 miles to go. 
Here I am on Classen (aka the least good part of my race).  You can almost see in my pained expression that I'm just holding it together, because really what other choice is there? I do not mention this to the Korenaks and my mom when they stop to cheer me on, but a bit further I whisper it to Brent's ear before stealing a kiss and starting again.  Further down Classen, very predictably at the 2.5 mile mark, the arch of my left foot is cramping.  This happens at right about this distance every long run I do.  It takes 3 short stops to finally get it to release, but there is no way to run when it is cramping so I take the time to sort it out as I know that is the only way it works for me.  By now, I'm feeling bad for my team and myself and my hip is still bad.   I decide that no matter what I'm not stopping until after the 5 mile mark and then will take a drink of water.  

Things improve drastically as we turn in to the neighborhoods.  There is a great street atmosphere, lots of families and other runners around, and some sainted person gives me a 1/2 of a twizzler, which is apparently just what I needed.  A little extra fuel/sugar was awesome along with the street party vibe.  I found a pace I could hang with, that was a bit faster than my normal pace, but not crazy fast.  The neighborhood portion weaves back and forth, but is largely shaded with a few rolling hills.  It is nice and I keep going.  At one point I realize my pace is now way low and reassess getting "too" relaxed, but definitely feel better about the whole situation 

At the five mile mark there is a big party house with fun things happening --  I walk with water and text my mom that I am 1.2 miles out. I walk up the last hill and start toward the finish.  I was delighted to see 1/2 mile alley ahead and then my team waiting with about .2 miles go go.  

We ran in to the finish together.  They were all well-rested from portions earlier. I am glad they pushed my pace at the end as I was able to finish under the 1 hour 20 minute mark, which had been my goal, a goal I thought was lost back on the curb on Classen. The crowd was amazing cheering us in 5 hours and 19 minutes after the race began and about 40 minutes earlier than we had predicted.  All my fears about running the end of the course with traffic turned out to be irrational (as I bet you all suspected). 
For the first time, Brent and the kids were right at the finish line to cheer me in too.  I love this photo of the backs of our team shirts as they walked to meet us. 
Here we all are reunited with medals to share and show. 
This whole endeavor was to honor the memories and lives of those killed in the Oklahoma City bombing 20 years ago when we were 12-16.  It was emotional, hard, wonderful, exciting, and such an amazing experience.  Thanks to OKC for this moment and to the Palfremans and Savory Spice Shop for sponsoring our team's run.  I would love to do it again and do plan more 10ks in my future, once my hip is healed. One way or another I plan to participate in the OKC Memorial races as long as I am able and to continue to teach our kids too. 
When the race was over and we went our separate ways I was back with this guy waiting for lunch at the Wedge while our kids played nearby.  His role in the race team was watching kids, supporting me, and driving us all over to cheer, not to mention listening to all my worries, aches, and training thoughts for months. He took great care of me all through the training months and through race day.  I am so glad he is my partner in this and all things. I'm so glad to be part of this marriage, part of this family, part of this remembrance, and part of Oklahoma's unique story. 

We are Oklahoma Strong. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

1.  As alluded to previously, we are attempting to get our house ready to sell.  It is all consuming, stressful, and moving in fits and starts.  On the one hand, we (with help from my siblings and their spouses) are almost entirely packed up of the things inside our house that we can live without for a couple months.  We still have to work on the garage, backyard toys, and attic.  So that's good right?

2.  The carpet people are driving me insane.  They set a date, twice, and changed it. This causes a cascade of rescheduling every appointment after theirs that requires that the carpet be finished first.  This made me exceptionally angry and was the straw that broke the "holding myself together." There were tears and curse words.

3.  The Wainrights spent an amazing 24 hours helping us.  During the course of which, we painted two rooms, touched up the woodwork, emptied more rooms of stuff, sorted, trashed, laughed, hauled stuff out to the POD, ate, and generally had an awesome time together (yes, we managed to get a ton done with SIX kids around -- totally awesome).

4.  We've thus far looked at four possible houses to buy.  House 1 - we loved, but it sold before we could make an offer.  House 2 - I like a lot, particularly the neighborhood, but there are a few issues.  House 3 - no one liked, not even the kids for a variety of specific reasons.  House 4 - Brent liked, I did not.  Part of the problem may have been that the people had way, way too much furniture in it to the point it felt claustorphobic and small even though it is more than 1000 sq feet bigger than our current house.  The search continues.  I've now decided to add stressing out about not finding a house to by to my other list of stresses, which prominently features the fear that no one will buy our house.... which technically would alleviate the need to have somewhere to move.... It is a circle of crazy.

5.  Our house needs a few touch ups to fetch the price we want.  By touch ups, I mean replacing the carpet, painting those rooms, touching up the wood work, replacing the stove knobs, fixing the exterior faucet, a good deep clean, and some styling.  All of those things are scheduled.  So long as the carpet people or some other vendor doesn't jack it up again....sigh.

6.  As you might surmise, this decision to list our house came pretty much out of the blue.  It was a "someday" thing right up until it was a - we must do this ASAP thing.  As a consequence, the timing isn't great.  It is Brent's busy season at work, which is busier still as he is launching two new camps this summer.  It also coincides with my long-planned girls weekend in Fort Worth this weekend and will probably still be happening when I fly off to DC in less than a month.... Not to mention the end of school, little league, archery, language lessons, and, you know, our normal jobs and life.

7.  I am forgetful as I try to juggle all the things - One thing I forgot to mention was B's incredibly cute Pirate square dance program last week.  I loved it.  Each class did something they work on in PE, but his class' square dancing section was obviously the best :)

8.  Yes, I am still training for the race which is ummmmm 10 days a way or so.  My last two runs have been less than amazing.  I entered Sunday's run completely exhausted from a late night and insanely busy weekend so I knew it would be hard, but am glad I did it anyway.  Last Thursday, I think was my best 4 mi run so far and was so encouraging that I was on the right path.  I'm trying to cling to that.  I still have, roughly 4 more runs before race day.  I used to worry about my relay teammates in this race, but as the stress, allergies, exhausting, etc of my current life have increased I'm just more worried about my own ability to do this.  Here's hoping!

9.  My sisters are amazing.  My actual sister has been the absolute rock of this whole operation.  She has packed, trashed, brought caffeine fed us, watched kids, counseled, and helped in every way possible, including taking kids off our hands and doing kid pick-up on Friday so I can go to my Grils' Weekend and Brent can attend his big meeting.  My SIL Kari has been awesome too in that she sorted every bit of our kids' insane crafting collection while Able and I were at Lowes and packed several other boxes on multiple days at my house as well as counseling me out of keeping random things.  My chosen sister Chrissie to some degree got us into this mess as she is a great house - buying enabler, but has just been so incredibly emotionally supportive every single day as well as donating her entire weekend to the cause last week. Just amazing.

10. Today at Target, I felt a twinge in my sternum.  This is a very bad thing.  Long time readers know of my history with chronic costocondritis.  It is debilitating and horrible.  I haven't had a flare up in nearly 2 years, which is awesome.  There has been a running theory that my flareups increase when I am stressed, which I very clearly am.  It was a huge reality check that I just need to chill and go with the flow even when things spiral out of my control.  So, I'm going to try to do that.  For now, I'm off to pack something and maybe go to bed early.  Thanks to everyone for their help.  We love you!


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