Sunday, June 29, 2008

Again with the running?

There have been a few times in my life when I have turned to running for various reasons. 

 The first time was when I was in high school and was trying to lose weight.  HS is a hard enough time in your life- but even harder when you have a few extra pounds.  Even though I had been a swimmer for many years I still always felt like the "fat kid".  I remember baby-sitting for some kids in the neighborhood and there was a book about running on their living room bookshelf.  After the kids went to sleep I picked it up and was intrigued by it.  The book was from 1977 and  called "Running for Health and Beauty" by Kathryn Lance.  After the parents got home the mom saw that I had been looking at the book and said I could have it.  I still have that book today.  I began running around the reservoir near our neighborhood and really liked it- especially how fast I felt I was making progress and getting in shape.  I ran off and on throughout HS but never became a hardcore everyday runner.

The second time I started running was in college when I went to a meeting for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I had heard of them before and wanted to get involved somehow since I had a cousin who had passed away from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  I signed up to run a marathon (I know- what the heck was I thinking?) and agreed to raise at least $3000 for the Society.  That money would cover my race registration for the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, my airfare and hotel, and still have money for a donation.  I did a huge mail campaign sending requests to tons of people from church and basically everyone in my mother's address book...and ended up raising over $4000!  The training program was great.  It was specifically designed for beginning runners.  When I started training for the marathon in January I could barely run a mile without stopping.  I met with the team and our coach weekly, sometimes twice and we would run together- which made it much easier.  I ran the Charlotte half-marathon in April as part of the training- and actually did fairly well.  My longest training run was 16 miles, and the marathon itself in June.......well I finished.  It was hard, I've done it, and I don't ever want to do it again.  After the marathon the only thing I ever wanted to do was 5-Ks (3.1 miles).  However, my Ex's family was full of runners so I was more or less pressured into running many different of which was the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll half-marathon which is what I'm training for now!  You probably aren't surprised to hear that when the relationship did the running (on my part- he's probably still out there pounding the pavement next to his Dad and Sister).

I don't know what is so different about running this time.  Maybe it is because I have a baby now and she comes along with me a lot of the time.  Luckily for me Mdx loves riding in the jogging stroller, and even sometimes leaves her sunglasses on instead of chewing on them.  Maybe it is because this time I'm choosing to get out there and do it- for myself only.  I'm not running to make anyone else happy or to raise money, or to lose weight (although that is a nice side-effect)- I'm doing it because I want to.  Part of me thinks "hell- I've given birth, I can run a damn half-marathon!" and part of me thinks "what kind of idiot do you think you are signing up for a race that long during one of the hottest weekends of the year in one of the hottest places on the East coast?".  Hahaha!  

My goal is just to finish and to have fun.  I've done it before, I know I can do it again.  I signed up for a free online training program called Active Trainer that emails me my workout everyday including cross-training and pace workouts.  Marshall has been great about keeping the baby if I want to go to the gym instead of running around the neighborhood- and there has been really bad air quality recently because the Great Dismal Swamp is on fire.  (I didn't know swamps could burn!)  Today my run was 5 miles- and I have NO soreness!  Crazy!  I remember walking funny after long runs when I was training for the marathon.  Anyway, I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Happy trails!

We've been busy

Here are some pictures from the Air Show.  

The B-2 fly-by- very cool!

A B-1 with open bomb bays

The RAF Red Arrows

The Memphis Belle

Us in a Cargo plane

Maddox watching the planes

Skydiver with a POW-MIA flag

Dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

time marches on

Sorry for the delay since my last post!  June was our big visitor month.  First we had one of my best friends Brandi up for the weekend and we went to see the Sex and The City movie.  We met one of her friends who lives in Richmond halfway (kind of) in Williamsburg and saw the movie there.  It was worth waiting for- I laughed, I cried, and at the end I wanted more.  That's the way movies are supposed to be.  But I suppose if you weren't as addicted to the series as I was (I own all 6 seasons) it would be hard to go watch the movie without knowing any of the back-story.  But ah- I have so much Miranda in me it drives me crazy.

Then the next week Marshall's Opa came to visit.  He lives in Pittsburgh but spends much of his time traveling the country in his convertible Mustang, staying with family and friends.  Maddox is his first great-grandchild so I think that was a big motivator to come here.  He had never been here before so we showed him around the base and Historic Yorktown.  I think he told us 357 stories- plus or minus a thousand.

After that my parents came to visit for the Langley Air Show.  I'll try and put up some pics next time- right now isn't a good time to upload.  I was kind of "eh" about the air show, I was thinking..."how many planes can I look at all day long and not lose my mind!?".   But it actually ended up being very fun.  We saw some NASA research planes, a B-1 Bomber with its bomb bays open, there was also B-2 Bomber (nicknamed the Stealth Bomber) fly-by which is very rare for an air show.  I was amazed at how gracefully and quietly it flew.  The Memphis Belle was there, and the Royal Air Force Red Arrows from the United Kingdom, and the Geico Sky-typers.  There were also demonstrations of the F-15, and F-22- which are the aircraft stationed here at Langley.  We saw quite a few biplane demonstrations and the stunts they were doing with those planes were absolutely mind-boggling.  They would fly straight up in the air and slow down and then just sit there.  I thought for sure they would stall and just fall out of the sky but they didn't!  There were many other planes, I just can't remember them all.  What was really amazing was that Maddox was actually watching the planes flying by!

We are awaiting the arrival right now of our final June visitors, and I am relieved to say that we don't have any visitors planned for July!!  (Not that we don't love all of you, but it's exhausting!)  Tim, Tamara, Daylynn (4) and Aaralyn (1.5) are some friends from Shaw AFB, in SC.  They are headed to Washington, D.C. on Monday, where Tam and the girls will be flying to Alaska to live with their family for a year while Tim does his remote in Korea.  Since we just finished a remote we have lots of advice!  AHEM- like keep your husband on a budget!  Once their remote is over they will be stationed in Aviano, Italy.  I am insanely jealous and happy for them.  Since we kept Mdx's name a secret until she was born we just called her Babymac when we would talk about her- so people got used to it.  Daylynn still calls her that, and it is adorable.

Okay off to be a hostess for the last time for a while.  :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

What a character

3 days in a row?  I'm on a roll.

Does this child look concerned that she has a fang?

Playing on the floor with Marshall's Opa. Yes he got on the floor! I guess-anything for his first great-grandchild!

Maddox enjoys every drop of her yogurt...

And is very mad when it is gone!

Doing the sign for "more"- she always wants more.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

1st Father's Day

At the beach house checking out some pictures

To my husband, on his first Father's Day:

I figured I'd save the $4.00 it would cost me to buy a cheap sappy card at Walgreen's and write you a message here...which I can share with everyone else as well.  You deserve for everyone to know what a great father you truly are.
Some morning baby-daddy time- with Daddy yawning!

Every time I look at Maddox I see you and the love you have for us both.  She looks like you so much with her blue eyes and blond hair, but she has a dimple in her chin like me.  I love how excited she gets when you walk through the door, always kicking her legs and doing those crazy "oh, oh, oh" sounds!  No one can replace her Dada.  (sorry, that's babytalk and we hate babytalk- but that's what she says!)  We have come so far both geographically and as a family since this time last year.  We've matured in many ways, and even you recognize the difference between you and your friends who are not fathers.  You work so hard so that we can have a comfortable life, and I am so thankful for that.
When Mdx was a newborn, right before you returned to Korea.

One of my favorite things is listening to you talk to Mdx.  She is just beginning to understand what we say and mean, and every moment that she learns from you is a gift.  I especially appreciate your support for me and the decision to stay home and raise our daughter.  You always let me know that it is my choice and you support whatever I decide- I am so lucky.  

Nina's Baby Shower poster- Go Marshall!!

So- even though you think Father's Day is just a dumb commercial holiday made up by Hallmark and the other card companies....I want you to know that you deserve recognition like everyone else.  You gave me the most beautiful person in the world to me- our daughter- and no card can capture what that means. 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Finally a tooth!

Today Maddox woke up happy as normal.  Marshall took her so I could sleep a little longer (don't I have an awesome husband?) and when I came downstairs she was napping.  After she woke up we were playing on the floor and I saw a flash of white when she opened her mouth!!  So- I stuck my finger in to feel around, and sure enough, one of her bottom teeth has broken through!  It took a while, but I captured a picture of it!

Marshall said to me "Now all of our fun is over for the rest of our life...".  Hahaha!  I said "You didn't think that the day she was born??".  No way, the fun has just begun.  I just can't believe that my little girl is no longer a little baby. 

Now, my sister tagged me on her blog- and I'm supposed to tell you 5 unimportant things about myself.  I decided to think about it for a little while, because most of the people who read this blog know me fairly well- so what can I tell you that you don't already know?  I think I've come up with a few things that most of you don't know.

1. In Elementary school there was a talent show- I don't remember what grade.  I told my teacher and everyone that rode my bus that I was going to sing Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract".  I even practiced on the playground.  When I went to the practice session the Chorus teacher told me I couldn't sing that.  I ended up singing "America the Beautiful".....BARF!!!  Everytime I hear that song I think about how I could have rocked out some Paula Abdul and how "the man" kept me down.

2.  I really like the movie "Pollyanna"- the old one with Hayley Mills.  Really, I do.  I used to watch it at my grandparents house while they played Swedish Rummy with my parents.

3.  I was jealous of my sister because she had a tutor when we were in high school.  I really wanted a tutor and didn't understand (at the time) why my parents would get one for her and not for me.

4. I am the person that sits in the aisle at the grocery and compares the price per ounce, etc.  I'm sorry that I'm in your way, but I really do need to know which packet of mozzarella cheese is $0.18/oz and which is $0.15/oz.  At the commissary at Langley people get so peeved at me, but normally end up talking to Mdx while they wait.

5. I HATE hate hate (just ask my husband) having to call anywhere I might have to talk to a stranger on the phone.  I don't even like ordering pizza.  I'm fine with strangers in person, but strangers on the phone give me the creeps.

That's all!  I think I'm supposed to tag 3 people who will answer the questions I tag Reva, Tina, and Angela.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

it only took 2 months...

...and asking multiple people if they knew anything about gathering, buttonholes, etc.  So- if it takes a village to raise a child, in my world it takes a village to help me make a dress for my child.  

I got a pattern, and it looked fairly straightforward.  I had no idea that it would have all these cryptic symbols and assumptions about my sewing knowledge included.  So I went to a "Sewing Pattern Tutorial" night at the house of a lady who is a member of the same playgroup network as me.  That was VERY helpful!  I actually made an earlier dress with "practice" fabric- just cheap $1/yard stuff.  That dress was horrendous.  None of the seams were right, and I even sewed one part inside out.  Oops.  Oh yes, I also discovered that cleaning and oiling your sewing machine regularly truly DOES make a difference in the quality of stitch you get.

Once I felt more comfortable I decided to try with the nicer fabric that I have.  This pattern says it is the "Small" size, but I think Maddox will be wearing it around her first birthday.  It's too long/big for her right now.  And for some reason  (again!) the pic will not turn, so turn your head- sorry.
The front

The back- those buttonholes were tough!

In this picture you can see the gathered part of the dress....and where I had to add a strip of ribbon over the seam because it wasn't even.  I think it looks much better with the ribbon anyway.

The experience was fun and I'm glad I did it- but I have a feeling I won't be making very many more dresses for Mdx.  :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

home sweet home

A few pics I meant to put up earlier:
Maddox at T.A.'s Bday party

A few from the lake:
Mdx and Jack
Getting ready to tear stuff up
Then she was very tired

As much as I love traveling....I love coming home.  The thrill of packing and planning is always countered by the knowledge and security of what will be waiting when I return.   Maddox loves seeing her Papa, LOVES showing him her new tricks (How big is Mdx, give me 5, where is your belly, your head, your toes, and "MORE") and I love handing her to someone else to put her to sleep.  I don't want to make it seem like I'm trying to pass her off- absolutely the contrary.... but I want her to be able to comfortably fall asleep knowing that she is loved and safe- and I just can't do it all the time!

Our flight to Detroit was FANTASTIC!  The flight was not full so I was able to bring on Mdx's carseat so she could be seated and confined the whole trip.  Unless you have a baby- or ever have- you have no idea how valuable this is.  Mdx flew in-utero about 8 times, but I had no way of knowing how she would do.  At the ripe old age of 9 months old she was content with her toys and eating her "O's" the whole time.  I also discovered that she can wave "hello" exactly like the Queen of England.  It is hilarious.  Thank you to the wonderful old couple across the aisle who helped me discover this.  They were on their way to their grandson's high school graduation- and said that they wished they had gotten to know him at "this age".  

Once we arrived we were picked up by Uncle Richard and we hung out at the house.  They had already picked up some baby food so that saved me a shopping trip!  I met Dr. Conway for a late lunch at Noodles and she caught me up on everything going on in the Music Ed world.  Faculty drama, impending sabbaticals, new grad students and new babies- we had a lot to talk about!  She asked me about my future plans (plans?  who makes plans?) and said that if I wanted to come back to Michigan for a doctorate that they'd "love to have me"!!  WOW! What a nice thing to say.  I told her I'd keep that in mind, but with a husband in the AF it's hard to plan more than a few years ahead, and I plan on teaching for the next few years.  :)

Later we went to the barn and watched Ilana working with her horse Willie.  He's recuperating from eye surgery but is making great progress!  Maddox had never seen a horse up close before- that was interesting.  Once we got home we relaxed on the front porch and enjoyed the beautiful Michigan evening air.

The next day we went to the incredible Ann Arbor Farmer's Market.  There were SO many more merchants there at this time of year than during the school year.  There were plants, quilts, maple syrup, honey, fresh veggies, jewelry, and bread.  Then- of course- we walked across the street to Zingermans!  We picked up a few cheeses to take to the lake, and I got some goodies to bring home.  Barbara bought Mdx a beautiful reversible dress that she can wear next summer.  Later that day we checked out a new barn, since Ilana's current barn is closing- and headed to the lake.

At the lake we did an excellent job of doing nothing at all- once Barbara borrowed keys to the house from a neighbor (luckily they were home) since they forgot their own!  We had a little fire down by the water and fed the mosquitos.  On Sunday we headed back to AA and I met up for coffee with my friend Mandy who had also lived at Vail House.  She gave Mdx a great set of Dr. Seuss books.  Then another relaxing evening and it was time to pack!  Richard and Barbara sent me home with about 8 books to read (I asked for it!) so luckily there was room in my bag where the diapers had been.  

When I checked in for the flight back to Norfolk I found out that the flight was full, so Mdx would have to be on my lap.  At the gate I saw my friend Shannon, her husband Ian and their baby Eli!  It ends up that they were in Michigan visiting their families and going to a wedding- what a small world!  So we sat together on the flight and the poor babies both had little mini-meltdowns.  I felt so bad for all the people around us, but NOTHING would comfort them.  Mdx drank about 4 bottles on the flight because that was the only thing that kept her from screaming.  Then, right as the plane landed at Norfolk......she passed out.  SIGH

It has taken me this long to recover...and to type this novel.  Now I'm off to clean the house, since we'll have 4 separate visitors during the month of June!  Yay!

Here are some pics from our trip.  I'm waiting on a few from Ilana.  :)
Waiting for our flight in the airport
Go Blue!