2018Back Home Again: 2018

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Western Kentucky Botanical Garden

Back in August we went to Owensboro to go to the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden. When Alan and I lived outside Philadelphia we had a garden pass to Longwood Gardens and I loved it. Flowers and gardens and my thing and it was so nice to be able to visit an amazing one 20 minutes down the road from us whenever I wanted. So, when we moved back to Indiana I was hoping we would be able to find something similar relatively close. I have been wanting to visit garden in Owensboro for years and finally made it happen. 

It's not a big garden, in fact we only spent about an hour there, but it was nice. I think it's maintained mainly by volunteers so parts of it weren't planted or were in transition. 

I really like that it had different types of gardens, from a formal rose garden, to an herb garden to a children's garden. Plus all sorts of sculptures and a few water features. 

It's definitely no Longwood, but it's nice to know that there is something similar nearby. Now if only Evansville would create a garden like this!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hogwarts 2018

Back in June, the kids participated in a Hogwarts camp for the third year in a row. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and they have become fans themselves. We love this camp because they get to do a lot of things such as go on a nature hike, learn about astronomy and animals, make all sorts of really cool crafts and of course play quidditch! This year one of Ewan's friends from Cub Scouts was there so it was extra fun. Here are a few things they did. 

The last night we got to come watch the quidditch tournament. Cameron couldn't get enough watermelon!

I love that we have this sort of thing in our area. I wish there was a grown up version!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Summer 2018 Photo Dump

I had plans to write about what we've been up to this summer but we've been busy living life. So now that it's August and the kids are back in school, here are some of the things we've been up to.

We had many park picnics. 

We finally shot off Ewan's rocket he got for his fifth birthday. 

We had several zoo days. 

We spent a week visiting my family and the lake in Northeast Indiana. 

We spent a lot of time in the pool and rode bikes.

We went to several summer library programs and the Evansville Museum.

Stay tuned for a few more in depth posts about some of our adventures!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Back to School 2018

I'm a few days late, but the kids went back to school on Wednesday. Ewan loves school and has been asking to go back since the end of May but we weren't sure how Cecily would do. She was insisting that she was going to the Catholic elementary school associated with her preschool (she's not) and we weren't entirely sure we were going to be able to get her in the building come back to school night. Even though she was a little shy at first, luckily she went in no problems! On the second day of school she insisted on being dropped off and walking by herself to her classroom. We had Ewan watch behind her to make sure she made it, which of course she did. How is my Kindergartener this independent already?!

I always take photos and ask them the same questions before the new school year to see how much they've changed. Ewan wasn't really having it but Cecily was all about photos this year. Here they are! 


Here's to a great 2018-2019 school year!

Friday, July 6, 2018

YMCA Storybook 5k

Last weekend Ewan and I ran his first race, the Storybook 5k. It was a race geared toward families and we did it with a friend of mine and her son. Ewan ran a mile in gym class this past year and ever since he's been asking to do a race with me where he gets to wear a number. So when I saw this, I knew it was perfect. 

We all started out together but very quickly my friend's son and Ewan took off. I could see them ahead of us and we had both told them to make sure they get water at the water stops so we were hoping they did. I had been doing a run/walk with my friend but around 1.5 miles I saw Ewan standing off to the side with a water bottle. I ran up to him and made sure he was ok, but I knew he was probably done at that point. I told my friend to go ahead and I would see her at the finish. 

It was SO HOT already at 7AM and even though I told him to make sure to get water, he didn't stop. While I knew we would be walking most of the race, I was concerned about him getting heat stroke so we leisurely walked the rest of the race. Except for when we could see the finish. I told him he could run ahead of me to the finish and that he did. I was pushing it to keep up with him. The girl taking photos at the end said he was going so fast that she wasn't able to get his picture. 

Alan jokes that that was the beginning and end of his running career, but I hope he decides to do another race with me sometime. I'm so proud of him for getting out there and doing it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Howl Rising 5k

Last weekend I ran the Howl Rising 5k at Angel Mounds, literally five minutes from my house. Even though it's a state historic site, the majority of the trails are open to the public and I run them sometimes since it's literally a mile from my house. This 5k was part of a series called Howl at the Moon, where you could run a night time 5 or 50k the night before then run a 5, 10 or 15k or half marathon the next morning. Even though I'm not a big fan of trails, I had been debating running the series because it's so close, the entry fees were super cheap and they're trails I run semi-frequently. 

Unfortunately the night time race got cancelled because of all the rain and flooding we've had recently. I had ran over there right before the Peace, Run and Harmony Half and several of the trails were super muddy and/or underwater so I completely understood why! 

I wasn't expecting much out of this race because you usually run trails slower than your road pace, it was super hot and humid at 7AM and I figured we would be slogging through the mud. I decided I wasn't going to look at my watch the entire race and felt like I was going super slow. But I was pleasantly surprised when I finished in 39:12 with a 12:37 per mile pace. 

And it was super awesome to roll out of bed at 6AM, feed Cameron, get ready and show up for the race 10 minutes before start since I live so close. I might investigate more races there in the future! 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Cameron One Year

This guy turned ONE YEAR OLD on Friday.

If I'm completely honest, it was a bittersweet day for me. He's my last baby, so it was my last first birthday. Not only that, but his birth was really rough so that was on my mind as well. Add to it that we should've been celebrating two babies and let's just say that there were some tears leading up to and including the day. Not to mention that Cecily had a rough day because it wasn't her birthday. 

I tried really hard to focus on getting ready for his party and focus on spending the day with my super happy kid. We had a chill day and celebrated with some cupcakes we had gotten once Alan and Ewan came home from Cub Scout camp. 

I said this about Cecily but he might also be my destructive, rough and tumble kid too. He loves to just crawl right through and over things and probably his favorite thing to do right now is throw and bang on things. He's currently cutting all four one year molars and nursing is suffering as a result. Considering I wasn't sure I was going to make it to six months when he was born I'll take getting to a year. He also says Mama and up and I'm pretty sure I've heard him say more a couple times, when he's eating. 

Speaking of eating, this kid is a disposal. He LOVES food. As such, his birthday theme was A Very Hungry Cameron aka The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We just had a small party with family and a few close friends. It was super simple to do too. I made the caterpillar cake out of cupcakes and the head was Cam's smash cake. 

All the food was food from the book. 

It was a great time all around and it was so nice not to be super stressed out and fighting with Alan before the party, which is what always happens when we have a party at our house. I'm so glad everything turned out well. Happy First Birthday my sweet little man!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Peace, Run and Harmony Half Marathon

Yesterday I ran the Peace, Run and Harmony Half Marathon in New Harmony, Indiana. It was the first year for this race, which replaced the River Run because the bridge across the Ohio River it goes across is under construction for the next few years. New Harmony is a small town about 25 miles from Evansville and was founded by the Harmonists, a German utopian community in 1814. Alan and I have actually done a lot of work at the state historic site that's out there in grad school and through my old job, so I've been there a bunch of times, but never really to enjoy the sights. I should've taken some photos while out there but I didn't think about it until I got home. 

I honestly wasn't feeling the race at all and was thisclose to not going. I really wanted to watch the Royal Wedding and am getting over a cold. Plus Cameron was not happy that I was leaving. However, I knew that if I didn't go I would be mad at myself for not showing up. So I dragged myself away from the wedding and drove the 45 minutes out there. 

Mile 1: 13:39
Mile 2: 13:55
Mile 3: 13:33

I knew it was going to be hot and humid but I wasn't prepared for how nasty it really was. I'm so glad I bought a handheld water bottle a few weeks ago because I would've died without it. I didn't really have a goal for the race other than to finish, but I was hoping to finish around three hours. I lined up with the three hour pacer thinking that since I have been doing intervals I should be able to keep up for some if not most of the race. Except once we started going she said that she was running the whole way and maybe walking a few of the hills. Yeah, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to keep pace so I decided to stick with her for as long as I could then keep her in my sights, which I did for about half the race. 

Mile 4: 14:28
Mile 5: 12:31
Mile 6: 13:44

While there were definitely some hills during the first half of the race, I was doing fairly well. I needed to average a 13:44 pace to finish under three hours. I didn't really think I was going to do it but I was hopeful and so far so good. The race was an out and back through the town to the state park and I was flying downhill in the state park. Until the turnaround when I had to go back up. 

Mile 7: 14:03
Mile 8: 14:09
Mile 9: 15:29

I had been walking uphill and running the rest and adopted a walk/run back up the hills out of the park but I was running out of water and super hot. I finally got to a water stop and one of the volunteers refilled my bottle for me. He was a lifesaver. I started running with a woman from Louisville around mile 9 and we had a really good conversation and helped each other through the race. 

Mile 10: 15:05
Mile 11: 16:00
Mile 12: 16:13

Once we got on the paved trail from the park back to the town, about mile 10, I was hoping to run the rest of the way but I could tell she was struggling so I decided to stick with her to the end. It was almost completely shaded in the state park, which helped with the heat but we were in the sun for a couple miles at the end and it was awful. They were handing out water bottles at some point and instead of drinking it I just dumped the entire thing on my head. 

Mile 13: 14:18

We had been doing a walk/run for the last four or so miles and the last half mile of the race was in town so we ran the rest of the way and sprinted to the finish. The race was short the 0.1 so as I walked to the car I got my 0.1 to make it a true half marathon on my watch. I thought I had finished in 3:04 and some change but my official time is 3:08:11. 

The sub-three hour half marathon remains elusive but I'm glad I went and finished. I even got to watch the Royal Wedding in its entirety when I got back. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Cameron 11 Months

How did my baby boy turn 11 months old yesterday?! His first birthday is almost here for real and I purchased some decorations for it yesterday. Blows my mind. 

He's not pulling up or cruising yet, although he is definitely trying to pull up to his knees on some things. He's Army crawling all over the place and we had to put the baby gates up about a week ago. He claps all the time and his latest thing is dancing when he hears music. It's so cute! 

His sleeping has gone to crap and he wakes up almost every two hours like clockwork. I felt in his mouth a couple days ago and his gums feel swollen on one side where he will get his first year molars so I'm wondering if that's part of it. Since he got six teeth within a month, I wouldn't be surprised if they were already starting to come in. 

He signs more and I swear I have heard a few Mama's in there, although Alan thinks I'm nuts. He also shakes his head no when he doesn't want something. Separation anxiety has kicked in big time and he freaks out whenever I leave. We went to the Y this morning and I'm so glad Cecily is already out of school and was with him because he was freaking out, poor kid. 

Overall he's a happy boy though and I'm so thankful I've been able to stay home with him this past year. I can't believe my next update will be when he's ONE!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

I started the day with a 6.5 mile run down to some trails (yes, I know... :-) ) and back. I haven't gotten a lot of miles in since my cray running weekend and since I have yet another half next weekend, I needed to get a longer run in. I knew Alan and the kids had something up their sleeves because Cecily has been hinting all week. That and Alan had left a photo order up on my laptop, Oops!

Even though I got sidelined by some mud and it's super hot out, I had a good run. After doing Backside these trails were a piece of cake. I finally got myself a handheld water bottle with a gift card I forgot I had and tested it out. I'm so glad I had it because I definitely needed the water in the heat. Since it's supposed to be just as hot next weekend I will totally be taking it with me. 

Alan had been bugging me about how long I was going to be gone and then I got a text that it was "safe" to come home. When I got here, I found this waiting for me:

I love it! It will go up in the office along with the photos. I have been wanting a medal rack for ages and Alan made this for me. He also went out and grabbed us lunch and has been doing things around the house I have been asking him to do while I hold a sleeping baby in the papasan chair and catch up on my reading. It's been a low key Mother's Day and I love it. Hope all you moms out there are also having a great day!

What did you do for Mother's Day?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Backside Trail Half Marathon

Sunday I ran the Backside Trail Half Marathon after doing the River City 10 Miler the day before. I wasn't sure how my legs would feel going into this race but they surprisingly didn't feel that bad Sunday morning. The arch in my left foot was sore and that is also the foot that is prone to plantar fasciitis. Other than that, the only issue I had was that it had dipped into the upper 30's and I was freezing! I had capris on this time but short sleeves and no jacket. I knew I would warm up eventually but until then my hands were going numb. 

This was my first half since before Cameron and since I wasn't able to do the Disney half I had signed up for, I decided I was wearing the shirt I would've worn for that race. It's the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland...I'm weird and like the villains :-) I said I didn't have any expectations for either race this weekend and I really meant it for this one. I almost never run trails because I'm a klutz and I have a healthy fear of being hacked to death in the woods by myself. When I do run them, they are pretty flat. This race runs through two parks in Louisville, both of which are hilly. I've ran the Healthcare Classic and Urban Bourbon on the roads through Cherokee so I had an idea of what to expect. Or so I thought, ha! My fastest half was right at three hours so I was hoping to finish between 3.5 and 4 hours. 

Mile 1: 15:02
Mile 2: 18:00
Mile 3: 17:38

We started out running through grass to spread out before entering the single track trails. My initial plan was to stick with my friend at first and then go from there but I had lost her within the first mile. She took this picture of all the runners and all I can think is how skinny I look from behind so I thought I would share. 

Before I completely lost her, I told her that I could definitely feel it in my legs that I had run the day before and I remember telling myself that it's all a mental game and I would be fine later on. Once we got into the woods everyone really spread out - there was a married couple behind me and a girl in front of me, but those were the only people I saw. I was trying to stay close to the girl in front of me to make sure I was going the right way but within mile 2, I tripped and lost my shoe and got passed by the married couple. We wound up running mostly together through miles 3-6.

Mile 4: 15:22
Mile 5: 16:25
Mile 6: 18:24

I didn't take many pictures of the trails but during the early miles I was thinking that there is something to be said for being out there running in nature. We were running along a creek and it was pretty nice. I had warmed up and the temperature had warmed up and it was perfect running weather. Once we got into the second park I stopped at an aid station and the married couple kept going so while I could see them, we weren't together anymore. I was keeping them in my sights so they could navigate instead of me :-) The route was marked and I good with directions, but you never know. I found out at the finish that a girl I passed had actually missed a marker and wound up running 15 miles instead because she ran a section twice. Oops! 

I did take one photo of the trail, immediately after the aid station. We basically were on a "trail" that was on a rock outcropping. Part of it was so scary that I went down on my butt so I didn't fall. If only I knew what was in store for me later...

Mile 7: 17:52
Mile 8: 20:13
Mile 9: 19:22

Between miles 7 and 8 I tripped and fell. Faceplanted. I was so stunned I just kind of laid there for a few minutes. I got up and kept going, but after that I was way more careful and walked a lot more. I got to another aid station and when they asked me how I was I told them I was over it. They told me that I'm now an official trail runner because I fell and that I wasn't the only one that day. I knew I would finish but I was still over it. It was somewhere in here where there were these two guys mountain biking on the trails and passing me over and over again. I know they were just out doing their thing too but they were getting on my nerves because I kept having to move out of the way. I was just like really, you have to choose this particular path out of all the trails out here?!

Mile 10: 20:22
Mile 11: 25:08
Mile 12: 19:53

I had completely lost the couple ahead of me when I fell so aside from the annoying bikers, I was alone and beginning to lose it at this point. My knees had begun hurting around mile 6 and after I fell it got way worse. I just kept telling myself keep moving because if you don't you're gonna get stuck. I was also seriously contemplating texting Alan to tell him to send me an Uber because I was done. I was almost at 11 miles when my friend texted me telling me she was at 10 miles and asking where I was. I told her that she was gonna catch me and that I was never doing this again. I stopped at the final aid station, chugged some Powerade and water and kept going. A large chunk of mile 12 was on the road that connects the parks and I was so excited because I thought we just ran up the road to the finish. Oh no, we had to go back on the trail we had run to get there. I just remember screaming noooooo and that I hate trails. 

Mile 13: 17:38

The last mile ran along a golf course, as had mile 5. Trying to distract myself to the finish I thought how funny it would be if my father-in-law was out golfing at this course...I found out later that he was although he didn't see me. By this point I was getting passed by the lead marathoners who had run the course twice. They were all super encouraging, letting me know how close we were to the finish. I finally came out of the woods, asked the person directing traffic where to go and sprinted to the finish. I came in just under my goal of four hours, finishing in 3:58:28, even though the course was short. I knew my friend was probably right behind me so after getting my medal and post race snacks I waited for her to finish. Here I am, barely able to move.

I'm glad I did it but I don't know if I will again. Never say never though, right? Trail running just isn't my thing so I will probably stick to shorter races on trails next time. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

River City Ten Miler

Remember a few weeks ago when I ran the Papa John's Ten Miler and I said that I had two races one weekend at the end of the month? Well it was this past weekend and I do believe I was completely crazy! 

Saturday I ran the River City Ten Miler here in Evansville. It was designed to be a training run for the Peace, Love and Harmony Half coming up in May and I originally wasn't planning on doing the race. But when I saw the cool medal I decided to go for it. 

It was a chilly morning and while I knew I would warm up once we started, I was freezing! I went into both races this weekend with little to no expectations. I'm somewhat undertrained and the last longish run I did started out beautifully then completely fell apart the last half. So basically my goals were to finish and not die. I told Alan to expect me to finish between 2:15 and 2:30.

Mile 1: 12:55
Mile 2: 12:32
Mile 3: 13:09

I;m not where I was before Cameron so I was just going to go out there and see what I could do. As usual, pretty much everyone passed me in the first mile or so but once people start tiring and walking I would pass them because slow and steady finishes the race as I like to say. 

Mile 4: 12:49
Mile 5: 12:49
Mile 6: 12:49

Even splits! This almost never happens. It's relatively flat along the Greenway but I was running the flats and downhills and run/walking the inclines and not going out too fast like I normally do paid off. I was playing leapfrog with several groups of women but I finally lost them between miles 4-5. Somewhere around mile 6 I had to pee but I was determined not to stop because I was doing so much better than I anticipated. 

Mile 7: 12:54
Mile 8: 12:51
Mile 9: 13:08

I started counting down the miles until I could pee and telling myself each step was closer to the bathroom. The course was two out and backs and up on the levee it was super windy. At one point it felt like I was running in sand but I wasn't going any slower. 

Mile 10: 12:34

Once I hit mile 9 I was so happy. Until I saw that instead of crossing back into the park and running the shortest distance to the finish we had to run around the whole thing. I just wanted to be done. I had texted Alan around mile 6 to let him know where I was and was hoping he was there with the kids. Then from across the pond I heard Cecily. I looked over and saw them all in the grass and started crying. I wanted to walk so bad and those kids are what got me to the finish. They are a big part of the reason I run, to show them you can do anything you can put your mind to, that I'm not my mother, that any BODY can run. 

I waved as I ran past and finished in 2:08:46. Four minutes off my time from The River Run in 2016.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Cameron Ten Months

Cameron turned TEN MONTHS old on Sunday. Ten months! This kid definitely holds his own in our family and you definitely don't forget he's here. He will start scream-talking to remind you when his big brother and sister are super loud. While he's generally still a happy baby, he will def1initely let you know when he's not. He's also attached to his mama and gets pissed when I go anywhere without him. 

He now has seven teeth, five of which cut through in the last three weeks, super fun for us! Especially me because he has started biting me while nursing and it hurts so bad. They other two also bit me, it only happened a couple times. This kid though, it's his way of telling me he doesn't want to nurse right now! In the last couple weeks he's taken off Army crawling and definitely gets around. He can get up on all fours, but just can't coordinate moving like that. I'm glad he finally started really moving and it's how Ewan did so I think it's cute. Ewan and Cecily? They've had to learn that we weren't kidding when we said they have to start putting their things away once he's moving. They're constantly asking me to come get him because he crawled over to them and they can't play. 

He absolutely loves food and if you'r eating, you're expected to share or get yelled at. I don't think he's tried a food he hasn't liked yet. Such a big kid, his first birthday is coming up fast. It's hard to believe that the actual planning will begin very soon!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

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Papa John's 10 Miler

I ran this race with my friend Mary Rose, with whom I ran the Anthem 5k this year. I'm not where I was in running before Cameron so going into it I knew I wouldn't finish 10 miles in the time I did the River Run a few years ago. But when I woke up to this on the radar on my phone, I said screw it I'm just going to have fun hanging out with my friend and we will finish when we finish. I had no idea if it would be icy or not and running fast wasn't worth falling on my butt. 

It was SO COLD before the start of the race, even with my additional layers but I knew that I would warm up. I was afraid that I was going to be overdressed once we got going, but I was perfect. Warm, but not melting. The snow picked up and my hair was covered before we even started the race. Snow in April, but climate change doesn't exist, right?

Her dad took a few photos of us running at the start and near the finish. 

We started out pretty strong but within the first mile Mary Rose's knee started hurting so we took it easy alternating running and walking. The race goes around a park that has lots of hills and is really pretty. So we walked up the hills and ran the flats and downhills. It was really pretty going through there. 

Alan's parents live really close to the park and I was concerned that I might have to nurse Cameron somewhere at that point but when I texted Alan he said Cam was fine. Whew! I brought some pumped milk but he's never really taken a bottle before and this was the longest I have been away from him so I wasn't sure how he would do. Thankfully he did great. 

The course is basically an out and back, with the ring road around the park as the turn around. On the way back, somewhere around 7.5-8 miles Mary Rose mentioned that if we could finish in the next 30 minutes we would finish with an average pace of 16:30. Well, we blew that out of the water finishing right around 16 minutes per mile. 

You have to go up and over the bridge to get to the finish and that was the only part that was icy. We started running the downhill and once I realized she wasn't right behind me, I just went for it. I was so close to the finish and was just done with being out there in the cold and I wanted my pizza. So, I finished in 2:39:49. Mary Rose finished about 40 seconds behind me. 

We had a great time chatting about life and it made the miles go by quickly. And she talked me into doing a trail half marathon at the end of the month...the day after my second 10 miler. I think I really am crazy!
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