I ran 13.1 miles!

So I'm slow in posting about it but I did it!

If you would have asked me a year ago I would have told you that there was no way I could ever run a half marathon. I did it though, and I'd do another one.

As I got closer to the big day and my long runs became longer and longer I really started having troubles with my knees. Actually, it was my ITBands, both my right one and the left one. I had pain in my hips and knees that got to be almost constant. I can't imagine always running that much and hurting like that full time. I know that it was because of the long distances I was putting in though and I've been pain free since the run. And I'm still running too! Not nearly as much because I'm not "in training" but I'm trying to do about 3 miles, 3 times a week.

The morning of the run we got up at 4:30 which was one of the worst parts! We got dressed and headed to my sister's hotel to pick her up. Then we went to my other sister's hotel to pick her and her boyfriend up. After that we headed to the starting line and I was amazed at the number of people who were there. It was pretty overwhelming!

They sounded the start of the race and we just sort of shuffled along since we were so jam packed. We had to start back a little bit so as we all neared the line the 5 of us joined hands and started the race as one. It was so cool!

We were spaced out enough after crossing the line that we were able to start running then. We all stayed right around each other until about 4 minutes in when I decided I should take a walk break. I felt like I could run forever but I knew that if I overdid it in the beginning that I would never make it to the end.

There is so much adrenaline pumping through you during a run that you don't really notice a lot. At least at the beginning. I did great for the first 3 miles or so. Time seemed to just fly by, my breathing wasn't labored, my legs felt great. It was pretty awesome.

Then I hit mile 4 and my right IT Band started hurting. Not just a little bit of pain but enough to make me think that I should quit right there. Generally I could make it through about 6 or 7 miles before I started having trouble so to know that it started so early had me worried that I wouldn't make it. From mile 4 - 7 I walked more than anything. I was so bummed out that I'd worked so hard and wasn't going to finish but I finally decided that even if it took me 7 hours and I walked the entire thing, I WOULD finish.

I started doing a bit better at about mile 7 and was able to run more frequently and go for longer periods of time. I still thought I was way behind where I needed to be to reach my goal of finishing under 3 hours. Then at some point shortly after that I passed a sign that said I was on pace to finish in like 2 hours and 50 some-odd minutes. It was then that I realized that I must have been walking fast or had gained enough ground in the beginning to keep me at a good race pace.

So I kept going and found that as long as I was running I was ok. It was the starting and stopping that hurt. So I ran like crazy, taking very few walk breaks. And I finished. I did it! The benefit of running with a group and having it be your first time is that you have your own little cheering group waiting for you at the finish line. As I neared the end I heard my name being screamed by my little sister and looked out to see Hubby and the whole crew cheering me on yelling for me to finish strong.

I also looked over to see on the side lines one of my sorority sisters! I have since found out that Kerry has been running for 4 1/2 years. I hope we can run together sometime in the future. She's done a couple marathons even, WOW!

Because my body wasn't used to running for more than about 5 minutes at a time and I had some pretty long stretches of running towards the end of the race, my hip was really in bad shape. I think without realizing how much I did it, I favored my left leg and then my right hip took the brunt of the pounding force. I spent most of the rest of that day hurting but I had such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment that I would do it again.

No plans yet to do another one but hopefully we'll be deciding on something soon. It sure does keep me motivated to keep up my training when I'm actually working towards something!


Saturday May 19th

It's already started. It began this morning as I was oing to the dining room in the hotel. I started thinking about the booths on the beach, which lead me to think about a big show going on this weekend that a friend is doing, which in turn reminded me that she had offered to put some of my things in her booth and I'd forgotten to get back with her about it before I left. So of course I thought, "I need to add her to my list."

It's a snowball effect. My list. I always have it with me because I never know when I might see, hear, smell, or remember something that will need to be added to it. It's an ever growing to-do list. I haven't thought ab out it since we've been on vacation, even though I brought it with me of course. Then this morning the reality of everything I left unfinished and all the things I've yet to start that I need and or want to do came looding back to me. I wish I could just always feel relaxed and at ease like I do when I'm on vacation. But then I wouldn't be me. And I should feel blessed that at least I do have the ability to enjoy things when I need to.

My Weight Watchers weigh in this week isn't going to be pretty. I am preparing for a huge gain. I can't imagine going on a cruise and not slipping up on your healthy way of eating. How would you do that? At least I can say that I enjoyed the cruise. Hopefully I can get anything I gained right back off in the next couple of weeks.

It's been over 24 hours since we got off the ship and I still feel wobbly. I never flet really awful while we were on the ship but now that we're off I do. If I shift my weight from one foot to another I feel like the earth is spinning. Hubby feels it too and has said a couple times, "Why is the ship still moving?"

I think Selah is the only kiddo having any troubles. I assumed it was the same thing Hubby and I were feeling. However, I just leaned over to give her a kiss on herr forehead and she's on fire. I don't have a thermometer but I would say her temperature has to be at least 101. She's been struggling with a yeast infection that was diagnosed a few weeks ago and just keeps coming back. Bless her heart, I'm afraid she's inherited a life of yeast problems from me. I wouldn't wish that on anyone! She does have pink cheeks from the sun so perhaps thats why she feels warm. Who knows. At any rate, I'm hoping she's ok because after missing a week of work and school, we need to get back to normal!

Really quickly before I go I have to say that Marleigh spent her own money yesterday on a pair of CZ earrings with the Chanel logo. I wasn't crazy about them but they were only $6 so I didn't say anything. Shortly after getting them she asked what I thought about them and I said, "They're ok." Which made her mad that I didn't like them. Well the flight attendant just walked by and said, "I like your earrings!" I'm sitting directly in front of her so Marleigh just reached through the seats and poked me. I turned to see her making a face as if to say, "Ha!" LOL

Thursday May 17th

I didn't make notes on this night but here's a quick rundown of what we did...


~Key West was gorgeous! The sun was out and it was a beautiful day. After breakfast all 6 of us headed out for some shopping and looking around.

~Marleigh and I wanted to stay a bit longer than the rest of them so they went back to the ship while she and I shopped some more. I bought her a cute new dress and she took pictures for me while I got a cool henna tattoo on my foot. I think I'll buy some henna ink so that I can keep it up all summer. I'm not a big tattoo fan but I think I'd like it for just a few months.

~While the two of us were shopping we had not one, not two, but three people say something about us being sisters. LOL I think they were all just trying to make me feel good so that I would buy things from their stores. But it was still nice, even if they were totally acting like they thought we were sisters.

~Marleigh and I met up with everyone else at the pool when we got back on the ship. We had a few hours out in the sun playing in the pool and just enjoying ourselves.

~After getting cleaned up we all put on our Eskimo Joe's shirts. Joe's is a pretty famous restaurant/bar here in our hometown and they have a big clothing line too. Their catalog features a page of people in Joe's shirts. So I thought it would be fun to take a picture and submit it.

~Then Elliot climbed the rock wall and made it all the way to the top which was cool. After he did it I looked up and although I'm scared of heights I decided to try it. It sure did look a lot shorter when I was on the ground! I'm proud to say that I did it and made it all the way to the top! Go me! Hubby did it too and later told me that he didn't think I would do it and definitely didn't think I'd make it all the way up. Oh ye of little faith!

~We let the kids stay in the fun place for extended hours tonight because we had to have our bags packed and in the hallway by midnight. It was great to be able to pack without having to deal with the kids asking to go places and being bored.

Wednesday May 16th

I woke up this morning to the sound of the announcement jingle coming over the intercom in the hallway just outside my cabin. It was the captain and he was informing us that we were anchored just off of cococay and we would be waiting a bit before anyone could get off to see if the weather would improve. I took that as a sign that the weather was once again crappy and I went back to sleep.

Later when I finally woke up I called Hubby next door and the rest of them came over to my room. We got ready and were getting ready to go grab some breakfast when he captain came on again to make another announcement. This time he informed us that the weather was not going to clear, that more storms were coming to the area, and that we would not be making the stop in Cococay. I swear to you, the whole ship seemed to rock with the groans and moans of the disappointed passengers after this announcement.

We went ot the care and grabbed some breakfast while we discussed our plans for the day. Just after breakfast, Marleigh headed to the teen room while Selah, Tess, and I went to the ice cream shop so they could get a treat. After that we went to view some pictures that Hubby and I took last night. I was so bummed that they turned out awful. I was looking forward to having some nice pictures of the two of us together.

Just after that we found a band that had just started playing. The little girls had fun listening to them and we bought their CD when they were done. Then everyone headed to the movie theatre while Tess and I watched a demo from the chef's on board. It was really neat. This one guy is from the Phillipines and comes from a long line of wood carvers. So for some reason he figured that if he could carve wood then he could probably carve food too. In the 30 minutes we where there he carved an entire watermelon into a big flower and then made this huge floral bouquet out of vegetables and fruit! It was amazing!

We heard rumors that the sun was peeking through the clouds so we went to put on our suits. We we got outside, sure enough...their was sun! I felt like singing the Hallelujah chorus. We met up with Marleigh there who was swimming with some of her friends and luckily they had some chairs saved that they weren't using. Otherwise we wouldn't have had anywhere to sit! We ended up swimming and enjoying all the festivities for about 2 hours and then went back to our cabins to get ready for dinner.

Dinner was delicious as usual and as soon as it was over Marleigh and Elliot went to their kids rooms to hang out with their friends. Hubby and I had our pictures aken together again (crossing my fingers that these will be better) and then he went back to the casino while I had some pictures taken with the two little girls. I think they're going to be really cute!

We grabbed Hubby from the casino after that and saw a show. It was a Motown show with a guy impersonating a bunch of old singers. It was good and even the little girls enjoyed it!

Now I'm in here in bed ready to hit the hay. First I have to find Marleigh and Hubby. I think Marleigh is at the pool with her friends and I'm guessing Hubby is back in the casino. The little girls are here all zonked out and Elliot is ready to crash too.

We'll be in Key West tomorrow. I'm hoping for more sun and great shopping!

Tuesday May 15th

Today just happens to be the anniversary of my Mother's passing. I can't believe it's been 14 years! It doesn't seem possible. I miss her as much today as I did the day she left.

So, um...yeah. A big day in Nassau indeed!

We woke up this morning groggy and tired but ready for a great day in the Bahamas. In the interest of saving time we decided to order breakfast last night and have it delivered to the room this morning so we could eat while we were getting ready.

We were really excited about our plans for today. A couple of weeks ago we looked online through all the available excursions. For today, we booked spots on a private island because we were afraid that we wouldn't be able to find a beach that was crowded and clean. So we were to take this boat to the island (Blackbeard's Cay) and we'd be there until noon.

We got on the boat and took a 25 minute trip to Blackbeard's Cay and it was a little chilly and there were dark clouds but at least it wasn't raining. We got off the boat and were immediately thrilled with the beach and it's cleanliness and the softness of the sand. The water was clear blue and aazing! We got the kids all lathered up with sunscreen and they headed out to the water while I grabbed the camera and started taking pictures. Within about 5 minutes the clouds opened up and thunder rolled as the rain just poured down on us. We sought shelter and waited about 10 minutes until it stopped. Unfortunately, it started right back up and has stormed off and on all day long. We spent the rest of the time on that island just sitting under a patio area. Thank goodness that was there. This wasn't just a little spring rain either. This was a thunder and lightening storm and we weren't even allowed to be in the water if we wanted to.

Somehow the time passed and after a really rocky ride on the little boat we got back to the ship. We dropped the 3 smallest kids off at what they now call "the fun place" and Marleigh, Hubby, and I headed to lunch. The we went out to Nassau to look around and do some shopping where we picked up some souveneirs before finally deciding to stop battling the rain and just go back to the ship.

We took a nice long time getting ready for the formal dinner and enjoyed being all dressed up with somewhere to go. After dinner the little kids went back to the fun place and Marleigh went to the teen room. Hub by went to the casino and won back what he lost last night and I looked around at the shops on board. Then we played bingo for a bit which was a lot of fun!

Tomorrow we get to go to Royal Carribbean's private island all day so it better NOT rain all day again!

Monday May 14th

I finally found a little bit of time to sit down and catch up here. This post and the following ones are from our first big family vacation...

This morning Hubby and I ran for 40 minutes down the beach again. After that we had breakfast with the kids, hit the gift shop for some postcards to send off before boarding the ship, and then swimming at the pool. I went back to the room before everyone else so I could get cleaned up and then started getting us all packed. We get off the ship on Friday and as of this morning we didn't have a room because the hotel we were staying at was full when we first made reservations. After our run this morning though Hubby checked with the front desk and was able to get us a room that faces the ocean for our last night in Florida before we leave next Saturday for home.

Once we were all ready and checked out we drove to Miami and Hubby dropped the kids and me off while he took the rental car back. Once he met up with us and we were all officially checked in we got on board the ship and it was immediately overwhelming. Hubby and I wanted to watch the ship take off, the little girls wanted to swim, Elliot wanted to eat, and Marleigh just wanted to look around. One thing about a cruise ship is that there are so many things to do it really can be a bit confusing. You don't want to miss out on anything but if you try to do it all you won't enjoy the things that you do. Ya know?

We only had an hour before dinner after the ship pulled out of the harbor so we hustled to our rooms to figure out what we would wear on our first night. It was then that I realized that there was no iron in our cabin. Nice, huh? Well, pretty much everything we had needed to be ironed. I picked out the things that were the least wrinkled and got everyone dressed and headed to the Moonlight Dining Room.

After dinner we explored the ship some and checked out the kids' activities. I hadn't planned on even looking into it because this is supposed to be a family vacation and I wanted them with us. But man, as soon as they saw the place they loved it and wanted to stay! Marleigh said there was no way that she would go to the teen room but changed her mind as soon as she saw that she could get on the computer. The kids all wanted to stay in their classes so after signing them in Hubby and I hit the casino for a bit where he played craps and I just hung out taking it all in. When we picked the kids up later they didn't want to leave. I'm so glad they like it so much and the staff is wonderful with them. I feel like they are very safe there which is always great. Marleigh had so much fun with her new teen friends (they are all 12 which makes me more comfortable) that she ended up staying an extra hour.

The rest of us headed down to our room and just hung out while I got everything unpacked and put away. It was a challenge because the cabin's are pretty snug! After a lot of discussing and trying to figure out who would do best where we decided that Hubby would room with Marleigh and Elliot and I would take Selah and Tess. After I shut out the lights they were asleep in a matter of minutes. They are completely wiped out!

We are looking forward to tomorrow and our fun excursion to a private island on Nassau!


Home Sweet Home

Mostly. We got back on Saturday, late that night. I spent all day yesterday doing laundry and trying to get things unpacked and put away. I'm still not done.

I've already hit Wal-Mart this morning for groceries. We had nothing in the house to eat and even less to drink.

Hubby and I are already feeling the stress of being back home. He's swamped at work, has a custom house he's got to finish up that closes in just a couple weeks and has a spec house that the loan is due on that still hasn't sold. Plus we have 2 duplexes that are available for rent and the 1st is right around the corner. We've GOT to get someone in those units or we'll be in deep doo doo when the mortgages come due.

I've got a bunch of blog entries to put in here from our vacation. Hoping to get that done soon so that I'm up to date here at least.

Man, wish I was still sitting next to a pool somewhere!


Back on dry land

Well, my plan was to update each days events on my blog. But then I realized that over seas rates applied to my internet time. At $2.95/minute I decided I would catch up when I got back. ;)

I did hand write my blog each day and will update that when I return home. For now though we are back on dry land, although it seems to be spinning. We had to get up early this morning to get off the ship. Then there was lots of waiting and whining while we got our luggage, waited for a shuttle, waited for our rental car, and drove back to our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale. Selah got car sick on the way which is always fun.

We spent most of the day today by the pool. Hubby went for a run and came back to tell me that they had already started the Firefighter Challenge festivities. Apparently it's some big huge thing that is going on all weekend and for some reason Hubby mentioned that there were "booths" set up. That's pretty much all I needed to here so Selah, Marleigh and I headed over to check out said booths and I got some great stuff at this one ladies table. She made the most amazing sterling jewelry. I got her card and will have to share her website. We chatted for a bit and she even mentioned that she taught classes but of course she only does them here in Florida. Shucks!

So for now, we're back on dry land. The kiddos have all crashed and I'm getting ready to head to sleepy town myself. We're hoping for sun tomorrow morning before we have to check out and head back to our normal life. Should be an interesting week getting back into the swing of things.


Mother's Day in Florida

I had a great Mother's Day today. Hubby and the two oldest kiddos went to breakfast and I stayed in bed trying to catch up on my sleep. When they came back they woke me up by opening the blinds and screaming "Happy Mother's Day!" I opened my eyes to find them standing there with a tray full of breakfast for me. While I sat and ate, I opened up all their cards they made in school and the ones that Hubby got for me.

After breakfast Hubby and I went on a run. Now there's something I never thought I would want to do for Mother's Day! We went about 40 minutes so we should have gotten in about 3 miles. I felt great for the first 20 minutes but after that I started going downhill. It's just so hot and humid here I got a bit overheated and started feeling sort of dizzy. Luckily, after getting back and drinking a bottle of water I felt a lot better.

Then we went down to the beach. Elliot and Marleigh got boogie boards from the hotel and had a lot of fun playing in the waves with them. Tess and Selah aren't nearly as fond of the beach and the ocean but they tolerated it long enough for us all to have some fun before we headed over to the pool.

I did step on a shell at the beach though and shoved in through my foot. That didn't feel so hot. I had to send Hubby up to the room to get my tweezers so I could dig it out. Ouch!

We hung out at the pool for a long time and then went back to the room to take showers and get dressed. Then we found a Target and a Walgreens. I was able to get in touch with a friend of mine who happens to also be on a cruise this week. Her husband is a doctor and she's also traveling with one of my bosses who is a doctor. They called the Walgreens for me so I now have more migraine meds for any more awful days that may come on our vacation. I have had a headache all day today actually but luckily it hasn't escalated to the migraine that I had the last two days.

While we were gone it was nice but I guess it poured here at the hotel. We were away just long enough for the storm to come through and move on which was nice. We let the kids swim a bit more this evening while Hubby and I enjoyed some drinks and now we're all back up in the room relaxing a bit before bed.

We can't get on the ship tomorrow until 3 so we'll probably swim again in the morning before packing everything up and heading over to Miami. We're all anxious to see the ship and explore!


Um, oops

How has it been over a month since I last posted? I really don't know. Most of April and May up until this point seem to be a blur. Every single weekend was filled with birthday's, parties, piano, soccer, volleyball, and everything in between. It's been a whirlwind couple of months and I still feel like we just took down the Christmas tree. How is it already the middle of May?

I need to do an update about my genetic counseling appointment. I believe I mentioned it here when I first scheduled it. I had the appointment and now know more. I also need to update about our first half marathon that I'm proud to say I finished! And of course my Weight Watchers journey.

But tonight I'm going to blog about our first ever "real" family vacation. Today is day 1 of said vacation and although it's only 7:37 pm local time I am getting ready to hit the hay. I may have to drug the kids to convince them to let me go to sleep.

I had to work yesterday morning and then I spent the rest of the day, evening, and into the wee morning hours finishing up on packing and cleaning the house before we left. Hubby and I didn't get to sleep till nearly 2 am and the alarm went off this morning at 4:15. Not cool, not cool at all.

To add to the fun, I had a migraine yesterday and luckily I had picked up some samples from work. I had two more left and decided to bring one of them with me on our trip "just in case". I haven't had a migraine in months but I figured yesterday's was brought on by stress and it was possible I might have another this week although I didn't think I really would. Better safe than sorry, right. Well, me and no sleep don't get along. Add that to the stress and apparently that is my personal recipe for a killer migraine. My head hurt as soon as I woke up this morning and I took some Aleve hoping to take the edge off. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at our final destination it was a full blown migraine complete with nausea and the desire to hammer a hole in my head for some relief. I broke down and took my only pill and now I'm just going to cross my fingers that I don't have another one.

So the kids had their first plane ride today and they loved it. We've driven to Colorado before to visit my Dad and we've taken some long weekend trips to Texas. But other than that the kids haven't ever had a "real" vacation. So when Hubby earned some frequent flyer miles we decided to get busy planning. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale today and will spend the next two nights here. Monday we will hop aboard the Majesty of the Sea's for 5 days visiting Nassau, Key West, and Cococay. Fun!

Everyone did great on the plane for the most part. It's so much fun watching the kiddos experience new things and this week is going to be chalk full of them! Elliot had some trouble with his ears and I hated that I couldn't fix it for him. He was swallowing and chewing as much as he could but his left ear was really bothering him. Selah was the only one with any real fear prior to flying. She had a little bit of a panic attack as we sat waiting to take off but as soon as we were safely in the air and she realized it wasn't so bad she was fine.

When we got here we picked up our rental car and then headed to our hotel. The kids were anxious to swim in the ocean for the first time. Actually, Elliot and Marleigh have been in the ocean before but they were so small I don't think they really remember it. We took them down and Hubby swam with them while I stood by and watched, capturing their smiles and screams of pure glee on film and in my mind. They were just loving it! After about 30 minutes we headed to the hotel pool and spent an hour or so hanging out there before we came up to our room.

Now it looks like we're winding down. In the time it's taken me to type out this entry all four kiddos have asked me if they could go to bed. So off I go to clear the suitcases away and tuck them all in so that I can hit the hay myself. Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I'm looking forward to spending the day relaxing and watching my children love life!