Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Our tri-club group at this years local Turkey Trot. It was ccccccooooollllllldddddd!
Ya gotta love the reflective piping, it really works :)

Zak and Grace had a school project. They needed to cut out pictures of the things they were thankful for and then paste them to paper. The teachers would laminate the paper so they would have placemats for the holiday. Here's what they said .....

Gracie -

Right out of the gate - I get the #1 spot - "You mom, I'm thankful for you"

Our house

Warmed up milk in the morning





Oranges - "But Gracie we don't eat oranges." - "Oh yeah, ok, grapes."




Zak -

My transformer

Warmed up milk


Casey - his friend from school

Riley - Casey's sister


Cousins Matt, Nick and Sammy

"Ok mom, that's all I can think of, can I go play now?"

Ben 10

The difference between girls and boys - Scott and I didn't even rank on Zak's list. Not even a thought. :)

I've given this thankful thing a lot of thought. I know the obvious, I'm thankful for my family, friends, my home and faith in God, my health. Do I dig deeper than the obvious? Well, here are 10 things that would be on my placemat this year .....

  1. Finishing the Wisconsin Ironman safely and not feeling like I was going to die when Sammy joined me to cross the finish line.

  2. Running the Ridge Run in May and feeling like I wanted to keep running.

  3. Keri helping me after the Boston marathon

  4. Running on the lake front with Bubba while it is storming and windy and then getting the water and swimming, finally in the big waves!

  5. Watching my nephews Matt and Nick play football, side by side on the offensive line

  6. Standing in church, exhausted by the kids behaving badly that day and Scott grabbing my hand, knowing that he didn't have to say a word to make me feel better, just grabbing my hand was enough.

  7. Shopping in Jewel with Caroline. She was pushing Zak and he was grabbing the plastic produce bags and about to unroll them thru the fruits and vegi aisles. She laughed. Then told him no.

  8. Having Rick to ride the Horribly Hilly Hundreds with.
  9. Hearing my brother's voice on the phone, telling me he just won his golf tournament. We were both over come.

  10. Finding Gracie at the waterpark. We were separated for just a couple of minutes but it felt like an eternity. When I finally saw her from a distance she looked so scared but she did exactly what I told her to do. I ran up to her and she held on to me tighter than I ever felt her hold on before.

There's more. These are the ones I can think of now. I am truly blessed.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday to Sunday

What I saw and heard this week -

Sunday 11/11 a.m. - Was going to ride "Roll the Toll" but backed out because I was to chicken to bandit the ride. As usual I procrastinated to long and registration closed. So instead I ran with my tri buddies at one of my favorite places - Swallow Cliff. Was my first time running any decent distance since Grand Rapids. Perfect day. Cool - some sun. The scenery was amazing. The leaves were turning and still on the trees. Huge orange bouquets to run under. It was beautiful. Ken found some keys and about a 1/4 mile up the path we ran into the woman they belonged to. Ken got a hug from her and a huge thank you. Bubba and Tom couldn't let Ken be the only one receiving so they each got a hug - then they group hugged. Caroline and I couldn't stop laughing.

Monday 11/12 p.m. - The kids swam. Zak loves to look up and see me watching from the grand stand balcony. He always gives me a big thumbs up. Scott called to say he's not feeling well, he think he's got "it" - he's skipping the swimming and going to bed. Grace and Zak are the last out of the pool and the locker room. I make them dry their hair to avoid getting sick again. We "sneak" out the side door and all hold hands because we are now behind the school where it's dark. We sing on our way to the car.

Tuesday 11/13 afternoon - Finished folding the laundry and head to gram ma's. The kids play there while I attempt to start Christmas shopping. Scott Nextels me from work. "When is this weight going to be lifted off my chest?" he asks. "I'm going to the doc after work, don't call me, eat without me." Yup, he's got "it". Get a message on my answering machine from my friend in Minnesota - "Just read your blog, someone needs to yell at you for not going to the hospital in Grand Rapids. Hey, let's get together when we're in town for Thanksgiving! Call me!"

Wednesday 11/14 a.m. - Gracie doesn't want to walk to school. "It's to cold mom." Go to pick up the kids. Gracie's upset we aren't walking home. Go figure. We'll be sure to walk Friday. Realized I came in last again with my football picks. Ugh. My niece turned 20 today! 20! Time flies. Put up the Christmas tree. Am happy with my packing skills from last year. Nothing broke, everything comes right out of the boxes. Only have the lights working in the middle of the tree which is ok since that's the only part of the tree the kids put the ornaments on.

Thursday 11/15 afternoon - More Christmas shopping. Almost have the kids done. Review my lists. Remind myself that we don't want to make Christmas about "stuff" after seeing all the "Transformer action figures" that I think Zak would love. Scott's feeling better and wants meatloaf for dinner. Stop at Jewel, thank God I picked the hot dog piece that was stuck in my upper middle teeth cause I ran into my mom's girlfriend from high school. Later that night I try tracking down an old friend only to find out that she died of Lymphoma earlier this year. Cry while taking out the garbage later that night.

Friday 11/16 p.m. - My legs are burning. Screaming. Realize I haven't done any exercise since Monday morning when I did a half hour of yoga. Curse my time management skills. Set the alarm for Saturday 6:00 a.m.

Saturday 11/17 a.m. & p.m. - 6:15 a.m. - Crawl out of bed, get 35 minutes of yoga in. Time well spent. Run only 3 miles. It's cold and quiet outside. The run feels good. 10 a.m. - Finally find the photogs house who is taking our family picture (Patty please don't tell mom). 10:30 a.m. - I'm told I'm smiling to much. I need to just smile and not show my teeth. Huh? Hope the pics turn out. Go to 5 o'clock mass. We are still dressed in red shirts and khaki pants from taking the pictures earlier in the day. Start thinking we look pretty corny. See uncle Jeff on our way to the bathroom. Kids run to uncle after mass, they get so excited when they see him.

Sunday 11/18 a.m. - Meet up with my tri buddies at Swallow Cliff again. We have a bigger group this week! Even some new faces. The leaves are still on the trees but are now brown. What a difference a week makes.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I enjoyed following last week's Florida Ironman. I knew several people doing it and they rocked the course. Since then I've been haunted by a story that came about from the race last week. A woman drown. A wife, a mother of 3 children 13, 11 and I believe 8. She raised money training and participating in the IMFL for an organization that helps grieving families who have unexpectedly lost a parent or child. ( God, now she is gone.

We all train so hard. We look forward to the day that we can challenge ourselves mentally and physically. And then the unexpected happens leaving all of us with the question - how could something like this happen?

I always try to make sense of something like this. I'm having trouble this time. I guess I'm thinking if I write it down and put it out there I will find some comfort. The man who was updating this woman's condition on a forum wrote the following - We honor best not with flowers and cards and well-used expressions of sympathy but by imitating and emulating the worthy life of another. You could do far worse than to follow the admonishment to go and try to be like Dorothy. Be "Dorothy-Strong!"

Live life to it's fullest. Respect and love one another. There is no guarantee that tomorrow will come so live with no regrets. I've been hugging and kissing my children and Scott a little tighter lately.