Friday, September 27, 2013

The Soft Feel of Autumn

Loving these cooler temps...they're making me want to wrap myself in big, bulky, warm sweaters and slip into well-worn boots...


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Roll Tribe

Going to an Indians game is a must for every kid and adult in northern Ohio.  We attended a Sunday afternoon game a couple weeks ago and had so much fun at their "children run the bases" event!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another Triathlete in the Family

What an amazing weekend! Bridget and I made a much too quick weekend trip down south to see my brother and his family for the weekend.  It was my brother's first triathlon - and he decided to tackle a half distance triathlon as his first venture into the sport!  There was no way I was going to miss that.  I mean, come on, you remember your first big endurance event, right? It was super special, of course.

My first marathon will always be the most special event and I was hoping that my brother would feel the same after crossing his first big finish line! And I'm pretty sure he did.

My sister-in-law, her 3 kids, me and Bridget all made the best of 8 hours in perfect weather in one of the most beautiful places in the U.S.  The older kids made signs to cheer on my brother, which he really appreciated. It was so funny to see their rendition of a medal - so doggone cute!  My sister-in-law and I were able to catch up and it felt like I was sitting in her kitchen back in Athens all over again.

And Outer Banks? He couldn't have picked a better place to make his day special. The swim portion, while it certainly looked long, was beautiful. The weather was perfect and it was as if the sun danced off of the waves. While we only got to see him mounting and dismounting his bike, he said the bike portion was gorgeous meandering through Manteo and, as every triathlete experiences at least once in a race, he learned to change a flat tire pretty quickly. The run portion was in the hottest part of the day, but he managed to excel and finish well under the time cap. So proud of him!

Just look at how beautiful OBX is in Autumn!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First Day of First Grade

Megan began her first day of her sophomore year on the same day that Bridget began her first day of first grade.  My little girls are growing way too fast!

Below is Bridget on her first day of first grade (left) and Megan on her first day of first grade (right, vintage).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gentlemen of the Road

We were lucky enough to score tickets to the Gentlemen of the Road stopover in Troy, Ohio back in February.  Fast forward 7 months later and we attended one of the most enjoyable lineups of bands on a Saturday afternoon in a wonderful little southwestern Ohio town of Troy.  The townspeople were amazing and full of hospitality.  The businesses were a delight to support.  And Mumford and Sons? They gave one hell of a concert!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

And Now It Was My Turn to Race

Let me tell you, I was not half marathon race ready...but hey, am I ever? Nope.  When Greg first asked Bridget and I to join him on a trip to SLC for business, of course I searched to see if there were any Idaho races.  And yes, there were two - one in Burley and one is Mesa Falls.  I opted for Burley because it was closer and had a kids event. The downside is the shortest race distance was a half marathon...ouch! But it all worked out.

The night before the race, I was hard pressed to find a pasta experience.  However, we checked Yelp and Stevo's was highly recommended AND they had the best potatoes in Idaho.  Don't have to twist my arm.  Greg had the largest, messiest baked potato topped with so much yumminess that I don't know how he was able to sleep through the night.  I had the BEST rainbow trout sandwich I have ever had. It was a win in our book!

The Fairfield Inn opened their breakfast at 5:00 a.m. for the Triathletes who had to get set up early in transition.  I had a nice 8:00 a.m. start time so I was able to sleep a bit longer and didn't have to rush through my bagel and PB.  There were only about 10-12 of us racing the half marathon - most of the girls were there because their spouses were competing in the triathlon and they were killing some time.  Met several nice people, one of which is a park ranger in Zion National Park.  What a cool job!

We had a hot hot hot sunny day, but the race volunteers and small town experience made this race one of my favorites.  And would you believe, I was FIRST in my age group and won an award? (Shhh...if you don't tell anyone, I was also the ONLY one in my age group.)  My award was a slab of granite that was so heavy I could barely carry it through the airport.  Oh, but I did with pride (and sore arms)!

And just like that, Bridget and I together raced through our 49th state!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

And Idaho Makes 49

Unbelievable...just unbelievable to think we're this far into our little family fitness challenge.  Along the way, I co-opted the kids into racing with me (or even racing their own races) and it's been wonderful seeing them excited when they cross that finish line and realize how strong their bodies and minds are.

Friday evening in Burley is not a hoppin' kind of place or town.  The people are so friendly that they almost compete for best customer service with South Dakota.  I simply can't say enough wonderful things about the Fairfield Inn hotel staff or the townspeople...or the race organizers...or the race volunteers.  Everyone made this race experience wonderful.

So not to be shortchanged on knocking out states, Bridget lined up at the kids 1-mile race alongside Greg.  The race organizers had the animals from Madigascar lead the kids in pre-race exercises before hand.  So fun to watch.  And then she was off (with Greg racing by her side). I managed to snack some great pics of Bridget finishing before Greg.  This was super important because they had bet (at least a week prior to the race) that if he beat her, then she would have to eat whatever he chose and Bridget would have to give him kisses and hugs.  If Bridget won, then she could eat whatever she wanted whenever she wanted and watch whatever show she wanted whenever she wanted.

I'll let the pictures below tell who won...


Friday, September 13, 2013

A Day in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City? Yep, Utah.  Love that place.  In order to knock out Idaho, and to keep our travel expenses under budget, we flew in to Salt Lake City. Had our flight not been delayed, we had planned on seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform.  It's kind of a big deal to see the Choir and their Thursday evening practice is open to the public.  Both Greg and I were pretty pumped about this, but we just couldn't get United to share in our excitement...go figure.

The next morning, before making our trek to Burley, Idaho, we managed to kill a few hours at Discovery Gateway, the kids museum in SLC.  What a wonderful place! Best of all, Bridget got to be treated to her kind of fun, rather than boring old adult fun.

Had to drag her out of the place...but we had packet pick-up and she had a 1-mile race to run!