A few more race reports.

Last Sunday I ran the Athleta Iron Girl Half Marathon in Clearwater with my friend Gretchen.  

I have no pictures……running with a camera is not advisable!  I do have some pictures on my phone, but….well….they’re still on my phone!

The course was beautiful!  I love running by the water, and this course had lots of it for me to see.  However, running by the water meant that I had to run over bridges.  Big bridges.  Four – yes 4 – times.  OMG.  My legs!  It got hot, too, and that slowed me down a bit.

Gretchen took off from me around mile 3.  She was trying to beat a certain time, and there was no way I would have gotten near that!  lol  Well, if I had a skateboard or a bike, then I could have done it.

I love watching people run.  I love the look of enjoyment, determination, and satisfaction I see on their faces.  This race was especially fun, since it was a race only for women.  This was easy to figure out, since back at the race tents there were port-a-potties that were, in my opinion, pretty darn clean, and a table filled with t.p., hand sanitizer, and tampons!  Way to go, Athleta!  Smile 

The hills were hard, but nothing is impossible, right?!  I listened to podcasts for the majority of the race, and finally turned on some music about mile 10.  As I came over the last hill, the theme from Rocky came on.  (You know you’re singing it in your head now).  I knew I wouldn’t PR, but I was hoping to beat 2:56. 

I crossed the finish line in 2:51!!!!  Oh yeah! 

Another fun race that I hope to do again!

Yesterday I did a local 5K here in Altamonte Springs.  In fact, it was within walking distance of where we live.  Fun!

Alex and the girls walked over there to see me off, and my friend Angi came, too!  (I love seeing people I know at the finish line or on the course!)  I attempted for a 5k PR, but missed it by about 22 seconds.  Maybe next time!

The only race I have on the calendar right now is a virtual summer race that we’re going to do in July.  I have signed up for the 10k.  I thought about doing the half marathon, but it’s too damn hot in the summer here!

I love running.  Don’t always love it while I’m doing it, but I love it.  It keeps me sane, brings me joy, keeps me healthy, and about a million other things.  Running rocks.

The running community rocks even more.


It has been verified.

I am crazy.  But we all knew that already, didn’t we?!


It’s official.  I am now Half Fanatic #4017 and have been admitted into the asylum.  Oh yeah, baby!  Bragging rights.  3 half marathons in 50 days; I have earned it.

Beach day!

Today we packed up the car and headed off to the beach.  I love beach days; there haven’t been enough of them. 

The weather was perfect today!  The beach was really crowded, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.  Smile



If you don’t have one of these already, go get one.  Best thing in the world to take to the beach, and super simple to set up.  Well, just make sure you’ve done it at least once before you set it up at the beach.  We did……and Alex thought it was supposed to be flipped over.  The girls were howling with laughter and telling him that it would look like a boat.  DSC_0008

Our view for the afternoon.  DSC_0012

The 4 of us easily fit in here.  I even laid down and snoozed for a few minutes. DSC_0014



That is one silly girl.DSC_0043

The water was very cold!DSC_0047




You know you want to be here.  Listening to the sound of the ocean is so wonderful and peaceful.  DSC_0106




She was either telling me how much she loves me, or that I better hurry up and take the picture before she tackles me.DSC_0134



Hope you enjoyed our pictures from the beach!  Tomorrow we are going on another excursion……photos to come later.

A few random things.

I’m really trying not to take weeks (or months!) in between blog posts.  However, I usually don’t have a lot of down time, so today you get some random photos that I took recently.  Smile  Hey, at least there are pictures!


I took this one at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival a few weeks ago.  I can’t wait to go back with my other camera lens and take more pictures.  I think the girls and I will go next week.DSC_0188


My beautiful Kali.DSC_0004A


Two of my crazy children.DSC_0016


Alex’s famous vegan cinnamon rolls.  Unfortunately, these aren’t gluten free, so Kali and I just stared and drooled.  DSC_0029


Gorgeous Hannah.  ♥  DSC_0050B


The brutal Easter egg hunt.  Yes…..that is MARY!!!  We were oh-so very happy to spend some time with her.  The egg hunt was vicious!  Kali declared herself as the winner.  Winking smileDSC_0054





Chickpeas + spinach (forgot to get a picture of it!) ………….DSC_0003


+ a jar of this stuff + some basmati rice = one super yummy and super easy dinner.DSC_0006

That’s all I have for today!  Sunday we are headed off to the beach, so I’m sure to have a lot more pictures!

Sarasota First Watch Half Marathon

(Disclaimer: I have no pictures to share!  This is going to be short and sweet since I’m better with photos than I am with words.)  Winking smile

I did half marathon #2 of the year 2 weeks ago.  It was only 1 month after the Disney Princess half marathon, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to do. 

I ran this one with my friend Gretchen.  Smile  The weather was perfect, the crowd size was wonderful, and I was hopeful.  I really wanted to beat my last 3 half marathon times; they were all around 2:56-2:58.

I didn’t realize until the night before that there were hills in this race.  Well, bridges to be exact, but still!  And not only were there two bridges, but this was and out and back for the first half of the half – lol – so we had to go over those bridges twice!  Ugh.

Gretchen was fantastic to run with.  She was my cheerleader, my pacer, and my Jillian all wrapped up into one.  I think I would have ended up on the side of the road had she not ran with me!

Up and down the hills, down the streets, past the water…and finally…..when I thought I was going to fall out…..the finish line.  Gretchen was literally pushing me at this point! 

And then I finished….

2:45:48.  OMG!  I set a new pr!!  Totally took 11 minutes off my best half time!  By the time I crossed the finish line, I was crying and trying to breathe!  Not a fun combo, I tell you.

I did a 10k through Winter Park this past weekend, and also set another pr for me.  Smile  I’m on a roll!

In 3 weeks I am doing my 3rd half marathon for the year.  I’m also running it with Gretchen again.  This time I have no desire to set a pr; I am sure it is going to be hot and I am just hoping to make it to the end still smiling.  Open-mouthed smile

Top ten things that have happened since December.

Who knocked me unconscious and then woke me up in March?!?!  Holy cow!  I swear I did not disappear or enter the witness protection program.  

So, in order to keep this post down to a small novella, here are the top ten things that have happened since Mary’s birthday:

1) Christmas!


2) Hannah’s 12th Birthday.  Twelve!?!?!?  12?!?!  Where have the years gone?



3) My 3rd running of the Disney Princess half marathon:



4) My crazy notion that I should run yet another half marathon – the Sarasota First Watch half marathon.  

5) Various awesome homeschooling activities.

6) Lots of yummy gluten free and vegan food.  Hey, its been nearly a year that I’ve been gluten free.  No more migraines!

7) Hmmm….I might only have 6 at this point.  I’m still foggy from being knocked unconscious for a few months!

I think I will go make some coffee and piece together what else has happened while I was out cold.  

My baby is 22!

No, really.  I have a 22 year old daughter.  Really. 

I’m trying to convince myself that I’m old enough to have a child that is 22.


She is.


First of all, I am thrilled that she is here for a month.  We have missed her so much, so having all of this time with her is super.  Smile

Here’s a few pictures from her birthday:

Birthday morning cinnamon rolls!  Daddy got up super early to make them for her.  SmileDSC_0380


Snuggling on the couch with Kali.  Hannah and Kali have missed Mary so very much.  I am glad they get to spend lots of time together right now.DSC_0381

We went to Bahama Breeze for dinner.  It was so nice that we were able to sit outside and enjoy a wonderful dinner together.  Alex had to work late, so he couldn’t join us. 


Awesome Mary’s snowman birthday cake.  She loved it.  Smile  DSC_0385




I hope all of her wishes come true. ♥DSC_0390

I totally forgot to take pictures of gifts and dinner!  Bad momma.  Winking smile  After cake she took off for a night out with friends. 

I am really looking forward to Christmas morning, sitting on the floor around the tree with my husband and girls and opening gifts.  So happy to have all of my babies together for the holidays!