Dear Aubrey – 10 Months!

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Dear Aubrey,

You have definitely started to be your own little person, and I love it. You’re getting to be such a big, beautiful girl it fills my heart.

You’re now 10-months (I know, I’m more than a week late, but I had good reasons)! You’ve finally started army crawling all over the place, and you’re pretty quick about it, too. You’re getting close to being on your hands and knees, it’s any day now. And let’s talk about your walking–you’ve had a lot of fun walking around the house while you hold onto someone’s hands. You’ve got your little push-walker that you’ll push, too, but you definitely like standing more upright when you hold our fingers.

You experienced your first official snow. It had snowed after you were born, but you were too little to go outside in it. I don’t think you were too impressed with the big, wet snowflakes. It’s been a pretty warm December so far, but hopefully we’ll have more snow soon so you can play in it.

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Mommy got a full-time job before you turned 10-months. She gets to work in the office three days a week and work from home two days, so that means you’re starting to be watched by other people. Grammy had knee and oral surgery and so did your Aunt, so “Aunt” Brooke stepped up and you’ve been spending the day with her, Kendall, and Claire. I think you’re really enjoying it because you are “talking” a lot more. You come home with funky hairstyles and little projects. Who would have thought a 10-month-old would have enough hair for pigtails?

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You celebrated your first Thanksgiving. Your highchair was placed at the dinner table so you could eat with us and you enjoyed turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and some bread. You loved it all! You even had a little of mommy’s pumpkin pie.

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We’re preparing for your first Christmas and I’m very excited about it. I may or may have not taken you shopping on Black Friday with me to help pick out some of your presents, but I don’t think you’ll remember.

I’m excited for the months to come–Christmas, New Year’s, and your first birthday! I can’t believe we’re nearing one year now.

You make so many people smile and happy, it’s amazing to me. How can one little girl help turn tears and frustrations into smiles?

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Common Courtesy: Shovel Your Sidewalk

This is more of a public service announcement than a blog post today, but I got to thinking I wanted to do a little (harmless) griping while trying to walk my two, stump-legged pups the other evening.

Most of the United States has been hit with winter storm after winter storm. Kentucky is no different. But some times my dogs just don’t understand why the “conditions aren’t right” for their daily walk. Monday I was able to pay snow tennie with them for a good 30 minutes to wear them out in the deep snow in our backyard–no problem there. Tuesday saw a quick tennie session before I headed to CrossFit with a promise of a walk afterwards, but then the ice storm came. So Wednesday I bundled up and decided we could handle a simple 1.5 mile walk for us to get some fresh air. WRONG.

Our treacherous walk after the ice storm hit this week.

Our treacherous walk after the ice storm hit this week.

Now I understand that shoveling isn’t fun. Growing up in the country, we rarely shoveled, unless we were trying to make a path for the wheelbarrow at the barn. Most of the time we relied on neighbors with plows and our mechanical snow blower. But now that I live in the suburbs, I’ve learned the joys of shoveling your driveway, and your sidewalks, and some times your neighbor’s place. It’s a good workout. And I know some of the older folk can’t easily shovel, that’s why M and I used to do our old neighbor’s driveway all the time in our old neighborhood. But it’s just common courtesy to shovel your sidewalk.

If you’re already shoveling your driveway, what difference does a couple more minutes make to shovel the sidewalk? 

It’s a safety concern for everyone–delivery people, trash people, and your neighbors who have to walk along the side of the road for one reason or another.

Even just one swipe with the shovel (seen here) helps a neighbor out!

Even just one swipe with the shovel (seen here) helps a neighbor out!

There were times, due to the icy snow, that I had to actually pick Dally up and carry her to the next clean area. Sure I got some extra calorie burning there, but it’s sad to watch her struggle with her 4″ long legs (and “tender toes” as we say) struggle over the messy sidewalks.

It’s pretty sad when it’s safer/easier to walk my dogs in the middle of the snowplowed streets than the sidewalks. As a runner, I also know how hard it is to run on sidewalks or roads that are not plowed or taken care of.

If you can’t physically do the shoveling yourself, I know there are always neighborhood kids looking to earn a couple extra dollars to do so (I was asked by some last week, in fact). Help an entrepreneur out.

OK…stepping off my soap box. You may return to your regularly scheduled blog reading. 🙂

 

Thursday Thoughts: A Random Post

  • The past few mornings I’ve woken up to frigid temperatures, reluctant to get out of bed and head to CrossFit. But then I think about how lucky I am, that I woke up in a warm bed, protected by my house, and sleeping next to my pups–there are many that aren’t as lucky. My thoughts are with those who aren’t as lucky. This has been a rough winter, and it’s not over yet.
  • On another weather note, I think it worked out nicely that we got hit with 3 inches of snow on Saturday, then by Sunday it was mostly melted away. Perfect way to get to enjoy the snow and then have Mother Nature clean up after herself. If only my family in Indiana were as lucky (I can’t imagine how much snow they’ve had so far already.)
  • I realize I’ve slacked a lot with this blog lately, and for that I’m sorry. I’m struggling with coming up with things to talk about lately because by the end of the evening my brain is fried with work, then coming home to write articles on deadline. I’ve also had to rethink a lot of things lately. I’ll post about that later.
  • I’m so pumped for the Super Bowl this weekend! Of course I’m cheering for Peyton Manning and the Broncos–us Indy fans still claim Peyton as one of our own! It’s going to be a great game, I think, definitely one for the record books! Who are you cheering for?
  • I’m trying to really focus on my form in CrossFit lately. My coach at Man O’War CrossFit, Taylor, worked with me on my jerks Wednesday morning. Lately I’ve been pushing the bar out and up, thus using up a lot of strength. So I’m trying to focus on keeping the bar close to my body, close to my face, and just push up.
  • Speaking of Man O’War CrossFit, we’re excited that one of our own is competing in the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month!! Dallas Robinson has been named a member of the USA Bobsled Team, and we are so excited for him! Go Team USA!!
  • And, finally, speaking of CrossFit, here’s a WOD for you to try. The Every Minute On The Minute (EMOTM) of 5 Man O’War Makers are burpees over the plate, clean the plate, then do two step back lunges. Those were rough! By the end of the WOD my quads were toast!

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Your turn: What’s your first thought when you wake up in the morning?

Snow Play and Jerky Chocolate

It’s been a nice weekend! After recuperating from my 10-mile run in the snow for a few hours yesterday, I took the pups out to play some snow tennie (snow + tennis ball = snow tennie when they cake it with snow!):

Dally says, "Gimme that ball!"

Dally says, “Gimme that ball!”

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Then M and I met some friends for a late lunch/early dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. I tried their Black Bean Burger and it was delicious! I’m pushing myself to try new, healthy things, and this burger was awesome–I totally recommend it! Afterwards we went bowling for a couple of hours. It wasn’t the romantic anniversary dinner I was looking forward to, but it was a good time and good to get out and be active with friends with all the snow/ice on the ground.

Speaking of anniversary, M got me a dozen roses with day lilies and a couple of bags of M&M’s to celebrate! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten flowers, and I was touched. They’re so pretty!

I was surprised with pretty flowers Friday night! (BTW, love our "guestbook" from our wedding?)

I was surprised with pretty flowers Friday night! (BTW, love our “guestbook” from our wedding?)

If only you could smell through the computer screen...

If only you could smell through the computer screen…

I got M a bag of jalapeño beef jerky and a special chocolate bar that I thought was weird, but was actually a big hit–jerky milk chocolate bar. He loved it. (Yes, odd gift selections, but I wanted to find some things that were off-the-wall but something he’d enjoy, and he did!)

Beef Jerky Chocolate? As funky as it sounds, it was pretty good--not real sweet, but savory and tasty.

Beef Jerky Chocolate? As funky as it sounds, it was pretty good–not real sweet, but savory and tasty.

Now we’re working on putting together some grub for the Super Bowl. M and I are huge football fans, and even if the Colts aren’t in the big game, we’ll still watch it. I watch for the commercials and the game (unless it’s pretty lopsided). M’s got some chili simmering on the stove, and I’m about to attempt some sweet potato bites–recipe soon. A couple of friends will be bringing some sides and snacks, including kale chips! (I’ve been wanting to try fresh kale chips for a while–report to you soon.) M and I will be cheering for the 49ers–Jim Harbough used to be “Captain Comeback” for the Colts, so there’s our Colts connection.

Who are you cheering for in the Super Bowl?

Snow Day Running

So we know when it comes to running, you can’t expect perfect weather all of the time. Earlier this week I was running in short sleeves in 50 degree weather. This morning I woke up and it was 20-degrees and snow was in the forecast. Surprise! It’s February, not April.

Considering Friday it was only 13*, 20 was a warm-up. But there was a winter weather advisory for this morning… Sure I could have just rolled back under the covers when my alarm went off at 6, but luckily I had hooked up with another running group that was meeting up, no matter the weather. So I piled on the layers–tights with winter running pants, Cold Gear shirt, 3/4 zip pull over, fleece, vest, and neck cover–and headed to the rendezvous point. I knew I had on a lot of layers, and after the first mile I took off the fleece,  and then I was fine.

I was aiming for 9-10 miles and ran with a group of runners going around a 10-minute mile pace. I was alright with going slower because I knew the route would be slick and i didn’t want to fall.

The snow started falling after we started on our run. I was thankful for borrowing my husband’s neck cover so I could cover my face to protect it from the snow and to help my breathing. There were points I wasn’t able to really look forward because of the snow pelting my eyes (totally need skier’s goggles), so I was happy to have others to run with who can let you know if we’re turning or a car is coming up.

There were some slick spots (we saw some spots where the runners ahead fell), but I was able to stay on my feet–go me! There were a couple of points we walked for a while because we were nervous about the going. So, yes, the time wasn’t as fast as it could have been on a dry, “prefect” day. But, that’s OK. I still got out there and ran and enjoyed the company and tales of other runners.

So here are my splits:

Mile 1 – 10:23
Mile 2 – 10:14
Mile 3 – 10:28
Mile 4 – 10:41
Mile 5 – 12:57 (really slick spots where we walked, plus a hill that we took slower)
Mile 6 – 10:27
Mile 7 – 10:47
Mile 8 – 10:33
Mile 9 – 10:18
Mile 10 – 11:22 (snow was really heavy the last two miles!)
0.2 Nubbin – 2:01
Total – 2:01:54

By the time we were done, my eyelashes were so heavy with snow/icicles and my front was caked in snow! Craziness!

Caked in snow, but happy my 10 miles is done!

Caked in snow, but happy my 10 miles is done!

After ordering a chai latte at Starbucks, I braved the snow-covered roads (it had snowed 3 inches during my run) to head home for a hot shower. Now we’re relaxing and debating going bowling with friends later.

Happy Saturday!

A Peaceful Winter Weekend

This weekend was the kind of weekend that you need during the winter some times.

While we were sleeping Friday night, it snowed about 2 inches. Yay! I was supposed to go on my first training group run Saturday morning, but it was cancelled, so I met a running/agility buddy at the gym and got in a little more than 4 solid miles on the treadmill, rather than worry about the slick roads and slush. I stopped by our favorite local coffee shop and bought M and I are favorite drinks (him–camp fire cocoa, me–turtle-dove chai) and woke M up with his drink.

Later that morning M and I bundled up and shoveled the driveway and sidewalk, including our elderly neighbor’s driveway and sidewalk. While M was doing more of the heavy stuff (hey, I had just run 4 miles!) the pups and I made a small snowman:

Our little snowman--it's been a long while since I made one, but at least I found a use for those darn "spiky balls" our tree tends to drop everywhere!

Our little snowman–it’s been a long while since I made one, but at least I found a use for those darn “spiky balls” our tree tends to drop everywhere!

Afterwards I drove out a friend’s place to train the dogs over some drills for agility with my other dog agility friends. We felt pretty lucky that even though there was 2-3 inches of snow on the ground, upper 20s, and still snowing, we were able to get in an hour of training with the dogs because of our friend’s indoor agility ring with soccer field turf. I’m going to have to remember to take some photos of the place to share with you–we really are lucky! I was working LaMesa in preparation for a seminar we’re going to this coming weekend, and Dally was getting the rust knocked off for upcoming trials and Nationals in March.

Saturday night M and I headed out to dinner using a gift card we got for Christmas (grilled salmon at Texas Roadhouse–yum!) and went to see “This Is 40” at the movie theater. “This Is 40” is a great movie–very funny! I totally recommend it.

Today was about being lazy, with a chuck roast in the slow cooker and the Colts game on the television. The Colts won, which is awesome since it was Chuck Pagano’s first game back since he overcame leukemia–it’s been a great year overall to be from Indianapolis and be a (lifelong) Colts fan! No one saw them going to the playoffs, let alone finishing the season 11-5, so this is just icing on the cake!

I hope your weekend was a good one!

 

Snow in Indiana = Peaceful Eve of Christmas Eve Horseback Ride

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you are able to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones. M and I arrived at my parents’ Friday evening and have been relaxing, and baking.

Indiana got more snow than we did in Kentucky, so it’s really gotten me into the Christmas spirit–it’s funny how some times you’re just missing one little piece like snow. But it’s also weird to think that just a week ago I was able to run in capris and short sleeves with no worries.

To celebrate the snow, I hopped onto Lark, my most favorite horse (when we bred her mom, my parents said the foal would be mine…that was 20 years ago and we’ve grown up together) bareback and rode around the farm in the snow. There’s something about the peacefulness of the winter–it seems so calm and quiet.

Riding horses in the snow = peaceful.

Riding horses in the snow = peaceful.

And then there’s something about the sound of hooves going moving through the snow. It’s a muffled sound…a little hard to explain, but it’s still something that just makes you smile.

If you’ve never felt the freedom and happiness that comes with riding horses, I’m sorry. It’s a feeling I wish everyone could feel at least once in their lives. When I’m on my horses, I’m a totally different person–my cares expire and my heart expands with love. I can’t imagine life without that wonder now. I can tell when I just need to go for a ride because I start to feel frustrated with life and everything else.

I thought it’d be fun to try to do a video to show you what it’s like to lope around in the snow on Lark:

With that, I wish you a Merry Christmas!