One day while driving along with the kiddos, we passed two women running together on the sidewalk. Evelyn was all excited and yelled, "Look mommy, cool runner girls like you!!" :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to School

This is just going to be a post dedicated to the kiddos.  We had our annual Vandervort family vacation recently in Leavenworth.  Trav's parents flew into town, and we road-tripped a few hours to the beautiful Bavarian town nestled in the mountains.  We rented a house for the 10 of us - and had a great time.  Here are Evelyn and Noah playing at the little park in town:
Evelyn, Noah and Lola (their cousin who is 4 months younger than Noah - she just turned 4) -
Noah, Olive, and Evelyn (Olive is Lola's little sister whose first birthday is this week) -- I love this picture because I think Evelyn looks a lot here like I did when I was little  :)
 First day of school was the Tuesday after Labor Day.  Here are Noah and Evelyn ready to go!  Noah started Pre-K (full day) and Evelyn started full day Kindergarten.  It is the second week of school and they are loving it still  :)
 Kiddos also started to play soccer through the CYO program at their school-- they are thankfully both on the same team (pre-K and K were combined -- that makes my life a lot easier!!).  Here are Jack, Noah and Thomas before their first game:
My next post will include a running/workout update -- I promise!!  :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

From one hamster wheel to the next...

Last weekend was B-U-S-Y.  The great thing about busy is that the kids get all tired out and don't have the energy to misbehave too much  :)  I took the kids Friday night to an outdoor youth circus -- we went last year, and the kids loved it.  It didn't disappoint.  Travis came home late Friday night from traveling all week, and then went golfing Saturday morning.  I woke up and took the kids to the Renton River Days Festival.  We got there right when it opened -- and the early bird really does get the worm -- the kids inflatables and activities were all open, and there were NO lines!!!  A mom's (and kid's) dream  :)

I was really proud of Evelyn - she wanted to try everything!!  Here she is coming out of the human hamster ball -- she was really good at walking inside this huge orb.  It was fun to watch her do it.  She also strapped on a harness and tried to climb a HUGE rock climbing wall.  Adults were doing it -- she was the littlest one that I saw attempt it.  She went about half-way up before coming down -- I was one proud momma!  She is really becoming a brave little girl.
 In running news, I have been on the human hamster wheel for workouts lately (can't really run outside during the week when Trav is out of town)  So, I went for a run by myself Sunday morning.  It wasn't as long as I would have liked, but I managed to get in a little over 6 miles.  I came to the conclusion that I am my own worst enemy lately...  not sure what has gotten into me, but there is a lot of doubt and negative talk going on in my head.  It is frustrating. 

Know what else is frustrating???  This blogger-picture uploader tool!! no matter how many times I rotate my pictures and
save them, some are upside down  :( 
  This weekend is a women's retreat weekend.  I went last year, made a lot of new friends, and came home energized and full of determination.  I would say the timing is perfect  :) 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

See Jane (& Michelle) Run 13.1

I am not sure whether it is my computer or blogger or what -- but these sideways pictures are driving me crazy!!!  No matter how many times I upload them, they won't show up the right way...  guess you will have to tilt your head :)

Noah was promised a big boy bed (full size) when he finally got rid of all of his pull-ups and used the potty all the time.  He was a late bloomer in this regard -- and it was driving me crazy!!!  Well... as you can see below, we finally turned the corner and he is 99% accident free for three weeks (one small accident at school). 

Evelyn and Noah enjoying his new bed:
Such a proud little guy:
In running news... I had an exciting weekend  :)  A runner acquaintence of mine posted on facebook last Wednesday that she was injured and wouldn't be able to run the See Jane Run half-marathon that was taking place Sunday in Seattle.  She was looking for someone to take her entry, since she couldn't use it.  Nobody took it -- so Friday I sent her a message and said that I would love to use it.  I had 9-10 miles that I wanted to do, and no running partner again, and to be honest... I wasn't feeling extremely positive about being able to put in the mileage on my own.  I figured that surrounding myself with a few thousand strong female runners would be just the motivation that I needed! My mental game has needed some work lately -- that is almost as important as putting in the physical training/mileage!!

So... I woke up bright and early Sunday morning and headed to the starting line.  The weather had changed a bit -- and it was a chilly morning.  There was also a light misty rain -- and quite a bit of wind coming in off the lake.  Needless to say, I was trying to find any excuse to back out of the race.  I was thinking about just running the 6 miles around the lake and skipping the race...  I was thinking about just going back home and going to bed... 

But -- I ended up being able to give myself a pep talk that sunk in... and I headed to the starting line.  I had on shorts and a tank -- and was pretty cold at the start -- but warmed up before I even hit the one mile marker.  The first almost 10 miles were good -- I was maintaining a 10 min mile pace -- and I was happy with that.  I wasn't pushing my limits, because after all, this was supposed to be a training run  :)  The last three miles were tough -- my feet were hurting and feeling a little numb -- and my legs felt like lead -- so I took turns running and walking to the finish line.  And -- as usual -- the feeling of crossing the finish line is worth every ounce of pain experienced during the race  :)

Here I am after the race:
I was seriously on a high for the rest of the day --- my body was exhausted -- but my heart & soul was beaming :) 

I have another 12 miles on the schedule for this Saturday --  I am feeling much more confident about this weekend's miles, that is for sure  :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

*Fireworks* and Grasshoppers

A little behind already in blog posts...ugh.  Better late than never though  :)
My mom came into town for a bit around the 4th of July - so things have been busy, but lots of fun, too!!
We went to our friend Melissa's house for a BBQ on the 4th - here is a quick family photo that was taken before we left:
 Evelyn also had her first t-ball game last week -- she is on Team Grasshopper.  She made it on base a few times - and was pretty proud of herself (we were proud of her, too - obviously!).  Here she is on third base with Travis (the third base coach):
 Unfortunately Noah is too young to play this year -- but he is a proud little brother.  Here he is giving out cuddles and hugs:
In running news, I ran last Saturday (ran alone though - and forgot to get a pic).  I didn't hit my goal mileage -- but I got in just under 7 miles.  I slept in a little and had a late start... and it was hot out already...  excuses, excuses.  Everybody has one  :) 
I WILL do better this Saturday.  My goal is 9 (or maybe I can squeeze in 10).  My main running partner (Sarah) is traveling still, so I will most likely be on my own again.  I think the key might be running somewhere other than a run that starts at my front door...  I seem to do better on a path or planned route of some sort. For some reason I treat those runs as more important -- and I don't allow myself to take as many breaks.  I will also remember to get a sweaty pic - cuz I am sure you all like those  ;)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Here I Go Again...

I am a very proud momma --- Evelyn received an award the last month of school for her remarked growth and dedication to academics.  She received the award in front of the school during their weekly Wednesday morning Mass.  The following day, each student that received the award (one from each grade) was invited to a pizza lunch with Principal Sherman (quite a treat!).  

Here is a picture from the celebration dinner at enjoyed at Red Robin (her restaurant of choice):

In other big news.... I am back!!  I took a short hiatus from running for a while.  I had gotten to the point where it was no longer easy or fun.  No matter what distance I was running, I wasn't getting comfortable or achieving the runner's high that I had grown accustomed to.  So -- I took a lot of BodyPump and Spinning classes at the gym, did other forms of cardio, and flat-out took a running break.

It worked!!!  I had to break up from running for a while to realize what we really meant to each other  :)  Absence really does make the heart grow fonder!!   I have had a great week or so of running recently... and all training plans are back on  :)

Here is a picture of Sarah and I after our run this past Saturday.  Even though I was battling a lingering cold/sinus infection, it was a fun run around Lake Union (a favorite route of ours).  The best news... I have my therapist back again!! 
If you can tell by my updated tickers and races listed on the sidebar... I have some big races in the future.  I am pretty sure that I have convinced Sarah to run Victoria with me in October.  There are already two other women that I am traveling with --- but I don't train with them --- and I would be so thankful to complete this marathon training with Sarah by my side  :)   Love this girl -- and Lord knows I could use the extra support during the upcoming training runs!

My plans are to blog every week about my running progress, this will keep me on task with my training and I need any and all followers of this blog to hold me accountable.  So.... here I go again... training has OFFICIALLY started!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Run Like A Diva - Myrtle Beach

My annual girls destination race weekend took place two weekends ago.  The group has changed slightly through the past few years, but Dee and Bri have done it with me every year.  This year's trip was to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  We all flew in on Friday morning (I took the red-eye thursday night from Seattle - yuck!) - and arrived at our hotel to a beautiful two bedroom suite.  Thanks to Jenelle and Dee's hotel points from work travel, we had a great deal on our accomodations  :)

Friday night we went out on the town -- duh  :)  Here is a pic of Bri and I from dinner at a brewery/steakhouse - Bri was my "little sister" in the sorority at Michigan Tech. We are all Delta Zetas.  We found a bar with live music, and danced the night away. 

Saturday - we recovered.  We slept in, and got up just in time for the continental breakfast at the hotel.  We showered and headed to the race expo to pick up our bibs.  We also took some time to scope out the start/finish area and parking situation for the next morning. 
Here we are at the expo in the cute technical race shirts:

As for the race... ugh.  I was "off" right from the moment I got up in the morning.  The race started at 7AM Eastern (which is 4AM Seattle time).  We were up at 5AM (2AM Seattle --- double Ugh!!)  I was sick to my stomach as soon as I woke up... could barely get down an english muffin and some fluids.  I knew right from the start that it wasn't going to be my race - I immediatly starting cramping in my one calf (dehydration I think --- probably had a little to do with the heavy drinking on Friday night.... ooops!!)  But... long story short, I finished. 
Any day that I can run 13.1 miles is a good day in my book!!!!  :)

At mile 12, they gave out tiaras and boas... and check out those HUGE medals!  They seriously hurt our necks after about 20 minutes - so heavy!!
The race was Sunday morning, and I didn't have to leave until Tuesday afternoon -- it was awesome. After the race we went back to the hotel to lounge by the pool and relax. The hotel had multiple pools, and the best part.... it had a lazy river!! With huge yellow tubes to just lay in and float around on.... truly heaven. Monday and Tuesday were perfect for relaxing and really taking time to "recharge our batteries". Just what I needed...

Here I am with Dee on Monday afternoon:

The best part of the vacation is hanging with such great, true friends. I love being able to just kinda pick up where we left off, every time we are together. I seriously don't think we stopped talking for three days straight!!! It was hysterical :) And therapeutic  :)  They are all such strong, successful women, too. I am truly honored to call them my friends.

I also need to put a big thank you to Travis in here... thanks for supporting me and my crazy running goals, training, girls weekends, etc.  LOVE you!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

All about the kiddos :)

Time for a kiddo update...  Noah was invited to a birthday party this past weekend.  The weather was beautiful, so the kids played some outdoor games before moving into a party room for lunch, cake, and presents.  Here is Noah trying to catch a small water balloon... he was unsuccessful. 

Thankfully Sally was in town visiting, so she took Evelyn out to lunch and had some one-on-one time with her when I went to the party with Noah (Travis was golfing with Bob and some friends).  After the party we met up with Turynn at the park across the street.  Here are Evelyn and Turynn:
 Later that night we had a picnic dinner at the park.  We have been blessed with beautiful May weather lately!!  Below is a picture of Evelyn taken at the park after school earlier this week.  I love being able to play outside in the sunshine before heading home to do dinner and bedtime.  The kids obviously love it, too!!  
 Notice Evelyn's headband in the two pics....  we share sparkle headbands -- I initially bought them for me to wear when I run.    Little girl has a big head!! -- ha ha  ;)
All for now.... another girls weekend this weekend....  in MYRTLE BEACH!!  (Thanks again, Trav!!)  We will be running "Run Like A Diva" on Sunday  :)

Eugene weekend

So I am behind... again.  But I am trying to catch up  :)  I recently had a girls weekend/trip to Eugene for a half marathon.  Yes, you heard me correctly, I said half  :(  I initially signed up for the full... got bronchitis, went on vacation, etc --- and fell off the training program.  There just wasn't enough time to catch back up to the mileage I needed to do. 

Three of us girls left Friday afternoon and headed to Portland.  We decided to break up the drive and spend the night there.  We had an amazing Italian pasta dinner, walked around a bit, and then went to bed.  Early the next day we stopped and did a little shopping (I heart Lululemon, just not their prices... ouch!!) before heading south to Eugene.  At least it is tax-free shopping in Oregon!!!

Once we got to Eugene, we went to the expo to pick up our packets, bib numbers, etc.. .and then decided to walk around  campus a little bit.  Betsy graduated from Univ of Oregon, so she was a great tour guide.  It was a really pretty campus, I am sure it is a fun place to go to school.  (don't mind my sideways photo --- it won't let me change it for some reason, no matter how many times I try!!)
Here we are checking out the finish line --- we finished right on the famous Hayward field track  :)
Here I am post-race.  It wasn't a great race (actually might have been my slowest race ever!)... but it was an enjoyable one. I didn't feel strong right from the start, and when my body started to get tired/achey, I decided to slow down and just take it easy.  I knew I wasn't going to set any personal records, and I didn't want to risk injury either. 
Overall it was a fun weekend.  I enjoyed being able to get in some girl time.  I need to thank Travis for taking care of the kids all weekend while I went and played....  I am very lucky to have such a supportive husband!! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Catching Up to Do...

Geez, I have been a horrible blogger lately.  I am given the same 1,440 minutes per day as everyone else... but for some reason I have had a hard time fitting everything in.  Blogging seems to be one of the first things to go... then housework, and returning phone calls, and working out... Ugh.  I am very thankful that Travis is in town this week - it makes my world a much happier place  :)

We had a great Easter this year -- had Chuck, Kim, Lola and Olive over for brunch after church.  We also had an Easter egg hunt in the front yard.  This picture was taken after the hunt -- I think it really highlights the three kids' personalities. Not sure why Noah is making that pose.... but I think it is hysterical!!    (Noah, Evelyn & their cousin Lola)
 Noah turned 4 on April 9th.  He got some cool toys for his birthday - some of his favorites are his dinosaur 3-d puzzles and his super-soaker squirt guns (they are battery-powered, very cool for the big kids to play with, too!!)  Here is my little man getting ready to eat cake:
 Evelyn was excited to help me plant some flowers this year.  I helped my mom plant tulips and some other flowers when I was growing up, and it is a fond memory of mine.  I was glad to be able to share this experience with Evelyn, too.  We don't have a huge area for planting -- which was perfect, because she didn't get bored of the activity/work!! 
 This past weekend we went on a family hike to Twin Falls.  We went with the Mertel family, too.  Sarah is one of my favorite running partners - and it was our first time getting the families together.  Her kids are a little younger, but Evelyn and Noah enjoyed having new friends to play with. 
 The hike was a fun, free activity.  I really liked how the kids could run, scream, throw things, play with sticks, etc -- and I didn't mind at all  :)  This was a crowd favorite - a small area off the trail where the kids could throw rocks in the water.  They probably could have played there for hours. 
I need to get the Eugene half-marathon post up soon...  hopefully tomorrow.  Too tired tonight ;)

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Wow -- time sure does fly. Back in mid-February we went on a 7 day Caribbean cruise. My parents went with us, too. We left from Miami and went to two stops in Mexico, a day in Grand Cayman, and a day in Roatan (Honduras). It was SO much fun!!

The cruise had a free kids club for kids from 10AM-10PM --- it was great for them, and for us :) We would all play by the pool for an hour or so, and then they would go to the kids club for a little bit... the adults could get some time to read, drink, etc :) We didn't use it the days we went ashore though... the kids got off the boat with us when we got off.

Evelyn at a bar in Cozumel:Family photo before dinner one night:Photo with my mom one of the formal nghts:Play time at the pool:
The cruise had a kids club for kids from 10AM-10PM --- it was great for them, and for us :) We would all play by the pool for an hour or so, and then they would go to the kids club for an hour or so... we didn't use it the days we were ashore though... the kids got off the boat with us when we got off.

I have to admit though -- it was really hard coming back from vacation to this horrible weather we are having in Seattle. I can't even look at the forecast anymore --- it is seriously depressing. I am ready for spring, and flowers, and playing at the park, and sunshine!!

Evelyn asked me the other morning on the drive to school (it was pouring rain outside) -- "mommy, what month does it stop raining?" Ugh... I didn't know what to tell her other than "hopefully April!!"

All for now... I hope to get another post out soon... then I will be close to all caught up :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Don't Think - Just Run

I have two weekend runs to cover here... so I will start with two weekends ago :)
Travis was in Sacramento for the weekend, and I had 10 miles to do. So... I dropped the kids off with a babysitter at 7:30AM and met Megan and Sarah for a run. ($40 well spent though -- 10 miles on a treadmill would not have been fun!!)
It started out a little hairy... still some snow, ice, and slush on the ground -- it was going to be a treacherous 10 miles!! Thankfully the worst of the route was at the very beginning... and the sidewalks cleared up after the first mile.
Megan split off at 8 miles - and Sarah and I finished up another 2 to get to our goal. I had a tight calf most of the run... but just took it slow and easy... and I am just happy to get the mileage in. Here are the three of us at the 8 mile mark :) Last weekend Sarah needed to run on Sunday, so I met up with my good friend Melissa on Saturday morning. She is starting to train for a June marathon. Our husbands are buddies - our kids are buddies - but I have to admit, it was nice with just us girls for a little sweat-session together. We definitely need to spend that quality time together more often!! I am going to be totally honest -- I am feeling a little overwhelmed lately with the marathon training (and sometimes just life in general!) My legs/calf isn't feeling super strong, and I am struggling with fitting in the training runs during the week. If I look ahead at the mileage to come in the schedule, I freak out!! I am telling myself to take it day by day, and week by week... and I am stretching, using my foam roller, and praying a lot! :) Next Saturday... 12 miles.

Don't Think - Just Run!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Results From Lame-o Excuses -- and Snow Days

Last Saturday we had 9 miles on the schedule. I was supposed to do 3 days of running earlier in the week with mileage of 3, 4, and 3 miles. I had a tough week - Travis was traveling - work was stressful - (insert another lame-0 excuse here) - and my mileage didn't happen. I was a complete slacker! No running took place between Tuesday and Saturday.
When I woke up Saturday morning, it was 36 degrees and freezing rain. I texted Sarah right before I walked out the door -- just to make sure she was still going to meet me at 7AM. She was :) I am SO glad that I have such a dependable running partner!!
When I got out of the Jeep, it was FREEZING... we decided to start out running 2 miles, and if we were still cold and miserable we would turn around, finish at 4 miles, and then go home to our treadmills to finish the last 5. We ended up going out 3.5 miles, but we decided to take a longer route back. We both knew that if we got back to the car at 7 or 8 miles, it would be hard to find the motivation to jump on the treadmill to complete the last 1 or 2. We needed to find a way to finish at our goal of 9. We did :)
It was a TOUGH running day for me -- what did I expect?? I missed pretty much all the training during the week... Sarah was great though. She stopped with me a couple times to stretch out my tight calves, she was our navigator/tour guide deciding where we should go, and she was a good cheerleader towards the end when I was losing steam...
Here we are - happy to be done!! It was Sarah's longest run ever! She will have a new distance record after this Saturday, too -- 10 miles on the schedule :)
In other news, the kids have been off school due to snowstorms all week. When it snows in Seatte, the city shuts down. I am not complaining though --- we have been having a good time outside enjoying this rare weather occurrence. I am not getting as much work done at home as I would in the office --but oh well :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Running Date

My Saturday morning started out at 7AM for a running date with Sarah. We "date" and have more one-on-one time than I date my own husband!! But I wouldn't give up our time together for the world. Even though the runs are hard at the time -- it is my favorite time of the week!! This week the training plan cut back a little to only 5 miles -- next week it is up to 9. Here we are post run:I was kicking myself -- when we met, it was still dark out. I wanted to try out my new headlamp - but I forgot it at home, DARN! It wasn't until the sun came up a bit that we realized we were pretty much twins (black tights, purplish long sleeve shirts, but with different color hats). At the end of our run, we passed a guy that gave us a huge smile --- we joked about whether he was overly nice, or kinda making fun of our matching outfits. Probably a little bit of both!! :)
Later that night, Travis and I took the kids to their first hockey game. They had a good time -- they liked watching the game, cheering with the crowd, keeping an eye out for the mascot (a thunderbird), eating the popcorn and licorice treats, and also getting to go to bed LATE!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve started out bright and early with Sarah. It was probably our coldest run together of the winter (31 degrees - but dry - yay!) We had 7 miles on the agenda for the day. I thought it would be great to do a run from Bellevue over the bridge onto Mercer Island (out 3.5) and then back. I thought it would be moderately hilly. Yeah -- holy hills! We passed the time by catching up on stories from Christmas, plans for New Year's Eve, goals for 2012, etc -- but we were both struggling a bit at times. Other gals might bond over drinks and dinner -- we bond by sweating it out and running up and down hills together :) Here is a picture of us 7 miles and about 1 hour 10 minutes later (we had already removed our cold weather hats/headbands):In other big running news --- I bit the bullet and registered for EUGENE -- the full 26.2 miles!!! Crazy to even think about... but I am just starting the training program and taking it one mile at a time :) Sarah registered for a half-marathon in San Luis Obispo, it is the weekend before my race. She is doing the marathon training, and if all goes well, she will upgrade to run the marathon.
I know I have said it before, but I am really lucky to have met Sarah (and some other running friends recently). Our run on New Year's Eve was seriously therapeutic for me -- we chat things out during our miles together -- and everything seems so much clearer when we are done. We are just getting started -- we will have PLENTY of long talks (long runs) coming up, I am sure! Here are the kiddos later in the morning. We took them to a park to burn off some energy. They are SO much fun at the parks now -- I love that I don't really have to worry about these two toughies much anymore. Such a big change from a year or so ago... I used to dread when they would get close to the "big kid" area. The kids had a birthday party to go to later that night -- and then Travis and I enjoyed some cosmopolitans together (I might have forced those on him -- but he liked them!), played board games, and stayed up to watch Dick Clark and the ball drop together. It was much-needed bonding time after a crazy December filled with him traveling a lot and me trying to keep everything together and prepare for Xmas at the same time.
Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm 5 -- it's kind of a big deal :)

Sweet Evelyn turned 5 on the 26th. I never want her to feel like her birthday isn't a big deal due to all of the craziness of Christmas -- so she had a big busy day of fun! In the morning, we (me, Evelyn, Sally & Kim) went to a nail salon that had a special chair just for little princesses. As you can see, it was a big hit. Notice the dvd player, too --- Not only was she getting a manicure and pedicure, but she was able to watch a princess movie while she was getting it done :)
After getting our nails done, we headed to Red Robin for lunch. We headed home for a couple hours to catch a break before the big party that evening. We let Evelyn choose her party this year, and she wanted to go to Pump It Up. The kids played on the large inflatables for an hour before enjoying pizza, snacks, and cake. Here is Noah catching a quick break:Here are the kiddos (not sure why Noah seems to be acting like a monkey...):

It is hard to believe that it has already been five years since the day after Christmas when I thought I was just going in for a pre-natal exam/ultrasound, and ended up having a 4lb 13oz sweet baby girl. Evelyn Marie, you will always be my little peanut - and I love you more than you will ever know -- well, at least until you have a baby of your own... :)