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  :)