Sunday, May 29, 2011


The only thing that could make this three day weekend even better would be if I was here for the holiday doing this:

Biking by the ocean in Monterey. Doesn't get much better than that.

I'll have to settle for pleasant weather and good family time in Clovis. I'm okay with that option as well!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Ride

Click HERE to go to Pokey Slow to read about us participating in the Crystel Stanford Memorial Ride.

Friday, May 27, 2011

What's For Dinner?

There has been a stray chicken living in our yard for the past few weeks. I am not kidding.

The chicken does not always stay in our yard. Sometimes it flies over the fence to bug our neighbors as well. Hudson was quite afraid of the chicken at first. Now, she doesn't bother him.

For the most part, the chicken doesn't create a problem other than making Hudson nervous. Honestly, I'm surprised that Mac and Bandit haven't managed to eat it.

Apparently this chicken is quite clever, both at keeping from getting eaten and at finding a cozy spot to lay her eggs...which are on my back patio chair!

A few days ago Evan comes running in from the backyard all excited and shouting for me to "come see this." I informed him I was not moving my butt off the couch. Again, he squealed that I "had to see this." Finally, I asked him what was so exciting. (Usually Evan's excitement does not match up to whatever it is he wants to show me. The item in question is usually quite dull or me at least!)

Evan then yelled, "There's a chicken on a chair!" Um, okay. That was enough to get me to go outside and look. And sure enough, there was a chicken sitting on one of our lawn chairs underneath the covered patio.

Went I went to the other side of the chair to get a better photo, I saw two eggs poking out from under her feathers!

Evan and Hudson were PETTING the chicken. I had a fit and made them wash their hands twice.

The chicken then proceeded to sit in our chair for the next three days barely moving. I was worried I was about to be the mother of two chicks. I have no desire to have chicks at this house. None.

Eric called Animal Control, and they were supposed to come out yesterday, but we weren't home. They came today and took the chicken away. Look at what they found:

Eleven eggs!!

And apparently she laid one more egg in the cage before the Animal Control guy got her to the truck!

I do feel bad that Dinner (what we affectionately named her) is probably going to meet her demise sooner rather than later. However, I don't have need of a live chicken at my house. We are not country dwellers. This isn't Chowchilla!

I am still amazed that neither dog seemed to notice or care that she took up roost in a chair in their backyard. Pretty crazy chicken week!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Congratulations Mom!

The boys and I went to Chowchilla to enjoy my mom's retirement luncheon today. She has worked as a teacher's aide in first or second grade for 26 years! Wow! Next Thursday will be her last day of work. Crazy to think she won't be heading off to help kids each day next year.

Tons of pictures are ahead.

My mom and sister. The staff room at Mom's school was decorated in a red, white, and blue theme. It was very cute!

Cute shot of mom and sis.

I caught my future brother in law, Thomas, in a funny moment!

Evan and his grandma.

Susie said some nice things about my mom. I've known Susie since I was five-years-old. She is the mom of my best friend. Notice the cool poster behind her. The District Office has a huge printer that can print out these huge posters! They were all around the room with pictures of our family!

A gift from the staff.

A Margaret Hudson bear! Margaret Hudson is a local Fresno artist who is known for her sculptures. She did two large bear sculptures that sit in front my mom's school.

There was tons of food from spaghetti to garlic bread to meatballs to Mexican food. I had a hard time from overloading my plate! Yummy stuff.

This poster included family shots with my dad. I was sad that he wasn't here today.

Adorable mouse pad that one of Mom's friends created for her.

Someone else gave her a monkey!

This was such a cool gift! At first it looked like an ordinary kleenex box with a tissue poking out. Then when my mom pulled out a tissue, a WHOLE BUNCH of dollar bills followed! The dollars were all taped together and stretched around three quarters of the room! Evan and Hudson thought it was pretty cool to help Grandma stretch her dollars!

What's a party without cake?

After lunch I let the boys play on the school playground. Evan was impressed with all the different play structures. This school is MUCH bigger than his school. My mom's school only has first and second graders in attendance and many classes of each, while Evan's (and my) school is a K-8 with just under 200 kids and only one class per grade.

We also got to enjoy a Patriotic Show put on by three first grade classes. The rest of the afternoon was spent at my mom's house catching up and talking. It was a really nice way to spend the day.

Congratulations, Mom!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Half Marathon

***Sorry to do this again, but I just copied the entire post from Pokey Slow to here. Nothing new to add over here!

It has been three days since I completed my first half marathon, and I am just now getting around to posting about it. I guess I had to let it all sink in!

It was an amazing experience. There were things that were perfect, things that I wish I had done better, and things that I'll never forget. I completed my goal of finishing in under three hours.

My official time was 2:45:31/12:38 pace. I finished 1505 out of 1958 overall, 819 out of 1191 women, and 132 out of 177 in my age group.

I didn't get to bed exceptionally early on Saturday night, but I knew excitement would carry me least part of the way! After watching Eric in his races that morning and attending the farewell dinner for my principal, I was too wired to sleep. I finally drifted off around 11.

We were up bright and early at 5 a.m. for the second day in a row. We picked up Sally, who teaches 6th grade at my school. Her classroom is right next to mine. She was really anxious because this was her first race EVER. Not having to drive downtown was one less thing for her to worry about.

We got to the start, barely got a parking spot, got our gear ready, used the porta potties, and lined up to wait.

Sally and me right before the race. I am in the pink hat. (I have GOT to wash that hat!) Most of my pictures are pretty fuzzy. I think the lens on my iphone was smudged.

Sally is younger than me and faster than me. It's not fair! She did amazing, and I am so proud of her!

I was trying to show how crowded it was. It was easily the largest race I have ever done with close to 2,000 people running and walking.

Ugh. My pictures really do bite. Oh well. If you look closely, you can just barely make out the curve of the starting line balloon. It took us about two minutes to reach the start after the gun went off. This was my first race using timing mats. I was nervous about attaching the D-Tag to my shoe but managed to figure it out!

Sally stayed with me for about a half a mile (if that) and then took off. She ran like the wind! I was left with my music and my thoughts. Sometimes this was good. Sometimes it was bad.

We started the course running through downtown Fresno. We zipped up one street and down another. It lasted quite a long time through that area. It was neat running past the historic water tower and the Veteran's Memorial Theater where I went with my parents to see plays when I was little.

Then we headed across the railroad tracks and entered the zoo at around mile 6. I think I was starting to get tired and discouraged at this point. My pace may have been under 12 minute miles here, but I have no idea. I know I started taking more walk breaks, and I started texting Eric through this area.

Despite being tired, the zoo was amazing! I loved it! I have spent so much time in this zoo that it felt natural running through it!

Out of the three zoo shots I took, this was the only one with an animal in it! Apparently the zoo employees had been running through the zoo for a few weeks prior to the race to get the animals used to a bunch of people running through! I thought that was neat.

Unfortunately, we didn't spend too much time with the animals. After leaving the zoo, the race wound it's way through the park before heading back across the railroad tracks to the Tower District.

I was feeling a lot of pain at this point. My texts to Eric were getting shorter and shorter. "Pain." "Hurt." He was quite encouraging and just told me to keep going. I did. I knew I was going to finish no matter what, but I still wanted Eric's encouragement. His words mean everything to me.

My knees and feet were burning at this point. Not sure what was up with that. A few things I was surprised about: instead of sucking on my Gu Chomps, I chewed those puppies fast. I guess I was hungry. I also took water and Gatorade at every aid station and saved my own water for in between stops. I needed the chomps and the liquid something fierce.

This picture doesn't do this house justice. It was the brightest shade of lime green I have ever seen! Putting it on a house was quite a bold move!

The last few miles were pretty painful. I felt like I could only run for 30 seconds before giving up and walking.

Finally, the end was in sight. It was pretty neat to run down the back ramp of the Grizzlies (affiliate team for the Giants) baseball stadium and through the finish line. All I really remember is seeing the clock and realizing I was going to beat three hours.

I saw Sally first. She'd been lounging for about 40 minutes before I came crawling in! Youth. My knees and feet were hurting so bad I could barely get up the steps. I pretty much collapsed into a bleacher seat. I didn't see Eric or the boys, but I knew we'd meet up. They found me within five minutes or so. They saw me finish, but were at the very top of the stairs, so I didn't see them right away.


The thought of the free breakfast made me want to gag, so we headed out pretty quickly. We dropped Sally off at home, grabbed me a Diet Coke at a gas station, and headed to the house.

I feel like a real runner because I had bloody toes! For some silly reason, I am super proud of my bloody socks! I trained and sacrificed all the way to my toes! I also had some pretty bad chafing on my inner left thigh even though I used plenty of Body Glide. Painful! Besides aching knees, I didn't have any other "issues" besides those three things. The sore thigh muscles set in on Monday. Fun.

That explains some of the burning in my feet.

So proud of this medal! I took it to school to show my kids! They were properly impressed!

After a shower, some rest, and a giant chicken salad from Chipotle, we headed back to the baseball stadium to watch our complimentary game. I am normally not much of a baseball fan, but it was fun to chill out and watch the game.

Evan and me watching the Grizzlies lose. Oh well.

Things I am proud of:
-Finishing my first half marathon
-Doing it in less than three hours
-Not quitting
-Sticking to this plan for three months
-Doing something that is waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone
-Showing my kids I am trying to be a healthy mom

Things to work on for next time:
-Strive for less than 12 minute miles
-Quit texting through the whole race
-Finish the training strong (I fell apart the last two weeks)
-Strength training

Was it worth all the effort and training? Absolutely! I am so proud of myself! Wouldn't trade this feeling for the world!

And I have already mapped out my training for my next half marathon in Salinas on Aug. 6! I am running it with my cousin. I officially start training on Monday! I have been taking it easy for three days, and tomorrow I am going to do a short and easy two miles. I guess it's kind of like forgetting the pain of childbirth, because I am ready to do this again!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mini Metric

**This is the exact same post I put up on Pokey Slow, so if you read it over there, don't bother here!

My husband rode in his first ever bike ride this morning! I am so stinking proud of him that I can hardly put it into words!

Watching me train and run over the past few months motivated him to get active, but he wouldn't run unless something was chasing him. He decided to look into cycling as a way to be fit and have fun. He's been training for about six weeks and just finished his first mini metric this morning.

The bike race was day one of the California Classic Weekend which includes cycling today and my half marathon tomorrow. Eric wasn't going to sign up at first, but he figured, why not? He has made a great friend where he works who is very into cycling, and the friend rode with him the whole way. (That made me feel better knowing someone was out there with him!)

Quick breakfast before heading out the door at 5:45 this morning.

All geared up and waiting at the start line to get going.

Child #1 ready to cheer on Dad!

Child #2 and me. As usual, the little one clung to me like a monkey for most of the morning.

Eric's friend who rode with him the whole way. Eric looks like he's asking Greg, "Why? Why I am doing this?" Hee hee!

Still waiting. They had just played the National Anthem. Almost time to start.

There he goes.

Then I had to try to figure out what to do. Two little boys were tired, grumpy, hungry and not going to last several hours hanging out at the finish line. So, we got in the car, found a Jack in the Box, and then set out to find Eric along the course.

The cool thing about this race is that they closed down one of the freeways in order for the riders to ride! We zipped onto an overpass and saw Eric ride by underneath us! He saw us and heard us cheering! That was a lot of fun.

We jumped back in the car and zipped up to the next overpass and saw him again!

Then we headed out to a spot out in the country (Shaw and McCall for people who know the area). We waited there for quite a long time, cheering all the riders as they passed. I had to chuckle, because I had three separate cars of people ask me if I was okay and needed help! Good to know that a female with two small boys hanging out on a corner in the country will be looked after!

We cheered and yelled as Eric rode by. I think he liked being able to see us at various spots.

By that time, we were close to home, and I needed to pee. We made a quick pit stop to change clothes, update Facebook, and get a snack. Then we got in the car and headed out again. We passed Eric on the opposite side of the road, flipped around, and waited for him in the parking lot of a mini mart. He actually stopped to talk and rest for a bit. He was hanging in there just fine!

Finally, the boys and I headed back to the baseball field where the race started. We parked ourselves on a curb and waited for Eric to ride to the finish.

The boys waiting for Dad to finish.

Here he comes!

Victory! He finished in three hours and 44 minutes. Not bad for a first ride which included some pretty lengthy hills on the freeway!

So so so so so so proud of this man!