Thanksgiving Week Happenings

We did something pretty huge yesterday! We closed on our first house!!


We started looking right after Grant was born at the end of March, so it’s been a pretty long process. However, what they say is right – everything works out exactly how it is supposed to. We got the perfect house for us to grow our family, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. I see lots of painting and house projects in our future. It’s a great thing we aren’t afraid of rolling up our sleeves a bit to get some work done.

We did a ton of painting this past weekend since the sellers of the house were nice enough to let us in a little early to start. Before we dove into painting, I had my last 20 miler to hammer out of my marathon training plan. I woke up early Saturday morning to get it done, and was done by 8am! It felt great to get the run completed before everyone else even woke up in my house. Now, only 18 more days until I toe the start line of the Best Damn Race Cape Coral Marathon. I’m so excited to get back in the racing environment, especially for 26.2 miles! A friend sent this to me this morning and it couldn’t be more applicable right now.


Isn’t that awesome?! Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. So so true!!

Before marathon race day, I’m up for the 10k Turkey Trot on Thursday. It’s my 11th consecutive year running this race. Can’t wait for another great year!

Anyone else running a race on Thanksgiving to start the day off on the right foot?

Boxes and Long Runs

I have every intention of posting a few times a week, but when an entire week passes with no post, I can’t exactly put a finger on what happened. In this case, I guess it’s just life! Here are a few quick updates.

We are getting closer and closer to the closing date of our house. It was up in the air for a while, but it looks like we will be signing our life away and receiving the keys to our new house on November 24th, the Monday before Thanksgiving. What does that mean for us lately?? Our life is full of cardboard, and a lot of it!

moving boxesWe have been packing little by little for the past month or so. With an infant, it is super tough to get a lot of packing done all at once, so we have been breaking it up a bit. However, now that we have our closing date (and it’s earlier than December 1st), we’ve put the pedal to the metal! We are leaving out the necessities and packing up everything else. I am thinking we will be surprised on how little we can probably live with between now and then!

On a completely different front, I am about to hit the peak of my marathon training! I did a 20 miler last weekend, and it was probably the easiest one I have ever completed. Each mile felt like it was a piece of cake and I really enjoyed the few hours I spent on the road. It is pretty crazy how training differs now with Grant in the picture, but that is definitely a conversation for another time.

20  mile long run

I am about a month out from race day now, which means I have one more nice and long run on the docket. This weekend is 13, which is a step back week, and the following weekend is 22 miles. After I complete that 22 miler, I will be in full on taper mode. Woo hoo! I am so excited for race day, especially since it is the marathon distance. A little part of me wondered if I would really be able to juggle training with being a new mom, and I am thrilled it has been feasible for me.

With all of the moving and running going on, Grant is making lots of strides too! He is doing his best to pull up on everything, which definitely keeps us on our toes.

Grant standing 8 months

The gates are installed (and have been for about a month), even though we don’t have a lot of time left in our current place. We live in a 3 story town home, so stairs are definitely the name of the game. I think the gate is one of his favorite things to play with :)

Grant baby gate 8 months


Otherwise, life is great on our end! We are enjoying a nice Florida fall, while the rest of the country bundles up for an arctic blast. Did I mention how lucky we are to live here!?



Grant’s First Halloween Weekend

I hope everyone had a very Happy Halloween!! We thoroughly enjoyed our first Halloween with Grant man, as well as the weekend that followed. I feel like the pictures really just explain everything, so there is not a lot of need for too many words. Enjoy!

Grant Halloween

Grant Halloween

Grant 8 Months

Grant 8 Months

Grant 8 Months

Grant 8 Months

Grant 8 Months

Grant 8 Months

Grant 8 Months

The Florida Halloween Halfathon 2014

Homegrown, local races are the absolute best! There is a race series here in Tampa Bay called the Florida Gulf Beaches Road Races. They hold 4 race weekends a year, ranging from 5k’s all the way up to 50k’s. I have been able to participate in their races for the past couple of years. Last year, I ran in the 5k when I was 23 weeks pregnant. Needless to say, that race was a wee bit different in exerted effort. This past weekend, I participated in the Florida Halloween Halfathon as my first race since Grant was born. It was fantastic!

Florida Halloween Halfathon

I woke up nice and early and made the 35 minute drive to Fort Desoto where the race was being held. Its always good to get there a bit early because it is on an island – one way on and one way off. The traffic can be a bit backed up getting to the parking lot, but once you are there, parking is a cinch!

Since the race is in a state park, there are no porto potties – just regular bathrooms that surround the parking lot. That is a big win in my book! After using the facilities and getting in a mile and a half warm up, I got to the start just in time for the national anthem. As soon as the clock struck 7:05, we were off!

Florida Halloween Halfathon

The very beginning of the course takes the runner around a nice picnic area, which winds around a few parking lot back in the trees. I feel like the first 3 miles always fly by, which is wonderful! After getting out of the first 5k or so, the course is a straight out and back on the island. This never bothers me, because it is very calculated and you know exactly what you have coming up. I know some people don’t like this type of course, but it definitely is great for me! The only bad part is it it’s a windy day. Luckily, we didn’t have this issue this past weekend.

I started out with a pretty quick pace, settling in around the 7:50 mark. Since it has been a long time since I ran that pace (I’ve been doing no speed work!) I decided to just go with how I felt. If I completely bonked further into the race – oh well. I would learn my lesson. I kept looking ahead and different female runners, seeing who I could pick off in the pack. After getting to about mile 5, I wasn’t passed by a single female runner. I pretty much made it a game – who can I pass from now until the end?! The course is lined with seat oats and is right on the water. There are so many great views to take in, especially with the sunrise!

Florida Halloween Halfathon

I settled into my pace a bit more, and ended up at a pretty comfortable 7:30 for a majority of the race. I was able to pass a few more women, so I could add a few check marks to my game. With an out and back course, keeping your mind off of the monotony is key – little games like this works perfect for me.

Before I knew it, I was back to the fort area, where 700 boyscouts happened to be camping out for the night. Their cheers and support was really great. It is usually a very desolate course when it comes to spectators, so seeing all of the boys out there supporting us was great. A lot of them had never seen a road race, so I think a lot of them enjoyed it to.The fort is about a 5k away from the finish, so with only 3 miles to go, I tried to pick it up a bit more. It only lasted for about a mile though, and I slowed down just a bit from miles 11-12. As soon as I got to mile 12 with only 1 mile to go, I dug really deep and pretty much told myself to suck it up. I wasn’t blowing a great race on the last mile.

Florida Halloween Halfathon

I ended up finishing in 1:40:03 per my chip time, which earned me 3rd place in my age group and the 12 female overall, holding a 7:39 average pace. I’m still trying to figure out why the results list the gun time as the result, instead of the chip time, which is listed on another results page. Oh well, no big deal there!

Florida Halfathon Chip Time Results

Regardless, I felt extremely happy with the race and my time. It definitely wasn’t a PR, but for my first race after having Grant, I thought I killed it.

Race Results Halloween Halfathon

With the absence of speedwork in my training plan, holding a 7:40 pace for 13 miles is a big win in my book. Oh, and this great medal doesn’t hurt either!

Florida Halloween Halfathon Medal

This race always has the best medals! Grant thinks so too!

Florida Halfathon Medal Grant

I’ll be running in their spring race, held in March, which is the race I PR’d in last year. Hope to see some of you out there too!

Grant: 8 Months

Grant man, it’s month 8 and I have one thing to say – you have one heck of a personality! The amount of time each day you spend laughing, giggling and smiling is truly remarkable. You have found some octaves I didn’t even know existed, and you love seeing which new ones you can discover. Listening to you sit and chat to yourself is one of my favorite things to do. You sure do have a lot to say.

Grant 8 Months

Any time you hear Winnie coming around the corner, your eyes immediately scan for her wagging tail, looking for you just as much as you are looking for her. You two are fast friends, and I can only imagine it will get stronger over the coming months and years.

You went on your 3rd plane trip this past month when we went and visited Auntie Em in Cleveland. As always, you made friends with the person sitting next to us and had so much fun. You were mesmerized as the plane approached landing and couldn’t keep your eyes off the window.

plane ride Grant Cleveland

We bundled you up like pros when we were in Ohio. It was pretty cold there, so you were always in a hat and a jacket, which wasn’t your favorite at first. Luckily, you got used to it pretty fast. I think you must have liked being cozy in those cool temperatures!

Grant Cleveland hat & jacket

This past month, you got your first tooth! I try and get a peek of it every once in a while, but you won’t let me! You press those little lips together and won’t let us mess with you at all. You really only had one fussy day when it was coming in. I hope the rest of your teeth have the same effect! Pretty much as soon as you got that first tooth, you became a lot more interested in food. You still love your hummus, and have become more interested in sweet potatoes & squash.

Grant 8 Months

You hair is getting so much longer these days. It is starting to come over the side of your ears and couldn’t be much cuter! You are also in 9 month clothes very comfortably. We are only buying you 12 month clothes and bigger from here on out, because we know you are going to be in them in no time!

Grant 8 Months

We also took you to the pumpkin patch this past month. You loved being outside checking out all of the pumpkins and people walking by. The hay was pretty interesting to you since you had never felt anything quite like it before.

Grant pumpkin patch

There is nothing more fun to you than sitting up and looking around at everything. You are getting stronger by the day and want to pull up on everything so bad. Your determination is very evident in everything you do. I hope you keep that up throughout your life because right now you are unstoppable.

Grant 8 Months

This was such a great month for you baby boy, and the next few will be just as great I’m sure. Celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with you will be quite the treat! Love you more than words, Grant. You are truly a blessing in my life each and every day.