Monday, September 23, 2013

Race Directing

Back in April, my sister-in-law approached me with an offer - would I like to be the Race Director for the KMCR?  Well, as a runner for over two decades, and the aunt to this young boy after whom the race is named, the answer certainly was an easy one.
K was my husband's nephew (and then mine, when we married) who was killed at the age of 7, in 2010, after being hit by a car.  The race was created by a close family friend who had headed it up for the last years, but needed to step down due to other obligations. 
Since we moved her only one year ago, I wasn't able to participate in the planning before.  The first year, I ran it 7 months pregnant.  Last year, I ran and got second in my age group.  So this year - going from never being on the committee to race director was quite a jump.
The planning had taken about 7-8 months, and the race kicked off this past Saturday.

 My in-laws (me and Matthew are on the end)
 My sister-in-law Jenny, brother-in-law Nat, and nephews Brody and Aiden

 K's mom and sister

 My father-in-law
 Starting the kids race!
 Go kiddos!!
 My men crossing the finish line

 Three generations!
 Me, giving the welcome and choking up.  Such a sap, I am.

My sister and nephew, hands on heart, respecting the National Anthem.  All the way from Chicago!

 My brother and niece, all the way from Tennessee!!


 My nephew hanging out on the stage.

 And they're off!!
My registration crew!

That's just a few of the tons of pictures from the weekend.  My sister and her family, as well as my mother, came in from Chicago.  My brother and his family came in from Tennessee.  A house full a laughter, kids running around squealing, my son taking 3-hour naps because he is so worn out from the fun, and just being surrounded by so much love and support - it was an amazing weekend!

As for the actual race directing: right now, it's hard to put into words.  It was one of the most emotional processes I have endured, yet one of the most rewarding.  There were definitely some ups and downs, but overall it was a truly incredible experience.  My mind is already looking towards next year, and how to keep up the momentum of the event!

Monday, September 2, 2013


Yes, you saw that right.

It's been just over a year since my last post. 

In fact, it's been so long that I couldn't even remember what the username of my email account was to sign into this ol' thing.  It took, like, 10 minutes to figure it out.  Which in mommy time is like, super long.

So here we are.  I've managed to make it a whole year in Kansas.  And would you believe it - I've actually done quite well for myself.  Turns out this big city girl had a little bit of country girl in her bones because I can't imagine NOT living here.  In fact, I hope our next house is literally on a farm in the middle of the corn fields.  Because this girl wants to be a farmer.  For realz.

Before moving, I was this super introvert who much rather preferred to hide behind my computer screen and make funnies about my boring ass life than go to a party, have dinner with friends, or really anything else that forced me to go outside my comfort zone of sleeping, running, biking, racing, and eating.

But in the weeks before I moved, I made the decision - I am getting a second chance, and I'm gonna own this bitch.  I decided to say "yes" to everything I was asked to do, every opportunity that came my way, and every person that crossed my path. 

As it turns out, this was a fun way to live.  I made some new friends (this is earth shattering for me, and I mean that with zero sarcasm...also, it's sad that I have to clarify when sarcasm is absent), got in the best shape of my life and kicked some ass racing (hey guuurl, overall-wins-and-age-group-places-WHUUUUT?!?! but more on this later), got myself a J.O.B. (luuuuv it), and accepted the position of race director for my nephew's race.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Now, it hasn't been all puppies and sunshine over here.  I had my share of meltdowns - I mean, I was a stay-at-home mom for nine months, after all.  "Meltdowns" is the title of Chapter 3 in the book "Mommy Hell - What They Don't Tell You Before You Get Knocked Up."   

But enough about me living the country life - how's about we get to some cutie monkey man?

Love this face.  Nom, nom, nom.

Oh hey.  Just kickin' it with my blankey and pillow pet. Doin' me.

Missing daddy.  Or not-so-subtly telling me to turn the heat on.

Because the only way to end a day of mud pittin' is a popsicle.

 I'm innocent! They've got the wrong man! Nooooobody knows the trouble I've been through...

Taking batting practice with a tube of diaper rash cream.
 Kinda weird how many pics we have of this guy with buckets and baskets on his head.  Not sure about that....

Macky cheesys.  It's what for dinner.

Does this hat make me look serious?  I mean, as serious as one can be in a pink plastic car?

No funnies - just lovies.

There's nothing sadder than a toddler in a raincoat (he refuses to take off even though it's fleece lined and 95 degrees outside), discouraged that his pink mower won't work, and waiting for the rain to pass in his little pink car. 

First carnival.  Which is a coincidence, as he's looking like a carney in his camo bro tank and stoney eyes.  Well done, Carney-in-Training.

Nothing says summertime country living like a shirtless dirty kid eating an ear of corn in the middle of an overgrown scorched earth backyard. 

His actual morning hair.

Yummy belly. And yes, my kid is the one who runs up and down the streets in either his diaper or just buck naked.  And I love it.  Even if my neighbors don't.

Matthew vs. the Grasshopper (or as Matthew calls it "Hopper")

The view from above.

Pudding.  Or as mom refers to it, "a lesson well-learned on what NOT to serve for dessert."
Needless to say, there's a whole year's worth of pics that I won't bore you with - but seriously, what one earth am I going to with my 4000 pictures when Matthew get older?  And that's just in the last 12 months!

So that's a short brief look at what's been happening over here for the last year!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Life in Kansas

Well, today marks one month since we packed up our tiny apartment and headed west to Kansas.  As you can imagine, between buying a house, packing up a house to move two states over, ending a job, parenting full-time, and all the daily BS that just needs to be dealt with, my time for blogging has been, uh, limited.  Well, and also I was also pretty much collapsing in bed every night from emotional and physical exhaustion.  

But now that we are here and mostly settled (minus a lack of furniture, which we are still working on), I have to say that I feel pretty well adjusted.  I mean there has been some lifestyle differences - I went from living in a place where I was afraid to walk from my car to my door at night, to a place where people just leave their garage doors open all day long and kids  say "good afternoon ma'am!" when they ride past you on their bikes. Oh, and people are SERIOUS about their sports here - I mean, I thought Chicago was nuts, but Kansasians (is that even a word?) take it to another level.  Team loyalties are personal identities here, and one I haven't quite caught onto yet without feeling like an uber-poser.  Nonetheless, I seem to have taken to living the small town nicely.  It suits me, if you will.

I mean, I can see a change in myself - I am generally less tense, less stressed (though truth? unemployment sort of helps that), and more willing to do things out of my comfort zone.  I have gone from being a homebody whose social anxiety made it uber stressful to maintain actual relationships (hello, bloggers? can I get an "amen" in unison?) to actually saying "yes" to going out, having people over, and hanging out with people other than my husband, child, computer and smart phone.  

As mentioned, at this point, I am still unemployed (not really been super active on that front, not really ready to put the little dude in day care after being full time with him for the last nine months), so me and my little man have developed a nice daily routine here.  Everyday, after his morning nap, I pack him into the stroller and go for our run.  We are hitting our runs about 6 times a weeks, sometimes 5 if I need an extra day off.  It's the most consistent I've been running since before pregnancy, and it feels insanely great.  It's hella windy out here, so some runs end up being mostly run/some walk, but no matter.  We still get out.  

And - gasp! - I am actually starting to think about racing again.  I actually have a 5k in a few weeks, but am eyeing a half-marathon in November.  The Ironman light has been burning overtime lately, but the logistics might not work out because we still have to make another baby.  Or at least try.  Still getting that figured out...more later....

So getting back to the daily routine - After his afternoon naps, we head out again - this time to walk, explore, check out the neighborhood.  Some days we exchange our walks for trips to the store if needed, but we still get out.  Since it's only rained here two days in the last months, and otherwise has been cloudless skies (oh, and hot as devil balls), we are outside a shit ton.

As a result, my baby weight seems to FINALLY be disappearing (though not entirely, but certainly more than pre-move), and I'm rocking a sick-ass tan.  Well, tan down to my ankles, and excluding my sports bra lines, but still, yo - it's coming along nicely).  

And low and behold - I finally got a decent hair cut.  For realz. I can't remember the last time I had a cut that I actually wanted to wear out of a rubber band, but it happened.  Turns out, I still have uber curly hair that looks crazy good with some shaggy-ass layers.  In fact, between my tan and my new hair, and what appears to be a five-pound weight loss (rough estimate but my jeans still don't fit so I can't get all happy yet), I actually feel like a lady some days.  A real, legitimate female human being and not the doughy, blotchy, depressed housewife who only brushes her hair every two weeks and wears a rotating collection of 3-4 black shirts/yoga pants, all with holes in them.

Okay, that's a lie - that's still pretty much my wardrobe, but at least my cute hair detracts from the holes.  

And I would totally put up a picture, but I deleted the only one I had (sad face).

What I have not deleted, though, is my millions of pictures of my little dude.  I apologize in advance for the upcoming photo blast of my kid (yeah, I'm THAT parent now), but what can I say. Maybe if I ever get back to regular posting, you might get a glimpse of something other than my little man's sweet sweet face.     

 Getting in his morning crawls...
 Hanging with grandma...
 Who gave him a snickerdoodle...

Why is it that my kid either looks like a grumpy old man...

 Or Megamind minus the blue face paint?

One day, I took Matthew to the outdoor mall, where there was a huge fountain. He was obsessed with it.  Or as obsessed as an eight month old can be with shooting water.

"Hey mom! Mom! Did you see that one? That water was JUMPING!"

"I mean, it's crazy right? Jumping water? Go figure!"

"My mom rocks, yo!"

 "Moooooommmm....why does it smell like cake in here?"

"Really? You really made cake?"

"Cake! Cake! I love cake! Three cheers for cake!!"

 "What do you mean it's for a bbq?  Does that mean I don't even get a taste of it? Phewy."

"Imma give you a kiss, dada! Hold still!"

"What's that in your mouth?"

"Here, let me get it for you."


Because feet are the new fork.

"Get in my belly graham cracker!"

 At the farmstead on his cousin's (and namesake) swing.