Monday, November 28, 2011

You Gotta get some of these!!!!

First pair of running shoes I ran through.  Yes, they are still sitting on my porch and yes, I look at them before I step out the door for a run.  They will not be going anywhere for awhile...they may look like their are useless but in reality, they are far from it.  A key part of my motivation......I love that I ran holes in my running shoes. 

If your looking for motivation, if you want a visual to help kick your booty out the door after a fulling meal with your family.....keep running till you get a pair of those.  It will be hard to stay on the couch!

Sunday, November 27, 2011 are a pain in my......

Turkey Day has come and gone.  We had 2 family celebrations...Thursday, Turkey Day itself, with my inlaws at their house.  The kiddos, hubby, bro-in-law and his wife and kiddos, and my mother and father in law.  Its a nice...low key.  Just how I like it.

Friday, was a few more people, a little farther away to celebrate with my husband aunt and uncle, and their kids.  Minus my bro-in-law and his fam, but add in a bunch more people.  And the Huskers football game.

Both were great, but Friday was super fun!  We played Apples to Apples...ever played that??  No, if not you need to get NEED play it.  And if you drink wine, you NEED to play after you have been drinking wine. 

Random amounts of fun with family....thats what holidays are made for!!!

Yesterday, I had an all day EMT class I had to attend, then we headed to Denver to pick up Stinkerbell after her Turkey time in Michigan.  She flies by herself (YIKES) and she does a great job, but I still get really worried about it.  FYI, for anyone who is facing or thinking about their child flying unaccompanied minor, I HIGHLY recommend Frontier.  For starters, its only $50 one way as opposed to $100-200 ONE WAY.  They have DirecTv that included in the UA program, and really, they are never, ever left alone.  There is always a flight attendent watching over her.  Cant be that difficult, with DirecTv and on a plane by herself, her mom isnt there to bug her about watching to much tv....she is perfectly happy.

NOW.....lets fast forward to last night....when I left the hotel to get to the airport an hour before she was due to land.  ONLY to get stuck at check in (honestly, the ONLY time I have had to wait, even when I was the passenger).  Apparently because I didnt have 600 over-limit bags and I stood there without a pissy unhappy look on my face, I wasnt worthy of anyone's attention.  So that took me 20 minutes.....and then I got stuck in security (because the Saturday after the busiest travel day of the year its a great idea to have 2 security lines going at a major airport).  There goes another 30 minutes (see the problem arising????)  I was really happy that I was close to her gate once I made it through security so I figured I would be ok.  I mean really, what airplane lands early, and even if they do land early, they still have to sit for 20 minutes on the tarmac waiting for the jetway to be set, ect...right....

Well, my heart started to beat a little faster when I saw a whole group of people walking towards me wearing the tell-tale colors of Maize and Blue...I knew I needed to haul my runners arse to the gate. 

Just in time...she was walking down the aisle as I got to the counter......OMG!

Of course, her plane would land late when I get stuck for  the first time at tickets and security. 

Ok, so maybes its not the first time ever, but it was the first time I have gotten delayed trying to get to Piper flying solo.  Thats a whole seperate ballgame.  Me missing a connection or losing my luggage is on thing....Piper partaking in her own version of  "Home Alone" DIA version.

Not to mention she is a 9 year old female who is prone to psychotic episodes that tend to included alot of crying, yelling, crying and yelling at the sametime, small doses of rational followed by more hysteria and then possibly landing herself on CNN. 

Its better to just make it to the gate ontime.

And really, I did....I mean, I wasnt early but I wasnt late.  Technically. 

The rest of the night is the reason why I was able to run a really good 10K kids made me nuts.  Thing 1 was as cranky and crabby as his sister would have been if I had to have tied my shoes after going through security.  Thing 2 was not interested in sleeping in the hotel room.  Or the pack n play...or really, sleep in general.  Stinkerbell was exhausted from a full day of traveling (did I mention her plane landed at 845  815pm!).  Daddy was cranky cause he was at the hotel with the boys while I hung out with TSA and me, well I was just exhausted from the 8 hour EMT class, followed by the 4 hour car ride to Denver.

Tired, cranky, crabby family....I started dreaming of a long run before we left Denver this morning. 

And I got 'er done.  10k...6.2 miles (why does 10K sound less intimidating to me that 6.2 miles?) in U.N.D.E.R 60 minutes.....booya!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day

I have to say that Turkey Day is one of my favorite holidays.  Not because we get to sit and eat, and not because we travel what seems like all over God's green Earth to spend the day with family we really dont live that far from and really should make more of an effort to see more often.  Actually, its the opposite of that....on Turkey Day, I try to make sure the crazy-train that is my life slows down.  Even if its just for a few long as its chills out its engine at the station so I can sit and relax, then its a good day for me.

Im also very behind in my Thankfuls, so I figure here is as good a place as any to get caught up....since Facebook will let me type so many characters in in the status bar, and Im sure I need more then the space allotted.

1-14...please see first 2 weeks of Novermber status updates on Facebook (see, behind...didnt totally forget)

15.  Zensah Ankle Compression sleeve.....apparently I tweaked my ankle yesterday and its throbbed all night. 

16.  Internet.....alot of family and friends far, far away.

17.  5 Hour Energy

18.  My 4 legged critters.....the dogs, and the horses who give unconditional love and keep our lives interesting...Im missing the morning ride this morning...can you tell.
19.  Coffee - while I dont drink it, my hubby does and it makes for a much nicer husband morning.

20.  Friends - the ones I see and talk to all the time and the ones I dont see very much....they keep me grounded, make me laugh, tell me its ok to cry, and anyone of them would sit in a jail cell next to me going "we are really in trouble but that was fun!!!"

21.  Deadwood -  google it...I need a Deadwood trip with members of the above mentioned "Thankful" soon!

22.  Running - as it has changed my life.

23.  Baby monitors that make soothing, white noise in the form of crickets and wind, at the touch of a button.

24.  Happiness -  I am happy.  I love my life, the ups and the downs, the good and the bad.  Im learning how to learn from every situation, how to guard my heart without closing down.  I see beautiful sunrises when I go for a run, and a million stars at night, without any tall buildings or traffic to interfere. 

Here is to wishing you all a very Happy Turkey Day.....I have 4 bottles of Moscato, 2 six packs of Moose Drool and 2 quarts of vanilla ice cream...what else do I need????

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dark, desolate gravel roads - reliable GPS + Great friends = Good Times

It started out simply enough, innocently enough...just a couple moms (J and I) going to a jewelry party at another moms house on a Friday night.  We met at the bar in town at 615pm, kissed our kiddos goodbye, and left.  Im pretty sure we both said bye to our hubbies also.....yes, Im sure we did.  Maybe.  I do know that as we left J said "lets roadtrip it!" Which turned out to be famous last words.

Anyway...we headed to the party and I had only been to "K's" house once before, in the daylight.  That alone is very imporant and kinda sad as she is a running buddy AND mother to one of my daughters BFF's.   

We made it to the party ok, even going a different way then I had gone the one and only time I had been there before, because J knew a back way.  She grew up here, she lived out that way once....of course she knew where we were going. 

Party was fun!  Crossed a few Christmas presents off the list, drank some beer, tasted some of K's really good but extrememly potent fall beverage, caught up with friends I see alot but havent talked to in awhile and at 930pm, we left.

Now, let me start with where K lives.  In the middle of nowhere.  Yes, according to friends and family who live within 20 minutes of 2 Wally-worlds and 3 malls, I live in the middle of nowhere but let me tell you....K really is in the middle of nowhere.  Ok, not "nowhere"...middle of a beautiful ranch in the Sandhills but for purposes of this story, its nowhere. 

Upon leaving of the party.....I may or may not have taken the wrong direction out of her drive.  Alright, I did, I totally did.  Straight up, went the wrong way.  To bad for us, we had been driving for 15 minutes or so before J said "did we go the right way...I dont remember these bales being here".

Hmmm....neither did I....was my reply.

"Did you see the school house?" 

"Nope, sure didnt" but it was crazy dark. 

At this time was my first major mistake (no, going the wrong direction was not my first major mistake, that was my first minor mistake...big difference).  At this time I should have turned around and went back to K's, and then gone the correct direction.....

Alas, I did not.  For some reason, I just kept on going.  Down desolate gravel roads, without any light aside from the headlights on my vehicle, on a very dark, windy night.

J and I just kept on chatting away about hunting (she just got her first whitetail buck!) and sledding (both love to snowmobile) and whatever else we could besides what direction we were going. 

Till we stopped seeing bales.  And we realized the fences were gone.  And no cows.  Houses, windmills or cattle guards.

Around this time J's 8 year old daughter (who is also a BFF to my daughter) started asking if we were lost.  At first it was "No, P, we are not lost, we know where we are going...just taking a different way to get there."

P is a smart cookie and didnt buy it for a second. 

So now, we are wandering aimlessly around dark, windy, desolate gravel roads with less then 1/4 of a take of gas (smart P, she informed me of this as she was looking over my shoulder from the back seat...told ya, she doesnt miss anything) WITH and 8 year old girl who knows exactly whats up.

No worries, right....we have cell phones...J has a brand new iPhone that apparently P knew alot she informed us "why dont you use the GPS on the iPhone?'

Child is brilliant (and without wine flowing through her system).

Rule #1 in the Sandhills....never rely on a cell phone tower you can will never be the one you need.  And indeed, wrong tower.

Again, P caught on way to fast and asked if we "seriously" were lost without a cell phone signal.  And were we going to run out of gas? 

Yes and No....followed by "P, lay down and go to sleep."  Good try J, she was way to amped up to do that. 

By this time, we were really lost.  I mean, no clue what road we were one or even what direction we were driving (yes, still driving cause why would I stop obviously, that wouldnt help us out....eventually we would hit a main road, right?  right??)

We did come across a street sign and if it hadnt been so dark out (or trying to avoid the panic that could possible set it in at any moment) I would have stopped to take a picture of it...because it was a true Sandhills street sign.  Set on the shoulder of the road, it told us we were on Road 213!  The best part was the cross road listed was Road 66.

We looked.  We stopped and turned around.  There we no other road.  Not even a driveway that could possibly be listed as a road.  Just a random street sign showing a cross road that didnt exist.  That would only happen to us.

We kept going and J announced "I GOT 2 BARS!!!"

Slammed on the breaks and did what any woman lost in the middle of nowhere would do.

We called our husbands. 

While J's hubby was going with the supportive line of questioning like "your what, how did you manage that, whats wrong with you two" and a few more colorful words (you have to know J's husband to know if there werent any colorful words, we would really be in deep do-do) I called Shawn who, after I told him about the cross road street sign without a cross road informed me "your in Lewellen, turn around and go back to K's."  He went with the more annoyed that we got lost approach, which wasnt good when I just started laughing.  That only made him more annoyed at us me.
Ummm, ok, I dont know how to get there....."just turn around and go back the way you came, its not that hard."  Sure....easy to say when your sitting at home with the roaring fire, beer and sleeping children. 

Like J said, sometimes you just gotta laugh.......

Ok, well, that confirmed our suspicion.  We (I) did take a wrong turn, and we were no longer in the correct area.  We were in Garden County. 

UNFORTUNATELY....I didnt know how to get back to K's.  So we (I) kept driving.  Again, down dark, desolate, seriously in the middle of nowhere even for where we live, gravels roads. 

Well, sitting and doing nothing wasnt going to help us out ....and apparently neither were the men on the phone.  However our friend the iPhone (which now ranked way higher then my husband did) was able to pull up a enough of a signal to tell us we were indeed on road 216 and to "keep driving". 

OK, so we did...and we came upon the most wonderful thing EVER....a HOUSE!!

We were convinced we knew whose house it was, we were chattering away enough that I almost hit the deer as they jumped out of the trees and scared the crap you-know-what out of us. 

Then we pulled in. 

We did not know that house.  We didnt want to know that house.  Not gonna lie, it was a little scary.  A little bad start to a Lifetime movie-ish.

And they had cows in the front yard.  Not cows like WE have in our front yard...but cows IN their front in on the wrong side of the thick, plastic fencing.  And the fence wasnt tore down so the consensus in the car was that those cows were supposed to be on the front porch, which was a little different for us (except J, who has an issue with a goat who thinks he needs to be on the porch but still...a goat versus a cow....totally different situation).  Oh, and according to P, spider webs on their windows.

Safe to say, we turned and drove (quickly) out of there without even attempting to ask where the hell are we.  I mean, why ask, we knew where we were....Lewellen.....just didnt know how to get back to Arthur and thankfully, we had an iPhone!

P started to panic a little here....she was nervous and worried so we tried to reassure her that she would be fine, we would get home and we were just on a great adventure.  She was worried someone would come and hurt us, to which I informed her we would protect her.....J and I both shot deer, we can handle a gun so she was very safe.

"Do you have a gun with you?"  Damn, that kid really doesnt miss anything.....

So we drove a little more, the GPS telling us to "follow highlighted route" which was RD 216 (or 215, I dont really remember).  We were doing just fine....till the road forked.  I "followed the highlighted route" until the GPS said "off route, return to highlighted route".  Ok, turned around and went the other direction on the forked road.

It only took a few seconds before "off route, return to highlighted route".  AHHHHHH!!!!

How exactly were we going to do that when both routes on the dark, desolate, gravel road in Garden County are "off route"?  Your guess was a good as mine so I picked, committed and off we went. 

Possibly North..but idea as we had lost direction on the iPhone.

But there was a light!!  A beautiful light that we were sure was a cell phone tower so we drove to the light.  Then we got to the light, and went past the light...which was a tower, however it was not the tower we wanted (no signal, imagine that) ANNNNND, it was not located on a main road.  Not even a side road or oil strip....a dark, desolate, gravel road in Garden flippin' County.

P was keeping us entertained with her one liners, such as "Im never getting in the car with you two alone, again.  If Im at someones house, Im just staying there, Im never doing this again."  And my personal favorite "yep, we are really lost."  Its my favorite because she used "we" alot....she was in it with us.  Not that she had a choice but still....its the same child who informed us she would never drive with us alone, again.  I took the "we" as maybe, someday she would see the humor in all of this that her mom and I did.  Trust me, at that moment, P saw NO humor in the situation. 

We kept driving.  And driving and driving.  Then we drove some more.  Occasionally we would pick up a signal on the GPS, but of course it was always going down a hill or lasted for .5 seconds so it was gone before J would say "I GOT 1 BAR!!!"

Yes, every bar was an announcement, a WELCOME announcement.

About 1030pm (yes, an hour later) we started seeing stuff that gave us some hope (no it was not the gas gauge that was now hovering alarmingly close to the dreaded red line of E)...cattle guard, windmills, A SIGN!!!

Tipton Ranch. 

No clue where Tipton Ranch is located, J kinda knew...well she knows where its located but we didnt exactly know where about on the Tipton Ranch we were located.  And of course...the road split.  I dont remember what direction we went....I think we just kept going straight hoping to see a farm house or something.....with lights and without cows on the front porch.

No lights or houses but we did find full stack yards, windmills and more cattle guards.  ALL good signs!

At some point we must have turned or the road curved or something because we came to ANOTHER sign.....Rush Creek - Avery summer range.  I LOVED IT!!!

Wanna know why I loved it...ok, Ill tell you....not because at this point in our adventure any sign was a welcome sign but because OUR summer grass backs up to Rush Creeks summer grass!!!  Meaning we were at least headed in the correct direction.  At least, we hoped we were headed in the correct direction but at least we had something to work with now.  We had a familiar name! 

Kept on doing what we do best...driving and was getting into some familiar looking country.  And fresh gravel!  Someone was taking care of the roads.  Hoping we would find our way out, if not, at least by Monday someone would drive down the roads.

Then the miracle happened.....the announcement of "I HAVE 2 BARS!!!" followed by "we are on Valentine Road".

Valentine Road runs straight through our summer range!!  I wouldnt have know that IF there hadnt been a suspected fire in October that was reported on Valentine Road and my dear husband and father in law went tearing off to fight it because it was our summer grass.

See....I do play attention.  and I had to get my husband off the pivot, out of the herd of deer he had been chasing for a month or so.....wives dont forget those conversations.

Kept on driving when the SECOND miracle happened.  First, J says "that looks familiar, I feel like I have ridden that or been here before"...then...... the shocker announcement and SOOOO exciting J said "GPS says we are on Silhassen Road."

Aka Sillassen Road.  Home of the Sillassen Ranch (that J and her hubby worked and lived at for awhile) and, oh yea, MY ROAD!!!! 

Somehow, one of the stars we followed thinking it was a cell tower (opps, did I leave that part out...) aligned with the moon and VOILA....our lost rear ends managed to wander to the place where J lived and where I still live. 

Ive never been so happy to see the freshly painted Sillassen Ranch sign in my life.  Ok, so Ive never really been excited to see the Sillassen Ranch sign but I was super excited at 1055pm on Friday night. 

J called her husband, who was patiently waiting at his moms house for us.  That may be a flat out lie but you need to know her husband to really appreciate the irony of "patient" and Shane in the same sentence.

I called Shawn but he was sleeping.  Im glad my 90 minute adventure of wandering around dark, desolate roads on windy nights didnt interfere with his beauty sleep. 

He would have come to find us.  Sure...right after a good nights sleep.....(he may or maynot be standing here watching me write this.....)

P did finally fall asleep, but was woken up by the yelling from the front seat as we went past the Sillassen Ranch.

We were good to go.  We could walk at least to the nearest cell phone signal and have someone come and get us, IF we ran out of gas.  Yes, we were running on fumes by this point.

Dropped J off at the garage where her husband was patiently adjusting his hat every 5 seconds as we pulled into the driveway and I went on to get a Diet Pepsi. Yes, it was 11pm but HI, I EARNED IT!! 

Pulled into the bar to find out that one of our other friends who was also at the party, was waiting on her sister, who imagine lost leaving as well.  See, we were in good company. 

Sounds crazy, and indeed it was but in all honestly, we had a great time!  Who gets lost going home after a jewelry party.  A whole 20 mile drive back to my house ended up taking 90 minutes and apprximately 26 miles in the wrong direction, making our total trip about 50 miles, give or take.  Thats a lot of dark, desolate gravel roads.

And its safe to say that J and I will never be allowed to go anywhere unsupervised again.  P will never get in the car with us, unsupervised, again.  We will never be in the lead when we go sledding again.  Not that we ever wanted to be or were before, in the lead sledding.....its way to easy to get lost doing that, and alot colder ;-)

But I dont really care about any of that becase in the end, we had lots of fun!  J did say "roadtrip!!" as we walked out of the bar and that exaclty what we did, an impromtu road trip to Garden County. 

To J - Thanks for the Good Great time friend!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Freedom isnt free

Maybe this is why I always had a thing for a man in uniform :-)  Those 2 dashing men in uniforms are my Grandfather and his twin brother, Wayne (Papa) and Warren.  Dont ask me which is which cause I never could tell them apart. 
They both fought in WWII, as glider pilots and Warren was a turret bombing instructor for B52 bombers.  They flew in air support for D-Day.

Todays post isnt about running, it really isnt about anything other then saying THANK YOU to the men and women who volunteer to serve to protect our country.  Its also for the mothers and fathers, brothers, sister, cousins, children, and everyone and any else who has a loved on who serves or has served at one time or another.

Freedom is far from free.....someone, at sometime, in someplace, made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live the lives we live, and all to often, take for granted.  Never forget...someone died so we could go for long, relaxing runs, because we want to, because its our choice and right as Americans. 

Someone died so we could have those rights....NEVER FORGET.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wrong shoes + sparkle leggins - hat = First Run Failure

Well, I ended up with an afternoon run yesterday (Monday) because, well, I had to much stuff going on during the day and didnt have a sitter...aka...hubby was helping move the neighbors cows and didnt get back in time to watch the boys in the morning.

So I had mentioned to Piper that there was a 1 mile kiddo run during the Jingle Bell Run in December and of course, she immediately remembered my telling her "if you want a tutu, you gotta run...."

That was it....she was running in the race, she was going to tie for First place with her friend Emma (Katie's daughter) and that was that.

I told her to get dressed and she did.  Without listening to a word her RUNNER mom said and ended up in sparkly black leggings, black and white decorated converse tennis shoes, and a blue hoodie bcause it "doubles as a sweater and a hat MOM..." 

Gee, why didnt I think of that.....

Out the door and off we, the poster child for Cold Gear and, well, the poster child for an 80's rock band.

She lasted .16 miles before she said "ok, love ya, BYE"

Wrong shirt + wrong shoes + really wrong leggings - warmth for her head = first run failure.

No worries, she wants to try again but this time, I get to help dress her.....we shall see how that one goes.

Anway, I finished off 3 miles in 27:14!  Felt great, and I think I will have that sub 26 SOON!!!  I keep telling myself I had it yesterday, then Stinkerbell came along just long enough to jack up my first mile pace.....9:25 isnt bad, but Im sure I would have pushed it much harder if I hadnt started out pacing her tennis shoes.  No worries though....I loved those .16 miles and cant wait for her to try again.  And she will try again....she is obsessed with the idea of a tutu...nothing is going to get in the way of her running in a tutu.

The problem of the week is daylight savings time....and now that its dark at 430pm, if I do end up running at night, I need some nighttime gear.  Reflective vests, jacket...headlamp.....suggestions greatly appreciated!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sub 9, Lincoln, and tutus

Not my best week of running.  One of those weeks where life and the parenthood get in the way of that all important "me" time.

I guess I cant really blame it all on them, I was sick for a couple days and that knocked me out pretty good.  My Monday, Wednesday, Friday plan was shot so I didnt hit any great mileage but I did run my arse off yesterday for 3 miles and FINALLY hit a sub 9:00 for not 1 but TWO miles. 

Mile 1: 9:28
Mile 2: 8:54
Mile 3: 8:48

Those last 2 miles made up for feeling terrible about not getting out on Monday (Halloween) or Wednesday (sick).  I did run on Friday also with Katie and we did 4 in 39:42.  I was still feeling a little weak after 6 days off so I didnt have much to push with.  My goal was a sub 40 and I got it.  Only 18 seconds to spare but I dont really was 24 degrees when we started, Ill take what I can get.

Im really getting excited about running longer distances.  The registration for the Lincoln 1/2 and full open in December and Im signing up!!  Early, I know but I need to commit to it now...then its offical.  Its a real goal and not something that will just fade away.  Plus I have my running buddy from here, Katie, running with me and another running friend, Stacy, I graduated from high school with who is planning on running also.  She lives in NYC and I have picked her brain about distances for awhile.  Wasnt until last week when I found out and ankle injury forced her out of the NYC full, that I joked and said "come run Lincoln with me?".  We made a little bet on the Nebraska/UofM game regarding race day attire and then it was set.  She is coming to run Lincoln with me in May so now I am EXTRA committed to running.  Now, not only do I have people from here going with me, I have people flying in to run it.  No backing down now.....its about time for serious, safe training to begin so I can run and have a great race and a great time with my running buddies from all over the country. 

Before we get to that part though, there is a little Jingle Bell 5K here in December.  Katie and I are going, as are some other runnning chickies from out little town.  Katie and I are dressing up.....the red and white tule has been purchased, the red and white striped socks located, and....the rest is still a work in progress.  Of course there will be pictures and maybe, even more then 2 of us in tutus....Im hoping we can do some convincing of the other ladies and if we cant...Ill keep giving them wine until they succumb.  If you can laugh at yourself, then whats the point of laughing.......

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I love Halloween.  Its my favorite holiday of the year and that includes my birthday, which is July 4th.  I love the weather, the outside, the costumes and yes, I love the candy. 

This is the first year in 2 years that I have felt like a normal human being and had a great time trick or treating.  Two years ago....I walked myself straight into the hospital, was induced 6 weeks early and had my little monkey on November 3.  Last year, Beezer was only 5 weeks old, so I really still was feeling like yuck. 

This year, I was all about the fun!!

Piper Kate was Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High (Im still not 100% what that is but it was cute, and she was completely covered.....she got her way and I got mine.).

Sage was a monkey.  Very appropriate costume for the child that will climb anything.

Brannon was a spider.  He also will climb anything but isnt as graceful as his older, smaller brother.

I really wish I had gotten a picture of him walking in his costume because it was so darn cute!  But he just wasnt having any of it so he rode in the wagon.  Ill take it....both toddlers kept their costumes on the whole time...I call that success!!!

HaPpY HaLlOwEeN!!!!