Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bucket Lists & Birthdays

WOW! This Saturday was packed full of milestones!
Today I marked off an item on my bucket list.
Today I completed my very first half marathon! Yes, 13.1 consecutive miles!
Lindsey and I registered for the 3rd Annual Charleston Marathon back in late November. 

We didn't exactly give ourselves a full 12 weeks of training, but we got right on board & started. We ran our first 6 miles together on Saturday, December 8th. I have to tell you, after reaching that milestone (1/2 way there!), I was super excited and pumped to do long runs on Saturday mornings! For the next 3 weeks, we added a mile to our runs until we reached 10 miles. We never ran further than 10 miles on our runs for the next couple weeks.

Before we knew it, the day was here! We were up early and downtown by 7 am. It was COLD at the Start Line. Thankfully, we warmed up pretty fast during the run!

After a LONG 2 hours, 17 minutes & 38 seconds, we were finally DONE! HELLO Finish Line! I have to admit, I wasn't sure I'd make it. I was ready to throw in the towel at mile 12. I was good to go, fine, until that last mile. I'm not sure what came over me, but I hit the proverbial wall... Well more like smashed into it head first! Thankfully, Lindsey was there to give me the encouragement to get my act together and get moving again.

As you can tell from that picture (other than I am NOT a cute runner), I was in pain. My calves were locking up and I was drained. But, I only had two blocks to go! And there was nothing better than seeing MY BOYS at the Finish Line! I was so excited to see their faces and their excitement for me!

I literally crossed the finish line and collapsed! When I was finally able to stand again, I was thrilled to be able to say I completed my first half marathon! And to do it with my best friend! Remarkable! We rock! 
(Lindsey doesn't even look like she's winded!)
And what better to mark our great accomplishment than this awesome metal! I have this hanging on my bathroom mirror for inspiration every day. 

And 2 hours, 17 mins and 38 seconds... that is such a great time for our first half! We originally joked that it would take us 3 hours. After a bit of training, we said 2.5 hours was our goal. I finally decided my goal was 2 hours, 15 mins. Guess I did pretty good!

Dan got me a necklace with running charms for Christmas. I have a charm for 5K, 10K and now I have one for 13.1! I love this necklace and it represents my passion. It's so funny to think that I used to hate to run. And in two years, I've run 10+ 5Ks, a 10K and now a Half! I'm actually excited every Saturday AM to run our long runs. I'm passionate about going to the gym and cross training. I'm very happy with how far I have come!

Directly after finishing our race, we hopped in the car and headed back home. Daddy had to get his suitcases and head to the airport to fly out to Texas for his new job :(
After a quick shower, Stryker & I loaded up with Granny to head to Lexington for our Miss Maddison's very first birthday! Granny drove so I could finish my make-up and rest... Stryker was the only one able to catch a quick snooze though.

Lorie did the CUTEST little ladybug theme for our princess! She had all the cutest decorations, she made the most yummiest lady bug cake and even Miss Maddie had on the most adorable little lady bug outfit! I was designated photog for Lorie while she entertained and managed the party so I didn't get many pictures on my camera. I can attest though that we had a great time celebrating! And Maddison was thrilled with her party, her gifts, the attention... but not so much a fan of the cake! She really enjoyed opening her gifts and even gave up a few times to play!

So, January 19 will go down in history... Rachel completes her first half and our baby girl niece turns ONE! Happy Birthday little one and many, many more!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Daddy's Birthday Week!

Each year we take birthdays SERIOUSLY around here! We don't just celebrate a day... or even a party day... We go MULTIPLE days... Sometimes even a week!

This year we started Daddy's birthday celebration with a Friday Family Fun Night! In birthday tradition, we started off at Hooters for a birthday dinner. We've been going to Hooters each year since 2009!

 Stryker's first trip to Hooters, December 2009
At first it seemed as if some one wasn't happy about our dinner choice...
But he soon perked up and celebrated with us (I think he was just shy.... Our waitress was cute ;) )
In keeping with tradition, Daddy enjoyed his wings and got his yearly Hooters coozie.

After dinner, we headed to a new place in North Charleston called The Glozone. I'd seen other people talk about this place on FaceBook and wanted to give it a try. Stryker was SUPER EXCITED to try indoor black light miniature golf! He's been a tad obsessed with putt putt since the cruise & our trip to Frankie's earlier in the fall. We all grabbed a putter and a ball and started. Obviously it was hard to get pictures in the dark...
 And because it's Daddy's birthday celebration, I let him win ;)

After putt putt, we played a few games in the arcade. Daddy & Stryker tested their skills in air hockey:

And what better way to end a Friday Family Fun Night than a trip for Fro-Yo!!! Our favorite!

 Can't you tell how excited they are?!?!
On Saturday, Daddy & Mommy got a little Date Night that included dinner out with some of our friends for their birthdays too! We had a yummy Japanese dinner with sushi... another of Daddy's favorites as his Birthday Celebration continued!
Before Church on Sunday, our little ham decided to give us a few shots for his portfolio :)
He is a TRIP, y'all!

And after Church and lunch, it was a relaxing Sunday afternoon/evening complete with naps and s'mores!

Daddy's ACTUAL birthday was FINALLY here on Monday, New Years Eve! The BIG 3-7! We had a very nice day date together while Stryker was in school for a few hours. Later on that evening, we sang Happy Birthday, had cake & he opened his presents.

I just LOVE Stryker in the last picture... I mean, does he imulate us or what?!? Be careful what you do & say in front of this guy... he'll probably pick it up!

 After cake, we headed to our favorite pub, Madra Rua, to celebrate the Irish New Year and Daddy's birthday some more. We had a some yummy food, toasted the new year Ireland style at 7 pm and visisted with our friends.

Our last stop of 2012 was at the Livingston's for a NYE bonfire and to watch the Clemson Bowl Game. They live in the Hamlets and had a projection screen set up in the backyard for the game and a very large firepit complete with stacks of pallets for burning. Stryker had a lot of fun playing with Owen! I'm not sure he stopped all night! They played, shot fireworks and once Clemson won the game (within seconds no less!), the bonfire erupted and the children were mesmerized!
Before we knew it, it was countdown time and we turned the projection screen over the ball drop. We all watched & waited and celebrated the new year with a kiss!

It was a lovely evening ringing in the New Year with lots of our favorite people! We hope 2013 is full of blessings and fun for all of our family and friends!