Saturday, July 29, 2006

New Portraits

Chris and I took the girls to the park today so I could work on getting some new portraits. I wanted to try some different stuff, as I'm trying to build up my portfolio. I really like some of them.

10.25 Mile Adventure Run

Jo and I got up ridiculously early today to do our long run. This was in an attempt to beat the heat, as it was predicted to be in the 90's with unbearable humidity. We started our run before 6 am. Up at 5 am to run on a Saturday??? What can I say, she is a slavedriver.
Even at 5:30am, it was 75 degrees with nearly 100% humidity, and it was hard to breathe. Imagine two goldfish running around and around their fishbowl, wearing black running pants (because these two fish are too self conscious to wear shorts in public) after someone put their fishbowl next to a sunny window...the water kept getting hotter and hotter. That's pretty much how we felt, except that if we were fish we'd have had an easier time breathing the thick, wet air...with our gills, and all. Oh, and it wouldn't have been such a big deal when our water bottles ran dry, since we could have simply opened and refilled them...or not carried bottles, at all, just drinking out of the bowl... but whatever. What I mean to say is that it was humid. Very, very humid.
We ran to the county park outside of town. I hadn't noticed just how hilly the route was when I rode it on my motorcycle last week.
On our way out, while running down a quiet, tree-lined country road, an older man in an equally old pick up truck honked and hooted at us. Oh yeah, we were looking hot. Must have been the sweat stains and beet-red faces that made us look irresistible.
Once in the park, we ran from shelter to shelter looking for a bathroom for my very....regular....running partner. Can you believe that not a single bathroom was unlocked? I would have thought that by daylight they would be opened for business. In the end, my running partner dove into the woods and polluted the land. When she came out soaking wet, she swore that she had not peed herself. Hmmm.
We ran two laps around the park, which included many large hills. This was the toughest "hill workout" I've done. My glutes didn't like me so much...or my lungs. (or quads, hamstrings, calves, anterior tibialis, IT band, abdominals.....)
As we finished our trek through the park, I desperately searched for a bubbler, as my Gatorade bottle had run dry. Since no shelters were open, there was no water available and we started the run back to town. I prayed that I would see someone outside of their house who would be kind enough to give us water. It took a couple miles, but He came through and a nice young lady was out watering her garden. She looked fairly frightened as two exhausted and overheated-looking runners came towards her. She gave us water and ran away.
Nearing the final stretch the wind picked up and we noticed, with a start, that we were being followed. By a nasty looking black sky. For as far as we could see in either direction, a solid black sky was moving towards us. It was amazing to see, actually, because it was a perfectly straight line of clouds. And it was moving fast. When it passed overhead, we saw that the blackness was made up of the most amazing cloud formations. I've never seen anything like it. Swirls and waves.
I ran straight into the house, grabbed my camera, and ran back outside to try and catch some of it for you. I was too late for the best of it, but you'll get the idea.

Edited to add: On the way back from the county park, we saw, running toward us, this older man (maybe in his later 60's) wearing only shorts and an iPod. He was ripped for an old guy and after we waved a friendly 'hello', Jo did a fast u-turn and started following him! (okay, so maybe it wasn't Jo who did it, but whatEVER) Anyway, the guy passing on his motorcycle got a really good laugh out of it

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wahooo!! My photo of Libby is in the Finals!!

Check it out!! My photo made the Grand Finale!!!
Photo Contest

....and see this post if you haven't already, regarding my participation in this contest.

Psoas I was saying.....

The Hip Guy thinks that I have a problem with my psoas (so-ass) that is at least contributing to my hip pain. The psoas is a deep hip flexor muscle that runs from the front of the pelvis to the inside of the lower spine and is deep in your abdomen. Normally you have to sort of push away various organs to wriggle your hand down enough to where you can feel it. Mine, on the left side, is right up at the surface and extremely sore to the touch. The psoas on the right is normal and doesn't hurt much. Hip Guy is pretty sure that there is something in there pushing it up and out of a big cyst or something. I have a history of large ovarian cysts on that side. He encouraged me to call my doctor and get in for an exam, and I have made that appointment for next Friday. If that hip flexor is out of place, it's obviously not able to keep the hip joint in the correct position or allow it to function normally...which would explain my pain. Interesting. I've also had other issues which throw up red flags for cysts or endometriosis (have had surgery for both before) over the last six months or so. What a pain in my psoas!!!

Ms Libby is turning into quite an artist. I am amazed at how well she can stay in the lines while coloring and compose appealing designs. She's also very talented in taking photos, which I've shown here before. With her artistic ability beginning to peak out, her dance moves developing, quick humor surfacing, and her flamboyant style, I'm starting to think that we've got a little artist/performer on our hands. Poor kid will be like her mom--forced to make a decision between earning a regular paycheck or following her passions. :) But I'm really excited to see which of her interests and natural abilities grow into real passions. Then again, she could do a 180 and become a chemist.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Taking Applications For Non-Muslim Marathon Partners

My running partner, Jo, emailed me this morning. She said that the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins September 24. During Ramadan adults fast during the daylight hours. No food, no water. It starts on September 24th. Hmmmm, wasn't there something going on around September 24th? It seems like something is happening that day...Amelia's first birthday?? Nope, that's the 23rd. Thanksgiving?? Nah, that's in November. Wait, I know!!! That's the day the new phone books are delivered!! ...Right?

September 24th is the Fox Cities Marathon.

Jo can't run it. She can't run a marathon without consuming water or food or energy bars or Gu.

There are no other marathons in the region within the few weeks prior to the Fox Cities that we could run instead.

I'm on my own.

So, my training has been weak due to my hip injury, I want to beat my personal best, and now my running partner is not running. I was planning on letting her pull me along and not letting me quit. Now I have to do that myself, and that scares me.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The All-New 38 Word Movie Review

It was all comedy all the time this weekend. If you can call all of it comedy. I decided that I'll go uber-intellectual on you and review "The Ringer" this week.

The Ringer
The guy from "Jackass" pretends to be 'special' and enters the Special Olympics. There were a few funny scenes (when he's coming up with his 'special' persona) but the actual special actors were by far the most talented.

I ran five miles tonight at a decent pace and the hip only bothered a little. My anterior tibialis' tried to flare up a bit though, which really chapped my ass. I thought that they had given up when they realized that I was more stubborn then they and wouldn't let them stop me from running. Turns out they thought they could lay low for a while, then sneak up on me and attack when I let my guard down... Little did they know that I sleep with my eyes open and run wearing my 360 degree goggles to catch all possible enemies.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Regarding My Photo of Libby in the Contest

Someone to whom I sent the link to vote for my photo of Libby that was selected as a finalist in the babyzone photo contest wrote an email to me about it. She said that she is "...choosing not to vote because (she) thinks it is unhealthy to try and promote Libby receiving praises for outward beauty..." This comment got Chris and I thinking and talking a lot.

Before I discuss my feelings on that comment, I will say that I brought this here because I want to be sure that it is addressed just in case anyone else feels the same way but isn't saying something to me about their feelings. I want to be clear as to why I entered this, and other, photos in photography (not most-beautiful-baby) contests.

First, I was shocked that someone I've invited into my life and I thought knew me fairly well would think such a thing of me. I felt as though I was being compared to those women who put their little girls in full make up and hair and enter them in frightening child beauty pageants. Whether or not she meant to make this comparison, this is how it made both Chris and I feel. Anyone who really knows me (I think) knows that I (and Chris) am completely in love with our girls. All four of them. I love every little quirk and funny personality trait and messy little hair on their heads. Chris and I encourage Libby to be her own person with her own style. We encourage her to pick her own clothes (and just ask our sitters how she comes dressed some mornings...highly flamboyant and hardly polished) and to instruct me on how to do her hair. She sometimes asks me to paint her nails, which I do, despite the fact that I almost never wear it myself....and I follow her demands to paint them three different colors on each hand....because I want Libby to be Libby and to feel that she is beautiful no matter what she wears or how she looks on the outside. I want Libby to feel safe to always be herself and express her style no matter how "pretty" or "funky" or "weird" it is. As long as it's safe, I'm all for whatever she wants to do with her hair and clothes. For God's sake, I have ten shades of red in my hair, wear a nose ring, and have eight tattoos. Do you think I even know HOW to put on make up correctly or curl my hair?? No. And I certainly wouldn't know how to do it to a three year old girl with uncontrollable curly hair and a love for bugs and party dresses.

Regarding the photo:
Number one--IT WAS A PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST, and I want to be a photographer. I have also been a finalist in contests with photos of Chumley and a different photo of Libby. I am entering photography contests as a way of building a portfolio, experience, and and understanding of what works..and wins
Number two--Libby hardly looks "pretty" in this photo. At best she looks "goofy", as her eyes are enlarged to the size of small melons. The photo is about showing humor, not beauty.
Number three--You cannot see Libby's face in this photo. How can it be about promoting her beauty?
Number four--Libby doesn't even know about the contest or that a photo of her was in it.

If anyone else had questioned my motives for this photo contest I hope that this has cleared that up. I also hope that those who really know me know that my daughters being beautiful is just about the last thing I care about when it comes to them. I love my daughters unconditionally and want them to be their own freespirited, happy, loving, sensitive, and kind souls.

Libby and Chumley Portrait

I wanted to get a natural light portrait of Libby and Chumley, and this came out exactly as I'd hoped.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One Of My Photos Of Libby Was Selected...Vote!!

Here's the link, if you'd like to vote for the photo. It's the one of Libby with the magnifying glass :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Hip Man, Growling Raccoons, a Pink Motorcycle, and a Fast Run (for me)

**The Hip Man**
Tomorrow I see the Physical Therapist. Don't tell Chris that it may cost a little more than usual because he's not in our insurance plan. I'm told he's the best, and that's worth a few extra dollars to me when it comes to my legs and their ability to run marathons. I will definitely post about the Hip Man tomorrow night.

**Growling Raccoons**
As I mentioned briefly when I posted the photos, we went camping this weekend. It was 98 degrees and H U M I D so the weather was not very comfortable. It was otherwise very nice, the girls did great, Libby got a lot of quality time with her boyfriend, and we got to have some laughs with the future in-laws. I was extremely tired, from a month alone with the girls (except for one weekend when Chris came home) and from waiting up for him to get home Friday night until 1:00 am. I typically do not sleep well when camping. Especially when it's hot. But to give me a little break, we brought two tents...The big one for Chris and the girls and the little backpacking one for me. To sleep in alone. I layed down, watched the stars out of the 'sunroof' for a few minutes, then fell asleep. I slept through two raccoons bigger than Holly, our Black Lab, fighting five feet from my little tent. Chris said that they were growling, hissing, and scuffling, fighting for our site. The more intimidating raccoon apparently won the hard-fought battle for our site and went about raiding our food. He was not deterred by the fact that we had not left anything out. He simply opened our rubbermaid bins and took out the full loaf of bread, large bag of unshelled peanuts, and large ziploc bag of peanut butter cookies and had his way with them. He chomped on peanuts, gorged on cookies, and ate a half loaf of bread...grunting and snorting and sighing with contentment...until he was once again threatened by another raccoon. Another scuffle ensued and Amelia woke up crying for a bottle. Chris peeked out of the tent and said, "psssst!!! Get out of here! Go away!" and the obese one turned, looked at him, and waddled towards him. Just as Chris was wondering what to do, the raccoon veered off and went over by our food. Chris had to get Amelia a bottle from out there, so grabbed 'the buster' (a sawed off broom handle we use for protection and pinata busting) and went out carrying the buster in one hand and Libby's princess flashlight in the other. He managed to get the bottle and formula safely back into the tent. And I continued to sleep. I missed the entire thing!! I missed my husband challenging an obese dog-sized raccoon with my three year old's princess flashlight. I even had my camera in my little tent...I missed some serious Kodak moments.

**A Pink Motorcycle**
I ride motorcycle. Not a little scooter. A 2003 750cc Honda Shadow ACE. When I ride, I try to wear as much pink as possible, so as to not appear too 'butch'. I seem to have developed an obsession with pink anyway, so it works out just fine. I ride in a pink leather biker jacket and white half-shell helmet with glittery pink flames. I was cool would my bike look if I painted out the red parts PINK???? See photos of my bike (and pink jacket):
Edited to add that these photos are two years old. No, I did not cut my hair

**A Fast Run (for me)**
I ran four miles tonight at my 'normal' pace. The last mile was the fastest one I've run in ages and ages. And it felt great!! Only a little tightness/pain in the hip. I'm definitely on the mend!!!! Thank God. As you know, I've been freaking out about missing my long runs, so hopefully with some help from the Hip Guy, I'll be back on the long run horse in no time!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Camping Photos, Featuring Inspector Libby

We went camping this weekend with some friends, the parents of Libby's boyfriend (yes, they talk of marriage and undying devotion) and had a great time despite the heat. It was 98 degrees and nearly 100% humidity all weekend.
Both girls did great and had a blast. I wanted to share some photos.
I also posted some of my art photography from the weekend below.

Detective Libby 7-16-06, originally uploaded by cRebRun.

Amelia With Butterfly

Amelia With Butterfly 7-16-06, originally uploaded by cRebRun.

This is a real butterfly that landed on Amelia's head. Must have thought she was a sweet flower :)

Camping Photos

Amelia 7-15-06, originally uploaded by cRebRun.

New Photography

We went camping this weekend and stopped at a nature preserve on the way home. I had some time to work on some photography (other than family photos) and thought I'd share a few of them.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Freaking Out!!

I start physical therapy on Tuesday and I cannot wait to meet the guy. He is supposedly an expert in lower extremities, and running gait analysis, and is even a certified Pilates instructor (so I am I, though I stopped teaching two years ago). I am becoming convinced that my hip problems are actually from tightness and imbalance in other areas, which would mean that I could fix the problem rather quickly. I've been doing some freaking out of the grandest variety lately regarding my hip and my marathon training. Yes, I'm still running...and yes, I'm still biking, but I haven't been out on a long run in weeks and it freaks me out, man!!!! Check out the countdown clock on the left side of the's getting close! Pretty soon we'll be closer to the upcoming marathon than we are to the one I just completed. And I'm running three mile workouts and doing a lot of biking. Ahem, did someone forget to tell me that you don't bike a marathon??? I need to get some consistent 13-17 mile runs in soon or I may end up spending race day in a straightjacket...Because I'm freaking out!!!!!!!

Chris gets home today. At least he is supposed to. Since it's almost tomorrow, however, I don't think he'll make it. He was supposed to have been home hours ago. His plane was delayed for several hours for the most scary of all reasons--mechanical problems. In the end they announced that they could board the plane, as they had one of the three auto-pilots functioning...And joked that the pilots would actually have to fly the plane today. Nice. Thanks. That makes me feel great about my husband flying across the country in your 1/3 functioning aircraft.

We go camping tomorrow. We were supposed to have gone tonight, but since Chris is still not home at nearly Midnight, it didn't happen. It's supposed to be 95-98 degrees and almost 100% humidity for the next two days. Doesn't camping in a tent with a three year old and a nine month old in 98 degree weather sound fabulous?????? Especially when you haven't seen your husband in a month (except for a few days over the 4th) and you haven't slept in just as long because your toddler needs help to pee during the night and your nine month old demands 1-2 bottles during the night, then gets up at 5 am?? I'm tired. I generally don't sleep well in hot weather, and Libby kicks and punches in her sleep, and Amelia crawls all over while she sleeps...And I'll be sharing a air mattress with them both. I was SO looking forward to this weekend and the camping with our friends (and Libby's boyfriend) when it was two nights and Chris wasn't scheduled to have been traveling the week before. I wish we could reschedule, but it's just not an option. Regardless, I'm sure we'll still have a great time, and Libby will be in heaven.

Netflix is awesome. I watched 'Rumor Has It' last night and 'Monster' tonight. I'll have to see what comes next before I do my 38 word movie options are so much wider now! Fun!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Amelia in Pigtails

Amelia in Pigtails 7-12-06, originally uploaded by cRebRun.

This morning Libby declared that Amelia should have two pigtails. She decided that she should have three. She's the that's what they got. It was Amelia's first set of pigtails (she always sports the pebbles ponytail on the top of her head) so had to take the photo

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Four Tooth McGoo

Poor Amelia. In this photo you can see all four of her teeth, plus the two next to the front teeth that are just days away from popping through. Just think about how that must hurt!!

Libby Splash

Libby Splash 7-9-06, originally uploaded by cRebRun.

Libby, Amelia, and I were playing in the pool on Sunday

Morning Princess

Morning Princess 7-11-06, originally uploaded by cRebRun.

Libby staggered out of her room this morning like this. it was a princess the morning after....

Monday, July 10, 2006

Reb's Weekly 38 Word Movie Review

With the recent joining of Netflix, I will have no problem keeping up with my movie review! By the way, LOVE Netflix. We don't have cable, so we tend to rent 2-3 movies per weekend, and a whole month of unlimited movies is about the cost of one weekend at Hollywood Video. And we don't waste money on late fees, which is an issue for us.
So this week I have two movies to chose between for the review... Dreamer with little Dakota Fanning and the beautiful horse (I won't cry for the sappiest movie....whether it's a heartbreaking drama or romantic comedy. Chris thinks I'm cold hearted and cries at the silliest little thing in a movie.... but give me an animal story and I sob. Seriously. You know Homeward Bound? About the two dogs and a cat who get lost and have to find their way home? yep, I go through a box of tissues and have a lump in my throat for days. There's a movie about sled dogs--what was the name--it was a Disney film--live action--White Fang? Does that sound right? Anyway, I was a mess through the entire thing. I couldn't sit still, couldn't breathe, cried, gasped, basically freaked out. Chris still teases me about that a couple years later.) Anyway, sorry...I could choose between Dreamer and Sense and Sensibility. Hmmmm....

Gotta go with...

Dakota Fanning is incredible. Champion horse breaks it's leg but is spared and nursed back to health. Girl takes ownership of horse and finds new relationship with her dad. Kurt Russel, Elisabeth Shue as parents. Cheesy but good!

Chris is still in WA on business. Yesterday he hurt himself at Mount St Helens. While attempting a death-defying leap from one rock to another, he fell and gashed his leg open. He said that blood was pooling into his shoes pretty much immediately. There were pebbles in the wound that he had to pull out, and tonight it's still bleeding. He definitely should have gone for stitches, but he felt stupid and embarrassed as it happened in front of his coworker.
He comes home on Friday, and that will make most of a month that he's been gone. In the time I've been 'single parenting' Libby had a serious case of Strep Throat, Amelia got two new teeth and has two more working their way out, Amelia got two ear infections (diagnosed today, now on the same medication as Libby for her Strep), I had to go to the Orthopedic doc and had x-rays and bone scans, had showings on the house which meant lots of cleaning, dropped the price of the house, and Libby had to go back to the doctor today because her tonsils are still enormous. I'm ready for Chris to come home. And I told him that next time he's away on business, if one of the girls or dogs get sick and need to go to the doctor and/or can't go to daycare, he's flying home from wherever in the world he is and taking care of it. I'm probably inches from my boss giving me a box for my things at work because of all the missed time.

The hip is coming along slowly. The cross training seems to be helping. Tonight I ran three miles and then biked 8 miles, averaging 20 mph. The hip feels pretty good, and it allowed me to get my pace up to normal for half of the run. A few more weeks of this and hopefully I'll be able to get my running mileage up again.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Saturday Morning Long Ride

How strange to say 'long ride' instead of 'long run'. My hip still isn't ready for a long run, so there is not a Java Adventure Run Report, but I can do a brief Long Ride Report.
My other running partner, Dave, has the exact same hip issue that I have. His kept him from running the Green Bay Marathon, as it flared up after the Nashville Marathon a month prior. He blames the hip injury on a mishap while running with his Collie, Simba, but I think it has more to do with running a Marathon with basically no training. I joke that you know your training has been less-than-stellar when the tapering phase of your training means you have to increase your mileage. That was pretty much the case for Nashville with Dave. So the two of us headed out on our bicycles this morning to give the hips a break.
We planned on biking to the nearby State Park. Chris gave me the route that would take us there and back in about thirty miles. Had I managed to stick to that route we would have seen the State Park. But, lost. Now, there are pros and cons to getting lost on a long ride. You may, as we did, come across some very beautiful and interesting sights. We actually got to see an old farmer tilling his field with machinery being pulled by two beautiful horses instead of a tractor... We saw fields of beets and carrots and corn.... We saw amazing wildflowers... Dragonflies.... But then things got scary when we entered into the Land of the Roadkill. (have someone hum scary horror film music to you while you read this) Dave and I went a long way past the small county highway that we were supposed to take, which would have led us to the quiet road into the State Park. Instead, we had to ride for miles on a very busy state highway. The wind was blowing at a fierce 20+ miles per hour, howling in our ears. Automobiles kicked up gravel and mammoth insects hit us in the face. Semi trucks spewed toxic fumes into the air...and into our lungs. ...and then we passed a headless crow...and a entrail-showing opossum....a raccoon who stared at us through dead, glassy unidentifiable rodent.... What was causing this carnage? Were we to be the next victims?
(you can tell them to stop humming)
By the time we found the road into the park, we were well past what should have been our halfway point and opted to skip the park and head for home. The park is one huge hill. This route had been hilly enough, on the way there. We had to ride into the wind (did I mention that it was 20 mph with even bigger gusts?) for most of the rest of the way, so it seemed like the wise choice.
In the end we rode 28.5 miles. I wanted to ride around the neighborhood a little, in order to hit 30 miles. Dave told me that I'm compulsive. ......he's a medical professional and he's just now figuring this out???
Took and ice bath, had some lunch, and put the girls down for naps. The house is quiet. It's been a good day.

Mom Rocks

Mom Rocks 1 7-8-06 (Large), originally uploaded by cRebRun.

Okay, so I bought the shirt and forced her to wear it...but it's good for the self-esteem and she thinks anything that says 'rocks' is cool. She's a Rockstar Princess, you know.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Maybe We Should Raffle Off The House??

Since we aren't having any takers on the house the traditional way, I was thinking of selling raffle tickets. Five bucks a ticket...if I sell enough we could make the amount we wanted and one lucky winner will get a house for the cost of a large pizza from Little Ceasers. Who could pass that up?
Actually, we dropped the price again today. It's only by $2500, but it's still so discouraging. That $2500 could have gone a long way towards a fence for the new backyard....or paid off my motorcycle.....or sent us on a real honeymoon....or paid a few months of daycare....
Anyone want a house? I'll throw in a three year old black lab for no extra charge. You can keep the custom pooper scooper. And her kennel. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!! As an added bonus, if you order now, you can even have the little bird who's nesting in the rain gutter!!

I put some new photos from tonight onto my flickr page.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fireworks and the First Run

We took the girls to the fireworks display last night and it went great. In the morning Chris took the van over to the park where they set them off and parked about 100 yards away. He and the girls walked home, then when it was time to go we drove my car over and parked about a half mile away and walked over to the van. There had been severe thunderstorm warnings and watches out, but it all passed by and we had a dry evening until about fifteen minutes after they ended, when the sky opened up. Libby did great as long as Chris covered her ears, and loved them. She said that the ones that looked like 'jungle trees' were her favorites. Amelia slept through the entire thing in her carseat in the van. Again, I wonder how she can sleep through an enormous fireworks display going on 100 yards away, but can't sleep through me getting up to pee during the night.

I just did my first run. It was a very slow three miler, but it felt so good to run again. My hip hurt, but not as bad and I was so excited to be running again that I didn't care that much. Iced and stretched and although it hurts, I can put weight on it and that's improvement :)

Happy Independence Day!! (with Dr Marathon Update)

Happy 4th of July! We are having a very nice, very mellow one here. Just the four of us hanging out and enjoying the day off. Enjoying the day together before Chris leaves again tomorrow for ten more days in Washington state. I can't believe that he's leaving again so soon. Four days just didn't seem like long enough to have him home. Libby says that she's ready for another 'Girl Party' as we call it when it's just us girls at home...but give her two hours after the plane takes off and she'll be saying that she wants her daddy.
The girls have been enjoying our large above-ground pool this weekend. (okay, so it's a small plastic baby pool...but it is above ground and they are enjoying it) The dogs are even relaxed. I think it's been an hour since I heard Holly bark. That's something special.

I had my follow up appointment with Dr Marathon yesterday to get results from the x-rays and bone scans. THEY WERE NORMAL! No stress fracture!!! The bones are okay, although there is some misalignment in my pelvis which could just be from muscle imbalance. He gave me a bunch of exercises to do and told me I can start running again!! Not even two weeks off, but it feels like it's been forever. Biking just doesn't do the same things for me. He did give me a stern lecture about easing into it, running slower than usual (he obviously hasn't seen me run and doesn't realize that this means I'll be taking a leizurely stroll), and cutting my distance in half for a little bit. There will also still be cross training, so I'll maybe just run 2x a week and bike 2x a week for a little while, until it's back to (mostly) full strength. If things continue to hurt or get worse, I'll go back. Yay!!!! I'm a runner again!!!

With the help of my awesome running friend, Katherine, I added a countdown to my next marathon off to the left of the page. Also added Flickr, which will make viewing photos much easier for you. Rather than searching through posts to find photos, you can click on the purple Flickr badge (also off to the left) and then view our 'sets' for normal family photos, two others for the girls' monthly photos from their first years. Katherine is the best. I SO owe her.

Happy 4th!!!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Big News On The Gnomefront!!!! They send gifts!!

Over the last couple of months the gnomes have sent me several presents out of the blue. The Gnomes write long sweet letters proclaiming their devotion to me and thank me for being their ardent defender. They know how deep my love is for them and call me wonderful things like "luscious" and "delicious" and "beautiful". These gifts have brightened many days for me. The Gnomes sent me a necklace made out of a bottle cap, which I wear nearly every day. A beer bottle cap gnome necklace may not be "business dress" according to my employer, but I think it is the perfect accessory to a nice black suit. They also sent a gnome air freshener for my car. It's the perfect scent to cover wet dog smell and the aroma of baby spit up. What does a gnome smell like, you ask? Pine, apparently. I would have assumed that they smelled more like mushrooms or the substance that is in their pipes, but what do I know, really? The Gnomes also sent a gnome statuette, which resides next to my computer. He helps me find words that are not coming to me and gives me someone to talk to when I'm alone. And then yesterday The Gnomes sent Libby a gift!!!! I'm so happy that they are aware of her love for them!!! They sent her a beautiful gnome shirt! I love it and intend to force her to wear it for every special occasion until she can't squeeze into it...Then watch out, Amelia! I have to show you the gifts. Then you may understand why I love gnomes so much. They are wonderful and generous creatures who always make my day brighter when I can use it.

Took the girls in the bike trailer for about 18 miles. That wouldn't have been any impressive feat, but it was a very hilly route on an extremely windy day. It kicked my butt like a good long run, whereas I've been doing 15 miles on the stationary bike and not feeling like I've worked hard enough. I'm telling you, the 9 miles into the wind, with it catching in that trailer like those parachutes they use to stop racecars, added some serious resistance.