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Showing posts from August, 2010

Parkersburg News & Sentinel 2 Mile Race

A week or so ago, I ran a two mile race.  The race was in the town across the river from my college town, and it was a great excuse to have a weekend to go see some college friends.

My super awesome friend Robin and her husband Eric and their 6-month old baby girl were in town to stay with her parents for the weekend.  Her mom walks the half-marathon every year.  My friend Claire also still lives in the area and was running the two-mile race too!  It was a great opportunity to visit and run!

I got in town Friday evening in time to relax with Robin & her family at their farmhouse.  I love visiting with Robin and her family.  Her parents live out in the country in southeaster Ohio, and it's just beautiful!  I love the views looking out over the rolling hills and the general country-ness to it.  There aren't many close neighbors, just nature and some farmland.  They live in a great older farmhouse that is so comfortable.  People always seem to be congregating around the larg…

Idlewild Park

It seems like forever ago my family went on vacation!
I failed at blogging about the trip!  Here's one of our stops.  Any bets on how long it'll take me to post about the other stops on our trip?  
After day one of our vacation, we spent day two at Idlewild Park and Soak Zone!
We started out the day heading to Mister Rogers Neighborhood of Make-Believe.  While I was a big fan, and watched Mister Rogers often as a child, my boys have never seen the show.  Regardless, the sure like the Hug-N-Song Party!
We spent the rest of our morning watching the kiddos play in Racoon Lagoon.  They loved it, well almost all of it anyway.  The tea cups were not a family favorite.  I wouldn't recommend wearing a dress on them if you'd like to keep some dignity!

After lunching in the shade of some large trees, we headed on to explore Olde Idlewild.  But before I get to that, let me just say that I LOVE the shade trees!  We spent an entire day at the park and didn't spend too much time in d…

The Old Apartment

I never thought I'd miss living in our old apartment

I wish someone had told me "you're gonna miss this."

It was small, very small.  There were 5 of us living in a small two bedroom, one bathroom apartment before we moved into our house.  The only bathroom we had was on the second floor.  We had three boys sharing one bedroom.  We had no air conditioning, we had a kitchen the that has about as much counter top as the length of my arm, carpet through out the entire place, and lots of other assorted weird things to it.  Who really wants carpet in the bathroom, kitchen, and dinning room!?  Especially with 3 little boys!

I hated living there.  I couldn't wait until we were officially looking to buy our first house.

And now, after living here for over a year, I miss it sometimes.

I miss the lack of responsibility that comes with an apartment.  I miss the lazy afternoons spent on the couch because there was no yard work to do, and the cleaning was able to be finishe…

I'm not talking to...

Remember when nothing was the cool thing to say in my house and/or car?

Well, we've moved on.

Their new favorite thing goes something like this:

Boys: "Mommy"

Mommy: "Yes?"

Boys: "No, I'm talking to Daddy."

Daddy & Mommy: "But you said Mommy."

Boys: "No!"

OR something like this:

Boys: "Daddy"

Daddy: "Yes?"

Boys: "No, I'm talking to Mommy."

Daddy & Mommy: "But you said Daddy."
Boys: "No!"

And don't think you can catch on to their game and reply when they say your other half's name.  Oh no, they catch on, and then they actually want who they ask for. 

Then they laugh.

I chose him.

The result of our life changing event has been amazing. 

It has molded us and made us into the people we are today.  I will not pretend that it wasn't without many challenges along the way, and the many that we are still to face, but we have a deeper appreciation for the life God chose for us. 

In the conversations I had after the incident, I had several people, even some close friends, that asked what I was going to do in terms of my relationship.  Some suggested I really consider if this is what I want for my life; that circumstances change, and I could "find another fish in the sea" kind of mentality. 

The thought never once occurred to me.  When you love someone, you love them.  I may have never dreamed of the situation I was in, but it happened for a reason.  My husband, is who he is and the man I fell in love with  partly because of those boys.  My husband wouldn't be the same man he is, if he'd never had those children and been in that relationship.  Wh…


In my last post, I shared about how I became a mother.  I mentioned a third son of my boys biological mother.  He is older; he is currently 7, but at the time of the incident he was 5 and just starting kindergarten. 

He is not biologically my husband's child.  When my husband met their mother, she was a single parent.  The man my husband calls his Dad is his step-father.  I think that my husband like the opportunity to step into a father figure role for this boy, as his dad did for him.  Soon my hubby became Daddy to this little boy and has been ever since.

When the kids were taken away from their mother, the older son moved with them too.  And just like that, we were a family of 5.  (Crazy I went from single, working, college grad, to mom to 3 young boys over night.)

At the time of the incident he was watching cartoon with his mother while his brothers were supposedly napping.  When the home was inspected afterwards, his bedrooms was found to be in a neat/clean position with bed…

The Day/Week That Changed my Life

Two years ago today, I became a mom.  Most of you can share your birth stories of your precious babies and sympathize with labor and deliver and pregnancy.  Sometimes, I feel a twinge of sadness, because I can't share that with you, but nonetheless, I am a mom, and this is how it happened.  (And for the record, I wouldn't change a thing about my journey to motherhood.) 

I met my husband just over three years ago.  Before we started dating, I knew he had children, but I was so fascinated by him, that didn't matter.

As our relationship grew more serious, I met the kids when they were 1.5 years old and spent time with them on the weekends.

Once I graduated from college we had some loose plans, all of which involved our hope that someday the kids would live with us full time.  They had something like a shared parenting agreement prior to that.  (Their arrangements were a disaster, but that is really inconsequential.)

Two years ago today, I left work early to head to the eye d…

Meaningful Conversations

Through discussions with various people lately, I've learned something.

You never know when something you say will have a real impact on another persons life during a conversation.

I've been on the receiving end of thisseveraltimesrecently, and am so grateful for those interactions.  I do my best to make it known the impact they had, but I'm sure there are instances I don't, but to those who have, I am very grateful.

I've also talked with some wonderful people through the world of twitter, and many of your stories and support have touched me as well, and again, I am very grateful for this community.  

Tomorrow, here at my blog, I'm going to be posting the story of how I became the mother to my two beautiful boys.  This took a lot of consideration on my part and is something I feel very compelled to share. 

I've been thinking lately, that I could be giving someone else that same impact without even knowing. I can only hope that at some time I am paying it …

Discovering Himself

Keith picked up the kids from day care yesterday, while I rode my bike home from work.

We'd been home for awhile, long enough for me to discover that the kids were both in a lot of trouble in day care today.

As we're making dinner, he tells me that Caden's not allowed to have a big blanket at school anymore.  Apparently he's been "discovering himself" underneath the blanket during nap time.

Oh the joys of raising boys.

I don't know what to say to that.


As I was finishing my 5K over the weekend.  I was maybe a quarter mile from the finish line in the park.  And there was a small crowd of people cheering.  I always run better when I know/think someone is watching me.  So it helped, but there was an added bonus of a crowd of them yelling my name. 

The whole time I'm thinking, how the heck do they know my name!?  I'm running and thinking through all the possible scenarios, which all lead no where.  Why would someone care, even if they knew my name. 

Then I got a little confused because they were cheering for me to pass/catch the girl in front of me.  I was looking ahead, but I didn't see anyone in sight.

Then I cross the finish line, they take my tag, and give me a card for the people to fill out.  As I was filling it out, and the girl who finished just behind me is doing the same, it occurred to me, she and I had the same name.  The person they wanted her to catch/pass was me!  (Proud moment: she didn't!)

Who knew the c…

Community 5K Run

I just finished my second ever 5K.  I'm ready for a nap, but I'm so glad I did it.  It was a great community race full of families and coaches and teams.  And this time, I wasn't running with the horse and buggies!
It wasn't as hot as I was expecting this morning, which was nice.  
I finished mile one in 8:43.  Best mile I've ever finished since high school!  
I finished mile two in 17 something.  Sometimes running kills my memory I think. 
I finished the race in 28:25.  This is a full minute better than my last 5K
And wouldn't you know I won this nice little trophy!

Did you see that!?  I placed 2nd in my group (20-24 year old females). 
Before you get too congratulatory, I should probably also tell you that I could have finished one hour later, and still placed second.  There were only two people in my group!  The first place finisher finished in 27:07.


Step-parenting can be hard, and it can look vastly different in every case.  I hope my situation is the rarity, but I struggled with many things becoming a new parent.  One of the biggest things that helped me through everything was talking with out mom's out there.  I talked with several of the people I work with, who were incredibly supportive and willing to listen.  For that, I will be forever grateful. 

I talked with a pretty awesome mom recently, who also happens to be one of my co-workers I was traveling with for some meetings.  She's a mom to three, her oldest is her step-daughter.  I rarely talk to other moms who have step-kids, and I have to say that just talking with her about her experiences, made me feel like I wasn't the only one who's gone through these struggles that come with blended families!  To find someone to connect with on that level was such a great feeling for me.  It made me feel like I wasn't on so much of an island of my own anymore. 


Rolling Ridge Ranch

For Camerin's 7th birthday we went to an exotic animal park.  There was a lot of fun to be had and some great animals to see.  There was only a small amount of fear from the boys on occasion too!

After our horse-pulled-wagon tour though the 80 acres of wildlife.  We enjoyed a petting zoo!

Booster Seats

This was a very difficult transition for me.  My boys no longer need car seats to go everywhere.  They've upgraded to booster seats.  This makes me terribly anxious about how they're growing up so fast!  I can't believe how far they've come in the last few years!
They're so excited to be in booster seats though.

Pizza Making

I have a lot on my mind, and a lot I want to type out, but my family just left, I'm tired, and this post was ready to go, so here it is.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll share where my mind has been lately.

One of my favorite dinners my mom made for us as kids, was English Muffin Pizza.  We've made them for the kids on occasion, but this time, I thought I'd let the kids make their own mini pizzas!
They loved it.
Start with a great surface, and something to make the pizzas on!
Split your English Muffins to have a pizza surface to work with!
Put on the sauce!
Add toppings as desired. Their unusual topping of choice this time: butter.  They topped their pizzas with butter.
Get everything ready to bake in the oven.

My Friend Claire

Somehow I decided that a weekend away by myself was just what this mom needed.   My destination of choice: Maryland/Washington D.C. to visit my friend Claire!
Claire and I have been friends since our freshmen year of college. 
She was even a bridesmaid in my wedding. 
(She also designed all my wedding invitations and fancy stuff, because she's a pretty awesome graphic designer too!)
 I flew to Baltimore, and with her direction, took the bus and the metro to meet up with her for a dinner party!  It was a great time spent with lots of lovely ladies!  Although I'm certainly not used to a dinner party after 9:00 at night.  That's usually my bed time, not my dinner time! Photo from Sara Smith
After a morning of sleeping in, we headed out into the blisteringly hot weather to head into D.C.
After doing some walking around, we headed to the National Museum of American History.  Were I got to see Dorothy's ruby slippers and Kermit the Frog!
We spent the evening shopping at Ross Dress…

Our First Camping Trip

Our Campsite
Yum! S'mores!
Play Time
Why do the kids smile so much nicer for photos with Daddy? I say it's the photographer.  :)
And boy were they tired!