Saturday, November 29, 2008

Long Day!

Where did this past week go? And why can't the weeks go by this fast when we are in school? Oh well! Our last Saturday of the holiday was spent waking up at 6am to Jake crying for his mommy. After putting him in bed with us, he finally fell back asleep just in time for Landry to start her whimpering(that was around 7). So I was able to sneak out of bed without waking Jake up and get Landry before her whimpers turned into wails. We were able to spend some quality time playing with toys without her brother snatching them from her:).

And she even got to play with the walker I bought her yesterday at Wal-Mart for $10. Black Friday deal and I did not get there early for it. They still had some at 6pm so I guess we just got lucky!

Shortly after this the whole family was up and ready to eat. We got everyone fed and the house in decent shape. Then I had to quickly get ready for a baby shower that was in Bossier for a friend. So I hopped in the car and went to Bossier, stayed for an hour, then headed BACK to Ruston so that Matt could make a 1:30 Tech football kickoff. He wanted to take the kids and I didn't think that was a good idea. It was damp and cool outside, not to mention Landry hadn't been in the best mood except for when she first woke up. So when I got home I fell into this:

She must have cried ALL afternoon! Jake was wanting to put all her bows in his hair and I thought WHY NOT! She just pulls the bows out every time I put them in. We did manage to get a few in her hair but she could care less about participating in our party. She wanted me to hold her...and I did all afternoon. And Jake was totally enthralled and I was laughing SO hard. He had them on the back of his head as well and was in heaven.

And so was Landry as long as she was in my lap!

Things are still going good with the house deal. The plan is to close on Dec.8. Matt got most of what I boxed up earlier in the week yesterday and we still have to head back over to Benton after church tomorrow to get some last minute things. I still don't have my Christmas tree and decorations so that is top priority. We had our cleaning lady get the house good and clean yesterday so I am anxious to see what it looks like empty AND clean:). We had a lot of fond memories in that house and we will miss it a lot.... but not the house note. Matt and I have already begin looking at houses in Ruston just because it is fun to look! We are going to stay put for a while though, I need a break from packing up boxes.

Landry and Jake's birthday party is this coming Saturday in Shreveport at Gymboree play and music. I took Jake to classes there this summer and he had a BLAST! It isn't the ideal place for a first birthday for Landry, but considering the circumstances I figured it would be the easiest thing. So we are hoping to have a great time and see some of our friends we've been missing. Have a great week!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Pictures

I took WAY too many pictures and I thought I would post them for you to enjoy! We ate too much but who cares! If you choose to shop on Black Friday(which I don't just yet!), have fun and good luck at getting some good deals.

Welcoming Analeigh Joye

Matt's best friend from childhood/high school, Jay Turner and his wife Ashley, welcomed their third little girl on Monday morning, Analeigh Joye. Mama and baby are doing great and we are so excited for them! Emma and Ella will be great big sisters!! Congrats Ashley and Jay.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pictures from the past few days

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tyler Fried Turkeys

When I first met Matt 7 years ago I learned that people cook Cajun fried turkeys. To me they sounded gross because I pictured it like I would a piece of fried chicken. Well people, I was wrong! Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Matt, Mark, and their dad cook these turkeys and it is a MAJOR undertaking. Matt's dad got a recipe for a Cajun dope from a man in south Louisiana about 20 years ago and told him he would never tell anyone the ingredients. So as of 2008 they have been doing these turkeys for about that long. They started out frying about 14 of them for close friends and relatives. In 1993 they burned their entire house down cooking these turkeys and lost everything. True story-Matt was a junior in high school at the time and Mark was a freshman.
Now they cook the turkeys with gas instead of butane and have 5 oblong cookers(each holds 4 turkeys) and are able to cook 20 at a time and they take an hour to cook. They inject these turkeys with the "secret" Cajun dope on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and cook them the Tuesday and Wednesday before. Currently they have sold out at 490 turkeys folks! That is A LOT of turkeys and YES they are FABULOUS!! It is a very big task and Matt had to get up at 4:30 am this morning to start cooking. And they are still cooking as I type. They will finish cooking 300 turkeys today and will finish the rest tomorrow.
They usually only sell around 300-350 for Thanksgiving. So this is my story for tonight! Sorry to bore you but I am have nothing else to post.
I did put a big dent into boxing up our house. I think we have more dishes than Wal-Mart-seriously! And so I spent about 5 hours packing and boxing things up today. Tomorrow I will try to get started early so that we can get back to Ruston. My entire family is coming in and I am really looking forward to an exciting year. My sister, Laura, will be in from Atlanta, and my brothers Brian and Darrell will be in from Dallas. All the grand kids will be in with them and I know Jake will have a blast entertaining them! I will post some pictures from our visit later. I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have SO much to be thankful for and I will save that for the next post.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Priceless Memories

Money spent on toys for the kids: $500
Money spent at Baby Gap: $133
Money spent on the Baby Gap bag that they played in and giggled together: PRICELESS

After shopping in Shreveport and Bossier yesterday,we got home last night and they had a ball with this bag. I wish I could post a video of this! They giggled up a storm! It was so cute:). I had to post this before church!!! Have a great day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving Holidays!!!!

The absolute best thing about being a school teacher is having the entire week off from school! I am so looking forward to next week. Not that I get to sleep in or anything:), but I will get to relax a little-maybe!
We do have some REALLY GOOD NEWS(and no I am not pregnant): we are in the process of selling our house! Praise God and his perfect timing. The lady that is buying it is a family friend form Ruston. She will be working at the Methodist church in Benton, which is .2 miles from our house! She wants to be in it within the next 2 weeks. It works out great that I have the break to get things packed up. And we have A LOT to pack up! Although we have stuff over here, we still have all of our wall decor up, tons of things in the cabinet, all of our wedding china, etc. So maybe I won't get to relax much...but that is OK!
So now you may be wondering if we are going to move right away from the home we are living in here in Ruston. Nope! I don't want to move right now anywho! The PLAN(but who is really in control!?) is to buy something larger this summer and have this house ready to rent when school starts in August. That we way we can take our time. I am SO thankful this worked out(although the papers have not been signed just yet)!
As for running I am taking this week off for sure! Next week will be based in my time management. I plan to start training for Boston shortly after Christmas. Any running before that will be just because.

I have a friend in Shreveport, Emily Norton Pruitt(who owns a marathon PR of 3:15!!) who is doing Boston and that is comforting to know I can run with her on the 20+ mile long runs.
Have a great weekend and I will be in touch!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Race Weekend

What a great weekend! We all had a great time and for the most part a great experience. Matt and I arrived in San Antonio on Friday night around 10. Sarah and Ryan arrived earlier that day. Saturday started out early as I headed to take the Praxis. After that we headed to the expo to meet up with Sarah. Here we are:

After hitting the expo we all went to eat a late lunch as we were really hungry. After that we went to the hotel and had an uneventful evening as I was in bed asleep by 9. The next morning Sarah met me at my hotel around 5:45 and we walked the 2 blocks to the shuttle. Of the 30,000 people there, I actually ran into MC and Clay! Who would've thought! We decided to meet up with them after the race. Sarah and I had time to go to the restroom and then headed to our corral. There were 32 of them and you are placed based on your time. We were in corral 4 and I thought we were kinda close to the starting line considering there were some FAST people there! I put my projected marathon time for 3:35. It was pretty cold at the beginning of the race and most people were dressed for an arctic blast. We decided to get rid of our clothes before the race as we knew we would warm up fast. Matt blew me away when he showed up before the race(he had walked 4 miles to the starting line!) and took our picture.

Here we are minutes before the race.

And here we are at mile 8. Still hollering and feeling great.

This is around mile 12. Still feeling good. Ran with this lady for a few miles...age 52; 25 marathons; 5 Bostons under her belt!!! PR of 3:27

Here I am with a girl who ran with me for about 2.5 miles(she doesn't look as tired as me in this picture but I ended up running ahead of her;)). This is around mile 23 and feeling tired but still determined.
So here are my top things that made a big difference in the marathon:
1) Having a running partner. Sarah was the BEST and I could not/would not have done this with out her! Just 3.5 months ago I could not have run 5 miles without being out of breath! It's amazing what a difference a running partner makes. Kennedy gets credit too!! Her marathon is in 3 weeks.
2) Staying close to the marathon site and being able to walk to the shuttle that takes you to the starting line. This is a must! Road closures around the city are too risky and you don't want to be late on race morning!
3) My dear husband is VERY good with directions and I saw him about 10 times on the course. This was very helpful during the race, especially during the later miles. Between him and Ryan(they later met up together and did the last miles together), we saw them around 12 times and that was GREAT!
4) Having our names on our shirt helped ME a lot. I made fun of my mom for doing this when she ran a marathon. It really helps having people call out your name! Especially at the END!
5) A running buddy from high school texted me on my phone the day before telling me that the half way mark was at mile 20. TRUE STATEMENT!
6) More determined than ever to qualify for the Boston Marathon(3:40 was the time I had to run) and do it with my mom who qualified last year. I think she is more excited than I am.
Another thing that helped was running the first half SLOW. We felt great the first 13 miles. At mile 16 I still felt great and decided to surge a little to make up for the pace we went out in. Sarah's stomach was hurting a little and she still had an awesome run(3:50....40 minute PR for her!). So there is my race summary and I hope I didn't bore all of you too much. Boston is April 20, so I plan to take some time off before taking on the daunting task again!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Boston Bound!! Ran 3:35:46. Tired post more tmrw!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Marathon Bound

The moment has arrived and we are leaving today around noon for San Antonio. Jake is staying with my in-laws in Bossier and Landry will be with my parents. This week has been rough as our whole household has been sick. Landry was sick Sunday and Monday. Matt, Jake, and I were sick on Tuesday(also my birthday) and Matt had to go to Baton Rouge that day for an overnight stay.

As of today I still don't feel 100% but I am hoping be OK by Sunday. Currently I am trying to stay hydrated by drinking PLENTY of water. I did manage to get 3 runs in this week although it rained a lot and I felt horrible. So thankful to have Sarah running this marathon with me! Hopefully we will stay together the whole time. There is supposed to be cold front coming through this weekend and this is music to my ears for Sunday. On Saturday I am having to take another Praxis test(the parish I am teaching in is making me take the elementary content area test since I took the grades 6-12 test when I was doing my undergrad work...and now I am back teaching in the elementary level) and since I HAD(according to the parish) to take it in November and it was the day before the marathon, I went ahead and signed up for the test in San Antonio. This was a better option than taking it in Ruston on Saturday and then driving all day only to run the very next day. Hope all that made sense. The Praxis is the new version of the NTE(National Teachers Exam).

Onto an exciting event in our household.........Landry is standing up on her own. And then she falls down, but that is ok! She can come the position by pushing off the floor. She is growing up way too fast! Jake was no where close to walking at her age. He was just starting to pull up when we brought Landry home from the hospital last year. He finally walked around 14 months. I am not trying to compare!, this is all we know:).

I hope you all have a great weekend! We are coming home on Monday.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Big 3-0

So I thought that in honor my the THIRTIETH birthday tomorrow, I would reflect on the change during our last 2 years. Little do you know the change brought about by children. You truly understand what it means to "die to self" and what unconditional love is! We never thought we would have 2 children SO close together, but are very thankful for the blessings God has given to us. Our children are the center of our lives and keep us laughing constantly. My last 2 birthdays were spent BIG and pregnant! I wasn't one to gain weight gracefully and kinda glad I enjoyed eating a lot(!!) during those times. The weight was easier to get off with Jake than with Landry but they were worth every pound!

At a shower given on my 28th birthday....31 weeks pregnant with Jake.

On my 29th birthday....35 weeks pregnant with Landry(I was 3.5 weeks ahead of my pregnancy from the year before with Jake as he was a preemie and born at 35 weeks...his original due date was January 21)

I am not too big on celebrating birthdays(now my children's' birthdays are another story!) but since the last 2 years have been all about my children(and the next 50 years will be too!), I figured that running a marathon is just about the best gift I could give to myself. It has allowed me to accomplish something big while juggling motherhood among other things. Hopefully I will finish without any complications and just be proud of myself for the moment and enjoy the weekend. We leave Friday and I am looking forward to it!

Here are a few more pictures from the early days!
Jake on the day we brought him home. He was in the NICU for 8 days and we were able to bring him home on 12/23/ Christmas present ever!!

I really didn't take too many pictures of myself pregnant with Landry. I was just really to not be pregnant anymore:(. Hate that I felt that way. This was taken on the day I had Landry. We had a scheduled C-section at noon on 12-10-07. We were headed to the hospital at this point.
Taken on 12-12-07...we were taking Landry Grace home! We celebrated our 4th anniversary the NEXT day and then Jake's 1st birthday on 12-15.
It's been a tough year but I wouldn't trade it for the WORLD! I love you Matt, Jake, and Landry with all of my heart.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lincoln Parish Park

I will always have special memories about Lincoln Parish Park. I ran MANY miles here in high school as there is a 10 mile mountain bike trail. Every Saturday we religiously ran our long run here, plus 2 times a week we were at the park. I don't come out here much any more, no real reason, I just don't get out here much. In the summer they have a swimming area and there is a playground for the kids. Mom and I went out there today to walk with the kiddos. Along the way we saw all kinds of animals. Jake was thrilled to see the ducks and they stayed around us long enough for Jake to stay still for a while.

This was taken when we first saw them. He was looking at Big Mama in excitement.
On another note, Landry drank some pedialyte when she got up from her nap today. We did this all day long and this evening she ate a good bit of a banana and some applesauce. I haven't tried milk again since this morning. I decided against taking her in once she drank something and mom will keep her for me tomorrow so I don't have to miss work. Mom will take her to the doctor for me as well. Have a great week!

Quick Weekend

We had a fun but quick trip to Baton Rouge this weekend. The kids did great at the wedding. Jake danced and ran all over the place. He is the life of the party!! And Landry is getting so fiesty! She is one tough cookie that always wants to be a step behind her brother. Just this week she has really begun to free stand for up to 10 seconds. She just laughs at herself.

Family picture at the reception.I took this picture right after we got to the wedding. Jake obviously wanted out of the stroller and I just wanted one picture of them in their outfits. Oh well!!
Landry was working on standing while Jake was working on being a line backer! He loves his mealtime.
Right before we left with Matt's parents GiGi and Papaw. Jake was SOOOOO tired....the face says it all. And Landry was happy go lucky!

Marathon Party

My running partner Sarah Grigsby had us over last week for a marathon party in celebration of our upcoming marathon(s). Sarah is in the red top and Katey Coates is in the grey. Katye's sister Kennedy is also a running partner of mine and she couldn't make it. Sarah and I are running our marathon this coming Sunday in San Antonio while Katey and Kennedy are doing the St. Jude marathon in Memphis on Dec.6. I would NEVER have done this without them. Never had to worry about them not showing up and we never missed a long run. I do have a goal time that I want to run the race in, but I don't want to jinx myself. So I will save those thoughts for after the race! We are leaving Friday and coming back Monday. Mary Catherine and her husband are doing the half-marathon. Should be a fun weekend!


On our way home last night Landry just starting throwing up. We pulled over and got her changed, went ahead and got some Pedialyte and were back on the road. I gave her some Pedialyte about 30 minutes later and she threw that up as well. We got home around 11pm and I bathed her and tried giving her some more ped. She wouldn't take it. So she got up around 5:50 this morning because she was hungry. Tried giving her some formula(Yes I know I should have given her ped. but I didn't) and she threw that up in our bed. And she won't drink the Pedialyte. Jake is still asleep(thank goodness) and we will have our first experience with the emergency room today in Ruston as they have no pediatrician services on Sunday. Could be a long day. I have a take home final that is LONG to do tonight but couldn't care less when my baby has a virus. Yet she is not acting fussy at all. Who knows. I'll post pictures from the weekend later on. Just wanted to let you know about Landry Grace.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

In Baton Rouge for the day!

We arrived in BR last night around 9:00. Matt's cousin is getting married today in St. Francisville. Everything was going great at first...Jake was in his pack n play in a huge closet in the same room we were in....UNTIL Matt checked on him. WELL, he then spent the night in bed with us. Yes I have bruises from where I was kick all night:)! Then he decided to wake up at at 5:50 by crying for Papaw(who is still asleep and probably won't wake up before noon!) and then Landry woke up. It really is fine! This just reminds me why we won't be taking too many vacations until they are a little older. So the wedding is at 4 and we will see how the day goes. We are driving home to Ruston tonight as they should sleep the whole time. Hope they will take a nap today!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We were able to look at our pictures today and was surprised that we got a couple of good shots for our Chrismas cards! I enjoyed having election day OFF:). We all went to Bossier last night and stayed with Matt's parents and then voted early this morning. Unfortunately my choice looks like he probably won't win...but I won't go into politics!
So we came home after that and I ran at 9:30am...not a good time to run as it was WAY TOO HOT. Not thinking I can do 26.2 miles in weather warmer than 50 degrees but I gotta think positive. I also came the closest in my life to getting hit as a girl was pulling out of a convenient store and I took for granted she saw me crossing in front of her. Well, she didn't and the next thing I know my hand was on the hood of her car telling her to STOP. Opps...and that is the only other "exciting" thing that happened today! We took pictures at 4pm and I hope they turned out good as well.
Well, that is all for now. Both of my finals are next week and I am through with this quarter. HOORAY!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We Survived the Weekend!

When we got to the game, the kids were mesmerized by the band. They loved watching them!

Again....loving the band!Hey mom!!!

Me and Mary Catherine
Jake was SACKED out by the time we left at had been a long day!

Well, we made it through the Tech game until half-time and Jake fell asleep before we got to the car. Last night we kept the kids up until 9pm due to the fact it was daylight savings. I can remember thinking a long time ago how great it was to have an extra hour of sleep, but ALL of that changes when you have children! So we have been up since the crack of dawn! Then we went out to eat with Trey and Tara again after church and since there are only about 3 places in Ruston open on Sunday we did not get home until 2 o'clock(from now on I say I will cook after church...we'll see!) Oh, and did I mention that I scheduled our family Christmas card pictures for today? Not a good idea(we will be out of town the next 2 weekends and I had to get it done!). Both of my children were SCREAMING their heads off as we left for our 4pm appointment. They had just gotten up from their naps and I was hoping this was not an indication of things to come. pretty much was! Jake would not stay still for the camera and he is a little young to accept a bribe(darn it!). So maybe we will get some good pictures and maybe we won't! Right now my children are really ready to go to bed and I have to try and keep them up for another hour. Thank goodness we have Tuesday off from school. Yet Matt and I are driving to Benton early Tuesday morning to vote since we didn't change our residence before the deadline. Then it is back to finishing up some last minute school projects before taking ANOTHER family fall portrait at 4pm that day(don't ask....I wanted this to just be a fall portrait separate from Christmas cards). Ok, my children are both crying....they are SO tired. I am off to bathe them and put them to bed. Have a great week!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween festivities!

Whew. Can I say that it has been a hectic last couple of days and will welcome this day of rest. Dressing the kids up 2 days in a row and getting them in and out of strollers...along with explaining to Jake that he should put his candy in the bucket and not try to hold it when he clearly cannot understand as he throws a HUGE temper tantrum can be a little exhausting. Jake is still wearing his golf hat this morning. I never knew he would like to dress up so much! He and Landry really did have a great time as did their parents!! I know next year will be even better as they will grasp the concept even more.
Halloween started out really early on Friday as Sarah and I ran out 12 miles at 4:45am(am I the only one who thinks we're crazy?) and finished the run in 1:32. Hopefully this is an indication that we will feel good during the marathon. Hope so! From now on our longest run is 8 miles and I just have to remember to taper properly. Oh how I hope for cold weather but will probably not get it. Looking forward to that weekend though.
Last night we went to an adult Halloween party(not used to doing things without kids!!!!!!!!!!!)and we had a great time! Matt and I were "cereal killers" you get it? A friend from high school, Jonathan Macaskill, suggested it to me on facebook and after much thought decided it was a GREAt and economical idea. The party was fun.
And today we are going to Tech's homecomng with both children so that should be fun. I am going now to enjoy my day!