Thursday, November 27, 2008

So Thankful...

Following Brown Eyed Fox's wonderful lead...our family made our own Grateful Tree a couple of evenings ago. Daddy collected some branches from outside, I stuck them in a vase, and off we went.

The kids really got into it...even asking me to punch out more circles...and then having to write on the backs of the circles to make room for all that they are thankful for.

Yes, Daddy wrote he was thankful for golfing. Yes, I wrote that I was thankful for Peppermint Mocha Creamer. But, most of those wonderful things we are so incredibly grateful for touched me deeply.

Daddy always underlines what he write. ALWAYS!

Deven had to mark his circles with a "D."

Priya's contribution.

Trevor's attempt.

And, I'm most thankful for the above...
for HE has given us all of the
tremendously incredible
blessings we have.

Especially these Three Little Indians---
both figuratively and literally. :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Day After...

It's been over a week since the 1/2 marathon, but my friend sent this video to me, and I couldn't help but post it. It is EXACTLY how I was movin' the day after the race. All you running friends out there--I know you can totally relate.

Hilarious. So true. And, yet, why do I have this feeling I'll be doing it again next year???

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Kissing Hand

Since the day I discovered this book as a parent, it has been my all-time favorite story. My heart melted when Priya's kinder teacher read it to the class at Kinder Orientation last year, and then Deven's teacher did the same this year. I often kiss the palm of my kids' remind them that although I'm not always around them physically, we are close in spirit and in our hearts.

So, imagine our delight/surprise when we discovered our very own "Chester" (the character in the book) in the garage last Saturday morning on our way to Priya's swim lesson. It was the day before the race, and I was anticipating a relaxing day at home (after swim lessons) to prepare my mind and body for this test of endurance.

Apparently, when you live in the boondocks and leave the garage door open all night long--critters come-a-calling. Factor in a tantalizing bag of bird seed, and you've got yourself one huge mess. And, a trapped raccoon.

The poor thing wouldn't come down. I tried and tried. Turns out I must have injured him when I opened the garage door the first time. He was as stubborn as the rest of our family members, and there was only so much I could do with my own two hands.

With my own hub out of town...and the kids shrieking in and out of the car with a mixture of excitement and fear...I had only one option.

It was time to call in a reinforcement.

After establishing with HipMomma what exactly I wanted to borrow her husband for (ha!)...she agreed and sent him over. The HipHub arrived with a cool gadget that eventually coaxed the injured Chester (named by Deven) off the top of the garage. Bloody paw and all.

Sadly, he didn't run for freedom. He decided to go and cower in a corner. Thanks to the HibHub for his snake-grabber-poker-thingy.

Eventually, HipHub captured Chester in a garbage can and set him free in the vacant lot next to our house. Chester ran off okay...we're thinking his injured paw will be just fine.

As for the rest of our Saturday? Well, we missed Priya's swim lesson, but we still went to Denny's for a yummy breakfast. And, then to Home Depot for a super broom that would sweep up all the bird seed. Sweeping and cleaning/bleaching blood spots on the garage floor were my pre-race activities.

Not exactly how I planned to spend that day...but I was able to run the entire 13.1 miles...AND I have a cleaner garage than I've had in a long time. So, I can't really complain.

LESSON LEARNED: Always check the garage door at night when the hubby is out of town. And, I need to get myself one of those snake-grabber-poker-thingys.

I'll be sure to add that to my Christmas list.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tell Me How You REALLY Feel...

This is how I am feeling today...
how about you?

I bet HipMomma
would feel great, too,
if you stopped by
and wished her a
"happy birthday!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


**Click on any photo to make it bigger.**

Unlike the Danskin Triathlon, I'm in complete shock that I actually completed the half marathon. I'm not sure why...I guess because the thought of running 13.1 miles sounds absolutely insane. Yes, even more insane than swimming half a mile,
biking 14 miles, and running a 5K. Consecutively.

But, I did it. WE did it...Tonja and I. She truly motivated me and stuck by me...sore calf, overactive bladder, and all. She even stopped with me at the 3 mile mark so I could visit another Porta-Potty. Love her for that. The above picture is she and I at the starting line before we got up and "running."
Brrrrr. It was chilly.

I'm so glad that Dawn and I saw each other before the race got started.
I'm so proud of her. She's a humble one, that Dawn.
But I'm gonna brag on her a bit and tell you
that she actually WALKED the FULL MARATHON (26.2 MILES!)
a few years ago.
She rocks.

I'm not sure if this guy is an athlete or someone hired to entertain,
but he was at the starting line when Dawn
grabbed my camera and told me to go
stand with him for a photo op.

So...I did.

On your mark...
Get set...

I don't remember much about the race. Just bits and pieces...
here are some things that come to mind:

--shaking my head in disbelief when my car
thermostat read 27 degrees as I was picking
Tonja up at 5am

--peeing in the porta-potty at mile 3

--hearing one of the bands playing
"867-5309/Jenny" at mile 5

--listening to Aretha Franklin's "Respect"
on my Ipod at mile 7

--rockin' out to Joan Jett's
"I Love Rock-n-Roll at mile 9

--and pulling out my camera at mile 12.
Almost to the finish line.

Here's what I got as I ran.

Shadows of Tonja and I.

And, the home stretch cheering crowd with the
Alamodome in the background.


Tonja and I show off our medals.

I wore my "13.1" pendant for good luck
and my pink breast cancer bracelet
to inspire me to keep going.

It was especially exciting to share my accomplishment
with my blogging buddies who also ran the half marathon.
You girls ROCK!

Oh, yeah, the relief of not having to be
hauled away in one of these.

With the crowds and the freezing temps,
I felt better having la familia at home
while they cheered me on.
We went out to dinner that night to celebrate.

Priya called me a champion.

Oh, and that strained calf muscle I suffered a week ago?
It only reared its ugly head about mile 11 1/2...
I was able to push through it and run the whole way.
But, once I stopped, the soreness set in.

This is Mommy's idea of pain medicine.

So, who is gonna join me next year??????
Peace Love Run 13.1 Keepsake Box

Monday, November 17, 2008

Going the Distance

Jennifer ********** #30486

Boerne, TX
Age: 38 Gender: F
DistanceHALF MAR
Clock Time3:20:13
Chip Time2:39:52
Gender Place6478 / 11389
Age Grade42.3%

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Catch me if you can...

Finally. Thursday she finally pulled out the tooth that had been hanging by a thread for about a week. After multiple chases around the house with dental floss (while Priya shrieked with delight) she finally twisted it out all by herself. It was some major excitement that day...and the other front tooth is loose now. Maybe Priya will be able to sing this song in a few weeks.

I love the toothless grin.

Race Day. Tomorrow. 7:30am start time. And, after weeks of mild mornings, tomorrow the starting temperature is going to be 34 degrees. Brrrrrrr.

Tonja and I went to the Alamodome yesterday to pick up our race packets. You could palpate the excitement. People of all ages are running or walking the half or full marathon. It is going to be nothing short of amazing.

I've been nursing a sore calf muscle for 5 days. I've been wrapping my leg with an Icy Hot patch, and when I ran out, a friend (who noticed me limping) instinctively knew to drop me off another one and the above card. I'm surrounded by love and kindness.

It feels better and better as time passes, but I'm still very nervous about running 13.1 miles on it. One of my BFF's, Lisa, backed out completely due to a torn groin muscle. Another friend has been nursing a bad cold. If you're the praying kind...would you give a little shout out to God tomorrow morning on behalf of all 30,000 of us? Ya know, just in case God can't hear the crowds and the rock-n-roll bands playing in downtown San Antonio.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Because I cannot say no to any empty volunteer slots at my children's school, I ended up working the 7:30-9:30am shift at the Book Fair in the library this morning. What a gift it was...because during that time the Book Fair was closed while the entire school attended a 30 minute Veteran's Day celebration.

It was one of the most emotional tributes ever...I cried the entire time. When the local high school Jr. ROTC raised the flags. When the sweet voices of the elementary school choir sang the National Anthem. When the beloved school librarian delivered the most beautiful rendition of "God Bless America." When I looked out at the sea of kids and saw them holding their hands over their hearts. Hearing them proudly (and loudly!) say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Veteran's Day is especially meaningful to me as the daughter of a (retired) Air Force Colonel. Both of my grandfathers served in the Armed Forces. I entered college with the intention of becoming an Air Force nurse...and my first year in school I proudly wore the blue uniform. We have countless friends and family who have served...proudly and tirelessly.

The speaker today, a retired Army Lt. Colonel, said that the symbol of freedom in the United States is not the cracked Liberty Bell as some may think. The symbol of freedom is any man or woman who wears or who has worn a military uniform. He encouraged the kids to thank those soldiers for their freedom.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Time Crunch

On my favorite day of the week I always intend to join in the NOT ME MONDAY fun...but these days I barely have time to blog let alone recall the moments I could post about.

I feel as if time is whizzing by at some sort of insane warp speed. Was it only 5 months ago that I agreed to do the 1/2 marathon with my friend, Lisa? Since then, other peeps have joined the conquest, and's merely days away.

This week will be busy--lots of doctors' appointments, school activities, and volunteer commitments. I don't mind any of this--well, except visiting the doctor with the kids--but I do hope to find some peace and solitude and restless sleep at the end of each day to regroup, recharge, and re-energize for Sunday.

I feel as giddy as I did prior to my first triathlon back in June. I am a bit concerned about the ole' knees, but I know I can always walk it if I have to.

Hopefully, I won't have to.

Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Our Right

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tools of the Trade

So. The San Antonio Rock-n-Roll Marathon/Half Marathon is less than two weeks away. Less. Than. Fourteen. Days. Away.

And, with the event sold out at 30,000 participants, it promises to be a small little event void of any adrenaline-pumping excitement.

Holy cow.

I've been doing mental gymnastics trying to psych myself out...trying to talk myself into the fact that my knees will NOT give out on me during the 13.1 mile run through scenic downtown San Antonio. Trying to talk myself into the fact that the marathon officials will NOT take away my Ipod since there are supposed to be live bands at every mile marker. Trying to talk myself into believing that I will NOT have to stop and pee every 1/2 mile out of sheer nervousness. Trying to talk myself out of the idea that I will be the last person to cross the finish line.

Ya see, when I trained for the first ever...back in June...there was no doubt in my mind that I was sufficiently trained. Back then, I felt strong. I felt confident. I felt EXCITED.

I do not feel that way now. Now, I feel scared. And, my knees hurt.

So, I'm relying on tangible things to motivate and encourage me. Things that are visible. Things I can proudly display on my body--I really love the running singlet above. The saying makes it seem as if 13.1 miles is really no. big. deal. Yeah, right!!

This lovely stamped necklace
(it says 13.1 on the front and RNR 2008 on the back)
was given to me by a thoughtful friend,
and I wear it for motivation every time
I hit the pavement.

I found this visor a few months ago,
and I wear it as a source of motivation whenever I run.

The good ole' knee brace is an absolute must
for this 1/2 marathon runner.
I actually need a brace on both knees,
but I refuse to wear two in stubborn protest.
I don't wanna look like a TOTAL dork!

Shot Bloks are my friend.
They have served me well
during the triathlons,
and they are serving me well now.

Lastly, there are no more important tools
for me than the
ancient Chinese secret
Tiger Balm and good ole' Motrin.
I definitely inherited my knees from my parents.

Every time I go out running at some point I think about the movie Forrest Gump...when someone shouts, "Run, Forrest, RUN!" Having just hung out with my high school peeps who still call me makes me chuckle every time. I think to myself, "Run, Jennay, RUN!"

Let's hope I'm still chuckling after 13.1 miles on November 16th. Come join the fun as a spectator if you're in the area.

And, if you've got a wheelchair handy, bring it. Think I might need one.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Halloween Day, 2008.... After school I contributed to my children' s future sugar high by giving them these cool lollies...if only I could have made ALL of them in color. Picnik wouldn't let me. And, I haven't read the 5 million page "Photoshop for Dummies" manual that would probably allow me to edit the way I wanted. Oh, well. Imagine ALL the lollies in color. I know you can do it.

Aunt Vanessa and her family are in town...and she saved the day by totally getting into the pumpkin carving we had yet to do. I love the look on Deven's face when Vanessa cut the top off.

Priya loved putting her hands in the
pumpkin "guts" (as the kids called them).

Awesome finished product.
Thanks, Aunt Vanessa.

Vanessa brought along her
most adorable twin boys.

Meet Jack the Lion...

...and Nate the Lion.
These are two of the most adorable,
happy little ones I have ever seen.

At the last minute Priya changed her mind about being a Power we dug into the costume archives and came up with medieval princess duds. They all had such a great time trick-or-treating. We've been going to my parents' 'hood for 4 years now (our 'hood has no street lamps and the houses are spread out). We love seeing familiar faces handing out treats.

Recycled costume:
Daddy was Shrek last year.

Mommy the Leopard.
Or, as I called myself...a cool cat.

Our first Halloween without a stroller or wagon of any kind proved to be a bittersweet one. Our 3 little Indians are growing up too quickly. For that reason I will cherish pictures like this one above forever.