Saturday, May 25, 2013

Those boys...

So in love with those boys in my life.  Sam told me the other day that Isaiah, our nephew, is
"his favorite."
They love to romp after each other and rough house with Uncle Phil

I'm so grateful for all the boys and men in Sam's life.
In case you didn't notice...
he's a smidge out-numbered!
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Recycled Art!

Didn't Addie's Earth Day homework come out great?  She had to make an art project using recycled materials so we collected some serious bottle caps.  We had originially seen the project making fish but Addie wanted owls...and I actually think they came out even cuter than fish. We also used old CDs, brown paper bags, and a chunk of cardboard. 
So fun!
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer = happy teachers

Partly for the time off and partly for some serious accomplishments on the part of 25 cuties.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New family pics...

Our best and most talented photographer ever did some new family shots. 

Liv in yellow
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Monday, May 20, 2013

2013 Cleveland Half Marathon

For the sake of our future selves, here is the race report for the 2013 Cleveland Half Marathon.

Lets start with timing... you want to get there before 6am.  I know it sounds early, but lets be honest here - most of us need to hit the bathroom before the big 13.1.  Speaking of bathrooms, here it is:

CLE Pro Tip - Use the bathrooms on the second level.  This year, I had to check a gear bag with my cellphone, powerade, shirt, etc in it.  An unexpected benefit of having to check said bag was discovering the second floor bathrooms - the club bathrooms.  Much shorter waits, better quality, etc.

So like I said - get downtown EARLY.  Get down there around 5:50.  Get over to the start around 6:40 (after having warmed up).  This means leave at 5 (from Strongsville anyways).

Oh also, note to self - I had the best pre-race meal ever.  Pasta can be a bit too heavy, acidic, greasy, cheesy, etc.  So here is the next...

CLE Pro Tip - Eat Chicken or Vegatable Lo Mein for dinner.  Low greasiness, no dairy, no acid.

It was the perfect day in terms of weather - perfect.  When we started at 7 am, it was 60-65ish degrees and overcast.  The sun broke through an hour or so later, but it didn't start getting warm until after 8:30 or so.  It was nice to hang out in the 70's after the race, but it was prob a bit hot for the marathoners and half marathoners still running.

The course was pretty much the same one they've done for the last couple of years.  I like it, a couple of minor hills at the beginning, pretty flat in the middle of the course, some dips and hills at the end.

I missed last year due to injury, but apparently they redid the start and it is a HUGE improvement.  My only feedback for the 2011 half was that the start was a mess.  This year (and last) they made the start way longer put people in order of pace.  It made a gigantic difference, and I didn't spend the first mile and a half dodging people who were running way too slow to be up front.  Much love to all runners, at all paces, but my first mile was over a minute longer because it was such a train wreck in 2011.  This year I crossed the start 20 seconds after the gun.

CLE Pro Tip - If you are running 7:30 or under pace, make ABSOLUTELY sure you indicate that in your pace time when you sign up.  Your bib will have a mark on it allowing you into the front corral, which makes a huge difference.  (I had to sneak in with Steve because my pace group was in there and apparently I biffed this on sign up).

I ran with the 3:10 (7:15/mile) marathon pace group, and man were those guys awesome.  They immediately jumped right into pace and where actually going a little bit fast (at least according to my Garmin), which is actually exactly what I wanted to do.  Thanks to those dudes if they ever read this.

The first 6 miles went by like a dream.  It had the feel of a beautiful (if not a little fast) run in a park with 9000 of my best friends.  Huge shout out to all of our friends at the 4.5 mile spot.  You guys killed it.

Around mile 7 I had to start concentrating to run hard.  This is the point I found myself checking the watch a little to often.  The mile 9 rally crew really helped pump me up for the end, so much so that I left behind the pace group and started ratcheting the pace up a little bit.  Turns out this was a good move and I was able to hold on to low 7 and a couple of sub 7 minute miles.  The Lorain/Carnegie bridge sucked as usual.

I ran 1:34:09 (7:11/mi), beating my goal time of 1:35, and smashing my previous PR by 6 minutes.  This is a long way for me to come from last summer, where I felt (over dramatically) like I would never run again.

I can honestly say this is the best run of my adult life.  I ran hard, had nothing left at the end, paced myself smartly, and did better than I thought I could.  All this while running less days than I would prefer in training because, well, you know, 4 kids.

Here is the garmin data (note that due to GPS inaccuracy it is a little long and so the pace is a bit faster than actual):

 To top it all off, one of the sweetest things of this race was that my little sister ran her first half.  When she first committed to doing this last summer, truthfully, I gave her 50/50 odds of making it.  Boy, did she do me proud.  She put in the work, did the training, and got it done.  I am so so proud of her and know that one day she will look back at this race as a turning point for her.


And, finally, the last...

CLE Pro Tip - The earlier you sign up for the CLE, the cheaper.  I just signed up for next years for 40 bucks.  By a month or two before the race, it will be 85.  It turns out if you can't run, you can put a thing out on Craigslist, meet someone at the expo and have them pay 20 buck to transfer the registration over.  I did this last year and it worked out just fine.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


If you have more than one kid, chances are you're always wondering how to expand/enhance one-on-one time with your little buddies.  Multiply that times four and it's become one of my biggest Mama challenges.  So I knew on Sam's birthday, it was the perfect time for Mommy to take a day off with Sammy!

Here he is refusing to take a picture with me...

I could not tear this kiddo out of the aquarium.  Seriously.  It was crazy how much he loved watching those fish.

Loved the jellyfish and stingray too.

Quick stop to see the elephants and meerkats.  Where did they all go?
With four little Medveds running around the house, one-on-one time is a premium but an absolute on my to-do list.  When my mom asked what the best part of Sam's birthday was, he said going to the zoo with "just Mommy." And that about made my day.
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Daily Life...

Little birdies...
eating Daddy's morning cereal.

Sometimes four children is good for your waistline.
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My sister hates me..

Every year she finds the largest chocolate bunny possible for our children.
Let's just say it's not even good chocolate
And then she gives it to my children.
She thinks it's hilarious.
I think she hates me.

Enter some witty comment about paybacks here....
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Out for a drive...

Thank goodness we got another red car.  I've hesitated buying two of lots of things since we know Eliza and Olivia are our last little babies...but that red car was a source of serious twin envy.
Luckily, good friends of ours got the girls a BD giftcard and I knew
what to use it on...
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I blame it on Erin.
See, my friend Erin had a baby.
And she put pics on FB and I couldn't see them.
So I had to join.
I couldn't handle it anymore.
And that daughter of hers is cute.

Here's the thing..I have no idea what I'm doing there.

Just saying.

I'm good at blogging.  I have blogging fans.
Not so sure about that facebook thing.
Jury is still out on that one.

Friend me? or  Follow me?  
is that right?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Google Car

I am a Google fanboy - I admit it.  But check this video out.

I can't wait for the day my car drives itself.  Think about all the people this would help - the blind, elderly, no more DUIs or accidents.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Our Sam!

Thank goodness in this house of crazy females we have one

Happy Birthday little buddy.
We love you.
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