Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Happy Birthday Keira and Triceratops Tri

******Pictures will be added later!****************
The moving, birthday, and triathlon whirlwind continues this week!  This week and last have been really stressful, but we are so grateful for the opportunity to have our condo sold this way that we can not complain.  It is such a blessing, and we are so happy, even though it has kept us very busy.

Monday was a huge day for Keira.  Instead of classtime today, her school had the Barnyard Express show come, and all the morning preschool classes plus their families attended.  It was a very entertaining show and both Keira and Soren had fun.  I was really glad that we celebrated Keira's birthday at school before we left, because with the show today, she would not have been able to do it today.  This was a very fun birthday experience, though.  Hopefully Keira doesn't get used to the farm coming to school on her birthday!

After school, we went home so Soren could take a nap and we could make the final preparations for Keira's party with her friends.  We had her party at the Novi Sports Park.  I did not rent the pavillion, so I was a little nervous about the availability of it, but it was not in use when we got there, yea!  We had a very nice family help me unload the car, since Ryan was working in Windsor today and was not available early for set up.  I had ordered the pizza from my friend and TIA teammate, Mark from Aleko's in South Lyon, as well as a TON of breadsticks.  Kris and Linda were able to come again, as well as many of Keira's friends.  It was great to get together with them again before we move.  She was invited to several birthday parties this year from her classmates as well as from church, so she really wanted to do the same for her birthday.  It was a long day, but so much fun.

On Tuesday, Ryan had to return to KY.  We got up early to hit the gym for a quick swim and then headed to Fuerst park for a puppet show.  We ran into Sophie from Keira's class, and the girls enjoyed the show.  Soren had a little trouble paying attention since it was hot and they were giving away bubbles.  It was a cute story about Jojo and the magic pearl.  The bouncy slide from pump it up wasn't working, so we left right after the puppet show. 

We made a quick run down to REI to exchange some Keens's we ordered for Keira for her birthday.  She had been wearing her 7s, so we ordered her 8s, but by the time her birthday rolled around, she needed 9s.  She really had a growth spurt in her feet.  The kids were hungry, so we had some carbo loading at Noodles (since we usually go there after REI on Fridays).  With my race tomorrow, Noodles seemed like a good idea to me once the kids started asking for it.  We went home so Soren could take a nap, and then went out to pick up my packet for the tri that evening.  I did decide to do the "elite" wave, since I had qualified and I didn't know anyone else in my actual wave.  I also was told that I would not get disqualified if I had a bad day and didn't requalify.

That evening, Ryan had an appointment today to look at a couple homes.  Over the weekend, a new home in the neighborhood was listed, and I wanted Ryan to see it, as well as our favorite from our househunting trip to compare.  We decided that the home that both of us had seen was still our favorite, and moved forward with making an offer on it.  The other one was very similar, but had too many rooms that required repainting, floors in need of repair, and a smaller yard due to a rear entry garage.

Wednesday was a very packed day.  It was Keira's last day of school, and I did not need to work out with my race coming up in the evening.  It was an emotional last day for the moms more than the kids.  We spent some time saying our goodbyes afterwards and getting pictures. 

We grabbed a quick lunch at McDonalds after school.  We saw Summer, who left before we could get an all girls picture from school.

Keira had a dr's appointment this afternoon, so we headed straight over there from McDonalds.  Thankfully, Keira did not need any shots and the visit went relatively quickly.  On our way back, we stopped at New Balance to pick up my 70.3 magnet I had ordered.  I really HAD to have it before my sprint tri this evening.  I had already put a sticker on my car, but needed the magnet for the truck.  It came just in time!   I was hoping to put Soren down for a nap, but didn't get back in time.  My mom arrived a few minutes after we did, and at this point, it was just easier to have him stay up.  The weather was not terribly warm today, and it looked like rain, so my mom opted to keep the kids at home instead of coming with me or meeting me there.  It was nice to get an early start to the race.  I think this was the frist tri I have ever done that I have not felt rushed before the race until right before the start.  I waited until the last possible minute to put on my wetsuit, and it felt like it took forever to put on, even though it was only a minute.  I was running around snapping pictures before the race, having a good relaxed time.  It was great to be racing with so many friends.  I was pleased with how I did.  The swim went OK, and the bike felt very good.  I had a great run, and overall, I had a PR by 4 seconds.  I really need to do better on the swim, and I can improve on the bike too.  I was very happy with my run, and would love to improve that, but it will take the most effort I think.  I finished with a time of 1:21:38.  I was glad I started elite, and as long as that time is still OK for the elite wave, I will continue to start in it.  Cristina was the overal female winner.  It was a great end to a very busy day.  I felt aweful when I got home, though.  I had been feeling like I was coming down with something the day before, and I think the tri did me in.

Thursday was a tough day.  We had a plumber appointment as well as an appointment with the movers to assess our things.  I also had to do a few other undesirable jobs around the house before our upcoming inspection.  I was really dreading these things, and actually had trouble sleeping on Tuesday night thinking about them.  I was glad my mom was there while I took care of some cleaning in our basement as well as peeking in the attic.  I had intended to go in there, but did not have the proper ladder.  After that, Keira and I had dentist appointments.  Those went well, and Soren was very well behaved considering he didn't have anyone to watch him during the appointment and he just hung out in the halway.  When we got back home, I hurried and packed up and cleaned.  The house needed to be show ready for the inspection, and I needed to be packed for our vacation as well.  It took a lot longer than it should because Soren did find his way into trouble a bit.  Finally, we got on the road.  The drive was uneventful, but we did get in pretty late on Thursday.  Ryan was also able to get the details of our new home purchase finalized, so that was wonderful!  After a bit of back and forth, we accepted one of their counteroffers.

On Friday, I still didn't feel the greatest, but went to the gym for a short swim anyway.  It would be my last opportunity to lap swim for at least a week, and I didn't want to miss it.  I did meet a new friend at the gym, so I am really glad I went.  Afterwards, I was able to start getting Keira enrolled in her new school.  We are very happy that our home feeds to this school; it was recommended very highly to us and has great reviews.  That evening, we met back up with our agent at our new home so that I could see it again.  We wanted to get a feel for things that we needed to do to it before moving in, such as painting and the purchase of a few items that we want to get in MI and have the movers bring for us.  Here is a picture of the outside.

Soren had a blast playing on the train table.  This will be the office/playroom, and the train table is not coming with the house. 

We finished up the evening with a dinner at the Olive Garden.  I really do like it there, and everyone enjoyed their dinner. 

Saturday was the start of our vacation.  We had planned to both get in workouts before leaving, but woke up to thunder.  We just opted to get packed up and go.  We had an uneventful drive to Asheville, NC.  The kids were very excited when we got to our hotel and you could see the indoor pool from our room.  We packed just a small bag to come into the hotel, so we didn't have the kids suits.  There would be plenty of time for swimming once we got to our destination.

We got up on Sunday and had breakfast at McDonalds, and then did a scenic drive on the Blue Mountain Parkway.  Sadly, we woke up to rain, so there was not as much to see with all the clouds.  We did hop out and take a few pictures along the way.  We got in to Ocean Isle Beach without any trouble on Sunday evening.  It was Father's Day, so we went out to the Giggling Mackerel for dinner.  We had quite the wait, but everyone enjoyed hanging out on the balcony, and we enjoyed our dinners.

Getting the Condo Sold and Happy Birthday Keira!

******Pictures to be added later, I am so behind!*****************************
I am really behind on blogging, so hopefully I don't leave too much out.  The thing that was the most notable of this week was that we got our condo listed, and had offers in the first 48 hours.  It was crazy!

On Monday, Keira attended school, and I did not work out since my race was yesterday.  It felt nice to have the day off.  I did a few errands with Soren while Keira was at school. 

On Tuesday, we made the call to get our place on the market.  I worked like crazy to get the triathlon explosion of the weekend put away so that our agent could come and photograph the place for the listing.  I was very thankful that it got postponed a bit, because we were not ready by the intial time.  I do really like the way our room looks when it is all clean.

On Wednesday, our listing became official in the system.  Last time when we listed our place, we did not have much luck, so I guess I was not expecting much to happen.  I went to the gym to do Brick class while Keira was at school.  This was our most normal day of the week.  Ryan returned from KY this evening for a buyoff.

On Thursday, we were able to attend a free Kindermusik class first thing in the morning.  Keira and Soren had a blast as always.

After the Kindermusik, I took the kids to the gym.  I swam, and when I got out of the pool and cleaned up, I had 5 missed alerts on my phone!  I had several missed calls as well as voicemails.  We had a showing request in 15 minutes, as well as showing scheduled off an on for the rest of the day! I rushed home, did a mad dash clean throughout the whole house, hiding things EVERYWHERE, and since Ryan was back, we had all the bikes here again.  Our house was going to be shown with Ryan's new Tarmac in the kitchen.  Oh well.  It is a beautiful bike.  I took the kids over to McDonalds for a late lunch and did a few more errands, including stopping at New Balance where I picked up a couple programs for the 2011 Detroit Marathon.  Soren is in love with the programs.  He fell asleep in the car clutching it on our way to Kris and Linda's.  We went there for the evening since we had showing scheduled and couldn't go home, and the requests just kept coming in, filling up Friday and the weekend.

Friday was a very full day, even without the showings.  I took Keira to school and got in a workout.  After school, we were invited to a year end party at Adam's house for her class.  It was a blast for the kids, and it really wore them out.  We are thankful for Jodi for inviting us to her home.  I was tied up quite a bit of the party with our home, as we already had an offer!  I spent a lot of time on the phone with Ryan, our agent, and Ford getting everything hashed out.  We were so relieved that this happened so fast.  We kept the remaining showings for the rest of the day, but cancelled everything else for the rest of the weekend.  We had an offer before our Ford paperwork was complete.  We spent a lot of time working on that the rest of the weekend so that our offer/counter could be officially accepted.  It also got complicated because Ryan had left this morning to go up north with David and Valerie (who was taking Kent's place after his injury) for the Michigan Moutain Mayhem ride. 

On Saturday, we had a fun and relaxing day while Ryan was working hard in the rain/cold through the hills.  His ride was tough, and he did not have the proper attire for the temperatures.  He did great, though, and is very glad he did it.  It would have been a lot better if the weather had been more enjoyable.  The kids and I, on the other hand, had great weather.  We went to Island Lake in the morning for a 7 mile stroller run.  This felt hard a week off the 70.3, but I was glad I did it.  Keira and Soren had a blast running around the park afterwards too.

That evening, I took them to Pei Wei for dinner, and then to Guernsey for some ice cream.  With our condo officially "under contract", the move really feels real and fast.  I wanted to enjoy Michigan's dairy on such a nice day.  Keira had a slight meltdown when they did not have Graeter's raspberry chip that I always order at the "ice cream store" in KY or OH, so when she said she wanted the same as me and I got chocolate marshmallow, she was not happy.  Eventually, she ate her ice cream and enjoyed it, and now knows that all ice cream shops are not the same.

Sunday was Keira's 5th birthday.  We went to church in the afternoon and then to Kris and Linda's afterwards.  My parents, Sarah, Greg with the girls, and Sharon came over for dinner to celebrate as a family.  Lleyton was sick, so Ellyn stayed home.  Keira had a blast playing with her cousins and enjoyed her cake and presents.  It was really a great week!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Busy Busy week and 70.3 Racing for Recovery Half Triathlon

To say we had a lot going on this week was an understatement. I had my biggest race ever this weekend, and we worked on a lot of relocation business. The good thing about having a big race coming up is that the training right before it is very light, so that helped. It was also good to have the relocation work to do because it gave me plenty of things to think about other than my race.

On Tuesday, we had probably our most low key day of the week. I did a short workout, and then we went to the mall for the storytime.
I spent the rest of the day doing laundry and attempting to get ready to head back to MI for meetings for the relocation. Keira and Soren also had fun biking outside. We put the training wheels on Keira's bike so she can get used to pedaling it. She has the gliding part down, but needs to work on pedaling more.
On Wednesday, we got up and tried our hardest to get in a quick workout and get on the road in good time, but it didn't happen as fast as we wanted. We cut it pretty close, not leaving much wiggle room on the drive. To top it off, we witnessed an oil tanker jack knife on the freeway just to the right of us. A little while later, we also passed a minivan that was engulfed with flames. We felt so blessed that we were not involved with either of these incidents or held up by them. We finally made it home safe and sound, with just a few minutes to spare before we interviewed our first realtor.

On Thursday, we got up and went to the gym for another light workout, and then did some grocery shopping. I was so excited to find chicken on sale!
That evening, we had an early dinner. You can imagine my disappointment when I went out to get my chicken from the grill and learn that it was out of propane and my meal was half done. I got my food cooked the rest of the way in the microwave. After we were done eating, we decided to bike to Stuarts for ice cream. I was really not wanting to go, but I had told the kids we would do it much earlier in the day if they ate their dinners. I gave them huge dinners that I didn't think they would eat, and Keira at the whole thing. Soren ate enough. On our way, I called Valerie to see if she wanted to meet up with us, so she and her family came out too. We also ran into Jen and Bill with Liam. It was a good time, and everyone was really glad we made it out. Keira did great on the bike ride. She had her old bike from last year without pedals, and just flew! Soren rode over in the stroller for most of the way there, but on the way back, he rode the whole way himself. He is really getting the hang of it too, but isn't nearly as quick as Keira yet.
On Friday, Keira was able to go to school. She made a farmer and brought home a vase craft from earlier in the year. Soren and I hung out and did some errands. I got really mad at the grill because I could not get the propane tank off. After Keira was done with school, we met up with Linda so that I could meet with another realtor without distractions, as well as work on the house a bit. I got a lot done, but it still has a lot to go. Ryan came back to MI today, and we met up with him, Kris, and Linda with the kids at Noodles for dinner, our usual Friday night spot.
On Saturday, we did a lot. Soren was elated when he looked out the window and the "balloon truck" was outside. This is what he saw. He said it was like "UP [the Balloons]".
I took Keira and Soren to the Tollgate plant sale while Ryan rode with the wolverines. We will miss the Novi event there in another week or so, but the kids love that place, and so I figured since they were having a public event, we might as well go and check it out. Keira and Soren spent most of their time in the children's garden. It was super hot. We also saw William the big horned sheep and walked around by the pond.
Once Ryan got back from his ride, I headed off with Cristina, Mary, and Robbie from TIA to go to Monroe to get in an open water swim and pick up my packet for my race. While I was gone, Ryan took Keira and Soren to a baptism for a friend in Greg and Ellyn's ward. We met up afterwards for a last minute REI trip, and then I got to work preparing for my race.

Sunday was the day of my first Half Ironman triathlon. The distances are 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run, for a total of 70.3 miles. I did a full race recap here. It has more pictures and details about each specific part.  It was great to have a race with so many friends there. The highlight of the race for me was coming around towards the end of the first run loop and seeing Ryan, Keira, and Soren there cheering for me. This is the picture when I saw them:
It didn't occur to me when I asked Ryan to come down about an hour before the finish to be able to see Cristina finish that I would be finishing up my first loop of the run shortly after, as well as the fact that the course went so close to the finish. It was so great to see them, because before I did, I was running up looking at that finish line and knowing that I had to go and do the whole run that I just did completely over again, and it was hard. Seeing them gave me the best moral boost! My finish time was 6:18:21, within my goal of 6.5 hours. After the race, we went over to Kris and Linda's for dinner, and that was so nice to not have to worry about dinner. Keira and Soren were able to play with their cousins and have fun too, so it was a pretty awesome day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Horsey Hundred and Happy Memorial Day!

This week was spent in Kentucky, and with the holiday weekend, we really packed a lot in. We had some rather severe weather near us this week, and thankfully we were not harmed by it.

On Monday, we had a relaxing day getting situated back in Kentucky. We went to the gym and then did some errands.
That evening, I did the VO2 ladies ride. The sky looked great in this
before picture, but it quickly turned ugly. We got caught in the rain/thunderstorms and sought shelter in the park. We waited it out and caught a small break that was good enough to make it to the next shelter/bathrooms. It was a crazy ride, and we were thankful to be done.
On Tuesday, we did the Pottery Barn storytime in the morning.
We played around the house a bit in afternoon, with sticks and dirt.
Our final activity of the day was exploring a park that is very close to our apartment. We didn't stay here too long, and the kids enjoyed some new scenery.
On Wednesday, we went to the library storytime in the morning. It was very crowded today. They made monkey puppets as the activity.
That evening, while Ryan rode, I ran in Seneca park. Keira and Soren played afterwards on the playground.
On Thursday, we didn't do too much. I got in a semi long run inside, and we went to a book fair across from the gym. I had wanted to do a few more errands, but a large crack of thunder upset Keira while we were walking back to the car. We ended up calling it a day after the book fair, as far as errands were concerned.
That evening, there were reports of tornados and we were under a tornado warning until after 11. It kept getting pushed back later and later. Ryan and I stayed tuned to the weather, just so that we would know if we should wake the kids and move them to a safer location in our apartment. Thankfully, the storms did not live up to their hype, and were not nearly as bad as they projected. I think Ryan and I had camped in storms about as bad, and I am not sure if the storm from Monday was worse or not.

We were plenty tired on Friday after staying up late for the storms. We had a low key morning and finally made it to the gym for a swim. After Ryan got home from work, we went downtown to carbo load at The Old Spagetti Factory. It is a fun restaurant. This one seemed a lot less old than The Spagetti Warehouse in Columbus, with less actual antiques. Soren was really bummed we couldn't eat in the trolley, but it was full and we didn't ask to wait. After dinner, we walked downtown. Keira and Soren enjoyed the fountain outside the KFC YUM center, which had a concert or something that evening.
My parents came into town that night after the kids went to bed. We were starting our 3 day weekend with a bike ride in Georgetown, KY, called the Horsey Hundred. Ryan was doing the 102 mile ride, and my dad and I were doing the half century. We got up early on Saturday to do the ride. It was hilly but beautiful. We rode by many horse farms. This was my first real bike tour, and I really enjoyed it. They also had a great post race meal.
After we all returned, we went out to dinner at a Mexican place called Chuey's. We had a really long wait, but thankfully, our food was excellent and our waiter was sympathetic.
On Sunday, we had a breakfast with my parents before they headed out. Before church, we drove around a bit and looked at some homes. We went to church, and while I was sitting in Nursery with Soren, a lady introduced herself and told me about a home that belonged to another family from church in her neighborhood. I was really impressed with how helpful everyone was with giving us tips for finding a home in the area. We drove through the neighborhood that was mentioned to us, and amazingly, the home of the member was one that Ryan had found during a search online! We really like that neighborhood, from what we saw.
Monday was Memorial Day. We started the day by going to Waverly Park so Ryan could ride. There was a playgound there so we went too. It was super hot. We ended up doing a short .2 mile hike while Ryan was riding to stay in the shade. Keira did not want to do the hike at all, but then as soon as we finished, she wanted to do it again. Ryan had already finished his ride by then, though.
We grabbed some lunch at Chick Fil A, which is by far our favorite fast food place for chicken sandwhiches. They are super friendly at this location too, and have diet Dr Pepper on fountain. We then hit the pool, because it was so hot! The pool felt cold getting in, but Keira easily got used to it. Soren, on the other hand, preferred to just sit on the side.
I did do the VO2 ladies ride this afternoon. They still had it on the holiday. It was so hot, we did a 13 mile bike followed by a 3 mile run. I was the only one who finished the whole run, though, because it was so hot. After that, I met back up with Ryan and the kids for pizza, and then we hit Graeters for ice cream for dessert. It was a long but fun day!