Month: May 2015

Happy run and BIG news!

I had a happy morning run today.  It started before the sun was up, and was a crisp morning – none of that humidity!  I’m excited anytime I see a “8” in the pace on my watch and it ended up being a progressive run, with a little 7:23 sprint at the end.  8:23 overall is A-OK in my book. Yahoo!

I think the best part was when I saw my BRF’s family driving to an early morning school event.  I was out on the main road at that point and we waved at each other.  This is what I’m dreaming the conversation was:

“Hey, Isn’t that Lisa running?  Wow she looks great!  She must just be finishing up her run.  Such an early hour, good for her!!”

This is what was probably said “Isn’t that Lisa???  What the heck is she doing on this road.  Is she insane? She might get run over at this early hour.  And did you see that big rash on her neck?  Ewwwwwww!”

BTW, texted my Dr. friend tonight and she thinks the neck “rash” is hives, but agrees that the stuff on my arms is poison ivy.  Will be taking Benadryl tonight!


Now for the BIG news part of the post.  And this really is BIG news.  Not one of those, “I got new shorts” or “I ran a fast interval” news.  It’s real life big stuff….  my husband is leaving his job!  He’s a programmer like me.  He has decided that this is the time in his life to move on to something else.  And the something else is staying home with the kids, at least for the summer.  His last day is June 1st.  He has been a full time working man for all of his life, so this is HUGE!

Wow, right?  That means my kids will not be going to camp this year, and will be having the luxury of having their Dad home with them all summer!  It also means a lot of other things, for the family and for me, but above all, it’s going to be a great opportunity.  Sure, I might be getting a little jealous  that they are snoozing while I’m heading off to work, but hey, I only work 4 days a week, so that’s better than 5 day!  We’ll have longer weekends together, and hopefully get a lot of things crossed off the very old to-do list (home repairs, yard work, cooking and cleaning, etc) and still have time to go on day trips and camping trips.

Big, big changes.  In the Fall he might go back to working part time at the university again (where he works now), under his terms.  Maybe working when they need help on a project.  🙂  I know he has seen how much I like working part time and how it helps me keep my sanity with my non-working life.


Q: Do you have anything big going on this summer??


Running stuffs

I made it through my first “trial” week of marathon training.  Last week I ran 32.5 miles with a long run of 14 miles (broken up, not consecutive).  Sunday and Monday I ran outside and those were tough runs for me!!  It was humid and I was dragging.  I had an 8 miler one day and I was ready to turn back at mile 2!  No pain, just feeling like a slug.  My speed wouldn’t have bothered me if I was running with someone, or trying to keep it slower, but when it just happens that way, it’s a bit frustrating!!


Is it almost over??

Tuesday I ran 8 miles early on my treadmill, and it was a whole different game.  I was feeling much speedier, without that humidity involved.  So, I’m considering the week of training a WIN!

But on other fronts, I swear I have been cursed.  It’s been a multitude of little things lately (and one huge mouth thing!).  Today it’s the curse of poison ivy!  I’m not certain, but based on my allergy to it, and the amount of weeds and crap I was in this past weekend with the lawn care, I’d put my money on it.  It’s a nice big rash on my neck and some on each arm.  UGH.  Still, all minor issues in the grand scheme of life!  [Unless you have to go to work with a bunch of big red bumps on your arms and neck. NBD.]

While I was out pulling weeds and such, we also planted some flowers.  I let the kids pick their own combinations for 2 of the pots, so we’ll see what we end up when they fill in!  Could be tall flowers, could be small… it’s just hard to tell (unless you read the tags I guess.  haha!).

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This past weekend I also enjoyed a big plate of waffles – for dinner…

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And chillaxed with this sock monkey dude that Sydney made.

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Saw “Home” and got excited about the new Minion movie coming out soon!

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Also transported a basketball hoop to our house.  Bought it from a neighbor a few weeks ago and finally got it back to our house.  I’m looking forward to playing some basketball with the family!!

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Did you see all of those grasses beyond the fence… yep, that’s what I chopped down this weekend.  What a task!


Q: Are you allergic poison ivy?

I’ve heard that some people are not allergic.  Who are these lucky people?

Q: Do you have breakfast for dinner at your house?

We don’t, but it was fun so maybe we should do it more often!




Bring on the treats!!

School is almost over!  This upcoming week is a jam packed week with school stuff, and me having to bake stuff for said school stuff!  I love to cook, eat, and make treats, but cooking and baking for other people gives me the heebie jeebies!  I get performance anxiety because, well, perhaps you’ve seen my cookie making skills.

Tonight we had an end of year band awards night where everyone brought dessert to share.  I made brownies.  They were a big hit because they were gooey, and had mini M & M’s on them.  I’m not sure they were properly baked, but they did taste great!  I ate way too many treats (that was only my first plate!!).   So bad of me.

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Zachary didn’t eat less than us, he just ate faster….

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Sydney’s birthday is actually this weekend, although we celebrated last weekend with her friends.  So, we’ll be taking in a b-day treat to school on Friday.  I really wanted to make some kick ass cupcakes, but then realized that making 25 cupcakes that would actually survive the trip to school was a big task that I am not up for.  So I just switched my treat to S’mores bars!  They look pretty awesome, right?  And I think they are do-able, even for me.


Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

Those cookie bars are on my Thurs night to-do list.  On Weds night, I have to make a food from Switzerland!  It’s for International day at school on Thursday.  I was going to make Swiss Zopf, but I talked my husband into making his famous Challah bread and no one will know the difference.  Shhhhh.  That’s our secret.

And to finish off the week, my daughter has requested the super decadent cookie dough cake that I made for her last year for her actual birthday on Saturday.  Girlfriend loves her cookie dough!!  It did turn out quite lovely last year, so I’m hoping for a repeat performance.   YES, that a picture of the actual cake I made last year.  Kinda drool worthy, no?

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Here’s the recipe I used in case you’d like to whip up your own….  Chocolate chip cookie dough cake recipe.  Just make sure you have a big glass of milk handy.  YUMMMMM

I was going to tell you about the 3 days of running I’ve done – but now it’s getting late so I’ll save that for tomorrow!


Q:  Do you enjoy baking for others?

I would, if I were any good at it.

Q:  Do you enjoy being a hostess and having parties/entertaining?

No 😉


Running, jumping, and eating cookies!

I wasn’t running today (rest day!) but my kids were again!  Our Toledo Roadrunners group has a fun kids run each year called the Kids Kilometers.  They have three age groups and my kids are now in group B (2K) and C (3K).  They’ve been doing this for quite a few years now, so it’s fun to see them move up in their age group with hopes of crushing everyone 🙂  Here is their first Kids Kilometers run back in 2011.  They were troopers despite the rain…


This year Sydney came in 3rd in her group/girls and Zachary was also 3rd in his group/boys.  Those kind of results always make for happy runners (and harmony in the house)!

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The kids are also drawn to this event because of the post race cookies.  I’ll admit it, I did indulge in 3 of them!   Agreed, worth the run.

Alan went home and continued working on that troublesome clogged sink.  I was getting a bit nervous because Sydney was having friends over for her birthday celebration and we still had dishes from dinner last night laying around!  It still wasn’t done by the time we went out, but family comes first, so we picked up her pals and went to the latest entertainment area in town… SkyZone!!  This place rocks.  It’s a trampoline park!

The kids jumped for 90 mins and Alan and I jumped for 30 mins.  I was having a great time bouncing around and even got in on some dodgeball action!  Here we are during a game…

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I’m not sure why I choose today to keep my hair down and didn’t have a ponytail with me, but it was a really bad mess by the time my 30 mins was up!  I am not good at throwing the balls, but I did good the first game and was the last player on my team!

Alan headed back to the house and after buying another tool, he finally got the clog unplugged!!  But in the process he also messed up two of my towels.  Apparently drain cleaner has some sort of bleaching agent in it.  Tsk tsk!  Well, really it’s a small price to pay since we didn’t have to call a plumber.

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Time for cake and ice cream after the kids ran around the house crazy.

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We had a really fun time today celebrating Sydney’s birthday with her friends.  I think I was enjoying the trampolines a bit too much because I strained my muscle doing a “splits” jump!  Good times 🙂


Q: Have you ever been to a trampoline park?

If not, you definitely need to go when you get a chance!

Q: Are there any annual races you always participate in?

Q: Your favorite – cookie cake, or regular cake?



An exhausting day!

My day was completely exhausting!  It’s not over yet as I’m trying to provide moral support for my husband who got stuck with the job of clearing out a clog in the kitchen sink, well, because he’s the husband and that’s what husbands do.  I haven’t helped much, but when he needs something I’m trying my best to be there.  He missed watching a movie and relaxing with the kids and has been working on this clog for hours now.  Fingers crossed he gets it unclogged soon because it’s almost 11 pm!

My day started nice and early at 5:15am.  I ran 7.5 miles on the treadmill before I got Sydney ready for school and out the door.  Then I hopped back on the treadmill for another 4.5 miles until I needed to get my son on the bus for school.  When I was at the bus stop I realized what a beautiful day it was outside so I had to run outside to finish it up.  Technically I had 13 miles on my schedule, but who can run just 1 mile outside?  So I ran 2 and then needed to get ready for the rest of my day.  Also, I wanted to wear this cool shirt!  So, 14 miles done today!!  The break in between “sessions” made the run feel more comfortable, and easier on my body.  I’m going to try to do more doubles in the future.

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I got that shirt for free at the Boston airport on my way home from the marathon.  Under Armor had a goofy booth set up and were giving away free shoes and shirts.  The person in front of me got shoes!  I got the shirt, and so did Alan, so I actually got 2 shirts because he gave me his prize 🙂  They didn’t have a Small, but they convinced me I should get the XS instead of a Medium.  It’s skin tight, but it does work out pretty good for working out – so soft and comfy.  Beyond that it’s too skin tight and see through to be worn anywhere else!

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For my treat, I redeemed a coupon for a free Starbucks iced coffee yesterday.  So this was waiting for me in the fridge.  I really don’t know what to order there because there are so many choices, and I’m pretty much clueless as to what the different types of coffee are, so I picked by flavor, and then the highest caffeine content!  I knew I would need some extra energy today.  The good news was that my hip didn’t hurt during my run.  Bad news is that it’s slightly painful again post-running so I am icing it.

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Then I headed off to the 4th grade field trip to Fort Meigs.  Fort Meigs was an important battle spot in the War of 1812. The kids loved it when their fired their rifles!

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I thought this was interesting.  Some of the kids really sprout up in 4th grade.  See the boy in the red?  He is standing on the same flat ground as my son, who is wearing a black hoodie.  That boy is taller than me even!

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After the morning and lunch at the fort, it was time to head back to school where I spent the afternoon passing out the yearbooks (the ones I made!).  It took hours to get them delivered to the classrooms.

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After yearbooks I came home and crashed on the couch.  My legs were tired after my busy day!  I can only imagine what Alan’s legs are going to feel like after running 100 miles in 26 to 30 hours.  Yikes!

Now, time for a beer.  🙂  Alan is trying one more thing on the drain, which needs to sit overnight, so I think he can finally relax.  Poor guy.


Q:  House repair/problem you hate the most?

I think clogged pipes are the worst!!  So frustrating and time consuming!  

Q: What running clothes are you loving lately?

New running clothes are guaranteed to put a spring in your step!

Q:  Did you have a good (better than ours??) Friday night?

Catching the game

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We interrupt your busy week for a few hours of good old fashion entertainment!  Go Mud Hens!!

We were lucky enough to get some free tickets to the local baseball team tonight.  My coworker knows I am always very appreciative of free activities, so he always scores me a few tickets every year.

The seats were totally awesome – right behind home plate.

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Even though it was a little chilly tonight, and we couldn’t stay for the whole game because it was a school night, we still had a good time.

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And we got to enjoy this yummy fluff of cotton candy!!

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That’s it for today – going to be icing my hip and hoping for the best for my “trial” long run.  Hope it all works out well!  I’ve got a full agenda tomorrow – running, 4th grade field trip, distributing yearbooks… early bed time for me!


Q: Are you a baseball fan?

I don’t follow any sports, but I like to go see pretty much any sport (with free tickets of course!).

Q: Favorite food at the ball park?

Cracker Jacks!

Q:  What is your local team named?  

“Mud Hens” is kinda odd, no?  We love them though 🙂

Things I’m loving today…

This is it folks….

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You would never believe how much I have missed a big bowl of cereal with cold milk for the last 2 weeks!!  Paired very nicely with a gossip magazine this morning.  It’s amazing how much you miss the simple things that are taken for granted.  Nothing better than cereal in the morning, other than working up a sweat running and a big cup of iced coffee as a post running treat!

My “very loose” training plan said 8 miles with strides for the last 2 miles.  Early on I once again realized I did not budget enough time for the full 8 miles so it ended up being 7.09 miles in my allotted time (I had to make the kid’s lunches for school, go to work, etc).  I did the last two miles of strides, but I’m not pushing hard or expecting anything awesome at this point.  My “very loose” training plan is for me to feel out the waters and see if the Erie Marathon is in my future on Sept 13th.  While it’s true that I have already booked a room for it (totally refundable!!), I haven’t registered for the race yet.  My gum surgery has caused a delay in my training and it would leave me with an almost 16 week training plan instead of my typical 18 week plan.  Totally do-able, but now this morning I am also dealing with an odd, and sharp, pain in my hip.  I will call that “old lady hip”, because I have no idea what would be causing it (good God, I am falling apart!).  That issue started yesterday afternoon and didn’t improve much today.  Good thing it’s a rest day tomorrow!


Here are some other awesome things I am loving today…. that Mother’s Day gift I was promised by Alan!  He built it this weekend, and we put it in place on Sunday.

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Then we bought outrageous amounts of soil to fill it up.  Alan even trusted me to drive the new truck!  Well, he really didn’t trust me, but I PROMISED him I would cause it no harm.  The kids loved helping out.

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Sydney and I planted, and voila, it’s done!

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We planted tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, basil and some watermelon just for fun.  I made several “first time gardener” mistakes I’m sure – like planting way too many plants.  Also, the cucumbers suggested planting those on trellis for “straight cucumbers” (should have read the tags when I bought them!).  Also, I’m sure the zucchini and watermelon will take over the whole garden, and I bought too many varieties of tomatoes, but it’s all good and it will be a fun learning experience for all of us.  Now we just need to wait 40 or so days for the first veggie to appear!  sigh.


Q:  What are your favorite veggies to plant in a garden?  Or if you don’t have one, what would it be?

Q: Would you miss eating cold cereal?

I can’t wait to eat Special K again!!  I’ve waiting for a little more healing for that to happen.

Training by heart rate


I hope none of you were candidates for gum grafting because I feel my daily rants about my procedure would definitely scare you off!  I’ll keep this brief, but the Dr. is not concerned with my missing gum graft spot.  “Not concerned” in the sense that it’s not a sign of total failure or it doesn’t affect the functionality of it all, but it’s more of a aesthetic kind of thing.  I still have some gum in that spot, it’s just higher than the others, especially the “new” grafted area.  (FYI, the skin was grafted across the tops of 3 teeth, and the other spots look just fine)  However, after the heeling process (6 to 8 weeks), if I’m not happy with the results, they can come up with a game plan to take care of it.  I’m guessing that means another graft.  As you can imagine, the prospect of that has me super excited!  (not)  So, right now, just treat the graft really nice, and we’ll see what we end up with. I guess that’s good (no emergency situation), but at the same time really sucks (uggh, why the heck did it fall off after I went through all of that pain?).  He did mention that typically it’s around 70% success rate.  I guess I just got super lucky with my graft 2 years ago, whereas this time it’s completely opposite!

Enough about that!  Exciting thing that happened today:  I ran this morning!


Even though it was nice outside I stayed inside and watched my new favorite show, The Royals.  I’ve got 5 episodes to watch!  It’s saucy TV at it’s finest.

My run was pretty good.  I wanted to go 6 miles, and quickly realized that I should have gotten up 15 mins earlier than I did.  It’s amazing how much a little 15 mins will throw off the daily schedule.  So it ended up being a progressive run, going faster each 1/2 mile.  Apparently the first few miles were pretty slow because by the time I got done, I was cranking out 7:30 min miles (my typical speed on the treadmill is around 9:30 if I’m not doing speedwork) and the over all run was 1 hr exactly (so, 10 min miles).  All that hard work at the end didn’t seem so exciting after I read that 🙂  I was still a bit sore, especially in new places (my chest & arms) from my workout yesterday so I had to take it slow.  It is amazing how much a mere 15 mins will throw off the daily schedule!!

I also ran with my heart rate strap today to get an idea of how my HR was doing.  I know some people who train solely on HR level and I think that is an interesting concept.  However, the straps often cause chafing for me, so I’m not sure I could always to that.  My resting heart rate is around 56-60 bpm, and on this run my treadmill said I was up at 190 at the end!  That number seemed like my heart would explode (although it certainly didn’t feel like – because I definitely would have stopped running immediately if I thought there was an issue!!).

Calculating my HR zones needs a bit more information to get a truer picture, but it does give me some guidelines using a calculator like this one:

It seems that taking my HR to 190 may be overtraining!  But still, you just have to push it sometimes.  There are many many articles about training using HR, but for now I’m just going to try to keep better track of mine during some key runs and see how it feels.

Another good article for beginners is this one:


Q: Have you ever done any training based on your HR?  If so, how did it feel?

Q:  What TV show are you really into right now?

 I hear The Bachelorette will be starting tonight.  I’m going to record it, but I think the concept is a bit odd, so we’ll see if I really devote all of that time to watching it!

Keeping my head above the waves

Sometimes it just feels like life is an ocean and the waves are lapping over you, right?  Oh, or is that just me 🙂  With the blur of the garage sale over, now it’s time to clean up the aftermath.  Clean the house, which hasn’t been cleaned forever due to energy spent on sale, mouth, and sickness.  Box up the leftovers – keep or donate?  Pack away the signs, tables, markers, tape and everything else that migrated to my garage!  The good part is that this will all be taken care of in the next few days if I put my mind to it.

Fun thing that happened this weekend… my daughter is practically a woman now…. we taught her how to mow the yard!!  She was actually quite interested in learning after she realized that her brother is too little to do it.  Sibling rivalry at it’s best.  She declared it was “really hard”, but she did finish the front yard – despite the super humid weather and warm temps.  Her face was red for hours afterwards!!

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That humidity was a killer Sunday morning on my run.  I ran 6 miles around the hood.  I was shocked how easy I did my first 6 miler Saturday, thinking I would be exhausted after 1 mile, and shocked today on how hard this run was!!  I was sore and the humidity was dragging me down.  Around 3 miles it turned into “oh, I’ll just walk a little until I get to the next driveway”.  That happened more than once this morning!  Still, it was good to be outside and running.

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Resting after my very exhausting run!!

Slightly bad news – mouth is feeling almost all better, but part of my graft fell off 😦  Now I’ve got a spot that is looking quite naked.  Uh oh.  It doesn’t hurt, but it sure isn’t pretty.  I’m going to the Dr. tomorrow to get it checked out and see what needs to be done about it, if anything.  I honestly don’t know what they do about that.  But I know for sure I really don’t want them digging in my mouth for more “donor” tissue again!  Owwwwww!  I’m hoping they have some “press-on gums” that they can apply to it for a touch up.  LOL!

I took a day off from running today because I’m really feeling it from the big 2 days of running this past week.  Most noticeable is the soreness in my calves.  Sore calves are one of the “side effects” of transitioning into Newton shoes.

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From Newton’s website here.

I really didn’t think 2 weeks off running would affect my calves that much, but I was running a lot more in my Asics Nimbus shoes for Boston training, so I guess that’s why.

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I am loving the mirrors located in the “workout room” now.  I’m so happy I found them!!  I got up early and did a little bit of weights this morning.  My old Asics shoes were so excited to be getting out of my closet!  (what, your shoes don’t get excited to workout??)  They are GT-2150’s, which are as old as dirt and felt like bricks on my feet.  It’s no wonder they don’t get to run with me anymore!

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It’s a work in process!


Q: Mowing the grass – child labor, or paid help?

We are debating if the kids should get paid to mow the grass.  I don’t remember getting paid when I was a kid!

Q: Do you prefer the cold winter runs (sub freezing!) or humid summer runs?


Garage-sale-palooza and I’m baaaaaack!

First, the big  exciting news…. I ran this morning!!!  That 14 day estimate for my mouth recovery was right on, and even though I am still aware of the dental work in my mouth, the pain is maybe a 2 on a 10 scale.  HUGE improvement in my life for sure!


I started out running on the treadmill for 3 miles, and then I saw it was pretty good weather outside so I ran 3.5 miles outside.  It was pretty great to be running again!  While I was running around our neighborhood I found a great freebie by someone’s driveway.  Since we are having that neighborhood sale, people will sometimes leave items out that they don’t need anymore.  I thought these would be perfect for the future workout area when our basement gets finished.

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The day was spent hanging out in the garage again with my bestie Jennifer.  We combine our stuff every year and come up with an overloaded sale.  This year was no exception.  We had a ton of girls clothes, some boy clothes, and tools and housewares.  We usually end up having a few big ticket items, but not this year.  So, instead of a combined sale of around $1,100 (I know, crazy right??) we had around $980.  I’m surprised we got that much – it didn’t seem like we did that much in sales.  One year we sold old appliances and the total sales were $1,800.  Worth it to hang out in the garage 🙂

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Thursday night is supposed to be a neighborhood “preview” night, but we get a lot of “outsiders” looking for early deals.  Thursday night was crazy because we were still unpacking the items on to the tables and people were buying stuff!  Friday morning was rainy, which was bad because we needed to put some of the tables outside because our garage was too full!  But that didn’t stop the shoppers.  It was a busy day.  Today’s sale was quite a bit slower and didn’t start until a few hours later because everyone was still shopping at the entrance to the neighborhood.

We did find some great deals around the ‘hood.  Some clothes, backpack, sleds (broke ours last season), and this captivating book…

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After the sale it was time for the last soccer game of the season.  A good game, but they lost.  Afterwards we celebrated by a trip to the ice cream stand.  Yeah, I can eat ice cream with minimal discomfort!!  happy happy day!

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Notice anything odd about this picture?  Look on the left…. someone took their horses on the bike trail!  That was quite interesting.

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Then it was time for the band concert / bbq chicken dinner (aka, fund raiser).  We had some delicious chicken and a great selection of desserts.  Yum!

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Forgot to mention… all this day my husband was out running that 50 mile training run he didn’t get to do last weekend.  It was humid, and tough, but he finished it in 10 hrs, 46 mins.  Awesome job Alan!!  Long long run, long long day!


Q: Are you doing anything fun this weekend?

Looking forward to relaxing on Sunday and spending time with Alan!

Q: Have you ever found any good freebies that someone has put out?

Q: Do you prefer pancakes or cinnamon rolls for breakfast?

Just wondering what I should make tomorrow 🙂