On Friday morning, Jesse was mountain biking and had a wreck. He called me from the trail as he had damaged his bike and hurt his shoulder.  I loaded the boys in the car and went to pick up Jesse.  It was evident when I got there that he was in pain. After a quick trip to the ER, we found out that he had broken his collarbone.  A broken collarbone/clavicle is one of the most common injuries in cycling.  You fall off your bike and land on your hip and shoulder and POP!  So this handsome man of mine will be wearing a sling for a while.  For now, our entire house is left handed!

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When the boys saw Jesse in a sling, Trent immediately said, “Daddy, you need to be careful!”  Sean kept saying, “Daddy fell off his bike!”  As you know, we do a lot of family bike riding in our house.  It’s a great hobby to do together.  While, we hate that Jesse has to deal with a broken arm, it’s a great lesson to the boys that sometimes you get hurt but you get back up again.  I recently read this article and I think it has valid points, especially when it comes to raising boys.

I was a little afraid that seeing Jesse hurt would make the boys second guess riding their bikes, but they’re still as obsessed with it as ever!

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I did it!  I ran a marathon!  Race day was November 11, 2012.  It was 68 degrees, overcast and windy.  The race started at 6:30, so I got up at 4 and forced myself to eat a plain bagel with peanut butter.  I went back to sleep and got up at five to get ready for the race.  I had so much nervous energy.  My longest run before the marathon was 20 miles, so I knew there would be six miles of uncharted territory.  The marathon is so long that nutrition plays a huge part in it.  If you do not fuel your body correctly, you could easily end up with a DNF.  I not only wanted to finish, but I really wanted to come in under 4 hours.

Pre Race Nerves Rachel's First Half, MyFirst Marathon

I was initially going to line up with the 4:00 hour pacer, but did not see the sign.  So, I ended up starting right behind the 3:45 pacer.  I tried to start slow, but I’m such a single speed racer.  I automatically fell into my normal long run pace, which is mid 8′s.  I stayed in the mid 8′s through mile 17.  Mile 18 had a mega hill and I hovered at a 9 minute mile pace until mile 22 when my legs felt like bricks.  They were so heavy.  I wondered if they were going to completely cramp up on me at any minute.  The three miles that followed were more mental determination than anything else.  My pace went up to 10 minute miles for miles 22 through 25.  It was definitely the toughest part of the race.  We also had a major headwind for the last four miles of the race.  When I saw mile marker 25, I got an extra burst of energy.  I remember thinking, “in one mile, I am a marathoner!”  The last mile went by quickly.  Jesse and friends greeted me at the finish line with cheering, smiles and hugs.

At the Start Mile 22 Finish Line

The first hour after the marathon, my legs were revolting.  They hurt.  They threatened to cramp.  I got some food and water, walked around for a bit, then stretched.  Eventually, (while still walking like an old man), they started to feel better.

Overall, it was an awesome experience.  It is fun to challenge yourself and see it through.  I finished in 3 hours 57 minutes.  I finished my first half in 1 hour 54 minutes.  My second half was 2 hours 2 minutes.  It was awesome to see months of training come together for an incredible event.  I would definitely consider doing another one!  (As soon as my legs recover!)

 

Trent started the SMART (Skillful Movers Are Really Terrific) program at Samford University this month.  He is loving it!  It is his first activity where I have to leave him somewhere.  It was a little tough on both of us the first week!  He gave me a look like, “You’re leaving me?!”  The second time they met, his look graduated to, “well, last time wasn’t so bad…”  It was the third time that he saw his instructor and happily ran over to meet him.  Definitely a good day for both of us!

So, what is SMART?  For students at Samford and the University of Alabama, it’s a required course for students with exercise science or coaching majors.  Each student is paired up with one child between the ages of 3 and 5.  For the preschoolers, it’s 90 minutes of gym class.  The class focuses on swimming, gymnastics, perceptual motor skills, fundamental motor skills and beginning sport skills.

There are three different rooms – the fieldhouse, the motor lab, and the swimming pool.   In the fieldhouse, they work on running, jumping, skipping, batting, throwing and catching.  In the motor lab, they work on climbing, crawling, balancing and hand/eye coordination.  (The motor lab is full of ladders, rock walls, tunnels, etc.)  In the swimming pool, they work on water safety and swimming.

Since the student/child ratio is 1:1, the students work with each child according to where they are developmentally.  It’s so much fun hearing Trent talk about it after each class.  He gets so excited.  ”Mommy, you throw a football like this!” “Mommy, watch me hit the baseball!”  Mommy, Mommy!  I swim underwater!”  He’s having fun and developing confidence in all the different areas.

Meanwhile, it has been a sweet time for Sean and I to spend some one on one time together.  We’ve had cookie dates at the mall, played on the playground, and enjoyed walks together.  He seems to really enjoy the time as well.  The class is right during his naptime, but he’s a joy.  Most of the time he manages to keep a happy attitude, even when he’s tired.  He always wants to go to SMART with Trent.  One year and he’ll get to go!

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday mornings are when I do my long runs. I’m currently up to 18 miles. I’ve also taught water aerobics every Saturday in September. On a typical Saturday this month, I get up around 4am, get ready for my long run, drive to my running location, and start running by 5am. I’m usually done with my run by 8am. I teach water aerobics at 9am (and sometimes 10am as well, depending on the location.)

Meanwhile, back at home… Jesse gets a few hours of solo quality time with the boys. The boys love their time with Daddy. He gets up with them, makes them breakfast, gets them dressed and decides the activities of the day.

Last weekend, they made a trip to Lowe’s for some house stuff. The little ‘build your own’ wooden cars were on sale. Jesse picked them up and they built and decorated their own cars. They were a big hit! Trent was very specific in how he decorated his car and they both enjoyed playing with them. They fight over most toys, but they were attached to their individual cars. It was nice.

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Jesse loves a change of season and fall is his favorite season. He enjoys the changing leaves and anything pumpkin. For today’s Dadurday, he made peanut butter apple cookies. They are yummy and very much fall flavored. If our kitchen aid is in use, it’s generally for something sweet, so the boys instantly get excited when the mixer starts going.

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When I get home from the gym, I get to the join the party. Oh, I love these boys. They have my heart.

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This year is an exciting year for us.  Being in the adoption process all year has meant a lot of prayer, a lot of paperwork and a lot of waiting.  The waiting has given me a year to follow my passion for fitness and health more than I’ve been able to in the past.  Don’t get me wrong – two toddler boys still keep me very busy!  But, I no longer have an itty bitty that needs me to nurse him and carry him around all day.  Part of me really misses that stage! But, the boys are walking, talking, self feeding individuals.

I’m very passionate about health, wellness, fitness… call it what you like – nothing makes me happier than seeing people take ownership of their health.  It’s amazing to see people realize that they are capable of being healthy and fit. So many people believe it’s just not for them.  Any one can exercise.  The best exercise program is the one that you actually stick with – so have fun!  It looks different for each person.  Some people love water aerobics, others love Zumba, others prefer running or cycling.  Do what makes you happy!  You’ll feel better inside and out!  I could talk about this all day, but that’s not the purpose of this blog.

I created another blog for everything health and fitness related.  It’ll document my training for my first marathon, along with encouragement, fitness tips, etc. Check it out!  I’d love to hear from you!

The website is eatrunpray.com. You can follow me on twitter @eatrunpray and facebook as well.

Lifeindixie.com will stay true to stories about this crazy little thing called life. :)  Hugs!

 

Today starts football season!  As I type this entry, I am watching Auburn’s first game of the season and drinking a Guinness Foreign Extra (a favorite during the fall).  Fall is almost here!  The days have started to cool, school is back in session, and we’re getting back into more of routine.  We got our first pumpkin in our weekly CSA box.  We had our first backyard campfire last week.  The boys love that s’mores season is approaching!

So, what’s been going on?  We moved up to 41 on the referral list for our adoption.  Best guess, we will probably be Ethiopia bound in the spring.  The prime minister passed away in August, so please pray that the country remains stable.

I’ve been teaching about 8 classes a week.  I love it.  The classes are so much fun and the people are awesome.  I feel so blessed to be able to work in a field I love.  I get to meet incredible people doing activities I enjoy.  It’s a total win.  The boys are in the Y nursery for about an hour, 3-4 days per week.  They get excited to see their friends, play in soft play, watch Mickey Mouse (we don’t have cable so this is an exciting thing), and eat “treats” (processed snacks that we don’t buy at home).  I’m glad they enjoy it too!

I’ve been keeping up with my marathon training.  Last week was my longest run ever with a 14 mile run in 2 hours.  I tweeked my middle toe during a speed workout on Wednesday so I missed my long run today in hopes that it will feel better soon with some rest.  It’s been bothersome when I walk.  I’d rather rest it and have the pain go away, then push through it and have it nag me for the duration of my training.  There are 71 days until my race and I haven’t been having much difficulty with the runs, so I feel okay about missing a run.  My fitness level is pretty high.

The boys are incredibly active right now.  They are definitely toddler boys.  They go at full speed from the minute they wake up until the minute they go to bed (and sometimes they take a while to wind down!)  Sean is talking a bunch and Trent’s vocabulary and comprehension grows by the minute.

Since I was unable to blog often in August, I thought I’d give you some photos of our August.  Here’s to hoping fall will bring routine and I’ll get more time to share with y’all!  Enjoy!

 

 

It’s no secret that cycling is a well loved hobby in this household.  It doesn’t matter if it’s mountain biking or road biking.  We enjoy them both.

Seeing families riding bikes together always makes me smile.  Right now when we go as a family, it typically involves pulling them behind my bike in a bike trailer.  Soon though, Sean will be the only one in the trailer!

Trent started riding a balance bike when he was about 20 months old.  A balance bike is a bike frame without pedals or a chain.  It teaches kids how to balance the bike.  He started by walking over the bike.  Eventually, he was comfortable enough to sit on the saddle and ride the bike.  Shortly before his third birthday, we bought him a 16″ bike.  It was on clearance and we could not pass it up.  It currently has training wheels on it.  He goes so fast.  In the last few weeks, he has been mastering how to stop.  An essential skill when you always go full speed!  We’re wondering when to take the training wheels off his bike.  He has no problem getting back on the bike when he falls over, so I don’t think that would be an issue and since he’s used to being on the balance bike, there wouldn’t be much difference when his feet were on the ground.

In the meantime, Sean is now 20 months old and has taken over the balance bike.  He’s doing well with it so far.  He’s not comfortable enough to be sitting in the saddle yet.  He just stands over it and walks the bike.  But, he enjoys it.  He looks like Toad from the Super Mario Brothers games when he has his helmet on.  It’s pretty cute.

We usually ride at the park because we live on a giant hill and our driveway is sloped as well so it’s like starting them on the top of a ski slope when I open the garage.  It’s much easier for my sanity and their learning if we go somewhere flat.  I took the picture right after I got the bikes out of the car.  Look at them go!

 

I don’t think life has really slowed down as much as we’ve just adjusted to our new normal.  We have finally been in town for a few weekends in a row, which has been nice.  Last weekend was the first weekend in July that I’ve been able to go to church.  We were out of town the first few weekends and then Sean had cold so I stayed home with him.  I miss it when I don’t get to go.  We start teaching Trent’s 3  year old sunday school in a few weeks.  We love investing in the kids in our church.  I don’t remember if this is my third or fourth year teaching.  This is Jesse’s second year teaching with me.  It is so much fun to spend time with the kids each week. It’s also a reminder that our schedules will soon be switching from summer to fall.  I don’t mind the cooler weather, but I really love the long the days of summer.

I’m training for the Pensacola marathon on November 11th.  My roommate from college is going to do the half.  Hopefully, more of you will decide to join us!  It’ll be fun!  The long runs have been a lot easier this time around.  I think it’s because my fitness level is the highest it has every been due to teaching group exercise classes.  I get to do what I love every day.  Does it get much better?!  Joining a run group has also been a huge help.  It’s so much easier to log a bunch of miles when you’re meeting friends and you know you won’t be pounding the pavement by yourself for hours.

Not much has happened on the adoption front.  We’re still waiting for a referral and probably will be for a while.  Some days, life just goes on.  Other days, the wait is a little tougher.  I long to have another little one join our family.  My baby will be TWO in November.  Craziness.  He is getting so big!   Many people we know are pregnant and having babies.  Other friends are adopting babies and bringing them home.  We are delighted for all our friends and we rejoice with you!  But, it’s sometimes hard not to wonder when it will be our turn.  Adoption does not have a concrete timeframe.

I’ve been reading in Joshua lately.  It has been a great reminder that when our endeavors are in line with God’s will, God can do mighty things through us.  He defeated armies by blowing horns, hail, and injured horses with no chariots.  He does not need to work within the constraints of man.    What a great reminder while we’re in the midst of Sue’s cancer, the adoption process and even just normal events of daily life.  God already knows the perfect timeline and how everything will be accomplished.

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