Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve - Farewell 2009

First, a brief - but powerfully moving poem.

Ode to Cookie Dough - aka Auld Lang Cooke Dough

Should all my cookie dough be forgot,
and never in my tummy?
Should all my cookie dough be forgot
oh no, it's much too yummy.

For the love of dough, my dear,
For cookie dough is so good,
We'll take a cup o' cookie dough yet
For we really should.

And here's a batch, my trusty friend,
Don't eat it all at one time;
We'll take a cup o' cookie dough yet,
part of the batch is mine.

Should all my cookie dough be forgot,
and never eaten again?
Should all my cookie dough be forgot
no, because then we couldn't be friends.

For the love of dough my dear,
For in cookie dough I believe,
We'll take a cup o' cookie dough yet
Because it's New Year's Eve

I'm sure everyone is just as impressed with my poetry writing skills as they are with my documentary film making skills.

2009 Year In Review (Brief)

I'd be lying if I said 2009 was an awesome year as a small business owner - the economy took a big dump on pretty much everyone. However, Buttin and I have so much to be thankful for in 2009 (For instance, I started a blog . . . which I know EVERYONE is thankful for, especially Buttin).

Working together has truly brought Buttin and I closer together. I love being able to tell him, "see you at work." As much as work gives me stress, he is able to relieve it. He is the best marriage and business partner and we've learned so much about each other during the past year (this is starting to sound very cheesy, so I'll stop now). We also moved the business this year - which I think if you asked the misfits - is the best thing that's happened all year!

In July, Buttin and I learned of a small little life change (maybe I've mentioned it a time or two), Lumpy. We can't wait to meet Lumpy in 2010. It must be said that anticipating Lumpy's arrival has really helped to keep everything else in perspective.

Buttin and I also took a couple of trips this year - Mexico and Chicago. It's great to have amazing friends, but even GREATER to go fun places with them (actually, it's pretty awesome just to lay on their couch too).

In 2009 I also started running more than I ever imagined possible, and completed my first marathon with my mom (and Lumpy) in November. I look forward to more running sometime in May 2010.

Farewell 2009 - hello 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good News April Baby

**Warning - post contains very sad, but then HAPPY news**

When I got pregnant, I joined a couple of online groups for other April 2010 mothers.

The site/message board I'm usually on is Baby Center (where I get all the Fetus Friday updates). There are about 5,000 members of this board, but only about 750 - 1000 of us that participate daily.

The "Featured Post" on the Baby Center 2010 April board is the "Official Birth Announcements" - this has and will continue to be the featured post through April of next year. During the last few weeks, there have been babies born and none have survived. I pretty much cry every time I read a new announcement. (I don't always think it's a good idea for hormonal women to be on such a message board - shesh, you should read some of the fights these ladies get into.)

Here's the post from a mother who had her twins the day after Christmas:

Your Name/Screen name: leorira11
Baby's Name: (not decided yet)
Date of Birth: December 26, 2009
Original Due Date: May 1, 2010 (but expected earlier as they were twins)
Weeks Pregnant: 22
Baby's Weight: 423 g & 420 g
Baby's Height: unknown

Early on Friday morning, Baby A's water broke. There was nothing we could do to save her, or her perfectly healthy twin brother. I was induced into labor, and the twins were stillborn Saturday morning.

Words cannot describe the pain we are feeling at the moment.

Best wishes to everyone else on their pregnancy.

It makes me want to cry just reading it again (. . .there goes a tear). I don't think there are words that can describe the amount of love I already feel for Lumpy and the thought of having to go through what nine women (in our group) have gone through is terrifying beyond comprehension.

Well, yesterday when I opened the Baby Center message board there was one new post on the "Official Birth Announcement" thread. I dreaded opening it. Sweet, happy joy - a baby boy was born - only 1 lb and 6 oz, but he is strong and the doctors are very hopeful.

I never knew I could feel such happiness for a woman that I don't even know, but it was such a relief to see some good news for an April baby, born on December 28th.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Documentary Film

This one stars Lumpy and the t-shirt on my belly.

Sadly, this one does not have narration - but fear not, there is still music.


video

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Games

This year, my mother hosted our family Christmas celebration. (This is my cute mother, opening her favorite gift of deodorant from me).

We had to postpone Christmas by one day, but everything was wonderful. Our day was filled with many old traditions - as well as a couple of new things, that we may or may not do again.

One of the new things were three games that my mom decided that we should play:
  1. White Elephant/Naughty Santa - this is the game that lots of people play in their offices. Everyone brings a wrapped gift, numbers are drawn and people open presents or steal presents based upon their number. This game was fun, but everyone was pretty satisfied with the gift they opened, so there wasn't too much stealing. The winner for best white elephant gift giver is my mother-in-law. My mom got stuck with this wonderfully obnoxious frog nutcracker (that my MIL brought). I wish I had a picture of it. I got a pooping reindeer - yeah! (My mother purposefully bought this one for me.)
  2. Story Telling - for this game, we each told three stories about Christmases past. Two of the stories were supposed to be true and one was false. The rest of us then had to guess which story was false. This was kind of fun, except that my mother (who came up with the game and told us all about it WEEKS in advance) had the lamest stories. Honestly, one of her stories was - "When I was little, I liked to play the game Mouse Trap." She then quickly added, "At Christmas time." Really mom?? You liked to play the game Mouse Trap at Christmas time when you were little - that's a pretty lame-o memory. Poor Mommy. Did I mention that it was her idea to play the game?
  3. Mitten Unwrapping - this game was the most fun. There was one gift that was wrapped and wrapped and wrapped (like duck tape, band aids, surgical tape, paper, plastic, aluminium foil, etc.). Everyone would roll dice and the first person to roll doubles would have to put on these HUGE oven mitts and try to unwrap as much of the package as they could. While they were trying to do this, the dice would go around the room and everyone would roll and if a person got doubles, then they would take over trying to open the present with oven mitts. This went on for quite some time. The person to completely unwrap the gift during their turn (meaning, before someone else rolled doubles) got the gift. We didn't even know what was inside, but we all wanted to win it. I think at next year's office party - we're going to play this game and wrap a $100 bill and TELL EVERYONE that a $100 bill is inside. That'll make everyone CRAZY, but in a fun way (hopefully).
Here's a picture of Bubie trying to open the gift, while Buttin rolls the dice.


We all had such a good Christmas. Although, we couldn't help but mention that this time next year things are going to be so different.

I got some very nice gifts from Santa (I was a very good girl) including a new camera (for taking lots of pictures of Lumpy) and some new (slightly bigger sized) running/waddle clothes, a shark for our hardwood floors and a panini grill.

Lumpy even got some presents too. Some new clothes, including a little "What Happens At Grandma's Stays At Grandma's" onesie.

Just a quick side note, I cannot conclude my Christmas post without mentioning my mother-in-law's gift wrapping technique. Here are a couple of pictures, just to demonstrate how nicely (and when I say nicely, I'm being sarcastic) she wraps presents.

All presents get either 1) One piece of tissue paper


or 2) One little bow



Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thirty Second Movie Review - Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

Entertaining little how'd-he-do-it kind of movie. I guess I didn't realize that Sherlock Holmes was so much like The Mentalist. If they make a sequel (which I'm sure they will) - I will happily go see it.

Weekly Workout Summary

Wow! Just when I thought I couldn't get any lazier - this week happened.

I managed just two Team Tri workouts and one waddle around my house. I am going to try to place some Wii Sports Resort (Christmas present from Buttin) today, so if I count that - it'll be a total of four workouts and of course, that's stretching it a little.

Starting tomorrow I'm going to get back on the wagon - the waddle wagon.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Such A Great Christmas!


We had a fantastic Christmas today in Boerne. Will write more later, but now . . .I must take a nap.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Fetus Friday - Week 26 and a Change Of Plans

First of all, Merry Christmas!

I've been counting down the months since September or October and I can't believe how quickly time passes. For us, we're making today another Christmas Eve (more on this later), so I'll have even more Christmas spirit tomorrow!

OK, so Baby Center has this to say about Lumpy this week:

The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other.

I love the idea of Lumpy being able to hear Buttin and I talk during the day. It's good if Lumpy gets used to our strange behavior now - less for Lumpy to get used to when he/she is older. Lumpy and I have this new game we like to play. I lay down and put the remote on my tummy. I then watch as Lumpy kicks the remote. This makes it very obvious when Lumpy is moving.

Baby Center has this to say about me:

If your lower back seems a little achy lately, you can thank both your growing uterus — which shifts your center of gravity, stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, and may be pressing on a nerve — as well as hormonal changes that loosen your joints and ligaments. Plus, the extra weight you're carrying means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints, which is why you may feel worse at the end of the day. Walking, standing, or sitting for long periods, as well as bending and lifting can all put a strain on your back.

Seriously? I really should read ahead a couple of weeks and get prepared. This sounds exactly like what's going on in my body (and has been going on for a couple of weeks) - especially the nerve part. I feel better knowing that this back ache is more normal than I thought.

Alright, now for the change in plans. The original plan was for my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law (Nana) to head to Austin (from the Texas panhandle) yesterday. We were then going to go to Boerne this morning to spend Christmas with my mom, dad, grandmother (Bubie) and her fiance. Well - not everything works out as planned, least of all the weather.

Yesterday, a huge storm hit and dumped a huge amount of snow and ice right on my poor mother-in-law. She drove the two blocks to Nana's house and managed to get her car wedged in a huge snow drift - poor MIL.

So, because the weather did not cooperate - we are postponing Christmas by a day. This is exciting because it means another Christmas Eve and I love Christmas Eve. The plan now is for my MIL and GMIL to come into town today and we will make the trip to Boerne tomorrow morning and have our BIG Christmas celebration.

I can't wait!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Christmas Poem

Twas the Night Before Christmas -
My ode to gingerbread men, who I think do all the work and then Santa takes all the credit.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our house
Four pets were eating ham, including a cat named mouse(r).
The stockings weren't hung, because I didn't have time.
Santa will still come, because my mom has mine.

My in-laws were nestled all snug in the bed,
With Lumpy moving in my tummy, I just fed her (or him) bread.
Buttin in his boxers, and I in comfy clothes.
Had just settled down to watch our favorite tv shows.


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Penelope the cat was mad as a hatter.
I went to the door and asked, "Pene - you OK?"
Pene touched me inappropriately and went on his way.

The lights on our trees glistened like glass;
Made our yard mostly of weeds look a little less white trash.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But miniature gingerbread men drinking some beer.

With a group of eight, so drunk and small,
One spat at another and started a brawl.
More slowly than turtles they crawled though the lawn,
Then slurred out their words as they shouted their song!

"Now Vodka! now, Wine! now, Lager and Gin!
We're no rookie effort, we deserved to Win!
I can stand up, but eventually I'll fall!
Now drink up! Drink up! Drink it up all!"

As I started to walk back in the house to pee,
Their leader approached smiling at me .
Then up to my front door they stumbled two by two,
With the Honda full of presents, one was sniffing some glue.

And then, in an instant, I heard in the street,
The prancing and dancing of all of their feet.
As I reached for my bladder, and was turning around,
Through the front door they came with a bound.

They were dressed all disheveled, one was missing his shoe,
And their clothes were all tarnished and nothing looked new.
A bundle of presents they had flung on their backs,
And they looked like some hobos, opening their packs.

Their eyes looked so red! One threw up in my chair!
Their noses were rosy, they had marzipan hair!
All this time I thought Santa, brought me my toys.
But really it is drunk gingerbread girls and boys.

The stump of bottle one held in his teeth,
And another smoked cigars as she hung up the wreath.
One looked like he'd just been punched by his brother,
But they all laughed and seemed to enjoy each other!

They looked odd bringing presents, not like Santa at all.
But they smelled of almonds and were cute when they'd fall!
A quick whistle of the lips and one bump on the head,
Let me know soon, I had nothing to dread.

They spoke few words, and went straight to their jobs,
And filled all the stockings, while smelling like slobs .
Then using one another to prop themselves up,
Headed out my front door with drinks in their cup!

They meandered to the Honda dragging a Radio Flyer,
And away they all drove, with a designated driver.
But I heard them exclaim, even though they seemed grumpy,
"Merry Christmas and next year we'll bring presents for Lumpy!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Little Hiatus . . . Maybe

The past few days (wait . . the last few weeks) have just been a blur of activity.

I think all the activity, stress and weight gain (not sure how generous, I'm afraid to look) are starting to effect (or is it affect . . . I never know?) my body - mostly, my back.

It started a week or so ago in Florida - a dull, but sometimes stabbing pain in my upper right hip/lower back. The first night I had it - I could barely move. It got better, but creeps back in about every other day. Last night it was pretty bad. I think it was the wearing of jeans (usually I wear stretchy pants . . . yup I'm one of those stylish pregnant ladies) and cute heeled flip-flops from yesterday. I also went shopping after work and that was quite a bit of walking around (on a side note, I felt really bad for Macy's - their computer systems were completely down and they couldn't ring anyone up).

Well, when I woke up this morning - it was better, but I could still feel it. This meant that although I wanted to do a little run, I had to do a little walk (um . . waddle) instead. I'm thinking I may have to take my brief hiatus from running earlier than planned (I was hoping to get to about 30 - 32 weeks). Looks like I'll be on the elliptical or in the pool from now on - unless my back starts to feel better. I will miss you, running - but will return sometime in mid-May (hopefully).

On a slightly related note, I've never been much of a back sleeper, BUT now that I've been told by my doctor that I'm not allowed to lay on my back (he said some scary stuff like, "cut off blood flow to me and the baby") - that's the ONLY position that feels comfortable!! Go figure.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

No Christmas Stress

It looks like Molly is trying to tell me something in this picture. I think she's really saying, "get this stupid thing off my head . . . now.", but I'm going to pretend like she's saying, "don't be stressed at Christmastime, mommy."

There are just so many things left on my "to-do" list. For those women who already have children - I have no idea how you do it. I'm not even hosting Christmas at my house this year, but here's a list of all the things I have to accomplish in the next 48 hours:

  • Try to find Buttin a good Christmas gift (I'm stressing because I haven't been able to find that one perfect gift & I usually- I'm so good at it - I think).
  • Buy gift cards and some other various gifts for the few people still on my shopping list.
  • Go to the grocery store to buy stuff for the two work parties we have tomorrow (installer Christmas breakfast and our Holiday party).
  • Make food for the work holiday parties, set up parties, clean up after parties, etc. . .
  • Get house ready for dear MIL and GMIL (even though they're the easiest house guests EVER).
  • Wrap copious amount of gifts.
  • Buy a few more stocking stuffers; and
  • Various work tasks that must be done before I leave on Thursday (hopefully early).
I'm also trying to just enjoy our last Christmas before Lumpy arrives, but that's so much easier said than done. Next Christmas, I'll probably look back on Christmas 2009 and think - wow, I had it SO easy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cookie Day!

Today was Christmas Cookie Day with my mom and Bubie (or as one of our friends Ollie likes to call her, Boobie).

This is typically an annual day-long baking event where my mom, Bubie and I make a huge mess. We also make more cookies than our family could possibly eat in six months.

As recently as a few years ago we used to make all the cookie dough from scratch, but now we use a combination of store and school fundraiser bought dough. Here is me modeling with the cookie dough:

The only type of cookie where store bought cookie dough is not acceptable is SUPER DOPER. So, my mom and Bubie made that dough yesterday.

We make the following kinds of cookies - sugar, gingerbread, peanut butter blossoms, super dopers (chocolatey with nuts) and chocolate chip. We also made two kinds of fudge (chocolate and peanut butter) and a batch of blueberry kolaches.

Here's evidence of all our work:

Bubie's primary job this year was decorating (gingerbread and sugar cookies) - she needs a lot of supervision (she beheads the gingermen just so that she can eat them), but she's a hard worker.

My mom's primary job was rolling out the dough. As you can see, she too need supervision and had to be helped with the flour.


My primary job was quality assurance. I took my job very seriously and sampled all the cookie dough as well as the finished cookie products. We did an excellent job with the exception of a couple of peanut butter blossoms, someone (ahem . . . mom) left little pieces of the Hershey Kiss foil wrapper in the candy dish - so some of the cookies are flecked with foil.

This minor mishap aside, we had a very successful cookie making day. Can't wait till next year when Lumpy can help and by help I mean take a nap while I eat cookie dough.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My New Toy

My friends Liz & Jonathan got me this great little camcorder for Christmas. I have a feeling they aren't going to be too happy when I start making awesome videos of them. Buttin already thinks I've lost my mind.

I now present my first documentary film - Scratch Eats Ham.


video

Thirty Second Movie Review - Up In The Air

Up In The Air

Awesome, awesome movie! Not one false note. Of course, I could watch George Clooney watch paint dry. This movie had everything - laughter, sadness, family, friends - pretty much everything except for a cute puppy.

Weekly Workout Summary

This post will be very short.

I worked out twice this week - once with my Team Tri group and one run. In my defense, I spent most of the week in Florida and just couldn't manage a run.

I did my one run yesterday morning - 4 miles. I think I pushed myself just a little too hard. I'm still feeling some lower back and pelvic region discomfort. Maybe I won't go so far or so fast next time.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thirty Second Movie Review - Bad Lieutenant

Bad Lieutenant Port of Call: New Orleans

This was the most ridiculous, over the top movie I've seen in a long time. Strangely enough, I was also kind of bored. Watching Nicolas Cage is like watching a drunk, maniacal hobo try to behave in church. The movie wasn't all bad - I did have to go to the bathroom twice and that was a welcome relief.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thirty Second Movie Review - Avatar

Avatar

I really wanted to love, love this movie. I just really like and respect this movie. The special effects were truly amazing (and special), but the story was a little (OK more than a little) cheesy. If the story would have been Lord of the Rings with blue cat people - I would have LOVED this movie. Take note James Cameron.

Fetus Friday - Week 25

Baby Center has this to say about Lumpy:

She's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn.


This is good. I'm hopeful that during our next ultrasound (Jan 4th) we'll get some even better pictures of Lumpy as his/her skin starts to look more like a little baby and less like a little tadpole.


Baby Center has this to say about me:


Your baby's not the only one with more hair — your locks may look more full and lustrous than ever. It's not that you're growing more hair, but thanks to hormonal changes, the hair that you'd normally shed is sticking around longer than usual.


Does chin hair count? This seems to be the only place that I'm really noticing more hair - lucky me!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All Is Well In Florida

All is well here in Florida.

This evening I'm going to the airport to pick up my little brother and his wife (it sounds weird to say that - he doesn't seem old enough to have a wife - I think he's still about 11).

I'm missing my husband and our little fur babies, but I'll be home tomorrow and will be able to blog more later in the week.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekly Workout Summary

OK - so this week wasn't a great week in the workout department.

I managed to run a little over 10 miles TOTAL - what a difference a month makes. I also did a couple of Team Tri workouts, but I wish I could have done a little more.

This next week isn't going to be too great either (for working out). I'm going out of town Monday - Wednesday, so I'm not sure how motivated I'll be to run or workout, but I'll bring my clothes - just in case.

Also, since I'll be out of town - I'm not sure how many posts I'll get up early in the week, but I promise to try.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Gingerbread Incident of 2009

Tonight I was witness to what can now only be described as, "The Gingerbread Incident".

To tell the story of tonight, I must first go back in time . . .

When my fabulous friend Liz was just a school girl, she loved writing poems. Her favorite type of poem to write was the limerick. She was extremely gifted poet, so she decided to enter a limerick writing contest. Her entry was nothing short of genius. Sadly, Liz did not win the contest and to make things worse, when the judge gave her a consolation pat on the head, he said, "It was a good limerick, for your first time." This angered Liz and she vowed from that day forward that she would never lose anything again - even if it meant cheating.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Liz sent me an evite to a Gingerbread House Making Party one of her friends was hosting. As it happens, I knew Buttin would be out of town - but I love gingerbread house making (especially the candy eating part), so I agreed to be a part of her team. Liz and her husband, Jonathan, planned a practice run for a couple weeks ago. I wasn't able to attend the practice, but I did see the final product and the team (Jonathan, Liz and our other friends Aaron and Sarah) had done an excellent job and had a truly AWESOME theme - DRUNK IRISH CHRISTMAS. This theme was loosely based on Liz's family Christmases.

I have NEVER seen anyone prepare for anything like Jonathan and Liz prepared for the contest tonight (hell, I don't think I prepared as much for my own wedding). We had team t-shirts, there was a typed out "game plan", a sketch, a protractor (yup, you remember those from the fifth grade), no less than five dozen types of candy, marzipan people and special boxes for organizing all our materials. Liz and Jonathan were not messing around - they were in it to win it.

Our team arrived feeling confident (I even wore glitter eyeshadow and lipstick for the occasion).


We had one hour to complete our Drunk Irish Christmas (notice the t-shirts - pretty cool, huh?) Gingerbread House. The timer began and our team set to work.


Look at this expert construction - this technique should be studied by aritechture students (or at the very least - first graders in art class).


As you can see, even the protractor is out (and so is the sketch)!

The hour flew by, but we (and by we, I mean the four people who actually practiced) had planned everything out to the final drunken detail. We finished and even had time to clean up.

Here is the masterpiece.


I feel it only prudent to point out some of the fine details:
  • Life-like marzipan people - complete with outfits, hair and shoes (notice how the guy in the front yard has lost his shoe - I think it came off during the car accident).
  • Electrical wire (i.e. licorice) coming off the chimney that some poor drunk soul tried to climb.
  • A portico (yes, a freaking portico!).
  • A classy woman, barfing over the fence.
  • Red gum for brick siding.
  • A marvelous gumdrop Christmas tree and two coordinating shrubs (my favorite person is the one sitting next to the bush on the left).
  • Beer bottles a plenty; and one of the best parts . . .
The backyard!

Notice the pool with the drunk guy passed out in it? Well one of my jobs (For the safety of others, I was only allowed a couple) was to mush up the corn for his barf. It's kind of difficult to see it - but I think it makes the entire piece.

Soon the judging began. I didn't take pictures of the other three houses in the competition but one was a Gingerbread Church, one was a Gingerbread Post Office and one was just a regular, conservative Gingerbread House.

A couple words about the judging - it sucked. There was one judge - the hostess of the party (who I don't know very well, but I'm sure is a very sweet, nice person). She didn't carry a clipboard or look very official (I don't think she even wrote anything down).

Within a few minutes, she announced the winner - the boring conservative Gingerbread House. It was perfectly lovely, but there was little creativity and no theme that I could discern. The kicker is that it was the hostess' brother and sister-in-law's gingerbread house that won! Our judge/hostess then felt the need to justify her choice by saying that from a proportional standpoint - their house was the best. She said that the people could actually fit through the doors. I guess she didn't deduct points for the animal cracker elephants in the front yard that were the same size as the people and could also fit through the door - that's so not like real life. At least no elephants I KNOW can fit through front doors.

As soon as Liz found out that we had not won, she clapped her hands together and said, "OK, let's pack up and go." This is a picture I took of Liz and Jonathan after we received the news that our people were TOO big to fit through the door (I tried telling the judge that I've been to lots of house where I had to crawl through the front door, but she wasn't going for it).

The look on her face is just priceless. To add insult to injury the judge/hostess told Liz, "This house is really great for a rookie effort." If Liz could have spit fire, I think the judge would have been a toasted little hostess.

We promptly packed up our things (including our house) and headed for the door, but not before I made everyone get their fudge party favor (I love fudge and so does Lumpy) and give it to me.

Pretty much the entire way home (which was a good 40 minutes - we practically drove to San Antonio) we complained about our loss and the unfair judging. Soon, it really started to get to Liz and she started rocking back and forth in her seat saying, "Not again, this is the limerick contest all over again."

Jonathan and I got her home as soon as possible . When she got home she was somehow able to make us dinner (yummy Swedish meatballs), but she kept repeating, "I'm a winner, not a loser." over and over.

After dinner - Jonathan and I encouraged Liz to do something she felt really good at, so she wrote this limerick:

There once was midget named Stephanie
She had a major epiphany
She said with a smile
It had been a long while
Since she had been tossed into the symphony.

I'm not sure this is her best work, but it got her out of the "I'm a winner." trance.

Here's one last picture of the three girls next to our house.



For Liz's sake, we shall never speak of this incident again.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fetus Friday - Week 24

All is going very well with Lumpy this week. I can now consistently feel Lumpy moving whenever I sit still and Buttin can usually feel Lumpy move at night. Sometimes, when Lumpy is sleeping (certainly, a child of mine would be taking lots of naps) Buttin likes to poke my tummy and say "wake-up, play with me." I have a feeling Lumpy will be getting his/her sweet, sweet revenge very soon.

Baby Center has this to say about Lumpy:

Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long; he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up.

I'm going to do my best to help Lumpy plump up during the holidays!

Baby Center doesn't really have anything interesting to say about me during this week - only to warn me that during my next doctor's appointment, I'll probably have a blood glucose test. Just the short version. Sounds like loads of fun.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our Armadillo Racing, Trapeze Jumping, Snake Charming Grand New Location Opening Sale

I know I've mentioned my fabulous friend Liz a time or two on this blog. I often spend Wednesday evenings at her house and last night was no exception - we ate KFC (it's probably the classiest selection on the regular Liz/Steph menu).

To say my friend Liz is smart is like saying I mildly enjoy Cadbury Creme Eggs. She got her bachelors degree and MBA from the University of Chicago, helped start a non-profit in Chicago, has her own successful business and I'm quite sure she knows people who have won prizes that have "Nobel" in the title. (Whereas I know people who have won participation certificates from eating contests.) So, I decided to ask my highly intelligent friend an important marketing question.

As I've also mentioned a time or two on this blog - our business has moved. We are very excited and are planning a BIG SALE in February. I asked Liz (very smart lady . . . I think) what we should call the sale. We can't really advertise "Grand Opening" because we've been around for several years and I don't want to make it sound like we just opened and have no experience. I was thinking she would come up with a more clever way of saying "New Location Sale" or "Grand Re-Opening" or something similar.

I'm not kidding when I say that her first suggestion was, "I think you need to have armadillo races," followed by, "how about a snake charmer or a charity carnival with cotton candy and a trapeze?" Her next suggestions involved strippers, a fajita buffet, a trampoline, a keg, a DJ, pony and/or longhorn rides (she's confident we could get Bevo - since football season will be over), some kind of activity involving a lasso and butter, funnel cakes (I'm with her on this one), a knife juggler, a giraffe and (for the classy people) champagne. I'm quite sure there were even more "suggestions", but my brain is so overloaded that I forget.

I know this sounds like she was being funny, but I swear she's serious about 82% of these things. When I told her that I was hoping she could just give me a brief two word phrase that I could use in front of the word "sale", she said I was stifling her creativity and keeping her in a boring little box. So, not wanting to to limit my fabulous friend Liz I had a very talented artist come up with this ad for our our BIG SALE.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Quick Hurry Post

OK - I know it's late - it's been a day. Here are a few updates:
  • Short, cold 3 mile run this morning. I didn't sleep well last night, so I slept in and got a late start.
  • I HATE Quickbooks, but the tech support staff is very helpful. Buttin was on the phone with them for about four hours today.
  • My office is VERY slowly coming together - getting organized AND doing work at the same time keeps me very busy.
  • Going to eat KFC with Liz tonight - perfect!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Comfortably Back In Flip Flops

Our sales meeting went very well. Although, I ended up not taking off my jacket - so it was difficult to pimp out my kid.

Here I am (in my new, but messy office) with Lumpy:

The flowers were an anniversary present from Buttin.

Barbie & Patty decided to pose for a picture with their sympathy bumps:

They don't really have bumps, but I think they managed to hurt their backs pretending.

Monday, December 7, 2009

And Breathe . . .

Phew . . . I think tomorrow morning, we will have the interweb again. This is all thanks to our friend, Mick, and pretty much no thanks to AT&T. I feel so out of the loop without email and google.

Tomorrow morning we (me, Buttin & Tubby-Tub) have a pretty big sales presentation. It's simple, but I've included some cheesiness. Buttin wants me to wear something that shows off the tummy - we're not above using our unborn child as a way to break the ice.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another Brief Warning

We accomplished A TON during our move last week, but so far - no internet at the new building.

I usually write my blog posts at work, so this may mean fewer posts or that I write them at night. So moms, please don't worry.

Weekly Workout Summary

This week was not a great running week. However, I was a little more tired than usual because of all the moving activity and the weather was really, really cold (although I promise to NEVER complain about cold weather while running).

I had a great run on Wednesday - about 4 chilly miles at the world record pace of 10:54/mile, well it was pretty fast for me considering I haven't been that fast, for that many miles,f or months. Yesterday's run was a very short 3 miles - it was 25 degrees and my fingers never got warm. I also had to run around downed power lines (OK, there was only one - but it sounds more dramatic in the plural).

I only ran 10 miles total this week, but I hope to be back closer to 15 this coming week. I also did a couple Team Tri workouts - one that involved a StairMaster and weights - at the same time! My friend Jen would not have enjoyed that workout.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Twilight Bashing

First of all (and totally off topic) we got a little snow yesterday. Houston got a ton more, but I'm thankful we didn't get that much - it would have made moving even worse. Speaking of moving, we are ALMOST done and I should have some pictures next week.

OK - now to Twilight.

I don't really understand the appeal of Twilight and have never had a desire to read the books or see the movies. They give the impression of silly, teenage angst and romance books that unfulfilled housewives might also enjoy.

My fabulous friend Liz got suckered into reading the first book (and maybe the second and third too) and she confirmed my every suspicion - juvenile writing with a teenage-friendly, "I'm in love with a vampire 5 minutes after meeting him." kind of a plot. I can totally understand the appeal for a 13 year old - but it's the appeal to the women my age (and older) that I just don't understand.

I've wanted to really bash Twilight. Being a HUGE Harry Potter fan (seriously huge, I think Lumpy's room might have a HP theme) - I've always found it very interesting that religious groups wanted to burn Harry Potter books (even though most of them have never read the books), but have now really embraced a vampire-teenage-romance book. Seems a little odd to me.

Well - not wanting to be hypocritical - I thought I should read Twilight before rendering a final opinion. I began reading it (or having it read to me via my ipod) this morning. I spent only 30 minutes listening because I was just freezing cold and couldn't warm up during my run. I plan to listen to Twilight for the next couple of weeks and then write my full opinion.

I expect to hate it and I know I'm going into it with a semi-closed mind, but I'm going to try - I really am.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fetus Friday - Week 23

We've had a lot of Lumpy updates this week - what with all the doctor visits and posing for pictures.

Baby Center says this about Lumpy's development:

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance.

I'd better get Lumpy used to my embarrassing dancing now. My mom enjoys dancing around the house (and in her car and other more public places - I used to tell her, "Mom, our car does not have tinted windows.") and I apparently got my dancing skill from her. Poor Lumpy - he/she is in store for a lifetime of embarrassing parent moments.

Baby Center has this to say about me:
You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer.

So far, no sign of cankles - but it's still early. They say that exercise and drinking plenty of fluids helps with water retention - and I'm doing both those things.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lumpy Update - In Bullet Point Form

Today we had two doctor's appointments - one with Dr. Elephant (remember, the one who said I had a "generous" weight gain last time) and one with the ultrasound Dr., let's call her Dr. Sweet (she's very nice).

Here are the highlights:
  • I've gained 3 lbs since my last appointment (Oct. 30th). I find it difficult to believe that I gained twice as much weight during the prior 5 week period (when I was running over 25 miles per week) than I have during the last 5 weeks (while only running about 12 miles a week for the last couple of weeks and having Thanksgiving - seriously, I ate half a Tootie Pie by myself). Even more bizarre, when I went to Dr. Sweet's office - I weighed the EXACT same as I did two weeks ago (Nov. 18th).
  • Dr. Elephant said that my weight gain and blood pressure both looked very good (whoppee. . . no generous weight gain this time!!).
  • Dr. Elephant said that we're now at the point where if Lumpy was born there would be a chance for survival and that the chance for survival increases DAILY. However, we plan to let Lumpy cook till Spring.
  • Dr. Elephant said I should no longer be sleeping on my back.
  • The point of this follow up ultrasound was to make sure all of Lumpy's vertebrae were fused (Lumpy wasn't in a cooperating position last time). Well, Lumpy's spine looks great!
  • Lumpy was curled up in a little cannon ball position, with his/her legs tucked under its butt, so Lumpy was playing with his/her hands this time (last time it was the feet).
  • Lumpy is now 1 lb! Lumpy has gained 4 oz in 2 weeks! However, even with this "generous" weight gain, Lumpy is still on the low-end for weight. I take this to mean only one thing - Lumpy wants more fried cheese! (So I gave Lumpy exactly what he/she wanted by going to Sonic after my appointment.)
  • Because Lumpy is on the lower-end for weight (by the way, I'm perfectly fine if Lumpy is a smaller baby - my mother-in-law told me that my husband was a 10 lb baby and I'm not really wanting to push out a 10 lb baby!) we're going back for another ultrasound on January 4th. I told her this was perfectly fine as I'm sure the grandmas would not tire of looking at pictures.
So, here are a couple of pictures:

This one is a 3D picture where Lumpy looks less like frog than he/she did 2 weeks ago. You can kind of see the arm up around the head. The thing that looks like a growth coming out of Lumpy's head is actually his/her hand.

Here's a cute little profile picture of Lumpy (the profile pictures are my favorite). You can see how Lumpy's legs are tucked under his/her butt.

We have another appointment with Dr. Elephant and Dr. Sweet on Monday, January 4th. I'm not sure my weight gain will be so small next time considering cookie baking with Bubie, Christmas parties and New Year's!

Happy Anniversary Buttin

On their anniversary, people always say things like - they married their best friend, soul mate, the love of their life . . . and other cheesy stuff written in greeting cards. These little words just don't describe Buttin or our relationship, so I'll tell a very short story to sum up the amazingness that is the man I married three years ago today.

Yesterday morning I was very excited to go to Walgreens to pick up our Holiday photo card (see outtakes here). When I got there, the pictures were not ready. Buttin usually gets to work about 30 minutes after me, so I called him when I got to work and asked him if you had time to swing by Walgreens before he came into work - the cards should be ready by 9:00 AM. Well, Buttin had a very busy morning planned (maybe you've heard, we're moving) and had a meeting at 9:00 AM. He said he would swing by later on in the morning and pick up the cards for me. At 9:05, Buttin comes through the door holding the cards. I say, "I thought you had to be somewhere at 9:00". Buttin says, "I do, but I knew how much joy these would bring you."

I know, it's simple, but Buttin does things like this for me every single day. I can only hope that I do the same for him.

Here are a couple pictures from three years ago!


Happy Anniversary Buttin! LYMITY!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Card Outtakes - Featuring Mouser & Scratch

Every year, about this time - I torture the animals by taking their picture with little Christmas props.

I'm actually very pleased with this year's results, but here are some outtakes - just for laughs.

If I look away, will you please stop this?
Oh no, I remember this part from last year.
I'm so outta here.
Do these antlers look like wings? Because, I'm an angel.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Favorite Time Of The Day

I'm a morning person. I think I get my happy-morning personality from my mother. This morning-time chipperness has a downside - usually, by 3:00 in the afternoon my brain is no longer functioning and/or I am taking a nap.

Usually, morning is my favorite time of the day; however, lately my favorite time of the day is sometime between now and 8:00 PM (what I now refer to as - bedtime). During this time of the day, Buttin and I are lying on the couch (with at least two animals) - the Christmas tree lights are the only lights on in the house - and I can feel Lumpy moving around like crazy (I think because it's the first time all day that I've been still).

I would take a picture of this moment right now, if I knew my getting up wouldn't wake my sleeping husband, Mouser and Scratch. This is the life.

P.S. Buttin just woke up and took this picture. Molly has now joined the party.



Warning For This Week

For this week, my updates and posts might be a little sparse.

We're moving (the business)!

I will have some updates on Wednesday (Dr's appointment and ultrasound), but I may be a little lazy in posting other days.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thirty Second Movie Review - The Road

The Road

I think things change when there's a baby on the way. I know that my view point on everything is not different, but I certainly have an additional perspective. I read all but the last 20 pages of the book, but found the visual representation even more bleak than I remember. This is a very difficult two hours and I will never watch this movie again, but with that said - it was an excellent movie. I completely lost it near the end (after trying, somewhat successfully to remain aloof), like - heavy, trying to catch my break kind of tears.

P.S. Liz, this movie is NOT for you.

Weekly Workout Summary

Even though Lumpy and I are not running as much as we were a few weeks ago - we're still working out and trying to stay very healthy (even with all the Thanksgiving food this week).

It is getting slightly more difficult to run longer distances - not because of any discomfort, but because of the constant need to go to the bathroom. Yesterday, I wanted to run about 8 miles, but I had to come home after a not so great pit stop (I didn't bring any toilet paper). I ran about 11 miles this week, did two weight workouts, one swim and one workout with my friend Jen which consisted of cardio and more weights (arms - and my triceps are still sore).

I feel very fortunate - I've read on some of the April Mommy message boards that many of the women can barely catch their breath enough for a decent workout and some haven't been able to do anything their entire pregnancy. My goal is to run between 10 - 15 miles per week for the next few weeks (and continue my Team Tri workouts) and then access how Lumpy and I are doing.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thirty Second Movie Review - Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox

I loved this movie! It was highly entertaining and I found the animation delightful. I want to see it again as soon as possible.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fetus Friday - Week 22

Baby Center has this to say about Lumpy's development this week:

His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment.

I think it's very fitting that Lumpy should start developing tooth buds the week of Thanksgiving. Lumpy loved Thanksgiving. After eating about two Stephanie-sized pieces (probably five normal size pieces) of pie - Lumpy started moving around like crazy. Lumpy loves sugar. Speaking of Lumpy moving - Buttin felt Lumpy move on Wednesday night - he got kicked (or punched) a couple of times and says Lumpy has some attitude.

Baby Center has this to say about me:

At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet.

This hasn't happened too much yet. Barbie likes to touch my belly - but really, she's the only one. I've heard stories from other friends about random strangers touching their bellies. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but we'll see if it ever happens.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Only One Month Till Christmas!

I think I've been counting down the months till Christmas for the last four or so months. I love Christmas, but now that it's only a month away - I need more time. There are so many things that I have left to do. I really need to work on our Christmas card - which means some form of animal torture - I'm sure they'll all be just about as pleased to pose for a picture as they were last year (see Mouser above).

I also still have oodles of present shopping to do. I love shopping for presents, but I have only just begun and I don't know when I will find the time to get everything done. Thank goodness for online shopping!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Buttin's Office

My poor Buttin.

All he wanted to do this morning was get a payroll report ready for me.

However, no one would let him get anything done this morning. We actually had the teenage child (no school this week) of one of our employees bring their computer to Buttin and lay it on his desk - as if to say, "You can fix this for me now, right?". Seriously? Buttin has nothing else to do but fix a computer - is that really an urgent need right now?

I found it hilarious because it was just one of those mornings where EVERYONE wanted to talk to him and he was just trying to get this one, little thing done. I could just imagine the thought bubble over his head, "I can't wait to have an office, so I have a door to shut."

See, part of the problem is that Buttin's office only has two walls (and one of them is the women's restroom and we know how scary it is in there) and he's right by the front door. This means that even if Buttin is REALLY busy doing something - the instant people walk inside, they're in his "office".

Here's his office from another angle:

Buttin need not worry. In a couple short weeks he will be in his new office (it's huge - well compared to his current office, the women's restroom is HUGE) and I have a feeling that the first couple of months, he'll have the door shut (and locked, if possible).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sales Tax Audit

As a new small business owner - everyday I learn something new. For example, one day I learned what raccoons like to eat (they'll really eat anything, but especially love peanut butter) and another day I learned that hobos like to sleep in our alley way. Everyday is a new adventure - sometimes I feel like I'm in kindergarten.

Well - today, we started our sales tax audit. Thankfully, my aunt has been through this lovely adventure before - so she knows what to expect. I, on the other hand, just keep my mouth shut and am learning to answer questions with as few words as possible. I've learned today that the fewer words you can use to answer a question, the better. I tend to over answer questions and then get myself all tied in knots for no reason.

I'm hopeful that the audit will be quick and painless. Our auditor seems young and friendly and with it being the week of Thanksgiving - I think she wants it over with as much as we do.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

No More Marathon Training Weekly Update

But you know what there IS?

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!!

Buttin went to Dallas this weekend for a guys weekend, so I decided to start putting up our outside decorations.

This is just the beginning. I have a few stupid spiral trees that I need Buttin to put up. Either the spiral trees are really cheap or I'm just very inept at following instructions. I really want to start a quality, easy to assemble Christmas decoration company.

I also have to put up all the lights in the trees, but that's my favorite part. I'll probably do those during the week or right after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Mom's Marathon Story

I guess my marathon recap inspired my mother to write her own. I asked her if I could share it with all two of my readers and she of course, said yes. A few things I realized while reading her memories:
  • Obnoxiously colored shorts really get on her nerves (wait till you read all about it);
  • Even though we shared the ENTIRE marathon experience, it's different to read her thoughts;
  • We have a very similar story-telling/writing style - I like to think of it as, conversational;
  • No matter how old I am, I will always be my mother's daughter (baby); and
  • I want to run more marathons.
Now . . here's the story of my first marathon, told from my mother's perspective.

You only get one chance to run a first marathon. Let me tell you the story. Warning: If you're looking for a "just the facts, Mame" report - this is not for you.

After my daughter, Stefi and I did the San Antonio 1/2 marathon last year, we decided to do the whole marathon the next year. That's how it all started. For the past 5 months I've been in "training" (although I use the term loosely) with a training plan I found on line for first time marathoners. My mileage during the week varied from 4-9 miles/day with a long run on Sunday of 10-20 miles. I didn't do any extra tempo runs, speed work, bike riding or swimming. Occasionally, I tried to run a little faster at the end of my run when I knew I'd make it home. As a first time marathoner, my only goal was to build enough endurance to run 26.2 miles. I'll save all that extra training stuff for my next marathon.

THE PLAN:

They (people who write books and run fast) say you need goals, objectives and a strategy to run a marathon. Here's our goal: Finish. I try to keep things simple. They say you shouldn't set a time goal for your first marathon. We break this rule and feel safe setting our time goal at 6 hours. Here's our strategy: We will walk all the water stations and when Stefi needs a break, I'll walk/run on the right side of the road until she catches up to me. We have to run 13:40 mpm (minutes per mile) to finish in 6 hours. I'll take a 1/2 GU every 45-60 minutes and drink water at every aid station. I'll also take along some Gummie Bears just in case. Stefi has to keep her heart rate < class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_6">bpm because she's 5 months pregnant and she has her own eating plan. Our objective: Have a good time, take lots of pictures, stay hydrated and finish safe. That's it. Simple.

SATURDAY:

Stefi and Matt (SIL) arrived at my house around 11:30. Fred is at a meeting so Matt drove us to the Expo at the Alamodome to pick up our race packets. It was crowded, but well organized and in less than 1/2 hour we have our packets, bibs and race t-shirt. The tech shirt is black and very nice but I've ordered a large which is too big for me, so I give it to SIL. We quickly looked at all the running gear, shoes, food, etc. and then found our way back out to street where Matt dropped us off. When we arrived, the motorcycle police arrived too. "There's no pedestrian pick up here ladies, move on". We called Matt and told him, " Whoops, change of plans - you can't pick us up where you dropped us off". We all knew how to find the Ruth Chris restaurant so we met there. We arrived home safely and settled in for a quiet night. We decided to order pizza instead of going out to eat. Less hassle. In the evening Stefi and I got ready for the big race. We put the timing chips on our shoes, laid out all our clothes and supplies, put sparkle on our bibs and attached our names to our shirts with temporary glue. They say if you put your name on your shirt people will cheer for you. What can it hurt? Stefi is exhausted and went to bed at 8:30. I went to bed at 9:00. The alarm is set for 4:00 am with a departure time of 5:00 am. We're ready.

RACE MORNING:

I slept fitfully. I think I woke up every hour but managed to fall back asleep. I had the classic arriving at the race start on the wrong day race dream. Stefi says she slept like a rock.

Please weatherman, give us good race day weather. The first thing I do is check the weather. I've been checking the weather on a daily basis for the the last 10 days. Last year when we ran, it was 27 degrees at race time. Our toes didn't thaw out until mile 4. I get 67 degrees at the start, warming to 75 at noon, some clouds with 98% humidity. Whatever. I know it's going to be a sweaty day.

Breakfast is a strawberry poptart with some Gatorade. I took 2 Imodium to keep my tummy quiet. Before I got dressed, I applied Body Glide all over to prevent chafing. Nothing is more painful than chub rub. I put on a second coat to be safe. I decided to bring another poptart to eat about an hour or so before we start. Final preparation - hat, sweat rag, sunglasses, IPOD, watch, pacer band, 4 GU's, and misc. holder (Kleenex, money,gummies, Gu chomps from the Expo, chap stick, bandaid, motrin,) . I'll bring along an emergency 2 oz bottle of water although I'm planning on drinking the water supplied during the race. I jammed the phone between my 2 running bras. I put on my shoes and finally I put on the light jacket I'm planning to throw away before the race starts. At last, I'm ready.

PRE RACE

Matt again is the chauffeur. We're out the door at 5:10. Last year driving to the buses that would shuttle us to the start was a disaster. After the race we waited 2 hours to get a bus back to our car at the AT&T center. I know the race organizers probably fixed this problem, but I wasn't taking any chances. We arrive at our drop off spot around 6:15 thanks to the excellent directions from my good friend, Rudy. Getting here was my biggest worry.

We walked around and took in the sights and sounds of marathon morning. I can't believe I'm finally here. 5 months of training, 3 pairs of shoes, 515 miles and I'm finally at the start of my first marathon. It's still dark but the area is well lit. 32,000 people are in the runners village. I've never seen so many port-a-potties in one place. Each one has a line of at least 10 people. There must be 30 UPS trucks for the runners gear check bags and they are in a better place than last year. On concrete instead of the grass. One young girl is wearing a blue tiara on her head with "it's my birthday" on the back of her shirt. Everyone wishes her Happy Birthday. I notice that several of the runners are running for TNT (Team in Training - Leukemia and Lymphoma Association). They have purple ribbons with names attached to the back of their shirts. We walked past a wonderful Mariachi band and we took a picture. Two female runners pass us wearing purple tutu's. Music is blaring over the loud speakers and in between songs the announcers are giving instructions to the racers. We easily found our corral, took pictures, and continued to people watch. Stefi ate her poptart but my stomach wasn't in the mood. The announcers make jokes that we aren't allowed to pass anyone with a lower number during the race. We laugh. One of the announcers is John Bingham aka The Penguin. I've read a couple of his books and I really like his philosophy. Especially for today. One of his books is titled "No Need For Speed". Helicopters fly overhead and people wave up at them. A beachball is being tossed up in the air but it doesn't make it back to our corral. We are in corral #22. We hear a very nice invocation with special prayers for the people at Ft. Hood . A lady with a nice voice sang the National Anthem. We took off our light jackets and put them on the fence for Goodwill to pick up. Soon we hear "they're off" - exactly at 7:30. Right on time.

THE RACE:

The race will have a wave start so corrals are let go every minute or so with the Elite runners going first. Slowly we move a few feet forward and wait for the next corral to go. We move over to the right side of the road, so hopefully when the announcers see our names, they will give us a shout out! While we wait, the announcers make jokes about how the runners in the earlier corrals and so serious and how we are alot more fun and certainly better looking. I enjoy them. They start a "Wave" in the corrals in front of us and see how far back it will go. It gets to corral #22 and we all raise our arms in the air and hoop and holler. We're so excited! Finally it's our turn. The announcer says,"15 seconds to go....you can still change your mind!". At 8:12 we cross the starting line but the announcers don't see our names. Darn

MILE 1 12:40 Beep, beep, beep as everyone pushes their Garmin watches. Some people start out fast, others slow. Most are just trying to find a piece of the road that is flat and trying not to step on somebody else's toes. Hips and elbows sometimes collide with very polite "sorries' all around. We start off running down Broadway next to the park. I'm still a little stiff which is not unusual. I know I won't start feeling a rhythm until mile 5 or 6. Stefi's job is to keep us on a 12:30 - 13:00 pace. At mile 1.6 we stop at the first aid station for water. I'm not really thirsty but I know it's going to be a long, hot day. They say we need to drink at every aid station so we do. We both take a cup of water. Up ahead it looks cloudy. Runners are saying it's raining up ahead but we never have any rain. I do a quick assessment: No pains, tummy feels good, I don't need to pee. All the important stuff.

MILE 2 13:18 Doing good. Getting crowded and the street is narrowing. We keep a steady, slow pace and are enjoying the run. Others pass us, but we don't let it bother us. We're running our race and following our plan. Suddenly on the right side of the street we see a man on a stretcher. His face is ashen. His eyes are closed. Medical staff are checking his pulse and a lady in running clothes is giving chest compressions. Even though the medical personnel yell, "coming thru, coming thru", a couple of runners trip trying to get out of the way of the stretcher being moved to the ambulance. We manage to stay out of the way and keep running. Soon we should be seeing my friend, Bill. I don't see him so I decide to call him because I'm afraid we've missed him. As I'm calling I hear Stefi yell, "There's Bill!". We are so excited to see someone we know (or at least I do, this will be Stefi's first meeting). Hi's and hugs. He has made a sign that says Go Cheryl, Stefi & Lumpy. First time anyone has held a sign for me! So exciting! Everyone should have that experience. Stefi tells him "just walk over to the other street and you'll see us again". I tell Stefi that Bill has had 2 spinal surgeries, walks with a cane and his balance is limited. The fact that he's here at all is a miracle. I think we've seen the last of Bill. We keep running.

MILE 3 13.08 Still feeling great. Running thru Alamo plaza the roads are even more crowded. I think some of the speedy people from the corral behind us are catching up. Crowds of people line the streets and in some places they are 3 and 4 deep. Lots of them have signs and balloons and all are yelling encouragement. "Look'in good". "Keep it up". We see lots of "Go Mom" and "We love you Dad" signs. I try to take it all in but it passes to quickly. It is so fun running thru the streets of downtown San Antonio ! Some cheerleaders see my name and cheer "Go Cheryl!". I run faster. Stefi yells "Momsy, slow down, you're running an 11:00 pace!". I guess that name thing on your shirt really works. As we get close to the Alamo we see someone dressed as a rooster and we take a picture. Turning the corner we pass the First Mission: The Alamo. I love the Alamo . Quick picture and we're off again. At mile 3.4 we walk thru the aid station. We decide water alone won't be enough today with the humidity. They say you should never do anything new on marathon day that you haven't tried in your long runs but we are already soaked. We break the rule (again) and decide to try some of the Lemon/Lime Cytomax and dilute it with water. We each take 2 cups. It is much better than the Fruit punch they had last year and I think it'll be OK on my tummy. We've lost a little bit of time taking pictures and stopping, but we know we'll make it up later on so we're not worried. We're having the best time!

MILE 4 12:38 Right on pace. We're both feeling great. All of a sudden we see Bill again! He walked across the street where Stefi told him to go. We thought he had gone home on the bus. Again we chat a second and this time we take a picture. Soon we're off running again. No time to waste, we have a plan! Up ahead runners keep moving to the left. What's going on? On the left we see a row of elderly nursing home residents who have come out to cheer on the runners. They are all in wheelchairs, some are wearing sweaters and blankets. Everyone wants to shake their hand or give them high fives. They all have the biggest smiles. They are glowing in all the attention and the runners are happy to give it to them. We take a left on Euclid avenue and begin to climb the first hill of the day. We have been training on hills and in the heat all summer. We pass groups of people that have already started walking. We discuss how they are going to have a really, really long day.

MILE 5 19:22 Facility break for Stefi. With the 2 cups of fluid we've been taking at every water station I'm surprised she's lasted this long being 5 months pregnant. We're feeling good and the porta-pottie line is not to long, so I jog slowly on the right side of the road as planned. I walk alone thru the mile 5.3 aid station. According to my plan, it's time for some calories. I take a 1/2 GU with water/Cytomax. I turn around but I still don't see Stefi. I told Matt I wouldn't leave her and I know she's feeling fine, but I am not comfortable with this plan. I continue on slowly jogging. I swear, I'm not leaving her again the rest of the day. A lady passes me and makes a comment about my cute Walt Disney World pigtail holder. I look back again. No Stefi. I stop jogging and start walking and when I still don't see her I stop all together. I pull over to the side of the road. People are looking at me wondering why I'm stopping and I want to explain, "I'm waiting for someone", but I just smile as they run by. While waiting I see a man pushing a double stroller! Amazing! For the first time I see a lady wearing Texas flag shorts. For some reason I think this is just so tacky and I vow no lady wearing Texas flag shorts is going to beat me.

MILE 6 11:25 Soon I hear Stefi yell, "Momsy" and she catches up to me on Craig Street . There wasn't any TP in the facilities. Out of TP already? Really? Do people in this neighborhood come to the portaloos and steal it or what? Geeez Louise. Luckily we brought along plenty of kleenex. S. mentions seeing another preggo standing in line at the portaloo. She is 32 weeks pregnant so people let her cut in line. Don't hurry lady, there's no TP in there. We start running again and we run around San Pedro park. The sun is out and there is very little shade. Stefi says," We've been running for an hour". Oh, good, only 5 more to go. Together we walk thru the 6.8 mile aid station again taking lots of fluids. We both have a GU chomp and break the rule again. My stomach is full. I am sweating like crazy and the sweat rag I brought along is already useless.

MILE 7 12:37 Running down main street we pass Lulu's bakery. Stefi takes a picture because my friend Bill bought her a Lulu's cinammon bun to eat after the marathon. In unison we say how good we feel and how we're running in a good rhythm. We've trained and we're ready. This is going to be our day! We talk about Christmas and gifts we're getting eveyone. We plan the Christmas menu. More talk, talk, talk, sweat,sweat,sweat. I check my pacer band and we're right on schedule even with the hi's, hugs and pictures. We pass the lady wearing the Texas flag on her butt. Did I mention the humidity?

MILE 8 12:31 Little hills here, but nothing bad. As we climb and make a right turn, we pass a group of support crew on bicycles. They see my name and start cherring and waving their arms in the air and dancing!! I, of course, run faster. Little girls maybe 4 or 5, who I doubt can read me name, pick up on what the support crew is doing and they start cheering my name too. So cute. Never underestimate the power of people cheering your name. Even little people. I'm flying and feeling great. A lady running next to Stefi asks, "How do they know her name? It's like she has her own personal cheering squad". Stefi tells her, "She has her name on the front of her shirt". We all laugh. We walk thru the 8.6 mile aid station, take our fluids and start running again. We pass a bunch of young men who appear to have had alittle to much to drink. They are walking a little wobbly. They're carrying a sign that says "You're doing great: We're Drunk."

MILE 9 12:41 We're having a blast! On our goal pace, staying hydrated, feeling good. Stefi says she's feeling fine and we're coming up on 10 miles. We try not to whine too much about the humidity. We both swear we'll never complain about running in the cold again. We're coming in to the King William District now. The houses are beautiful. Lots of people are sitting out on their lawns with signs and their dogs. We high-five all the little kids as we go by. They get as much of a kick out of it as we do.

MILE 10 12:22 Sharp right onto St. Mary's street. We're halfway! They say a marathon is really 2 races. The first one is 20 miles - mostly physcial. The second is 6.2 miles that you run with your heart. So the way I figure it, we're halfway to the end of the first race. MIle 10.6 aid station and they are passing out GU's. I have enough with me so I don't take any and besides, they don't have any chocolate. We thank every volunteer we see and every police officer on the streets. We are supposed to be in the Arts District now. I don't see any art. I call my friend, Ronda at her mile - 10. She must be in church because her phone goes to voice mail. Darn. I leave a message to say hi and let her know I'm doing fine. We're feeling great, good pace, on schedule for a 6 hour marathon. At mile 10.5 the half and whole marathon split. Elvis is standing in the middle of the street yelling "Half marathon to the left, full marathon to the right". You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes. We turn to the right with 5 people and 100 people turn left. Neither of us have any thoughts of turning off with the half marathoners; although, we see alot of people wearing red bibs that do. We're going all the way.

MILE 11 14:56 Another facility break for S. I see my friend Carol standing on the median cheering like a crazy fool and waving blue balloons. I see her before she see me and I give her a big, sweaty hug. She is a nurse and when she signed up to volunteer, she made the mistake of telling them she does foot care at BAMC. She is assigned blister patrol for the day. Her friend, Terry, gives me salt packets for later in the race. I don't think I'll need them, but I take them anyway. All of a sudden I don't feel so good standing there talking. I'm alittle lightheaded and I have some nausea. I bend over and put my head down. I know what this is. I need some sugar. I take 1/2 GU with the emergency 2 oz water bottle I've been carrying with me. Luckily, Stefi is out of the portaloo fairly quickly and we start running again. Stefi asks, "How ya doing?" I say, "Doing good." I feel like crap. We take more fluid at the 11.9 aid station and continue on.

MILE 12 12:49 During mile 12 we head out to the Missions for our 14 mile out and back. We have studied the course map and know this will be 7 miles out and 7 miles back. "Just a long training run" we say to each other. I decide to listen to some music for awhile because as I suspected, crowd support dwindles down when the marathon splits. Before the race I had asked my friends to send me 1 or 2 of their favorite songs. The idea was to hear the song and think about that person for awhile and not think about the running I was doing. Soon we come upon the Second Mission: Mission Concepcion. While pretty, it's not something that really holds your attention or takes your mind off the fact you're at mile 12 with 14 more to go. On the other side of the road, the speedy runners are already returning. Some of them don't look so good. Hmmmmm? We're at mile 12; they're at mile 23. We scream, "Keep going!!" to all the female runners who are outnumbered 20 to 1. I check on Stefi and while she looks good she says she's having some pain in her feet but can keep on running. No big problem. "OK, I tell her. Let me know if anything changes because I'm going to listen to some music."

MILE 13 16:59 We start mile 13 at our normal pace but by the time we reach 13.1 we're walking. We reach the real halfway in 3:02:xx. Our goal was 3:00:00. Stefi says her feet are killing her. The balls of her feet are on fire. She's had this feeling before in training runs, but never this early. We walk to the aid station at mile 13.3. Stefi takes the salt I got at mile 11 that I didn't think I would need along with water and Cytomax. I give her a Tylenol. It is the first time all day we have fallen behind our pace goal. And just like that, our goal changes. We need to be flexible; I'm old, Stefi's pregnant. We set a new time goal of 6.5 hours. Our goal now is only to reach the next mile. I shut my IPOD off. My carefully planned IPOD music is history. I never hear anyone's songs. I won't listen to music for the rest of the marathon. We walk the rest of the mile. The lady with the Texas flag shorts passes by. Grrrrrr.

MILE 14 16:11 Walking and jogging some. Stefi's is still upbeat and her feet are feeling alittle better. Maybe the Tylenol is helping. At mile 14 we pass the Third Mission: Mission San Jose. I don't really remember seeing it. 14.8 mile aid station and more GU. We break the rule again and start eating GU chomps with straight Cytomax. We are living on the edge now. People along the side of the road are holding signs that say "Your feet hurt because you're kicking asphalt". How appropriate. Stefi says other than her feet, she feels fine. We continue to walk, jog, and run down the hills.

MILE15 16:07 Score: Cheryl - 0; Humidity - 1. We're baking out on this Mission trail. I call my friend, Mary at her mile - 15. No answer. Darn again. I leave a message on her answering machine. I call Bill at mile 15 thinking he should be safely at home by now. I tell him Stefi is having some foot pain and we're going to take it easy for awhile and just finish. He says, "Keep it up, go slow" and on we go. We pass a Medical tent passing out vaseline on a stick. As he hands it out he yells, "Don't eat it!". We laugh. I guess other runners have make a mistake. All the medical tents we've passed seemed to be well staffed - which is reassuring. Stefi puts some vaseline under her arms and I put some on my lips which are sunburned despite the chapstick I've been applying all day. Some TNT runners pass us and notice Stefi's gait and obvious pain. They suggest she walk backwards. Did I mention how hot it was?

MILE 16 16:44 Turn the corner and who is standing there holding the little sign that says Go Cheryl, Stefi and Lumpy? Bill. We're tired, hot and now Stefi is really hurting. Somehow she manages to keep going, but I don't know how. All Bill gets this time is a high five. No hugs, no pictures, no jumping up and down. I tell Stefi we can quit, she says, "No". She tells me to go ahead , I say ,"No". She feels bad because she's slowing me down; I feel bad because I can't help her. Stubborn women. We walk thru the 16.3 mile aid station taking water and Cytomax. When you annoy my friend, Janine she says, "Bite me". We are entering the "bite me" miles and we have 10 more to go. We think of singing "100 bottles of beer on the wall", but we never do. Only 10 miles to go we tell each other. We've done this before in our training runs, we know we can do it again. We continue to walk and jog some. I tell Stefi "forward is a pace" and this becomes our mantra for the rest of the race. A couple of women run by us and comment on our pigtail holders for the second time today. They are wearing the same ones! We all laugh. They ran the WDW marathon and we tell them it's on our wish list. They encourage us to hold on. "We will", we tell them and soon they are gone. We walk past the lady with the Texas flag on her butt because she's walking now too. We pass the airport but I don't remember seeing any planes. We're losing the battle, but we're planning on winning the war. We continue on.

MILE 17 16:51 We're only walking now. Stefi is having to stop and stretch every 200 steps because of the pain. While she stretches I walk slowly ahead because if I stop I get nauseous. What a pair we are. I turn around and she is walking gingerly, she waves me to keep going and I become her rabbit. She is chasing me. We are supposed to be passing the Fourth mission: Mission Espeda. What Mission ? We're excited though because at mile 17 we know we are heading back and we have less than 10 miles to go! Then Stefi says, "Ut, oh....my heart rate is 188". She can feel her pounding pulse in her neck. We slow down even more and I just want to get to the next aid station to get more fluid in her. Gradually her heart rate returns to 120-130-ish and we continue on. Her feet hurt so bad that sometimes she just has to stop. Steps, even baby steps are painful. I feel so helpless. I know she won't quit. Tough cookie, that one. We reach the next aid station at 17.5 miles. Our goals now become even smaller - reach the next tree, reach the fire hydrant, reach the top of the hill. We continue on. I lead, she chases.

MILE 18 18:45 It gets worse. This wasn't in the plan. It wasn't supposed to be Stefi having the difficulties, it was me. Now her lower back and calves have joined the party. Stefi needs another facility stop. I continue walking very slowly and pass thru the hose they have spraying up ahead. It feels wonderful. I stand there for atleast a minute and hog the spray to myself. Race officials have initiated their emergency heat plan due to the humidity. Thank goodness. 2 runners have collapsed and we've seen 6 ambulances along the route. We're not planning on joining them. Stefi walks thru the spray too and catches up. Our clothes are soaked. We could care less. We continue on but Stefi now has to walk backwards more often to relieve the pain in her feet. In addition to being her rabbit, I become her eyes so she doesn't step in a pot hole or trip. We had adjusted our goal time to 6:30, but we know that goal is now lost too. We think we can make 7 hours, but we really don't care what time we finish. We just want to finish.

MILE 19 18:57 We continue on slowly. Same plan. Walk, stretch, squat, stop. Walk, stretch, squat, stop. One step at a time. Forward is a pace. We pass a group of people holding a sign that says "Run with Per-Ser-Ver-Ance!" We're trying. We stop at the mile 19.1 aid station. We both drink extra water and Cytomax and we eat more GU chomps. The thought of chocolate GU now makes me ill and of the 4 GU's I've brought along I've only had 1. We see a bunch of orange peels scattered all over the road. Were they passing out oranges to runners? We are to late. None are left for us. Speedy runners don't need oranges - WE DO! I am selfish now. The water has been warm all day, I hate this road with no shade trees, I hate the potholes, I hate the sun and I really hate that I can't help my daughter. We keep going.

MILE 20 17:48 We reach mile 20! I had anticipated that reaching mile 20 would be such a high that it would carry me until atleast mile 25. My high lasted maybe 4 seconds. We tell each other, "only a 10K to go, we do that before most people get up in the morning". It doesn't help. Mile 20 aid station does have cold sponges that feel very refreshing. Not as good as the hose, but I'm not going to complain. We linger here for a minute or so. Then I notice a police car slowly crawling along behind us. For a second I worrry, Oh no, we're going so slow they're going to tell us to move to the side so they can open the road to traffic. But, they don't. They just drive by. I call Janine at her mile - 20. She yells, "I love you, keep going". "OK, bye", I say. We continue on, one foot in front of the other. Forward is a pace. More people dressed as chickens. They give us encourgament and we are still in a good enough mood that S. takes a picture with a chicken holding a sign that says "Unlike you, we're CHICKEN!". We see a couple of volunteers on the side of road with hoses spraying runners again. We walk thru and they give us a good soaking. We love it! On our left, we pass a group of bleachers with 50 bright colored balloons attached to the railings. Was there a band playing music here? There is no music here now.

MILE 21 18:56 We are entering uncharted waters. We've done 20 mile training runs, but nothing more. They say if you can do 20 you can do 26. That's what they say. Huh. They've never been out on this stinking,stinking, hot,hot,humid,humid,dry,dry road. with warm water, no oranges, no band and a daughter almost in tears. I'm just pitiful. At the mile 21.3 aid station we notice the volunteers are starting to take down the tables holding the water and Cytomax. So depressing. Then, a lady yells at us, "Do you want some water with REAL ice?" DO WE WHAT?!!!! We practically sprint over to get the ice water. All day the water has been warm. The volunteers are really dwindling down, but the ones that are left are very supportive. I vaguely remember a golf course, but I don't remember seeing any golfers. We continue on. I walk slow, Stefi stops to stretch, walks backwards, jogs alittle, walks some. When she squats in the road to stretch her legs people stop and ask if she's OK? She has no headache, chest pain, stomach pain or trouble breathing but her feet and legs are killing her. She wants to keep going. A 1/2 mile down the road, an angel has dropped 2 plastic bags of ice and we practically trip over them. MORE ICE!!!! We're almost giddy. Heavens only knows where they came from but I pick one up and we put in on our arms and neck to cool down. We are in heaven.

MILE 22 17:42 Stefi thinks she'll feel better if she jogs more. So we start to run, very slowly. I'm stiff now from all the walking and my quads are like "really, you want to get working again?I don't think so, lady", but I start up slowly and soon we're moving along. Shortly, I no longer see Stefi's green shirt on my left and I slow to a fast walk which keeps up with her slow jog. The girls in the purple tutus pass us. They're looking strong! On the road In chalk someone has written "Run, Bitch, Run". Our sense of humor is still intact and we laugh. People are becomming roadkill in these later miles. We pass a man throwing up. Several along the way have just stopped and are sitting down holding their heads in their hands. Totally dejected. Some are crying. I give them a quick once over. They're breathing. I move on. We reach the next aid station at mile 22.5. We must look pretty sad because people ask us "Are you two OK?" Several people are on the side of the road streching various muscles like Stefi. The few spectators we see tell us, "You're almost there, only 4 miles to go". There should be a law against this. The bands along this last stretch are very supportive. "Come on you slow pokes in the back, you can do it!" they yell.

MILE 23 18:23 Only 3 miles to go. Just alittle 5K. I'm pretty sure someone is stretching these miles out and making them longer. Now on the road, in chalk it says: "Walk, Dork, Walk". I guess we're dorks because we're walking. One lady rips her shirt off and she's down to her running bra. She's fair skinned like me and I know she's gonna burn to a crisp. She makes a phone call and tells someone she'll be done in 1/2 hour. Stef and I look at each other. That ain't happen'in. We make it to the mile 23.8 aid station. Repeat as above. They are handing out 1/4 ham and cheese sandwiches. I break the rule for the umteenth time today and eat one. It's the best sandwich I've ever had. I would have eaten the whole sandwhich but the volunteer lady took it away from me to fast. Stefi only eats the bread. I see the lady with the huge Texas flag on her butt up ahead. How did she get in front of us? Double Grrrrrrrr.

MILE 24 17:15 Coming back in to downtown now. Stefi says her legs/feet feel better jogging. We pass about 20 runners who are moving even slower than us. My ability to do simple math is gone, but I'm with it enough to know we have 2 miles left. 2 measly little miles. Life is different in the back of the pack. People back here only have one goal - to finish. We are all trying so hard. We watch out for each other. We make small talk. We give encouraging words. Then, another Bill sighting. Does this man have wings? Little hugs this time. No energy left for high fives or smiles but it is so meaningful to see a familiar face and we are grateful.

MILE 25 20:08 The worst mile. We're almost there. Stefi's feet hurt when she walks, but if she runs to fast, her heart rate goes up. We're caught in a catch 22. We're going to walk this mile very slowly. We pass volunteers who tell us, "Turn the corner and you'll see the tower". We make a right turn onto Durango and we can see the Tower of Americas. What a wonderful sight. Almost there. Stefi has to stop and squat in the road to stretch her legs again. Three volunteers are on her like hawks. They give her water and salt. They follow us alittle way, but when they see we are OK they fall behind. This is the last water station of the marathon. There is no Cytomax. Volunteers are packing up. I call my friend, Cathy at her mile - 25. She sounds alittle surprised to hear from me and I realize it takes a minute for her to register who this crazy person is saying, "I'm at mile 25, wish me luck!". She asks if I'm OK. I tell her I'm fine, she wishes me luck and I'm off again. I'm to tired to go into details about S. Then I call Fred/Matt as planned to tell them we're at mile 25 and to start coming to get us. They were getting antsy at home and are already at the meeting place and we've still got more than a mile to go. I tell them we're going slow and I'll call when we're done. Then my name falls off my shirt. Standing in the spray of water from the hoses to cool off has weakend the glue holding my name on my shirt. This is devastating to me for some reason and I almost cry. Having people cheer for you is all that keeps you going sometimes and we are so close. How can they cheer for me when I cross the finish line now? This is horrible. A runner in front of us hears me moan about this tragedy and he hands me a safety pin. Mile 25.5 we reach another cold sponge station. After cooling off we continue on. I look up ahead and what do I see? Texas flag butt lady again. Triple Grrrr. A girl can only take so much.

MILE 26 17:07 We decide we're going to give this marathon one final kick in the butt. We've been walking so much we're actually rested. We decide we're running this marathon in. Stefi's heart rate is staying down, but her feet are still killling her. We don't see any big hills ahead and we know we can make it a mile, so off we go. I can't count all the runners we passed. I catch up to Texas flag butt lady and pass her like she's standing still (which she migh have been, but that's beside the point). See ya later alligator. People standing on a bridge above us are shouting ,"Looking good", "Keep going", "Almost there".

MILE 27 (.71) 9:23 Sharp right into the finisher's chute and we run up the hill that I've been dreading for the last year. I seem to remember it being a mountain but it's more of a mole hill. We zip up the hill to the roar of 10 people who are left to cheer us. We make the final right turn and I can see the finish line. I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I can't stop them now. We keep running. Stefi grabs my hand and we raise our arms in the air in a victory sign and I smile for the camera as I cross the line I've been dreaming of for the last year. WE'RE MARATHONERS! A nice lady places a medal around my neck and hands me a bottle water and says, "Congratulations, you're a marathoner!"

There are a few volunteers left and there is so much food left over they tell us to pack a whole box of bagels, chips, and Cytomax and take it home. They would have given us 2 boxes, but we couldn't carry it. We continue walking in to the "Meet Up" area - parking Lot C. It is deserted. The UPS trucks holding the gear check bags are long gone and bags are just laying out on tables for runners to pick up. We keep walking. We are thrilled to be done, but Stefi's feet don't know the race is over. They are still killling her. We stop a police officer to ask for directions to Commerce street because we don't want to walk any farther than we have to. Down the stairs, walk awhile, then back up the stairs. Oh my. Agony. Stefi takes her shoes off. We make our way out and head in the direction of Commerce street to meet our spouses at Denny's. We see a bench and decide to sit a bit. We're done. It's over. We're not going to make it to Denny's. Out of the blue, we see a rickshaw driver coming towards us. Stefi is on him like a fly on a turd and she's asking him how much for a ride to the Dennys? She has $5 I have $2. We never give him time to tell us how much the ride really costs - Stefi has already hopped in the seat. We give him our money. He's laughing at us. We thank him profusely. Another angel.

POST RACE

I get home and shower. I've lost 4 pounds despite all the fluid I drank along the course. I eat 4 pieces of pizza, 1/2 bag of potato chips, 3 chocolate chip cookies and 2 Dr. Peppers. Not exactly marathon food, but a salad was out of the question. Quick assessment: The right side of my body has taken the most beating. Specifically, my right quad, heel, and great toe. Everything else is no worse than after a long run. Later in the evening Stefi calls. After being off her feet for the ride home to Austin , she is fine. She has no foot pain. None. Our first marathon is complete. We start making plans for our next race.

The Numbers:

6:57:28

Age group 141/147

Avg. pace 15:38