Life as a reformed Zookeeper. Now living a life as a working mother who dabbles in karate, scrapbooking, and Coors Light!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

First 5K....

.....I can't believe that I ran 3.1 miles today. I know that doesn't sound like a lot. BUT... when you consider my lazy ass only walked the mile in high school to pass gym class, I think that it's a success! My friend Rebecca (who goes to my dojo and will be testing for her black belt next Friday!) and I have been running together for about two or so weeks now. On a fluke, we decided to sign up for a 5K to benefit a local free medical clinic run by my old church.
......To be very honest, I'm not feeling all that swell lately, so I was kind of nervous to even attempt this, but it's amazing how "not wanting to let someone down" will motivate you to keep at it. So I found myself in the parking lot of my old church this morning, thinking that I would run 2 miles, tops. We kept going, though, and finished the race, even though I sooooo wanted to quit after hitting that 2 mile marker sign! We ran it in just over 31 minutes, too, which is a little faster than our typical pace!
..... I know it's a small accomplishment, but I'm proud of myself for sticking it out. And thankful for my friend Rebecca and her dog Simon, who have let me horn in on their morning runs. It's definitely more fun to work out WITH someone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Evidence Of a Really Good Time....

.... so here is evidence of our quest for trying as many kinds of beer cheese brat soup as possible during our vacation in the Wisconsin Dells. I believe this one was my favorite of the two I tried. I didn't get to try the third soup, as Erin spiked a fever on the last night of our trip, and opted to stay at the condo with me than to go out. I can't say that I blame her. We snuggled up and watched the Wizard of Oz. I even got to start on my homemade Christmas presents that night, so all was not lost..... we are (Aaron's behind hte camera this time) at what was MY FAVORITE restaurant of the whole trip... the Log Cabin. Here is where Scott laughed at me when I all but picked up my plate and licked it clean. Apologies for the darkness...we're still trying to figure Canny out.
.... so tonight I signed up to do my very first 5K run. I am not entirely sure that I'll be able to RUN the entire thing, but my friend Rebecca O and I are going to try. She's let me horn in on her morning runs with her lovely pooch Simon. Simon is our pace setter for the first leg of our run, and we wind up slowing the pace as he gets tired in the second lege of the run. Back to Saturday's race.... I'm positively shitting myself at the thought now. Oh, well, it's all going for a good cause.
... and with the running, I'm not sure that I'll ever run so much as a marathon, but I would like to get to the point where a 5K is comfortable. That's 3 miles... maybe a 10K later? Do they even do 10K races? Who knows? For the moment, it's been yet another way I am seeing what I can do with my body. And it's been feeling pretty good! (aside from the pesky shin pains I get from time to time)
....Oh, and yes, I've officially begun my homemade Christmas gifts for the girls! I was so inspired by the neat things I saw at the craft mall. Who knew that is all it would take to get my creative (or at least my working hands) moving. It's not really creative genius when you steal someone's idea, but this has truly been fun so far.....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Fabulous Time... we went at the end of last week with Judy and her family to Wisconsin Dells. None of us had ever vacationed with friends before, and didn't realize just how fun it could be. How Judy and the gang put up with us for four days solid is beyond me! But we all had a blast, and found a mission that we accepted wholeheartedly.... to try every beer cheese brat soup we could. I think I tried two, but Erin fell ill (strep! go us!) the last night we were there, so I didn't get to try the third kind. Boy, that stuff was good!

...we did more than eat, but I think that most would agree with me that the eating was the best part of the vacation, behind the sheer enjoyment of being in eachother's company. My favorite meal of all was at a place that we almost didn't go to! It was called the Log Cabin restaurant, and it had the best home cooking that I've ever had at a restaurant. I had pot roast. And even Scott had to laugh at me as I licked my lips and looked around, realizing that I plowed through all my food first. He wasn't going to say anything, but did chuckle after I said it myself.

...Oh, like I said, we did more than eat.... we went to Mt. Olympus, which has a pretty good indoor water park. My favorite spot there was a hot tub big enough for twenty-eight.... the kids went with us down big water slides, and they loved it! We also played in a big pool. Another day, the kids went to a place called Wizard Quest with the guys while Judy and I went to a craft mall. At first glance, I gave us maybe fifteen minutes in the place.... but we spent about an hour and a half there. There was so much stuff in there! And it was good stuff! Worth buying... and taking pictures of! It was such good inspiration that we went to Wal-Mart that evening and bought supplies to make some of our own things. (I'm partially through my homemade Christmas!!)

...Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so Sunday we went home to greet our boys, who got home that day from California. They had a good time. Collin doesn't show his emotions outright, but he was overcome with how much fun he had.

....Back to the grind now... *sigh*

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gearing Up For Vacations!!

So I can't remember if I've told the blog-world about Collin's Fall Break vacation? You see, Collin's friend Noah's family has a tradition that their grandparents take them on a vacation of their choosing when they turn 13. And, since Noah doesn't have a cousin his age, as has typically happened in their past, he got to choose a friend to take. And he chose Collin. And they're going to CALIFORNIA to Disneyland and Lego Land. I have a few very strong emotions surrounding this trip....
  1. TOTAL EXCITEMENT: I couldn't be more excited for Collin... it's his first plane ride. And he's going to a location that probably won't be on Byers' family radar for...well forever, due to the fact that California isn't convenient to get to by car and plane tickets there can be quite expensive. So this is a unique opportunity for him. Awesome! I hope that he takes pictures!
  2. TOTAL FEAR: Dude! It's my BABY going ALL THE WAY to California... WITHOUT ME! four days, he'll be away from me, and I'll have no control. No guidance. Nothing. *eeek!*
  3. TOTAL JEALOUSY: Dude! It's my BABY going ALL THE WAY TO CALIFORNIA....WITHOUT ME! I'm jealous as hell, and there is no way I can lie about it. I wanna go to California!

OK, so, for the record, the first one totally outweighs the other two (by a narrow margin). I'm totally excited about his trip, and hope that he has a blast.

So we're getting ready this evening to go on our own little trip... again with the Workman's (see how unbelievably good they are to our family?). Tomorrow, after the boys have been safely deposited at the airport, we're all going to bust a move out. I've heard so many good things about Wisconsin Dells (which, by the way, isn't California...lucky little bastards... NO... AM HAPPY *winks*), that I can't wait to get up there and be let loose with Canny to capture the surroundings. Apparently Thursday is half-price day at a local amusement/water park, so we think that's where we're headed. After that, we don't have any firm plans, except to relax and enjoy eachother's company (There may or may not be a plan in the works for a brewery run... we'll see.).

I can't wait to go away for a few days and be away from the office. It's long overdue. Of course, this is all provided that no one gets sick in the next few days. I do believe Judy and I would cry honest to goodness tears if something were to jack up our plans. I know for certain that I would.

Oh, as a further update, I have my phone back in my possession. Apparently, I must have put it on the top of my car (as Griffin was throwing a fit about his jacket lining and while strapping him into the car), as the street sweeper found it in front of a nearby restaurant, NOT the one we ate at on Sunday night. But, since the guy works nights, it was a little difficult coordinating the return of my phone, so it took place at midnight at the service desk at our local Wal-Mart. Ensuring that the children would not be motherless by the end of the exchange (trust no one!), I enlisted my friend to come with me. I bought him a beer in return for his body-guard services. But the guy was totally cool and I totally would have bought HIM a beer, too, but he was on the clock. May all the good karma he can take be with him!

Things are starting to totally look up, my friends. And I really hope they stay there, or I just don't know what I'll do. I think I've had about all the drama I can take for a bit!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Finding Out What Really Matters....

So I really am trying to remain positive about life right now. So I will give you a list of positive things:

  1. I'm going on vacation on Wednesday (provided no one comes down ill with something)...
  2. Erin and Griffin finished up soccer this weekend. Erin scored a goal! (Griff scored one earlier in the season by total accident...) We got to hang out with my sister-in-law and niece and parents-in-law, and it was a good time, albeit frozen!
  3. We went out to dinner with some good friends last night to Roselli's pizza! (Deep dish pizza! Great salad!!
  4. We went to the Headless Horseman event at Conner Prairie on Saturday, and it was a lot of fun (sad that it wasn't with Judy and her fam, but coordinating it was proving difficult... *sigh*)... but it was scary goodness.
  5. I ran twice this weekend, and am able to walk today!

OK, so that's what really matters... getting to spend time with friends and family. The fact that I've now lost my cell phone (no home phone!) shouldn't matter.... I was able to get a free phone, so I'm not terribly upset by this, but I LIKED my old phone. I DON'T LIKE having to switch all my contacts over and save them in my phone. Please pass the cheese.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Things Are Looking Up.... Tuesday found me at Best Buy getting a new camera. The high irony of this is that yesterday someone said "Just look online and see if there is some way that your $125 warranty will be valid." Not expecting to find out anything positive on a warranty from a store that went out of business last year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my warranty is, indeed valid. Of course, that also might mean that I have to take back Canny... my new Canon Rebel XS for which I have lusted after for over a year but have never bought. We'll see. garage door now has all new hardware. I feel like I might have gotten hosed into spending more than I'd anticipated, but the door is much quieter and the hardware has a lifetime guarantee.
...I'd given up all hopes for going someplace fun this year, especially since I'd bought the camera. But my friend Judy and her husband have graciously invited us along to crash their vacation. So next will find me in the Wisconsin Dells. I've already scoped out that there will be a craft fair up there. We'll definitely be hitting that. And I did see that there is karaoke next Friday and Saturday night at a local bar, but I think perhaps we'll spare Judy and Scott from that... *winks*
... so I shall remain my annoying happy self for a little while longer. At least until Aaron makes me give Canny back....
ETA: I totally forgot to share this story. And I want to get it down before it becomes part of the forgotten past... is terribly cute. You see, Chez Byers, the kids have a very intricate way of earning an allowance. We call it the Tally System. For every job they do, they get a certain number of tallies. We've had many friends comment that their kids would like to be able to make as much money as Collin does, to which my friends promptly remind them that Collin does a lot of work around the house. Which he does. But he is rewarded handsomely for it! So even the Gruesome Twosome are in on earning tallies for their labors, albeit they earn their tallies at a significantly slower rate than Collin. ANYWAY, I gave you some background on the story. We're coming out of Best Buy, and I'm clutching my bag of goodies, whimpering. Collin asks me, "What's wrong, Mom, aren't you happy?" To which I respond in a shaky voice known only to those that are excited yet nervous on spending so much money at once "Yes, but man, I just spent a lot of money." Erin pipes up, "You need to get some tallies, Mom!" Ladybug, I wish it were that simple as an adult....

Monday, October 12, 2009


A nice neat bullet list of the disarray that is me right now:
  • I smashed my finger in the shower door last still hurts and is black and blue
  • a bee crawled into my soda can while I was outside watching a soccer game on Saturday, and stung me... inside the mouth... it doesn't hurt anymore, though. Bonus!
  • my camera broke... yes, I've been wanting to get a Canon Rebel for a long time, but I wasn't ready to shell out the cash for it yet. And, seeing as I don't want to go down in quality of camera and the similar camera is 399... I'm going to be shelling out the money for the camera... is very bittersweet!
  • my garage door is broken, and my front door is wonky.... I almost got my keys stuck in the door this morning trying to throw the I will be leaving work early to take care of it today.

So I'm calling a do-over to the last seven days.

And, because I'm an optimist by nature, I will have you know that I DO have something to look forward to (other than playing around with a new camera). At the end of the month, I shall be taking two days off. And I'm taking Aaron and the twins away for the weekend. It's still TBD on where, but we're heading out. I don't care if the money could be better spent elsewhere. We're going to do it.