Thursday, December 26, 2013

toying with goodbye

My little slice of the internet has served me well over the last seven years. Now it seems that all of the reasons I was writing here are either non existent anymore or replaced with something else. I mean, mostly I used the blog to remember things that have happened in my life. A scrapbook of sorts, to document memories. But I also used it for therapy and as a place to express my feelings so that I could sort them out and then look back on them when I needed to.

I keep thinking about not posting anymore. It's so much easier to post a picture to Instagram these days or write a short Facebook status update. However, I can't seem to do it. I can't seem to quit the blog. I know that what I write here isn't the same as it used to be but I've never wanted to create this space for anyone other than myself and my family. And although I have certainly used it to interact with other people and I've definitely enjoyed sharing things that I've run across and thought were useful, my ultimate purpose was just to have a personal space to write. So.  I think I keep deciding to keep it no matter what it morphs into being.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest I thought I'd share a few pictures from our Christmas. It truly was a good one this year and I am so very thankful for our many blessings. I hope it was a merry Christmas for all of y'all as well!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

the one where I blab and blab

Sixteen years ago today my husband picked me up for our first date. He drove 45 minutes to my parents house where I was home for Christmas break. We went to Hanes Mall and we ate dinner at Annabelle's (of course, no longer there). Then we went to see Scream 2. It seems like an eternity ago.  The funniest part is that my sister and two of her friends went with us to dinner.

One more day of work and then we get a two week break.  Teachers and students are beyond ready. After a full moon this week, two field trips, a science fair, and multiple disciplinary incidents Friday can't come fast enough.

I've really slacked off on reading this year. I just haven't made the extra time for it.  This month alone we've been battling some sickness and the general busyness of the holidays and I have been working on the same library book for a month. Last month I read one of the best books I've read all year:

Joshua has started taking gymnastics. He happens to be the only boy in a class full of 3 year old preschoolers but it's the only class that would work with our schedule and he's getting a lot out of it. Not only is he burning off some extra energy, he's being reminded how to line up, take turns, sit Criss Cross Applesauce, and listen to instructions, all of which he needs extra practice on.

Since Mistletoe is over, I took a week off and started training for a full marathon this week.  The miles haven't been bad yet but I know the challenge is going to be the time commitment. I've had a really hard time already squeezing in six mile runs during the week when we've got a sick kid and lots of Christmas events to go to in the evenings.  In two weeks I run the Salem Lake 25k though and I'm already registered so I've got to get 'em in somehow!

OK friends, I've got to get something done. It's been nice sharing coffee with you this morning. ;o) Have a great day!

mistletoe 2013 edition

Here's my Mistletoe recap from 2012.

On December 7th I ran the 30th Annual Mistletoe Half Marathon. I was nervous that I had committed to be the 2:30 pacer and then slacked on my training the few weeks before the race.

It went really well.  Jonathan ran as well and my dad ran too.  It was dad's first half marathon. We all set a new PR.

The weather was perfect. It was in the low 50s. I actually overdressed because it was forecast to be in the upper 40s that morning and then the temperature was supposed to drop all day long.  The 50s were nice though. It looked like rain the whole time but it had actually stopped an hour before the race and the clouds helped a lot.

My friend Michelle and I had a plan to take the first couple of miles pretty slowly and then pick it up from there. Our average pace was supposed to be around 11:26 for our pace group and neither of us had had a successful long run in between the City of Oaks half and the day of Mistletoe.

We started out really well, I think. Every runner knows that this is the key factor that will make or break you on race day. We ran the first three miles around 11:20 pace and that certainly wasn't perfect but we've been known to go out too fast so I was OK with that.  We passed the 2:20 pace group with a bunch of our friends in it and early on I could see that both Dad and Jonathan were pulling ahead of them.

After about the first 4 or 5 miles Michelle's foot started hurting. She's been having trouble with her heel and she made the executive decision to pause for a bit at Reynolda Village and get some help from the aid station. I was feeling really good at this point and our average pace at this point was around 11:14 so I was fine with going on through Reynolda and Wake Forest.

Another thing I felt really good about doing at this race was hydrating and eating chews early on even though I didn't feel like I wanted them. I definitely think that helped me get through Wake Forest. On the back side of Wake Forest though, I started getting really tired. Several of the people running with our pace group started to either drop back or pull forward and I was virtually running the race alone at this point. I passed Jonathan and Dad again and that boosted my moral a bit. I also started seeing friends from my other Fleet Feet training programs that were struggling. Ironically, cheering them on and encouraging them helped me power through.

I caught back up with Michelle after Wake Forest and she rand a few miles with me then.  I did walk about ten or fifteen steps up the hill in Reynolda Village and had my slowest mile of the whole race, 11:43 at mile 10.  With only a 5k to go, I was tired but well ahead of the 2:30 goal and knowing I would finish so I took it east for a couple of miles which was probably a mistake. Michelle was hurting again and stopped to walk just a bit.

The last couple of miles are downhill and coming down Runnymeade was a glorious point in last year's race for me. I remembered clearly taking a picture of the mile 12 sign.  This year I tried to do it again and the lady standing there with her dogs had to have thought I was losing my mind, but no matter. Despite the downhill I just could not bring myself to pick up my speed much. I ran mile 12 at 11:23 and I ran mile 13 at 10:51 which was much slower than I had anticipated.


Maybe if I stop taking pictures during races I can save myself a few seconds?

I hadn't started my clock right as I crossed the starting line so I really wasn't 100% certain of my time but when I got within sight of the clock I could see it was approaching and changing over past 2:30. I gave it my best shot that last tenth of a mile and crossed the line at 2:31 something but I knew my chip time would be different. Final time was 2:29:49 which was 11 seconds faster than goal time.

I felt like puking at the end, probably because of that last sprint.  I caught up with my dad and Jonathan and discovered that they both did great. Jonathan improved his time from last year by almost 7 minutes and I improved my time from last year by about 7 minutes. My dad busted out a 2:13 for his first half and we all met our goals.

It was extremely rewarding to be a pacer. It was nice to have that extra spark of motivation and while it didn't help me keep up my training as I should have between the Raleigh race and this one, it definitely helped me get through the tough miles knowing that people were counting on me. It was especially nice to read the comment on Facebook the next day that "the 2:30 pace girls helped me PR!"

Yay for successful races! Next year I would like to train better for this one. It's one of my favorite races because it's local, it's not expensive, it's on roads I know, and it supports the fight against childhood obesity. If you're local you should consider running it next year as well.

links i love

make a snowflake

Nature Box - try coupon codes 2PX4W or share10 for half off

Pick Your Plum - daily deal site that has stuff that's so cute you'll want it all and it's inexpensive too - great site for kids when you have WiFi and a long time to sit and wait

Christmas Rainbow Loom Patterns

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

apparently posts don't publish unless you actually hit the publish button

I had the best weekend. Friday night we spent some time at my sister-in-law's house eating finger foods and playing Dirty Santa with gift cards.

Saturday morning after running with a friend I went to my sister's house and mostly just held the baby while my mom and sister made some yummy treats.

In the afternoon Julianna and I went to see The Nutcracker at the Stevens Center. I haven't seen it in many years and it was excellent. Julianna enjoyed it but mostly I think she just enjoyed getting dressed up and going somewhere alone with her mama.

Saturday night we went to church and Jonathan and I watched the first half of World War Z.  Then Sunday we did some leisurely Christmas shopping and Sunday night Mamaw came to babysit while Jonathan and I went out alone.  It was such a fun evening.

We ate dinner at the Quiet Pint Tavern, did some small Christmas shopping without the kids, and we played cooky date night games from this site.

Friday, December 13, 2013

friday musings

TGIF! Today I'm thankful for:

I was pulled over by a State Trooper and given a warning ticket for tailgating on my way home from Raleigh last weekend. He had just pulled onto the highway and I didn't see him, but the car in front of me in the left lane obviously had a radar detector and slowed way down. It could have been so much worse. (Did you know that tailgating gives you four lovely points on your license? I did not, but I do now.)

A new spot opened up in the preschool gymnastics class that is roughly the same time as Julianna's gymnastics class so now Josh can go to gymnastics too. (And mama doesn't have to wrangle a bored four year old for an hour.)

My husband won a gift card to some of my favorite restaurants at his work Christmas party. I love a man that will fight for a prize for his woman.

He also won the raffle grand prize which was a new flat screen TV. Sweet!

My mom sends us pictures every once in a while of our kids while we're at work. They're so cute! It's so nice to see what they're doing while we can't be there.

I've had two random observations in my classroom this week and my students were actually on task and doing something productive. This has not been the norm for me so far this year so I am feeling very lucky this week.

I took the kids to see Santa at the library this week. After a major freak out with Chuck E. Cheese recently, I had no idea how Josh would handle seeing him. Fortunately, he sat down on his lap without fuss. And then promptly told Santa he wanted Doggie Doo for Christmas (a game apparently). Yep, that's my kid.

Friday, December 6, 2013

vanilla bean gu or vanilla bean cheesecake?

I'm pacing the 30th Mistletoe Half Marathon tomorrow and I'm a tad nervous. My friend Michelle and I are the 2:30 group pacers. I know I can do it, because I've done sub-2:30 before, but I know it will be tough and I really feel unprepared.

Although, I did receive a nice bag of goodies for volunteering to lead a pace group. Check it.

Here's what I hope I can remember the first five miles tomorrow:

And here's what I hope I can remember tomorrow when the going gets tough:

Tonight I need to make a new playlist. Song suggestions are certainly welcome.

After the race is over I am meeting two of my dear friends from college in Raleigh to eat this:

Oh and NC people, what is going on with this weather? Seventy four degrees and windy today, 50 and rainy tomorrow, freezing rain and 30s on Sunday.

Running and cheesecake.  Tomorrow's looking good, friends! I hope you have a good weekend to look forward to.

Joggy O'Roads

Comments? Song suggestions, pretty please? What's your runner name?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

links i love

I find that I'm spending less and less time on the internet these days and more and more time living life. Still, there are a few things I've found of note lately and I thought I'd share them here.  You may or may not be interested.

This is a local news story about one of the mentors from one of the Fleet Feet running groups. Inspiring and encouraging and certainly worth the time to watch.


Did you know that you can make blood donation appointments online? You can find the closest blood drive or bloodmobile and schedule it easily through the Red Cross website.  There is a great need during the holiday season when people tend to get too busy to donate and I am looking forward to going again after having to take a year off because of our trip to Mexico last year.


I've been using this site a lot in my classes at school lately. You can create a fake text message with it to show to people. It's a lot of fun and I can imagine using it at home for undercover Santa messages as well.


I heard about this site through Julie and knew right away it would be wonderful.  UnRoll.Me finds all of the email subscriptions you have like Amazon emails or organization newsletters and then it recommends you condense them into one email. You can choose which ones you want condensed and which ones you want to leave as it. Of course, if you don't want to do that you can skip that step and just manage your subscriptions from one place. Love it!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013


It seems my children have been full of stories lately. I'm sorry to overload the blog with these types of posts but I am eager to get them down for memory's sake.


"Mom, do you wanna know how to play the guitar? Here's a hint: you do Itsy Bitsy Spider Hands."


As you know, last week was the 50th anniversary of the shooting of John F Kennedy. Julianna asked me as I was putting her to bed that night what I was doing when I heard the news that he was dead.  Innocent question, but it did give me a chuckle.


Nanna started keeping Jane this week when my sister returned to work.  After the first day Josh asked me how cows got milk and why they made it and we talked all about mom's feeding their babies some milk, etc.  The part he really couldn't understand was how Nanna got milk for Jane's bottle. He thought it was milk from a cow and when I told him it wasn't because babies can't drink cow's milk he said, "Oh, I know it's milk from Nanna's boob."


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

by the numbers (November edition)

miles run so far in November: 47
pace per mile of my fastest 5k ever (just the other night): 9:33
hours until we find out if my sister-in-law is having boy(s)/girl(s) twins: 3.5
days until Thanksgiving: 7
long runs left until my next race: 1
cupcakes I could eat right now if I had them: 3
days until I get to see Catching Fire: 4
dollars our vet was going to charge to spay Trixie: $252.69
minutes it took me to hang up and call a spay & neuter clinic: 0

What do your numbers look like today? What are you counting down to? Also, will you make me some cupcakes?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

stories (Disney edition)

Look, Mom! Mickey Mouse is doing thumbs up and Minnie Mouse is doing Wolfpack hands!


In the Haunted Mansion ride at Magic Kingdom we were worried that Josh was too frightened so we narrated parts of the ride to him. Mamaw was on one side of him and I was on the other. We'd say things like, "Look! That ghost is playing the piano!" or "Those ghosts are having a party!" Then my mother-in-law said, "Look at them dancing. I wish I could dance like that!" Josh told her, "Well, you have to be married to dance like that."


Several times during the trip Josh asked, "How come every ride you ride at Disney World comes out in a shop?"


After the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review, a dinner show at Fort Wilderness we asked Julianna if she liked it. Her reply? "Yep! The potatoes were so good! They tasted just like Carabbas!"


On the way home a lady on the airplane asked Josh what his favorite ride was at Disney World. He answered, "The tea cups was my favorite until I hit my head."

Monday, November 18, 2013


Over the baby monitor I heard Josh knock on Julianna's door.
"I'm really sorry I hurt you. Will you be my friend now?"


Student looking at the cuff bracelet I was wearing one day:
"What is Ms. Tucker trying to be, like Wonder Woman or something?"


Josh was having trouble with all of the things he had to carry inside from the car one afternoon and Julianna just told him to put all of it in his baseball cap.  He thought it was a great idea but I heard him ask her how she knew to do that.  She began telling him that a hat could hold anything but water and then she clarified that a hat could hold anything except liquids.  I heard him tell her as we got out of the car, "Well, that's not true because I know something else a hat can't hold!" She said, "Oh yeah? What?" He answered, "It can't hold fire."


"Jules, what makes you like Pokemon?"
"It's just a childhood memory for me."

Saturday, November 16, 2013


We woke up as usual on Saturday morning and after breakfast and lounging in PJs as usual we announced to the kids that they needed to get heir shoes on and we needed to get the Disney jar and count out the money because we were getting ready to leave for Disney World.  Both kids reaction was priceless.  Here is the video of their hilarious responses:

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