My Babies

Happy Mother’s Day

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These two monkeys. They are the most beautiful, funny, sweet and challenging people I’ve ever known. Motherhood has been everything and nothing I expected. While the days can be long, the weeks, months and years fly by. There are days with tears, tantrums and time-outs (both for them and me). While these days are the most challenging, they are worth all the other days that are filled with laughter and cuddles.

I don’t know if I’m doing it right. Most days, I’m sure that I’m probably not. What I do know is that both Ella and Anderson know how much they are loved. They know that I will always be therefor them. They know that I am so proud of them and proud to be their mom.

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Bolt for the Heart 5k {2015 Race Recap}

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions since becoming a runner, is doing a Thanksgiving morning race. Regardless of where we spend the holiday, we make sure we run. This year we spent the holiday in Indiana. My mom was on top of signing up everyone who would participate, long before Thanksgiving.

We lucked out this year because the weather was beautiful. The sun was shining and I was comfortable in capris, a tank and a long sleeved shirt. Quick group picture before the start:

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The night before I told Josh that I thought I’d try to start with him and just back off when I needed to. With my recent 10k time I was going to try for an average of 7:15 min/miles. He assured me he’d be running 7-7:15s. About that…

We bolted across the starting line. We weren’t even half a mile in when I told Josh to run ahead. When I crossed the first mile mark, I was shocked to see I had run a 6:55 first mile and Josh was no where in sight. There was no way I could sustain that pace, so I started pulling back.

The biggest hill, the only real hill, was on the way to the second mile. It felt big to me but I kept going, opting to not take the available water. I got through that second mile in 7:13. I was longing for that third mile and to take off my long-sleeved shirt. I was hot! The best I could do was manage to get one arm out.

Shorter distance races just kill me. I’m so horrible at pacing them. Having run the course before, I knew that I had to run all the way down the path to the street, make a hard right, then another hard right to get to the third mile mark. I hit it substantially slower that my previous two miles, at 7:31. It was a straight shot to the finish line. I picked it up as much as my body would allow to cross the finish line to a waiting Josh.

He tried to give me water, but I honestly felt like I was going to puke. After a few minutes, I felt better and was happy to see I set a new personal records by almost a minute and a half.

Official Time: 22:16         Average Pace: 7:13 min/mile

That time was good enough for second place in my age group. Josh also got second place in his age group with a blazing time of 19:xx. Once the rest of our group was ready to go, they headed home. I decided I wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather. I ran the 6.5 miles back to my mom’s house. I even managed negative splits.

Nothing like working up a sweat to get ready for the biggest meal of the year!

Endless Road Trip

It sounded good as we discussed it. We would drive to Lincoln, NE for a wedding the weekend before Thanksgiving. Then we’d drive to Indiana for Thanksgiving. The following weekend Josh would drive home with our dog, then fly to Tampa for training, the kids and I would fly down and meet him for a little family vacation. Simple right?

Simple, yet exhausting.

I unexpectedly made a quick trip to Louisville, KY for a couple of days prior to our tour of the Midwest to do some consulting work. It was really fun and I had some delicious food like this and this:

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I arrived home at 12:30 am on the Friday prior to Thanksgiving. We packed up the kids and were on the road to Lincoln by 10:30 am. The kids are at easy yet difficult ages for long car trips. Ella can be entertained with books, music and movies for a while, but then there are the bathroom breaks that happen only when there are no restrooms for at least 20 miles. Anderson on the other hand hates to sit still. He’s constantly on the move, so being strapped into his car seat for hours on end is like torture, unless he has a good snack or is napping.

When we got to Lincoln the fun started. Not even a half hour after arriving we were surrounded with friends and their kids at my in-laws house. The next day I went for a quick run before heading to Omaha for a wedding. My sister-in-law Amber was nice enough to watch our kids for us. They had a ton of fun playing with their cousins and Josh and I enjoyed our adult time.

Sunday we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday

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and packed up for our longest drive yet, estimated 9.5 hours to Westfield where my mom lives now. We left the house at 4 am on Monday morning. Luckily both kids went back to sleep for several hours. We stopped only three times and caught nap time which was awesome. It was still a very long 11 hours.

Thanksgiving and all things celebration ensued once we arrived. Josh and I had a pumpkin pie contest which meant I had to eat lots of pie.

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I ate and drank too much over the course of the week, met my younger siblings significant others, and ran a couple times. The time actually flew by really fast and I didn’t do everything I planned but I did get in some quality time with my mom and siblings.

Tuesday morning I braved the airport and a flight to Tampa by myself. The kids loved watching the planes.

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They are both great travelers. Ella happily watched a movie and Anderson was excited that he got his own seat. Sky Mall rocked his socks apparently.

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When we were in Florida we had a singular mission, enjoy as much warmth as we could.

The beach was a must.

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Since we were so close, we figured Disney World would be fun too. Ella met her favorite princesses, Anderson loved “its a small world,” and Josh and I just loved being kids again with our kids.

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We’ll be going back again in a few years when Anderson is older.

I survived the trip home with the kids and a layover by a thread. Note to self, do not fly alone with kids over nap time unless it’s non-stop. We’re finally home. Our laundry is about done and our tree is up.

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Now I supposed it’s time to start training for the indoor triathlon I’m doing next month.

Bolt for the Heart 5k – Race Recap

At the very last minute I signed up my family for a 5k on Thanksgiving. It’s somewhat a family tradition to do a race on Thanksgiving, so this year could not be the exception. It was a bit cold and snowy, but we bundled up and headed to City Center in Carmel, IN for the race.

As you may be able to tell, Josh was less than thrilled to get out of his warm bed to run.

Jess and Josh Bolt for the heart

 The girls were a little more excited, though cold.

Girls at bolt for the heart

We all lined up, me throwing in one more time that Josh was going to win his age group. After a few speakers, we were off. The best thing about short races is that they’re over before you even realize you’re running. Drawback being that I’m just warmed up as I cross the finish line. The cross was pretty darn flat with just a few turns which was nice.

My first mile was a 7:47 which felt good, but I thought I could go faster. For once I just wanted to have negative splits during a 5k. My second mile hit at 7:39. Ok, first negative split, I just needed one more. At this point of course I was getting kind of tired. I do not run fast like this.

I was excited when I turned the last corner and past the third mile at 7:19. I pathetically tried to speed up slightly at the end, but was burnt out. Amazingly I was also really hot. I’d overestimated the number of layers I needed.

Final time: 23:43                 Average Pace: 7:38 min/mile

I found Josh who said he felt like he ran slower than he should have been able to. I decided to run back out a little ways to see if I could find my mom, sister and pseudo sister in law. I didn’t find them but got in one more mile before meeting everyone and heading back home to do way too much eating.

I checked our final results when we got home. Josh did win his age group! We should have stuck around. I got third in my age group by half a second. I’m not kidding, this had to be one of the closest age group finishes:

race times

If only I’d sped up just a little bit more, I could have won. Oh well, I’ll take third by not even a full second.

We had fun, it was a really well organized race and next time we’re in town for Thanksgiving, I think we’ll run it again. Now I just need to run another marathon to burn off all of the food I’ve eaten this weekend…ouch.

A Valentine’s Day Montague

Oh Valentine’s Day. You come every year whether or not we want you. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Hallmark holiday because I think you should express your love daily, but it is fun to make valentine’s and celebrate with my little family. Here are a few images from the day:

Surprise from Josh:

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Valentines for the teachers:

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Valentines for Ella’s classmates:

Ella's valentines

Me actually putting myself together a bit:

Jess V-day

Ella’s silly face at her V-Day party:

Ella V-Day Bag

Ella’s friends (man she looks small in this pictures):

Ella and school friends

My little valentines:

Ella and AJ Vday

A little more sibling love because it’s so sweet:

My big Valentine:

Jess and Josh v-ady

Cards from the kiddos (we have no idea what that sign me up part of Ella’s card means):

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Perfect end to the night:

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