Monday, April 8, 2013

He's not a baby anymore......

 Gideon hasn't been a baby for a long time.  I know that.  But it really hit me a couple of weeks ago on his birthday how big he is.  We were still in Virginia and had the opportunity to do some things Gideon really wanted to do.  After breakfast we took the kids to the children's library and let them play, then we went to the beach.  I told Gideon it was too cold to play in the water, but that didn't stop he and Adam from being soaked from the waist down within minutes.  They had a great time splashing in the waves.  I forgot when you're a kid you don't feel cold when you're just so excited.

 After the beach (and the two boys had a bath) we had Gideon's requested dinner: Chicken on the bone (fried chicken) and broccoli salad.  Following which we had the cupcakes he also requested.  (Chocolate with a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream inside them.) 
 And we kept with his requested party theme of "Dinosaur Fireman". 

 It was so fun having a birthday party with his cousins.  Gideon of course got more than he ever could have asked for but his very favorite thing was the track and hex bugs he got from his cousins.  They spent the next few days playing with it non-stop.  It was pretty cute to see all the boys so focused and playing together.
 And we got Travis on Skype so daddy was able to watch the birthday and presents as it was happening.

All in all it was a good birthday but I guess I didn't appreciate how mature he's become until this past weekend when I was completely out of commission and really had to rely on him to step up and be my big helper.  When he crawled up on my lap last night an I kissed his forehead I got a little wistful for my baby.  But I wouldn't change a thing, he's absolutely wonderful just the way he is.  I just can't believe he's already five.  Where does the time go?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dashing Through D.C.

 Ever since I found out about the only marathon that runs a full 26.2 miles inside the limits of Washington D.C., it's been on my bucket list.  And a year ago when my sister and her husband moved to Norfolk, VA, I started planning.  The first step in the plan was to convince my sister Shiloh and her husband, Jason to run it with me.  (That was actually the easiest part of the plan they were onboard from the word "marathon.")  And so after months and months of training, planning & scheming I flew to Virginia with my kids on March 14th and the very next day we drove up to D.C. A marathon is a big deal for everyone but this was Shiloh's very first marathon ever, so it was an especially big deal for her.  (And an even bigger accomplishment when you consider she had baby number 8 just six months before.) Once we got checked into our hotel we went and found this amazing Greek restaurant just down from our hotel (Athena's Palace, it was WONDERFUL) and then we tried to make it an early night since we had to be up and out at like 5am on race day.  This was also a first for Shiloh as she got to take her first metro ride ever. 

 Somehow these got out of order, but there we are at the start line and then below is where we got off the metro.
 This was a packed start line where they let you go in "waves."  we were in corral 19 so although the official start time for the marathon was 7:30am, we didn't actually start until 8:02am.  It was fine though, it was a cool starting like right on Constitution Ave. Next to the National Mall.

 In face, below is the view from the start line.  You literally start next to the Washington Monument and run right alongside the Mall up toward and then around behind the Lincoln Memorial.

 This is the 5K mark, after you've turned around and headed back toward the mall.  It was just cool to be running past all of those iconic places and even down through a couple of the University districts.  The whole race course was just amazing.
 Past the National Archives..... (Sorry for the blurred photo, I was a little sweaty by that point.)
 Down toward the Capitol.  It was just an amazing race course.  I'm so glad I got to do this race.  It's one of my bucket list races that I've been able to cross off now.
 We finished in 5 hours and 14 minutes, which is the fastest marathon I've ever completed and considering I didn't get a chance to train the way I wanted to, I certainly won't complain. Shiloh and Jason both bled through their shoes, but insisted they were fine. In fact, we didn't notice the blood until we had finished.
 Relaxing post race with some free food, before catching the metro back to the hotel.
 After showers and a "real" meal from the Chili's next to the hotel, we took the metro back down to the Mall and walked around so we could really get a good luck at everything.

 The WWII Memorial was really cool.  Well it was all really cool.

 The reflection pool you've seen in so many movies and the Lincoln Memorial.

 We didn't go to the White House, because there were cooler things we wanted to do, but see, there it is, through the trees.  And we got to see the Secret Service police pull somebody over right next to where we were walking on the sidewalk, so that was really kind of cool.  Right in front of the White House even, which made it even funnier.

After we walked around for a bit, we drove out to Sterling, VA to have dinner with friends of mine, Joseph and Michelle McFadden.  It was a late dinner, but so much fun to visit with two of my favorite people.

Anyway, it was a great race and Jason and I have hatched a plan to run together at least once a year from now on.  And this year we're trying to sneak a second one in by planning to run the Savannah marathon in November. Feel free to join us if you're so inclined.  The more the merrier.