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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy Birthday, Callie!

Twenty-seven years ago, my sweet little Callie made her appearance into the world.  She arrived two weeks early, and proudly made Jana a big sister.  Best of friends from the very beginning, these two girls have enriched my life more than I could have ever imagined--I am definitely the luckiest mama in the world!!!  

Tonight, we celebrated Callie's birthday by going out to eat at Marilynn's Place, her choice of restaurants.  I forgot to take any photos there, but the authentic Louisiana food was very yummy!  Since Jordan was in class, she came home with us to open presents and just hang out.  A couple of months ago, Callie and Jordan were planning to begin training for a triathlon in January, so I was excited to find a great deal on a tri suit for her just before Christmas.  Needless to say, since finding out she is pregnant, we needed a "re-do" for her birthday present.  A jewelry holder and a few cute maternity pieces were now in order.

When Jordan got back into town, he came stopped by for Callie's traditional King Cake birthday cake.

Ever wonder how a pregnant girl parties on her birthday??   Well wonder no more . . . .

Sweet dreams and happy birthday, Callie!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

GROW . . .

As part of my focus on GROWING this year, I have chosen to once again participate in Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" class.  Each month, we are given prompts to help us keep our word in the forefront of our minds and to live out more fully.  In the past, I found it to be really helpful and think it will be again this year.  The prompts are different from the last time I took the class and I'm already enjoying it.  One of the parts of "growing" for me is to be less concerned about what others think and to feel more confident in my own thoughts and direction.  That includes feeling more confident about how I approach this process and being willing to share my thoughts with others (there is even a Facebook group where we share our pages).   I tend to be quite private in some areas, and that is not likely to change drastically, but baby steps, right?!?!?   So here are my pages for January--my thoughts and intentions:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

One Little Word - 2014

Once again this year, instead of having a "New Year's Resolution", I have chosen a word to focus on throughout the year.  I'm also particpating in Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" workshop.   I participated in the course in 2011 and discovered that it really helped me keep my word in the forefront of my mind and to use it to positively impact my life.  This year's word:

I'm excited to see where this word takes me this year!  Have you chosen a word this year?

Words that I have chosen from past years include:
RISK (2010); PURPOSE (2011); OPEN (2012); BEGINNING (2013)

Wings of Eagles

On the way home from Baton Rouge, just north of Natchitoches, we caught sight of this:

Ron was sweet enough to turn around and drive back a few miles while I grabbed my camera.   As we got closer, we realized that there were 2 eagles, most likely a male and female, who were looking for dinner in the marsh below.  Unfortunately, my telephoto lens is broken so I had to use my 50mm fixed lens which means I couldn't zoom in at all.  

I was so excited---I'd never seen an bald eagle in the wild before and assumed that I wouldn't until we go to Alaska.  Who knew we would spot them so close to home?!

Rendezvous au Marathon de Louisiane

Last weekend, Ron and I headed to Baton Rouge for the big race.  We have been training for the race since August, so we were excited for the big day. A couple of weeks prior, I injured my hip flexor/groin muscles in our last long training run, so after resting it and hoping it would get better (without much luck) I finally decided to try a sports chiropractor as a last-ditch effort.  He worked on me 3 times the week before the race and gave me the go-ahead for the long run before we made the drive.  Ron was feeling good!

Lucky us, Valine and Kirk let us stay with them for the weekend.  And when I tell you it was better than any B&B you'll ever find, I mean it!!   Being with your best friend is a treat all by itself, but they fed us and let us rest and even cheered us on.

Saturday, we went downtown to the Expo where we picked up our packets and browsed the goods.

After a demonstration on Ron's calves, we came home with this:

I think it will forever be our best "frenemy"!
After the expo, we met Valine and Maegan for lunch and then drove around town to check out the route, which was really pretty, but had a few hills that we weren't quite expecting.

With our clothes and gear all laid out,

we slept soundly the night before, waking up EARLY Sunday morning.  Valine even got up to take our picture before we left ---THAT'S a good friend!  (Ron is looking pretty sleepy in this picture)

The race began and ended at the capitol and the whole event was very well organized.    Unfortunately, from the first step I took after the send-off, I felt pain----not debilitating, not enough to stop, but pain nonetheless and that made it a very hard, 13.1 mile run for me. 

Along the way, there were groups of random strangers cheering us on and offering us water and PowerAde, but I can't tell you how much it means to look up and see this waiting for you!!  ;-)  Twice!!---at mile 3 and again at mile 10, when I REALLY needed it!!

I finished the race, got my medal and enjoyed watching other friends come across the finish line (although many were ahead of me, too). 

This is Becky and Dennis---Jordan's parents.  Dennis ran the half and Becky walked her first half-marathon!

But, my favorite part was watching Ron come across the finish line.  I had been getting tracking updates, so I knew approximately when to expect him, but it was so fun to see him make that last turn and come down the street.  I could tell he was tired, but I thought he looked great after completing his very first (and possibly only) marathon!!

I had a 26.2 magnet waiting for Ron, so on the way back to Shreveport on Monday, during one of our frequent "stretching breaks", he put it on the car.
The rest of the weekend (and even now, actually) was spent resting and relaxing and TRYING to walk, without too much limping.  I was expecting for Ron to be really sore and stiff, but wasn't prepared for how bad I felt.   At this point, I'm not sure whether I'll ever run another Half-marathon---I may stick to shorter distances like 5 and 10K's, but regardless, I do know that I will never run a race again when I am already hurting to begin with.

Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm Back!!

I guess you it's a sign of how busy life has become when you realize that my last blog post was the first day of school!!   Yep, once school started, blogging took a quick back seat and now I can't believe that it has been almost 5 months since I last posted!   I'm not making any promises, but I'm HOPING to become a bit more regular in blogging--I have missed jotting down the events going on around here.

It's January now, and I should probably begin with a few highlights of the last few months.  Some of you that follow me on Instagram have been able to keep up with some of the happenings, but here's a photo re-cap:

September:  Labor Day--I went to South Carolina to visit Rob and Jana while Ron headed to south Texas for the gender reveal party of his son, Terry's first baby.

We attended the wedding of one of Callie's best friends down in New Orleans--it was beautiful!

We also spent a night in Natchitoches so that Ron could participate in the Meat Pie Tri.   It was his first time at this particular triathlon and it rained through most of it, but we still had a good time.  I will always love Natchitoches!!

Ron and I (and Callie, Jordan, and his parents, Becky and Dennis) all signed up for the USA Fit Half Marathon/Marathon training.   It was quite a commitment---24 weeks of 6:00 Saturday morning runs, plus runs during the week---but we made it and it all culminates this weekend with the Louisiana Marathon down in Baton Rouge.  After hurting my thigh a couple of weeks ago, I no longer have any illusions of making a PR, but I'm sure hoping I can at least cross the finish line.
In between weekly "long runs" and mid-week runs, we participated in several 5 and 10K races this fall, as well as a Half Marathon for Ron.
The Revel 5K
Autumn Breeze 10K

Logjammer 5K and Half Marathon (I won first in my age group---one of the advantages to being in an older age group is that there is such little competition!)

Turkey Trot 5K (Dan was our very cold spectator, cheering us on from under a pile of blankets)

October:  At the beginning of October, I was unable to attend the baby shower for our newest grandbaby because of distance, but I made him a quilt with Elephants and Squirrels that turned out really nice.  (can't wait to make a couple more for my next grandchildren!)

A few weeks later, I crafted Halloween costumes for the grandkids---a fancy black cat for Ady and a Spiderman for Michael.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, Callie and Jordan adopted a puppy after she saved it from the middle of a busy street in Bossier City.  Those of you that know Callie, know that to be an unusual thing for her--she has always been afraid of dogs.  But, she fell in love with this one and Toby came to live with them.  Of course, she had not idea that cute little 3 pound puppy would turn into a 20 pounder in just a few short months!!

November:  We held the Greater Gift Market again at church, with this year being one of the most successful ever.  There was such a nice variety of beautiful products.

We also mourned the loss of Jana and Rob's little one, wising more than ever that she was within hugging distance!!!!
We went to see Ady's cheer team perform at the Dallas Cowboy stadium--their first competition ever. What a hoot to see 3 and 4 year olds doing stunts and cheering!   Ady was so excited that she got to wear makeup and won a trophy!!

That same weekend, we went camping at Tyler State Park and had a wonderful time!!!

Dan's enrichment class had a "fair" that I attended---what a wonderful thing that Dan was awarded "Outstanding Student" for the year!!  He was so proud!

Ron and I were able to slip away for a lovely night in Jefferson, Texas, thanks to my wonderful Antiquing buddies.  It was such a nice, relaxing time and the B&B was beautiful!

We finally completed the "make-over" of Dan's room/Ron's office just in time for his Thanksgiving visit.   What a change!!   I still have a few small tasks to complete, such as a cushion for the chest at the end of the bed, and a window shade, but it is basically finished and we love it.  Amazing how much more roomy things seem once the ceilings were lifted back up and everything got a fresh coat of white paint. 

Thanksgiving brought more busy, family fun---Michael, Ady and their parents spent the week with us, along with Dan, and Callie and Jordan were in and out throughout the time.

December:  December 1st brought a visit by "Jack Crystal", the new elf that we gave Ady and Michael before they went back home.  Having never heard of the Elf on the Shelf, Michael was skeptical at first, but soon even he became a believer when Jack Crystal watched his every move and even appeared at their house once they drove home.  (Callie also made me promise that I would never bring an elf to their house that they would have to keep up with-).

We welcomed (via long-distance) the arrival of the newest Perkins, Archer, thankful that he arrived safely and that there were wonderful doctors there to take care of his very sick mama.   Fortunately, both are now in good health and enjoying life at home together with his daddy.

I had the pleasure of helping Young Blooms with the flowers for a beautiful wedding downtown and took photos of the arrangements and bouquets for her portfolio.

A few days before Christmas, Callie and Jordan presented us with a Christmas present--a family picture calendar for 2014 that showed an ultrasound picture for the month of July!  Yep, Callie is pregnant and "baby Dean" is due in July!
Christmas was a happy kind of chaos that only a too-small house filled to the brim with adults, kids and dogs can bring.  Jana and Rob came from SC to spend the week, which was such a great treat and of course Dan was here, along with Ron's daughter's family.

Life is good.  Life is full.  God is good!!   2013 was a wonderful year, full of changes and excitement.   2014 promises to do the same in many ways!! See you again---soon!

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