Tuesday, February 28, 2017

THIS is what I've been waiting for!


I realized this morning that Thomas has gotten to the stage where he really does say some funny things. Not on purpose, mind you, but things that I relate to Matt at the end of the day and we just look at each other in awe of our adorable-minded child. Granted, those glazy-eyed looks Matt gives me may be exhaustion (that man works A LOT), but I like to think his eyes are twinkling because of mirth.  Now, Thomas is no Alice, but I'm going to try this Judith-style. (Also, how many hyphenated words can I use in this post?)

Ready?

Here goes:

*I go in to get him up for the morning wearing a tank top (My normal attire, though usually I have a sleeved-shirt or fleece jacket over it).
Thomas: Hi, Mommy! Thomas take good nap! Go get dressed, Mommy!
- He also doesn't like it when I wear sleeveless running shirts and will usually tell me to go put on a shirt.

*Thomas doing something he isn't supposed to be doing
Me: Thomas...
Thomas: Mommy, go work!
- in other words, leave me alone.

*looking outside
Thomas: It's not dark anymore.
Me: Why not?
Thomas: Sun not sleeping. Sun take good nap! Sun so happy!

Thomas: Mommy, run pillows with Thomas!
Me: Not right now, Thomas, Mommy doesn't feel well.
Thomas: *shoves his cup in my mouth - Drink, Mommy, Drink!

I hope you enjoy Thomas's shenanigans as much as we do!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Adventures in Tallahassee - Escaping Hurricane Hermine

The title is misleading. We didn't run from the hurricane. Instead, we ran from the power outage. Y'all, Tallahassee heat and humidity is no joke. We say Louisiana is bad, come to Tallahassee. Actually, don't. Let's all just leave Tallahassee.

But I  digress.

In early September, a little rainstorm named Hurricane Hermine came to town. It didn't have much of an impact on property except for power lines. All of Tallahassee was without power. We dealt with it for 24 hours without a problem. But the heat, oh my heavens the heat. Probably the humidity was the worse of the two, but still. We'd get in the car and drive around to charge our phones (that didn't work) and get some AC. After two nights without air and absolutely no hope of a quick repair (we live about ten minutes away from town in a purely residential area and the city focused on the hospitals and businesses first, after getting the power station back running) (I should also say that Tallahassee owns their own power company full of very efficient and hard-working men and women but because of that and the way that electrical unions work, the city couldn't call in reinforcements to help. In fact, it wasn't until the fifth day without power and LOTS of backlash did the mayor allow other companies from surrounding cities to come in.), we decided to leave. We headed to Jacksonville for a weekend of cool air and the zoo!

Down to diapers....


Jacksonville is a four-hour drive from Tally. The first thing we did, was put Thomas down for a nap. The hotel didn't have any cribs right when we got there so this little man slept on a pallet in the closet. We got a crib after the first nap but it was too big for the room because we also had  Giselle with us and she had to be crated when we weren't in the room, thus, little man slept in the closet the whole weekend.


After a nap for Thomas (and a shower for his mommy), we went to the zoo! The Jacksonville zoo is top-notch. I love the BR zoo but this one was more on par with the Audubon zoo in Nola. We went both days that we were in town!  



On Sunday, we went to the zoo first thing in the morning and then we went shopping! Thomas fell in love with Pottery Barn Kids. I wish that I was kidding. He got very upset when it was time to leave. I almost bought this hundred dollar sheep rocker because of how much he loved it. And because I am a sucker.


While we hadn't planned on going to J-ville when we did, we had a great time and loved getting out of Tallahassee. We went back home on Monday and I started some clean out of the fridge and freezer. We still had no estimation of when power would be turned back on so we decided that since Matt had to be at work early Tuesday morning and look professional and clean-shaven, that we'd find a hotel in town with power for the night. Luckily, about half of the town had power by that point so we were able to find a place. We ended up getting power back about 9 Monday night, but we decided to stay put and enjoy not having to make the bed Tuesday morning.  In the end, it took Tally and the outside companies about a week to get power back to the whole city. I'm pretty sure the mayor still has egg on his front door though....

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Breath of Heaven

Margaret and I have been talking about the song Breath of Heaven for a few days. I realized that I hadn't heard it at all this Christmas season, so I popped open Pandora and in about six songs, on it came. It is a beautiful song and I can appreciate all the thoughts that Mary might have had 'around this time of year' 2,000 years ago. Today, though, what was especially poignant for me was the part that goes:

Breath of Heaven, do You wonder as You watch my face, if a wiser one should have had my place?

Thomas and I ran a million errands today. He decided that during those errands he would ignore every word that I said. Every. Word.  We went to my favorite coffee shop for a 'date', Sam's, Books-A-Million (the ONE in the world that is still open), and Trader Joe's. In every single place, he acted like a madman. I was embarrassed. I was frustrated. I lost my temper. I was ashamed that I  couldn't control my child and that he didn't respond to my commands. In a four-hour period, I doubted my ability to parent my child more times than I can count on all my fingers and toes. I wondered how I could possibly handle adding to our family. Even as I type this, I doubt myself and wonder if I have what it takes. But then I remember my favorite line of Breath of Heaven.

But I offer all that I am, for the mercy of Your plan. Help me be strong. Help me be. Help me.

I went to four places today, all busy with Christmas shoppers and tired employees. Know how many dirty looks I noticed? None. Know how many smiles, sweet comments, and laughs (in a good way) I got? A lot. I'd say at least two at every place. Two at Lucky Goat, but five or six at the other places.

I'm not in this alone and I was not intended to be. I was chosen to be Thomas's mother because it is part of His plan. If I offer all that I am, He'll help me be strong.

Well, God and Xanax.

I'm kidding about the Xanax. I'd have to report that to the Bar Association and that's just too much trouble.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Adventures in Tally - Visit to Apalachicola

Though I didn't blog about the rest of our time in Baton Rouge, I decided that I should skip over those trivial (but fun) happenings and move on to Tallahassee.  Matt and I decided early on that since we had a year to spend IN Florida, we were going to really be IN Florida. Knowing that, when I decided to run a marathon, I picked a run that was in Florida and would be fun to visit. While it wasn't our first Florida road trip (Thanks, Hermine...), it has been the one that required the most amount of preparation so far.  I'll most about our Hermine-getaway soon, but first up, let's talk about Apalachicola. Don't know how to say that word? Try this - apple + latch + ick + cola. Say it fast and pretend that you are playing Mad Gab. Or, you can act like a local and call it Apalach (apple + latch).

We drove down (about two hours) after Thomas woke up from his nap on Friday afternoon and set up camp in a little condo right on the beach. I don't have any pictures of it, but know that it was ideal and most importantly, pet friendly.

Saturday morning, we got up early and took full advantage of having the beach just a short walk out the back door. Giselle got to go too!





After washing off the sand and eating breakfast, we went 'sploring.  We didn't actually stay in Apalachicola but on St. George Island. There is a series of three little towns that all run together. The main area is Apalach, but then there is several mile long bridge that connects Apalach to Eastpoint and then another bridge that connects Eastpoint to St. George.

St. George lighthouse

Playground just outside the lighthouse!

After seeing St. George's sights, we drove into Apalach to see the town. Eastpoint is nice, but is more commercial/industrial. We did stop at the Dollar General to get some nausea medicine. But more about that later. Oh, in the three towns that I mentioned, there are a few stop lights, but not a single Wal-Mart.

The best thing about Apalach? A place called Boss's Oysters. I thought that all oysters were the same. I was wrong. I'll gladly admit it. The chargrilled oysters that we had with lunch were the best I have ever EATEN. Except for the ones that we had for second supper when we went back there later that night. Oh my gracious.

Ice cream! Just a spoonful for Thomas because dairy....


Hoodrat things... 

A sleeping toddler may be the most beautiful sight ever.


These double swings are SO much fun. A little scary for the parent, but so much fun!



Sunday morning came sooner (and yet, later) than I was ready. I had been battling anxiety-nausea for several days and it was certainly no less when I got up on Sunday to prepare for the race. I choked down some Pepto, drank my breakfast shake, and started hydrating.  I did end up tossing my cookies a few times that morning, but it's just part of it. I have a nervous stomach.

The marathon started about 7:00 a.m. eastern. Just like every other major race that I've done, Matt was right there at the starting line. Seriously, in the six years that  I've been "running" he hasn't missed a single major run. That's pretty impressive when you think about how much he dislikes waking before the sun.






There was no course entertainment, but there was this little boy and his sweet daddy who planned and waited and popped up to meet me as often as they could.  I won't tell you about the actual run because it was long and I'm sure you followed me on Instagram. I will tell you about the finish.

You know how people say that there comes a turning point in one's life when that person knows that nothing will ever be the same? Mine came about 2:15 p.m. on October 23, 2016.  After the months of preparation, the back  and forth of anxiety and confidence, the tears and scrapes and burning muscles, I KNEW that my body, my brain, and my heart could handle whatever challenge I faced. When I crossed that finish line after 26.2 miles I was exhausted, sunburnt, and chafed like you wouldn't believe but also I was elated, proud, and secure in my knowledge that there is nothing in this world that I can't overcome.

The past few months have been tough on me and the next few will be tougher still, but I know that I can handle it. And when I start to think I can't, I'll just put on my tennis shoes and go for a run.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Baton Rouge Bucket List - Easter Egg Hunt at the Governor's Mansion

     We had hoped to get to go back for the Louisiana Governor's Annual Easter Egg Hunt for 2016. We first went in 2015 but I don't know that we were invited before then. Apparently having a kid DOES change everything. With a new governor in place and CRAZY budget cuts, I really didn't expect an Easter Egg Hunt, but low-and-behold, on the actual day of the Hunt, we got a text message saying that it was on and we were expected to be there. There was some kind of mix-up at Dr. Frank's office. Since Session had already begun, Dr. Frank was in town, but poor Nana missed out. Matt did too, until near the very end.  This post is mostly pictures because well, what do you say about an Easter Egg Hunt?

    Thomas took a few minutes to warm up but he did eventually - to both the Easter bunny and the train. He wanted to ride the train every time it came back from its loop of the parking lot.



Whitney was a bit concerned about Dr. Frank's ability to get OUT of the train...

No lie, best picture we could get of T and F.




It seems that Daddy can even make the Easter bunny less scary.


Thomas's Easter hunt shirt for church! It was adorable. Also, he can still fit in those shorts. It's kind of  ridiculous.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Baton Rouge Bucket List - A weekend in Nola

We've been in Tally for MONTHS now but I am way behind on posting on our last days in Baton Rouge. I'm trying to catch up, I promise I will! Eventually...  Timing-wise, we're in March of 2016. Easter weekend, actually.

Many of the items on our Baton Rouge Bucket List included things that we could only do in New Orleans: go to the Audubon Zoo, eat at a John Besh restaurant, beignets.  Shortly after our 5K which was the day before my last half marathon, Matt caught the running bug and I was able to talk him into signing up for the Crescent City Classic. The CCC is a historic Nola 10K. It's always the Saturday before Easter. Since Matt ended up having Good Friday off work, we decided to go and make a weekend of it.

We left for Nola early Friday morning and started our day at the only place worth starting a day: Cafe du Monde. Thomas had never been there before. He LOVES donuts so we knew that he'd love it. There were HUGE lines to sit outside but an open table inside so we just mosied our way inside and sat down right away (Insider secret: the lines outside aren't for the tables inside the building.).

Not going to lie, Thomas LOVED it. Like, loved it. So much so that when he dropped his beignet, he cried. I don't mean just fake cried. I mean, meltdown. He absolutely LOST. IT.


There was still a WHOLE plate in front of the kid but he cried and cried and CRIED. It was both adorable and embarrassing. Luckily, the tables around us saw the whole thing so no one called CPS on us.



It didn't take but two more beignets to get him to cheer up. As you can see, he learned about sugar very quickly.

After getting all  sugared-up, we went out to the zoo. It was crazy packed but the weather was very nice so we enjoyed it. We had the Bob jogger with us so we just mowed the other patrons down.


Thomas loved the carousel but would only ride on it with Matt. I don't get it, but whatev. I'm a better picture taker.

 After the zoo, we went back to the hotel. We stayed at the same hotel that the Crescent City Classic was headquartered so that made it easy. We just navigated the myriad of elevators (y'all, it was SO confusing) and got our race goodies. Then, we checked out the restaurants in the hotel. THERE WAS A JOHN BESH RESTURANT IN THE HOTEL! Perfect. So many things to mark off our bucket list and we didn't even have to leave the hotel! After Thomas went to bed, Matt went downstairs and ordered way too many things. He brought them back to the room and we have a picnic feast of John Besh's best. We went straight to bed with tummyaches.

Early the next morning, we got dressed and headed to the back of the line. Like, behind 20,000 other people. Strollers had to start WAY back. It frustrated Matt to no end. He's not a plodder and he seriously hates getting stuck behind people. We were stuck behind everyone. Including a Viking ship. Matt decided to bob and weave and run over people. I ran behind and apologized as I went...

You know, runners have to stretch!

Thomas had a very relaxing time.

 We did it! In the rain! Matt actually traversed 6.2 miles and didn't die! Thomas only ate 54.3 packs of fruit snacks! We marked everything off of our Nola bucket list. Just in time to move...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Washington D.C. - Space, Tea, and Mr. Jefferson (Day 4)

Sunday morning, I went back to the Air and Space Museum to see all the things that I didn't get to see the night before. Oh my gracious, it was packed. Packed, packed, packed. I was also pretty sick by that point (like sore throat, coughing, headache, it was awful) and had no voice so I really just wanted to take a nap. I didn't want to miss out on things more so I suffered through it and warned people away from me by coughing without covering my mouth.  To get away from the crowds, I bought a ticket without using words for a video in the planetarium. I wanted to see an IMAX but missed it by an hour because my watch was still on Louisiana time. Instead, I experienced about thirty minutes of Whoopi Goldberg explaining star formation to me before I had to leave because I was coughing like Edgar Allen Poe's child bride. 

After the Air and Space fiasco, I went back to the hotel and took a nap. I had to rest. BECAUSE... We had reservations for tea at the Willard. We were serenaded by a harpist as we ate and drank our way through scones, orange scented salmon mousse, and cheesecake parfaits. Oh my goodness. Matt had never had high tea before but I think he is a convert. He was the only male in the place but he didn't care one bit. 








After tea, we went back to the hotel to change into more comfortable clothes (we ate a lot!) and headed back out to the Jefferson Memorial which was a pretty far piece from the other monuments which weren't that far from us.  Just as we rushed to get to Lincoln by sunrise, we rushed to get to Jefferson before the sun went down.


This picture is a lie. We look close to it, we weren't. It took forever to get there. In fact, we are still trying to get there now, four months out.


We finally made it. I didn't expect to get to go to the Jefferson Memorial so I didn't do any research on it. I had no expectations.

My favorite part?

Facetiming with Thomas on the steps as the sun went down.
He was happy to see us, but mad that we weren't there. He cried. I cried. People stared.


Then we went to a burger place and then back to the hotel to pack up and sleep.

The next day, we flew home! But our little boy wasn't at home when we got there. Seriously.

He was at school. His nana had him for four days and needed a break, so she took him to school for the day. He got home about ten minutes after we got there. And baby boy couldn't wait to see his daddy. What you see here is Thomas kissing Matt through the car window. Window rolled up, of course.


Thomas didn't really care that I was home, but man, I was so glad to see him. Then I went to the doctor. 

Yay! D.C. is finished. Now to catch up on the four months that have elapsed since we went and I started writing this series....