I had wanted to write a full race report and share how great our weekend in Charlotte was. I completed my first half marathon! Right at my target pace! And I got to see my 3 boys smiling and waving at the finish line! Phew, what an incredible feeling.
The race itself was pleasantly uneventful. It was staffed with chipper and efficient aid station volunteers, perfectly placed mile markers, and an extensive police and traffic control presence. The morning was perfectly cool, the sky was an incredible shade of blue. I choked back tears, as I always do on race day, right around the half mile mark.
But as I sat down to write, I heard about Boston.
You see, road races are something really, really special. A collection of individuals gathered together with the very best intentions for the next few minutes or hours. A group who have trained and prepared and worried and rehearsed over and over and over for this very day, eager to test their mental and physical abilities on the course. Weeks and months of scheduling and fundraising have culminated. Friends, family, and complete strangers gather with signs and smiles and cow bells. The emotion and adrenaline and positivity of it all are intoxicating.
As I reflect on my race Saturday morning and the Boston Marathon on Monday, I feel gratitude towards all the people who participate in these events whether as athletes, spectators, volunteers, or staff members. I’ll choose to keep the positive energy I felt on my race morning at the forefront of my interactions this week while I pray for the city of Boston and the all the people who raced and participated in the event that day.
My heart is so incredibly happy today. I’ve had nervous excited butterflies in my stomach for the last day or so and have found my mind wandering every few minutes to images of the open road and steep ragged cliffs jetting out into the blue green sea. To sunshine and sandy beaches and new adventures. To paved running paths and dusty gravel hiking trails. To beach cruisers and cold beers and flip flops all year long.
My sister is moving from Seattle to San Diego today. A dream she’s been working on since September and one she’s given countless hours of thought, planning, and persistance to. She’s landed herself a new job, a new apartment, and I’m sure a new beach cruiser isn’t far off. Her bags and life in Seattle are packed up and on a moving truck headed south and today she’ll follow starting her very own adventure.
I’m not sure what is most impressive to me about the whole situation. Her dedication to finding a job she’s perfectly and uniquely qualified for in a tough economic market, her insistance on finding that job and ensuring she’s well positioned before making the move (I’d surely have moved down months ago and found myself broke and living on the beach), or her courage at leaving all her friends and family for this new adventure. I’m a very firm believer that big risks reap big rewards and I’ve got no doubt that this move is going to totally change the course of her life from this point forward. And I’m so excited to watch it unfold.
So Kiki. On this moving day I hope you know that first and foremost I’m so very happy for you. I’d say I’m proud, but I’ve had no hand in making any of this happen, so that doesn’t seem appropriate. I wish you sunny skies and spicy tacos and lots of laughing love. You’re my very best sister and I love you so much.
I’ve been slowly gathering items for my little guys’ spring and summer wardrobes and I have to say I’m loving all the bright colors and patterns this spring! I may have even jumped on the mixed patterns trend. Whoa baby! Lucky for me, I’ve got access to some of the cutest fabrics and kids clothing designs around. Mom’s of sweet little girls, look out!
Don’t worry, she’s got adorable designs for boys as well. My guys will be sporting these pirate shorts this summer!
Spring! It’s here! Or, so the calendar says. We’ve had a few previews here in North Carolina. A few days with unseasonable warmth and gentle breezes that don’t send a shiver up your spine. With the days getting longer and Easter drawing near, I’d say that even though we haven’t quite arrived, we’ve got to be getting close!
It can’t come soon enough for this house. Little Zoom has perfected his walking and is just itching to get out and explore the grass and birds and trees. Big Zoom is going at about a mile a minute and he and I have both had about enough showings of Toy Story (1,2,&3) and Cars to last until cooler days. Park play dates, swimming lessons, and maybe even soccer class are in our future.
To all of you in cooler climes and especially to my family in Seattle and Dublin, where spring won’t arrive until the week before summer starts in August, hang in there! Get outside when the weather allows and go buy yourself a pair of kelly green skinny jeans. You deserve it.
St. Patricks Day and Thanksgiving are my favorite holidays. No expectations of gifts and stress about wrapping. No obligations for services or thank you notes to write. Just family and good food and celebrations. We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day all week with kelly green and corned beef soda bread. We played with friends and did silly crafts and watched the parade. By Sunday we were just about Irish’d out and spent the day shopping and eating Chicken Taco Chili. But we had a great weekend. Some snaps of time spent with friends and at the parade follow.
Until next year friends. Erin go bragh!
I’m not a terribly crafty person.
Big Zoom is very slowly phasing himself out of an afternoon nap. We’re down a nap every third or fourth day but still need to be home so that Little Zoom can get some afternoon rest.
I’ve loved my nearly 3 years of afternoon quiet time, but I can see it slowly coming to an end. In an effort to avoid watching yet another showing of Cars, I figured Big Zoom and I would try out a craft yesterday afternoon.
His teachers tell me he loves craft time at school, and when I brought out the new art supplies (the glue and cotton balls), he was seriously excited. He quickly identified my drawing as a rainbow (who the heck taught him that?!?) and was very excited about pressing down, and tasting, the fruit loops.
I found the idea for this on Pinterest and am going to make an effort to pin and plan more crafts for Big Zoom and I to do while the little guy sleeps. I’m not sure where rainbows fit in with St. Patrick’s Day (Mr. Zoom shook his head when I told him that we were doing a rainbow craft in relation to the holiday), but it sure was colorful and fun!
If you’ve got the supplies, give this one a try this week! It’s a great way to brighten up a rainy day!
My love affair with Ireland started at a young age with my Dad’s mother, my Nanny. She was one of the kindest and most gentle people I’ve ever known. My memories of her include fresh squeezed orange juice, her long white hair neatly tucked into a low bun, her sparkly golden necklaces and the most delicious turkey sandwiches on soft white bread with plump Jersey tomatoes she’d make for us at the shore. She was a great storyteller and a wonderful playmate for us when we were young.
And boy was she ever Irish. Born in New York to an immigrant couple, she was pure shamrock. She’d sing Irish songs, cross-stitch Irish blessings, and send St. Patrick’s Day cards. And, I never remember a time when I didn’t know that I too was Irish.
We do this funny thing in America when asked about our heritage. We spout off the countries of our distant ancestors and identify with the cultures we come from. Mr. Zoom thinks this is quite bizarre. You see to him, and the rest of the world, we’re American. When I first moved to Ireland, I’d proudly tell anyone who’d listen that I too was Irish. Exactly 37.5% and darn proud of it. These proclamations resulted in everything from blank stares to roaring laughter. Still, even now that I’m married to a real live Irishman, I claim myself to be Irish.
This insistance no doubt, comes from my Nanny. However distant it was by the time it reached me, I’ve always identified with my Irish heritage. While living in Salzburg during my junior year of college, I visited Dublin and Cork on a long weekend and fell in love with the cobblestones, shades of green, and red-faced old men eager to educate me about the “troubles” over a pint of beer in a country pub. Two years after I graduated college, I agreed to fundraise $3000 and run a marathon through a local charity as a way to get back to Dublin. I finished that marathon (walking) with the help and encouragement of a little old farmer’s wife who’d been walking marathon distances her whole life and figured “why not make it official”. That 60 year old woman and I walked together for 6 hours sharing family and travel stories. She was incredible.
It was on that trip that I knew I wanted to live in Ireland. The visa and working restrictions were going to make that dream difficult and I started to toss around the idea of going back to school in order to get myself over there. And then Mr. Zoom happened. A gift from my grandmother, I’m quite sure.
Living in Dublin for 3 years with Mr. Zoom was the most fantastic kind of wonderful. Though the constant dreary drizzle and gale force winds definitely wore on my nerves, the experience was easily one of the best of my life. And now I’ve got a real live leprechaun as my husband and some wee Irish lads to chase around the garden. So so so very blessed we are.
This post isn’t really about anything at all. Just some Sunday sweetness that I happened to snap this morning. We’ve had a wonderful and mostly calm weekend without any illness! Sharing happened. A date happened. Running happened. A major bathroom update is currently happening, and a bike ride around the block is on the agenda this afternoon.
Nothing overly exciting or particularly eventful. Just the kind of weekend we needed.
We’re still going strong on the 365 Project. Dare I say it’s a habit? I’m terrible at follow through people. This is MAJOR.
As I mentioned at the end of January/beginning of February, I’m so ready for sick season to be over. I thought for sure after the month we had in January with the ear infections and sinus infections and general post-holiday blues, February had to be better.
I thought wrong. The stomach virus/norovirus/devil’s curse slooooowly worked it’s way through our house. It started with Little Zoom and quickly moved to Big Zoom the first weekend of the month. We thought we were in the clear and it took Mr. Zoom down the following weekend. After two weekends of pure illness with slow recovery days in between, I thought I was pretty much invincible. And then the third weekend I fell victim. It was most unpleasant I must say. We’re winding down yet another ear infection (Little Zoom) and a batch of head colds, but I’m hopeful that will be the end of it. Fingers crossed everyone!
In other news. I’m still off of Facebook and I’m thinking it’s going to become permanent thing. Like for the whole entire year. I don’t even miss it all. Not even one little bit. I’ve been emailing people. Like long detailed emails. And connecting via text message which is not as good as on the phone or in person, but certainly better than anonymously through Facebook. The only thing I will say I’d like to be seeing is updates from my favorite small businesses. I’ve mostly started following them, and a few new ones, on Instagram. My Bloglovin account is totally organized and up to speed so I’m still getting updates on my favorite blogs, but I really do think Facebook is a powerful tool for small business and wish I could participate in that aspect of it without having to have a personal page.
We’re head over heels about March in the Zoom house. St. Patrick’s day is celebrated all month long and it’s already started with loaves of soda bread and boozy beer dinner recipes. Looking ahead this month I’ll be featuring some yummy recipes, some fun crafts, and some crazy stories about our dear old Ireland. I hope you’ll join me!
This little guy. I tell you what. He’s giving us a run for our money over here.
Sure, I know he’s pretty stinking cute. He’s got a giant little belly, a sweet sweet laugh, and he rests his head on your shoulder for no apparent reason at all. But this 18 month old thing, it’s been rough on our little family. It’s entirely possible that I’ve totally forgotten what an 18 month old is like, or rather, I never noticed at all. Little Zoom was just 8 weeks when Big Zoom was this age, and I was in the throes of sleepless nights, nap scheduling, and preparing for a trip to Seattle for Christmas. We’ve got molars coming in (as they have been for the last 6 months), squeals and screams instead of words, and a little guy who’s just desperate to keep up with his Big Brother. Our world goes from this,
and back to this,
in the space of mere seconds.
Little Zoom is slow to speak, as was his brother, and the frustration in his tiny little body is growing and growing by the day. In an effort to make his needs known over the constant jabber and commotion his brother creates, screams and squeals erupt often. We’ve decided we need to make a concerted effort to help him communicate better, for our own sanity and so we’ll still have friendly neighbors when this is all over with. We’ve begun spending some more focused one on one time helping Little Zoom to learn the simple words he should be using at this point. “No” and “help” and “more” will go a long way in helping us to understand what he wants and needs and will help him feel like he’s a bit more in control of his surroundings.
As hard as the last few months have been each day we learn and settle in a little bit more. Just last night, as we were all sitting in a restaurant for dinner (this NEVER happens, except at Chick-fil-A for lunch on a rare occasion), and the boys were happily noshing on their macaroni and french fries Mr. Zoom and I looked to each other and said “Could this be? Is this really getting easier?” We smiled at our sweet boys, surprised at their nondestructive behavior and both nodded in agreement. We drove home all smiles, dancing and singing to the ABC’s and pointing out construction vehicles like we always do. A success.
And then they both pooped in the bathtub.