Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trail of Terror 5k Race Report

Saturday I did the Trail of Terror 5k with M in the stroller -- our first stroller race!

There was a 1/2 marathon option too.  Considering he was yelling "All done" when we still had a quarter mile left to go in the 5k, I think we made the right choice by not running the longer distance. =)

This was a fun race.  The weather was perfect - cool and crisp and the race is out on country roads that back up to the mountains so it can't be beat.  People dress up in costumes, so M wore his Leopard costume.  He was a fan favorite of course, and it kept him warm too!
Staying warm in the car before the race

We finished under 30 minutes (barely) which I was glad to see, but my mile #2 was pretty slow.  There was another lady pushing a jogging stroller too and she and I kept passing each other on the long uphill during the second mile.  I'm sure we were quite a sight, and she had a dog with her too!  I was impressed.  I was dragging on the uphill and even walked for a minute or two so I tried to let it loose on the downhill.  Happy with my 8:35 mile #3!
Pre-race snuggles!
 We got a fun key chain and a growler at the finish line, along with a bunch of Halloween candy.  You can tell I don't drink beer much because I didn't even know what a growler was.  1/2 marathon finishers also got a medal.
Post-race, trying to catch my breath!
A fun race with a nice and chill post race party.  M and I shared some pizza, watched the awards and listened to the music at the after party.  He also enjoyed running around after the race, hopefully he'll want to do his own 5k some day!  I  really liked this race - we'll be back next year!

Gorgeous North Idaho!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Weekend Adventures - a belated recap

We had a busy, wonderful weekend!

D was elk hunting.  He got skunked (didn't get one) but saw several moose.  He had a blast and got his fill of fresh mountain air before heading back to his office dungeon on Monday.

M and I stayed busy while he was gone, spending money and eating fast food.  =)  We went swimming on Friday.  He has no fear at the pool and walked in up to his neck, splashing around!  Can't wait to start up our swimming lessons again in a couple of weeks, he just loves the water.  Some girlfriends came over for movie night and we had so much fun catching up we didn't even watch a movie.

On Saturday we played and then did the Trail of Terror 5k in the afternoon.  M was in costume and it was our first stroller race!  We didn't crash into anyone with the stroller so I think it was a success.  It was a fun race atmosphere and M really got a kick out of being a part of the festivities.

Post-race pizza party with my little snow leopard

Sunday was filled with church, a birthday party and then the Global Run for Water 5k (a virtual race) for me.  D had come home in the afternoon, so I ran without the stroller around the neighborhood.  I signed up for this on a whim after reading Kristen Armstrong's blog on  It is a benefit race for people in Burundi and the $25 entry fee for each participant provides access to clean water for a Burundian FOR LIFE.  $25 so that someone has access to clean water for life?  You can't beat that - so of course I signed up!  It was such a beautiful, windy fall afternoon to run and I'm glad that we could contribute to a good cause.

How was your weekend?  What are you up to this weekend?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Catholics Craving More

I attended an inspiring gathering last week.

It was the first gathering of our new Pray and Play group for Catholic Moms.  It was a small group, we were surrounded by our chaotic children (childcare not finalized yet), and we didn't even have coffee!  But I was so thrilled to meet other women raising young kids who want to nurture a faith-filled and Christ-centered household, and ALSO want to actively serve our parish(es) and our local community!

 I was really encouraged to meet some other women in this area, in the same stage of life who are eager to grow in our faith and to implement it more in our daily lives - this is what I mean by "Catholics craving more!".  I am thankful for this group, hopeful that it will be able to continue, and looking forward to participating and growing in faith with these women.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I just looked back and realized that my blog has been in the virtual world for one year!  Happy blog-annie-versary to me!

Apparently I wrote 2 posts that first month, and then didn't post again until March.  Whoops!  Not to mention, that restaurant I blogged about is now closed (sad).  Anywho, hopefully I'll have some interesting and fun things to post about in blog year #2.  Thanks to my husband and mom for being my loyal readers. =)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hayden Lake Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K

Last weekend I ran the first annual Hayden Lake 10k with my runner girlfriends!  What fun!

This was the first year for the Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k.  The full marathon goes all the way around the lake!  I'd like to do it one day, but for this year we settled for the 10k distance.

It was a ton of fun - a gorgeous course that climbs up gently in the first half, has a steep downhill around the halfway point and then rolls gently along the lake shore back to the start line.  The 10k started at 9 (the longer distances at 7 am) so it was still a little chilly at the start, but we warmed up pretty quickly as we climbed the hills.  We started out slowly, chatting along the way and admiring the views.  There wasn't much traffic along the roads and there were plenty of volunteers holding traffic at a few spots.  I know some folks had written in to the local paper to complain about the race, but at least for the 10k, we didn't see much car traffic, so I don't think we impeded the folks driving along the road all that much.

About halfway through the race, we turned down a sharp downhill and at this point I lost my friends because I just let the hill take me down.  This probably wasn't the most responsible way to run, but all I could say was "whee!" and be glad that I didn't trip and fall and roll right into the lake!  Then it was flat to gently rolling back to the starting line down at Honeysuckle Beach.  I finished in a hour, so I was pleased considering that I hadn't done any specific training and didn't study the course beforehand.  I set out to have a fun experience, and that is what it was.

The 10k was super scenic, so I know the other distances were too.  The half marathon runs through some very pretty neighborhoods on the northwestern side of the lake, and we all agreed that we wanted to train for that distance next year.

The finisher shirts were awesome, and the half and full marathon finishers got some cool medals.  They had plenty of food at the finish, including three different kinds of delicious soup and free Qdoba!  (Yeah, I kind of stuffed myself after the race!)  And yes, we waited an hour after we finished for our free food, haha!  But we got to watch the half marathoners and full marathoners finishing and that was super inspiring!

Modeling my finisher t-shirt!  Half marathoners and full marathoners got long sleeve shirts.

I also have to mention that this race is a bargain - we paid $25 as the late registration for the 10k.  I think the longer distances were good prices too.  I only heard one half marathon finisher mention that the first aid station was at mile 6 and she wished it had been earlier.

This was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning!  I hope to make this an annual event!

Prairie Home Farms

Last week I took M to Prairie Home Farms with some friends.  This was our first trip to a pumpkin patch and animal farm.

He had a lot of fun wandering among the corn stalks and the pumpkins.  He is kind of a wanderer/explorer, so he probably would have been happy to do this all day!
Reenacting a scene from "Ollie's Halloween" - one of our favorite fall books!

We also saw some goats, pigs, geese, chickens, horses, bunnies and a turkey.  The pigs were huge and he was a little bit afraid of them and VERY scared of the horses, poor thing!  He didn't want anything to do with the horses and burst into tears when they stuck their noses over the fence.  But he had a blast looking at the geese and was squawking back at them, it was pretty cute to see.  He also liked chasing the farm cat around, but his all time favorite activity was pulling the little red wagons.  He is a little people mover, for sure! 

The owner charges $2 admission, $3 for a bag of animal feed and .30/lb for pumpkins.  We didn't get any animal food because I wasn't sure he would want to feed the critters, this ended up being a good decision.  I also didn't buy any pumpkins because I am a cheapo and will only pay .09/lb at the Super 1 sale.  =)  It was a fun, beautiful morning - great to be outside!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

More Fall Colors

I can't get enough of the beautiful leaves this year!  Here are a few more shots from our walks:

In our neighborhood.  Anyone want to buy that house and live down the street from us?
My guys on our after dinner walk.  Doesn't M look cozy?
Enough with the stroller!  I want to walk!
I hope you are enjoying a beautiful season too!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review: The Open-Hearted Way to Open-Adoption, by Lori Holden with Crystal Hass

I picked this book up on a whim at the library last week.  The title piqued my interest because we have an open adoption.

This is a great book for anyone involved in the adoption process or contemplating an open adoption.  The authors are the birth mother and the adoptive mother in (what I would call) a very open adoption.  I call it very open because they seem to have very frequent contact with both of the biological parents.

The authors very thoroughly explain how open adoption benefits the child with reconciling the "split" between his/her biology and biography.  The subtitle of the book ("Helping your child grow up whole") really sums up the book.  As adoptive parents, all we really want is for our child to grow up "whole" and feel good about himself, who he is and how he came to be.

I think the first half of the book can be really helpful for folks who are not yet in an open adoption - the authors really explain who the players are in the adoption and the real life anecdotes are interesting to read.

I liked the second part of the book ("Orienting on the Child: Open Adoption's True North"), and I know I am going to be referring back to it again and again over the years.  Holden gives some good examples of how to deal with the question of "where's your real mom?" and also refers to other helpful resources.

The book is a quick read, and a great one for every adoptive family!  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Weekend Adventures/Fall in the Inland Northwest!

Weekends are the best!
The view near where Lake CdA feeds into the Spokane River
 We had a such a great relaxing weekend.  M and I went for a short and easy stroller run on Saturday morning.  It was gorgeous out, and we got side-tracked checking out the neighborhood garage sales, but it was really nice to get him out into the fresh air.
Nice paved trails in our area
Later we went over to Spokane Valley so we could go to Hobby Lobby.  I am looking for some things to finish decorating M's room, but they didn't have what I needed so that was kind of a bummer.  We did pick up Five Guys for dinner, which made up for my failed attempt at retail therapy. =)

On Sunday we went for an awesome family bike ride along the river.  The leaves are starting to change - it seems that we get more yellow/gold than red but it is just lovely.  We didn't make it all the way into downtown, but we stopped for lunch at the Fort Ground Grill.  The food was fine but nothing special, but it had a nice casual atmosphere that is appealing to us.  Plus, M and I enjoyed watching football on the TV (since we never get to do that at home, ha!).

M fell asleep in the trailer on the way home, poor little guy couldn't make it all the way home before naptime took over.  We went to the Sunday night service at our church.  We have never been to it before, but they play contemporary-style music which reminded me of my Agape (pre-Catholic) days back in college!  Poor M was falling apart by this time though because it was too close to bedtime and he had such a short nap, so we probably won't be attending this service all that often - the 10:30 usually works much better in this stage of life!
Prince Charming.  At Church he is getting very good at loudly proclaiming "AMEN!" whenever he feels like it!

Riding through the North Idaho College campus

How was your weekend?  Does my weekend sound incredibly boring?  Who cares, I loved it!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

18 Months

Our little guy is one and a half!
You talking to me?
 I would say "our little baby" but even I can't ignore that he is full-on toddler now and not my little baby anymore.
Northwest Toddler Fashion, puffy vest style

He is a busy little boy - he loves to push his Batman car and play with his Legos.  He loves to dance and even will sing "da-da-da, da-da-da" if I ask him to sing!  He is used to having my full attention and might be known to get a little upset if he has to share time with someone else! =)  He will tell himself "NO" if he is about to do something that he knows he is not supposed to do (and then do it anyway!).
Supporting all of Dad's teams at once: Princeton +UF
He has lots of words now; I love it when he runs over, grabs my leg and says "up!" requesting to be picked up.  When I go in to get him first thing in the morning, he shouts "BOO!"  every time.  He is an amazing sweetheart and the love of our lives.

Relaxing in the backyard just like (lazy) Mom!
We are so thankful for him, and so thankful for his birth mom.  She is, and always will be our hero!