Tuesday, February 24, 2015

First Day Back to Work and School

Well the boys went back to school on Monday.  Somewhere the Hallelujah Chorus is playing.  Man I was pumped.  I had an entire weeks worth of work to catch up on and I was rip, roarin', and ready to tackle it.  Then I got this picture from Ms. Cindy at the boy's school.

So pitiful.  Ms. Cindy told me that Sam was running a fever of 102 and must be picked up.  WHAT!  My sweet, precious, youngest child, whom I love dearly couldn't give me one lousy day back in the working world before he decided to turn all sick and pitiful. 

It was a good thing that Ms. Cindy sent me that picture, because if she hadn't, I would've had a right mind to just leave him there.  But oh that picture was just heartbreaking. He was even more heartbreaking in person.  I walked in the building and immediately heard his desperate cry. He cried even harder when he saw me.  

Once we got home Sam wouldn't leave my side.  I sat in the glider and rocked him for an hour while I was on a conference call/meeting.  After my meeting was over Sam, Finn and I went down for a nap. Sam didn't want me to leave him, so I cuddled up next to him and slept a little bit. After the nap, Sam and I resumed our position in the glider.  

After Michael got home I left to go on two home visits.  As I was getting out of the chair to leave for the evening Sam wrapped his arms around me and cried, "don't leave me mama."  That was tough.  While I was working Michael took Sam to the pediatrician's office.  Sam just had a virus. 

Since Sam hadn't been fever free for at least 24 hours, I couldn't take him to school the next day.  He was feeling a lot better - but he wasn't 100% yet.  Right after I got him dressed he hopped straight into my bed, pulled up the covers and laid there until it was time to go.

Finn wasn't very happy about the fact that Sam was getting to stay home.  I could tell that he was trying to figure out a way to stay home too so I quickly told Finn that Sam wasn't going to get to have a lot of fun today because he was going to work with me (which was true).  The thought of Sam spending a miserable day with me at work made Finn quite happy and I didn't hear another word about wanting to stay home from school.

What I failed to mention to Finn was that my first appointment was at Cracker Barrel.  Sometimes I schedule meetings at the local Cracker Barrel so that we can at the very least enjoy coffee while discussing such unpleasantries as child abuse, drug addiction and homelessness.  Sam was pumped about Cracker Barrel.  He hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours and was ready for pancakes.

Sam was so good during my meeting - so when he sweetly asked if he could go play with the toys, I was happy to tell him yes.  So Sam and I sat in the floor in the back of the Cracker Barrel and played with the cars.  He was precious.

When we got home, Sam and I both went upstairs.  I worked in my bed and Sam played in the playroom.  After a few minutes Sam came in with a few Spiderman Books.  He then crawled into bed with me and asked me to read.  Again, as busy as I was there was no way I could tell him no.

So we read all of the Spiderman books.  When we ran out of Spiderman books I asked Sam if he would like to go to the book store and pick out a new book.  He, of course, said yes.

Just a few pictures of us reading, well . . . kind of.

After the books Sam took a long nap while I made every effort to catch up on work.  I haven't had a full day of work in 7 work days.  Just thinking about it makes me anxious. 

After supper I made good on my promise and took Sam to Barnes & Noble for a book.  On the way there Sam started singing "Cruella DaVille."  His version was hilarious. It went like this: "Cruella DaVille, Cruella Daville, if she doesn't scare you, nothing will else."    

When we got to Barnes and Noble, Sam hit overdrive and wanted to read every book in the store.  He quickly picked out the two books that he wanted (a Spiderman book and Toy Story book) and then grabbed a few other books for me to read to him at the store.  So once again we sat in the floor and read a Batman book and a Superman book.  Sam also discovered the Harry Potter section and asked me to read Harry Potter to him.  Before leaving the store I picked up a new Bible for the boys and a Daniel Bryan wrestling book for Finn. 

Out in the parking lot, Sam grabbed my hand and said "mama, I have had a fun day."  I can't believe that I complained about missing work the last few days to stay home with this precious boy.  


On Sunday I met a few of my closest friends from my small group at Long Hollow for "Momentum."  It is a women's conference hosted at our church for women all over middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky.  We were busting at the seams - both in the building and in the parking lot.  It was quite an incredible and inspiring sight.

The event was MC'ed by Holly Thompson.  The opening speaker was Lisa Harper and the main speaker was Chris Caine.  I really liked Lisa Harper, but Chris Caine was awesome.

Elena, Amanda and I before the night got underway.

Amanda, Audra, me and Elena at the end of the evening.  Our friend Anna was there too, but left before we took the picture.  Our friend Audra also spoke on the panel.

On Saturday Michael took Finn out for a special father/son night.  This left me and Sam to slum around together.  Since I had been stuck in the house all week I decided that Sam and I would go to the post office and the grocery store.  I was really dreading checking my PO box because I hadn't checked it all week.  I assumed that it would overflowing with mail.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I wasn't the only attorney in Sumner County that wasn't working over the snow days.  I had three (3) pieces of mail (for a whole work week - that is unheard of).

Next we went to Kroger.  It is impossible to take Sam to Kroger, especially the fruit and vegetable section. He wants everything that he sees.  He first told me how much he NEEDED tomatoes - so I got him a box of grape tomatoes.  Then he asked for blueberries - and again I obliged.  Then it was cucumbers, watermelon, pears and strawberries.  I drew the line at blueberries.

After his apparent need for produce was satisfied, Sam decided that he wanted to start "fake" shooting people.  He began to point his pointer finger at passersby and made "shooting" noises. Most people ignored him, but one nice elderly gentleman played along and pretended to be mortally wounded.  Sam was thrilled.

When we got home Sam dove head first into the grape tomatoes and ate almost the entire box. I don't really care for tomatoes, so it is very strange to see someone eat tomatoes plain and in bulk.

Finn and daddy made it home around 8:30.  Finn was so excited to tell me that he and daddy went to GameStop and then went to Uncle David's house to play a wrestling game on the XBox.  Finn actually beat Michael twice.

Yes, Finn loves wrestling now.  He and Michael sit and watch matches together all the time.  Finn really gets into the pomp and circumstance of it all.  He knows all the wrestlers and can imitate some of his favorite wrestlers' signature moves.

A sweet picture of Sam and his bunny.

Finn got a hold of the camera again.

Check out daddy's guns . . . 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snow Week

Well, as we all know it has been a week of snow.   Finn, Sam and I have had ALOT of time together.  I think that we spent much of the week suffering from cabin fever as we didn't leave the house.

The boys spent the night with Gran on Sunday night. Michael went to pick them up on Monday. Well, when he turned the car on his back windshield exploded and glass went everywhere.  Uncle James came to save the day by bring his big truck to the house.  He picked up Michael and then they went to get the boys.

On Tuesday we took the boys out in the snow.  Sam decided that he did not want to wear gloves.  It took about 30 seconds before he started begging for my gloves.

Finn with his ice weapons.  Finn spent most of his playtime de-icying all of the structures in the yard.

On Thursday Finn spent the day with his friend Jack.  Finn hasn't really ever done this before, so it was kind of strange putting Finn in someone else's car and watching him drive off.  He had a really good time at Jack's house and I was able to spend some time with Sam.

Sam was really in to those Doritos.

Later than evening I went out for a homevisit.  The visit was in my neighborhood so I wasn't worried about the roads.  Well, when I got back I slid on the ice on our sidewalk and took a nasty fall.  My entire right side was hurt.  My ankle knotted up, my knee was sore, my elbow as cut and bruised.  I actually cried from the pain. When I finally made it into the house Sam took good care of me.  He saw me cry and immediately ran over to me and tried to soothe me.  He rubbed my hair and my face and said, "oh mommm, it's okay."  The rest of the evening he escorted me from room to room to make sure that I didn't fall.  He held my hand and said, "now be careful mom."

I didn't take any chances the rest of the week.  I pulled out mom's old hiking boots. And when I say old - I think that she got these in her 20's. They worked great!  The tread is insane.
On Saturday I met Mom and MJ for lunch at Maggiano's.  Then we went to tour the Belle Meade Plantation. Even though it was above freezing, we still couldn't get Emily's SUV out of ice covered parking lot.  We ended up throwing a ton a pebbles from the parking lot under her tires and she was able to squeal out.  It was pretty exciting.  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hot Chocolate Run

At 5:00 a.m. on Saturday my alarm went off and I started getting ready for the Hot Chocolate 15K.  Around this time in the morning the temperature was in the "teens" so it took a while to get properly dressed.  On top I wore an undershirt, a running shirt, a goose down vest, a neck warmer, gloves under my thumb holes, an ear wrap, and sunglasses (to keep the wind off of my contacts).  On bottom I wore tall sock, my running pants and leg warmers.  Despite all the clothing, I was still had great mobility.

I met Grandad and Gigi downstairs at 5:45 and we took off for Nashville.  We met Emily at French Landing (an office complex off of Rosa Parks Blvd where I use to have hearings).  Em and I both hopped in the car with Grandad and Gigi and we headed for the Bicentennial Mall.

Gigi dropped us off at the Rite Aid next to the Farmer's Market and we took a picture.  After that we started getting all geared up.

Here we are at Corral C.  Somehow or another Emily and I ended up in Corral B and Dad was placed in Corral C.  In order to all start together we back into Corral C with dad. 

To say I was nervous would be the understatement of the year.  Prior to the race I had been nervous for an entire week.  I have no idea why these things are such a source of anxiety for me. Standing in line waiting for the gun was THE WORST.  I just wanted to go.  One, so that I could get rid of my nerves, and two, so that I could get warm.  While the temperature had gone up into the 20's, it was still really cold when we were standing still. 

Right before 7:00 they brought out the flag and somebody (not sure who) sang the National Anthem.  The gun went off at 7:00.  Our corral was released at 7:07. 

And . . . we're off.  Check out the concentration on my face.  Emily is smiling and enjoying the day.  I, on the other hand, am a complete ball of nerves.

Once we crossed under the starting gate and got out a few steps I turned on my music and settled in for the long haul.  I know that I am little weird, but I like to remember the music that was playing during a run - so, as best I can I am going to try to list it.  I have a few hundred songs on my IPod shuffle.  The player randomly shuffled through the following:

1. Breathe Me In - Jared and the Mill
2. Karma - Jamie N Commons
3. Back Down South - Kings of Leon
4. Loveblood -King Charles
5. Shadow of a Man - Neulore
6. To the Dreamers - For King and Country
7. Electric Love - Borns
8. More Than - NeedtoBreathe
9. No Turning Back - For King and Country
10. The Cave - Mumford and Sons
11. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
12. Lady Percy - King Charles
13. It's Not Over Yet - For King and Country
14. Don't Let it Get you Down - Johnny Swim
15. Let Us Love - NeedtoBreathe
16. Bad Wolf - Awolnation
17. Hills to Climb - Tim Myers
18. Sail - Awolnation
19. Seventeen - Kings of Leon
20. The Reckoning - NeedtoBreathe
21. Fix My Eyes - For King and Country

and the last song, as I was crossing the finish line was . . .

22. Eye of the Tiger - no joke.

As for the race in general.  We all agreed to stay together the entire time, to stop at all water and sweet stops and to walk when any member of the team was tired.  When we made the deal I truly believe we all meant to stick to it.  In practice it didn't turn out quite that way.  Dad lead the way the entire race.  Every few minutes I could see him turn around to make sure that Em and I were both with him.  You could actually see the mental inventory as he would spot me and then Emily. This went on for about the first three miles.  Em fell off a little after the three mile marker.  Knowing that Emily is a strong finisher, I wasn't too worried about it.  Dad and I stayed together from mile 3 to mile 5.  Once we got to the park, dad pulled ahead.  There is a spot behind the park that was really hilly.  Dad made really good time on the hills and at mile 6 I could no longer see his head.

At mile marker 7 I went through the water pass.  It was all downhill from there.  At 7.5, I felt both of my calves lock up.  I knew I should have hydrated better.  Anyway, from that point forward I had to stop every 100 yards to stretch out my calves.  At around 8.5 miles I had to stop every 50 yards.  Sometimes I could only take a couple of steps before they would seize up on me.  It was so discouraging. I would lean on whatever I could find to stretch them out and see droves of people passing me.  At one such "stretching post" I felt someone actually kick me in the bottom.  I turned around to see none other than the "strong finisher" Emily.  She hung with me for a few minutes, but I told her go on ahead after I had to make a few additional stretching stops.

At this point I wanted to cry.  I was so afraid that I wouldn't even finish.  I tried my best to run on my heels and not roll onto my toes. (I seriously looked ridiculous)  As I was turning on to last road, I heard a woman yell to us, "You're almost done - its all done hill from here. I wanted to wring her neck. I knew from our practice run, that I was about the scale the steepest hill of the entire day.  Well . . . I was wrong.  It was actually all downhill. (Emily and I must have made a wrong turn during our practice run.)

At the 9 mile marker, I knew that I was .3 miles from being finished.  I was so  happy.  I could see the finish line.  As I mentioned earlier - Eye of the Tiger came on and I gave it one last push through to the finish.  Dad was waiting there for me.  Michael, Chelsea and Gina where there too.  The only thing I could think was, I have to stretch.  There wasn't anything sturdy that I could lean on so Michael pushed against me and I was able to get in a victory stretch.

After that I was SO HAPPY! I couldn't believe it was over!!

I talked to Dad and learned that he finished in 1:34.  Emily finished 1:42 and I finished 1:45.

This picture was taken at the finish line. I was pumped!

Next we went over to pick up our mugs and our medals.  Since signing up for the run I have been looking forward to diving into the chocolate fondue.  Upon picking up my mug, I grabbed a heart shaped strawberry marshmallow, dipped it in the chocolate and took a big bite.  I immediately regretted that decision.  Way to heavy.  So I settled for a water bottle that I found on a table. There were several sitting there so I assumed they were for us.  The problem was most of them looked opened and sipped out of. I found the one that looked the least sipped out of and claimed it. Despirate times.

After taking a few commemorative photos we went out to the IHOP at Bell Road for post race pancakes.

While I am certainly not a runner, I am so glad that I did this. It felt like a great accomplishment, albeit one that I never intend to tackle again. Thanks to Dad and Emily for sharing this experience with me.

Okay, the loot for this run was awesome!

My medal. . .

The chocolate mug . . .  I actually devoured the contents of this mug whilst typing this blog.

(another picture of the mug)

And best of all . . . the hoodie!  

I was really excited about my free hoodie.  Michael promptly reminded me that this hoodie was not at all free as I paid a pretty hefty entrance fee.  I was also reminded that not only did I pay a monetary fee, I also paid a lofty physical fee as well.  After the race I came home and literally spent the rest of the day curled up somewhere in the house with "runner's gut." 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

While we were at the Hot Chocolate Run, Finn and Sam spent Valentine's Day morning with Gran.  They had a special Valentine's breakfast.

They opened their Valentines - Finn got super hero undies and a John Cena action figure.  Sam got an big Batman action figure.

Later than day Gran took the boys to their friend from school Caleb's birthday party.  They were so excited when they got home.  Sam came running in yelling, "look at my attitude."  He meant tattoo - fake, of course.  Finn proved to be a little nervous about the tattoos.  As he was watching Caleb get tatted up, he said, "Caleb doesn't know that the tattoo won't come off."  Caleb's mom told Finn that these tattoos would wash off.  Finn responds, "well my mom's tattoos don't come off."  Once he was sure he wouldn't be permanently branded, he was very excited to participate in the tattooing. 

Finn, with his best friend Jack,  Sam, with Jack's little brother John Matthew.

The love of Sam's life. Gran reported that Sam spent at least 20 minutes with this blow up Rafael.

After the party, Gran brought the boys home and Sam took a nap while Finn played.  For our little family Valentines we ordered heart shaped pizza from Jets and watched the Justice League lego movie. 

Putting up the Christmas Tree with Buck Denver

On November 12th we started the process of putting up the Christmas tree.  It is now December 4th and I have still not completed the pr...