Wednesday, September 28, 2011

prize or surprise, whatever

Wendell and Harlie have a sticker chart.. when they do things they are suppose to like eat supper well, pick up their toys when asked, let me comb their hair/put ponies in (Harlie), or whatever comes up at the moment then they get a sticker.  That sticker goes on the sticker chart and once it's filled in they get a prize. 

Anyways...this last time I decided once they filled it in they would get a surprise and that was us taking them to the "amusement park" on Airline Hwy. that has the jumping pillow, go carts, batting cages, and mini golf.  Since the location is very close to a few places we go regularly I decided to blind fold Wendell as I did not want the repeated question of if we could go there anytime we were somewhat driving by.  And it was kind of fun since it was a "surprise" anyways. 

I think the pictures pretty much say it all.  We had a great time, although it did cost some $$, it was a fun surprise.  Wendell really, really, really wants to go back so we are going to try and go back before they close for the season.

Phil coined it an "amusement park" when Wendell kept asking what kind of place it was.  We're not really sure what you would call it so amusement park for now... on a much smaller scale.

An my title was prize or surprise because Wendell calls either one a "prize", sometimes it's hard knowing what he is talking about as they do have two totally different meanings.

Have you surprised your kids lately? 

** funny story, we were on our way home the other day and I informed Wendell that Grandma Charla was waiting at our house to visit us.  When we got close he asked me to call her and tell her to hide.  (what?)  He said he wanted it to be a surprise : )  so I called her and sure enough she hid beside the bed.  Funny thing, Harlie, then Wendell, walked in first and she (Grandma) yelled "arggh" and of course the kids run out of our room screaming and laughing.     Priceless.

Have you scared your kids lately? : )

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the big race

It's done!!  Yeah!  Now I can go back to "normal" life.. what ever that is for me. 

I finished in just under 4 hours which is what I expected.  The swim (1500 meter/ .9 miles) took about 45 minutes, then a few minutes in transition, then I biked 1 hour and 47 minutes (40k/ 24.8 miles with icky/yucky wind), another minute or two in transition (including a potty break), then I ran 1 hour and 17 minutes (10k or 6.2 miles).

These are our temptorary tattoo's with our race number. 
I don't have any tattoo's so it's kind of fun to have one (that is temporary). 

I totally feel like a penquine is this wet suit but it was necessary.   For the most part no one looks good in a wet suit (although I will say last year there was one lady that looked REALLY good - like cat woman - and I almost told her that but I didn't want to seem like a pervert : ). 

I will say, this wet suit, just about ruined the race for me.  I didn't get it in time to practice in it which was a big mistake.  It was very tight on my throat, just enough that when combined with the freezing cold water in my face, I had a very hard time putting my face in the water.  I panicked as I could not breathe and swim at the same time.  It took me 5 minutes to regain compusure and make myself "just do it".  I had trained so hard and physically I had no reason to not get going.  It was mind over matter.  I HAD to get my face in that water.. even if it sucked all the air out of me.  So I did little bits at a time and the next thing I knew I was doing it.  I had seriously considered pulling my wet suit half way down to get it off my throat but I knew that would be crazyiness. 

1/2 way through the swim (at the turn around) I stopped to just look around.  There were two people there with me and I commented that we were 1/2 done.  One asked the time as I had just looked at my watch and it was 22 minutes.  So we headed back.   On the way back I stopped a couple of times.  I truly believe that with these races you need to enjoy yourself and I find enjoyment in stopping (well treading water) and just looking around at the plane going over head, at the people behind me or in front of me, at the crowd waiting or at the kiaks/boats that are out there for us.  Maybe next time I will even go far enough to tell the safe guard thank you on my swim journey or stop to chat with one of them.

Don't I look like I could be 70 years old and doing this!  Was it Mary Poppins that rode a bike?  One friend of ours (her husband was racing) commented that evertime she saw me in transition, I had a smile on my face.  Apparently, that isn't common.  But how can you not when you have family and friends there chearing you on?  If I haven't said it enough, more people need to be doing this for fun.. not just to compete.

The day before we were waiting in line at check in for our bikes to be inspected.  Phil commented that some people were kind of looking at my bike and snickering (I have a normal bike - not a racing bike) and he gave them the dirty look for me (that's what Phil and I do when we're in the car - some people yell or flip the bird; Phil and I just give the person a dirty scowl).  Anyways, he told me this so I had to loudly remind him (and our friends in line with us) that I believe that I was representing those of us who do triathlons for fun.  Some people just enjoy doing them and you don't have to spend $$ on fancy bikes to participate.  I think I embarrased Phil a little bit by my loud tone.

Not a great close up picture of me but it does show transition area.  Here I am taking off for the run.  I actually feel pretty good at this point (especially since I just emptied my very full bladder).

Almost done!!  Still smiling!

There is a GREAT story behind this... and the picture captures the story VERY well.  (Phil's mom is on the right).  But I can't tell you the story, yet : )

Post race.  At one point I was laying on the ground because my back was hurting (and I was resting/stretching).  I need to snag that picture from whomever took it.   

Yeah, I'm done!

Phil did the sprint distance and finished in 12th overall, 3rd in his age group and ran his fasted 5k ever. He did very well so I'm proud of him.  He was going to do the Olympic with me but had a hamstring injury that made him decide to go to the sprint race.  Good thing because he did so good!  Phil finished 12th from the start and I was about 12th from the last person.  Kind of funny. 

We were very blessed to have such a great support system.  Phil's parents, my mom, and our cousin came to watch.  My parents watched the kids (Phil and I volunteered for the kids tri that was on Saturday - that is a whole other story) over the weekend.  It is so nice to have some family that supports us and enjoys seeing us compete.  In fact my mom was very sick the night before but she still came up to see it, she just couldn't resist seeing me race, because she's so proud of me.  Another special treat was that Phil and I got to race with a new (this year) tri friend, Rooney.  We met Rooney and his wife at the tri social back in the spring and we've kind of walked (tri'd) with them this summer.  Phil and Rooney both competed in the Cooper Creak Triathlon this summer and then for Peregruine we all did the last race to wrap up the year.  It's kind of neat because we've done a lot of work outs together this summer, had some cook outs, and just hung out swapping triathlon tips.   It's quite a journey and I love sharing it with people. 

So that is my wrap up on the race.  I'm glad it's done, I don't think I'll race again where I have to wear a wet suit and who knows what next year will bring. Phil is thinking about doing an urban (Minneapolis) race next year.  And eventually I hope to do a dirt race (dirt trails for the bike and run).

Thanks for encouraging me along the way!!

** spell check is not working so my apologies for any typo's

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

15 years ago...

I graduated from high school.  Well.. in I did in May of 1996.  I thought we would have a class reunion this summer so I've been waiting but got nothing so I guess maybe in 5 years we'll do another one.  Either way it's been having me think about the good old days... well not so good.  For some reason I didn't really like high school.  I think most people have a love or hate relationship and I would prefer to never go back.  It wasn't that bad.. not sure why I feel that way, I just do. 

But I nabbed some pictures from my high school year book.  And along with those pictures I will tell you a bit about myself, my past.

Jerad is my step brother.  We were in the same grade but we have different birth parents.  His mom married my dad after our own birth parents divorced.  I have had him as a brother since I was about 5 so for the most part, he has always been my brother, in my memory.  We did NOT get along as kids but we get along now for the most part.  He liked to pick on my as a kid and usually got away with it.  (On a side note I have an older "birth" brother the same age as my "step" sister so they were also in the same class.)  My maiden name is McCulley... how odd to think of that as my name.   It just so happens that Jerad and my last names are in alphabetical order so we also got pictures next to each other...  as a kid I probably hated that.  (but it did make for easy scanning for this little project.) Look at that "look" on my face, doesn't that have Harlie written all over it?

This was just a random picture of me.  I'm guessing I'm ten or so.  

Who are those young pups?   This is one of my favorite pictures ever taken of me. 
There are only a few out of hundreds that I actually like, this is one of them.  Rene' is a family name.  My (birth) mom, myself and Harlie all have it as our middle names.

This is actually really funny on a personal note.  My parents (dad and step mom) made the album.  This does not surprise me, nor anyone else as they were pretty involved... not just in our lives but everyone else's as well.  My dad is on the far right and my step mom.. well she's the only woman in the picture.  Man, they look young here (they were probably close to my age now (39?)!)  In case you are curious, my brother is in the picture as well.  This was a cross country meet, he was and still is a runner.

I played volleyball in high school and loved it.  I was not very good but I really enjoyed it and worked hard at it. I know I look ridiculous in this picture but it's volleyball so I had to include it.

I was class treasure... my brother vice president.  Gotta love the shirt.. in case you can't tell it says "ATTITUDE".

I also acted in a few plays in high school, played the clarinet then bass clarinet a few years, did shot put in track, and I  was flag twirler one year.

Graduation day!  Funny story.  I actually did not get my diploma on graduation day.  I was a bit of an alcohol drinker in high school and we took some along on our class trip.  I got called on it (after the fact), I plead guilty and served community service time.  I had to complete my community service before getting my diploma.  Hmm.. what an odd memory.  I'm still a bit angry at my school for making such a stink of it after the class trip was all done.  I felt like if it was a problem it should have been dealt with on the trip.  I think I felt wronged in the situation... even though I was wrong.  Hmm.. odd to think about this memory.  Not sure how I feel about it now.    

Side note:  I moved out the week after I graduated.  I moved up to Cedar Falls to live with my step sister, and then in the fall I started at UNI.  That was one of the hardest summers of my life.  I could NOT find a job and I used a lot of graduation money to pay rent.  My sister couldn't get a job either so we almost killed each other on a few occasions as we had spent way too much time together.   We did have some of those "we're insane" laughing gas moments.

Another random picture of me. I think I was dressed up for Halloween.  There is actually a guy (my boyfriend at the time) next to me but I didn't feel the need to share his picture. 

A few facts from the past:
  1. I went to Tri-County High School in Thornburg, IA
  2. According to my year book, I had a graduation class of 24 total people
  3. One class mate has died (from a car accident about a year out of high school)
  4. I worked at a restaurant doing dishes.  I did some babysitting but didn't enjoy it.
  5. I was not a Homecoming Candidate (this was very sad for me)
  6. I took Spanish 3 1/2 years.  I always wanted to take drafting but didn't. (I thought I wanted to be an architect)
  7. I drank a lot of alcohol in high school but I never drove under the influence and I never did anything I regretted/stupid.
  8. I did get in a really bad car accident my senior year and I will admit I was intoxicated but the driver was sober (the driver was being crazy on gravel roads). He flipped the car and we landed upside down in a gravel pit type thing. Lucky to be alive.  
  9. I had about 4 boyfriends in high school but no real love or anything too special.  Although they bring up memories or feelings.
  10. I grew up in the country but my dad didn't farm.  He built culverts and now own his own business.
  11. My birth mom lived in Iowa City at the time and I often visited her every other weekend (she lives in Florida now). 
  12. I have 5 siblings.  1 full brother, 1 step sister, 2 step brothers - these were all in one family.  I also have 1 "half" sister.  We have the same mom but different dads, and she and I didn't really grow up in the same household.

Other thoughts:

  • As I glanced through and looked at some people in our school I'm amazed at the judgements I made on them.  Certain names come to mind such as "prep" "dirty" "jerk" or "dork".  It saddens me to know I made several judgements in high school, and I'm sure I still make them today. 
  •  I looked at the teachers and I can't remember about 1/2 of them.  Even ones, I'm sure I had, I don't recognize their face or name. 
  • Things that happened during my senior year:  OJ Simpson trial, Oklahoma city bombing (I don't remember this), Christopher Reeve had his accident, the 1st Toy Story comes out (really, that movie is that old? ), Friends runs it's second season, M&M's add blue as a color, and Got Milk ads were started. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Heather's to do list

Here is a treasure. 2001.  One of my first real bucket lists.
** I tried to make it big so it was easier to read

When I wrote this I didn't know it was a bucket list and I didn't know what life would bring, but it amazes me that I have this (along with some lovely journal entries/artwork of when I was first married), that my pathetic handwriting is still the same, and the I would still agree with 99% of the things on the list.  As you can see I am not the best speller but at least I can get the point across. 

So that leaves me with a few questions for you. 

What is on your bucket list? 

Guess how many of these things I have accomplished?

What is the most shocking? 

What am I most proud of?

* thanks to Sarah for the advice on how to scan and then post... (save as a jpg)
** coming soon, my high school picture - 10 years ago! oops. I mean 15 : )

Monday, September 12, 2011

the big race

I thought I'd update you all on the big race.  Less then two weeks away and I'm really not prepared but that's okay.  My plan and hope is to just take my time and enjoy the race.  It's hard to make yourself slow down and enjoy yourself when you want to go hard (but you can't go hard on an endurance race).  I did a brick last weekend and biked 25 miles, dumped the bike and took off to run (or tried to run) 6 miles.  I made it a solid 4 miles and then had to walk a bit, then I picked it back up but at a very slow pace.  Oh well, I learned that I need to slow down if I want to finish a strong run.  After this I can slow down the workouts and just get back to a normal life.  I think winter I might try something different, like aerobics, or the elliptical, or I'm not sure what.  I will have to keep my gym pass so I'll have to do something there so it's worth the money (I get a discount through work, and Phil really wants to keep it so he can swim).  I could go to church and try out their classes.  Not sure yet.. but not to worry about this for a few more weeks.  I think after this, I will consider summer to be done and we will move onto the next chapter of life : )

Saturday, September 3, 2011

kitchen gadgets and wifey oops

I pulled a wifey oops when I bought Phil this rice cooker/steamer two years ago for Christmas.  He had said he wanted one but then after getting it I realized I do all the cooking so not really a fair gift for him.  But two years later we still use it and love it.  This purchase about $40 but really worth it (in my opinion).  Even though it's another gadget in the kitchen, it's really great.  This one steams brown rice (or white rice), it also steams veggies and as you can see I recently steamed myself some fresh garden grown green beans.  And steamed fresh green beans are the BEST!!  Recently I played around and actually steamed some dry beans it worked like magic!  You can also put meat in there as well.  So the other day I put in rice, chicken broth and then frozen chicken breast in and cooked it.  Then I ended up steaming the veggies on top.  It was easy and healthy!  I will admit it takes about an hour to cook the brown rice but for most part nothing takes more than two hours.  Anyways, I just wanted to share my yummy green beans with you, as they were delightful to eat!

So in attempt to get some comments.. do you have any kitchen gadgets you love?  My number two would be our mandolin slicer that we got.  it's safety hazard as the blade is very sharp but love it for slicing veggies.  Or if you wish you could also share your wifey oops.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How often do you change you clothes during the day?

I just noticed the other day that I change my clothes a lot during the day.  Some reason are obvious - work out attire, going to church, going to work, going to bed... but then sometimes I have my "nice"clothes that I wear in public and often when I come home I put my "comfy" clothes on.  On  occasion I accidentally go out in my comfy clothes and I think, I wonder what people think of me.  Anyways, I figured on average day I change my clothes about four to five times a day.  Is this normal for us stay at home moms? Or am I really addicted to my comfy clothes?