I'm baaaack! Lucy and Alissa noticed that I jumped back into the blogging world a couple of days before the end of the month (my book reviews were starting to scare me, so I wanted to get them back under control before I started up in full-force again). Anyway, since I've been gone for a month, I'll give you a quick(ish) recap of the month I missed. Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures. I had many picture-worthy moments, but not enough hands left over from chasing four kids to take any pictures.
I started out July by competing in my first triathlon on the first of the month. Maybe I was over-confident, but it kicked my butt. I came in second in my age group in the swim, first in my age group in the run, and dead last in the bike. Everyone in the whole darn race (kids included) passed me during the bike. The guy at the bike shop promises me that it's just a bad bike (the chain fell off twice during the race and I had to stand in three inches of water-- it was pouring too-- to put it back on). So I have another triathlon on my to-do list, but sometime after I can afford to buy a bike that's not the Target special.
On July 2nd, my mom arrived and we got ready for our big, bad zoo tour. We left early on the morning of July 3rd, and arrived in Nashville 15 long hours later. The kids were good in the car, but fifteen hours is still a very, very long time to be in the car. Especially when you lock your keys in the van during a lunch stop at Wendy's and have to wait for AAA to come unlock you (and jump-start the battery-- since the lights were on).
July 4th-- my mom and I decided at the last minute to compete in the Cadillac Firecracker 5K, hosted by the YMCA in Brentwood. I ran it in 21:24, which was second in my age group, and the 12th best women's time overall (there were more than 1000 entrants). After that, we went to a parade in my godmother's subdivision and went to see Ratatouille.
July 5th-- we left Annie behind with Annie (my godmother) and set off for Memphis at the crack of dawn. Well, not exactly the crack of dawn because my mom dragged me to a spinning class first, but you get the idea. The boys and I walked around the whole zoo (and were very pleased to see LiLi and YaYa, the giant pandas, strolling around instead of snoozing) while my mom and Maren went to the Williams-Sonoma outlet. After lunch, we drove to St. Louis and had dinner at Crown Candy Kitchen, one of my favorite places to eat from back when we lived there, and a great place to eat, as long as it's light out (it's in the 'hood).
On Friday, the 6th, my mom started the day at 5am at the YMCA, where she fell on her hip and came back to the hotel, thinking she had broken it (she had her hip replaced a couple of years ago). But she still threw me out the door to do my run (10K in Forest Park, and a nice running guy tried to pick me up-- if he only knew what kind of baggage I carry, he probably would have started running a little bit faster!). After I got back, we went to a medical supply store, bought my mom a set of crutches (she later found out the hip is just bruised), and spent the next 5 1/2 hours seeing every single animal at the St. Louis Zoo. We followed it up with a stop at Ted Drewes, where Bryce had the audacity to complain that it was so boring to eat ice cream there.
After a quick zoom through the Botanical Garden the next morning, we headed back to Nashville, where we spent the weekend, and returned to Houston on Monday the 9th.
On Friday the 13th, Eddie, the kids and I drove to Dallas, had dinner with his brother, and got a ride to the airport to fly to Utah (left the lights on in the van again, necessitating yet another jump start). Our niece, Natalie, was baptized on Saturday, we went to church on Sunday, and on Monday set off for Bryce Canyon. For two days we hiked (Eddie and I took the big kids on the Navajo Loop trail) and rode horses (well, Eddie and Bryce rode horses, I'm allergic). On Wednesday our entire family, baby and toddler included, hiked to the Y on the mountain in Provo. On Thursday, I snuck out and spent the weekend with lots and lots of online friends while Eddie managed the three big kids by himself. We flew home Sunday morning and drove back from Dallas that afternoon.
I've been digging out since then. We've had swimming lessons and art camps and a beach trip with Eddie's brother over the last two weeks. I've been deep-cleaning my house and contemplating running the Houston marathon and planning my grandparents' 60th anniversary in September. I also got a new battery for the car.
But things are good-- and we're back, for good this time. Our vacations are done for the summer and we have only 27 days to sweat it out until school starts again. I'll be making an effort to blog much more regularly and I'm adding my training logs to the blog too, mostly so I can look back and see what I've done.
Hope you're all having a great summer!
--originally published 8/1/07