Gratitude

Wow what a great Thanksgiving!  We have had an absolutely wonderful day.  Gorgeous weather.  So much love and laughter. So much good food.

I started this beautiful morning like I do every morning.  Lily and I went for a walk.

2015-11-26 19.27.12

Then I got my turkey trot on and went for a quick run around the neighborhood.

2015-11-26 19.26.34

That toboggan came off quickly because even though it was a little brisk at first, I warmed right up.  It really was a spectacular day.

Next I created this fruit turkey that I saw on Pinterest.

20151126_084046

The beak was a little piece of cheese but can you guess where I got the eyes and feet?

Lydia and Mario work at Target and since they had to work tonight, I served a Thanksgiving breakfast.  We dined on waffles, sausage, eggs, and the fruit turkey.  Andie and Daphne came too!

We had a blast watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and visiting.

DSC_0014

DSC_0011DSC_0010

DSC_0012

DSC_0006

DSC_0020

DSC_0015

After breakfast, I did a lot of cooking and cleaning and then at 5:00pm, Andie, Jonathan, Daphne, and Mason came for dinner.  Jonathan’s mom, Peggy came too and had a great time but she does not like pictures.

Daphne does though.  She loves her giraffe too!

DSC_0036DSC_0039DSC_0040DSC_0046DSC_0051DSC_0052DSC_0060

I am so thankful for our family!

I forgot to get a picture of our table but here’s what we had:

  • turkey breast made by Ron in the NuWave Oven
  • barbeque meatballs in crockpot
  • homemade bread with honey spread
  • corn pudding
  • broccoli casserole
  • cranberry sauce
  • beets
  • stuffing
  • Pioneer Woman mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Peggy’s cherry cheesecake
  • brownies and ice cream

When we went around and told what we were thankful for, Mason said he was thankful that I made the meatballs!  LOL

I’ll close with my favorite Thanksgiving Day quote.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today and
creates a vision for tomorrow. -Melody Beattie

I’m heading off to finish the dishes and then I’m taking Lydia some corn pudding and maybe doing a little Black Friday shopping.

Much love and happiness!

xx00

Go Play Outside Now

Today was a beautiful day in Clayton, North Carolina!  I’ve been dying to try out this cool outside play park so when Andie said Mason wanted to spend the afternoon with me, this was my chance.

20150503_161132

I can’t say enough good things about this place.  They’ve been open for a while now and I love everything about them!  Beginning with the name; I just love it.  I can totally hear my mom saying those words to me and myself saying it to my girls.  I so hope that Mason always loves the outdoors and that he doesn’t get stuck in the media world of ipads and video games

My favorite was the slide!  With those burlap sacks, it was super fast!  Mason wasn’t afraid and I got to teach him a new word. (burlap)  We must have slid 50 times or more throughout our visit.

20150503_144508  20150503_144927

Mason loved the slide too but his favorite by far was laser tag.  You get to play for about 15 minutes at a time.  While we were waiting our turn at this most popular section of the park, one little boy got bored about 7 minutes in.  The leader offered that gun to us and the 8 minutes left was a perfect about of time for Mason.

20150503_152433 20150503_152444

Other things we loved were the tire jumps and tire swing.

20150503_153526 20150503_153530

20150503_153914   20150503_153912

This place is so much fun!  In the summer it looks like they have a water slide that wasn’t running today.  The cost is $10.00 per person and you can stay as long as you want.  You can bring a cooler and have a picnic and even have smores at the campfire.

If you’re in the area, Go Play Outside Now!

Staycation!

Today marked day one of my Spring Vacation and I’m spending every day right here at home.  Monday – Friday I’m taking care of this cutie and I’m so excited.

love it

But today, was a special day with this handsome dude!

Cary-20150418-00110 (1)

That’s Mason at our first stop of the day, Baker’s Dozen Donuts.  Grandpa won a free month of Tai Chi and Kung Fu from the Chinese Shao-Lin Center of Raleigh, and we went with him for moral support.  Baker’s Dozen and the Kung Fu studio are just around the corner from each other.  The head instructor at Shao-Lin is vegan and Ron won the free month at a raffle we attended at the showing of Cowspiracy the other week.  (I owe you a whole post about what I’m eating lately and a review of Cowspiracy.  I promise, I’ll get to it soon.)

But on to the rest of our awesome day.  I don’t have any more pictures because my phone died but we had a blast!  Next up was a haircut for Mason at JJ’s Kids Cuts.  We’ve been going to Ms. Maria for a long time now and we just love her.  Mason loves the cool kid chairs and that he gets to pick a tape to watch while Ms. Maria snips.  Today Mason chose Land Before Time.

Here’s a shot from 2 years ago.  I think this picture might have been from Mason’s first trip to JJ’s.

Mason haircut

After JJ’s, we were all getting hungry so we slipped over to Chipolte Mexican Grill right there in the same shopping area.   Ron and I both got the veggie burrito with brown rice, black beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo.  Those burritos were huge!  Mason got a cheese quesadilla and we all had fun pronouncing them the way Napoleon Dynamite’s grandma does. Smile

Next we were heading to White Deer Park to play on the playground but Grandpa remembered the the new Cabela’s  was open now and we just had to stop.  It was a zoo!  Literally!  So crowded but we had a lot of fun looking at the fish and all the taxidermied animals.  Mason loved them all except the bobcat and the lynx scared him a little.  (The animal lover in me was very sad to see all those beautiful animals that had been killed.)  We totally spoiled Mason big time and got him a new kite, some camo walkie talkies and binoculars, and a pop gun.  He was so excited!

Since we had been talking about White Deer Park and even though our day was plenty full enough, we couldn’t tell Mason no when he still wanted to go to the park.

We played about a half hour and then looked at yet another stuffed deer at the nature center.  Mason had a ball!

This grandma is plenty tired!  Tomorrow my plans after church are to clean the house really good in preparation of keeping Daphne next week and to get a good long run in.

Happy Happy Happy!

All Aboard!

When I learned about  New Hope Valley Railway,  I knew right away that this was one outing that I had to plan up.  I marked on my calendar and checked back when it got close to the Santa train event.  A few clicks later, I had secured our tickets!

Today was the day!

New Hope Valley Railway is located in the small town of Bonsal, NC and is about a 40 minute drive from our home in Clayton.

We recently bought my mother’s van and we were so excited to take Mason on this outing.  The van is loaded and has a dvd viewing console.   Mason was all set for the trip and settled into the movie he requested, Planes Fire and Rescue.

DSC_0066       DSC_0067

We arrived about a half an hour before our departure time and enjoyed watching the model trains.  Mason loved them!

DSC_0007        DSC_0005 DSC_0004

It was sprinkling a little when we first got there but Hope Valley is prepared for bad weather and had plenty of covered areas to stand and view the models.

Luckily, the rain let up and we headed over to the station.

DSC_0010

Once at the station we toured some of the rail cars.  All the volunteers were awesome and Andie said that their friendliness was what made it so special for her today.

DSC_0013                             DSC_0014

DSC_0018

Pretty soon the steam engine from the earlier session was coming around the bend.  It was so exciting to hear and see.

DSC_0019            DSC_0021

DSC_0020

While we were mesmerized with the steam engine, the diesel engine that Mason had chosen to ride slipped to the the back of the train and low and behold it was now the front of the train.  We were ready to board.

DSC_0026

DSC_0035

The ride was so relaxing.  You just go through the woods for about an hour.  Along the way you get to listen to Christmas music and see wooden cutouts of candy canes, candles, Santa, bells and such.

When we got about a 1/2 hour in we stopped and I thought the engine was going to push us back to the station.  Boy was I wrong.  What it did was unhook and then go up a ways and then he came back down on the track beside us.

DSC_0040DSC_0043

He went past us and then got in the back and then he was ready to pull us again.

About this time it was our car’s turn to see SANTA!
DSC_0047

DSC_0049

Right at the hour we were back in the station and everyone disembarked.

Mason was so impressed to be walking right beside Santa.

DSC_0057

The fun wasn’t over and on our way out we got to see Frosty!

DSC_0062

What a fun outing!

DSC_0063

(Yep, that’s me and my super short new haircut!)

We loved New Hope Valley Railway!

DSC_0012

Merry Christmas to you all and it is my prayer all your travels be magical!

The Journey

I haven’t mentioned this before, but my mother and stepfather have been in poor health.  My mother has dementia, COPD, and kidney disease.  She requires 24/7 care as her dementia makes her quite confused on occasion.  On one of my last visits with her at her home in Wise, VA, she made a full breakfast of fried eggs, biscuits and gravy, bacon and jam and woke us all up.  It was delicious.  The only problem was it was 3:00 in the morning.  Mother was getting her medicines mixed up and she even had a fall and broke her wrist.  Due to these and many other examples, my siblings and I found an assisted living facility to help care for her.  She has been a resident at Mount Pleasant House in Mount Pleasant, NC since last winter.  My mother seems to love it there and we are very glad that we can have her so much closer to us so we can help with her care. 

me-and-Mother.jpg

Our stepfather is 85 years old he has been in the hospital in Wise.  Mother’s health has been stable lately and since she was having a good week we took her to Virginia to visit her husband.  She was so happy to see him and all his children.  I believe that our stepfather was also very happy to have her come for the visit and was a good dose of positive medicine.

I know that many of us in my age group have either already lost our parents or may be in the same situations helping to care for them.  Dementia has been so hard for me to deal with.  Whether it is your body that gives out first, your mind, or your mind and body together, it is a very hard load to carry.  It is hard not only on the individual but on the extended family as well.   We are taking it one day at a time and I find comfort in knowing that my parents are saved and they will be dancing with the Lord whenever he chooses to call them home.  I also find comfort knowing that God will also help us as we continue to love them and care for them while they are here on the earth with us.

The trip to VA is only 5 hours from Mount Pleasant but my mother’s doctor gave strict instructions that we must stop often.  We adhered to those guidelines and stopped many times and also found 2 wonderful places for lunch. 

First came our Saturday adventure.  We stopped in Wytheville at Key Ingredients at the Fort Chiswell Mansion.  This gem is right off I81/I77.  Saturday was my day to find the restaurant and Urban Spoon pointed me in Key’s way. 

 

the mansion

 the mansion

This mansion was built originally in 1840 and was the home of a family that owned a lead mine in the area.  My sister pointed out that it made sense that there was a lead mine there because just a little further down the road was the Shot Tower on the New River.  This is where they dropped molten lead into the cold river to make the shots that were used in the Civil War.

Mother and Rosa

IMG_1546

Our server was very attentive to our needs and the mansion was really interesting.  The food was delicious. 

Here’s my veggie wrap and pasta salad. 

Veggie Wrap

Very, very yummy.  It was piping hot and there wasn’t a sauce on it that I could tell.  The veggies burst with flavor! 

Mother got the pulled pork sandwich and coleslaw.  She loved it and Rosa said it was good too but I didn’t take a taste.

Pulled Pork

Rosa got a salad and a crab cake.  She said it was very delicious and I agree.  I love crab cakes and this one was one of the very best I have ever tasted.

Salad and Crab Cake

Mother and I have a huge sweet tooth so we couldn’t pass up dessert.  Key offers creamery ice cream. Here’s my Lemon Crunch.

Lemon Crunch

Rosa got Peach, and Mother got Black Raspberry.  We all tasted each other’s but the one that we chose was our individual favorites. 

If your travels take you near Wytheville and you want a very relaxing, beautiful, and tasty lunch, you’ve just got to give Key Ingredients a try. 

the dining room

 I’m giving Key 4.5 fat cucumbers out of 5! 

Complimentary Cukes

On Saturday for dinner we stopped at a Pound, VA iconic drive-in.  Robo’s is famous for their foot long chili dogs.  All 3 of us got one.  Yes, even me.  You can’t go to Robo’s without getting a hotdog.  

Robo's

Robo's

Check out Rosa’s new hybrid Camry.  We really were traveling in style!

Rosa's new Camry 

This weekend was the Bristol Speedway race weekend so we had to travel about 9 more miles away to the little town of Clintwood to find a hotel.  A brand new Sleep Inn had a vacancy and was a wonderful place to rest our heads.  

Look at what was right across from our hotel. 

Dickenson County HS

That’s the Dickenson County Memorial and Industrial High School.  It is always so cool to see my maiden name when we come to this neck of the woods. 

For lunch on Sunday it was Rosa’s turn to pick the restaurant.  She came up with Harvest Table also located right off I81 in Meadowview, VA.  This awesome place was the 1st place winner in the Southwest VA farm to table category. 

Harvest Table

 Harvest Table is surely #1.  Every single thing about this place was perfect.

me and Mother

We had called ahead to make sure it was handicap accessible but what was so neat was that they met us at the side door for easy wheelchair entry.

The oven

the kitchen

The place was bustling and our server informed us that on Sunday at brunch, they offer all of their best dishes.  She assured us that we’d love whatever we chose.

Harvest Table Sunday Brunch menu

Mother got chicken salad and she loved it!

Chicken Salad Sandwich

I got this doosey of an omelette.  Wowzer!  So delicious!  It had shiitake mushrooms (the healthiest of all), caramelized onions, and  goat cheese. 

Omlette

 Rosa’s entrée was the best!  A Trout Cake Benedict.  Oh.my.word!  This was so good. 

Trout Cake Benedict

Next came dessert.  Mother got the mocha fudge cake and I got the oatmeal cake.

cakes

Rosa was just going to share with us and that would have been fine.  However, when Mother pushed her chocolate cake to the side and started in on my oatmeal cake and then Rosa started in on mine as well, we waved to the server and proceeded to order a 2nd piece of the oatmeal.  We loved the first piece so much but when the 2nd piece come out it was obviously from a new cake that had just come out of the oven.  Man was it good!

Chocolate Mocha and Oatmeal Cake

Now don’t get me wrong.  That chocolate cake was delicious but one bite of the oatmeal and you were in heaven.  

Mother and Rosa at Harvest Table

I have to give Harvest Table 5 farm to table fascinations out of 5.  It is truly top notch!

I used to be a huge Nicholas Sparks fan and I read his book, Three Weeks with My Brother quite some time ago.  New York Daily News describes the book as a healing journey that will remind us to live life to the fullest. I remember that as the 2 brothers were planning a 3 week trip together, Nicholas was finding himself too busy and wasn’t at all interested in the details of the trip.  His brother said to him, “You’re missing it you know,” and that one statement has stayed with me ever since.  I’m a planner.  I love to search out memorable things to do and dream of upcoming trips.  I find a lot of joy just in the anticipation.  I also love making memories!  We didn’t head to Virginia on the happiest of occasions and the trip had its share of stressful moments.  However, what I will remember is the fun that we shared and the love along the journey.

May your journeys be filled with peace, love, and happiness always.

Pilot Mountain

Rock-n-Roll Raleigh Race Recap

 

This is a very hard race recap for me to write. I’ve waited almost 2 months to write it and although I am feeling better, it still is very hard. On Palm Sunday, Ron and I ran in the inaugural Rock-n-Roll Raleigh Half Marathon.

We were ready to Rock!

10246737_10201785102894367_1236934880992270927_n

Ready to Rock

However, for 2 men in their early 30’s, this race would be their very last. They both collapsed and died. One man collapsed with the finish line in site and the other man collapsed around mile 10. Both men were reportedly in great shape and had run half marathons before.

I have heard about this phenomenon of people collapsing and dying in races but I took solace in the fact that statistically, running marathons was safer than any other active sport. Usually the people that lose their lives are men in their 30s and they most often have an undiagnosed heart conditions. This time the 2 people that lost their lives fit the profile to a T. However, on the same weekend that Ron and I were running the Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon, a 16 year old girl collapsed and died just after crossing the finish line in the Virginia Beach Half Marathon. This 16 year old was a student athlete and played softball and was on her high school swim team. It was seeming to me that you just couldn’t tell anymore. This was happening to more and more people of all walks of life and was happening much closer to home.

Ron and I did not see the men on the course and had no idea anything had happened. In fact we were at home eating Chinese Veggie Combo Plates when I noticed the news alert on my phone. I was in shock!

My heart broke for the 2 men and their friends and families.

My heart was also very heavy because this race was actually a very hard one for Ron. Ron and I don’t usually run together. Ron likes to listen to music and he is about 1 minute per mile slower than me. For this race, I had decided that I was going to stick with Ron the whole way. I knew he wouldn’t talk to me but since this was a very big race and the course was sure to be crowded, I wanted to stay together. We were doing great until around mile 5 when Ron asked me about the hills. I teased him and told him that the hill that we were on was the last one. I thought he could tell in my voice that I was teasing but he didn’t. Raleigh is one of the hilliest places you could ever imagine. Durham is hilly too but Raleigh comes in right behind them. When the hills just kept coming one right after another, Ron got a little freaked out. I told him that I was just joking and that I was very sorry but it was too late. Running is a very mental sport and Ron was getting so discouraged.

The hills were coming a lot easier to me because I have been doing hill repeats as part of my weekly training. I encouraged Ron to slow down and take short steps. Around mile 8, Ron took off his hat and his headphones and I knew something was up. He told me he was getting dizzy. We walked to the next aid station and he stopped and let the medics check him out. His pulse was perfect so the medic just offered him some Gatorade. At that point Ron cheered up a little but I suggested we run intervals for the rest of the way in. I set my Garmin to run 2 minutes and walk 1 minute. That went along pretty well for most of the way until around mile 12. Ron was really losing steam and walking more and more.

We were run/walking near a group of 3 other people. There was a guy and 2 girls probably in their early 20’s. One of the girls was having a very tough time of it and was just like Ron. Her 2 friends were sticking with her and encouraging her to run to the next block and stuff like that. I was doing the same for Ron but really trying to just take all the cues from him. If he needed to walk, we walked. In fact, I turned my Garmin completely off so we wouldn’t hear the interval beeps anymore.

We made it to the finish line, got our medals, grabbed some food and water, and proceeded directly to our car. This was one race that Ron was very glad was over.

After I heard the news of the 2 men that had lost their lives, I started feeling really guilty. Where do you draw the line between encouraging someone and just not saying anything?

What if our Ready to Rock selfie from above was the last photo I ever had of Ron? You can see, I was a bundle of nerves.

I’ve had several weeks to think about everything and I’m more at ease now. Only God knows the day and time that you’ll be called home to heaven and we just can’t get all caught up in that. I do believe in being careful and not reckless but I have to let it go. I love running marathons and I train for them. Statistically, running distances does make the heart grow stronger.

distance

source

Here’s a few shots of the Rock-n-Roll Raleigh expo. It was a very well-run race and loads of fun. The expo rocked and was truly the very best one I’ve ever attended.

DSC_0136

DSC_0135

The course was pretty but like I mentioned, very hilly. Raleigh is my town and I’m getting more accustomed to her and I don’t get freaked out as much over the hills. Funny how training hills will do that for you. Imagine that. Hard things become easy if you practice. LOL Now if push-ups and dare I say pull-ups could ever become easy!

Everything about the Rock-n-Roll series was awesome. I’d highly recommend this race. I really liked the corral start. It was the largest race I’ve ever run in and with the corral start I never felt crowed at all.

The only negative that I can think of is the parking. That was horrible. I know they will work on this for next year so it shouldn’t be an issue in upcoming races. Just know that even with the 7:00am start, don’t panic. The last corral probably won’t even take off until around 7:45 so you’re not going to miss it.

I was thinking about doing a lot of half marathons over the summer but I’m leaning more to just volunteering at them instead of running. I have found a 50k that I can run before my marathon and I’m almost ready to bite the bullet and sign up for it. It is actually a 12 hour race and you just run as much as you can in the 12 hours. Surely I can do 50K in under 12 hours. This might be the very best first ultra for me. I’ve heard about Hinson Lake and it looks cool too but the registration is already closed for this year.

I also just got an email about the Run the Valley race that is coming up in September. I really get sucked in. Just when I say I’m not going to run as many races and email will come and now I want to see if I can tackle Morrow Mountain again. It was a very cool race. Maybe I’ll have to do it.

Happy running friends!

DSC_0133

 

The Chalet (a post dedicated to my mother, Loretta Collins Maggard)

For our 26th wedding anniversary, we booked 3 nights and the historic Chalet Suzanne in Lake Wales, Florida.

DSC_0492

My mother worked here in the 1970s and I have been mesmerized by it ever since.

Here’s a recent shot of us together.

me and Mother

I can remember all the tales that she would tell about the broiled grapefruit appetizer, the famous actors and actresses that came there, the soup that went to the moon, and all the special hospitality that the Hinshaw’s bestowed upon their guests.

I cannot give this place a more glowing review.  I felt like a princess in a fairy tale.

Our room was like stepping back in time.  I loved it!

No credit card key at this place!

DSC_0357

Blue Tree!

DSC_0323

and Blue Tree South (our room)

DSC_0326DSC_0327DSC_0328DSC_0329DSC_0330DSC_0334DSC_0335

DSC_0337          DSC_0338         DSC_0340

Two neat things that were provided nightly were the brandy and the homemade truffles.

DSC_0343                       DSC_0360

I had never had brandy before and I had to look it up on Wikipedia.  It’s called Fire Wine because it is produced by distilling wine.  You’re supposed to warm it in your hand and sip it.  Like I said, I felt like I had stepped back in time.  Open-mouthed smile

DSC_0362           DSC_0349

Ron had tipped the person that brought the truffles and on the second night she brought us 4 truffles instead of the normal 2!

DSC_0447

DSC_0367           DSC_0364

And check out these neat night shots!

DSC_0463 DSC_0466DSC_0467DSC_0468

Breakfast was included each morning and it was so delicious.

My teacup was precious.

DSC_0482

But I about rolled in the floor laughing when Ron was sipping his!

DSC_0477

While our waitress was getting our breakfast, I snapped this shot of a neighboring table.  Don’t you just love how everything is so mismatched!

DSC_0478

If you ever go, do not order your eggs any other way than the normal scrambled.  When the waitress took our order she asked if scrambled was ok and I could tell that she was leading us in that direction.  Scrambled it was!  I swear they had to have had heavy cream in them along with chives and goodness knows what else!  They were divine!  And the pancakes!  They were very thin and crepe like.  The lingonberries on top were scrumptious.

DSC_0479

Here are some more shots of the restaurant and tavern.

DSC_0472DSC_0473DSC_0474DSC_0475

DSC_0484DSC_0486DSC_0487DSC_0489

DSC_0493DSC_0494

The last night that we were there was our actual anniversary so we picked that night to have dinner!

DSC_0013 (2)

My beverage selection was the famous Vita Claire.

DSC_0012 (2)

Grapefruit Vodka, Cinnamon Schnapps, Bourbon & Grapefruit Juice

Ron got a Dogfish IPA.

Next came the grapefruit

DSC_0015 (2)

and the soup

DSC_0018 (2)

This soup was out of this world delicious.  Really.  Out of this world!  (and I’m not just making a play on the fact that it was taken to the moon on several of the Apollo missions)  Probably my very favorite thing of the entire night.  I’m so excited that since it was our anniversary, they gave us a can of Moon Soup as a gift.  I cannot wait to have it!

DSC_0019 (2)DSC_0020 (2)

and the salad

DSC_0023 (2)

(That’s tomato aspic and orange aspic on either side.  I loved the orange aspic!)

then a little sherbet to cleanse the palate

DSC_0026 (2)

and Mother told me I had to get the Chicken Suzanne

DSC_0027 (2)

Oh my word.  This was so flavorful!

Ron got the Black Angus Steak

DSC_0031 (2)

He gave me a taste and it was like butter.  Totally melted in your mouth.

Next was dessert.

I got the Rum Raisin Pie and Ron got something chocolate.

dessert

They were both perfect!

Look at my cup that I had on our last morning at breakfast!

DSC_0039 (2)

I love you Mother and am so very proud you are my mom!  You taught me to love Jesus.  You taught me how to fold napkins and washcloths in fancy ways.  You taught me that “a host above all must be nice to his guests.”   You taught me that even though you might just be a waitress to work as if you are working for the Lord and to never look down upon anyone.  You’ve always loved me and encouraged me to do my best.  I can only pray that I can show my daughters and grandson the love that always seeps from every inch of you.  You are my hero!

mother and us kids in the 1970s

(My brother Billy, Mother, my sisters Tammy and Rosa and me on the trike around the time Mother worked at Chalet Suzanne.)

Our Baby is a Mountaineer

Today was the day! We traveled 205 miles Northwest from Clayton to Boone. Elevation a lucky 3333! And now our baby girl is a Mountaineer.

20130816-210646.jpg

 

Lydia packed pretty lightly and barely filled up the back of the XL7.

20130816-211232.jpg
ASU had the stop drop and roll program and move in was a breeze. Literally, just pull up to your dorm, stop, drop off you stuff , and then roll away.

We had everything set up and unpacked in no time. Check out Lydia’s view from her dorm window.

20130816-211754.jpg
We had a nice dinner at our favorite Boone restaurant, Coyote Kitchen.
I had the Taos and this beauty was out of this world! It won the best thing to eat in all of North Carolina in 2009.

20130816-212223.jpg
After a quick trip to Wally World to pick up a few items, it was back to the dorm to say our goodbyes.

20130816-212511.jpg

20130816-212548.jpg
Good luck baby girl and take care of Yosef!

20130816-212702.jpg

 

 

 

Teacher Trot 5k

Have I mentioned lately how proud I am of our oldest daughter Andie Rose?!

Andie is the lucky mom of our beautiful grandson, Mason.  She just finished up her Bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education.  Her concentration was in Science and Math and she minored in Psychology.  Andie graduated Magna Cum Laude and even before graduation, she had principals from 2 different schools offering her a job.

She is going to be an awesome teacher.

Andie’s internship was at Trask Middle School in Wilmington, NC.  One of her friends was organizing a group of Trask friends and families to get together and run in the First Annual New Hanover County Teacher Trot.  One call to me, and I was in.  Great way to support the public school system and have fun with my daughter and grandson.

Teacher Trot

Andie and I practiced all week.  Before that week, I had only pushed Mason one time while running.  Boy, is it a workout!  For the race, our strategy was to switch off and take turns pushing.

Andie pushed the 1st mile and then I took over.  At mile 1.5, we had the turn around and since Andie had locked the front wheel of the stroller, she said she’d take the turn for me.  After the turn, she was feeling so good, she said she’d keep pushing.

Andie ended up going a lot faster than me even though she had Mason.  I told her to go ahead and enjoy her race.

She was quite some distance ahead of me but I kept them in my sight.  Then before long, I had caught back up with them.  I’m not fast, but I sure am consistent.  Andie was tuckering out so I slipped up beside her and cheered her on to the finish line.

She went over to check her stats and was so happy that she placed 4th in her age group.  She actually was a little bummed that she missed getting an apple trophy by only 8 hundredths of a second.  I think that is pretty darn awesome considering the other 3 were probably not pushing a jogging stroller.

When she came back and told me her stats, and I knew we had finished right at the same time, I just knew I had placed in my age group.  But I was wrong.  I ended up 9th among my peers.  The first, second, and third place ladies in my age group finished in 23, 24, and 25 minutes.  23 minutes!  Can you believe that!?  Wowzer!

Andie and I finished in 32:11 and we had an absolute blast!  Mason loved it too!

Next up Andie and I  are going to try out that Color Run 5k that I’ve been hearing so much about.

Happy Running!

 

Trains!

Our grandson, Mason, is crazy about trains!

104_6205

So, since his birthday is in a couple of days.  And since I found this cool train set and table on Craigslist.  I just couldn’t help myself!  Happy Early birthday Mason.  Grandpa and Grandma love you so much!

104_6207

Mason and Andie came home last night and he played with it for several hours straight.  He had to sleep with some of the trains and then this morning he went right back to it.

104_6209

Mason loves trains so much I’ve had a Pullen Park trip planned for quite some time.  Today was the day!

104_6240

Pullen Park is the very first public park in all of North Carolina!  It’s nestled right next to the NCSU campus not far from downtown Raleigh.

Pullen was closed in 2009 for extensive renovations but re-opened in November 2011.

First order of business was to ride the “real train” as Mason put it.

104_6212

Jonathan met us there and we all had a blast!  (Notice the wooden train in Mason’s hands.  He is never far from one.  Ron says it’s his security blanket of sorts.)

Next up were the boats!

104_6214

104_6215

He loved the boats dare I say it, maybe even more than the train.

Then we moseyed on over to the carousel.

104_6223

This Dentzel carousel is a wonder.  So Beautiful!

104_6224

104_6225

104_6226

104_6228

104_6230

104_6232104_6234

A little time on the playground and then one more ride on the boat rounded out the day.

104_6243104_6245

104_6246

104_6247

What a glorious day!