Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trunk or Treat '09

All ready to go! Mario, Cinderella and Mr. Pumpkin. All 3 kids have worn that pumpkin outfit! 

Silas & Johnathan, a.k.a. Luigi and Mario

Abby & Kalleigh, a.k.a. Miss Kitty and Cinderella

Claire and Jonas. Isn't that the cutest girly Zebra costume?!

John is dealing with acute sinusitis, so he missed out on the evening's festivities. But no worries; we brought home enough candy for us all!

Saturday night, we're playing at Breakers, so we have a faithful babysitter coming to watch the kids. I think I'm going to steal Tiffany's idea and encourage all three of us to dress up like rock stars! Yes, we'll take pictures ...

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Visit from Colorado

Last weekend, Lindsey, one of my basketball girls from Colorado Springs, came to Tyler to visit for the weekend! I couldn't believe that she flew all the way down here just to visit! This was her first time in TEXAS, much less Tyler.

I took her to the Rose Garden first. They don't have too many roses in CO, especially this time of year!


 Stopping to smell the Tyler roses!

The sign says, "Tyler Rose Park."

Then I took her to eat some mighty fine southern cookin' in an atmosphere that'd  make a horny toad feel at home. We went to Daniel Boone's. I tried to link it to their home page, but I don't think they even have a web page! A super-southern environment makes this place a classic to take guests from out of Texas. And the waitress did it just right. She walked up to the table, and in the best East Texan she could muster said out of the side of her mouth and with a sly grin, "Welcome to Texas." THAT's the picture of Lindsey I wish I had taken. Her reaction was hilarious. A shocked, jump-back-from-the-waitress, is-she-for-real-? look. I laughed so hard!

In thinking of places I should take Lindsey, it became clear to both of us that I really value our food because those were the only places I could think of that I really needed to take her! Other than Daniel Boone's, we hit Kickers, Breakers, Stanley's BBQ and even Brookshire's. That's a whole other story!

I took her to Brookshire's for two reasons. One was for her to experience grocery shopping in the south, and also to find a candle from the Tyler Candle Company that Brookshire's always has. Would you believe that 1.) They did not offer to carry our groceries out (!) and 2.) They did not sell any Tyler candles anymore. Not only that, but I talked about how I ALWAYS see someone I know at Brookshire's, but of course not that day. Sorry Brookshire's. I'm usually a big fan, but you let me down.

Friday night, Lindsey came with John and I to our praise team party. She did know this ahead of time and had the option of going with us or staying home and babysitting! Ha! She was fascinated by the "properness" of the casual party put on with much expertise by Linda Carey. Yes, she did get to rub shoulders with some of the classiest southern ladies I know!

Saturday morning we all went to the Caldwell Zoo. The big cats were active that morning, so that was fun. See? I knew our family pass would come in handy eventually! And it was a beautiful morning, too.

Saturday night, Lindsey came to Breakers with us. She plays bass in her worship band, so I told her she should've brought her bass and jammed with us! Lindsey ordered THE CRAB. That thing must've been a foot wide and about 6 inches deep! Really cool presentation. She was a trouper and stayed with us there for 7 hours! We played until 12:30. Brandon, the owner, was so nice and gave her a Breakers t-shirt to take home with her. That ended up being her only souvenir since the Tyler candle thing crashed and burned!

Then we were out the door by 7:30 Sunday morning to drop John off for praise team practice. The kids had spent the night with the Deans (yea!!), so Lindsey and I hung out at Starbucks and drank our caffeinated beverages in an attempt to wake up before church! She helped me teach cradle roll that morning, too. :)

After church, we ate at CiCi's. I wanted to take her over to Atwoods for the full East Texas experience but we ran out of time. It was already time to take her back to the airport!

What a fun weekend! Thanks, Lindsey, for making such a huge effort to come hang out! Love you, girl!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Race Day

For some reason I could not sleep the night before. You know, the night you're supposed to get a really good night's sleep. By the time it was time to actually get up, my mind had already run a half a marathon!

So, at 6 a.m. I got up and made some oatmeal. I put on my fabulously cute running clothes, which we all know is the most important thing about running. As long as you look cute, right? :) By the way, Mom, my running jacket that you bought me while you were down here worked beautifully!! My iPhone went in the appropriate pocket and I was protected from the 44 degree weather early that morning! Thanks!

John got the kids ready, thankfully. I was so nervous/excited that I could hardly function! We drove off right around 7:00 to get to UT Tyler where the start/finish line was.

It was so exciting to be there with so many other runners. Well, a little strange, to be honest. For some people, running is their life, and it's obvious. There were all kinds of people warming up by sprinting across the parking lot or meditating under trees or stretching. It was then that I really felt out of place. What in the world was I doing? I'm not like them! I warmed up by, together with John, keeping the children in sight. I loved seeing other moms there with their children cheering them on! Then I didn't feel quite so alone!

I signed in and watched other people put their timing chips on their shoes before I attempted to put mine on so I wouldn't be so obviously a rookie! There was music playing and water and Gatorade and bananas around. I took three bananas and gave them to my children for their breakfasts, since I'm not sure they had eaten anything that morning.

Then we headed on over to the starting line. I kissed the fam goodbye hoping that I would, indeed, see them again. I figured I'd live, but there was just a little bit of doubt! Still, it was pretty exciting. I was amazed at how many people were running with a group or at least one or two people that they knew. I did know two other guys from church running, but one was Matt Madison, Mr. Marathon-Super-Triathlete-Dude, and I figured he wouldn't want to hang out at my pace! The other was David Bailey, who is also an experienced half-marathoner. Both guys did great, by the way.

And so that left me to face the 13.1 miles on my own. But by that point, I was so psyched up for the race, I didn't care! Bring It On!

I guess the gun went off, for people started running, though I didn't even hear it! But that's when it got even more exciting. The first part of the race sort of wound back and forth so that we got to see those in the front of the pack; those we would never see again after the path straightened out! Wow. I had heard that it's a cool thing to be running with so many other runners, but I had never really experienced that. Until then! I must've looked so stupid because I couldn't stop smiling for like the first 4 miles!

It also helped that the first 6 miles were basically downhill. Right before we got to  the 6 mile mark, we went down a nice long hill. There was a beautiful view, and although I think it was Katy Perry's "Hot 'N Cold" blasting in my earbuds, I was worshipping!

Then came The Hill. The Hill that everyone talks about before, during and after the race. It's a steady, steep incline for a full mile. That's where I saw, and passed, the first walkers. Thankfully, Flint is pretty hilly, too, where I had been running all summer, so I managed to keep up the pace okay. It was hard, but I just kept going.

After mile 7 came, though, I felt like I could conquer the world! I was over halfway there, and the hardest hill was behind me! What I hadn't remembered, though, was that the rest of the backside was mostly uphill and some down. Nothing much level at all! That made since, though, since those first 6 were downhill and we were ending where we started! In this case, what goes down must come up!

At mile 8, I called Kreg. No, seriously, I did! My fantastic phone can use voice commands to call people. Kreg and I had talked about how past mile 8 had been new territory for him when he did his 1/2, and so it was an exciting marker. I was feeling great, and was so encouraged! It was at that point that I started passing a lot more people than there were people passing me. "If I can just get past those people ..."

Miles 9-11 were sort of a blur. I did a lot of thinking, since I had all that time. The crowd had really thinned out by that point, so I was running by myself a lot of the time. I was starting to get a little tired, but not too bad. I thought about Papaw Curtis, who would've turned 83 the day before, and about all the running he did hunting rabbits and raccoons through the night! I bet he could've run 13.1 miles in his hunting days! See? Even after he's been gone almost 10 months, he's still encouraging me to do my best!

John called around mile 11.5, and I really needed it. That's where I hit my wall. I knew I could finish because I only had a mile and a half to go, but my legs were burning pretty good! So John called and played on of my favorite songs from the Real Group for me. Then he let Johnathan talk to me and tell me that I was doing a good job! That was definitely a highlight of the race.

At mile 12 I called Mom. I just needed to hear one more person I loved say "Run, Kimberly!" Kristi was with her, so they both cheered me on!

But we were STILL going uphill! And I couldn't see the finish line. I think there's something about that extra .1 miles that just does played with my mind! But finally I did see the finish line, and I ran it in strong.

I was so excited to have finished! My time was 2:11:17, which put me just barley over a 10 minute mile. I was kind of hoping that with adrenaline and all I might break 10 minutes, but I keep reminding myself that I'm 30, have 3 kids 5 and under, and had never run a race longer than 800 meters in my life!

So, all in all, it was a great experience. I was super tired, but still was able to function. I didn't cramp up while on stage with Clearly Vocal just 2 1/2 hours later, so I'd call that a success!

Here are a few little pictures of poor quality that I snagged off of the photographer's website. I did order a couple of prints to scrap!

Toward the beginning of the race with my goofy grin!

Feelin' good!

Mile 12. I'm pretty sure I'm on the phone with Mom!

Big finish! I'm looking over at John and the kids who are cheering me in! Thanks guys! You were a welcome sight!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

5 Gigs in 3 Days

I'll get to the race post when I have pictures, so for now I'll share about all of our singing adventures this past weekend.

As if the race weren't enough for the weekend, we performed a total of 5 times Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All of the gigs were with Group Therapy except for one on Saturday, which was Clearly Vocal.

So, Thursday at noon, we played a couple of hours for a luncheon honoring the new president of Texas College. We were mostly background music, so it was pretty easy.

Thursday night was the official Grand Opening for Breakers, so they invited us to come play for that. It was very busy, so that made it fun. We played until about 11:45 that night.

Friday night we played for a party out at the Pinecrest Country Club out in Longview. This was the BIG band which, in addition to us, included Mark, Todd, Darrin and Harold (Danny's 87 yr-old dad!) on the bass, guitar, drums and saxaphone, respectively. Playing with all of those guys is always so fun! We played until 10:00 and got home by midnight.

Saturday morning, we left the house by 7:00 to get to the race, about which I will write later.

We did not stay for the awards ceremony because we had to get out to Edom to sing with Clearly Vocal at the Edom Festival of the Arts at 1:00! We were told to be there by noon, so my time was a little short! We made it, though my hair was still wet. From the shower, not sweat. :) We had a great crowd all sitting out there on hay bales! There were two women, especially, who just really seemed like they were enjoying the music. They were my "go-to" people whenever I needed some encouragement! We sang well and had a blast.

Then that night we were back at our regular gig at Breakers. I wore my Tyler Half Finisher's medal around my neck. Yeah, I did. I was pretty tired, so Danny let John and I go home at 10:45, rather than our usual quitting time of midnight! I was SO thankful.

To make the weekend even more challenging, I was having sinus issues, that thankfully didn't affect my voice until Sunday. I sound pretty bad today, though I'm feeling mostly better! The biggest problem was the congestion, but what's one of the best ways to vibrate those sinus cavities and keep everything loose? Singing!

And so it all fell into place as it was supposed to. I'm glad that just every once in a while my plans and God's plans seem to be on the same page! I am so grateful for healthy bodies, singing opportunities and beautiful weather that made this past weekend so wonderful!

Monday, October 12, 2009

T-5 days until the Big Race

Saturday is the Tyler Half Marathon. And I'm running it.

I never thought I would be able to do something like that, and yet here we are. Of course I've never run that far in my life, so perhaps I should save the celebrating until AFTER I finish, that is, assuming I do!

People that know what they're doing when it comes to stuff like this have told me that to be ready, I should be able to run 10 miles about 2 weeks before the race, and then start tapering off my mileage to be good and rested before I do 13. Well that would've been great back at the end of August when I had gotten up to 9.3 pretty comfortably. And then my foot started hurting. A lot.

"Plantar Fasciitis — The most common condition of heel pain. This condition occurs when the long fibrous plantar fascia ligament along the bottom of the foot develops tears in the tissue resulting in pain and inflammation. The pain of plantar fasciitis is usually located close to where the fascia attaches to the calcaneous, also known as the heel bone. Correctly pronounced it is 'plantar fash-eee-eye-tiss'." --

The proper treatment? Ice, rest, Ibuprofen and cutting back on mileage. Nice. So, I tapered off. It just happened to be in September.

I'm back up to 8.5, which I ran this morning and it felt pretty good. So I think the 13.1 will be doable, that is, I think I will finish. I may feel terrible, but I will finish, and that is a good thing.

But that's not all! Between Group Therapy and Clearly Vocal, we have FIVE gigs in three days. Two on Thursday, one on Friday and two more on Saturday, AFTER the race. Sunday is, well Sunday for a minister's family, so I plan to eat whatever I want and sleep on Monday. That's just one week from today!

If you had asked me yesterday how I felt about this, and some did, I would have told you that I'm dreading it.

But not today. I'm refusing to be anxious about it any more. It's a waste of time. These are things I LOVE to do, so I'm just going to take it one step at a time (literally!) and have a BLAST!

On your mark, get set, GO!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Two Kid Funnies + Walking

1. "Jonas is getting so big! He's going to be two before Kalleigh was!" -- Johnathan

2. Me: "Johnathan? Kalleigh?" getting their attention, "Which sounds better: ..." but before I can say Jack-In-The-Box or Chicken Express, Kalleigh says, "Me!"

And yes, Jonas is walking. Oh boy. Here we go. It is pretty stinkin' cute.