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10 Mile Race Recap

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Early Saturday morning, I got ready in record time and hopped in the car to drive 2.5 hours to the race. Adam was supposed to race too, but his work schedule had changed that week so I was on my own. It was a quiet ride there (which is rare for this mom of three!) and I arrived an hour early to pick up my race packet and finish my race prep.

It was much colder than I had anticipated so I sat in my car until I met up with my friend Anna about 15 minutes before the start. We huddled and shivered with the rest of the runners until they announced the race was finally going to begin. It was an out and back, which I’m not too fond of.

The race started off and I was honestly running to just warm up! I was cold down to my bones which is always hard for me to shake. I listened to a podcast for the first 8 miles, and the last two miles I took my headphones out and ran in the silence.

The course was very hilly and when I was running the first 5 miles, I knew that every hill I was running down I would be running back up on the way back to the finish line. My goal was to run at a 7:30/mile pace and I ended up running just under that so I was very happy! Especially since I did not take into consideration all those hills!

My split times were as follows:

Mile 1 / 7:03

Mile 2 / 7:15

Mile 3 / 7:30

Mile 4 / 7:55

Mile 5 / 7:12

Mile 6 / 7:46

Mile 7 / 7:08

Mile 8 / 7:48

Mile 9 / 7:26

Mile 10 / 7:07

 

I meet up with Anna again after the race. We hung out until the awards ceremony (I placed 3rd overall female and Anna placed 1st in her age group.) I loved having her there and the race crowd and volunteers were all very nice.

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Overall, it was a fun race and I definitely will look into running it again!

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Happy New Year!

I’m still here! After a four month hiatus, I’m hoping to get back into posting somewhat regularly on here.

It’s been a very busy last four months. A move overseas, welcomed my husband back from deployment, another move within the states, closing on a new home, a sibling’s wedding in Maryland, ran in my first trail race in Northern Michigan, training for another race here in Mississippi, celebrated Christmas in Michigan…. it’s been quite the whirlwind. After our three shipments come to our new home next week, I am hoping life will slow down a bit more and allow me to settle back into some normalcy.

My year anniversary of this blog is next month already. I have some decisions to make concerning the blog and will fill you in on any new or interested news within a few weeks. 🙂

I’ll be back next week to talk about a 10 week fitness challenge that Adam and I are doing with some friends.

Have a wonderful week!

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We’re moving!!

I guess I never officially announced on here where we are moving to next! Adam, the girls, and I are will be moving to….

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MISSISSIPPI! 

We will be moving this coming fall and are getting really excited to:

1) live in the US of A again

2) live in a new area we’ve never lived before

3) buy another house (Lord willing)

4) live only 13 hours from family!

While we would love to be living near our many friends in Virginia Beach, there are a lot of positives that will come from living in Meridian, MS. So, if any of you lovely readers need a little time to recharge from the daily grind and are looking for some pretty nice weather (especially January-March), come on down! But please – wait until we are moved in a little before coming. We want to make sure we’re good hosts and you aren’t sleeping among boxes. 🙂

 

 

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Our Tokyo/Disney Trip

I’m back!!!

The past five days have been a whirlwind of fun, excitement, exhaustion, and a lot of great memories. So, where to begin?

Adam took the past few days off from work. It’s always nice to have a quick family vacation during the middle of the year and not around any major holidays. No large crowds to weed through {well, besides the fact that Tokyo always has crowds, but having lived here for almost three years makes it much less ominous}, no specific family parties to be at – just us going where we want, when we want. Lately, Adam has been pretty busy at work planning a detachment and so we really enjoyed getting our “family only” time with him.

Saturday we checked the first thing off our weekend bucket list by attending our first Japanese baseball game. Unfortunately, after traveling over an hour to get there and carrying the girls, stroller, and various bags up many flights of stairs, the rain began to come down a little too much for my and our girls’ liking. So, after only an inning and a half, we ended up taking cover and decided to just train/cab it back to our base. We still got to see the cool experience that a Japanese baseball game brings {only in Japan will the entire crowd stand during the top of each inning to cheer their team on and sing along to the band}, if only for a half hour.

{I would love to post video and pictures of that epic inning and a half, but alas, my iPhone leapt out of my pocket in the taxi cab, never to be seen again. Today I spent way too much time calling base security to see if someone turned it in, then having a nice Japanese lady call the taxi companies, train station, and police only to find out it has not shown up anywhere. Adam then went to the police station out in town to file a report and we suspended my cell phone. After 5 days, I have no hope of it showing up anymore. So, no pictures or videos of the game.}

Sunday we headed into Tokyo. As previously written about, we stayed at the New Sanno hotel. We got a family room, which was a must. The girls each had their own separate spaces to sleep on their schedules. The only problem was Adam and I had to share our space with Scarlett, so we were on her sleep schedule at night. The hotel room was much noisier than I’m used to, so between Scarlett’s mid-night wakings and the elevator and traffic noise, I didn’t mind laying down at 8pm because I was up a lot throughout the nights. The black-out curtains did not do their job, so by 5:30-6:00 am, we were awake.

Despite functioning on lower amounts of sleep, we had a wonderful time. Traveling with two small children ensures we get some down time for their sake, which allowed Adam his luxury naps during their nap time and me to get some mileage in on the treadmill.

After a rainy weekend, Monday brought blue skies and warmer weather. We got an early start and drove to Disney Sea.

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We arrived just as the park was opening and since it was a weekday, the wait for everything was really not bad. We also got a discount for going on a weekday. Win win! We spent the next few hours meeting Minnie Mouse, riding on Brooklyn-approved rides, seeing the sights and just having a genuinely good time!

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Tuesday, we went set out to see Ginza and the Meiji Shrine with some other sights along the way. Ginza is Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping and dining area. You should read more about it here. We’ve been here before but thought since we were so close to the area, we would go there again. Pretty much all the good stores are there: Prada, Tiffany’s, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Coach… you name it, they had it.

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We also trained it to the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park. You can read about the Shrine here.

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All in all, a good day. We did quite a bit of walking and were all relieved to go back and hang out at the hotel for the remainder of the afternoon and evening.

That was pretty much our trip in a nutshell. Nothing too crazy. Lots of sight-seeing, lots of good food… a nice time with our family. Our traveling days are becoming very limited as Adam is heading off on deployment in a couple months and then we will be moving back. We are definitely taking advantage of our travels as much as we can!

*I know I didn’t go into much detail on specifics. If you are in the Tokyo area and want more information, please feel free to email me with your questions. I would suggest all of the locations we went to this past weekend!

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Mini-vacation

In exactly two weeks from now, we will be going on a mini-vacation. Tokyo hosts the one and only Disney Sea and since our time is gradually winding down here in Japan, we are starting to hit our bucket list a little harder.

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I’ve actually never been to any of the Disney resorts before. Brooklyn is in love with Mickey and Minnie, so we know she’s going to absolutely love it, and Scarlett is always along for a good time. Now we just need the weather to cooperate!

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We plan on staying downtown Tokyo for a few days at a DoD hotel called the New Sanno.  Brooklyn’s already talking about swimming in the pool! She loves water and according to Scarlett’s bath times, she’s going to have a ton of fun also!

Now to wait patiently for the next two weeks to go along quickly.

Photo sources: 1 and 2

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Lions, and Tigers, and Oowies, Oh My!

We had our first official boo boo at home today. Never have I been as scared as I was when hearing that sickening thud of a head colliding with a wall. The instant gush of blood was enough to do me in. But, I needed to pull from the deep down depths of my mommy strength and be the solid rock my little toddler needed.

Thankfully, her split chin was able to be fixed with a strong type of glue at urgent care and should be all we need for it to heal properly. The next 48-72 hours will be key in keeping her from splitting it open again, which is hard to do with a very active toddler!

The rest of us are now all sporting band-aids as well to make Brooklyn feel a little better. She has repeated the story about 10 times and gone over to the same spot, reenacting the incident with her stuffed animals.

I think she’s going to be just fine.

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The whole weekend wasn’t all bad. Yesterday, we wanted to do something fun and get out. We talked it over with Brooklyn about our options {aquarium, zoo, safari, etc} and she said she wanted to see the elephants. So, Fuji Safari it was!

I had gone with the girls last summer before Brooklyn turned two, and she really liked it then. Now that she’s a little older, she absolutely loved it!

(All pictures of the wild animals had to be taken with our windows up. I apologize for any added glare.)

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We had a wonderful time. Brooklyn won’t stop talking about the fun she had! She got a little souvenir stuffed deer that she takes with her everywhere. I’d say all in all, it was an okay weekend, even with the excitement of today.

What fun things did you do this weekend?

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Preparing for a Trip {with kids}

My husband and I have been planning our post-Christmas vacation for a while now. We settled on the destination (Okinawa, Japan) and have begun the preparation on the huge undertaking of traveling with two young girls.

I wanted to share a few tips on how we prepare for our trip.

I’m a very organized and detail-oriented person by nature, but from past personal experience, I know I need to bump that to almost straight-up OCD when it comes to packing and preparing for our trip. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on traveling, but I think my 40,000+ miles of overseas flying with my child(ren) over the past two years counts for something.

1. Make a List: I understand we are in the twenty-first century with all this wonderful technology of excel spreadsheets, iPhone notes linking directly to the Macs, and the like, but I still thrive off of hand written lists. There’s just something about being able to cross things off or add forgotten things in the margins. My husband finds me crazy, but whatever. It works for me.

Our goal: to pack all our things in two suitcases and one diaper bag for the four of us on our 10 day vacation.

I created three lists. One for myself and the girls’ things, one for the diaper bag, and the other for miscellaneous stuff. I let my husband take care of and pack his own things.

2. Set things out. I begin doing this about 2-3 days prior to our trip. There’s nothing worse than realizing at midnight before your big travel day that you forgot to purchase extra diapers or something of high necessity. By setting everything out, you can take inventory and insure you have everything you will need.

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Pictured here are all the things I placed in our diaper bag. Yes, every one of these things fits in my awesome bag. I highly recommend the Ju Ju Be Be Prepared diaper bag. (I don’t think they carry the Pretty Tweet print anymore for this bag, though.)

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I placed everything we will need for our travel days in here. Obviously, the diapers pictured and baby food will not be enough for the entire trip. I placed the other things in the luggage or we will purchase when we get to our destination. 

3. Pack. Adam and I purchased these handy little organizers for our backpacking trip to Europe we took three years ago. They have by far surpassed their value and worth to us. I was able to put all of my things and the girls’ things in one suitcase. Adam packed his stuff in the other suitcase, with room for purchases we make on our trip.

A couple other things we are taking along:

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Kidco PeaPod Lite
For Scarlett to nap in while we’re on the beach or in case the hotel doesn’t have a crib available.
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Books, DVD’s, flashcards, and other fun activities for our two-year-old to do while traveling.

4. Check and double check. Sometimes things get checked off the list prematurely, and never actually get in the suitcase. This can happen especially if two people are packing and one thinks the other person grabbed it when in fact that didn’t happen. I always check and double check the important things, {passports, military ID’s, drivers license, diapers, etc} before we walk out the door. It would be a shame to travel all the way to the airport only to realize they were left at home.

5. Test Run.  When I fly with both girls by myself, I have to make sure I am physically able to carry and push everything from our house, to the bus, through the airport and security checks, onto the airplane, from baggage claim, to the taxi, and finally arrive at the hotel. I literally set everything by the door, the stroller out and ready for use, with the luggage nearby. I walk around pushing the kids in the stroller and pulling the luggage, just to make sure I’m capable. I think you would be surprised at how much you can travel with.

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There you have it. Double stroller, two suitcases, and diaper bag.

Happy travels!