Monday, October 27, 2014

I did it!!

2 weekends ago I ran in my second 10k race. This one was the Denver Rock and Roll Marathon Series and let me tell you, such a fun race! If you have one coming to your area, I highly suggest you do it!
The night before my friend Melissa and I drove up to Denver and stopped at an Italian eatery for some good 'ol carbs.

We stayed just outside of Denver so we had to get up at 5 am to park, get on a shuttle bus to the start of the race, and then wait for the race to start.

And this is what I look like at 5 am without makeup. You're welcome.

This race had about 25,000 runners. This was just the 10k start and this was the lines for the porta potties. Each one only about 20 people deep. Really made me regret drinking all of that water and Gatorade.

Ready to go!

Waiting for them to start the race

They had bands at each mile and cheerleaders too. It really was neat and it pumped you up! This was the best picture I got while trying to run.

It was a perfect fall morning and the race was mostly in the shade which was great.

We did it! We finished in 1:07. My goal was to finish before 1:10 and I did that! I looked up my last 10k's score and I beat that by over 6 minutes! So all of that training paid off!  
My cheerleaders with the Denver capital in the background. iPhone pictures it is!

My biggest fans, love them to pieces!

So happy to have crossed this off on my list. Running here in Colorado was a challenge for me with the altitude but I'm so glad I pushed through. I'm not a fast runner by ANY means and probably never will be but I was happy to have set a goal, worked hard, and beat that goal. Running is not easy for me, not something I super enjoy, but it's a great mental and physical exercise for me and pushes me to reach deep within myself. Call me a little crazy but I think I may try a half marathon next?!?!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

.....That Actually Worked Out! Well, for the Most Part.

This post is Part 2 about our trip to Minnesota, well Nebraska, then Minnesota, then Nebraska again.

Anyway, Friday morning we hit up the Mall of America.  Because my parents literally live 5 minutes from there and it's basically a kid and woman's dream place. Sorry, Brian. Oh did I mention that our car battery also died? Because it did. Fun stuff.  Anyway, back to the Mall of America. We rode some rides, 

Layla's 2 and a half-ness came out full force and everything was just so traumatic and dramatic. 

We rode a bunch of rides, ate lunch, got our fill of Caribou Coffee and headed home for naps.

Where Layla "accidentally" locked herself in her room. This child, I tell you. I am frightened for the teenage years. After a good 20 minutes of "JUST MOVE THE LOCK, LAYLA!" with no success, Brian resorted to climbing out the window. 

See the things your dad does for you, Layla?! I was terrified, yet still taking pictures. Because if you don't take pictures, does it really happen? He was able to see in the window and tell Layla exactly how to move the lock and finally we were in!

"Whaaat? I wasn't doing anything!"

After naptime we met up with some friends and hit up the new outlet mall literally 2 minutes from my parent's house. It's dangerous for our wallet going home now between the awesome outlet mall and the Mall of America plus Ikea is basically attached too.  After that we went out for a drink and then headed back to my parent's house.

Where there was a surprise party waiting for me. WHAT?! I was pretty surprised and touched that everyone came over to celebrate with me. Sneaky people, they are! Remember how I said I didn't enjoy surprises? Well being surprised 2 weeks in a row was alright. Yeah, maybe I liked it.

After the party we went out for a little while and let's just say we celebrated enough for all of the 29 year olds out there. The next morning was rough.

But it was wedding time! We did our best to shower and look halfways decent.

It's a shame they were so sad to see us go.

The wedding was beautiful.

I am so, so glad that my old college roomie found her forever love.

Oh that's just Brian doing the dougie.

University of Minnesota roomies plus Laura, our adopted roomie!  And the flash was incredibly bright.  

We spent another late night out and then headed back to my parent's house. The next morning we packed up really quickly to get back on the road to Nebraska. Our time in Minnesota went by so, so fast.

We made it back to Omaha in about 6 hours and went to our friend's new home for a bbq with all of our friends there.

Layla enjoying a snack with one of her old friends. 

I didn't get a picture of the whole group but it was so amazing to see them all again. Made me miss living there so much because of their amazing friendships and the friendships our kids have. Brady kept saying, "My friends!! I'm so happy I get to see my friends!" 

Some of my bestest girlfriends from Omaha. Sure do miss them. A whole lot.

The next morning we had planned to go to our favorite pumpkin patch but it was raining cats and dogs so we hit up our favorite Nebraska fast food place, Runza.

(That's her "thumbs up")

Then we headed to our other friends house for a playdate, the ones we met at the trains on the way there.  I sadly didn't take any pictures but the kids had a great time playing together again.

After that I dropped Brian and the kids off at another friends house to play while I hit the road so I would get home at a semi-decent time.

The kids were super glad to be traveling again.

"Thanks Mom for organizing all of this."

To add to the fun their flight was delayed.

Finally they were on the plane and Layla slept the entire flight for Brian, luckily and Brady was a champ.

I drove the 9 hours back through western Nebraska and eastern Colorado (got to be one of the most boring drives, ever!) and got home around 10:00 that night. 

And awoke to this beautiful view. I miss everyone in Minnesota and Nebraska so, so much but it was good to be back.

It was a great trip overall but I have definitely learned a thing or 2 and will leave you with a piece of advice: CHECK AND RE-CHECK YOUR FLIGHTS BEFORE YOU BOOK!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Worst Planned Trip Ever....

Back in June when we first moved here I knew that we'd be going home to Minnesota in October for my college roomie's wedding. I stalked ticket prices and to my amazement....found round trip tickets for $78 a person! AMAZING!  Booked them instantly and walked away feeling pretty smug that I'm basically the queen of booking cheap travel.  Ha.

So a couple days later I go into my email to write down our flight times in my new calendar and I see an email from Priceline titled "Your October trip to Omaha." Omaha?! What. THE. Hell.  Yeah I'm an idiot and bought us tickets from Denver to OMAHA! Not Minneapolis! I had been looking at ticket prices for a friend and somehow that must have stayed plugged in to my searches. I couldn't believe it. I'm always so, so careful when booking tickets!  After many tears, calls to Frontier to beg them to switch my tickets (no sympathy just $500 to change them), and many more tears we just decided it was meant to be. We'd fly to Omaha, see our friends there, rent a car, drive to Minnesota, drive back to Omaha, and then fly home. Inconvenient but we'd get to see our family and friends in both places. No biggie.

Until I looked into boarding Rascal (our diabetic dog). Ha, we're not in Omaha anymore. $300 later plus the cost to rent the car, gas, park at the airport, yeah not going to happen. So at the very last minute we decided to have Brian fly with the kids (we were flying Frontier who now charges for carry-ons, but with Brian being active duty military the fees are waived), forfeit my ticket, and I would drive from Colorado Springs to Omaha with Rascal, pick them up at the airport, and then we would drive to Minnesota. Sound a little crazy? Yeah we're just that crazy to do just that.

That Wednesday morning I set my alarm for a horrifying 2:45 am and was in the car with the dog by 3 am. Eastern Colorado is so, so very boring, especially in the dark. But the sunrise was pretty. I know, I know don't take pictures driving. There was literally no one on the road for miles and I was super, super careful. I know, no excuse.

Brian had to wake the kids up at 5 am, get them in the car, to a parking lot outside of Denver to catch a shuttle to the airport, with both car seats no less. He was thrilled. The kids were excited though! This was after Brady puked in Brian's car. Thank goodness it was only carsickness from Brian's bucket seats in his car. We could not have dealt with a stomach virus, no way. Superman that husband of mine is.

After 9 hours of driving for me, and 1 hour of flying plus hours at both airports for Brian and the kids we were together again. 

We met up with our dear friends for a little fun at the Nebraska/Iowa border before hitting the road to Minnesota.

They were seriously so, so cute together and so happy to see each other after 3 months!

We hit the road and through Iowa we went. It's weird, but being back in the Midwest was just so refreshing. It's crazy how much I miss it, especially since we live in such a beautiful state. But they're beautiful in different ways. It was good to see cornfields and all of the beautiful changing leaves again.

We made it to Minnesota at about 7:00 that night. The kids were champs, seriously they were so great, considering we'd all been traveling for 12+ hours. We played for a little bit and then konked out. Hard.

The next morning it was my 29th Birthday!!

I started off the morning with a run. Because, 10k training quits for nothing. My parent's neighborhood is beautiful in the fall. So many changing leaves!  Where I COULD BREATHE!! Nothing like being at 719 feet above sea level compared to 7,000 ft back in Colorado.  I got lost and ended up at the new outlet mall. Whoops?

 And what did I want to do for my 29th birthday?
Go to an apple orchard. Because nothing says "I'm a crazy cool new 29 year old" like going to an apple orchard.

It was pretty neat though.

The kids had a blast finding apples and just running around.

It really was an adorable apple orchard.

These goats were crazy.

After the apple orchard we went to Brian's parent's house and then went to downtown Minneapolis for dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. It was a nice little birthday!

I don't want to bombard you with all of the pictures from our trip in 1 post so I'll write more tomorrow about our worst planned trip ever! :)

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