Sunday, November 26, 2006

Keith Turns 40

Keith and my sister Lynn share the same birthday. They both turned 40 on Thanksgiving day, but last night I threw Keith his big 4-0 party. For those of you who don't know Keith loves to cook, so I threw him a cooking party. Everyone who came brought him a favorite cooking gadget or something kitchen related. I also put together a cookbook for him from friends and family. My goal was to have 40 recipes for him on his 40th birthday. At the time of his party I had 33. I'm still getting them from people, so it will be 40 before you know it. We played a game of match the cooking terms with their definitions and we also played the card game Spoons. It was a fun night of catching up with some old friends we hadn't seen in awhile and hanging out with family. It was a great night of celebrating the man I love most, Keith. Happy 40th Keith. I'm so glad we met and have had so many great years together and look forward to the years ahead. I love you.

Here are pictures from the party:

These are our nieces and nephews. They make cute little chefs.

Keith reading one of the many "You're Old Now" cards. Actually everyone was very nice to him.

Me and the birthday boy!! Awww, we are such a cute couple.

Our nephew Luke getting into the action. Of course he liked the paper better than the package.

Part of the fun was making our own sundaes for dessert. Yummmmy!!

This is where we played spoons. I never knew that people would get into it so much. We had people diving across the table, falling off chairs and having a realy fun, competitive time. If you haven't ever played spoons it's an easy, but fun game.

We had people at our house till well past midnight. It was a great time and a great memory that we will remember for years to come.

For those of you that came to the party I thank you for making the night so special and for loving Keith as much as you do. He appreciates you all and we appreciate your friendships.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thriteen Thanksgiving Thursday

13 Things I love about Thanksgiving Day!!

1. Being with Family
2. Turkey
3. Mashed potatoes and gravy
4. Sweet Potatoes
5. Pumpkin Pie
6. After Thanksgiving Day Sales.
7. Curling up on the couch and watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade with the kids.
8. Thinking over the past year and all that I have to be thankful for.
9. Keith's birthday (the big 4-0 this year)
10. Having the kids home from school to hang out with.
11. Talking with relatives from out of state on the phone.
12. Friends
13. Cooking with the kids. A new tradition we started this year.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thirteen Thursday a Day Late

Just like I promised. . . .

Thirteen Reasons I love Walt Disney World

Us with Mickey Mouse at the Chef Mickey's charactor breakfast.

1. Mickey Mouse- do I need to say more.

2. Grandparents who let us use their timeshare for free everytime we go.

3. Seeing my kids faces light up while watching a parade or waiting in anticipation for a ride.

Playing with thier toys the night of the Very Merry Mickey Christmas Party.

4. Rockin' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror at MGM Studios

5. Parker finally being tall enough to go on most of the rides.

6. Keith playing Who Wants to Be A Millionaire a Million times. Honey, you will make it to the hot seat next trip. I can feel it. :-)

7. Going to Albert and Victoria's with Keith.

8. Going on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad over and over because of no lines during the Christmas Party.

Grandma Anne, Grandpa Jim, Auntie DarDar, Keith and the kids waiting to ride Big Thunder Mountain. Parker was finally tall enough.

9. Having my best buddy, Darlene, along for the ride and having our girls night out.

Auntie DarDar with Tricia and Parker in Dinoland at Animal Kingdom.

10. Growing up at Disneyland as a kid was so much fun and now my kids are getting to have the same memories as me, so some day they can take their kids too.

11. Going at Christmastime and seeing all the lights and seeing a beautiful Nativity Scene and hearing them read the Christmas Story right out of Luke at the Christmas Concert at Epcot.

12. Charactor Breakfasts- I love meeting all the charactors without all the lines and you get some decent food too.

13. Seeing the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey every time I go and realizing that Walt Disney and Disneyland are all because of this one man's dream. He is the ultimate example of DREAMING BIG and GOING FOR IT!!

No matter what you want to do go after it and never let anyone say your dream is silly. DREAM BIG AND GO FOR IT!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Sears Tower Climb

Today was the day. I climbed up 2,109 stairs, 103 Floors to raise money for Cancer Research. I forgot my digital camera, soI ran to Walgreens and bought a disposable camera. I will be posting my pictures at a later date.

Yesterday, November 11, was a long day. I had Tricia's 9th birthday party. I had to have it in the evening because of her basketball schedule. I had 24 kids over at my house from 4:30-7:30 and then some family and friends visited for awhile. Towards the end of the night I was worried because my back started hurting and I had my Sears Tower climb in the morning. I took some medicine, prayed and headed to bed.

I woke up around 6:30 this morning. My start time for the climb was between 9:20-9:30. They were starting people every 7 seconds. I was feeling really sick when I woke up. My best buddy Darlene came with me to the event even though she couldn't climb with me. She drove and I was able to recline my seat and relax. I felt like I was going to throw up the whole way there.

We arrived in good time and parked in a parking garage and headed into the Sears Tower. I looked up and saw what you see in the picture above and thought to myself, "What did I get myself into?" I was a little overwhelmed, but excited at the same time.

We got inside. I checked in. My stomach was still hurting, but now I was excited. I said bye to Darlene and got in line for the climb. I stretched out and waited. It didn't take long for me to get to the door. I started and by floor 12 I couldn't remember why I thought this had been a good idea in the first place. I was told that there would be water every 10 floors, but there was no water to be found, so I started to worry a little. It ends up the first water station was at floor 22 and then from there on out it was every 10 floors. By floor 30 I knew I was going to be able to make it. Having the water stations every 10 floors was great. I just kept my focus on the 10 floor goals and before you know it I was half way at floor 53. I couldn't believe I had made that far. All the volunteers were great and they really were encouraging when you stopped to take a little break. I stopped at each of the water stations to bring my heart rate back down and that is what helped me be able to do it.

There were people of all shapes and sizes. There was a baby in a backpack carrier. I saw her before the climb started and I saw her pacifier on one of the stairs on my way up. There were lots of kids with their parents. It was neat to see all the different types of people out for such a good cause.

The one thing that grossed me out was that people were spitting in the stairwell. Somewhere between floor 80-90 I finally said something to a guy. He spit some big old spit right in the middle of the stairway where I was walking behind him and I said, "EWW, that was lovely." He said, "I'm sorry" and I said, "tell the person that has to clean it up not me." He didn't really say anything after that, but I had made my point.

Between floor 50-60 I was thinking about my Mom, who will be gone 10 years on Christmas Morning. I was thinking about the people I know that are affected by cancer. I have some friends going through some tough times right now. I did this climb for them, in honor of my Mom and to encourage people of all sizes to get active, so they don't risk the chance of dying young. I hope that I can make a difference and show people that no matter what your size you can do anything you put your mind to. I spent those 10 floors praying and then I started to get teary eyed, so I had to stop because I knew I couldn't climb and cry. I wore a bandana that said on the front, "Going Vertical for my Mom 1943-1996" On the top it said, "Mom, I miss you."

It was really a good day and I encourage any of you in the Chicago area to do this event next year. There is also a climb in the John Hancock builing in Febuary, but it is already sold out.

Thank you to everyone for your emotional support as I took on this challenge and thank you for your donations to a good cause. Counting my $75 entry fee I raised $315.00. Parker called me this morning while I was driving to the climb and asked me if it was to late for him to sponsor me. I told him I could give them money and he could pay me back, so he sponsored me for $5 out of his own money. That meant so much to me.

I will post pictures as soon as I get my camera developed. Thank you again for all your support.

Much love,


PS. I forgot to tell you I did the climb in 1 hour and 27 minutes. Go Me!! The guy who came up first did the whole climb in 13 minutes.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cool Haircut

I don't know who this is, but isn't this the coolest haircut ever? Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thirteen Thursday

Here are thirteen reasons I love my husband, Keith.

1. He loves me for who I am.
2. He has never tried to change who I am.
3. He makes me laugh.
4. He is the best Dad ever.
5. He tolerates Disney World even though there are other places he would rather go on vacation. Costa Rica here we come.
6. He cheers me on at my triathlons.
7. He never has told me I am too sensitive.
8. He has always allowed me to dream and never has told me I cannot achieve those dreams.
9. He made it possible for me to be a stay at home Mommy.
10. He has helped me recently with going back to school with my self-confidence and letting me know I can do it even when I have doubted myself.
11. He is my #1 fan.
12. He is proud of me when I can spout off sports statistics that I learned from listening to the radio, watching ESPN or reading the newspaper even when he's not home. He tells me he brags about my sports knowledge all the time.
13. He is my bestfriend.

Next week, my Thirteen Thursday topic will be, 13 things I love about Walt Disney World. :-)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Triathlon Dates for 2007

I am so excited. I have nailed down three of my four triathlon events for the summer of 2007. I really needed to get these dates because I have let myself go and have gained weight and haven't been working out much, so getting these dates on my calendar has been a good thing. Anyone that wants to come and cheer me on can. I would love that or better yet, why don't you come and do one with me. Here's my 2007 triathlon schedule.

June 24th, my thirteenth wedding anniversary, I will be doing the US Subaru Women's Triathlon series in Naperville, Illinois.

July 8 I will be doing the Danskin Women's Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin.

August 12th, I will be doing the Naperville Sprint Triathlon in Naperville Illinois. This one is Co-ed.

These are all Sprint Triathlons. My goal for the Us Subaru Triathlon this year was to do it in under 3 hours and I did it in about 2:30. My goal for it in 2007, I want to do it in 2 hours or less.

My goal for all three is to jog or run the 5K at the end of all three of these Triathlons. I want to do a fourth one, but haven't found it yet.

In May I will be visiting friends in Costa Rica and hope to get some biking or running in there. I cannot wait.

What is your goal physically for yourself. Even if you don't do big events, set some goal, get it on your calendar and start planning. This has really helped me get refocused today.

4 days until my Sears Tower Climb. GO ME!!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

My New Triathlon T-shirt

My friend, Darlene, got me a Triathlon t-shirt for my birthday. It says:

Almost drowned
Crashed my bike
Puked on the run

When's the next Tri?

I love it!! My next Triathlon is in June and I cannot wait. Have a great Saturday!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thirteen Thursday

This is a new edition to my blog. Every Thursday I will be writing 13 postive things covering all different topics. Today I am going to write 13 things that will be better when I lose 100 pounds.

1. I will be able to run with my kids.
2. My kids will be able to wrap their arms all the way around me to give me a hug.
3. I will live longer.
4. I will be able to help others reach their goals.
5. I will be able to compete in triathlons and not have to worry if I'm the biggest one there.
6. I'll be able to fit in all the seats at amusement parks and movie theaters.
7. My husband and I will be able to go on adventures and do things together without me getting winded.
8. I will be able to try out for AMAZING RACE and if I make it I won't be the fat girl that gets elimated first.
9. I will feel so good about myself.
10. I will be able to shop for clothes in a regular store. That is going to be so weird. :-)
11. I will be able to be a better teacher once I get my teacher's degree.
12. I will be soooo happy.
13. I will know that no matter what my goals are I can reach them because this is a HUGE goal that I will be reaching.

I have renewed my goal of losing weight again. I have had some setbacks, but that is not the case anymore. I deserve to be healthy. My family deserves for me to be healthy. My new goal is 60 pounds by the end of April. That is 6 months. If I reach this goal I will be the weight I was on my wedding day. That will feel so good.

Have a great day and try and think of 13 positive things today in your life. Later!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trick or Treating with Skates

Parker won a sweepstakes where he got to go Trick or Treating with Skates, the Chicago Wolves Mascot. For full story on how he won see my post from October 28, 2006. We had a lot of fun with him. He was full of tricks and treats. This will be a Halloween my kids will not forget. Enjoy the pictures. Here's the whole group right after Skates arrived. We then headed out to get our treats and play a few tricks on people.

Here is Skates with Parker on the way to the next house to get more candy. Tricia is behind them. She was an astronaut.

Skates helped Parker put his costume back on and this is what happened. Parker is getting eaten by the evil gingerbread man.

Skates made himself comfy at Parker's friend, Andrej's house. Here he is trying to find something to watch on TV.

Here he is drinking their milk. He also used their bathroom and went upstairs where he found a Chicago Wolves Hockey puck. It was fun and my friends were great sports as they are HUGE hockey fans. Both Andrej and his brother Alex play.