Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


If you were thinking I was hosting a giveaway - I am not. Not only is my blog way not popular enough for that but I am just sharing with you another individual who is in fact hosting a giveaway. Not just any giveaway either - an amazing, huge touch screen computer! So...go on over and register because who couldn't use that? oh...and your welcome for telling you! =)

Monday, November 23, 2009

This one's for you Chels

So, this past week at daycare we had what I will refer to as a "lovey incident". I will refrain from boring you with the details and just say that it was all slightly traumatic to my dear daughter. In an effort to cheer her up I brought out a lovey that is identical to the ones she is attached to now (except for color) that we have had "in storage" if you will. It was given to her by Chelsea last year for Christmas. At the time it was given to her she didn't really take to it like she did her others so I just put it in safe keeping for such a time as this. Let's just was perfect timing:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A new pic and a funny story...

Don't you just love my new blog picture? I kind of wanted to have a "training-themed" picture but I just don't have a good one and the one I had most previously just didn't do my sweet Kennedy justice. I figured - why not post a picture that is about my life since this blog is not only about training - but life too, right?

A very talented friend took that picture and many more that are just as amazing - I just LOVE them! Thanks Jes! =)

Speaking of the "life" part of this blog I seriously have daily blogable stories/moments just from spending my days with Kennedy. She is just at the age where she is developing and talking and the newness of it all is just funny some days - the ways she says things - I feel certain I can't do it justice by blogging, but I am going to try:
So....last week we were playing in our backyard on our playset and for whatever reason my child is afraid (like - deathly afraid) of cobwebs. Because she is so afraid of them playing usually comes after Mommy has cleaned all the cobwebs off of the playset but Tim and I both have diligently been working on toughening her up if you will. She will actually preceed us by saying "don't be scaywed Keddedy" translation = don't be scared Kennedy. It's too cute....I digress. So...for whatever reason last week she had a temporary stroke of bravery and we were playing and she never mentioned cobwebs or cleaning or anything. She was even brave enough to go under the playset in the little house part which is normally totally out of the question - too scawey. So she is under part of the playset and she says "Mommy...whasat? to which I reply "what is what baby". "That" she says and points to it. OMword y'all - it was a
squirrel tail. Just a tail.....seriously! Her next question was "oh no, wheresquirrelgomommy?" That is one of those types of questions where you really need to think before answering. For example: I was inclined to say "well, our stupid tomcat killed a squirrel apparently and wasn't interested in the tail which he has conveniently and clearly left here as a way to communicate to us that we should be proud of his hunting prowess and skill at - SO NOT IMPRESSED! SO DISGUSTED!"

I calmy replied to her innocent little sweet and precious question with "honey, it appears as though a squirrel went to be with Jesus and accidentally forgot his tail behind - underneath your playset". She looked at me with her little baby blues and said "oh - squirrel forgot his tail". "Mmmmhmmmm - that's what happened. Mommy is going to put it away in case he comes back for it - ok?" "Ok Mommy". On she went about her brave playset playing. In the meantime, I grabbed two leaves and pinched the squirrel tail between them and gagged and tried not to vomit while I dumped it in the dumpster. You know…..all squirrels would know to look in the dumpster for their missing severed tail, right? Oh my goodness! It’s amazing the ways in which we think to cleverly explain things to our children? It’s crazy! I mean…of course I do honestly believe that the squirrel is with Jesus – don’t y’all? Ha!

And my mean old tough and gruff tomcat – he’ll go there too one day……

He looks real tough, huh? Yeah Right! Something about the pink nose makes the whole “tough” think kind of a laugh. He apparently is a good hunter though…….

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Last races of the season

On October 17th, Abby, Courtney, Nevada
and I ran the Casa10K here in Lexington.
It was a chilly morning here in Lexington but it
was fun as usual to run with friends! Shockingly enough - although Courtney and I have been running together for about 2 years - we have never run a race together until this one. We both ran the derby half but we were with other friends - so it was nice to start and finish this event toghether. I am all about a race that is for a good cause too so I am really glad we could do it. We finished #75 and #76 out of #147. Our finish time was 56:12. What I didn't realize until today is that she and I both placed 2nd in our age division - and that's after running 4 miles prior to the start of this 10K. Go us!

This past weekend, Janine, Courtney and I

ran the ClarksvilleHalf Marathon in Clarksville, TN.
The best part of the wekeend was seeing the family
I used to nanny for, Janine and Josh, and all my
college girlfriends (more to come on that later).
The race was....well, it was inagural so it wasn't
the most organized race ever but that will come
with time and their practice in having a race of
that size. The weather was GORGEOUS and it
was mainly through rural ares so it was pretty.
There just weren't many people out for crowd
support and the water stops were a little few
and far between. Janine had done her first half
ever on October 3rd with some of her friends from Benton and finished in 2 hours and 9 minutes so she had set a goal for herself to try to finish this half in 2 hours or less. We tried and tried to finish under two hours but we just couldn't make it happen. We finished at 2 hours and 5 minutes. We had a blast running and I look forward to many more together. Courtney got a little sickish during the race but finished at an impressive 2 hours and 25 minutes for not feeling well. Way to hang in there Court!

Janine had this idea to do something really corny when we saw the race photographers and behold - this (check out page 2 - the second thumbnail) is what we ended up with: ha! There are some pictures of our glorious finish as well - nothing like finishing holding the hand of your best friend - love you Neenie! *Update - Neenie's post has the pics in the body of her post. I obviously am not tech savvy enough to have figured that out. Hop on over to her blog to see - link below!

Next big race to come - the Lexington half marathon - March 28th. Chelsea, Courtney, Janine and I are in: right girls?

Looks like Abby and Billie plan to train together too - should be a fun run in our own hometown!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I can't believe it's Tuesday and I am just now posting about the race. That ought to tell you something about how I have been feeling since my completion of the race: sore and so, so, so tired! Oh my goodness. If I didn't know exactly (and I mean exactly) where my hip flexors were located before this - let me just tell you: I do now! I am looking forward to shaking the soreness a little more each day and getting back to normal. for the race details!

We left West Virginia on Friday morning en route to my sisters house in Virginia. On Friday evening my sister made some yummy carb loading food for us and we chowed down and then spent some time visiting and just enjoying being around each other. We started to discuss the Metro and how we would need to coordinate the routes the next to get us where we needed to go the following day for packet pick up. I will openly admit that I am not geographically strong.....AT ALL so riding the Metro in a big city with no experience and tons of runners everywhere made me a little uneasy but with my big sis by my side surely we could figure it out.

First things first - two of my girlfriends (Katie and Melissa) from high school were planning to come over for breakfast with my sisters and I and we had some awesome food prepared for the occasion (thanks to Angel). It was so awesome seeing them and just catching up. Their Dad was one of my first soccer coaches so we go way back! It was so much fun and a great way to start our crazy morning.

Here we are - Katie, me and Melissa

After brunch the girls dropped Catina and I off at the Convention center to pick up our packets. It was front door service with a Metro step by step lesson on the side (thanks girls!) I am sure Catina and I would have figured it out but it would have taken SO much longer.

Happy to be on the Metro with packets in hand!

The little girls had a blast together and we had a blast watching them have a blast together - so much fun!

Race morning we were up bright and early to get back to the Metro and make sure we got to the starting point in time. We woke up at 5:00 with a planned departure time of 5:30. We both felt a little sickish the morning of the run which is totally normal before a big run. We made it to the St. Jude Heroes booth and had our team photo taken (which I don't have a copy of yet but when I do I will be sure to share it with you). After our group photo we made our way to the start line. There were SO many people y'all - it was insane. Most of what we saw were men and women in uniform - hence the name. The Marine Corps marathon is the #5 largest marathon in the US with 30,000 runners participating in the run. When we first got into our coral it was pretty empty but before we knew it it was full and fast. Montel Williams was our emcee for the morning which is just, well - funny for some reason. Ha ha. Someone from the Jersey Boys musical sang the national anthem and two aircraft's called Ospreys flew overhead before the cannon blew to signify the beginning of the race. Those plane/helicopters were so cool. I wish you could have seen them but the best thing I can give you is a youtube video clip. They are insane. They convert from helicopter mode to plane mode - for real. Check them out. These were directly over us before we started and it was awesome to see.

When the cannon blew and I knew it was time to go I just thought "well, here goes nothing" and about 10 minutes later when the crowd directly in front of us was actually able to put one foot in front of the other...we took off. There were so many incredible things about this race it's hard to know where to begin so I will resort to a list of sorts (what can I say...I'm a list maker).
-it was so, so, so organized - love organization. We knew where we needed to go, new where our coral was, where the water stops were, what our mile/split times were, etc.
-the crowd support was one of my favorite things about this run and will remain one of the most amazing things about it - they were just pouring off of the lawn and sidewalks everywhere - all cheering for us - all their to offer support - it was nuts and so inspiring! For those of you who go to races and yell for people you don't know - we runners appreciate it more than you know!
-the weather was perfect - sunshine with few clouds and in the low 60's - gorgeous!
-we ran by incredible scenery - the white house, the pentagon, the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian, etc. etc.
-The military outpouring was awesome - the marines who volunteered to do water stops, cheer us on, place our medals around our necks and just be there for support were incredible. They were so positive and so encouraging and I just kept thinking - you are cheering for me? Oh my word - you deserve the applause. Sheesh!
-The amount of charities represented at this event was seriously impressive. You name it - they were there: hometown heroes, semper fi wounded soldier fund, diabetes association, tnt, cancer society, St. Judes, Make a Wish, etc. etc. So cool!
-My oldest sister Angel running with me from mile 25-26 and keeping me going because I was ready to quit!
-Besides the fact that our St. Judes Heroes Team raised a total of $170,870 and St. Judes teams at races across the country are raising similar amounts there was one more thing that I witnessed at the race that I must share with you all.
-In most big races there are opportunities for wheelchair participants to start prior to runners and compete and complete just as runners do and it is always a really cool thing to see. Possibly because this was the Marine Corps Marathon - there were more wheelchair participants than I had ever seen. Possibly veterans, possibly recently wounded soldiers, possibly seasoned wheelchair racers - whose to say? The wheelchair participants started 10 minutes prior to us runners which is a small window and because of that we ended up mixed up at several points during the run. At one of those points my sister and I realized through talking to another runner that the group of wheelchair cyclists we were approaching had a "blind cyclist" in the group. What?!?! I COULD NOT believe that y'all. Blind? Riding 26.2 miles with amputations on a racing wheelchair - BLIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As soon as we got next to them it was like nothing I had ever seen. It was a guy...maybe 27, maybe 28 who very obviously had recently undergone his amputations and he was wired with a helmet so that he could hear a fellow cyclists instructions "a little left, a little right, brake, etc." His eyes were fixated and it appeared as though his loss in sight was due to a trauma.

This is what the racing wheelchairs look like. They are totally operated by a hand wheel that is above the front wheel.

Was he in Iraq fighting for our freedom? Was he a normal 20 year old brave enough to sacrifice his life so we could live here in the US and now he is without legs, and blind? What would I do? Would I be racing in a marathon trusting my fellow soldiers to show me the way with their voices? Would I be that determined? Would I be that strong? I don't know. It was amazing. He was a hero. They are our heroes. He was one man and I just felt convicted - they are everywhere...I just happen to see him. I was so choked inspired. It left me breathless - literally. I thought to myself at mile 23 when I wanted to walk and my legs were throbbing, locking up even - if that guy can do what he is doing....if the kids we have raised money for can fight cancer every day - I CAN DO THIS....and I did. I finished the race in 4 hours and 21 minutes. It was an incredible feeling to cross the finish line. It was incredible to see what I saw and to have a new appreciation for our soldiers and just for human life and determination in general. Heroes - they are everywhere around us and not always who we think they would be. My sister Catina finished in a "speedy" 4:14.
-It was awesome to have Angel there at multiple times during the race yelling for us and encouraging us and it was nice to see our hubbies and kiddo's outside of the children's village at mile 23 when we needed encouragement most.

Maggie and Kennedy riding the "train"

This is what a day of watching runners will do to a girl!

Finishers! We both said we are happy to have made some personal best record times because they will remain our best - we aren't doing this again! =)

For all of you who donated, encouraged, prayed and supported - THANK YOU! It has been an awesome journey and I appreciate you being such a huge part of it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can! goes nothing huh? Tim, Kennedy and I leave tomorrow to head to West Virginia. We will stay one night with his parents and visit with them a bit and then head on to Virginia to stay with my oldest sister Angel and get ready for the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday.

I am feeling lots of things - anxious, nervous, excited, optimistic, a little know - normal big race nerves I suppose. I know that I am more ready than I was prior to my last marathon and thats a great feeling because at least I know I have improved and will have a better time barring something unexpected. Mostly, I am just happy and proud that my sister and I raised $2,000 for St. Judes Reasearch and I can't wait to feel that feeling of complete accomplishment when I cross the finish line on Sunday. I could just cry thinking about it - the "runners high" - there isn't much better in my book.

I am super thrilled and giddy that all the little girls will be together in a couple of days. Oh my word how my daughter loves her cousins! You can be sure pictures are to come. Of course seeing my sisters will be the cherry on top of it all. There is never enough time for us to be together but I just try to suck up every minute of it and enjoy it as best I can!

Well....wish me luck and please keep me in your prayers on Sunday.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweet Jesus

Seriously? What could be sweeter? Love it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


And it feels so gooooooooood! Are you humming/singing now? Gotcha! Don't blame me when you are singing this two hours from now - it's been stuck in my head all day. Your welcome!

Abby and Jonathan have been in Louisville for Jonathan's Dads funeral. If you haven't been already - please pray for them in this difficult time.
Knowing that they would already have a ton on their plate they opted to leave Dakota behind with us. Needless to say Kennedy was most excited about their reunion. Oh my word has it ever been precious. There's been lots of kissing going on as noted in this picture:
The only unhappy camper has been Sylvester. He has become quite the snuggler and Dakota has invaded his space a tad. Don't worry about him though - he'll get over it. In fact....I think he already has.......

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Over a year ago I sat in a meeting scared to death thinking "what have I gotten myself into." That meeting was sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and it was my first glance into what the next several months of my life would be like. I had signed up with Team in Training to train for a triathlon - something I had always wanted to do but didn't know how to start. In that meeting the world of blogging was introduced to me as a way to have your supporters follow your training journey - physical and fundraising. It was shortly after that meeting that I started a blog. I knew nothing about blogging and I definitely didn't have a clue what a giant world I was entering but boy oh boy is it crazy! I can't get over how many regular old Joe Shmoes like myself sit down a few times a week or more and blog about their life, their experiences, their faith, their hobbies and the list goes on. What is even more amazing is how we bloggers become intertwined - how we "get to know each other" through reading. There are a ton of ways bloggers find each other but likely the most popular is that when you start your own and start reading others you like to see who those you read are following - thinking you might like to read those too. If you do like it - you start following them as well and it just grows from there.

I follow lots of close friends that blog but there are several people I follow that I don't even know really. I love to read Pioneer Woman's Blog - she makes me laugh, her photographs inspire my creative side and oh my her recipes get people talking. Go ahead and make some - people LOVE them! Her new cookbook is on my Christmas list! I love to read BooMama and Big Mama because...well.....they are hilarious! I like checking in on O'My Family because she's real and she tells it like it is with a side of laughter and humility. She makes me look back on my sleep crazed baby days with Kennedy and just smile because I think "I was soooooo there!" I like reading Sue's blog because she seems genuinely sweet and just I dunno....wise. Like a blog Mom if you will.

Anyhow - I love that I can sit down on my lunch break at work or with cup of coffee in the morning and connect with some of these people (in a way) and just smile and laugh - they are like a good book with suspense because you never know what the next chapter will be about. You know? I like that I get inspired, I get cooking ideas....

All of that to lead to my post for this evening. Without further ado.....the MMMMMMM. I was reading Big Mama here recently and stumbled upon this post which peaked my curiosity because in all honesty - it's how I feel. I agree with her - there is no such thing as too much chocolate and along the same lines I would just like to add that I also feel there is no such thing as "too rich". You people who say that - stay away from the ones who made those desserts to which you refer so they can keep on creating their glorious creations for those of us who never even so much as kind of hint at mentioning those two words! Okay....back to what I was saying. My boss's birthday is today and trying to be the good manager that I aspire to be - I always make a big deal out of staff birthdays and the Dr.'s are no exceptions. His wife Laura told me that he loves chocolate and the more the better so I thought this recipe might be the perfect thing to try!

First things first - I sent Tim to the grocery. Now....I know if my Mother in Law is reading this she is going to be tickled because y'all - my man cannot go to the grocery store without calling me a minimum of two times and I think the same applies to his Dad. Seriously! It's like some unspoken Taylor man rule or something. Well, tonight was not one of those nights for whatever reason. Bless his heart he got all the things on my list and got to the check out and remembered he hadn't checked the eggs for cracks. Don't you know this one time would be that one time when half the eggs were broken. So he comes home and is relaying this whole story to me and says - "I figured we could just get them later". I'm like - "babe, how am I supposed to make a cake without eggs?". Brace yourselves ladies - he says: "well, I figured most cakes only call for two eggs and we have two eggs, right?" to which I replied "oh...and you know this from all the cake baking you do, huh?". He went back out the door as I am saying this to buy eggs because this cake called for three. Ha! After he left I was getting all my other ingredients in order so I could prepare to start Betty Crockering and I realize he has purchased Devils Food cake rather than the Butter Chocolate mix that is in the recipe. I get a little worked up about my recipes so I wanted the exact right thing. So....I call him on his cell phone and tell him exactly what to get. Two minutes later my cell phone rings and I am met with a laundry list of cake mix brands and types being listed in my ear. ha ha ha ha ha. Oh - sweet boy!

Now....I don't know if it is because I live in Kentucky or what but we don't have the exact cake mix that Big Mama references in this recipe so I had to settle for Triple Chocolate Fudge. And when I say settle what I mean is make do while salivating about the thought of how delightfully chocolate this concoction is going to be. Fast forward to the mixing process - I have what I thought was a decent hand mixer. I am sure it's not top of the line, but I don't think it's too shabby. Well girls - if you decide to make this cake (and I think you should) you need a real deal mixer - like the big ole' nice and fancy Kitchen Aid stand-ups. You know....that thing half of us registered for before we got married but no one was crazy enough to buy for us because it was so flippin expensive - you need that one. My little mixer was just shy of smoking because this batter is so thick - seriously! I had to break out the dough hooks which I didn't even know I owned until I started screaming from the kitchen and Tim came to my rescue. He read the side of my kitchen aid hand mixer box (yes, I still have the box - shut it!) and told me the dough hooks could be used for thick cookie dough batter and I replied back rather hastily "I need those ASAP!" Need them indeed - that batter is ridiculously thick.

The cake is in the oven now and it smells so terrifically yummy that I can't wait to see how it tastes tomorrow. I love baking cakes and am anxious to see how everybody feels about it. So, while some of you get back to your post partum body weight like 11 weeks post delivery when others of us (ahem...myself) still aren't there and there daughter just turned two....I will be sinking my teeth into this delicious creation tomorrow and likely won't look back. It will be that good....I can just feel it! Don't you want to make it too? Thanks for the inspiration Big Mama!

Not to mention that blasted peanut, candy corn and reeses pieces mixture is in bulk form in my house....well....because it's fall. Do I really need another reason! Glad sweatshirt and sweater season is around the corner.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Down for the count

If you read my last posting you know I haven't been feeling so hot. I started feeling sickish on Friday before my trail run and it just got progressively worse from there. On Thursday of last week I decided to go to the Dr. since it had been almost 7 days with no relief. Y'all - I didn't even know where to begin. I realized it had been > 3 years since I had seen a general practitioner!!! Thank you Lord for good health, huh? Anyhow - I got the name of a friends Dr. and saw her this past Thursday. At the time she said it looked like a virus to her and that it could take 7-12 days for it to run it's course. She instructed me to continue with Tylenol Cold, Afrin and cough drops. She gave me a prescription for Amoxicillin and told me if I wasn't better my Monday (yesterday) to get it filled assuming that I will have developed a secondary infection by then. Well - tons of Tylenol Cold, Tylenol Sinus and Tylenol Head Congestion later - I was still feeling like absolute crap as of Monday so I had the prescription filled.

Three doses in and 10 days after the beginning of all of this I was presenting with new symptoms as of yesterday - chest tightness, fever, body aches, etc. Can I just add in here that my husband is out of town and my child chose yesterday to take virtually no nap. I was fighting collapsing on the ground all day yesterday. I decided to call the Dr. back yesterday. She had me come in and do a flu screening. For those of you who have had this done - I am so sorry because it was AWFUL! They stick a gigantic q-tip way up your nose and spin it around. It almost gags you and makes your eyes water - yuck! So...the flu screen was negative but she said it's only 80% accurate and she felt certain I have the flu. Now I am on Amoxicillin, Tamiflu, Cough Medicine and Tylenol/Motrin. I have gone through a box of tissues and a bag of cough drops in the last week - FUN!

Needless to say, I am home from work today and is it wrong that despite being sick I was excited about catching up on blogs? Ha! Oh well - I don't get to rest much and although I hate it that I actually need it to get well I am going to try to enjoy it because: well, why not?

I already feel better after two doses of Tamiflu so I CANNOT wait to get well and be back to my normal self. It is very difficult for me to sit amongst my messy house and feel too sluggish to do anything about it.

My get well arsenal - looks convincing, huh? I will be feeling better in no time!

My couch potato partner in crime - "Sylvester". For a once solely outdoor cat he sure has made himself comfortable indoors - wherever there is a resting body, he is on it ~ literally!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Results

My 30 K trail run was this past weekend in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Tim, Kennedy and I left on Thursday afternoon and drove to West Virginia to stay overnight with his parents. Friday morning we got up and had breakfast and coffee and socialized and then hit the road to North Carolina. The girls were soooooooooooooo excited to see each other. It was too precious for words to be honest. They just love each other and they play so incredibly well.

On Thursday morning I had woken up with a sore throat so I was a bit concerned about my run but it was nothin cough drops and Advil couldn't fix. We got up bright and early to head to the race and it was heavily misting outside. We both knew it most likely wasn't going to be fun, but lets be honest - when you train that hard - you run the event Rain or Shine! It went from misting to raining and early into the run we were both pretty much soaked. Luckily the majority of the race was under tree covering. The green way portion was awful though - just steadily raining with no cover.

I started out planning to attempt to keep up with my sister for as long as possible and I am not sure at this point whether that was a mistake or not. Around mile 9 my legs were heavy and I am not sure why. I had just run 16 the weekend prior so why would my legs be heavy that early into the run? My only guess is because I was trying to keep up with "speedy" as I will affectionately refer to my beloved sister as. I was determined that if I ignored said heaviness than I would "mind over matter" the pain and finish strong with her by my side.

Well....that's what I get for thinking because at mile 13 I thought to myself - there is no way I can keep this pace and finish and I decided it best to tell her so. It was my way of saying to myself: "it's ok to go my own pace as well as telling her it was okay for her to go hers". End result = speedy left me in the dust.

For some reason in trail runs there are vast separations between runners - I really can't explain why. It isn't like your typical 5K, 10 K or any major race really when you can see others behind, in front of and beside you. I couldn't see ANYONE - in front of, behind, etc. Because you are on a trail in the woods there aren't even any spectators or scenery for that matter - just dirt (or in this case - mud), rocks, and trees. I guess my point for telling you all that is to share the fact that it was extremely mentally challenging. I had lots of time to think about things like:

  • "man, I have got some speed work to do if I am going to keep up with her next month during the marathon"

  • "why is she so fast anyways?"

  • "is this really happening - I would be at the half-way point if this were the marathon. Translation - I would be running half of the marathon all by my lonesome. BOOOOO!"

  • "Is that a rock in my shoe.....why yes, I believe it is....that hurts"

  • "I feel a blister"

  • "Man my quads are tight"

  • "where is that next water stop anyhow"

  • "Is my IPOD on repeat because I swear I just heard "All the single ladies" two seconds ago"

  • "is it almost over"

You can see how positive being alone was for me right? Oh my goodness! Anyhow, I finished without walking (amazingly enough) and was super excited to see the finish line and Speedy believe it or not.

Our times:
Finisher # 207 out of 391
Vaughan, Catina aka "Speedy"
Race Time: 02:46:25
Pace/Mile: 08:56

Finisher # 242 out of 391
Taylor, Lindsy
Race Time: 02:52:47
Pace/Mile: 09:17

Not too shabby, huh? I was really hard on myself (as usual) afterwards, but ultimately I know it was an amazing accomplishment and in hind sight I am thrilled that I finished even if I couldn't keep up with Speedy. I have committed to stronger training - not only running but eating well and getting in my needed sleep/rest. I can't believe the marathon is in four weeks - CRAZY!

I wish I had pictures of the marathon but our hubbys stayed at home with the kiddos because of the rain and although super sister Melissa came to cheer us on she came sans camera. =(

I do have a cutie picture of Kennedy with her cousins:

Oh...and just for laughs I would like to take this opportunity to share a parenting experience with you. Kennedy behaved so well during the car ride that I told her when we stopped to pee pee, she could have a sucker. The problem with this promise is that apparently the WV welcome center/travel plaza only sells suckers made by the Amish??? Who knew. Please observe said suckers:

Can you say, holy sucker? HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009


My 16 mile training run was on Saturday. It was a gorgeous morning and I was feeling excited (though a little nervous) about reaching yet another long run milestone in my training. Courtney (being the ever-stellar running partner that she is) met me at 6:30 and we ran with the group we have been joining on weekend long runs the past few times. You can't go wrong with a group that meets rain or shine, has lots of dynamic running personalities/speeds/styles, sets out water at various mileages, AND (saved the best for last) has chocolate chip whole grain muffins and chocolate milk waiting at the finish. Yummy!

When I arrived there was a larger than normal group and, like I said - the weather was perfecto. We all got ready and took off down the road and it was so dark still that we could barely see in front of us. I mean seriously - I was trying to differentiate spots on the asphalt from road kill. Crazy! I thought to myself: "it is a special group that can share this camaraderie ~ up before everyone else and out doing what we like to do - putting one foot in front of the other" - I dunno, it's just a really cool thing and I love it! I love early morning runs too - not because I like to get up early but because it just seems to make the run feel better and go quicker which in the event of a 16 mile run is not such a bad thing, you know?

Unfortunately Courtney got to feeling sick and some of her co-workers had some GI bug the week prior so she decided to cut the run short (smart girl - there are no potty's on our route). I was a little worried when she left because we run a bit of a slower pace than the other runners out there and I was kind of thinking "oh my word, now I am going to seriously have to pick up my pace and of all runs!" Thankfully I joined up with some other runners and the run went better than I expected. I have no complaints really and actually I gained some pretty sweet perspective.

Your body and mind do some crazy things when you are up in running mileage and when you find yourself alone it can get pretty intense. Around mile 14 I separated from who I had been running with and I ran for a little bit before turning on my IPOD to rock me into the finish. So...I had some thinking time. My feet hurt, my hamstrings were tight and I kept thinking - man, it would feel good to walk right now. I reminded myself in that moment why I was doing this. Am I doing this to reach a personal goal - of course I am. I am a sucker for endurance events. I love a challenge and even more I love the feeling you get when you reach a goal that you worked really hard for. So...obviously that is one of the reasons I am training for this event. The other reason and the more gratifying reason is the fact that I am running for St. Judes patients who happen to be children. For some reason I felt like I was thinking/feeling on a greater level while I was out there running. I just thought to myself - my little girl is so healthy, she is such a blessing and there are parents out there who just simply don't have that luxury. For some reason they were given children who are ill and therefore they go from Dr. to Dr., some of them have spent their life earnings and savings on health care, they feel helpless and sometimes hopeless, they exhaust their resources and sometimes that isn't enough. Then....comes St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. They give families like this one a new start - a new beginning. Helen is the same age as my precious Kennedy and they have basically lived their lives with her in a hospital since she was 8 months old. I just can't imagine. It makes me run harder, faster and makes my steps more determined. If those families can go through that - if those kids can persevere, than so can I! I am so happy that I can fund raise for a place that is doing such amazing and proactive things in medicine. If you have some wiggle room in your charitable giving this month, please consider supporting me and donating to St. Judes.

This coming weekend I get to run with my sister that is running the marathon with me. We are registered for a 30 K trail run in Winston Salem and Tim, Kennedy and I are leaving on Thursday to go and get some family time in as an extra bonus. I hope after this past weekends run I am ready but more than anything I am just looking forward to seeing my sisters and Kennedy seeing my neices. There is nothing better than hearing a bunch of girls scream "COUSINS" at the top of their lungs. Soooooo looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2 Years

My baby's second birthday party was on Saturday. I CANNOT believe she is two. I know I probably said that on her actual birthday post, but I can still remember this moment:
The moment I saw her.....this beautiful little creature Tim and I together had created - Wow!

This picture is still one of my favorites and I think it's because it just seems as though she is saying "hello world, here I am now let me see what is all around me".

Then, we left the hospital and the Taylor house has never been the same since. It just doesn't seem like that was two years ago. Time flies!

We had a turtle themed birthday party because the child loves turtles. We had lots of friends over and just had a good time talking, eating, playing and opening presents. I am proud to say that as nervous as I was about making her birthday cake I am super thrilled with how it turned out.

Behold, the "smash cake" or # 2 as we were affectionately calling him

And the actual party cake aka "Herman" (not sure why).

The reason smash cakes are called smash cakes. Go birthday girl! Go!

The birthday present from Honey last year has obviously not lost it's popularity with the kiddos. What kid doesn't love a bubble maker? Honestly!

Kennedy got so many wonderful presents but this one probably stole the show thanks to Nana and Pawpaw. She loves her little tricycle. I am not sure if it's because she likes riding it or just loves donning her princess protective paraphernalia. Either way it's too cute for words.

We had a lot of very dear people here to celebrate with us and I wouldn't have it any other way for Kennedy. We are so thankful for our friends and family. I feel certain that if her descriptive vocabulary were more mature she would tell you it was a wonderfully magical 2nd birthday party. Thank you to all who helped us make it that way!

People in attendance (for memory's sake): Aunt Neenie, Chelsea, Courtney, Nana & Pawpaw, McCaws, Mastins, Banks, Stouts, and of course Mommy and Daddy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

14, 2, and baby

This past weekend was our 14 mile training run. Yep - I said 14. I was actually kind of nervous about it which is odd because training runs don't usually evoke any type of nervous reaction from me. Well...this one did. I guess the nerves developed because I realized this past week that I have done multiple half marathons at this point and a ton of long runs to train for those but I haven't ran anything over 13 miles since I trained for my first full marathon - FIVE YEARS AGO. So...bright and early we met the little running group we have started to join on our long training runs. It was pretty uneventful really. We both had a good run and the weather was really beautiful. I had some "gunk" leftover from being sick and at one point Court and I started hyperventilating (literally) because I shared the details of Hamptons passing with her and we had to stop and walk. It wasn't funny then.....but it's kinda funny now just because not everyone loves pets like I do - but she does! When I got back in my car after we had stretched and re-hashed the run details (as is customary for most runners) I realized "oh my gosh we basically just did a half....and some extra". Ha! Love it! Anyhow...Janine is in town this weekend (yipee) and plans to run with us and I think we are shooting for 9 which will be nice. Next weekend is 16 and my 30K in Winston Salem is the following weekend. Moving right along, right? It seems to be flying by.

My baby turned two today at exactly 11:36 AM. I CANNOT believe it. Where did the time go? It seems like I just had her and was walking the streets with her fussy, spitting up, fussy, cranky, crying, did I say fussy? behind in my "magic sling" (as I lovingly referred to it as) and now she is saying things like "my belly - don't touch!" or "don't hit Mommy....and don't pull hair". Oh my goodness. It's crazy. We didn't really do much special birthday stuff today although my friend Erica came by with her little girl Evie and we had a play date which Kennedy is always game for. The big celebration will come this weekend at her turtle themed birthday party.

Things that my little two year old loves: Animals! Shocking, I know.

This is Kennedy with a little cat named Archie that is staying at the clinic right now

Watching her princess movies: Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast...all of them really though currently she is most partial to Sleeping Beauty.

Going to the park.

Playing with friends (thats Erica's little girl Evie).

Feeding the ducks (even big white ones who bite you when they take bread=)

And as of last night....sleeping in her "big girl bed".

Anyhow....can't believe she is growing up so fast. I know you other Mommy's out there hear me. Happy Birthday Kennedy Clare!

Billie's baby shower was on Sunday. Lots of planning and envisioning has now come to a close. Everything at Abby's looked precious. My heavenly days the girl rearranged her furniture for this thing y'all. What a hostess! The food was delicioso compliments of Tinkers Cake Shop and Gourmet Goodies not to mention the faboo hummus from Kroger Marketplace and some fabulous vegetable and fruit chopping by Abby herself. I made some super sweet and yummy punch and all in all we had a really nice spread. Billie got some things off of her registry and some neat things that weren't on her registry but all great things to prepare her for the exciting journey that lies ahead. Eli will be here before we know it. I don't have shower pictures yet but I am sure Abby will post some soon.

Thats all for now....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Prima, Prima


Tonight was Kennedy's first dance class at Diana Evans School of Dance in Lexington (my friend Laura takes her daughter Lily there and told me about their classes). Kennedy's class is called Two's in Tututs. Seriously? Yes! So stinkin' cute! She was pretty shy overall but she was super happy to see "friends dancing" and other "yiddle girls" and in the end she was thrilled with the sticker and coloring page she got as a reward for sticking it out during her first lesson. Now.....if we can work on the gawking mothers outside the door causing other children to cry we may have fun with this. Yikes!

Here are some pictures from last night trying on our "piddy dance outfit". Hilarious!

A girl in a tutu has to twirl, you know?

oh..and check out said "piddy dance outfit"

This is the closest thing to "cheese" I could get out of the little munchkin. Not that she is a narcissist or anything but seriously I barely push the camera button and she is spouting off "see de pitures, see de pitures". Will you get a look at those ballet slippers! Too cute for words I tell ya.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

He's Gone

This evening around 8:20 PM I said goodbye to my best friend. We have shared so many things. He was there when I had my first serious breakup and broken heart, he was there when I moved to Kentucky and left all I knew behind in South Carolina (except for him thank God!), he was there through tough college times - there to share my joys, there to catch my tears when I was sad, there to spoon when I felt lonely, there for the multiple 10 hour long car drives from Murray to Charleston and back, there when I got my first job, my first apartment on my own, there when I met the man I would marry, there when I bought my first home and there when I brought my first baby home. Wow - the memories. We have played catch countless times, hung out in various yards for hours on end, we have jumped in and out of waves on the coast, we have run countless miles together in numerous towns, and the list goes on. He has befriended everyone he has ever met and he has alwas been fiercely in love with me and protective of me. Sounds like an incredible best friend, huh? He was. He was also the best dog I am sure I will ever know or have. There will never be another Hampton. I will miss him so dearly but I take comfort in knowing that I finally knew today - it was time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The exciting news is.....

I will be running my marathon for St. Jude patients nationwide. I am so thrilled to be fundraising for St. Jude words can't even describe. I have always admired what they do and I am just tickled to get to be a part of such an awesome thing. Catina and I will both be trying to reach a goal of $1,000.00 for St. Jude prior to our race on October 25th. So...if you have some extra change and you want to help out an AMAZING cause - click here.

As for other life news - we are still working diligently to finish our house. I have begun and hope to finish the guest bedroom today and next up - the final room - the bonus room! Praise Jesus! I am so ready for home improvement to be over I can hardly stand it. The house is taking shape though - it will be really cute. We have been so busy turning it into what we want it to be I have hardly stopped to enjoy what it already is - one story (so nice with Kennedy), brick (it is super quiet - so much better than our other house where we could hear conversations outside), convenient to ......well....everything really, and last but not least - more affordable which we hope will allow us to use our money more efficiently. We are really praying that the Lord will bless this move and that we will use any excess money how he wants us to use it. There are lots of things we have discussed using any excess for but we'll see where the Lord leads us.

Hampton is hanging in there. The poor thing developed a nose bleed on Friday that hasn't really stopped. Because of all of our fresh paint and trim work we had no choice but to take him to the clinic on Saturday. There is alot I can handle but blood all over what we have been working so hard at is not one of those things. Yesterday it became clear to me that his days are numbered. I plan to bring him home tomorrow with a special collar that will help us keep our home clean but provide a comfortable resting place for him until it's "time". I hope that the nose bleed will somehow miraculously stop and we will have him a little longer but it isn't looking favorable right now. Please keep us in your prayers. I never dreamed making this "when" decision would be so hard. I watch people do it in my line of business every day sadly. It is so clear to me when it's "time" for other pets but when it's your own it is such a weighty decision - one that I cannot describe. It will be unbelievable emotional and gut wrenching for me but I know he has had an incredible life and that he will be free of pain and most importantly the cancer that is ravaging his body when he is gone. I just want to know when and feel at peace about that decision. Again - please just pray for us.

Well...I have some precious pictures of Kennedy with her Aunt Neenie and Uncle Joshie who were here with us this past weekend. I would love to post them now but unfortunately duty calls - it's time for second coats of paint. I will save them for next time. Having them here was wonderful but sad all the same. Saying goodbye was really difficult but I am looking forward to seeing Janine again @ Kennedy's upcoming second birthday party. Oh - did I mention that? I am planning a bday party amidst all this mess! Sheesh!

More soon.....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're In ~ hip, hip....

HOORAY! Well, we are in our new house ~ finally. I officially got all of the remainder of our things from Abby and Jonathan's today. It was bittersweet really. My little one has grown to really love them both and of course Dakota too. It was nice getting to have social time with friends too. So much has changed since we had Kennedy. One of the main things that changes is scheduling and unfortunately just getting to "hang out" with people like we used to is harder and harder to do when there is a schedule to keep (especially when it comes to sleep). Moms - ya hear me?!? Anyhow - it has been a welcome change and blessing but it was nice getting so much time to visit in the evenings while we were there. We will miss that.

We started staying in the new house on Wednesday night and haven't left really. We have gotten a lot done but there is still so much to do. We thought we would just come in and slather on some paint but it has swiftly turned into so much more. Trim, outlets and outlet cover replacement, fixture and vent spray painting, ceiling painting, door painting and oh my word have I mentioned all the painting yet? Sheesh! I know it will look wonderful when it is all said and done, but boy am I ready to banish the paint and all the paraphernalia that goes with it! Thank goodness (yet again) for my Mother In Law because she has been staying here since Sunday and hasn't stop working since the second she put her things up - SERIOUSLY! It's humbling and gracious and oh my word I just can't even put my finger on it. It's just plain wonderful and we are thankful beyond description.

On Friday night some of our friends came over to help us paint and that was a HUGE help. It got us so much farther than we anticipated. Friends - thank you so very much. I didn't get pictures of everyone but I did get some pictures which I will include below. I am also going to attach a before and after picture of my new pantry which was a coat closet in it's past life. Hello - coat closet vs. pantry? Pantry wins! Tim really wanted to take on this project and I honestly didn't want him to. I could just see Tooltime re-runs in my head and knew it would totally be like that. I am glad to say I was wrong because the pantry turned out fantastic. Thanks to Billie and Derek for some donated materials it is sturdy too!

Not much else is going on in my world besides painting. I will tell you this - I just found out my old dear dog is very ill. I will post more later but please pray for him (Hampton) and me that I will know when it's time to say goodbye. He has been the best dog. I just can't even describe the bond between us. We will do a procedure tomorrow to make him much more comfortable but what he has can't be helped so we are nearing the end and I just need strength to handle it.

I finally registered for my marathon and have an exciting announcement to make in regards to that. You will have to come back to hear more about that!

Hampton has been staying at the clinic during the move - he is now home with me and will stay that way until we bring all our "children" home for good. Here he is observing our paint techniques.

Here is Mom - working hard as usual.

Abby and Courtney - hard at work painting our family room.

Kennedy and her new bff - Jonathan aka Jahsthen (or at least that is how I hear it and can spell it for ya!) carbing up pre-painting party.

*Not pictured are Billie and Derek who were also there helping out. Billie fixed some of my roman shades that otherwise would have been useless and Derek helped Tim finish up our pantry. Without further ado - behold the before and afters!

So....the after picture isn't so great but I was just thankful Tim took the picture for me so I could post it for you. It really does look good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Few of her favorite things.....

Since we have been staying with Abby and Jonathan Kennedy has developed a few favorite past times I thought I would share with you all.

First of all, meet her new furry favorite friend aka Dakota or "Kota" for short. Now, Dakota sometimes has some ahem, how shall I say: naughty behavior? However - he has been an absolute doll with our daughter - letting her chase him, scream at the top of her lungs out of sheer excitement to see him and even touch his treasured precious camel toy. Amazing - they have become fast friends for sure!

How could anyone resist that face?

She likes for him to "kiss toes"

She likes to get in his crate and yell to whomever is listening: "shut de door"

She likes to walk him and yell loud enough for the neighbors to hear "Kota - go pee pee, Kota - go poo-poo" No worries y'all - she leans in for a closer look when he finds the perfect spot to take care of business. I suppose she wants to ensure he is following direction. Hilarious!

On to her other favorite past times at the hotel de Burns - (ones that don't involve Dakota that is).

Watching the.......

....larger than life TV. What can be better than Little Mermaid in HD?

She is fascinated with the "fishee" screen saver. As soon as she sees the computer she says "I watch de fishees".

Her Daddy built a fort on their sofa and it was quite the big hit as well. She kept trying to get Dakota to "come in".
Anyhow - it's been fun being here and obviously Dakota and Kennedy are enjoying every minute of it. I think they might have withdrawals when we move out. We have our final walk through in our new house today and we officially close tomorrow at 1:00. Plans are to clean this weekend and paint next week. We hope to move in on the 22nd. Something tells me Kennedy might not want to go.....