Sunday, November 30, 2008


We returned yesterday from my in-laws for Thanksgiving. We were there last weekend so we could attend the Iowa Triathlon banquet in Des Moines, where I was recognized for winning the Flatland Series. This was a series of 4 races in Iowa and it was based upon an athletes participation and results. I won some great prizes which should be great for next season.

We decided to come back on Sunday and leave Owen with Derek's parents and have a couple of days to ourselves in Minnesota. I missed the little guy but WOW- you can get so much done when you don't have a 2 year-old around! We really enjoyed eating our dinner in front of the TV - we haven't done that in 2 years!!! We came back to to Des Moines on Wednesday to celebrate Thanksgiving with Derek's family. I think of his family as my own and couldn't be more blessed to have them in my life. I wouldn't trade them for anything. They are wonderful with Owen, treat me as their own and are so supportive of me and my racing. As you can see from the picture - Owen thinks his Opa is pretty special too.
I can't wait to go back to Illinois in a couple of weeks to see my parents, grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, etc... Christmas is a special time in our house and I hope Owen feels the Christmas spirit as well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tri Night 2008

Last night was the Minnesota Triathlon banquet and I was honored to receive the 2008 Rookie of the Year Award and was also voted as a member of Team Minnesota. The event was held at St.Paul College and the food was great. What was even better was three time Olympica, Hunter Kemper spoke to the audience. He shared his memories about being an Olympian as well as his determination to help defeat a disease called A-T that affects one in 40,000 babies. A-T shares traits with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many forms of cancer and I couldn't imagine if my own son had this horrible disease.

Friday night Derek asked me if I had anything prepared to say if I won the award. I was like "um no I think I will be fine going up there just winging it", needless to say and I hate saying this - Derek was right and I should have had something prepared! I kind of blubbered on the stage and couldn't sleep last night thinking - "I hope people don't think I am quirky or uneducated...but then I have to also remember that they probably don't even remember what I said! If I could do it over I would have kept it short and simple - something like this.."Just wanted to say thank you for recognizing me for this award. I look up to all the athlete in here who have had so much experience in this sport and looking forward to next year working with my coach Dan. Also thanks to my husband because I wouldn't have gotten into this sport without him." Oh well - there is always next year or next week to redeem myself. Next weekend we are going to Des Moines, IA for the Iowa Triathlon Banquet as the winner of the Flatland Series will be announced. I hope to come home with that award as well. Since we'll be back in Des Moines a few days after the banquet, for Thanksgiving, we are going to leave Owen with Grandma and Grandpa. It will be weird to be in Minneapolis and not have Owen here, but it will also be very nice. I think we are going to go to a movie and I am going to decorate the house for Christmas. I LOVE CHRISTMAS and everything about it, I love buying presents for others and getting into the Christmas spirit!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fun Fun Fun

I had the last two days off of work since it was Veterans Day yesterday and then I usually have Wednesdays off, so Owen and I took this opportunity to go have some fun. Yesterday we went to the Mall of America and listened to the Teddy Bear Band and then rode some rides at Nickolodeon land and had lunch at the California Cafe - his lunch rocked - I pretty much ate his! I did my good deed for the day and gave two free rides to a mom with two little girls who were on their way to Nickolodeon land, Owen was pretty much done for the day and I decided it was time to go. I didn't think we would be back there in the next month to use up the tickets. I tried to avoid that place as much as I can, and now with Christmas coming there is now way I want to spend my afternoons there!
Today I went to my first masters swim practice and thought I did pretty good. I am going to try and go at least once a week because I think it will definitely help my swimming, I just wish the practice wasn't 20 minutes away. I also met with Dan - my coach for next year and going to get started with some structured training next week. I was happy to hear that I shouldn't be doing any pylometrics and speed work - but to work on form and aerobic endurance.
I took Owen to the gym so I could run 4 miles on the treadmill. I took it easy and ran about 8 minute miles - it was nice and relaxing. After that we went to the Community Center where he played on the cars, trucks, bikes, motorcycles for about an hour. I put him down for a nap after we had lunch and you would have thought that with his busy day yesterday and today it would have wore the little stinker out but it didn't - he hasn't been taking naps for about a couple of months but has quiet time in his room. If he takes a nap - it is pretty much one a week. I think I need the quiet time more than he does!
This weekend is the Minnesota Triathlon Banquet and I am up for Rookie of the Year with some other outstanding athletes. It should be a good time.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's a Celebration!

I returned yesterday from Florida where I was a bridesmaid in my good friend Nicole's wedding. The wedding took place on Sanibel Island and it was a beautiful place and Nicole looked so amazing and so happy. I went on this little vacation by myself and I enjoyed every minute of it. I left Wednesday to go down there and got to spend pretty much all day Thursday laying on the beach - it was wonderful! I ran on the beach a couple of days and swam in the ocean too. There was one day where I didn't run on the beach and saw a sign that read "$500 dollar fine if you feed the alligators" - I decided to get off that path and return to the beach!
I called my Mom while I was down there and asked her why the heck we grew up in Illinois where there is winter, and why the heck I live in Minnesota! When the plane touched down in Minneapolis though, the 25 degree weather didn't damper my spirits when I saw Derek and Owen pick me up from the airport. It was great to see them!

Here is a picture of the bride Nicole and I just before she is ready to walk the down the aisle - 0ops I mean the beach!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween + Birthday = Overload

Owen turned 2 yesterday and it was a fun filled weekend starting with Halloween on Friday, he definitely knows what candy is now! This was the second year in a row he was a chicken. Derek and I let him decide if he wanted to be a chicken or superman and gave him the option multiple times but it was Winner Winner Chicken Dinner everytime!

Right before we started trick or treating, Owen's Uncle Jared gave him an early birthday present - a mini escalade car, and that did not leave his sight the whole night. It was a pretty funny sight to see Owen sucking his sucker, carrying his bucket and his car while we went from house to house.
On Saturday, Owen's Grandma and Grandpa were in town and they took him along with Aunt Rachel to the Mall of America where they spoiled the little chicken. They went to Nickelodeon land and rode rides and then ate lunch at The Rainforest Cafe where Owen saw his first crocodile and snake!!! I think the funniest story of the day was when they passed Caribou Coffee in the Mall and Owen pointed to it "I want that." I think Mommy may frequent that place too much!

Sunday was Owen's actual birthday and we had a Curious George party for him. He felt pretty special when he walked in the door and we all started clapping and singing for him!

He received lots of cool "surprises" that day and tried taking many of his surprises - aka trucks to sleep with him last night but mommy would only allow one car with him in bed. Surprises was our word for presents that day.

I leave for Florida on Wednesday for a friends wedding and will miss the little guy a lot but I know Daddy will take good care of him. They have lots of frozen pizza, corn dogs, and fruit snacks on hand! In a couple of weeks I need to start my training for a half marathon I am going to do at the end of January. Not sure how much fun it will be since it is part of the Winter Carnival in St. Paul and called the Frozen Half Marathon! I have been swimming a lot more lately too and think I might be up for Masters at the SCS pool here in a couple of weeks to show my coach my improvement.