Sunday, June 30, 2013

Peach Festival 2013

Although most of you know me IRL, and know all about where I live, I think there may be some readers who don't, so I thought I would explain all of the recent "peach flavored" activities in our lives.  We live in a county which is famous all over Alabama (and other parts of the South) for its peaches.  The water tower at our exit on the interstate is a huge peach, and we have peach farms all over the county.  We're pretty sure our peaches are better than those from our neighboring state, that claims to be the peach state.

Anyway, peach season officially starts towards the end of June every year.  The first peaches are ripe and ready about mid-June, but the sweetest ones come later in the summer.  I have no idea when it started since I'm not from here, but the last week of June is always a whole week of peach activities, collectively called the Peach Festival.  It starts on the next to the last Saturday with the Peach Run (which y'all know all about), and the Peach Cook-off (which my MIL won 2nd place in a couple of years ago), and there are other peach things all week:  a car show, fishing tournament, the Peach Jam on the next Friday night, Peach parade the last Saturday morning in June, a peach auction, etc.  

The first couple of years I lived here, I was single, and didn't really know anyone.  I didn't participate in many of the activities at all.  I had lived here for two years when I met John, and we had been dating about 3 weeks when it was time for the Peach Festival.  We went to the Peach Jam that Friday night and it was one of my favorite dates!  I had never been before, and it was so much fun because nearly everyone attends and you stop all along your way to talk to people.  We usually go every year, but Fitz was only a couple of weeks old in 2011, so we skipped, and last year it was just too stinkin' hot.  So, this year was Fitz's first Peach Festival!

Friday night, we all went to the Peach Jam, and Papa came and met us there.   They had hot air balloon rides.  We didn't participate, but Fitz was pretty impressed with the huge balloon!

We didn't manage to get a family photo, but here's Papa playing with Fitz:

Saturday morning was the Peach parade.  We love a parade around here, and usually go to any parade there is!  Our friend Heather's son,  Fletcher, marched in the parade this year for the first time, with his school's band.  He just tried out for, and made, one of the prestigious drum line positions in the band and we are so proud of him!

Besides bands, our parades always feature lots of pageant queens, tractors, politicians and fire trucks!

Papa came and met us at the parade, too!

Here's Fletcher!

Fitz especially liked this tiny pony:

and the suckers, of course.

I absolutely love this little small town, and all of the activities that come with living here.  I love going to events like the Peach Festival and knowing most of the people I run into.  I love that everyone knows Fitz and talks to him, and laughs at his funny faces.  I love that we still do things like the Peach Festival, and that most everyone participates and has fun.  I never thought I would live in a small town, but I sure am glad God brought me here to live and work.  I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Get Fit Friday!

I hope y'all will be patient and deal with a few more Peach Run pics!  My friend/assistant/right hand, Kristy, and her son, Skylar were waiting at the 10k turn, and took some action shots for me.  I was so excited to see them when I made the big turn!!  If you were doing the 5k, you went straight here, back to the gym where the finish line was, and if you were doing the 10k, you turned here, at this sign:

After looking at her photos, I realized that I run with my hands in thumbs-up position at all times...not sure why I do that?!?

But once I realized it, I paid attention when I ran later, and I do it all the time, ha!

It's hard to see me in the next photo, but I'm on the left side of the road, heading for my last half of the 10k!

Even though my left foot was pretty sore, I was on kind of a high for a few days after the big race, and did pretty well with my running this week.  I ran another two slow miles on Monday...

and THREE more on Thursday, which put me over my goal of 30 miles for June!

I let my feet rest and did the elliptical machine this morning instead of running, so that means I have done 31 miles in June!  I tried to set my goal at a number that was attainable, but still a challenge and I am very pleased with myself for passing my goal!  It helps that I did a 5k and a 10k this month, so that was 9 miles of my 31 right there.  There are still two days left in the month, so I could actually go higher than 31.  And that 31 does not count all of the elliptical time or my walking in Nashville last week!  I'm very happy with my exercise this week.

I think my goal for July will be 30 miles as well, and I will tell you why.  I'm only doing one race for July, so that is 3 miles of races instead of 9 like this month.  Also, it is H-O-T in Alabama in July and humid, too, which makes running more difficult than it already is.  I mean, do you SEE the sweat on my shirt up there?  So, with all things considered, I think 30 miles for July is attainable, but also a challenge.

Food - I've done pretty well this week.  I ate a chocolate chip cookie or two one day, and a cupcake at a birthday party last week, but I didn't eat the whole bag of cookies or multiple cupcakes for days like I have in the past, so that is progress...right?  Other than that, I have eaten pretty well, mostly grilled meat and fruit.  I need to work on adding in more vegetables, but my problem is that I just don't like very many vegetables.

Weight - Ugh.  I hate this part.  I skipped weighing last week, but I did weigh today, and I weigh the same as I did two weeks ago.  On one hand, that is good because I have not gained, but on the other hand, I feel like I have run 20 miles in the past two weeks, so I was hoping to lose.  A blog reader sent me a text after my last post and suggested that I add in some weights instead of all cardio all the time.  That is a great suggestion, and I know she is right.  My issues is, that I don't do well lifting on my own.  I do much better in a class atmosphere, so I got a schedule of classes at the gym this morning, and I'm going to try to incorporate a couple of classes a week into my workout routine.  I just do SO much better in aerobics type classes that also have some toning exercises.

I'm a work in progress people, and I won't give up!

P.S.  I checked the time sheets at the gym this morning for the Peach Run, and as I feared, I was apparently the last runner to finish the 10k race.  BUT, I did it, and that's what counts, right?  Just room to improve for next year's race!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Party Animal...?

We attended two birthday parties this past weekend, and had so much fun at both!

We went to Mary Eloise's birthday party on Saturday, at her house.  The first toy Fitz saw was her toy vacuum cleaner.  He latched on to that thing and played with it the whole time we were there?!?

He "vacuumed" the kitchen, dining room, and living room!

He didn't even put it down to eat his party snacks, goldfish and cookies.

Denise (ME's mom) said she wished Fitz's party was after this one so she would have known what to get him, ha!  I hope this is indication of a neat freak and not an indication of future employment for Fitz!

After church on Sunday, we went to our friend Garner's 1st birthday celebration at his grandmother, Margie's, house.  Garner comes to church with Margie and he and Fitz always have so much fun together!

Margie had a pinata for the kids to bust open, and when she first gave Fitz a bat, he had no idea what to do with it.  It didn't take him long to figure it out after he saw the other kids hitting that pinata!  Then he took his turn:

After a little help from Garner's granddaddy, the kids were rewarded with a bunch of candy!  Fitz, of course, picked out his favorite...suckers:

He also loved the balloons at both parties.  Some of the older kids tied all of these together to see if they could fly (?!?), and once they were tired of that game, Fitz picked them up.

Fitz spent a little time with the birthday boy:

Fitz also spent some time with his Tootsie, who he knew would give him as many suckers as he wanted.

We had fun celebrating with our friends this past weekend, and look forward to Peach Festival events this weekend!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I did a 10k!

 Well, I did it!  If you read the blog, then you know, yesterday was the Peach Run 10k!  As you also know, I have been pretty nervous about it, partly because I did the Peach 5k a few years ago and it was so humid and hot that it took me forever to do the 5k, let alone double that, and partly because I've never run 6 miles before...ever.  But I did it, and I'm so glad that I did!

The Peach Run is hosted and run by the gym that I'm a member of, and I sponsor it every year.  That is part of the reason I signed up for the 10k, because my gym instructor, Lori, encouraged me to do it.  It kicks off a whole week of activities in our area, which is famous for its peaches.  Since it occurs in the city where I live, I had tons of local support!  My friend Stephanie made me a sign, and appeared at 3 different spots on the route to cheer me on!  My friends Kristy and Skylar also waited on me at another spot on the route with cameras and a sign:

I knew tons of people who were sign markers, and at water stations, and my friend Walter was waiting at another spot on the route, to cheer me on!  Most of my friends that ran did the 5k, so they all were waiting on me at the finish line, cheering me on, as well as Tootsie and Fitz!  Every single time I saw someone I knew, I got chills, and it made me run faster and do better!  Support definitely makes a difference!

Two of my friends who are also attorneys ran with me and did the 5k, one of whom has never done a race before!  These are the members of the Chilton County Runner's Bar:

I had been praying for low humidity, and lots of stamina, and before the race, my sweet friend Amanda said a prayer for strength for me, and all of the prayers were definitely answered.  It was much less humid that it has been lately, and in shady spots, there was a nice breeze.  The second half of the route was pretty hilly, which I knew in advance, and some sections were very sunny, but it was not as bad as I anticipated.  And as I said above, all of the local support made a HUGE difference for me.  My mom took this pic as I crossed the finish line:

I was SO glad to be done!

Haley and I - post run
My friend Jessica did the 10k, too, but she was done well before me, ha!  Here we are:

Haley asked me on Friday what my goal time was, and I really didn't have a goal until she asked.  I did some quick math and decided that my goal would be to finish under an hour and fifteen minutes, which would be an average 12.5 minute mile.  I used my RunKeeper app, and here are the results:

Yep, I beat my goal only 40 seconds, but I did it!  I checked the time on my splits, and I did the first mile in 9:46.  I had no idea I could run a mile in under 10 minutes!  Awesome!

I found out Friday that the race would have door prizes for runners...and not just cheap door prizes, really good ones!  Then...I won one of them!  I won a Yeti cooler.  Have you heard of them?  The price tag said $250.  For a cooler!  Apparently, they keep ice really well for several days.  John is now looking forward to his next camping trip so he can use it, ha!

So, in the end, I am SO glad that Lori encouraged me to do the 10k, and that God gave me the courage to try something new and challenging!  I appreciate all of the family and friend support, and can't wait until the next challenge!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Get Fit Friday (short version)

This is not a full GFF post, it's a short one instead.  

I only ran 4 miles this week, but I started on Sunday instead of Monday because I knew I would be going out of town and would not run at least that day, and I have the Peach Run tomorrow, so I like to rest my legs a couple of days before a race.  I ran 2 miles Sunday morning, and 2 miles Monday morning.

Tuesday morning, I went to the gym and did 40 minutes of Level 2 Intervals on the elliptical machine before we left for Nashville.  I'm not sure if it counts or not, but we walked downtown Nashville on Tuesday afternoon, and again that night from our hotel to the concert and back again.

I did not work out on Wednesday at all, but I did 40 more minutes on the elliptical Thursday morning.  I didn't do anything today because I wanted to rest my legs before I do my first 10k tomorrow.  I'm not sure why I'm so nervous about it?  I am though, so if you want to say a prayer for me, feel free to do so.

As for eating, I did ok this week, other than on our little trip.  This is what I had for breakfast at The Loveless Cafe on Wednesday: 

The BBQ pork and egg plate, with a side of DELICIOUS biscuits and grits with cheese.  No, I didn't eat it all, not even close.  The portion size was HUGE.  It was very good though, and not very healthy at all.  I didn't eat lunch that day though because we were driving and all still stuffed from breakfast.

I didn't weigh this week.  I was too depressed after last week, so I'm taking a week off from the scale, and plan to weigh again next week.

I've done 20 miles out of my goal of 30 for June.  Tomorrow I will run 6 more, which will put me only 4 behind my goal!  I will have to raise my goal for July...but it will be HOT.  Anyway, say a prayer for my run in the morning, for low humidity, and great stamina.  Thanks y'all!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Twenty-two Years Later

So, in 1991, I went to my first concert ever.  Who was it?  NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK.  I was totally in love with them.  I had the sleeping bag.  The action figures.  A huge pillow with all of them on it.  Every TAPE they released.  I paid $25 for my first concert ticket and thought that was outrageous, but also worth it.  I was eleven years old.  We had horrible seats, but it was oh so exciting anyway, to actually see them live and in person.  

Fast forward TWENTY-TWO years, and I hear on the news and on FB (of course) that they are going on tour again this summer.  And not alone, oh no, not alone, but with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees.  Oh have mercy!  My cousin-in-law that I have talked about before, Brianne, posted it on FB, and my friend Heather and I both commented immediately that we just needed to load up and go see them.  Heather loved Boyz II Men, and Brianne loved 98 Degrees.  I was in a class where I had no cell service when tickets went on sale to FB fans a few days earlier than the general public.  I gave my trusty assistant my credit card info and she was on it.  We got tickets to the Nashville show, which was on Tuesday night.

We left early Tuesday morning, dropped Fitz off with Tootsie and headed north.  We got there in plenty of time to have lunch and do some downtown shopping and sight-seeing before the show.  

We found a boot store, with a huge one pair of cowboy boots and get two free!  How could we pass that up?!?  I have wanted a pair of cowboy boots for a while now, so I was excited to find a cute pair, and get them at such a good price, too!  See?

I brought a dress and flat sandals to wear to the concert, but once I bought the boots, I knew I had to wear them!

I thought it turned out pretty cute, myself :)

We had to take a selfie in the hotel bathroom before we left:

Went to dinner with a friend of Heather's who lives in Nashville...

and then headed across the street to the big show!  

Boyz II Men came out first and we LOVED them!

98 Degrees were up next, then the big show, New Kids on the Block!

I was SO excited to see them!

We all agreed that they are much HOTTER than they were 22 years ago!   Especially Donnie Wahlberg...

He came out into the crowd in our section one time, and we all know he was looking at me, Heather and Brianne...and clearly singing to us.

We had the best time at the concert, and all agreed that we would even pay to see them again if we could!  It was kinda random to have a girls' trip in the middle of the week, but totally worth it.

Before we left Nashville, we took a friend's advice and ate breakfast/lunch at the Loveless Cafe.  I highly recommend it if you find yourself anywhere near Nashville!

Here's to awesome girlfriends, super sweet husbands who don't mind our trips to re-live our youth, and fabulous grandparents who don't mind keeping our babies while we're gone!  I can't wait for the next one ladies!