Friday, October 31, 2008

My Dixie Chicken

If you'll be my Dixie chicken
I'll be your Tennessee lamb
And we can walk together
Down in Dixie lan

There's really a LOT you can say about Halloween at our house, and one thing is for sure - this ain't your momma's suburbs. This was a weird Halloween for us - Halloween is my fave holiday. Seriously, I like it more than Christmas. It's just fun - low pressure, no gifts, lots of creativity - and anything that semi-revolves around chocolate is awesome. Normally we decorate a ton - the spiderwebs, lights, parties, etc. This year - nothing. Between not being able to make it to the attic since stairs are currently being built, to everything in our attic still being totally covered in shingle dust, to being gone for a week, and honestly being more focused on building a nursery than spending hours stretching cobwebs - it just didn't happen. With the "economy" as such I even cut back on my candy buy -only 10 bags this year!

BUT, we do love to dress up and give out what we have, so I made do with an old witches costume from prior years. The corset wouldn't corset all the way, but it's not too bad for an almost 7 months preggers costume!

And this year, we subjected Pippin to being a chicken.

A coworker suggested Brent (or I) be KFC Kernal Sanders, which I thought was SO clever! But, Brent said he would just wear the chef outfit since he didn't have a white suit and would only be Mr KFC if he could do it right. This is our 14th Halloween together (we are so old!!!) and he has seriously worn this mask EVERY year!! He loves it! He quit wearing it when the kids really started coming in, it scares a lot of them.

Pippin had his picture taken by at least 4 people, had one woman say "no one is ever going to believe this", a few "I ain't never seen a dog dressed like a chicken", and one "I thought that was a real chicken." All the kids love Pippin, and a few get so distracted they don't even get candy, which is great because we always run out. I got through about 260 kids before I ran out this year around 5 minutes after 8. It's nuts. And I still hear a ton of kids going by about a half hour later. I get seriously irritated at how rude some of them are - a few came back more than once, and when I called him out on it he said "no i didn't". Uh, I can remember an orange convict outfit and the distinctive marks on your face from about 5 minutes ago. We also had a ton of parents trick or treating. I mean, REALLY, that is so awful. So although I always feel bad when we run out, I blame these parents for taking candy from children. I spend at least $50 a year on candy, and that's all I can really handle. Hopefully another hour and it'll quiet down - there's a ton of screaming outside right now, and while we were out there was one loose dog running and chasing people (creating massive panic) and then one fight between high schoolers where they started throwing candy (nice how they appreciate it) and cursing at each other while chasing each other down our street. I was really glad they didn't come to our house.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't had a chance to get our vacay slideshow up here, it's been one of those crazy busy weeks back in the schedule. I still have to get the last 2 days of pics off my camera, including pics of the delish waffle I had at the Coronado resort we stayed at. Seriously, BEST.WAFFLE.EVER. Maybe later this weekend I can get pics of our 41st state conquered together up! Only 9 more states to go - Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Next year we're aiming to take the baby to WV and VA, since that would be a pretty easy drive from here.

It is COLD here! Tonight is our first freeze warning. I think our high was 50-something today, a far cry from the mid-80s we had in SanD last week! Brent helped me dig the rest of my sweet potatoes last weekend, and I picked any peppers I had of good size. My garden is still doing SO well (this has been my best garden ever!), and it's such a shame if this freeze kills my remaining plants! I've got a lot of green tomatoes still, and my pepper plants are going through a big boom right now.

Anyway, we've got a lot going on this week. Our nursery furniture came in WAY early (it was due in mid-Dec), so our fams are coming up this weekend with a trailer to help us go and get it, and also take back some of the large tools we've borrowed on the stairs project. Our curtain fabric also came in, so my mom will be taking that back and bringing us the living room curtains she made for us. I can't wait to see them!!! They've been done since July but we've held off on getting them since we've had SO much drywall dust inside. With our new entertainment console here now, once we have the curtains our living room furniture ensemble will finally be complete. Yay!

Brent's been SUPER busy this week working on the mural in the baby's room, installing the landings on the stairs, and installing door trim for the new doorways so we can send back some of these tools and actually have a place for the crib. AND, he's in an art show that starts Sat night, so getting all his pieces together has been thrown in there, too! Luckily I've been able to help with a lot of that, but it's one more thing on the To Do list, all colliding at once. AND, we're going to see Avenue Q here at TPAC Thursday night!!! OH, and there was that little "Monday Night Football" thing yesterday where our Titans went 7-0 and showed Peyton Manning what a little girl he is. So, there's been a thing or two going on here.

It was nice to be back at the gym yesterday. People are REALLY starting to stare at me and ask questions about when I'm due. No baggy T-shirt in the world can hide this basketball belly (which is HUGE tonight). We walked a ton on vacation, prob at least 3 miles every day. I swear the San Diego Zoo is ALL uphill, we must've walked 5-6 miles that day, between walking to and from the bus stop and literally looking at every animal in the zoo. Same for SeaWorld, both days we were walking and exploring from when the park opened at 9-10 until they close at 5. I didn't have any issues, Saturday was the only day I felt a little slow. Between our early flight, walking around a few hours with our heavy backpacks until our rooms were ready, and then more exploring that night I was getting a bit tired.

This morning, literally 5 minutes before my alarm went off, I woke up with a pregnancy leg cramp. This is only the 2nd one I've had, I think the other one was back in August and my leg was literally sore for about 4 days. They're so much worse than regular charlie horses (for me). With a reg leg cramp I can stretch it out with no lingering soreness, but the soreness just lingers on pregnancy ones (for me). Walking helps some, but it's really hard to stretch out. I didn't get a chance to go to the gym or for my afternoon walk, hopefully tomorrow I can and maybe that will help some of the soreness.

Since I haven't had a chance to post vacay pics, here's a couple of Anne and I - proving that we do both exist and are not the same person!

Have a great night!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We're back!

We're back from our babymoon! We had a great time in San Diego. We left last Saturday morning and got home around 10 last night. We did all the main touristy stuff - the Zoo, Sea World, etc and then spent the last few days lounging around Coronado in the most comfortable pool chairs ever. (And we even spent a day with Anne! )It was in the mid/upper 80's and we have a better tan than we had all summer. Of course no one will ever see it since it's in the 50's and chilly here - and we might get our first frost this upcoming week!

More pics and vacation details to come, it's time to snuggle with a very, very exhausted Pippin. I think he had a full week of playing (and being royally spoiled) at Camp Bow Wow and the poor thing is just absolutely dead to the world today.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Anyone else totally sick of this election? I pretty much thought I knew who I was going to vote for, and now I'm back in the land of undecided. And if I heard "Joe Plumber" one more time tonight I wanted to vomit. I really just can't support McCain and his desire to write down people's mortgages and devalue our houses. How is that ok? I've worked hard for a house I can afford, changes I can afford, and a lifestyle within my means, shouldn't everyone??? If you write down my neighbors debts I'd like some of that myself! And his healthcare plan - honestly I'm not all that familiar with it - but I'm pretty certain my medical expenses this year and next would far exceed his allocations. I'm really thinking about writing in Kiefer Sutherland. Any other 24 fans with me on that one??? Brent will probably write me in, like he does for every election.

Just a few more days and we'll be in California!!!! It's going to be nice and relaxing, everything a vacay should be! Sorry no time for more blogging, there's a lot of nursery painting, vacay prep and other stuff going on around here. My Reader account is up to over 80 posts, yikes!!!

Ok, time to test out the cookies I made for Boss's day tomorrow - Heath Peanut Butter cookies, yum!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oktoberfest 5K Race Report: Bumpy, Lumpy & Proud

WARNING: This post is very long, at times totally off topic, and full of pictures. (And took all day, off and on, to write!)

Hey guys! I hope you've all had a great weekend. I can't say that I have many complaints. I actually started my weekend a little early. I think all the stress of everything - the world, the house, sick people everywhere around me, trouble sleeping, etc - totally caved in on me Thursday leaving me pretty much exhausted. Sometimes I sleep pretty good, others not so much, and last week I was just feeling utterly exhausted and like I could succumb to all the illness around me at work. (On a side note, why do sick people refuse to stay home??? It's gross and so rude to everyone around - esp those of us who can't take a slew of medicines to clear things up.) So Brent pretty much ordered me to stay home Friday and get some rest, and I feel SO much better. I slept until close to 9 am, and did a lot of couch napping all day. My two "approved" activities were mopping the kitchen floor and cleaning the bathroom, and those were pretty much the only things I did that took me away from a day of watching TLC and decompressing.

Friday night when Brent got home we headed out to do a little car shopping. On the way to the dealership we saw the Oktoberfest packet pick-up booth, so we went ahead and swung in to sign up for the race. Basically, the churches and historical society who sponsor this festival every year got into an argument over the money side of it, so the festival split and the new Germantown Street Festival side kept the race. So, the course was all new, start and finish in new places, new logo, new everything! I asked if there was an Athena division, and of course the one race I would qualify there wasn't! I got my shirt, my Christie Cookie, and my bib and we walked around Germantown looking for a dinner spot.

One great thing about pregnant running is not caring what you fuel up on the night before! It's all about taking it easy, so anything works. We ended up trying out Monell's. Monell's is the classic "Southern cooking" type place. It's family style, and while we knew you sat at the table with people you didn't know and shared big bowls of food, we always thought you ordered the meat you wanted. However, all the meats they're serving that day are brought to everyone as well. Truly this is the type of place that helps TN stay extremely high in the overweight statistics of our nation. Our table was completely full - prob about 12 or so people. One group of 5, the two of us, a group of 3 and another group of 2. We were completely stuck in the back corner of the room - a wall behind us, and I was next to the head of the table - an EXTREMELY large guy who ate there often. On the other side of him - one of the biggest people I've ever seen - also a huge fan of the place. I was really glad my nauseated days are long gone - there's NO way I would've been able to get out without making them move. And let's just say that would not happen "I'm about to be sick" quickly. First we passed around salads - cole slaw, pea salad and cucumbers and onions. It was all pretty good, their cole slaw was excellent. Then came the sides - mashed potatoes, collard greens, corn casserole, & green beans. I don't like greens, and theirs weren't my thing either. I also wasn't a fan of the green beans - I don't personally like the Southern way of cooking them in ham/bacon, and I'm pretty sure theirs were. Then came the meats - vegetarian lasagna, fried catfish and fried chicken. I skipped the lasagna, the fish was great but the pieces were small and their hushpuppies were a little weird, and the fried chicken was just ok. Dessert was banana pudding, and of course there was sweet tea (but naturally I'm stuck with water everywhere since I'm choosing to try to avoid caffeine 99.9% of the time.) The banana pudding was excellent and I could've eaten the whole bowl.

So yeah, the whole family style thing can be a little odd. The huge guy next to me was NOT a passer. I'd hand him something and he would just set it down. We were the halfway point of the table and so the entire other side would just sort of look at him, so I'd end up handing it straight across the huge table. He told me he wasn't interested in "the healthy stuff" for the first salad course - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't pass it on! It was nuts. He was there with his family - a couple of brothers and his parents, who will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this winter. His mom spent the WHOLE time telling him he needs to find a wife, that it's not good to be alone, etc etc. Poor guy probably hears it ALL the time, but why rush into the wrong marriage! Anyway, we were stuck there a long time - the people on Brent's right had us blocked in because they were slow eaters, and then we were blocked on the other side because the people were so large we couldn't get by. Monell's was pretty good - but it was $16 a person which just wasn't worth it. We don't eat THAT much.

From there we finally made it over to the car dealership, test drove the car we liked, then went inside to talk "bizness". I HATE buying cars. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I think cars are sort of pointless, and I would never spend a lot on one. We sat around forever while they appraised our trade-in. We've got a 2000 Jeep Wrangler, with a whopping 50K miles on it - I seriously hit 50K in July and we've had it for 7 years, and we bought it used! Driving 5-6 miles a day does not wear a car out, and it's in perfect shape with a lot of upgrades and new brakes, tires and radiator. So when they brought us back the paperwork and offered us $5,000 for it - we hit the ceiling. We had already told them we owe nothing on the car, planned to pay cash for the new car, and basically couldn't have been an easier sale in a time where dealerships are supposed to be struggling. Anyway, we were so beyond offended we didn't even want to play the game with them, of course they wouldn't just give us our keys back. Brent went behind the counter to get them himself, they didn't tell us where they had moved our car and let us wander around the lot for several minutes before they told us where to find our car - which is rude on every level but especially when you're dealing with a pregnant lady at 9pm, so we won't be back to Crest Honda for anything, ever. It was beyond frustrating. (And also about $3K below the standard Kelly trade in value for our car.)

Needless to say we came home miffed and irritated, it was already close to 10, and I was starting to think getting up early for a race might not be my smartest move. My goal all along has been to keep my fitness up for this particular race. I slept horribly that night, worried about the race and irritated about the whole car thing.

Race morning started early, I had toast with PB on it and grabbed some clothes. I haven't bought any maternity running stuff, I mostly just work out every day in elastic shorts and Brent's old race shirts. It's not pretty, but buying a whole new professional wardrobe for myself as well as clothes for a baby isn't cheap, and all the maternity stuff I've seen is really pricey. I found a white Tshirt that would work, and then my ugly gym shorts. They're not flattering but neither is my rear end these days, and especially my thighs, so I try to wear longer stuff.

Brent dropped me off near the start and I grabbed my chip and stood around waiting for him to find me. I didn't see anyone I knew - there were several other large races that day, so I guess a lot of the more popular runners went there. The corporate team from my former employer wasn't even there, which was odd. I headed to the back of the pack to line up, and ended up getting in line with the running stroller crew. I figured that was the best place for me to avoid mobs, but by the time the gun went off the crowd was an absolute chaotic mess, as far back as I lined up there were walkers in front, runners behind, just a mess of people not understanding how to line up. They were all courteous though, so it was fine, just a slow, messy start.

Brent waited a little past the start to get my pic, then jumped in with me, massive camera in tow. His plan was to stick with me the whole way, which was just fine by me. I know he was staying with me to make sure I was ok, that it really had nothing to do with taking hundreds of pictures of me, but I'm cool with that. That's what sweet, concerned husbands do. There were tons of police everywhere guarding the intersections, so I know if I had needed medical attention I would've been taken care of quickly.

My goal all along was just to take it easy, keep it conversational, and maybe end up around 45 minutes. That was a goal that made me cringe, but 20 pounds of baby really slows you down. (Last year I ran it in 25something, the year before in 24:06.) Girlie and I have had our moments - she went through her "sitting on my bladder phase". We've also been through the "how do I run with porn star boobs" phase (answer:double the boobs, double the quantity of sports bras), and now we're in a happy place together. I have some shin pain, but I think that's a combo of def needing a new pair of shoes plus the extra weight. It's very similar to the pain I get when it's time for new shoes.

So we started slow, I'd walk any hills, and I just kept it easy. It felt nice to pick people off, slowly. Pregnant running is weird: people stare but won't say anything. I think people here still find it odd that I work out. I get comments about it at work, a few at the gym, but generally people just avoid me. The only people that talked to me before the race were the running stroller crowd. My miles ticked off evenly at around 13:30-13:40 each, which I was very happy with. One police officer kidded with Brent and said "Shame on you, making a pregnant woman run!" and I said "I'm the one making HIM run!", but generally I was just stared at, then ignored.

The new course goes around the Farmer's Market, instead of running through it, which was sort of disappointing. That was always my favorite part of this course and of any race in Nashville. Running through a building of shocked and confused produce shoppers was always fun. The race ended similarly to the former course, we ran up the hill past the Market, a turn and the new finish was even closer than the old - no big finishing hill! When I rounded that last hill I was so proud of myself, I was NOWHERE near last and I had done it - with no pain, discomfort and not much sweat. Brent sprinted ahead to get my finishing pic, final chip time of 42:05 - several minutes ahead of my goal. I had my chip cut off, then told the old guy who ALWAYS volunteers how good it was to see him, and (like always, no matter how I did) he said "Great time for you today - Oh WAIT! Great time for you AND baby! Good for you!". I was 71 out of 82 in my division, I was 752 overall and they had said there were over 1,000 people signed up. We stood and watched some others finish before looking for some water. We watched the awards, and of course I secretly hoped all other female 30-34 year olds had the flu, and then headed over to the festival.

First stop - the church bake sale. I bought some chocolate chip cookies that were wonderfully melty in the hot sun (it was something like 85 degrees yesterday. Normally Oktoberfest is my first long sleeve race, or it's at least a little chilly - not a chance this year!). We shopped the booths, then went back to the Mad Platter BierGarten where we feasted on polish sausage (the best!!!) and bratwurst. I heart polish sausage, big time. We walked around a little more and then got a funnel cake to share while we watched a polka band (the same band that performs at the Gerst Haus.) Good times! Baby girl enjoyed the beats and was kicking away.

Enjoying bake sale goodies:

Monkies make everything more fun:

Funnel cakes make life great:

German music and dancing makes babies kick:

On our way back to the car we went through the history festival at BiCentennial Mall. We listened to Abe Lincoln talk for a little while before heading back to the car.

Abe talking to the crowds - I never knew he had a Southern accent!

Capital Mall: Turned into (Revolutionary) Tent City

All in all, I couldn't be more pleased with my "race". I met my goals, maybe inspired a girl or two to keep her fitness up one day when she's having a baby, and maybe pictures of us running "together" will inspire my own baby girl one day. It wasn't my normal 24 or 25 minute race, but it was special in its own way. I don't know if I'll do any more races before my due date. The two I wanted to do for sure were the 5K for Fatherhood I did back in June, and this one. I'm really glad I was able to do both of them, the first at 10 weeks pregnant and this one at 24 weeks pregnant. I'd like to do the 5K before the Christmas parade, but as it's 6 weeks before my due date I'm not sure how much I'll be running then!

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rocking it, German Style!

I am so happy I got to finish the Oktoberfest 5K today! My goal all along has been to stay in good enough shape to run this race, and goal achieved! It wasn't pretty, it wasn't fast, and it was all in cotton! (And I wasn't last! And I even beat my personal goal by about 4 minutes.)

Here's one pic with a full race report to come!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Just an hour until Nashville hits the big screen with the national debate! Very exciting! I think companies should've closed down so residents could go and enjoy the day, but oh well! I have a class on Tuesdays at lunch, otherwise I probably would have gone over there to see all the hub-bub and activity. On my way to work this morning I passed two top hotels where I'm pretty sure McCain and some of the other big dogs were staying, based on the suits, security and nice escort cars outside. (Obama didn't arrive until today.) Other than helping navigate a coworker around some of the blocked off roads and find an alternate route, the debate hasn't cramped my style any, and it's very exciting for the city. There are several viewing parties around town, but we're just watching from here. It's kind of a gross, rainy night so we ordered in Chinese delivery and I already have my Bears sweatpants on. Hopefully Tom Brokaw will choose my question that I submitted online, of course there's no telling how many questions were submitted.

In a slight rewind, Brent took me to Eastland Cafe for my birthday. Normally we celebrate at Margots, but this time he surprised me with EC. It was very good! It was a beautiful night, we sat outside at a nice table and enjoyed watching all the people stroll by. We started out with the fried calamari, which was pretty good. We had the most amazing calamari ever in Wisconsin, and this one just wasn't quite as good. Then I had the Idaho trout in sort of a creole with some green beans, corn, a fingerling potatoes on the plate. WOW, it was amazing! Brent ordered the vegetarian dish of eggplant cannelloni, and then we ordered green mac n cheese and 4 cheddar mashed potatoes. So good!!!! Really, our bill wasn't bad at all. Since we had cake at home we didn't get dessert, so we got out of there at a pretty reasonable cost.

Workouts last week weren't the best. Between class, my b-day lunch and having some new furniture delivered Friday I only made it to the gym twice. I do still also walk a mile every afternoon with a coworker, so on gym days I get in about 3.5 miles and on off days I get in a mile. It's at least something. This week I can really, really feel my ligaments stretching and I haven't been my most comfortable. From the massive quantity of kicking going on inside me I can tell someone is REALLY trying to stretch me out, from the inside!

Ok, back to working on our San Diego trip which is (thankfully!) coming up soon. We SO need a vacation. I've been printing bus maps and schedules tonight since we prob won't get a car. Their transit sight is great - type in your starting address and destination and it tells you exactly how to get there!

Have a great night!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

We're not #1 in spelling either.....

Hey everyone! Just a quick post to say thanks for all the birthday wishes! I had a GREAT birthday that I'll post more about later. The Cliff Notes version is: gourmet cupcakes at work, wonderful nice dinner out with Brent, as well as roses and gifties, plus a prenatal massage last weekend (heaven!) and a delicious cake. Could I ask for more???? I'll post more pics of my b-day later, including the shirt B had made for me that says "Baby Loves Cake" (and she does!). We've been painting the nursery this afternoon and I'm a bit tired and planning to prop up and read a magazine or something.

Unless you've been under a rock, then you know the next presidential debate is here in our fine city Tuesday night. Every newscast is broadcasting from there, and there's major excitement about the being one of the few cities selected for just a big event! (And I submitted a question since it's a town hall style debate - I hope it gets picked!!! I wish I would be picked to attend the debate, but that's not even an option for locals.) SO, all this hub-bub and massive attention to detail, unless you're our local highway maintenance crew. We made 2 trips down I-65 yesterday, once in the am for my massage and once in the pm for a wedding. Both time, the scrolling electronic highway sign at the exit for the debate sign was flashing this helpful message:

"Turn Right - Debaffe Traffic".

So embarrassing, and even worse I never had my camera out to capture this historic event. I can just see Tom Brokaw searching for the exit, seeing the sign, and wondering what a Debaffe is and if he should've exited there.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me!!!

So I may not be my thinnest, most in shape, about to run a BQ, do an Ironman or even be able to see my belly button these days, but somehow - I think 31 is going to be my best.year.ever.

I turned on the evening news
Saw a old man being interviewed
Turning a hundred and two today
Asked him what's the secret to life
He looked up from his old pipe
Laughed and said "All I can say is."

Don't blink
Just like that you're six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you're twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don't blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your "better half"
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you're praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don't blink