Opening Day - Little League

After several days in what I consider summer weather, with temperatures in the mid eighties, a cold front passed through last night, bringing ample sunshine and temperatures in the mid sixties. Scott thinks it is too cool, but I think it is perfect. And perfect for Opening Day for Brian and George's Little League Team.

The results - their team swept this afternoon's double header, winning 10-6 against the Pirates and 12 - 4 against the White Sox. Way to Go!!

Brian during a practice drill:

Practice at bat:

Poised out in Right Field:

George at bat (he had several hits today)

Brian makes the play at second base, fielding the ball and tagging the runner out.

Brian on second base, waiting for the batter. He eventually scored a run.

Brian really connected on this hit - he hit the ball over third base.

Overall, Brian had three hits, three RBI's and one run.
But most importantly, he had fun.


Blog Challenge 13: Act your Age

I'm another week behind on the Blog Challenge, but I am eventually getting through them......

Jenner posed this question last week:

If you could go back to any age again, how old would you want to be and why? What age would you least like to be and why?
I had an initial “gut” answer, and then took some time to “think” about it. Even after pondering the question some more, I still decided to go with my initial answer, although I have qualified things a bit.

If I could go back to any age, it would be 17 - and some of 18 – basically the summer before my senior year through the next summer – 15 months. Why? To take advantage of the opportunities I didn’t take when I was that age, and to be a little nicer to my parents (yes, they were indeed right about MANY things when I was that age. I was too caught up in being 17 to realize that!).
What would I do differently at 17? Here’s the list:
  • The summer before my senior year, I would have attended The Tanglewood Institute, Young Artists Orchestra program – eight weeks at Tanglewood, playing music.
  • I would have been a lot less stressed out about the college application process. And I would have applied to Stanford and UC Berkeley. Who knows, I might have been accepted at one of them, maybe been allowed to visit.
  • I would have learned more about the countries I visited as a part of GBYSO's tour of Yugoslavia, Austria and Hungary. I definitely would have taken more pictures during the trip and I wouldn't have been so stressed out about my mother being on the tour with me. Here is one of the very few pictures (snapped by my mother) - in a Belgrade park, with violist Catherine Pepper.

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Now, if I wanted to go back to the time / age when I had a ton of fun, I would journey back to the summer of 1988 - I had just turned 21, was working as an intern at 3M in St. Paul. It was an idyllic summer - great weather, tons of other coops and summer interns my age, good money and lots of free time. I was dating Tom, a classmate from MIT, whose family lived in St. Paul, and most weekends we spent at his family's cabin on a lake. Tom's entire family enjoyed water sports, so I learned to water ski that summer and enjoyed numerous boating adventures.

The age I would not want to repeat? That would be 16 - ugg, what an awful age. Not old enough to drive, just a ton of drama that year. Never again.


One Sure Sign of Spring - Baseball

We finally got a half decent spring weekend.
One sure sign that spring is in the air - little league baseball.
Brian signed up this year with his best bud, George. After Saturday's practice session, Scott took Brian to Dick's Sporting Goods to get Brian all geared up.

Truth be told, Brian already had enough gear (ie, a glove), but Scott, being a previous baseball player, saw the need to outfit Brian more "properly". Cleats, Baseball pants and of course, socks. I, of course, had no idea there was such a thing as proper Baseball socks. I consider myself educated now.....

We held an impromptu "game" in the backyard after dinner:

Will at bat, with George in the Catcher position:

Scott pitches up the ball:

With Brian at bat (in his new Baseball garb):

It's George's turn:

Brian tries his hand at pitching:

Brian pitched to both Scott and me. Brian says I run like a chicken - but I did manage to score one home run off him.


Shake, Rattle and Roll

This morning's 5.2 earthquake, although centered over 100 miles from our house, managed to wake up our entire household - nothing like a 4:37 wakeup call (or wake up shake) to get you going on a Friday.

The shaking bed woke me and Scott up - immediately I guessed it was an earthquake (and not the cat itching her ear). Then we heard Brian's voice from down the hall exclaiming "Mommy, Daddy - that was an earthquake! We had an earthquake!". (Don't you love how little kids just SENSE reality?).

Then at work, we were rattled at 10:15 by a small aftershock. I asked the kids if they felt it at school, but they weren't sure.

So that's today's little excitement - I am sure our old neighbors in Southern Indiana (60 miles from the epicenter) felt a lot more.


Auntie Teresa's Half Marathon Report

Auntie Teresa ran the Charlotte RaceFest Half Marathon yesterday, with a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 22 seconds (that's a pace of 10:16 per mile). Way to go T!

Teresa was the one who "inspired" me to train and run a half marathon (nothing like a bit of sibling pressure to bring out the best in us). She looks a LOT better than I did at the end of her run.

Here she is with Daune and Joy, the women she trained with:

So congrats to all of them!


12 on April 12th

It's the 12th of April, which means 12 pictures from today's activities.
You would think that in mid April, almost a month into Spring, we would have warm temperatures. Not today - today's temperatures match my March 12th entry, if not cooler - and we have rain.

But it is Saturday, which means a leisurely breakfast - Chocolate Chip pancakes:

After breakfast, I went for a run and Scott worked on Cappi, our 17 year old Convertible - her battery died, so Scott replaced it. Scott recently replaced the Cruise Control servo motor. Future plans include replacing the radiator and cleaning the engine.

Because of the nasty weather, Brian's baseball practice has been canceled:

Erica takes advantage of the chilly weather to snuggle with Hannah:

Brian also wanted me to take his picture with Hannah:

And we enjoyed the last fire of the season:

Saturday means grocery shopping day - here is a sampling of this week's dinner plans:

Brian's friend, George, came over and the boys played Crash Nitro Cars on the PS2

Not waiting until the very last minute (but close), we mailed in our 2007 tax return today. Yes, we owe Uncle Sam.

It may be cold outside, but mid April means golf and the Masters. Scott watched all afternoon.

Finally, I will finish up the layout I started last night - I still need to "stick it all down". The pictures are from Brian's TaeKwonDo tournament in February 2007.


Wordless Wednesday - Mile 13

Here I am, having completed 13 miles of the half marathon.
I know this is a terrible picture of me, but I guess it is reality.
Can you tell what is on my mind?


Blog Challenge #12 - Getting To Know You

This week's ScrapShare Blog challenge comes from Midnight Scrapper in Cali. She want to get to know me better (!), so she has posed 10 questions for us to answer.

1) Right now I want: for dinner to be made already! (And it certainly isn't making itself as I write this blog entry....)

2) I wish I knew how to: make adjustments to my photos more effectively. I use special software from Nikon (which is now outdated, but I am NOT spending another $100+ to be upgraded) and PhotoShop Elements. A lot of the time I feel like I am learning by trial and error.

3) When I want to indulge myself, I: buy a Latte from the local coffee shop. For added indulgence, I get a raspberry scone.

4) You’ll never see me: eating in one of those Chinese "Super Buffet" restaurants. Quantity does not make up for quality. Plus, I can cook it better.

5) A childhood memory that I love: Not sure if this is considered to be childhood, but when I was a senior in HS, I had the opportunity to tour the former Yugoslavia with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. One night we performed Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man in a Dubrovnik Castle. I still get chills as I recall the french horn section appearing atop the castle's keep, blaring out the Fanfare's first notes.

6) 2 things I do every single day: I probably sing or hum every single day. If not out loud, then certainly in my head. I also count my blessings and thank God for what I have.

7) Happiest moment of 2008, so far: This one is kind of tough. I think I was truly happy for my friend, Nancy, when she gave birth to her first baby in February. We visited her and baby Michael in the hospital the day after he was born and I got to hold him. When was the last time I held a day old baby? That would be over 8 years ago.

8) Describe yourself in 3 words: Determined, Creative, Detail oriented. I asked Erica to describe me and she said "Mean and Cruel". I must be doing my job as a mother correctly then.

9) 2 scrap related goals for this year: Spend less than $50 this year on supplies (so far I have only spent $8). Do more Hybrid scrapping (combination of Digital and traditional scrapbooking).

10) You have $40 that you MUST spend on yourself – what do you do with it? I would get a pedicure - my feet need it after all of the running I have been doing.


Half Marathon Report

I doubt it was pretty at the end, but I ran the entire thing and finished in 2 hours, 11 minutes and 8 seconds which translates to a 10:01 minute pace.

40 degrees at the start, no wind and sunny. Really, perfect running weather.
The first part of the course is basically flat and runs through much of historic Springfield. The best part of course through historic Springfield is the run towards the State Capital with the rising sun illuminating its golden rays. I averaged a sub 10 minute mile pace through the first half. We ran through picturesque Washington park, then onto Lincoln avenue. Between mile 8 and 9, the hills started. I knew the course was a little hilly, but I thought, how many hills can there be in Springfield? This is Illinois and we are surrounded by corn. By the time we entered Oak Ridge Cemetery at mile 10, I started wondering how many more hills I would have to endure. Of course, all cemeteries are hilly. I know I ran past Lincoln's Tomb, but I don't remember it.

The hills didn't end until Mile 12, and by then, all I want to do is finish the darn thing..... Towards the end, people are cheering you on - saying "the tunnel is the end". Well, you go through the tunnel and down another street before crossing the finish line. I must have looked stressed crossing the finish line, because one of the volunteers came right beside me and asked if I was OK and that she would walk with me. I was like - hey, I'm OK - please don't touch me!

There was all sorts of food at the end of the race - bananas, oranges, apples (as expected). And pizza and sub sandwiches (not expected). As I am guzzling down water and Accelerade sports drink, I watched lots of people chowing down on pizza. And I wanted to throw up. I couldn't eat anything solid for another two hours after the race, and I was not about to eat pizza.....

Back at home, I spent the entire afternoon on the couch.
But running the half marathon was a worthwhile endeavor - I would (and probably will) do it again!


Tomorrow's the Day.....

I'll lace up my running shoes (above) and run 13.1 miles.
I felt a little apprehensive earlier this week, as my left foot hurt whenever I walked. Then my left hip started sending sharp pains every now and then.
So I set aside my normal shoes (with 2" heels) and wore clogs and crocs to work this week. Seemed to help, as today my left side feels as normal.

The weather forecast for tomorrow morning - sunny and 39 degrees. No wind. Excellent.
I am optimistic but my main goal is to just finish the darn thing.



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