Tag Archives: vacation


5 Jul

I wanted to give you a picture of our most recent summer vacation. So here it is, painted just like a blotchy, saccharin kitten with a basket of yarn – you know, by number.

2891.3 The number of miles driven.  Some of them muddier than others.

90 The years of GG’s life celebrated with all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

56 The number of hours in the van.  Well, 56 hours, 21 minutes, and 46 seconds, but whose counting?

51 The number of Minnesotan lakes spotted out of a possible 10, 000.

46 The temperature on the day we had set aside to be UP tourists.

30 The number of relatives hugged.

20 The number of mosquito bites that Thomas received after a five minute rest stop.  On just his ankles.

10 The number of fish caught by each brother.  Apparently as soon as a pole hits your hands you learn to tell fishing stories.

9 The number of years of marriage Jerry and I celebrated and also the number of children Stacy and AJ watched so we could go out to lunch on our anniversary.

8 The number of CDs of A.A. Milne’s works in the only reading authorized by his son, Christopher Robin, preformed by Peter Dennis.  He makes Piglet snort in every sentence.  It’s adorable.  Find them at your library today, you’ll never go back to Disney.

7 The capacity of our van.  Filled to capacity.

6 The number of pointy little boy knees that jabbed me in the back during a series of different sleeping arrangements.

5 The detours necessary due to flooding and construction.  The flooding of the Missouri River is shocking, and not really funny.

4 The trains spotted in Great Grandpa and Grandma Vogelsang’s back yard.  A happy count since Thomas had predicted the same before we arrived.

3 The number of infected ears.  One diagnosed at War Memorial Hospital ER.  Just the kind of place you want to take a baby struggling to breathe at 1:00 a.m, right?

2 The number of times we got lost.  Seriously, lost.  Once, so badly that we couldn’t find ourselves on the map.  You know, the paper kind that folds?  We don’t believe in GPS.  Plus, getting lost was actually kind of fun.

1 I know, I should really be able to think of something clever, funny, original, and that ties this all together for the final count.  But I’m a little fried after the big trip.  Wait!  Wait!  I have one:

0  My brain-power after 14 days on the road.

Running Away from Home

22 Jun

My sister inspires me.  Two summers ago when we were both running, biking, and dragging our families out into the fresh air she labeled it all “our new active lifestyle.”  Those words stuck with me.  They ring like a blaring alarm clock in my ear as I slog myself out the door in the morning to go for a run.  They justify my desire to buy a used tag-a-long off Craig’s List so we can go for bike rides.  They give me a proverbial high-five as I arrange a schedule with my husband so he can bike on mornings when I don’t run.

Back then we felt great, our families were learning healthy lifestyles, and goodness – she looked hot!  Then struck pregnancies #4 and babies #7, #8 and #9.  (Cue the sound of infants crying and big brothers role playing amplifiied by 279 sleepless nights and a couple dozen extra pounds.)  We wouldn’t trade these super cool kiddos for a seven-minute mile, but we are ready to exchange a half-an-hour of the daily chaos for a little pounding on the pavement.  It’s bound to restore our sanity and physique.  Right?

We both got back out there around 6 weeks ago, and yet the going hasn’t been all that easy, especially for my sister, who is, mind you, only 3 months postpartum. Notice, I waited until the twins were a good 8 months old before attempting to raise my heart rate in ways other than lugging 35 lbs. 13 oz. of baby.  Six-week doctor’s okay?  Um, not okay.

To give us a little jump-start challenge I looked for a race we could run while we were together this summer.  I couldn’t find anything, nor were either of us really up for racing with other people.  So, we had settled on just running together nearish our parents’ house.  I started mapping out some possible routes and the first one I put in came up as exactly 3.1 miles.  Well, that got me thinking.  We simply needed to do our own 5K.  It needed to be a surprise.  And it needed to be awesome.

I’ve been reading Run Like a Mother and couldn’t help but be excited about the great sisterhood of running, so I started by giving her my copy of the book.

I let her know that we would be running the Monday morning after the big family reunion, but I didn’t let her know any of the other details.  I made us matching shirts.

Hey! I know! We should run 3.1 miles!

The shirts came with matching headbands, but we decided not to rock those.  We prefer to get our headaches from boyish antics rather than cotton/spandex blends.

I made our children matching shirts.

They say, "My Mom Ran Away from Home"

I made our husbands matching shirts.

When we invited our dear friend Rachel along on the run I made her a matching shirt.

The plan was to run on the Cowboy Trail starting at our parents’ turn-off and going into town where we would end at the hospital.  It seemed iconic, if not necessary.  The trail used to be railroad tracks, but now it’s just a great place for walking, jogging, biking, oh, and riding horses.

But absolutely, under no circumstances is it for cows.

After determining they didn’t actually mean us, we set off.

We’ll spare you the nitty-gritty details of the walk run.  No statistics to report here, except that we each came in first for our age division.  That’s right, please feel free to take a moment to clap for us in your own locale and time.

Our boys sped out to meet us and then helped us sprint to the finish line.

Our families cheered us on, gave us water and provided one last detail that was a surprise even to me.

Emergency transport to the hospital.  Which was handy, since my mapping skills failed me, and the ER was a good .25 of a mile further than the end of our race.  Nicely played, Mom, nicely played.

But don’t think you’ve had the last laugh, because next year you might be on the Surprise Race Circuit.