Saturday, August 30, 2008

May the Force be with you...

Hey! I am having a pretty good weekend so far! I got up this morning and went to the Martha Washington Inn for a deep tissue massage. NICE!!  I literally fell asleep on the table. Then I went to the farmer's market in abingdon. (which was awesome) and one of my favorite gourmet/wine shoppes: Wines of Distinction (also in abingdon) I picked up some cheese, pasta , capers, and some other ingredients for the dinner I had planned. Then I went to "the shouting sprout" health food store in Bristol.  I was somewhat enjoying my new found freedom of navigating the tri-cities sans enfants, when my blackberry started ringing and text messages started coming in all from brock wanting to know when ( if ever) I was planning to return to resume caring for our children. ( I think I learned today 3 hours alone with the kids without me there is about all brock can take:o) SO I returned home, and we took the kids to one of Jack's friends birthday party!! It was So much fun, it was Star Wars themed. Jack dressed up like obi-one and little Todd was dressed as Yoda. So many other kids dressed up too. my personal favorite: this one kid who was like 9 dressed up like boba Fette, and let me tell you this kid made such a great impression on me. He KNEW his stuff!!  I had this 20 min conversation with him how boba fett was my favorite bounty hunter, and how he was cloned from his dad janga fett. and he KNEW it already..( this is star wars stuff that isn't really in the movie but in the books.. and this little 4th grader was VERY knowledgeable!) SO CUTE!!

after the party, I came home and prepared a wonderful dinner of chicken Parmesan. ( all made from scratch except for the pasta itself that I had gotten earlier that day from the wine shop)
 it was SO yummy.  ended the evening hanging out with Brock and the kids on the back porch. sipping espresso watching the sun set.

well, I will post more later. Happy Labor day weekend!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

completely rough day

 man alive! today was a BEAR of a day.  I am so exhausted I don't know if I can even recount the random events of today!
 it was one of those "when it rains, it pours" type days.
 I had to take my oldest son to get a school physical for preschool ( and had to take the baby with us because I didn't have any childcare) I went to go start the car, and the battery was dead. So then I hopped in my beamer that I had parked in the garage ( to keep it nice and clean) and DING! DING!  a steering malfunction light came on and the "service engine soon" light came on.  I kept it started but was very sketched out about even driving it with my two children with me. Brock is 350 miles away in west VA. USELESS!! THE AGONY! 
 I decided to proceed to the dr's office, on the way there I called the bmw dealership, to see if I could get a loaner and drop the car off because I didn't have anyone to follow me there and take me home.  and They didn't have any loaners or so they said. GRRR. just great. oh, and my mini cooper, it was never an option because it had a flat on the rear passenger tire and I knew it. So three cars and something wrong with each one of them!! why???
but when I thought things couldnt get any worse, and I was just ready to SCREAM!

After the Dr. visit ( which did go surprisingly smooth even though I had to drag two kids in there) The dealership called and someone DID bring in a loaner and it would be ready for me after lunch. That took care of one car. 
 I got a hold of my mom and dad who were EXTREMELY nice enough to drive an hour one way to come to my rescue. Dad helped me hook up the charger to the battery, and then we got out the air compressor and filled the mini tire with air and gauged all of the other tires while we were there. 
SOOO that took care of the other cars. SO THANKS mom and dad!!  I so would do that for my kids too:o)
 I went from NO reliable transportation back to three( although actually my beamer is still being worked on)
So I guess all s well that ends well.  I just hope tomorrow is WAY more calmer.  It wouldn't of been half as stressful, had it not been for the fact on top of dealing with all the automotive issues, I had two little kids depending on me to take care of them. it was just difficult to juggle it all. 

 well, good night yall! I am beat! here is hoping tomorrow will be a MUCH better, brighter day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

  I have been busy this week getting my little boy ready for the start of preschool! He is so very excited! I often wonder how different it will be once the little guy begins school, getting up every morning and attending school, being on a set schedule... It's going to be a new experience for all of us. I'll let you know how he transitions.

anyone watch the demo convention last night? I usually end up watching bits and pieces of both. Michelle Obama's hair was so shiny!!  I really tried to pay attention to her heart felt attempt to humanize her husband to the masses, but the thought that kept creeping into my brain was "man, her hair looks amazing!" So I guess the question is, if her hair didn't look so wonderful, would I of paid more attention to her speech, or thought to myself that her hair was a mess?
They pulled out all the stops with Senator Kennedy making an emotional appearance and "passed the torch" from the Kennedy family to the Obama family. hmm  I just don't think that the Obama's will ever have the same mystique and intrigue that the nation felt the Kennedy family possesses but I GET what they were attempting to do/say. 
 I really don't mean to be so passive about the election.   I am a political science BA  holder, but it seems the older I get, the more life experience I accrue,  I become more acutely aware of really how dirty politics and our political system is... both parties.. They're NASTY, dirty:o)

 I have to go to kingsport today to take my car to the dealership...  I hate hyper sensitive computer systems..
 the picture I have today was one I took on my birthday at Tomi Thai! YUM! I think I am going back there today to eat lunch! I took this picture with my little sony cybershot.  I believe it's 10mp. 

cheers yall

Saturday, August 23, 2008

let's go racin boys!

 hey guys!  I had an AWESOME birthday yesterday. I started off the day getting dressed up in this white sundress( because 1. I never get to dress up and 2. it's almost labor day and I was afraid I wouldnt get to wear the white dress until next summer!)

 The doorbell rang, and there was my mother inlaw with a birthday cake she had made for me! If you guys only knew how much that meant to me! That gesture in itself was so sweet! and I was thinking the day before how I wouldn't have a cake unless I made one for myself:o) 

Then the doorbell rang again and there was flowers and balloons from my parents! again, things like that mean far more to me than anything! as winnie the pooh says : " no one can be uncheered by a balloon!";O) so my kitchen counter was beginning to look very festive!

So Brock and Jack had some errands to do( haircuts for the "big boys") So little Toddy and I took off to Kingsport and we went and ate lunch at Tomi Thai!! It was so wonderful. I LOVE thai food, and I was SO impressed by this little place! The food was awesome and fairly authentic, service great.  Little Todd was so relaxed and pleasant, so I just fed him baby food and snacks while I ate my yummy super spicy red curry and Tomkaa soup. :o)
Then Todd and I ventured to JC for a couple of hours and then made our way home. ( stopped at a couple stores)
THEN  I came home gave Todd a bottle and got freshened up and changed into jeans to get ready for the Food City 250! FUN!
We dropped the kids off at brock's parents, and then we went to go eat dinner at THE HOUSE ON MAIN in abingdon va
Brock's uncle owns this restaurant and the food  there is AMAZING.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to eat AT ALL because of my very heavy lunch, but I was somehow able to manage:o) He gets his seafood delievered fresh daily ( so all of that is so great tasting) I am not typically a steak person. But their hand carved NY strips with honey-chipotle dipping sauce and roasted potatoes was too good to resist. :o)
So after dinner, we took off to the race in the mini cooper ( makes parking and driving in traffic much easier) and we just had the greatest time. Actually, it was cool just getting to spend time together. With his work schedule and having two precious little boys: that doesn't occur too often. So I was super appreciative just to be able to have " a date" on my birthday:o)

now, I am all gearing up for the Sprint Cup night race tonight:o)
cheers yall!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

that'll work...

well, I got back from Richlands. I have been over there all day. First I went to mom and dad's farm and dropped off the kids, then I went and got my hair done. ( it had been 8 weeks since the last time and I had roots BAD):o) so my friend keisha, completely saved me from being completely two-toned another day. ( it was killing me) Another great thing about keisha other than her hair coloring ability, is that she doesn't take that long. So an hour and half later, I go back to the farm, have coffee and sit on the porch with my Dad. (which was nice) Then after I got both the boys down for a nap. I actually got to take a nap, which was AWESOME! I haven't napped in MONTHS. so that was SWEET!!! I slept so hard, when I woke up I didn't know where I was or if it was day or night. haha. 
Then i ate dinner with my parents and my nephew Brian,  loaded up the car and drove back to to Bristol. 
The Bristol races are this weekend. We always go to both the fall and spring races. Brock's dad always has a block of 10 tickets ( always the same seats in the allison terrace). Consequently, as I have mentioned before, Friday is my birthday! So I get to people watch and get all excitement from the night races, my birthday weekend. It's fun as far as entertainment value goes.  I kinda don't like being in a crowd of throngs of people (especially trying to leave the track after the race) also,  I do have qualms about certain aspects of it. The advertising, all the consuming going on( SO MUCH TRASH and so many people buy things at wally world), and wastefulness of it all...all the unhealthy food, cigarette chain smoking,( why can't it be smoke free?cough cough wheeze) and beer guzzling on a mass scale....  i guess it's not a moral thing, it's just more me not enjoying breathing cigarette smoke, and having to fool with people who are extremely drunk.:o)
 here are some pictures I took 2 years ago at the grand canyon with my canon EOS

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CTR 10k pictures and a dead bird on my porch

 Well, I finally got the race pictures uploaded on my laptop.  I am going to post some of my favorites! hope you guys enjoy it!!  my mother in law took these pictures with my canon EOS

 They are of my overall male finishers, my buddy john from KY finishing the race and showing off his award, beth the ultra running goddess finishing the race, and one of me explaining the course set up ( look at the horses! I just thought the morning sunlight made that picture look neat) and the start of the first annual CTR 10k!!

   I am going to Richlands tomorrow to the farm to spend time with my parents.  I am looking forward to going. It's nice to go home:o) AND it's my birthday on Friday. I will be 30!  (which is kinda freaking me out)
 Today the saddest thing happened! I had just woke up this morning and I heard something slam against the front door and my little yorkie fred took off to the door ( like someone was there) I was a little apprehensive, but then I remembered that the front door was locked and I had the security system set. 
SO I finally got up to investigate, and there was a bird laying flat on it's back on my front porch! it had ran into my door. I told it: "please be gone when I come back in 5 minutes" I was hoping it was just stunned or it had knocked itself out.  I went and fixed myself a cup of coffee, and walked back to the front door and no, unfortunately the little birdie was deceased:o( It accidently killed itself. how terrible!) By that point Jack was up and about and  saw it. So we had to have a conversation about the finality of death and then we buried it.. I just was so afraid that a cat or dog would get it if I left it there any longer.  and It was such a pretty bird, I wanted it treated with respect. poor thing. So Jack and I laid it to rest. RIP little birdie. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

blurry action pictures

hi! Sorry I haven't posted any pictures from the 10k yet. I have my "good" memory card at ritz, while I was running the course, my sweet mother in law ( who is a wonderful photographer) volunteered to take all the pictures at my race ( with my cannon of course!) So I will hopefully have some of those pictures up tomorrow.

until then: here are some pictures I took while running the course( I ended up being a "bandit" at my own race) if you look at the results at state of franklin track club's website like next to last it says "en bandit" yeah, that's me. but I SWEAR. I didn't "run" that... I just kinda jogged with my nephew and rounded up the back of the pack, and spent time whooping and hollering at all the runners coming in.

The reaction from the runners who ran the race the past couple days has been SO positive! I am still so elated that everything went over so well!

what do to now? I need a goal!! haha I think I am going to take it easy for a while. Although, believe it or not I still have some loose ends from the road race to tie up. I sent in the names and addresses of my runners to runnersworld(since they gave me the free racing bibs, I have to give them the names of the people who ran in return, hope yall dont mind)

Tomorrow I have to do some accounting things for the foundation, and I am working on setting up a website for the scholarship.

then Friday ( which is my birthday ( i am turning 30!) and Saturday I am going to the bristol races. Then after that, Brock, the boys and I are going to the beach for a week. WOO!

sorry the pictures are so blurry they are of NIck whited( my cuz) who got second overall and eric grossman( SUPERSTAR!) who won overall. I have to say how awesome it was that Grossman ran my race. He told me it was his first 10k in over a decade!! I am so humbled that he came to my little race and was supportive of my cause! really kuddos to all the iron mtn crew for running my race. It really meant SO much to me. It was like a big hug to just see my friends out there.
I took the pictures with my olympus stylus 850 sw.. too bad they didn't turn out better. but it's the same camera I ran with at leadville, and those turned out great. win some. lose some. I say the ones my mother in law took with the cannon turned out much better. Guess we shall see tomorrow!
cheers yall!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the 10k was AWESOME!

The first annual Christopher Todd Richardson Memorial 10k went off without a hitch! Everything went SO smooth and SO perfect! It was just an absolutely positive experience for me! My volunteers were TOP NOTCH!! Every facet of the race went exactly like I had planned! I really hope all the runners come back next year and bring friends!! I am so extremely tired from the past couple of days!

 but I will upload some of my favorite pictures from the race tonight and post them!!

love yall!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

productive day

well, I got everything straightened out with the Jerry's signs people. So horray for that. The CTR 10k will have a banner after all. Still annoyed that it was SOO extremely difficult to get this accomplished with them, but still, they apologized and I want the banners.. sooo it will all work out. 
The shirts are awesome! I am so happy with them! Dad and I went and picked them up today! The race shirts are white underarmor material and the volunteer shirts are blue( same technical material).  I really think all the runners will love them.  I drew the graphic on the front.:o)

Dad and I also went to Home Depot and got the water coolers for the race course, a couple big rubbermaid trash cans with liners, etc..
 I about have it all completed. I still have some odds and ends to do tomorrow with the computer, and then Friday I have to go get the bagels and bottled water and gatorade.  

 I can't wait. 

 after the race, it will be nice to unwind and focus on some different projects. I can't believe this one is in it's final stages!
haha I want to focus on my running, and read about 20 books, and plan our "big" family vacation. We are going to the Caribbean  in Nov. to three islands.
Jack starts preschool the first week in sept.
well, I am extremely tired. I am sorry my sentences are so choppy, but I'm about to collapse, I am so tired.. so time to turn in!!

 I took these pictures of a yellow mum and hydrangea bush at my mom's house with my canon EOS. I just bought a Nikon N60. I am taking some pictures. jury is still out on whether it's better than my canon.  I will upload some pictures from it soon on here. so you guys can see for yourself. 

Monday, August 11, 2008

monday, monday

 so here it is Monday before my brother's road race. I have been working so diligently to get everything done in a orderly and timely manner, so that I would not be stressed or overwhelmed this week.  However, "other people" have absolutely thrown a sprag in my little aspirations. grrr! 
obstinate people #1: JERRY's SIGNS

 I went to this company a month ago ordered the start/finish banner. They told me they would email me a proof and then  they would make it. Would probably take a week. Never heard from the people, so LAST Monday 2 weeks before the event, I called to touch base, tell them I haven't ever received a proof and wanted to get the ball rolling on the project. The secretary put me on hold, then told me that I would for sure have a proof by Friday. Friday comes and goes, no proof in my mail box, inbox, junk mail: NOTHING. They are closed over the weekend. So this morning I call and explain my dilemma and that I need a banner NOW IN four days, and I was kinda frustrated because I had ordered this a month ago. She got my number and NO ONE has called me back!

 I really wanted to speak to the owner of the company, because his employees are completely dropping the ball here!! So if there isn't a banner at the race, sorry yall it's not like I haven't been trying!

Second frustration: the shirts. I think it's all going to work out fine, but the shirt people have been giving me the run around too a little. So I called them this morning and the guy is supposedly supposed to go get them after lunch, and I am supposed to go get them from his office this evening. So fingers crossed on that one.  Shirt company has been FAR better in communication than the jerry's signs people: WHAT LOSERS!!!!:o(
Sweet Jesus people! they act like I can DO EVERYTHING on Friday evening before the race apparently!!!! I need to get tasks completed through the week for this all to come together. I have 2 kids and Brock is out of town. I can't DO everything (race packets and gather all the materials I need for the race) the day before just IMPOSSIBLE. 
So here's hoping it all comes together okay ( I feel like it will, but I had to vent a little because certain vendors are frustrating the bejeezus out of me!!!)

 here is a picture of a toad I took in my courtyard last week!

Friday, August 8, 2008

busy week. I just got back from Richlands. We spent the past two days on the farm with my parents and brother because today makes it a year since we have lost my brother Todd.
We had a memorial for him today on the farm, and it truly was one of the most spiritual, moving and pure moments of my existence here on earth. I really truly just feel fortunate to have had the time I did with Todd, and that I have such a wonderful older brother. I also am just so happy that I am in the family I'm in. My parents and brothers are loving people. Brock took off work today to be there with me and my family, my spouse is so loving and emotionally supporting. :o) love you Brock!
 I am so tired, the past 24 hours have been really hard emotionally, I will never get over what happened to Todd or stopping missing my brother, but the only recourse I have is to just try to do everything I can to keep the memory of Todd alive, and help other people through his memory through the scholarship and the road race. 

 the picture is one I took today after we launched some balloons into the heavens at the memorial, I love the way these pictures turned out.  I took about 20 in rapid secession with my canon EOS. the landscape picture is one of some of the land on my parents 171 acre farm that straddles both Russell and Tazewell counties

Sunday, August 3, 2008

haha aren't my richmond marathon  pictures so pretty?! Those are from 11/2006. The other one is from this years leadville marathon, in that picture I am on top of mosquito pass ( mile 13.1) up 13, 900 ft. 

It's one unreal hill. It goes straight up for pretty much 4 miles of incline with no breaks, just more swtich backs. SO FUN.  you do climb up 3,200 ft from the town of leadville to the top of the pass. Things didn't go too well for me about mile 18, due to me losing my salt tabs at the very first aid station at mile 4. hypotramenia is real. haha I now know if  I ever get to run an ultra, I don't know how well my body can respond to running for 8 hours. is  but I really do want to go back and run this marathon AGAIN( it will be the third time) maybe not next year but the year after. 
marathon training has really been impossible for me the past 8 months.  I keep trying though. Just with brock's work schedule( he is gone ALL the time like mon-fri every single week) and me keeping my two boys 24/7  I just can't get in the long  runs I need. I use the elliptical and treadmill, but  nothing is the equivalent of good quality training outside. 
 but I know things will get better, brock's work can't be that constant(crazy busy) for forever, although it has been for the past year.  I just say that because we have had other years were he isn't gone that much at all, maybe just a day or two a week. ( I long for those days again haha)  and my kids ( who are very small) will grow, and then I can run all I want, but I will never get this time with them back. SO I am trying to stay focused on that, then I can go after all my athletic pursuits.

 In addition to running, and riding my road and mtn bikes, I really would like to take tennis and golf lessons. I know it probably sounds lame, but it's an insecurity  I have.  I am not really skilled at either, and would like to improve.  I think both of those games are important, and something I will do more and more as I get older, so I would like to excel at both.

ah, so what a vapid little post. ALL ABOUT ME.   I have a busy week coming up, many things to do for the road race! only 13 days left!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


hey guys, sorry I haven't blogged much this week. It's been a hard one. I have been really busy tying up all the lose ends of Todd's 10k, and then on wens morning, my uncle cecil ( my dad's brother) passed away. His funeral was on Friday. So that was hard, and kinda a reopening of an old wound since it's close to a year since I have lost my brother. But I got through it. My uncle had suffered with failing health for approximately a year as well, so I really feel that he was ready to go and tired of suffering and being so very sick.

you really wonder about what the purpose of life in general is sometimes. It can have so many wonderful moments, but also be filled with so much sorrow and pain.

my family and I are getting together on friday to have a memorial for my brother Todd. Friday will make it one year. So we are going to gather together and have a little service ( just immediate family only) on the farm, each member of the family is going to have a turn to speak or share something they have written or contribute in their own way, then, we are releasing some balloons. Which I am excited about and yes, it's my idea:o)

but I just feel so helpless... what can you do? nothing I do, scholarship, the race, nothing I do will change the end result of what happened, or really even make me feel better. However, I do want Todd's memory honored, that is extremely important to me, so if I can't have Todd here with me, the least I can do is help other people in his memory. To have something good and positive come from the darkest day in my life. I just struggle with my emotions because I keep waiting for things to get better or me to feel better, and it really isn't happening. It's just this vast void in my life knowing Todd isn't here with me and my family. I miss him so much.

well, I will try to write more tomorrow( hopefully, I will be in a lighter mood and not so dark)

the pictures: I took the barn and the day lilly with my canon EOS and the bleeding heart was taken ( at my moms) with my Nikon 35mm SLR.