Monday, December 30, 2013

An Update

Things that have happened:

I got a new job. This has coincided with a decline in my training - some motivational issues and some busy-ness have collided to equal missed workouts. Mostly, I'm training so I can eat lots of desserts, which has always been my biggest underlying theme for many years.

Logan turned two.  This kid - so cute and so boy. My friend explained it best: they are totally bipolar. One minute he is happy and 2 seconds later he can be screaming 'NOOOOOO' and crying.

He has become a pro at opening gifts.

Flash of Tassie
He eats sandwiches like this - starts in the middle.

We decided to start a tradition since his birthday is December 12th, to not do anything Christmas until after his birthday. This way we can keep the two separate. On December 13th, we put up the Christmas tree. And for those of you astute readers, an explanation: it was tacky Christmas sweater day at work.

We did a 5K in Pittsboro earlier in December with a bunch of friends and then had breakfast at Peggy and Dave's house afterwards. Peggy makes incredible french toast, and I'm kind of a snobby connoisseur so I can confidently say this. This was the day that Logan was introduced to Cars (the movie) and obsessed is not a strong enough word for how he feels about it now. I would estimated he asks about 15 times a day if he can watch it.

I'd say a big turning point was when he told me, "No Elmo! Cars!!"

Logan's daycare put on a Christmas pageant. I think they were some sort of Shepard's but the whole thing was in Spanish so what do I know. This is backstage while he was getting ready with his teacher Miss Gloria.

Logan did good at the beginning, 'singing' and ringing his jingle bells, but then he saw Marty who was off to the side taking 110 pictures and he started running towards him. When the teachers tried to get him back he started crying and threw himself to the ground. Marty was able to help him get it together and back onstage.

Speaking of Spanish, Logan is saying a ton of words, although most not very correctly. Some of his favorites are: Adoo-yah (Ayudah - help), Bai-yo (Caballo - horse), Luna (luna - moon) and many, many more.

I also had to put him in timeout for the very first time because he had quite the tantrum when I told him, no, he couldn't watch Cars and THEN he threw a car at me.  Oh no he di'int. He was sooo stubborn and wouldn't say sorry so he sat there for a very long time. "They" say that a child should be in timeout for 1 year = 1 minute. So every 2 minutes I would ask:  Logan, are you sorry?  He would respond: NOOOOO!  Then he fell asleep. Well played, kid.

Sneaky Tassie again

The weekend before Christmas was unseasonably warm (70s!) and Marty let me get out with my girls for a nice bike ride while him and Logan visited a cool Raleigh park that has a train and a carousel. The ride was great and we kept it nice and slow. My elbows and wrists ached towards the end which is a sure sign of me being out of bike shape because I haven't been in that position putting pressure on those parts.  And my boys had fun, too.

We had a very low key Christmas with just us as all family was elsewhere.  Marty, unfortunately got sick and was down and out for a few days, but he's feeling much better now.  Some very nice friends of ours let us use their beach house in Ocean Isle Beach, NC for a few days so we could get away.

Lining up his cars into a big choo-choo

Wee bit chilly at the beach during Christmas

Now we're back home and I'm enjoying a few more days off before I head back to work on Thursday. We don't have any big NYE plans because we're lame and I like to go to bed early :)  But I am going to get my butt out the door and do a 5K which will at least guarantee me a good workout.

Here's to 2014!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Yeah, I'll get back here one of these days. The end of November was busy traveling to and from Florida for Thanksgiving and then I started a new job the very next week. For those of you who don't know (and it seems there might be a lot because I get "Oh, I didn't know you had a regular job" from lots of people) I have a regular old sit at a computer all day job as a financial analyst. I also coach, but it is a side job that I love, not a full time job that pays the bills (or has insurance). Anyways, I had been at the same company for 6 years and made the switch to a different company in Raleigh. It's been very busy and if any of you have switched jobs you know how stressful and overwhelming it can be. I still have a lot to learn so lots of stress still on tap. BUT they are shutdown from Christmas to New Years so I'm enjoying a little R&R right now. Well, as much R&R as one can have with a two year old.

Anyways. I have lots of pictures and and things to talk about, but sitting down and actually blogging hasn't fit in very well. Hopefully, I can get to it before I head back to work.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Trot in Jax

Thanksgiving is not complete without a Turkey Trot. In Jacksonville, they have a really big one (1/2 Marathon and 8K) but my sister told us about one in Ponte Vedra Beach that is much more low key and didn't start until 9am. This was way more up our alley.

Original plan: Marty push Logan in the 5K
Reality: Whoah it was cold! We weren't really expecting that - I mean I'm not a total idiot and did check the weather before we left but when I woke up that morning the 'feels like' temperature was 30 degrees. We opted to leave Logan at the house since he did have 7 babysitters available and he didn't have to freeze his little tushy off.

Original plan: Run hard enough so I can stuff my face at dinner.
Reality: Oh crap, now that Marty isn't pushing Logan I'm going to have to actually try so I can beat him. I kid, I kid. We got to Mickler's Landing and did a long warmup where we ran into our friend from NC, Frank. Frank taught Logan to say 'No way!' when we all did Lake Logan and when Logan see's a picture of Frank this is exactly what he says.

It was a small race and as usual there were lots of kids who sprinted for 50 yards and then died/weaved around. I never seem to be able to start off fast so there was lots of carnage to move through. After about a half mile I found myself in a long line of people and directly behind the first place female. It was an out and back with a headwind going out. I didn't want to fight the headwind by myself so just stayed put even though the pace felt super comfortable. And it was flat! We never get that here and it was a nice treat. I heard a bunch of watches beep and figured this must be the mile mark (there weren't any mile marks for this low key event. In fact, upon check in we had to sharpie our name/age/sex on our number and were told to remember our time. it was a nice change from triathlons and most other road races). So the watches beeped and I looked at mine and saw 6:33, which was definitely a little slower than I wanted but I really wasn't expecting too much. My running has been SO inconsistent. Around that same time Marty moved up right next to me and then accelerated a hair so I got right behind him and he took us past the line of runners. Thanks, baby!

We hit the turnaround at just under 10 minutes and Marty accelerated again - ooooookay I guess we're doing this. But after a very short time this actually felt better to me than our going out pace so I pressed a bit more and sort of dropped him. I totally DID NOT do this on purpose!! I was just trying to see what my legs could do. I was with another runner at this point and we pushed each other for most of the return trip. I can't tell you how nice it was to have a tailwind and flat road.

I hit the line in 19:25 for a good negative split, 1st female, and 3rd overall. No overall awards though - I did win a $15 gift card to Publix which is actually a great gift because I love Publix, but I gave this right to my sister to help defray the cost of food she was cooking. On a complete tangent, we are getting a Publix very close to our house and I can't wait!!! I kill for their cake and cupcakes.

About the awards, they had some kids races and they did their awards first and they got chocolate turkeys! I was very excited about this and thought for sure since I won I would get one. So I was a little disappointed when I just got the gift card. I never claimed to be very mature.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Listening to football on the radio

I have all sorts of stuff to talk about - life changes, traveling, but right now I'm going to talk about radio broadcasts of college football games.

Interesting topic, no? It's only because on our what is typically 7 hours for most people but is 8.5 for the Gaal's drive back from Jacksonville, Florida, we listened to two football games on Sirius Satellite (best money ever spent, by the way, getting satellite radio).

First up was the Florida/Florida State game. Marty went to FSU and I have always not liked UF so cheering for the Seminoles is second nature.  And this has been a good year to be a Seminole fan! I was a little worried because the broadcast was from a Gator radio station, but I have to give credit to them - they were not biased at all and pretty much just called the game. Either they were really good impartial broadcasters, or they were just wanting to get this season over with as soon as possible. They of course had more information about the Gator players, but they even spoke highly of the FSU QB. So that was surprising.

As a total side note - I have some radio broadcasting in my blood as my grandpa was an announcer for the New York Giants.

We actually missed the end of the game (not that it mattered with FSU's big lead and much better play) to stretch our legs at a state park in South Carolina just off the highway. Back in the car for the next showdown - Auburn/Alabama.

I went to Auburn my freshman year before transferring to the University of Central Florida. Sometimes I look back and think I should've stuck it out at AU, but I was 19 and homesick and the coach who had recruited me out of high school had actually left before school started to take a job at the University of Washington (he's still there and has won an NCAA Championships). I wouldn't have chosen the school but for how much I liked him, so it was not what I was expecting athletic-wise. And at the time this was a huge deal to me. But, I did really like my time at Auburn and will always be a fan.

It's one of those school's that has this huge in-state rivalry. From day one it's just ingrained that you hate all things having to do with the University of Alabama. It's not something you question - it's just like those old kitschy sayings on bumper stickers: I root for Auburn and whoever is playing Alabama.

The Iron Bowl is an enormous deal. When I was there it was also at Auburn and I remember walking to class on the Tuesday before the game between campers that were already set up tailgating for the game. It is no laughing matter.

The broadcast started at 3:30pm and was done by an Alabama radio team who were not impartial at all. To the point where Marty and I had trouble deciphering whether Auburn got a first down or even scored a touchdown. Of course we knew when Alabama did anything remotely well. When the score was briefly 21-7 the one announcer couldn't control his leanings and said, "Ok, that's more like it. One more score and we'll be sitting where we usually are."

But Auburn kept clawing back ("despite the nation's best defense!"). With 5 or 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter Alabama's QB made a "Heisman-worthy play" and then they stopped Auburn in a 4th and one attempt which according to them sealed up the Alabama win. They were ahead by a touchdown at this point. I thought this was a little presumptious of them but huh.

Then Auburn tied it up. And you probably know the rest of the story, and if you don't, please watch this short video of the ending because it's awesome.

There was an official review to put :01 back on the clock which gave Alabama the chance to kick a field goal and win the game and not send it into overtime. Their kicker had missed 2 field goals and had another blocked already in the game, so they booted him and picked a red shirt freshman to get the job done.

This poor guy. The pressure to perform the biggest (and might I add, longest kick of his life) in Jordan-Hare Stadium must've been unreal. Even scarier - the Alabama fans are not against poison. But the radio announcers were very positive about this kid and felt that the tailwind would provide him with the extra 5 yards he needed over his lifetime best kick - from back in high school.

Driving through the streets of Cary very close to our house, listening intently to what's going to happen, telling Marty I'm going to need to run inside and get the game on if it goes into overtime so he's on Logan and luggage duty, this is what we heard:

"The kick is up - it's got the distance......(radio silence)....................................he's......up the sideline..................(radio silence).....................................................................................

Auburn touchdown. They win the game."

Whaaaaaa????? Marty and I were so confused! What just happened? Auburn won?! Was it a fake kick? Interception? You guys are terrible!!! OMG!!!

We were able to piece it together soon after, but the 2nd announcer I'm almost positive shut his mic off because he was never to be heard from again. The other guy was extremely subdued. Best radio broadcast ever.

War Damn Eagle.