Monday, December 27, 2010


It's been a busy but fun week here, and we just wanted to share some of the highlights!

Our huge tree. Felt a little like National Lampoons.
It's kind of sad that the only picture I took on Christmas Eve was of Sadie getting her gift!

Morgan's big gift from Santa was a Barbie dollhouse - it was a big hit!

Riley got her own American Girl doll, complete with a wheelchair! It is also a hit, although maybe more so with her sisters!

Addy's big gift was a DSi, but her most entertaining gift was Just Dance 2 wii game. We are all getting a kick out of it.

We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Disney on Ice

We gave the girls an early Christmas present and took them to see Disney on Ice Princess Wishes. It was so good! The girls had a fun time dressing up in their favorite princess dresses and we really enjoyed the skating!

Monday, November 22, 2010

didn't mean to disappear

We are still here, still alive! Life just got in the way and I haven't been very good about updating this blog.

The girls are off school this whole week, so hopefully we'll be doing some fun stuff and I'll be posting more pictures of them. Riley is going to day camp at Hope Hollow today and tomorrow and I know she'll have fun there!

One of us is still running (that would be me) but Mitch's knee is feeling better, though not completely healed, and I am signing us both up for the Jingle Bell Jog 5K race in 2 weeks so hopefully he'll be able to get back into it.

As for me, 13 days after the Chicago Marathon I ran a 15K race, then last Saturday I ran the 12K's of Christmas (pictures below) and on Thanksgiving I'm running the Turkey Day 8K. The marathon was fun and I hope to do another one someday but right now I am loving the shorter distances. We are both signed up for the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon in February, but I'm 90% sure we'll both be downgrading to the half. It's kind of difficult to fit in 3-4 hour runs over the holidays.

Monday, October 11, 2010

We are Marathoners

First of all I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who supported us throughout our training and on marathon day. Whether you gave monetary donations or offered up your thoughts and prayers I don't know if we could have done this without your support. We are really blown away by the generosity we have seen that helped us reach our fundraising goal and then some!

Yesterday Mitch and I ran the Chicago Marathon, and met our main goal of finishing! We both had some knee pain leading up to the marathon so we were really worried we wouldn't be able to finish. The weather was a lot warmer than we expected which didn't help either. But it was an awesome race, full of energy, and a lot of fun (as far as marathons go, I imagine). 45,000 runners and tons of crowd support the entire way, we felt so blessed to be part of that.

I finished in 5:04:39, and Mitch finished in 5:39:56 which is really incredible considering he had severe knee pain from about mile 8 on and had to hobble and limp his way through much of the race. Had that been me I probably would have called it a day and pulled out of the race.

Our legs are sore, and walking around after sitting for any length of time is a challenge. Other than Mitch's swollen knee we are feeling pretty good. It was an amazing experience but I think we are both glad that it's over with!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Magazine Article about our Marathon

Mitch and I were interviewed by Mississippi Sports Magazine - check it out!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

knee pain + marathon in 12 days = not good

In case anyone is wondering, training for a marathon is not a walk in the park. Mitch has been battling knee pain for a while now. I had some after the half marathon we ran last month, but it went away after a couple of days and I hadn't thought much about it since.

Well it reared its ugly head this last Friday and won't go away. Apparently running 18-20 miles on the weekends in addition to playing singles tennis is more than my knees can handle. Mitch had his chiropractor appointment this morning which really seems to be helping him, so he made me an appointment too. With some foam rolling and the right strengthening and stretching exercises he believes we will both be running this marathon. But no more tennis!

I am pretty sure taper madness will be setting in now. I'm going to have a lot of time on my hands with no tennis and very little running to be done in the next 12 days! Maybe I could work on Morgan's baby book that is 3 1/2 years past due?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I ran 20 miles today

I just have to keep saying it! I wasn't sure I should do it because my legs were still somewhat tired from running a 10K race last Saturday, then an 18 mile run Sunday. Then playing tennis Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. (probably shouldn't be doing that but it's fun!)

So I told myself I'd go for 14 and see how it went and keep going if I could. When I got to 14 I told myself "it's only 6 more miles!". I hope I say that on marathon day after running 20 miles.

It hurt (my knees are still sore from last weekend and my calves kept wanting to cramp up), it was hot (75 when I started, just over 90 when I finished) and it was long (almost 4 hours) but I did it! And I'm so glad I did. Now the work is done and I rest up for the marathon that is 3 weeks from today!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

I am ending a relationship

With my Asics. I've been running in them for years, well before I really got into running, and overall I like them. But ever since I started running consistently I've gotten blisters. They are painful and annoying and I was stressing out about how I was going to make it 26.2 miles with them.

So Saturday I went back to the running store and someone finally realized I had too much room in the toe of my shoes, so my feet were sliding around too much causing the blisters. I bought a pair of Mizunos and finally for the first time in a few weeks I was excited to run again. 5 miles yesterday and 9 miles today and not even a hint of a blister. I'm sold! Bring on the marathon! Well, maybe not quite yet...

Monday, August 23, 2010

is it taper time yet?

The Chicago Marathon is fast approaching! We have been back from our trip to Wisconsin/Minnesota for 2 weeks now and it has been really, really hard to get back into running in this heat.

On August 7th Mitch and I ran the Urban Wildland half marathon in Richfield, MN. The temperature was in the 70s, and it even rained a little. Perfect! We were able to run all 13.1 miles together, only stopping to walk through a few of the water stops. Mitch finished in 2:09:58 and I finished in 2:09:59, meeting my goal of a 2 hour, 10 minute half marathon almost exactly!

And now here we are back in Mississippi where it is 100+ degrees and nice and humid. Needless to say we've both been slacking in the running department. However, in less than 7 weeks we have committed ourselves to run 26.2 miles so here we are!

Really hoping for a cold front when we have to run the 20-miler next month...

Monday, August 16, 2010

school has begun!

We love it when school starts. For one thing, the kids are still young enough to love school. For another, they drive mama crazy during the summer. And lastly, it is a lot of work having 3 kids home all day, every day. Add to that having to pause what I'm doing every hour or two to feed Riley her meals and snacks and I can't get much of anything done during the summer. I tried to have a life of my own, dragging the kids to the gym nearly every day. But I feel guilty when I drop Riley off in the childcare because I know she'll most likely just sit in the same spot the whole time. And if she does get hungry the childcare workers have to stop what they're doing and feed her every bite, while trying to entertain the other kids that are in there and that's probably not fair to them.

So anyway, yay! School!

Addison started 2nd grade. Yes she wants to be called Addison instead of Addy now. Also, a Hello Kitty backpack and Barbie lunchbox are OK for a first grader but embarassing for a second grader. Who knew?

Riley was supposed to start kindergarten this year but they wanted to keep her in preschool another year since she just got her eyegaze communication device at the end of the last school year. They wanted to get more comfortable with her on it before she went to another school and had to start over. Mostly this is a good thing, delaying the stress of starting a new school and new teachers another year. But in a way for me, I wanted her to be in kindergarten because she was supposed to be in kindergarten! Oh well, in 11 years when Rett Syndrome is cured she will be the most popular kid in her class because she will be able to drive before everyone else.
I think Riley was a little jealous when Addison's bus came first

I wanted one more picture of Riley but she was pretty determined to get on that bus when it pulled up!

If you look closely you can see her BIG smile. I'd say she was pretty excited to be going to school again!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wisconsin Vacation in pictures (lots!)

Late July my mom, me and the kids drove up to Wisconsin.

Along the way we ate some throwed rolls....

and stopped at a park to run around a little

at grandma and grandpa's house we relaxed on the lake
and caught some frogs

built sandcastles for them to live in

Sadie jumped off the dock for tennis balls

the girls floated

we visited with cousins and went to a waterski show

did some paddleboating (and kayaking and canoeing)

everyone enjoyed the boat rides

Addy did lots of tubing and tried kneeboarding

we rode bikes

went on a boat ride with Nana and Papa

and had a sleepover with more cousins

Our trips up North are always very fun and go by very fast!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

running update

We are finishing up week 7 of our training for the Chicago Marathon and unfortunately neither one of us has been doing much running.

Mitch was having some pain in his knee, to the point where he could hardly even walk. He saw a sports med doctor, had an MRI which thankfully found nothing. He likely has something with a tendon in his knee, so the doctor gave him a shot of something in the knee (ouch!) and told him no running or tennis until it didn't hurt.

As for me, I was out for a 15 mile run (my longest so far) a week and a half ago and all was going well until I hit mile 10. I felt a pain in my calf. Not quite a pull but it felt like it wanted to pull. I (probably stupidly) finished the last 5 miles and then consulted with Dr. Google who said it was a tear or strain in the soleus muscle, which is the muscle right below the big part of the calf. Everything I read said to rest it for at least a week so I did. I took spinning classes and did some deep water running.

Last Saturday we ran the Hit the Bricks 5K since we were already registered. We figured even if we had to walk it we still wanted to try. It was the first 5K we ran together last year, plus they have chick fil a chicken minis afterwards and I couldn't pass those up! Thankfully we both were able to run it relatively pain free! I also set a new PR of 26:37, so I'm getting closer to my goal of running a 26 minute 5K.

Here is a picture of Mitch and two random guys from the race. :)

So now that we were both able to run the 5K we are starting to get back into marathon training and will hopefully both run the Urban Wildland half marathon in Minnesota in a couple weeks. If anything it is sure to be cooler than the last half marathon I ran!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Visit with Dr. Percy

Riley had her 6-month appointment at UAB today which always makes for a good time. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory like usual and swam in the hotel pool the night before so the girls had fun.
Riley's weight is up to 29.8 which is exactly 1 pound more than last time so at least she's gaining. She also gained in height though so I think her BMI actually dropped. Gotta keep piling on the butter I guess. I am excited for the day she finally reaches 30 pounds - we are so close!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Riley's Summer Camp

I finally remembered to take my camera when I picked Riley up from summer camp!

For the last three weeks Riley has gone to Hope Hollow to attend summer camp and she just loves it! They do crafts, play games, have a water fun day and even go horseback riding! Best of all her buddy Ashtyn has been there sometimes too. She loves Riley and I think the feeling is mutual!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Official!

We bought our flights to Chicago for the marathon! Southwest is having a nice deal right now so we're staying an extra night which makes it even more exciting. Our hotel is booked so now all we have to do is... RUN! Which is not that easy in this Mississippi heat.
Last weekend I talked myself out of 9 miles and only did 6.5. This weekend I WILL do 12! Now that I've written it down I have to do it. :)
Mitch ran 9 miles last weekend and hurt his knee. It's feeling better now but let's hope it's nothing that gets worse!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

half marathon finished!

And it was a HOT one. But why would I think otherwise in June in Mississippi?

Race Report:

I got up at 3:40 so I could eat breakfast (toast with peanut butter and a banana) and drink some coffee and chug water 2 hours before start time which was 6:00am. Checked the weather and it was 80 degrees with a feels like temp of 87 and 85% humidity. Not even 4:00! Got dressed, put my timing tag on my shoe, grabbed my garmin watch and ipod and was out the door. Picked up friend A, then picked up friend M and we were at the race site by 5:20.

6:00am and the horn sounds and we are off! There were nearly 1000 people running the half marathon, and it was so exciting to be part of it! I made sure to keep my pace comfortable and slowish, just under 10 minute miles, because I didn't want to go out too fast and fade out later. The sun was out now and we were running in it which made for a hot run. I grabbed water from every water stop and drank on the run.

By mile 6 I was feeling hot and tired, and I wanted to walk a little. In training I was able to run 12 miles only stopping for about 30 seconds once to take a drink so I was a little disappointed that I wanted to walk so soon. I kept telling myself "there's no shame in walking, there's no shame in walking". Just over the halfway mark at the next water stop they had ice in the water which made it so refreshing and cold. I decided to walk and drink it and savor it. The next couple miles were pretty hilly and sunny so I took walk breaks on the harder hills. I walked fast and then was able to run faster after each walk break so I still kept up with the runners around me.

Miles 8 and 9 had some shade and more downhills than uphills which felt pretty good. But at mile 10 we turned onto a road that was full sun and facing the sun which was not so fun. Mile 11 they had us run through a neighborhood that was full sun and just brutal. I walked through the water stop and kept walking. I tried running but was just too hot and tired. I probably walked an entire mile. Caught up with friend M who said "this blows" and I couldn't have agreed with her more.

At 12.1 miles I told myself ok ONE MORE MILE I can do this. I saw the guy directing runners toward the parking lot of our finish line so I started running. I would have been perfectly happy walking that last mile but I really wanted to run across the finish line. They had us run around the parking lot and down the frontage road (so close and yet so far!), up the exit ramp (ugh, one last hill!) and then down around back to the parking lot and the finish line. At this point I was running by myself so all the people standing around the finish line were cheering for ME, go me! I saw the time clock was at 2:19-something so I pushed a little harder so I could finish under 2:20 and I did - official time was 2 hours, 19 minutes, 31 seconds. I finished.

I felt amazingly good. My knee, which usually hurts after long runs, didn't even hurt. My muscles felt stiff and a little tight but otherwise I felt fine. I am now a believer in walk breaks! I don't feel like they slowed me down any, and I felt so much better when I took them. Hopefully walk breaks will make marathon training this summer more manageable!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

6 days until half marathon!

This half marathon has been in the works for a long time and now that it's getting close I'm getting nervous! I had hoped to run 1 or 2 long runs in the last few weeks but heat and travel kind of prevented that. So I guess I will just go out and do my best and hope I can make it!

The plan for this week is to REST! I'll probably run 2 or 3 short runs in the next few days but that'll be it. I really need to concentrate on eating healthy to do some damage control from our trip to Colorado. There was lots (and lots) of unhealthy eating going on there and I'm definitely feeling it this week.

I also need to make sure to drink my water! This morning it was 74 degrees with a dewpoint of 73 degrees, which means it was extremely humid. I imagine it'll be just like that next Saturday. It would be nice if they passed out dry towels along the course, I think I'm going to need them!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Top 10 reasons Rett Syndrome is not all bad

It's hard not to focus on the negative, so I wanted to list some positives! I thought of a few of these on our recent trip to Colorado, if you can't tell. :)

  1. Closer parking spaces
  2. Getting moved to the front of the line at airport security
  3. Getting to board planes sooner
  4. Becoming friends with amazing people you wouldn't have otherwise met
  5. Discovering a strength you never knew you had
  6. How many people get to say they are truly inspired by their child?
  7. Really understanding what is important, and what is not
  8. Meeting people who are so compassionate, caring and generous it blows you away
  9. Appreciating the little things in life
  10. The look in her eyes that says peace, love, awareness and innocence all in one

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

IRSF Conference 2010

We are back from Colorado Springs and had a wonderful time! It was great to meet up with other families, learn some new ideas for different therapies and hear inspiring stories of hope for a cure!

  • The keynote speaker. A couple things she said really stuck out for me. One was that a bent and tarnished quarter has just as much value as a shiny new quarter. I'm going to remember this at our IEP meetings in the future! And she told us that if you can't get out of it, get into it!

  • The communication sessions are always favorites. It's so wonderful to hear people talk about and show videos of our girls showing off how smart they are!

  • The tribute reception! By far my favorite part of the weekend. We watched some amazing dancers, which Riley LOVED! Then Kevin Black sang. He is Clint Black's brother who had a daughter with Rett Syndrome that passed away a few years ago. And then we heard from a fabulous band from Nashville, the John Titlow Band. There was tons of great music and dancing!

Riley had tons of fun at the Tribute Reception!
Dancing with Daddy was the highlight for her I think

Does this look like a happy girl or what?

Riley walked right over to the band for some personal attention

And she got it!

We spent lots of time with the two couples we hung out with last year. Sunday night we all went out to dinner together. We had our own private room which was PERFECT for the kids. Made for a relaxing and fun dinner!

Here are the Dads with their special angels

All the kiddos

The parents! I feel really tall in this picture...

These annual conferences are just what I need to "recharge my batteries"!