Sunday, October 25, 2009

TV Off Daddy!

This afternoon after Miss Addelyn woke up from her nap, she came out to the living room where Mark was doing his usual Sunday afternoon routine, which includes the couch and football. I put her in her booster seat to have a snack at the kitchen table and I sat down with her to eat her snack. We chatted and she kept asking where Daddy was. I told her he was in watching football in the living room. As soon as her snack was finished, she went in to the living room and walked straight over to the TV. "TV Off, Daddy!" she said as she tried to push the buttons on the TV.
Mark couldn't believe that I didn't put her up to it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We did it!

Some of our marathon team a week after finishing with our shirts & medals.

Six of us ran the WHOLE marathon together. What amazing women that inspire me (and pulled me up the hill the last half mile!)

My running buddy through this whole process, Jess

My biggest supporter. Honestly, I could not have done this marathon without the support of my husband. He has been amazing!

Less than two weeks ago, a journey that I started about six months ago came to a end. I completed my first ever marathon- after pounding the pavement, mile after mile, week after week. I would actually have to say that this whole process was actually the beginning of a new journey in my life. Although the training process for my first marathon is done- it doesn't close the door to this chapter. More on that later.

Last April when I signed up, I don't know if I truly believed I could do it. I guess deep down I must have- I'm really not a quitter so I didn't see myself giving up. At the same time, the thought of running five miles, or ten miles, or fifteen miles, let alone twenty-six point two miles was horrifying (this feeling I pretty much kept inside). I took the training process week by week- getting up early in the morning when it was still black outside, running when I gagged, puked, and through other pleasant moments. Don't worry, I did have some really amazing running moments too. My body started to feel stronger. My mind started to tell my body it was stronger too! A huge key to this whole process were the relationships. First of all, my running buddy Jess. We signed up together and pretty much ran this whole thing together. I cannot even tell you how huge that was during this whole thing. We stayed together when one or the other had a bad running day and would keep the other going. And then there was "The Pack." This was a group of gals that are amazing people. We would talk, laugh, tell stories, answer questions about our lives, and distract ourselves from the amount of miles our bodies were running. Then there was Don, our coach. His weekly encouragement, emails, and prayers were inspirational and helpful. Each Saturday, many people from our team (there were over seventy of us) would wake up and come together to pray and to run.

Another piece of the puzzle for me was a motivation that was deeper than anything inside of me. It was a reason to do this marathon because of something bigger than me. Running 26.2 for Africa has deeply impacted me. When my body wore down while I ran, I would think about the moms across the world who walk miles and miles each day, just to get clean water for their families. I completely take for granted the fact that my family has daily access to water to drink, to bathe in, to use for laundry, and anything else I would need it for. If I could run this marathon to raise money to build wells with clean water for these moms across the world, that was one small piece I could do. Throughout the race - when the miles got tough- I would repeat over and over- 26.2 for Africa. It was the saying that kept me going.

I have grown. So like I said, this journey of my first marathon- running with amazing team members & training for a end result of finishing the Chicago Marathon- has ended. But truly, another door has opened in my life. Through this process, I have been inspired, I have found out that I am much stronger than I ever knew, and I see myself through different eyes. I can do things I never knew I could set my mind too. I plan to keep running- in fact my next race is Saturday- the Grant Wheeler 5K if I'm over the flu by then. Yeah, that is why I'm finally catching up on blogging! After that race, the next one is The Living History Farms Race in Des Moines. The biggest cross country race in the United States. That will be a fun and new challenge too.

Thanks to all of you for your amazing support through this process- whether it was your words of encouragement, your notes and cards, babysitting my child, your flexibility on my tired days, or your support of World Vision. I'm truly thankful- I know i couldn't have done it without a team of people behind me. Thanks for believing in me!

LA Trip

In September, Mark had a work trip to Los Angeles, CA with his co-worker Justin. Justin's girlfriend, Kaitlyn, and I got to go along. We had a fun couple of days in LA!
In the airport- we had a few "setbacks" for our flights, both on the way out and back. Lets just say we spent more time in the airport than planned!

This was in Hollywood, outside of Kodak Theatre. We had to do the touristy thing of course!

We went to a really fun restaurant/bar place called U-Wink. Notice the winks. :) At each table in the restaurant was a touch screen. We ordered our food on the touchscreen and also could play games on there. We could play each other across the table and also challenge other tables in the restaurant to play. For Mark and his competitiveness, this was a perfect place! He loved it! We stayed there for a few hours and played games and had appetizers.

Here is our Napoleon Dynamite guy we met. He even put on his chapstick for us!

Long story short, because of Mark's job we ended up getting some extra tickets to the Miley Cyrus concert at the Staples Center. I didn't even know any of the songs but now I do. I think Miley has grown on me. :) Party in the USA baby!!!!

On the Santa Monica Pier- we spent one afternoon at the beach. It wasn't a sunny afternoon but still was pretty nice. I would say relaxing on the beach is one of my favorite vacation options.

Mark and Justin spent most of the time playing frisbee in the ocean. Kaitlyn and I joined them for awhile despite the cold water!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Yesterday while changing Addelyn's diaper, she gave me a huge grin, pointed to her "area" and said proudly "peanuts." We are WORKING on learning all of the right names for body parts but it can get confusing that boys and girls are different!

Friday, October 16, 2009

into everything

When our house is quiet, I know I can find Addelyn hidden in a corner somewhere, doing something she knows she shouldn't. This is one of our latest examples. :) How can you not laugh or smile when you see that face though?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New tradition

Finally, I am getting these amazing pictures on the blog. I only posted a few of the many great pics that Ashley Schrage took at the Quinlan Family Reunion (Mark's Mom's side) in July in Perry. This year, we realized that it will only get harder and harder to get all of the relatives together at Christmas so a plan was made to start a summer activity that will get us all together. I think this is a great idea and we had a blast. I'm pretty sure a new tradition has been born. We started the day with a golf tourney, spent some time in the pool in the afternoon, and had pics and a BBQ at night. I'm thankful I've married into such a great family.
This is a classic Grandpa Tom pose. Gotta love it. :)

The kiddos playing t-ball. Addelyn was having a blast!

Nicole, Matt's wife (Matt is Mark's brother) and their little boy Trae

Ty, Nicole's five year old son- what a sweet and very smart kid. Love his smile!

Mark and his Grandpa Tom- I'm sure this was a wisdom-filled conversation. :) Or one that includes mean comments to each other about the Cubs or Cardinals (Mark=HUGE CUB FAN. Grandpa=HUGE CARDINALS FAN.) You can probably imagine their conversation.

Addelyn- she had a blast that weekend!

Joe is married to Mark's cousin Andrea. Their twins Jack and Reed are so sweet and cute. Life has to be busy in their household with these boys running around!

The WHOLE Quinlan crew- uncles, aunts, cousins, and more!
Family pic, awww....

I love this picture of Mark's parents. They are amazing people!

The Hoskinson crew