Mission Complete

I was finally able to check something off of my bucket list this past weekend.  For the past 5 years or so I have tried to get into a very fun 5k down in Delaware. It’s called the Dogfish Dash and it is held by Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE.  Dogfish is very special to me and my husband. They have such an awesome selection of beers – probably some of our favorites and the brewery is about a mile up the road from where he grew up.  It has grown over the past 20 years into an amazing brewery that we try to visit as often as possible. And my basement has a beer room which is pretty much dedicated to all things Dogfish.

Well each year for the past 10 or so years they have held an awesome race called the Dogfish Dash.  I have tried over the years to get in but it sells out VERY fast.  One year I was in and just about to check out with my credit card and BOOM it was full. This was literally less than 10 minutes after the race opened up. Thankfully I didn’t get in that year because I ended up getting pregnant with Owen.  I could barely walk, let alone run a race.  Two other times I attempted but it was full within minutes even when they had two races a 5k and a 10k. I would never attempt the 10k but both always sold out faster than any concert that I have ever attempted to get tickets for.

This year was going to be different!  I could feel it. I still wasn’t training at all but I knew that I just wanted into this race.   I have always heard that it was a fun time and of course there’s BEER at the end of it.  Oh and I forgot to mention that the race was no longer a 5k, it was now an 8k.  That’s two extra miles people! AHHH but I was going to do it.  It helped that my new neighbors up the road were going to run in it in too.

As registration day approached I sat by my computer, probably with a highly fatty lunch and Coke Zero in hand, counting down to the moment registration opened up.  I was determined to get in this year, even though I was carrying a ton of extra weight and couldn’t run a 1/4 mile without feeling like my heart was going to pop out of my chest. Registration opened and I typed as fast I could filling in all of the personal, financial information and then finally after several glitches with their checkout process freezing, I did get my confirmation email! YEAH, I was in. I was probably more excited about getting in than running the race!!!!!!  I signed Joey up as well but after his terrible leg injury this summer, we knew he was just going to be my cheerleader (and designated beer drinker).

So now I was set! The race was months away and I had plenty of time to train, right? I did run a 5k in May called The Hair of the Dog at the Working Dog Winery.


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I struggled through that one.  Right away my leg cramped up, but I didn’t give up and I finished it. But I am not going to lie, it was rough. But I will do anything for wine. Notice a theme with my races? I only run towards alcohol, isn’t that the only thing worth running towards? Haha

So after the Working Dog 5k, I thought that if I just trained over the next few months then I would be okay at the Dash.  Well, life took over.  I spent the summer running kids all over the place for camps, Owen cried every time that I tried putting him in day care at the gym and honestly I just gave up and drank wine and ignored the fact that the race was quickly approaching. I figured at the very least, I would walk the race and just come in last. As long as I could beat the street sweepers that were going to pick up trash after the race, then I was still going to do it.

The kids finally went back to school. Owen too (I’ll blog about that soon). So I was able to go to the gym and train – I trained a solid 4 days (eeek).  Oh but I did give up wine and ate a lot healthier for a few weeks prior to the race so that was one good thing. I could run on a treadmill but the same leg pain that bothered me during the May 5k was killing me again.  I ran through it each day but I knew it was not going away before the race. I thought about giving up and not going through with it, but I knew that I would kick myself if I did that. I always tell the boys that they need to follow through with things, I couldn’t show them that it was okay to give up. Especially Ben, he knew that my leg hurt but was always there to offer support or bring me my ice pack when I needed it. I couldn’t let him down.

Well this past Saturday, we loaded the family up and headed down to Milton, Delaware to the race packet pickup at the Brewery! I will say that Dogfish Head really does put together a nice swag bag.  The t-shirts were awesome and the tote bags were pretty cool too. But the best is the beer kanteen that you get when you complete the race (keep reading to see that cup).

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The night before I was full of nerves, I couldn’t sleep and my leg was killing me.  But early Sunday morning, Joey and I got up and headed over to the brewery to prep for the race.  The set up there is amazing.  Beer tents, food tents, DJs, and people. Lots and lots of people!  We had to get there early and had about an hour and a half to kill.  It was nerve wracking waiting around but also good for me.  I wished that I had taken a few more pictures but I just wanted to focus on the race.

Finally, 9:30am arrived and the gun went off.  I was running with a few of my friends but I knew that they would be gone within the first few seconds after we crossed the starting line.  They are actual runners. Within the first 1/4 mile both legs and my knee started to hurt. I thought to myself what the hell did I get myself into? Why did I push myself when I knew that I was out of shape?  But I just kept on running.  The first mile was the absolute hardest. I was in so much pain but as soon as I saw a mom pushing a double stroller running probably an 8 minute mile, I knew that I could do it too.  I mean it looked like one of her kids was only a few weeks old.  She was hardcore. I saw older woman walking, I saw men on the side of the road stretching out their cramped legs.  I knew that I was in good company.  I was probably running with the same crew for about 3 of the 5 miles.  Once the true racers took off and things spread out it was a little less stressful.

This time around I had no issues with breathing. I didn’t feel like I could die. It helped that it was also an absolutely GORGEOUS DAY! We had zero humidity, cool temperatures and such a nice breeze.  As I was running, I kept thinking just 4 more miles, just 3 more miles, etc.  I saw a sign that said 1/2 way done.  Then there were kids along the route high fiving all of the runners.  The fact that they were still there when this slow poke ran by was very uplifting.

There was even a point where I ran past a sign that showed your current time at the 5k point.  I noticed that I had beat my earlier 5k time from May so that gave me hope that I could do this. That I could actually run, errr slightly jog 5 miles.  Finally I saw this sign and knew that I was going to finish.

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I am very familiar with the town and I knew that the brewery was so close.  As I rounded the corner and got ready to turn into the brewery I started running full speed. As I approached the finish line, I saw Joey standing on the side cheering me on and taking pictures/video.  I ran across the line and felt so much relief! I know people run all of the time, I know that many people can do 7 minute miles or can run marathons but I am not one of them.  This is a huge accomplishment for me.  Yeah I may have finished in 1801st place but I finished.  Oh and there were several hundred people that came in after me. I expected my time to be closer to 1 hour 30 minutes based on my last run before race day but I surprised myself.

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As soon as I crossed that finish line, I ran over and grabbed my free beer cup, then I met up with Joey and our friends (who finished about 15 minutes ahead of me) for some brews and music and food.

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We enjoyed some post party festivities for a few hours after the race but I knew that if I sat down that I might not get back up. It was a Sunday and we still had to head back to NJ that afternoon/evening.  The kids had school the next day and Joey had work.  It was a long day and next year I plan on everyone taking a vacation day the Monday after.   I want to thank my husband for supporting me on race day, I want to thank my in-laws for watching the three crazy boys while I could check something off of my bucket list and I want to thank all of my awesome friends that lifted me up with their support over the past few weeks and on race day! It kept me motivated to not throw in the towel and to keep on moving.

So there’s only a few more months until registration opens for next years race. I plan on entering once again, this time I am going to train. Yeah I know that I have said that before, but I promise that this time I will.  Who is going to hold me to that????

PS – I haven’t been back to the gym to run since the race. My leg is still bothering me but I plan on heading back next week.


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Vacation Part II: Rehoboth Beach & Hershey Park

So I am back for round two of my vacation diary!  You can catch up on Week 1 here!

The kids spent a few days at my inlaws while Owen and I headed back to New Jersey to catch up on housework and laundry!  I also had to get everything packed for the second week of our vacation.  This year we didn’t go to Avalon for our normal week.  We ended up staying local while the kids enjoyed weeks at basketball, CCD, camps and swimming lessons.  We had a very busy summer.  But towards the end of July, Joey and I were really missing our week away at the shore.  It was a little late to book a house in Avalon so we decided to head on down to Rehoboth.  We both grew up right in Delaware {Joey was only 15 minutes away from the beach town} but we never really vacationed in Rehoboth.  Yes, we spent tons of time there growing up but neither one of us actually stayed down there for a vacation.  It was so nice staying at a hotel right on the boardwalk!  We just parked our car for a few days and walked everywhere!  It was great! The beach and boardwalk were right outside our window.  Plus all of the restaurants, rides and games were a few blocks south on the boards, it was awesome!

Joey and I were in NJ and packed up and left Saturday morning to head down to the beach {for all your Jersey folks, we call it the beach in Delaware … I know it’s the shore in NJ}.  We took our time traveling down.  It is only a 3 hour drive but we decided that since we only had Owen that we would stop for lunch and hit up a few beer stores that we can never get into when we have the whole gang!  I think this trip took us 6-7 hours but it was fine.  Owen was a trooper!  We stopped for lunch at Two Stones Pub in Wilmington, DE.  We love this place! The food is awesome and the beer is superb!  We have never been disappointed!


We finally arrived at Joey’s parents around dinnertime!  We picked up some pizza and had dinner while we were reunited with our other two boys!  They almost forgot about us!  They have a blast down there in the open yard.  They swing, play basketball and we cook s’mores on the firepit!  It’s always a nice and relaxing time! Plus they live 2 minutes from Dogfish Head Brewery so we always stop in to see what’s new.   We spent the night there and the next morning headed into our hotel in Rehoboth.

We stayed at the Henlopen Hotel.  It’s nothing fancy but it has a great view and the rooms are decent.  It definitely needs some upgrades but it was perfect for us!  We couldn’t check in right away so we decided to go to Dogfish Head for lunch!  The kids always enjoy the food and mommy and daddy always enjoy the beers!


After lunch we headed to the beach for a few hours while we waited on our room.  I think that the kids were still a little nervous about the rough waves after last weeks knockdown.  But they still had a blast.  It was another rough day but they managed to get wet and sandy!  Owen on the other hand hid from the sun!  The kid sat like this for a good 10 minutes!  He cracks me up!


At this point we were all anxious to get into our room.  Luckily it was ready.  So we unpacked the car and headed on up!  I fell in love with our view.   I mean look at this!  I love falling asleep to the sounds of waves crashing and since it was a cool night we slept with the door open so we could hear all the wonderful sounds of the Atlantic!



After we checked in and unpacked a bit we headed on down to the boardwalk! Walking the boardwalk with my kids brought back sooooo many memories of my childhood.


I remember walking up and down the boards holding my dads hand as we walked past the “hotel that had the pool out front”.  It was my favorite place to look at. I loved how my boys had to stop and check out the pool as we walked down.  I loved taking my guys into Ryan’s Gems and Junk {I think that they just call it Ryan’s now}.  They sold some of the same “junk” from when I was a kid. I made Sean pose in front of the sea shell jewelry boxes! I guess that they never go out of style {were they ever in style}.


We stopped off at Obie’s by the Sea for dinner that night {after a hit up Candy Kitchen and the arcade}. I mean how can you not love this view at dinner!???


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The boys were a little crazy but we somehow managed to get through dinner {after I had to remove one of them from the restaurant}.  The next morning was a little windy so we decided to go for a nice walk around Rehoboth and hit up the park for a little bit and then Grotto Pizza for lunch!  We can’t go down to Rehoboth without getting some slices from Grotto’s.

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Then it was off to Funland. The rides were opening so we had to get there as soon as we could.  My inlaws came into town to spend the afternoon with us.   We had one major meltdown because of a game that we will never mention again.  Okay it was that damn claw game! Come on, it’s rigged… The 6 year old boy never win it!  But despite the breakdown we did get on a few rides! Owen went on the boats for the very first time! It’s a tradition that all kids must ride those boats {there are quite a few generations in our families that have spent many of summers ridding those boats}.

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After the rides, we decided to go down to the beach for a few hours before dinner.  It was such a gorgeous night!

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Since we loved Obie’s the night before we decided to go back again! It was the perfect spot to bring the kids and the stroller.  This night was a little smoother and the kids were pretty well behaved!


Tuesday morning we met up with some good friends on the beach in the morning.  We spent a few hours down there playing and relaxing in the sand.  After they left it was off to lunch at Nicola Pizza and then back to the beach! That night was our last night in town so we had to go big!  We spent a ton of time back at the rides and the boys went into the Haunted Mansion for the very first time! Again this ride has been there FOREVER so we knew it was time for them to get on it. I love how they pretended to be so scared waiting in line but their faces as they came out of it were priceless! They were scared to death!  It was awesome!


After the rides we hit up the ice cream shop and ran into a skunk in the dunes before heading back home to get some rest.


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The next morning was checkout time! Since we were so close to Joey’s parents we decided to drive there and drop off Owen.  We had a few more things that we wanted to do with the boys and it was just easier if we didn’t have the stroller {sorry Owen}!  We just had to squeeze in one more day of rides and miniature golf!!

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After we finished up the day in Rehoboth it was time to head back to my inlaws!  That leg of our trip was coming to an end!

We spent a few days relaxing at my inlaws before we packed up the car and headed to Hershey Park!  That was an interesting trip.  The boys were soooo naughty that night in the hotel that we almost didn’t go to the park the next morning.  But we sucked it up and took them!  They weren’t on their best behavior but I think that they still had a blast!

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Overall, we had an awesome time.  Yes there were a lot of moments where the boys were fighting and we were all yelling, but I know that we will look back and only remember all of the fun times and memories that were made that week.  Ok I’ll still remember Ben’s breakdown when he didn’t win the Despicable Me minion at that claw game!  But I will mainly remember the skee-ball games, the rides, and of course the massive amounts of pizza and ice cream that we consumed! I can’t wait to see what next summer brings for us!


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Rides, Games and Tears

Here we are back at Monday again.  The day that I dread.  I am exhausted from the weekend and a late night plus Ben starts a week of Kindergarten camp today.  He did okay at drop off.  He just told me once that he didn’t want to stay at camp long and that he was really going to miss me.  But I think that he is going to have a blast {and he’s going to be exhausted}.  But I am glad that I signed him up for full day camp since his school day goes well past 3pm.  He will need to get used to the long days.

Sean on the other hand has been such a handful lately.  He is back to destroying everything in my house.  Last week he ripped the curtains off our wall in our dining room.  I could kill the kid!  Then today he flushed one of those paper bathroom cups down his toliet.  I haven’t gone up there yet to work on that one.  I am hoping that the plunger does the trick or he is paying for the plumber out of his college fund.

There’s so much to do around the house right now.  I need walls repaired, paint work, plumbing work, a hose down and some other miscellaneous projects!  The exterminator comes tomorrow to help us with the ant problem!  I hope that they can get rid of those little buggers because I am sick of seeing them.

It’s been such an exhausting day and it’s only 1pm.  AHHHHHH


Oops it’s now after 4pm and I am finally getting this post finished.  I had to run out and get Ben from camp!  He said that he had a lot of fun and is looking forward to going back again tomorrow! SUCCESS!!!!!  He was a sweaty mess.

This past weekend we headed down to Delaware to visit with all of the grandparents!  The first stop on Friday night was my mom’s house.  We ended up getting there pretty late so the kids went to bed after a little bit of play time.  The next morning they were up bright and early so we threw them in the pool for a little bit.   Then it was time to head downstate to visit with Joey’s parents.  We spent the day at the house and then Sunday we went into Rehoboth for some games, rides, ice cream and of course Dogfish!

The boys were actually pretty well behaved at lunch! It was amazing.

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After lunch it was off to the rides and games! The boys love these rides. I was starting to get a little sad when I saw that Ben has almost outgrown some of them. Then I remembered that I have a new baby coming and another couple of years left in Funland. I mean you can’t beat it. The tickets are so cheap, the rides are too cute and I remember riding the same ones when I was a kid.
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Here are some pictures from Ben’s tantrum because he didn’t win the Despicable Me minion in the claw game behind him. It was a pretty impressive meltdown. Screaming, kicking, scratching and tons of tears. He finally stopped when I threw him on the tea cups and he couldn’t stop laughing.

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Sean’s awesome Skee-Ball score! Not bad for a 3 year old!  He beat some of the adults playing next to us.

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It was a pretty awesome day!  We topped it off with ice cream before we had to head back to Milton and pack up and say our goodbyes! We then stopped off at my mom’s house for some dinner and then drove back to New Jersey to face the week!

Alright guys, I’m off to go deal with Sean.  I can’t type for long or he will break something else in my house.  I don’t know what I am going to do when I have three boys destroying things????

I hope you all have a great week! I will be back tomorrow with a mini baby update. Oh and if you could please click on the Top Mommy Blogs icon below to vote for my blog I would greatly appreciate it. I have almost cracked the Top 100. Every vote counts. All you need to do is click on the icon and when the page loads, you are done! Thanks!


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Longing for the Summer……

I figured that since it was a snowy day here on the East Coast that I would write a quick post about the summer! Something to help us all think about the warm weather and not the slush and sleet outside.I cannot believe that it is already mid March and the majority (if not all of) of our big vacations are already planned. I feel like it was just yesterday that I wrote this post What I Did On My Summer Vacation and now we are ao close to another fun one! Normally, we end up flying by the seat of our pants but this summer seems to be all planned out and now we just have to wait. And wait. And wait some more! Come on summer get here already.

Actually, we don’t even need to wait until the summer for our first vacation. We will be traveling a bit in April. Next month we are headed down to North Carolina for a long weekend to spend time with some friends that we haven’t seen in probably 5-7 years! They are Joey’s friends from college and we have always lived so far apart from one another that it’s been nearly impossible to get together.  We will stop at my husbands college, Radford University in Virginia, for one night on the way down to break up the driving on the trip. I already know that I will need to get a prescription for anxiety meds for this trip since it will be quite a long drive with the two boys in the back of the car. I need to start hitting up the dollar store for some little treats to help get us through the trip. I might also need to pick up some new movies at the library for the car DVD Player! But it will be worth it to catch up with some old friends. We have never met each others kids and it will be nice to catch up again.

Then after this vacation I am headed on a girls trip with my mom and sister to Hershey Hotel and Spa for a night away from the kids (with a few spa treatments and a delicious dinner thrown in there).  I cannot wait for this trip. It will be our third year in a row and I LOVE this tradition!!!!  I am just hoping that the weather is nice so we can see the Gardens and drink wine on the patio.


 In June we are headed to Avalon for a wonderful week in the sun and sand.  This is an annual trip with the family.  It’s just so nice for the kids and I to see my husband for an entire week straight. The kids love catching frogs, building sandcastles and eating ice cream. I love having extra hands for a week as well as sitting under my umbrella, in my hat and 100+ SPF sunscreen watching my husband play in the water with the boys! It’s too cold for mommy (brrrrr).

July will be filled with camps for the boys and then a trip to Hershey Park. This time it’s not for the spa (damn) but for a family trip to Hershey Park! It should be a great vacation – of course my kids will probably be all hyped up on chocolate but they will love it. Oh and mommy and daddy will definitely hit up Troegs while we are there!  Can’t miss the brewery!

August we will have another week of camp for Ben in preperation for Kindergarten (ahhhh I’m crying now).

Of course we will spend a lot of time at Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ since we live about 15 minutes away. This is our second year in a row that we have had season passes and we even got one for daddy this year.  The boys love all of the rides and this year I might actually be able to take them both there by myself without having a meltdown (me not them – they will definitely have meltdowns).

 And of course there will be tons of trips to my moms pool in Delaware and my in-laws house in Rehoboth.  We will hit up the boardwalk, the rides and of course Dogfish Head Brewery.

So what are your plans for the summertime? Do you guys usually stay close to home? Do you travel cross country? One year I would like to go to an island or even Disney World but I am not ready just yet to put the kids on an airplane? Maybe next summer?

Beer Tasting Paddles……

So my latest online order just arrived and I am so happy that I discovered this gift! I found these cute wood paddle sets for beer tasting samples over at an Etsy Shop.  I was originally going to give them to Joey for Father’s Day but I just couldn’t wait (or keep a secret). 

The set that I ordered is pictured below.  I ordered two paddles, and each paddle came with four 5oz tasting glasses. One for Joey and one for myself (or any other friends that happen to stop by for some great craft beers).  Joey loves setting up tastings for his friends and I thought that this would be a great gift for him.  Once I placed the order, I realized that they came from a website called DrinkPaddles.com and I could have gotten the 6 glass set. Oh well!

Now I am just waiting for my husband to get home from the liquor store so I can fill up these bad boys!  It’s Dogfish Head Growler night at our local liquor store and he has waited in line for 2 hours to get the good stuff.  It’s all the fun hop beers – Ahopeclipse Now!

You should check out their online shop here: http://drinkpaddles.com/Shop . Not only do they sell Beer Paddles, but they also sell Mini Beer Samplers, Martini Samplers, Wine, Tequila and Shot Sampler Paddles.  Everything you need for great entertaining!

Check out their Website or Etsy Page and please go and like them on their Facebook Page. Just make sure that you leave them a comment on their Facebook Page letting them know that I sent you! They make perfect gifts for the beer, wine, tequila lovers in your family! You know you want one too!

*** This is not a paid endorsement or a free product review. I ordered these tasting sets with my own money and was not compensated in any way. Just like in all of my product reviews, these opinions are MY OWN.  ***

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Weekly Weight Watchers Update

Okay, I don’t even know what week I am on anymore. All I know is that I have been failing at my Weight Watchers these past few weeks. I can report that I haven’t gained anymore weight back, I am sitting at the same weight for 2 weeks now so I can’t complain (I guess). But I am not happy with myself at all. I just threw in the towel and I need to pick myself up off the floor and get my behind back in gear.

I can give you three reasons for ignoring my diet these past few weeks.

Number 1: 

Number 2:

Number 3: 

Yes, all of these beautiful drinks have been a part of my life over the past few weeks and once I have a drink or two, then I want to snack! I could have easily said no to the drinks but in this house when a new beer comes in you better drink it quickly, if not, the hubby will!  We can’t help it we like our craft beers! That’s something I can’t give up. 
I am going to pick a day real soon to get back on track. I am not in the right frame of mind and when I am not there mentally, then I know that I will fail.  It will happen soon, I know it.  I am still running at the gym (not as much as I should) but I am still doing it.  I am glad that Sean likes to go because he helps me out during the week begging to go to the gym play room.  I can’t turn him down. On the weekends my husband is my support. He gets me to the gym!!!  He goes every weekend so I might as well join him, right? 
So I know I will get there one of these days. It’s not like I can just pick a day, I have to just get so pissed off at myself or gain more weight and then I will get back on the Weight Watchers Wagon.  

Before I go and have a snack with Sean, I wanted to share a new Weight Watchers Anytime meal that I discovered on a recent trip to Target.  

Chicken Slider

Spicy Chicken Slider

Now, I know it’s not Chick-Fil-A but they are pretty darn good for being a frozen chicken sandwich.  Much better than the frozen Weight Watcher cheeseburgers.  The spicy ones were actually quite delicious. If I can use these to fight my Chick-Fil-A cravings then I might be able to get away from the fast food and get that portion of my binging under control.  They are 5 points each – not too bad for a snack in between meals or for my breakfast when I want something different than egg whites.  Now I just have to remember that the serving size is one … not two or three! Ha.

Happy Tuesday!

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All You Runners, Please Help!!!

Okay so I started running as some form of exercise about 9 months ago. I started off well, then slacked off a bit, but now I am trying to get my butt back into gear so I can run my first 5K this year! I already know which one I am signing up for the Dogfish Dash in Delaware. Of course the end goal is beer so I know that I can make it 3.1 miles for beer! I just don’t want to come in last place so I need some help, advice, etc. I have a few questions for all of you runners out there (see below). Please comment in the post so I can become a “runner” soon!

Right now this is my motto!

  1. What are the best types of sneakers to wear. I am using just basic every day sneaker from Kohls. I know that they are not great for running but I didn’t want to make an investment until I started showing improvement. 
  2. What’s the best type of clothing to wear? Any specific brands? I am talking tops, shorts/pants and socks? 
  3. Girls – Now this is for the big busted ladies out there (woo hoo!) but I need a really good sports bra. I was in pain while running the other day and my back still hurts and I am still sporting black eyes! Any recommendations? I can’t spend my entire run holding onto the girls b/c that may look a bit weird to the other runners. 
  4. What is a good time to expect for a “novice” runner. I started out with 15 minute miles – remember I am sooooooo out of shape! I mean I couldn’t even run more than 2 tenths of a mile when I first started and today I did under an 11 minute mile – my personal best! I know that I WILL DO BETTER but it’s going to take some time.  Again what is good for an average runner who is doing it for fun?
  5. Any other tips you can share with me? Please do! 

Thanks for any and all advice!

Remember to enter the free K-cup giveaway from CapeJava!  Who doesn’t love free coffee!??

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And remember if you don’t win, you still can get 10% off your first purchase (just use the codeIRISHMAMA).  And if a month from now you are wishing that you had ordered using the discount, just look for the Cape Java image on the right side bar of my page and click it for a direct link to CapeJava. 

Christmas Pageants Galore

So the past two days I have been consumed by my boys Christmas pageants. Let me start by saying that I love these shows. I love when kids cry, I love when they scream “Hi Mom” and I love when some sit there and just pick their noses (or give bunny ears to the kid in front of them – like Ben did today).  Out kids and these shows remind us of the true meaning of Christmas and why it is so important. Just to quote Dr. Seuss from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which we have watched a few times already this year)
“It came without ribbons!  It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And then he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
The past two days I have witnessed the same Christmas show twice but with two different groups of children. Each day was special and unique and filled my heart with joy. I was happy that for once I wasn’t thinking about Ben’s medical issues (okay I was slightly worried he would have a seizure and fall off the stage). I was thinking how joyous of a day it was, I was thinking about all of the families in CT that won’t get to see their children perform in any Christmas or holiday shows. I was just happy that I was able to watch my boys shine. Happy to see my boys up there giving it their all and having a great old time! I loved (and laughed) at how some of the parents acted with their cameras. It’s just an exciting time. Whether their first show or their last one it’s always amazing. 
Yesterday was Sean’s day. I was a little worried that he wouldn’t stay in his seat but he was WONDERFUL! He sang every song and chatted with his bestie Maddie (who thankfully was seated right behind him). It was precious at times, he sat there with his head in his hands looking bored but he was still singing. I was so proud of my little man.
Today was another great day – Ben’s day! Yes, I was full of nerves that he was going to have a seizure and fall off the stage – but he didn’t! He was awesome. Ben is usually super shy but he sang every song, helped a friend when she lost her halo and was even giving bunny ears to the kid sitting in front of him. I was so proud of my shy guy!
Love the hands in his pockets! 
He wanted to wear a tie and was mad that I tucked it into his sweater because he wanted everyone to see it.  I apologize to my husband for the horrible tie job! Even after I taped my husband showing me how to put on a tie I still got it wrong! But Ben was happy with it. He told me that he just wanted to look sharp!
So I think the past two days may have been a little stressful on mommy but they turned out to be wonderful! The kids have their countdown on to Santa’s arrival and the birth of baby Jesus. I am just thankful that I only have 6 more nights of moving Gary, our elf. 

I have videos from the shows but I am having trouble uploading to YouTube. If I ever get them up on there I will post. 
I know that Joey was sad he had to miss the show but we are so proud of him for all of the hard work that he has put in at work the past few months (and years). He is doing it all for us and I am so happy to have him as my husband (and daddy to our boys).  Yesterday was his birthday and I know that he worked his ass off to get home at a decent hour so he could see the boys. He went in early and came home a little after 8pm. We did get to celebrate with some beer, some presents and of course the Dogfish Head cake that I made just for him!
Happy Birthday Dear! We love you!
Have a great week guys! I know that I still need to do my Weight Watchers post. I have just been so busy and my mind is elsewhere. I haven’t posted daily updates, I haven’t blogged as often and by God I haven’t vacuumed my floor! AHHHHHH I now regret letting the boys put tinsel on the tree this year! Ahhhh tis the season!
PS. I apologize if my posts are scattered and incoherent these days but that’s where I’m at lately. I think that after I find out what is going on with Ben I will hopefully be back to myself – horrible grammar and all. 
Love ya all!
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The Never Ending Car Ride…….

So this past weekend we decided to was down Delaware to visit my in laws since they won’t be able to make it up to New Jersey this year for Christmas. We were all up early so I hit the gym for a quick workout and then we packed up the car and started our adventure. Now mind you this trip should really take less than 3 hours but in true Callaway style, it did not!

Before we left for Delaware I attempted to snap off a few shots of the boys in front of our tree in their nice new sweaters. Well I could not get my good camera to work so I had to use the iPhone and the photos turned out crappy! I need to figure out why my good camera stopped taking pictures but here are some outtakes from the kids photo shoot (or as I like to call it hell in front of a tree)

Sean’s already done after 3 pictures

Both boys are out. Don’t ask me why but they both did this. I guess they said to each other “maybe if we pretend we are dead she will stop taking photos”.

So shortly after the photo shoot above the road trip began. And when I mean road trip I am really only talking about what should be a 2 1/2 – 3 hours (tops) trip from our home in New Jersey to Milton, De (just north of Rehoboth Beach). We made 8 – yes count them 8 stops! We had to stop for gas (#1) and then a quick breakfast and soda break at McDonald’s (#2). Yes I needed a soda today – caffeine is a must when on a road trip with my kids.  
When we first crossed over into Delaware we stopped at my husbands favorite liquor store (#3) for some wine and some beer for the hubby. I thought that I would try this out – hey it was only $12 why not! Even if it’s bad it’s still better than nothing!  
So by this point the kids were getting to be pretty obnoxious and we were only halfway there! They were not into watching movies, they didn’t want to sing their Christmas songs anymore and they just wanted out of the car (and so did I). I wished that I had bought that wine cold because I could have used a glass by this point of our trip. 
I decided to call in to an Italian place and order take out for lunch and a tray of pasta for dinner tonight. So 40 minutes later we were picking up lunch (#4) and then stopped again for some milk and another soda at Wawa (#5)! Yes it was that bad – plus we just split a ton of garlic knots and I was feeling kind of parched! 

After Wawa we had to make one other quick stop for one last Christmas gift (#6) before finally getting on Route 1 and heading down state! Whew! We were almost to my in laws before the boys (all three of them) decided they needed a potty break. So we stopped at a local restaurant that had a port a pot outside that the boys used (#7). 
Once in Milton, Delaware we had to stop at Dogfish Brewery (#8) so my husband could return a shirt and of course pick up some brews.  Every time my husband is in Dogfish he swears that he will be quick (a half hour later he comes out saying – I was only in there 10 minutes – liar).  During most of these stops I get stuck in the car with the boys while Joey runs into the stores. Oh did I mention that they hate car rides. They have a stinkin’ DVD player and they still complain… back in my day we had to count cars or play punch buggy blue! Ahh the good old days. But anyways…. back to the story! While my husband was in Dogfish my kids decided to bring on the hard questions. Why do we always have to stop at Dogfish when we just want to see mom mom and pop pop? Why does daddy take so long in the beer store? Why are we here on earth? Why do birds fly? Who gave them wings? Who created us? Who created God? Good lord boys we are just trying to pick up some beers at the brewery do we really need to start talking about the beginning of time? Of course according to my husband this brewery is probably the closest thing to heaven he will ever get too! I kid I kid!

When we finally arrived to mom mom and pop pops, we did our hellos and the boys gave mom mom her Christmas presents (of course I left a few back at the house in NJ – as my husband reminded me I always forget something).  Hey at least I remembered the kids!

The boys were thrilled that they were able to open up their Christmas gifts from mom mom and pop pop! They loved their Chuggington trains, their new Christmas ornaments, PJs and shirts. They also got a fun new bath toy – hot wheels for the bathtub!!!  They each also got new piggy banks since someone who will rename nameless (ahem Ben) decided to break his one day during a tantrum. These new ones won’t break (even though Sean has already tried at least twice).

On a side note, while the kids were playing with mom mom, I did get back into Dogfish by myself to enjoy a sample (or two) and to pick up a few Xmas gifts for the hubby. Thankfully the in laws live less than a mile away from the brewery so it’s quite an easy trip once we are down here!  But when I was in there I almost had to slap someone. It wasn’t too crowded and my purpose was to pick up the Dogfish Head Christmas ornament. I mean it can’t be Christmas without a beer ornamant on the tree (and if you haven’t noticed our Christmas tree is situated right in front of all our beer goods in the basement – classy, right).

Well I was in line to buy the ornament because I knew they kept them behind the counter. I asked one of the girls working there if they were still back there and she said yes, there’s one left for you! So I was next in line and the woman in front of me heard her say that (but the cashier didn’t). So this biotch whispered to the cashier “Oh do you have any Christmas ornaments?” I could have killed this woman with my bare hands. She had no idea that they even existed until she heard me asking the other sales girl and knew it was the very last one.  I of course made a loud comment but was trying to keep my cool, I am not one to go off on someone and it is the holiday season. The woman could have cared less and acted like she did nothing wrong. Well thankfully the orignal sales girl found another one for me – after hearing this chick robbed me of mine! Ugh but by this point my blood was boiling. I can’t stand people like that. She thought that she was being sneaky by whispering it but it’s not like I couldn’t hear her. But in the end I got the ornament and my heart rate slowed down a bit.  Tis the season to be rude… falalalala lalalala.  All of that for a freaking piece of glass that the kids will probably break by the end of next week! Merry Christmas honey! You better enjoy this on the tree.

I won’t even fill you in on the car ride back! Actually it wasn’t bad at all. The boys were quiet and we only had one stop at mom mom McGarry’s and then we were on the road again!

So how to you survive road trips with your kids? We try to keep them entertained but they really just want out of the car seats (and I can’t blame them).  There’s no way my family is ready for a plane ride or even a car ride down to the happiest place on earth. At the rate we are going I think Disney will have to wait until they learn to drive themselves!

Happy Monday!

P.S. I broke the top 100 on the Top Mommy Blogs plage. I am up to #99 out of over 900 blogs! I love you guys so much! Keep on clicking the link below!

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