Sunday, March 29, 2015

Exciting News!!!

This week was CRAZY! We have been going going going ever since MATCH DAY and it has been an incredible adventure so I need to break down what has happened!

First: We matched in Orthopedic Surgery at Scott and White (through Texas A&M) in Temple, Texas!!!! This was our very 1st choice out of 11 interviews. Even though all of the other programs were awesome and in cool cities (hello, San Francisco!) we truly felt that Temple was the right place for our family to be while giving Ben the best training and surgical experience. Here are some awesome things about Temple:

 1. Lake Belton=lots of family outings boating, skiing, swimming, in crystal clear water only a few min drive from our house
2. Tons of families=so many chances to make friends in a strong religious community
3. Small Town Texas=southern charm, southern hospitality, and great BBQ!:)
4. Super close to Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Dallas=all the fun, Texas-y places to go
5. Great outdoors/running community=I can *hopefully* find a running club to join and we can go camping on the weekends (something Ben has really missed living in Houston)
6. Clean, Safe, and No Traffic!=i'll finally feel safe again (i'm tired of inner city chaos!)

One other thing about Temple goes right along with our EXCITING NEWS....We are BUILDING A HOUSE! We may seem really crazy, but trust me we did our research:) We'd known that we wanted to go to Temple for over 2 years so we literally researched a good part of 2 years. We talked to several realtors, watched home sites like Trulia and Zillow very closely, and went out to visit Temple a handful of times to see houses. We also talked to other Residents in the area, other medical couples and found the exact neighborhood we wanted to move in to. After looking at pricing, we decided to go for our dream and build! Our little house will be 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and on a 1/2 acre lot so our backyard is HUGE for Kaden to run around! 

This week we drove out to Temple to take a peek at the progress of our house! EEK! By the time we left all that is done is the framing (they've had crazy rain spells) but we are crossing our fingers that it will be done in time for us to move in! It might get a little too close...but we are hopeful!

After spending a couple days in Temple we had to drive back to Houston for a day for Ben to tie up some loose ends. We also lost our car keys, had issues with our storage unit, and almost didn't make it out to Austin on Friday. Good thing we did because I had an amazing Half Marathon experience at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop, TX. The race was super super HILLY and I mean literally the first 9 miles had steep hills. I about died...but still pulled out a good time with an average of 7:31 per mile. I got fourth place and was bummed because 1-3 place got prizes:) haha I'm remarkably competitive and though it pushes me, I also need to learn to be satisfied with my victories. 

For anyone who ever wants to visit the most beautiful scenes in TX, go to Bastrop or Austin. It is simple breathtaking there! Also, Kaden got to pet a Llama and as you can tell was terrified:)

The rest of our days were spent eating delicious Texan food, lot's and lots of coloring, and finding the biggest rock we could!:)

We have 4 weeks left in Houston and then off to DisneyWorld, Oregon, and then Utah to play school-free while our house is built!! We will miss our Houston friends but are SO excited for the next chapter in our lives!!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

That one time I ran a Marathon...

March 7, 2015
3:34:19 Marathon!

So, yesterday was one of the hardest. longest, and most fulfilling days of my life! I accomplished my new year's resolution and not only ran my first marathon but I got a Boston Qualifying time as well! It was an incredible experience so I thought I'd share some thoughts on my journey. (P.S. I don't know why I'm standing so pigeon toed in the above pic! haha)

Here are some things I learned along the way:
#1) Make sure you get to the starting line on-time! We were running a little late and all the roads our GPS was telling us to go on were blocked off for the course!!! I ended up sprinting a mile to get to the starting line just as all the runners were starting! Talk about STRESS and adrenaline! This really messed me up mentally as I felt like giving up before I even started because I was in the very back of the race. Luckily, I caught up:)

#2) "Swish and Spit". My stomach can't handle a lot of gatorade on my runs or else it cramps up. I used this technique my friend taught me where I would sip water but only swish and spit the gatorade instead of swallowing a lot of it. This worked really well. I of course used my Gu gels, but with water only, and saved myself a tummy ache and that sloshing feeling of too much liquid.

#3) You might feel terrible the days before the race...and that's ok! Don't freak out! I felt terrible on my last easy, tapered runs of just a couple miles and it really messed with my head! I started to doubt my ability to run a good pace, or complete the race at all. I found out though,  that I can do hard things and that I accomplish what I set my mind to. This gave me a huge confidence boost and a memory I'll call upon in other situations in life where I feel inadequate or scared to try something new.

#4) Don't go to the Medical Tent just for a bandaid. I had a huge blister on my heel that I had felt from about mile 18. I knew we didn't have any bandaids back at the hotel so I wandered into the medical tent to get a bandaid, and maybe some tylenol. All of a sudden I found myself on a stretcher with 2 interns, a nurse, and the overseeing Sports Physician testing my vitals! I kept trying to assure them that I felt fine but they insisted on making me lie down and they asked where I was sore. After a massage, wrapping my legs in ice (see photo below), and a closely monitored bottle of water intake and salt pellets, they finally let me go. Was it nice to be so fussed over? Yes:) The worst part though? I left the medical tent forgetting to grab a bandaid!:)

#4) Lastly, Go to IHOP post race!!! Um, running makes me so hungry---I can out eat Ben! Easily. (That embarrasses us both, actually:)) Nothing hits the spot quite like IHOP. I probably ate enough to cover most of my caloric expenditure! (At least the pancakes were whole wheat, right?) Seriously though, this was so good!

Anyway, today is Sunday and i've been settling into the "Post-Race Blues". I'm tired, sore, hungry, and all I want is to run again:) BUT I am excited to give my body some rest and focus on other things for awhile. Thanks for reading!!!

I'm not the only one who likes to run around here:)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Kaden is 20 months, rankings are submitted, and now The Wait.

I'm in continual doubt about how old my baby boy is getting. Like, he is in serious toddlerhood now!!! He is so much fun and everyday my heart burns with how much I love this boy! Here are some updates of what he can do:

Says these new words:
mama, daddy, baby, basketball hoop, drink, choo choo train, hot dog, table, "Nummy" for any food item, apple, backpack "pac pac", please and thank you, and of, course he can say "SPIDERMAN"!

He also says a few sentences of jumbled words that sometimes we can understand! It is so fun to see his language development and I'd say he has a pretty good vocab for his age!

His favorite things to do are still play with balls and he can even verbally distinguish the different types of balls. He'll correctly label "golf ball, basketball, baby ball" etc. But he also LOVES playing with toy animals and toy cars/trains. He loves to read books and has recently discovered movies and is constantly begging to watch How to Train Your Dragon.

This boy also does Karate moves all around the house (courtesy of Big Hero 6 movie) and roars like a Dragon all the time. He also suspects a dragon lives under the bed and in the closet and I've found him tossing raisins aka "nummies" into the closet because he is trying to feed the dragon like he saw happen in the How to Train Your Dragon movie! His imagination is already coming to life!

He is also the sweetest and most empathetic child I've ever known. The other day I bumped my head on the cupboard corner and Kaden kept pointing to my head and saying "Mama Bonk! Mama owie!" and kept giving me kisses. My heart melts! He also has learned to hug and will squeeze so tight!!!

Ben and Kaden have also gotten closer than ever as Kaden already looks to his daddy as a superhero. Every night they wrestle and play dragon and Kaden has even helped Ben with his "projects" he's been making.

So yes, Ben has had a relatively light schedule that has allowed him to create some things we needed. First, he built this kitchen table from scratch.

We just found the look we wanted on Pinterest, Ben went to Home Depot, bought some planks and went to work! And yes, he did this on the balcony of our 3rd story apartment:) No neighbor complaints so far!

Then I mentioned that I have wanted a cream colored ottoman for our living room. After hours of online and in store shopping we couldn't find one we liked under $3000. So Ben went to work. This one cost around $150 to build and is prettier than anything I could've ever imagined. The best part is the top lifts off and we can store books and blankets inside. And don't worry, we made the fabric spill proof with several cans of Scotch guard!!

Ben will probably do a few more projects--its good for him to keep busy as we anxiously await March 20th!!! We are so excited to open our letter that will tell us where we move to and live for the next 5 years!!! So much is wrapped up in that day! Fingers crossed we go to a top choice!!

Also this week my sweet sister in law Rachel had her baby boy Weston...5 weeks early!!! Little Wes is so cute and is doing really well...we are praying for him to come home from the NICU soon! Check out how much Wes and Kaden look alike! (Wes on the left, Kaden on the right)

All in all we've been better than ever. Life is exciting and full of adventure! Thanks for reading!!!:)