Friday, April 30

Waiting to Run

I'm currently in Pittsburgh at my Aunt's house--willing my body to get rid of this cold and my foot to heal up and the rain to stay away. And by the way, thanks so much for all the sweet comments on the previous post. I have great friends and now feel like I have to qualify (run under 3:40) because I don't want to come back here and have to report that I didn't. Don't worry, I will blame it on cold/foot/weather if need be. And don't forget to follow my race results in the sidebar from 7:30 to hopefully no later that 11:10. I'll forgive you if you don't though. It's really early.

In the meantime, Victoria took these pictures (that I love!!!) of our little family. Finley is wearing seersucker pants. Seersucker, kids.

And here is Finley with his best friend, the orange balloon. I am pretty sure this is what he looked like in the womb. It was pretty cramped quarters in there.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! So glad I could spend it with you.

Thursday, April 29


In 3 days I'm running the Pittsburgh Marathon. It's my fifth marathon and hopefully my final attempt to qualify for Boston. I'm in the throes of some serious paranoid hypochondria--there's a pinched nerve in my back, my pinky toe hurt while I was swimming tonight, my nose is running and my throat is sore, my almost doctor sister diagnosed my foot with tendonitis via email and to top it all off, I need a pedicure. I know, it's serious. I should probably just quit while I'm ahead.

As an almost experienced marathon runner, I recognize the importance of having a cache of excuses to fall back on, just in case I don't achieve my goal. (WHICH I WILL. Or I won't But hopefully I will.) Sol is out of town this week, which adds to my mental insanity--I need someone to remind me of all the miles I've ran, and I how hard I have trained for this. I'm pretty sure I can do it--I just need to be reassured.

In an effort to avoid the... umm.... upset stomach that occasionally plagues me during long runs, I gave up Diet Coke as of 12:45 today. Yes, that's how serious I am about this race. I have not had a diet coke since yesterday afternoon. Hydration is my friend. I also didn't have ice cream last time I went to Chick-fil-a. WATCH OUT PITTSBURGH.

I don't think you can follow my race with text messages this time, but I did sign up for the race to magically tweet my splits. So if you periodically check in on the blog Sunday morning, you can see my progress in the twitter section of the sidebar. See, twitter is good for something!

And Sol--I'm really sorry there are no pictures here. Finley has been a whiny baby (although Copper cried more than Finn while I was swimming tonight) and hasn't allowed me to take any pictures of him. I think his molars are coming in and he misses his daddy. I miss his daddy too. Hurry home.

Tuesday, April 27


Are you ready? Because you are about to be bombarded with the details of the best first birthday party I ever threw. And because I will never scrapbook this and want to remember what it was like to have time to plan a fun party, more details than you care to know are about to be recorded.

Well, the first thing about the party is that I invited some people. I designed these super fun invitations in Photoshop. What's that? You didn't know I am obsessed with making things in Photoshop? Because I am. (PS This is a fake invitation. I don't actually live in Cowboyville, KS. Also, I liked this invitation so much I decided to try to sell it on etsy. I've sold way more than I expected!)

I also worked some Photoshop magic to make a banner of a picture for each month of his little life and a banner that says "FINLEY IS ONE" because "HAPPY BIRTHDAY FINLEY" was waaay too many letters. I punched holes in the corners and tied them together with jute. And then I had to tape the jute because it kept slipping through the holes. I did this about 20 minutes before the party started with wet hair. I was running a little behind. Whoops!

Clearly, there were still more things to Photoshop. I made little bags of trail mix that said "Happy Trails Mix" (oh I crack me up) and little cupcake toppers that ended up going in mini-hamburgers because I decided not to make cupcakes at the last minute. We made lots of food that I thought little cowboys would eat and gave them all silly cowboy names. Cattleman's Coleslaw, Rattlesnake Bites, Bronco Bob's Raspberry Black Bean Dip (courtesy of So Long!) and Lil' Cowboy Sliders. My favorite were the sliders--we made BLTs, cheeseburgers, buffalo chicken and Hawaiian chicken. I've been enjoying the extras for lunch--YUM. Also I made the most delicious and complicated cake I've ever attempted. I promptly froze the leftovers so I can treat myself after the marathon Sunday... and everyday I want to chisel off a little bit. Delish.

Because my cake was full of baby poison (chocolate and peanut butter) I made a few cupcakes for the little kids at the party. They were apple and delicious (Vic kept stealing them)... although Finley couldn't tell you that. See that speck of frosting on his finger? Yep, that was as much cupcake as he had. Not. Interested.

Even though he was oblivious to the sugar-y treat I lovingly prepared, he still managed to enjoy himself. He was happy and played the whole time and even shared his toys nicely with the other babies. And at the end of the party when it was time for him to meltdown and have a tantrum, for some reason, he let me hold him and he put his sweet one year old head on my shoulder. It melted my heart.

And his outfit? That was the most fun part of the party planning. I found darling cowboy boots at Gymboree and then set off on a quest to find him the perfect buckaroo outfit. The Wranglers onesie and belt buckle completed the look. He was adorable. But I guess I'm a little biased.

We had SO much fun celebrating with all our friends. We're so blessed to have so many people that love our boy! Thanks to everyone who helped plan/assemble burgers or came to celebrate.

That officially concludes all the birthday talk. Moving on.

All these elements are available on my etsy shop! Go visit:

Sunday, April 25


This still is not a post about Finley's birthday party (sorry mom). I'm still trying to clean up the aftermath of many house guests and a first birthday fun party and adventures in DC... and Sol is out of town for the week... and I accidentally got iron drops in Finley's eye and he has intermittently screamed for the past 3 hours. I'm awesome. (Don't worry, I called poison control and then put the drops in my eye to see how bad it hurt. I'm expecting the mother of the year trophy to arrive any day now.)

Even though I feel like my life is slightly chaotic at the moment, I promised Sol I would post pictures of Finley often while he was gone. So here is the smiling chap:

I've discovered a super fun new website, I Heart Faces. If you take lots of pictures, this is the place for you. Every week they have some sort of theme where you can post a picture and then link to it from their site. Then people come tell you how great your picture is, and you get to go see other people's great pictures. It's a win-win. This week's theme is smile. And I just don't think you can beat that smile!

If you have a sweet smile of your own to share, or just want to check out others, go visit I Heart Faces to see more entries. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, April 24

Birthday Buckaroo

There's a juicy post coming up with details about Finley's cowboy birthday party. In the meantime, here's a darling picture of my birthday buckaroo to tide you over.

Also, Happy Birthday Aunt Laura!

Wednesday, April 21


When I woke up this morning, it was just like every other day. But it is such a momentous day, we've been a family of 3 for a year. I've kept a little person alive and cared for him and loved him for a whole year. When I went in to feed Finley before school, I was relieved to see that he was the same little boy I put to bed the night before. Yesterday I was anxious and sad at the end of Finley's zero-ness, but from what I can tell, one is not all that different from zero. He's still cute and sweet.

I've been trying to think of ways to make sure that Finley's birthday is fun for him--unfortunately, the things he loves (power cords, standing in the bathtub, pulling Copper's hair...) aren't really things I want him to be doing with today. I'm not sure how else to make sure its a perfect day for him... let him eat only yogurt and cheese?

A friend of my mom's took pictures for us over Spring Break--I'll eventually blog some more of them, but here are a few of my favorites of just the birthday boy.

I can't believe how much changes in a year. A year ago, I had never kissed Finley's soft, soft cheeks or heard his little giggle. A year ago, he just laid in our arms and occasionally opened his eyes. And now he is a wild ball of energy and can not be contained. I can only imagine how much will change in the next year. What an honor and privilege it us for us to get to take care of this boy! As painful as it is to watch him grow, it also brings us great joy as he becomes who he was created to be.

Because if I'm honest with myself, I don't really want to be carrying him on my hip to the prom, or changing his diapers at his high school graduation. Growing up is a good thing.

Happy Birthday, Finley!

Tuesday, April 20


It's your last day of being a baby, Finn. Tomorrow, you won't be zero anymore, you will be one. Tomorrow you're going to have to learn to walk, because, well, that's what big kids do. We're going to have start working on your penmanship and your times tables. Not to mention all the state capitals and Presidents there are to learn. Oh, baby, we need to get busy.

How did you get so big? I love you, little baby.

Monday, April 19

I run quite a bit these days.

This blog does not accurately reflect the enormous amount of time I spend running. And because one of this blog's major purposes is to keep a record of my goings on, I want to jot down what I have been doing lately in the running department. This is probably not interesting to most of my readers, and to make matters worse, there is no picture of my child. So, I'm sorry about that. I just don't want future Rachel to forget about all the running that occurred. Future Rachel, you ran a LOT in 2010. And in 2009.

I'm currently training for the Pittsburgh Marathon which is May 2nd. I plan on kicking its hilly butt. It's my fifth marathon and the third marathon that I have trained seriously for. I realllly want to qualify for Boston, which is running a 3:40. I've finished in 3:47 twice but have trained better this time around. I ran 82% of the Charlottesville marathon (which is about 21.5 miles) last weekend with my friend Jenni, and I feel optimistic about my chances of qualifying.

I better qualify. I want to stop running and take naps after school. But I don't like giving up. (The back up plan is to run some marathon in the fall if I don't qualify.)

Some running stats...
  • I run about 32 miles a week since Christmas.
  • Since I started keeping track here, I've burned 276 donuts. Impressive, no?
  • I've run .02 around the world.
  • For this marathon, I ran 20 miles twice and 21 once.
  • I ran a half marathon with 7:47 splits as part of my training.
Here's my ideal running schedule for a week. (It rarely happens.)
  • Monday: swim for an hour after Finley goes to bed
  • Tuesday: run 5 miles after school
  • Wednesday: run up to 10 miles... sometimes on the treadmill at the gym after Finley's asleep, sometimes broken up into two runs before and after bedtime
  • Thursday: run up to 5 miles after school
  • Friday: NO RUNNING!
  • Saturday: run up to 20 miles (increasing 1 or 2 miles a week)
  • Sunday: run up to 10 miles
Now doesn't that sound like fun? You know you want to start training for a marathon RIGHT NOW.

Friday, April 16

In the spring time, the only pretty ring time

I did not realize that quote was Shakespeare originally, and not crazy Willy Wonka. I'm so cultured.

Poetry aside, it is spring in NOVA. My seasonal allergies can confirm it. Victoria counted 6 consecutive sneezes on our drive into school this morning. My morning routine currently consists of prescription eyedrops, Claritin and occasionally a nose spray if I am feeling wild. I feel bad about all those years that I told Courtney that her allergies aren't real. I'm pretty sure they are.

But I think the pretty flowering trees and huge blooms in our neighborhood might make it worthwhile. I look forward to pushing a huge stroller 6 miles up and down the hills of our neighborhood a little more when I know that there are trees that smell like perfume-y heaven scattered around. Even when they drive me into a burning eyed, runny nosed mess.

And now I would like to leave you with Jack Prelutsky poem that I was obsessed with in first grade, and have re-written for this occasion.

Allergies! Oh, allergies!
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you away in the sink,
if only a bomb
would explode you to bits.
Allergies! Oh, allergies!
You're giving me fits.

Wednesday, April 14

TV Wrap Up

So, it's no longer MARCH Sadness... but its still sad to see some of these shows go. Even if it's April. I've barely been able to keep up, so here's what is going away...

Big Bang Theory and Brothers and Sisters are show that I will definitely catch up on this summer. They are both great shows, but because I have missed some of the earlier episodes, it's too much to try to watch them now.

American Idol--too much. TOO MUCH. I love just about everything about Idol and was so excited about Ellen, but really, it is just too much to try to watch it every week. Maybe next year?

And Psych... luckily it is done for the season. I know, cheap.

Shows I'm loving right now? The triumphant return of Glee, the promise of answered questions on Lost and the sweet end to Ugly Betty. AND I'm loving Arrested Development streaming on Netflix. Best. Show. Ever. (After Lost, and possibly Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars.)

Tuesday, April 13

Finley's Baptism

Finley was baptized with his best pal Calvin on Sunday. It was a joyful experience and such a sweet time. I was a little nervous about having Finley with us during the church service--he's normally in the nursery and he is SQUIR-MY. He wiggled and turned in our arms, but loved "singing" along with the hymns at church. It was precious to hear him make a joyful noise to the Lord! We look forward to the day that he chooses to follow the Lord and until then, we pray that we are able to teach him about Jesus and raise him to be as Christ-like as we can.

He also chose Baptism Day to learn how to wave--he waved at his reflection in the car on the way to church and waved at Victoria while we stood at the front.

Here's the whole crew (minus the photographer, Victoria) who came to celebrate the special day.

We missed the Cherry Blossoms this year, but there was a gorgeous flowering tree outside the church that we got a quick picture in front of.

Sunday, April 11

Ballin' out of Control

Aunt Summer sent Finley this super cute baseball hat for Christmas and it's finally sunny enough to wear it. Normally Finley does NOT like things on his head, but somehow Sol's mom tricked him into leaving it on.

Oh, he looks so big in those jeans with his hat. We've entered into negotiations about the impending birthday; it does not look good for Team Mom. It looks like he is going to turn one and be a big boy whether or not I am on board. I'm re-watching LOST to try to figure out time travel stuff that may delay his aging. I need to go back in time so Jacob can touch him and he can stay this age forever like Richard "Ricardo" Alpert.

Or maybe he can grow up and I'll just get a new baby. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 8

Stay Classy, Finn

Often, people ask us where we got Finley's name. And unfortunately, we don't have a sentimental story or sweet reason we picked it. We just liked it. We like "Finley" and we like "Finn". We thought it was a good versatile name that would be tough for a quarterback or classy for a businessman or dazzling for a speedskater--or whatever he decides to be.

Here's some Finley trivia:
  • Apparently, Finn is currently the 2nd "elite-est" baby name, right behind Henry. So hopefully that's good news for our boy. If elite means awesome then he is on the right track.
  • There are 5 celebrities who have named their babies Finley. The three I knew were Daniel Baldwin (brother of my pal, Alec), Lisa Marie Presley and Chris O'Donnell. Although two of those Finleys were actually girls. Whoops.
  • Finley is jumping up in popularity... but not as much as Finley for girls. Double whoops. Here's a view from my favorite baby website.

Naming a baby is serious business. And we're so glad we picked Finley... and the whole slew of nicknames that have followed.

Apparently, it's not acceptable for me to post about Finley without including pictures. Here he is, exploring the slide at Chick-fil-A.

PS. He will be ONE in 13 days. It makes my stomach flip to think about it.

Tuesday, April 6

The Easter Post

Last Easter, I was 1000 weeks pregnant and weighed 100000 pounds. Finley was due any day and we were so ready to meet him.

This Easter, I have the sweetest little boy in the world. And I weigh a reasonable amount.

Here's a few shots of Easter, past and present.

We felt like Easter caught us by a surprise this year--it was hard to focus on Easter coming off of spring break. My prayer is that even if my heart wasn't prepared this year, that every day I can remember Jesus on the cross, and the love that saves us still.

Monday, April 5

Mondays with Mom: Mysteries of Life

Here are a couple mysteries worth pondering: family similarity and telephone calls.

Family Similarity

Without even trying, families share similarities in appearance and in actions. Who would have ever expected this… The "Final Four" (Mom, Dad, Dan and Ben) had a wonderful weekend exploring Little Rock, AR. We snapped some cute pictures and were stunned to see the similarity to the pictures Rachel and Sol took on their trip to Hilton Head. Uncanny resemblance... and definitely mysterious.

Telephone Calls

I have worked for telecom companies for over 10 years. Telecom has been explained to me on fancy power point presentations and on bar napkins, but it is still a mystery to me. I pick up the phone and instantaneously, I hear a voice from thousands of miles away. The speed of sound is approx 768 miles per hour -- that rule obviously doesn’t apply. I have been told that voice (on a phone call) travels at the speed of light (which is 186,000 miles per second) because that “sound” has been converted to something electrical. OK – I guess that does makes sense… Sound becomes electricity but still sounds like sound on the other end. Mysterious! In addition to how fast it moves, every time that little electrical packet of sound crosses from one telecoms network to another – an imprint/record is made. We telecom-ers make money by billing other telecoms or customers for the calls that originate, terminate or transit our networks. Making all those records doesn’t even slow it down. I am a huge fan of phone calls because it pays the bills and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I hear voices of those I love. But it is CRAZY… I still believe it is mainly magic.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 3

Spring Break

Spring Break is wrapping up and it makes me sad. It is just so lovely to get to take a break from our regular lives and get to hang out together as a little happy family. It's official--I can't wait for summer. I just want to spend every minute with Finley... and I want a tan.

Highlights of our trip:
  • Having family pictures taken in Greenville, SC. I can't wait for more digital proof of how cute my little boy is.
  • Getting to visit mini-Fenway--where the Greenville Drive plays.
  • Our trusty 2005 Honda Accord turning 100,000 miles old. She's a beaut.
  • Touring around Savannah, GA. Finley passed out on the trolley ride and Sol got to hold him while he slept--is there anything better than holding a sleeping baby?
  • Sol getting peed on by Finley and pooped on by a bird within 5 minutes. Finley and I thought it was a hoot--we laughed and laughed.
  • Riding bikes on the beach while Finley took the world's best nap. He loved sleeping in the trailer!
  • Sol had 2 beers and 12 oysters for $9. This is why we love the south.
  • Car rides together--Finley is a B+ car rider and Sol and I always love being stuck next to each other where we have no distractions and are forced to talk to each other.
  • Eating Chick-fil-a 4 times. End of story.

PS. I'm super behind in my tv viewing. Expect the thrilling conclusion of March Sadness sometime next week.
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