Sunday, May 30

Mondays with Mom: Rachel’s list

At least once a year, it comes up in conversation: Rachel and her list For the most part, Rachel had a happy childhood but four items made “the list”.

The communion dress…

1) All the other girls were in beautiful white first communion dresses. Sorry, Rach… I didn’t know! But at least you had lovely flowers for your hair. (Editor's Note: there is a much funnier picture that we are searching for that is of me and all of the other little girls--they all look like mini-brides and I do NOT. And I am angry about it. I kept the picture in my bible for a long time to remind me that to not be petty about things, but I decided to put it somewhere "safe". Which means it is temporarily lost.)


The Bruno incidents…..
2) Gatlinburg, Tennessee at the Velcro spider wall. Rachel was so excited to see the Velcro wall. She couldn’t wait to do it But, the dads thought that Laura and Michelle Bruno should go first. They put on Velcro suits and were launched against the Velcro wall. Great fun!!! When it was Rachel’s turn – they closed the wall. She was so very sad. (Editor's Note: while there were no pictures of the initial incident, I do have a picture from 2004 when I finally got to go on the Velcro wall at Up 'til Dawn. It was not as fun as it would have been if I weighed 50 less pounds and my dad was there to throw me. So I'm still mad about this.)


3) Centerville, Ohio at Rachel’s birthday party. Rachel desperately wanted to hit the piñata, after all is was HER birthday party. The kids were all swinging badly and Dave was in charge of raising and lowering the piñata (as need be). We felt confident that no one would break it before Rachel had her turn. But then... super slugger Erica Bruno and her deadly swing shattered the piñata in front of the devastated birthday girl. Again… sadly, no picture is available.

The car stereo… as told by Laura

4) The stereo was initially in Jessi Wilson's car. Jessi wrecked her car and the stereo wouldn't fit in her new car. Rachel “bought” it from her for $50 (the money really came from mom). At the time, Rach and I were sharing the Mercury Capri. So, I installed it in the car. A few months later, Rachel got the Chrysler LeBaron and I took the Capri. She insisted that we should move the stereo to her new car. Her argument was that Jessi had sold it to her, not to me (even though mom paid for it), and that it should follow her to her new car. My argument was that Rachel never paid for the radio, and I was the one who installed in into the car that was currently mine, so I thought she had no claim to it. I ended up 'winning' mostly because Rachel didn't know how to uninstall it, I wasn't going to tell her how to, and she wasn't willing to spend the money to pay someone else to do it. The end. (Ben loves to bring this one up…. if there is a lull in the conversation, he will say..."remember the stereo, Rachel?")


Since I am missing a few pictures – here is a bonus picture for your viewing pleasure. One snowy Halloween, the girls were forced to abandon their original costumes and go as the Jamaican Bobsled Team.


Saturday, May 29

Are you a doorman?

Yeah, I'm a doorman. TO THE SKY. (Name that season finale!)

Finley got his passport in the mail for our family trip to the Cayman Islands in July. Baby passports are too funny--they need a new one in five years because they change so quickly. I think his picture makes him look kind of like a criminal--it's difficult to get a good picture of their squiggly little faces! I took well over 100 pictures of him before I finally decided this one was the least terrible of the bunch.


Finley is excited to be free to roam the skies and travel as much as his little heart wants. Cayman Islands, get ready! (And Stina and Bob too!)

Friday, May 28

A Love Letter

Dear Amazon,

Have I told you lately that I love you? Because I do. I love you and your super fast Prime Shipping. I love that when Finley decides that he loves loves to eat with a fork (see photos below), I don't have to pack him up and drive all the way to Babies R Us. I can just click click click and I will have cute little baby forks before I could even make it to the store. Because, let's face it, big people forks are a little poky for babies.

Baby toys low on batteries? No need to make a trip! You will send them right to my doorstep. And don't even get me started on your amazing ability to send me books straight to my Kindle while zipping down the road.

And then I found this while searching your wide array of goods. Obviously, I need it right now. And I need this. It doesn't even feel like I'm spending real money on Amazon! I love it.

Yours forever,


PS. All those things I said about how I loved Craigslist? I didn't mean it. I only love you.

PPS. I had a hard time picking which pictures I liked.


Tuesday, May 25

Finn + Jill = LOVE

Due to an untimely IT band injury, I've had to abandon running and find other ways to keep myself from gaining a million pounds. Jillian Michaels has been there for me, like she has been for so many others. I've been shredding with Vic a couple times a week. And just like Jillian says, if you want a 20 minute workout that gets results you can't phone it in. Or something. She says lots of weird things.


Finley loves Jillian too. He knows exactly what button to press to get the DVD player to turn on, and likes to stand and watch Jillian be bossy. He also gets a kick out of watching Vic and I jump and lift and squat and crunch to Jillian too.

My goal is to shred nine times a week. I think an important part of goal setting is to set goals that are ridiculous and unattainable--that way you stay humble when you fail.

Also, I got these super cool shoes and have been using them to job in the pool. I feel like a major loser when aquajog, but I am dealing with it.

I'm also strangely excited to watch "Losing it with Jillian" on June 1st. So many dear TV shows are finale-ing, and Jillian might be the girl to fill that void in my life. (I might be able to talk about Grey's and LOST sometime this week. I'm still recovering.)

Saturday, May 22

High Fashion

Victoria and I have been working on some BIG blog projects, which means we haven't showcased many designs recently on our site, RV Designs. We decided to try our hand at fashion blogging--and it was silly.

You should head over and check it out if you either 1) need a laugh or 2) need some fashion advice.

Add us to your Google Reader while you are at it--I think you will like our theme next week almost as much!

I wish I could say that we aren't as strange as we appear, but I just don't think its true.

Friday, May 21

Finley's First Sleepover

Finley had his first sleepover last night (and technically, it is still going on). He and Calvin had so much fun. At least Amy and I told them they were having fun.

Luckily, the boys are small enough that they can slide and swing simultaneously.

How cute are they? Calvin is so sweet and smiley--he is much more delighted with life than Finley is. Everything is so funny and exciting to him! Finley is not delighted with life currently. He just wants to crawl around and chew on his hand. Smiling for pictures? Not high on his priority list.

I love them.

Monday, May 17

The best birthday ever

Hi. Once upon a time I had the most awesome birthday ever. It was two days ago.

I am going to try to make you understand why it was so awesome (aside from my Blizzard cake that said "Rachel is 21" and my baby coloring me a picture) but there are two problems. 1. Words can not describe how awesome it was and 2. the thing that was so awesome is something that only 10% of you think is awesome.

That thing is LOST. (Please excuse the delay--I wanted to blog about it yesterday, before the penultimate episode of LOST, but this post required too much energy. I also was dying to use the word penultimate.)

Two nights ago we went to a concert (or a show?? or a gig??) of a band that is called "Previously on Lost". They recap LOST episodes. In song. I'm not kidding. I am being for real. Go checkout their website. I am probably going to download some music because it is so great--it's a mix of Barenaked Ladies, Veggie Tales and Flight of the Conchords. How could you go wrong with that?

The event began with two men carrying another man around the front of the audience like a human airplane. And then the airplane crashed (spoiler alert!) just like in the show. And they sang along to R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." Seriously.

I tried to take a picture of the plane crash but failed. The pictures I got are terrible--concert lighting and effects are not conducive for photography.

Other highlights:
  • Most of the members of the band were dressed up as LOST characters. I thought the Asian drummer was Jin Soo Kwon until he changed into his "Dr. Chang" labcoat. I'm pretty sure the two lead singers were Desmond and Faraday.
  • The stage was decked out in Hawaiian decor. (Kind of like Hurley's party when they came home.) The band was wearing leis and goggles. It was real silly.
  • At one point in their set (do you see me using band lingo?), they brought a special guest they described as: "Created in God's own likeness, creator of Felicity and Alias..." And then they held up a large photograph of JJ Abrams. Throughout the rest of the show, they would periodically hold him up. Hilarious.
  • One of the lead singers really liked to let inanimate objects on the stage sing. I found this hilarious. The polar bear, the hula girls, and the JJ Abrams poster all got their own solos.
  • I bought a shirt.
  • It was really funny.

My heart is SAD that there is so little LOST left, and sad that there is no way they can leave all the fans satisfied. It's such a great show and you should watch it starting NOW if you have any free time.

Why are you still siting here? Go watch the pilot.

I'm Only Happy when it Rains

The best birthday present so far has been the rain. Because if it isn't raining, then I look like a fool carrying around my umbrella. (Technically, the umbrella was a gift I demanded requested for the marathon, not for my birthday. Because mile after mile of seeing pretty VB umbrellas in the rain made my goal change from qualifying for Boston, to owning a little bit of Vera heaven.)

I'm on my third Vera Bradley umbrella (fourth, if you count the one I broke and convinced the little luggage store in Harvard Square to replace).

Also, did you know that if you take a picture diagonally it is automatically artistic? Nice shots, Vic!

The other best part of my birthday is my leftover Butternut Squash Ravioli from Not Your Average Joe's--my 2nd favorite New England restaurant. There happens to be one 30 minutes from us and I demanded requested that we go there for my birthday dinner. Even though I really wanted NYAJ, we still pretended that we had gone to Giacomo's on the way home. Because that is my actual favorite New England restaurant.

The End.

Saturday, May 15

Feeding a Big Boy

Feeding Finley is always an adventure. There really is no telling what he will or won't eat and what sort of utensil will make him happy. His current favorite is eating with a fork. Yesterday he took avocado out of his mouth and tried to stick it on a fork because it is more fun to eat that way. I blogged awhile back about making baby food--I'm making less and less of the pureed stuff for him. Finley has so many teeth that he really doesn't need his food to be mushed up so much anymore.

Copper knows where he needs to be during mealtime. Although sometimes he is too good for the food Finley drops. He'll sniff it and then decide its not worth it to eat it. Silly doggy. Finley is dining on grapes, blueberries, sweet potatoes and carrots in this picture. He also eats a lot of Bonbel cheeses and yogurt. We've started giving him whole milk and he does a pretty good job of drinking it (although not from Amy for some reason.)

When Finley has had enough/becomes bored with his food it quickly deteriorates into one of the situations below. He will either mash his food, clear his tray by feeding you or by throwing it on the floor (hope you like organic blueberries, Copper!), or wave his arms frantically whenever you come near him with a spoon. Or sometimes all three.

He's a silly boy. And a cute boy.

Friday, May 14

We're not dead

I told Victoria I didn't have anything good to blog about and she told me to blog about my kid. Unfortunately, my kid has been sick and has passed it on to his other baby pals (sorry Margaret and Calvin). That means I don't have any cute pictures of him--it's hard to take a picture of a baby who only wants to be held or lay on the floor and whine. And pictures are pretty much the meat of this blog.

Other news:
  • My IT band is officially injured and I am not running the marathon of my dreams in the Poconos. This makes me sad (and gain weight--intersting tidbit, when you stop running, you also have to stop eating). I will probably run the Air Force Marathon in my childhood home of Dayton, OH this September. Get ready Brunos! (Also, anyone want to run with me?)
I guess that was all the other news I have going on. I though I had at least three bullet points. Wrong.

Monday, May 10

Mondays with Mom: MOBO’s, Wet Paint, Race Recovery and Pedicures

I had intended to blog about the “crimes committed against young Rachel”. Unfortunately, that blog will have to wait until my next post. The pictures are in Owasso and I am in Little Rock and I don’t have time to do justice to that post. As a teaser, the crimes can be summed up as blue dresses, car stereos, Velcro walls and pinatas. You will have to wait for the details and pictures.

Actually, I have more blog material than I can use. It has been a busy couple of weeks. Here is a random sampling of the crazy stuff that I have endured/cherished in the past three weeks.

MOBO’s: There is a club for “Mom’s of Boys Only”. I met some members on my last flight. They take trips together and share the common bond of Moms whose sons get married and become hostage of their wives families. Their motto: "a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life, but a son is son until he takes a wife”. They weren’t whiny… just realists and I loved chatting with them. It made me realize how lucky I am to have daughters and sons. I have wonderful daughters, sons and a dandy son-in-law. My MOBO comments are an excuse to post this great picture:

Wet Paint Trucks: I have been living in a hotel in Little Rock for the past three weeks. I ran into a group of hilarious guys that drove Wet Paint trucks. They spend 85% of their time on the road painting stripes down the interstate and putting down “shiny buttons” to warn drivers when they cross the center stripe. They were a HOOT. They bring their grills and meat as they travel around the country. I walked up one night when they were grilling and they told me that dinner was tri tip steaks and ribs. I asked what their side dishes would be and they said… BEER. They reminded me that life in a hotel is exactly as good as your attitude.

Race Recovery: nothing speeds along the recovery from a marathon better than diet coke and an admiring son.

Pedicures: Rachel ran 3 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds in wet shoes. When she took off her wet shoes, her feet were... gross. If there was ever a solid reason for a pedicure, Rachel owns it. Honey, get the deluxe pedi. It is on me. (My mom wanted me to take a picture of my feet and I refuse. No one would ever come back to my blog. So I drew this picture. My toenails are actually that tiny.)To all who read/lurk/comment – Have a wonderful month of May!

Sunday, May 9

12 months = 1 year

I know, I know, Finley turned one awhile ago... I am a bit delinquent on the monthly post. For record keeping's sake, I wanted to jot down what he's up to recently. The blog is my brain, after all.

Height: 29.75 inches
Weight: 20 pounds
Head: 18.25 inches

He's growing--barely. We're just over the 10th percentile for weight and holding strong at the 50th percentile for height. Finley is extremely active and kind of a finnicky eater.

Finley entertains us more and more everyday! He recently learned how to clap (before he would just manically wave his arms around) thanks to "Patty Cake". When we say "pat it" and "roll it" he tries to do the actions with us. He raises his arms to show us that he is "SO BIG" on command. He makes all sorts of funny noises and loves to imitate sounds.

He has also become quite dramatic. When he doesn't like the way his life is going, he will stop whatever he is doing to put his head on the floor and throw a semi-tantrum. Sometimes it's mid-crawl0; he just has to put his head down and yell. I get it--I feel that way too sometimes. He normally gets over it pretty quickly, but it's pretty cute.

He loves to point to stuff--and the other day he pulled out a picture of Sol and said "dada". He's a baby genius! Just kidding. Kind of. Still no walking, but he will hold one hand and walk around with you. I'm ok with him waiting to walk a little longer.

And Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies reading this! What an honor and gift it is to get to be a mom.

In case you miss teeny, little baby Finley, you can waltz back through time below.
11 months
10 months
9 months
8 months
7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months

3 months
2 months

Friday, May 7

Pittsburgh Marathon Recap

Here's the breakdown, by the numbers:
5: the number of marathons I have now run.
3:41:35 my official time.
36: the number of seconds I missed qualifying for Boston by.
0: the number of tears I cried because of it.
1000: the number of tears I cried because of LOST.
2: the number of disgusting feet that I had after the race--seriously, they were shriveled, pruny, white, peel-y globs of flesh. Repulsive. Vic accidentally saw them and I think it temporarily blinded her.
376: the number of days since I had given birth at race day.
84: the place I got out of the women (thank you, middle schoolers, for asking me if I won. Your faith in me is inspiring.)
the number of supporters who motivated me to not give up (yay for mom, Vic, Sol, Finley, Aunt Kathy and Hilary!)
2: number of items I requested along the way--I wanted a Vera umbrella if I qualified and a Diet Coke at the finish. Priorities, friends.
1400: the number of feet I ran up.
2: the number of injuries I sustained--sore IT band and weird pain in foot.
8:25 my mile pace
26.2: miles that I ran in the rain
50mm: the lens that met its demise on our driveway after we got home. Sad, poor, broken lens.

And in case you like data as much as me... here is a graph of the elevation and of my splits. I think it is riveting.

As you can see, it was hilly.

And I did a good job maintaining my pace until the end. I wanted to run faster the whole first half but kept telling myself to wait. I am glad I didn't go out faster, because I probably would have been even deader at the end. It is so hard to mentally stay in the race--every second I have to make sure I am running the right speed and not letting myself cruise or go too fast. It is hard. And all those stinking hills did not help. I tend to ALWAYS underestimate how hard a course is and those hills did me in. Several times I wanted to give up, but conveniently that is where my cheering section showed up and helped me believe that I could do it. And I could have done it. They were right. If it hadn't been rainy, if it had been a few degrees cooler, if there had been less hills, I could have done it. And that's the hard thing about racing--there are so many factors out of your control. I trained my very best, and ran my very best race and came up a little short. And that's ok. Sad, but ok.

(I'm really pretty when I run.)

I know I've said this several times, but thanks so much to everyone who supported me. I kept thinking during the race, that I had to qualify because I didn't want to have to tell all the people following along that I didn't make it. I can't even remember how many messages I got from friends--I am a lucky girl. Thanks to everyone who cheered me on, either physically or mentally.

(See Hilary? I have a hard time looking at my camera sometimes too. Also, can I please have your haircut?)

And looking forward... I'm considering running the Poconos Marathon next weekend. Normally, I would not race 2 weeks after another race but this one is so tempting. It's only 4 hours away, I'm already in shape, and the best part? It's entirely downhill. Go check out the elevation. If my body feels recovered, I think I am going to give it another try now. Running another 600 miles to train for one in the fall just sounds exhausting. I don't know if my body will be up for another race so soon, but I'm hoping. I am crazy. Clearly.

(Remembering how I felt during these pictures makes me not really want to run another one. Hmm. But good news, I can walk up and down stairs and sit down completely unassisted. I'm on the road to recovery.)

Tuesday, May 4


Well, we finally got to meet Ree.

Vic and I, well, we are crazy. We're exhausted. Running a marathon and cheering for a marathoner just wore us out. ALL of us needed naps after school, so after recharging out batteries (and washing our greasy hair) we were on our way to Borders. Traffic was terrible, parking was terrible, and our attitudes were terrible. But once we got some Diet Coke, we were in slightly better spirits.

The book signing started at 6 and we had tickets to be in the second group. But we are dumb and missed them calling our group. So we ended up being in the 4th group. Finley held it together, even though he had taken ZERO naps while I was at work. He was actually pretty precious. And we made him wear his birthday cowboy outfit again because, well, there aren't many more chances for him to wear it. And we were pretty sure it would help Ree be convinced she needed to link to us on her blog. (Please, Ree?)

So we finally got to meet THE Pioneer Woman. Basically, Ree was pretty and sweet; not awkward and sweaty like her blog implies. Vic and I were kind of dumb and mute--for two girls who always have a lot to say, we didn't really know what to say to our idol. We just stood there and made awkward small talk. There were a few moments of panic before it was our turn--we (and by we, I mean me) misplaced our photo-ode to Marlboro Man. Don't worry, I found it and Ree loved it. She snapped a few pictures of my cowbaby and thought he was darling.

Best part of this picture? EDWARD CULLEN, BABY.

On the way to the book signing, I asked Vic if she would rather meet The Pioneer Woman, or Justin Bieber.

It was unanimous. PW wins.

Monday, May 3

Then Me Now Me

So my new favorite thing is I Heart Faces... and their theme this week is SILLY. You are supposed to recreate a picture of you from when you are little--and I'd encourage all of you to join in!

It's funny to look at this picture and know that my sweet little baby brother Dan is about a foot taller than me now--I guess this means Finley will inevitably grow up too. I remember trying to force Dan and Ben to pretend they were babies long after they were big because I loved to hold them. What will I do when my boy doesn't want to be held anymore? (Who am I kidding, he barely wanted to be held tonight!)

Also, I think these pictures would have been an even better entry, but they aren't of me so I can't use them. Bummer.

In other news, I promise to fill in all the details of the marathon soon. Thanks for being so supportive and loving. The number of emails, tweets, facebook messages and comments that I have received makes me feel so loved. I'm bummed I didn't qualify and mad that I missed it by so little, but I ran my best race and am happy about that. My legs are shot and I forgot the power cord for my laptop, so this is about all you get for tonight.

But stay tuned... there are several thrilling posts on the horizon. Here's a little hint about one: I GET TO MEET PW. Could my life BE any cooler?

Sunday, May 2

My Legs Hurt.

This post was told by Rach and transcribed by Victoria.

Well, I finished. I ran 3:41:36ish, so I missed qualifying for Boston by 37 seconds.

(I'll let that sink in folks. 37 seconds.)

I'm still excited about how I did. It was relatively hilly and very wet. I ran a very smart race completely in the rain. I saw my baby three times.

More pics to come. Don't cry for me Argentina. The truth is I never left you.
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