Wednesday, April 27


If any post warrants an all caps title, its this one. BOSTON MARATHON!!!

 photo IMG_1242.jpgWell. Twelve years after I first got bit by the marathon bug, I got to run Boston. It was my tenth marathon, the 120th Boston and 50th year women were allowed to participate. The math teacher in me loved all that.

 photo IMG_1252.jpgMerritt is seven months old--not the best sleeper and still exclusively nursing. So I had to bring a pump and pump at the starting line. It was comical--I stuck a trash bag with a hole in it over my head and walked the .7 miles to the start pumping in secret. Heh heh. And then I abandoned the liquid gold with everyone's sweatpants.

 photo IMG_2497.jpgHere's the race recap before I forget everything that happened... I rode the bus in to Hopkinton (our bus got off at the wrong exit and had to make a u-turn, not a great start to the day!) The races is basically 26.2 straight miles into Boston. Straight--but hilly. I had been warned about the hills, but Beaumont is so flat, and I decided that I'd just take it easy and then the hills wouldn't bother me. That didn't end up working very well... but I survived. It was an unseasonably warm day--so my Texas training helped me there! I forced myself to hold to close to 8:20s for the first 4 miles, then tried to stick to 8:15s for the first half. I was feeling great and it was tough to take it slow. I'm so glad I did, because at about mile 16 my legs decided we were done and it was tougher to stay on pace. At that point, I kept thinking WHY DID I WANT TO DO THIS RACE SO BADLY?? But I kind of had to finish... so on I went. The last four miles were quite a bit slower. Once I got to Boston, I just wanted to enjoy the experience so I kind of coasted back in. I stopped to use the bathroom (a first!) and stretched once.

The crowds and experience was magical--it really felt like the community's race. People were in their front yards handing out wet paper towels, water, oranges, bananas, vaseline... spraying people down with water. It was amazing to watch Boston step up and help the runners.

I ended with a 3:46:14--which I was happy with. I ran marathons after having Finley and Braden and was around 4:15, so this was a huge improvement over my post baby times. I fought and fought to get close to 3:40 for so many races, so to be able to fairly easily run a 3:46 felt great. I've learned a lot about how to train for a marathon and take better care of myself over the last 10 years and its paid off. Next step: qualifying for the Olympics. I kid, I kid. But seriously.

A video posted by Rachel Scott (@solandrachel) on

I felt horrible after the race. Terrible. Maybe worse than I've ever felt before? I think it was a combination of the heat and hills. My cheering section (who I failed to get a picture with! Sol and the kids, Aunt Maya and Uncle Tom and Tom's parents) met me on Newbury Street. I couldn't walk any farther. I had some Shake Shack milkshake and rested... then felt better.

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My sweet boys made some signs and were excited to be part of the marathon experience. Finley was hoping I'd come in the top 20. He was not impressed with me.

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I am now the proud owner of the ubiquitous Boston jacket. This year's jacket looks a bit like something you would have roller skated in 25 years ago, but I'll take it. Everyone wears the jackets all weekend and it's like a really cool club that I got to be in. People thought I was pretty fabulous when I walked around in the jacket while carrying Merritt--you ran a marathon after having a baby?? Yes, yes I did. I'm amazing.

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So I ran it. Much like childbirth, it hurt and I wanted to never do it ever again when I finished... but now the rose-colored amnesia has set in and I'm all about it. I'm running Houston in January, so we'll see if I can beat the stupid cut off time legitimately this time.

Thanks SO much to everyone who cheered for me and donated--you guys are amazing.

Tuesday, April 26

Make Way For Ducklings: Episode IV

Well, we made our bi-annual trek to Boston... and no trip is complete without making our kids sit on some ducklings (2010, 2012, 2014). We generally visit in the summer, so it was a bit cooler than previous trips! Merritt was our littlest duckling to date--she wasn't quite big enough to sit on a duck solo!

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We failed to get a family picture... this was actually the only time I took the big camera out on the whole trip. More people makes it harder to get good pictures of anything! I suspect this will get easier when they get less wiggly and more predictable. Hopefully there's a sweet spot before they hate me taking their picture...

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The ducks were dressed up in straw hats... maybe for spring? I'm actually surprised they aren't in something marathon-y.

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I made Merritt a hat for the trip--it did a good job keeping her melon nice and warm. I assume. She didn't complain, so it must have worked!

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Saturday, April 16

Disney || Many Russell Costumes from UP


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How many more trips do I have where these guys will all willingly dress up as Russell? It can't be too many more... . The Russell costumes are so fun at Animal Kingdom... mostly because Animal Kingdom is not very fun and the costumes are all that make it enjoyable (for me anyways).

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Ugh, they are all just so cute.

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It was super fun to have a baby girl to dress up (shocking, right?) I didn't think she'd be able to wear a sash like the boys, so I printed fabric and made it into a headband and leggings for her. And she was so cute (again, shocking, right?)

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This is the reason my boys love Animal Kingdom: completing all the activities in the little Wilderness Explorer books. And the cast members are so sweet and fuss over their little outfits, making them (and their mama) feel super cool.

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Aren't they dolls?

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Uncooperative dolls... but dolls.

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When Keaton smiles I basically want to give him anything he could possibly want. This girl too. I'm a terrible mother.

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They are all such sweet little explorers. Assuming I have another year of Up costumes... we may go all out with a Kevin outfit for Merritt next year.

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The last picture is terribly out of focus, but I'm in it, and that makes it a keeper.

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And I think that's it! See you real soon, Disney.

Friday, April 15

Disney || Lots More Pictures

I feel like I've already forgotten a lot of our Disney adventures, since the trip was three months ago... but before I forget any more, I'm writing them down. I'm already to the point where I want to go back--so this probably won't help.

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These children really were a delight. I think we kept being surprised how easy it was take four of them. I was a bit sentimental about it being my last trip with a nursing baby--but I'm sentimental about everything. Merritt was beginning to be very easily distracted while nursing, so feeding her really was a challenge.

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Storytime with Belle is always one of our favorites. Finley got to be the Beast (again) and Braden and Keaton were salt and pepper shakers. Everyone was excited to get a picture with Belle!

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We had to meet Anna and Elsa--it was so exciting to bring my little girl to meet princesses! Next time we'll get her an Anna dress. Probably the one with sunflowers.

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Skipping to a new day at Hollywood Studios. The boys really love the maps and like to think they are in charge. Ha.

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I got a big kick out of taking Merritt-dressed-as-Rey to meet her friend Chewie.

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Next day! Back to Magic Kingdom. In case you haven't noticed, Merritt was basically my impetus for everything. This day she switched between Wendy and Ariel outfits. And of course, she slept through all of meeting Ariel.

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It's super cool that I made us matching leggings right? My mom was worried Merritt would overheat in them, so I made myself a pair so I'd know if she was getting hot. Although to tell you the truth--I'm basically winging it for everything. The pants did not fit well and I had to hike them up all day... but they were fun and we got tons of compliments on them. #thereasonIdoanything

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The first two pictures were taken earlier in the day... I made everyone hike back over so I could get some pictures of M when the sun was lower and the light was a little softer. This day was chilly--her little cheeks and nose are red!

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I really have no idea what I did before I had her. I'm just kind of crazy about her. You can't see them super well--but I bought some suck pads for the Ergo that look like Ariel too. We were basically killing it.

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When we got home, I sold the whole outfit and and suck pads and made all my money back. Yay! Isn't she the cutest everrrrrr???

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And my ornery little Smee. I love him in all his gap toothed glory.

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Meeting Peter Pan is probably the highlight for me... its becoming less of a big deal for the boys as they become bigger Star Wars fans. Hopefully I still have another year or two of them wearing matching Peter Pan outfits since we finally have a Wendy Bird!

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Merritt's Wendy outfit was a blue dress I found at Old Navy and a navy bow I whipped up (and lost pretty early in the day). Braden's Captain Hook is the original one I made for Finley's third birthday!

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They take their swashbuckling duties very seriously.

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The people waiting in line to meet Peter were fairly entertained by our little troop. I ordered the little wooden daggers on Etsy and I'm pretty sure we came home with all three. Miracle!

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Although this time, meeting Tinkerbell was probably more fun than meeting Peter. She was so animated and sweet with the boys.

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And the requisite picture with our favorite Mouse. This was one of the talking Mickeys--we're always so impressed.

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I've mentioned many times how much we love the People Mover--it's SUCH a great place to take a break for a snack and let everyone relax a little. There's generally no line and you can ride a few times in a row if you aren't ready to get off.

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Sol on the carousel cracked me up--I was hoping to get a picture of all three boys riding, but Sol was always in the way taking his own pictures, which ended up being pretty entertaining.

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Spoiler alert: no one was able to pull the sword out of the stone.

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Yay Easter! Here's a bunch of pictures. Braden and Keaton both had egg hunts at school--although I only photographed K's. This egg hunt was a turning point for him. He was no longer in it for the joy of finding eggs--he realized they were full of treats and the other egg hunts we did over the weekend were much slower because he had to stop and open them.

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I love how much Elisabeth and Keaton love each other! They are both the bossy, silent type and are too cute.

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I sewed some Easter baskets for the kiddos this year--because why not? My next door neighbor has an embroidery business and is kind enough to embroider things I run over last minute to her.

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Time for our yearly family photo where allergies force me to wear glasses!

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Aren't my boys the cutest? They are. I know I'm biased but... cute.

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It's cool that I bought a matching dress for M, right? This was my rehearsal dinner dress from 11 years ago and when I saw a similar one at Carter's I had to grab it!

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Third and final egg hunt! We have the greatest group of friends here who meet every other Sunday for bible study--all 13 of our kids got a ton of eggs! It was a lovely Easter and so fun to celebrate such a special day with our friends and family.

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Thursday, April 14

A Star Wars Party for Finley and Braden

I've thrown a lot of big fancy party over the years--this is not one of them. (Aside from the cake table--it looks pretty good.) My friend Lauren and I decided to throw a birthday party for all four kids of our big kids together--a lot less work for us in the long run! It only took a little bit of convincing to get the girl on board with the Star Wars theme.

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We rented the local indoor soccer field (again!) and gave each kiddo a pool noodle light saber and only a few kids were minorly injured. We confiscated real light sabers at the door. ;) Long picnic tables were covered in coloring paper for those who didn't want to run around and hit each other.

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Our two families all dressed up (Keaton was an Ewok for a bit!) and a lot of the guests came in costume too!

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My little Rey was a trooper, as always, and was happy to just come along for the ride.

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And little Leia was too cute too!

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Sol did a great job letting kids beat up on him and running around as Darth Vader. We thought the Braden-as-Luke and Sol-as-Darth was an important father-son moment!

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I was worried the kids would be bored and there wouldn't be enough to do--but apparently hitting each other for two hours just doesn't get old.

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It was a big party.

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I was also worried we wouldn't have enough cake--and there are currently two full cakes in my freezer. We were fine.

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Happy birthday to my big boys!
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