Long live the ‘small’ town parade!

I look forward to our local parade every September. We’ve been going since the kids started school. We have our parade morning routine set and our spot staked out.  It’s always sunny, still hot, but an almost Fall day in Georgia.

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The parade is underway!

Don’t we look ready?

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This year is a tad bittersweet for us.  It’s the last year we have a child in the parade.  Our oldest walked his last parade today with his high school robotics team. Through the years he has marched with the grade school unicycle club, his tae kwon do school and the robotics team. But an era ended today for us and it’s kinda sad.

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Look at that veteran parade walker!

It’s so much fun to see all the neighbors and friends out cheering on the parade.  I love everything about it, here is a picture walk through of the highlights:

The marching bands are simply the best! They have to be sweltering but they march and play the entire route.

Of course, I’m biased here but when all three of your kids have been part of the largest unicycle club in the country, ya have to list them at the top. Go Coach Jones!

Next up for me is the Twilight Twirlers!  This is on my bucket list – I still have a mean twirl and I want those white boots and to be all sassy and stuff at 70!

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McKenna has acquired some beads, the little hussy.  She’s loving all the attention from the kids but she’s not a fan of the marching bands, the firetrucks or the motorcycles.

No parade here would be complete without the Chick Fil A cow.  Little bummed that they were not giving out coupons this year -they’ve had some great coupons in year’s past but I guess everyone is cutting back a bit. And I think the cow has a girlfriend now…

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I love the horses and there was a big group in the parade this year.  These two were my favorite. I thought this Mom with the lil’ buckeroo on the back rocked it and this lady on the huge Clydesdale just had such control, I was impressed.

The kids collected more candy than they will probably get on Halloween!  These two cuties next to us got double the candy because for some reason Stephen and I looked like we needed candy too and were getting bombarded with it.  Several people promised they would have dog biscuits for McKenna next year – I’ll hold them to that.

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So many groups and clubs, something for everyone! Here are few of them – so much going on in our little town.

And I love all the vehicles, my favorite had to be the Sparkles Skate – you can’t see it but underneath the skate there was a disco ball! So awesome!

Wow! Those were just the highlights, there was so much more to see but McKenna is exhausted so we’ll head home for a nap.

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Before we go I just want to give a shout out to our local police. They did a great job of shutting down the parade route (not easy on this really busy main street) and although it was super obvious that the police presence was significantly more than in year’s past, we all felt extra safe and it ran very smoothly. Thank you!

Don’t forget to support your local parades! We may not have kids in them anymore but I wouldn’t miss it!

God bless!

 

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Training, Month Five

Half Marathon

“Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat” says my fortune cookie fortune.

I find that just over a month out from the half-marathon, I’m in better shape but not where I wanted to be. I have acquired quite a few new, cute, workout outfits though, so that’s a bonus.

After continuing to battle issues with my foot, I have resigned myself to walking rather than run/walking the race.

I’m disappointed but remain focused on getting the miles walked in each week. My schedule between work and the kids has picked up significantly and made that more challenging. Plus, Fall has not arrived in Georgia and it’s still in the 90’s every day. But still I’m out there plodding away.

I would like to cut 20 minutes off of my race time, probably too lofty of a goal since my legs just don’t seem to want to walk any faster, but I keep trying to speed up a little.

I’m glad that I am doing this race but looking forward to it being over. I’ve already set my next fitness goal, two actually, but we’ll save that for another day.

Right now, I’m focused on this goal in October.  Even though the walk is in wine country, I’m sure the water stations on the route won’t be stocked with wine, but I’m looking forward to a big glass the evening after the race!

Never Forget

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We all know where we were and what we were doing when our country hit the pause button. We repeat the stories, the memories… we still cry and say prayers. Fifteen years, twenty years, fifty years, we’ll still feel the same.

We said we wouldn’t let them win, but I don’t feel any safer today than I did the day that security was shattered.

As a Mom of boys I particularly remember in the days, weeks, month and even early years after 9/11 thinking, please finish this, I don’t want to have to send my babies to fix this mess. Do it right, now. End this.

But guess what, my oldest just turned 18 and our children still register for the selective service and the possibility that they will be called to serve is as great as ever and I’m scared.

So while we pray today for those we lost, their families and our entire nation, please pray that we remember who we are.  We are Americans, proud Americans, we don’t forget and we will kick ass if need be.

Can’t Make This Stuff Up

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I travel pretty frequently and sometimes I hear the funniest stories about navigating the long lines at security.  This one was too funny not to share.

Us frequent flyers have a fast pass that allows us to go through ‘special’ lanes where you don’t have to remove anything from your bags and you can leave shoes, belts and light jackets on.  Usually it’s super speedy, filled mostly with rushed business travelers cutting it a bit too close to the door’s closing time.  Read – very little patience.

Problems arise when some airports get busy, okay so all of them do this, and randomly give other passengers access to the special lines for that day. They don’t know the secret handshake so things get interesting when they start de-robing and putting their laptops and stuff on the belt. In other words, defeating the whole purpose.

My friend was behind one such traveler the other day.  After slowing down the line significantly, he proceeded to set off the alarm on the x-ray machine. So back he came to check his pockets, not finding anything he loudly announced, oh, I think it must be my teeth and popped out a full set of dentures into his hands.  In it went to the change tray and through the belt.

Well, gosh he was right, but EEEWWWWW!

Time Marches On

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Do you remember being 18? I can’t believe that my oldest child has turned 18.  He’s an adult in so many ways but I have to wonder where the time went.

This his senior year is already going too fast.  One of his younger brothers recently commented to me that his brother’s never home anymore and it was like had already left for college.  I told him that this is part of the process of growing up and separating for that next step.

No matter how proud you are of them, no matter how excited for their future, it still hurts to let them go.  Gonna be a tough year for this Mom!

 

 

Training, Month 4

Half Marathon

I’m not prone to whims. But signing up for a half-marathon certainly falls into that category. So does deciding last weekend – 3 hours ahead of race time – to do a half- marathon might, most definitely, qualifies as a whim.

The race was in the neighborhood, at night (dark so non one can really see me too well) and the toughest part, other than the sheer distance, was the “hill” that I have been tackling in my training on a regular basis.

I had in my training plan that I needed to do some practice races. I did not plan to start those practices off with a 13.1 but I guess it eliminates the needs for the other ones.

So, luckily my husband is a good sport (and in much better shape than me) and said let’s do it. I have been doing a lot more walking than running in my training. I have accepted that my first 13.1 will be more walking than running but I still only have 3 hours and 30 minutes to finish it in.

So, some good lessons learned.  Get my race playlist done and local – I could not access any of my music and had to walk with NO music.  Not how I’ve been training.  Most importantly, I can do it! I walked the 13.1 under the time limit.  I would like to shave 20 more minutes off but I’m not sure that is realistic unless I add a lot more running into my mix.

I learned that my ankles need a bit more strengthening, going down hill sometimes really sucks and it is time to step up my training and work on getting a bit faster.

And like I said in the beginning of this 13.1 journey, Run. Run. Run. (or maybe now, Run. Walk. Run… repeat).