Posted by: rl4man | June 30, 2011

Rescue Run

Wow, how could I forget a race report? A couple weeks ago (June 18), I decided on a whim to run the Teddy’s Rescue 5k in Findlay. (Teddy’s Rescue is a no-kill canine facility and if we ever get another dog, I’ll go there first to look for a compatible new family member.) My right knee had been bothering me after the Warrior Dash so I wasn’t sure I should run, but it wasn’t too bad so I thought I’d try it out.

Anyway, it was a warm, sunny Saturday morning and the race wasn’t until 10:00 am. There was a band playing, Hoby Tyler the clown was there. He’d been to Faith Academy for chapel, so the boys were pretty excited to see him. Micah had him do a few magic tricks along with getting balloon dogs and hats made. We nibbled on the doughnuts and apples that were provided. I hadn’t preregistered, so I wasn’t expecting a t-shirt, but they did have a medium left. It’s a bit big for me, so Kevin gets it. The fee was $20 for race day registration. Not terrible, but on the high side for a smaller 5k.

We were a little early, so I waited around until they told us to line up at the start. It was all pretty informal. Lucinda, a friend of my friend, Stephanie, found me. We are a part of a Facebook group and had messaged back and forth but hadn’t connected at a race yet. She’s a newer runner and is trying to get as many 5k’s under her belt as she can. It was finally time to line up. The course wound through the residential neighborhood next to Riverside Park and the Country Club golf course. There were lots of turns which were well directed and/or marked, and it was pretty flat (as is most of the terrain in the Findlay area).

Post-Race With Lucinda

I started off pretty fast (for me) around 8:00 min pace. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long, but it didn’t feel that fast, so I held it for at least a half mile. Then I started slowing down to about 9-9:30. I really wanted to keep it around 9:00 to get my sub-28:00 goal. By mile 2 I was starting to huff and puff, and my pace started to slow some. When I hit 2.5, I realized that the finish line was coming up quickly. I tried to pick my pace up as much as I could, but my fast start was holding me back. I could tell by my Garmin that the distance was short. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I actually remembered to stop it and it measured 2.74 miles. Wow! That’s a lot short! But I can say I ran a sub-25:00 5k. 🙂 My Garmin said my time was 24:27 and my average pace was 8:55. So I was on pace (if I could have held it for another .3) to get my coveted sub 28:00 for a true 5k distance. But it will have to wait for the next race.

Finish Line Smile

I was very, very disappointed when I learned they neither timed the race, nor gave out awards past the top three men and women overall finishers. For $20, I expected them to give out age group awards. I don’t know if I would have placed, but it would have been nice to know.

"I'm Going to Die!" (Put this one in the "Bad Race Photos" file!)

Overall, I was happy with my performance. I pushed hard. In fact, I told Kevin at the finish line, “I’m going to die!” I was that exhausted. My knee didn’t give out (and in fact finally started feeling almost normal toward the middle of the following week). And I’m anxious for the next race. I might run one this Saturday in Bowling Green. Maybe.

Kevin’s mom got her stint removed from her pancreas this past Monday. It was a quick procedure and she came home right away, but she wasn’t able to keep anything down and started vomiting and having diarrhea on Tuesday, so they admitted her that night to the hospital to get rehydrated and stabilized. She came home last night and hopefully is doing well by now. I haven’t talked to anyone yet today to find out. She will be starting chemo and radiation shortly, perhaps next week. It will be a 7-week course (assuming she has no complications) and then she will have the surgery to remove the affected parts of the pancreas. We’re hopeful she will respond well to the treatment and be declared cancer free come this fall. That is our prayer. I also pray that she will tolerate the treatments and experience only minor discomfort and side effects.

Happy Independence Day if I don’t post before!

Posted by: rl4man | June 17, 2011

Warrior Dash!

It’s been almost two weeks since the Warrior Dash, but with the emotional upheaval of my mother-in-law’s health, I just couldn’t bring myself to blog about it. I did wonder if I should even go ahead and do it, but Kathryn was coming out to run with me and I thought the distraction would maybe be a good thing. It was and we had a blast. I don’t remember when I last had so much fun. The only problem was that it was HOT and the spectators suffered (much more than we did once we got submerged in a pond). My mom came, Kevin and the boys were there, Kristi came over and Kathryn’s friend, Sara, was there too. Bless their hearts, they put up with a lot!

Our costumes turned out really cute. They held up well and were fun to run in. There were so many crazy costumes, some a bit risque, but many just hilarious. I was glad we decided to do the outfits, it help make the “experience.”

We were both pretty nervous before we started, but the obstacles turned out not to be too bad. The worst parts were the hills–long steep uphills followed by long steep downhills. Fortunately, it was relatively dry on Saturday. It rained that night, so the Sunday racers had lots of slippery mud to contend with on the slopes the next day. My right knee is still complaining two weeks later, I think the hills did something bad to it. 😦

I took along a waterproof disposable camera and tried to take pictures of each obstacle. Some didn’t turn out, but most did. I’m glad I took it because there were only a couple spectator spots on the course. Since I posted all my pictures on facebook, I’m not going to bother posting them all here. But it was a great time and I’d love to do it again next year. It was so much fun running with a friend too. It just wouldn’t have been as enjoyable alone. Thanks, Kathryn! I love you!

Posted by: rl4man | June 17, 2011

Difficult Times

It’s been a while since I last posted. Mainly because I just didn’t know how to put down my thoughts and feelings. I still don’t. But I need to.

Several weeks ago, my husband’s mother went in for exploratory surgery on her pancreas. She’d had recurring pain for quite some time and the doctor thought she should get it checked out. She had an ultrasound, MRI, CAT scan and bloodwork and nothing came back conclusively, so surgery was the last option. We were shocked when the results from the surgery came back with a diagnosis of stage 2 to 3 pancreatic cancer. The worst news we could imagine had been realized. We were devastated. Not only was the life of the center of our family threatened, we knew our reality was changed forever. Now everything would be centered around tests, procedures, surgery, chemo, radiation… Nothing would ever be the same. We cried, grieved, were angry, and switched back and forth from hope to despair. Emotionally we were completely drained.

After a week to process the information, we started to settle down and think rationally. She also went in for a PET scan last week and we got the results back the next morning. There is no spread past the original tumor location and lymph nodes nearby.  We are praising the Lord for that.

The doctors are hopeful that it is treatable and are telling us it was caught fairly early.  Her doctor in Findlay, Dr. Browning, has a brother with the same type of cancer and is doing fine after 5 years.

Initially, the plan was to do surgery to remove the body and tail of the pancreas, the affected lymph nodes and her appendix (which isn’t involved in the cancer, but pretty much non-functioning and needs to come out anyway). The surgery was going to be very extensive with a long, difficult recovery. This would be followed up with chemo and radiation treatments. This of course would mean she’d be laid up all summer in a lot of pain and then go through the grueling follow-up treatments in the fall.

But then she went down to Columbus for a second opinion from a doctor that Roger, Kevin’s brother, had found. Here’s the “God thing” part: this was the doctor who performed the surgery on Dr. Browning’s brother. Dr. Browning also interned under him. They did not know this before the appointment. He is suggesting that she do chemo and radiation first and follow that up with surgery which he can perform laparoscopically. They have had better results doing it that way. So that is what she is going to do. Fortunately, the chemo and radiation can be done locally. The surgery could also be done here by Dr. Browning, but we don’t know if he can do the minimally invasive technique which would be best. While we know she will experience side effects from these treatments, at least she will still be able to be up and around a good part of the time.

The new doctor actually said there’s a possibility they could get the cancer counts down to zero, but they will still remove the parts of the pancreas to make sure they get it all. It’s not a guarantee of a cure, of course, but it’s the first real, solid hope we’ve gotten from a medical professional.

So now we wait for all the doctors and centers to coordinate so we can get this going.

We wonder why these things happen to such wonderful people. She does so much good for so many, and we would be lost without her. I don’t understand God’s reasons for this. I do know that we live in an imperfect world and these things are a consequence of living in it. But I sure wish it wasn’t my mother-in-law. She is a true woman of God and lives her faith out daily in everything she does. No, she doesn’t do anything big or spectacular, but she cares for those around her unselfishly and with grace and compassion. She is amazing. I have been so blessed to have the two most godly women I know be my mother and my mother-in-law. Sadly, it’s taken a thing called “cancer” to truly appreciate her and let go of the little petty things I let get in the way of our relationship.

Posted by: rl4man | May 20, 2011

8 Years!

OK, so it’s been a couple of weeks since Micah’s birthday, but I just haven’t set aside the time to blog. I really can’t believe my baby is 8 years old. He’s getting so big. (I know–cliche!–but he is!) He’s so tall and lanky already. He’s still so affectionate and likes to snuggle and curl up on my lap, but he just doesn’t fit any more.

Micah and his cake

The boys have been into the “Angry Birds” game since Kevin got his iPod for Christmas and I asked if Micah wanted an “Angry Birds” birthday cake. Of course he did. 🙂 So I made “Angry Bird” cake pops for him to take to school and made enough to go on a cake. It wasn’t my best effort since the cake wouldn’t stay up for very long, but it was still cute.

Jessie went through a bout of impetigo, of all things, and it’s taken near to 2 weeks for it to completely clear up. It was horrible. It started out like pimples that just kept getting worse. Finally after 5 or 6 days, they broke open and started crusting over. We had to take him to the Urgent Care place on a Sunday where he was also diagnosed with bronchitis. He was put on Zithromax and Bactroban ointment. He’s finally looking so much better, but there were still a couple new spots this week, so I’m keeping up with the ointment until they’re completely gone. Fortunately, the rest of us haven’t gotten it.

My running is going well on the treadmill. I’m inching ever more closely to that sub-26:00 5k. Since I hung onto 6.9 mph on Monday without excessive effort, I took a chance last night and started at 7.0 mph and managed to not to go below that. My time for that run was 26:20. I did push pretty hard, though. Outside it’s another story. I went for an 8-miler on Saturday, but it was so hot and humid, I had to give up pushing myself at 6 and take it easy for the last 2 miles. I was disappointed, but the heat and humidity really do me in. I’ll have to time my weekend long runs earlier in the morning. It’s hard to believe last summer I was hitting the trail at 5:30 am to beat the heat and get my mileage in. There’s a 5k up in Bowling Green tomorrow that I’m considering. It doesn’t look like there’s much “swag” though, so I don’t know if it’s worth my $22. The weather is supposed to be beautiful. I’m not confident that I can get a PR, however. My goal for my next 5k is sub-28:00 and I’m not sure I can do that tomorrow.

Tonight is a chicken dinner fund raiser at school. It was supposed to be a battle of the bands, but they couldn’t get enough bands to participate. I was disappointed for the George’s who organized it. There was also a huge drama blowup a couple months ago and now they aren’t coming back next year. There’s still a pretty good chance the school will close anyway, but I hate for people to leave over conflict. Anyway, I’m helping to clean up tonight. I feel bad that I haven’t been able to help out as much this year.

Just 2 more weeks until the Warrior Dash! I can’t wait!!!

Posted by: rl4man | April 26, 2011

Half Success! Great Wolf and Passover

The half marathon is history–over a week ago. I just haven’t gotten up the motivation to post. It was actually a good race. I was a bit concerned about the weather, but the windy conditions weren’t too much of a factor due to the sheltered course. There were either houses or trees to block most of it. The 40 degree temps were perfect to run in. The only time the wind was a problem was on the last quarter mile when the course made the turn around Savage Arena straight into it. Not a good time to get blown backwards! The finish was neat, running into the Glass Bowl. I was glad we didn’t have to run around the track. The medal is nice and the glass mug a nice addition. The tech shirt is also good, fits well. I would have preferred something other than pink, but I’m happy with it.

Inside Savage, keeping warm before the race.

Overall, I felt pretty good the entire race. I tried to keep to an 11:00 pace and managed that most of the way. There were a few minor hills, but it wasn’t anything terribly difficult. I was nice and steady for the most part. Nothing hurt much. My feet were a little sore at the end, but nothing like the marathon, and totally expected. My quads and left ankle/shin were a little sore for a couple of days afterward, but I recovered pretty quickly.

My chip time was 2:27:23. My goal was a sub 2:30 so I was thrilled with that, although I was a bit disappointed that my clock time was 2:30:23. It would have been cool to get that sub-2:30 on the clock too. Well, there’s always next time. I was also happy that the only full marathoners to pass me were the hand-crank guy and the winner. I expected more to “lap” me, but I guess all the really fast runners were in Boston preparing for that little race on the next day.

The Big Finish into the stadium.

Kevin was able to make it with me and I was glad to have company. The boys stayed at his parents’ so we were able to get up early (and finish getting the house ready for the open house–for which we had NO visitors–which we expected).

With my medal on the football field.

We went to Great Wolf Lodge the next day and had a lot of fun. We didn’t get there as soon as I’d hoped and we had to rush out the next day by 11:00 (Kevin’s parents let us sleep in until almost 9:00–bummer!), but other than that, it was worth the trip. I hope we can go again and be a little more relaxed the next time.

Kevin and I led/set up a Seder meal at our church on Thursday. I did all the food and decorations. It turned out nicely and we had about 50 people there. I was glad when it was over. I felt like I didn’t quite have adequate time to prepare so things felt a bit out of control. Kevin’s mom, sister and a friend helped me get everything set up.

Set up for the Seder

I got my first post-half run in on Friday. I pushed myself a bit since I hadn’t run for 4 days. I made 6 miles (on the treadmill) in 54:01. Just a fraction of a second over 9:00 pace. I’m still itching for that sub-9:00 pace for the 6 miles (I think I’ve done it once) and a sub-26:00 5k time. I’ll get there–I’m so close!

We took the boys to see the movie “Rio” on Saturday. They have been wanting to see it ever since they started advertising it with Angry Birds. It was a cute movie. I was glad the tickets were free from Kevin’s work, though.

Easter Sunday was nice. I played bass with the band and then we hung out at Kevin’s parents’ for the day. Mandi and Roger were home, but Matt couldn’t make it. I wanted to get another 6-miler in, but we weren’t able to leave until almost the boys’ bedtime.

I finally got another run in on Monday (yesterday). I managed to shave 1 second off my 6 mile time and hit 54:00 even. Although I did take a several minute break to help the boys with a computer problem, so I’m not sure it really counts. I’m hoping to up my 5k start time to 6.9 mph this week or next.

Tonight is the big parents’ meeting about the school. Hopefully we’ll know if it’s staying open or closing next year. I keep praying for a miracle that it will be able to continue, but I’m doubtful. Kevin and I are seriously considering homeschooling the boys. That scares me to death and I’d rather scrimp and save to send them to the Christian school in BG, but Kevin doesn’t want to go that route first.

That’s the update. Whew! I’ll add pictures as I have a chance.

Posted by: rl4man | April 14, 2011

Half Marathon Prep

My first ever half marathon is coming up in three days. So far the weather report has been consistently forecasting 40-50 degrees, however it may or may not be raining. So I have most of my outfit picked out but not sure about what shirt to wear yet. Last Sunday was a little blow to my confidence. Actually, it was a big blow. I planned a 6-mile run outside, however, we had a freak one-day heat wave that got up into the mid-80’s. What a shock to the system! I did fine the first two miles, but after that I had to take frequent walking breaks. I probably ended up walking 3 of the 5 miles and took 1:20 to do it in. Not a good time for me at all! I felt a little better with last night’s run on the treadmill. 6 miles in 56 minutes. But that’s inside. I know I can complete the distance, but I’m not sure how fast. My one source of confidence is that I did run an 8-miler a few weeks back and did it around 11:00/mile, dodging snow piles.

I got my new Pearl Izumi Syncro-Float IV’s yesterday, so I tried those out on the treadmill. Love them! They are so cushy and comfy. The only two potential problems are that the right shoe rubs a bit over the top of my foot and I’m not sure there is enough arch support. We’ll see as I get more acclimated to them. I will be wearing my old Brooks Adrenaline 10’s for the half marathon, though, since I don’t want to risk any shoe problems. I made a stupid non-running shoe mistake today. I bought a pair of ballet flat style shoes and wore them to work. I had to make a stop at Walmart on the way to the office and while walking around the store, discovered the backs were rubbing my heels raw. Not good–with a long race in 3 days–not good! So now I have bandaids on the backs of my heels and I’m hoping that they heal by Sunday and that my running shoes won’t rub in the same place.

We have an open house scheduled for Sunday. Our real estate agent has been pushing us to have one, so we’re doing it this weekend. We’ll be surprised if we get anyone through, but at least the house will be clean. It will also be a good way to occupy my mind on Saturday. Kevin and I are also going to use packet pickup as an excuse for a little date. We’re not sure yet if Kevin’s folks will be keeping the boys over night or just for lunch, but either way it will be nice to have a few hours to spend with him alone. We’ll drive up to UT, get my race packet and then eat lunch or dinner together. I’m really looking forward to it. If Kevin’s parents to keep the boys all night, he’ll go with me to the race, too, but I’m really not expecting him to and I’m okay with it. It would be nice to have a cheering section, but I run for me–not in a selfish way, but to be healthier and happier. The sense of accomplishment I have when I cross a finish line is enough for me.

Micah developed a fever last night and barely ate anything. Unfortunately for him, this is testing week at school, so we sent him in for the tests in the morning and then will take him home early. Poor guy! I’m hoping the rest of us don’t come down with it 1) since I have my race on Sunday and 2) we are going to the Great Wolf Lodge on Monday and Tuesday. I’ve been looking forward to that for weeks! I think I’m more excited about it than the boys. 🙂

Because of going to GWL, I decided I needed to go swim suit shopping yesterday. I needed a racer-back style that won’t slip off my shoulders as I play in the water. Wow! Was that humbling. Let’s just say I felt and looked like a sausage getting squeezed in and out of a too-tight casing over and over. I did finally find a cute suit that will work.

Hopefully my next post will be a euphoric race report. 🙂 Happy running!

Posted by: rl4man | March 28, 2011

Longer Runs

Since I signed up for the Glass City Half Marathon on April 17, I decided I need to train for it a bit. I’ve been trying to maintain my mileage base so that I’m just about always ready for the half marathon distance with weekend long runs between 8-12 miles, so I really don’t need to do much ramping up. My temptation is to try to run a fast (for me) time, but I also don’t want to get too far ahead of myself since I have a fall half on my schedule here in Findlay. I’d like to be able to PR for that one (and not come in dead last like I almost did for the marathon last year). Silly, but I guess fairly typical of runners. So I think my time goal will be 11-11:30 pace which would put me at a finish time roughly between 2:25-30. It’d be really nice to get a sub 2:30. We’ll see.

I did an 11 mile long run on Saturday and did great, clocking in at 1:52 at an average 10:12 pace. Alas, it was on the treadmill again due to cold and windy conditions. I just didn’t want to subject myself to the cold for that long. I’m hoping to get a little more pavement running in before the race to get my legs conditioned for the harder surface. This Saturday is supposed to hit 50 degrees, so it’s looking good.

I’ve added in barefoot running to my training again. Hoping to stick with it this time. I’ve done a couple .25 mile runs after my regular running. I sure can feel the pull in my ankles when I hit a mid-foot strike, so hopefully it will strengthen that area if I can keep a slow progress up. I definitely don’t want to injure myself since I’m prone to problems in that area to begin with. I don’t think I’ll ever become a true barefoot runner, but I’m hoping I can eventually move to a less supportive shoe and change to a mid-foot strike gait.

I never know how to close out my blog posts. So if things start seeming abrupt, oh well. Have a great week!

Posted by: rl4man | March 24, 2011

Marching On

These post titles are getting ridiculous! Ha ha! March is almost over, though. Can’t believe how fast the year is going. Anyway, I’m still stuck in the 6.7 range on the treadmill. Mostly due to getting sick and coughing for a week. Makes it hard to run fast when your lung capacity is diminished. I’m hoping to get back up to speed this week. I did make it back outside for another run on Saturday. The weather was perfect–in the 40’s and sunny with a little breeze. I only went 4 miles at an average 10:30/mile pace (11:00 for 3 miles and kicked it way up for the last mile). After the first outdoor 8-miler, my shins were complaining for a week so I figured I need to transition back to the pavement more slowly. After treadmill running exclusively for about three months, my legs have gotten a bit “soft.”

We have our house back on the market. It’s nice to have motivation to keep the house clean, but also a major inconvenience with last-minute showings. We had two showings last week right after we listed the house, same buyers, and of course got our hopes up. But we learned this week that they decided on a house closer to Bowling Green. So frustrating, although I’m relieved in a way that we’re not moving so quickly. It did give a little validation for keeping our asking price above $200,000. Our real estate agent thinks our house would most likely sell in the $190’s. Not a happy thought as we’d barely break even at that price. The numbers are all over the place in this economy so it’s all really a guessing game.

The basketball season is over for Micah. He improved quite a bit over the 10 weeks and even made 2 baskets during a couple games. I’m so proud of him for trying so hard. Kevin and I just haven’t given him much exposure to sports in general, so this was a real learning experience for him and he did his best. We could see his sensory problems making it difficult for him to transition between offense and defense, but he started figuring it out by the last few games. And with the Upward program, they don’t keep score and make sure all the kids get equal playing time. Our coach in particular was good about making sure each boy got a chance to handle the ball. I appreciated that immensely. Overall it was a good experience and we’ll do it again next year. But to be honest, I’m glad the season is over. With Kevin working in the evenings, it’s all on me to make sure everyone is fed, does homework and gets to any practices there may be. Because of that I opted not to put Micah in soccer which has a heavier practice and game schedule. Until Kevin can help out in the evenings, we’re sticking with piano lessons and basketball. We’ll see about summer. Maybe we’ll be able to figure something out then.

I signed up for the Glass City 1/2 Marathon in Toledo on April 17. It’s my first race since the New Year and my first half. I’m excited but will probably be going it alone since I’ll be leaving about 5:00 in the morning and Kevin won’t want to wrangle the boys by himself. But I’m okay with that. Not sure what the attraction is to race, but I’ve got it. 🙂 Excited to add another medal and a glass mug to my racing collection. I still need to get a display shelf to show off my bling.

I’ve got to start work now. Hopefully I’ll be able to post a sub 26:00 5k time soon!

Posted by: rl4man | February 23, 2011

February Frustrations

Eh, I’m only a little frustrated. I just wanted to come up with an alliteration for February. Lame, huh? Anyway, I got in my first outside run since the New Year’s 5k on Saturday. The snow was finally gone from the trail, it was sunny, mid-30’s and a slight breeze… perfect! I went 8 miles and only had to dodge snow piles for about a mile right at the 3.5-4.5 turnaround. I can tell my body isn’t used to the pavement anymore since my knees were feeling it toward the end. I managed to keep my average pace at 10:37/mile. Of course, I pushed it hard the last mile.

The frustration? It snowed again this week and there’s more snow coming tomorrow night. So my trail is covered up again.

My treadmill progress is coming slowly, but surely. Right now I’m stuck at a 6.7 mph 5k start. My goal by next New Year’s Eve is 7.5 mph or an 8:00/mile pace. Think I can do it? I do! I will! We’ll see how I do tonight starting at 6.7 and increasing my pace at sooner intervals. I tried a 6.8 start last week and just couldn’t hang on to it.

Kevin and I had a couple heart-to-heart talks during the last week and realized we’re both extremely overwhelmed and frustrated with life right now. He’s feeling massive anxiety over getting the house ready to sell and I’ve been overloaded at work and I’m just plain tired of working full-time and not being able to take care of things at home like I want to. However, we’re both stuck with where we are right now. I’m going to try to make a more conscious effort at keeping the house picked up and clean so he doesn’t walk into tornado alley when he comes home. I think that will help his state of mind. But it’s just so hard to keep it up every day when I have to take care of the boys and then I want to run. I’ve got to prioritize. We’re also looking at a high probability of homeschooling next year. Yet another complication in a complicated life.

On the kid front:

Roger got the boys ant farms for Christmas. I held off on ordering the ants because they won’t ship them in extreme cold. I finally sent the email and scanned order forms last week thinking the stated 4-6 week delivery time would get them here when it was starting to warm up. The ants came yesterday! I was disgusted to open the envelope to find two tubes of curled up dead ants. Why would they send them in sub-freezing temperatures?! Anyway, I left them on the counter while we went to Micah’s basketball practice. When we got home, I peeked in the envelope just to be sure, and what do you know, but the ants were moving! All but one, that is. So the boys and I quickly assembled the habitats and dumped the ants inside. They’ve been fascinated with them. Jessie wanted to take his to school this morning, but I wouldn’t let him, especially when Micah had a minor mishap with his container while putting on his coat. They really are quite interesting to watch. Jessie’s have started tunneling already.

Here’s hoping to get another sub-27:00 5k in this afternoon! Wish me luck!

Posted by: rl4man | January 24, 2011

Happy Anniversary

The last two weeks or so have seen a couple anniversaries go by. The first was Kevin’s and mine on the 9th. We celebrated 18 years of marriage (22 since we started dating–seems impossible!). We went out to the Melting Pot in Toledo with our friends, Jon and Stephanie Wilson. We always enjoy including them in our anniversary plans since we went to see “Phantom of the Opera” with them up in Detroit on our way back from our honeymoon. Kevin and Jon have been best friends since high school. We always have a fun time with them and our dinner with them this year was no exception. The food was incredible and we were anticipating our chocolate fondue for dessert when the electricity went out. Apparently a police car crashed into an electric pole and knocked the power off for the whole area. We were disappointed, but after waiting for awhile to see if the power would come back on, we gave up and went somewhere else for dessert. Kevin’s folks watched the boys for us overnight so we didn’t have to hurry home which was wonderful.

The other anniversary was Momma and Jack’s 10th. Since they know they won’t make it to 50 years (Jack says Momma won’t live that long!) they treated this one like their “Golden” anniversary. In the summer, Momma had mentioned to me that she wanted to plan a get together with all the people who were at their wedding. It was a small gathering, just their kids and grandkids, Jack’s best friend and his wife, and the pastor who performed the ceremony along with his wife. But, she was getting stressed out about planning it and decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. So when we got together on New Year’s Day, I mentioned it to Missy and the two of us threw together a nice little party for them on the 22nd of January. Amazingly, everyone was able to be there except for Jack’s two step-granddaughters, Lauren and Raeal. We also invited the Graumans (who couldn’t be there) and Garbers. There were also a few little ones there who weren’t born yet 10 years ago, including our boys.

Momma and Jack were joyfully surprised and touched deeply and had a wonderful time retelling the story of their courtship and enjoying having both families together for such a happy occasion. Missy, Jeff, Paul Min and Lia played their mountain musical instruments and we sang along to three songs.

The "Fuhry Family Fiddlers"

It was an amazing, sweet day together. The boys were even fairly well-behaved and made friends with Ashford who came along with Ruth and Bruce Garber. I, of course, made the cake. My mom had mentioned to me that when she was a girl, she was a romantic and loved fairy tales and whenever she would draw a picture, she drew a wishing well with a stream running next to it. I knew I had to incorporate that into their cake, especially since her wishes (and more importantly her prayers) have all come true. 🙂 I was even able to find one of the wishing well card holders to put on the gift table.

We took some family pictures and then went home, tired, but happy that we went to the effort to give them their special celebration. We have been truly blessed to have Jack in our family. He’s an amazing grandpa to our children and he’s treated Momma with such love, gentleness and respect. I couldn’t ask for a better man to have married my Momma. I’m pretty sure Jack’s family has been blessed to have my mom in their lives, as well. She’s an incredible lady. I love them both and am proud to call them my parents.


The Hsu's and Seitzingers All Together


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