Friday, August 27, 2010

Only in Claflin, America!

This is series one of God only knows how many posts about our new(er) hometown and the surrounding areas. You have to say ‘surrounding areas’ because it’s so small, it really doesn’t count without them!  (Keep in mind we've lived here now for a little over a year, but this post has been swimming in my mind since last summer!)

Insert Top 10 8 Reasons for Moving:
- Big City life ain’t our gig baby!
- Raising a family in our new(er) small town seems way more exciting to us…and our kids will    thank us…much much much much later!  They will, right?

- Material possessions nor money are as important to us as love and happiness!  (I know, it sounds so cliche, but is indeed true for us.)
- ACREAGE!!!  (Eventually we hope, that's another blog all together)
- FUN things like camping, hunting, fishing, floating down the rivers here!
- You can’t love the life you live until you start living the life you love!
- Change is good…for me at least…I leave it up to J to fret and stress over it…which my carefree attitude in life complimented quite well!
- Closer to ALL our family…except of course the two kiddos we left behind in the big city (I lived in my sis’s basement for a stint during all this…you can’t get much closer to family than that!) (BTW- I call my niece and nephew ‘my kiddos’…I didn’t actually leave kids of my own behind…gawh!)

Moving along…I have been dreaming up this ‘Only in Claflin, America’ blog for a while now, but keep forgetting the initial instances that made me want to blog about this…so I’m making it an ongoing series. This way I can post as they come to me and I won’t forget them. As promised, here is Series 1:

'Only in Claflin, America' would the local DJ of the radio station dedicate one whole day to playing only songs with the word ‘farm’ or ‘farmer’ in them in honor of harvest.

Only in Claflin, America would the street signs be white with purple letters because those are the H.S. colors (more of a reason for purple to be my favorite color!).

'Only in Claflin, America' would you find yourself purposely missing your street turn so that you can drive by the city pool because…they got new a slide installed! (I must go check out in person!)

'Only in Claflin, America' would the HS track still be sand/dirt…and only I would say, ‘Do they actually hold track meets here or is this just their practice field?’ and 'only in Claflin, America' would the answer, ‘This is the only track and yes, they hold meets here…’ be a valid one!

Only in Claflin, America do you walk back 7 blocks with a doggie poo bag to pick up your dog’s mess (the ONE time you forget to grab one!) so that your not the gossip talk of the town for the next month.

'Only in Claflin, America' does a story of the farmer who happened to grow a ‘Siamese Conjoined Cucumber’ make the front page:

And finally, 'Only in Claflin, America' do you know that school has 'officially' started when you can watch the H.S. Band practice marching up and down your street as you get ready for work.  Ahhhh, the sounds of fall!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Run Like A Mutha'!

This post is entirely dedicated to my big sis' (translated: I'll try really hard to leave the adorable niece and nephew out of it).  So two weekends ago, J and I traveled back to KC to hang with the family and more importantly to see my sis compete in her first ever Triathlon!!!

So, a little history first about this particular marathon:  My sister introduced me to this race and organization two years ago.  Back in the day when I was living in their basement, trying to sell our house, and trying to find a job to move to the middle of Kansas (literally!) all while planning a wedding, my sister came home from some 'free whatnot and have you' with this recipe for healthy smoothies.  She was so jazzed about them and was getting me all jazzified as well, going on and on about the health benefits, and how good they tasted, yadda, yadda.  So, she made us all some that Saturday morning for breakfast...what she failed to say is that they had spinach in them which turned them BRIGHT GREEN...and then we all found out what else they turned bright green later that day!  But they were really good and we were hooked. 

The cool thing (one of many) about this organization is that they host all these free and fun workshops starting like 6 months prior to the race to keep you energized, healthy, and enthused about the race.  So then we started going to all the these free things and getting free training manuals, fitness tests, etc.  It was awesome!  I got so excited, that one day I bit the bullet and signed up for it, thinking that would force me to not back out.  (Translated: Would force my sister to sign up to and do it with me!)  HA!  Have you ever heard of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure?  And how they have a new box you can check called 'Sleep for the Cure' where you still pay the money for the cause and don't race?  Well, that was me!  (I could go on about all the very obvious reasons (translated: excuses) why I didn't, but luckily this post is for my sis!)

This year my sis signed up and I'll be honest, I was a bit hesitant about whether this was gonna happen or not...but then they got a membership to a gym...and then she started dropping weight like a crazy lady (FYI: She only has 4 more pounds before her husband has to wax his eyebrows!), and then I knew she was serious!

Okay, back to race day!  We all get up at 4:00 am, load a 4 year old and an almost 3 year old in the car, the bike, me, blanket, cooler, Gatorade 1,2, and 3 (or whatever the hell they have out now for training!), drinks, Oh...and let's not forget the signs:

Madi and Jude displaying their mom's sign!

And the sign I made for a girlfriend of mine that I worked with in KC, who also designed my wedding invites, and who also now has a deal with Hallmark for some of her art! (And let's not forget her teammate Kristin who raced with her also!)

We loaded up, drove an hour to Lake Smithville, got some coffee on the way so Shelly go get the 'nervous poops' out of her system, and then rocked out a little 'She's a Brick....Houuuuuuse' in the parking lot while unloading.  She danced, Jude cried, and yes...people stared.  It occurred to me then that we really should have thought about tailgating...(and later we saw people doing it!  So don't think I'm all that crazy!)

Shelly and her Sherpa (her husband) got her off on her way, and then I assumed the role of picture taker:

Ashley and Kristin; AKA: Team Jiggly Bits (And can you see the Hello Kitty balloon in the background?  That's Ashley's...she LOVES Hello Kitty and the balloons are so that you can find your bike on your way back from the swim...One thing our Sherpa forgot!)

Striking a pose before the race!

Loving the kids before the race!

Lookin' a little nervous before the first event

'Blowin' it Up' with Jude!  Go Mommy!

Trying to keep the kids busy before it got started!

Coming back in from the swim!

Ready to that she found her bike!  She had a slow transition due to a lost bike for a few seconds!

Coming back from the bike!  I like this one because the look on her face almost is saying, 'Oh shit!' and the whole time she was out on the bike part, The Sherpa and I kept looking at our watches and saying, 'She should be back by now!'.  We were getting worried and thought maybe she had a 'Grandma Attack' from the coffee and had to deviate!  (Come to find out, we were just wrong on her bike time!)

I missed her bike to run we just hung out at the finish line for her, and these guys were there to cheer people on!  I had to take a pic..there was pirate for Christ's sake!

Say no more about the tailgaiting part!


Victory Dance!?!?

Victory pose with the kiddos!

Victory Pose with The Sherpa!  (I made this pic XL so that you can get a good look at those eyebrows that are about to get a much needed 'Man-Scaping'!

And the victory party that night outside in the cul-de-sac.  The kids were playing tag with J (AKA: Matthew McConaugh-Hair!).  And no, Jude doesn't have to play with a helmet on...he was showing us his big boy biking skills right before that...and reallllly likes to show off the helmet!)

So that's that!  Shelly finished 255th overall out of I think it was 855 racers that started.  About 200 of them DNF'd (did not finish).  Her time was 1:26:54, which she was hoping for 1:30:00!!!  And her 5K, which was the last event was almost right at 30 minutes, which I find just 'Kick Ass Awesome' after everything else AND on hills!  Oh, and next year....I'm soooooo doing it.....and kicking her ass!!!  (Just a little sisterly love for ya!)