Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Perfect Day!

The last entry on my 25 thankful days leading up to Thanksgiving, could not have been scripted better.

Today we woke up to the sound of nothing. No rain, no wind and a strange object beaming through the windows. Sun! Perfect weather for the Turkey Trot. We got dressed and headed over to the Aquatic Center, my old stomping grounds from high school. If there was one part of today that wasn't perfect it was the packet pick up line. Not having an early packet pickup option yesterday, all had to wait in one of two lines. Judging by the length of the line many folks decided to run this morning given the beautiful day and the likelihood of consuming far too many calories all day.

Once we got the packets we mingled a bit, it was great to see so many people we knew there. Families, dogs, friends all together to enjoy a beautiful Thanksgiving morning. I kissed Sean and wished him good luck as he jockeyed for the front of the pack. Content in my mid-pack placement, I stayed put. I was chatting with a friend when the race started. I had a number in my head I wanted to beat, but who knows with these things. I took off and blasted the music in my ear. As I rounded the corner into the first street I was so excited to see the sea of families in front and behind me. I fell into a pace that felt right and just enjoyed the day.

I was shocked to see as the miles passed that I continued to stay faster than normal. I checked my watch and I was on target to meet my goal. I kept the motivational pounding of "The Killers", "Ozzy" and anything else speed metal like I could find to keep my feet moving. The route weaved in and out of community neighborhoods and people had come out to cheer us on. It was better motivation than I could imagine. Before I knew it I rounded the corner back into the parking lot where I started. That is where I saw Sean. He had finished already and was joining step with me to run me around the track. I checked my watch again and was still on target to finish within my goal. I gave it all I could. My sister's voice "finish strong" pounding in my head. Sean was talking but I couldn't return the conversation. That has never been a problem for me on a run before, guess I've never worked hard enough before!

I finished the 5k in 29:22. My fastest time ever. I was 4th in my age group and 143 out of 476 people. Sean was 2nd in his age group and 19th over all. I'm married to a rabbit.

My friend Melinda finished the 10k with a PR of 58 minutes too. Rockstar! Sean was nice enough to mark the occasion with a photo!

From there we got a well earned Starbucks latte in my favorite red holiday cup and came home to prepare for our Ross Thanksgiving Extravaganza. However, I pointed out to Sean that since this year it is just the two of us and we did whatever we wanted all day that we were more like Todd and Margo in the all time classic Christmas movie "Christmas Vacation." They are the Yuppie next door neighbors, kid free, always doing their own thing.

I was initially disappointed at the abandonment of my family this year. However, it has turned out to be the BEST Thanksgiving in recent memory. Without the pressure to be somewhere or have things cleaned up and ready here, we have just enjoyed each others company, cooked some amazing food and generally had one hell of a fantastic day. We DVR'd the Macy's parade so we could fast forward the crap we hate. I made a chocolate peanut butter pie from scratch which we will be eating in just a few minutes to compliment our turkey sliders we plan to make. Nothing like second suppers!

A great race, a new P/R, fantastic food and the love of my life by my side all day long. Yes day 25, is THE PERFECT Day. I hope yours was too.

Happy Thanksgiving from Margo and Todd!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two Thumbs Up

23. A glowing recheck!

The Dr. was thrilled at my little chunky monkey today. I can't believe the improvement in our boy in two short months.

Now, to get him the exercise he is clearly ready for!

Catch Up

21. Salmon

While it isn't actually my favorite fish, it is always delicious, especially when prepared by someone else. What a great meal to have with Mom before she heads off on her Thanksgiving extravaganza.

22. The Short Week

Wednesday is a cut day so we only had work Monday and Tuesday. I am so thankful for that. Seriously, I love days off. I know I shouldn't enjoy them as much as I do, but what can I say. Today will be spent house cleaning and errand running to get ready for a wonderful and quiet Thanksgiving day tomorrow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Warm, warm and warm!

20. Warm running clothes!

Even with an 11:00am start time to meet my running partner, the thermometer only said 38 degrees this morning. This made me very, very happy to have wonderful cold weather running gear. So today I am thankful for staying warm through 4 miles on a beautiful, cold fall morning!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


19. Dinner with family

Tonight Mom surprised us with a wonderful dinner out at the BBQ joint across the river. Delicious, melt in your mouth brisket, lovely conversation and a genuinely nice time together. Screw the diet today. Sometimes family is more important than vanity.

Cheers Mom! Thanks for a great night!


18. 3 Fools Wine-2009 & 2008 Pinot Noir

There are many reasons why I love this wine. Not only do I know all three fools who crafted it, but it is always delicious. Of course many wines are delicious, so I think the scale tipper (which will probably happen given how much I drank of this last night) is the feeling of happiness I get when I drink a wine that I know was made by three friends who thought it was a good idea to make leap into the wine industry.

Thank you 3 Fools for a delicious Pinot and the perfect ending to a very long week.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Thanks!

15. Pre-Ordered Books

This was the day that the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid came out. Four of my boys pre-ordered it in our October book order. It was like Christmas when the Scholastic order came in. Bliss!

16. Personal Trainers
I've been making myself go to my new gym. Today I splurged and went to my old gym and worked out with my trainer Olivia. No one can work my body or clear my head like she can.

17. Kid Quotes
Today during a particularly difficult math lesson one of my favorite kiddos says "I wish I had 11 hands, then I could do this stuff." You just can't make this up!

Monday, November 14, 2011


I'm so far behind already. Why did I think this was a good idea?

Here Goes:

11-Vetrans's Day-

I'm thankful for all those who have/are/will serve to keep our Country safe. Whether or not I agree with the each particular war we have been in, I am so thankful for those who are willing to lay down their lives to help protect mine. Thank you!

12: Starbucks Winter Cups
I love those holiday cups. They make me smile and genuinely warm my heart. I get giddy when the come out. It's a cup, I know, I'm just crazy like that.

13: Dog Walks
Not for me, but for him. Today I took Rogue on a dog walk and he literally smiled the whole way. He smiled all night too. Seriously. To get that much joy from just a few blocks.

14: Birthdays!
Sarah's birthday specifically. Today I had the honor of spending my sister's 36th birthday with her. I took a personal day and we went for a run, got a Starbucks (In the winter cup of course), ate some delicious and nasty sushi, shopped and generally had a wonderful day together. It was amazing and I loved every minute of it. I am so blessed and thankful to have her back in my life every single day. I haven't spent a birthday with her in 6 years. What a treat!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A sweet savior

Thankful day #10

Two words. Jolly Ranchers.

These sweet little bribery tools make any lesson go better. Like today when our science lesson reading got very dry and the kids got very uninterested. I said, "if you can't learn the scientific method, how will we possibly be able to accurately do the great Jolly Rancher experiment?"

Hook, line and sinker. Oh children your curious nature makes me so happy.

For the record, Blue Raspberry melts the fastest. 5:36 seconds.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


So I think I'm up to day 8 and 9 now. Oops. I've been putting in long hours trying to get stuff set up to take a day off work next week for some birthday celebrating with my sister.

Yesterday I was thankful for a wonderful running co-worker who was willing to go for a run in the dark/rain while we waited for the Parent Club meeting we had committed to attending. Not only did she run with me, but she bought me a Chai Latte to warm me up after. Nice, very nice!

Today I'm thankful for a science lesson that went well. This new rotation of science kids could eat me alive and then hide the bones when they are done. Thank goodness it went well today so I warded off my inevitable demise one more day.

Small miracle! I'll take it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mom to the Rescue!

Day 7-


Specifically, my Mom. Today she went to the DMV for me when I discovered that I had let my tags expire. Who does that? Oh, yeah, I do. Anyway, I work in a different town than I live and I was not remotely sure how I was going to get to the DMV before they closed today. It was bad enough I had to herd the big ass bald tired truck around to work today. Which mind you was quite attractive in the school parking lot with all Sean's beer stickers on the back window-nothing like driving that to a middle school. Now I'm supposed to speed my way to the DMV on the small amount of remaining rubber left on those wheels?

In swoops Mom who is more than willing to go to the DMV for me when I jokingly ask her if her plans for today included a trip to the DMV.

That's love! Thanks Mom!

On a side note I decided to have the kids write in their journals today a list of things they are thankful for. The top two responses were video games and televisions. Seriously kids? Let's see were those things get you when you need someone to go to the DMV.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Project Thankful Day 6

6. An Extra Hour of Sleep

Granted, Rogue ate it up with his ridiculous amount of barking all night which had me traveling from the couch and back to the bedroom in an attempt to get him to shut the hell up, but none the less I appreciate having an extra hour of weekend to enjoy.

I also got a great Fall evening run in. So nice. I ran with Sarah and it was tough to try and keep a decent pace. She is so much faster than me and I don't like to slow people down. So it was a perfect ending to a nice weekend.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Project Thankful Days 1-5

This is November, the official start to the holiday season. While the stores start putting out holiday decorations before Halloween, I prefer to think that it begins with Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. I think it may actually secretly be my favorite holiday. The gathering together with family and friends with no expectations of gifts, hidden agendas, etc. It's simply a way to celebrate the act of being thankful. I look forward to it every year! Ironically, the people I love most are celebrating elsewhere this year so I think it is just Sean and I flying solo, but that doesn't make me any less excited!

Greed, expectations and discontent are something that I get frustrated with on a daily basis. I am constantly trying to train my 3rd graders to be thankful, not greedy. I want them to appreciate what they have and to say thank you rather than ask for more. To them it often falls on deaf ears and they respond to me with rolled eyes. I wonder to myself, "what is it with kids today, why can't they appreciate what they have and where they are?"

I think any movement for change begins with a look within. I have been guilty of the desire for more, the lack of appreciation for what I have and always thinking others have it better than I do.

That thinking stops now. It is hard to be a positive role model while wasting so much time engulfed in negativity myself. What better way to kick off the change than with a month long look at my own life and all the blessings I have.

Since I'm already 5 days behind (is procrastination a blessing?) I will give my first 5 in this posting.

1. A chunky border collie.
Given the fact that this guy was on death's door less than two months ago, I'll take him in any shape. However, this pudgy version is the best!

2. Sweaters
My building still has a problem with the heating system and will randomly spew artic air out of the vents. It is difficult to teach from a puffy coat so sweaters are wonderful!

3. Natural Gas Heat
While I'm happy with sweater warmth at work, I'm ecstatic about having my home heated with natural gas. Instant comfort.

4. Fall Runs
On Tues and Thursday this week I got in some spectacular fall runs on a local trail. The trees are still magnificent, the air was brisk but dry and the conversation great. To me, there is no running season like Fall. Natural beauty everywhere.

5. Law and Order Saturdays
I have watched L &O while sipping coffee for months or maybe years at this point as a weekend morning ritual. At this point I've seen most of them, but with my less than stellar memory that doesn't seem to matter. It's the perfect start to my day.

Wow, that wasn't so hard to find things I'm thankful for and those just scratch the surface. This is going to be a great month!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

7 day recap!

This has been a interesting and inspirational week. First, I spent last Sunday watching my nephew and a small group of his team mates compete in the state cross-country championships. They had to run in the super champs division because there were so few of them. That meant the were running with the fastest of the fast in this state. They poured all they had into that race. I was so proud and inspired. One little girl in particular caught my eye. She was alone at the race, her parents had dropped her off. She ran her heart out the entire time. I trucked from view point to view point cheering her along with the rest of my family, all there to support Zach. I wonder why my family did a better job supporting her than her own.

Then we headed over to Voodoo Donuts. This is a Ross/Johnson post race ritual. However, being the Sunday before Halloween, we drove right through a HUGE Zombie march. Sean estimates the total at like 1000 people, er...Zombies. I think it was more like 500. Either way, it was so much fun to drive through several blocks of the undead. What better way than to finish it up with a VooDoo donut.

Finally Halloween arrived on Monday. This was the first time I've gotten to celebrate with the kids. It was fun to go trick or treating with them. I also consumed my own weight in fun size candy bars that night myself. Which brings me to the new competition I'm in with Stafford. 6 weeks to a better body!

Starting a diet the day after Halloween is genius! So far this week I've gone running twice and quit junk food. It's a good start!