Nevis to St. Kitts Cross Channel Swim

13 Apr

My husband usually gets annoyed when I try to sneak in some sort of race while on a family vacation. But this time he only has himself to blame. The night before our flight to St. Kitts he sent me a link with information on a unique race. A 2.5 mile open ocean swim from the island of Nevis over to St. Kitts. Sounds amazing right?!? Of course I haven’t been training for a swim event. In fact, my last open water swim was my half Ironman in 2012. But how could I say no?

So 2 days later he found himself on a ferry, taking me to the start of the race :) Good husband!

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A beautiful double rainbow before the race started!! Ahhhhh, paradise. In the second picture do you see the white puffy cloud in the middle? The finish line was just under that cloud.

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I think there were about 200 swimmers in this 13th annual event. The winner came in at 1.03.17. The last swimmer finished in a grueling 4 hours and 41 minutes. Ages ranged from 10 years old to 70 years. The water was warm, beautiful, and clear…I could see the bottom of the ocean the entire swim. When I wasn’t exhausted and wishing my nose wasn’t on fire from the salt water, it was an incredibly enjoyable swim. Felt like I was snorkeling…watching sea turtles, sting rays, starfish, and of course tons of tropical fish along the way. Soooo much fun!

Here I am below…happy to be done. Finally. In the middle of the swim I was seriously doubting my desire to ever do a full Ironman (which is a 2.4 mile swim). It is a loooong time to be in the middle of the ocean. But now that it’s over, I think I’ll hold onto that dream. As long as I train for it….duh.

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And finally….after 1 hour, 38 minutes and 47 seconds…I am on Reggae Beach in St. Kitts, enjoying a pina colada with Justin at the finish line :)

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Such an amazing and fun event!

Turning 5

13 Apr

We had so much fun celebrating Pierce’s birthday this year. It started with a day trip into the city for him to pick out his own birthday presents at FAO Shwartz. Pierce loves the city and although he begged to stay overnight in a hotel with dad, he instead settled for a trip to Hooters for wings and beer (sprite) to end their fun boys day out in NYC.

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He had an awesome birthday party with all of his friends…complete with pizza, a dance party and ice cream sundaes. Perfect day!

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A mini party in the morning before school with cake for breakfast…

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And the party continues with his “John Reindeer” tractor. Fun for both Pierce and Addi :)

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Happy birthday to the sweetest, smartest, goofiest, most special 5 year old I know. We love you P!

 

Buh bye, winter. Maybe?

19 Mar

Moving to New York I was super nervous about the harsh winters. Tomorrow, March 20th is the official first day of spring. Not only did I survive our first winter (EVER) but I actually quite liked it. It had a late start this year, but the snow came on strong in January and kept coming again and again and again. I think it ended up being the 3rd coldest February on record. There were mounds of snow like I’ve never seen before, and it was new and fun and beautiful. And now that it’s mid-March I’m like….okay snow. Time to say goodbye. Everyone’s had enough of you. It’s brown and dirty and gross and sand/salt mix is everywhere inside my house. I haven’t seen grass in months. Until recently. We’ve had some warm days – albeit warm is relative. Anything above 32 feels warm now and I seriously consider even bringing a jacket out if it’s in the 30’s – and the snow is melting. The sun is out, and the icicles are gone. Everyone is ready and excited for spring. The verdict? It’s fun living in a place with seasons. Gives me something to look forward to and be excited about. Turns out, just as you tire of winter…a new season comes along!

These pictures were taken only 13 days apart. This is crazy to me!! The snow day on top was March 5th. And the bottom one was taken just yesterday. I can finally see my front porch again.

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But wait…HOLD UP! I’m learning why winter gets a bad wrap. Just when you think it’s over, they predict a late snow storm to drop 5 inches of snow on…you guessed it….tomorrow…the first day of spring!!

Our spring break is in 2 weeks. Looking forward to the warmer weather, sunshine and some good ole fashioned vitamin D.

#mombrag

7 Feb

I’m always a proud mom, but today…well today was pretty special. Pierce had his first Tae Kwon Do belt test. And he NAILED IT!!!

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Not only was he awarded his double yellow belt, but he was also surprised with an award for his leadership skills and the tremendous progress he’s made since his first class – back in November.

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His fan club was there in full force to support him…mom, dad, sister, Nini, Uncle Thomas….and even his best friend from school came out (in the snow) to cheer him on.

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We are so proud of this guy. But what really makes this day so special is to see how proud he is of himself. We celebrated with pizza, ice cream and a new Rescue Bot Transformer. Love this kid!

Baby’s 1st birthday

14 Jan

Even when I take a moment to sit and reflect on the last year, I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s been a whole year since this moment.

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Hooooowwww?? It feels impossible that a year can go so quickly. Even when our life today is so different than it was on this day last year, it still escapes me how I can have a daughter who is one. Today I called a handful of schools to enroll her in for fall. How is this possible?!? I’m filled with that all too familiar bittersweet mixture of joy and sadness. Joy watching my baby girl grow up, amazing us every day…and the nagging sadness that it’s all passing far too quickly.

We had a small family celebration at home, allowing big brother to decorate the cupcakes and hang (his handmade) decorations.

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She loves cake, no surprise there! She loves almost all food and will out eat her brother at almost every meal.

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She just kept shoveling it in! And I just kept letting her. She was so happy!

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Addi likes: dancing, the dog, bath time – or any body of water, laughing, eating, giving kisses, and anything that belongs to her brother/or anything her brother is doing

Addi dislikes: re-fried beans

Happy birthday my sweet Addison, our little miracle baby who was totally worth the wait.

Winter is finally here

10 Jan

Today I came across these old pictures on facebook, posted back in October. I laughed at us.

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We had only been living here a few weeks and look at us…so bundled up! The temps were probably in the high 60’s but we were freezing, lol. I wore that exact outfit today – the high was 23. And if you notice, everyone but us is wearing a short sleeve t-shirt! Just gave me a good laugh, that’s all.

We had more snow come through yesterday, which made for quite an exciting morning. Even though we have a service for plowing the driveway I volunteered to shovel it myself to burn a few extra calories

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And…BOOYAH! Here are a couple before/after pics. It took me 90 minutes to clear our (long ass) driveway….not to mention like 4 phone calls to my mother-in-law to be sure I was doing it right :)

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Once Pierce got home after school, he “helped” clear the sidewalk to the front door. He loved shoveling the snow almost more than sledding. I couldn’t drag him away from the shovel

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I had to take a quick picture of our house in the snow because it’s still a little surreal to me this is my life. After the morning blizzard finished, the afternoon sun came out and it was a gorgeous day!

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Here are the kids enjoying the snow…

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It’s 17 degrees here right now, with a wind chill of 2. Our sunny beach days in Penang feel like a distant memory. I see my son’s Crocs in his closet every day and laugh that those used to be the only shoes he owned.

Breaking news: I drove in snow today

6 Jan

In my former life this type of weather would have shut down the city and we would’ve stayed home all day. Let’s be honest, Austinites can’t even drive in rain! Obviously not the case up here. My son had school today (and we had mandatory errands to run after school like renew his passport) so I had no choice but to leave the house and try out my snow legs.

This is our driveway. I nervously watched the snow accumulate as I waited for school to end.

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I know…I know…it’s like hardly any snow. And those of you who have lived in cold climates (my husband included) are laughing at this “breaking news”. But for this Texas girl it was a big step. I have a snow setting on my AWD vehicle – no I didn’t use it today – but it made me realize I have no idea what I’m doing in the snow. Thank god the snow plow/sand truck drove by just as I was pulling out. I followed his trail the whole way :)

Go me! I did it! And with the weather forecast, I’ll be doing it again (and again, and again) very soon. Wish me luck!

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