Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The other side

Life is hard.  Sometimes it really sucks.

Right now it really sucks.  But there are blessings.  I just need to remember and focus on those.

I know posting has been erratic and will continue to be so for a while.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  If you are spending it with your family and friends this year, I hope you cherish every moment of it.  If you are not able to do that, cherish the moments you do have with them - no holidays needed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

17 Months


The Doodle is 17 Months old today.  I don't have any idea on height and weight.  Maybe I should look into that.  She is becoming so much more kid like these days.  Her favorite things in the world are being outside, dogs/cows/birds, and saying "uh oh".  This kiddo LOVES to be outside.  She gets that from her Daddy... cause it's certainly not her Momma.

She could walk 10,000 miles in the yard alone, inspecting every blade of grass and bug along the way.  While we were in Benton this past month, she made it her personal goal to pick up all the acorns.  She managed to get that 6" square area cleaned up.

She still loves shoes and wants them on her feet at all times.  When you take her shirt off, she pats her stomach and grins.  She also likes to show her belly button.  If you're not careful, she may point out yours as well. 

She no longer likes her hair pulled back with a pony tail holder.  She will pull it out every single time.  She will accept a barrette or bow pulling it out of her face to the side, which is a nice change.  Her hair is past her shoulders in the back and getting thicker every day.  She's also developing a little curly wave in the back.

She loves to slap her knees and clap her hands.  She loves books and still enjoys playing in her giant box.  We are having a new refrigerator delivered here at work in the next couple of weeks and it might just be Christmas come early in the Smith house for her!

She has finally learned how to drink out of a straw, so now we don't have to carry a sippy cup with us everywhere we go.  That's nice!  And her asthma is improving.  The medicine we started almost a month ago has really made a difference.  Her allergies are acting up right now, but so are everyone else's - ours included.

If she had one Christmas wish, it would probably be for B to love on her and show her some attention.  I don't see that in the cards.  I don't think the dog has had a good track record with little ones with his previous families and he just doesn't want anything to do with her.  She'll live... Copper is always interested in being all over her.

She really is good and listens well.  She'll protest when she doesn't like something, but she'll still go along with it.  I don't expect that to last forever, but it's nice right now.  She was able to have lots of visits with the grandparents this past month, which she totally loved.  Apparently kids are born knowing how to work the grandparent system.

Check back to this post and I'll probably add more pictures this evening.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Old Friends, Young People



One of the great things about quick visits home (which we just recently had) is the ability to catch up with old friends in old haunts.  One of those old haunts for me is The Chimes.  I miss the atmosphere... the long waits for uncomfortable chairs and crappy service but excellent food (and beer).


My name is proudly mounted on the wall on a tiny brass plaque amongst thousands of other names.  May 1998, I finished drinking Around The World at The Chimes.  I even have the t-shirt to prove it.  My mom used to show off my name to her co-workers.  Hopefully the thrill of it has worn off by now. 


And on our recent trip home, I was able to celebrate my birthday at a place where I'd celebrated many birthdays.  Actually, that would be birthdays since I turned 21.  But since I don't look a day over 26, then apparently that's just a handful of birthdays and no big deal.  Alrighty.. end of post.


I kid... about the post... not about looking 26.  I have somehow managed to preserve the fountain of youth... if only I could keep my gray hair covered.  But that's another post for another time.

 

We had a great time on Saturday night.  Thanks to our friends for joining us... and for AutoCorrect on my cell phone... otherwise I might have had notes in my phone I could not understand.


 
  
Frinks in Nishville, anyone?





Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010


There was no great postcard this year.  But the costume was just as fabulous... unfortunately, there's not a great picture of it either.  We may have to stage one this year, after the fact.  But in the meantime, here are a few pictures of our little monkey.


We originally going to Haunt the Zoo here in Oklahoma City.  However, plans changed and we had a quick Trick or Greet (no candy needed) in my old Halloween stomping grounds. 

   

We were the devil because we wouldn't let her run into the street.  And if not for the padded headpiece to her costume, she may have really regretted her trantrum in Mr. Alton's driveway.  But in the end, we had a good time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

After this... a hiatus

So after this last post about running, I'll get back to the posts with pictures of the kid.  Just bare with me.

After the race, I took a week off.  My knee was really stiff and sore.  I thought a week off would be helpful.  I didn't think about running at all once I got over the race recap.  I guess that's good and bad.

Tonight was back to it.  In fact, I started Week 5 of my 9 weeks of training.  I'm mostly running now.  My lungs really were fine.  I was quite slow, but my knees and legs were talking to me the whole time.  Apparently in my week off, I've forgotten everything I've learned about running.

I haven't had on my running shoes since the race.  It felt good to slip them back on.  It was a comfortable, predictable thing.  My goal for tonight was slow and steady.  I had no thoughts or concerns with time.  I just wanted to run my training plan while making sure my knee wasn't too bad off.

I'd been working on my form in my previous 4 weeks.  I'm trying to develop good habits instead of bad ones that I'd have to unlearn when I was no longer praying I didn't die while running.  But tonight, apparently I seemed to have forgotten all about that.  I felt like I was running like Phoebe from Friends.

As big a jump in running as I made in Week 4, I make larger leaps in Week 5.  On Day 3, I'm going to run for 20 minutes straight.  Can anyone say, "OH HOLY CRAP!"?  I've been able to do everything the training has called for when it was called for.  So I believe that I'll be able to do that... but once again... OH HOLY CRAP!

So that's it for the running posts for a while....  Up next  - Caroline, Caroline and more Caroline...

P.S.  Happy Birthday to the most beautiful girl in the world, Jolie!! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hitting Home

You may have noticed over the course of the last couple of weeks that posts have been more running, less baby.  And it's true, the focus for us lately has been training for our Disney 5K.  But I also went back to Weight Watchers at the end of May.  It's not a diet, really.  It's just a new food reality.

Since that time, I've lost 30 pounds.  And it's great.  And I'm happy.  But sometimes it just doesn't hit home how much that is.  My clothes are looser... baggy even.  Some clothes I can't wear anymore.  But I didn't necessarily FEEL different.

Back in July, I bought this great jacket.  I found it on super sale.  I can't even link to it because it was on such super sale that they apparently don't exist anymore.  Just take my word for it - it's a great jacket.  But it didn't quite button.  It fit through the shoulders but that's about it.

I got it because of the price and the knowledge that come fall when I'd wear it all the time, it would button.  So I put it on this morning.... AND IT BUTTONED!  And I don't think my 30 lbs had really hit home until then.  Woot!

Can't wait until the next 30 is gone!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Results

First, I just want to say thank you to everyone for their support and encouragement as I've embarked on this journey. The calls, emails, interest, and motivation are greatly appreciated. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that T is also running, but is on the sidelines right now with knee troubles. So this is a family effort.



Saturday was kind of crazy, really. We had to leave the house by 7:15 at the latest and we did manage to get out earlier than that. Which turned out to be really good because as we approached downtown, the interstate slowed to a crawl. We did manage to park in short order because I didn't follow the crowd and took a street other than the one everyone else in OKC was taking. See, kids? Being different and not a follower can pay off.

We got out of the car and I pinned my bib number to my shirt - nice and crooked, might I add. T didn't even go, "you're number is practically sideways" (which it was). It was a chilly morning, but not really cold. Caroline was sporting a pink sweater in honor of the event and her new blue jeans that I bought a with absolutely no room for growth. I can't imagine we'll be wearing them very long.... glad they were on sale.

We walked 2 blocks over to the race area. It was starting at the Bricktown Ballpark - home of the Oklahoma City Redhawks Triple A baseball team. I parted ways with T and Caroline at the corner before we got into the crowds. They were headed to IHOP for breakfast while I raced.

I made my way to the race queue. I found the back of the 5K pack.... I wanted to be positioned way in the back as to not get in any one's way. One of my fears had been tripping in the mob or getting caught up in a pace that was way too fast for me. When I was talking about this with Stephanie last week, she said that this race wasn't really one for "serious runners" and much more casual than other races.

Serious runners? Wait.... am I a serious runner? She laughed at me and said that I was. She laughs at me a lot.

So the gun went off and it was probably a good few minutes before I even really moved because people were flooding into the race from outside the tape. They didn't bother lining up in the tape prior to the gun going off. Yes, I understand it would have been too crowded, but maybe they should have allowed more space in the queue. I was wanting to start my time when I got to the start line, but my thumb apparently hit it and I'd been on the clock for a couple of minutes while I was standing there waiting to get moving. I did have a sensor on my shoe that would clock my actual time I crossed both the start and finish lines... but I won't know those official results for a while.

Anyway, as I started I was just walking. I was approaching this day as just the final training run of week 4 for me. A typical training run is 2 miles for me right now. For the last 1.1 miles, I figured I'd just do what I could... walk or run... slow or slower.... It should really be called Obstacle Course for the Cure. Runners were jumping up on the sidewalk going around the walkers in the middle that were walking 5 and 6 across in their groups. Even though I was moving faster than the walkers (once I started running), I wasn't jumping up on the sidewalk and then down again. I'm not known for my gracefulness and the last thing I needed was wiping out 2 minutes into the race.

I guess it should also be mentioned that after 4 week of running, my leg muscles were starting to let me know they weren't my biggest fans at the moment. With my leg muscles all stiff, they were causing my knee to hurt.... a lot. I think a lot of it was mental, but some actual pain too (since it's still hurting today). I know I'm not injured though. So I'm scheduling a massage today.... maybe if I hadn't have put it off so long, I wouldn't be in the pain I'm in now.

Anyway, so things were moving along fine. I'm doing my regular training run. Then I get swept up in some crowd and am doing this crazy fast pace for me. I don't even realize I'm doing it until I can't breathe and I haven't even been running that long. I won't know how fast I'm running until long after the race is over. But at the moment, all I know is that I'm wishing for it to be over and I'm not even half way through.

It was great to see all the kids running with their parents. It was great to see the community support of the racers. It was a beautiful weather day. And all I can think about is putting one foot in front of the other. My knee isn't really hurting too much when I run, but it is hurting when I walk. And I'm walking now because I'd been running so fast.

Luckily, a lot of the second half of the race was downhill. Yes, that meant that a lot of the first half of it was uphill. So after taking a few minutes to regroup my head (trust me, I needed more than minutes), I started running again. And I said to myself, "just run to that stoplight." I got to the stoplight and was ok... so I kept running. And I got to the 4K completed mark and realized it was almost over and I wasn't about to die. I had promised T I'd send him a text to let him know when I was coming. So I sent him a quick one and then started on the last uphill climb.

When I got to the top of the uphill climb, there were people cheering us. A softball team had made an arch with their arms and wanted people to run through it.... of course, I obliged. I got some high fives and a final cup of water... and yes, I'm running this whole time. I know, I was surprised I made it through the team arch and didn't trip or fall over too.



And when I got to the base of the bridge and saw the finish line... I also saw my cheering section. T was taking pictures and Caroline was waving... not at me... just at everyone in general. It put a huge smile on my face... I waved back and kicked it in gear to finish.



After I finished, I made my way back to them. T was pushing Caroline up the block in the stroller and she was waving at people like this was her own personal parade. It was so cute it made me laugh out loud. I got a big hug.... and then a water and a banana and we headed to the car.



My finishing time was about 50 minutes. It's not quite fast enough to avoid the giant Mickey hand in January, but also not too bad for my first race. It gives me a place to start to compare future races.

I wasn't even close to the last finisher, so that was pretty cool. I also completed the 3.1 miles faster than I walked 2 miles back in April for the Redbud Classic.... so that's definite improvement. And considering I'm only 4 weeks into 9 weeks of training, I think I did pretty well.

Next up - The Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's time

Race Day is upon us....  well, by this time tomorrow morning, I'll be done.  Hopefully long finished, since the race starts at 8!  I had a good run last night and a personal best time for 2 miles.  I'm under my pace I need to maintain for the Disney race to avoid the dreaded giant Mickey hand that will sweep my slow behind off the course.  Now, can I maintain that for another 1.1 miles?

Tomorrow I'm going to start the race as the final training day of my 4th week.  Once that workout is done, I'm going to run as much as I can, and we'll see where that puts me.  Tomorrow is just a litmus tests of sorts.  Caroline and T will be enjoying breakfast at IHOP while I race, but I can't wait to see their faces at the finish line!

If you are interested in making a donation to Komen Race for the Cure, you can do so HERE.  I appreciate those who have donated so far.

Stay tuned for an update tomorrow evening.... I even hope to have a couple pictures.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Racing for the Cure

I'm registered for my first race.... T is sporting a bum knee, so it's going to be just me.  I'm ok doing it by myself.  In fact, I'm looking forward to seeing my cheering squad at the finish line.  But in the meantime, I've got some fundraising to do.

As you know, Race for the Cure is also about fundraising for the fight against breast cancer.  If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so at my personal link HERE.  I appreciate everyone's support and encouragement as I continue on this journey.

I'll have race pictures and updates next weekend.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Game Plan

Well, I've done it.  I've finished 2 weeks of my 5K training plan.  It's a 9 week program, which still leaves me quite a while after I'm done with the training program before our Disney 5K in January.

Stephanie and I were talking this week about "racing season."  It's a totally new concept to me, but apparently once the weather cools off, you can run a race just about every weekend if you want to.  We made plans for our upcoming races. 

T, Caroline and I will be participating in our first 5K on Saturday, October 9th.  Yep... that's in 2 weeks.  We are doing the Race for the Cure (I'll have donation information up soon if you're interested) in Downtown OKC.  Caroline will be riding, even though she does motor around the house now.

I obviously know that I can't run the whole 5K right now.  However, I can continue with my training and do the best I can.  Most importantly, it will give us a base time to measure against for future races, including Disney.

The next race with be the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  T won't be able to go with us because he's working, but it will be a great way to start a holiday focused on eating.  Our final race before Disney will be the Santa Run on Dec. 4th (Leslie's 30th birthday, by the way).

I think it's a good plan.  I'm excited to see our progress as we get better.

Friday, September 17, 2010

No turning back now!

I finished Week 1 of the Couch Potato to 5K training program.  And I didn't die.  I managed to get highly motivated along the way.  Well, motivated by things other than fear.  That fear being the giant gloved Mickey hand that will sweep me off the race path if I don't maintain a 16 minute mile pace for the Disney 5K.

This big race idea started as support for Nick and Stephanie as they run the half marathon.  Yes, I said that right... 13.1 miles!  They need familiar faces to cheer them on and congratulate them when they finish.  So I said we'd take one for the team and travel to Disney World to support them.

Somehow that show of support morphed into us participating in the 5K.  We signed up in June.  We had 7 months to train...... hell, after that long, we'd have no problems with the required pace.  But we didn't really start training.  It was hot, you know.

But now.... we've started.  And oh holy crap, I now know that I can actually do this!  It blows my mind every time I think about it.  My first mile tonight was my best mile time yet AND it included my 5 minutes of walking warm-up. 

I felt good.  I trusted myself and my ability.  I envisioned myself running through Epcot (in no way similar to the College Program, Claudia).  I was well over half-way through before I even LOOKED at my time.  I was ok just running. 

Week 1 is in the books.  I'll probably start Week 2 on Sunday instead of Monday... just because I'm excited to test myself with longer run periods.  Did I just say that?  Apparently, I did.  I'm now excited about exercise.

It's all over but the crying.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

All you have to do is do it.

This video found me tonight.  If this can't inspire you, I'm not sure what will.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just Do It

I am the queen of excuses.  I can come up with 10,000 reasons for or against something.... especially if it's something I do or don't want to do.

In theory, I'm a runner.  But to make theory match reality, I needed a few things first.  I needed the iPod Nano and Nike+ sensor so that I could track my workouts.  I had an iPod but it was a first generation and didn't work with the Nike+.  So I got those... in January 2008.  But it was winter... so no running then... right?

Then I got pregnant... so no running program starting then... right?

Then I'd just had a baby by emergency c-section.... so definitely no running then.... right?

Then once I was healed and ready to start again, I needed new shoes.  I needed the Nike+ shoes that held the sensor that I'd bought back in 2008.  So I got those in January 2010.  And they sat in the box, in my living room.  It was winter... there's no running then... right?

So I broke them out of the box in April for the Redbud Classic, where we walked for 2 miles.  And I was motivated.  I was going to start walking before I started running.  Because there was no way that I was in shape enough to start the Couch to 5K program.  Yes, I was so out of shape, I couldn't start a program for COUCH POTATOES!

And then it got hot.... so there's no running then... right?

And then my Nike + sensor went out, so I needed another one....

And then I realized I needed a new sports bra.... so I had to order one of those.  And no, I couldn't find one in a store.

And then after putting off starting this program for 2 years, during July, I signed up for a 5K race in January that requires me to maintain a 16 minute mile pace.  That will motivate me, right?  But it's too hot to be outside, let alone start running.... right?

So now it's the middle of September.  I've got a little over 100 days till my race.  So what's a girl to do?

She runs.  And I did. 

I ran the entire program for Week 1, Day 1 of my training.  I never thought I could actually do it.  I thought I was too out of shape for the couch potato program.  I'm not a couch potato... I'm a couch... right? 

I did not run fast.  I did not run far.  But I did run the entire training run with no cheating.  I was half-way through before the thoughts of quitting even entered my head.  And then I thought, "HOLY CRAP, I'M HALF-WAY THROUGH!  I'm not stopping now!"  I also thought about my dear friend asking me about it tomorrow.  I knew she'd be supportive no matter what.... but I wanted to be able to tell her I did it. 

And I did.

**This is no attempt to be an advertisement for Nike. Nike has no idea who I am and does not care anything about me.**

Thursday, September 9, 2010

15 Months


Caroline is 15 months old today.... can you believe it? She's walking and talking and trying to rule the roost. Some days she's more successful than others at all three.


She's just finished cutting a new tooth and that combined with allergies made for a tough Labor Day weekend. We didn't get much sleep or many things accomplished. She did, however, start swimming lessons. That went wonderfully!


She gripped me pretty tight at first, but after a few minutes, she relaxed. I was even able to get her to float on her back for a while. She kept putting her face in the water and drinking big gulps. And she kept burping... loudly... that echoed throughout the indoor pool.

But she had fun... and so did we. Which is good, since it's every Saturday through October! T took a ton of pictures, I just haven't sorted through them yet. That's on the agenda for next week.


Silly should be Caroline's middle name. Right now it's very funny to put things on top of her head. Just sitting there, hanging out with a toy on her head... and then she giggles to get your attention. You laugh and her audience is amused and she's happy.


She's throwing far fewer tantrums now that she can walk and communicate better with us. But she still gets upset if she doesn't get her outside time with the dogs in the evening. That's her afternoon activity with Daddy because Momma isn't interested.


With the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine moving through the state yesterday, there was no outside time. And this resulted in a whining, crying, demon goat for about an hour. I had enough and announced it bedtime.


Her hair is down to her shoulders (when it's combed straight). Most days it's flipped up in every direction. After being so dark and so straight for so long, all of her new growth is MUCH lighter (I'd even say blonde) and has a definite curly flip to it. The top stuff is still dark and straight and hangs directly into her mouth if I don't pull it back. I even managed to get pigtails up one day. They have much better luck with hairdos at school. My goal is out of her face.
I don't have height or weight measurements, but I'd guess she's grown at least an inch since June (her last doctor visit). All of her current wardrobe is showing that growth too. We've got new fall clothes, but we're just waiting on the weather to catch up.


Now it's time to think about a Halloween costume. How do we top the chicken?

Friday, September 3, 2010

We're all undefeated

Tomorrow kicks off the college football season for most teams (aside from the handful that has played the last 2 days).  Right now, everyone is undefeated and the season is full of possibilities.

This time of year has a mix of emotions for me.  On one hand, I'm extremely excited to have college football back on televsion.  I really miss Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium, but can still follow along with most of the coverage.  But on the other hand, I'm nervous about what kind of team we will be fielding this year.

It's not like you're going hear local reporters trash talking the football team before they've ever even played a down.  My point is that it's not really objective.  We all HOPE that what we are seeing will translate well to the field.  But no one really knows for sure.

So in 21 hours, we'll have a better idea but definitely won't know for sure.  How can we judge our team against a team stripped of so much of their talent?

I vow now to be optimistic and hold my tongue while watching the game.  Caroline is starting to repeat things we say!

Geaux Tigers!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Step by Step

No, this isn't a clip of the popular New Kids on the Block hit, although I was tempted to include that.  We were finally able to get a little video of her walking tonight.  We hid the camera, thus the bad angle and low sound.  Although the sound is mostly just us encouraging her.

Monday, August 30, 2010

All the kings horses and all the kings men....


The great mystery water saga has finally come to an end. The house is starting to look normal again. At least as normal as it can look with one really messy person (me) and a toddler who thinks the more spread out her toys are, the better.

On Saturday, we went into town and bought the replacement carpet pad. After Caroline went to sleep that evening, T put the carpet back in place. It's not a professional job, but it works for now. We will eventually put down wood floors... it's just not in the budget right now. I would imagine that will occur after we get our next tax refund.

As we put each piece back into the office, it got a thorough cleaning, which was sorely needed. I haven't gone through all the junk that was piled up in there. That will take time. But the large furniture pieces are back in place, including the computer.

We did some rearranging and it makes the floor space seem a lot larger. So as long as we keep from putting stuff on the floor to stash it out of the way, it will stay nice.


I guess it's a happy ending for something that started out as so disastrous last week. We didn't lose anything, which was unbelievable considering the amount of water in there. But it was a wake up call for us.


The plan is to install water sensors on all our major appliances that will alert us to a leak. Considering this is our second leaky pipe in this house, it seems like a small investment to save a lot of headaches. We will also be turning off the water when we leave the house for a trip longer than overnight.

So let's just hope this is the end of our house-induced cleaning.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Um, whose idea was this?




What was I thinking? Only 15 things for the next month? I must have been under the influence of something. I certainly wasn't in my right mind.


So I've got my picks made. I'll have nice pictures before we start this wacky idea on Wednesday.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fashionista

No, I'm not talking about myself.  I'm happy not to spill something on my shirt.  I'm talking about my very particular little girl.  She has always known exactly what she likes.

Her latest love affair?  Well, it's shoes.  And T weeps at the thought of this problem as she gets older.  I know it sounds completely crazy, but the kid loves her sandals.  I often referred to her as Shoeless Joe.  It doesn't help that her feet are so stinking small.  We've inherited tons of shoes, but most of them don't fit yet.
So with some of her birthday money, I bought her this pair of shoes at Target in June.  They were on sale, so I didn't feel too bad if she decided to only wear them once.  We wore them a couple of times, but they always came flying off in a fit.

Then she moved to the Bumble Bee room.  They get to spend time outside... and she loves to be outside like her Daddy.  But like her Momma, she's not intersted in actually touching the nature.  So she keeps her shoes on all day.  And I can't believe these shoes have held up to a month of the torture that is Bumble Bee room.  That's part of the reason I'm showing you a stock picture of the shoes... Caroline's are now very dirty.

So while most kids have thick, chunky, easy to walk in shoes, my daughter has thong sandals with decroative butterflies.  The real kicker?  She cries when I take them off!!  Whenever she sees them, she tries to put them on her feet.   She just loves her shoes!

I couldn't wear sandals with something between my toes until last year.... apparently Caroline is tougher than her Momma!

Friday, August 27, 2010

15:30 - Can you do it?

When we were looking at houses in Oklahoma, the one we wound up purchasing (I say that like we wrote one big check... the one we wound up committing the next 30 years of our paychecks to) stood head and shoulders above our 2nd choice.  Why?  The kitchen and the master bedroom closet.

If you know me, you know I've got a lot of stuff.  Over the years, I've gone through periods of getting rid of stuff.  But it always tends to reaccumulate.  This is particularly true of clothes.  The issue is that I have such a wide range of sizes hanging in my closet that I could be a clothing store.

Last summer, Leslie and I went through and weeded out all the stuff that if I ever could fit in again, would be completely out of date.  That did get through a lot of stuff.  But knowing that I do tend to lean toward classic pieces, it still left a lot of stuff hanging in my closet.

The truth is that I wear the same stuff over and over again.  Don't we all?  So in an attempt to be more pulled together and not getting dressed in the dark just grabbing whatever's on top of the pile, I'm participating in the 15:30 challenge. 

The background and details are chronicled here and here.  This is not my idea and I do not take credit for it.  But it did get me thinking.  So here are the rules and the adjustments for erratic September weather (as is apt to occur in Oklahoma) as taken from the first link.

1. Select 15 items from your closet: These can include shirts, trousers, jeans, cardigans, dresses, etc — in short, clothing. Make your final selections by August 30th. Each Wednesday, check the forecast for the next 7 days and adjust as needed, but ONLY in response to the weather. In other words, if the temperature drops from today’s near-100 high to something more appropriate for September (say, highs in the 70s) you can trade a tank top for a long sleeved tee. But you cannot trade one tank top for another just because you’re bored. That’s a no.



2. Use unlimited accessories: Remix your outfits relying on all of your jewelry, shoes, scarves, outerwear (blazers/suit jackets do not equal outerwear!), and belts.


3. Captain Obvious: your pajamas and lounge-at-home clothing do not count, undergarments do not count, gym clothes do not count. I’m going to add my weekend pre-shower wardrobe of shorts and tees that are fit only for housework to this category; I’m also lumping my running clothes in here, for — as Felicia says — obvious reasons.  (Nicole edit: I'm not including my chosen sporting team gear for football, since that's what is typically worn around the house on Saturdays in Smithville.)


4. Make the COMMIT LIST: Document your list on your blog, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, loose-leaf paper, etc. Feel free to snap photographs of the items, list them — get creative! This is your commit list, and you can’t stray from it. Stain on shirt? DEAL WITH IT. Cat ripped your pants? Get a SEWING KIT. If you amend based on the weather, update your list. Keep the total to 15 pieces, and stick with those pieces for at least a week; only change them out if the temperature soars or drops dramatically. As it hopefully will in September.


5. Keep a diary: Document your outfits each day, whether it be via an “outfit of the day” photo or a log of what you’ve worn and how you’ve mixed it up.


6. Ask for help!: Call your friends, pen a blog. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for help on creative ideas on keeping your wardrobe fresh!

I would add one last thing: don’t be afraid to make your own rules. If you only want to do this for work, or only for the weekend, then do it; the idea is to get you to think smarter about what’s in your closet and how you can wear it, and to give you a break from the slog of getting dressed.
So that's the deal.  Since I practically wear the same thing every day, I'm not sure this will be such a stretch for me.  But it may encourage me to put together things that I didn't think about.  So I'll pick my 15 things this weekend and have pictures on Monday. 

Comment if you'd like to join me in this challenge (or don't... although I'd prefer a comment).  It should be fun!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It ends

Ok, so it's not completely over... but the water has stopped flowing in Smithville!  Plumber came yesterday.  T pointed to the spot in the wall.  Thirty minutes and $79.25 later the leak was fixed.

Now we just have to put the house back together.... for now, we are just replacing carpet pad.  We were able to dry out the carpet quickly enough that it's not moldy.  And while it is stained, the filing cabinets are going right back in the same place, so it will be covered for now.

Eventually, we will replace the carpet.  I'm thinking we'll do wood floors.  But that's a project for another weekend.

So we'll add the cost of the carpet pad into our total and I would imagine we are getting out of the little fiasco for just a couple hundred bucks... far less that I was envisioning when I was thinking we might have to cancel the Disney trip!

Smith luck makes me ask, "What's next?"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's getting better



Last night, I got home and vacuumed up the mini-lake in the office. The mystery source of water was still flowing. It wasn't any worse and the rate of water flow didn't seem to be increasing. That was a positive thing, right? I was trying to be positive.

T got home from his quick out of town trip about the same time I got home with the Doodle. After we changed clothes and got her dinner ready, he started doing some more investigating. This time he went a little more in depth than on Sunday.

Upon further investigation in the hot water heater closet, he heard a dripping sound. So he opened up some drywall and pulled out the insulation and found the puddle of water that was flowing into the office (right on the other side of the wall).

He mopped up what he could and wanted to see if he could figure out a better idea of where the drip was coming from. After dinner, he went back and pulled out more insulation. Apparently once, he pulled the insulation away from the actual leak, he could hear the spraying water. I could hear it when I walked into the garage.

The insulation matted up against the pipe had kept it from spraying everywhere and was causing the drip. So I emptied the coat closet that shared the back wall of the hot water heater closet. Upon doing so, I could see signs that the leak was right there. The wall wasn't wet, but the baseboard was pulled away a little and the wall was hot.

Looking more closely, you can tell that they've had to go through it before to work on the hot water heater. Why didn't they just put an access panel there instead of redoing the drywall? That doesn't make any sense to me. Once we're done, it WILL be an access panel.

Anyway, we turned the water off last night once we were ready for bed. This morning we woke up to a dry office! Can I get an AMEN? Woot!

The plumber is coming at 2 today. He'll fix the pipe... and we'll go back to living normal lives instead of vacuuming up a lake of water from the office every 2 hours. And no, we won't leave the drywall open for 2 years like the last time we had a leaky pipe. This weekend is now declared "home improvement weekend". Yippee for us.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It is worse

Yeah... it's a leak.  This isn't Smith Luck... it's just BAD LUCK!  Given all my plumbing knowledge, I declare this a leak.  If you can't tell by the picture, that is standing water, not just a damp foundation.  Making calls to the plumber today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It could have been worse

I know I've talked about Smith Luck. It's not something I believed in until I became a Smith... but it DOES exist. It could be considered just bad luck, but it's more than that. It's weird luck. If it's a 1 in a million chance, it will happen.

Our office is our dumping ground for junk. The junk room used to be the guest room, but once the baby arrived, people wanted to visit... so we had to clean that out. And yes, it's cleaned out for those of you who've visited and thought it was a little junky.... it IS clean (considering its past). Anyway.... so the office is where we quickly stash stuff out of the living room and close the door.

It's right off the living room and to your immediate right when you come in the front door. It's where we house all of our computer equipment, plus other office things like filing cabinets and bookshelves, etc. So imagine our horror when T walked in there last night to get his computer and stepped into a puddle of water.


He immediately thought AC or hot water heater.... so he took off to check those, while I started pulling stuff out of the way and sopping it the top layers of water. It was strange because none of the walls were wet or the baseboards. Nothing was looking warped, etc.


We checked all our mechanical systems and found nothing. We put our ear to the floor and heard no running water. We walked out the front door to see if we could see if we could see anything from the outside. And then it hit me... we've been watering the flowers right by the front door. Overwatering to be exact... but watering none the less.


So our best guess is that in the process of our over-watering last week, we managed to soak the foundation too, which was getting directly hit with the sprinkler. And it just managed to seep up through the foundation into our office.


It has obviously been going on a while because the office smells... and the filing cabinets rusted onto the carpet. We hadn't watered since Thursday or Friday and it wasn't wet then when we stashed sutff into the office to "clean" the living room before our friends arrived.


We dug out our wet/dry vac from the garage. It was a wedding gift still in the box. Those are one of those things that you don't need often, but when you do, you do. So T vaccummed up tons of water... at least 4 gallons.


It was still smelling, so we made the decision to pull up and get rid of the carpet pad which was just completely soaking wet. So we (and I use "we" very loosely) pulled up the carpet and carpet pad. On a good note, there was no crack in the foundation and we definitely couldn't hear running water.



Also, there was no construction debris under the carpet, which made me happy. You never know what's down there!!

So we have office stuff all over the house and an exposed foundation in the office. For now, we are waiting for it to dry out. After that, then we'll decide what we are going to do.

It DEFINITELY could have been a lot worse. But how does this happen from watering plants? As a rule, we don't water... I guess we learned our lesson! Aside from the stained carpet and moldy carpet pad, we didn't lose anything. With all our computer equipment in that room, it could have been very bad.

We needed to clean out the office anyway... apparently the house was ready for it before we were.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our little firecracker


We are finally making our way to pictures from 4th of July!  We had a great time at Stephanie, Nick and Mason's house.  It did rain, but we tried not to let that dampen our spirits.  It was quite fun to see all the adults sitting in the garage with the phones out all comparing weather maps telling each other when it was going to stop raining.  And no, I didn't get a picture.  I was too busy looking at my map.


Where were the kids while we were watching the radar?  They were playing in the rain... well, that kids that can walk (which is everyone but Caroline) were playing in the rain.


I managed to conquer my battle with cake pops that plagued me as I was prepping for Caroline's party.  In retrospect, I should have attempted those BEFORE the week of the party.  It might have made for much less stress.  But that's just not the way I do things sometimes.


The rain cleared as the afternoon wore on and we fired up the grill.  We brought green onion sausage, which is a special treat for us since we have to have it imported.  Yes, imported to Oklahoma... if you ever want to know what we need, it's Manda's green onion sausage.  You just can't buy pork sausage up here... but that's another post for another day.


Caroline didn't flinch at firecrackers, which surprised me.  But she was not fond of the big booms of the large, pretty fireworks.  Those made her try and climb up T's neck like a cat.  We didn't make it through the whole night.  We tried to put her to sleep, but the noise kept waking her up.  So we left mid-show and she was asleep before we even made it to the road.


We got home to two dogs who wanted to crawl under the bed and stay there for two weeks.  If you're not familiar with our area during this holiday, please reference this post.  It was a rough night for me.



In case you forget....

July 4, 2009
Why weren't they feeding this baby?  I believe I used the term "freakishly long" to describe her.