Since cross country ended, I feel like I have so much extra time on my hands! It's been an odd feeling for the last few days. The cross country recognition night on Wednesday went really well. The kids were excited and proud of their accomplishments, which was the whole point, so it was successful. When we got home that night, and the kids were getting ready for bed, Eli said to me, "I'm so proud of myself." When I asked why, he said, "Because I earned the M.I.R. Award" (M.I.R. was for "Most Improved Runner). It was cute :)
Yesterday, it was ridiculously cold and windy in the morning. It was 36 degrees outside, which wouldn't have been too bad, if not for the wind. I walked Noah to the bus stop, and we waited for 25 minutes! Finally, we walked back home and I drove him to school. There were eight other kids (at three stops) who were also waiting, so I know we didn't miss the bus. The bussing system has been really screwed up this year, and it's frustrating. Anyway, we were freezing at the bus stop, so after I got both kids to school, I really had no desire to run outside.
I dusted off the treadmill (it's been a long time since I used it) and decided to run three miles on the 'mill. Instead of watching a show (I'm not currently watching any series right now, so I didn't want to spend forever trying to pick something to watch), I listened to a podcast while I ran. I decided to see if I could set the treadmill at 7.0 mph and run the entire 3 miles at that speed. I can't even remember the last time I used that speed setting on the treadmill, haha.
It was tough, but it didn't kill me, and I actually did it! I was really tempted to lower the speed, especially after the second mile, but I knew I was physically capable of sticking it out to the end. It felt good to do a hard run like that!
It's hard to believe that tomorrow will be the second Halloween without Mark. I used to love Halloween, and I looked forward to it every year, mainly because we celebrated Mark's birthday. For thirty years, Mark always told us his birthday was on Halloween--and it wasn't until he was in the hospital, and we saw his hospital bracelet, that we discovered it wasn't until November 1st ;)
Last year, none of us felt like doing "the usual" for Halloween, because it felt wrong without Mark. Instead, my parents went to the movies; I handed out candy at my house; and Jerry and his mom took the kids trick-or-treating. Earlier in the day, we brought the stuff for ice cream sundaes to Mark's group home for the guys to enjoy on Mark's birthday.
Today, I decided to get cupcakes to bring to the group home. I'd like to continue to bring something each year, in Mark's memory (he would be 60 years old this year!). When I dropped the cupcakes off today, the woman who was working said that if Mark were still here, he would have driven them all crazy by this time of the month. He looked forward to celebrating his birthday at my parents' house every October, and according to her, talked about it non-stop all month long ;)
In addition to the cupcakes, I decided to get some $5 gift cards to McDonald's to pass out to parents tomorrow during trick-or-treat, in memory of Mark.
I made eight of them. I don't get a lot of trick-or-treaters where I live, so I bought full size candy bars to hand out to the kids (I always used to get so excited if someone was giving out full size candy bars when I went trick-or-treating! haha); and I'll give the gift cards randomly to some parents. I think Mark would have liked the idea of the McD's gift cards!