August 22, 2016

Winding down summer

Summer is winding down so quickly, and it seems like there is still so much to do before school starts! I've been trying to pack in some fun times with the kids before we head to Virginia Beach. They start school the day after we return home, so I've also been trying to get everything ready for that.

I can't even tell you how many times I've been fishing in the last month or two. Eli has been kind of obsessed with fishing lately, and even though I'm not a fan, I'm glad that he has such a big interest in an outdoor activity that doesn't involve modern technology ;)

He's actually been getting super creative by making his own lures! He keeps asking for odds and ends around the house (an aluminum can, staples, a wine cork, etc.).

Again, I love that he's taken such an interest, so I oblige his requests. Here is the first lure he made--he made this out an aluminum can, scissors, markers, and a hole punch.

He's actually been doing pretty well catching fish, too. When he's with me, I have no idea where the good fishing spots are (nor do I have a boat... or a clue about lures and bait), so he tends to catch little bluegill or other fish that I have no idea what they are; when he's with my dad, who is pretty much a pro, he catches perch and huge walleye.

Anyway, I've been planning a lot of little outings that involve a body of water of some sort so that Eli can get his fill of fishing. He's been counting down the days until we go to Virginia Beach, because he wants to fish in the ocean.

A couple of days ago, I met up with Emily, a reader of my blog. She lives on the western side of Michigan, but was going to be visiting her boyfriend on the eastern side over the weekend, so she asked if I would want to meet up. We went out for drinks on Saturday afternoon, and it was so fun! I always get so nervous to meet people (it's basically like a blind date--except she knows way too much about me from blog, and I knew nearly nothing about her! ha).

Yesterday, Jerry had his first day off in nearly a month! We wanted to do something fun with the boys, so we decided to go to Elizabeth Park, a nice park next to the lake where Jerry and I used to go frequently when we were dating. We brought Joey with us, and packed a picnic lunch. Yesterday was the first day we've had in a while that wasn't incredibly humid--the weather was GORGEOUS, and perfect for a picnic.

Unfortunately, about a minute after we'd pulled into the park, we got pulled over by the police. Jerry was driving 25 mph, and the speed limit was 15 mph. We had been pointing out a bridge to the kids that Jerry and I had photos taken on (back in 2000 or something), and didn't even realize we were speeding. Thankfully, the cop was nice enough to give us a verbal warning and not a ticket; he also gave each of the kids a little deputy badge sticker and told them to make sure that we drive the speed limit, haha.

Eli brought his fishing pole, of course, so he spent the afternoon trying to catch fish. Jerry and I were happy to just lie on our backs and look at the sky. The clouds were so perfect that the scene looked like a painting.

When we got home, we ended up doing yard work. We have a ton of gravel and dirt next to the driveway from when we built the garage two years ago, and it's been sitting there ever since, driving me crazy. Finally, I decided to start pulling weeds, and then Jerry grabbed a shovel and started moving the gravel to a low spot in the yard that floods when it rains. Eventually, we got the boys out there helping, too, so we had quite the production line going. I was pulling weeds, Jerry and Noah were digging up the gravel and wheeling it to Eli, who was spreading it in the yard.

As not-fun as it sounds, we actually had a really good time working on the yard together. It's still not done, but it looks much better already. Later, the kids went to my parents' house and Jerry and I sat in the garage and watched Making a Murderer. I know, we're the last ones on earth to watch it, but I tried watching it before and just couldn't get into it.

This morning, Noah had his first cross country practice. The team met at the State Park, so I decided to get in my run while I waited for his practice to get over (practice is an hour long, so it was a great time for me to run as well). It was super nice again this morning. I ran four miles at a 9:37/mi pace. That pace felt pretty tough! My average heart rate was 159 bpm, which is in that zone that doesn't really help out much--too slow for speed work, but too fast for aerobic.

I haven't been doing any speed work lately, mainly because it's been so humid that I just don't want to; and I can tell that I'm getting out of shape. I think after we get home from Virginia Beach, I'll start doing a little speed work to get back up to par with where I was a few months ago. For right now, though, it's been nice to just run easy and cut back on mileage. Hopefully that will make me excited to get back to training hard in the spring!


  1. Your family is so freaking adorable! I find it really neat how you have to have patience with your running just like weight loss, you may not be where you were a few months ago, but with time/willpower (whatever you want to call it) you know you can get back there. Does that even make any sense? Like maybe training and running has taught you to be a little more forgiving of when you may gain weight? I'm not a runner, so that totally stood out to me at the end of your post. Also - how impressive is it that a young boy can be so interested in something other than tech stuff these days! Major thumbs up to you ;)

  2. Those fish were huge! (in the second pic)

    How neat that your boy is into making his own lures, etc... I bet it's a great bonding experience with your dad too!

    I grew up in the Mitten and know Elizabeth park pretty well -- do they still do 4th of July fireworks there? I seem to remember being able to lay out a blanket and then watch the fireworks from there, but I could be confusing it with Bishop Park (in Wyandotte)...

    1. I'm not sure if they do fireworks there or not! We don't go there much anymore (which is a shame, because it's a gorgeous park). But I'll have to keep it in mind next year if they do fireworks there!


  4. Yea, your dad must be a pro...those fish are huge! ;-)

    I am always in awe of how much we do with our kids and "plan stuff" while they are little. I did the same thing when mine were younger and now I look back and think ~ thank goodness we have kids at the age we do because I just don't have the energy or desire to do all that anymore.


    (that may not sound right...loved those times but, like this stage my family is at now too!)

    1. I totally understand that! Like I said, I'm not a fan of fishing, and I honestly didn't want to spend my summer fishing every body of water in a 20-mile radius, but I try to keep in mind that I want them to remember spending quality time with me. I was looking through pictures recently, and missing how little they used to be! I realized just how fast that time went by (and when they were little, I was always wishing they'd grow faster--get out of the diaper stage, etc.). Now, I wish I could go back and enjoy EVERY MOMENT. When I was a new mom, other moms told me the years would fly by and I should enjoy them, but I didn't really understand that until it was too late!

  5. I don't think I knew that Jerry had your name on his arm :) That photo is so cute!

  6. I am a new reader of your blog. I watched the documentary so I thought I would check your blog out. I really enjoy it! I am wondering what you do for speed work when you are starting from scratch. I have been running for the last 7 years. I am pretty slow. 11 min miles are good for me. I am running a 10 miler Saturday. I am carrying around about 10lb I would like to shed and the heat has been terrible. After the 10 miler I am cutting my runs back to 3-4 miles. What can I do or would you suggest for speed work?
    Thanks, Stacia
    PS this looks like it is coming from my husband because the google account is in his name : )

  7. I love Eli's lures! Very creative!

  8. Eli's lures are super cute, and evidently are working pretty well. I LOVE your Dad's shirt--He is quite the fisherman! And what an idyllic day in the park for a picnic, we had a few days like that here in Nebraska last weekend, but the heat is back today. Plus....I never knew about Jerry's "Katie" tattoo. Very cool. I want to get a tattoo to surprise my husband, a small blue cancer ribbon on the inside of my wrist to signify his Prostate cancer fight, but I had a blood clot after a long vacation trip this summer, had to go on Xarelto (blood thinning drug--hopefully temporarily), and when I Googled, "Getting a tattoo when you're on Xarelto," everything I read said NO. So it'll have to wait a while. Happy End of Summer!!!

  9. How is your running checklist going? It looked fun but I haven't seen you post about it recently!


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