Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Our little girl is two! She woke Sunday morning as bright and chipper as ever. When we reminded her that it was her birthday, her first words were, "Eat birthday cake?!"

Her friends arrived at 2 p.m. to start the party. We rented a Tinkerbell blow-up bouncy house for entertainment. It went well... up until the air hose popped out and the house came melting down on top of seven kids under 5. Screaming and panic ensued before Mike came out to save the day and popped the hose back in. The kids quickly began laughing and bouncing again. All of them except the birthday girl. She couldn't quite get past the terror of such an unexpected event and simply could not be persuaded that the bouncy house wasn't altogether evil. :)

She finally warmed back up to it after blowing out her candles and opening up some great gifts.

Thanks to all who came to celebrate with us. Abby Kate had a wonderful birthday!

It's my birthday! Yay!

Dressed and ready for my friends!

It takes hard concentration to blow out two candles.

Abby Kate and her friend learning how to use the noise-makers.

Bouncy fun!

Cupcakes for everyone!

The cake. Would you believe I made this? Shocker, I know!

We love you sweetheart!

She was very serious about her cupcake and on a
mission to eat it before someone took it from her!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Over the River and Through the Rain

Saturday morning was cold with a constant drizzle of rain just as the weather forecaster had predicted. My strained optimism had proved its fault, and I succumbed to the reality of running 6.2 long miles in the wind and rain. I had had high hopes of the beautiful views I would take in jogging over the Neuse River Bridge in downtown New Bern. The morning sun shining on the water. Fresh breezes. Blue skies. The beautiful sailboats floating in the harbor. [sigh] Those views are reserved for sunnier, happier mornings, I guess.

Mike drove me across the bridge to the neighboring town of Bayboro at 7:30 a.m. to drop me off at the starting line of this year's Neuse River Bridge 10K Run. I had a momentary weakness given my hatred of spending any amount of time outdoors while it's raining and thought I might change my mind, preferring to just go enjoy a cup of coffee instead. Then I quickly said "to heck with it, let's just get this over with!" and jumped out of the car.

When the horn blew, off I went, cursing myself for the entire first mile as I ducked my head into the blustering wind. Who in their right mind would willingly run over a bridge in the cold, rain and wind?! The guy running next to me must've felt the same as he grunted about the weather conditions and how he couldn't wait to get this over with. I agreed and said something about just wanting to hurry and get warm. And with that I sped up in hopes of getting my blood flowing faster and thus my body warmer.

I crossed the three mile marker at 23.5 minutes and feeling good. Water was dripping off the brim of my cap, and my pants, shoes and socks were soaked, but I had warmed up and felt I could finish with no problems. The only bad parts were the gusts of wind coming over the bridge and the exhaust from the cars passing by.

I crossed the finish line at 53:09 minutes and was happy to have shaved nearly four minutes off my last 10K time. Mike, AK and the Newbolds were waiting at the finish line. Thanks to you guys for waiting in the rain for me! Sarah had planned on running, too, but unfortunately she hurt her ankle pretty bad in our aerobics class earlier in the week, so Colin ran the 5K in her place. He finished 16th, running it in 21 minutes! Way to go, Colin!

All-in-all, I'm glad I ran in spite of the elements. And I'm also glad it's over!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

All in a Day's Work

A day filled with flying (and hovering) a super fast, $23 million jet. That's Mike in there during his first week of flights in the Harrier. He's in the front of the jet and his instructor is in the back. The trainer jets have seats for two pilots, but the one Mike will fly once he gets to the fleet will be only one seat. Mike loves flying the Harrier. We got to watch him take off, land and hover the jet a few times. We witnessed it from pretty far away, hence the grainy, zoomed in shot. The jets are so fast. We were really impressed. Mike has been doing great in his training so far. He works hard, but we've been blessed to have him home almost every night and sometimes during the day as well. We're so proud of you, Mike!


I caught this on tape weeks ago as we were about to get out of the car and go into her class ... this is how AK says 'gymnastics.' Her lisp is so funny. We love it... right now, anyway!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Randomness...

Mike took his first flight in the Harrier over a week ago. He LOVED it. We went out a few days later and caught him in action. Very fast. Very cool. More to come on that later once I have time to download my photos. But great job, honey! It's amazing what you get to do, and we're so proud of you!

I'm getting back to my routine this week and preparing for a 10K run this coming weekend. We'll be running over the bridge crossing the Neuse River in downtown New Bern. So it should be fun and picturesque (and hopefully not too windy!).

We've had some great weather lately. It's been perfect for company. More about that, too, later this week when I have time to download the photos from Mike's parents' visit.

We're gearing up for Abby Kate's second birthday later in the month and also for Halloween. Abby Kate will be buzzing around in her little bumble bee costume. Very cute.

I'll leave you with a few of AK's latest and darnedest:

AK: Wha you doin', Mommy? (she asks me what I'm doing EVERY time I'm in the bathroom getting ready)

Me: Putting gel in my hair.

AK: OH my GOODNESS! (her response to what I'm doing EVERY time, no matter if I say brushing my teeth or putting on my socks)

AK: [quizzical stare with pause] Mommy, are you gellin'?

Me: [laughing] Yeah, I'm gellin'. Are you gellin'?

AK: [Nothing but a blank stare.]

She must hate those stupid commercials as much as I do.


AK has learned to stand like a flamingo in gymnastics class. One day I offered her some of the new peach/mango juice we bought. Now she regularly asks for "fla-mango" juice.