Saturday, 20 June 2015

Penelope's Pre-School Graduation

This past Wednesday was Penelope’s last day of preschool. EVER!!  This fall, she will be attending our community catholic school along with Finley. 
She is so excited to be attending kindergarten in the fall.  The morning after orientation, she woke up thinking she was starting that day.  She was very sad when we told her she had to wait several months. 
Getting ready to go in for the last time with her gifts for her fantastic teachers.
Mrs S. gave Penelope a great big hug when she gave her the gift as she walked into class.  I can’t lie, I was teary eyed already at this point.  
We got to come back 30 minutes before the end of class for their graduation ceremony.  I still can’t believe this little munchkin is starting kindergarten.  The feelings I have are far greater then with Finley but it’s because Penelope is our baby.  I tried to convince Greg that we should have another baby but he was not on board with the conversation haha.
Their goodbye gift from her teachers.  I seriously cannot say enough about how amazing this preschool is.  We have been here for 2 kids and 4 years and I have loved every single minute of it, as have they. It’s such a great school and every time someone mentions trying to decide which preschool they should send their child to in our area, I always recommend this one.  They are hands down the best preschool in the whole wide world.
One final hug from her beloved C.  They loved each other from the very first day of school and referred to each other as their best girl and their best boy.  
One final hug from Mrs S.  I was done being teary eyed at this point but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was teary eyed as I was writing this post.
And a goodbye from Mrs G.
And so ends our preschool journey.  I am beyond grateful that we were lucky enough to find a school who had teachers that loved our kids as much as we did and wanted nothing more then to see them succeed and grow into sweet little girls who love school and learning.  Thanks LE.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Liv Bike

So Greg decided I needed a new mountain bike.  My beloved and beautiful Electra Cruiser was for city only…for a variety of reasons but mostly because I don’t want to get it scratched on the bike rack during transport.  I have had another bike for years but it was the walmart special of mountain bikes and greg did not trust it to do trails and such in the mountains.
It is impossible to reiterate how much I love this bike.  LOVE.
This is my walmart bike.  I liked it.  It was pretty enough and it was in great shape since I rarely road it once I got my cruiser a couple of years ago.  It is now in the hands of a lovely lady who lives in New Brighton.  
And here is my new bike.  I thought my cruiser would be my most expensive bike ever but this exceeds it by a lot.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love pink and pretty things.  So when Greg said it was time for me to get a new bike, I said it had to be pretty.  And just like the challenge of finding me a pretty pink backpacking pack, it wasn’t easy and I didn’t have a lot of options.  Actually there was one that was black and pink but it was very pricy and Greg told me to not even look at it. So I didn’t.  Ok, I did but just quickly.  
We bought it at Ridley’s in Okotoks because it was the only one who had my size in stock.  When we got there, they didn’t have one built but I tried out 2 similar bikes and one of them was a really good fit and so we bought it.  They had it built for us in just over an hour and checked out by the mechanic to ensure it was done properly and it was.  And it is a good thing we went when we did to get it, because while they were building it, a bike store in Kensington called to have shipped into Calgary!!
Here is a better photo of my bike.  It is a Liv by Giant bike.  Liv is a line of Giant bikes created specifically for women by women.  I love how pretty it is even if there isn’t much pink on it.  We took it for a ride the other day and it has gears on the left and right that my other bike did not and my cruiser has no gears because i liked the look better without so that is a huge adjustment.  I think I have the right gears figured out which I believe are the front.  They are easy to move up and down but I still don’t know why they need to levers (or whatever they are called) on it.  The left one is still kinda tricky for me.  Greg says I look funny shifting gear.  He has to tell me what gear to go into while biking.  It’s kinda funny haha.  Finley is better then me at that. 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Calgary Marathon

Last weekend, I participated in the Calgary Marathon for the very first time ever, but definitely not the last.  One of my good friends + running partner for the Seawheeze in August accidentally purchased both the 10K and Half Marathon packages and didn’t need the half so I bought it from her so she wasn’t out a $100.  It worked out for both of us.
Of course the bib had her name on it but on race morning, I put a sticker over top and wrote my name which I actually forgot that I did so I was really surprised when I was congratulated at the finish line by my real name haha.
After some really ugly cold days, race morning was beautiful.  I was at the train station at 530 so I was able to see the sun rise over Calgary and it was beautiful.  Although this marathon was by far the most disorganized marathon I have ran in, the route was spectacular.  To run down 17th and through bridgeland in the early morning was great.  And I loved running through Kensington in our stomping grounds and through memorial.  I am so excited to run it again next year – who’s with me?? I really enjoyed all the people entertaining the runners along the route (way better then rock n roll in San Fran) and all the lovely volunteers who made sure we were hydrated and all the great people who came out to cheer us on as we ran.  It was really motivating.  
I was really impressed with my time for this half marathon.  I have been struggling with a nagging knee injury that just will not go away and really my goal was to beat my time in San Francisco which I probably should never have ran in the first place.  I probably could have done better had I not had to use the washroom and stop for a light on a street so cars could get through and to let an emergency vehicle through to a runner.  I normally just run with time and distance on my watch but I had Greg switch it up after Eyeball the Wall because I was running way too fast at the beginning of the race (like more then a minute faster then my average) and by the end, I was done. And so for the first time, I really paced myself at the beginning so that didn’t happen again.  And it really worked out which made me happy.  I think though that I can start running a bit faster at the beginning to get my time down so that I can get to my full marathon sooner.  As long as my knee holds out that is.  
This also marks the first time that the girls have seen me run which was awesome.  The end of the marathon is in the grandstand so that the spectators all have seats to watch and  you are not crowded along the road trying to get a view of the finish.  Then they just go back into grandstand and they have meeting areas alphabetized so you can find your party quick.  It was nice.  My face was so red when we finished – I didn’t know if it was a sunburn or just heat.  It was a bit of both, but definitely more heat then anything.
After the race, we headed over to The Beltliner for brunch.  I am a huge fan of Eric Francis and have been wanting to go forever but I am not big on waiting at restaurants so we hadn’t made it out yet.  Thankfully because we were willing to sit on the patio, the wait wasn’t long at all.  This place is amazing.  The food is simple but so delicious.  They even have fruit loops on the menu for the littles. The decor inside along the wall to the bathroom is one for every sports fan.  And the bathroom I was in had the coolest posters that I really want for my own house.
I went with the Baked Chocolate Milk French Toast and it was even better then I could have possibly imagined.  I am a huge French Toast fan and this was seriously the best I have ever had.  EVER.  Even if I had to wait an hour or two, it still would have been worth it.  Such a perfect reward after a long, hot race.  
The best part though was the next morning when I was barely sore.  It was the best I have felt both right after a race and the following day.  My knee bothered me a bit (and is still a bit bothersome) and I had a knot in the ball of my left foot which is still kinda there.  I was so happy with how far I have come this last year of running!
Until next year, Calgary Marathon…