If You've EVER Wondered Just How Bad ...

... a person could smell after spending 5 hours outside at a swim meet in 93+ degree heat.


I can ASSURE you that it isn't pretty. And there was perspiration in places you'd never want to admit.

BUT ... as you can see from the girls videos below, it was worth it. I'm pretty darned proud. Sheridan shaved 2 seconds off of her time in her freestyle. AND she even won her heat!

Sheridan is in lane 5 ... which is the lane second closest to "us".

And Riley? Well she's been doing double practices this week and working with a junior coach, (a total cutie pie), on her stroke technique for both freestyle and breast stroke. And it paid off! She shaved 8 seconds off of her breast stroke tonight!!

BTW, for those of you who actually watch the video. Look towards the end for the girl in the florescent orange shorts running along the side of the pool. She's the 14 year old who's been helping Riley ... who made sure to meet her at the end and congratulate her when she got out.

We. Love. Swimming.

Riley is in lane #1 ... the lane farthest from "us".



For those of you who saw my Facebook page over the weekend, you know how insanely proud I was of my younger brother Randy ... as he completed the San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run in just 21 hours and 20 minutes. Consecutively!

My dad and my Uncle Stuart were his crew team, and followed him throughout the route the entire day. They met him at almost every first aid station (when he wasn't running faster than expected), and tended to his hunger, thirst, blisters, sunblock, change of clothes, and more.

His endurance, his motivation, and his dedication earned him 8th place overall, out of almost 200 participants!

Randy's pacer put together this video of him ... a super fun recap of his amazing 21 hour run! Rock on brudda!


It ALWAYS Happens ...

... when Matt is out of town.

Remember this post? When I had the raging case of food poisoning? And I was sick ... All. Night. Long?

Well ... it happened again.

Early Friday morning. On the LAST day of school. Of course! I got "the" bug. The one that Grady had the week before. When he too was barfing throughout the entire day.

I just never thought I'd get it 10 days after he did. After everyone else in the neighborhood seemed to get it ... all within a few days of each other.

Oh, but I did. And it was ugly. So ugly that I was up at 2:30 am praying that I could hold off vomiting (which I managed to do for about 2 hours). So ugly that after watching the room spin for 4 hours, I couldn't even lift my head off my bed to get the girls up and ready for school. So ugly that I couldn't get up to make them breakfast, or even put snacks in their backpacks, or kiss them good-bye before they walked out the door. SO UGLY that I couldn't even take Grady to school that morning, and after managing to wobble down the steps to the couch, I let him play on my iPad, fetch his own breakfast of cereal, and lay all over me until I felt well enough to get up and pour him a glass of milk.

Yeah ... it was that bad.

We had the neighborhood "End of the school year block party" that I was co-planning that I barely was able to attend in the late afternoon. I felt like cr*p, I spent the day cr*pping, and it was cr*ppy that I wasn't able to help out as expected. But everyone understood. I think...

Everything that I had planned to do yesterday, now has to be put off for another few days. So for those of you who were hoping to see pictures of the girls on their last few days of school, or better yet, read the latest edition of the FS BRU, it'll be here soon. Just as long as I can stay out of you know where long enough to use the computer ... my bathroom doesn't have an outlet in it!


Who Woulda Thunk ...

... that our scrappy little Tribe would be playing in the CHAMPIONSHIP game tomorrow?

After an amazing first softball season, that just kept going ... and going ... and GOING ... we are finally at the tail end. I never thought that we'd be as into it as we all were. But we ARE! We had such a fun group of parents, and great group girls who have truly united together and grown over these past few months. I'm honestly almost sad that we won't be together twice a week anymore.

What I won't miss though is the rescheduling. In fact, last week alone we had softball games planned for almost every night, after crazy Virginia storms ended up calling our first play-off game on Tuesday at the bottom of the 3rd inning. Three reschedules, two play-off games, and a LONG end-of-the-season BBQ later, and here we are!

Of course, these past almost two weeks without Matt have proven to be quite a challenge with all the schlepping and kids activities. From Riley's never ending softball coordination, to the start of the swim team season and evening practices, to Grady's horrific 24-hour puke-fest, we have had something going on EVERY single night. The worst of it is that there just isn't / aren't enough of me to go around. Much to my girls' chagrin, I can't be in more than one place at one time, which leaves me choosing one child's activity over another. I'm tired at the end of the day. I'm a bit grumpy. And meals aren't quite where they should be. Dare I admit that they're getting to know me by name at Wendy's?

With school ending on Friday, we are looking forward to taking a breather as we all need a bit of a rest from the hustle and bustle of these last few weeks. None of us have had an opportunity to decompress after our whirlwind trip to South Bend, IN. We have just been running non-stop to the bevy of activities and chaos ... that is our normal life.

Matt on the other hand is finally settling in to his new apartment in Herat, Afghanistan after spending almost a week in Kabul. He's getting over jet lag and working insane hours. We talk to him every day and the kids have even managed to sit still long enough to Skype with him on their iTouchs.

On his way to Afghanistan, Matt had an overnight in Dubai, which allowed him to have dinner with some of our dear friends who we met on our first overseas tour in Muscat, Oman. Though we keep in touch via email and Facebook, we haven't seen them since we left in 2005! What a reunion!

Like everything else with us, this week is proving insane. Thankfully, there are only ... three more days of school left, three class parties, three days I need a babysitter, two more swim practices, one more softball game, one neighborhood party, one school assembly, one horse show, one swim meet, one PTA meeting, one big a** birthday ...

... AND a partridge in a pear tree.

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