Friday, May 31, 2013

Awesome day to be a LAKER FAN!

Laker, as in.... Shell Lake Laker. (Not LA Lakers)

We have many female track athletes advancing to the Finals tomorrow at our State Track-n-Field meet 

Our softball girls brought home the Sectional championship earlier today and will be advancing to the State Championship next Friday...

It's an amazing day to sport our Blue-n-Gold school colors :D
And all the youth softball fun is JUST beginning!
Games every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night!
The summer schedule is sooooooo close to becoming reality :)
I can't wait.

1.5 more days.

But first.....this weekend, for the next 48-60 hours, there is only ONE word in our minds.....

The time has finally arrived for us to get everything planted.

Happy Friday everyone :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Tis the season of Graduation in most parts of the USA.
Friday night, my school held its ceremony, and Saturday morning was the ceremony for my nephew.

And now... with only 6 days of school left, it's time to start thinking about summer plans...

Plan #1:  Enjoy & Relax
Plan #2:  Quilt (part of Enjoy & Relax)
Plan #3:  Garden (also part of Enjoy & Relax)

Gettin' close....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

There's always next time, right??

Start of race:  7:00 AM, 70 degrees, sunny.

You gotta love it when 8000+ runners are packing the street at the start of a race!  If you've never experienced a big race before (either as a participant or spectator), the start can be comical the first time you witness one;  the gun sounds, but no one moves (back by us) for a few minutes.   For those of us hanging back at the 10:00/mile starting "gate," it can literally take about 5 minutes to actually CROSS the starting line!  LOL.  (5 min. 30 sec. to be exact for me today)
Runners, as far as thee eye can see.....

Life was going pretty okay for the first 6 miles, averaging about a 10:10/mile pace
After some on-course texting with my family (LOL!-Gotta love technology, right?!?!), the first sighting of my cheering crew was at mile 6.8.

The day was heating up nicely (if you weren't a runner)....
It was heating up too much if you WERE a runner... starting to hit upper 70's...

So, I started slowing down my pace; now averaging about 10:30s (my realistic goal pace).

And no... I'm not saying "talk to the hand."  :D  I was simply waving a goodbye to my family after they met up with me at the Mile 10 marker.    The next planned cheering spot:  halfway point.


But shortly after departing, a text came in from my sister that traffic and roads were blocked off, so they were going to jump ahead to mile 20 and wait.

Oh boy...  10 miles until some happy faces could greet me with some motivation.

Miles 10-15 were tough.  A lot of open areas;  head wind (maybe 10-15 mph at times?)), and.... HOT.  Officially breaking 80.  My pace was certainly slowing down, although I came into the 13.1 checkpoint clocking 2:20, which isn't a shabby Half time for me.

But after that......major slow down!  
Holding 11:00's when running.... with lots of walking breaks between running spurts.....

In the meantime, my crew diligently awaited, cheering on other runners and trying to pass the time as best they could...

Little did they know that they were actually sitting at about 19.3, so when I saw them after the water-stop, I was a bit surprised.  Mom caught me sucking on some ice cubes here. 

And little Candace was going to get her way---she wanted to run a little bit with me!
After about 200 meters, I sent them back to Grandma after final hugs and goodluck kisses, telling them I'll see them at the finish line.

I wish my iphone hadn't died!  Afterall, the ONLY reason I ran these 26.2 miles was for the final half mile!  All runners were able to run through the Green Bay Packer stadium tunnels, followed by a lap around Lambeau Field.  I WANTED PICTURES!  Whaaaa, whhaaaaaaaaaaa.....


.... but then, working our way back through the tunnels, we were 200 meters from the finish line.

And even though I was welllllll off my goal-mark today, I am happy with the finish.  I simply slowed down and ran a smart marathon.  It wasn't worth killing myself over.   (I guess lady-in-blue here moved at the last minute.  It's okay Mom!!!!!  I appreciate all the candids from today!) :D

The AWESOME finisher's medal and finish line Rootbeer :)   And even a smile ;^)

My amazing girls!

 And.....the shake down....

Thanks for reading!!!!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

15 hours, and counting... [Green Bay Marathon]

Please forgive my lil' bit of attitude today.  Saw this on FB... and liked it. :D

I'm chilling at my sister's house right now.  Seeing that she lives an hour north of Green Bay, I made the drive over with the girls after staying at Grandma's last night.  Grandma ended up tagging along, and my sister also decided to make the trip down to GB in the morning.... So, I went from having no spectators planned to now having 5 (my 3 girls included)!  Woohooo :)

My sister likes it when I visit because I usually cook up some kind of bigger meal; something that she and her husband, Derek, aren't accustomed to, being just the two of them.  Tonight's menu:  Lasagna.  She even requested TWO pans of lasagna so that she could freeze up some for smaller meals for herself and Derek :)  LOL.  No biggy.

Feeling a bit antsy right now.  Ho-hum, ho-hum...

Off to see what everyone is up to in their quilting rooms today :)

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Am I ready?

I have been asked quite a bit lately....
"Are you ready for Sunday, Amy?"

My response has been simply... "You bet."

This isn't my first trip to the rodeo.  My answer would certainly be different if it were.
I know I'll finish.
Walk or run... I'll cross the finish line.  That I know.
I have trained for a total of more miles than I ever have for any other race.
I have established both a reasonable goal established and an ultimate goal for this race.

Reasonable goal:  Improve on my Personal Best time previously run, which is 4 hours 59 minutes from 2007.  My confidence of meeting this goal is 90+%.  I feel I have put my training time in, and  I am more ready now than ever before for a marathon race.

Ultimate goal:  The training program I've been following has 10:01/mile written for my average goal per mile.  Ummm......  I am about 5% positive on being able to achieve that.  :\  I really just don't think I can sustain that pace for the whole 26.2.  I know I can sustain it for 13.1;  afterall, recall my 9:31/mile Half-marathon a couple of weeks ago.  BUT, extending that for another 13.1.......???....   I think I know the limitations of my legs and body right now....and 10:01/mile just seems a bit too much.

Therefore, here's my Reasonable Ultimate goal:
4 hours 35 minutes -- 10:30/mile.
It's a steep goal!  Truly.
But I will shoot for it :)
However, the little voice in my head is saying that I'll even be happy with 11:00/mile (4 hours 48 minutes).

The weather outlook:  So far, the weather app is showing a sunshiny day:  57 low / 75 high.  Not sure about wind (which is MY achilles heel!!!  ick)

My left knee has been bothersome during my last few runs which is a bit concerning.
The course is rather flat, so hopefully it'll last the duration without too much difficulty.
The water stations are nicely distributed to match with my "1/2 GU every 3 miles" training I've done.
My girls and mom will be cheering me along the course (yayyyyy!)
All in all....

Yeah, I'm ready :)

And besides... I get to run around Lambeau Field, home of America's Green Bay Packers during my final mile!  That's ENOUGH reason to put in the first 25 :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Holy Wind Batman... and HOT

Alright, alright, alright.... Paul:  SHUSH!  I know, I know....
It was just a couple of weeks ago when we (I) was complaining about being ready for WARM temperatures!  We were DONE with all the snow.  Remember that??!?!

And now...

87 degrees and FULL sun.  

And really, I'm NOT complaining...really....

{{It's just a weeeee bit warm for running though}}

Not to mention the wind gusts in excess of 20+ mph.  


But really.... I'm not complaining! 


Happy Tuesday

T-minus 5 days .... and counting.

My, my... that's quite the "poof" I have going today...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lazy Sunday; 2010 BOM UFO; Mother's Day running

Two hours of sewing time this morning was all that was needed to piece together the 24 blocks for Bonnie's Lazy Sunday Quiltmaker mystery; Part 2.  I love that I'm all caught up AND that I'm feeling the quilting mojo returning :)

With deadlines done;  Lazy Sunday all caught up;  and having been so long since I was in any kind of "flow" in the sewing room, I elected to tidy, clean, organize, purge...

...and then I came across a buried stack of 2010 Mystery BOM blocks.
After laying them out and coming up with a sashing idea, I was off and running.

Sashed AND the first of three borders attached.    The next little 1.5" white border is prepped, and I'm planning for a final blue border (maybe 4.5" ??).  With summer looming, I realllllly want to set a goal of quilting all of these flimsies I have laying around all over the place!

By 1:30, I turned everything off and started to mentally talk myself into getting prepared for my 9 mile run today.  It was WINDY out, and I wasn't looking forward to it;  in fact, I was putting it off for as long as I could, HOPING the wind would die down :\  No such luck.

BUT, with a nice-n-easy pace in mind, the 1.5 mile windy stretches were tolerable, KNOWING I would have a 1.5 mile tail-wind as soon as I hit the turn-around.  I ran my 3-mile "Brooke Drive" loop again (x3 today);  it's a great training loop AND keeps me close to home.  I also set up a "water stop" at the loop turn-around, so I know that I'll have a water break every 3-miles.  It works out nicely :)

And my lovely lovely Candace had a Mother's Day snack surprise waiting for me when I got home :)
A Fruit-Veggie flower!  LOL.  Ranch dip at the ends of each carrot;  peanut butter in the center of the apple-slices flower, and a banana stem.  

Cassie brought home her first hardware of the track season last Friday night.  She's been working on her 400 meter run, and Friday she was scheduled to run three separate 400 meter runs.  One of them, a 1600M medley relay (200-200-400-800), she ran the 3rd leg, and ended up helping her relay take a Gold :)  I think she slept with the medal Friday night :)

Y'all know the song..."Back to Life....Back to reality..."

Yup.  Starting to sing that right now.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I thought I was done...

After another couple of hours in the sewing room this evening, piecing and pressing the units for the Lazy Sunday mystery - part 2... I THOUGHT I was finished after pressing the final HST pink unit.

But NOPE!  While organizing all the units for a "was-to-be-FINAL-picture"... I glanced at the magazine and saw the pieced BLOCK.  Ahhhh... 

.... Now I know what I can work on tomorrow :)

Of course, that'll be AFTER I clock 10 miles on my feet.  
Tomorrow will be the last 'big' mileage I'll run before next week's marathon.  
I'm ready.
Bring it on :)

Mother's Day plants & Nephew's quilt

Does your school's Ag (FFA) group offer a Mother's Day sale too?  I have to chuckle a little bit every year that "mom" pays for her own flowers :)
BUT, I do enjoy supporting the FFA this way;  it's always nice getting some new color into the house with the first signs of Spring.

Caitlyn picked out two of the same varieties, so I put both of them in this larger pot.  Eventually, when the weather is nice enough, it'll make its way outside by the humming bird feeder.

The fragrance of Marigolds is so strong; it's always a must every year.  

The day has been filled with potting plants, giving some TLC to the seedlings (tomatoes and peppers - no pic), loads of laundry, cleaning house... a bit of normalcy, I guess.

However, I also put ALMOST all of the finishing touches on my nephew's Graduation quilt.
{I don't think any of my in-laws know about my blog, so I think it's safe showing pics}

My portion of the quilt was to do the quilting, binding and labeling.
My Mother-in-Law pieced the top.  My part is so minimal compared to everything my MIL had to do;  to me, it only seemed fitting that she is recognized as the main quilt creator on the label;  A special gift from Grandmother to Grandson on his graduation day.
This is ONE HEAVY quilt!  It's long too!  Shown here on my King size bed, it'll be plenty plenty, plenty large enough {{and then some!!}}

All that remains is for me to hand-stitch the label onto the back.  I plan to deliver it to my MIL next weekend on the way to my Green Bay marathon.

Paul is working the night-shift tonight, so I might find myself heading downstairs for some Lazy Sunday mystery piecing.  ALL of my deadlines have officially been crossed off.  Boy, that feels good :)

On the school-front...
My students and I counted down the days yesterday;  15 1/2 days left.  Suddenly, the end is looming incredibly close!  Specially with graduation only two weeks away!

My AP-Statistics students had their big AP test yesterday afternoon.  If there were ever times/days when to NOT schedule an's Monday mornings and Friday afternoons!!!   Our school day ends at 3:24, and the kiddos were still in the exam room finishing up.  I felt like I was waiting outside a labor-and-delivery room for a child to be born!  Pacing, pacing, biting nails....
When they emerged, after some initial goofy-hugginess and fake exaggerated tears (...LOL... these really ARE awesomely funny kids!!!!) of my boys said...."Mrs. S.  I think you over prepared us.  It really didn't seem that bad."  .... to which there were a few other nods of agreement.  

BOY!  That made me feel relieved.

So now, we all wait until July for the scores.  First year AP-Statistics - DONE.

Happy Saturday.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

More Lazy Sunday progress

This will be a super quick post... as I need to be out the door in 5 minutes...

Lazy Sunday part 1 was completely finished this morning; bright-n-early.

And the rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent cutting, trimming and sewing up some of the Part 2 units...

 YES!   It does feel good to be back in the sewing room.  Specially with the BRIGHT colors for Bonnie's mystery.  She hasn't had a bad one yet :)

Today has been filled with friends and parties, which is why I'm out the door now.  Take home Friend #3 (who made a Build-a-Bear with Candace), then to pick up Child #2 from her birthday pool party, and then off to pick up Child #1 from her birthday Skating party... and then cart her off to softball for an hour of practice.  

Happy Sunday everyone :)

Lazy Sunday mystery

My camera batteries were dead and are currently recharging, so the pictures are via my phone;  definitely not the best quality, BUT.....

The afternoon was spent organizing and cutting into some fabrics for Bonnie's Lazy Sunday mystery in the Quiltmaker magazines.  FINALLY!

I didn't veer too far off of Bonnie's suggested colors;  besides, I LOVE all the brights!!!!

Actually, before I dug into some mystery fabrics, I chose to finish up a wall-hanging for my mother-in-law by sewing on some binding.  The red/black quilt in the background is the "top-secret" King size graduation quilt.  It is almost finished; simply needing trimming, labeling and binding yet.  

I can't remember the last time I dug into some new fabrics.  It was so enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to digging back in this morning.  Right now, I'm enjoying a cup of coffee and will take a few moments to catch up on all of your blogs.  It's been sooooooo long since I've relaxed with coffee and blogs!  LOL.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Life interrupted...

So, Andee put a call out to my Facebook page last week, saying she missed my posts....

Can I just claim that we're still working on digging ourselves out from all the SNOW we've been getting?!?!?!?!!?
SERIOUSLY!  May 2nd -- 8 inches!  May 3rd -- another 1 inch dusting. 
What'cha gonna do?

Wisconsin and Minnesota have quite literally gone from one extreme Spring last year to the opposite-end extreme Spring this year.
Farmers and gardeners were already putting in crops and seeds at this time last year.  But today.... we still have a good 4 inches on the ground.  
What'cha gonna do?

Last Friday, the weather was actually AMAZING!!!!!!  The first 70 degree day we've had since October.  That's a long haul!  
The first track meet of the season finally got underway... and of course there were jokes about still having snow piles on the ground.  (NOW, the track is completely covered, and all the track meets from this week were cancelled.)

It goes without saying... those of us in the North are ready for some sun and no more white stuff.  LOL.

Life has really been interrupted over the past few weeks;  once again different priorities keeping me away.

I'm neck deep right now in preparing one of my classes for the Advanced Placement (Statistics) exam that is scheduled for this upcoming Friday.  Looking at the calendar, it's crazy to think we are already 4 1/2 weeks away from summer break.  Summer?  What is summer?  How 'bout some Spring first!?!?!?!

To close up this post, I want to fill you all in with one of the biggest events of the past three weeks...

My half marathon in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
As the pictures show, the weather was NOT snow covered, but there was a 15 mph wind and the temps were in the 30s.  All in all, not a TERRIBLE day weather-wise, although......that wind ended up being a full head wind at miles 3-4 and again 9-10.

Despite......   I STILL rocked the course with a new personal best!!!  I broke 10:00/mile pace (my goal) and THEN some!!!!   Training certainly pays off.

Sadly.... I have not run since then :(
Scarily.... the full marathon is two weeks away from this weekend  :\

Today, I have to break through my mental 'blah' and get out on the roads, snow covered as they are, with sleeting weather - n - all!  Honestly, I'm not extremely worried about the two weeks off.  My mileage and training build up prior to the half marathon were in excess of any training I've ever done.  My marathon goal is to hold 11:00/mile pace;  that should still be an attainable and comfortable goal.

On the quilting front:  I actually HAVE been working on a massive King size quilt, BUT it's "top secret" right now.  Graduation gift :)   HOWEVER, I do hope to finally dig into some fabrics for Bonnie's mystery in the Quiltmakers magazine now that most of my deadlines of the past couple of months have been met.

Happy Weekend everyone!
Thanks for catching up on me :)