Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend 2008

This Memorial Day weekend was special in a new way. It was Evie's first trip to one of our favorite places - the cottage. Evie enjoyed a 3 day weekend and was very spoiled for the entire time. She was held and cuddled so much that she gets cranky now whenever she is left alone now.
My mom was the most possessive of Evie's time. Whenever someone hinted that they might be ready to pass Evie off, my mom was right there to take her turn(s). Derek thought she was overboard and nicknamed her "Grandmazilla" (kind of like the popular nickname bridezilla). Everyone enjoyed that nickname and I think it is going to stick. Sorry Grandmazilla.
I had my first ski of the year, which is always the coldest and most painful one.
Evie's first bath was very traumatic for both her and me. She screamed all throughout and as a sympathetic father I could hardly take it. Fortunately for both of us she now seems to enjoy her baths. I would call her expression during bath time nervous happiness. It looks like she enjoys it, but at the same time she doesn't fully trust us yet.
All babies spit-up. Most of the time it is no big deal. On Sunday Evie had one of those I-look-like-I'm-fine-but-here-comes-a-huge-unexpected-projectile spit-ups. She goes from happily looking around, to an entire meal coming out of her mouth and nose, back to happily looking around in about 15 seconds. I received the brunt of it this time.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Moving Day

The day finally came to leave our first house. Actually, it was less of a "day" and more of a "weekend" or even a week. Erin and I did quite a bit of pre-packing by boxing up lots of items we wouldn't need for several months. Since we don't actually have a house to move to we had to pack the majority of our belongings in temporary storage. The big moving day was Friday but we didn't finish up until 7:00 pm on Sunday.

We went with Myway storage containers. They drop 8'x7'x5' boxes on your driveway and pick them up when you're done filling them. They store the boxes in a warehouse and deliver them to your new address when you want them to. They were very convenient but a little disappointing. The boxes were basically nothing more than cheap plywood covered by some water resistant plastic. I was worried they would break in half after I filled them with all my stuff but so far they haven't.

Originally I hoped to cram everything into 3 Myway boxes but as it turns out I needed more than 4. We packed 4 to the very brim. It is amazing how much STUFF you accumulate in 3 years.

After filling the portable storage units we still had a tremendous amount of random junk that needed to go, so I took 3 van loads to Zeeland before we finally finished.
THANKS to everyone that helped. Derek gets the award for doing the most work - he was there from Thursday night until Saturday afternoon. James gets the award for being the most interested - he was a packing guru and helped greatly with the puzzle of fitting the most we could into each box. Tom gets the award for being the most skilled labor - he took apart anything I asked him to.
The first 75% of our stuff went relatively quickly, but that last 25% was miserable. By the end I was just throwing everything into Meijer bags and jamming them into my van. It is not going to be pleasant unpacking. Here is how it looked those last few loads.

On Friday and Saturday nights we had no typical electronic entertainment. Instead we enjoyed some creative Evie time.

Leaving was a little bitter sweet. It was our first home, we really liked it, and we put a lot of work into it over three short years. Some of the highlights of 5349 Wyndtree were:

  • Fun parties
  • Private back yard with woods
  • Proximity to Jason - we trained for 3 riverbanks and 2 marathons together largely because we were only 2 miles away
  • Proximity to quick groceries (Family Fare)
  • Proximity to an ice cream shop
  • Ability to walk to our church
  • Bringing Evie home

Saturday, May 10, 2008

2008 Riverbank Run

I ran in my 4th consecutive Riverbank Run this year. It is one of my favorite events of the year. The course is both enjoyable and challenging, and the distance is perfect for me. This year's weather was also ideal - fifties and sunny during the race.

This winter was so long and brutal that I didn't start my training until about 6 weeks later than I did last year. I also didn't focus on running until mid-April so I only had about 4 weeks of solid running before this year's race. As a result, I wasn't nearly as prepared as the last 2 years and it showed in my time.
I ran a decent race. I was consistent and stayed strong the whole time. I could tell by mile 2 that it wasn't one of those lucky, unusually great-feeling days so I didn't push myself too hard and just took what my body would give me. Here were my splits:
Mile 1 - 8:32
Mile 2 - 8:08
Mile 3 - 8:10
Mile 4 - 8:21
Mile 5 - 8:21
Mile 6 - 8:25
Mile 7 - 8:26
Mile 8 - 8:25
Mile 9 - 8:31
Mile 10 - 8:52
Mile 11 - 8:33
Mile 12 - 8:45
Mile 13 - 8:55
Mile 14 - 8:57
Mile 15 - 9:02
Final time - 2:12:47 for an average pace of 8:34 min/mile.

So the 2-hour club will have to wait another year. My ultimate Riverbank goal is to join that club, but reaching that speed will require the type of training I did last year. Last year I had run more than 400 miles by the end of April. This year I was closer to 200 miles.

My favorite moment of the race was running by my cheering section at mile 15. Evie watched her first Race and as I approached the group Erin raised Evie like Raffiki raised Simba in the Lion King. Evie's hands were high in the air so I gave her a high-five as I passed. Just what I needed.
Paul had an impressive debut at 2:03 and Rob reached hallowed ground at 1:59:31. Next year I'll join you Rob.
Jason and Darren have run with me all 4 years. This year we were much more spread out, all nearly a mile apart.. Jason finished in 2:06 and Darren in 2:29. Over the last three years we were within 6 minutes of each other from the fastest to the slowest.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Baby Model

Evelyn is a great model. At just 9 days of age she endured 2 hours of getting twisted and turned into every position that Erin and the photographer dreamed up. She hardly fussed and gave great expressions. For the full gallery you can go here.

These are some of the best.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Busy Baby

Evelyn has been a busy girl since we came home. She's had many visitors and gone many places. Her outside-the-home activities have included several trips to Zeeland, an overnight trip to Detroit, grocery shopping, birthday parties, and walks.

Great Uncle MarvSecond Cousin Nolan
Warm in her "bundle-me"
Squeek is nervous