Last year’s Blue Nose 5k was my first time running in a race of any kind. When I finished, D’Arcy commented “Next year we should do the 10” to which I replied, “NEVER!”  I don’t consider myself a runner and didn’t think I could ever run 10k!

Guess what we did yesterday?

Ran 10k!

After an extremely busy, tiring, and somewhat stressful week, we took advantage of one of the Delta’s last minute specials and headed to Halifax a night early.  It was suppertime before we actually were packed up and on the road, so we stopped off at the grocery store and picked up some items to have a picnic for supper.    We ate fruit, nachos, crackers, olives, cheese, yogurt and breadsticks.  We watched some of the hockey game and hung out as a family.  We encouraged the kids to get to bed early, but I think it was close to 10:30 before we finally had to lay down the law to get them to stop giggling with one another and close their eyes.

We woke up early on Saturday morning to a bright, sun-filled sky.  As a Delta Privilege member, breakfast is included with our room and they are fantastic about catering to Olivia’s allergies and making sure the food is safe for her.  We had a good breakfast and got ready to head to the Start line of the Blue Nose Youth Run. The boys were excited to be participating again this year.

The girls were excited to see Myles again, and he posed with all four for a photo.

I took the boys up and dropped them off together at the start while D’Arcy navigated the girls through the crowd to navigate a place near the finish. There were apparently 3000+ kids who participated this year, so the crowds were a bit crazy, to say the least! D’Arcy left me there with the girls and he headed up to the water stop along the 4.2 km course to watch for them. When each passed, he would phone to tell me when to look for them. They both ran really well, without stopping, Evan finishing in about 18 minutes and Alex in about 23.

(I almost missed Alex, who ended up running alongside the 2011 Canada Games Torch Bearers!)

After the race was over, we went into the Metro Centre to meet our very pleased and proud boys, which was where we noticed that the girls were featured in last year’s Youth Run Video as it played on the big screen.

We went back to the hotel for a celebratory swim and soak in the hot-tub, before leaving D’Arcy in the room to work on his Thesis while we headed out to explore the Discovery Centre. I don’t have any really good photos, as my hands were full just making sure the four kids were having fun and were accounted for by myself.  Rest assured, we had a lot of fun!

We headed back to the hotel and picked D’Arcy up for supper.  We went down to the Hotel pub where we had eaten during our stay in February. Because we had opted out of housekeeping during our stay (an initiative of the Delta’s green program) we had $20 of gift certificates for the pub.  The food was delicious, but we ended up with WAY too much food!  We went back to our room with bellies that were far too full and wondered how we would ever be able to run in the morning!

After an early night, Evan woke me at about 4:30 am because Sarah, his bed-mate, was lying horizontal in the bed and snoring “louder than Dad does”!  I invited him into our room, but I don’t think I ever fully got back to sleep.  We got up shortly after six and started getting ready, knowing that if we were going to eat, we had to do it early so we could run.  We had to actually wake Olivia at 7:15 to get her down to the dining room as we were meeting Aunt Erin at 8:00. The times of the races changed this year, something we learned after we had already signed up.  This year, the 10k left 40 minutes before the 5k.  I realized that there was no way I’d be able to run my own race without worrying about the boys getting separated in the crowd before their own started.  Erin was kind enough to agree to run with them, giving us peace of mind that they’d be safe.

All went fairly smoothly and we met up with Erin as planned, got our chips on our sneakers and our bibs on our shirts and headed up to the starting line.  Of course, as I got my camera out so we could have some photos for posterity, the batteries died!  (Never fails!)  What did we ever do before phones with cameras?  Mine saved the day!

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Evan & Alex with running partner, Aunt Erin

We all headed up to the start and watched the full marathon runners take off. It was almost time for D’Arcy & I to take the girls and go to our places when Alex started to cry. He was worried about us running over the bridge. His recurrent nightmare is about falling off a bridge into the water and I kicked myself when I realized why he was worried. We reassured him as best we could that we would be safe and applauded the fact he had the courage to express his fears to us. We said our goodbyes, good lucks and have funs and left for the start after getting hugs and high-fives.

The crowd for the 10k was amazing – 2320 participants! The Zumba people led a warm-up and the girls were not at all impressed! They weren’t sure about the whole “run” until we got going. A highlight of the day was when my friend Deanna, who was running the half, spotted us and came over for a pre-run hug! One of her friends took a photo of us together which I hope to get a copy of at some point. Before we knew it, the starting gun went off!

Now pushing a double stroller among that many people is not for the faint of heart. Especially when you try to be respectful of others. It took us over a kilometre before we were at a point where we could run at our own pace, rather than that of others. Even then, there were many times we would have liked to pass people, but there just wasn’t room. Crossing the bridge was beautiful with the sun shining on Halifax Harbour. I was able to notice that there are actually nets under the rails, so even if we had “slipped” we would have been caught in the nets. I made a mental note to tell Alex when we got off.

We were only about halfway over the bridge (4.5k) when the leader of the race passed us on his way back! Everyone cheered & clapped for him as he was running! It was really warm, so we made sure to stop at every water stop so we wouldn’t get dehydrated. The hill coming off the bridge in Dartmouth was torture; we had to stop running and walk to the top. When we started running again, I was still a bit winded, but took a turn pushing the girls to give D’Arcy a break. D’Arcy had a conversation with our friend Chris last week, and Chris told him to think of him when he was pushing the girls and felt like giving up because he would do anything to be able to run again. Over the bridge, D’Arcy looked at me and said, “I’m thinking of Chris!” At one point, Sarah reminded us, “It doesn’t matter who wins… It’s not a race!”

The race course took us past D’Arcy’s cousin Sheila & her husband Peter’s house where they were sitting on their front porch drinking tea and cheering the runners on. We yelled to them and they cheered and waved for us as we passed by each way. That gave us some much-needed (at that point!) extra momentum!

We had to walk again going back up the Bridge, but took turns with the girls which made it much easier. Coming down the other side, we knew there was less than 2km left to the finish, so we dug deep. Part way down Brunswick Street, we heard sirens behind us and after a moment of wondering if someone was hurt, realized it was the police with the marathon pace car & bicyclist, asking people to move out of the way for the lead marathon runner to come through on his way to the split time.

The finish line was almost in sight when Sarah announced that she had dropped her sunglass clip. D’Arcy started to stop and told me to go on ahead, but continued on his way after I barked, “We’re almost there – we can come back to get it, but we’re going to finish together!” I said it last year, and I’ll say it again – I think the fact that the finish line is located up a slight hill is cruel! D’Arcy put on a last burst of energy and we were both holding on to the stroller. At one point I remember telling him that I couldn’t go that fast and he told me to push myself to get to the end. I can only imagine what my face looks like in the finish line photos because I was literally gasping for air! None of the smiling and waving from last year…

We got our chips clipped off our sneakers, and the volunteers were kind enough to give the girls our medals.  We headed into the Metro Centre and around through, in case we had time to catch the boys coming across the finish line.  We weren’t sure how long it would take them or if we had missed them, when D’Arcy yelled to me, “There’s Alex – he’s coming through!”  As I turned to look, D’Arcy told me to look the other way; Alex was sprinting and was almost across the finish line!  We went inside and met up with Evan and shortly after Alex & Erin found us.

We all told our stories and eventually Erin went up to watch the finish of the half and the full and we went back to the hotel for a swim and to pack up.  The boys were SO proud of themselves and had a lot of fun running the race.  They both said that they didn’t feel they were able to run as well as they had the day before and  each had to stop and walk a short time.  As it was, out of 1405 participants, Evan finished 106th with a time of 24:54 and Alex finished 436th with a time of 30:46.  D’Arcy and I came 1205 and 1206 out of 2320 participants with a time of 1:02:47 and 1:02:49 respectively.  Not too shabby, considering we were pushing over 75lbs of daughters!

We went back to the hotel to pack up and have a swim and a soak in the hot tub.  Erin arrived to pick up her things and the girls gave her her birthday present, but Sarah insisted keeping the “Hello Kitty” bag it had been wrapped in!

D’Arcy had locked the lock on the car-top carrier, to which the key – of course – was on my key ring at home.  One of the staff at the Delta was able to cut it off for us. Our first stop was to find the sunglass clip and we were successful!  Somebody had moved it onto a lawn; it was a bit scratched up, but still usable until her eye appointment and new glasses in July.  We went to Grandma & Grandpa’s house for lunch and a visit and both D’Arcy and Evan ended up having a nap.  We hadn’t seen Grandma & Grandpa in ages so it was fun to get caught up, especially since we’re rarely there by ourselves.  Before we knew it, we had to start for home because we had guests due to arrive and we were all exhausted!

We all agreed that this is one of our favourite “vacations” and we’re already looking forward to next year!  Of course, next year the girls will be too big for the stroller, so we’ll have to run it without them.  Anybody willing to put their name down to babysit for an hour next long weekend?  I guarantee you an adventure!

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It’s a GORGEOUS day in Halifax today.  In fact, the weather has never been so good for Bluenose Marathon weekend!

We’re just back to the hotel after watching Evan & Alex run the Doctors’ Nova Scotia 4.4km Youth Run.  They did great – Evan finished in about 18 minutes and Alex finished in about 23 minutes.  It was the first year that they were both able to run it non-stop.

A highlight of the morning was discovering that the girls are on last year’s Blue Nose Youth Run video!  You can watch it (they’re about 2 1/2 minutes in) while we go for a celebratory swim!

What better thing to do on a snow day, but think about warmer temperatures?  We registered for the Bluenose Marathon 10k this morning which will take place on May 23rd.  The boys are doing the regular 5k this year, rather than the youth 4.2k fun-run.  (This way they get a technical t-shirt and a chip on their sneaker to time their race.) We’ve talked to them about training and both are very keen to get out with us once the weather warms up a bit and the sidewalks are clear again.

I was a bit concerned about Alex doing this, especially.  Evan will just keep trucking on and because he’s so competitive, I have a feeling he may leave his brother in the dust to run it on his own.  There are many volunteers along the course, so I’m not worried for his safety, and he says he’ll just take his ipod to listen to and will be fine.  We’re going to arrange to have someone from the family at the finish line waiting for them and I’m sure he will feel a great sense of accomplishment.

D’Arcy has been good about getting out for short runs in the mornings, but I think the last time I ran was at Christmas! The last (only) time I ran 10k was at the Terry Fox run at the end of September.  D’Arcy will be pushing the girls, so he’ll have to train with them closer to the time.  I have been out skating with the kids, and don’t sit around much, so I shouldn’t be that out of shape…  Oh well, it’s good to have goals!

Early bird registration (with a discount) is open until February 28th.

It seems I’ve been distracted from finishing my vacation post the past couple of days.  Can’t imagine why!!  I’m pleased to report that Olivia’s doing great with yogurt the past two days!!  Because we’ve been on the road, I was afraid to give her much more than that, but we did put cow’s milk in the waffles this morning!  Baby steps…  Tomorrow, we’ll give her some swiss cheese, and I put chocolate milk on the grocery list tonight!

So…

On Sunday morning, we got up and started getting ready for a 5k Lung Run in support of the Nova Scotia Lung Association.  We first heard about it during the weekend of the Blue Nose Marathon, and since we were already in the city, decided to participate.  This particular run helps to send kids with asthma to a special summer camp.  Olivia has an 80% chance of developing asthma by the age of four because of her Type 1 Egg Allergy.  Yikes!

We all got stretched out and met up with Erin at Pier 21.  She was running with her running club and had a goal time of around 21 minutes. (Our goal was to run as a family while having fun.)  About 1km into it, Alex started asking how much longer…  We had to keep convincing him that he could do it, although we did make frequent stops and we walked at least as much as we ran.  At least we did it!!

Searching for a water bottle

Searching for a water bottle

Erin did manage to complete the 5k in just 21 minutes, then she ran back to join us and stayed with Alex until the end when he sprinted to the finish.

High fives for Aunt Erin as the front of the pack had already made the first turn

High fives for Aunt Erin as the front of the pack had already made the first turn

We took some photos while we were running along the dockyard

We took some photos while we were running along the dockyard

Alex was too busy concentrating on breathing to pose

Alex was too busy concentrating on breathing to pose

And of course, we had to stop to take photos of the "Sweet Sarah"!

And of course, we had to stop to take photos of the "Sweet Sarah"!

The whole family with Aunt Erin

The whole family with Aunt Erin

After the run, we went into Pier 21 for some face painting & the reception. We were excited to see a photo of our team selling lemonade as part of the slide show. We raised $55.60 over two days for the NS Lung Association!

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Alex the pirate

Alex the pirate

Olivia was all over it - she had a frog on her leg and three butterflies on her face!

Olivia was all over it - she had a frog on her leg and three butterflies on her face!

Sarah had a dolphin on her arm & balloons on her knee

Sarah had a dolphin on her arm & balloons on her knee

We went back to the hotel to get changed & park the van, then headed out to Boston Pizza for lunch.  We made the decision not to go to the gift opening which was going to start at two, and headed for the Discovery Centre where Mike, Emily & Phinn met us.  After two days of being on their best behaviour, the kids were excited to be able to play and act like the monkeys they are!

Sarah was excited she was "this heavy"!  (It was actually a machine to measure reaction times!)

Sarah was excited she was "this heavy"! (It was actually a machine to measure reaction times!)

Bodyless Sarah

Bodyless Sarah

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Evan's thousand faces

Evan's thousand faces

D'Arcy in the spinning chair

D'Arcy in the spinning chair

Evan, also enjoying the spinning chair

Evan, also enjoying the spinning chair

Phinn gave D'Arcy a huge shock when their hands touched on this!

Phinn gave D'Arcy a huge shock when their hands touched on this!

Bubble fun with cousin Mike's help

Bubble fun with cousin Mike's help

Evan & Olivia's turn

Evan & Olivia's turn

Oliva, thwarting D'Arcy's bubble efforts

Oliva, thwarting D'Arcy's bubble efforts

Sarah, working on her "project"

Sarah, working on her "project"

The boys (big & little) all tried to outrun one another

The boys (big & little) all tried to outrun one another

Future scientists, checking out the Science Hall of Fame

Future scientists, checking out the Science Hall of Fame

Acting even more like monkeys than usual...

Acting even more like monkeys than usual...

At 5:00, when it closed, we all walked down to the waterfront to check out the Buskers at the Busker Festival.  We all agreed, the acts we saw weren’t necessarily “family friendly”!

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Our gorgeous, happy, "great"-nephew, Phinn

Our gorgeous, happy, "great"-nephew, Phinn

We left Mike, Emily & Phinn and walked back to the hotel.  We called around to a few different pizza places to order a safe pizza for the kids (cheese for the older ones; olive oil, red pepper & black olives for Olivia) and went to the pool for one last swim.

Synchronized swimmers?

Synchronized swimmers?

A little hot tub action...

A little hot tub action...

We fed the kids and Kathryn babysat while we went down to the hotel lounge and had some supper there.  We had originally planned to go to a different restaurant, but it was closed on Sundays!  It didn’t matter, we enjoyed the hotel and we didn’t have to walk so far!

Unfortunately, our time came to an end much too quickly and we were home on Monday morning in time to get Alex to Musical Theatre camp at 9:00.

It was a great weekend and I can guarantee that none of us will ever forget Chris & Lisa’s wedding weekend!

What a great long weekend we had!!  We packed up the van on Saturday morning and as soon as we had finished feeding breakfast to the guests, left the B&B in my parents’ capable hands and headed to Halifax so that the boys could participate in the Blue Nose Marathon Youth Run.   Erin had picked up their race kits for us, so we met her at the water stop where she was volunteering and the boys made a quick change before running with D’Arcy to the start for warm-up.

With Aunt Erin before the race

With Aunt Erin before the race

The girls were strapped into their stroller, and we headed down to stake out a spot near the finish line.  Most of the crowd was watching the start, so we were able to get really close and  after the race started, had a visit from “Myles” the Marathon Mascot.  He interacted with them for about five minutes.

The crowd watching the start on Citadel Hill

The crowd watching the start on Citadel Hill

There were over 1200 kids, Grade 9 and under who raced and the first runners got to the finish line in a little over 15 minutes.  (The Youth Run isn’t actually timed…  

Evan ran the whole way without stopping and Alex finished about ten minutes behind him.  I was so proud of them both!

The girls, being entertained by Myles

The girls, being entertained by Myles

 When Evan finished, he went straight into the Metro Centre to get a drink and some food, but I had stayed at the finish line to watch for Alex.  D’Arcy had been watching from part-way through the course, so he came down and met me.  We watched Alex run by to the finish and caught up with him.  D’Arcy hadn’t confirmed with Evan where we were going to meet him after the race was over, so Alex & I went into the Metro Centre to find him while D’Arcy & the girls stayed outside where we had been standing in case he came out to look for us there.

To find a child wearing the same t-shirt that 1200 other kids are wearing is quite an adventure.  I was getting worried that he would be panicking so just went straight to the announcer and asked if he would call Evan’s name to go to the “Lost Kids Bus” to meet us.  He had a big grin as he approached and said he was “just starting” to worry about finding us.

Evan, approaching the finish

Evan, approaching the finish

Alex, approaching the finish!

Alex, approaching the finish!

Two very proud & happy boys

Two very proud & happy boys

When we were all back together again, we got into the van to go play tourist. We stopped at Aunt Erin’s for a potty break, then went to Planet Organic to pick up a jar of Sunbutter for Olivia, then to the Italian Market for sandwiches for the rest of us and drove to Peggy’s Cove for a picnic.   We ate on the rocks and then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring.  

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D'Arcy & Sarah exploring the tidal pools

D'Arcy & Sarah exploring the tidal pools

Newlyweds, getting their wedding photos taken

Newlyweds, getting their wedding photos taken

Trying to arrange the kids for a photo - Olivia was not cooperating!

Trying to arrange the kids for a photo - Olivia was not cooperating!

Anne & D'Arcy

The girls had a ball with the hand-dryers in the bathroom!

The girls had a ball with the hand-dryers in the bathroom!

We convinced the kids to get back into the van (they would have climbed on the rocks all day!) and we started back towards Halifax, stopping in Prospect to show the kids where it all started… We showed them Grandma & Grandpa’s old house, where we had our wedding reception, then drove in to see the church where we were married and the house we lived in when I was pregnant with Evan. I was devastated to discover that “our” house has been torn down and a brand-new two story house has been built in its place. We had the opportunity to buy this house last summer, but decided that it was impractical since it was so small. (One bedroom, a bathroom in the bedroom, a kitchen & a living room.) It had a beautiful backyard and we could see the ocean out of every window in the house! Of course, the memories of our time spent there, getting married and the excitement of our first pregnancy, make it even more special. Evan asked me if I was going to cry. I didn’t quite get to that point, but I was pretty sad…

We got into Halifax in time to pick up our race kits and check into our hotel, the Marriot Residence Inn. They had run out of women’s small t-shirts for me, so I ended up with a men’s small. Oh well. Once we got settled in, we took the kids swimming, then got them some treats from McDonald’s since we were still full from our picnic lunch.  Our apartment hotel room, was perfect – we had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, a living room with pull-out couch, and three tvs!!  The girls & Alex were happy to go to bed and watch tv, but Evan stayed up with us until after ten.

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I didn’t sleep very well Saturday night, as I was worried about whether or not I’d be able to complete the race, seeing as I hadn’t trained. (My “training” was “running” with the P-2 Running Club once a week for four weeks, and one longer run by myself…) D’Arcy took the three older kids downstairs for breakfast while I kept Olivia in the hotel room with me (to avoid the eggs & peanut butter and a potential disaster!) and got our things packed up and ready to go. D’Arcy’s brother, Uncle Mike, came to take the kids for us while we ran. Olivia was not impressed that I was leaving her with a “stranger” (she doesn’t see him enough to know him) and cried until they finally ran into Aunt Erin.   

The energy was amazing.  The full and half marathons started at 9:00, then the 5k at 9:10 and the 10k at 9:20.  We ran into a few people we knew and when the men in kilts shot of the starting gun, we were off! D’Arcy & I ran together for about a km, but I knew that I don’t run as fast as he does so sent him along and we ran separately from that point on. The crowds were amazing and the encouragement that everyone was giving to one another was inspiring. Although I don’t actually like running, it was easy to get caught up in the moment! I ran almost the entire course, stopping to walk a few steps only twice. At one point, as I was losing steam, a man pushing another man in a wheelchair passed me and I decided I had better pick up the pace!

The conditions were great, with just a light mist falling and the wind was at our backs for most of the race. I actually had to take my sweatshirt off part-way through. The end of the race was on an incline which I felt was just cruel! Uncle Mike had the kids all situated near the finish line and I managed to get a smile & a wave into them. I was so proud of myself, I was close to bursting into tears, but I was also wheezing slightly, so concentrated on getting across the finish and using my puffer!

 Before the race

 

D'Arcy at the finish - his time was 26:35.7

D'Arcy at the finish - his time was 26:35.7

 

5k in 32:00.7

5k in 32:00.7

The runners & the cheering squad, after the race

The runners & the cheering squad, after the race

 

The kids with Myles

The kids with Myles

 

Sarah wanted to take a photo of my medal

Sarah wanted to take a photo of my medal

We checked out of the hotel, and because the weather was bad, decided to just head home. We watched the marathoners running over the bridge to Dartmouth and we went to Boston Pizza for lunch.
 

The girls

The girls

The boys

The boys

The whole family at the end of a fun family staycation!

The whole family at the end of a fun family staycation!

We got home early afternoon and brought our things into the kitchen and after a quick nap (Mom & Dad!!) started a marathon game of Canada-opoly. Shortly after supper, the doorbell rang and we ended up with two rooms of drop-ins. We got the girls into bed early and the rest of us followed not too long afterwards.

We’re now tentatively planning to run 5k as a family in the Annapolis Valley in October, and I’m planning on running the 10k at next year’s Blue Nose, although D’Arcy is pushing to do the half. I think that might be pushing it…

I’m a runner!

May 17, 2009

We ran the Blue Nose 5 k this morning.  Just to clarify – I am not a natural runner so this was big for me!   I didn’t train the way D’Arcy did, but still managed to run the 5k in 32 minutes and finished in the top 1/3 of the race!  I loved it.  I couldn’t believe it, but I loved it!  The boys ran yesterday and our race was today, so we turned it into a little mini-vacation.  It was a great family time and I will write all about it tomorrow, but in the mean time, will leave off with a  photo that makes me happy…

 

Approaching the finish of my first 5k!

Approaching the finish of my first 5k!

Almost a week?

April 29, 2009

Wow – it’s almost been a week since I posted an update.  Life seems to be quite busy these days.  Between the arrival of the sunshine and  “guest season” this week, my time has been at a premium.  Some of the activities keeping us busy this week were: taking the boys to see the local High School musical production, Alex’s First Confession (wouldn’t I have loved to be a fly in the confessional for that one!), haircuts for myself & the boys, a “girls” party for the local NDP Candidate, Sunday School, rototilling the garden, de-thatching & raking the lawn, grocery shopping ($400 worth!),Alex’s performance of “My Caterpillar” in the Music Festival (84.5 and another red ribbon!), house-cleaning & re-arranging our bedroom, a Board Conference Call, Preschool, Band, Intramurals, Running Club, Dance, Choir, dinner out with friends, a Tourism Research Forum, and a full house of Music Festival adjudicators all week.  Phew.  

The boys’ school was closed down on Monday because the school had no power.  Which also meant no phones or computers.  And?  From various reports – no emergency lighting on the Primary, One & Two Floor!  My sister-in-law was up at the school to pick up Luke because he was sick and offered to bring Evan home for me.  (Alex hadn’t gone to school because that was the morning he performed in the Music Festival).  Karen told me that she was almost in tears, trying to find the kids in the dark and that the teachers were using their cell phones to try to contact the parents of the 600 kids!  What a nightmare!!

Olivia’s new diet seems to be going well, although I haven’t weighed her yet to see if she’s gained anything.  

Sarah is obsessed with brushing her teeth these days because she doesn’t want to get a cavity.  I know I should be pleased that she’s so conscientious, but waking me at 4 am to ask if she’d brushed her teeth before she went to bed did not make me very happy!

Evan was given a registration form by his phys.ed teacher to join the Junior High Spring Basketball League.  He’ll be playing with boys in Grades 5-9 and the first practice is tonight.  He’s considering going away to an overight basketball camp this summer, so it will be good for him to meet and get to play with some older kids and build on his skills.

The boys are registered to run the kids’ portion of the Bluenose Marathon (4.2k) on the long weekend and D’Arcy and I will be running the 5k.  Back in January, we had thought we’d like to run the 10k, but I’ve hardly been out running lately and just won’t be ready.  5k it is.  Eek!  (I’m so not a natural runner…)

I have booked our summer vacation(s), so am excited to be planning those!  We will be staying at a hotel in Halifax for three nights surrounding our nephew’s wedding, and have rented a 29′ RV to go camping in PEI for five days.  It’s fun to have that to look forward to, knowing the busy season is just getting started.  Our numbers this year are down so far, and from the looks of our bookings, that trend is going to continue for the near future.  People are still booking though, so we won’t panic yet!!  

This is sort of a disjointed update, but that’s how my brain is working these days!!