My “little” brother Frank turns 21 today.  Happy Birthday!  You’re an awesome brother and I love you!
Frank was in town to visit over the weekend and we were glad to see him.  Here are a few pictures from the last couple of years.



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When I was pregnant with Nick, my mother in law gave me this vase as part of my shower gift.  You can’t really tell from the photo, but it’s about 4 inches tall and designed specifically for holding small flowers like dandelions that a small child might pick for their mom.  Yesterday, when we were walking home from the park, Nick picked some “flowers” for me.  I knew just what to do with them.  This vase is now on my window sill by the kitchen window.  It makes me smile every time I look at it.  It was one of the most perfect baby shower gifts ever, even though it took 3+ years before it was used.

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We had company all weekend.  Stephen’s parents and brother arrived from Dover, DE Friday evening.  They stayed with us and left this morning to head home.  We had a jam packed weekend.  Nick and Sally had the best time since they had undivided attention from Grandma and Grandpa most of the weekend.

Hale Farm, a farmer’s market, Trader Joes, Whole Foods to see The Chubby Cook make salad dressing, Hoggy’s for dinner and general play time around the house filled up the weekend.

Today, we had a normal day by heading to the J.  I did 25 minutes on the E Spinner and 20 minutes on the elliptical.  After the cardio, I did chest press, fly, triceps dips and bicep curls.  It was a good workout followed by a long uninterrupted shower.  With 7 people sharing 2 bathrooms over the weekend, it was nice to enjoy my shower today.

We came home and had lunch, naps and dinner with play time mixed in.  With a couple of loads of laundry this evening, we’ll be all caught up.  It’s so much easier to get caught up from a weekend with company compared to a weekend when we travel away with the kids.

I’m planning to go to bed early today.  We have blackberries to pick in the morning.

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The weather was great today.  The kids and I headed to the J for a quick workout.  I ended up doing 20 minutes on the bike and then triceps, biceps, and abs.  After the J, we headed to a friend’s house to play.


I think it’s always more fun to play at someone else’s house.

Later in the day, my mom was released from the hospital.  She is doing well.  The flowers were from her brother and sister in law who live in Florida.  My cousin is still in ICU, but we expect her to move to a regular floor soon.


On the way home, I ran across a car show.


I got up at 4:30am so I could leave my house by 5am and catch the Rapid at Green and Shaker.  That is the most eastern spot to catch the Cleveland RTA train.  On Sunday, the 5:40am is the earliest train.  It gets you to Tower City at 6:03am (a little less than a mile from the start of the race).  The continuing train to the Browns Stadium doesn’t run until 9am on Sunday.

I arrived at the Rapid Station without incident.  I didn’t see one car during my commute until I approached the station.  About 8 other cars pulled in.  All but one carried runners.  I was dressed to spectate and it was easy to strike up conversation with the runners.  5:40am came and went.  Then, it was 5:53am and a couple of the runners got in their car and headed downtown.  Right after that a bus pulled up to the station with “GREEN LINE” on it’s sign.  We’re taking the bus?  We all hurried on.  At this point, there were many nervous and running late runners.

Apparently, there was a flipped car on the tracks and the train couldn’t get to the station.  We asked the bus driver if he was taking us all the way to the stadium or downtown and he didn’t know.  He was flying west since there wasn’t really any traffic.  We passed the accident.  You can’t really tell in this photo since it was still dark, but there were a few emergency vehicles and a bit further down, a mangled car upside down on the tracks.


The driver ended up taking us to Van Aken.  He honked his horn to get the attention of an approaching blue line train and we all hopped on.  About 6:25am, we arrived at Tower City.  After purchasing my fare card, I headed to the starting line.  The race started and finished near Cleveland Browns Stadium.  This was especially nice since the stadium was open for restrooms and cover from the elements.


It quickly became clear that I was not going to be able to see my family before the race.  I did make it close to the start line in time to hear the national anthem and watch the start of the race.  Once the corrals cleared, I met up with the other spectators.


After chatting with Maureen, Erin and Frank, I headed to the finish area and they headed to mile 7.  All of our family/friends seemed to be doing the half marathon distance.

At the finish area, I saw Katie and Alicia.  I’ll be meeting up with them later in the week at Fit Bloggin’.  They were volunteers who spent a few hours passing out medals.


There were also lots of bananas waiting for the runners.


It was cold, foggy, drizzly and not the best spectating weather, but the races were fun to watch.  I was able to see the finish of the 10K, wheelchair races, 1/2 marathon and full marathon events.

I was alerted via text message as runners completed 10K and when they finished.  All of the runners that I followed completed the race and many had personal records or met their goals.  Here are the runners in our group from left to right – Carol, Holly, Mom and Justin.


Next up: orthopedic appointment for my knee in the morning.


My day started out with a Local Flora class at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  We had a brief classroom session and then headed on a field trip to take a look at live plants and trees.  We talked and walked around for a couple of hours.  It was a great learning experience and we didn’t get wet.

After the class, I headed to the Cleveland Marathon, 1/2 Marathon and 10K race expo.  My 2 sisters and mom are running along with a bunch of other people that I know.

I met my family at the expo. My mom and dad and all four siblings don’t get together very often.  My youngest sister lives out of town and my brother is moving this week for a coop job.  We took the opportunity for a few photos.



Erin traveled into town with my sister.  I’ve met her before a few times and I am staying with her when I go to Fit Bloggin’ next week.


My family and friends are all doing the 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles).  I think that the weather will be less than ideal with rain predicted most of the race.  Erin and I are spectating and I’m leaving the house really early to take a train downtown and arrive around 6am.  The race starts at 7am.  I hope everyone has a GREAT run.