Color Run!

You know when you see something and it’s just so exciting that you know you have to be a part of it?  That’s how I felt when I learned about the Color Run!  For those of you who haven’t heard of the Color Run, it’s basically a 5k where you get colored powder thrown at you every kilometer.  I tried to sign up for it in Chicago but didn’t get around to it until after Chicago registrations were full, so when I found out they were holding another race nearby I jumped on it and registered right away!  And then I jumped up and down, squealing, in the kitchen while Tahd looked at me like I was insane.

That really happened.

For a few months now I’ve been looking forward to the run and did some Couch to 5k training to try to get ready for it.  I fell off track a little bit toward the end, and the whole mastitis fiasco really sidelined me, so I had resigned myself to walking much of the race instead of running like I had hoped.

When I went to pick up my registration packet it looked even more fun than I had anticipated, and despite their protests I signed up Tahd and Gabe for it on the spot.  I figured since I planned on walking it we could do it as a family and have some fun.  It’s not a timed event and there’s no competition to it – it’s just really colorful and a lot of fun…a perfect fit for us!

The race was yesterday and I highly recommend it!  Here is our experience in pictures!

This is the start line as we walked up the street toward it.  The number of people behind it was shocking – around 7,500!

Local businesses had all sorts of welcome signs out for us.

I had picked my outfit especially for the day, coordinating knee socks and everything.

Gabe picked his special, too!

They gave us these snappy headbands in our race packet.

Check out the people!  There were at least that many behind us, too!  My favorite were the costumes.  If I were doing it again I’d totally wear a pink frizzy wig and a tutu.

A pre-run shot.  I made Isla’s headband especially for the occasion, and per race “rules” even decked her out in a white shirt.  She hardly made a peep the whole time, but she pretty much maintained this expression throughout the entire thing.

They sent us out in waves every few minutes.  I think we were in the fourth wave?

Gabe wanted to run and hung in there for a whole kilometer!  He zoomed in and out of people.  By that, I mean he literally ran this way and that, left and right, and sometimes even in circles.  Apparently he thought crazy clothes mean crazy foot pattern.

This is what it looks like as you come up to a color station – insanity!  Volunteers stand on the edges throwing color as you run by.

And if you don’t get enough color you can always lay down in it!

Tahd and Gabe looped back around to get extra blue/purple, too.

Gabe wanted a little break after the pink station, so we stopped by the lake.

At the end of the race they have a color party where everyone throws handfuls of color on one another.  Sounds weird, but it’s not.  It’s super fun!

Even Isla got in on a little action!  For the record, the powder is just corn starch, so I wasn’t worried about her going with us.  That, and the color throwers were very good about not throwing color on the baby.  Gabe?  Not so much.  He made sure she got a good dose or orange on each arm and leg!

The Color Party lasts a while and they had a concert, too, but we didn’t stay because Isla was more than ready to eat and we wanted to get back to the car so we could clean up and I could nurse her.  Had I been thinking ahead I would have brought a bottle.  It’s totally possible to nurse at the run but just a little messy.

This boy makes me smile!

If you’re thinking about taking part in a Color Run, here are my tips:

1. Get as much color as you can!  By the time we had walked back to our car a lot of the excess color had blown away.  Our car didn’t get very messy.

2. Glasses of some sort are a good thing, and it’s nice to have a handkerchief to cover your face while you go through the station.  You can go without, but it’s nice to have the option.

3. Cell phones get slippery when covered in corn starch.  Just be aware. I wouldn’t take a good camera unless it’s covered.

4. Buy an extra color packet or two at registration. It’s nice to have your own variety!  We didn’t do this and I wished I had a few extra colors – maybe some red and aqua.  We had yellow and orange.

5. People are very generous with taking photos for one another.  If you want a picture of your whole group just ask.  Color Runners are very kind and very fun!

6. If you run toward the back of the pack you’ll have more opportunity to lay down in the color or double back for more color.  They don’t want you to stop in the color stations, but by the time most of the runners had gone through they didn’t care.

If you have the chance to do it you should!  It’s super fun and you don’t have to run even one step if you don’t want to.  It made for fun pictures and a great day!

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day… was perfect.  I can’t begin to say how good it felt to breathe and enjoy and know that losing Mara hadn’t ruined Mother’s Day forever.  I definitely had some mixed emotions, but over it all hung an umbrella of happiness and I enjoyed every minute of it!

Gabe’s school helps the children make Mother’s Day gifts, and this year he made me a special little lunch sack that contained breakfast in bed – a muffin and a juice box!  Mixed berry juice and an Otis Spunkmeyer muffin never tasted so good!  He was so sweet, telling me how he made sure all the decorations on the bag matched.  This is a common argument between us – how his clothes don’t match.  So I thought his matching efforts on my gift bag were especially adorable.

I had very generously received an iPhone several weeks go in honor of Mother’s Day, and I’ve been having lots of fun with it since then, especially with the camera.  It’s a huge step up from the camera on the droid I used to have!  I’d fallen in a bit of a photo taking rut lately, and the phone (and Instagram, to be perfectly honest) snapped me out of it.  So for a special excursion on Mother’s Day afternoon I told Tahd I wanted to go somewhere and take some family photos.

Not far from us is a little nature preserve, so we packed up the kids and the tripod and set on our way.

I am so glad we went!  I didn’t get everything I wanted, but I love so many of the pictures I did get.  They’re not perfect, but for a short notice outing with a cranky 7-year-old and a tenuous 4-month-old I thought it went pretty well!

We started with a little humor. Because humor goes a long way at warming the reticent heart.  Bet you can’t guess whose heart was reticent… ;)

I’m so in love with this picture of Gabe.  He doesn’t let me take many pictures of him lately, and this one is so relaxed and cute!

Sister wouldn’t look at the camera to save her life!

We were trying really hard to get a picture of me with Gabe and Isla but she started melting down to epic proportions.  So I grabbed our blanket and nursed her instead.  While I did, Gabe sat by me and inspected my charm necklace.  This turned out to be one of my most favorite pictures from the whole day.

After pictures we went to my parents’ house to enjoy family dinner with them and my sisters and their husbands.  Nobody came prepared for pictures but I thought Mom might like a picture of her with all her girls.

<3 them all!

I really have the best Mom, and I love the way she loves my children.  It is a privilege to be her daughter!

I hope your Mother’s Day was as lovely as mine!

The Years Are Short

It hit me afresh last night.

These days?


Are not going to last forever.

I love them.

Yosemite

You know what’s beautiful?

Yosemite National Park.

Tahd explained that since we were in California he likereallyreallyreally wanted to see Yosemite. I explained that since we were in California I likereallyreallyreally had no desire to also incorporate a road trip. But the look of longing on my husband’s eyes won out and I agreed to the trip, albeit grudgingly.

But, oh! Was I glad!

How can you not be glad when you see this?

A kind lady offered to take a picture of all three of us! And it mostly turned out!

The trees… oh, the trees!

El Cap…

Yosemite Falls…

On our way home we drove through a tiny little town called Priest Station.  We stopped for food and our meal was great, but I wish I had realized how close we were to this cafe. The view from their deck was astounding, and with the sun setting…

speechless!

California Friends

You know what’s fun? Meeting up with friends in California who do lots of fun things, including a trip to the Jelly Belly Factory and make a bottle of Coke explode with Mentos!

Damien, Amanda, Deacon, and Zachary – thanks for such fun times!  We had a blast!

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