Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Abbey's 21st Birthday Edition

4 words per pic 

My niece is Abbey 

She turned twenty one 

Add caption
 Meem and a peen 

Me, Shell, Babs, Amy 

I like my hair 

Amy made the cake 

Feeling a little tipsy 

Drink ALL the Fireball 

Brother and sister love 

Get on the bus 

Party bus is wild 

Sign my body please 

Do I know them? 

End of the night 

We consumed bad food 

North Park Kids Triathlon 2015 Race Recap

I decided to sign the kids up for the North Park Triathlon again this year.  I'll be honest, neither one of them are really enthusiastic about doing it, but I MADE Nicholas do it until he was 10 so that has been the "rule."   The truth is they're just a little bit scared and me pushes them ultimately helps their confidence and the always have fun.  

They were both really nervous, it's always the swim that makes them nervous, but I'm not sure why because they're both MORE THAN capable.  Admittedly, they are not swimmers, but they can swim 50 yards just fine.

This year I had a little more ammunition for getting them excited about the event... FRIENDS!!!

Ella and Taylor
Jack and Braden 

In years past, I have been so nervous but this year I felt calm. I really felt confident in both of their abilities and them having done it before set my mind at ease.

Jack's wave went first and I could tell he was nervous, but he jumped right in and did the swim with ease.  He looked a little wobbly when he got out of the water, but he was running into T1 looking happy.  Swim + T1 4:40 

Next thing I know, he's coming out on the bike.  He looked confident and was pedaling quickly.

It seems like forever when I'm standing there waiting for him to come back from his 1.5 mile bike, but soon enough he came around the corner.  He was going so slow and just looked bewildered.  Later he told me, he doesn't like all the screaming because it makes him nervous.  Regardless, he had a good bike ride.  Bike + T2 10:25 

When Jack came out on the run, it really seemed like he was in his element.  He was booking and he seemed to be less distracted by all the cheerleaders/fans. Ha!

Again, I'm not able to see him when he's out on the run course so it seemed like forever.  I waited not so patiently and eventually he popped out from around the corner and was booking on down to the finish line.  He told me later that he "dogged it a little on the run."  He makes me laugh.  Run 5:11 

He was so happy with himself when he finished.  This is why I make them do it!  Look at that smile.

Jack finished in 19:39.  So proud of my little buddy!

I didn't get to see Ella off on the swim because I was out taking pictures and cheering Jack on the course.  George said she did well.  I was impressed with a 3:22 Swim + T1 time.  

When she came out of transition, she had the biggest look of determination on her face.  She was focused and moving.

I could tell she had gone through T1 so fast because her shorts were all messed up and her shoe wasn't even on right.  It didn't appear to have been making a difference.

When Ella rounded the corner to finish the bike, she didn't seem as bewildered as Jack, but she still wasn't moving like some kids do.  I think my kids just get scared with all the screaming and the downhill into the bike finish.

She still had her look of determination so I was encouraged.  Bike + T2 9:01 

When Ella came out from T2 she looked VERY tired.  I felt badly because I knew she was on the struggle bus.  I encouraged her the best I could and told her to remember her Girls on the Run manta that she's strong and capable.

It must have worked because when she came around that corner from the run she was hauling @$$ and more determined than ever. Run 4:53 

I know I'm a mean mom, but I'm glad I force my kids to step outside their comfort zone a little, because it pays off in the end. Both of them were proud of themselves and I really do believe it gives them confidence.  Ella finished in 17:14, which was more than 4 minutes faster than last year.  So proud!

The kids had such a great time racing with their friends.  Success!!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Canada Trip 2015

As a surprise for Nicholas' birthday I planned a trip to Canada (his DREAM location) to visit the hockey hall of fame.  Nicholas has always wanted to go to Canada for obvious reasons... HOCKEY.  Canada is the hockey mecca and he NEED to see it.

We got in the car on his birthday and revealed we were headed to Toronto.  He was pretty excited, but I'll admit didn't have the HUGE reaction I had hoped for.  I think someone let is slip and maybe he already knew.

We got to Toronto and the first thing we did was eat.  Ha!  I wanted to something "Canadian" so I went with the peameal bacon sandwich and poutine.

Both were good, but I especially enjoyed the poutine.  It was so good!

After the food, we headed to the hockey hall of fame.  The kids were so excited to see all the memorabilia.

 I love Ella's face in this picture.  She was very serious about her goalie skills.

There were so many great things to see.  George thought I would rush through everything disinterested, but I did stop and really look at everything.

 Jagr represented.  Even though Jagr isn't my fave, but he was once a Penguin, so I kind of have to like him.  ha.

As you can imagine, the Penguin legend was well represented.

 I liked hitting the locker room and suiting up in the goalie pads.  They're huge!

Of course the best part of the day was seeing the Stanley cup!

 After the hall of fame, we walked around a little bit and ate some food (again).

 Then we decided to hit up a Blue Jays game.

The stadium was nowhere near as nice as PNC Park, but it was still cool to be in a new MLB stadium.

 We only lasted until the 4th inning, but all the action happened before then anyway.  

We really liked the city of Toronto.  It was a cool city.  It was a lot different than I expected.  It was a lot more high fashion and young than I anticipated.  I was surprised by the number of young professionals that smoked.  I learned that in Toronto, I found out restrooms are washrooms.  Also, I LOVE the Canadian accent.

 After we left Toronto the next morning, we headed to Niagara Falls.  I can't believe it took me almost 41 years to make it to the falls.  They were as impressive as I anticipated.

 Absolutely magnificent.

 I was so impressed with Canada, but I know I haven't seen the best part yet.  Alberta, I'm coming for you.