Thursday, April 30, 2015


Earlier this winter, I noticed that Topsham Rec was offering a soccer program called MiniKickers through ChallengerSports in the spring. While Sam has not expressed too much interest in traditional team sports, I thought it sounded like a good, fun, laid-back introduction to the sport and asked her if she wanted to do it. The answer was a resounding "Yes!" When I asked her again later in the week, she was still enthusiastic so I signed her up.

Yesterday evening was the first soccer camp. I'd say Sam was on the older end of the scale, as the class was for 4 to 5 year olds. Being a younger kindergartener, she is in an odd place where age-wise she is often still grouped with pre-schoolers, but honestly, in this instance I didn't think it would be such a bad idea. Coach Jenny had the kids running around with and without the ball and doing some fun little drills and things that focus on basic skills and movement. It was a bit more like controlled chaos than soccer at times, but it was very cute :) Even better, Sam seemed to fit right in skill-wise and had a great time! Yah, soccer ;)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Two Days in a Row

Two days in a row with company on my runs - wow! Met up with John this morning a bit before 6:00 am to run the 6-mile cart path "loop." I was a bit overdressed, but it was raw and damp and windy out so the extra layers all seemed reasonable at the start ;) It was fun to catch up with John as we ran along the wide gravel and dirt cart paths. I'll be honest and admit that talking while running 8:30-8:50 pace felt like a bit more effort than I would have hoped for, but all told it was a nice run and a good way to start the day. Thanks, John!


And from the Samantha files:

Last night, I looked at the lunch menu and said, "It's spaghetti and meat sauce or fish sandwiches tomorrow. Why don't you try the fish sandwich? You like the fish sticks!"

In reply, Sam says, "No, let's do cold lunch, mama. I've seen the fish sandwich. It has real fish in it!"

HA! ;)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BTLT Trails with Shannon

We've settled back into our regular routine fairly nicely, or at least we got all the laundry done, the vacation stuff put away, there are groceries in the fridge and we've managed to get to school and work on time the past two days ;)

However, I never managed to get out of bed yesterday morning to run, but oh well. Got in a nice 5.8 miles on the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust trails around Crystal Spring Farm with Shannon this morning. It was a bit blustery and cool out, but the trails were fairly dry, there was no snow in the woods and I was running with a friend, so I'll call it a win! The woods were still mainly drab tones of grey and brown, but hopefully the greening of spring will be arriving soon! Fun to get back on the BTLT trails and to get in a run with Shannon! And we've even scheduled to meet up again next Tuesday :)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekend Running

...or not running, as the case was yesterday. We were up at 5:00 am to catch our flight back to Boston. All went smoothly and we arrived at Ryan's parent's house around 1:00 pm with enough time to change and catch up briefly before the memorial service for Ted. It was a nice, intimate affair at the house with a small group of people and some lovely words said about a quiet, kind, loving, strong man. Of course, I ended up missing half of it as Gavin and Sam desperately needed to get out and move, so Chris and I took them out for a walk around the block. After the service was over, the family went out for a fun dinner. The two little cousins were just too cute holding hands walking through the parking lot ;)

Despite the fact that I was exhausted, I didn't sleep well but still wanted to get up and out for a run this morning. I snuck out around 7:15 for a run on the Weldon Farm loop before anyone else was awake. I didn't really have enough cold weather clothes, but luckily it warmed up quickly! I gotta admit that my legs felt pretty sluggish and the run just kind of was. But that's ok. Looking forward to getting back on the trails this coming week and enjoying the singletrack out in the Cathance with no snow!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Last Day in NC

It's always bittersweet, the last day of vacation. So hard to know you are headed back to reality. I got up and out early this morning for a run. It was a beautiful, clear and crisp morning, with blue sky and a cool wind blowing. I ran out to the River Lodge and along the nature trail, where I started four deer, their white tails bobbing as they jumped gracefully out into the marsh grasses, then out along the roads to the Bluffs before turning around and heading back down the main drag to the gate. From there, I took the gravel trail/old road along the berm. Scared up a Great Egret at the water's edge, and got a really nice look at a Pileated Woodpecker out in the pines. Multiple red-winged blackbirds, brown trashers and mockingbirds too. Also saw a big turtle out in the grass. Laying eggs, perhaps? Legs felt good and I was able to run at a decent pace. A good 10 miles to start the day.

We were busy the rest of the day, as we have been the whole trip. We got in a few ride in the neighbor's golf cart, which Sam loved, played some golf and gardened in the backyard, spent two hours up at the pool, made cupcakes and had a yummy dinner together. It has been a great trip! Many thanks to Neenie and Pip for having us! It has been a blast!!!

Roses in bloom out in the yard

Leftie clubs!


Clubs are a bit big, but she's doing pretty well!


This is fun!

Gardening with Neenie

Gathering up our beach treasures from Wednesday

Fun with rings in the pool

Yellow iris

Coloring fun


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Golf Fun

It was so lovely out today - low 60s and breezy, no humidity - that I was tempted to go for a run, but I decided to stick with the plan for a mellow week. I'm hoping to get in 10 miles tomorrow morning so hopefully it will be just as nice out and my legs will feel good!

After a haircut and a turtle rescue this morning, Sam spent most of the day with Ryan and Pip out on the golf course. She rode all 18 holes with them! Mom and I met up with them a few times along the way. She was having such a blast out there - it was so darn cute! :) Then Mom and Dad were nice enough to take Sam out to dinner so that Ryan and I could go up to the club restaurant and have a nice, quiet evening out. A good non-running day for sure!

Sam and her cute new haircut :0

Turtle in the middle of the road

Bye bye buddy! Hope you find a happy pond out there!

Happy to be out on the golf course

Sandy Sammy :)

In the cart with Pip

Golf fun

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly on pink Dianthus

Blooming Amaryllis

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

River Lodge Run and Another Fun Day

I couldn't quite drag Ryan out of bed early enough for him to join me for my run this morning before we headed to the beach, so I did the loop out to the River Lodge and along the 'nature trail' solo, looping back by the clubhouse and down the main road before heading back to my parent's house. I kept the pace mellow, although on these completely pancake flat roads, mellow is a wee bit faster than it might be elsewhere ;) Lots of birdsong, but no fauna sightings out toward the River Lodge or along the wide trail that winds through the woods separating some of the golf holes out that way. Oh well, it was a lovely, relatively cool and sunny morning for 5 miles. My legs felt much better than yesterday although overall I'd still say they are a bit tired.

With such a nice day on tap, we headed back to Wrightsville Beach for more fun in the sun. After three hours on the beach, Sam was spent, so we headed to, where else?, Boombalatti's for ice cream and then to do some strawberry picking before having an early dinner out. Oh, those just-picked, sun-warmed strawberries tasted so sweet. Delish! Not much to complain about on yet another lovely vacation day!

Fun in the water...

...and fun in the sand

Waking the beach with Pip, looking for shells

We found some good augers, scallops and even an olive, but no sand dollars. We did, however, find this... A snaky-armed brittle star. So cool!

It was white side up when I saw it. Otherwise, I think it would have just blended right in. We didn't take it with us, but it was too cool not to photograph! What a neat find!

Then it was on to ice cream and strawberry picking. What a day!

Goofy selfie in the strawberry field

Better shot :)

A heart strawberry :)

Walking the rows

Picking berries

Finding just the right one...

Strawberry pickers!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Short Run

Ryan and I got out this morning for a short run along the Berm. My legs are definitely still feeling overall fatigue from Saturday's race and my quads were still a bit tight, but it did feel good to move. It was warm, sunny and breezy, without much humidity to speak of. We saw two large Great Egrets along the ponds, always so pretty set against the greenery. Easy three miles.

The rest of the day was filled with relaxing, shell cleaning, golf and a bit of swimming. Nice day all around.

Gotta get those shells clean ;)

Larger collection all cleaned and nicely laid out to dry

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly on blooming azaleas

Green anole sunning himself

Swallowtail and azalea

I see you...

Sam and Pippi on the golf course

Riding in the cart

Helping Daddy putt ;)