Summer Feeling

This kid got a taste for summer over the weekend. While I was in Galena, John hooked up Elijah’s new sprinkler that he got from Colin and Mollie for his birthday. It was a hit!

I love his energy, and I am counting down until water days are an everyday luxury. There is a splash pad date in our near future, Elijah James. We might even be able to find some donuts (and iced coffee) on our way.

It’s all fun and games until…

…a bat shows up.

I’m not kidding.

Let me back up.

The theme of Raechel’s bachelorette party was “Bach Shit Crazy”. Props to her sister Whitney for renting a charming and luxurious Airbnb in Galena for our night away. The photos of this place don’t do it justice. It was located right on Main Street directly above Elle and Beck’s and Vinny Vanucchi’s, with four bedrooms and five queen beds.

We spent the late afternoon/evening catching up with each other, drinking wine, and playing games. Because of our prime Main Street location, dinner reservations at Fried Green Tomatoes were just a few blocks away.

After dinner and drinks, Whitney had a spa night planned for us back at the loft. It was pouring rain, and the loft was cozy. This might be why we had an uninvited guest join us.

At 3 a.m., someone got up to go to the bathroom and noticed the swooping. After that, we honestly couldn’t stop laughing that “Bach Shit Crazy” morphed into Bat Shit Crazy. The owners of the loft arrive just before 6 a.m. to catch the bat. While I would absolutely recommend this loft, the owner had a net that made him look like he’s done this before… He just didn’t seem too surprised to receive the bat call.

I have no idea if Raechel and Brian are doing a wedding slideshow or not, but we took pictures of the bat catcher just in case.

Mother’s Day Weekend

John’s Mother’s Day gift to me was a total surprise. I love it!

I knew John was taking Friday off work to finish replacing the steps on our deck because a few were rotten and breaking off. What I didn’t know is that he was also spending the day designing and building me a raised planter for a small garden.

Using the wood from the old deck stairs (that wasn’t rotten), he built a garden just big enough for a couple of tomato plants, green onions plants, and green pepper plants.

He not only built the planter, he bought the seeds and planted them for me.

I’ve talked about a small garden before but didn’t want to commit to tearing up some of our yard in case I hated maintaining it. This allows me the best of both worlds, and I’m so impressed by a homemade gift.

Mary’s Meals 5k

During the Ronald McDonald Run, I told John I get a little offended when the race announcers tell people with strollers to go to the back of the starting line. Common courtesy because of a giant stroller is one thing but expecting me to walk is another. Just because I have a stroller doesn’t mean I’m slow.

Elijah and I proved this to be true on Saturday during the Mary’s Meals 5k. My running buddy and I came in first for my age group. I didn’t know this until later in the day when my friend Jenni, who also ran with a double jogging stroller (the real MVP), texted me to tell me. Neither of us stuck around after the race because it was 45 degrees with rain on the way, and we both were running with the mindset, “The faster we run, the faster we’re done”.

At the finish line, Elijah gobbled up a donut from The Donut Experiment, which was one of the sponsors, but all I wanted was a large cup of hot coffee to warm the chill in my bones. We pulled into the garage when the downpour began. Perfect timing.

As for running with the jogging stroller, the truth is that I know my days are numbered with Elijah’s patience for sitting while I exercise. Usually, he can be held off with a snack halfway through or something exciting to watch nearby, but it’s getting tough. It’s also challenging (and dangerous) to maintain speed, steer, and open a bag of goldfish crackers all at the same time.

I cherish the miles we’ve put in together, and I pray Elijah will stick out this year with me before he totally outgrows his patience for me and stroller. Afterall, when I know my time on each run is limited, it’s a motivator to run fast and make it count. Whether he knows it or not, he’s made me a faster runner.

“Just Because” Flowers

I’ve posted before that I always forget how exhausting May is for teachers.

“Burning the candle at both ends” is a status update I’ve seen on my Timehop from May on more than one occasion. This year is no different.

It’s been a tough month, and I’m thankful for a “just because” token of love from John and Elijah. These gifts were delivered to my school earlier this week and brightened my classroom and my day.

Summer is two weeks away, and I’m excited to spend my energy spoiling both of you.

#RMHC Red Shoes Race

Yesterday’s run was significantly shorter than last year’s Ronald McDonald race. I didn’t exactly give John a chance to say “no” to running because I just registered us without asking him. Afterall, I know how to pull at his heartstrings since this race raises money to help people at a charity we’ve come to know and love.

Even though John hadn’t run one continuous mile since last year’s race, he tied up his running shoes and wore his “RMHC Alumni Family” bandana proudly.

The weather was gorgeous and one of the volunteers working the check-in table mentioned they had a lot more people participating than they had planned.

Thanks to Tony and Ashley for making the trip to support the cause and spend time with us. We’re thankful our extended family wants to be involved in this charity in various ways throughout the year.

It’s safe to say you’ll find us at the starting line of this event every year.

Elijah Day

John is out of the house before 7 a.m. every Saturday in order to meet a group of guys for basketball. I use this as an opportunity to fill up my cup with Elijah time.

I love the peacefulness of Saturdays mornings, just Elijah and me. Whether it’s baking blueberry muffins or lining up every single one of his matchbox cars, I sip hazelnut coffee and reflect on the beauty of our family the most during that time. Good or bad, it’s really the only day of the week that school isn’t in the front of my mind, and I do my best to make it all about Elijah.

Since I was traveling the last three weekends, my heart really needed this weekend around our home. In addition to basketball, John had plans most of the day. This meant an extra special Saturday for Elijah and me.

After a peaceful start to our morning that included cars and cartoons, we headed out the door at 9:30 for Dunkin Donuts. Using all of our self-control, we tucked these away for later and headed to Old McDonald’s Farm at Bever Park. We arrived at this free petting zoo right when it opened, which was perfect. Very few people were around, and Elijah loved riding the tractor and petting the animals.

After a good hour of going back and forth between the animals and the tractors, I convinced Elijah to walk up to the playground area at the park. We broke out the donuts and spent the rest of the morning braving new slides.

The rest of our day was spent outside around our neighborhood, and I went to bed with my heart more full thanks to a day with my sweet boy.

#AHeiarLove

Saturday was spent celebrating Tom and Jenna in Lakeville, Minnesota.

Tom and I went to school together from kindergarten-senior year. There are photos, but he was much cuter than me growing up. We’ve stayed friends forever and there are too many memories to count, although Katie, Chris, and I did our best to reminisce on some of the best high school and college ones while eating dinner Saturday night.

The ceremony and the reception were both gorgeous, but the love Tom and Jenna share is an out-of-this-world beauty. Thank you for inviting us to witness your love on your wedding.

MBA

John officially added more letters behind his name this semester: MBA.

Nights, weekends, and even using days off to lock himself in his office at work to strictly work on assignments helped him earn another degree.

Even though an MBA is not required for John’s current role at the hospital, he knew it couldn’t hurt. John’s capstone project included a 30 plus page paper where he developed a recommendation for back pain called a “Back Pain Bundle”. Even though I didn’t read the paper, John took the time to explain the project in terms I would understand, and I was impressed he was able to encompass all elements of healthcare into one plan.

I’m so proud of John for taking the initiative and enrolling in this program after years of weighing the pros of cons. Even though it meant time away from our family and sleepless nights worrying about the next assessments, he did it. John Wagner, DPT, MBA.

Bridal Festivities Begin

Saturday included a girls’ day in celebration of the bride-to-be, Meredith.

Meredith’s bridal shower was held in her hometown, so it was fun to see where she grew up and finally meet her parents. I’m wondering who will be hitting the dance floor harder on June 30th- Meredith or her mom?

It’s hard to believe wedding week is just two months away, and I’m so thankful both of my brothers gave me incredible sisters-in-law.