Monday, May 21, 2012

Spring 2012

This spring has been busy.  Although I turned in my resignation to BMC, I have continued to coach the team until a replacement is found.  I thought that I would be through by March, so of course I took on responsibilities... and now the spring has been spent doing more rather than less.  

In addition, we have spent a lot of time at therapy for Will's arm.  He can now straighten it out all the way, but he is still working on touching his thumb to his shoulder... something we take for granted!  

Here are the brief highlights of the last few months:  

My friend, Kenneth Wiliams invited me to the RRCA coaching convention in Memphis.  We got to have lunch and listen to Chris McDougall, author of Born To Run.  

The Spartans got to participate in a track meet at Briarcrest High School in memphis.  Sarah and Olivia are sitting on the infield...
 Sarah is below on the far left, finishing the mile.  She ran a 6:34 mile as a 6th grader!  Hannah convinced me to let her be a "spartan fan," because she was worried about not being competitive enough.

Here is Chewy, our new dog.  He has grown so much since we got him, and he is officially a coyote killer!

This year we got to attend the annual Easter egg hunt at the Johnsons' home.
 They had a special guest from Zimbabwe, and he also enjoyed the afternoon.  He wanted a picture with all of the children after the egg hunt, so everyone gathered on the back porch.
 Here I am with Roan and Esther...  we were discussing our upcoming Disney marathon trip in January!

Amanda Price 5K

Very, very late on December 5, 2011, I was awakened by the phone ringing.  I stumbled around, fumbled for the phone, and answered... I must have been halfway asleep, because I remember Coach Basil saying, "Heather wake up!  You have to listen to me.  This is bad- I have some bad news for Scott."  

He went on to tell me that our friend, Amanda Price had been shot and killed.  Her husband, Ron (the NAHS football coach with whom Scott had coached for 3 years) had also been shot and was in the Tupelo ER.  I woke Scott up and gave him the news.  We quickly got dressed and went to Tupelo.  

Ron was going to be ok, but he hadn't been told about Amanda.  After a while, the football coaches went in to talk to him.  Even in the midst of incredible tragedy, he handled it as a believer.  The next few weeks were full of sadness and questions. 

After a lengthy investigation, the killer was caught.  Amanda just happened to be walking the dog at the wrong time.  The criminal was about to break into the house, and Amanda startled him.  

Amanda Price was one of THE kindest, sweetest, servants that I have had the privilege to know.  She was a supportive, loving wife.  She made me feel included within the coaches' wives, and she was always quick to offer encouragement and kind words to others.  I did not get to spend much time with her, but I will miss her.  We all will.  

I was not the only one who was impacted by Amanda's life and example.  Most of New Albany, MS knew her and came to show their sympathy to the Price and Cossey families.  

One group of New Albany runners decided to express their sympathies by organizing a 5K race to benefit Survivor, Inc, a local group who offers support and counseling to families of victims of violent crime.  The race was held March 10, 2012, and it turned out to be one of the largest 5K's in MS in it's first year!  Over $20,000 was given to Survivor, Inc!  

 The race began with a balloon launch... Purple balloons filled the sky.  It was an absolutely perfect morning for a race!  I was proud to have a great showing of both Spartans and Toppers for the day!

 Austin Epting and Kelsea Hendrix were the first male and female finishers... Go BMC!
 Kelsea, Austin, Brian McDonnieal, Zack Brock, and Jose Valle smile after the race.

 Above:  Hannah and Eryn, Below:  Kendra and Sarah

New Orleans Marathon 2012

After the Memphis Marathon, I began researching nearby marathons within a reasonable time frame.  New Orleans seemed to be the best option.  My mom-in-lawlives an hour outside of NOLA,  It was 3 months after Memphis... enough time to maintain mileage but hopefully keep from being injured.  

My friend Esther agreed to run with me, and so we planned a fun girls' trip!  We left after school on Friday and headed south.  John had the shrimp ready and waiting for us when we arrived! 

On Saturday we all headed into New Orleans to be tourists and go to the race expo.   We were so thankful that Kay worked in downtown New Orleans... she knew her way around well, and that made the day much more enjoyable for us!  

Hannah and Kendra pose by a table of earrings in the French Market.

The girls had never seen so many "interesting" people!  A man dressed as a statue was different... but not as strange as the wolf man playing the violin!  

The corn in the French market made a delicious snack for us when we were starving!!
Eryn, Mycah, Sarah, Hannah, Myriam, and Kendra posing in the French Quarter.
The girls all got masks in the French Market, and then had a lot of fun with them back at Kay's.

 We finally made it to the race expo and walked the red carpet into the entrance.  As we walked into the entrance, I saw that I had missed several phone calls from home.  I walked back out into the lobby to see what was going on while the girls checked out the race expo.

 Unfortunately, Will and Josh had been playing on a round hay bale in Starkville, and Will took a tumble.  (They were spending the day with Sharon visiting Kevin at MSU.)  He landed just wrong on his arm and broke it in a very difficult place.   I was thankful that Sharon was in charge... she took him to the Starkville ER and did her best to keep him comfortable.  

While I waited to hear what was going to be done about Will's arm, we got our race numbers and everything we needed for the race.  Kay took the girls back to her house in Kiln, and Esther and I went to my friend Sydney's apartment right in downtown NOLA.  Jessica Moeller brought us the key to Sydney's apartment (Sydney was out of town), and she went out to dinner with us.  We enjoyed the dinner and then went to get frozen yogurt afterwards.  Jessica helped us map out our way to the race start, and even helped us find parking lots to look for!

In the meantime, the ER doctor decided that Will should be taken to LeBonheur to be looked at by a pediatric orthopedic doctor.  The break was going to need surgery, but they didn't know if the surgery would be done Monday morning or right away.  Sharon headed to Memphis with Will and Josh, and Scott was going to meet them there.

I was torn.  Stay or go home?  Scott said absolutely stay... even if we went to pick up the kids and got on the road to go home, we would miss his surgery (if it happened).  So we stayed, but I did not sleep at all that night.  Around 11pm, Will went into surgery.  About 1:30am, I got a text from Scott saying that the surgery had been successful and that all was going to be fine.

We got going well before dawn and headed down to the race.  It was much bigger than the Memphis race... starting corrals lined up all around a city block!!  The morning was beautiful, and the race took us through all of the pretty parts of New Orleans.  One great thing about a marathon is that it is essentially a running tour of a city!  I enjoy looking at houses and architecture, and an 8:00 pace is slow enough to do that!

After the half marathon turn off, the course went out by the lake.  Things seemed to start dragging on here...........  It had gotten hot, and we were on this T turnaround....... but we never seemed to be reaching the turnaround points!!  Esther was hurting and told me to just go on.  I knew I could be close to my Memphis time, and the thought of Will being in a hospital bed while I was out running was just killing me.  So I went.  That might make me a bad friend.  But Esther is a good friend, and she was very kind about it.   I picked it up and started to pass the women who had been steadily passing us after the 15 mile mark.

By about mile 25 I was starting to fade.  The last 1.2 was a never-ending path through a park... there was a little foot bridge going over a creek, and it felt like a mountain-sized hill at that point in the race!!  Finally, I made it to the finish line!  The end time was 3:33:24!

The worst part about the whole race was the 1/4 mile walk to the shuttle bus!  We were shuffling to say the least!

 We finally got to the car, and headed back to the Kiln to shower, pick up the girls, and hit the road for home.  The girls had a wonderful time with Kay and John.  They were so hospitable, and everyone was already planning their next trip down before we even got to Hattiesburg!

 Will was recovering nicely but still in quite a bit of pain.  By the time we made it home, it was bedtime.  Will would be coming home the next morning, so Scott asked me and the girls to stay in New Albany and get things ready for him.  We got everything picked up, cleaned the house, and got him several books and favorite snacks.
 It had been a long, tiring weekend, and I was glad to be home with my boy!   

Sarah is 12!

 Happy 12th Birthday, Sarah!!  This year Sarah had a few friends over to spend the night for her birthday.  She had written a play and wanted her friends to come over and perform it.  
 The story was about the Disney princesses... They decided that they were not content in their circumstances and wished they could have re-written their stories.  Each princess went through a scene of what they wished for themselves, and then finally decided that their producers had the right idea all along.
The girls practiced well into the evening and watched the movie, "Beauty and the Beast."  The next morning, they practiced some more and then did a performance for parents.  

Winter Happenings

We stayed busy all winter... with scouts and violin and school and BMC and running....

Hannah had a Christmas violin recital, and the group performance was beautiful.  Almost as beautiful as she and her friend Kaelan!  
 The boys had a bobcat badge ceremony with their boy scout troop.  This was their first accomplishment as scouts!  Below:  Josh receiving his badge.
 Ben, Jon, and Will receiving their badges...
 Will and Josh after the ceremony..
 Ben, Will, Josh, and Jon after the ceremony...
 Diane, Buddy, and Ben at the reception.  This would be one of the last times Buddy was able to get out and go.  He lost his battle with cancer and went to be with the Lord in the spring of 2012.
 Ben, Qiao, and Will at the reception

Merry Christmas 2011

We began preparing for Christmas in advance this year... Last summer, Katie Crampton took the kids to the pottery shop to make pottery Christmas gifts.  The kids had a great time being creative and making some beautiful gifts!  I spent the trip to NAIA nationals knitting Sarah a pair of Perry the Platypus slippers (our family loves Phineas and Ferb!)

After Thanksgiving, we began to decorate the house.  Hannah strung cranberries...
And Sarah had a photo shoot with the animals under the tree....
Finally, Christmas arrived!  We continued our tradition of going to my mom's house on Christmas Eve.  My dad surprised her with a golf cart!  Merry Christmas, Mimi!
Christmas Eve night we opened presents with mom and dad and the Pitts.  Hillary wins the award for awesome gift this year... she ordered Scott a new LU t-shirt with his football number and everything!
Our traditional Christmas morning stocking picture!  
Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, and so the Pitts didn't come for breakfast.  We still enjoyed a full breakfast with our favorite breakfast casseroles... Shrimp 'n Grits were served the night before since Adam and Hillary wouldn't be there!
After church we went to Bobby and Sharon's for the afternoon.  Scott's dad liked his metal sign!
We enjoyed seeing Brian and Kevin!  It's hard to believe they are both in college!  
Sharon enjoyed her first Christmas as a retired lady this  year!  
Sarah in her cowgirl boots!
It took a few years, but we finally got to have Kay AND John to our home for a few days after Christmas this year!  John brought the RV, and they camped right out on our driveway.  We had a great visit, and we are still enjoying the deer meet that John brought with him.  Hannah got a Garmin for Christmas, and she was thrilled... this will really help her achieve some consistency in her training paces!

Kay liked the pottery that Sarah gave her... what a cool gift!

Josh and Kay spent the whole day putting together his marble racing track... 
While Hannah and John had gumbo cooking lessons!  
It took all day to make, but it was DELICIOUS!!!