Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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2009 to 2010: Compare and contrast

-In 2010, I took on a totally new lifestyle: Working the day shift, becoming a mom.
-In 2009, I had also taken on a new lifestyle: Unemployment.

-In 2009, we were broke. We had a few weeks where we weren’t sure how we could feed ourselves or pay some of our bills.
-In 2010, Doug and I were able to work through our money issues and even save a few bucks. It helped that I got a job!

-In 2010, I returned to running, and though I had to scale my goals back considerably, I am now running even better than I did before.
-In 2009, I started the year injured and not running, then I started running again but was unable to gain any consistency because of pregnancy.

-In 2010, I made strides in figuring out how to handle to responsibility of another human life. I watched my baby grow and change.
-In 2009, I had my greatest accomplishment in giving birth to my beautiful daughter.

Aside from giving birth, 2009 was not good. This year was way better than 2009, hands down. And I have complete confidence that in 2011, life will just keep getting better!

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Outside in December

I miss being outside. The treadmill just doesn’t agree with my shins. So when I realized last night that this morning’s temperature was supposed to be 32, I decided I was going to take the opportunity to try my new running jacket and head outside.

The actual temperature was 37, but felt like 30, according to So I layered up, with my capris under my longer pants, a long sleeve shirt (my CIM relay shirt!), my toasty fleece jacket, stocking cap and gloves. I was glad I’d thought to charge my garmin last night!

I headed out and the temperature felt fine or a little colder than I liked. I turned the corner off my street and came to a still-snow-covered, though melting snow, sidewalk. I’d really expected them all to be clear but at least since the snow was melting it had texture and wasn’t slippery.

My run was great for the first mile and a half. I was a little more chilly than I expected but warmed up. When I ran outside before CIM, I hated it, though I loved it too. It was really peaceful being out there by myself. It was the same way today. It was surreal too. I couldn’t believe I was actually outside when it was 37. Snow banks are stacked higher than my waist in some areas. Its Dec. 30. There are still Christmas lights up!

The problem was, as I warmed up, my glasses started fogging up! I was already dodging puddles and ice patches on the sidewalks, which wasn’t that big of a deal. But I couldn’t see well through my glasses. I have different loops through my neighborhood that I’ll go around once or twice depending on how far I want to go. But it was becoming apparent that I wasn’t going to repeat the first one because of the ice and my glasses. I had to stop and walk a few times. Then I turned a corner and my glasses fogged up more! At the same time, I came to a section of sidewalk that hadn’t been shoveled at all.

I had turned again and my glasses were even more fogged, but it wasn’t terrible because I had gotten to the part of the neighborhood where I felt comfortable running on the street and it was also better lit here. I made a few more turns and got to another area where I repeat a loop… and this street was icy! Maybe it hadn’t been plowed all the way to begin with? I couldn’t see well with the fog on my glasses, so I had to turn around and go back to where I knew the road was clear.

After that detour I made it through the last of my route. I’d hoped to run 4 miles but only got 3 in. I could have added a mile somewhere in the neighborhood, but I was approaching my house and I was beat! Running on the uneven terrain really did a number on my legs. I decided 3 miles was just fine and headed home. I had wanted to get outside to give my shins a break, but running on the snow and ice didn’t provide that. Uneven footing is hard on the legs. But it felt really good to get outside.

Note to self: Next time I run outside when its cold, I’ll put my contacts in first! If I’d been able to see, the whole thing would have gone more smoothly!

My jacket was nice and toasty. Maybe a little too toasty at times, contributing to the fog factor. I’m still considering running the New Years Day Dash on Saturday, even though the forecast high is all the way down to 21, colder than I’ve run in yet (my limit has been 30). But I think I can stay warm enough in my toasty jacket! I think the main factor in whether I run it or not depends on the ice factor. Its supposed to be even warmer tomorrow and its supposed to rain. With the rain and then dropping of temperatures, I’m betting there will be a lot of ice. Will the roads be cleared by race time?

I would love to start out the new year with a race. But I think I’m going to have to be flexible because even if I can stay warm, I’m not willing to risk injury from slipping on the ice!

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From one Christmas to another

December 2009:

December 2010:
12 months ago, Allie wasn’t terribly mobile.

We wanted her to become mobile, but I kind of miss that time when she wasn’t because now we have to spend a lot of time getting her out of places where she doesn’t belong, like behind the chair

And just look at that hair!
She sure does make life fun though. Happy 14 months Allie!

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Meet and greet

On Christmas Day Allie got reacquainted with her cousins Cole (in the Orlando jersey) and Carson (showing Packers love!). They live in Troy, Mo. We all got up early Christmas morning to go see them and Aunt Julie.

Those boys are full of energy. Allie is full of energy. It was a good matchup.

It was hard to get a good picture of the three of them though!

They’re a fun bunch. I wish we lived closer to them.

I finally managed to get a good picture of them…

And then they were all on the move again!


Southern Illinois Christmas

We had a nice Christmas. It was a quick trip, way to quick really. But it was nice to be there. We didn’t get to go last year because of my continuing unemployment and also because Allie was so little.

We drove down to Bloomington Wednesday night and spent the night in a hotel. We drove the rest of the way on Thursday morning, though we didn’t make it as early as we wanted because of a few stops we had to make on the way. We hung out Thursday night and Allie went to bed early.

I think walking at the mall may have been the highlight of Allie’s Christmas. She was so shy when she first got to Grandma and Grandpa Durso’s house, but she just ran ahead without fear when we went to the mall on Christmas Eve morning.

Allie got an umbrella stroller and we got to test it out, also at the mall. Allie liked asserting her independence, but she also liked hopping in the stroller and taking a ride.

Back at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, we had a great turkey dinner. The turkey took a really long time to cook for some reason and to try and divert Allie’s attention from the Christmas tree and presents beneath it, she got to open one of hers. This Redskins dinosaur was for Dada too. The dinosaur plays music and lights up and rolls all over the place. I have some fun pictures of Monk’s reaction the the dinosaur. Anyway, the dinosaur held her attention for awhile, but then she was back to her favorite spot:

She did manage to rip a few presents that were not hers, but all in all, most of the presents escaped her grab.

She enjoyed opening presents, but was really more interested in opening the presents that belonged to others.

She knew what to do with her new sippy cup.

Another unexpected highlight was this green long sleeve shirt. It said “My first football and puppy,” but it was a Rams theme… Grandma and Grandpa are Rams fans. Nobody’s perfect. 🙂

Christmas morning we got up early and drove to Doug’s sister’s house outside St. Louis. It snowed most of the day on Friday so it was a white Christmas even in southern Illinois.

A surprise at Julie’s house was the fact that Allie sat and watched Grandpa and cousin Cole playing chess for quite awhile, at least a half hour.

But then she got crazy. It was a lot of fun watching the cousins play together. The boys are big sports nuts. Cole is in the Orlando jersey and Carson is wearing the Aaron Rodgers jersey. I wish we lived closer to them.
The drive home on Saturday night was long, but Allie did great. She was fussy off and on from being stuck in the car seat, and she got really cranky just before dinner time. But after a big dinner and a change into pajamas she was great and slept the rest of the way home. We were so glad to be sleeping in our own beds again. Christmas continued at Grandma and Grandpa Swanson’s house Sunday night and our Durso pack celebration is TBA.

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Week 01/11

Even though its still 2010, its the new year in the unemployment calendar. The weeks are numbered and since Jan. 1 is on Saturday, that makes it week 1 of 2011! And also since Jan. 1 is on Saturday, there are 53 weeks this year!

New Years always comes up so fast after Christmas. Imagine that, its a week after Christmas and it comes up fast? I’ve been thinking a lot this month about how different 2010 was from 2009 and knowing that with 2011, life can just keep getting better! I’ve got a lot of reflections on this year and what I want from the next, hopefully I can find the time to write it all down.