Life as we know it

Our family adventures


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Its working!

The Badgers won last night! But they certainly kept us on edge doing it!

On to the real topic of this post: I’m excited to share that I have lost 9.2 pounds in the last eight weeks! I am for sure at my lowest weight in 2+  years, 193.

This in spite of my ditching food tracking the last few weeks and also some poor eating decisions as well as skipped workouts. I had felt I just needed to get to the right combination of eating and exercise and I feel like this confirms it! While on one hand 9.2 doesn’t seem like a lot, I know this is the best way to do it… and its working! After all, slow and steady wins the race, right? And I think that’s why I’m continuing to lose even when I don’t necessarily stick to the plan. And just think… when I decide to go back to the plan (likely not until after we move), hopefully I will be even more successful!

I’ve been feeling like certain pants were getting more loose. And I do feel like maybe the weight loss is starting to show. Maybe after we move I’ll get brave and try on some of those smaller clothes that I’ve kept even while getting rid of so much other clothing. I had decided in January I didn’t want to buy any more new clothes for a while because once I lose weight, I have plenty of nice things to add to my wardrobe. And so far it seems like that may be the case sooner rather than later.

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Dursos March madness

I don’t follow sports the way I used to. I became a football and basketball fan when I first started at The Southern Illinoisan in 2003 mainly because I was on a night staff of mostly guys and I figured I needed to have some level of familiarity in order to participate in the conversations. It eventually became a way for me to get to know my husband as well.

But in recent years since we moved away from Carbondale and newspapers and I have other things to occupy my time, I’m not quite as into it as I used to be. In fact, I don’t often sit to watch an entire game of anything, even my favorite teams. One thing I still do is an NCAA tournament bracket. We used to get into big brackets at work and whatnot. Now we just have us four Dursos in our family bracket. Mama and Dada usually have a friendly “bet,” where the winner gets a giftcard of his/her choice or gets to pick the activities for the next date night.

So before the tournament started last Thursday, we all picked our brackets. Dada used his sports knowledge, Mama picked mostly random but with the Badgers winning, Allie picked by mascot and Peyton picked via coin flip. And the brackets so far are having the amount of success you’d expect for their method!

Peyton has 31 points (I think points is just 1 point for each game won?) and 9 teams in the Sweet 16 (which starts tonight). He only has 1 Final Four team remaining, Utah. His bracket had them losing to Baylor, whom Peyton picked as champion. Baylor lost its first game. The three Final Four teams he lost were Baylor, Wyoming and Purdue. We are actually pretty surprised at the relative success of his coin-flipper bracket, but continued success is minimal with only 1 team left in the Final Four.

Allie has 26 points, 4 Sweet 16 and 1 of her Final Four teams. She has Wisconsin and Gonzaga in the final Final Four, with the Badgers losing to Eastern Washington in the final game. Eastern Washington also lost its first game. The three teams she lost were Northeastern, Georgia and Eastern Washington.

Mama has 38 points and 8 teams in the Sweet 16. I lost Villanova and Iowa State from my Final Four and I have Wisconsin and Kentucky in the Final Four with Wisconsin beating Kentucky. I think I had my final game with the Badgers winning over Villanova.

Dada has 41 points and 10 left in the Sweet 16. He has two left in the Final Four, like me Kentucky vs. the Badgers and the Badgers winning. He’s lost Villanova and SMU from his Final Four.

The first day of the tournament was brutal for the Dursos with both kids losing their champions. None of us got out of the first weekend with more than 2 Final Four teams. I’m not sure how Mama and Dada will shake out in our competition since we had the same game and same results for one of the Final Four games. I sure would like to get myself a gift card though!

Peyton has no concept of the basketball. Dada did his coin-flipper bracket one night after the kids were in bed. Peyton will get excited about anything we get excited about though, so that’s fun.

Allie picked her mascots on the way home from work one day. Dada didn’t know every mascot though and made up some of them. I think she may have picked Eastern Washington because Dada said they were the red hawks or something. I can’t remember now what their mascot really is. Allie thinks its fun. When Dada talks about the basketball, she asks if the brackets are playing.

Poor Dada has to watch his two favorite teams play each other tonight when the Badgers play the UNC Tarheels. He did pick the Badgers in the bracket though. But he’s feeling very conflicted about the game! We shall see who comes out victorious.


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Spring day

Saturday we headed down to Rockton to spend the afternoon with my baby sister Jocelyn on her last day home on spring break.

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We had lunch at Beef-a-Roo, a Rockford special. Then Dada had the idea to hear down to the “Saskatoon park by the river.” It took some deciphering to figure out he was talking about Sinnissippi Park.

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It was a great choice! I hadn’t been there in years. I remember going to the park for Christmas tree lighting in grade school and driving through the festival of lights.

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There are a bunch of cool statues and sculptures. When we got to this one it was so cute how the kids just sat down next to this statue girl! Allie was talking to her and Peyton was petting the dog.

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This lagoon is an ice skating rink in the winter and a picturesque path now! The kids loved looking at the fishies in the lagoon.

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We had a lot of fun running around!

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And here’s Aunt Jocie!

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The kids had great fun running back and forth.

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We walked through the gardens and then back along the river bike path.

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We had promised Allie we would go to a playground but they didn’t have one at Sinnissippi. So we left there are went to the playground at Hononegah Forest Preserve near my parents’ house.

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The kids loved playing! Peyton was getting very tired by this point though.

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As much as Allie wanted to stay, we had cut it short as Peyton was exhausted. Peyton didn’t sleep on the way home though because he just discovered big trucks this weekend. Its so cute because he screams with delight when he sees any kind of truck. Needless to say we saw a lot of them on the road! So he stayed awake.

Its so hard to believe the weather was so nice this weekend and then we started the week with snow! We had to stop by the new house this morning to get my snow boots. The snow is already on its way to melting though. At least we got some spring days before winter came back!


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2015 Shamrock Shuffle 5K

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So since my half marathon last August, I’ve been pretty down on racing. I didn’t really feel like it when I was so slow. And then toward the fall I was starting to get a bit faster, but I still wasn’t motivated to race. I was slow and I’ve also shifted to running just because I like it.

But then the weather warmed up in the last few weeks and I was feeling really good about my strength and my running. I found that after March 1, registration for the Shamrock Shuffle didn’t include the shirt. I run all my races for shirts! But I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and finally decided I’d be kicking myself if I didn’t run that race on Sunday. It came down to the realization that I hadn’t wanted to run a race this much in a while. So I registered last Wednesday night about an hour before online registration closed. Can we say last minute?

However, I am oh so glad I did! I ran my fastest race in a long time! I had to go back and look, and found I was correct, that the last time I ran this time or faster was in summer 2012. In early summer that year I came closer to breaking PRs than I had in a long time. It was also summer 2012 when I was early pregnant with Peyton, so my speed disappeared soon after a couple near miss 5Ks in June and July.

That summer was the third since I had given birth. And that summer was when it seemed I’d finally gotten my speed back. I’m not sure why it took so long, probably because I’m slow to begin with, but it had taken me a long time to lose weight and a long time to get back into shape. As with right now, it took a long time to get the right combination of training.

So last fall I was thinking that this coming summer will again be the third since I gave birth. I was gaining speed last fall, so I was theorizing that this summer might be like that summer of 2012… and this past Sunday’s 5K certainly makes that theory seem plausible!

I was looking forward to having my family there to cheer for me on the beautiful spring morning. Sadly Peyton was sick last week and just wasn’t up to going out on Sunday. So I went by myself. Going to races by myself does make certain things easier, but it definitely makes me sad too!

Anyway, I got there and got my bib. The good thing about not getting a shirt was I didn’t have to take anything back to the car. I had about a half hour to wait for the start. The start line was very spread out, which kind of annoyed me but didn’t really make a difference in the race I suppose.

So finally it was time to go and I was just flying! I hadn’t run that race in a few years and I didn’t know how much of if the course had changed. Last time I ran the race, it was a loop and only included the infamous Observatory Hill once. This time, however, it was out and back, so the hill was in there twice. And I always manage to forget that Observatory Hill is really more like three hills in one. Going out you go up a lot and then down a bit, up some more and then down, level and then down a lot. That made it on the way back up a lot and then level, then up again and down a bit and then up one last time for the very large down hill at the end.

Needless to say, I was quite surprised by my split times. The hill was in miles 1 and 3. My splits were: 11:51, 11:17 and 1:49. My pace for the last .1 was 11:17. I had no qualms about walking the hill. So it surprised me that all my splits were still under 12 minutes! In the second mile I was just about relaxing so I wouldn’t lose it at the end, which has happened many times. I relaxed and fot faster. During the second mile I was really cruising comfortably and even passing people! Like, a good number of people! That never happens!

Then when I got to the Observatory Hill the second time, my legs were starting to feel pretty weak. I wasn’t sure how I would feel once I was done. But the reward for making it up the hill the second time was the very long downhill! And as I got to the bottom I passed the Union where Metallica was blasting and I was just giving it all I could. I was a quarter of a mile from the finish… why were people walking? I wasn’t going to walk!

I knew I was going faster than I predicted, but I was still waaay surprised to see my Garmin register 36:22. What?? I had predicted 38:00, so to be that much faster than my prediction… well it hasn’t happened in a very long time. And then I checked my official time later and saw the 36:20. Yeah, I’ll take it.

And I predict I’m going to be a lot more interested in racing this summer!


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Our new house

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Here’s our new house! Its so cute!

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This is the entry sun room. There are two sun rooms. One at the entry and the other off the kids room. The entry will serve as a mud room but we will also put some chairs out there! As cliche as this sounds… I love all the light!

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Here is the view through the dining and living area toward the entry. I also love the colors. Its not generic apartment white and a nice serene feel.

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And looking from the entry toward the kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised the main level is bigger than I remembered!

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I think the counter and cabinet space is about the same or a little more. But there is a pantry. There’s also another pantry/linen closet around the corner. So I can more easily store things without extra carts in the way like in our current kitchen. The fridge and stove are brand new too! When we saw the house the old stove was still in the middle of the kitchen.

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This is the kids room looking through to the second sun room. The bedroom is smaller than what they have now, but the sun room adds space for toys! I think Allie’s dresser will have to go in there too. The only potential problem is the kids room is right next to the living room. You can hear everything even with the door closed. I am hoping once the house is filled with furniture that will muffle the sound.

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Here’s the third bedroom. Initially it will be storage but I am hoping it won’t always be. I would like it to be an office/den. Another thing I really love is all the ceiling fans in the house!

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Our master bedroom! Its bigger than what we have now. The upstairs is only our room, which I like a lot. There’s only one closet but its bigger and has a shoe rack. There are also a couple crawl space storage areas. Unfortunately these are the only real storage spaces in the house.

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The master bathroom! I’ve never been a bath person, but I see myself becoming a bath person. The tub has jets! There are also double sinks and a nice looking rain shower head.

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Last but not least… the back yard! Maybe this is the best part! The owner took the patio set (its a huge great deck!), but left that swing set. There’s also a little garden plot behind the swing set. Something I don’t love in the back yard is the chicken coop. We have no interest in getting chickens. We need to find a way to padlock it so the kids can’t play in there. But we realized since it is covered we can use that for some outdoor storage until we can get a shed. Doug is trying to decide if we want to pay someone else to mow the lawn or buy a mower and do it ourselves. It is a big yard with a lot of trees. We will initially have a lot of cleanup because leaves didn’t get raked before the snow fell. I honestly don’t mind the idea of lawn work… but I am sure that will change when I really have to do it! At least its looking like we won’t have to shovel snow.

Doug is excited the owner left the basketball hoop in the driveway. There’s also a dog house still in the back yard.

Friday we did our move in check list and brought a couple loads of boxes in. I’ve already put some stuff away in the kitchen! We’re working on some cleaning and bought an area rug for the living room. I can’t decide if its big enough. Tomorrow we are planning on taking some more stuff over there. We want to take the kids to play in the yard more but I think one of us will have to stay home with Peyts who is still not completely well.

Friday night was so fun. We know a bunch of people in the neighborhood already from daycare. They came over and ran around for a while. It already feels more neighborly than the place we are leaving. Its funny too because I didn’t really think of it as a neighborhood but now I do. We have to get rules in place for Allie though because it will be hard to keep track of her! I also realized Monk will go crazy barking at all the kids outside. But we can also put Monk outside!

We had our Little Ceasar’s pizza Friday night and it was not ideal! No more meals at the new house until we have furniture! It was still fun to have the kids there. Peyton just ran all around the rooms. We are looking around April 8 for moving.

We have so much to do to move! As much as I want to get the movers now, there’s a lot to do before we get to that point. It is a challenge moving from a place with a lot of storage to one with practically none. We have gotten rid of a lot but still have a bunch to go. A large portion is baby clothes. Girl clothes will go to cousin Evelyn but I think as much as I don’t want to go this route I may have to take the boy clothes to goodwill. I would rather save them for someone we know, but we don’t have the space.

It is a little surreal thinking about leaving this house. I know it is the right move for us now, but still a little sad! But everything is positive and like i already said, this is the right move for us.


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Tomorrow!

Tomorrow we finally get our keys for the new house! We’ve started packing but have a long way to go. We are most excited just to see the inside again and to take the kids! We are going to start moving things in right away, including a card table and chairs. Our plan is to get a pizza and eat dinner there tomorrow night!

Its been a tough week! Allie wasn’t feeling well and we suspected strep. Turns out we were right. Dada stayed home with her yesterday and we got a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. Then that morning Peyton spiked a fever and I had to get him from daycare. We were able to get him in the doctor’s too so they could test both kids for strep. Peyton doesn’t have strep though. He just had a bug! We need both kids to go to daycare tomorrow so we can get things taken care of with the house, and at this point it looks like both kids will go!

In other news… remember my post earlier this week when I was kicking myself for not signing up for the Shamrock Shuffle since its going to be so nice this weekend? That Crazylegs would be my first race of the year? Well last night I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I ended up signing up about an hour before online registration ended! I don’t sign up for races if I don’t get a shirt. I don’t get a shirt automatically, but I can pay $10 to get it shipped to me later. I will see if I like the shirt and possibly order one.

It’s kind of strange to me because I haven’t wanted to run a race this much in a while. So I figured I should! The registration process asked for a predicted time. I think they have some kind of corral system since this is another of Madison’s races that gets bigger and bigger. I predicted 38 minutes. I figure I run outside about a 12:15 pace and will run the race faster. So it will be fun to see the results! I considered signing up for the 10K. My longest run recently is 4.5 miles. I probably could have eeked out 6.2, except for the infamous Observatory Hill on the race route. I’m not sure if the hill is on the course once or twice. Once is quite enough! I haven’t run this race in a few years and I’m sure the route could have changed, but I think the last time it was only on the course once.


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Zoo day in the sun!

Finally after such cold for so long, its warming up here! Last weekend the temps got warm and everyone was healthy, so we went to the zoo on Sunday!
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We started in the Rain Forest building and got so hot! That was kind of weird after so much cold.
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Allie really wanted to see the penguins. They weren’t up for a show I guess. I don’t remember if they have more that maybe weren’t on display or if this was all they have.
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The kids liked looking at them though! Allie kept asking them to go swimming.
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We decided Peyton wanted to see the monkeys, and on the way we stopped by the tiger. He sure was up for a show! He was walking around and roaring.
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After the tiger was the giraffe. I think this picture of Peyton was my favorite! His reaction to this guy…
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Allie likes these photo ops! It was very muddy though so she was the only one who did it.
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The seals were active though! No pictures of them, but Dada got a nice picture of me and the kids! Last summer I don’t think Peyton was really aware of most of the animals. He was on Sunday!
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The lion was just sitting in the sun. A sign on the other side of the lion enclosure said that rock is heated.
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Last but not least, we made it to the monkeys! They were a little disappointing as most of them were asleep. But we liked comparing our arm spans to primate arm spans.
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The Vilas Zoo is one of the things we love most about Madison. It is a pretty small zoo and its easy to see everything within a couple hours. If we don’t see every thing, we know we can easily come back another time. We saw all the animals that were out in about an hour. I am looking forward to the opening of the brand new bear exhibit. I think that is supposed to open this fall. Anyway, after the zoo we had another treat with McDonald’s for lunch, and ate at the McDonald’s! We usually take the food home because we never know how the kids will behave. They did well though!