Christmas Celebrations

Sunday, December 30, 2018

We started our Christmas celebrations on Saturday (Dec. 22) with my Mom's side of the family in Eau Claire. It was three hours out of the way but we haven't gone in years so we had to make it this year. From there we started the long drive to Papillion, NE. It took us about 7 hours and we got in around 9pm.

We went to 11 am Mass on Sunday and then went shopping. Of course there were a few Starbucks runs in there too. Haha!  Christmas Eve, I started the morning with a nice 4 mile run. The weather was pretty nice at 37 degrees. After we did some more shopping. We had a very late dinner and I took a brief nap before Midnight Mass. I hate Midnight Mass but that was the Mass the family was going to so I sucked it up and went. To make matters worse we went to the Cathedral with the Archbishop. There was a lot of very loud organ music, some singing, mostly in Latin and a lot of incense. That gave me an instant headache. So I was tired, crabby and had a headache. Haha!  The Mass was very long and by the time we got home and in bed it was almost 3am. Argh!

Christmas day I went for another run. It was a short one. We had some dinner and opened presents. I got some nice stuff. Unfortunately we didn't get to Starbucks in time so Hiram didn't get his Birthday drink. :(  Sadly in the evening they had to take Max to the ER vet. He was very lethargic and not eating.

On Wednesday, we woke up really late and had a very sad text from Bonnie. Max had to be put down because of advance stage liver cancer. Eric and I got a card and Christmas cactus for them. We did some retail therapy with Bonnie and Juliette. I bought a new purse, a new North Face Thermal ball jacket for 50% off. It was fun even though it was pouring raining and we were at the outdoor outlet mall.  We had dinner at Chris and Leilani's house. We bought them Ticket to Ride game and taught them how to play it. I love that game. We had some great enchiladas and talked the night away.

For my birthday we went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch and had birthday cake before our Mary Poppins Movie. It was a good movie but the first was better. We made one last stop at Starbucks before they closed.

We drove him Friday in some bad conditions.

But were were grateful to be home to a warm house (our furnace has been acting up) and happy kitty. I think Swirl was glad we were home. We had some homemade hot chocolate in our new Starbucks mugs (and Swirl is chewing on the tree)

Today we went down to New Ulm to see Danielle, Bradley and Blake. My mom also drove over for lunch. We played some games and had fun with Blake!

2018 Year in Review

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.
Our year was filled with family, friends, fun and adventures! The beginning on 2018 started with the wedding of Kim’s brother, Mike and his new bride Linda. It was a fun, cold Wisconsin wedding!
The Super Bowl was in Minnesota this year and we had a lot of fun participating in all the activities. It was a fun week!
We started the half marathon season in March with a trip to Montgomery, Alabama. It was a surprising chilly start to this race but turned into a nice day. We crossed Alabama off our list, our #13 state.
In April, we crossed North Carolina off the list with the Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh half marathon. This race was quite a struggle for Kim. On top of the hilly course, she was suffering from strep throat and bronchitis! She probably shouldn’t have run, but it was state #14 and when would we get back to NC?
Two our Godchildren celebrated First Communion this spring. Evelyn in April and Joseph in May. We are grateful that we could attend both. Kim played a special part as Joseph’s sponsor during his Mass.
The next two weekends we had graduations for Eric’s nephews. First was Noah’s graduation in Colorado. Luckily there was the Colfax races going on that weekend in Denver. We ran the half; Eric’s brother Phil ran the full. The course went through the Zoo! State #15 was crossed off the list.  Memorial Day weekend we traveled to Rapid City for Albert’s graduation. We hiked up 3,000 feet to the top of Black Elk Peak (Harney). Eric’s sister, DJ and niece, Juanita joined us. We got a little lost and ended up doing 9 miles!
In June, Kim attended Abbie’s pinning ceremony. She is officially an RN!  We also ran Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN. It was a great race for Kim. She managed to finish over 30 minutes faster than her first full in 2017. The temperature was just about perfect, but we had fog for the first hour so no great views of Lake Superior. DJ was our support staff and she did a great job!
Kim’s sister, Nancy came up in July for Melissa’s Bridal shower. It was a great party hosted by Danielle.
Our big trip of the year was in early August. Kim was heartbroken to miss her hometown church’s annual festival but the Rock n’ Roll Dublin Half was the same weekend and she really wanted to run it. The course was very hilly, they had to change it last minute because of the Pope’s visit the following week. While in Ireland we toured all the normal sites, kissed the Blarney Stone, drank some Guinness, visited many castles and saw the amazing West Coast. The best part was the Cliffs of Moher (our picture).
We had a busy September with two half marathons (states #16 & 17) and a wedding. The first half was in Sioux Falls, SD. We had a great weekend getting together with Byron’s family and Eric’s old friend, Kevin and his family. A couple weeks later we ran in Cheyenne, WY. We were able to catch up with Eric’s brother Matt and his family. The last weekend in September we travelled down to Milwaukee for Dylan and Melissa’s wedding. Kim was honored to be a greeter and a reader during the ceremony. It was a poem that they found about how kitties taught us how to love. It was cute. Kim even wore some kitty ears.
State #18 was crossed off the list in October with the Nebraska Half in Omaha. It was by far the most miserable race we’ve ever ran. It started chilly with rain. By the time we finished it had dropped below freezing and sleeting. It was awful. We had great support though as Eric’s sister, Bonnie cheered us on and picked us up at the finish with our nephew, Michael.
We ran the Madison Half Marathon again in November. Dylan meet us on Saturday for the day. After the race on Sunday, we got together with friends who recently moved to Madison. It was great to see Jenny, Nathan and the kids!
For the first time ever, we split up for Thanksgiving. Kim went with Danielle, Bradley and Blake to Nancy’s in Texas while Eric went to DJ’s house.
We ran our last half marathon of the year on December 1st in Memphis, TN (state #19). It was the St. Jude’s race. It was a very emotional race as we ran through the St. Jude campus and patients and parents were out cheering us on. There were a lot of people who were running the race in honor/memory of kids that were treated at St. Jude.
To recap, we ran nine half marathons in nine different states/countries (Alabama, Colorado, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Wyoming & Ireland). Six of the half marathons were in capital cities! Thanks Dylan for pointed that out to us!
Swirl is still going strong. He turned 15 this year!
Love, Eric, Kim and Swirl

Elvis and Mankato Christmas Lights Display

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Elvis was in the house on Friday.

Mankato Christmas Lights

Reindeer Run 2018

Edinborough Christmas Concert 2018

St. Jude Marathon Weekend

Monday, December 3, 2018

What an amazing experience!
It was hot, humid and hilly. It was also very emotional, especially running through the St. Jude Campus. Seeing all the patients and parents, this is the one race where you really get perspective...No complain about my aches and pains because it is nothing compared to what these kids go through daily. There were quite a few survivors running but also a lot of people run in memory of their child, sister, brother, grandchild, etc. It was a tough race (I couldn’t stop tearing up) but I want to do it again and next time I’m fundraising and becoming a St. Jude Hero!
Half #25 in state #19!

Austin Zoo