Action Filled Evening.....

My sister-in-law had asked me to make a cake for my nephew's kid party on Wednesday. I finished 99% of it on Monday and was going to finish it up on Tuesday evening before she came to pick it up. I was running behind and the next thing I knew it was 5:15 and she was at my house. I had to put the arms on the cake (Spongebob), pack up the boys (they were staying at her house so that they could attend the party) and wrap up the gift. I was flying around the house like a mad woman!
All is fine and they take off and head home. Mike and I sat down to have dinner together when the phone rings. It's my sister-in-law. She left her truck open with the cake in the back. She went to bring it over to her neighbors house (where the party will be), took it out and realized that the dog had helped herself to a little birthday cake.
So, over she comes and we try and repair it as best we could. Luckily the dog didn't touch the top half. She ate one arm, took a big ol' bite out of Spongebob's pants and part of his leg. As we were working our magic, her cell phone rings. This is what I hear on my end of the conversation:
"For real?"
"No way."
"Shut up. Knock it off."
"A bump on his head?"
"The one on the front is from daycare."
"On the back of his head?"
"Which nephew?"
"The younger one?"
"You called the ambulance?"
"Let me talk to Colton"
"Colton, what happened?"
"OK, I'll be there in just a minute. Don't let them take Brett in the ambulance yet."

What is going on?!!!

Come to find out, the boys (my two and her one) where over by the bike jump by her house. Kyler didn't see Brett and he went over the jump. Kyler's pedal cracked Brett in the back of the head and he started bleeding. "Really bad" according to my brother -in-law. He and the neighbor weren't sure what to do so they called 911.
I called Mike right away who was on his way to a friend's house to help move some things. He takes off to Lisa's house and I hop in my car and follow Lisa (and the repaired cake) to her place. Mike gets a hold of my brother-in-law. By then the paramedics had arrived and said Brett was fine. Didn't even need stitches.
Mike cracked up as he drove up to the scene. Two cop cars with lights on, an ambulance, about 15 neighbors and my little Brett standing in the driveway with two police stickers in his hand with not a care in the world.
The sweetest part of the whole ordeal? Colton had blood all over his elbows from holding his brother, but he was also in tears. Mike asked what he was crying about. His reply? "I was just so scared for my brother."
I'd be okay if I never got one of those calls again.

60 Miles - Day 3....

The final day. By this time we had already walked 43.2 miles. Only 17 miles to go. Piece of cake. Right?
The first 10 miles were painful. Painful. I think I had been compensating for my blisters on my right foot the day before and by doing so I really ticked off my knee. My body was angry with me, but I didn't care. I had to walk the last 7 miles. Lunch was at mile 10 and when we finally made it there it felt good to sit down. Well, at least to me. Marilyn thought it felt better to stand then sit.
I have no clue what happened at that 20 minute rest, but the next 5.5 miles flew by and then I saw this:

1.5 miles to go! That was it! I had done it!

The emotional closing ceremonies were held at the State Capitol. I doubt there was a dry eye in the crowd. All the walkers came in wearing our white victory shirts. Then all the survivors walked in wearing their pink victory shirts. Tradition is for the walkers to get down on one knee and hold up a shoe to honor the survivors. It was an amazing site.
A very special thank you to my wonderful family. They kept me motivated, forgave me for missing family time while I was out training and were very patient with me while I focused so much time fundraising. You boys are the best! I love you all!
I walk because I can. I walk because I cannot walk away. I walk because everybody deserves a lifetime.


60 Miles - Day Two....

Ah. Day two of our 60 mile journey. As you can tell by the picture, it was a bit misty at 6:30 a.m. on August 21, 2010.
I was feeling pretty good at the start of day two. A little stiff, but a nice slow and steady start warmed up the ol' calves. We walked 23 miles this day. Twenty. Three. Wow.
Marilyn and I received a fabulous surprise at one of the cheering stations. Our friends Jaci and Jill and their brood of boys came to cheer us on. That definitely was the highlight of my day (thanks ladies)!
The last 4+ miles felt like 100. It was on a straight path and it felt like I could see forever with no end in sight. I'm pretty sure each leg weighed 100 pounds and each foot another 50. By the end of day two I developed a few more blisters.
I hit up the medical tent after dinner to have a few of them lanced (that's just the "technical" term for popped) and immediately felt better.

The second best part of the day? Sleeping on a mattress. The first night we roughed it and that totally blew. Those 1 inch mattresses were a little slice of heaven that night!

60 Miles - Day One......

Friday August 20, 2010 we began our 60 mile journey to fight breast cancer. Opening ceremonies started at 7:00am. There were 2400 walkers ready to go. We started in Edina, cruised through Minneapolis and ended the day at Macalester College. 20.2 miles. The last 3 or so were up a nice steady incline.
The entire day was great. There were so many people at the cheer stations. Little kids handing out bracelets, mints, popsicles and candy. Survivors cheering us on with their signs. Such motivation!
Here we are at the start of Day One - full of energy and excitement. Here we are at the end of Day One. Smiling, sweaty and exhausted.
We were bussed to camp in Maplewood. Here's a few shots of our home away from home.
The showers:

Yes, those are semi-trailers with showers inside them. They were fantastic! Luckily Marilyn and I got done early enough during the day that we didn't have to wait in line.

The dining tent:
This is were we ate our breakfasts and dinners. The dinners were FABULOUS! This is also were we had the camp show every night which consisted of games, music and celebration.

The Rosemount football players volunteered their time to grab all of our gear and set up hundreds of tents.

This is the Remembrance Tent. While completely heartbreaking, it was something simply amazing. Inside were pictures of just a few 3-Day participants that lost their battle to breast cancer. There were also journals upon journals of people's message to the loved ones they have lost. Each city and their own white tent where you could write your personal message.

Each night the last walker into camp would raise the Never Give Up flag.
Day one was a memorable day despite the hour of rain and the fact that Marilyn and I missed a sign and took a wrong turn that added about 1 mile to our journey. I ended the day with just one blister which I consider very successful. The only downfall to the day? Having your tent neighbor (who was about 2 feet away) snore All.Night.Long!


Weekend Through Pictures....

The boys and I headed up north this weekend. We had so much fun! We spent hours playing with the rocket launcher:

Brett attempted to go on the slip and slide....it didn't work out so well for him. He face planted and didn't go near it again:

Colton went down it a few times, but decided in the end, it was just too chilly!

The boys saw a doe with her three fawns in the backyard:

and thought they would be able to sneak up on them:
Friday night was the town's Relay For Life event:
The night ended with Grandpa and Grandma buying the kids ice cream cones:

On Saturday we headed to Duluth. My mom bought tickets for Walking With Dinosaurs. It.Was.Amazing! We all loved it. I wish I would have brought my camera in, but didn't think they'd allow photos. Bummer.
Before the show, we were lucky enough to catch a 700+ foot boat come through:

What a great weekend!


What Seemed Like the World's Longest Hair Appointment....

I purchased my first Groupon a few weeks ago. I paid $15 for a $30 offf coupon at a local hair salon. I made an appointment for Sunday afternoon. I thought it would be nice to sit back and enjoy some hair TLC after my long training walk. Hair cut and hi-light, here I come.
As I walked in the door, I did a quick eye scan of the staff. My eyes went right to a gal that appeared to be about 58 or so with 80's permed hair who was trying to look and act about 25. Please not her. Please.
I check in at about 1:45 for my 2:00 and said lady comes running up, "Oh, you must be Leah." Damn.
I tell her what I what done. All one color underneath, a touch up on the hi-lights and low-lights and a trim to freshen up the edges. Not all that complicated right?
Right away she asks one of the other stylists to come over to get an opinion. I can appreciate that as she's doing a double check. Out she comes with 2 bowls of color and a handful of magazines.
Here's where I should mention that I prefer not to talk while getting my hair done. I talk all day long and here is where I like a little peace and quiet. She can tell I'm reading, but she keeps asking me questions. I answer in short responses and continue on catching up on the latest from The Jersey Shore.
As she is coloring my hair, she is making comments like, "Oh, this is my favorite thing to do. I love to do color. You have so much hair. Your hair is so healthy. My manager at the other location talked me into going to beauty school." On and on.
So she finishes up with the color and foils and conveniently forgets to move the hair out of my face until I do it myself and then she says, "Oh, yeah, I bet you can't even see can you?"
I'm sitting there for about 20 minutes or so. She's checking the progress every now and again and then the other stylist comes walking over. My stylist kept saying, "she's processing well." No comment from the other gal. I think to myself, oh crap - this isn't good.
Next thing I know, the other stylist comes out with a bowl of something and starts applying it to different sections of my hair. Again, my stylist feels the need to comment about how well it's processing. Still no comment from the other gal.
Time to go back to wash out the color. As I'm getting to my seat the other stylist comes out with yet another bowl of something. They rinse out the color and apply this horrible smelling stuff that later I find out is toner because I'm pretty sure I had a nice shade of ORANGE in my hair.
My stylist went to go help a customer and when she was out of ear shot the other gal (who was working out the toner) says to me, "Sorry, she's still a little new." Awesome.
To make my long story even longer.....
The cut goes fine. Doesn't take very long and so far I can't see anything wrong with it. Blow dryer comes out. She's got that sucker on at about 425 degrees and it's hot. Really hot. She seemed to forget how to move the stupid thing around until I had to start moving my head before my scalp started on fire. At this point I was done. I wanted to get out of the chair, pay and get myself home.
But, no.
She insisted on straightening it about 1/2 an inch at a time. She started this process at about 4:00. At 4:25 she was still not done and made the comment, "I should have you out of here by 5:00. Are you okay, you look uncomfortable." "Just getting a little antsy" was my response.
Finally the last strand of hair is straightened. "Do you like a little volume?" "Sometimes." My God. When she spun me around, I looked like Snookie!
At that point I just didn't care about being nice. I quickly ran my fingers through my hair to tone that bad boy down. I jumped off the chair and cruised up the cash register, paid, said thanks and hit the road.
In the end, my hair is fine. I don't love it, but I don't hate it. Don't think I'll be making any plans to go back anytime soon.