Monday, December 20, 2010

Hopping Back in the Blog Saddle Again

A lot has happened since our last posts. Two short days after I returned from my professor's memorial service in Iowa, my brother was critically injured in a construction accident. He fell 40 feet onto concrete through an unmarked skylight.

Without going into detail, I'm pleased to fast forward to the present and report that (two and a half weeks later), he has taken some strides, though it will be a long road ahead. Needless to say, life has taken on new meaning since the tragedies of this fall & early winter.

To quote one of my professor's and my favorite musicals, RENT, "There's only us. There's only this. Forget regret or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, no day but today." I'm living my life by these lyrics now.

With that, yesterday I started my latest quest to get back into running regularly. I have vowed to run to only Michael Jackson tunes and will run to nothing else until my brother is able to join me again, no matter how long it takes- days, weeks, months or even years.

Why MJ? He's one of both my and E's childhood favorite artists. Our family had 'Thriller' on vinyl (awww yeah) and when my mom was at church council meetings, we (all four of us plus my dad) would blast it at maximum volume and make the house shake. As soon as we saw the family van pull up in the driveway we'd turn it down. :) One of my favorite childhood memories! E & I also share a great love of last year's movie 'This is It' and I plan to take the DVD to the hospital to watch with him sometime soon.

On the Max front, he continues to be a thriving and energetic little dude and the light of our lives. He's currently all about Thomas the Train, trucks and Matchbox cars! His sense of humor and general well-behavedness are sources of pride for both of us. Christmas with his two cousins in the midwest will be very special this year!

M had a very successful fall semester here at Penn State and is just one semester shy of receiving his MFA. It's been a long three years, but well worth it. Feel free to check out his website to see some of his incredible accomplishments!

I had a great fall as well. I music directed 'Altar Boyz' and 'The Drowsy Chaperone' (which M also designed!) and will be playing Keys2/Guitar2 this spring on 'RENT'. This will be very meaningful and special given the loss of my dear mentor & friend.

I'm just realizing that this post has kind of turned into what would probably be in our Christmas letter (that will not get sent this year), so to wrap this up, we'd like to wish everyone near and far a happy holiday and very blessed and healthy new year. Thanks for reading us! And hey, do me a favor, will you? Take a second to hug your loved ones a little bit longer than usual and tell them how much they mean to you. Life's too short.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

National Prematurity Awareness Day

Today is National Prematurity Awareness Day. According to the March of Dimes website, one in eight babies is born too soon. Our Max was born two months premature and spent one month in the NICU. Not all families are as lucky as we were. Should you choose, I encourage you today to support the March of Dimes or Friends of Maddie, a wonderful organization whose purpose is to support families of premature babies during their time in the NICU. We are honored that Max's story has been posted on their website.

On a lighter note, today (apparently in honor of Prematurity Awareness Day) our preemie taught us that Mom & Dad need to start watching what they say.

Three words: mimicing parrot son.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Best Part of Wakin' Up...

So for his birthday, Max's Nana got him a toy Coleman camping grill. It's actually pretty awesome. The burners light up and make noise when you turn them on, and it comes with a myriad of cooking utensils, including tongs, a spatula, frying pan, and of course, a percolator.

Flash forward to last night...I couldn't fall asleep. I had a pain in my side and down my leg that was keeping me up. So when the alarm went off in the morning, I was hitting snooze pretty frequently. At one point, Max came into the bedroom and grabbed my hand with a cheery "Hi!" and tried to pull me out of bed. I suggested he curl up with me for 9 minutes, but he refused; his day was well under way and he wasn't going to let his bleary eyed old man slow him down. Well, I was really interested in those 9 minutes of sleep. I rolled over, Max left the room silently, but rapidly. Nine minutes later, he was back at my bedside, but this time, he had his grill, the percolator, and one of the toy camping mugs. He proceeded to make me a cup of the best pretend coffee I've ever had and served it to me in bed with a huge smile.

That has got to be the best way to wake up in the morning. Period.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Monsters & Homecoming

I went on a quick jaunt to New York City last weekend to attend an amazing concert honoring a dear friend. It was a whirlwind 40 hours and I was fortunate to see my uncle & aunt, cousin and a handful of very dear friends in the short amount of time I was there. As you can see above, I had my picture taken with a couple of furry monsters in Times Square. After said picture, Cookie Monster started talking to me- "You make donation now?". I was all "For REAL, Cookie?", but gave him a dollar anyway. Then Elmo chimed in, "You make donation?" and I realized that you can't tip Cookie Monster and then leave Elmo hanging, so I gave him a buck as well. It turns out one of my friends had been trying to warn me that they were going to make me pay for the picture, but I was too excited about the prospect of getting a pic of me with two Sesame Street characters for Max. The look on his face when I showed him the picture was worth a MILLION dollars. :)

This weekend was Penn State's Homecoming. Normally I'd hide indoors and stay away from the craziness downtown, but something about having a super interactive 2 year old changed things this year. The weather has been GOR-GEOUS this weekend, so we spent the bulk of yesterday afternoon walking around campus. My ultimate goal was to take him to hear the Alumni Blue Band play whilst eating Creamery ice cream. I ended up heading in the complete opposite direction at first, thus our long walk. We arrived at the Alumni House just in time to hear the last 10 minutes of their concert AND meet the Nittany Lion! We were fortunate to get a really great spot in front of Old Main for the parade, too. We waited about 45 minutes and just as Max was starting to get testy, lo and behold- a firetruck! He was in it to win it from then on. Tractors, light up floats, bands- he had a blast. We definitely have a little percussionist on our hands, too. He loved the bands all around, but whenever the rhythm section marched past he went totally bonkers- screaming, clapping, screeching, you name it! Michael has decided he'll need to take up the bass so we have a whole rhythm section. We'll be on the road like the Partridge Family before you know it!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Birthday Party

Last weekend was an exciting weekend in the household. The show I music directed (ALTAR BOYZ) had a fantastic three day run at Penn State and fulfilled all my childhood rock star dreams. :) (Max's as well- see above pic of him at the drumset!)

Then on Sunday we had a joint birthday party for Max, E (our friend Grace's 3 year old) and A.M. (a faculty member's 3 year old) at a local park. The weather was perfect- sunny and not too hot! Michael grilled and everyone brought lots of yummy side dishes, not to mention the CARS cake for the boys. We were very touched by all of our friend's generosity with gifts for Max. He really stocked up on fun books, trucks, cars, Legos & trains!

In general, we've been so fortunate to have made such awesome friends here at Penn State. Every different group has been so amazing with Max and just adores him. He's become a mascot of sorts for all the theatre folk at everything from the paint/scene shops to rehearsal to production meetings. We're so thankful that everyone is so accepting of having a little dude running around underfoot.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Miracle Max!

Happy 2nd Birthday to our amazing son, Maxwell George! It's hard to believe it's been two whole years since we became a family of three. We have treasured every day and look forward to many, many more. We love you more than life and pray that it continues to fill you with wonder.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


This is how we pass the time away in Wal-Mart while we wait for prescriptions to be filled. P.S. This little whippersnapper is going to be TWO this Sunday. What?!

I think the glasses make him look like an Asian version of Sid the Science Kid's grandma. The one with the creepy laugh. I may be biased, but Max is cuter.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Running For My Health

We will continue to post about the Maxster here, but I have started another blog to chronicle my running and health related issues. You can find it at:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Double Digits, Baby!

I ran 10 miles non-stop this afternoon. TEN. 1-0. Double digits! Whoa.

M & M are out of town for the weekend visiting family, but I stayed behind because I'm playing aux keyboard for a delightful production of Hairspray. (One more performance tonight- come on down!) So I've got a lot of free time on my hands, which I won't lie- is a big fat slice of heaven. ;) Max has been waking up anywhere between 3-5 am this week for various reasons (thirsty, wanting to play, etc), so it was awesome to sleep through the night last night.

But I digress. I started training for a 10k a couple weeks ago in hopes of running one before Thanksgiving. I've been a pretty hardcore treadmill fan because it's what I can use while Max is in daycare at the gym. Monday of this week I decided to switch it up: I took him to the daycare at the Y branch in town, which is further from our place, but has a 2 hour time limit. (A whole hour more than the local branch!) After I dropped him off, I ran an awesome trail within the vicinity of the gym. I feel like I get a better workout when I run outside and really wanted to kick things up a notch. I ran 5k on Mon and then 4 miles on Wednesday. Knowing I'd be alone at home this weekend and didn't have a time constraint, I planned to make today my 'long run' day.

I headed out with the intention of doing 5 miles, possibly 10k if I had the gumption and was feeling it. It was the perfect day- not humid at all, a nice breeze, amazing views and sunny to boot! I ended up running to the post office in the next 'town' over and arrived at 12:34. I'm kind of a numbers geek, so the time number order tickled me to no end. (Insert geeky *snort* here.) That was about 4 miles, so I made it my goal to run all the way home and top out at 8 miles. Honestly, I didn't really think I'd be able to do it, but I figured I'd be happy as long as I got to 10k (6.2 mi). I was feeling great by 10k, so I decided to extend my route. Again, the numbers were in my head and DOUBLE DIGITS (aka 10) were inching towards the front of the line. I finished my extended route and headed through some pretty residential neighborhoods and was still feeling good until about 8.5 miles. Then I started to whimper and trying to talk myself into stopping and/or walking.

The bull-headed side of me won out. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it without stopping! Needless to say, the final mile and a half was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle slow and painful. If I'D seen me on the road at that point, I'd have stopped and asked if I was okay and needed a ride home.

But I did it. 10 MILES. 3.8 miles over my previous personal best of one 10k on the treadmill! Excuse me while I go take an ice bath...

(Oh! I should note that this run would not have been possible had it not been for my Bondi Band and Mind Over Matter hat! The combination of the headband and hat kept ALL sweat out of my eyes for the WHOLE run. I'm not even joking! This. Is. Major. Note: M.O.M. is a non-profit organization founded by one of my elementary school classmates and her family in honor & memory of her mother. The purpose is to encourage "personal wellness" and "community betterment" – enabling people to help others while helping themselves. Karen has been very encouraging in my running efforts and I'm proud to wear my M.O.M. hat!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, my better half and my baby daddy! :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cupcake Wars!

My cousin and his wife were contacted by the Food Network to submit a video application to be on 'Cupcake Wars'! How cool is that? :) Here's a link to their video- take a look if you have a spare minute or two! The FN folks will watch it tonight and the more hits it has, the better.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

I asked Max to help select some books at the library this afternoon. His random pick off the shelf? 'Amazing You: Getting Smart About Your Private Parts'. Mom isn't quite ready to teach him about boy & girl parts yet, so we went with Curious George and The Pigeon.

And so it begins...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Max's 1st Minor League Baseball Game

Thanks to the generosity of the theatre department, we attended the State College Spikes vs. Vermont Lake Monsters baseball game last night. Michael & I used to love to go to Winston-Salem Warthogs games when we lived there several years ago. (Fun fact: a PSU alum/friend was the mascot, Wally the Warthog! We didn't know it at the time, though! I used to basically stalk him and take a bazillion pictures during each game.) It was fun to think back to that time and then realize we were at another minor league game WITH OUR SON. :) He had a grand old time eating ballpark fries & a corn dog and cheering at the top of his lungs. Max & I stayed until about the middle of the 2nd inning, but then he was ready to head home for bath & bed. I'm told that the Spikes won!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Firecracker 4K

My friend Kelly and I ran the 4th of July Firecracker 4K on Sunday. Kelly is the most awesome of awesome friends because she normally runs much faster, but registered to run the race *with* me at MY pace to keep me going. It meant so much to me- thanks, Kell!

Registration and the starting line was near the Penn State football stadium. This was my first racing 'chip' race (a chip you attach to your shoe that electronically marks your start & finish times), but I didn't know what it was at first. I'd heard 'tell' of the racing chip from experienced runner friends, but my previous races were the kind with racing tags that you pin to your shirt.

The race started with a lone firework and we were off! We passed Michael & Max on our right hand side a few minutes into the race, which was great motivation. We started off at a nice comfortable pace (one that was a bit faster than what I normally run) and I actually felt like I could hold my own with the pack. We were amused by a dude dressed in patriot 'gear', as well as two guys in full fireman outfits. (Side note: I just heard a radio blip about them this morning- one of them lost 25 lbs training for the race! They ran in their gear to promote physical fitness of firefighters.)

Kelly was the BEST running coach all throughout the race. She kept me going by pointing out buildings that her architectural engineering firm had worked on, as well as reminded me that I could do it and that we had only 'this' much left before we were done with a hill. It got pretty rough around the 2 mile mark and I honestly don't think I'd have finished had it not been for her!
Michael & Max had walked to the Creamery and were waiting for us as we passed. Again, much needed encouragement. You just can't beat hearing your son and husband yelling "Yay! Go!" :) After the Creamery we were in the home stretch. I spotted a woman in front of us that I'd passed in the Black Moshannon 5K last month and the competitive side of me said that I couldn't let her beat me. We eventually passed her, but I was hurting by this point. Surprisingly, my legs weren't the problem- it was my shoulders & arms. They felt like complete dead weights. The only possible explanation for the aches that I can think of is that I've been playing piano all day long every day for the past week and my muscles were sore? In any case, it was very weird and frustrating.

As we neared the stadium/finish, Kelly asked if I was ready to go for it. We saw a couple running in front of us and they were kind of in our way, so I said yes and we started sprinting. (Well, for me it was sprinting anyway. Haha!) We spotted one more woman in front of us and Kelly asked if I wanted to try to pass her. This time I said no, but I think when it was all said and done, we did actually catch up to her.

It was a great feeling to sprint over the finish line pad, but I was d-o-n-e. I immediately sat down in the grass because I felt like I was going to hurl. Kelly asked me to get up and walk across the street to get some water and then I could sit down again. Thank goodness she did or I'd definitely have gotten sick.

The final results were: 119th out of 146 in my age group and 812th out of at least 988 runners. I definitely found this race to be tougher than the 5K, but I also ran at a faster pace and endured more hills on this one.

And it was so awesome to have a friend by my side.

Friday, June 25, 2010

He talks!

Max: "Daaad!" (to Michael as he's trying to nap)
Michael: "Yes, Maxwell?"
Max: "It's me!"

Aaaaaand... scene.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Big Boy Bed

Well, the transition has been made! Max has now successfully slept in his big boy bed for three nights. I'm probably jinxing us by even writing about it, but it turned out to be a very smooth transition.

We decided to put Max in a regular single bed (with a railing) right away instead of spending the money on a toddler bed he'd outgrow. Michael went to pick up his childhood single, the headboard and some bedding on Saturday. Max and I stayed in town and made a trip to Target so he could pick out his own sheets. I'd been thinking all along that he'd go for Thomas the Train (trains are his big thing right now), but there was no doubt of the winner when his eyes lit up at the sight of Toy Story 3 sheets!

To say that the transition has been a dream would be an understatement. The first night (Sat) I only had to put him back into bed 10 times in a span of 10 minutes. The following night, it took Michael only 4 times and last night NONE. He just had to encourage Max to lie down as he was leaving the room and that was it- he was out! We're fortunate that he loves his new bed so much! I even found him playing on it earlier this afternoon, just hanging out. So awesome.

The other perk is that he's been getting solid sleep. We figure it's due to the extra warmth of the blankets (being tucked in is kind of like being back in the womb?) and he wakes up fully refreshed and chipper in the mornings.

Including this morning at 5am.

We'll work on that one...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day to...

My wonderful husband- watching you with our son melts my heart a gazillion times a day. You're an incredible man and an even better father! We are both so lucky!

My own Dad- hope you're having a great vacation! Thank you for your love and support over the years!

My Grandpa, my 'Buddy', who is watching from above. I miss and love you!

Michael's Dad, Don, also above- your son is the best dad in the world and I have no doubt that he learned it from you.

And finally, to my brother-in-law, James. Today is his very 1st Father's Day, as his wife Katie gave birth to their very first child (Ian) yesterday afternoon!

"Any man can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Transition Time...

Dear Max,

You are currently 21 months and 10 days old. Last night you gave me the second biggest scare of my life with you thus far- you crawled/fell out of your crib. Oh, mylanta!

You'd had a fun bath and had even let me read you three whole stories before I put you down. You weren't happy when I did, though. And you let me know it. I knew you were tired though, Little Stinker, so I left the room. As I was about to close the door I saw you kick your leg up over the side of the crib railing. Where did you get that flexibility?! (Certainly not from your parental units!) I knew that was Bad News Bears right away, but you sat back down and I closed the door.

You continued to cry and wail. Not even Miles Davis could soothe you! And then I heard it: a scream like none of the others and a thud. I KNEW.

I ran to your room within two seconds and you were lying on your back ON THE FLOOR and doing that scary scream cry thing where your face turns completely red because you're crying so hard and aren't breathing. I picked you up, got you to breathe and we sat there on the floor together- rocking and crying.

You were okay within 5 minutes or so, but I wasn't. (I might be a little 'over dramatic' and 'touchy' when it comes to things regarding your well-being.) We went back out to the living room and cuddled in the recliner while watching Toy Story 2 and waiting for your Dad to get home from work. When he arrived, you greeted him in your usual cheery way. He read you some more stories and you enjoyed your 'Man Time', then went down for bed like a perfect angel.

Tonight I learned why you wouldn't go down for me. I apparently forgot to make your stuffed penguin 'Gee' dance and tickle you before putting you down. My bad.

I'm so glad you're okay, Bubba.


P.S. You don't know it yet, but you're totally getting a big boy bed w/railings this weekend. And we're going to appoint Bernie as your guard dog.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our Sweet Boy

I'm so proud of the sweet boy Max is turning into. Some recent examples that have completely melted my heart:

- We were having a sing-along before bedtime books and as I was singing one of the songs I used to sing to him in the NICU (a childhood Disney favorite from 'Oliver & Company'), he leaned in, put his head on my shoulder and held my hand. Just because.

- Max has become extremely attached to some of the other MFA design students, Grace in particular. Last night at dinner, Grace excused herself to use the restroom and Max's eyes teared up and he started bawling until she returned.

- We went to the gym after dinner tonight and when I was finished working out and went to pick up Max from the daycare room, the response I received was: "How old is is he? (21 mos) He's SO SMART! We've been sitting here laughing in stitches the whole time!" As we were headed to the door, Max waved goodbye and the lady asked if she could have the toy Max was apparently trying to swipe. She asked for the toy again and he thought she meant to say goodbye, so he waved again. Repeat, only this time he thought she wanted a hug, so he walked over to the rocking chair and kissed her arm and nestled his head in the crook of her arm.

- After bathtime I told him that being his mom was the best job in the world. He leaned in and kissed me on the lips.

- Michael just recited Green Eggs & Ham over speakerphone to Max from memory before bedtime. (Incredible!) As he was saying goodnight, Max (who had been holding the phone up to his ear) kissed the mouthpiece.

I can't get enough of this kid.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

National Running Day

Today is National Running Day! I went to the gym this morning with the intent of running a 5K (3.1mi) on the treadmill. Once I hit that point, I decided to go for 5mi, which was one mile more than my previous record. There was something in the air though (*sniff sniff* Running Day, perhaps?) and I decided to just go for a 10K (6.2mi). CRAZY!

I'm living proof it's never too late to start running. Enjoy the day, everyone!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ahhh, technology!

When my siblings and I were younger, one of our favorite pasttimes was going to swim at the 'high school pool'. We lived a mere 5 blocks from it, so we were allowed to ride our bikes or walk to it often during the hot summers. We had a family pass and we definitely made use of the unlimited swimming. Each of us had a silver safety pin that we pinned on our suits.

On the occasion that we went swimming in the evening, we'd call our parents from the pay phone in the lobby to let them know that we were ready for pick-up by calling the operator and placing a collect call. I can't even count the number of calls we made that went like this: "Hello, you have a collect call from Werereadycanyoucomepickusup. Will you accept the charges?"

They never did and we always had a ride home. :)

The point for this story is that I'm in constant amazement of technology. I fought getting a cell phone for the longest time (my ten years younger brother even had one before I did!). I finally gave in while I was on tour in '03 and my long distance relationship with Michael was blossoming. (Mind you, I owe my roommate Michele a ton for the lend of HER cell phone until I finally got my own!) The fact that I can access my email, internet, Facebook and about a gazillion other things on my phone now is just ridiculous. I'm in love with my BlackBerry, but sometimes it scares me. With. It's. Sheer. Power.

And don't get me started on computers! We've had the misfortune of both our desktop and my laptop kicking the bucket in recent months, but we still have Michael's laptop. (Thankfully!) And this afternoon I'm about to charter new waters: I'm auditioning a drummer for one of my fall shows via SKYPE.

Yes, that's right. He's going to set up his drumset somewhere else in PA and I'm going to video call him to watch/hear him play. This is blowing my mind!

And I love it. :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Angie's First 5K

Today was my first 5K and it was a huge rush. It was held at a gorgeous state park about 40 min from our house. I woke up this morning with a sour stomach and pre-race jitters, but was luckially able to kick it with Pepto and a nice half hour walk around the neighborhood with Max in the jogging stroller. :)

I registered about an hour before the race and then warmed up & stretched on a little dock on the water. It was so peaceful. I'm not sure of how many runners there were, but it was a lot. As we were waiting to start people around me were commenting on how there were so many more than in the past. A totally buff wheelchair cyclist started 5 min ahead of us and then we were off.

I specifically stayed at the back of the pack, knowing that I'd probably finish there and so as not to get too caught up in the adrenaline and start off too fast. There were three other women who seemed to be in the same boat, which was (honestly) a relief. I was literally last at this point though. I felt a little blah about it, but kept telling myself "Slow and steady wins the race".

At 1.75 mi or so there was a turnaround. As people started running past us (on their way back already) I noticed that some were walking and panting like dogs. It worried me because I didn't know what was ahead, yet energized me to keep my pace so I could run the whole thing. I decided to try to pass the woman in front of me at the turnaround and ended up passing four people before the race was over.

Shortly after the 2 mi mark, a little boy's mom & grandma were waiting for him. (He was running in front of me.) The mom asked him how he was doing and he collapsed in her arms and started bawling. I about lost it! The little chugger was so so tired. I kept going and a few minutes later heard him behind me again. =)

Michael & Max were waiting for me at about the 2.25-35 mi mark and seeing them was JUST what I needed! Michael had his camera and new lens ready and Max was waving and grinning from ear to ear. As I told Michael, seeing them during a race is one of my favorite sights! Their support means so much to me.

The rest of the race was tough, as my adrenaline after seeing them started to wear down. The final part of the course included a huge hill. I thought for sure I'd have to walk, but pushed myself to kind of leap up it- just enough movement that it wasn't considered walking. ;) The final stretch was all downhill, which was actually such a tease because it was down and my legs just wanted to stop and give out.

I sprinted the last leg though and just prayed that I wouldn't fall on my face in front of everyone. People were cheering and it was a feeling like no other! I finished in 41:06 (I'm pretty sure that's what the clock said), which was just a minute/6 sec over my goal of 40 min or under. All things considered, I'm thrilled! I honestly didn't feel 100% ready to go for a 5K yet, but decided to just go for it. Life's too short to sit on the bench.

I'm glad I did. The July 4th 4K will be a breeze now!

UPDATE: Just got my race results- I placed 230th out of 234 male/female runners and I'm thrilled! Who'da freakin' thunk I'd ever be able to run 3.1 mi non-stop and without getting stitches/cramps in my side?!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Latest From the Homefront

First and foremost, Michael got a 4.0 this semester! We're so proud of him- he's such a hard worker! He enjoyed his first relaxing day of fishing at the state park this past Sunday. Lots 'o carp, but hopefully better luck next time!

I booked a gig music directing/playing [title of show] this summer. It's a hilarious show that played both off & on Broadway. My friend Benjamin was the male cover for both incarnations. I'm so excited to finally work with Rich of Singing Onstage! He's a newly MFA'ed director from Penn State.

My 'other' summer project is training to run the 4th of July Fireworks 4K here in town. The course is all around the PSU campus (hello, hills) and is open to both runners & walkers. My goal is to run at least half of the race, if not more.

Sir Maxwell seems to have hit the 'Terrible Twos' a few months early. We have good days and bad days and it's all very Jekyll & Hyde-ish. He can go from being the happiest cheeriest boy in the world to a feisty & growly little guy within minutes. I've heard rumors that patience is a virtue... ;)

We're looking forward to walking the Survivors Lap at the Relay for Life this coming weekend. Michael, Max, Nana & Me- we're a team! We'll also be celebrating Uncle Dave's birthday as well. Hoping for sunny weather!

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Day We Lost the Phunk

Max and I headed to Sam's Club this afternoon to pick up a few things. As usual, Elephunk joined us on the excursion. Given to Max by my friend Calley, Elephunk is his #1 comfort toy and a constant companion. (Note his presence on the right hand side of the table at our Mother's Day brunch!)

Although we didn't have a long list, we walked all over the store. Max loves the high ceilings, lights and flirting with the sample ladies. Before we were getting ready to check out, I decided to stop by the restroom. I picked up Max, his diaper bag and...

The Phunk was missing?!?!

I panicked. We backtracked through every aisle at top speed. (Literally, sprinting!) He'd dropped it once before, so it didn't even cross my mind to stop by the service desk. I half expected to just see the random grey stuffed elephant lying on an aisle floor.

Distraught, I finally headed to customer service. There were three people in front of us and I was freaking out. My heart was racing and all I could think was "What are we going to do?! He needs him to go to sleep!"

I turned my head and caught a glimpse of The Phunk on the back counter. WHEW!

When we made our way to the front of the line, I said "I'm here to claim that stuffed elephant." The customer service lady said "I was wondering whose this was! Someone brought it to us and the first thing I thought was "Some little kid is going to be VERY upset!""

No kidding. And don't even get me started on his mom!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Angie's 1st Race

Three months ago when we joined the Y, I couldn't even run three minutes on the treadmill without getting winded. I can now run over an hour non-stop and this weekend I ran my first race- a 1.5K.

Humans and dogs getting ready for the 1.5K part of the day. (The 5K was an hour earlier.)

And we're off! A gust of wind caught my earphones. Please notice (as noted by Michael) that the woman & dog on the right hand side of the picture look oddly similar! Jolly good fun!

The homestretch!

Cue 'Chariots of Fire'!

I finished 7th out of thirtysome humans/dogs! My goal had been to run non-stop and miraculously, I achieved it. (As I shouted over and over to Michael as I passed him at the end of the course- "I didn't stop! I didn't stop!") It was very windy and wow, I felt it on 3/4 of the race, as it was around a huge open field! Wind aside though, it turned out to be a great day (it was supposed to be cloudy & rainy) and I hope to run the 5K next year!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

"Happy Mother's Day" means more
Than have a happy day.
Within those words lie lots of things
We never get to say.
It means I love you first of all,
Then thanks for all you do.
It means you mean a lot to me,
And that I honor you.

But most of all, I guess it means
That I am thinking of
Your happiness on this, your day,
With pleasure and with love.

- Unknown

Happy Mother's Day to all Moms- past, present & future. Especially ours!

P.S. And thanks to Michael & Max for making me a mom!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Run, Forrest! Run!

This was my first week back at working out since Bruce's unfortunate break and it was my best EVER.

Like in my whole 33 years of life.

Not being able to walk/run really put a damper on my spirits over the past few weeks. I started feeling sluggish and wanting to sleep alll the time and was just uninspired. Lamesauce, I know. So on Monday I recommitted to my workouts and I feel better than ever.

I specifically made myself run at an extremely slow pace (3.0 walk, 3.5 run) on purpose, seeing as it was my first week back after almost 4 weeks. In the beginning it felt too slow, but I don't want to injure myself. Slowing it down turned out to be the best thing I could have ever done. On Monday I did walk/run intervals for a half hour.

On Tuesday my goal was to do another half hour of 1min walk/1min run. After a 5 min walking warm-up, I did 10 min of that (3.0 walk/3.5 run). I kind of psyched myself out at first because I could see myself in a mirror and kept thinking "This feels sooo slow and I look like I'm prancing". At the 11th min (run) I decided to go into a 2nd min of running. I was specifially reminding myself to not jack up the speed, seeing as this was my 2nd day back at it, but figured it wouldn't hurt to run an extra minute (at 3.5). By this point I was feeling like "Why not just stay at this speed and test how long you can actually go?" So the 2nd minute passed and I kept going. I didn't feel tired at ALL and it felt great, so I decided to go for 5 min running. In full disclosure, I honestly didn't think I'd actually get there. (Have never done before, BTW- I think 3 min has been my max so far) 5 min turned to 6, and 7, and I decided to shoot for 10. Around 8 I started to get the start of a little stitch in my side, but being the bullhead I am, I wasn't going to give up till I reached 10. By 10 the stitch was gone. I ended up doing 15 minutes! I really don't think I'd EVER run this long (consecutively) in my life! I wanted to go for 20, but my right ankle started to ache a bit and I could see Max thru the glass window in the daycare room and could see that he was crying.

Thursday was monumental. After a 5 min walking warm-up, I decided to run. It was my goal to do 15 min @ 3.5 again, so I figured it'd be good to just get it done at the front end of my workout so I wouldn't tire. I intended to do the last 15 min as 1min walk/1min run. At 15 I decided to go for 20. 20 was the FIRST time I started to feel a little tired, but my mind went into high gear and said "Try for a half hour- you've already run longer than what you have left!" So I did and I wasn't tired at all! I was actually RUNNING and not huffing and puffing *and* it felt great!

I had my own Biggest Loser moment when I hit a half hour. I shed a couple tears of joy/amazement/"Holy crap, I can't believe I'm actually doing it!" and then did a 5 min walk cool down.

I planned to try for another 30 min run today. (Wanted to make sure that Thursday wasn't a fluke!) I did the usual 5 min walking warm-up, then started up. I've been using the same music mix for quite awhile now and am getting kind of bored of it, so after two songs I switched to a cast recording that two of my new Danish friends are on. Long story short, I ended up running for the duration of the whole album! By the last three songs I was ready to be done, but wasn't going to stop. I specifically covered up the clock with a magazine and didn't look at it much today, which helped. I think I checked in at 17 min, 30 min and then when I was finished. (50 min/3 mi) And I didn't get a stitch in my side AT ALL!

I DO feel like I've been hit by a semi as I post this, though. No pain, no gain, eh?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Talkin' on a... chicken phone. (Story to come soon in a future blog!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

An Evening at the Park

No troubled water here, folks!
"I spy with my little eye... a DUCK!"

It's been awhile since I've blogged about the little man, so there's two major things to report about Max in his current state:

1) He's going through a massive growth spurt and can't get enough food down his gullet. (Recent examples: Last night's dinner- a huge biscuit with hamburger meat, a yogurt, more meat, green beans & applesauce; Today's breakfast- a big bowl of Kix with milk & juice; Lunch- Alphabet soup, green beans, mac & cheese; Afternoon snack at his request- graham crackers, 2 eggs) Yup. A bottomless pit, that one!

2) He's taken to telling me when he's stir crazy and wants to get out of the house. He'll either a) drag the Ergo carrier to my feet, b) bring me his shoes, or c) stand and dance at the front door. We'd gone on a walk around the neighborhood this morning, but he was ready for more come late afternoon.

I hadn't really decided where we were going, but I packed him into the car and we headed out. It was a beautiful sunny day, so we ended up at a local park. I figured I'd chase him around the playground for awhile before dinner and wear both of us out! As if playground equipment wasn't exciting enough, the park also has a huge pond (and dam!) and ducks 'a plenty! One of our favorite past-times is chasing the ducks. Today was no exception. (See above) Max's very original way of getting the duck's attention was to yell "Hello! Hello!"

We chased ducks for awhile and crossed a couple of the bridges. I'm sure every parent thinks this, but I *still* can't get over watching this actual LITTLE BOY run everywhere and take my hand to walk up the steps by himself! (Cue tiny string section and me crying softly in the corner remembering 'days gone by'.)

It seems as though I get seasonal allergies every other year and this year is apparently an 'on' year. How conveeenient, as it's supposedly one of the worst years for pollen! ;) ALAS, the sneezing and runny nose that I'm fighting right now as I type is worth a gazillion hours in the great pollenated outdoors due to the following incident:

At the end of one bridge we ran into a family playing frisbee. Max tried to join the game. The family consisted of Mom, Dad, a tween daughter & son and a little blond haired piggie tailed daughter about Max's age. (Or size, at any rate) They eyed each other as if to say "Hey. We're the same height. Whattup?"

Before I knew it, my son stepped closer. Wrapped his arms around her in a hug. And KISSED her on the cheek!

Needless to say, the parents and I were all "Awww! That's so sweet!" (gush gush gush) The girl, however, was confused. "Dude, this is MY dance space. Why are you invading my dance space?!"... and walked away.

Max was equally confused. He shot me a look (that melted my heart) that said "Maaaw! I thought I was supposed to be nice! Wasn't I being a good boy by hugging and kissing her?"

I wish I could just wrap him up and keep him at this age and level of innocence forever. Something tells me his dad and I are going to have a helluva time once he's a teenager, though.

P.S. I can't wait. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

In Memory of Michael H.

Michael H. was a very special boy. The son of my dear friend Jenn, he was born with a serious heart condition and underwent three heart surgeries during his short life.

Michael passed away a year ago today at the age of 9.

Jenn and I met during the summer of '98 while working at a summerstock theatre in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Much like many of my theatre experiences, we were part of a tight knit group that has stayed in touch over the past 12 years, though we (Jenn & I) have not seen each other but maybe once since. (A shame, I know.) I did not have the fortune of meeting Michael in person, but I've always loved hearing and reading stories about him from Jenn.

Michael was an avid Star Wars fan who loved to dance, snuggle, watch the movie 'Elf' and most importantly, loved his Mommy. I didn't 'know' him, but I know this is true.

I'll never forget you, Michael H. You are the best form of sunshine, for you were borne of the sun herself.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In Memory of Maddie

One year ago today a beautiful little girl named Maddie flew to Heaven. Like our Max, Maddie was a preemie and had been born just shy of 29 weeks. Her lungs were scarred due to her prematurity and on April 6 of last year she came down with a respiratory infection. She passed away very unexpectedly the following day.

I'll never forget the shock I felt when I learned of her death. I spent the rest of the day in a haze. My heart broke for her parents, Heather and Mike. Having a preemie of our own, it hit way too close to home.

Maddie's vibrant smile and personality united the interwebs like I've never witnessed before. Today, the anniversary of her passing, is no exception. Purple (the color of the March of Dimes) is everywhere, including on my toes. She was (and continues to be) so loved by all.

Heather & Mike have since formed an incredible organization called Friends of Maddie. It's main focus is supporting parents & families with a child in the NICU and is a cause I encourage everyone to support.

Another way to support is to donate to the March of Dimes. Here's an excerpt of their mission statement: "Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality". Every year there is a walk called The March for Babies with locations all across the country, not to mention hundreds of teams that walk in memory of Maddie. Should you care to donate to the cause, I encourage you to support my dear friend Colleen's team in Jacksonville, FL. Follow this link to her website and click on the March for Babies logo on the right hand side. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

At the Copa

Seven years ago I toured the country with a delightfully cheesy musical called Barry Manilow's Copacabana. It was truly a blast and I made the most amazing friends. This past weekend a bunch of us reunited in Pittsburgh for an early 1st birthday party for one of our 'Copa Offspring'. Between the cast/pit/crew, I believe there are now 7 boys and 1 girl with at least one more expected sometime soon! (There were 4 boys, including Max, in attendance on Saturday.) It was so good to see everyone again and to meet the other kids for the first time!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Bruce is the name I gave my right big toe back in my college days. Believe it or not, I dare say I was sober when I named him! I can't remember the reason why, but it seemed (and still seems) fun at the time. *teehee*

Bruce is broken.

This past Sunday I tripped on the curb while taking the garbage out in the dark. (Smart, I know!) I would have taken a major faceplant had I not caught my balance, but it didn't register that Bruce might actually be broken until Wednesday night. I honestly thought the puffiness/discomfort was from the fact that I wore heels for the first time in forever for my show last week. I worked out on Monday, but then took the rest of the week off because it was so painful and finally called the doctor on Thursday.

Max passed the time away by flirting with all of the nurses on the floor. He (willingly) went to the nurse who checked me in and they left the room to visit the others while I waited for my doctor. That kid is shameless! After the initial exam, I was sent upstairs to get x-rayed. And yes, Max flirted with MORE nurses while I was in the x-ray room! (I'll admit, he *was* pretty adorable in his Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls and Penn State sweatshirt.)

Long story short, Bruce is 'mildly' broken. Had the impact been thismuch harder I would have fractured him and had to have worn a cast & boot, so if there's any kind of broken toe to have, this is the one. I'll have it taped for 2-3 weeks and have instructions for no running. I'm to use 'good judgement' on walking workouts, but was gently reminded that the more I push the longer it'll take to heal. So I guess I'm more or less back on the 'couch' part of the Couch To 5K plan. ;) For now anyway.

Perhaps you're all thinking it's weird that my toe (and only this particular one) has a name? Yes, I'll admit it- it's definitely weird. Or 'quirky' as I prefer to call it. This whole broken toe thing amuses me even more BECAUSE it has a name! My college roommates are probably the only people who truly understand because they were there when I went looney tunes and named it. They sent very thoughtful texts and voicemails yesterday (to him) as I waited for my appointment. They care about poor ol' Brucie like he's family. HAHA!

And as for my husband, bless him for 'playing along' with me...

Me: "Bruce doesn't look so good tonight"
Michael: "No, he sure doesn't"

See? LOVE that he totally goes with me on it and refers to Bruce by his correct gender. :) Again, not sure why he has a name OR a gender.

Not sure how I made it 33 years without a broken bone either! Victory?!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

18 Month Check-Up

Max had his year and a half wellness check-up this morning. Little Dude now weighs in at 21 lbs, 4 oz and is 32.5" tall. I was concerned that he'd only gained a half pound since his last check-up, but his pediatrician wasn't worried and even suggested that he 'just might be destined to be slender'. Is it wrong that I laughed? :) In any case, all looks great in Max Land and his future's so bright he's gotta wear shades!

In other news, Michael had his three month CT scan on Monday... and all is clear! BOO-YA!

Today is both of my brother's birthdays! Happy Birthday, Guys! We love you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cheap Thrills

Tonight (well, last night) was dress rehearsal for my show. I found a fantastic deal on a sassy black dress at Kohl's the other day ($60 marked down to $15- hello?!) and wore it to rehearsal.

As I was walking from the parking garage to the theatre, a 20-something dude yelled "Sweet legs!". I turned around and he said "Yours!" and pointed at me. I'm sure the look on my face was priceless, as I was sure he was talking to someone else and it was going to be one of those embarrassing moments where you wave back to someone only to find out that they're waving to the person *directly behind you*. The insecure side of me was also ready with a comeback of "Why are you making fun of me, you little punk? I'm someone's MOTHER!"

On the flip side, had I not been the happily married lady that I am, I would have wanted to french kiss him and thank him for noticing how hard I've been working at the gym. :)

Wordless Wednesday