Sunday, August 29, 2010

Let the training (officially) begin!

The countdown has begun. Well, technically it began last week but I decided to delay it a week because of my workload & being completely out of motivation due to PMS. So, THIS is the offical week the training for the Pensacola 1/2 Marathon begins. There are 11 weeks until race day and I've got a schedule that I'm going to do my best to follow. Basic plan is 3 short runs in the middle of the week (M, W, F) and a long run on Saturday. My MWF runs will range in distance from 3 - 5 miles and my long runs will start at 4 miles and work up to 10 miles. Yes, the race is actually 13.1 miles, but there really isn't a reason per say to run that distance. Your body will be used to the rigor, challenge and constant increase in milage by that point, so squeeking out an extra 3 miles will not be overwhelming to the body.... at least this is what the experts say. I'll get back to you on that as I move through the weeks of running.
This weeks schedule is:

Monday - 3.5 miles
Wednesday - 3.5 miles
Friday - 3.5 miles
Saturday - 4 miles (LONG)
As I have been anticipating this week and frankly adjusting my mindset to what it was throughout the summer when I religiously & anxiously got up at 4:30am to go on my run 3x per week, I have give some thought as to why I run. Here are my 3 top reasons and i've decided that I'm posting them next to my running schedule so I can make sure I read them each and every day as a mental reminder, especially the weeks that prove especially tough - mentally tough that is.

1) Because after it is all done, I know that I accomplished something for just me today.

2) Because I live for my kids and my husband, and running will help me be healthier & live that much longer so I can spend it with them.

3) Because I got rid of all of my “big” clothes, so I need to maintain my body for the smaller clothes that I now have.  So much for eating, drinking & being merry... only if you balance it out with some good old sweat sessions too.

Sunny side to Rain

We have been inundated by rain this last week. It has been so much rain that only one day this past week at school did the kids get outside for recess (outdoor play). The wet stuff has been so pleniful that I have noticed small (and in some cases big) mushrooms growing in places of our yard - clearly there is TOO much rain. Our sprinkler system could stand to have a 2 week vacation because of how wet the ground is. OK... enough is enough of the wet stuff.

However, where there is rain (no pun intended), there is also sunshine. Maybe not the real stuff, but there is certainly always a sunny side to the rain. Thomas and I took advantage of it this morning when we decided to head outdoors and brave the drizzle.
Our nature walk quickly turned into something else once the large puddles came into sight...
A Puddle Jump'in Fest!

We both had a great time!
The jumping continued all the way home as we came up on each lake-sized puddle. This boy was soaked from inside-out.

The entire time I kept thinking to myself two things: 1) I love spending 1-on-1 time with Thomas and watching him light up with all of his discoveries he makes; 2) how much I miss my time with the kids in the middle of the week with all the hustle & bustle of commuting and work. I certainly wanted to cherish the time, savor his squeels & giggles and mark this down as yet another morning with my 3-year old little boy that was absolute fun, fun, fun! Too much rain... I guess that just isn't possible.

Still our baby girl?

Abbers was having some Daddy time yesterday afternoon out on the back patio. Who said she is too young to know what she is looking for in the fishing catelogs?
Looking at Abby here (who isn't even 13 months old) has me asking myself "is she still our baby girl?" I think about all the milestones she has hit recently and what she able to do now:
  • No more bottles - not even the night time one. She usually drinks her (whole) milk in her sippy cup on & off after dinner up until the time we get ready for bed. I can't believe how easy bedtime is with her, especially with out the good 'old 6oz bottle. Man is she a different baby than Thomas.
  • 1 nap per day (at school). Yeap... my little one only takes one nap a day during the middle of the week. It's a good one too - 2.5 hours. However, on the weekend we are all about the naps (for all of us), so she still takes a 45 minute morning one and then goes down again after lunch at the same time Thomas does.
  • Whole milk and all table food all the way. No buying any more baby food or formula... thank goodness for that savings. Although, I have to admit that I still buy some of the baby/toddler snacks. I guess I'm not ready to let go of that yet... she is still our baby, right?
  • More recently when we have gone out to dinner at a restaurant, Abby has been eating some of Thomas' dinner (from the children's menu). However, the girl has been eating so much that I'm afraid that she is going to have to start getting her own meal soon. I need to start checking out the places that offer "Kids Eat Free" nights. My goodness is she growing up.
  • Oh, one more big-girl thing that she does each night... she helps Daddy feed Ziggy after dinner. She carries the bowl into the garage to get the food and can even carry the filled bowl about 1/2 way to the patio door. She loves to go out with Daddy and watch Daddy do the "clap" that tells Ziggy he can eat now. Check out the video clip below:

Push play below:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

I've missed a few of the last Fridays because of insanity & forgetfulness - but I have a few extra moments today so I thought I would give you the "leftover" Heck scoop from the week:
  • word on the street is my hubby will be here for my birthday next week (Labor Day Weekend) before he heads out on his TDY trip. On that same note, rumor has it he may not have to be gone as long as we had thought... AMEN.
  • Speaking of birthdays, as long as Brian and I have known each other (2003), we have only been together for 3 of my birthdays... this one will be 4. I'm used to it but man am I looking forward to him here so that he can spoil me!
  • For the last 2 weeks (with the exception of 3 or 4 nights) Thomas has started to wet the bed. Don't know where this is coming from. The boy has had dry nights since early spring... not sure what could be the cause but it is extremely frustrating (and time consuming to change bed sheets daily). I'm sure there will be more to blog regarding this.
  • This morning the true realization of Abby's petite size hit. She has a size 12 months cute little green shirt on coupled with a size 6-9 months part of jeans. ???? I know... that isn't supposed to happen. She has short little legs, tiny waist and longer torso. Poor girl is definately between sizes I would say.
  • The pile of essays/papers/tests has begun to grown that seems to be a permanent fixture on my desk at school. There are three times per school year when I have nothing to grade/score/give feedback on.... 1) 1st day of school, 2) last day before Christmas break, and 3) last day of school. All other days there is a pile. A big pile.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our little enchilada

Wow, was I surprised. Honestly, I don't know why I was surprised, but it was such a joy to find out Thomas was learning something at school that I know FULL well I couldn't teach him. I should have known this is something that he would be learning given today's teaching curriculum in preschools around the country. Our little lovebug (or in this case - our little enchilada) is learning Spanish and he has quite a little list of words going.

house = casa

friend = amigo

school = escuela

water = agua

bathroom = bano

blue = azul

My Spanish is pretty limited to "Por Favor" (please), "Gracias" (thank you), "taco" (taco), "burrito" (burrito), and "cerveza" (beer). I know sad & pathetic but it is what it is. Thomas is already much smarter in this foreign language than Brian & me put together. Maybe he will be bilingual one day?

But for the record - I took five intense years of the beautiful French language. And I still remember a few words.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I feel stuck because there are days I want to blog, share, tell, post pics, and write my personal thoughts about our life.
But there are days that what I have to say... really have to say... will elicit too many emails, phone calls, comments from friends, family and loved ones with alarming & concerning questions. Not because something awful has happened, but simply because of what I am thinking, going through and dealing with. Basically "LIFE". My life is wonderful, but just like everyone, I have up hill battles, bad days, and emotions that run rampant in my head.
I guess those are the times when I wish that I could just click on a "no responses necessary" button next to a blog entry so my words & thoughts could be just that... my words & thoughts. Sometimes I don't want to have to answer for how I feel & what I think. Period.
I know that people care and want to feel connected, but I have to remind myself (and others) for sanity reasons that this blog is one of my biggest outlets... and sometimes I just need to let things out.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Our big girl brushing her teeth - not bad for an amateur. Abbigail is now very much a part of the nightly "getting ready for bed" routine which includes brushing her 8 teeth. When I think back to Thomas brushing his teeth , it took him until he was about 14 months old to start on that routine. I guess because Abby has an older role model (ha-ha), she has taken to this early than he did.

Relaxing Weekend Away

Between busy days, busy nights and busy weekends - I guess I have let my blogging slip over the course of the last week or so. My very good friend Kendra (who lives half way around the world in Japan) called me out that I'm slipping and she needs some Heck Updates this week. So... here you go Kendra & all my loyal followers.

This past weekend we joined up with some friends who had invited us to the tiny town of Steinhatchee (along the big bend of FL; about 85 miles southeast of Tallahasee) where it is known as the Natural Coast. The name is fitting because it is NOT built up at all; fishing & scallopping is just about all there is to do there (which Brian wasn't complaining about at all); the condo we stayed at had a great pool which we all got a chance to enjoy. So... it was a very relaxing weekend away where neither Brian or I felt like we had to do anything (mow the lawn, clean the house, fix this, or fix that)... we just hung out.

Here is just a few shots of my our two lovebugs being sweet with each other:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1 year and growing

We visited the doctor's office today for Abbigail's 1-year checkup... I went in with high hopes that she was finally at the 20 lb mark (for goodness sake, I've turned her around already in her carseat... I hope she is legal). I went in thinking this because the girl eats like a horse and seems to be growing like a weed.

weight: 18.4 lbs (10th percentile)
height: 29 3/4 inches (75th percentile)

This all equals out to...
+ 1.4 lbs in weight
+ 2 3/4 inches in height
... in the last three months. Damn. We missed the mark. I'll admit, I've stressed over Abby's weight. Heck, she is in the bottom 10th percentile of all other 1 year old little girls. I don't want Abby to be in the bottom anything when it comes to anything. I guess in the back of my mind I'm comparing her to Thomas (which I know I shouldn't do). As a parent, I know that is wrong. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. My thing is I'm not comparing their "smarts" or their work ethic or their athletic ability or talents. I'm comparing their growth. But I'm reminded (by many, including our pediatrician) that I'm trying to compare apples to oranges. Little girls tend to be a little smaller; she was born smaller and therefore is in a different part of the growth chart than her brother. The bottom line by our ped doctor is this... "she is just petite, Michelle." She is healthy, active, and hitting all her milestones. *Whoew* OK, I will let this issue go.

Apparently, Abbigail has inherited some of the short Sullivan genes. Or maybe not -75th percentile isn't too shabby... maybe she is just going to be a tall, skinny stringbean.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Birthday...

... to my sister & her hubby. Both of them share the same birthday - only difference is Jen is older by two years! So... Happy 30th Birthday Ash! Happy 32nd Birthday Jen! Love to both of you from the Hecks!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Writing on the Wall

Brian and I know that change is necessary in life - sometimes to freshen a stale situation up; sometimes to fix a problem; sometimes for the surprise factor; and sometimes for sanity. I think all of these might fit our situation to some extent and we are ALL about change.

Just like in the very popular book, "Who Moved My Cheese?", it is important to recognize & understand the handwriting on the wall. We are looking forward; we are anxious; we are hopeful.

Change Happens
Anticipate Change
Adapt & Change Quickly
Enjoy the Change

Friday Night Treat

With Daddy home from his trip, we thought that we all deserved a Friday night treat from the local ice cream shoppe - The Twist. Thomas' pick was Blue Smurf ice cream on a sugar cone - he savored every last bite until even the cone was practically melted in the hot evening humidity. Abbigail nibbled on Mommy's & Daddy's ice cream cones until she couldn't stand any more and I gave her the last 1/3 of the cone with Strawberry ice cream. She devoured it.

Video Clip - Although small in size (because its from Brian's iPhone), I think you can't miss the excitement that this little girl has for her ice cream. Listen carefully, you can even hear lots of "mmms" as she sucks it all down.

The last 6 years...

... have been an adventure that Brian and I couldn't wait to start back in 2003 when we first meet each other. You are the love of my life, my best friend and I simply couldn't imagine what life would be like without you by my side. I love you.

1 year dating
6 years married
1 overseas tour away from family
2 long deployments
2 wonderful, healthy, beautiful children...
Happy 6th Anniversary!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


... done with my first full week of school. *Sigh*

Tomorrow is:
  • Friday! That needs no explanation!
  • Jeans & Green - so that means no heels, no skirts... just comfy clothes all day!
  • the day that Brian returns home from CO. Although only a short trip this week (the long TDY starts in a few weeks), it has made life at home extremely busy with his absence. I'm very glad Daddy will be for some family time this weekend.
  • Pay Day... can I get an Amen? explanation needed!
This is definately how much I look forward to my Fridays!

Dirt + Water = FUN

Last Sunday, it was a hot one... but for some reason or another, it seemed like a good morning to be playing and working outside. When Abby went down for her (short) morning nap, Thomas & me headed outside for some fresh air and sun. I immediately went to work weeding the flower beds/bushes. Thomas initial was helping me, but had plans of his own. He realized that the "side planter" next to our mailbox that didn't get any flowers planted in it this season made a PERFECT spot for his diggers & dumpers. I don't think I heard a peep out of him for at least 30 minutes. This is a serious little boy hard at work... getting dirty, dump'in dirt & digg'in dirt.

So, naturally after he were completely soaked with sweat (& hard work), we headed out back to hose off. Little Boy + Dirt + Water = FUN!

Yes... this Florida boy is naked in his birthday suit. He was in hog's heaven enjoying the sun, the cool water all the while he just "hung out." Part that made me laugh the most? When he went around the corner of the house and peed on the fence. I guess that is part of the enjoyment of summertime.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Mondays

I feel like one of these Mack Trucks hit me today. I'm exhausted. My feet hurt. My head hurts. My muscles ache. Damn... it's only Monday. I think it's going to be a long first FULL week of school.

I'm having serious doubts about all of the following:
  • whether I should have really gotten up at 4AM to go on a run?
  • whether I should have waited until 11AM to eat anything today... I was starving by then and then did not eat a good lunch after that?
  • whether I should have worn high heels today?
  • why I didn't splurge for a 2nd cup of coffee today? Mondays usual require it.
  • whether it was necessary to really assign summer homework to my Seniors... now I have to grade it all in the next few nights? Auuughhhh!

Ice Cream Yummies

It is never too hot to have some ice cream yummies. Simply put... there is always a right time to enjoy this on a mid-summer night evening.  Just ask these two little munchkins as they gobbled up their mini ice cream cones a few weekends ago!