Wednesday, December 4, 2013

ICE at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel

What a weekend!  A weekend full of fun!  A weekend full of memories!

We spent the weekend at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN.  We had breakfast with Shrek and visited the famous "ICE" event with 2 million lbs of ice sculptures and 3 ice slides!  

The theme this year was Frosty the Snowman (my favorite!)

I highly recommend anyone of any age to visit the ICE at the hotel!  The hotel was beautifully decorated for Christmas with thousands (or more!) of lights, poinsettias, and nutcrackers. 

They had the coolest nativity scene I've ever seen made out of ice.  It was absolutely beautiful!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A First to Remember

Being 33 years old, there are so many things I will never forget.  My wedding day, finding out I was expecting, and having both babies ranks at the top of my list of favorite memories.  I treasure everything about each one of those memories.  The pictures bring it all back to me like it was just yesterday.  I truly feel these are all accomplishments that I have made in my life.  Accomplishments that no one else can say they have done.  No one can say they married Benji Reinhart.  No one has a Laney or a Max as a child.  Those are things I am extremely proud of!  

My most recent accomplishment is the time and dedication I put towards running my first full marathon.  Yes, many people can say they have accomplished running a marathon.  But statistics show only 0.1% of the Worlds population has completed a marathon.  I find that interesting.  When I heard a spectator yell that out as I was running my race, I thought to myself, "Whatever.  He's just trying to motivate people!"  So I looked it up...surprisingly there was all sorts of information out there.  I'm going with the 0.1% cause it sounds good!

So let's start at the beginning.  For those of you who remember, two years ago to the DAY, I attempted to run my first half marathon.  Yes, I finished, but I finished injured pretty badly.  I had a severe stress fracture to the tibia, which put me on crutches for 3 1/2 weeks and off from running for 14 weeks.  Exactly one year later, I attempted the same half marathon and completed un-injured!  After completing the race, I remember telling a friend who is a marathoner, "I will NEVER do a full marathon!  That's just crazy and dumb to run that much!"  A couple of months later, the idea started sounding not SO dumb.  So I signed up!  I had the support from my best friend to run with me and my hubby saying he was fine with me being gone on long runs...let's do it!  In May, I ran the Seymour Mini and shaved 11 minutes off of my finishing time from six months prior.  I was pumped! Well....six months later (with 18 weeks of training and ANOTHER half marathon under my belt), I am officially a marathon runner!  I can put that 26.2 sticker on the Tahoe.  I can wear my new Sweaty Band that says 26.2.  I can wear the shirt that says I'm a marathon runner.  And I am proud of it!  

Yes, my training was 18 weeks long.  I would assume many people would just give up and not complete the training.  I didn't.  I couldn't.  I made a promise to myself and to my "sis" Tiffany that I would do this.  That I would do this with her.  That WE would do this first FULL marathon together.  We trained together every week.  We managed to do our short weekday runs separately.  But the long runs....we had each other.  I have to give her credit for helping me through this.  If it wasn't for Tiffany, I really don't know if I would even have ran that first half marathon.  She inspired me to become a runner, and for that, I am grateful.  I could have been one of those that quit or gave up or didn't give it their all.  But knowing Tiffany was counting on me to run at 5:30 am on Saturday morning when it was 35 degrees, I had to do it!  Two others that I have to thank are our husbands, John and Benji.  Those two guys are amazing.  Everyone thinks they have the best spouse....well I think you're all wrong, cause Tiffany and I do!  These boys got up on Saturday mornings, loaded the kids up, and placed water and other fueling items along our running course.  One morning, Benji even got up at 4:45 am to place water for us for our 20 mile run.  Not only did they support us during our training, but they supported us more than they'll ever know on race day.  Those two guys packed their bikes on the back of the Tahoe and rode a total of 22 miles around Indianapolis to meet us at specific locations for water, Gatorade chews, GO shots, powerballs, bananas, but the most important thing they gave us was their support.  Seeing them smiling at us every five miles made it worth it.  When the legs started getting heavy, I knew Benji was just around the corner waiting for me.  

Race day was amazing!  The weather was warmer than expected (40 degrees at start time).  Knowing we had about a 4 1/2 hour time out there, we weren't sure what to dress ourselves in.  We went with the layered look.  I knew I could always lose clothes when I got hot!  So at 8am in Downtown Indianapolis, Tiffany, my mom, and I were at the start line.  I must also add that my mom ran in her FIRST HALF MARATHON also that day!  It was so fun we were all first timers that day!  The gun goes off and this was it....this was the moment we had been training for for 18 long weeks.  The early mornings, the tight muscles, the activities that we missed or arrived late to....all for THIS moment.

Tiffany and I (we were known as the "twins" out on the course by other runners.  Wonder if they really thought we were twins??) agreed to stay together at least until the 1/2 way mark.  "Run your race" is what we say....don't wait up for me, listen to your body!  Everything went pretty smooth for both of us for the first 13.1 miles.  Once we hit about mile 16, we started separating somewhat.  I could still see her ahead of me, which definitely helped motivate me to keep going.  Two of my favorite signs that I saw from spectators were, "Pain is temporary but your results are online forever"-this is SO true!  The other one that I thought was funny was "You run better than our government."  Again, true!  For those of you who have never witnessed a half or full marathon, I strongly urge you to go.  Go be a spectator and wave signs, ring bells, play music, scream and cheer.  Those people don't realize how nice it is to see people yelling your name (it was on our bib) and cheering for you.  No, I didn't know any of them, but that didn't matter.  They didn't care that they didn't know me.  They were proud of me and what I was doing, and it showed.  So thank you to everyone who goes out and supports runners on race day!  Kudos to you!

My hardest part of the 26.2 was mile 22-24.  My legs hurt, especially my calves.  My back was starting to ache from the pounding.  I just wanted to see the finish line.  Mile 25 gave me a surprise....Benji was waiting for me to cheer me on!  I wasn't expecting to see him until the finish line and I loved that surprise!  He gave me a little push when I said I wanted to walk just for one minute.  He reminded me of my goal (under 4 1/2 hours)....I had to do it.  I was determined.  I pushed through the wind on Merdian Street (boy was it windy then!) and rounded the corner and saw the finish line!  I heard a girl yell "GO ERIN!  YOU CAN DO IT!"  I'm still not 100% sure who it was, but I thank them for that!  I finished.  I finished strong.  I finished!!!!  Tiffany was there waiting for me.  Surprisingly I didn't get emotional like I thought I would!  When the volunteer hung that medal around my neck and I had my best friend's arm around my shoulders, I was proud.  I was proud of my mom.  I was proud of my best friend.  I was proud of myself.  We ALL did it!  My finish time was 4:28:06.

When asked immediately after the race if I would do another one.  I said "Yes!"  When asked that night if I would do another one.  I said, "No way!"  When asked today (2 days post race) if I would do another one, I say "I think so!  But I'll need my sissy and hubs there again!  If they're in, I'm in!"  

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

The Reinhart Family hopes everyone had a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

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ZooBoo and Halloween

The month of October really got away from us!  We have been so busy with school, extra curricular activities, and just the basic daily tasks!  Of course, we took our trip to the Indianapolis Zoo again with the Bruce family.  It seems we always go on Mommy's birthday, so we might just have to make that a tradition!  We also did a pumpkin patch trip to Apple Works, but it was a cruddy and rainy day, so we didn't get any pictures with the camera, only our phone.  I'll post those at some point!  Just trying to get caught up!  

The kids always enjoy the day we get the paint out and paint the pumpkins!  Laney started making hers with a face, but I think she got bored with it.  She made it an abstract piece, as did Max!

Love my little Picasso's!  

Our annual ZooBoo trip with the Bruce's was fun, as usual!  
Max was Brainy Smurf, cause "he wears glasses like me!" -Max Reinhart

And Laney was Doc McStuffins.  We all know Laney loves Doc, but I was surprised that she chose that as her costume!  I thought it was be something geared towards Scooby Doo again!

The kids rode the train again, another favorite with our group!  The kids love seeing the characters dressed up, and the parents enjoy sitting and relaxing for a few minutes!

The weather was awesome this year, as you can tell with the below picture.  Benji in shorts and me in short sleeve....nice October weather!!

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

School Friends (Johnny Appleseed Day, First Field Trip)

Now that Laney is in Kindergarten, she gets to participate in field trips and special days at school.  Luckily for us, Mommy has a flexible work schedule and can volunteer at these special events!  Both Kindergarten classes went to Huber's Orchard for her field trip.  This was my first time to get to volunteer and be around 50 five and six year olds.  

These teachers have patience, that's for sure!  

Laney loved that I could be there for her field trip.  

She played with her friends

ate some lunch

and picked out a pumpkin!

My group was a fun group (of course!)

Emerson Elementary Kindergarten Class

One of her favorite things was riding the bus with her mommy!  

Johnny Appleseed Day was also celebrated in October!  

Mommy came and helped serve homemade applesauce that the kids helped make earlier that day

It amazes me how much Laney has matured since the beginning of Kindergarten.  She went from crying every day to riding the bus with her friends.  Mommy was very hesitant to helping out in class because in pre-school, Laney would be glued to my hip during school parties.  She listens to the teacher while Mommy is there, but of course, I get a couple extra hugs from her (and a few of the other kiddos!)  I don't mind, though!  I love it!

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Another First

Mr Max started Preschool!!   
He was SO excited
(although it doesn't appear that way in this picture)

But this picture shows the excitement that was in our house this week!!  Max goes to Noah's Ark Preschool, which is where Laney also went to Preschool for two years.  AND....Mommy and Daddy both attended this preschool, too!

He was excited to finally do what he has seen Laney do for the past 3 years.....

go to school!

Laney gave him the run down on what to expect at Noah's Ark.  "Max, first you go in and hang your backpack up in your cubbie and your jacket but you won't wear a jacket at first because it's too warm outside.  Then you will play for a little bit.  Then you will sit down on the carpet and listen to Mrs. Joray.  Then Mrs. Joray will teach and you will learn.  Then you will play.  Then you will go to the potty for boys and wash your hands...." 
(and she kept going, but I can't remember everything she said!)

Laney was just as excited for Max as Max was for himself.  She told me before she got dropped off that she had a nervous feeling in her tummy.  When I asked why she was nervous she said she wasn't sure, but thinks she was kinda nervous for Max on his first day.  So sweet.

Max did great on his first day!  Gave me a big kiss before I left and a high five and continued painting!  I'm going to miss this guy on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but I will admit having a few hours of "me" time will be nice! 
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Memories Never Die

As many of you know, Cassius was diagnosed with a heart condition last summer (2012).  We have had to adjust a little bit of our morning and evening routine (mainly Benji) to giving Cassius a total of 9 pills daily, and recently, wet dog food.  He was actually starting to act a little more like himself, but an older version. ;)  With Cassius' condition, he would have a hard time breathing and would sometimes pass out for a few moments when he got excited (new visitors usually did it to him).  He wasn't able to enjoy his daily walks anymore due to lack of breath.  We started noticing a few months ago his muscle was deteriorating.  We both just prayed we wouldn't have to come to the point to have to make "that" decision.  We feel like we JUST did this with Brewski (exactly 18 months ago).  

When we first got Cassius, he was our baby.  He was our everything.  I'm serious when I say that.  I still remember telling my dad that we were getting a boxer dog.  His response was, "Errrrinnnnn, they're a lot of work!"  Boy was he right!  Cassius was your typical puppy.  Hyper, wild, and then would curl up and crash.  BUT.....Cassius turned about one and never would really "crash" when he started getting wild.  There were times that Benji would have to chase him around the house and lay on top of him to get him to calm down and go to sleep for the evening.  

Unfortunately, it saddens me to write this post.  A post I was hoping was a couple of years away.  Our boxer, Cassius, was tired.  He was tired of fighting each breath.  He was tired of not having the energy that he was used to having.  He was tired of being tired.  It was his time to let go.  Yesterday evening, August 29, 2013, I was cooking dinner and the kids were playing like normal in the living room.  I heard them yell to me (and our house is an open floor plan so I was pretty much in the same room) that Cassius pooped.  Shocked, I walked into the living room and was not prepared to see what I saw.  Our "lap dog" had given up.  

We will always remember the good, the bad, and the wild days with Cassius.  He will forever be a part of our family.  Some of our favorite memories with him are when we first picked him up from the breeder, I was holding him and he was so nervous, he peed all over me.  We tell the kids that story all the time and they just giggle.  Once we arrived home with Cassius, he was terrified of his food bowl.  It was one of those silver stainless steel bowls and he could see his reflection in it.  Again, we just laugh thinking about that.  I'll always remember the time Benji went out of town for work when we still lived in Avon, and Cassius was SO upset he had diarrhea all over the entire bedroom (white carpet), not once, but all.night.lonnnnnngggg.  Then there was the time he jumped up on the kitchen counter and ate two whole chicken breasts.  Raw chicken breasts.  A phone call to the emergency clinic was made.  The time when he thought it was a great idea to chew up my glasses that were on the night stand.  I still wonder to this day why he thought that would be a good idea.  Being close to kidney failure and almost having exploratory surgery before he was one years old and then being put on prescription dog food was not one of our favorite times with him, but one we will remember.  Then the move to Seymour and living out on the farm.  That dog LOVED farm life!  He enjoyed it much more than Momma did!  Running around the fields, chasing cats, playing with Brewski, and getting dirty.  We then brought 2 beautiful babies into our family and he really adjusted well.  Of course, we were concerned with how gentle he would be and if he would be jealous, but things all worked out well.  After Brewski passed away in February 2012, we knew Cassius was a little down in the dumps.  We decided it was time to get another doggie!  Sadie was brought home and Cassius definitely livened up a bit!!  Cassius' last day here, I had just gotten out of the shower and got dressed and just lied down next to him in our bed.  Just petting him and spending some time snuggling up to him.  I really wish I would have taken more time out of my day to do that with him.  Once "life" happened in the morning, I just didn't take the time I should have, and I regret that.  But I am thankful for that last morning I had with him.  

We already miss him so much.  There is more room in our bed.  There are less accidents to clean up.  There is less slobber to wipe off the floors by his bowl.  We would take all of that back times ten to have him back home with us.  He's playing with Brewski and being as wild as he knows how, and I love that!  We love you Cassius!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

A Better Sight...

Our little man, Max, has a different view on things now.  Literally!  Max's eyes were tested back in February.  Benji and I noticed he was getting close to objects (iPad, iPod, papers, books) to see. After talking to our eye doctor, Dr Smith, he felt it was necessary to bring him in for an exam.  Of course, at 2 1/2 years old, it wasn't the easiest exam for him.  Tests showed Max needed glasses, but Dr Smith said he felt we could wait six months and re-run the tests.  August came, and we did it all over again (no "drop drops"-aka eye drops this time) and the results came back the exact same numbers.  

Then we got the joy of picking out a cute pair of eyes for Max.  His only request was something blue!  These specks are a pewter frame with green and blue on the sides.

Max LOVES his new glasses.  He asks for them first thing when he wakes up in the morning and at nap time.  He says he sees much better with glasses now!  

Thank goodness for parent intuition.  If we would've just listened to what others told us (just wait until he's in Kindergarten), the poor thing would have struggled seeing until then!  

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