Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

It’s evening here on Memorial Day (Happy Memorial Day everyone), the kids are now in bed exhausted and all is finally quiet. We had an extremely busy weekend. We had Lorraine and Randy over for dinner on Friday, Steef and Ginette over on Saturday, we then had two days of dinner and an afternoon of playing, first at Kaisa and Kevin’s on Sunday and all day today with Lisa and Brad.

The kids never got a moments rest and you know how it goes, they’re fueled by lots of food with deserts and the excitement of playing with friends, throw in lots of free space for running around and a sprinkler at every turn. They run straight through the exhaustion barrier right until you tell them its time to go home and then all hell breaks loose. They melt….which is followed by lots of tears. It's nice reflecting on it, it's awful at the time!

We had a great weekend with many friends, I even got to see Anton for the first time, Kevin and Kaisa’s one month old boy, met some new friends at Lisa and Brad’s house today, thanks to all for making it a great time.

I took some photos, there are more online and I’ll get even more from Kaisa when she has time (probably when Anton is one). Have a good week everybody. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Marathon Training Plan Complete and Launched

This week I started my marathon training. I had some help pulling my 20 week training plan together from a guy at work, John Stille, who knows a lot more about running than I do, he has completed several marathons, many of which were under 3 hours. Anyhow, I posted it below just in case anybody was half interested, it has my goal time, my general run schedule with distances and speeds together with my weekly total mileage (if you wish to see it larger, click on it).
Of course all of this is still a plan, we’ll see how well I stick with this, although I have already almost completed the first week. I’ll keep you updated.

Shown below is a picture of me as I near the end of the recent Indianapolis half marathon, can you tell?  Below that is a picture of me hanging around with Steve and Brad who will each run the Chicago marathon with me. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Eilish

Thursday, my sister Eilish will turn over another year. From across the miles, wishing you a big Happy Birthday dear sister. I’d love to be there with you as you celebrate another year, however, I’m highly confident that you guys will manage to celebrate just fine without me. I hope you have a good day and night, we’ll be thinking of you here.

As you know, I always like to show a few photos so I pulled out two from your trip over last year with Mum and Dad. There was something in common with these photos, I simply couldn’t figure out exactly what that was :) Of course I also couldn't help but show a few very old and extremely cute photos of you.  Isn’t she cute everybody? Happy Biirthday Sis…..

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Davey and Sam having a Baby, Two of Them !!

I had an excellent text awaiting me this morning as I scrolled through my phone waiting for the coffee pot to spring into action. It read “****NEWSFLASH**** We’re having a baby, two in fact…double trouble”. This wonderful and extremely exciting news came from Davey and Sam, my brother and fiancĂ©e who currently live in Dublin. They're due on November 28th, Sam’s birthday, what a present! I spoke with him this morning and offered out heartfelt congratulations. They will make wonderful parents.

I have been urging him to re-start his blog, and over the last few months he has started promising to do so, I never connected the dots. Anyhow, recall that Davey and Sam toured the planet for a few years ago and blogged their way through it, I'm hoping with the pregnancy and coming children they will have lots of exciting stories and pictures to soon start sharing again.

I just love this picture below of Davey and Sam together with Anja many years ago when we visited England.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Lynne

As May rolls on, we continue with the birthday stream and Lynne is next. She celebrates another healthy happy year today (Monday). Happy Birthday Love.

Not much fun really having a birthday on a Monday but we did a few items over this weekend. Lynne and I went to Indianapolis last night for some quiet time, went to a great Thai Restaurant (Siam Garden if anybody is interested) and then went to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra who were playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It was brilliant and we had a very relaxing and enjoyable evening. It was great for the two of us to sit together for a few hours and relax since it seems we have had quite a hectic Spring.

Today the girls made cards and “I helped them bake a cake”. We baked Lynne’s favorite, a carrot cake, covered with her favorite color icing (the icing is a hit with the kids). The highlight of the baking is the mixing of colors to attain the purple color. It tasted good.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Happy Birthday Brov...

Today, my brother David (or Davey as he likes to be called) turns 21 today. Sorry that I did not get a chance to call (or send you a nice bouquet of flowers), I was busy with this half marathon. I did think of you several times though. You cannot imagine how many times I saw 07th May emblazoned on items today at this race and instinctively every time I said to myself, yip, "Today is Davey’s Birthday". Love you. Hope you had an enjoyable one. Catch up later.

The photo below of Davey is one I shot about two years ago at Clive’s wedding when he was best man. We were both in need of a bio-break after the church service so we both took off running together in search of the necessary. Being able to run a little quicker than him, I turned and snapped a quick shot as we both dived into the nearby toilet ::)))

A New PR in the Half Marathon

Well I’ve completed round one of my marathon training, that of running a sufficiently fast time in a road race to qualify to ensure a good seeding at the start of the marathon race in October. Today, I ran the Indianapolis Mini Marathon (Half marathon or 13.1 miles) in a personal best time of 1:39:15, an average pace of 7:35 min/mile. I’m really pleased with the fact that as I get older I seem to be decreasing my PR for these long distance races, a feat that I know all too well will not last forever.

I had trained well for this race and despite having to stop running in early April with a minor injury for three weeks coupled with having a mild cold today (shivers and a cold throat for the last two days), I was extremely pleased with how it went. I shaved a full 1:30mins off the time I did in 2008.

Photos below of myself with Brad, Steve and Neil, my running partners, a before and after photo.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Anja’s 6th Birthday Party

This week our little girl, Anja, turned over a new year and yesterday we celebrated her 6th birthday in style. I think it was the biggest birthday party we’ve hosted to date. In all I think we had about 20 kids of various ages but mostly Anja’s age from school. We were extremely fortunate with the weather; we had a warm sunny day with clear blue skies. We had our usual fruit, grilled meats, drinks and assorted sweet items in addition to cake and ice-cream. Lynne and Brooke organized several party games which went down really well. An additional bonus feature this year was Brooke’s face painting which was very popular. 

Many did lots of work to make the day go smoothly; however, as always Brooke and Lorraine seem to always go a little above and beyond what would be considered normal. A big “Thank You”, to each of you. I must also thank all who came to make it such an enjoyable occasion for Anja and ourselves.

As usual, many photos were taken, the highlights are shown below with many more available here for the intrigued reader.

Welcome Anton Webb

From the Owens-Taylor household, we all welcome Anton Webb into the world. Yes, Kaisa and Kevin have added another to their family and Anton arrived last Friday, a full 9lb 6oz. We understand that both He and Kaisa are doing well, they arrived home yesterday. A heartfelt Congratulations to all of you.

Mum Gone Home

We were all a little sad to say “Farewell to Granny Owens” today. She is travelling back to Ireland as I type and will be home very early tomorrow morning. We all had a great time for her four and half week visit. She was a huge help to us in watching the kids, particularly when Lynne was in the UK and even in the evenings and weekends. Of course the kids really bonded with her given that the stay was sufficiently long for them to get really acquainted with her again. They loved waking her up in the mornings, the attention she splurged on them, their constant gifts and the many knitted items she did for them. Connor and her spent many many hours roaming the back yard.

Mum: - We thoroughly enjoyed your stay, you were a huge help, an easy guest and many thanks one last time for all you did for us all. 

Water in the Basement

We had a frustrating Friday last week. As normal in Indiana, we have had a lot of very heavy rain this Spring (indeed it seems like this year has been particularly bad). Although I did manage to clean our rain gutters this year, they still managed to get blocked which resulted in an overspill which unfortunately was right next to our basement window. We had a good amount of water come in which resulted in us having to remove our laminated floor. Arrgghhh !! We are now in the process of determining the best option for a replacement, a work in progress which I’ll report on later!

The Girls Show

This Saturday, Anja and Isabel (and I) were in a Dance Show at the Loeb Playhouse down at Purdue University. Since January, on Tuesday afternoons, the girls have been taking dance lessons or rather they partake in a fun dance class. There were several classes to choose from, Anja did ballet for beginners and Isabel did a mixture of dance styles. 

The finale of these lessons is a 1.5 hour Dance Show each spring with dancers ranging from 3 up to about 18 showcasing their skills. Isabel was actually in a Dad’s dance session; hence I was up on stage helping her do her stuff. Lynne, Connor and Mum all attended and all had a great time, particularly the girls who were fully dressed out for the occasion and were even instructed to wear a little make-up. As you can imagine, they really hated that part :))