You made it! Here it is... the blog where you get to sit back and laugh at - or be completely horrified by - life with 5 kids, 2 parents, 1 dog, 2 cats, 1 guinea pig, & 2 turtles (and those are just the creatures we know about).

Special Thanks To My Donors:

SPECIAL THANKS TO MY MARATHON DONORS: Caroline Alexis; Kristine Barry; Meghan Brunell; Jons Cardoso; Kevin & Suzanne Champagne; Paula & Eddie Connolly; Beth Crescenzo; Kelly Cunniffe; Rosie Diletezia; Matt Ennis; Michelle Forrest; Kathleen Hall; Vina Harvey; Sharon Keyes; Katharine King; Genteen Lacet Jean-Michel; Karen McHugh; Lesley Miller & family; Florence Molyneaux; Kirstin Peth; Jacqui Wade - 26.2 In The City She Loved - Krystle Campbell Memorial Fund


Training, So Much Training...

For the most part, the marathon training has been going pretty well. I've definitely struggled in the last two weeks to fit in some of my short runs because of weather and life, so I'm trying to keep an eye on that. I have a new-found respect for all of the lunatics who've done this year after year and trained through a New England winter. I can't even imagine what last year must have been like with our record-breaking snowfall. It's a huge pain in the ass (and calves, and hamstrings). We had been having an unseasonably warm winter, but Boston stayed true to form and went straight-up arctic. 

I now take it personally if you don't shovel your sidewalk because running over bumpy, frozen snow is like running at the beach and my legs just can't take it. Also, I try to avoid running in the street because Massholes are aggressive drivers (where do you think that name comes from?) and I'm trying not to get run down. My last long run was 12 miles of icy, slippery, snowy crap and it sucked. I started giving the finger to every house that didn't have a shoveled sidewalk. And I may or may not have shouted something passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) to the lady getting into her fancy Range Rover with 6 inches of snow on her entire sidewalk. If you're too fancy to shovel, hire someone.

My long run day is Sunday which means I should've put in my miles yesterday. Except for the fact that the wind chill was -30* and I am not that stupid dedicated. I figured pushing it off to today was no problem. Until I checked the weather and realized that today was going to be 5*. So, now I'm moving it to tomorrow which is supposed to be 50* and raining. (Go home, New England weather, you're drunk.)

Feels more like -29*?? Come on.
My fundraising has been going really well. If you haven't had a chance to donate, I'd really appreciate your help and support for such a great cause. Go to the Krystle Campbell Memorial Fund and mention runner Lisabeth Minihane in the comments. Thanks so much for any bit of support you can offer. It's helping my team to reach their goal!

Last but not least, if you have any amazing music that I should add to my playlist, send along the suggestions. My long runs take forever at my pace, but it's always great when someone's song suggestion comes on. I think of that person and it keeps me going!



My First Marathon

So, a few months ago, I ran my first half marathon. It was the first time in my life I'd ever gone a distance like that. Until that point, my longest race had been 5 miles. After accomplishing the whole 13.1 (& still feeling well), I started toying with the idea of doing a longer race. Like, a full marathon. Which is completely insane, because one half marathon at my snail's pace hardly qualifies me to think I could ever do such a thing. But the idea had been stewing in the back of my mind. 

Being a lifelong Boston resident, I kept thinking how amazing it would be to have my first marathon be one of the most prestigious marathons in the world - right here in my hometown. But, who was I kidding? That was just a crazy idea in my head. And really, even if it ever happened, it was just all about me. Something I would like to say I had done (or attempted to do). 

Enter my friend, Erin. Erin and I have taught together for almost 7 years. A few nights ago, she posted this on her Facebook page:

It was a sign for sure. This marathon wasn't just going to be some goal I wanted to accomplish for myself, anymore. This was going to be so much bigger than just me. I messaged Erin right away and quickly became part of the team of eight runners who will be running to raise money for the Krystle Campbell Memorial Fund. 

I am so honored to help raise funds in Krystle's memory by running the 2016 Boston Marathon. Which is where you all come in. I am going to need so much help. Maybe you have a great song  that I can add to my playlist. Or maybe you can like one of my many posts about running that will pop up on Facebook (or Instagram or Twitter). All of that is sure to keep me going during my training. 

What I will also need is your help in raising money for the Krystle Campbell Memorial Fund. If you'd like to donate, please click on the link.

****In the comments section, be sure to mention "26.2 in the City She Loved" and runner Lisabeth Minihane. This is very important. Without using my name, the donations can't really be tracked. 

If you prefer to send in a check, it should be made payable to “The Boston Foundation”, and should reference the Krystle Campbell Memorial Fund in the memo line & runner Lisabeth Minihane.  Please mail checks to:

The Boston Foundation
Fund Administration
75 Arlington Street, 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02116

Please let me know if you have any questions. Any amount you can donate will help me reach my fundraising goal for the team. 

Thank you so much for all of your help, love, and support. I'm so excited & slightly terrified to take on this task, but I know the adventure will be worth it!



Lunches...How I Hate Packing Lunches

There are all kinds of chores around my house that I love to complain about. If you've ever read my blog, you know that the laundry pile comes up about a million times. But, there is nothing quite like packing lunches. 

Here's where the fact that I have five kids really comes into play. Anything times 5 can be pretty dramatic, but lunch making has to top the list. By the time I've come home after work, made and served dinner, and thrown in yet another load of laundry, the last thing I want to do is start packing lunches. So I wait until the morning. And then I wish I had just buckled down and done it the night before because it really is a chore. Now, if I could just get an assembly line of Nutella sandwiches going, that would be awesome. But, each of my darling children thrives on their individual personality and it really shows when it comes to what they eat.

One morning last week, I made Sean a Nutella sandwich. He's pretty easy because he only likes two things: sugar or chicken. Usually it's in the form of a Fluff or Nutella sandwich or popcorn chicken that I recently found out his poor teacher was heating up for him every day. Charlotte wanted a ham, cheese, & mayonnaise sandwich. Lucy likes tuna. But not on bread. So I whipped up some tuna with mayo, salt, and pepper, and found a container and a fork for her. Patrick likes ham, but also not on bread, so I rolled up individual slices of ham in a sandwich bag. And Sophie decided she'd really enjoy some sliced cucumbers (sliced the long way, not round) with a side of hummus. I don't know when I became a short order cook. 

I'd happily get up before the children to make these sandwiches (because I don't sleep all that much anyway), but these fools change their minds and tastes almost daily. And believe me, the hot lunch at school is a savior sometimes if not for the fact that it costs $5 per child (& I don't really have an extra $25 per day to fund my laziness) and they don't have Taco Tuesday every day (because that's the only day Sean actually likes the hot lunch).

Sadly, I will never be that Pinterest mom who turns her kids perfectly healthy lunches into adorable little animal faces. And if you're struggling with Christmas gift ideas for me, sign up for a week of packing my kids' lunches. Today was Taco Tuesday (amen and hallelujah), but we're wide open tomorrow!


 I just Googled "adorable kids' lunches" and now I have so many questions. Like how? why? and WTF?
Found this on Pinterest from Bentos on the Bayou. I'll never have that kind of time on my hands.


What Was I Thinking?

Tomorrow is the big day. My first half marathon. I didn't buy a clever t-shirt to wear, but one of my favorite ones that I've seen says, "This seemed like a great idea 3 months ago." Truer words were never spoken. I set this crazy goal for myself simply to see if I could do it. I'm still not sure if I'll even finish. And I'm a little terrified of the potential disappointment I'll feel if I can't make it. But I know that I've busted my ass training and I'm certainly going to try. In order to confirm my status as a total lunatic, I've already registered for my second half in May. So, if I don't finish this one, I've got another goal to shoot for. And if, by some miracle, I make it to the finish line, I can use May's half marathon as a way to beat my time (if only by a minute). 

I'm a slow runner. But I've plodded along for 185.31 miles since July. (But who's counting?) And even though this task still seems insurmountable, I can look back at all the runs I've logged over the summer and realize that those runs got longer and longer. Without me even seeing it, I've been getting stronger and increasing my endurance. 
So... Ready or not, here I come. I'm going to channel my inner superhero and try to make my it all the way to the finish line. 

Damn, I miss my WonderWoman Underoos...

If all else fails, at least I'll get to test out my sister's version of advice: 
(That middle finger emoji is perfect.)
So, wish me luck... I'm just hoping to make it to the tent with the beer and lobster rolls - even if I have to crawl!



The Rhythm Is Gonna Get Ya

Last week, I wrote a post about the fact that I've been training for my first half marathon. One of the challenges of training is keeping myself motivated for runs that are getting progressively longer. And, on those days when I can't get outside to run because I'm the only adult with the kids, this can mean running for 80 minutes straight on the treadmill. Ugh. I've done the whole "watch Netflix on the treadmill" thing, but I find myself getting so into whatever I'm watching that it actually becomes too much of a distraction. (I almost fell off during an old episode of The Office that cracked me up.) The only thing that really keeps me going, whether on the road or on the dreadmill (see what I did there?), is really good music.

So, I spent a bunch of time working on a playlist of songs that would keep me going. Some of them are just good songs that I like. Some have inspirational lyrics that keep me going when I want to quit. (Beyonce is right. Girls do run the world. And if Florence & The Machine are going to tell me to run fast for my mother and fast for my father, then that's exactly what I'm going to do.) And others aren't necessarily by my favorite artist (I'm talking to you, Macklemore), but they have the exact tempo that matches my rather slow running pace.

I thought I'd share my playlist here in case anyone else is looking to add something different to their running/workout mix. But, I'd also like some suggestions. These runs are getting longer and I need to mix it up once in a while. So, I'm putting it out there for input:

What are your must-have songs that really get you moving?

Share in the comments. I really need the suggestions!

Here are a couple screenshots of my playlist. I just hit shuffle and hope something gets me moving!

There will be no judgement of the fact that I just love me some Flo Rida.

Phineas & Ferb Are Pissing Me Off

If you have school-aged kids, or have ever flicked past the Disney channel, you've probably seen an episode of Phineas & Ferb. The premise of the show is cute, in that the boys try to invent wild things to do each day of summer vacation. I'm fine with all of that. It's the theme song that pisses me off. In reality, it's not even the whole song. It's like, the first two lines.

One hundred and four days????

I relish every single day of my summer vacation. I love the fact that most of my kids don't even wake up before 9am. Or the fact that they pretty much just live in their bathing suits (which seriously cuts down on my laundry). And they can serve themselves their own breakfast. It makes for some really relaxing mornings. Mornings that I just wish there were more of. Because there sure as hell aren't 104 of them. Come on, Disney! What school district do you come from?

I know I'm extremely lucky in that my career affords me all kinds of time off to spend with my kids. It makes up for how completely insane my days get during the school year. But, I got out of school on June 29th, and I head back for a week of professional development starting on August 21st. Now, I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure there aren't 104 days between those two dates.

So don't mind me, I'm just over here bitching that my summer vacation is about 50% of the magical one mentioned in a cartoon theme song. {sad trombone}

And for those of you who work all year round, please put away your torches and pitchforks... I am well aware of how fortunate I am. ;)



Run, Forrest, Run!

Running is not something I've always done. Hell, when I was one of the captains of the crew team in college (& in the best shape of my life), I'd still weasel out of the run to the boathouse because I had to head straight to student teaching after rowing. 

After I had some of my kids, I found the Couch to 5K plan and used that to work my way up to running a 5K. I've restarted that plan a million times because I've stopped running for so long in between. Before I had baby #4, I really got into running. So much so, that I ran into the 8th month of that pregnancy and had my best 5K race time just five weeks after Sean was born. But, I let it go again some time later. 

Last fall, for the first time in forever, I completed the Couch to 5K training. It was the first time in ages that I'd actually gone past week 4. I've been running on and off since then.

In May, I ran Boston's Run to Remember in honor of fallen police officers. The race is either 5 miles or a half marathon. My aunt and I ran the 5 mile race (my longest run ever) and my cousins ran the half marathon. I was so proud of myself for completing the 5 mile race. But, I was totally inspired to run more. 

That brings me to this summer. I've set a new goal for myself. I've been running for weeks using a new training program. It's helping to prepare me for what I've done...
That's my registration for my first (ever!) Half Marathon...

Yup. This fall, I'm running my first half marathon. I know there are a lot of runners out there who have no problem running a half marathon (or even a full one), but for me, this is a huge deal. I've never done a run this long and I've never had the follow-through and willpower to spend this much time and effort training. As far as races go, the Smuttynose Rockfest is supposed to be the flattest course in New England. It's also finished off with beer, lobster rolls and clam chowder. So, if I'm going to kill myself doing my first half marathon, I may as well be rewarded by beer and shellfish.

What's not to love about this course? Flat and ocean views! (Let's just hope the weather cooperates.)
So, wish me luck. I'm really excited (and just a little freaked out)!