On the Move

Well, we did it again. Jacob and I have been married just shy of eight years and we now have had seven addresses. Whew!
We found out that we were moving to Atlanta on March 18th while we were on vacation.
Then, we flew to Denver on the 25th to pack up and load all of our wordly possessions on a moving truck.

IMG_5170

Moving out of our Denver home in one day required large amounts of coffee!

IMG_5185

Jacob showing off that we did it! Every thing out of the house in ONE day!

Next, we drove to Atlanta to find a place to live on the 30th and moved in on April 9th. It has been a whirlwind to say the least.

IMG_5381

This kid had a rough first few days, but he has adjusted really well!

IMG_5390

This truck was realllly long… It had our stuff and two other families’ as well!

Everyone keeps asking, “Are you all settled in?” While I would love to say that yes, we are all settled in to our new home, that would just be a big fat lie! When we moved from Indy to Denver all of our boxes were properly labeled and color coded because, well, I love organization. However, with this move we didn’t exactly have time to be organized. We basically just started throwing things in boxes and labeled all of them “Misc.” So when it came time to unpack, it was basically one big scavenger hunt! Hah! We moved in on a Thursday and we didn’t find the sheets to our bed until Tuesday. Seriously. We were a mess!

IMG_5427

Told ya… a complete MESS! It looks a little better now, but not much! Hah!

We now have nearly all of the boxes unpacked, but there’s still a lot of work left to make this house our home. I feel like it takes a good three months to truly get settled in. I’m still opening the wrong cabinet to grab my coffee mug and I’m still opening the pantry door thinking it leads to the garage. We are so blessed to have a new home, but it’s going to take some getting used to!

Hand Embroidered State Pillows

Pillows from www.uncommongoods.com

How cute are these hand embroidered pillows? My parents started gifting us these pillows to commemorate all of our moves and I’m so excited to be adding another to our collection! I’m also really excited to be back in the South! It just feels like home!

Disney Princess Half Marathon Recap

Well folks, I did it. It didn’t go exactly how I had imagined it, but I finished! And, with that said, I get to cross one more item off my 30 in 30 list.

30 in 30 3:2:15

We had originally planned to fly to Disney out of Nashville. However, the day before we were supposed to fly, flights were getting cancelled like crazy because of snow and ice. Instead of risking our flight getting cancelled and me missing my race, we cancelled our own flights and hopped in the car to drive the 13 hours to Disney. CRAZY, I tell ya! It wouldn’t be a trip with the Tamme fam if it wasn’t crazy!

When we arrived at Walt Disney World, we went straight to get my race packet at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. I had no clue how big this event was until we arrived. I’ve been to several BIG sporting events, but I certainly had never been a participant, so needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed.

IMG_6265

I was giddy with excitement when they handed me my race bib!

IMG_3837

Disney leaves no detail untouched! How cute were the race bibs? They had each lady’s name preceded by “Princess” at the bottom of the bib. I tried to get Jacob to refer to me as Princess Allison all week, but he wasn’t buying it!

My wake-up call on the morning of the race was at 2:25am… ouch! They were not kidding about an early start! Thankfully, I had lots of excitement mixed with anxiousness so I wasn’t tired at all.

IMG_3847

Disney Princess Half Marathon Race Retreat

If you ever run in a runDisney event, I would highly suggest getting access to the Race Retreat. It is an extra fee on top of the entry fee, but it is worth every penny. Being in the Race Retreat tent allowed me to have a place to hang out from the time I arrived at the race area until the race started. Otherwise, I would’ve been outside standing for 1.5 hours. They had bagels, bananas and coffee for the runners and Belle was there for photos ops. I met several nice ladies in the tent while we ate our pre-race breakfast. I’m not even sure you call it breakfast if you eat at 3am… pretty sure that is still just a mid-night snack!

IMG_3848

There were SO many cute costumes at the race! There were 27,000 runners and nearly every runner had on some sort of costume! I walked past this guy on my way to the start line and his outfit was hilarious! You see, this race is supposed to be for women, but men are allowed to run. Well, this very smart bachelor dressed as Prince Charming and put his own want ad on the back of his shirt. He also carried a big red, velvet, tufted pillow with a silver New Balance shoe on top. I’m not sure if he ran the whole race carrying it, but he definitely started off with it. It was so cute and I’m hoping he found a princess!

IMG_3884

The first several miles felt really great! There were fireworks, marching bands, and Disney characters all along the course. I was so torn as to whether I should stop for great photo ops or keep running. I decided to keep running and only stop for a photo in front of the castle. It really was magical to run through the Magic Kingdom and to top it off, my family was on Main Street cheering for me! Bless their hearts, they had a super early wake-up call too, but I was so thankful they were there cheering me on!

IMG_3887

I was dying to stop for a photo with Snow White since I was dressed like her, but the line was ridiculously long, so I just took a selfie as I ran past her. I must say, I’ve made fun of people using the selfie stick in the past, but after this race, I’ve decided that it’s going on my wish list.

IMG_3898

I really could’ve used that selfie stick when I stopped to take a photo with the Fairy Godmother, which I’m pretty sure was just Paula Deen in a big costume. Don’t they look just alike?!? The Fairy Godmother was the announcer for the race and she was so funny! She was located at mile 12 and was encouraging the runners as they passed by. You can see her mic in the photo. At this point in the race, I was walking a tenth of a mile (or more) at each mile marker, so it was the perfect opportunity to stop for a picture. She wasn’t an “official” photo op on the course, but I ran past the orange cones and asked her if we could take a photo. She obliged and thankfully I didn’t get in trouble for going off the course.

IMG_6347

Finisher! Can you see the pixie dust they sprinkled on my hair after the finish? I loved all the little Disney touches on the race!

Finisher! Thank goodness! As I approached the finish line,  I heard the announcer say, “And here comes Allison Tam.” Hah! I started laughing as I was running because no one can ever pronounce my last name correctly. When I crossed the finish line, I felt such a sense of accomplishment. Six months ago when I signed up for this race, I was 32 weeks pregnant and on bed rest. At the time this race felt like a dream, but it finally became a reality!

I could feel my ankle and arch hurting during the run, but it wasn’t until I stopped running that the pain really set it. I couldn’t put weight on my left foot without a sharp pain, so I shuffled my way through the crowd to find Jacob, who then led me to the tent where the rest of my family was waiting.

IMG_3923

My little fam after the race! Can you tell they had to wake up before the sun? They all have sleepy faces!

IMG_3930

What would I do without my parents? This trip was supposed to be a “thank you” to them for spending two weeks at the hospital with Lyla and I last summer. But, they ended up having to drive all the way to Orlando, waking up at the crack of dawn and helping us with the kiddos all day! I’m not sure it was much of a vacation for them, but we sure enjoyed getting to spend time with them!

I REALLY wanted to run the entire 13.1 miles; however, finishing was my ultimate goal. My other goal was to finish under 2:30:00, I didn’t achieve that goal either. I probably would have if I didn’t stop for pictures at the castle, but I wanted to enjoy the experience while I was there. I have never really pushed my body physically until the point of exhaustion… and you know what? It felt pretty awesome! The entire race was extremely humbling. There were women of all ages and sizes participating and let me tell you, there is nothing quite like the feeling of getting passed by a 70 year old during a race. Hah! I hope to be like those older women one day still out there exercising and having fun! It was also inspiring to hear about all of the weight loss stories. I met two ladies that lost over 100 pounds in the past year. Wow! I thought I was doing great just to have lost my baby weight… again, so humbling.

My cousin texted me after the race, “don’t wait too long before you sign up for your next race.” I’m not sure I’m signing up anytime soon. I’m going to give my leg a rest and see if it will heal, but I’m definitely planning on running a half marathon again.

This is How We Do it: Car Travel

The blog has taken a back seat recently as we moved from Denver back to Kentucky. It’s kind of crazy to live in two places because we are *always* needing something that is at our other home. Jacob is a minimalist (except for his golf gear) and I over pack. Always. I must bring all the things everywhere we go! Hah! I’m the anti-hoarder, but I like to have options, so I cart most of my clothes back and forth depending on where we are living. Jacob on the other hand, has half his wardrobe in each place and just makes do with what he’s got. Opposites attract, I guess!  So when it came time to pack up for the off-season, I took the reins. We ended up with a 5’x8′ U-haul trailer packed to the gills and a loaded down SUV for our 22 hour (counting stops) car ride back to Kentucky. Thankfully, after I packed everything we could still fit our children in the car – but barely!

I know what you’re probably thinking – 22 hours in a car with two small children is crazy! And, you’re right, it is! We’ve all heard it said that “It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts.” Well, friends, that is all a LIE! At least it is when it comes to traveling in a car with a preschooler and an infant! Let me be the first to tell you the destination is what counts! Sure, the trip along the way can be enjoyable, but getting home is what really matters!

We’ve done our fair share of car travel and after making the 22 hour trip between Danville and Denver eight times, I have learned a thing or two about what makes for a great long distance drive. Here are my top 5 tips and tricks for making a long car ride enjoyable (or at least tolerable)!

1. Bring snacks! – The only thing worse than a tired three year old is a hungry three year old. This adage can usually be applied to husbands as well! We like to bring most of our snacks with us because they are healthier and much cheaper than the usual gas station cuisine. Some of our favorites are carrot sticks, mixed nuts, raisins, string cheese and apples. Of course, near the end of the trip we all need a pick-me-up so we usually treat Luke (and ourselves) to ice cream.

IMG_4587

Luke’s 1st Blizzard – August 2013! This was near the Kansas/Colorado border, also known as: the middle of no where! Thankfully, there was a Dairy Queen, because we all needed a treat!

2. One word – iPad. Honestly, I’m not sure how people survived long car rides with out them. While we discourage excessive screen time at home, we encourage it on the road. We let Luke watch movies and play games as much as he wants and we just pray that the screen doesn’t burn a hole through his retina. We even let Lyla, our 5 month old, watch a few episodes of Mickey when she got restless. Please don’t call CPS on us… everyone can use a little Disney magic to get them through a long trip.

3. Plan your stops. This one can get tricky. Infants can have unexpected diaper blow outs and newly potty trained toddlers can demand sudden stops for potty breaks. We once had to take an exit in Kansas to make a pit stop for a freshly potty trained Luke. It was not a planned stop and the only thing on this exit was a dirt road, corn fields and an abandoned gas station. Needless to say, it was not our most productive stop. The photo below is of another unplanned stop on our first drive to Colorado. Yes, that is Jacob changing Luke’s diaper at the entrance to someone’s cattle ranch. On a long drive, you just gotta make do with what you have and sometimes that includes a make-shift changing table on the side of the road. Also, notice how blue the sky is – Kentucky has blue grass, but Colorado has *the* bluest skies you’ve ever seen!

DSC_0375

Roadside diaper change – expect the unexpected on car rides with children!

4. Let the kids play. This one seems frustrating at times because it feels like you are wasting time, but allowing the kids to move and stretch is well worth it. When pulling the u-haul we often stop at a truck stop and Jacob and Luke have foot races to burn off some energy (somewhere far away from the 18 wheelers, of course).  We usually try to eat at a Chick-fil-A with an indoor playground. We eat while Luke plays and then we order his food to go. He can then be occupied with his food in the car. On our last trip, I purchased a lap desk at Hobby Lobby for him. It worked great as a meal tray and even had spots for a drink and extra snacks. I would highly recommend getting one, but be sure to check and make sure that it will fit over your child’s car seat. You can see it in action in the photo below.

IMG_0822

This was our first trip with TWO children! Lyla was only three weeks old!

5. Bring nap time items. The ideal situation for car travel is for your kids to sleep as much as possible. To make this happen, we like to make their car seats as much like their crib/bed as possible. We always bring Luke’s stuffed horse named Boss Cat and his blanket and we usually start the trip off with him wearing pajamas. I would also highly recommend getting a sun shade, but a blanket stuffed in the car window will work in a pinch to block the light for ideal napping conditions.

I hope these tips help you as much as they help us. What tips and tricks do you have for your long drives?