Let’s get UGLY, Philly!

Last month Jess and her fam took to the San Francisco streets (or well, close by) for the Ugly Sweater Run. This past weekend I got to have my very own experience! Cold temps, inflatables, and the most awesome ugliest sweaters imaginable: it’s the Philadelphia Ugly Sweater Run.

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Jay and I arrived at 6:30 for an early morning packet pickup. There was no line and we got a fantastic parking spot. Score! Usually I’m a fan of doing packet pickup before the day of the race but this was super laid-back and easy. While waiting in our warm car we got the chance to check out a lot of ugly sweaters of all different varieties.

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About a half hour before the start we wander toward the start area. Techno Christmas carols were pumping and there were photo opportunities for all. This run partners with Toys for Tots and many runners brought unwrapped toys to place by the inflatable Christmas tree.

usr2Soon we found all the members of our team, The Ho Ho Hos (I giggled good and hard when we came up with that name) and got the obligatory “we’re in it to win it” picture.

Brandi, Jen, Megan, me, Cyanne, and Alissa

Brandi, Jen, Megan, me, Cyanne, and Alissa

Seriously business runners, right here! I’ve know Brandi, Jen, and Megan for awhile now – we met in Stroller Strides and “graduated” to running races together through the past couple of years. And I finally got to meet Cyanne and her friend, Alissa! Team Sparkle in the hizzy!

We chatted for a couple of minutes about our race strategies (um, none) before heading to the start line, which was a wave start. It was chilly so we all wanted to get moving to get the blood flowing.

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Soon enough we were off!

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The course was pretty dense at the start and it lasted for about the first half mile or so. I had told Jay that I’d stick with him throughout the race. He’s got (stupid) plantar fasciitis and I’ve been dealing with some (stupid) foot pain of my own so we were taking it nice and easy. Cyanne stuck with us too, which was rad because we got to chat throughout the entire run and it just confirmed what I already knew through our Twitter/blogger friendship – she’s awesome!

Of course, we took all the pictures.

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The point of this picture was to get the snow. I failed. Totally. But Cyanne is adorable regardless.

Thanks to Cyanne for this pic!

Thanks to Cyanne for this pic! (She didn’t fail!)

About a mile and a half into the run, we came across the water and hot chocolate station! We chose water but it seemed like there were a fair share of people getting hot chocolate to warm up.

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And we came across a little Christmas tree going for a ride in a wagon. Because hey, why the heck not?

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Two miles in, we entered the “enchanted forest”. To say we were enchanted would be putting it mildly!

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Three enchanted ugly sweater runners are we!

Sadly, we had to leave the forest and continue on our way to the finish line. The Ugly Sweater Run website says that the run is “approximately” 3.1 miles. That is accurate. We crossed through Smith Memorial Arch and were surprised to see the finish line just ahead!

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Jay's "what the what, we're at the finish already?" face.

Jay’s “what the what, we’re at the finish already?” face.

After the finish, there was the post run party, which included Sam Adam’s beer and cider and hot chocolate. There was a crazy long line for the beer area but we figured out where the secret second line was! Woo to the hoo!

usr13We found the rest of the Ho Ho Hos and chatted about our romp through the park. After sharing a post race drink, toasting to our successes as rocking the ugly attire, and warming our hands by the fake fireplace, we were ready to really warm ourselves in the heat of our cars.

Last year I had committed to running 12 races in 2012. I didn’t make the same goal for 2013 but when I got home from the Ugly Sweater Run, I realized that I’ve completed 13 races in 2013. What’s next? Continue my run streak for the rest of December and think of my goals for 2014. I’d like to be more specific this year. What are some of your goals for the upcoming year? Have you met Twitter/blogger friends in person?

Chick Chat: All Dressed Up for Halloween

Happy Halloween, boys and girls! Or is it ghosts and goblins? Perhaps there are some vampires and zombies out there reading this as well.

Or maybe you’re reading this thinking, “ahmahgah, it’s Halloween and I have no costume! What am I going to DO?” while slapping your cheeks, a la Kevin McAllister in Home Alone.

Okay, probably not. But whether you’re looking for inspiration, a chuckle, or reading this simply because you love us (which I suspect is all of you), this chick chat is all about dressing up. Read on for some of the Chicks’ favorite costumes of yore…and more recent yore!

Meri

I had two tried and true costumes when I was a kid: gypsy and hippie. Some might say that they are very similar and to that, I say, true. My mom liked easy costumes and I usually just went along with it. Hey, when you’re getting to eat candy (a rarity in my house growing up), you get what you get and you don’t get upset.
Hottie-boom-body!

Hottie-boom-body!

Now that I’m an “adult” (loose interpretation), it’s less about me dressing up and more about the kids. We let them choose their costumes at this point.
Adora-kids.

Adora-kids.

My boys are cuckoo for Halloween so we begin discussing costuming options in September. This year they settled on being a pirate (surprisingly the harder of the two costumes to track down) and the werewolf. Not what I would have picked but I suppose we need to allow for independent thinking and all that.
Vic
Every summer, my sister would start planning her Halloween costume. She always created intricate, creative and unique costumes over three to four months. I was always impressed. She labored over what she would be months ahead of time, and she would repeatedly ask me about my plans. My response was ambivalent.  I didn’t know and I didn’t care. I usually figured it out the week before trick-or-treat night.  And while my sister was always stylish, I regularly placed comfort before style.

 Over the years, I was a genie, a vampire, a 50s rocker, a prairie girl. I was a turtle, a ballerina, a witch and Underdog. But most often, I dressed as a ghost.

As a young girl, I was obsessed with Casper the Friendly Ghost. I know I am totally dating myself here, but I loooooved Casper. Perhaps because he was bright, happy being in a season where the goal was to scare one another.  I think I went as the neighborhood’s friendliest ghost for three or four straight years – I used a plastic mask and a hand sewn… uh… sack, which I think was made from a white sheet.

I loved to trick-or-treat with friends and family, to flee from house to house gathering all sorts of goodies, then sorting them into piles once I was back home. Now, I love to hand candy out to the kids who come to my own door. (Albeit, six kids usually knock on my door. Those kids get awesome candy.)

I rarely dress up for costume parties as an adult. Trust me, when you’re an October baby, costume parties get really old, REALLY FAST. It – however – has happened several times. I’ve been a 60s mod girl, Little Red Riding Hood, but most often, I wear scrubs and pose as a doctor or surgeon.  Hubs has gotten in on that action as well.

BEST COSTUME EVER. I add a plastic stethoscope and voila. I am good to go.

Brooke

I have always loved Halloween, because I love dressing up and playing make-believe, and also it’s in the same month as my birthday, so it feels like a very long celebration. The candy is okay too.

We used to trick-or-treat at the mall when I was a kid, and my mom dressed me in some pretty cool costumes. One year, my brother and I were the cutest ever Raggedy Ann and Andy. When I was seven, my mom let me dress as a punk rocker, complete with pink streaks in my hair. My favorite though, was the year I turned six. My mom made a movie star costume for me, and let me wear dangly “diamond” earrings, a sparkling necklace and my grandmother’s fur coat, which was the softest thing I’d ever felt in my life. And she let me borrow her HIGH HEELS. I felt so special; wearing pretty make-up and mom’s shoes and jewelry.

One of my favorite adult costumes is one I wore last year, when I was pregnant. Josh dressed as Linus and I made a t-shirt with Snoopy’s face on my belly.

How cute is this?

How cute is this?

Jess

I have possibly the worst memory in the world, tied only with my mom (thanks for passing that along, Mama Jess), so it’s hard for me to drudge up the various things I dressed up as when I was little. There is one gloriously strange costume that sticks out for me, when I was 7 or 8. I was a bunny. And not just any bunny. I was Hammer Bunny. As in MC Hammer, people. I was kind of obsessed. Not sure why I had to throw the bunny angle in there.

You might wonder what this costume consists of. It goes a little something like this: a super-stylish white Hanes sweatshirt and sweatpants, most likely bought at Costco; white bunny ears attached to a headband (headband headache, CHECK); a rubber bunny nose with buck teeth that should have been called Sweat-Maker; and, of course, sunglasses. That was the MC Hammer part.

I wish I had a picture of that, but I’m sure I burned them all somewhere along the way. I did manage to dig up a random picture of me in what looks like a pilgrim costume, however.

I'm the short pilgrim.

I’m the shorter pilgrim.

I kind of lost interest in Halloween once I was too old to trick or treat. But since having Bug – and since this is his first Halloween, AHHH! – my love for this holiday has been renewed. Probably because I get to dress him up, parade him around, and then eat all of his candy. Hey, he’s too young for now! I’m doing him a favor.

My sweet baby elephant.

My sweet baby elephant.

All right, Scooters, it’s your turn! What are you going to be for Halloween this year? What was your all-time favorite costume? Tell us in the comments!

A little ‘chick on chick’ action – Part 1

The chicks here at Scoot A Doot all know each other pretty well. There are a lot of emails, texts, phone calls and Heytells that go back and forth about everything from blog business to what we ate for lunch. (Admittedly, there are a lot about lunch.)

But, we wanted to let you guys get to know us better! And who better to interview us than… well… US!

So, for the next six Fridays, we’ll be posting some Chick-on-Chick interviews. You’ll definitely hear some stuff about health and fitness and what motivates us. But you’ll also get to find out more fun stuff about us! And heck, if there is anything we don’t cover, any burning questions you’re just dying for us to answer, just ask.

We’ll pretty much talk to anyone. About anything. We’re a chatty lot.

So, here is our first installment!

Bec on Meri

Meri representing Bec's hometown in her City Sports Boston shirt.

Meri representing Bec’s hometown in her City Sports Boston shirt.

Since all this sillyness was my idea, I took on matching up our interviewer to our interviewees. It was completely random, I swear. I have little slips of paper in my work wastepaper basket to prove it. But truth be told, I was pretty excited when I got matched up to interview Meri.

Mer and Bec snuggling in an Irish Pub.

Mer and Bec snuggling in an Irish Pub.

Meri and I have known each other for just over three years, and in that time, she has become one of my dearest friends. She never fails to lift my spirits, and she’s been known to ‘full name’ me on occasions when I really need it. Being that I’m in Massachusetts and Meri is in New Jersey, we don’t get in person visits nearly often enough, but we’ve both hung out with each other’s families and I can’t wait to see her and her’s again next Spring (if not before…universe, be kind).

Bec and Mer (with fellow Scooter Cam and honorary Chick Jenn) on the Boston Chocolate Tour.

Bec and Mer (with fellow Scooter Cam and honorary Chick Jenn) on the Boston Chocolate Tour.

Prior to this interview, I would have told you that there wasn’t much I don’t know about Meri. But I would have been wrong! So, without further ado (a.k.a. babbling by me)…

Bec:  When was the first moment you really felt like an athlete?

Meri: Well, there’s been many moments when I really DIDN’T feel like an athlete, despite taking part in athletic events. 😉 However, with running, I think one of the coolest moments for me was when I did the Run the Bridge 10k and I was able to call my time, to the minute before we ran the race.

It was my first 10k ever and hillier than any run I’d ever done (the Ben Franklin bridge from Camden into Philadelphia is essentially one giant hill, btw – I don’t think I was really cognizant of that fact when I signed up). Vic, Brandi, Sean and Kate were all running too and as we split up at the start line, I said, “Okay, I’ll see you at a 1:10/1:11 – cheer for me!” And sure enough, that’s exactly when I ran across the finish line (and they were all cheering for me).

To know my capabilities and push myself through those hills was a really fantastic experience. That’s definitely as real as it gets.

Bec: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Meri: Ice cream. 

Bec: I didn’t know this. I mean, Meri and I share a love of ice cream, but I think I would have said oatmeal. Meaning I thought Meri would say oatmeal. I would definitely not say oatmeal. I would say ice cream.

Bec: Do you have an ultimate health/fitness goal, be it a specific weight or something you want to be able to do? What is it?

Meri: You know, it’s funny because when I started running in 2011, I was 30 pounds heavier than I am now and I was very number focused. As I’ve lost weight and became more fit, it’s become less and less about the number and more about how I feel.

I’m 10 pounds heavier than I was last summer but I’m okay with that. My goal is to be healthy and fit, but I also have an obsessive personality so finding the balance of all of these things is numero uno important. My self confidence has never been higher and I know that when I put the work in and focus on my goals, good things will happen.

Bec: Tell me about your dream ‘girl’s weekend’.

Meri: Mount Airy Lodge. Where all you have to bring is your love of everything. I still have dreams of the champagne shaped hot tub. And all my best girls, of course.

All kidding aside, I want to do Campowerment! 2014? 

Bec: I don’t even know what Campowerment is but I already kind of want to do it!

Bec and Mer and one of our best girls, Jenn, exploring Salem, MA.

Bec and Mer and one of our best girls, Jenn, exploring Salem, MA. It’s no Mount Airy lodge, but we had a great weekend!

Bec: What is your biggest challenge in being a healthy mom to two (adorable) boys?

Meri: My boys are adorable, aren’t they? Biggest challenge would be getting everything done. And having time enough at last (aka to read).

           And laundry. Always laundry.

Bec: Laundry is my world. *eyeroll*

Bec:  Best Boy Band of all time? And favorite member of said Boy Band?

Meri: Of ALL time? The Beatles. Don’t tell me they’re not a boy band – they were THE boy band.

But if we’re talking more recently, the N’SYNC. And JC. I still love him on ABDC. He’s blowin’ me up with his love. Yep.

Bec: I love this answer. So much.

So, that’s Meri in a nutshell. (Let her out! A nutshell is very cramped!) Next week, we’ll have another chick-on-chick interview. You’ll just have to tune in to see who! 

And if you have questions for Mer… or me… or any of the chicks… pop them in the comments. We love hearing from you guys! 

I Scream, You Scream… OINK!

Total Fat – 23,968g, Total Sugars – 25,680g, Total Calories – 359,520 – 330 registered participants. It’s Team Scoot a Doot’s Jog ‘n Hog experience… in pictures!

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Team Scoot a Doot - out in full force and ready to Jog 'n Hog!

Team Scoot a Doot – out in full force and ready to Jog ‘n Hog!

Kimberly and Kyle drove all the way from the DC area to jog and hog with us!

Kimberly and Kyle drove all the way from the DC area to jog and hog with us!

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Seen on our run through Shady Brook Farm.

Nom nom!

Nom nom!

Team Scoot a Doot found a corner and started to chow down.

Team Scoot a Doot found a corner and started to chow down.

Megan

Megan

Brandi with her littlest helper!

Brandi with her littlest helper.

Jena digs in.

Jena digs in.

Chick Vic and Kyle.

Chick Vic and Kyle.

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Aaron and Jen

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Kimberly

Chocolate sauce did NOT want to open!

Chocolate sauce did NOT want to open!

Kate finished... and she doesn't even LIKE ice cream.

Kate finished… and she doesn’t even LIKE ice cream.

Christina gets it done.

Christina gets it done.

Linda, our Jog 'n Hog giveaway winner. Double fisting takes on a whole new meaning.

Linda, our Jog ‘n Hog giveaway winner. Double fisting takes on a whole new meaning.

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Then there was this guy, the Pace Pig. To add to the fun of the Jog ‘n Hog there, you either beat the pig or the pig beat you! Our team was half and half, if anyone’s keeping track.

credit: Jog 'n Hog Boss Hog

credit: Jog ‘n Hog Boss Hogs (thanks guys, it was a blast!)

So much fun was had and naturally, since we’re planners, we’re already talking about Team Scoot a Doot’s triumphant return in 2014. Who’s in?

It’s About to Get Ridiculous Up in Here

Belly Flop Drop.  Tarzan Swing.  40 Bounces to Freedom.  No, these are the latest dance crazes.  They’re obstacles, just 3 of the many from the Ridiculous Obstacle Course 5K I participated in the race this past Saturday.  I’ve ran in mud.  I’ve climbed hills.  I’ve ran tires.  But I’ve never ran a muck like this before.

When I signed up for the race, all I knew was there were trampolines.  I don’t know about you, but I love trampolines.  And anything that incorporates day-glo wear with trampolines is my kind of activity.  My friend Amy signed up with me and enthusiastically sported our vibrant tie-dye in an effort to stand out.

the girls

Unfortunately, we were ill-prepared.  There were teams of minions, brides, prom dresses, zombies; pretty much any and every costume you could think of.  I was shocked to see so many runners looking so, well, ridiculous.  Had I known, I’m sure my propensity for ridiculousness would have reigned supreme.  Next time, ROC, next time…

The race was located at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego.  We were signed up for the 11 am start time and were herded into the starting gate.  Yep, the very gates used for the horse races.  We had to wait a bit, they were letting runners go in small groups to lessen the wait time at the obstacles.  Even though I had thoroughly sunblocked, I was already feeling the heat on my shoulders.  It was dusty and hot and I was looking forward to those water obstacles.

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The Wrecking Ball, the Inflatable Water Slide and the Moon Bounce.

The first obstacle we hit was Tunnel Vision, which is exactly what it sounds like, a tunnel.  Out of the tunnel, we came to 40 Bounces to Freedom,  a series of trampolines that escalated in height.  You had to jump down and across the tramp to a high platform, getting higher and higher until you came to the end.  The only way to get down was to slide down a pole, which I had never done before.  And kind of freaked me out.  But it was either down or back through the traffic and there was no going back now.

We ran on.  Amy, my ridiculously fast friend, sprinted off ahead but I hung back with the group.  We hopped some hurdles and scaled a gigantic mountain of dirt and then it was time to slide.  For the obstacle named Cool Runnings, we had to grab an inner tube and run it up a hill, then proceed to slide down a water slide.

After the refreshing little dip, we had to run some more.  We climbed more walls.  I attempted to cross some monkey bars and cross a muddy pool on a rope swing.  I failed at both.  I was ready for more water by the time I got to the Aqua Drag.  Basically, it’s a four-way slip and slide.  You run as fast as you can and then dive onto this inflatable water slide, hoping to make it to the end.  I neglected to build up enough speed and I hesitated, which resulted in a less than spectacular display.  I got stuck on the slide about halfway down and had to inchworm my way to the end.  Thankfully, I destroyed any documented evidence of this fiasco.

It seemed like we ran a lot in the beginning, but about halfway, the obstacles started piling up.  And we started having to wait.  After the longest tire run of my life, we ran up a ramp over the race track and into the Moon Bounce.  It’s a bouncer for adults.  The world’s largest, in fact.  After bouncing across, we had to stand in line for the Wrecking Ball.  The obstacle consisted of barrels strung across a pool of water.  You had to cross the barrel bridge and avoid the two huge rubber balls that were flying around your head.  I made it about halfway before I bailed.  The last obstacle was the World’s Largest Inflatable Water Slide.  I climbed to the top, where they scanned my timing chip before sending me down the slide.  Best way to cross a finish line ever.

Not only was the race itself totally epic, but the after-party was amazing.  Lots of vendors, with all kinds of food and drinks.  Many products available for sample. And a soapy hose down for those who needed it.

The Salmon Ladder.  These two were trying to win a free race entry.

Alpha Warrior: The Salmon Ladder.

We met up with Amy at the Alpha Warrior exhibit and then it was time to get our free beer and do a little dancing.  Amy had placed 3rd in the women’s division for our time slot and had to pick up her awesome medal.  We people watched some more, ate a delicious artichoke on a stick, and were able to see all the best costume winners.  My vote goes to the couple who dressed up as Indiana Jones and the Boulder.  484805_10151379989246481_888811857_n

after party

Registration for the Orange County race opens on May 15th and I’m seriously considering running this again.  It was a blast, like being on a giant playground.  And I want another shot at that ridiculous costume contest!

Would you participate in a race like the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge? What would your costume be?

Race Shirt Superlatives

Who doesn’t love a good race shirt?

I wear them to the gym, to Target, basically everywhere I can get away with it. They’ve become a staple of my wardrobe because they’re included with the race registration (hi, I paid for it, I want to wear it!) and because that means less shopping for me (and I’m lazy and don’t like to shop).

For the record, I’ve gone so far as Googling for recaps to see what other people say about the fit and sizing of shirts. Yes, I’m that serious.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorites. And not so favorites. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you why!

Oldie But Goodie

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This is the back (because it has the hand print that always inspires “You’ve got a dirty hand print on your shirt” comments) but the front is similar, sans date and place, so you get the idea. My very first race shirt, it’s the oldster of the group. The shirt is a Merrell tech-t and I’m a fan because of the quality and fit. Two very important factors!

Mas o Menos

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The good: It’s from my first half marathon. And the word “princess” is on it, which is very fitting for me.

The not so good: Well, it’s white. And I definitely got caught in the rain in it. Spring Break wet t-shirt contest, anyone?

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny

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I wanted so very badly to like this shirt. After all, I dressed up like Katniss from the Hunger Games and ran with some of my favorite people for this race. However, the shirt is small. Not like, a little small… a lot small. I wear it on the treadmill occasionally but never outside of the house.

To be fair, the race coordinators did say that the shirts ran small. So rather than ordering a medium, I went with the large.

No dice. Win some, lose some!

Double Vision

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These Brooks tech shirts from the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k are LOUD and I like them like that.

I wear these when I’m running, especially in the early morning hours. My trainer encourages us to do the “Wawa run” –  a run to the nearest Wawa store and back, about a 1.65 loop on a busy road.

I want people to see me (and avoid becoming road kill). With these shirts, there’s no missing me.

Don’t Call It a Tech-T (I’m still earwormed from Bec’s post.)

broadstreettshirt

Runners of the Broad Street Run had the option to upgrade to a tech-t for an additional cost but I personally am a big fan of this cotton t-shirt. They run slightly large but it’s a good quality shirt (Hanes) and I appreciate the fact that the sponsors are kept to the sleeves of the shirt.

This is the baby of my shirts, only a week old. Isn’t it cute?

I don’t usually wear t-shirts to work out in so it won’t be used for that but you might will find me wandering Target or the grocery store in it. In fact, I’m sporting this one today.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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Friends, meet my favorite long-sleeved race shirt (these are much more rare than the short-sleeved t-shirt, which makes sense). This ranks up there as one of my best races I’ve done so I think that there’s a certain amount of sentimental value that comes along with this shirt.

It has sponsors all over the back but when a run is held as a fundraising event, I have no issues with that.

Miss Congeniality

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This shirt wins top honors in my closet! It’s a ladies Brooks tech-t and I love both the fit and the feel. There are no sponsors on this shirt; it has a nice, clean look and it’s from the City of Brotherly Love.

I keep waiting for another race shirt to come along and steal my heart but so far, this one is it for me.

Also, it looks like blue is a popular race shirt color, eh?

When my family asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I told them another race t-shirt. Kidding! But I did request that we run a 5k together (I really and truly did) and they agreed.

I’ll be getting another cotton t-shirt tomorrow, matching with Dude and Pooks (we’ll be so cool). (Don’t worry, we won’t wear it at the 5k.)

Littleberry has to sit this one out because a) he’s four and wouldn’t be down for 3.1 miles and b) he broke his foot about a week ago. But no worries, I’ll get my fair share of him, too!

Happy almost Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. And the Aunts. And the Grandmas. And the “Aunts” who let my children dump all their toys on the floor and play “volcano”.

How are you spending Mother’s Day? What’s your favorite race shirt? Bonus points if you post a picture in the comments (I don’t even know if you can do that!).