7 reasons I shouldn’t have reached my 10th birthday

I was am a klutz. I own it.

I fall down the stairs, ricochet off walls and trip over air regularly. (Just ask my boss, husband or running pals.)

As summer officially started this year, I  found my mind wandering back to how I spent my summers as a kid in central Pennsylvania. I was what you’d affectionately call “a spirited pool rat.” As I look back, I recall several “near disasters,” most of which took place in the summer months thanks to my impulsive personality.

So today, dear friends, I shall share with you my top 7 close calls. And let me say, this list in no way suggests poor parenting by Mom and Dad. It’s all thanks to my own curiosity and/or stupidity.

  • I fell from a moving car. Truth. I was 3 or 4 at the time and my dad was driving my sister and me to the pool when the incident occurred. Sissy and I shared the front seat of my dad’s Thunderbird. I was on the outside. Seat belts? We didn’t use them back then. I found myself wondering about the locked car door. I knew if it was locked it wouldn’t open from the outside and when unlocked, would open no matter what. But would the locked door open from the inside? I wondered. In retrospect. I should not have tested this theory when the car was still moving. I clicked the lock into place and pulled the handle. I tumbled onto the pavement and rolled onto a nearby lawn. The car screeched to a halt, my dad scooped me up and took me home. Aside from nasty road rash all over my body and screaming bloody murder when my mother applied the medicine, I was fine. More than anything I was peeved that I wasn’t allowed to go to the pool that day.

littlevpoolIn the pool, where I loved to be

  • Stabbed with a dart. I was 9 when Sissy and I bought a dartboard at a garage sale. We couldn’t wait to use it, but mom kyboshed hanging it on the wall, even in our messy basement. She didn’t want holes in the walls, apparently because of our wretched aim. Our solution was not brilliant. We took turns holding the board while the other whizzed sharp darts at the target. Neither of us had great aim, but a few turns in, one dart reached its mark – in my upper left leg. Blood started spurting. I still have a scar. And I no longer play darts.
  • Head first into the shallow end. I absolutely knew better. But alas, no one was around to stop me when I dove into the two-foot section at our pool club when I was 8. I was new to swim team that summer and I knew the older kids started their long course practice from the shallow end. I wanted to be just like them, so I dove into the packed pool and landed on my head. I actually saw stars raining from the sky and thank God that I didn’t actually hurt myself. No one noticed, by the way, not even a lifeguard posted nearby.
  • Climbing the roof. This activity drove my mother nuts. She repeatedly told Sissy and me to stay off the roof of our house, but we rarely listened. Every chance we got, Sissy and I would crawl out my bedroom window and onto the roof. I realize now, had we fallen off the top of the back roof, we’d have fallen 3 stories. I slipped on the shingles nearly every trek, but never slid off the side of the house, thank goodness. A family friend jumped from the second-story one summer and hurt his arm. Mom kept a much tighter leash on us after that.
  • Underwater at a water park. I never admitted this story to, well, anyone, because I was so embarrassed it happened. On a family outing to a water park, I headed into the park’s huge wave pool. I was a strong swimmer, but somehow got caught in the underwater current and stuck in a cycle with the wave. I couldn’t get above water for air for what felt like minutes. (I’m sure it wasn’t that long, but it was far longer than I was comfortable with.) I panicked, underwater. I remember some kind adult grabbing the back of my swimsuit and yanking me up. I avoided waves pools for years after that. Once I finally ventured back in, I always stopped once the water reached chest high.
  • Reckless sledding. As the lone girl in most of my childhood playgroups, I became a bit of a tomboy. I often would try to keep up with the guys, even when I knew I couldn’t. One winter, we decided it was a brilliant idea to sled down a steep hill – and over a ravine at the bottom. I never made it to the ravine, as my sledding skills were weak. My friend landed in the ravine, injuring himself slightly. His neighbor, however, didn’t fare well at all. His sled jumped the ravine, but the boy landed on his head. His trip to the hospital ended our fun.
  • Walking pneumonia. This one was for real, kids. I was 5 and was laid out on the couch for months. I apparently spent time in the hospital and my mother tells me that she thought I was going to die. All I remember from this multi-month illness was a great aunt hovering over me for what felt like months on end, eating ice chips and wanting to play with my sister. Oh, and a celebratory trip to see E.T. in the theater once I was officially “on the mend.”

So there ya go! Tales of my klutziness, stupidity and curiosity that could’ve ended it all well before my 10th birthday. I share this with you, so when your kids act up this summer you know you aren’t alone.

We all make bad choices. We all have had at least one close call. And we all have some pretty spectacular memories as a result. Just be sure to learn from those mistakes.

Were you impulsive like me? Did you flirt with disaster? Tell me all about your brush with death as a child. Don’t have a such a moment? (Good for you!) then please share a favorite summer memory from your childhood.

 

Time to Break Away From This Day to Day

People, I’m going insane over here. We just wrapped up an entire week of Little being sick.

Pooks was sick with the same thing at the beginning of the month but at age nine, he’s a much easier sick.When Pooks is sick, he stays in his room, relaxes, plays on his 3DS, and watches Netflix (you know, in between the vomiting and whatnot).

When five year old Little is sick, he’s on the couch with me. He wants to watch the same show twenty times in a row. He wants a drink. But not medicine. Never medicine. He wants to cuddle. He’s hot. He’s cold and wants a blanket. Gemma is allowed to lie with him, but only on his feet.

sicklittle

With all this time around the house, I’ve been getting a lot done… so there’s a positive, I suppose. I’m at the point where ALL the laundry is clean. That will last two seconds but I’m going to enjoy this moment. All the dishes are also clean and in their spots. Straightening and chucking things that have been sitting around for far too long has also occurred.

What’s not getting done? Food shopping. Meal planning. Running. Playing. Breathing fresh air.

Although, being at home with kiddo hasn’t been all bad. I’m reading my third book of the week. I finally wrote an overdue letter to Victoria. And I’m planning trips for the summer! Getting in the summer mindset isn’t really too difficult because Little is constantly asking, “Is it summer yet? NOW is it summer?” Kids are always ready for the next big thing before this one is even over.

As of two weeks ago, my only solid plans were heading to California at the end of August to visit bestie Kelly -and her adorable family- and then meet up with my Chicks, Jess and Cam, for the Disneyland half weekend and shenanigans.

Now, more solid plans have fallen into place.

  1. We’ve joined a local swim club.
  2. Little is signed up for five weeks of camp for the mornings.
  3. Pooks is heading to Florida with Grandpa on the auto train. (shhhh, it’s a surprise!)
  4. We’re going to Florida too! We’ll be meeting them down there for a week of Beach, Pool, Ice Cream. I think that’s basically my version of GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry for those who have never seen Jersey Shore). Oh, and FAMILY. We’ve got a slew of family down in Florida and I want to see them all.
  5. California!

Throw in a couple of races, the ever-constant training – running and weights, our Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a Sweet 16, Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, and a wedding and we’ve got quite a full schedule!

With all the plans, there are still a couple of things that I’d like to focus on.

1.  Focus on swimming. Since we’ve joined the swim club, I would like my five year old to learn how to swim. Additionally, I’d like to get back into the pool and add that into my workout routine. I was on the swim team for years as a child but haven’t used it as exercise since my young teen years.

2.  Cook dinners, order out less, and focus on healthier food decisions. Why is this so challenging? Seriously. I feel like it shouldn’t be and yet, the planning of meals is something that has never come easy for me. Sometimes I’m REALLY on with things. And then there are times like this week/month/few months. Maybe I’ll see if What’s For Dinner? errrr, I mean BEC can come up with a meal plan for us.

3.  Be present in the moment. So much of my time seems to be spread out between things I want to do and things I feel obligated to do. However, with all of the moments, I would like to try to be more present. It might mean leaving my phone at home more but do I really need to be in constant contact with everyone all the time? No. I do not.

walklake

Although look at the gorgeous pic I took just a few blocks down from my house while taking the pooch for a walk!

What do you have planned for the summer months? Do you leave your cell phone at home to disconnect for awhile? Any recipes or meal plans you can recommend?

 

 

Swimming: love it or hate it

Last weekend I went for a swim on a whim. And it felt great.

Swimming is no longer something I regularly do. It was once the center of my life. I swam, daily, for more than a decade.

swim1With my sister in our first swim team photo, 1984

I was a fish and I loved the water. I proudly reeked of chlorine and my hair felt like straw. You couldn’t drag me away from the water. For years, kicking and pulling my way through a pool was my favorite place to be.

ymcaCirca 1986. Can you spot me? (hint: top row)

I swam year-round and by the time I was in high school, I competed for one summer team and two winter teams. I often wore my pajamas to school over my swimsuit for early morning practices. My weeknights were spent at one practice or another (occasionally I had two in one day). And my weekends were spent at meets around southern Pennsylvania and Delaware.

I loved to swim, until I didn’t.

All of a sudden, competitive swimming wasn’t fun anymore. Yes, I learned such incredible life skills through the sport, including the importance of teamwork, the vitality of one’s attitude and that one had to put in the work in order to see results.

I learned numerous life lessons that shaped me into who I am today – thank you Coach Dan! I wouldn’t trade my swimming years for the world. But I was done. It was time to move on.

Eighteen years have passed since I raced my last race – a states meet as part of a medley relay. I remember it like it was yesterday. As part of my YMCA team, I was the 100-butterfly leg of our four-person relay. We swam at an indoor pool at a university in Philadelphia.  We fared well and left it all in the pool. It was a fantastic way to end my competitive swimming career, the end of an era.

swim2My summer swim team photo in the early 90s. I think I’m 15 here?

More than once, I’ve since hopped back into the water with goggles and a swim cap to attempt a few laps. I’d always complete my laps, but my heart was never in it.

Instead I walked, I hiked, I ran and I rowed.

Several friends tried to encourage me to tackle triathlons. I politely declined. Later, as those same friends repeatedly pressed, citing my swimming skills as an asset for triathletes, I “not-so-politely” declined.

Swimming was no longer fun for me. Why put myself in a position where I’d most likely loathe each workout? That would be a recipe for disaster.

Then last summer, I joined my friend Jess in the pool as she trained for her first triathlon. Together, we swam laps at a local indoor YMCA.

Stroke after stroke, I started to smile.  Unexpectedly, my attitude had shifted. Swimming again became enjoyable.

There was no pressure to go fast. There was no coach shouting improvements for my stroke. It was just me and the open water. And finally, I found myself looking forward to a swim.

It’s funny how you can fall right back into old (swimming) habits.

I can still don a latex swim cap one-handed.

I still count my freestyle strokes on every lap. (It’s typically 21 strokes, if you were interested.)

Backstroke flip turns are still the bane of my existence.

Those rainbows surrounding indoor pool ceiling lights? Yep, they haven’t gone away.

I’m still an awful breast-stroker, but that doesn’t stop me from using it as a “rest lap.”

I still inhale way more chlorinated water than one person should ever consume.

Even when swimming alone in a lane, I still swim on the right side. I have to make room for my fellow swimmers.

Sunday evening, I headed to the pool to tackle a cross-training workout. I laughed at myself as I jumped in the water. In all, I swam more than a mile.

Some strokes were easy, others were hard. But I wanted to swim every one of them. And that, my friends, is something worth cheering about.

Have you ever burnt out on a sport or beloved activity? How do you handle it? Did you ever go back?

What an (Iron)woman!

Over the weekend, I watched a friend and colleague achieve an impressive long-term goal. Those of you who already follow me on twitter know my news: Jessica is a half-IRONWOMAN!

That’s right. Jessica set her sights on her goal and worked steadily toward the prize, which in this case was among one of the coolest, greenest medals I have seen in a long time.

20130715-125808.jpgYes, those are bicycle gears. What an incredible medal!

For folks not familiar with Ironman and half-Ironman races, this was the Musselman. The triathlon includes a 1.2-mile swim in Seneca Lake, a 56-mile bike ride in the northern Finger Lakes and a half-marathon (run) in and around Geneva, New York.

I headed to Geneva Saturday afternoon and quickly met up with Jessica, who had headed to the race site one day earlier. Despite what she may say, she appeared to be pretty calm about her pending race the following morning.

At dinner that night, we learned that a local man, Michael Coyle of Irondequoit, died from injuries he suffered in a crash while racing the mini-Mussel, a sprint triathlon that was part of Musselman weekend. We were shocked. Race organizers announced the news and told everyone they would hold the Sunday race as scheduled.

I won’t give you a detailed rundown of Sunday — Jessica is going to share her thoughts with you all next week! Instead, I’m going to share a few high-lights and photos.

First: Here’s a cool Storify of tweets from race weekend! You might recognize my name — as a few of my tweets are in there.

The day was incredible. We arrived shortly after sunrise and were greeted to this stellar view:

20130715-183711.jpgSunrise in Seneca Lake State Park

I managed to catch Jessica at each of her transitions. The swim to bike and the bike to run, and again at the end. Here’s my fave pic:

20130715-183903.jpgJessica waves and smiles as she bolts from the water

I brought my phone charger and found a plug. As a result, I could tweet like a madwoman. And I did.

Saw and chatted with a few friends from Rochester as they cheered along others and volunteered.

I spent a good chunk of time lying by the lake. Ah. What a day.

20130715-184156.jpgWhat a view (and my legs look huge)

And I managed to snap a shot of the race winner Doug MacLean of Ithaca. He was impressive to watch (and fun to chat with later!). Congrats Doug!

I had a lot of down time while Jessica rode her bike so I volunteered in the food tent. One woman donated more than 1,000 HOMEMADE chocolate chip cookies for the athletes.

(Side note- Red Jacket Orchards apple juice is incredible. Tri it. Haha, I’m funny.)

20130715-124457.jpgSee? My shirt and pin.

I’ve never been thanked by so many people in my life. You are welcome. You are all the inspiration.

Check back to Scoot next week for a recap of Jessica’s race!

Have you ever considered or completed a triathlon? What entices you? What scares you? Tell us in the comments!

Guest Post: Jessica’s first TRI is in the books

We run because we love it.

You’re lucky if you never reach that day where that Wednesday tempo run on your training schedule starts sounding about as fun as scrubbing mold out of that water bottle you forgot to rinse, but it happened to me last summer.

Three marathons in, running stopped being fun, but quitting wasn’t an option. I was starting the process toward my fourth 26.2, and my heart wasn’t in it.

So as my job was bringing me to Rochester, New York, I changed things up, and Sunday evening I typed the words into my blog: I am a TRIATHLETE. (Related: I am a duathlete and I am a marathoner).

If all goes as planned, on July 14, I will be a half-iron lady.

I’m thrilled not only by my results but by the fact that I felt SO prepared, thanks to a great group of friends who advised me

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The deets: Overall time – 1:47:21; 820 yard swim – 24:00; T1 – 3:12; 13.6 mile bike – 50:00; T2 – 2:00; 3.1 mile run- 27:40. I finished 168 of 260 overall, and 12 of 20 in my age group.

(Note: This is the cleaned up and shortened version of this blog. Click here for the exhausted, rambling, Keuka Lake Riesling-induced version.)

(Another note: Thinking about a tri? Read all the way toward the bottom, where I offer some tips.)

PREPARING

When I started this madness I thought I could get away with a one piece and a hybrid. By the time I got done loading my road bike, my wetsuit, clips and the other goodies into my car, my trunk looked like this. Remind me never to call running expensive and equipment intensive again.

trunk

I stayed in the dorms at Keuka College. Saturday night I sat on the same dock I’d be spotting the next morning from the distance. Could I actually do this? I was out of bed before 6 the next morning, set up my transition using tips from the wonderful coach Mary Eggers. I made my first rookie mistake, I left to stretch, forgot transition closed an hour before my wave, and had to ask the transition crew to hand me my swim stuff, giving them the “it’s my first time” smile.

SWIM

At Mary’s clinic the previous day, she told us horror stories of open water competition that left me wondering if I should have done less lap-swimming and more aqua kickboxing.

With the joke, “ok ladies, if you end up passing a slower guy, remember this is a non-contact sport,” the last wave of Olympic athletes were off, and they let the mere sprinters into the lake to warm up. As others took the dive, I put my big toe in, and it took all my willpower to not be That-Person-Who-Jumps-Back-With-Her-Tail-Between-Her-Legs.

62 degrees is a lot warmer on dry land.

So I inched in, first to my ankles, then my knees, then my waist, then I finally took the plunge and almost came up in shock. You get used to it, the people around me said. I might as well had “first-timer” written on my forehead. I stayed in until they cleared the water. I caught up with two other first-timers, and for a half hour we waited.

That was the worst part.

I only learned to swim in August, taking a few lessons at the Y then progressing on my own. This was my second time in open water – the first time, as I was coming to shore, I came up for air and ended up face to face with a dead fish. I may have screamed a little. Ok… more than a little.

The silver caps, younger females in the sprint race, were finally up. 30 seconds. 10 seconds. Horn.

I didn’t get kicked in the face. No one swam over me. Mary’s spitting-in-the-goggles-to-get-rid-of-fog strategy worked beautifully.

But I was swimming like a drunk on New Year’s Eve, all over the place. Nice blue line at the bottom of the pool, I’ll never take you for granted again.

Four buoys helped split the swim up on the way out, but getting back we were just citing an arc that was deceptively far away. Somehow, I made it. No broken nose. No bruises. No dead fish. I stripped off my cap and goggles, ran up the stairs, and into transition.

BIKE

The beautiful Flower awaited.

Flower is my lovely Cannondale Synapse, a gift from Uncle Sam who was quite kind to me at tax time. She’s named after her first race, the Flower City duathlon.

The wetsuit came off, the bike shorts, tank and clips went on, and inhaling a Honey Stinger I ran my bike out. I’m still getting used to the new clips, so I avoided embarrassment by the mount sign. Narrowly.

triathlon1

It was an easy 14-mile course with a few hills. And that’s where I learned the beauty of all the indoor cycling I did this winter – I crushed it on those hills, passing people left and right.

Less than an hour later I was back in transition. I re-racked Flower, and put on the Asics, knee straps and compression sleeves.

Money can buy speed on the bike. I didn’t have the advantage the people with fancy tri bikes had, but at least I was off the hybrid.

But running? It’s all you.

It’s only a half hour of your life.

RUN

I’m assuming this is a family-friendly blog, so I’ll keep what I was saying as I took those first few steps of the run to myself.

It was not pretty.

My legs didn’t know what to think at the sudden change of movement, so they just went numb. I sucked down a mint chocolate GU, saw my legs beneath me and trusted they knew what to do, since I couldn’t feel them.

The pain eased up after the first half mile, but as much as I told my body to slow down, I couldn’t control my speed. It was a weird autopilot kind of thing.

I had used my phone app for the bike, but as I came through transition, my hands were sweaty and shaking so I left it behind and ran without GPS. We were running along a back road by the lake, and even though everything hurt, I just wanted to be done.

triathlon2

I thought about my old friends in Ohio, I thought about my new friends in Rochester, I thought about my pups Lizzie and Brandy. At the moment it seemed like an eternity, but in retrospect, the last 27 minutes went quickly.

Mary was announcing. Shaky and dizzy, I crossed the finish line with that weird exhausted kind of grin. “Everything hurts but I feel great.”

I did it.

I got some ice cream. And a delicious bottle of Yates Cellars semi-sweet Riesling, which would be gone later that evening.

meandbike

THINKING ABOUT A TRIATHLON?

From one newbie to another, here are a few things I was glad I did:

1)      Swimming lessons: I signed up for basic lessons at the Y, but lucked out, with two triathletes guiding me, I learned things like spotting and working with your arms to save the legs.

2)      Equipment: You don’t need top of the line, but without my road bike and wetsuit I would have been at a serious disadvantage. Shop in the winter for a wetsuit, I got mine at half off.

3)      Seek out all the advice you can. Don’t be afraid to ask silly questions.

4)      Practice, practice, practice! Nothing can prepare you from that horrible feeling going from bike to run. But you can learn how to deal with it!

5)      Get in open water. Even though I only swam in a lake once, this one time practicing helped me out so much on race day.

6)      Learn the transition rules! All my stuff had to fit into a space about one foot by three feet. Plan it out ahead of time! What will you need when?

WHAT’S NEXT

So what went right? I was prepared, had quick transition times, was ready for the hills and finished strong.

Where can I do better? More open water practice, if I can quit the zigzagging I can shave some serious minutes off the swim time. I should also practice mounting and unmounting on the bike with the new clips. Oh, and I should learn flip turns in the pool, no more being spoiled by that wall every 25 yards.

June 16, I’ll be doing double the distance at the Quakerman triathlon at Orchard Park. Then one month later I’ll be at the Musselman half iron in Geneva. I’ll finish the season with the Highlander Cycle Tour (Corkscrew Century) in September and the Wine Glass Full Marathon in October.

“But Jessica, I thought you were sick of marathons?”

Perhaps I needed a break, because tomorrow is my nine-mile training run, and I can’t wait for it!

Bring it!!

Follow my blog for more random musings as the big race day approaches. Hugs to the lovely Scootadoot ladies for letting me guest post, and happy miles!

Jessica Alaimo is a journalist and a three-time marathoner living in Rochester, New York. She completed her first triathlon June 2, and is training for her first half Ironman July 14. Outside of training she teaches indoor cycling, enjoys gluten-free cooking and competing for a spot on the couch with her two retired racing greyhounds, Lizzie and Brandy.

Like her shiny brand new Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/jessicatris703 and follow her on Twitter, https://twitter.com/jessicatris703

Road ID Giveaway: Safety first, safety last, safety always!

Who is a Nervous Nelly (like I am) when it comes to safety?

When I first started running longer distances, I always carried my license (and keys, GU, phone, iPod) in either my pockets or pouch and then spent the rest of the run wondering if I was going to lose my license when I grabbed a GU.  I had visions of my license flying out, into the river, and then a tragic accident befalling me as I scrambled after my license. How would anyone know who I was? How would they notify my husband that I had a very overactive imagination?

Or worse, what if something actually happened to me?

Thankfully, my running coach Brandi, and running partner Sarah, saw me silently freaking out during a run one day (until I tracked down my license) and asked what, exactly, I was doing.

That’s when I first heard about Road ID.

roadid2

Wearing my Road ID during the Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge.

Road IDs are a nifty little way to share your information with anyone who might need to know.  While my license has my name and address, it doesn’t have the phone numbers of my nearest and dearest, which could come in handy if something were to happen to me. Of course, I still fill out the back of my bib during races, but for training runs that’s not an option.

Safety first, people!

Once I got my first Road ID, I clearly needed another because there were so many options and I needed to be really safe. (And fashionable.)

Of course, my friends had to get in on the action.

roadid

Jess rocking her Road ID at the Color Run. She was 18 weeks pregnant during this event and while Cam and I were with her, we wanted to make sure she was well cared for!

And my children needed them, too. The slim bracelet works really well for the kids and mine have worn them everywhere from a Disney Cruise vacation, to camping, to school/camp trips and, of course, during runs.

roadid1

Pooks showing off his Road ID.

Besides including the basics (name, year of birth, hometown and state, phone numbers of family), there’s a sixth line available to include a motto or any medical conditions. My little guy has Autism, which is something that he cannot express for himself at this stage in the game, so the sixth line provides that information if he should ever get separated from us. (Obviously, I’d be having a panic attack, were that ever to happen. But knowing that he has his Road ID will help me have a slightly less severe panic attack.)

While I have all the pertinent information on lines one through five, my sixth line has my motto when it comes to working out – I CAN AND I WILL! It’s always nice to have that little reminder there for myself!

I asked my fellow Chicks what sayings they’d use for motivation.

bec2point0 YESTERDAY YOU SAID TOMORROW.

beewhobabbles JUST TEN MORE MINUTES.

camoozle DON’T STOP.  GET IT, GET IT.

vfreile ANYONE CAN RUN A MILE. (Vic says this to herself when the run gets crappy and rough and she’s down on herself.)

writeitdownjess DON’T FALL ON YOUR FACE, JESS.

Now, of course, we want our Scoot a Doot readers to all be safe and sound, too – which is why we are thrilled to partner with Road ID on a giveaway for two $35 eCard Gift Certificates for two lucky readers to buy their own Road IDs!

So how do you enter to win?  There are a couple of different things you can do to increase your chances:

1. Leave us a comment on this post. What would you put on your sixth line of your Road ID?

2. Follow Road ID on Facebook.  Leave us a comment saying that you did (honor system, guys!).

3. Follow Road ID on Twitter. Leave another comment.

4. Follow Scoot a Doot on Twitter and Facebook. Add another comment!

5. Share this contest anywhere– your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, t-shirt, sign on your lawn, where ever.  Leave a comment (a link is always awesome, as are pictures – especially if you make a t-shirt. That would be really rad) and you get another entry!

Contest ends Thursday, 4/4/13 at midnight EST. We’ll use Random.org to choose the winners and announce them on Friday, 4/5/13 here on the blog.  Cool?  Cool!

This contest has sadly come to an end!  Look for more giveaways from us soon!