Monday, February 24, 2014

The Cowtown Marathon, and other things Texas

On Friday, we headed down south to Texas for the Cowtown Marathon. We had our two einsteins and our two travelbugs in tow and set off before the sun even awoke that morning.
On the way down, we found what is currently our favorite geocache as of yet. (It's called Ham Stand, in case you ever want to check it out), and left our friend, Home-Home there. 
Happy travels, Home-Home!
 Then, we picked up 2 more travel bugs! Both of them were missing parts to them, so we attached one to a dinoTot we had in our geocache swag bag, and pinned the remains of the other together again (someone had taken the chain and two other pieces of flair that were originally attached). (You know you're a runner when you have safety pins EVERYWHERE, including every nook and cranny in the vehicles you drive...) Now, they're ready to head off on another adventure!
Meet travelbugs "Hiawatha Music Co-op" (now with a dinotot aboard) and "Crystal Pink!".  Coming soon to a geocache near you!
The next stop we made (besides a few caches that were MIA) was the Texas Motor Speedway. Evan is really hoping to make it back here for a NASCAR race one day! 

For her birthday, Emma wanted to go back to the American Girl Place in Dallas, originally to buy the new doll of the year, Isabelle. She had saved all her Christmas & birthday money to buy her, but came up short. John and I think that having more than one doll is more than enough, so I was really really really not looking forward to telling her that we would cover the last $25 for the doll, but right before I did, she decided that it was okay. She was going to buy some things for the dolls she has (specifically Saige), and that was just as good. (whew!) I was basking in the glow of hope that maybe she had learned to make do with what money she had. After all, isn't that what we all really wish for our kids?!?
One worker, whose name was Martin, was an absolute DELIGHT. He saw Emma on the cover of the magazine and immediately began acting as her publicist and security guard. He showed her off to all the other staff there and told Em that if too many rabid paparazzi came, just to let him know, and he would take care of them. He was a hoot! For all the people who think it's so strange to have men working in little girls' stores - you are missing out, my friends. He literally made the trip a BLAST!

Em & her cover at AGPlace.
 That evening, we met up with Courtney & Sam at his brother's house, where we stayed for the weekend. They have a "mother-in-law" quarters that my kids are now OBSESSED with (Evan even dreamed about it last night). They want to build one in our backyard now. 
Sam was signed up to run the 10k with John the next morning, so we went to bed early and woke up early and headed to Ft. Worth for day one of the Cowtown Marathon. 
Sam & John in the 10k corral

And...they're off!
 Courtney & I and our 4 littles found a great spot right before the finish line and laid my quilt out for the wait. (I should totally name this quilt, people, seriously. Ideas?) Evan & Joseph played together and Emma held her baby Sarah the whole time. Little momma, I tell ya. 
 We didn't have to wait too long before the daddies rounded the bend!

We tried afterwards to get the kids to nap, but it ended up in me taking a power nap, and no one else. Go figure. Eventually, we decided to wander down to the nearby playground to - i don't know - wear the tired kiddos out even more?
The kids had a BLAST having John spin them around on this thing, but he ended up hitting his ankle on one of those metal feet in the process. Ouch!

Can you believe they already had GREEN GRASS growing?? And dandilions! And BEES!! 
Go away, polar vortex!! We want some bees and flowers, too!!

Later on, we headed back to the house and played in the yard while Emily & Ty (Sam's brother) made a mouth-watering meal of home made salsa and burgers on the grill. 
Have you ever seen a more fun tree?!? Ty even let her carve her name in it!

Emma & her baby Sarah. Attached at the chest, those two. 

Football with dad (and what is the deal with Texans and their flag?!?)

The next morning was the marathon. John was running this one alone, so we quietly snuck out and headed to the starting corrals in the dark of (almost) night.


Go Daddy, Go!!
 Out of town races are hard, because I never know my way around enough to chase him around the course for the whole race. This was no different, so we settled on a spot in a park, where there were playgrounds, and a creek, and beautiful trees all around us.  By then, the first runners were just appearing (they were REALLY fast!) i was hoping to do some geocaching or letterboxing while we were here, but I must say to Fort Worthians: MAINTAIN your caches!! There's a zillion caches all around and almost all of them are destroyed, stolen by muggles, or missing! We didn't find ONE intact geocache in the ft. worth/arlington area! Now, granted, we didn't go find them all, but of all the ones we DID look for in parks and such, they were un-findable for one reason or another. Sad. Very sad. 

Trying to get brother to play with her.

Handsome boy!
 Look at this spot. I took this picture from a wooden bridge that the runners were crossing over on the course. It took them onto the path that you see on the left of the photo, and on the right, about 3 feet into the trees was a little babbling brook. We had a PERFECT spot! We cheered all the runners on as they passed, and still had a beautiful day in a beautiful area to play and dream. 

Evan cheering the runners on while Em & I explored the brook.

 When hubby ran by, we forced him to stop and take a photo with us. That's just how we roll. Don't try to make a new personal record with this pit crew in tow. Just sayin'...

We made it home late last night to three furbabies that were happy to see us all, and a bed that only feels that good after a long, late, drive back home. 

We had fun, Texas! See you again soon, maybe?

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