Nolan’s Birthday Party

Nolan requested a construction cake for his 3rd birthday.  I wasn’t planning on following that theme much past the cake and invitation.

(click to enlarge)

NolanThirdBirthdayInviteblurred.fwWe were already renting an inflatable water slide and having the Kona Ice Truck come.  Back when I rented it the slide, it was super hot so I figured August would be even hotter.  It wasn’t. For the third year in a row it was only like 80…85.  I guess I need to face facts that his late August birthday means early fall around here.

Anyway, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of $ on decorations, too, but I managed to do up the theme a little more without spending a lot.  I printed signs for the tables and to direct people to the bathrooms.

DumpGifts.fw(gift table)

Refuel.fw(drinks table)

DigIn.fw(food table)



The only other things I did was pick up a few balloons on Amazon and some Construction Zone tape.

We had just finished the deck the weekend before (that’s another post) so we had all this dirt around the base of it.  At the last minute I gathered up all his construction toys/trucks and put them in the dirt.  It cost me NOTHING and was one of the highlights of the party.  In fact, Nolan preferred this to the slide, only sliding twice the whole day (after the water was turned on).

We had a large invite list so I ended up just ordering pizza.  It was by far the most cost effective approach.  Chips, pizza and drinks. I meant to put out watermelon but forgot.  I found three watermelons in my fridge after the party was over. Whoops. We ended up having a second gathering on his actual birthday to “clean out” our fridge before we left for Vegas.

I know that I go way over the top for his birthday, but I really enjoy planning it and designing the invitations.  I love having people over and since my birthday is just 4 days before his, I figure it’s my birthday party, too.

I was super proud of his cake.  He requested a construction cake and I recreated one off Pinterest.

This is the pic I took right when it was done.

20150821_212357-1-1This is the one the photographer took the day of.  It slid back a little bit as you can see, but nothing major.

nolanis3-129The kids LOVED it! They all gathered around and started playing with the trucks. ha.

nolanis3-144So, all in all it was definitely a success and I can’t wait until next year.  Who knows what we’ll come up with.

Below is a slideshow of the pictures from our photographer, KT Nichols.

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And here is a video of him getting his “big” present.  Thank goodness for Craigslist.

Blog Update

So, if anyone is wondering…I managed to lose the entire blog.  I had the domain and hosting on recurring payment with GoDaddy, but my card had been replaced and I didn’t realize it was tied to a card and not my bank account. So…I somehow managed to not even visit my own blog for a month and when I did I realized it was down.

I thought I could just pay what I owed and it would pop back up, but no. Nope. All gone.  The only think saving me from crying at my desk is the fact that the Wayback Machine crawled the blog in early August (THANK GOD) and I should be able to save the important ones by copying and pasting.

Once I recover them, I’m probably going to use Blog2Print to save everything important in book form.

So, that’s it for now.  I’ll be back soon with posts on Nolan’s 3rd birthday, our trip to Vegas and other random updates.


Best Day EVER!

I figured after yesterday’s negativity, I should write about how awesome our Sunday had been.

We were up at 6:59 (by we, I mean Nolan) and went to the early service at church.

After church we went to the gym since we didn’t make it on Saturday.  Nolan wasn’t in much of a mood to be left at the gym child care.  After 25 intense minutes on the Expresso Bike I went to get a towel, which is inconveniently in front of the glass enclosed childcare area.  Nolan was waiting at the gate.  I couldn’t bear to leave him again, since I could hear him yelling “mama” so I just went and got him.

I had driven all the way to Downtown Norfolk (their childcare opens the earliest) and it seemed like a waste for 25 minutes.  So, I figured, let’s have an adventure.

There’s a Tide lightrail station behind the Y, so we bought a ticket and hopped on.


IMG_20150712_110234I decided it would be fun to document our adventure via Instagram (@admeyerlife) so there’s plenty of pictures.  We rode just a few stops to Harbor Park and then started walking back towards MacArthur center.  I figured we could eat lunch at D’Egg.

IMG_20150712_111819This area is where I walk or run during lunch on weekdays, and it’s really nice, but there’s NO SHADE.  Nolan was a trooper, since it was warm and I didn’t have any water.  I kept him motivated with the promise of boat sightings and mac N’ cheese for lunch.

IMG_20150712_113701See…a boat!  I felt bad I didn’t plan ahead and have a swimsuit for him.  There’s a little splash pad right here and he asked to go in, but when I said no he was a good sport about it.

IMG_20150712_114525^^ That’s not a tantrum that’s just him enjoying the cool grass as he jumps on his knees. Because…2.  ^^

D’egg was too busy so we went a little further (such a trooper!) and had Max & Erma’s in the mall.

IMG_20150712_120334 He had mac n’ cheese with fruit and I had a huge salad.

20150712_122013[1]He was so good while we were there that I got him a warm chocolate chip cookie with milk.  And if you give a kid some milk….he’s going to want to blow bubbles.

After lunch we went to Gymboree to get him a hat since I can never keep track of his hats.  Luckily they were having 40% off everything, including clearance.  So, we ended up with the hat, sunglasses and “flip shoes” as Nolan called them (flip flops).


We hopped on the train and went back to retrieve the car.  This is Nolan’s face when I said we were heading home.


Ha!  Actually, the day pretty much just stayed awesome from there.  We woke Josh up (he worked the night before), got cleaned up, and went to a family BBQ where Nolan got to play with the big kids and everyone had a blast.

Seriously…best Sunday, ever!

Morning from Hell!

Did you ever have one of those mornings where you feel like you need to document it because otherwise you couldn’t believe it happened?

That was my morning.  Barring injuries or death I’d have to say it was top 10 worst mornings.

Get up early-ish (for me) and decide to take a relaxing bath.  Start running the water. Nolan wakes up.

Getting ready to leave and Nolan is having a tantrum for unknown reasons.

Get in the car (Josh’s because the A/C went out in our “new” van).  Nolan is screaming.  Realize we need gas.

Stop at gas station.  Push fuel door button. Nothing. Push it again. Nothing.  Push it again, button implodes all over the ground.

Looking for button parts all over ground littered with chicken bones.  Can’t find spring. Think I’m imagining things and there wasn’t a spring. Put button in. Nope, must be a spring. Find spring.  Button is stuck and can’t get it out to put spring in. Try for 5 minutes. Say fuck it, drive home to get the van.

Gate has the wood behind it (so people can’t open it from the front). Go inside and around to open the gate (van is in back yard). Get in van to pull it out front.  Realize it’s almost out of gas.  Almost have a Steel Magnolias moment.

Transfer everything into van (including child).  Get to gas station. Don’t know where Amex card is. Hope it’s in Josh’s car and didn’t drop it when I was parked in this same spot 10 minutes ago. Will look when I get home and hope no one charges a car (not that my limit is that high).

indexTry to put gas in car.  Pump is apparently not working with cards.  Scream in frustration.

Drive towards daycare.  Tell Nolan that mommy is sorry for being grumpy.  Stop at gas station near daycare. Get out.  Realize I drove there with the fuel door open and gas cap hanging out. Put gas in car.

Drive to daycare. Nolan has a meltdown when I need to leave.  Go to work.

Garden Update

I’m about 2.5 weeks into this gardening thing and I thought I’d give an update.  So far, so good!  I feel really good about the progress and I’m proud to say I’ve gone against my general laziness and watered them every day rain or shine because it’s been so hot.

For a refresher here’s what’s where (the three original beds are the three on top here, from left to right):

6-11-2015 10-25-40 AM

Here are the progress pics of the three original beds.

June 8, 2015



June 25, 2015

20150624_185929Thoughts: The tomatoes and cucumbers are doing really well!!  I’ve started clearing space between/around the beds of grass because I know I will have to let the cucumbers lay outside of the beds at some point because they’re going to outgrow the beds.

One edamame plant looks great and the other withered and died…on the surface, but I’m pretty sure there’s something sprouting from the roots.  With regard to the carrots…I’m not sure.  I’m having a hard time figuring out what’s carrots and what’s a weed.  That’s what happens when you’re growing from a seed.  Just in case I accidentally pulled the wrong thing, I may throw a couple more seeds in there, but with toothpicks this time to mark where exactly they are.


June 8, 2015

20150610_195936June 25, 2015


Thoughts: The peppers and cucumbers are doing great here, too.  Except…something is eating my pepper leaves. :( They’re all chewed up.  I think I’m going to try this: Bacillus thuringiensis.

Just like with the carrots in the first bed, I think lettuce seedlings are even harder to distinguish between seedling and weed.  I’m just not going to pull anything unless it’s not remotely close to where I planted and hope for the best.

June 8, 2015


June 25, 2015

20150624_18582920150624_185904Thoughts: Watermelon plant is growing and tomatoes are appearing!  Seedling story is the same as above.


I did end up adding two more beds.



The zucchini sprouted up literally overnight and with relatively big sprouts.  I wish the carrots and lettuce would move that quick so it was easier to tell what’s what.

20150624_185751My blueberries are done for the season.  All 10 of them LOL

But, I’m trying to tame my blackberries a little so they’re easier to get to.

20150624_190152    20150624_190002 Nolan ate all of these and asked for more.  I tried to explain why that wasn’t possible, but he didn’t seem accepting of my answer. LOL


A Purpose

So that title sounds dramatic considering the content of this post.

I decided to start a vegetable garden.

I have been feeling a bit like I don’t have a purpose, lately.  I go to work, I take care of Nolan, I spend time with my husband, I occasionally clean parts of my house (very occasionally, and only parts).  But, I haven’t really had something all mine to get excited about.

And then one day (Monday to be exact) I fell into some homesteading blogs.  Now, while Josh may want to, I don’t see us picking up and moving to the mountains of WV (we do own land there) any time soon.  BUT, we do have plenty of room for a vegetable garden.

I ordered three raised 48″ x 48″ beds at Home Depot for pick up at the store Monday evening.  After dinner Josh, Nolan and I went to pick them up and get some other supplies, including the vegetables.

I did some Googling and figured out what could be planted this late in the season and decided on:

  • corn
  • zucchini
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • beans
  • carrots
  • bell peppers
  • watermelon
  • cucumber

At the store they had plants for tomatoes, edamame, peppers, cucumbers, and watermelon. For the corn, zucchini, lettuce and carrots I bought seeds.

When we got home we put together the beds (crazy easy) and Josh used the tractor to dump some composted leaves/dirt in the beds.  Awesome! I thought we were going to have to buy dirt.

I spent an hour or so removing rocks, roots, sticks, etc. from the dirt before going to bed.

The next day I started planning out the beds.  I tried to do it in my head/paper at first and then turned to  Their website will recommend plants and spacing based on where you live and how much space you have.  Awesome!

This is what we have:

6-11-2015 10-25-40 AM

If you’ll recall, I only bought three beds.  As it turns out we need two more for proper spacing of the vegetables.  So, as of right now, and maybe for good, we only have the top three beds.

You’ll also notice no corn.  As it turns out, to grow corn you need at least 4 rows, spaced 2-3′ apart.  Not enough room in the beds for that.  What I may end up doing with the corn and extra watermelon is just planting some down the hill outside the fence and see what happens.  Or…I may buy two more beds for the watermelon and zucchini and just grow the corn down the hill.

Who knows?  Either, way, I’m super stoked to about it.  It was pretty darn easy with those raised beds, and now it’s mostly a matter of watering them and seeing what happens. Then start Googling when necessary.

I’m guessing the rabbits are going to be an issue at some point. Maybe the moles, too. Yes, our house is a zoo.

I basically have no idea what I’m doing, but am still hoping for the best.

So, here’s what we’re starting with…

Bed #3
Tomatoes in the back, carrots and lettuce (seeds so you can’t see them) and then one lone watermelon up front.
Bed #2
In the back are green and red bell peppers, then lettuce and two cucumber plants up front.
In the last one are tomatoes in the back, then edamame are those long limbed ones, then carrot seeds next to them and in front are cucumbers.

Maybe my favorite part about putting in the vegetable garden was discovering a huge blackberry bush growing behind the garage.  I am beyond excited!!!  I can’t wait until they’re ready.  I’m going to save so much $$. :)

20150610_200022Oh, and…6 years ago, soon after we moved in, I planted a blueberry bush in the front yard. This is the first year where there are blueberries on it!!  Give it another 5 years and we’ll be giving them away by the basketful.

20150611_200312 20150611_200337While we’re not exactly homesteading, we are definitely making an effort to live off the land a little.  And there are pretty concrete plans to add a chicken coop soon.

The best part, I’m feeling a bit…purposeful…about it.

Dismal Swamp Stomp 2015


I’m sure you’ve guessed by the slow posting of the recap that my half-marathon didn’t go the way I wanted it to.  I finished.  But my goal was 2:30:00 and I finished in 2:43.  Pretty far off.

I started out feeling good.  Like I’d fueled and hydrated properly.

IMG_20150411_074119The course is an out and back.  Soon after I started I realized I was right there with the 2:30 pacer (a volunteer who is experienced and will lead those with him/her to a 2:30 time).  I knew I wanted to grab water/gels along the way and might have to use the porta-potty so I thought it would be a good idea to get out ahead of the pace group for a while (I was wrong).

At the turn around (about 6.5 miles), I used the porta-potty (ew ew ew ew) and grabbed two gels (honey – ew ew ew ew ew).  I drank a little water at almost every water station, but not a lot, just a few sips.  I had one gel at the halfway point and saved the other for around 9 miles.

As I hit the turn around and was headed in the other direction I passed the pace group still headed the other way.  I think I might have had 2-3 minutes on them.

I was still feeling okay and just kept at it.  It was warm, but not too hot and not a lot of wind.  It was cloudy so I didn’t feel overheated.  I wore shorts, which I never do, but I’m glad I did, instead of tight black capris.  I did test the shorts on a 12 mile run because I hate shorts that ride up (which is all of them because I have big thighs).

I started to hit the wall at mile 10 and began doing walk/run intervals.  My left IT band was killing me.  Not my calf this, time, but a new bothersome issue.  And it just got worse and worse and worse.

Walking was a bad idea.  Once you’ve run that far, when you stop everything cramps up, so by mile 12 I was just walking.  I think the pace group passed me somewhere between mile 11 and 12.  SO disheartening.  I walked all of mile 12-13 until I could see the crowd and didn’t want to be put to shame.

I felt horrendous afterward. Actually, I felt terrible around the 12.5 mile mark.  Like I didn’t even know if I was going to walk to the finish.

Afterwards, Josh was there with Nolan and he brought me a coke and tried to get me to eat something, but all I could stomach was water for a good 30 minutes or so.  Nolan was super excited about the ambulance, but all I could think was, “Mommy’s going to be IN that ambulance if she can’t pull it together.”

I think it probably think it took me 45 minutes of water, a little coke, a few bites of pizza and some gummy bears before I could consider walking to my car, which seemed to far away.  Luckily Josh was parked closer and drove me there. ha.


I don’t know exactly what went wrong.  But here are my thoughts:

  • I knew I was coming down with a cold for most of the week leading up to the race.  I had swollen glands and a slightly sore throat.  As I predicted to friends and family, I became full blown sick the day after the race (and have now been sick for a good 8-9 days and am just now feeling better – now that Nolan is sick, ugh).
  • Based on all the leg cramping and how awful I felt afterwards, I think didn’t not hydrate properly.  Drink enough water is something I struggle with on a daily basis and this was no exception.  I did buy a hydration belt a few weeks prior, but it leaked everywhere, so I didn’t want to use it for the race.
  • Strength training- I didn’t do it. It’s hard to fit in 3-4 runs and strength training with Josh’s schedule, my work and a 2.5 year old.  But, I think it would have really made a difference in the IT band and calf issues I started having.

So, my plan for a future half marathon…

If you’d have asked me within a few days of the race I would have said, “Never!”  But, now I want a redemption race.  I want to put that 13.1 sticker on my car, but right now I don’t feel worthy.

My plan is to spend the summer focused on losing some weight and strength training.  I want to keep up a 6-8 mile endurance, running those distances every other weekend when Josh is off and then one shorter run during the week.  The weekends that Josh isn’t off I’ll try to do 3-4 miles with Nolan in the stroller if we can get out first thing in the morning before it gets too hot.

Then, come September I’ll start training for the Harbor Lights Half-Marathon which is in late November.  If I’m starting off with a 6-8 mile endurance it should give me some wiggle room for getting in my long runs and strength training, as well.

In conclusion…I finished. :) Thank for all the well wishes and support over the last few months.

Cooper River Bridge Run 10K (2015)

I figured I better get this post up before my next race (tomorrow!).

Josh and I did the Cooper River Bridge Run 10k two weeks ago on March 28th.  I was supposed to run it with his sister, but her husband got orders (Air Force) and they had to leave the morning of the race.  Josh decided he’d take her bib so I wouldn’t be out there running by myself.

This is the Cooper River Bridge.

Beautiful, right!?

The race started at 8AM, but because they expected 40,000 people (only 33k ran this year) it’s got shuttle buses to the start meaning we were up at 4:45 (big thanks to Josh’ parents for watching Nolan) to drive to downtown Charleston, park, get in line for the bus, drive to the start and get in our corral.

I think we made it to our corral around 7AM leaving us an hour to wait.  My only complaint about this whole process was the length of lines at the porta potties.  I may or may not have ended up going down a side street and finding a little alley hidden by bushes. I’ll never tell.

Josh hadn’t run since our 5k in November, so my plan was just to stick with him.  Also, I don’t have many hills to train on at home, so I didn’t know how I’d do on the bridge.  The course is about 2 miles before the bridge, 2 miles of bridge, and 2 miles into downtown.

There were so many corrals that we didn’t cross the start until 8:30.  Actually, at the last second I was able to duck into the now abandoned porta potties for a second before our corral crossed the start.

The first two miles were no problem and we enjoyed the bands they had playing at pretty frequent intervals.  Especially the 80’s inspired hair band who were rocking out in fringe vests, no shirts in 45 degree weather.

I myself had 3 layers on top, one of which I abandoned in the corrals. (I believe they donate everything left behind.)

I was really gearing up mentally for the bridge.  My goal was not to walk it, which I achieved.  The incline isn’t all that steep and didn’t last every long so I never felt like I wasn’t going to make it.  All the people and the music really helped, too!  From there it’s downhill for maybe a mile and then into downtown.  There weren’t as many bands after that point, but there were a lot of supportive spectators, which was really nice.

4-10-2015 9-02-16 AM  4-10-2015 9-02-33 AM

Josh and I decided to cross the finish holding hands.

4-10-2015 9-02-00 AM It wasn’t my fastest 10K, but it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed running with someone else for once (especially Josh).

Here’s my stats:


And Josh (remember he was using his sister’s bib):


Overall I thought it was a really fun race.  It’s a little pricey for a 10K at $70, but there was a nice expo, a lot of bands, and good party afterwards.  My biggest complaint was there was no medal.  For $70 I expect a medal.  We did get a t-shirt and a towel, but I’d much rather have a medal.

So, that’s it!  Next up…my half-marathon!!

Not What You Think

I bet you think I’ve been slacking off on posting because I don’t want to admit to not training for the half-marathon.

Nope.  Still going strong.


I did my 11 mile run on Sunday.


I barely survived it.  I truly hope the race goes a lot better. I stopped like 4 times for potty breaks and my achilles/calf is bothering me.  My lack of strength training lately is coming back to bite me,  I feel like my body is rebelling.  When I did my 9 miles run a few weeks ago it went great!  I didn’t think 2 miles would make such a difference.  I think a lot of it on this run was bad fueling and when I ran (afternoon).

I’m very  concerned about the lack of porta potties on the trail (this is where the race is located) and am praying to all that is holy they will have porta potties for the race.  I may even email the race directors to ask so I can prepare myself mentally.

This Saturday I am running the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K, which means if I want to get another long run in and have enough time to taper, I’ll have to do it in the middle of the week next week.

Josh’s sister was supposed to do the race with me Saturday, but her husband just got orders (Air Force) and they have to leave before the race. :(  So…Josh decided (totally unprompted by me) to run it with me.  I am really appreciative because this is a HUGE race (40k + people) and I really didn’t want to do it by myself.

So, anyway…that’s my running update! Only 2.5 more weeks to go until the race!  Fingers crossed my body can make it.

Half Marathon Training: Weeks 5 & 6

Week 5

  • Monday: Yoga at home
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thurs-Saturday: Out of town
  • Sunday: 6 mile run

I told myself I was going to run twice when in South Carolina for a work retreat.  But, plans got interrupted, and I made choices to do things like hunt, fish and explore Charleston (again) rather than run.  And I don’t regret it.

A friend (Shout out, Kim!) offered to let Nolan hang out with her kids for a little while so I could get my 6 miler in.  It was much appreciated and I finished my run at a 10:55 pace with a few breaks for stretching and to use the porta potty.

Week 6

  • Monday: Nothing
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: 5 mile run (at a 10:13 pace!)
  • Friday: 20 min. of yoga for runners
  • Saturday: 7 miles (at a 10:41 pace)


This was probably one of my best weeks, yet.  I have definitely learned that training in winter means being flexible.  Thursday I had a doctor’s appt and afterwards I went home and did my 5 miles before going to pick Nolan up.  it was around 45 degrees when I left and the last mile was sleet the entire way. :/  It made me finish the mile pretty darn fast, though! 😉

I purposely skipped Friday’s run because weather was supposed to be bad on Sunday so I needed to do my long run on Saturday.  Josh took Nolan out for some man time and I ran 7 miles around the neighborhood at a 10:41 pace.

As you can see in the pictures above, I finally bought another GPS watch (Forerunner 10).  However, it didn’t work they way I wanted it to.  The GPS worked fine, it was just too hard to upload and look at stats. so I’ve returned it and swapped it for a Fitbit Surge.
I haven’t gotten a chance to use the GPS function…IMG_20150217_072714

but when I do I’ll make sure to review it.