A birthday party for all!

July 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I originally typed the title as “Bristol homecoming, day 5” but I am so bored with those titles. No rules here.

Backing up to yesterday evening, I had to run out to the store (big surprise). I made a pit stop to take a few nostalgic photos.

This is the church that I grew up in:



My great grandfather was a minister at Paperville Presbyterian Church, which was the predecessor to First Pres.


My sister got married here. (Chad and I got married at the courthouse in Lexington).


A significant portion of my childhood was spent at that church, and I feel like I can still remember every pew, classroom, breezeway, and secret passageway that it contains.

Just up the hill behind the church is King College. This entrance is actually relatively new and didn’t exist when I lived here.



When I was in high school my best friend and I used to run on the par course path around the campus. We also used to go to the library there to do our homework, hoping to meet college boys. Usually we’d only end up seeing older people we knew from high school who we weren’t interested in. Still, we had a few adventures there. We also used to go tubing in the snow on the golf course hills.


King College baseball players were always on our radar when we were high school girls.


This little market right across the street from that entrance is also very nostalgic. It’s closed now, but back in the day…let’s just say that they were pretty friendly to high schoolers.


On my way down State Street towards the new Food City I was blocked by a train.


There are railroad tracks everywhere in Bristol, and trains these days go on forever. This train was actually completely stopped on the tracks. Luckily, I know all the detours so I just turned around and bypassed it. Only suckers wait for trains in Bristol.

This morning the boys and I went to the airport to pick up Chad.


We were all so happy to have Daddy with us finally.


Our back-roads route to the airport passes by Bristol Motor Speedway. Locals just call it “the racetrack”.


When we got home there was a surprise waiting for us…


a triple birthday party!


This is a tradition that my Mom started many years ago (before Cody). The boys’ birthdays are in May (Mack and Cody) and August (Cal), so she does a birthday party for them every summer when we get together since she usually can’t be there for their actual birthdays.


There were three sets of candles on the cake, and each kid blew out their own set.



Well, Mack blew out Cody’s two candles.


This cake is why I had to drive to Food City last night. I did the lettering myself!


After blowing out the candles it was time to open presents.




Chad and Cody got to reconnect.



After presents we had tacos for lunch, then ate cake.


After lunch had settled I did my ModelFit mobility and stretching sets from the ModelFit Adaptation Routine. Then I went to the YMCA to swim.


I did my usual, 2500 yards in about an hour.

While I was swimming Mom, Chad, and the boys went to yet another park.


Chad took all of these photos. I think they had a pretty good time.










Now everybody is home and we are planning to head out to dinner…just Chad and me and our boys. I think Grandma is exhausted and needs a break. She is such a great Grandma, very active with the kids. Thanks Grandma!


Bristol homecoming, day 4

July 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Last night the boys watched a little Big Bang Theory before bed.


This show is not really kid appropriate, but whatever. All the talk of “musical foreplay” must have gotten Cody riled up because he did not want to go to sleep. He wouldn’t have anything to do with me and only wanted “Meeum” (his name for Grandma).


He’s missing his mommy. She’ll be here Friday night.

This morning I did the first part of my ModelFit workout at home in my parent’s basement. You can see a thorough description of the routine and links to all the exercises here: ModelFit Adaptation Routine .

First I did the mobility (foam rolling + stretching) and warm up routines.


Cody was copying my moves but he likes to lift one leg so we did a few one-legged downward facing dogs.


Next I did “Circuit One” of the adaptation routine…three sets of:

1. Plank hold- 60 seconds/feet on fireplace


2. Side plank hold- 40 seconds each side/top leg raised
3. Single leg glute bridge hold- 40 seconds on each leg

While I was doing all this exercising my Mom took the boys to a park to play, but I forgot to ask her to take the camera. Apparently they saw a “twain!” that Cody has been talking about a bunch.

When Mom got Cody down for a nap around 11:00 am, she took Cal and Mack to Bristol Caverns while I stayed home to babysit the sleeping boy. I gave her my camera and she did a great job. Good blog-mom.


Bristol Caverns was used as a shelter by the Native Americans back in the day. I think it was also used during the revolutionary war. I don’t know. I have lot of facts about it swirling around in my head from the past 30+ years. We used to go on fieldtrips here when I was a kid. I’ve probably been to Bristol Caverns a dozen times in my life. It never changes.


Mom does need to work on her arm-length photography skills.


This hole (pictured below) was once a natural entrance to the caverns. When you are in the cave you can look up and see this tiny hole…a few hundred feet above your head. Bristol Caverns are pretty huge.


The entrance used today:



My little point and shoot camera didn’t do a great job of capturing how huge and beautiful it is inside of the caverns.


The boys have been to Bristol Caverns twice, but they wanted to go again and they had a great time today.




The underground stream that carved out the caverns over the millennia is pretty cool. Blind fish and all that.



Here is the shot where you can see the tiny hole from the picture above. See that little bit of light in the left/center of the picture above the railing?


When you are walking around the picnic area on the surface it is hard to believe there is this huge, hollow cavern beneath your feet.

On the way home they stopped by Pal’s to pick up lunch.


I had a chicken sandwich, but didn’t take a picture.

After lunch the boys got to check out a dead bat that had gotten caught in a sticky rodent trap that my Dad had put in their downstairs garage.



Exciting and stinky stuff. The thing was decomposing already.


After the poor bat was disposed of, I broke out some sidewalk chalk and the boys unleashed their inner artists on the driveway.


Mom took all of these photos.







While they were making the driveway colorful, Dad and I went to the YMCA.


He swam while I did Circuit Two and the conditioning workout of my ModelFit plan.

Circuit two: (3 sets of this)
1. Lat pull-down- 12 reps/60#
2. Split squat hold- 45 seconds on each side
3. Moving single leg glute bridge- 12 on each leg
4. Push ups- 12, on toes
5. Burpees- 12

Conditioning- 10 to 1 (10 reps of each exercise, then 9 of each, then 8, etc.)
1. Medicine ball slam and air squat 4:49 (5 seconds longer than last time I did this combo)

Afterwards I did 15 minutes on the elliptical until Dad was done swimming.


That looks like endless cardio machines, but there’s actually a mirror on the far wall. Still, they did have a TON of cardio equipment.

As we were coming home I took a bunch of pictures of Calcote Forest, and my parents’ long, steep driveway.







We have had some hard rains here the past couple of days, and there are branches and leaves down everywhere. Dad says this happens every time it rains hard. Mom and boys cleared all the big branches out of the driveway this morning. They have to have the woods thinned out and dead trees removed every couple of years to keep the house safe.

Well, that’s it for today. Mom made lasagna for dinner and it was awesome. I’m going to run back out to the store in a minute. Apparently I must go every day, just like at home. We are out of milk again.

Oh, a picture of a local Tampa Bay television personality, Cyndi Edwards, popped up on my Facebook feed today and caught my eye. I liked her dress (from Loft).


More fun tomorrow! Cya.