Friday, August 5, 2016

Headwaters Adventure Race 2016

This was my first race since October 2014! Crazy!  Got pregnant, had a baby, recovered from pregnancy with the help of a PT who has her doctorate in PT and specializes in women's health.  She taught me the importance of getting back into shape correctly and on the correct time table (diatasis recti / pelvic floor, etc).  I did not start running until 6 months post partum on her advice.  It is hard seeing other women who go about things differently (running up until giving birth, running 6 weeks post partum) but Dr. Marsden has taught me so much about how that isn't good for the long term.  We only get one body and we have to treat it correctly!

Anyhow!  My first race!  This is my favorite race and consists of a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike, and 5 mile kayak.  Everything was going great and I had just passed up a super fast lady on mile 5 of the bike that I'm normally gunning for.  I turned left.  The course went right.  Doh!  I ended up biking 3 extra miles.   I'm not sure how but I still ended up winning my age group.  Time: 2:08:27.   I would have definitely been top 3 overall female if not for my blunder.   Nick did AWESOME!  He was 4th overall and 1st in his age group.  1:49:46.  We had fun and I learned to always memorize the turns before the race. Can't assume it will be marked and can't assume there will be anyone in front of you.

Next up will be the Portage Lakes Triathlon in September!  Gotta get swimming.  I've been slacking off. Babies make things difficult to say the least.

checking out my swimming form via drone :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Connect with your past: Skiing

Now that Blaine is getting into skiing, I thought it would be neat to type this up to save for the future.  My great great grandpa, CJ Otto owned a farm in Maryland with a big ski hill on it.  His son later owned the farm (Sam) and Sam's daughter still lives there today (Grace).

I found this excerpt here.

Building a Community -- The Swauger, Swatzengruber and Swartzentruber families built a dam, creating the 13-acre lake that became the center or the small community. Around 1930, the McAndrew brothers, Philip and Michael, owned most of the area around the lake. Mike McAndrew operated a “Jot Em Down” store, and Phil ran the grist mill. Some other facilities in the small community were a large garage, a large barn, the community’s one-room school, a residence now known as the “Martin House” and the McAndrew’s residence. At the north end of the lake, Mr. C.J. Otto had a grocery store, filling station, and post office. Mr. Otto also ran a large sawmill near present-day Twin Churches Road.

Recreation -- Soon after the New Germany CCC camp was disbanded in 1938, people began flocking to the area for recreation. Bowing to pressure from ski clubs, the state negotiated with Mr. Samuel Otto to use his property for a downhill ski run, complete with a rope tow powered by a 1935 ¾ ton Dodge truck. Visitors could stay at the Alexander (Martin) house in dormitory-like quarters, in the cabins, in the old barracks, or with local families. Some visitors would regularly drive six to eight hours from Washington or Baltimore to visit the park for the weekend. In February 1941, New Germany was the site of the first Open Ski Championship Meet ever held south of the Mason-Dixon Line.


I find this super cool for many reasons.  1)  My grandma Betty (CJ Otto's granddaughter) was born in Akron, Ohio on a farm that is now Firestone Metropark, home off one of the best sledding hills in the area. Winter sports family for sure!    2)  Grace Otto's husband was named Blayne.    3) The house my great grandma was born in is still there today and lived in by family.  SUMMER ROADTRIP ALREADY PLANNED!  Can't wait.

CJ Otto Family.  Pearl Otto Farriss front right (My great grandma, ie Betty's mom).

PRINGS, Pa. — Visitors to the Springs Museum can now follow the family history of Jacob J. Otto, who arrived in Somerset County in 1831 from Germany via the port of Baltimore.

The family Bible, imprinted on the cover with the name of Jacob Otto and date of 1814, was given to Jacob, eldest son, by his father, Jacob, in Germany. Grace Otto Shunk of the New Germany area donated the Bible to the museum. She is the granddaughter of Christian J. and Clara Arendt Otto, youngest son of Jacob J. Otto.

She also donated a pitcher that was made and presented to Jacob J.’s fiancĂ©e, Mary Shetler, in 1829. Upon Jacob’s arrival to Somerset County, he and Mary were married. They later moved to Garrett County, where they purchased their first farm in 1838 on the east side of Meadow Mountain. In 1845, they purchased 168 acres at New Germany, where Jacob lived for the remainder of his life.

Christian J. purchased a farm of his own in the community and mother Mary resided with Christian’s family until the time of her death. The Bible and pitcher remained on her bedside table until her death.

The pitcher has been displayed on the mantle in the living room as long as Shunk can remember. Her father, Sam Otto, lived in the home as well as Grace and her husband, Blayne.

A Frick thresher machine has been donated by Matthew Caton of Meyersdale.

The Springs Historical Society makes the items available to many interested descendants. The Springs Museum and Springs Museum store, selling antiques and collectibles, is open Wednesday through Friday, 1 to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9 2 p.m. Admission is on a donation basis. For more information, go to or call (814) 662-2625.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We Survived! The C word.

I'm not a doctor nor do I pretend to be one on TV.  That being said, I did diagnose Maela with colic.  If she didn't have "true colic", which is 3 hours of crying 3 days a week for 3 weeks or more, well she was darn close.  99% there.    Starting at 4 weeks old and continuing until at least week 10, she screamed and cried on cue (6 pm or so) each night so hard she turned red, and sounded like she would stop breathing for HOURS.   One night it was four hours.  It was to the point where I would start dreading evening by 10 AM.  We would avoid taking her places.  I had strategies to combat the crying such as a bath for her, a shower for me, riding the exercise bike, going outside, but nothing truly worked.

I read all I could read and I truly believe that colic is just developmental; an immature nervous system.  She is (by day) a very happy baby; doesn't ever spit up, normal eating and weight gain.  I don't think she was allergic to anything I was eating.  I don't think the crying was related to tiredness.  I just think it was a phase we had to get through.   It seems to be over for the most part (phew) and we have even quit being shut-ins during the evenings.

Now if we could only get her to like her carseat! ;)

SHE IS BLAINE ALL OVER AGAIN.  I really do feel we just birthed a female version of Blaine!  She looks like him too.  I think he stopped screaming in the carseat by 2.5 yrs old.  It will be a long 2.5 more years.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Maela Helen

Maela Helen was born 2 days early (!!) on 8-31 at 4:32 pm. She was 8 lbs 2 oz.

At 12:30 pm I was feeling a bit "weird" and called Nick at work to tell him I thought we would have a baby in the next 48 hours.

By 12:50 pm I called him back telling him to "come home if he wasn't too busy".

We got to the hospital at 3 pm and by time they checked me at 3:45 pm, I was 10 cm dilated.  Yikes!  No time for an epidural!  TRIPLE YIKES!

She is a sweet sweet baby who I hope turns into just as big of a sweetheart as her brother in time.  Poor kid had to help me through labor from 0 cm to 10 cm, then deal with me having a 103.3 fever 5 days later, and then another fever a few weeks later.  He brings me his first aid kit and tells me to put medical tape where it hurts.   Haha!  Love that little guy.  How did I get so lucky with these amazing kids?!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

27 Weeks

We clearly wore too much blue that day. ;)

Because IT IS A GIRL!!

I had my positive pregnancy test December 21st which made it fun telling family on Christmas.  Of course at first I wanted it to be a girl, who wouldn't want one of each, but Blaine wanted a boy sooooooo bad that I had convinced myself another boy would be easier and actually thought it probably was a boy.  I have had pretty much had the exact same pregnancy minus the fact I'm 5 years older and little things like a stiff back bother me much more.  Then of course the fact my belly is much larger this time around has made me ready to give birth like NOW.   I just want to fit in my normal clothes again and do normal things! 

Due date is September 2nd!  

Let summer begin! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Little Guy

I have checked in our owl boxes a few times since we saw the owl sleeping and hadn't seen anything again.  Well, yesterday I was in my living room and looked outside, noticing something fuzzy sticking out of the owl box.   Zoomed in with my camera, and BAM!  OWL!  These things really are tiny, considering the opening of the box is only 3 inches.  Nick snuck out and got the front shot.  Little Guy was trying to warm up up in the sun I think; it was only 3 degrees! 

Then, later in the day, I saw something fuzzy sticking out again! This time the little guy was awake! I think I'm in love! :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Addiction: Geneology

Back in college, we had a project to trace our family tree until we found who on each line came over to America. I found this task super fun, but SUPER difficult. I made it back at least 8 generations on most lines and still only found a couple "immigrants".

A couple years ago, I did the two week free trial of and filled in my tree a lot more in the time period.  I sort of put it on pause when the two weeks ended.

Flash forward to this year.  The township I live in is celebrating it's bicentennial and I'm on the committee for the celebration at my school.  I knew I had a great great grandpa who went to the one room schoolhouse that sits out front of the HS I teach at.  It was family legend but I hadn't found proof.  Well through visiting the historical society to prepare for the bicentennial, I confirmed he went to that school for at least 7 years. 

This family lived in the township I live in now.  Most of the kids went to the one room school house I was mentioning.  I definitely think the girls look brain dead, but I've seen pictures later in life to prove they actually look normal, lol

I also recently discovered which is an AMAZING site.  It is easy to say my favorite thing to do is scour old maps trying to find family farms. I've found properties all over.  I always thought my mom's side was the "local farmers who have been here forever" but I'm finding lines on my dad's side that had farms super close to here.  Even he had no idea! 

The furthest back I can find any ancestor in America is 1635 so that's exciting. 

I have so much more exciting things to blog about but let's save more for the future. Just wanted to share my latest obsession in life!

everyone makes fun of me for thinking my great great grandpa was hot