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 ancestry.com 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 historicalmapworks.com 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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Winter is here and so is an OWL!

Winter came early this year!  We had several inches of snow one day but it hit mostly in the hours AFTER the superintendent decided school would be OPEN.  Ha.  We also had some bitter cold temps; enough to freeze the ice thick enough for a morning of ice fishing before mild temps returned to melt all the winter goodness.  

In other news, we used an icefishing cam to spy on a few owl boxes we had put up this summer.  SUCCESS!  So cute to see a sleeping owl in the 2nd one we checked.  SO CUTE! I hope it sticks around and has babies this spring. :)

Speaking of babies, it was our goal to have a summer 2015 baby but things aren't working out so far.  Cross fingers for fall 2015!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kent State University at Stark - Adventure Race

This first time event was held very close to home.  I was so excited to see it involved biking, canoeing, and running.  You had to be on a two person team and you had to use a canoe, not a double kayak.  Darn!  We got a double kayak this summer and it is wicked fast!  They wanted to keep the playing field competitive and keep it family friendly.   Nick had just done the Akron Marathon {whole!!} the weekend before and his knee had been bothering him.  Blaine had been puking all day the previous day and I had woken up with diarrhea.  Would be an interesting day for sure.

It started in downtown Canal Fulton with a 4.9 mile bike ride, then a 2.4 mile canoe downriver, then a 2.3 mile run back to where you started.  It was all on the towpath so they didn't need to worry about traffic.

The bike - They started bikers out in groups of four every 10 seconds are so.  I was nervous things would get clogged up on the trail because we started over halfway back in the field, but we ended up having no problems and were in first place by the end of the bike.    Our time was 16:05.

The canoe - OH MAN!  Things got bad.  Bad meaning wet wet wet.  My mom said it was hailing at home but we only had to canoe through pouring rain.  Eek.  Our time was 29:24.

The run - I was pretty cold and my feet were frozen by this point.  We just had to keep trudging because even though we couldn't see  anyone behind us, someone who started in the very back could have had a better time than us.  We finished the run in 19:33.

Our total time was 1:04.56 for first team overall!  I was happy but haven't been happy since.  I came down with a fever and sore throat the next day that I STILL HAVE!  I have never been this sick for this long.  I can't necessarily blame being out in the cold rain but it probably didn't help since I was probably coming down with the bug before the race.  Up next: recover from fever!

All photos credits go to Kent University at Stark - Fitness and Wellness and / or Ohio Race Day

Probably the best pic I have of us since our wedding.  We are wearing our prizes: Kent fleeces.  Ironic because we met and graduated from rival Akron. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Portage Lakes - Sprint Triathlon

Photo credit: Portage Lakes Facebook Group

my fan club didn't get very good photos but they tried :)

After freezing my butt off last year, I'm not sure what inspired me to sign up for this race again this year.  Once again, it was about 39 degrees when I woke up and had to motivate myself to jump into water without a wetsuit. Luckily the water seemed super warm!

Swim - 750 meters.  Last year I did the "women's only" mini distance and they only sent off swimmers 2 at a time.  This was a mass start of women under 39.  The beginning was CHAOS and I was not having much fun at all.  I was out of breath from the panic of it all and couldn't really get into a good rhythm the whole time.  It was super foggy despite a 30 minute fog delay and sometimes I couldn't even make out the buoy.  I didn't swim very straight and found myself away from the crowd but unfortunately that meant I wasn't making the straightest path from buoy to buoy and know I went extra distance.  Time was 15:46.

Bike - 13 miles. I didn't get a chance to drive the course the day before like I wanted to but I like surprises.  I was pleasantly surprised that it had zero giant hills.  I train on giant giant hills and the course was just rollers.  I passed a ton of people and only got passed by men.  However, when I saw my time of 51:26 I was super mad at myself and confused at how I did that bad.  I had felt fast.  My time at the Mohican race was 43:07 and it was way hillier [in my mind].  Turns out everybody's time was much much slower on the Portage Lakes Course; the only people pulling out low 40's were the winners of the men's division.

Run - 5k.  26:59.  Just like last year, when I got off the bike, my left foot was 100% numb.  Running on a numb foot is impossible and horrible.  It took until mile 2 until I had feeling in it.  I tried going fast but tired legs and a numb foot made it tough. Luckily I passed a lot of men and women and only got passed by 1 man.

TOTAL:  1:38.  I got 5th in my age group so again I was down on myself and questioning my training / effort / ability until I got home and looked over the results to see that 1:38 would have placed top 3 in every single other age group; even would have won a few, including 35-39.  Of course!

I am looking forward to my next race that involves CANOE instead of swim. :)


My last post was in June and since then SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED!  Highlights include:

- We spent 11 days on the west coast
- We enjoyed summer
- Went to the Christening of the new Goodyear blimp
- Blaine got a professional haircut [!!]
- Blaine started preschool
- Nick quit his job
-Nick is training for his first marathon
- Blaine went to his first major league baseball game
- Blaine went to his first minor league baseball game
- Blaine jumped off the dock alone [still wearing floatie], but it surprised me because I was no where near him when he did it
- Mommy and Blaine mini vacation to a friend's lake house in Michigan

Back to school means back to the crazy life! I miss summer already!

Crabbin at aunt Lindsay's via paddleboard

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mohican Endurance Festival - Sprint Triathlon

The Mohican area in Ohio is a gorgeous place that I enjoy visiting to hike any season of the year.  It is most famous for its forests, river, gorges, mountain bike trails, and in general just about any type of outdoor recreation.  It seems like every time I'm there I stumble upon some crazy race going on.  This weekend it was a 50 mile and 100 mile trail run.   Those athletes are super humans!

When I saw HFP Racing announce they were going to hold a triathlon there for the first time, I knew I wanted to sign up!  I did the mini distance last September at Portage Lakes and figured I would try sprint this year.  750 meter swim, 20 k bike, and 5 k run.  Sounded like a good idea in January when I signed up at least! As the date approached I just felt my swimming was still verrrrry weak.  I swam at least once a week all winter / spring and then everyday once summer hit and I could swim in our pond.  I still couldn't go 50 meters without being out of breath.  I took the open water swim clinic they had the day before and it eased my mind a bit (I wasn't as bad as I thought when comparing myself to the others) but I still was nervous about how far it was and more importantly how bad I would do.  I set the goal of being top 50% in my age group.

The race:

Swim time plus time it took to trudge up a loooong steep, muddy trail (mostly walking per advice from others)  = 16:41.  I definitely side stroked just as much as front crawl.  It seemed to keep me in the ballgame though so I can't complain.  Lots of improvement can be made here though!

Bike section was rumored to be realllllly hilly, including a climb over a mile in length, but I didn't think it was bad at all!  Time = 43:06 (avg 17.3 mph).  It rained the whole time so I braked a lot on down hills and turns since the roads were slick.

Run was way more hilly than my jelly legs wanted it to be.  Time = 27:30.

My total time was 1:29 which gave me 2nd in my age group.  I was happy!

green swim cap.  nick took the photo when I was actually swimming right! 
up a long trail towards transition

I must have been going so fast, it was a blur ha

Uphill finish!

Ironman - Blaine Style

My son declared the he "has to do an Ironman everyday".  The way he says the word "Ironman" is SO DARN CUTE!   Upon further questioning, I learned that an Ironman consists of swimming, baking pies, and mole catching but he is actually still training.  Once his birthday comes and he is 4, then he will be ready for his Ironman.


I only have photos of swim, bike, run; no baking pies or mole catching on film yet. ;)
check out the goggles and look of determination.....

the only athlete in the family dedicated enough to swim when it is 61 and windy



Wednesday, June 4, 2014


The lazy days have arrived!  Sleeping in until 9.  Swimming everyday.  Nothing on the schedule of any significance. Ahhhh, life is great!

Thanks for all the positive thoughts; all my tests came back FINE so I feel a lot more at ease about trying for another baby in the future without worrying something is wrong with my body.

I am training for a sprint triathlon in June that has a 750 meter swim [triple yikes].  I'm still trying to get my swim under control because the race I did last September was 250 meters so that is a big jump.

We are going to Seattle in July to visit my sister.  Blaine will be there for his 4th birthday so he is super pumped and talks about it a lot.  However, he is convinced he is 5 years old right now.  Ha.  We'll have his Ohio party when we get back.

P.S.  Sorry this blog has been so neglected!  My computer is on the fritz so I use the Ipad instead; posting from there is a pain so I just don't.    I still read all of your blogs but sometimes don't comment because the Ipad is always difficult and won't let me backspace when typing a comment and making an error.

Easter photo shoot by Mom-Mom!

37 peeps this year!

4 baby swans!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

TMI - Breast Pain

While we are on a roll let's continue TMI Saturday.

It is no big secret Blaine breastfed 3 years and 3 months.  NO PROBLEMS OR PAIN IN THREE YEARS, THREE MONTHS.

Yes, I am lucky / blessed / a superhero.

Enter December.  My left breast starts hurting super randomly.  Not with my period.  On and off, just like a soreness.  About 4 days a week on average.  I'm looking in the mirror a lot looking for changes, doing self exams a lot, have the little gel exam pack thing and have Nick try to do an exam.  I am convinced I felt something, Nick was not.   I went for a physical and asked for them to also do a breast exam in January and they didn't really feel anything.  They said to get a mammogram when I'm 35.  Um thanks.  I'm 31.    I google lots and find that pain hardly ever means cancer.


Pain continues.  I go to a different doctor in March.  I tell him I'm having pain and tell him it is in my left breast.  I don't show him where.  He feels it and says, "Is this where?"  YES!  He found it without me even showing him.

A "thickening".

That is the word that makes my heart stop.  My mom's cancer was first felt by her doctor as a thickening. It didn't even show up on a mammogram or ultrasound.    They found it with a biopsy.  It eluded the previous screenings because the tumor was "creepy crawly" and had "fingers".

Doctor says what I have he thinkings is "something perfectly normal".  I hope he's right.

More googling.  Yes pain can be normal, but is usually cyclic.  This is not.  Gah.

So I had my first ever 3D mammogram at 31.  Then on to the ultrasound.  Both looked fine.  Appointment with surgeon for them to look everything over is scheduled THREE WEEKS LATER. Good thing I'm not letting this keep me up at night!

I just want to know I have a 100% clear bill of health before getting pregnant again because if anything is brewing in there, I'm no doctor, but I know being pregnant would be bad news.  

Is being a complete worry wart about health stuff a common thing for all women?

TMI - Menstrual Cup

This is about to get TMI but I really wish I had read a blog post about the subject years ago!

Ever since birthing Blaine, tampons and swimming just don't go together like they used to.  It will "work" but be soaking wet after swimming.  Was not the case before Blaine!  I blame all 8 lbs, 10 oz of him.   I tried Kegels and all that jazz but no change.   This would be a major problem if I would have a triathlon the week of my period! I found myself googling why and what to do about this issue.  I kept coming across the idea of using a menstrual cup.  I had heard of these but had them in the category of hippie things like not washing your hair, going vegan, and using and cloth pads for your period.

I finally bit the bullet and ordered one (oops the wrong size!) but it works pretty darn good!  I use it on day 2-5 of my period because I don't trust it on day 1.   I won't use it if I know I will be out in public using the bathrooms and I am veryyyy thankful that at school it is a one stall bathroom with a sink right in there.

There you have it! A real life changer in my book!

Sorry for the lack of blog posts, our laptop is always on the fritz and I hate typing extensively on the IPad. Plus my pictures are all on the computer!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


I have a slight obsession with owls.  So when I caught word that numerous snowy owls were hanging out in Ohio lately [very rare] I KNEW I would not be happy if I didn't find one and fast!

When I told Nick wanted I wanted to do, he responded with, "This sounds like geocaching, except the cache can fly!"   I knew odds of actually seeing one was going to be slim but I wanted to try!

Nick went out of town for a week and I was home with not much to do over the weekend.  I convinced my dad [still can't figure out how] to ride along and be my scout.   I'm sure he only went because Blaine was going.  ha!  We got lucky and ran into some other owl groupies and thankfully they knew where it was hiding out!  AMAZING EXPERIENCE! I am so thankful the other people were there because the thing was so camouflaged it literally looked like a snowball in the middle of the field.  I don't think Blaine actually "saw it" with this binoculars but I showed him the pics on the camera.  He didn't want to leave!

Want to find one too?  This website shows locations and pictures people submit on where they have been sighted!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Rollers

Being the weather nerd that I am, I thought it would be fun to show you the rare weather phenomenon northeast Ohioans woke up to yesterday! [In addition to waking up to ANOTHER DAY OFF SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]  They are soooo amazing but are sporadic in nature.  One field will have them, the next one over will not.

I had seen photos of these on weather channel before but never in real life.  They are basically snow balls made by high winds. Takes the perfect combination of wind, temps, and snow type.  I finally found one that was hollow in the middle by my school.

the creek was steaming. it was -22 this morning!  
my favorite!

stroller tracks.  we made the super smart decision to walk to a friend's house through giant snow drifts.  brrrrr.

yep; that's the school i teach at.   HAHA! KIDDING!  my great great grandpa attended this one room school house though!

snow rollers as far as the eye can see!

Monday, January 20, 2014


On January 18th, Blaine turned 3 and 1/2!  He has morphed into 100% BOY this past half year. To the point where he won't even say "girl".  We have a book where one page is "girl" and one page is "boy" and he literally won't even say the word girl when asked to.    He also tells me that "boys know everything and girls don't know very much" and therefore I don't know very much since I am a girl.  WOA. Didn't think that would start until the teenage years.  GAH!  I am working on him. Not getting anywhere very fast though, ha!

Blaine dresses in head to toe camo just about every single day. I finally got him to wear a winter coat instead of a light jacket but it took purchasing a camo one.  Always boots,  never shoes, and the kid will never EVER wear socks.  Picky about clothes like his mommy was!

He's still a little outdoorsman and likes to help dadda do everything that he probably shouldn't be helping him do.  On the roof at night?  Sure!  Mom cringes in dismay.

As much BOY as he is though, Blaine is a little softie.  He will pretend he is a kitty [complete with purring and crawling] for hours on end.  The kitty "gets in my belly" and then is "born" and I have to name him.  SO FUNNY!  His imagination is crazy wild.

The other day Blaine told me that he can't go to school because he has three jobs and has to work.  He also has a boss, three "uncle bapas", and a tractor store.  He will tell you about them all!  [all fictional!]