Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rock N Roll Half Marathon, St. Louis

Sunday I ran the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in St. Louis with my Father-in-law!

Pat and I before the race.  It was early!

My father-in-law and I run together whenever Ryan and I are visiting.  We're solid running buddies-he pushes me just enough pace wise, and the conversation is fabulous!  So when he wanted to sign up to run his longest distance to date, the Rock N Roll Half Marathon, I was IN!

I've done a couple of half's before, but never one that was this big of a production.  The expo alone was insanely big, and having bands along the way and so many other people running was really neat.  The spectators were amazing, and had some hysterical signs-I loved "Run faster I just farted" and "Worst Parade Ever."  We also ran through parts of St. Louis I didn't know existed, and I got to ogle some pretty neighborhoods.

My sister Mary and I after the race.  She showed up at mile 4 and took our jackets, which ROCKED.

Anyway, it was a great race, we had a great time, and I'm so glad I got to do this with my father-in-law!  Also Ryan showed up after we finished with coffee, and clinched the title for husband of the year.

We also had a wonderful brunch afterwards, and the waitress didn't mind my needy substitution of a blueberry pancake instead of an English muffin and bacon.  My motrher-in-law and her sister walked the half, and Ryan's cousin Jessie joined us for brunch too.

My medal hanging up on my bulletin board at work.

 The best part about this half marathon was that it got me back into a working out groove.  I feel so much better all around when I'm active on a regular basis, and this got me back into that habit, which rocks!

Are you training for anything right now?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Our Deluxe Porch Swing

Ryan built me this amazing over-sized porch swing for our first anniversary, and it was my job to get cushions for it sewn...which took me about 8 months longer than it should've.  I originally was going to sew box cushions with a zipper-I really wanted to be able to take the cushions off to wash them-but that's above my sewing ability.  Like way above.  And the whole project was intimidating the hell out of me.  We'd had the fabric/foam for months (purchased when it was half off at Hancocks), but it took a serious strategic session with my mom, grandma, Aunt Noelle and Ryan to get me moving.

Do you ever do that?  Something is hard, you don't really know what you're doing, so you just put it off for months and stress out about it daily.  Plus the fabric wasn't cheap (even though we got it 1/2 off) and I really didn't want to mess it up.

Anyway....thanks to lots of heads being put together, they are done, and I LOVE how it all turned out!

Ryan has been screening in the deck all around the swing this summer so I don't get eaten up by mosquitoes!

The pillows I sewed using a basic envelope pillow tutorial.  We went with bigger pillows than planned, so I was short on fabric, and it gaps in the back and you can see the pillow form.  I'm going to get some gray ribbons to disguise that, so that's an easy fix.  (Ruthie has the same pillow covers!)

The back/bottom gray cushions were what gave me such headaches.  We started with a rectangular piece of foam, then glued this mildew-resistant layer to one side, forming a thicker rectangle.  I used 60" wide home decor fabric, and had the fold of the fabric hitting the front (so you just see smooth and no seams) and saved all of the seams/velcro for the back and the sides.  The sides of the cushions I wrapped like a present and hand stitched.  The back I hemmed then added velcro so I can remove the cushions.

That is super unscientific and probably not in the least helpful, but we really just winged was a lot of finagling, tacking this bit of fabric here, etc etc.  The back doesn't look perfect, but the cushions are removable, which was the goal-and no one's looking at the back anyway!

The swing is big enough that I can really stretch out and get comfy.  The dogs LOVE it!  I love sitting out here before work while the dogs play in the yard.  Overall, a killer anniversary present, and a sizable project crossed off my list.

Now I have a half finished skirt sitting in my sewing room; the invisible zipper has stopped me in my tracks.  I need to bring it to my grandma this weekend to get it finished up!

What have you been working on lately?