Sunday, August 21, 2016

A good for the soul run!

My Saturday run was amazing! It's been a few weeks since I've done a long run, and I sure have missed them. It was peaceful and quiet, with an off and on rain. It was just what I needed, one of those good for the soul runs.
 My running goal this month is 105 miles. I have 38 to go.


My twinnie's hubby (Kristin's dad) had a welcome home party for her. It was great to see my family again!
After spending 24/7 for 6 weeks with them both, I've been missing them like crazy this week. Thankfully they only live 10 minutes away from me.



Now that I'm back, I've been trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my life. Kinda crazy at almost 39 years old! Kind of depressing.

Here's the mumbo jumbo that's been going on.
I have to find a job. What do I even want to do? What I want to do, I can't do because I have no degree. Should I go back to school for 4 years? Sure, that sounds fun. But wait, if I do that I will never have a baby. But wait, my husband doesn't want one anyway. What am I gonna do about that? Why did I not realize how important education was 20 years ago? Oh, I thought I would be a stay at home mom, like my mom. Why didn't I realize life doesn't go how you planned it? What should I do. Well, I can be a nanny again. Ha! No thank you. All I really want is to be a mom. I wish I could go back in time. But I can't. So I have to start now. Start what? I have absolutely no clue.

And there you have 30 seconds in Katie's brain. Fun, huh? This is why I run. :)

I did get to spend a few hours with my favorite 5 year old ever. (This is the girl I nannied since she was 6 weeks old)
 I also got to see her baby sister, who I adored. It's heartbreaking that now she just looks at me, and no longer recognizes me. (It's only been 2.5 months!) Gahhh.


This morning I have a phone interview with a bank, and then lunch later with a sweet friend.
Have a happy Monday!!


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

We're going home

This will be my last post from here in Chicagoland. Today we go home!
It's hard to believe it's been 6 weeks since we arrived at the Ronald McDonald House.

Just in case anyone is reading for the first time, my 13 year old niece was diagnosed with a brain tumor the end of May. Her doctors wanted to send her here for radiation, because they have the best Proton center in the US. My nanny job had just ended, so it worked out perfectly for me to come along with them.

Kristin has done so good. She's had some hard days, but she has pushed through, and now the end is here.
 She will still have chemo in Louisville until next Spring, but the doctors were able to remove every trace of the tumor, and said she'll live a long, healthy life. We are so blessed!

 We've met a lot of kids here at the house who had the same kind of tumor that K had, who aren't nearly as lucky. Some of the kids cancer has spread to their spine, one who can no longer walk, and can't talk very well, one who possibly lost sight in one eye, I'm not real sure what his story is. An 11 month old baby who left right before we arrived, his cancer is incurable, and he only has months left to live, and many more.
 So many heartbreaking stories from this house.

But staying here has been wonderful. It truly is a home away from home. They do everything possible to make their guests comfortable, they give us whatever we need or want. They have closets filled with toys, crafts, all kinds of things for the kids (and their siblings) to pick out. Nice stuff too, not cheapo stuff.
We have meals, brunch, cookies- something every day provided by volunteers.
One of the volunteers said she is here twice a month, and there is over a 2 month wait just to be able to volunteer here! That is amazing!

We have really had a great time. We've done some fun things and gone to some neat places. We weren't able to go into Chicago (an hour from us) because that would require a lot of walking, and K doesn't like to do too much of that right now. We plan on making another trip next year when she's feeling all better and can really enjoy it.
 Of course, as I've said a million times, I've LOVED running here. I think I could run here every day of my life, and never run in the same place twice. There are that many trails and paths!

I want to say THANK YOU to those of you who have sent Kristin cards, had your kiddos draw pictures for her, even sent her packages. She was so impressed that my "running friends", who don't even know her, would send her things. Thank you all a million times.


Graduating from the Proton Center
6 weeks of radiation


Here's to tomorrow!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Running lately and something I'm thinking about

My running goal for the month of July was 100 miles. I ran 103. So I decided to do 105 this month.
It will be harder to stick to once I get back home, but I will do it!

Last weekend when I was in WI, I got to run on the Eisenbahn Trail. One of the many reasons I love visiting my sister is being able to run there.


This is a 25 mile flat, mostly paved trail that is a former railroad corridor. It is beautiful. They have a marathon and half marathon on it every year.

 But I don't want to do that. Instead I want to run to the end and back, 50 miles. In October. It'll be even prettier in the Fall, with all the leaves changing colors. Not a race, just do it on my own. (And getting my sisters to walk some of it too) Hmmm...can I run 50 miles? Or is that just crazy?
 Something I'm considering...

I ran 5 miles on Saturday, and then Sunday walked 3 miles with my twinnie.



Last night I went back to Cantigny Park to run for the last time. More beauty.
I don't know if I'll ever be back here again. I sure will miss it.






Yes, I cut my hair. A few months ago I never would've dreamed I would go from super long, to super short hair. But I love it!
Now I'm off to pack, heading back home tomorrow!









Sunday, August 7, 2016

Weekend in Wisconsin

Happy Monday!

 It's hard to believe this is our last week at the Ronald McDonald House.
6 weeks has flown by. We head back home on Thursday, after Kristin gets her last treatment. That girl is ready to get back home!

On Friday I got to run with Lori. She lives here in the area, and we'd been trying to get together since I got here, so I was excited it finally worked out.
 She is training for her first marathon, Chicago, and is running for Ronald McDonald House!
 She'll be coming to Louisville next year for her first Ironman. She's amazing!

On Friday Annie, Kristin and I went to Wisconsin to spend the weekend with my sister and her fam.
It was so good to see them and all their kiddos again.



This is the newest little love, Marci. I adore her! I want a baby girl just like her.

We went into the town of Cedarburg and walked around. They took us into Amy's Candy Kitchen. I so bad wanted one of everything!


They are known for their caramel apples. I mean, look at these!

We got the Almond Joy caramel apple and we all shared it. That thing cost $12, and was worth every penny. And calorie. :)


They also took us to Hamburger Haus. This little place is known for their HUGE ice cream cones. A single scoop cone is actually like 5 scoops. Y'all know I loved that!

(Not my pic)
Marci wasn't sure what to think of it!


My brother in law is such a good Daddy to his kiddos!


I promise, one last pic! We stopped to take a pic of this house. It was on Extreme Makeover Home Edition awhile ago. Such a beautiful house! (Although it looks like they've let the landscaping go)


And that's it for my weekend. Of course you know I did some running while I was there! I'll talk about that tomorrow.

 What did you do this weekend?









Monday, August 1, 2016

I did it!!

I cannot believe it's already August! I'm sure it's because I've been gone from home most of the summer, but it sure seems to be flying.

As I've mentioned, mid July I decided to make a goal to run 100 miles for the month. I've only done that twice in my 4 years of running, the last time being in October of last year.

Saturday morning my twinnie and I went to Cantigny Park, a gorgeous park that we hadn't been to yet. The weather was nice, not too hot, and we were just surrounded by beauty everywhere!






This was exactly where I wanted to finish up my 100 miles. I ended up with 8 for the day, making it 103 miles for the month!  I know many runners do that much, plus more each month, I hope to keep this up!
It was not always easy. I love running, but towards the end I was ready for a break. Even just for a day. 


I did it!!
As for Annie, she has started walking! In July she walked over 80 miles! Every morning we go out together and I run, and she walks. She's losing weight like crazy, and I'm so super proud of her!!

After finishing up our run/walk, we picked up my niece and went to the Morton Arboretum. This place is huge!! They have trees from all over the world. We decided to take a tram tour so we could see it all in an hour. We still didn't see the whole place, it's 1700 acres.

I saw LOTS of these signs though. Apparently they don't like runners. Maybe they think we can't enjoy it if we're running through it??


 As we were on the tram we passed this bench. We knew we had to go back and find it to take some pictures on it.  It was perfect for Kristin and this journey she's on.


 Now I'm thinking about August goals... I definitely want to do 100 again, maybe 105.
It's so tough getting in a lot of miles when I'm at home though. The main reason being in my town we have one tiny park to run in, and it's not that great. I do my long runs at a big park in Louisville, but that is the ONLY place I ever run, and it gets incredibly boring after so long.

This place has tons and tons of places to run. They have so many forest preserves, it's just unbelievable!

 But I'll make it work somehow. 





Friday, July 29, 2016

5 things Friday!

Time is just flying by, here at the good ole Ronald McDonald House. Make it slow down!

Here's 5 things from my week...

1. My beautiful sister came to see us. She's the one who lives in Wisconsin, so we don't see her often. But since she's only 2.5 hours away from Chicago, there is no reason not to get together! (We'll be heading her direction next weekend)

How adorable are my nephews! It just kills me that I can't be a part of their daily lives, that they have to be reminded of who I am, but that's just life. I cherish every moment I do get to spend with them.



2. I love love love makeup. I just recently discovered Sephora and Ulta, I don't know why it took me so long. My life will never be the same.
 I had a giftcard to Ulta, and knew I wanted to try out the new contouring kits.
This stuff is awesome. I'm not yet a pro at applying it, but I'm having fun trying. (Thanks to a lot of YouTube videos)


3. Another love of mine...Goodwill. There are so many around here.
My twinnie found these booties for me. They are brand new from Target, and were still tied together with the tag attached. I love finds like this! I can't wait to wear them.


4. My sweet niece is doing really good. So far she really isn't having any side effects at all. (Besides losing her hair) She has days where she is more tired than others, but overall she feels good. #thankyouJesus

One night when we should've been sleeping, we were
playing on Snapchat (katiefictm)

5. As I've mentioned, my running goal this month is 100 miles.
As of today I'm at 95!! Tomorrow I'll run 10, and then possibly 5 more on Sunday. So I'm going to surpass that goal! I'm so excited. I've only ran 100 miles in a month twice, and I've never gone over that.
 It's easy to get all these runs in with the beautiful views around here.


Volunteers come in every night and make dinner for everyone in the house. A few times a week a group comes in to make cookies. These were made by some girl scouts, and one of them left the sweetest card.



That's it for me, have a lovely weekend!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Visitors and a symphony in the park

We had a busy weekend with lots of visitors and activities!

 A friend of my twinnie's came to visit for a few days.  She is also a runner, so she and I went for a run Friday morning. Even though it was hot, I ran my fastest pace since being here. Running with someone makes such a difference. It's easy to talk so much that you zone out and forget you're even running. It was wonderful!


Saturday night the 4 of us went to Symphony in the Park. It was amazing.
I've been to a few symphony in the park type of events, there is nothing better than sitting under stars listening to this gorgeous music, with good friends. (BTW, this is the only time I listen to this type of music!) They played some Fiddler on the Roof, loved it!!


My twinnie with her BFF

On Sunday my parents, and Annie's other 2 kiddo's came to see us again. We really didn't do a whole lot, just enjoyed spending time together.

I have the sweetest niece's and nephew's!

Sunday was Braedon's 12th birthday
So glad we got to celebrate with him

My Daddy is the best


We had to introduce them to Lou Milnati's. They loved it. Even my mom, who isn't much of a pizza fan. I sure will miss Chicago food when we go back home. (Although my waistline won't!)


 My dad is an incredible photographer, I had fun playing with his camera. I look like a professional, right? ;)

See that little tiny muscle in my arm? (Or is that fat...)
I've been working these baby's out like crazy!

Monday afternoon the fam went back to KY.
2.5 more weeks until we're all together again.

As for my 100 mile goal for July, I am now at 81 miles! I'm so excited, I haven't ran this much in almost a year. I love it!

Have you ever been to a symphony?