Yes, No, Maybe So…

I just wanted to take a quick second and make reference to one of Andrew and my biggest pet peeves.  Unfortunately the facebook generation has bred the non-commital young adult, it’s called the maybe button.  Andrew and I have made a point to always respond yes or no because a maybe doesn’t really tell the host/hostess anything.  I recently received a facebook wedding invitation and there were 12 people who responded maybe…hmmm so should they plan on these people for food or a chair or should they assume that maybe REALLY means no, but the person just didn’t want to flat out give them the news that they were coming.  Bottomline, wait until you are a for sure yes, or a for sure no before you respond to event invitations OR at least justify your maybe in the comments section!!!

Proud of this Man!

So I got to thinking about the posts following our trip to Boston and realized I got so wrapped up in our horrible trip home I forgot to post about how amazing my brother Kevin is!  My brother started training a couple years ago for races.  He started small…the CU mini triathlon i.e. 400 meter swim, 6 mile bike, and 2 mile run.  This is something I’m almost certain I could not do.  Okay I take that back, there are many children that do this race so I’m sure I could do it, but would probably want to die afterwards.  After this he started to train for races here and there. a 10 Mile run in Chicago, another short triathlon, perhaps a half marathon, and then the Austin Marathon.  I was privileged enough to get to fly down to Texas February of 2008 to watch Kevin AND my brother Bryan run the marathon.  At our pasta dinner the night before the race we asked the boys what their goals were for the race.  Bryan’s was to finish with his friend Chad and Kevin’s was to qualify for Boston.

For those of you who don’t know the Boston marathon is a race with relatively tough qualifying times.  Kevin would have to run a 3:10 in order to qualify.  This being his first marathon we thought this was a huge goal, but we encouraged him and believed he could do it.  At mile 13 he was still on pace and finished with a qualifying time that got him in with seconds to spare.  We were THRILLED for him.  At that moment I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my brother was amazing.

He didn’t stop there.  In October he completed a half Ironman.  I’m not totally sure what the breakdown is, but it is 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running.  I know it ends with a half marathon.  He finished in good time and was immediately pumped to do a full some day.  That’s right people: 140.6 miles of complete body exertion.  In fact he is set to do this in Kentucky on August 30th.  We are gathering a group to go down and cheer him on.  He says it should take him around 11 hours, I’m sure this will take TONS of training!

So that brings me to the Boston Marathon this year.  Andrew and I were at mile 22 and I kid you not he looked like he hadn’t even broken a sweat.  The pictures of him flexing below are at that mile mark and he looked like he was having a blast.  The people around him looked like they were tired, but Kevin was joking around and looking sharp!  The whole race was awesome to watch.  We got to see all the wheelchair athletes.  4 of which were from UofI so that was really fun to cheer for them.  Then a man who had two prosthetic legs ran by and totally amazed us all.  I unfortunately did not get to see Team Hoyt, but was glad Kevin was able to see these incredible men of inspiration.  If you’ve never seen a video of this dynamic duo click here.  It was their 1000th race! 

Kevin inspires me (and Andrew).  When we arrived home we set out to get healthier.  We may never run a marathon, but we do want to be happier people and I know fitness and nutrition will help this.  I’m bursting with pride for Kevin.  I wish we lived closer, I really do miss him on a daily basis. I’m hoping he will be able to come home for a couple months this summer while he trains for the Ironman and whips Andrew and I into shape.  Here are a few pictures of Kevin at the Boston, oh and I forgot to mention he finished in 3:04 which is very unusual. Most people do not requalify for the next year, but he went above and beyond and beat his previous time!  He truly is AMAZING!!

 kevinflex22

kevinfamily21

Remove Helmet Before Shopping!

If you have a motorcycle and you ride it to the store to go shopping, please take your helmet off before entering the store. If you do not remove your helmet you could thoroughly creep out the store clerk.  If you choose to keep your helmet on the least you could do is give a reason for such weird behavior i.e. it takes two people to put the helmet on, I have terrible helmet head, etc.  FYI a motorcycle helmet allows the clerk to see you just as well as wearing a pair of black pantyhose over your face…clearly wearing pantyhose over your face makes you looke like you are going to rob the store.  So you can all imagine what I thought when a man walked in with his motorcycle helmet on yesterday, told me he was just looking and then wandered around the store.  CREEPY!  I almost told him that he would have to remove the helmet before shopping, but then couldn’t figure out what reason I could give him, besides, “you look like you are going to rob the store.”  I didn’t think that would go over too well so I just kept my mouth shut.  Bottom line: Remove helmet BEFORE shopping!

In Honor of Earth Day!

So for Easter Andrew and I decided we would give each other an “Easter Basket.”  Technically there wasn’t a basket involved and we gave each other the gifts the night before Easter, but you get the idea.  Throughout the week I picked up odds and ends for Andrew that didn’t really culminate into a cool basket, but hey I tried.  Then Andrew (the incredible gift giver) whips out my awesome “Easter Basket.”  In our attempt to be more eco-friendly we have discussed making our own cleaning products so here is the best tool ever for making them:

Eco-Me Home kit

The bottles tell you exactly how much of each ingredient is needed.  Each ingredient is a household product that you use in your kitchen on a regular basis.  I am looking forward to making these products and being friendlier to the enviornment as we pamper our home!  He picked this kit up and the new B.Lime Green Store in downtown Champaign.  I still haven’t been able to check it out, but am looking forward to the day when I have time to stop by and see the lastest trends in green living!  I know this post was a day late for Earth Day, but the travel story had to take front seat yesterday!

And We Lived to Tell About it!

There were many titles that I thought about during our long trip home from Massachussets.  Topping the Charts (as in the worst day ever), shattered glass (you’ll see why in a few), Stranded, or Laura & Andrew and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Then I thought what am I truly thankful about today, and the answer was…that we actually lived to tell about our awful yesterday.

2:30 pm  We left Gramma and Grampas house after saying our goodbyes to everyone.

2:40 pm I suddenly become enraged and anxious inside as I see on the Garmin we are running 30 minutes behind schedule…I tell myself it will be okay, but have 1000 scenarios in my head about what we will do when we find out we missed our flight because we were running late!

3:00 pm We pull in to get gas for the rental car, knowing well that we will have to pay the $8.00 for the gallon we use between this station and the airport, but without the gas we would not have made it to the airport.  At this point I didn’t care if the gas was $20 a gallon, I just wanted to make our flight!

3:30 pm We arrive at the rental car place, quickly drop off our car, hop on the already waiting shuttle, and book it to the airport. 

3:45 pm (30 minutes before we need to board)  We try to check in at the electronic quiosk…wouldn’t you know they have no reservation on record for the Campbells, oh joy.  So we wait in line behind people who are actually not waiting in line, rather they are just congregating in the line forming area…gotta love it.  We finally realize this and get up to the ticket counter

3:55 pm We finally get confirmation and boarding passes.  She actually went without looking at us or talking to us for a full 10 minutes, giving me plenty of time to run scenarios through my head.  I’m just thankful she found the reservation. 

4:00 pm We glide through security without a hitch and have enough time to hit the potty before we board!  This was one of the only bright spots in my day!

4:15 pm We board on time, things are looking up!

4:45 pm We take off right on time and despite the inclement weather the take off was surprisingly smooth. 

5:15 pm Pilot comes on the loud speaker and no this is not a joke…he says to us, “Well ladies and gentlemen it appears we will be making an emergency landing in Albany New York.  Our windshield just shattered, not to worry, it is safety glass.  We have quite a sight up here.”

5:40 pm We land in New York, there to greet us are 4 emergency vehicles, 2 fire trucks and police officers.  It was an eerie experience, the entire airport cleared out for our arrival and everyone was ready to take action in case we crashed.  Somehow I didn’t panic.  A year or two ago you would have had to give me oxygen, but not yesterday, I just sat their quietly and hoped for the best (there was also some prayer happening there too).

6:30 pm We finally get switched over to another plane and take off with a projected landing time of 8:20.  Our next flight was scheduled to take off at 8:10, we were hoping for delays in Cincinnati and were optimistic that we might make the flight.

8:20 pm We land and simultaneously watch as our next flight was taking off, okay no big deal I tell myself, surely they will have one more flight out tonight.

8:30 pm We find out that despite our optimism we have in fact missed the last flight out.  They offer to put us up in a hotel OR pay for a taxi to drive us to Indianapolis where our car is parked.  We really needed to get home to pick up my aunt and work today so we took the taxi option.

9:00 pm We climb into a dirty cab with a check engine light on…hmm not a good start.

9:05 pm The cab has to pull over and shut the car off and restart it because the electrical system was going crazy.  Hmm that should have been the first clue that this would be an interesting ride.

10:30 pm We were just 30 miles away from our car when the battery of the taxi died.  He drove for a couple minutes with his lights off, on the highway, until he could pull over.  When he finally did pull over he had absolutely no solution for the problem.  Oh and I forgot to mention that he didn’t exactly speak English.  So he called 911, what is your emergency, hmmm he said my car broke down, they said they could send a tow truck, but could not help us beyond that.  Remember we have no lights, no flairs, and are stranded in the middle of the highway, oh yes, his car did not even make it to the shoulder, rather it was parked in the area between the on ramp and traffic moving at 70 MPH.

10:40 pm Andrew calls the police and explains the situation, they tell him they will “tell someone.”  No one ever came.

1045 pm Andrew calls yellow cab and tells them the situation, they inform him that the best they can do is send someone from Cincinati to pick us up which means we would be standing out in the cold on the highway (sitting in the car was too unsafe) for the next hour and 30 minutes.  Clearly this was an unacceptable solution.

11:00 pm The good samaritan arrives, what an answered prayer.  An off duty taxi driver jumped our taxi and offered us a ride to the hotel free of charge.  He was a very nice man and he and his friend kept us entertained until we arrived at the hotel.

11:30 pm We finally arrive at the hotel, tired, upset and rather miserable.

12:00 am We slip into bed and wait for Julianne to call us to let us know she arrived safely and could be picked up.

1:15 am Julianne calls, her flight (which was scheduled to be in at 10:35pm) had just arrived

1:35 am We pick Julianne up from the airport.

2:00 am All of us curl up in bed, and sleep hard.

Okay I’ll stop the play by play there.  You get the picture it was an awful day.  We drove home and arrived in time for Julianne to make it to her hair appointment.  I thought I was going to arrive at work on time, but unfortunately forgot my keys were at our apartment.  Slight detour and into work 15 minutes late.  Better safe and late, than never!

Note:  We are happy, we are alive, and today is a much better day!  We write this to remember, not to dwell.  God is good, he was there and he protected us. We know we will laugh about this soon, maybe not today, but soon!

What’s in a Name?

With all the babies being born and names being given I have started to notice the importance of a name.  Names give identity.  The first question asked upon meeting a baby is, “what is their name?”  It isn’t usually how old is he, or how much does he weigh or is he a little brother.  It is almost always, “what is his name?”  It is as if a name automatically makes them their own person.  They are no longer, the baby, or he, or she, or your baby, they are suddenly their own person!  I know that the meaning of a name is not really important to people anymore, but I know in Bible times this was HOW babies were named.  It cracks me up to think about how people used to be named.  Esau was apparently hairy when he was born, so his parents named him something that meant hairy.  Can you even imagine naming someone HAIRY, not even Harry, but hairy??  And then this same set of parents name the twin Jacob becuase he was holding Esau’s heal…yes people, Jacob means heel holder!  Our neice and nephew both have last names as first names so their are no wacky meanings with either of them…bummer 🙂  Interesting Fact:  Their first and middle names were both originally surnames!  Madisyn Lee and Hudson Reid.  A very popular name these days is Kennedy which is a very cute name, but I just don’t think I could name my sweet baby something that means misshappen or armoured head.  My name Laura Elizabeth means victors’ crown of laurel, my God is abundance.  Andrew Scott means: Manly Scotsman.  Andrew and I have joked around about what we will some day name our munchkins, but when all is said and done I think the meaning of the name will sway me much more than most people.

Names also make people feel important.  When someone uses my name directly before speaking with me it makes me feel like this conversation is only intended for me.  When I am at work and people use my name it makes me feel like a friend, not just someone who waits on them.  It always slightly annoyed me when I would be eating out with people and they would reference the waiter or waitress by their first name that they learned from reading their name tag.  Now I can see how that probably made that person feel like they were important. 

So what’s in a name?  Apparently a lot.  There is meaning, heritage, honor, value and importance.  If you are naming a baby anytime soon, choose wisely!  If you want to look up your name for fun I used this site: http://www.behindthename.com

We’re Back

We made it back in one piece, just barely!  After seeing the weather report for our trip home we made the executive decision to leave at 10:00PM to drive home.  We thought driving slightly tired was way better than driving through hail storms which was the predicted forecast.  So we packed up and headed out, We had our system down, two hours drive, two hours ride with driver, and four hours sleep.  This kind of worked for the first leg of the trip and then total exhaustion took over my body and I skipped out of my last drive shift.  Luckily my father’s adrenaline was pumping and he powered us home the last couple hours. 

Poor Andrew suffered through the 16 hour drive with a wretched cold.  He didn’t get really sick until Saturday afternoon.  I’m sure he would have preffered to get a good night sleep and then drive home, but he was a great sport about our decision to drive through the night.  We arrived home around 3:00PM and both crawled into bed.  He stayed there for the duration of the evening while I was at church and a friend’s house.  I convinced him to stay home today seeing as waiting for the bus in cold rainy weather is not conducive to getting better.  He is working from home and soon will be bringing me my FAVORITE lunch…Jimmy John’s.

My spot on the news went well this morning.  As far as I can tell the link is not up yet, but I will continue to monitor the site illinoishomepage.net and let you know when you can view my 5 minutes of fame. 

We are happy to be home and excited to turn around in 4 days and go to the Boston Marathon!

Welcome to Texas, the Lone Star State!

Whenever we take driving trips I make up a song that says welcome to __________ the __________ __________ state. I try to make the tune of the song go with style of the state. For instance when we pulled into Arkansas I sang a honky tonk song that went, “Welcome to Arkansas, the Natural State” It is something that I think is fun and it gives everyone something to look forward to as we enter state after state!

So we made it! We pulled into the driveway at 6:15 this morning and of course toured the nursery, visited with everyone, met Hudson and then slept for a few hours. We are enjoying the 95 degree weather. We took two walks, shopped at the outlets and ate dinner outside. I got to hold our sweet nephew for a long time tonight as he slept. He is such a tiny little peanut! Well, it’s time for bed, more updates soon!

And We’re Off!

I get off work in 8 mintues, drive home, hop in the car, and then we’re off. I haven’t had a moment to breathe today, but I think everything got done that absolutely had to! I’m in a you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours situation right now which has landed me on the Champaign Morning show bright and early Monday morning. If it’s decent I’ll post the link (after Monday!), if it’s not….well then you’ll have to find it yourself if you really want to see it 🙂 I’ll hopefully get a few good pictures of Hudson and post them tomorrow. Pray for a quick, safe, and enjoyable trip!