Saturday, May 31, 2008

Buffalo Race Prep

Nothing like a race prep night. Wes, Erek, Angel, and I signed up for the Buffalo Tri Sunday June 1

I am excited for the first tri of the season. It will be a "warm up" race for me. I want to focus on the details. I am well aware that I do not have much of a half throttle in competition so I am committing to going into each event slowly and then building as I go. I want to pay attention to technique and most of all avoid injury!
Erek, Wes and I have swam the frigged open waters Fri night and Sat afternoon. It is a different feel epically when the water temp is just above 55. These were my first swims with a Tri wet suit. It gives a completely different feel. Better but different. The big issue will be the transition having to change out of it. I want to get very smooth at this because I will be using my suit in most if not all of my tri's this season.
I will do my best to up date as soon as I can.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Alaska Training

Training has brought us to Alaska this past weekend. It was life training at it's finest. Bijou did a fantastic job on the 5 hour flight. It is always handy to have grandpa, grandma and Auntie along. We made the 2 hour car ride from Anchorage to Soldotna in about 3 hours, lots of stopping. Alaska is amaizing. It is seemingly never ending beauty. I hope to get some pictures up but no time tonight.
Our tour of the school was great. So many great things are happening up there. The ministry that they are doing up there is very creative and needed. Janet and I are prayerfully considering jumping into it someday. God is doing amaizing things in the lives of the native people there.
Training has become a vital part of life for me. It has given me a positive place to process all thing in life that need thought. Naturally training up there was a necessity. There is such a connection made when you get up early to spend time in out in the raw elements. The Alaskan terrain was just that much more amaizing. We arrived Thursday and I was able to swim early Friday in the Keni High School pool. What friendly people and a great pool I might add. It was a misty rainy morning but it let up just enough after the swim for me to get a 30 min run in when I got back to the Hill's house, where we were staying. I wanted to run at an easy pace but the surrounding were so exciting I found it hard to keep it slow. A long hill was at the half way point and I couldn't resist pushing to the top. I found out first hand just how important nutrition is. I did not bring any of my protein, vitamin / recovery stuff. Much sustained soreness followed after my workouts, not typical. So important! Saturday morning we packed up our rental van and headed to Seward, a little harbor town on Resurrection Bay. We had been there in 01 and had to visit it again. What a treat. Sunday morning Bijou woke up at 5 am and Janet decided to stay up and give her a bath before breakfast so I took off for a hour run up the bay to the end of the road. Imagine starting the run on the docks with fishing boats, a big cruise ship and tour boats galore. Past the boat docks you jump on a walking path that takes you along the water past the town to a dirt road that follows right on the water. Water directly in the left and sheer mountain's climbing to 8-10,000 foot peaks to the right. As you run along waterfalls stream off the mountains and the sun reflects off the snow high on the tops. As I got further from the town I see a small object cruising along the shoreline. It's not every day you run along side a sea lion. I'm sure it wasn't every day he swam along side a runner. He followed me for about 20 yards or so and kept to the area he was in. Later down the road I happened upon a pair of sea otters. More curious than the sea lion, they really cruised along the shore line to check me out. Just beautiful, graceful creatures. What a treat! Down to the end of the road at Lowell Point where some beautiful ocean cabins were built on stilts along the shoreline. Turning around into the sunrise was a treat. Along the road back the pair of otters were gone but my sea lion was still cruising the shoreline. He was less interested in me this time but it was still a treat to run by. My legs were pretty tired buy the time I got near the hotel. I have never run that early before and without breakfast first, I was past empty. A one hour run for the history books! A quick breakfast and on the road back to Anchorage. Another 2 hr car ride of breath taking views.
A quick 5 hr flight back to Minnesota and that wrapped up a quick Alaska trip.

What a treat!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

North to Alaska...

The rush is on. Thanks to Sun County's great last minute specials Janet, Bijou, Mom, Dad, Jayna and I are heading to Alaska to visit Mark Hill in Soldotna Alaska. It's Janet's last week to travel before the baby. Adam drove up with Mark (an old collage buddy) the summer of 06. When he got back he said that someday we would have to see it. That some day is this weekend for us. Janet and I were in this area in 01 and really look forward to seeing the school that Mark is running up there. If you are interested in checking out the school go to http://aecak.org

Training over the past week has been tiring. After the half marathon I felt pretty good. The day after I went on a long bike ride with and old team mate (Angel Colon-Perez) from the Disney tri last year. This year he is doing the Madison Ironman. Big time crazy! Sunday was his light bike day so I decided to join him. Three hours and 48 miles later we were done. Probably a bit much after a half marathon race. None the less, I was careful training this week not to over due it. luckily my half-iron training schedule is on a "recovery week" where you ramp down from a four week ramp up period. GOOD TIMING!

Tonight we had a team swim. It was a big night for most of us. The workout was a few short warm ups, then a half hour continuous swim. My longest continuous (staying in the freestyle the whole time) swim by double. It was a great mental challenge to get through the mental/physical fatigue that comes and goes. Holding your stroke and focusing on long efficient technique is a great challenge. I was right around 2000 meters in the long set. A mile is 1750, what a confidence booster! I'm sure it gets easier the more you do "long swims" like that. It is such a great feeling to know I can do it. I have been working on my swim the hardest over the past two months and it's really paying off. Erek and Wes have thankfully taken to the swim much faster that I did. I am very proud of their progress. They have accelerated at an amaizing pace and the race is still over a month and a half away.

One of the reasons the swim was a great success is because our coaches challenged us before we started the long set to focus on why we are training. We went around and each of us named the person/s we are training in honor/memory of. It is not an option for me to quit or complain when you are focused on those who are fighting cancer or have passed on because of it.

PERSPECTIVE! we all need it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Maple Grove Half

I had the great fun of racing the first ever Maple Grove Half Marathon today. Erek and Laura Swenson signed up first and then myself, Sean Pease and Wes Aldinger. It was a blast running with so many friends again. Everyone did fantastic! The weather was perfect 60's with a light wind. The course was unexpectedly hilly but we all had biked it in preperation for the race. 656 people finished. Mr Wes Aldinger got the number three for his race number and in his first half he took 3rd in his age group to take home a medal. What a work horse. Erek and Sean finished super close together 85th and 87th overall. Laura raced her first race in quite some time and did great finishing 325 in the female division.
I personally had a good race. I was fortunate enough to run with a great guy. We enjoyed a similar pace and chatted through the edtire race. His name was Ben and I was thankful for him because I worked through side cramps through half the race. I learned an important lesson on something I preach all the time. Never change anything on race day. I chose to run with a sports drink that I only had bike trained with. Not good for running. My conversation with Ben kept my mind off the discomfort and crossed the line with nothing left at the finish. Along the entire race I could hear someone not far behind us. I expected that person to pass me in the final stretch because I had nothing left to push at the finish. After I got across the finish I turned around too see my good friend Wes! In his first race he finishes right on my tail. So in the 30 something category he took 3rd and I took second. That is in part due to the first and second 30 something finishers took 2nd and third overall in the race and so are not eligible for the age group medals. 11th overall at 1:29:25.

As fun as the race was Janet and Bijou waiting for me at the finish. Playing with Bijou and cheering everyone else in was a fantastic delight.
Next race June 1 Buffalo MN. Wes and I are doing the sprint tri!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Spring Flowers

There are so many things poppin' up around here it's like the trees and flowers popping outside. If you are here to see the BABY POOL calender click on the post in the archive titled BABY POOL!.

I had a busy weekend of training and family fun. Saturday morning was the TNT group bike ride in Afton. 24 miles of hills, hills and more hills. Mix in two flat tires for me and that makes for a personally challenging day mentally and physically trying to catch the pack. Good times. Sunday was eventful. Fantastic church service with Janet and Mom. After the service I got a hour swim in and then went to the store to relieve mom from working on mother's day. She was not scheduled but someone called in sick and dad needed help. Eventually we got to enjoy a great home cooked meal with Erin and Adison at mom and dads.

Bijou is growing as fast as the grass outside. Taking care of her babies. Cuddling them with her blankie and feeding them, putting them in our baby swing that is back out now. Kitties and babies are her thing. What a joy to see her little personality blooming.

If you haven't done it all ready. Get in the BABY POOL! The dates will fill up quick the closer we get. Click on the Archive BABY POOL and see what's available. E-mail me the date you want, or just comment on the bottom. Make your donation, and your in! Help us get the Leukemia Lymphoma Society to their goal this year of raising one billion dollars in their 20th year of making a difference in the fight against cancer.

* * * * BABY POOL ! * ! * ! *

Prest Baby Pool (Black and White = $10 / Red = $20)

JUNE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15

Mark Hill

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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16

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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17

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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18

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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19

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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20

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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Suzanne G

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21

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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Mark Hill

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22

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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23

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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24

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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25

Tammy B

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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26

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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27

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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28

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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Misty W

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D: 6pm-12am

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29

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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30

A: 12am-6am

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Molly Sells

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Clark Sells

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D: 6pm-12am

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JULY



1

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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2

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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3

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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4

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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5

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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6

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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7

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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8

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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9

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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10

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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11

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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12

A: 12am-6am

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B: 6am-12pm

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C: 12pm-6pm

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D: 6pm-12am

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

God Blessed

I survived "the great Bijou move." The initial shock was a bit strong. Bijou decided to wake up from her peaceful sleep just before Janet walked in the door. I told Janet that I had a surprise for her when she got home. I was so excited, Bijou was in peaceful slumber and then she woke up, not happy. So Janet walks in and hears her baby crying. It took about 30 seconds and the look on my face to realize where the crying was coming from. Not good. It did end up great though. We took our little one out to spend some time with mommy and after a while brought her back to her crib and she went back down like always. It's been roses ever since. She loves her room. Mommy loves that she is up there and the transition ended up great. The power of prayer works!

It is so exciting to have summer bearing down on us. Full of so many fun things, great weather, great traditions, busy with fun. I all most want time to slow down or stop. We have been enjoying so much of life, our precious little girl, Janet and the amaizing glow of pregnancy. So many fantastic friends to support us. I am so overwhelmed with all God has blessed us with.

Training is solid. I have had to skimp out on some suggested longer training stuff this week but we don't sweat the small stuff. We do what we can and enjoy what I can get in. Sometimes I can make it up.

Mommy left for a business trip today (wed) to Fri afternoon. It's only two nights but I must admit, I miss my sugar pie tons. I am getting so excited to experience the challenges of having two little ones! What a blessing it will be!

I meet with and old friend/mentor for lunch today and it gave me the opportunity to reflect on the major points of life since we had last really communicated. About thirteen years gone buy. Before our lunch I had some time to fill so I sat and charted out the major chapters of my life since then and how they have made me who I am today. What a great thing to do. I found myself writing "God's consistency" in every chapter. Good or bad. All learning experiences. All consistently moving me into the person I am today. So undeserving, so blessed!

Friday, May 2, 2008

May I See Good Weather?

It's the end of another week. I did a lot of swimming this week. The program I am following for my first half Ironman (July 20) has me focusing on each of the events specifically at different times. I wish I could say that I found my swimming stride this week, but I did get a lot of conditioning.

The team TNT schedule has shifted it's Saturday morning training's to the bike instead of the run. You know, to take advantage of the good weather and all.....except there is no good weather to be found. So tomorrow morning I will be bundled up expecting rain and snow flurries at 8am down at Lake Calhoun. Seriously 37 degrees, yuck. I don't know how many times I have gone into bad weather training thinking that this one will be the last week of bad weather. My first Tri this season is the Buffalo sprint June 1! The ice came off last week! I did purchase a wet suit on clearance this winter, but I have a feeling were going to need a bit more than that.

Patience, and perspective, those are the key. This will make the good weather that much better.

A big day today in the house. Bijou moved into her room tonight. Mom and dad have been enjoying the convince of having her in our massive walk in closet. Before you think "crazy" it's bigger than the room I grew up in and it has two windows. It is the perfect situation for a baby. Number two is just about eight weeks out and we do not want Bijou to see the new baby coming in and signal a big change for her. So, we played all night moving all her books, stuffed animals and toys. She did a little whining for about 5-10 minuets at bed time (like normal) and as I have been typing she went out. It was a good transition for Bijou. Now the real test....mommy comes home soon and she didn't know that dad was doing this tonight. Now before you think I'm being insensitive I must say that Janet knew that we had to do it. Weeks ago for that matter. She just didn't ever want to do it. So, pray for me, that I make it though the night.