Monday, June 18, 2007

No Fathers Here

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. This year, as the past 5 have also been, was hard for us as we have no fathers in our family. Literally. Derek's father passed away in 1992, my grandfather passed away in 1998, my father in 2002, and my uncle in 2006. So, it's just us girls and my husband. We didn't have a father's day celebration at our house. It's sad, because we miss our dads so much. Watching all the new fathers with their kids is also not much fun, since we've been trying to get there for so long.

So what did we do? Well, after breakfast at the Waffle House, I rode 45 miles and Derek did yardwork. (He rode 15 prior to princess suzanne even rising from bed). Then we got in the pool and just relaxed. We grilled steaks and had a beer. Why? Because both of our dads would have loved that.

Derek's father loved to cook out. He loved to share a beer with friends, and he was fiercely loyal to those he considered friends. He loved to watch baseball, and loved to be involved in Derek's life. He coached most of Derek's baseball teams, and nothing was more important than his son and his wife. I only knew Derek's father for about a year before he died, but he was a wonderful person. He welcomed me into the family without hesitation. I still remember one of the last times we all went to dinner. As Derek and I were leaving to go back to school he hugged me and told me he loved me. I was so touched. That hug and those words meant so much to me. I had been completely drawn in to his family. They were my family now.

Derek's dad was career air force. He served 2 tours in Vietnam and was an air traffic controller at Da Nang (sp?). When he retired from the air force he went to work for the FAA as a Flight Service Specialist. The pilots would call and give him their flight plans and he would provide the weather reports for their routes. He had a very important job, one that he loved.

My father never knew his father. I often wondered how then he knew how to be such a good Daddy since he didn't have one. I never doubted that I was the center of his world. He always made time for me when he got home from work. Whether it was throwing the ball in the backyard, going for a swim, or coming to a basketball game, he was always there for me. I remember how when I made the soccer team in high school. I just assumed that my parents wouldn't make it to my away games. After all, the games were at 5:00 and Daddy had to work. But he came to almost all of them, sometimes driving as much as an hour to watch me play. That meant so much to me.

He also was perfect at the daddy hug. You know how it is when you are upset about something. Sometimes you just have to cry it out. Even as a high schooler I could crawl into his lap and he'd hold me and let me cry. He didn't try to "fix" it, he'd just comfort me. Later, when I was just sniffling, he'd put whatever it was into perspective for me. And I'd always feel better.

One thing my dad and Derek's dad had in common was how they both loved to brag on their kids. My dad never held back. His unwavering confidence in me made me into the woman that I am now. I am not afraid to attempt new things because of it. Derek is the same way.

I miss my dad so much. Thoughts of him cross my mind at least several times throughout the day. Every time I am out running or riding, I think Dad would be so proud of me. He'd be there at my races, grinning from ear to ear. Dad's special song for me was "Daddy's Little Girl" by the Mills Brothers. Some days I just have to pull out the CD and listen to it. It makes me smile.

Derek will be a wonderful daddy to our daughter. You know how some men are just meant to be daddies to little girls? That is my Derek. He will be perfect for it. He has that same sweet, encouraging demeanor that my dad had. I can't wait to see him with our little Tiger. She will be the apple of his eye for sure.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Festival of Flowers Olympic Triathlon

is under my belt!! Race was on Sunday, June 10th and I had a great race. Finish time was 3:03:47. I did the Swim (1500M) in 35:15, the bike(24 miles) in 1:24: and change, and the run (10K) in 1:01:37 (I think). Overall I was pleased. The 10K was a PR for me by almost a minute.

The swim was good although the water was really choppy and a few sighting buoys were missing. So a lot of us got off track and had to make up time getting around the 1st one. And there was a man in distress hanging on the first sighting buoy that a bunch of us stopped for and yelled for a lifeguard. Other than that, the swim was uneventful.

The bike was on rough pavement. Rolling hills. Headwind on the final 8 miles. That was tough but manageable. About halfway through the bike I heard the motorcycle with the bike officials come by, and the Entertainer was playing on their sound system. This was my grandfather's favorite song, and he would get me to play it for him on the piano, so when I heard it, it was like a pat on the back from Grandaddy. I immediately picked up the pace a bit then!

The run was hot, and it started on an incline. I went out too fast and had to take a walk break in the first mile to get my HR down. But my overall pace was still ok, so I went with it. Paced myself off an older guy in front of me. With about 1.5 miles to go I picked up the pace and pushed my pacing partner to do the same. We passed one of the guys who ran the marathon with me last summer (but finished about 2.5 hours ahead of me!) and put another 3 minutes of separation between us. I ended up beating that guy by 11 minutes!! I can hardly believe it. I may have placed 10th of 12 girls in my age group, but passing that guy literally made my race. (He started 8 minutes ahead of me in the first wave of the swim).

Here are some pictures. I can't wait to take our new daughter to races. So many kids were here to cheer on their parents and they looked like they were having a ball swimming in the lake, etc.

I am the one with the teal green shirt. I can't figure out why I can't keep my arms down when I run. I look like a bird flapping my wings!!! The finish line was at the top of a short but steep hill. The race director really has a sense of humor....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Clemson Sprint Tri

Murphy's Law: it happened on my way to this tri. Clemson is about 1 hour from our house, so I'm heading over the morning of the tri and when I am about 6-7 miles away, I get 2 flat tires. I freak out and finally end up waking up our friends Darlene and Jason to look up my coach's phone number on her website. I call her and she sends a friend to pick me up (come to find out the girl she sent is someone I was friends with in college!) I make it to the tri just in the nick of time. Adrenaline is flowing... I do pretty good for me, I met my goals. Finishing time was 1:27:18. I was 65th of 138 women and 12th of 16 in my age group (35-39). The tri was a 750 m swim, 11 mile bike ride, and a 5K run. I wanted to average over 17 mph on the bike (I avged 17.44) and I wanted to run the 5K in under 30 min (I did it in 29:58). I am very excited that I met my goals!

PS. I won $1000 from USA Triathlon for answer their online survey. Now I can pay off the new bike!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

So, What's new?

Referrals have arrived for families logged in Oct 27- Nov 1 2005. One thing I have noticed about these referrals is that most of the babies are younger. I've seen lots of 8 month olds and even one 6 month old. Hmmm. I think this is interesting.

Our agency still believes we will get our referral in the March, April, May 2008 time frame. So that means another year. I hope that our wait won't get longer than this, but you never can tell. It's frustrating because those outside of the Chinese adoption community don't know about the long waits, all they know is that we're waiting, and thought we'd have our daughter by now, so we get all kinds of questions about it. I've even had some people approach me about going to a different country or considering domestic adoption. Which really bothers me. One, we are pretty well vested in China. This is where our daughter is. Two, we chose China over domestic and other countries because it felt right. Just because the wait is getting longer does not mean that it's still not right for us. It was not a decision we took lightly therefore it is not a decision we will change. I know people have our best interests at heart, but it really bothers me when they say "so and so adopted from Guatemala. They only had to wait XX months. Have you considered that?" Or I know someone who is pregnant and considering adoption, do you want me to give her your name? I have nothing against domestic adoption. Many many many times it works out perfectly. But many many many times someone ends up with a broken heart because it didn't work out. No, my heart has had enough over the past few years. I do not want to go through a broken heart again. Waiting is hard, but at least there is a bright ray of sunshine at the end.

I have my first Tri of the summer on 5/12. I'll be sure to post pictures of the event. It is a tri that has an open water swim in Lake Hartwell, and I'll be wearing a wetsuit for it since water temps will likely be below 70. I just bought a used wetsuit and you should see me trying to put it on. I have a hard time getting it over my calves and knees. I feel like Ross in the Friends' episode where he's wearing the leather pants. He starts to sweat and can't get them back up after being in the bathroom. He tugs and pulls and sweats more. The pants aren't budging. He adds powder and then lotion. Still no luck and now he's made a paste! This is exactly how I feel putting the daggum thing on. It's pretty funny. I'm glad I can entertain Derek.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Nothing to see here, move along....

Ok, so I am not quite sure why I haven't been motivated to post more regularly. I suppose it's because there's not been a whole lot to say since the new year began. Now that Spring is here, I am out of my funk and feeling more post-worthy, so here you go....

Let's see, not much happened in January. In February, I went to Tybee Island and ran in the Memorial Health Half Marathon. I started out with a goal of running this race in 2:45:00. But during practice a few weeks before that, I ran it in 2:40:00 without much effort really, so I revised my goal to a rather ambitious 2:30:00. Well let's just say I had a really good day. It was cold, in the 40s, it was flat (YES!), and I had the race of my life! After about the first 2 miles I noticed that there was a guy running about the same pace and we began to talk. After the first 6 miles, neither of us could believe how strong we felt so we decided to pace each other and try to hold on for the whole race, which we did, and both of us had our best races. I ended up finishing in 2:15:13, which was about a 10:17 pace. A far cry better than my marathon pace of 14:59!!!

After that race, I decided I wanted to get serious about getting better, and I set my sights on competing in the SC Half Ironman on Sept. 30th. To get there, faster and injury free, I decided to hire a coach. So I did. Katie Malone of Malone Coaching ( is now working with me trying her best to make me a better and faster Suzanne. So far it's been fun- speedwork is not something I have ever concerned myself with in the past, but I can tell she's made a pretty big difference in the quality of my workouts. So, I've got a pretty good line up of races for this season. Of course I may add some, but right now I am planning on:

Clemson Sprint on 5/12
Festival of Flowers Olympic on 6/10
Greenville Sprint on 8/19
TriAmerica Long Course on 8/26
SC Half Iron on 9/30.
I may add another sprint on 6/2, not sure yet.

The weight loss is still coming, albeit slowly. I am losing about a half pound a week tops, but I only have about 12 more to go. So far I've lost about 60 lbs. I feel great, and shopping is more fun now. I am having to completely re-do my wardrobe. I am about 3 sizes smaller than I was last summer, so clothes I wore then look ridiculous now... It's a good problem to have!

The wait for our little girl is creeping by. We've come to terms with it though, and have decided to embrace our last summer as a couple. We plan to do lots of fun things and just enjoy being with each other. Summer is my favorite time of year anyway, and it always seems to go by faster than I want it to. Football Season will be just around the corner, so the fall will be full of good times, and then the next thing you know it will be Christmas, and I have a feeling we will get our referral anywhere from Dec- Feb. While I would love to have our daughter here tomorrow, I know that God has given us this wait for a reason. We can either choose to be happy and patient or we can choose to be angry. I would rather be happy....

Also, I do believe that unless we just feel totally different after our daughter is home, she will most likely be an only child. I would love to have a sibling for her, but to be honest, I am not sure I want to put all of us through this long process again, and of course we are not getting any younger. I am an only child and I had a very happy childhood, so I know it would be ok. We have such a small family my only concern is that when we are gone, she will be alone. I hope that she will grow up close to her Savannah cousins, and I hope that those relationships will be strong and enough to sustain her as an adult. I do know that as an only child I grew up super close with my parents, after all, I didn't have to share them with anyone. My mom and I are 2 peas in a pod, and I truly feel like my dad and I were kindred spirits. I want that same kind of relationship with our daughter, and while I know that can be achieved with many children in the family, I think one may be the right number for us. And, if, by some miracle, we happen to get pregnant (we never stopped trying to prevent this) then we will know that God meant for us to have more than one.

I'll leave you with some pictures from the half mary...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra, Ra Ra Ra Ra

Happy new year peeps! I've been on blogging hiatus, dealing with the holidays and coping with the thought that we will still have to wait ANOTHER YEAR before we get our little Tiger. I'm done wallowing, so I'm back....

Here's what's happened in the past few months.
1. decorated the house for Christmas
2. had Christmas
3. Clemson lost the bowl game
4. Family visited for New Year's
5. Family went home

Don't you feel enlightened now?

Derek left today for his first fishing tournament of the year at Lake Okeechobee, FL. I went shopping. Had some success. Got some new sneaks to just wear around (not run in). Got a new outfit, a new bra, a new exercise bra, and some makeup. I know it's too exciting, right?

Derek and I are also starting tomorrow our "boot camp" until Good Friday. Essentially, we are going to follow the Abs Diet and add weight training and core exercises to our cardio packed workouts. My goal is to lose the last nagging 20 lbs that I'm carrying. Derek wants to lose at least 30. I think our work is cut out for us.

I leave you with a before and almost after picture of me. The before is from Summer of 2005. The almost after is from early December.