Friday, January 29, 2010

17th Quarterly Review - Greenville, TX

This fall/winter quarterly review was pretty low-key. In fact, I took a break and decided not to take a single picture the entire weekend. *Gasp!*

Danny and I decided several months before this quarterly review that we wanted to have a computer/organizational weekend. Actually, this was Danny's idea. Danny had an organization idea - I KNOW - isn't that SO exciting?! So, we decided to spend a weekend being lazy. He was going to read and organize his computer to get ready for the new semester while I was going to work on videos, photos and my stack of library books.

We found the nicest little bed and breakfast in Greenville, Texas (a place that's GREAT to visit when you want to bunker down inside!) through DTS.  In between our individual projects we watched movies, tv shows, ran, and enjoyed long conversations and baby name discussions at small, local restaurants.

For us the time was a perfect blend of resting and connecting.

Quarterly Review History:

*1st - 12/16/05 - Raleigh, NC
*2nd - 03/25/06 - Charleston, SC
*3rd - 06/24/06 - Columbia, SC
*4th - 8/27/06 - Boston, MA
*5th - 12/1/06 - Gatlinburg, TN

*6th - 2/09/07 - Charlotte, NC
*7th - 5/26/07 - Myrtle Beach, SC
*8th - 8/27/07 - College Station, TX

*9th - 11/10/07 - Dallas, TX
*10th - 02/15/08 - Grapevine, TX
*11th - 05/17/08 - Houston, TX
*12th - 08/27/08 - St. Joseph, MI & Dallas, TX
*13th - 12/12/08 - Cartwright, OK
*14th - 2/6/09 - Austin, TX 
*15th - 05/15/09 - Austin, TX
*16th - 08/14/09 - Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL
*17th - 12/10/09 - Greenville, TX

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

White Rock Marathon 2009

We're now going to stop inundating you with "baby stuff" and get back to other things, although it has been suggested that I need to start a "still:baby" blog. We'll see. Good ideas folks!

I've been putting off blogging about the marathon, because, well, there's really just no way to describe what it feels like to run for 26.2 miles. And, yes, I will correct you if you say that I ran 26 miles. I guarantee that I FELT those last .2 miles, and I will not forget them!


The day of the marathon was chilly and cold - perfect for running. Danny and I got to the American Airlines Center almost an hour before race time. I did not want to be late and preferred standing around shivering with my other DRC (Dallas Running Club) buddies.


The group I was starting the race with was towards the back of the pack, so we watched the elite runnings sprint across the starting line on the big screens as we waited for the crowd to start shifting forward.

I was nervous and excited to finish this race. Really I was just ready for a break from having to "train" every day and every Saturday morning.

The first ten miles felt great and seeing Mom & Dad at mile six was an adrenaline boost!


Around miles 11 or 12 my group left me behind because I started walking through water stops (just trying to say hydrated per doctor's orders). So, the headphones went in and the iPod came on, and if you're nice and promise not to laugh I might just hsare my playlist with you.

Miles 12-14 were probably the hardest of the entire race. I was already feeling tired (due to marathon or baby, I don't know) and the thought that I wasn't even halfway finished was more than discouraging. I even thought at one point, "I don't care about finishing. When I see Mom & Dad at mile 22 I'm just going to tell them to get the car. Running 22 miles is good enough accomplishmen for me."


At mile 16 I started feeling a little better. I was just chugging along at a steady pace, and I knew that in two or three miles I would see Matthew. He had heard about "the hills" you hit at miles 21-22 and wanted to encourage me through them. So, my brother, who twisted his ankle walking from his parked car to the race route, ran the last seven miles of the marathon with me on a sprained ankle (and I didn't know it the entire time). And, other than that moment when he told me about the first marathoner collapsing and dying after running 26.2 miles, I am beyond thankful that he was there to tell me, "Just a few more miles - YOU CAN DO IT!"


We saw Mom, Dad, Lynn and Danny (who finished his half marathon in a fabulous 1:55 hours and had time to get back to see me run) at mile 22 on Swiss Ave. I stopped to take pictures (yes, I was more about the "experience" than the time - sorry all you die-hard runners who just had a heart attack) with everyone.

Apparently I looked so exhausted that the moms started crying when I left, and Lynn even commented, "That's what she's going to look like in labor." Little did she know of the big announcement we were going to spring on them later that night. 

In all reality, labor was crossing my mind while running, and fear started coursing through me when I realized how exhausted I was running for five hours and just how much longer labor would probably be than that!


The last four miles felt like 12, and Matthew was patient to let me rest through the water stops. I was able to pick up the pace the last half mile and could hear my family calling my name as I crossed the finished line. Yes, they battled traffic and raced from mile 22 back to the American Airlines Center.


And so, on December 13, 2009, I simultaneously checked two big items off of my bucket list (Nos 15 & 21).


Will I do it again? Maybe. When enough time has passed that I've forgotten the pain of waking up the day after and feeling every single muscle and joint in my entire body, maybe I'll think about it.

**Tons of thanks to Mom, Dad and Lynn for taking pictures so we could remember the day and for coming out and cheering us on ALL MORNING!**

Friday, January 15, 2010

Baby Announcement - Part 2

Obviously you know how we told friends our baby news via this blog. If not, check out the chalkboard video baby announcement.

And you now know how we shocked our family with the baby news.

Our final announcement was to my work.

I only have eight co-workers, and we don't have office meetings. So, my options were A) go office to office with my news, B) send out a boring email or C) bake cookies.

I opted for the latter.

I made these little guys/gals.

2010.01.10 - 1

Monday morning I left them in the kitchen and sent out an email telling everyone that there were cookies and a surprise announcement in the kitchen.  Reactions ranked from thrilled hugs to confused looks to grunts of congratulations while walking by my desk.

But, now the news is out. If you don't know, then you must not know us. So, we'll now bombarding you with "baby stuff" and continue our regularly scheduled programming of "catching up" on the Stillers since Christmas.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baby Announement - Part 1

What is that? You wanted to know how we finally told our families we were pregnant?

I thought you'd never ask.

Well, the first step was to run a marathon and to throw them off completely!

The second step was to plan a "Marathon Celebration Dinner" the night after the marathon.

The final step was to call Lynn (Danny's Mom) every day and BEG her to come in town for the White Rock Marathon. We made her think it was the biggest deal in the world that she be there to cheer us on. She came.

Once everyone had been seated and had ordered food at Main Street Cafe and Bistro in Plano, we told them we had an early Christmas surprise for them that just couldn't wait until Christmas.

We then gave them envelopes. Inside the envelopes were Christmas cards that said, "Unfortunately, your gift will not arrive in time for Christmas, but open the envelope for a sneak peek."

There was another, smaller envelope/card for them to open. On the outside of this card, everyone saw, "Arriving July 13, 2010 . . ."

It was at this point that Jonathan thought it was pretty stupid for us to be giving everyone a gift that wouldn't even arrive to July. Once Lynn saw July 13 she knew exactly what was going on.

On the inside of the card was our very first sonogram picture.

Within 30 seconds the Mom's were screaming, Dad was speechless and the entire restaurant knew we were having a baby in July.

It was priceless.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Baby Stiller Q&A

Baby Stiller looking like a gummi bear. (Taken at 8 weeks, he/she has since doubled in size)

Okay, so there have been some questions floating around since introducing the soon-to-be newest member of the Stiller Family.

In short, here's our answers.

ARE YOU CRAZY for running a marathon pregnant? Is that even safe?

Yes, I knew that I was 9-weeks pregnant at the time of the marathon. The minute we saw that positive plus sign on the home pregnancy test I called my doctor and asked about the marathon - secretly hoping he'd say I shouldn't run in it. Common - when you're running 21 miles on Saturdays you'll start looking for crazy excuses to get out of training too! He said with good hydration and attention to my heartrate that running a marathon was fine. He even suggested/encouraged me to KEEP running throughout my pregnancy - apparently I'm going to need a little thing called "endurance" come July.

What is the plan for finishing seminary now that there's a baby in the picture?

Danny is going to slow down his classes at DTS and work full-time. He's currently in the market for a job and he's not picky - so hook us up!

Where you trying to get pregnant?

It's funny because I relaly don't think this matters but everyone asks it. The answer is "No." This just might be the best surprise of my life.

How have you been feeling?

I've actually felt pretty good. No real morning sickness for me. Then again, I refuse to throw up - EVER - even if I have the stomach flu. I've just been queasy (eating/snacking curbs this), gassy, bloating, tired and emotional. Sheesh, after typing that out maybe you should ask how Danny's doing - he is the one that's had to live with me in this state.

Are you going to find out if it's a boy or a girl?

Yes, I have won Danny over to the dark side. He really wanted to be "surprised" at the birth of our child, so I simply agreed that we should be be surprised . . . at 20-weeks.  He finally gave in, so now I can buy clothes and knock out half of the names we're throwing around.
Do you have a name picked out? Will you tell us?

Not yet. Probably. :-)

Baby Stiller looking like a baby blob. (Again, taken at 8 weeks)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Big News for the New Year

Yes, I know I didn't spell "SURPRISE" correctly - give me a break - I was excited!

And, because we had so much fun messing around with the video camera and did so many versions of this video, here's another one. We couldn't decide which we liked better. Actually, we could - we just couldn't agree! So here's both.

Special Thanks Goes To:
  • Bill Reeder for music selections and ideas

  • Linda Reeder for creative ideas and watching all of our out-takes

  • Dear Baby for the fabulous idea in the first place

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Photography: Mall Tour

On a unusually slow and rare weekend, I had a free afternoon. I decided to grab my camera, some walking shoes and my ipod and headed to the mall for a random/impromptu photo walk. Here are results:










Friday, January 01, 2010

Thanksgiving 2009 - Aunt Sally Edition

Remember how I told you there's never a dull moment when Aunt Sally's around?
Well, I'll give you one guess as to what would make Mom do this:
And Joey react like this:

Aunt Sally parading around like a Thanksgiving Day turkey of course. She waited all week to surprise us with her turkey outfit.

Only Aunt Sally could pull of that apron with THAT hat and still step out in public.

We then had a thorough discussion as to who buys such hats, who wears such hats, and oh, back it up - who created that hat in the first place!

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