This year, we had plans to do the same traditions that we do every year (Freedom Run and parade), then we found out the exciting news that Aunt Amber and her boyfriend Tom were going to be in town. Wanting to spend as much time as possible with them over the holiday weekend, we decided to tack on a 4th of July BBQ party at our house that same evening.
On July 3rd, we were talking with Papa, who had signed up for the Freedom Run, but then was told by his doctor that he shouldn't run anymore. So, we were trying to convince Molly that she should "run" the race with Papa. She wasn't having it. In fact, when asked why she didn't want to run it, she simply stated that she had already run a 5K. Apparently, she's a one-and-done girl. With 5Ks. Hmmmm ... we may have to work on that one later.
Anyway, out of the blue, Charlotte says, "I want to run, Papa!" Now, Charlotte's 3. And, I didn't believe for a second that she would really actually do it. I mean, she's 3.
The morning of the 4th, we all wake up bright and early, and Charlotte puts on her running clothes. I'm still not convinced. With as many races as Cory and I do, this one is special because it's the first one that either of us ever ran. I usually run the 10K while Cory runs the 5K. I always try to race it pretty hard. Well, not the year I was pregnant. That one I took kinda easy. This year, I really wanted to do well. I've been training even harder and gotten even faster. I was almost a little nervous.
We get down to the race and pick up our packets. Charlotte is still convinced that she is going to run, so we go ahead and sign her up. I'm a little mad at myself because I didn't take pictures of the packet sign up or anything like I did with Molly. Again, I didn't actually think this was happening. We pinned her number on and then met up with Amber who was going to run the 5K.
Now, the parade is also in the morning of the 4th. It's usually quite hectic for us to finish the race, get home, shower and get back before the parade starts. And, we have a corner that is ours. I mean, really, they should just put a sign on it saying "Laffety and Friends Parade Viewing." I'm not sure why they don't. But, since they don't, we have to place our chairs there early enough to save our spots. So, in the midst of picking up our packets, getting a number for Charlotte and meeting up with Amber, we also had to carry a bunch of chairs from the back of the car and put them out on our corner. And, I had to pee.
It was a crazy hectic morning, especially when we saw chairs had already been put in our spot. How dare they! Turns out, it was our friend Chris, who had gotten there at 5:30am to put out chairs. I honestly didn't think he would've gotten up that early, so I was very upset at the imaginary person who had the audacity to put their chairs in our spot!
Needless, to say, it was crazy and by the time I made it through the porta-potty line and to the starting line, I didn't even have a chance to turn my Garmin on before the race started. Plus, my iPod has been acting funky lately. If anyone has any tips on how to get it to keep playing music after I clip it to my shirt or after it goes to black screen, please let me know! I ran the first 3 miles with my iPod in my hand.
|The one picture I got before the race started.|
Despite all that chaos, I actually ran a really good race. I was keeping a steady pace of 7:09 and feeling pretty darn good. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that the weather was amazing. Low 60s for a 4th of July race?!?! Unheard of! I started struggling a bit on the second loop (the 10K is essentially two loops of the 5K course), but my pace stayed below 7:15. On the second loop, I actually got to see Charlotte and my dad twice on the course. They were walking, but looked really good. When I came up behind Charlotte and said hi, she tried to run with me. I had to tell her to stay with Papa.
I had a goal of 48:00 for my race. When I looked down at my Garmin with a mile left, I knew I had that in the bag with time to spare. When a girl passed me around mile 5, I didn't push too hard to try to pass her back. This would later come back to bite me in the butt. I almost puked coming up the last big hill, but turned the corner to the finish line and felt awesome. I knew I was going to be way under my goal. I kept going, but didn't push too hard. I waved at my family when I saw them cheering.
I crossed the finish line feeling pretty awesome with a time of 44:47. A PR by a minute and a half. (Previous PR was 7.5 years ago.) I was way under my goal, and I knew for sure I'd medal. They give medals for the top 5 places in each age division. I went to the timing table to get my official time before making my way to my family. There, I learned the cold, hard facts. I was in fact 6th place in my age group. 6th. And, they give medals for the top 5. Blech! And, the worst part? I was only 5 seconds away from the 5th place girl. 5 seconds?!?! Remember how I was going to kick myself for not trying to pass that girl? Or, taking time to wave? Plus, I found out that I was the 10th female finisher overall, but 6th in my age group. That meant that 6 of the top 10 finishers were in my age group. Talk about stiff competition. Geez. Not that I'm still obsessing on it or anything 4 days later ...
|Molly had fun hanging out with Tom while we all ran.|
|My dad said Charlotte ran for almost 3/4 of the first mile, then ran the last .1 mile to the finish line. She walked the rest of the time, but never asked to be picked up or carried. She finished in 1:02:19. My 3-year-old. I was so proud.|
We hurried home, showered and then headed back to find our chairs for the parade. We discovered that it was Chris who had set up the chairs, so we had a giant group of people in our corner, but they were all our people. Well, mostly. There were four people who set up their chairs in the middle of our crowd. I'm sure they enjoyed being completely surrounded by all our craziness. We ended up having 12 kids and 23 adults in our group. Everyone brings breakfast foods and drinks, and the kids go crazy on donuts and fruit. It was so much fun. I looked around and just felt as if it were a picture-perfect version of Americana. That also almost made me forget my 6th place finish. Almost.
|A picture of our corner. We like the giant shade tree for obvious reasons.|
|Our corner with kids sitting getting ready for the parade to start.|
|Charlotte, Avery and Molly wanted a jumping picture.|
|Charlotte was just a bit off on the timing. ;)|
|And, Molly was obsessed with Tom. She got a fake million dollar bill and said she was going to use it to buy Tom and Amber so they could move up here from Texas and live with us.|
|Charlotte, Emerson, Connor and Kaesen ready for the parade.|
|Avery, Molly, Lauren and Charlotte.|
|Here comes the parade!|
|Look at that slice of Americana. If that doesn't belong in a 1950s Americana painting, I don't know what does.|
|We took our annual family 4th of July picture. Without it, I'm not sure what I'd put on the July page of my calendar ;)|
|And the Lafferty contingent of the party.|
We took an all kids picture, but both my kids were crying, so we didn't get one with our camera. Would love one from someone else's camera. Hint, hint, hint ...
EDITED: Thanks to Megan who sent me a picture of all the kids! My hinting worked :)
|Love the chaos of getting a bunch of kids to pose for a picture together.|
After the parade, we went home to get naps and get ready for the party. Cory had rented a giant bounce house water slide, so we needed to be there when they set it up. Charlotte napped (a girl is tired after running a 5K and attending a parade!), and Molly pretended to. People started to show up around 3.
|I made the girls pose before the party started.|
|Some of my pretty decorations. I kind of went crazy with the red, white and blue.|
|Some of the cupcakes and decorations.|
|Yes, I did make these awesome red, white and blue whoopie pies. Thanks to Tara who happened to own a whoopie pie maker. Who knew that even existed? Yeah, not me.|
|Molly LOVED the giant water slide.|
|Charlotte loved it, too.|
|Even Aunt Amber got in on the action.|
|And, so did Tom.|
|Cory explaining the rules to the kids.|
|With Tara and Anne. And Sangria.|
|Aunt Amber, Molly and Kristin|
|Me, Anne and Megan.|
|Me and Kristin.|
|Molly having a deep discussion with Tom.|
|Leigh even made an appearance.|
|I told Kevi that I needed a model eating my whoopie pies, so he indulged me as I snapped pictures of him enjoying my beautiful creations.|
|And, Priya liked my cupcakes, too!|
|Cade was just chillin.|
|Everyone watching the bounce house slide madness.|
|Posing with my girls at fireworks.|
|How do you pass the time while you wait for fireworks to start? Play a game on Aunt Amber's phone.|
Even with my 6th place finish.