30 August 2011

Let me first start by saying this ain't my first rodeo.  When I heard that we would have a Warrior Dash in Huntersville, NC this year it took me all of .002 seconds to sign up, then talk it up to anyone that would listen.  As a seasoned veteran of last year's Warrior Dash in Mountain City, GA, I kind of knew what to expect from this year's edition.  Some mud, some fire, some obstacles, and the coolest, most refreshing adult beverage waiting for you at the finish line.

Before we get to the finish, let's rewind a few months to the recruitment period.  For me, this event is not competitive.  At all.  It's most fun to run with a group of folks, preferably in a costume, and just have fun with it.  As such, I cast a wide net to bring people along for the fun and got a pretty solid group from work, along with some friends from Charlotte, signed up for some muddy fun.  I mean, anybody could do what we did last year.  Maybe you run a few times, or tackle a couch to 5k program to prepare, but remember, this is a fun, slightly challenging event.  No big whoop, right?

Wrong.  Since last year, they upped the ante a bit.  None of the obstacles on the course were really difficult, per se, but they did get your heart racing, and with the heat of the day, it was a bit more challenging to keep up a reasonable pace.  My choice of costume did not help a single bit with the heat/heart rate situation.  Surprisingly, the finest threads that $11 at a Goodwill store will buy you do not breathe well.

It's business, it's business tiiiiiiiiiiime

This year's course loaded most of the running at the beginning, and by the time we got through first obstacle, I knew that a) I needed to back off the pace or risk a major meltdown (thanks to the Daves for hanging back with me), and b) All of my friends that I convinced to participate under the guise of "this is fun!" were probably going to want to drown me in the mud pit (sorry Ginger, and thanks again for not punching me in the face at the end of the race).

Now am I knocking this race?  Heck no, it is friggin' awesome and I'll definitely be doing it again next year.  Well organized, efficient, and yes, tons of fun.  Will I rethink my choice of costume?  Absolutely, although I'm proud to say I stayed true to the suit and kept everything on until we finished (it was a nice consolation to get a little Twitter shout-out from the Warrior Dash folks complimenting my attire).  To all you potential Warriors out there, you need to do this event.  And you need to have fun with it, preferably in a creative, breathable costume that covers your knees (you'll know what I mean after you traverse the mud pit).

Until next year, enjoy these photos from the Carolinas Dash.  See you on the battlefield...

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 by Bryan Timmons

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22 August 2011

My, my how the time is absolutely flying by.  We are looking at t-minus 5 weeks until (as of today still unnamed baby boy Timmons or SUBBT) baby time.  Since the last baby blog post, we've gotten the nursery 98% done (pics to follow), been showered a couple of times by some special folks (see below), and been to birthing class.  I am happy to report that one of us stayed fully conscious through the entire class.  Spoiler alert, it wasn't me.

For those of you that know me, you already know that I don't like to see, or really even think about, things that should be inside your body when they are not inside your body.  Needles, blood, etc. typically trigger vasovagal syncope in yours truly.  In layman's terms, I drop like a pile of bricks if I start thinking too much about gooey stuff.  This is a talent I've had since I was five, and it is awesome.  I had really hoped that in the heat of the delivery, I could block this out and be there (and stay upright), but after the birthing video in class, we are definitely working on plan B just in case things go south.  Do any of you readers have suggestions on how to cope/treat this?  I would love to not be the center of attention in the delivery room if at all possible.

In much brighter news, we are very lucky to have some really good friends close by, and some really good friends that live in California that came a long way, to help this baby (and Team Timmons) feel the love.  Since our first shower, we've had a couple local shindigs as well.  In typical fashion, these things were over the top and tons of fun.  You guys (you know who you are) put in so much work to make these special days, and we can't thank you enough.  Here are some pics from the shower at our house, and here are some shots from the shower thrown by the good folks over at Nixon-Notes (Ginger, if RA had her way you would be designing rooms/nurserys in the near future).  And to everyone that's come to our showers and/or offered advice, we really appreciate you!

In a late addition to this post, we went in for our checkup today and baby mama is dilated 1.5 cm, which as I quickly learned, doesn't mean much other than a "little bit of a head start" according to the doc.  SUBBT measured a little small today, so next week we get a bonus ultrasound!  He measured fine at the last visit, so it's likely just where he's riding that made the measurement a bit small, but they want to take a closer looksie.  Me too.

And finally, a baby post wouldn't be complete without some pics of the bump.  Space is starting to get tight in there, which means I get to see and feel the little guy more often.  He's certainly not afraid to throw some 'bows to make some extra space for himself, and I think he may be about as ready to meet us as we are him.

32 Weeks

33 Weeks (hi, Cooper)

34 Weeks

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 by Bryan Timmons

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21 August 2011

If you remember back to an earlier post, I tried my hand at making some beer.  Last night was the moment of truth, and although I had convinced myself that something was wrong and I would be drinking flat yuckwater, things turned out much better than expected!

Rewind 2 weeks back to bottling day.  Good lesson learned: I have no idea how to effectively siphon things.  Good thing super brew assistant Suzy was in town visiting to lend extra hands and brainpower.  We got it done, but it certainly wasn't pretty.

(yes, I'm sweating)

This looks easy, right?

Bottled!

I had to take a taste.  It tasted like beer.  I was hopeful.

Once everything was in the bottles, we had to wait another 2 weeks for it to carbonate itself.  I had checked on the bottles a few times and they just looked flat to me, so my hopes were somewhat dampened as to the success of my first batch o'beer.  Last night was the big reveal, and after a short car ride to casa de Nixon, I noticed that the bottles looked a little bubbly - good!  I held my breath when I opened the first bottle and heard the relieving pop! of a carbonated adult beverage.  After a very foamy first pour, this is what we were working with:

Looks like beer, eh?

Cheers.

The verdict?  Not half bad!  The mix was for an IPA, but it ended up tasting like a hoppier than normal wheat beer.  Certainly drinkable, and a pretty rewarding experience.  I had already decided to step up to a 5 gallon brewing operation, and brew day is today for some Chocolate Maple Porter.  Stay tuned for an update on round two...

Update!  Round Two:

Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 by Bryan Timmons

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12 August 2011

I've always heard that before anyone has a kid, they should have a dog.  Or in our case, two lovable, loyal and absolutely crazy dogs.

Sure they look innocent here, just wait until the doorbell rings

My good pal Ouida recently lost one of her four-legged kids, and her eloquent tribute to Cole inspired me to get a few things out of my head too.  To echo her sentiments, if your pets aren't a part of your family, you're doing it wrong.  These guys live inside, eat the bestest of dog foods and are spoken to like human people on the reg.  They are pack animals, we are their pack leaders (sometimes), and subsequently, they love being around and close by.  Nothing makes them crazier (aside from the aforementioned doorbell, rattle, knock, or imaginary knock) than when we just won't settle down in the same place.  They need to keep their eyes on us and that's MUCH easier when we're close by.

A little back story on the canine fam.  I got Wrigley as an 8 week old puppy.  We always had dogs growing up, and after college I was ready for one of my own.  Weimaraners are cute puppies.  Wrigley was cute AND famous.

July 1st in the 365 Puppy a Day Calendar

I spent all kinds of time teaching her the ropes.  She had a doggie doorbell that she used to tell us when she needed to go outside.  This was retired after she figured out the doorbell would also get her outside most any time she rang it, regardless of any call of nature.  I also wanted her to be a frisbee dog.  Check.  She loves the thing and has mad skills.  The word frisbee is off limits at our house unless you mean it.

(Agreed)

Wrigley was an only dog until she was about four, a.k.a., "the time that weimaraner  puppies settle down".  Now that she's 10, I'm a firm believer that weimaraner puppies never settle down.  These pups being pack animals, they don't like being left at home alone, and when an opportunity to rescue another pup dropped into our lap, we took it, and so Cooper joined the family to keep Wrigley company.

An early pic of Coop.  This pretty much sums up his personality.

And a more recent shot.  He was banged up with a broken toe, but that didn't diminish his love of a sunny spot, as well as the uncanny ability to fall asleep sitting up.

Cooper acclimated himself to his new surroundings pretty quickly.  He came from a family with a lot of kids and was a hungry fella.  He got handouts all the time and extra food if he "seemed hungry".  Big boy tipped the scales at 90 pounds on his first trip to the vet, but has since slimmed down to around 75 healthy lbs.  We learned pretty soon that anything edible (that includes food (duh), paper, books, toilet paper, bills, etc.) was fair game and had to be out of reach when no one's around.  I consider that a light course in baby training.

Fast forward to current day and we have two 10 year old (gasp) senior dogs.  Now, I hate to even mention this movie or the feelings it stirs in me, but a couple years back Ruth Ann made me watch Marley & Me.  I made it until the end, but it was not a happy movie.  I'm still a little bit mad at Ruth Ann for making me watch it and thinking that I may too be in the same boat as the lead character making "that" trip to the vet.  Sheesh.  I choose to mostly ignore that part of pet ownership until absolutely necessary.

I'm excited for still unnamed Baby Timmons to have 4-legged friends and can't wait to see how they adjust to having someone new shack up with us.  They haven't met him yet, but I'm sure he's heard them "protecting" the house.  Sorry in advance, guys, for the knock down you'll take on the family totem pole, but here's to you and your 8 legs of crazy.  I know you'll be good siblings for Baby T!

Posted on Friday, August 12, 2011 by Bryan Timmons

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