Sunday, January 21, 2018

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

The morning of runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K was COLD and I felt rather Dopey waking up at 3 a.m. to run it!

When my friend Melissa and I decided to run Dopey Challenge, we knew we wanted to dress for each day of the race. For the 5K, we decided to go as Mousketeers as that costume was relatively easy to put together for both of us!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

I laid everything out the night before so I wouldn't have trouble with it on race morning. We were also given two Dopey Challenge bibs for this race with specific instructions - the lime green one was to be worn for the 5K and 10K and the white one for the Half and Full. Melissa and I were both placed in corral C for the 5K and 10K which worked out great for us!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

Feels like what in Orlando?! This was when I knew that the term "Dopey" seriously applied to us!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

I decided to be "smart" and not arrive at the resort bust stop until 4 a.m. Well, I think everyone else at Port Orleans Riverside had the SAME idea. This line took 4 buses before it went down! You cant even see the end of the line in my picture - it continued into the lobby of the resort!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

It didn't take long before we were at the starting area of the race. While waiting around for Melissa, I heard my name - it was Jennalyn and her sister Jill! Somehow we have managed to see each other at every race since Princess this year!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

After standing around the heaters as long as possible, we managed to pull ourselves away to make the short trip to the corrals. 

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

By this point, I was freezing and seriously questioning my sanity for agreeing to this crazy experience!

Although you can't really tell, I had several layers on - I was wearing two long sleeve dry fit shirts, my Mousketeer shirt, Legend Compression socks, and ankle length tights. I also had on a pair of gloves and ear warmers as well as Hot Hands hand warmers!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

As soon as the race began though, my excitement level kicked up an extra notch and I was ready to run!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

This 5K route was the typical EPCOT one where runners spent a little time on the highway, then ran through World Showcase, out by the International Gateway, then into Future World before crossing the finish line in the EPCOT parking lot.

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

We passed Jiminy Cricket as his line was a little long, but stopped for Genie when we saw his line was a little shorter!  The kid behind us in line was SO cute....he was dressed as Genie and was so excited for this character stop! It made me even more excited for the day when I can experience something like this with Brayden!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

These mile markers were all Pluto/dog themed.

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

We both had to stop to see Koda and Kenai! While waiting, Melissa and I discovered that we'd both seen Brother Bear while out on a date with our current spouses back in 2005/2006! So cute!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

It was strange to finish this race in the dark, but EPCOT was beautiful as always!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

After crossing the finish line, we grabbed our medals and made sure to pick up a mylar blanket. I had plans to use mine for the start of the race the following day!

We also received water, Powerade, a banana, and the traditional runDisney food box which included the ever popular chips and cheese dip! 

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

 Before we knew it, 3.1 miles of our Dopey Challenge adventure was over!

I found myself not being able to think about the challenge as a whole as my brain would go into panic mode. Instead, I had to take this overall challenge race by race. As one race was over, I would look only to the next day's race and so on. Although I was trained and ready, I was still scared and nervous and worried about the task of it all. So, instead of thinking about the 45.5 miles we still had to go, I mentally prepared for the 10K the following morning which was totally doable in my mind...only 6.2 miles! With that mindset, I was ready to go!

runDisney's Marathon Weekend 5K

The remainder of our day was spent at EPCOT where I started off with Starbucks to help warm me up!

Stay tuned for more from our Dopey Challenge weekend! Thanks for following along with our truly Dopey adventure!

Friday, January 19, 2018

21 Month Baby/Toddler Update

While we were in Disney over Marathon Weekend, Brayden turned 21 months old! I feel as if these past 3 months have really been a huge growing time for Brayden in all aspects of his life. It's amazing to watch his thought process play out in his everyday actions. He's picking up on things incredibly fast and now follows my requests reasonably well. For example, I can ask him to pick up his socks and shoes and bring them to me and he will.

Clothing: 18-24 month clothing; 2T fits him but is still a little big
Diapers: Size 4 for both day and night time diapers (same as before)
Shoes: Size 5 and some size 6
Weight: 30 pounds (estimated)
Height: 33 inches (estimated)

Over the past month or so, he seems to have gotten so much taller. His adorable little thighs are starting to lean out which makes me kinda sad, I'm not gonna lie!

He's also learned the excitement of a slide! He almost prefers going down the slide over swinging now! The park is the BEST place in the world, too. He gets SO excited every time we drive up!

The word "hat" has been one of his main words but he has since incorporated the word "shoe" and "uhoh" as of Christmas Day. He's still a kid of just a handful of words, but they are coming in more rapidly how. He babbles ALL THE TIME!

Over the Christmas holidays, he met "Santa" about a bazillion times. It wasn't planned, it just seemed to happen that way! (Seriously I'm pretty sure it happened at least 4 or 5 times!) Thankfully, he isn't scared of Santa one bit!

He also LOVES animals of any sort, especially dogs and birds! Running up and down the boardwalk with the birds is one of his favorite things to do!

Christmas was really fun this year because Brayden was more into the lights and sounds and he loved pushing the buttons on a few of my "magic" ornaments!

Opening presents was interesting this year, too. He realized that he could rip the paper on presents and that was really fun, but once he ripped into the paper, he wasn't sure what to do next.

Brayden also experienced snow for the first time in his life! We had fun playing in it together although he wasn't too sure of it at first.

Our Disney trip took place during the week that he turned 21 months old. He LOVED seeing the Disney ducks and got a huge kick out of them!

Brayden had his second Disney haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop while we were there. They always do such an awesome job with him. Bonus points for our reflection in the mirror! :)

He also ran his second race while in Disney, this time the 100 m dash and he had a BALL! His little squeal while running down the track was so cute! He had the opportunity to give Mickey a high five right before crossing the finish line which he loved!

Speaking of running, this kid is on the go go go all the time! He also loves to eat. Some of his favorites are pizza, vegetables, yogurt, tacos, and refried beans. He will eat almost anything except he's still not a fan of mac&cheese which super confuses me but ok, whatever!

Puppy Dog Pals is the new favorite around here. He especially loves the music and songs from each show. There's a YouTube playlist of only Puppy Dog Pals songs, so that's a huge hit at my house! I'm thinking his second birthday party will be Puppy Dog Pals themed and I've seen some really really cute ideas on Pinterest so I'm excited about that!

As far as sign language goes, he has the signs down for "more", "please", and "eat". Lately, he's been using the "more" sign even when he just wants you to hand something to him. For example, he wanted an M&M and he knew where they were he took my hand and walked me over to the cabinet...then he let go of my hand and looked at the M&M jar and started signing "more". It was really funny, so I had to give it to him!

In just 3 short months, Brayden will be 2 years old. This has been quite a journey, one that is getting more and more fun by the day! I'm so thankful for our sweet little blessing...he really does make our lives complete! :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Snow Day In Louisiana Take 2

In a rare and incredibly crazy set of events, Southwest Louisiana experienced snow once again yesterday.


Twice in one season, about 5 weeks apart.

In the south.

The deep south.

I still can't quite believe it!

On Monday afternoon, we were notified that schools were going to close the following day due to the crazy weather predictions. Well, Brayden was scheduled to attend Mother's Day Out on Tuesday (which was also closed due to the weather) and since everyone else was working, I ended up with a "snow day" myself! By mid-morning, the sleet started to fall and continued to do so the remainder of the day. It began to snow around 4 o'clock yesterday evening and to be honest, I was shocked to see it once again! Y'all have no idea, this is seriously unheard of here, and to have it twice in one season...say what?

As soon as I saw the snow, I bundled Brayden up and took him outside to play in it!

He had a blast and loved crunching in the snow with his boots!

If you remember back last month, snow stayed on the ground for two days and as I ran my half marathon, I saw snowmen all over town. Yesterday's snowfall wasn't near the accumulation we had in December, but it was still fun to play in!

My dogs weren't quite sure what to make of it! Aren't puppy prints in the snow just the cutest thing? :)

For a look back, here's a snapshot of December's Louisiana snow fall. Isn't it crazy how much it snowed that day?

We definitely didn't have near this amount of snow yesterday, but it was still fun to see! We are cutting our day at work short today and instead of starting early, we are starting around lunch time when it's hopefully warmed up a little more and it's safer for people to be on the roads.

Our entire town shuts down every time it ices over like this which is totally understandable because we aren't used to this at all!

How does my husband feel about all of this cold and snow?

Well, I'll let you be the judge of that! Hah!

How has your winter been? Do you regularly see snow or is your area like mine where it's an exciting event every time it snows?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Vlog: runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo

Yesterday, I shared with you a recap of the 2018 runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo and as promised, here's a video recap of our time spent at the Expo at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex! There's also a brief rundown of the purchases we made at the expo, so stay tuned at the end of the video for that! 

This video is part 1 of several video recaps to come so be sure to keep checking back each week as I share bits and pieces of our Dopey Challenge and Marathon Weekend experience with all of you! 

We are enjoying another "frozen day" in the south today - I hope it's warm(er) wherever you are! Have a great day and thanks for following along with our journey! :)

Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 runDisney Marathon Weekend Expo

Our Marathon Weekend began right after we landed at the airport. We took Magical Express to the resort, then headed straight for Disney's Wide World of Sports where the Expo was being held. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the Expo until around 5 p.m., so it was super chaotic and lots of Dopey merchandise was sold out. Sad times.

Race weekend Expo's are seriously my favorite! I've said it before, but I love the excitement in the air and the feeling of a new beginning...a new race...a new possibility...anything can happen!

The sun was beginning to set as we arrived and it made for a beautiful evening. Orlando was way colder than we expected, but it didn't phase us...we had some shopping to do! Well, and a few bibs to pick up. But mostly shopping.

First, we stopped by Champion Stadium to pick up Brayden's bib for the Kids Races.

I was shocked to see bib pick up for the kids races as well as several vendors in the alcove of Champion Stadium which meant they were OUTSIDE! I seriously felt bad for the ladies of Sparkle Athletic and Endure Jewelry but they were holding it up like champs!

The next stop was in the HP Field house for my Dopey Challenge bib!

This process was SUPER easy and smooth with zero lines which I was really happy about! In all, we had all of our bibs and shirts collected in under 15 minutes!

Up next was the runDisney merchandise floor. When we stepped out of the upper level of the Field House, I was VERY shocked to see the insanely long line just to enter the runDisney merchandise area! I honestly did not like the fact that the runDisney merchandise was split from the rest of the expo. Yes, it gave them plenty of room but I still didn't like it.

The line to get in here was about 30 minutes long, so we waited....

Once we arrived inside, we discovered that 90% of the Dopey merchandise was sold out. The next day, I went online to see what was available on Ebay and sure enough, I found the car magnet I wanted as well as a Dopey jacket for about a 50-75% markup. No thank you. 

Despite the lack of Dopey merchandise, I was still able to purchase the Marathon Weekend Dooney I'd been eyeing as well as a Dopey Challenge "I Did It" shirt and a Marathon Weekend coffee mug. Thankfully, the Expo wasn't all a bust. Also, after the races were all said and done, shopDisney offered all of the marathon weekend jackets on their website with the word "Finisher" added to the bottom! You bet I jumped right on ordering a Dopey Finisher jacket! I was so excited to see these available as a Dopey jacket was one of the items on my "must have" list!

By the time we finished shopping and going through yet another long line to check out, it was really late and we needed to get back to Brayden and our friends.

On Friday morning after Brayden's kids race, I managed to wander into the Josten's Center to view the remainder of the Expo. Sadly, I only had about 5 minutes there, so I snapped these pictures then headed out.

Had I remembered the magnitude of this Expo, I would have scheduled our flight to arrive earlier in the day on Wednesday. Oh well. 


Another fun thing to note is the weather advisory we were greeted with for this marathon weekend!  You know what's funny? The last time I ran Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World (5 years ago for the 20th Anniversary of the Marathon), we also had a weather advisory but it was definitely on the far opposite end of the spectrum! That weekend (2013) was so beyond hot, it's not even funny!

After snagging a quick picture with the Dopey Challenge medal banner, it was time to say goodbye to the Expo!

We had a lot of fun but again, I wish we'd had more time to wander around and explore! Definitely next time!

Here's a look at the items I was able to purchase at the Expo....

The Disney Marathon Dooney was high on my list as well as a Marathon Weekend mug! I love this mug as it has all of the races listed on the back of it as well as each race distance!

A Dopey Challenge "I Did It" shirt was another item that was high on my list so I was happy to see these available and in a decent range of sizes, too!

Here's all of the race shirts from the weekend. I ordered "Ladies Large" and I love how all of the shirts fit except the 5K. Sadly, the 5K shirt is a generic unisex cotton t-shirt which I usually wear a medium. Had I realized while I was still at the Expo, I would have attempted to trade it out. Oh well! I'm still happy with them overall and I love how Mickey was on each medal/shirt this year because of the 25th Anniversary! So fun!!

Stay tuned for continued recaps and vlogs of our fun times at the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!

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