April 27, 2013

Walk for Williams

Just a short post to tell you about something that is dear to me. May is Williams Syndrome awareness month, and the annual Walk for Williams is coming up on May 11th.

My sweet cousin Kate is cutie up there on the top left. I went to the Walk for the first time last year and it blessed my heart like crazy. It was such a fun time for our whole family. I hope you will seriously consider walking or donating to this awesome cause!

Click here to register. All proceeds directly benefit the Williams Syndrome Association. 
Click here for directions to the Kansas City Regional Police Academy.

April 25, 2013

On Boston

It's taken me a long time to decide how I would blog about our Boston trip. My heart aches for those who were deeply affected by the tragedy that occurred at the marathon, and my intention is not to gloss over that at all. I just truly loved every minute of my time in Boston, and I want to share what a blessing this awesome city was to us. It's really long, but I'm not sorry.

Friday, April 12th
Several years ago we made a deal with our great friends Caleb and Laurie that if Tim qualified for the Boston Marathon we would all fly out together for the race. It was so exciting for the day to finally come! After landing at Boston-Logan at 1AM and listening to this song a couple of times, we picked up our rental car- Kiki the Kia- and headed to our hotel. We had originally hoped to stay right in downtown Boston, but some friends of ours were amazingly kind to offer a discount at a hotel in Marlborough, which was about 30 miles outside of the city. It ended up being a huge blessing!

Saturday, April 13th
First stop on this day was the marathon starting line in Hopkinton.

It was such a cute little place with lots of marathon pride.

A kind police officer even stopped traffic for anyone who wanted to grab a photo behind the starting line. So nice!

Tim likes to drive through the course before a race so he can get a good feel for what the run will be like. For Laurie and me it meant 26.2 miles of drooling over shaker shingles and colonial architecture. It was a beautiful drive and a great tour of eastern Massachusetts. Once downtown, we went with Tim to pick up his race packet and check out the runner's expo. He lucked out that this year's marathon colors were Liberty blue!

Later we stopped at a spectator's assistance tent that was passing out maps of the course and subway system. We shared with a lady there that we were hoping to get some good photos of Tim runnings at one or two different stops along the course. She looked at us a little confused and reminded us that there would be a million people in Boston on Monday. "Like literally, one million people," she clarified, just in case we thought that was a hyperbole. She kindly helped us look at all the maps and recommended the we ditch the idea of seeing him during the race (which is a straight line) and just drive downtown early in the morning with the hopes of catching a good seat near the finish line. We were starting to wonder if our ambitions were a little naive, but we didn't give up hope right away.

We planned to drive by Fenway on the way back to the hotel, but Boston is not exactly the easiest city to navigate so we ended up in Cambridge saying hello to Harvard University. It was quaint, and lively, and kind of made me wish I was a genius so I could have gone to college there. I don't have a picture of anything in Cambridge, so here's a photo of an awesome church we passed somewhere in between. 

Sunday, April 14th
Sightseeing day! We bought tickets for a Boston trolley tour and it was the best decision we could have made. We got to see tons of toursity things, and learned even more things about the history of Boston because our trolley driver was awesome. We visited Paul Revere's home...

...and the Old North church. I suggested renting Segways and riding through the streets yelling "The British are coming!" but no one else was down.

One if by land, two if by sea.

We saw lots of other really old stuff, which is always awesome...

...and finally got a close-up view of the Green Monster.

Back at the hotel, we decided to go against the previous day's advice and spent the rest of the evening scheming up a way to watch the marathon from several different locations. During our drive through the course we had taken mental note of a few stops that seemed like good places to watch. We spent probably 2 hours pouring over Google Maps and subway routes until we had come up with what we hoped was a solid Tim Fritson groupie game plan: catching him at miles 6, 16, and 25.

Monday, April 15th
We dropped Tim off at the starting line bright and early on the most beautiful morning!

Hoping to beat the mad rush of people, we made a break for it as soon as possible and arrived at our first stop- Framingham. Thankfully we got there just in time...

Apparently we didn't get the memo that Framingham sleeps in for this thing, so we just chilled on the sidewalk for the next 2.75 hours. The people did eventually fill the whole street though, and the atmosphere was one of the coolest experiences I will never forget. Running sports are weirdly emotional for me, so I had that going on, plus the added anxiety that my husband would be passing by in a matter of minutes and what if I didn't get a picture?! Not to mention the race started out with the incredible wheelchair athletes, including the inspiring father-son duo Team Hoyt. (If you don't recognize the name, you must watch this video. Like, now now now.)

I kept my sunglasses on for most of the portion of the race because I was silently weeping like a baby. I would probably watch this race every year for the rest of my life if I could- the anticipation, and encouragement, and joy were just remarkable.

We watched Tim pass successfully just after mile 6 and jetted back to the car as soon as we saw the back of that Liberty jersey. Next stop- Newton. I'm so thankful Caleb and Laurie came on this trip, because they did the driving AND navigating while I just sat in the back seat trying not to throw up from all of the nerves. Thanks guys! We made it to our second destination without a hitch. The streets were definitely line with people this time, but everyone was so nice to let us cut in front to watch Tim run by. 

I'm not sure why that girl is running in jeans and an XXL t-shirt.
We left our car in Newton and hopped on a very crowded subway headed for downtown. The haters said it couldn't be done, but we saw him for the THIRD time after mile 25 (sorry, no picture of that one) and floated on the euphoric Boston Marathon spectator's cloud of excitement to meet up with him after the finish. He did something only 35% of Boston runners do and re-qualified for the race next year! So proud of him!

The unfortunately gross photo you probably saw on the news.
We were nearly back to our hotel when we heard about the bombings at the finish line. It was such a punch in the gut to see this spectacular atmosphere and iconic experience become marred by violence and heartbreak. But my time in Boston taught me that this city is strong, and kind, and resolute. I know without a doubt that next year's marathon will prove this to be true!

P.S- The extent of my photography knowledge stops at Instagram, but Laurie took some amazing photos of our time in Boston. Check them out on her blog here!

P.P.S- For a runner's perspective on the Boston Marathon, check out Tim's blog here!

April 11, 2013

To Boston

This is an exciting week for the Fritson family! Soon we will be flying to the East Coast for the 117th Annual Boston Marathon. (Eeee!) Tim has been working so hard for the past two years preparing for this race, and there are so many people who are waiting to cheer him on. Some awesome students in the area planned a surprise “send off” party last night, which meant the world to him. He was completely unsuspecting, too! Great job, guys!

Tim ran his first marathon at Dallas White Rock in December 2011. He exceeded the Boston qualifier time for his age group, despite the freezing wind and rain. (I’m not kidding, it was terrible.)

 The total drudgery of that race turned to sweet victory when this baby came in the mail. 

I have talked before about what a disciplined guy Tim is, but if you live in Liberty you have probably seen his persistence in action. Roughly 80% of my day-to-day conversations begin with “Hey, I saw your husband running today!” In a town that barely tips the scale at 29 square miles, he covers a lot of ground!  

His marathon training even caught the attention of our local newspaper, who featured him in a pretty sweet full-page spread in the Sports section today. (You can read the article here.) He's reppin’ the hometown Liberty jersey, which he will wear to the race next week. I know there are so many people from Liberty and beyond who have been a huge encouragement to him.  Your books, blog posts, photographs, ice baths, goo recommendations, running company, and affirming words have been the biggest blessings. As his wife I wanted to say THANK YOU for supporting and inspiring him!

If you would like to receive updates during the race, text the word “runner” to 345678 and reply to the automatic message with “1762” (his bib number.)

You can also follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@melodyfritson) and I will try to post as much as possible. The race is on Monday, April 15th.

To Boston!

April 2, 2013

Finish It

I don't think I have mentioned before that Tim and I are in the midst of renovating our kitchen. Nothing drastic, mostly just cosmetic. We're about 60% of the way there, I'd say, and it's looking great! The only problem is that we've been in the "midst" of the kitchen updates since April 2012... aka: I fail at following through. I have great ideas and intentions, but I can never seem to muster up the ambition to get 'er done. I know I'm totally capable of knocking things out, but I just allow myself to get overwhelmed by the quantity of things there are to do!

Since we moved into our home in 2010, I've been working up a pretty wicked mental checklist of all the things I would like to eventually do/should have done 6 months ago. You name it, and I've got an imaginary checkbox for it. Sometimes all of those things swirling around in my head make me crazy! The other day I tried to take a nap, but Mental Checklist was not about to let me rest until I had made a list of everything in the entire world that I could possibly need to do within the next 20 years. I went insane, people. I clocked at least an hour and four pages of furious scribbling. And things like "come up with a fun Easter tradition for your future children" is not even in my wheelhouse right now! But I have to admit that my head felt at least 10 pounds lighter afterward, and I wished I would have done that months ago.

Anywho, my brain emptying exercise helped me see that there are PLENTY of easy-peasy tasks that I could totally stop putting off like a bum. How simple it would be if I could just commit to checking one of these things off the list each week. In light of this epiphany, I have developed a 12-step program for recovering from my dis-ambition. (Psych! It's a 1-step program. We slackers have to start small, ya know?) But I'm really excited about it, so I'm going to share it with you.

Introducing: The Finish It Jar

After typing up The Master To-Do List for All of Life, I searched for items that met ALL of the following requirements:
1. I can finish this task completely in one week or less.
2. This task requires very little decision-making or prior planning.
3. I don't need to complete any other projects in order to get this one done.

I selected a dozen or so items that met the mark, printed them out, and cut them into strips. Each strip got folded up and tossed into the Jar. I plan to pull out one slip every Sunday, and I will have until the following Sunday to fully complete whatever is written. 

I was really specific about the tasks that I chose because I wanted to feel confident about my ability to totally FINISH what was listed. For this to happen it could not require tons of thought or very much moolah. The point is FINISHING things, not strapping ourselves for cash or stressing myself out. I didn't set up any kind of "reward" system for myself a) because I'm 25 and I need to just do things because I'm an adult, not because I get candy; and b) I'm fairly motivated by feelings of accomplishment. But just in case I start to dread reaching in to the Jar each Sunday, I did throw in a few fun things like "make some baked treats for a friend." 

Now, I'm fairly certain that I'm not the only one in the world who struggles with getting things done. (I mean seriously, how many of you dust your ceiling fans when you could be eating any number of delicious things, or taking a nap? And just FYI, running the fan on ultra high will not make the dust fly off. Tried it.) This is why I want to invite you to join me! Learning to be more intentional and disciplined is so effective when there are others around you to encourage and hold you accountable. If my lazy, procrastinating self can do it, I know you can too! 

I've even made it easy for you to put your jar together. I created this cute little tag in Paint (take that, Photoshop!) for you to downloaded if you'd like. 

 Click here to download and print!

And if you are a blogger, feel free to grab a button! I will update my blog periodically with Finish It endeavors, and I'd love to hear from you as well.

Happy Finishing!