We arrived at Fletcher Park on time, but we didn’t realize that we would have to park our car two miles away from the actual starting line. Because of the minor parking dilemma, we started about ten minutes later than everyone else. We still managed to catch up to the other parents with strollers/children, including a little girl in a wagon who sang songs to us the whole time.
The walk was such a great way to start off the morning, and the exercise felt so refreshing that it has motivated me to want to start exercising regularly again. I'm glad that it is almost spring time, so there will be many more opportunities to get some exercise outdoors in addition to the gym downstairs (which I haven’t even used in a year). Now, I just want to make sure that my body as healthy as it can possibly be. I feel like this is because I can truly appreciate having strength and energy again, after dealing with the extreme exhaustion that lasts for many months during and after chemo treatments.
Most importantly, it felt wonderful to honor my mom and to feel like she was proud of me while watching down on us. I feel like I need to at least do something to make a difference in the lives of others who are battling cancer. (Of course, I would still like to do much more). While on this trip, my mom visited me in a dream for the first time since she passed away. It was the first night that I didn't have nightmares for as long as I can remember, and I woke up in such a good mood.
After the race, we had lunch in Raleigh at The Remedy Diner, a cute little alternative place with plenty of interesting and unique menu choices, including vegetarian, vegan, and meat options. I got the Eastern Carolina BBQ and the Tempeh Tantrum and shared them both with Ryan. Both tasted delicious and almost exactly like the real thing. I was surprised because I am usually not a fan of mock meat, but these were amazing! I only wish that I would have tried the black bean nachos, which looked very tempting, aside from the fact that we already had way too much food on our plates.
|On the left, you can see Ryan's little hand reaching for the bread before I could even take the picture.|
That afternoon, we went to Marbles Kids Museum, where Ryan spent a few hours running around, climbing, and exploring. One of the families in our Friday playgroup was actually in North Carolina that same weekend, so they met us at the museum. The toddlers played non-stop while I visited with S. It was also a great chance for the dads to spend time with our active little guys.
I think that everyone had fun, and we were so tired by the end of that day that our little family of three collapsed in our hotel room and ordered room service instead of going out for dinner (yes, we felt that lazy!) We also fell asleep early, which is a rare occasion for me.
We had such a busy trip that we almost stayed and extended our stay an extra night just because it went by too fast. But we decided to go ahead and drive home on Sunday, as scheduled. I really love taking road trips, and I am happy that Ryan seems to enjoy spending time in the car too. He was either sleeping, talking, or singing to us the whole time, and was not even fussy at all.
Lately, Ryan has been making me laugh because he says the funniest things at the most random times. When his stroller gets stuck, he says “beep beep” to try to make it go. He pats his head and requests his hat before he is ready to go "bye-bye". He likes to try to stick his hand in my mouth, then puts my hand in his mouth, says “teeth”, and laughs. He loves to brush his teeth, and also brushes the teeth of his toy animals. The other night, I was able to catch this on video:
We recently put up a new canvas picture of him in the living room, and Ryan's expression is so proud when he points it out to our visitors and says “Ra Ra” (and randomly throughout the day, to anyone who will listen). Last week, he was obsessed with bananas and this week he is crazy about bread. Ryan has also learned how to answer “yes” to some questions and has even willingly shared some of his things with me. I feel like we are finally able to communicate with each other more clearly, and this makes us both much happier and it makes our days run more smoothly.