A’s Blessingway, 2019

Blessingway:  in Native American tradition [Navajo], a ceremony called a Blessingway created space for women to come together as a support circle for the expecting mother, and bless the way ahead for her. It is a gathering of the most trusted and cherished women in her life; those who will provide support and encouragement as she explores the challenges and joys that lie ahead as she approaches motherhood.

As the time comes close for sweet baby Caleb to arrive, we honored Autumn with some of her favorite things (henna and lattes!) and words of encouragement and love.  Never doubt the power of a woman, especially when surrounded by other women supporting her.

5k Foam Fest 2018

Race review time! In April we returned to complete the 5k Foam Fest. This time with a bigger crowd.

A big fave was the “water lilies” – a long floating pad in Lanier Lanier. Surprisingly buoyant!

Of course one of the best parts of the whole thing is the mud.

Second best part is probably the three-story inflatable water slide, followed closely by the finish line smiles.

Would I recommend this race? DEFINITELY. We had a blast last year and an even better time this year.

Please remember this is a “fun-core” race. It’s not a time to work on your PR, or to try to make your fastest 5k. The Lake Lanier terrain is full of sticks and rocks and plenty of hills (but lovely views!), that make running difficult. It’s best to approach this as an obstacle course, with some light jogging/hiking in between obstacles, as opposed to a “run”.

5k Foam Fest Tips:

Wear long pants! Last year I wore leggings but this year I opted for shorts. After experiencing some seriously skinned up knees and shins, year I’m going back to leggings next year.

Wear light weight “wicking” materials. Avoid cotton.

Buy new shoes. Every year on the way I swing through Walmart to buy a pair of $10-12 running shoes (men’s usually, bc they are better made than the women’s). There’s no way I’d subject my beloved ASICS to this mud and foam. The Walmart shoes go promptly into the trash at the end of the race.

Stay nearby if you can! Last year we drove almost 2 hours to and from the race, but when you’re wet and muddy that’s a long time to be in the car. This year we nabbed a nearby AirBnb with 3 showers. It’s hard to beat a post-race shower and a lakeside nap.

Happy spring, friends! Do you have any upcoming races?

{gratitude lately}

Lately, I’ve been grateful for beach trips.

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And family time.

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For new houses and fig trees.

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For dress shopping excursions (and finding “the one”!)

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And for the instant film that makes capturing these memories so fun.

*All photos here except dress shopping were captured on a Land Camera 210 using Fp-100c film [no longer manufactured]. The photo in front of the bridal shop was taken using an Instax Neo 90 on Instax Mini Color film.

Happy September, friends!

5K Foam Fest: 2017

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Josh, Carol Anne and I recently completed the 5k Foam Fest at Lake Lanier in Georgia. Scott had to sit this one out to recover from a muscle injury, so this race was all about the sibling teamwork! Or sibling competition, as the case may have been at certain obstacles…

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The highlight of this 5k are the 22 obstacles that include “foam”, mud pits, rope obstacles, slippery slides, and wading in Lake Lanier. We went from bubbly, to muddy, to wet, and back again several times; and loved the whole thing!

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I highly recommend buying some CHEAP running shoes (we found ~$10 pairs at Wal-mart) because getting the mud and foam out of the shoes is IMPOSSIBLE. It’s best to plan to ditch those shoes in the trash as soon as the race is over. Carol Anne and I also chose light-weight “quick-dry” running shirts.

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This is NOT the race to try for a PR, because the terrain is quite uneven and rocky, and portions of the course are more like hiking than running. But if you’re looking for a fun messy time with great obstacles? We definitely recommend the 5k Foam Fest as a family event, or a team building activity.  All 3 of us plan to sign up again next year!