Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why Wednesday - Creatures of Habit

WHY do I seem to always run the same routes? Like a mouse in a maze, I run mindlessly, turning on the same roads depending on the mileage for the day dashing for my "cheese" (the finish). I'm always saying "enjoy the journey" but I think I'm missing out on some of the journey seeing the same things day after day.

We live in a small town and I find that I always run from my house (which is soooo awesome and I owe the CRC a big thanks for running from here) seeming to be a creature of habit choosing to run the same roads day after day. It's not so bad until you start training for longer races and then you find yourself circling town multiple times. Maybe a new view might help the runs pass a bit quicker.

So today I made a new rule for the 8 retracing my steps and running the same road twice with one exception; the block that I live on. It was fun, mentally mapping out my run trying to make sure to always choose new roads all the while trying to estimate mileage and then finding additional roads when I ended up .80 of a mile short. In the end, I actually finished 8.2 miles at 9:30's sprinting the last 1/4 of a mile just because I could. :)

Run On! And discover a new route or two this week...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The last treats I baked for the holidays turned out to be three cheesecakes...I was in such a rush since I had to wait until the week of Christmas to get them made that I failed to take any pictures of them and since they are a secret family recipe I won't be posting the recipes here but I will give you some details to make you drool.

Cheesecake #1: Of course I made the original Plain Cheesecake since that is the go-to favorite for many. Rich but not too rich, creamy, smooth, and fresh (thanks to the lemon juice). It had a graham cracker crust with a hint of cinnamon but it could also be made with ginger snaps.

Cheesecake #2: A hit from last year had to be brought back and tweaked to make it even better. I call it a Caramel Pecan Cheesecake but should maybe call it a Double Sugar OD. This year I spread thick Smuckers Caramel/Butterscotch topping all over the Pecan Sandie crust and then poured the plain batter in swirling more caramel through the top. After baking it and topping it with the normal sour cream topping I spread chopped Pralined Pecans (recipe I found in Southern Living) over the top and drizzled on more caramel topping. Talk about a sugar overdose! Think next year I will make my own caramel sauce now that I know how to make caramels.

Cheesecake #3: You have to have chocolate so I went with the Chocolate Almond Amaretto (Disorrano) Cheesecake. This is a recipe from way mom has been making this one for years. Not too much chocolate and not too much amaretto; a nice balance baked in a Oreo crust topped with chocolate sour cream topping, almonds and a drizzle of semi-sweet chocolate. Will let you in on one secret ingredient - coffee - just a shot, but oh how it wakes up the chocolate flavor.

The reason for the three cakes is that I give them to three sets of family's and each gets a third of each flavor. If you are wondering how they turned out all I can say is I had no complaints and had reports that one of them is already gone.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Greyson, Brooke & Michael

Greetings, Hope this letter finds you all well this Holiday Season. I can't believe it has been almost two months since we checked in with everyone about Greyson but since he hasn't had any doctors appointments we didn't have anything major to share. "Buddy" has continued to shrink a little more in the front and under his arm from the sclero-therapy. The spots in his hand and arm seem to be a tiny bit bigger but it hasn't seemed to slow him down any.

Greyson continues to get physical therapy and visits from a special instructor to make sure he is staying on track developmentally. He is still scheduled to have surgery at Children's Mercy on January 27. We expect he'll stay in the hospital a few days but we aren't sure. We hope he will get to stay in a regular room so we can stay with him. I will keep everyone posted with his progress through this page during surgery and recovery.

Greyson is doing just perfect and keeping Michael and I hopping. We have gotten into a great routine and Greyson is developing faster than ever. He grows and changes daily. To catch you up, he is almost 8 months old (on the 7th of January), he weighs a bit over 18 pounds, and is more than 27 inches long. He is smiling all the time and laughs with and at Michael the most. He loves to stand up with one of us holding him and is just now beginning to sit on his own and play with toys tipping over occasionally. He rolls onto his belly a lot from his back and can pivot around. He is now figuring out how to roll over "buddy" and is working on getting back to his back. He is a great eater - eating lots of vegetables and fruits but not really enjoying meat yet. He has started to learn to eat finger foods with a little more texture and is trying to drink from a cup but we have a long way to go.

On this Christmas Day we are reminded about all the family and friends that have kept Greyson in their thoughts and prayers and we wanted to thank you all and wish you the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years. We appreciate you all and count ourselves very lucky to have you on Greyson's support team. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon.

We love you,
Brooke, Michael, and Greyson

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why Wednesday - Clutz

"Brooke, WHY are you laying on the ground?" you might have asked if you had come upon me at 6:45am this morning.....

WELLLLLLLL, that would be because this morning I officially* fell for the first time on a run. Guess I was in a zone and not paying attention to the road when all of a sudden I felt my body fling forward and before the message could get to my arms - scrape, skid, bump - I was down. Luckily, I instinctively turned to one side so I didn't get my face but I did bang my knee, shoulder, and head pretty good. Had my gloves on so my hands didn't get torn up but did sting a little. As soon as I landed I rolled to my back to assess the situation (and make sure no one saw me) and looked back to see what obstacle I missed in the road. Funny thing, all that was there was just an uneven spot in the road that I have run over 100's if not 1000's of times. Thinking maybe I should pick up my feet a bit. But no worries, I'm not really hurt, just a bruise or two ;-) so all is well. Should be ready for my long run (15) on Friday. Hoping the weather holds out for me.

Run On!

*I have fallen one other time on a run but that was trail running and that doesn't fall into the same category - you know, roots, rocks, ruts...who wouldn't fall down ;-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why Wednesday - Running With "The Girls"

*I apologize in advance if there are any men reading this that I offend (don't really think there are many people that read this anyway so I think I can be candid:)....

Before every run, when I get my clothes together, almost every time I forget one of my bra tanks/sports bras. How could I forget 1 you say?????....that would be because I now have to wear 2! My little sports bras that I have had for years don't seem to be doing the trick anymore (they haven't for more than a year) and it now requires two sports bras to "hold things together".

It is a well known fact that when you get pregnant, and then if you decide to breast feed, your boobs get big huge. For some ladies, this is not such a big deal because they were used to boobs to begin with, but for me, someone that had basically nothing, this has been a big huge change...and I hate to complain cause I know that I will wish them back later, but I'm really not that fond of them. Although Michael would probably like to plead his case.

So this brings me to my WHY ........... 
WHY don't I just break down and buy a few new running bra tops?

This whole issue of not having enough bra's and only needing to wear one would be solved if I would go buy a couple of bigger, more supportive, sports bras but for some reason I keep putting it off. Not really sure why....Maybe I am thinking that as soon as I go buy some the new "girls" will know it and disappear as a cruel joke. But most likely I am just a cheapskate and won't spring for any knowing that when I am done breastfeeding (which will be much sooner than Michael's 2 years idea), they will shrink and then they won't fit anymore and will be a waste laying in my drawer like the 1 maternity tank my sister gave me. I do have plans to pass that tank on to a friend but not sure if she, or anyone, would want my "hand-me-down" bras ;-) .....Just saying....

Run On!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sugar Cookies

First off, I owe this whole post to my friend Cherona who shared this recipe with me a few years back when we used to have the best Maple Leaf Parade Parties. I ruined the tradition of course when we moved off parade route and it hasn't been the same since. A few of the 10 years we lived there, she made the cutest maple leaf shaped frosted sugar cookies and shared her recipe with me. I swear this is the best sugar cookie recipe I have found to date (sorry mom - yours are 2nd). These can be rolled and cut out of cute shapes or simply rolled in a ball, tossed around in a bit of sugar, flattened down, and baked.

This year I found that I have a shortage of time to do all of my normal Christmas cooking so I decided to go the non-cookie cutter, non-decorated route. My friend Martha shared a tip to brush them with a bit of water after you sugar them and they will come out shinier and a bit crisp. I even added a touch of coarse decorators Sparkling Sugar (Wilton). The best part for me this year is that I don't need to frost them so that will save me lots of time (but I do say they are even better and cuter with a bit piped on top).

oil makes it real runny
used the mini scoop instead of rolling, then rolled in sugar and flattened
sprinkled on after flattening, then brushed with little bit of water
Sugar Cookies:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Cream butter, oil, and sugar in the mixer on low speed. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until combined. Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, soda, cream of tarter) in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients 1/2 cup at a time. I added between 1/4 and 1/2 cup extra flour to get the dough to come together and not be runny (all the oil causes the dough to be very runny but adds to the crispiness when cooked). Refrigerate the dough overnight. Roll out dough with a rolling pin to 1/4 in in depth and cut out using your favorite cookie cutter or roll into 1 inch balls, roll the balls in sugar, place on a cookie sheet and flatten using a spatula or bottom of glass. If rolling in sugar and flattening, brush tops with a little water and sprinkle with decorators course sugar. Bake at 300 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool and remove from cookie sheet. When completely cool decorate with frosting.
finished product

Last Minute Deals on Snapfish

Not that I have waited this long ;-) but if anyone else is still needing some gift ideas Snapfish is running some great deals today and tomorrow.

Calendars: Buy 1 Get 2 Free (only 37 hours left on this deal as of Monday 12:45pm)
Coupon Code: MERRY1213

Books: 50% off all Photo Books (4 days left)
Coupon Code: 1211MERRY

I might better throw something together tonight!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pecan Balls - A Family Tradition

For as long as I can remember my Grandma Roberts has been making Pecan Balls at Christmas time. It is the only time of year we ever have them and when I started baking for the holidays I added that recipe to my list as well. They are a tradition and a must at Christmas.  Even if we don't have a white Christmas we will have these little snowballs.

Pecan Balls:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar. Blend in vanilla and pecans. Add flour and salt. Mix until smooth. Form into1-1 1/2 inch balls and back on un-greased cookie sheet at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. While warm, roll in powdered sugar. Allow to cool.

The ingredients are simple and even easier to bake. I don't think I have ever messed them up.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Almond Butter Toffee

Inspired by a recipe and lovely pictures I found on one of my favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman: Lia's Butter Toffee...that's it; I had to make some. After looking at her recipe it occurred to me that I have made this recipe before so I started looking through my recipe books and figured it out. Lia's Butter Toffee is basically the same as my mom's Almond Butter Crunch.

It was as easy as I remembered - like the caramels; just dump all ingredients into a pot and bring to 300 degrees (must use a candy thermometer), stirred in toasted almonds, then poured it into a greased pan, after letting it cool until firm I sprinkled some chocolate chips on the top and when melted I spread it over the toffee and sprinkled on the last of the almonds. Delicious!

Almond Butter Toffee
1/2 cup melted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon water
1/2 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon corn syrup
1/2 cup chopped, toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  1. Mix all ingredients in a pot and bring to 300 degrees (must use a candy thermometer)
  2. Stir in 1/2 of the toasted almonds
  3. Poured it into a greased pan and let it cool until firm 
  4. Sprinkle chocolate chips on the top and when melted spread it over the toffee
  5. Sprinkle on the last of the almonds. (can repeat steps 4 & 5 on other side if you want)
  6. Break into pieces and store in container.

Why Wednesday - Chronic Overdresser

WHY can't I figure out what to wear when it's cold outside??? It's not like I am new to cold weather running; shouldn't I know better? When am I going to learn?

It's winter time again and the temperatures have dropped well below the norm for this time of year. I haven't yet headed in to the Y to start putting in my time on the treadmills so that means braving the unpredictable Mother Nature here in the mid-west.

Last week Chanti and I ran one early morning at what the Weather Channel said "felt like" 18 degrees and then on Saturday morning with the temps around 30 degrees and the wind straight out of the north at 20 mph gusts - brrrrrr....Debbie and I thought our faces were going to freeze off.

So what do I do to combat the cold - well....I layer on the clothes. Today the temp was 40 degrees, no wind, and full sun and I was heading out for 8 miles. As I stepped outside it felt like I had the perfect amount of clothes on but by the time I was 2 miles away I was shedding the layers.

Here is what I started with...
And here is what I finished wearing....
When am I going to learn? Maybe I should make a warm up loop around the neighborhood and swing back by after a mile to drop off some layers before heading on for the rest of the run.

Run On!

Christmas Tree Up

Not the best picture (don't even get me started about our camera) but it pretty just the same. Greyson loves all the lights of course. The tree does lean a bit but as long as you look at it from the front then no worries ;-)

Check that off the to-do list. Seems like so much to do in so little time this December....ahhhhhh. On the list today:
  1. Label and mail Christmas cards
  2. Finish MIL and niece gifts and mail
  3. Make sugar cookie dough
  4. Scrapbook mug gifts
  5. Work
  6. Help friend plan a SMART Board training
  7. Run 8 miles
Wish I could turn back the clock and give myself a few more hours.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Homemade Caramels - So Easy

Yesterday I made caramels for the first time EVER and they were SOOOO easy....and delicious. Yes I have eaten a ton.  Basically you dump all the stuff in a pot, bring it to 250 degrees, pour it in a pan, let them cool, cut them apart with a pizza cutter, and wrap them in wax paper. I ended up using a recipe found on All you need is a dutch oven pot, wisk, candy thermometer, pizza cutter, and a 12x15 baking pan. Be careful ....this stuff is licking the spoon.
Creamy Vanilla Caramels
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1cup melted butter
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a medium sized pot and heat on medium to high heat. 
  2. Monitor heat with candy thermometer until it reaches 250 degrees. (took me 10+ minutes)
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into greased 12x15 pan. 
  4. Let cool (took mine 2 hours) then cut into 1x1 1/2 inches pieces using a pizza cutter and wrap in wax paper.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Goodie Plans

I can't believe it's already December....the days are moving fast and it's time to start planning not only the Christmas presents, Christmas card, but also the goodies we will share with loved ones. Below are some of the recipes I am thinking about. Some of the traditional go-tos and some new ones.

Pecan Balls (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

 Sugar Cookies

Cheesecakes: plain, mocha madness, caramel pecan, raspberry white chocolate

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I've Commited (Have Me Committed)

On your mark, get set, go!
Looks like Little Rock Marathon is on the official Brooke Race Calendar for the Spring. The festivities will begin at 8am on March 6, 2011. The sister has twisted my arm just far enough to get me to commit (and I am wondering if I should be committed since I have heard it is hilly). She swears it will be fun and I also have another friend planning to run so at least I won't be alone. Running Little Rock will also get me my 5th marathon in my 5th state. A couple of highlights.....a huge finished medal and we can drive. There is some apprehension on my part because what I most most worried about is being alone for my long runs. I have had the great luck of having local friends running the same marathons as me for the past 4 so I have always had at least one person to put in the miles with. This time it looks like I will be on my own :( I know the CRC will be with me for some miles but not like usual. Oh well...I did my first marathon training alone... I can do it this time and bonus.... it will get me ready for the Ozark Greenways Adventure Race in May.

Other races possibly on the calendar:
Eric's Run - Jan. 9??? in Carthage (5K)
Run with the Wind - Feb. 26 from Sarcoxie, MO to Carthage, MO (30K)
Brew to Brew - April 3 in KC (44 mile relay)
OCK Marathon - May 1 (26.2 miles maybe with Debbie)

Run On!

Why Wednesday - Trying Something New

Here's my thought: if I create some sort of ritual posting I will be inclined to keep up with my blog. It seems that my mind seems to wonder when I am putting in the miles and I come up with lots of thoughts, ideas, questions, and more. Maybe I should start writing them down to remember them for future reference. So this is the birth of the "Why Wednesday" post. If you can answer some of my questions please comment; I need all the help I can get.


WHY is there so much trash on the side of the road? Is there some reason that people feel like trash is better placed on the side of the road instead of toting it home and putting it in their own trashcans? Can they just not stand to look at it on the floorboard of their car for one more second and so they must eject it from their windows immediately?

And WHY is most (I estimate 90%+) of it recyclable.... never making it to the recycle center at the city dump? And what % of our local citizens actually recycle? Which takes me to my next question...WHY does our small town not have curbside recycling? Is it too costly? Is our future world not worth it?

So finally, WHY don't I go pick it all up? Is there some sort of "runners recycling backpack" I could purchase (or invent) that has a vacuum hose so that when I run past it all I could just reach out, not even breaking my stride, not that it is fast or long, and suck up all that trash? WHY don't I patent that? I'm imagining leaf blower meets hydration pack ... :)
*images found on Flickr under the Creative Commons license.

Run On!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Photo Opps - Birthdays To Come

Now that Michael and I are raising a youngin' it's probably time we started thinking about how we are going to document his life. There are many photo opps' that I miss but thanks to Willette Designs blog I will know all the great shots to get at upcoming Birthday parties from the Birthday Party Photographer post where she gives a "must have" shot list for each B-day to come. From a the obvious picture of Greyson blowing out the cake to close ups of gift tags with names on it I will surely get some pictures to share and scrap.
Sure glad I didn't miss this pic. One thing we have figured out is that we need a new camera. The point and shoot one we have now doesn't seem to want to focus when we need it to and seems to need a flash for everything. Don't think it will fix all my photography issues but it has to be a start. Feel like I have heard myself say that before and haven't fixed the issue yet :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

10/10/10 - Mother Road 1/2 Marathon

Has it been a month already...where did the time go. I guess no excuses: time get down to telling how the Mother Road 1/2 Marathon went.

We started in Baxter Springs, KS and headed through to Riverton and Galena, KS before getting onto the 4 lane heading into Joplin, MO. The best part of the day was that I did finish in 1:59:14 thanks to my friend Don. He paced me out at 9 minute miles giving me enough breathing room to stop for a potty break somewhere around mile 9. He kept telling me we were doing great and to just keep it up. He led me up hills and talked me through the last few challenging miles. I owe Don this finish for sure. But what made the day perfect was seeing Michael and Greyson (in his new running shoes) at the finish.

The race course was ok - although it followed a historic road (Route 66) the scenery was not great, especially in Missouri. We always had a lane of traffic and all intersections were well manned by law enforcement. I would give the volunteers from beginning to end a big thumbs up. They unfortunately didn't have paper cups which presented some challenges in drinking and running. The amount of porta-potties at the start was sad (long line when the gun went off). Good thing I stopped at a convenience store on the way. It was not as flat and fast as the race directors promised and it was a warm day. Mile makers were spot on but the finish line was not in a good location for spectators which made it challenging to watch for friends finishing (especially with a stroller).

Being that this was my first race back from having Greyson my big goal was "to finish". I am big on setting goals for every race but the one thing I learned from this race, don't train just "to finish" and then 2 weeks before the race decide you are going to run 9 minute miles on race day. At least I know I didn't "leave any in the tank".

Now - what's next???

Run On!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

1st Halloween

Greyson's first Halloween was a busy one with friends visiting (thanks Hicklin's) and making some Trick or Treating stops around town and through our neighborhood(not as many as we would have liked). We finished off the day with Gramps and Grandma B coming over for dinner. The skunk costume was a great find at Old Navy the weekend before Halloween. The last one and it was actually his size (which is now 6-9 months).

The most exciting thing of the day was finding that Greyson has a little tooth coming in (see picture). Not sure how long it will take to make its way out but how exciting it was to see that little tooth pushing through. It was so exciting in fact that Michael even stopped playing his video game to check it out. Greyson doesn't seem to mind it much for now; he just continues to chew and drool on everything.
I uploaded some pictures to the Photo Gallery and although they didn't load in the correct order I am sure you can figure it out. Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful Fall.
Brooke (Michael & Greyson)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Surgery Date Set

After much coordination one of the great nurses (Michelle) at Children's Mercy has found a date for Greyson's big surgery. She worked very hard to get the 2 plastic surgeons and one general surgeon together on a date that would work for all of them and Greyson and it looks like surgery will be in the afternoon on January 27. They expect it to last a few hours.

Greyson has 3 more months to get even bigger and stronger (which shouldn't be hard since he loving eating solid foods). It seems so far away but in the grand scheme of things it is just around the corner. With the holiday's just around the corner it will most likely fly by.

To our knowledge, he will not have to go back to KC until the day before surgery (for blood work) and we expect that he might have to stay in the hospital for a handful of nights and will then be back home to finish recovery.

Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers. We talk about you all with Greyson so that he knows how many people love him :)Happy Halloween to you all - come back and visit Greyson's site next week to see his Halloween pictures....he is going to be a skunk.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Brooke In Layers

Don't know why I do can just pretend to read this and move on to the next post ;-) Idea from my friend at "If I Can't Convince You - I'll At Least Confuse You" blog. Thx Emz

In layers.

– Name: Brooke
– Birth month: September
– Birthplace: KS
– Eye Color: Hazel (brown/green)
– Hair Color: Brown [light brown]
– Height: 5′1″
– Righty or Lefty: Righty but Goofy (footed that is)
– Zodiac Sign: Virgo

– Your heritage: Scottish/English
- The shoes you've worn [so far] today: Asics Nimbus
– Your weakness: cookie dough (oh who am I kidding...all sweets)
– Your fears: Being alone
– Your perfect pizza: Gusano's Chicago Style
– Goal you’d like to achieve on a physical level: Ultra-Marathon Woman


– Your most overused text talk: OMG
– Your first waking thoughts: "wonder if I can get a nap in today?"
– Your best physical feature: small wrists
– Your most missed memory: lounging at the lake


– Pepsi or Coke: water
– McDonald’s or Burger King: yuck; neither
– Single or group dates: Yikes, If I have to pick one . . . Single
– Adidas or Nike: Adidas first my first days of running
– Chocolate or vanilla: both


– Smoke: No - quite a long time ago
– Cuss: not as much as I used to
– Sing: loud and clear to Greyson...and he LOVES it!
– Take a shower everyday: most of the time
– Do you think you’ve been in love: for many years now
– Liked high school: don't miss it but had fun
–Want to get married: AM
–Believe in yourself: depends, but more than I did 10 years ago
– Get motion sickness: didn't used to  :( YUCK
– Think you’re attractive: pretty average
– Think you’re a health freak: well I must run but I sure don't eat well enough
– Get along with your parent(s): yep
– Like thunderstorms: Love them except when accompanied by wind.
– Play an instrument: do Rock Band drums count???

LAYER SIX:In the past month

– Smoked: No
– Done a drug: No
– Ran a marathon:  a half ;-)
– Gone on a date: Yes
– Run a crazy man / horse 50 miler?: ????
– Eaten an entire box of Oreos?: No-never.
– Eaten sushi: yes
– Been on stage: no
– Made homemade cookies: yes


– How do you want to die: In my sleep or while running(stole this from Emz)
– Where you want to go to college: went to Pittsburg State University
–What do you want to be when you grow up: not grown up
– What country would you most like to visit: Australia


– Number of piercings: 3 - ears and belly buton
– Number of tattoos: 0 - can't decide on one that I would want for the rest of my life
– Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: ???
– Number of scars on my body: 2 (appendectomy and c-section)
– Number of things in my past that I regret: a handful
– Number of people I could trust with my life: 6 that I would be on

Congrats on finishing that....;) learn anything?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

5 Months & Dr. Appointments

Today was Greyson's appointment with the doctors at Children's Mercy to begin planning his upcoming surgery. We visited with the radiologist, dermatologist and plastic surgeon along with all of their nurses. They checked in and were all very pleased with the shrinkage in Greyson's growth and the way his skin has changed. Dr. Jiang, one of the plastic surgeons that will do the surgery says that they are ready to plan and see what they can do for Greyson. Their staff is working now to try and get this scheduled and we will let everyone know as soon as there is a date. There are a lot of individuals and resources to coordinate so this could take a little time.

One of the biggest thing discussed was what to expect after surgery. The doctors want to make sure we understand that even after surgery, the chance of the growth reoccurring is possible and it is likely that he will have to have future surgeries as things progress. It seems to be the nature of this kind of "beast" and we will have to see what happens. We also talked about what to do with the spots in Greyson's right arm. For now we are going to wait and see how taking off the larger growth will affect his arm.

Greyson turns 5 months old tomorrow...he now weighs 16 pounds 2 ounces and is 26 inches long. He has gotten so strong and holds himself up well when we carry him. He is still working with the Special Instructor and Physical Therapist. They are trying to teach him how to roll over and how to sit up and he is getting so close on each but the weight of "buddy" presents some challenges.

Greyson jabbers a lot, smiles, and sometimes giggles. He is very friendly and especially loves his TV friends. He still likes to go on runs with me and will be able to continue this into the fall as soon as we get the weather shield for the stroller. This weekend Greyson is having a sleep over with my Dad and Beck when Michael and I go out of town for the night. He is also going to get to try rice cereal for the first time and get to go to his first race to see me run. Next weekend will bring on his first Maple Leaf Parade and trail ride at Gramps and Grandma B's. And he will have his first Halloween at the end of the month.

We look forward to seeing or hearing from you all. Happy Fall!
Brooke (Michael & Greyson)

Monday, October 4, 2010


I don't like the cold...I don't like to have to wear pants (or even 3/4 pants)...hats, gloves, buff, etc. all make a run less comfortable....I overdress all the time....I hate not getting to wear a tank and shorts....cold weather means less morning runs which then takes up too much of my evenings....G won't get to come on runs when it gets too cold....Did I say I don't like cold???

Damn you Mother Nature and Old Man Winter!!!!!

On a good note - looks like it might be pretty nice for the Mother Road 1/2 this weekend.

Run On!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Prepared

Yes, I was a Girl Scout and I do know how to "Be Prepared". The weather sheild for Greyson's running stroller is on the way. FYI Wish we could have found it in yellow like below but no dice....went with gray, the only color Target had.

With Mother Nature dropping these 40-50 degree mornings on us, it's like she is testing my motherly judgment.....take the little guy or bow out and stay home with him. He loves being outside so how can I bow out just because of a little drop in the temp? Maybe this will help me stay on the road longer when there's no one to watch him and I need to log some miles. Planning for a spring marathon so there will be some cold runs coming soon for sure.

Run On!

Monday, September 27, 2010

27 Cents Richer

Found a quarter and a penny on my long run Saturday (Thank You Debbie)! And found a penny today! Woohoooo, I'm RICH!

It is so fun finding change on the road and yes I stop for it all. Wonder if I could talk people into tossing money out all around town to keep all my spirits up and keep the runs interesting.

"See a penny, pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck!"

Run On!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm Ready

Yesterday was my last long run before the Mother Road 1/2 Marathon and I can say, "I am ready." I may not set any records but I will run and have fun and finish. Next thing on the running "to-do" list....figure out what spring marathon and adventure race.

The best part of yesterdays 13 miler was having Greyson join me for a little over 7 of it. He seems to really like the stroller; he just hung out, took in the sites, chatted with me a bit, and even napped a little. Since it was a bit cooler (56 degrees) he even got to wear his new hat and gloves but I did figure out we are going to have to get the weather shield a bit sooner than I thought. I really think he could have gone the whole 13 miles without a problem but didn't want to push it.

Run On!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Keep Your Head Down & Just Run

"Keep your head down and just run" .... my mantra when I hit a big hill and need to focus on putting one foot in front of the other and not on the HUGE obstacle in front of me. Never did I think that I would need to do THAT running through town in the wee hours before the sun came up today.

As I was on my way home, less than a half a mile away, a light caught my eye and I instinctively looked in it's direction. Before I knew it I was staring straight into the front door of someone's home peering through their full glass storm-door at a figure with a naked leg and arm reaching for the door and before I saw anymore...... I ducked and ran. Someone should really tell that family that when it's dark outside and their lights are on inside, you can see it all and I mean ALL!

Run On!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not a Morning Person!!!

It's funny the things that pop into your head on run. This morning after leaving Chanti and headed home to finish my 4 miler, I got to thinking how much I like it when I get to start in the dark and finish in the first bits of morning light. To have my run complete, to have caught up with friends, to have the whole day ahead of me and to not have to worry about fitting in my exercise somewhere else is quite freeing.

It used to be that I would get home before Michael even got up and I could take a shower and get my coffee all before he woke up. Now I come home to a smiling baby ready to get up and start the day himself. We "chat" and play and he hangs out while I clean up waiting for the time when we can go in and wake up Daddy. Or sometimes he wakes up a bit earlier and comes along for the run and gives me a little extra workout (running with a stroller adds a whole new dimension for sure).

The funniest part about all this that I AM NOT and HAVE NEVER BEEN a morning person, I LOVE my sleep.... At least not until I became a runner and more recently until I became a mom. It seems that I will give up sleep for only two very important things to me: #1 Greyson and #2 running.

So what does this say about me??? ;-)

Run on!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where Has September Gone

I can't believe the month of September is almost over - it's been really busy but stayed on track with the half marathon training schedule even with a work trip to Columbia, a trip to Wichita, and a touch of a stomach bug last week. I'm still planning on running the 1st annual Mother Road 1/2 Marathon starting in Baxter Springs, Kansas following historic Route 66 right into Joplin, MO on 10/10/10.

Sounds like quite a few friends some family are going to be joining me for the haul. Thinking Don, Sharon, Dan, and Jen are in it for the 13.1 mile plan. My goal is to finish in under 2 hours but will be happy for a finish feeling good considering this is my first race since having G. They are advertising this race as a walker, stroller, headphone friendly race. Wondering if G would want to come along for the ride ;-) Chanti and Angie are going the full distance and I can't wait to cheer them in at the finish line. The CRC will be represented but not all members will be present. Debbie and Robert are heading to Chicago so that Debbie can run her 3rd Marathon at the ING Chicago Marathon on the same day. Good luck to her :)

Going to run 13 miles this Saturday - will be my longest run in who knows how long (over a year at least) and I'm looking forward to being done. It's great to be back on the road with my friends and it's now time to pick my next marathon. Any suggestions???

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Top 10 Things to do By 40

Photo by KTVee
I love being inspired by other's postings on blogs I follow....especially when it's a blog that a friend pens. My lovely friend (and past eMINTS trainee) Alysia, who is almost ready to give birth to she and her husbands first child, recently posted 40 By 40, a list of things she would like to do all before she turns 40.

Being a list person, I of course, LOVED the idea. Only one problem - lovely Alysia is just in her first year of the 30's and I am coming to the end of the 30's :( With just 2 years before I turn 40 it looks like I might need to refine my list to make it more achievable and reasonable for a short time period and a blend of Alysia's idea and David Letterman's Top 10 list is what it's going to be. So here it is (in no certain order):

Top 10 Things to do By 40
  1. Start at least 5 new "traditions" for Michael, Greyson & I
  2. Take a couples vacation
  3. Update Kitchen - paint cabinets, new counters, etc.
  4. Learn a Wake to Wake 180
  5. Take Greyson camping
  6. Learn to cook with my Crock-Pot
  7. Run an ultra marathon
  8. Have Grandma R teach me to make a blueberry pie
  9. Take at least 1 picture a week
  10. Learn to knit - and make something to wear
So wish me luck but I won't be holding my breath.

Monday, September 13, 2010

4 Months Old

Greyson turned 4 months old on September 7. Wow, how time fly's. Things have gone really well since the last sclero-therapy treatment although we haven't seen much shrinkage he is doing great. Greyson continues to receive care from his Physical Therapist, Suzy and Special Instructor, Sharon. He really wants to roll but just can't get over. He loves to suck on his hands and uses his hands to grasp toys (his left more than his right). We are working on getting him to prop himself up on his arms when laying on his belly and hold on to toys with both hands. He likes to lift his legs up and kick them all around and has even found his feet a few times.

Greyson had his 4 month check-up today with the pediatrician in Joplin and is growing as he should be. He did have to get shots today which he doesn't like (obviously) but he didn't cry much and didn't seem to feel bad after like last time. He weighs 15 lb 8 oz and is 25 3/4 inches long. That puts him in the 40th percentile for weight and 60th percentile for length.

We have had a chance to visit the lake a few more times and Greyson has enjoyed riding on the pontoon boat now that there have been some cooler days. He traveled with me to Columbia one last time for a week and spent lots of quality time with Grandma Diane. We even took him for his first swim in a pool (he acted like it was nothing - a bath seems to be more fun). Last weekend we went to Wichita to watch his cousins play football and soccer and visited lots of family. One thing we have figured out is that he gets really tired of the car bed and hot as well....and when he's done he let's us know loud and clear. We don't see any long trips in the near future and are working with the car seat lady from Children's Mercy to find an alternative.

Greyson's next appointment is scheduled for October 6 with the plastic surgeons to plan his surgery in January. We are looking forward to an uneventful and quiet fall.

Finally, I figured out how to get the video clips we have been taking of Greyson online for you all to see. Just visit this link and you should be able to see both our mobile uploaded pictures and videos.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back to Sewing - Nursing Cover-Up

Found a small bit of time to make myself a couple of nursing cover-ups after finding some on that cost $25. The local quilt shop has some great Amy Butler fabric on sale for $5 a yard so it was meant to be. Felt like a cover up was something I could make pretty quickly and without a pattern. Hindsight, it needs to be a few inches wider and longer but besides that, they turned out and now my modesty has been preserved ;-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stealing an Idea

So I decided to document my KC run as one of the runner bloggers I follow at It's Just One Foot in Front of the Other. She takes pictures of herself after running and posts them along with inspirational thoughts and ideas. No inspiration from me today just a snapshot of downtown KC and an overview of my run through downtown Kansas City, MO.

Being in KC for G's latest procedure meant a morning run through the city while he and Mikey hung out at our room at the Ronald McDonald House which meant starting at the base of quite a hill and that was just the start. It was very different than running in little ole' Carthage, MO - lots of hills, cars, people, bridges, buses, and great buildings to look at. Thanks to my friend Don, I had a 4.5 mile route that took me past Crowne Center, The Sprint Center, and Children's Mercy Hospital. My route was part of the Hospital Hill 1/2 Marathon Route so now I am may have to run that one someday but not sure I can take all the hills....I am feeling those hills today in my shins hope it doesn't affect my 8 miler tomorrow.

Run On!

KC Running

One of the sites on my 4.5 miler documented with my Hipstamatic app.