All posts by Geena Gabrielle

summer travels update

Sammy, my twelve y/o brother, leaned over our rental’s center console to feed me another bite of his orange chicken. It was 11:30 PM and our California road trip was almost complete. My kids were in and out of sleep (i.e., crying on and off) and – after a fun-packed but sleepless week of travel –  I welcomed any processed food to help me keep my tired eyes open. Anyways, Panda is one of Brad’s favorite fast foods. And I really missed him.

Sam was out in San Diego for almost three weeks. Each day we relished in summer fun – lots of swimming, kids everywhere, California sights, mosquito bites, and good food.

Bradley is at home in San Antonio – working. Boooooo. He came out for the marathon. He toughed it out through a few different injuries to finish the half with little-no training. (He has a strong will and can push himself to do anything.) We’re hoping he can make it out for a little bit of this Maryland trip. We’ll see, I guess.

Conor Daniel and Ronan Daniel – matching after Sunday Mass, named after their grandpa Papa Harrington, and – let it be known – “God is [their] judge!”

Noah, my biggest little bro, and Adley made it out for a few days too! They ran the half too. Bradley ran into Noah several miles in, and they finished the race together. We had the best time showing off San Diego and our favorite Mexican cuisine! Best memory was lounging around the fire pit recounting family stories and discussing the end of the world. (Still smiling typing this out weeks after the fact.)

Katrina and I ran a full marathon together – holding hands as we crossed the finish. During the hardest parts (those San Diego hills!) we prayed a rosary and the parts of the Divine Mercy Chaplet that we could remember. I offered up each mile for a sibling. I can barely believe I have 25 (and growing with in-laws)! I’m still debating if it’s worth the THIRTY dollar to purchase this photograph. But I mean, come on, smiles + perfectly in stride with a San Diego view. Not bad for mile 14.

Eve has her “Darbie” as her travel companion. (Darbie = what she calls her Barbie doll.) This summer we’re traveling for two months. She thrives on these trips – living up the fun with her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Her time with Elise is the best of  all. Those two are little bestie-cousin-sisters. They laugh hysterically, break stuff, yell, fight,  hug it out, dance, and play house. I never had cousins growing up, so it’s extra cool to witness their laughs and love.

Julianne (my goddaughter!!!!!) visited San Diego and I was able to kiss her sweet little face and hang out with her super cool mom, Kaitlin. :)

Anne hosted my chillens and brothers up in Berkeley for a few nights. I was excited to show Sammy where I used to live! And show the kids, even though they won’t remember (well, Evey might… vaguely…), where Dad played rugby (Go Bears!), Mom worked, Mom + Dad got engaged, and the blue corner home covered in flowers, where I lived! We saw some dear friends – Theresa and Megan in San Francisco and the Kraft family in Sacramento. It was a busy sleepless trip, and I’m definitely still recovering, but it was awesome.

Have I mentioned being tired yet in this post? ;)

Theresa’s visit was perfectly timed with NAP-TIME. We walked down Telegraph in Berkeley to one of my favorite thrift shops. We walked in figuring we’d just browse. An hour later, we strutted out with bags full – we both SCORED BIG-TIME!!! I bought three beautiful 70’s skirts (two pictured in this post) and a funky cotton, also 70’s, maxi. Theresa scored two awesome blouses and a pair of soft denim overalls that I’m still guilting her into giving to me (because they are PERFECTION).

Atticus was born two days before we left, so, I was able to visit Cullen at the Naval Hospital. Such a special experience and my first time (I’m sure it won’t be the last!) visiting a mama friend in the hospital to welcome her child. This was especially cool because Cullen and I are constantly moving but never living in the same place. I’m lucky to have a life FILLED WITH BABIES :)

Poppop Cooley picked us up from BWI at 5AM local time. Even that early, he parks and comes in. He grabs the carseats and luggage – always taking the best care of his kids and grandkids. We’re beat after our redeye flight, but it went super well, all things considered.

Ronan and I napped for the majority of the morning, but Eve, wired from the excitement of seeing her Cooley family opted to head to VBS with my sisters, brother, and Mom. I don’t know how, but she made it to 2PM in good spirits, even without sleeping the night before.

Molly (10), Jorgi (8), and Nonna set up a grocery store and doll house for Eve and Ronan. It’s adorable! Ellie (15) is playing with Eve now. She’s being very patient with here too because apparently Eve thinks chunking the darbies around the room violently is hilarious.

This time with our families is the best. It’s freaking hard traveling and getting out of routines. I’m super tired (but also hopeful we can establish some healthy sleep schedules for our next SIX weeks here). It’s also THE BEST.

The only thing that would make this better is: 1) We get Dad Brad here.  2) We get the Harrington-Cooley families in the same place + we do this all the time = we have the fullest life!


 

This post is brought to you by Mama Cool who came to a tired daughter’s rescue this morning and suggested I give myself a break. So, here I am with my iced coffee in a little hometown coffee shop writing, praying, and refreshing! Thanks, Mom <3

Anything Can Happen

Ellie Goulding and I ran together once.

^^^^#1: Before my first half! I drove alone 2+ hours to MD’s Eastern Shore and ran solo. #2: Dorky selfie pre-second half! Running with a group of girlfriends close to home in DC.

I don’t know what I was thinking. I hadn’t properly trained.

When I signed up for the Nike’s Women Half Marathon my goal was to run 7:30 miles. (Ha. Ha. Ha. Wut?) Even though I’d run my previous half at 9:00 miles, I somehow thought I could shave off a casual 1:30. (Uh. You dumb-dumb.)

Race day came, and of course I wasn’t prepared. The silver lining of a registered 7:30 pace in a race of 15,000 thousand women was I started in a top coral. I was in the front with all the serious runners (the ones in underwear looking shorts and racing bras – don’t want clothes to add on any extra time y’all). I was also next to (literally 2 feet away from!) Ellie Goulding.

Come race day I was in no shape prepared to sustain 7:30s for 13.1 miles but that gun went off and the energy was electric. I ran a cool 3.5 miles keeping up with my girl Ellie.

This isn’t only cool because she’s a super talented, famous artist. It gets EXTRA COOL POINTS because her songs powered my initial love for running.

Lights was the soundtrack to my blooming passion for hitting the pavement (a year before this race took place). Even six years later, I still today feel the total exertion of my College Park Wednesday 6-milers. I trained through 2012’s icy Winter and Spring. When I think back I feel that cold chill in the back of my throat as I inhale and I hear, “I see that lights that…” as I wind through the forest paths.

^^^My supportive big sis found my name on the wall of runners the day before the race and sent me this photo.

So, 3.5 miles in it hit me. For the next 9.6 miles I moved slower and slooower. People passed me the entire race. I even had to stop for good ole portapot.

I did NOT PR that day, and it kinda sucked. I also didn’t walk, and I got to run with Ellie Goulding, which is one cool memory.

This is the part where I tell you something super exciting and the reason why this story is actually relevant….. I’m running my first marathon! It’s week four of training. Our long run this past weekend was 10 miles. It felt incredible to log some in the double digits again because I haven’t since that ^ day!

(The title might be a bit of a stretch. Yea?)