Fall weather brings Fall bugs!

Gracie met our first Daddy Long Leg of the season! Check out their encounter...


Uh oh...it's about to get cold!

That's what goes through my mind the second after I realize how pretty Fall is!

Family Fun Day

Stephen and I made great use of our past weekend. As most of you know, we were able to catch the TX/OU game in Brussels. It was really nice to be able to see a game, much less the biggest upset this year. You all know that I tend to root for OU, and although I have a lot of friends that went to TX...your Texas Ex's rep in Brussels needs to be fired. She was incredibly annoying, disgustingly vulgar, and her use of the f'bomb and "go back to your Indian Reservation" jargon hit a sensitive chord with me. We'll just say we didn't get along. It really had NOTHING to do with the game or the University, I just hate fans like that, and I really can't stand people that speak about things they know nothing about. Anyhow, I was incredibly embarrassed for her, and embarrassed that everyone around her thinks that is the way Texans act. Oh well, right? Nothing I can do about it. I'm sure there are equally annoying OU fans, and we ALL know that the A&M fans are worse :) I kid, I kid!

The next morning, we decided to spend the day together in Liege. I had to work on Saturday morning and then attend a meeting on Saturday afternoon, so we looked forward to a family day! We started by walking the market in front of our house. We haven't shown recent pictures of this market, so I thought I would inform you guys of the Fall's latest...people and goods!

After we walked the market, we decided to visit the October Fair in Liege. Every October for the entire month the city hosts a fair. Not like the Texas Fair, it only has rides, trashy outfits, sickening food (the pita we ate still hasn't settled) and amazing people watching. I did my best to document some of these things...but again I have to watch out for my safety :)

This guy was on a bumper car, though. Figured it was my window of opportunity!

Stephen loved his day at the fair. Not only did he get a DP, the weather was perfect (in the 70's) and he also got a pita made to order (no vegetables or lettuce). Nice.

My husband is a FINISHER!!!

Well, it's over! The weather was in the low fifties, high forties...it rained 90% of the time (15% down pour) so it wasn't the best of conditions, we'll put it that way! Things started off great, Stephen and I felt good and were actually feeling the time fly by. Around 12km (sorry, but we've converted to km's to make it easier) my knee started to hurt, but I was able to push through the pain for a while...until 15 km (9 miles). I was running and singing out loud (by no means out of endurance) when my knee just gave out. I asked Stephen to slow down with me to see if I could run through it...but it wasn't going to happen. I couldn't even really walk without pain. This outcome was expected...but it didn't make it any easier to accept. It's very emotional to train for something for that long for something completely out of your hands require you to stop. I had to focus, though, because Stephen needed to finish and bring home a medal.

He carried on...and I was given Richard's (the couple that came with us- Michelle, his wife, ran with Stephen) bike to see Stephen throughout the race, he still had another 27km to go.
After about half an hour, I was absolutely freezing (wet from rain, sweat, and the temperature was really cold when not running) so I stopped in a cafe to warm up so I could get back out and do some supporting. Richard carried on though to support the two runners, and then came back to give me the bike about an hour later. At that point, Stephen was on 25km... past the "threshold" and past his farthest run to date (17km to go.) From that point on, it was all new territory for him, but he continued to press on. The course began to meander away from the city, and away from the spectators. We had already run a stretch away from spectators, but we were together. This one he was alone, but he said he was in a zone and by 30km he realized he was going to finish. The course didn't come back into the city until 37km so Richard rode out to check on him and came back with the goods news that though a small cramp in his left quad had slowed him down he was still running.

I was so emotional watching him. The pride I felt was overwhelming. I rode alongside him from about 37km to 39km (until getting yelled at by a pseudo-drunk German volunteer) and then made my way to the finish to be there for him when he was done! He said that by 35km he had resigned to walk a few minutes every other km. By 40km, the course turned into the shopping streets and went along the gorgeous cathedral (see pic in post below). At one point, he said he needed to walk and only 5 steps into the walk a nice German man came up behind him and encouraged him (in English!) to keep going. They ran together for about 1.5 km and talked about their experience. It helped take his mind off the pain and tiredness. Next came Mt. Everest (or at least that's what it feels like for the runners after 41.5km, and even myself on the bike with a bum knee) which consisted of a climb over the bridge and then a few hundred meters until the finish!

I have to say, for both of us, the finish was the most emotional thing. To watch someone you love so much complete such an arduous task was amazing! HE FINISHED! He hadn't worked out in two years when we started training. The most he ran during training was 23km...and that was over a month ago. It was insane...I'm so proud of him! He's incredible! And the medal is pretty cool, too :)

Thank you so much for all of the prayers and well wishes for the race. We appreciate them so much!

Duh duh duh.....

The marathon is this weekend. If we survive, we'll tell you all about it. Ha! We're not completely joking, though. To make excuses, we haven't trained like we should have, we've both been plagued with injuries, and it's going to be in the high 40's with HIGH WINDS...what????? The point of doing this race was to get in shape and do something we wouldn't normally do in Texas...goal accomplished. Whether we finish in record time or sideline halfway to the pub, I'm proud of us and our accomplishments! We'll take pictures and give you the play-by-play when we return. Until then, here's a nice shot of the bridge we'll be starting on...

(Cologne, Germany)

If you've visited us here, you know that I require you to see the Cathedral in the background. It's absolutely incredible. You need to see it.