Monday, May 20, 2019

MuckFest – Boston – Inaugural Race of the MuckFest Season!

Day 1 – 4 a.m. start to our day, but lots of excitement to take on our first venture of the year. Bags packed, kissed the kids goodbye and Mark and I were off to SJC to catch our first leg to Boston.  Thanks to an old friend who still works for Southwest – we benefited from his perk of flying free on non-rev passes, i.e., standby – the price of free. And lucky for us, we checked in and seats were available and we were Denver bound…made it to Denver no problem, but rats – we landed # 5 and #6 on the standby list with only 5 seats left. Eek! No way we were going to split up, so next option, let’s go to Austin! Which we did…had some yummy tacos and local beer for lunch – and scored the last two seats to Boston! Woohoo – although the damn guy at the bar jinxed us saying – oh, you’ll get to see the Warriors game on the flight…well, unless the Wi-Fi isn’t working….and doh! As we board we hear the flight attendant say, wi-fi wasn’t working, but that’s OK, we were Boston bound and we’d get to see Golden State make a late 4th quarter come back and lock in a Game 2 win! It was an incredibly long day, but all good – we were in Boston, I’ll take it! 

Fast forward a couple of hours, we made it to our hotel – only one small Cheri stank eye to piss off Mark, but no one went to bed mad…and the alarm was set for 3 a.m. ET, so I could make it to Media Morning with the local CBS news anchor at the race location. I had the early slot – interview #1 of the group.

Day 2 – I didn’t sleep much the night before…well, I did get a solid 3 hours on the last leg of our trip to Boston, but only got brief shut eye once we got settled in the hotel. I couldn’t help but think about what I was going to say during the interview. When I thought about it during the day prior (during our travels) I’d get choked up thinking about dad, but I needed to get some rest, so I finally managed to clear my head and got a couple of hours of sleep before venturing in the dark to the race location in Devens. 

It was awesome to finally meet the MuckFest crew – and the local CBS news anchor Nick Giovanni - @NickGNews was so easy to talk to. I shared with him some of my story about dad and he asked if I felt comfortable sharing during the live interview, which I definitely did. Even brought some tissue in case I did get sappy – but thank God I didn’t! I was back in my comfort zone of my wannabe broadcasting days – very relaxed and articulate sharing our story about why I was there. Only bummer was Mark was fast asleep back in the room, so he didn’t get to see the interview live…but who could blame him – it was 3 a.m. at home! We managed to find one of the interviews online…if you look close, you’ll see me in the background…but we’re trying to track down a recording of my live interview clip. A future post I hope!

After the adrenaline from the interview wore off, I was ready for a morning nap! We had a walking tour scheduled at 11:30, so I took full advantage of the time to rest before we had to head to Salem. Incredibly interesting afternoon learning about the Salem Witch Trials…the bullshit hocus pocus lies that came along with the stories we’ve heard about growing up, and nibbled the first candy made in the US! Of course we had to take the tour guide’s advice about the best margaritas in MA…followed by another set of recommendations from the bartender to continue the local experience with lobster rolls as big as my head! It was a full day to say the least and we were finally ready to hit the hay to be ready for race day! BUT – one of the most rewarding parts of the day – the bartender asked why we were in town and of course shared our MuckFest venture, and what do you know – the owner of the bar’s mother suffered from MS and had sadly passed away recently because of complications with the disease and her funeral was the day we were there. But it was so rewarding to let them know that tomorrow, 5/18 - we would be running for her, too! 

Day 3 – Race day was here – May 18, but more importantly, it was my loves birthday! Happy Birthday @Mark Devlin! Our race wave wasn’t until 1:20 p.m., so we were in no rush, although the more we thought about it, the more we wanted to start early to experience as much of Boston as possible…that was our next destination following the race. The race was actually in Devens, MA – so we were about 40 miles from Boston. We grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel…and headed to the race location.
Check in was nice and quick…we picked up our fundraising swag, shared our 5 MuckFest venture story with a few and managed to squeeze into the noon wave! Mark and I kicked ass and got done by about 1:30…(albeit we did skip the zip line – the wait looked to be at least a 45 minute delay!) our muddy pics in, rinsed off the best we could and enjoyed our free hot dog ( I tried the veggie burger option) and a beer – Coors Light which brought me back to the days of Mark and me dating in college… funny how our palates have changed to becoming IPA snobs!

And then we were off to our next destination – Lexington, getting us a bit closer to Boston, without the crazy premium of downtown Boston hotel prices. 

Just a little soreness as we cleaned up for Mark’s birthday dinner…

During the race I tell Mark, hey – watch out for the branches and roots popping up…and what do I do, step on a damn branch at the perfect angle for it to stab me in the other foot. Seriously?! You couldn’t get that to happen again if you tried! So a nice shiner the diameter of a branch square in the middle of my left foot! But other than that, and a little burnt shoulder…oh and Mark’s nipple burn which was hilarious if you ask me, I told him – now you know what it’s like to nurse those first couple of weeks! Now imagine a little baby sucking it, too! LOL. But overall, we were both feeling pretty good post race!

Dinner at Bourdon & Buttermilk was AMAZING! But before we get there another cool, I’m following my purpose moment. We didn’t have any historical tours in Boston scheduled, so we decided to take on the town by foot and check out a few of the local bars. And what do you know, we meet a nice elderly couple who shared their daughter has MS! Pretty cool to reciprocate with our story about why were in town, and that we ran in her honor, too!
We managed to get into the restaurant a little early, which was perfect timing to get us back to the hotel in time for the Warriors game. We ate like kings and queens…indulged in the local recommendation of beignets, experienced local “New England” style IPAs and mixed drinks born on the east coast. I’d like to believe it was a pretty spectacular birthday weekend and best way we could have imagined kicking off this circuit of races!

Now we are finally headed home…Houston bound at the moment, praying we get there in time to catch our connecting flight to San Jose! I miss you Dad! Thank you for inspiring a priceless weekend, raising awareness for MS and celebrating the second most important man to you dad – my loving husband Mark!

Philly is right around the corner – time to get moving on those plans!!

Friday, May 10, 2019

My tribute to Dad - 5 MS Mud Runs - in 5 Months - with at least 5 muddy buddies in each location!

My Dad - Mike was diagnosed with MS back in 2004 and the disease progressed rapidly taking his vision, ability to walk, to care for himself and finally became bedridden due to paralysis. Having this happen to one of the most active and involved dads you'll ever meet was devastating and Dad never really accepted the reality his legs wouldn't work again - and there would be no more long distance future rounds of golf and he'd never get to experience running around with his grandkids.  

The final stage of his MS started October 18, 2018 with seizures and his ability to talk or swallow never returned. We said bye to Dad November 3, but there is no doubt he is running the streets of heaven - probably recruiting his own MuckFest Team!

The MS Society has always been an organization we could depend on, so this year as a tribute to my dad - I'm running all 5 MuckFest Races - in 5 months - but I need your help growing a team in each location! 

My goal is to have at least 5 people join my team for each race - raise lots of awareness about MS, and meet bigger fundraising goals than ever before!

It's going to be a muddy blast and you should join me! Support me and the National MS Society with a Donation or join my team and get muddy with us!

We all have our cause - and this one is mine and is incredibly important to me, so I hope you will do your part to help end MS forever.

More info about MS...
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.
  • MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.
  • MS impacts each individual differently. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. 
  • There is no cure for MS.
100% of your donation benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and takes us one step closer to a world free of MS.


MuckFest Boston Here I come!

Well, I've been talking about this for months and now I'm just about 1 week out from race 1 of 5 - Boston, here we come!  I love that this year's race schedule starts and ends on 2 VERY important dates - May 18 in Boston is my hubby's birthday. And how cool that this will his first mud run AND first trip to Boston. And come September 14 - Mark and I are planning to bring the family out to Denver and will be celebrating our 16 year wedding anniversary in the mud together!

I know my dad is looking down from Heaven relishing in the attention we are bringing to the MS Society and his legacy...we had our moments no doubt - but he was a loyal dad who I could always count on to be there for me!

This is my purpose! More to come...


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Traveling solo, plus 2 under 5 - what was I thinking?

Two kids, one me – and a flight to LA ahead of us. What was I thinking? Well, I wasn’t really – at least not with my brain, thinking with my heart was more like it. I was headed to LA for a baby shower for one of my longest best friends who lives in the town near where we grew up, so what better opportunity to take advantage of Abigail still flying free and have a girl’s weekend down south. I could attend the baby shower and spend the night with my other longest childhood best friend (whose hubby was out of town) and catch up with her, too – perfect idea, right?

But then a business trip to Seattle fell into the picture a week out, and momma’s guilt set in and I didn’t have the heart to be gone two days, home two and then jump on a plane with Abigail, leaving Isaac – who had been asking about when he’d be able to get on a plane again, at home. A late night booking and redeemed points to the rescue, Isaac had a ticket of his own! I guess it was a preview to the zone defense my husband and I will be playing come the fall when baby #3 makes its appearance, but seriously – what was I thinking?

Curbside check in came in handy, and thanks to my double stroller, I had the perfect holders for my car seat and booster, and Abigail in the front seat people watching through SJC with Isaac (my 4 ½ year old) by my side. Once we got dinners to go, and settled in at the gate – we were in good shape, at least for the time being. God bless Apple and the iPhone, which kept the kids occupied in flight, and of course the courtesy peanuts and apple juice won them both over. Landing was Isaac’s favorite part though – why? Because mom broke her gum rule, and let him chomp away to get his ears to pop.

After the last gum in the hair incident, I vowed to not let him eat gum again until he was 6, but keeping him comfortable took precedence, and the fact I made him spit it out once we got to the gate, certainly alleviated the risk of another bad haircut. Mom’s gotta do, what she’s gotta do, and this was one time breaking my own rule was the right thing to do. But let me be clear, he’s still not getting gum under any other circumstances for at least another year!

Security – check, dinner at the airport – check, flight –check, now I just needed to figure out how to get all our stuff, now with the added luggage that we had to retrieve, to the rental car place. And we made it – gotta love the discounted up-sale to the SUV, but damn that car seat that took me 20 minutes to get installed. Boy do I take for granted all the help I get from grandma – you are the best mom!





Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pretty sure we’re stickin with two! So you think the man upstairs says…

Baby fever was certainly starting to set in, but could you blame me? Three of my closest girlfriends, including my longest childhood friend were all expecting. Let's not forget my sister in law and former marketing coordinator both had buns in the oven – due within weeks of each other. And I actually liked being pregnant with the first two – maybe we were meant to have more? Fortunately my common sense thread woke up and I was back on track with sticking with two. So I thought...

I had completely talked myself out of it. Not so much that Mark was off to get a little snip snip, but hell – my mind was made up. We were blessed with two beautiful healthy kids and I was enjoying being a true size 6! We even started talking about a trip to Costa Rica later this year and with the new job I just took– along with my recent nomination to become the MHDA President (which yes – Mark thought I was crazy to accept), aint no time for newborns. And then there was that night…

That damn Makers Mark and post business trip lovin’! But we don’t make stupid mistakes like this! I’m a planner for God’s sake! And with the first two we were actually trying – and we survived the other 10 years with each other making sure we didn’t have an oops moments. Could this really be freaking happening?! Now the waiting game…oh monthly visit from the red river – where are you????

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The trouble with Transformers

So, it wasn't the loud banging of metal and missiles being shot across the screen that made me regret letting Isaac watch Transformers for the first time this past weekend. It was the premature explanation I had to come up with on a whim about why face clutching - tilted head, closed-eye kisses are NOT meant for mommy (or family for that matter). I wish I had a picture to post, but basically my knee jerk response was, literally laughing out load, taking his hands and telling him those kisses should be saved for a girlfriend or wife someday. Are you kidding me? Am I really having this conversation with a 4 year old, is all that kept floating through my head as I'm explaining myself. Dammit - I knew I should have vetoed anything past G Rating for another year! Of course he didn't make any gesture letting on to how much he wished he was the guy getting to drive Bumblebee home and lock lips with super hottie, Megan Fox. However, saying good night a few hours later told a completely different story. This was a perfect example of you reap what you sow. Hello - parenting 101, they are soaking in EVERYTHING - not just the cars turning into mega machines. They are watching the same make-out scenes as you and wondering, hmmmm...why are they kissing like that? I can't fault him for being glossy eyed and anxious to copy the newly discovered smooching technique (that we essentially exposed him to!), but still an awkward moment for me! Dad certainly saw far less harm in the whole matter and actually wrapped up part 2 a little while ago. Hopefully they were more focused on the loud cars this time! LOL...we'll see. Happy New Year - never a dull minute in the Devlin household! No resolutions this year - just a promise to post more often!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

There's a reason why they suggest washing before wearing!

This is what happens when you are on a Sunday flight to Anchorage with kids close in age to your own surrounding you – I go into reminisce mode. 2013 has seriously been a whirlwind, and once again I’ve fallen into bad blogger mode. With just over a month and half to redeem myself this year, here I go... Isaac has pretty much been good to go on the potty training front since last December, but until recently, new under-roo’s (as Isaac likes to call them. Better than panties – which sometimes slips out of my mom’s mouth because she’s so used to having only girls around) were damn near as good as chocolate, so venturing to nana’s house for an unexpected sleepover also meant an emergency run to Target for the next best addition to the underwear collection. Now, in a regular day at the Devlin’s we’d wash the undies before wearing them, but with the trip to nanas and need to open the pack that day, why not scratch the whole pre-washing deal out the door and put the rest of the ‘new’ undies in the drawer to wear? Here’s why... GRANDMAHHHHHHH – Isaac hollers, she rushes over to the bathroom to find a VERY confused little boy with a facial expression screaming, “Why did it turn black?” His little package was no longer of Caucasian decent; it was a shade darker than the asphalt at 6 p.m. the weekend of day light savings. Did I mention – Isaac has blonde hair and blue eyes? Perhaps this was a story that falls under the funnier if you were there category, but come on – imagine your hubby’s mini-me freaking out that is package changed colors and for a second you have NO IDEA WHY – to later realize is was the dye from the undies?! LOL. Lesson learned – always pre-wash those darn dark colored under-roos!