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Something saucy, something bittersweet, and tips on how to make a crappy photo album of a fun night

Posted Jul 16 2012 7:12pm

First, the saucy:

I found my legs. They had been hiding in my suitcase ever since vacation. I found them just in time for a 14-mile tempo run on Sunday. I wasn’t sure how they would behave on the run, but I figured anything would be better than the cement blocks I had been running on the past couple of weeks.

It felt good to run on actual legs…they felt light, yet strong. For the 14 miler, I was to run 7 miles at LSD pace (10–10:30), 5 miles at HM pace (9:00), and 2 miles easy. But my legs let me run the 7 miles at a 9:40 pace, the 5 tempo miles at an 8:50 pace, and the last two miles at a 9:30 pace. Overall I averaged a 9:25 pace on that 14 miler. Thank you, Legs! I hope you stick around for the next 3 months. Now…to find those lungs…I got me some speed work coming up.

Second, the bittersweet:

There’s this little neighborhood fair that comes to town every summer. It is set up for 5 days in one of the town parks (home of The Ghost) the second or third week of July each year. For many years now, the kids have enjoyed going to it, and Hubby and I have enjoyed taking them. It’s within walking distance, we know everyone there, and there’s even a cool little fireworks display on the fourth night. The fair has always been a highlight of the summer.

The only reason I even bring this up is because I cannot believe how quickly this has changed for us. It seems just like yesterday that I was pushing a double-tandem stroller around that fair while my oldest tagged along holding my shirttails in one hand and a Thomas the Tank Engine train in the other with an eager, awestruck look on his face. Each summer, as the fair would set up, it would be all the kids would talk about for days. There were several years in a row that we would spend 4 out of those 5 hot July nights the fair was in town down at the park spinning in giant strawberries and swinging in giant boats and riding the slopes of the Himalayas and trying to win goldfish and cheap stuffed animalsthe kids couldn’t get enough of it. Afterwards, we would carry or push 3 tired little crumb catchers home with remnants of pink sugar clinging to their chubby cheeks and little eyes that could barely stay open. A good time was had by all.

But then, all of the sudden…poof…overnight, it seems…those days are over. I went from 3 little kids eager for a night at the fair with their mom and dad to 1 child who was rather lukewarm about the whole thing.

This is how it went down: This was the first summer that my oldest, my son, who is now 15, had absolutely no interest in going to the fair.

“You can bring one of your Thomas trains,” I said in an enticing manner. He didn’t take the bait or laugh at my superior mom humor. Instead, eyes rolled as he mumbled something about a group raid on WoW. Sigh. Cross him off the list.

My middlest, who is now 13, was actually interested in going to the fair, and so she went…with a group of other giggling 13 year olds…no parents please. Sigh. Cross that one off the list.

So that just left my littlest, my Lucy, who is now at the ripe old age of 10 and hovering oh so delicately between little girl and teen…who dances oh so carefully on the line between wanting to be with her parents and wanting to be as far from them as possible. I looked at her with mother hunger in my eyes.

“Do you want to go to the fair with Dad and me tonight?” I tried to hide the desperation in my voice…children pick up on that, you know. She glanced warily from me to her brother to her dad and back to me. In the end, the thrill of the lights and rides and games eventually won out over the idea of being one-on-two with her parents. She wanted to go to the fair and seemed ok with the fact that it was just going to be Hubby and me who took her. So Saturday night, Hubby and I had a date at the fair with Lucy.

It dawned on me that night that soon enough it will just be Hubby and me who go to fair each summer. I can see it now….us, hand in hand, wandering aimlessly around that bustling fair ground oohing and aahing over all the babies and toddlers and elementary school-aged kids, desperate to hold a chubby hand or wipe boogers from a button nose….and probably really creeping out the groups of 13-year-old girls who are there for the first time without adult supervision.

Oh jeez. Ugh. Ok, moving on. I tried to take pictures to capture the night forever so that I might look back on it occasionally with bittersweet fondness or maybe even send some photos to the The Grandmothers…but of course when I remembered to actually take a picture, it came out horribly. First off, Hubby wouldn’t let me take pictures of him. Second off, Lucy made mean faces or bored faces or “please stop taking my picture” faces every time I tried to take a picture of her, so mostly I took pictures of myself, because I don’t seem to mind it all that much, but let’s just face it, pictures of me aren’t nearly as meaningful or fun to look at or fun to share with others as pictures of other people, namely my children, are. “Hey, Mom/Grandma, I thought you might like all these pictures I took of my 44-year-old, melasma-faced SELF at the summer fair. Enjoy!!” Yeah, that doesn’t really go over too well.

So that segues nicely into the third point of this post: how to make a crappy photo album of a fun night

1. Take a picture of your husband taking a picture of you. Everyone loves those candid shots. There’s always one in every album.


2. Take an aerial shot of the fairground from the bucket of a moving ferris wheel, because A) everyone really, really enjoys aerial shots of a fair they didn’t go to, and B) the movement of the ferris wheel adds a nice blurry effect to the overhead photo of the fairgrounds…a win/win.

3. Tell your 10-year-old daughter to NOT make a goofy face for the picture.

4. Tell your 10-year-old daughter to smile for the picture.

5. Tell your 10-year-old daughter to act like she is having fun for the picture.

6. Try taking pictures of yourself with your daughter while on fast-moving rides in the hopes that you catch a picture of her actually having fun and smiling. Maybe you can even get one of the two of you together looking like you are having fun. “See, we have FUN together!!” [psst, the key is to NOT sound desperate or crazy while saying this.] “Here’s the picture to prove it!!”

7. Give up and just start taking pictures of yourself.

Voila! You are done. Crappy photo album of a fun night complete. Now make sure you post it on Facebook for full effect, especially those pictures of yourself. Everyone loves it when people post pictures of themselves on Facebook.

PS: For those interested in my marathon training, here’s what’s on tap this week, in case you want to follow along:

Day 1: 5 miles, easy
Day 2: 7 miles, even steven
Day 3: 12×400 – 3-speed (HM + 10K + 5k)
Day 4: Core
Day 5: 8 mile, LSD

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