Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

What a beautiful evening for trick-or-treating! No snow (sorry all for all of those with snow!!), the temperatures were in the 50s, barely any clouds. Perfect for the little goblins.

We had our pumpkin lights and decorations out... and no "real" pumpkins this year. The squirrels had to eat the neighbors pumpkins this year!

Jenny even "helped"... no, I didn't really let her have that bazooka bubble gum. We hope everyone's Halloween was filled with more treats than tricks!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Drum Roll Please...

It was a BIG day for me at work today. Here's a photo of my desk the day I started my new job, a mere 17 months ago...

This was my desk this morning.

And THIS was my desk this afternoon!

It's been a VERY LONG 17 months. All of my co-workers would agree. They've all had to listen to me complain! I was promised a new computer before I got there. Today I finally got it. I kind of can't wait to get to work tomorrow! (And for those who may have noticed... no, my mouse and keyboard are not wireless. I requested that, I hate when the batteries die and I can't find replacements... )

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Babies and Halloween

I'd like to introduce you all to Kara. (aka "Jelly Bean")... This is my friend Robin's little girl, she was born on the same day that Alex was born. Well, 15 years later anyway! Isn't she adorable and sweet!? I hope Robin doesn't mind me sharing with my blog readers, since this is private, I don't think it will be ok. And Grandma Linnette, is a faithful reader, so Congrats Linnette!! She's beautiful!

There really isn't a whole lot going on around the Hayden House this week. No more cross country meets until November 5th. Just lots and lots and lots of practice. Halloween is next week, so I've decorated the house a little bit.

Just a little... the usual fall leaves and fake pumpkins here and there.

And a scarecrow doll.

The outside is festive as well. Alex would like us to get a pumpkin this week so we can carve it for Halloween. I didn't want to get it too early since the squirrels seem to make a feast out of them before Halloween even gets here...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


At the beginning of the Cross Country season this year, Alex had 1 goal. To make it to Sectionals. Last year he was soo close to making it, but came up a bit short. This year he has been coming in anywhere from 8th-12th for the team. Only the Top 10 get to go. As of today, the top 8 spots were already set. So there were only 2 spots left. Alex has been working SO hard, he's been getting up at 5:45 am a couple of days a week just to squeeze in an extra run before school. He was so determined to make it this year.

Does that smile give it away? He made it! He came in 6th for the team at the CNYCL Championships today. And 18th overall. That's his best finish ever. Ever! And he improved his time by over a minute on a course he ran just 2 weeks ago. He also earned a patch and a certificate for 2nd Team All League. No wonder that smile is so big! Congratulations, Alex!! Good luck at Sectionals! (I wonder if those fancy new spikes had anything to do with it?!)

Monday, October 17, 2011


After Saturday's muddy mess, we took a trip over to Fleet Feet for some new racing spikes. I like how the laces are different colors...

If these 1/2" spikes don't keep Alex from slipping in the mud, I don't know what will!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Birthdays

We gathered in Fulton this afternoon for a better-late-than-never birthday celebration for the October birthday boys, Gary & Alex.

Kelly and Laura are always ready for a good party!

Sheila made this adorable Barn cake with cute little pigs and sheep cupcakes! I had to have one of the pigs... and yes, it was delicious!

Alex opted for a giant cookie cake this year. The kids couldn't get enough of the cookie cake.

Gift time...

Laura presents her dad with a new BluRay player! (Wrapped in the Sunday funnies of course.)

Alex and his cake...

Gary and his cake...

Gary and Sheila posed with Sheila's latest work of art. Thanks for hosting a fun afternoon Gary & Paula and Happy Birthday to Gary & Alex!

Mud Invitational

Yesterday we went to Jamesville Beach for the Chittenango Invitational. It was the wettest, coldest, windiest day I've ever had the pleasure of watching a cross country meet. Anyone who had the guts to get out and run in those kind of conditions earns my respect.

The Liverpool JV team swept their event. They came in the Top 7 places of over 200 runners. Alex finished in 5th place overall. He most likely had done better if he'd been wearing spikes like the rest of the team. He fell several times and had a heck of a time in all that mud.

After the race some of the runners jumped in the icy cold water to wash off some of that mud. Cross-country runners are a different breed...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Catching Up

It's been a busy week for me this past week. With work and home and carting Alex around to meets and things, it's usually busy anyway. But throw in a major freelance project on top of that and I don't have time to do much else! (Like updating the blog...) See the photo above? That's the cover of next years Loretto calendar. Yep, I can't escape the calendar!! I started doing some freelance design work for an agency that Eric has been working with for years. It's been fun, but it's also been a lot of extra work.

Alex has been after me to post a new blog of his cross country pictures. (I think he likes seeing himself run.) This meet was the Rome Invitational. Alex got to run a varsity race for the first time.

There was even a water hazard! That guy behind Alex and Sean didn't quite make it though without falling... poor kid!

Alex did a great job in Rome, he came in 27th overall.

Tonight he had a meet in Syracuse at one of the local High Schools. The course was on a golf course. There was apparently one heck of a hill they had to run up. Twice.

He came in 13th overall. He's keeping his fingers crossed that he gets to run Varsity on Saturday at the Chittenango Invitational. It's the last regular season meet before the championship meets begin. Where did the time go?!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Salt Museum

This past weekend, Alex and I went to Onondaga Lake Park to go for a run. He runs a LOT longer and farther than I do, so I had some time to kill while I waited for him to finish. I'd never been inside the Salt Museum before, so I thought I'd see what it was all about.

Onondaga Lake is a fresh water lake, so the salt water was taken from springs around the lake. The water (aka "brine") was poured into these kettles and boiled over a huge fire pit. Salt crystals were formed on the top of the boiling water, removed and set aside in baskets to dry and then stored for a couple of weeks before it was shipped.

This "guy" was making wooden barrels, where the salt was stored for shipping. The Salt Museum was interesting. It was a quick self-guided tour, a little bit of learning, a little bit of history. For those who don't know, Syracuse is known as the "salt city". Back in the days of the Erie Canal, Syracuse supplied the entire country with salt.

Here's an image of Onondaga Lake, taken from the Salt Museum. (I turned it B&W...) It was a lovely day at the lake on Sunday, and it was nice to get out and learn something new about the town I live in.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

15 Year Stats and McQuaid

I took Alex to his 15 year physical on Friday. (15 years!?! Wha?) Anyway, I thought it would interesting to post his "stats". Alex is now 5' 9.5" tall and weighs 125 lbs. The doctor said that if he stays on this track, he will be 5' 11" tall when he's done growing. And I was thinking he'd be over 6'... I guess we'll have to wait and see!

Yesterday was the big "McQuaid Invitational" in Rochester. It was cold. It was rainy. It was windy. But I guess Alex runs well in cold, rainy, windy conditions.

Here he is racing towards the finish line. That guy in the front, he's in 3rd place overall. Alex is on the right hand side, trying to stay out of the mud.

Alex finished in 7th place, out of 347 runners in the "Varsity B" race. He got a medal and a t-shirt! He was quite pleased to say the least.

He put his neat new t-shirt on right away. (I think he might have slept in it too...)

After the race, it's a team tradition to have a pasta dinner at McQuaid. This is the Liverpool "compound". It was SO cold this year, I think it was around 45 degrees by the time the races were over. The rain stayed away, but as you can see, I've already broken out the winter coat and gloves. (That's me in the red coat on the left.) I saw the forecast for next weekend, thankfully it's back in the 60's. I'm not ready for winter yet.