Endless Road Trip

It sounded good as we discussed it. We would drive to Lincoln, NE for a wedding the weekend before Thanksgiving. Then we’d drive to Indiana for Thanksgiving. The following weekend Josh would drive home with our dog, then fly to Tampa for training, the kids and I would fly down and meet him for a little family vacation. Simple right?

Simple, yet exhausting.

I unexpectedly made a quick trip to Louisville, KY for a couple of days prior to our tour of the Midwest to do some consulting work. It was really fun and I had some delicious food like this and this:



I arrived home at 12:30 am on the Friday prior to Thanksgiving. We packed up the kids and were on the road to Lincoln by 10:30 am. The kids are at easy yet difficult ages for long car trips. Ella can be entertained with books, music and movies for a while, but then there are the bathroom breaks that happen only when there are no restrooms for at least 20 miles. Anderson on the other hand hates to sit still. He’s constantly on the move, so being strapped into his car seat for hours on end is like torture, unless he has a good snack or is napping.

When we got to Lincoln the fun started. Not even a half hour after arriving we were surrounded with friends and their kids at my in-laws house. The next day I went for a quick run before heading to Omaha for a wedding. My sister-in-law Amber was nice enough to watch our kids for us. They had a ton of fun playing with their cousins and Josh and I enjoyed our adult time.

Sunday we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday


and packed up for our longest drive yet, estimated 9.5 hours to Westfield where my mom lives now. We left the house at 4 am on Monday morning. Luckily both kids went back to sleep for several hours. We stopped only three times and caught nap time which was awesome. It was still a very long 11 hours.

Thanksgiving and all things celebration ensued once we arrived. Josh and I had a pumpkin pie contest which meant I had to eat lots of pie.


I ate and drank too much over the course of the week, met my younger siblings significant others, and ran a couple times. The time actually flew by really fast and I didn’t do everything I planned but I did get in some quality time with my mom and siblings.

Tuesday morning I braved the airport and a flight to Tampa by myself. The kids loved watching the planes.


They are both great travelers. Ella happily watched a movie and Anderson was excited that he got his own seat. Sky Mall rocked his socks apparently.



When we were in Florida we had a singular mission, enjoy as much warmth as we could.

The beach was a must.



Since we were so close, we figured Disney World would be fun too. Ella met her favorite princesses, Anderson loved “its a small world,” and Josh and I just loved being kids again with our kids.





We’ll be going back again in a few years when Anderson is older.

I survived the trip home with the kids and a layover by a thread. Note to self, do not fly alone with kids over nap time unless it’s non-stop. We’re finally home. Our laundry is about done and our tree is up.



Now I supposed it’s time to start training for the indoor triathlon I’m doing next month.

Bolt for the Heart 5k – Race Recap

At the very last minute I signed up my family for a 5k on Thanksgiving. It’s somewhat a family tradition to do a race on Thanksgiving, so this year could not be the exception. It was a bit cold and snowy, but we bundled up and headed to City Center in Carmel, IN for the race.

As you may be able to tell, Josh was less than thrilled to get out of his warm bed to run.

Jess and Josh Bolt for the heart

 The girls were a little more excited, though cold.

Girls at bolt for the heart

We all lined up, me throwing in one more time that Josh was going to win his age group. After a few speakers, we were off. The best thing about short races is that they’re over before you even realize you’re running. Drawback being that I’m just warmed up as I cross the finish line. The cross was pretty darn flat with just a few turns which was nice.

My first mile was a 7:47 which felt good, but I thought I could go faster. For once I just wanted to have negative splits during a 5k. My second mile hit at 7:39. Ok, first negative split, I just needed one more. At this point of course I was getting kind of tired. I do not run fast like this.

I was excited when I turned the last corner and past the third mile at 7:19. I pathetically tried to speed up slightly at the end, but was burnt out. Amazingly I was also really hot. I’d overestimated the number of layers I needed.

Final time: 23:43                 Average Pace: 7:38 min/mile

I found Josh who said he felt like he ran slower than he should have been able to. I decided to run back out a little ways to see if I could find my mom, sister and pseudo sister in law. I didn’t find them but got in one more mile before meeting everyone and heading back home to do way too much eating.

I checked our final results when we got home. Josh did win his age group! We should have stuck around. I got third in my age group by half a second. I’m not kidding, this had to be one of the closest age group finishes:

race times

If only I’d sped up just a little bit more, I could have won. Oh well, I’ll take third by not even a full second.

We had fun, it was a really well organized race and next time we’re in town for Thanksgiving, I think we’ll run it again. Now I just need to run another marathon to burn off all of the food I’ve eaten this weekend…ouch.

All About Anderson – 15 months

I completely missed Anderson’s one year update and here we are at 15 months.

AJ 15 months




Anderson is just under 25 lbs and is 26.5 inches tall. His chunky legs are slimming down thanks to all of the running around he does. He is constantly on the go. Running, dancing and his favorite, climbing. I’ve never seen a toddler climb so much. I cannot turn my back for a second because he ends up in places like this.

AJ Climbing

Other than climbing his favorite things are balls, crackers, anything he can push or ride and books (though he doesn’t like to read them as much as flip through and then throw them).

Halloween was fun because he was totally into trick-or-treating. He squealed as he walked down the street in his lion costume to get candy for his little pail. He dumped out and put the candy back in for a good half hour when we got home. He’s going to be all over it next year.



He is so much fun and so sweet, though has seemingly inherited a quick temper. His tantrums are my favorite. I have to try hard to not laugh. He used to throw himself back on the floor hitting his head. He learned that hurts so now he will fall to his butt, slowly lower himself down to the floor, then cry and kick. I have got to get it on video.

All of a sudden he can communicate his wants, needs and displeasure when something doesn’t go his way. He signs milk, more, please, eat, and sometimes, all done. He has started talking too. The things I can hear clearly are: momma, dada, Ella, ba (ball), more, do (dog), hi, buh bye, ow, ot (hot), boo (book) and bubble. It seems like he’s getting more verbal every day.

He loves to play especially pretending to have tea with Ella, ‘wrestling’ with daddy, playing peek-a-boo and sweeping. I have to hide the brooms otherwise he’s walking around the house with one all the time. Just trying to earn his keep I suppose. He also really likes to try to do things himself such as putting on his socks or shoes, brushing his hair and putting his jacket on.

We moved Anderson to the HandySitt at the big table which he was really excited about. He now gets his own plate and silverware. He seems to be a natural with a spoon though it gets a bit messy still.


When it’s meal time, I can tell him to go to his big boy chair and he will run to the chair and start to climb up as I bring his food over. He’s good at following simple directions like that, as well as throw this away (loves that), get your socks, etc.

Sometimes he eats a ton, but lately, thanks to teething (he still only has two teeth), he’s been wanting to nurse more than usual. His gums are white where his top two teeth are trying to break through. His favorite food is peanut butter. I waited until about a month ago to introduce it and he loves it. Like mother like son.

Anderson is a lover. He will walk up randomly to Ella and give her kisses and hugs. His favorite time to do that is during her dance class. She’s happy to indulge him. He also LOVES to kiss and hug Lucky. He’ll be stingy with Josh and me, but Lucky and Ella, never. He does love to cuddle. I think his favorite spot is with me, of course, since I give him nice warm milk. He’s definitely a momma’s boy. We’re in the throws of separation anxiety which means when I even say I’m going to leave, tears start.


When Josh gets home though, he’ll yell Dada and run to him with open arms. Josh face lights up. It’s so cute.

This is getting a bit long, but I feel like I have so much to share about my sweet boy. My cuddling, giggling, loves his family boy. My loves to give kisses boy. He’s growing so fast and while I love watching him develop, I’m not ready for him to be a toddler.

Four Things

As I wait for photos of Anderson to upload for his 15 month post, it’s time for a little Q&A courtesy of Kimberly. Here we go.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:




JDub…though this is slowly dying. It has been more than six years now since I was a Walker.

Four jobs that I’ve had:



Marketing Manager


Four movies I’ve seen more than once:

“Office Space”

“Love Actually”



Four books I’d recommend:

Gone Girl

Pride and Prejudice

One Hundred Years of Solitude

An American Tragedy

Four places I have lived:

Omaha, NE

Lawrence, KS

Denver, CO

Maple Grove, MN

Four places I have been:





Four things I don’t eat:

Pickled Herring – Josh has been trying to get me to eat it for years. I don’t really even like regular fish, let alone pickled.

Twinkies – Also cannot wrap my head around why any would want to eat these.

Tripe – I will never forget when Josh accidentally ordered it in Rome.

Coffee – I love the smell but I do not like the bitterness, not even the girlie Starbucks drinks.

Four of my favorite foods:

Cheese – Love love love cheese. Currently we have about six different types in our fridge.

Peanut butter – I eat it every day. When we travel and I don’t have any, I actually kind of miss it.

Indian – All kinds of dishes. Spicy, sweet, give them all to me with a side of naan so that I can get every last drop of sauce.

Chocolate – There is little self control when good chocolate, let’s be honest any chocolate, is around.

Four TV shows that I watch:

I don’t actually watch much now that we don’t have cable.

The Good Wife - recently started binge watching on Prime

Sons of Anarchy –  also watching with Josh on Prime

Parenthood – I’m a few weeks behind, but catching up.

The Today Show - That is unless the kids are up. Once the kids are up, the TV is turned off.

Four things I am looking forward to this year:

Quick vacation to Florida – Josh has training so we’re going to fly down to meet him. Not so much looking forward to flying with the kids myself, but excited to see the kids’ faces when we walk into Disney World. Oh and escape the cold for a few days.

Thanksgiving -By far my favorite holiday. What’s better than good food and family? This year we’re headed to Indiana to spend it with my mom, stepdad and siblings. Bonus, I might even get in a run with Kim!

Christmas – Again, food, family and tradition. We’ve been working on introducing our own little family traditions. Ella is starting to really get things like this. I’m so excited to do all things Christmas with the kids.

Spring – Yes it’s only been a week since we had our first snowfall, but unlike in Colorado, it’s going to be here until Spring. The day the last snow melts will be quite exciting.

Four things I’m always saying:

“Anderson, sit down, you’re going to fall.”

“Did you leave your listening ears on your pillow?”

“Good morning I love you” (kids and husband)

“I’m just going to run ….”

I’m supposed to tag people, but eh, share your fours!

Missing in Action

That’s me, as of late. I’m been so sporadic about posting. It’s a bit ridiculous. You see, finding time during the day is tough. When the kids are up I’m all about them. When they’re napping I’m all about work and cleaning up the messes we make. I have a few posts lined up, including a 15 month Anderson update and a life lately post. Can you believe we’ve almost been in Minnesota six months? I sure can’t.

Updates to come. :-)