Sunday, August 24, 2008

40 Hours...

In about 40 hours from now, our plane will be touching down in Savannah, Ga., just a short 45 minute drive from our home for the week: Hilton Head.

Hillary and Chris headed down a couple days ahead of us, arriving today. And they sent this picture with the caption "See You Soon!!"

Can't wait!! I'm trying to finish my packing tonight, but I keep getting distracted by the Colts game. Tomorrow I have to spend the day on campus: Buying books. Getting my student ID card. Picking up some books at the library. Meeting with a professor. And then, from 3:00-5:30, mandatory orientation for my graduate program. Then... Off to Indy to spend the night at Ashley and Jeremy's, and off to HH in the weeeeeeee hours of the morning.

I'm sure I won't be updating until we get back, and even then it's probably not going to be too often. Between an insane amount of classes and rowing, my little free time is probably going to be spent sleeping! But I'll try to pop on here as often as possible.

NOW, the most exciting part of my post. Stebby came in for the weekend from OSU. We took lots of pics, but I'll have to wait for Colleen to post them. YES, COLLEEN! As in Colleen Ryan, my bestie that I haven't seen since last November because she lives in Maryland. She flew into Columbus and drove over with Stebby and their friend Alli, who is also, oddly enough, the rowing G.A. at Ohio State. Apparently they've been planning to surprise me for sometime now, and it was a GREAT surprise. I couldn't believe it when I opened the door and she was standing there! Sooooo great! We went out to dinner Friday night, then out to the bars, where we introduced Alli to the fabulousness that is "Sink the Biz" at Nick's. (If you like beer and don't know the game, I highly suggest discovering it.) On Saturday we slept in, made a late breakfast and then went swimming in the lake. That evening we hit up Domo for some sushi, walked around campus and took pictures, had ice cream at Jiffy and then headed back to mi casa for a late night of raspberry margaritas and chick flicks.

Today we got up at a slightly decent hour and enjoyed a late breakfast at Village Deli, made a pit stop at T.I.S. for some IU gear (I got the puppies two really cute IU bandannas/collars that are crimson with cream IU symbols and bones). Back at the condo, the girls and the dogs enjoyed a little nap before the 4 hour drive back to Ohio. Yep, it was a snore-filled scene at the Young Caudell house around 3:00 this afternoon:

That's Stebby on the far right, snoozing with Bailey cuddled up in her lap. Those are sleeping Colleen's legs with a dozing Ollie (Stebby's dog) holding down the fort. And that's Alli rocking the sit-n-sleep on the couch.

I love my friends.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Two of My Favorite Things: Family & Food (Not Necessarily in that Order)

Josh headed back to Purdue to start his junior year on Thursday, so on Wednesday the Young family gathered at the lake for a last little family get-together picnic. It's not very often that our schedules work out so that Mom, Dad, Josh, Gearry and I are all able to be together at the same time. The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious and the football tossing was atrocious, but fun. (How QBs get the football to spiral like that is still beyond my realm of understanding.) I LOVE MY DAD BEING RETIRED!! I think I've seen/talked to him more in the past couple of months than I have in the past couple of years. Looking forward to doing a lot more family stuff in the future.

Mom took some good pictures of our little picnic, so I'll let those tell the story of the day:

There is a reason Josh was a lineman and not a QB in football... He throws a football about as well as I do. I do a lot of things well, I'm not modest about that. Throwing a football is not one of those things.

Peyton Manning, watch out. Stacey's coming for your job.

That sign that said "No Dogs Allowed on Beach"? Yeah, we pretended like we didn't see it. Zoey and Luke LOVE to swim; Bailey is more of a wader.

Awwww, Luke. I heart him. And he's lost weight! For real, you should see him.

Ah, what a great day.

Munchkin #1

Munchkin #2 (In no particular munchkin order)

Who wears short shorts? Josh wears short shorts. (Hey, Josh, Nair called. They want you for their next commercial.)

Gary David and Gearry David (I know, creepy, right??!) dig into the scrumptious feast.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Du'in it.

Look at those big smiles at 7:00 in the morning, fully aware that we're getting ready to torture ourselves for approximately one hour and 35 minutes (me) and one hour and 28 minutes (Lanie).

The inaugural Tri Indy Triathlon & Duathlon this past Sunday, August 15th, was a BLAST! I finally got over my fear and managed to battle through my stupid knee issues and finish my first multi-sport event, and I am HOOKED. I'm pretty sure that I will never be doing the distances my cousin Chris does (Ironman) -- actually, I'm positive -- but sprint distances are a blast and Olympic distances aren't even all that bad. I think I'll stick with those ;)

Lanie and I both did the duathlon, because we hadn't really had time to train for swimming. Our race started at 7:45 a.m. in front of the NCAA Hall of Champions downtown. The first run (2 miles) followed the pedestrian path up the White River toward the zoo, across the bridge, and back down the other side of the river on the IUPUI campus.

From there we transitioned into the bike event, which was a 12.5 mile loop through seemingly every imaginable part of Indy. I didn't have a speedometer (that was dumb), so I had NO clue how far I'd gone or where I was. I just kept biking my heart out and feeling giddy every time I passed someone. The bike course was pretty good, with lots of police protection at every intersection and lots of volunteers shouting out sharp turns and such.

I felt pretty good when I arrived back to the transition area after the bike, knowing I just had to conquer the last 3.1 mile run. Unfortunately, my knees had been acting up for the past several days, and although I had them taped, the combination of sweat and biking had loosened the tape to the point where I just had to rip it off. I have illiotibial (IT) band issues, which are pretty common in people who run, bike, etc. a lot. They tend to flare up when I'm training for any kind of event, and sometimes the pain is bad enough that it keeps from competing (i.e. the Susan Komen 5K in Columbus back in May, where I had to walk the last half of the race). But, somehow, I convinced myself on Sunday that I was NOT going to let me knees stop me, and I didn't. They starting hurting pretty horribly a mile into the second run, but I was determined to finish. And I did!

It was an amazing feeling running through that finish line. The announcer said something like, "Here's Stacey Young-Caudell, from Bloomington. Hopefully you're going to go celebrate at Nick's later!" (Nick's, for those of you that don't know, is a well-known IU bar in B-Town.) I immediately sat down in the grass and drank a cup of Gatorade, in lieu of passing out, and waited with Lanie for the results and watched all of the sprint and olympic distance people finish.

One of the best parts of the whole thing?? I won my category!! Yep, first place. One of the funniest parts of the whole thing?? I was the only one in my category!! Instead of entering my age category, I entered the "Athena" category, which is women 150+ lbs. Now, a majority of the women in the duathlon looked to be 150+, but they all opted for their age categories instead. So, I won! I got a kick out of that, especially since I got a trophy:

Needless to say, I will continue to enter the Athena category in the hopes of accumulating more trophies :) Lanie actually won her age category, 21-24, and so we went home exhausted and satisfied with matching trophies.

Lanie finished 38 out of 77. I ended up finished 51 out of 77. My only goal for the race was to finish ahead of the 72 yr. old man, and I did that, so I felt fulfilled. Can't wait til next summer to get some more races under my belt, definitely including the swimming portions.

In other -- more important news -- my newest little cousin was born on August 18th, but I was just informed yesterday. Apparently I was supposed to know that she was going to be born on August 18th since it was a scheduled c-section, but, umm, I forgot? And Mom gave up trying to call and tell me after I didn't answer the phone twice. Anyway, I believe her name is Alexandra Helena Day (but I could be spelling that wrong) and I don't know height, weight or any of that fun stuff yet. But I will update when I find out!

Stebby is coming in town tomorrow for the weekend! Can't wait! I need a weekend of mayhem. Then Monday is my graduate school orientation, and then super early Tuesday morning we fly to Hilton Head for a week of fun in the sun!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I did it!!

I finished my first duathlon today! Such a blast. More to come after I take a loooooong nap, and after Lanie posts pictures from the event online so that I can put a few of them on here. Soooooo tired.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Wow. What can I say about today other than "Wow?" Beautiful, beautiful day, and a relaxing one at that. Not too hot, not too cool. Slightly breezy, not too windy. Not a cloud in sight. Amazing!
Slept in.
Scrambled eggs & veggies, biscuits and coffee on the deck with Gearry.
Swimming, laying out and chilling by the lake with Josh all afternoon.
Hanging out with my puppies and watching Olympic gymnastics, diving and swimming all evening.
Amazing. Nothing super special... just the combination of lots of "pretty good" things all in one day. It probably helps that tomorrow marks the beginning of my last week at AuthorHouse. And that I have our Hilton Head vacation to look forward to in two weeks. And that, although I'm terrified of so much change at once (TERRIFIED!), I'm really looking forward to the craziness of grad school and coaching. But, not even considering all that, today was great :)
It doesn't help that I sprained my ankle yesterday. Yes, really. Yes, for, like, the fifth or sixth time. But once you sprain a joint, it gets easier and easier to sprain it again. So it's not really surprising that I do it once every couple years. Fortunately, with lots of ice and exercising it's already feeling better today, so competing in the duathlon a week from today shouldn't be a problem. Have to take a couple days out of my training, which stinks, but at least I didn't do this the day before the race. Gonna take today and tomorrow off from working out and probably try to get in a really good swim on Tuesday. Hopefully I can be back running & biking by Wednesday, which will give me four good days before the race.
Mom and Dad are on their way home from vacation as I write. It sounds like they had a great time, first visiting with Dad's aunt Betty in Florida and spending a few days at Fernandina Beach, and then visiting with Bobbie and Jerry in South Carolina and making a pit stop at the Biltmore Estate before heading back north. Tomorrow Mom and I have a "date," so I'm sure I'll get more details of their trip. It's pretty sad, but Mom and I have both been looking forward to the release of "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" for months now. Yeah, make fun of me, whatever. We saw the first one together and it was such a good movie and a good mother-daughter bonding time.
Alright, back to devoting my full attention to the fabulousness of Olympic gymnastics. Peace out, people.

Friday, August 8, 2008

It's 08.08.08, People!

In trying to explain to my co-workers what Wednesday was like, I first said "It was like Christmas!" And then, thinking about it a bit more, I said, "Well, a sad Christmas." Which is a good description, but, I realize, doesn't make a lot of sense until I explain.

On Wednesday, while I worked a big part of the day in the rowing office, Gearry headed out to Brown County to spend the day with his friend and best man, Tim, for the last time for at least awhile. Tomorrow, Saturday, Tim and his girlfriend, Jess, are moving to California. We're excited for them -- Tim has a great job lined up and his family lives there -- but we're sad to see them go. They've been good friends and although I am sure we'll make it out there to visit them, perhaps even next year, it can't really be the same.

So, that's the "sad" part of the Christmas analogy. The "Christmas" part comes from the fact that since Tim and Jess are driving all the way to California (with their belongings, three dogs and multiple cats... that should be fun!) they wanted to give us some things from their house. Which resulted in us receiving this crazy awesome stainless steel grill:

Cookout at the Young Caudell house! Mmm, I can taste all the yummy things we'll be making on it now.

OK, and perhaps even better than the grill... If you know me, you probably know how much I LOVE condiments. Love, love, love. Especially ketchup, but I'm open to all kinds. Where most people think a condiment should be a complement to a food, I think that the food is simply the vessel for the condiments. Jess and Tim didn't want to take any of the food they had with them on the long trip, so we became the proud owners of pretty much every condiment, oil and sauce you can ever imagine: ketchup, mayo, mustards, balsamics, dressings, barbecues, Thai sauces, vinegars, etc., etc., etc. If you can think it, we probably have it. Three boxes worth. And while most people would be like, "Eh, condiments," I was like, "Yay! Condiments!" Yes, I'm a dork. Behold, a tiny sampling of the goodness:

A whole shelf and a door in the fridge and a whole shelf in the pantry dedicated solely to the flavor-licious sauces that make food worth eating? This is a grand, grand thing my friends.

Away from my freaky obsession with sauces and on to the greatness that is 08.08.08: The opening of the summer Olympics! Now, I know there is a ton of controversy with China as the host, which makes sense, but that doesn't really deter my excitement for all of the great feats of sport to take place over the next two weeks. Every four years (I'm not big on the winter Olympics) I get sucked into the television for the games. It's fun to watch new and unique sports, but I mostly tune in for gymnastics, rowing, swimming, diving, triathlon and track & field. A fellow athlete at IU, Christina Loukas, is a very strong contender for a medal in diving (She was in the top three at Worlds this year) and I can't wait to cheer her on, even if it is through the TV!

Rowing, of course, is always awesome to watch, because I know just how hard those guys and girls are working. They may make the sport look graceful, but you can't even imagine the pain they are in. I can't even really imagine the pain they are in, since I've never rowed at the national/international level, but I have a small idea at least.

Right now I am watching the opening ceremony, and it is absolutely indescribable. I hope that you are watching it too, but if you aren't, you should check out some of the pics at

There is just something about the Olympics that makes me think the world really could exist in perfect peace if everyone would just try. I know that it will never happen. It can't. And it will never even come close. But can it get better? For two weeks, at least, I like to think so.

AND... my last day of work is a week from today :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Happy birthday, Mamaw Jackie! Today we celebrated my great aunt (who I've always called "mamaw" since I never knew my grandma on that side of the family) Jackie's 80th birthday. All I can say is, I hope I have as much energy as she does when I'm 80! It was a fun time and great getting to see lots of my family who I only see on special occasions. I didn't take any pics today, but below is a picture taken recently of four generations of the Nolan family, including Jackie (center), her son Steve (left), granddaughter Shannon (right) and great grandson Asa, on her lap. Hopefully that makes sense, for those of you who read this and aren't related to me ;)

After Jackie's birthday party, Josh and I actually went for a bike ride together for the first time. We both have such busy schedules, but neither of us had anything planned for the afternoon/evening except a workout, so we figured why not do it together and make a fun time of it? We meandered around the country from Mitchell to Orleans and back, about 22.5 miles. I ran out of water way too early (Josh doesn't even take water... what a weirdo) but other than that it was a great ride. We rode through lots of Amish farms... so beautiful, in a unique, simplistic way. Got chased by a few dogs too. I'm still amazed how many people leave their bike-chasing dogs off leash. Scary. But no nibbles, so it's all good.

I thought I'd post a few more pictures from the same batch as the four generation one above, which were all taken on the Nolans' recent trip to visit Shannon, Eric and Asa in Washington state.

Eric, Shannon and Baby Asa.

Erin (Susan's daughter, Shannon's niece, Asa's cousin) reading to Asa. So cute!

I love this picture of Erin playing in the surf! It makes me want to be at the ocean NOW.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Green Tea Solution

I haven't been sick since March (the flu... boy, that was a blast) so I was pretty dismayed to discover I had developed a sore throat Thursday evening. And when I woke up Friday... worse. I tried to attribute it to allergies, but then I talked to Mom last night and found out Josh has been sick the last two days and even had to go to the doctor to get a strep & Mono test. I hung out with him for awhile on Tuesday, so I'm sure we're sharing the same thing. Luckily, his tests came back negative, and he was already feeling much better by the third day. So, hopefully, between healthy eating, lots of rest, gallons of hot green tea and vitamins, I can nip this thing in the butt ASAP. I need to because I have to kick my training into high-gear for... the Tri Indy Duathlon on Sunday, August 17th!

Yes, that's right, after planning to do several triathlons this summer and having them fall through (first one because of my knee, the others because I was worried I didn't have enough time to train) I finally decided I was going to just say "heck with it" and work up the guts to do at least one this summer. I opted for the duathlon, rather than the triathlon, however, so that I can focus more training time just on running and biking. For those of you not familiar, a triathlon is swimming, biking, running, in that order. A duathlon is running, biking, running, in this case a 2 mile run, 20K bike, 5k run, in that order.

The event I'm participating in sounds really cool. It's the first one of its kind in Indy, because it is held all downtown. Indy already has a triathlon sprint series, but this tri (and du) has both sprint and Olympic distances and takes place entirely within the downtown area. Here are the run and bike course maps (If you click on them, it will bring up a larger, more readable version):

The swim part is even in the canal that winds through downtown (pictured at the start of this post)! Pretty cool. Hopefully next year I'll feel confident enough to do the swim as well.

Lanie, my old teammate and now a fellow coach at IU (she's a strength trainer), is doing it with me. She's doing part of a team-triathlon the day before, but even so she'll still probably kick my butt. But, it's OK... this isn't so much for victory as it is simply for myself and for a bit of that sense of challenge and competition that I miss. The outcome (as long as I finish) isn't so much important as is the fact that I'm doing it and enjoying it.

So, really, really hoping that I start feeling better and can get back into action tomorrow. Time's a-wasting!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Adventures in Blue Ice Cream

On Tuesday, Gearry and I hopped on the motorcycle and cruised down to Santa Claus (we took the Patoka Lake route... such a beautiful ride!) to meet up with Gearry's family at Holiday World. They had been wanting to take his nieces and nephew for a day of fun, and use it as a chance for the whole family to do something together, so Gearry, myself, his parents, his sister, brother-in-law and their three kids (Cynthia, Makayla, Jayden) spent the day at the park. It was super hot and super crowded, so we didn't get to do much in the way of rides and such, but it was a good opportunity to spend some time with the fam, especially with the kids, who are growing so fast. Gearry and I decided we're definitely going to stick to going in May, when there's pretty much no one else there, but it was totally worth it for some quality bonding time! I wish I had pictures to share...
Oh, and blue ice cream? Yeah, Holiday World blueberry ice cream is amazing! I've been craving it all summer (the ice cream stand was closed when we went back in May) and finally got what my heart had been desiring at the end of the day, just before Gearry and I headed home (Well, me to home, him to work... yuck). It was a lot bluer than I remember in the past. Instead of a nice sky blue it was... almost royal? Yay, blue food coloring for the health food person. Anyway, it was VERY blue and I was happily licking away while walking toward the exit when I looked down for some reason and... Stuck the bill of my WHITE baseball camp right in the top of the VERY BLUE cone. After laughing hysterically and then pouting, I tried to rinse my hat out, but to no avail. That was some intense blue, and since I spilled a few more drops of ice cream on it in the process of getting it off my head, I now have essentially a blue and white tie-dyed hat.
There are a few morals to this story: 1) Maybe you really shouldn't eat things with enough artifical dye to stain an article of clothing in point-five nanoseconds. 2) Don't eat while walking... this usually ends in disaster, for me at least. Actually, don't do anything while walking except... walking. Yesterday I was walking while talking on my cell phone and BAM, cell phone hits the pavement. I think I fixed it. I hope. 3) Order the small cone, not the large. The large IS tall enough to compromise your headwear.
Today is FRIDAY... whoo hoo! Which means only two more Fridays of work after this. Yessssss! I'm going to be even more busy than I am now with both grad school and rowing, but when it's stuff that interests you, it's a whole different ballgame. 60 or 70 hours suddenly seems much less than 40 when you're busy but happy about what you're doing. And I'm... ready to be happy about what I'm doing.