Monday, March 26, 2007

Aye! The Luck of The O'Hansen's!

As you all know, or should have known, last Saturday was St. Patrick's Day. Something about these little holidays that always makes me happy. I don't know what it is. As a child all it meant was wearing green, eating corned beef and cabbage with green milk for dinner, and the sugar loaded parties at school. (Hmmm... I wonder if the connection between all the sugar and the holiday has anything to do with my excitement???)

While all these activities were sufficient to make all my St. Patrick's Days enjoyable, seven years ago another event took place that has now become my greatest joy in regards to this Irish celebration.
I was 18 years old. Finishing my last quarter of my senior year. I was hanging out at a friends house. It was a Friday, and I was wearing green because it was March 17th, 2000. The doorbell rang and I offered to go up and answer it, knowing that an expected guest was arriving. I opened the door to let said guest in only to find she had brought along a few friends. One of these friends was a very tall boy. He had dark rimmed glasses, blue eyes, and the largest mop of curly hair had ever seen in real life. "What did he say his name was?" "His name is Kenton."
And so it began.
As these past seven years have seemed to race by, I still cherish my special memory of the day I met my best friend. I would have never guessed that by just opening the door I was welcoming my future in. (awe...take a moment to exhale adoringly... go ahead, it's okay... no one will know why you're doing it, they won't laugh... well they might, but go ahead anyways.)

This was us a few weeks after we met.

And this is us on March 17th, 2007.
It's safe to say we've changed just a little.

We spent our St. Patrick's Day taking in all the Irish festivities that this Mid-Western city could offer. We began by making sure our attire was appropriate for the day.

(Man, we all could afford some lessons in picture posing!)

Judah's Auntie Lindz came along with us too! Bonus!

We headed out to the Delano District watch the parade. Judah got into the spirit too. His Meme had just sent him shamrock stickers in the mail that morning and he eagerly gave them away to kids along the parade route.

I was really proud of him. I was such a frighteningly shy child and I know it never served me well, so to see him approaching strangers and offering them a sticker, really showed me what sort person we're dealing with.

Wichita sure does it's best to put on a parade. A for effort. But as you know this Irish rich community only has so much to work with. We saw plenty of men in kilts and heard our fill of bagpipes.

Judah was stoked to get a ruler from some construction company. Lindsay was hit on (hand kissed and everything) by one of the Renaissance players. We all tried to find somewhere else to look when the scantly clad belly dancers giggled by. As the street sweeper concluded the brigade, we joyfully headed for the car.

Next up, we were off to The Artichoke Irish Sandwich Bar. This was the location and starting line of the annual St. Pat's Run and Party.

We met up with a few other familiar faces too.

Jeremy was back home for a few days due to a funeral and decided to run with his wife. I guess my Dad had nothing better to do. Ha! He joined at the last minute and we all warmed up or chatted, however you see it for our four mile race.

The whistle blew and we all set in to our own strides and met up again on the other side of the line.

Our chilly morning turned into a HOT afternoon. We all crossed sunburned and sweaty.

The fickle friend of running always leaves you surprised. I was feeling great and Wendy was feeling horrible. She shooed me on when her run was leaving her lagging.
I reluctantly accepted her offer to leave her behind, and managed to finish with my fastest 4mile time yet. Despite her frustration, she crossed with a personal record too.
My Dad pulled closely behind us with a great time and Kenton and Jeremy finished within one second of each other. Kenton says, "I totally beat Jeremy!" HA!

Official Stats

Lacy 33:04

Wendy 34:12
Randy (my Dad) 35:52

Kenton 37:07

Jeremy 37:08

Judah and Maddy lined up next to give the kids race a go.
Judah had been so excited about his run for days. He said he and Maddy were going to be the winners. You can see he was flashing his "I'm number one" while waiting at the line.

Two seconds before the race starts Judah got upset that his number was crumbly and as the whistle blew he reverted to a typical three year old and was not cooperative.

With his head down and back turned all the other kids raced by him and he pouted at the line over his crumbly number.

His Mother was ticked, his Dad was steaming and some how we made it through.

He was the last to cross the line dragging his heels and crying. (we felt it was important he finish..regardless of his opinion on the matter.)

All in all it was a great day. We hang around for the party. Ate Irish stew, Kenton had his green beer (uk! Beer is not my post-race choice, but whatever), then we headed home to nurse our sunburns.

My, my how time can fly! I never imagined this seven years ago...who knows what will happen in the next seven!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Side Note: My mom was behind the camera all day and she and Lindsay spent the afternoon chasing Judah around...many thanks to them!

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