The Most Incredible Mother’s Day


Yesterday was an odd, yet wonderful Mother’s Day. It ranks right up there as one of, if not my favorite Mother’s Days ever. Another high ranking Mother’s Day was when the kids were small. It was a chilly, rainy day and when we came home from church Todd and the kids went to take naps. I laid on the couch and watched my gift of Breakfast at Tiffany’s all by myself. Then I dozed off and when we all woke up we had a nice dinner. But yesterday Todd, Taylor, Katie and I walked the Philadelphia Race for the Cure with three other families. Thankfully my prayers were answered and my cold never turned into much of anything.


I’m going to give this post a PG-13 rating. There were a couple times I forgot where I was and thought I was in the Big Easy. I kept waiting for beads to be thrown! Well, maybe it wasn’t quite like that. But you’ll see what I’m talking about.


We had to get up at five-bloody-o’clock in the morning. Not such a great start to Mother’s Day when you’re the least morning person you know. We met our friends at the movie theater and then caravanned into the city. Mario Andretti led the pack and had scoped out a cherry parking place. And let me tell you – good parking places in the city the morning of the Race are hot commodities. So yeah – we’re definitely taking him with us next year.

The term “5K” is a bit misleading in my opinion. Maybe if you get dropped off right at the starting line and picked up right at the finish line. But when you factor in walking from the car to the race area, walking from wherever you are to the starting line, mulling around after the race and then finally, walking to your car you’re talking more like a 8.64K. But I guess that doesn’t sound good so we’ll stay with the 5K.

We set out walking for the “staging area” and passed a car being towed.

I’m not sure why I thought it was blog-worthy, but I did. So there it is.

After walking about a mile (according to Mapquest) we got to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I left my party and crossed the street to venture up the Rocky steps for the Survivor’s Parade. According to the announcer there were roughly 6,000 survivors. I don’t believe there were that many on the steps, but that’s how many had registered for the walk.

Todd’s perspective:

Me hanging out before the parade:

My perspective:

Before the Parade:

The Art Museum flag at half mast in respect for the fallen Philadelphia police officer, Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski:

The parade begins:

The crowd watching and cheering:

I had one of Todd’s hankies in my pocket because I was a little concerned about the emotion of it all. While I did get a little misty, I didn’t end up a blubbering mass. It was all kind of surreal. Maybe it was the early hour or maybe the lack of coffee. But it was almost like I was watching it — not a part of it. And yet at the same time it was incredible to be a part of it.

Making my way through the crowd to the big statue where my party was waiting I came across this interesting statement:

For a confusing second I forgot where I was. Bourbon Street or Benjamin Franklin Parkway…

A Philadelphia bakery made this special cake. Wish I would have gotten a piece. Wonder what kind it was.

Here’s a guy’s t-shirt admired greatly by Todd

And these great bags for sale on the parkway

Finally it was time to make our way over to the starting line. Random pictures of the race:

At this point we needed to find a restroom. The only port-a-potty we saw was for a construction site behind an 8 foot gate. And then we saw this:

It was as though the clouds parted and heavenly rays guided our paths. Some in the group were thinking, Yea! A bathroom!! I was thinking, Bitchen! A venti White Chocolate Mocha with double whip to go!

The Starbuck’s was in the lobby of luxury condominiums which meant restrooms. Unfortunately, several other people had beat us to them. I’m not sure who thought of it, but the girls in our group ended up going in an Irish bar – Tir Na Nog – not yet opened for business.

The best part was the bathrooms were clean!!

I skipped the refreshment and we continued on. Just sixteen people among the masses.

Somewhere along the line I met a man who was a breast cancer survivor. He was the only man in pink I saw, but there may have been others. Funny thing is his wife is an 8th grade science teacher at the school Katie will go to next year. Even funnier thing is his dad used to be a minister at a church in Redondo Beach – where I grew up. Small world.

After about 2 miles or so we saw a sign indicating we’d walked 1 mile. *sigh* So we kept going. And going. Then we passed the 2 mile sign. So we still kept going. And going. As we crossed the bridge to get back to the Art Museum I snapped a couple of my favorite Philly scenes.

Philadelphia Water Works:

Boathouse Row:

And can I just say this kid had it made!

Finally we finished the race! The local news estimated about 45,000 people doing the race with a total of 100,000 people in the area to support the race in one way or another. That’s alotta people!

Two of the families had to leave for Mother’s Day lunches with family. That left eight of us to find a place to eat. Originally we had thought to drive back toward home, but as we crossed the freeway we saw the cars were bumper to bumper. So we decided we should eat in the city.

We checked TGIFridays as we were walking by and oh happy day! They had just opened and were able to seat us right away. But that’s not the best part. No. The best part was when Alex ordered a raspberry tea and I thought that sounded good so I ordered a raspberry tea. In fact, I think I ordered like this:

I’ll have a raspberryteaand… um, parmesan-crusted chicken.

So when the waitress brought us our drinks I noticed my raspberry tea didn’t look at all like Alex’s raspberry tea. Turns out she thought I said raspberrytini. And because of the kind-hearted soul that I am, I didn’t want to make more work for the staff by sending it back and having them bring me a tea. It was quite tasty, though I only drank about half of it.

The other mom, Tina (and the organizer of our team), and I were given a carnation and a yummy little mint chocolate shot glass dessert that tasted like a Girl Scout Thin Mint. After lunch it was a walk around the corner to get the cars. Following a couple failed attempts at finding a decent paced freeway we finally got on the road home. The kids immediately fell asleep. Todd tried to, but he was driving and he thought better of it.

We were so incredibly exhausted by the time we got home. Todd and I both got in a little cat nap here, a little cat nap there, but nothing worthy of being called a true nap. At about 8:00 I went upstairs and hopped into a hot bubble bath. Ahhhh… It was divine. When I woke up (I know, I know. You’re never supposed to fall asleep in a bath tub, but I did.) I got out, dried off, threw on jammies and went to bed. And slept the sleep of the dead. Except Todd said I snored all night and I don’t think the sleeping dead snore. I blame that on a mix of complete exhaustion and the sinus stuff I’ve been trying to get, though I don’t think I’m getting it anymore.

So that, in a very large coconut shell, was my Mother’s Day. Hope all you moms out there enjoyed yours even half as much!


  1. Gretchen on May 12, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Oh happy day is right. Sorry about the confusion with your drink. That WAS a bummer. 😉 xxxooogretchen

  2. Rosie on May 12, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    This year I knew two people who were walking with Survivors at our Relay for Life…both breast cancer survivors. It was incredibly moving and of course I did use my hankie. I thought of you too kiddo. I’m so glad you had a great Mother’s Day. Even better that your cold didn’t kick your butt.

  3. Mommy to 4 little people on May 12, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    I swear last night I saw the story about the walk on the news and I thought of you. I am so glad you were there to march with the survivors. As I sit here and wait my for the first round of tests to tell me what is wrong with my body…I think of you often and am glad that we happened to meet in a message forum, so that I can be encouraged by your positive attitude and love of life. You make my journey so much better. I know it is so sappy to say all that but I just wanted you to know.

  4. Becky on May 13, 2008 at 12:58 am

    So glad you got to Walk!! YAY!Thanks for keeping us all ‘abreast’ of the happenings there! (Dadgum…that had to be the BIGGEST Relay group I’ve ever seen!

  5. His Girl on May 13, 2008 at 1:08 am

    I am so glad you went and had a great time….I am STILL giggling at second base….wheee!is it october YET?

  6. Kim on May 13, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I’m so glad you had such a wonderful day. My family and I did the race here in Chicago, but our weather left something to be desired. It was about 40 degrees with 40 mph wind gusts off the lake and rain. We were very wet and very cold by the end, needless to say! Happy Mother’s Day!

  7. The Daily "B" on May 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous Mothers Day! A sea of pink – incredible. Loved the t-shirt and bag, who thinks of these things? Clever.

  8. Tanya on May 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Sounds like you had a great mothers day. I’m looking forward to the St. Louis Race for the Cure. I’ll have to remember to take good pictures, so I can blog about it.

  9. Gretchen on May 13, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    BTW, I’ll be sporting a shirt which says “save these” in a most interesting place on my 3 day walk. 😉

  10. Lynilu on May 13, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I’m proud of you! And what could make Mother’s Day be any more special!! Not sure I’d make the full XX K walk these days, but I’d certainly try! And yeah, that drink mix-up just sucks. Sorry you were forced to drink that, shudder, awful drink. 😉 You’re a real trooper, Jen!!

  11. CindyS on May 14, 2008 at 5:50 am

    The pictures are fantastic and seeing so many people taking time on Mother’s Day to walk for the cure. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your day Jen!

  12. Tina on May 14, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Raspbery Tea/Raspberrytini, Tomato/tomAto…I’ve never seen someone suck down an “accidental order” so fast! (but only half!)Seriously, it was such and honor to share this very special day with you and your family. Thanks for letting us be a part of your celebration!

  13. Penny Kendall Photography on May 14, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Jen … I am SOOOOO thankful that you’ve survived to walk this day and drink Rasberrytini tea and take photos of funny t-shirts. I’m just so thankful for you!

  14. KATE on May 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Love. it! I’m so glad you got to go & do the race!! How fun & what a great way to be there & be one of the survivors! You rock! Our Race for the Cure was on Saturday morning. We had a Dance competition that all our girls were in (my sisters & mine) Anyhow, my sister left the competition to go run the race & I got the girls ready for dance. She had to get back to the competition, so she didn’t meet up with her friends that were there, she just ran it & came back. It looks like you had lots of fun & it was great people watching!Oh my word, I LOVE all those shirts & all the boobs everywhere! That is fabulous! I need to find some of those shirts, too funny! When my mom gets her boobs fixed I want to get her a boob cake & balloons and all that. Those were too great!!Congrats on doing the race, you’re amazing!!

  15. radioactive girl on May 14, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Wow! What a wonderful day even if you did have to get up way too early!I love the bag and the shirt. Too funny! I’m really glad you got to experience this. I can imagine how much it meant to you!

  16. Stacy~ on May 14, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Wow, sounds like an amazing though tiring day. What an inspiration you are. I’m so proud of you Jen.And I just love the t-shirt.

  17. Sing4joy on May 14, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Oh my goodness. Seeing the pictures of the survivor parade and just having the slightest inkling of what that means for you and all the other survivors made me weepy. What a beautiful beautiful day. PS I LOVE the guy shirt that says he loves boobs and he’ll check ’em if you don’t. That’s good stuff for a pg-13 rated blog!

  18. Cheryl Wray on May 15, 2008 at 10:42 am

    These pictures are so WONDERFUL!!!!! What a fantastic event!!And, okay…the tshirts are GREAT!! Really made me smile. LOL

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