Thursday, April 22, 2010

Steel Magnolias and buckets full of love

I spent the entire evening crying last night, mainly because I watched the movie Steel Magnolias for the first time. That's not really anything to do with anything, except it was just so sad. Oh Sally Field, you never let us down. I felt so good after a good cry - pregnancy, thy name is unnecessary sadness...


So its Thursday today - I hope you guys have all managed to see Zach's video blog update on our YouTube channel - or on the website ( I know he is getting super excited about recent activities - he met with the Lt. Governor of NC yesterday, Walter Dalton - it was awesome to see the support of our local leaders. Friday ooh that's tomorrow - He is going to have some fun - Lets just say Duke have been extremely generous to the cause...

Zach with Lt. Gov. Dalton

I have to say though, the biggest set back so far in the journey has not been my lack of sleep - nope. It has been the amount of donations we have received for the amputees of Haiti. Thank you to all of you who have already donated - There was so much amazing support, and still is, and many people have been so generous, but alas, it's still not enough to make a difference to these people. This project hopes to achieve a fully equipped prosthetics center. Not just that though, Physicians for peace's whole out look really is a long term goal. The money we raise will enable Physicians for Peace to train Haitians to treat Haitians, meaning that long after we've gone, your money and support will benefit these people for decades to come - the trained Haitians train more, and so on.

Dr Lawrence told us this story about a sinking ship, with hundreds of people on board. Slowly but surely this boat was filling with water. The people on board were running around screaming, clambering for lifeboats and floatation aids. One man, whilst grabbing out for a flare, noticed a small boy with a bucket, desperately trying to empty some water out of the vessel. The boy relentlessly heaved the bucket time and time again, not stopping to look around. The man cried out to the boy - "Son - what are you doing? Come with me, and save yourself!" The small lad looked up, and said earnestly "I'm doing my part - please sir, grab a bucket - then we could save everyone, and not just ourselves."

I hope I got the story right - but it really touched me, it rings of truth and really parallels our lives. Yes, Haiti may seem to be a sinking ship, but if we all grab a bucket, we really can bail the water out, and the Haitian people can make it safely to shore. Your ten dollars, or what ever you can afford, be it more or less, truly is your bucket - by itself, 10 dollars would be just a bucket of water, but if EVERYONE you know grabs a bucket too - following your example, in no time at all, the ship will be back above water.

Really, this is an awesome project, and we are having a lot of fun, but its all for nothing - if no one else grabs a bucket.

On a brighter note, Zach is on track to reach his target of 400 miles by the end of Saturday - it will be a truly momentous occasion, a lot of blood, sweat and smelliness will have gone into those miles - the latter of which I alone had to deal with... hahaha. I did laundry yesterday at a laundromat - I felt like a real American... not sure why, but it was like I was on Friends... look at me, all American. And thank you to the man who gave me a scoop of his detergent - the machines at the cleaners were all out - it was a true act of Christ-like service, and if Mr. Man you ever read this, please know what a difference it made to my day, and to Zach's cycling shorts... eek.

We have now stayed 2 nights at the Sleep Inn, fully comped, and I have to say its been lovely - Reid, the attendant that made it possible, was really a wonder, and super cute, ladies - call the Sleep Inn in Wake Forest to talk to him - (he's probably married, but if not he is lovely!)

The breakfast was fantastic and the bed was super comfortable... and even though they were fully booked, they still comped the room. What a fantastic way to send a message - you can ALWAYS keep giving. Thanks so much Sleep Inn, Wake Forest - WE LOVE YOU! Oh and one more note on the breakfast - Their cereal comes in little tiny packages specially made per person... I ate 2 this morning, but that's not the point. Amazing service too - everyone was so lovely, right down the lady who was cleaning up breakfast, and because I was late out there, she waited for me to get what I wanted  - The turnip and I really appreciated that Mrs. Lady, so thank you indeed.
Mmmmm. Delicious

Zach and Reid

Also, and lastly because I know that this post is getting kind of long, and most of you have lives and what not - or at the very least jobs.. :) we met Zach's Aunt Cindy for the first time ever last night - even Zach hadn't met her before (shes not technically his Aunt - shes his mother's cousin) but she is so gorgeous!!! We loved her and her husband, it was so fantastic to meet them, and we are going to try our hardest to see them more often when we come back to Buena Vista.

Me, the bump, Aunt Cindy, and Zachary

OK well that's all from me for today - but please PLEASE, pick up a bucket, the biggest one you can manage, and encourage others to do the same.

See you on deck! :)


(By the way... Zach says he'll do ANYTHING for your money, so please leave comments and ideas of things you'd like to see him do along the way... I've got a few ideas... I might make him shave his legs for five bucks. - Maybe it will make him walk faster?)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Already?!

Well here we are, Tuesday morning already! Time is just screeching past, I just can’t believe how fast it's going. Zach FINALLY updated his blog - go to and check that out. (Why don't click the donate button while you’re there... :))
Friday was an incredible day - you'll see from Zach's blog that we had a seriously trek changing experience. We went to see Dr David Lawrence, a physical therapist/gait specialist and co-founder of the Physicians for Peace run Walking Free program. It’s hard to put into words the difference it made to my dedication to the project. I had no idea what the real need in Haiti is. 80-90 % of the amputees there are estimated to be less than 18 years old. Dr Lawrence also told us that if a prosthetic isn’t refitted as the child grows; it can cause malformation of the spine and other limbs and do more damage than good. I know Zach mentioned in his blog about a man named Robert, a double bilateral amputee, who now, thanks to the care he's received here in the US says that his life is better than ever. Seeing him living an extraordinary life after his accident really brought to the front of my mind just what the people in Haiti are missing out on, and how their lives could be so much improved with our help.

Zach is working SO HARD! I knew I'd married a champ on my wedding day, but I really didn’t realize how dedicated he is to this. He wants so much to make a difference to the people of Haiti; gratitude really is a fantastic motivator and a call of destiny.

So - Zach got a bicycle donated... which is lucky because Saturday was deemed Bicycle day from the beginning, and so far he was going to have to find a trike off Craig’s list. Still, as usual, the Lord provided a way, and fortuned smiled on him in the form of Revolution Cycles and the lovely Joe Paper.

Zach and Joe

Zach reached 100 Miles Friday when he reached the Virginia State Capitol Building. And you know him, any excuse for a pose...

The Hundred Mile Man

Also, possibly the funniest thing about Friday was Zachs ice bath... He finally let me document it, This is him, in the Best Western, (a really fabulous place by the way) and if you want to see the video check out his blog... the best I can do is pictures though... Aww go on, donate.

Saturday was also excellent, thanks to Scott Doxey. It was lovely to get to know him better, and we were so grateful for his support. Zach (though wonderful at everything he tries - yes he's one of those people) is hardly what you'd call an experienced roadster... having Scott there was such a blessing for the first day of biking. It was almost as useful as the padded shorts Zach tells me...

Zachs first time in Spandex - Lets hope it wont be the last...

Sunday we went back to Buena Vista, we still had to finish up packing our apartment, which is always a fun task... we basically moved the mess from the apartment to the storage locker... I guess we can always move in there when we get back... maybe not. It went well though, and we both loved being back "home". It was so strange, until I left I never thought of BV as home, but over the past months with my Mom2Mom friends, and the loveliest ladies in our ward, I have come to think of it s a home away from home without even knowing it. I guess in the words of Pumba, "Home is where the rump rests"... or was that Timone? Never mind.

Monday was slightly more annoying than interesting, I know we have a tendency to sugar coat these trialing experiences but Monday was still a little tart, even with all the pure cane you can imagine. As Zach was planning to ride 100 miles on Saturday but caved to the saddle-sore after 50, he decided to make up some time by riding his bike Monday too - but instead, after 20 miles, he got 2 flat tires and had to call it a day. Still, ever the trooper, he carried on walking, and tried to make up some time.

Today, even though its only 9:30, Zach's been walking since sun up, I think I might get him a sleeping bag so he can just sleep where he stops and then go on in the morning... hmm maybe not - I don’t think he'd be too fond of washing his hair in McDonalds.

Well, you'll be pleased to know the one blister has now become no blisters and Adidas have triumphed again. It appears however that socks are no respecters of cause, and since we left Buena Vista for the second time we have lost no less than 5 socks, mainly the right of each pair Zach says. I told him to buy ALL the same pairs just incase... he never listens... :) Still, even if the colors don’t match, they still do the same job.

We should be reaching Raleigh tomorrow, can’t wait, I hear there's a Cheesecake Factory not too far from the area. Things it seems are looking up.

Zach's mother is from NC so we are planning to see some of his family tonight - my first time meeting them, I really cant wait, its only a shame the first time they meet me I have to resemble a watermelon with legs... No matter. As with most things we do, its for a good cause.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 4 - Bring on the blisters

Day 4

Dropped Zach off where he finished up yesterday at 7am, then thanks to the good people at Days Inn, I went back to bed - they let me check out late... 1pm to be exact - probably saved my life... it just wont do to get sleepy at the wheel... again. Why can't they make caffine for pregnant women?

Zach got his first blister today... in wales we have a saying - "you don't know you're born". Work it out.

yes its that mini tiny thing that you can barely see adjacent to his second toe...

Lunch was excellent today - FOUND A CHIPOTLE... why cant they be an official sponsor? Hmm wish I'd thought of that. Pork Salad makes everyone smile... well it made me smile. I think the turnip liked it too (thats what we call the unborn child by the way...) The Best Western didnt hurt either which is where we are staying tonight, they let me check in early so I came up to my room to eat lunch. 10 minutes of the Tyra Show and a Pork Salad and man, I am a different person. I feel like the queen... I know, I know, I'm from a village. The Best Western gave us a huge discount, which made this place cheaper than Motel 8. The carpet makes me feel like eating chocolate limes... mmmm. 

I am still super tired today and you'll be outraged no doubt at the fact that I deleted the photographs of me from this morning... it was not for human eyes. I may need to get a job someday after this project and those snaps were the kind of thing you think are forgotten but then some how find their way back. DELETED.

We had a little drama this morning, Zach decided to bring my GPS in from the car last night, because and I quote "some guys were looking at me funny..." but then he couldnt remember where he put it. Soooo we spent no less than 42 minutes searching for it this morning, he checked the car because he recalled "putting it in a bag of some kind..." so no clue there, and I sat there, I am sad to say getting more furious by the second - poor guy... in the end. I got so sick of sitting there, I had to ask the cleaner to let us back into our checked out room, and I searched the bin (trash). the Bathroom, the draws, every where - and nothing. In desperation, I shook out the bed clothes only to find it there, just sitting under the covers. It was at that point I decided not to ask...

ANYWAY... if thats the sum of the drama then I'm feeling pretty blessed today.

Zach made huge leaps and bounds today, he walked 28 miles, his furthest in one day yet. I am so proud of him, he even ate his fruit - he's growing up! Poor thing, after 28 miles I went to get him, to find him hobbling down route 1... what a little trooper. Oh and FYI - his Farmers tan is really coming along nicely...

Really looking forward to tomorrow - before Zach starts walking, the co founder of Physicians for Peace has invited us to his hospital here in Richmond where he treats amputees here in America. I think it will be very inspiring for us, just the motivation we need.

So to sum up:

Total Miles Walked: 80
Number of Blisters: 1 (ooo look out, it starts)
Number of Socks Worn: 14 (Dont look at me, I always wear sandals...)


In the beginning, there was soreness.

The Journey so far… Days 1 to 3.

Day 1

First, let’s begin at day Minus 1… where all truly incredible journeys really begin. – AFTER we packed up our WHOLE apartment and put it into storage (not my favorite Sunday afternoon activity) we then left, at 10:30pm, for DC.

I decided that I would drive, as it’s been almost 3 years since I drove a stick (for all you Brits out there, that doesn’t mean I’m driving a branch of some kind, it means a manual…) and our generously provided pace car, (thank you SO MUCH Jared Huntsman) is in fact a stick shift. Baptism by fire, I lasted an hour before I began to feel TOO sleepy to drive. Aren’t husbands so SO useful! But I only stalled once… I can live with once an hour.

But here we are now, it really is upon us. The day has arrived. Today, my husband will begin his epic journey, and I, ever the dedicated roadie must follow on.

The press conference went well – having never been to Capitol Hill before, I enjoyed myself immensely, and even found time to eat a little Sandwich... (Yes Zach – I call it a little sandwich… it’s just my small hands that make it look big! Oh and you may find that much of this blog revolves around food – I am not fat – I’m pregnant. Apparently there’s a difference…)

Zach was in some fantastic shots.. oo he's a handsome fella. When I work out how to add pictures, you'll see him too...

Ooo wait check out my skills!

Zach came back to the hotel tonight and took an ice bath… my hands and feet have been a little swollen from the pregnancy today, so I asked if I could put my feet in with him. He encouraged it, laughing at me when I only lasted around 10 seconds – he was in the tub 15 whole minutes! Now that’s dedication. He also ate ¾ of a large pizza… almost as big as the bed I’d wager. He insists he’s going to eat the rest for breakfast.

As I lay my head down (carefully – the pillows aren’t so fluffy) at the Econo-Lodge tonight, I miss my apartment a little in Buena Vista. I definitely feel so grateful though, that I have a fairly sturdy roof over my head, only a very slight gap in the front door that can’t be closed, blankets to keep me warm and prenatal vitamins. We have no idea what kind of luxury the Econo-Lodge would be to the people of Haiti.

I'm getting very fond of this car now... Bring on the stick.

Total Miles Walked: 18
Blisters: 0
Pairs of socks worn: 3


Day 2

He truly did eat Sausage and Peppercini pizza for breakfast.

Who would have thought paradise was just a one hour drive from the Eco-Lodge…

We made a pact to definitely get up earlier tomorrow. He has to walk a certain number of hours a day and I have noticed that his dedication is slightly deflated at 8pm… so its best to get it the majority of the miles done as early as possible. We decided this of course BEFORE we saw where we were staying tonight. OH MY GOODNESS. Talk about the blessings of service!!! We stayed at the Richard Johnston Inn (, in Fredericksburg. It was truly beautiful. They donated one night’s stay to the cause, and for this we are truly grateful – I know Zach particularly enjoyed the HUGE bath… man, that’s a lot of ice. We even got upgraded on our free stay (it’s a made world I tell you) because they were having some work done on the air conditioning. The pictures on their website really don’t capture how lovely the place is. If you are every here in town, I urge you to stay there. You won’t be disappointed – and not that we sampled any, but they even give you complimentary brandy – bravo old chap! The place reminded us so much of our honeymoon… in the Peak District. It was very romantic… that was until dinner came. Nothing like a microwave meal to get you in the mood. Say no more.

And, just to prove what a small world it is, it turns out, my boss’ brother has a store on the same street as the Richard Johnston Inn (I work at Celtic Tides, Lexington – check out their facebook page). His store is called Irish Eyes – also worth a visit if you’re ever in Fredericksburg. He gave me a free Bounty (like the older, more glamorous British cousin of the almond Joy (minus the almonds and infinitely more delicious), and pledged 10c per mile to Zach. I almost cried! As if the bounty wasn’t generous enough! Seriously though, if we could get everyone to donate that much, even in this economy, Haiti would be a changed place. So really, thank you Irish Eyes, let’s hope you brought us luck of the Irish… The Welsh aren’t famous for their fortune…

So we must get up earlier tomorrow... let’s see if a 6am wake up is possible considering the quality of the bed… oh and there were robes too! As my brother would say, Zach reminds me of Hugh Heffner in his – GET AWAY FROM THAT BRANDY!… (I’ve been in a much better mood today… all it took was a little luxury…)

Here are some pictures we took at the Inn... aww I miss it already.

Zach forgot his lady razor, but luckily they provide these accessories free of charge...

Number 10 - a Court Yard Suite...

Zach's not that big is he?

Ooo vintage

We love Fredericksburg

We'll be back...

Total Miles Walked: 38
Blisters: 0
Pairs of Socks Worn: 7


Day 3

Ok 6am wasn’t realistic for a pregnant woman and a man who thanks to two days of straight walking now feels 80. I knew I should have married younger… just kidding Zach (I LOVE Bruce Willis...) All I can say is we made it to the continental breakfast (in an beautiful dining room might I add – you gotta love the contrast – yesterday I was drinking Gatorade from a plastic cup and today I’m drinking freshly squeezed orange juice from crystal flutes). Zach will probably have to walk a little later today… I hope he brought his reflective gear. I am doing my best to support him – I refused to pick him up until 10pm. I said “Babe, I love you enough to help you reach your dreams. Call me if you need dry socks.” I should teach a marriage class.

Anyhow, I now sit here in a Country Kitchen restaurant, in beautiful Ruther Glen, (or as I call it, Ruther Glen Dross) Virginia. I’m having the buffet (it’s the cheapest) not bad, not bad. Not sure I have had the combination of Asian cabbage, mac & cheese and pulled pork before but I have to say, it’s not at all repulsive. The waitress is lovely – I’ll call her Flo… very attentive. And hands down, it beats the mall food I had for lunch yesterday.

Time is pressing on, and Zach is somewhere between Fredericksburg and here - I love that man…

The car is pretty packed. I hear ice rattling in the coolers every time I turn a corner. I looked for a scissors (Zach thinks its funny when I say that – he says “a pair of Scissors” – and I say “I only needed one”) yesterday but instead of scissors, I found a mallet, a Cliff bar, and a clipboard. Not to mention the many, many bottles of vitamins that were rolling around. Not sure how that’s helpful, but after 20 minutes searching I decided to call it a day. I’ll make Zach look again when he gets home.

I am going to check in now at the Days Inn, who have kindly donated a free night tonight. I am excited to test it out – I am sure it will be lovely. We did have a discount offer from The Comfort Inn, but being as they wouldn’t let me check in without Zach because of the “special discount which we never normally do”, and even with the discount we were still looking at 60 bucks a night without tax. In addition, the manager kept laughing in a fairly distinctive way… I’m still not quite sure what was funny... it was quite disturbing actually. I’ll write more of my findings later – look out for pictures and logos of the places we stay on Zach’s website,

p.s. I’m starting my baby scrap book today for Zachary Tiberius (I will laugh so hard if it’s not a boy), I’ll scan in my progress later when I can get the scanner working.

3 hours later…

The Days Inn is seriously great for the price… take that Comfort Inn, Ruther Glen… They gave me a ground floor, double queen room, which is great incase Zach’s REALLY sweaty when he gets back… and I managed to bring in all the luggage by myself because I could practically park in my room, which made all the difference. Thank you front desk lady...

Total Miles Walked: 52
Number of Blisters: 0 (incredible I know)
Pairs of Socks Worn: 11