Cars, Cars, and MORE Cars…..

What do you get at the Infiniti Service Department for $700?  Not much, about a 1/4 of a break job (front/resurface only), an oil change and a new REALLY important belt  that apparently makes the car go and would be a problem if it actually broke half way into Indiana with a load of kiddos in the car.  Oh, and a car wash plus interior cleaning……so maybe it was worth it? 

I won’t even bother pretending to be green or economical when it comes to cars.  I’m a car snob enthusiast and won’t drive one that won’t get up and move or at least look good trying.  I came by it honest since Mom and Dad always had something cool in the “drive”.  Their current toys are FOR SALE.   1984 Hurst Oldsmobile 442:

1976 Chevy Corvette:

When I got out of college, I didn’t go look for a job, I bought this: 

Lots of fun in that red camaro, probably too much fun.  So glad I bought it and beat the shit out of it.  Some dude that my FIL (father-in-law) knows is still driving this car around in CA somewhere.  Wish I were in CA driving this car. 

After college, I wasn’t looking for a hubby, just some dude who would wrench on my car so I didn’t get my hands dirty.  Enter dude Mick:   

So last night I assigned put him on a mission to find photos of “some” of our old cars.  We have been married since August 1999 and he estimated 25 cars that we have owned since then.  That is an average of purchasing 2.5 cars a year.  Not green.  Not economical.  Not smart.  Some were for fun:

That silver vette didn’t last long.  I stole it from some old people for cheap, then it had electical issues and I realized that although it sounded good and was fun, it sat really low, was uncomforable to drive and it was hard to see anything in traffic.  And since I was so low and visibility was poor, it never really got driven to it’s full potential.

Lots of history for the Carey men with this black vette.  Mick had it as a teen, then my FIL had it, then it was sold, then the FIL bought it back many years later, then he gave it back to Mick and it’s currently for sale for too much $$ out in cyberland.  The car looks awesome in the photo because some magazine was shooting it.  Really, it was more “normal” looking on a day to day basis.  I loved driving this car short distances when I could pry it away from hubby cuz it had “some” specialty parts for racing and really just scared the shit out of people when you started it up.  Plus, being a chick, dudes really were shocked when I got out of it.  And I love a good shock factor.

This Seabring (stock photo cuz we didn’t keep it long) was a POS crappy car, poor sound, crappy ride, the only positive was when the top was down and then EVERYONE bitched hated riding in it cuz of the wind tunnel.  Even the dog hated the convertible, so out the door it went cuz it wasn’t worth hearing them bitch the overall general crappiness.

Some for racing/hobby/keeping the hubby happy:

The white camaro is the current “project” car…..I think…… he can’t make up his mind.  He might want an old 70’s vette to build or he might keep this…..makes my head spin, and I really dislike the 3rd Gen body style for the camaro, I’m rooting for him to build a vette. 

Some shared with Father Carey:

Some which hit car magazines and made hubby infamous with other gearheads car dudes:

Some zippy daily drivers….supercharged Grand Prix GTP……. “family car”:

I really liked this car.  It came to me as I was giving up the red camaro after Aby was born  and hauling her in and out of that car, with only 2 doors, no interior room, and lots of driving a stick shift with a screaming baby in the car.  This car was a compromise, family car space plus engine power for momma.  It had a nice rumble too, plus a great Bose sound system to drown out screaming babies, moon roof, heating seats.  LOVE.  Pontiac really knew how to do it right. 

Grand Prix GXP (300+ HP V-8)….”family car”: 

I loved the silver GTP above so much that hubby found this one for me.  This was a newer & improved model and was a really awesome car.  First, it was black, need I say more?  Second, although this model didn’t have a supercharger, which I was slightly leary about, it had lots of power and an even better rumble than the GTP.  LOVED this car and it was a REAL struggle to get rid of it and move into a new market once Pontiac stopped production.  I still miss this car and if they made it again, I would go back.  Lots of options, looked good, had nice interior space and it really slid through downtown traffic, plus was awesome on the tollways and interstates heading to/from my parents.  Did I mention that I really LOVED this car?

Some utilitarian for towing, hauling the family plus the kitchen sink:

Some just cuz the price was right:

1962 Oldsmobile Cutlass F85 – currently FOR SALE please come get it out of our barn!

Some which were worth less than my road/TRI bikes: 

Up until just recently, each and every vehicle we purchased was american made.  But things change.  And the lines have been muddled.  It appears that nobody knows what it means to be “American Made” anymore.  The “American” cars are now made overseas and the foreign cars are made and assembled in the US.  Sigh…..hard to know what is what anymore.  So for the first time, we have a round of “foreigners” in our garage.  .   

These foreigners don’t rumble, they purr.  They are just sleek, smooth and I guess probably designed for a more “mature” consumer.  We have been promised that they will  last “forever” and I can drive them into the ground if we maintain them.  We’ll  see, I put 30K+ miles on the Infiniti this year……and the goal is to keep it til Aby gets her license in 6 more years.  Not sure if this is a blessing or a punishment.  Hubby’s Nissan Maxima:

“Stock” Photo of Infiniti G35X cuz it’s too hard to go out to the garage to snap a photo.

I like the Infiniti.  It gets up and moves and is very sleek, has good sound, moon roof, heated seats, and gps/computer.  Nice to drive.  However, it is somewhat uncomfortable to ride passenger, has little interior space in the back seat Aby hates it, little trunk room and is a gas hog.  Hubby wanted me to get the M series for space reasons but it just didn’t move as well.  I drove a lot of cars to decide on the Infiniti and I do like, it just not sure I will stay with the Infiniti line after this car gets passed on to Miss Aby. 

This is a decent compilation of our vehicles past and present.   Cars are a bit of a passion for us.  Mick likes the fast/hobby/race cars but will settle for a normal or even shitty daily driver.  Me, I like a fast daily driver that can accomodate the family to some degree.  I am over the sports car thing, don’t like how low they are to the ground, or the poor visibility but you won’t catch me in a minivan or SUV anytime soon either.   I know, not green, not practical, not smart but it’s part of who we are as imperfect people.

What do you drive?  Is it smart and practical or excessive and possibly more than what you really need?  

Happy Driving!                                                                                                                           Amanda – TooTallFritz

Fritz Clan……

We did a whirlwind Thanksgiving with the Fritz Clan on Saturday.  Drove there and back (6+ hours) without even screaming at each other in the same day.  Since mom did the cooking, I was able to coerce encourage a very few photos out of the bunch in between trying to keep Mr. Michael alive & randomly offering my assistance.   Sara, Mom & Me: 

Everyone thinks Sara & I are twins.  We, of course, don’t see it.  She is 2.5 years my junior, is obviously much shorter and better proportioned, plus she has straight hair you might have been able to see that yourself if she had washed it but alas arrived with 2 hours of sleep coming off a FL vacay/birthday/anniversary trip verses my curly hair.  But we both got the Fritz huge, crazy, crooked nose! 

Here is a “stock” photo of us when we were all looking our best at Sara & David’s 2008 wedding celebration – Mom, Sara & Me: 

This is Papa, PawPaw, Grampy Fritz……has a million better non-grandchildren friendly nick names too but let’s leave it at that.  Michael & Dad: 

Michael is obsessed with Grampy, follows him around constantly, sits on his lap watching boring fishing/hunting shows, wants to ride with him in his little fishing boat, wants to rake leaves with him, swim with him, clean fish with him…… everything except what Grandpa really wants, which is to take a nap.  Grandpa works 3rd shift so we really turn his world upside down when we are visiting.  But he doesn’t mind. 

Another stock family photo from Sara’s Wedding (I’m the one on the far left in case you still think Sara & I look like twins I know it would have helped if she had stayed in her wedding dress all night

And the Fritz Clan wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t attempt to rope in the kiddos and Uncle Jim (Dad’s brother).  Of course, I couldn’t manage to pull off a photo of these elusives at Thanksgiving but I’ll dust off another stock photo from Halloween 2011:  “Angelic” Alexis (Sara & David’s daughter), Aby, Sara (wrestling Michael into the photo) & Uncle Jim (Dad’s brother).I am going to make it a mission at Christmas to get both a Carey and Fritz family photo…..with everyone looking at the camera at the same time, in the same room, possibly even by the Christmas Tree!   Wish me luck!

Do you ever manage to get your entire family in one photo?  Do you find yourself running around crazy during the holiday prep to only realize after everyone has left that you didn’t take one photo the entire day?  See Misfit Thanksgiving here for the Carey family/friend photos or lack thereof.

Cheers,                                                                                                                         Amanda – TooTallFritz

Gone Shopping……

It’s Cyber Monday and I have “Gone Shopping”.  I’ll be out for the remainder of the day.  So far I have taken advantage of sales for myself from the following retailers:

Athleta – 30% off using the coupon code:  HUGECYBER

SkirtSports – savings on selected merchandise, click here to view.

RunningSkirts – pretty much everything is on sale and I have been waiting to try their compression socks and a “few” other things.  REALLY hoping Mom still need Christmas presents for me.

I didn’t buy this but if you need a running watch – Amazon has the Garmin 405 for $139!

Walmart also has the Garmin 405 for $139, which is a really good deal!

I hope that you too have a Mom who needs Christmas gift “ideas”!

Happy Shopping!                                                                                                                      Amanda –

Drizzly Sunday Run

I managed to sneak out of the house this morning although nobody was really happy about it to meet up with the Frankfort Running Club.  I knew that I wanted to run at least 8 and it had been pouring rain + high winds during the night; however, we experienced a bit of a break this morning.  For me, it’s just best to get a run out of the way before the excuses start to accumulate early.   

I was very pleased to pull in and see lots of warm bodies people to keep me company.  Meet the Frankfort Running Club – Sunday Crew.   From left to right:  Susan, Dave, Diane, Angela, Don, Brian, Kate, Suzanne, Kelly, & Nicole.

We got lucky again with the weather, another 40 degree day.  We had a little drizzle too but certainly nothing like I would normally expect for November, just enough to screw up blur the photos.

We ran Old Plank Trail heading west.

The group members for today averaged between 6 and 8 miles at varying paces.  A very reasonable group for all types of runners.  I would strongly encourage even newer runners to have the guts give it a shot with this group because they are very diverse, not too INTENSE low key and really friendly.   Susan & Don here as they bailed called it at the six mile mark:

The seven mile group coming back at me with a quick bluring pace, plus the drizzle was starting to get serious at this point, run fast and get back to your cars!After this group passed me, I took a few more photos finished up.  I ran 8.06 miles in 1:19.18 with loads of stops for photos, road crossings and time to chat with those at the front and the back.  I never stop my watch while we are out there because I am too blonde would forget to restart it.  So  once we leave the initial parking lot, I just let it roll, the time isn’t too important to me anyhow.  I’m mostly out there for the experience. 

Great day.  Great run. 

“Run”way Fashion:  It was all about Athleta today unless we count my Hot Chocolate windbreaker.  Ironically, Athleta is also having a sale.  If you log onto their website and shop, use the HUGECYBER coupon code for 30% off thru Cyber Monday.  Today I was wearing the Hopkinton Top & the Reflective Workout Tight.


Happy Running,                                                                                                               Amanda – TooTallFritz

Black Friday Waterfall Glen Run {2011}

Today was as close to perfect as I could have gotten without sitting on a beach, under an umbrella, in the tropics sipping on poison.   Somehow a run with one partner turned into a run of nine AWESOME women who spent hard-earned calories running rather than $$ shopping in the Black Friday madness.   Meet our Waterfall Glen Black Friday Crew from Top Left:  Me, Jen, Judy, Susan, Maggie;  Bottom Left:  Laura, Angela, Kelly & Suzanne. 

These women hauled their asses out of bed came this morning to run in the name of health, wellness, fitness and friendship.  A 9.5 mile run thru the rolling hills of Waterfall Glen’s Forest Preserve isn’t exactly how many women would like to spend the largest shopping day of the year but that is what runners do, we run.  We run on our birthdays, on holidays, on breaks at work, and in the snow, sleet and rain……WE RUN. 

If I had to hazard a guess, there are probably a few ladies Susan & Jen who came today who don’t consider themselves runners.  Let me break it to you gently Susan & Jen, if you showed up today for a 9.5 mile run in the woods on Black Friday…..YOU. ARE. A. RUNNER.  

A pictorial account of what we saw while running on this glorious day!

I promised I wouldn’t take any photos of anyone’s ass but I lied that was hard since I was bringing up the rear.   The guarantee today was that NOBODY would get left behind and I welcomed the opportunity to run the back since I am exhausted and love to take lots of pics I needed a break but still wanted to be part of the fun.

 Hey Jen, can you stop running and sit on this bench for a photo?

Hey Jen, can you stop running AGAIN to take a photo of me?

Almost done, we WILL make it…….And where the HELL was Big Bertha?  I think we totally missed it while talking, stopping for a billion photos and just enjoying the view and being out in the beautiful weather!

Thanks to these fast dudes who I believe lapped us a couple of times were kind enough to take a few photos of our entire group once we all made it back.  Thanks, Brian & Rick!

All in all a wonderful run.  I hope “the crew” members had a recovery drink in their car!  I use the AdvoCare Post Workout Recovery drink so that I can go back out tomorrow or hopefully Sunday with the FRC if hubby doesn’t kill me for another morning run during our mini vacay and do it all again, and so that I can get up and down the stairs, and so that I can pig out on Thanksgiving leftovers when I get home since I already had the necessary recovery nutrients. I need the ease and convenience of a recovery drink because it requires less thinking and counting my nutrients…..sometimes my brain doesn’t want to work too well after a good run.

Perfect day:  Morning Run in PERFECT WEATHER (40 degrees + sun) with friends, Thanksgiving Leftovers, 3 hour nap with the kiddos, then chores and cuddling with my little man.  Some days, life is better than others.  Thanks again to the Waterfall Glen Black Friday Crew and my wonderful hubby who didn’t even bitch watched the lil ones this morning for me.

How did Black Friday work out for you?  What is your perfect day?

We head out to Indiana tomorrow for Thanksgiving #2 with the Fritz Clan, so enjoy your weekend and I’ll catch up with all of you later cuz I’ll be eating more awesome food and hanging out with my loved ones! 

Many Blessings,                                                                                                                       Amanda – TooTallFritz

Misfit Thanksgiving 2011

It has become an annual tradition to host Thanksgiving for my little family, my in-laws and a few friends.  I secretly call us The Misfits consider us to be a diverse group, we all are part of larger families but it seems that due to distance, the addition of spouses/children, and jackass family members busy schedules we all seem to be solo on some major holidays.  I have always dreamed of this HUGE family with lots of people, screaming kids and absolute chaos but it never seems to work out for everyone to get together at one time, on one day, in one place…….enter my Misfits. 

Websters may define family as: 1)  a group of individuals living under one roof; and 2)  a group of persons of common ancestry.  However, Ms. TooTall knows that family is what you make it, should be about the people you love and those who are there for you thru thick-n-thin.  And I am very happy for my family of Misfits!

If you happen to also be homeless for the holidays, feel free to come on over.  I guarantee the stuffing will be cold, the floors will be dirty and there WILL BE screaming children and stinky barking dogs…..but you’re welcome to join us for the festivities!   Wasn’t lying about the nasty dirty floors…..this kid had a bath this morning!  I really should be embarrassed but I’m NOT busy living life rather than cleaning my house. 

My thing about Holidays and Family is tradition.  Although, I am somewhat non-traditional when it comes to many things, there are also other things which I am crazy psycho paticular about and like to do every year.  For many years now, I have been participating in the Running For Kicks 4 mile Turkey Trot in Palos humongous Hills on Thanksgiving morning.  It’s certainly not an easy race and I clawed my way up several hills  was far from my best today but was still happy to be out there doing what I love with so many people I love!  Kristina H., Nicki T. & myself fresh off a kill with red eyes. 
Nicki says she now needs to re-evaluate our friendship since I pressured convinced her to run this crazy, hilly race.  HeHeHeHeHe……she’ll be back next year!
A couple of folks from the Frankfort Running Club:  Julie B., Little Joe B. and Brian P.      
Note to self……start races far behind Brian P. and Little Joe cuz they kick ass float uphill and make Ms. TooTall look like she is standing still run really fast.  Once results posted I stalked looked up their times….Brian – 30:10, Joe – 31:34, Me – 31:55….Julie held back with me to push me up the hills make me feel better.
Overall it was an awesome day running, cooking, and I really enjoyed hanging out with my Misfits.  I hope all of you had a blessed and joyous day regardless of how you spent it.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 
How did you spend Thanksgiving Day 2011?  Did you workout, run a Turkey Trot or just chill with the family?
Happy Thanksgiving,                                                                                                     Amanda – TooTallFritz

Favorite Things….

As all of us are reflecting on our blessings and how thankful we are for our family and friends, it got me thinking about some of the “little” things in my life for which I am thankful. 

 Introducing a few of My Favorite Things

OPI Nail Polish – A girl wants to look good and we can’t afford don’t have time to be dashing over to the nail salon all the time.  Serena Williams Grand Slam+ Red Shatter + Clear Top Coat

Adele – 21 Album – I have been obsessed loving Adele since summer.  It took me a little longer to jump on the train but I am on and currently sitting down for the ride.  LOVE!   Please get me the 19 cd for Christmas, Mick! 

Eve – “My” In Car GPS/Computer – She takes me everywhere, even where I don’t want to go, and more importantly she brings me home.  She also downloads my favorite cds so that I don’t have to carry all of Alan Jackson‘s cds in my car and she makes helps me answer my phone even when I don’t know where it is or can’t reach it.

Stella &  Dot – Snake Orb Pendant Necklace – Quite possibly the only “fashionable” thing that I currently own.  It has been featured in several magazines and my friend Elizabeth B. just became one of the Stella & Dot stylists.  CLICK ON THE LINK and  BUY ONE FROM HER NOW!  As a side note, Michael LOVES this necklace and is constantly grabbing it to kiss the snake and then just keeps hissing at me and the snake.  Absolutely precious but I’m sure my necklace will hit Mick’s Costume Jewelry Repair Shop before the weekend.

The Stella & Dot Renegade Necklace is on my wish list & the current feature in Lucky Magazine:   


Fresh somewhat Healthy Foods that are portable and easy to throw in a bag for travel & work cuz I REALLY like to eat!  I prefer greek yogurt, for the added protein benefits; however, it is currently “out of stock” in the TooTall fridge.  The Dannon Oikos Honey is my absolute favorite cuz it tastes like dessert .

Today’s emergency foods:

Carmel Cremes – cuz a girl can only eat so many apples, bananas and yogurt.

These are obviously all non-Running related items.  I talk about the running things that I obsess over love all the time so I feel it would be redundant to add those things back in here when you already know that I love my Nike+ GPS, the CW-X compression tights, the CEP compression calf sleeves, Athleta, Knuckelights & RunningSkirts

What are a few of your favorite things?  Tell us!!

Be thankful for EVERYTHING in your life.  All is just as God planned……the good, the bad, and even the really ugly. 

Amanda – TooTallFritz


Baby Steps……

The response to yesterday’s post on my achieving the 1000 mile goal was that some thought I was crazy were overwhelmed by the idea of running 1000 miles.  As in all goals that a person attempts to achieve, break down the hopeless MAJOR undertaking into small parts or baby steps.  If one were to train for a half or a full marathon they should might look at a Hal Higdon training program that breaks down the training week by week so that the thought of running 13.1 or 26.2 doesn’t scare the shit out of them seem so daunting.  I never think about the “end game”, only what I have to run to get thru this week.  And let me just say that anything over 16 miles makes me wanna cry like a baby, I CAN’T think about 26.2 or I’ll never get out the door to hit the start line.

When I considered the 1000 miles as a goal, I broke it down into small pieces.  1)  Run 19.2 miles a week or 2) Squeeze in 83.3 miles per month.  This makes it much more manageable and very doable on those terms.  1000 miles does sound CRAZY and the 2000 that Frogger is running is certifiably insane but if you take it down a notch, look at what needs to happen for just today, or just this week, then you will be able to manage anything.

Remember, baby steps will carry you through any process from inception to completion.  You CAN do it!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

1000 miles – Check!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions to be broken but rather focus on a goal that I can work toward during the year which forces me to make a conscious, continued effort to maintain fitness.  This year, my goal was to run 1000 miles, prompted by another blogger, Tall Mom on the Run.  Tall Mom created a challenge to others to “move” 1000 miles throughout the year.  For me, this meant running.  She published a shared spreadsheet and all those involved in the challenge added in their mileage at their leisure. 

I am happy to say that I bumped past my 1000 miles on Saturday’s run.   I was so close all week but with the flu and Mr. Michael’s poor sleeping habits it was hard to get in those last few miles.  To be honest, it has been a struggle all year to rack up miles, and focus on fitness, due to injuries and Mr. Michael.  I never could have reached my goal without some major support at home from hubby and him doing baby duty on the only morning he would have a chance to “sleep in”.  So I am very thankful for his help and the fact that he didn’t bitch too much frequently helps with Michael so I can squeeze fitness into our very busy life.  Thanks, Mick!

Attaining the 2011 goal makes me reflect a lot on where I want to go for 2012.   When one is part of a family, they must also consider others and the sacrifice that they too will make to “help” YOU achieve a goal.  So I do not take goals lightly, it is a serious thing for me and I hope that it is for you too.  I frequently put what I want to achieve on the back burner in order to pick something that is realistic and doable for all of us.  For example, I really want to do an IronwoMan but I know that at this point in our lives, it would be impossible to TRAIN for that type of committment and also LIVE life and PARTICIPATE in the family and WORK a full-time job.  So alas, this isn’t the year, and quite possibly there won’t be time for IwoM training until the lil man is considerably older and can make his own breakfast more independent.  However, my bike has sat on the trainer for several years now and it will be coming off this spring.  I will be going back to triathlon and may possibly just stick to the International distance to keep the peace the training requirements in the manageable range.  So you can look for me and my beautiful bike on the TRI circuit again next year.

And I’ll be probably be wearing my Team TOUGH CHIK jersey.   

Check out the intro to Team Tough Chik and join me and lots of other ladies who will be racing under that name this year……running, biking, TRI-ing. 

Make it Happen!                                                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                  

So NOT 21 anymore…..

The college babysitter is home for the holiday so Mick and I had the rare opportunity to actually partake in some adult fun last night and attend a 40th birthday party bash. The problem is that adult fun usually involves alcohol and Ms. TooTall is pretty far from the prime party age of 21 and definitely has trouble hanging!  I’m sure the college babysitter thinks I am a total drunk frequently overindulged since each time she is here I come home totally shit-faced over the legal limit.  This makes me feel like a MAJOR loser bad as I never go anywhere with the intention of drinking too much.  Unfortunately, the alcohol gene runs in the family so I have to be pretty careful because my brain doesn’t work normally and I never get the “you’ve had enough” message.  I start drinking and basically never even consider that I’ve had too much until it’s just too late.  Then combine this with the fact that I rarely drink and “too much” comes much faster than one would believe.  Really embarrassing!

Anyhow, I hope I didn’t don’t think I made too much of an ass out of myself at the party and I had a great time and met some really great people.  Meet the birthday girl, Kerry!

Really LOVE this photo with the candles being blown out!

I spent a lot of time talking to these three amazing ladies:  Cynthia, Jen & April.

Cynthia has convinced April to run her first half marathon next spring in CA, so please look for April out on the trail in the spring, pounding out the miles to prepare for that summer half!  Go ladies!!  And Ms. Jen has my dream job if there is such a thing with the FBI…..has even been to Quantico.  Fortunately she isn’t a “secret agent” or the black suits would be rolling in as we speak to confiscate my computer and phone I probably couldn’t have photographed her or mentioned that she was in the FBI.   I’m sure being a Special Agent in Charge  hope I got that right or I will blame my alcohol soaked brain with the FBI probably isn’t as exciting as it sounds or maybe it is?  She has agreed to a 10 miler with me on Black Friday so hopefully I can pump her for more info while I’m sober then. 

It was really fun celebrating with Kerry and I absolutely loved her friends!  I’m also super excited to have met more runners!  And note to self:  more running, less drinking……at this age it takes a full day to recover and that’s just a sad waste of life.  I can’t imagine doing this all the time like we did in college.  I don’t have the time for it and it zaps my energy.  Glad that it’s a rare occasion for me and I’m guessing it will become even more and more rare because the college babysitter will probably stop returning my calls it’s just not worth it and I plan to be smarter in the future.

How do you and your body cope with alcohol?  Do you automatically know when to switch to water or are you a drunk unlucky like me and have trouble recognizing the cut off?

Almost Recovered,                                                                                                        Amanda – TooTallFritz