On Christmas Day, our family traveled down to North Padre Island, Texas. While the north has been in the grips of subzero temperatures, we have been enjoying the warmer temperatures, great food and the beach over the past week. As part of our trip, our family completed the Miles 4 Mom Challenge, which is a 7.77-mile walk/run event on the beach. This was a tribute to Julie’s mom Barb Taylor, who might not have liked to complete these events, but enjoyed all of us being together over Christmas and working together on common goals.
I hope everyone is enjoying the New Year’s Weekend! We are live from North Padre Island near Corpus Christi, Texas. I know that I have been talking about history and traditions this holiday season, but we purposely decided to break from our typical Christmas tradition. Before you call me out, let me explain.
Because you might be new to Small Scale Life, let me provide background information. In February 2017, we lost my Mother-in-Law Barb Taylor. She was a wonderful woman, and Christmas was her favorite holiday. She made it really special for everyone, and we always had a great Christmas.
With Barb gone this year, my wife Julie, brother-in-law David and sister-in-law Karen wanted to do something different. They decided that we should get away from the frigid north, take a trip to warmer climates and enjoy Christmas together in a new place. That sounded like a great plan, and the Taylor side of the family decided to travel to Corpus Christi and North Padre Island in Texas.
Seeing that our last big family vacation was in 2012, Danny, Ryan, Julie and I were really excited to head south to Texas. We planned it all out, including postponing holding Christmas with my family. Needless to say, that didn’t go over with my family as expected, but I won’t go into too many details about that. We’ll still get together for birthdays, New Years and Christmas on the first weekend of January 2018.
Miles 4 Mom Challenge
During the trip planning process, my brother-in-law David thought that it would be cool to honor Barb by completing a walk/run on the beach in North Padre Island. We all knew that Barb was not into doing the races, but she enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren complete them. Dave thought that walking or running 7.77 miles would be a great way to honor her.
After spending some time on the beach earlier this week, David designed the “course” for the Miles 4 Mom Challenge, which essentially was the following:
- Start at Post 220 near the Holiday Inn on the North Padre Beach
- Go north to the channel
- Turn and head south to a point near Post 250
- Return back to Post 220
The entire course was around 7.77 miles. Given the ability of some of the participants, some opted to go longer, some opted to go shorter distances and one could not participate due to a previous injury. Regardless of age or ability, however, we all participated in our own way (organizing, walking or running).
As an added bonus, Dave ordered Camelback water bottles for all of us. He had monograms with a shamrock and “M4M” added to each of the water bottles. You can see an example as the cover for the post. The shamrock is a hat tip to Barb’s Irish heritage.
Even though the weather was not quite cooperating (46 degrees F, cloudy, and 14 mph winds out of the north), we completed the Miles 4 Mom Challenge. In the end, we completed 90.1 miles between the participants! That was impressive!
Even more impressive, however, was that my son Danny, aka “the Flash,” ran a complete marathon of 26.2 miles on the sand and boardwalk. He did a great job, and I think he was pacing around 7:30 per mile. I know he was pacing around 6:15 per mile for a few miles (which is amazing). Afterward, Danny said he felt pretty good, which shows a big improvement over the last time he tried a marathon. His training, practice and dedication really seems to be paying off!
Putting It All Together
2017 has been a hard year for all of us, particularly for Julie’s dad and siblings. I know from experience: it is very difficult to lose someone who was such an integral part of the family. Barb was a special woman, and we all miss her. The Miles 4 Mom Challenge was an opportunity to come together as a group, a tribe, a family and do something to remember her. Even though the weather was not ideal, we enjoyed being together, rooting each other on and celebrating our memories of Barb Taylor.
While this trip broke from our normal Christmas tradition, maybe we are establishing a new tradition. This Miles 4 Mom Challenge tradition will live on, much like our memories of Barb and her legacy.
This will be the last post of 2017. Thank you for being a part of our Small Scale Life. We would not do this if you were not part of our story. We will be back really soon in 2018! Stay safe. Continue to live simply and explore, be healthy and grow with us!