Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Place for Santa

I have read a lot of things recently about the place for Santa, especially among the christian community. And I am not here to judge.  Santa comes to visit our house every year, yet I thought you'd like to see where we place Santa in our house.  I think this pictures says it all.   :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More Than a Run

This past weekend was great, but was so much more than just a 1/2 marathon for me. :) I have been so excited to share my thoughts with you and hope that I can get it all out and coherent while C watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. . we will see.

So this weekend was great for the run, for our marriage, and for my mind, soul and heart. 

First, the run.  It was great to run the strip at night!  But did you know that although the strip looks very long, it is truly only about 3 miles one way.  So a lot of the run was through neighborhoods with homes and businesses which was okay, but the strip at night was by far the best part.  I caught myself several times smiling at all the lights and in amazement that the whole street was closed and I got to run on it!  Well run/walk/jog on it!
The race was very crowded, not a place where if you were going for a personal record I think you wanted to be.  It was very hard to get through the crowd and move forward.  They began with a wave start, but I guess they quickly abandoned that theory and everyone just went at once, which made for slow going at first.  I mainly just walked the first part because I could walk as fast as some were jogging and there was no room to move.  So that was nice as I could take in all the lights and truly appreciate the run.  I met some amazing people in my corral, yes they call them corrals, just like cattle.  A women who chose this to be her first 1/2 and another who has a goal to finish a half marathon in every state.  They were amazing women.  I had two personal goals in this race and met one, which was just finish in less than 3 hours and that was accomplished!  The other one, I will try to set in Phoenix for that 1/2 in about 6 weeks.  I guess I better get to the speed training then huh?  I have no end race picture because it was so cold and raining off and on, I just wanted a nice warm shower!

This was a good once in a lifetime race, but I think they need to plan a bit better in the future to get the bugs figured out.  I was probably mid-pack of all the 1/2 marathon people and at several water stations there was little to no water left, so that meant that all the people behind me likely did not get any water and that is bad, especially when it happens at mile 7.  Also, they ran out of medals for participants!!! Oh my, that is not good.  So, if you are planning on doing it, give them couple years to get the bugs figured out! 

Leaving for this one was also really good for our marriage.  It is good to be away without 3 small monsters (and I mean that in the kindest way) in tow.  There is something about sharing a meal together and not having to cut up food or having anyone not like it or want to snag it off your plate.  It is nice to worry about only yourself for a bit, sleep in, take NAPS, and not have to be somewhere to do pick up or drop off.  We saved our 10th anniversary dinner for a beautiful and amazing restaurant in Vegas called Andres.  It was the nicest dinner we have ever had, and the food was WONDERFUL!   Jeff gambled and we just hung out and just spent time "being".   It was good and I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband who totally supported me, spent a long time just looking with me at the expo, and waiting in the cold for me to finish.  AMAZING! :)

And lastly, this was good for my mind, soul, and heart.  As you know I was very anxious about the run.  I know I should not have been, but I just couldn't calm my nerves.  So that morning I was listening to my iPod and had a little epiphany.  The song by Nicole Nordeman "You are Good" came on here are the lyrics.
When the sun starts to rise
And I open my eyes
You are good, so good
In the heat of the day
With each stone that I lay
You are good, so good

With every breath I take in
I'll tell you I'm grateful again
When the moon climbs high
Before each kiss goodnight
You are good

When the road starts to turn
Around each bend I've learned
You are good, so good
And when some body's hand
Holds me up, helps me stand
You are so good

With every breath I take in
I'll tell You I'm grateful again
'Cause its more than enough
Just to know I am loved
and You are good

So how can I thank You
What can I bring
What can these poor hands
Lay at the feet of a King
I'll sing You a love song
It's all that I have
To tell You I'm grateful
For holding my life in Your hands

When it's dark and it's cold
And I can't feel my soul
You are so good
When the world is gone gray
And the rain's here to stay
You are still good

So with every breath I take in
I'll tell You I am grateful again
And the storm might swell
Even then it's well and You are good

I know that was long, but I cried (I know shocking) as I listened to these words over and over.  The run was not about pleasing others there, or making my time I had planned, or even about pleasing my husband and making him think I was a super cool runner.  It was about an audience of One.  I have learned that when running there is a stride and a breathing pattern that is specific to each runner.  And as I listened to the words "with every breath I take in , I will tell You how grateful I am", I thought about my breathing pattern in running.  And when the song talked about what kind of offering I could bring to someone who loves me unconditionally with total grace, I thought, my gift is my run.  My run was a gift to my audience of One.  My run was a small offering of just how grateful I am for the blessings and just how good my God is, no matter what. 

So there is my long story about the run.  I hope you were able to hang in there to know my heart and hear my story.  If not, that is okay. . it was long. :)
As we are beginning the Christmas season, I pray that you would be blessed and feel love and experience grace as you never have before, for there is nothing more to be grateful for than this. 
At the Expo

Trying to stay warm about 1 hour before race time

Now I am am REALLY trying to stay warm before race time in about 15 minutes

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


So I have fear.  I hate to admit it, but I fear a lot of things, even weird things.  My current battle with fear involves this half marathon in 4 DAYS!!!  And yes that was me very much emphasizing the time I have left.   I have gone back to look at my other posts in March, April and May about my first half and I remember feeling similar about that one, but this one comes with new fears of course.

I remember my sister thinking I was crazy at the starting line in May because I thought I was going to throw up. I remember thinking there was this big cartoon arrow over  my head that all 60,000 people could see saying "Psst . . she is not a TRUE runner like the rest of you. . she is faking it!!".   Then I remember her pointing out a woman probably in her 60's wearing jean capri pants and saying,  "At least you know you will beat her!"  And instead of agreeing I thought she would probably kick my @&$ in her stupid jean capri pants.

I also have had to coach my sweet husband on this whole half thing.  There are many amazing women runners that work with him, and are participating, but they are fast and run all the time.  I know they will beat me, but I have had to coach him on what not to say to me at the finish line.  For example, do not say "Good job!  I was worried about you because I saw Chris finish an hour ago!  I thought something happened to you."  Yes that is NOT what you want to say.  

I had forgotten how long 13 miles was until I did about 10 on Sunday.  Ummm yeah it is a long way.  Oh I know I will finish, but I still have these stupid fears.  My anxiety has been high all week.  I even did a run this morning and it was awful, which did not help my self talk.

When it comes to beating yourself up, I am the queen.  No one can make me feel worse than I do about myself.  So I have decided I really need to let it go.  If people think I am a non runner. . let them.  Because I am a run/walker. :)  If Jeff's colleagues think I am slow, at least I am moving!  And then I remembered this morning that this is just practice for January.  For when I run for Sam!  I run for Sam because I can, I will run because I can and there are so many people that cannot. 

So I am working on just going and enjoying my time, having great time with my husband, sleeping in, and completing a "little" run.    However, I do wish I had a sign that said to race officials and others,  "Yes I know it looks like I am going to die in the first 2 miles, but it takes me that long to get my stride." HAHA! And I realize that there are only few that will get that. . .and my hubby is not one.

I will let you know what happens when I return!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My White Boys

As a mom I know that this is not the best music genre for my kids.  But I love this video of them as it makes me laugh so hard.  Have a great week ahead!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth?!?!?!

We have made the promise/deal that when each child turns 5 in our home we will take a family trip to Disneyland and California Adventure to celebrate.  That is their party and present for birthday number 5.  Well my sweet S turned 5 on Monday, October 24th so we went during the fall break.  It was great and we had fun.  It actually also made me feel like a typical wife/mother/woman, and the following scenario will explain why.

Picture this:  About 7 pm a family is waiting for the parking shuttle as we walk by on the way back to our hotel.  The family has three young kids, about the same ages as ours.  As we walk past we see the mom very clearly telling the dad something.  Probably something about what they need to do, didn't do, or how she needs him to help her more as the kids are tired and exhausted, as is she.  As she is talking, the smallest of the three is throwing herself on the ground crying and has clearly had too much Mickey Mouse, and at the same time the dad is taking his frustrations out on the umbrella stroller folding it shall we say in a VERY aggressive manner.

This whole scene made our evening as we walked past.  Why?  Because that is our family.  That is what happens to us ALL the time.  Jeff and I both laughed and not at the couple and their family, but a laugh of relief and thankfulness that it was not our moment.  We did have those moments in the parks. And I just hope another family could benefit and say "Thank God, it was not our turn!" 

On more than one occasion I saw a wife arguing with her husband about something and the husband being very frustrated.  I saw kids throwing tantrums just like mine in line and over ice cream and due to pure exhaustion.  This made me happy.  I know, very sick of me huh?  But was a welcome relief as when you are a spouse and/or parent there are times you think you are the only one who ______.  Fill it in with whatever you might think you are the only one on God's green earth to do, and in reality you are not alone. 

We had a great trip and the grandparents were even able to come for a couple days as well.  It was busy, but a great birthday celebration. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

One Batty Night

The first grade at L's school has a whole unit on bats.  She has done a couple bat projects and knows more about bats than I ever will.  To end this unit and as a fun day before break, the kids had a bat breakfast and a bunch of bat centers on Friday morning at school.  Jeff was able to take the morning off to spend in her classroom (which she loved). 

To end the day all of the first grade classrooms have a "Bat Night".  A local bridge at the Pantano Wash in town is the home to thousands of bats and at dusk they all fly off, so the first grade classes use this as a family get together for the end of the unit. Each first grade teacher asks their students to bring in a shirt and then that teacher decorates the shirts for all the students in their class.  They also get bat goody bags to take home.  It is a great family event.  So this past Friday was bat night.  It was SUPER hot, but we were there and did get to see some bats.  I took video but will not post it as you can barely see the bats.  (Obviously I am not a videographer.)  Here are pictures of the evening.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Annual Labor Day Trip

For the past nine years there has been an annual labor day trip.  Well, we did miss one, so for eight years Jeff and I, and sometimes the kids have been vacationing for three days with some AMAZING people.  There are five couples total.  I went to college with all of the women and even went to high school with one of them.  Needless to say we have known each other for a while.  These women have also married amazing men and nine years ago we decided to do an annual trip. 

We all get along very well and for some of us it is the only time we get to see each other all year due to geography.  The guys sometimes play golf or watch football and the girls hang out and sometimes find a local spa.  I love these friends.  This year I really realized that they fall into the life long friend category.  You know those kind of friends that you don't talk with or see frequently, but you can pick up fast and you know that whatever would come my way they would always have my back, ALWAYS.  I have laughed hysterically and cried hysterically with them.  So enough for that here is a very abbreviated weekend from Labor Day 2011.

This year I only have two pictures. Why you ask?  Well because I always forget to take my camera out because we are having way to much fun.  Funny that they are from the very first day and then the last night.

 The first day driving from Reno to Lake Tahoe.  Yep that is my husband getting a big fat speeding ticket.  FYI the speed limit along those roads is 50.  Jeff thought it was 68. HAHAHA!  At least the officer was nice and I was able to take a quick picture from the back. I am sure I could get in trouble for this pic on some level, but it was too good.  Don't turn me in! :)

This was the last night.  This is Melissa or Mindi and her sweet daughter Megan whom I adore.   It was a great Monday night.

I am not sure what to share as we kind of a have a saying "what happens on the couples trip stays on the couples trip". :) HAHA!  No, really there was a bunch of laughs, good food, great people, sleeping in, time on the boat, time talking, ESPN watching, and maybe even a new tattoo thrown in there.  And no it wasn't me!

Thank you my dear friends for an amazing time!  We love you!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Sometimes I am that mom.(oh and to meet another "that" mom, go to her web site you can see it over this way---->).
 I remember a story once that a women would tell before I had kids.  To make a long story short it was about her just wanting to leave, to just run far away to a place with no children.  Of course as a young woman without kids I was appalled!  I thought, where is CPS when you need them and I will never feel that way about my kids, how could she?!?!?!?  Well what is that old saying?  Oh yeah, NEVER SAY NEVER, AS NEVER IS FOREVER AND FOREVER IS A LONG TIME. 
Now there are days I long to run away.  To get away from the crying, the yelling, the fighting, and yes even sometimes the hanging all over me part. 

When I first had a sweet daughter I didn't seem to need as much time away, but when we added to our numbers I needed more.  I used to feel horribly guilty about it.  Especially when we'd get a sitter.  That the sitter cost too much, that after all they were my kids and I should care for them, no one can put them to bed like mommy, and the list went on and on.  I don't feel like that so much anymore.  In fact just a couple weeks ago I realized I was at the end of my rope.  I hired a sitter and went to a 10 am movie all by myself with red vines and a diet coke.  Then I went home and was a much happier and better mom.  I obviously don't feel guilty any longer.  I just realized that it is OK, because as a mom you know you don't even go to the bathroom by yourself.  I have found when I have time by myself to just be and do what I want, I come home and feel better about kids hanging off me, doing laundry is not quite as painful, and I can hear about the tag game at school while on the toilet. 

So. . my message to you!?  Just do it!  Don't feel guilt and definitely don't let the bag packers (Pack your bags your going on a guilt trip people) say anything to get to you.  Your kids might whine, or cry, or even run screaming after you when you exit.  But trust me they will not be scarred for life because mommy went to Bunco, the show is just for you.  Oh and some bag packers who are also moms will tell you they NEVER go out and that they love spending time with their kids, and they can never leave them, and their spouse would be upset, and you just get to have fun, yada, yada, yada.  My kind words about those moms; smile, nod head yes, and ignore them.  :)  Go out, relax, have a nice time and be the better mommy.

PS I do get to get away this weekend sans kids and am thrilled.  And they probably want to get rid of me too based upon our week. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Art from Preschool

So here is a large self portrait from sweet Sean's preschool.

I have no words.  I have not even asked him to describe it all to me yet, because I need to work on my poker face.

A Girl and Her Daddy

So I have a very sweet and sometimes feisty 6 year old daughter.  I have often wondered where women learn the skills of getting what they want from men.  What starts this behavior and how do they work on it?  Well. . .I have found my answer.  With their daddies of course.  I know, I know Freud would love this, here is our story nonetheless.

L:  Mommy I want a tv in my room.
Me:  You are never getting a tv in your room.
L:  That is fine, when daddy gets home I will just say to him "Daddy, I want a tv in my room. "  He will get back in his car and go to the store and buy me a tv. 
L:  He won't because you will talk to him first and tell him to say no.  So instead I will just go to drivers school, learn how to drive and then go to the store myself and get my tv and bring it home.
Me:  You have to be sixteen to drive.
L:  Oh.. . .

REALLY?!?!?  Did I really have that conversation with my 6 year old?  Yes I did. . .what do you think it will look like at 16?  Yikes.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Then and Now

So I have been going through pictures and I got a bit emotional. 
This is Lauren's first day of preschool ever!
This was the first day of first grade this year. 

This was Sean the very first day of his preschool years.

This is the first day of his last year of preschool.

Time flies when you are having fun!! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

San Diego 2011: A wonderful trip

 Naps on the beach
 Happy 2nd Birthday!  Happy 4th of July!  All at Sea World!
 We discovered C hates characters.
 Eating Dinner waiting for Shamu show and fireworks.

 He fell asleep during the fireworks.

 Breakfast outside.  This would not have happened in Tucson!
 Fell asleep during "the mouse".  Mickey that is.
 Seaport village!
 Ferry to Coronado
 This was a great bike ride and a great work out as Jeff and I were the only ones pedaling.
 Everyone but daddy was buried in the sand.

They do love each other!!
I even let the kids bury me!