Wednesday, July 30, 2008

please pray

The other day I briefly mentioned how my dear friend and unborn baby boy, Stellan, were in desperate need of prayer. Please, please, PLEASE, read her story here (you will fall in love with the baby, my friend and her blog!) and say a prayer (or a dozen) for them! Despite how scary this is for her, my friend is clinging to the Lord and believing for a miracle!

"With Him, ALL things are possible..."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

lucky duckies in the pool

We're so lucky...

On night's like tonight, when it's so blasted hot and humid you can hardly move around your air-conditioned home without breaking a sweat, we have neighbor's two doors down with an inground pool. They have generously opened up their pool to us like it's our own and have given us permission to use it to our hearts desire.

And use it we do:

We splish...
...and we splash...
...and we soak so long in the beautifully refreshing water...
...that our tootsies turn into prunes!


Mommy made me a yummy lunch today - black beans and avocados - and I had so much fun eating it! Mommy really enjoyed watching me eat all by myself, she didn't even care that I made such a mess! I kept wondering when she was going to put a bib on me, but she never did. She's the one who has the clean up my messes anyway, so why should I care? I purposely rubbed the food up and down my arms so Mommy would give me a bath. I was giggling and splashing water all over her as she worked really hard to clean the beans and avocado that I smooshed inside my ears. I hope Mommy gives me something really messy for dinner tonight --- We'll have fun all over again!

Monday, July 28, 2008


In celebration of our seven years of marriage, my husband and I went out TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW! That in itself is a miracle, because we haven't been on a date by ourselves since our last year anniversary! Pathetic, I know, and probably not the key to a healthy and successful marriage. No worries, though, as we've vowed to make a point to get out more often before our next anniversary.

We spent Saturday night on our own. We left our girls in good hands and enjoyed a night out eating dinner at a hole-in-the-wall Greek restaurant and going to watch The Dark Knight at the new IMAX Theater in town. What started out as a semi-romantic evening over hummus and gyros ended in an intense two and a half hours of nail biting and knots churning in my stomach. It was a fun night and very reminiscent of how we used to spend our time B.C. (before children).

Last night was sort of a spur of the moment thing, with my husband's mom coming into town last minute and offering to watch our girls. We jumped at the opportunity and planned a night out with our good friends, Eric and Amy. As it turns out, my husband's dad just happened to make a surprise visit on his motorcycle moments before we were supposed to leave. Minutes later, Eric and Amy pulled up in front of our house driving Eric's dad's motorcycle...

Are you seeing where this is going?!?!

We threw on our leathers and took advantage of having TWO really big, really loud and really comfortable motorcycles and had SO much fun cruising around the city. We drove to a local pizza place (another hole-in-the-wall, but I determined these kind of places truly make the most authentic, best tasting food), stuffed ourselves silly, and decided to work off some of the calories by taking a lovely stroll around a lake. Yet again, another FUN night out!

We're feeling really cool right about now:

Dinner at Fat Lorenzo's. Their pizza's the best and they have a really nice waiter that let us store our helmets and leather gear in the office so we could enjoy our walk after dinner.
Our friends, Eric & Amy, taking a little rest from our walk around the lake to display some PDA. They're good at that!
We decided to join in on the PDA action. For those of you who know us, you'd know that my husband towers over me by a good foot. This picture gives the impression that I'm hanging from his back, when in reality I was standing on a bench:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

seven years

Seven years ago today, I awoke at 6:00am sharp with knots in my stomach. I had a restless night, drifting in and out of sleep, and altogether slept about 3 hours. I opened my eyes that morning knowing that by this time the next day, I would be a different woman. Or at least my name would be different and thus would change the course of my future. I was getting married.

Happy 7th Anniversary! I love you! Here's to 70 more years together...

To read more about our story and how we met, click here:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

2 Timothy 4:7

"I have fought the good fight. I have completed the race. I have kept the faith."

This particular verse kept coming to my mind this morning as I awoke, bright and early, donned my running gear, and went out to run my first 10k of the summer. But this verse, for as much as it pertained to my run this morning, was more on my mind for a dear friend who is in the middle of a major life crisis, her own race of sorts. Through it all, I have been blown away and so encouraged by her faith and her ability to lean on God and know that He is faithful to his word. As I ran this morning, she never left my thoughts or my prayers. Her struggles revolve around her unborn baby, and as a mother myself, I can't begin to imagine how scary this is for her. Please read her story here and keep her and her beautiful baby in your prayers.

My prayers for her must've done something for me, because today I ran the best race of my life! But I guess that's not hard to do, considering it's the third race I've ever participated in, but still, I finished my 10k race in a much better time than I was expecting: 51:53 to be exact.

I always assumed that I ran 9:40 minute miles, based on where I set my speed on my treadmill, but it's hard to gauge my speed when I'm running outside. I'm no mathematician, but the gentlemen at the 1-mile marker who was tracking our time kindly told me yelled out that I had finished my first mile in 8:14. I was flabbergasted! I was a bit winded compared to my normal runs, but I still felt great, so I was determined to keep this pace as long as my 5'2" frame allowed! At the 5-mile marker, the sweet, and totally ripped, lady on the bicycle gave me the same numbers. My legs were aching, but with 1.25 miles to go, I wasn't about to give up.

I was running alone, with no one cheering me on (I'm not having a pity party, just stating the facts), so by the last 1 mile stretch I was sorta wishing I had a partner to motivate me. Lo and behold, my wish was granted. This girl, who I'd been pacing for a while, was also running alone, and we sorta just "bonded" in our last mile. We only said about 20 words to each other, because frankly, it's hard to speak in full sentences after running for so long, but we really kept each other going. It was in the last 100 yards or so that she really pushed me, saying "C'mon! We can DO this!" and we both picked it up several notches and crossed the finish line together. I never did catch her name...only her number: 142. Thank you, 142, for your support and encouragement!

I fought the good fight. I ran the good race. And I kept the faith.

My biggest fans were waiting for me (half naked or in mismatched jammies) when I pulled in the driveway this morning:

Friday, July 25, 2008

is someone feeling outnumbered?

Micah's looking a little freaked-out...
Don't worry, buddy. Someday you'll appreciate this!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

she's on the move

In a matter of two days, our house has managed to get even crazier that it already was. How this could happen can only be attributed to one thing, and that thing just happens to weigh 18 lbs, have big blue eyes and a smile that could charm a rock. You guessed it - Chloe.

Chloe has always been a busy baby, grabbing at things from the moment she had any sort of control over her little hands. We always assumed she'd be the baby that crawled at 6 months, but fortunately for us, she held out longer than that. I think, though it's amazing how quickly details are forgotten, she started sitting really well around 5 months, and for at least a couple of months, she was content to sit around and watch her older sisters fight play. But the days of contentedness are soon to be forgotten. Chloe has become very vocal about feeling "left out" of situations and gets downright angry if she's left sitting on the opposite side of the room with a pile of toys while the older girls are playing a game of Candyland. I knew it was just a matter of time...

Last night as I was preparing dinner, I left Chloe in the living room playing with her toys on the floor, assuming there wasn't anything she could choke on, electrocute herself with, or possibly pull on top of her head. She was safe and sound, chewing away on the edge of her book. About one minute later, as I'm stirring food on the oven, I hear a squawk not 5 feet from me. I look down to see Chloe, smiling at me on all fours. She had crawled across the living room and positioned herself just at the top of our stairway - um, let me rephrase that - our ungated stairway - in the kitchen. Naturally, I instantly felt the knotinmystomach, imagining all the potential things that could've happened in less than a blink of an eye. Thankfully her little squawk saved her from her first major tumble down the stairs...and my first heart attack that would've gone along with it.

Now that she can get around, there's no stopping her. In two days she went from sitting, with hardly attempting to move, unless it's to purposely tip so she can roll over to a toy, to this:

And if she spots something she wants from across the room, like my camera strap for example, she makes a beeline for it.

She realizes, after the long trek across the room, that's she's getting rather tired...
She's had ENOUGH and fusses and cries and wants Mommy to pick her up and carry her the rest of the way...but WAIT, Chloe...Look!
She lifts her heavy head, blurry-eyed from tears, and sees it dangling all but a few inches from her face...
...And she thinks: "I made it and now I claim it! It's MINE!"

We're really in for it now, aren't we?!?

something to be proud of

As I was reading books with the girls tonight, Britten slid off the couch and announced that "she'd be right back. She had to go potty."

Literally 5 seconds later...

Britten: "Mommy, I'm done!"

Me: "Already?! Are you sure?!?"

Britten: "Ya. I'm the fastest pooper ever!"

No kidding.

Monday, July 21, 2008

minus one

The last two days around our house have been very quiet. The dynamics have drastically changed and things have been...peaceful. This is for one reason, and one reason alone: there's no sibling rivalry to be had.

We dropped Ella off with my mom on Saturday night at my sister's house, who then took Ella and my niece, Evie, up north to stay with her and my Dad until Wednesday. This "adventure" to Grandma's has become an annual tradition, with them doing the same thing last summer.

We miss Ella dearly, but knowing she's having a blast (going to the County Fair, swimming at the local Community Center and going on a boat ride on Grandpa's boat are just a few of the fun outings they have planned while at Grandma's) and the fact that the drama levels in our house, if only temporary, have significantly decreased, has made the last couple of days fly by.

We took advantage of only having the two youngest girls by taking them for a walk around the lake with B.O.B, our trusty jogging stroller. It was such a nice, relaxing walk, with no squabbling, screaming or pulling of hair. What a change from our normal, day-to-day life.

For as nice and manageable as the last couple days have been (Even with my husband out of town, I made it to church 20 minutes early yesterday!), we're looking forward to getting Ella back home on Wednesday. Britten, in particular, is missing her partner in crime.

Here's a few pictures from our outing today:

She looks lonely up there, doesn't she?!?

Either this tree stump looks MUCH bigger than it really was or Britten looks MUCH smaller than she really is (it's the wide angle lens on my husband's new camera)...Either way, I would NEVER put my daughter in a dangerous situation where she could take a tumble and break her little bones.

This is a more accurate view of stump, with Britten standing inside of it!
While my husband kept taking pictures of Britten, asking her to smile, she kept saying, "Why are you doing this?!?"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

marathon mommies:(bi)-weekly log

Ladies - How's it going? I hope the summer heat and humidity hasn't been slowing you down! I know it's hard, believe you me, I KNOW! But hang in there, because our training is over half over and the light is just around the corner! The "light" being the day after the 1/2 marathon, when we can finally kick off our running shoes and take a little break!

Through this training, I've determined one thing: I will not stop running. Ever. I've always loved running, but over the last two months, my body has started to need it on an almost daily basis.

I'm going through a time in my life where telling you I'm not getting much sleep is an understatement. It's because of this reason that my patience is thin and my emotions are a little out of control. I can tell you, that without a doubt, running has given me the energy to get through this "rough" patch of life.

I know it seems twisted - that exerting my exhausted, drained and tired body could actually GIVE me the energy I need to get through the day - but it DOES! And I'm so grateful for it. Grateful that God has given me the health and strength that I need in order to pursue my training.

Life is crazy. Life is so, so busy. But no matter what, I've been making time for my runs. My husband has been a wonderful support and very flexible with my training schedule. I had my 8-mile run, which I did on Friday, and he dropped me off at a local lake to run and he took the girls to the park by the lake for a "photo shoot." I couldn't do it without him, that's for sure.

I have a 5k race scheduled for this Wednesday and a 10k race schedule for Saturday. I'm excited for both of them and look forward to getting a couple races under my belt before the BIG run in September.

So, tell me, how's your training or your running going? It's so motivating to hear from each and every one of you and I'm excited to be on this journey with you, whether you're running a marathon or not!

alive and well

For those of you who still check my blog, all 2 of you, I'm finally back! Back from nowhere in particular...Just back on my blog again.

Though my last post sorta gave the impression I was heading out of town on vacation, I have not been spending the last (almost) 3 weeks relaxing in the sun with my family and soaking in the beautiful rays. That "getaway" lasted a mere 2 1/2 days. Nor have I been held against my will, unable to make contact with friends, family, but most importantly, the blogging community. I assure you that I am safe, sound and very happy. Enjoying life to the utmost.

Here's a little proof :

This picture of me and Chloe was taken 2 days ago (by my husband's new camera, the Canon 5D, because I know some of you might be wondering....).

If I haven't been on vacation or held against my will, where have I been?!?!

If I gave you every last detail, that answer would become much too long and quite possibly very boring. Let's just say that I've been very, very busy. Life has taken my in many different directions over the past couple of weeks, and as each day passed, I became more and more overwhelmed by the idea of sitting down and documenting our fun and crazy daily adventures. Quite frankly, I decided if I was ever going to post on my blog again, I had to just sit down and do it.

So, here I am. I'm back. And even though we've had some of the busiest and funnest weeks of the summer, I won't bother with the details. I'll start fresh. From today. I'm back, alive and well for the world to see!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

holiday plans

Though our first thought was to huddle in and stay home over the holidays, we changed our mind last minute and decided to join my sister and her family as they celebrate up north with my parents. Yes, the same parents I've visited like 3 times in the last 2 months, and will be visiting again and again throughout the summer. Traveling up north this often is not the norm for me, and it seems crazy that I've made the trek so many times with gas as ridiculously high as it is, but I've had good reasons for each trip. So we're leaving tomorrow and heading north to hang out with family, spend time at my brother's lake cabin and watch the local fireworks. I'm expecting it to be fun, but that solely depends on how well the girls sleep. It's a hit or miss when we travel. Not sure I'll be blogging while away for the holidays. I know I've been away from my blog a lot lately, and for as much as I wish I had time and energy to blog about my life and daily happenings, I just don't at the moment. So much to do, so little time. A girl's work is never done, is it (It has to be said that once I publish this post, I'm heading to the utility room at 10:50pm to finish folding my 5th load of laundry for the night)?!

marathon mommies: weekly log

By now, you can pretty much guarantee I'll be a little late with posting my weekly log. Just bear with me! Things are going well and I'm happy to say that I bought a new pair of running shoes today. My feet were in desperate need of this purchase. Suffice to say, when I attempted my 7 mile run on Saturday, I fell short of finishing my run by about 1 1/2 miles. To spare you the gruesome details, I will only tell you my reason for quitting involved a very sore and bloody toe. Sorry, I guess that was still gruesome. Had my toes and shoes been in working order, I know I could've physically finished my run. But alas, I wasn't about to lose a toenail or do extensive damage to my foot just to run another 1 1/2 miles.

I took my new shoes out for a test run tonight and they felt mighty nice. New shoes always feel weird, so I know it will take a little time to get used to them, but I'm confident they're a good fit. Even though my calendar suggests taking time off over the holidays, I've decided I will continue my training through the weekend. I know if I don't, I'll be feeling it next week when I attempt to run 5 miles on Monday again.

That's not to say YOU should run over the holidays. Take some time off and enjoy it! You've been working hard and I'm proud of you!