Monday, December 25, 2006

Look what Santa brought us...

If you can't tell what it is, it is a cute little boy outfit that says "Mommy's little gift." And this was the sign that we are having a little boy- yeah! To give you a little background, my ultrasound was originally scheduled for the 28th of December. Someone suggested scheduling it earlier and then having the tech put the pics in an envelope and then wrap it and open it on Christmas. Well, we came up with a cooler idea. I happen to have a good friend who is an ultrasound tech. She agreed to do an ultrasound and then wrap the pics and a pink or blue outfit for us. The catch was that Jeff had no idea I was doing this. :-) In fact, his insurance is changing, so our ultrasound date was even pushed back to January 8th. Didn't he think it was weird that I didn't freak out when the date was changed?! Anyway, so I snuck out at 5am Saturday morning to meet Marnie. It was so cool just to see the baby. I felt an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder that I am really going to be a mom again. She had me close my eyes when we were in "that area." I got back home around 7am and Jeff was none the wiser. :-) He did ask me at 9:30 if I slept as horribly as he did, and I could honestly answer yes!

So, I have been going crazy for 2 days, knowing that there is a picture of my baby waiting to be opened. It was the last gift we opened. Jeff was completely confused, as I knew he would be, and when I explained it, we could figure out what it was together! We are having a little boy!! We are both extremely excited, and Dallin was glad to find out his wish came true. It was a great Christmas morning. I will post more pics of the kids when we get back on Wednesday. I just wanted to get these up. Merry CHristmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

One day at a time...

... this is how I feel I lived this week. One day, one task at a time. After spending most of Ocotober and November sick, and then it was my week to teach preschool, this week was catch up on Christmas. :-) Luckily, most of my shopping was done, but I had some details to take care of.

Monday- Laundry (as usual) and recover!
Tuesday- Mail off gifts to my parents and my siblings- done! Pick up Christmas cards.
Wednesday- Address and send all Christmas cards. I was really happy with how they turned out. Here is the picture we used:

It took me a couple of hours to figure out how to print addresses on the envelope, but now each year will be a snap! My experience on the computer always comes with a lot of trial and error. I also put a personal note in each one, which took longer than I thought. Felt a little guilty ignoring my kids, but they had friends over and didn't notice. :-)
Thursday- Make cinnamon rolls and give to neighbors and friends- check! This was one of my favorite days. We did some visiting teaching, and brought a birthday card to one of my girls from church, and then met with friends at Safari Sam's. Dallin had a blast playing with his friends and it was a nice change. Right after, I watched Sarah's kids so she could go to her second LONG ultrasound. It was absolutely delightful. I specifically waited until they arrived to work on the cinnamon rolls. I knew it was a perfect project to do with W. while the boys played and Emily slept. We had a wonderful time. W. and I spent 3 hours together baking and just chatting. I feel lucky that she is letting me get to know her. She even gave me a hug when she left. :-) I will miss that family, but I am excited for them to be with their WHOLE family for Christmas. They also brought me beautiful jewelry and the kit to make them myself. My husband thanks you for the new hobby, Sarah!
Friday- Playgroup at the church. I also updated my family web site. Then we watched 6 kids for date swap. It was actually a pretty relaxing night. The kids played really well and Jeff and I took turns going to the Y to work out. I love our date swap. We watch kids one Friday a month and then have the next 3 to go on dates! Woo hoo!
Saturday-5am- wake up after 6 hours of sleep to do a surprise for Jeff. He has no idea...ha ha...will report more after Christmas! Find snow clothes for the kids and Jeff- check!! We are now officially ready to play in the snow!

So, that was my week in a nutshell. I am so ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Sunday we only have the first hour of church and then we are having dinner with our good friends- our next door neighbors! We are going to act out the nativity, which my kids have never done. I am looking forward to it. On Christmas morning, we were invited to join our good friends in Sunriver, OR. They are renting a house with a pool table and spa and we will get to relax and play in the snow. It is so what I need. :-)

What are your plans for Christmas?
Was this week crazy or were you more prepared than I?

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Winner is...Lightning McQueen

I never thought I'd see the day when Dallin chose something over Thomas the Tank Engine. Not only that, but I didn't realize how sad I would be over it. Dallin's love of Thomas started when he was 20 months. I worked at the YMCA and his favorite thing to play with was the train table. When Costco had their train tables on sale for Christmas in September, I did not wait to buy it. I pictured Dallin quietly playing, while I did whatever I wanted. :-) He wouldn't go near it at first, and I was so surprised and disappointed. I finally figured out it was because the train table came with "generic" trains. I had never heard of Thomas, and here my 1 1/2 year old is a "Thomas snob!" I bought Dallin's first Thomas train off of someone whose kids had grown out of it, and from there on, Dallin was hooked. He wouldn't go anywhere without Thomas. Before he was 2 he could name about 20 trains and their colors and numbers. He could recognize them by their faces and was constantly correcting me. (Still one of his favorite things to do. :-)) Over the next 3 years,
he collected many trains, and built many tracks. He would spend hours building and rebuilding cool tracks. Lately, he has been "designing" the track on paper and then building it. That has been fun to watch. We went to "Day Out with Thomas" for the past 3 summers and he was in heaven.
Thomas trains were the expensive prize for potty training, and grandma had fun buying Thomas trains for 40% off at Michael's. Everyone loved adding to his collection and he was easy to buy for. He really did learn a lot from Thomas. His first words he could spell were the names of the trains. M-u-r-d-o-c-h was a particularly fun one to hear a 3 year old spell! We have had some good times.

Well, move over Thomas! Now there is a fast, red car by the name of Lightning. Maybe Thomas is too slow for Dallin. Who knows? All I know, is Dallin is in love with Disney Cars. He doesn't ask for Thomas shirts anymore, but he wants a Cars shirt. He doesn't want a Thomas room anymore- he wants a Cars room. He still played with his trains for a while, but the other day I was shocked when his friend came over and said, "Can we go upstairs and play trains?" Dallin said no. But the big shocker came when we had our preschool gift exchange. Dallin's gift to give was a Lightning McQueen car that says things when you drop it like, "I was built for speed, not slammin!" When he opened the gift from his old Thomas buddy, Ethan, he had a disappointed look when he saw it was a James (Thomas train) pull train. I couldn't believe it. Luckily, Ethan was equally disappointed by Lightning McQueen, so they traded back and went home with their own gifts.

So, that is the end of my tale. Thomas has provided us with many memories. Emily likes to play with Thomas. And hopefully Baby #3 will love Thomas as well.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Zoo Lights

One of my favorite traditions since we moved to Oregon is the ZOO Lights. You go to the Zoo after dark and the whole place is decorated in lights. They have cool light displays with monkeys (just lit ones!) swinging through the trees and reindeer jumping across. The best part is the train ride. Kudos to Jeff's work for planning their Christmas Party here. We had a blast! Jeff is always amazed at how the Zoo has their own climate-freezing! When we left the house, Dallin didn't want a jacket, and then of course, once we got there he was glad I brought it- along with gloves, a hat, and a blanket! Emily was so darling as she kept calling out the different animals she saw in lights. She especially loved the elephants. Dallin's face on the train was priceless, of course. Nothing brings him more happiness than riding on a train.

After the train ride and walking around, we met Jeff's coworkers inside for a yummy catered ham and turkey dinner. There was also the annual white elephant gift exchange. This one was particularly pathetic as they specifically told people not to buy anything, but just bring something from home. All in all, I think we did well. We brought "Babe-Pig in the City" which we have never opened, and Dallin picked out this cool remote control monster truck. Can you tell he knows he was the winner? :-) What a great night. Bring on more holiday fun!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I get by with a little help from my friends...

A good friend and I had a conversation the other day about raising kids. I will admit that I am a firm believer that we all need to help each other out. The whole, "it takes a village..." philosophy. Without having family nearby, I have been very lucky to have an extremely supportive group of friends. When someone has a new baby, we all make sure that the toddler is taken care of so that mom and baby can get rest and the toddler still gets to play with friends. When mom is sick, many of my friends are more than willing to help out. It is a true blessing. I try to be on the giving end of this as much as possible. Today I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end. My good friend Suzie Petunia could tell that I was at my limit today and offered to take Dallin. I didn't know how bad I was feeling until I crashed for 3 hours! I felt like a million bucks when I woke up, and I knew it was what I needed. It is hard for me to admit when I need help so I really appreciate Suzie just offering. I tried to say no, but I am glad that I took her up on it. She has been an amazing influence in my life and I truly feel lucky to know her. Thanks Suzie!(Here is a picture of us, so you can see that we hang out more than just in our Marathon Mommy shirts!)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This is definitely my favorite time of year! I am not a big decorator. In fact, Dallin, my 4 year old, was upset that I didn't do very much for Halloween. October was a hard month for me, so I excused myself from it! Anyway, Christmas is a completely different story! We have our "tree in the window" and today was such a beautiful day that Jeff was able to put up our second story of lights. (I will show pics when I get a good one!) We bought our lights 5 years ago, but we didn't buy enough and were never able to find the same ones again. By some strange coincidence, Suzie Petunia happened to have the same ones as us, but wasn't using them anymore, and kindly donated them to our cause. Thanks, Suzie!
To continue with the Christmas spirit, today I took Dallin and Emily to see Santa fly in on a helicopter to our local shopping plaza. It was very short (took all of 5 minutes and they were even earlier than advertised, so many of my friends missed it!) but it was pretty cool and the kids loved it. Then I took Dallin on a "date" and we went to see Suzie's Christmas Concert. They did a great job. Her hubby, Zook, was the narrator and was wonderful, and my favorite part was watching cute pregnant Suzie rocking out to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" music! Sorry that everyone else missed out. I really do admire Suzie and Zook for their involvement with this cause. It is called Voices for the Performing Arts and their whole goal is to support fine arts in the school and the community. They are both dedicated members.
After the concert, I left with one of my good friends to try and catch some of my Young Women (teenage girls that I work with at church) in a dance competition. They went on earlier than they were supposed to and the directions were horrid, so we actually didn't get to see them dance. :-( We did talk to the girls and hopefully they know our hearts were in the right place and we will catch them another time.
The next stop was a shopping center that had all of the places I needed to go all together in one area. I am not a huge shopper, I like to know what I am getting and get in and out. This doesn't always work out like I plan, but today the stars were aligned and it was amazing!! I got almost all of my Christmas shopping done and even found an awesome steal for my sweet Emily. It is a Graco 10 in 1 Playset for dolls. It has a swing, stroller, play pen, high chair, carrier, bouncy seat, diaper bag, etc etc, and it was on sale for $20! I had seen these for $50 on line!! I couldn't believe it. She will go crazy. It will be fun when I have my little baby and she will be able to put her doll in the swing right next to the real swing. Anyway, what an awesome day. Sue is one of my closest friends and we had a wonderful time just chatting the day away. She is actually the one who spotted the playset. I wish I would have bought 2, so I could sell one on ebay! Whew, I am ready for bed. I hope everyone is enjoying the season.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Mom I want to Be...

What a crazy week this has been. I have felt so sick that much of the time I have literally laid on the couch and watched many children(including, of course, my own) just destroy my house. I didn't even have the energy to ask them to pick up after they were done playing. Each night, as Jeff would call to say he was on his way home, I would find it in me to clean up just that day's mess. He has been an angel, even did the grocery shopping for me. The only other thing I have barely had enough energy for is to blog hop. This is where I go from blog to blog reading about amazing women and their cute families. I have learned a lot and found many fun ideas that I want to implement in my own home. Unfortunately, I also spent a lot of time thinking about all of the things I am NOT doing. I am NOT a scrapbooker, I am NOT a seamstress, and I am NOT a crafty person. I am in awe of all the beautiful things all of these women create, on top of raising their children. I start to think that I should be doing all of that, too. Then, I just feel overwhelmed, and want to crawl into bed and do nothing. Well, today that all changed for me. I am still going to go to these blogs and learn from other people, but I am also going to focus on being the best mom I can be. I am definitely more left-brained than right-brained and enjoy puzzles, word games, books, math, science, etc than I do crafts projects. And I realize now there is nothing wrong with that. The sad thing is I have felt so wasted that I didn't even pick up my scriptures since Monday. Luckily, that is what I did today. I felt very strongly that my children were sent to me for the gifts that I CAN share with them. Even though I may wish I was more artistic or craftsy, I am not, and beating myself up about it is not going to help the situation. I need to be the best Me, and if I do that, then I will be giving my kids what they need. Does this make any sense? I appreciate any comments you make. I truly learn a lot from all of you.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A tribute to my favorite 4 year old

Wow! I just love my little boy, Dallin, so much. Yesterday, Emily was really sick, and I was not feeling so great myself, so we just laid on the couch. Dallin was a great little helper and did not complain once. When I asked him to get the thermometer, he said, "Yes, my loving mama!" It gave me a needed laugh. ( I think my scholarship boy can give your scholarship boy a run for his money, Suzie!) Then, I sent Jeff and Dallin to our weekly Family Home Evening with friends. Here was one of Dallin's outloud conversations with himself while he and his buddy were working on a puzzle.
"170 pieces- woah! I can't even count that high. Oh wait, yes I can. It comes after 169." Jeff was cracking up when he told me this story.

I have always enjoyed watching him learn. When he was really little, my favorite game was to teach him random things and see what he could pick up on. When he was 2, we were at Lake Powell with all of Jeff's family sleeping on a houseboat. No one could get to sleep because Dallin kept saying, "Grand-ma-Di---- three syllables." "Ha-ley---2 syllables" while clapping his hands. He has a great memory so Jeff loved teaching him new words in books without telling me. So, we would be reading a book when he would all of a sudden say, "dragonfly" or some other big word that I had no idea he knew. He has always loved letters and numbers, and I hope he continues to have that love.

He is also just a sweet boy. Sometimes this means he gets clobbered, and I hope to teach him to stand up for himself, but I love that I don't usually have to worry about him hitting, kicking or biting anyone. He is just a nice kid. I love that I feel comfortable leaving him with people and know that he won't cause too many problems.

Of course, we have our struggles. He can throw a huge fit when he is not ready to leave someone's house. Getting him to eat has always been rough. But overall, I have just enjoyed being his mom and learning from him. I hope he knows how much I love him.

Tell me what you love about your kids.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Family and Traditions

Here is a beautiful turkey that was made in my oven...

too bad I didn't get to eat it! Jeff's parents came to town this weekend and suggested that we just relax and eat at Marie Calendar's. I wasn't sure what to think, and kind of thought I was a slacker for agreeing, but it was so nice to just enjoy Thanksgiving Day, knowing that someone else was preparing our meal. My good friend and neighbor, Amy, borrowed our oven, and slipped in and out to check on her turkey. That is when I felt really guilty. But honestly, we had a great time and created new traditions. We played games, watched a movie and the best part was when we went to our local museum, OMSI.

What a fabulous time just watching the kids play. There is a really cool sand box and so many things to explore you can't possibly see it all in one day. It was so fun for Grandma and Grandpa to see Dallin and Emily in their home environment. Emily is really talking a lot and kept them laughing. Dallin just wanted to play Uno the whole time and spent hours printing up "Cars" pictures to color. I wish we were able to see them more, but we are grateful they came to spend Thanksgiving with us. (And for my own defense, I did cook a few meals while they were here.)

They left early this morning. It was a beautiful day in Oregon and we decided to take advantage of it. (If you have been reading Suzie's posts you know it has not quit raining for a while.) We trekked up the road a little ways and picked out a Christmas tree. When we moved to Oregon, we bought our first house. One of my quirky requirements was to have a window for a Christmas tree. Then I was delighted when I saw how easy it is to cut down your own tree! (In fact, I am still a little dismayed that Suzie is using her "fake" tree, but I won't mention it.) Our first Christmas here, I was eight months pregnant, but that didn't stop me from having my tree in the window. I am glad Jeff enjoys this as much as I do and the kids had a great time as well. We also put up some of the Christmas lights. I am excited for the traditions yet to come this year.

What are your favorite traditions? I am always looking to add to ours.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stop on by and say hello

Okay, this is my post to recommit myself to posting! I love reading others' blogs and getting to know them through their words and their pictures. I never think I have enough "cool" things to say to post very often. I have decided that I am going to let go of my pride and remember I want to post often so that I can remember the cute things my kids are doing. I also want to be able to think about my blessings on the days when I don't feel things are going so well.

So, I am asking for all of your help in this. If you are a lurker, make a quick profile and just say hi! (This includes my family!!) I look forward to getting to know more people. (And okay, I will admit it, I look forward to more comments and validation.)

Here are some things I am thankful for:

1. A wonderful and supportive husband who is awesome with his kids. (Our first date was 9 years ago yesterday!)

2. 2 sweet kids who crack me up every day.

3. A pregnancy that I wasn't expecting (pardon the pun) but that is such a blessing.

4. Parents who taught me to accept and treat all people the same. They are both amazing and nonjudgmental. I hope that I picked this up from them.

5. Sisters who have stuck by me no matter what.
6. A little brother who came 9 years after the youngest girl and is such an important member of our family.
7. Knowing that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father.
8. Kids who forgive my shortcomings quickly and often.
9. Friends who are there for me when I don't think I can do it on my own.
10. Marrying into a wonderful family who accepted me as I am. I feel so lucky that I don't have the in-law horror stories. I just wish we lived closer to family.

Okay, that is all for now. I am not going to promise I will write every day, but hopefully at least every other day. Thanks for all I have learned and keep learning from everyone.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thank Heavens for Grandma Nise!

Okay, I just want to tell my mom how grateful I am that she spent this last week with us. I have truly been spoiled and the kids have loved every minute. I will post more pics, but I just wanted to get this up quickly so she would see it when she gets home! It has been wonderful!! I got to sleep in, have my meals cooked for me, house cleaned, and kids played with. All the while, I got rest and time to paint the new play room that I love!! It was just the jump start I needed in this pregnancy...

what's that you say? You didn't know I was pregnant? Well, a couple of people have emailed me on the sly as they have deduced this announcement in posts I have made on other blogs. I am happy to announce we have a third child coming to our family in mid-May! I can finally say I feel a little more ready. :-) This was a huge shock because we went through fertility treatments for our other two munchkins, and felt that two kids were great for us. Jeff loved to say when we were asked if we wanted more kids, "If the Lord wants us to have more kids, it will be in the normal way." Never did either of us actually believe this would happen. So, here's to you, Jeff! The timing was a little crazy because Jeff just had ankle surgery and was on crutches for a month, and I had just decided to overhaul my house to create a pantry and playroom, replacing the office with an armoire. (A whole new post on its own, coming soon...)

So, we had an awesome week with grandma! I did give her a break a little :-), but she loved cuddling with Emily in the mornings and we went to visit her sister, my Aunt Brenda this weekend. The drive there was not great, but overall a wonderful time. All I can say is thank you, thank you thank you. There is just times when all a girl needs is her mom. I love you, Mom! She was an answer to many prayers. (And Jeff, thanks for the lovely clean carpets. You rock!!)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I know you are all tired of looking at my "cans" so I thought I would put up my cute kids instead. We had such a fun Halloween. Our good friends came over with their darling little boy to spend Halloween with us. Dallin was on a trick-or-treating mission as he "flashed" from house to house without waiting for his mom or little sister! Emily was darling as she refused to let go of the cute Halloween pumpkins that they use for the candy. (Thanks Grandma Nise!!) She said "Happy Halloween" after every house and loved putting more than one candy in her bag. We are all sugared out, but enjoyed every minute. How was everyone else's Halloween?

I can't wait for my mom to get here tomorrow. I hope she is ready for all the painting projects I want to do, hee hee!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Look at My Cans!"

Thanks, Suzie, for the kick in the can to post. Ha Ha! Anyway, this statement refers to my awesome friend Suzie's blog. It is about time I update!

So, really, look at my cans! Aren't they gorgeous? One of my other really good friends gave up her little boy's precious naptime to help me, her organizationally-challenged friend, create a pantry. (I also can't forget to give kudos to Suzie who came over last month to help me rearrange my front room to look more inviting. Are you catching the pattern here? I need lots of help!) I LOVE, LOVE LOVE my new pantry. There is still much work to be done and I should show you the state of the office upstairs, where all those wonderful toys were transferred to, but I won't. I will show you the finished room later. It will be wonderful, trust me.

One thing my husband learned is if he really wants me to get something done, have Suzie tell me it's a good idea. He had mentioned moving the toys upstairs a few months ago. It wasn't until last week, when Suzie and I were enjoying a wondeful, quiet conversation downstairs in her beautifully decorated and clean living room, with the kids all playing upstairs, that I was finally motivated to do something about it. Another example of the power of Suzie is this Endurance 50 hoopla. I was seriously considering driving up to Seattle and running the marathon. This wouldn't have been too crazy a few months ago, as I would have at least been physically able to handle it. The truth is, my running has slacked lately, I have put on a few pounds, and I just plain feel like crap. I still wanted to run. :-) My hubby thought I was nuts, but I was still determined. Once Sarah said I was nuts, I realized how insane of an idea it truly was. Thanks Suzie!(She did consider running it for a split second though!)

Other update, my darling Emily turned 2 today. She is so much fun and I am grateful to be her mom. Her favorite things to do are wrap blankets around anything, and hold my good friend Amy's, Baby Harry. She is a fesity little girl, with a strong will. She also has a big heart and will blurt out, "I love momma" for seemingly no reason at all. She loves to color on anything, including, of course, the walls. She opened a new shopping cart from Grandmi Di this morning and was so excited!

Well, that is it for now. I will try to update more often. :-)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tears of Motherhood

I know I am not a great blogger, and the main reason is because I am self-conscious of my writing ability, or should I say, my lack thereof. Anyway, today was one of the hardest days I have had, and I thought I needed to document it, regardless of my skills. Here goes:
We are leaving for Lake Powell tomorrow, and I spent the first part of my day running errands. Around 4:30, I finally had a chance to start packing. I went outside to take the trash out and get some clothes out of my trunk. Dallin immediately went outside and grabbed Emily's trike. (She was sleeping, so I guess he thought it was fair game.) He just rides up and down the sidewalk. I saw him speeding back toward me and it was then that I noticed my neighbor's truck had its trailer hitch sticking out into the sidewalk. I tried to warn Dallin, but it was too late. His leg hooked the hitch and he started screaming. I ran toward him. I didn't think it would be too bad, but I pulled up his shorts and gasped.
There was a one inch long gash about a half inch wide and about a centimeter deep. I was so terrified I froze. I held him in my arms and walked back and forth for a minute. My neighbor was there and she helped calm me down. She went inside the house with me and we laid him on the couch. He was still crying and didn't want us to touch it. It wasn't bleeding too badly. My neighbor told me to look for gauze and athletic tape. I was able to find both and our other good friend showed up at that moment and helped me bandage Dallin up. I thought Dallin would need stitches so I called the Dr. first who told us to come in. He said they could do stitches there if we needed them. I called Jeff to let him know what was going on. My good friend and neighbor, who is a paramedic, came and looked at Dallin and told us he definitely needed to go in and she thought they would reccommend stitches. She told me to call her if they were going to do stitches because I would need support. She took Emily for me so that I could take Dallin on my own. Dallin was very brave in the Dr. office. They told me immediately he would need stitches. Jeff asked if he could make it in time and I didn't think he could, so I called Amy. She came in to give support. When she told me I would have to hold Dallin down, I started bawling. No mother should ever have to do that to their child. He screamed through the numbing medicine, and at one point Amy asked him if he could really feel it, and he stopped for a minute and realized the pain was gone. :-) The relief in his eyes was priceless. From then on, he was all smiles. He actually thought it was kind of cool that he couldn't feel anything. He then preceded to fall asleep while they were stitching him up. I wish I had a picture of that. I have never felt such pure love and heartache at the same time. I never want to watch my child go through that much pain. Yet, I know it will happen again. Probably not in the same way, but it will happen nonetheless. We are here to learn and grow and make choices. Some will bring us happiness, and some will bring us sorrow. I think I understand a little more how my parents felt when I made decisions that weren't the best. I hope they know how much I love them and appreciate their unconditional love. I hope Dallin knows how much I love him no matter what. I will hold his hand and cry with him whenever necessary.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Enjoying Life's Journey

Well, as I get ready to endure the craziness of airport security, I wanted to write some thoughts and goals down. I read a book called Enjoying Life's Journey- Choosing Happiness along the Way. It just reminded me that I have control over my happiness. I am determined to have a positive attitude and enjoy each moment, especially with my children. Unfortunately 2 of my good friends each had a parent die this week, so it has caused me to rethink life a little bit. Life is definitely too short to stress over little things. I want to do all I can to make others happy, including myself. At Girls Camp I encouraged the girls to never be the reason that someone else is looked down upon. I want to issue the same challenge to myself and anyone who reads this. Let's lift each other up! We are all truly on the same side. I have so many things to be grateful for, especially wonderful family and friends. I love all of you!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Vacation, vacation

This is for you, Suzie P, my loyal reader and friend. :-) Anyone else who visits this site, please feel free to comment! I just thought I would do a quick update. This has been a whirlwind 3 weeks. The first week I spent at Girls Camp and had an awesome time with my teenager friends! Thanks to my good friends willing to watch my munchkins, and my sweet hubby who took good care of them while I was gone. I know they loved being with their dad. The second week we spent 4 relaxing days at the lake with our good friends. We had so much fun playing in the water and just enjoying time as a family. I don't think I have had that much downtime in my entire life. :-) I got a lot of water skiing and wakeboarding in and Jeff was able to get up on an air chair. I will put up pics when I get back from California. Which leads me to where I am now. I am lucky enough to spend both of my parents' birthdays with them. It has been fantastic! We first went to Knotts Berry Farm with Grandma Nise and my big sis Crystal and Tony and the girls joined us. It was so fun, although Dallin was a little disappointed that he couldn't go on many of the roller coasters. I am trying to use this to my advantage to get him to eat more food. Am I evil or what?! That night, we went to a very cool Pirates dinner show which mesmerized my little Emily! Shelly came down from Utah to join us, which was a nice surprise. On Saturday, we went to an outdoor musical production of Sleeping Beauty. Even though it was past her bedtime, Emily was singing and dancing- so cute! The rest of the time here has just been spent relaxing at my Aunt Marlynn's with her and her wonderful kids and playing at the park near my parents. It was been great watching Dallin and Emily become better friends as they rely on one another. It has also been great for my to just enjoy being with them. So, there you have it, my vacation so far. I miss all of my friends back in Oregon!

Okay, I can't get the pics on this, so if you want to see pics go to you know my dirty little secret- I have a MySpace account! Add me to your friend list. :-)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Happy (Belated) 4th

I am still not very good at this whole blogging the day it happens thing. :-) After the race in the morning, the rest of our day was awesome. We played at the park for a while and then went home and relaxed while Emily took a nice nap to get ready for the long night ahead. We played over at the neighbor's house for a while.

Then we went to an AWESOME party put on by our good friends. They have a huge deck and backyard and many of our friends were there. They fried a turkey and we just enjoyed good food and good conversation. Emily was very clingy to us, I think she knew what was to come.

Our friends put on a great fireworks show. This is the part where grown men become little boys again and I love it! They truly find their inner pyromaniac and I enjoy watching the results.

The invitation to the party said, "100 bottles of beer, 500 fireworks, 0 fatalities." We didn't participate in the beer :-), but the fireworks were fun. Dallin really likes the sparklers.

All in all, it was a great ending to a fun weekend. Jeff had the whole weekend off and we did some boating and playing but mostly just enjoying time as a family. I feel so lucky to have them!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Day out with Thomas

I love being a mom, but there are definitely days where I just truly enjoy every moment. Today was one of those days, and I have Thomas the Tank Engine to thank for it! Dallin has been in love with Thomas and his friends since he was around 20 months old. He could name and recognize the number of at least 10 of them by the time he was 2 years old. We thought it would just be a phase, but here we are 2 1/2 years later! I am a little embarrassed to say that he owns about 50 trains {Please don't do the math on how much that would cost...) but he LOVES making different tracks every day for the trains to drive on. He even says he wants to be a train driver when he grows up. So, anyway, Thomas comes to visit Hood River, OR every year around 4th of July. It is about an hour and a half away, but this is the third time we have made the trek. Here is the group of kids:

Dallin and his friends have played together since they were babies. They all get along so well, it has been a blessing for me with Dallin not having cousins nearby. Luckily, the moms all get along great also. It allows us to have adult conversation while our kids have a good time together.

Emily had a great time as well. I thought she would just be along for the ride, but she has become a true Thomas fan as well. She was all smiles all day, and it helped that she took a little nap on the way there. In fact, she woke up and started rocking out to the Thomas music that was playing in the car! I made her her own little Thomas shirt that turned out really cute.

Here is our little family. It truly couldn't have been a more perfect day. There was no rush, we just enjoyed our time.

A couple more Thomas pics

I love seeing my little boy so happy! He could have stayed there for days.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Body for Life

Okay, I need to have accountability in order to stick with something. Right now, I have been really frustrated with my eating habits. The healthiest I have ever eaten and the best I have ever felt was when I had gestational diabetes and had to eat a diabetic diet. It is pretty much identical to the Body for Life plan. So, I have officially started today. I weighed in this morning (not telling how much) and I did my Upper Body Weights. It felt great! My knee is a little sore right now so I am cutting back on my running, so it is a good time to add in weight lifting. I have my little notebook to keep track of how I am doing. So, wish me luck! Anyone want to join me? I don't really have a weight loss goal, maybe 10 lbs. I just want to kick my butt into gear!

Monday, June 19, 2006

There IS hope for me!

Today, thanks to the wonderful generosity of Suzie Petunia, I was able to have a few hours to myself, in my own house. Oh, the joy! The rule was that I was not allowed to watch TV and I had to report what I was able to accomplish. (My self-imposed rules of course!) We are going to try out this little swap so we can each clean our house in peace, and I was happy to go first. It was definitely a success. I spent the first hour hanging up pictures, bulletin boards, etc that I just hadn't made a priority and I love it! Emily's room is so cute now! I will post pictures soon. It is amazing what the little changes did for my attitude toward my house. After I finished those little things, I busted my behind cleaning. I cleaned all 3 bathrooms, and the kids rooms and the master bedroom and then vacuumed the whole upstairs. Whew! The best part is that when I went to pick up the kids, they were happy and fed! What a great start to my day. It felt so good that when I came home after picking up the children, I was still in clean mode, and mopped the kitchen and the bathroom and still finished all the laundry. After all, it is Monday Laundry Day. So, now the goal is to keep it maintained. Also, I would love to decorate my living room. I will need help to do that also. :-) I am so lucky to have good friends who help me with the things that don't come easily for me. I hope they know that I am always here to help also. It is so great when we can work together. Suzie, it's your turn, Friday! You can do whatever you want. I just expect a full report. :-)

Monday, May 29, 2006

What I hope I can learn from running...

Well, today was the day! After running off and on since I was in high school, today I ran 5 miles and felt amazing. I wasn't meeting anyone(I had already missed the 6am meeting time due to a fun party at Suzie's), so it was just me, my mp3 player and the road. This was truly the first time in 12 years(wow!) I can say a run was easy for me. I run now because it is just what I do. I have been very consistent with my running (maybe too consistent if you ask other people :-)), with the end goal that someday it would feel "natural." It has been a long "road" but I am proud of where I am. I still have many goals (Boston anyone?), but I feel today was a huge milestone. There have been many times I wanted to give up running because I wasn't very good, and I am so grateful I persevered and proved that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Now, I just want to apply this to the rest of my life. Being a homemaker is definitely not "natural" to me. My disorganized, chaotic brain just does not know where things are "supposed" to go. I get overwhelmed very easily by the tasks involved in "running" a household. Sometimes I want to give up because of the fear that I will never be successful. As I look into the eyes of my darling children and my sweet husband, I realize there can be no giving up. With the help of good friends, prayer, a sense of humor, a loving family, and my own determination, I will figure it out just like I have finally figured out how to run. And someday, I hope to feel the same way about my skills as a homemaker as I feel today about my running. Any ideas and tips always appreciated. :-)

Friday, May 19, 2006

A breath of fresh air...

Well, I just got the approval from my insurance for my new inhaler. Yep, that's right, folks. There is a possibility I might have asthma. More specifically, exercise-induced asthma. It seems crazy, but it would explain my throat closing up and not being able to breathe. :-) I will be so happy if this is a correct diagnosis because it means that I am fixable. (At least for my running problems- my mental problems- that's a whole other story!) Tomorrow will be a good test. Suzie and I will be running in a local 5k with some of our other good friends. Wish us luck!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mommy's Day

What a great day to reflect on the most important people in my life: my family. I woke up to my sweet Dallin reminding me it was Mother's Day and that I could finally open the gift he made me in preschool. He has been so excited for the last couple of days for me to open this. It was a little coupon book and he said, "And I have to do everything in it, Mom." It was awesome. I truly love that little boy and feel so lucky to be his mom. He is just such a nice, smart funny little boy and I am in awe of him every day. It has been such a joy to watch him learn. He also sang with the Primary kids for the first time today and I completely teared up. I hope I am doing a good job with him. I hope he knows how much I love him. I am also so grateful for my darling Emily. She keeps me busy, but there is never a dull moment with her. She loves to get our attention and make us laugh. She thinks she is such a big girl and is so proud of herself when she figures things out. I am so glad I am their mommy. I talked to my mom tonight and I hope she, too, knows how much I love her. She is truly the most generous woman I have ever known and I have learned so much from her. I wish we lived closer to her because Dallin talks about Grandma Nise all the time. I am also lucky enough to have another great woman to call mom. My mother in law is an amazing woman. She has always treated me like her own daughter and I am very grateful for that. I hope that I will always remember the most important things in life aren't things.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I did it!

Short report- my marathon time was 4:38- a 33 minute improvement from last year and I am just enjoying my rest. I just wrote up my full report on Marathon Mommies. Thanks for all of your support. I will be focusing on crosstraining and weight lifting this week. :-)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Reason #502 why I love my husband

...he gives up every Saturday morning so I can run! As I get ready to run my second marathon in 11 months, I have to take a minute to thank the one person who has truly made it possible. I have been a "runner" off and on our whole marriage. In the beginning it was 2 mile runs just to get some excercise every once in a while. After Dallin, my oldest, was born I knew I needed a goal to motivate me, so I signed up for this crazy Oregon relay race called Hood to Coast. I trained pretty regularly, and he bought me a CD skip-proof walkman to show his support. Let's jump ahead about a year. We went through fertility treatments(another blog for another day) and I gained about 25 pounds before getting pregnant with Emily. After she was born, I decided I had a lot of weight to lose and needed a big goal again. I contemplated the marathon, but was not really sure if I would be able to run it. The most I had ever run at one time was 9 miles, and it was not pretty. :-) Well, for Christmas 2004, Jeff surprised me with an MP3 player and told me, "This is for your marathon." It was very sweet, and for the first time, I thought maybe I really could run a marathon. He has always made me feel I could do anything I set my mind to and he has always given me wings to fly. He supports me in all of my crazy goals and all he asks in return is that I am happy. This past year I think I only missed one Saturday long run, and he never once complained. I do try to run early so that it isn't too burdensome, but it is every week. I wondered if he was getting tired of my committment to running, until this Christmas he bought me The Watch! (Garmin Forerunner 301) This was something I had looked at for a long time, but could never justify because I just run for "fun." Well, he surprised me with it and I LOVE it. It tells me my heart rate, how fast I am going, how far I have gone, and I can plug it to the computer so I can graph every run I do. The science nerd in me loves this stuff! So, now he knows I definitely won't quit. He knows that running is "my" time and makes me a happier wife and mom. He was my shoulder to cry on when my first marathon didn't go how I wanted. He said the perfect thing, "Kelly, you didn't do all the training JUST to run a marathon, you did it for all the things that came with the training." He understands me and why I run. (Kind of!) Also, when I was dying to have a run where I averaged under an 8 minute mile, he ran a 5k with me and stayed by my side the entire run. Now, he is helping me stay focused the week after the Boston Marathon when the crazy part of me starts thinking I am ready to try to qualify. So, even when I sound bummed that he doesn't want to hear about Boston again, I know he is doing exactly what I need, reminding me of why I run. He wants me to have a great marathon. I love him for that. So, thanks Jeff, for always being there for me.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Halfway to Boston...

I am on Cloud 9 right now because I had an AMAZING run yesterday. It started out with a 4 mile warmup, 3 of which were with two of my good friends and running buddies. It was a nice comfortable pace. Then I met up with Suzie and Ted, my fellow friends and Ogden Marathon buddies. I had told them that I wanted to do this 12 1/2 mile run at around 8:45 pace, which is the pace I think I could run Ogden on a perfect day. Well, we started the first mile at 8:38 and I felt great and thought that was pretty close. The next 2 miles were a little fast, 8:04 and 8:10, so Ted suggested we slow down. My heart rate was getting a little high so I agreed and we slowed down a little. I won't write every mile, but it was awesome!! I felt pretty good the whole time. It was definitely harder than normal, and I couldn't really carry on a conversation, just listen to Suzie and Ted. Well, were making such good time that I wanted to run the full 13.1 miles to have a half marathon PR (personal record.) So, I ran past the Y, when Ted and Suzie went to their cars and finished the last mile at 7:54. The total average was 8:23 minutes per mile! That is officially what I need to average to qualify for Boston. Woo Hoo! I didn't know I could run that fast for so long. I still have a ways to go, but it feels possible. And I felt awesome at the end. And the even better news is that Suzies shin splints feel better-yeah!! So, two more weeks and I finally get to crush my marathon PR with the help of good friends.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Trying to get motivated for Ogden

Okay, so it is taper time for the Ogden Marathon on May 6th, and my mind is playing games with me. To combat it, I am trying to think of all the progress I have made since my running disaster at the Newport Marathon last year. Here goes:

My racing times over the last year:

10k- 57:13 in March 2005 to 49:15 in September 2005
1/2 Marathon- 2:38 (very hilly trail course in the mud, very difficult for me) in March 2005 to 1:58 in November 2005
5k- The last 5k I ran was in May 2002 and it was 27:10 and in August 2005, my goal was to average 8 minute miles and I ran a 24:15 (7:47)!
Hood to Coast- I ran Leg 1 in 2003 and in 2005. In 2003 I ran it in 48 minutes (8 minute miles and the fastest I had ever run a mile in my life. It is straight down a mountain road, so gravity helps!) In 2005, I ran Leg 1 in 44:10- again the fastest I had ever run a mile in my life!)

I feel like in some ways I am fighting the fact that I am not a "natural" runner. I have loved getting faster and I am curious to see what I am capable of.

For all of the disappointment that Newport Marathon was, I am very proud that I stuck to the training. I had my darling little girl in October 2004 and started running consistently again in January 2005, working up to the Hal Higdon Beginner Marathon Program. In 18 weeks I only missed one day on the schedule. I am not usually so dedicated to anything, so I was very proud of my training. I averaged 30 miles a week, with a peak at 40. I didn't run any speedwork. (And I was still crazy enough to start my first marathon at 8:50 a mile when my training runs were at 10-ugh! What was I thinking?!) After the marathon, I kept up my training averaging between 25-30 miles a week. In January 2005 I picked up to 5-6 days of training and 30-40 miles a week, now peaking at 50 miles. I know I am a stronger runner physically and mentally. I just have to remember that on May 6th. At least I will have Suzie there to remind me.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

How Far I've Come

One of the things I love about running is how quantitative it is. You can know exactly how fast you run a familiar course by looking at your watch, or if it is my watch, you can know your heart rate and elevation also! I love that when I run a particular hill more than once I can compare how I feel and see improvement. Elwert Rd is one of these hills for me. It goes from 150 feet to 300 feet in a half mile. It usually comes at the end of a run. The first time I ran it was about a year ago. It was my longest run so far, a 9 miler. I had mapped out a course that included Elwert. I was running with 2 stronger runners and they seemed to be doing fine, while I was struggling. I was staring at the telephone pole at the top of the hill, trying to will myself to keep going. All of a sudden a huge diesel truck came up behind me and just stopped. He was waiting for me to move out of the way. Since there was no shoulder, I had to step down a little bit into an area that I couldn't run in. My momentum shifted, and I would begin to run, only to give up again. I was so disappointed. The very next week I ran Elwert again, this time determined to win. I had my music with me and turned on "Eye of the Tiger." I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I reached the top. I felt I had conquered the world. Elwert is still hard for me, but it is a great measuring stick. This week I ran it by myself at the end of an 8 mile run. I ran up it faster than I ever had and felt great. I love when I can prove that I can push myself harder and not give up.

Finally, a cleaning system for me!

Okay, so my quest is over. (I hope!) I have been on this kick to figure out how to keep my house clean in such a way that I can still get out and enjoy playing with my kids. I can follow a system, I struggle with setting up the system. So, some friends told me about "Motivated Moms". It is a calendar that gives you a checklist each day of what should be done. For example, one Friday it will say to change the sheets in the master bedroom and the next Friday it will say to change the sheets in the kids' bedroom. No more guesswork! It rotates the cleaning chores so that nothing gets left undone, yet it is so easy to follow that you aren't overwhelmed! I already printed out my calendar and it is up on my fridge! I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Friday, April 07, 2006

My Favorite Kiddos

I love seeing pics of everyone else's kids, so I thought I would share mine with the world.

My son, Dallin. He is a carbon copy of his dad and truly makes me laugh all the time. He loves Thomas the Tank Engine, and has since before he was 2 years old. We keep thinking his interest will fade, but so signs yet! He is 4 years old and loves to ride his bike, play soccer, and watch Cyberchase. He is also a master at the Tivo. I don't know if I should be proud of that or embarassed.

My Hurricane Emily keeps me very busy. She loves to "help" in any way she can. She just turned 18 months and she is so much fun! She is stubborn and does not want to be treated like a baby.

Well, that is it for now. I love being at home with them and just hope I am doing a good job raising them.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

So who is Marathon Mommy?

So, thanks to Suzie, people have actually visited my blog now, so I thought I should show that there is more to me than running. (Thank goodness, since I am not great at the running, I just love it!) I will tell a little about me. I met my cute husband at BYU and we have been married for 7 1/2 years. We have an awesome little boy who is 4 years old and a crazy, sweet 18 month old little girl who keep us busy. I am still trying to figure out the whole security of blogging situation, so I am not sure how much to tell. I actually do try to update a family web site, but I am not sure if I am ready for my blogging world and the real world to collide just yet!

So, that is all for now! I want to keep my public begging for more information. (All 3 of you! But I do appreciate you.) Now, if any of you are truly reading this, please comment. I NEED the validation. (Thanks for your comment, by the way, Emma Jo) I am still new to this whole blogging thing.

Monday, April 03, 2006

What our kids think of us...

It was my birthday 2 weeks ago (no, I am not saying that to make anyone feel bad, it is just important information for this story!). I asked Dallin what he was going to give me for my birthday and he said "a kiss." Very cute, but I decided I wanted something tangible. So, I pressed him again and asked him if he had all the money in the world to buy me something, what would it be? He said, "One of those exercise things...a treadmill!" So, there you have it. :-)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'm back (I think...)

Thanks to Pretty Daisy, I now have a picture in my profile and a new resolve to blog. I am sure it still won't be very often, but I think it would be good for me to write the things I am going through. Right now I am focused on running and cleaning. (Oh, and being a good mom, too. :-)) The Newport Marathon filled up, so Suzie and I are running the Ogden Marathon on May 6th. It is less than 6 weeks away and I can't wait to FINALLY get rid of my personal "best" marathon time of 5:11. Yes, I am proud I finished, and I should be happy with that, but I still want to prove I can "run" a marathon instead of walk, run, and cry through one. The cleaning part of my focus is to finally have a system that works. If you have spent any time with me, you know that Mondays are laundry day and that is pretty much all I have figured out in the way of housekeeping. I am trying to move that mode of thinking into the other areas of the house. So far it is going well. I will keep you posted. Well, I better get going.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New year, new goals

Well, I will post more often on here, so as not to bog down Marathon Mommies with too much info about me. :-) I am looking forward to this week. I am beginning the Cool Running Intermediate Marathon training schedule. Newport Marathon is 21 weeks away. The schedule is 20 weeks long so I will probably repeat a cut back week closer to the marathon. We are thinking about running Yakima Canyon River Marathon on April 1st as a long "training run." We will see... Anyway, my goals for the year are to keep running (obviously!) and see how the heart rate training helps. I love my Garmin watch and I really want to use it to keep me training slower. Tomorrow's run of 4 miles I am going to try to keep my heart rate under 150. We will see how it goes. I am so excited to do Newport again! I can't wait to redeem my time!