Thursday, November 5, 2015

Halloween 2015

This year's pumpkin creations

Well, I'm finally getting around to posting about our Halloween.  A day of fun filled sugar consumption.  Our candy supply is already dwindling around here.  When I tell people our candy is almost gone they laugh and think I'm kidding.  I'm not sure why, they obviously don't know me that well!  As Beau so lovingly told our friends on the way to get pizza "yeah, my mom is one of those workout people, but she can eat her weight in candy."  I'm not sure what's funnier, the sharing of his loving sentiment or the fact that he sees me as "one of those workout people" ha! (I'm not exactly sure what a "workout person" is, but I'm going to venture to say it's definitely not me!).  We have a dentist in our area that has offered to pay kids for each pound of candy they bring to him, and I've heard of parents doing similar things.  My question is, then what do you do with the candy??  I'm thinking maybe this is something we should consider doing as I join my kids gorging on a pile of candy.  I'm pretty sure I would just eat it myself though.  And right now the guilt of eating my kids' Halloween candy is the only reason we have ANY left right now.  Even the tootsie rolls and dum dums don't stand a chance in our house.  Our kids would probably tell us to keep our money anyway. OK now that we have full disclosure on my candy disorder, on to Halloween....

Our werewolf getting ready for the race.  He was most excited to cut up his jeans.
Getting our little pirate ready to run!
Our pink Care Bear, the perfect costume for the cold and rainy morning

We had a busy and fun filled Halloween.  We started the day with the kids running and finishing their first 5K race!  They did so well, I'm so proud of them.  It was a great little fundraiser run for our local school.  Everyone dressed up, they had spooky decorations along the path, and handed out candy for the runners to "trick or treat" along the way.  Running + dressing up + candy, obviously the best idea ever.  Beau and his buddy Colton ran up ahead, with Cora and I running behind them.  I must say this is by FAR the longest distance Cora has ever run and she did amazingly well.  She stopped to walk once at the water station, and when we crossed the slippery bridges.  She had a blast for the first 2 miles, frequently tapping into her "power boosters".  She was preoccupied with the fact that she could see Beau and Colton just up ahead.  By the time we got into the third mile those power boosters had been extinguished.  She wanted to stop and walk, but she kept going and finished up with one last power booster at the end.  So SO proud of her for continuing to run through to the end.  My most smile-worthy moment was when after we passed Luke, my mom and Sylvie who were watching Cora asks "Mom are we going to see Grandma and Dad again?"  I told her yes, probably.  She then proceeded to take of her gloves and hold them in her hand. She wanted to throw them, as she had seen Casey and I both do in our half a couple weeks ago.  I had to laugh the next day when she woke up and said "Mom!, my legs hurt here (hamstrings) and here (calves)"  :)

Crossing the finish line!

The rest of our Halloween day was spent munching on candy, painting pumpkins, and watching football.  

We ate an early supper and then headed out with the neighbors to do some trick or treating.  This year Beau was a Werewolf. He's become interested in actually being scary for Halloween, although he was told that scaring little kids was NOT allowed.  His costume did win him 2nd place in the costume contest held at the race though!

Easy to photograph as always

  Cora had a costume change from the morning's pirate (a $5 find at DG!) to tonight's peacock.  She had originally picked out the peacock, but we decided that it probably wasn't an ideal costume to run 3 miles in.
Sassy and sweet, that's our Cora

  Sylvie was in love with her costume as soon as she spotted it on the shelf.  She loves all things soft ("soffee"), so the cuddly pink Care Bear was the perfect choice for her.  Plus how can one resist the adorable little tail and heart on the booty!

Seriously, that little booty!!!
After trick or treating we all sat in the living room gorging ourselves on candy.  Beau and our little neighbor boy took charge of handing out candy to the remaining trick or treaters.  They really wanted to "haunt" our house in their scary wolf and gorilla masks.  Haunting turned out to mean obnoxiously screaming and scaring the wits out of people so Luke and I put the kabosh to that.

In addition to her candy Sylvie received a real Care Bear on our trick or treating adventure

It's not Halloween if you don't go to bed with a stomach ache
The night ended with a melt down from Cora who didn't want to take a shower, but then noticed her crazy hair well past bedtime. We're in a stage right now where it's the straighter the better when it comes to hair.  A challenge for her naturally wavy locks.

Sunday's Halloween hair hangover

With Halloween over, I for one am excited to be moving into November and the holiday season!  My mom informed me last weekend that Target has transformed into a wonderland of Christmas!  That combined with the release of all the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday TV schedules leaves me giddy with excitement!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of My First Half Marathon

Nearly 2 years ago my friend, Casey, and I set a goal to run a half marathon.  The plan was to train for a 10K (which we ran in Mankato last fall) and then go back and do the half the following year.  It seemed so far off.  That far off date was last Sunday.  I'm happy to say that our goal was met.  We both ran the half marathon.  13.1 miles without stopping.  But, as all things do, goals evolve.  In the time since that rainy, shivering, post 5-k goal setting ride home I decided that I wanted to run not only a half marathon, but a sub-2 half marathon.  This is the story of what is undeniably a great accomplishment, but sometimes even great accomplishments can be laced with disappointment (read, not overly inspiring).  I will warn you that there may be a bit TMI, so if you're turned off by "potty talk" I encourage you to stop reading now.

2015 Mankato Half Marathon Recap

In the days leading up to the race I was feeling excited and prepared, perhaps, in hindsight, a bit too confident.  My last long run (a 13 miler) had gone wonderfully!  I started at a slow and comfortable pace for the first half, running around town in the dark before heading out on the highway at sunrise.  I finished strong with a hefty negative split.  I felt great.  Then I had two whole weeks of taper to think about how well that run went.  Pfsh....13.1 miles I got this.

The night before we left for Mankato I was focused on packing and getting the kids ready, focusing on warmth for race morning.  Until 3am...when I woke up with a full bladder and the familiar twinge which can only mean a UTI is on the horizon.  I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning working up my best denial abilities.  During the ride to Mankato as we pulled into a ballpark so I could use the porta potty, it became glaringly obvious that there was no denying it, I did indeed have a bladder infection. 

I was able to get treated and a prescription when we got to Mankato.  I sucked down water, downed cranberry pills and prayed.  All I could do was hope for the best as far as my bladder was concerned. We spent the day picking up our registrations, walking around the expo, and cheering our kids on at the kids races.

 The night before, Casey and I attempted to drive the course, but when the trail took a winding turn through the woods we couldn't figure out how to follow it.  We saw the first 3 and the last 3 miles.  OK no problem, I had studied the map.  Never mind that every training run I'd done in unknown territory had not gone well.  That night I did not sleep well at all.  I tossed and turned, used the bathroom 65 times, and had nightmares that I wasn't even able to start the race.  I was actually relieved when the clock flashed 4:30am and I could get up and turn on the coffee.

I spent an hour with my morning devotionals and coffee, and still wasn't feeling overly nervous.  Despite the UTI I was still feeling fairly confident that I could do it.  I felt more anxious to get out there and get going than anything.  Casey and I went down for breakfast and by 7 we were ready to head out.  It was chilly, but not as cold as last year when we did the 10K.  I was nervous, but not the sick, jittery feeling that I'd had in the past.  I was still drawing strength from that near perfect 13 miler from a few weeks ago.  I used the porta potty twice in the half hour before it was time to line up. 

We lined up just behind the 9:44 group.  I was good with this as I was hoping to replicate that 13 miler where I started slow and cranked it up at the end. (Let me just say that this is a lot easier to do mentally when it's a training run and nothing is at stake).  Just before the gun went of I needed to use the bathroom again.  Luckily we were standing next to one and there was no line as everyone was already in the starting corral.  Just as I closed the door I heard a loud noise.  "AH!  Was that the gun?!"  I opened the door and stuck my head out.  No, I think they just started the music.  I peed crazy fast and ran back out to see the line moving forward.  That was indeed the gun.  I frantically searched for Casey, and luckily found her and jumped back in line next to her. 

The first mile felt better than in races past.  We were going a little faster than I had planned, but I felt good.  By the time we hit mile 2 we had passed the 9:44 group and my phone was telling me we were running at around a 9:10 pace.  This was my goal pace so I was knew this was faster than I had planned on running the first half.  But, I stuck with Casey and reasoned that this was great, I was hitting goal pace.  We continued on and I felt good by mile 3.  It wasn't effortless, but definitely sustainable and I kept telling myself we were right on pace.  Just before mile 5 was a slight uphill.  We climbed it and I pulled slightly ahead of Casey.  Hills always make me stride out a bit more, increasing my speed.  A big mistake since I was insanely jealous of Casey's even pacing throughout the race!!

Then the giant downhill, accompanied by the downhill of my entire race experience.  My thought was "use this hill make up time", my thought should have been "you've already been running at race pace, just sustain!"  But, I had that negative split in my brain.  I remembered the same giant decent from the 10K last year, and how great it felt to gain so much time.  The only difference....during the 10k the hill fell at the very END of the race.  Not before the halfway point.  

 I flew down the hill, clocking in at a pace in the low 7 minute range.  Way too fast and I knew it.  But I felt great and reasoned that it was a downhill, I should be running based on effort.  This didn't feel hard.  This is great! Looking back I realize that judging by effort becomes more difficult when you have the adrenaline of the race and the crowds to factor in.  I got to the bottom of the hill and was still flying around the curve full of spectators.  Although I could already feel my breathing increasing.  I knew I needed to slow down.

 And slow down I did, but only to the 8:30 - 8:50 range.  Still way to fast for this early in the race, but coming down after a 7 minute per mile downhill is hard.  Now we were around the half way point I had caught up to the 9:10 group and reasoned that ok, this is the pace I want to finish at I just need to stick around them.  So I told myself to sustain the pace.  I ran just under a 9 minute mile and passed the 9:10 group by quite a little bit.  It was crowded and I was trying to get to a place with a little breathing room.  OK this is fine, it's good, you're definitely setting yourself up for a sub-2 finish.  Oh and setting myself up I was.  

Around the 8 mile mark I could feel the 2 hour group catching back up to me.  I could hear the explosive cheers the pacer was encouraging erupting from right behind me.  I didn't turn around but knew, oh they're right behind me, push.  I don't know why I wanted to be ahead of them, in my mind I was thinking if they passed me I would be falling behind the pace I needed for a sub-2.  Let me just say mile 8 is NOT where you should be "pushing" in a half marathon.  It was also around the 8 mile mark where I could feel the dreaded urge to use the bathroom and a growing ache in my bladder.

So I had already made about every physical mistake I could make, and now this is where I began to break down mentally.  I was in a near panic trying to decide if I should stop to pee or just push through.  the 9:10 group was so close to me now that I could see the shadow of the pacers sign in front of me.  I knew they would pass me.  I could feel my pace slipping.  By mile 9 I knew I was going to have to stop for a porta potty.  It was also mile 9 where the race directors apparently decided no more pottys were needed.  I knew that from mile 9 getting through mile 10 would be difficult.  I had a couple difficult 10 milers in training and I knew that mile marker would be hard for me to pass mentally.  By now the 9:10 group was so far ahead that I couldn't even say I was hanging with them any more.  I knew I wouldn't be catching them. 

My pace continued to slip, and I was still panicked scanning the sidelines for a porta potty.  I hit mile 10 and knew I had to focus to get through this mile mentally.  I knew that Luke and the kids would be around here somewhere so I kept telling myself you'll see them soon and tried to tune into my music. 

  My pace kept slipping, the ache in my bladder was almost unbearable with every footfall and I desperately needed a bathroom.  At mile 10 1/2 we were nearing the park where I knew my family (and I hoped a bathroom) would be.  My pace was around a 10 minute mile and the 9:10 group was out of sight.  No bathrooms.  I debated crouching behind a dumpster to go.  Then I got to Luke and the kids.  I barely saw them, by this time I was all but tuning out the crowds.  But I saw Cora sitting there with a wide eyed grin, looked up and saw Luke smiling.  I threw them my gloves and told myself I CAN NOT quit.  You cannot let your kids see you quit!!!! 

  I was thirsty, my mouth was dry.  I told myself not to fall behind on my chews.  I could feel them sitting in my stomach and I was gagging as I tried to chew.  I couldn't choke them down.  I sucked on them as long as I could and then spit them back out.  I was panicking.  At mile 11 1/2 there was a turn and I saw Casey right behind me.  Seeing her gave me the strength to stride up the hill.  This had been our goal for 2 years I HAD to do this.

 I kept looking ahead at the long string of runners in the distance causing myself to panic as there were runners as far as the eye could see.  That meant I still had to run further than the eye could see.  And there were more hills ahead.  Not big but rolling, and climbing.  Just before mile 12 Casey caught up to me.  I felt like I was using every available muscle not to pee my pants and the aching and burning in my bladder was nearly unbearable.  I was crying, I told her I couldn't do this.  She told me I could, only 2 miles to go...she barely sounded winded!  At mile 12 I tried to tune into my music again.  I focused on Kip Moore's encouragement of  "girl what's the matter with ya, can't ya see it when it's standing right in front of you".  I tried to refocus.  Almost done you have to do this.  I looked at my time and knew I probably wouldn't be hitting a sub-2.  Not unless I began a dead sprint now with a mile to go.  I couldn't, it wasn't in me.  I felt a twinge of defeat, but my main focus was on how I wanted this to end now!

  As we came into town around 12.3 miles I knew I looked horrible.  I knew my face was contorted into horrific expressions.  I knew I was whimpering and did not look like anything resembling a strong finish.  Over my music I heard a guy yell "you can do it, a mile left!".  NO NO NO NO NO....not a mile left, I have less than a mile left!!!!  I already passed 12 and I must have gone more than .1 miles.  I looked at my phone 12.3, yes, less than a mile left.  I tried my hardest to increase my pace, that looked like around 9:50 per mile.  NOT the negative split I had envisioned.  

Finally FINALLY I saw that beautiful white sign with the big black letters.  I was on the finish line straight away, just get there, was all I could think.  I passed the mile 13 marker.  OK GO.  JUST GET DONE!  I saw that 2 on the clock, I knew I'd missed my goal, I was oblivious to the bystanders, but I just knew regardless of time I NEEDED to get done as soon as possible.  I sprinted.  Well...I came as close to sprinting as I could muster, which ended up being around 7:09....around 10 seconds SLOWER than I cruised down that hill. 

I crossed the finish and staggered down the chute.  I wasn't walking straight, I could barely hold my eyes open, my stomach was killing me and I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry.  I saw my family on the side and I collapsed next to the fence, before we even got to the medals.  I tried to smile as Cora kept saying "can you get me to my mom, can you move so I can get my mom a hug, I just want to get my mom a hug".  I recovered as much as I could and Casey and I collected our medals and started in for the bag line.  My bladder was not handling waiting for half a banana, I wasn't running any more but the pain wasn't stopping.  I was scanning the street for any sign of a bathroom.  Luckily Casey offered to collect my stuff and I went in search of a porta potty.  I found one and peed.... 5 drops.  My stomach hurt and just walking back to Luke and the kids felt daunting.  

I was so happy when we got to the car.  Well happy in that I could sit down, but so upset over missing my goal.  All I could think was ALL that training COMPLETELY down the tubes!  My body was in pain, I was upset over missing the sub-2 mark, but what hurt the most was my pride.  I was so disappointed in how hard it felt.  I was disappointed in myself that I didn't run a smarter race.  Just disappointed in general.  I swore off running. 

That was 2 days ago.  Since then I've received a lot of support in helping me to put it into perspective.  My final time ended up being 2:01:25.  I missed my goal by 1 minute and 26 seconds.  When times were up I half jokingly asked Luke if he was disappointed, after all my training schedule affected him as much as me.  He was the one waiting patiently for me to get home so he could get to work in the mornings, and bathing the kids when I ran at night.  His response... "no, I just expect you to do it again".  Although I'm not ready to think about running around the block, much less another half marathon that was just what I needed to hear.  To know that this was not a one shot deal.  I can train again, I can do another race, I can do better.  And so the thought of another half was planted in the very back recesses of my brain, where it will least through the holidays ;).

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Blooper Real

I was trying to clean up my picture files this week and came across the pile of pictures I had of Cora and her best buddy Rory on their last day of preschool back in May.  At the time I really just wanted one or two good photos to document their last day.  I remember being frustrated because all I wanted was ONE good picture where they were both smiling and looking at the camera!!  It got to the point where I threw up my hands and just laughed because it seemed so impossible.  I put down the camera, slightly disgusted and thought "ugh...whatever, good enough" and moved on.  Today as I was clicking through being ruthless with my delete button, I realized when I got to this set of pictures I was having trouble deleting any.  Why?  Certainly not because of their photogenic smiling poses.  No I actually found something better.  I realized each picture perfectly captured their personalities, their relationship, and the way they interact with each other.  When you look at the photos together it's like a sneak peak into an amazing friendship. Sometimes the blooper real is better than perfection....that's life, right..?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Start of a New Year

Well, we are half way through our second week of school and are still chugging along.  Dare I say it has been a fairly smooth transition?!?  I closed daycare for the first day.  We had their chore charts in place and the morning went smoothly with plenty of time to take pictures.  Cora was excited, and Beau was indifferent.  There was no reluctance to head off to school from either one.  As the bus drove away Cora gave Sylvie and I a big wave from the window.  Sylvie held her tears in all the way back to the house before bursting into sobs.  She doesn't like the idea that her big sister gets to go somewhere without her, and she's just plain going to miss her.  It will take a few days to get used to having her gone.  We baked cookies and ran errands to distract ourselves.

Sending Cora off to Kindergarten filled me with an odd mix of emotions.  My heartache was less about worry for her (I know she's more than ready) and more about my little girl growing up, starting a new chapter in her life which I'll have to settle for merely hearing about and not being a part of.  It's hard.

I did really well until a friend of ours sent me a few pictures from school.  They got me all choked up and and had me fighting back tears.  On one hand I was so happy that she was with Rory. I knew she had somebody familiar and they would make it through this new experience together.  On the other hand just seeing her in the school surroundings hit me hard.  My little girl, all on her own, I knew this was one of many times that I would be forced to let go when I wanted to hold on oh so tight.

For Beau, (our big 2nd grader!) it was less about letting go and more about settling back into an established routine.  It was still hard to send him off, but I found myself focused on how quickly he became a 2nd grader, and desperately trying to block out the images of him leaving for college.  He has established friendships, knows the lay of the land, and is ready for a new year.  Of course there will always be worry (I'm a mom, that's what I do), but the newness is taken out of the equation.

I found myself looking at Sylvie throughout the day with a lump in my throat, counting the months before she too (my baby) will be leaving for school.  It was easy to take our time baking cookies, read extra stories, and spend time snuggling before nap.

Yes, my kids are growing up, and all too quickly it seems.  Each stage is a blessing, but sometimes it's hard to move from one into the next.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Week in the Life - Day 7 (Sunday)

After a weekend of running and everyone going their separate ways it felt good to get us all back together again today.    The morning started slow, and so did my photos.  Today was a pretty typical weekend day for us.  The destinations may vary, but we always have a fair amount errands and running around mixed with being home.


This morning started with house guests and no kids.  It's such a strange feeling for me to wake up when even one of my kids is gone, but to wake up to no kids is just surreal.  After getting to bed very late last night, I didn't set my alarm.  I woke up around 6.  The sun was up so I was too.  I can not sleep during the day, and that includes sleeping in (although in my world sleeping until the sun is up would qualify as sleeping in). 

Megan was up shortly after me and we sipped coffee as the rest of the house came alive.  It didn't take long, everyone was up before 7.  By then I was already looking at the clock thinking about picking up my kids, and by mid-morning Megan and I were on the road.

Whenever the kids stay at Grandma and Grandpa's we are greeted less than enthusiastically when it's time to pick them up.  I can come home from the grocery store or get back from a run and they flock to me "Mommy!" with hugs galore.  But noooo, a whole overnight away and its "awwwww, what are you doing here?!" 

We had lunch and hung out for a few hours before getting loaded up and saying goodbye.  Normally we would have probably spent the better part of the day, but with school starting tomorrow I wanted to get home and settled before we needed to start the bedtime routine.

Luke had taken Megan's car to Grandma and Grandpa Johnson's so he could wash the Ranger after yesterday's mudding adventure.  We dropped her and the boys off so they could get started on their long car ride home.

It's always hard to say goodbye.  There's not a single time they leave when I don't wish they lived closer, but I know we are lucky to be close enough that we can still see each other at fairly regular intervals.

We hung out and Grandma and Grandpa Johnson's for a little while before heading back home.  The kids spent most of the time playing with Chelsea's dog, Clarence.  He's so sweet and cuddly.  Beau loves being around dogs.  The older he gets the harder it is for me to remind myelf of all the reasons I don't want a dog.  I like the idea of having a dog, I'm just not so fond of the reality.  He probably needs one.  Maybe someday.

When we got home the kids went to work putting their clean clothes away.  That's the beauty of staying at Grandma's.  Usually when we get home from traveling dirty clothes get dumped in the laundry room for Mom, and if there is anything clean left in their suitcases they are responsible for putting it away.  Well....when they stay with Grandma she does all their laundry so they're responsible for all their clothes and I have no laundry to do.  Score!

After we were unpacked the kids found the leftover ring pops from the Bachelorette party favors.

I absolutely love this photo, and it might end up being my favorite from the entire week.  This is just them.  Wild, silly, goofy, just playing, and always together.  I don't think I could get a more accurate picture of who these two are right now.  Love.

Of course part of the unpacking process included finding a home for the masterpiece I painted last night!!  Ok, so maybe I don't have a future as an artist, but the colors make me happy so it will hang there for now.

Shortly after unpacking Luke and Beau went to town so Beau could be measured for Chelsea's wedding.  They also had to pick up some new football cleats.

While the boys were gone the girls got to work creating their world of blanket swimming pools, which today expanded into the moving of furniture.  When Luke got home he asked what was going on with the chair (you know, because it was sitting in the middle of the living room).  "Cora" was all I had to say for him to come to a complete understanding of the situation.

True to her constant motion and short attention span she soon decided to move downstairs and begin building a fort.  Luke created a fort kit for the kids when their love of fort building started a couple years ago.  It's basically an assortment of PVC pipes cut into different lengths.  They put them together with connector pieces and then drape blankets over the top and fasten them with clips.  As you can see she has quite an eclectic mix of blankets, sheets, a parachute and her Frozen bed tent thrown on top for good measure.

When Beau got home he showed us the football cleats he picked out.  Apparently these snazzy blue ones fit much better than the exact same pair in black ;).  Sylvie immediately got to work trying them on and messing with the laces.  She loves to play with the laces in shoes, a pass time I've grown particularly partial to when I have to re-lace my shoes at 5am, as I'm trying to get out the door for an early morning run.

While this was going on inside I got a text from Luke who was outside washing the mud off his shoes.  It said "have you looked in the backyard lately?"  Ummmm, no.  Of course I immediately looked out the window to see Luke cutting up a huge tree limb that had fallen in the sandbox.

Cora supervised, and then the kids helped him take the branches to the dump.

A quick taco supper tonight. Being as school starts tomorrow I knew I wanted to make something all the kids would eat and enjoy.  Mealtime battles was not how I wanted us to spend the last night of summer.  We had the treat of fresh tomatoes from our potted tomato plants out on the deck.  Hugely exciting since nurturing a plant into maturity is not my strong suit.  Apparently watering at regular intervals is kind of essential.  Forgetting for 2 weeks, dumping a pitcher of water on them and hoping they recover doesn't seem to be the best strategy.  I credit Beau this year since he did most of the watering.

It was early baths and bed tonight.  Our kids require a lot of sleep.  We really try to be headed for bed by 7:30 and lights out by 8 during the school year.  Not always doable once evening activities start, but it's a good goal to shoot for.  Cora's pajama shirt is on backwards.  She does this on purpose with all her pj's,  "I like it that way".

As is typical the girls will be playing and Beau will casually wander in and start playing with helping them.  He's way too cool and way to old to be playing baby games with girls toys, obviously.

Sometimes we'll do bedtime stories separately in the kid's beds, and sometimes it will be all together on the couch.  In all honesty we haven't been very good at reading bedtime stories throughout the summer.  The evenings just seem to slip away from us.  It's a fact I've felt guilty about and struggled with throughout the summer.  I tell myself it's ok, and I read to them enough at other times throughout the day.  But there's just something about that story at bedtime that seems a little more special, and gives closure to the day.  I'm looking forward to getting back on track with more structured bedtime routines as school starts next week.

Luke tucks each of the kids in and wishes them good luck at their first day of school tomorrow.  He tells Cora to make sure she remembers everything so she can tell him all about it tomorrow night.

It's never just a bedtime story with Cora.  That girl will talk and talk and get off on a tangent like no other.  Sometimes it's bedtime stalling, sometimes she's just full of silliness, and sometimes she's so full of wonder about something she has to discuss it.  I try to take a deep breath and take it all in with a smile.  I know I'll miss it all too soon.

Then there's Beau who is liking the independence of being able to read on his own before going to bed.  Our bedtime story routine has morphed into him telling me about the book he is currently reading.  I'm trying to embrace this new stage.

Luke and I finally get to bed before 10.  I end the day by getting my running clothes ready so I can be changed and out the door before my brain is awake enough to start coming up with excuses in the morning.

On to a new week....

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week in the Life - Day 6 (Saturday)

Saturday was not a typical day for our family.  At first this bothered me because I didn't feel it would show what a weekend in our life is like right now.  But the more I thought about it I realized that every week has something in it that isn't typical, especially on the weekends.  This particular day just involved us all going in different directions.  Our day was full of fun and people and conversations and going from here to there.  I didn't get many pictures in comparison to the rest of the week, but I'm ok with that.


The day started with Megan and I having coffee on the couch.  Luke's sister, Chelsea, is getting married in October, so today is the Bachelor/Bachelorette parties.  I had an 8 mile run on the training plan so by 6am I knew I needed to get ready and get out the door in order to have time to get the kids down to Grandma and Grandpa's before guests started arriving.  I love getting my long weekend runs done right away Saturday morning.  It gives me a feeling of accomplishment, and energizes me for the weekend.  Plus I don't have to constantly have it looming in the back of my mind.

Today's run called for a "strong finish".  If that means doubling over at the end of the street the second Miss Runkeeper announced the 8 mile mark then I guess I accomplished it.  Either way the sticker went up on the chart.

Luke left for the Bachelor party shortly after I got back, and the house was buzzing with all 5 kiddos awake and running around.

There wasn't a lot of time to lounge around (my preferred way to spend weekend mornings, especially when my sis is in town!).  The kids were  excited to get to Grandma and Grandpa's however, so they were very helpful about getting the house cleaned up and their stuff ready to go.  As I was getting ready in the bathroom Cora decided a little hot pink lip gloss suited the occasion.  My girls love any sort of chap stick, lip gloss, or lip stick.  Cora is getting to the point where most of it actually lands on her lips, while Sylvie still tends to be covered nose to chin.

All packed up and ready to go.  Megan and I set a goal to leave at 9, and we were on the road at 9:15...not too shabby if you ask me!

Before we were even in the door at Grandma and Grandpa's Ean was requesting pancakes.  As you can see within 15 minutes of arriving they were indeed eating pancakes.  At Grandma and Grandpa's pancakes are always topped with sprinkles, and today whipped cream.

Grandma and Grandpa will have their hands full (literally) with a 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 year old!  Megan and I left with hugs and kisses and wished them luck.  It's not often that I leave my kids, and it's even less common for it to be over night.  I'm always filled with a mixture of excitement at the prospect of adult time, worry, and missing them like crazy.

It looks like they had a busy fun filled weekend.  Playing outside, with tents, and flying Grandpa's helicopter in the garage!

Megan and I headed back to my house where we spent an hour or so power cleaning.  Megan shares my husbands affinity for piling as she cleans.  I, however, am anti-pile.  I tend to leave things until they are dealt  with and then put them away in their forever home.  I am in full agreement that the piles look much nicer, but 3 weeks later when I'm finding that bill that hasn't been paid or a school paper rising from the abyss, it becomes clear that the pile system doesn't work for me. 

Meanwhile, at the Bachelor party the guys were spending the day shooting at the gun range and 4-wheeling.

The girls met up at 3pm at the winery for wine, appetizers, and some less muddy fun.

We continued on to Canvas and Chardonnay for more wine and silliness, and of course the painting of a masterpiece.

By now the giddiness of having a girls night out with no kids had set in.


We couldn't resist the Bob Ross photo op.  We frequently watched Bob Ross's "The Joy of Painting" on PBS with our Grandpa Trachta when we would visit.  I'm sure both Bob and Grandpa would have been proud of our artistic abilities ;)

The rest of the night we spent celebrating the Bachelorette at a few of the local establishments.  We finished up the night back at our house for a good old fashioned slumber party :).