Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving was wonderful as always! It's definitely a top pick for favorite holiday. We went to Gilbert this year and had it with Cari's family. Our good friends from med school, the Galloway's joined us also. The moment we arrived on Wednesday evening, Cari and I headed to the grocery store to get our goods and then cooked and baked until the main event at 2 the next day. At least it seemed like it! We were able to sneak in a morning run to offset our all day piggery, but I'm not sure if even a marathon could properly balance out our feast. We had all the normal traditional stuff. Lots and lots of it - including two fried turkeys! We way over cooked for the amount of people we had there, but the leftovers were great!

For a whole day of feasting and fun, the only picture I got was of Ian digging in to Amanda's Pumpkin Mousse Cake. Excellent choice on his part. It was yummy! It does a pretty good job illustrating the event, though.

After lunch, and snacking, and picking, and snacking some more, we headed out to the stores for Black Friday shopping that was not on Black Friday. What are they going to call it now? Walmart went pretty smooth for us, although the whole event never ceases to amaze me. It's just stuff, people! We were done with Walmart at a little after 10, so we headed over to Target to see what the situation was there. It didn't open until midnight and the line to get in wrapped all the way to the back of the store when we arrived. It was cold and raining, but I was about to save $25, so we decided to join in on the fun. However, if we're going to do something, we're going to do it right. So Cari dropped me off in line, shivering (I forgot my jacket in Kimberly's cart at Wal-Mart) and went back home for supplies. She soon returned with lawn chairs, blankets, and hot chocolate. We're generally the envy of the crowd. ;) Cyndi joined us soon and then Stacie arrived right after the doors opened. I don't think I'd ever do the shopping by myself, but it's fun to go and spend time with my sisters. Why we don't stay home and play games, I don't know, but it's fun all the same! We hung out with Kimmie at Wal-Mart, but we left before her and she never made it to Target. Done by 2 am and then we didn't have to get up super early in the morning. Hooray!

Friday was another really nice day. We gathered at a park near Cari's house to celebrate Kinnedy's birthday. Stacie, Kimberly, Steven, Cari and I (and fams) were all able to make it. After my previous day of gluttony, I was content to claim a lawn chair and never move. However, my plans never really work out the way I plan and this backfire was a good one. We started with a little football, but soon evolved into a serious capture the flag game. I'm not sure any of us can remember the last time we sprinted (or attempted to). It was a lot of fun and will be a great memory. We may have to make it a point to get off our lazy behinds more often. Maybe our muscles won't be so sore the next day then!

And the only picture I took on Friday. Aunt Cari and Uncle Garrett's garage is pretty much the coolest place ever. Ian would stay out there all day if we let him. He was just chillin' for a minute enjoying some snack.

We hope everyone was able to enjoy the holiday as much as we did. I love spending a little extra time thinking about my many blessings and especially spending time with so many of them!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I see yellow!

On November 18 at 6:30pm (this is a date and time that was made positive that we did NOT forget!) Carter tested for his first belt in Karate. Hooray! He was SOOO excited. Normally, Carter has no patience for me and the camera. However, he was very willing participant for a complete photo shoot before this special event - even insisting on a picture with all of his siblings.

Pow-wow with his karate instructor, Marianne Morrill - 3rd Degree Blackbelt, before his testing began.

He takes his karate very serious.

He did such a great job! He knew everything she called out without hesitation.

Not only does he have the pride of a little color in his belt, but he also got to move up to the youth class from Lil' Dragons. Almost better.

I think he's a pretty gosh darn handsome yellow belt myself. Way to go, Carter!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Performance

The fourth graders did a Veteran's Day Concert this year. Each of them wore a name tag of a family member or friend who is a veteran. Isaac's tag proudly displayed his great grandfathers.

He also tried out for a piano solo and entertained us all with "Stars and Stripes Forever." He did a fabulous job! I love that he never lets an opportunity go by to use his talents.

We are very grateful for all those who have fought and continue to fight to preserve our freedoms. Thank you!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Of course, I use that term in the loosest sense, but today I did complete my first duathlon ever! My sister Cari's friend invited her to do a duathlon with her in Casa Grande at the beginning of November. When she told me about it, I wanted to hop on board. I told my friend Tammy about it, and she was excited, so we decided to do it! I'm lucky Tammy signed up because Cari bailed on me! (That's right - I'm telling EVERYONE!) I wanted to train hard - I really did - but due to crazy schedules, the sun coming up later, eternally flat tires, etc., etc., my training was somewhat casual and sporadic. Knowing I was unprepared, I had butterflies in my stomach for a week before the race. Last night I didn't sleep well at all. There was a big wind/rain storm most of the night that kept me awake, except for an hour here and there when I was having very uncomfortable dreams about giant hills. After throwing out two burnt pieces of toast and brushing my teeth, I rode to Tammy's house to load up at 5:30a. After going the wrong way only twice, we made it with plenty of time in our matching clearanced Halloween shirts to get set up.

Before the race. It was supposed to be pretty cold, but was actually perfect once we got going. Thank goodness!

My major goal going into the race was to finish without walking. In the back of my head I really didn't want to come in last and if I finished in 1 hr and 40 mins, then that would be nice - but I wasn't holding my breath for either one of those. The first 1.5 mile run went great and I finished in less than a 10 min mile (which is what I've been running lately). I made me a playlist with songs for running, biking, running (I like different songs for different things) and timed them with my goals so I could keep track. I didn't want to time or pace because I didn't want it to add to my anxiety. It was the bike ride that killed me. Riding a bike seems like a piece of cake, but 10.5 miles of it was harder than I thought it would be. That's where I killed my time - and my bottom. It was a little sad watching bike after bike after bike passing me. There was a triathlon at the same time, same course, so there were quite a few people and it got to the point that I wasn't sure there was anyone left behind me. But last or no, I finally pulled in and parked that blasted bike. I assumed that I would shuffle the last three miles saddle style, but after I got going I actually felt really good. The course so far had been pretty flat, but I was pretty nervous when I turned the first corner of the second run to see that the course went through the wash and desert. Washes aren't flat and I thought they were nuts to make me try and go up and down little hills in the dirt after torturing my legs the way that I just had. Luckily, the dirt was pretty packed down. If it had been loose sand I would have sat down and cried. But like I said, I was feeling good and surprised myself at how well I took the wash and was actually passing people. It was the last mile of the race that was the worst. My fire finally burned out and I didn't think I was going to make it. I didn't want to stop, but it was going on FOREVER! Somehow I pulled through and it was the best feeling picking up speed to cross the finish line with them announcing my name that I had done it!

After the race on the way home. We were pretty proud of ourselves!

The results of my goals were 1) YES! I did it without stopping. 2) HOORAY! I didn't come in last. I was 36th out of 44. 3) SO CLOSE! My time was 1 hr and 48 mins. I'd really like to try another one and see if I can improve my time. I really enjoyed myself! I learned a few things for the next one, though.

1) Spend some time on a bike. Running more than once or twice a week (sometimes every other week) would be beneficial also.

2) Mountain bikes are no competition for road bikes. (I decided that was the reason everyone was passing me. It had nothing to do with their incredibly muscular legs!)

3) Not worth the anxiety and loss of sleep. It's all for fun anyway!

4) ABOVE ALL, get a pair of padded bike shorts!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Carter lost his first tooth!

This kid has been wiggling firmly planted teeth for a LONG time. It was super exciting when one of them was actually loose! But of course, it still had to be a long process. His permanent tooth grew in behind his baby one, so it wasn't making it fall out. After a month or two, we finally made him wiggle it day and night. He hasn't put it under his pillow for the tooth fairy yet, because it is his very first lost tooth. He's not quite ready to part with it yet. We'll see if maybe the tooth fairy will just let him hang on to this one...