Posts Tagged ‘memories’

I did it #Marathon

Finally a chance to catch my breathe and post about the Carlsbad Marathon!

I did it. I ran it. I finished. 4 hours and 42 min. Under 5 hours. PR’d my 10K and Half marathon splits. So I not only did it I rocked it for me!

I still can’t believe it.

All the week before I was worried about what the wear as the weather was just off. I was worried about what to eat- I don’t eat many carbs anymore in fact I haven’t had bread or pasta in months. So carb loading had me freaked. But it all worked out.

When we arrived in Carlsbad it was crazy weather. Rainy and heavy fog. In fact the airport was closed for awhile due to the fog.

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We went out for pasta and ate through 2 loaves of bread at Marconi Grill. Oh my was that delicious!

I went out shopping and got another layer to wear on my run. I was ready. Early to bed. Early alarm.

The morning of the race it was cold and wet. The fog had cleared but no sun. The rain finally stopped about an hour in but the sun never shown. It might have been the most perfect running weather. I was dressed right. Smelling the sea as I ran along the Pacific Coast Highway…just gorgeous.

The only problem I can’t read elevation maps.

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I was worried about mile 9…but what I didn’t realize is that the entire race was hills. Up and down. Up and down. My girlfriend who ran the race (3:35) with me said this was her 2nd toughest course and she has done 17 marathons! I have to admit the last few uphill miles were killers…

My lovebugs were in my ears the entire race…I love that my runtastic app lets them send me cheers and little messages from their computer back in AZ. So I had my fans with me the entire race.

When I saw the finish line the tears started flowing…yes no finish line photos for me. I was just overwhelmed. I did it.

A little over 3 years ago when we made the move to Arizona I started the couch to 5K program. Yes before that I was never a running. I would only consider running if I was being chased. 3 years later I have run my share of 5Ks, 10Ks, did 7 half marathons and 4 tris, and now a full marathon.  Never in a million years did I think this would be something I would want to do or accomplish. That is how far I have come. This is who I have become. I challenge myself. I have a family that loves and supports me in those challenges. I cross finish lines that were never in my thoughts. I cross finish lines hand in hand with my little lovebug. I love every single moment.

The icing on the cake was the next day when I got the results. Top 50% for my first marathon…I was proud enough but to know that I finished in the top 50 made me smile!

Never say never!

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Our first GS Adventure

In preparation for taking the entire troop next year my co-leader and I decided to take our daughters up for a weekend of camping and Girl Scout fun.

I didn’t really know what to expect…a reason we were doing a dry run with just our girls. We aren’t regular campers I had to go out and get my own sleeping bag.

After a 2 hour drive north and a stop for Happy Meals…we arrived at our campsite.

There was a little confusion on rooms until we settled into our cabin. Our little 1st graders rooming with 4th graders and 3rd graders. They made friends fast and then we settled in for our first night of sleep.

I laid on the bottom bunk and heard the creaking of wooden rails as the girls tossed and turned, the murmurs of whispers as girls kept talking up above, over the next 20min is was like a wave going through the cabin. You could sense when one girl gave in and went to sleep- the soft noises got quieter and quieter until all was still and asleep we went. Till somewhere in the middle of the night storms began and I laid there staring into space till little whispers started again and MB climbed down and joined me for a morning snuggle.

No showers was the rule as they were conserving water. So we changed and headed off to breakfast. 300 girl scouts from our neighborhood. Wow. After breakfast the swapping began.

A new tradition of Girl Scouts- each troop makes some sort of decorative pin that they trade. Felt made smores, clothespins girls, thin mint boxes, you name it….our girls made beaded pins on the ride up and were quick to start swapping. It was like swag for kids.

After clean-up it was time for the Wide Game. Our theme was Mind, Body, and Soul. So we had hair braiding, making soap, yoga, and a self-esteem session with Mrs. Arizona. It was great to watch the stations run by teenagers and then the 4/5th graders helping the younger girls. What great role models and experiences. This is what Girl Scouts is all about.

After the morning session we were on our own for the day. We heading back to the cabin and had our picnic lunch. The girls requested some down time and played quietly up in their bunk….then we headed off for a hike. Spotting a fox flying by…the famous lion king rock which made for some great shots….and a little bit of song singing. Along the way we found a mobile made of pine cones and sticks…so the collection began and we created ours after the hike. Followed by friendship bracelets which brought out a lot of girls and moms too and I found myself channeling my inner middle school girl showing the different ways to make them.

It was great to watch MB braid hers and being so excited that she had mastered braiding. I see lots of hair braiding in my future 🙂

After that it was dinner and s’mores making. Followed by the infamous Girl Scout campfire. Repeater songs, skits, and lots of laughs. MB sitting on my lap so she could see it all- singing aloud together.

We headed back to bed and both girls were quick to climb in bed and crash.

The next morning bright and early MB crawled down again for a snuggle. My heart melted. She had been so independent this weekend, making new friends, exploring, but she was still my sweet little girl who wanted to snuggle up close to her mommy and didn’t care who saw.

There was some stress preparing for the weekend, I was sick, I had a million things on the to-do list at home, but for 2 days I was shut out from the world just me and my girl and 300 other amazing girls and ladies. We made friends. We made memories. We learned new things. The time was simple. The time was pure.

*A note, my self-reflection:  As I laid there and snuggled with MB on the 2nd morning I realized that this experience wouldn’t have happened without the life we have now.  I have so much to be thankful for. The life we have is the life I wanted I always wanted.

King of the world

 

Things are a little bit crazy here right now…still recovering from a weekend away at the GS Encampment with my little Daisy. We made so many fun memories. I managed through it even with my cold and now am trying to kick that and get caught up at home and work.

So the blog post of our weekend will have to wait- in the meantime, I will leave you to enjoy my little King of the World….or actually a reenactment of the Lion King. We found a rock on the hike the looked just like the one where Simba was presented to the crowd.

And she’s gone….

10 days…the longest visit in a while. But for all of us it still felt too short.

We wanted to kidnap her and keep her longer, but know she has others that want and need her too. Selfish as we would like to be.

We miss her already. Each and every one of us, but the memories will last us till the next visit.

Storytime, shopping, catching lunch, just hanging out.

Love you Mom. Love you Nana. Counting down the days till our next visit!

Summer escape

Not for a race. Not for a family visit.

Just an escape for the 2 of us. Planned out at the last-minute.

It couldn’t have been more wonderful.

I have only been out to Colorado in the winter…never in the summer. After this visit that will definitely be changing.

We spent a night in Denver. Had some incredible sushi…flown in fresh from Japan in the morning and the kind you just wish you had sashimi and skipped the rolls. After that we headed to a small wine bar with some live music and enjoyed a bottle plus of some red wine and live music. There weren’t many people in the bar so we had some fun conversations with the band and just enjoyed being adults with no responsibilities.

We got up the next morning, walked to breakfast, and then headed to Vail.

Ahh, Vail. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. I really can’t put into words.

There are 2 little villages about a 15min walk apart and both were alive with activity. On Saturday one had a BBQ festival with pig races and the other an art festival. On Sunday one had a farmers and art market the other one still hosting the art festival. Quaint village shops, good food, and white tents filled with locals and their goods. I was in love.

We did a great hike on Saturday, the altitude gave it some difficulty but the view was worth it.

Saturday night we took the gondola up to the top of the mountain shared a bottle of wine and some cheese, chatted up with the bartender. It was so nice to not have an agenda, to just have the 2 of us, to be in such a great place with wonderful vibes. I can’t wait to go back….just the 2 of us and the whole family too. While it is good to have some one on one adult time we both commented throughout the weekend how much MB would love it too….the place was alive with young families.

We hated to leave but as I got on the plane home I told TB it really felt like a vacation. Even though we were only there for a weekend and didn’t take a day off of work it felt like we had been gone awhile. Refreshed, renewed, ready for a week…now that to me is the perfect summer escape!

If you are heading to Vail here are some of my foodie recommendations:

Pazzo’s Pizzeria– we had one of their special pizza with cilantro and jalapeno. So yummy!

Creperie– we had the hiker sandwich (breakfast bagel) for breakfast and was delicious…then we headed back for a dessert crepe in the afternoon. Fresh fruit and ice cream. What a treat. The service could use some work, but if you are patient the food was worth it

Summer lovin’

There are lots of those sayings that sometimes can ring so true.

Summer loving.

Kid in a candy store.

The other day I found myself using them literally and figuratively.

It all started innocently. 2 girls enjoying some playtime after swim team.

Then it was time for dinner. They didn’t want the fun to end. Who were we to be the kill joys?

So we invited MB’s friend to join us. That set the girls into action.

Next thing I know I am helping zip up fancy dress. Looking for the matching purses. Doing their hair to match. Helping secure the headbands in place.

The girls were ready to go. Out for pizza that is.

Just remember I am smiling. They were both so full of summer loving.

We enjoy a great pizza. The girls enjoying each other and TB and I enjoying the benefits.

A perfect AZ evening we walked around the quarter for a bit while the girls frolicked around the fountains. Laughing. Smiling. Summer loving.

Then we saw the new candy store.

The girls wanted to go in.

We agreed and told them they could pick out a small treat.

It’s a large and pretty cool candy store. We are talking 50lb gummy bears. Mannequins dressed in candy outfits. Lots of retro candy fun too. They were the epitome of kids in a candy store.

We settled in on picking out a few jelly belly flavors. Simple sugar.

Just some kids in a candy store loving a perfect summer evening.

 

Happy Easter

Hope everyone had a great Easter. Ours ended great with a little hunt to solve the mystery clue the Easter Bunny left of where he hid MB’s basket. Job well done Mr. EB!

Our big festivities were last week, when we had an Easter Egg dying party…which 12 little girls managed to turn into a pool party. I thought we had 20+ years before that happened. What fun we had…even with some melted chocolate…I am still learning about the Arizona sun.

Bunny food and bubbles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silly rabbit food

egg games

pretty dresses+ heated pool = lots of giggles

What a wonderful life…and Christmas

We had a great Christmas…hope everyone else did as well.

We decided this year to stay put for the holidays. While a hard decision it was the right one.

No packing presents, no stressing about travel over the holidays.

We took the week off and enjoyed the wonderful weather in Scottsdale.

Can’t believe I actually golfed on Christmas Eve Day.

On Christmas morning MB slept till 9am…giving TB and I time to have breakfast and coffee…take Indy out for a walk and just take in the morning quiet before the storm.

MB came out putting on her robe…that she had to of dug out from the back of her closet not sure why but she said this was what you were supposed to do on Christmas. So robe in place she stopped in awe at all the presents under the tree.

We settled in to start the unwrapping. MB insisted on giving us our gifts first.

This is one of the moments when in all the hype of “I want this, I want that” combined with loads of loads of sugary behavior I am reminded what a sweetheart we have.

She was concerned that TB and I had the best Christmas ever as well. So we both opened all of our gifts first…she was so proud of her Snowman card she had made us along with the perfect Green Eggs and Ham t-shirt she had found for best buddy. Couldn’t of been a better present.

TB even had made sure to wrap the camera accessories we had gotten…as MB was very insistent that Mommy got to unwrap lots of gifts too.

We then moved on to MB’s gifts…and Santa did all right this year. He managed to get the polly pocket roller coaster resort she wanted and then lots of other little surprises. The Leapster Explorer was the biggest hit and she has been enjoying “learning” on it.

We proceeded to spend all day in our PJ’s…playing games, playing with our new toys, cleaning up the house, and cleaning the car (it was a mess after our crazy week from the Polar Express on).

The TV was never on till after dinner…just enjoying a relaxing day of nothing with the family. Couldn’t think of a better Christmas present.

While outside we saw a few neighbors (also in their PJ’s) trying out their new presents. So we got MB suited up and she started tackling the hills in her new roller skates. So happy she also got all the needed pads as I see lots of bumps and bruises ahead as we learn how to navigate the neighborhood…no flat areas unless you are in the garage!

Turkey Feast with Liquid Plumber

Never a dull moment.

My brother and sister in law are in town for a visit so we are doing Thanksgiving a little early.

I love cooking and especially putting on the feast so I was happy to go to work.

Last night I made the cranberries and the pie shell.

First thing this morning it was the chocolate pie. This was a first and I am afraid while the meringue looks incredible not sure that the chocolate set…putting it in the fridge to hopefully help it along.

So as MB entertained the other adults with some playtime in her room I started preparing the turkey. All was going along well. I had all the pots going and the turkey in the over. The rest of the crew headed over to MB’s last soccer game. I must add that I was proud when I gave her the choice of stopping by her friends b-day party before her game or to hang out with her Aunt and Uncle without even a “mental debate” she quickly said she would pass on the party. Small moments like these make me proud.

Ok so back to the cooking.

Green beans, check. Turkey, smells good. Cranberries, taste test a success. Now on to the stuffing…whoops out of chicken broth. My neighbor T saves the day and we are back in business. Now comes peeling the potatoes. Got them all peeled and boiling and I start to turn on the garage disposal to clean out the sink.

This is where liquid plumber comes in.

Empty house but me. All the ovens and stove tops in use. Dishwasher full. Kitchen is in full swing. And now I have 2 backed up sinks. Water filling both halfway. Oh crap what do I do. I stink my hand down to see if there is anything stuck. Nope. I wait a bit, no draining. Ok Liquid Plumber in you go. After about 5min the sinks start gurgling I smile and turned around to look.

Oh no. The water is going the wrong direction…up not down. I watch speechless and unable of what to think to do. Then it stops and the water settles down.

Right now in my mind I am thinking what is going to happen if everyone comes home and instead of the yummy Thanksgiving smells all they smell is liquid plumber. Ok. That can’t be, what is next.

I go in for the plunger. I do the left sink first. OMG. It worked. I am feeling good. I start on the real sink the one with the garbage disposal and after about 10 plunges…trying to find the drain was part of the problem. Bingo. I got it.

Ahh. Now back to the good stuff.

Oh one more problem. My rolls needed more time to rise. Arizona sun saved the day. Stuck them in the sun and those babies doubled up just in time to be put in the oven. I love the sun even more now.

All was good. Bellies were full. The table looked good. The only down side was the chocolate pie- which didn’t set and wa runny. Though everyone said it tasted good. Now I am going to have to try that recipe again so I can make it right. My meringue of course was awesome and that was the part I was fretting about. Oh well.

Happy early Thanksgiving.

p.s. no one know about the liquid plumber, in fact TB was going to be learning of this by reading the post. However we spent a little bit of time in the hot tub after dinner and I spilled the beans 🙂

A surprise visit from Czech

The “big” gift for MB this year was a visit from Czech.

I was very lucky to have had a live-in au pair when MB was an infant/toddler. I had one girl from about 3mths to 1 year and it was good….then I had SJ come join us. She was amazing. A kindergarten teacher from Czech she become part of the family. I will never forget our Friday night girls night dinner and our attempts at keeping MB from eating the entire dessert.  I could go on and on about the memories, the fun times, the experiences…it was just wonderful. She left to go back to Czech when MB turned 3.

3 years. We have kept in touch via Skype, Facebook, and postcards. Never as good as face to face. We had hoped to make it to Prague this year but it was just not working out. So we decided to bring SJ to us.

I knew MB remembered her, we talk about her often…but would she really remember her?

SJ and TB arrived home just in time for the bus stop. We headed out there. MB got off the bus and went straight for SJ. I would say she remembered her for sure.

The visit was a blur. Lots of talking. Playing. Halloween Parties. There are 2 moments that stand out in a visit full of smiles. The big “welcome” hug. And tonight as they lay in bed together reading a bedtime story. MB’s pick had been the photo book SJ put together when she left. Photos of the 2 of them together over the 2 years SJ had been with us. Memories that I am sure MB doesn’t remember but was reliving through the photos. As I saw them nestled in her bed, my eyes filled up. We were so lucky to have SJ in our life….and it is wonderful to know that those 2 years together are going to live on as we continue to add memories together.

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