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Showing posts from 2007

Welcome Home Tilde...

We were finally able to go pick up our newest family member and Christmas surprise today. Matilda, better known as Tilde, is a 7 week old Cocker Spaniel/Jack Russell mix we adopted from the Lucas County Humane Society in Chariton, Iowa. So far, so good. Introductions have went well and even Jasper seems tolerant thus far. We have yet to make it through our first night (and I'm sure lots of poop and potty accidents) and by the little amount of time she spent in her kennel on the drive home, it could be a noisy night. But how can you resist that cute little face?





Huge a pet you love today!


peace

A Christmas Surprise...

There's nothing that brighten the spirits like a Christmas Surprise! This year we've had our share of disappointments and stresses, and wonder as we head into 2008 what the new year will bring. After much deliberation, Scott and I came up with a brilliant plan for a Christmas surprise that we hoped would help our current day to day stress just melt away. Something we've been talking about for a while, but hadn't actually made happen. We've been bursting at the seams for the past week trying to keep our surprise a secret. We hope you enjoy sharing this bright moment from our Christmas morning festivities.



peace

In a world of glass...

Early each morning we wake to find the trees etched white from the night's frost.

Frost gives way to glass sculptures as the sun travels west in the clear blue ocean of the sky. Light dances and plays like happy fairies through the many icy branches.

The sun sets. The street lights illuminate. Our glass sculptures stand glistening against the black of night.

Strong

Calm

Beautiful


peace

Weight...

I am a Biggest Loser junkie. I'll admit it. Not a lot of TV is "appointment TV" for me, but I eagerly await each episode. First, as a trainer/fitness professional, I love to watch for tips/comparrison/validation. Second, as someone who has always struggled with her weight and body image, I find the journey the participants take to be an extremely motivating and inspirational story. I think if you've ever struggled with your weight, for whatever reason, there's always someone to whom you can relate. I would love to go live on The Biggest Loser campus and let Bob put me through the paces for a week. I feel like even with all my education/knowledge, I have so much to learn about my own struggle with weight and body image. I often feel like an imposter in my job because I struggle modeling what I teach...whether it's stress, or fatigue, or just laziness...I too have a hard time putting it all together. At the same time, it just goes to show, it's not an easy …

Things I learned while looking through my high school year book with my 6-year-old...

15-years (how long it's been since I was a senior) is a hard concept for a 6-year-old to grasp being as it's more than twice her age!The absence of "Daddy" in photos is abnormal because in her world, we've always been together.Who are all these other people with whom I'm pictured and why doesn't she know any of them?Ironic? This retired (at least for now) assistant basketball coach wasn't even pictured in her high school varsity team photo.Is it bad when you look through the pictures of your classmates and you're surprised that "that guy" was in your class and not a year younger?Yes, even though we didn't think so at the time, we had bad hair too!Senior quotes are stupid, but apparently continue to be a right of passage.High school is like child birth...after a while, even though you know it was painful, all you can remember are the fun times.Even though many of us haven't kept in touch over the years, and even though many of us …

A Normal Afternoon at Our House...

Brea loves to talk on her toy phones...especially to Pa-Pa (Grandpa). Yesterday she was going on and on, having quite the conversation. Of course when I got out the camera in an attempt to document her cuteness, she clammed up. Regardless, it's so fun to watch her I had to post this any way. Brea LOVES watching herself on the computer, so we've watched this over and over again. Her little unexpected toot has given us plenty of comic relief. What better way to relieve tension than with potty humor?!?!?

(The toot is really quiet so you have to have your volume up pretty loud.)







peace

Random Acts of Kindness...

This weekend my family and I were recipients of a random act of kindness. Someone who attends (or teaches) at the studio where I instruct left us a very generous, thoughtful, and totally anonymous gift. A truly selfless and loving gift, which brings much warmth to our hearts during this stressful time in our lives.

The act of giving in the spirit of honoring the interconnected nature of the universe has always been an important part of our lives. Whether it's passing along outgrown clothes to families in need, donating to worthy causes, volunteering our time, being responsible consumers of goods and resources, there's so much we can do to foster what is good and peace filled on this planet. As our girls grow older, we've tried to make giving (beyond gifts of desire) more a part of our holiday traditions. Even this year when things are tight, we're planning to participate in some programs to hopefully bring love and peace to those in need. We give because we are ric…

Doing good...

Test your vocabulary skills and help feed the world's hungry all at once.


peace

Funny Faces...

One day we were all sitting around in the office and I just picked up our little point and shoot camera and snapped off pictures of each of my lovies. Scott returned the favor for me. The result...not necessarily the best photos, but they make me smile. Say cheese!





peace

A mermaid, a puppy, and a giant balloon...

Another successful Halloween! What fun it was this year to have Lexi help me with the construction of her costume. We had interestingly deep conversations during our sewing time...it amazes what a 6 year old thinks about! Fun was had by all and what a gorgeous day...no coats needed for trick-or-treating!






To top off the holiday, today when Brea and I went to the grocery store, the cashier gave her this giant balloon. It's gone everywhere with her since!

peace

Unexpected Answers...

Soul searching.

I think we all it at some level throughout our lives. And as we age (this coming from a young woman in relationship to the age which I can be expected to live if I'm lucky), I think the searching changes as our life stages change. Sometimes though, many of our searches have a common theme. A theme that helps us to uncover who we are and just what we're looking for.

I've started to notice that often my common theme during these times of wonderment is validation. When it comes down to it, when I find myself questioning something in my life, what I'm really looking for is validation...let me clarify, validation from an outside being/force. Validation that my thoughts, my feelings, my actions are good, correct, well...valid. (This blog is a perfect example as I eagerly await comments on post to validating their content!) Strongly attached to that need for validation is my fear of failing or causing disappointment...and as I'm becoming increasingly awa…

A Grandma and her girlies...

One of the true joys of being a parent for me is watching my Mom be a Grandma. Though the distance between our homes keeps us from seeing each other as often as we would like, the bonds of love are so strong that time and distance melt away when we are together.. Her warm, open, caring spirit shines through, and the girls relish in her affection when we are together. Whether it was snuggling in bed first thing in the morning, walking to and from school, making cinnamon rolls (Lexi's favorite activity with Grandma), or just sitting around relaxing, we truly enjoyed having Mom/Grandma here for her short visit last weekend.

We love you Mom/Grandma! Thank you for the love, for the support, for the comforts. Thank you for just being you!



Celebrating 6...

A sombrero, whipped cream in the face, a surprise visit from Uncle Jason, new shoes, a new hamster (Herman), a new bike, fun things to color, a colorful umbrella, yoga for elephants, a fun night at Fall Festival and a sleep over with a close friend, ice cream, giggles...all great ways to celebrate being 6. Hope you had a wonderful day honey. I love you lots!





peace

Web overload...

So I get the whole internet social networking thing. I mean I have a Facebook account, this blog, a youTube account, my Shutterfly site for pictures, I'm even part of a wiki! I've reconnected with friends and family whom I'd lost contact with over the years through several of these services. But where does it all end?

Today I discover I have family and friends who I haven't talked to in a while on MySpace, who are not on Facebook, and in order to view their profiles and catch up with them, I'd have to sign up for yet another account. Do I really need another account? Why can't we all just get together in ONE place? I'm starting to have sign-in, password overload issues! Not to mention, how do people find the time to play with all their different pages?

I've got to go now...my designated blog time is over :)

peace

Unexpected Turns...

We have this ratty old atlas at our house that has been part of our family for over 10 years. It has joined us on many a road trip. It's served as a "desk" for coloring projects, a "table" for cereal in front of Saturday morning cartoons, and has all sorts of colored circles, dots, and routes that have been used to mark trips or explain different locations to a curious child. The cover is now completely gone, but it still serves it's purpose and I don't foresee it leaving our family any time in the near future.

Because it's old, and because roadways are constantly changing, sometimes even the most well planned driving routes have to be changed mid-trip. Road construction, new bi-passes, a desire to venture off onto a more scenic route, all good reasons for changing our course. Sometimes the changes are chosen, sometimes they are not, but ultimately we always arrive at our destination and often have a fun story to tell of our adventures.

Life has ju…

Happy Birthday to you...

Scott celebrated his 34th birthday this past Friday. He got this great card in the mail from his little sister Megan...who coincidently also celebrates her birthday on August 31st. This card cracks me up...it's the unspoken known, right out there for all to ponder. A smile and laugh to our house it did bring.

It's hard for me to believe I've celebrated 16 of Scott's birthdays with him! It seems like no time at all has passed since that first, awkward date. Yet, I can't remember what life was like without Scott in it. We have both grown so much over the years...as individuals and as a couple. How lucky I am to have been with the love of my life all these years. How luck we are to have so many more ahead of us.

peace

Jammin'...

Brea has a new infatuation with my mp3 player. She asks to listen to it and immediately starts to smile and dance once she's all set. The biggest challenge...keeping those ear buds in those little bitty ears!




peace

And she's off...

So much confidence as she strides down the sidewalk in front of us on her first day of school. Backpack on, lunch in hand, so much excitement she can't stop smiling. Independently she wants to enter the school and walk to her classroom by herself. Mom and Dad aren't quite ready to let go. We talk her into to letting us accompany her to her classroom door.

Hugs for all.

"Brea and I will be waiting for you after school just outside the front door," I tell her as she opens the door to her classroom while choking back a few tears that I don't want to shed in front of her.

"Ok Mom." she says with a grin.

She turns and goes.

The door shuts quietly behind her.

Her first day as a kindergartener has begun.

At lunch time Scott and I stand in the driveway watching as recess ends, searching the playground for our little girl in her striped dress. There she is! Running carelessly to her class line. Friend at hand. A bounce in her step. A smile evident from even 1/2 a …

Hanging on to summer...

The final days of summer. School starts on Wednesday. No more lazy summer schedule; coffee at 10 on a Tuesday morning; hours spent splashing in the pool in the warmth of the summer sun. For the first time we have a grade schooler in the crowd. While exciting, a new adventure to be had, also an end of an era. A new calendar with which to coordinate our coming and going. I get sappy, emotional, reflective. My little girl, so quickly growing up, testing her independence, amazing us with her knowledge and love of life. The time has come, ready or not, here we go!


peace

What's in a name?

One of the fun aspects of RAGBRAI are all the teams that have been created over the years. There are of course organized teams based on common ground, such as military affiliations like Team Air Force who had over 150 riders this year. There are also a number of teams based on charities...Team Relay for Life, Team Livestrong, etc. But a majority of the teams are individuals like our little group, friends who get together and come up with a silly name. My personal favorite, Team Pirate. I mean how fun would it be to be a pirate for a whole week. The number of booty jokes/references alone are priceless. AND they have a really cool bus! There are teams named after animals...Team Cow (who's bikes and clothing look like a herd of milk cows), Team Flamingo (who wear their distinctive pink boas throughout the week), Team Whiners (who's motto is "Fork more Pork."). And of course there are plenty of team names that are just a little bit naughty and suggestive, after all,…

Camera Clowns...

Lexi went through this stage (and isn't totally out of it yet) where she became a total clown for the camera. Brea is starting to follow suit and my attempts at catching candid shots of her (still or short movie clips) are often met with goofy grins and giggles. They are silly, silly sisters!


What does it mean?

I bought this t-shirt at the end of RAGBRAI week. It makes me smile.

Today after running some errands, we stopped at a local eating establishment for lunch. Just across the way from us were a couple of kids who kept looking at me and looking at it each other and saying, "But what does it mean?" Pretty soon one of them says I'll give you a dollar to go ask. Neither of them had the guts to actually come and ask me. It gave Scott and I a good laugh.

So an explanation (if you don't know what it means) that won't cost you a dollar....

There's this lotion, lubricant so to speak, that you can use on the chamois in your bike shorts that lessens friction and the adverse effects that can be caused by sitting on a bike seat for hours upon hours. Until last week I've never had a reason to give it a try. My tube of Chamois Butt'r was purchased after day 2 and BOY WHAT A DIFFERENCE! (Thank you little bro for the suggestion!) I can honestly say that little tub…

Holy Squash Batman...

We have arrived at one of my favorite food seasons of the year...garden harvest time. This year we were lucky enough to have some friends invite us to share their large garden space in the country. I really miss the garden space we had at our little farm house, so you can imagine how excited I was at the offer. While we still planted our tomatoes and herbs here at the house, things that need a little more space to sprawl like squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and pumpkins went in out the the country garden. The one draw back is we only get out there every 3-4 days and at times that's long enough to allow for a giant squash like the one above to grow.

I feel like all of our evening meals (and sometimes lunch too) have been the same as of late...sautéed squash, cut cucumbers with a light dressing, and some sort of meat (usually grilled of course) to round out the plate. Not that I'm complaining by any means! This week we've got to add fresh tomatoes to the mix. For lunch tod…

Talent identity...

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a whine, simply an outward expression of my inner dialog. I apologize up front if it comes across whiny!

This past week I was part of a discussion about how the members of our biking crew each brought something different to the group which benefited us all. My brother was the biking king, with the power and skill to pull us home everyday. At night he turned on his tour guide persona to guide us through yet one more night of fun. Carlos had "the box"...good for carrying all things including puppies (don't worry, we never did put one in the box)...and was often the peace keeper, the little brother always looking out for the big sisters and keeping everyone together. Elaine is a strong rider with so much confidence. She was happy to lead the pack or to fall back and roll with anyone who needed to go at a bit slower pace...I benefited at the end of several long hot days from this trait of hers. Laura was our morning sunshine. No matte…

I want to ride my bicycle...

A few times in one's life, opportunities and experiences come a long that forever change and enhance your life. This past week I've been lucky enough to live one of those moments. RAGBRAI 2007 is now a thing of the past, but the fun, laughter, and friendships will continue to live on for many years to come.

When I decided to pursue this adventure I knew it would be physically demanding, sometimes so much that I'd want to throw in the towel and hop the sag wagon. What I didn't expect was the laughter, the dancing, the saddle sores, the meaningful conversations, the quiet comfortable silences, the hugs, the tears, the beauty, and the love.

Today as I continue to physically recover and emotionally process the whole experience, I find myself flooded with emotion. My eyes fill with tears and my heart misses my peeps more than I ever imagined possible. All day people have asked how my week was and it feels so understating to simply say I had a wonderful time. Even now, t…

Stepping outside of the box...

Two days and 20+ hours from now the 2007 edition of RAGBRAI will officially kick off...and I'll be there. For those of you unfamiliar with RAGBRAI, it's an annual bike ride across the state of Iowa that happens the last full week of July each summer for the past 34 (soon to be 35) years. The average day's ride is 70 miles, almost 500 miles total for the week, snaking across the state from West to East (hopefully taking advantage of tail winds for most of the ride), passing through and stopping in towns of all flavors and sizes along the way. The food is famous, the weather traditionally unpredictable, and fun is sure to be had.

In 2000 I experienced my first RAGBRAI as a support driver. Scott had told me about the event, but you just can't understand the magnitude of it until you experience it yourself. For 7 days a whole temporary community of individuals of all ages from all over the world becomes nomadic complete with traveling shops, restaurants, even potties! Th…

My little swimmer...

When I quit working full time almost a year ago to pursue my dream of making a living in wellness and having more time to just be mom, one of my goals was to be able to involve my kids in things during the work day they often missed out on because they had two full time working parents. This summer Lexi has gotten to take swim lessons at the city pool. What a joy it has been to see her grow in her abilities. Last summer she was still timid enough in the water she didn't want anything to do with any water activities that required her face and head to go in the water. But as with many things, Lexi decides when she ready to take the next step. Much to our surprise last August, at a family reunion, she decided she wanted to try going down the water slide at the water park. So we let her try and even with an initial mishap (it was a tube slide, in the dark, and wasn't ready for the first sharp right hand turn after leaving the start...flip she went on to her belly for the remai…