Thursday, July 31, 2014



4am departure toast at Jeff's parents' house! :)

Last sunrise we'd see for 3 weeks because it doesn't get dark in Alaska this time of year. That was crazy!

These two had a whole row of seats to themselves, but they always sat right next to each other.

First night's campground had a pool! The kids thought they hit the jackpot (good planning on their Grandma's part!)! :)
So, our trip! We drove to Alaska and back (the whole trip took just under 3 weeks)! We took two vehicles (a truck and a twelve passenger van), a 5th wheel trailer, a boat, and twelve people (Jeff's parents, his sister and her daughter, his brother and his wife, and the six of us), left at 4am on a Monday morning and off we went you know, after months and months of planning! The kids did AMAZING in the car and we were in the car A LOT. It took us 5 1/2 days to get there (driving for an average of probably 12 hours/day) but the kids did not fight, they did not whine, they were awesome no surprise there; they did way better than I did. {Ahem.} 

We played a lot of Crazy Eights in those 3 weeks!

A quick walk with Papa and Grandma (and Curious George of course) before bed.

Too bad we sold our Geo - looks like it could have made the trip! ;)

 The drive was just plain gorgeous! No words to even describe the majesty we got to see. God is BIG. Really really BIG.

It was gorgeous outside but we were hiding from all the mosquitoes (and bears!).

Mission Keep-the-toddler-busy-while-we-cook? SUCCESS!

We saw so many animals! In one day, driving through BC, we saw 9 bears and 7 moose (and a fox, a lynx, bald eagles, and and and) - it was crazy fun!

This is my husband. I'm so proud...

Being in Alaska was great too! We stayed with some of our best friends from our college years so that was fun in and of itself, but in addition to having the pleasure of just getting to hang out with them we fished, hiked (quite a bit - probably my favorite part of the whole trip!), I got to run (on the treadmill, lest I get eaten by moose and mosquitoes), we stayed up late and laughed, rode on quads, went to a museum, played cards, cooked yummy food, jumped on the trampoline (for hours!), got caught up in a crazy traffic jam in Anchorage, laughed, laughed, and laughed.

Mt. McKinley in view! GORGEOUSNESS!

You can wait until 10pm to shoot off fireworks on the fourth of July (like we did), but it still won't be
 The drive home was pretty fast and furious as we powered through to the end but we made it! :) Jeff hopped on a plane on the last Sunday morning of the trip and we headed out in our caravan the same day (Jeff drove up and flew back - his brother, John, flew up and met us there and then drove home so we all spent the week up there together). We pounded out the miles that last week and made it home in record time (including an unexpected 3 hour stop in Prince George where we had to get new tires for the 5th wheel trailer and the boat trailer but got to relax at a Boston Pizza and eat pizza and drink beer while the tires were being swapped out so it made it the best stop ever!). We were home by Thursday night (after a record breaking 16.5 hour day in the car that included a blow out diaper, multiple traffic jams throughout Washington, and a near miss while trying to "hold it" just a little bit longer). We were all exhausted and ready to be home in our own beds (and Jeff was so ready to have his family back in the too-quiet house!).

Ready to watch, I mean *listen to*, the fireworks!

Syd and John. LOVE these two!

Jer and Micah. The kids wouldn't have survived the long hours in the car if it weren't for these two. ;)

Fischer Michael.

Jack(son) James.

Carter McKenzie.
The trip was epic. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I'm so glad Jeff's parents organized the whole thing (with bits of help from us kids) ;) and that we had the opportunity to take such an amazing family vacation (and we all still love each other!).


Seriously Jack? Just ONE 'nice' picture? No? Oh well...

Look at those smiles. I LOVE these kids!

Okay! Let's get to planning a Yellowstone trip! :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

mama's losing it

Why is it that on the days I have the most to do, my kids act like little crazy people who are getting paid real monies to nit-pick and fight and make the day general misery for me? I know they aren't actually doing any of it to me and this is all just a byproduct of them not getting enough sleep, us packing too much into this past week, them being excited about the next few days weeks and such but seriously I'd really consider giving them away right now. You want em'?

I have to pack for six people for three weeks. Today. Mama ain't got no time fo yo nonsense!

Giving them jobs has helped, but they don't do it like I would then I find myself supervising instead of doing what I need to do.

They did clean and vacuum out the Yukon this morning (thanks hubs for teaching them how to use a shop-vac!), so at least that's off my list (and they actually do an amazing job at cleaning out the car - they do it better than I do the three times I've ever actually done it).

Right when I was completely at my wit's end (like freak out loud enough for the neighbors to hear and at the same time silently screaming cuss words) I got the mail and their report cards came.

They all did awesome. Like AWESOME, awesome. Their grades were great, their behavior was great, and their teachers all left the sweetest notes about them.


I guess I'll keep them for now. 


I RAN 12 MILES YESTERDAY! (And it didn't kill me!)

My brain and my body is still a bit in shock over it, but we totally did it (stopped for about 30 seconds to down a half banana half way through and gulp a tiny bit of water and another stop for about 30 seconds to stretch at mile 9 but other than that we ran the whole thing!).

At mile 9 I said out loud, "I still feel pretty good! Only three miles left - let's do it!"

Yeah...the last 2 miles were KILLER. My legs ached so bad. My feet hurt. (But my lungs felt awesome!) I really had to power through mentally the last couple of miles. It was a long stretch in the sun on the way back and I was literally taking it but I felt like a million bucks when we finished!

Today I do not feel like a million bucks.

I have a huge blister on the side of my foot and my body aches everywhere (why do people ever sign up for a half marathon more than once?! I'm definitely going to be a one-and-done.) but hearing my husband tell me over and over just how amazed he is that I did it and how proud of me he is (and how proud of myself I am!) makes all the pain worth it.

Finally! Finally I feel like I will indeed be able to do this thing next month!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

{lack of} muscle power

Today was supposed to be "long run" day but I got a call at 6:45am from my running partner that her son was really sick so we decided to run it on Thursday if I don't die from exhaustion just thinking about it before then. I didn't want to just have 2 (more) days of "resting up for the run" (which I may or may not have been doing for the past day or two week already) so I decided to throw in a trusty circuit training video and give it a go.

I mean, I used to do these all.the.time. so it shouldn't be a problem, right?

Well it was.

I can run for miles and miles but through all that one-foot-in-front-of-the-other I've lost all my muscle power.

And it sucks.

This is me after 40 minutes of circuit training today:

See all that sweat?

It's pathetic.

And yet it feels awesome. I can't wait to lift some weights consistently again!

Just gotta survive the half first. :)

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can...{And repeat.}

::: Edited to add: Apparently my husband reads my blog (who knew!?) because he told me he can't believe I had the guts to put that picture of my sweaty self on here. HA! I have no shame. I can't believe he doesn't already know that. (He does now I guess.) :::

Monday, June 16, 2014


Okay, so now that all that other stuff (below) is out, I can just write and not worry about how eloquent  it sounds and/or if I added a bazillion too many comas or if it's funny enough/cute enough/has enough pictures/sounds too braggy. Movingrightalong, mmkay?

It's SUMMER!!!!

sort of

The sun is not out but school is so we're going with it.

Our calendar is filling up fast and we're exhausted excited just thinking about all the fun we're going to have! Fischer isn't a baby anymore SIGH so it will be easier to be out and about (I think. Maybe not. Actually definitely not.) since I won't have to carry him everywhere I'll just chase him instead. This week was supposed to be a bunch of lake time, but since it's only in the low 60s we're doing laundry instead (fun!).

Tomorrow I'm going for a long run (we're aiming for at least 11 miles) since it will probably be one of our last long runs before the half marathon and I'm not going to lie: I could pee my pants I'm so nervous and unprepared.

Before school was out, the kids each read (and documented) a bunch of books and earned tickets to watch the local baseball team play, so Jeff and I are planning to take them Thursday night to the game. We did two years ago and they absolutely loved it. We're going to try to find somewhere to leave Fischer so that it will be a special treat for the big kids (they'll get all of our attention instead of us tag teaming with the baby toddler).

Saturday my older brother will be getting here from Boise and we haven't seen him in over a year! We're stoked to spend a bit of time with him. Sunday is a BIG family reunion for my Dad's side of the family and I literally can't wait to see my cousins (and meet all their spouses and kids!) and introduce them to mine - it's been years since we've seen them!

Then Monday we leave for our BIG trip.

We're going to be taking 3 weeks and driving to Alaska and back.

{I told you it was big.}

I feel like I have so much to do in the next 6 days that I can't even imagine actually being ready (so it doesn't feel real still) but it will indeed happen and I can't wait!

So, that's what our plans are for the next month. :) Like I said, Summer is filling up fast, but it should be fun!

Here's to taking it one day at a time! :)

perfect schmerfect

I've been thinking a lot about this space I have here for a while now. What it used to be. What it seems to be now. What I want it to be in the future. I have come to zero conclusions except that I think I have had too many expectations (ie: I read too many amazing blogs and then do the comparing thing) and I just need to be myself...and be okay with what that is right now.

My space here will never be perfect. I will never have a post with no mistakes in it. My thoughts may be shallow and scattered and I very well may roll my eyes when I come back and read them later. I will never (I highly doubt) blog consistently (remember that one time when I had four kids? yeah. that.) but I've decided to not walk away from it even though it's sporadic and the writing-of-the-thoughts are few and far between because this place, my space, it's like a mini-journal of my life with the people that fill my heart. I can't write for anyone else but me and I have to just write what I write and leave it at that.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


This may or may not have been an instant message to my friend yesterday:

"I just totally freaked about a mole on my arm I hadn't seen before. It was pretty big. It was fudge. I need a nap."