Thursday, February 7, 2013


The other day Farrah, Rand and I met Blythe's preschool class at the library.  This guy was in charge of reading to and doing activities with the kids.  He was quite entertaining and the kids loved him.  He also played the banjo for them.  I realized that this was the first time I had seen someone play the banjo live, and I liked it.  The End

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Instagram Challenge

My sister in law Candice tagged me on instagram to write 5 things about myself you might not know.  Read on and you might learn something... or you might not. I have a big mouth and I've probably already told you all of this and more! 

I am probably the most un-romantic person you know, and I have a hard time telling people how I feel. Don't laugh! Let me explain... I AM very opinionated, and I'm not afraid of confrontation if it come to that, but when someone is meaningful to me (I care deeply or love them) I have a hard time expressing it. The vulnerability required to do so is hard for me. It's something I'm working in because I know I can come off as cold when I'm really just scared.

Speaking of overcoming #1 I will say that I am very grateful that I met and married the love if my life at a young age. There were times I wondered why we were so drawn to each other because we are SO different, but over the years I have come to believe that he is perfect for me. There is no way I would be he person I am today (the good parts:) if I was with anyone else. I love him more everyday (even when he drives me crazy:) and I kind of don't like to think about it too much because it makes me feel emotional which I don't like... Are you sensing a pattern to my dysfunction here???

There are two things I have a passion for now that I never would have thought possible: the Grand Canyon & cycling. I love the GC! It's a little embarrassing, but there are nights I lie awake thinking about my next trip there. There have also been nights when Nick has told me to please put my maps away and just come to bed:) I feel pretty much the same way about my bike. I've never been athletic at all and it's the first thing I feel like I actually have the potential to be good at. I love the high I feel at the end if a good ride.

Most people who knew me in my pre-Nick days are surprised I settled down young and have a biggish family. Don't know what that says about me, but we won't go there today! There are times we look at each other and say "I cant believe we have 5 kids!" I am so grateful that after some trouble getting pregnant the first time I was able to conceive, carry, and give birth to my babies. After watching my own mom's experience I try never to take fertility for granted.

One of the best decisions I made was to have my last two babies at home. I know it's not for everyone and I get why it makes some people uncomfortable. For me it was amazing! It's hard to explain but it has changed and "grown" me in so many ways. I love and appreciate my body like I never have before. I know that it is strong and can do almost anything I ask of it whether its giving birth, hiking 40 miles in a day, cycling crazy distances, or just taking care of my family, I can do it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fall in January

After the big freeze a couple of weeks ago all the leaves on the trees finally died off.

We came home from a weekend away to find that the wind had blown them all off.

The driveway was covered and the kids wanted photos.

Now that I think about it this is how it is most years. The leaves don't really give up until January.  Funny how it is so different from most places in the US. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sick Days

Everyone has been sick...
 They look like this...
I am sick of sick kids!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today... check

*Nick home from work (today and tomorrow too:)... check
*Plans to ride 40 miles on my bike... check.
*The beginnings of a sinus infection... check.
*Nick asked to cover a sick coworkers shift tomorrow on his day off... check
*Finding out Nick's scout activity for tonight is moved up 2 hours and I won't be able to ride... check
*Trouble dealing with disappointment over the fact that because of Nick's extra shift and activity                     change I won't be able to ride and will miss my mileage goal for January:(
*Errand to get the wood for bunk bed project... check

*Head pounding, pressure, feeling horrible... check
*Lunch out with Nick and ONLY 2 kiddos... check
*Errand took less time than anticipated and I can still fit in a ride... ensuing happiness... check
*Arrive home, medicate, medicate, medicate... check
*Go on a pretty good ride even though its ten miles shorter than I planned... check
*Rush home and send Nick off... check
*Decide to abandon kids chores: just for tonight it's homework only:)... check
*Kids mostly cooperate with me and each other, hallelujah!... check
*Get kids showered, fed & in bed... check
* Long, hot, much needed bath while I wait for Nick to come home... Check

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

photo regrets

This weekend Nick and I took my dad & MaryAnne out to dinner to celebrate his birthday.   My sister watched the kids and it was nice to get out with just adults.  We had good food, good conversation, and it was nice to catch up.  But I regret that I didn't take a picture of us together.

Later that night Nick stayed at my dad's to put the kids to bed and I went out with a couple of my oldest and most cherished friends.  It was an amazing time and I left them feeling refreshed and inspired as always.  I love those girls so much!  But I regret that I didn't take any pictures.

Can you see a pattern here?

I have learned my lesson, and I won't make that mistake again.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Like it, love it, can't live without it

The fact that Nick has decided to build something similar to this!  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Wars

It has been pretty cold here for the past few days.  It's no big deal compared to most places, but here in the desert we are definitely not used to these temperatures.  This morning it was 14 degrees when I took my kids to school! 
The problem is these children of mine don't quite know how to handle this crazy weather.  I have one who majorly over compensates.  For example, this morning he dressed in 5 jackets and sweaters and he doesn't start school until noon.  The we have those on the other end of the spectrum.  The others refuse to wear anything more than a hooded sweatshirt!  No matter how much I nag they will NOT dress warmly.  

Its been kind of funny. I keep putting warm things in their backpacks, but I'm pretty sure they aren't using them.  Oh well, hopefully their teachers don't think I'm a neglectful mother:)   I guess the old saying is true... You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Like it, love it, can't live without it

Bagging a summit...

and finally breaking my South Mountain curse! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mt. Lemmon

The week after Christmas we went to check out the snow.  

Trip sponsored by my dad...
Thanks to for saving almost every piece of snow clothing me, my brother, 
and sister wore growing up:)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Puppy Genius?

When my oldest two kids are around they tend to hog the dog:)  Rand has been so excited that school started up again because now he gets more alone time with little Blitz.  Today he was in my room have "his turn" when I heard him calling me.  I was kinda busy so I continued my chores as I said "What do you need?" Then he would yell "Just come here!".  Eventually I figured it was in everyones best interest for me to check out the situation:)  I walked onto this scene.  

Rand then told me that he had crawled in the kennel to see how big it was and Blitz had locked him in.  Even after I expressed my disbelief he persisted saying that "Blitz is a really smart dog mom!"  This kid cracks me up sometimes.  Now I'm thinking maybe I can hire the dog to babysit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Holy Mackerel Charlie

That is what my Grandpa used to say when he was amazed by something.  
I am amazed by something today and so that little phrase popped into my mind and I decided to share it.
Good memories:)
Anyway, what am I amazed about you ask?
Well it is the fact that I am so VERY far behind in posting about some of my very favorite things that have happened in the last few months.
This list is to get me pumped up about catching up.  Ready? Here goes....

Route 66 bike ride
(Also known as Tour de PRH)

The amazing, ambitious, and intense Grand Canyon hike

Halloween for goodness sake!

Tour de Tucson

The Holidays
(Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years)

Not sure if I feel pumped or intimidated, but there you have it!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Like it, love it, can't live without it

Our new little puppy "Blitz", which is short for Blitzen:)   

Friday, November 9, 2012

Five Things for Friday

First, I need to remind myself that I still haven't blogged about the Grand Canyon.  It was just such an intense trip that I am lacking the energy to tackle it right now.  I'll get to it sometime, just not sure when.

Speaking of that trip, I am still suffering from a knee injury I got when I was in the canyon.  My knee issues are putting a considerable damper on my Tour de Tucson plans and just bumming me out all around. Never again will I do a marathon hike this close to a big bike race.

We've had some interesting ups and downs in getting Blythe immunized.  Here she is at her last appointment.  So glad she is up to date, at least until the next school year.  It has truly been a pain, no pun intended

This little lady is growing up fast and is turning out to be quite the drama queen:)

This week has been a sick one.  Starting with Channing last weekend a sore throat/ fever/ cough has slowly been working its way through the household.  We've all had symptoms to some degree or other.   Quite a bit of school has been missed and this weekend we are taking it easy, and hoping some rest and relaxation will do the trick.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Alien socks

There are SO many other more interesting topics I should be blogging about today.  I could write about my adventure in the Grand Canyon last month, or about my birthday, or Nick's birthday, or Halloween.

The list is long and attractive.  Instead I am going to bring up something unattractive: The socks you see pictured above.

Those are Nick's new cycling socks, for real, and totally seriously.  I will try to explain by making three points....

1. When Nick finds an article of clothing that makes him more comfy his devotion is instantaneous.
2. He  loves (and I mean loves) a good bargain.
3. Combine this product devotion with a bargain price on ebay and we have a recipe for alien/ sunburst/ racing flag cycling socks.

I thought I would be able to sway him to abandon the idea of wearing them in public by giving him a hard time.  I teased him, and bugged, him and told him how ugly the socks were.  I said that the guy who sold them on ebay was probably laughing right now at the poor sucker who actually paid money for these socks.

I should have known better.  I had momentarily forgotten who I was talking to.  If I had given even a tiny bit of thought about the way Nick's mind works I could have foreseen that my plan would backfire.  As anyone who knows him well you have probably already predicted that my arguments only strengthen his resolve to wear those ugly socks with pride.

Needless to say, he has now decided to wear the worst of the worst (aliens) at the Tour de Tucson next week.  I don't know who is more excited, him to simultaneously show off his ugly socks and irritate me, or the socks to ACTUALLY be worn for the first time.

It should be an interesting conversation piece to say the least:)  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I sure like these guys.

I thought about writing that I am bummed out today about the way the election turned out.  Then I decided not to because I don't want to think about it right now. If I write about it then I AM thinking about it.  Also I prefer not to talk about politics very often, and also not on this blog.

So instead I will think about my cute baby.  That guy she's sitting on is not a bad thought either.  I leave you with that.
The End

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Funny Fear

Yes, I am afraid of these.  

Does anyone else remember these?  

You put a blob of goo on the end of the straw and blow it up into a strange kind of plastic bubble.  

Well I remember them well.  They made me nervous when I was a child.  

I never trusted myself to blow a bubble.  I was too afraid that somehow I would involuntarily inhale at the worst possible second and get the goo in my mouth or worse suck it into my lungs.  In terms of irrational fears I think this may take the cake!  

The other day Nick and I were at dinner with some friends and my irrational fear of these came up.  One of our friends found it highly amusing.  In the course of the conversation he brought up something else that freaks me out.  It is called a blow dart.  I don't think I need to elaborate here, do I?

A few days later I was walking through the grocery store when I spotted (and took a photo) of B'loonies.  I thought it was pretty ironic that after not seeing any for probably 20 years I ran into some that same week.

The world works in mysterious ways.

This one's for you Neal! I don't really think you read my blog.  That's ok, because your wife does and she will tell you about it.  Then you will get to laugh again at my irrational fears.  Enjoy:)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Like it, love it, cant live without it

This dude, cause he is pretty awesome!

Friday, October 19, 2012

5 things for Friday

These little beauties are a major staple in our house.  The world isn't right unless Blythe has her "princess shoes".  The bad news is we left one of them at Grandma's house almost two weeks ago.  It was tough news to break to her when we got home with only one, but she has managed to make do with her pink crocs.  The good news is that we are headed back up there tomorrow so we can finally get it back!  

Saturday is my little brothers 18th birthday!!! I can't believe it. I mean really, seriously, I can't believe it.  It seems like just yesterday he was 4 and embarrassing the heck out of me in front of my friends.  Who would have though he'd turn out so great;) I'm excited to go and celebrate with him.  I am gonna take him on a bike ride and pound him into the ground.  We will follow that up with a nice big birthday breakfast, my treat, to make him feel better about letting a girl half his size beat him!  At least I hope that's how it goes down... otherwise I am going to feel really stupid for writing this:)

In other news we have been watching the debates and rooting for our candidate.  We like to call him "Mittens".  

Next week if all goes as planned I will blog about my Route 66 bike ride.  It was fun, and a little painful, and at times hot, but mostly just fun.    

I also plan on reporting on my Grand Canyon trip next week.  The Canyon beat me up a little bit this time, but I still remain faithful and dedicated.  That's saying something given the way I felt the last two miles.  You'll see!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

This year we had yet another great Labor Day weekend at Apache Lake!  Now that the kids are getting older they spend a lot more time out on the water.  Their current favorite lake activity is knee boarding. 

My brother and sister joined us and they were awesome company and amazing help with the little kids! I just love having those guys around:)

Farrah was not such a a big fan of the water.  I think it was mainly because swimming meant that she was taken away from mommy!

Rand swimming with his shoes on.  There were some sharp rocks out there!

I forced Ains to come back and get her picture taken before we left.

Channing is my silly boy.

We even had some quality family-bed time with Aunt Candice.  This is one of those memories that will mostly be appreciated by those involved:)

It was a nice relaxing weekend.  In fact I think this year will go on my favorite's list as far as these labor day trips go.  Now we're already counting down the days until next year:)

Here we are climbing up fish creek road back to civilization.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Madera x3

After I finally made my first successful trip all the way to the top of Madera Canyon I made it a goal to do this ride at least once a month. I did it myself the first time, and the second time with a local friend.  For my third trip up I invited my sister in law Candice.  

Bathroom break and she's still smiling:)

Here I am waiting at the top.  It felt so nice to sit down and give my legs a break.  

It was fun to have company and hopefully I can talk her into to doing this ride with me again:)