Thursday, September 27, 2012

A few minutes to reflect...

Maybe it is because I haven't felt good now for 3 weeks...Maybe it is because I have a slow day and I'm not hurrying off to workout or run errands...but today as my 3 younger kids crossed the road to go to school I stopped and watched and thought about how much I love them and lucky I am to be their mother.

I love how Brooklyn holds Chloe's hand to cross the busy street.

I love how Nathan is always running everywhere he goes.

I love that Chloe wears a dress or skirt everyday that she can and I love how cute they look with her pink converse.

I love that Nathan always looks back at me and blows me a kiss for the whole world to see.

I love that Nathan usually has bed hair and doesn't care (I gave up that battle a long time ago).

I love that Brooklyn likes to go to school with her younger siblings even though she is at school 45 minutes early everyday because whether she would say it or not she loves being with her family.

I love that Nathan is always wearing sport shorts and he loves the way he looks in them.

I love that Brooklyn is so responsible and concerned all the time-while Nathan is blowing me a kiss she is reminding him to pay attention to the road and the cars.

I'm thankful today for a few minutes to reflect on my blessed life:)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Conversations with my 5 year old....

On 9-9-2012

Chloe: "Mom, do you remember when you were little and Clayton was in your tummy?"

Me: "Yes, I remember."

Chloe: "Were you awake when they cut your tummy so he could get out?"

Me: "They didn't have to cut my tummy to get Clayton out."

Chloe: "How did he get out then!"

Me: "Ummmmmmmmm...(and then some silence-taking my time so I would use the right word."

Chloe: "Oh I know, did he come out like the baby goats do?"

Me: "Yep-that's how he came out:)"

On 9-11-2012

Our family was all driving in the car and Scott was having the kids share their favorite memories of me for my B-day.  They had all shared memories except for Chloe and when it was her turn she took a moment to think and then began to share one of her favorite memories of which I was not a part.  All 3 of my others kids stopped her...

Brook: "Chloe, we are sharing our favorite memories of mom. That story has nothing to so with mom."

Chloe: "Well, this isn't fair cuz I don't know any of mom's memories!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gone Country!

Entry Before
Entry Before
Entry After

Entry and Formal Room After

Master Before

Master After

Master Bathroom Before

Master Bathroom Before

Master Bathroom After

Master Bathroom After

2nd Bathroom Before

2nd Bathroom After

2nd Bathroom After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

New Pantry

Kitchen After

Backyard Before

Backyard & Patio After

It has been a long time but I am going to attempt to blog again.  As most of you know we have been a little distracted for the past 3 months and have not quite been ourselves.  What started out as another "flippin house" turned into a "flippin" tough life lesson and a new place to call home.  It has not been easy but despite the work, worry and expense we now live in a  home that we absolutely love and I can honestly say I never want to move again.

In May we purchased this home with the intent to sell.  Within a week we had fallen in love with the property, the neighbors and the options county property would give us in the future. It made no sense to either Scott or I but the pull to this property was undeniable.  I know many of you thought we were crazy as well.  You were right!  Had we not been blinded by the 40ft poplar trees and the acre and a half of blank canvas we would not have jumped in as quickly as we did.  We must love this place because we have sacrificed all other material belongings to make this work.  We are now starting over...literally like newly weds on Little house on the prairie:)  We are so thankful for the support of you who have helped us out and in some cases bailed us out of what seemed like an unending nightmare of a remodel.

The Good News
This paragraph will be short! We continue to fight the bank on the appraisal and cannot truly move on until that happens but there is good news.
*   The bulk of the work is done.
*   I look out my back window every morning and see the the pictures above.
*   We can and are raising animals.  Something we have wanted to do with our kids for years.
*   I have been reminded through this of the importance of family and friends...don't know where we would be.....?
*    My house is smaller = easy to clean:)
*    My kids are happy and Nathan, my Tom Sawyer, is truly in his element.
*    My husband is in his too....
*    I can put my old fridge in my driveway and nobody will say a %*## * thing!
       (I would never do so but it is nice to know I can)
*    My marathon training is over! What seemed impossible ( running 15 or 18 or 20 miles after worry, no sleep  and lots of tears) actually helped me get out of bed and cope through the stress. Thank you Jenny:)

We have officially Gone Country:)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Team Arizona for 26.2

It all started for me on my birthday this year when my hubby said "Hey, for your birthday I would like to buy you a plane ticket and send you with your friends to run in Santa Barbara" to run in my first full marathon. I had already made the decision not to run-for lots of reasons, and Jenny, Tiffany and Marisol were already 2 months into their training. I wasn't really sure what to think. I was waiting for the 'right' time; maybe when my kids were a little older or when I didn't have so many other commitments. I finally decided that there would never be the 'right' time; now is as good a time as any! I jumped right into training and I have to say there -never- is a perfect time and I am so glad I took the challenge:)

This is Team Arizona getting ready to board the plane to Santa Barbara (a very little plane I might add, with a crazy pilot, as you can see from the pic). It really took a team effort to prepare for this race: beyond the 5 of us it took very dedicated husbands and children, extended family and friends. While we were waiting in the dreaded porta-potty line before the race we met a group from Santa Barbara who had been training together and during the race we passed (I like saying that) one of the men and he yelled 'there goes team Arizona' and I loved the sound of that.

The morning of the race went very smooth except for a 30 minute late start time. The first 8 miles went pretty smooth but I never felt like I hit my groove. At mile 4 I began to feel my right foot go numb but I had experienced that during my last few long runs and thought I could probably manage. My favorite parts of the race were seeing my brother and his family; it really gave me the boost I needed to keep enduring, especially at mile 18 when I felt like my right foot needed to be cut off and I knew I still had the 'hill' to overcome.

Jenny and I had planned and trained to complete our marathon in 3 hr and 45 minutes and we really felt like that was a reasonable goal. At mile 16 I felt that goal slipping away and I was frustrated that I couldn't make my body go any faster. At that point I decided to just try and enjoy where I was at and who I was with and keep putting one foot in front of the other and finish:) As I crossed the finish line I felt and overwhelming sense of gratitude! I was of course so glad to be done but it was so much more than that--

I was sooooo grateful for My brother and his family for driving 2 hours to follow me along a 26.2 mile route for 4 hours with 4 kids, and make me amazing signs, to root me on. It made all the difference:)

This is what got me through mile 8.

This is what got me through mile 18!

I was so grateful for my teammates! Marisol, Tiffany, Jenny and Minnie-I love you! We had trained so many hours and miles and even though we may have complained through little sleep and alot of aches and pains-training is half the fun and most of the memories:) Jenny and I had planned to run our own races and I had hoped that would mean we would be together most of the race but we were prepared to separate if we needed to. I was so grateful that on race day we crossed the finish line together!


I was so grateful for my family at home rooting me on. My kids had to be so much more independent on all those mornings I was off running. They had to put up with my grumpiness in the evenings when the exhaustion set in. I was so thankful for a husband and his willingness to support my crazy ventures and fly me around to finish lines and stay home to support the kids to boot!

This image came to my cell phone as I crossed the finish line:)

This is my brother giving Jenny knucks. He thought we did amazing even though we didn't quite reach our goal. He did mention 'St. George' within minutes of us crossing the finish line, and yes I need some time off but I think St. George is in my future:)

Me and my brother:)

Genine, Isabella, Sariah, Me, Colton, Noah and Pat-you guys ROCK and so did the cupcakes!

Team Arizona
Minnie, Marisol, Tiffany, Me, Jenny

In-N-Out after our stomachs settled down. YUM!

I was so grateful for the day ahead-no where I had to be, eating great food, sleeping on the beach, going to see a movie and 1 really, really good nights sleep.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Things I thought I'd never do...

We all probably have lists of things we don't want or need to experience. I like to think of it as setting our personal boundaries. We know our own limits and capabilities and we are just protecting ourselves. I've thought a lot about this the last couple of weeks and I think instead of setting boundaries for myself I was setting 'limits' for my life experience and achievements.

In high school I tried track one season and then swore I would never be a runner; in fact I was so sure that something that hurt so bad could not be good for you. I am now training for a marathon and running is my therapy.

I always knew I wanted children but if I had known what I know now back before I had kids, they would have been an addition to 'the list'. Who wants to give yourself shots twice a day for the entire pregnancy, experience preterm labor, bed-rest, magnesium sulfate and the OR table willingly? I now have 4 beautiful children and they light up my life.

I went to high school and college and met and married Scott in Southern California and we both loved it there. We never even considered that we might be asked to make a job transfer, let alone to the desert of Arizona. Scott and I have lived in Arizona for over 12 years now and there is no other place we would rather be.

I never have had the desire to try Sushi. Raw fish! Why would you eat that? I tried it for the first time about 3 weeks ago with my brother and sister-in-law; it was yummy:)

I have also told myself for years that I would never be a pet owner-at least an owner of the pets that my kids really want. I am a little obsessive of my home, I have children with allergies, I just don't have the time! All the other 'I'll never do's' have been crossed off the list-so here goes.

As I reflect on this 'list' I am amazed that in experiencing some of these things I thought I never would my life has been enriched. I am more empowered and confident and happy. This video reminds of those visa commercials that I love so much:

puppy: $75
pad and blanket: $27
chew toys: $5
dog food, treats & shampoo: $20

watching my kids reaction to meeting the new member of our family: PRICELESS

Makes me wonder: what else is on my list of 'things I thought I'd never do'?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Restoring Honor

As many of you know, we made a trip to Washington DC in August to attend the "Restoring Honor" Rally. We went with my Sister Kim, and Darrin and Liza Larsen and we had a blast.

We by no means are political activist, nor was this a political event, but we felt this gathering was different than any in history and we wanted to be there. It was Organized by Glenn Beck, and proceeds benefited the Wounded Warrior Foundation.

Like the ghostly shoeless Joe Jackson in the movie "field of Dreams” I seemed drawn to this event like I was supposed to be there. The real theme of the event, and I think what excited me (a guy who does not travel) and so many other Americans to travel to Washington, was the message of faith and personal accountability. A message we don't hear enough in today's society, at least not publicly. A message that restoring honor “in our self first” is the only real change we can or should believe in, and until that happens we cannot expect it from Washington.

The whole weekend seemed to transcend politics by bringing people of all faiths together to confirm those beliefs we have in common, that God loves us, that America did not just happen by accident, but by divine providence, that its founding was a miracle, its constitution inspired and the belief in the unique idea that man, if taught correct principles ( religion), can govern himself. This American experiment has lead to the creation of the most free, the most prosperous, most powerful and most generous nation in the history of mankind. The importance of knowing our true history and teaching it to our children was also a stressed.

Just as important was the message that our country has not always been good, that we live with the scars of our mistakes and have suffered because of them but must not focus on them or exploit them for political power. Like individual sin, as a nation we must learn from those mistakes, turn to God and become better through his redemptive power. Redemption is real! It was a moving experience, an awakening, and I felt like I had wet eyes all weekend. From the Lincoln Memorial, to a religious event on Friday where Chuck Norris made me cry like a baby, (not with a round-house kick, but buy reading the words of Washington, Jefferson and Adams), to Mount Vernon, to the Rally itself and Arlington National Cemetery. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and left proud, humbled and with a desire to be a better American.

Thomas Jefferson said if we are to preserve history we need to include it in architecture. These giant stone memorials do just that. The Gettysburg Address as well as both Lincoln's inaugural addresses are inscribe inside the walls. It is a sacred place.
A special program was put on by Glenn and his wife on Friday night at the Kennedy Center. Tickets were impossible to get but we thought we had an in. Amber, Kim and myself showed up at the VIP desk hours before hoping there were tickets for us but no luck. After talking to the girls at Mercury radio and telling them our story, and waiting for 2 1/2 hours, they hooked us up. We were stoked! We made a mad dash to the Hotel to get Darrin and Liza and change cloths and took a wild cab ride back to the Kennedy center. This night was full of gospel music, short sermons from five different Preachers, Pastors and a Rabbi, words from the founding fathers were read, history was taught, and Glenn gave a short but moving talk. It was a diverse group of Religious leaders all brought together by a common theme. That is that Faith in God was key to the founding of our nation and must continue to be if we are to remain a free people.
An hour before the rally on Saturday the mall was full from Lincoln to Washington. There is power in unity and unity is essential to our nations future. The powers at work to divide us on every level are deliberate and toxic, but there is something good happening in our country. After standing shoulder to shoulder with close to a half million fellow patriots of all Faiths, I believe we will weather the coming storms and probably be better for it. There may still be pain in our future, but If we turn to God in word and deed, acknowledge his hand in all things and seek his guidance, miracles will happen.
Mount Vernon was incredible! Washington was an amazing man. Talk about honor! This guy wrote the book. One thing that was said at the Rally that has stayed with me is, "our generation may not have the next Washington or Lincoln, but we may be raising him or her." That is humbling. Ive decided my children must know our history, they must understand that "firm reliance on divine providence" are not just eloquent words the founders put in the Constitution, but a road map left to us by inspired men who knew we would loose our way. Men that had studied all forms of goverment and knew that when we are not a moral and religious and self governing people, this form of government does not work and we risk loosing those freedoms that they and so many since them have fought and sacrificed to preserve.
The changing of the guard was powerful and Arlington is the perfect place to reflect on Honor, and freedom and sacrifice.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Memory of a Lifetime:)

Lake Powell vacations deserve at least one post for each day-we'll see how motivated I get. Here is a music video made this last trip that gives a perfect glimpse into the FUN of Lake Powell.

Thank you to the amazing Production Team of........Lee Varney!