Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year 2016!

Tomorrow is the last day of 2015. The years seem to go by faster and faster with age. Makes me sad.

This year we have achieved a lot of goals and checked a lot of to do's off the list. But, there are always more goals to make.

In 2015 we had goals of travel, running and buying a new car. We traveled to Florida in May as a big family vacation. Loved Captiva and we hope to return some day. We also spent much of July at the Lake of the Ozarks. The kids are only young once, and the Lake is the perfect place to spend summer. I also made my way to Chicago to run the Chicago Marathon with my friend Jen. I am not sure that was on my check list for 2015, but I went anyway! It was a fun weekend, but I am not sure I am up to doing that again this year. And, we did buy not only one car but 2 cars. Yeah! We don't have to look to do that anytime soon. We are set. Additionally, we added a 5th bedroom to our home this year. We had considered adding it for a while but just needed the right contractor.  We also replaced the carpet on the main level after too many foster dogs ruined our current carpet. And, to make things interesting, Chris started a new job AGAIN, at Nelnet in Omaha. All in all, it was a good year.

Let's see...2016 Goals.
1. The Boston Marathon! Yes, I am signed up, room and flights booked and WE ARE ALL GOING!! I am following an intense 12 week program to get me geared up and ready. Honestly, I am not going for a PR. I am going to run the Boston Marathon and hope to finish without getting so sick that I forget the next 5 to 6 hours. Afterall, my entire family will be there supporting me.
2. Yellowstone. We have a vacation to Yellowstone planned this year, rooms booked and ready to go. This will be one road trip to remember.
3. Back to the Lake. Yes, we will return to the Lake a few times this year. Alivia hopes to celebrate turning 12 at the Lake with friends in May, then returning for a longer period, with Grandma and Grandpa we hope, in July.
4. Chris hopes to go on a hiking trip with his brother. I am not sure what mountain or anything about the trip except they are going in July (when we are probably at the lake). So, Chris probably will not get to the Lake in July. :(
5. Weekend away for our anniversary. We skipped this trip this year due to Chris coaching soccer. Next year, I am scheduling it and the assistant soccer coach will have to take over. Seriously, its a volunteer position after all. :)
6. Chris hopes to build some sort of extended patio. We will see if it gets that done. Last year I did garden for the first time EVER and I hope to continue that this year. I may even start my indoor garden soon. Other home projects include continuing to recarpet our home, adding a door to our master bedroom (yes, we do not have a door!), and other odds and ins (like organizing the garage and utility room - fun stuff right?!?). I know, last year I said we would move some place warm. Well, with Chris' next job! He did not have too much time to consider his job change this next time its going south baby!

Tomorrow we will celebrate the end of the amazing 2015 and the beginning of 2016. The kids have friends coming for a sleepover party. It will be one big PARTY here. :) Bring out the chips and dip!

Happy New Year!!

Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas came as a surprise white Christmas this year. They were saying on the news there was a 98% chance of there NOT being a white Christmas, then low and behold it snowed on Christmas Eve Day and has snowed a little more since. I, for one, think now that Christmas is over, BRING ON SPRING!

Our Christmas was quiet. The week leading up to Christmas the kids were home from school. On Monday we went bowling. On Tuesday the kids went with Grandma Kathy to see the Chipmunks movie. I bought the tickets to go with friends. However, I got sick with the stomach flu and could not go. Wednesday and Thursday were spent at home and shopping to prepare for Christmas and Christmas dinner.

Christmas was quiet. The kids got up at 7 and opened their 8 presents each. Alivia got clothes, room decor (like a sheep skin rug, door mirror, etc), Addison got a big dog print, clothes and a new bike, and Asher got an iPad Mini, under armour clothes (I should really buy stock in the company), and a soccer bag. Chris and I got cars. Enough said. :)

My parents came for our quiet dinner followed by more presents. The girls got American Girl Dolls that look like them and legos, and Asher got soccer gear. Asher is a tough one. My mom got him some crazy skateboard thing that Asher insists we have to return (but I have yet to do).

We had a fun day. Chris said my cooking was horrible, but that's okay as long as we were together. Although I was no longer vomiting, I was nauseous for a week. Needless to say, I did not feel like cooking or eating. I am all better now though.

Now onto New Years Week. The kids have been keeping me busy with sleepovers, playdates and going sledding. We had more snow on Monday so we took all the Christmas stuff down (what Chris didn't take down on Saturday December 26!) and cleaned up the house. Yesterday we went sledding, to Costco and finished the day seeing the New Star Wars movie at a 7pm showing. The kids could not believe it when the movie was over that they were the only kids in the theater! :)

Merry Christmas. We have enjoyed this break but I know reality is right around the corner. Best get back to sledding!!

2 New Cars

That's right, on December 18, Chris and I purchased 2 new cars. I've decided that buying cars is kinda like child birth. It is very painful, expensive but the end result is usually worth it. :)

As I have posted, I have been looking for the perfect non van family car for a while. I fell in love with the Buick Enclave for its roomy interior. What I did not like was that it was so much more expensive but lacked the technology that we found on much less cars in its class. I also loved the Acura MDX. LOVED that car. However, Alivia crawled into the back and said it was just too small. I knew she was right...but it was such a sweet car. It also preferred premium gas. We did not want to deal with that!

When Honda came out with its 2016 Pilot, I knew it was worth a shot. We saw it, it was roomy, had the ease to get into the back like the MDX had, and I was sold. Our van had 115000 miles on it and was 10 years old. Our Toyota Camry had 97000 miles on it and was 10 years old, too, on 12/15/16. So, I proposed to Chris that we buy 2 cars. He thought I was nuts. But, we had money saved to buy one and could get a loan for the second. I am not a fan of car loans, either, but we could pay it down quickly. So, it was decided. We would get the 2016 Honda Pilot and the 2016 Honda Civic.

On the last day of November we went into Superior Honda to purchase. It was snowy and yucky out and the last day of the month. They did not want to sell us cars on that day. We should have taken our business elsewhere. But, we are dumb.

We ended up, what we thought, ordering new cars from them. The cars on the lot they said were traded. Not true actually. The civic was used to test drive the hell out of. It had 65 miles on it the end of November and when we went to pick it up it had 371 miles on it!! They did not tell us this until they had our money and the dealership was closed. They actually never did tell us...we read it on the last sheet we signed. How crocked it that?!?! With that kinda of miles we could have bought used. I was not happy and let them know ( the pilot had the appropriate 9 miles on it). They didn't care at all. They gave Chris a free oil change and sent us on our way.

One, I will NEVER GO BACK TO SUPERIOR HONDA EVER! I can not believe they can stay open doing business like this. I will be giving the free oil change away. Seriously. And, it will be a while before we buy new cars.

The cars are great. Well, until Chris came home with the pilot yesterday and cracked the windshield. $1000!!! and the windshield is on backorder for 45-90 days. Nice. I have not even driven it yet!! Now I get it all broken. Sweet. Thankfully insurance will pay for some when spring comes and the windshield becomes available.

So far, both cars work for what we purchased them for. The civic gets great gas mileage. Chris drives to work alone and rarely has kids in his car. If he does, it is to drive one kid to soccer. The civic is actually quite spacious and has a lot of backseat room and trunk room in this 2016 model. Chris had to get the turbo addition, which if anything, makes it a quicker car to steal. (Civics get stolen A LOT). We are hoping this car will be driven by our kids in a few short years and Chris will finally get a car he wants to drive (maybe a Jeep Wrangler, but we will see).

I can't say much about the Pilot because I have not driven it much. I do like the big console in the middle. It offers a lot of space for handbags, ipads, etc. It is kinda difficult for Asher to get into the back seat of the Pilot without help. But, with time, hopefully he will get the hang of it. Afterall, it is not a van.

In the end, I am just happy to not have to go to a dealership. Those places are total nightmares! It will take me at least 10 years before I'm ready to return.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Missing Ipad

For Addison's 9th birthday, she received an iPad. She broke her iPod 2 years ago, maybe 6 months after getting it (if that). We were reluctant to give the girl anything after that and the many things she had broken since.

But we gave her the iPad Mini anyway.

She loved her iPad. She is our big youtuber...she looks up everything on You Tube, Amazon, etc and sends us her requests. She recently got on the computer to look up the Elf on the Shelf to see funny things people's elves are doing (no pressure or anything).

About 8 weeks ago, Addison revealed to us that she lost her iPad. I was, of course, not happy about it. Addison's room is generally an absolute mess. Walking into her room, you put yourself at risk of not walking out. Her floor is usually covered with toys, stuffed animals, clothes, trash, you name it. Her desk, the same on Alivia has that remains in mint condition, is an absolute mess. It is covered in marker, paint, etc and has trash hanging out of the drawers. Some of the drawers do not have pulls on them even. She is on her second lamp, having broke the previous one. She broke this lamp 2 months after receiving it. The same story on her is a mess.

In summary, Addison is far from responsible or respectful.

Losing the iPad was the last straw.

I, of course, started in her room. I cleaned her room from top to bottom. No luck finding the iPad though. I walked out of her room and she immediately destroyed my cleaned progress. Her desk is now lost in a mess of trash. It didn't last long. Sigh...

I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. No luck. Seriously, what did you do with it Addison? I would ask her. She didn't know.

I told her no to sleepovers and fun things because she lost her iPad. I was beginning to believe she lost it at a soccer game or something. As we tried to trade in our cars, I was worried the iPad was in some hidden compartment and we would not find it (someone else would!).

Today, as I prepare to sleep my days away and work all night for the upcoming future (I work on 2, off 2 back on 2. By off 2 that means sleep one, sleepy the next then back to work), I put on fresh sheets on my bed (which I have done many times since her iPad has gone missing). Today I pushed the mattress up towards the head of the bed and something was sticking out below the mattress on top of the box spring. What is that? I asked myself.

Low and was Addison's iPad!!! She obviously had watched something on our bed or left it on the bed and it had fell down the foot of the bed. Eventually making its resting place on the box spring, covered by the mattress. How in the world that ever happened is BEYOND ME but it is FOUND!! I am amazed. The girl wanted Beats for Christmas and I told her no because she didn't have anything to plug them into! Luckily, I believe Grandma believed and bought headphones for her anyway.

Happy Happy Day! I can hardly wait to show Addison when she gets home from school!!!

Asher's 8th Birthday!

Asher turned 8 years old this past weekend. Unbelievable that our baby is 8!!

The Birthday questions, favorites:
Fav color: Red
Toy: Elf on the Shelf (his says its a toy...hummm).
Fav fruit: Grapes
Fav Show: Jesse
Favorite Lunch: Soup
Fav game: Soccer
Fav snack: Chocolate Graham Crackers
Fav Song: 
Fav book: 
Best Friend: Michael
Fav cereal: Chocolate Special K
fav thing to do outside:play soccer, climb trees, ride his knee electric scooter or new bike
Fav Lemonade
Fav Holiday: Christmas
What do you take to bed with you at night:Coloring books, he colors until he is sleepy.
Fav thing to eat at breakfast:  Eggs and bacon (or pancakes since he asks for me to make them all the time).
What to eat for your birthday? Hamburgers, mashed potatoes, corn and white cake and icecream!
What do you want to be when you grow up? a Computer worker (like Daddy?) or a pilot
On Saturday, we loaded up 8 boys (Asher included) and went to our local movie theater to see The Good Dinosaur. The boys had fun eating popcorn, fruit snack and a drink while watching the movies. The boys were contained and it worked out great!
After the movie, we came back to the house BRIEFLY for cake, ice cream and very nice presents from Asher's friends. Asher's favorites were $20 and $25 gift cards to Dicks that he will put towards new soccer shoes, Air Hogs hover craft toy, legos and a Nerf Gun (or course). The boys were loud! and Chris and I needed noise cancelling headphones to survive it all.
Sunday, his actual birthday, we celebrated with his Grandparents. Per Asher's request, we had hamburgers, mashed potatoes and corn, salad, grapes and a soccer ball vanilla cake. It was all very good. Asher received nice presents from his grandparents including an electric scooter (that is very cool), a bike from us (along with an Under Armour shirt that the Elf took credit for), a radio, the lego city (that they put together that night, and a lot of coloring and activity books. He had a blast. After the girls recovered from their thoughts that Asher got more than they did (seriously!!!!), they had fun playing on and with his new things, too. The weather was wet and crummy, but we were able to make the best of it!

It was a fun weekend spent celebrating. Happy Birthday Asher Wade. We love you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Halloween 2015

Happy Halloween a bit late!

This year, Asher was a zombie football player, Addison was a voodoo doll and Alivia was a zombie soccer player. Creative huh?

We set out right at 6pm as usual. Yes, we may have been a bit early. But, by the time we walked down the street, the street up from us was coming our way...all 80 kids! It's insane!

We walked Shadow Lake for 2 hours before Asher, Addison and Alivia's friend Lizzy were ready to quit. Alivia finished off the street in front of us and around us. She was quite the trooper.

One week later...the candy is pretty much gone. Crazy, right? 2 hours of walking for one week of eating (and a year supply of dental bills).

Gotta love Halloween!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The 2015 Chicago Marathon

Wonder where we have been?

Between working, 2 kiddos in soccer 4 week nights and at least one weekend day, and training for a marathon...we have been busy!! I never would have thought I would have gone an entire month without blogging...but look, it happened!

So, this last weekend, I ran the Chicago Marathon! The Marathon marks my 3rd marathon, but by no means was it my best marathon. My last marathon, the Omaha Marathon, I finished in 3:41. Chicago I finished in 3:46, 16 minutes under my planned finishing time! What happened?

Really, about mile 13, I was beginning to feel sick. This is typical of marathons for me and I am not sure why. This marathon was a little warm and sunny so I believe this may have been the problem. You see, I sweat VERY LITTLE. So I tend to overheat quickly. The only difference, other than my performance, from training runs to marathons is the time of day I am running. I run predawn in training. I do this because I can not run in the heat.  The problem is, marathons start later. I did not cross the start line until 7:36. Typically, I am finishing up my 22 mile run by this time. See? That's a problem. If only I could run a marathon at 4:30 am I would be set, right?

Jen and I arrived to Chicago Friday evening having drove there. We parked my car at my cousin Dave's and he took us to the Courtyard Marriott River North. The hotel was in a good spot for the marathon really and at a great price. Saturday we settled in, ate dinner at a cool little place and went back to the hotel.

We took the El to the expo Saturday morning. I found the expo a little overwhelming. There was so much I wanted! I did get something for myself, for Jen and for Chris (who could not take off work to come with me). It was a lot of walking. We walked back to the El. We relaxed in the afternoon a bit before doing a little more shopping than I probably should have done but we did it. We ate Chipotle rice bowls for dinner, and went back to the hotel. Although in bed early, I was awake all night it seemed. How many fires are in Chicago anyway? It was loud. And I may have done too good of a job hydrating. It didn't help race day anyway.

As I said, I ran across the start line at 7:36 and I felt great. Crowds cheering. Those I started with sprinted past me. I tried to stay on pace. I looked at my watch and it said nothing. What? The buildings and bridges blocked the GPS so I had no idea what my pace was. Seriously?!?!? That does not do a runner any good. The key is to not go out too fast but I had no idea how fast or slow I was going!! At the first very long bridge, many men and a few women lined up to PEE! No joke here. They were peeing everywhere!! We just started!! Come on. That bridge is going to smell awful for years.

The crowd support was amazing and loud. It kept me going. I met up with Jen who ran with me from mile 6 all the way to the end. She is prepping to run NYC November 1 so had a 20 mile run to get in. It was great to have her there, but I wonder how I would have talked myself into or out of running more in my element. I passed the bar my cousin and my aunt were at around the 10 mile mark. Jen saw them but I missed them. Disappointed but I kept moving. I tried to take in fuel but the nausea was setting in. What is going on. is getting warmer and I am not getting hot. Jen is sweating but I am not. This is a real problem because I can not cool my body temperature.  I struggled from really 16 on. On pace for a 3:29 finish at the half, I finished 3:46. See my struggle?

I ran this one for Chris' Grandma and for Amanda. When I was struggling, I thought of them. I ran Addison Street for my little Addison. It was a short block...but I thought of my Addison the entire time.

We were approaching the finish when we realized where Jen was going to turn off was all barricaded. She was barricaded onto the course. We were more than 800 meters away when we realized she was course trapped. Nothing to do but to finish now. We ran up the ramp, the only real incline on the course, turn the corner, and finished. I even had to walk up the ramp. I was just so sick. Once we finished, I just wanted to sit down. No, the many nice volunteers told us to keep walking. We got metals, then food, then beer, still no place to sit. I saw some runners collapsing. I knew I could not stop. I walked up and got my picture taken, then Jen asked if we could get out of the area and we did. We slowly made our way back to the hotel.

After a shower, I felt horrible. We checked out and Jen tried to catch an Uber car or a cab while I hit the bathroom as the nausea/vomiting and dizziness had completely taken over. I made it into the cab where I soon realized we were locked in. I could not open the door to get sick so go sick all over the cab. Seriously?!?! I was a mess.

We made it to Dave's (my cousins) where I cleaned up, got sick some more, before deciding to make our way home with Jen driving. By 5pm, I was feeling good enough to drive.

Why oh why do I do this to myself?

Now, I am hoping to complete the Boston Marathon this spring. I am hoping it will be cooler so I will not have these issues. One will only hope. If I get sick again and live to talk about it, I will go to only running half marathons. My body clearly rejects running full marathons!

But, once again, I am a marathoner. I am happy that I finished. I was emotional in that I ran such a big event. I would recommend the Chicago Marathon for its flat course, great crowd support, in a great supportive city. Even those at the hotel congratulated us when we returned.

I'm a wife and mother first, marathoner second. So, I may have to slow my training down a notch. We only live once, I know, but I want to live longer. I am not done yet. :)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Addison's 9th Birthday

1. Favorite  color: purple
2. Favorite Toy:  Goldie my Dog
3. Favorite Fruit: apple
4. Favorite TV show:  Kickin It
5. Favorite thing to eat for lunch: mickey mouse lunchable
6. Favorite Outfit:  under armour clothes
7. Favorite Game:  minecraft
8. Favorite Snack: chocolate ice cream sandwich
9. Favorite Animal:  Dog
10. Favorite song:  Shine Jesus Shine
11. Favorite Book:  Lost Dog
12. Best Friend:  Halle H.
13. Favorite Cereal: Cocoa puffs
14. Favorite thing to do outside: swing
15. Favorite drink:  hot chocolate
16. Favorite Holiday:   Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My American Girl Doll
18. Favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Waffle
19. What do you want to eat for your birthday dinner? Mash potatoes, chicken and corn
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?  A vet or a teacher

Addison Rose turned 9 years old in July. This year is special because she had a birthday party sleepover with her friends in June, then we celebrated AGAIN at the Lake of the Ozarks and her friends came down for her birthday weekend to celebrate again!

Addison is our challenge. Unfortunately Addison knows this and plays her part quite well. She is very, very difficult to please. On her birthday, she actually seemed happy...until she realized that Daddy and her friends had to leave. She was NOT HAPPY and let everyone around her know it. She is still working on her coping skills. Chris and I are happy she is just 9 because we are hoping to help her be happy before her teenage years.

Addison loves to spend time with her friends, most of all her little BFF Halle. They spend a lot of time together. Addison is expanding her friends, which is good since Halle is a military child and may move at any time. Addison loves to ride her bike to Grandma's house down the street with her sister, swim, play Barbies and with her American Girl doll her friend Halle gave her for her birthday, watch Netflix on her ipad. Speaking of iPad, Addison got a mini iPad for her birthday and some clothes. Grandma and Grandpas spoiled her with more clothes and Barbie and American girl doll things. Addison goes on YouTube and Amazon and finds all sorts of things she wants. It is quite scary actually. This girl would have you buy the world for her...but I am not sure she would be satified. ;)

In Addison's free time, she plays the piano and volunteers at the Little White Dog Rescue with me. This is helping her heart and mind grow.

Addison...We love you!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Lake of the Ozarks 2015

This year, we decided if we were going to the Lake...we were GOING TO THE LAKE!! So, may as well spend the entire month of July there, right?! Let's do it!!

The kids were excited yet a little apprehensive. They loaded up in the van and Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill drove them to the lake while I worked one more night and slept, meeting them on July 3. The lake is just different. During the weekend it is mass chaos while during the week it is super peaceful. We love it at the lake.

Grandma and Grandpa spend the first 8 days with us. It was wonderful. We mostly stayed at the house and swam, but we also tubed and took boat rides and jet skiied. The kids believe next year they want to try skiing! This year was the first time EVER the lake was no wake for one day due to flooding. Okay, first time I have ever been there. It had been years since this has happened. There was debris all over the lake making it quite hazardous at times.

After they left, we had a few days to relax until Chris and Addison and Alivia's friends came down to join us for a weekend to help celebrate Addison's 9th birthday! It was SO MUCH FUN to celebrate her birthday at the Lake. We may have to do that again (and again and again!). They swam, went shopping, went to the candy store of course, took jet ski rides and more. Her friends had fun, too, we believe anyway. Saying good bye was awful. We were all fine until we had to hug them goodbye. Then, Addison started in saying she wanted to go home.

We spent that week going to the beach, shopping for school at the outlets, swimming and jet skiing. Really...just relaxing. It was really nice.

Our next friends were not to come for 2 more weeks. I was pretty sure Addison would not make it two more weeks, so I begged them to come early. That next weekend, my friend Jen and her son (and Asher's friend Michael) and Alexis came for a long weekend. We did more of the same, playing, swimming, candy store, and more. We all had fun. Alexis, who is 13, helped Alivia and Asher brave up to diving off the dock. They wanted to make sure they did not have to take any more swimming lessons. They were pretty good swimmers by the time we left this year.

We finished up the weekend and headed home shortly there after.

We have a wonderful time at the Lake of the Ozarks every year. I'm already looking forward to returning next year!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Alivia turns 11!

Crazy how our little girl is growing up. On Memorial Day this year, Alivia turned 11 years old. We were in Captiva, Florida for our vacation. She celebrated with her friends the weekend prior and with our family the weekend she had 3! parties (this is a dangerous trend I tell you).

Alivia is growing up. She asked her Grandma Kathy to help her find new bras on a recent shopping trip. Really, she barely needs one but she likes to wear them. That's a good thing I suppose. She likes to be with her friends, Lizzy, Katy, Addison, Gabby, Emma. On the other hand, sometimes I have to remind her to call them. She has just gotten interested into reading...FINALLY...after I told her there was nothing like a good book and reading makes you smarter. She stuck her nose in a book and is liking to read! FINALLY. She is a good runner and enjoys it, but she is obsessed with soccer. She may be a late soccer bloomer, but she is fast. We can only hope for her to grow in the sport quickly so she can play for a while.

Our blond hair little girl is into Justice for Girls clothes, Under Armour clothes, but she still likes to play with her Legos and occasionally with Barbies with her sister. She likes to go to the pool with her friends and likes watching movies and Netflix on her mini iPad.

For her birthday this year, she received a new soccer ball, Under Armour clothing and more. She was more than thrilled. She is always the most appreciative for anything she receives.

Happy Birthday Beautiful Alivia. We love you!

2015 Birthday Questions
1. Favorite  color: pink
2. Favorite Toy:  ipad
3. Favorite Fruit: strawberries
4. Favorite TV show:  Netflix
5. Favorite thing to eat for lunch: strawberries and dip
6. Favorite Outfit:  nike and under armour
7. Favorite Game:  webkins
8. Favorite Snack: chocolate ice cream sandwich
9. Favorite Animal:  puppy/Dog
10. Favorite song:  Shine Jesus Shine
11. Favorite Book:  Stolen Children
12. Best Friend:  Katy and Lizzy
13. Favorite Cereal: Cinnamon Toast Crunch
14. Favorite thing to do outside: soccer
15. Favorite drink:  yellow lemonade
16. Favorite Holiday:   Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Boo Dog
18. Favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Fruit bar
19. What do you want to eat for your birthday dinner? Little Caesars pizza and breadsticks
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?  A vet or a teacher or pro soccer player

Monday, June 08, 2015

Family Vacation to Captiva Island, Florida

A lot has happened in the last month.

Alivia finished the 5th grade and is now onto her last year in elementary school, Addison finished 3rd grade and is onto 4th, and Asher finished first grade and is onto second grade. Gees...our kiddos are growing up!

Right after they got out of school on Thursday May 21, we raced off to the airport for our beach vacation! Yeah!

We arrived at Fort Myers airport and spent the first night in a hotel near the airport. The next morning we got up and swam at the airport before setting off to our home for a week in Captiva Island.
It was perfect, great location, nice furnishing, we loved the pool and it was a quick walk to the beautiful beach! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

The weather was hot, upper 80s, 90s. We would start the day at the pool, then the beach, back to the pool and hopefully back to the beach again. The first several days it rained in the afternoons into the evening hours, so we did not get to the the sun set. Captiva Island is a $6 bridge trip from Fort Myers. Chris did take the trip back over the bridge to check out a local crossfit and grab some much needed groceries for us. The local grocery selection is limited and very expensive. Funny thing is, the kids did not notice. Addison said the best thing about the trip was the food! Very funny! I could have stayed home and fed her and she would have been happy! :)

I am a beach girl. I have a strong desire to live in Florida. With that said, this was the perfect location to spend a week collecting shells, running the beach every morning, playing with the kids, swimming in the ocean, swimming in the pool and so much more. It was very relaxing. The only thing we would have changed is to get a mini van or something for a rental car next time.

Now, onto planning our next vacation. I just have to decide where to go!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Soccer Soccer Soccer...

As the season winds down, I am finally getting to soccer.

This year, Alivia AND Asher went out for soccer AND Chris coached Alivia's team and assisted Asher's team. Practices were Monday and Friday for Alivia and Tuesday and Thursday for Asher. Games were Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. CRAZINESS!! We could only have dinner at the table on Wednesdays and usually I worked on Wednesdays (so I have not had dinner with the family for WEEKS!).

Asher had a great season. He has really advanced in his game. He is actually aggressive and asking to play with a friend on a select team. We will see if he is that ready. He is a good striker and defender.

Alivia had not played soccer in years. She came a long ways this season considering their team was on the young and small end of things. And, she wants to return in the fall to play again. YEAH!

Asher completes his season on Saturday and Alivia finished this past Tuesday. As the school year comes to a close...I am just happy to get a hot meal for dinner!!

Monday, May 04, 2015

The Lincoln Half Marathon 2015 - My Third Half

Yesterday I completed my third half marathon, second one this year.

It was ugly.

Anyone who knows me knows I do not sweat. For the most is a fine problem to have, until you run in the heat. I become overheated very easily. I told Chris last year that I am a vampire runner because I can only run at night. There is a lot of truth to that. The best running conditions for me are at night, prior to sunrise, winter months (which are not fun), or during the rain.

With all of that said...I woke up at 4:25 and was at Jen's to drive to Lincoln for my second half marathon of 2015 ready to go. I knew the weather was to be hot, but I was dressed appropriately and I felt ready.

I had my red bib on and was set to go in the first wave of runners. The gun went off and I felt great.

First mile: 7:24. Oh no...I am going to fast.
Second Mile: 7:26. OMG...what am I doing. I am getting hot too. Where is the water?
I remained in the 7s for the first 10k, then started slipping. I didn't think there was enough water for the conditions. It was hot. The sun was beating down and I was so hot. I was pouring the water on myself by the first water stop. That is not a good sign.

By the 10K mark, I knew my race was not going to end well. I tried to eat my fruit bar and could hardly swallow it. Where is the water stop? It was MILES ahead. Ugh.

By mile 10ish, I ran up behind a girl who had stopped to walk and I stopped with her asking her if she was in the half or full. She was in the half. Yeah!! So, we ran together. We were both hurting so cheered each other along. In the end, she grabbed my hand and we finished together in 1:43:57, over 4 minutes slower than my half marathon 2 weeks ago, but I finished!

Upon finishing, I learned that Jen, who I had seen outside of the stadium helping someone, was actually helping her friend Lori. When I saw Jen, I assumed she had finished and had come back to cheer on people and just happened to be there and helped someone out. She would do that. Then I thought I heard her say, "Come on Lori," and I wondered if that was her friend Lori. I had seen the girl as we ran by but did not recognize her (she did not look good). Come to find out, Jen had slowed and waited for Lori to catch up with her to help pace Lori. They ran together until mile 12 when Lori started to weave around on the road. Just before the stadium, Lori suffered from heat exhaustion and had to stop. She was confused, nauseated and did not remember anything after mile 10. She even asked Jen later if she had finished the run. How scary!

Unfortunately, that was not the only person we saw down as we finished the race.I felt lucky to have finished and didn't really care about my time. As I waited for Jen by the back drop (which is VERY well organized), I knew my time was limited as my stomach started cramping. Jen and I walked back to the car in Haymarket (great parking spot, too!) and I grabbed my food to eat on the way home (a breakfast trail mix from Trader Joe's). I struggled to eat some of it. I dropped Jen off and home and went home. I found Addison in her room and I rested on her bed while I asked her about her morning. I quickly knew I was going to be sick, so hurried through my shower before the nausea and vomiting set in. I did not have much in my system, which was good and bad, and quickly went to bed where I slept for an hour and a half. Chris, meanwhile, mowed the lawn and trimmed. He called when I was sick and I said I was sick and hung up. He never came to check on me. As I told him later about my run and being sick afterwards, he rolled his eyes. I suspect his lack of sympathy comes from the fact that he thinks I chose to run these events knowing I get sick almost every I do it to myself. At least Alivia checked in on me. :)

And yes, I am doing another one as I had already signed up for the Heartland Marathon Labor Day weekend prior to running in Lincoln. I thought it would be good preparation for the Chicago full in October, 5 weeks later. Now...I am not so sure.

I feel fine today, just tired. I did not run. Instead I cross trained a little, walked the dogs, and called it good. After yesterday, I deserve a day of rest. :)

Until the next run...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Gambler Half Marathon

Today I finished my second running event of the year. The first one was in March in Lincoln, the State Farm 10 mile run. That was a pretty, flat run helping me prepare for the 1/2 marathons I had in the books this spring.
Today, in Council Bluffs, my friend Jen and I took on the Gambler Half Marathon. We have been running together for months and thought we were prepared for anything. But we were not prepared to run in pouring rain! It was insane! Puddles, mud, water dripping on my eyes and down my body...but the temperature was a comfortable 55 degrees. I started in shorts and a rain coat but stripped the rain coat at mile 2 (and drove back to get it later). In these running events, I try to find someone to follow...but there really wasn't anyone. I followed a guy for a while but he was running too fast (7:20 minute miles). So I had to slow to my pace and run alone. At one point I turned around to see nobody and I could see someone way ahead of me. I was running all alone. Thank goodness for my music wrapped in a Baggie to keep it dry!
The course was mostly flat, kinda scenic, out and back. I liked the course. The weather may have messed with the organizers, I don't know, my my friend Jen (who got third place!) didn't know where to go at the end due to poor markings. She thinks she may have gotten off course with another guy. The police and volunteers didn't seem to know where to tell her to go either. Awards were not handed out either because of a computer clitch and the weather.
I was happy with my results: unofficial 1hr39 min 7:35 min mile average. And best of garmin is really waterproof.

Now onto one more scheduled spring half marathon before the fun Chicago marathon training begins!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

March 2015 in Review

We went to the ocean and back in March! Okay...maybe not all of us...but 2 of us!
So, the month started with my big birthday in Florida (where else?!). We kept busy with haircuts, trips to the forest, playgrounds, I ran a 10m run in Lincoln, the kids started doing daily chores (which is awesome!), Asher finished basketball and is now onto soccer. Alivia is now in soccer too with Chris as her head coach and the assistant on Asher's team (when he can). Alivia is also taking a competitive swim class on Mondays where she swims her little heart out for 45 minutes before going to her 1 1/2 hour soccer practice. Pretty intense! She has decided that she does not want to be on swim team even though she is quite fast (just maybe not competitive). The kids ended the month with spring break where we visited friends at Mahoney, went to playgrounds, hit up the movies, visited the farm, and had MANY (too many) sleepovers! Chris left and started a new job that he is hopeful about this month, too. What a month!

Here are our pictures from March, many (too many?) from our trip to Florida. I begged Chris to let me stay but he brought me back home.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me

Last week, Chris and I took the first Allegiant air flight out of Omaha to Clearwater Beach, Fl to celebrate my big 40th birthday. I bought this trip for myself.  I have to say...I did good!
We arrived Thursday night just in time to eat at our hotel restaurant, the Palm Pavilion. It was amazing! Chris and I both had shrimp salads and they were filled with shrimp! Yummy!! We hotel was also the Palm Pavilion. It was perfect for couples. And the restaurant was right there on the beach! Loved it!
We got up Friday morning and Chris hit the local crossfit box while I hit the beach to run. 6 miles and a handful of shells later I was back exhausted. I was quickly getting sicker with my chest cold. Friday turned out to be rainy as Chris and I got trapped down at the pier and had to run back. Icecream helped is warm up, lol. Hey, it was my birthday and I wanted sorbet! We went back to the Palm pavilion for dinner because it was that good!
Sunday Chris ran with me. It was freezing and I was seriously sick. Chris found 5 whole sand dollars and a starfish though! He is a good luck charm! We then picked me up some drugs for my cold before making our way to to St Petes Beach. We fed the meter and just laid in the sand  listening to the ocean. Chris got a little too much sun on his face but it felt great. So relaxing...just what we both needed. We topped off the night with local pizza from Kings in Clearwater Beach (very good).
Sunday morning we had to Allegiant air may be cheap but they only fly out a couple days a week. It was a quick yet fun trip and a great birthday present. 
When we arrived home at lunch time, the kids surprised me with decorations and little presents they bought me (the only ones I would open). Super sweet. My kids and my parents are amazing.
I think I will buy my own birthday present every year. :) I did good if I do say so myself. I can't wait to go back to Florida in May with the kids!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Saying Good Bye to My 30's

Tomorrow marks the end of a decade. That's right, tomorrow is the last day I will be 30 something. That's hard to type out and admit frankly.


I will be the big 4-0 on Friday.

Luckily, Chris is older than me and has experienced the big birthday already. That should make me feel better...but it doesn't.

I know, I should be thankful that I get to experience 40 at all. I get that. It, for whatever reason, doesn't make me feel better right now.

I am thankful for what I accomplished in my 30's though. I had 2 out of my 3 babies during my 30's (I know, I am an old Mommy. If I had it my way I would have had 3 babies in my 30's! That may be my biggest regret). I was a working Mother, a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) and back to a working Mother...all in my 30's. I now know I should have quit my job when I had Alivia in my 20's, and I probably should have never returned to work. :) I ran in my 30's. I ran a half marathon and ended my decade with 2 full marathons. That is a big deal for an old gal like myself! We traveled, we moved, we grew older together as a family, while I lived my 30's.

It was a good decade. I suppose I should grow up and be ready to be 40.

My friend Heidi said it this way, and I am not quoting but this is what I got from talking to her. Forty isn't so bad. But after 40 comes 50 and that's bad. So I guess I better be okay with the age I am at now because I am not going to get any younger.

So Happy Birthday to Me. I bought myself a trip to Florida for my birthday. We only live once, and we don't know for how long, so I am going to enjoy my BIG day on the beach with my toes in the sand. I may just stay there, too.

The Beginning (of yet ANOTHER decade)...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 2015 in Review

Short month.

Thank Goodness! I could not survive the cold if the month were any longer. Gees!

The month was full of really cold days, Valentine's Day, Addison's school music program, Asher's basketball games (ending the month scoring 2 points which is big for him!), swimming lessons finishing up for Addison and Asher (and Alivia going on to prep for swim team), piano lessons, working, sleepovers, and keeping warm. I don't know how many days I ran when the feels like temperature was below 0. I really want to move South now more than ever! So much so that I booked a weekend trip next weekend to go South (if only for the weekend).

Tomorrow is March. We can only hope March will be warmer. Even though today's temp felt like -5 when I ran my 10.5 miles, I did see a group of robins, a cardinal and a blue jay. I am hoping they know something about spring that we can't see coming yet. :)

Happy March!

FEBRUARY PICTURES OF US. We tried our best to capture the moments of February.

Auto Decision

The decision has been made.

We are keeping the least for a bit longer.

First of all, we had 3 people look at the car and they didn't want it until the 100,000 mile repairs were done. They are pricey. Nothing is broken, it is just preventative stuff. But, we are not putting out $1000 just to sell it.

Secondly, Chris is opening up his resume again. Yes, again. would not be the best time to be adding stuff to the family budget.

And finally, we were not completely set on any car. There is a new version of the Honda Pilot coming out this summer that we would like to throw into the mix. And, I would like to see if the Enclave adds tech to the car in 2016.

So, today the van got souped up with new tires. In a couple weeks, we will have the 100,000 mile cha ching preventative checks done. After that, we will keep the van for a while. It is probably just getting broken in anyway. After's a Honda!!

Here's to a few more months without a car payment! :)

Sunday, February 01, 2015

January 2015 In Review

One month of the year is over already! That went by crazy fast!

This month brought Alivia's school program, Asher got student of the month, and Addison turned 8 1/2 years old (yes, we celebrate 1/2 birthdays too!). Chris and I kept busy with working, Crossfit (for Chris) and running in the freezing cold for me. Did I mention I should live in the deep warm South?

There were a couple nice days were we were able to hit the playground. And, did I mention new car shopping?! Boy, that is fun I'll tell you. :) Oh, and did I mention Alivia and headlice?! Yikes! Talk about laundry for 2 weeks. Seriously. What a total nightmare.

Bring on the month of LOVE. 


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shopping for the Perfect Family Car

It is unfortunately that time. We are in the market for a new "Family Wagon."

For the past 2 weeks, I have invited my Dad to town to go car shopping with me. We started at Toyota where we ruled out the Sienna mostly because it was a van and Chris and I really don't want another van. We kept the Toyota Highlander in the running, though. I liked the highlander, but I was not sure the back row would be suitable for growing kids. I need to bring Alivia along to see.
Next up was Acura and their sweet MDX. This is a sweet crossover. It is fun to drive, too, and it NOT A VAN! LOVE IT! The downfalls (because why make the perfect car?) is the 3rd row sits low to the floor which makes it not as comfortable as our kids reach the upcoming teen years, limited cargo space, and PREMIUM GAS!!! I hated the fact we had to get premium gas with the Audi. COME ON!! So annoying and expensive!!It does, however, score great in gas mileage.
At Honda we looked at the Pilot and, of course, the Odyssey Touring model. The Pilot is big but looks like a box. The Odyssey is a van. It looks cheap inside unless you pay the extra for the bells and whistles. Then, we may as well just get a better vehicle. Additionally, the 2014 model of the Odyssey has lackluster reviews. Since we are new into 2015, it is too soon to tell if they made improvements over last year. I do not want the lemon that is being described of the 2014 addition. And, its still a minivan.
Moving on. We went to Ford as Chris wanted me to look at the Explorer. They look nice on the road. The third row seat is difficult to get to. I was not impressed. We have to be assessing it daily, and it just seemed to difficult and not kid friendly (or adult friendly for that matter). And, the dealership we went to set me up with a limited English speaking sales person who appeared to be on his first day on the job. He found me the cheapest looking Explorer on the lot. It was a step above total crap for thirty some thousand dollars. I was far from impressed.
Dad and I then paid Buick a visit. We checked out the Enclave. It is a bigger car with a more comfortable seating arrangement for sure. The third row is even comfortable for me to sit in! It rides very quietly. Although a large step above a van in looks and price (unfortunately), this vehicle misses out on some of the features I would expect from this price range. The dash board and its features appears outdated with a big ol' clock on it along with the mapping system. The features found standard on the MDX are found on the top of the line of the Enclave if at all. Oh, and the most annoying part, it has a key!! The Highlander and the MDX have push button start (I have seen much less expensive cars going keyless now. Come on Buick?!?! What gives?!). Let's face it, this is an expensive car. The model I like is more expensive than the MDX but it does not have the same features. It is difficult for me to wrap my mind around that one. The Buick does not get very good gas mileage either at 19/23 I believe.
Lastly, we have checked out Lincoln. The car I liked only seated 5 so the very nice and good sales man (which I am are difficult to come by) selected the MKT for our family.  Eh, it is a wagon. Not really the car I had in mind. I showed Chris the picture of it and he immediately was turned off.

Chris checked out the Lexus at the car show, but the back opens to the side. That alone stops me from even looking at the car. I have checked out the Infinity QX60 online but have not seen it. For whatever reason, this car does not pop up on "Best of" reviews, so I have not checked it out.

So...we are down to the Acura MDX, Toyota Highlander and the Enclave. I took Chris out last weekend to check out each car. We "looked" at the MDX but didn't drive it as nobody at Acura of Omaha waited on us (Guess being dressed in jeans and hoodies made us not looked qualified to buy an Acura??? Their loss). We went to Performance Toyota in La Vista. I will be writing an online review of this place. They claimed to not have a single Highlander on the lot. Seriously?! Not a one? There are 2 other dealerships in town selling new Toyotas, but unfortunately we did not have time to shop everywhere. We did go to and actually drive the Buick. Chris was impressed. But, it was the ONLY car he was able to drive. So, compared to the van, yes, it is impressive. But, any car would be!

How did you find you current wheels? Happy with them? We need help. :)

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Seems like yesterday we were celebrating y2K! I feel old. Oh wait, I am old!

Every year I come up with this long or short list of goals. This year is really no different. Last year I wanted to run a marathon and ran 2. This year have scheduled myself for a couple, at least, half marathons and hope to throw in a full marathon at least once this year for fun. I want to travel with the family as much as possible. I really enjoyed all of our trips last year. I hope to spend nearly a month at the lake this year with the kids.

Last year Chris set out to climb Longs Peak and did so last July. He is remaining pretty quiet about 2015s plans. So, I guess I will be surprised.

We have plans to travel this year. Addi would like to go to the Mall of America during spring break. In May, we are taking a beach vacation to Florida (and I can't wait!), and in July the kids and I will try to spend the month at the Lake. Chris and I usually go somewhere for our anniversary in August, too, but I'm not sure what we will do this year.

As far as home improvements, they are still up in the air. We need to replace the van this that is our first priority. Getting Chris and I off of work on the same day when dealerships are open and when we have someone to watch the kids is very tricky. We don't even know what car we want yet!

Really, I would love to get out of Nebraska and move someplace warm. I hate winter so much. I considered briefly signing up for a spring marathon until I went running today. Too cold. I hate winter never mind already!

We will see what 2015 brings...but Chris is optimistic it will be a good year. And, he is always right. ;)

Happy New Year!! What are your goals?

Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas!!

After a month of prep by our little elf, we were ready for Christmas. With my working and then the disney trip, Santa didn't get as much purchased as She would have liked. But, all in all, the kids were still spoiled with the help of their Grandparents.

The kids were awake at 6:30 am to have all of their presents opened by 7. They ate a little breakfast, homemade cinnamon rolls gifted to us by our friends, before making it to 7:30 mass right at 7:30!  We came back home briefly before slipping off to Iowa for the day. We opened presents at my parents first before going into my Aunts house for dinner. My aunt played a game with the kids hiding their giftcards and candy in her cupboard. Drama unfolded but it was a fun idea. :)

It was a fun and mostly quiet day spent with my small little family. The girls got mostly clothes, Legos and barbie things while Asher received clothes, Legos and some Nerf things. We gave our parents name engraved rocks. It sounded good at the time and something I didn't think they would think of.

Chris and I gave each other clothes. We mostly buy our own gifts anymore. Pretty boring.

We would not change a thing. We spend family time together at disney and came home to calmly celebrate Christmas. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!