Monday, June 27, 2011

Run Jeffy run

On Saturday, my dearest husband, my awesome Jeff, ran 26.2 miles. Yup folks, that there father of 6 ran his first marathon.

And to prove it, here is a photo of him crossing the Rock-n-Roll Marathon finish line.

Oh wait, you can't see him. Let me explain why.

Let's start with the back story. Jeff left at 5 am to be at the start line for his 7:30 start time.
The plan was for me and the kids to drive in later and meet/cheer for him somewhere along the way, or preferably, at the finish line.

We left Maple Valley around 9:45 and headed off to Seattle. Luckily we left earlier than planned because his start time was pushed to 7:15 instead. I knew this because we had signed up to receive text messages when he passed certain points along the course.

We finally got into Seattle at 10:45. I thought I kind of knew how to walk to Quest field from where we parked. But as it turns out, I didn't. So me and the kids started following the runners, cuz we figured they would end up near the finish, and I knew we were still ahead of Jeff so we wouldn't miss him.

But after walking about a mile, I watched as the runners went over a bridge that was closed to anyone but runners. Can you say shoot, dang it, darn gum it!? So I asked the police officers who were doing crowd control if they could point me in the right direction.

I'm thinking that they got a kick out of me and my big red double stroller and 6 children all in tow, because they smirked at me as they told me the general direction. Me no likey smirking cops.

So seeing that we now had to double back and seeing that Jeff was now at mile 24, thanks to those text messages, I knew we had to book it.

So me and the kids ran the mile back to where we finally saw the finish line. Woo hoo! We were so happy, albeit a little sweaty, but we had made it with about 5 minutes to spare, we weren't going to miss him!

I had Kate and Julia hold Henry and Nora on their shoulders so that they could see. I got my camera ready to take a picture of Jeff running to his own personal victory, and we waited.

Henry was super freaked out about being on Kate's shoulders. So I put him on my shoulders as we waited. But he continued to freak out, thinking that I was going to drop him. So I offered him the stroller, which he quickly said yes to. But when I tried to take him off my shoulders, he freaked out even more and clung tenaciously to my neck and WOULD NOT LET GO!

So I'm wrestling with him, trying to extract him from me, when I hear the kids scream and say, "Mom! Dad just ran by!"

I dropped Henry in the stroller and tried to get a parting shot as I watched the back of his head run away. The above photo was the result of that effort.

But at least Henry didn't have to sit on my shoulders anymore, little bum.

So after swallowing my deep disappointment, we headed to the family reunion area to meet up with a very tired, but very happy Jeff.

And after the torture I put Henry through, he was obviously glad to see his daddy.

Jeff finished in 4 hours 9 minutes. Not bad for a guy who only started running last summer!
Seriously, some people are just born to do it.

We're so proud of him and all he's accomplished. And we will be there next time as well, cuz even though he couldn't walk very well Saturday evening, he has assured me there will be a next time.

You rock Jeff!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In fashion news....

Upon the dousal of socialite Nora Jane Allen's designer blah b di blah blah jeans by some balloons of the water filled variety, she was was required to run around in just the basics.

The only anxiety this produced for the well known fashionista was where would she keep her Monkey chap stick?

Well, not to be out maneuvered by the likes of Calvin Klein or Stella McCartney, the forward thinking Nora came up with her own inventive solution.

The panty pocket:

Don't hold your breath waiting for this to hit your nearest retailer. This look is definitely one of a kind and not for the unadventurous or fashion newbie.

Eat your heart out Lady Gaga. You can wear all the meat dresses you want, but you will never top the panty pocket.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We love you darling Jeffy.
See you tomorrow!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Every day is a breeze

Every day of motherhood is perfectly perfect in every way!


Nora's decision to dump out the entire box of cheerios.

Nora's consequence for deciding to dump out the entire box of Cheerios.


Hope your day starts out "perfect" as well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

From free to fab

About 3 months ago, Jeff and I were running near our house. As we rounded a corner I saw a man putting things out under the tree in his front yard.

My quick to find free and cheap things brain zeroed in on a free sign sitting next to this pile.

Included in this pile was one rough looking, in need of a makeover, wood chest. Or a hope chest as I have called them.

It was calling to me. Begging me to take it home.

I practically begged the man to let me have it AND to set it aside for me so that we could finish our run and come back with the van.

Even though it was free, he was quite chagrined at the shape it was in and kept telling me all the things wrong with it. The missing foot, the piece of laminate missing, the much damage finish.

I was like,"Buddy, it's free. I'm good with the shape it's in!"

So he cheerfully set it aside (probably so happy to be getting rid of it) and we came back later and picked it up.

Admittedly, it did not smell awesome. It smelled exactly like a piece of furniture that had been sitting in a garage for quite some years. But, it was a Lane Cedar Chest. If you don't know Lane, you should. They ARE cedar chests. So I felt I could work with it.

When I got it, it looked like this:

And this:

But the inside was perfect! Absolutely perfect. It looked like this:

My first job was to figure out how to replace the lost foot. Where do you find an extra foot for a 1960's Lane Cedar Chest?

Well, you don't. So I just knocked off the other three feet and called it good. And rather than figure out how to replace the missing piece of panel, I just left it.

I then proceeded to give the whole thing a slight sanding with my mouse sander. It didn't need much. And I loved the dings and little dents in it. It gave it a well used, which to me means loved, look.

Then I gave it 1 coat of oil based primer. Let it dry for 24 hours (just to be sure it bonded really well).

And of course I didn't take any pictures of the during process. It takes way too much time to go get the camera! How could I slow down my fevered pitch long enough? Sheesh. I have issues.

So after priming it, I lightly sanded it by hand, just to catch any drips or mistakes and to give the paint even more to cling to.

I picked a Caribbean Blue because it just spoke to me. It really did. In Home Depot. It was weird.

I slapped two coats of that lovely shade on, sanding between coats, and it came out like this:

I added a little white to some of the blue so that I could paint the section missing some wood a lighter color. Then I distressed the whole thing so that it would continue to look like the well loved piece of furniture it is.

I didn't have any antiquing gel, but I did have a little sample of brown paint. So I dabbed the paint on an old towel and rubbed it over the distressed parts.

When I was all done, I put a water based poly-urethane on it, and then stepped back to admire my work.

All in all, it may be my favorite thing I've ever done. The blue color, the distressed corners, the strip of lighter blue, and the fact that the inside was so pristine that I actually have my belongings in it.

It's the one pop of color in a pretty white room. Which I will show you when I'm all done. A hint at something else I did, those ruffly white curtains-probably my second favorite thing I've ever attempted.

Not all of my attempts work out. Or sometimes they just work out ok. And then sometimes, they work out so good that I brag about it on my blog. Can you forgive my self indulgence? With it sitting in my bedroom, the only way I can show people is by dragging them upstairs, or by putting it on my blog. So thanks for your understanding and support.

I love it, I loved doing it, and I love all of you!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

To share

First of all, thank you for your patience as I've figured out what the heck was going on with blogger.

Thanks to a tip from a friend, I downloaded Google Chrome and amazingly(that was sarcastic) Google's own search engine works much better with blogger, which is owned by Google.

So now all my blogging and commenting issues have been resolved. Yay! And I can post more regularly, hopefully daily again.

Now on to my post! I know you were just waiting with bated breath. You were right?

As mentioned in previous posts, which I can't refer to because I'm not an organized blogger, I like to move my kids around. Switch up their bedrooms so that things work better. Whether it is toy organization or in this case Anne Marie's loneliness at being in a room by herself.

So we moved her and Nora in together and Anne Marie was so happy.

Well then Nora got too big for her toddler bed. No, I didn't cry this time like I did with moving her out of a crib. It didn't seem as bad. I don't know why.

Anyhoo, we needed to put Nora into a twin bed, but two twin beds don't fit in that little bedroom. And we only had money for a cheap twin bed, not the nice wood one I wanted.

Sooo, Kate gracefully gave up the double bed she was sleeping in, and got Anne Marie's twin bed in return.

And now Nora and Anne marie share a bed! I love it. Again, I don't know why. I never shared a bed with my sister, but we would push our twin beds together so that we could sleep by eachother.

And I've always thought that sisters sharing a bed is the sweetest thing. I get a twinge of jealousy when people tell me they shared a bed with their sisters.

I'm not jealous of my own girls, just happy for them. Now all of my children share a bedroom. Even though we have an extra one. I really don't think anyone NEEDS their own room. It may be easier sometimes, but it's definitely not a need. No matter what our teenagers may say.

So now Nora and Anne Marie can be that much closer. They share a room, they share a bed. And hopefully they will share a friendship and a love for eachother that will expand beyond just their time together under this roof.

For tomorrow, a sneak peek at one of the things I've been working on in my bedroom. Just pretend you're excited, ok?

Thursday, June 9, 2011



No really, it is!

Don't tell Nora, but it's celery, spinach, almond milk and a banana and frozen strawberries.

It was quite good.

No really, it was!

And when she was all done she said,"Mmmm. Yummy in my tummy."

And then she hugged my leg and said, "Thank you Mom!"

If you don't believe me, ask Kate. She was there and witnessed the whole thing!

True story people.

And a treat for yoU!

Things my children have said this week:

Anne Marie upon seeing something in Nora's nose. "Mom! Nora has meat in her nose!!!!"

Not meat. Just a really large boogey.

Then Henry.

My sister and I had picked up a friend's little boy for a play date. We had to stop at the store so Maile could run in. While sitting in the car, the friend's little boy pointed at the flag flying above the building and said to Keaton and Henry:

"Look guys! You see that flag? Those stars stand for all of our states."

To which Henry replied,"And you see those stripes? Those stand for chicken!!!! ha ha ha ha"

Did I mention they're the same age?

It reminded me of the movie Parenthood. Steve Martin's 3 year old niece is solving some sort of math problem while his own 3 year old son puts a bucket on his head and runs into the wall repeatedly.

Yeah. It kind of felt like that.

But at least Nora will drink green smoothies. Right?


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Making dreams come true?

I read an article the other day about the 5 things people say on their deathbed that they wish they had done in their life.

The first was work less. That's always number One. I don't remember most of the others, but the one that really stuck out to me was that they wished they had just gone for it and lived their dreams.

The whimsical, dreamy part of me said, "right on! We should live our dreams!" The practical side of me said, but what if our dreams would be nightmares for our spouses or children?

Do we need to find a shared dream in order to live out any dreams? And can that be so difficult sometimes that we just end up living our regular old lives?

Are regular ol lives the dreams for some people? Maybe jet setters and people who have to travel all the time would love to do nothing but sit at home.

My honest to goodness dream is to live in a big, old house. With a front porch and plantation shutters. With fruit trees and meadows and a little stream. It would be to have a huge garden that we ate from all summer and canned from in late summer. It would be to teach my children at home and have them not hate me for it, or end up hating myself. It would be to have chickens and no television and no texting. Oh, and the ocean would be the backdrop. Basically, I would be Anne of Green Gables, or really Anne of the Island when she is Anne Blythe and has 7 children running around.

I would also be happy with a little cottage, 3 to a bedroom if we had to, with all the same things listed above but in England or France. Europe in general would be acceptable to me.

I am just craving some simplicity and that feels impossible here. My life is what it is and I love it with all it's craziness. But I dream of barefoot children running through meadows who never once ask to play their DS or watch tv because there is none of that.

I wish I had been able to put my finger on what I wanted back when they were little. I also wished I knew more about eating the way I do now and had started my children on whole grains 13 years ago so that I didn't have to listen to, "I like white bread better!!!"

I just don't want dreams to turn into regrets. But I'm also pretty sure my husbands dreams would include restoring old cars and racing hot rods or something. I can't imagine that lined up with my life of being transported back to the 1890's.

But my dreams are still there, I haven't given up on them. I just have to fine tune them a little so they work with my life and family.
Oh, and I'm waiting for the ship that's coming in to bank roll my life of "simplicity".

And just for you viewing pleasure, a slide show of my dreams:

Can you imagine the jam I would make living in this place?

Imagine the sack races you could have on this lawn.

This is where I would finally learn to not be afraid of natural water.

A red farmhouse? I mean, come on! Who wouldn't want to live there?

Something similar to what Anne must have lived in. And something I could live in til I died.

Can you imagine all the food I could can?

If I woke up to this every morning, I promise I wouldn't ever be grumpy!!!

Also a place I want to live in til I die.

American camp in the San Juan Islands. Minus all the soldiers but full of ocean views and seabreezes blowing.

And if you're dreaming REALLY big, shoot for something like the Breakers in Newport, RI. It's the former home of the Vanderbilt family. We've toured it a few times, and I can honestly say I would be happy living there:)

And please don't get me wrong, I love my house, I love my life. But don't we all wish for something a little different occasionally? Something a little more dream like and a little less suburban like? Anyone?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

If you could see me now

As I sat down to blog today Henry decided he needed to sit behind me on my chair and repeatedly ask me to watch PBS kids. I enjoyed the cuddling from Henry, but continued to ignore his request.

And Nora,not to be outdone, inadvertantly stood on the power strip and shut the power down while watching me blog.

In my effort to get her away from the power strip, she tripped and fell backwards. Which of course caused much wailing and the need to sit on my lap.

So I ended up with Henry behind me.

And Nora in front of me.

And actually at this moment, they are now both on my lap, play fighting with their stuffed animals. I would share a picture, but I have no appendages available to work a camera.

SO it's short and sweet today, because, well, I guess I'm needed elsewhere as is evident by their need to be permanently attached to me today.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sea anemone mantel

So in the interim between blogger working again, I had some projects in my head that I had been wanting to get done.

One was a fun little thing I made for a minor room redo that my friend Amber and I did for another friend.

Our friend ended up not using it, so I was the lucky one who got to incorporate it into my family room.

I found a clock at walmart for 6 dollars. I then used those giant sticks from Ikea(I actually got them at a yard sale for 2 bucks). I cut them in random length and then glue gunned them to the clock. After removing the glass, I spray painted the whole thing white.

It makes me think of a sea anemone. It's all spindly and random, and under 10 bucks, which is probably the best part.

I've also been working on my bedroom. It's coming along so fantasticly, I can hardly wait to show you what I've done. I have 10 dollar curtain panels to share, and the makeover of my free Lane cedar chest.

Have a great weekend! It's going to be over 70 degrees here! The first of the year. I can't wait!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

One field trip, two field trip, 3 field trip, more!

When your children are in elementary school, it seems that every single parent wants to go on field trips.

The competition is so fierce that if you're lucky you will volunteer time and time again and FINALLY get to go on a 2 hour walking field trip to the local library.

Or you will volunteer time and time again and FINALLY get to go to see African Cats.(super awesome by the way, highly recommend it).

But as your children get older, and head into middle school on up, suddenly you are receiving emails like this:

"Dear Parents-We do not have enough chaperones for the following field trips.....We could REALLY use your help!"

That has never happened when my kids are in elementary school. I don't know if more parents go back to work when their kids are older, or if they're just not to keen on chaperoning a bunch of 13 year olds. I however love it, and jumped at the chance. Well, 3 chances.

One of the only pictures I got from the 3 field trips I took-2 with Kate to the arboretum and water/sewer treatment plant, and from my trip with Julia to the Seattle Science center was the following:

They actually make kids do homework on their field trips nowadays. Dumb. Wait, I mean, I don't understand that at all. And I'm sure they have a reason for it. But it felt dumb.

So while my field trips with charlie and Anne Marie were short, I met my quota of going on one field trip per year per child. Because the last thing I can have is children who remember that one year where I didn't make to at least one field trip.

The horror!

What field trips were you blessed enough to go on this year?
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