Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas chain...thing...

I have been tossing around different ideas for an advent calendar for Mackenzie this year. I didn't want her to just munch on chocolate, get a cheap gift everyday, or mix up the meaning of what this season is about...I guess I wanted it to be a little more intentional.

So this is what we did:
First: We cut 30 strips of paper and numbered them, 25 for Christmas, and an additional 5 for her birthday  on the 30th.
Next: I wrote little things on each strip, I listed my ideas below
Then: My glue elf (Mackenzie) and I assembled them in a fancy chain
Last: And then we hung it up to enjoy....

So each day we are going to open one link and enjoy a little holiday cheer! 

December 1st: finding the most beautiful tree!

Here are some of my ideas...
  1. Let's go find the most beautiful Christmas tree of all (Pioneer Court house square)
  2. Time to go see Santa (Downtown Beaverton's Christmas tree lighting)
  3. Read the story of Jesus' birth together, using the nativity scene
  4. Make a gingerbread house
  5. Surprise! Family is coming
  6. Make ornaments (this is something we will do a couple of different times) for the grandparents
  7. Make wrapping paper (stamp plain paper)
  8. Make Christmas cookies for our neighbors
  9. Write Santa a letter
  10. Read Christmas stories
  11. Make hot cocoa
  12. Christmas music dance party 
  13. Pick out a Christmas gift for baby sister
  14. Wrap presents
  15. Mail Christmas presents
  16. Surprise! Sleepover with grandparents
  17. Missing you today (she'll be gone at her sleepover)
  18. Pick out a present for Daddy
  19. Make thank you cards 
  20. Family is coming today!
  21. Bake Santa cookies
  22. Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday Jesus!
(that will be 25 things since we are making ornaments 3 times). 
for her birthday countdown...
  26. Let's look through your baby book! (a personal favorite of Miss Mackenzie's)
  27. I love you because....
  28. Let's go find snow (headed to SunRiver)
  29. Let's plan your special day tomorrow!
  30. Happy Birthday Mackenzie! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

this is what's been going on...

it has been awhile, i know. once school starts up things get a little crazy! i also have started a new blog with my good friend katie at i am going to continue writing here about my house, family, life....just minus the running updates (some of you are thinking, "finally, who cares how much she ran today!!!!). that is not quite all that has been going on.
this blog has always served as a great outlet to record life's events, so i've decided this too can be recorded.

here's the story:
after i had mackenzie i was having some dizzy spells. in fact, i fainted at powell's bookstore shortly after she was born. i spent a few hours in the er, but they saw nothing going on in my heart or with my blood pressure that would cause my me to faint.

the symptoms went away and life went on. i got pregnant with addison and started teaching first grade. i was having a hard time hearing some of my students. at times there was a ringing in my ears. and at other times my ears would feel completely plugged. i mentioned these things to justin and he was worried about me, i guess because he was worried i chose not to worry. it seemed suddenly the tv was not loud enough, something seemed to be wrong with the volume on my phone, car stereo and alarm clock.

we had addison, a beautiful healthy baby girl. i melted my teapot because i didn't hear the kettle whistling. addison was tear streaked and red faced, i hadn't heard her crying. i started to be afraid. this summer i went in to my regular doc to see if it was allergies, ear wax...something easy that i could fix with a pill or potion. he did a few hearing tests (rubbing his fingers together behind my head to see if i could hear it). he referred me to an ent for more tests. the ent was kind, he explained that it was probably nothing, maybe i ground my teeth at night... i did an official hearing test.

i was in a sound proof booth with a little window. the woman administering the test was on the other side. i was to push a button when i heard a sound in my earphones. i heard some and pushed away at the button, relieved...and then i couldn't hear anymore sounds, i studied the woman's face. i saw her knit her brows together and frown slightly. i knew i wasn't hearing the small ringing sounds. i heard nothing. i heard the sound of my heart beat in my ears, the ringing that was now a constant thing was not from the test, but i didn't hear any more beeps from the earphones. a knot formed in my stomach and my heart beat faster.

the examiner didn't say anything when she walked me back to the exam room. i felt like a high schooler with her first F, i knew i had failed that test. the doctor looked over my results. he was clearly surprised. he cleared his throat and said he would like to perform a few more tests, including a ct scan. he also confirmed that i had severe hearing loss in my right ear, and my left ear was better but still less than "optimal". 

i called and told my family. they panicked a little, but tried not to show it. we were all scared of the ct scan. of what they could find. two days later i had the scan, the result were normal. praise God.

so what the heck was happening?? they performed another hearing test just to make sure, same results. the doctor said i probably had otosclerosis, a bone growth in my middle ear. pregnancy usually speeds up the bone growth.

the doctor said i had three options. i could wait. it would get worse, and quickly...but if i wanted to i could do nothing. i could get a hearing aid. i could get surgery. i asked him if i was going deaf. he said untreated,  yes. i cried on the way home.

i left his office and started researching. i had never known anyone who had otosclerosis, it is often genitic but there is no history of hearing loss (other than old age) in my family. it looked like surgery would cure it, or almost restore my hearing. a good friend recommended a ear surgeon at ohsu. i met with him a few weeks ago. he did a few tests and agreed with the diagnosis. i asked him what he would do if it were his ear, without blinking or waiting a tick, he responded "surgery".

i have a surgery date set for december 19th. i would love your prayers. i am so aware that in the scope of life, this is small. but in the scope of my life, it feels really big.

here are some links to websites with more information:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

most embarrassing teaching moment + race report

= a very long blog post....

so today marks my most embarrassing funniest teaching moment to date. which is saying something, i have had my fair share of awkward moments. including ripping my jeans from buns to knee. forgetting to turn off my microphone while going to the bathroom. and other small wardrobe malfunctions.

usually  it's the kids that make me laugh. this week i had a student cracking up in her seat as we sat doing a reading warm-up. i asked her what was so funny. she replied, "mrs. scott, check out number 7, it says dork nob...jajajajaja". the word was doorknob. later that same day a student commented on my new burlap toms. "your shoes look like band aids...oh, i mean that in a good way....hahahahaha".

all that to say, i laugh a lot throughout the day. but today i didn't really laugh until after the fact. because at first, i was too embarrassed to do anything.

here's what happened...we have been learning about the iditarod race in reading class. i thought i would show a few educational clips from the discovery channel for kids. here is the video we watched today seriously watch the video...and then you will understand why i just about died!

september race report: fairhaven 15k

part of my goal in participating in one race a month was to travel to different places. not far, that is just too hard logistically. it also has been fun training for a half marathon and using races as my long run for that week. fairhaven's 15k worked perfectly! 9.3 was more than a mile longer than my longest run and the course boasted the scenic pudget sound.

friday night addison and i drove five hours to bellingham to stay the night at my aunt and uncle's house. too bad we got there at 11pm, because the view of the the sound is amazing from their deck. my sweet cousin was waiting up for me and had even gone to the store to make sure i could have my toast and peanut butter in the morning.

the race was in a fairhaven, a cute neighborhood/district of bellingham. the race started with us first running 4 miles north,  (the course was described as flat, it was not). and then the course turned, dropping down into the marina and along the water for two or so miles. the last three were along a shaded path and then one final climb at mile 9 back to fairhaven.

i did okay. nothing amazing. i found that miles 4-6 were hard to stay mentally tough. i even stopped to walk thinking maybe i'd try the "run five miles walk one mile" method. turns out that is not for me. once i stop running my body thinks we are finished and it is HARD getting going again.

i kept thinking things like, " this is so lame, i could be drinking coffee and relaxing right now" or "why do i do this to myself, i am clearly not a runner...this is too hard" ...and whaaaa whaaa whaaa. but there was this lady, just ahead of me, and i focused on her arms swinging back and forth, back and forth. and i steadied my breath and cleared my mind. and slowly found my stride. and finished. which is all i race to do really.

the starting line, beautiful september morning

 the sound

 post race, so sweaty and tired (notice addison's shirt.."go mommy'...thanks kate)

 cheesy potatoes...i earned this puppies!

Friday, August 26, 2011

mackenzie + running = red face

jogging while pushing two kids in my 34 pound stroller is no easy task. i am red faced, dripping sweat, and gasping for breath! but lately my red face has been not just from the hard work. mackenzie's little quips from the stroller have been slightly embarrassing!

some silly things that came out of her mouth on today's run:
M: "mom, are you sweating yet?"
me: "yup"

M (pointing at a passing running): "ew! look he's really sweating, why is he all wet like that?"
me: "he's running really fast that's why"

M (pointing to a little girl who is crying on the trail) "why is that girl crying? she's okay." (and then starts waving frantically at the crying girl) "hi" (girl hides her face from us and continues to wail)
M: why she no wave at me?

M: "mom are you walking?"
me: "no, i am running"
M: "oh. (pause). really mom?"

M: (while passing a man who was an obvious smoker): "ew! that guy's stinky!!!"
me-picking up the pace and hoping he didn't hear.

M: (pointing to a woman biking past): "that lady needs her exercise"
i'm not sure where she got this one...maybe because we talk about exercise a lot at home, in response to the ever present "why".."why you doing that?" when mommy or daddy is running, lifting weights, doing a dvd...we always reply back, "oh, we need to our exercise"

seriously folks, good thing she is stinkin' cute....

and while i'm on the subject of cute...check out these amazing pics that our friend missy took a few weeks ago. missy is a photographer, and spent an afternoon with us capturing moments of miss kenzie at this precious age. check out missy's website:

Monday, August 22, 2011



remember, this is a countdown of my top ten simple pleasures. and since having children i have learned that sleep is a simple pleasure...and one we can go without. so now that my girls are both snoozing through the night i am reminded of how much i adore a good night's sleep. and i just have to say, to those of you who choose to wake at ridiculous hours (4am),--i have never really understood you.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

should it stay or should it go?

we have been busy busy busy this weekend. gettin' stuff done! one of the things on the "list" was to clean up the garage. blah! probably my least favorite of all house chores.

and we were going through this and that. and then our bikes. somehow we've acquired quite the collection. and it was easy for me to make the decision.."that one goes, that one goes, that's keep it".

can't you just see it? maybe painted a plum, with "new" old tires, and a "new" old seat. me, cruisin' downtown beaverton, ringin' my bell, so fun!

i just want to do a little research to see if it is even worth it. because seriously, i need another project right?

any buddies out there ever refurbished an ol' bike before?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011



i am a planner. before bed each night, i cuddle with mackenzie and we plan out the next day. where we should go. what we should eat. and as her eyelids are getting heavy and i am walking out of her bedroom door she smiles faintly and whispers, "we gonna have fun tomorrow". it's a statement, not a question.

before i start a new school year, i have the entire year outlined (yes, it is required...but i relish the act). i can breathe easier knowing what is ahead.

and when i travel to a new place, i make it my business to know the ins and outs of our destination.

when it comes to travel, it is a three part process for me and each stage i love. the planning. the traveling. the returning home. i love it all.

justin and i have become excellent traveling companions. but i have to admit, it took some battles work. our first big trip together, our honeymoon, we missed our flight. a few years later in new york city, justin was flabbergasted as i started to cry in the middle of the sidewalk. i was upset over which restaurant to eat at. he wanted to grab something on the go, and continue checking items off our hefty itinerary for the day. i wanted to eat at one of the restaurants i had spent the last few months researching. we've learned a lot.

this last weekend i was reminded of why traveling makes my top ten. my mom and i had a girls' weekend in lovely san diego. we had so much fun. that woman makes me laugh! justin held down the fort with the little ladies and was rewarded by a very relaxed and refreshed wifey! win-win.

(we could spy this 25 foot statue from our hotel window)

(love this view)

(hotel del coronado, anyone for some like it hot?)

(we pounded the pavement, checking out downtown. loved the mix of old mission style buildings with the modern high rises)

(returning home to this lil' mug is the best)

Monday, August 8, 2011

race report: august

haulin' aspen was AMAZING! justin ran it with me, and i am happy to report that i did not trip him or sabotage his race in any way! he stuck by my side the entire race, even when that meant going waaaay slower than he would have normally ran. he encouraged me the whole way, at one point even complementing my race day attire...seriously! what a guy!

the course:
we started at miller elementary school on skyliners road. it was a cool, cloudless morning and even though the event was sold out, it still felt like a small intimate group. there was no one there to check us in and get our bib numbers, so we helped ourselves.

haulin aspen included a marathon, half marathon, and 7-miler, we had staggered waves at the start. even with the small group of 7 milers left, there still was a bottleneck as we all tried to funnel onto the narrow dirt path at the beginning of the race. we ran in single file for the first half mile or so, which made it a little slow as justin and i had started in the back of the pack. the path was lined with tall pines and was a combination of dirt trails, mountain bike trails, and forest service roads.

the first three miles were pretty flat (minus the mountain bike moguls), with only three monster hills to climb. i only tripped once (i saved myself before i ate it). there was lots of roots, rocks, and uneven ground to navigate around. however, i kinda liked that part. i had to concentrate on what my feet were doing, and that was a nice distraction.

the last four miles were flat or a steady decline which was lovely, and much needed to keep me going. the sun came out and i was HOT! because most of the run was through the forest they only had one water station to cut down on trash on the course. i was thirsty and knew i needed water badly. at mile six justin and i failed to notice the turn (the flags had been trampled down) and added on an additional .2 miles. after realizing our mistake and giving several other runners the heads up as they started to take the same course we had, we were back on track. we skirted a hill above shevlin park, the sun was beating down hard, i was thirsty, and ready to be done! i sped up and heard justin's voice, "nice job, love" making me instantly teary eyed. we trampled across the bridge, justin right on my heels, and loped across the finish line with big smiles!

loved this race! it was a beautiful course, challenging and fun! if i wanted to work on my time for this race i could have raced a little smarter (brought a water belt, started more towards the middle rather than the back, and been more aggressive in passing when in single file)...but overall i felt strong!

the race however, was only a small part of this weekend! i seriously have enough updates to fill this entire week! stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


my august race is this sunday.
and i'm nervous. justin is running this 7 miler with me, which could be good or bad. justin is much faster than me...which might encourage me to pick up the pace....or, in a weak moment, cause me to curse his name and try and trip him... i'll let you know how it goes.

i've been working on my "mental toughness" with running. some running blogs i've read have these mottos or mantras that the runner tells herself... you know like, "you got this" or "you trained for this". i tried didn't work. instead, i kept hearing my high school softball coach yelling, "get the lead out rasmussen!" which is what he would always shout as i was running the bases. and in the end i always think, "i can't fight it, i am a slow poke".

but then, while perusing pintrest (so addicting), i found myself "pinning" all these prints that were about running. and guess what folks...these little sayings were playing a track through my head in this morning's run...

Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells 'CAN'T", but you don't listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper 'can'. And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.
  (someone else wrote this part, and i loved it!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

hello summer!

justin got back from camp yesterday. we were so happy to have him home. it feels like now summer can really begin! oh wait, it's august.

this summer has been a blur.

something i missed noting on the blog.....addison's half birthday (7.20.11) what? you don't celebrate half birthdays? lame, you should.

look at this little angel!

she loves to eat. like seriously adores it. she starts to frantically whimper when i am taking too long getting the spoon in the mouth. imagine that, my daughter enjoys food, who would have thought...

 this was what last night looked like (remember, it was our first night of summer...kinda)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011


i love to create. 
in fact, i believe we were created to create. i love when God is referred to as Creator. and i feel absolutely connected to Him when i myself am creating.  

my two year old is right there with me. she is jumping with joy and high-fiving over blown bubbles, scribbled pieces of paper, forts constructed...because she made it. my husband is known for looking over something with great attention, only to give a sure nod of the head and a simple, "i could make that". and he could. 

i also know not all of us create in an outward, product driven way. we create relationships. we cook food for those we love. we plan an evening or a trip. it is in us.

this passion has taken many forms in my life. and what i lack in skill, i make up for with sheer pleasure! sewing, knitting, crocheting, building, designing...and now to add to the list- photographing.

i don't need to add another "hobby" to the list. my life is full in every sense of the word. however, i simply delight in learning another way to express beauty, love, faith... it's in me, i can't (don't want to) fight it. 

on sunday i took my first photography class with my new camera and i was reminded of the joy the act of creating gives me. i was giddy. my smile muscles hurt from over use. i was inspired. see kir's blog, restored style,  here to catch what we were up to. the instructor, leela, was a gem. talk about a gal who can create!

here are some pictures i took sunday:

more to come...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

let's vote on it!

dear friends,
    i have been searching and searching for a perfect half marathon to run this october. i cannot decide. i would very much love for you to weigh in on the subject. or perhaps you would like to run it with me? please give me your honest vote for which race i should commit to.


1. columbia gorge marathon/half marathon (hood river)
pros: beautiful location, we could make a fun weekend of it (picking an apples and pumpkins)
cons: windy/hilly course, we could go there to pick apples and pumpkins with or without a race

2. girlfriend's half marathon (vancouver, wa)
pros: it would be cool to participate in an all women's race (especially one that supports breast cancer research), close by, sounds like a nice course

3. run like hell half marathon (portland, or)
pros: no traveling involved, sounds fun,
cons: nighttime race???, i've run this course/similar course before

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

bye-bye binky!

binkies are a touchy subject. should you use one? how long should you use one? how to get rid of it? will it be hard on my baby's teeth? (have you seen my child's teeth???)

i for one, have loved the binky. long car rides, quiet places, cranky babies, airplanes -- it was always an easy little solution to whip out and mackenzie loved it.

our pediatrician recommended weaning mack from the binky before three. i nodded, thinking three was an eternity away, and pushed that milestone off to a far corner of my brain...

but now it's summer and mackenzie is two and a half and it is time.

did i mention she loves her binky? adores it really.

i knew we should start brain storming how to take it away, but to be honest i was scared. mack goes to bed so easily, happily sucking down on her binky in true maggie simpson fashion. although the binky use had been cut down to only nighttime/nap time use, i knew this summer we were going to have to face up, binky had to go.

while on assignment last month, i mentioned my dilemma to another mommy there and she told me her brilliant idea. she had made a special trip with her little girl to none other stitched that puppy right into a new special stuffed animal.

and that, my friends, is exactly how mackenzie came to lose her binky...

(justin really hoped she would stick with the eagle, alas, she chose a lamb)

 (next "lamb-y" was stuffed)

 (there goes the binky! she did give it a little kiss before it went in)

(still excited, she hasn't really grasped that this is the end to her binky sucking days)

 (done deal)

mackenzie did cry at bed time that night when she asked for her binky and we reminded her that it was in lamby. i think at the moment she would have traded lamby out for her binky, i actually wondered if we would find a gutted lamby the next morning and her happily sucking away. but after night one, she hasn't asked for it again. bye-bye binky!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

race report: july

daschutes dash...
so, you may remember i was signed up for the duathlon? i changed it to a 10k. much more doable considering i haven't ridden a bicycle in well over a year. 
here's the race day skinny...

most training programs i have looked at have you run every other day. for me that isn't enough to build endurance. what has worked well for me is to do two days together, take a day off, then three days together, take a day off. i am not sure what you experienced runners might say to that, but for this race i really noticed a difference and felt stronger than my last 10k (read about it here).

also, i have been trying different breakfast foods before my long runs trying to nail down what works best for me. in may i ran an awful 5k after eating a HUGE breakfast of french toast. i had this silly idea that it was only 3 miles so no biggy....wrong!!!! so far what i like best is toast with peanut butter and some sliced banana on top. i also eat it about an hour and a half before my run. runner friends, what breakfast works for you?

i decided to run sans music and liked it. it made me aware i need a little work on my breathing, i sound like i am dying! 

(before the race)

something is seriously wrong with me. i get really warm when i run. like hot, over-heated, red faced, sticky. it's not normal. so i was a super happy girl when race day brought overcast skies and cool temperatures. 

i also got to run this race with my best friend katie. she is someone i feel so comfortable with, and it turns out we are great running buddies. she is much more of a natural runner than i, and her pace is faster, but the conversation is easy and she knows how to make fun of my heavy panting without hurting my feelings.

the 10k portion of this race was a small group compared to the triathalons that most deschutes dash participants were racing in. it is a flat course along the deschutes river in the old mill. 

miles 1 and 2 were uneventful, kate and i found our stride. i told her i wanted to start slow and speed up as we went, and we did just that. 

and then i had to pee. i don't trust this mommy bladder of mine, and i became nervous when i started to scout out port-a-potties and noticed there were none to be found. kate distracted me and we carried on. by the time i did spot one, i decided to hold it and run worked this time, but maybe not the best racing strategy?

mile 4 was hard. mentally. i was tired and felt like i would like to stop. but i kept going, dedicating my run to addison in my heart, dug deep and kept trucking. katie kicked it up a notch and headed out. i hung back trying not to think of waterfalls, rushing water (hard to do with the river beside you), or toilets.

mile 5, i was almost there. i spotted mackenzie, justin, and addie cheering me on. mackenzie jumped into the race and grabbed my hand, running alongside me for a few strides. it was just the boost i needed to finish 'er up.

mile 6 i knew i was close, i lengthened my stride and started smiling. i was almost there. i felt good and proud and knew my family would be on the other side of the finish line. 

 (yay! we did it)

things to work on: 
  • my breathing. keeping it even, not wearing myself out hyperventilating. 
  • also, my mental toughness, how to stay strong especially around mile 4/5. 
  • and of course, my pace...always wanting to speed it up. i don't have the official report but i believe it was right around 10:40 miles. my last 10k was 11:43 miles and i was hurting SO bad! improvement!

next month: hauling aspen 7 miler...

Monday, July 11, 2011

reading. it rocks my world. justin knows that if i have a new book in hand, something i'm real excited about, i might be MIA while i power through said book in a day.
i love going to the bookstore. the smells of the books. the shelves neatly organized by author's last name. places like powell's (serious love here). the feeling that there is a hidden treasure to find down those aisles. i love when reading a good book, i can be a million miles away and it feels so dang good.
i've always been this way. and i am crossing my fingers that my girls will love it too.                                                              
some of my favorite reads

favorite series: i first must say, i love a good series because when you close the book there is the next one waiting and it makes me happy. harry potter...hands down.
favorite love story: tie between pride and prejudice & the time traveler's wife
favorite classic: oliver twist
favorite childhood: anne of green gables. this also wins for most times read.
favorite picture book: the giving tree
latest favorite: I'm currently reading eragon (the inheritance cycle) and am totally into it.
favorite nonfiction: under the banner of heaven
favorite "spiritual" book: (other than the bible, duh) ragamuffin gospel

***note, these choices are ever changing***

other favs:
  • snowflower and the secret fan 
  • the history of love
  • the art of racing in the rain
  • secret garden
  • emma
  • the lotus eaters
  • tales of the fourth grade nothing
  • clan of the cave bear series
  • shadow of the wind
  • wrinkle in time
  • little women
  • the brief and wondrous life of oscar wao
  • eight cousins
  • glass castle
  • water for elephants
  • roll of thunder hear my cry
  • hunger games
  • the girl with a dragon tattoo
  • matilda
  • don't let the pigeon drive the bus