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