Thursday, May 31, 2012

Major Milestone

We have reached a major milestone at our house. Carleigh turns ten in 4 days. I can. not. beLIEVE it! That birthday not only marks the end of single digits for Carleigh but also marks the number of years we have been changing diapers. It has been 10 years, with no breaks, and sometimes two kiddos at a time, that we have been changing diapers. I don't even want to know how many diapers that is. I'm sure we filled at least a partial landfill! So the milestone is, that we have gone about 3 weeks now without changing a diaper!!! Cora has been wearing big girl panties and going on the potty and doing very well. We are so excited. I can't even tell you how excited. Of course, there is a little part of me that is a tad bit sad because this marks the end of our babies. Last night, I think Cora got a little bit nervous about being a big girl. In her mind big girl=no pacifier. She only uses a paci at bedtime (mostly anyway), and she knows that big girls don't use them. So, last night she threw a wall-eyed fit saying she wanted to wear a diaper! It's hard not to laugh at her when she does something like that. She started saying the same thing this morning, but I told her I would hear nothing of that kind of talk! She stopped pretty quickly and agreed to wear her adorable Minnie Mouse panties. Whew!

Today was Cora's last day of preschool until the fall. I can't beleive she'll be in the 3 year old class next year. I remember when Carleigh was in that class. I thought she was so big. Now my baby will be there. 

We are embarking on a new chapter. Each of our children have become a little more independent recently. We all went for a bike ride last weekend. It was fun to watch the bigger two. Cora loves riding in her seat on the back of my bike. I loved my babies, but I think I am really going to enjoy this next phase of parenthood too. I was always so exhausted from lack of sleep with the babies. None of our babies EVER slept through the night. I don't mean to complain, but it was a very tiresome period. At least now, the big kids sleep through the night, and Cora only wakes occasionally.

We had a wonderful weekend at our friend's lake house for Memorial Day. Here's a photo demonstrating their independence.

The water was shallow and we were only a few feet away, but this was still a pretty big deal!

Hope you have a beautiful weekend! Hope to post more soon. I am so behind...story of my life!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mother's Day

I had very good intentions of posting about Mother's Day before now, but you see where that got me. Anyway, a flashback to last Mother's Day Sunday...

I got as much done on Saturday evening for the Mother's Day brunch we hosted for our moms as I could, then I just had to stop and go to bed so I could get up early for my first ever triathalon. I am kicking myself in the hind end because I did not get even ONE photo of the table setting or our lovely moms on Mother's Day. You'll just have to trust me on this was beautiful, they were beautiful, and I thought the food was beautiful (and yummy!)

I combined two 6 foot tables to form a big square and covered them with our linen table cloths. I used a gorgeous antique crocheted table cloth as a runner. For the centerpiece I used these things...

You'll have to use your imagination. Maybe next time I'll remember to get out the camera! There were also a couple of more rosemary plants and some brighter pink flowers mixed in as well. The moms got to take those home. I also made them a homemade vanilla and brown sugar scrub. I hope it works as good as it sounds. I found the idea at Under the Table and Dreaming. I bought the containers and some pretty ribbon at Hobby Lobby. Target had some pretty swirly sticker thingys I stuck to the front. 

I printed up a menu and sat one at each spot. Of course, I didn't save it, so I can't show it to you either. I guess I was just totally thrown off because of the triathlon earlier that morning! The menu included...

this beautiful Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad
Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad

This awesome Asparagus, Morel and Ramp Quiche

Asparagus, Morel and Ramp Quiche with Brown Rice Crust
I forgot to serve the roasted garlic and rosemary potatoes, but we had them the other day with our yummy teriyaki pineapple burgers!

We also had fruit water and this pretty pink Lillet Rose Spring Cocktail. It wasn't my favorite, but it was pretty. I think if we make it again, we'll add some agave nectar and a little less grapefruit juice.

No Mother's Day Brunch is complete without dessert! We had lava cakes with whipped cream on top. We also served Kona coffee. I hope the moms (and dads) enjoyed everything as much as I did.

After our food settled just a bit, Kelvin and the kids brought out my gift. I was so surprised and excited to receive these...

Kelvin and I have talked recently about how much fun it would be to play golf together. I have never played a day of golf in my life, unless you count Putt-Putt. But, I am excited about learning and enjoying something new with Kelvin...and the kids someday!

After a very good nap that afternoon, we woke up and headed to one of our new favorite places on the water for dinner. This was a great close to a gorgeous day with my precious family.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not a first timer any more

So, if you read this blog very often, you remember a few weeks ago when I posted about training for a triathalon. I had never done a triathalon before and thought it wise to sign up for a super sprint (meaning very shortened) triathalon in the first timers wave. So, I did, and I got a couple of friends to do it with me too. I have some really great friends!

Well, Sunday (Mother's Day) was the big day!

I am the one on the right. My friend, Holly is on the left, and Jessica with the envious abs is in the middle. Holly has envious abs too. Hoping I can join that club next year! :)

I went to bed early Saturday evening (before 9) and woke up at 12:30 to Cora crying, then again at 2:30, and once more right before my alarm went off. Ugh! I finally got up at 4:15. I had a small bowl of Greek yogurt with some Bare Naked berry granola and a half a cup of coffee. I dressed in my cool purple tank top with the Emma's Hugs logo and my black Emma's Hugs skort, and put on my flip flops and my black head band. I also applied some Body Glide to prevent chafing and some sunblock. The sunblock worked, but I missed a spot with the Body Glide! Live and learn!
My friend, Jessica, picked me up at 5:00, and we headed to the race site, Duessen Park on Lake Houston. It's a really great park with over 300 acres of playgrounds, trails, ponds, etc., and it borders Lake Houston, where the swim portion of the tri was. Kelvin texted me that morning around 6 to let me know the wind was only 4mph, and we should have sun and a 64 degree start. I texted him back to let him know the weather man was a little off, because the wind was howling at about 15 mph, the skies were cloudy, and the water was looking more like the beach than a lake. The sun finally peaked it's head through the clouds and warmed us up a bit. We found our spots on the bike racks and laid out our stuff for the transitions. We then took a picture or two and made our way to stand in line for the restroom. I was beginning to get nervous about the swim since the water was so choppy.

Right about the time I donnned my flattering swim cap, mine and Jessica's crew walked up. Cora didn't even recognize me, but Carleigh and Luke did and thought I was looking pretty silly with the bright pink swim cap on my head. 

 Anyway, they cheered me on to the swim start and watched as I walked into the water and proceeded to keep from drowning for the next 14 minutes. What a mental workout the swim was! We were seriously no more than 10 or so yards out in our 200 yard swim, when women all around us were screaming at the top of their lungs to save them because they were drowning! OH MY GOSH! I wanted to help them, but I couldn't, and I felt bad, and weird. It was hard blocking them out. All the training we had done free style swimming went out the window because the water was so choppy. I was afraid to even put my head in the water for fear of never coming back up. I knew that if I turned my head to get a breath like I normally would, I would get a mouthful of water. It was hard just keeping it out of my nose. I kept swimming like a frog (whatever you call that style), and made it to the exit. Whew! I was so glad that part was over. It was a shame the conditions were so yucky, because the swim was the part I really enjoyed the most during training. Oh well, maybe next time won't be so bad. A friend of mine from Tri4Him said I should be proud that I finished the swim because it was SO not typical of what the tri swims usually are. That made me feel a little better.

I ran to the transition area, toweled off a little, shed the pretty pink swim cap and goggles, put on my socks and shoes and my bike helmet and sunglasses, and ran my bike out of transition for the 8 mile ride. The bike ride was pretty cool for me, because only one person passed me that I can remember. (big smiles) We biked through Duessen Park to Eisenhower Park and around it and back. Man, I didn't know we had such great parks available in our area! Kelvin and I will take the kids back soon to enjoy themselves, for sure!

I made it back to the transition and shed my helmet, clipped on my race number, and headed out for the two mile run. Running is not my favorite thing. I have to talk myself through it the whole time. Part of the problem is that my hip hurts (more on that later), my hamstring starts pulling, and my toes numb up about 1/2 a mile in. Then there's the whole breathing thing. I feel like I can't breath. Oh, and the jiggle factor is a little frustrating too. But I got through it. The more weight I drop, the better it will be. Since I weighed in January and started trying to lose some weight and get back into better shape, I have lost 10 pounds. I'm glad I had the triathalon as a goal. I'll keep remembering I want to be about 15 pounds lighter still before I turn 40 in 201 days, 5 hours, 44 minutes. Hopefully there will be a couple more sprint or super sprint triathalons I can sign up for to have a little extra motivation as well.

I forgot to say that when Jessica and I went to the transition clinic a few weeks ago we found out they mark your race number on your arms and thighs. And on your calves, they mark your age. Your age as of December 31, 2012! I was totally bummed to find out I would have to put 40 instead of 39! UGH! Someone asked the race director why we had to have our age on our legs. She really didn't have a great answer except for the whole competition factor. She explained that when you are out on the course and need a little extra kick to pass someone or reach a time goal, it helps to know you can take someone who is a little younger or older than you. I didn't think that would matter much to me. I'm not usually very competitive. But when I passed a 37 year old at about a 1/2 mile left in the race, I was pretty stoaked. When I saw her pass me right before we got to the very last stretch before the finish line, I realized I wasn't going to let that happen. So, I kicked into high gear and passed her happy little hiney and crossed the finish line before she did. (very BIG smiles)

But not yet. Not sure what that is on my right leg. ??

I remember thinking about Emma as I got close to the finish. I wondered if she was running alongside me that morning cheering like the rest of my family. I pictured her skipping and doing cartwells through the clouds right above me. I told her I was doing this one for her and that I loved her very much. I felt a little chill running through my body, and I thought that might have been her. I miss her.

For my sweet Emma

I love my friends.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pretty Good

A lot of times, I think I'm doing pretty good (well.) And a lot of times I am. But then there are times I am not...

missing Emma as I crossed the finish line yesterday, receiving a phone call this morning from the Batten Disease Registry in NY or somewhere up North asking how Emma is, reading lines from a blogger wondering how the world keeps spinning when her little one is no longer here and completely relating, trying to explain to Cora that her sister is no longer a little baby just because she is in some of her photos around the house, appreciating the handmade Mother's Day gifts from my children and wondering what Emma would have made or written...

It's hard understanding why the precious gift we were given was taken back. I don't think it will ever make much sense to me. My heart aches, my eyes water, and my throat tightens with sadnesss.

"The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cora and Emma

Thank you, Pamela, for sending me such a sweet caption on the photo I posted on Facebook the other day.
We went to the beach last week to look at rentals. Have I mentioned I miss our beach house tons? (I know you're probably sick of hearing that. Sorry.) We took the kids' bathing suits and some towels and let them enjoy the gorgeous day on the beach after we finished looking. It was fun. I always enjoy being on the beach. I always think of Emma when we're there. She seemed to love the beach too. All of our kids do. I snapped this photo of Cora running with my phone. She is always full steam ahead. I love what my friend, Pamela, sent me after she saw the picture on Facebook. Cora talks about Emma often. I know they would have been close. I think Cora is closer to Emma than we know. I miss her.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quick and Easy

Tonight for dinner I made a scrumptious soup. It's was 92 degrees outside today, but I am not easily deterred. I love soup! It's called Quick and Easy Thai Coconut Soup. I think I am the only one in my family who truly loved it. Carleigh almost got another bowl. Kelvin gave it a thumbs up. Cora ate all of hers with a little prodding. But it was like pulling teeth for Luke to finish his bowl. I don't know what's not to like! Two of the ingredients are lime and cilantro for crying out loud! YUM! I think today was the first time I have ever purchased a package of Ramen noodles. Crazy, huh? Next time I make it, I will add more mushrooms and probably leave out the chicken. Not so crazy about chicken lately. Not sure why. Somehow I didn't see the jalapeno in the ingredient list, so I didn't have one to add, but I will definitely add it next time. I will probably try to find a healthier alternative to Ramen noodles as well. But man, I really liked this soup! And, it really is quick and easy. Can't do much better than that on a school night with ravenous kiddos breathing down your neck! ;)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

more favorites

...cocunut pie, Malibu rum, chocolate cake, mojitos, fresh mint, Zumba, watermelon, sailboats, smiles, the cross, old hymns, snow-capped mountains in the summer, horses on the beach, sun-kissed cheeks, text messages that say, "I love you," a good story, learning something new, ukulele, sunroof, lamps, candles, crushed ice, a wink from across the room from my main man, fireworks, hot stone massage, long walk on the beach, Hobby Lobby, boutique shopping, Whole Foods, a good pair of jeans, sitting around the fire, the perfectly roasted marshmallow (so worth the wait), Latin dance, Steel Magnolias/Fried Green Tomatoes/The Help, chicken salad sans onions, clean sheets, a card in the mailbox, a weed free flowerbed, fruit trees, veggie garden, freshly painted room, yoga, old stuff, mango, papya, blue painted ceilings, rocking chairs, cotton pjs, new car smell, handmade, making something old something new, old couples, butterflies, seagrass, grilled corn-the-cob, cooking with my husband and kiddos, creating, getting stains out, lying back looking at the stars in the mountains of Colorado, rope swings into the lake, boat rides, fishing (catching, really), toddlers hugging, Eskimo kisses
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