Saturday, November 30, 2013


For the month of November I have been talking to the girls about the importance of being thankful and recognizing our blessings.  I put a tree up on our wall in the living room and every day the girls and I would add a leaf or two, and on each leaf we would write down something that we are thankful for.

I've been very impressed as we've gone through the month.  It was wonderful to spend just a few minutes together everyday talking about our blessings and expressing gratitude.
This year we went to my parents' home for Thanksgiving.  The day started out with me volunteering at and then running a race.  After I hurried home and got started on the rolls and stuffing we headed off to my folks house where we finished our prep work and got everything in the oven.  I really didn't calculate the time well because we barely had the food ready and on the table in time.  Anyway, the dinner was excellent, dad smoked the turkey, and everyone that lives in the local area was there plus my uncle Jon who is visiting my parents for a couple of week.  Of course I took no pictures because I always forget at events like this.  Tyson left after dinner for work and then I took the kids swimming in Grandma's pool and when it was all over we were just exhausted!  By the time we got home the kids were all asleep.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Six Months Old

For me six months feels like a big milestone to me.  He's no longer a tiny baby, he's moving around the house on his own, playing with his toys, eating solid foods, and really beginning to show us his little personality.  He isn't crawling, but this boy can move!  He gets all over the place all the time.  Because he's so squirmy we haven't figured out sitting up yet, why bother when you want to be exploring the world.  He has mastered eating his baby food, so far just cereals, bananas, and sweet potatoes.  He's loving them!

Today I took his pictures right after his afternoon nap...he wasn't impressed with my timing.
 He did warm up to the camera though.  This is a mild little smile from Gideon though, when he really smiles he does so with his entire face.  His smiles are infectious, I can be so tired and grumpy because he'd keeping me up and he will smile at me and I can't help but smile back and give him a kiss.
 Poor guy is dealing with some eczema with the change of seasons so his face is pretty splotchy.  That's okay though, he's still cute as can be!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Painting with the Girls

We have spent so much time outdoors these last few months that we are having a hard time acclimating to being indoors so much.  Yesterday we spent some time painting.
 Charlotte is still very new to the process, but she holds her brush well and is learning to control her movements with it.
 Lily still likes to play with color for the most part, but one of her paintings was her self-portrait.  In her eyes she has very long hair.
Apparently she sees herself as Rapunzel, but with brown hair.  Lily says that those things around her are books, because she has to have lots of books.
 Gideon sat in the high chair and watched his sisters paint.  Cute kid!
He was very intent on devouring this teething toy.
Hopefully we can keep coming up with new activities because otherwise cabin fever is going to set in way too soon.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gideon's First Foods

See this happy guy?  He insists on getting bigger and bigger despite my begging and pleading for him to stay little.
 There is something about putting my baby in this high chair that made him seem so much more grown up.  He's a newborn no longer I suppose.
 This morning Tyson gave him some rice cereal and this afternoon during snack time I mashed up a banana for him.  He ate it all and then wanted the bowl.
He's also scooting around now.  He isn't crawling, but he scoots like an inch worm and gets frustrated when it takes too long to get to the item that he wants.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Family Pictures

Last week my sister Alison took some family pictures for us.  Gideon is five months old now and there are still no pictures on our walls of him so it was time to fix that.  She took some great pictures.
Charlotte is getting so big, toddlerhood is behind her.
  Gideon here is just a joy, his smiles are so happy they make everyone around him smile.
When did our sweet little Lily get so BIG!  She's so grown up already.
 Me and my girls!
 My guys!
  This weekend it will be our six year anniversary.
It is fun for me to have pictures with my children and I because I'm almost always the one behind the camera taking the pictures so I'm rarely in them.
 Sweet siblings!
 This little guy is a mama's boy, and I love it!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Zeitgeist Half Marathon

When I was pregnant with Gideon I began formulating a plan for getting back to running after he was born.   I knew that I wanted to get myself back in half marathon condition so I figured that I need to find a race and just plan on it.  I needed something that was this calendar year, but not so close to May so as to allow myself adequate time to train after he was born.  After some searching I decided on the Zeitgeist Half Marathon.  It gave me 5 months from my due date to recover and train.

I trained, only missed one long run, and after my 12 mile run 2 weeks ago I was feeling good.  I'd incorporated some hills into my long runs and I felt ready to rock this race!  I have been having trouble sleeping lately, and even though I went to bed late last night, I still managed to get a good amount of sleep and woke up ready to go.  As ready as you can be, right?

We ended up running a little late this morning so we arrived at Optimist Park only 30 minutes before race time.  I picked up my packet and nursed Gideon then handed the kids off to Tyson and went to line up, ready to go.

The race started, I felt good, and started out a bit faster than I should have.  It wasn't too bad though, I was doing great, for a while.  You see, Zeitgeist is not a flat half, not even close.  Over the course of 13.1 miles you gain about 1180 feet.  Around half of the way into the first hill I switched to run/walk intervals because it was steep.  I'd trained on hills, but my biggest hill was only 200 feet up over the course of a mile and the first hill here was well over double that.
I survived the first hill but around mile 4 my IT band started giving me grief.  I hadn't had issues for ages, but today is acted up so I had to slow down on the downhill, I kept running, but I wasn't booking it the way that I would have liked to.  Once we hit mile 6 I went back to my run/walk intervals and then turned into straight walking between miles 7 and 8.  That hill was so steep, the headwind was so strong, and I honestly wanted to just sit down and cry rather than go another step.  It took everything I had to keep moving and then I finally turned the corner after mile 8 and started heading back downhill.

However, then I another issue popped up.  I started cramping.  First they were wave-like cramps through my calves, so I stopped for a minute to stretch and that seemed to help, but around mile 11 I got a strong cramp, almost a charlie horse, in my left calf and foot that forced my foot to curl up.  That eased, I started running again, and then it happened again.  I was really disheartened.  I'd survived the hardest parts of this just to cramp up and turn lame on the downhill.  I managed to run/walk to rest of the course and finished with a time of 2:48 (not official, just according to my watch), which is more than 30 minutes longer than it took me to run my first half marathon.  I'm not too disheartened though.  This course was a challenge and in so many ways I'm still working on coming back from having Gideon.

When I got to the finish line Tyson and the kids were waiting for me.  It isn't often that they come to my races, but it was so heartening to see them there waiting for me as I approached.  I was also greeted by a bottle of water, chocolate milk (the BEST post-race refreshment on the PLANET), and a finishers shirt.  Sadly, there were no medals.  I'm rather sad about that.  I love collecting race medals!  That was the most disappointing thing of all, a $50 entry fee for a race should pay for a medal, just saying.  Other than that one detail, the race was great.  The course and scenery were beautiful, Fall in Boise at its finest!  There were wonderfully cheering groups along the way to encourage you on, random cars drove past blaring songs like "Eye of the Tiger" and one home along the way was blaring music from inside while they stood along the road cheering.  Boise has a wonderful running community, it just doesn't get any better.

After the race I was able to meet up with 2 of my fellow mamas from our Moms Run This Town club who both chose this beast for their first half marathon.

There was a post-race party with really good looking food, but Tyson had to leave for work right as I finished and after I finished feeding Gideon it started to rain and since I had 3 little ones with me I decided that we'd best just go home.  The girls were tired and cold, Gideon was squirmy, and I was struggling to get back to the car which was parked quite a ways away.  Thankfully this sweet lady, also headed to her car stopped to see if I could use some help.  I smiled and intended to say no, even though I really did need help, somehow, I just wasn't sure in what capacity.  She asked if she could carry my baby for me (since he was screaming about being in the stroller) and I said that I would love that.  So she carried Gideon while I pushed the girls in the stroller back to our car in the rain.  I was hurting and cold and this woman was my angel today.

Half marathons are hard, excruciating at times, but honestly, I love the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment.  I'm amazed by the fact that even though I am hurting and this race made me want to cry, I want to do it again, but not until next year.  I need a while to recover.


We had so many Halloween activities this year, I was exhausted by the time Halloween rolled around.  Tyson had classes so it was just me and the kiddos.  I managed to get some cute pictures of my pirate crew in their costumes before we set out.
 Charlotte spent an hour eating a blue airhead before this photo was taken, hence the blue chin.
 My littlest swashbuckler!
 Lily and Charlotte had been talking about being pirates for Halloween for months and were so excited for their costumes.  Lily already has next year's costumes is going to be interesting, but I'm banking on her changing her mind between now and then.
Since I was on my own I decided to take the kids to the mall for some trick-or-treating and then we went to the Jenkins' home for some homemade hot chocolate, maple bars, and good company.