Chad, Jessica, Jet and Aijiahlyn

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Flip the Awesome Switch

I just turned 29, and I feel like I'm actually starting to kind of get the hang of life...haha.  I will probably laugh at that statement in 10 years, rolling my eyes.  I know. 

This past year, I have grown so much.  I am so much more active in my own life.  Sadly, I have always been fairly passive about my life.  It's as if I've been riding a river, going along with life, but never really paddling, or nevr trying to get off the river and go somewhere else.  Often, I would say, I want to do that, but not THAT bad.  I'm happy with little.  I am content with keeping things simple, so I wouldn't pursue anything that cost money, or would make me too busy, because I thought it was better to just be happy with what I had. 

All those things are good, but it's also important to challenge ourselves.  I have developed a passion for it.  It makes life better.  The path of least resistance is not very interesting.  I want to get after it!  I want to wring the life out of living!

It started with "Game On" (health/fitness/weight loss competition), a bit over a year ago.  It taught me to set goals and actually not forget about them....sad....but you know how it goes!  Over the past year, I have been setting so many goals, many little ones really.  There are so many things to learn, try, and pursue.  As the year has gone on, my goals have been getting bigger, and now I vigorously reach for them, instead of being intimidated by them.  Bring it!  Whu what?!  Let's use my energy up, and not be scared of filling the plate.  Fill 'er up, and TOP 'er OFF!  Let's live. 

For instance, I have always wanted to start a professional blog.  I have been working on it for the past 2 months, and a fire has been ignited.  The passion it brings to me weaves into other parts of my life.  I am more passionate about everything.  I want to create an awesome life for my family.  I want to teach my children all good things.  I want to bring light and happiness to others.  I want a deep relationship with Chad, full of unconditional love.  I want to enjoy every single night together, as a family, learning and laughing and loving. 

2 months ago, I also started going to the gym.  It has been so great for me, socially and emotionally.  I forgot how nice it is to be social!  I have comrades there....tehe.  We love fitness, and we don't think we're crazy for it.  : )  I keep it to an hour a day, and it's such a battery charger.  ZzzzzzztTTTTt!  Bring on the day! 

I feel like I'm in attack mode.  Rar!  Not, sit back and let's see what happens mode.  Who needs that anymore?  That's not for me, personally. 

It makes me feel a bit sad, that I'm 29, just learning these things about myself, and figuring out the way I want to live my life.  Grrr.  But, you know, that's still young baby.  And, I have so much ahead.  And, I'll probs be livin' 'til I'm flippin' 110, between the way my grandmas are doing (both 94) and my healthy lifestyle.

PS We'll be starting a new family blog soon, and "chadandjezca" will retire.  I want to work on the new blog WITH Jet.  'Twill be good bonding time.  And, I just want to document everything!!!  I love journaling.  If I'm lackin' mojo, give me a bit of journal time or a workout, and I'm back at it.  So, a-blogging we will go.  So excited.          

Sunday, October 20, 2013

5 AM jibbah jabbah

It's 5am.  I normally wake up around 7.  This happened last Sunday, and I couldn't get back to sleep.  I was so excited for a lovely morning anyway, I just stayed up, worked on my calling, and read some conference talks.  It was fab!  Well, I was an official zombie in Sunday School.  Honestly, my eyes were burning, and I did not want to open them after the prayers!  Luckily, there were oreos in the the YW closet, and those offered a pick-me-up for the 3rd hour.  Thanks sugar rush!

Well golly, I don't want the same thing to happen again, but I can't sleep, and I have the blogging bug.  So, might as well live it up, warm some tea, and have a good ramble.  
  Oh, my favorite mug!  It says GOOD MORNING on it.  Yessir!  It's the perfect size, design, and I am a morning person after all, so, I HAD to buy it.  Best $5 spent.  Love ya World Market.

Garsh, gotta repaint the nails.  Maybe I'll do that too.  Ha!

Yesterday was a cave day.  I pretty much stayed home all day.  Chad was gone all day too.  Sometimes, those days just hit the spot.  I hit the gym in the morning (gots ta go to Insanity every Saturday morning.  It's the bestest.  Plus, Rick Dancer is a regular.  haha.  Chad says, "Who cares?"  lol  Meh, whatevs, Rickster is cute and Ellen, the instructor, makes me happy, and everyone is just full of energy at that class.  But gosh, this one guy totes stole my spot, and then hogged the mirror.  BUT, it was funny watching him check himself out...haha!)

After the gym, Jet went to Cooper's BDAY PARTAY, supah fun!  Then we took the dogs out on what we call the "Monster Path," and from there, stayed home ALL DAY.  I closed the curtains so I could wear whatever I wanted and dance like a fool to various Pandora radio stations while cooking and cleanin' uppa storm!  Jet and I did school together.  We made mac'n'cheese and he was determined to eat it on the deck.  I ungraciously indulged him, and ended up loving it.  Best part of my day.  We cozied up on the lounger, it was sunny, and after I ate all mine, I snuck a few bites of his.  Terrible, I know!  Then we cut kale from the garden and laughed about how daddy is going to hate the kale chips we are going to make...haha!  Well, Jet is probably gonna hate them too, but he doesn't know it yet.  I found a recipe with nutritional yeast on it.  Yum.  I discovered that stuff at Cinemark.  They have it to put on your popcorn.

Anywho, Chad went to the Duck game, so he was going to be away all night.  The kids and I basically just hung-out, going room to room cleaning up and laughing about one thing or another.  Then Jet and I read books in bed.  Twas awesome.  And now, the house is clean, floors vacuumed, dishes are done, and the dirty laundry baskets are all empty.  Perfect way to start a Sunday morning.   

Then it was 10:45 when Chad got home, I crashed, and Jet watched Madagascar until midnight. Eek.  Well, I was a good mom up until then.  Gosh, I ain't wonder woman.  And, what's the first thing Chad says when he gets home to see a sparkling house, after he's been having oodles of fun at the Duck game?

 "It smells like fish really bad in here!"

 I rolled my eyes, MAJOR!  Um, what???!!!  The eye roll said, "You're supposed to say, "The house looks awesome!"  I said,  "So, yeah yeah, I cooked some fish, big whoopity!  Just my normal tray of roast fish for the next few days (love the stuff!).  You're the one who caught it all in Alaska.  CHAD, we need a range hood.  That's your job."  Ha!

"Yeah, that's true.  It would have sucked all that smell up.  The house looks awesome by the way." 

Maybe I'll cook more stinky things to encourage faster action.  Nevermind that he always calls it a hood range.  LOL!!!!!  pahahaha.  Love you, Hun!  I tease, I tease!     

Last sip of tea.  Sigh.

 Man, why do I need sleep?  I just want to stay awake.  This is so self-indulgent and fun.  But, I can't be exhausted at church.  I love the classes too much, and Aijah is a mad-woman there.  All over the place!  Cute little crazay thing.

LOVES.  Wish me luck on sleeping.  Oi!

And mercy, let's hope we actually make it church on time.  We're the annoying late people.  We have been trying so hard, but still!  Man!  WE CAN DO IT!    


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Oh golly, it's been way too long.

Well, I have been blogging, but it's been on a secret blog.  haha.  I have started writing a health and fitness lifestyle blog.  I haven't found just the right title yet.  I wanted to just get started with writing, finding my niche, practicing, and seeing how much time it would take to post once a day.  Mercy me, I loveth it.  So excited to get it rollin'!  Yahoozle!  Such a passion there that ignites my happy!

I am going to be an INSANITY instructor.  CRAZAY!!!  The DVD series is just starting to offer classes at gyms across the US.  I have always wanted to teach group fitness, and when I heard Insanity was coming, I knew that was the class I wanted to teach.   I just took my certification this weekend.  Be prepared for sequinned headbands.  haha!  Oh, I would love to practice, and am going to try to organize some free classes.  Let me know if you are interested.  The class is meant for ALL fitness levels, I promise.  They designed it that way.  

The end of August was so awesome, it made the transition to fall a bit rough.  Where's the sun?  Ahhhhh.  What about my daily journal time sittin' on my lounger in the sunshine?  GONE!  BUT....I just replaced it with a warm blanket and tea on the couch.  Still awesome.  What about picnics?  GONE!  BUT....we eat at the kitchen island now.  And RAIN!  I was such a woose the first 2 weeks of rain, as if it was this AWFUL, painful, miserable stuff.  But, my Oregon roots finally pulled through and reminded me, rain is not a big deal.  

The kitchen.  Ha!  Still not done.  We put it off because we wanted to enjoy summer.  NO REGRETS.  Kitchen remodels can wait for rain.  Oh yes.  So, now we're getting back into work mode.

We are all great.  Working on uploading photos.  Got some goodies.

 I started a  nightly "bullet-point" journal, where I write the highlights of everyday.  Also, nightly, we all share our fave parts of the day.  I loves me some homey, comforting routines before bed.  Aaaaaaaah.  I look forward to it every night.  A cup of tea or cocoa never hurts either.  And, a new down comforter!  Sleep tight.

I have been doing "school" with Jet.  It's so engaging and fun.  I love bringing home huge bags of books from the library, and reading them in bed together.  'Course, hauling them to and from the library is a bit awkward.  Heeve ho!  Totally worth it though.

Aijah.  Aw, little dahlin'.  I call her my crazy angel.  She is SO SWEET, but into everything!  Into the cupboards, dog food, purses, toilets, lotion, and ON and ON!  She just loves wandering around the house, amusing herself.  Luckily, we finally got child locks on the cupboards.  She had developed a passion for emptying the recycle and scattering it.

Life is just good right now.  I am enjoying every day.  I best be spreadin' the love!     

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Santa Cruz.  7am.  Brilliant sun.  E Cliff Dr, hugs the shore line.  7.5 miles.

I went to Santa Cruz the summer after I graduated.  It rocked my world.  I fell in love with it.  I have wanted to go back ever since.  It has taken 10 years.  I have always dreamed of being a surfer girl, hitting the waves early in the morning before really starting the day.  Well, running gives me such a kick, I think I’d rather run than surf these days.  This run was pure bliss from start to finish, a culmination of 10 years anticipation.  I was ecstatic just being there, being in my element 100%.  

Fed Aijah, and snuck out the back door.  So excited.  Wasn’t quite sure which streets to take, but knew generally to stay south to see the ocean as best as possible.  It was bright and sunny, not overcast like San Fran, and the perfect temp because of the crisp morning air.  Mmmmm, mi favorito.  Crispy air. 

Off we go, TO THE OCEAN.  Aaaahhh, there it is!!!!  I’m here, I’m really here!  Run run run.  Pretty pretty pretty.  Um….ok, take a left.  Following the shore line.  Stop for a pic.  Click.  Lady gaga radio.  Britney Spears montage while passing the Boardwalk.  Haha.  Smiling.  Up the stairs.  Legs a bit tired from San Fran run the day before.  Find a real path (aka, not sidewalk off of a street) right along the shore.  Gorgeous.  2 feet from the sand.  Volleyball nets.  Palm trees.  Cliffs.  Beautiful architecture.  Winding path.  Off to the lighthouse, I know it’s around that corner somewhere. 

At this point, it felt surreal, as if I couldn’t believe I was really there.  Everything was so perfect.  The views, the sense of nostalgia, the morning itself, the ocean, the path I had never trod.  I felt so alive, and so filled within the moment.  So many things that make me happy were happening all at once. 

I passed the lighthouse, and kept going.  I didn’t want to go back yet.  Watched people playing with their dogs on the beach.  Awww…our dogs would love it here (but oi, the sand).  Looked at the Garmin, almost 4 miles.  Probably should head back to pamper the ol’ knee.  No injuries here. 

Turned to Pink Martini radio.  The perfect set of tunes for the setting with the 40’s vibes.  Oh baby.  “Papa loves mambo…..Mama loves mambo.”  Grinning ear to ear.  Feeling so light on my feet.  Dancing with my arms.  Taking everything in.  Facing the sun now.  Feels so good.  Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm.  HEAVEN!  Amazing houses.  Dodging a few bikes.  Passing other happy runners.  Arms swinging.  Slight breeze.  More beach.  Stop for pics here and there.  Run through the empty boardwalk (am I allowed to be here?).  Run run….train bridge….can I run on this?  Is it still being used?  Better be safe, DETOUR.  Meh, extra mile, no bigs.  Great decision.  Set me up to run straight into the sun, while “La Soledad” from Pink Martini came on.  Starts with amazeballs Chopin solo.  Running, Chopin, sun in Santa Cruz, water off to one side, pictureseque houses to the other.  Practically want to cry.  Thank you Heavenly Father!  Thank you!  Singing starts after the solo.  Sucker for Spanish.  Meow.

Run to the beach, take the stairs down.  Who cares if I get sand in my shoes.  Running toward the water.  Wow!!!  Little tipsy on the dry sand, get to the wet sand.  Run along the shore.  Run faster.  Feel my legs work.  Laugh because this is my dream come true.  Running along the beach, fast, fast, fast.  FREE!!!! WEEEEeeee!  Arms out.  DORK!  Can’t help it!  Aaaaahhhh, I’m really here.  This is really me.  It’s not a movie!!!!  It’s not in my head.  It’s REAL!!!!!  Stop at the lighthouse rocks.  Turn around, walk back. 

Should I swim?  Ofcourse.  It would end the run perfectly.  I have to.  I would hate myself if I didn’t.  Off with the shoes, socks, iphone, headphones, Garmin.  Walking in.  The perfect wave to dive into.  GO FOR IT!  Crash….shploosh!  THAT WAS AWESOME!!!  Soaked from head to toe.  Not even cold according to my Oregon perception.  Plop into the water.  Float on my back.  Look up at the sky, sun streaking rays across it.  “Ever After” moment.  Perfectly relaxed, endorphins pumping through entire body, enveloped in the ocean.  Deep breaths.  Stand up.  Waves pass across my torso.  Another dive.  Looking around.  Taking it in.  “How is the water?” people ask.  Oh, AMAZING. 

Time for a stretch.  Bum kinda in the air.  I don’t care.  I’m on vacation.  I consider the stretch after as part of the whole running experience.  It feels as lovely as a massage.  Aaaaahhs and sighs always ensue.  Close eyes.  Perfection.  Open my eyes.  See the ocean, my skin covered in beads of water, sand on parts of me, sun reflecting off my limbs, neon running shoes off to the side.  Tear up.  I LOVE THIS place.  I love this moment.  It’s SO ME.  Why has it taken so long to get here?  Aren’t I supposed to live here?  I feel so at home, and so alive.  I LOVE THIS OCEAN.  I love the sand and sun.  I love the energy, the beauty, the peace.  Crying a bit more.  Get the feeling that everything is okay.  I have a wonderful life, and heaven will give me endless time to do everything I love, in places even more amazing than this.  Just enjoy the moment. 

Walk back to the beach house, carrying my shoes. 

Uhhh, Aijah got woken up by a dog soon after I left, and that woke up Jet.  The kids were supposed to be sleeping.  SORRY Chad.  But, THANK YOU!!!!  You have no idea.  THANK YOU!!!!!  That’s the second day in a row.  Eeeeek.  I owe you some massages.  No problem.   

Do you ever feel like you're meant to live somewhere else? 

BUT, after this trip, I have been inspired to run in more interesting places around home.  I would love to RUN the Ridgeline Trail, instead of bike or hike.  I would also love to become an expert on all the Pisgah trails by running. the summer, I can go for a dip afterwards in the river.  It's all good.  AND, Pink Martini Radio will be coming with me.   

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Soaking it up!

I am feeling very self-indulgent right now, and I should be cleanin the house and blah blah blah, but honestly, I'd much rather sprawl on my lounger chair, in my swimsuit, soaking up the early evening sun and have a little blog.  The house can wait.

Summer comes but once a year, and its laidback vibes have soaked through me.  Ya know what?  I will work on the house and have it all good and lovely when the weather turns sour and I'm stuck inside, but for now, this sun is getting enjoyed.  I follow a blog and the author is currently on "holiday" (she's British) in Spain, and I'm just pretending that I am too.  What is all that pressing anyway?  So the kitchen isn't we lost steam....whoopitteedoo dah!  I'd rather be outside anyway.

I am LOVING summer.  Oh me oh my!  We've had a few overcast days and it totally woke me from my unappreciative slumber.  JESSICA, enjoy the summer before it's gone!  We been swimming in the pool, I've been reading and writing every day on my lounger, we take picnics galore, we go on bike rides, we eat popsicles.  We've picked tons of blackberries and raspberries.  I have been running more, and say a prayer of gratitude every day that my knee is so much better!  Every run this week has come with a post-run high that could not be recreated any other way.  You would think that I had just won the lottery I am so happy.  I come home, turn on some pandora, dance with Aijah, stretch rather loudly with relaxing sounds.....nothin' like a good stretch when you're sore.....aaaaaaaawwwwhhhhhh.  After a shower, we all hang out in the bed, and catch Aijah before she plummets. 

Yep, I've been living the last few weeks of August like it's vacation.  Bliss I tell you.  Sure, the floor needs a good mop....yeeps, but hey, I'm caught up on the laundry.  There are clean sheets on the bed.  Mis peeps are gettin' fed.  It's all good.  Uh....the toilet is broken and we have to use a bbq tool to flush it, but ol' well.  We have two toilets and what's an extra 5 seconds to go to the other toilet or use the tool for a flush?  Bah hahaha!

I think the kitchen remodel was just so overkill, that we are in recoup mode, and don't give a rip about the house right now.  Chad doesn't want to invite family for Aijah's bday because the kitchen is in the exact same state of undone-ness as it was on jet's bday a month ago.  I say, who cares?  I wanna partay!  They don't care....golly gee.

Sometimes i feel a little guilty for being so vacation-y, but then I remember that it's ok.  It's my life.  I work hard all the time.  It's crazy for me to remember that I used to have 2 1/2 months of summer every YEAR!  That hasn't happened since I was 17.  I haven't had a 2 week break since then.  My friends would come home from college, and have Christmas off or summer break and not work.  I've had some great 5-6 days off on a row, but that's all.  I've gone 1 day without my kid/kids for 2 times.  Is it so wrong to put things on the back burner for awhile and use that free time to be outside?  No, it' RIGHT!  It's kinda shameful not to, if there is an option.

Some mornings have been chalk full of outings....and I love them.  It's like the "real day" of getting things done doesn't start until afternoon.  I workout first, then take the dogs, then go on an adventure with the kids, then go on a picnic, and whudya know, so much fun and it's only 1pm. 'Course, there is a lot of stuff in between, like feeding people, clothing people, diapering, picking-up, washing etc but it's fun too.  Then I'll try to maintain some order in the house while the kids play, then we'll have a snack, read books, the kids take a long nap, I take a short one and keep some time to write in my journal and read blogs and work in the garden or cook stuff from the garden that only I eat.  Summer...don't end.

Today, we hung out in our kiddie pool.  Aijah picked me a flower.  When Jet saw it, he went and picked a whole bushel of flowers for  He gets a bit jealous and competitive sometimes with her, but in a sweet way.  I try not to get annoyed when he tries to be louder than she is.  Why do I get annoyed so easy?  I act like I have all these things to do, but really it's just some housework and paperwork to keep up with.  It's not as if there are many urgent things in my life right now, yet I still feel like that, and I think it makes me more impatient with my family.  How silly!  Sometimes, I see all the little messes around and I get tunnel vision and think, I gotta do this and this and this and when am I ever have time to get to that etc...but gosh, what's really pressing and fleeting are my children growing up....just like how summer is only here for a short time.  They completely correlate, and I'm realizing that I let my petty to-do list get in the way too much of enjoying my children.  I need to soak them up!!!  Like the sun!!! 

Writing and journaling has always helped me figure myself out.  I love it. 

PS, I love blogs because I have found a few people (strangers really) that I just LOVE.  They inspire me and lift me up and I'm addicted to "hearing" from them.  It's like they are friends....BUT....uh.....they don't know me.  lol.  anyone else have this goin' on?


Monday, August 5, 2013

A good fitness ramble...feels good

I feel too good NOT to blog.  I am a firm believer of writing or recording thoughts in the moment, ESPECIALLY the good moments, because it reflects in your tone.  You choose words that convey the emotion much better than if you try to catch up later when the excitement has dwindled.  Even still, I wish I could have written an hour ago when I was at my highest high, but, I'm still feelin' awresome, so I'm not going to let this time pass me by.  When I write at times like this, and I read it back to myself on a low day, it inspires me and perks me up.  So, here's to my future self on a bad day : )

I was back in my groove today.  Once again, the perfect morning has come to pass.  Chad and I, well, our family, started a new nightly routine last night, and a new morning routine this morning.  He has already worked out, and so have I.  It's awesome.  He's already read his scriptures.  We had family prayer last night, we stretched together, we talked about the day, the house got tidied, etc.  All those little things that you put off because you don't want to get up, got done. 

This morning, we BOTH woke up early.  I kicked booty on my hiit workouts.  Honestly, I was dripping sweat, which I LOVE, because I know I pushed myself.  It's so funny how far I've come with hiit.  I used to be so nervous before each workout, I would lollygag until I finally got the gusto to just do it.  Then when I was doing it, it wasn't that bad.  Now, I really look forward to it.  It's still hard when you're getting warmed up, your body just doesn't want to do it yet, but once you get going, it's awesome!  Just fyi, the workouts are short.  Long workouts still intimidate me.  Then when you're done you feel like a stud, you're on an energy high, and you think so clearly, and you have so much more oomph to get things done.  It's like getting my batteries charged.  ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzttttttttt!  BOOM!  PuMPED uP!!!  I learned that after you exercise, more blood goes to the reasoning centers of the brain, so you think more clearly....that's why it's easier to make better choices (like healthy food choices) after your workout.  I am starting to write my workouts down in a journal.  I'm excited to look back and see my progress.  Fun!  I gotta admit, Sundays are tough because I don't workout, and I feel sluggish throughout the day, and I never feel FULLY energized.  I don't like it.  But, it's a day of rest and I do enjoy using that freed up time to read more scriptures etc.

Before I was done, Jet and Chad went golfing with Grandpa.  Lucky me, I've only had Aijah all morning.  EASY!  I took her for a 3 1/2 mile run.  Well, holy moly, pushing a single stroller is SOOO much easier than a double, at least the one we have.  I could actually get in a groove.  I didn't have to answer Jet's questions (not that I hate to, it's just impossible to get lost in the run, which is fine, I still really like taking him too) in between breaths.  Aijahlyn was laughing and looking all over.  She loved it.  I hadn't ever taken her solo.  I just told her, "Aijah, we are going to be soul mates."  Jet and I are adventure buddies no doubt, but Aijah and I, I can already tell, all going to be besties.  Let's face it, Chad has Jet wrapped around his finger, and I have Aijah around mine.  We love them both equally, but Jet clings to Chad, and Aijah clings to me.  I haven't run that long in awhile, so I felt proud, even got some good intervals in.  I got a and I always tease our friend who has told us he runs purposely on busy streets with his shirt off so he can get honks.  "I need my honks, Durf!"  lol.  When I heard it the honk, I just laughed, because I was in really dorky bright running clothes because all my others were dirty.

Anyway, I haven't been able to get in a running groove for awhile because of my knee, but my knee is almost better!!!    There is something about running, that wakes me up in every way.  I have great thoughts, I'm excited about the day, about life, I get ideas, I let loose, I feel free.  Don't get me wrong, it's not always like that, but it's worth staying in running shape to get one of those runs once a week or more.  This may sound sad, but this winter we went sledding in the mountains.  It was a long drive etc, and when we were done I thought, "I would have had more fun running."  I still loved going, but running is funner!

I feel like me again.  The kitchen is very usable now, not done, but pretty much, and now I can run again.  We are getting our house in order in every way, budget, routines, organization, it is all just feeling great.  I might give my best effort at being Chad's personal trainer.  I have always helped him in the past, but this time, I think I will be toughter and pretend he's a client, not a spouse!  Ah haha!

I'm excited to reach new levels of fitness, I'm excited to teach my children, I'm excited for our family routines and fun things to do togeher (Chad canceled our tv service.  I'm ecstatic.  I have been hating tv lately.  Bleck) I'm excited to tackle each day.

PS I LOVE SUMMER.  Last week we had a wake-up call with overcast weather.  Boo!  I had started not appreciating the summer weather.  Oh, it's heaven.  It's so lovely to be outside and go on so many adventures, and lay in the sun, and soak your feet in water and eat watermelon and have a garden and pick blackberries and not have to bundle up and be scared to go outside.  I have been making these herb and citrus infused drinks, sometimes ginger herb with stuff from my garden refreshing, but man, they aren't nearly as good on a cold day.  Nope.  

I have been recharged.  Good thing, because this is Chad's last day off in AWHILE.  Here we go.       

Saturday, July 27, 2013

While Hubby's Away

What do you do when your husband earns a 3 1/2 day Alaskan fishing trip?  You pretend you're on vacation too....well, at least you figure that's the best way to do it 1/2 way through.

I originially thought I would have the dining room all beautified and complete by the time he got home, with a chalkboard wall (with an amazingly beautiful quote in the perfect font), new chairs, a table runner and perhaps a clock.  Well, I COULD have done that, but it would have involved ignoring Jet and Aijah more than they deserved.  C'mon, their dad is gone, the last they need is a busy, frantic mom saying, "Don't touch that, the paint is still wet," "I'm almost done, we can play later." etc etc.  So, I decided that I would focus on doing fun things with the kids.  We managed to...

-hike Mt. Baldy (up one way, down the other, back up another way, and back down the original way (I didn't drive 25 minutes to hike for 1 mile, no way, and unfortunately Jet was worn out after the first hike, but I was selfish and made him do the rest.  He did it.  I tried every inspirational idea I could muster.  At one point, I gave him a piggy-back while Aijah was in the Bjorn.  It wasn't that bad, but Jet didn't like it.  Boo.  I wanted to feel like Little Miss Powerhouse.  I'll never know how tired his legs really were, but he got back to his old self once we were in the shade going downhill, for the most part.)
-Have a pool party with some friends from church
-Pick lots of blackberries
-Run through the EWEB fountains
-Have 2 picnics
-Have a super fun night with Grandma, watering plants, reading books and eating strawberry shortcakes
-Go farther than we ever have at "the place with the hills," along with the dogs, who are always ridiculously giddy there.
-Jared and Hailey watched Aijah so I could take Jet to see The Kroods.  Going to the movies is a rare treat these days (that's a big chunk of time for babysitting etc) , and I probably enjoyed it more than Jet.  lol.
-Run some pretty lame was when I was in "dining room mode"

It was just some good, relaxed times.  All I told myself was, "keep up with the house, that's it."  It was vacation in a way.  I didn't have to cook for Chad ( I'm happy just picking through the fridge, concocting as I go), or do his laundry, or tell him to pick up this or that.  I only made the bed once.  Give me a blanket and I'm good.  Normally, I put more on top of my plate, because really, you have to.  There is just more to do.  But, I put it on the back burner and focused on being a little more chill and making sure Jet and Aijah got some good lovin'.  It was good bonding time.  I learned, well relearned, the best way for me to bond with Jet, is to just be silly.  It doesn't matter what we're doing.  I LOVE shopping with him because I just talk silliness to the kid most of the time.  I did this ever since he was a baby.  It's so fun.  Accents come out, giggles abound.  Sometimes I'll play the snob, or the grouchy old lady, or stuffy old man, or Gloria from Modern Family, or just be loopy.  I forget to do this sometimes because I'm stressed and in a time crunch, and it's lame.  Why not make it fun?  When Chad comes with us, he thinks my voices are a wee bit annoying.  SOWRY!  We's just bees havins some fun.  Ah ha ha!  Daddy thinks I'm      

Unfortunately, this morning, it was back to real life.  But, I'm working into it.  Got Jet's room a little more organized.  I asleep for 20 minutes while Aijah and Jet were playing.  Whoopsee.  Hurrah, Aijah didn't choke on anything, she's ALIVE!!!  Thank GOODNESS!

Why is the "don't want to do list" so long lately?  Ug.  One thing at time.  Chop away.  Chop.  Chop.  CHOP!!!!!!!  I'm sick of chopping.  See?  I'm still in vacation mentality.  Chad now has to work for 9 days straight.  Lovely.  Anyone want to take Jet shopping with them?  I promise he'll make you laugh.  : )

Thursday, July 11, 2013


 We have managed to fit in some adventures over the past few months.  First, Aijahlyn and me at the "park with the big hills."  After a 1/4 mile walk, there are some hills we always run down, over and over. 

 Here we are, mid-downhill.  Obviously, she loved it.  Normally, Jet comes too.  I can't remember why it was just Aijah, the dogs, and me.

 This was a great outing.  It was in the late Spring, on a day that felt like Summer.    We rocked that tire swing.  Aijah picked a lot of grass.  : )

 Bless you!

 Found an earlier pic of the kitchen.  NBA
Tried a new spot.  GREAT!  I posted a city map in Jet's room, and we are writing down where we have been.  So far, we have been to 5 new spots.  Very proud of us.  He's always been my adventure buddy, and now Aijah is too.

I have been wanting to hike Spencer's Butte for a long time.  I told Jet I would take him once my knee felt better.  Well, I mentioned it a little too soon one morning, and I committed to it before I really should have.  I wasn't sure he could do it (I hadn't been for years, so I didn't remember how hard it was or wasn't), and it was getting hot fast, and it's a big chunk of time.  Well, I told him I would, so we did.  He did awesome!'s REALLY rocky at the top with serious drop-offs, not the safest place.  Ooops, bad mommy.  We went slow at that part.  Honestly, we just had to concentrate on one step at a time, or it would have felt like it was too far and too overwhelming trying to keep us all safe.  But, we did it.  We felt like such studs at the top.  I'm still so proud of him.  Aijah fell asleep on the way down.  It was a bit brutal on the recouping knee, but it was worth it.  He has total bragging rights now.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kitchen Pics

All these pics start when we were already had taken the center wall from the house, and are taken over the course of several weeks.  Above, the peninsula is out, and Chad is demolishing the bulkhead.  And yes, we are great parents and kept Aijah there for a few minutes.  eek.
 Then we had to take down ALL the sheet-rock.  Chad and yours truly on duty.  This is where all the loads to the dump came in.  Piles and piles.  Where the dark couch is, there used to be a wall, from the far edge of the couch, to the metal wall.
 This was the kitchen for a few weeks.  That range wasn't operational.  The fridge was in the garage for weeks.
This is a few weeks later.  The main "kitchen" had been moved to the living room for another few weeks.  
 Some cabinets in.  New fridge actually in the house.
Here is the "cooking station."  Griddle, which Dakota would try to lick clean if I didn't keep the plates turned over.  Ug.  Toaster that only works if you still a rice-cooker spoon in it (thanks Miss Congeniality for the idea, worked like a charm).  Garbage and recycle.  Little dresser for towels, utensils, and a bread drawer.  Chad was living off homemade burritos and sandwiches in his lunch.  Mostly, things that could be packed in a baggy he could throw away, so I didn't have more dishes to do in the bathtub.  Several weeks without a kitchen sink.  Only a week w/o sinks in general.  Brushing teeth using the bathtub just feels wrong.   The place we got the granite, has a special deal where you get free granite for your bathrooms, minus install ofcourse we took advantage of that...but, just more to do on top of it all.  Then when the granite was in, it made everything else look bad, so I had to repaint the bathroom.  Then the windowsill was terrible, but I noticed all the sills in the house were bad, so might as well do them all while the supplies are out.  
 Finally, a kitchen-ISH.  A sink!  A SINK!!!!   A range!!!!  No more griddle.  During our weeks of griddling, I did manage to make soup in a pot on top of the griddle, but oi, we'll pretend it didn't take an hour.  A pot on a griddle only gets to about a medium-low heat.  Torture. 

Getting there.  At least the kitchen is very usable at this point.  So lovely!!!  So excited to get bar stools, and have floating shelves.  Still have to install, backsplash, pendants, rangehood, appliances, floor and some more.  Always more.  More, more more.  But honestly, we're over the hump.

OH MY GOSH.  Talk about your life being turned upside down.  This has been a challenge.  It has been 2 months.  I'm finally starting to feel like myself.  It just stinks when a big part of your life, (cooking for everyone in your house) turns into total chaos, and there is this constant project hanging over your head, and there is only so much you can do, there is only so much other people can do at certain times, and on and on. 

Somewhere in the middle of it I told myself, well, if I work REALLY hard on the rest of the house during this, then the whole house will be in great shape when this is done.  Bad idea.  Then I went even more crazy, feeling like there was too much to do all the time, and basic needs of every one were getting neglected.  So, I had to pull back and say, life is just gonna be about taking care of each other during this situation.  I don't need to be adding more to the plate in an effort to gain more order in other parts of the house.  Let's just focus on this right now.  So, we started doing more fun things, and went on some adventures, and the house just was a disaster.  That worked for awhile.  Then, the disaster was overwhelming.  People would stop by to see the progress of the house, and it would be a  embarrassing because of the mess.  Piles of various projects here and there; piles of floorboards, piles of items from Jerry's, dishes everywhere, Jet's robots everywhere, furniture in weird places, baby playpen and exersaucer in the middle of the living room etc. 

Needless to say, my life the past 2 months has been all about, what else do we have to get done?  What's next?  What do I have to get ready?  What do I have to clean?  What to I have to get out of the way?  This weekend, I couldn't even relax very well, because I've been in this constant, MUST-GET-STUFF-DONE mode.  But yesterday, after I got most of the whole house clean, and I was able to make a meal for my family, and take a shower and stretch and have fun with our kids, I felt great.  I remembered what it's like to just live like I used to.  It also helped reading my old blogs.  They helped me remember how I was before all this.    Oh yeah, I used to be fun, and not a stressed dorkwad.  I was so glad that I had written those blogs.  It feels so good having this project coming to an end. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I have been wanting to do adventures.  I have been wanting to enjoy the oncoming of summer.  I have been wanting to be easy-goin' and chip-chip-chipper, but I've been THWARTED....obstacle after obstacle, tripping me up. 

Kitchen.  I spend so much time in the kitchen.  It's a source of peace for me.  It's a mess.  And, the remaining remodeling tunnel is LONG.  Must keep going.  The chaos has almost become a new normal.  Not cool.  I have this odd makeshift kitchen set-up on the fireplace bench....microwave, waffle maker, toaster, (that just broke, figures) and griddle (gotta have eggs).  A dresser for utensils.  Kitchen table for countertop.  A pile of cutting boards.  A big bowl for a sink (dirty dish pile). 

Water heater broke the day before yesterday.  Somehow. luxuries here.   No range, no kitchen sink, no dishwasher, and now, NO HOT WATER.  AND....NO HEAT!!! Because we had to turn the gas off. to Grandma's for warmth, mac and cheese, and baths.  THANK YOU!!!  And yes, it's rainy and cold today.  Ofcourse. 

Knee injury.  It's pretty stupid to be reading an inspiring running book, when you can't run.  It's so frustrating.  The perfect summer was ahead with races and new trails.  No HIIT either.  Too rough on the knees.  That was my morning jolt.  Well, it will force me cross-train.  Learn something new.  But really, I want my faves. : ( 

Always another project.  Sheet rock comes out.  4 loads to the dump.  New drywall goes in.  Prime before bed.  Paint early.  Paint again.  Needs another coat.  Patch another part.  Do the same thing.  Stay up late putting in cabinets.  Well, Chad and friend worked on cabinets.  I watched 5 kids in a tiny bedroom.  Oh, it's the weekend?  Even more work!   

Keep up with the joke of a garden.  I feel so lost.  SO many things aren't growing.  So, I planted more.  Will those grow?  Who knows.  Then I look at all the work for two rows of lettuce and I think....what is that gonna make?  One big bowl of salad....that only I eat?!  I mean, I'll love it, but I just think I did the layout wrong or something.  How did people ever live off their own garden?!  I guess, I started from scratch.  I made long mounds, rotated, tilled (with a hand-tiller thingy), mixed in compost....all so I could plant the seeds and have them be really healthy.  So i thought.  But next year, there will be much less work.  A lot of the work has just been researching and trying to learn how to do it right.  I did start with some questionable seeds, so that doesn't help.  No LCC seed swap next year.  I'll preserve my own seeds this year.  But, there is another thing to research, learn, and do.

Then today, I had plans for getting lots of things done, but they involved the truck and dry weather.  No dry weather.  No chores done.  Dogs still couped-up.  Plans thwarted.   

Used the gym for the first time in ages, so I could use their shower.  Used the elliptical too.  It was nice to get some cardio.  It's been awhile.

Chad has longer hours for the next two weeks too.  Hurrah!  

But hey, none of us are sick!  Our family is great.  Aijah has learned to stand on her own.  Jet says great prayers.  Really, they are very entertaining and sweet, and quite long.  lol.  I've stayed in my sweats all day, but at least I'm clean, even my hair.  We'll pretend I didn't hoover crappy carbs all morning out of stress.  yikes.  My wonderful father-in-law came over to help me with the water heater guy.  Thank goodness.  I got to watch the last 1/3 of Wreck-it Ralph with Jet, snuggling on the couch w/a fluffy blanket.  At that moment, I just silently thanked the people who make happy movies, because it's just what we needed to chase the stresses away.

Perhaps I should have put this in a more personal journal?  I wonder sometimes.  Ol' well.  "Publish"

Well, how about a theme song for the rest of the day?

"Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride, nobody gonna slow me down, oh no, I've got to keep on movin'."

What are a few boulders down a path, but a few detours to make the trip interesting?  Nay? 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Crazy Kitchen Lady

I really should get some cleaning done, but I'm going to do some mental cleaning instead.  That's what journaling and/or blogging is for me.  It just helps me sort my thoughts and find my mojo, like going for a run.  It's actually become a little afternoon routine for me.  Love it.  Though it normally ends with a baby waking up, and a torn feeling of, I should have gotten something else done, but I really needed that.  Normally, I drink tea too, but with the state of our kitchen, making a cup of tea involves 4 different rooms (bathroom for water, kitchen for cup, garage for fridge (need cream!) and living room for microwave).  Tea is in, sanity!  Not sanitary tea....haha.  Decaf and herbal....alright....I'm kicking out some regular chai soon.  Honestly, I haven't bought any for a long time, and won't anymore.  I'm doing good.

Mental spew of BOOs (negative things)

-no sink, range, or dishwasher
-running injury that keeps lingering
-messy house
-precious seedlings getting eaten by slugs
-10% of seeds planted actually growing!!!  ug!  I suck at this!
-drywall guy bailing
-feeling like I have a limb cut off because I don't really have a kitchen.  I'm pretending we're camping.
-Having to go to my parents to cook a big batch of meatballs for the week.  Annoying my dad with a cranky baby, and loud dogs barking in the back of the truck (and the neighborhood, for that matter, oi)
-Doing dishes in the bathtub
-Working on ANOTHER load to the dump, because we took down two more walls of sheet-rock, thanks to the drywall guy who bailed.  
-I have eating issues and think about food way too much

HURRAHs (positive things)

-Getting a new kitchen...I really need to focus on WHY we are going through all this.  It will be worth it!  Really, it's not that bad.  Wah!!! Jessica, Wah!  You still have food and electricity and water.  Shut yo' yappa!
-Beautiful weather
-Lunch w/Jet on the deck, under the new umbrella.  I love eating lunch w/that boy.  So fun.  Today, he tried his first caper.
-ricotta has been rocking my world lately....and peanut butter.  and pesto.  Not together.  Well, the first and last
-Dean Karnazes books (Ultramarathon man)  So inspiring.  This guy makes you rethink some basic beliefs of pushing the limits.  Right now, I'm applying the principles to the kitchen, and not running.  haha.  "One step at a time....will eventually get you to run 150 miles."  "Pain is the body's way of ridding sissiness."  Those aren't real quotes from the book. 

Alright, let's cut to the chase.  The real reason I'm feeling like I'm running amok is because of the kitchen.  That's all.  It's bound to happen.  SO....I'm going to cut my self some slack, realize it's gonna be a bit chaotic 'round here, and go with it.  No big deal.  If I'm feeling off, I'm blaming it on the kitchen.  That darn kitchen.  Makes peoples get all crazies!  Cheese and Crackahs! Watch out for the crazy lady, she's kitchenless!  Bah!!!!

Let's ignore the house.

I'm so silly.  The other day I read a quote by Thoreau, basically saying that the less one has, the more free one is.  I remember learning that lesson when Chad was unemployed and we were living at his parents.  Stuff takes time and energy.  Caring for it, maintaining it, storing it, organizing it, etc etc etc.  Stuff can be such a waste of time.  So much of it is fluff, and not really important.  The kitchen will be wonderful, but really, it's stuff.  It's not that important.  The best part will be the new layout....being able to be WITH the family when I'm cooking, and having everything be open.  THAT, is a life changer.  Getting new cabinets? Nah.  It will also be wonderful to have people come over and spend time together.  THAT will be awesome.   

I want to simplify.  So much stuff.  Sometimes, it's a burden.  I want to purge.  Get rid of it!  Focus on relationships and living.  My relationship with my Heavenly Father, my family, my bigger family.  Family is the best.  Don't you love that quote in that mormon message, "Children are what God gave you time for."  What is life for?  To make it back with our families.  I love my family so much.  They are the joy of my life.  They are the hug, literally and figuratively, at the end of the day.  I love the brightness in Jet's eyes, Aijah's innocent excitement at the smallest things, Chad's willingness to listen to everything I have to say, even when it's silly, and still truly care about it. 

What's a few weeks of kitchen catastrophe?  Meh.....nothin'.  Bring it.

Heads on straight.  Isn't writing great? just woke up.  Whudya know? 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Life During a Kitchen Remodel

We're in the thick of it.  Luckily, we're just hackin' away at a steady pace. 

Really, so far, it's been a series of tearing down various things (walls, cabinets, moldings, ceiling), cleaning up the mess (loads to the dump), and cleaning up all the debris to make the house livable, and then cleaning it more so a baby can actually crawl around safely.  Emptying cabinets.  Finding temporary places for all the stuff that was in the cabinets.  Sell this to make room for this.  Call this guy for this.  When will he be here? 

New fridge is the garage.  Luckily, still have all the other appliances in the house.  So many trips to the garage, especially for us food divas.   

Using our table as a kitchen island, a bookcase as a cupboard, and a hallway dresser for drawers. 

Always various 2 by 4s exposed somewhere.  Center wall, back wall, the whole center of the house. 

Temporary beam wasn't holding up the ceiling enough, and had an emergency beam install.  All is well. 

Accidentally chopped a wire.  No electricity in our bedroom and Jet's room for the past week and half. 

I have learned that I feel like a stud taking loads to the dump, just me and the kids.  I can heft huge pieces of wood and sheet-rock into the truck, and later throw them into a big pit.  It's a fun, vigorous, and makes me say, RAR! and flex my muscles...when I get home.  lol.  Who needs to wait for Chad for help?  I got this.

But honestly, I already love our kitchen so much better because of the open layout.  Life changing!  Tonight, Chad was watching NBA playoffs, and I was chopping some produce (my zen activity....I love to chop) and we were hanging out together.  He was feet away, and not behind a wall!  We could easily converse about the day.  No yelling, can you bring me this?!  More like, hand that to me, at a normal volume.  ok, no prob.  So, what was your fave part of the day?  Right now.  I know, this is so nice! 

Scared to be sinkless soon.  Yikes.  tehe 

A Weekend in Portland, parte dos

Alrighty, a week later.

Let's sum this vacay up!

Race...yay!  (PS, half marathons DO NOT have to be painful.  You can very well have a pleasant 1/2, it just depends on how hard you want to race.  You can do it way more leisurely.  I don't want anyone to be discouraged about doing a race because they think it's miserable.  It is what you make it, and I decided to see just how fast I could go.)

-Hung out with fam, reveling in our gloriousness
-Back to hotel.  SHOWER!  Jet and Chad went in the outdoor pool.  Had a blast.  It was fun hearing them play from the room while I was getting dressed.  Well, I really wanted to jump in too....but why the heck didn't I?  I don't remember.  What an idiot!  I think I may have felt guilty about being sweaty.  Doh!
-Stroll down Alberta St.  SO INSPIRING!  So many cool, urban, hip, funky eateries...honestly, I could go there every morning after a workout, pick-up a little nibble from a diff place every day, and sit in their cute little vignettes, and be in a perfect state of bliss.  Food carts, plant nurseries, tea houses, cool upcycled art.  We ate at a biscuit place, next to a pure white juice cart.  I got some loose teas at the store, we got ice cream from Salt and Straw.  Visiting this street has been fuelling my motivation to work on the house.  I've got a fever!  In a good way!  I want to live on Alberta St.  : )
-Hooked up with Suz and Kara and kids to finally see Suz's apartment in downtown.  17th floor?  27th floor?  Anyway, crazy view from the balcony.  Always wonderful being w/family.
-Checked into a diff hotel.  It was more posh.  Good deal on Expedia.  Clear elevator.  SOooooorelaxing.  Soft bed and pillows, everything FEELING so crisp and fresh.  Floor to ceiling windows, w/a view of downtown.  Chilled out.  Aaaaaaaaaaah.  So nice.
-Caught up w/Kara and the kids to stroll northern downtown shops.  So fun just browsing, found sweet pirate ship chandeliers, pilot goggles, pretty papers for Aijah's rooms, and got 3 fancy desserts to take back to the hotel.
-Dinner at Huber's, the oldest restaurant in Portland....opened around 1897.  Still has a lot of original architecture etc.  Very cool. 
-Hotel veg time.  I put all the boxed dessert delicacies on the bed, and ate bite after bite, savoring all the silkiness, velvetiness, rich chocolate, airy cheesecake.  It was such a perfect moment...ultimate vacation indulgence.  And, I was in my fave pajamas.  Luxury, a bit of gluttony, ultimate comfort and a touch of silliness.  Ah ha ha.
-Goodnight.  Sleep tight.

-All woke up at the same convenient. 
-Hit the zoo, 10 minutes after it opened.  THE PERFECT ZOO TRIP.  It was practically deserted, and the animals were active and close.  We were feet away from cheetahs, cougars, the orangutan, alligator, polar bear, and so many more.
-Downtown food cart block, probably over 25 food carts.  Got Greek food.  Wow!  Gyros!  We likey.
-Toy shop.  Got a fun volcano experimenting kit for Jet, and some planet stuff.  I liked looking at all the girly stuff...haha.  So excited for Aijah to have a kitchen w/fake food someday.  It's so cute!
-Lunch at Kara's.  Hung out and played.  
-Drive home.  Pick up the dogs from the kennel.  

It was such a great vacation!  Oh my goodness.  I'm still inspired from that vacation...and it was really just a weekend.  It actually helped me get out of a slump.  Nothin' major, but it really just kicked that funk right out of me, and replaced it with AWESOMENESS!

I love seeing new places and exploring.  I love enjoying people's creativity with architecture, design, and food.  I love spending time together.  The cool thing is, I honestly feel like I can incorporate a vacation vibe, into my every day life, and do.  But, it's always nice to get work done.  There has to be a balance.  Work hard, play hard, and then relax a bit. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Weekend in Portland, part 1

Last weekend was my first half marathon.  It was in Hillsboro, so we decided to make a trip out of it.  Everything was perfection.  Honestly, it was just everything we wanted in a little getaway, and looking back, we haven't taken a real "vacation" for a LONG time, as in, actually staying the night somewhere.  It felt so long just being there less than 2 days total.  haha. 

-drove to hotel late at night, after Chad got off work.  crashed.

-woke up early to feed Aijah....who did not go back to sleep, and woke up Jet too. eek.
-Kara picked me up for the half.  SO happy we're in this together.  So much fun!!!!
-Half marathon (nervous, because I didn't follow a training schedule, and I probably tapered too much, and I didn't really know my, I set a goal of 7:50 pace, would be very happy with 7:55, but try for 7:45 at times and see how it feels)
       -1st 3.5 miles, felt sluggish and heavy but kept a good pace.  Felt nice to be running after      tapering...but was wondering it my legs would wake up. 
       -After 3.5 miles, boom, burners were lit!  I was relieved.  Alright, now I feel better.
       -Miles 4-8, got all groovy to songs on my ipod, lip-singing, a little arm-swaying and head-bobbing, enjoyed the country scenery.  Hey, gotta long way to go, better enjoy it before it gets hard.
        -Miles 9-11, starting to count down the distance to go, not enough energy left to be silly singing songs.  Keep telling myself I'm so glad it's not a marathon, and there are only 4, 3, 2, miles left.  Keep pace.  Just keep going.  Must keep going.  
         -Mile 12, Try to distract myself as much as possible with Lady gaga music.  Just 2 more miles.  Just 2 more.  That's nothin', come on.  Huff puff puff.  So done!
         -Mile 13, willpower.  JUST KEEPING GOING>  KEEP PACE.  WANT TO STOP!!!  Wow....I can't believe I'm still going at the right pace.  Looking at my watch A LOT.  Occasional feelings of, "I can do this, but it SUCKS!  So excited to be done."  Keep picturing the finish.  Where is the balloon arch?  Rounding corner after corner.....where is the FRICKIN' BALLOON ARCH???!!!!  Next corner?  NO!  This corner?  No!!!  AHHHhhhh.  Where are Chad and the kids?  Scanning, scanning.....dying, dying.  So CLOSE!  The archway!!! It says, "START"  Huh???  Keep going.  See the screen, 1:43:??  Yay, under 1:45!  Done!  I CAN STOP!!!! I can stop!  I'm done.  I'm done.  OIIIIii yoi yoi!  Water!  Pour over self.  Gotta pee!!!!  Tipsy.  Breathing slowing down.  DONE!  I did it!  7:50 pace, 1:43:15....give or take a few seconds.  Suzi finds me!  YAY!!

To be continued.....gotta get ready for church. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Trying new things

I've been trying to decide on a new physical fitness goal, now that my half marathon is practically here....but what?  I've been considering a triathlon, but certainly didn't want to sign up for anything until I went swimming.  So, this morning, not knowing what workout to do, I decided I needed to get to the pool, so I could figure out if a triathlon would be part of this summer.

Well, first, what a pain to get ready, packed, and dressed.  The minutes ticked passed, slowly.  I tried to stay positive, making sure I gave it a good shot.  Breathing: You can't breath when you want.  You have to hold your breath between strokes.  ug.  Location: Ugly pool, no sun, no trees, no trail, just this boring ol' lane BACK and FORTH.  Back and Forth.  Wow....this looks  It's worse than a treadmill.  You're just looking at water and tile.  For a bit, my mind wandered.  I was just imagining a triathlon.  No wall to take a break on?  Open, choppy water?  45 minute workouts, twice a week to get ready for the race?  Yes, it would be doable, but I would dread it.  I felt like I wasn't really getting a good workout, because the faster I went, the more breathes I needed, and I would have to lift my head up all the time, making the water choppier.  No music.  I did 15 minutes.  Yeah, not a lot, but I was just SO DONE.  I just wanted to run.    

Verdict.  If I were at an outdoor pool and I had some underwater earphones for music, it would be much better.  I would def need music to train for the tri.  That would make a BIG difference.  But for summer, how sad to be swimming inside, and not enjoying the weather.  The outdoor pool around here is a bit of a drive....but that would be awesome in summer.  Refreshing, glistening.  Then, with music.  I could get in a rhythm.  But indoors, wasting short-lived summer time?  Heck NO!  So, research prices at Amazon and Echo Hollow.  Ok.  We'll see.      

The best part....the comment the elderly lady I shared a lane with said when I was done.

"Staying in shape is a B*$#^.  Especially when you're my age."  LOL!!!!! 

When I got home, I felt like i hadn't even gotten a workout, and I needed to for my I went out for 4 miles.  MUCH NEEDED.  My element, my zone, my confident spot.  Beautiful day.  My legs were heavy though. 

But with swimming, I realize a big part of the reason I didn't like it was because it was unfamiliar.  I was on the swim team in 3rd grade, and that's it.  With music, outdoors, and some practice, it could be okay.  We'll see.  Now to try a long bike ride....outside.  I really don't know what I'm doing.  Eeeks.  Well, never know 'til you try.        

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Little Bit O' Catchin' Up

The past few days have been simply wonderful.  Right now, I'm warm and comfy in bed, sitting next to my little boy who is napping with his hands under his head.  Aijah just went down for a nap.  For 5 minutes I just ran my fingers through Jet's hair and over the curves of his face, thinking about all the things I love about him.  So precious.  Last week was rough, but this week has been heaven sent.  Highlights.

Today (awesome):
-Ran on a new path across from Weyerhauser.  Have been curious about it for years.  Passed the river several times.  Need a new playlist.  Hoedown Throwdown isn't doing it for me anymore...bummer. 
-Got grocery shopping done early to make room for a longer adventure with kids and pups.
-Cooked, cleaned, mothered, fed, and got everyone ready and out the door for our trip.
-Went to the "tire swing spot."  Perfect weather.  Happy family.  We hiked.  We swung.  We ate PBJs.  We photoed.  We sat in the grass.  We climbed up hills and ran down them. 
-Looked for a planter at BRING.  No luck....decided to run another errand a different day.
-Came home, snacked on cantalope, read books, and fell asleep.
-Watched some Rachael Ray.  Clinton Kelly, let's be friends. 
-Took a bath with Aijah...she's squirmy....AND SLIPPERY!
-Ate tons of stir-fry and a 2 bowls of sugary cereal (Game On is OVER!)
Here I am

Over the past week:
-Date night:  Mucho Gusto, Armitage Park stroll at sunset, Market of Choice eclairs
-Sisters home for the weekend!  Voodoo donuts and Hendricks Park.  Long walk by 42nd.  Lots of catching up and just feelin' good being together.  : )
-Picnic lunch with Mumsie by the river
-9 mile run on a country road in the sun, sorted out all my thoughts
-Dinner w/Durfee family at Round Table

Sure I'm missing stuff.

Remodeling the house.  Chad took off all the sheet-rock on the central wall in our house.  Open concept design....yay!!!  Much to come.  Ai yai yai!  Why can't I wrap my head around how much work it's all gonna be?  I really need to get my attitude in order.  I am dragging my feet.  Okay, Jess, it's gonna be a pain in the booty, but seriously, GET TO WORK!  Stop worrying and wondering, and just start doing, you pansy!  The more you put off now, the worse it will be later.  1 goal every day.  Start checkin' em' off.  Self peptalk.  I've noticed, when I'm hard on myself, it helps me the most.  lol.  GET CRAP DONE!  Then I'm a zombie at night and crash, but ol' well. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Good mornin’ life!  Good mornin’ sun, how are ya skies above?  Yep, I am shamelessly singing that song from Return to Me.  I used to sing it high school, because I thought it was so cool and no one else knew it….lol….well, little did I know how dorky it was (Chad would have laughed at me, so hard) but what did I care?  That song is one of THE HAPPIEST I have ever found.  “Gee ain’t it great to be alive, and in love?  Good mornin’ birds, sing out your happy tune.  Feels so good, cuz I’ll be singin’ it soon…..good mornin’ world, how are you happiness?  All at once I know what livin’ can be!  It’s life!  It’s free!  It’s someone waitin’ for me!”

Corny!  Whoo! 

I just had the perfect morning.  I have been in a major slump.  “And when you’re in a slump, you’re not in for much fun.  Unslumping oneself is not easily done.”  Dr. Suess. 

Well, phooey on that ol’ slump.  I’m kickin’ it away, because I have the best weekend ahead.  My sisters are here!  Chad has time off!  I’m getting over my cold.  It’s great weather.  It’s Girls Night out.  Chad owes me oodles of free time from all his golfing.  Oh yes, this weekend is just what I need to get revved back up for the next few months.  MmmmmHmmmm.  GLORIA!!!!! 

I woke up early, sun shining, fed Aijah, did my workout, stretched on the deck with my yoga mat and a subtle breeze, exfoliated my whole body, lathered my hair, shaved my legs, ate my favorite breakfast, and here I am.  Thank you 6am, you are the bestest.  I have missed you.  Once again, a trip to “the spa” (my home, that I pretend is a spa) does wonders, even when the shower isn’t that clean, and even when the floor REALLY needs to be vacuumed, and there are robots strewn about, and little messes everywhere, it doesn’t matter.  You get lost in the moment, and those little uglies go away.  Now, I am ready to tackle this day.  Gotta make stir fry.  It’s my fave.  OH….I eat it every day, and love it every day.  Om nom Rar nom nom….stir fry….gobble gobble gobble.  Heaping plates full of the stuff.  The other day Chad passed by my plate-o-fry, and said, “That looks disgusting.”  And I said, “This is heaven!  Poor you.” 

Oh, finally I feel like myself again!.      

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy moments this last week

-Chad and I on Pre's Trail together last week.  It was a dream come true.  We rarely get to workout at the same time.  Then we got Voodoo donuts.  Yum!  Thanks mom!   
-Chad has been running on that trail every week for a month.  I'm really proud of him.  He might just understand a little why I enjoy running.  He took Trigger with him today.  So cute.
-Watched Jet play in his sandbox yesterday, during the shortest patch of blue sky.  He's just precious.  -Jet has come to love storytelling, especially hearing stories before bed.  It's a new ritual.  Chad and I take turns.  The stories can get a little loopy when we get tired.  One time I kept falling asleep, and would stop talking, and he'd wake me up.  After being woken up 5 times, I started crying...."Jet, please, I'm exhausted, I can't finish the story.  Let me sleep!"  He did.  He loves to tell stories to himself when he's pooping on the toilet.  lol.  It's hilarious to eaves-drop about ninja turtle fights, between the pushing.  lol. 
-Aijahlyn loves being run at.  That's the one sure thing that will make her laugh.  Just run at her.  She loves exploring and finding new things to grab.  She has mastered rolling.   
-Journaling really relaxes me.  It's one of my favorite things.  This is so restoring and refreshing right now.
-Had to give the dogs 2 baths today.  Once for getting muddy, the other because Jet was putting nail polish on Dakota, because she smelled bad BEFORE her bath.  What?  (time-out) Bathing dogs and kids is tiring!   Ofcourse this had to happen while I was on the phone with the accountant. 
-Took a pretty walk on a Weyerhauser road with the fam
-Got Master Donuts this morning after our workouts.
_Got the prettiest, coolest, comfiest new running shoes today.  Happy me!
-Busy making decisions about our kitchen update.  Yay!  A bit anxious about all the work it's going to be. 
-Had a great girls day with Chad's family.  Food, lotion, and nail painting, all on the deck in cushy chairs.  Lovely.
-New Beginnings felt really good.  The spirit was there and I was inspired.  I love YW!
-I have been getting a little more flexible (physically, literally) thanks to my "spa time."  I love mornings so much.  Luckily, I have been waking up earlier too.  I just love my morning routine.  Get a snack, feed Aijah and put back down, workout, eat, stretch, shower, and then I feel great.  My body is pumping, I feel super clean and fresh, and I'm roaring to go for the day.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Holy Smokes!

I am currently training for my first half marathon, The Hippie Chick, on May 11th.  I was planning on running at an 8:30 minute mile pace, and wasn't even sure if that would be too easy or too hard for me, but it seemed like it should be challenging, but not painful, ya know?

Well, today I planned to run 11 miles at an 8:45 pace or so.  I did that pace for 10 miles last week.  I decided to do the Fern Ridge Trail.  I ate more than normal before, because I was gonna be running far.  I was nervous before leaving.  It would be the longest solo distance I had ever run.  But, get' er done, eh?  So, I start running, and I'm feeling good.  After a mile, I look down at my GPS running watch, and it says my pace is 8:15, and it feels easy.  Huh?  It felt like the watch must have been wrong, but it wasn't.  I increased to an 8:00 minute pace, and it still felt pretty easy.  Well, I thought, as long as it feels easy why not stay at this pace?  Maybe I'll pay for it later, but right now, it doesn't feel hard, in fact, it feels great, so why not?  I just kept going and enjoyed myself.  It was a beautiful morning with beautiful scenery and great music, and everything was perfect.  Sometimes, it feels like the planets must align for the perfect run, and today was it.  So, I reveled in it.  Aaaaaaah.  I couldn't believe I was feeling so good, because I worked out pretty hard this week, with HIIT.

At mile 7, I started running at 7:45, and I still felt good.  Mile 8-12, I ran at 7:30-7:35.  What was going on?  I still felt good.  It wasn't that hard.  I finally felt tired on the last mile.  Once the watch hit 13.1, I said, "Holy SHIZBALLS!"  I know, not good, but I just couldn't believe it.  I averaged an 8:00 minute mile pace, for a total time under 1hr45min. Then, I said, "Holy smokes."  I had NO IDEA I could do that.  I was just gonna do a regular ol' long run....little did I know I would blast my half-marathon goal out of the water.

Is it weird that my friend just loaned me a book about how to qualify for Boston?  I had never EVER even thought about it.  I know I'm jumping the gun.  So, I have been reading it, and you have to do an 8:18 pace to qualify.  I could very well qualify for 2014.  Then, I researched when the Boston Marathon is.  It's today!  What?  The one day I have ever thought I could even qualify, and research it, is the day of the race?  Weird!

Anyway, the run was great.  I have hit a new level.  As I have been training, I kinda dreaded the long runs unless I got to run with my wonderful friend or wonderful sister.  Last week, I had to go alone, and I really enjoyed it.  Today, I had to go alone, and I enjoyed it again.  I have felt great all day.  It gave me time to think about everything.  I have great thoughts while running.  For example, today, among many thoughts, these were the most profound

I want a quote in my house, or image, that says, "Take care of each other."  I love to take care of my family.  It makes me so happy.  Sometimes, I lose sight of that, but when I don't, there is so much harmony at home.  I even had an image come to my head of how to represent that for me.  What a great piece of art that would be in our home.  I'll attempt it, but I may have to commission it.

I thought about how I want to spend more quality time with my children, and how I couod get basic chores done faster, so I'm not so stressed when I'm with them.  I haven't been a great mom this week.  I have been impatient...and it's because I get in "must-get-this-done" mode.  Do this, this, this, and I don't want to stop when I'm getting stuff then I get frustrated when they need my attention.  Silly.  I can find a balance.  I did today actually.  I bonded with Jet better than I have in a long time.  We were best buds, and he was a great listener, AND I still got the kitchen clean, cooked and worked in the yard.

Since Aijahlyn's birth, I have been working on getting my pre-baby body back.  It's been a lot of work, but I have learned SO MUCH about setting goals and pushing myself, and am honestly in the best shape of my whole life.  Now, I have reached a point where I am happy enough with my body.  It doesn't look the same as before Aijah, but it's close enough.  And now, I can just focus on being healthy instead of how I look.  I'm so excited.  I told myself I would work my hardest until May 1st and I called it "MAY DAY."   I love health and fitness anyway, so it's been fun but hard at the same time.  Now, I can focus on fitness goals....triathlon?  marathon?  cross-fit?  mountain biking? climbing mountains?  who knows!!!  So much I want to do.

After my first 5k (I was 23) my Dad compared me to a horse, saying I was built to run.  Well, who likes being compared to a horse?  No one.  Luckily, I don't have big teeth, otherwise I would have been really self-conscious.  But, after today, I don't mind being compared to a horse so much.  He did have a good point. Love you, Dad.       

Such a great day.  I am so blessed and so grateful.  Our Bishop told us the other night that he uses General Conference as his "New Year," where he evaluates and sets goals, like New Years resolutions because Conference refreshes us, reminds us, and strengthens us.  It makes us think of how we want to change.  I loved that comparison and I want to implement it.  So, what will the next 6 months hold?  Some things I can control, and others I can't.  But the ones that I can, are going to be great.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Feeling Saucy

It all started with a huge box of tomatoes.  My mom hooked me up, but what do you do with 15 pounds of tomatoes?  I didn't want to go through the whole salsa process, even though I love salsa.  I just wasn't ready to spend my day learning to can, getting the supplies, and canning.  ug.  So, after freezing some (took the skins off, removed seeds), I thought, "Ya know what?  I like veggies so much, I bet we could eat most of these before they go bad, instead of going through all the various preservation processes."

Last night, I had a tomato salad with balsamic, then I pan roasted several with some over-easy eggs.  I probably ate 7-9 roma tomatoes.  Well, apparently they work like Red Bulls, because I was in the best mood for the rest of the night, as in, ridiculously giddy and silly and happy and sassy and  Tomatoes?  Never would have thought.  I danced around, talked with a Spanish accent, and watched part of a Glee episode about guilty pleasures (coco, spice girls, my prerogative. AWESOME) After dinner, I felt like going out.  I got all glammed-up with voluptuous hair and sultry eyes, and I texted Chad all kinds of silly messages, explaining that tonight I was going to be blowing off steam, and letting all inhibitions fly, because it was Friday!!

We went to Applebee's.....Aijah, Jet and us.  Okay, I know, not novel or that exciting, but it didn't matter.  It was perfection.  We laughed our heads off, and just enjoyed our time as much as possible.  So often, during the day, I will imagine how great the night is gonna be, because Chad will be home and we can do this or do that, but then the night comes and we're all so pooped, and we don't really decide on something, and someone is cranky and a "great night" just doesn't happen.  Really, what can you expect?  All nights can't be great.  Life is tiring.  Sometimes, you just don't have the energy to have crazy fun.  lol.  So, thank you tomatoes.

The "sauciness" has continued throughout today.  I had to run 10 miles solo this morning at 6am.  I was dreading it.  But, as usual, it ended up being really enjoyable.  I had a couple of miles in the rain, but it felt really good.  At mile 8, I did loops around the roundabouts, dancing to Lady Gaga pandora radio.  lol.  I shook the blossoming trees, to get petal confetti, but I got more rain on me....duh.  I just laughed.  I gave a business building the "I'm watching you" sign, because they were probably watching me, laughing.  meh, who cares?  I'm gonna enjoy my run.  I deserve it.  When you feel good, you gotta live it up.  I got home, and ate more tomatoes.  lol.  I cut up 2 and put them with Chad's meatballs and sauce, for his lunch.  I made "pizza" for Jet, with a whole chopped tomato.  He even ate half of one plain, like an apple.  Huh?  Okay, fine with me.

I still have a whole bowl full of 'em.  It's gonna be a great weekend.  Ah HA hA!!!!!!

It's tomato overdosing.  Heeee hehehe