Chad, Jessica, Jet and Aijiahlyn

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.