Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August 2016

to the Amarillo zoo

hot & sweaty summer group fitness launch at the Southwest Town Club

 enjoying a gorgeous Amarillo sunrise... 
before taking the kids to eat pancakes at Laci's house.

not EXACTLY a birthday present solely for Kaden...
 but we now have a new (used) piano!

Kaden and Michal 

Owen trying out the new piano

Miss Grace waking up in her pack-n-play 

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Brush With Art

Kaden has been talking about going to "A Brush With Art" for longer than I'd like to admit... Maybe for years, which is a LONG time when you've only just turned 7.   
A Brush With Art is full of unfinished clay pieces that you paint any way you like. They then take your piece and put on the finishing glaze and fire it in the kiln.   
Kaden said he wanted to "do cool activities instead of just getting stuff" for his birthday. 😍 So we FINALLY made this dream a reality. 
Since he got to bring a friend, Owen was the lucky winner. 
Owen's masterpiece. 

To be continued as they still have to fire our pieces... They should be ready in a week. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kaden is 7!

One of Ben's favorite birthday "cakes" is lemon meringue pie with graham cracker crust, like his mom makes.  
While eating this pie back in May, Kaden suddenly realized that he could have ANY dessert for HIS birthday and said he wanted the same thing. 
 So I got Laci's recipe, borrowed her mixer, invited Julie over, and together we made a REAL-DEAL big-girl pie... just like grandma used to make... only better. 
(and it wasn't nearly as hard as I had made it in my mind.)
 Owen approved meringue.

Mamma's first meringue!
(pre-oven bake)

 birthday boy

 Even though it was the 2nd day of school, the boys were able to get together and have some birthday-sprinkler time in Seals backyard. 

 opening a package from Mary...

 In addition to LaBella making a GIANT pizza (at a real reasonable price)
they will also SPELL YOUR NAME IN PEPPERONI upon request.  
 Name on a pizza might be a birthday trend around here...
(Thanks for the heads-up, Julie!)

 Grace clearly enjoyed the pie.

 presents from Africa, including a wooden puzzle, a YODA alarm clock, and a certificate naming Kaden as the foster parent of a baby elephant in Kenya.
Thank you, Dorothy & Juan!

This year we got Kaden "activities" 
which included 10 piano lessons with Sarah Black, a trip to a brush with art with a buddy, and another trip to the A.R.C.H. (Amarillo Rock Climbing House).

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ragnar: Angel Fire, New Mexico

For the past 2 years, running a trail ragnar race has been on my radar.  I was really excited to see that there was a race reasonably close to Amarillo in Angel Fire, but once I tried recruiting for my team everyone was out due to it falling on the weekend before school began.  

And to be real honest with myself, I too knew it was a terrible weekend to leave town when Ben gets stressed out before the 1st day.  
So I kinda forgot about it....

... until I walked into Get Fit to look for a new pair of shoes and ran into Jim Black Childers.  
He asked if I had gotten together a team of my own and I remember saying along the lines of being "so bummed that it didn't work out for me..."
That's when he jumped in and said that he was on a team and they were scrambling to find their 8th person because someone had backed out last-minute.  He gave me Amanda's phone number and asked if I would join their team.  I was cautiously excited but knew I needed to talk to Ben if I really wanted to go (which *really* did).  
I also knew that I was in pretty good shape as Laura and I had been running all summer. 
Aaaaannnddd... it wasn't something to stress about because the team was pretty laid-back and I was assured that I would "fit in perfect" with everyone else.  

Long story short, I talked to Ben and after just one slow sigh and eye-roll, he said I could go.  
(He gets me... and my inner-crazy.)

Basically each runner does a section of the course (green, red, or yellow) and then hands off to the next runner until all runners have completed all 3 courses (all 24 legs are complete).  
Over the course of about 18 hours, each of us completed 14.7 miles of beautiful, hilly terrain.  

 So I went to Kaden's open house at Paramount Terrace Elementary on Friday night,
immediately jumped into the packed Prius, 
and did a SOLO road trip to New Mexico. 

All summer I was in somewhat of a funk and Julie's mom asked me what my ideal vacation would be. My response was, "alone time... in the mountains... with a good book... I don't want to take care of anyone... I just want everyone to leave me the **** alone for a few days."
No lie, that was my actual response & you can fill in the asterisks. 

Ben didn't know this, but letting me leave was THE BEST gift I could have received at that moment. 
He granted my wish: alone time, a new audio-book, cool mountain air, and running through the woods (alone).  
sunset outside Clayton, New Mexico 

 I couldn't quite get my mind around the 1,000 ft. climb until I looked up the mountain from our campsite.  

Let the games begin.  
Emily starting her 1st loop that I would.

Meanwhile... there were fun things to do and ways to win new Solomon trail shoes...   
 ... such as last man (or woman) standing.

  with first loop completed.  

 panoramic view

 the hand-off tent

 roasting marshmallows for s'mores

 sometime just after 10:30 PM I started my first 6.2 mile loop. 

 There was a full moon this weekend which ALMOST provided enough light 
and then I began my 2nd 4.7 mile loop around dawn

 So beautiful that I couldn't resist taking pictures along the way.

and ___ danced so hard that she won herself a brand new pair of Solomon's. 

RAD-est medal EVER!!

 even the back was awesome