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7 Quick Takes (#4)

— 1 —

I keep hearing a commercial on Sirius’ Catholic Channel, in which the host asks people to call in to talk about prayers which God has answered.  It was hearing this commercial that made me realize a prayer of mine that has been answered.  Back in the day (before we moved to Wyoming) Curt and I were occasional mass attenders.  We went when we weren’t “too tired” or “too busy”.  Every time we did go, I would thank God for bringing us to mass and pray that we would attend more often.  I remember very distinctly that we did not attend mass the first week that we moved to Wyoming, but we have attended weekly ever since.  Prayer answered.

— 2 —

Last weekend we were in Denver to go to the Broncos vs. Bucs game with some friends.  I went to mass at a downtown Denver parish.  I allowed plenty of time for the half mile walk to church so I arrived a little early.  Looking at the alter I couldn’t figure out where the lector would read from or the priest would preach from.  When the lector started on the first reading I searched the front of the church to figure out where she had was. Then I saw her.  Picture it, a princess castle. You know how a princess walks out from behind a curtain, over looking her people? That is how this set up was.  From behind a purple curtain, several feet off the ground, was the lector.  And later the deacon and priest.  Definitely something I have never seen before.

— 3 —

We had some crazy dining out experiences in Denver.  The first night we went to a “modern Mexican” restaurant.  I was seated by the window, as was the wife of the other couple we were with, when all of a sudden a guy’s butt cheeks pressed on our window.  I was one Boulevard and two Sangria’s in, so I couldn’t stop laughing about it. Seriously, crazy.

Then, the second night, we were at  a steakhouse and found ourselves in another crazy situation.  Again, us ladies were seated by the window, enjoying a nice meal.  All of a sudden, outside (and up against) our window, a woman was beating up on a man.  Then the tides turned and the man was beating up on the woman.  Thankfully, an off duty police officer was also dining in this restaurant and went outside to break up the fight.  Then several firefighters (something had been going on around the corner) and 3 cop cars came to remedy the situation.  Evidently we attract the crazies.

— 4 —

I dug out our Christmas decorations today.  After Christmas day last year, I bought some new tree bulbs on sale.  After I brought them in today I found they didn’t have any hooks to get them on the tree.  Last year we had bought a box of hooks but I couldn’t find them anywhere.  Bodie had a meltdown that we “wouldn’t be able to have Christmas” without the ornaments on the tree.  We had a nice discussion about why we actually celebrate Christmas and I told him if we didn’t find the box we could buy new hooks.  Geesh, the parenting stuff is hard!

— 5 —

I thought my kid was the only crazy one who tacks up his artwork around the house but Jennifer posted her kid’s art so here is what Bodie is currently blessing us with.

image (1) image

— 6 —

For the second year in a row, the letter J has broken.  This may now be known as the season of “oy”.

photo (3)

— 7 —

Tonight I learned that my husband has never seen The Princess Bride.  I’m not even sure how to respond to this revelation.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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7 Quick Takes (#3)

— 1 —

I’ve been meaning to blog for awhile so what better time then when Curt is sleeping in the boys’ room and I get an evening to myself.  So far I’ve watched the first two episodes of Nashville and I’m hooked!

— 2 —

I still owe a race report from the Scottsbluff Half Marathon.  The quick story is I came within 2 minutes of a PR and think I’m sold on the Galloway method.  And my PR is from before I had kids and was in the best shape of my life.  I think if I can get within 2 minutes of that in the questionable shape I am in today, I should be able to bust it out of the water.

— 3 —

I am a contact lens wearer again! This brings me such joy.  I’m trying to bust out of my I-moved-to-Wyoming funk.  Over the past 6 months I have been getting my hair cut every 5 weeks (as opposed to every four or five months) and now the contacts.  I guess it is these little things that will help give me more confidence.  I’ve also taken on more volunteer roles with Barrett’s preschool – handling money- which I am very afraid of somehow screwing up.  But then I remind myself that I am smart so I should be able to handle it.

— 4 —

I complain a lot (mostly to myself) about my lack of friends here but I might be too hard on myself.  Last week I went to a talk at church and when I walked in immediately a lady asked me over and wanted to introduce me to someone.  I made plenty of small talk before and after the talk.  Then this week I went to a neighbor’s for coffee (with a handful of other women).  Anyway, my point is that I get down on myself but the truth is that I know plenty of people here and I just need to keep allowing myself to be in these situations and hopefully friendships will come.  And I take complete joy that in a few short weeks I will be hanging out with my girls back home, and I won’t have to pray that I don’t say stupid things before hand 🙂

— 5 —

I love emeals.  I’ve been a member on and off (much like my weight watchers membership).  We have been on for the past week and seriously, I don’t know why I ever quit it.  Every meal we ate this week was great.  It is a bit tough on the kids though because the food is “mixed up”.  But usually once they try it they’ve liked everything as well.  The recipes make plenty of food for our family of 4, so we are able to eat it for lunch also.

— 6 —

Two weekends Curt was inducted into the Chadron State College Hall of Fame.  It was a fun weekend, or as fun as staying in a small hotel room with your 2 children can be.  My parents were just up the hall so they boys were able to spend time running up and down the hall and visiting their grandparents.  And Bodie became an expert in using the key card to open the door.  And last Friday our local paper published the family picture that was taken at the award’s ceremony.  For someone that doesn’t like much attention, I certainly spent enough time talking to people about the picture/weekend.  Hopefully it will blow over soon (for me, Curt can keep the attention for as long as he wants). 

— 7 —

Curt has something else exciting coming up the week of Thanksgiving.  I won’t say anything now (although I would be very surprised if anyone who reads this has a connection to the event he is participating in).  I will say it isn’t the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  But he will get to spend some extra time in Lincoln and I will get to make the trek with 2 kids and 3 pets on my own.  Although I am half tempted to let them miss school and go to Lincoln a few days early with Curt.  It is times like this I curse my parents for NEVER letting me miss school, I seem to be carrying on those same beliefs to with my kids (we drove home after running a half and full marathon last spring so Bodie wouldn’t miss school).  Although I have learned an entire week staying with my parents can be just as stressful as single parenting my kids for a few days.  

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes Friday

So many things I’ve been meaning to blog about so I shall do so here.

— 1 —

Way back at the end of June the boys and I headed back to Lincoln to visit family and attend my cousin’s wedding.  It was a great time.  Curt was going to be traveling out of town for work so I took 2 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat along.  I run a tight ship though, stopping once for gas and one additional time for the bathroom, which makes the car portion slightly more tolerable.  Anyhoo, while in Lincoln we visited Morril Hall and the Children’s Zoo.  I was able to go for a couple of very humid runs (Lincoln runners are so friendly on the trails, I miss that experience).  My dad was the Lector at the wedding, which was nice, plus the boys were fairly well behaved, so it was a fun time.  We also went to visit my brother and his family in Papillion, which Barrett kept calling “Poopillion” which made me laugh each time.  It is like I am a 13 year old kid.  It was a very nice visit and I can’t wait to go again.  Which we will later this month for a trip that may last 24 hours if we are lucky.

— 2 —

Once we were back from Lincoln we had a couple of birthdays to celebrate.  Bodie turned 6 and Barrett turned 4.  We had quiet celebrations at home for both of them.  They are both growing up too quickly.  Bodie is very responsible and loves to take care of and watch out for his little brother.  Barrett is growing up in his own right.  It seems lately going out with him is becoming less frustrating (he recites the shopping rules “no running”, “no screaming” every time we walk into a store).  They both did great at their well child visits this week.  Bodie is growing steadily at the 70 or 75th percentile for height and weight and Barrett is at 90th percentile for both.  I think Bodie was a little disappointed he didn’t break 50 lbs on the doctor’s scale though, it seems to have been his goal for the entire summer.

— 3 —

We took a short camping trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota.  It was much fun.  We went to Bear Country (bears just wandering aimlessly as cars drive around).  The boys thought it was great and I nearly lost my glasses in the baby bear area.  We also went to Reptile Gardens, where they boys petted gators and snakes.  They are obsessed with Gator Boys so this was right up their alley.  Of course we also went to Mount Rushmore, where they serve ice cream as big as your kid’s head and have fun elevators to ride.  Of course we saw the “people statues” (Barrett) or “the people from the money” (Bodie).  Our campground was very nice and the boys loved going hiking and swimming in the pool.

— 4 —

I have been watching way too much TV lately, thanks to the Olympics.  I have been keeping the TV on all day which has also increased the TV the boys have watched.  They watch some Olympics and then drift into another room and watch their shows.  This week I decided we needed to get back to some activities so we headed to the pool and attempted to play tennis.  Next week is the last full week before Bodie starts school, so we need to make it count.

— 5 —

The boys took 2 weeks of swimming lessons last month.  I feared having them in the same class but since neither has had a formal lesson before we really didn’t have any choice.  My fear was mostly that they would be too wild and rowdy together but it went really great.  They will be split apart next summer though, since Bodie passed and Barrett didn’t.  That would bring about another fear (will Barrett participate by himself) but they were split into different small groups a couple of times this summer and Barrett was fine.  He is a little fish so swimming is one activity it seems he doesn’t mind on his own.  On another note, I could get used to being a pool mom.  It was so nice just sitting pool side, reading my kindle, while the boys swam.

— 6 —

I’m struggling through my half marathon training.  I actually took a week off from running after we returned from the Black Hills and just got back to it yesterday.  I’m not too worried about it but it will be nice to have a race-break come mid October.

— 7 —

Yesterday Barrett insisted he wanted the training wheels off of his bike.  I know this is close to the time Bodie started riding without his, so we obliged and took them off.  It lasted all of 5 minutes and he decided he wanted them back on.  I remember that I took Bodie’s off because he purposely crashed his bike into everything, and thankfully that isn’t an issue with Barrett, so Curt happily put them back on.  I’m sure he’ll want them off again soon since he likes to do everything that his brother is doing.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Longest long run

Yesterday was not my longest long run by time or distance but mentally it had to have been one of the longest ones that I have ever done.  Curt and I both needed to go running and we decided he would go first, at 5:30 and I would follow after.  Well, in true fashion, he didn’t leave until 6-ish and I knew then it would be getting hot for my run.  While he was gone I was trying to get ice cream made and baked potatoes in the crock pot since we were having company later in the afternoon.  So I wasn’t completely ready to leave when he returned and finally set out at 8am for my 10 mile run.  Curt had said that it wasn’t so bad when the sun was behind the clouds, but of course it was really clearing off when I left.  I had decided to try a true galloway method and do 4 minutes run, 1 minute walk.  I started off really good, feeling very strong.  I was running between 9:50-10:30 for the running portions, which I was happy about. 

Right away I knew the sun would be an issue.  To me it always seems that the elevation makes it feel about 10 degrees warmer than the air temperature is.  I’m not sure how warm it was when I started but it was 86 when I finally finished.  Around the halfway point I had to start walking much more and running much slower.  I texted Curt to tell him if I didn’t make it home it was because the sun killed me.  I was only half kidding.  I was also running next to an irrigation canal which I had a lot of thoughts about jumping into, except I didn’t want to slosh 5 miles in wet shoes.  With about 2.5 miles left I ran out of water and was about to call Curt when I decided to see if the water was turned on at the baseball fields.  Thank goodness it was.  I stopped and drank and filled up my bottle again.  The water was warm but hit the spot. I felt much better but still had thoughts of cutting the run short.  By this time I was doing run/walk by the electrical posts.  Run to one post, walk to the next.  Brutal.  Finally when I had 1.5 miles left I went back to 4:1, and managed to finish.  I was completely exhausted, mentally and physically.  But I will be back at it tomorrow, hopefully in much cooler weather.

— 1 —

Hey! This is my 1st time linking up to 7 Quick Takes Friday.  Excited to join the fun!

— 2 —

My husband is taking our boys to him mom’s house this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited. He is going to help with the wheat harvest and our boys are going to ride along in the combine.  I will enjoy quiet time and hopefully accomplish a few things around the house.

— 3 —

I don’t know what day I’m picking up the boys and bringing them home.  I am kind of hoping for Sunday so I can go to Mass in peace (i.e., not wrestling a 3 year old the entire time). We will be out of town next week for our priest’s retirement picnic so I’m happy to be home this weekend so I can thank him for all he has done for us and our community.

— 4 —

I made these for my kids this morning and they have been devouring them.  I should have made a double batch.

— 5 —

Last night at Bodie’s t-ball practice I chatted with another mom, who I have been acquaintances with through pre-school.  Anyway while we were chatting she asked for my phone number! And suggested we take our kids to the pool together sometime this summer! After living here for 2 1/2 years, I’ve yet to make any local friends so maybe this will be a step towards that.

— 6 —

I’m very much looking forward to our trip back to Lincoln next week for my cousin’s wedding.  Of course I’m flying solo-ish (no husband, just me, 2 kids, 2 dogs and a cat).  Curt has work and harvest commitments so he won’t be coming back with us.

— 7 —

I signed up for the Monument to Monument half marathon in October.  I hemmed and hawed over the half or full and settled on the half because my bigger goal now is to take off some pounds, which I think will be easier while training for a half rather than a full.  I will be back to a full next year I am sure.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

I don’t know where to start writing about my experience with the Tough Mudder in Beaver Creek this past weekend.  I had really been dreading it, I only signed up because Curt had, and I thought it would motivate me with my workouts (it did). More than doing the event, I was definitely looking forward to an otherwise relaxing weekend in Beaver Creek.

We left on Friday morning, and drove straight though to Vail to have lunch.  We went to a mexican restaurant that we had eaten at with friends last year and it wasn’t as good as we remembered.  I think it must have been those half price margaritas last year that had left such a favorable impression on me. 

After lunch we walked around Vail Village and then decided to head to our hotel in Beaver Creek.  Who knew Beaver Creek was a gated community?  Not us, that’s for sure.  After we got through the gates, made it to our hotel and checked we, we headed out to check out the town.  It was definitely a very nice, upscale town.  Outdoor ice skating in June? Check.  Add Dom Perignon to your hamburger and fries for $298? Check. 

We walked a little of the Tough Mudder course on Friday night.  I really had the attitude it was better to go in without really knowing much.  At the point I really couldn’t do anything more to prepare so why did it really matter?  We had a nice dinner at the Beaver Creek Chophouse (very good) and then headed to the hotel for some R&R before the fun began on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning we woke up and headed down to registration for the event.  Registration was very well organized, we hardly waited in line to receive our packet and write our numbers on our head and arm.  We went back to the hotel to waste some time before our wave began at 10:40.  Right before we headed down I put in an unopened pair of contacts I found lurking in my bathroom drawer.  I’m sure I haven’t worn contacts in a year so I wasn’t sure how it would go but I certainly couldn’t wear my glasses so if worse came to worse I would just take them out while we were out on the course (they ended up working great). 

When it was time for our wave to line up we discovered you had to scale a wall just to get to the start line.  I’m not sure if this is some sort of confidence builder or what, but it didn’t really help me get excited for the event to start.  Curt hoisted me over and I landed on my 2 feet but as I went to scoot out of the way for others to get over, I tripped on the frame.  Yep, I am that clumsy.  Curt made it over and we headed to the start to wait for our wave to begin.  While we waited a very enthusiastic guy pumped us up, we sang the national anthem, and then were on our way.

The Obstacles (as I remember them to be, which might not be completely accurate):

1. Braveheart Challenge – Jump over a hay bale, easy enough.

2. Cliffhanger – Ok, I think this was our 1st climb up the mountain.  I guess one thing I had going for me was endurance.  A lot of people were stopping and resting on the climb but Curt and I were able to keep going, slowly but surely.

3.  Devil’s Beard – Crawling under a cargo net.  Not too bad because most people bear crawled and the net wasn’t too big of an issue.

4.  Trench Warfare – Sort of belly crawling through a muddy tunnel.  Not horrible. 

5. Log Bog Jog – Um, I really don’t remember.

6. Shock on the rocks – Crawling through rocky water with live wires hanging overhead.  Fun? I got shocked one time.  Not too bad.

7. Berlin Walls – Curt hoisted me over the first one.  I was just going to skip the 2nd but then realized there was no reason to skip it so I had him hoist me over the 2nd one as well.

8. Swamp Stomp – Running through mud, again, not too bad.

9. Underwater tunnels – More crawling through tunnels? They really all blend together after awhile.

10.  Hold Your Wood – Carrying a log up around a loop.  Not bad if you pick a small log to carry.

11. Arctic Enema – Oh boy.  I am still having nightmares about this one.  Basically you jump in, get to the center of the “pool”, go under a board that is in the water (so you are forced to duck in the ice water) and then get to the other end and climb out.  There were several inches of ice on the top of the pool.  I’ve never even taken an ice bath during my marathon training so this was all a huge shock to me.  I jumped in and just felt my body tense up and sort of go into shock (in the most non-technical use of the term).  I made my way to the center, ducked down, and was still alive on the other side.  I made it to the end of the pool but there was no way to climb out.  I believe I yelled “help, help, get me out of here” and Curt was busy snapping a picture before he could come to my rescue.  And I’m pretty sure I kicked the girl I was sharing a lane with during my panick to get out. 

12. Gauntlet – Still reeling from the ice fun, this obstacle had you climbing a large snow pile, while they sprayed snow at you.  I got targeted and knocked down once, but made it though. 

13. Sweaty Yeti – Another snow climb.  At the top of this one you had to slide down the snow, which by the time we came through was hard and, well, that doesn’t feel good on one’s butt.

14. Hanging Tough – Travel across a pool of water by hanging rings.  Oh I was so close to grabbing that 2nd ring but I fell right in the pool.  It was cold, but not Arctic Enema cold.  Curt promptly pulled me out of the water, thankfully.

15. Boa Constrictor – More tunnels, more fun.

16. Log Jammin’ – Ok at this point we had finally made it to the top of the mountain for a 2nd time.  I was really losing my motivation and just wanted it to all be over.  But thankfully this obstacle came up and it was easy – over, under, and in between logs. 

17. Berlin Walls – I totally skipped these.  The first set were 8′ and that was tough enough for Curt to get me over.  These were 10′, and given my lack of upper body strength I think it would have been very hard to get over.  I really should have tried though.  Not even trying kind of set me up for what happened through the rest of the race.

18. Spider’s web – Climbing to the top of a cargo net and then back down the other side.  Once the guys climbed over they would all hold the net down to make it easier for those coming next to climb over.  That is fine but going up I felt sort of backwards because of the angle the net was being held at.  I got to the top of the net and then got a cramp in my leg and just crawled back down the same side.  I really battled cramps after the Arctic Enema obstacle.

19. Kiss of Mud – Crawling through more rocky mud with barbed wire on top of you.  I saw some people bear crawling through this but, knowing me, I would have scrapped up my back if I tried that.  So I did more belly crawling.  My legs and forearms will never be the same after this day.

20. Glacier – After the Kiss of Mud, I was having trouble catching my breath, so I passed on this.  But basically you climb up a huge snow pile, belly crawl across the top with live wires hanging over you.  Sorry to have missed it.

21. Twinkle Toes – Balance beam over a pool.  I don’t know why I didn’t try this one.  I think I was seriously just over the race at this point.

22. Funky Monkey – Monkey bars that go at an incline and then down a decline.  Oy, I skipped again.  I knew I’d fall in but again I should have attempted.  Poor attitude…

23. Everest – A huge ramp to run up and hope some one grabs you and pulls you the rest of the way.  Um, I stood and watched every girl run and slam into the ramp.  Skipped again…

24. Electroshock Therapy – Ok, I couldn’t skip the very last obstacle, and it was just those pesky live wires that I had already been through once.  I watched Curt go though and right at the end he fell and slid about 10 yards in the mud.  I didn’t know if he had been hit or what (he had just slipped) but it made me pause a bit before going through.  I watched a few others go and then I just went for it.  It was running through mud and jumping over a hay bail in the middle.  I managed to stay on my feet and I was shocked 2 times.  Not bad.

We crossed the finish line, got our headbands, and enjoyed our free beer.  It ended up taking us around 5 hours to complete the 24 obstacles over 12 miles up and down the mountain (4,000 ft in elevation changes). 

I carried a disposable, waterproof camera along the course with me and can’t wait to get those pictures back.  I took them in today (to the 1 place in our town that still does film developing) and was told it would be a week to get the pictures back.  Here is one picture I took of my legs, post race (they seem to look worse every day).

Image

After the race, we cleaned up, headed around the “expo” area for some souvenirs, then out to dinner at a cafe (where you could add Dom Parignon to any Mexican meal for $250).  We went to the hotel and had a nice soak in the hot tub, then relaxed in our room.  Sunday we packed up and headed home.  Such a relatively fun weekend, and definitely nice to get away for a couple of days.

Mass Fun

While Curt was out of town over Memorial Day weekend, I decided to take the boys to Church on my own .  It is really never fun, but since I haven’t taken them solo since last year, I was hoping the time would have improved their behavior.  No such luck.  Bodie was pretty good, but Barrett and I wrestled the entire time.  It was so frustrating.  The worst part was when it was time to go up to receive Communion.  Usually this is the easy part.  They both enjoy walking up to receive a blessing, then they move on and back to our seats.  Of course not today.  Bodie was sitting on the aisle, so he was the “leader” much to Barrett’s dismay.  Barrett was so upset he pushed and elbowed trying to get ahead of Bodie in line.  I was trying to stop/slow them but didn’t have much time since we were only sitting in the 3rd row (note to self, next time I go without Curt, sit in the back).  Anyway they bickered all the way until they ran into the Deacon.  Oh I was so horrified.  The Deacon made a comment about how eager they were and I just wanted to break down in a huge sob.  After Mass I went up to the Deacon to apologize and he just laughed and said he had 4 kids so he totally understood and assured me it would get better.  Hopefully that happens soon!