Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Beach Time and Alligators

The bottle of AloeVera is 1/4 gone this morning!
We are crispy critters after yesterday!

I got up and went for a run. 
Sand, humidity and heat all were factors in my slower time, which I don't love, but who cares? Right?  I was running on the beach! 
I ran 5 miles, then stretched, alone, just me, the sand, the morning sun, and the waves lapping.  I'm amazed at how few people are on our particular portion of the beach.  I love it! 

M got the kids breakfast and we went right down to the beach!
We were there all. day. long.
It was so nice to be able to leave most of our stuff there and come up to the condo for lunch.  No sand in our food, some shelter from the sun for a bit.  It was great!

We were there for a couple of hours just our family.  It is so nice to be here with friends, but as a parent, it is so rewarding to see your kids happy to play together, isn't it?
Q and G were out in the waves, hopping through them.  O and E were playing in the sand.  At one point they were all building together, then in the water together. 
I layed in the sun and read.  M had a conference call, then read.  The beach isn't a bad place for a conference call right?

As I ran I saw different parts of the beach.  I love that our section has a ton of flat space for us to dig, run around playing catch etc., plus room to dig.  It's fab.

The C's came and there was more fun to be had.  They brought a boogie board and I took some time to teach G and S how to do it.  Plus I got to ride a few times as well.  It was fun! 

We girls layed out, jamming to tunes, the boys sat and chatted.
We switch from the beach to the pool.  Some parents there, some parents here.
We kept the sunscreen rocking, but with all of the water time, all of the kids, there were spots that got missed!
It's always funny to me to see the streaks that were missed after a day in the sun!  The kids faces look striped in some spots!

After getting all showered we dropped the kids at the C's place then we adults went out to eat. 
We drove around for a while trying to find the place we were looking for, then ended up at Sonny's BBQ.  Oh the dinner adventure we had! 

The boys ordered all you can eat ribs... 10 minutes after we ordered, our waitress came back and told us they were out!  Hmmm.  They got baby backs.  They were out of a bunch of the sides, we had to reorder.  It was a mess!  I got the salad bar so I was sharing my plate w/ Moll.  Figured with all of the mess they wouldn't mind!

We did get giant Diet Coke's, which I unexpectedly choked on as Moll stood in front of me w/ her shoes on the wrong feet, wondering why they were so uncomfortable!  It took me off guard, I thought it was funny.  Didn't want to spray pop out on my friends so I tried to keep it in.  I did and it found all sorts of places to dwell before I could swallow!  Up my nose, down the wrong tube, some on my napkin, some down the right tube.  I spent the next 10 minutes trying to breathe right again!

The boys hadn't even noticed, and were wondering why I was struggling!

It was an interesting dinner, but our waitress said she'd try to take care of us on the back end, which was fodder for much of the evening!

We laughed a ton!  It is so fun to be with our friends!

The kids had pizza and watched TV.  When we got back we sat around their fire pit, played put put and watched S play her guitar.

Well, we had an interesting start to the morning.  I wasn't sure I wanted to go anywhere...
We did let the kids sleep as much as they could.  The two oldest felt the most uncomfortable with their burns.
And, as I stepped out of my bed in the middle of the night, to help E, I felt my legs pulsing... they are quite crispy!

Our plan was to go into St. Augustine to see the Alligator Farm.
As we drove in we called the Toyota dealership in the area, to see if they could work on our AC while we spent the day there.

They did, so that was all part of our day.  Waiting in the dealership, packing all of the kids into the C's van to go get lunch.  Bringing back lunch for our guys (Shawn had a work call). 

We ate at Chick-Fil-A... wish we had one in the Buff.  I really do like that place!  They had these plastic sticky place mats that I want to buy to take everywhere with us, brilliant!  There was a guy who acted almost as a waiter, getting us what we needed.  He was awesome! 

Many people stared at the two ladies with all of the kids, but Moll and I rock this all of the time.  One lady asked if we were all one family or mixed.  I was tempted to tell her Moll and I were sister wives! :)  I settled her anxiety and told her we are two families... 4 kids each!  It's not that crazy, I mean, c'mon!

The shuttle took us to the Gator Farm and we spent a few hours there.
It was pretty cool.  Of course like any zoo-type experience you pay all of this $ and the kids run through it as fast as they can!  We tried to take it slow to learn some new stuff.
We saw them feed the huge crocs, we saw the replica of the largest croc (2000 lbs), I took photos of amazing birds, we got some snacks, the kids played on the playground for a minute.
It was good times.

We waited for our shuttle, got our newly cooled van back, then went to see 'The Oldest House'
The C's thought M was kidding when he suggested BBQ again for dinner, but we found a place where the kids eat free on Tuesday's!  Much better service this time!

As we got home our kiddies watched some movies before bedtime. 

Did I mention the rainstorms today?  I don't think I did.  This is why we got out of this area, and headed out.  It rained on the way to St. Augustine, and several times when we were there, but not while we were out at the Gator Park.  Very fortunate! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Reporting Live From...

You know what I'm doing right now?
Sitting in the moonlight, under the stars, listening to the ocean tide... as I type this loverly blog post from my ocean front condo!

And besides the toenail that I just stepped on, that doesn't belong to my husband, I asked just to make sure (it must have emerged from the rug in the bathroom, I'm-trying-not-to-vomit-as-I-type), and the green carpet (Golden Girl's decor), we have a pretty great place.  It is totally outdated, but was maybe the last place available here on Fernandina Beach.

We are here on Amelia Island in FL!  It's near Jacksonville.
We arrived late this afternoon.  Hooray!  We dropped the C's off at their hotel, which is about a mile away, then got settled into our condo.  Before putting anything away we changed clothes and hit the pool, which was cold because it was totally shaded by that time, then the beach.

The sand is beautiful, the water is great!  There are a million seashells and the kids are in heaven! 
As I took photos of my cute family I sighed to myself... this is amazing...

There was no one else around us, private beach, it's just my family.  It's quiet, besides our laughter, we're not distracted, but present, there is no one else, just us.  My kids are playing together, we are enjoying each other... Perfect!  What a great life!  We are so blessed.

These are the little moments in life to savor forever.  This is happy.

A while later we were happily joined by the C's and the kids played and played.  The sun wasn't very warm this late, but they all still got in the water, played in the sand, went to the pool.  The boys visited, Molly and I took pictures, and visited.  It was the perfect end to our long journey to get here!

Tonight we ate at a local place.  The kids were all so good, the food was local... the favorite of the night was the little mini corn dogs.  We are all ready to get some good rest.

Tomorrow we plan to spend all day at the beach, minus the jaunt back to our room to eat lunch.  It will be so nice to not sit on the beach and eat sand!  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!

I plan to write about our trip as we go... and I sat down to upload photos, but M's laptop doesn't have the ability... dang!  Guess I'll have to insert those when we get home.  Anyway, so if the reason you stop by is for crafts or to see what I'm wearing, you won't be seeing that this week!  We are on vacation!  Yahoo!  And if I don't write about it I'll forget it, so that's what I'll be doing this week.

Road trips are a little like childbirth... the delivery can be quite painful, but the result sort of makes you forget all of the pain you went through!

Our trip down here this time was actually quick and painless!  It totally makes a difference traveling with friends!  There are many more travel combinations and that keeps everyone entertained and happy.

We set out on our journey yesterday morning.  I spent Thursday and Friday getting us all ready.  SO. MUCH. WORK. getting a family of 6 ready for a road trip/week long vacation!  It is exhausting!

Here are some snippets of our first day:
- First stop Erie, PA.  Had to hit Krispy Kreme.
- Kids got fresh hot doughnuts, a first for my kids!  They could hardly eat a hot, sticky doughnut!
- Molly's $2 tiny Diet Coke
- Child swap #1 T in our car Q in their car.
- Dude backing up off the on ramp...we thought it was to pick up the hitch-hiker, so did the hitch-hiker, who started picking up his bags... until the dude backed up right past him, into the Burger King!  Danger... and oh so weird!  I guess when you need a burger, you need a burger!
- Lunch in WV at Wendy's.  There are so many of us we need like 5 tables!
- Spouse swap!  Boys together, Moll and I together. 
- Told Shawn to use CC, we could tell they were deep in career conversation and could tell when the conversation would lull... we could then catch up to them!
- Modesty is hottesty!  Those are the words that came out of Mo's mouth when the lady at the gym told her she should show more cleavage!  Good story!
- Car and driver swap, we are still struggling to keep up w/ the boys. 
- Where is you at?  At one point Mol caught up to a car and slowed down to trail them... I was like, that's not my van... where are the boys?
- Awesome dinner in NC at a Mexican restaurant.  Amazing food, totally cost less than lunch at Wendy's = awesome!
- Bummed the pool was closed at our NC hotel.  The kids were really looking forward to that after such a long day.
- Buuuut we all fell asleep lickety split!

The C's had the WII set up in their van.  The boys loved that of course!
We had the ipads and some movies in our car. 
The girls played Barbies, the boys played WII... again, there was no fighting, little complaining, it was pretty dreamy!
G read for a lot of the trip.  I made some flowers.  Q played w/ the girls and the boys were entertained w/ the addition of their good buddy T.

This is our first road trip w/o our trusty 'road trip' music.
M recently got a new work phone and it has music apps on it.  We plugged that in and jammed to recent music, opposed to our 80's alternative!

Today we got up, got a few of us showered, got bfast downstairs. 
The girls wanted to eat at their own table and eyed the cute boys near them!
I let the kids jump on the bed a little...
We were on the road before 9.
More good driving.  I got some writing done.

M and I have had more pop in the last 2 days than we've had in the last month...
Mol asked how good my doughnuts are, how long they last... I told her I don't know, they never last more than a day before they are gone! 
Yep, we've had a good bit of junk... plus it feels worse when you aren't moving around!

I intend to hit the beach in the morning for a nice run.  I'm so excited!

Yea for vacations!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hold Tight and Carrots Out of Cone Forms

Are you ready for Easter?  Me?  No way!
We are taking an unexpected family vacation to Florida!  Yahoo!
Among other things, I'm getting ready for that.  It will be amazing!  We are going with the Christensen's... super excited!

We'll get back next Saturday, so I need to get my Easter prep done now.
I don't do too much, this holiday we focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and I don't really add much fluff to that!

This morning as I talked to my cute friend at the bus stop, and heard myself talking, I reminded myself to hold tight go my kids.  
Always showing love, as their mother, always holding tight... even when it's hard and I don't want to... because as they grow their tendency may be to push, and if we are both pushing, or even just not holding, the distance between us can grow and that is never what I want.
Hold tight!
OK, today I'm sharing my brilliant idea!
Carrots out of cone forms!  I saw cute spring carrots in mini size and decided to make my own larger version!

They are super easy!  
You need cone forms, yarn, tulle or organza, floral pins and ribbon.
I decided to hang them from my banister and I adore them!  They are a great addition to my spring decor!

Check out my video tutorial... like it, pin it, share it!!!
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Boyfriend Jeans and New Nails

Today is my little O's birthday.  
We are having a family party... I'm so burned out on the party scene!!!
Red Robin to the rescue!  
I'll review his special day separately.

I am reminded today of some personality traits...
- I push hard (mostly) when the going gets tough.
- I'm not very patient, especially if a decision is made, I'm ready to act on it... it's hard for me to wait.  I like to 'giterdone'!
- I am scatterbrained.
- I always have too many things in the air so I continually have to practice the prioritizing skill.

It's been a while since I've posted my fingernails.
I worked really hard on them this week, so I'm showing them off!
I do gel nails, so at least I know my hard work will remain intact for many weeks to come... so worth it!

I have been looking tirelessly for a good pair of boyfriend jeans.  
I keep seeing them everywhere, and love the look of them, however, as I continue to try them on I am disappointed.  
They are too much like skinny jeans, at least what I'd been trying on.
I finally found a pair, on clearance, at Target.  I tried them on, pretty sure they wouldn't work, none have so far.  I got a size up because I like the baggy look of them.
I had picked a winner!  Finally!  I love them!

Here are a few ways I have worn them recently...

I am 98% sure that bright lipstick is just not for me... I DO NOT like how it looks on me!
Do you wear bright lipstick?
I thought I'd try, this color doesn't look orange on me, surprise! 
 Nope, don't like it!
Too bad it's the 'long lasting' wear!  
I wore it all day long and kept surprising myself each time I looked in the mirror!!!

Do you remember when I said I wasn't going to buy anything for myself until this summer?  I can't find the post... oh well.  I failed!  I don't know why I try!  I have chilled out quite a bit though.  I know I need to show more self control!
I did recently buy these cute Converse though!  Don't you love them?
Perfect for spring right?
This was my outfit the day of G's party... I wanted to blend with the sporty theme!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Don't Panic...

Monday's post... that never got posted.
My theme for the day seems to be... don't panic... everything will be fine.

Running... oh running... how do I miss thee?  Let me count the ways...

I stayed off my leg all last week.  I hoped to get out to run 16 miles on Saturday, but just wasn't sure if I'd even be able to go 1.
I did go 1, and it felt so great... then my calf started to cramp up and pull.  Dang!  It hurts!!!  Probably against better judgment I pressed on, to see if I could somehow work around this... I somehow eeked out a workout, still ran 7 miles, but felt EVERY. SINGLE. STEP... and it hurt for the rest of the day!  It's not a soreness, I know what that feels like and I'm fine after I get moving.  This is some crazy knot that is shooting pain through my leg, stopping me in my tracks!

I love swimming.  I have been swimming more efficiently thus have gone farther faster... it has been great!
I love cycling.  It's great!  I can't wait to get out on my bike.
I love being able to row... I'd love to do that in real life someday.

But... they just aren't the same as running.  Add to that my goal of running a June marathon = anxiety!
I will, however be fully prepared for my July triathlon... I'm ready for most of it now.  Just not the running!

The way you prepare to run for a long time, is to run for a long time!  As great as it is to continue working out in these other disciplines, it's just not the same as being on my legs.

For yesterday's workout I swam a mile, rowed and cycled for 15 minutes, then wanted to try running, even just a couple of miles.  I went nice and slow, then almost cried as I felt that familiar pain.  Mostly out of frustration.  A quick way to depress my spirit is to keep me from being able to run!

I just needed to run, so I kept on... telling myself... don't panic.
But I am, I'm afraid of losing what I've built.  I don't want to lose speed and endurance.  I want to build, I want to improve.  I won't lose endurance aerobically, but if I don't run, will I lose muscle endurance?
Don't panic...
Running will always be here.  There will always be a race.  You don't always have to PR.  It would even be ok to run this marathon if I don't run 16 miles for another couple of weeks.  Don't panic!  You will be fine.

I will try to do just a little bit of running each day and see if I can work this thing out of my leg.  Resting didn't work.  I won't go turbo on distance, but I want to at least get a little in each day.

Here is what last week's workouts looked like..
Monday: Tried to run... got half mile out and had to walk home.  The weekend off didn't make me better.  This is when I committed to a week off my leg.
Tuesday: Swim 2400 meters, bike 12 miles w/ hill intervals
Wednesday: Yogalates 1 hr.  Bike 20 minutes.  Row 15 minutes
Thursday: rest
Friday: Swim 2300 meters.  Bike 30 minutes
Saturday: Run 7 miles with some breaks @ 8 pace.


I was sick to my stomach this morning... not 100% why, but it had to do with our choice, regarding our future.  I've been dying to talk to M and he has been BUSY!!!
I finally felt a wave of relief in the early afternoon... We are going to be great!  Our opportunities are fantastic, M is going to be happy... don't panic!

We had an interesting weekend.  It has been a thought provoking weekend.
We should be jumping for joy, but we've been a little somber...
There are decisions to be made and our future still is unclear at the moment!

General Conference was wonderful.  I was uplifted.
I organized my craft room while I listened... played with my ribbon, moved it around.  Reorganized my hair accessories and finally did my curtain project.  This room, that never seems to be cleaned, is going through a little spring cleaning!

I have ribbon everywhere!  I have drawers of it, and some of it hangs out at my scrapbooking desk.  I also have some on top of my corner desk, for hair stuff, as well as a photo box full of it!

I moved all of my 'craft' ribbon over to my scrapbooking desk.

I had purple and brown ribbon hanging there before.

I reorganized my drawers from 'fatter' and 'skinny' ribbon, to 'solids' and 'patterned'.  I seem to search for them that way right now.  They are grouped by color too.

Now, on top of my desk are just solid ribbons that I can use to cover headbands or for the base of bows.
I'll walk you through all of it when I take you on a tour of my craft room... after it's clean!

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