Sunday, April 29, 2012


I did it! I finished my very first half marathon today. Whew! That was sure something. Woke up at 5 am to the sound of rain, thunder and lightening. I went ahead and got ready and headed out just in case it slowed down. It didn't. Ran the whole 13.1 in a downpour. Torrential at times.  It would have been funny if it didn't suck so much. Actually it didn't suck, it was awesome. Running along with some 1500 other people that came out to run in the rain was awesome and an experience I won't soon forget. By mile marker three I was soaking wet from head to toe and the shoes were sloshing. I thought the iPod would drown but it kept on trucking. I kept on truckin' too! I ran the whole darn thing.  I didn't walk at all. I surprised myself even. It's good to surprise yourself once and awhile. Prove to yourself you can do stuff you didn't think you could do.

This was a fitting end to a year of running. A year ago I bought a treadmill with the sole desire to try and run one mile without stopping.  After several weeks I was able to do that, so I challenged myself to run two miles and so forth. Treadmill running lead to road running and my first 5K last October. Along the way 18 pounds came off which was a welcome side effect. All in all this was a life changing year and today was no exception. Thank you to my awesome husband, Father in law, kids and parents for braving the nasty weather to come watch me cross that finish line. It was sure nice to see people cheering you on at the end. Hmm what's next, perhaps a full marathon is in the future. The distant future!

Official time: 2 hours 13 minutes Woo Hoo!

 I ran with Hubby's phone that has a running app on it. Kind of forgot to stop it so the time isn't correct.  Check out the calorie burnt box in the upper right hand corner. That's nearly 1600 calories baby! Really didn't feel bad about stuffing my face with pancakes after the race.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Assorted Pictures

There have been a few pictures over the past month that don't fall into any particular blog but are still worthy of keeping and sharing.


 Rich and Sean swung her for over an hour last weekend and she finally just fell asleep.

 We sure enjoy having Rich here on the weekends. So does Chance.

 An accurate depiction of everyday life. Alex and Abby were over when Granny Randi was here. I believe she was the tickle monster. 

 Tomatoes, bell peppers and hot peppers ready to go out to the garden. Too bad they froze last weekend and I get to replant everything.

 Trip to the fire station yesterday with Wesley's preschool class. He had a blast.

 Little kid in a big hat.

 Little kid in a big truck.

Little girl who was stuck to my leg the whole time.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Week from today

A week from today I'll be running my very first half marathon. That's 13.1 miles. The training has been going ok. It was severely derailed early on with the sprained ankle but it's been ramping up over the past several weeks. I was supposed to do a long run last weekend (12 miles) but I only got 8 done due to the 400 mph winds we were having. I kid you not, I would open up my mouth and the wind would blow out my cheeks like I was in a wind tunnel. I felt like a football player running into one of those padded sleds. It was horrible. So technically I never got in the really long run...which is worrisome. But I'll be fine. I've done several 7+ milers and today's 5 mile run was awesome with a 9:40 average mile ( a good time for me). I don't think I'll die.

I'm going to share with you a runners secret which I've just discovered. They are called energy gels. Little packages of condensed calories and electrolytes that you suck down 15 minutes before running and 45 minutes into the run. I went to our local sporting goods store and picked up several to experiment with. I got the GU Energy gels and two packages of the Honey Stinger energy chews.  The GU Energy gel is like chocolate frosting with caffeine. So yum! I tried the double espresso flavor (not a coffee drinker but still good) before today's run and was so jittery (but in a good way) when I got out of the car that I think I could have did the run doing cart wheels. It was awesome. Oh and the energy chews are like candy that you eat every 10 minutes or so. I'm hypoglycemic so these little jewels will work at keeping the old blood sugars level. I'm so happy I discovered this stuff, it will make this race doable.

So anyways, send good vibes next Sunday morning at 7:30...I'm going to need them. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tiny Memories

When we had new carpet installed a few weeks ago we had to take everything out of the closets and move it to the basement, along with everything in each room. It was a huge undertaking and we loaded the basement to the ceiling. I really should have taken a picture, it was a bit disturbing. But anyways, this week I have started the daunting task of moving all of the stuff back into it's former location. I was hauling the giant wedding dress bag up the stairs and both kids were super curious about what was inside. So I got out the old wedding dress and Greta immediately wanted to wear it. I got some pretty cute shots of her. Perhaps some day she might even want to wear it when she gets married.

Of course not wanting to be upstaged by his little sister, Wesley even took his turn in the dress. Camo shirt and all. Hehehe.....I fully plan on showing this at his wedding.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tractor Dreams

I want a tractor. Or a skid steer. Or pretty much anything that has a bucket (or blade) on the front and will scoop manure. The horses live in a corral and their life consists of eating and pooping and occasionally chasing a goat around. That's it. The manure builds up at an alarming rate. So hubby gets out our little Cub Cadet garden tractor that has a blade on the front and runs it around the pen shoving the poo into a compost pile. Thus far the system has been somewhat successful and keeps the manure down. Problem is that I have to plead with Sean to do this chore. The little tractor has "issues" and Sean doesn't think I can run it with the blade as it destroys his hands by the time he's finished scooping. He doesn't want me to destroy my hands since that is what I make a living with (because you know he doesn't need his hands to do computer work, he claims he can type with his nose. Uh huh.).

So I told him I want a tractor. Something I can start, something with no funky knobs to kill my hands and something that I can go scoop out the pen whenever my little heart desires. My only criteria is that: 1. It needs to not be a ton of money. I just can't see spending $7,000 on a Kubota (drool) that will be used solely for poop removal. 2. It needs to start right up. None of this going out with the jump starter every time I want to use it and no asking Hubby to get it started each time. That's it. Shouldn't be that hard to find something right?

That was about a month ago. He's been combing Craigslist looking for that perfect John Deere and finally finding one...or rather two.

Yep, he hauls home two John Deere tractors. First one is the tractor we'll be fixing up and the other is the donor tractor. Can you guess which one is which? You see, I (in all of my ignorance) thought the one on the right was the desired tractor and the one on the left was the parts donor. Nope. The tractor on the left is the much more desirable one being a John Deere 332 diesel. The one on the right is a 317 with a blown motor. We already bought the blade to go on the front so all that's left is to make it look like a tractor again. Doh. Hubby sure listened to my criteria didn't he?

*palm to forehead*

I guess it was cheap. I'll give him that. He says I have no vision. I just hope his "vision" gets it completed while we still own horses. Kidding!

I must give them credit though, Sean and his Dad got the 332 running last weekend. So now I have to eat my words. Perhaps it will be finished in a somewhat timely manner. I do look forward to it and appreciate his hard work. Go hubby go!

The finished product will eventually have a home built front bucket on it. He's been wanting to do that for some time. I'm guessing it will look something like this:

But for now, it will start as this.

The "before" picture. Looking forward to the "after" picture.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Hand Mutilator

Ok, so if you've been reading this little blog of mine then you know that I am the proud new owner of a handgun. The gun has been sitting in its box, untouched since we bought it at the gun show about a month ago. Deciding it was time to shoot it, I went to the gun range in town on Tuesday evening with my Dad. My father joined a pistol league at work and invited me to go shooting with him. Actually he invited me to join the pistol league too but since I don't work where he works I'd have to pay quite a bit of money to join and I doubt I was a very good shot anyways. SO, I decided to just go shooting with him.

Overall, it was quite an experience. My gun, a Ruger LCR, is definitely not a pleasure to shoot. I think I shall refer to it as the "hand mutilator" from hence forth. As a self defense weapon it will work wonderfully, but as something that you take and shoot with any regularity.....not gonna happen. I put 25 rounds through it and my hand felt like someone took a hammer to it. The meaty part between my thumb and pointer finger still hurts and it's been two days. I believe I hit the target with all 25 rounds but got worse as I shot because I was flinching as it went off in preparation for the pain. Ouch. So then I got to shoot dad's .22 that he shoots for the league. I believe it's a Ruger Mark III. So much nicer to shoot. Nearly zero recoil, and a nice heavy gun. Might have to pick up a .22 caliber gun in the near future if I want to go shooting with Dad every week. Which I think I'd like to. Heck maybe I'll join a league at the gun range. Because you know I'm not competitive at all. *wink

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Visit

Sean's folks left today. We had such a nice time seeing them. We'll be seeing quite a bit more of Rich in the near future. You see, we won the lottery you might say. He has a government job and his position down in New Mexico was cut leaving him looking for a job. Unfortunately there weren't any other positions for him where they live so he started looking elsewhere in the country. He specifically looked for jobs located near his children. For instance he applied for a position in Washington (near where Nate lives) and somewhere near South Dakota (where Jeremy lives). He also applied for a job near us and got it. So they purchased a travel trailer and pulled it up here and got him settled for his job that started this week. He'll be living in that while Randi keeps the home fires burning down in New Mexico. As much as we will love to see him when he comes up for weekends, we all hope this isn't a long term situation and can find government employment back at home. But in the mean time we can't wait for Grandpa to visit.

Randi stayed with us for six days and we enjoyed every minute of it.....well almost every minute of it.  You see, Randi brought her dog, Hildi. Hildi is a one year old shepherd mix that I've been hearing about for some time. Poor Hildi had a rough life before Rich and Randi came along. She was abused among other things, leaving her with some trust issues. Oh I'll just be blunt, she is one of the most neurotic dogs I've ever seen. Sweet dog, just neurotic. On the first night here she went upstairs to sleep with Rich and Randi in the spare bedroom. She'd never been on stairs before and went up but wouldn't come back down the next morning. We tried everything to get that dog down the stairs. She'd plant those giant paws and you couldn't drag her. She'd freak out like a cat in a bath if you tried to pick her up (she weighs 70 lbs). Oh and I haven't mentioned the best part. She pees when she's nervous. Did I mention we just got new carpet throughout the house? Yep, she got "nervous" in four different spots in the spare bedroom during this whole ordeal. sob. We finally got her down the stairs after practically tossing her down them and she never went back up, staying in her crate downstairs. After all that she didn't really like me much the rest of the visit. Imagine that.

Once we figured her out, she had a nice visit. She played great with the two big dogs but tried to murder poor Chance the terrier on more than one occasion. She's welcome back, just not welcome on the new carpet.

Friday I had to run to the pet store to get a hamster for Jessica's daughters birthday (Yeah I'm that awesome person that gives live animals as presents....insert evil laughter). Randi was nice enough to come with me and hold the little rodent on the trip home. Maybe you had to be there but the look on her face was priceless. She just kept praying the rodent wouldn't pee on her and/or chew it's way out on the 25 minute ride home.

Granny Randi was nice enough to watch the kids on several occasions while Sean and I escaped. Oddly enough we never escaped together. Sean took off to pick up his newest project (more on that later) and I took off to go to the gun range and get a movie in (Hunger Games was pretty good). Sure wish Granny Randi lived closer. :) Wesley was in hog heaven with an active Angry Birds audience.

Greta made Randi read her favorite book Mr. Silly Pants to her at least 75 times. Poor Granny Randi.

Upon further review we've discovered where Miss Greta's "crazy" hair comes from. What do you think?

Friday we got a call from Dru, our family friend, saying he was in town. We invited him and his girls out for a cookout. We had a nice full house with Sean's folks, my folks and Dru and his family. His oldest is the same age as Wesley (birthday is two days earlier) so they all had a blast together. It was sure nice seeing them all.

So I'm officially back to an empty house. It's sad. The kids are back to being bored and I'm wishing we all lived closer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


We have the privilege of having Sean's folks visiting over Easter this year and we couldn't be more thrilled. The kids are in hog heaven with Granny and Grandpa playing with them all day long. Easter was great, the Easter bunny came to visit in the form of Granny Randi and the kids were in awe. It was hilarious. We had a great time coloring eggs and hunting for them in the backyard. I hope you all had a great Easter!

Papa Rich and the Easter Bunny.

We call her the wouldn't like her when she's angry.

Fun times with Granny.

We love Papa Rich.

If a two year old doesn't want to wear an Easter dress, she doesn't wear one.

Mmmm candy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Crash course in home beautification

I think some people work better under pressure. That would be us. About a week and a half ago I told Sean "wouldn't it be nice if the house looked awesome when your folks get here for Easter?" He said ok and thus started the daunting task of revamping a crumbled, cracked and all around crappy slab floor. Let me back up in case you've missed the not so exciting story of our house and its "issues". We bought the house back in 2004 as a repossession. It was built in 1985 so it's not that old. Not old enough to be having the problems it's having. It passed house inspection.....somehow. Almost immediately after moving in we noticed the terra cotta tiles in the dining room cracking along the entire length of the room. Over the next few years the crack got worse and the corner of the room started sinking at an alarming rate. Fast forward to fall of 2006. We hired a company to come out and place piers all over exterior of the back of the house and inside under the slab (house is part slab and the rest is a basement). They jacked it up until it looked normal again, gave us an extravagant bill and a warranty. After a few months it started cracking again. Knowing this was going to be an ongoing problem we chose not to put any floor covering down over the slab. Winter of 2009 the company came back out and readjusted the outside piers and jack hammered holes in the slab inside once again to reposition the floor. Ok, so there is the ugly history on this house.

It's been a mess. The floor has been torn up for years now. The kids have been running around on concrete and tile grout tearing up their knees when they fall. We were living in a construction zone and it was time for a change. So hubby took a week off last week and I rented a concrete grinder. All day Sunday he ground down the concrete and removed the last of the grout. Nobody warned us what a mess that would be! Although I'm pretty sure no one thought we'd be using it indoors. We decided to use water to keep the dust down which was a good idea, but what resulted was a concrete sludge that resembled snot. It was three inches deep in places and had to be scooped up with a shovel. But it worked! That floor was smooth (minus the crack that still had good depth to it). Now on to the leveling compound.

Dining room grinding in process. Day1.

Grinding away.

Nasty mess, had to mop it up before it dried.

Still smiling.

All mopped and ready for leveler. Cracks in sheet rock getting patched. Day 2.

We got eight bags of leveling compound and started mixing it up. The key was to have two buckets going. Hubby would mix it up and I would trowel it around making sure it got everywhere. We were a good team and had that room knocked out in no time. We poured the dining room and our bedroom, along with the seam where the slab meets up with the basement foundation.

We learned many lessons during this week long project. First one was to seal the cracks. We poured leveling compound and it literally just flow down the cracks. It sucks watching $35 dollar compound pour under the house. So we had to come back with cement patch and fill in the dips.

Leveling the big crack.

Leveler flowing down the cracks. Doh.

They call me the trowel girl.

All leveled and patched and sanded smooth. Walls with a fresh coat of paint. Day 4.

Then came the stairs. Whoever decided to carpet the walls is an idiot. Nothing screams 80's like carpet on the walls. So we stripped the carpet and wood trim from the stairs. They also had a wood runner on the tips of each step which had to come off. The screws had to be drilled out, then the wood hammered off and the remaining screws had to be cut off with a reciprocating saw. Nothing can be simple. The carpet was pulled from the walls (it had been glued on) leaving the sheet rock torn up and in need of pasting. I am not a fan of taping and pasting but I pulled up my sleeves and went to work (sure beat concrete grinding, glad I didn't have to do that). Four coats of paste later and more sanding than I'd ever like to do again, it is finished. We were able to find some carpet at a local carpet store that was in stock and almost exactly what we were looking for. They were able to get it installed yesterday and it looks fabulous! We carpeted everything, even upstairs. I can't be more happy with the end results. It's like we have a new house. There is so much living space that can now be utilized and it's heartwarming seeing your kids running around with glee on nice new carpet. No more bloody knees in the house!

Old stairs. Carpet on walls = 1980's (in my humble opinion).

Removal of wood on steps.

Stairs and wall all ready for carpet.

End result! Love it (and that cute naked kid).

Wall to wall carpet. We just need to put down new trim and it's done! Day 9.

Master bedroom. So happy with the outcome. What a week!