Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Day In The Country

We headed to the tiny town of Comanche yesterday to visit Great-Grandma. Unfortunately, she recently had to move from the family farm into a nursing home. She was having a great day when we visited and her memory seemed fairly good. It was nice to see her and let the grandchildren get a chance to visit with her. Mckenna can be the sweetest girl when it comes to loving on people. If she is in a compliant mood then she will give hugs to anyone. I was so proud of her this past Christmas when we visited a nursing home and although she was hesitant and nervous...she willingly held hands and gave hugs to the attention starved seniors. In the same manner, she was very affectionate with Great-Grandma (despite the fact I doubt she remembers her from our last visit 16 months ago) and I'm sure she warmed her heart by Mckenna's request to sit on her lap.
After our visit to the nursing home we drove to the farm to explore. Brad's Uncle has a heard of cattle on the land so we went to say hi.
Mckenna literally said "hi" to the cows, and mooed, and waved.
It's dangerous terrain on the farm. Cow patties. Possibly snakes. Lot's of mysterious goodies that a 13 month finds fascinating and interesting enough to taste. In this photo Brooke was mentally debating her opinion of the tall grass...she sat there for several minutes deciding if she was having fun or wanting to scream.
Mckenna and her cousin Hayden enjoyed feeding the cows.


It's my birthday. Today. Another year...wiser? I remember when I was a teenager thinking that by the time I turn 30 I want to have finished my masters, married, and had a baby. Check. Check. Check. Apparently at the time, 30 was the pinnacle of birthday achievements and I didn't consider any goal setting beyond that "old age". So now I'm three years beyond that point and time and have added two more babies to the equation in the past 3 years. I've lived on the east coast. I've lived on the west coast. I'm moving back to the east coast.

Although I enjoy birthday celebrations...apparently it becomes a little less celebratory as the years progress. However, my girls think it is a pretty important day and I appreciate their enthusiasm for my milestone. They personally designed my birthday looks very similar to many of Baileigh's rainbow, flowers, and sunshine drawings that used to adorn my fridge. And of course they were anxious to help consume the bakery's masterpiece.

We're back in the car tomorrow after our downtime in Texas. We'll spend two days traveling to Nashville for a brief stop. Calling our Suburban home is growing old and I'm tiring of the suitcase and garbage bag in lieu of laundry baskets. Our journey has been fun, but the end is in sight...barely, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On The Road Again

Greetings from Texas! A line of storms passed through "the Mother Country" (as my husband calls it...not this Yankee) yesterday causing torrential downpours that caused tornadoes and flooding in Texas. We drove in those storms. We drove in those storms for hours! What makes a long day of traveling with 3 kids and 2 dogs in a car...storms. Bad storms. That we drove in for hours. Need I say more?!

But we made it and we're on road trip hiatus for 4 days while we visit with Brad's family. The girls are enjoying manipulating Grandma to get their every wish come true. The dogs love the big back yard and are waiting for a few minutes alone to dig a hole. I'm enjoying the fact that Brooke's pack-n-play is in another room so I don't hear her every little move and as a result I finally got 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night!

This morning I had the chance to bike and run. The winds were still strong today and there was a lot of debris on the road from the storms...but I managed to get a short ride in followed by a run. Something is better then nothing at this point...the real training will begin in a few weeks when we finally get settled. The girls are officially sunburned after spending several hours playing outside. They literally fell into bed. Maybe we can wear them out enough here that we'll sail through the final 28 hours of our trip.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Colorado Springs

We arrived on Friday afternoon to Colorado Springs. This city is growing like crazy! I lived here 10 years ago and there are new housing developments and schools on every corner and new roads that completely disorient me. This city is a special place for us since this is where we met, dated and got engaged. It's fun to reminisce...despite the girls disinterest in our stories.

We're enjoying our time with our AF friends, the Maddox family...Grace is one of Baileigh's best buddies. We'll spend two more days here to visit Focus on the Family and other old friends and then head to TX on Tuesday. Sorry for the lack of photos, but I'm not that organized right now so be thankful I'm even finding my way to a computer to update you on our travels.

The girls are enjoying the time out of the car and the swing set in the backyard. They all seem a little overwhelmed and tired from our journey. Mckenna has been having some meltdowns that include her requesting for us to "go home"...easier said then done my little one! I think this transition concept and the new house we're heading too is hard for her to wrap her little mind is for me too sometimes!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Somewhere in Boise

Shhh...listen. It's quiet! Perhaps because it is 11:40 and my entourage are asleep around me. As I blog from my hotel bedside table in Boise I finally have a few minutes of quiet to hear my brain think. Eight hours in the car with three kids under 6, two 80lb. dogs, my hubby, DVD players and CD's doesn't equal quiet. EVER!

Our trip is going fairly smooth, knock on wood. I guess I should say "our move"...although for now it still feels like a road trip without the final destination being a new residence! We left later then planned yesterday (Oh my gosh...was that really only yesterday! wahh) but made it to Portland which was our small but achievable goal. Today the kids all did great...I would say an 8.5 on a scale of 10. Brooke took 2 naps, played frequently with her toys and her toes when not sleeping and was generally pleasant. The older girls were distracted with new coloring books and activities and of course a few new movies. We're at a nice Holiday Inn tonight that has a great indoor pool that we enjoyed and took full advantage of their "Kids Eat Free" slogan for dinner! We even have the dogs sleeping in our room legally...that always makes Brad sleep better...I'd rather ask for forgiveness then permission. The girls all fought sleep despite our theory that the pool would wear them out...seemed to over stimulate them and it was 10:30 before all 3 were asleep. 10:31 for Brad.

I spent the drive reading my book "12 Week Triathlete" and calculating how I could modify the 12 week training plan to start once we are settled but truly only have 9 weeks by that time until my first race. It motivated me enough that I have a pile of workout clothes sitting by the bed so I can slip out in the morning to the hotel gym for a quick workout. We'll see if I stick to that in the morning...Brooke's napping in the car has made her sleep poorly at night and I can't really let her cry it out in the hotel room.

Here is what our next few days look like. Tomorrow drive 6 hours to Salt Lake City. Pray the kids fall asleep early in order to watch LOST. Thursday we're kenneling the dogs and spending the day in Salt Lake to take a break from driving. I think we're planning on hitting the zoo, weather pending. Friday is a big drive day but we end up in Colorado Springs to take a 3 day break and visit with friends. Then back in the car for another 12 hour day where we'll arrive in TX to see Brad's family. 4 days there and then over to Nashville. Lunch with friends and then on to Knoxville. Knoxville to Highe Point, NC for a 24 hour break to visit family. Then another 6-8 hours depending on traffic around DC and we just may finally make it to our new home. Tired yet? I am just thinking about it. Making it to the gym in about 7 hours is sounding less appealing...of course it would be a little time alone which I may just be desperate enough for that I'll find the motivation despite my exhaustion.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Moving Day

The long anticipated day has arrived. It's 12:40am the morning of our move and I'm sitting on the floor getting ready to shut down our laptop which is resting on our vacuum box desk.

I feel as though this day has somehow sneaked up on me despite the fact we've been planning on it for awhile now.

We're not rushing out tomorrow. In fact, Brad has to go to work for a few exit meetings in the morning. The girls and I are meeting with a friend for one last play date. After lunch we sign papers at the title company for the sale of our house and then we'll hit the road. We're just driving 2.5 hours to Portland tomorrow. Then the fun begins!

Mt. Rainier peaked through the clouds today and eventually cleared for what may be my final views of the majestic mountain. I will miss that view that I know I've taken for granted on too many days!

Today was full of sad good-byes. A few more tomorrow. I'm too tired for tears though...there will be time for that on the drive.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Boxes or Blogging

The packers came today...the move has begun. Technically I guess it began when we put the house on the market. But today it all became reality. This evening I sit surrounded by stacks of boxes. It's funny how as a people we struggle with our cravings for material "stuff" and wealth...but when it's suddenly being examined by a third party and condensed into brown cardboard rectangles you get a sense of embarrassment at the excess.

I think we've actually scaled down what we have in certain in our kitchen and just in the nick-knack department in general (doesn't blend well with kids). But adding a child into every move means we gain "stuff" in other areas.

I negotiated two unpacked items for the evening...obviously the computer and then a small TV so I wouldn't miss tonight's episode of LOST. I actually wish it wasn't on tonight because I'm exhausted and anxious to sleep. Last night I crashed at 2:30 and Brooke woke up at 3:00 and didn't stop her crying until 5:00 am...then the alarm woke me at 7:00am...2 hours of sleep just doesn't cut it. I'm not sure what is up with Brooke. She usually sleeps 12 hours but lately she is up crying around 2:30 or 3:00 for as much as two hours. Dr. said no ear infection and her throat looks fine. She isn't cutting any new teeth that we can feel. Oh least when she doesn't sleep well next week because she is in her pack n play and strange hotel rooms I'll be used to it!

They pack one more day tomorrow and then load the truck on Friday. I took a few pictures of the stacks of boxes but Blogger isn't cooperating tonight. We camp out over the weekend and have the house cleaned on Saturday. On Monday we close on the house and Brad has to go to work for a few hours...then it's off to Portland for dinner. Let the fun begin! 18 days of family And, like most people would...we're driving from WA to NJ via stops in Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs, Dallas/Ft. Worth, then probably up to Indian and then a stop in Dayton and then head east. Ya know, the direct route!

I'll attempt to blog when possible, but whatever alone time I get I may need it just to recoup my sanity.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Day

We enjoyed a beautiful Easter day. The weather cleared up long enough for an Easter egg hunt outside after church. The girls had a great time, especially since they got to celebrate the fun with their good friends...and of course got more candy!

Mckenna with her good buddies Coley and Jalyn
Mckenna was very concerned with Brooke's ability to properly "Easter Egg Hunt". She stuck close to her and continually brought her eggs since she didn't seem to get the concept.

"Look what I got, Mommy!"
Easter 2007 at High Pointe Community Church in Washington.

I think I put Baileigh in this dress at Easter because it still has that little girl look. She is getting so tall that she has outgrown the toddler size clothes and I have to go into the young girls department to shop for her. I find this progression heart wrenching as I actually have to search for clothes at this age that are tasteful, modest and age appropriate. Thongs for 6 year olds? Come on people! But they have them. It scares me to death...what am I going to do when she is 14 and has her own opinion!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Today is Easter. I have a hard time understanding how or what people celebrate on this day if they don't have a personal relationship with Christ. A bunny? I can see the distraction at the Christmas season (I can see it but not excusing it) from the true meaning of the celebration with all the commercial hype and family gatherings...but separating the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross from the Easter holiday really seems like a lame excuse to eat some chocolate and ham.

The reason we stop to celebrate Easter and remember the forgiveness available to us has hit me in a new reality this year. In the past month I have had the heart wrenching experiencing of watching two marriages devastated by the effects of affairs. In one situation my girlfriend was the victim of her husband's unfaithfulness. In the other situation my friend is the guilty party.

Living through this time in their lives with them has caused me to see the forgiveness available to us in Christ in an entirely new light. In both these situations there are people involved who are willing to forgive and want restoration. There is unconditional love involved, loves that want healing and wholeness despite their own hurt and pain.

Daily I hurt the one who offers me forgiveness through my own failures. I may not be guilty of an affair, but in God's eyes my own sins are no smaller or greater...yet I am offered open arms of unconditional love and forgiveness. I pray this Easter that my friends will see Easter in a new light, too. That they will have hearts willing to forgive the ones that broke them. That they will seek restoration and remember the forgiveness they can receive and accept. That we all have fallen. That we all are forgiven.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Final Photos

I hope you like these pictures...they are the last ones I will ever take with this camera. Seconds after snapping a few of these photos, Baileigh kicked a ball that made direct contact with my arm which was holding the camera. I realize accidents happen, however, I'm still a little perturbed with the event due to the fact that she kicked the ball with a bad attitude after she got an answer she didn't like. The camera fell to the ground with the shutter open and the zoom out and damaged the zoom beyond repair.

Prior to that event, we had a fun time enjoying our swing set. I will truly miss our backyard and the great toy that Daddy built us. We passed a lot of time in this yard, especially last summer when Brad was deployed. I better stop reminiscing...I'm getting a little verclamped.

I think we'll have to swing by Best Buy this weekend and get a new camera. There is no way I'll agree to this move without being able to document the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fooled You!

While some of you had your suspicions, there were also a handful of you that woke me up with congratulation phone calls and filled my inbox with excited emails.

April Fool's!

NO...we are not pregnant. Nor trying. Nor planning on it at the current time. Nor pondering the thought. Nor trying for a boy. Nor wanting to I making myself clear? Of course, in someone's comment they welcomed us to the 4's Club...I didn't know there was a club? Sweet. Maybe we will join!

But apparently the idea of us having a fourth wasn't too far fetched since many of you fell for the joke. I apologize to those who were disappointed (the Grandma's, of course) or initially upset that I did not tell you personally and you had to learn of the news via the blog. Coincidently I had an annual exam at the OB/GYN today and the thought passed my mind that the joke would be on me if I the Dr. surprised me with this news! For the record, if we ever had the announcement to make for real...we would at least be courtesy enough to tell our parents over the phone.

I did find this to be a good indicator of who reads my blog based upon the response!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Our News!

As if we don't have enough on our plates right now...we were surprised, to say the least, to find out that we'll be a family of 6 in about 8 months!