Saturday, April 19, 2014


Happy 9th birthday to our sports-loving, glasses-wearing 3rd grader! We love you, Joe!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Spring" running

I went for a run today. It is April 16th. It snowed the entire time I was running. When I was running north it was coming down pretty hard and was blowing right into my face and I could barely see. 

When I turned east I could see better and I saw so much beauty :: A beaver. Lots of mallards. A pair of geese. A snow globe of swirling white over the lake. Trees. A squirrel (or twelve). Thick woods.

It was 4.46 dreamy miles following 2 not-so-dreamy ones. (Those first couple miles always seem to be a bit like torture, no matter how much I run. Can I get an "Amen"?). The snow that made me angry this morning was beautiful to run in this afternoon. I did some major hill work in the woods near my house. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

10 days from now I'll be running my first race of 2014. A local 10k. Bring it!

Also, I hadn't realized how worn out and broken down my old shoes were. I got a new pair of "kicks" over the weekend and my run today felt so good! I had temporarily forgotten how fabulous new shoes feel. My entire body is grateful, I think! Ahhhhh. 

Dirty already, you see!

It's still coming down like crazy out there. Despite how beautiful it is, I really hope it lets up soon!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Multitude Monday

It's been nearly a month since my last Multitude Monday post. Where on earth did March go? I'm glad to have moved on to April, though, and to finally see signs that spring is here to stay! So, without further ado, here is my continuing Multitude Monday post which is part of a series started years ago on Ann's blog, which is a favorite of mine. If you've never checked it out, do yourself a favor and click on over. She's an amazing, gifted writer, a wonderful friend and an inspiration to so many (not to mention a mother of 6)!

This will be a "best of" list from the past month, since there are about 80 of them.

"One Thousand Gifts"::
3901. Face Time
3904. hugs
3906. the beauty of mountains
3909. running outside without dodging puddles or watching out for ice
3910. Kirbs' laughter
3911. seeing first-hand how fabulous my husband is at his job. So proud!
3912. eating breakfast OUTSIDE
3913. naturally-sourced vitamin D! (yay for California sunshine on the skin of a Minnesota girl in March)
3916. hanging out and laughing with Jen
3920. fabulous people watching
3922. a good book for the plane ride
3923. safe travels
3925. life-long friendships
3926. being home again!
3927. hugging my kids again after being away from them for a week
3928. waking up and hearing the sound of Joe reading books to Anna
3929. sleeping in my own bed
3930. tax return automatically deposited in our checking account
3931. feeling full to almost bursting with love for my family and my life and gratitude to God for it all
3932. my parents and ALL they did so we could get away
3934. running in my own, familiar neighborhood
3936. 15 years of Jacob!
3937. Rebekah a teenager!
3939. introducing my grandma to the game of Spinners
3940. Sara saying "I love you, Marjorie." to my grandma -- I think it's so funny when she uses adults first names (that sometimes I didn't even know she knew!) instead of their other name (mom, dad, grandma, grandmpa, ama, bopbop, GG). She does it every once in a while and it cracks me up every time.
3941. Rebekah baking her own birthday cake
3945. all the people who took the time to tell me how great the kids did playing in church the Sunday we were out of town
3946. Jacob playing his trumpet accompanied by his GREAT grandma -- pretty rare and pretty special. It goes my heart good!
3949. Rebekah playing "I Love to Tell the Story" on the piano while I work
3950. surprise 40th birthday get-together for a friend -- seeing friends I don't get a chance to see very often
3953. my favorite green chai (the our local grocery store stopped carrying) from my mom (she found some online!)
3958. Our REI dividend!
3961. 6 years of Anna!
3962. our church
3964. 14 glorious miles run over the weekend
3965. snuggling my nephew :: 4-month-olds have the best, huge, toothless smiles
3966. dinner at my parents house
3967. fabulous finds at Goodwill (and a sale to boot!)
3969. Macy's flower show with the littles, my mom and my grandma (4 generations enjoying spring-like flowers inside while the outside was FAR from spring-like!)
stop and smell the hyacinth

Sara wasn't cooperating for pictures!

Anna has lost 2 teeth since this picture was taken less than a week ago!


me and my silly little girls

my beautiful grandma

what's a flower show without some candy treats?

GG, Ama and Anna
3970. weeknight sleepover for Sara (makes the morning SO MUCH easier)
3972. one-on-one date with Sara
enjoying a ride at MOA
3973. attending a 100th birthday party (you don't get many chances to do that!)
3975. REALLY dirty kids after playing outside (ahhh, the "joys" of spring)
3977. coffee ice cream
3978. running in capris and a tank top (it's been a long time since I ran sleeveless!)

 May you realize all the blessings the Lord brings your way and take the time to make note of them. (you'll be glad that you did!)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Before-40 goal #2

Almost exactly a year ago I verbalized two before-40 goals to a friend of mine, while we were out running. My 40th birthday was just over a year away at that point and I wanted to do a couple things before turning 40 that would take dedication and be a bit of a stretch for me. The first thing I mentioned was to run a half marathon. At that point the furthest I'd EVER run in one stretch was about 5 miles. In my head I thought maybe a late spring or early summer half in 2014. But over the summer as I was training for a 10 mile race that I had signed up for for September of 2013, I decided I had enough of the training in as it was and I might as well shoot for a fall race. So sometime in the summer, I signed up for a half marathon for late October 2013. Then I proceeded to freak out a little (or maybe more than a little) and question what I had just done. Fast forward to October 26, 2013 and on a chilly, windy Saturday morning I crossed a half marathon starting line. 2 hours 7 minutes and 37 seconds later I crossed the finish line. Yay! Goal #1. Check!

The second goal I made for myself was to grow my hair out long enough to donate. I had tried once before, but couldn't handle it once it got to a certain length. (cue my frustration with my hair for the past few months now!) But after my mom's cancer diagnosis and two of my daughters donating their hair, I knew I wanted to do it too. (I am SO thankful that my mom didn't need chemo and never lost her beautiful hair, but lots of people DO need chemo and DO lose their hair and I wanted to help.) So, I am starting to think about the end of this long hair! It's pretty much driving me crazy at this point. It bugs me when I'm sleeping (when I try to roll over I can't, because I'm laying on it). I was taking off my shirt one night, getting ready for bed, and my hair got stuck in my armpit. How gross is that! I know there are lots of people with hair longer than mine, but I'm pretty much at my limit. I've had relatively short hair for a good portion of my life. More often short-ish than long-ish, anyway. I'm thinking I'll cut it next month sometime. Or maybe not until June. I'll probably go chin-length or shorter. I want to donate as much hair as I can.

So I have to make a decision (Have I mentioned I'm not really a fan of making decisions? I would rather someone just tell me what to do!) about what style to do with when I chop it all off. As my friend noted at church this morning (Hi Catherine!) I've been pinning short hair dos like crazy on Pinterest lately.

Here are my top few choices (my top few TODAY at least. Tomorrow I may very well change my mind).

I think this one is pretty realistic. It's not TOO styled (I'm a pretty low maintenance girl when it comes to hair. If I have to do too much -- or ANYTHING, really -- to it, it's not going to happen!) and she has thinner hair, as do I ::

I like this one too, but I think it looks like it might take more work than I am willing to put in ::

I think that, right at this moment, this one is my favorite. (Although that may just be because she's wearing gray and I LOVE gray!) I think her hair is a little thicker than mine, so I'm not sure I could pull it off. Also, I'm not so good at the nondescript-part-thing, my part is usually pretty defined. But, still, at this point this one is my favorite. That may change tomorrow, but for now, I think this is the direction I'm leaning ::

What do you think? Any preference? Are they all bad? All good? In the end I'll probably just tell Jill (my VERY talented friend who cuts my hair) to do whatever she wants! I like it better that way. She's never done me wrong and I get out of making the actual decision! Yay!

Have you ever had a bucket list or things you wanted to do before a certain age or at a certain time in your life? How'd it go for you? 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Flashback Friday

Joe :: April 2008

Well would you look at that. Sometimes in April there ISN'T fresh snow on the ground. You can play outside with short sleeves and a smile on your face. Amazing!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Flashback Friday

Guess what today is?
It's someone's birthday!
Enjoy Anna-through-the-years ::
Anna at just a few days old :: 2008
Anna at 1 :: 2009
I can't believe our sweet Anna Grace is 6.
Anna at 2 :: 2010

Anna at 3 :: 2011

The year of the (short-lived) curls :: 2012

Anna turns 5 :: 2013
Happy 6th birthday, to our sweet girl, Anna. We love her lots and her spunky spirit. She adds snuggles, love, humor and fun to our family.

(Hi Robin!)

And here are a few more Anna favorites that I couldn't resist. Enjoy ::