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Saturday, December 26, 2015

After Christmas Post

December 26th today.  Christmas is over for another year, & we have nothing on the calendar today.  Nice!  So I got to go hiking with a friend of mine this morning.  There was hardly anyone on the trail but us & a few deer.  

The week leading up to Christmas Eve & Christmas was the usual whirlwind of buying, wrapping, trying to make last minute gifts(that didn't work out).  Then seeing family, eating, eating & more eating.  Unwrapping things of course, paper & toys everywhere, & it's all over in the blink of an eye.

I know I'm getting up there in my years, because I'm continually amazed at how fast the years go by now.  Anyway, here are some of our memories from the day.  Now onto 2016!

The dogs got a doggie cake pop, but Chewie doesn't like to share
Pretty excited over pajamas
New American Girl Doll pajamas
My Jack Skellington....Richard looks like he's passed out on the floor in front
The kids with my folks
New Chewbacca shirt
Blanket for my parents
This track was a big hit
Finishing the day off trying out the the new cotton candy maker
Some of my favorite gifts :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

I made It, I SHOULD be happy!

The picture above was taken kind of early in the morning, about 45 minutes until my big race.  As usual, my stomach was in knots, & I was dreading the first triathlon event...the swim. I never even swam the full amount I'd  be swimming until the day of the race.  Technically I had a year to train for this baby, so you'd think I would've been feeling pretty well prepared. But the training that started out with a bang,  fizzled toward the end when I realized just how many hours away from my family it would take to train really well.

 It's been a dream to do an Ironman distance for some years now.  I remember watching the Ironman on TV with my dad when I was younger, & seeing people after hours & hours out on the course coming into the finish dead tired, legs buckling, but happy.  For some weird reason that appeals to me.  I'm not crazy enough to do a full Ironman right off the bat though, this time I did the half Ironman distance.

Anyway, the race didn't turn out quite as planned, & they never quite do.  My friend who I had originally signed up with, wasn't able to do it for health reasons.  I always have a buddy, (friend or husband), in it with me.  So no one to grumble with, no one to encourage me or vice versa.  Even though I don't totally always stay with a partner throughout a whole race, it's nice to catch each other on the course & commiserate.  So this was just me.  Me talking to myself, me telling myself I am strong, me praying.

The weird thing is, I felt strong through out the whole race. I wasn't super speedy, but over all I felt good.  I didn't even have my usual bouts of cussing(a miracle in itself).  I was expecting it to be really hard for me, but I talked myself through it.  I talked to God a lot(you have many hours for that out on the course).  I'm so grateful I was able to make it!

But there is part of me that is so bothered by my overall time, the perfectionism seeped in, & sucked out some of my joy.  There was some confusion with the running course being not labeled well, & people telling me that you are supposed to do 2 loops, someone else told me 2 1/2, I also heard 3.  So I did what I thought was the correct amount, but it left me wondering if I over ran the course a bit? If other people were confused too(it seemed like it) & if they didn't run the full amount?  Not that I thought I was going to get an elite runners time, I was actually just feeling accomplished that I did it, then I looked up my score.  Probably shouldn't have looked! Anyway, I don't like it when I let little things eat at me that don't matter, I need to just focus on the fact that I reached a goal, & feel good about that

The thing that I realize, doing long races like this, is that I am strong.  This body I spent so many years hating, & trying to punish for not being what I thought it should be, is the one that keeps going & get's me to the finish line.  I am grateful for it, & that I'm getting more accepting of myself.

So, a really cool thing is that my 11 year old Sage did her first mini triathlon the day after my race. She did awesome!  She's not a swimmer & looked really worried as she tried to practice a bit in the lake before the race.  The water is like ice, & quite a shock when you have to put your face in.  When they started the race, I was so nervous for her, because I knew she was out of her element in the swim.  She pushed herself & got through it.  So proud of her for that!  Then of course she rocked the bike ride & run :)

                                    Glad it's over & grateful me made it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thankful For Warm Cars & Blankets

We had a very crisp & cold camping trip over Thanksgiving.  Cuyamaca State Park is beautiful, & there are so many hiking trails.  We got to go on a 4 mile hike with the kids to Stonewall Peak.  On the way up, it was lightly raining, then snowing, & total fog at the top.  I kind of felt like it was my Everest, when I got up there.  It cleared for a bit after we reached the highest point, & gave us a view of all the golden browns of the valley.  Thanksgiving day we made our feast as best we could with frozen hands trying to cook over our camping stoves, hoping the impending downpour would hold off...& it did until later that evening. Although, I can be a grumbler, & I eventually ended up sleeping in our van because I couldn't hack our damp tent any longer, I would totally do it again.  Loved seeing my kids so exciting about the light dusting of snow they got, & taking walks & seeing the wild turkeys each morning.  Thankful for times like these that we get to have :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Stationary Cruise "the Anniversary"

Last weekend we stayed on a boat, for our 15th anniversary.  I happen to have a little phobia about tsunamis/rogue waves...I think I may have watched too many Discovery Channel specials on them.  Anyway, so a good option for us was staying on the Queen Mary, which happens to be docked in a harbor.  Pretending to be on a cruise, without being in the open ocean :)

The boat is really neat because there is so much history in it. You almost feel like you've stepped back in time, seeing all the old pictures, & some of the old furnishings.  We went out & explored the downtown Long Beach area in the day.  Found a few cool shops & bars.  We also got a good 6 1/2 mile run on the path beside the beach.  So much fun, grateful to have had these last 15 years.  They went fast!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Well Hello, November

Happy Day of the Dead today... I had to bribe my girls $5 each to get them to pose for me.  Gone are the days, when they were enthusiastic in helping me, when my artistic whims hit.

Looking forward to this month.  A few things coming up, an anniversary, & a camping trip over Thanksgiving.  Planning on making some Fall inspired art in the coming weeks.  I did this little paper collage below the other night. I haven't found time to do much like this lately, good therapy :)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Great Big World

October is not feeling very Fall-ish so far....last week we had a whole string of days over 100 degrees.  Even me, the person who loves it pretty warm & sunny,  am over it.  I think I may be actually ready for a change of climate.  We'll see.  The husband & I, are in talks about him looking for a job this Spring, & moving hopefully in Summer, to the Denver area.  So at first it was Oregon that was on my radar to move to, because of the greenery.  But I know my little head, just can't handle the grey & the rain.  So then I was onto Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It looks like an awesome place for artists, but I don't know what Richard would do with his time....not too many tech jobs.  Maybe take up wood working or something?  I've also perused Austin, TX. area in my research.  But for so many reasons I am drawn to Colorado.  Love the mountains, the open land, the cool downtown areas....& it's pretty darn sunny.  Cold, but sunny.

I'm kind of afraid though.  I try to be a person that does things that scare me in life, I force myself to do the uncomfortable sometimes.  But really so much scares me.  Moving away from absolutely everyone I know, sounds like an adventure, but scary as hell.  But being stagnant is not a good alternative.

I've been thinking about all these things a lot.  I constantly think about life, am I doing the the right things, making a difference?  Am I wasting mine? Is this decision right, or that one?  Does it even matter?  I kind of drive myself crazy thinking, & then I usually get to the point where I say fuck it.  Very inspirational thought process, don't you think?

So making a big move is on my brain(maybe it's my escape plan)....& just contemplating life, as usual.  By the way, side note here, people who think they have it all figured out(have you met a few? they have the answers for everything) ....I don't get them.  How do you not question, ponder, mull over things? It's a great big world out there, I have so little worked out.  

Here are some of our Fall pics taken in the glorious Southern California heat.  Also, a little clay girl I made for Day of the Dead.  I need to get on it & make some more Halloween/Day of the Dead art....haven't had much time to devote to art lately :(

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Work Force

Last time I wrote,  I was lamenting over my empty house, with the kids back to school & all, & what I thought was what sure to be to a season of going somewhat stir-crazy, if I didn't find something to fill my hours. Not saying that people that stay home to take care of their house & all the many, many things to get done in a day, don't have a calling, but domestic goddess I have never been.  

Soooooo, I ended up getting hired for a position that I actually wanted, in a class with kids that need extra help in their subjects.  I thought the job was gone, because after I had gone through the testing,   the finger printing process, etc. to get the job, the the listing wasn't there anymore.  Anyway, long story short is that it all worked out, & I've now been working for 2 weeks.

Crazy part here, oh the irony...I have 3 different sessions in each day of helping kids with Math.  Something never in a million years would I think I would be doing, or want to do.  God has a sense of humor, I'm sure.  He allows me to have this great job, where I feel productive, like I have a purpose.  Great hours, a little under 4 hours each day.  I am done by lunchtime.  The only kicker is, I am wrestling with Algebra.  Something I've never really had a grasp on.  So each evening is spent doing a cram session of the next days equations we have to tackle.  My secret fear is that the kids will come in needing help with something entirely different than what I tried to cram in my brain the night before, & I will be totally stumped as to how to explain it.  Ha ha, it's then I'll be revealed as a Math fraud.

It's a growing thing, there's a lesson or two here.  One of the things so far for me has been just to remember to focus on the positive.  There is a reason I have this job, at this place & time.  I don't have to be perfect at it, & have it all figured out(that's a daily thing I need reminding of).  I sometimes let myself get bogged down in all the negative, because I feel overwhelmed.  There are so many good things about it though, so I want to focus on that.

The cool thing about my hours too, is that I have time for other things I love.  I'm home when my kids get out of school, I'm able to squeeze in time to do my art, & all my other things without feeling too time crunched.

Below are some pictures of some recent art I've made.  I've been back working with polymer clay lately, & haven't done much with paper clay lately.  Soon I will.

Monday, August 31, 2015

So Long, Farewell

This felt like the officially shortest Summer ever.  Never have the kids been back in school on August 31st, & they are today...this house is so quiet! 

It's so weird, my youngest (my boy), is in school all day this year too.  I've already cleaned my house a little, just a little pinch, don't want to get too crazy with it :)  I've read, I've perused the internet, I may mosey on out to get myself some lunch in awhile.  This is why I need a job, I'm going to be totally loco with a few days of this leisurely quietness!!

Well, it may have been a shorter Summer than normal, but it was crammed full.  So many adventures, I was grateful to get a chance to do.  Oregon, Washington, San Francisco, Mammoth.  

We even got in a few beach trips to close out the Summer right :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


These are pictures from our recent trip to Mammoth.  5 days of exploring the lakes & mountains.  I grew up going here every Summer as a kid, now my kids love it, like I do.

Bodie Ghost Town

The Folks
Windy Meadow

The Minarets 
One of our bike rides
Another ride....awesome view!
Camp site
Sage at Convict Lake
Cody fishing at Lake George