Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Countdown Continues

We've missed a few days off our countdown this past week due to homework and other activities, but we managed to do the important getting a tree. We decorated a gingerbread house. You'll all be happy to know that the boys have also begun the process of making their Christmas gifts for everyone!

The days are quickly going by and Christmas will be here before we know it. Today we had a nice visit from Namie, Susan, Dennis, Sandy, and Joe. I was given an early present from Dennis, which was a DVD of pictures of all my accomplishments over the past two years put to music. Very thoughtful and I will have to post it on here to show it to all of you!

Tonight is movie night, with hot chocolate. Now we just have to decide what to watch. Hope all of you are enjoying these days before Christmas too!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Countdown

This year I took an idea from a friend and we are trying to do something fun, or at least related to Christmas, each day from the 1st of December until the 25th. The boys and I had to think hard to come up with something for each day, but they are so excited to see what they are going to do each day. We are trying to include the gift of giving too, so some of our days include buying a toy for the toy drive, putting money in the bell ringers buckets, and making gifts for family.

So far we have painted our back window and made cookies. Today we are hanging outside lights, or as many as we have time for. Garrett is on his own for Friday and Saturday as I will be going to Sacramento! I believe they are going to see the holiday train that come through town tomorrow night and a Kings game on Saturday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

3-day Walk

One week ago I began the 3-day walk with approximately 3,800 other women and men. There were eight of us that made up Team Safe at Second and I don't think I could have picked a better group of ladies to do this walk with. I've been trying to formulate what all happened throughout the walk and put down in words what it meant to me to be able to do it, but so far I'm at a loss for words.

I remember about 10 years ago, in Ventura, one of the moms of a little boy was working with was telling me about this walk she was going to be doing. How they were going to walk 60 miles over 3-days and sleep in tents, all to raise money for breast cancer research. I thought it sounded awesome but at the time I just left it that, tucking it away in the back part of my brain. I didn't really think about it much again until moving to Santa Clarita. I knew another mom of a different boy who I worked with who had just done the 3-day walk in San Francisco. I asked her to send me info on it and started looking into what exactly was involved in doing this walk. Just a few weeks later, my mom called telling me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I knew right then that it was finally my time to get involved. Thankfully I was able to join up with Team Safe at Second, because doing this on my own would not have been nearly as wonderful!

So, we got to Del Mar on Friday morning around 5:15. This was after we spent the night in San Clemente at Susan and Dennis' house, where we were showered with well wishes, balloons, and cake from the whole gang. Even at 5:15 we were welcomed by bright, happy faces waiting to take our bags. The crew for the walk is amazing! Opening ceremonies began around 6:30 and then we hit the road, slowly, with all the walkers trying to leave at the same time it took a while to get going. The first day we walked 20.1 miles, starting in Del Mar, walking through La Jolla, and ending up in Mission Bay where our camp was. It took 10 hours to get there because of the amount of people trying to get to the same place and all the pit stops were crowded. We were so thankful to see that our tents had been set up by "tent angels" and we were able to just go take a hot shower. The showers were set up in the back of these big semi-truck type things with about six stalls in each truck. Amazingly well organized and I was able to get in and out quickly. We had a spaghetti dinner and were ready for bed around 8:30.

Day 2, we walked all around the Mission Bay area. Beautiful sites all along the way and much of the time was with an ocean view. The weather could not have been more beautiful either. Not too hot, but the sun shining enough to feel great against my skin.
Throughout the walk there were cheering stations set up where people were dressed up in crazy outfits, handing out candy, stickers, or even some tequila shots (yes, I seized the moment and had a shot). The whole time you were made to feel like a hero and I teared up a little each time people cheered, and especially when seeing people wearing signs saying "thank you for walking for me". We were able to make it back to camp around 3:30 the 2nd day, as I checked out the beginnings of blisters on my heels and my pinky toe. Nothing major, but enough for me to not want to put my shoes on for a while. So instead I showered, put on my slippers, ate dinner, and then danced the night away (of course). I had some encouragement from teammates, as I really could have just gone to sleep and not even had dinner. But the dancing felt good and was super fun!

Day 3 was our shortest day, 14.3 miles according to the route map, but we all counted each of our trips around camp and we figured that we must have at least done another couple of miles to make it closer to the actual 60 miles we were proclaiming to have walked. We walked from camp, through Old Town San Diego, ending up at Petco Park. We finished up around 1:30 and hung out in a Sports bar with all the crazy football fans. Garrett met up with us there and everyone on the team cheered for him when he walked because he was the representative from home. All of the other husbands were back at home taking care of their kids. We were told it would be a lot of standing around and waiting, so not the most fun place for the boys to come and that's why just Garrett came down. Closing ceremonies were amazing, emotional, and inspiring. We all took off a shoe and raised in the air as the survivor walkers came in to the ceremonies. I cried as we walked in as we walked past a woman who's hair was just growing back and she was saying thank you to all of us for walking.

Even though I was tired from all the walking and standing around during the weekend, I kept thinking of all that these women (and men) have gone through during their fight with cancer. I continued to think of my mom and how just a little over a year before she had her lump removed and how thankful I was to be able to do this for her. And even though it was hard raising all of my funds, I was so thankful that I was able to have my teammates to help me with fundraising. So, when they asked me on our last night at camp if I was going to do it again.......I just had to say YES!

P.S. As a team we raised $20, 607 and in all the San Diego 3-day walk raised
approximately $9.5 million

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Today I completed my second half marathon and it felt great! I have been working my way up on my runs on the weekends but the most I've done since last May is 10 miles and that was last Saturday. The whole race atmosphere is so exciting and I love the cheering and good vibes that go along with it.

I finished with a chip time of 2:07:07, which is just about 1 minute faster than my time of the San Jose Half last year. When I was finished I was thinking to myself....I'm just gettin' warmed up! Now, four months until the L.A. Marathon!!

Monday, November 2, 2009


I love Zach's face in this. Neither of the boys like to scoop out the pumpkins so I end up doing it each year.

Halloween 2009

Halloween has come and gone again. The boys loved it and we had fun having Grami and Papa join us this year for trick or treating. We waited until the morning of Halloween to carve the pumpkins because we've found in the past that they quickly go bad in our warm So. Cal. weather. Kevin was very determined to carve his all by himself. He really wanted to use on of the patterns that come with the carving kit, but in the end he came up with his own cool design. The pumpkin carving saws that came with the kit both broke so Kevin very carefully used a sharp knife for the first time this year. It was hard even for me, but he stuck with it! Zach let me do most of his, but he did help me poke holes in the tracing paper for the skeleton design that we used.

Playing a little Dodge Ball before trick-or-treating. Girls vs. Boys!
Ready to hit the streets!
Zach, the mummy
(a last minute costume since he changed from wanting to be a ghost)
Kevin, a.k.a. Harry Potter
Harry Potter casting a spell on the Mummy!
Lots of candy, lots of fun. I'm sure they will be counting down the days soon until next Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

I'm still posting on Wednesday, even though it's late. I skipped last week because of being to busy. I thought my hectic week would help me out in the weight loss area but turns out it didn't. I'm not sure I trust the Wii for my weigh ins anymore. It seems like it just is a consistent up and down on that thing.....or maybe it's just me. I am going to go get another real scale though.

I finally found a breakfast that I can consistently eat and it keeps me full until lunch. Good old plain cheerios and a banana. I was enjoying my Total cereal with blueberries and pomegranate until I saw that it had as much sugar in it as my kids "special sugar cereals". So I bought regular cheerios and have been eating them almost every day for the past week and a half. I've also been making kale smoothies with my lunch and including kale, oj, yogurt, and frozen strawberries. I could drink smoothies every day, but the weather is getting a little colder so they don't always feel the best when I'm already frozen. SO, I'm gonna stick with what I like and try and stay away from the junk.....that's my diet. (And then comes Halloween candy :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


My body always has a way of telling me to slow down. Sometimes I listen, most times I don't. Today I'm feeling a cold coming on and I am trying to ignore it.

I've been barely keeping me head above water this past week. Didn't even get around to posting on my weight loss wednesday! Thankfully, the whirlwind is starting to slow down. Popcorn is nearly almost over and I will be so glad when it is all out of our house an I don't have to deal with it again next year!

We are closing in on our 3-day walk. I think there are about 25 days left before the walk! All of my teammates and I have met our minimum goal! This past weekend we had a bake sale out at Lombardi Ranch and raised over $1000. We had so much stuff baked for us by all of our friends. We were able to sell consistently from about 8:00 to 5:00 and still went home with a few bags of chocolate chip cookies.

Following my time at the bake sale Garrett, the boys, and I went to meet Paula and Jeff for a Pirate Adventure dinner. It was a lot of fun and quite a different eating experience.

Of course we are still having fun getting to know Raven. She is a sweet dog and she and Dodger are getting along a little better. I've been taking her with me on all of my walks and runs and I think she's probably thinking, "Geez, a walk around the block would be ok. You don't HAVE to take me on these long adventures!"

I guess I better take care of myself this week so that I will be ready for the weekend. Halloween is the boys second favorite holiday. They can't wait and I can't believe it's almost here!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We added a new member to our family yesterday! Her name is Raven and she's a beautiful black labrador. I'll take some more pictures tomorrow, maybe outside. She really is beautiful though!

Through the wonders of Facebook, Garrett saw a post about a family looking for a new home for their dog. We had been tossing around the idea of getting another dog and Garrett REALLY wanted a black lab. The family who owned her had a baby a few months ago and felt that they didn't have the time to give to her. She is already partially trained....knows how to sit and stay. She's house broken and crate trained to sleep in a crate at night. Perfect, right. So we went to meet her in Huntington Beach yesterday evening and ended up bringing her home last night.

Dodger has not been the most welcoming to Raven, but that's to be expected after this has been her family for 12 years. Last night it was all Dodger barking at Raven, today Raven is starting to fight back. Hopefully this will not last too long!! I hope that they become friends and can keep each other company while we're at work.

Stay tuned for some better pictures tomorrow. I am planning on taking her hiking tomorrow (steering clear of the tar pits). She took a 10 mile walk with me this morning and still had energy afterwards. Yay, I have a new running partner too!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

How did I get to be 35? In my mind, that's old. In my heart, I still feel like I'm just out of high school. I am happy with how my life is a 35 and I think it's just about how I imagined it would be. Except I never imagined I would have climbed Mt. Whitney or ran a marathon in my 34th year. These are just added bonuses and I hope to add more on to my list as I continue to age.

We had a fun weekend full of celebrations. On Saturday Susan and Namie came up and joined us, along with 3 couples of friends for a BBQ. It was a fun afternoon and Garrett even got to enjoy watching the Dodger game. Then on Sunday Paula, Jeff, and Mindy came up and we got to go out to Wood Ranch Grill for lunch. I only have pictures from Sunday because Paula is so good about taking them. I was just too lazy to get my camera on Saturday, but it doesn't mean it was any less memorable. I was taking "mental pictures" throughout the day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

No posts since last Wed.... who's managing this blog?? It must be the same person who totally blew it this week on trying to lose weight. Too many birthday celebrations and I just think life is to short to not eat my cake! (one piece is not so bad, going back for more and more is where my problem shows up)

Be back soon with some pictures that my mother-in-law took of one of our celebrations. I'm off to a conference today so don't have much time to post!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

I can never understand this whole weight loss thing. Last week I enjoy myself, eating camp food and everything and lose 2 pounds....This week I am more purposeful in what I eat, I "kind of" followed my friends diet, and end up losing nothing! Well, the scale (or Wii) says I lost nothing, but the mirror shows that I am am losing some. I will not be posting pictures though. :)

As I said, I "kind of " followed the diet my friend gave me. I had to add in more fruit because I just need it and I don't think fruit is bad for me. I am not sticking to it though because I am really tired of egg whites for breakfast. I was almost gagging on them on Saturday and that's when I decided enough was enough. I'll stick to my oatmeal or cold cereal. I just bought some Total cereal with blueberries and pomegranates that I can't wait to have for breakfast this morning. I'm continuing to eat more salad (thanks to all who gave me suggestions for salads). I am continuing my exercise too. You'd think that running 9 miles on Saturday and walking another 9 on Sunday would do something for you.....

Thanks for checking in. I'm not giving up, I'm eating well, and maybe my body just wants to be this size for now!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Zach Lost His First Tooth

Zach lost his first tooth today! He has another one that will be coming out soon too. I guess the tooth fairy will be busy!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

Here we are again. Each week seems to fly by! The goon news is that even though I went camping and ate camp food, I still have managed to loose 2 pounds this week! I've kept up my exercise and on Monday I started my friend Karen's diet. This diet is based around the Michael Thurmond's 6-week body makeover. She did not buy the whole diet packet, she borrowed information from someone else who had. So she gave me a list of what she has been eating and I am now taking from that list and making it my own. I know I should really just find what works for me, and I am trying.

So here's mainly what I've been eating. Egg whites, oranges (supposed to be grapefruit but the store didn't have any when I went), chicken, brown rice, vegetables, ground turkey, and greens for my salads. All healthy, not much variety. Any ideas for really yummy salads would be appreciated. I need to go shopping again though.....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Emma Woods Camping

We went with Kevin's cub scout pack for our first all pack camping trip this past weekend. We went to Emma Woods State Park in Ventura. The pack had some money left over from last year, so they paid for the camping fee and provided all of the food. Pretty good way to go camping! We arrived on Friday evening. No pictures of that day because we spent our first hour, at least, trying to set up the tent before it got dark. Any pictures would have been of Garrett and I arguing about how to put up the tent! Zach said it best when he said, "It would have gone faster if you guys weren't fighting about it." Wise little one....

We went to bed early that night after a few ghost stories in the tent. Woke up around midnight because Zach had suddenly become sick and was saying he needed to throw up. Luckily I had a trash bag near by and he was able to make it in there. The night continued like this off and on until finally the sun came up. We decided that Garrett would take Zachie home because Kevin really wanted to stay and he said I should stay with him since he had already been camping with Daddy last year. The rest of the day consisted of playing on the beach, building sand castles, digging holes, and taking some short breaks back at the tent. The fog started rolling in around 5:00 and with all the fires that have been happening around us people were staring at the fog saying, "Is that smoke??" We're not used to fog around Santa Clarita. Of course it wouldn't be camping without S'mores around the campfire at night too! Kevin made some new friends and he was so happy that we stayed.

Some friends kindly offered to give Kevin and I, and all of our stuff, a ride back home so Garrett didn't have to come back and get us. I was happy to get back to a nice hot shower but could have stayed in the cool beach weather for another week!