When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. ~John Lennon


Clear the Track!!

Track season is in full swing now. Yesterday was the first Varsity meet of the year and JV has their first meet next week. Liam and Catheryn are on the Varsity team, so I picked Nathan up from school early and we drove down to Rio Rancho to watch them run.

The first running event of the meet was the 800m, which is what Catheryn was running. She was nervous to be running with Varsity, but you never would have known it watching her run. She did so well and her kick was amazing! I think she was glad to be done early on since it was so cold. She joined me and Nathan up in the stands, and we huddled together while we watched the rest of the meet.

The start of the 800m. Catheryn is 5th from the left.

She’s got a great kick!

Liam runs the 200m, the 400m, the 4x400m relay, and does the high jump. The running events were started early yesterday due to cold temps and high winds, so several of the boys, Liam included, were not able to participate in the high jump. His first race was the 400m, followed shortly by the 200m, which was immediately followed by the 4x400m relay. He raced really hard and did amazing. He was not completely satisfied with his performance, but that is his competitive nature. He is always striving to be better.

The start of the 400m.

The last curve of the 400m. Liam finished 2nd.

Liam’s final stretch of the 4×4.

By the time the meet was over, we were all frozen, hungry, and tired. The ‘frozen’ and ‘hungry’ were easy to take care of: blasting heat and a super-unhealthy stop at the Taco Bell drive-thru. The ‘tired’ though, wasn’t quite as easy… we still had a two-hour drive home. We made it home just in time for the snow to start falling.

I am so proud of my kids and love watching them run. Stay tuned next week and I will let you know how Nathan does at his first meet. He is running the 400m and the 100m hurdles. I can’t wait!

Five Events for Five Decades

As you already know, Rob will be turning 50 (!!!!!) this summer. I have really been wanting to do something crazy, or at least out of the ordinary for us, so I started looking up running events. One event didn’t seem like quite enough to mark such a momentous birthday, but 50 was a few too many, so we decided on one event for each decade of Rob’s life. I found five events, all slightly different, and all close to home. Rob has been wanting to get into better shape, so he has agreed to participate in these events with me.

We are going to kick off our Five Events for Five Decades at the Albuquerque Half Marathon. Of course the title is a little misleading because while the half marathon is the main run of the day, they also have smaller runs. Since it will be our first run of the year, we decided to run the 10k together while the kids are all going to run the 5k. We will be running this event in mid-April.

Our original plan was to participate in the Jemez Mountain Trail Runs in May, but the shortest distance there is 15 miles. Rob has never run a half marathon, so this distance seemed a little too much too fast. And since we do not need any injuries or craziness, we decided to skip that run for this year and add it to the calendar next year.

Next up is the Los Alamos Triathlon in July. This is a sprint distance tri with the swimming taking place in the local pool. It is a good triathlon to start with since it is both short, and there is no open-water swimming involved. Since I already have Rob talked into participating in an Ironman 70.3 (Weee!) with me next year, this will be a good starter race to see how we like it.

Come August we are heading up to run the Red River High Mountain Half Marathon. In this event we will actually be running the half marathon while the kids are planning on doing the 5k again. Liam has expressed interest in running the half with us, but we will have to see how he feels when the time comes to register. This will be Rob’s first half marathon, and I am really excited for him! The course looks amazing, so it should be a great experience!

In September we have the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon. I have not asked the kids about this one yet, but I think they will probably be up for running another 5k. There is at least one other person from the park who will be running this one as well, perhaps more, so it will be a small group event. Should be a fun run!

To wrap up our Five Events for Five Decades, we are going to tackle the Duke City Marathon in October. I think after a year of training and running smaller events, this will be a great place for Rob’s first marathon. Plus, according to their website, it is ranked as one of the top 25 marathons in the world. Not to mention it is a Boston Qualifier, so who knows, we just may get lucky in our old age!

The only run we are currently registered for is the 10k in April, so of course everything is subject to change. This is our plan for the year, though and we will do our best to see it through. I’m thinking we will end this year in pretty good shape! Then it will be time to get ready for Boulder 70.3!!

Changing Decades

Birthdays are always fun, but I think perhaps milestone birthdays are the best. After all the youth milestones, it is the decade changes that get our attention. As many of you may already know, Rob is having just such a birthday this year. Come August, he will be saying hello to the big 5-0.

The puzzle board

I usually try to make the milestone birthdays stand out just a little bit from the rest. Whether the gifts are a little more special, or we go somewhere new, or the cake is just a little bit bigger, making them different is always the plan. This year I felt like we needed to do something really special for Rob since he is a full half century old!

He’s figuring it out!

I went through many ideas in my head and the one I had originally decided on was quickly becoming unrealistic. As soon as I realized that, another idea popped into my head. Rob’s best friend lives up in Alaska, and they have not seen each other since our wedding almost 17 years ago. That is a long time! When Rob and his buddy both lived up in Alaska, they spent a lot of time fishing together. So I thought it would be fun to send Rob to Alaska for a week to hang out with his best friend. I contacted his friend to arrange the best dates for salmon fishing and made sure he was on board. He was, of course, and has it all planned out that they will spend the week at his cabin. Should be a fun man week!

Impatient kids looking on…

Once I purchased the tickets, I had to decide how to give them to Rob. That was actually the hardest part! The kids had introduced Rob to a game where you have to unscramble letters to make words that match pictures. I now find him playing it almost every night. Catheryn thought it would be fun to make a word board just like in the game. That was a great idea, so she and I spent the morning putting together a word puzzle.

Almost finished!

Since Rob will be going to Alaska in July (better salmon fishing apparently…) we decided to give him his gift now so that he has time to get the time off from work as well as plan for the actual trip. The kids and I were excited to give him his gift, so we decided to do it over his lunch break. Unfortunately we picked a day when he was very busy, so he did not really have the luxury of taking his time. I realize now that we should have just waited until after work, but it is a little too late for that now.

Prize time!

He was pretty quick at solving the word puzzles, and I think he was a little surprised at the ‘prize’ at the end. Normally you get tokens for finishing a level, not plane tickets. I am so excited for Rob to be able to go back to Alaska, I just wish I could have managed a little more. After all, it is not every year you turn 50!

He liked the comic I put with his tickets. 🙂

(I apologize for the terrible pics!)

The New Teens!

Well, it is official. Rob and I are now outnumbered by teenagers. On this date, an incredible 13 years ago, these two adorable babies entered the world.

Catheryn and Nathan – 1.5 months

Watching my children grow has been one of the biggest joys of my life. To our twins, thank you for being so amazing! We love you more that you will ever know! Happy 13th Birthday, Twinnies!!!

The Birthday Roll… 

And finally… 🙂 

Sugar-Free Challenge

Last January, our family decided to participate in a year-long sugar-free challenge.

Basically what it meant was that on a regular basis, we were not to have treats of any kind. No cookies or candy, soda or cake. This went for home, work, and at school. If someone gave into the temptation and had a treat, they were to put a mark on the tally sheet. Holidays and birthdays were exceptions to the no-sugar rule. (Oh, and a very long two week break during our summer vacation!)

As incentive, we put a jar in the kitchen and money would randomly be added. Whoever managed to win the sugar-free challenge would win the money that was in the jar.

As you can see by our tally sheet, Nathan and I were the weakest when it came to giving in, and Catheryn was as stubborn as a mule. She, of course, won the challenge. It was a tough challenge, though, and I am extremely impressed with how few marks there ended up being over the entire year!

This year we have decided to continue being sugar-free, although we are no longer taking marks for eating treats. We have just all agreed that we would keep our treats to a minimum and they would not become a daily thing.

This year we are having a fitness challenge. The goal is to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes at least three days per week. The more the better, but it has to be at least three days. At the end of the week, if you have not gotten in your three days, then you will have to put a mark on the tally sheet. If someone is sick or is physically unable to get in their days, they will be able to make up for it the following week by exercising five days. We are off to a late start this year due to sickness, but we have all agreed to start our challenge this Tuesday.

Rob and I are working on our own little fitness project that we are calling “Five Events for Five Decades,” so hopefully this family challenge will help keep us motivated. I will share more about those events later.

Wish us luck!

Better Late than Never…

Happy New Year!

Our family did not exactly get off to the best start this year. For the last two weeks, we have all taken turns being sick. In a way it was good because it fell over winter break, so the kids were out of school anyway, and in another way it was bad, because that was by far the worse winter break we have ever had. School started back up on Tuesday and while the twins were able to go, Liam needed one more day at home. Rob was also able to go back to work yesterday after taking an addition week off to help care for my sickly self. So yesterday was the first day we are all standing on our own feet again, and I must say, I am so happy for that. We do not get sick very often, but when we do, it is a nice reminder of just how wonderful it feels to be healthy.

While I was laying in the dark last week with nothing but some relaxing piano music and my own thoughts to keep me company, I found myself thinking about many things that had happened over the last year. I would not exactly call 2017 our best year ever, but it definitely had its moments. I have a hard time being glad when a year is over, no matter how bad it may have been. I know that with it goes all the bad associated with it, but the good has to go as well. All the events of the year become memories, time never to be had again. For some reason, I have a hard time with that. Especially when I look at my family and realize just fast time is flying by.

The babes of yesterday are the young adults of today, and I fear that if I simply blink, it will be time to remove the word “young” from that statement. The years truly are short…

2018 is looking to be an eventful year for our family, though. The twins will join the teenage world in a couple short weeks, Liam will be able to get his learner’s permit once school lets out, Rob and I will both change decades this summer, and we will have a high schooler come fall. We have southern states to visit, runs to participate in, camping to do. Last summer we were limited on time since I worked the weekends, so this year we decided to change that. Time with the kids at home is fleeting, and time to do things together is by far more important than a few extra dollars in the bank. This year I hope to find us out in nature more, camping, fishing, hiking, taking new roads. Making new memories.

So here’s to 2018. May it bring health and happiness to all!