August 14, 2018 – Happy 50th Birthday, Rob!

As hard as it is to believe, Rob turned 50 back on the 14th of August! The kids and I had a blast decorating the car for him. He was not overly excited to drive it to work, but he sure was a good sport about it! It is, after all, not everyday that one turns 50, and we wanted to make sure as many people as possible could celebrate with him. And he is still talking to us, so that is a bonus! 🙂

So to Rob, Happy 50th Birthday!! We all love you so much and are grateful that we get to be a part of your journey. Here’s to the next 50!!! 

 

July 28, 2018 – My First Triathlon!

I feel a little awkward putting this on the blog, but it is something I hope to remember forever, so I thought I would share it with you. Completing a triathlon has been on my Bucket List for a long time. (Actually, an IronMan is on my list, but I had to start somewhere!) This year I really wanted to participate in one, so I signed up for the one here in town. It was a sprint distance at 12.4 mile bike, .5 mile swim, 3.1 mile run. Normally a triathlon is swim, bike, run, but since they use the aquatic center here for the swim, it was bike, swim, run.

Off on my bike!

Going into the race, I had two main fears: 1) Blowing a tire on my bike, and 2) Drowning (or at least not finishing) in the pool. I did not want my first race to be a DNF due to a flat tire, and I am not the strongest swimmer, so I was really trying to stay out of the obituaries. Luckily, I did not get a flat, nor did I drown! (Obviously, since I am sitting here sharing this with you! 🙂 )

My cheering squad!

It was an amazing experience and I am so glad I did it! I only wish now that I had not waited so long! I am trying to get Rob on board with doing one because I think he would really like it. They are challenging, but since you get to change activities, they are definitely not boring!

I survived the swim! Now off to run.

Rob and Liam had to run to Santa Fe the morning of the race, so they left right after I took off on my bike. The twins stayed with me and were an amazing cheering squad! They also took pictures… Waaaaaaay more than they should have!!

I finished!!!

Afterwards, we relaxed on the grass with the other participants, and I was extremely surprised to learn that I placed 2nd in my age group! Of course, that probably means that there were only two of us, but, hey, I’ll take it!

2nd place in the 40-44 age group. I will try not to let it bother me that I was still only 39…

As a special treat, right after the triathlon, it was time to start moving into our new house!

Funny side note: Rob and Liam were in the backyard putting together a shed the Sunday after the triathlon. My bike was leaning up against a post and out of nowhere, my back tire blew…

July 25, 2018 – We Bought a House!

After two and a half years of living in the park, we were finally granted permission to move out! We found a little house close to the high school that was perfect for our family, and we closed on July 25. It was such a smooth process that we kept waiting for something to go wrong, but we were lucky and did not run into any major issues.

Our little house!

It had been a long time since we had owned our own home, so we were all looking forward to having a little place to call our own again. As soon as we closed, we immediately started painting. It is an older house (1948) so there was a lot that needed to be freshened up, and a LOT of paneling. The kids all have their own rooms now, so they all picked out the colors they wanted and could not wait to get started! After eight years of sharing a room, they were excited to decorate a space all their own.

This was a hard room to paint…

I think perhaps Nathan’s room was the hardest. He had to paint over really dark blue paint on some walls, and dark paneling on others. We went through a lot of primer, and it took us longer than we had planned, but eventually we had a fresh coat of pain in the whole room. Nathan picked a light blue for his walls with white above the paneling and on the ceiling.

Nathan’s room!

Liam’s room is the exact opposite layout from Nathan’s. He also had really dark paneling, but the painted walls were not nearly so dark, so they were much easier to cover. He picked a light gray for his walls and it turned out really nice. He also chose to go with white above the paneling and on the ceiling.

Liam’s room

Primer on the paneling

His room does not seem quite complete yet. He would like to get a desk, and he would also like a regular bed now that he has enough space. I have been keeping my eyes open for both of these items, so pretty soon hopefully he will be able to finish his room the way he would like. I will have to update his picture when that happens.

Liam’s slightly messy room 🙂

Catheryn’s room was all paneling, but it was lighter than the boys’ rooms were so it did not take as much primer. She has the only room with carpet, though, so we did have to be a little more careful with that.

Taping off her carpet.

She chose a light green for her walls with white trim. She has a lot of things that have been is boxes for a long time, so she was really excited to get everything out. Her walls are full, but they fit her perfectly, and she absolutely loves her new room.

Catheryn’s room

After the kids’ room were finished, I started painting the rest of the house. Everything now has a fresh coat of paint except for our room, which I will work on as soon as we figure out how to set it up. It is definitely feeling like home!

We have been in our house for a little over a month now and everyone loves it. Liam walks to school now that he is in high school, and he comes home for lunch almost every day. (Shocker, I know!) Picking the twins up is super easy this year, too! I am so grateful we had the opportunity to buy a house.

Another perk of moving out of the canyon is better internet! Hopefully now I will be able to stay a little more up to date. I think for the next couple of weeks I will simply be playing catch up, though!  A lot has happened in the last month!

Navajo Lake State Park

A couple of weeks ago we ventured to Navajo Lake State Park. We spent the weekend camping and playing in the lake. It turned out to be a great place and everyone had a wonderful time! The park is actually quite big, with quite a drive from one end to the next. We camped on Sims Mesa, but we also drove down to the dam to see the San Juan River. The San Juan is supposed to have some of the best fly fishing in New Mexico. Next time we go, we will camp on the San Juan so Rob can get up early and fly fish.

This visit was more water play than fishing. We took the kick boats out, the kids played in the water, and the boys even found a great rock about 15 feet up that they jumped off over and over again.

Many years ago, Rob challenged me to stick my head under water in the Willamette River. I was hesitant at first, but eventually did it. Boy, was it cold! The San Juan was cold as well, so I double-dog dared Rob to stick his head under. To my surprise, he did! (I guess one never can resist a double-dog dare!) That got the kids all interested, so after an offer of $5 each, the did it as well. It was fun and cold and now I owe quite a bit of money for various challenges!

It was a great weekend get-away and we look forward to going back. There are so many great places to camp and fish that we rarely hit the same place twice, but Navajo Lake and the San Juan River will definitely be an exception.

June Wrap-up

I cannot believe June has ended already, and with it the first month of summer vacation! The summer got off to a slow start, but has since picked up speed and is just flying by!

My sweet BooBerry!

Hard to believe Liam turned 15 back on the 6th. Wow. Looking back through pictures reminded me of the deal he and I made back when he was 4 years old. He was a thumb-sucker, and as he approached his 5th birthday, I really tried to get him to break the habit. He was resistant, of course, so I decided to bargain with him. I would give up my favorite part of the day (which happened to be nap time…) if he would give up his thumb. He told me that on his 5th birthday, he would stop sucking his thumb. Well, true to his word, he woke up on his 5th birthday and that thumb never went into his mouth again. I still miss nap time… That was 10 years ago now! It seems like just a few months ago…

Happy 15th Birthday, Boo!

Speaking of Liam, he has been doing football conditioning three times a week since the second week of June. Conditioning is optional, but it is really getting the boys who can attend into great shape! Official practice starts on August 6, and Liam is really excited for high school practice. It is looking to be a good year for the team.

Back on the 17th, Rob and I celebrated our 17th Anniversary! Once again, how time doth fly! Hard to believe we are coming up on 20 years of knowing each other! Are we really old enough to have known each other that long? Why yes, yes we are… I think I will insert another ‘Wow’ here!

Love, Love, LOVE this man!

The twins and I have been staying busy while Liam has been in football. There are a lot of activities around the area that we have been attending. They have also been doing a lot of swimming. Catheryn is getting ready for the start of the cross-country season on July 23 and Nathan is looking forward to the start of football on August 13. I have already received school registration dates, which tells me just how fast the summer is going!

July is looking to be another busy month. For those of you who remember the 50th birthday trip to Alaska we surprised Rob with months ago, you may be surprised to hear that he is leaving TOMORROW! It was months away and now it is tomorrow! I think he is going to have a blast.

Many of you may know that we are required to live here in the park. We requested to move out last summer, but were denied. We decided to try again this year, and they granted our request! After 8 years of our kids sharing a room (yes, EIGHT…) they will finally have their own rooms in the little house we are purchasing in town! We close on July 25 and could not be more excited!

I think that is about it for now. I am hoping that once we move into town we will have better internet so I will be able to load pictures and updates more regularly. For now, though, I am grateful for the library. 🙂

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!!!!!

Family and Fun

We had a wonderful visit with my parents this past weekend. We live 15 hours apart, so it is not exactly easy to get together, so we enjoy every minute we have to share. They happened to be here for a track meet on Saturday, so it was really nice that they were able to see the kids run. Unfortunately, Liam has an injury, so he was not able to compete, but they got to watch the twins. They even took home souvenir sunburns!

Nathan had such a great day! He placed 2nd in the 110m hurdles and also ran the 800m leg of the 1600m medley relay where they also placed second. In fact, he did so well, that he found his name on the Varsity roster for the meet in Albuquerque today! He is so excited!

Go Nathan!!!

Catheryn ran the 800m and did really well. She was disappointed with her time, which was slower than usual, but she is just going to work harder. In the meet today, she will be running the 1600m instead of the 800m. It will be her first race at the mile distance, so we will see how she does. I can’t wait! Liam is still out with an injury, but he will go with me to watch his team run.

Catheryn in the 800m open run.

On Sunday, we went for a hike through the park and climbed up Alcove House. That was something my dad really wanted to do, so it was fun to be able to take him out there. It was really just a nice, relaxing day. In the evening we went out to watch the turkey vultures start coming in for the night. They roost here in the canyon, so there are quite a few circling up above before they land in the trees. They are neat to watch. And of course, we took family pictures.

The kids with Grammy and Grampy.

Me and Rob with my parents, Bill and Caryn.

Our crazy family

Like I said, it was a wonderful weekend. I am so glad my parents were able to drive all the way down here so we could spend some time together. They are planning on coming down for Thanksgiving, so we have another great visit to look forward to!!!

~Special Thanks to my parents for being so incredibly awesome! We love you so much!!!~

Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos National Historical Park is only about 70 miles from our house, so I am little embarrassed to admit that it has taken us two years to finally make it there. We pass it all the time on the way to wrestling tournaments or football games, but we never really have time to stop. On our way home from Kansas, we finally took the time. It was a great history lesson with a chance to stretch our legs for a bit.

Ruins

My crazy kids are photo-bomb happy…

I think if they heard “Hey, let me take your picture!” one more time, they would have hog-tied me and left me along the road somewhere…

A little over an hour after Leaving Pecos NHS, we arrived back home. As fun as it is to take trips, it is always nice to get back home. I am pretty sure the kitties were happy to see us! Charbie had fun out exploring with us, but I think even he was happy to have his favorite lounge spots back. Only two days left, and then it was back to school for the kids. There are just two months remaining in the school year, which seems hard to believe, but apparently time really has gone that fast.

Time to start planning our next adventure!