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!!!!!

Another Chapter Complete

I always have a hard time around this time of year. You see, today is the last day of school. And while I am excited to have my kids home for the summer, it breaks my heart to know that another chapter in their childhoods is coming to a close.

This is the last day of 8th grade for Liam. He is moving on to high school now, which means I only have four years left with him at home. Four years. He has always been a challenging child, and there have been countless times when I was not sure if I would survive from one day to the next. Now here we are, a few short years away from graduation, and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone. I still see my little baby, his sideways smile forever etched on my heart.

My twins are now 8th graders. Seriously. Teenagers. Only a short year behind their brother when it comes to graduation. One more year of middle school, and it is high school for them as well. I am watching them grow into amazing, beautiful people, and my heart smiles. And it cries. And I find myself spinning in circles, not exactly sure what to do. How is one to hold them close and set them free at the same time?

I try to live in the moment, enjoy what is in front of me at this exact moment in time and not worry about what is to come. Sometimes I fail miserably at this. Like right now. This will pass, and pretty soon we will be enjoying summer and I will not be thinking about school and how old my kids are getting and how ridiculously fast time is going. But right now I just want to hit the rewind button. I want to go back and be a better mom, enjoy the little moments more than I did back when I was in them and completely exhausted.

I used to work with a woman back when the kids were little. The twins were 2 and Liam was 3. Her daughter was older, so every time she would see my kids, she would comment on how much she missed her toddler, but how much she loved her teenager. I remember trying at the time to imagine what it would be like to be the mom of teenagers, and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t picture my babies as teens. It was impossible, not to mention so far off that it would never actually happen. Now here we sit, three teenagers in our family, and all I can think is, I really miss my toddlers, but I sure do love my teenagers. Life is funny.

I wish I were one of those people who could stash my emotions away somewhere, always wearing my brave face no matter what, but unfortunately I am not one of those people. Every emotion I feel seems to stamp itself right on my face. There is no hiding anything. I know that growing up is perfectly natural, a simple fact of life, Babies grow up, life goes on. And I know that every moment is precious and meant to be cherished. My head knows and understands this, but my heart does not always agree. I should be excited for the next chapter to begin, but I am still a little sad about the ending of the previous one.

Oh, but I am so very grateful for this life and these beautiful young adults who call me mom. I am grateful to get be a part of their journey. As I sit here thinking back over the last school year, I know that I would not change a thing…

Weekend at the Lake

It is hard to believe it is the end of May already. This year is just flying by! Last year we did not make it out for as much camping as we would have liked, so this year we decided to get a better start. For Memorial Day weekend, we made our way to Morphy Lake State Park. It is a small lake a little over two hours from here. The water level is really low due to lack of snow this winter, but that did not stop people from heading out to fish. The lake was quite crowded every day that we were there.

We set up camp on Friday and spent three nights. We spent the weekend fishing and playing on the boats. The kids caught crawdads and frogs, even some baby fish. It was a great relaxing way to spend the weekend.

Everyone had a wonderful time and we are looking forward to heading out again. Unfortunately, a lot of campgrounds are now closed due to extreme fire danger. Hopefully we will get some good rain soon.

I have some catching up to do on the blog, but since pictures will not load with our poor internet at home, I have to come to town to get it done. It is my goal to get all caught up within the next week or so. I guess late is always better than never!

For now, though, here are some pictures from our weekend. 🙂 Hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Nathan was the first to catch a fish!

It was quite muddy, so everything, fish included, ended up brown…

This one was determined to catch the most fish on day 1, which he did. He caught 6.

Camping fish fry!

Nathan loves sleeping in his hammock when we go camping.