Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas at it's finest!

What a Christmas season!  It went by way too fast.  I have a bit of catchup to do, so here goes ...

The boys did their school performance a couple weeks ago singing "Gloria!"  After the show they played with their friends in the church including their buddy Lily.

We had a gingerbread party with 7 little friends (and 2 very little friends - identical twin 2-month old boys).  After "trying" too much candy, the boys turned the party into a dance party.

Last week, we enjoyed a bout of snow in the morning one day.  By afternoon unfortunately the snow was completely gone.

This past weekend Matt's parents got into town for the holidays.  We went to see Santa for a third time ... he's a nice dude, and the boys like catching up, what can I say?

Christmas Eve was a nutso day in the house with too little sleep and too much sugar.  Christmas day was awesome!  Too many presents, too much lego building, and lots of family fun.

The boys even tried out "real golf" for the first time - Cole is amazing.  Wilson likes golf, but prefers the slide.

After dinner, the boys called Uncle Gabe and Auntie Amanda and serenaded them with their new ukalales courtesy of Grandma Lucy:

All in, a great holiday season!  Now time to get more fiscally responsible and slow down a bit.

Whew!  I'm winded just from typing that all up!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Race report: Seattle half marathon

This is overdue ... but here goes.  Last weekend I ran the Seattle half marathon for the 4th time.  On the down side, I ran my worst half marathon (boo) coming in at 1:40.  On the up side, it was a beautiful crisp day and was another fun half. 

Matt and the boys brought me to the race starting line which was awesome.  I got out and bee-lined for the porta potties at the finish line.  Little known trick - potties at the finish line are typically a shorter wait than those at the starting line, also, much cleaner. 

When it was time to line up I made my way to the start with thousands of other runners.  Crammed in, I was reminded why I hate a) people who wear strong smelling deodorant while running, and b) BO.  I took off at a decent pace logging sub-7min miles.  After two miles I decided to pace a bit and found myself slowing down for a couple rolling hills.  Somehow I managed to pull a 5:35min mile on a downhill slope but then more than made up for it with a 10min mile going up through Leschi.  Throughout the race there were gusts of cold wind that made pushing through hard at times, but no rain.

All in, good times.  Next time I'll run faster!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Weekend roundup: Thanksgiving, trains, race, Santa - oh my!

What a BUSY long weekend!  It started on Wednesday when Wilson had the stomach flu and I picked him up from school early.  That entire afternoon was spent on the couch with my sleepy flu-y boy (poor guy).  That night Matt came home complaining of an "ouchie stomach" with Cole in tow who seemed fine. 

Thursday miraculously everyone felt better (thank goodness!) and we went out for a bit of soccer fun before we hit the kitchen.  Thursday afternoon was spent cooking cooking cooking.  We had an amazing feast (with enough food to feed a village) with Max, Laura, and Sasha.  The boys and Sasha dressed up for the event:
On the menu we had turkey, bacon brussel sprouts, baked local vegetables, bread and local cheeses, salad, mashed potatoes, warm bread ... and then 4 kinds of pie.  So much!

Friday I went into work in the morning but as it was dead quiet I made my way to the Seattle Marathon race expo - always a good time.  Friday afternoon was pretty mellow which was nice.  Saturday was another lazy day - Matt climbed and the boys and I played in the house.  That night we made our way to Laura and families new house for dinner - a feast of leftovers made into new and awesome dishes.

Sunday I rose early for the Seattle Marathon (race report to come) then walked home from the finish line to play legos for a bit with the boys.  After hours of legos, we bundled up and made our way to Snoqualmie for the Santa Train.  This was a double whammy (in a good way) - the boys first time on a train, and getting to see Santa.  Both were awesome - on the train neither Cole nor Wilson could stop smiling.  I'll admit, Matt and I were pretty giddy too.

When we finally got to see Santa, the boys plunged into deep conversations with him about why legos need proper stickers for eyes and how fun it would be if the boys could ride with him in the sleigh.

All in, a very busy and very fun weekend! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Home repairs: knocking walls down!

Last weekend we did something crazy ... Friday night we decided we were ready to make a big change.  Lacking the floor tile we need for our basement, we decided to go bigger - and knock the wall down between our kitchen and dining room.  That night we connected with our contractor and he was able to come the next morning at 7am.  Here's the flow:

First, our contractors looked at the wall, and started covering up furniture:
 Then, the boys took a peak into the kitchen before the big knock down:
 And the wall knocking began!  To kill time, the boys and I went on two runs, hikes, and to the playground.
 And then there was open space.  The only problem is now I'm realizing we need to keep our kitchen clean ... and paint our cabinets ... the list just keeps growing!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Race report: Woodland Park cyclocross

Today I was torn between a nice 10K trail race at Carkeek Park, and the Woodland Park cyclocross series finale.  I went with the cyclocross - the clincher was that the boys could easily watch the race AND they could do their first ever cyclocross race.  The day was awesome (but I think Matt is on the brink of a stress breakdown from chasing the boys around the park all day). 

I went out with the beginners again (this is after all just race 2).  The course was HARD with a lot of hills and a fair amount of mud.  There were all more tight turns than I remember on the last race.  Again, I was one of only a small handful of riders wearing running clothes ... I'm OK with that.  I was in the last wave allowed to ride so I started in the back of the pack.  They kick off each grouping off people by having riders organize based on number - mine ended in 7 which was 2nd to last to get to line up.  The course started by going into a narrow single track down a small hill, and then zig zagging up to a big hill where we picked our bikes up and ran.  I only made 3 loops unfortunately - I landed right after the 1st place man (who lapped me) and they closed the race right behind him so I didn't get to do a 4th loop. 

After my race, we met up with Costa, Holger, and Max (one of the boys' friend from school).  Max, Cole, and Wilson were all prepping to do their first ever race.  They were so very excited - I love seeing them get excited about sports.  They were also all hoping to fall down to get to roll in the mud (which Wilson did often) which I found amusing.  We had Cole and Wilson on balance bikes because their training wheels keep getting stuck in the mud.  They now have a reason to get off the training wheels.

All in, great day, great race, can't wait to go again!  And my knees don't hurt (a plus of cycling over running).

Catching up to do! Halloween

I've got some serious catching up to do ... so I'm going to do it in the Clif Notes version.  Halloween seems to have flown by us as completely illustrated by the fact that there are Christmas ornaments popping up in every store now.  We enjoyed a great NQACC (the boy's preschool) Halloween.  We got to school at 3pm for a "parade" around Seattle Pacific University campus (good birth control for the students I think).  Wilson hugged it out with his friend Ella.
Then we made our way to Queen Anne Ave. to trick or treat at the stores.  It was SO packed it was too much.  After escaping the crowds on the ave, we went around Queen Anne and the boys overloaded on candy.

The weekend after Halloween, we went to Ella's house for apple butter making.  I had no idea what went into apple butter - turns out it's 12-hours of mixing a giant pot of apples, sugar, and butter. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Weekend roundup: birthday bliss

My birthday was on Friday so I took the day off work to have a nice staycation in Seattle.  I woke up blissfully late and watched the news while drinking tea, then took the bus downtown.  Downtown, I enjoyed a long coffee at a little cafe near the museum and caught up with Lisa.  It was amazing how many people were in the coffee shop having brunch or working away on their Apple computers - very Felicity.  Post-caffeine, I made my way to the SAM to take in some culture.
 After the museum I hoofed it up to Penelope and the Beauty Bar for a completely blissful facial.  An hour and a half, and the feeling of a new face later, and I went back tot he SAM to meet up with Matt for lunch at Taste.  Dining on a Friday afternoon with just the weekend ahead of us was awesome.  Post-lunch, I walked home stopped at Pike Place market and a couple shops along the way.  That night we had a great birthday dinner and made it an early night. 
Saturday was also pretty mellow with some house cleaning, Saturday afternoon I met up with some friends for girl time (aka, Thai food and tea). 

Today was an awesome kid day (for the boys and for the kids within Matt and I).  We went to the Museum of Flight.  We had no idea it was "museum of fright" day with special Halloween events all over the museum which made our visit double the fun.  The boys ran around all the planes and space exhibits, and then ran around again doing Halloween spooktacular events including making ghosts, racing spaceships, making candy corn paper airplanes, and more.

Cole decided his ghost needed a little ... anatomy ... and now I'm trying to keep a straight mommy face anytime he points it out saying "not appropriate for public."  But so funny.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Race report: Magnuson Park cyclocross

Another week, another new sport to try - this time I gave it a go with cyclocross at Magnuson Park.  The race was AWESOME and I can't wait to do another cyclocross race.  It was funny, too - I showed up and was the only person out of hundreds in running clothes (everyone else had matchy spandex outfits and clip in shoes).  For those of you who don't know what cyclocross is, here's the Clif Notes - you bike on dirt trails in mud and on some cement trails, then pick the bike up and carry it over two 2' high "walls" (the pros often bunny hop where they jump the bike over the walls), then bike more, then pick the bike up and run up a flight of stairs, then bike bike bike ... and do it all again.  I completed 3 rounds of the course - here's the loop:
All in, a TON of fun.  I can't wait to do this again ... 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin patch!

Last weekend my dad was in town and we had an awesome Fall time.  One of the highlights was going to the pumpkin patch to get our Halloween decor.  It's amazing looking back at our trip to the same farm three years ago (three years!!!)

We spent hours finding the perfect pumpkins to decorate, then the boys hopped on the hay truck for a ride around the farm.  All in, awesome.

Race report: Defiance 30k

Fall is fully upon us and that means ideal running season!  This weekend my friend Asia and I ran the Pt. Defiance 30k trail race.  I won, but it was BRUTAL!  I'm now vowing not to race such a long distance without training again. 

The race was two loops around Pt. Defiance with a gain / loss of 1,300 per loop.  At the end of each loop was a rope to help guide down the hill - it was that steep.  The race was beautiful, though - behind Big Sur Marathon, this is hands down my favorite.  There are views of Gig Harbor, a 500 year old tree, and beautiful forests.  The race started with a flat road, then a stair climb up the side of the hill - after that, it was all hills. 

In the beginning I was having a great race - loving the views, loving the hard footwork.  At about mile 15, though, I crashed mentally - physically I was fine.  I more than crashed - I went from awesome runner's high to weird hallucinations where I was literally seeing the trees and plants glow.  Not rad.  The weird part of this hallucination was that there were teenagers on the side of the hill picking mushrooms - I'm sure they were going for a different type of hallucination.

From miles 15-18 I struggled to push through the mental wall - a little walking, a little running, and I made it, though.  Miles 19-20.5 (yes, this was more than a 30k) were just go time - I could feel the finish line and I was ready.

All in, this was a tough one.  I'm glad I won!  And I'm encouraged to reinvigorate the training (again).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mammoth write-up

Last weekend we went to Mammoth for an awesome weekend with the Taylor clan. Selfishly, I LOVED the nature time with the boys - being in the mountains and away from the hustle / bustle was amazing.  One of my favorite moments of the entire trip was "painting" a bridge near our condo with sticks and water.  Speaking of the condo, Matt's parents rented an amazing place at the base of the mountains.  The last morning of our trip the boys saw a bear right outside the window.

The boys shared a bed in the condo and were like two peas in pod - or an old married couple.  Whatever the right analogy, they were darn cute.
 The highlight of the trip for all of us was going to see Gabe dance - he participated in Dancing with the Docs to raise money for Rhiannon's Kids (a fund Amanda started).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bonney triathlon race report

What a weekend!  Last Sunday I decided I needed to "take it up a notch" so I registered for the Bonney Lake sprint triathlon.  That afternoon, I rented a wetsuit and made my way to Green Lake to test it for my first wetsuit swim.  Yuck!  The lake, not the suit. 

I took the wetsuit for a second test drive to make sure I could get it on / off and did a test in the bath.  Lame, I know, but when time is tight and the lake is nasty I take what I can ... 

Fast forward a week and the tri was Saturday morning and was awesome!  Matt and the boys came and it was fun getting ready and seeing the boys getting into the spirit.  I totally got into the spirit, too, chatting with triathletes ranging from 14 years old all the way to 80 years old - what a crowd.  The swim was HARD as I knew it would be - I hate to swim and stink at it.  The bike really wasn't bad except my bike only works on 3 gears which is less than rad. 

The run was OK, but I ran an extra half mile because the course wasn't marked on one hill. 

All in, though, I did OK - I came in 3rd in my age group with the following splits:
* Swim (.32 mi) - I was in 107th place and swam 0:10:43:7
* Bike (12.2mi) - I moved up to 96th place and biked 16.5MPH for a total time of 0:44:49:8
* Run (3.1mi) - I moved up to 45th place with a 7:41/M pace and a time of 0:23:50:3

My total time was 1:20:12:5 landing me in the 66.4%ile and 65th place, but 3rd in my age group (I prefer the last stat :) ). 

I have to say, this race led to one problem ... I want more! 

After the tri we enjoyed a great long weekend - proper roundup to come.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend roundup: parties, picking, and paddling

What a weekend!  Saturday I woke and did hot yoga.  When I was thoroughly de-stressed, the day was a double doozy with two 4-year old birthday parties.  The first was a golf party just down the hill from us at Interbay Golf course.  Such a cute idea ("Happy fore-th!")  Cole was totally into it and got a couple hole in ones both left handed and right handed.  Wilson on the other hand mainly wanted to see what was up with the water flowing through the course. 

After a quick nap, we were off to party #2 - a super hero theme.  The mom amazes me at her crafty-ness - she made capes and masks for every kid, decorated the entire house, and had more super-theme sweets than I could have ever imagined. 

Sunday we went blueberry picking with Nicole and RJ in the morning.  The boys were still wearing their masks ...

That afternoon we brought some friends who have newborn twins dinner and then went to a tri shop (I now have in my head that I need to do a tri soon).  I rented a wetsuite and we made our way home.  After dropping the boys off at home, I went to Green Lake to test the wetsuite - the water was nasty, but it was pretty fun swimming in the lake and not getting cold.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Weekend roundup: camping!

I never thought I'd love camping, but I'm growing to love it.  Last weekend we went to OR with my mom, her sister, my cousins and their kids for a great long-weekend of camping ... or should I say "glamping."  We had the entire camp site to ourselves with leantos along a beautiful river.  My aunt Laura cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily and it was awesome - my style of camping!  Between hiking, art projects, games, and swimming, we had some great R&R time.

Wilson and Cole rocked the tank tops by the water:

The boys could have spent all day playing in the river - Matt and I on the other hand ... uh uh - it was cold!

And of course there were smores - can't get better than that!

I even made it out for a long run through the hills which was amazing - no cars, no people, only lots and lots of mosquitoes ... and a great view.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pain in the B

By B here, I mean back... I took a 2-week hiatus from running (primarily from being too tired to run in the morning before work, but being just a-ok to do the elliptical and catch up on the news in the morning).  Last week I started having crazy back spasms and pain down through my knee - ouch!  I went to a PT and she kept pushing me for "what did I do?  No really, what did I do?"  I had no idea.  Piecing back time, I realized it was what I didn't do - run.  Well, that and the elliptical.  I think that I over-elliptical'd with bad form in the mornings and just stopped rotating my hips / natural motion thus tweaking everything just a little bit out of whack.  Not fun.

So now I'm back to trying to figure out how to fit it all in.  Lucky for me, we're going camping tomorrow so I can re-convene with nature and hit some trails for runs while I'm at it.  I do believe that while running isn't always the greatest for the body, natural motion is good.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekend roundup: good times!

What a busy but great weekend.  The weekend kicked off Friday night with a concert in the park with some friends from pre-school.  We had thought the music was kid-kind, but we were wrong ... the band was called "Chastity Belt".  Guess I should have paid closer attention to the lineup.  We were with a couple other families from school and there were a total of 4 4-year old boys.  Wild!  First, Wilson noticed a man (I'm guessing was high) was dancing around with no shirt on - after that Wilson refused to wear a shirt.  Then, at a breaktime for the band, the dads took the boys to go racing to burn some energy - somehow they found an outdoor Zumba class where the boys decided to try to shake booty along with the class.  Oh boy.

Saturday was the Amazon party at the football stadium downtown Seattle.  It was fun but super packed!  We were happy to meet up with a couple friends, enjoy three bounce houses, and get some facing painting done ... but after Cole sprung a bloody nose on a spinning ride we were done.

Saturday evening was date night and Matt and I took in "The Way Way Back" at an awesome theater downtown called The Big Picture

This morning we kicked off the day with brunch with some other friends from the boys' pre-school down by the water.  In the afternoon we took in some bike riding then made our way to a friend from work's house for dinner along with another couple.  All of the other adults at the dinner were no-kid families so I think they were a little thrown by the boys.  We tried plugging them in with kid-friendly apps (thus feeling like horrible parents) but the boys preferred to pickup small antique looking violins.

We're ready for a weekend to recover from this weekend - but so fun!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekend roundup: exploring Seattle


This weekend felt like summer finally came to visit Seattle.  Saturday we rally'd around the house to clean and then clean some more.  Saturday afternoon, after a failed attempt at a nap, we made our way to the Mounger pool in Magnolia (funny name, awesome pool) where the boys went off the kid water slide about 100 times.  

Saturday evening we made dinner for our friends who just had twins (this was week three actually, we've been doing dinner's every Saturday in honor of our pal Emily who coordinated something similar for us).  This week is was lamb, stir fried vegetables, brown rice, and tomato salad.  

Sunday we rose early and while the boys enjoyed a nice pancake and egg breakfast, I made it out for a short run breaking my running sabbatical.  As soon as I got home I found the boys dressed to go out - they were ready for blueberry picking!  I quickly changed and we made our way to Larson Lake blueberry farm.  Awesome.  That's all there really is to say about it.  We picked for over an hour and gathered nearly 2-lbs worth (or $3) of the best blueberries ever.  After picking we strolled through the farm house where we stocked up on fruits and veg for the week.  The grand total?... $12.  Seriously.  Awesome. 

Sunday evening was mostly laying in the grass reading while the boys did tricks on the swing.  Then I walked up to the butcher for some great local beef and we BBQ'd sharing the grill with our neighbors - a perfect Sunday dinner with local vegetables, fruits, and meat.
 All in, a pretty rad weekend.  I'm ready for another!