Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happenings at our house...

My niece Kerry and her friend Emma are flying in from England on Thursday.  We are very excited and can't wait to see her.

Sydnee was home this weekend to take her lifeguard test.  Every year she has to do a timed run, a timed swim, and a mock rescue.  The run always stresses her out. (a mile in under 8 minutes)  the last two years she has had to do it twice but today my girl passed it the first time.  GO SYDNEE!!!

I am doing a 10K on Sunday with the same friends we did the Turkey Trot.  Looking forward to it because my niece, her friend, and my girls are doing it with me.  Also looking forward to it because it will be cool this weekend.  This weekend was warm and humid and after my six miles today I was SOAKING wet.  I hate that!!!

Sydnee leaves for Las Vegas for a week with my Aunt Sharon next Sunday and she is so excited.  I'm excited for her. They will be seeing the grand canyon.  The grand canyon is on my bucket list and I'm a little jealous that she will be seeing it before me. LOL

McKenlee and I leave for our cruise a week from Thursday.  Really excited about that.

My 20 miles a week is going strong.  That darn scale still isn't moving yet but hopefully soon.

That is all.....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Homemade Pie...

Yesterday, I decided to attempt my first pie with a homemade crust.

My Grandmother is known for her delicious crust.

I have been going to learn how to make it for years and just have not gotten around to it. So I decided yesterday was the day. We had exceptionally cold weather for Florida yesterday and nothing sounded better than a roast pork dinner and a homemade apple pie.

I was very excited when I told my family that I was going to be attempting the homemade pie that Natalie wanted to learn and help too.

I made the crust according to my Grandmother's recipe but when it came to rolling it out and putting it in the pie plate I had lots of questions, so I called my Grandmother. She graciously offered to come over and help. (The plus of living within a mile of your Mother, Grandmother, two Aunts, and and Uncle.) Yeah, were a pretty tight nit clan.

She came over to help and then joined us later for dinner. The pie was excellent. I made it with Honey Crisp apples, my absolute favorite.
But the best part was spending time with my Grandmother and Natalie keeping the pie making tradition alive for another generation.
I'm to lazy to put these pictures in order but here my Gram is showing Natalie how to line the first layer of apples.

Here she is showing us how to connect the top and bottom crust so the apples don't ooze out as they cook.

This one is a little posed for photographer Dave.  LOL 

Still layering.  my Gram looks lost in thought in this one.  Ha Ha 

Love this one, instructing Natalie on rolling the dough out.

Love that girl.

All done, it was delicious.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Half Marathon...

A week ago today I accomplished a goal I have had for such a long time.

I completed 13.1 miles, a half marathon. It was awesome and horrible all at the same time. LOL

When I would read other people describe races they had done I always thought it was interesting how they would break it into miles.

Well, after last Sunday I totally get it. LOL

My first 7 miles were fantastic I was feeling great and not in any pain. Mile 8 hit and oh my gosh all bets were off. Suddenly I was slowing way down, my feet started to hurt. My back started to hurt, WHAT?? My back has never hurt. Feet most definitely, legs you better believe it but back? I was seriously starting to think I might not finish.

I struggled through and then when I got to mile 10 it was like I got a second wind. My speed picked up I was singing to my Ipod. (Yes, I do that but softly, well mostly softly) I was like okay, that was a bad two miles but I so got this, and I did.

Until, mile 12 hit.  Then it was like de ja vu of mile 8 only ten times worse. I just kept telling myself in thirty five minutes this will all be over so just keep moving.

So I did, AND I finished, AND I cried, AND my youngest snapped my picture,  AND it is horrible but I'm sharing it anyways because you know what?


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Coffee and a cuddle...

This morning was nice and cool so Dave and I were having coffee on the back porch enjoying the quiet. Within minutes my husband had company in the form of an adoring cat take residence on his lap. I've talked about Tuesday's complete and utter adoration for Dave here and since then nothing has changed. I just can't help snapping a picture of it because Dave will tell you he is not a cat lover. I'm not convinced how about you?

Friday, February 8, 2013

It didn't go unnoticed...

I called a friend this morning to see if she wanted to get together for a little while.  She had plans so we agreed maybe next week.  Before she hung up though she asked me about my sister.  My sister is having a medical procedure done today that will hopefully bring some answers to some pain she has been experiencing for far to long.  I was touched that she remembered the procedure was scheduled for today.  I was touched because it told me that she was concerned for my sister and like me was praying for positive results.
I know she will know that I'm referring to her in this post.
I want her to know that it didn't go unnoticed.
Thank you friend.
I love you.

Update: My sister's test came back clear.  Yay!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Carnivore girl...

Dave grilled barbecued ribs this past weekend. Dave is a typical guy and loves all food that is grill and meat related. He has a side kick in his passion for Chicken Wings, Steak, and Ribs, This would be our Natalie. What surprises me about this is she is the most girly of my girls and is the smallest eater. All bets are off when it comes to Ribs though, that girl can get down and dirty with a slab of ribs and the proof my friends is in the pudding pictures:
Tearing it up.

This girl is not afraid to get her hands dirty.  When it comes to Ribs anyway.
P.S  Another 20 miles last week.  Whoot, Whoot!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A "Heart Attack" at our house...

I was recently inspired by one of my favorite blogs 71toes.  Shawnee has a tradition in her family that each member of her family makes a heart for the others and writes something that they love about them.

Sydnee was coming home this weekend and I thought how fun it would be for our family to make hearts for each other.  Sometimes the girls make fun of the cutesy, sentimental things that I like to do.  But this time they were totally on board and really enjoyed making the hearts.  I thought for sure Dave would have no interest in making the hearts and I would have to beg and guilt him into making his.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  He quickly grabbed his hearts and made them.

I was really proud of my family. A lot of thought and humor went into their hearts and I think they look great on the wall.

I want to record what was written on every heart so bare with me here.

 Dave's To me: Kingie (he wrote the nicknames he calls us all on his)
 I love the new you. (I think he is referring to the exercising) Not that I didn't love the old you.
 I love that you take care of everything in this household.
 That you always come up with stuff like this corny heart crap. (Yes, he said crap and I wanted to do this verbatim)
 I love that you keep me in touch with my limits.
 I love that we will grow old together.

Dave's to Sydnee:  Coco Pops
I love that you have turned into a beautiful young lady and make me proud to be your Dad.
I love that you have found what you want in life.
I love that you show your love for me every time you are home.
I love that you are always ready to help the family out.
I love that you take the big sister role well.

Dave's to Natalie: Nattie Pattie
I love that you have goals set in school and strive to make them.
That you know what you want in a boyfriend/relationship and will not take second place.
I love the way you are close to your big sister now.
I love how you think you have it the hardest and no one has it harder. (I know he means this in a funny way because Natalie is our great complainer)

Dave's to McKenlee: Big Mac
I love how you look out for your friends and defend anything that is said bad about them.
I love how you thought you should drive at the age of 12.
I love that you have worked so hard on your report card.
I love that you are full of confidence and will try anything, this will take you far.

Mine to Dave:
I love how when you love someone you are loyal to the end. Wow, I'm a lucky girl.
I love what a great Father you are and how you are proud but "quietly proud" of our girls.
I love how you have NEVER been afraid of hard work especially when it benefited the family you hold so dear.
I love how everyone "loves Dave" this is proof of just how special you are.

Mine to Sydnee:
I love you because you have such a strong work ethic.  You give everything you do 100%.
This wonderful quality that you possess inspires me.
(I have to add here that when we first started doing these it was suppose to be one thing, but then we all just kind of elaborated as we got more into it.  Sydnee's was one of the first one's I did so hers is shorter )

Mine to Natalie:
I love your appreciation for detail.  Everything about you is so put together right down to the smallest item.
You have always had your own sense of style and you are very much a planner.  I love that you only open your heart to a special few.  How lucky am I to be one of the chosen.

Mine to McKenlee:
I love your sense of humor you always make me laugh.
You are the life of the party and so much fun to be around.
God sure knew what he was doing when he snuck you in and made us a party of five.

Sydnee to her Daddy:
I love you because of how hard working and willing you are to help others, even strangers, out.

Sydnee to me:
I love how much love is in your heart.  Enough to love your girls and all your little kiddies.
I love you to the moon and back.

Sydnee to Natalie:
I love you because you are the only one who comes and cuddles with me when I come home from school.

Sydnee to McKenlee:
I love how you defend everyone, even if they don't need defending. (See Sydnee was good and stuck to the one sentence rule lol)

Natalie to her Daddy:
I love how whatever exercise or stunt my sisters and I try to do you always think you can do it better and try to keep up with your kids.  Even when it means trying to do head/handstands.

Natalie to me:
Mama Swan (a nickname Sydnee gave me awhile ago)
I love the way you always try your best. With walking, cooking, cleaning and daycare or as Syd said "being a housewife."

Natalie to Sydnee:
I love that you are always there for me to talk to.  Whether it's boy drama, sister drama, or the ever so challenging pre-calculus.

Natalie to McKenlee:
No matter how many times I kick you out of my room you still come charging back in.  You never give up or let anyone knock you down.  That's what I love about you.

McKenlee to her Daddy:
To the Big Bad Dad,
I love the fact that I get to call you Dad.  I love your accent and hilarious jokes.
I know I have a mouth but remember THAT'S how I show my love, really.

McKenlee to me:
I love you so much and your the best Mom anyone could ever have. But your not just my Mom
you are my best friend. (Oh yeah, you know that one got me.)
I can tell you anything without feeling embarrassed.  I can come to you for anything because I know you are there for me. Thanks for backing me up with Dad.
On the back she wrote how proud she was of my walking. :)

McKenlee to Sydnee:
I love you.  I love that you always put me in my place, because without you I would be in the hood. (huh?this cracked me up)
I am very proud of you for working so hard in college.
Well thanks for being there and picking me up from school when your home.
Love, Your Hood Figga.  (oh my gosh this girl is a nut)

McKenlee to Natalie:
What I love about you is nothin. Just kidding.
I love that you always help me when I need advice.
And you have cute clothes that I borrow.
Your always there for me even when we fight, which is ALOT.
I still love you DEEP, very deep down. (I'm telling you, this girl is a future comedian)

Oh these were fun, and sweet, and funny.  Definitely a new Valentine Tradition!!

Happy Monday!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

10 Miles today and some Neighborhood Love...

I had 10 miles on my schedule today since my half marathon is next Sunday. The best part was I was not even dreading doing it. I woke up at 8am, had some coffee and a couple shortbread cookies, (I know, not a real healthy choice)surfed the net a little and then decided I had better get on my way.

The morning was gorgeous, cool and sunny. I debated whether or not to wear long sleeves and decided against it. Good thing the t-shirt was perfect, I would of been hot in the long sleeves.

I am definitely a creature of habit and for that reason walk the same path every time I walk. There is a loop in my neighborhood that is exactly one mile around. In addition, the distance to a shopping plaza from my house is exactly two miles. When I walk, I do a combination of these two paths. I stick to these for three reasons.

First, I know someone on these routes about every 6 houses give or take. This gives me security if for some reason I felt in harms way, needed to use restroom facilities, or a phone. (I don't carry one when I walk because my phone rings off the hook and I don't want the interruptions) Second, because I don't carry a phone if my family needed me for some reason they could drive the route and find me relatively quickly. Third, I'm lazy and just haven't bothered to figure out another route.

One of the best things about traveling the same route is that you get to know the people and pets of the homes that you pass all the time. As I'm starting down my street I will sometimes stop for a quick hello to the French Canadian man who always has a story or two to tell about his colorful life. I just love his accent. (I kind of have a thing for accents, remember my husband is English)

As I hit the corner of the longest road in our neighborhood I pass my friend Kate's house. She has the most gorgeous golden retriever Bailey who always greets me with an excited bark if she is outside. Her daughter Hannah is also one of McKenlee's best friends so sometimes McKenlee is hanging out in the driveway and shouts out "Hi Mom, how many miles today?

Then I come around the corner and approach the part of the neighborhood that has the one mile loop. I spend the most time here because remember I am a creature of habit so I just do the loop as many times as is required for the day before I add the two miles to the shopping plaza and back.

Here I have made friends with several dogs and exchange waves with some cute children who play in their yards in the evenings. There is the house with the massive dog. I don't know the name of this dog but he is the fattest lab type dog I have ever seen. Sometimes, I don't even know how he walks but he always walks down his driveway to greet me if he's out. One time, I came around a car that was blocking the sidewalk and I scared the dickens out of the poor dog and he me. I laughed so hard as I gave him a pat and told him "lets not do that again ok?" His owner is this very tall big guy with long hair and a beard who always smiles and says hello. This family also has a little girl who is always riding her bike.

As I get further down there are two ladies that sit in their driveways in lounge chairs and chat while their daughters ride their bikes or play games with each other on the front lawn.

As I round the corner of the loop there is an elderly couple who sit in their garage most evenings with their dog Penny. I know Penny because whenever she see's me she barks like I am a burglar and they yell at her to "stop barking Penny, you know her she walks this neighborhood all the time you silly dog.

On the other side of the loop there is a young couple with a juvenile Weimaraner that the young wife is trying so desperately to train. He is a very hyper dog and once when I stopped to say hello and commented on how beautiful he was but that I bet he was a handful. The young wife replied "Oh no he's really good" while the husband said "Don't let her fool you, he is a handful and a half but we love him." I couldn't help but think what great parents they would be someday.

Not far from there, there is an elderly gentleman who has the cutest little brown fluffy dog with a face like a Monkey. So that's what I call him although it's not his name. This man adores this dog and loves sharing how he was a shelter dog and the best little companion to him and his wife. He tells you how lucky they are to have adopted him but I know how lucky that little dog is.

As I head back up to where I started there is a tiny oriental man who walks this very tall beautiful Collie. Not like Lassie though this dog has a black and white coat. I have never talked to this dog as the little man keeps very much to himself and just gives me a nod when I smile and say Hello. It always makes me smile though because the man is so small and the dog so large that I always think in my head that the dog could be this man's horse.

I never find my walks boring because there is something to be said for routine. I love that I have gotten to know these people and their pets. Even if it is just a smile and a quick hello.

In addition to these new faces I have gotten to know in my neighborhood there are so many families that I call friends. One of them in particular did the nicest thing for me today. When I am walking I hate to carry anything that is why I wear my I-pod in an arm band. However, doing 10 miles I knew I needed to take at least one water bottle with me. I told myself that I would just find a spot on my route and leave it knowing that I would be passing it several times.

 Of course, I didn't want to leave it just anywhere. I didn't want someone to think I was littering in their yard and throw it away. Plus, my mind goes a little silly and I didn't want someone to meddle (see: poison lol) with it. I decided I would leave it in an empty flower pot on the edge of my friend Christine's yard.

I continued on with my miles stopping at Christine's to take a drink when I passed her house. The third time around as I was coming up on her house I noticed a white piece of paper sticking out of the flower pot. I thought to myself.

That's strange what is that?

Well, let me tell you what it was. It was a note encouraging me on, and nestled in a ziploc bag of ice was my water bottle. Christine took the time to make me a note and ice my water bottle. Oh my gosh, I was so touched. So touched in fact that it brought tears to my eyes. (this might also be due to the fact that I have most certainly hit pre-menopause and cry so easily it's almost frustrating) But let me tell you, the tears they flowed. It was such a thoughtful gesture and my heart swelled with gratitude.

As a bonus it sure was nice drinking ice cold water.
I finished my ten miles today and as I walked up to my front yard the tears flowed again.  They flowed because I realized I am going to do this.  Next Sunday I am going to complete 13.1 miles and it is going to be awesome.

Hey, 13.1 miles  yeah you.  Next Sunday I am all over you baby!!!!