May 28, 2015

A Seventh Birthday Celebration

How it's possible that this boy is already seven is beyond me!

 This year, he decided he wanted to celebrate his birthday at Fast Lanes.  He invited several boys from school and his longtime buddy, Chase, to join him in the celebration.  Seeing him around his friends is always fun because this goofy side of him shows that we don't see often when he's alone.

The kids got to do a couple rounds of Laser Tag, which Riley just loved!  Harper came to the party also, and Amy had warned me that she didn't like laser tag so I was kind of expecting Riley to not want to try it either, but she went right along with the big kids and had a blast!

They also go to do a round of go-karts before coming back to the party room for pizza, cookie cake, and presents.  We ended the party with arcade time and racked up tons of tickets.  It was a really fun party!

He was supposed to be off school for May break on his birthday, but happened to be in session because of snow day makeup days so Riley and headed over to take him lunch and a little birthday treat.

 Riley still tells him he's six all the time and drives him nuts!  He's very proud of the fact that he's now SEVEN and makes sure she knows it.  Right now, he is obsessed with iPad {Minecraft and Plants vs. Zombies - ???}, playing Mario on the Wii, drawing pictures {he uses YouTube to help him learn how to draw his favorite characters from these games}, using his booklight late at night and early in the morning to read books {A-Z Mysteries and Cam Jansen are his current favorites}, and playing soccer. And as much as he loves school, he's really ready for the year to end and to have his summer break!

May 18, 2015

Let's Play Catch Up

Ooops...I let a month pass by.  Wow, what a busy month!

I hate it when I let a month pass.  Not good for my 2015 goal, huh?  But geez...this past month was filled to the max.  Here's a peak of what has been going on, and some of these will have longer posts coming this week (I hope).
Jarrod completed his first Half Ironman in New Orleans.  I thought he was nuts when he first brought this whole thing up last fall, and while I still do....I'm so proud of him for setting his mind to this and accomplishing it.  He finished the race in just under 7 hours.  For those unfamiliar, it's a 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bike ride and ends with a 13.1 mile run.  We did some projects around the house while he was gone, including making Welcome Home signs for him.

It seems our healthy living example is paying off, too.  Gavin participated in Running Club again this year and participated in two runs - the Wildcat Rumble was a 2 mile run on school property, and then the two of us ran the Gold Rush 5K together, his longest run to date. 


 Our 5K was perfect.  Neither of us was feeling great, but we were determined to complete the race.  I promised him we could take it slow and walk if needed, but also encouraged him to push himself and keep going as much as he could.  The sweet kid held my hand during almost the entire race.  I couldn't believe it...never expected him to reach for my hand while running!  I just drank it all in.  Such a special race.  We finished in about 45 minutes and he was so proud of himself.  He kept saying how much longer it was than he was expecting.  Haha!  I wonder if he will sign up for it again next year. that I've wasted most of the morning trying to transfer iPhone pics and ended up having to do a Restore to my phone (GRRR!) I will have to keep the catching up going another day.  Sigh.

Apr 18, 2015

Talkin' with a Toddler

I don't know if Riley is technically considered a toddler anymore, but she sure says the funniest things!  I wanted to write some down so I could be sure to remember them.  

After a rather grouchy morning ride to school to drop off Gavin, I told her she probably needed to go back into her room when we got home until she could be happier, and she shouted back that I should go to my room.  The conversation continued...
Me: That's fine, Riley.  I'll go to my room and lock myself in there for some Mommy Time.
Riley: {instantly cheered up and laughing...} You can't do that, silly.  I don't know the password for the iPad!

Another random conversation out of the blue recently...
Riley: Mom, I wish I could have a star right here on my nipple. {Uhh....????}
Me: Why would you have a star on your nipple?
Riley: I don't know.  Some girls do. {I'm getting scared at this point...}
Me: What girls do you know who have stars on their nipples?!?!
Riley: Sheriff Callie.

Riley's also pretty obsessed with wedding stuff right now.  She'd LOVE to have a wedding dress in her dress up closet.  She had a dream one night that she was marrying Gavin, and she wore a
white dress with pink birds on it, a really long purple veil, and wore green beads.  She has such the fashion sense, right?  And then there was this conversation...
Riley:  Mom, did you know sometimes, when a girl is getting married, she cries at the wedding?
Me: Yes, I did know that.  Mommy cried when she was marrying Daddy actually.
--She paused, and then got really serious.--
Wait, were they happy tears or sad tears??? 

Apr 1, 2015

Spring Break Visit and RACE DAY!

Happy April 1!  I can't believe the year is already 25% of the way over.  It kind of sucks to think of it like that, doesn't it?  Time to get cracking on those goals!  I really want to focus on my photos and videos over the next couple of months, making sure everything is backed up and work on making a DVD of the videos.  I long for the day that I can sit on the couch and watch old family movies like we used to do when we were growing up - you know, when you had to connect that big video camera to the tv or pop that tiny tape into the adapter and put it in the VCR?  Oh, the good old days.

Last week was spring break for both kids and we were so excited to get a visit from my mom and dad for a few days.  I was so thrilled when my mom called to offer to come down during our race weekend to help out with the kids.  I mean, seriously....when we've never hired a babysitter ever, how exactly would we find someone that we trusted enough to be at our house at 5:45am on a Saturday?  It was a great excuse for my parents to visit and I was so relieved.

After some spring break haircuts, the kids and I parked it on the porch to enjoy the beautiful weather and wait for their arrival.

And to say everyone was excited when they finally arrived is an understatement.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't going to be that great while they were here so we took advantage of the few hours of nice weather and played outside.  Dad fixed an old kids' fishing pole that was in our garage and they practiced casting it from the porch, and Riley had to show off her bike skills.  It was so nice...relaxing and just fun!

 We came in as the rain moved closer and I was inside prepping dinner when a tornado warning started.  I knew we were expecting storms, but there hadn't been talk of tornadoes so it kind of caught me off guard.  We spent a few hours watching the radar and trying to keep updated on the path of the storms, but luckily we didn't have to get in our safe place at all.  

Thursday morning I woke up and did a quick two mile run, we stopped off to visit Amy and let my parents see the younger girls, and then we headed out to a chiropractor visit for me before having a pretend birthday celebration for Gavin.  We did lunch at Chickfila and then took the grandparents to Fast Lanes, where Gavin will be having his party later this month.  The kids had a great time playing games and trying to earn tickets for those oh so popular arcade prizes.  Last stop was a visit to Target where Gavin was allowed to pick out his own gift - and he chose Super Mario Brothers for the Wii.  It was so cute to watch him play with Beepa!  He can't play without jumping around and moving with the controller.

Friday, Jarrod took the day off and we treated our guests to dinner in the smoker.  Once we got the pork all set, we headed off for a lunch date.  Check one of our two dates off my 2015 Bucket List!  We did a little shopping, went for pizza at Peddler's Pub, and then stopped and picked up our race information. 

Friday was our usual family night - dinner and Family Movie Night!  It was Riley's pick, so Mom and Dad got to watch Tangled for the first time.  We headed to bed somewhat early in preparation for our early morning.

Unfortunately, we knew the weather was going to be a bit chilly for everyone to come out and cheer us on for the race with Riley's allergies being so bad (she gets a horrible cough), but we hadn't ruled anything out for sure.  Then we woke up at 5am and saw the forecast had changed to include RAIN!  Really?!?!  So, Jarrod and I ate our bagel and banana, did some stretching and headed out after leaving my parents a note telling them it was probably best to just skip coming out at all.

The race started at 7 and I surprisingly wasn't as nervous as I was expecting to be.  And, I was doing really well!  My goal was to stay under a 11:30 pace, and I was actually staying under 10:45 for the first 9.5 miles.  Perhaps it was that faster speed that did me in, but when we got to the downhill segment, it felt like my right knee started to buckle under me.  And it hurt.  A lot.  I ended up spending the next two miles switching from a very slow jog to walking, trying some stretches along the way.  I was feeling so defeated.  I had worked so hard and I was so frustrated that I wasn't going to be able to finish without stopping, which was one of my goals.  Once I got to the flat path trail, I was able to start my run again at a somewhat decent pace and even made it up the dreaded hill at mile 12 without needing to stop and finished about 5 minutes past my goal of 2.5 hours.  Again, somewhat disappointing, but it could've been a lot worse!   I, of course, wish my parents and the kids could've been there when I crossed the finish line, but at least we got a picture when we arrived back home!  {And the screenshots are of us approaching the finish line taken by the race photographer.}  Jarrod finished in 1:58, and my time was 2:34.

Thanks, Mimi and Beepa, for holding down the fort for us so I could cross this off my Bucket List, too!  We love you.
 After showering and warming up, we all headed out to enjoy the day, which turned out to be beautiful after about 10:00.  We did lunch in downtown Rogers, did some shopping to finish up our bedroom makeover, and then headed back home to play outside.  

Our evening capped off with a birthday cake for Gavin's pretend birthday, board games with Mimi and Beepa, and lots of last minute hugs.

Because of all the outside time, Riley struggled with her allergies that night and couldn't seem to stop coughing.  Around 9 I ended up bringing her out on the couch to sit up with me while we just watched some tv and the grandparents got to witness her cough so hard that she puked all over me!  That was fun.  I'm sure Mimi loved helping us clean up puke, and Beepa was lucky enough to have to sleep on the part of the couch where a little vomit landed.  Oops.   Talk about a long night...I'm exhausted and so sore from the race and I ended up with a coughing three year old sleeping on top of me all night.  Truly, you can't make this stuff up!

My parents headed out bright and early while the kids were still asleep, and we ended our spring break with a lazy day of napping and staying in our pajamas.  Just what we needed!

Mar 18, 2015

Date Night!

Remember last spring when Riley went on her first date with Daddy?  My goodness, that night was so emotional for me!  They were so stinking precious together.

Well, Riley for sure remembered that day and talked about her next princess ball often.  I was so thrilled when Amy forwarded the email to me with the new date for 2015.  Riley and Jarrod both were eager to head out again!

This time, we didn't have to go shopping for her special dress.  She already had her perfect dress in her dress up cabinet, thanks to a good friend's hand-me-downs.  We had a great time getting ready that afternoon, curling her hair and painting her nails.  I even let her wear a little lipstick which tickled her!

I mean, are you kidding me???  This sassy little thing is gorgeous and full of pizazz.  We are in for a lot of trouble with her teen years if this keeps up!

 She was so happy to see her Daddy walk in after work with a special corsage for her.  He's everything in her eyes and she just couldn't wait to dance with her Prince Charming.

We all piled in the van and Gavin and I dropped Riley and her date off at the princess ball where they ate dinner, played basketball, colored, did their nails, and of course, danced the night away!  She is obsessed with the idea of a disco ball currently, so she was excited to hit the dance floor and bust a move.

Meanwhile, Gavin and I headed across the parking lot for our special date night!

I had plans to take him to a local Lego place, but despite calling for information about their event that Friday night, we showed up to a very confused employee who knew nothing about such activities.  Since we had planned to have the pizza they were ordering for dinner (that she also knew nothing about!) we headed down the way to eat at Subway so she could make some calls and figure out what exactly was going on.

When we got back, she had pulled materials for the event and we spent the next hour making a blow kart, paper helicopter, and designing a roller coaster for a marble.  He was so incredibly quiet while we were there, but as soon as we got in the car, he rambled about how cool it was so I'm guessing he liked it.  It was really neat to watch his gears turn in his head as he tried to figure out what to do to make his creations work better. 

It was time to head over and pick up the rest of the family from their date, but as we pulled up, Jarrod texted me that they had finally found Addison so Riley was dancing with her.  Gavin and I decided to pop in and check out their dance, and I snapped this quick pic of the girls. 
 It didn't last long, though...just after I took this, Riley came up and said, 'Mommy, I'm tired.'  The princess was worn out and ready for some beauty sleep!  We headed home and my date, the princess and her Prince Charming all crashed pretty quickly.  Busy date night!