Sunday, July 4, 2010


It's early on the fourth of July...the babes, despite having an exhausting day yesterday decided to get up at the crack of dawn. I'm sitting here typing as the morning sun streams in on their very blonde and very brown locks. Looking forward to a great day.

I wrote my post below as soon as we got home yesterday. I wanted to capture exactly what I was thinking and feeling. It's been nearly 24 hours. Parts of my body are sore that I didn't know existed. My core, my hips, small parts of my back, my feet....but surprisingly not my legs.

A few months ago I got this crazy idea to start running. It was a personal goal. I've never been able to run, could never catch my breath, and downright hated it. I had a huge hurdle to overcome. So I started back when the weather was cooler a few months ago. My initial goal was to run to the end of the street and back (less than 1/4 mile). I gradually increased my distance, and with lots of support signed up for a Cross Country 5K (Scott and KK ran too). I've almost exclusively run outside, up and down our hilly area, and not all that consistently.

This morning was the big race. My initial goal was to complete it in under 40 minutes (as on a good day I can run an 11 minute mile in relatively flat terrain). After realizing the route for this 5K was seriously cross country (up and down HUGE hills, through fields, up hill through the woods, etc.) I just wanted to finish. (Not to mention is was pretty hot today.)

I began full force, full of adrenaline, wanting badly to keep up with the crowd. Started way too fast! My first mile was paced around a 10 minute mile, and was mostly downhill or flat. After the first mile, it was uphill through a neighborhood. BRUTAL! I ran/walked most of the second mile. The third mile included running through a field sideways on a hill, a huge lap around the fields/track, a loop through the woods uphill and then one lap on the track. I walked through the woods praying that I wouldn't throw up (my dominating thought). Once I got to the track and heard all the cheering, it was really motivating. My girl ran the last 5th of a mile with me to cross the finish line in exactly 47 minutes. I did it. I did it!

I hope that if there is something out there that you've always wanted to try it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Welcome July!

July is one of my favorite months. The height of summer! My anniversary month. Fireflies, ice cream, swimming, first garden harvest, fireworks, BBQ's...and much more. KK arrives tomorrow for a long stay and we can't wait. I'm so blessed to have a sissy willing to travel and spend quality time with us. We have lots planned. We are running in our first 5K together. (Scott is too!)

I've been busy house and making plans. I met my students that I will be teaching next year. They are a lovely bunch. I'm hoping to get some pre-planning done over the summer to ease the anxiety of going back. Already bought my planner and plugged in the dates. One day at a time.

We've been enjoying our local watering holes....lots of swimming and playing with friends. Scott has been trying new recipes and has been inspired to keep a blog of his own. I love his interest in documenting (like a mini-scrapbook!).

Our garden is flourishing despite our lack of rain. Peas are flowering, corn is inching higher and mini-cukes are on the vine. Our random little pumpkin plant that is growing wild has one little lime sized pumpkin that grows bigger everyday.

So that's what has been going on here....lots of ordinary, wonderful summertime things.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quick Garden Tour

While out in our little garden the other day, I took a bunch of photos. We added the better part of one yard of soil to the beds and had the deer fence rebuilt.

This is looking back at the upper bed (as they are on a bit of a hill). From left to right, we are growing: cucumbers (plants), tomatoes (plants), corn (seeds), carrots (seeds), pumpkins (seeds) and string beans (seeds).

This is looking down at the lower bed. This one is quite loaded. In the lower right corner, you can see how my black mint, oregano and thyme not only came back from last year, but has taken over. Behind it, we planted peas (seeds) and morning glories (seeds). On the left side, we planted basil, chives, dill, cilantro, and strawberries (all plants). I had a ton of parsley come back from last year which was a huge surprise. It was the last herb to die off before our first frost, and I never pulled it up. It was the first herb to come back in the early spring and has already gone to seed. (need to do some major trimming) We also have some marigolds, vincas, petunias, a lone cosmo that reseeded from last year, and Girly's sunflower from school.

We planted two small rows of string beans last year and they produced enough for at least 6-8 dinners. This year we planted three larger rows since they were so delicious last year.

Peas! I think they are such beautiful plants. The leaves remind me of clover, and I love the way they send out the tendrils to grow upward. Can't wait to see how they come out!

I'm excited about the pumpkins. I hope they are here in time for Halloween. The corn I'm doubtful about, but it was a huge request from my girl. Our carrots last year were the best I've ever tasted, but take a LONG time to grow. Our herbs are growing so quickly that many have seeded. I dug all the holes, my girl planted nearly every seed.

So now, we water and watch. It's such a rewarding thing....a garden, even our small 8x4 foot plots. And I would be remiss not to mention that our garden gate is greeted by a huge patch of four and five leaf clovers. We discovered this last year, and it is a constant reminder of how beautiful and lovely things that are "different" can be! We love our little garden. I promise to post more photos as she grows.

(something has enjoyed every strawberry!....I'm guessing a bird or chipmunk)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcome Summer

Summer officially begins today, according to the calendar. I'm happy to report that the sun is shining and my baby boy is feeling much better. I'm happy to start the summer with the important things in check. I can already feel how our routines and rules have shifted. Bedtimes and wake times are changing up a bit along with structure. Food choices have become looser, and so meal planning is a must.

This marking of summer is bittersweet for me. It signals time for relaxation and fun and time home with family. But in the back of my mind, it also marks the last season of me being home with my babes full time. I want to make the most of everyday. Even if that means not doing much, just enjoying the lazy days. I've come up with a Personal Summer Goals list of things I'm challenging myself to do. I've listed it on the side. September 1st is the deadline, or when summer starts to come to an end for me. Our whole family lives and breathes by the "school" calendar. The year begins in September and ends in June. That's the only way I remember it, and the way it will continue.

The time in between is NOW!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Papa's Day

Happy Father's Day!
My children have an amazing Daddy, wonderful Grandpa's, and super Great Grandpa's. Blessings for sure!

Sweet Baby Girl with Daddy as a newborn (2005)

Sweet Baby Boy with Daddy as a newborn (2009)

He is happy to give them a ride when they are tired out.

He is always up for playing.

The babes with Pop. (love ya Dad!)

Girly with Grandpa (early reader)

Girly with Grampy

Girly with Grandpa Mi

Girly with Grandfather

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Light

I'm drawn to natural light. It affects me deeply. When we've had consecutive cloudy days, I can feel my mood shift. I love the feeling of the sun on my skin. Things have been busy and a bit crazy around here this past week. Lots of end of the year celebrating, Mimi was here, wrapping up school for Scott and one little babe feeling under the weather. Been spinning my wheels and not getting too far, so to speak. Keeping things at status quo gets to me. I want those piles of wash put away. I need to have all the "stuff" taking up space in my house either put back in the right place, or I want it gone.

When I glanced out the window, later in the afternoon a few days ago...I saw the most beautiful light. It had already gotten darker, gray clouds looming and my energy was spent. I stopped in my tracks, grabbed my camera and ran outside. These photos really don't fully capture what I was seeing. The breeze was blowing and this beautiful light was shining across the valley; it looked like a spotlight. I was reminded of God's love. I felt touched and lifted up.

I hope I can remember this day. I need to remind myself of the beauty that surrounds me in so many ways. Sometimes noticing the light is the first step.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mimi's Here

{Here's a photo from two summers's such a happy one!}
I love my girl so much!

Mimi's here and we are so happy about that. The babes are eating up the attention, especially my girl. I'm always grateful for the distances travelled to be with family for special occasions. Girly graduates from preschool tomorrow. Can hardly believe it!
Seems like we are winding up before we can wind back down around here. Finishing up with odds and ends.
Ran a mile in 11 minutes 2 seconds today, slowing only once for 5 seconds to catch my breath. Making progress one day at a time.

Tonight's dinner was really delicious so I thought I would share.

Roasted Vegetables and Fresh Mozzarella with Homemade Vinaigrette
(make wraps if you wish)

Preheat Oven: 425 degrees


zucchini diced
eggplant skinned and diced
Vidalia onion sliced
fresh garlic cloves
red pepper sliced
orange pepper sliced
olive oil
kosher salt
fresh mozzerella
vinaigrette (fresh herbs, juice of 2 lemons, olive oil, salt, dijon mustard)
whole wheat wraps


Cut up vegetables so that they are all about the same size. Toss with olive oil and Kosher salt in a large pan. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Be sure to toss every 15 minutes or so. Slice fresh mozzarella. To make vinaigrette, I used small amounts of finely chopped fresh chives, oregano, basil and parsley. Mix in pinch of salt, lemon juice, about 1/4 cup olive oil and teaspoon dijon....mix well with a whisk. I had whole wheat tortillas on hand (which Scott used to make a wrap) but I layered the vegetables, mozzarella and a small amount of the vinaigrette.


Wow! What an outstanding meal! It was so fresh and flavorful.
You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand to roast. (same goes with herbs to make the vinaigrette)