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October 2015

what do you want to be when you grow up?

Our Jena has decided she wants to be a baker. The whole ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ question has never really been something we’ve focused or even broached in our home, I mean they don’t really have context for that when they’re little. But this one spontaneously decided recently, and it’s been kinda fun to explore it with her. We’ve had a number of opportunities lately for her to use her new found passion.
IMG_0730Here she is mixing up batter for baby cupcakes for a baby shower. Someone gave us a toaster oven and I bought her a mini pan to fit inside. She made 60 minis in her toaster oven last week. She also discovered that the regular muffin pan on the counter behind her fits too. We are clearing out a cupboard in the kitchen for all her baking goods. She is very excited. Down below are her finished product. Getting to fancy frost them was her favorite part. Plus sprinkles, of course. IMG_0731
IMG_4080But this was her true masterpiece. She made her daddy a chocolate fall out cake, for all the non gamers please enjoy the Wikipedia link to know what the heck I’m talking about :). That is the pip boy surrounded by atomic bombs. It’s a post apocalyptic game so I suppose the end of the world had to be depicted too.

I wish I could have gotten some mid process photos of this one, but I was napping! I helped put the cake in the oven and color the frosting after my race and then laid down. I woke up and she had decorated it all up! The photo below is her practice drawing before she drew it in frosting. Marker is a little easier to work with than frosting. It really does look just like the pip boy to me. IMG_4102
IMG_4099Here she is giving daddy one of the MANY presents she made for him. I love this picture cause she didn’t know I was taking it. No goofy face, just the joy of someone receiving something you’ve given them. He’s also proudly wearing the purple sparkly “watch” she made him, go daddy.

But we also had my race this weekend! Bycemaster’s birthday and my race being tied together is providential. Without him (and my running buddy!) I would not have done near as well this training season. They both kept me going when I wanted to quit. He kicked me out the door and she dragged my butt along when I would have stopped if I was alone. It was a hard training season, it’s been a hard year.

I talked a little bit about my expectations for this race last week. They were lower than low, given what my goal for this year way. After I wrote the post, I did more figuring based off our training runs and became even more discouraged. It really looked like even coming in under our OUC time of 2:28 was going to be really pushing it. But neither of us quit things we commit to, so that wasn’t even really considered.

4am sunday morning I was up getting ready to go. My devotion that morning was on finishing the race. It spoke about how often the journey is hard and no fun, but the end is always great. I remember laughing thinking God you have a sense of humor. I also remember thinking it’s the end, I’m trained up, and about to run this thing, and it’s not great. I still was not looking forward to it really.IMG_0734But here we are at the start, psyching our selves up and trying to talk ourselves into being happy with finishing at what we thought was reasonable. Excuse the awfulness of this pic. It’s the only pre-race shot I’ve got.

However, below is our finish line shot. We were maybe 10 yards from the finish, actually able to sprint and coming in about 15 mins sooner than we could have ever dreamed in the picture above. We were elated. This was the real end, and this was fantastic. We came in at 2:15:03 not even 2 mins over our PR and way under our expectations. sprinting toward the goal

This running/racing thing is so much like life sometimes it amazes me. So many things we are journeying on, down and discouraged just barely putting one foot in front of the other and then the unexpected happens and we are able to finish, sometime even finishing strong.

Right now as our adoption stuff is beginning to expire (we are approaching the one year point of when we started the paperwork) and it’s just one foot in front of the other I’m focusing on that finish line. It will be here eventually, and the journey is part of the joy of the end. I prefer to enjoy each step of the way, and often I can find the good in it all, but some things are just hard. But I know hard does not equal bad, quite the opposite I’ve found. Generally speaking the harder it is, the greater the potential for joy at the finish line.

But just as importantly, the hard part is bearable when you are not alone. The joy is also exponentially greater when it’s shared. So I’ll just be here wading through my hard with all of you, thinking about the joy I’ll get to share at the next finish line.

Thanks for journeying with me.

a day late and a dollar short

Just a quick update on all the things over here.

The computer has become a hot commodity. We’ve switched the majority of our schooling for the big kids over to easy peasy and it’s mostly on the computer. Add that too the reading eggs/mathseeds for the little two and unless we are all out (when I couldn’t use it anyway), someone is on the computer. So far it’s working fairly well, but every now and then I want a turn (could you parents here the whine in that voice, it was there, I was channeling my inner 5 year old.) Some things, like typing, do not work so well on the iPad. We’re figuring it out, in the meantime…here’s our updates.

1)I know you’re all only here to see a baby update, so I’ll end the suspense. There is no update. But someone from our training class is in the hospital now, hoping to take home their baby tomorrow! We are very excited for them, they’ve had a number of disappointments and we are so praying this one is it for them! I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers too.

2)Race day is this Sunday, bright and early. This is a smaller half so I don’t think there will be online tracking like the Disney races, but I will post our end time. We’ll be done before 8:30am hopefully! The hope was to break the 2 hour barrier this year. I can tell you right now that is NOT going to happen. Someone, me, severely underestimated the effect of the stress of everything that has been happening this year. If I can pull in under 2:28 I’ll be satisfied, if I can PR and go under 2:13 I’ll be thrilled. Even PRing this year will take everything I have and potentially more, it’s within reach though, maybe, close enough to try for anyway. I’ll keep you posted.

3)No hair pics cause I haven’t done anything! I have been thoroughly enjoying the short hair though. No regrets, I’m loving it. The color will get there. Purple is the current winner, with blue being a close second. Purple has had limited success in my hair, but I have some new strategies and I’ll give it a try again.

4)Not an update, but still giving it a number. Got away for 48 hours with Bycemaster for an early birthday present for him. Best thing ever. Getting away from everything and going some where with no pressures or expectations just us, it was glorious and so needed. I feel like I can tackle the this phase of life again, instead of it tackling me. It’s been tackling me for months now.

On that note, I’m off to round up the gang. It’s Aldi time! (I will share my new obsession with Aldi shortly I’m sure, I’m in love) Then back to schooling and cleaning and baking with my little baker. Full day, we’re off!

the littlest photographer strikes again, with the new short hair!

In case you missed the off hand reference to the coming hair cut last week. I’m giving it and the photo again. Look now, it is going, going, gone!
dancing with tired boy 2- CopySo back peddle with me about four years, when I first left the office to work at home. I will admit, I had a bit of an identity crisis. There were lots of things that contributed to the growing out of my hair, but looking back it really acted as a sort of security blanket. I was out in a new world, having to go out and make new friends, with women no less! That is a scary thing, for me anyway. Long hair is generally liked and accepted and non threatening in social situations. I was leaving the safe known office environment to be a woman surrounded by four little children venturing out into the unknown territory of stay at home moms. It was a tad intimidating. Side note: I’ve found this group to be largely supportive and welcoming in the circles I’ve joined, unlike their interweb counterparts…

However, all that is now in the past. I am surrounded again by a wonderful community and have been for some time now. Right about the time I was ready to go chop chop, wedding plans (of the above picture) were announced and I decided I would hold off till after. Let me tell you, if you’ve ever had doubts about doing something drastic, tell yourself you won’t for 10 months and then see how ready you are!

I was so over this hair I was literally fantasizing about shaving my own head every time I’d re-shave the littlest boy. I mean if Charlize could pull it off in Mad Max, I could do it, right?

Donating was always part of the plan, had to be some other incentive to all those years of growing it out. But unfortunately the pink was not donatable. So it had to go before the main cut. I will admit this cut was a little hard, I loved that pink. It was the only thing about my hair I liked for a while.


IMG_0675Then came the donate cut! Well actually I trimmed an inch or two off the ends first, then I did the donate cut. But here’s the ponytail that is being shipped off. Making a total of about 13 inches of old life that got chopped off my head. From there I just had fun with a razor, which was sharp. I have a nice little nick in my neck when I put it at the wrong angle, whoops! But for now there’s enough hair left to cover my neck, so like Pete the Cat, it’s all good. IMG_0676I was born before the selfie generation and have not acquired the gift. So I enlisted the help of my budding photographer to get a few shots of the new do. She was only too happy to oblige. 

IMG_4060

The front, bang side. I believe youtube called these fringe bangs. These took quite a few tries to get right and I still think they’re kinda long, but there comes a point where you know you better stop or you really will end up with that shaved head. Thankfully they’d grown pretty long over the summer so I had a bit to work with. IMG_4062The shaved side! Some part of my fantasy was realized, buzz buzz. 
hair cut final

The front view. I super love it. It is so easy when I get up in the morning. It already looks like bed head! I feel like myself again. me and the photographer

Had to do one shot with my favorite little photographer! She did a great job again, if I do say so myself.

So now I need your help. I love the cut, but I had to cut out the color! I’ve got cobalt blue, feisty fuchsia (this was the most recent color), ultra violet, and teal (which is apparently discontinued, the link is the closest color I could find). The plan at the moment is to dip dye the ends in one of the above colors, though I’m open to suggestions on placement as well. So vote in the comment section or on facebook!

What color will it be?

I’ll post finished pics next week! Thanks guys!

a wedding through the eyes of the flower girl

My sister in law got married this weekend. It was a weekend filled with fun, late nights, and lots of pretties. Bycemaster, Jena and I were all part of the wedding party. To be quite honest the stress of having us all perfect for this wedding amidst all that is already happening in our life right now had me in more than one panic attack. I was having dreams of getting the baby call when we couldn’t leave to go get her (which my rational brain knew was a very small window, but tell that to my subconscious!)

But it’s done now and it all worked out! It happened, it was gorgeous, I survived, there was no baby call during the wedding weekend and I even gained a brother out of the deal. On the flip side now, it’s all good. We are having a day of rest over here. I’m trying really hard not to think of the prep still needed for birthdays and babies on the horizon. I NEED A DAY PEOPLE. JUST ONE DAY. (I’m really screaming at my own brain here, that is desperately trying to get me to sit down and start the planning, ONE DAY BRAIN).

Back to the wedding. I let my daughter woman my camera for the wedding. That was a first, I’ve never let the kids touch it. It was bought with an inheritance from my grandpa at a time when money was beyond tight and the likelihood of replacing it was slim to none. I’m not sure much has changed in that area, but she was being extra careful for once and I decided to let her go. 400+ pictures later and we’ve found a few gems. Jen and Jaron

I’m impressed with Jena. I know the bride is a little blurry, but I love this picture of the happy couple. I’m looking forward to watching them grow together.

a rose among thorns

Jena loved the flowers and I must agree. They came out beautiful. She took a lot of ‘artsy shots.’

sunflowerI wish I could take credit for some of these!Mom

I love this shot of my mom. So rare to catch a real smile on camera.

goofy papaShe got lots of my dad, 80% look like this. My mother wonders where Jena gets her goofy side. Wonder no more mom.
fun hairArtsy shot she snuck of my hair. Love the way the pink came out.

dancing with tired boyFinally convinced my little guy to dance with me at the end of the night. I think he mostly just wanted me to pick him up. The poor thing was so so tired. Also take a good look at the hair. I made it to the wedding without cutting it, but it’s about to be gone.
Anders dancingNot all the little people were dead on their feet though. Jaron’s little nephew (son of one of the awesome bridesmaids) was a dancing fiend. This kid was seriously adorable.
3togetherSpeaking of adorable children. She obviously did not take this one. I do wish sometimes for shots where they are all smiling and looking at the camera. But this is my real life and I love my real life. I can appreciate photos like this for what they are.

Jena selfie 2I also found a series of selfies. I mean what photo shot would be complete without them! (I really do need a sarcasm font)
Jena fleeing

Here she is in her actual role as flower girl. She’d just finished her petal throwing and was fleeing the scene of the crime. She did eventually make her way back up to the front to sit, after I bit of running around. You can also see all of the lovely bridesmaids. I only knew one of them before this wedding, but they were a great group. Even though most of us were strangers, everyone banded together to do what needed to be done. They were a great crew. It was a beautiful wedding. Many congratulations to the bride and groom!

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