Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Happy Place


So I mentioned in my last post how I have been stressed and a little emotional. I seem to have come to the end of my rope with things. It feels as if life has been on hold and lots of changes are happening in some areas of life and then not happening in other areas. Its been a total roller coaster. Yesterday none of the stresses I have been feeling seemed to matter because I was able to go to my happy place!!

I find that being by water is the most relaxing thing ever!! Put a beach by the water and it makes it even better. Throw in a boat ride and a warm and sunny day- even better. Then to add in a margarita (or 2 or 3) and loved ones- I would call this HEAVEN!! You can imagine my excitement when Bill and Linda (Meg's parents) called and invited us out to their lake home. Yesterday I worked on my tan, while drinking margaritas, and laughed and played with my boys. Heaven!!

Bill and Linda had a fantastic Memorial Day party! Bob and Susan and their family came out. They have 3 boys. Jakob (a sophomore) and Ryan and Matthew (7th graders). They are Bill's brother's kids/grand-kids. I think I have that connection correct. And they are wonderful. Jakob and Ryan are so great when it comes to including my boys in things. Kim and Mitch and their kids (Sam and Emily) were out at the lake as well. Kim is Bill's daughter. Later, Linda's parents came out to join us for dinner. It was so great to see everyone. They are like family to me.

This year Alex announced that he wants to water ski. So he started practicing on a knee board. :)

I have no problems with him trying- just not on Memorial Day weekend when the lake is crowded. Bill and Linda invited us out again sometime when it isn't so busy to let him try. Bill said he would try to teach him- he taught me and countless other people- so he would be great person to teach Alex as well. And if Susan would be there too- Alex would have no problems at all!

At one point in the day we all piled onto the boat for a ride around the lake. This included Bob, Susan, Jakob, Ryan, Matthew, Sam, Emily, Bill, Linda, Josh, Alex, Zach and I. Matt (my husband) isn't into boat rides and swimming like I am- which is really quite puzzling to me. I don't comprehend that at all. What is not to love about boating and swimming and the sun? He says its hot and sweaty and unpleasant. He is wrong. :) There I said it. He is WRONG! ha ha ha He hung back at the house with Kim and Mitch drinking beer.

Part way around the lake there is this sand hill that the boys love to climb up and play on.
It is fun. Great work out too. The bigger kids are so great! They usually bring the knee board and use it as a sled to slide down the sand hill. My kids think that is AWESOME!!

As we are boating around the lake, Josh asks Bill if he needs to get gas. This is code for "I want candy." A few years ago when we were out at the lake, Bill actually did need to get gas for his boat. We stopped at the marina to get some and he bought the boys some candy as well. Ever since then, the boys ask Bill if he needs to get gas when we are boating. So, like normal Josh asks if Bill needs gas. Bill tells him "Nope, the tank is full." Zach then pipes in "Can we stop for candy then?" He just cut to the chase. Called a spade a spade. It was pretty funny.

When we got back to the beach, we had a delicious dinner of burgers and various salads. When our bellies were full we decided to play some beach volleyball.

Josh and Zach really liked this game. It was the first time they played it. They seemed to really enjoy it!!

In fact, Josh loved it so much that he played long after the game was finished! He had Matt go out with him to practice some more!

The big kids took my boys on a canoe ride. Matthew is on the knee board. Sam is in front. My three are in the middle (Zach Alex Josh). Ryan and Jakob are in the back. I am always amazed at how one year makes such a difference!! Last year Josh and Zach wanted nothing to do with the canoe. It was scary! This year all three loved it!! They are also more brave in the water as well. They would jump off the end of the dock. Its awesome to see them improve and grow!

It was a perfect day!! It was so nice to relax and have fun and not worry about the other stuff. Thanks Bill and Linda for a REALLY great day!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Last Day of Preschool

Today was the boy's last day of preschool. And let me tell you- I am a ball of mixed emotions! On one hand, I am so happy that we made it this far. They have grown so much! Its been such a great and fun year!! But then on the other hand, my boys are growing up WAY TOO FAST! I want time to slow down. They are officially kindergartners now. When did this all happen? I have teared up today and also smiled a lot today. If I am this emotional now- I am scared what I am going to be like ON their first day of kindergarten!

The last day of school was a blast!! I have to tell you the Gingerbread Hose preschool is AWESOME! This year especially was so great!! I couldn't have asked for better teachers! The boys went on monthly field trips. They had themed lessons and learned so much!! There was an art show. It was a year packed with one fun activity after another!! So it is fitting that the last day they had a picnic. All four 5 day classes met at Zorinsky park for an afternoon of fun. A week or so before each class made their own hand print t-shirts. It was kind of cool to see a park filled with these shirts.

The kids ran and played. I have to say it was interesting because the boys didn't play with each other like they usually do. They each ran off and played with their own group of friends. They always fascinate me somehow.

There were water toys to play with. Should have brought beach towels. But the boys didn't seem to mind getting all wet.

One of Josh's friend brought his walk-e talk-es. They had fun playing that together.

The teachers even brought popsicles for everyone to eat. The weather was perfect!! Matt and I had a great time sitting in the shade, watching the boys play, and chatting. It was a perfect way to end a wonderful school year! Plus it really wore the boys out! :)

I will really miss the Gingerbread House! I will treasure the memories and hope that time SLOWS DOWN!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Long Overdue Evening

Last night was a long and overdue evening!! We finally got the opportunity to go out with our good friends Eric and Karisa- without kids!! Crazy! :) I honestly can't remember the last time we went out with just them. Don't get me wrong- we see them- but its usually with the kids, or at some party like THIS ONE or THIS ONE or a husker party- something like that. But I honestly can't remember the last time we all went out to dinner and it was fabulous!! Its BLOGWORTHY!!

Eric and Karisa are framily. You know- friends that you make your family. I am going to take a quick step back and give you a little background- Eric and I have known each other since we were babies. Our parents are good friends, so we grew up together. Matt and Eric have been best friends since Kindergarten. So they grew up together as well. A lifetime ago Eric and I decided to get a place together. Wow- does that house have memories!! Anyway, Eric had Matt join us and that is how Matt and I got to know each other. So I have to give Eric the credit for bringing Matt and I together. Later, Matt and I got married and Eric and Karisa got married and we both built houses at the same time. But we weren't next door neighbors- that would be too weird. We put a house between us. :) So we lived one door up from them. It was great! Needless to say they both are near and dear to our hearts. Anyway the stars must have aligned or something and we went out to dinner at Hiro's last night. Hiro must mean heaven because holy cow that was good!!

I am still a sushi novice so Eric did the ordering. And I am still not sure if that was a mistake or not. Everything he ordered was so delicious....but the amount!....Take a look for yourself!

That is a wooden BOAT of sushi! It was the length of our table. It was filled full of delicious heaven!! I discovered that I actually do like raw sushi. But my mind still tells me that I don't. Weird inner struggle with that. As I am chewing I am thinking "wow this is really good." Then the next thought is "You are going to get deathly ill its RAW! Spit it out!! Spit it out!!" I tell the table this and Eric starts in on an explanation of why it won't make you sick and says the word parasite and I feel really ill. But that is what I LOVE about Eric. He is honest. If you want to know the truth about something you ask Eric. I learned quickly that if I don't really want to know- I don't ask Eric. For example if I were to ask him "Does this make me look fat" He would honestly say "Yes. You could stand to loose a few pounds." Not vicious- just honest. So I had to stop him at parasite because my inner struggle could be swayed. Bottom line I do and did like the raw ones.

I give Karisa credit for my new love of eel. Another food I didn't think I would like. Eels are really gross looking creatures! They are creepy and disgusting. But man do they taste good! Karisa married Eric so that is how she came into the framily.

Can you believe that we ate almost all that sushi? We all rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and headed over to their house to hang out just a little longer. Karisa and I sat out front chatting away. It was nice. The evening was perfect!! We really hope to do it again soon! With summer coming and the kids out of school, I hope we can get together more often to hang out!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Love/Hate Relationship

Ahhh- boot camp- Oh how I HATE and LOVE you!!

I seem to have a love/hate relationship with boot camp. This past week was rough. I am going to say it was worse than the first week. Wednesday it was pouring rain- and they would have had it in the rain- but I got lucky and it was lightening so it was canceled. WHEW! It rained all day so that meant Thursday was really muddy! And it was COLD and heavily misting. Not quite rain...but it was enough that my glasses were covered with water and I needed my windshield wipers for the ride home. NOT FUN let me tell you!!

I have also decided that I am a cardio girl. I love those work outs. I feel pretty good after wards. Give me weights and I am WIPED OUT the rest of the day. And on Thursday we did mostly weights. So for 45 minutes we sat against a fence post- in the mud and rain- and while we sat there trying not to fall into the mud we did various arm weights. And when I say we sat against a fence post there wasn't a bottom to the seat. Feel sorry for me yet? :) And technically it wasn't for 45 minutes straight. It was for about 1-2 minutes at a time and then we got a "break" by doing jumping jacks or high knees or something equally as horrible. Let me tell you I could barely stand after those squats and then to jump on those burning legs was TORTURE!! Then after a minute of that back to the fence post. By the end of the 45 minutes I would say I was mostly leaning againt the post rather than sitting. Needless to say I was asleep by 8:30 that night. Worst work out of my life!!

I have no pictures to post of boot camp -mostly because at 5:30am its still dark and you can't see anything anyway. Also at that time I don't think about taking my camera. :) The cool thing about boot camp is that its outside at Standing Bear Lake. In these work outs we have seen turkey and ducks and geese. Last Friday I saw 2 geese in the water swimming around with their babies. Super cute!!

Another great thing is that someone is pushing you. Not quite a personal trainer work out but its better than a class that you take at a gym. Every time has been a different work out. Jody (the instructor) has been giving us nutrition tips along the way. Its great. And I LOVE working out that early in the morning. Who knew?!? By the time I really wake up and think THIS IS A HORRIBLE IDEA the work out is half over. Some days I think I dreamed the workout and feel I should go running or something. Its great! Especially when I realize that it wasn't a dream and I really don't need to go work out! :)

So I am trying to figure out why in the world I would want to do this again next month? But I do. I really REALLY do. So I think that I am going to. (Mel you want to do it again with me?) Its so much better than the gym. Its the best exercise class I have ever done. And I feel good! I am excited to take measurements in 2 weeks to see the results. They took measurements before the class started so I could see the results. Its the best all over body work out ever!! Highly recommend it- especially if you can do it with one of your best friends!

A Bunch of Randomness

So it seems that I have lots of random things to write about. You know...just stuff that is going on in our lives. And instead of making them into separate blogs I am just going to blog about all the random stuff going on in our lives lately.

Last weekend, Josh declared that he wanted his training wheels off too. Alex told him he would teach him how to ride his bike. What a nice brother!!

It was so sweet watching Alex try to teach him. But eventually it turned into Matt helping Josh.

And then that turned into tears and the training wheels went back on. Evidently Josh wasn't ready after all. Oh well. They will come off sooner or later right? No big deal.

Last weekend was also Mother's Day. It was a nice day. I got to do what I wanted....for the most part. I wanted donuts for breakfast but I decided to not do that as its against boot camp rules. And I am really trying to be good. So other than making that good food choice the day was great! I slept in. Spent time with my awesome kids. That's what the day is all about right?

We also had an open house that day. I was shocked that three people came to see the house. Better than none. Right? Since the tax credit incentive is over things are REALLY SLOW now. We went from 15 in a 0 this week. However I do have to admit that I am a little happy about that. I haven't cleaned all week and its been heavenly!! But now I am ready to go again- let's get this house sold!! Such a hard process!!

Mother's Day evening Ronna and Larry came over to have a mom's day BBQ. We grilled out hot dogs and spent time together. I think we played a lot of UNO and UNO attack.

It was a really nice way to end the day! Even if we had to take the van into the shop. The handle on the trunk broke. Can you believe that cost over $500 to fix?!?! Crazy. Still mad about the cost...but we need to get into the back of the van so what else can you do?

Let's see.....what else is going on? Saturday morning (yesterday) I went for a walk/run and took Alex along with me. He rode his bike and I ran/walked. He did great. I was a little worried about some of the hills. But when it got too steep for him he just jumped right off and walked the rest of the way up-no complaints. I will invite him along again! It was fun!! I LOVE spending one on one time with my boys. Its a rare thing for us and I cherish the times we do. I can't imagine doing that with Josh or Zach at this point.

Saturday Alex got a new bike. He outgrew the last one. So Matt took him out and picked out a bike that wasn't half broken and his size.

Yesterday I spent more than half the day sitting in our driveway so the boys could ride their bikes. I allow them to go across the street if I am out with them. They think that is SO COOL!! It was gorgeous out!! I really had no problem sitting out there. I just took my crochet stuff out with me and finished Allison and Wade's baby blanket!!

I feel I can post the finished blanket without ruining the surprise because I had already shown it to Wade and Allison while I was working on it. I like how it turned out- even if it looked NOTHING like the pattern. :)

Matt's birthday is on Tuesday so we decided to celebrate it Saturday night.

Why so early you ask? Well, Matt is starting the P90X program today (and boy is he hurting!! I will take boot camp over that torture any day!!) and wants to stick to it. Tuesday he doesn't want cake, ice cream, and dinner out. So we did that last night. Ronna and Larry joined us for PF Changs/Burger King take out. I will let you decided who chose Burger King and who chose PF Changs. Then we sang, ate cake and Matt opened presents. It was a great evening!

Yesterday (Sunday) Zach and I went to the movies. YEA more one on one time!! We wet to see How to Train Your Dragon. It was pretty cute. It was the best movie experience I have had with my kid yet. Usually Zach (and Josh) HATE movies. They complain constantly- its too loud, its too dark, its too long, etc. Remember THIS? So I went into this with the attitude that we may leave right after the previews. But none of that happened! He ate his popcorn and watched the movie. It was great!! Although the last half hour of the movie he kept asking me when it would be over. But this is a HUGE improvement from anything before!! YEA!!! In case you are wondering Matt, Alex and Josh went to see Iron Man. Zach and I didn't want to see that so we chose something else. :)

I think that covers all of our random events for now. :) Hope things are good for you too!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I DID IT!! ITS OFFICIAL!! I GRADUATED!!! WOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!! I can now proudly say I have my masters in reading!!! YEA!!

Aren't these tulips beautiful? Meg, Bill and Linda sent them to me. I love them!! Thanks again guys!!

I didn't want to participate in walking across the stage. Been there done that....didn't feel the need to do it again. It isn't the same. I didn't know anyone else graduating with me. So its not like I would be cheering friends on too. Plus it was 2 o'clock in the afternoon so Matt would have to take off work and the boys would have to miss preschool. Which they would have gladly done if it had mattered to me. But I figured in a big crowd they wouldn't see me anyway. So my idea (which is WAY more fun) is that I wanted to walk across Coldstone instead. But then I started boot camp earlier this week and that didn't seem like a good idea anymore. I did not get up at 5:30 AM for three mornings this week to ruin it all with a really super yummy delicious ice cream snack. *drool* What I did for real was go out to eat with my family.

Larry (Matt's dad), Josh, Zach, me, Matt, Ronna (Matt's mom) and Alex all went to Red Lobster to celebrate. And to answer the two questions you may have: No Ronna and I didn't color coordinate. It just worked out that way. Great minds think alike right? And Josh and Alex have bears with them because they have the Adventure Bear this weekend from their preschool. They have to take this bear everywhere and then write about (I do that part) what they did all weekend. Cute idea...but Alex's class has some MAJOR mom overachievers!! His little book looks like a scrap-booking event took place. Don't get me wrong- I LOVE being creative but this seems a little much. Especially when Josh and Zach both had moms or dads writing a sentence or 2 and the kids drew a picture. Which personally is way cuter. I love seeing kids drawings! And aren't the kids supposed to be doing this? Anyway...back to my graduation....

I ordered a yummy, delicious margarita. A boot camp no-no- but how many times do I graduate? I guess this is technically my third graduation...but its my LAST graduation!! I felt a little guilty since our boot camp instructor was all like "NO POP! NO ALCOHOL! NO EATING OUT- for a whole week." But like I said it was MY GRADUATION!! Plus I ordered the small one. Its all about compromise. Right? And after a few sips all the guilt melted away.

We ate lots of delicious shrimp. It was so great to celebrate with my family. Without Ronna and Larry I wouldn't have gotten through my masters program. They baby sat while I had class sometimes. Plus they took the boys while I worked on my comps- and brought me chocolate and donuts to make it a little better. Ronna and Larry you guys ROCK!! Thanks so much for all your help!!

My graduation was all that I wanted it to be. To spend it with the people I love, eat a ton of shrimp, and not have to cook!! Plus all the "atta girl" I have gotten from my friends! It was perfect!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Baby Shower and Birthdays

This past Saturday Genna and I threw Allison a baby shower. We are all very excited to meet the new baby and wanted to celebrate it. Genna was awesome to host it at her beautiful new home.

It was your normal shower. The guests came from near and far. My aunt Jane came from Kansas, as did Wade's aunt Melba. Another cousin came from Des Moines. Allison's mom and second mom came from Iowa. Add all the locals and Allison is very loved!! :) When everyone arrived we ate brunch together.

And it was delicious! My aunt Mary Carol and my mom helped with the cooking. That is why it was good. :) Next we gave a little advice to Allison. I really hope we didn't scare her! We were only trying to help. :) Next came presents.

Like I said it was a normal and lovely shower. After the shower the men (well, not my men...they were busy doing other things) came over to Genna's. The men I am talking about are my cousin Wade (the father to be), my Uncle Harry (grandpa to be), and my Uncle Bert from Kansas.

We all decided to go to the Hot Shops. I have never heard of this place before. Which evidently means that I have been living under a rock!! It is a warehouse downtown that holds a bunch of different artists' studios. Since it was the weekend of Berkshire Hathaway they were holding an open house.

It was a fantastic three floor showing of various artists and their work. There was welding, jewelry making, paintings, paper making, photography, woodwork, and I am sure I am missing so much more. They had various artists creating what they did best. SO COOL to watch!! I could have spent thousands of dollars there. Lucky for me (and Matt) I didn't have money with me.

My uncle Harry enjoyed this piece of art. I think he should make some of these as he has gotten into welding as well. I also think Genna should put some of her art into the gallery there as well.

It was an awesome couple of hours. I wish that they had open houses more often!! Definately a place I would like to go to again!

And because that wasn't a busy enough day, we all decided to go out to my aunt and uncle's farm for dinner. Some relatives had come into town for Allison's shower and it was Harry's birthday that day, my mom's birthday the following day, and Matt's and Jon's birthday coming up in a couple of weeks- so we decided to celebrate all the May birthdays that evening. The weather was so nice that we spent time outside doing things like playing catch....

And riding bikes.....

And taking pictures of various things...

But I think the highlight of the evening was Wade giving us a tractor ride.

He took us everywhere!!!

On a farm, you have a lot of space you can go to!

It was all great fun!! It is so nice to get together with family and celebrate events like baby showers and birthdays. We are looking forward to getting together again and meeting the new baby at the end of June!!