Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Weekend

This past weekend we had the pleasure of having Ragnar's sister come join us for her Spring Break and Easter. We always enjoy having her and we get to try new things when she's around! Thursday she did some testing on the kids and we played and then Ragnar and her went to see a movie. On Friday we went to Angel park with their cousins to play. It was a beautiful day!
We had a nice visit and the kids enjoyed running around the playground!
For dinner that evening, Daphne wanted to make pigs in a blanket! Not just any pigs, but real looking pigs in a blanket. 
 She knows I love pigs and thought it would be fun to try!
Aren't these pig bums so cute!
Didn't they turn out so cute!! The kids loved eating them and even Channing had seconds, which does not happen! 
Saturday morning I went to run club and then I came back and we all did a workout video together minus Ragnar who opted to go running. We love to exercise! It makes a heart happy!
After exercising we went down and dyed Easter Eggs. Note for next year.. must have vinegar. Good thing a store was close! 
In the afternoon, Daphne took me to Painting with A Twist. She had bought me a session for my birthday and I had always wanted to try it! The first stroke was the hardest. As the time went on I got more and more comfortable, it was a lot of fun! Not a bad job for the first time!
When we got back we watched the Germany vs. England soccer game. This boy is always so happy and I love it! He was enjoying coming in and out of the house as dad was BBQing hamburgers. He loves to be outside.
This was a picture at the soccer fields earlier this week and since we don't see many pictures of Ragnar I had to include him and his mini me! That evening the girls watched the General Women's Broadcast and had icecream.
The next morning was Easter!
I sure love my family and I am so grateful we got to spend Easter together. I am even more grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross so that we could repent, be forgiven of our sins and live with him again. Such an enormous price to pay for each and every one of us. 
After church we had dinner at our house with my brother Chris' family and my sister Natalie and parents. Then we had a small Easter egg hunt for the kids!
Chris and Crew waiting for the festivities to end!
These cute cousins love each other and I am so glad they are close enough to hang out more often! We had a wonderful weekend and every time Daphne comes we get to try new things. I am grateful for her desire to push us and help us develop new talents!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring Break 2016

We had a wonderful, extended Spring break this year! My great friend Candice came the weekend before Spring Break from the Portland area and I was so glad to have her!! She came on Thursday and we headed straight to her favorite ice cream spot! Culvers! Lucky for her, her favorite flavor happened to be the flavor of the day! We had dinner and then went over to get a pedicure! It's been a while since I had a pedicure and since my birthday was in a few days, Candice was nice enough to make it my treat! On Friday we went down to the Houston Rodeo! One of my favorite things in Houston is the rodeo and we had a good time meeting up with friends.
Jennifer, Natalie, Rebecca, Candice, Brittany, and I having fun listening to Darius Rucker!
Although the concert wasn't the top of my list, it was fun to be with friends. We of course had to stop by and get a funnel cake on the way out!! Yum!!
On Saturday Candice came with me to Cavin's soccer game, and then later in the day we went to Papacitos with some of the friends that couldn't make it to the rodeo!
Michelle, Emily, Monique and Kelsey joined us and we had a nice time...especially the hour and a half chatting in the parking lot :) haha!
I was so grateful that she came and took the time away from her family to say hi! It was so nice chatting and catching up! She is seriously and incredible person and always makes me want to do better. I am so grateful for her example and friendship. I'm so sad she doesn't live here anymore!
On Monday morning I headed to the rodeo with the kids. We met their Aunt and cousins and they were so excited to be with them!
We met them at the Pig races! Usually we love them, but this year they were a little lame!
 Checking out the tractor in "Kids Farm"
Deacon loved this water station. We kept trying to move on, but he would keep walking back!
The girls "milking" a cow...
These cute farmers ;)
The kids were dying to go to the carnival part of the rodeo. Channing and Charlotte enjoyed the carousel.
Ella was the only one brave enough to try the rollercoaster. She exclaimed how awesome it was as she exited! The boys mostly spent their tickets on a game where you threw a ball and depending on the color you got a prize. Cavin was kind enough to share his tickets and prizes so that everyone had a stuffed animal. It was a very hot day for the rodeo. It hit 90 degrees that day, but we enjoyed ourselves and got some good walking in! That evening we went to a pie party for "pi" day (3/14) and had a good time. 
Tuesday we drove down to Alvin, Texas to go strawberry picking with some friends. It was a long drive, and the strawberries weren't a great price, but it was about the experience right?!
Looking for the red, ripe strawberries!
Deacon just wanted to sit in the bushes!
He sure is cute though!
It was super busy and getting windy when we left but we had fun! On the way home we met Ragnar for lunch as we were passing his work. I was not having good luck with my directions for the last day or two, so when we got home, I was ready to stay off the road for a day or two!
Wednesday was my 33rd birthday! Man I am not loving getting older! My parents and sister Natalie came and saved the day! They got us Culvers for lunch, then my dad watched the kids while my mom took me shopping. Then we made strawberry freezer jam from all the strawberries we had picked!
We went to a place called "Christophers" for dinner and had a nice day. I was so grateful that they came and spent the day with me. Birthdays for me aren't my favorite, sometimes they can feel lonely. Ragnar had to work all day and night, so it was such a lifesaver to have my parents take the time to hang out with me and the kids!
Thursday we went to Jumpalooza and jumped with friends and then took a nice long nap :) After Ragnar surprised us by coming home early, so what did we do?? Mulched the yard! The kids wanted to help and so we went and got mulch and got it done! 
Friday we woke up and headed to an early showing of "Zootopia" At 9:30 they weren't too many people at the theatre! They had renovated the theatre and it was awesome!! Deacon did well for the first hour and then was ready to go run..Almost 20 months isn't an easy age to take anywhere! After we went to Costco and then to my parents house!
We played puzzles and outside, and then the kids made these little critters with my moms new craft things she bought. They had a good time and it was nice to be there. Ragnar seriously worked everyday and all but one night of spring break, so I was glad to have my parents close to play with us! Saturday we went to a baptism, then had lunch and haircuts for the boys, and then Ragnar took me out for a late birthday date. We went to dinner at Saltgrass Steakhouse and then to the movie "Allegiant". It was nice to get out together and we had a nice Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Woodlands Half Marathon 2016

On March 5, 2016 I completed the Woodlands half marathon. Let me tell you, it was a long time comin!! The week before the half marathon last year, I tore my hamstring. I was so sad to miss that race because I had trained so hard and I knew I would PR. Well, watching my friends all run without me was mentally torture. I was so happy for them, but knew I would have finished and gotten my personal best as well. I took the whole year to prepare my body to make sure I was ready for the race this year. It was very challenging mentally. I would feel progress and then my leg would have set backs, I really would pray and pray that I could just have my body back to normal. Having this really be my first injury in 20 years of running, I wasn't sure how to deal with it. My body had always done what I needed it to. It felt like complete redemption finishing the race on Saturday. I got to run again with my friends and training partners, Brittany and Emily and although I finished a couple minutes behind them, I was so grateful for their encouragement and support. I pushed myself really hard this time. I was fine until mile 10 and then I lost them and my leg was completely stiff. Not only that, I was sure I was going to throw up, because I had not trained to race that fast, or pushed myself that hard in a year! So the last 3 miles I slowed down a little and I made it! It felt so good to finish and know I could run hard again! I did the half marathon in December with Daphne to make sure I could do it endurance wise, but this race challenged my pace, because Brittany and Emily are seriously competitive :)
Here are some of the people who ran as well. Greg and Michelle were kind enough to give me a ride to the race, then Brittany, me, Rebecca, and Emily. The only one missing from the picture was Natalie.
Pre-race selfie. In the coral and ready to go!
I did it! The last 3 miles were mentally and physically much more brutal than most of my races, but it's done!
My training partners. Emily Miller and Brittany Raiford. We have been running for about 5 years now, and I am so grateful for them. They seriously push me so much. Before running with them, it was really difficult for me to find someone to challenge my pace and push myself harder, so it has been a blessing to be running with them.
I finished 24th in my age group with a time of 1:47:14. Not my PR but a pretty good race for me, and definitely faster than I expected coming off the year I had! I am so grateful for my friend Stacey's support, Daphne for always encouraging me and texting me, Ragnar for rubbing my sore legs all the time, and helping me get through it, and for my parents and family who came to the race and cheered me on! Another one in the books!

Deacon is 18 months!

So I didn't blog many pictures of Deacon the last few months because as they get older they don't change as much. Deacon is now technically 19 months old, so here is a little update about the last 4 months. Deacon is typically a very happy baby. He does have a good scream on him now though. If he wants something, he will definitely let you know. I've never had a screamer before, so it's been a new adventure! He started nursery a little early on the second Sunday in January. 
He certainly did not love it to begin with. The last few weeks he has gone right in though and he is doing well. It helps to have a wonderful nursery leader in Sister Zill who made it her mission for him to like her ;)
He has begun to feed himself, and although messy, it is really nice for me to eat dinner with the kids and not wait til he's done. 
This boy is so funny! He likes to talk to us when he is eating and is always clapping and laughing.
This is his normal face. He is always rolling his eyes!! I have no idea who he got that from ;) HAHA
He loves to get ready with me in the morning and loves the feeling of the blush brush on his skin...he laughs the whole time!
He always has a cheesy face and loves to look at himself in the mirror ;)...that he got from his father.
Our little Texan!! He got a staph boil on his face a month ago and I am praying it doesn't scar forever, you can see the little red patch under his right eye and thankfully it's fading.
He is always sweating!! His hair gets so curly when he is sweaty. This is a picture after his brothers soccer game. He loves loves loves playing with any kind of ball. He kicks the soccer ball, or throws the baseball or basketball, and then he will try and dribble the basketball to. He has a pretty good arm on him! He is pretty coordinated for an 18 month old.
Since Ella and Cavin are at school, Deacon spends most of his days with Channing. Channing tries to be loving and helpful, but often times she just ends up bugging him! What are big sisters for??
They do still have a fun time together.
He throws literally everything, but he is such a sweet kid. He loves to eat, and play with balls. He loves strawberries, grapes, graham crackers, fruit snacks, yogurt, and string cheese. At his 18 month appointment he was 33 inches tall, and 28.6 pounds. He can say about 15-20 words. Some of them are Mom, Dad, Ella (every single one of his siblings he calls Ella;)), Ball, num num, ink (drink), oh wow, yay, no, thank you, down, lub you (i love you). When he smells and I ask him if he needs a diaper changed, he will say "kkkk" for yuck and I know he needs to be changed. He also loves music. Especially the song "Popcorn Popping" and "Glorious". He is now officially down to one nap, as I really needed to get places and the two naps were cramping our style! We are so glad we have been able to have him for 18 months. He brings so much joy to our family!