Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Family Pictures 2017

I love getting new pictures of the family each year. It is the gift I ask Ragnar to give me every Christmas. I love getting pictures done to update our house and for Christmas cards. I however, don't love the stress of the impending pictures. I hate having the outfits consume you, the worrying about the weather, the hairdos, the scheduling, the praying everyone is rested and happy with no bumps on their face ;) This year we got lucky and it was the one cooler day of the Fall we have had so that helped.
My favorite one.
I have some beautiful children that I am pretty fond of. 
Deacon is at one of my favorite ages. He is such a cute kid. He is a ball of energy. He loves to be running and playing with balls and is a sweet kid.
Channing loves to pose! She loves to get her picture taken and she is adorable!
Cavin we always call our gentle giant. He is a shy but strong kid. I love his big toothed happy smile.
Ella is a joy. She is so innocent and carefree and I love the example she is to our home. 
I have two very different but wonderful girls.
Three amazing boys in my life.
I love this picture or Ragnar. I feel like it's his true smile and I love it.
I thank Heavenly Father every day for the family that I have been given.

Rockets Run 2017

The annual Rockets run was last weekend and the kids really look forward to this race every year. My brother Chris was nice enough to get us a hotel room so we could hang out downtown and not have to wake up so early on Saturday morning.
The kids love to be together and it makes me so happy.
The older kids were finally able to meet Cai and Channing was super excited.
Morning walk over to the Toyota Center. Our hotel was only a half mile from the race.
They were ready for the kids 1k!! Sadly, Caden wasn't feeling well so he didn't join us.
The kids did a good job. Deacon ran the whole way and beat Channing ;) Cavin and Ella both improved their times. 
A family who runs together stays together :)
After the race while we were waiting for the awards ceremony, the boys all did some free throws.
I ran the 5k. I finished in 23:10. 11 seconds slower than my goal. I got 2nd place in my age group though. I was a little bummed because if I would have reached my goal I would have gotten first. She only beat me by 2 seconds. 
I got 6th overall for the women. There were over 900 runners. I felt good about it. I have been training a lot, but I can't eat a hamburger and fries the night before and expect to have a stellar race. Hopefully I can figure out a better diet so I can be even stronger. Another Rockets run in the books!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October Festivities

October has flown by. The Rocket's season officially began. We went out to the first game against the Mavericks and the kids had a blast.
Deacon and Cavin were doing a good job chanting and cheering.
Surprisingly even Channing seemed to enjoy herself. Usually she isn't a big fan of watching the game. They won so it was a fun night! I think it's going to be a great season!

October being breast cancer awareness month, we had a breast cancer 5k fun run at work this past weekend. The people I work with put together a race to support those who are affected by the disease. It was a really cold morning for Texas, but we bundled up and went for a run. 
We had a decent turnout for how chilly the morning was.
Even though it was a small race, I was happy I was able to win. After having finished 4th the last two races, I wanted to try and redeem myself a little.
I am grateful that although my job is just a couple hours a week, that I get to do what I love to do. I have always loved running and I am so grateful my body has been healthy and able to continue to run.

Halloween weekend we got to go over to the Toyota Center and participate in the Trick or Treat in the Suites. The kids really enjoy this event and we enjoy being with Ragnar at work. 
Ragnar and I wore traditional German attire. Ella was an emoji, Cavin black panther, Channing was Mal from Descendants, and Deacon was a storm trooper. 
I totally look German, right :)
Deacon was super excited to see that all the power dancers were storm troopers like him. I think he was by far the cutest though ;)
Ella found her matching emoji.

After the trick or treat in the suites, we hurried over to the Trunk or treat at our church. It was the second year in a row that they were on the same night. I hate that we have to hurry through each event, but the kids love them both, so we made it work.

For an early release day, my parents came over and my mom made slime with the kids which they were excited about. I'm grateful my parents take advantage of the early release days and come and hang out. We enjoyed seeing them.
Halloween night ended up being rainy, so that was a bummer.
We went over to our friend the Blands house to have dinner and trick or treat with many friends. We did our best through the rain and the kids were happy.
Channing and her friend Mallory stuck together and thankfully Mallory survived Channing's control of the umbrella! There were not a lot of trick or treaters out past 8:00 since the world series Astros game was on. In fact, we didn't even have one single trick or treater. We have had a good month and we are excited for what the holidays will bring.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ragnar's 40th Birthday celebration!

At the beginning of the year I decided I wanted to take Ragnar for a surprise weekend somewhere for his 40th birthday. I talked with his sister Daphne, who graciously said the kids could stay with her and I began to decide where. Ragnar has told me since we got married that he would like to go to Alcatraz, so I decided we would head to San Francisco. Well..just like everything else in our marriage, he found out a couple months before, we are terrible at keeping secrets. Even though the surprise was no longer a surprise, I think he was excited and we headed out on Friday, September 22nd. 
We made it to the airport bright and early.

Once we got there, we took an uber to the Omni hotel and checked in. Our first stop was to China town which was a 10 minute walk from our hotel.
There was much of the same stuff to buy. We just looked around.
We then walked to Union Square and got some dinner at one of our favorites, The Cheesecake factory.
The weather was so beautiful. It was perfect with a light jacket on.
We climbed SO many stairs to see the Coit tower after dinner. I don't think I should have eaten so much before ;)
There was a pretty view of San Francisco from the area. We didn't actually go to the top because we didn't want to wait in line, and we are too cheap.
After Coit tower we headed up to Pier 39.
We saw the famous sea lions and they had a nice potent smell. 
We toured the pier and then headed back to the hotel.
Day one was a success and most everything was within a 20-30 minute walking distance which was nice. 

Saturday morning we tried our best to sleep in, but we are not cut out for it. We are early risers, no matter how hard we try!
We went to get breakfast and then headed to our Alcatraz tour!
Ragnar has been looking forward to Alcatraz for some time. We got to check an item off his bucket list!!
We boarded the cruise ship and took a short ride across the ocean. 
It was another pretty day with blue skies.
The view in both directions was cool.
We made it to Alcatraz island and began our audio tour. 
No one mentions how many flies are on that island. It's ridiculous!!! They are EVERYWHERE!! 
The tour was neat. We looked through many of the cells. 
If you had good behavior you could go out to this recreational area. That's the only space they had on the whole island for the prisoners.
I can't imagine living in that small space everyday, all day, my whole life. I guess I'll try and be on my best behavior!
All locked up!
If you got in more trouble you had to go in this cell which was completely pitch black. I can't even imagine how miserable that would be.
It really was a pretty place, but that is why they said sometimes it was worse because you could look outside your tiny window and see all the things across the water that you were missing. That would be punishment.
Overall it was eye opening to imagine life there. I know the people there did some terrible things, but one of the prisoners mentioned how you didn't have a name, just a number. I think that would be a hard concept to lose all identity, no matter who you are.
After the tour we went to Fisherman's Wharf and had lunch and looked at the shops.
We looked a submarine as well.
Then we walked over to Ghirardelli Square. 
The ice cream was delicious and VERY expensive!
Once again we ate too much then had to go on a long, steep walk! 
We walked over to Lombard street which is famous for being the most jagged road in the world.
It was a pretty street. I sure would hate to live on it though!
Sunday morning we headed over to Blazing Saddlebacks and rented our tandem bike!
We first biked over to Broderick street to the home where they film "Full House." That was my favorite show as a child so it was fun to see.
We then road through Golden Gate Park. It was really pretty.
The gardens were filled with flowers.
So many pretty sights along the bike ride.
We made it over to the Golden Gate Bridge and rode across. 
We weren't fast, but had a fun time and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.
After we crossed the bridge we stopped and looked at the bay.
We then biked into a town called Sausalito and had lunch there then took a ferry back to the Ferry house close to where we had to drop off our bikes.
This was our tandem bike. Ragnar rode in front which meant I couldn't see much, and had to trust him completely when it came to breaking and gears and such. When we rented the bike the lady said "This bike has been known to challenge relationships" haha. We did have a small learning curve as to talking to each other when we start or stop and such and I have a few nasty bruises from when that wasn't communicated and the pedals would hit my legs, but overall I am totally glad we chose to ride together. It was fun and likely won't happen often again!
After resting for a couple hours, we went back to Pier 39 area and ate at the famous Boudin's. We got the clam cowder as everyone recommended and it was good.
Since I love bread, it's hard to make me unhappy with a bread bowl!
We made a few more tourists stops and then walked back to the hotel.
Monday was Ragnar's 40th birthday!! We caught an uber early and headed home.
It was a pretty sunrise as we left.
Our first flight was late which meant we literally had to run to our connection to Houston, but thankfully we made it and got home ok.
We had cake and celebrated with the kids and I hope Ragnar had a good weekend away. I always enjoy the time we have together and the things we get to experience. San Francisco was interesting, but not what I expected at all. The people who were friendliest to us were the homeless people. Overall I missed the people in Texas who always say hi on the streets.

I am so so grateful for my sister in law Daphne who is seriously the best. She graciously offered to take the kids for us while we were gone and did a great job. The kids love having her around and I am so grateful she was willing and lives close enough to help out. She has been such a blessing to us and I feel so lucky that not only did I get to be married to Ragnar but I got to have a best friend in her as well. We can't thank her enough. Until next time California!