Nite Moves

There’s a possibility that I can be ambitious on the sign-ups and weak on the execution for some of our family activities…you know, if I’m being honest.  I just picture us having this fun, athletic family who tackles anything.  Which sometimes we totally are; and other times it’s actually a disaster of complaining and prodding and nothing how it was in my head, and we all end up mad and disappointed (but with pictures that likely make my memory of how awful it is fade fairly fast).  Again, just honest.

However, we are signed up as a family for a 5K in a few weeks with my parents, so I have been thinking that we should get out there and try it before it is a mess of complaining and general disaster conditions ūüėā.  Last week was a good practice opportunity – an event in Santa Barbara that seemed family friendly… and close to home in the event of the world ending (ie. our kids’ likely portrayal of the torture we make them endure called ‘exercise’).  

In addition to family, I also recruited unsuspecting work buddies, friends, and the girls we live with, and promptly handed the kids off to all of them while I jumped into the 1k swim to start off the night, vowing to catch them on the 5k run to follow.  

I have to say, the swim went better than I expected in my dinosaur of a wetsuit – and I loved the boost of proud energy I got from high-fiving Selah as she ran down the hill as I ran up. (The run started while I was racing, so I tried to catch them on the uphill, but she was too fast!).  Asher and Daddy made it to the turn around before I caught them, and Dad reported that he did at least 3/4 of the whole run on his own!  And we all ran through the finish line together – one proud, tired, happy family.  

I haven’t raced in a long time…actually, just about 8 years probably since it was at least a year prior to Selah being born.  I can’t say there’s any one reason I haven’t, but I can tell you that this group exercise program (Jenny Schatzle Program) that I’m doing motivated me to just get out and do it, no matter how messy it looked (in my head or in reality) or what the outcome was.  Exercise is my sanctuary and sanity – and this time I got to enjoy it with my favorites – and be reminded of a time gone by when I enjoyed swimming and running races too. And – bonus – it went so well I’d do it again!  (I can’t say the same for Selah, but Jesse and Asher seem to be game, so she might come around yet!).  


Couldn’t think of a better way to spend Valentine’s Day then to have all three of mine pick me up from work (play on some construction equipment of course), dinner/dessert downtown, then home in bed by 7 snuggling and reading in bed (Captain Underpants, courtesy of Selah’s Valentine to Daddy).

When I put Asher to bed tonight, he really summed it up for me:

Me: Ashy, how’d I get so lucky having God give me you guys as family?

Asher: I don’t know. (Pause).  Whoa, Mom!

Me: What?!

Asher:  Oh!  I thought you were an alien for a second.  But aliens don’t talk, so then I knew.

Well, that clears up that question, in case anyone was wondering!  ‚̧ԳŹ ha!  I love my most random little boy, and his sister and Dad to go along with him.  Still don’t know how I got so lucky, but at least I’m not an alien, so I guess I’m still winning.  ūüėČ

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Date Night 

Nothing like our favorite night of the year to make me post finally!  I have to go back and recap basically from summer of last year to now, but first, the annual Daddy Daughter Dance!

Who can resist, right?  The cutest couple there is around! It literally is Selah’s favorite night of the year, which was scientifically proven when she got home from school and asked to shower to get ready for it!  It was so sweet.
And Daddy was no less excited then Selah, and played the part of the prince very well, flowers and all.  I mean, the look at these faces here when he brought home a perfect bouquet for his princess…Their looks show it all in every picture, so of course I went overboard and am having trouble narrowing it down so am doing a classic over posting!  

And, shhh, don’t tell, but it’s one of my favorite nights because I get my own handsome prince to hang out with.  Tonight, we chose pancakes for dinner, bath time with a new Pok√©mon figure, topped off with two games of Monopoly with Superman.     Good times were had by all, and although I haven’t posted in quite awhile, one thing remains the same:  we’re sure blessed to get to be parents of these two growing babies of ours!

And Other Things to be Thankful for

There are a lot of random things I take a few pictures at, then never post or don’t have a full thought about them.  But in the spirit of my online ‘scrap-booking’….we are also extremely thankful for:

Good friends and swim meets:

Mok, best dog in the world:Santa Barbara sunsets and bike rides along the beach:

Family to help with new backyard construction projects!  And new knees for Jesse to be able to do so:

Mok somehow got out of order, but could list him twice we are so thankful for him!

And just plain old family time together laughing – lots of times with this guy, but always together:

Sounds trite, but no other way to put it – we are very blessed (& when I don’t remember that, I come back here to upload! ūüėČ).  When I have little time for friends or groceries or cleaning…this is what I’m doing!  Life with our little family.

Sunday Funday

Today was full of the best things.  Family, progress on projects, cooking for the week, and play!  

My mom and dad came to help with a new concrete countertop for the outdoor BBQ area.  Cannot wait to see it finished, but here my dad and Jesse are – working hard to set it up and pour:For some reason, it placed those reverse chronological order…but since I write all these from my phone, we’re all going to live with that ūüėČ.

Next up, Apple peeling, slicing, coring, and cooking!  Thanks to our picking at Nana and Papa last week we have *almost* unlimited apples!  Asher was my little helper and did every single one of them!  I would put it on the peeler, then he would turn it, grab the apple, pull off the end slices that still had peel, eat (or play) with those, then throw the apple in the bow I had to separate out.  Today I baked applesauce and another apple crisp, and had enough to freeze for a French toast casserole for next weekend…and one more bag to save for whichever of those is the most popular with everyone.

Love that kid and his goofy personality.

Last up for Asher – bike riding the neighborhood in a batman costume (like there’s any other way!

Selah joined us, but didn’t make the photo (she’s too fast!), but I did catch some of her on the trampoline.  She’s our athletic girl, that’s for sure!  Although gymnastics classes were full this semester, she opted to practice mastering her version of the one-handed cartwheel & somersault, and the jumping splits. She did well and told me – mom, I’m proud of myself!  (Music to this mother’s ears).

All in all, I’d say Sunday was a big success all around.  It’s especially great to see Jesse working on projects again.  And not just so he can tackle my ‘honey-do’ list (ha!), but more because he’s able to finally feel like he can accomplish things again even with the knee at less-than-100%, which is nice.  A big, big thanks to Grandpa & Grandma for making that happen.  We are so grateful.

Pike’s Peak

Day 3 in Colorado definitely did not dissapoint!  Kelly got us tickets for the cog railway to the top of Pike’s Peak – the mountain overlooking Colorado Springs (& the peak we watched fireworks over earlier this year!  Although, much colder at that time of year!).  It could not have been a more perfect day – again, beautiful weather and great company made for the best of times.  And Hannah’s nieces and Aunt joined in, which was great fun for the kids!

Views on the way up were amazing – and anyone who knows Asher well will recognize his obsession with binoculars!  He kept on the lookout for wildlife and we did end seeing quite a few marmots, and spotted some long horn sheep in the distance.At the top we enjoyed the fresh homemade donuts and hot chocolate – except Selah (Miss Picky eater) who opted for Cheetos.  As we walked around, Selah even noticed she got winded easily, so it was a fun introduction to a bit of altitude for their first time.  

Another fun day for all.  We’re so thankful for the hospitality of these friends who we count as family.  

Family beach night

This was a week or so ago – a few days after Jesse’s surgery.  

For extended family who might not have realized – since we’ve kind of been hiding in a hole of sorts for months and months – Jesse tore his ACL again in February, along with his PCL (I think that’s the one), and his meniscus got stuck between his knee in an ‘aftershock’ injury (basically from walking around with the torn ACL for a few months).  So, to prolong a long story, he’s been waiting on a surgery date, unable to walk, since April/May or so.  And he finally had surgery late July.  So, if you haven’t heard from us, it’s because it’s been a somewhat tough last couple of months and we are really, really glad to see a light at the end after a successful surgery!

Back to the task at hand…a few days after surgery, Jesse wanted to get out of the house (it was super hot the two-three days following the surgery, and he was stuck in an immobilizer from his hip to below the knee)…so we went and picked up Blenders for dinner and parked at the beach.  He sat in the car, but at least got some fresh ocean air (heals better than the pain killers, I can tell you with confidence after watching his face!)…and the kids and I played in the sand right between the car and the water.

It’s times like these I’m acutely aware of how thankful I am for so many parts of our lives.  To name a few:

* Our kiddos (duh).  But here’s something I’m really thankful for often, but don’t mention enough – that they are best friends and built-in playmates.  Nope, they don’t always get along…and nope, they don’t always want to do the same activities.  But on the whole, these two have eachother’s  backs and are the best of pals.  

* Where we live.  Dang, Santa Barbara is expensive and I complain a lot about that, often to the point of not appreciating what we have.  But it really is the best spot in the world (especially to enjoy evenings like this)- not too hot, not too cold, beach, mountains, a little bit city, a little bit country, and very few bugs (weird, but I kid you not – every other place I’ve been that has nice evenings like this also has bug bites!  And I for some reason am tasty and get eaten alive!  Not in SB though!).  It’s kind of perfect for us, and can’t believe we’re so blessed that it’s home!
* Health.  We have two healthy kiddos (hands down our number one blessing).  I am blessed to be able-bodied enough to take care of the house, kids, and Jesse while he recovers.  It’s made me appreciate that there’s two of us when he is healthy and that what he has is “fixable”, and that’s a lot to be thankful for that not everyone can count on.

I could go on, but you get the picture.  It’s not a’first’ or anything new or exciting, but I took a bunch of pictures with the intent of sharing because it was one of those moments I would give anything to pause and relive over and over to memorize every sound, taste, scent, and sight.  If time would freeze a moment, I think one of these ‘normal’ nights would be my choice above anything extraordinary – they are my favorite in all the land.

 (Here Ash was playing in our “super duper long, tall shadows, Mommy”!):

Here’s just a quick clip of some of the live pictures converted to video:

Backpack Troopers

Finally!  Uploaded backpacking pictures of our trip with Grandpa (my Dad), Tera (my cousin), Alex (her husband), Selah (my tough 6 year old), and Cael (her super impressive 6 year old cousin Рborn just a day before her).  Sey and Cael could literally be twins Рthey definitely carry some Adams genes between the two of them!

First, I cannot express how incredibly proud I am of these kids. ¬†Selah hikes with me – but all in all, pretty rarely. ¬†So, to strap on a pack (which she never has carried), new boots (which she has never worn), new pants (if you knew my kid, you’d know that pants are pretty much torture in our household), and walk in, around, and out was pretty impressive. ¬†Some of the stats: ¬†4 days of walking, about 9 miles (3.5 in, about 2 exploring, and 3.5 out!), and 1700′ down to the river, and 1700′ back out to the trailhead to around 7500 feet elevation (or so – Dad can correct me there, since I can’t recall…it was the Lewis Camp Trailhead in case anyone is looking it up).

And not only impressive hiking/backpacking, but they got along so well. ¬†Great family time, great scenery, and incredibly memories. ¬†We are so lucky we have a grandpa who plans all of this stuff for us! ¬†I couldn’t do this on my own, that’s for sure. ¬†(Maybe someday – Tera inspired me to think maybe I could get it together!).

I am trying a new layout, so hopefully family can download the pictures they want by clicking on the images. ¬†If not, please email me and I’ll either send you the files you want, or I can repost with the full size images.

A few highlights in no particular order:

  1. ¬†Our camp near the bridge turned out to be the best – the kids played for hours in the river…well, until on the second day they spotted a water snake, and Selah was pretty much toast after that.

2.  A swimming hole upstream provided a refreshing break after realizing the fishing was not going to be great.  Cannonballs off rocks, and dolphin rides upstream provided a great break before getting back on the trail to explore.

3. ¬†In our search for some pools that Dad (Grandpa) and I recalled…I ran into a pretty good sized rattlesnake. ¬†That made Selah a believer in the boots I had previously told her would protect her in the event that a snake made a surprise debut. ¬†She immediately took my advice to the extreme and wore the boots, kicking every single log and rock to make sure she scared those things away!

4. ¬†Cards. ¬†Those kids loved the Uno and Go Fish cards I brought along. ¬†Couldn’t help but remind me of my own grandpa who taught Tera and I to love card games. ¬†It was so sweet to see our littles enjoy it as much as we used to.

5. ¬†Dirt! ¬†Selah is traditionally a pretty clean kid. Always has been since she was a baby and didn’t like food on her hands. ¬†But – I think this trip confirmed she can get dirty with the best of them! ¬†I should have video’d when she was sitting in the dirt by herself playing. ¬†It was great.

6. ¬†Cousins. ¬†These kiddos got along better than I could have ever expected. ¬†I can’t even recall a fight between them – they were content to play and play…which was amazing for four straight days. ¬†It was great. ¬†I should have taken a picture of them in Cael’s tent before bed – they even slept in the tent together, telling ‘scary’ stories to one another before bed (their story telling skills left something to be desired in the scary department, but in the ‘cute’ department, they were spot on!).

I think we’ll try to make this annual.¬†I can’t think of another way I’d rather spend time – with family, outside, getting exercise. ¬†The only thing missing this year was Jesse joining in…but as soon as that knee heals, I’m sure he’ll be ready. ¬†And Asher will be a believer too I’m sure – he just isn’t quite ready on those little 3 year old legs of his. ¬†Give him 2 years and he’ll be ready! ¬†I can’t wait to go back, and I think my baby girl is on the same page! ¬†(Grandpa might need a year to recover, but we sure appreciate him putting up with us all!)

Kindergarten Grad

I couldn’t be more proud of our sweet girl and how she did this year.  Her school and teacher exceeded all expectations and so did she.  She’s learned to read, write stories, create beautiful art, and math skills I can’t believe.  We are excited for summer, but ready for first grade!  Here are some pictures of the day and the little graduation ceremony:

Her teacher and aide, along with her two besties: And thanks to Grandma, who came all the way here just for the ceremony, and took us to Blenders after!  I can’t believe she escaped my picture taking and I missed snapping one of her and the graduate!  

Just Beachy 

I love when an unexpected warm weekend pops up in winter between all those cold, windy ones!  That day was today and we took advantage of our clear, fairly warm, winter beach day.

   We were able to meet Selah’s first nanny there with her 7 month old daughter, visiting from Kansas.  Liz will always hold a special place in our heart.  Some day we’ll venture to Kansas to visit her farm, but for today we were pretty content running around in the sand, collecting just the slightest sunburn from the winter sun low in the sky.
A few pics of the day I snapped with my little beauty.  Love this place we are blessed to live in, and love the little sweethearts I get to do life more than more.  If only I could bottle up her joy to save for a rainy day…