26.2 !!!!!

Success!!! I guess I can't really say I'm surprised (Grant is extremely competitive in case you didn't know) but I can say that I am super PROUD of my hubby and our friend Rob for not only completing the California International Marathon, but for doing so with great times and finishing strong! My parents, Eli and myself bundled up (was anyone outside this morning...it was FREEZING! When Grant left with Rob the temp was 32 degrees but "felt like 25 degrees" according to weather.com) and met Danielle, Isaiah, Hannah and Rob's parents at the 14 mile marker to cheer them on. They looked awesome and continued on strong even with the icy wind blowing at them head on. With frozen noses, cheeks and fingers we loaded back in the car to make our way to the finish line. It was a bit tricky with all the road closures, but we gathered once again with the rest of the crowd to cheer them to a great finish. It was hard not to feel the buzz and excitement as we watched several runners complete an impressive 26.2 miles! What a feat! I am pretty sure I'll never know what that accomplishment feels like for myself, but my pride swells for Grant and Rob and makes me realize just how amazing these guys are!

6am departure

All Bundled Up

Staying cozy waiting for the Daddies

14 mile mark

Waiting anxiously at the finish

Grant rounding the last corner. Finishing time: 3 hours, 26 min. 30 sec.

26.2 miles and still smiling!

One Little Monkey Jumping on the Bed...

A few months ago, I decided that Eli needed a nice, cozy blanket to sleep with now that he's in a toddler bed (with no real bedding). I finally found the fabric, came up with a design and began sewing. I made the mistake of telling Eli the day we got the fabric (Veteren's Day) what I was doing. He asked about it several times that next week and then gave up I think. Well, its finally done and it turned out sooooooo cute. He was very excited and rubbed his face all over it when I gave it to him this afternoon!

My Life According to George

Someday, either Eli or I will write our memoirs with this title! It is amazing how many times a day I am able to reference Curious George or apply a lesson from Curious George to Eli's little 2.5 year old world. Some might say that's just a result of watching too much George, but really, when it comes right down to it, Curious George just about sums up Eli's personality. He's way too curious for his own good, silly, always wants to be a part of the action and means well most of the time. Here is the perfect example:

Today during nap time - It was very quiet right away (unusual) so I went to listen at his door after about 20 minutes. I could hear rustling and then heard the clank of his mini blinds. I opened the door to find quite the "nap time" scene! He was standing at his window trying to peak out. This was only possible because he had moved his table (its not light) along with the mini Christmas tree on top of it, over to the other side of the room, taken out his night light so he could plug in the Christmas tree lights, placed his night light in the outlet that his tree used to be plugged into and was then trying to look out the window! If I could have taken a photo without undermining my parenting I certainly would have. I had a hard enough time keeping myself from laughing. What a monkey!!!!

Shhhh...Don't Tell Daddy

This morning after Grant went into the office, Eli and I were getting ready for the day. I heard him in his room talking away. When I peaked in, he had taken the ornaments off the Christmas tree in his room, lined them up on the table and said he was doing his "scrapbookin". He's definitely my kid!!!

So Much!

If I began to list the things that I am thankful for, the list would go on and on. But this year as my Mom, Sister and I were planning the meal and looking forward to hanging out, I realized that I am most thankful for my wonderful family! God has blessed me with amazingly supportive and loving parents as well as a sister that I couldn't live without. Throw in a pretty awesome brother-in-law, a handsome best friend for my husband and a super silly little boy and that's my family! I am truly blessed!!!


Last Sunday we ventured out to the Model Rail Faire in Roseville. My Dad and Eli were most excited, and the rest of us just enjoyed the weather and the yummy lunch at The Habit afterwards!!! It was pretty amazing to see all the intricate little (sometimes huge) train sets with all the trimmings. Eli was most fascinated by the real working mini steam engines, riding the train below and getting to drive a model train all by himself. My Dad was dreaming of where and how he could set up a permanent working model train at their house and Grant and I were laughing at the fact that 90% of the people there were men over the age of 75!!!

Eli "Chuggin'" with his right arm

Before the train left the station

It's the Simple Things

After a few months of trying to avoid the peeling "non-stick" substance that was practically jumping off our wok and a few weeks of worrying what it might do to us if we ingest too much, I put my foot down (well, it didn't really take that much convincing) and headed out for a new pan. We lucked out and found this lovely 5.5 qt pan at Costco for only $21.99. I just have to say I LOVE it! Makes me feel like I'm a co-host on Rachel Ray.

P.S After we sat down for dinner tonight (spaghetti bolognese), Eli spears a lone onion on his fork and takes his first bite. His response? "Awe Yuck!!!" What every mother longs to hear in regards to her home cooked meal. :)

Then & Now

The other day I was raking leaves in our backyard and getting a little frustrated that Eli was undoing my work as fast as I could do it when I had de-ja-vu! Pile of leaves, blue shirt, cheeky little boy...I traded my rake for the camera and started snapping away. When I compared them later I was amazed at how much Eli has grown in two years but how much he still has the same expressions! I hope the sparkle in his eye never goes away!

While the Cat's Away....

Two weeks ago, while Daddy was off pretending to be 15 at the Men's retreat (see guest blog below) Eli and I had some great hang out time. With four days to fill, some of us lone Mommies decided that we might need an outing to keep our sanity so we headed to the pumpkin farm. What an adventure. There was more to see, do, hear and eat than we could have ever taken in, but the kids had a blast, the Mommies got some adult conversation and hang out time and everyone was exhausted....mission accomplished!

Eli feeding the "soft ones"
Choo Chooooooo.......
Hold on tight!
The rest of the gang

Swedish Fish, Gummy Bears, and Gatorade...

This is a guest blog so I apologize if you were expecting a fun post from Jaime about Eli, but I thought I should let you know about the weekend away I had with 4 close friends (Rob, Micah, Matt, and Brad), to a Men's Conference at Hume Lake.

The weekend started Thursday afternoon when we all piled into a small SUV with all our gear as we headed down 99 on the 5 hour trip. Hume Lake is a place where Jaime and I like to visit a couple of times a year, and I was really looking forward to sharing the blessing with the guys, who for the most part haven’t been there since high school days (vivid memories flooded back the entire weekend).

We checked in late Friday night, which entailed getting our name badges, and then headed for the evening snack and possible sign up for optional activities (paintballing, high adventure, mountain biking, etc). Once we were all in the queue to sign up for all these extra activities, we all came to the same conclusion that we could probably just make do with all the ‘free’ activities, which we didn’t quite realize at the time but was a decision that we were going to be thankful for during the next two days!

Over the next two days, our schedule was set with Breakfast, Morning Meeting, Lunch, Dinner, Evening Meeting, and Evening Activity (Comedian/A cappella Group). The only thing left to do was work out how we could cram as many ‘free’ activities as possible into the other open slots. Did I mention we are 5 guys, averaging 30 years old and are still as competitive as when we were 18!

Friday and Saturday saw the following take place:

Two games of Kajabe Can-Can
Four rounds of Disc Golf
Basketball Tournament (1st place)
Horseshoe Tournament (2nd place)
Dodge ball Tournament (1st place)
A hike around the lake
Four games of Volleyball

Thankfully no-one got injured but we were all hurting on the ride home Sunday afternoon, but needless to say the only thing that kept us going throughout the weekend was...

Swedish Fish, Gummy Bears and Gatorade!!!

As for the actual conference itself, I think we all took something away from the speakers and saw our friendships grow – what a blessing it is when you can compete and make fun of each other on the Disc Golf Course, and then later that day have you arm around them worshipping God together!

Guest Writer (Grant)

What's Missing From This Picture???

Eli had his first visit with the Dentist today! He was super brave and the dentist was awesome. There were even video games in the lobby, what kid wouldn't love that?! Aside from the fact that he is 2.5 and probably should see a dentist anyways, he also had a little accident while we were away celebrating our anniversary and therefore the need became greater. Take a look at the photo below and see what's missing? (here's a hint: look closely at his front teeth!)

To be honest, when you take a little boy with as much energy as Eli has, as much spirit and "gusto", and then put 35 pounds of body weight behind that...I'm surprised this is the first major incident we've had and I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. Gotta love those boys!!!!

Can You Tell Me Where the Nearest Starbucks Is?

Grant and I were able to escape for a few days and explore the home of Starbucks...Seattle! We wanted to visit somewhere new this year to celebrate our 7th anniversary and Seattle was on both of our lists, so that was that! Nana and Papa picked up Eli on Friday for a fun filled weekend and we flew out that afternoon. There was a ton to see and do and our downtown hotel was the perfect base. We could walk everywhere and used the buses when we wanted to go a bit further out.

We had to hit the Space Needle of course, the original Starbucks, we took the Underground tour (interesting and hilarious by the way), walked the waterfront, mosied through Pikes Place Market more than once, watched glass blowing in progress and went to an improv comedy (super funny!). We had a jammed pack weekend but because we could do things on our own time (no naps, bedtimes and meal times to contend with) it was amazingly relaxing! Grant even managed to fit in an 18 mile run (I know, he's crazy, but I got to sleep in). Grant and I both decided that while it was certainly special to be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary, it was more fun just to be hanging out with your best friend and enjoying the company.

I could have taken a bazillion photos but Grant promised he wouldn't wait for me (after about 20 shots of the fresh flowers, three steps into our walk, at the market) so here are my favorite that highlight the trip:

Some special treats from sneaky friends!

These flowers were amazing and only $5 for a good sized boquet! I informed Grant if we lived there he'd have to bring me flowers more often

Views from the top

Visiting the Seattle Glassblowing Factory. I loved the curly glass "vines" on the pumpkins!

Seattle by night

The original Starbucks (I don't know if you can see, but the original logo was brown and the swirling hair was not providing any covering for the ladies top half! Ah-hem!

Side notes:
While I realize that Seattle is the home of Starbucks, I was still shocked that you could pretty much see one at all times. There was only one occasion that we walked two blocks and couldn't see one, we were worried the world was ending! :)

Favorite Quote:
Across from the market place was an old scraggly looking man with two cats wearing sweaters. As we walked past, I overheard him telling a woman, "...and I AM qualified to tell you that cats like to wear sweaters!"

Things I Learned:

Last week we were able to watch our friends' two children, so they would be able to celebrate their 10th anniversary. We had a great time, are totally exhausted and feel really bad for anyone that has triplets and starts with three right off the bat. But other than that, here are a few very important things I discovered:

1. Meal time, bath time, play time...pretty much everything is messier in 3's!

2. Eli & Haylie CAN love each other a little too much! By the end of the week they couldn't stand to be apart, but couldn't really handle being together either!

3. A never ending trail of sippy cups is inevitable.

4. It is exhausting repeating instructions three times for everything.

5. Sometimes its OK to serve Mac n' Cheese and green beans twice in one week and call them balanced meals.

6. I can handle anything as long as I get "nap time" every day.

7. Costco is perfect for larger families. Huge carts to contain children and samples; what more could you need on a LONG Sunday afternoon?

8. Chaos always feels better while drinking Diet Coke and eating gummi candy

9. Anytime an adult jumps around, acts silly or plays in the sprinklers it lifts every one's spirits!!!

10. While I am so thankful for the 1 on 1 time I get with Eli every day, I think we could handle a few more...as long as they come one at a time!

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...

Not sure if everyone is familiar with that children's book, but I have often said that that is my mom's and my life theme. Well, it must be catching because two weeks ago Grant decided to make a list. It all started with me repainting the table and chair set for Eli's room (see post below). I like to think I must have inspired him because he then set out to accomplish all those annoying things that you think about doing, but just never do, or projects that were started but not finished. One task led to another and the following list got completed:

~ paint Eli's table and chairs
~ find place to store Eli's crib
~ buy plywood to place under mattress for more support
~ get rid of king box springs on Craigslist
~ clean out garage
~ buy/install cabinet for above toilet
**while looking at cabinets at Lowe's, Grant says how nice the white cabinet would look against painted walls**
~ paint bathroom walls (my job, by the way!)
~ shop for/purchase night stands and dresser

Just about the only thing we would have liked to have done but didn't get to, was sand and repaint our ledge between the living room and the dining room. I guess we'll put that on the next list..."If you give a moose a muffin"

I'm Not Sure I'm Ok With This!

I mentioned that I would post photos of the table and chairs that I refinished for Eli's room and here it is finally! I painted them to match the kitchen hutch that I refinished for him at Christmas time (see photo below). The whole set was built by my Great Grandpa for my Aunt, then passed down to me, and now gives Eli tons of fun!

I also took a few more photos so you could see his new "big boy room" although I am hesitant to call it that, cause I'm just not sure that I'm ready to accept that he is turning into one! It is hard to miss (size 9 shoes, talking my ear off, hearing "no, I do it!" all day long) but still sad just the same. The only consolation is the snuggly morning and pre-bed times that I get that remind me that he still needs me!

Mail Call

Eli has been surprised twice in the last week by special deliveries from Grandma! The first package was full of Mr. Men/Little Miss books and Eli loved them. We had to sit right down and read them all of course. His favorite is Mr. Chatterbox...wonder why?!!!!!

Then a few days later he got another package. We could barely get in the door before he started ripping it open. Thomas cupcakes!!!!! It was about 20 minutes until dinner, but of course we had to make them right then and there. The packet included everything we needed to make the cakes and fun decorations as well. I managed to convince him that we'd bake them, eat dinner, and then eat the cupcakes (in that order). He complied and got to work as soon as he'd finished his last bite of food. Thanks Grandma for the yummy treat and the fun we had making them!!!

A leftover decoration we couldn't let go to waste!