Thursday, May 8, 2014

Everyday Musings

Nothing too exciting has been happening down here in Arizona, but I am still enjoying every day with my family. Each milestone and age just keeps getting better, and for every moment when it gets tougher (tantrums, sleepless nights, mischievousness--nothing too big to complain about...) there are about a hundred little moments that are near perfect.

Brother & Sister

Isaac has been fully crawling for a little over a month now. For about 4 months he was content with army crawling everywhere. I thought he was fast's nothing to how speedy he is on all fours. He is into everything that doesn't include his toys. The dishwasher (I swear he has a radar on that thing. The moment it opens up, he's right there), the outlets, pulling out cords, anything Aliyah is playing with, Sony's cat food, Sony, the bathroom, my car keys, my wallet...all places and things that I would prefer he stay away. Almost everything goes into his mouth immediately. I call to him and say, "Isaaaaaac, no." And what does he do? He looks back at me and flashes his signature grin. Stern mom protocol disengaged.


Little Ike

Little Ike

He's eating solid foods like a champ, as well as still taking in lots of formula. I thought his milk intake would taper off some after introducing more solid meals, but it hasn't at all. I stopped breastfeeding at 8 months. I was hoping to make it a year, but this kid eats like, well, a boy. That added with traveling a lot for work and his bad habit of biting me, I decided to throw in the towel. I would have liked to have gone longer, but I made it three months more than with Aliyah, and I will admit, not being tied down to nurse or pump is somewhat freeing.)

Baby Hands

I'm finally starting to make some mom friends out here in Arizona. It only took me three years! In all seriousness, having some mom friends that I felt really comfortable with and wanted to hang out with is something I longed for, but I also know myself. I'm not overly social or extroverted with people I don't know well, so in the back of my mind, I just kept telling myself to be patient and friends will eventually come. The past few months, my neighbor two doors down who is single, but has a group of friends, many of whom are moms, has included me in their "card" night. (I put "card" in quotations because in the three times I've been invited, they have never played cards. One of the women's husbands told her they should change it to carb night for the lack of cards and abundance of snacks.) The first time I went, I enjoyed everyone immediately. Each time the get together was held at my neighbor's house I was invited. I think I might just be part of the group now since this last time it was held at someone else's house and I was still invited.

Just this past weekend, I met up with one of the mom's to get our girls together to play at a park for an hour. We ended up having a great time and the girls played well and even found some other girls to play with. The love of Frozen brought this group of random girls together and it was pretty cute. From what Aliyah was telling me, they were building a castle for Elsa and Anna.

Park Playdate

I left Isaac home with Sebastian that morning and decided to spend the rest of the morning with just Aliyah. So rarely do I do that with her, and while I know it's important, I was really able to experience how much it made a difference. Not one tantrum the entire morning and she and I just enjoyed one another's company to the fullest. That day we went to the park, split some coffee shop breakfast, went to church, grabbed a jamba juice and then made our way back home. At the end of the morning, I realized I need to carve out some time every couple of weeks (or more as she gets older) and do this with her. I remember my Mom used to always make time for me, whether it was a lunch out, a movie, a little bit of shopping or the library. Those moments count. Like any young kid and teenager, I didn't appreciate it nearly as much as I should have at the time, but I do remember having fun during those outings and I am so grateful for those memories.

Park Playdate

This past weekend hit about 98 degrees so Sebastian and Aliyah tried out the pool for the first time this season. Sebastian said it was a little cool still, but Aliyah could have cared less. She loved being in the water and even sang, "I'm a turtle! I'm a turtle! And I'm as happy as can be!"




Aliyah is at the age where anytime I tell her to smile, she immediately flashes some crazy face. Sigh. I often resort to bribery in order to get a normal smile out of her.



The weather has cooled down again this week to normal temps, so we're having some nice laid-back evenings in the backyard and enjoying the perfect Arizona weather for the moment.

A few last photos, which I'm sure Sebastian is thrilled that I'm posting. Three out of the four of us got sick with some weird stomach bug. (Aliyah has not gotten it...fingers crossed it stays that way.) We rarely get sick, which I am grateful for and this was a quick one, lasting about 24 hours for each of us, so I can't complain. It could be much worse.

Sick Sebastian

When you're sick, Sony is sure to make you feel better by cuddling and licking you. Gotta love that cat. He knows all the right ways to make us love him even more.

Sick Sebastian & Cat Kisses

That's about it for now. I would say it feels good to catch up, but who am I kidding? I have so many photos to blog I could write for days. For now, this will do.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Phoenix Dessert Botanical Gardens

Yikes, looking at these photos makes me realize that I haven't taken out my camera for quite some time. There are moments when not taking out the SLR is refreshing, but then I take time to actually look back on the photos I take with that camera and I am always glad I did. I guess it's finding that balance of capturing photos to remember for years to come, but also living in the present so you don't miss it while it's happening. A tricky balance to find that's for sure.

My parents came down for a visit in February. They have been here quite a few times and are getting to know the area quite well, but it's always fun to find something for them to do that they haven't done yet. This trip we decided to check out the Desert Botanical Gardens. I had never been there either, so it was a new experience for all of us.

Sebastian had to work this day, but Aliyah and Isaac joined me. The weather was perfect, probably touching about 75 degrees in February. Aliyah loved being outdoors and I spent quite a bit of time making sure she didn't bound into a cactus (It's happened before when she was two. She ran into it because she is wild. It was a tiny little one, but she still talks about the experience with much drama.) Endless amounts of energy that little girl has.

This was at the time when Isaac was not mobile yet. Little did I know that would change completely. My chill baby, has now turned into a crawling, determined boy. (That's a whole new post.)

The plants in this garden were obviously very different from that of the Midwest. A lot a cacti, and herbs, but all still so beautiful. It was a fun time and nice to be able to experience a new place in the valley with my parents.

lsaac - 7 months

Dessert Botanical Gardens

Dessert Botanical Gardens

Dessert Botanical Gardens

Monday, April 7, 2014

100 Mile Month: Recap

Well, I made it to my goal of running 100 miles in one month. (I did not, however, manage to succeed at posting my progress or an interesting photo during my run each week.) Running 100 miles took quite a bit more planning than I anticipated. In the beginning of the month I estimated that needed to run about 5 miles, 5 times a week in order to stay on track. I figured with this mentality I could go on a few runs longer than 5 miles and a then have the opportunity to run a some that were shorter. What actually ended up happening was that most days I ran an average of 4 miles, and then as the month drew nearer to a close, I started realizing that I needed to up my game.

After Sebastian and I came back from our Grand Canyon trip, I sat down with a calendar and planned out the rest of the month for running. There were a few days in mid-month when I wasn't so sure I'd make my goal. The last week and half of the month, I was pretty much running every day, sometimes twice a day, trying to get as many miles in I could.  I also wanted to be able to run a nice, easy short distance on the last day to get to 100, so that it could be a fun run, rather than a daunting one. 

Some of my setbacks: Not running longer miles in the beginning, hiking an 8 mile, steep, Grand Canyon trail that left me sore for days (Days! My entire leg from my ankles to my quads were sore), and generally trying my hardest to not be bored (a lot of my runs were pretty slow as I was just trying to log in miles and not necessarily keep a fast pace.) 

Some achievements: Running 100 miles (a given, right?), really pushing myself with this goal and taking it seriously. Even when the future looked like a lot of work and even when there was the possibility of not making the goal, I still tried for it and gave it my all. I don't think I've worked so hard at an athletic goal since high school basketball. And overall feeling good after each run. 

Final thoughts: I'm not sure I'd do this again. I might, just because it was a good motivator for getting me out there, but it ate up a lot of my free time. If I'm looking to keep up a good monthly mileage without the pressure, I think I'd scale it back to 75 miles. Also, on most runs, I completely forgot to take a photo of something interesting, and when I did, I had to stop, take the photo and then start back up again. I tried taking a few while actually running, but those photos are pretty laughable. 

Overall, just glad I did it! Now on to the next goal....hmmmm?

And finally, some snapshots while out there. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Has anyone seen this trailer for the upcoming documentary, Farmland yet? I discovered it last fall and I immediately showed it to my Dad. I don't think he's ever been more interested in an online video. In a day when it seems like so much of the mainstream media has negative views (or perhaps just aren't knowledgeable) about farmers and what they think they do, it's incredibly refreshing to see a film that seems to portray how hard these men and women work everyday, and how most of them are doing it because they are passionate about their jobs. My dad has had some great success as a hog, corn and soybean farmer, but the amount of work he's put into the job every single day of the year for 50 plus years is something that I am still in awe of.

This film doesn't debut until spring, but I cannot wait to see it. I may just have to wait a bit longer though; if it ends up being as amazing as the trailer looks, seeing it with my Dad would be pretty special.

Monday, March 3, 2014

100 Mile Month: The Start

The Goal: 
Run 100 miles in a month

The Reason: 
I need something different and new to keep me motivated to run.

I've decided to try and run 100 miles during March, something I have never attempted to do before. Sebastian and I ran a half marathon in the middle January where we competed for time. My choice to run the same race, his choice to compete with one another. It ended up being a great way to push myself.

Fast forward to after the race up until the end of February and I had no motivation to get out there and be active. See the mileage for the month of February? Not even 8 miles. Yes, I needed a goal. 100 miles in 31 days. Daunting? Yes. Achievable. Possibly. (Yes...that answer should be yes.) Each week I am forcing myself to post a screenshot of my weekly mileage, along with a photo of something notable I've seen during one of my runs. If anything, it will get me out there and keep me active. One, two, three...go.