Ragnar Las Vegas 2013

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Exactly a week ago my bags were packed as I out headed to Las Vegas for my first Ragnar experience with 10 of my new Colorado friends.

My poor girls were beside themselves when they learned I'd be gone for 4 days - the goodbye hugs and kisses seemed never ending!


For months I have been rising before the sun, running, dealing with aches and pains, running, freezing, running, and pushing myself harder physically than I have in years. I still can't believe how my body has transformed into a stronger, faster, and more motivated me. 


We had a great flight over, got our 15 passenger vans, and want to see Ka at the MGM Grand. It was amazing!!!

The next day was spent shopping, decorating our vans, getting our food together, eating fabulous food, and attending the pre-party for registration. 

That night one of our runners got pretty sick and ended up in the ER. The next day (race day) she had to take a flight home. :(


The next morning Van 1 started at the top of the mountains at 6am for the start with their 5 runners. My van met them at around noon for our start. Being the first runner in Van 2 I was pretty anxious, but once Sarah handed off the slap bracelet my nerves calmed down and I just enjoyed endured my run - uphill for 5.5 miles, in the desert heat. 


 I made it though and it felt pretty amazing to hand that bracelet off at the end of my climb.

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After the 5 girls in our van finished our first legs of the race we hit up some dinner as Van 2 took over and relaxed a bit while awaiting our night runs.

I have recently been dealing with tight IT Band pain and about a half mile into my 6.2 mile night run the right one started pulling. Although it was painful and a little slow going this was my favorite leg. It was cool (cold) like I am used to running in CO and through the quiet desert. The stars were soooo bright - Orion was gazing down on me the whole time. About 1.5 miles to the end I got a burst of energy and put on the gas finally passing a girl that had passed me earlier.  Her blinking taillight was in my sights for most of the run. It felt pretty good to kill her right at the end up a hill.

After all the girls in my van finished our night runs we drove to the next major exchange where we would meet Van 1 and sleep for 3 hours or so. I snuggled in on the back row of the van and dozed for a bit - chilly, cramped, knee aching, full bladder. 11.7 miles down. Amazing, right??


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My last run was uphill for half of it then downhill all the way home. My knee ached almost the entire time. On the downhill it wasn't so bad - but it was so flipping hot out!

I did love being "home" for a bit and lost myself in the Nevada desert landscape as I plugged along. 5.2 more miles passing a few hobblers.


It was pretty crazy and I admit that I got a little choked up when I looked to see my cute teammates cheering me on as I rounded those final corners.

I did it.

I worked hard.

I ran 16.9 - let's just say 17 miles!!!!


That's one of the best things about Ragnar is the relationships that are formed. 


I love these girls.

Oh, I also videoed the whole thing! 


Now, where to next year ladies???



Twill be Tweens

First Black Eye
9 . 19 . 2013

In just a few weeks my beautiful, smart, and extremely talented oldest daughter will turn 8. I am so excited for her. 

Over the past few months our relationship has changed a little - in a super good way. It's like we are starting to "get" each other more. She catches mine and Easy's humor and she seems to genuinely care about being helpful, responsible, and a good person. 

We have an up and coming tween on our hands!! 

And then another one right behind her. 


Raising 4 daughters (or any one child for that matter) is serious business. I constantly feel like I have no idea what I'm doing - I actually remind the girls of this from time to time. i.e. when I lose my temper. 

This tween stuff is scary though! I remember feeling soooo uncomfortable talking to anyone about growing up, about my body, my friends, and puberty. I for sure didn't want to talk to any adult. Even my parents. 

A few months ago I picked this book up and just last month she and I started reading it together. It has been such a great way to open the dialogue about puberty and growing up. We talked about how from the time she was little I have mostly been in charge of her hygiene but that will and has been changing.

She asks every night to read the book with me and I love it. We snuggle up together and discuss hair care, nail care, taking care of her face, etc. Easy has even taken a couple of the nights. It will eventually get into breasts and periods - which is honestly, I believe, kinda hard for any parent (me!) to just talk to their kid about. It's soooo easy to just put those talks off for another time or day. The nice thing is that we have have found a safe place to talk and are easing into more serious discussions.

I plan to take the months leading up to each of my daughter's 8th birthdays this way - snuggling up together and talking about important stuff. Things I feel they should learn from a loving parent and not a friend at school.

And believe me, GM is excitedly waiting in the wings for her turn. :)


Halloween Wrap Up

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We had such a terribly terrific Halloween! 


Last Saturday we made our way to the patch to pick our pumpkins. The flooding here last month really took a toll on some of the patches, but we were able to nab a few good ones. The two little gals were so cute holding hands almost the whole time.

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Since weeknights are always chaotic around here and Easy is rarely home before bedtime we carved our squash Sunday morning. 


Mae and Ava held their own while Miss Roo and Rosie viewed the whole thing as absolutely disgusting. Roo was happy to design her pumpkin, but made me clean it out. 


Usually I like to roast our seed the night that we carve, but this year I decided to let them dry out a bit before putting them in the oven. 

I'm so glad that I did! 
They were so much more crispy and satisfying!!

One batch I seasoned with salt/butter and the other I kinda went to town on: S&P, cumin, coriander, chili pwdr, onion pwdr, garlic pwdr, all tossed with melted butter. 

Baked at 300 for 30min stirring every 10min and they were PERFECT!

On the eve of Hallow's Eve I spent the afternoon cutting knives, reaper's, tombstones, bats, a crow, and jack-0-lanterns out of black paper for our windows. Last year my childhood friend, Marsha, posted this exact thing on Instagram and I have been thinking about doing for a couple of weeks. Once the mellow afternoon presented itself I gathered up all the black paper in the house and took the project on. 

If you are lacking the courage to freehand it I'm sure you could google and print the images. 

I stuck the silhouettes up with clear tape them put orange tissue paper behind to give them the satisfying glow from within.


Continuing the festivities we decided to do caramel apples after school on Halloween. I tried early in the day to make my own caramel but my thermometer was off and it became toffee instead.


Luckily I had picked up some caramels at the store. 

I threw them in the microwave with a couple tablespoons of heavy cream (instead of water - cream is always, always better) and it turned out great. When the girls got home from school we made quite the pretty little mess adding sprinkles, chopped nuts, crushed pretzels, toffee bits, and drizzled pb cream on them. 


Oh yes, they are amazing! 

And I really really need to get them out of my house!! Ragnar is in a week and I'm trying to limit my sweets - ahem...it's not going well. 


I was excited to hand out candy this year, but I quickly learned that going with the kids is funner. Next year, I'll make E stay home.

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Pretty sure that I did scare a few children though. 

The girls got back after just over and hour of trick-or-treating, warmed up (it was COLD), changed, and picked 10 of their favorite candies to bag up for themselves. I'll freeze a stash of chocolate for later and we will use the rest for our annual gingerbread house. 

Although I have a strong love for Halloween I also love that it brings Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm excited to have some low-key holidays this year and focus on our children - teaching them and spending time together. 

We have a couple of birthday's this month too - one of which is for a certain oldest sister who is turning 8! 

So so so exciting. 

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