Monday, April 28, 2014

Enchanted Rock

Aaron and I have been wanting to go camping for a long time. We've talked about it, planned for it, talked about it some more, looked at campsites, waited, decided it would be better for Aaron and the big kids to go, then finally just pulled the trigger and booked a spot at Enchanted Rock. This is a park about 2 hours away from us near Fredricksburg with a lot of hiking and and most famously, Enchanted Rock, the highest spot you can hike to in all of Texas? (At least this part of Texas). We spent a lot of the weeks before leaving getting everything we needed ready to go. Camping is a lot of work folks, a lot of work. We had to get a lot of gear we didn't have and packing food, geez, that took a long time. But the kids were thrilled and we finally loaded up the car and head out. 

The drive down took awhile but we were happy with our camp site when we arrived. It was nice, we had a table and some shade and a nice fire pit. There were plenty of other campers and we were pretty close to the bathrooms. The kids started playing with some other kids who were there immediately. 

After we set up camp and did some exploring it was time to make dinner. Hot dogs and tin foil dinners. 

The kids devoured their food, each of them ate two dogs. 

Brooke had rice cereal. :)

Then of course we all had s'mores. They were delicious. 

(Don't be fooled by Camilla's happy grin, she didn't eat hers.)

Then it was my favorite part, it got dark. We got out our lamps and flashlights and had so much fun. The kids took them to the playground and chased each other around and played tag. 

Then we all piled on the blanket to watch the stars, mother nature is beautiful.

The sleeping was, well it was what it was. The kids slept like rocks, which is the best we could hope for. Aaron and I were counting down the minutes until sunrise. It was so cold when we woke up so Aaron built another fire in the morning. (Can I get a shout out for my husband who built two fires!)

We didn't have room in our tent for Brooke to sleep in the pack n' play at night but she did nap there during the day, such a good baby. 

Then after a hearty breakfast we were ready to hike. We did about 4 miles, that is a long time. It was a beautiful day and the kids get 4 stars, seriously they were champs. 

This little boy hiked the whole time and did awesome. He was in charge of finding the trail markers and keeping count of them. 

Josie had probably the best day of her life. She was all over the place, finding water and going crazy. 

Aaron did a lot of carrying on his back. 

We took the long, back way to get to Enchanted Rock. 

After the hike we were all exhausted and hungry, so we packed up camp, got in the car while I passed out lunch and we devoured every morsel of food left in the car. 

It took many showers, baths, and about 5 loads of laundry to get us clean again but I am declaring our camping trip a success! We had a great time and like Aaron said as we were all cuddled up in the tent going to sleep, "there are worse ways to spend your life." 

Sunday, April 27, 2014


This year for Easter Aaron and I really wanted to make sure our kids understood the true meaning of the holiday. So we spent very little time talking about bunnies and eggs and a lot of time taking about Christ. We watched the Easter video Because of Him about 50 times and the kids really seemed to understand much more this year. I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and it is because of Him that each day I get to start over and try and be a better Mother, wife, friend, and sister. 

The Easter Bunny also made an appearance at our house. He brought the kids books, paints, clay, and a personal watermelon which they were beyond thrilled about. 

And he also hid some eggs in the backyard and even labeled them so the kids knew which ones belonged to whom. :)

We spent the evening with our friends eating dessert and enjoying the beautiful weather. It was a lovely day. 

Before church we attempted to get some pictures of the kids in their Easter clothes but it proved more difficult than anticipated. Luckily they are cute no matter what they're doing. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lake Plugerville

Yesterday was a beautiful day so we went to meet our friends at Lake Plugerville to have a picnic lunch and play. I haven't been out there in over a year, not sure why, so it was so fun to take the kids out there again. Aaron ran around the lake with Josie and the kids played at the playground and in the water. Carson really wanted to swim but neither Aaron or I were interested in the water as it was freezing cold. Carson finally made the plunge and went swimming. Camilla thought she might want to try it as well but it was way too cold for her. (She has her mother's aversion to cold.) Josie also enjoyed swimming and chasing the ducks. It was a fun little afternoon for us. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Zooma Half Marathon

On Saturday I ran in my first race post Brooke. My first race in a year. I was nervous, I guess because I never know if I've still have the same fight in me after each child and also because I had worked really hard (way harder than after my previous two pregnancies) to get back into shape and I wanted to run well. Well last week around Tuesday I hurt my left glute. As the week went on it only got worse and I was hobbling around my house all day. Friday morning I tried to go out for a short,easy run and it was misery. I came home and told Aaron that I didn't think I would be able to run the race, I was really bummed. On Friday I massaged, iced, heated, stretched, foam rolled, tennis balled, Adviled, Aaron massaged - everything that I could think of to do and went to bed hoping that I could walk in the morning. Saturday morning started early and I could walk so I decided to go for it. I knew it was going to hurt and I might not make it to the end of the race but I was going to start. I ran this half with my dear friend Jeana who I also train with. She picked me up and we headed out. I repeated all the previously mentioned procedures and then it was game time. 

Jeana and I at the start. 

I just tried to push the pain out of my mind and get going. Now this race was run just outside of Austin in the hill country. And true to its name it was so, so, so hilly. I mean super hilly. I would say 5 really big hills, tons of medium hills, and about 7 small hills. The hills start right off the bat and go on for 10 miles. It was a tough race. Sometimes in races miles start to just fly by and you don't notice them and all the sudden you've run 5 miles, well not in this race. Not a single mile "went by." I was watching my watch, waiting for the mile markers each and every time. After the big hill at mile 10 it flattens out to run around a golf course. The course is beautiful, full of wild flowers and trees everywhere, just really tough. Like my friend Jamie said, "there's really no way to prepare for that." I stayed about 20 seconds behind Jeana the whole race and just tried to hold my pace. I had told Aaron the night before that I knew it was going to be tough and I was running injured but I really wanted 1:45. Keep in mind that the woman who won is a professional runner and she finished in 1:30 - this is as hard course. Well here's the official results:

Half Marathon » Austin, TX

I was so happy at the end. Jeana finished 40 seconds ahead of me, 11th place for her and 12th for me, and I crossed the finish line and literally collapsed into her. She had to carry me over to the grass, I couldn't even sit down by myself. I could not walk, it was ridiculous. It took us forever to get through the snacks and get around. I was pitiful. Everyone thought I just had a rough race, Jeana was telling everyone, "she was injured before the race, she won her age group." She stood up for me. We got our awards, (I won my age group, she took second in her age group- hers was faster than mine), took pictures, and started to head back to the buses. I needed to get back to feed Brooke. 

Well we were obviously moving at snail pace and a sweet man stopped to pick us up with the rest of the injured and drove us to the buses. We had to take a picture of it. 

This sweet man then carried me onto the bus. That's how sad I was. Aaron had to take care of me the rest of the day and while he felt sorry for me he reminded me that I chose to run the race injured. He is absolutely right, I did, and that makes me even prouder of myself. I fought hard for this race. Now I just need to figure out how to start walking again. :) 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Second Chances

My thoughts on a rare second chance I got to be a better Mom recently. 

April 3, 2014

Carson sometimes motherhood swallows me whole and I can't contain my emotions. I felt like that tonight with you. I had kind of a rough evening. I'm not feeling well and my body is tired. Dad had church meetings tonight and so it was just the kiddos and me and I wasn't up for much when it came to bedtime. I did what I consider the bare necessities. Read scriptures but no discussion or real effort for understanding, prayers with no reverence, brushing teeth with no flossing, and only one book per kiddo. You wanted a story so badly and I just wasn't up for telling one. That is really your father's domain and after putting 3 kids to bed by myself I just wasn't up for a story. I felt a little guilty after getting you all down but happy to have some "me time." After some reading and relaxing I started thinking about how I want to be a better Mom. This is a pretty normal nighttime occurrence. I try to reflect on my day and figure out what I can do to be better. I heard your door open and my favorite voice talking to himself in the hallway. I got up and was delighted to find my favorite boy awake on the floor outside his room muttering something about being scared of the dark. Not an ounce of me was upset that you were awake at 9 PM, I was so happy that I had this chance to lay with you and tell you a story. You know, the one I should have told you earlier but didn't. I got a rare "second chance" if you will. I told you a story the best I could. I know mine in no way compete with your fathers' but I included math, running, states, and soccer - just a few of your favorite things. I couldn't help but cry, tears of gratitude of course, as we lay together in the hallway. I know this stage of life will be gone quickly and you will grow up but I will always treasure this age. I won't forget the night we lay in the hallway of our Reliance Creek rental house telling you the story of the time California ran a marathon. All too quickly your Dad was back and you didn't look back as you jumped into his arms for him to take you back to bed. I don't mind, I know how much you love your Dad, tonight I'm just grateful for a second chance to be a little better of a Mom.