Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I am going to pause my attempt to play catch-up in order to blog about the wonderful Memorial Day weekend we just had up in Big Bear. We rarely, if ever go out of town on holiday weekends but when Cruz and Tara mentioned another race up in the mountains where we had done the Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving, it turned into a long weekend adventure including the Miller family as well. The best part was that we decided to all share one big cabin, which meant 6 adults, 4 kids and 6 dogs (3 of whom are still very much puppies). We weren't sure how it was going to work and yes at times it was chaotic to say the least but more importantly, it was SO MUCH FUN!

On our way Friday night:


All six dogs playing:


Jadyn balancing on the two ladders from the "bunk bed" room:


Cruz and Tara have always shared their love of dogs with us but it has never worked out that we had similarly aged dogs at the same time. When their danes were puppies, our last two dogs were seniors and not interested in playing. When we first got Kuma, their danes were older and didn't want much to do with him. So, it's pretty cool that now we both have puppies at the same time. And despite being only half the size of their danes, Bailey held her own and played with both Gabby and Duke all weekend:


Saturday we strolled Big Bear village and took care of packet pickup for the race. We even managed to have lunch on the patio of a restaurant with ALL six dogs. After that we went for a hike along the Woodland trail:


And skipped rocks by the lake. I had to take a picture of all four kids as I had taken a VERY similar picture when we visited Big Bear the previous year:


Sunday was the Memorial 5K. While we originally thought the race would be the same course we completed for the Turkey Trot, relatively flat given that we were up in the mountains, this course seemed like it was ALL uphill. The announcer even declared it the most challenging 5K in the country. Jake and Kuma ran with me, along with the Millers and Tara. Cruz ran the half marathon.


Challenging it was, but we did it!:


And after showers, lunch and a nap, we went back out to take the kids and dogs on the Alpine Pedal path, a gorgeous asphalt trail along the lake. The kids decided to all ride their scooters:



Jadyn has been asking to take a new family photo to include Bailey and I thought the lake would be the perfect back drop to give it a try BUT I never thought we would get such a decent picture. I mean really? Both dogs are actually looking at the camera! It really sums up how relaxing and fun this weekend getaway was for all of us.


Sunday night we all went out to dinner at a nice local Mexican restaurant. After that, the Millers bid farewell and the rest of our time was spent relaxing and getting ready to head home. But not without lots of talk about all getting together for another trip real soon.

While we didn't attend any ceremonies this year, we still took pause to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom. Without them, we may not have been able to enjoy such a peaceful weekend getaway.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

March Ketchup

Dressing up was a big theme in March as Jadyn had her friend Brooklyn over and played dress-up during the day and then got a makeover when we attended a birthday party that night:



And of course the first week in March is Read Across America week and our school participates with fun dress-up days during the week. Jadyn in particular likes to go all out for these days and on a couple of them I chose to join her.

Favorite Dr. Suess character, two Cat in the Hats and the Lorax:


Crazy sock and hair day:


Teacher/kid switch day:


Fan Day:


 Bailey became old enough to go for walks and whenever the kids joined us it would result in dressing up to go missions in the fields near our house:


 I got to accompany Jadyn and some of my students on a field trip into the national park:


 We took advantage of a staff in-service day and took the kids to the park to ride bikes and feed the ducks:


And Jadyn finally worked up the courage to get her ears pierced:


 Yes, March was yet another busy month and yet.... this doesn't cover it all!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pinewood Derby 2014

While we had fun at our first annual Pinewood Derby last year, it became clear that we had a lot to learn about this Cub Scouts tradition and Jake left disappointed in his car's performance. He isn't SO competitive that he needed to win but he at least wanted his car to be able to make it down the track.

So we did things a little different this year and well, what a difference a year makes!

Joe did an awesome job in helping the kids create cars that fit both of their personalities:

Jake's tank-themed car:


Jadyn's Crayola car:


Leaving for the derby:


Between cub scouts, soccer and various other activities, it hardly matters that we don't all go to the same elementary school. These kids get along so well: Jadyn with her friend Brooklyn:


Jake with Landon and Logan:


All the cars in the derby:


Let's go racing!:


Out of 26 cars, Jake came in 4th place and won the award for most patriotic design. He was very pleased and not at all upset that Jadyn's car did even better winning the 2nd place trophy!


Regardless of how the kids' derby cars did, it was a very fun time and a tradition we look forward to every year.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Big 4-0!

Yes, I kind of made a bigger deal about it then I really meant to but I was turning 40 and feeling pretty okay about it. Joe surprised me with a ticket to go to Coachella Music and Arts Festival in April with Rose and the Millers and Dondos came over for a get together complete with leftover decorations from the previous year when Cruz hit 40. It was a very nice way to celebrate.

The shirt my mom sent me. It was PERFECT!:


With all my decorations:





Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Father/Daughter Dance 2014

For the third year in a row Joe has graciously been willing to take Jadyn to the Father/Daughter dance despite it not really being his thing. Jadyn loves getting dressed up, getting her nails done, having me curl her hair and posing for pictures. She is all girl when it comes to stuff like this.




But, for the first time I got an inside view of the dance as I volunteered with Student Leadership to help with the photo booth. It really is the cutest event and I snapped some pictures with my camera phone of Jadyn dancing and having fun with her friends:




 It was a fun night for all!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

February Ketchup

Most of this is a rehash of Facebook statuses but since my blog becomes our permanent memory book every year, I'm going to ignore the duplicity in an effort to catch up.

On February 9th I ran the Palm Springs 5K for the 2nd time. I had really hoped to train to run the half marathon but my body had different plans. If I ever run a half marathon it is going to have to be a long drawn out training schedule. Lesson learned. The really cool thing about this particular 5K was getting to run it with my bestie Tina and my favorite running partner, Kuma. It was particularly poignant because it was during this time that we realized Kuma had been experiencing partial seizures. A checkup at the vet showed normal bloodwork and further diagnostics to investigate the cause of the seizures would have been very costly so we adopted a wait and see approach with a very detailed log of the seizures. I also put him on a grain-free, limited ingredient diet in the hopes that the seizures may be related to an allergy. While we are only cautiously optimistic, I am happy to report that Kuma has been seizure free since February 6th.



Mid-February is the time of year that all upper grade elementary students participate in the annual science fair and it is one of the few times Jake is actually excited about school. This year he investigated the effect of a catapult assisted take-off on accuracy and distance. His interest in this stems from naval aircraft taking off from aircraft carriers at sea. The project became a family affair as we went to the park to run trials and help him assemble his display board. Here he is presenting to his class:


Close up:


We had a fun tutu spirit day at school:



We celebrated Valentine's Day with a long weekend and the Lego Movie:


And we got some much needed living room furniture with our tax return:



But that's not all that happened in February.......