Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Naomi's 29th Birthday

On November 12th, we began celebrations for my 29th birthday! (Since my actual birthday was on Sunday.) And let me tell you... my little family delivered BIG TIME! 

We started out that Saturday with a little Geocaching (my first present of the day was a Geocaching app) around our neighborhood. I got to wear my brand new running cap that Kevin bought me and push my super awesome running stroller (a very early birthday gift) along the way.

Our first stop was in a nearby corn field, and since the stroller wouldn't quite fit between the corn stalks, we sent Kevin in alone. It was a little creepy watching him disappear so quickly into the field, but I had faith in his innate sense of direction.

While we waited for Kevin to return, the girls kept themselves busy by collecting random things from nature. They were pretty cute with their little sticks and seed pods!

Anyway, It didn't take long before Kevin found the first cache in a pill bottle under a tree. He happily signed our name on the sheet inside and then made his way back to us so we could start searching for our next cache.

At this point the girls were a little confused as to why their Daddy didn't bring back any treasure from the cornfield, but they decided to continue humoring us in hopes that the next cache would be much better.

And it was. It took us deep into some random woods by our house that we didn't even know about. The girls had to walk since the stroller would never have made it, but they liked tromping around in the dry leaves so it wasn't a problem.

Soon we found the cache and the girls were pleased when they got to trade a pin coushin for a toy car.

Once we were done going through the treasures and reading the notes inside, I signed our name on the list and then we headed back to the stroller and then on to Dairy Queen for some ice cream!

The next day we dressed up and went to church... and when we got home Kevin got to work making me the Pork Barbacoa Salad from Cafe Rio and an AMAZING apple pie for dinner. Then it was time to open more presents. YIPEE!

I got this amazing Alaskan Nativity from my BFF Jennie...

A Texas lover apron from Kevin and the girls...

And this ridiculously AWESOME knife set from Kevin's mom! It was seriously the best birthday a girl could ask for and I can't wait to celebrate many many more! Thank you to everyone who made my birthday so special, especially Kevin who made every single second count. Love you guys!

The Hot Chocolate 15K

On November 5th, Kevin and I dropped the girls off at the babysitters and headed downtown for the Hot Chocolate 15K! Last year we participated in the 5K and had so much fun that we decided to kick it up a notch and go for the distance in 2011. Unfortunately, I've been really sick over the last few months and had a super hard time training. By the time the race came up, I'd only run a total of 5 miles at a time. I was terrified to attempt running over 9 miles without sufficient training, but Kevin convinced me that the combo of race day jitters, the training I HAD done, and his companionship, would pull me through to the end. So I didn't back out, and guess what? He was right! The second we got to the packet pickup the night before, I knew I could do it. There was just so much excitement in the air, how could I not at least give it a try!
Here is a video of all the excitement from start to finish. It was a pretty amazing event!

When we got there we actually found our friends that we ran the Ragnar with earlier this year (which is pretty amazing considering the crowd.) We dropped off our gear together and then headed over to our corral. There were over 40,000 runners so we all had to start on different streets.

Soon the race music started blaring and we all began pushing toward the start line... it took a few minutes to get there, but then we were off!

About a mile into the run I realized that I had not sufficiently emptied the ol' bladder before the race, and with all that bouncing... well, I knew I was doomed if they didn't have porta potties along the race route. Luckily they did, and after a 5 minute wait in line I was empty and ready to run again!

Anyway, there were so many runners participating in this race that we were NEVER alone on the course, which is actually pretty nice if you are a slower runner. That way its not as obvious that you've fallen behind! :)

Another nice thing about the race... Kevin was with me the whole way to cheer me on and take some pictures to prove we actually did it!

And in true Kevin fashion... he also took plenty of pictures of himself along the way. As you can see, running at half his normal pace to stick with me left him with tons of extra energy!

As we closed in on the last mile his energy finally started to rub off on me...

And soon we were hauling down Michigan Ave to finish off a beautiful, scenic run in perfect weather, on a perfect day! 

Once we crossed the finish line, we were all greeted with Ghirardelli chocolates! WOOHOO!

And yummo fondue trays!

And of course, some delicious Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate!

When all was said and done, I finished in 1:50:45. Five minutes past my goal time (which means if you take off the time for my bathroom stop, I actually hit my goal!) 

Of course, having not trained properly, I was absolutely WASTED when I got home. So when the girls went down for a nap, I gladly joined them!

 And Kevin? Well, he was rewarded greatly for joining me for a lovely Saturday jog :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Total Randomness...

Because not every picture requires its own post, we often end up with a bunch of random pictures that we love but don't know what to do with. Thus, the random picture post!

A few weeks ago I took this picture at our church building. Someone just decided they were mad at the Mormons so they busted a few of our windows, broke our fences, and tried to run over our air conditioning units (but couldn't get their car past the chain linked fence that they bent.) Sad and immature, but such is life!

I know this is gross, but I had to post it. Kevin totally took a manly dive off of a 2x4 and ended up with this beast of a wound on his shin... Ouch!

Lately Lily has decided that she is a Koala Bear. It doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing, she will climb right up and make herself at home. Super cute!

This shot was taken when we were hanging out at a sports store a while back. We were pretending that we could afford riding around on cool bikes like these :)

On another visit, we also took the time to pretend that we were dog owners. I WISH!

Something fun that has been happening at our house as of late...
my girls are FINALLY becoming friends!

They read together...

Snuggle each other...

And even like to dress alike :) Life is getting pretty fun!

This shot is to remind me that my kids do, in fact, look just like me!

Kevin took this shot the other night when I was reading the girls bedtime stories. I just love how engaged they are. It makes me happy that I am raising kids who love to read!

And to end, we took this shot of Lily after she realized she could reach the box of sugar on the shelf next to her highchair. Who knows how much she consumed before we actually caught her. I guess she just didn't think her bananas were sweet enough!

A Hanksville Halloween!

Although I've never really liked Halloween (due to a "you're too fat" experience I had years ago) I really got into it this year. I suspect it has something to do with having children, but whatever the case, we really had a blast this year!

I even went out of my way to decorate so we could all enjoy the season together.

Brooklyn and I worked hard to dig out the garden so we could plant a skeleton (after which she informed me that she was allergic to skeletons... but only the dancing kind.)

Kevin and I carved some fun pumpkins.

Brooklyn, Lily and I decorated the inside of the house with spiders and paper mache spider eggs
(sorry uncle Craig!)

And I even made themed costumes!
(Lily's was purchased, but I made the rest.)

Anyway, the celebrations started on Friday night when we walked over to the clubhouse for some yummy food!

After that we headed over to our church building for a Halloween party and some trunk-or-treating.

They had a lot of fun games there, but all the girls wanted to do was get their faces painted and color on the chalkboard!

When the games were done, we went outside and loaded our candy buckets at the trunk-or-treat... then we went home overly stuffed and over stimulated!

When Halloween actually rolled around the following Monday, we headed over to Burns and McDonnell for some Cubicle-or-Treating :)

The girls went from desk to desk trying desperately to gather as many M&M's as possible. But eventually Lily decided the candy wasn't worth it any more and she started giving her candy back desk to desk. Then she laid on the floor, said "night night mommy" and refused to get up. That was our cue to head home to take naps and enjoy our spoils.

We earned so much candy between the church and the office that we decided not to go out trick-or-treating that night, but we still had a wonderful holiday and will be working off all the calories we earned for months to come!

Johansen's Farm

The other day I was supposed to go on an "F" themed date with Kevin... but when I came down with the Flu instead, Kevin ended up taking the girls to Johansen's Farm without me. But that's OK. I got some much needed rest, and the girls got some much needed daddy-daughter time.

Once they arrived on the farm, they had an endless list of fun things to do, like holding and petting little animals...

Having staring wars with bigger animals...

Pretending to be silly animals...

And hanging out with their favorite animals! (Yes, the turkey was actually Brooklyn's favorite animal on the entire farm! Thanksgiving is going to be very traumatizing for her.)

 But that wasn't all! They also got to run through a corn maze...

Jump around in the bounce house and slide down an enormous balloon slide...

And join Daddy for a super awesome hay ride!
(Lily's favorite part of the evening.)

Some highlights from the adventure:

 At every fence Lily crouched down low and Brooklyn climbed up high to get a good view of the animals :) A very adorable site to behold.

 Brooklyn had more fun with the free hay than anything else on the farm!

 And Lily became an animal rights activist...

Until this goat decided to headbutt her into the dirt! (Indeed, you are looking at a picture of the very event as it unfolded!)

But when the sun started to go down and the girlies started to get tired, they had to say goodbye to the awesome farm and head back home to their well rested mommy!

And when they went to bed that night, their little minds were filled with happy little memories of pummeling Daddy with hay in the barn!

The End