Oh Lord…What a Race!

Today I did my second, Lord Hill 10 Mile Trail Run, it was organized by the local running group, Evergreen Trail Runs. Andrew and I ran this race last year, he actually did the 50k (31 miles) and I did the 10 miler, I took my time last year and it took me about 2 hours and 20 minutes. This year, Andrew and I both did the 10 miler, and we brought Andrew’s brother Alex & his wife Anna along to experience the joy of Lord Hill.  I must say this run was tons of fun, trail runs are nice change of pace from regular street runs or city runs (although those have their own appeal too, like chocolate!  I get to do the Seattle Hot Chocolate 15k next weekend), this race you get to run through mossy green trees and narrow woody paths. Maybe part of the fun for me this year was that I shaved off 14 minutes off last years time, coming in at 2 hours and 6 minutes, or possibly it was the nice compliment from the woman running behind me; when I realized there were about 4 people behind me I figured I was holding up the group, I told her to go ahead and pass and she said, no thanks, you are setting a really great pace. Who me?

So, although I have some sore muscles (nothing a little yoga can’t fix) and some purple toe nails (nothing some dark polish can’t fix), I feel happy and content that I was able to get out into nature and run around like kid in the forest!

It’s actually pretty fun to get dirty on the trail, here are my shoes, before and after. Thank you to Dirty Girl Gaiters for keeping all the crap out of my socks and my shoes, only the outside got wet and messy!

beforeafter

And of course the post race meal and beverage is always a highlight of any race, this time we stopped by the Redhook Brewery for lunch. On a side note, this was my first race since I stopped eating gluten, and I have to say I really missed the post race beer. I also missed out on some of the snacks, for these smaller runs the aid station has real food, like pretzels, sandwiches with pb & nutella, and Cliff Bars. I was a little bummed to miss out on those snacks this year, but I did get fresh fruit at the aid sation & hot vegetable soup at the end of the race!

redhook I do reccomend trying a trail run for any runners out there, as I said before, it is a wonderful change of scenery and the community feeling of these races is a lot of fun! 

So, we will see where the next race takes us, until next time! kg

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Family Time In Vancouver

In years past, Andrew and I have agreed with his brother Alex & his wife Anna that we really don’t need to buy gifts for Christmas and instead we should give experiences. Last year we took a trip to Victoria, and we had a lovely time exploring the city. This year we decided to extend the gift giving to Andrew & Alex’s parents. Instead of buying a book on history or something for the kitchen we decided we would plan a train trip for the WHOLE FAMILY! This past weekend, all 10 of us loaded the Amtrak Train and headed north to Vancouver. I am  really bummed we didn’t get one photo of the whole crew, considering we were all taking photos, but this is us at a holiday brunch this past Christmas, so it all ties together. family_xmas

On Friday morning, we took advantage of the mid-winter break for Seattle schools and loaded the train around 7:45am. The train ride is a great way to travel with family and kids, you can spread out and explore the train, the girls were able to run back and forth to the lounge car, I got to have some uninterupted reading time with my nephew Ollie, I watched over him while he napped, while the grown ups got to enjoy a beverage in the lounge car with the girls.

Once we got to Vancouver, we had a tasty lunch and explored Robson Street and did a little shopping. The girls also loved the hotel pool – swimming is one of their favorite activities, so while some of the others napped we did some swimming before dinner.

The second day our adventures took us to Grandville Island, this little island has an amazing public market and a super cool kids market. And when I say kids market, I really mean: crazy, insane building with tons of stuff for kids. After walking to the ferry dock (about one mile), walking around the island, these girls still had energy to burn in the crazy ball pit and tube mazes. We made sure to fully sanitize and, of course, swim and shower after this little outing.

ball pitgrandvilleisland

We had dinner at two different Joe restaurants that probably couldn’t be more different from each other. The first night was Joey – which was in the bottom of a building what seemed like the financial district. This was a recommendation from the cocierge at the Sutton Place Hotel, it was nice because we got to eat early, but it was not the best atmosphere for chatting with each other. The dinner was tasty and the service was fairly quick, which is a nice perk with kids. The second night dinner was at a restaurant called Joe Fortes, also a recommendation from the cocierge but a different style all together, still loud so our kids didn’t stand out, but this was a bit more of an upscale seafood and chop house, dinner was fabulous, but not as speedy as the night before and for some diners its hard to sit still for too long. But our waiter took great care of us and we all had a great dinner.

Sunday morning it was time to head home, and in order to have a day to regroup, we opted to take the earlier train home, which meant leaving our cozy hotel at 5:30am. Needless to say we tried to rest and sleep on the train, but that’s easier said then done with 2 little girls looking for attention. In the end we were very happy to be on the early  train home, considering the train that left later that afternoon was cancelled due to mudslides, passengers on the second train between Everett to Seattle had to be bussed to their location. Overall, it was great trip, there was quite a bit of planning, coralling and coordinating to get everyone in the same place at the same time, but it is fun to have these types of family adventures to look back on.

So, until next time, who knows were next year’s Christmas presents will take us!

PSA: Yarn & Cats DO NOT Mix

catwithyarnYes, its an iconic image, the fun little kitty, frolicing with a ball of yarn for hours of fun, right? NO! We recently found out the hard way that any type of yarn play needs to be supervised. Especially when your cat is pushing 14 years old. Our little Lola had an emergency vet visit last weekend when my daughter asked the strange question: “Mom, why does Lola have a string coming out of her butt???”. Well, dear that is a perfectly legitimate question. Ugh! Yuk! Oh God, WTF?? We have some crafty little girls in our house and there is quite a bit of yarn lying around on the floor and spread all about, and I will admit, I did give Lola a ball of yarn as she was lying on the bed, thinking maybe that would get her to play a little (in her old age she needs some activity). Well, I didn’t expect her to EAT IT! And there in lies the problem, Lola ate the green yarn and in turn, it needed to come out. Although, she did get sick a few times we thought it was just a hairball, and then it came out the other end (sorry for the gorey details – but sometimes this stuff needs to be documented). When the yarn didn’t come out with a simple tug (GROSS!), we headed to the emergency vet – 7pm on a Friday, must have been a fun way for the vet to start her weekend too! After about an hour of so of “tests”,

LOLAxrays and other exams Lola got to come home. Now we have the fun task of giving her a pill 2x per day and as any cat or pet owner knows giving pills to animals is not a fun task.

Hopefully Lola will be just fine, we didn’t kill her with our yarn (although I certainly thought we did as I was driving her to the vet). But now we know, for next time, no more yarn for our kitty cat! And hopefully, this post will help other cat owners out there, so they never have to experience this themselves.

The Joys Of Parenting & Truck Camping

As I have written before, our family has been embarking on the adventure of Truck Camping. We have taken the camper overnight a few times now and have really enjoyed it. That is my husband (A), my youngest daughter (N) and I have really enjoyed it, but this weekend my oldest daughter (S) expressed how much she really did not enjoy it. Which in turn ruined the whole trip for the rest of us. The weekend went something like this: We got up to the ski area on Friday afternoon, there was no school, and A had the day off from work so why not go skiing? The sun was shining, we had visitors, uncle A & Aunt A with Baby O came to visit and we had a great time, the mountain was empty we zoomed into each chair lift it was great. After our visitors left we made a yummy dinner, took some night time runs and went to the lodge for a little after dinner drink and got to watch some ski racing on our walk home across the ski slopes. It really was a great way to spend an evening and a weekend. We all went to bed and fell asleep quickly because we had a busy day. Although, S did express a concern that she does not care to sleep in the camper, its not the same as at home, she is sharing a bed with her sister, etc, etc. The usual complaints from a 9 year old that is not interested in trying something new, she still fell asleep quickly and got up happy. On Saturday, we woke up at a reasonable time, had our breakfast in the camper, the girls played in the snow and took a run before the lessons. I relaxed, did the dishes and had some tea before I headed out to the slopes, so civilized!

After a long day of skiing with cousins and friends we all ended up in the camper, it was a great day, we all enjoyed the sun and snow, but by the end we were all tired. Our plan was to rest and then go to the Ski Patrol Spaghetti Feed, see the girls instructors, socialize with other camper folks, come back to the camper get into our pj’s and snuggle up and watch a movie. Well, S had some other plans, after we had told her we wanted her to stay with us, she continually asked to go home with her cousins, and although it really would have been okay, we really just wanted to have a family night together. So, instead of having a fun family bonding night we had a cry, fight, yelling night that eventually ended up with everyone angry and upset and the family going home early (all because we wanted to spend more time together… how ironic!).  In her defense, I will admit that my parenting skills were not the best in the moment, I am trying to relive the experience and figure out what I could have done differently, I know that I did try to start with a calm voice and explain how much we wanted her to stay with us, but she wouldn’t give up. She was tired and hungry and she was mad. She was angry and she was not going to move or budge on her stance. So, the yelling and fighting continued – which didn’t really work. In the end, we were all so angry and mad and frustrated, we just packed up and went home. A very quiet and tense ride home. S ended up being grounded, no play dates, no screens, nothing for a week. Now we are working on our listening skills, when we say No that means NO. How hard is that to accept. The next day, S missed out on a playing with her friends, which may have helped her realize we were serious. We have never grounded her before and no screen time for a week is really going to be tough on everyone, but hopefully, it will help her to remember that throwing a fit and fighting with the parents is not the way to go.  We will see how the week goes, hoping for the best. Until next time.

WINTER CAMPING? WHY NOT!


TruckMy family and I have recently discovered the joys of Winter Camping. I will admit Winter Camping will not be for everyone. My husband and I are avid skiers, he enjoys a lot of the back country and touring ski trips, while I have tried this a few times I am still learning, but I do love and enjoy skiing inbounds at the wonderful ski areas here in the Northwest, specifically Snoqualmie Pass and Alpental.

This fall we made a huge leap and purchased a Ford F350 Truck and with it a Wolf Creek 850 Truck Camper (the camper that sits in the bed of the truck, see below for a photo of the set up). This little camper is just about 105 square feet inside, it sleeps four people fairly comfortably and could possibly push it to five people, although the top bunk only holds 125 pounds, so that spot is reserved for small people. So far it has just been our family sleeping in it, 2 adults and our 2 girls (ages 6 and 9). And yes it is cozy, but what we have also found is that it forces us to get out in nature even if its snowing and blowing, we bundle up and hit the slopes or take a walk in the snow or do some sledding outside the back of the camper.

This small space living is also helping us in other ways too, we are ALL learning to use our words, so that we don’t get on each others nerves, telling people what we need instead of screaming (since we are in a small space, that would be a bit too loud), we are learning that everything needs a spot, since space is tight we need to put our clothes back in our bags or closets and we need to do the dishes after we are done and clean up our messes quickly. These are all great rules and should really be translated in our real home too, but for some reason its not as easy or natural at home.

Although we have only explored a few ski areas specifically Alpental at Snoqulamie Pass which does not have RV power (so your RV or camper would have to be self sufficient), we are looking forward to exploring the camping areas near Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain. Both of which have hooks ups on a first come first serve basis (with the exception of certain holidays where you can reserve your spots).

The idea of camping in the snow and rain might not be for everyone, but it is something different and with our beautiful and wet Northwest winters you could stay inside all season long if you wait for the perfect day to get out or you could bundle up, put on your coat and hat and get out there enjoy nature as it comes to you rain, wind, snow and all.

Tragedy in Connectiut

Aside

I am finally able to put some words together about this tragedy.

What happened in Connecticut at the elementary school on 12.14.12 is a horrible senseless act. Me writing about it does nothing other than providing myself an outlet to process what happened. I can not even begin to start to feel what those people are feeling. They lost their children for no reason. How would you go on. What was going on in that killers mind. What possesses someone to think such horrible thoughts and then actually carry them out? Is it really about gun control or mental illness or both or just random, senseless, craziness. I feel all this discussion of the end of the world that the Mayans have been predicting, well here it is. I can tell you right now, that if I was one of those moms waiting to get my kid out of school, waiting to reunite during the horrific event and my child never came out. I would lose it, there would be no going on for me, that would be the worst day of my life. It would be the end.

*This was written back in January after the shootings and just now getting posted. The sentiment is still the same although the timing is a bit off.