Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Weekend Trip: Part 2

Part 1 was all about being tourists. Part 2 is all about the FISH!

The overarching purpose of traveling 500 miles one way is to spend the weekend fishing on Henry's lake with my extended family on the first day of the season.

It was cold, it was snowy and foggy, we got rained on, and we may or may not have been a bit lost out on the water, but none of that matters when you're catching fish.
What do you think? Are we Cabela's models or what?
Day one saw Dan being the head-honcho, bringing in the most fish as well as the biggest ones.

Of course Lana had to get bundled up in her new coat and participate too.
She isn't quite old enough to come out on the boat (especially in the choppy waters we encountered) but she did like to watch Dan clean the fish and seemed rather fascinated by the whole thing.

Here's Henry's Lake. Not beautiful in the tradition way that mountain lakes are, but gorgeous and welcoming in its own unique way.
And yes, that is snow on the ground.

The three of us took a short ride in Grandpa's Ranger. Lana loved it and the only reason we headed back is because I was getting cold.

While not outside freezing or fishing, we hung out together in the cozy cabin. Lana loved playing with her Great Grandpa Cy.
And I'm pretty sure he liked getting snuggles from her.

We played hours of cards and Dan won't let me forget that he was the overall Grand Champion.

But then, it was back to fishing. Day 2 was even better than Day 1.
I love this picture. Cousin Cody looks like he just flew in from LA sporting the cleanest and newest gear and managing to make rain clothes look fashionable. Dan is outfitted in camo like a professional hunting or fishing guide. And then there's me; smiling and happy to be there and looking more than a little out of place.

Lana wanted to get in on the fish photos too.
She clearly loves this and I know in a couple years she'll have a blast on the boat fishing with the rest of us. I'm sure between grandpas, cousins and parents, she'll have willing teachers.

Thanks Henry's Lake, Grandpa's Cabin, and all the family who made this the best Memorial Weekend ever. We'll see you next year, but how about less snow, okay?
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Weekend Trip: Part 1

Our trip was so awesome and epic that I had to break it into two different posts.

The annual fishing trip to Henry's Lake started for us on Thursday morning. Dan was bound and determined to get us on the road by 6:30 and we sure 6:45.

The drive is about 500 miles, but Lana doesn't mind one little bit. She knows that for her road trips = lots of TV watching (probably more TV in two days than she gets in a month).
Fortunately she learned how to wear headphones so Dan and I weren't driven crazy by the theme music to Elmo or Mickey Mouse.

We spent Friday being tourists in West Yellowstone, Montana. None of us had ever been to the Bear and Wolf Discovery Center and we spent a couple hours learning about bears and wolves. It was pretty neat and interesting and if you're ever in that area, you should check it out.

There were two packs of wolves in outdoor pens.

And yes, our first "summer" trip seemed a lot like winter to me.

I think Lana really liked the bears, although when she saw these two, she admonished their behavior, saying authoritatively, "Hey you bears! You stop that fighting!"
She didn't believe me and Dan when we explained this is how bears like to play.

Of course, a trip to an exhibit wouldn't be complete without a turn around the gift shop. Lana and I liked to sit with the giant teddy bear.

And she couldn't hardly be kept away from the miniature tee-pee.

(Did you notice in the pictures how Lana is only wearing a sweatshirt in the cold and snow? Yeah, she has the most brilliant parents in the world - both of us forgot to pack her heavy coat.(Major Fail.) Don't worry though, we found a high-class, high-priced shop on Main Street and spent more money on a coat for her than we usually spend for adult coats. Yup, they got us, but I can't be mad at them, it's our own dang fault.)

Stay tuned for Part 2...
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fave: Dance Class (or is it Class Dance?)

This spring Lana had the opportunity to be a part of Miss Camille's Dance Class in Palouse. (Lana, in all her adorableness, always called it "class dance" despite the many times I tried to correct the word order of the phrase.)
The class is intended to be a low-key, casual time for little girls in the community to get together, learn some basic ballet moves, and enjoy time dancing.

To say Lana had fun in the class would be an understatement.

She absolutely loved it!

Marching, galloping, leaping, twirling - whatever Miss Camille asked, Lana tried her best to give. Most of her steps were not recognizable as any actual ballet move, but Lana had a wonderful time trying.

Last Monday was the last class dance of the year and we're both a bit bummed that our Mondays have considerably fewer tondus and tutus in them now.
But Lana still loves to dance. Just ask her the next time you see her and I'm sure she'll be happy to show off a few moves for you.
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Palouse River Duathlon 2012

Last weekend was the second annual Palouse River Duathlon. It's a pretty fun, yet challenging event created for seasoned athletes as well as amateurs like me (aka sorta-chubby-and-jiggly-in-places moms). I did it last year and vowed to come back and do it again. My dad also likes this event and he and my mom drove up for Oregon for the day. Mom was even good enough to play with Lana in the park while I competed.

My sweet sis-in-law, Angela, competed too. She and a friend tag-teamed the course and Angela did the run portion.
She pretty much rocked the house too, bringing home a negative split (doing the second half faster than the first half).

Here we are, waiting at the start line, seconds from the race beginning.

And here I am during the run course, drinking water and looking like I might fall down. (An on-course race photographer caught this picture.)

Here's my dad in the middle of a horse race on the bike course. He looks super intense as he's fighting to pass/stay ahead of all the young 'uns he was riding with. (Again, another on-course photograper got this one.)

And of course, sweet Lana met me at the end of the race with her cute sign and a smile. She was happy to see me and didn't care that I was kind of slow.
She even told me enthusiastically, "Mommy, you ran really fast in your race!" I guess it's a good thing she can't read yet.

It was tough, and for some odd reason I think it was tougher than last year. Part way through I thought, Why am I doing this? What do I need to prove? Can't I just be done now?

But then I finished and caught my breath. And then I chatted about the race with my dad and other competitors. And then it almost seemed fun. And I thought about how to improve if I did it again. And then I realized I was already making plans for next year.

So Palouse River Duathlon 2013, we have a date a year from now. I know you'll be ready, I just need to make sure I am ready too.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Fave: T-Bone Steaks

It's a three-year running tradition that we eat T-bone steaks on Mother's Day weekend.

And apparently it's also a tradition to snap a picture of little (yet, evidently growing) Lana gnawing on the bone.
I am nothing if not a traditionalist!
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Garden Update - May

I wrote a post about our (mis)adventures in gardening last month and thought I'd post a brief update.

Here's the glorious veggie garden today:
Onions and garlic are doing well, the lettuce is hanging in there and our newly-installed corn tent/ghetto greenhouse is still standing. Also planted, but not yet visible: Beans, broccoli, potatoes, spinach, lettuce, beets and green onions. Hopefully by the next update those veggies are showing signs of life.

Here's Lana showing off the tent. Dan had the idea to tent the corn to try to heat up the ground so the corn could be planted sooner, and in thoery, develop and mature sooner, and in greater theory, we could enjoy its sweet deliciousness before it's stolen by an early frost. Of course, all of this is in theory.
(Incidentally, isn't the light just beautiful here? Had I realized this sooner and my daughter didn't look like a dirty ragamuffin, I probably would have stayed out longer and taken more pictures.)

Here's a side-by-side of the growth and development we've seen in the past month.
It's not much, but it is progress.

And progress in inches is still progress.
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Fave: Being a Mom

This Sunday is Mother's Day and moms everywhere will be told by their children how much they are loved and appreciated. And they are. And all the praise is long overdue. Most of us, me included, really need to make sure our moms know how much they mean to us more than just one day a year.

I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy my third Mother's Day as a mom. I will love getting to sleep in, receiving extra morning snuggles, reading the sweet and scribbled-in card from Lana, and laughing at the funny one from Dan. I will feel very loved and appreciated.

But I must confess a little secret: I am the one who is appreciative of THEM!
Every. Single. Day.

It is a pleasure to sing silly songs in the car with an enthusiastic Lana Jean. I consider it an undeserved reward when she gently pats lotion on my cheeks, looks right into my eyes and whispers, "You're my best friend, Mommy." It is nothing but pure joy to watch her hop and pant around the kitchen like a puppy while I'm making dinner. The pleasures, the rewards, and the joy are all mine. All the face wiping, all the boo-boo kissing, yes, even the "accident" clean ups are a privilege. I am honored to be gifted every day with a daughter to serve and love.

Thanks Dan, for the idea you had all those years ago to ask me to marry you, and the idea you had a year later to have a baby. Both are turning out swell. You really do have the best ideas!

And thank you sweet Lana. You make me smile 500 times per day and laugh at least 100 times.

You My Dear, are definitely my favorite part of being a mom!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I fully understand that my daughter will probably never be an Olympic athlete.....

...but dang, this ad from P&G gets me.
Every. Single. Time.

Happy Mother's Day to all the great and wonderful Mamas out there.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Fave: Palouse River Duathlon

Next Saturday I will be participating in the second annual Palouse River Duathlon.

It's a really great event consisting of a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run. I'm hoping to do better than I did last year, but have had some setbacks and will really be happy to line up at the finish line healthy and well.

Here I am before the race began last year:
Smiling, fresh-faced, idealistic and ready to take on the world!

And here I am with about 200 yards until the end of the race:
Anything but attractive, barely upright and gasping for breath and hope that I could indeed finish.

I have no grandiose plans of winning or breaking any land speed records, but just like last year, I do want to push myself and keep going even when it's difficult and I want to stop. 

Entries are still welcome, so come on out to Palouse next weekend and we can cheer each other on! Chances are, I know at least one competitor you'll beat!
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy 3rd Anniversary to our House! (alternatively titled: What Our House Will Probably Never Look Like, and yes, I'm okay with that.)

As of May 1st, we have officially been the proud owners of this, our lovely, and sometimes headache-inducing, HOUSE for three years. This is how it looked the day (or maybe a day or two after) we signed the papers and got the keys:

I don't have a recent photo of this view, but really, besides cleaning up the yard, it hasn't changed much. (I am thinking of painting the front door this summer though. Ideas?)

These last three years with the house have, at times, flown by. We've really gotten to a lot of projects done, but others that I sort of expected to finish in a weekend early on, well, they're not even on the radar.

Take, for example, our kitchen.

This is what it was like three years ago:

Good layout, great space, harsh lighting, dingy carpet, old appliances.

And here's our kitchen now:
Painted to lighten up the space, new light covers, shiny new dishwasher, and (most importantly) awesome new flooring (courtesy of Dan and his talent and infinite patience.)

I still have grand plans to put a large stainless steel fridge where Lana's kitchen is, a shiny state-of-the-art stove/oven/range/hood where our old white fridge is now, take out the florescent lighting completely, and refinish the oak cabinets and drawers 
Here's a picture from Pinterest of an absolutely gorgeous kitchen. Mine will never look like this, and I'm okay with that.

Here's what the dining room looked like when we first moved in.
Dated chandelier, dark purple and white paint, and worn, tired carpet.

Here's how we've improved:
New paint, a more appropriate light fixture, and more of that lovely flooring. I do still need to find some window coverings and a statement piece for the left wall.

Again, courtesy of Pinterest, here's a spectacular dining room that mine will never resemble:

I can say, for the most part, it's been a great three years in our house. Our list of projects just keeps on growing and growing, and we'll just get to them as they grow in importance. One thing I've learned in these three year is that we'll never actually ever be "done" with the house and everything will just be in a constant state of "in progress." 

And I am more than okay with that.