Wednesday, November 26, 2008

fashion according to leah

DO french braid your hair.

Do NOT get caught in an un-lady-like position...even while sleeping. DO go for the academic look.Do NOT not do your hair (to my credit, this is a just-out-of-the-tub 'do).
But DO smile big whenever there is a camera nearby.Do NOT do a jig in only your mucklucks and a diaper.
Do wear your new orange squeaky shoes EVERYWHERE beginning the second you get out of bed ("Shoes? Shoes?" is the first thing she says every morning).
Do NOT sneeze when you are already sick.

finish what you start...take...i forgot

Awhile ago, I did a few posts on projects I had started, to which I was FINALLY getting around. This is a project I didn't even get around to starting. It was just something I wanted to do.

This rack is the humble home of my entire piano music collection. There are some great pieces in that pile of mess, I promise. And, even though it doesn't look like it, it IS organized. Leah knows not to touch the music and she actually obeys 99% of the time. Other kids don't know to not touch it...
So, I made a cover for it. My mom is convinced she has failed as a mother because she never taught me to sew. She is a fabulous seamstress...and the reason I got an A in high school sewing. Yup, she finished all my projects. But...since I was never truly taught, I just make stuff up. Square things are my this was great. And I think it turned out pretty well. Adds a little bit of design to our otherwise plain furniture. Surprisingly, my measurements were spot on.
And let me tell you how much help Leah was...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

piano students say the darndest things...

Seriously, they do. They make me laugh every day. Today's great quotes are:
Maren: "You did your whole song wihtout your paper piano (a helping aid). Are you proud of yourself!?"
Student: "Also I do scouts."
(He was obviously proud of himself for more than one thing!)
Maren: "Did you practice your guts out this week?"
Student: "My guts?"
Maren: "Yah! Did you practice really hard?"
Student: "The guts in my body? Like did I practice my body out?"
Student, referring to Leah, who he had not seen in a few months: "She's getting bigger! She has a big head!"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

how's a girl to choose?

Time to update the family pictures on the wall. One of Ryan and me, one of Leah and one of the whole fam. :)

How in the world do we choose? And this is just a small samping of Julia's endless talents...

look closely at ryan's face in this last picture: no sympathy for leah. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

marathon run down...

For a great run down of my experience at the New York City Marathon, click here to go to our Love To Run blog, post courtesy of Julia.

You'll see the good...(all done!)
...the bad...(we might be smiling, but we were FREEZING)...
...and the ugly (these are our early morning shivering faces).
The beautiful picture of my cramped leg ended up being a video instead, so it is no longer. The only thing Julia so graciously omitted in her post was how different the last 6.2 miles were for each of us. She was on wings and was only held back by my cramped legs. I guess we helped each other at different points in the race...which is why I would never run a marathon alone. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

I WAS a part of it, New York, New Yooooooork!

Wow. I had no idea how much trouble I would be in for being a blogging slacker. To all who were so patiently waiting for an update: my sincerest apologies.

Now, for the update.

New York was WONDERFUL. I had such a good time. Although I did miss Ryan and Leah, it was much too short!! We got there late on Halloween was an interesting bus ride through Harlem. :)

Saturday we headed for the marathon expo first thing...we got our bibs and bags, bought some loot and wandered the booths...until we saw a sign saying Deena Kastor would be there just minutes from the current time. Yes, Deena Kastor. If you don't know who she is, you didn't watch the 2004 or 2008 Olympics. If you do know who she is, you know just how excited we were. She was so nice! She signed our bibs, took a picture with us and gave us race advice (because we asked): Just enjoy yourselves. It's a race to be enjoyed, not raced.
I don't have pictures of the actual marathon...but I will soon. Julia and my former neighbor, Sue, had their cameras. In a nutshell, we were bussed to Staten Island at 5:30 am, got there just before 6:30am and we didn't start running until 10:20am. So, for approximately 4 hours, we shivered our rears off. Seriously...I think I expended so much energy just trying to stay warm. That canNOT be good for your muscles just before you run 26.2 miles.

The first 12 miles I think it's safe to say I helped Julia along. Mile 12 brought a brand new Julia to the race and we were both great through mile 20. At mile 20, I think it's safe to say, Julia DRAGGED me. Mile 20 brought the most incredible cramps to my calves that I have EVER experienced (I'd like to blame the cramps on shivering for four hours, but who knows? it just might not have been my day). These cramps were so awful, they added just about 40 minutes to our overall time. Yes, an extra 40 minutes in 6.2 miles. Not good. Julia waited for me until I made her run ahead of me with just under a mile left. She finished in 5:15 and I in 5:19...which is kind of a bummer because we were on pace to run it in 4:40ish until my calves cramped. I was in a great mental game, which I'm grateful for. BUT, I will say, it was an incredible course (Staten Island --> Brooklyn --> Queens --> Manhattan --> Bronx --> Manhattan --> finish in central park) and AMAZING crowds. My very favorite crowds were in Brooklyn. Those guys were great!! There were bands almost on every corner and so much energy. The weather was pretty good...okay, really good for running. Jona met us at mile 8 and 16 and definitely was a bright spot (thanks, Jona!)...that guy knows how to be support crew, that's for sure. I even got a text from Ryan before I started and at mile 12. :) He was great support crew from afar. I feel like I recovered so much better than last year's marathon and I'm already ready to run again (but I'm still enjoying my bed in the worries). All in all, a success. Not my best time, but a great race and a success.

Monday morning brought STIFF legs, but a happy maren, ready to go tour the city.

We saw Michael Scott's favorite New York eatery, Sbarro. Hehehe. Ate hot dogs from street vendors (that's for you, Sara).

Took a hop-on-hop-off bus tour through the city. A great way to see the city when you don't have a ton of time. I highly recommend it.
We saw the Empire State Building...Ground zero...NBC studios...
and a LOT more.
That night we ate dinner at Tom's Restaurant: Seinfeld anyone?Then we went to a hilarious show called Altar's a spoof on boy bands about four catholic altar boys (matthew, mark, luke and juan) and their jewish friend (abraham) who start a boy band. We were rolling. Tuesday we went shopping on canal street and on a water tour of the hudson and east rivers. The highlight: Lady Liberty. She is beautiful!
This is me "running" with the Verrazano-Narrows bridge in the background...miles 1 and 2 of the marathon.
That night we ate dinner at the first Indian restaurant in the US? That's what the sign said. Yum! And then we saw PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Loved it. Loved it. The phantom was amazing...and I really loved the owners of the theater as well. Everyone did a great job, though.
On our way out of the show, we saw Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) leaving from his show, Equus, next door. He's the one in the center of the photograph with a hat on. He was so nice and signed tons of autographs before he got into his car. And he's so small!
On our way home, we spent some time in Times Square as the election results started to unfold. So if any of you were watching on television, we were waving to you. :) Wednesday morning, we caught a bus (through Harlem) back to the airport. I kid you not, people were just going home after a night of celebrating our new president-elect. I think New York likes Obama. I think.
All in all, a wonderful trip. I'll post more pictures of the race as I get them. And I'll leave you with a shot of the beautiful fall leaves that I miss oh so much while living in California.

Thanks again to the Olsons for being fantastic hosts. Thanks to Ryan for being a rock star daddy-mama. He and Leah had a great time. And thanks to all my friends who watched Leah and drove me to/from the airport. Amazing friends, I say. Amazing.