Friday, October 29, 2010

spooktacular party

it was a party at our house this afternoon. leah and i invited lots of our little friends over for good food and fun. the food was supposed to be better {um, homemade}, but life happened so we got hot-n-readys. i forgot to put the drinks on the table for two hours {whoops!} and completely spaced the salad. everyone came in costume and brought a yummy treat to share. the wonderful kristen helped us all decorate yuuuuuumy caramel apples. the kids decorated sugar cookies, pinned the nose on the jack-o-lantern 

{almost everyone liked that} 

and trick or treated. 

we even got to witness a miracle as we got them all to stand in one place and smile. and then they just kept standing there. it was kind of amazing. 

saw some of the cutest angels, clowns, captain kirks {or spock?s} shy witches, 
 {even some saying mooooooo!}
 riding hoods, 
 cinderellas {with their baby brother monkeys},
 and firemen {there were three, but this one couldn't help but send off his sexy-yet-tough-guy look},
this world has ever seen. 

fireman jack wasn't so thrilled with halloween at all this year {even though his baby sister dressed up as his very own fireman dalmation}, but we snuck a picture anyway.

the house was a disaster {cleanup was actually a cinch}, but totally worth it. these parties have definitely changed throughout the years. we do a lot more entertaining and much less sitting. but we also do a little more laughing.

 we came away with some great loot. leah checked. 
thanks, ladies, for all the fun. happy halloween!

but grandma...

i'm not a wolf, but i could eat this little red riding hood right up. 
probably the cutest i've ever seen.
the costume will undergo some tweaking this weekend and we'll debut our trio soon. stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

sick day...

we've had one sick little girl at our house for a few days. and this is what she looks like when she's sick:

really, truly. just happy to be helping mom with the laundry. if it weren't for the other signs like her horrible cough, burning skin, this:

{our house is scattered with these:}
and little bit of this:
you'd never even know she was sick. she missed school on monday and was depressed beyond belief. when i told her she could go back yesterday, she grinned from ear to ear. her giggle is still a little raspy, but she's giggling...i think she willed herself better just so she could go to school. no more fever, just traces of a cough and a kind-of runny nose, but i'm pretty sure that's just allergies now. we're definitely on the mend. here's to hoping the boogers leave, but the extra cuddles stick around for awhile.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

family pictures version 2010

had our annual family photo shoot this weekend with the lovely julia wade. the weather was perfect, the bean beamed and the husband didn't mutter one negative complaint OR roll his eyes. i'd call that a screaming success. and here's a sneak peak...

can't wait to see the rest!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

nike women's 2010

hands down, this is my favorite race ever. it's my fourth year running. and i've still only been "maren" once. this year, my entry was thanks to angela, who injured herself in a triathlon two weeks prior. boo. but we musn't let a perfectly good race entry go unused. so i happily volunteered. 

i mentioned she injured herself two weeks prior, right? that meant i didn't know i was running a half marathon until two weeks prior to actually running it. and i really haven't been running much lately. i injured myself in july. i have no idea how it happened or even what happend, but it hurt. i couldn't even walk one day. so i rested for a week. then i did yoga. and it killed again. so i rested for a week. then i did yoga. and it killed again. so i rested for six weeks. and then a very chubby-feeling maren started to run - slowly - again. and then decided to run a half marathon. 

i ran with kaylynn, who was running the full in honor of seven-months-pregnant julia, who has run this race since its inception seven years ago. kaylynn actually trained for the race. and trained well. a full minute and a half per mile faster than me. but i decided i'd keep up for at least a mile or two. and i kept up for four and could still see her at five. but my darn shoelaces kept unlacing and i was thiiiiiiirsty {which is strange, because my friends always call me a camel - i rarely drink during runs!}. but i felt good about it. and then my iPod and i kept on my pace for the remainder of the race with the exception of two steep hills when my hip started hurting exactly where it hurt in june. so i took the hills easy. 

and you know what? i ran a course best.
and i enjoyed every second of the flats, the uphills, the downhills, the dry skies, the rain, the cool temps, the crowds, the tshirts, my yellow shorts, the encouraging signs, the breathtaking beauty that is highway 1 and my body's ability to up and run 13.1 miles on a whim. i am truly grateful for that.

and then i spent two hours shivering in the rain because, after four years of running this, we still haven't figured out how to find each other at the end. i found julia - and my warm, dry clothes - as kaylynn was crossing the finish line for the full two hours after i finished. 

and then we enjoyed a nice, warm breakfast at squat and gobble. yum. 

thanks angela for the bib. 
thanks kaylynn for the company. 
thanks julia and brook for the support crew-ing.
and thanks julia for the encouragement to run this race four years ago. 

p.s. bangs + rain are not a pretty idea.

favorite signs this year:
"run like snot"
"run like you stole something"
"on a scale of 1 to 10, my wife's a 26.2" 
ryan WILL be sporting that saying on a shirt during my next full marathon.

Friday, October 15, 2010

the camera (man) loves her

at the rett study, there was a photographer there who was looking to get pictures for the marketing department at the hospital. i think he kind of had a crush on leah because after we gave him consent to take our pictures, he followed little miss ribbons around for at least 20 minutes. and she did nothing but ham it up. oh, she knew. 

here are some of my favs. 

um, that's not my name

oh. my. word.

have you ever just felt completely and utterly ridiculous for something? for thinking one way {for almost an entire year in my case} and having it not end up being something completely different?

i have this friend, we'll call her {delilah}. {delilah} isn't the most common name in the world, but it's not unheard of, right? it's a normal name. {delilah} moved to the area about a year ago and i met her through some mutual friends. we see each other at least once a month at a girl's night. we've emailed and chatted and been to parties and races and become relatively good friends.

well last night, {delilah} said to me, "by the way, my last name isn't {smith}, it's {brown}."
um, what? are you kidding me? how has it been over a year and i've never known her correct last name? i've used her last name in conversations with other friends who know her and definitely know her last name is {brown}, not {smith}. multiple conversations. how have they not corrected me? i'm sure they've used her correct last name in multiple conversations. how have i not caught on?

i felt so ridiculous. then i started to wonder how i ever thought it was {smith} in the first place. i've only known three people ever with the name {delilah}, so i thought maybe it was from that? 

and you know what? it is! turns out a girl i knew from high school got married and now has the last name {smith}. i found out she got married just about the time i met the delilah here and must have mixed up the names.

i have to be honest, i'm super glad it was at least a relatively legit excuse for not knowing my friend's real last name. but i'm still completely embarrassed that i've been calling her by the wrong name for such a long time! she didn't know until just a few days ago. we finally figured it out with a recent string of emails where i used her last name to introduce her to someone else {yup, introduced her with the wrong last name}.

now i feel like i have to get to know a completely different person. out with the old {delilah}, in with the new. or, not so new in her case...just in mine. ugh.

guess i'll go change that email contact...

Monday, October 11, 2010

the best day after my birthday. ever.

the day after my birthday is just like the day after christmas for me - kind of a let down. the anticipation has passed, the birthday wishes die off, the balloons are saggy, and it's just a regular old day. and the worst part is you have to trudge through 364 more of those regular old days before the excitement begins again.

but this year was different. this year, i had a great day-after-my-birthday. ryan was still out of town, so leah and i slept in and then hopped on over to santa cruz to play with some of our friends. colleen and claire invited us to go apple picking with them at a local orchard. because leah and i had such a great time just the two of us a few weeks ago, we were happy to come along!

this farm was much smaller and definitely not as well known as the other we've been to. the owners of the orchard invited us on a tractor ride {along with his two granddaughters and a lovely couple from england}. he saw that claire and leah had some physical disabilities and asked all about it. he even helped them get on and off the haybales we sat on in the tractor. on our way to the apple trees, he pointed out and taught us about all sorts of fruits and nuts and goodness growing on his land. we made a quick pit stop to ride the horses and then we picked the apples. he encouraged us to eat some right off the tree and i just about died of their perfection. leah and claire giggled and giggled as we filled our bags and made our way back to the stand. 
we tasted their fresh honey {and quickly bought a jar}, purchased our fresh-picked organic apples and made our way back to their house.

colleen and i cleaned, peeled, chopped and cooked a vat full of apples while two of the world's cutest girls giggled to beauty and the beast. one took a nap, the other didn't. the other belongs to me.

we mashed, poured and finally sealed our sauce to be enjoyed at a later date...but only after tasting some of our hard work.

the girls took turns pushing a switch to turn pages on claire's cool computer and then, to celebrate my big day, we all shared some of the most delicious cupcakes i've ever tasted.

so, if you're wondering, i'm totally over begruding the day after my birthday from now on. i'll take a day like that anytime.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

winner -- mod podge canvas

congratulations to lucky #11, ryan and emily!
emily has two of the cutest kids on the planet, 
so hopefully the mod podge will do them justice. 
em, just email me to let m eknow what animal/colors 
you'd like and we'll figure it all out! 

 i hope to document the process so i can 
create a tutorial for all those who are interested. 
it's not super difficult, 
it just takes some time because you 
have to let each layer dry.

thanks to everyone who participated in the birthday giveaways! 
my birthday was fantastic...
so far 29 is pretty darn good! 
hope to have some pictures up in the next day or two.

the happy day...

the big birthday came and went and i felt oh-so-loved. 

from packages waiting for me on the doorstep to kind texts and emails and phone calls and face-to-face visits from family and friends, it turned out to be a wonderful day. 

ryan was out of town, roaming the northeast and its beautiful red and orange trees {um, jealous!}, 
but he made sure to email me at midnight EST to wish me a happy happy day, which ushered in my birthday three hours early. woo hoo!

in the morning i ran nearly 10 miles at a speed i haven't run since training for a marathon two years ago. i had so much energy and a smile for everyone who passed on the trail.

leah and i sang disney princess songs in the car at a much-too-loud volume {um, okay. i sang. leah giggled.} then she took me to lunch at subway.

my sister kelli wins the prize for sending happy wishes in the most ways possible. she covered a mailed gift, a mailed card {separate from the gift}, a conversation via skype, an email, a phone call and a comment on facebook. just wish we could have added in-person to that impressive and thoughtful list.

speaking of facebook, birthdays are awesome over there. i felt love from friends old and new and each message made me smile.

i helped out a homeless woman.

i cleaned my house.

i saw, on a very popular blog, that my feet pictures are catching on. those were my idea, you know.

i chatted with ryan on the phone and he updated me on how cool vermont, new hampshire, new york, massachusetts and connecticut are.

my sweet friend jenny wrote about rett syndrome awareness month. 

i bought myself some birthday shoes.

i partied with friends {at a bash i threw for myself. yup. i did.}

and i ate scones. mmmm. scones.

it was pretty much the best day ever {even though there aren't many pictures since it was just me and leah for most of the day...and she can't use those darn hands} and i have so many people to thank for that. especially my mom since she's the one who made it all possible for me to even have a birthday on october eighth. thanks, mom.

the countdown is officially on for 30...

Friday, October 8, 2010

hip hip hooray!

today's the day! got an email from the east coast three hours ago to wish an old lady a happy birthday. i'll take it. 27 hours of birthday fun is so much cooler than 24. 

bring it on twenty nine.  


i'm throwing myself a birthday party tonight. totally lame, i know...but i'm so excited!! this is my year...