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Friday, December 30, 2011

Captain America

We're at home tonight.  I know at home on a Friday night, how did that happen?  Nikki went to a dance/party at Scandia with Sydney.  After all of the holiday eating, we wanted to stay home to have dinner.  But since I haven't been to the grocery store since before Christmas, the pickings were slim.  So pancakes and eggs it was!

Since we were all here we decided to watch a movie too.  It's increasingly hard to find a movie that both Stephen and Ali will watch.  We settled on Captain America (only with a bribe from Bill to rub Ali's back during the movie).  We're only about a third of the way through the movie so far, but it's much better than I'd expected.  Although I think I'm going to like the part before the "procedure" better than the after.  We'll see.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

RnR Las Vegas Recap

RnRLV-The infamous Las Vegas Half Marathon

This was to be my second half marathon and the first one I was to run with Nikki my 14 year old daughter.  She had run a 10k with me a few weeks before and struggled a little so I was just a bit concerned about her making the whole 13.1 miles.  I told her we'd just incorporate a few set walking breaks into our run. (I HATE to walk in my runs, but knew that it would probably help her get through it.)

So we went up Saturday and headed straight to the Expo.  It was too crazy to even find parking, so my husband dropped my daughter and I off and took off to find somewhere to wait.  We made our way through the expo and had a good experience.  No complaints there, we even easily changed our coral.  He didn't feel safe in the car though and wasn't happy to be left waiting for so long.

That night we had  a good pasta dinner with a group of friends that were running as well.  No drinking, and early to bed.  Next morning we headed out for pancakes and eggs.  Being a later race, we figured a good, big breakfast would be the right thing to do.  One pancake (big) and two scrambled eggs and a cup of coffee.  For my last meal, I just grabbed a wrap at Starbucks at the Mandalay Bay.  It was nice and light.

We said goodbye to Sarah when she headed out for the full!  Waited around until it was time for us to head out and find our coral.  We lined up, excited and ready to run.
Me, Lisa and Nikki!

The energy at the starting line was great!  It was cold, but not unbearable.  We were ready to get started though.

Finally we moved along and were released to start!  It was so exciting.  But that was the end of the excitement.  I felt just like cattle.  It was 4-5 miles before we were moving at even close to a 10 minute mile. (Generally I run about 8:45, but with my daughter was aiming for 9:30.)  So we were way behind target pace.  But the problem was trying to get around people.  It was dangerous.  We were weaving, running on the back side of water tables (thankfully not drinking from them!) and kept losing each other. Around mile 8 we saw a lady fall.  It was my biggest fear.  She got tripped up from another runner and landed on her hands and knees.  Luckily she was running with a guy who scooped her up and got her to the side.  I felt so bad for her, it had to have hurt!  But we kept running.  

Since we were so far behind our pace, we decided to skip the walking breaks I'd planned.  Between mile 8 and 9 I told my daughter I wanted her to eat some fuel and get some water.  So we each had a Stinger Waffle and grabbed a water at the water station.  It had finally thinned a little bit, but we were still having to jump into the full marathoners lane to pass people.  I couldn't believe it wasn't going to ever break free!  Around mile 12 was when my daughter spotted the naked runner!  
No that's just Nikki at the Expo!

We even found out later that my husband had given the naked guy a high five!  He said he was looking for us and giving people high fives and didn't realize he was naked until the last minute!  Only in Vegas!
I'm not sure where she found it, but the last three miles Nikki found a burst of energy.  I was surprised at how fast she was going, but wasn't going to be one to slow her down.  We crossed the finish line and came to a complete grid lock.  It was a mass of people that wasn't moving.  I knew we were going to start cooling off fast and I wanted to get her inside as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately there wasn't a quick way to move.  We had to just shuffle along with everyone else.  After about 20 minutes, we finally made it to get a "blanket".  It was definitely a matter of luck to grab the ones being thrown through the air.  But thankfully we each got one and were able to keep moving.  We took a short cut through the gates and headed into the hotel.  At this point, both of our stomachs started to hurt.  Nikki tried to go into a bathroom but the line was long.  The lady in front of her told her, "The line isn't moving because everyone is pooping."  She decided she couldn't stay there.   We decided to try to make it back to New York New York, where we were staying.  We walked to Luxor and tried to catch the tram there thinking it'd be faster.  It was outside though, so it was FREEZING.  When the tram pulled up, it was jam packed.  Bill told Nikki and I to just squeeze in and he'd walk back.  We did. And then two others tried to as well.  That pushed a lot of people over the edge since the doors wouldn't close.  People were freezing and wanting to move.  

We made it back to the hotel. Nikki went to the bathroom.  We found our other two kids and headed to the car.  As soon as I got to the car, I knew something was wrong with my stomach.  I've run plenty of runs at that length, so I knew it wasn't that.  I had been a little queasy all day and figured maybe I'd picked something up.  But Nikki was feeling really sick too.  I still just figured it was a bug or something.  Of course later after reading all of the posts, I realized it may have been something else.  I find it hard to believe that we would've gotten sick from drinking water at only one station.  But after seeing that volunteers weren't using gloves, I think it would've been very easy.  We were sick until Wednesday.  I couldn't eat anything until Tuesday.  (No recovery meal after the run at all) To me, it doesn't matter. That wasn't a run I'd enjoy doing again.  It was too expensive and WAY too crowded for me.  It was fun to run the strip at night, but not enough so that I'd ever do it again.

Our final time was 2:18.  I was very pleased with the time considering the crowds.  Beyond that, I was so proud of Nikki for getting out there and running it with me.  At fourteen years old, she can say she's run a half marathon and no one can ever take that from her!  I don't know if she'll ever run another one, but at least now she knows it's possible.

I decided to wait awhile before posting my recap of this race because I wanted to have some time to let the bad feelings subside.  It was a race I ran with friends and my daughter, and for that I will always have fond memories.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

10k Completed!

Today my fourteen year old daughter and I completed our first 10k!  We'd done a 5k before, but it was a difficult course and didn't leave us feeling very accomplished.  We're signed up for the RNRLV half in December so I wanted to run something prior to that race just to be sure she'd be able to complete the half.  The Beach Derby 10k seemed like a great idea.  They also had a 10 miler, but I was afraid if it was too hard, she wouldn't want to do the half in December.  So I decided to give this a shot.

We headed out at 6AM, arriving in Huntington Beach at 7AM.  We parked about a half mile from the starting line and walked over.  It was perfect timing.

We took a couple of pictures, then jumped in the starting chutes.  A boy from the local high school sang the National Anthem and off we went.  Unfortunately my Runkeeper didn't start when we did.  It turned out to be a good thing, because I was able to let my daughter pace us without worrying about going faster.  She did great!  She had to "pull over" twice to tie her shoes and needed a walk break twice.  But both were brief and we finished in 56:40.  The experience was positive, despite the weather.  I loved that it was a cool 50 degrees, but I DON'T run in the rain...ever.  Luckily it was just cool but beautiful when we began.  Then about mile 3 the drizzle started.  Ok I'm not that big of a wimp, I can run in drizzle.  But by mile 4, it was RAINING!  Hello, I don't run in rain!  At that point, if I'd been alone I would've sprinted just to get it over with.  But my daughter didn't have any sprint in her at that point and was just wanting to keep it at a slow jog.  So we continued along, trying to joke around as we went.  Finally we were close to the finish and were able to give a push to get there.  We were going to wait at the finish to cheer on a friend, but it was freezing.  We grabbed an apple and water and headed the half mile back to the car.  That half mile seemed like another 3 miles!  It was pouring, we were freezing and just wanted to get warm.  We stopped briefly to take a photo and then got to the car and stripped off our wet clothes! 

All in all it was a fun race and I think my daughter was happy she did it.  Now it's the wait for Vegas!  I hope that turns out to be just as great of an experience for her too.  Let's just hope for good weather!!

What did you do this weekend?  Have you run any longer races with your children or parents?  What was your experience?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Please act against Gil Cedillo's CA Dream Act 2011 AB 131

This act is one of the most ridiculous things I've seen.  It's already difficult enough for our children to get into California's impacted colleges.  Now we're going to give financial aid to those here illegally?  Please take a minute to voice your opinion.  

Gil Cedillo’s CA Dream Act 2011 AB 131. It's headed to Jerry Brown's desk. If this goes through, illegal alien's can elbow your kid's way out of line for college education assistance - paid by your California taxes! Call and tell them to shelve Gil Cedillo’s CA Dream Act AB 131! 
•Call 916-445-2841 
•Press 1 for English 
•Then press 2 
•Then press 1 
•Lastly, press 2 to vote in opposition of the DRE

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Legends Soccer - Nikki

It's been awhile since I've posted anything on my blog.  It's not that we've been sitting on the couch, eating bon bons.  I think my biggest pitfall is I haven't been taking any pictures and I hate to blog without the personal touch of a few photos.  So while I still haven't taken any photos of Nikki on her new soccer team, I thought I'd write anyway.

Yesterday was her first league game with her new team, Legends.  She'd played in one tournament a couple of weekends prior, and they'd won the tournament.  But this is a new league and we are a little unsure about how they ranked the teams and how the competition would be.  We played a team called So Cal Rush Nike-Lancaster.  They were a lot better than I'd expected they would be.  Legends ended up winning the game 1-0 and Nikki played very well.  This coach's style of coaching is very similar to one of her old coaches.  They don't keep the ball very long and do more quick, short passes.  Nikki played mid field and had about 10 thru balls (passes that went past the opposing teams defense and allow our forwards to run to it and try to score) that were great.  She played the whole game and didn't let down.

Hopefully as these girls continue to play together, they will get even stronger.  And hopefully Nikki will continue to learn and grow under the direction of her new coach.

Okay I couldn't resist adding something!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Finally a vacation!

With the crazy water polo schedule Stephen has been following we had two spare weeks for a vacation.  So we made the most of them.  The last day of Junior Olympics, we had packed up and were ready to leave.  Stephen and Nikki were both bringing a friend, so as soon as we could we picked them up and headed out.  We didn't get to leave until after 6:00, but it got us there and ready to go out early the next morning.  We went to Lake Havasu and stayed at The London Bridge Resort.  I'd stayed there a few times as a teenager and always remembered it as a fairly nice hotel.  We had a two bedroom suite, so it was perfect for our large crowd.  We got in on Tuesday and stayed until Saturday.  It was a great trip!  The kids had tons of fun and everything was within walking distance.  The hotel wasn't quite the nice place I'd remembered, but it wasn't too bad.  Here are some photos from that trip:

Saturday we drove home right after breakfast.  We got home, cleaned out the boat, repacked our suitcases and went to bed.  The next day we woke up, picked up the friends the kids were bringing and hit the road for our long drive to Lake Powell.  We left Sunday morning and came home on Saturday morning.  Since Ali brought a friend on this trip, we had to take two cars.  It was a bit of a pain being that it was a 9 hour drive, but it worked out fine.  The kids enjoyed having their friends there and we all had a great time!  The scenery at Powell couldn't be beat.  It was amazing and clean.  The Filpi's met us up there on Friday morning and spent the day on the boat with us.  So that was a really fun day too.  All in all, we had an amazing 12 days of vacation.  Here are a few pic's from Powell:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

San Francisco DMV Sucks!

So we received our registration renewal in the mail for our car yesterday.  And as we were trying to figure out why it was so expensive, we discovered that there was a charge for $115 for a parking violation in San Francisco from 7/2/10.  Fabulous, we were in Laguna Beach over 4th of July last year.  In fact we have never driven that car anywhere near San Francisco.  So I called the DMV this morning.  I was on hold for 20 minutes before I hit the button to have them call you back.  They called me back to inform me that I'd need to contact the San Francisco DMV.  So I go online to look up their number and guess what?  They only reference the main 800# that I'd already called!  I called back and went through the same circus.  When they called me back this time she informed me that they should have given me the number for SF in the first place, duh!  After calling them, I was told that was the license number the officer had written down and that I'd have to write a letter to protest it.  The DMV also told me that if SF doesn't take it off by the end of September, we'll have to pay it in order to get our registration and fight them later.  Really??  What a pain in the butt for something that we absolutely have no responsibility for!  I understand it's a great way to get people who evade parking tickets, but it's a really flawed system for those of us that follow the rules!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Girls are Back!

So my girls came back into town yesterday afternoon, and I was excited!  The bus was dropping them off in Pasadena but I wanted to be there.  Stephen and I drove out and had lunch with Bill, did a little shopping and then drove over to the drop off point.  Unfortunately it was blazing hot and the bus was late.  Hmmm I guess they didn't account for 4th of July weekend travel?

Anyway they got back around 2:00, about a half hour behind schedule.  They said goodbyes to everyone on the bus and jumped in the cars.  For the last 48 hours we've gotten caught up on all of the great stories and adventures.  It sounded like another fabulous year at YSSC!  Nikki begged to go for an additional week at the end of July.  It's only for the older campers and it's all water sports.  We considered letting her go, but realized it overlaps our vacation.  Bummer!

I was so happy to have everyone sleeping in their own beds last night.  It just makes me feel like everything is right in the world!  Here's some pics from camp:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lululemon Rocks!

So today my two daughters were coming back from camp after 12 days.  My husband works in the city they were being dropped off, but I wanted to be there to welcome them back too.  So my son and I drove out, had lunch with the hubby and then had about an hour to spare.  I'd been drooling over one of the tops at Lululemon but wanted to try it on before buying it.  So we headed over there to browse.

Of course I couldn't stop at just looking at the top.  I love their stuff!  Being that I now consider myself a "runner" I felt compelled to look at all of their runner wear.  I tried on a couple of styles of shorts, the run speed short and the willpower short.  I also had the top I wanted, the short sleeved willpower and a badly needed sports bra (loved the name Ta-Ta Tamer).  The salesgirl was totally helpful, offered opinions and grabbed sizes for me.  Then while I was still in the dressing room she gave me a shocker.  She said that even though I'd chosen the run speed shorts, she was going to give me the willpower shorts for FREE!  I said, "What?"  She said she'd like to give them to me to promote.  I think I still had a look of shock on my face so she further explained that they'd like me to run in them.  And then give feedback to them as to what I like and don't like.  I said if they were going to give them to me for free I'd wear a sign on my back promoting them!  It was so awesome.  Things like that NEVER happen to me!  And I don't even feel bad that when I looked at them online after getting home, they said they were for people with larger, more athletic legs.  Still don't care!  When I got home and tried everything on again, I actually like those better because they are a little longer.  We'll see when I go on a run.  But woo hoo, what a way to start the holiday weekend!!

Cute little zippered pocket in the back and two little slots in the front for gel packs.  Great shorts!   What unexpected freebies have come into your life?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I just participated in my first chat on Twitter.  I should say it's the first one I was able to keep up with until the end without getting overwhelmed and bailing.  When I first started seeing these #wineparty and #fitblog and #runchat group invites I thought, "Why would anyone do this?".  It seemed like another way for people to escape their lives.  Or something for people with too much time on their hands.  I've come to realize that these chats are a good way to measure yourself.

It kind of reminds me of how as parents we like to hear other parents complain about their kids.  Not because it makes us feel superior, but because it assures us that our kids are normal.  In fact the other day one of the parents on my son's water polo team was complaining about his son.  He told us about all of the horrible things the boy had said that morning to him.  And while we agreed it was terrible, it made us feel that at least our son's outbursts were a little more normal.

The same thing goes for these chats.  I've discovered that even though there are a lot of people out there that are more fit, better runners, etc than me, there are also others that can look up to where I'm at.  It is a way to gain information and tips as well as brag a little about things I've been doing.  So while the timing may not always work for me to participate in these chats, I will jump in when I am able.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Recap

I haven't taken any photos lately.  Well I have, but I haven't downloaded them.  I took about 200 photos over the weekend of water polo.  Both of our girls are at camp.  It's hard to believe they only left last Sunday.  It feels like they've been gone a lot longer.  Here are some pics of what they're doing:

Yes it looks like they're having a great time.  I think the hardest part of them being gone is that I can't talk to them.  If I could hear their stories each day, it would be easier.  But I know they're having a great time and I'll have plenty of time to hear all of the stories when they come home on Friday.  These are life experiences that they'll never forget.  I'm so glad that Ali decided to go with Nikki this year.

So what did we do this weekend?  Stephen had water polo games at Servite on Thursday, and then a tournament in Corona Friday thru Sunday.  They took 5th place in the tournament and qualified for USCC, which was great.  Didn't get much running in over the weekend.  I did get four days in this week, so I guess that's fine.  Although I only got in 18 miles.  I'm trying to keep my minimum at 20, but what can I do?  Bill joined me for a run in Corona.  I'd done Map My Run and found a great 4.25 mile route from the high school Stephen was playing at.  That was Bill's longest run and he did great!  It's fun to have him to run with.  I enjoy running alone, but it's nice knowing he's right there too.

Last night after Stephen's second game we met The Filpi's for dinner at Gyu-Kaku.  It's a Japanese BBQ place where they bring the food to you raw and you have your own grill at each table.  You grill the food to your liking and eat it as it finishes.  We'd been before and really like it.  From there we went to the movies to see Bad Teacher.  

It was pretty funny, although I felt like we'd seen most of the funny parts in trailers.  Then because it was only 7:45 we decided we needed dessert.  We decided to find someplace we could get a drink and dessert.  So we headed over to The Heights.  We were looking for the drink because we'd talked several times about Buttery Nipples and how delicious they are. 

 I'm always up for something new so this was what we were after.  They were so good, we ended up ordering a second round!  I could drink full glasses of that stuff!  We had an early morning of water polo on Sunday so after that, we called it a night and headed home.

Today we went for bagels before heading out to polo.  As we were eating, in walked The Filpi's!  Too funny!  After Stephen's first game, one of his teammates invited us back to their house since they lived nearby.  So we headed over and had a delicious barbeque.  We hung out there for a few hours, eating and visiting before heading back for the second game.  My parents had come to both games, so we invited them to join us back at our house for dinner.  I'd planned to make shrimp tacos and with the girls gone, I knew we'd have enough.  It was a nice ending to a busy but fun weekend.  I'll be counting down the days until the girls come home on Friday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Slowdown??

Where is it?  It seems that our summer slowdowns are over.  All those years I refused to put the kids in summer school or camps or otherwise fill their days.  Now I'm so glad I did.  We had lots of lazy days of summer.  Lots of days we could pick up and go to the beach or hang by the pool.  This summer we are so busy.  Our diving board broke on Memorial weekend when we'd had friends over.  We had it fixed the following week, and not one person has jumped on it since then!  So sad.  No beach days, no pool days, (ok we're by the pool a lot but it's watching Stephen play water polo) no laziness.

Instead Stephen is in the water 7 hours a day for water polo.  When he's not in the pool, he's eating or sleeping.  Nikki had high school soccer camp last week that left her exhausted and now is gone to sleep away camp.  That is one thing she has done the past 3 years.  She and her friend Kate have been going away to camp for 2 weeks.  It's just like when I was a kid.  They do all kinds of fun activities and really focus on letting them be kids.  The past two years they've gone to YSSC in Yosemite and have had a great time!  This year Ali decided to go as well.  She's only ten, so she was a bit nervous about being gone so long.  I can send letters and emails but don't get much back in return.  I think last year we got one letter from Nikki.  So we'll see.

I guess I could go to the beach by myself.  But I think I'd feel really guilty knowing Stephen was working so hard and not able to enjoy his summer.  What to do?  Oh I know...we'll carpet the house.  More on that later.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

After the half

My post for my experiences for running my first half marathon was a bit long, but there was more to the day.  Lisa ended up being able to go with me, but with some conditions.  We had  to run and then RUN!  She had to be at funeral services by 11:00 in downtown LA.  So race started at 6AM, we were done by 8 AM and showered and on the road by 9:10 AM.  We got to the funeral a little after 10:00.  I dropped Lisa off, and headed straight to Nikki's soccer game.  I got there a little early so I stopped at Panera and got a sandwich.  I was starved at this point, so I was glad to be early.  Nikki ended up playing 2 hours of soccer. I'd sit and watch and then start feeling stiff, so I'd get up and walk a bit.  Then to top off the night, we had reservations with Lisa and her family at Lawry's in Beverly Hills at 6:30.  We had such a great dinner!  Prime rib, mashed potatoes, yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, spinned salad and delicious chocolate cake to end it all.  Yes that was a celebration meal!  What a day!

My 1st half marathon

So I ran in the Ojai to Ocean Half Marathon on Sunday, June 5th.  I had trained and knew I was ready to run it.  I also knew it was a flat course and the weather was supposed to be mild.  So I was confident and really looking forward to running.  Lisa (my friend and veteran runner) and I had reservations at the host hotel.  We were sharing a room since the race had a 6 AM start time.  Thursday before the race, I got a text from Lisa that her husband's cousin had died unexpectedly and she didn't know what the funeral arrangements would be but that it might cause a problem for the race.  As the days progressed it looked like she really might not go.  Ali and Nikki both had soccer games on Sunday, so I asked Stephen to go with me.  I told him he could sleep through my race, but I'd like some company for the night before.  Well it came down to it that Lisa decided to try to make it work.  We drove up to Ventura at 1:30 on Saturday.  Got checked in, had a nice dinner (and a scoop of ice cream!) and got to sleep.  We were up just before 5 AM, dressed and down to the start line at 5:30.  It appeared there weren't many racers, or officials at the start line.  But by 6:00 the crowd had grown and they announced the race would start in 90 seconds.  It was kind of crazy at the start.  We could barely get a run going for nearly the first quarter mile.  The finally the crowd thinned and we found our groove.  I had my Nike+GPS running while we ran so I could monitor our split times.  The first three miles we were keeping a good 8:30 pace, which was really fast for both of us.  By mile 5, we'd slowed to almost 9:00 miles but still felt great.  At mile 9 Lisa stopped for water but I decided to keep going.  At mile 11 I knew I had to push to finish strong.  I ran as fast as I could the last two miles and finished in 1:56!  I did it sub 2!!  Lisa said that had been her goal, so I'd decided it was worth trying and I did it!!  I grabbed my phone and lined up to get a shot of Lisa crossing the finish line.  She did it sub 2 also!  She came in at 1:58, her best time ever!!  It was a great race and very fun doing it with a friend.  I can't wait to do Vegas with Nikki.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Half Marathon in 3 days!

It's almost here!  I think I'm about as ready as I'm going to get.  I've put in the miles.  I bought some new sunglasses today.  They are very lightweight and should be much more comfortable than the ones I'd been running in.  I think I have all of the "gear" I'll need.  All I need now are some strong legs.  It's a VERY early run for me, but I'm hoping the adrenaline will kick in and wake me up.  I think the shuttles start at 4:15 AM!  Yikes!  The upside is that it will be near the beach, flat and over by 8:30!

As a reward, we've booked a reservation at Lawry's Prime Rib for dinner that evening.  We'd been trying to find a date that we could go with our friends, but couldn't find anything until August.  Then we decided since we're both running the half marathon and we'll be done so early, why not go that night.  Hopefully my legs won't get too sore.  I'd hate to have limp in, but I will if I have to!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today's Run

With my first half marathon less than two weeks away I am beginning my taper.  I ran 13 miles on Sunday while Bill, Nikki and Ali rode bikes.  I was surprised the girls wanted to go with us, but was happy they did.  Ali made it the nearly 6 miles to the turnaround point without any problems.  I turned and kept running so I didn't mess up my time.  Nikki caught up to me and told me Ali said she couldn't ride back and was walking her bike back.  We just kept going and eventually Bill and Ali came riding by.  Well I should re-phrase that.  Bill came riding by with Ali in tow.  He'd taken off his sweatshirt and wrapped it around her handlebars and pulled.  He said that really exhausted him as well.  We all made it back to the car and I said I still had a little less than 2 miles left to make the full 13 miles.  So  I continued to run and heard Nikki yell, "wait for me!".  Next thing I know she was next to me running!  I told her I was proud of her for finishing so strong.  With some training, I know the two of us will be able to run the half marathon in December in Las Vegas!!

Today I ran 6 miles and if felt excruciating!  I ran the same route I always run, but it sure doesn't seem to be getting any easier.  What did surprise me was when I was done I'd had my best time.  I'd improved my time by 3 minutes.  So I guess if I have to struggle but my times improve, I'll take it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our 5k Results!

The results have finally been posted!  We did great, for our first ever race!!  Bill and Ali stayed together while Nikki and I stayed together.  Bill finished 12th, but was disappointed.  So a week or so later, he followed my 3 mile run and timed himself.  He finished it in just over 28 minutes.  Now he knows he can do it!  The rest of us were happy just to have run it.  It was a great start and we're going to continue to look for fun races to enter.  Go Warnick's!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Driver on the Road!

It's official, Stephen is out on the roads...alone!  We went first thing this morning to the DMV in Fontana.  Ali stayed home sick, so we dropped Nikki off at school at 7:15 and headed out.  We got there a few minutes early and were able to score the parking spot on the end.  As soon as they opened, we went to window 21.  She looked over our paperwork, then told us to move the car to the testing bay.  We waited just a few minutes out there before a normal looking guy walked out to our car.  Turns out he was all business.  Wouldn't make small talk or even crack a smile.  He put Stephen through all of the car basics and told me to wait under the sign.  Off they went.  I was so nervous for him.  So when the lady behind us came over while waiting for her daughter I asked her if her daughter was nervous.  She said this was her 4th time and was very nervous.  She'd failed three times already!  Yikes that wasn't making me feel any better.  Then when Stephen pulled in, she said he was back too quick and had failed.  Stephen got out and the instructor told him to go to window 21.  No, "great job" or even, "better luck next time", nothing!  So off we went and turns out he passed!  Although he did get really close.  He had no extra points to spare!  He apparently didn't make complete stops and was going too fast.  I liked that he was going too fast while in reverse!  Oh well, he passed and drove off to school by himself.  That's such a rite of passage, so happy for him!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to Stephen!

Yep yesterday our firstborn turned 16!  We had tried for nearly four years before being blessed with our wonderful baby.  I still can't believe sixteen years have gone by.  How can he be a sophomore when it seems like only yesterday we were in high school?  Those four years of trying to have a baby, miscarriages, infertility all of it seemed like we'd never come out of it.  Then we had one baby and never had any problems again.  Three babies and sixteen years later it seems like such a long time ago.  Since this is a celebration of Stephen, I will say he has made us so proud to be his parents.  He has worked so hard at everything he does.  From his sports to school he really works hard and has accomplished so much.  I didn't think I'd be ready for  him to drive when the time came, but I can honestly say it will be a big help when he can drive himself (oh and maybe his sisters a bit).  It's been a lot of fun watching him grow into the young man he has become.  Each stage has been such a joy.  Happy Birthday Stephen!!


Okay so we were opening presents for Stephen's birthday and Ali got a little gross.  He'd opened his new Vans and Ali asked if they'd ever been walked in.  I said, "Ah no, why?".  I knew where this was heading.  She'd told me before at a friends house when they'd gotten new Van's her friend licked the bottom of them and it sounded really cool.  So of course now she wanted to try it.  I decided to take some video with the phone I was holding.  Feel free to check it out.  Be sure to turn your sound up so that you can appreciate how "cool" it sounds!

Monday, May 2, 2011

1st time out in the boat

We had a free weekend so we decided to go out on the boat to practice.  We went up to Lake Silverwood on Saturday.  It was a beautiful day.  Nice and warm when we ran the 5k that morning so we thought we'd have great weather.  By the time we drove up there, the temperature was reading 59 degrees.  It was a little windy, but not too bad.  But boy was it cold, hence the sweats on all three kids!  We fished, had lunch, listened to music and really enjoyed each other's company.  Oh no, it didn't end there:
We borrowed some wet suits and the kids went for it.  Nikki was too cold to stay in long.  Ali braved the tube and even jumped in afterwards.  Stephen did the tube with both of the girls and then did the wakeboard!  He didn't think the water was too bad.  The air after he got out was another story.  All in all it was a great day spent with the family.

Our first 5K

We ran our first 5k over the weekend!  It was so much fun.  The whole family ran it, with the exception of the 16 year old who says he's no longer a land animal.  He's been doing swim and water polo for the last two years and thinks that has ruined his ability to run.  I think he was afraid his 10 year old sister would beat him.  So the four of us set out to run the Race for Rescue in Rancho Cucamonga.   Nikki and I were going to start mid way in the runners group, while Bill and Ali started in the back of the runners.  Turned out to be little notice.  They called for line up and immediately sounded the starting gun.  It was unbelievably windy!  They had to tie the EZ Ups to cars.  We knew there was going to be a long stretch of uphill, but didn't realize it was against the wind.  Yikes!  Oh well, it was our first race and we all completed it!  Nikki and I got just over 29 minutes, and my goal was to finish in under 30 so I was happy.  Bill and Ali shocked me by coming in 8 minutes later!  They did awesome.  Ali said it was really hard and she barely made it, but she did it!  They ran in holding hands.  It was so great!  The best part was that Bill said he had a lot of fun and wants to do it again.  Next time we'll definitely drag the 16 year old along!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Soul Surfer Movie Review

Ali had been asking me to take her to see this movie since the day it came out.  Unfortunately we'd been a little busy.  So on Monday when she asked me to take her I promised we could go on Thursday, her early day.  We took a few of her friends, Nikki and Stephen too.  What an amazing movie.  I knew the short story of what had happened, because I remember the real life story.  But the actors they cast for the movie were perfect.  And of course the story was so sad, yet uplifting.  We all cried most of the movie, but came out of the theatre with big smiles.  It was great to see a movie that was appropriate for the entire family.  One that didn't have sex, language or drugs and drinking.  Kind of amazing!  If you haven't seen it, go!

iFitness Belt

I purchased this belt after having used the Belkin arm band and getting frustrated with it pinching and chaffing my arms.  I've used the belt four times now.  All of my runs have been 5-6 miles.  The first three times I had zero problems.  The belt was perfect. I  completely forgot it was there.  The only problem I encountered was when a song I didn't want to hear came on with the arm band, I just reached over and hit skip.  This belt holds my phone really tightly and I'd have to completely stop running to pull my phone out enough to change songs.  So yes that forced me to make a playlist of songs I like for running only.  Still there are times I need a powersong and with the belt I'm unable to make that change.

Today however this belt drove me crazy!  It would not stay put.  It kept riding up.  I swear one time it felt like it was right below my bra!  I ended up pulling way down, basically across my butt.  At least that way it stayed put.  I think the difference had to do with the material of my pants.  The photo on the left is from today's run.  The other times I'd run with the belt I wore the more cotton type pants and shorts.  Overall I really love the iFitness Belt and I'll continue to run with it.  If it continues to ride up, I may have to go back to the arm band.  What do you find works best for you? As a new runner I want to find tools to help me but I don't want to spend a fortune going through all kinds of gear that doesn't work well.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fish tacos

Had a yummy dinner tonight.  Pioneer woman posted earlier today about wanting guacamole and it sparked my desire.  I made some salsa, guac and then jumped into the fish tacos.  They were perfect!  I didn't find any mexican crema so I added cabbage and a tropical salsa.  I don't think dinner could've been any better.

Fish Tacos
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
About 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 jalapeño, stemmed and chopped
1 pound flaky white fish (such as mahi mahi or cod), cut into 4 pieces
8 fresh corn tortillas
Mexican crema, homemade or store-bought
Fresh Tomato Salsa 
2 limes, cut into quarters

Marinate the Onion Put the onion in a small bowl and pour in enough red wine vinegar to cover well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or up to several weeks. 

Marinate the Fish Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the ancho chile powder, oregano, cumin, chopped cilantro, and jalapeño. Mix well. Place the fish on a dish and pour the marinade over it, making sure to coat the fish well on both sides. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes.

Cook the Fish Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove the fish from the marinade and place in the hot pan (there is no need to add more oil). Season the fish with salt. Cook the fish for 4 minutes undisturbed, then turn over, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and flake the fish into the pan with a fork, making sure to mix in all the marinade that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Set aside.

Heat the Tortillas Place four of the tortillas on a plate and sandwich them between two slightly dampened sheets of paper towel. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Place the warm tortillas in a towel-lined basket or plate and cover. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. 

Assemble and Serve To assemble the tacos, place a heaping spoonful of the marinated flaked fish onto the center of a tortilla. Top with the marinated onions. Serve accompanied by Mexican crema and salsa. 
Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.

You can use any fish you like so long as you can flake the flesh when it is cooked. Most white fish fall under this category.
Marinated Onions
Once you make this very simple condiment, you will find yourself keeping a container of these onions in your refrigerator to add to all of your dishes.
Don't be alarmed by the amount of vinegar needed to cover the onions completely. Since you will most likely have onions leftover, keep them submerged in the vinegar in a refrigerated airtight container. You can then use the vinegar for your other cooking needs. The onions will keep for several weeks.
The onions and fish can be made up to a day in advance. When reheating the fish, you may want to add about 1 tablespoon of water to make sure the fish does not dry out.

Simply Mexican
May 2009
by Lourdes Castro

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sports or Academics

We've always been a crazy sports family.   From travel ice hockey to club soccer to water polo and swim, we've had lots of intense weekends and some great family times.  Now that our oldest is a Sophomore in high school, we're seeing the commitment necessary to playing high school sports.  He plays water polo and swims and is in the water 6-7 hours a day.  He loves it and I love what it gives him. He's part of a team and has an incredible work ethic.  So now the problem comes in.  We've seen Seniors that are applying to colleges that have maintained incredible grades while committing to their sport.  And they aren't getting in to the colleges of their choice.  The boys that are getting in are the ones that were strictly academic.  These are boys that have done nothing but study and get good grades.  So what to do?  Personally I don't think that would be good for any of my children.  I think the sports keep them focused, in shape and well rounded.  I think socially the sport has helped them grow as people.  We've been told over and over by the counselors to focus on academics rather than sports because much more merit scholarships are awarded than sports scholarships.  But the coaches want to win.  They push these kids to the limits, leaving very little time to study let alone do homework.  If they skip a practice, they risk being benched.  It's a really tough balancing act that as a parent I never know if I'm doing the best thing.  But I  have to think I'm doing what is best for my child.  He may not get into the top college, but he'll have had a high school experience that was balanced and full of great memories.  And in the end, he'll end up in a college that will be right for him.  And as their parents, we'll have had many full, exciting weekends.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Well I started to seriously diet and run outdoors about 9 weeks ago.  I've lost 14 pounds!  I still would like to lose about 10 more, but would be satisfied with 6.  How did I do it?  Well I knew I was eating too much food, but felt like I was eating fairly healthy so I was kind of at a loss.  So I decided to order delivered meals. I joined ediets 5 day a week meal delivery.  Once a week meals are delivered to your door in an ice box.  You refrigerate them and eat them over the next week.  There was 3 meals a day plus one snack.  You were to eat 2-3 servings of fruit as well.  I have to say the food was better than it looked.  I wanted to cry the first day I received my meals.  They were so small and didn't look that appealing.  The thing that I found the most funny was that these were meals I'd never normally eat because I didn't think they were healthy.  But they keep the calories around 1300 per day, so I guess if people feel like they still have some comfort foods they'll be more apt to stick to it.  I just received my last delivery today.  I'm going to try to continue to lose on my own.  I have already shown myself that I can get through the weekends eating out without gaining anything.  So now I just have to figure out how to lose during the week on my own.  I think I can do it, but we'll see.  If not, I can always begin ordering food again until I get to my goal.  But at this point I can use a break anyway.  I don't like eating food I know isn't really healthy and I felt like I wasn't eating nearly enough vegetables.

The running is going well too.  I'm up to 5 miles this week.  My times have been getting better.  I'm able to maintain a 10 minute mile the whole 5 miles.  Next week I'll be up to 6 miles.  I still need to work in more stretching time and yoga and probably by next week it will become more important.  I'm looking for a free weekend to do a 5k with Bill and Nikki.  So far I haven't been able to find a free weekend, but I will.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ali's spring photo

I have a new app on my phone, instagram.  It has all kinds of built in, fun filters.  I took a photo of Ali's 8X10 with my phone and then applied one of the filters to it.  It was cute as the photo itself, but once I took a picture of it on my phone it looked flat.  The filter softened it enough that I thought it turned out really cute.  

Now how honest should I be?  These spring photos really bug me.  They take the pictures at school.  You don't pay for them, so everyone takes one.  Then they send home a package of cute pictures.  You're supposed to pay something like $13/ sheet.  Some sheets have one photo others have more, depending on the size.  Well of course after seeing them, I always feel like I have to purchase at least 2 sheets.  Then I find out that most people just keep the photos and never send in the money.  I've been told that since we didn't agree to take them before hand we don't owe the money.  Now I completely agree that I didn't ask for the photos and probably wouldn't even have them taken if given the option because we already had school photos in the Fall.  But this is also someone's business and I'd feel like I was stealing if I didn't pay for them.  What do you think, is it wrong to keep them without paying for them?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another great chicken recipe

Tried a new recipe for chicken thighs tonight.  It was awesome!  I pulled the skin off of mine and the kids.  Hubby ate everyone else's skins!  Nice to have a new healthy chicken recipe to add to the rotation.  Check it out:

Life of a SAHM

So this afternoon as I was sitting down for the first time all day at my computer, my oldest daughter says to me, "Mom is that what you do all day.  Or what do you do?"  Sometimes I wonder myself what I do all day and how the hours can just disappear without much getting accomplished.  She I gave her the run down of my day:

Dropped the girls off at school.
Came home, picked up the kitchen.
Went for a 5 mile run.
Showered for the 2nd time today.
Went to deliver Meals on Wheels.
Met Lisa for lunch at Podge's in Claremont.
Went to the grocery store.
Dropped off and put away groceries.
Picked up the girls.
Sat down at my computer while girls worked on homework.

Yep that's what I did today.  It seems pretty unproductive even though I was busy the entire day.  I think that's going to be something I work on.  I'm going to set aside days or at least blocks of time for specific activities that I want or feel need to get done.  First on that list will be working on my scrapbook.  Second might be spring cleaning.

Now I'm off to start dinner since Stephen usually arrives home famished.  How about you, what do you do with your days?  And do you feel like you have a lot of missing hours in the day?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Fighter

We went to dinner last night with The Filpi's.  Stephen invited Sammy to come along as well.  We went to La Tolteca, and had to split up with the kids on one side of the restaurant and adults on the other.  Dinner was fabulous as always.  Then we headed back to our house.  The kids went out and swam (yes the pool is barely 70 degrees!), and the adults watched The Fighter.  It's my goal to watch all 10 movies that were nominated for Academy Awards.  I've seen more this year than in any other year!

We all really liked the movie.  I don't think it was meant to be as much as a comedy as we found it to be.  The eighties hair and clothing just cracked us up!  The music was great, even the cars were hilarious to us.  Lisa just liked looking at Mark Wahlberg!  It was a really good movie, probably one of the better ones on the list so far.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Busy Weekend

We've had a busy week, and it just continued into the weekend.  Nikki had a soccer tournament in Las Vegas and Stephen had a swim meet in Brea.  Yep couldn't do both, so we had to divide and conquer.  Bill and Nikki decided that the weekend would be their bonding time and they'd go alone.  Ali wanted to go, but she'd gone skiing for three days with a friend and wouldn't be back in time so she stayed home with us.  Bill called me to when they got into town.  I asked if he and Nikki had some good, bonding conversations on the ride.  He said she ditched him in Victorville to ride with friends and he drove alone.  Nice!!

Stephen's swim meet was in Brea.  Friday I had to be at the school at 12:45 to drive the boys down there.  We got there a little after 1:00, when I found out the meet didn't start until 3:00.  So I hung out and read for awhile, which was a nice surprise.  Friday was the qualifiers and thankfully, Stephen qualified in both of his events (the 200 free and the 100 free).  Saturday we had to be there at 7:20.  I was assuming the meet would start at 8:00.  No such luck, it was scheduled to start at 9:00...ugh!  Stephen did a bit better on Friday than today, but still did great!  He took 4th in the 200 free with a time of 2:00:03.  Yesterday, he'd gone 1:59:90.  In the 100 free he took 5th with a 56:82.  Yesterday's was a 56:89.  He's definitely consistent.  That I'd noticed last year.  Stephen goes all out every race and does his absolute best.  And it shows with his times being so close all of the time.  He's so close to lettering in the 200 and 500.  Let's hope in the coming weeks he gets there!!

Nikki had her 1st soccer game at noon.  Bill texted at half time that they were still tied 0-0.  Then I got the dreaded text that they lost with 1 minute left in the game.  Boo!  I hate games that end like that, unless of course they're in our favor.  Let's hope for a better outcome in the 5:00 game!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

I've been having such a tough time getting Stephen to eat any breakfast.  Last year, as a Freshman he fought me but ate.  This year he has dug in his heels and refused to eat in the mornings.  I've tried explaining to him the myriad of reasons that he should eat something.  I'd baked these blueberry muffins knowing that he likes them but he never even tasted them.  I'd put half in the freezer fearing they wouldn't all get eaten.  Then as a way to get rid of some of them, I took them as a snack for the boys I was transporting to a swim meet.  Of course none of the boys wanted one!  I felt like a drug pusher telling them, "Come on they're great and I made them!"  Finally one brave boy said he'd eat one and then of course said, "Wow these are really good, can I have another?"  That was all it took, the remaining 3 were eaten, one by my son!  After that, he's grabbed one every day on the way out the door.  Yes!!  Success!!  It's not the big, balanced breakfast I think he needs but it's a start.  I'm guessing he'll get sick of them soon, but hopefully then he'll be willing to try something else.  Give them a try, they're great!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yesterday Bill and I got to spend the day together.  He took the day off so that we could go to the boat show together.  We'd gone to Bert's to look at boats the weekend before.  We looked at Yamaha jet boats and figured we'd probably go that route.  They said most of their boats were out at the boat show.  Then a few people told Bill that you can get some good deals at the boat show so we decided to go check it out.

We had lunch together before heading in.  We ended up being there for nearly 7 hours!  Much longer than we'd expected.  We looked at the EbbTide deck boats first and found one we really liked.  We were pretty sold on it and figured that'd be what we got.  We went to sit down and talk it over for awhile and decided to go back and make it a done deal.  Along the way back over there, we stopped to look at some of the expensive branded boats.  We were surprised at the cost, in that it was lower than we'd thought.   Talking to the salespeople was good too as we were able to gather more information.  It was also good to really compare the boats.  Of course there were some things we liked better on one boat and other things we liked better on another.  We ended up looking at ShockWave, Essex and Chapparal.  Chapparal was out because they were located in Ventura and knew that'd be too much trouble for service.  ShockWave was in Ontario and was okay, but a smaller company.  We spoke with the owner there.  So it really came down to Essex or EbbTide.  After going between the two, we decided there were several reasons why the EbbTide was better for our family.  The bimini top was nicer and worked much better with the wakeboard tower.  The finishing touches just seemed better on the EbbTide as well.  And then there's the price tag, it was a good $25k less than the Essex.  So while Bill said it was like comparing the Ferrari to the Accord, we decided our first venture into boating should be with an Accord.

He is going to call today to put down a payment and we should be able to take delivery soon.  I think this will be a fun and exciting new way for our family to have some fun together.  Now to start researching what lakes to go to and where to stay!  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I've been running for about 14 weeks now and just experienced my first set back.  I was doing a 10 mile run and about mile 7 my foot started to hurt on top.  I finished the run, but by that evening my foot was swelling and bruising.  So I cut my miles the next week to 20 and wore my old tennis shoes instead of my Vibrams.  Then I started thinking that I really need to cross train more.  So I called up my friend/trainer that teaches Crossfit classes.  I decided to start slow and only go once a week.  I went today for the first time since the end of December.  Yikes!  Crossfit is not something to take a break from.  I was dying!  Our workout looked like this:

5 minutes on the rowing machine- I did 1083 meters
Warm up:  10 wall balls (this is throwing a medicine ball up the wall, catching it and dropping into a full squat) 12 # ball
10 pull ups (being away so long I used a blue band for 4 rounds then green for the last 3)
Yes 7 rounds for time was the warm up!  It took me: 12:40

WOD (Workout of the Day):
1 mile run
100 sit ups
100 ghg back extensions
1 mile run

It was the first time I've ever done a crossfit class and said "Yes, we're running!".  I knew my muscles couldn't take much else.  My time on the WOD was: 31:47.

So while none of my times were impressive, it felt good to get back there and get a great workout.  I'm still not sure if once a week will even be beneficial, but it's all I can squeeze in right now.  I'm hoping it will help my running.  Time will tell.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Half Marathon?!!

Okay I've finally done it.  I registered Nikki and myself for the Strip at Night half marathon in Las Vegas.  It isn't until December 4th.  I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it's something.  Now I've really got to log more miles on the street.  I've been doing really good with treadmill miles.  I've done 10 miles every Sunday for the past 3 weeks and about 13-16 during the week.  But the street is so much harder for me with the uphill.  Today I did 3.6 miles.  I ran 1.5 miles down to the junior high where I had to do some work in the copy room.  Then I went the long way home for an additional 2.1 miles.  It was tough coming back up the hill, but I made it with a 10:15 average on the way up and 9:00 on the way down.  Tomorrow is The Loop.  Then Sunday I'm going to get Nikki out for a long run.  We'll see how it goes

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Salmon Recipe

Here's a recipe that I'm going to try one of these Friday's during Lent.  I'll let you know how it is!

If you try it first, let me know how it is!

Okay I finally got to make this recipe.  It was pretty good, but I think I like a little "more".  I like salmon with mustard or maple syrup or both :)  This was good with some sliced avocado on top.  I took a picture with my phone, but didn't have a card for my good camera.  Anyway, here's a snapshot:

And yes I used a paper plate, and yes those green beans look a bit brown in this photo.  But really the dinner was very good!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Carrot Orzo

I was looking for something new for a side dish.  Last night I'd made my "fried chicken" recipe and wanted something different to serve with it.  I found this recipe in Southern Living Best of 2010.

Carrot Orzo

8 oz carrots, peeled and cut into 1" pieces (about 2 c.)
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
3 T butter
1 medium onion
2 c. uncooked orzo pasta
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 T chopped fresh chives
1 t chopped fresh thyme

1.  Process carrots in a food processor 15 seconds or until finely chopped.
2. Combine 2 1/2 c. water and broth, heat until just before boiling.
3. Meanwhile melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add carrots and chopped onion, cook stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender.  Add orzo and garlic, and cook 1 minute.
4. Slowly stir hot broth mixture, salt and pepper into orzo mixture.  Cook stirring often, 15-18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
At this point, I was a little scared because it was so watery.  But I kept at it...
5. Stir in Parmesan cheese, chives and thyme until blended.  Serve orzo immediately.  Garnish with carrot curls.

Here's my final result.  And I have a confession...rather than chop the onion, I put it in the food processor after the carrot.  I'd recommend just chopping it because I think the processor made it too runny.