Monday, June 29, 2009

scarlett: stinking up the place since 2007

june 28, 2007

june 28, 2009

reagan with the requisite one-eyed pirate smile whilst antagonizing scarlett by touching her head. reagan only pesters scarlett in one way. he must touch her head. they don't hit, they don't wrestle, they don't really tease each other. reagan has all of his big brotherly annoyances reduced to one annoyed touch of the head. i have seen the physical anguish in his face when he is trying to make the decision to annoy her or not. sometimes when i am watching he will forgo the head touch and just touch her head with his nose. i think he thinks that i am convinced that he is kissing her, but i know better. he is merely disguising his pester as an endearing touch. which it is anything but.

a brief tutorial on making a scarlett o'hara birthday cake:
1. go to your local craft store and spend some time in the cake decorating aisle.
2. become discouraged at the time and economic commitment that a cake of this magnitude is going to require.
3. drive to the local grocery store bakery.
4. have the head baker modify the belle disney princess cake into a make-shift scarlett o'hara.

and so it turns out looking like this:
which is a far cry from this:
5. vow that next year's scarlett o'hara cake will make this year's abysmal scarlett faux'hara cake very distant memory.

happy birthday scarlett grace!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

girls cramp 2009

i think this pretty much sums it all up:

most of my girls camp memories have been carefully repressed. the few memories i can dredge up involve inordinate amounts of junk food, laying on the floor of our tents hiding from leaders when asked to go to flag ceremony or certification classes, and hanging a ricky van shelton poster on the wall of our cabin to make it feel more like home. i do not recall being a ricky van shelton fan but i remember the poster as clear as day.
as apprehensive as i was about attending girl's camp as a youth, i looked forward to attending as a leader because i adore the young women of the church. while i am not a natural born camper, i do try and have enthusiam for anything that i am needed to do. this enthusiam was greatly needed at camp this past week.
things i accomplished at girls camp:

i discovered my natural born killer instincts: no very slow moving, very large animal or person or inanimate object is safe within 10 feet of me.

we baked muffins inside of orange peels over an open fire:

i demonstrated to the girls how abstinence works by abstaining from ice blocking. my good humor and willingness to try anything had left me at this point of camp.

also, ice block + big hill + recurring nightmare about knocking all my teeth out = NO WAY JOSE

it's a simple equation really. no need to get a calculator out.
but amazingly enough my wonderful mother took a quick turn driving an ice block down a hill. she is obviously not as concerned about her teeth as i am:

i was blessed to be able to work with some of the most awesome women of all time. camp was a success because of these three women; little P! tanner, sarahvance, and belinda. i am only in the picture to balance it out:

bonding time with my mom: we mostly discussed the quickest exit from camp without too many people noticing. the ticks were getting a little out of hand. any ticks at all is too many.

i pretended to be a pioneer by sleeping on the provided cots. i affectionately dubbed my cot, "lawn chair", because it was almost as luxurious as your typical picnic table, but not quite. during the thunderstorms, belinda would scoot her cot over to mine and we would spoon. she was next to the screened in window and the torrential downpour proved to be too much fun for her.

bonding with wonderful friends:
this picture was taken on the first morning at camp. notice the excitement on our faces. the night before, camp was bombarded with the thunderstorm to end all thunderstorms. the next morning we woke up to mud, millipedes and 60 degree weather. i only packed one longsleeve t shirt on a whim. in all my many many camp years, i have never experienced camping without dripping sweat. needless to saw, i wore this shirt for 3 of the 4 days of camp.

the final day of camp: notice the bleary-eyed desperation in our faces. WHO HAS A TOILET WITH A WORKING FLUSH? ANYONE??? ANYONE??? on me you will notice the same long sleeve t-shirt, only this time accesorized with bug guts, crusty day-old scrambled eggs and the same braids in my hair. i was the epitome of gross. in my defense, i did rinse my braids with shampoo one day.

i bonded with some of my lovely girls: i think they were making fun of me. note to self, no more mom jeans. i oughta smack those smiles right off their faces.

and no girls camp is complete without at least one bit of drama. whilst my group of girls was canoeing, someone(NOT ME!!!) locked my keys in my car. we were about 1 hour from camp. i am a tad embarassed that my reaction to this travesty was not the most mature response. i banged my head against the window glass repeatedly and silently threatened to drown the perpetrator. perhaps all my threats were not silent. and then i cried when i talked to my mom and thomas on the phone. thankfully, someone with a cooler head prevailed and belinda drove me downtown to thomas' office and so that i could pick up the spare key. on the 29th floor of thomas' office building. in my stinky camp shirt and swimsuit and wet shorts that i had worn in the lake. and a do-rag on my head and a sunburn on my face. and of course, my classy braids. that was the longest elevator ride of my life. i am sure that thomas' co-workers were so impressed. i looked homeless. and i would have accepted any cash offered me.

next year, i hope they have fun without me.

Monday, June 08, 2009

i came, i ran, i conquered!

"exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don't kill their husbands. they just don't." elle woods

thomas is safe for a little while longer.

it's a little hard for me to believe that the task that i have been training for for months and months is finally over. on saturday i ran in the 36th annual hospital hill run. the grandfather of all kansas city road races. hospital hill is famous for it's gratutious use of hills during the course of the race and this year was no exception. the website proudly proclaims that "trinity hill is back fo 2009". i wasn't that excited when i got to trinity hill.

i am still a bit in shock that i did it. i am not athletic. i have no natural physical inclination to speed unless it involves inhaling tacos or elbowing someone out of the way at a good sale. it probably sounds silly, but training for this event was exhilirating, fulfilling, overwhelming, daunting and incredibly spiritually rewarding experience. i feel like i was finally discovering untapped potential in myself. my goal for this race was simple; just don't stop running. EVER. i developed a mantra as i was running, "i can do hard things." i repeated this over and over until i really believed it. it's what got me through. when you are training for a race, you have plenty of time to think. i thought about all sorts of stuff, future goals, my family, clothes, alternate endings to gone with the wind, church, old friends, past decisions. that much personal contemplation leads to a few realizations. for instance, it's a reallyreally bad idea to eat a bowl of frosted mini wheats before a long run. the biggest lesson i learned through all my thinking time was that running is more of a mental exercise than anything else. the days that i got up all excited to run could easily turn disastrous if i didn't keep a positive mental attitude and a belief that i could accomplish any task placed in front of me. my body was in shape for the race months ago, my mind was a constant battle. I CAN DO HARD THINGS!

oh sweet victory!

my official time was 2 hours 10 minutes and 7 seconds.

the aftermath:
i had to use to the stroller to stretch my calves.

the puddles of blood in my shoes were a bit of a surprise. i had never had my feet bleed like that before in any of my races or long runs whilst training. needless to say i think those shoes are going to be retired. i was a vampire's dream come true.

race highlights-

for about a mile i ran next to a man wearing a long red cape and a wrestler's mask. he was also wearing the second tightest shorts of the race.

at around mile 7, the tightest shorts of the entire race ran past me. and he was visibly wearing women's underwear. runners are strange people.

around mile 5 there was a man standing on the sidelines wearing a tennessee football t-shirt. i got his attention and then shouted as loud as i could, ROLL TIDE!!! the look on his face sustained me through the next few miles.

a kind lady at mile 11 was passing out cold green grapes. normally i find green grapes more than a touch distasteful, but that handful of grapes tasted like manna from heaven. i will never snub green grapes again.

a special thanks to-

my dear husband who supported and loved me throughout the entire ordeal. and an extra special thanks for putting up with my restless legs all night long, me falling asleep on the couch at 9pm every night, and my sweat saturated stinky gym clothes smelling up our closet. and especially thank you for your wonderful face at the finish line. that made it all worth it. also, the twilight saga boxed set was a nice surprise.

marci claypot. who planted the dream in my head last year and was a driving force in my mind. you can have your high school running shirt back now. now i really know what it means to need to want it more than it hurts.

my asics running shoes. you made the miles that much more comfortable. and not to mention stylish.

my kids. for patiently waiting for me in the ymca childwatch while i spent way too much time on a treadmill.

the 3rd street hill. you were killer to practice on, but after the 5th major hill of the race i was grateful for the time you and i spent together.

for my many many friends and family members who have listened to me talk non-stop about my "race" or "training" or "yoga". now you all get to listen to me talk non-stop about actually running the race. lucky you.

my ipod. or as you are more affectionately termed, ipood. i could not have done it without you. running in silence is for masochists.

my race day playlist-because you are dying to know...

the entire twilight soundtrack. even for you twihaters, this is a great cd. especially for running.

guns n' roses greatest hits

stone temple pilots greatest hits


roxette- joyride and faded like a flower

christina aguilera- fighter and beautiful

blue october- congratulations and hate me

don't stop believin'- glee cast and journey

cheap trick- the flame

alphaville- forever young

live- i alone

the flys- got you

led zeppelin- kashmir

muse- starlight

earth, wind and fire- september

garth brooks- standing outside the fire

my chemical romance- welcome to the black parade

sugarland- we run

radiohead- 15 step

prince- 7

tears for fears- break it down again

and last but certainly most important

britney spears- stronger

Friday, June 05, 2009

all hail summer!!!

oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green???

our little family ventured out with some friends to the Kansas City Symphony and Union Station's Memorial Day celebration at the National World War I Museum. does your city have a WWI monument? no, it doesn't. kansas city has the only one. just another reason that we're so special.
though i am not one to look forward to getting older, there are some perks to aging. each year i gain a greater appreciation for our marvelous country and the many rich blessings we enjoy from living in these United States. for the weeks preceeding Memorial Day, posted outside of our local grocery store was a veteran in his full military service uniform. he looked so old i am guessing that he served in korea. everytime i saw him passing out his red poppies, tears would spring to my eyes. i always felt guilty about my meager offering to his collection plate for the VFW. i had reagan shake his hand. these few moments make me feel so proud. it always makes me want to live better and enjoy my freedoms more fully. speaking of freedoms, did i ever tell you that i joined the national rifle association? now all i need to do is get a gun. hopefully one that i can strap to my ankle.
some pictures of union station that i swiped from the internets:

by the end of the evening the entire field was filled with patriotic americans. we listened to the Kansas City Symphony play patriotic music and a retired general read some prose. a photo display was projected onto union station. cannons were set off and afterwards was a fireworks display.

later that week the kidlets and i visited a local old timey farm in kansas. it pained me to no end to cross the state line into jayhawk territory; i'm no traitor to my missouri roots, unlike some of my family members and some dear childhood friends.
there was an old-fashioned school and reagan displayed his academic talents. this reminds me of my classroom induced narcolepsy. since i started seminary my freshman year of high school, any classroom setting makes my eyes roll back in my head and my mouth start to drool. the only antidote is to fall asleep as soon as possible. natalie, do you still have those pictures of me sleeping through our college commencement ceremony?oddly enough, this late may day was a frigid 65 degrees.

the following weekend my friends jessica and meredith and i ran in the paradise park 5k benefiting jackson county girls on the run. this was the toughest course that i had ever run. it was 90% grassy field with a lovely combination of woodchips, loose rocks, tree stumps and roots and unexpected gopher holes. they say war is hell, i say a cross country 5k course is hell.

this was meredith's first ever race and she did amazing. probably due to my outstanding mentorship. she had trained for less than a month and ran on zero hours of sleep(she's a night nurse. it's a lot less naughty than it sounds). i was SO proud and i cried as she crossed the finish line.(surprise! me crying!)

i just love this picture of me sucking it in and flexing as if my life depended on it. take the picture quick!!!

bragging-i finished 3rd in the women's division and 9th overall.

not bragging-this was my slowest running time ever and most of the runners were 9-15 year old girls.

moral of the story-i'll be running this race every year if that means i finish well.

this past week i spent some time with my dear mother. even though i live 12 minutes away from her house door to door, i still rarely see her outside of church functions. it's a travesty! as a special treat, she took the kidlets and me out for a day of juvenile adventure.

we explored the lego exhibit at crown center.

all of the pieces of art were created out of over a million legos. even those amazing pictures behind my mom.

we then ate at fritz's legendary train restaurant.

you order the food by telephone in your booth/passenger car. it is then delivered to your table via overhead train system.

the train drops it off on a elevator and it is then lowered to your table.

the one-eyed pirate made an appearance.

and i enjoyed wearing the conductor's hat a little too much. i have always looked good in hats. unfortunately, most of my life i have had more opportunities to wear braces and glasses.they don't even compare.

after eating we cruised around in grandma's converti.

someday when i am mrs. america i plan on riding around town just like this: