Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year


I'm not really one for looking back.  I don't spend too much time reviewing or rehashing things that have happened.
Live, learn, move on.
 I'm more of a now person or a tomorrow person...Not a yesterday person. Which is why I I can keep some kind of family record.  I don't scrapbbook.  I hardly ever even print photos out anymore.  So this blog allows me to capture today and happily move on to tomorrow.
Today is a big day though. The last time we will ever see 2010.  It has been a great year for our little family.  We completed our first year of homeschooling, we travelled, we met new friends and spent time with some old ones.  On a personal note, I fell in love with triathlon.  I ran over 800 miles (nearly 1,300km) and biked about the same number of miles.
But even though 2010 has been great I'm already eagerly anticipating 2011. I can't wait to see what is in store for us in the NewYear.
Happy NewYear everyone....see you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Wonderland

winter 2010

What's not to like about snow?'s absolutely beautiful. It makes everything look so clean and new.
Yes...I know it makes travel more certainly managed to mess up our holiday plans.  But there is something very pure and delicate about it that I just love. 
Bring it on, I say :-)

Pictures from our yard after last night's Winter Storm. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Crafting up a Storm


With no school, no work and no organized sports I have had a little extra time on my hands over the last few days. So it seemed like a good time to pull out the knitting needles and the sewing machine and get some serious handmade goodness going.

Here are the results so far:

Knitted blankets - 1 completed and another started

Slippers - 1 set done (for myself of course). I used the tutorial here....super easy.


Christmas gifts (yes I know this is ridiculously early to be talking about next Christmas already) - 3 completed, 1 nearly done, 4 others started
New quilt for one of the kids - still in the planning stages.

Lots more crafty ideas swimming around in my brain.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yes, You Can Choose Your Family


Let me just say that I LOVE my family. I love my brothers, I've been blessed with sisters-in-law that are like the sisters I never had and all my nephews and neices are my favorite kids in the world..( besides my own of course). But the only problem with my family is that they live about 8,000 miles away.

So this Christmas we spent the afternoon with our adopted family. These people are more than just friends and neighbors. They have opened up their homes and hearts to us and made us feel like we are part of their family.  They even agreed to a few Australian traditions including opening Christmas bonbons and wearing our funny paper hats for a family picture. 

christmas feast

So we talked,we shared,we laughed AND we feasted.

Is this the best turkey you have ever seen? And it tasted as good as it looked. Yum!


And we reflected on just how fortunate we are.

Boxing Day


I must say that I LOVE Christmas.  All the anticipation and preparation that goes into it. All the eating, drinking and being merry. All the making and wrapping and giving of gifts. All the priceless family moments.  But for me Boxing Day is the unsung hero. In general,it goes by mostly unnoticed. But I love the quietness of it. Its such a great day to just rest and reflect.

Speaking of was a flurry of excitement and activity here.  Matt bought me a new camera to replace the one I lost. I didn't realise how much I had missed taking photos until I had the camera back in my hands. So with my renewed photographic vigor you can expect a new year full of regular blogging updates.


The kids were over the moon with their bounty. Max hailed this the best Christmas ever thanks to the surprise appearance of a new road bike under the tree. Triathlon season here he comes. And yes, he was riding it on my trainer yesterday because there was snow and ice all over the road and riding it outside wasn't an option.  Ciara and Jack were busily trying out all their gifts. Both were a study in concentration and focus.


Matt was the lucky recipient of a new flip video camera,so you can also expect to see the occassional Melville movie make it into the blogosphere..{lucky you}.

Well, Christmas is over for another year...only 364 days to go until the next one.  I'm sure the kids are counting down already.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishing you....


My wish for you this Christmas.
To love extravagantly

 {Inspired by the sermon I heard last night.}

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to Make a REAL Snow Cone


Now its official...we are up to our ears in the white stuff after coming to the end of the snowiest November on record in Spokane.

So after playing in it, shovelling it, skiing on it, driving over it and running in was time to try something new.....eating it.

I give you the authentic Snow Cone...


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving


This is the view outside my window this morning.

Thanksgiving didn't quite turn out the way I had anticipated. My family who were coming from Australia to spend the holidays with us had their trip cancelled thanks to Qantas.  What a total stinker.  And we didn't want to chance driving across the Pass to get to Seattle because of the crazy amount of snow we were getting so I never made it to the half marathon I was planning to run in Seattle.  Double stinker.

But despite the disappointments there is a lot to be grateful for...

Running in the snow...(with these awesome snow traction thingies)


Snowman making...


And the lazy man's approach to sledding.....who needs a hill when you have a 4 -wheeler.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Snow


Seems to me that winter has come early this year.

Our first dusting of snow last night with more to come.

We decided to delay school this morning to take advantage of our first snowfall. Not quite a "snow day" but close enough.

Our fave ski resort got a good dumping...12" last night....can't wait to get up there and check it out. For the moment, viewing it from the webcam will have to suffice.

However, my enthusiasm for this wintery weather has been tempered a little by the thought that when we get snow, the Pass across to Seattle is probably getting 5 times more snow. That does not bode well for our Thanksgiving trip across to the coast for the Seattle Half Marathon.  The webcam at Snoqualmie Pass tells the story. 

This next week will be a "wait and see" game.  Will they or won't they close the Pass.

Saturday, November 6, 2010



The holiday train is on a roll.
This one starts out in the Fall.
First stop...Halloween.
Pumpkin carving.
Trick or treating.
Apple picking.
Too much candy.
Over for another year....
All stop Thanksgiving.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

...And another one opens.

If you read this post you know that I have been bikeless for a while.  I sold my old road bike and went in search of a tri bike. Despite the fact that I had clip on aero bars on my road bike I never really felt comfortable in the aero position and so I decided it was time to switch across to a purpose built tri bike.  I test rode a few different brands of bike...Felt, Quintana Roo. They were all nice but didn't quite feel " just right"  I felt a little like Goldilocks...hmmm this ones too small, this one's too stiff, this ones too pink. (Sorry...just NOT a fan of pink bikes) And ironically after going through this long process of testing and comparing I ended up back where I started. 
With a Cervelo. 
I just bought her home today.
To say that I am loving her is an understatement ...( and yes, of course it's a "she" bike).
Just looking at her makes me smile.
I have some big plans for us. 
This new chapter's looking like a pretty great one.
I just can't wait.


Monday, August 30, 2010

One Chapter Closes...


I'm sad....

An era has ended....

My very first road bike is no longer with me....

When I first got her I was SO excited.  I just loved her.  She introduced me to the wonderful world on road riding.

I learned to ride with clipless pedals on her, trained for my very first triathlon on her and rode well over 1,000 miles on her.

So now she has gone to live with someone else. BUT I know she is going to a great home...someone in just the same place now as I was a year ago.  Just getting her feet wet in the sport of triathlon.  Michelle...I know you are going to love her just as much as I have.  Enjoy her...she really is a great bike :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Part 3 - Last, Last, Lucky Last


If you are still with me after the last 2 posts I know you are either related to me or very tolerant...probably both. So at last, we get to the one who was first.  Who broke us in as parents and broke ground for the 2 others that came after her.  The one who taught us that sleepless nights were worth the loss of every brain cell and that nothing could be more wonderful then adding that extra person to our little family.



Sensitive, creative, intelligent, witty.  She has a remarkable memory and knows more trivia then anyone else I've met.  I have made a mental note to never play trivial pursuit with her....EVER.  She is loyal and kind and despite the fact that she loathes confrontation she is willing to stick her neck out if its the right thing to do.  I have never had to worry about peer pressure with her...she is so responsible that she sometimes tells me that my behaviour is inappropriate.  Did I mention bossy?  Well...just a little :-)


Ciara is uniquely selfless....she is always the first to give up her seat , her icecream, her place in line for someone else.  She is a nurturer, a carer...if she could just stand the sight of blood she would make a great doctor.


She taught Matt and I how to be parents.  How to be more than a married couple.  She taught us how to be a family.  In so many ways she is the link that holds the family together.  She is the bridge between this generation and the next.  If she is the future, then the future looks bright :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Part 2 - The Littlest Melville


Even when he is a strapping 6 foot tall, 20 year old adult, he will still be the littlest Melville. Always. That is the fate of the youngest isn't it. Once the baby, always the baby. I know that from first hand experience.

The youngest holds a special place because they are the last. There will be no least not from this baby momma!



 He is a hugger. What more could you ask for from the baby of the family. Any visitor to our house that ends up staying in the guest bedroom will be well acquainted with the 6:00am "tap,tap,tap" at the bedroom door. He likes to come in, say good morning and maybe give them a good morning cuddle.


He is affectionate, kind and a real cutie. And how can you NOT love those freckles. I think maybe he was born with freckles! He has a good sense of other people's emotions and seems to always know just the right thing to say. That will serve him well later in life I'm sure.

He has always been easy going and compliant. I'm not sure if he has ever had a temper tantrum. When Jack was born we KNEW that our family was complete. The last missing link of our chain. And he fit in perfectly. ( ..and yes, that is underwear that Max is holding up in the picture...don't ask!!)


So he maybe the little one now but one day he won't be so little...but he'll always be the baby :-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Part 1 - Starting in the Middle


Now if you are not related to me,  I advise you to skip the next 3 posts.  Yes...I am being self indulgent but its my blog and I can do whatever I want. 
I often posts pics here about what our family has been doing and the places we've been going.  But for a lot of my relatives who rarely, if ever get to actually see us in the flesh, the details are fleeting and scant and they feel like they are missing out on getting to know their little nieces/ nephews/ cousins.  So I'm going to devote the next 3 posts to my kids. 

If you are a middle child you will know just how tough it is to be one.  Too old for some things and too young for others.  You rarely get anything first, but you never get spoiled like the baby of the family.  You never get to be the boss when Mum and Dad aren't home but you are almost always held responsible when something goes wrong.  Being the middle child is tough so you'll be pleased to know that I am throwing convention out the door and starting in the middle.


He is athletic, tenacious and is always asking questions.  His friend Aaron says that he would make a great FBI agent.  He makes friends easily and is able to find common ground with just about anyone.  Thanks to Max we have met some awesome people who have become great friends.


He is always able to find something to keep himself busy...building a go cart, making a bow and arrow. You can usually find Max at the end of a trail of wood chips and bent nails.  

He is a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of person.  He rarely reads assembly instructions preferring to figure things out for himself.  He has a wicked sense of humor and shares my competitive spirit

fiji boys 2

He is the family dare devil.  He is always up for a new challenge and has the ability to really push himself way out of his comfort zone. Rollercoasters, black diamond runs on his snowboard, kneeboarding, learning to shoot a shotgun....there is nothing that he will not try.   I'm not sure where that comes from but its definitely NOT from me.

After we had our first child, Matt and I were certain that we had this parenting thing down.  But Max was sent to teach us a thing or two.....and he continues to teach us something new every day.  He is a joy and a challenge...and I wouldn't have it any other way :-)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

CDA Youth Tri


Some pictures from the Coeur d'Alene Youth Tri last weekend.  {Thanks to my awesome photog friend Michelle for some of the great action shots}


This is the second time they have done this race and they really love it. Their friends were racing too which makes it all so much more fun. Aaron is obviously showing us his game face in this picture!


The swim, bike and run distances vary between the various age groups and distances get progressively longer as the kids get older.  Having done it before the kids were all a lot more comfortable with how far they would have to race.  They knew the course and where the bike and run turn arounds would be so they were a lot more confident this time compared to the first time they did this race.

max cda swim

Max got to wear my Team Blaze kit...(this was part of my birthday gift to him as he has been coveting it since I got it.) And yes...I know....apparently I have the physique of a 10 year old boy since he fits into it quite comfortably.

Max in transition....


....and heading out onto the bike


Ciara was a little nervous before the swim start...but as soon as she hit the water she said her nerves disappeared. 


These kids could all give me some tips on running by the look of it. They make it look easy. Here is Ciara sprinting to the finish.


These pictures do not do the conditions justice.  The water was CHOPPY.  The kids all did an amazing job swimming in some pretty decent sized waves. This picture makes me smile...Max offering Jack some motivational and inspiring words no doubt.


Jack made a friend on the run...he does not appear to have an ounce of competitiveness in him and so was happy to jog along with his new friend to the finish line.


All in all it was such a fun morning.  The kids all got a medal, a t-shirt and had a complete blast.  They'll definitely be back at it next year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Not all Swim/Bike/run


I don't want you to think its been all swim/bike/run around here lately. 
Sometimes its just...swim.
Pictures, with a bit of a vintage flavor.... from a trip to Bear Lake today with some friends.
Isn't this the way summer is supposed to be?  Lazy days spent swimming and playing in the sun.




Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wearing the Big Girl Pants


It's all because of this race.

If it weren't for a couple of margaritas, some over confidance, some girlfriends egging me on and this race, I would never have started down the triathlon path.

A year ago I signed up for Race the River Triathlon at Riverstone CDA thinking...hey, its a year away.  I can totally do problems.  See - OVERCONFIDENCE.  At that stage it didn't occur to me that I should be intimidated or the least bit perturbed about the half mile swim, 11 mile bike and 5 km run.  Well fast forward to this morning when I am standing on the beach about to enter the river to swim half a mile and I was silently vowing to myself NEVER to drink a margarita with these friends again. It was definitely the margaritas that were responsible for me being in this predicament.


And so I did what all women are forced to do from time to time.  I reached for my big girl this case my blue seventy wetsuit...and took the plunge.  And it was a BLAST.

I knew going into it that last years winner in my Age Group had a time of 1:21:38.  So if I could come in somewhere close to that I would be happy.  Coach Tristan had told me that her approach to a sprint tri was simple...just go out as fast and hard as you can.  OK then.....a simple strategy.  I like it!


   It was so much fun seeing heaps of people I knew out on the course, including my friends Michelle who was doing her first tri, her husband Ken and Spokane Al who placed 1st in his AG..(Way to go, Al). My friend Amy told me to watch out for a friend of hers, Karen who was also doing the race and what do you know, Karen ended up racking her bike right next to mine and we hit it off straight away. 


 So back to the swim...well from my last blog post about the Valley Girl Tri you'll already know that the swim is my least favorite part of the race...but equipped with my big girl pants I managed to NEARLY enjoy it. It was a deepwater start which was new for me and the swim itself was longer and straighter than VG.  There was a bit of a run from the swim exit to T1 and then we were out and onto the bike.


The bike portion was a 3 lap course which was fairly flat but very congested with 700 racers.   So I tried to keep pushing and my legs still felt OK by the time I came back into T2. The only downside was that the straw in my aero bottle got stuck and was about 15 feet long and so trying to take a sip from it was a bit of a challenge but besides that it was all good.

Matt caught a video on me heading out on the run...I was still smiling at that point so that's something!

The run was a little ugly...a couple of hills but mostly the problem was the heat.  I started in one of the last fact the elites were done by the time I got to start so by the time I hit the run it was getting hot.  Luckily I managed to get dragged along by a very chatty Cathy who was happy to run with me.  She dragged me along for about a mile and a half and soon I could see the finish line and was visualizing my lovely post race massage in the Team Blaze tent. Ahhhhh...heaven. Thanks to Coach Scott and Tristin for supplying the Team Blaze tent and their support and for AJ for her magic fingers.


Here is a video of me crossing the finish line.  The kids handed me a gatorade and helped get the timing chip off my cracks me up...I was SO out of gas by then. I look like a 95 year old lady all bent over.

So here are the stats:

Swim:      0.5 mile    16:25
T1:                           1:39
Bike:        11 miles   34:05
T2:                           1:02
Run:        3.1 miles  27:44

Official Time:   1:20:57

Age Group - 6/52
Females - 48/365
Overall - 145/616