Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My kids are all on the Naughty List

Our annual tradition, the Santa photo, got a little out of hand this year!

It started out well....

And then it all fell apart.

And for all of you who always thought Santa was a dirty old were right!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

Getting into the holiday spirit around here.

Candy making...and eating.

Puppies....not ours.  Little guys we were fostering for the animal shelter.

Things are getting very festive.

From my family to yours....peace, love and good health this Christmas. The rest is just cream.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blogger buddies are the best

When I started blogging back in 2008 I never would have guessed that I would meet so many great people.There are a few in particular that I have really enjoyed following along on their adventures.

I "met" Alison when I first signed up for Ironman Arizona, a race she had also registered for and it was fun being able to talk to her about training and racing in the lead up to the ironman.  When I got injured and had to pull out of the race it was nice to be able to live vicariously through her and watch as she crossed the finish line and become and ironman.

A few months back I commented on one of her blog posts. She had just finished her last freezing swim before IMAZ and had a picture on her blog of her post-swim...( yes I stole this from your blog Alison...hope you don't mind!)

Anyone that knows me well realizes that I can't stand the cold and so when I saw this picture of Alison I had to comment on how awesome her mittens were.  And the next thing I knew....

Yes...she sent me a pair....

She is the bomb...

Now my digits will never be cold again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ironman Week

So much going on and yet nothing to write about.  How does that work?

My friends and teammates are headed down to Arizona today to compete in Ironman on Sunday.  There is a twinge of envy and sadness as I have watched them get packed and ready this week.  I won't be making the trip down but I'll be cheering them on from here.  And I'll be thinking of my friend Tristin as she takes on the challenge of finishing what her husband started when he signed up for the race a year ago.  As most of you know her husband and my coach and friend Scott Roy passed away earlier this year from a heart condition. It will be such an emotional journey for her but I'm sure Scott will be her guardian angel and get her across the finish line. Some of my blogger buddies are competing this week end too.  Good luck to  Beth and Alison - I will be stalking you both online. I know you will both have an awesome race.

My foot is slowly improving. Lots of PT and strength training.  Lots of gait analysis and work on improving my running form. I have already mentioned that my injury was the result of changing to the wrong shoe.While that is true I think that my funky running gait didn't do me any favours either. So now is the time to change it up and try to make improvements before real training starts. 

On the shoe front I am testing out Newton Distance U's. They are certainly different from anything I have run in before. I wanted to try them out to encourage a more midfoot strike. After seeing a video that my PT took of me running it was obvious that what I thought was a mid foot strike was actually an ugly heel strike.   So far so good but I will be sure to write a full review of them after I have given them a few more weeks of testing.

In other news my friend Catherine is flying in this weekend from Australia and then we are headed off to Leavenworth ( this little Bavarian themed village) for Thanksgiving.  Looking forward to some fun and relaxation.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Moving on.....

Phew.  Back to our regular programming.  I can hear a collective sigh of relief.

Part # 1

Triathlon news.

I have signed up for another Ironman.  I went and did something I swore I'd never do.  I signed up for Ironman Coeur d'alene.  Yes...its within spitting distance of where I live so most people would think it would have always been the logical race choice for me.  But guess what...I HATE the cold. and um...well...CDA is flipping freezing in June.  For the last 4 years I have gone to watch the race and each time as I watch all these blue frozen bodies emerging from the 2.4 mile swim in 54 degree water it reaffirms my desire to NOT do that Ironman.

So what happened?

Well the bottom line was that it came down to logistics.  I can train on this course for free.  I don't have to book and pay for airfare, bike shipping or hotel accomodation. And with over 30 of my team mates signed up for the race I will never be short of training partners.  In the end it was a no brainer.

My experience of the swim in Boise gave me some confidence that I can survive frigid waters.  My trusty neoprene cap and booties will prove indispensable in June I'm sure.

Having watched the World Championships from Kona this weekend I have a renewed enthusiasm for IM training. (  Yay, Pete Jacobs).  I'm still rehabilitating my foot.  The good news its that I'm out of the boot.  The bad news is that I'm still having problems. Back to the foot doctor for me :-( Ironman training doesn't begin until late November so I still have some time to get it sorted out.

Part # 2

My daughter is part of her high school marching band and colorguard.  For Aussie readers, this is totally foreign to you but it has been one of my favorite things about my daughters foray into high school. Autumn is the marching band season and they spend all of their weekends travelling to different competitions all around the Pacific NW.  They spend between 20 and 30 hours a week practising and performing starting in August and going all the way through the end of October.  This coupled with school and homework leaves her no time for anything else.

This past weekend they had a competition here in Spokane so we went to cheer them on.  They won the championship which was such a great affirmation to them that all their hard work is paying off.  If you have some free time its worth watching this video of their performance.  Keep in mind these kids are all between 14 and 18 years old and they are playing all the music you hear as they dance, march and jump around the field.  Honestly  its a great reminder what anyone can do with the right direction,  dedication and desire can achieve.

Friday, October 12, 2012

..and furthermore....

I know I promised to move on but yesterdays blog post topic hit a chord with parents and parents to be ( Cherelli!!!), and I just had to do one more quick post on it.

After reading my post a bloggy friend sent me a couple of articles about the financial habits of kids and how young adults who get into debt really do have their parents to thank...( or not as the case may be).

Here are some of the links to the articles she sent (thanks Liz)

Food for thought. 

The way kids perceive their parents attitude to spending and money shapes their own financial behavior.  It's not enough to tell your children to spend their money wisely you have to do it yourself . pressure or anything but your kids are watching.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How Much is Enough?

If you are expecting a triathlon or family post we will be returning to those programs next time so feel free to skip over this one if its a little too introspective...( see this is what happens in the off season - too much time on my hands to ponder life's conundrums)

How much is enough?

I have been pondering this question a lot this week.

Living in a capitalist society the answer seems to be that too much is never enough. There is never a time where you get to the stage where you have enough - there is always something newer, better, faster, shinier. ALWAYS.

Cars are a good example.  I drive a 10 year old suburban.  I love my car.  She has taken my family and I on so many adventures, from the mundane trips to soccer practice, to vacations to national parks, cities and towns all over the Pacific NW.  But recently she has become a tad unreliable.  My husband, as a result of being burnt once too many times by auto mechanic bills and in an attempt to be frugal, has taken on the car servicing and repair himself.  I would have to say it has become a bit of a hobby for him.  And that is good.  I want him to have a hobby.  But last weekend my hand brake ( or emergency brake or parking brake...whatever you people call it) broke.  Just snapped clean off.  I moaned about it to my husband and he got right on it.  Ordered the part but it wouldn't be in for a week.  So in the interim he told me he would make a short term fix so I could still use my car and it would not roll away if I parked on a hill.

I got in my car for the first time on Monday after said makeshift repair only to find a bit of rope connected under my steering wheel which I had to apparently pull to release the brake.  That's right.  I had myself a hillbilly handbrake. We laughed about it but in my mind I was thinking...I NEED a new car.

Later that day the boys asked me about getting new Halloween outfits.  I won't lie.  Halloween is my least favorite holiday followed closely by Valentines Day.  It seems that its all about overabundance.  Having not grown up in a country where Halloween is celebrated I find it a pointless exercise.  I know...I sound like a Debbie downer but before you judge me you should know I am a HUGE Christmas fan.  It has religious significance to me and its also a time where family comes first.  For those 2 reasons alone I think Christmas is the bomb.  But Halloween....too much candy ( most of which gets thrown away) and a costume that gets worn for an hour and then discarded.  Seems just wasteful to me.

There have been a number of other things  this week that have highlighted this kind of lavish excess. And I have to tell you my biggest concern is my children.  How do I teach them that by saying no to some of their requests that I am actually doing them a favor.  They certainly don't think so.  They look at others and can't help but compare.  I try to teach them that having "things" won't make them happy, it won't satisfy them because there will always be something better that comes along. They will want to discard the thing they once coveted for the next new thing. My getting them all they want will actually create the desire in them for more.  In the end it won't make them better, kinder people and as a parent that is my job.  To help them be the best person they can be.

Matt and I have always thought that experience trumps possessions.  We have always chosen to take our children places, let them experience new things, new food, meet new people, let them see, feel and taste how other people live, in the hopes that this internal comparison will not only better prepare them to be global citizens ( which they will be thanks to dual citizenship ) but will also help them make decisions about what is important and what they really need to be happy in life.  Recent events have made me aware that life is way too short....and I am certain that no-one lies on their death bed wishing that they had never gotten out and seen the world.  They would have preferred to buy that new car instead. 

So this afternoon I am going to drop my boys at soccer and pick my daughter up from Marching band practice.  And I will be happily driving my 10 year old car with the hillbilly handbrake. Because it occurred to me that all the lessons I want to impart to my children start with me.  I am the example.  Being truly happy with what I have.

Maybe one day my suburban will finally give up and refuse to go on.  And then I guess I will get another car but in the meantime I have enough.

I have an abundance.

Hopefully my children will see that they have too!

Friday, September 21, 2012


It has been a loooong 2 weeks.

OK...let me back up a bit.

At the beginning of August I realized it was time to get some new shoes.  My trusty K-Swiss that had got me through Boise Half Ironman and  2 half marathons this year were worn out.  I checked the kswiss website and they didn't have my favorite shoes available anymore so I decided that instead of just picking any shoe I would go and get properly measured at a local running store.

I took my kswiss with me to the store and showed the sales girl what I had been running in.  Then she watched me walk and run,checked for over/underpronation and suggested a shoe that would work for me.  Of course it was just about the most expensive shoe that they carry, but I thought it would be worth it seeing as I would be running an Ironman marathon in them.

Once I got them home I tried to be smart and for the first 2 weeks only did some short runs in them. After breaking them in I did my first long run in them.  12 miles. At the end of the run the top of my right foot was red and swollen and the pinky toe on my left foot had a massive blood blister. I went to the PT for a visit and brought both my old and new running shoes so he could check them both out.  He suggested staying with the new ones and just loosening up the laces a bit so they didn't rub on the top of my foot. 

Next week my long run was 14 miles and this is where everything came undone.  By the end of my long run I was feeling a sharp pain in the outside lateral part of my left foot.  After the run I iced my foot and tried to tell myself it was just a muscle strain but by the following day I couldn't walk at all.

Being 9 weeks out front IMAZ I started to panic.  My PT got me to have xrays and in to see a sports med doctor who does a lot of work with triathletes (she volunteers at the med tent in Kona every year so she knows her IM stuff).  the first thing she did when she saw my foot was ask...When is the cutoff time for withdrawing from the race.  Hmmm...NOT good.

The short story is that I have torn the peroneal tendons in my foot.  I'm in a boot for 4 weeks and am getting an MRI next week to see if the tear will require surgery.  Bottom line - I'm out of Ironman Arizona.

I can't believe it.

It's hard to come to terms with that seeing as I have been training for this race for nearly a year.  I've followed all my training and I'm fit and in race shape. I have a friend flying in from Australia to watch me race. I have friends coming from Spokane to cheer me on. I can't believe that such a thing as new shoes can change everything.  Initially I beat myself up about it but I really thought I was doing the right thing by going to the running store to get properly fitted.  I thought I was being smart. 

Some friends have encouraged me to still do the race and just walk the marathon but my doctor has warned me that this could cause permanent damage. Because I'm already planning to do Oceanside 70.3 in March I don't want this injury hanging around and messing up that race too.

So I've decided that this week I will be having a major pity party.  My goal is to eat my own body weight in chocolate.  It's a lofty goal but I'm dedicated to achieving it.  My training plan this week:

1 - Wallow in self pity.

2 - Next week - move on!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Best Sludge Ever

Many of you know that I have a thing for Diet Coke.  Addiction is a bit of a heavy word, but you get the picture. At the end of May I gave up Diet Coke.  Cold Turkey.  It was surpisingly easy. I don't miss it and have mostly replaced it just with drinking water.  But water can get boring and my wonderful husband decided that with all the training I have been doing for Ironman I needed something special to give me some extra vitamins and flavor...and a change from the nothing taste of water.

So every day he goes through this routine to produce the best sludge I have ever tasted.

He starts with whatever we have in the fridge and pantry.  Fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, flax seed.  You name goes in.  This morning I got strawberries, plums, raspberries, green beans, grapes, blueberrries, kale, banana, baby spinach, kiwi and carrots

It all goes into the Vitamix with the berries at the bottom and the green leafy stuff on top.

Blending, blending, blending....

Adding ice to make sure its nice and cold.

Sometimes I get green sludge.  Today it was brown...yummy.  It tastes just like a berry smoothie. 

And thanks to this sludgie concoction I don't take any vitamin supplements.  Everything I need is jam packed into each glass.

I have to say thanks to this brown sludge I don't miss Diet coke. Not even a tiny bit.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Catching up

Summer is nearly over - I can hardly believe it.  Lots of things to catch up on around here.

The kids had some excitement the day before Max's birthday when they spotted a brush fire and helped put it out. { I stole this picture from Michelle's facebook page :-) }

Then of course it was Max's birthday.....12...last year before I have another teenager.

Ciara and Natalie made him an awesome soccer themed birthday cake.

And I felt a little like it was my birthday too. Just before we went on our RV trip I found out that I had been sponsored by Timex.  So I am now officially part of the Timex Factory Team which is very exciting.  I received my first box of goodies in the mail...just like a big birthday present. It included a new watch which came in very handy since my old one was ready for retirement.

Somewhere in there Michelle and I did the Long Bridge Swim. A 1.76 mile open water swim across Lake Pend Oreille. This is why they don't call it the short bridge is it LONG.


Of course we had our usual group of awesome supporters. Umm....ok so they were having breakfast at this stage.


But they did come out and take some great photos and cheer us all the way along the bridge.

This photo was so funny. I was swimming along and then I heard all this yelling and cheering and as I turned to breath I looked up and saw them all directly above me on the bridge.  I really am so lucky to have family and friends that are willing to come out and cheer me on when they would rather be sleeping in.


It was a super fun swim. The water was clear and NOT cold...always happy about that. There was a little bit of a swell in the middle but nothing too bad. Made it to the finish in 1:05. Let's not talk about the little detour I took. Let's just call it sightseeing.

And I wore my new Timex watch....the most comfortable sports watch I have ever worn.  When you have chicken arms like me there are not a lot of sports watches that fit my wrist properly.  This one is awesome...and cute...because cuteness DOES count.


Michelle made the swim look easy. She looks like she could go out and do it all over again.


Monday, August 6, 2012

On the Road

So after STP we hit the road and were ready for a vacation. Now I could give you a long winded description of our vacation but you and I both know that you just want to see the pictures.  So I'll keep the commentary brief.

First stop was Manzanita on the Oregon coast with our friends the Sidles Family.




Then it was off to the Olympic National Park which is a wild rainforest on the western tip of Washington. 





Matt made us stop and see the biggest Spruce tree


We found some natural hot springs at Sol Duc in the park. It was nice to soak our muscles although the springs smelled like rotten eggs.




After that we rolled the RV onto the ferry at Port Angeles and took a nice leisurely ride across to Victoria B.C.


We had the most awesome RV park in the middle of the city, right on the water, within walking distance along the harbor foreshore to downtown Victoria. This is our actual camping spot.



Spent a couple of days enjoying the fact that Canada still has some strong culinary ties to Britain and being colonial cousins to Australia it meant they have a lot of the same food we miss so much. Jack ate a salad and Max tried clam chowder. Both landmark events for a vege and seafood hater respectively.



This was the most amazing old world hotel. The Empress. Next time we come back sans RV we want to stay here.


Matt found an a bread shop just like home. {{love}}


We caught the ferry back to Washington via Sidney BC and then drove to the little German town of Leavenworth where we spent a couple of days chilling out and eating bratwurst burgers before heading back to Spokane.



Fun trip. When we got home Ciara said, "Wow our house is huge Mum". After 5 people living in a 30 foot RV for 10 days , she was right.