Saturday, June 30, 2012


I am absolutely loving life right now. More than I have in quite some time, actually.

Yesterday I stood on the scale for the first time in a while because I've been trying to avoid it, and the number was super extra awful. It's a code red situation around here. It's OK though, I spent the day yesterday coming up with a reasonable plan and I can fix it. I'm not letting it bother me, I'm just going to fix it.

Being the big techy nerd I am, I immediately started looking at weight loss iPad apps, because my life revolves around that darn thing, and I signed up with My Fitness Pal. It's super cool, you log your weight, everything you eat, all your exercise and activity and it keeps track of it all and tells you how many calories you can have and has graphs and charts of your progress. I like that sort of thing. I've used similar websites in the past, but this one is way nicer than the ones I've tried before, and it's free! It's also got kind of a Facebook-like news feed where you can track your friends progress. If you use it and want to be my friend, my name is wenders11.

I also bought a Fitbit, which is a really cool digital pedometer that tracks your daily activity. It keeps track of how many steps you take, how many flights of stairs you climb and even how well you sleep at night if you wear it to bed, and then it automatically logs it in on the Fitbit website. It's fun to set a daily goal of how many steps you want to take and then see if you can make it. It encourages you to keep moving.

I truly believe that the only real way to lose weight is to move more and eat less, so that's what I'm doing. It will be slow, but I don't care. As long as it starts moving in the right direction, I don't care how long it takes.

So this morning I woke up energized and ready to do something fun. I really wanted to take my morning bike ride but they're having a huge ribfest at the park today I didn't want to ride my bike in the middle of it. So I decided that today was the perfect day to attempt my first greenbelt bike ride!

Boise has an absolutely gorgeous greenbelt that goes along the Boise river all across the entire city. I have no idea how many miles it goes from one end to the other but it's really really far. It's basically a really long biking/walking path that goes through the city. It's amazing. There are lots of places to hop onto it throughout the city and I've really wanted to take a bike ride there ever since I started this whole bike riding obsession. My eventual plan is to have the whole family take a ride on the greenbelt, which will fulfill our Year Of Adventure bike riding goal, but before I do that I wanted to try it out first. I'm not really that familiar with where it goes or where a good place to stop and start was, so I wanted to explore a little bit before the whole family goes.

Ever since Josh got his new bike he's been really excited to ride it every chance he gets so he decided to go with me. We decided that the whole family would go in the car over to one of the hop on spots, drop me and Josh off with our bikes and then Shawn would take Matthew and Clarissa to a park that was on the greenbelt path a few miles away and then Josh and I would ride our bikes over there and meet up with them at the park. We weren't really sure exactly how far of a ride it was going to be, but we were up for it!

They dropped us off and we started riding. I can't believe that we've lived in Boise for 12 years and this is the first time we've done this. It was AMAZING! The first part of the ride took us next to some horse stables and I love horses so I had a great time watching the horses while I rode. There were a lot of people on the path and we quickly got the hang of the greenbelt etiquette, how to pass people, etc. It's an absolutely beautiful ride by the river, over bridges, through the trees, with birds chirping and the sun shining. It was awesome!!

It turns out that the ride from where we started to where the park was was only about three miles, but we took the wrong path and some point and ended up having to backtrack a bit. We got a little lost because the path splits off in some places, but thank goodness I had my iPhone with the GPS map and I used that to get us where we needed to go. We ended up going 4.2 miles, which isn't even as far as my daily 5 mile ride, but it felt harder. There are more inclines and it's not as smooth and easy and taking laps around the park. It was SO fun though!! It was the perfect morning bike ride for me and Josh and it would be the perfect length for the family ride. Now that we've scouted it out and we know what to expect and where to go, I can definitely see us doing it more often. I'd love to make it a standard Saturday activity all summer!

My daily bike ride is making a HUGE difference in my life. I can't believe how much better I feel. I have really struggled in the past to find an exercise program that I didn't hate. My asthma always seemed like a big hurdle, it's a pain to go to the gym when you have to pack kids along with you and I just never managed to find anything that I enjoyed enough to stick with. Bike riding seems to be just what I was looking for. I love being outside and being on my bike makes me feel very free. It feels like being a kid again. I leave all my stresses and worries at home and just enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air. My legs hurt like crazy as my muscles get stronger, but I don't care. That's how I know it's working! :)

This afternoon I think we might make a quick trip over to ribfest at the park. I'm counting calories, but the more I bike and walk the more I can eat, so I'd better get moving! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012


What? A post about bikes? That's completely new!:) Ok, so I know it's getting old. I can't help it!

Last night we went bike shopping for Josh. Josh had a really nice bike and Matthew's bike was way too small so we were planning on buying a new one for Matthew, but when we went out last week to get Josh's bike ready for him we realized that he's getting really close go growing out of his bike, so we gave his bike to Matthew and we went bike shopping for Josh.

First of all, bikes are expensive. Several years ago I bought a cheap bike at Target for Josh and that stupid bike fell apart on a regular basis. The chain wouldn't stay on and the whole thing just felt cheap. Josh rarely rode his bike because every time he did it would fall apart and it was frustrating. I kind of think that was the beginning of us not being a bike riding family. Josh never wanted to ride his bike because it was crappy and we got tired of fixing it and watching it fall apart again and we never got around to buying him a new one and eventually we all just kind of gave up on bike riding. We eventually did go buy him a really nice new bike in an attempt to drum up excitement for bike riding again, but his new bike never got much use. By that time he was kind of over it and we were busy doing other things in the summer and bike riding just didn't happen much.

But this is the year we're changing our bad choices and tossing out the excuses and it was time to figure out the bike situation. Once we decided whose bike fit who and determined that it was Josh who needed a new bike, we were off to the store.

Because I had a bad experience buying Josh a cheap bike, I decided that it was going to be worth it to invest in a nice bike. Then he can ride it for years and then eventually pass it down to Matthew. I would rather spend good money on one bike we can enjoy and keep for a long time than keep buying cheap bikes that fall apart that no one rides because they're crappy and uncomfortable.

Our bike shopping adventure yesterday would have been comical had we not been so frustrated. First of all, we took all three kids, and a toddler in a bike shop is a recipe for disaster. We actually started out at the Boise Bike Project, which I blogged about a few months ago. We donated our old bikes there. They fix up old bikes and donate them to low income people in the community and they also have a bike shop where you can buy used bikes. I was hoping that we could find a used but decent higher end bike for a reduced price there. We did find one that might have worked but it had chain issues that they were willing to fix, but they were too busy to do it then and I decided that I didn't want to take a chance on another bike with chain issues so we scrapped that idea and decided just to buy him a new one.

Clarissa was a nightmare at the bike shop, which was a cluttered and crowded place full of dangerous shiny things she really wanted to touch. We were trying to figure out what was wrong with the chain on the bike we were interested in while trying to keep Clarissa from destroying the place and everyone got cranky really quickly. Then we left the bike shop in downtown five o'clock traffic (bad idea) and Josh got carsick and we ended up making a pit stop at Shopko so he could puke. It was an awesome adventure. Not so much.

We eventually ended up at REI and let me just say it again. Bikes are expensive!! They have some really nice bikes at REI. I would eventually like to buy a nicer bike for myself but after looking at the price tags on some of the adult bikes, I think i'd better start saving up! It looks like cycling is not gearing up to be a cheap hobby. (Gearing up. Haha. I'm hillarious.)

To make a long story short(er), we finally found a bike at REI that is good quality, will hopefully fit Josh for a while and I only choked at the price a little bit (and then a little bit more after tacking on two new helmets).

We got the bike home and he and I set off on a ride. Oh, here's something I learned that I can pass on to anyone thinking of taking up bike riding. When I first started doing my morning bike rides I rode in my regular jeans-and-t-shirt mom uniform. Then my awesome friend Karen (hi, Karen again!) brought me an awesome riding shirt and I made a trek to REI to buy some spandex cycling capris to go with it that make me look super fat (no one looks good in spandex, I don't care how much you weigh), but I don't care, and that's what I've been riding in. At first I felt stupidly overdressed in my fat pants cycling clothes because it's not like I'm super awesome and riding 50 miles a day or anything, I'm just an out of shape mom huffing and puffing my way to the park, but I quickly realized that cycling clothes make a HUGE difference. Last night when I took my ride with Josh I wore jeans and the cuffs kept getting caught on my bike. I was way less comfortable, way more overheated and didn't enjoy the ride nearly as much. So if you're thinking of taking up cycling (and you TOTALLY should!) go buy a good cycling shirt (or find a super awesome friend to give you one) and some fat pants cycling pants. You'll feel silly in them at first but you'll enjoy riding more. Oh, and just so you know, cycling pants have padding in the seat to make it more comfortable to sit on your bike for long periods. It works, but just what you need to feel even MORE sexy in your spandex pants is an extra padded butt, right? It's super awesome. Vogue should be calling me to pose for them any day now.

Anyway, Josh and I took a three mile ride to the park and back last night and he absolutely loved it. He talked about it all night and all morning and was begging to ride his bike back to the park. He's been out on his bike all afternoon. Mission accomplished.

Next up is Matthew. Today we're getting Josh's old bike adjusted for him and then he's going to need some practice before he's ready to speed through the neighborhood. He doesn't have a lot of bike riding experience yet. We'll be working on that this weekend and then FINALLY everyone will have good working bikes and we'll be able to start taking family bike rides. I'm envisioning regular Saturday rides on the Greenbelt and Sunday afternoon rides through the neighborhood. That sounds awesome to me. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The beauty of nature

Today on my bike ride (five miles again, yay!) I saw a bird pick up a fish out of the pond and carry it off. It was really cool! It was physically painful to me that I didn't have my camera in my hand when it happened though. All you photographers out there know what I'm talking about! I hate it when something cool happens and I don't take a picture of it! :)

Riding my bike is helping me rediscover how much I love being outside. I practically grew up outside on my bike. I spent my entire summers outside when I was a kid, and when it got cold and snowed 24 inches I put my snowsuit on and went out some more.

Somehow over the years I've become an indoor girl and that bugs me about myself. I grew up fishing and camping and hiking and riding my bike for miles and I loved it. I don't know where that girl went but I want her back. I'm happy outside, I think I just forgot that. Riding my bike everyday is helping me remember. It might just be a five mile ride to the park every morning but I hope that it's the beginning of something more as I get myself back in shape. I'm rediscovering something about myself that makes me happy and I like it.

Monday, June 25, 2012


I was worried that the break I took from riding while I was out of town was going to undo all the work I've done, but it was the opposite! I felt great today, I even managed to go three miles before I make my park bench stop. Last week I was forcing myself to make it to two miles before I stopped.

I was almost home and realized that I wasn't going to make it quite to five miles so I did a quick loop around the cul de sac at the end of my street and pulled into my driveway right at five miles! Yay for me! I did it in 29 minutes, which is how long it took me to do three miles when I started and then it was how long it took me to do four miles after a week, so I'm definitely getting faster. Still wimpy, but a definite improvement!

My next goal is to make it to ten miles, but I don't plan on doing that on a morning bike ride around the park. I'm going to do five mile rides for a bit and keep working on my speed and stamina and then I would like to start doing longer Saturday rides along the greenbelt downtown.

Today is a beautiful day and all those exercise endorphins have put a smile on my face. :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012


We just got home from the greatest trip ever! The past few days have been a huge whirlwind of activity!

It all started Thursday, which was our 15th wedding anniversary. The last few years we haven't been able to do a whole lot to celebrate it for various reasons so we decided that this year we were going to do something kind of big to make up for it. I mentioned to a friend that I wished that we could leave the kids for a night and go somewhere and she volunteered to take them for the night! We have never left Clarissa before. She's been home for over two and a half years and we've never spent a night away from her. I wasn't sure how she was going to do, but I knew if anyone could handle it, my amazing friend could do it. Clarissa loves her and is comfortable at their house so I had a good feeling that she'd be fine there over night.

Thursday morning started by a trip to the salon and I got 5 inches cut off my hair. feels better now. Then I came home and we packed the kids up and sent them to my friends house and we were childless for the rest of the night. Yay! :)

We rented a fancy hotel room for the night, which was really fun. We rarely get to do that, so it was a treat. We went out to dinner at a restaurant that we'd never take the kids to and enjoyed some child-free time together. I love my kids to pieces but a night away felt really nice. The kids did great at my friends house. It was kind of relief to see that Clarissa really can be away from us overnight and do just fine. It's been a long road getting her to this point!

Friday morning we got up, enjoyed a yummy breakfast at the hotel and then went and picked up the kids and started leg two of our journey-a family reunion with my family in my home town.

If you've followed my blog at all you know that my hometown and family things are a bit of a touchy subject with me. I love and hate going back to my hometown at times. It's complicated. Therapy did wonders for me in that area of my life though and I handle it better these days. I was really looking forward to this trip.

Shortly after I got married, my mom got remarried so I've had a stepdad and more step siblings than biological siblings for most of my adult life. But since I wasn't raised with the step family we're not close or anything. I rarely see my step siblings anymore. They have their own complicated family situation that I'm not involved in.

But in the past it has kind of made family reunions complicated. Having a reunion with step siblings is weird because I didn't grow up with them and don't even know them very well. My mom and stepdad tried it a few times and it was just kind of awkward for everyone. I like my step siblings just fine, I just don't know them very well. We didn't all grow up together as one big happy family or anything. But having a reunion just with the family I grew up with is weird too. That would exclude my stepdad, who I really do love, he's a good guy and is good to my mom. I don't dislike my step family at all. My family just isn't the same anymore and it's not ever going to be. Things changed when my dad died and that's something that took me a long time to accept. It's all just a complicated situation. It's a touchy subject for me.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my mom does a cousins camp with all of the grandkids every year and this year she decided to make it sort of a reunion and cousins camp together and just the way it worked out the only people who were there were my mom, my two siblings and their families and us. My stepdad was out of town and for their own complicated reasons my step siblings didn't come. For two days we were at my moms house and it was just the family I grew up with, minus my dad of course, for probably the first time since my mom got remarried.

Again, I don't dislike my step family, and this is not any sort of commentary on not liking them or not wanting them around, but spending two days with just the family I grew up with was really awesome. The kids swam and did crafts and played together and the adults hung out and talked and laughed.

And then the BEST thing happened!! Every time we go back to my hometown I drive past the house I grew up in. We moved to that house when I was 4 and my mom sold it when she got remarried. I had my wedding reception in the backyard and I didn't know then that it would be one of the last times that I would ever be in that house. It was a few months later that my mom announced her engagement, she sold the house and everything was different after that.

I LOVED growing up in that house. I loved the neighborhood, I loved the neighbors and I have a million wonderful memories of my childhood in that house. When my mom sold it I was devestated. I think because my dad had only died the year before and all of that was still so fresh for me, seeing all of his things packed up and gone and not really having a place to go back and remember him was really hard for me. Everything happened really fast and it was really hard on me.

So I drive past the old house every time I'm back in town and it makes me a little sad to see someone else living in it. For years I've wished that I could just walk through it one more time.

Yesterday afternoon Shawn and I decided to leave the kids at my moms for a bit and go out to lunch. After lunch I asked Shawn to drive by my house, like I always do. When we turned on to the street Shawn said that if someone was outside he was going to go talk to them and see if they'd let us in. I didn't think that was really going to happen, but we pulled up to the house, and there was a man in the front yard. I told Shawn not to talk to him, I thought it would be weird, but he encouraged me to get out of the car and we said hi to the guy and I told him that I grew up in that house.

And it turns out that the people that own my house are the NICEST people in the whole wide world! He was excited that I was there and introduced me to his wife, who was in the backyard and she gave me a big hug and invited me into the house.

We went in through the back door into the kitchen and it was so emotional for me to be back in my kitchen again. It was such a weird feeling! The house has been completely remodeled. Honestly, it's barely recognizable. The floor plan is the same but the flooring is different, the walls are different, the cabinets and countertops are doesn't really resemble my old house all that much to be honest. Truthfully, I think that was a good thing. The people that own it now obviously love it and have taken great care of it and I think maybe it was healing to me to see that my house had changed and had moved on.

The took us on a tour of the whole house. I got to go in my old bedroom, which was really fun. It's funny because everything seems so smaller than I remembered it. I remembered my bedroom being bigger than it actually is. They've done some nice remodeling work on the house. The backyard is completely unrecognizable, with a big deck and a big shed. I had a good time telling them a few stories about the house, like the time my brother handcuffed himself to the banister and how we used to slide down the basement stairs on sleeping bags when we were little. Oh, I loved growing up in that house. The house may have changed but my memories are still very much in tact.

Afterwards we sat in the backyard and had lemonade with them. They are amazingly nice people and were thrilled to have us visit. They told us to come back any time, and I really am planning on coming back with the kids sometime.

What an amazing, incredible experience that was. It was healing to me. I really needed to go back in that house again. I never thought that would happen. I'm happy that it has changed and that it is being loved and that someone else is making memories there. It was good for me to see that.

So spending the weekend with my family and getting to go back in my old house was all just a gigantic blessing to me. The whole weekend was amazing. My heart was happy.

My mom has a really nice house up in the foothills overlooking the city. She has a gigantic yard that is absolutely beautiful and I love going up there. You can see all the lights from the city at night, the view is incredible. Leaving the crowded suburbs with the fenced yards where were live and going up there where it's open and quiet and uncrowded is really nice. It's peaceful. I loved watching my kids playing in the yard with their cousins. They had a really great time. Last night my amazingly musically talented brother go his ukulele out and played music for us on the back porch while we watched the sun set. It was perfect.

Today we packed up and came home. It was a beautiful day and we spent the four hour trip singing songs at the top of our lungs while we drove. I played DJ with my iPod and the car stereo and it was a super fun trip home. I'm just really grateful for family this weekend. I haven't had this much fun in quite a while. Sometimes I come back from my hometown feeling sad but this time I came back happy. It was good.

Last night I attempted to take some pictures of my kids in my moms yard. I say attempted because it really wasn't all that successful. I wanted to do it because the scenery is so perfect in my moms yard, but stupidly I chose to do it after my kids had been functioning on very little sleep, too much sugar and too much fun with the cousins for a few days and they were really not in the mood for pictures. Clarissa absolutely wouldn't cooperate and I'm so out of practice with my camera that I struggled with the lighting. I've got to start getting my camera out more often again. I'm rusty.

I haven't had time to really go through them much since we really just got home, but here are a few that I played around with. I might come back with more of them later or I really might just scrap them all and do another photo shoot on a day when everyone is more rested and less hyper. Or I might just get them out and look at them every now and then to remind of a truly perfect weekend. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

Today there wasn't one single ounce of me that wanted to get on a bike. I woke up tired, my body wanted to stay in bed and sleep.

I bargained with myself, I considered not going, I stalled for a while, but eventually I drug myself out to the garage and got on my bike. I think every muscle in my body rebelled today. My body did NOT want to take a bike ride. I made it to the park, I hit a mile and considered going home. I tried my therapy mind tricks, I made a mental list of all the things I was grateful for while I rode: the sun, the grass, my bike, the trees, the sound of didn't really help, lol. Then I decided to use the wise counsel of the 500 pound guy who rode his bike and lost all that weight and I forced myself to go one more mile when I thought I was done.

So I pushed myself to mile two, sat on a park bench and enjoyed the sun and then took another half lap around the park and went home. I ended up going 3.5 miles total, which is pathetic, but to tell you the truth, I'm proud of myself because it's 3.5 miles farther than I wanted to go. I worked hard for all 3.5 miles.

On my way home the Kelly Clarkson song What Doesn't Kill You came on my iPod and that song pushed me the rest of the way home. It was exactly what I needed to hear this morning.

I'm not going to be able to bike the rest of the week because we have some other things going that I'll tell you about later. Tomorrow is our 15th wedding anniversary (yay!)! I'm bummed that I won't be able to ride my bike for a few days and I hope that I don't lose the momentum, but I'll be back on it as soon as I can, even if I have to drag myself out there again and force myself to go. I can do this, even if it's hard!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I'm getting closer and closer to five miles. My biggest improvement has been my time. Last week it took me 30 minutes to go 3.5 miles. Today I did 4.6 miles in 28 minutes. Still pathetic, I know, but a huge improvement! I'm amazed at how quickly I'm improving. Given how hard this was for me when I started I thought it was going to take longer to see improvement. The biggest difference I'm noticing in my body is that my legs muscles hurt way less. I'm not noticing every little incline like I did before.

The biggest thing I'm still struggling with is my lung capacity, which continues to suck like it always has. I'm breathing really hard and my lungs are on fire a good portion of the ride, but I'm pushing through it. Thirty years of asthma has not been kind to my lungs. The biggest hurdle to me whenever I start any new exercise routine is my asthma. It's frustrating. My doctor always tells me that exercise will improve my asthma but when heavy exercise seems impossible because I can't breathe it feels like a catch 22. I've given up exercise goals more than once because my asthma just made it too hard. Not this time though. This is my year of no excuses. I may whine about it but I'm not going to give up because of it! It's stil a struggle though. I make myself go two miles no matter what and then I stop and catch my breath, use my inhaler and drink some water and then I can go again. That seems to be working for now. In time it will hopefully improve.

I know that a 4.6 miles is nothing to brag about, but considering where I was even a week ago, every day seems like a little victory to me and I like that!

Monday, June 18, 2012


I gave my body a day of rest yesterday and enjoyed an awesome Fathers Day with Shawn and the kids and then today I got back to work. I made it 4.3 miles today! Every day is just a little bit better than the day before. Last week it seemed like making it to the park was a big milestone and 3 miles seemed really far. Now I can make it to the park and barely break a sweat and I realize that 3 miles was just a starting point.

One thing I did today that made my ride even better was to stop at the park and sit on a bench for a couple of minutes and just enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. I was starting to get really winded on my ride and was tempted to head home so instead I decided to stop for minute and catch my breath and I think I may just make that a regular part of my ride whether I need it or not. I sat on the bench and felt the sun and watched the geese in the pond and inhaled the smell of fresh cut grass and LOVED life for a few minutes. Like really super extra loved it.

This new bike riding hobby is as much for my mental health as it is for my physical health and taking time to sit and enjoy the moment was really nice. I got back on my bike and rode another mile and it felt awesome.

I listen to music while I ride and I've been gathering a collection of music for my ride. One song on my playlist is the Florence + The Machine song called Dog Days Are Over. To me it's about someone who is finally leaving a difficult past behind and finding happiness and that's what life feels like to me right now. Last year was a struggle for me and I feel like I'm finally pulling myself out of that and remembering what happy feels like and I like it. That song is significant to me on my ride. It makes me feel happy and pushes me to keep going just a little bit more when I think I'm done. I have the regular version and the Glee Version (which is slightly peppier) on my playlist so I usually hear it twice on my ride. I like it.

One of my other inspirational playlist songs is Happy by Natashia Bedingfield. It makes me...well, happy. :)

Getting out of the house every morning by myself and listening to happy music, feeling the sun on my face and getting my heart pumping for a little bit is doing wonders for me. It's only been a week, but I can already see how my morning bike ride is making a difference in my whole day. I'm happier, more focused and more energetic. It feels really really REALLY good. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Four miles!

I made it four miles on my bike today! It almost killed me, but I did it! :) I rode to the park, took a lap around it, then went through the middle of it, made another half lap around it and decided that I was done but right as I reached the park exit I decided to push myself to do another lap. I made it home and collapsed on the couch in a sweaty heap and cursed my new found hobby for a few minutes, but now that I can breathe again I'm proud of myself! Between the poor lung function due to my asthma and the fact that bike riding is working muscles that haven't been worked in a while, my body is having to work really hard, but it feels good.

I'm embarrassed that a short four mile bike ride is wearing me out, but you have to start somewhere, right? It's getting easier every day and I find that I can push myself a little farther each time. In a few weeks I hope that I'm cruising through multiple laps through the park and I have to start looking for longer routes.

Yesterday I was reading the blog of a guy who weighed something like 500 pounds and the doctor told him that he'd be dead in six months without gastric bypass surgery, but that he was in such poor shape that the surgery might also kill him. He went home, resigned to the fact that his life was over and as he was looking out the window he saw a guy riding a bike and he was envious of how happy and free that guy looked. To make a really long but fascinating story short, he found someone who agreed to make him a custom bike that would support his weight and he very slowly started riding it. First he could barely get anywhere but every day he went a little further and eventually a mile and then farther. He said that every time he thought he was done he forced himself to go one more mile.

He eventually lost hundreds of pounds, is super healthy and moved to Oregon so that he could bike year round. He logs thousands of miles on his bike every year.

You can read his whole story in this article. It's a fascinating story, I highly reccomend it!

I'm not significantly overweight like he was, but I am sadly out of shape and his story was really inspiring to me. He was the person I thought about this morning when I decided to take one more lap around the park. If a 500 pound man on the verge of death can get on a bike and get himself back in shape, there's no reason I can't do it.

So I'm sticking with the cycling. I might curse it when my lungs are on fire and my legs feel like Jello, but it's making me stronger and happier, and that makes it totally worth it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The park!

Is every post from now on going to be about the park and my bike? :) No, the novelty will wear off soon, but for now I can't stop talking about it!

So I'm loving the new park. They announced that they were going to build it a couple of years ago and I've been impatiently waiting for it since the day they announced it. Someone donated $25 million dollars to the city to have it built, which is super awesome and it's one of the nicest parks in the city. There are a few really gorgeous old parks downtown that I love, but not very many really big parks in my part of town. Not like this one, anyway. It has a community center in it, an amphitheater, basketball courts, ponds stocked with fish for fishing, a playground with a splash pad (fountains for the kids to play in), a concession stand, covered picnic pavillions for parties, separate trails for biking, walking and jogging, and arboretum and so much more!

We went over there this evening for a while and there were so many people there playing sports and riding bikes and taking walks and hanging out. The weather was awesome and the park just feels like a little piece of heaven. It's perfect. We let the kids play on the playground for a bit and then we decided to climb the gigantic hill in the park. I think they must have made it as a sledding hill for winter. It's gigantic and would be so perfect for sledding.

In the summer it's perfect for climbing, and apparently for rolling down, because there were a whole bunch of kids rolling down it and our kids quickly got in on the action. I sat in the grass on top of the hill and enjoyed the sun setting and watched the kids roll all the way to the bottom and then run back up so they could do it again. It was the perfect way to end the day. I wished I had my camera because the lighting was beautiful and the kids were having so much fun. All I had was a cellphone and then I remembered that I have a panoramic picture app, so I stood on top of the hill and took 360 shot.

The hill was on one edge of the park, so I didn't really get a view of the whole park, just one side of it, but it's kind of fun to look at! You can see the really cool interactive version here:

Here's the flat version of it. It's hard to see unless you enlarge it though!

So I think hanging out at the park is our new thing. We stayed until the sun was setting and on the way back to the car we took a loop over to the big pond and watched the geese and watched people fish. It was the perfect way to end the day.


Today I not only made it to the park, I made it all the way through it and then when I got back to the entrance I decided to take a victory lap and go through it again! :) I'm super proud of myself. From start to finish I rode 3.3 miles today in 24 minutes. I totally realize that three miles is nothing to brag about, but it's a mile more than I rode yesterday and 3.3 more than I rode any day last week, last month or last year, so I'm really proud of myself! :) My first goal is to work up to a 5 mile ride and then a 10 mile ride. There is a gorgeous greenbelt along the river here that I would love to take a long ride on.

The Cylemeter app keeps a GPS map of my rides and it's fun to look at where I've been when I get home. I chuckled today when I looked at the Google Satellite view. The park wasn't done when the Satellite picture was taken, so it shows that I took a big loop around around a lot of dirt and construction. Here's a picture of the park portion of my ride (not the full route from my house). The park isn't a big pit of dirt and construction anymore. Now it's 60 acres of grass and trees and ponds and beauty! I love it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My favorite things-bike edition!

Riding my bike is my new favorite thing so I decided I should give it its own favorite things blog post.

I LOVE riding my bike. I can't believe that it's been sitting in the garage for so long and I didn't know how much fun it was. Truthfully though, I think everything has a time in your life, and right now this is my time to get back in shape. Last year was a tough year for me and as much as I keep telling myself that I should have done this sooner, last year I just honestly couldn't. I had enough on my plate.

But this year I can and I am. This is my year to have fun and try new things and bike riding definitely fits the bill.

So yesterday I said that my goal was to make it to the park on my bike eventually and today I did it!! This morning I took a short ride and got close to the park and decided to turn around because my asthma was bothering me. I'm trying not to over-do it because I have to be really careful with my asthma. I have to work up to these things slowly. The more I do it the better it will get, I just have to go slow at first. But I came home and I was looking up biking apps on my iphone and found a really cool on that tracks your speed and time and mileage and a bunch of other things and once I got it installed I wanted to go try it out again so I took another ride. This time I took a different route to the park which I think is a little faster (the neighborhood streets really wind around so there are multiple ways to get there) and once I got close I decided to just go for it. I got into the park and it was like a little personal victory for me. Which is ridiculous, because it's not even a mile, but it's the farthest I've ridden my bike in years, so I was proud of myself!

I rode through the park just a short distance and decided to turn around. There is a huge loop through the park that someone told me is close to three miles, but I wasn't up for that much yet. I got home and checked the stats on my Iphone app and it said that I had gone just over two miles. Not that impressive, I realize, but I was proud of myself. It was farther than I went yesterday and tomorrow I'm going to go even father than that. In a few weeks I hope that I'm riding to the park and all the way through it with no problem. After going through a year of severe anxiety and constant health problems, the fact that I'm jumping on my bike and happily cruising through the neighborhood feels really really good. Things are so much better now. My garden is growing, my house is organized, I'm riding my bike to the park and I'm happy.

OK, so for my favorite things post, I'm going to list all the things I've bought for my bike, just in case my bike riding posts have inspired you to take up bike riding and you're a gigantic nerd like me and you want to fancy up your bike like I did. :)

I really can't have any hobby without searching the internet for little tech gadgets or accessories to make it more fun and more efficient. I LOVE gadgets! Half the fun of starting a new hobby for me is finding fun accessories to go along with it. I'm a super ultra nerd, it's true. :)

The first thing I bought for my bike was a better seat. That's not a techy gadget, but I had a fun afternoon researching bike seats, and I came up with this one:

Buy it here!
 Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Suspension Cruiser Saddle, Cruiser Gel, Tri-color Black

 The seat that came with my bike is small and hard and was not making my behind happy. The new seat is bigger and more comfortable and I enjoy my bike WAY more now!

The second thing I bought was a bike computer.
Buy it here!
 Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer with 4-Line Display and Temperature

It attaches to my handlebars and has a sensor that goes down to the wheel and tracks my speed, my distance, my time, etc. I actually just got it today and installed it this afternoon so I haven't taken a big ride with it to test it out yet, but I did test it out just a little and it seems to work perfectly! It's going to be really nice to be able to glance down and see how far I've gone. My goal is to go a little farther every day and now I'll be able to know for sure that I'm doing that, especially since I don't take the same route every day.

Along those same lines, I mentioned earlier that I bought an iPhone app that does basically the same thing. It seems redundant to have both, but it's actually not. The one on my bike will be great to see how I'm doing while I'm riding and the Iphone app will keep track of the stats over time. I obviously can't look at my phone while I'm riding, but it marks my path on a map using GPS, keeps track of how far I go each day, how fast I went and all of that and then keeps a running total for me. It also tracks calories burned, which is nice! I'll be able to look at it and see how many miles I rode over a given week or month and that kind of thing.  Because I'm a big techy nerd I find stuff like that super fun and fascinating! :) It also has the option of posting your stats on Facebook, so if you're my Facebook friend you may start seeing my daily ride stats.

The name of the app is Cyclemeter and you can buy it in the app store for $3.99. I used it this morning and it works great and was totally worth it! It also works for running and walking and any other type of distance based exercise. It's super cool!

The other thing I bought for my cycling adventure is a bag that hooks on to my bike to store my stuff. I can't ride without an asthma inhaler, and I need my phone and possibly keys or other little items and I don't really want to bike with a bunch of stuff in my pockets. The bag I bought is the perfect size to store little items like that without looking bulky on my bike.

Buy it here!
Avenir Bigmouth Velcro Seat Bag (Medium- 55/73 Cubic Inches)
And the last thing I got for my bike is something I don't have a picture of and it's something I didn't buy. This morning I was talking to my super awesome friend Karen on the phone (Hi Karen again!) and telling her all about my new cycling hobby and she's way into cycling and said that she was bringing me a present. She showed up a few minutes later with an actual gift bag, tissue paper present. I love it when I get a present and it's not my birthday! :) She brought me a SUPER cute cycling shirt, with awesome pockets in the back that can hold a water bottle or an iPod or other necessities. It's absolutely perfect and I was really touched that she thought of me. So thank you, awesome friend Karen, for being an awesome friend. :) I'm going to go out and buy some cycling pants to go with my cycling shirt and then I'll look super cool riding my bike to the park. :)

So there you go, there's my new favorite thing! Stay tuned for more favorite things to come! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm a biker! :)

I'm taking time out from my favorite things post to post about a personal victory.

A few years ago Shawn got two free mountain bikes from work as part of an incentive program. We were super excited that we finally had nice bikes and couldn't wait to go out and ride them.

And then we didn't. We had a hundred excuses of course, and eventually we kind of forgot about the bikes in the garage and they've been in there collecting dust ever since.

But this is our year of adventure and our year of no more excuses, so I was determined to get the bikes out of the garage. Now that Josh is home for the summer and can watch Clariss for short times during the day, I decided that I would start taking a bike ride every morning by myself. I need the exercise, the fresh air and the alone time.

I was super gung-ho and determined. The first day that Josh was home for the summer I hurried out to the garage in the morning and grabbed my bike. After wiping off the cobwebs and dust I hopped on it and started my ride.

I made it two houses down the street and the back tire blew and I had to carry my bike home. Awesome.

My determination cooled just a little after that, lol. I put my bike back in the garage, decided to worry about the tire another day and went back in the house.

But fortunately I have a sweet husband who doesn't let me give up and he got the bike out, fixed the tire, adjusted then brakes and last night I tried the bike out again. And then I remembered how much FUN bike riding is! When I was a kid I practically lived on my bike. I rode it for miles every day. Getting back on a bike yesterday and riding up and down the street made me feel like a kid again. I loved it!

So this morning I set out on another bike ride. I didn't make it super far, but I did do a good cruise around the neighborhood. I discovered three things right away. First off, I have asthma (well, that's not new information, I've had it since I was a kid) and exercise tends to trigger it and I forgot my inhaler. I discovered that I have to be careful and bring my inhaler. I don't want to kill myself on my bike ride. Second, I discovered that I hate the seat on my bike. My butt hurt about five minutes into the ride. I ordered a new bike seat and I think it will make my behind happier. :) Third, I discovered muscles that I forgot I had. I'm not in super great shape. I thought I was going to hop on my bike and ride for miles. Nope. I discovered that I'm going to have to work up to a long ride! For now I'm just taking short rides through the neighborhood and every day I'll go a little farther.

One of my biggest motivations is that they just opened up a gigantic 60 acre park near my house. They have been working on that park for years and I have been waiting super impatiently for it to open. It finally opened last week and it is AMAZING!! There are trees and ponds and flowers and most importantly, really great bike paths. The back of the park opens through the neighborhood right behind me, so it's a fairly short ride through the neighborhood streets to get over there. I think one of my neighbors said that to ride to it, through it and home from it is a little over three miles total. That's a perfect morning bike ride.

So that's what I'm working up to. Three miles a day is a lot for someone who hasn't been on a bike for years, but I'm going to start slow and work up to it. Shawn wants to do it with me, so I think I might start taking a short ride by myself in the morning and a longer ride with him in the evenings. And of course we'll be getting the kids in on it too. We're getting Matthew a new bike because his old one is too small and we're figuring out what to do with Clarissa (we have a bike trailer that should work) and then we'll be doing family bike rides as well.

So that's my excitement for today! I'm really happy about this new found hobby. It will be good for our whole family and so much fun!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Favorite things part 3

I post on a parenting message board and they do this "member of the month" thing, where they pick someone and everyone can ask them questions. I happen to be the member of the month right now and as I was answering peoples questions this morning it occurred to me that it kind of went along with my favorite things post. People are asking me my favorite color, favorite food, etc.

So for today's favorite things post I think I'll just copy and past everyone's questions and my answers. It's kind of a kill two birds with one stone thing. lol I apologize that the answers are kind of long winded, but then again if you've stuck with my blog this long you must not mind because I'm ALWAYS long winded. I can't help it. It comes from being cooped up in my house with a toddler all day. There is a lot of stuff in my head that needs an outlet! :)

What's your favorite color? Red. Or pink. Or cornflower blue. :)

Favorite food? I'm completely addicted to popcorn. I also love pasta.

Favorite book? The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It's a true story of a Christian woman who hid Jews in her home during WWII. She was eventually caught and sent to a death camp, and the book is about how her faith in God gets her through it. I've read it a million times and I sometimes buy extra copies and give them to my friends and family. Everyone should read it!

Favorite movie?
A Korean movie called The Classic. It's about a girl who finds a stack of love letters to her mother from her first love. As she reads the letters it goes back in time and tells the story of her mothers first love and then switches back to present time and tells the story of the daughters first love. It's beautiful and really sad and I cry all the way through it every time and swear that I'm never going to watch it again and then I always do because I'm a sucker for tragic love stories, lol.

Favorite restaurant?
If I have to go with my kids then it's Sizzler because the have a big salad bar that my kids love and it's so easy to eat with kids when they can just get what they want from the salad bar. If I'm not with kids it's probably Tocanos, which is Brazilian BBQ place where they bring big slabs of meat to your table and slice some off for you and you can eat until you're so full that you never want to eat again. Who doesn't love that?! :)

Do you like apples? If so what is your favorite kind? I LOVE apples. Pink Ladies are the best! The perfect blend of sweet and sour, plus they're really crunchy. I hate mushy apples.

Where are you from? I grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I lived in the same house from the time I was four until I was an adult. When I got married we moved an hour away to Pocatello so my husband could go to pharmacy school and then three years later the college sent us to Boise so my husband could do a year of internships and twelve years later we're still here!

Do you have any pets? We have a cat named Max. I'm a huge huge huge animal lover and if I had my way we'd have a whole zoo at our house, but my husband makes sure I don't go crazy and bring home a hundred animals. :) I make up for it by having a lot of what I call "backyard pets", meaning I feed any animal that shows up in my yard! I have bird feeders and I have a walnut tree that I purposely don't harvest the walnuts off of so that the squirrels will hang out here in the fall and I'm always trying to make friends with the mallard ducks that show up in our yard every spring. I could be very happy living on a farm. :)

Do you play any instruments? When I was a kid my mom forced me to take piano lessons for years. I hated practicing and it was a constant source or arguments between me and my mother. She kept telling me that if I didn't learn to play the piano I would someday regret it. I finally quit piano lessons and as an adult I can't play at all, and you know what? My mother was right, I totally regret it. I hate it when my mother is right. :) We've been talking about getting a piano and if we do I'm going to take lessons. Don't tell my mom. :)

What is your favorite animal! Ooh, that's a really hard one! I love all animals, but I think I'm going to have to go with monkeys because every time we go to the zoo I seriously just want to stand there and watch the monkeys all day long. It drives my family crazy and they always have to drag me away from them when they get bored, lol. I love monkeys because they're so humanlike. They're fascinating. There really isn't an animal I DON'T like though!

Do you want more children? Sometimes I think yes, but for the most part no, we're pretty sure our family is complete. I would love to adopt again, because that was such an amazing experience, but I don't think it's in the cards for us for several reasons. My husband turns 40 in a few months and I'm 37. We're feeling like our baby days are coming to an end. We're tired, lol.

Favorite bible verse?
That's a hard one too because there are so many good ones! I thought about it for a minute and the one that came to mind was really all of John 14, but especially verse 27:

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Also Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

I struggle with anxiety and I've read a lot of conference talks and done a lot of study on overcoming fear and putting our trust in the Lord and those scriptures always sticks out to me.
 What is your favorite quote? This is silly, but my favorite quote is one that I saw on a siggy once. I can't remember whose siggy it was, and maybe it seems like a silly thing to be my favorite quote, but the quote was "other people are not a failed attempt at being you". Maybe the quote was even meant to be a little snarky but for some reason it was super profound to me.

I think it's a reminder not to judge others just because they do things differently than us and I think it's also a reminder that we're not a failed attempt at being other people. Sometimes I feel inadequate because I'm not super crafty or girly like a lot of the women around me and now when I start to feel that way I remind myself that I'm not a failed attempt at being them. I'm just successfully being me.

So to whoever posted that quote as their siggy, thanks. It was super profound to me.

What is your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
Indoors I love to read. I love to curl up in a corner with a blanket and a book. That's heaven to me. Outdoors I like taking our kids to the lake. There is a nice lake area here with a sandy beach and I love to bring a picnic and have a family day playing in the sand and in the water. I also love to photograph nature. I can sit in my backyard and take pictures of flowers and bees and bugs for hours. I love it.

What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. Christmas was a HUGE deal at my house when I was a kid. My parents went all out every year and it was always such a fun, exciting day. My dad especially loved Christmas and it was always fun to see how excited he got about it. Every year we got a new board game for Christmas and would spend the entire afternoon sitting around the table playing games. My dad passed away when I was 20 and playing games around the kitchen table on Christmas afternoons is my favorite memory of him. As an adult I still love Christmas. I think I get more excited about it than my kids do!

What is your favorite season? It's a tie between spring and fall. I love spring when everything feels new and clean and fresh. I tend to get depressed in the winter when it's dark and cold and once the sunshine comes back and the grass is green again I feel SO much better. Spring makes me happy. I also love fall because I think it's beautiful and I love getting out the sweaters again and I love Halloween and pumpkin patches and I get excited for the beginning of the holiday season. 

What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Cookies and Cream, or maybe mint chocolate chip. Actually, I take that back, I think it's Ben and Jerry's Phish food, although technically I think that's frozen yogurt, not ice cream. That stuff is seriously good.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?
I have really wide musical tastes. They're kind of all over the place. I like a little bit of everything. The music I listen too most often though is usually mellow, moody, acoustic type stuff. I like lyrics with a little depth. But I also like fun stuff, like recently I've been really liking Bruno Mars. He's fun to listen to in the car.

Do you play any sports? No. I'm tall (5'10") and was athletically built in high school and my dad was a HUGE sports nut and played every sport imaginable, so growing up people always asked me if I played sports. I looked like someone who would be good at basketball, I guess. I'm not though. I'm terribly uncoordinated.

Favorite date to go on?
I LOVE the theater. I love to go to plays of any sort. We rarely get to these days, but that would be my #1 choice for a date night.

Favorite way to eat eggs? Fried with the yolks cooked through. I don't like runny eggs! My husband also makes good scrambed eggs with cheese in them.

If could have a dream destination vacation right now where would you go?
I'm weird because I know that most people would pick a tropical location where they could lay on the beach. Honestly, if I had to pick one it would more likely be something like a WWII history tour of Germany or something weird like that. I like history a lot and I like to tour historical places. No t that I would turn down a vacation to a tropical beach though! I wouldn't complain if I had to lay on the beach for a week, lol.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would you pick?
Hmmm... It would proably be some sort of pasta with chicken. I can pretty much eat pasta any time of the day or night!

Favorite day of the week?Saturday because everyone in the family is home and there is a chance that we'll go out and do something fun and exciting. Probably we'll just stay home and clean the house and work in the yard but the possibility still exsists that something fun will happen! :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Favorite Things part 2

Today's list is kind of random. I wasn't really sure what to call it, but basically here is a random list of things that make me happy, things I enjoy or basically things that are just ME. :)

Converse sneakers! I have a pair of Converse sneakers just like the ones in the picture. Yes, they look like they belong on a 12 year old boy, lol. I know they do, but I LOVE them! I'm the least girly girl in the world. I love Converse sneakers. Clarissa has some that are bright pink. LOVE! Converse sneakers make me happy.

I just said that I wasn't a girly girl and the second item on my list is nail polish. Hmm...

I'm totally not girly except when it comes to my toes. I love girly painted toenails, the sparklier the better! I give myself a pedicure at least once a week. I have a huge case of nail polish, and all sorts of fun nail accessories to make my toenails cute. Painting my toenails is my favorite way to spend my alone time. Having brightly painted toes cheers me up when I'm having a bad day. I love to look at nail polish blogs and learn about different polish techniques and all the fun things you can do with nail polish. My toenails are SUPER girly. My fingernails on the other hand? Not girly.

Jeans!! Anyone that knows me knows how much I love jeans because if you see me on a regular basis you know that I wear them every single day except for three hours a week at church, when I'm forced to put on a dress and look girly. :)

I love jeans. I love them way too much. Last year I cleaned out my closet and got rid of stacks of them. I'm embarassed to say how many. Only my friend Karen (hi Karen!) knows the dirty secret of how many pairs of jeans I cleaned out of my closet that day, lol. No one should own that many pairs of jeans! I'm trying to do better and no buy so many. The stupid thing is that I own a billion pairs of them but most of the time I wear the same pair from Ann Taylor Loft that I bought ages ago and can't part with because they fit perfectly and Ann Taylor changed their styles and you can't buy them like that anymore. They're frayed at the bottom and REALLY need to be tossed, but I love them and I can't part with them. It's a sickness. I need a jeans hoarders anonymous program. lol

Lilac Scented Candles! When I was a kid we had a bunch of big lilac bushes along our back fence and every spring the yard smelled like lilacs. My mom would open the back door to get some fresh air and you could smell lilacs in the air. Lilacs smell like home to me. For Mothers day this year Josh used his own money and bought me a new lilac scented Yankee Candle. I love that kid and I love that my house smells like lilacs again!

I need to take back my statement about not being girly if I keep posting girly things that I love. lol

The picture on the left is not a picture of me, but I've been doing my hair exactly like that most days lately. It's called a waterfall braid, and every time I do it people comment on it and ask me how I did it. It's actually extremely easy. Go to Youtube and search for a waterfall braid tutorial if you want to know how to do it. It's way easy. I've been doing my hair like that a lot lately because my bangs are at a weird length and it keeps the hair out of my face. I think I saw the idea on Pinterest one day and decided to try it and it solved my weird bang length problem so I stuck with it. I'm getting my hair cut next week. It needs it.

I posted about Sheldon Cooper yesterday, but I love him so much that I'm posting about him again today! As I said yesterday, Sheldon is a character on the show The Big Bang Theory. I am obsessed with Sheldon Cooper. He's such a big loveable weirdo, lol. Jim Parsons is a genius.

And as long as we're talking about TV characters that I love, here's Frankie Heck from The Middle. The Middle is my other favorite TV show because I totally AM Frankie Heck. She's a frazzled mom trying to keep her kids happy and her house running and she cracks me up. I see a little too much of myself in Frankie Heck. My favorite line from the show, which I say to Shawn constantly is "We're LAZY parents, Mike!". It's become a little joke with us. If' you've never seen The Middle, you really should. Especially if you're a frazzled mom trying to keep your kids happy and your house running. :)

Do I really need to give an explanation to this one? You've all heard me talk about my love of ducks enough. Sadly my ducks are gone for the year but I'm hoping to see them back next year. My little duck friends make me happy.

Oh Steve Jobs, you were a brilliant, brilliant man. If my house is ever on fire, the first thing I'm going to rescue after my children is my iPad. To say that I love my iPad is a gross understatement. I'm slightly obsessed with it! My whole life is on my iPad, I can't function without it anymore. I schedule my whole life on it, I pay my bills with it, it's my recipe book, it's my note pad, I read books on it, I watch movies on it, I use it for 99% of my e-mail checking and web surfing...I use it for everything. I LOVE my iPad. LOVE. IT.

And finally, if I'm talking about what makes me happy, there's this guy. :) It's our 15th wedding anniversary next week! Yay! :)

Check back tomorrow for more random things I love! :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My favorite things!

I'm bored and in the mood to blog so I came up with the idea to do some favorite things posts. Every day this week (if I remember!) I'll blog about some of my favorite things.Maybe I'll be able to introduce you to something new, or maybe I'll just entertain myself by posting random things all week. You'll just have to stick around and see. :)

Today's topic: My favorite videos/movies/TV shows

Sometimes Josh and I like to bond over silly Youtube videos. I introduced him to Toonces the Driving Cat, which we watched about a hundred times, and many other stupid but classic gems.

One of our recent favorites is this, which we have watched fifty bazillion times and it still makes us laugh:

This is my favorite Korean drama moment, from the drama Boys Over Flowers. SPOILER ALERT! Jan-Di comes from a poor family and after her parents lose their jobs they're forced to sell snacks on the street corner to passing cars to earn some money. Jan-Di is dating a very wealthy guy and his mom is not happy about it, so she drives with him past Jan-Di selling snacks on the street to try to humiliate her and get her son to stop dating her. Instead...well, just watch. :)

This next clip is from my favorite episode of How I Met Your Mother. The episode is called Hooked. In this clip Lily is trying to practice letting a guy know he has no chance with her by practicing on a teacup pig. If I could share the entire episode I would, but you'll have to settle for the clip.

This is my favorite viral video. I saw it a couple of years ago and it's so ridiculously cute that I can't even tell you how many times I've watched it. When I'm in a bad mood I watch baby Ethan rip up paper and it always makes me laugh.

This is my favorite clip from my favorite TV show, The Big Bang Theory. If you're not watching that show, seriously, go Itunes yourself some episodes, right this very second. The Big Bang Theory is quite possibly my favorite show of all time. In case you're not familiar with it, it's about four extremely smart and nerdy friends and the cute girl who lives across the hall. Jim Parsons plays Sheldon Cooper, who I think is the most brilliant character every created on TV. Sheldon Cooper is a physicist with a genius IQ and no social skills, and he is so hilariously funny. Jim Parsons is an amazing actor, who plays that part so perfectly. I couldn't decide which clip from the show to put in this blog post because there are a million funny ones. I was going to go with a compilation of funny Sheldon moments, because I adore him, but in the end I decided to go with my all time favorite clip. In recent seasons they've given Sheldon a girlfriend, played by Mayim Bialik, who I also absolutely adore. She's a perfect female Sheldon and I love scenes with the two of them together.

In this scene she has gotten in a fight with Sheldon and he goes to Penny (the cute girl across the hall) to have her help him smooth things over. Penny takes him to buy her some jewelery as an apology. Watch what happens next. :)

My next video clip is my favorite inspirational video clip. A singer named Hillary Weeks wrote a song called Beautiful Heartbreak that touches me every time I hear it, even moreso when I watch the video. The song is about being grateful for the trials in your life and seeing them as an opportunity to grow and change, and that's something that I've tried to do when I've encountered obstacles in my own life. It's not easy but the watching this video makes always reminds me that things could be worse and that every fork in the road is an opportunity for a new journey. I love it and it's worth sharing.

And lastly, I leave you with a video of Clarissa singing Soft Kitty, a song that comes from The Big Bang Theory. Shawn taught it to her and this video makes me smile.

So those are a few of my favorite things today! Check back tomorrow and maybe I'll share my favorite books or my favorite songs or my favorite foods or some other random thing! Fun!:)

Our Year Of Adventure: Camping

So I cheated just a bit on this one. Shawn and the boys went camping last weekend with all the guys from our church. We debated whether or not to count this as a year of adventure activity because the whole family didn't go, but honestly, our summer is filling up kind of quickly and I'm not sure that we're all going to be able to make it on a camping trip before the summer is over, so we decided that Shawn and the boys going camping was close enough and we've declared this activity complete.

They left Friday evening and drove about an hour from here. It was a church activity for the men and boys so it was really fun for them to go meet up with all their friends at the campsite. Clarissa and I stayed home and ordered pizza and painted our toenails. Oh, and I watched several hours of my latest Korean drama after she went to bed. :)

It was Josh's job to be the cameraman for this activity and to report back what they did so that I could blog about it. He did a good job!

According to Josh, they got to the campsite, set up the tent, played football, ran around the campground, roasted marshmallows and then went to bed.

Being the mom, I of course was worried that they were going to freeze to death. Before they left I kept pulling out more blankets and warm socks and making Shawn promise to make sure everyone was bundled up. It still isn't super warm up there at night. They did manage to stay warm enough, mostly. No one came home with a frostbitten nose, so I suppose that means it was a sucess! :)

In the morning they got up and a storm was starting to blow in so everyone ate breakfast and packed up pretty quickly. I think they were planning to stick around a bit longer, but being rained on wouldn't have been much fun so everyone went home fairly quickly.

It was a quick trip but it was more camping than anyone in our family has done for quite some time, so it was still a success! The kids loved it more than they thought they were going to and Shawn commented that he enjoyed it so much that he's thinking of taking the boys on another camp out this summer if he can find the time.

All in all it was a successful outing and I'm pretty sure that I see more camping in our future! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Love Rain!

It's Korean drama time! It's been a while since I've watched a Korean drama. It's so time consuming to get through them and so addicting that I can only watch them if I know I have a lot of time to spare because once I start watching it's hard for me to tear myself away until it's over!

We're having a pretty quiet week around here though, and Shawn and the boys are going camping Friday night so I knew that this was a perfect time to engross myself in a new drama.

The drama I'm watching is called Love Rain. I've actually been REALLY excited about this one for a few reasons! It was made by the same guy who did my favorite drama of all time-Spring Waltz. Spring Waltz is absolute perfection. No matter how many dramas I watch, nothing measures up to that one. There hasn't been another one like Spring Waltz in a while but when I heard that the guy behind that one was coming out with a new one, I got super excited!

I got more excited when I read the basic plot and realizes that it sounds a lot like my all-time favorite Korean movie, The Classic. That was one of the first Korean movies I ever watched and I absolutely love it. It was really beautifully done and makes me cry all the way through it no matter how many times I see it!

So I pretty much knew that Love Rain was going to be a drama for me! I've actually been aware that this drama was coming before it even started airing, and I could have watched it weekly as it aired on, but I forced myself to wait until it was done airing so I could watch the whole thing at once. Korean dramas are so addicting that I hate watching them one episode at a time. They're way more fun when you can stay up until 1am watching episodes back to back until you're too tired to watch one more second!

Love Rain is 20 episodes long and each episode is just over an hour. I started watching it yesterday and I'm now on episode 6. So far it's really good, although the first couple of episodes dragged a bit. It took me a little while to get into it at first, but now I'm completely hooked!

The basic premise of the story is this. The first part takes place in the 1970's. Two college students meet and fall in love instantly, but they're both too shy to really do anything about it. They finally admit their feelings but then things happen and they end up apart.

In episode 5 it fast forwards to present time and they've both moved on with their lives and have had children but have never gotten over that first love. By coincidence their children meet each other and sparks fly, but they're very different people and I'm sure it will be complicated. Korean dramas always are!

So far it's a really sweet story about first loves and it's cute and funny and I really need to stop writing this blog post so I can go back to watching it. I just put Clarissa down for a nap and my drama watching time is limited!

So if you love Korean dramas as much as me, go watch Love Rain! If you've never seen a Korean drama, you seriously should, you're missing out! :)