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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Just a Little Home Sick

Last night I stumbled in and out of sleep. Mostly out. My brain spun tirelessly as I tried desperately to think of nothing. The room was silent except for the hum of the ceiling fan, which became my focus. I find that thinking of one thing with all the brain power I can muster usually does the trick to shut it off completely. And so I focused on the hum and the soft breeze on my face hoping my mind would wander off to sleep. I took in a few deep breaths slowly and exhaled even slower. It wasn't long before I was drifting, not to sleep but to home.

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There is something powerful that can occur to your senses in the moments just before sleep when your brain begins to play tricks with you. It's in these moments that your mind can pull out dormant memories from the depths. This time I was not taken back to any specific memory or moment but as the breeze whirled through the room I could smell the crisp mountain air of home like it was a freshly baked apple pie pulled right from the oven. As I breathed deeper trying to heighten the clean crisp smell my heart jumped and my stomached ached a little and I felt a bit home sick.
The feeling must have lasted only a short while because before long I was carried off to sleep and back to my not so shabby reality of sun soaked days and the lovey smell of ocean breezes.

Ahhh reality.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

8 years ago today

It was 8 years ago today Thomas was born at 10:18 pm in Boston Massachusetts. And I have to say it was the best day of my life. I have loved all of my births but there was something particularly special about the first. I have enjoyed many things in my life but the experience of bringing babies into this world tops it all. It's an experience so amazing and magical. I loved Thomas before I held him in my arms but I had no idea my love for this perfect little creature would run so deep.

8 things I love about Thomas. (Excuse my bragging.)

1. He's socially and environmental conscious. (Well at least 100 times more than I was as a kid.) He's into recycling and he liked collecting the cans and bottles in the neighborhood until a neighbor kid told him he was technically stealing money from the city. He asked me the other day what kind of gas mileage my car gets. I told him it wasn't that great so he suggested we get a smart car like Uncle Trent. I reminded him that Uncle Trent doesn't have kids to schlep around. Several months ago I told him that he needed to take a shower more than once a week especially now that he was starting to sweat and stink like an older kid. He responded by telling me that he was helping to save water. Good one.

2. He's decisive. He is the easiest kid to take shopping. He's all about the get in and get out. He knows what he wants and is completely satisfied with the stores selection. There no looking around or wanting to check out one more store. He's a dream especially if your in a hurry.

3. He's frugal. The other day while at Target he was trying to convince me to the get the cheaper rugs for the kitchen. Although I appreciated his frugality I also told him that in some cases it's better to buy nicer. (I couldn't believe I was actually having this conversation with my 8 year old.)

4. He's smart.

5. He's low maintenance. He's good with whatever I buy him. (I hope that last forever.) Dads hair cuts and fingernail grooming is good enough for him.

6. He's creative. I love that Thomas knows how to play creatively. He and his buddy Ben put on these funny little skits and make Kate and Madelyn watch them over an over again. There's always a little mess in my house but it the kind of mess that makes me happy.

7. He's motivated. I've never have to ask him to do his homework. Luckily for me his just one of those kids that likes to do his best at everything he does. He's not lacking in the self- confidence department.

8. He still kinda likes to snuggle. The day of snuggling and thinking his mom is the best thing ever has almost come to an end which is why for now I'm loving every chance I get.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good Enough To Drink

I love tomatoes! They are my favorite veggie/fruit, whatever they are. I eat them just about everyday. Fortunately I live in a land that produces them plentifully. I love any variety, size or color, but my favorite are the ones that are home grown. There is nothing better than tomatoes straight from the backyard.
My family garden growing up always included several hearty vines of tomatoes. Nearly every dinner from summer to early fall included a plate full of sliced tomatoes. I think that's when my love affair began...somewhere around age 5.
Naturally I also love a really good marinara sauce. I love the sauces that have a nice rich tomato flavor complemented by just a few other key ingredients like fresh garlic and basil. I like making my own but I don't always have the time or find myself without the fresh ingredients. So I have been on a hunt for nearly my entire married life to find a really good marinara sauce that comes in a jar. Over the years I have tired a sizable variety with several making the pretty good list, but I've found nothing with that yummy fresh homemade taste until now.... drum roll

I am ecstatic to announce the winner of my 10 year long search for the best jarred marinara sauce.

And the winner is.... Amy's Premium Organic Mariana Sauce.

It's so good you could drink it.

Run Eat Sleep Repeat

A couple of weekends ago I ran the Los Angeles Ragnar Rely Race with my friend Jenny and her family. The race started at 9:00 am Friday morning in Santa Barbara and ended 25 hours 10 minutes and 47 second later in Dana Point. That's over 160 miles. Our team was named the Mike and Ikes'. Get it, one Mike and 11 Ikes.

How is works. Well to put it in a nut shell you Run, Eat, Sleep Repeat three times. Although we didn't do much sleeping. I would say it's more like Run, Eat, Chat, Complain, Laugh, Pee, Snooze, Chat, Eat Repeat three times. We also managed to squeeze in a movie on our way through Malibu. Jenny and I took in our pillows to make ourselves a bit more comfy, which was probably a little WT for Malibu but we didn't care.

Each team member ran three legs ranging from 3 to 10 miles. The total of my three legs was 18 miles. Each team piled into two vehicles. The first car dropped off the first runner, drove ahead a few miles, honking and cheering as they zoomed past the runner on their way to the next exchange point where the next runner was was waiting and so on. We did this leapfrogging pattern throughout the day into the night and into the next day until we crossed the finish line around 2:30 pm on Saturday.

This is me warming up for my big 4 miler! (I include this picture because I'm not feeling particularly strong these days. I've let myself go a bit. I haven't picked up any kind of weight besides Jack and my groceries in months. The photo by the way is generous and cropped in all the right places. I'm hoping years from now I will look back and think I should have complained less and cared less! Who know I may even say, "Damn. You looked pretty good for not feeling so strong.")

It was a little lonely on the trail. It wasn't often you saw another runner. It looks like I'm on running on the wrong side of the fence. I thought the other side looked safer myself.

Jenny was lucky enough to have one of her runs along the very scenic Pacific Coast Highway in daylight might I add.

My beach run on the other hand was at 1 am in the morning in total darkness.

Yeppy we made it to the finish line. Now lets go home and sleep.

Anyone up for next year?