Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Half Marathon

We did it.  We crossed the finish line.  2 hours, 12 minutes.  I have to give major props to Matt who pushed the stroller 99% of the time (he let me push it across the finish line, isn't that sweet?).  When I went to pick up our bibs the day before, I doubled checked to make sure strollers were allowed.  That would have been a complete bummer had we shown up and had nothing to do with Maddie.  They were (yay!) and surprisingly there weren't many strollers on the half (the marathon had a complete different route), so we got a TON of comments.  I think it helped motivate us to push through. Maddie did awesome - slept about half of it, took in her surroundings the other half - little fussiness involved.  Everyone loved her little feet kicked up as she strolled by.

Here we are before the race.  It was a beautiful day.  A rarity in Anchorage. 
Do you like my knee brace?  I strained a muscle in my knee while training.  Then earlier that week I woke up with a pulled muscle in my back.  I feel like an 80-year old woman.  I have a baby and my body officially starts falling apart.

At least we crossed the finish line.  I was excited that they even gave Maddie a medal.  It was tough work for her.  Clearly.
Matt now wants to continue to train for the full marathon that is in August.  We are still in debate about that one.  Strollers aren't allowed, so that's one strike against it.  Strike two is that it's twice as long.
I tried to get enough pictures to satisfy my need of documentation, so that in 20 years Maddie can look back and see that at one point in time her parents actually were in shape.

We crashed when we got home.  And drew straws to see who would carry Maddie up and down the stairs.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

random thursday thoughts

Life is getting exciting around here.  Maddie started walking! 
Just kidding.  We are just getting good at sitting on our own.  First things first.  That would be crazy...and probably rather stressful.  She lasted standing/leaning on her own for just long enough for me to take that picture to send to Matt one day.  

Anyways, this little girl cracks me up.  She loves to just sit with her legs in the air, like how I caught her after an afternoon nap one day.  Not crying at all.  Just chilling with her legs straight up.
I'm glad that swaddle worked out well.

It's actually been warm here this week.  The forecast said it was supposed to hit 70 every day this week. 7-0.  Not sure if that's been true, but I wore shorts one day.  Shorts.  That may have been the third time I've done that up here and the first time I didn't go straight back inside to put jeans and a sweater on.

Matt and I took a little stroll on the trails on Sunday (or a 4-mile walk, whichever you'd like to call it) and wandered on over to the a beach we have in Anchorage.  It's actually a lake.  A nasty looking, cold lake.  But they have an area roped off for swimming.  And life guards on duty.  There were a TON of people there. In bathing suits.  Tanning. Swimming. Building sand castles.  I still don't believe it.  Poor deprived people.  That is not a beach...I thought as I walked by in a jacket looking at the snow on the mountains still.
However, I will say it was warm enough for Maddie to help Matt mow.  In her Sunday best.  Hah.  Just kidding again.  We were doing a photo shoot for Matt's dad.  We actually don't mow up here.  The mower just takes up precious space in our little garage.  That's one perk of living in a townhouse.  And HOA fees.  They do all the yard work for us.
But isn't she cute?  
 I had to introduce her to grass. And the sun.  She's still not so sure of either.  Ok...just one more...
Oh and part of my squash plants died.  I'm not surprised though.  Somehow almost all plants die under my care.  I'm debating if I should dig them up.  Is it more depressing to look at dead plants or just dirt? Hm...
At least the rest of the garden is flourishing.  I don't understand either.  I think I might make myself a salad today.  From my garden.  I never thought I'd say that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Knik River Lodge

Sometimes there are good deals to be found on Groupon.  One of the best ways we can try new things on a dime.  Such as our recent anniversary trip to Knik River Lodge.  

When the website advertises "flushing toilets" really don't know what to expect.  The lodging situation up here is kinda sketch - especially outside of Anchorage.  Once we booked a night at this very well known lodge and the room was so bad we ended up driving through the night to just get home to our own bed.   But I guess when 99% of what you do overnight in Alaska involves a tent and sleeping bag, it'd be considered a step up to have "flushing toilets".  

However, this place was beautiful. clean. quiet. peaceful.  Much better than I anticipated.  A wonderful escape, even if it was only for the night.  

Here is our personal lodge.  It is basically big enough for a bed, bath and small kitchenette.
And there were 2 rows of them.  Only 15 in all.  It was so quiet even though they seem pretty close together.
 The views from the porch were amazing.
Since this place is literally at the end of a long windy road, there isn't much to do (unless you wanted to spend more money than we would like to fly in the helicopter chasing down bears).  So we ate at this gourmet restaurant they have on site.   The hut you see in the middle of the picture is the restaurant.  The red colored building to the left is kitchen.
Yes, I had my doubts too...but it was actually pretty good.  But I guess you can't go wrong with freshly caught Alaskan seafood.

I think we were the only locals/American there.  Lots of European folks came to visit.  I also think we were the only ones with a small didn't think we left her at home, did you?  She was a champ.  Until the fancy restaurant wanted us to enjoy the experience and prolong our dinner.  Maddie isn't use to that.  
So when the inevitable fussiness began, we did what we could to keep her happy and entertained in the way-too-quiet-of-a-restaurant-for-a-crying-baby.
Unfortunately, we ended up taking turns exiting the hut while the other ate.  Maybe not so romantic, but it worked.  This is why we don't go to nice places anymore. :)

However,  I love being able to escape from our home, without having to fly 8+ hours or sleep in a sleeping bag.   It was a wonderful way to celebrate the most rewarding three years of my life married to an incredible man.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

To the godly leader of our home... 
my faithful and handsome husband and friend...
 the hard-working provider...
a goofy, light-hearted sports lover and handyman...
 my strong and patient "other half"...
 to the gentle and loving father to our baby girl... are treasured, respected and loved more than we could ever express.

Maddie is blessed with an incredible dad.  I couldn't be more thankful.
Happy Father's Day, Matt!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Remember when just a couple short months ago our backyard looked like this?  Yuck.  I'm dreading those days again. 
 But then the snow started to melt and we built a raised garden bed.  And it looked like this:
We worked on planting our little seeds inside next to the sunniest window in our home and I was amazed to watch my little plants grow...because usually they die under my care.
Once they got bigger, we transplanted them to solo cups...since it was still too cold outside to plant them in the ground (even though it was May).
As June 1st arrived (which is usually the last frost up here, depressing I know), I went to planting them in our garden.  We even added this trellis to help the snow peas blossom.  And of course I had to make it cute with little signs signifying what each vegetable is...just in case we forgot.:)  Just looking out the window (it's right outside out living room) at the greenery and sunshine makes me happy.
Then we decided that our back yard still needed help.  Grass wouldn't grow and only the back portion gets direct sunlight, not where the current concrete patio resides by the back door.  We would never sit there because in the shade it's just too cold for my liking.  So we decided to add more patio space by laying some pavers.  Matt did an excellent job on them.
I even built two little herb planters you can see on the little table.  Matt helped me cut the wood, because the saw freaks me out and my hand is so small I can barely push the button, but I nailed them together and put a fresh, bright coat of paint on them with some basil, parsley and cilantro.  All we have left to do is pick up some mulch to fill in where there is still ground showing...since grass just doesn't happen there for whatever reason.
Even Mocha enjoys taking in the beauty that is now our back patio (and you can see the shade/sun difference we have going on).  Oh how that dreadful space now makes me so happy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

5 months

It's hard to believe that Maddie is five months old.  She is such a blessing to our family.  She makes me laugh every day.  I cannot imagine my life without this little precious one.  I feel like I get to know her better every day.  Her sweet little personality is certainly coming through.  She's a goofy baby girl.  Loves to laugh and smile.  
She's learned she has a high pitched shriek which she thinks is funny to make at the most inconvenient times - such as right next to my ear.  She's learned how to get our attention if nobody is focusing on her.  She loves to read, play with her toes, bounce in her bouncer and go for jogs in her stroller with Matt and I.
This month was a big month.  She's mastered sitting up (though after a little bit she topples over).  Went on her first camp out.  She's even started solids.  Maddie's had applesauce and banana.  She's still not 100% on either quite yet, but it allows Matt and I to eat dinner with her while she's occupied with her own food next to us.
Maddie still likes to wake up about every 3 hours at night to eat (which is why we've started solids sans our pediatrician).  She loves tummy time - which makes me a little anxious that crawling is right around the corner.  Thankfully she is getting better about her stranger anxiety.  Before I'd hand her to someone and immediately the tears came.  The last few weeks she's let almost anyone hold her.  She's started the fun game of throwing everything on the ground and grabbing anything in sight and putting it into her mouth.
She still takes 2-3 naps during the day.  On a good day one lasts 2-3 hours, but typically they are only about an hour.  Sometimes in the crib, sometimes in the swing, sometimes in the Ergo.
We are so thankful for you Madelyn.  I thank God every day that He entrusted you to us.  You couldn't be more loved.