Friday, August 29, 2014

Quick Takes: Scenes from Our Week

It's Friday, friends, hurray!  And a long weekend!  And D is FINALLY home from a (too) long business trip, woot woot!  Oh, we are ready for some family time this weekend.  Meanwhile, here are some scenes from our week.  God bless you this weekend, and especially all of the families (military and otherwise!) who have to endure long periods of separation! 

We had the beach all to ourselves on Tuesday!  And I survived our 10 mile bike trip there and back.

Peter Rabbit strikes again.  While I was picking out cucumbers at the grocery store, I look over and M had reached over and helped himself to this little radish.  Judging by his reaction, I think he wished he had chosen something else! 

On Thursday we met friends at McEuen Park downtown.  We explored the North end of the park (that is the CDA Resort in the pic) first.  It was a windy day (look at the flags!)

--- 4 ---
Cool little designs on the railing by the resort docks.

He was quite ready to jump in the water!

Hello there, Mudgy the Moose.

He really, really wanted to hike Tubbs Hill.  Hopefully we'll get there this weekend - can't believe we haven't been there all summer!  It is so great to have this nice hiking spot right in the middle of town.  We ultimately went back to the playground and splash pad, where M played with his friends while I did a 25 minute tempo run.  

Have a great weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One Word

Watching M grow and learn new things is fascinating.  The other day I was thinking to myself about how each year has been different, and I tried to sum up his development/growth in one word for each year of his life so far.  Here's what I came up with so far:

0-1: Attachment

For me, the first year was all about developing and nurturing the bond and connection between him and us, aka loving on him!  I think discipline and exploration go hand and hand somewhat.  Once he got comfortably mobile, that's when he really started to explore and he certainly still does.  Now that he is two and very verbal, we are working on setting the boundaries within which his 'exploration instinct' can flourish.  He is definitely not a bad kid, but he is starting to do some things to see our reaction (ex: purposely dumping his milk on his tray at meals, trying to climb up in the pantry!) but this is the stage where I am really seeing the importance in modeling/emphasizing proper behaviors, and consequences for misbehavior. I just say discipline for this year, because we didn't really have to deal with it before!
While I was organizing his toys, he was organizing my pantry...

I was curious to hear my husband's opinion on all this, so I asked him to sum up each year with M in one word too.  His three words were:


As in, M spent a lot of time sleeping that first year (and learning to sleep well!), then walking, and now talking.  And truly, he is a little chatterbox now!  (Best phrase for today, so far, while picking up his baseball glove: "Mommy, let's go play with my basketball glove."  ha!)  I thought this was a fun little exercise to share our perspectives on his development, and one that I plan to think about each year.  

Can you sum up each year of your child's life in one year?  What about YOUR life?  (I'll have to think about this for me, too!)  Please share!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Recap: Faith, Fitness, Family & Fun

Our parish is named after St. Pius X.  Last weekend was the 100th anniversary of his death, and our parish held an outdoor evening mass and BBQ.  We attended; it was interesting to learn about this special man and fun to spend time with church friends.  M especially loved staying up past his bed time, running in the huge field behind the church, and eating cake!

I did a stroller run on Saturday morning, attempting to push the pace some, but ran out of gas after only three miles!  Ack!  I better get it together, because my next half marathon is only about a month away!  Did I mention that I did actually sign up?  So yes, I'm committed to running the Scenic Half in Sandpoint, Idaho!  Some family members and my close friend will also be running the 5k too!  Now, shouldn't we all convince D to run too?!  

We've been enjoying lunch on the front porch lately in this awesome weather!

Speaking of Sandpoint, we drove up there this weekend to attend the birthday party of one of M's little friends.  The party was at a lovely spot on Lake Pen d'Oreille, and M and I even got to kayak!  He loved it, but of course he really wanted to ride in the speed boat. =)
Our view on Saturday!
How was your weekend?

Friday, August 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Toddler Talk Edition

Happy Friday!  I hope you enjoy these seven snippets from my sweet boy.  I bet you can guess which statement made me smile the most!

I'm a working man
overheard while he was playing with his toys

I'm so dapper
to me, as I was helping him put shoes on

I'm so strong
to me, after trying (but not quite succeeding) to pick up a large rock

Look at this awesome, awesome truck!
 to Daddy while playing after dinner

5. I did it!  I really did it!
after climbing up the ladder at the playground

Glory to the hotdog
singing the Gloria at breakfast while eating little smokies (aka "hotdogs")

Mommy, we're best friends, like Gossie and Gertie
at the dinner table - it was so sweet, I almost forgot about the ten times that he pooped on the floor that day! =)

God Bless Our Toddlers!  For more Quick Takes, visit, a blog I love to read!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cooling Off

Do you ever have a run where you just feel like you can't get going?  That's how I felt this morning.  My legs felt sluggish before I even started today's tempo run.  I pushed myself, but it just seemed like a lot more work than last week!

Anywho - August is when we finally get some nice hot summer days up here in the Northwest.  We went down to Higgins Point to cool off on a recent weekend morning.

Higgins Point is at the end of the Centennial Trail, the paved path that we use almost daily for biking, running or walking. 

 The water is cold and clear and we found a nice secluded spot to swim for a while before everyone else in town showed up.

It was a nice, quiet morning down at the lake!

Monday, August 18, 2014

White Flag

Hi!  Annie here, waving the white flag on potty training for the time being....

After two weeks, we've achieved nearly complete success with potty training for #1.  But my dear little one is really digging in his heels with #2, so we are taking a break and returning to normal society so that we I don't go crazy.

I basically followed the Potty Boot Camp method to the letter for the first week.  I also read this post.  I found it very helpful, and I really, really tried.  I did!  But bless his heart, when it came to sitting on the potty for #2, he just wasn't having it.  I talked to several other moms the other night, and 3 of 4 said they went through months of 'poop in your pants' episodes, and I just don't think I can deal with that.  Potty training was starting to make document review look amazing!

So, today we went to the gym/playcare and I let him wear a pull-up there so the lovely playcare ladies don't have to deal with poopy pants.
He is smiling because I let him wear a diaper to church!

I know a lot of people think ew, gross, we don't want to hear about your kid's potty training on the internet, but I'm telling you, every night, the only thing that motivated me to keep trying was finding stories that demonstrated that I wasn't the only one dealing with this! 

So if you are stuck in the potty training doldrums like me, hang in there and remember it's not the worst thing in the world to use a Pull Up or two! =)

Got any potty training secrets up your sleeve?  Please share!  And don't tell me a special present(s) because I tried that! =)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Answer Me This: Summer, Please Don't Go, and More

 Happy Wednesday, folks.  How is your day going?  We had a great play/run date this morning, and we're headed to a birthday party tonight.  No party like a toddler party!  I really enjoyed my workout this morning - I did 2x10:00 at 80% effort with a 2 minute recovery, warm up and cool down.  Felt hard and good, and I was glad that I could maintain a steady pace for both efforts.  Here are some more thoughts about me....

What do you still want to do this summer?

There is SO MUCH I still want to do this summer!  Luckily, it seems like summer in North Idaho runs from July-September, so I think we've still got some more warm days for fun in our future.  I do think that I want to give camping another go, though!  I keep hearing great things about camping on Kalispell Island at Priest Lake.

  You have to rent a boat to go there, which would make it extra fun because then we'd get to tool around the lake, and D would get to fish, which he loves.  
We're on a boat!

On the topic of boating, M has been pushing his toy mower around the backyard and yelling "I'm waterskiing" and then "hit it!"  I think he is ready for Camp Sea Gull.

 What's your favorite kind of pie?

I am not a huge pie person, but I love to make them for Thanksgiving!  I made an apple-cheddar pie, which I did like, on two occasions.  The second time was for my then-neighbors, after they had a new baby, and the husband came back over and asked me if I made a mistake because there was cheese in the pie.  Guess he was #notafan!

How much sleep do you need each day? How much do you get?

I think I need 7-9 hours.  I usually get 7 these days, and we are so lucky because M hardly ever wakes up at night and is a great sleeper!

Do you prefer to swim in a pool, lake, river, or ocean?

I am 100% a beach girl but I actually don't love to swim in the ocean.  When I was younger, my sensitive skin would react to the salt water/sweat/sunscreen combo, so I was a yucky mess!  We lived on a river growing up, and occasionally swam/kneeboarded in it, but I was always a little nervous about the gators!  Now I live in the lake city, and the lakes around here are refreshing and beautiful, but I might have to go with a clean, highly-chlorinated pool as my top pick, ha! 

Do you know any poems by heart?

Nope, but I got M a book of poetry that we sometimes like to read from.  He really likes looking at the illustration that accompanies the witch's spell from MacBeth, so we are both slowly memorizing that because we read it together so much while he looks at the picture!  
 Do you use the public library?

Most definitely!  I love the library.  Our downtown library is in a great, beautiful, sunshine-y building, and it has a great children's section.  
Coeur d'Alene Library
Our beautiful downtown library

My husband and I were just talking the other day about how great libraries are, and it brought to mind all of the hours that I used to spend at the library with my siblings, it was a great place to pass the time between school getting out and before practice/piano lessons/dance lessons started.  

larimer memorial library
The old library building in my hometown - now it's an arts center.

We lived out in the country, so it didn't make sense to drive all the way home and then back to town between school and stuff, so we spent a lot of downtime at the library.  I think libraries are fantastic public resources.  

How about you?  What fun activities are you trying to get in before summer is over?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I'm still not sure if this is an Idaho thing or not, but we went tromping around in the woods recently to pick huckleberries!  This was a first huckleberry adventure for our family!
He had the time of his life, eating more berries than he picked!
 Huckleberries are little blue/purple/red berries that grow in the wild - similar to blueberries to me, more so in appearance than in taste.  We have some friends who love to go pick them, and we understand people can be very secretive about where a "good spot" to find them is, so we accompanied them on a journey to a "new to all of us" spot.

We think we found the spot, after driving 6 miles up a bumpy fire road.  M had enough of the bumps and was ready to get out of the car!

We picked some berries, but not much.  According to our more experienced friends, this spot wasn't all that great.  But it had amazing views!
Huckleberry Pancakes

The next day, we made huckleberry pancakes with huckleberry sauce.  Yum!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Quick Takes: In which I blab on and on and on about PT....

  Happy Friday, Y'all!  Wondering what PT is?  Read on at your own risk......

Potty training - that's what has been going on around here this week.  Yuck.  It is no fun, but from talking to more experienced moms, they assure me that he is actually doing pretty well.  The author of the bootcamp method should have really, really emphasized that it makes you feel like a terrible mother, though!  She says it once, but really, she should have said it more, ha!

And the other thing that I didn't realize before we started, is that while we are focusing on this, I have to let some other things slide.  Especially on the first day.  I am learning that this is not the week to force him to clean his plate, pick up every last single toy or go to timeout, i.e., enforce all other discipline strictly.  Potty training is stressful for little ones and on day 1, it was hard enough for me to force him through the drills, let alone send him to timeout afterwards!

My only recommendation that my book did not cover is that you definitely need a BIG box of cookies in the house - not as a reward for your toddler but for YOU for staying the course!

We are LOVING this book/CD that we randomly found at the library.  M loves music and he loves listening to this CD.  The text is too advanced for him, although he has started to distinguish the Vivaldi songs from "Peter and the Wolf" by ear and I enjoy reading it.  I wish the songs were longer, because the whole CD is only about 20 minutes.  I might end up buying this one because we are playing it constantly!  Because it's so short, it might be best for short car rides.
Playing the flute!

Adoption update:  we were not chosen by another birthmom recently.  I didn't get any information as to why she didn't choose us, and of course, I was sad at first, but it is just not all in our control, is it?  We are working with a web design firm to develop a personal website/online portfolio, which our local attorney seems to think is really going to help get our name out there.  We'll see.  I spoke with the local agency too that has our portfolio, and she doesn't have any birth mothers to present us to right now.  So we continue to wait and pray, and enjoy the summer (and potty training, of course) with our wonderful "big man" M (as he calls himself).

I read this article recently, and it has me seriously thinking (again) about deleting my Facebook account.  I often feel that way more than I have positive thoughts about Facebook.  But it is the main means of communication for a couple mom groups that I'm involved with, and I love seeing everyone's photos.  So I am still going back and forth. What do you think?

I saw one of my friends Thursday and she is planning to run the Scenic Half Marathon too!  Woohoo!  She is super fast, we did the trail run together and she zoomed by me uphill after this photo was taken.  After the race, my husband was like "wow, she smoked you!"  Haha!  #keepsmehumble

Anyway, it has been harder to stick to the schedule this week due to the potty training.  Wednesday called for another tempo workout, but since we basically didn't leave the house, I just did a short series of sprints in the backyard when M said he wanted "run around".  Although I have discovered that while he sits on the potty, that is the perfect time for abwork!  Is this too much potty talk or what?  Is anybody still reading this??

This was the cover of my alumni magazine from Washington & Lee University.  Isn't it striking?  I just thought it was such a beautiful picture that I had to share it.  I graduated from W&L Law.  I did not apply for its undergraduate program, but I really loved my time there and would love to be able to consider it for M - but thankfully that decision is a long, long way off!

Please continue to pray for the persecuted in Iraq!

That's it for me for the week.  Have a wonderful weekend!  Conversion Diary!

For more Quick Takes, visit

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My First "Answer Me This"

I recently stumbled across this great blog, and now I've found yet another reason to be glued to my computer during nap time.  Here is my first stab at her "Answer Me This" series!

1.  When driving, are you more likely to listen to the radio, to CDs or an iPod or nothing at all?

We are listening to the radio a lot these days, so M can hear his beloved guitar music!  We listen mostly to country radio or this cool local station, KPMD.   But I can't stand radio commercials! 

 2.  Do you prefer window or aisle?

Just ask anyone who has had the misfortune to fly with me (mostly D or my sister J, with whom I overlapped in college for 2 years) - I like the window seat and will basically beg you to switch with me if I am not assigned it.  M gets it of course when we fly together (because the car seat can't block another seat) and he likes to shut the window, but I always make him (or do it myself!) open it back up!  It's the world we're flying over, man!  Why would you close the window on that?!  Ha!

3.  Do you fall asleep on your side, back or stomach?  What position are you in when you wake up?

I have no idea.  I basically toss and turn until I pass out, and then I never remember what position I am in when I wake up.

4.  Do you have a favorite quote or inspirational saying?

Not really, but I love the quote about the simplest prayer being only "Thank you, thank you, thank you."  Not sure where that came from originally, but I read about it in The End of Your Life Book Club.

5.  When is the last time you attended a zoo, circus, carnival, county fair or parade?

We went to the San Diego Zoo with my parents and my sister and her family in March.  It was a really big zoo.  I think the little boys (M and his cousin) liked the double decker bus ride the best, and it was tough because some of us were in various stages of recovery/coming down with a stomach virus, which makes for a hard day of walking around.  It is expensive too, and I honestly felt like it was kind of difficult to see a lot of the animals in the exhibits.

6.  What's the best thing about summer?

Everything about summer is awesome!  For me it is a tie between (a) going to the beach and (b) the extra hours of daylight.  I don't have to get in the water to enjoy going to the beach, rather, I just love having my chair on the water's edge and relaxing with a good book.  When we lived in Virginia, D & I used to take our beach chairs and sit on the beach every Friday evening as the sun went down.  It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend.  The other day, it actually occurred to me that a great girls' night out would be an evening doing the same thing - I think my mom friends would enjoy the quiet relaxing time!

The extra hours of daylight are awesome too because now we get to have longer bike rides and walks together after dinner.  Our splash pad is only open until Labor Day, so I am really trying to make the most of it and get M there daily if we can, and sometimes after dinner is the only time we can get there.  Plus, it counts as a bath, right??!!

 What about you?  What's the best thing about YOUR summer?

This is my 100th Post!  Woohoo!  Or are you bored yet?!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Our Weekend

Hi Friends!

How was your weekend?  Ours was really nice.  We had all *intentions* to go camping again.  Friday evening rolled around, and since we still hadn't packed, we just couldn't get it all together and out the door.

It turned into a lazy weekend instead - and sometimes you just need those too!  We definitely did!

I got a 6 mile run in early in the morning.  My training plan for Sandpoint's Scenic Half Marathon has had me running increasingly longer long runs each weekend.  But this weekend the schedule instructed me to dial it back distance wise and try to run at "race pace."

I used the Mcmillan calculator to try to estimate mile "race pace" for a 1:57 - 1:58 half marathon.  In 2013 and 2011, I ran 1:58 in two different half marathons (in 2011, the Shamrock in Virginia Beach, and in 2013, the CDA Half Marathon).  Ten years ago, I ran 1:54 in a half marathon in Florida, so that is technically my PR, but since I really didn't run consistently between 2007 and 2011, I count the 1:58 races as my "modern PR."  Of course, I'd love to get back down to that 1:54!

My course for my 6 miles this weekend was downhill for the first 3 miles, and then uphill for the last 3.  I was right on pace for the first 2 miles, then I had to take a quick pit stop.  I lost some momentum doing this, and then I definitely slowed down even more on the way back (uphill).  Oh well!  I am overall pleased with the workout, and looking forward to trying it again after a few more long runs and tempo workouts (during the week) to work on speed.

Mile Splits:
2: 8:50
5: 10:00
6: 9:31

In other news, we cooked Pioneer Woman's "Eggs-in-a-Hole" which were delicious, did some painting at Art on the Green, and enjoyed some beach time.

My little Picasso.  That is, until he turned to me and said "I paint on you now."  Um, no thank you, dear.
We also had our second ever "family movie night" to watch the second half of "Cars."  Our truck-obsessed toddler was, literally, on the edge of his seat.  It was adorable!  And the movie is pretty cute too.

How was your weekend?  Are there any good movies out now?  Do I sound like I live under a rock?

I hope you have a fantastic week!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Quick Takes: Welcome to August!

After an easy stroller run, this big boy took me for a walk in the woods.  He loves looking for big sticks, pine cones, rocks and mud puddles.  

No shade for my tempo run this week!  After my warm up, I did 4 sets of 5:00 "comfortable hard" with a 2:00 recovery jog (which became a recovery walk for the last two sets).  I was hot, hot, hot by the end, but glad that I finished all of the hard parts completely.

Hot summer days call for some splash pad time!
--- 4 ---
Minnesota's saddest moose.  I found this poor guy in my backpack this week.  I'd forgotten that we bought him in the MSP airport on our trip home from the lake.  M had pulled off his ear before he made it all the way home.

I pulled M in the bike trailer to our library - a 13 mile bike ride round trip.  Next time I am using my tri bike.  We got to stop and cool off in the lake on our ride back home.

I finished reading 1-2-3 Magic this week.  Lots of great tips in there, I'm sure I'll come back to it over the years.  Next up: The Assassins by Joyce Carol Oates.  I randomly grabbed it in the library this week because I feel like I need a break from non-fiction.  Have you read any of her works?  This will be my first.

--- 7 ---
M and I have been enjoying some extra reading time in the morning after breakfast.  We are working our way through "The Big Picture Bible."  I love that he loves reading, and I am always wanting to buy more books for him!
Have a great weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!