Saturday, March 2, 2013

Big Brothers

I have been blessed with six brothers. Most people reading this blog are either A) my brother, B) married to my brother, C) made my brothers, or D) you are Hayley or Dena and can completely understand my position. If you somehow don't fall into one of these categories, please indulge me in a generational look at the importance of brothers. My son (almost four) is shaping up to be quite stereotypical in his brother-ing. He wrestles, punches, kicks, teases, tattles, pokes, taunts, and loves his little sister. And she, through sheer desperation, dishes it right back to him. When my daughter was born I remember feeling that she would be a very peaceful, calm, and soothing influence in our home. Sure, if you just account for nature. But what about nurture? One of her first words was "punch," and she is not afraid to tackle a much larger target (any of her family members) to the ground. She has a sharp wit (for a 21-month old...she sang 'Row, Row Row your Boat' this morning with the ending line of "Life is but a bowl of spaghetti!" Then she laughed loudly at her clear comedic genius), and she can be oh, so very loud. But this is not all her fault, nor her inherent nature. Yes, it was her fate being born a second child after a rambunctious older brother, and this behavior is obviously learned from an older, louder, slightly-more-energetic source.

I may have spent 16-ish years of my life scrambling for space and privacy and freedom from noogies (by the way, though I am the middle child, I still received ample amounts of torture from my younger brothers), but I do credit my brothers for teaching me strength, wit (though I have since lost it), endurance, a hardening of emotions (which have since softened), and a self-assurance that carried me through years that, by all accounts, should have been disastrous (because I was so ridiculously attractive...right...).

So though my constant reprimands to my son for his actions against his sister have evolved into a referee job in the world's longest boxing match between the two, I am grateful. Every little girl should have a brother. And thank goodness my son has a sister who's willing to fight back.

Friday, February 1, 2013

“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose.” -Mary Shelley

Well, what do you know? It's February. We may or may not have been busy. Life is good. Comment if you have questions on photos, otherwise just enjoy the show.

Amelia is awesome. She keeps trying to potty-train herself, but I'm not ready. This is neither the first nor last time I will hold her back in her life.

Also, her hair is amazing.

Reece is a stud. He's currently in gymnastics and soccer. One of the funniest recurring things I've seen is three year-olds playing soccer.

 Halloween happened.

And Paul's birthday. Amazing cake, right? It was an ice cream cake with blue on one side and red on the other. Election day is also kind of a major holiday in our house.

We went to Pismo Beach, Solvang, and Fontana (and then Edwards AFB) for an early Thanksgiving.

And we got to see people we love.

 We spent a great deal of time wrestling.

And dancing. Or something that might be considered dancing. By some cultures. Okay, maybe just in our poor kids.

Amelia's prayer stance. She's even taken to correcting us when we pray differently. "Like this, mama."

Our world really changed when I got my iPhone. We haven't seen or heard Reece since. (You can always tell a Milford man.)

Real Thanksgiving with more people we love.

Then Christmas happened. We liked it. Hopefully you did, too (my narration on this blog blows my mind. I really should publish a book).

 Then my parents, Hayley & Jess came. We like them. We hiked, played in San Francisco, and did a murder mystery party with fairy tale characters.

I'll leave you with Reece's excited face. Doesn't that just fill you with joy? Do you ever get that excited about anything anymore? I love him.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oh, what do you do in the summertime?

We moved. Again. Is anyone surprised? We've actually been here for over a month. It was nice coming back to a place we've already lived. People are so nice and welcoming and I already knew all the cheap grocery stores. The best part about this move is that Dave and Teresa and their kids moved here the same week that we did. So we have FAMILY that lives only 35 minutes away. Isn't that awesome?! We're so excited. We've already used and abused them, just like we always dreamed we would.

Moving is awesome for so many reasons.

Cousins sleepover! My kids adore Ivy. And I loved having two little kitchen helpers.
Amelia prefers to dress herself. Her swim shorts are her favorite and she tries to wear them every day.
Imagine my dismay when I came out to find Reece doing yoga on the Wii. I certainly didn't teach him that.
Paul shaved his head. Not bad, right? Did I already post this?
She's the best.
So where have we been since July? you really want to know? I'm assuming you don't, since only about 7 people ever view this blog, and of those 7, only 2 actually know me. But for the two of you who do, here's a quick list:

  • Layne's mission farewell in Utah
  • Paul's final weeks of work in San Diego
  • Disneyland!
  • Packing and sending away our stuff
  • Costa Rica and, for the kids, a week with cousin Owen

Pretend like I actually rotated this picture. Costa Rica was great.

You should go there.

But be careful if you do.

Or don't.

I would recommend it.

  • Moving in, unpacking, settling, meeting old friends
  • Paul starting his job again at Davis Polk
  • Spending lots of time at parks, libraries, gyms and mini-hikes
  • Spending time with cousins
  • Exploratorium, Jelly Belly factory, Oakland temple, Santa Cruz beach
  • Paul and I running the Big Sur Trail Marathon
That's the one I want to focus on (because I can't remember the rest beyond the fact that we did them). Last weekend Paul and I dropped off the kids with D&T and spent a night in Monterey. The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed down to Big Sur for our MARATHON!!! I am so proud of Paul for accomplishing this feat. He really really hates running, but he had a goal to run a marathon at some point in his life. He has bad knees, and he's never really trained before for any race, or even anything like it. But he trained consistently for over four months, encouraging and motivating me the entire time, and ran this super tough marathon in under five hours. I seriously couldn't be more proud.

Let me just expound a bit on how hard this marathon really was. I was expecting it to be tough. I picked it because it was a trail marathon and it was on a Saturday. I neglected to notice the 5700' incline, plus (obviously) 5700' descent. We literally climbed three mountains...twice. It was crazy hard. I probably walked 8-9 miles of the race. And now, four days later, I'm still having trouble moving my body. There were a lot of runners there who had done 70+ marathons and they all said to add at least an hour on to your time. All of this is just to make me feel better for my 5:36 marathon time. No one should ever feel bad about a marathon time, no matter what. That's why I love the race. You work so hard and the race is completely your own. But still. I kind of thought I'd be a little faster than that. Throughout the race I kept seeing other people who were either faster, stronger, slower, sicker, more exhausted, less exhausted, more tan, less clothed...but I would tell myself any time another runner psyched me out, "This is my marathon, right here. That's their marathon. This is mine." That said, every runner I encountered was amazing. Everyone was so encouraging and uplifting and it turns out that running 26.2 miles alongside someone really makes you care about them. I saw runners struggling at different points, and I honestly cheered for them when they'd pass me later. Or one woman I passed on an uphill (yeah, baby) was clearly struggling when she reached the top. I was genuinely happy to see her after the race and congratulate her on pushing through. Maybe this only surprised me because I'm not normally a compassionate person,  but struggling alongside someone at least makes you respect them, if not genuinely care about their overall well-being. That's a nice feeling.

One final marathon note: Paul finished 38 minutes before me.  What would you do if you were waiting after a huge, exhausting race? Would you go down the hill to the car, get your camera, climb back up the hill, convince someone to take your picture, then hike a half mile further up the hill to wait for your wife? He ran the last half mile with me and we crossed the finish line together, holding hands. At the time I called him a show-off, but really it was just another reason for me to be head-over-heels in love with Paul Weitzel.

So anyway, we live here now. We're happy. We get to see Paul a lot more than we expected. If you come visit us, remember that Dave and Teresa have a HUGE, beautiful house and they only live 35 minutes away. If you still want to stay with us, we have a tiny apartment and would love to have you. But you've been warned.

At this point he was yelling "Camera!" I had no idea what he was doing.

We did it!


Post-race. We were caked in sweat. Yum.
See you soon!