Saturday, June 11, 2011

And I Thought it Could Never Be Done!

Back in December I made the decsion that I was going to run a half marathon. Keep in mind the longest distance I had previously run was a 5K. I bought a treadmill (used) and started my preparations. I would run 3 days a week, one of those days would be a longer run. My long runs started at 3 miles and I worked my way up to 10 1/2 miles. When the weather got nicer I started running outdoors (and vowed I would never set foot on the dreadful treadmill again.) A few weeks ago I started having some major pain around my right hip(ish). So a few weeks before the race I thought it best to take it easy. At first that meant still working out but not running. Then when I still wasn't feeling better...lets just say I didn't do any form of exercise the whole week before.
Yesterday (the day before the run) I had one of those days, where I kept saying to myself, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!" I was so emotional. I would start tearing up everytime I even thought about it.
The day of the race: I woke up at 3:00 am to ready myself for a 3:30 am departure. My friend Kelli and her hubby picked me up. We drove to the mall, parked the car and hopped on a bus that took us to the starting line. (I am so thankful to my friend Kelli, not only did she encourage me to run the race in the first place, but she distracted me the whole morning with great conversation so I wouldn't be focused on the torture that awaited me.)

Me, Lesli, Kelli, and Shilo
We got to the starting line at 4:40...the race didn't start till 6:00. So we stood around a campfire trying to stay warm. We ran into some other folks from the ward to help keep us company. And then at 6:00 we were off. The start of the race was great, other then the pain in my hip, I was feeling great. I made it to the halfway point in 1 hour and 4 minutes. (Which is excellent time for me.) But then it got harder to keep running. At the 8 miles point I grabbed some gatorade at a refresment station and it made me so thirsty, those next 2 miles were horrible. I just wanted some water so badly. At about mile 11, I felt like I wanted to burst into tears and just sit down in the middle of the road. But of course I didn't and I kept "running."

 This is me about to finish. I know it's not pretty!
I finished the 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 33 minutes. The last half was much slower then the first. As a matter of fact 1473 people finished the half marathon before me, and 4 insane people fisnished the full marathon before I finished the half. But I did it! I set a goal and I reached it. 

 Here I am after eating myself a creamie.
Me with the kiddos.
After it was all done I of course was in pain, so I came home and took some Advil and a nap. Now I am showered and...still in pain. Hopefully I will be fine by Monday morning, because its YW Camp!
Already several people have asked if I would do it again, I'm not sure if I can answer that one just yet. The training is so time consuming and with the kids still being young, it is really hard to find the time to properly train. But maybe next  year I'll have forgotten about the torture I just went through. You never know.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oops, I forgot Sydney

Okay, I didn't really forget her, but I did forget to post on the bloggity blog about her birthday. So here are some pictures from the event.
I made her dress a while back for our last trip to Disney so I thought it would be a fun party to do. Several years back my mother-in-law gave me Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs nutcrackers, so they were perfect for decorations. For the decor, I also made tissue paper pom poms and homemade garlands. I made the carmel apples for party favors. We had sandwhiches and salads for lunch. There you have the quick version of the party.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Disneyland, again!

We went to Disneyland again and of course we had a great time. (How could we not, it is the most magical place on earth.) The kids were great. Tanner and Isaac just love riding the thrill rides. Kevin and his dad took them to Knotts Berry Farm one day so they could ride some real roller coasters.
This trip the parks were more crowded then we are used to, but we still managed to do everything we wanted several times. The wait to visit the princesses was 90 minutes long, but we managed to work it in around lunch and we took turns waiting in line while the kids were eating. Otherwise the lines were manageable. While we were there we realized that Sydney has turned into quite the diva and that we have our work cut out for us so that she doesn't turn into a spoiled brat!
We have one more trip planned to Disney in September and then we will be taking a break. Up next on the vacation Alaskan cruise (maybe). Still trying to decide if we can afford it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Dam Valley of Fire

On our way to Disneyland we decided to go the scenic route and swing by Valley of Fire and the Hoover Dam. We had never been to Valley of Fire and some day when it is not windy I would like to go back. Seriously the wind was horrific. We packed a picnic lunch and everytime I took a bite I would crunch on gritty sand. Yuckers! The wind was so bad that we only did one hike, so like I said I would like to go back someday and really see it.
We have been to the Hoover Dam before. Last time we were there, they were building an enormous bridge and I really wanted to see it. Little did I know that you could actually walk across it. I knew we were safe, but that still didn't stop me from being terrified that one of my kids would find a way to fall to their death. We survived to tell the tale.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tanner's Rock Band PARTY!

As we started getting closer to Tanners 9th birthday, I attempted to bribe him with $100 dollars to avoid doing his birthday party. He was fine with that...but then I started feeling quilty. So a few weeks before I decided to do one, but not get carried away with it. He likes Rock Band, so I thought that would be perfect. Easy enough.
I went to the internet to look for cake ideas. There were no simple Rock cakes out there. So I decided to go with a guitar. I have never done a carved cake before. And with all the fondant, it kinda took a long time.
I didn't do a ton for decor. Just hung some stars and guitars (inflatable) from the ceiling. Put the goody bags in the center of the table and threw some star confetti all around.
We had pizza and IBC Rootbeer for dinner. Cake and ice cream for dessert.
For entertainement, I split the kids into 2 teams. Each team had to come up with a band name and make a rock poster. Then we headed to the basement for Rock Band. Each team played 4 different songs and I kept score. Then each team played the same, a head to head competition. I was really worried about some of the songs on Rock Band, whether they were appropriate for 8-9 year olds, so I decided to buy Lego Rock Band thinking the songs would all be kid appropriate. They were not. Which was very frustrating. O-well, another party done. I have decided 9 years is the cutoff for parties at my house. They just are not as fun to plan when their older.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yearly Zoo Trip

On Monday we took our almost annual Spring Break trip to the Hoggle Zoo. The kids all had a great time. They enjoyed being outside seeing the animals. Lots of excited faces!
 Here are some pictures of the animals. They are doing some major construction at the zoo and as a result several animals were "missing." But there was still plenty to see.
 The kids enjoyed a ride on the carousel, especially Sydney, she was all smiles.
 When we asked the kids what their favorite thing at the Zoo was, of course they said the playground. Well we don't need to go to the Zoo for that!!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Last week I was in Michigan on a "family history" trip. Sydney and I jumped on a plane and met my sister Andrea and her daughter Anna in Detroit. We spent our first evening with Grandma Chiapelli looking through old photo albums. My sister was busy taking pictures of pictures. It was great looking at pictures of when she was younger but also she has several pictures of me when I was young as well. We also got to do the photo album thing with my Pop Pop in Petosky. I left my fancy camera at home, so I depended on my sister for taking most of the pictures, but here are some I do have.
Here are some pictures from some of the visits.
 We don't get to Michigan very often, so it was great to see so people we haven't seen in 8 years and some even longer then that. Grandma Chiapelli, Uncle Larry, my mom, Kym, Dana, Jeffery, Matty, Alex, Pop Pop and Grandma Rosemarie, Aunt Jean, Uncle David and Aunt Mary, cousin Becky and her 5 kids. It was great seeing so my family and it makes me want to make more efforts to get out their more frequently.
Here are some pictures from my Pop Pops house. I have so many great memories from his farm!
 Here we are goofing around at the outhouse and checking out the old cars and the airplane.
 Here are some other random pictures. On our way up north we stopped in Frankenmuth (a little German town) for lunch at the Bavarian Inn.
On the way home, we had to leave for the airport at 7am so my sister would be on time for her 10 am flight. We got to the airport at 8 am and when I was checking in they were asking for people to be bumped from my flight, so I said I would for $800 credit. So Sydney and I hung out in the Detroit Airport till 5:30 pm. Good thing it is a nice airport. we road the train, hung out in the bookstore, played in the play area, and of course did a little eating. About and hour into our flight home, Sydney threw up all over me and her seat. Lets just say the next 3 hours were very pleasant!!!
All in all a great trip.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mission Reunion April 2011

On April 1st was the Temple Square Mission Reunion and as one of my last catering jobs (for awhile) I agreed to cater it. I had originally planned something a little bit fancier, but I was leaving the next day for Michigan, so I had to tone it down. I still think it turned out nice. We had gourmet sandwiches, fresh fruit, nuts about berries salad, sesame pasta salad, and cupcakes for desseret.Here is everyone who was there. I wish I could name everyone, but I'm embarrassed to say I can't. (Not really). It was fun to see some old friends, but I spent a lot of time in the kitchen which was just fine with me.
Here I am with my mission president. President (Rusty) Snow!
I was horrible with taking pictures. I took lots of the food, but that was about it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Truth Hurts

When I started blogging, I thought I would use this blog as a journal, but really when it comes down to it, writing my personal thoughts was something I didn't really want the world (or all 2 people who read this) to see. I only write about the "good" things so everyone out there thinks that I really have it all together, well I don't. So tonight I am going to break from my usual type of blog entry, so here goes my thoughts.
Tonight as I was getting ready for bed my hubby says to me, "Noah switched up his prayer tonight." (He typically says the same thing every night.) "He said his usual but at the end he said,'Please bless mommy to not be mean."
Where to start, first maybe Kevin that would have been better to have kept to yourself (not really, like I said the truth hurts). After crying for an hour I decided to come blog for a few reason. 1) I need some advice and 2) I want to be better, so maybe if I put it out for the world to see, it will give me some accountability.
Often times my kids will say to me, "You are so mean, I want to live with so-and-sos family!" Now how much of that is kids being kids and how much of that is actually that I'm really MEAN. I really don't know the answer to that.
I feel like I do a lot for my kids. They are the center of my world. I certainly don't feel like a slacker mom, but I yell, apparently a lot more then I should.
Every morning and after school we have a specific routine that we go through...breakfast, dressed, piano, homework, etc. And every day i have to nag nag nag my kids to get it done and when it doesn't happen, I yell yell yell. Do you have some system that works for you, seriously I need some help.
Is it possible that I put to much pressure on my kids? Am I too strict with piano schedules and just routines in general. I feel like the things that I do (which often make me mean) are good things. No tv/video games except on Saturdays, practice piano everyday for 30 minutes, read do your homework, etc.
That is only part of it though...sometimes if I put to much on myself then my stress will cause me to be more demanding with them. This is a BIG part of why I am "retiring" from catering. My kids are the ones that suffer. I have a demanding calling at church (which I love) and I self inflict a lot of other unnecessary stresses. Are the YW really going to suffer if they don't get a cute handout every lesson-NO, are my kids going to care if I make them a birthday cake or buy one from Wal-Mart-NO. (Please note, just because I am saying this out loud doesn't mean I am going to stop doing these things.)
Recently Elder Uchtdorf gave a talk entitled "Love is really spelled T-I-M-E" and I think that is the key for me. Instead of sitting on the computer researching how to the throw the best Snow White party for Sydney's 2nd birthday, maybe just maybe I need to sit and help Noah do a puzzle or jump and the tramp with the boys, or push Sydney in the swing. I'm not saying that I never do these things, but maybe I just need to do it more often.
This is the career I chose. To be a mom to these kids. I need to be better, do more, yell less. I really don't want to fail at this job. It is too important, so tommorrow (and everyday after) I am going to try. If you have any thoughts, tips, etc. that might help, please please let me know. I'm serious, it is important to me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sometimes I still cater...for now

I catered a party back in January and never posted about it, but since I will be "retiring" from catering at the end of April, I thought I should post some pictures. I did this job with my friend Amara, we split it half and half. That was kinda nice, only half the work and half the stress.
Here is what we served:

Pork Medallions with Apple-Cranberry sauce (probably could have described that better if I had made it).

Tuscan rolled chicken with feta, basil, and sundried tomatos.

Roasted Potatoes

Balsamic grilled vegetables

Butterflake rolls and salad with strawberries, cashews, onion, fried wontons with a strawberry vinegrette dressing.

3 Layer Chocolate Cake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
I don't typically make desserts myself (I buy them from people who specialize in that sort of thing), but this time since this event was for only 60 people I thought I could handle it. I made the cheesecake and Amara the chocolate cake, both were very delicious. It was a little warm in the kitchen so our whipped cream flopped a bit.
I unfortunatly didn't get a picture of any of the center pieces we made, which kinda stinks because they were lovely and I spent hours spraying curly willow branches.
Anyway...the reason I am retiring is that I have other things (4 kids, husband, church calling, etc.) that are presently ranking higher on my priority list. Maybe when the kids are older, maybe not. I am catering my mission reunion at the beginning of April and a wedding at the end and that will hopefully be it for awhile.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


On Friday we had Noah's Birthday Party. We decided on a SUPERHERO theme (by we, I mean I gave him a few suggestions and he got to pick which one he wanted). I really was trying to stay away from any specific Superhero, so coming up with a cake was tricky. I think it turned out cute, but it was a lot more then I wanted to do. Plus it was crooked...that is why I took the picture at that angle. I think the goody bags turned out cute, simple. Inside were some superhero gliders, figures and stickers all purchased from Oriental Trading. The capes, this is the whole reason I wanted to do this party...I saw a picture of a bunch of bright colored superhero capes and I wanted that. So they were super easy to make and only slightly time consuming. I kind of lost my excitement with the decorations, just some crepe paper and balloons in yellow, red and blue.

For the games we started with a game called Saving Superman. I had my older son Tanner lay on the ground with a Superman cape on. I told the kids that Superman needed our help. There was kryptonite (rocks painted green) everywhere and we need to pick it all up and put it in a lead pouch (made out of construction paper-very fancy). The kids ran through the house and picked up all the rocks.
The next game we headed to the basement for the Bat Cave. I put dark colored blankets over our pool table and hung some construction paper bats. I purchased some bat rings from OT and painted them 6 different colors. The kids would take a flash light into the cave and grab a green and red ring (or whatever colors I said).
We headed back upstairs for some Bean Bag Wham (I know my game names need some help). This was just a simple bean bag toss game. My 8 year old son needed to make a bean bag to pass off some cub scout requirements, so I put him to work. This game cost nothing to do and it was a huge hit with the kiddos.
Next we went outside for some Villian Blaster. I got silly a can of silly string (renamed and labeled Super String) from the Dollar Store for each kid. I also had 6 helium ballons with pictures of "villians" on them. The kids used the string to blast the villians. They all had fun but many of the 3-4 year olds struggled to push the sprayer.
We ended our games with the pinata.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christmas is Over...but I'm not Done Blogging about it.

These pictures were taken Christmas morning. We had to kind of rush through the morn, because we left our house at 11 am to fly to Pennsylvania. We still wanted to keep with some usual traditions, so we still took lots of pictures and had some yummy breakfast scones. The kids got to play with their new toys for about an hour and then we headed out.

The highlight of our trip to Pennsylvania for me was definetly the girls day out day trip to NYC. We had a great time and laughed ALOT. We had lunch at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, we saw the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, ate cupcakes from Crumbs, rode the subway and enjoyed lots of talent there, shopped, ate roasted almonds and hot dogs from the street vendors, and of course we modeled in front of a big blowing fan in the train station. It was a cold day, but we all had a blast.

Because the weather was so cold, we tried to think of some fun things to do indoors to keep the kids entertained. This was a highlight for the boys.

At about 9pm on New Years Eve we decided to celebrate with the kids. They marched around the house banging on pots and pans. They thought that was so fun. And we thought it was fun that they went to bed at 9 pm.
Well I think that wraps up all our Christmas fun. We had a really great trip to PA, it was one of those trips that make me really wish I lived there, close to my family.