Silly Lib.
L's first day of preschool was a hit. She said she loved playing outside (ugh, it felt like a thousand degrees today), singing songs, gluing things, story time, and talking to the teachers. (Of course she did - my daughter loves any & all chances to talk to grown-ups.)

Here are the answers to some questions I asked her yesterday (before school, and if I remember, I'll ask her at the end of the year, to see if her answers change):

Date: August 31, 2014
School: Community UCC Preschool
My Teacher’s Name: Mrs. Heiselmeyer (& Mrs. Kistler)
One thing I’m nervous about this year: Monsters
One thing I’m excited about this year: Writing more
My best friend is: Kaili (from church)
My favorite color is: Red
My favorite food is: Cheese pizza
When I grow up, I want to be: (thinks hard) A grown-up!
What I want to where on my first day of school: (Thinks hard again) Clothes!

(Well, she's nothing if not practical. And literal.)

I can't believe she's so big!


Happy birthday, little sister!

Happiest of birthdays to my little (& only) sister, and my best friend, Ginnie! (In looking at pictures, I realized it's been awhile since we've taken one together...we need to change that.) Love you & hope you have a wonderful day.

Gin's always been one of the funniest girls I know - and most fun, too. Example - she's had this wig for a loooong time. Bought it back in early singles days. I've been begging her to borrow it ever since, but she stubbornly took it with her when she got married. (dang it.)

I think this is the last picture I actually have of me & Ginnie together, and it's not even a great one. Taken at my nephew Spencer's wedding at the Washington D.C. temple in November 2013. Our little boys are only 6 months apart! Maybe some day they'll get to live closer & play some. (That's my hope, at least. Just got to convince the husband to brace for some colder weather...)

At my nephew's wedding, in front of the temple doors. We asked for a siblings shot because it's rare we're all together anymore. I LOVE this shot. I love my siblings. I'm really very lucky to have such good ones.

This is how I'll always remember my little sister. Shorter than me, hugging on me, following me around, and constantly full of energy. That girl amazes me. Love you, Gin!



My church friend Stephanie asked me to do the Mudderella back in late March/early April, and I signed up, thinking it was no big deal.

As the months wore on, I worked out at the gym (my favorite class is Body Pump) & started adding some treadmill Couch-to-5K to the mix. (I pretty much loathe running. Have never been good at it - like the benefits of it, but have never learned how to breathe properly. So I took it slow, and was pretty pleased with my progress.)

About a month before the Mudderella, though, I somehow thought, "Hey, self, you should look at the pictures on the website again." All of a sudden, I got super nervous & almost completely anxiety-ridden. I felt ridiculous because I'm nearly 34-years-old. Who does this? Who lies awake at night worrying about a race that's supposed to be fun? So I told Jared that I was feeling this way and, sweet husband that he is, he decided to sign up too, so he could support me.

The race was awesome. The obstacles section that I was worried about was THE best part of the Mudderella. Running uphill - well, I wasn't prepared for that. I was a bit frustrated that all my treadmill training didn't really prepare me, but I guess I know for next time. Overall, I had a fun date with my husband (whom I never see, by the way); I got to know some ladies from my church better (at least - I watched them & admired their crazy strength); I spent some money on a worthwhile charity, and, best of all, I proved to myself that I'm stronger than I think I am.

It was pretty fun.

(Find me an obstacles-only course, and I'm there. Right now.)

My teammate Sue's husband Dave was a champ & sprinted & took pictures along the way.

(My pictures are totally out of order, but you get the idea about my experience.)

Our team, all muddied up.

Sarah & Sue. (Aren't my friends pretty? Even after all that mud?)


Climbing up to the last obstacle - top hat.

I have no idea who these women are. I just liked the picture Dave took.
Somehow climbing over walls feels empowering.

Another obstacle.


Running uphill to begin.

Taking a selfie with one of the trainer ladies who was getting us hyped up to go...

I love my husband. He's such a good sport.

These women were running rock stars.

I began just running down hill.
Was my joke.

One of the muddier obstacles.
Jared dove right in. I was a little more timid about it, initially.

Strong women.

I'm not quite sure what I'm doing with  my hand here...
but I like this picture.

Carrying Jared uphill.

I'm pretty proud of all those squats & dead lifts I've been doing.
Hard work's paid off.

More of the course.

Down dirty dog obstacle.

Underground tunnel obstacle.

Dave caught a moment between me & the husband.
I don't get to see him much, okay?
(And it's rare we're alone anymore.)

Strong teammates!

Steph & Sue slipped in.
I couldn't stop laughing.

And my expression pretty much sums it up. SO. Disgusting (in my shoes).

After that, it just became hilarious.

And a game to keep mud out of my contacts.

I kept marveling at these women & their strength.
(And running prowess.)
The latter part of the top hat obstacle - where you slide down into a pit of muddy water.
It was terrifying to me. I don't swim.
Or go down hugely tall water slides.

Amazing action shot.

Me & Jared at the finish (after sliding down into a pit of filthy, muddy water).
I look horrible here, but I don't really care.
All I wanted was a shower, some Aloe Vera (worst sunburn ever), & something to drink.

My mom & my kids

My mom was really sweet & drove about five hours to come & stay with my kids so Jared & I could do the Mudderella this past weekend.

(I originally signed up to do it with some ladies at church, but my anxiety got the better of me, so I asked Jared to do it with me, and he said okay. Plus, it turned out to be a pretty fun date. But I digress.)

My mom took the kids to our local park. Drew is getting so big. I can't stand it. (And he's such a climber. Are all boys climbers?)

Libbie practicing her best rock-climbing skills while D stares into the camera for Grandma.

Pre-park & pre-Mudderella breakfast with Dad & Libbie. I love these two. (They drive me nuts sometimes, but I love them.)

My mom & my daughter. They sure love each other. Beautiful women.

Mom & Drew. (Drew wasn't sure what to think of mom at first, but then he warmed right up.)

Grandma & the kids. (Papa, the kids missed you! They asked about you all weekend!)

Boy, have I seen this face before...

Scrunchy-nose face! I love that he's learning to smile for the camera.

Pretty kids. They sure look innocent. (Sigh...)

Thanks for coming, mom. You're the best.


Uncle Joseph's visit

We had a chance to have Jared's brother Joseph come stay with us for a few days (he was nearby for a work conference). We haven't seen him in forever, and it was a lot of fun to catch up, play video games, hang out, and just be together. We've really missed him. (It was neat for me to hear Jared & Joseph joking around with each other. I'd forgotten about how close they used to be - the inside jokes they had, and how silly they are when they're around each other. I haven't heard Jared that light-hearted in awhile. It made my heart happy.)

The only thing that could have made it better was to have his awesome wife Liz there with us too. (She is one of my very favorite people on this planet. And sorry, Joseph, but I think she makes you cooler in my book. It's true.)

(Liz was a little busy...Joseph & Liz just adopted a new baby girl, and the baby is adorable! Liz, you are hereby excused...'til next time.) ;)

Thanks to Joseph for having the wherewithal to take pictures with his iphone. I didn't even remember. Oops. (We also got to see Poppa, briefly, on Sunday for church & dinner. Hooray!)

Pensive Dad & Drew

Uncle Joseph, Dad, Drew, & Libbie
(Is it just me, or does it look like L is plotting something here?)

The kids adored their uncle. (And the few times they've seen him in their lives, they've been like that. I think it's because Uncle Joseph looks & sounds a bit like their dad. That, or he's got the same sense of goofy humor going on...)

I just liked this series of pictures.
Wait for it...

Why yes, Drew, please photo-bomb our amazing-face picture...

Yes, Uncle Joseph, I will touch your phone...

Caught, red-handed, eating frozen yogurt!
(I think the people at Sweet Frog know our family by now.)

All of us.