Monday, May 31, 2010


I love Colorado.

But the central coast of California is STUNNING. And now I sorta want to move even further west. 

I'll expound on our trip later this week. I'm still in vacation mode. John and I decided there is a big difference between a trip and a vacation and we much prefer vacations. Especially vacations without laptops and with spotty cell phone coverage. But like I said, more on that later. For now just enjoy the view.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A venti-sized vent

I feel like I need to vent this morning. Lucky you. Feel free to stop reading now. I won't be offended. I just need to give voice to the thoughts in my head. Saying them out loud (or on the blog) somehow validates them for me. So here goes.

I injured my leg. In fact, my entire leg/hip region is injured. I can't walk without pain and I've limped around for so long that my weird gait is causing other issues in my back and knee. 

John and I are leaving for our big anniversary trip this week--the one we've been planning and looking forward to for a long time. It's going to take all I've got just to walk around each day. And hiking is out of the question. It is incredibly irritating and I feel so foolish for allowing this injury. 

I was logging many miles each week when my injury happened (hiking, walking, jogging) but I wasn't overdoing it. I know from being a runner that the worst injuries result from doing too much too soon. I know that. And I was holding myself back in order to avoid injury. I once had a stress fracture and injury is no picnic. 

Here's the back story: 
I packed on several pounds during my dad's illness last year and when the temps finally began to warm up a little here in late January (warm is relative) I purposed to get rid of them. My first setback was when our treadmill motor quit. I was very frustrated because we still had lots of snowy days ahead and I didn't know how in the world I was going to keep my momentum going with outdoor exercise. I perservered and the weather cooperated (for the most part) but then another setback, shin splints, forced me to take a couple weeks off. Ouch. I think I'm the only person I know who gets shin splints just from walking fast. 

Eventually my shins returned to normal and I resumed activity. I was losing weight, feeling great, and had the energy I remember from my twenties. And then I started feeling pain in my upper leg/hip area after a long walk. I took a few days off to rest, and honestly, I really only rested because we had a freak April snowstorm and I couldn't get outside. After two days of being house bound, I went for a run. I felt great the entire time I was running but when I stopped, I could barely walk. And I had to walk 3 miles back home. If I'd had my cell with me, I would have called someone for a ride. I don't think I've ever hurt so bad in my entire life. Except for labor. Oh, and a kidney stone. Looking back, I wish I had never gone on that Sunday run. 

It's been almost five weeks since that day. Despite the pain, I put off going to the doctor because I didn't want to spend a ton of money for them to "try" to figure out what was going on. I finally caved and went because I wanted to feel better for our anniversary trip. But I don't feel better. And I'm soooooooooo frustrated. 

My doctor referred me to a physical therapist, but I put off making an appointment because I knew we were leaving town and I didn't want to start therapy, then have to take a week off. Excuses, excuses. I ran into her (the PT) last week at school and mentioned my referral to her. She probed a little and I agreed to see her yesterday afternoon with high hopes that she could manipulate something and I'd walk away a new person. She confirmed the tendonitis diagnosis my doctor gave me and told me that this is going to take significant time to heal. I will probably have to rest my leg/hip all summer which means NO hiking and NO other exercise (biking, walking, jogging) until it heals. 

I'm devastated. 

I live in Colorado and our summers are glorious. For me, summer is about being outside and being active. Last summer was a rough one, and I had such high hopes for this one. All my contributions to our "summer list" involved outdoor activity.

I'm slowly adjusting to this news. I'm sad. I'm mad. I'm incredibly disappointed. And in the midst of all that emotion, I'm still in some pretty intense physical pain. It feels like I also have some pretty intense opposition in regard to my heart. 

Yesterday I got an ionotophoresis treatment at the therapist's office, and I'm going for another possible treatment today. Iontophoresis uses an ionic charge to deliver anti-inflammatory meds (corticosteroids) transdermally. It targets the specific area the steroid is needed and it's not as destructive to your collagen as a cortisone shot. It's actually pretty cool and I can tell some difference since my treatment yesterday afternoon.

I'm crossing my fingers and PRAYING that another treatment will alleviate the pain I feel when walking. Because airports and tourist attractions are in my very near future. 

So..., thanks for letting me vent a little here.
I'm frustrated but I'm hanging in there. I may be hanging by a thread, maybe, but I'm hanging tough.  

PS--I would love your prayers!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Guess what? Today is the first day of summer at the Lifeat7000Feet casa. We're all pretty excited about that because we L-O-V-E summer.

Yesterday was a little rough for a couple of us though. We said goodbye to our beloved neighborhood elementary school. Budget cuts in our district have forced our school to close. The students and staff are being relocated to another building next year, but honestly? It's not going to be the same. I went to the closing assembly yesterday and it was very sweet. I made it back to the van before the tears began to fall. It feels silly to be attached to a building, but I've spent a lot of time in that place over the last six years and it holds a tremendous amount of sentiment for me.

The last day of school is usually always emotional for me anyway. It marks (yet) another milestone for my kiddos. They've each grown a year older and more physically and emotionally mature, and they've each grown a little more independent of me. It's a lot for my mama-heart to take in and usually that emotion ends up spilling from my eyes. It's also hard to say good-bye to teachers we've grown to love over the course of the school year.

Our sweet little Abbey has had the same teacher for two years. Abbey has grown to LOVE her (as have we) and I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when she walked out the school doors yesterday with tears in her eyes. It was hard to say good-bye. Abbey's tears triggered mine and we both walked out to the van a little weepy.

John and I sorta expected the day to be sad. We usually plan something fun to do with the kids on the last day of school to celebrate their year, their grades (they all had SUPER report cards!), and the beginning of summer.


after much debate about where to go for dinner we finally agreed on FiveGuys.

And afterwards we went to see Shrek Forever After. In 3D. And can I just say that I think 3D movies are a rip off? Plus, those glasses hurt my head. 

We're big Shrek fans, so of course we all loved the movie. I thought it was very funny, and ending a day laughing with the people you love most is ALWAYS a good thing. Happy summer, everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free Day

My calendar is completely clear today for the first time in weeks. I've been busy lately but it's been a good busy. All of my volunteer responsibilities seemed to fall during May and have kept my calendar prety cluttered. I don't mind though. I love volunteering; it gives me endorphins similar to exercise.

Anyway, there is not one single thing on my calendar for today.


Tomorrow I'll put my volunteer hat back on. Tomorrow is our kids' last day of school and tomorrow is full of parties, assemblies, and celebrations. But today? Today is carte blanche. My last day of freedom.

You should know that I really don't look at the time my kids are in school as freedom. I miss them when they're not with me. I've prayed about homeschooling them every summer since we've lived here because I'm happiest when we're all together. I LOVE summer because I love spending my days with them. So when I say that today is my last day of freedom, it's completely tongue in cheek.

So, what to do with my day?

Well, I'm going to do some shopping! I need a few things for my trip next week--flip flops, capris, tees, and maybe a dress to wear to dinner. I have a list (of course I have a list) and I need to make a list of where I need to go to get the things on that list. I'm thinking Target is a must, but that the mall MUST be avoided. A shower is a must as well so I've got to go. Ciao, peeps.

Anything exciting on YOUR list today?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Past | Present | Future

It's been a few days since I last blogged so let me see if I can bring you up to speed on what's going on around here.

Past | Stuff that happened last week:
Endured one of the gloomiest weeks I can remember in Colorado. It was cloudy, cold, snowy, rainy, and just generally blah. I'm so happy the sun has begun to shine again.

Went to the doctor about my leg. She thinks I have tendonitis. I'm supposed to rest and take ibuprofen. I haven't exercised in three solid weeks (it's killing me) but now that I'm taking the correct dose of ibuprofen it definitely feels a little better. I'm just hoping that Advil is doing more than simply masking the pain. She also recommended physical therapy.

Kept my cool (that's how I remember it anyway) when my eleven-year-old told me 24 hours before she needed a medieval costume for school. We pulled it off with a visit to the local thrift store but I forgot to take a picture of my cute little medieval peasant.

Sarah ran for Student Council and she was elected to serve her class as one of three representatives next year. Atta girl!

Helped with the Younglife garage sale. Will and Sarah helped too. I haven't heard how much money the sale pulled in but I've never seen so much junk, er, stuff at a sale before.

Helped chaperone a dance at Abbey's elementary school. I sure don't remember having dances in elementary school. It was a sock hop and it was really pretty fun!

Normal, boring stuff like laundry, cleaning, homework, cooking, and grocery shopping. My sweet husband cleaned out the garage and the basement for me on Saturday. I offered to help him, but he let me off the hook and told me he preferred to do it alone! 

Survived the busiest weekend we've had in a long, LONG time.

Present | Stuff happening today:
Hmmmmm, let's see. 

I have an awards assembly to go to today, and I'm taking my teenager to the doctor because he has a very, very sore throat and ran a temp of 102 almost all day yesterday. It's the last week of school AND he has a few final exams to take, and if he has strep he needs to start taking meds today. 
UPDATE: Will's strep test came back positive. He has one dose of antibiotic in him and the doc said he could go to school tomorrow if he feels well enough.

Future | Stuff happening this week:
Have I mentioned that this is the LAST week of school! It's hard not to be excited about that.

Field Day is this week. It's my favorite day of the whole school year!

Report cards. We're so proud of our kids. They've worked hard and have done excellent work all year long.

A fun family outing to celebrate the end of another terrific school year. 

Some friends we haven't seen in awhile are coming for a quick visit.

Hairapy! Hallelujah. As I inch closer to forty I seem to find more gray hair every day. You have no idea how desperate I am for a cut and some color.

A little shopping for my trip to C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A quick hello

I'm giving myself 10 minutes to blog before I get going this morning. It's going to be another busy day, but I'm seeing the light at the end of this crazy tunnel!

--I have an appointment to see the doctor today about my leg. According to my amateur internet research I have a torn ligament or possibly a groin pull. I'm really hoping it's something a lot more simple than that. I have an aversion to doctors and traditional medicine (which is another post for another day) but I'm going this morning because I'm in a great deal of pain and desperately want to be able to walk and hike when John and I are in California. I'll let you know what I find out.

--Our weather is wacko. It was snowing when I went to bed last night. It also rained, hailed, and thundered most of last evening. Our kids were out jumping on the trampoline (in coats, hats, socks, gloves) when it started hailing and they thought that was THE most fun thing ever. It was pea-sized hail, and they weren't in real danger (I guess) but they were hooting with laughter while I was freaking out. Good times.

The big snowstorm--the one that had forecasters using the words "feet" and "snow" in same sentence--missed us. A bunch of us were complaining about it yesterday at TANG (my mom's group at church) and my pastor reminded us that we had a lot of sunny days in January and February. How quickly I'd forgotten. He also made fun of me for wearing my parka AND a sweater. I don't even care. It was cold yesterday. And colder today with more snow possible. It's May, right? Not December?

--I'm not loving the back nine episodes of Glee so much. Are y'all?

My ten minutes has passed. That was fast! Must go. Peace out, peeps.

Monday, May 10, 2010

10 on the 10th!

One night last week, our family sat around the table after dinner and made our "summer list". Basically, it's a list of things we want to do during the summer months. Our list includes big things, small things, realistic things, challenging things, and things that we dream of doing.

Thought I'd share ten of the things on our summer list for today's 10 on the 10th.

1. Family bike rides. All of us need a bicycle tune-up, but we have a great biking trail by our home that is calling our name.

2. Indoor Sky Diving. Okay, this was Will's contribution to the list. He actually wanted to do it for his birthday back in February, but he opted to have a party instead. I'll think we'll let this be a boys only excursion. I have lots of friends who have done this and they say it's an incredible experience, but I'll pass.

3. Go to the beach. This is Abbey's dream. She's never seen the ocean. If some pieces fall into place, there is a chance it might happen this summer! More on that later...

4. Go to the movies! We're particularly excited about seeing Shrek: Forever After, Toy Story 3, and The Karate Kid.

5. Hiking!!! This of course is MY contribution to the summer list. I hiked Spruce Mountain a few weeks ago and got bit (again) by the hiking bug. I wanted to go on a hike yesterday (it's sorta our Mother's Day tradition) but my leg is still jacked up. Boo. My friend and I want to take our kids to hike The Crags (it's my favorite hike in Colorado) and I also want to hike Pulpit Rock in Colorado Springs. I saw some interesting trails yesterday at Garden of the Gods too. I am itching to get outside with the kids and HIKE!

6. Camp/Camping. Will and Sarah are going to their first ever week-long camp this summer. To say they're jazzed would be an understatement. Their little sister is pretty excited too, but mostly she's excited about being an only child for the week! We'd love to take a family camping trip this summer as well.

7. Go to a Rockies game. John and I both want to do this. He wants us to spend the night in Denver and eat breakfast the next morning at Snooze. I think he's been dreaming of that breakfast since he ate there with his editorial team back in December.

8. White water rafting. This is Will's other contribution. Do you sense the adventure theme? Do you sense my fear?

9. Run a 5K together. Will has discovered that like his dad, he loves to run. One of our good friends organizes this 5K and I sorta told him back in March that I'd run it this summer. I can and do run, I just don't love it like my husband and son do. John and Will still aren't completely on board with this idea, but they said they'd think about doing it with me. The girls prefer to be our cheerleaders at the finish line.

10. Visit two national parks: The Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mountain National Park. Sarah really, really wants to see the sand dunes (so do I) and you know how much we love RMNP!

There is still more on our summer list but I'll stop with ten. Know what else? TEN MORE SCHOOL DAYS UNTIL OUR SUMMER VACATION BEGINS!!! Soooooo excited to see what this summer will hold for us!

If you want to share your 10 on the 10th list, link up below! Peace out, peeps.

Saturday, May 08, 2010


I've got lots of stuff on my mind this morning. Lucky YOU!

First things first. I'm sending my Sidewalk Prophets cd to O Mom. She's the name I randomly drew because not one of you got the answers right. In fact, most of you got them very wrong, but I'm going to briefly (as briefly as I can) give you the right ones.

Snow in April? 31 inches. Try not to be jealous.
California with John? Less than 22 days now. I'm super excited.
Cups of coffee? I've weaned myself down to one! 
My April mileage? 65 miles in three weeks. My goal was 85 for the month. Darn injury!
How long since I've dusted? Too many days to count! I hate to dust.
Coupon savings on last shopping trip? A measly $4. I didn't even make the effort.

Next on my mind? My extended family.
My grandfather died on Thursday. It hit me last night as I was climbing into bed that my mom's father was my last remaining grandparent. I wasn't really close to my grandfather at all, and I have some regrets about that; not guilt, but regrets. His services are today in Louisiana but I decided not to go. The weird thing (and it's probably really not weird at all) is that my grandfather's death has stirred up emotions about my dad's death last summer. I haven't talked much about that here, but some days are just hard ones. Lots of processing still going on. Lots of little things that still catch me by surprise. Loss is not a slight thing.

Moving on.

I made this pasta dish for dinner the other night and it was too delicious not to share. It's not for the faint of heart though. Bacon, butter, and cream...oh my! I cooked the chicken in the crock-pot all day so it was easy to throw together. The chicken was so flavorful that I told John I'm going to cook double next time to add to salads, tacos, etc.

Anybody else think May rivals December in terms of being a busy month? And spendy? May always seems like such a spendy month for us too.

The kids in Abbey's class made this cute plate for their teacher this week. Isn't it adorable? We got it at the paint-your-own pottery store and the kids each put their thumbprint around the edge. I gave the store owner a class picture to use as a guide to paint the kids' faces and she did a pretty amazing job making each student's thumbprint look like them! Their teacher really, really liked it!

Ten more days of school for Will and Sarah, and nine more for Abbey, but who's counting? Me, me, ME!!!! We're in the final push to the end and I keep reminding myself of that Garrison Keillor quote that John had made into a card for me at Christmas: Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. 

I'm pretty sure I had a bajillion other things on my mind that I wanted to blog about when I sat down this morning, but my mind feels empty now and I'm going to consider that a good thing. Besides, my husband just told me that my fried egg is ready! He spoils me on Saturdays by making breakfast for everyone...including me!

Peace out, peeps. Enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Just a quick list of things I woke up feeling thankful for...

- A husband who loves me. And a husband who challenges me too. In a good way. Lately he's shared with me several BIG things he's praying about. BIG things. And quite frankly, these BIG things scare me. But I agreed to pray about them too, because they're important to him and because they seem a little less scary if he's by my side.

- A kid named Reid. Reid is an answer to prayer for our son, Will.

- For the opportunity to go on a field trip today with Abbey's class. We're trekking up to Denver and it should be a fun day. I'm thankful that John works hard so that I can be available to my kids for things like this.

- For ibuprofen. Because my stupid leg is still messed up. I'm going to the doc next week, but really hoping the pain ends before then.

- For good friends.

- For my kids' amazing teachers.

- For 12 more days of school.

- For coffee. Which I need NOW. G'bye.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I'm making you work for it this time!

I mentioned in my last post that I found a Sidewalk Prophets cd the other night. John's boss is always passing awesome music our way (thank you Mr P!!!) so I thought I would pass my gently-used cd on to one of you. It's a giveaway. Yay!!!

To enter this giveaway, I'm going to ask you to do something a little different.

I want you to guess the answers the following number questions in the comments.

1. According to one local meteorologist, how many inches of snow did my town receive in April?

A. 25
B. 29
C. 31
D. 37

2. How many days until John and I leave for California?

A. 22
B. 32
C. 42
D. 52

3. How many cups of coffee do I drink each morning?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

4. How much mileage did I log in April? Before I hurt my leg?

A. 58 miles
B. 65 miles
C. 72 miles
D. 80 miles

5. How long has it been since I last dusted?

A. 5 days
B. 10 days
C. 14 days
D. Too many to count

6. How much money did I save with coupons last time I shopped?

A. $4
B. $13
C. $21
D. $30

The first person to get all six answers correct will win my gently used Sidewalk Prophets cd. I should mention that the jewel case is badly cracked, but the cd itself is in excellent shape and has only been loaded onto my computer and played on my cd player once.

If no one gets all six answers correct, then I'll just draw a winner from the comments. Probably on Thursday or Friday.

Have fun guessing! Just one comment per person, please.

Monday, May 03, 2010

more than you ever wanted to know about the past four days

I made my every-two-weeks grocery shopping trip. Went to four grocery stores (like always) because I buy my meat at one, my produce at another, certain things from the health food store, and the rest at Walmart. Came home and unloaded all of it IN THE SNOW.

Ran up to Abbey's school to take something she forgot, and to take some pictures for the yearbook. So glad I'm not in charge of yearbook this year!!! (Should really add more than three exclamation points to that sentence too.)

Picked everyone up at normal times! The last few weeks have been crazy and I've spent the better part of my afternoons in the car! I'm not complaining though. I love being a mom, and crazy carpool schedules come with the territory.

John came home from work early and we grilled brats for dinner. Yum!

Took an after-dinner nap, but still fell asleep while watching a movie with the kids. Woke up on the couch at 10:51pm and went to bed!


Slept in. Hallelujah!

Washed, dried, folded, and put seven loads of laundry away.

Cleaned house. It was in bad shape!

John went to Will's track meet (last one! and he did great!) so the girls and I didn't have to sit out in the cold. We weren't sure what time he was going to run, so I was thankful John was willing to go.

Spent way too much time trying to find the tissue paper I bought at Walmart the day before. I remember putting it on the kitchen table while I unloaded groceries, but I've searched high and low (including the garbage) and still can't find it. The girls and I made do with what we could scrounge up and wrapped a few goodies for their teachers because this week is Teacher Appreciation Week at school.

Realized that our internet was down. 

Watched How to Make An American Quilt on my computer while the girls played with their Polly Pockets AND water. The movie was my attempt at distracting myself from the mess they were making. In my clean house.

Realized our internet was still down. 

Took a nap.

Made dinner.

Realized our internet was STILL down. John called our ISP and they told him it was a billing issue that couldn't be resolved until 8AM MST Monday (today).

Had a mild panic attack.

Made dinner. Reuben sandwiches. Which reminds me--I haven't posted my new menu plan on my recipe blog. Oops.

Organized our dvds and cds in an effort to take my mind off of our now internet-free weekend. Bonus: found an unopened Sidewalk Prophets cd I didn't know we had and it is AWESOME! Normally I wouldn't have minded the lack of internet too much, but I had some work to do and some stuff to take care of that involved the use of the computer and wi-fi! 

Loaded a bunch of cds onto my computer while waiting for Will to come home from his first boy-girl party. I was hoping for a chatty 13-year-old but he wasn't in a talky mood when he got home. ;)

Watched the 10pm news (lack of internet was killing me by this point) and watched the beginning of SNL. Betty White is hosting next week! Hope I can stay awake for that one.


Slept until 8:15. Hallelujah! 

Went to the late worship at church. I don't think we've ever gone to late worship before. We usually go early because we like to have the rest of the day to do whatever. Gotta admit that it was nice to have a leisurely Sunday morning at home.

Came home and scarfed down some lunch.

Took Will and Sarah to a youth group party.

John, Abbey and I went to Starbucks. For the free wi-fi. John and I have committed to stay offline on Sundays, but I totally broke my "fast" because I had some important stuff in my inbox that I didn't get to open on Saturday. 

While we were in Starbucks it started SNOWING (again) and it was snowing hard. By the time we left it was starting to accumulate. We even heard thunder when we were getting in the car. WEIRD. As much as I was tempted to complain about the snow, I didn't. I couldn't. Because of all the flooding/tornados/rain in the south. Wow.

Picked up Will and Sarah and made a family trip to the library. Because we're the Sunday people.

Ran into a friend at the library that I kinda flaked on earlier in the school year. Apologized for my flakiness and cleared the air. The air really wasn't unclear between us, but you know how you sometimes just feel like it is?  Yeah. Got that cleared up.

Came home. Made dinner. Oh my gosh. If you like fish tacos, you must try these!!! SO good, and super easy! 

Cleaned up the kitchen. Have I ever told you that I'm a freak and canNOT go to bed with my kitchen a mess? I can't. I can count on one hand (okay, maybe two hands) how many times in the last 20 years that I've gone to bed with my kitchen not clean. Freak.

Made rice krispie treats. And only ate 1/3 of the pan. 

Worked on an editing project. 

Watched the news and went to bed.


Kissed my older kids and my husband goodbye and made sure John knew to call our ISP's billing office at 8AM MST.

Texted him to make sure he knew Colorado was MST. I figured if I texted him I couldn't see or "hear" him rolling his eyes at me.

Got child #3 to school.

Resumed editing project.

Got a call from husband confirming what we suspected all along: NOTHING was wrong with our billing. Grrrrrrrr. Grrrrrrr. Grrrrrrr. Re-set our modem and router. Nothing.

Found the cable that plugs into our wall outlet and unplugged it. Plugged it back into the same jack. Nothing. Plugged it into the SECOND jack in the wall outlet (it's one of those double jacks) and IT WORKED. We went all weekend without internet because the cable was plugged into the wrong jack. OH MY GOSH.

Just said "Thanks" because I needed internet today and didn't want to hang out at Starbucks again. My very social self is too easily distracted at Starbucks.

Yada yada yada. Would love to fill you in on the rest of my day, but if you've made it this far, I'm sure you'd like me to quit while I'm ahead. Which was half an hour ago.

I quizzed the kids at dinner tonight about the cable/jack and got lots of shrugs and eye rolling. One of them even blamed it on the dog. I think that's because they heard me use the word "jack". Oh well. I'm connected again so I'll overlook it.

Peace out, peeps.