Sunday, May 31, 2009

All Aboard the Titanic!

All of the third grades in Maya's school just finished up learning about the Titanic. Maya LOVED it. I would find her online researching all sorts of facts. I learned a lot too. Up until now the only real education I had on the tragic voyage was thanks to Kate and Leo. Well yesterday, all six third grade classes had a Titanic party to celebrate the end of the unit. Each student was assigned a passenger to research.
Maya was Madeleine Astor:
It was so much fun! I volunteered to do a table and be a passenger, Miss Kornelia Andrews...I'm sure the real Miss Kornelia is rolling over in her grave due to my lack of stockings.

The classroom was turned into the Titanic's dining hall. We were served nine courses...

Aric was the Maitre D, he announced each passenger as they entered the dining hall...
Aric took his part very seriously. He got online and researched what kind of facial hair was in fashion during 1912, and was more than delighted to sport "the anchor"...
We mingled with the other guests at our table and introduced ourselves...
Madeleine and Kornelia were among the most wealthy of the first class so we got to dine at the captains table.
Throughout our meal Maya was constantly reminding me about proper meal etiquette. Like how to hold my glass...
And how you properly dab your mouth after each bite...
After our nine courses, there was a dance. The kids had been learning the waltz in PE. It was the cutest thing ever!
This guy asked Maya to dance first...Who knew Kid Rock was on the Titanic!?
The only way to switch partners is to be tapped out...this cute little fella tapped Kid out...
Then that creepy Maitre D showed up...
After a few spins on the dance floor he let her get back to her other dance partner.
It was quite the affair, Maya loved every minute of it. She keeps talking about how "she wished she could do it was just like a prom..."
It was a lot of work to pull that party off. We went to four different antique shops looking for just the right hat and gloves for Maya. I had to come up with my own outfit. I had to put together place settings for two of the tables. And we had to bring sausage bits and sparkling cider. Not to mention it was the HOTTEST day of the year! Oh but it was so worth it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Passing it on...

I will be there.
The question is should I bring my tamborine or not...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We Remembered...

This Memorial Day we went to Oregon to visit some of my family, the living...

(Camden and Joe)


(Tia Ines and Pochito)


and the ones who have gone before us.

My Grandpa Tony

grandpa tony


My Abuelita Tina

Abuelita Tina



My Other Tia Ines


And my Grandpa Fitchen IMG_4044

Growing up I remember my abuelitas cutting flowers from their yards and arranging them in vases or jars and taking them to the cemetery. They would put them on the graves of my grandpas and my tia Ines. I liked going to the cemetery, it didn't freak me out. You can see the cemetery from the front yard of my Abuelita Hernandez's house. You can look down from the hill that she lives on and see the general area where my family members are buried.

Now that my girls are older I am glad that I get to share this with them. They were very respectful and tried really hard not to step on "people's bones". They had lots of good questions like, "Are you stepping on someone's head?" and "What happens to their clothes?". But what I noticed most of all was how reverent they were. They talked softly and took their time walking around reading the headstones. Maya was especially touched by all the flags and the soldiers that were buried there.


Some people might think it's strange to take their kids to the cemetery but I think going to the graves of my family members while I was growing up gave me a connection to them. I want to give that same feeling to my children.

So on memorial day not only do we take time to remember those who died serving our country, we also honor our family members who made great sacrifices so that their posterity could have a bright future with endless opportunities. My children will know where they come from and the legacy of hard work and love that is theirs to live up to. Gracias.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adoption Update

I have not posted much about our adoption progress because unfortunately their hasn't been much to report. We are still fighting with the agency. They are based out of Utah and they just hired an attorney here so hopefully we can get some closure soon. The battle is all about money, funny since the name of the agency is "all about love"...they are charging us outrageous fees for services they did not provide. Part of our humongous fee to the South Carolina attorney was for doing those services that the agency claims to have provided....anyway there is a lot more to it but it's boring and I don't think you'd want to hear about it.
In the meantime we are trying to terminate paternity rights so we can finalize the adoption...something the agency is supposed to have done but...nope.
It's impossible to explain how frustrating it is. We dealt with the pain and heartache of infertility for years before we decided to adopt. Once we knew adoption was our path we put our whole hearts into it. I knew with all my heart that I had a son and that he was coming to our family through someone else. Just coming to terms with that is a journey.
Once we were approved it was waiting on pins and needles. There were days when I was totally positive and felt so good about what we were doing. Other days I was curled up in fetal position pleading with the Lord to bring me peace and heal my aching heart. I never doubted our decision to adopt I just didn't know if I could emotionally handle all that it required.
I remember telling myself that "a year from now I will have my son." And I do...sort of. He is mine in my heart. But until all of the legal stuff is done the law looks at me as just his guardian. I am not his guardian.....I AM HIS MOTHER! I know his cry/squeal for when he is hungry. I know what position he likes to be in when he is overtired and needs to be rocked to sleep. I am the one who knows that he likes peas and hates sweet potatoes. My chin is the chin he chews on because his teeth are coming in. My voice is the voice he gets excited about. I'm the one who prays for him everyday and loses sleep about his future.
I am Camden's mom. And because I am Camden's mom I will continue to call, fax, email and pray until this is all resolved. I will cry at every baby blessing and dream of the day that we get to have him sealed to us forever.
I thought when we started this journey of adoption that when we got "the call" all the hard stuff would be over. I was not prepared for this post adoption drama. I have come to realize that this is part of our journey too and our faith and patience is still being tried. That is why it is called a "trial". It's not supposed to be easy. I am learning what it means to "endure it well". Some days are better than others and I know that someday it will all be over. I can't even imagine what that will feel like, to have the weight of all this really gone. Until then I will hold on to my sweet little guy and remember whose hand brought him to us and then remember that His hand is still holding on, I just can't let go.
Please pray for us.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Big Race

The night before the race I thoroughly enjoyed my Olive Garden with Jessica and Meghann.
(We had invited our other race friends but they couldn't make it.)
I did not have to worry about my alarm because I woke up just before 6am. I woke up with Maya standing right next to my bed staring at me. It totally freaked me out. The last time she did that I accidentally kicked her!
For breakfast I had a banana and a piece of whole wheat toast with some water.
I hitched a ride with Laura at 6:45am and I was off for my race.
Here I am with my peeps at the starting line.
I was mostly excited at this point and my nerves were pretty much gone. So no puking....yay!
Here I am running, and I didn't even spit once!
The course was beautiful and the weather was PERFECT! I was feeling pretty good until about mile two. Then the outside of my knee started to hurt. I was so annoyed and kept hoping it would go away. At mile six we were running at 8 min 50 sec pace. I was so excited that I was doing so well. But I was wondering how long I could keep that up with my pain increasing with every rolling hill. By mile nine I had to pull back and my pals had to go on without me. I kept going trying to block out the pain. At mile ten some older lady who was cheering on the side lines yelled "You can do it! Good job!" I seriously started to cry. Just ahead was a water station and I saw Amy so I sped up to catch up with her. The next three miles were SOOOOOO hard. That last mile seemed like it would never end. Then I saw/heard my mom and sister cheering for me right before the finish line. I was so happy to see them and then I heard my name over the loud speaker and I started cheering and clapping for myself....I seriously did see...
Then I crossed the finish line.
I saw my time 2 hours 7 min. I was happy...not thrilled, but happy. Throughout all my training I never thought that I could finish my first half marathon in two hours. But as I was running the race I was actually feeling really good. And if it weren't for my knee pain I could have probably made it in 2 hours. So that was disappointing. But I couldn't be that disappointed when I saw these people waiting for me at the finish line.
And yes those are pom poms.
I couldn't have done this without Amy. She was my training partner...through the wind, the rain, and the snow she was my motivation.
She was also nursing the same injury but on the opposite knee, otherwise she would have smoked me for sure.
(See Cynthia in the background taking pictures. She didn't even get to run the race because she is pregnant. Instead she went along the course on a razor scooter taking pictures of us and cheering us on. Now that is a real friend...thanks Cynthia!)
I still can't believe I ran thirteen miles without stopping. And even more amazing is that I am planning on doing it again next year. I have to see if I can get under that 2 hour mark. I really had a great time. I think it's because I had these friends doing it with me...
And an amazing husband supporting me all the way.
(I couldn't decide which picture I liked better so I used them both.)
And now I am taking a week off from running to give my knee a break. I was pretty sore yesterday but today I am feeling a lot better. I was able to rollerblade with Maya to school but that was about all I could handle.
I will say this about my race. It gave me an even greater appreciation for my body than I had before. I am so grateful to have a healthy body and to have legs that can run. What I asked my body to do was pretty amazing and I will not take my health for granted again. I feel more alive now than I ever have.
As I was trying to block out my pain and find some inspiration, I couldn't help but think of my mother in law. She is battling cancer, a disease that has no mercy. Her body has been put through hell and back just to stay alive. She has always taken care of herself and lived a healthy lifestyle. The fact that her body has beaten this disease three times before is a testimony of how amazing our bodies really are and why we should take care of them while we are young. So I dedicate this race to my mother in law, Kathy. She is an example of what real courage is and what real faith can do.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My thoughts on the eve before my big race...

I can't believe I am doing this!

Why am I doing this?

What if I don't hear the alarm? (remember that Seinfeld)

What if I throw up while I'm waiting at the starting line because I am so nervous?

What if I drink too much water?

What if I have to go to the bathroom while I'm running?

I hope I don't trip...and I really I hope I don't trip someone else!

I hope I don't accidentally spit on someone.

I really hope I don't have to walk.

Maybe I should have ran 12 miles last Saturday instead of nine.

I cannot forget to charge my ipod tonight.

What would happen if I got hurt? Are there paramedics on the route?

Should I wear a hat or sunglasses...or both? Or neither?

I can't decide whether I should wear a white tank top or a red one. Or should I wear a T-shirt instead?

Should I have gotten new shoes?

I really hope my family doesn't get lost or stuck in traffic and miss my big finish.

Why am I making such a big deal about this race anyway? It's only a half marathon, it's not even a real marathon. It's not like I'm really "racing", I'm just want to finish the darn thing.

Last night Eden said "Maya, you HAVE to wake me up on Saturday. I like to sleep in and I can't sleep in on Saturday or I'll miss mom's race!" I love how excited my kids are for me. The picture of them in my head at the finish line is what will be pushing me through those last three miles. And if that picture doesn't keep me going I'll think of the moose chasing me.

Maya said "You probably won't win mom, but it's okay if you get like fourth place..." This will be a great opportunity for me to teach my kids how it doesn't matter if you win first place, it just matters that you did your best and finish what you started.

So my dears....I'm off to load up on carbs at Olive Garden and enjoy every bite of Alfredo dipping sauce guilt free.

Wish me luck....I can already hear you cheering me on. I will report on my amazing race tomorrow or Sunday....if I'm still moving.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Out-Takes

I decided I want to have these pictures in my blurb book so you have to see them too.

Me and Camo




Me and Edee Bugs



Me and My Pie



Oh and that fancy bracelet you see there on my wrist was last years Mother's Day present from Maya.