Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dirty Dash

At the starting line

Dennis catching some air as he jumped into the mudpit just before the finish line.

Crawling through the mud

In a very romantic and muddy gesture, Dennis swept me up and kissed me after I crossed the finish line. Luckily my friend's sister was there to snap the shot.

My three friends that did the race with us. Two of them had their husbands with them as well.

This past weekend Dennis and I and some friends did a new race in the area called the Dirty Dash. It took place at a ski resort near Boise. It was by far the funnest race I have ever done. Many of the teams and participants were dressed in costumes from men wearing nothing but whitie-tighties to women wearing their highschool prom dresses. We felt pretty lame about not having dressed up.

The course in itself was very difficult. Most of it was straight up hill. At one point I looked up the hill in front of me and every single person was walking, including myself. Every single person, that is, except Dennis. As usual. He was the only one still running, trucking right up the steep hill.

After each mile they had obstacles that we had to pass like jumping over stacked hay bales, jumping through tires, crawling through tunnels and climbing over walls. At the top of the never-ending hill we were climbing, the obstacle was to chug a can of beer (or rootbeer or the under-aged and LDS folks) and then go down a 150 foot slip and slide that was being sprayed down with a fire hose.

The last obstacle was to go through a mudpit, on your hands and knees. A few of the racers didn't want to get muddy and tried to carefully walk through the mud but the huge crowd of spectators wouldn't have it and would all start booing and throwing mud at them until they would get down on all fours and finish like the rest of us. They even had water balloons on hand for the kids to throw at the participants as they crossed the finish line.

It was a hoot and so much fun!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Push-ups and Dancing

Amazingly with all the fighting they do, they're still great friends.

This is a typical scene in our house, with who's pounding on who alternating.

There are so many things that my kids do that make me love being a mom.

Yesterday, Camden and Luke were at each other's throats and I was at my wits ends. I asked them what kind of punishment they would agree to if they continued fighting. After deliberating for a few minutes, they agreed that doing 10 push-ups every time they fought would be a reasonable punishment. I thought that was a good idea so after showing them the proper form in doing a push-up, they went back upstairs to play. Later that evening, from my room I could hear screaming and crying. I figured I'd give them a few minutes to see if they could work it out on their own. The screaming stopped and within a few seconds I could hear little grunts and two little voices counting in unison together, "1-2-3-4..." I walked in and saw the two of them face-down on the floor in their room doing push-ups. At the rate we're going, by this time next year they should have biceps the size of Arnold Schwarzennegar. I laughed and gave them hugs and told them I was proud of them for working it out on their own.

My little miss has also taken to dancing lately. This is a treat for me since neither of my boys have really taken to it. Her best moves are early in the morning just after she's woken up. She will come up to me grunting and pointing to the radio, saying, "Mom! Mom!" and bobbing her little knees, indicating that she wants me to turn on the radio. When I do, she becomes quite the little dancing queen and twirling around, clapping her hands, and working those chubby little thighs. I love it!

Interesting: Have you ever noticed how much babies love Beyonce's "Single Ladies" song? Not just Lauren either. If you go to Youtube, there are thousands of videos of babies jamming out to this song. Even as I'm blogging about it, Lauren's shaking her little hips to this song.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have a good and happy life, usually filled with smiles and sunshine. But today I'm angry.

I'm angry that someone I love is hurting because someone he loves and trusts has betrayed and hurt him.

I'm frustrated that I am powerless to do anything other than sit back, with only a listening ear to offer, and watch the person I love continue to hurt so deeply.

I'm angry that anger is the forbidden emotion and that is supposed to be supressed and painted over with a smile.

I'm frustrated that expressing my anger to her will only hurt him and so it must be kept inside.

I'm angry that she feels she has the power to demoralize him at her whim and fancy.

I'm angry to see such a beautiful person be cut down to size.

The only thing bridling my anger and holding back the words I want to shout out is love. His love for her and my love for him.

Yes, this may blow over and it may pass. But I know he would have a word or two to say if it were me in his place.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Warm Hugs and Wet Kisses

My two little boys are gone for the weekend. I've been looking forward to this weekend for quite some time now. I had big plans for some me time, but I find myself thinking of them constantly and missing them like crazy. I miss Luke and Camden sneaking quietly into my bedroom just as dawn breaks and crawling into bed with me to snuggle while I lie there, still half asleep, dozing in and out, listening to Luke suck on his security blanket and Camden scratch at the eczema on his knees as we wait to hear jabbering from Lauren's room, signaling that the "Little Miss" is awake. Then they both jump out of bed and race to her room. Three excited squeals follow as the three siblings greet each other and welcome the new day.

I miss the way Luke answers yes with just his eyebrows and Camden's dimples when he smiles. I've always told him he has the best smile in Idaho. I can tell Lauren misses her brothers too. She loves her brothers despite all the grief they give her for being a King Kong in pig-tails.

Every time I've gotten away for some girl time or with Dennis, I find that as soon as my kids are out of my sight, I'm counting down the hours when they'll be back again, laughing and terrorizing each other, all at the same time.

I read a blog today about a girl who recently lost her 18 month old daughter in a drowning accident. I couldn't help but weep for this poor girl as I imagined my own children and thought what my life would be like without them. It would seem so empty and lacking in purpose. Children become a mother's lifeblood.

For as much stress as they cause me, they are everything to me. I find that being a mother has brought out the best and unfortunately the worst in me. Things I never knew existed deep inside of me have surfaced, both good and bad. Yet I praise and thank God for giving me these special spirits to lovingly and patiently accompany me through the refining process. They love me unconditionally and infinitely, despite my many, many weaknesses.

The difficult and painful process of personal refinement that comes with motherhood is sweetened by the very little ones that have put that ball into motion.

I've heard that a mother's love for her children is the most similar to God's love for us. Yet I feel as well that a child's love for his or her parent is also comparable to God's love as well. I feel God's love for me daily through their warm hugs and wet kisses. Sometimes this sweet affection comes undeservedly after a day of grumpiness and impatience on my part. So many times they have been the teachers and I have been the pupil.