Thursday, December 30, 2010

A rare shot of just Seth and kids, no dogs, no dead animals...just us. This was taken Christmas night while we were checking out the falls in Sioux Falls. It was beautiful. Cold but beautiful. So many lights. I've never seen the falls in the wintertime, much less was spectacular! I just love this picture. I'll treasure it. Happy New Year to you!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Along with the holiday season, I get a little sentimental about some things. And this is no different. But it's a good feeling and a reminder about how miracles really do happen.

A friend and teacher at our school was diagnosed with lymphoma last March. We were all devastated with the news. She is only 32 years old, married with 2 beautiful little girls ages 3 and 1. After the shock set in, we all set into action. We planned weekly meals for her, we sent cards, we held the most successful benefit for her..."A Day for Susan" raised more money than we could've ever imagined. We all prayed and prayed and prayed. After her first round of chemo which lasted all summer long, bad news came that it did little to her tumors. So a new plan was in place for Susan which involved a much stronger chemo treatment. Each treatment meant a 2 day stay in Omaha. It took a toll on her body. She missed a lot of school and almost looked like she was giving up. Her emotional state was waivering. But we all held strong and rallyed around her. The chemo needed to work. The cancer needed to be gone before they could do a stem cell transplant to totally get rid of all the bad cells. We all kept praying. Even through all of the chemo treatments, Susan would come teach when she could. It was always great to see her even when you knew she was feeling low. Finally, her second PET scan came back...bad news again. Tumors were still there and no chance for the transplant. Our spirits at school were broken. It was a sad time for everyone. Susan sent an email saying her doctors said her chances of being cured went way down. She just went through the strongest chemo she could have and the cancer was still there. I cried. We all cried.

But Susan didn't give up. The doctors ordered another round chemo, a different kind, hoping they would find the ingredient that would work for her. Another PET scan would be done right after Thanksgiving. So more chemo for Susan, more prayers said, more encouraging cards and words sent to Susan. We all knew that things didn't look good but remained hopeful. It's hard to watch a friend go through this. It's hard to imagine the medicine not working.

I'll never forget Tuesday, November 30th...the best day ever. Susan sent an email with her results of the scan. THE CANCER WAS GONE!!! She beat the odds. She did it!!!!! Now she could do the stem cell transplant, radiation and get back to life! We were all hooting and hollering. The kids in the classroom didn't understand why were we all cheering. If only they understood the magnitude of what just happened. It truly was a miracle.

So now Susan is in Omaha for 6 weeks undergoing a stem cell transplant and we can't wait to see her again! She is going to be okay and it's what we have prayed for for so long.

BELIEVE. Always BELIEVE. This is truly a Christmas miracle. We love you, Susan!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Emerson just turned 9 years old! Can she just stop growing up now?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just got a letter from Madison, my 5th grader, who loves school but would love it so much better if she didn't have to do 5th math. Long division and rounding decimals just isn't her thing. And honestly, it's not mine either. I feel like I'm not helping her much with her math because I turly don't understand everything either! But I try...and sometimes we both end up getting frustrated. So then I throw Brody into the mix to help her. He's our math wiz. But I am reminded that an 8th grader trying to teach his little sister math is not exactly the best idea in the world. So I feel defeated with math homework. I am not a math teacher, even to the ones whom I love most.

The letter read...

Dear Mom,

Thank you for always helping me with my homework especially my science, social studies and math projects. Thank you for skipping your work and cleaning time to study for tests, and than really means a lot to me. If you didn't help me study, I'd fail every single test.
I really hope you do know that I truly love you and thank you for making me successful in school. That means a whole bunch.
Mom thanks so much for everything you had done with me to and help me through my school years.

Love, Madison

I now have a whole new outlook on helping her with homework, especially math.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Running races with of my most favorite things to do.
And yes, he really is almost taller than me!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I love those stories that aren't funny at the time but after the fact, you can look back and have a good laugh.

I have one of those. It's a doozie.

So those of you that know my hunter hubby, he is very serious about his outings. He studies moons, temps, winds, game camera pics. land, trees, dirt...for months on end. All in search of the trophy buck. Anywoo, I got into the hunting obession 2 years ago and have some luck. 1 turkey and 1 record book buck. And lots of great memories of days spent in the woods with my best friend. I love that he has given me my very own tree stand and that the one I shot by buck out of last year is named after me. After 16 1/2 years of marriage, this is very sweet.

So we have a couple of days planned every fall for the kids to be with g&g and Seth and I spend literally sunrise to sunset in tree stands, eating lunch in the tailgate of his pickup and stratigizing plans of finding deer. Two Saturdays ago was our first adventure together. Alarm clock woke us up at 5 am, I showered in my fancy shampoo that doubles as soap and has the fresh scent of trees. I pulled on my camo gear, loaded up my pack and we headed out. It takes a good 40 minutes to get the stands we were going to and we have to be settled in before the sun comes up. So we're driving along, halfway there, and Seth looks at me and says, "It's going to be a long day for you."

"Why?" I say.

"Did you bring your bow?" he said.

My stomach turned. "Um, I thought you packed it for me," (that was the only thing I could think of to say.)

Yes, my friends, I forgot my bow. That's like showing up at a road race without your running going to the airport without your baking a cake without get the idea.

I instantly thought he would never take me again, my tree stand would take a different name...

He drove into the a ditch, turned around and we headed home to get the one thing that I bow. It was a quiet drive back home. A long, silent drive. Should I apologize? Should I say a joke? My hunter hubby was surprisingly calm. Schew. He must not be too mad!

By the time we made it to our stands, the sun was up and we hurried up the tree. After 3 hours, we met back up and I was relieved to hear he had shot a doe and saw a bunch of bucks. Now I really knew he wasn't too mad at me! We hauled out his deer and I brought up how he would've never of gotten his doe if it weren't for me! Forgetting my bow ended up being a good thing!

He laughed. I laughed. We ate lunch and laughed about the whole thing. Crazy story.

We went hunting again last weekend and let me tell you, I did not forget my bow. And I still have my tree stand. And it's still named DeAnn.

Awwww....I have the bestest hubby.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I started running when I turned 30. Ran my first 5K in 2003. Ran my first half marathon in 2005. I have an obession. Or maybe it's a passion. Either way, I love to run. I love to participate in races. I love the challenge. This past September, I ran my 11th half marathon and not even sure how many 5K's. For the past 3 years, I have been toying with the idea of running a full marathon. I wasn't sure I could do it, or even how to do it. All I knew was, if I ever did one, I wanted it to be big. I wanted the experience to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. So the idea remained in my head for 3 years. I was afraid to take the me chicken. But one day I woke up and realized that my life here on earth is so short, especially in the grand scheme of our days. I didn't want to wait any longer...I wanted to take on the challenge. And I knew my 40th birthday was coming up and I really wanted to accomplish this one goal before that day.
So I started searching for marathons. It had to be held at the right time of year, it had to be big and it had to feel right to me. It wasn't more than a week later and my best friend since 3rd grade called out of the blue. Oh it was so nice to talk to her. She lives a mere 30 minutes from the big city of Chicago. We talked about the city, about how I should come see her, about the marathon....marathon....marathon. One thing lead to another. The pieces fell into place and we verbally decided we would run the 2010 Chicago Marathon together. I'd have a place to stay and get to see my bestest friend for life again. Couldn't be more perfect. After researching the marathon, I found out it wasn't only big, it was huge. It takes about 51 days for the maximum amount of runners to fill. 45,000. It opened in February. I knew that once I paid the entry fee, there was no backing out. That was my committment to fulfilling my goal. I hit send and my whole mindset changed. I started on this whole training plan which I ultimately made up my own along the way.
All summer long, I ran, ran, ran. I ran 3 half marathons and about 10 5K's for training and all the while, I hoped it would be enough. I really didn't know what I was doing. I just kept running and kept trying to get faster. It got to be a few weeks before the marathon and I prayed and prayed I wouldn't get sick, I wouldn't get hurt, anything to hinder this experience. God listened. I flew for the first time without anyone else, all by myself. It was kind of fun. I was a bit worried about getting around the O'Hare airport but was relieved to see Angie's familiar face greeting me at the gate!
The expo to pick up our packets was amazing. My first subway ride to boot! So many people all running the same race, all with the same goal. That was just mind boggling to me. Everything was catering to the runners...the people, the booths, the volunteers, photographers. So cool. We were there for 4 hours. We ate carbs all weekend long, just to be sure we had enough. It was fun to eat whatever we wanted and not worry about it! We just ate and ate and ate. Both Friday and Saturday nights were full blown pasta nights. Mmmmm, nothing better. I hoped it would carry me thru 26 miles.
The night before I couldn't sleep. Angie and I stayed up together talking, laughing, catching up. It was just like in high school. Finally, bedtime came at 1 a.m. We had to get up at 4:15 to catch the train into the city. Morning came fast but adreline took over.
The weather was the most beautiful weather you could ever ask for. No wind, no rain, no humidity. Perfect. God was listening. Angie and I made our way to the start line amongst 45,000 other people from 109 different countries. Amazing. We found the Nike pacing team at 4:45 to finish the race and decided we would gather in that area. The race started at 7:30 a.m. sharp but we didn't cross the start line until 8:00. It took that long to get there. Once we started running, the crowd got louder and louder. It instantly brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't believe I was actually doing this, after so many years of it being a dream and so many months of training.
I lost Angie at about mile 3 just because it was too hard to stick together with all the people. So I was on my own. I stayed with the pacing team for awhile and decided to venture ahead on my own. I soaked everything in along the way. The 1.5 million spectators, the 29 different neighborhoods, Wrigley Field, Millenium Park...I loved all the signs people were holding up. I loved how everyone was cheering us on. Complete strangers. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who high fived me or who gave me a special cheer along the way.
Everything was going well until about mile 21. The wall hit. And in a big way. My legs tightened up and they hurt. My mental state started going. I was watching people around me breaking down. Guess they were hitting the wall too. I couldn't believe I still had 5 more miles to go. That's a long way after 2o miles. I started to panic. Then I said to myself, " are not going to quit. You have some so far. Think of all the people back in Yankton cheering you on. Think of Brody, Madison and Emerson tracking you along the way. You can do this, you can do this..." Then out of nowhere, a runner in front of me had a bright yellow tshirt. He was an older man and the message on the back was "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:3. That was all I needed. God was with me. Even amongst all these millions of people, God will help me get to the end. My mental state improved and I took the last 4 miles and cut them down into one gatorade station at a time. Once I got to one, I ran to get to get to the next one. Before I knew it, I was at mile 25 and it was loud! The crowd was incredible. It gave me goosebumps. It was at this time that I literally felt my muscles relax. I had no pain. My adreline kicked in, I picked up my pace and ran for everyone who couldn't run. It was the best feeling I have ever had. The picture is me coming into the finish line. The crowd was roaring. I crossed at a time that I never thought I would do.
4:24:38. I did it. And I survived to tell the story. The 27th mile post race party was awesome although it took me about 45 min. to get there. I had to sit down quite a bit along the way. Angie and I finally reunited a couple hours later and we hugged and cryed. We were blessed to do this incredible feat together. I will never ever forget it. And I will especially never, ever forget the man with bright yellow shirt who ultimately reminded me who was with me the whole way. I wish I knew who he was.
Will I ever do it again? The competitive side in me would love to again to improve my time. But if I don't, I am completely satisfied. My life is changed personally since the marathon and in so many good ways. God is good and I'm so glad He lead me to this race and to this sport that has only brought me closer to Him.
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me. Phil. 4:3

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The miracle isn't that I finished the race. The miracle is that I had
the courage to start.

I will never be the same since the Chicago Marathon. It was nothing short of incredible.

As soon as I have the pictures, i'll share the amazing story of the people I met, the people I saw, the people that were cheering us all on...the feeling of crossing that finish line in 4:24:38. Can't wait to tell you all about it!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Leaving tomorrow for the Chicago first and possible only full marathon in my life. The race is Sunday morning, Oct. 10 at 7:30. If you are up and about, I would love a little prayer. It doesn't have to long, it doesn't have to be complicated..just something to maybe remind God to help me along. This feat has been on my mind for years now and finally, it has come to this weekend. I can't believe it's here. I just hope and pray that I will cross that finish line...I can't wait to feel the feeling of it. I'll be a mere little person from Yankton, SD amongst 45,000 other runners. I can't imagine how enormous the start line will be. Today I went to work at my school and the teachers brought food, balloons and lots of well wishes for me. So awesome to have so much support. They are the best friends and coworkers ever!
So, I have my shoes packed, my music cued up, my prayer list ready to roll and my mental game on. This is an experience I have no doubt will change my life for the good. And I'm ready. Well, at least I think I am. I'm shooting for the 4 1/2- 5 hours to finish and can only hope the bands will still be playing when I cross the finish line! And the beer truck is still there...did I just say that?! Love you know I'll be thinking of you the entire time. And thank you in advance for your prayers. I know it will help!
Chicago Marathon here I come!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. SDSU...everyone predicted a blowout. We even thought it would be about a 70-0 game.

But little did we know how SDSU would hold their own and go in fighting! They played awesome! As Seth and I were tailgating in our SDSU shirts, so many husker fans were wishing us good luck in the game. They would walk by, pat us on the shoulder, offer a genuine smile and a welcome to their stadium. It was so incredibly cool.

Even though we lost, we played with so much heart. And as those same husker fans walked by us after the game, they told us "great game". Again, so cool. What still gives me the goosebumps is the 80,000 husker fans applauding the Jackrabbits as they exited the field together to go into the locker room.

Yep, getting the goosebumps.

And...amongst the 86,000 people there, who did we run into?? Jamie Grosdidier! His seats were just up and over from us. We couldn't believe it! Small small world! Wish we would've seen you too, Carey! That would have been the icing on the cake!

It was a great weekend in Lincoln. We paid for it the next day very tired. We sure aren't college age anymore!

Go Jacks...we love you guys!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Latest happenings that make me feel so incredibly blessed inside...

my hubby got to go antelope hunting and even though he came without one, he still had fun!

my son scored 2 touchdowns in his football game and got to have the awesome celebration in the end zone!

my daughter got to ride in the homecoming parade because she was voted to the 5th grade student council and so proud of her recent choices

my other daughter made me laugh so hard when the confused look came across her face when grandpa asked her about arithmetic...she had no idea what that was!

so lucky to be running road races with people and for people.

can't believe after all these years of running and training, finally getting the opportunity to follow my dream of completing a marathon!

clients keep calling, keep emailing and keep scheduling appointments for pictures, even though i'm not the best.

thankful for the wonderful people i've met from taking their photos.

thankful for the door that opened for me with the school the job and love the people who have become like a family away from my own.

love staying up late eating pizza with my kiddos!

love how close my mom and dad and i are. i don't know what i would do without them.

so many wonderful friends!

my heavenly Father who hears all my thousands of prayers and answers them, even though i am so undeserving.

so incredibly blessed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Last Sunday was the Sioux Falls Half Marathon and Brody and I couldn't have asked for a better was absolutely beautiful outside! A perfect day for a run! I ran the half marathon and my Brody ran the 5K. We had such a wonderful weekend. This was my 5th time doing this particular half and for the first time in 5 years, everything was different...the route, the finish line, the people along the was amazing. I loved every minute of it. The route was more along residential streets and not so much on the bike trail which meant LOTS more spectators along the route. The finish line was the best yet. Instead of turning into Sertoma Park, it was a straight line shot down Oxbow. You could see the finish from 3/4 mile out which really was exciting. There were twice as many people lined up along the street waiting for their loved ones crossing the finish line. It was such an adreline rush. I totally loved it. My dad and Brody were there waiting and cheering. Brody ran his race in 25:20 and I finished in 1:43:16, about a minute off of my personal best. And that minute was due to the shoe lace incident at mile shoe came untied! I had to pull over and tie em up and after 9 miles of running, suddenly stopping like that made my leg muscles instantly tighten up. So it took a couple of minutes to get back into a rhythm again. There was my minute I couldn't make up for. Still happy with my time and totally giddy with sharing it with my son. He is so cool. I love him to pieces.

But there was something else that made this race even more special. I was running it for my friend at my school who is suffering from both Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkins cancer. After months of chemo, Susan found out there are more cells in her chest. She is now undergoing more intensive rounds of chemo and then will have to have a stem cell transplant. It's a long road ahead. She is not even 30 yrs old with 2 small girls at home. We are rallying around her and showing our colors for her. The official Hodgkins cancer colors are lime green and purple. I told Susan I would be running for her on I found my green and purple and ran my heart out for her. She got me thru to the end. She told me she felt my strength within her that day and because of that, it was totally worth it. I'll keep wearing these colors until the day she is cancer-free!

Monday, September 06, 2010

GO TEAM WHITETAIL!! Triple VVV Triathlon was yesterday morning. Perfect morning for a race! Seth and I were a team and did pretty good! We decided to choose the name Team Whitetail over Seth's first choice, Team 911. HA! He definitely had the hard parts...swimming 1/4 mile and biking 14 miles. I took the last leg with a 5K. There were 25 teams this year and about 200 individuals. We finished in 1:17:00, 8th place out of the 25. Not bad considering this was only our 2nd year doing this. Seth really trained for this race. My stomach was in knots when he was in the water...a few life jackets were being thrown out from the lifeguards on jet skis. It's a tough swim no matter how much you've trained. He thinks he may want to do the whole thing himself next year...which leaves me to either do it myself too...or find another team...and considering the swimming part freaks me out...I may be on a team again! Either way, we had fun doing this together, competing together and finishing together!

Monday, August 30, 2010

First day of school pics finally up! Madison started 5th grade, Emerson started 3rd grade and Brody started 8th grade. Kudos to Brody for posing for me...he think he's getting a bit too old for these first day of school pictures. You can never get too old for them, right? The last picture is from a few weeks ago when my brother and his family were here from chicago...we celebrated my dad's 70th bday...he's in the red shirt and to me, looks fabulous! We had such a great time together. These get togethers are only once, maybe twice a year so it's always very special. My dad teared up a little. He called it a gem of a day. We all spent time at the lake, Wild Water West in SF and just being together for 3 whole days. The kids had a blast, especially the girlies...for not seeing each other very often, these cousins pack in so much, it's like no time has passed. Morgan was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when she was 2 years old and is such a trooper with it. She teaches my girls all about her disease and how she has to check her blood quite often. It's good for my kids to see that even with diabetes, she can eat and do everything they do. It's so wonderful how she inspires us. I love it. I love getting to see them. My brother is the coolest guy ever. He's the goods. We already are looking forward to next summer and our next visit. Sure wished they lived closer. But chicago is always a fun place to get to go visit! Hope all is going well...a new month is around the corner!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My return to blogging has been loooonnnggg overdue! I don't even know what to say at this point! Business is crazy busy, school is back in session as of today and Riverboat Days is this weekend which means a 5K for Brody and I, 2 dance recitals for the girls and lots of fabulous food that is not at all good for you for Seth and I. It will be a great weekend. Marathon training is creeping right along and I squeeze in those long runs every chance I get. Sometimes it's in the dark, in the humidity and with a million bugs but I get it done. I swear once Oct. 10 is over, I'm going to give my poor knees a break and do something a bit more gentle on the ol' joints.

My big bro' and his family were here two weekends ago and it was an awesome visit! We hit the beach more than once, celebrated my dad's 70th birthday and dodged the big storm that closed a couple of campgrounds. It's been a whirlwind.

The kids started school today and it always makes me a bit see them growing up. How time flies. To say out loud that I have an 8th grader makes my stomach turn. There are times where if I am not looking at his face, I may not think it's him talking because his voice just keeps getting lower and lower! Standing on flat feet he can stare directly into my eyes. Only a couple of more inches and I'll be peering UP at him! My Madison is in her last year of elementary school...sniff sniff! And Emerson in bringing up the rear and started 3rd grade. Thank God i have those little girls to still have in elementary school. Now talk to me next year at this time and I won't be quite so cheery...Brody will start high school and Madison will start middle school on the same day. I don't think about that right now so I will change the subject....

I also started my school day job at my elementary school. I have the same position, a paraprofessional, and LOVE it! I love the teachers...we have our little family in our school. It fits in perfectly with running my business and still being with my kids. There is nothing better than working school hours! I am a bit more stressed once I go back to school as this is my busy time of year for seniors. But once pics start slowing down in November, then I have school to keep me busy. Then school gets out and my business picks up again.

Life is good right now. I like being at this point in my life. The kids are at a really cool age and I am so content with how my career path is heading. I am finally just content. And it only took 39 years to get to this point. There is something to be said for FAITH isn't there?!

So my return to blogging has not created the most interesting post and I apologize for the lack of creativity. But if I haven't said it lately, I think about you bloggirls everyday!!!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I have been swamped with photo appts which explains my lack of blogging! Lots of seniors and families! Business has been great, I'm blessed! And then throw in this crazy training for the marathon, my time seems to always be cut short. However, I did manage to bring my kids to a new location for some test shots...kudos to Brody for agreeing without too much bribing! He even took the camera and took some shots himself. I think he may be enjoying the photography thing more than he would admit! They all did a fantabulous job at doing this for mom. So the one where they are not smiling? It was their idea! Ya don't think they get their picture taken alot do you?! Anyway, got some new shots for my studio.
Big news? My brother and his family from Chicago are coming this weekend! I am so excited to see them. This comes only once a year so we soak it in every chance we get. They have 2 boys, 16 and 13 and Morgan is 10. The kids will be glued to each other the entire time. It's funny how it seems like no time has passed when we get together. Last year we were racing down waterslides together at the Dells. This year will be a bit more calm but so fun. Lots of pics will be taken of course!
Happy day to you!! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

So last weekend with Seth was nothing less than INCREDIBLE! It was like we were dating again! We hung out together all weekend with no stresses of work, no kids interrupting, no phones ringing, no supper to cook, no nothing. Just us. We ran the nature trail together, shot our bows at the archery range, went to the beach for 3 hours and floated on our floaties, ate out the entire weekend and sat outside around the bonfire just talking. That was the best part...just talking. We missed the kids, don't get me wrong and were so happy to see them again sunday night but it was nice to just have us for awhile. It was nice to have Seth all to myself. It truly reminded me of when we were dating and why I fell in love with him in the first place. It made us happy and giddy, the kids were giddy with their time with grandma and grandpa and my mom and dad were giddy with spending quality time with the kids. Everyone was just happy! And that's a good thing.

I've been busy with appts. all week...lots of seniors in session! I've been putting off a painting job in my house for months. My ceilings and walls in my kitchen, studio and hallway have been calling out a new color. After a long time deliberating, I decided on colors, bought the paint, and was waiting for the right time to start the project. That time came yesterday when one of my seniors rescheduled to next week. That left my Friday open and a prime time to start painting. So painting I did. Brody helped a little bit and I kept going and going. I am so incredibly HAPPY with the result! I'm not quite done yet but so far, I am ecstatic with how it looks. Especially my studio. It looks so professional! I'll post pics once it's completely done.

Here is a pic I'll post now for's my dad and stepmom's little dog, Jessie. She's not just any dog, she is queen bee of the house! They LOVE this dog so much and she has done so much for dad after his surgery. She is not too fond of my family...we steal the attention when we come! She just points her nose in the air when we come around. It's kind of funny. At any rate, she is getting old and not in the best of health. My dad really wanted a picture of her before anything happened. So I brought my camera and snapped some shots of her. They turned out pretty good! I enlarged this one and had it and Cheryl will probably cry. I can't wait for them to see it. And I couldn't wait for you to see it either! Have a happy weekend!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I am so loving summer! I just wish it would slow down a bit so I can enjoy it longer. These kids of mine are growing up fast and before long, I won't have these summer months with them. We have taken in each day to the fullest, or at least try to. Fishing, swimming, hiking, beaching, eating, running, playing...I love the age of the kids right now. It's easy to take them anywhere and enjoy everything. They are still young enough to appreciate it and they still think mom and dad are cool. We've been having some wonderful summer memories. Okay so there are the occasional spats and disagreements...but all in all, I couldn't have asked for a better summer.

Today the kids are going to SF. The girls are going to stay with my mom and Brody is going to stay with my dad. They are going to have a blast and it's some time apart from each other. Even though Brody is a great big brother, he still needs that male bonding time away from the girls! I scheduled the whole weekend off from photo appointments. Anyway, that leaves me. And Seth. For the weekend. With no kids. And no work. Just us. Um...I don't know if that has ever happened. Seriously. I don't even know if we will know what to do. It will be quiet. So quiet. But, I am so excited for the time. We are going to shoot in an archery tournament together tomorrow and go out to eat of course. We'll probably hit the beach and actually relax! It's all kind of spontaneous which is good for the soul. I hope the wind stays away so we can be outside as much as possible. It will be a good weekend for everyone. That is my hope anyway!

Happy Weekend to you, my blog friends!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My kids have become lake bums. Well, maybe not so much of the bum part because they swim and play pretty hard when we're there. They easily could hit the beach everyday and we pretty much have since the weather (and water) turned warm. I am even sporting tan lines again which I haven't seen in awhile. It's not healthy I know, but I have to admit, I like it! It's nice being so close to the lake. There is even a beach we can just ride our bikes to instead of driving to our usual spot. So when the chores are done at home, we can take a dip in no time flat. It's fun to watch how each one of them is so different in the water...Emerson doesn't stop to take a breath, Madison is a bit more timid and doesn't like to get her head wet. It messes up her hair you know. Brody does the american crawl to the buoys and tries to impress the girls. It's quite the deal to watch and I love doing it. That explains my tan lines! Sunday we all went to the nice beach about 4 miles away with Seth. We took the cooler, floaties and all the beach goods and spent the afternoon in the sun. The weather was a picture perfect beach day. So if you can't find us home working, you'll know where we'll be. Come visit us!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

After a busy weekend and unexpectedly getting to spend the day with my fellow bloggirl, Rani...this week has been a nice transition to yet another weekend. We have been to the lake, to the pool and thru the spinklers in hopes of staying cool! I have been trying to get my runs in early so I don't have to battle the humidity as much but apparantly I haven't been getting out early enough. I come home looking like a drowned rat! I got an email saying the Chicago Marathon is 4 months away...I swallowed the lump in my throat. I just can't believe how fast this summer is going and how fast that time is coming. So I guess I'm officially in training. As long as I can fit in pool/lake/sprinkler time, I'm okay with whatever training schedule I have to do!
So back to was so cool! I am in Scotland, SD to do a wedding shoot. It was my husband's boss's son getting married. I talked to the bride a couple of times before. Her last name was Gordon but I never thought anything about it. I went to the church to do my pre-wedding church shots when nobody is there. I grab the bulletin to photograph it and see the names Gavin, Maleah, Addison mind thinks for a second and then it clicked. Rani's kids! The bride and Rani's husband are brother/sister! I couldn't wait to see Rani! Not more than 5 minutes later, Rani walks in, sees me and we both just screamed!!! What a small world! So lucky me, I got to spend the day with Rani and her beautiful family. And let me tell you, after seeing her cutie kids in pictures all these years, they are even CUTER in person!! We could not have planned it any better. I love surprises...especially this kind!
Well, enough blogging for now, friends. Must get to some computer work that does not involve my social circle. Although that is more fun! :) Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So I went got my new "do" today. I didn't go really short but 3 inches cut off is alot for
me. I also opted to get rid of highlights and just go back to dark. Brody is now calling me "goth-mom". Should I take that as a compliment? I think I needed something new. I actually think I may go a tad funkier for the next cut. I like the color (I think). It may help if my 13 yr old doesn't act scared when he sees me. Silly boy. The girls wanted to take the pics. They of course build my ego when all else fails. Enough pampering for me's playtime with the kids!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I'm in a funk. So I'm playing with these pictures I took the other day of the girls at the lake. It was much too cold to actually swim but playing around in the sand and water was just fine with them. Their smiles somehow manage to de-funk me. But then could they not?! Happy Saturday to you all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

We're back from the beautiful Black Hills and finally out of vacation mode. Amazing how long it takes to get back to reality and caught up with everyday life again. It was a great get away. I love the cabin-life...totally relaxing. And with the beauty of the Black Hills surrounding us, "home" feels so far away. Our rented cabin was very cute and cozy. The owner actually works in the athletic department at SDSU so we quickly bonded as Jackrabbit alumni! Highlights included wine tasting at the Prairie Berry Winery, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, Roughlock Falls, Saloon No.10 in Deadwood, visiting a mine in Lead and of course the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Half Marathon. We tried to see some different things than from 2 years ago when we did all the "touristy" stuff in Rapid. It was great to wake up to deer and turkey in the backyard of the cabin. I think those people who own cabins in the hills are so have a retreat like that on the top of Deer Mountain would be amazing. Maybe one day, we'll be lucky enough to have our own.
I finished the half marathon in my 2nd best time ever but let me tell you, it was not easy! I think it was all the vacationing before the race, not being totally acclimated with the altitude and having a hard time getting my mental game on. The 2% incline from mile 6-7 really kicked me. It took another mile to get back in to pace! But I kept praying, thinking about friends, thinking about the kids and Seth waiting at the finish line...that all kept me going. I ended up with a couple of blisters and sore quads from the hills but it was all worth it. This was my 10th half marathon and it is the most beautiful, most well-organized race I do. I just love it. Love the people I meet, love the energy, love the volunteers. It's one I'll be doing as long as I can. Another amazing the end of the race, I'm hanging out slamming down oranges and someone yells "DeAnn.." I turn and here is our college friend Jen Ham coming at me!!! She saw me come in while waiting for her sister! I couldn't believe it. I was so surprised, we chatted and chatted while my mouth was full of oranges. You just never know who you will see when you're on vacation!
So, our family vacation has come to an end and it was a good one. The best part is creating memories for the kids. That's what means the most to me. Summer is just the best.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It was the best weekend ever!

Celebrated 16 years with my fabulous hubby for starters. Hard to believe we've made it that far...honestly, it still seems like year one at times. We laugh, we joke, we reminisce, we still hold hands. It's been really cool. I think he's made me a better me. Can't wait to see what the next 16 years will bring!

After a couple of photo shoots, a run and Brody's mowing job, we packed up and headed to Mitchell to visit the Grosdidier's. I wish I could tell you how much fun we had in words! It was the BEST! Carey made us burgers, dogs, salad and Josh's blue jello rocked! We ate, drank corona and talked and talked. I think the hubby's had more in common than they thought! The kiddos had a blast. Jace and Josh are awesome boys...I think my girls have a slight crush. hehe! Brody thought being with BOYS was the cat's meow (as he put it) I can't wait to do it again. Even the kids are asking when we can get together again. So, Carey, next time it's my turn. We can't let so much time pass before seeing each other! Your house is BEAUTIFUL and you deserve every square foot of it! It's just amazing. I was thinking on the drive home when the kids all fell asleep, how lucky I am to have met Carey. We really are like two peas in a pod. I am in awe how much our thoughts are so similar. We were meant to be friends and I am so incredibly blessed to have her in my life. She makes me feel like a million bucks! THANK YOU, Carey for an awesome evening! It really was the best part of the weekend! I love you!

Then came Sunday...more running, more work around the house and just relaxing together. Seth made ribs on the grill, built a bonfire and ate under the gazebo while it's up and the wind hasn't take it down yet! My dad came yesterday for a few hours to visit and it's always nice to see him. I still get so excited when I know he's coming...just like a little girl! He's the best! And now today, I'm packing for the hills. We leave tomorrow. So anxious to get there and see the cabin. I wish the race were earlier...I'm nervous about it. I always get nervous before races but I'm just sure I'm ready for this one. I'm thankful there are no hills! AFter the last race, hills are the last thing I want to tackle!

So, summer is officially here so far, I'm LoViNg it! I just hope it doesn't go by too fast. Happy June to you all!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My dancing girls

Thursday, May 20, 2010


That's the only word I can come up with how fast this last month has passed! I don't even know what happened, it's all a blur. And here it is, our last day of school tomorrow, summer is around the corner and I can't keep up!


I just spent the last 1/2 hour catching up with all your blogs. I think I've forgotten about mine, obviously. FB has been my priority lately due to my lack of blogging time. But I couldn't stay away any longer. I feel close to you all again. I very much dislike not being in touch. I didn't physically comment on your posts (call me the blog stalker) but the comments are in my head and I can't wait to get back into that school is out tomorrow and summer vacation is here!

So what has been taking up my blogging time?

Track practices
Track meets
Dance rehearsals
Dance recitals
Date nights with hubby
Date nights with kiddos
Date nights with both hubby and kiddos
Trying to help daughter with math homework
Putting together wagon for other daughters book parade
Praying for our friend Susan who is fighting cancer
Attending Saturday for Susan to raise money for her
Seeing off our pastor to Afghanistan
Seeing off our best friend for his second deployment to Afghanistan
Spending time with my mom and dad
Planting flowers and trying to keep them alive
Photo appointments
Getting new windows on our house


So that's where the month went. Life is good and I am reminded by reading your blogs how ridicously blessed I am. I missed you! But I'm back. Thanks for waiting and thanks for making me feel so cozy tonight.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

River Rat 1/2 Marathon is done! I conquered the Chalkstone Hill at mile 9 which is known for it's mile long incline that is straight up (for lack of a better term). It wasn't a pretty sight...I was drooling, my nose was all snotty...seriously, I was hoping there wasn't any photographers at the top. At any rate, I really felt pretty good until the last couple of miles when my legs started telling me that hill was brutal. But a runners club friend of mine who is pictured in this photo, caught up with me and ran with me to the end. He actually paced me faster which i was so thankful for. 1:46:30 was my finishing time. I won my age group and put me on a post-race high for 2 days. That is the Missouri river in the background of this photo. so pretty huh?! Sometimes I think I'm surrounded by so much beauty and I don't even take the time to really "see" it. So after celebrating and thanking God for providing the break in the weather for the race and for giving me the strength to finish, it's on to the Deadwood race. Thank you thank you thank guys get me through those moments when I think I won't make it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We took Brody turkey hunting on Saturday...that's what he chose to do for his 13th birthday. No parties with friends but hunting with mom and dad. So we packed up the gear, had a sitter for the girls, and off to the wilderness we went.

We spent the whole day there...the weather was perfect. We couldn't find those gobblers in the morning so we decided to take a break, eat lunch and wait it out. Brody took this picture and I LOVED it! Isn't the view amazing? So no dead animal pictures on this post...we were close a couple of times, very close one time but no turkeys for us on this day. But really, would it matter when you are spending time outside in this kind of terrain? I think I was praying in this picture. It was so quiet, so serene, just so pretty. Those turkeys are pretty lucky I think to get to live in this all the time!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I've gotten some awesome recipes from Bobbi, Karen and Rani via blogs and I realized, I haven't shared any of mine. I'm not the best cook in the world but I do like to experiment. One of my favorite things to make is italian food. I love pasta! Must be those carbs I crave. This recipe I made last week and I don't have a picture but it is soooo gooood. And even better, soooo easy! If you like pasta dishes, this one is a winner. You can even substitute different ingredients to your taste but it's great just like it is too. I'm already craving it again. So I thought I would share it with YOU since you've shared so many recipes with me. ENJOY!! :)

Chicken Tetrazini

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
7 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
2 cups diced chicken (i just used chicken breasts, browned them up and chopped up..yummo)
Mushrooms (I threw in a handful of portabellos)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour and seasonings. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is bubbling. Remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat through. Stir in spaghetti, chicken and mushrooms. Pour into a 2 qt. casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. or until bubbly. Serves 6.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Isn't this picture precious? It's like a little cocoon for this 1-week old baby girl. Just had to share...

This was the afternoon of Easter Sunday. We took our usual family bike ride to the park just to hang out. I even got this picture of ALL 3 KIDS SITTING TOGETHER SMILING...this rarely happens. But there was a reason I think. Easter was extra-special this year. If you remember, our church was deliberately set on fire one year ago. With over $2 million of damage, we didn't know when or if we would ever get back to our building. Over the course of the next year, we went to church on the campus of Mount Marty while our home church was being rebuilt. Finally, one year almost to the day, we celebrated not only the resurrection of Jesus, but the resurrection of our church. It has been expanded, added on to, refurbished and looks AMAZING! The kids were so excited when we walked in...all they could say was "wow!" Over 1000 people came to church that was pretty cool.

They say all things happen for a reason. This reason was clear. Our congregation is closer, we have a whole new bigger building and least for that day...was so happy. Even my kids. And it showed.

Monday, March 29, 2010

We're back to reality! Actually have been for about a week now...but it took awhile for it to set in. St. Petersburg, Florida was amazing! We had such a fantastic time. The weather turned out perfect...all sun, 77 degrees, no wind, which meant for some serious tan lines. We ate pounds of seafood, drank a couple of bottles of wine, saw two dolphins, lots of parasailors, became buddies with the cabana boy, laughed like crazy at the Coconut Comedy Club, ran a few miles down the streets of St. Petersburg with Heidi, basked in the sun alllll dayyyy lonnnnggg, found that Corona and wine stayed cold in the white sand, relaxed relaxed relaxed, got dunked in the ocean which was still a tad cold, enjoyed each others friendship and cherished the moments with my husband. It was paradise. This was the first time in my life I have seen a palm tree...I took lots of pictures of them. Our resort was perfect and I seriously have never come across so many friendly, paid back people. They were all so..well..happy! We figured it was because they had this awesome weather all year round. I mean, who wouldn't be happy at a place like this! We decided we are going back..and soon. Plans were being made before we even left for home! We missed the kids though and were happy to get back home to them. The girls brought their seashells I collected for them to school for show 'n tell. They had a great time with my mom. And she loved being in that "mom" role again for a week...taking them to school, making them supper, making sure they read for 15 minutes before bed, etc.

So, the laundry is finally caught up again, things are back to normal and we have these awesome memories we'll cherish forever. Ahhhh....