Sunday, October 21, 2012

Color Run

Arwen and I trained for a 5k together this year.  We decided to do the Color Run in Portland.  Well...let's be honest..."trained" may not be the best word.  But I did get Ar to run a couple of times with me.  I'm sure all her running at soccer helped prepare her.  

"When I first started running I was not very good at it.  When I ran my first practice 5k with Dad um...hey!...ha ha ha... (more giggles)...I was bad at it and I cried the whole time.  Well most of the time.  When I ran my second 5k with Mom and Dad it was easier but I still cried because I couldn't catch up to Mom and I was so tired.  Then I ran my Intel 5k, I walked most of the time.  On my fourth 5k I ran like I've been practicing my whole life.  It was the color run.  You got to get sprayed with color.  I had fun and ran fast with Mom."  ~Arwen
 There were over 75,000 runners, which made it pretty tricky to actually run, but having all those people out there made it really fun!

 At every kilometer of the 5 kilometer race, color throwers would throw a different color at you.  It tasted pretty nasty, but we could spit rainbows, which was totally awesome!  

 Pink was Arwen's favorite color.  After the race, there was a big after-party where each runner got a bag of color and we all grouped together and threw it all up in the air.  The little kids got to do this with us too.  Some nice people each gave the kids a bag, so they all got to throw some color.  

 Arwen and I had fun running it in our matching tu-tu's  It got so crowded that we held hands most of the time so as not to get separated.  But a couple of times we did, but we found each other quickly because of our tu-tu's.

 We left Aaron and the little kids at the end of the race course to take pictures of us.  Aaron moved the kids to the last color, which was yellow to get some pictures of us running through.  Noah was in heaven as yellow is his favorite color.

 The problem is, we totally missed them and they missed us.  Arwen and I wandered around for an hour after the race looking for them.  (We did get to participate in the after-party quite a few times because we couldn't find them, so that was fun.)
 Aaron got lots of pictures of the kids rolling in the yellow color.  I guess the kids were cracking the runners up and they kept stopping to take pictures of them with their phones.  

 Aaron finally realized that he missed us after the last runners made their way through and wandered back to our original meeting point to find us.

We had our final hurrahs then got blown off by a leaf blower and made our way home.  

(Apparently, this was Aaron's best pic of the day...he took it practicing for us to come through.  ha ha!)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Mummified Forest Creature

There was a forest behind a chain link fence next to the field that Arwen was playing soccer on.
It had a pad locked gate behind which a foot trail led off into the woods.  Noah tried to squeeze through a small gap between the gate and the fence but couldn't get his head through.  Larkin tried and couldn't make it through either until she realized that it widened slightly toward the ground.  She got through and took off saying, "Come on Noah."  I said he'd better go keep her safe and luckily he was able to squeeze through at the bottom as well or we might never have seen her again. It was a creepy forest.  Noah found some awesome treasures including this mummified forest creature.

First Day of School

School is here again and all the kids are excited.
Larkin is excited to start preschool and was asking about her uniform.  Poor little girl just misses the cutoff for this year.

Noah and Joshua are in the same class this year.  That will be so fun for them.  Noah is excited to show Joshua how fun Spanish School is.  We're hoping that between Noah's exuberance and Joshua's grumpiness, they'll keep each other balanced.  

Joshua came home and showed off a little Spanish after his first day.  He's doing great.  He told us he has crushes on three girls...cute girls equals a great school for Josh.  

Noah was pretty worried that the cute girl he had a crush on last year might have forgotten him  She didn't.  He was a happy camper.

Arwen, who was terrified to start a new school last year, was super excited to go back this year!  She has a great group of friends and a teacher she adores...and a crush.  Man, I need to watch out for all these Nielsen  kid and their crushes!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hood To Coast 2012

Aaron ran Hood to Coast a couple of years ago and another similar type relay last year (Epic).  He has always come home saying how much fun he has running a ton after not sleeping at all :)  So this year when his running buddy got a H2C team, I told him I'd like to do it with him.

 Aaron's sister Meghan flew up from Cali to run in our van with us.  She is super fast and was so much fun to have run with us.

 Here is van 2 of our team called, "The Running Dead."  The 3 other boys are the brothers of Aaron's running buddy (Peter) and were so much fun to have in our van.  They kept us laughing for the two days we were stuck in a van with them.

 Here is Aaron after his first leg.  He had the hardest leg in our van and was the so fast.  He averaged 7min 29sec miles on his 3 legs (19.68 miles).  And he did all his super speedy running with a bad sinus cold.  I was so proud of him!  When Aaron decides to do something he always does his best and I love that about him.

 Meg was helping me stretch before my first leg.  I have to say that his was my least favorite.  It was in the upper 80's and I had 6.5 miles to run.  It was miserable.   I loved my 2nd leg at 5 in  the morning in the mist of a town called Mist. It was a beautiful 5 miles and felt great.  I was just tired by my last leg.

 I always struggle with blisters, but have found that duck tape helps me from getting them.  The problem was it was a lot hotter outside than I usually run in (I go at 5 am when it's cold!) and my tape slipped because I got sweaty and my feet suffered.  The picture above is from my first run, you should have seen my socks after my 2nd run.  They were so bloody.  Thank goodness for the first aid tent that cleaned my feet for me.

 I didn't eat too much before my run because I was so darn nervous, but really wish I had.  I was starving on my run and my pb&j and banana tasted so good after.

 Here is our whole team at Seaside at the finish.

 I'm glad I did H2C, but it was hard for me.  It was hard because I knew I had a team that I couldn't let down and I felt bad because I am not fast and felt like I was holding them back.  Running is such a test of mental strength for me and I found that going on no sleep and driving in a van trying to make sure we were at where we needed to be at the right time was so stressful for me.  I just wish I was faster and could stop listening to my head telling me that it was just too hard. But I did finish, so I guess that's something.

 It was a blast having Meghan here to run with us.  She is amazing and such an athlete.

 Yea!  He totally deserved his medal!  Which he promptly gave to Noah when we got home.

As for the awesome zombie tattoos, part of the fun of H2C is dressing the part of your team name.  We put these on to cross the finish line running like zombies.  It was great fun!  (We stopped to get fries and a shake on the way home and I couldn't figure out why the drive-thru lady was being so weird.  Then I got home and looked in the mirror and realized why!  Creepy!!)

If would have asked me right after if I would ever run H2C again, I'd tell you no.  But after thinking about it a few days later I'd like to try it again and beat my times and over come the mental aspect of it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday Afternoon

The weather had cooled down enough today to play out in the backyard.  I'm hoping it holds out for Hood to Coast this weekend.

Here's a picture of Joshua and his now "finished" tree house.

I love the colors he choose.  Brown of course had to be the main color.  The green is to match the leaves of the willow tree.  But most of all I love the door.

Lulu did a little swinging while the boy's played in the fire.

Noah and Joshua were rummaging around upstairs and eventually, after emptying all the drawers, ask for help finding black clothes.  Why?  They were playing spy.  Probably they were Tongan spies because they ended up using the shirts as lava-lava's.

I marinated a couple of pieces of chicken and then roasted them on a stick over the fire for lunch.  Only I told the kids it was a skinned rat.  (We like to watch "Man vs. Wild" and Bear Grylls is always doing crazy stuff like that.)  Arwen got home from a game party and I told her we roasted "rat" but then told her it was really chicken.  Joshua got really upset because he thought it really was a rat and chicken wasn't nearly as awesome.  Gross adventuresome kids!  

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Oneonta Gorge - Sandy River

We went to Nike on Saturday to pick up our Hood to Coast packet.  The kids had a fun time playing in the fountain and trying samples of "running food."  From there we headed up to spend the day in the Gorge.

Here we are on our way into Oneonta Gorge.

It was pretty hot up here by the road but when we got into the gorge it was perfect.  We spent an hour or so playing by the mouth of the gorge and snoozing in the hammock, balancing rocks, exploring trails, and splashing in the river before we ate our lunch of bread and cheese.  

After lunch we braved the log jam.  Getting over was not that bad.  The kids were pretty good at staying put when I told them to hold on so I could go ahead and shuttle them one by one to the next safe spot.

After the log jam it's easy going in the shallow water for quite a ways.  We just meandered and splashed around.  Then we hit the deep spot.  Noah was excited to swim through the deep part until he was neck deep in the freezing cold water.  I perched him on a rock to drip dry on the other side and decided that I didn't want to do that 3 more times.  Oneonta was crowded and there was a steady stream of people braving the deep cold water with yelps and screams as the freezing water got deeper and deeper.  No one was scaling the rock wall to avoid the water and I took that way back to get Joshua.  He latched onto my back and we took the wall back to Noah.  By the time I was headed back to get Larkin the wall had become a popular alternative to the drink.  I had to go over or under people that were less confident on the wall with Larkin and Arwen.  Even if you are no rock climber the worst that will happen on the wall is you'll end up in the water where you would have been.  

Here we are at the falls.  It was freezing.  The air was full of freezing mist from the falls and it was windy.  Noah really wanted to swim in the pool under the falls and tried to get to it but got frozen as he got close.

He finally got brave enough to swim just after the deep spot on the way back. 

There were a lot of petrified people on the log jam and the way back and not much movement.  We had to take some crazy routes to get to the other side.

On the other side of the tracks there was sun and shallow water.  We found this little "coffin" and all the kids put on their sad faces.

Noah fighting the current.

Eventually we made our way to sandy river to do some swimming.  It was hot and we hiked a bit to find a good place to swim.  The river here was shallow enough for the kids all the way across.

Somehow I managed to keep all the kids sunburn free and fed all day.  We even found an apple tree on the way to the river.  It was protected by thick blackberry brambles.  After being punctured who knows how many times I was able to get two of them.  They were delicious.  

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

One Night After Bedtime.

One night after bedtime screams of terror spilled out of the kids room.  Taking an easy guess I call Noah down stairs, but Masked Underwear Sock Bunny came down the stairs instead.  What little princess wouldn't scream in terror with this sneaking around her room?

Timbers Game

Sarah, Arwen, and I had a fun night at a Timbers game the other day.  We lost but it was still an exciting game.

Taking about exciting games, did anyone see the USA vs Canada Semifinals Match?  That was the most nerve wracking game I've ever couldn't have been scripted better.  I went home and re-enacted the whole game for Arwen and Sarah then showed them the highlight reel.   I had to rewind a few times after saying "Did you see that?  DID YOU SEE THAT?"