Friday, December 26, 2008

The Desire Of My Heart

World peace would be nice. Heck, peace amongst my offspring would be even better. But we all know those things are near impossible. I'm thinking of something much more attainable. I'm thinking of something that I used to have and now I want it back. I'm thinking of this:

Am I crazy? Is that too much to ask for? I've been good. I've been patient. I'm tired of being left behind while the rest of my family goes riding. It doesn't have to be new. Just let it be orange!!! I'm sorry for ever letting it go; my 1999 EXC 125. Please forgive me, KTM!! I'll never switch bike brands again, I promise. And just think how cute our family would look, totally color coordinated:

Orange Bike=Happy Wife, Happy Wife=Happy Hubby.

So that's it. That's all I want. Oh, yeah.... except for the whole baby thing. I want one of those, too. I wonder which one I can talk my husband into first? ............................

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pictures don't do it justice.

We visited my parents yesterday. Our first stop was to see the aftermath of the fire and the damage it had wreaked on their home. I have to admit that when I first saw that the roof wasn't totally gone I thought, "Oh, it's not as bad as I thought." But then I looked inside the garage and I thought again.

Reef said "UH-OH" when he saw it.

Their "garage" was 900 square feet and finished. It was the sales office and model home for their development so it had carpet, walls, cabinets, french doors, etc. It could have been rented out as a studio apartment

The picture to the left looks very much like other areas of the roof. Those areas have been tarped off because they are over rooms of the house that didn't burn as bad as the garage. It was strange standing there, looking up through where the ceiling, then the attic, and then the attic ceiling would have been and seeing the sky. And hearing the rain falling on the tarp was disconcerting. It sounded like you were in a tent.... except you were in a house. Very WEIRD.

This is my parents bathroom, the farthest room from the garage which sustained the "least" amount of damage. You can see evidence of the fire & smoke that were coming out of the vents. Every room in the house has these black water streaks. They're even on the ceilings. Well.... on the ceilings that still remain, anyhow.

This is the bathroom that my mom had been showering in while the blazing inferno was building. Very scary to think how just a few moments could have resulted in a different outcome.

The laundry room is the only thing standing between the garage and this bathroom. I couldn't get a good photo but if you look at the very left of this picture you'll see the doorjam of the laundry room. That will give you an idea as to how charred it got. So much for catching up on the laundry, Mom!

I liken this picture to a soaked audience at the Shamu show at Sea World. This truck being the audience on the front row. But Shamu was the fire and the water was a big fire ball that shot out when the garage opened.

Good thing my sister already had her new car. This truck won't be going anywhere for awhile. Poor thing. They couldn't find the keys to move it out of the driveway.

I took pictures of the inside, too but won't post them. Everything is melted and contorted. There is soot-covered shattered glass all over the seat and floor.

Most things were unrecognizable. Nobody is allowed in the garage at the moment. It's too dangerous. But even if we could go in and sift through the remains, I don't think there would be anything to identify.

But there were a few objects scattered outside that we were able to name:

This gold & white Santa figurine. This lighted wreath.

This yard waste garbage can. This suitcase.

Like the title of this post says... pictures don't do it justice. These pictures look mild in comparison to how it looks in person. And pictures don't capture the putrid smell of smoke that not only lingers in the air but also in your hair and clothes for hours afterward. My stomach was in knots by the time we left from the smell alone.

There was an eerie feeling standing inside this shell of a house. Life used to happen within those blackened walls. Now it is deathly still and dark inside. Almost as if life is at a standstill. No sounds of music or TV. No telephone ringing. No smells of moms yummy cooking wafting from the kitchen. My mom said she feels like she's visiting a gravesite or feels as if she's at a funeral viewing when she goes there. That's a good way to describe it. I was in awe of the damage and carnage that was left in the wake of this fire. It's indescribeable, really. But amongst all of the ash and falling ceilings there are signs of life already striving to continue.

And continue it will.


What happened to the dirtbiking world for the few years that I've been out of it?

So we took the kids up to Hollister Hills to go dirtbiking Saturday. The rainfall has left the ground perfectly tacky. The smell of 2-stroke exhaust was in the air (I LOVE that smell.) It was a beautiful day and we were ready to ride.

But the Blue Bully had a different plan in mind. Yes, the same dirtbike that treated me so abusively during my kids' race a while back. But you know what they say about the abused.... we can't stay away. We always go back for more.

I thought this time would be different. I thought the hours of greasy, black hands and test-driving down my street was the perfect rehabilitation. We were reunited again and ready to give it another go.

But I guess the relationship isn't worth it. For the Blue Bully anyway. I was bringing up the rear of the pack, watching my little ones closely when Beau went down. I hopped off my bike to free him from the mud pit that seemed ready to swallow the little guy whole. And what do you know? My bike wouldn't start. It quit. Threw in the towel. I kicked it several times, trying to get some sort of reaction but to no avail. The thing sat there like a dud. So I tried to jump start it. Still nothing. So I began to push. When I would get tired of pushing or when I had pushed to a safe place (whichever came first) I would try to start it again. And it did start... a few times. But only to tease, taunt, & torment me. Once it even started and just SCREAMED at me! It was whining at full throttle even though I wasn't touching the throttle at all. And I knew if I let go of the clutch it would speed off out of my hands and over the cliff to a sure death. Now my bike and I might not get along but nothing is as bad as that!!! So I tried to choke it (using the choke lever) and it still wouldn't die down. Finally I shut off the gas and that seemed to do the trick. It just slowly whined down until it was out of steam. Exhausted. Nothing left to say.

Brandon found me and offered to switch bikes but I sent him on his way to take care of our children. This was my fight. I was saying goodbye to the Blue Bully once and for all. No knight in shiny orange armor was going to save me this time. Besides, if I wasn't going to ride, I might as well get some cardio over with and flake on the date I had with the treadmill that evening.

So back to pushing I went. Now here is where my burning question comes in. I repeat:

What has happened to this sport?

Would you believe that of all of the groups of riders that passed by me only 5 stopped to see if I needed help? FIVE!!!! Two old guys with gray hair, one slightly older gentleman with a red hammer mustache, a teenage boy, and a 10 year old girl on a quad. A GIRL stopped to see if she could help!!! Shameful! All the 50 plus other riders that passed by me during those few miles back to my truck just hit the gas upon passing, flinging rocks and mud at me. Oh, did I mention that I was pushing UPHILL?

I thanked these 5 people but politely sent them on their way. Even though I wouldn't take their help it was still nice to know that they offered. And I appreciated that they slowed down before passing me so as not to roost me with debris traveling at high-velocities.

Now here is the clencher. When I was about 100 yards from our truck and at the steepest part of the push (through the stinging sweat that was dripping into my eyes) I noticed two young men looking at me and exchanging words in hushed voices. I thought to myself, "Self, have faith in the human race. These young gents are about to offer some more help. Smile politely and tell them that your camp is just up the road but thanks anyways." So imagine my surprise when they had the audacity to say, "Hey, do you happen to have an extra helmet we can borrow?"

WHAT??? Come again? Are you kidding me? Surely they jest, right? Wrong!

"What?" I asked, even though I knew what they had said. I guess I was giving them an opportunity to re-think their ridiculous request.

"Do you happen to have an extra helmet we can borrow?" they repeated.

"Ummmmmmm..." This is where I was trying to get myself to simmer down and not say what I was REALLY thinking. ".......ummmmmm, no. I'm kind of busy with my own problems at the moment, but thanks for asking."

They had dumbstruck looks on their faces. Could they really be that clueless? I was ready to go spank my boys right then and there just in case they committed any similiar stupid act in the future.

Then our friend rode over and tried to take the bike from me. He must have thought Brandon was the biggest jerk for sitting back at the truck eatting his sandwhich while I pushed. But Brandon knows me too well and knew that I wouldn't give in. I told our friend that I was almost there and if HE pushed the bike back then the bike won. But if I pushed it to the very end then I would be the victor.

I made it. I finished. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! And here's what I did with the rest of my day:

Reef kicked off his boots.

I kicked up my boot-laden feet.

And we cuddled in the back of the truck under the warmth of the sun.
Ahhhhh, yes. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

County Fair Moms of the world... UNITE!!!

I'm married to a "Disneyland Daddy". You know the type:

"Here, have a few cookies before breakfast... we won't tell mom."

"Sure, you can take all of the cushions off the couch and pull all of the blankets off the beds to make a fort. It will get magically cleaned up before our company gets here in 8 minutes. In fact, let me help you."

"Wake-up... I know it's late and mom just brushed your teeth and put you to bed but I have some yummy cinnamon rolls here that I want you to partake of."

You get the picture. I relish in the fact that my kids have fun with their dad and that they forge a strong relationship during their "play" time, but..... what about me? I want to be cool, too. But sometimes I feel like the "County Fair Mom".

Yeah, the county fair is cool.... but only for a short time. It's fun.... but the fun doesn't last. How in the world does the county fair compete with The Happiest Place On Earth?

And the county fair doesn't get to stick around that long either! What's up with that? Disneyland doesn't go ANYWHERE. It's a mainstay. Permanent. A big yellow smiley face on the North American Continent. Everyone knows about Disneyland. Most people barely notice when the county fair is in town.

Last night we brought the bunnies inside so they don't freeze to death. Disneyland Daddy let the kids walk around the house with them, wrapping them up in blankets like little babies. I found bunny pellets randomly scattered on my floor. GROSS! So I put those bunnies back in the box and set the box in the garage. COUNTY FAIR MOM STRIKES AGAIN!!!

Disneyland Daddy wants to take the kids up to the hills to play in the snow tomorrow morning. Now I understand that we NEVER get snow here and this would be a fun thing to do... but to be late to school for it? On the day of their Christmas program? No. COUNTY FAIR MOM STRIKES AGAIN!!!

Tonight while delivering Christmas treats my kids were bickering. Then they dropped the bomb on me that they needed a certain shirt for the Christmas Program... which is tomorrow. So we rushed around in hot pursuit of needed apparel. I thought I would be nice and let them stay up late to watch the finale of one of our favorite shows. The bickering continued. I warned them several times. But after the WWF Smackdown that went down in the local Target store....... you guessed it......COUNTY FAIR MOM STRIKES AGAIN!!! (In his defense... Disneyland Daddy was nowhere on the scene. He would have shut the park down if he saw what was going on.)

Disneyland Daddy delivers his discipline with a very calm, collected, soothing voice. Even with a hint of a smile. (Then turns to me and says apologetically, "Sorry you had to see that.") County Fair Mom simply goes "carnie" all over those kids.

But here is proof that the county fair can still be fun.

Here is County Fair Mom and kids laughing hysterically at Pioneer Woman's burps.

Here is County Fair Mom doing handstands with kids on the beach.

And here is County Fair Mom trying on ridonkulous hats with kids. (Yes... I said "ridonkulous"... the use of that word alone should be a testament to my fun-mom potential!)

So who knows... maybe someday I'll be upgraded to LegoLand Mom or something. But until that bless-ed day comes, I want to hear from you! If you've suffered through this post long enough to still be reading, consider this a TAG! You now are under blogging obligation to dish on your best (or worst) County Fair Mom moment! Get to posting my fellow carnies.... get to posting.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nativity Creativity

I've busted Reef several times for setting aside the figures of this set and using the backdrop as his own personal Hot Wheels garage & tunnel. And I have to hand it to him; he hasn't done it lately. But now the figures get re-arranged on an almost daily basis. I never catch him in the act. 3 year olds are too smart for that. But I cracked up when I saw his newest rendition.

Apparently everyone is lining up to see Baby Jesus.... starting with the animals. I'm assuming that the oxen were first and are now leaving since their rear-ends are pointing directly at the Boy Child's head. Next come the sheep followed closely by their ever-diligent shepherd. Mary and a wise man are tied for fourth while the next 2 wise men queue up nicely in a calm and orderly fashion. And humble Joseph brings up the rear.

I only noticed this new display when Reef requested that I get the play Nativity set for him. (Thus named because it's the only nativity that I actually ALLOW him to play with.) So I set it on the table unaware of the new visitors who would arrive on the Bethlehem scene.

Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can.

Spins a web, any size, catches thieves just like flies.

LOOK OUT... here comes the Spiderman!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I really should be wrapping presents. Or finishing up homemade Christmas gifts. Or mopping my floor. But I feel the need to blog.
So I will share with you (and my posterity) a few interviews that have gone down in the past few weeks that I would hate to forget. Starting with this one.
So before Thanksgiving Mercedes lost a tooth. It came as a surprise since I only knew it was slightly wiggly just a day or so before. And it wasn't one of her front teeth either so it's not even noticeable. She's 9 going on 16 so I think she kept her enthusiasm curbed. But deep down she couldn't wait to turn that tooth into cash. So she went to bed that night without so much as a whisper about the tooth. Why should she remind us? In all her 5 years of losing teeth the Tooth Fairy hadn't let her down before! Imagine her surprise the next morning when the tooth box on her nighstand held nothing but.... HER TOOTH!!!
"Silly Mercedes," I covered, "why would the Tooth Fairy even look on your nighstand? She was probably searching frantically under your pillow, the poor thing!"
That night, it happened again. Not the slightest whisper about the tooth she was whisking off in a plastic bag (so it wouldn't get lost) to tuck tenderly under her pillow. Well, imagine my horror the next morning when I heard her making excuses for this forgetful fairy. "My bag slipped down and was under my back. She probably just didn't have the strength to pull it out from underneath me." (I know.... I can hear your heart breaking for my Sweet Little Thing from here!)
Now Mercedes is a very smart girl. Something was amiss in the Soward's household... she just knew it. And I'm sure she tried to dismiss any doubts but logic is something she just can't ignore.
Later that afternoon she came into our room to sit us down for a talk. She wanted answers.

"Is the Tooth Fairy even real?"
"Well, Honey, why wouldn't she be real?"
"I don't know. I have a hard time believing that tiny humans are real."
"Well, YOU'RE a tiny human....."
"No, I mean a tiny human with wings."
"Well, er.... if there isn't a tiny human with wings collecting your teeth then who do you think it is?"
"YOU guys. I know it's you."
So after a few chuckles, tons of hugs, and a thousand apologies for the forgotten tooth... she knew. And she accepted it with a happy grin. And **POP** a little bit of innocence broke through the barrier of our blissful bubble taking a bit of my heart with it. And although the interview immediatley continued onto bigger, redder, jollier things (if you know what I mean) I feel it imperative to tell you now that YES, the Tooth Fairy finally visited that night. A shameful, wingless, big human still kept care to tiptoe into that precious 9 year old's room and quietly drop a guilty handful of change on top of that tooth box on the nightstand.
And what was found next to said tooth box? A map of where to find the tooth! She's smart, I'm telling you. She knows how to work it. Here... have another dollar. Sleep well, baby girl. xoxoxoxox

Saturday, December 6, 2008


My husband has a mistress. Oh, yes... I know about it. And he knows I know about it. But does that stop him? No. But I wouldn't ask him to stop either. You see, this relationship has been going on for some time now. 19 years to be exact. There is so much history between them but does it cause me any jealousy? Absolutely not. And although I am his wife I don't feel that it's my place to ask for it to end. I was fully aware of all the details before marrying him. I knew what I was getting into but decided to become Mrs. Sowards anyway.

Have we met? Yes, we have. The three of us used to have a lot of fun together. Before children, that is. Oh, we still enjoy our time together but now during our visits I feel the need to shield our little ones from any possible dangers. What? You think I'm crazy for allowing my children to have any knowledge of this? Judge as you will but I think it's harmless. In fact, I hope our kids will find just such a relationship someday.

And the children and I aren't present during ALL of their visits. We understand their need to be alone sometimes. But it's after these "unsupervised" visits that I look forward to his return the most. He comes home a different man than when he left. He's happier, more patient, more..... fulfilled.

I thought you might like to see a picture of this mistress. Due to the sensitive nature of this relationship I cannot tell you exactly where she's located. (We wouldn't want just anybody showing up for a piece of the action.) But here she is in all her beauty.

Mistress, meet my friends. Friends, meet...... my husband's favorite surf spot.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


So here he is. A personal trainer's wildest dream come true. But hands off... he's only 3.

Yes, Reef loves the protein & spinach fruit smoothies. They've been somewhat of a staple in our house for almost a year now. I can't get the older kids to touch 'em let alone look at 'em. Their abhorrence for anything green and healthy sends them fleeing from the kitchen as soon as the lid comes off of the Vita-Mix. (Could they be running for the phone to dial the CPS hotline at this abusive behavior from Mommy Dearest?) But with Reef I have to fight for the larger portion. Especially when it's PB & Banana w/ chocolate protein powder. (No matter that it turns a sluggish gray-green color.)

This was just leftovers from a fruit platter. Your run-of-the-mill, anything goes, drop it in, blend it up, drink it down smoothie. Not the greatest but it was still good. And just so you know, I usually put our smoothies in a cup... he drank all of his and couldn't wait for a refill........
Move over Mr. Olympia, this kid has been working on his abs! He's discovered (all by himself) that he can stick out his stomach really far then suck it in like a vacuum. I noticed him doing it at the beach recently. It's very impressive. Just one more thing for our little monkey-boy to entertain us with. I wonder from whom he got his desire to make others laugh???? (but Brandon still doesn't believe Reef's a chip off the old block!!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Thanksgiving Tragedy

You never think it will happen to you.

And it didn't happen to me.

So why am I blogging about it?

Because it happened to my family. And it's all I've been thinking about. And maybe putting my thoughts into words will be therapeutic.

For me.

For them.

Just before 4pm on Thanksgiving Day I received a frantic telephone call at my in-laws home from my sister. The house was on fire. My heart was sobbing right along with her but fortunately my brain is what takes over in moments like these. I made sure that noone was still in the house. I made sure that 9-1-1 had been called. Then I made sure my little sister took a few deep breaths so she could stay focused and talk with me rather than panic. "It will all be OK" was the mantra that I kept repeating to her.

And it will be.

Then I talked to my mom and my heart just broke. She was so upset that Beau's birthday presents were in the garage where the fire started. She has a grandmother's heart. The kind that can't stand to think of not having gifts for one of her grandkids. "Those are just things", I told her, "It's OK."

And it is.

So the tears hadn't come yet. I was able to fight them. Hold them down. Keep the faucet off. Until I learned of the most heart-wrenching thing. The loss of pictures of our Timothy Beau; our beautiful blue bundle that returned home to his Heavenly Father after being ours for just 6 short weeks. But it's OK. Many in the family have pictures and now we have a job to do. Gather them. Collect them. Compile them into something beautiful for my parents. It's sad.

But it's really OK.

We have our memories. The feeling of love and closeness and bonding when we held him. The smell of his hair and softness of his cheeks when we kissed him. The warmth of his tiny hand wrapped around our finger. The smiles he gave when gazing at us that made us feel as if he knew something we didn't. And those aren't things that can be captured in pictures. They are precious gifts that we keep in our hearts. And our hearts are all still beating.

And that's why everything is OK.

And I am grateful. Grateful that a big, strong, neighbor went into the house to retrieve my dad who was valiantly trying to put out the fire with the garden hose. Grateful that my sister was not home asleep in her bedroom that shares a wall with the garage. Grateful that my mom was safe even though she was showering in the bathroom right next to destroyed laundry room. Grateful that our cousin Jimmy discovered the fire before it had a chance to get worse. Grateful for my Uncle Rick who has been such a rock to my mom and dad at this time, taking care of things that are impossible for them to think about right now in their overwhelmed state. Grateful for all of the neighbors that stopped to help before the firemen could arrive.

Grateful that my family has seen mankind at their best.

But I'm also selfish. I need to do something. I can't stand being 100 miles away because it feels like 100 million. But there's nothing for me to do there.


I can pray. And I have. I can offer words of comfort. And I have. I can cry along with them full of love and empathy. And I have. But it's not enough for me.

I feel selfish for feeling a need to post about this. My hope is that I can end these thoughts from tirelessly sprinting through my head at lightning speed. This feels selfish.

They are coming to our house tomorrow and I am glad. Our family will still gather together and have a Thanksgiving Celebration as planned. And I am glad. Which is selfish. My parents and sister will come to our house and partake of the medicine which my kids offer them. Their Balm of Gilead. I can't wait to see them. To hug them. To help lighten their burdens. If I can. This feels selfish.

But maybe some kinds of selfish is a good thing. Maybe it's this same kind of selfish that urged neighbors to come help. Because they felt the need to do something. I pray in thanks for those good neighbors. Those people who have made my mom's heart swell in gratitude when it could otherwise be breaking to pieces from loss.

It will all be OK. I know this. I want my family to know this. It won't take away their hurt. Their shock. Their feeling of loss. The inconvenience that this type of thing brings to a family. There will be highs and lows. Peaks and valleys. But it could be worse. So much worse. I am grateful that it's not. Grateful they're still here. Grateful to be selfish.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Husband Tag

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm sitting here clacking away on my keyboard while the lovely scent of candied yams wafts into the office. Love It! So I'm assuming that by reading Stef's husband tag that her invite at the end means that I can do this, too. (I don't know... I'm a new blogger. Am I supposed to wait for an "official" tag? Is it like Tag Football or am I supposed to follow some rule like in chain letters. Is there a special code word that I need to know that indicates that it's my turn to play? Does a sly wink or nod from the original tagger give the "go-ahead" similiar to that of the Italian Mafia?) If I'm doing this wrong then let me know. And if you're totally repulsed by my lack of blogging etiquette then I invite you to stop reading. I won't be offended. Then again, I wouldn't even know one way or another, would I?

But I'm going to error on the side of self-indulgence and do the husband tag. This will be my Thanksgiving Gift to him. To let this man that I've built my world around know how grateful I am for the life that I enjoy.

1. Where did you meet? We officially met at the Bountiful Ward (in Almaden area of San Jose just like the Meyers!). Although we had a previous meeting that some of you know about... but that's a different story.

2. How long did you date before you got married? We dated 5 months and were engaged for 5 months.

3. How long have you been married? 11 years, 2 months, and 1 day. And still honeymooning!!

4. What is your favorite feature of his? His hands that remind me of my grandpa's. His piercing blue eyes. And when we were dating I loved driving in the car and staring at the shape of his jaw.

5. What is your favorite quality of his? His sense of humor. He's hilarious and he's helped me learn to laugh at myself.

6. Does he have a nick-name for you? Yes several. (Some I can't mention publicly... it would embarass you too much. ) "Baby Cracker", "_ _ _, Sugar, Candy", and when he's calling me from another room he ALWAYS says "Tiff-in-y-hay-ha".

7. What is his favorite color? OK, I have a problem with this questions. Favorite color of WHAT? Lingerie? Skittles? Sports Cars? But, for the sake of generalities: Blue

8. What is his favorite food? Sandwhiches (did I luck out or what?) But he isn't picky. He likes pretty much anything.

9. What is his favorite sport? Surfing, hands down. But he also likes to wakebaord, dirtbike and as of late... golf.

10. When was your first kiss? 2 weeks after dating. We would see eachother every single day and he would take baby steps to any kind of affection. I finally got a hug goodbye, which led to holding hands while watching a movie, which led to cuddling, which led to the final first kiss... which was well worth the wait.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? Laugh. It doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing. We have fun doing anything as long as there's humor and laughter. (Which runs a plenty in our household.)

12. Do you have children? Yes. 3. And a dog that used to be like a child until the real children came along. And 2 bunnies that we kind of forget about sometimes.

13. Does he have a hidden talent? He's never really liked to dance but he does this sideways moonwalk type thing that is really cool and I request he do it at least once a week.

14. How old is he? 33

15. Who said "I love you" first? He did. But I responded with a very quick "I Love You, too."

16. What is his favorite type of Music? Alternative, reggae, classic rock..... anything (except Mariachi music probably)

17. What do you admire most about him? His dedication to our family. His patience with our kids.

18. Will he read this? Yes. He likes reading my posts.
So anyone who has read this and has the desire to showcase your husband.... tag on! BTW.. did anyone else notice in the title of this post that Happy Thanksgiving and Husband Tag start with the same first letters? (I know... I'm weird. I see things in patterns sometimes!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Before I forget

Just a quick post before I forget. You know, as my kids get older I get a little sadder. I fret over their loss of innocence and the upcoming abscence of cute things they say. Well, today, my BIRTHDAY BOY Beau said a couple of hilarious things that I just had to journal before I forget.

1) "I'm 6 today! I'm out of that dirty 5!"

2) "Please stop that, it's getting on my nerds."

Both of these were said before 8am. I'm hopeful that the days, months, and even years will still be packed with this type of stuff. Bring on the funny!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

History of the Haut

So now that the Beau has had his first taste of winning trophies we figured he'd yearn for more and that we needed a place to showcase them. As I'm not one for curio cabinets or trophy boxes I've been thinking of a fun & creative way to keep them out of a 3 year old little brother's reach while not taking up any space in the boys' already very pregnant room. (I use that word here since I cannot use it to describe myself at the moment.) There is a surfing theme still struggling to refine itself amongst all of the GeoTrax, Legos, and Tech Decks. So I figured "Why not jump on the GREEN bandwagon and RECYCLE an old surfboard?" So Brandon jumped to it within seconds of my suggesting it (because that's how he rolls), pulled out the table saw and cut that sucker in half. Below are top & bottom views. (I'm trying to make it very functional as you can see with the books & piggy bank.)

So now the history....
Back in 1996 Brandon took his 15 year old little sister, Brooke, to Cowell's Surf Shop in Santa Cruz to purchase a surfboard to learn on. The winner was this Doug Haut board made that same year. Once she was confident enough in her surfing skills she acquired a new more agressive board. Enter one Tiffiny Smith, a small town girl who had a severe crush on her Sunday School teacher. Brandon bought the board off of his sister for me to learn on. OH, what memories come flooding back to mind. Surfing was a HUGE part of our courtship. We would wake up early in the morning and head over the hill for dawn patrol. If we didn't have to work until that evening we would just surf all day. If we had to work afternoon shifts we would go back out again after work. My hands, neck, and face had that funny tanline that only a wetsuit can provide. (The surfers "farmer tan"?)
Well, the board got quite beat up after two beginners and I got a new board. We lent this board out for others to experience the surfing scene, some with success and others not. We ended up giving the board to a friend in our ward who really took to the sport. He broke the nose and brought it back to Brandon to fix it. This required more than just ding repair. What it really needed was a surfboard surgeon but Brandon did his best. The board was never the same and Brandon felt bad for not being able to fix it. He ended up trading the board back for another one we had laying around the garage. Tonight the nose was cut off and the board sawed in half down the stringer. I now realize our foolishness in ever giving this piece of our history away and am glad to have it back, safe and sound, forever a part of our family. No matter that it's not half the board it used to be!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our RAD Dad

Remember the 80's flick RAD? You know... the cheesy BMX movie. Well, Brandon came up with the idea for this party. I think it was a hit with all of these boys and I loved how they cheered each other on in all of the "events".

"Dad, this is the best day of my life!"

WARNING... long post

We recently became members of H.H.O.R.A. (That's Hollister Hills Off Road Association). Now that we are members we can participate in their many racing events they have each year. Yesterday our kids entered the Hare Scramble. Each child (with an escort) rode the course 3 times. Mercedes won 5th place for her age group and Beau won 2nd!! Way to go guys! Beau, my adventurous, outdoorsy, fun-loving, wanna be like dad kid had a gleam in his eyes ALL DAY LONG. The day he had been counting down for weeks had finally arrived. He kept telling us, "This is the best day of my life." How cute that of all of his 2,187 days on this earth that this has been the highlight thus far. (Yes... I actually whipped out the calculator for this one taking into account that his birthday is in 2 days!)

Mom, on the other hand, had a pretty embarassing moment. My "new" (to me) dirtbike was not behaving like a trusty iron-horse should. The throttle kept sticking and I swear it was purposely trying to buck me off. I fell down, suffering a very large bump & bruise on my thigh, and to my horror Mercedes continued on her race. I knew it would get techinical for her and did what any good mother would do in this situation... I flagged down my husband, said a word my kids would get soap for , and pouted that I was leaving the bike there and hiking to the finsish line. Being the knight in shining armor that he is he gave up his trusty steed and hopped on my lame ride. I mounted it and sped off to rescue my lonesome offspring. I caught up to her and all was well until I hit a mud patch on the racetrack near the spectators. It was all slow motion for me. The dang announcer saw it all and spews over the mic "OOOOHHHH... we've got an escort down. blah-blah-blah" (I don't know what else he said. My brain muted the rest of his commentation). So now I was left to pick up this 400cc monstrosity. (I'm used to 125cc, a much lighter bike.) I was able to pick it up, hop back on, and stick with Mercedes until her race was finished. Then I rushed back to the truck to take off my jersey & helmet so that nobody recognized me when we went back to the pit for the trophies. (BTW that ugly blue thing pictured above is the perpetrator.)

Crashes and all it felt good to get back on a bike again. And watching my children endure through the tough spots and finish the race made we swell with pride! (Or was it just my hurt ego & leg?)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Confessions of a voyeur...

I confess. I am a voyeur. Not a perverted, peeping-tom-in-a-tree, binoculars aimed at the neighbors window type but the look at your blogs and occasionally post comments type. So what brought on my blogging fate? Was it my guilt? No. The ease of creating photobooks using my posts? Maybe. But the real, true blue reason? The past few weeks I've been thinking in "BLOG". Yup. That's right. You see, I used to dream in Spanish. But now I find myself taking the occasional great photo or I overhear my kids say something hilarious and my gears start turning. I've made up titles for posts that don't even exist! Who's to blame? It's all of you. Yes, you... who are reading this right now. It's all of you wonderful bloggers who's lives I drift in and out of undetected. It's you amazing people that inspire me to be a better wife, mom, woman. (You know who you are!) So I'm taking the plunge. Who knows? It could be fun. Or, I could be longing for my Spanish dreams where all I had to do was try to translate them......