Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mia's Top 10

Since we no longer track her age in months, and I don't have any particular milestones to blog about, 
Mia gets to be featured in 10 photos (limiting my countless photos is a tricky business) each month or so.

So here's August's:

putting all her post-church energy into the tree next to our parked car

despite my bruised ankles, this IKEA cart has been the most valuable investment we have ever made-
she cruises all over the place with it

at the park with Nemo (Mia's really cute biological brother)
believe it or not, she is about half his age

feeding the neighbor's enthusiastic sheep

giving dad a taste of his own medicine 

first trip to the dentist- 
it was not the most pleasant experience, but at least she got a perfect teeth report

mauling the ever-patient Izzy

showin' off her new (hand-me-down) red whip

the other ride she has finally mastered

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CCC Victory!

Since last year's experience, David has been prisoner to his determination to conquer the Cascade Crest 100. This weekend, conquer it he did (along with running brothers Joe & John), and he conquered it well 
at 5th place out of the 200 runners who registered!  
This is a HUGE feat for all three of them- we are so proud!

Here they are at the pre-race start, looking a little nervous:

David breezes in to mile 33. Mom R was in charge of this aid station so she, John's family (Carrie, Sam, Gabe), and I camped out here most of the day to refuel and care for the runners' needs.

At mile 53, I got to begin pacing with David through the night. He was fighting for 3rd place at this point and I was so nervous that I would slow him down.  
Luckily, my own pride and drive to help David maintain his shooed my anxiety away.

At 7am-ish the next day, as we finally spotted the finish line, David just bawled.  
We sprinted across with what juice we had left 
(I ran 20 miles...just a 5th of what David had endured...but it's all relative, right?) 
to a happy (and not so attractive) victory!

Two things to note:

1. This is not a nice flat or even rolling race. It is up and down the Cascade Mt. range with 21,000 ft. of elevation gain. So to think of this as a marathon x 4 is not so accurate. It's harder.

2. This event involved a lot of family supporters who had just as little sleep and just as much stress as the runners while trekking around the mountains for nearly 72 hours straight...babies, toddlers, and dogs included.

Mia got the privilege of showing off Dad's race prizes- 
the coveted belt buckle and shirt that he can wear without shame this year!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Labor Pains & Baby Quilts

I started making this quilt in February for our baby who was to be born in April.  Because we didn't know the gender, I made it as unisex as possible by using a sweet vintage Mary Poppins print as my theme (reds, yellows, blues).  Although I crammed, I wasn't able to finish it before the baby was born in April, and for a while after we returned home newbabyless, it sat folded in a pile haunting me. 
Since then we have had 7 additional leads on potential babies.  Not one of them has come into fruition, obviously, and we have been run emotionally threadbare.  It seems like each disappointment compounds with all of those previous, including each in vitro failure and the general hurt of infertility which requires the squishing of our house- full- o'-giant-loving-family dreams.

But something keeps giving us a little glimmer of hope:
Mia was a real-life miracle.
Everything about the way she made it to our family, the perfect arrangement of timing, the hard decisions that your average person does not have the courage to make, the random connections that were created by obscure and unexpected means, was truly miraculous.
If it happened once, surely it can happen again!..someday.

So I finally asked David to set up my quilt frame and I got down to business.
Today, I finished it.

Ta-dah!  We are all ready for you, baby!  Please hurry.
P.S. If anybody ever tells me again that "at least I am lucky to have avoided pregnancy and labor pains,"
I am not responsible for what follows. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trail Work(& Play)

Those who wish to run in the upcoming Cascade Crest 100 are required to donate 8 hours of trail work.  For David and his brothers, there is no better place than their nostalgic Priest Lake.

On our way to the R family cabin, we stopped to pick up some groceries at a store with quite the old-school novelty: miniature shopping carts.  This place is so rural that it must not have received all the parental complaints of bruised and bleeding ankles. Anyway, Mia was in heaven...
...and Dad spent his time repairing the inevitable:

When we arrived at our destination, Mia and I hiked around while the boys went to work clearing the trails.

Once the work was done, play time ensued!

On our way to the trail head of our traditional Squaw Man hike, 
some of the boys were busy keepin' it classy in the bed of John's truck:

The summit of Squaw Man is incredible every time!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

White River 50 Miler, Round Two

Now that David is such a seasoned ultra runner, the White River 50 miler (also the national championship race because of its challenging elevation gain) is just a typical part of our summer routine.  This time, however, we got the added bonus of family camaraderie: 
Mom R and three of the R brothers took it on and dominated!

The night before the race, we spent some time wandering around Mt. Rainier Nat'l Forest. 

While Mia was spoiled at Gma K's house, Izzy got to come and be our vicarious baby.  
She made herself at home at our beautiful campsite.

In contrast to the previous weekend's amenities, we slept in full luxury so that David could be on his game!  This is my kind of camping.

The White River, for which the race is named, ran right alongside our tent.  It looks like watered-down milk.

Joe and David playing a little pre-race Badminton: 

The race begins!  David likes to get right in there with the big boys.  Pretty much everyone in this photo finished in the top 10.
David zoomed right by us at mile 27.

Whew!  11 hours later, all three boys are in, alive, and smiling.  Leg functionality, however, is questionable. 

Here is our Mom R, chanting her multi-meaning mantra "MOMS NEVER QUIT," 
with only 1/4 of a mile to go.

It was a sweet reunion at the finish line!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Harrison or Bust

Last weekend,  we set out for our first backpacking adventure avec bebe.  Although hauling people in addition to stuff prevents a light sprint up the mountain, camping is so much more fun with Mia! 
Woohoo!  We finally made it...just before sundown!

Mia snuggled dad in the mummy bag to keep warm.  He says that it wasn't his best night's sleep,
but apparently she wasn't affected by the tight quarters because, in the morning, 
she shifted right into exploration mode!

This is the best tooth-brushing spot on the planet!

Here we are hungry and obviously adjusting to the morning while we wait for our oatmeal to cook.
I lugged my 1400+ paged book to the top of the mountain.
Ididn't read one word of it, but Mia did! 

Here is nature's cleverly crafted dish-washing station.  

Mia was not happy to get back in the pack when it was time to hike out....

...but she quickly recovered.