Thursday, May 31, 2012


because of the holiday weekend, we had to postpone the concrete pour until tuesday morning.  the guys started early and worked well into the late afternoon.  i had two appointments scheduled for that day, so i was in and out most of the morning.  i even had to come home between appointments, just so i could get my handprint saved.  i didn't want to miss out on that fun!  i wish i could have been there for the kids squishing their handprints, but i didn't want to do double-good byes.  you know how it is.  the fun part about missing it though - i got to hear all about it.  jack was so excited to tell me ALL about it.  

and you know me, i would have been snapping pictures the whole time, too.  it was still pretty cute to see them point to their prints, once the concrete was dry, and we were able to walk on it.  what a fun memory to have in stone.

the next morning, just as i was about to step my footsies into the shower, out of the corner of my eye, i noticed a large truck pull into our drive.  which stirs up a question...

why are things so scary when you're naked?  

it was only a truck, delivering much-needed and expected supplies, and i go into panic mode.  do i have to go out there?  i'm stark naked.  oh, did he just see me?!  do i need to pay him?  a quick phone call relieved me of any duties not involving a soak and a scrub.

i was able to capture a few images of the job, from the safety of my bathroom.  anything for the future shop & studio scrapbook.

and today?  those cute little concrete blocks are being stacked over the rebar.  last night, however, ben and sean unloaded those pallets and stacked the blocks directly in front of the rebar - that way, the concrete block dudes can just grab and stack, without having to waste time walking back and forth.  (and, it saved us some coin, too.)  

here's what was done this afternoon:

we'll be ready for back-fill (more dirt work) by sunday.

ten miles

on saturday, i completed a 10 mile run.  it felt like a pretty big accomplishment.  when i first started training in march, i remember littering my calendar with to-do written miles.  when i reached the weeks of double-digits runs, it just seemed impossible.  i'm so thrilled to say that i ran 10 miles in 1:39:23.  just a few minutes off from my nine mile run last week.

when i finished the run, the sweet lady on my nike+ announced my workout was completed.  usually that's it.  this time, someone else recognized my achievement...

congratulations!  this is lance armstrong and you just completed your longest run to date.    

thanks, lance.

i'm getting there.  just a few weeks until the big day.

for my efforts on saturday, this is how i rewarded myself, post-race.  45 minutes of soaking.  i even managed to not end up with any tiny humans, taking up my tub space.  that doesn't happen too often.

tomorrow, i run skinny raven's twilight 12k.  last year, i ran the skinny mini 6k.  considering my past 9 and 10 mile runs, i should have no problem (fingers crossed) running the 7.5 miles.  i ran 6.2 miles in just under an hour, so hopefully, i can keep close to that hour-mark.

but really, i don't care.  i'm just addicted to the finish.

and, i will find out tomorrow night...  


a blog about dirt.  and rocks.  it doesn't get much more exciting than this.

i picked up some marigolds and geraniums to fill my window boxes.  i'm hoping these hardy little plants can withstand the 18+ hours of sunlight.  last year, i planted violas/pansies, and they were fried by mid-july.  even with double water duty.  i don't swoon over the these flowers quite the way i do over the pretty purples and lavenders of the pansies, but i hope i have better luck with these (and that they'll maybe last until august.)

my deck planters - all those violas are from around my beds.  they obviously dropped their seeds last year, so i dug them out of the gardens.  it was a little sad to see one tiny plant here, one way over there...  i thought they needed to be cozied together.  right now, these are on the front deck, but i'm thinking i'll have better luck placing them on the back deck, where there is only evening sun shining through the trees.

i explained our south-facing exposure and asked the lady at the greenhouse if there were some hardy flowers that would make it all summer.  she just laughed at me and said

ma'am, i'd like a flower to last all summer, 
like i'd like one that could withstand the palmer winds.  

while i was planting, ben and a friend prepped the pad for the concrete pour.  raking and measuring.  measuring and raking.  their goal was to have 2 inches between the dirt and gravel and the string, spiderwebbed around the entire pad.  precision technique with the mini backhoe.  lots of shovel work.  raking to your heart's desire.  and just when i thought they were done, the rakes came back out.  there was even this cute little yellow contraption, that i wasn't sure if ben hopped on it for a ride or if you held onto the funny-looking handle-thingy.  it's really a good thing i wasn't the one to tackle this job.  (the machine was operated by a remote-control.  duh.)

if equipment is brought home, the kid's think it's play time.    

even at his young age, jack has many hours operating equipment.  but dylan, not so much, and now i see why.  jack throws a little snit-fit (notice: bottom right photo) if he's not the one behind the controls.  that photo was taken when dylan was riding with dada.  whatta buster.

 but, oh...  
look how happy when he gets his way.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

moose park

ok, so that's not the exact name, but it's behind the moose lodge in palmer, so it's easy to just smoosh them together.  we usually only play there but once a year, and it takes me visiting it to realize why: i hate it.

can you really hate a park?  likely not, but i am in a constant state of anxiety and paranoia throughout the entire visit.  a park so big, with a 1,000 different ways to climb, scale, run about, hide... it's a parent's nightmare.

also, it's one of those parks where big kids tend to loiter, attempt to skateboard or play tag like a bunch of madmen.  so, we never stay long enough, but the kiddos sure enjoy it while we're there.

this is only a 1/4 of the park.  it's much easier to climb up there and run around with them.  if you try to parent from below, one child goes one way and the other goes the other way.  it scares me to death to not be able to see my children.  there's only one entrance/exit, and the entire playground is fenced in, but i noticed 3 slats in the fence are missing - perfect sized space to escape!  and i'm sure, by the time we leave, the entire park population knows my kid's names.  i can't help myself; i'm a nervous nelly.

 slide action shot!
 and reaction shot!
 check the air!
they're adorable.
and i made them.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

the tonkas go off-road

the last week of april, we headed out to reflections lake, at the base of the chugach mountains.  it was one of the first warm, sunny spring days, and we were all anxious to get out and soak it up.  jackie thought it would be fun to bring the tonkas, and dylan quickly agreed.  while the walk was a little more leisurely than usual, it all worked out since we had no better place to be. 

the kids love their tonka trucks.  my girl friend, sarah, bought jackie's for his 1st birthday.  they hold the test of time, yeah?  it's definitely his longest-lasting toy (that's been pushed to it's limit!)  last summer, after dylan had finally mastered running, she was frequently busted by jb, pushing along his precious truck.  how many times i heard no, duey, dat's mine! were (are) countless.  

for months, i had been searching, the better part of a year really, and i finally found a stock of METAL dump trucks.  i wanted a bigger one like jack's - he loves that handle - but i was willing to take whatever i could get.  i couldn't believe how hard it was to find them.  so, i did what any sane parent would do - bought two on the spot; one for a gift and the other for my daughter.  and, just to comfort the girly niche in my heart, i spray painted the dumper pink.  

they have some miles on those eight wheels.  and they sure come in handy, escorting furry friends.   

 i promise this was all in love.
 no doubt this was, too.
 even on cloudy days, she glows.
this child has some serious spirit.
 i'm so glad to have captured this moment.  
the one with her pointed finger.  
this is something she does, everywhere and always accompanied with a DOOK!
(similar to jack's YOOK!  are L's that hard to say?!) 
and, i just love that she wants to give every lovey a shoulder ride.
 3/4 of the way through, the kids were pooped.
so, the go bug was put to the {weight} test.
can you tell they're sibs?  
check out their same look!

 finally, the bridge!  
number one reason we walk this trail.
and just how sweet is jb?  
picking flowers for his mama.

a hike with friends

what's the best way to spend a 60-degree day, with kids, in the valley?  we hike the butte.  jack requests this hike once a week, sometimes more, and he usually follows it up with: 

can mimi & gaige come too?  

this time, they could!

half way point
future sheep hunter, taking the steep, rocky route
lunch atop.
we found a perfect grassy area to stretch out and chow down on some sammiches.
notice the copy cat, attempting to cross her legs, too.
beautiful little ladies
this series reminds me of bambi.  
spring time.  
you know, when flower, thumper & bambi follow their little girlyfriends?  
um, yeah...
these two have been friends for a long time.
they continually surprise me with their antics, and i can't help but smile.
and then sometimes, the sweetness is short-lived.  
i just wanted ONE group picture.
(and one is all i got!)
but, oh!  
he'll pose with her   
this is lazy mountain.
ben and i are planning to hike this a few times in preparation for sheep season.
just a few months away...

the end.
for now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

black blacks & white whites

that was the first lesson i learned from my photog teacher my freshman year in college.  make sure your blacks are black and your whites are pure white.  if you have that, you'll also have all the shades of gray in between.  i've never forgot that lesson.  

one of these days, i'll pull out the negatives of my favorite project from that year...  

the shop, continued

this past saturday, we had a dump truck hauling and dumping dirt, while ben and sean were running equipment; ben on the dozer and sean on the compactor.  our place was like bob's building yard - jack was in heaven!  he couldn't get enough of the equipment.  i know the two big kids probably could have gotten the job done a lot faster without all of jack's "help," but it probably wouldn't have been nearly as fun.  right?  they are both very patient men.  bless them.

at once, we had the following on our lot:

dump truck
line truck & trailer
(and, let's not forget the cozy coupe & tonka truck)

the only ride missing was a loader.  and funny enough, jack was the one to alert us all.  

where's da yeddow yoader at?

the kid doesn't miss a thing.

from 7 am until almost 6 in the evening, the guys worked on the pad.  it really looks great.  the drainage ditch was extended because the driveway needed to be widened.  the dirt was compacted and smoothed.  and on sunday, ben was able to convince a friend to come over and set up the boards for the foundation - that will be poured this weekend!  did you ever think concrete could be so exciting?!  

the shop

in addition to building our cabin, we are finally building a shop.  i say finally because ben has been waiting to tackle this project since we moved in during the winter of 2007.  our property has the perfect layout for such, and it's always been our plan (ben's dream) to have a large garage.  with a urinal.  (but i think i've convinced him to just wall in a toilet & sink.  we'll see...)

the picture below was taken about 2 weeks ago.  however, ben has been busy for months, spending countless hours during our television nights, graph paper and pencil in hand, while i'm continually pausing the dvr to answer his endless questions.  designing a layout, where do the windows go, do we go with dormers, where should the stairs go, how many square feet... the questions go on and on.  the second floor of the shop will hold my studio.  can't even begin to express my excitement for the months ahead.

but before any of this can come to fruition, work needs to be done.  so, he's spent evenings cleaning up the pad, throwing things away.  when we first moved, he had hauled things over from our duplex, and ultimately just had to part with a lot of things.  (please note i'm using the word things rather than crap.)  ha!  really though, i think we all have the best intentions, right?

we've been so antsy to get this thing rollin' but had to wait until the road restrictions were lifted to bring the heavy equipment home.  finally, seeing ben drive up with a backhoe in tow - i knew he was probably just as excited as me.  and jack.  but you know who wasn't?  the dew lily.  just a little too loud and a little too hairy (scary) as dylan said.

love the hand on my leg.
the girl needed a little support through this hairy event.
look how happy.  
love my men.
we're widening the driveway, as well.  so...
good bye cluster of birch trees.  i'll miss you.
 bein' a backhoe makes me tiiiiiiired.
 future shot-putter
you saw it here first.

as always, more to come.  this work is saved for the weekend...