Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Can't Get Enough..

...of the scissors, it seems.

Sydney did it again. She found them. And used them. This is the 4th time she has cut her own hair. Each time, she has gotten the bangs....to the roots. This time, she got a section underneath the bangs...just a small one...and moved directly to the sides. "They were BUGGING me MOM!" I guess we need to make sure to brush and style her hair first thing in the morning, because if it hangs in her face, she WILL cut it off.

The result was almost a mullet...almost the entire front half of her head was choppy...about 4 inches long...

What to do, what to do?

I tried doing ponytails, but then the short sections stuck out like sore thumbs. It was pitiful. Such a cute girl, and her head was a mess.

Finally I decided to take her to a kids' cut place and see if they could work some magic. I was thinking an inverted bob would look cute and might camouflage the short stuff she had added.

Let's not mention that I chose THE DAY BEFORE THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STARTS to have this done....so it was a 2 hour ordeal at the place..Okay? Okay.

The results were way beyond what I thought I could expect.

And I even had a coupon for $8 off left over from my Welcome Wagon packet.

I just clippie back the short stuff up front, and you can hardly tell.

She's all ready for preschool, folks! One week from today!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Crazy Soles

Exactly one month from today I will run in a 208 mile relay through the Smoky Mountains as part of a 12 (wo)man team. (click on picture for link) 30 days, 20 hours and 31 minutes, to be exact.

My sister Kasey is traveling from Arkansas to take part, which makes everything so much more exciting for me! She has been my running cheerleader, the absolute best. Also part of the team are several of my equally crazy running friends that I've met in the last almost 9 months of living here, who have also supported and encouraged me continually. And some new friends too!

I will run 3 of the 36 legs.

I have been training like my life depends on it. (I really hope I don't die.) ;) It really helps in training when you are thinking that if you fail to do what you know you need to, you're not just letting yourself down, you're letting down the team.

I ran my longest run to date on Saturday - 7 miles. This Saturday I need to do 8. The next, I'll peak at 10. Then back down to 8, then 6. During the week I am working on my pace. On the weekend long runs, distance, obviously. And in the next couple of weeks I need to throw some doubles in there. Run in the am, run again 12 hours later...and also a trial run the week before...3 runs within 24 hours....so my body at least recognizes that when I ask it to do that during the relay.

The hardest part?....NO MUSIC, whatsoever. Lame state laws don't allow it during road races like this. Ahhhhhhhh!!! But, I'm determined to focus on the wild ponies, running streams, beautiful scenery, my new Forerunner GPS watch (yippee!!)...and race-day adrenaline to pull me through!

After weeks of having nightmares about all the things that could go wrong, I'm finally overcoming the fear and looking forward to it! I think it will be one of those events in your life that you can look back on when you're 90 and say, "Yeah, I DID!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Make Up Monday: Chimney Rock

Day 3 of our recent trip to Asheville (okay, so it was over a month ago, that's why it's Make Up Monday!) we drove to Chimney Rock. The route was twisty country roads, about 45 minutes worth.

We're talking "Moonshine Territory" but the kudzu was a sight to behold!

It's a vine that basically climbs everything and slowly chokes it to death....a total blight, but pretty while it's about it's destruction. The light was so pretty that morning too...I made Chris pull over so I could get a decent shot of Kudzu Kingdom.

Isn't it gorgeous? Big, bright green leaves everywhere!

Chimney Rock is a bit tricky as far a State Parks go. It's a recent purchase for North Carolina, 2007, and has been run for decades privately by the family of the man who bought the land 105 years ago. Part of the purchase agreement allows the family to basically still run the show and gouge you. It's pretty much a tourist trap...but we managed to have a nice day there.

There is a system of stairs that you can take up from the bottom....or you can take the elevator. We figured the way to go on a hot and humid day was elevator UP and stairs DOWN. It worked out pretty well for us! Especially because we had plans to hike the lower trail after our picnic lunch. You can see above, the stairs leading to the rock itself, and the lookout point.

Up top. Those rails were pretty antiquated....I wasn't counting on them for any real protection...I'm just saying...

On the way down. This also happened to be Sydney's last hurrah in the backpack! She's all hiker, all the time now!

Mid-trail lookout.
I love the river bisecting the valley down below. If you could zoom you'd see lots of kids splashing along the banks!

The view UP from the lower trail.
Loooook at the cute Mountain Goats we found! Hehe..

We took a hike along the Hickory Nut Falls Trail to a waterfall and wading pool. The kids got good and wet. The blog title picture is from this spot. :)

Happy Critters...

And here is the view looking out from the falls. Looks pretty peaceful, eh?

We love exploring unchartered territory, and this definitely fit the bill!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Funny Face

We try to find opportunities to have unstructured hiking, adventuring, or bike riding time as often as possible. We've found that those times are what the kids remember.

Recently on a hike (Mt Mitchell) we stopped mid-day to have a picnic lunch in an open air cabin and really enjoyed the scenery and the company.

The kids decided to have a Funny Face Contest. Savannah had the idea after I snapped a picture of Sydney and she made one spontaneously.... She wanted it posted on the blog so you could all judge who had the best funny face.

So, here you go! Leave your votes in the comments! ;)

Savi - the aggressive.
Gunnar - the slightly surprised, but happy.
Sydney - the "WHaaaaaaT?"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Crowder's Mountain

Chris took the day off last Friday so we could have some family time. And, that we did! It almost felt like a vacation, or more accurately a STAYcation. :)

We decided we would take the 45 minute trip to the closest peak and do a bit of hiking. Chris had bagged this one in the winter and wanted to show it to our local Mountain Goats because it has a lot of rocky terrain up top.

Here is the view up top. I think the peeps in the foreground are the best part though.
It was a short hike...less than 2 miles up, but pretty steep. Add to that, Sydney's first hiking season out of the backpack, and it took a while to get up there. But she did it! And she was loving climbing on all the jutting rocks. The way down was actually harder than the hike up...our poor toes were sore!
You have to stay close in a place like this though. There were plenty of sheer drop-offs. Made my knees hurt just watching them near the edges.... They were good and respectful of my nervous Mommy-heart though.

See what I'm talking about? Those are the tops of really tall trees down there..

If you plan to come visit us, we might just coax you to come along on this hike! It's fun!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Football Camp

Gunnar has found a sport that he loves! And the awesome part about it is that he is BUILT for it. Linebacker, anyone?

He played flag football this Spring and had a pretty good time. The team he was on seemed to have fallen apart half way through the season...alot of the boys didn't come...and he still loved it. I'm hoping to put him on another team this fall and hopefully he'll have a better, more well-rounded experience. We think next year he'll be ready for Pop Warner Football, which is the tackle, pad-wearing variety around here.

In that frame of mind, we signed him up for a week long 1/2 day football camp the last week of July.

I drove 30 minutes (15 minutes home...reverse commute)) at rush hour every morning and dropped him off at this field. With complete strangers.Yes, there were other kids there. Yes, there seemed to be responsible adults in charge. But it still tugged at my Mommy-heartstrings a bit. Didn't seem to bother him though.

It was also pushing 100 degrees by noon each day when I picked him up. We sent him with snacks and a big bottle of Gatorade each morning (water was provided) and he seemed to survive....although he did get reallllly sweaty!

He even made a couple of good friends. We got to meet them the last day when the coaches and some of the families went to a nearby pizza place for lunch after the program.

You'd have thought these guys were NFL stars the way he was so excited to be around them. Hero worship at it's finest!

We're proud of our little guy and his excitement for sport. We're looking forward to seeing him grow and develop in this area.