Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bad Word Police

The other morning I was putting Maddox's shoes on and it slipped off, so I said "Drats!" He told me I couldn't say that word, and when asked why he said "because it's a bad word." After explaining that drats isn't a bad word, he replied "Well your are saying it instead of a bad word."

What do you say to that...

Learned:My 3 year old understands that it is not always what you say but how you say it that matters.... Something that took me a lot longer to figure out...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Las Vegas Trip and Tournament

On the 23-26 of this month we headed south to a bit of (slightly) warmer weather for a soccer tournament in Las Vegas. We left dark and early on Friday morning, and arrived in LV with some time to go and check out the Strip. Madison loved the hotels, but the actual walking on the strip made her uncomfortable (don't blame her...) She really wanted to go to Madame Tussauds, which ended up being pretty fun. The best people that I got to see were Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Daniel Graig, Chris Angel, and plant the flag on the moon with Niel Armstrong. It was pretty funny because Ari believed that I had actually met Dwayne Johnson (not only do we love Peyton Manning, but we google over Dwayne too). I only let her believe it for a little while....

On another evening we went to Avatar (again) but this time we saw it at the IMAX! I thought it was amazing the first time, but WOW and double WOW! it was even more incredible at the IMAX. A huge thank you to our friend Aaron G. who when early and bought all 9 of our groups tickets, then saved us incredible seats while we were rushing from dinner and trying to find the place...phew we made it though!

Now for the tournament results: Game 1 against NV Racing Angels a 2 to 1 victory, Game 2 vs Ballistic NV a 2 to zip shut out victory, Game 3 against Heat NV a 3 to nada victory, and Game 4 against LV Premier a 2 to goose egg victory, and 2010 Silver State Tournament Champions!! It was fun to watch the girls do so well, and have so much fun! So proud of our girls!

Learned: There is a WHOLE lot more to Vegas than the Strip...


I read this on another blog that I sometimes check out, and thought "WOW! I need to remember this."

This is the beginning of a new day.
You have been given this day to use as you will.
You can waste it or use it for good.

What you do today is important because...
You are exchanging a day of your life for it.

When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever.
In its place is something that you have left behind...
Let it be something good.
- Unknown

Learned? As I get older time only seems to go faster, all the more reason to make sure that each day is not taken for granted.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I "Heart" Manning!

Yeah baby... Peyton Manning is headed to the Super Bowl. I couldn't be more proud of my pseudo man! After being down in the first half and being sacked a few times...I was starting to feel sick to my stomach. I know that he is a brilliant player and was confident that he would make the needed adjustments to defeat the Jets, and I was right! That will teach the Rex Ryan defence to go and blitz on P.Manning- he ate them up.

So the sad part of the whole thing is that I missed the game.... yep you heard right... I missed the game... well missed watching the game. Madison's last game of the tournament in Vegas was at the same time as the Colts game. So my fellow soccer mom friend and Peyton lover, Ari, and I sat in the car before the soccer game listening, then we decided to be good mothers and watch our daughters play (while receiving regular play off updates via my phone), then listened to the rest of the game on the drive home.

Now I REALLY want to go to the Super Bowl, but tickets range from $1800.00 to $40,000.00, then I would have to fly down there, get a hotel room, food, and all that. So if you have extra $$$ laying around I would love to take it off your hands, and take myself to the Super Bowl.

Since I know that is a long shot I will just have to have a great Super Bowl party, and settle with going to see him live next season when he plays in Denver. I guess that will do...

Learned: You just don't blitz on Manning and there are just too many options for him that you can't eliminate them all. I love watching him play, think I will watch my DVR of the game today....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ski Day with My Daughter

Today Madison and I went skiing. It was such a nice day to spend with her. We got to talk the whole day with out any boy interruptions. The snow was great, but the weather was not... The day started with lots of thick snow falling, then that was followed by a lot of wind and dark skies. Which made for a chilly chilly day. We planned on skiing until 2 then heading home because Madison had soccer practice. This turned out to be a perfect amount of time to ski because well, one, it was COLD, and two, MY LEGS WERE TIRED! Hope I can walk tomorrow! I got some fun pictures of Madison skiing and a few short videos. Enjoy... well... no videos yet... can't get them to load and I need to go to bed...maybe later...


Learned? Having crummy ski weather is worth having a day with my daughter.

Badge of Honor

Three months ago I ran my first half marathon, and one of the many injuries I felt after the race finally showed itself...I LOST MY TOE NAIL!!! I can hardly believe that it is gone, I didn't even feel it come off! I wore my Naughty Monkey heals for the Colts game Saturday night, then woke up the next morning and poof it was gone! I wasn't even the one to notice, Madison came down stairs and said "Mom! What happened to your toe?" The only thing that would have caused it is that durn run. I remember the same toe nail on both feet feeling very tender and looking a bit purple for a wile after the race and almost feeling like they were pulling off, but that went away pretty quick.

One of my running friends said it was a "badge of honor" to loose a toe in the line of running.... I think it is just weird! Not to mention that I don't know where I lost it... I know I had it at my friends house because I was noticing that I needed to repaint my toe nails. It is kinda grossing me out thinking of when and where i might next encounter the missing red toe nail...

Learned? It only takes 3 months for a toe nail to fall off, and I have a cute baby toe nail already there to replace it (the baby toe nail is the only cute thing about this situation!)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Living Dead in Dalas

The second instalment of Sookie Stackhouse was just as entertaining as the first. Sookie discovers that the vampire in the near by town will make good on their deal,as he leases her talents to a Dallas nest of vampires who are missing one of their own. Sookie soon realizes that the world of the supernatural creatures is much larger than she initially thought. Her required presence in Dallas means that she must leave the mystery of a murdered friend to the town's authorities, at least until she returns.

Learned: These are a fun and brainless series to enjoy, but I don't feel like I need to rush out to get the next one... Which I guess is good since I am really trying to check out more books from the library, and they typically need to order them in for me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A New Adventure

Hello to all my readers (faithful, and passersby), I wanted to share something new and exciting with all of you...

The other day a friend of mine and I were commenting on our exploding closets and how we still have nothing to wear... So we came up with a solution:

It just so happens we are about the same size, so why not do a clothing swap once a month! The brilliance of it is that we automatically DOUBLE the size of our closets and who wouldn't want that??!!!

I am super excited to expand our wardrobes (at no cost to us) and rejuvenate clothes that have lost our love. Also who knows the stories we will be able to share (Maybe a real life "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants")!

We decided to keep track of how this new adventure unfolds at our new web site Castle Closet. We are planning our first "swap" later this click on over and check out our progress! We are also including some of our favorite fashion spots you can check out on the web...

Can't wait to see how this turns out. AND if you know either of us, and live close, we would love to TRIPLE or QUADRUPLE all of our closets!!!

Learned: A HUGE "thank you" to my friend Summer who took our idea, ran with it, and made us this fun blog to record our adventure!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Chocolate Speaks To Me...

...and this is what it says....

Learned? Eat more chocolate.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dead Until Dark

I finally gave in and started another vampire series. After Twilight, I was worried another book with the topic of vampires would not hold my interest. However, my interest was sufficiently held with the first of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, Dead Until Dark.

I will only make a SHORT Twilight comparison... I found this book to be more "grown up" all around. The characters were more grown up and the content was more grown up. The main character, Sookie, could read minds but seemed to have more control of what she "heard" than Edward. I also found Sookie to be more "grown up" than Bella (probably because she actually was) but she also was more clear minded when considering having a love affair with a vampire. It was believable because she had such turmoil and wavering in this decision. My last comparison... there were Vampires trying to assimilate themselves into normal human life.

My official, non-Twilight related, review... It took me a few pages to get into the rhythm of Charlaine Harris's writing style, and I sometimes had to reread a sentence due to its southern sayings and sentence structure (this made sense when I read that the author was from Arkansas). I liked the character Sookie, she has the ability to read minds, but really hates and and has learned to block it out, I admired that about her. I also liked how this author kept true to vampire lore, not being able be in the sun, silver weakness, and aversion to garlic. The explanation given for the vampires is that they were the result of a virus, even the characters in the book were suspicious of this explanation, and it really didn't bother me that much.

Sookie works as a waitress in the local bar, her mind being bombarded by the thoughts of others, then one night she meets a mind that is silent to her, and Bill the vampire is introduced into her life. Choosing to save the life of a vampire stranger opens the door to a whole new world. Continuing and developing that relationship only takes her deeper. Will she stand by this vampire lover when he is under suspicion for a wave of local murders, the same murders that her brother seems to be tied to. Can vampire Bill protect Sookie from threats in his own world as well as threats from the human?

A very fun and entertaining tale woven with suspense, passion, and mystery. Just enough horror and the supernatural to give me chills but not freak me out. I think that I will have to continue the series, and maybe follow it up with the HBO series.

Learned: Maybe if I take baby steps I will graduate to the Ann Rice version of vampires....or maybe not...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dear Forces of Nature:

I am writing to tell you that you can stop with the lessons.

I already knew that metal is a conductor, that if you put it somewhere gets cold, and when you put is somewhere hot it gets hot. And if you touch it while it is in, or just recently removed, from either of these locations it will immediately conduct that same temperature to you. I did not need the reminder last night when I accidentally forgot that the pan in my right hand had just been pulled out of the oven (using an oven mitt) and transferred it to my left hand (with out an oven mitt). These are really nice blisters on my hand.

I also already knew that glass is an insulator, and that when it is placed near a window in the winter it will get cold but not necessarily feel cold. I also already knew that heat energy will transfer from my stove top through a tea kettle and make the water inside boil. I also already knew that if you pour hot liquid into glass that is cold the class will shatter. I did not need a shattered single serving french coffee press, and counter top, cupboards, drawers, floor, and my self covered with hot coffee and wet coffee grounds to be reminded of this.

Thank you for listening,

Learned; My husband saw me cleaning up the mess through my tears, and offered to help. I just told him "all I wanted was my coffee!" He came back from the store with a Starbucks for me. All that to tell you that I learned My husband really loves me, he can see through my girlie irrational emotions and find a way to make my heart happy again. I love him!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

...on being a mom

Today it really hit me how important my job as a mother is. My daughter is 11, I only have 7 more years until I am officially and legally not responsible for her - but I wonder if I will ever NOT feel responsible for my children. Because right now every word I say, or don't say; every thing I do for them, or don't do; is shaping who they are and who they will become. Everything about who I am contributes to who they will become... that is a whole lot of responsibility!

With that thought came a lot of pressure; I truly want to equip my kids to be successful in every way. I want them to have integrity, common sense, decision making skills, confidence, compassion, persistence, health, respect (given and received), discipline, intelligence, and appreciation for life and all that comes with it. But I don't really know what I am doing, or more specifically I don't have a plan to get them there.

I couldn't help but feel like I was failing them, that I wasn't giving them my best or preparing them to be their best. I felt helpless...scared...I just don't want to screw up my kids! I completely understand that they have free will and will do as they choose when they get older, but how I raise them directly influences they types of choices they will make.

So after my anxiety about being the perfect mom holding the weight of the future in her hands subsided, I realized that I already have two amazing kids. And looking back at my list of what I want for my kids, I think that Madison has most of them, and Maddox is only 3 and is learning them... so we (Brian and I -- because I couldn't, and wouldn't want to, do it with out him) must be doing something right.

Not that there isn't room for improvement... Two new (or newly re-enforced) Caster rules that will be followed in our home starting tonight are:

1)No TV until after dinner, the time after school until dinner is for homework, creative play, cooperative dinner making, dog walking, and sibling play.

2)Dinner will be eaten together at the dinner table. This is such a huge one for me. I remember my mom sticking to this as a kid and I never understood the importance of it. But Brian just share a factoid he heard that the average parent only talks with their child 4 minutes a day! True or not, that is just unacceptable for me and my family. The time may not be far off when dinner time may be the only time that I get my daughter to talk to us.

I refuse to let "life is so busy" be a reason for my kids to fail, or for me to fail my kids. They are just too important!

Learned: In parenting there really are no "do overs", I have got one shot to raise my kids and it passes all to quickly.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hey Good Lookin', Whatcha Got Cookin'

I go through spurts where I will plan out a menu, tirelessly searching my magazines, friend's blogs, and websites finding scrumptious meal ideas. While other times I just open my fridge and cupboards and throw something together. For the last month or so I was on the "throw it together" kick, we were all pretty impressed with the meals I came up with. Well that ship has sailed, or my culinary creativity went into hibernation, so I am back to searching high and low for some delightful dinner ideas.

Most of the meals below came from my friend Anne's favorite recipe site: Good Housekeeping. I'll let you know how they turn out!

Fish Tacos with Tangy Slaw
Sesame Salmon with Bok Choy
Chicken and Cabbage Stir Fry
BBQ Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

And Tonight we had Jerk Chicken Kabobs with Jalapeno Black Beans and Spicy Corn.
As you can see, Maddox helped me prepare dinner, and I modified and cooked the chicken and veggies in a pan rather than on the grill. With by recipe you make your own Jerk seasoning for the chicken, and I was surprised how easy it was. It calls for a whole jalapeno, but I have a sissy mouth so I just used a half. I cooked the black beans with the left over jalapeno, and added some red chili seasoning to my corn. We all really enjoyed it, I am sure that it would be even better on the grill. Maybe some tangy summer salad would zest it up a bit too!

Learned? Giving Maddox a safety knife and allowing him to help saved so much of my sanity while trying to prepare dinner. I will need to do that more often!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Enjoying The Last Day of Vacation

Today has been a pretty relaxed day. When I found out that I would not be able to watch the Colts game, and that Peyton would probably only play a few series, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful afternoon. I am still suffering from this dumb sinus infection so we didn't want to try and go all the way to the Mesa. So instead we bundled up and went to the park. It was a lot of fun.

The kids played on the equipment, and the dogs ran around the field. We had the whole place to ourselves, which was really nice! We could let the dogs off their leashes and let them run around. Ranger even followed the kids up the equipment and went down the slide with out any encouragement from any of us.

When we got home we put Maddox down for a nap and Brian and I went for a run. It was just over a mile, but it felt good to get out and run...AND I had NO pain while running!!! YEAH!!!!!

Today has been a nice good bye to vacation, and I feel content to go back to work tomorrow.

Here are some pictures to remember the day...

Learned: Sunshine, fresh air, and family are the perfect remedies for back to work blues.

Looking Back at 2009

Madison's sledding party was a huge hit, Brian and I took a short weekend trip to Moab, I slid on the ice and damaged the truck which lead to an all around bad day, contemplated Brokenness and Love (a post that I need to read regularly).

Made hundreds of cookies for Math Night at school, Maddox got a cracker stuck in his nose, Reflected on the reality that my grandmas house (where we got married) was no longer in the family, Tried to get organized for spring soccer and GOTR for Madison, and Cecil was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Went to a company party and played Craps all night (I forgot how much fun that was), sarcastically enjoyed snow on the first day of spring break, Read a non-fiction book and actually enjoyed it, spent a day down town with Allison and our kids, Maddox learned how to use the computer mouse, took Madison to Denver for a mother/daughter trip and saw Phantom of the Opera, Had to take Maddox to the pediatric cardiologist, Went sledding at the cabin with Allison, but it was windy and the snow was pretty melted,and Maddox seemed to change over night into a little boy instead of a toddler.

Gave my kids brownies-- rather brown "E's" for April Fools, Read Lovely Bones and The Alchemist, found Six Word Memoirs intriguing, Amazed by my sons uncanny ability to cause mischief, got Madison her first bra, Went to the NCTM conference in DC with Courtney, and enjoyed the wall art by Maddox.

Madison and I ran our 2nd GOTR 5K, Celebrated Maddox's 3rd birthday, birds built a nest in our grill and the eggs finally hatched, embarrassed my self in front of my students "Wow! That's Hot!", Read The Queens Lady, Went to Denver for our first out of town soccer tournament, Ran the BOULDERboulder for a second time, and Celebrated my Grandma Barron's 80th birthday.

Read 5 Things I Can't Live Without, started laser hair removal, climbed to the top of Mt. Garfield with Madison and friends, Went to Ouray hot springs with Allison and our kids, Maddox continued destruction by pulling the towel hanger out of the bathroom wall (it still isn't fixed), I got my nose pierced, and read Finger Lickin 15.

Finally ran to the top of Serpents trail both times with out stopping, went fishing with the boys and Maddox caught his first fish, lots of yard work, Alix headed off to boot camp, Caster family trip to Durango and Mesa Verde, An attempted week long trip to the cabin with Allison and our kids, count down to turning 30, and Maddox's first swimming lessons were a disaster.

I turned 30 and went to Ridgway, Ouray, and Telluride for the weekend with the Sandovals, Welcomed a new niece Tessa to the world, Went to Denver for our first competitive team Tournament and they won 1st place, I went to Williamsburg WV for a GT workshop, Read The Shell Seekers, Maddox started his first day of school and loved it, Brian went to Oklahoma for work, and registered for my first half marathon in Moab.

Got a new computer, hosted our first team dinner, Read People of the Book, and Said good bye to my Uncle Rocky who died of cancer.

Read Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing, over trained and got shinsplints two weeks before the big race, continued to train through the pain, started researching how to run pain free, Celebrated the 7th anniversary of Caster day (Madison's adoption), and ran my first half marathon.

Started acupuncture for reoccurring migraines, relied on Weeds and books to get me though my running injuries, Aunt Penny started the process to get a liver transplant, Spent Thanksgiving with family and mourning the reality that I couldn't run the Turkey Trot, Read The Time Travelers Wife, Read Three, and Reread Eclipse.

Enjoyed a snow day with at least a foot of snow, Read Shelter Me, Went on my first (very short) run since my half marathon, Read Adam, commandeered the TV for Football--actually the Colts games, Celebrated Christmas with the whole family, and My little brother Alix got married.

Learned: I am thankful to say good bye to 2009, the last half of the year had been really difficult for me, I was an emotional, mental, and physical wreck, though in the last few weeks of the year I seemed to pull it together.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Back To Work In T Minus 2 Days

This Christmas vacation has gone by so quickly. I had such high hopes and busy plans for the entire thing, but didn't do any of them. I did enjoy the time spent with my family and friends though.

I ended up being sick the very first few days of break with a terrible head cold that improved but lingered... I felt so tired and lethargic which might be why I didn't get much done. I finally went to the doc's today and have a sinus infection. So with some powerful antibiotics I should fell better in a few days.

I was hoping to go skiing or playing in the snow a few days but we didn't get that done. (maybe tomorrow)

I was hoping to kick some major fat booty and work out/run really hard during this break but only got one session in. During that session I felt like I was going to die -- like I have never worked out a day in my life! (probably due to the stupid infection)

Even though I didn't do everything I wanted, we did do a lot in addition to all the typical holiday stuff.

Madison went skiing with some friends in Telluride the first weekend, my mom and I went to lunch and shopping one afternoon, I took the kids to the theater, went and got pedicures with Madison and our friends, I got a few hours to visit with Allison while our kids played in the snow, and of course played with our Christmas toys, read, and watched movies.

The biggest event was my youngest brother's wedding on New Years Eve. It was a nice wedding with a relaxed reception. Madison was the flower girl in their wedding so the majority of the day was devoted to this event. When she was all dressed and ready she looked so beautiful and grown up. The best part of her "outfit" was she wore her polk-a-dot converse with her dress, it was so cute, so her!

We got home from the wedding at a decent time, so my other brother and his girlfriend watched our kids so we could go out. Brian and I rang in the new year at Beau and Crystals this year and got to see Keenon and Zeph as well as some other friends that we usually only see every once in a great while. It was a nice evening filled with lots of laughs and fun conversations.

Now I am sitting on the sofa with my hubby spending one of my final days of vacation watching (and enjoying every minute of it) college bowl games while contemplating the pizza and wings we really want to order for dinner....I think resolutions can start on Monday!

Learned: Time flies when you are having fun, even if the fun is not the fun you had hoped for.