Aloha! Jeramy and I just got back from a FABULOUS trip to Maui! My wonderful parents drove down from Canada - yup, 15 hours each way - to come and take care of the kids while Jeramy and I took advantage of all the airmiles, Marriott points and American Express points that he has racked up with his crazy travel schedule. One whole week in paradise!

We arrived to the hotel, the Wailea Marriott, late at night so we couldn't really see anything. In the morning - after a precious full night's sleep with no crying babies or nightmares to deal with (sorry mom and dad!) - we looked out our window and were blown away by the view - isn't it amazing?

We spent a lot of our time there just enjoying the beach, snorkeling, lounging by the pool and reading. Our second day there was Jeramy's birthday. After spending the morning at the beach, I booked him a massage at the hotel spa. For dinner we went to the most incredible restaurant - Mama's Fish House in Pa'ia. Even though it came highly recommended, the name of the restaurant conjured images of an old shack with beaten up wood plank floors and dingy walls that smelled of grease from all the fried food. I could not have been more wrong! The location and ambiance were enough to wow me. It was a converted beach house nestled in a coconut grove on a gorgeous white sand beach. We somehow scored the best table in the restaurant. And the food - AMAZING! Every morsel I tasted - and there were a lot! (don't tell Cliff, my trainer) - was sooo delicious. We had appetizers, main course and dessert - all of it scrumptious!!!

Jeramy & I enjoying his birthday dinner at Mama's.
We turned around for the picture but were facing that
amazing view our entire meal.

One of the days there we drove the Road to Hana. It is an incredibly windy road with tons of one lane bridges. I think our average speed was about 15-20 miles/hour. So why, you ask, do people spend an entire day in their car to travel a 70-mile stretch of highway? That's what I want to know!

Before we went I had heard mixed reviews - absolutely do it! or definitely skip it (one of my friends said it should be renamed the "Road to Hell") We've always heard about it and it sounded like there were so many beautiful things to see along the way - which there are - so we decided to do it. There were tons of beautiful waterfalls, beaches, caves, sea arches but I was so car sick I couldn't really enjoy anything. In retrospect, I'm glad we did it - it was really beautiful and the memories and pictures outlive the carsickness. Just don't ever try and get me on that road again.

Me and Jeramy in Nahiku - a little town
right on the coast off the Hana Highway.

Another stop on the Hana Highway.
Jeramy in front of a small sea cave at
Pa'iloa - a black sand beach

The 7 Sacred Pools - our last stop (halleluiah!)
on the Road to Hana. Then we just had to
turn around and drive the whole thing back!

Another fun thing we did was take a boat from Ma'alea to Molokini, a crater about 8 miles from Maui, to do some snorkeling. It was a lot of fun. The captain of the boat, the Four Winds II, was hilarious and kept us entertained during the boat ride. Unfortunately, the morning we went ended up being really windy, so the snorkeling wasn't as fun as it could have been. We still saw some great fish, an eel and Jeramy saw an octupus. We rented an underwater camera to take pictures but I haven't developed them yet so if there's any good ones I'll post them later.

The one thing I really wanted to do was to take a surf lesson. Unfortunately, it didn't happen this time. Between Jeramy's irrational fear of sharks, the wind, and conflicts with other things we had planned, it didn't work out. For sure next time!

Really, some of our favorite days were the ones we spent at the beach and the pool at the hotel. It was so nice to just do whatever we wanted with no one to take care of and no time constraints. Although we were in paradise, really the best part of the trip was just being together. I know that sounds really cheesy and very cliche, but it's true! Jeramy's travel schedule has been crazy this summer! And when he hasn't been gone for work we've been gone on family trip or we've been at home playing catch-up and getting ready for the next trip. It was so nice to have so much time together, away from everything, especially his Blackberry - yes, can you believe he actually left it! We had such a great time together! I absolutely loved the whole trip and am going to be dreaming about it until we can go again!

One day - after we fried ourselves and wanted to stay
out of the sun a little - we rented a cabana right on a cliff
overlooking the ocean. We just sat and read, had a nap
and would go jump in the pool to cool off. Heaven!

Jeramy reading in the cabana. Can you tell what
he's reading? Oh yes, none other than "Eclipse"!

Woowee! Hot stuff! Jeramy goofing
around on his way out to snorkel.


Yoga Baby

Our sweet little Finn is already trying to crawl. He suddenly seems so grown up! Didn't I have him just yesterday?

Anyway, I snapped a few pictures of him scooting around. He is so funny trying to move. I don't think he has quite figured out he's supposed to move on his hands and knees. He spends most of his time on his hands in feet with his little backside in the air - kind of like downward facing dog. Then from that position he will stick one of his legs out and balance on his hand and one foot. It's so cute and so much fun to see him learn and grow.


First Day of School

Today was Ella's first day of preschool. This is her second year of preschool - she is now in the 4-year old class. She is back with Miss Tanya this year - whom we both adore!

She was so excited this morning, she got dressed without a fight and, of course, picked out all her accessories on her own (the girl knows what she likes and she does not want anyone else's opinion!).

Before I took her to school, she happily posed for a few pictures. I can't believe how grown up she is!

There are 9 kids in her class at school. A lot of them are returning from her class last year, which she is so excited about. There will also be some new kids which will be great for her to make new friends.

Ella will go to school M,W,F from 9:30 to 12:00. I thought it would be a great time for me to go do errands - grocery store, Costco, post office, Nordstrom Rack :) .....but Finn naps right around 9:30, then eats at 11:00. Sadly, I will be hanging out at home. At least I can clean my bathrooms without a helper.
Ella with Miss Tanya. Not sure why,
but she wanted a baton as a prop in the picture.

Ella and one of her best little friends,
Sierra Jensen. Fierce posing, girls!



This weekend I competed in my first, but definitely not my last, triathlon. It was sooo great!!! I really had a great time and truly enjoyed it.

About a month ago, my friend Tanya and I decided we would do the upcoming sprint triathlon here in Highlands Ranch. It was an 800m pool swim (32 pool lengths), 13 mile bike ride and 3.5 run. So for the month of July I trained for it but up until race day I wasn't too convinced I had any business doing a triathlon - I was sure all the participants were certain to be real athletes and serious competitors.

The day before and especially the morning of the race I was SO nervous. Tanya and I kept asking each other to remind one another why we were doing it. However, once we arrived and surveyed the scenario, both of us felt much more at ease. There were participants of all ages, which I know because we had to have our age branded on our calf in permanent marker - so humiliating! Especially when people in their fifties were FLYING by me on their bike! There were also people of all shapes and sizes - some looking supremely fit and others - err, not so much. (Myself included in the latter category, of course!)

We arrived at about 6:15am, an hour before my swim. We were grouped in heats according to our estimated swim time, so because my est. swim time was 22 minutes I was in the 9th wave and started at 7:15 - the first wave started at 6:00am (est. swim time of 6 min!) and the last at 7:54am (est. swim time 45 min).

Upon arrival we were assaulted with permanent marker! We had our bib number written in big black letters across our right should and thigh, our age across our right calf and our swim wave, lane assignment and start time written our right hand.

We next checked into the transition area and found our bike rack assignment. We hung our bikes and laid out our towels with all our gear organized on our towels. Talk about a lot of stuff! Bike shorts, socks, helmet, sunglasses, camelback, race belt, Cliff shots, running shoes, hat, ipod, water bottle.....and so on.

Around 7:00 we made our way over the pool. How relieved were we when we saw swimmers, in faster heats than ours, doing side stroke, very leisurely-paced backstroke and even hanging on the wall taking a break. We instantly felt so much more relaxed as we both had been nervous about the swim portion. Who am I kidding, I was nervous about ALL 3 legs of the race!

At 7:14 I jumped in Lane 2 of the indoor pool, along with 3 others assigned to my lane. They did 4 swimmers to a lane and started us all 5 seconds apart. I got to go first in my lane so at 7:15:00 I pushed off and began. The first length I did front crawl but then because I was nervous and couldn't get my breathing under control I switched to breast stroke, which I used for most of the swim. After 17 lengths in the indoor pool we jumped out, ran up two flights of stairs and jumped in the outdoor pool for the last 15 lengths. How happy was I to be done!

We exited the pool area right into the transition area. I found my gear, dried off my feet, put on my biking gear and went off on my bike. I was a little nervous for the bike portion because I was borrowing a friend's bike and it was only my second time using clipless pedals. The first time, 3 days earlier, as I went to stop at a red light I couldn't get my shoe out fast enough and totally fell right over. HA! I felt like such a moron and probably looked even more so! Even I couldn't help but laughing about how ridiculous I must have looked. Especially because I was trying to unclip my left foot and tipped over to the right. How'd I do that??? I got some nice bruises and a road-rashed knee. Oh well, at least the bike was lighter than my mountain bike and not too many people were around.

Anyway, I didn't wipe out on the bike but this poor lady did. I was about 15 minutes into the bike portion when this woman, with a big, black 50 on her right calf, cruises by me. I could see her ahead a little and as we made our way up a hill the gap widened. Shortly after the top of the hill, the course turned downhill (yah!) As I came around a corner I could see a girl flagging down a vehicle and a second later saw several bikes laying on the road and about 5 people standing near someone sprawled out on the pavement. It was the lady that had passed me and she looked to be in pretty rough shape. She was face down on the pavement and her arm and shoulder looked pretty chewed up. It looked as though she had had a pretty bad fall. I stayed for a few minutes but the others that arrived ahead of me had everything under control and an ambulance was on the way, so I continued on. I was so happy that there were so many people decent enough to stop and help this poor woman. I really hope she's OK.

The remainder of the bike leg was without incident and I made sure to unclip my shoes before trying to get off my bike. I made my way back to the transition area for the last, and most dreaded, portion - the run! The course was a fairly challenging, hilly 3.5 miles. I knew it was going to be rough when the very first part of the run was downhill and I was still having a hard time getting my legs to move. I felt as though I had a 20 pound weight strapped to each of my ankles! Also, by this time it was REALLY hot outside. I had to make a conscious effort to move each leg but I was determined I was going to run the whole thing. I kept moving but SO slow that I was barely passing people walking (I'm not kidding!) The first 2 miles and 2 big hills were really tough but luckily my ipod and some great tunes got me through it. Right around the 2 mile mark I was able to pick up my pace and make it up the last, and toughest hill without stopping. After that it was mostly downhill to the parking lot and to the finish line. By this time I was feeling GREAT! I knew I was steps away from the finish line and that I had done it!

Sadly, Jeramy was in London and couldn't be there to cheer me on. But my very thoughtful friend, Brecken, came to cheer me and Tanya on. It was nice to have a supporter at the end! I saw her on the side and could hear her cheering me on as I finished the race. Thanks Brecken!

Crossing the finish line felt amazing! Not just because I had finished the race but because I really enjoyed the whole thing (OK, with the exception of the beginning of the run) and had so much fun doing it. I loved that I was able to do the race with Tanya. It was so nice to have someone to train with, stress with and celebrate with! I look forward to another one!

Pictures of me and Tanya getting ready to cross the finish line.
She looks so amazing and strong (because she is!)
and I look like a goof - but a goof that is very happy to be finishing!



We just got our family pictures back from Rebecca Cooper. We did a photo session with her in Canada. It was a bit stressful, mostly in part because of my very uncooperative 4-year old! I was really nervous we wouldn't get any good pictures but I was really pleased with them - Rebecca is so talented!

I created a new blog header (top of the page) with some of my favorites. Here are some more of my favorites.