Sunday, August 5, 2012

Perfect Week

So this week Brent's days off fell from Tues thru Friday.  I love it when that happens, because it feels like a particular bonus to have your spouse home mid week, all week, and anywhere you go is less crowded than normal because everyone else is working.
We didn't have any trips planned this week, and no activities for the kids.  I was worried we would be bored and hot, but we managed to fill up each day quite nicely and it was lovely to have no obligations as far as our schedule went.  We did a ton of work around the house, overhauling the playroom

and also setting up our new-to-us spare bed in our downstairs bedroom which, until now, has been the location of our main computer and a whole bunch of boxes and paintings and extra junk.  You know, THAT room.  The one you don't really use and that you always mean to organize?  It's not organized yet, but there's a bed in it!  Woop!

Our playroom was unwalkable.  I didn't take a before picture because it was frankly embarrassing.  We threw out a huge garbage can full of toys that were stupid, broken, chewed, or otherwise not usable.  Or simply not played with.  We re organized what we had, cleaned up, and put the couch where you see it now so the kids can watch the odd movie or tv show from the playroom and have somewhere to sit (the tv is in the far right corner, not visible in the above photo).

We also went to the Vancouver fireworks on Wednesday!  Every year there are fireworks competitions in Vancouver and they are pretty spectacular.  Usually around 300, 000 people show up to watch them, and each night is a different competitor from a different country around the world, and they are set to music.  Wednesday was Brazil's showcased talent.  Because they are so popular it is wise to arrive super early, so here we are killing time for 2 1/2 hours before the show;

and then I got a few crappy shots of the fireworks themselves, which of course are a moving and dynamic sort of presentation and thus never really properly represented with still photos  =)  But it was beautiful.  All the kids loved it.  And it was pretty cheap for a night out for six people!  Gas was probably around $15 (1 hr drive freeway/city traffic), parking was $3, and chocolate covered pretzels from Starbucks were $7.  We snagged a parking spot just 5 blocks from the fireworks, which is remarkable.  We played 20 questions for most of the 2 1/2 hour wait once we got there, and then because we were to the south of the main beach, it was not nearly as crowded where we were as it could be.  I get pretty out of sorts in big crowds of people so avoiding that was a huge bonus for me.

Afterwards we went to McDonald's for sundaes (2 hot fudge, one strawberry, one butterscotch, and one plain vanilla cone--Amarys was already asleep; but even so that seems like a lot.  We can really be ridiculous because we are so very plural, with four kids), and drove home after midnight.  This was a fantastic adventure and very popular.  We ALL had fun!  And slept in the next day til 10.  EVEN MATTHEW.

We also went to the water park several times, the library, and gramma and grampa's house.  So nice!

I went on an hour long bike ride with hills~I'm not sure how far I went but at least 6 kilometers?  Other bicyclists kept passing me, it was funny.  It was very lovely though, and low impact on my knees (cycling is supposed to be no impact but with a miniscus injury I'd call it low impact as opposed to no impact, because I feel it afterwards.  Ice is definitely my friend).  I also went to an aerobics class but the teacher never showed up so they cancelled it.  I had the choice of a refund or to stay in the fitness room~it hurts to pay $5 for something I could do for free (run outside), but the appeal of a treadmill in an air conditioned gym was pretty big so I stayed in the fitness room and ran.  It was sweet, and I did run 6/walk 4 for 40 minutes; and I noticed that for sure I slow down in the walking portion mid run.  Interesting!  And valuable to know, because I can hustle in the walk phase and get more fit faster without pushing myself too much if I just walk faster in the walk portion of my runs.

I can't run very often in a week, though, so I've been focusing on cross training; hence the biking and aerobics.  Hopefully that will be enough to help me reach my run 10 k goal by October; I haven't done this much cross training before but I don't have much choice with my knee the way it is.

Excellent results on the fitness front: after gaining a full pound and a half the first two weeks, this week I lost 3 1/2 pounds!  *happy dance*  This is the first time I've lost any weight in a year.  And is so great for my motivation for this fitness challenge because I think I had pretty much geared myself up to lose nothing at all.  My pancreas just can't do what it used to.  However, it looks like I can manage some modest weight loss so far!  Here's hoping more will fall off and never return....

Also?  It's hotter than hell's furnace around here.  We are hiding in our basement right now, messing up the playroom and hiding from the heat.  I love my house, but it is hot!

Also?  We got a bumper crop of blueberries this year.  We have nine blueberry plants in our garden and this year they produced a huge amount.  The kids ate them all before I could make jam out of them, but I didn't mind.  It saves me the trouble of making jam, anyways!  We will buy some blueberries later this month to freeze, and I will make jam out of those.  I already made strawberry and raspberry jam this summer.
My garden is also overproducing lettuce and underproducing everything else.  I'm disappointed in my peas, radishes (even after thinning I had to throw out a bunch of non bulbous roots), beets, and carrots, and my zucchini is way behind where they were at this point last summer.  My eggplant has flowers though!  That's promising.  My tomatoes are TINY!  So crazy.  Anyways, we can just eat lettuce, right?  =/

I have to go get four kids and myself ready to go to church.  Alone.  I know you envy me.  =P


Adeline Ravenna said...

It really just seems like your life is so full of goodness these days, full of love and joy and fun, and also that life is settled and, well, just *good*. And for me, this is very hopeful. And such a cause for joy. I'm sure it's not perfect, Mel, but it is *good*...thank you for sharing with the rest of us.

Adeline Ravenna said...

Woops. This is Tamie, btw.

melissa v. said...

I emailed you a quick response, Tamie, but I also want to respond here. I'm grateful to be in a really good place right now, mentally and emotionally. I really feel like I've been gifted this summer, somehow, and I'm savoring every day. It feels good, and a good reminder that life's path goes through peaks and valleys, and both are temporary. Which is very helpful when you're in any valley. =) I'm going to have to come back to these posts next winter and remind myself =)
Anyways, thanks for noticing. Miss you.

Tamie Fields said...

Mel! You emailed me? I didn't get any email from you. send again? I miss you lots.