Friday, July 30, 2010

Birthing Blake finally met its match.

Strong Man Mike showing off his giant arms.

One of many lakes

We finally made it!!!! Tired Mike and Tiffany

The view from the top
The end. Happy, dirty and tired campers.
This week we were supposed to accompany our friend Tiffany on a trip to Havasupai in the grand canyon. We were packed and ready to go for our 3 day adventure when we got the news that our reservation had been cancelled due to flooding. This was very upsetting because we had spent hours packing and preparing and had a place for our kids to go. So Mike suggested that we hike Mt. Whitney instead. He had just gone 2 weeks before with some friends and loved it so we thought we would give it a try. We were hoping to be lucky enough to get a permit at the visitor's center from the unclaimed pile. Luckily we got a permit and I was so happy that I literally jumped for joy.

We spent the first day hiking up 4 miles with our heavy backpacks on. (ok so Mike's was heavy, mine not so much) We set up camp and spent the night next to a huge waterfall. On Wednesday morning we arose bright and early and by 7:30am we were off with our little day packs. We hiked up 7 more miles to the summit and by the time we arrived I nearly cried because I had such a mixed set of emotions....excitement, exhaustion, satisfaction, fatigue.......etc etc. There is a little log book that you sign at the summit and people write comments such as "wow I did it". The only thing I could think of writing was "that was harder than giving birth to my 10lb baby with no drugs." And that's what I wrote. Seriously. Ever since Blake's extremely difficult labor and delivery, when I am doing something physically challenging such as running a half marathon (or beating those stupid boys in my leg of the Ragnar relay race) I always repeat silently, "you can do this Amy, if you birthed Blake you can do anything." So from now on when I am doing something hard I will remember Mt. Whitney (the highest mountain in the continental united states 14,497 ft.) and remind myself that if I can do that I can do anything. Apparently I am as awesome as a 12 year old boy scout now since this seems to be a favorite hike amongst that crew.

Oh we had fun. It was so much fun. It was hard but fun. I really could not have done it without Mike's encouragement and support. I know this is so cheesy but I feel like I can do anything with him at my side. He just makes everything easy. He was positive the entire time. And we were so glad that Tiffany came too. What could be better than being out in nature with 2 of my favorite people on earth.

One more note. I was amazed by the sheer beauty of it all. There were several breathtaking lakes, meadows, flowers, pine trees and waterfalls along the way.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I did it Mom!!!!

Target Dress

I have 2 distinct memories of shopping with my mom for clothes as a child.
1) She always wanted to buy me clothes that were "my color". She determined I was an "autumn" which meant I looked good in golden yellows, greens, browns, you know fall type colors. To this day I stay away from anything black because she used to tell me that black did NOT look good on me. (I buy every other color though- sorry mom)

2) Many times I would hold an item of clothing up to show her and she would say something like, "$20!!! We can make that for a lot cheaper than that." I found that especially irritating as a child because I wasn't particularly interested in sewing and didn't want to invest the time or energy in imitating something.
Well fast forward several years. Now I am the mother shopping for my daughter. I don't allow myself to buy Julia any dresses because she has a TON that i make for her. I don't care about buying things in her "color". But Mom won on the sewing thing. She successfully indoctrinated me with it. Every time I pull something out at the store I always think, hmmmmm I could make that for a lot cheaper. But then I put the item back and forget about it. Well a few weeks ago I was shopping at Target and ran across a darling dress for Julia. I knew I couldn't break the no dress buying rule but I really wanted the dress. There was also no way I was going to plunk down $10 for it. Too cheap for that. So I devised a plan. I bought the dress. I took it home. I studied out the style. I laid it out on newspaper and traced it. I took this pattern and made a knock off. I did it. I sewed something without using a store bought pattern. I don't have good spatial-visual skills so this was a very scary project for me. Figuring out how to sew it was the easy part. Creating the pattern was the more difficult part. If only I would have taken some pattern drafting classes in college.
And then I took the dress back to Target and got my 10 bucks back. (did I commit design theft?) Thanks for inspiring me Target.
My version-(sorry it's a little wrinkled)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dodger's Game

We enjoyed an evening of baseball and fireworks the day after Independence Day with the family. Cole sat still the whole time (an amazing feat for a toddler who cannot stop moving) and loved being passed around to his cousins.
The funniest part of the whole evening was when a security guard came up to me wanting to know if my husband was "off duty". Really? Does Mike look like a cop to you? Watch out for my "off duty" accountant husband next time you go to a game.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cheesecake Factory-Again

Oh Cheesecake Factory with good friends. Does it get much better than this? About once a year my good friends Lisa who lives in faraway Michigan, Kelli who lives nearby and I go out to grab a bite and talk for hours. We lived in the same apartment complex while all attending UCLA and stayed there for a few years afterward as well. The three of us traveled to Brasil in 2002 for one of my favorite vacations of all time. They are both such amazing and accomplished women who I admire and respect. Here's to great friends and yummy cheesecake.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

3 one year olds

Last week 4 of us siblings met down at Mom's house. Robert was on his way to his new job in AZ and so he was passing through. It was the oldest with the "three little kids" as we were always called growing up. The most amusing part of the evening was attempting to photograph Cole and his 2 twin cousins who just turned 1. 3 one year olds. Focus. Look at the camera. Sit down Cole.

Cole, don't hide behind your cousin.

Come one everyone, can you just please smile at the camera.

Better luck next year.