Monday, February 28, 2011

Hall of Flame Fire Museum with Friends

There was recently a "groupon" for the Hall of Flame Museum and our friend Jess bought it. It got like 10 adults in and most of our kids were free cause they were under the age of 4. What a bargain! It was especially great to be able to meet up with Jessica, Jackson and Lizzy since they were moving to New Mexico soon and Heather and Raiden since they were heading to Mississippi for quite some time. :)

The kids got to start by ringing this huge bell outside.

The museum was real cool. The vintage firetrucks had such a range in what they looked like and materials used, sophistication etc. So cool to see the way they evolved over time. This was my FAVORITE Firetruck. I can't even wrap my head around how old this thing is, but I love that it looks like Cinderella's stagecoach.

And any surprise that the gold slogan blazed across the front resonated with me???

My second favorite thing (cause what fire museum would be complete without a dalmation?) PS Ryen loved it too!

My baby got to see a lot of neat stuff

And all the kids got to climb on one of the firetrucks and play around:

Eli takes his role as firefighter very seriously :)

This kids also got to play dress up :) And Mommy climbed on the firetruck too.

Then we went into the Hall of Heroes, which was a great tribute to Firefighters everywhere. They actually had a list of all the firefighters who ever lost their lives fighting fires. There was a lot of other great stuff in there, some photos of which are included in the collages at the end of the post.

And everyone had to take a turn with the hose of course ;)

And what is a trip to the fire museum without a turn down the poll??

The kids loved it! Then we played some more. :)

Here are some pics of the cool exhibits we saw:

Thanks Jessica, Brooke and Heather for a great afternoon! :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

For Erin... Thank you :)

Today I did something different. Today I did something I have never really done before. And it felt great. Today I broke a pattern that has existed for 15 years, or so. And here goes:

In the past two days, I had two different friends tell me within 12 hours of each other that I was "looking skinny" "had a smaller waist" and "was shrinking!!". While it felt good at the time, it didn't stop me from standing in the mirror 12 hours after that and being all self deprecating. I was looking at places that are still not as toned as I would like, and wondering if I have enough time before bathing suit season rolls up on me like a freight train here in AZ, to get an improvement in some areas, tighter in some areas, and find a way to hide or reduce some cellulite somewhere, or reduce that number on the scale... etc.

I thought of Erin Darcy. A Mom who struggles to not hate her body anymore, who due to the infertility she suffered for years before having her baby, is finally trying to appreciate the miracle that her body is, for what it has accomplished, instead of hating it cause it doesn't live up to some ideal of what society says she should look like. And her post here, inspired thousands of women, including me. And I was truly thinking of her when I suddenly told myself "STOP!" Why are you doing this...? Why are other people telling you- you look great and you are beating yourself up? Why are you dismissing people like the girl at bootcamp that says holy crap, I thought I was strong, but you are REALLY strong? Why are you being so mean to yourself. I knew right away that if I was listening to one of my friends say these things about themselves I would stop them. I would tell them they look amazing, that they are being silly and they are crazy. So why not tell myself too?

I looked at my body and said, shit girl, you carried and protected two LIVES in that body. You brought two beautiful children into this world by sharing your blood, your food, your body, heart beat and soul with them. You have had to gain 35 pounds twice to do it, and the last time was only 2 years ago. You were in labor for 24 hours with Ella and pushed for 3 hours to bring her here. With Ryen you lost so much blood during your C-Section that you still struggle with anemia two years later. I see that C-Section scar everyday in the shower and can feel the scar tissue behind it, holding me together. I have literally had my body ravaged to bring them here. I held them and laid with them and cuddled them and kept them warm, transferring my body heat to them. My miracle of a body automatically getting hotter or cooler depending on what they needed while holding them Kangaroo style. This amazing body of mine produced the milk and nutrition they needed to thrive. It passed on my antibodies and helped keep them healthy.

This amazing body of mine has walked 60 miles for breast cancer and then walked a marathon when I was 7 mos pregnant with Ella throughout the streets of San Francisco, also for breast cancer. It walked another 45 miles for Breast Cancer along the streets of Boston, and when I didn't think my feet could even walk another step I ran the last half mile of that 45 miles, impressing my very athletic sister :) I completed THREE Triathlons with this body. I ran a HALF MARATHON with this body. This body is strong and this body is able to be pushed as hard as I am willing to push it. And most important of all IT IS HEALTHY!!!!!! I am SO blessed to have my health right now. Any woman out there fighting heart disease, cancer or any other ailment would probably rather have my cellulite or flab any day over a sick body. So I told myself I was amazing and to stop being so mean to myself. And JUST to make sure I didn't slip back into my old ways later on in the day, I busted out my HOTTIE T-Shirt that I have worn maybe twice. I wore it with pride so every time I passed a mirror I would see it, and would not be tempted to criticize, examine, or ridicule myself.

And it worked. A little change of the mind is all that is needed to snap us all back to reality. Take everything we think we believe about what we should think about ourselves or our bodies and everything we think about what we HAVE to look like to be happy, and turn it upside down. Instead, RE-PRIORITIZE what is really important. Be nice to ourselves once in a while, cause we deserve it, and cause we are all amazing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sea Life Aquarium with our friends The Wilbrichts :)

Sorry we have been MIA on the blog lately. This has been a crazy two months. First I went to work for the bootcamp that I love working out with it. I was working out with them two days a week and working for them two days a week. It was only an hour every day but it was right in between Ella leaving for school and Ryen napping, so it did eat up my entire morning. This was a hard adjustment :) And I was trying to get caught up on the blog when the kids got very sick (Ella had pneumonia for all of Spring Break). On top of that I am busy finalizing the details and planning of my 16yr high school reunion. So expect a lot of posts as we try to get caught up again. Hopefully everyone stays healthy ;)

I recently bought a Groupon for Sea Life Aquarium here in Tempe. To be honest, I am not a fan of Sea Life. It is small, there are not a ton of cool fish, and you can walk through the entire thing in 30 minutes if you don't stop to take a ton of photos. For $18 per adult and $11 per kid over 3 it hardly seems worth it. Ryen is still free however and the Groupon got me two adult tickets for the price of 1. So towards the end of February my friend Brooke and I went for some fun with fishies!! :)

Here are some pics that we took:

I love how this photo turned out. Brooke took a photo with flash a split second before I did and it got this amazingly cool lighting effect.

Reese and Ryen were definitely afraid to walk on this glass floor that looked like they were walking on water. But they warmed up eventually :)

Ryen and Eli posing with some colorful corals :)

We love bubble tanks!! :)

Hi Gorgeous!

Dancing on the interactive fish pond floor on the way out.

We had a great time and enjoyed our fishy friends!

Thanks Wilbrichts for joining us!