Tuesday, November 27, 2012


As if I weren't already busy...

I recently tripled my piano studio due to a teacher in my area having debilitating arthritis. I am looking forward to it, but hope I haven't over booked myself. 

I had my second piano lesson with my new teacher today. It was very interesting. I have always felt like I am a good pianist. Now, I know that I am not a concert trained pianist, but I've always felt like a solidly GOOD pianist. Today I felt like I was playing for the first time! I am basically in need of a total overhaul in technique, and I am realizing how much my theory is lacking. I basically stopped taking piano from classical teachers when I was 14. Years of playing "incorrectly" and now I'm having to strip that and rethink what it really means to PLAY the piano, to COMMAND the piano. For a split second (ok, a little longer than that) I wondered if I really was qualified to teach.  I wrote my teacher an email expressing my frustrations, and she sweetly replied with encouragement. I feel very blessed to have found her. I really think she is the right person for me right now.

It is easy to sit comfortably stagnant. While it might be painful and embarrassing at times, it is in the stretching that we find growth and movement and new life.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving and Meeting goals

We had my parents here for Thanksgiving week and we had so much fun! It was the first time in over 10 years that I had Thanksgiving with them. We got a new camera, however, and I'm having problems getting the software to convert the RAW pics to JPEGS, so photos will have to wait. The few pics I have are from my mom's phone that she posted to facebook.

Bike ride to "the climbing tree" with gpa and gma
The week was fantastic. My parents took a red eye flight on Spirit to save a little $$. My mom said she would never do it again, but my dad didn't seem to mind. My dad is amazing and played everything from sword fighting to rocket ships to finger painting with the boys to swinging and giving horsey rides. My mom humored the boys and played some wii with them, read to them, and painted with them as well.  One day she was playing wii with Walter (3) who was beating her. He asked why she kept losing. She said she didn't really play games much. He said something like, "Don't worry Grandma, the more wii you play, the smarter you will get." haha.

wii with Grandpa after his red eye flight
On Wed. we went to the Fountains at Fairview and the kids played in the beach sand park with Grandpa while my mom and I looked for some new vibrams. NO LUCK! I have looked at 5 places now and I can't find any of the style of 5-finger shoes in my size. Boo. But the kids had a lot of fun. We picked up the last few items for dinner at Whole Foods since it was right there.

My mom and I made 3 pies: apple, pecan, and pumpkin. We experimented with the crust and used coconut oil instead of the shortening. It was not exactly the same, but it worked out quite well and I loved the hint of coconut flavor it gave to the pies. We also made bread dressing (I made my own bread for it...it worked well), green bean casserole (with organic frozen green beans), sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce with walnuts, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, celery with cream cheese, and Matt made the best turkey we've had to date! It was even better than the smoked turkey we got from Hutchins one year. It was a free range turkey that was grass fed. TOTALLY made a difference in flavor.  We did our traditional Alton Brown brine on it and roasted it in the oven. He made some awesome gravy from the drippings and homemade stock as well. It was moist and tasted great. We decided against rolls this year, and while my sister Julie thought it was tragic, I don't think any of us missed them. There was plenty of food to satiate us.

The weather was beautiful here this week. In the70's mostly. They were able to run every morning. Such good examples. My dad found a Pilgram Dr. here in liberty on Thanksgiving morning. Fitting.

They flew back to AZ late last night, and this morning I ran the McKinney Believe 5k.  I ran it last year 30 weeks pregnant and had a chip time of 26:29 and came in second in my category. This year I set a goal to have sub 8 min. miles and come first in my category since, you know, I'm not 30 weeks pregnant! ha.

I felt great and decided to run in my Brooks Pure Connect rather than my duck taped vibrams since it was chilly this morning. I made sure I ate a real breakfast (oatmeal with walnuts) and drank plenty of water before I left. I didn't want to end up in the hospital like that last 10K I ran!  Only problem: while I used the restroom twice before I left, I still really could have benefited from them having a port-a-potty at the start of the race. No such luck.  As the race started I had a few minor problems with my mp3 player but quickly fixed it and got in a good rhythm. I was keeping a 7 mi./hr pace the first while, sometimes dipping into the 6s. I was getting pretty thirsty because I thought I forgot my water bottle (I really didn't! It was just buried in my bag that I left in the car.) so I drank from the first water station. I think it slowed me down a little, but I didn't care. When a woman I'd chatted with before the race caught up with me, I tried to kick it up again slightly. The next two water stations I just sipped in and spat out. My body was feeling pretty great except I could kind of tell I'd eaten a full breakfast. I nearly caught a super tall girl that I had my eye on the whole race. I put the heat on her and she ended up beating me by 10 seconds. After it was over I had a man come up and tell me I did great and that my sprint at the end made him kick himself into high gear. That made me feel good.

I ended up getting a chip time of 23:28!!! I placed 1st in my age category and 8th out of 305 women overall in the 5k, so not bad. That came to 7:30 min./mi. pace. I was ecstatic. It was my personal record for any run over 3 miles. After I had Edward my ultimate goal was to get to 7:30 repeatable miles! 9 months later and bam. Now I just need to be able to repeat it for a 10K and then for a half marathon. I got first in my category and managed to not have to go to the hospital. (Though, I failed to call Matt right after my race and stayed for the award ceremony. He called the hospitals to double check to make sure I wasn't admitted anywhere! Ooops.) So yay! All goals realized.

After I got home and showered, I fed the boys and put Edward down and took the 2 older boys to Dickens of a Christmas in McKinney. It was fun. They got to do the bounce house, go down a fake snow hill on a tube, and ride on the train. They even got kettle corn at the end. This is our 3rd year going, so I feel like we're making a tradition of it.

It's been a great holiday. Hopefully I can figure my camera out and can start posting pictures again. Hope everyone reading this had a fantastic holiday too! Family just made it so much better for us. So grateful to be a part of a good family.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

First words

I just realized I still need to post Halloween. Oops. I've been busy. Another piano teacher here had to retire because of bad health problems and I inherited 10 of her 15 students! So now I'm up to 16 from 6 last week!!  I'm hoping I am not overextending myself...

Anyway, I wanted to record that Edward has started talking. He is just shy of 9 months and his first words are: hi, dada, and bye. His main word it dada. It started out as ada, but he's been saying dada more the last few days. He is waving and just figuring out how to clap. He can pull to stand on just about anything and he can stand alone for a few seconds.