Tag Archives: Events

Maddie’s Homecoming

Welcome Home Maddie

It was an all out parade. Neighbors and church friends lined the street as we finally pulled the car into the driveway.

Maddie was home.

Welcome Home Maddie!!


She was overwhelmed by the party. Cheers, balloons, cookies, popsicles, streamers, clapping. What a joyous commotion but definitely a change from the constant but subtle beeping sounds of the hospital room.

After a few minutes of breathing space in the house, and once the new Elsa costume her friend Charlie had given her was fitted properly over the rest of her clothing (despite the 70+ degree weather!), Maddie was ready to join the block party.

Princess Elsa

Oh, what a fantastic homecoming. Just one more example of the tireless support we received during this long ordeal. We are so extremely grateful for the love and support of these dear friends.

It’s good to be home again.


Colin and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.

The Magnum

This picture sums it up perfectly. The two of us, facing the world together with a smile. Or a smirk, as the case may be. (Our best attempt at Zoolander’s “Magnum.”)

I love this man. I love the life we share. It’s perfectly imperfect, full of mayhem and disappointments, dedication and love. And best of all, it’s full of laughter.

Happy anniversary, Colin. There’s no one I’d rather spend my days with than you.


Warren Turns Eight


This kid is now eight. How it happened so quickly, I just do not know.

We had Jared, Evelyn, and Miriam visiting so we celebrated Warren’s birthday with family.

Jared drew this amazing chalk birthday greeting from Yoda.

A happy birthday you will have.

“A happy birthday you will have. Yes.”

When Warren woke up, he saw a decorated bathroom mirror, courtesy of Dad.

Pick a face!

“Happy Birthday, Warren. Pick a face!” with a Frankenstein monster, a cowboy, and an alien drawing. Insert your face here.

We had pancakes with sprinkles for breakfast.

Birthday Cake Pancakes

(Though not pictured here, it was also topped with a lime cream filling used in the delectable cream puffs left over from Pam and Kevin’s wedding.)

And for dinner, pasta with meatballs.

Pasta dinner

Followed by chocolate cupcakes frosted with the ubiquitous lime cream filling. That stuff got around. Good thing it was so tasty!

Chocolate Cupcakes


Make a wish

Oh, Warren. You are undeniably a big kid now. It makes me so happy to see all the things you can do on your own. I love how much you think about things and consider the world around you. It’s amazing to see you becoming your own person, making decisions about things on your own terms. Sometimes I get frustrated by how you tackle situations, but I know I need to stand back and let you fall, let you learn for yourself how this crazy, wonderful world works. I hope you will always come to me and your dad the way you do now to check in and seek guidance. May your love of Legos and all things creative, your artistic talents and need to invent bring you fulfillment and joy your whole life through.

We love you, Warren. Happy 8th year!

Pam & Kevin

Colin’s mother got remarried Saturday. I never publicly stated on this blog that she and Colin’s dad had divorced, but they did. I was reluctant to tell the story because it’s not mine to tell.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t heartbroken at the breakup. In fact, it contributed to many dark days and a sadness for our family that still continues to linger.

But, as in all things, moving on is a necessity. The time had come.

This is how she looked on her wedding day this weekend and this look is what matters. May they always find joy like this in each other.

pams wedding day

Maddie Turns Four!

Maddie's birthday "cake" Disappointed by her choice

Madeline is now four years old… going on fourteen! Her emotional state can be quite fragile these days. She was excited for her birthday to come but when it did, and her last minute request for brownies over chocolate cake with pink frosting was realized, she anguished at the horror of it. Her surliness can know no bounds sometimes. She didn’t want us to sing to her, or look at her, or even put candles in her chocolate treat. Someone once told me that the behaviors you see expressed in your toddler will be the ones to resurface in the teenage years. Heaven help me.

Most of the day was good, however. I bought her flowers from Trader Joe’s that she was proud to hold throughout the store. Grandma Tuki bought her a cupcake making kit, complete with pink measuring cups and spoons and her own apron. Aunt Melissa gave her a pink purse with a monogram “M” which was extremely well-received. Hotda sent her a ladybug music box that plays, “What a Wonderful World,” which she plays before she goes to sleep each night. We got her a little toy horse and grooming kit. She ate lasagna for dinner and strawberry ice cream for dessert. All Maddie-pleasing items she did enjoy.

Maddie’s likes at age four: pink, baby dolls, olives, animals of all varieties but especially kitties, babies, lasagna, reading books, tricycles, milk, “Hickory Dickory Dock,” Halloween, shoes, macaroni & cheese, playing with her brothers, bugging her brothers, purses, salt, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” gum, drawing, sweets of all kinds, and Playdough.

Little Maddie, you are such a sweet girl. We love your silliness and sparkle. You are funny and know how to make your brothers laugh. We love how much you want to help and exert your independence. For now, we’ll look past your peskiness, sneakiness, and tendency to find everyone’s “buttons” to push toward aggravation. We’ll chalk it up to determination, curiosity, and tenacity, all which will be channeled for good by the time you reach adulthood, I’m sure of it. We are blessed beyond measure to have you, our tough, fighter, miracle girl, in our family. We love you to pieces!

Maddie turns four!

Grand Ridge Trail Run 5 Miler

Get ready to run!

I have caught the racing bug.

Colin decided that after his Tough Mudder experience he needed another motivator to keep him running. He found a local race that we could do together before Thanksgiving. He invited Tami and Joe to train and run the race, too. We all signed up for the challenge.

What we didn’t realize was how insane the course would be. “Five miles,” you say, “how hard can that be?” When the first mile is straight uphill and full of switchbacks, you’d think again.

The mountain kicked my butt. I foolhardily made the goal to run the whole race without walking. I did no such thing. But although Colin ran the entire 500 feet elevation gain, he also had moments of walking, so I don’t feel so bad. Thank goodness for the downhill portions of the race!

Trail-running is beautiful, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed the surroundings, even though it was quite chilly and a bit drizzly.

It was a great challenge. I’m so glad we did this, tough as it was to complete. We’re going to make it an annual pre-Thanksgiving tradition.

Any locals want to join in?

Tough Mudder

Colin meets the Tough Mudder

Joe talked Colin into participating in one of the most insane-sounding events around: the Tough Mudder. That’s 13 miles of army-like obstacles taken to the extreme. We’re talking ice water tanks, electrical wires, tubes, barbed wire and, of course, mud. All of it is meant to play on your fears and weed out the tough from the wuss.

Colin was up for the challenge. He trained hard in the month’s time he had to prepare, once we moved to Washington.

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The boys did a great job. Teamwork is the motto behind the event, which they took to heart. They worked together to complete the course, but not without injuries. Joe broke his nose and Colin bruised his rib. But they finished strong. Tough.

I couldn’t be there to witness the thing. Besides having four wiggly kids, they charged admission to be a spectator. So, Tami took these amazing pictures to capture the day.

Way to go Colin, Joe, Luke, and Aaron!

Jake & Joey are Two!

Joey & Jake on the go

Jake (pictured in dark blue) and Joey (in light blue) turned two this September. This is the only picture I could find from the day where they were both (almost) looking forward and smiling and not completely blurry. They are on the go. Two two-year-olds! Wow. These boys are busy but also the most darling, funny, cuddly little guys you’ll ever meet.

We had a quiet celebration at Pine Lake Park, one of the most beautiful lakes in the area. Grilled salmon with honey-lime marinade, watermelon, salad, chips, and cake. Simple and delicious.

Train birthday cake

The cake makes me laugh. It’s certainly not anything to write home about as far as looks go.┬áThis is supposed to be a train going around green hills. I was going for ease since we were still unpacking and we already had the cake molds, but adding all the candies made the assembly kind of time consuming. The kids seemed to like it, so I’ll call it a success.

Jake’s current favorites include: brushing his teeth, singing songs, spotting the Seattle temple from the freeway, making sound effects, bananas, dancing, playing with toy cars, pears, saying “Mo!” instead of the “No!” (the “n” sound eludes him), trucks, and pretending all baskets and larger containers are boats to sit in. He is determined and stubborn but also quick to charm and flash a smile.

Joey’s current favorites include: soccer balls or bouncy balls, or any balls for that matter, brushing his teeth, singing, bananas, dancing, dribbling soccer balls, pears, shutting doors, jumping (especially in bed), spotting the temple, also saying “Mo!”, frozen peas, playing Legos, and the garbage truck. He loves to be silly and is always willing to help.

Both boys are sweet and mellow, despite their extreme curiosity and penchant for adventure. They are buddies and enjoy making each other laugh. Only recently have they started tussling over toys, “bear-cubbing” as my friend Kaitlin used to call it. But mostly, they are delightful and we love watching them change and grow into big boys.

Joe and Jake, we love you so much! How blessed we are to have TWO little boys at the same time.

My First Triathlon

I’m happy to report that I completed my first triathlon and I didn’t keel over. I finished strong, in fact. It was a great feeling.

I finished in 1 hour and 30 minutes. I didn’t run the entire way (the hills were a bit much for me at the end and I did not want to puke) but I jogged across the finish line.

Open swimming in a lake full of people is not what I would call easy. Neither is racing 11 miles on a mountain bike, with grandmas passing you when you’re giving it all you’ve got. But I did it, and that’s all that matters to me.

I’m so thankful that my friend Esther invited me to compete in this race. What a thrill to be able to say I finished.

This won’t be my last.

Note: Colin and the kids didn’t end up coming with me to San Jose. Joey was still sick and spending the night away from home would have been a disaster. So they made me these signs and sent them virtually to cheer me on. It worked.

Move-a-thon 2012

The Move-a-thon is our school’s end of the year fundraising event. Warren ran last year and finished with 25 laps. This year he set the goal of running 30 times around.

He was determined and took his goal seriously.

He ran most of the entire 30 minutes time, only walking a few laps and stopping twice for water.

With 1 minute left to go, he kicked it into high gear and finished the event with 31 laps, just as the count down ended.

He met and exceeded his goal. Way to go, Renny!

{Thanks to those who supported him financially in this fundraiser!}