Friday, November 2, 2012

It's GREAT to be EIGHT!

The very lovely Bella has turned 8 years old! To celebrate, she had a much anticipated American Girl pajama party.  But first, she and I went on a date to the American Girl doll store so that she could spend her birthday money from the grandparents. She chose a doll that looks just like very cute with the red hair and freckles.  

The attire for Bella's birthday party was PAJAMAS!  When the girls arrived, they decorated their own face and we tucked them under the blanket of this sleepover cake (probably the most fun I've had making a cake!)
We ate dinner and played freeze dance before opening presents and settling down to an American Girl doll movie.

For party favors, each girl got the cutest homemade pajamas for their dolls that I hired a friend's mom to make.  They turned out to be so adorable!
And each girl was given $5 in fake money to spend on concessions through out the movie.  They loved "buying" their treats and getting "dollar" bills back.  Most of the girls spent the night and when we woke up the next morning, we ate ghost cereal and played MORE freeze dance and painted nails.  Such a fun girly, girl party!
Although her birthday party was fun, being baptized by her daddy by far was the crowning moment of this birthday.  Bella was baptized on Oct. 27th.  It was a beautiful occasion and I am so very proud of her desire to follow Jesus and to do what is right.  Bella is such a caring, sensitive person.  She writes Blaine and I sweet little notes all of the time.  I am so blessed to be her mom.
The grandparents came out for the occasion.  Aunt Tiff gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.
It was SO VERY SPECIAL to me that Bella was able to be baptized in the very same dress that I was baptized in 28 years ago.  This dress was made by my mom and to date my sister Tiffani, myself, Tiff's girls and now Bella have all been baptized in it.  I LOVE it!  I am also so grateful to my wonderful husband who loves God and LOVES his children.  How special to see Blaine exercise the priesthood and baptize our sweet Bella.  Beautiful, beautiful day!
Throughout this whole month, we had friends and family SHOWER my children with love and support and gifts.  I am so grateful to have such a loving network of people who love my family.  We are so very blessed!

Ezra turns 5!

Oh, how I love this boy!  Ezra has filled the last 5 years of my life with such happiness.  When I think of my only son, I think of his sweetness, his calmness, and his easy-going nature.  Raising him has been  such a sweet experience.  I had no idea that little boys were so easy!  But Ezra is a lover, not a fighter, for sure.  He is so gentle and loving and kind and loved by everyone.  Even when his little sister hits him, which she does frequently, he never hits back.  Instead, I often hear him asking in his prayers that Cali won't hit.  Thank heaven for this little boy!  
 I had so much fun planning and executing his CARS party.  Thanks to the help of my seasoned sisters, they passed along some really great road sign decorations.

The whole family got dressed up for the occasion, of course.  

 We had the song Life is a Highway playing as the kids arrived, and each child was given his own driver's license.  And then they ate a race car lunch, complete with their choice of gasoline or oil to drink.  They usually chose BOTH!  
They got to keep the car from their cupcake and we played a few games with their new cars.  It was such a fun party, if I do say so myself.

Happy, happy birthday, my son.  I love you more than words can express.

Welcome to the Family!

The month of October was CRAZY busy with wonderful events including a wedding, two birthdays, and a baptism.  Not to mention Halloween fun.  So here I go trying to chronicle it all.  

Rial and Meagan were married on October 6th here in Colorado, even though they live in Arizona (lucky us!)  As always, it was so fun hanging out with everyone in the Allen fam and we are so happy that Meagan has joined the fun.  

 Unfortunately, the evening was a little "under the weather" and so the ceremony had to be brought inside.  It was beautiful, nonetheless.  The cousins loved hanging out together!

 Ezra stole the show as the ring-barer.  He did a great job!
 The best part of the night was dancing with the kids.  It was so much fun!
Being there with the whole family reminded me what a blessing my in laws are and how important extended family is.  Nothing shows support like the love of a large family.  I am so blessed to be a part of this one.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ragnar Relay Race- Team Ladies with Altitude!

Introducing Team Ladies with Altitude!  We are 12 women, moms to 36.5 children (yes, you read that right, Nichole actually participated in this race being about 20 weeks pregnant!), who think that running 188 miles in HIGH altitude over the course of 36 hours, with very little sleep (if any) is a good time!  

I loved being in Van 1!  I was runner number 4.  

 Our relay team consisted of 12 women but was divided into two vans, each with 6 women.  I was in van 1, which started the race at 7:30 in the morning while van 2 got to sleep in and wait for us to finish our first legs.  Each of us ran a total of 3 legs and each person started from where the other person finished.  After van 1 completed our legs, we would then have about 4-5 hours to get to the next major exchange point to eat and try to rest a little.  Each leg varied from 2 miles to about 10 miles.  I personally ran 6.6, 6, and 2.1 for a total of 14.7 miles.  The scenery was beautiful but at times the weather was cold, sometimes rainy, and even hot.  We ran in altitudes from 6,000 to 10,000 feet as we basically ran from one ski resort to another in the Colorado Rockies!  By far, my favorite run was the night one, in which I ran 6 miles ending right around midnight.  It was exhilarating! Not sleeping during the 36 hours, however, took a bit of a toll on me but doing something so challenging and yes, even fun, with awesome women made the experience truly worth it!  What a bonding experience!  I'd love to do this again but I'm pretty sure the next time will be at sea-level!

Getting ready to start the race.  It was super cold that morning!

"Resting" outside of a high school gymnasium
Getting ready for the night run!

Here Jenny is finishing up a run and is about to pass off the baton (slap bracelet) to Haley who is about to start her run. Then we jumped in the car and drove me to where Haley finished her leg so that I could begin mine.  

Welcoming in a runner at a major exchange with the whole team!
At Copper Mountain resort, a major exchange point.

After Van 1 was done, we had a few hours to wait for Van 2 to finish the race.  So, we relaxed and enjoyed well-earned burgers and fries at a restaurant at the base of an Aspen resort.  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Denver Oyster Race

What is the Denver Oyster Adventure Race, you wonder?  It is a super fun, totally exhausting, crazy Saturday morning with 2 good friends where we went back and forth between running and biking around Denver while figuring out clues and completing challenges.  It is similar to the reality show, the Amazing Race, which is a show I have always fantasized about doing.  This particular race took myself, Cindy, and Michelle 4.5 hours in which we ran a total of 9.5 miles and biked a total of 24.5 miles.    I'm not going to lie...most of the race I saw this view...Cindy's backside as Michelle and I tried our best to keep her pace.  But, in our defense, Cindy was a nationally ranked snowboarder and is a total FEARLESS kick-butt athlete.  
 Here are Michelle and Cindy figuring out a clue and how to get to our next destination.

 One of our challenges was paddling across a lake.

 This race was the second time I had road-biked in...oh about... my entire life!

Sinking a ping pong into red solo cups of water is a lot more challenging than one might think!

 And here I am literally taking one for the team...eating a Rocky Mountain Oyster.  But, that was a small price to pay for the end result of finishing the race in 3rd place in the women's division!

What a surprise to come in 3rd place!  We were just out to have a fun, challenging day and about half way through the race, I started to realize that it appeared that we might actually be front-runners in the whole thing.  I tell you what...I might have been even more tired doing this than I was after running my marathon!  Because, not only was this a whole lot of running and biking, but it also required thinking and completing other obstacles, the biggest of which was keeping up with my teammate, Cindy!  It was fun and exhausting and I just might finally be over my obsession with wanting to run the Amazing Race now!  The whole morning as I pushed my mental and physical abilities to the point of total exhaustion, I kept thinking to myself, "I will NEVER do this again!"  And here I am writing this thinking to myself, "Tirsa...never say never..."