Thursday, June 28, 2012

girls + lots of time on my hands + Pinterest = hair experiments

since i have a lot of time on my hands lately, i have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest.  there are a million hair tutorials, and i am pretty lame with hair.  i figured since i have 3 girls, i should try to improve my skills.  i had the girls each choose a hair tutorial to try and we went for it.  

Maddie chose the triple loop pony:

Avery chose a french-fishtail-braid-bun:

Anna chose a french braid bun:

not perfect, but we will keep practicing!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

playing with mommy's wedding dress

so i saw this idea on Pinterest and decided it was too cute not to try.  the girls are always saying they want to wear my dress on their wedding day.  knowing this is unlikely to happen, i thought i'd give them a shot now:

ps girls:  you are welcome to wear my dress.  i think it looks lovely on each of you!

Monday, June 25, 2012

running = my sanity. literally

this is the story of how i came to love and appreciate running.  yes that's right, I, Britain Earl said, "i LOVE running."

running has been a part of my cardio routine on and off for the since  i started having a "cardio routine."  it started with Ali cajoling me into a run when the wait at the Rec Cen was too long.  these runs usually took the form of run/walks mostly due to my crying and begging to stop.  these were also the days of the "low fat/no fat diets" where as long as something was low in fat, it was totally healthy.  so, our "runs" were usually followed up with a non-fat frozen yogurt shake to drink whilst watching the latest episode of 90210, the Brenda and Dylan one!  

after college, i found myself running on the treadmill for 30 minutes if i had missed a class at the gym or all the elliptical machines were taken.  are you sensing a theme here?  in short, running was my cardio fall back position.  

fast forward to 2007, i'm living in Verrado, no 24 hour fitness within a reasonable distance, and just had my second baby.  i turned to running once more.  you may remember my first 5k.  i trained, i met my goals.  running helped me shed some of my unwanted baby weight.  during the summer, i mixed it up with my first triathlon.  this was primarily a way for me to temper the running with other exercises i didn't hate as much, namely swimming and biking.  

i spent 2008-2011 largely avoiding running.   but baby number 4 catapulted me into a whole new weight class.  i found myself 4 months postpartum and about 20 pounds heavier than with any of the girls.  i needed a goal, one that allowed me the flexibility of not going to the gym, since Colin was still too young.  

that's where Ragnar came in!  i set my sights on the race and started the training.  it was a slow, gentle, reintroduction to running.  just 15 minutes, 3 times a week.  i knew i could do that!  ever so slowly, the mileage increased and 7 months later I ran 3 legs totaling over 14 miles!  this was a major accomplishment, but i still had lingering feelings of hatred toward running.  

i didn't give up, i soldiered on, still cranking out 3-6 miles 3 or 4 times a week.  but i felt my running lacked purpose, so i committed to a training program and focused on improving my time.  goal setting helped a lot.  but the real kicker, the change of heart came by a very unexpected event.  

June 13, while at Girls' Camp, i had a seizure, the third in my lifetime.  this 15 second event changed the way i feel about running!  i had to leave camp, i had to go to the hospital, i had to see a Neurology team, i had to go through a battery of tests i've had twice before.  the good news is, i'm totally healthy!  there is no reason for my seizures.  if there was, it would most likely be a brain tumor and it's not, so that's good.  

the bad news is i am now being treated for seizures.  i'm on a medication that makes me feel lethargic, tongue tied, and a little crazy.  i can't drive for the next 3 months.  at least.  it's the first time i've ever left a hospital feeling worse than when i walked in. 

what does this have to do with running?  the doctor said i was healthy, he said exercise was great for my brain.  when Jason said, "yeah, but she'll go out and run 8 miles!"  the doctor said, "great, that will help you feel better."

at first i couldn't imagine it.  Jason was witness to the drug making me so sleepy i couldn't even finish a sentence.  but 2 days after i was released from the hospital, we went to the gym.  i tested the doctors theory, and started running on the treadmill.  i felt great.  the clouds began to clear.  i had focus i hadn't felt in days.  i ran 6 miles, and the mental clarity lasted several hours.  it was amazingly simple, and simply amazing!

i now LOVE running.  i need it.  i crave it.  it gives me the energy nothing else can.  (ps: no caffine for me anymore either).  and also is the only time i get out of the house on my own now.  but seriously, i can now genuinely appreciate the benefit running is to me.  and i am profoundly grateful that i welcomed it back into my life 9 months ago!  

thanks running!

and thanks baby number four, for making me gain so much weight i thought my only solution was running!

Friday, June 22, 2012

corn season!

we are a corn family!  and here in Arizona there is some of the yummiest sweet corn around!  one of our families very good friends grows the best of the best of that sweet corn.  in June i make near daily stops to the corn stand by our house.  here is our baby boy enjoying his first ear of AZ sweet corn!

welcome to the deliciousness son!

Monday, June 11, 2012

patio chairs, before and after

as you may or may not know, i am married to a very handy man who takes on many a home improvement project in order to make my life more beautiful.  yes, he is wonderful.  

he mentioned that there are never any photos of his accomplishments, before and afters.  so, here they are.  

these were 2 very beat up chairs we got for $10 on craigslist.  that's $10 for both.  we decided that was a fair price for something to sit on our porch while we search for what we really wanted.  

 here's the man hard at work.  btw, if you have never spray painted with one of these triggers, than you have a very sore index finger for no reason.  it's so worth it to invest in one of these babies!
i like the finished product, we slapped a striped cushion on these babies and put them on the front porch.  well worth the $10 + $3 (paint) investment!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

how to communicate with fairies

Anna has been losing teeth like crazy lately.  the tooth fairy has made several trips to our house.  Anna likes to make it special for when the tooth fairy comes by:
 Anna likes to start and end all correspondence with "love."  when i explained that letters usually start with "dear" and end with "love", she said, "shouldn't everything be love mom?"   how can you argue with that.  

 here's how this letter goes, "love tooth fairy, i know that you get so many teeth.  i want you to be happy, so i make you happy.  love, Anna."
 she makes her a bed, complete with a ladder for the travel-weary fairy. 
a hot tub, to sooth those tired wings.  
and a sitting area with snacks, to regain some energy.  
 unfortunately, the night of this particular lost tooth, there was a big lightning storm.  now you may not know this, but lightning can interfere with a fairies communication receptors and cause her to not realize you've lost a tooth.  so when she didn't come that night, we thought she may need a reminder message.  

here's how you communicate with a fairy.  first, you write a letter telling her about your lost tooth.  
 then you use something that the fairy has touched and rub it on the letter.  here, we used Anna's tooth case that she puts each lost tooth in.  

 then you make a wish and blow it onto your now charmed letter.  
 then, get your mom and dad to help you burn the letter.  the magic smoke will float up and reach the fairy to give her the message.  

after that, the message was received and the tooth fairy left a dollar under Anna's pillow.  she also wrote a sweet little letter of apology for the weather delay.  ;)

Monday, June 4, 2012


yeah, that's it.  just that one word.  adorable!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


our little grapes are making progress, though it will probably be a couple more years before we have any grapes to eat!