Sunday, November 29, 2015

Bi-Districts 2015

Our whole life is not cross-country. There are other things that happened in between these meets. But now that I’m *almost* done with XC, I’m going to finish strong.

Bi-Districts took place on a very wet and windy Halloween in South Whidbey. Thankfully, South Whidbey is in a bit of a rain shadow and while it was somewhat muddy and we drove through rain the whole way there and back, it did not rain on us during the meet…which was perhaps the first time that has happened. I know for sure it rained last year and Sarah’s first year…don’t know about the second year. Anyway, it was nice to not have to cheer with umbrellas and guard the camera from raindrops.


Warming up. I always wonder what the coaches are saying/thinking back there behind them when they take off running. Are they nervous? Are they commenting on form or the weather or things they still need to say to the girls?



The girls placed 2nd! They beat Meridian by just a couple points, and this marked Sarah’s 4th state berth with her team by her side!


Poor Peyton was hurting that day, so Bethany tried to carry her after the race. I don’t think it lasted long, but it’s so fun to watch these girls’ friendships grow!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

NWC Championships

As I write this, it’s Thanksgiving morning and I’m waiting around for the appointed time to take the turkey out of the fridge, only to let it “sit”, before prepping it for the oven.

This Thanksgiving is different. My uncle passed away a couple months ago. My Grandma passed away less than two weeks ago. My mom hurt her back 3 days later and spent two days in the hospital and now can really only sit…not much walking, standing, or lying down happening for her…and it’s going to take some time to heal. Other community members are hurting due to sudden death in their families. This could be our last Thanksgiving for a while with Sarah around. None of my aunts or uncles are coming this year for Thanksgiving. We’ll be visiting my other Grandma in the nursing home.

But this Thanksgiving is also the same. Really, every year there are many hurting because of loss at the holidays. Every year there are people who will be alone, or in the nursing home, or sleeping under the bridge. I am still a wife and mom. I still have a warm home and an abundance of material things.

And God is still good. Jesus still loves me. I am still redeemed.

And so we are grateful.

But the title of this post is “NWC Championships”, so let’s get on to that…

Near the end of every XC season, a meet is run at Civic with all the local schools. Regardless of size, they compete against each other. These are kids we have watched run at various meets together, but the NWC Championships are special because it’s the one time it’s only local kids, no one else, and it’s the only time that how we run against the big schools actually counts. It’s fun. One of the highlights of the year. We see parents and coaches from other schools, and you can be genuinely happy for all the kids because even though we run against them and it “counts”…it doesn’t actually. It doesn’t affect who goes to District and who doesn’t. It’s a rare, fierce, competition that is truly fun for all.


Since Bethany was not on Varsity (top 7 runners + 2 alternates…they had a HUGE girls’ team this year), this was her last race of this year. XC was so good for her this year and she will really miss it!


Sarah finished so strong at this race – way to push!


Missing one Varsity runner here, but I don’t think she actually ran this race…still recovering from being hit by the car, I think. But it’s a great picture!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lake Padden Invite

Mid-October brings the invitational cross country meet at Lake Padden. For the last two years, Sarah has won this race, and only my dad has ever been there. I was determined to be there this year. So even though I had to beg other people to help with the girls after school (they had activities and needed picking up, etc.) I did it and I made it to the meet.



And although Sarah didn’t win (she took second, barely, to a pipsqueak of a freshman from Bellingham), she ran a great race, and Bethany had her most impressive finish of the year – coming in strong and hard and determined! Loved seeing that!!



Monday, November 16, 2015

October Odds & Ends

We have this fantastic pumpkin patch here in our county…Stoney Ridge…it’s so much more than a pumpkin path. They grow apples & pumpkins and all sorts of fall vegetation. They have animals and corn mazes and cider and donuts and pie and wagon rides and field trips and it’s HUGE and so fun. My parents used to take Sarah & Bethany when they were little…and then when we first moved here it was an annual tradition to go apple picking and to Stoney Ridge with my friends. Then as we had more kids in the school and less at home, and more jobs, and so forth…that tradition fell by the wayside. But we went as a family almost every year and this year we made it a point to go because sadly, it was the last year that Stoney Ridge was going to operate. They plan to still have their Christmas tree farm, but the pumpkins and fall festivities are coming to an end after 25 years. And since next fall Sarah will be off who-knows-where, it was extra-important to me that we visit there one last time.


^^In the corn maze…


I have probably 10 years worth of pictures in front of this sign. When I told the girls, “Okay, I want you to humor your mother and stand in front of the ‘how tall this fall’ sign” I suddenly found myself crying! The girls all looked at me like I was crazy and quickly walked away, pretending they didn’t know me. The tears took me by surprise, but I wasn’t shocked, as the tears do come easily lately…has something to do with having a Senior in high school, I think.


We had a great afternoon at the pumpkin patch…ate pumpkin donuts and caramel apple pie, looked at the animals, rode the wagon, and took pictures in the apple trees.



Uh….I don’t know. I said, “Let’s take a picture by the pig water container” and they did this. I have no words. If Stoney Ridge weren’t closing, it would probably be a new tradition.


One must always take pictures by the truck full of pumpkins.


And Becca had to re-enact the time she was sitting on the pumpkins on the wagon and the pumpkins started to roll and she fell off. Yes. Bad-mother-of-the-year award goes to me for putting her preschooler on a pile of round objects high up off the ground. Who knew?


My sweet Minnesota bestie flew to WA somewhat unexpectedly and we spontaneously met for coffee at 7:30 in the morning! Talked and laughed for hours. So, so good for the soul.


We found ourselves with a Friday evening when everyone was home and we played Ticket to Ride. Guess who won?


For a second Friday night in a row we were all at home, so we played Apples to Apples…and whatever Bethany was saying was quite entertaining!


We enjoyed the high school fall music concert. Can you find Bethany?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

And she’s 12…

12 going on 16 is more like it…

Becca actually got to celebrate her birthday with friends *early* this year…usually she gets the shaft because the fall is so busy with XC, but we planned ahead and fit a party with her friends in between Saturday meets!

She choose a “movie party” and we had lots of fun prepping for it!


We had movie candy and “popcorn cupcakes” – cupcakes with yellow marshmallows cut to look like popcorn on top!


Pretty realistic, right?


I gave the girls “tickets” so they could “purchase” their movie candy for while they watched the new live action Cinderella. I think they had a lot of fun!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

King’s Invite

This was a new meet for us this year…ran this instead of the Mt. Baker Invitational at Silver Lake. I sure did miss going to Silver Lake for a XC meet, but the King’s Invite was fun. I rode down with a group of parents…it’s a long drive in not-so-nice traffic, and so it was good to carpool and to get to know some other parents better, too.


This is such a typical Sarah look…her teammates must be yelling something annoying and funny. Smile


Some of these pictures have already been posted…they’re iPhone pictures, but I wanted them all in the same place. It’s my blog, I can repost pictures if I want to for organization’s sake. Smile