Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pumpkin Pacer 5K

We had a Halloween weather  miracle!
Rain was predicted for the entire day. And the early morning started off POURING.  But hoorayhoorayhooray... it all but stopped just in time for us to have fun at our fun run in Deer Park!

The kids loved it. They did 3 laps around the cemetery.  Then Cougar did the 5K too! Overachiever!

My time was 19:30. I was really hoping for under 19, but I don't know why I even thought that was possible, since I haven't been training at all. I was the 2nd beat by 40 seconds by this little high school girl. Grrrrr.
Next year. Next year she's going down.

There was a raffle afterwards and they totally scored. All the kids won something! It was random little, books, jewelry....and totally made their day.  Plus free Happy Meal coupons, so we hit up McD's on the way home. I feel so trashy walking in that place. But it was free, and they were hungry. Apparently the post-race pumpkin cookies weren't enough for anyone else besides me (who loved them TOO much).

I'm so grateful Brian is so supportive of this quirky hobby of mine. Hitting up local races every weekend just makes my world go round. And he's happy to go along for the ride. 

Found a random fellow LadyBug!
I tried to get Charity to let the grandma ladybug hold her, but she is a stubborn little ladybug :)
Wouldn't even wear the headpieces. Oh well. Next year she'll understand the concept of bribery more, and we'll likely have more success with getting her to costume appropriately ;)
Quite a few of my fellow Swifties there!  Fun to see them.
I don't realize how TALL I am until I see pictures... and then I remember. Oh yeah. I'm kinda freakishly tall.  Or they're freakishly short? Yes. That makes me feel better. Buncha shorties.

Boo at the Zoo - Cat Tales


I 'spose I get a bit silly when Lindsay starts snapping pictures of me.... Or perhaps it's the effects of the green M&M.

Church Trunk-or-treat was a fun way to start the evening out! Parked the van, decorated with some wildly creative orange streamers (#sarcasm), and of course - everyone's most well known modern vampire. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Inaugural firepit party!

What a.....

Brian went to "work" like this today. You can only imagine all the inappropriate comments he got from the nurses...  and from his coworkers he emailed this out to....
I think he kinda likes attention.

Preschool BOO

Halloween Party at CCP! Their teachers are so sweet.

These skeleton jammies from Nonny doubled as comfy easy costumes pretty well!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pumpkin family treats

Bowling with the P & L posse

I scored a 127, with 4 strikes! That's almost my record high.
And, oh yeah, they had fun too :)
Apparently the other youth leaders didn't get the memo to jump in the photo.... either that or I didn't get the memo to jump out.... :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

@Harvest Party

Our ward's annual Harvest Party is awesome. The Finnoe family opens up their giant barn for a big dinner, then there are carriage rides, pony rides, bounce castle (convenient to have the owner of All-Star Jump in the ward!), games, petting zoo, giant popcorn ball maker, pumpkin painting, photo booth, and absolutely wonderful people to chat with.  A big highlight of the season for us!
I wonder if my kids will hate me someday for making them wear these festive sweaters?! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Why I upload all our little clips to YouTube....

I have a playlist of our "McKell family videos" on YouTube. 
For years I've been uploading the little snippets we take straight from our phones. So easy. 
Then adding them all to the playlist.... and suddenly we've got hours of entertainment for the kids.  Nothing more interesting than watching random videos of yourself, apparently :)  Well, except for Charity.... I guess she finds it puts her to sleep. 

Bennett scarfed down a huge bowl of apples and  whole milk vanilla yogurt while watching this today.  I cheer on all his big-eater efforts, since he's still on the scrawny side. 

PS - Courtney looks a bit like Sammy did as a toddler! So cute. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

BRRC xc 5K

This was a really unique little race I got to do today. The Bloomsday Road Runner's Club does an annual Cross Country Series with 4 different events on genuine XC courses. Only one of the 4 is on a Saturday vs. Sunday, so I made a point to show up to it and thank the RD for having a Saturday race - and kindly encouraged him to move more of them to Saturdays :) Only about 30 people showed up, but I don't think they make efforts to really market it. At only $5, I'm happy to have walked away with a ribbon, water bottle, and a dang good speed workout under my belt. Especially since my last few races have been much longer - it's nice to do a 5K. Next weekend will probably be another 5K distance (debating between a few options), then a 10K the following week.
 I just love racing so much. The adrenaline rush, the competition, the awesome feeling of accomplishment... it's like a high I'm chasing.
 But the real highlight was watching the Kids' race - sooooo cute! My little ones raced their hearts out! Courtney insisted on doing so in her pink Cowgirl boots. Brianna gutted it out with a boy at the end, and it was a photo finish.
There was a big high school JV/Freshman race happening later, so it was fun seeing that get all set up. Definitely brought me back to memories from HS and college competitions!  Glad those are over and it's all just for fun now :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Why do so many people have trouble truly accepting compliments? (me included sometimes, though I've been consciously working on it). 
If someone says, "you did so great today [on whatever]" knee jerk response is, "oh thanks, wish I did better." Someone says, "cute dress!" ..."oh I've had this old thing for years"....  
It's like it's some attempt at a #humblebrag to not graciously accept the compliment. 
Someone I know always responds to compliments with, "oh, that's nice of you to say'" - with an obvious disdain in her voice indicating she disagrees.  
Why not just respond with a sincere "Thank you!" ?!
I'm working on it - in large part simply because it's really awkward and unkind to the compliment-er to do anything other than accept!  
And there's my soapbox for the day [drops mic]

Saturday, October 17, 2015

race recovery

Felt soooooo good on my very sore body to soak in the big tub! I wouldn't call it "relaxing" though, with the 5 crazies that just had to join me....

Hayden Half win!

Pretty sure I haven't worked this hard in..... ever.
Maybe Charity's birth.
And a few college races (one particularly grueling track 10K comes to mind).
But this was 90 minutes of insanely intense physical and mental endurance. I pushed it so hard I seriously thought I'd collapse at the end (and kindof did).
When I crossed the finish line at Honeysuckle Beach I beelined it straight into Hayden Lake. The freezing water and warm sun felt absolutely amazing as I shamelessly soaked my screaming muscles, praying I'd be able to walk again.
And praying a huge THANKS to Heavenly Father for answering my prayers and getting me thru that [self-imposed] ordeal successfully. My original goal was to go under 1:30. I missed that by 30 seconds.
But I don't really care - I gave it my all. I even finally broke in my last pair of free shoes I collected from business trades in UT  (I miss the perks of that job, when I could take advantage of local deals).  New shoes feel so amazing.
And I just wanted to WIN in this case (though I should focus more on hitting my time goal than winning, since that's theoretically more within my sphere of control).
I especially wanted to win because my parents drove all the way out for it. 2 hours roundtrip. Super nice of them. Wanted to make them proud.
So - today's racing torture was courtesy of that chick standing on the #2 podium.
She rode my tail the ENTIRE. TIME, Never let up.
Passed me on almost every uphill (check her short muscly legs!) forcing me to utilize my long legs to cruise past her on the downhill (kinda scary letting myself go!).
She had her hub and son cheering her on at 6 different spots on the course!! Now that's support!  (though I'm in no way belittling what Brian does - playing with the kids at the beachy finish line - I get what I get and won't throw a fit)  If it weren't for her, I probably would've ran at least 5 minutes slower. It was a super tough course - constant hills, lots of turns.
But gorgeous. Northern Idaho is so pretty.
I had to keep repeating positive phrases in my head over and over and over to keep the negative thoughts out.
It was mentally draining.
I remember thinking at the 6 mile mark that I should've signed up for the 10K cuz I'd be almost done by now.
It's so crazy to me to think of running DOUBLE what I ran today.  I doubt I'll ever do a full marathon again. Halfs (halves?) are hard enough. I'd have to be back in 2:49 shape again to even consider it.
And I doubt that will happen - the self discipline of my college days is long gone.
The other girl in the photo wearing a pink jersey is Merissa. She's my new friend. Because she's wearing the same racing shirt.
See.... this is a big reason I love being on the Spokane Swifts team. Insta friends at every race! Easy to spot them!
She's done 2 Ironmans.  That's NOT on my bucket list, nor is putting my hand in a blender. They both seem pointless and painful.  But kudos to IMs out there for dedication!

So - every race doubles as a fantastic workout, meaning I should reap the benefits of being in good shape and do more races! Soon! Yay! I've got the next 3 weeks of races planned out (tentatively).  So excited!

The girl in the photo below that is my friend Mandy. Met her at MOPS and library storytime. Awesome girl.

The kids hung out in the car reading stories for a bit while I was doing my thang. Lovelovelove it when they all get along. Brianna is such a good little reader to them! She gets totally animated and reads so expressively. So grateful. Charity looks s'darn sweet here! I just want to eat her.

They LOVED the finish line party. There was a giant inflatable to run and bounce in, lots of food and treats, fun woodsy areas to run around, etc.

A few complaints (because I'm a race snob and have an opinion about everything): Way too expensive. $85. Ridiculous. That'd pay for THREE half marathons in Utah.   And the awards ceremony.... a full 90 minutes after I finished the race. Annoying to have to stay around that long. Bag the awards ceremony and just pass out medals as winners cross.
Also - there wasn't enough food for the slower marathoners. Very poor planning on the Race Committee's part - common sense: have LOTS of post-race food for starving runners.

This is the most rambling post I think I've ever written. Congratulations for following all the tangents to the end!


Friday, October 16, 2015

Twas the night before my big race....

How better to spend it than lounging around in the kiddie pool being crawled all over?!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A padlock for her trunk of treasures

Poor kid... she has to lock up all her valuables because her younger siblings repeatedly "mess it up!"

It was a good challenge for her to learn to use a padlock - the same kind as middle/high school, with the left and right turn codes.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Valley Trip

Just found these - from our last day with their grandparents. Brian had to get some work done, so I kept the kids home from school and we did some staycationing!
It was lovely walking around the Spokane Temple. Our little claim to fame: it's THE SMALLEST temple in the world! 

We also stopped by Sammy's place, since she's right on the way to/from the temple. So great to take her outside for some sunshine.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Confession: i cheat at candyland

But not for the reason you'd think!
See....this game can go on forever. You get so far, only to draw a Mr Mint or Jolly Gumpdrop card sending you all the way back to the beginning.
My board game playing time is limited, people.
I cant do this all day.
Soooo...I might just slip in some choice cards for them to speed things along....and also to make sure that*I* do NOT win, cuz I can take the loss better than the 4 yr olds.
So yes, I cheat at Candyland. And I'm ok with that, obviously.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sibling reading time

They stayed like this for a solid hour. Read every single one of our "Sunday books." The motivational secret? A single jelly belly for each of them upon completion of each book.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

This is how we #ldsconf

Thanks to the wonders of technology, we get to enjoy hearing messages from living Apostles, Prophets, and inspired Church leaders... while sitting on a picnic blanket in the middle of a beautiful park :)
This is where we spent both Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions! It was awesome. The kids listened some, but mostly ran around playing and didn't disturb me, so I could tune in. I guess I should be more responsible and make sure THEY get more out of it... but I'm selfish. This was "me" time. I love General Conference. The messages are like a breath of fresh air. Encouraging, inspiring, comforting... Can we do this EVERY weekend?!!