Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ragnar Relay Tennessee 2012

Long overdue. Ragnar was way back in early November. But you know, life has a way of marching on whether you've gotten around to making a highlight film or not.

Scott and I had a such a great time running Ragnar last year, that all of our friends wanted to join in. So many that we ended up putting together two entire teams. That's twenty-four people who heard "200 miles", "no showers" "no sleep" and said, "Sign me up!" It was a little more stressful being in charge of everything this year, but the end result was no less awesome. A big shout out and thanks to everyone who took part in the best race ever with us, and especially those who are already talking about next year.

Here's a look...

watch it on youtube here

P.S. Scott and I both ran the same legs this year on different teams, which ended up being the coolest ever. The timing of our teams worked out so we got to run leg 19 together around midnight--best 8.2 miles of them all. A good husband doesn't mind running really slow to stick with his wife's pace.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Last Saturday was kind of a big day for us.

Yes way.

We were driving on Amherst Rd on our way to meet the Cruzes and head to Dillsboro. I'm glad the whole family was in the car for this momentous event.

We've only had our van for the past 3 1/2 years, but we've tried hard to add our fair share of the miles.

This old van has problems. Plenty. For posterity, here are a few:
-rear left window doesn't open
-left automatic sliding door will shut about 90% of the way before inexplicably sliding back open about half the time, you have to give it a little shove for the last bit
-that awful buzz noise that sounds when you put the car into gear while the sliding doors are still open will randomly begin while we're driving for no apparent reason
-the heat/ac will only blow on low or high...nothing in the medium range
-engine has been making a nice whine noise for awhile
-the oil leaks
-and we just ignore the perpetually aglow check engine and maintenance required lights
-sometimes when you start and stop a lot (like running a bunch of quick errands) you really have to baby the engine to keep it from stalling right when you start it: rev it up to three, hold it there for a few seconds, put it into reverse quickly, it'll be fine.

But. I love it, and I'm not being sarcastic. I don't list the ailments to complain, they are each like an old friend. I feel a deep gratitude to the vehicle that took us on the best family vacation ever. Also, it's a great source of family bonding to joke about our clunker. (The random buzzing, Lydia has decided, is due to a ghost named Honky that lives in the trunk.) We can't seem to stop laughing when something new goes wrong. There's something wonderfully freeing about having a car that allows us not to stress about messes, car door dings, etc.

The plan is to replace it come summertime (or whenever it becomes undrivable, whichever comes first). I have to admit though, if it's still with us by then I'll be tempted to keep driving. Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer's test driving a car and they drive till they run out of gas? I kind of want to keep driving till it won't drive anymore. I imagine going along and suddenly it shudders to a halt, and vomits the engine out of the hood and onto the ground. That's the way to go. I'll keep you posted.

Good kids get to stand on the court and have their names read at UT basketball games


Friday, December 14, 2012

Another pinterest success story?? Yes, another.

Behold! Our Christmas lights! Brought to you by my christmas board.

Best part: there are a couple of lots they haven't cleared yet at the bottom of the hill. So we sent the kids down there with a handsaw and asked them to cut us down a couple of little trees to flank the front door with. And they nailed it! See, that's why we had handle the dirty work of our Christmas light installation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fantasy of Trees, 2012 edition

Yup, we went there again.

I took the little girls on the carousel while Scott whipped around the big three on the barf machine.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

[way more photos from the Cruze's than the Barber's...way better light at lunchtime than dinnertime]

We are so wonderfully spoiled at Thanksgiving. We were happy we got to spend the day with all our local extended family members...stuffing our faces with delicious, delicious food.



We had perfect 70 degree weather so the kids could play around outside after we ate.

Technically, I think it's a peacock on her shirt. But she always calls it a turkey.

Traditional pre-dinner free throw shoot out. No Cruzes won the cash prizes this year. Boo.
(couldn't decide between not enough light, and awful flash)

After dinner, we got our talent show on. Afton brought down the house.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sisters love each other

Have I ever mentioned how awesome Emma is? The other evening, she started playing with the little girls and kept them laughing till bedtime. When it was time for bed, they begged for Emma to tuck them in, and she willingly consented. Why did she do all that? Why did she spend an entire hour of her rare weeknight free time just wrestling and spinning and all around entertaining? Because she loves them. And they love her.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ben is 11...and karate is fun

We've never done a birthday party at a place before, always at home. I like home parties better. They're more creative, personal, and cheaper. But. Awhile back Scott bid on a karate party in a silent auction. He bid $5. And guess what?

Well, for five bucks we'll give it a go. He got to invite a ton of friends and the little girls could participate as well. They played several versions of tag, did an obstacle course, and learned some sweet moves.

Bonus: Ben got to break a board. Double-bonus: he got to keep the outfit, sweet!

Oh yeah, and did I mention cutting his cake with a sword?

Last thing, Ben's cake was another pinterest-inspired success. Easy and he loved it.