Sunday, September 25, 2011

There is always a first!

Yes, it's been 2 weeks since I posted. I didn't fall off the face of this earth I've just been super crazy busy and can't wait for things to calm down!! I have a million pictures and stories of stuff that is going on, and I promise in some down time I get in the next few weeks, which is very minimal I will post them! But first to hold you over....

I ran my very first 5k this weekend!! I started running in January and I LOVE it and I'm addicted to it. My friend Rosemarie asked if I wanted to participate in the Race for the Cure in Newport beach several months ago and I was happy to try it! I've been running 2 miles consistently at home several days a week (Well I've lagged on the consistently part for the last few months) but I was so excited to do my very first 5k that I was going to run! I got one of my friends at work to start running on her own as well and so I knew she'd be up for the challenge with me! The race finally came up on Sunday morning. Saturday night was my sisters bachelorette party so I tried to take it easy because I knew I had to get my butt up on Sunday at 5:30am.... That kind of happened. Without too many details for now, I got my butt up with 4 hours of sleep to run on Sunday! Thank God Anne came to pick me up because I never would have gotten out of bed that morning had she not been waiting outside for me! I also have to thank Anne for being a great support to me, asking me if I ran this morning and for trying to keep me motivated. If Anne didn't do this 5k with me I might not have made it for my first time!

Running my first 5k was a goal I set for myself awhile back. A 5k is 3.1 miles so it's not THAT far considering I've been running 2 pretty easily. The run started off slow because the start line had a mix of people, some who were trying to run and some who were going to walk the 5k. Which is fine, but get out of my way because I want to run it! You could not imagine how many people were there at the start line! During the run there were a LOT of hills around Fashion Island that I did NOT prepare myself for. I've never trained running hills so that was very challenging for me. I did slow jog/walk most of the hills. My body was in no way shape or form ready for those hills. Not to mention the hours of dancing the night before and lack of sleep. There were a lot of factors that should not have been added into my run, but they were and I will prepare better next time!

During the ran once I got out of the crowd of walkers I was kind of around the same people for the run. There was an older lady, in her 60's I would guess who was in a pink shirt, meaning she was a survivor of Breast Cancer. She ran and walked just about the same I did and I couldn't help but think how amazing and awesome she was! Not only did she survive having breast cancer but she was giving me a run for my money.

Although I had my head phones in for the run there were some awesome bands playing at most of the corners and cheerleaders at others. It was so much fun to see the support for the race! The run was so emotional for me. I would assume it would be for most because I'm sure many have lost their loved ones to cancer and that's why they were doing this. There were posters along the course of people who had lost their battle and survivors. I couldn't help but think of the reason I was running. Sure it was because I needed a challenge in running but for the obvious reason of losing my mom to cancer. It doesn't really matter what cancer anymore. It's all the same evil 6 letter word. I ran and I cried and I remembered. I ran and I knew my mom would be so proud of me. It's the first time in a long time I felt her there with me. It's hard to feel her most days. But I knew she was there at the finish line cheering me on, cause that's what she would have been doing for me. She was always my biggest fan and my own personal cheerleader!

I ran my first 5k in 45 minutes, that included a lot of very hard hills, 4 hours sleep, sweating vodka and hours of dancing previous to this morning. So I'm 100% positive that my next 5k will be a million times easier!! Thank you to my friend Rosemarie to getting me involved in this fun day! I'm so very proud of myself. I felt like I was super woman Sunday morning and felt like a million bucks after the race! I'm going to plan for another 5k soon and then I will go from there! 2012 is going to be a year I challenge myself to do better and be better.

Monday, September 12, 2011

2 years

This weekend it will be 2 years since you left us…. I still miss you every single day like it was the first day. I remember all the amazing times we had and am grateful to have spent my 29 years with you as my best friend. I see you sometimes when I’m in church, and you are in the front row raising your arms in praise. It makes me happy to see you but I also miss you more.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth, Let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King;
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name.
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands,
Forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand,
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.

That is what I hear you sing. You were such a woman of God and I thank you for being such a good role model for me. I Love you and miss you and can’t wait to see you again someday!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

3 year stats

Alana was awesome today at the doctor. She listened to the Dr. and did everything she was asked. She passed her Preschool checklist with flying colors! My girl weighs 32 pounds and is 34 inches tall (short). She loved to twirl around in her "dress". The Doctor did still hear her heart murmur so we are due for a check up with the Cardiologist to check her heart again. Girl is smart, healthy and happy! I couldn't ask for anything more then that at 3 years old!

Monday, September 5, 2011

My own two hands

Mexico bound with a great group of hardworking and very caring NOCC peeps! If you read my previous post you know the background so I won't write about it again... (if not, scroll past this post to the one under this before you read on)

I've been looking forward to going to Mexico to build a house and when the day finally came I had NO IDEA what to expect... I consider myself pretty handy when I need to be. Since I've had Victor around I haven't needed to be as much. My dad was a handy man when I was growing up so he taught me a lot. Still.... I was clueless as to what it took to build a house! My alarm went off at 4:30 am and we got ready and headed to the Church to meet up to get on the road to San Diego.

Our stop in San Diego was Amor Ministries. These are the people who allow us to do this work!

The drive into Mexico wasn't bad at all. The guy who lead us from Amor drove a little fast and the crazy drivers in Mexico was an experience to see for sure!

Victor drove his car into Mexico and we had a family from the Church drive with us. We got to know them very well in the several hours we were in the car together! Meet my "Mexico Family". They brought their 12 year old daughter to Mexico for the first time! Her first build at 12 years old! Sarah worked her BUTT off all day and it was amazing to see this 12 year old put her heart and sweat into building a house. I heart this family!

We arrived on location about 9am and our fearless leader Larry put us to work, but first the rules:
Rule #1 - Don't die
Rule #2 - You MUST drink a LOT of water all day long
Rule #3 - Listen to Larry for instructions
Rule #4 - No matter how cute the dogs are, don't touch them.

Really? Rule # 1, don't die?!?! Cause I wasn't freaked out enough about going to Mexico...

Our first Home build in Mexico! Bring it!!

My hubby about to work harder then we could even imagine!

Their house was going to be right there on that little patch of dirt.

Here is part of the V Family that we were building the house for. The two little girls and the mom in this picture. (dad not pictured). Their bio: Dad works in a stable doesn't make much money. They currently live in one structure. The roof is made of a plastic tarp and the floor is made of good old fashion dirt. They don't have an outhouse of their own. No electricity, no telephone or a car. Can you understand now why we are here?

For me and Victor, our first task was to build structures for the walls. While mostly everyone else was preparing the dirt for a cement foundation Victor and I worked together on building a frame for a wall.

With there being no electricity we used our muscles (or lack there of) for everything. Hand saws to cut the wood, hammer and nails to build the frame.

Victor and I built this frame! This will be used as one of the side walls to the house.

Amazing right? I'm super glad that Mexico doesn't have the same rules about walls as we do because I wouldn't have been able to complete this. But we rocked it! We hammered and measured and made it!

I THOUGHT that was hard work until I realized what the rest of the day was going to bring. You know that big dirt spot in the picture earlier that I said would be where the foundation of the house was going to be? Sure looked small right? Try mixing concrete by hand in a wheel barrel to fill that spot.... now seems like the biggest piece of land EVER. I would say between the 15 of us we mixed about 150 wheel barrels of concrete by hand. HOLY MOLY. The hardest work I've EVER done in my whole life. We poured sand, cement, fiberglass and water to make the perfect mixture of concrete. Barrels and barrels and barrels of it. Hours and hours of mixing with a hoe.

Super slow process. I honestly thought we were never going to fill it.

Did I mention that this was the hardest day of work I have ever done? They weren't kidding with rule #2, drink water all day long... I drank about 8 - 20 oz bottle of water in about 7 hours and never had to pee once. That tells you how much we were sweating. It was HOT and sunny the whole time. We did get a breeze a little later in the day.

It seemed like we were NEVER going to finish!

Larry and the older sister in the V Family.

At one point I thought I might pass out. I had a black hat on and with the sun beating down on me and the amount of hard work I was doing I needed a break. I sat in the shade for the last portion of it. I was able to feel better and help push through to the end!

We have some really talented people at the church that make this possible. Larry and his family have been doing this at LEAST once a year for 13 years! His sons were showing us the ropes and younger then 20 years old!

This is the foundation that NOCC built! This is going to be a house for one family.

Because we were able to rock out this foundation and there was still day light, we built 2 more walls so next weekend the group that came down would be a head of schedule! Our own Pastor Randy worked his tail off! It's so important to me to see our Pastor doing this same work. He doesn't just preach about it, he gets out and DOES. That to me makes me respect him that much more!

My work gloves by the end of the day showed my hard work. They were torn and warn down more then I could have ever imagined. This was just one day of work. These hands helped to build a better future for the V Family.

This one one of the best rewards to the end of my day! Mexico street tacos! I had 5 of them!

While the taco's where one of my favorite rewards of the day, the best reward for this hard work is knowing that this family that had dirt floors would now have a foundation to live on. They would now have a house to protect from the weather. To live in without worrying about the rain leaking in from the tarp. The amount of joy I have from helping this family, I can not even put into words. This experience has made me look at the world I live in, in a whole different way. It makes me so much more thankful for EVERYTHING in my life. Not only the material things but also the people in my life. Without the people in my life, I would not have most of what I have now. I thank God for everything I have and the people he has put in my life. I thank God for the opportunity to go to Mexico and help build this house!

In the next two weeks our church will make 2 more trips here to finish. The 10th they will go down and build more walls, put the walls up and start on the roof. Week 3, on the 17th Victor and I will go back down with them to help bring it all together and finish it! The most amazing day ever! I can not wait to see this little house and how much joy it will be the V family! And the fact that Victor and I can be a part of it is the best feeling ever!

Men are made stronger on realization that the helping hand they need is at the end of their own arm. ~Sidney J. Phillips

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mexico Build

I'm so excited that Saturday Victor and I will be heading to Mexico with a group of people from our church to build one very deserving family a house!! We signed up for it a month ago and it came so fast! Our Church, North Orange Christian Church works with Amor Ministries every year and helps to build houses in Mexico. This was the first time since we've been attending this church that we heard about it and we both jumped on board! One of the things that Victor and I promised to do from now on was to give back in any way we could. Remember right before Christmas when we received a Christmas Miracle? I've been trying to do good and pay it forward as much as I could. This is one of those ways that Victor and I together can help another family that needs it. Our church is awesome in everything they do and we can't wait to get out there and build! They will go down 3 Saturday's in September and finish the house in that time. Victor and I are going for 2 out of the 3. We head out about 5am tomorrow morning!  

While I'm so excited about doing this build it hit me today that there might be a part of me that is kind of scared. Why?!?! Because everyone I've told that we are going to Mexico has told me to be careful..... Not just a few people but EVERYONE. I will be the first to admit that I don't watch the news or read much news, and honestly have no clue about what is going on in Mexico. While I'm sure I could have totally missed what is going on, I know Amor Ministries knows what is going on and they as well as my church would never lead us into anything they thought was unsafe. Duh... but today as I printed out our Mexico car insurance I thought I should probably send that info to a few people just in case I needed to access it and couldn't. Then I started to think of everything else I should put into that email. And people I should include.... Then my mind started to just GO and I freaked out a little bit. I think I brought myself back to reality. But who really knows what reality is going to be like in Mexico? I hear it's not really safe to be there right now. But I know God would not bring Victor and I into Mexico just to allow something to happen to us. He is bringing us there to use our mad house building skills! DUH! So please pray for our safety obviously. I'm sure once we are there and I don't see Federally hanging out in the city with guns in hand I'll feel much better! HA! I'm looking forward to some amazing street tacos which will off-set my fear a little bit. Crazy? Yes I am. Not because I dare eat the street tacos, but because of all the crazy things that go on in my head when I think about what could happen... I will put my trust in God that he will keep us safe! YAH!!! Next post to come with tons of pictures of these hard working hands!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beatles Craze

I swear we don't force the Beatles on her... she just happens to love them as much as Victor and I do. You would be amazed at how many songs she knows and sings all the time. Beep beep, beep beep YAH!

Sometimes I have to remind Alana that she's not allowed to get out of her bed until the sun is out. Some days since she can't tell time she wakes up SUPER early... so I have to remind her that when the sun comes out then she can get up! (And it works!!) About 3 days out of the week she comes into our room in the morning and says "Mom, the sun is out" ... then she continues with... The sky is blue, it's beautiful and so are you. Dear Prudence...

Lately she really likes this random Beatles song! Bungalow bill. Then of course all night that song was in my head!

Baby Updates

All these babies are not staying babies!!! They are all getting so big!! I love these babies and need some QT with them soon!! In alphabetical order... Seriously ADORABLE!!!!!!!
Baby A

Baby E

Baby Z