Tuesday, June 30, 2009


When I started dating Mark 11 (yikes!) years ago, I was introduced to the world of motorcycles for the first time. Suddenly, words like supercross, motorcross, 250, and 450 were a part of my vocabulary and the smell of race gas became one of my favorites.
Though I haven't yet learned to ride a motorcycle (someday...maybe), I have come to really enjoy watching the sport. Last Saturday, the AMA Motorcross came to Lakewood and Mark and I had the opportunity to go. We have actually been looking forward to it for months -- following the races on t.v., getting to know the riders, tracking the points, etc.
It was a beautiful day for a race and I took a lot of pictures. Turns out, photographing moving motorcycles is really difficult! I did manage to get one picture of Mark and I together. Can you find me?
My sweet husband it so patient with me when it comes to watching Motorcross. I can't quite keep up. I'm always asking things like, "Who's in first right now?" "Who is number so-and-so?" "Is that guy hurt?"

There is one rider, however, that I have no trouble keeping up with. Andrew Short.
Andrew's parents and my parents went to college together and I have know Andrew since I was very young. I still remember four-year-old Andrew pedaling his bike around the neighborhood saying "Brraaaap! Brraaaap!" and the top of his lungs. (I also remember that he put ketchup on my scrambled eggs once while we were camping. It made me gag. When I tried to complain about it to my mom, I got in trouble for tattling. Oh! The injustice! But I digress...)
It is so fun to see Andrew now as a world class athlete. He won 2nd place this past weekend and is in second place in the points race, trailing the leader by only a small margin. We cheered him on as he crossed the finish line and will be cheering for him though our television set for the rest of the season.
Good luck, Andrew! First place is just around the corner...we can feel it!

New York, New York

Less than 48-hours after arriving home from Texas, my sister and I hopped on a plane to NYC for her graduation trip.

It. was. amazing.

We took 689 pictures, but I'll spare you. I narrowed it down to just 11 favorites to showcase the highlights from the week.

We, of course, loved Times Square and could have spent a month standing there watching all of the people.
Being the "small town" girls that we are, we were thoroughly fascinated with the public transportation and got a good amount of thrills out of the subway...
...and the taxis.
We saw the Statue of Liberty,
and fed squirrels in Battery Park. (This was a supervised activity, don't worry.) Emily handled the squirrel feeding with class...
...and I was totally freaked out.
We enjoyed MANY HOURS of shopping and were quite excited to purchase a few *Ahem* underground item. (Translation: we bought many cute purses that look like the real deal but are not -- and you have to go into secret rooms to look at them. It's fun. Really.)
We saw "The Little Mermaid" on Broadway,
and then enjoyed and amazing desert buffet at the revolving restaurant on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis.
We shopped some more,
had a great time on the Brooklyn Bridge,
and ended the trip with more shopping.
I loved traveling with my sister and it was so fun to explore somewhere new together. We walked and walked and walked until we just couldn't move anymore. It took me two days to get my energy back when we got home.

I think it is safe to say that these two sisters *heart* NY!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More El Paso

All is well in El Paso, TX.

Camp has been going great and we have had over 100 kids attend each day.

The kids are so funny and seem to be having a great time.

On the first day, I met Antonia who told me that she had many things to celebrate before her birthday. These included her sister's birthday, Father's Day, and Flag Day.

On the second day, 6-year-old Toby cried when his fingers got stepped on. He said that he was worried that his fingernails were going to fall off.

And today, 7-year-old Daniel was staring up at Heidi (one of the girls who came with our group from Colorado Springs) and said, "You are so beautiful -- especially in the sunshine."

Some of these kids are CUTE and I'm especially fond of the little boys. I love watching them play volleyball and am trying to teach them a little finesse -- if they had it their way, every day would be spiking practice. I would love to share their cute little faces with you, but I decided it probably wasn't a good idea to post pictures on the Internet since I don't know their situations or their parents. We did get a group picture yesterday, so you can enjoy them from a distance.
For the past two afternoons, we've been working on a house for one of the families here. Maria, her husband, and their five children are currently living in this trailer...it looks like a fine place for a family of seven, doesn't it?
Our task was to get the sheeting put onto the roof so that a team next week can come in and put down the shingles. In this picture, you can see the new house just in front of their current home. When we got there on Tuesday, only the tresses had been put up.
I am proud to say that all of us climbed up there and pitched in. I was even told at one point that I had good form. Who knew!?
With the help of many church members and a couple true carpenters, we managed to get the whole thing done in two afternoons. Maria and her children were thrilled when they saw that their house had a "roof" on it. I wish that I could be here on the day that they get to move in. I know that they will be overjoyed.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

First Day in El Paso

Today we began the day with a church service where the songs were sung in both English and Spanish and ended the day with a dinner of "mild" Mexican food that burned my mouth and made my nose run.

In the middle of the day we participated in a sunny church picnic,

a game of kickball,

and a fascinating tour of El Paso.

Did you know that El Paso, TX and Juarez, Mexico are like one giant city? In fact, in this picture you are actually seeing more Mexico territory than US territory.
It is HOT here -- but after spending the past two weeks in the cold and the rain back home, this feels SO good!
I had a wonderful surprise today when a classmate from high school walked into church. I went to school with Logan for 12 years and haven't seen him since we graduated from ECA 9 years ago. Then I come all the way to El Paso and here he is! It was great to meet his wife and daughter today at the picnic.
Sports camp starts tomorrow. While I feel very confident about the volleyball coaching thing, I'm totally terrified by the gym-full-of-six-year-olds thing. I've never considered myself to be very gifted when it comes to working with young children. I'm guessing that a group of 25 little guys is going to challenge me a bit.

On Our Way

As soon as Mark's graduation was over, I jumped in the school van and headed to El Paso, Texas with a small group of girls from ECA.
We drove straight though, watching the sun set somewhere south of Albuquerque while "International Harvester" played on the radio.
I was amused by the fact that our 15 passenger van looked like an monster truck in its shadow.
The wind in El Paso nearly blew us off of the road, but we arrived safely at our hotel at 11:45 with no major incidents.


Congratulations to my (rather adorable) husband who graduated from the University of Phoenix yesterday. After 3 years of hard work, night classes, papers, team projects, and rambling professors, he completed it Bachelors of Science in Business Management.

Look closely to see the bagpipers who ushered in the graduates. If you look REALLY close, you can see Mark -- he is sitting under the stars. (Okay, not really, be he was sitting there and you can pretend.)
And the moment we've all been waiting for...

Doesn't he just look smarter. :)
Congratulations, Marky! I am so proud of you.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Deets

(That's short for "details" people.)

We're adopting

a baby boy

from Ethiopia.

We'll bring him home in

18-24 months.


We're thrilled!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One more clue...

In case you thought I was prego...here's another little clue.

A little news...

Mark and I have spent the past week sharing some exciting news with our family and friends.

First we gave these babies to our nieces and to our friends...

then we gave my mom a scrapbook called "Grandma's Brag Book." The first page says, "It's a Boy!"
And finally, we gave this shirt to my sister.
This was her "I'm-so-excited" face.
Can you guess what we're announcing?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Walk for Life

Mark and I ran the 5k at the Walk for Life this Saturday. We ran to support Life Network, the Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center, and Education for a Lifetime. Mark used to work for Education for a Lifetime and we try to make it out to this wonderful event every year. We were glad to participate on such a beautiful day! 
We finished the 3.2 miles in 3o:30 -- not a winning time, but definitely a personal best for both of us. I wanted Mark to display how many minutes we ran it in...and as always he was thrilled with my idea and with the fact that it involved a picture of him. 
I read this post today that I think shares an interesting perspective on the Pro-Life issue. Take a look.