Friday, June 27, 2014

It's Been A While

Hi everyone!

My blog posts will be less frequent over the summer because I'm focusing on the kids, making sure they have as much fun as possible :)  So that means less computer time for me.

Last weekend I ran my first ultra-marathon.  50.5 miles from Mullan, Idaho to St. Regis, Montana.  It's called the Trail Rail Run, it's run on old train tracks that have been turned into trails.  We have tons around here and love them for biking, hiking and running. 

Today is the first day that I'm feeling back to normal.  The run was great, I loved it and will run it again next year as well as find a 50 miler in another state to compete in.  I did all the research for how to run it without eating garbage because if you look into ultras much you will find that people talk about chugging coke and mountain dew during the race as well as scarfing down doughnuts and candy.   I don't eat or drink any of that when I'm not running so there was no way I was going to consume it while I ran. 

My amazing crew brought me water, a avocado, spinach and turkey sandwich, nuts and a granola bar.  That was the most I could eat, after mile 35 I couldn't eat any more solid foods, it all sounded "Meh."  I also was able to not use any gels or protein bars which I'm really happy about.  Honestly, if you just become religious about nutrition you don't need any of those quick energy rush items.  I didn't get any blisters (thank goodness) and the only thing bothering me right now is my knee but today it's feeling great. 

So, the course record was 8:55 from last year, I came in at 9:02 placing second for my age division, 5th over all for women and 8th over all if you add the men in there.   So. Much. Fun!!!  I can't wait to do another. I'm not ready for a 100 miler yet, but who knows, maybe I'll give it a  shot some day.

Here are the pictures taken from the race :)

 So nervous here. This is right before the start around 5:45 am

 This is the first aid station area about 8 miles into the race just cresting Look Out Pass

 I was so happy to see my crew

 This is around a marathon distance, I had already done Dominion Trestle and Tunnel...oh yeah I forgot to mention I had to go over a few railroad trestles and through huge old railroad tunnels. 
So. Stinking. Cool.

 This is where I got my amazing avocado turkey lunch, as well as I drank chocolate milk about three times during the race which seemed to really help along the way.

Things were still feeling good at this point :) 

This is the point is where I noticed how much my body hurt.  I had 7 miles left to go. 

I had to tell my crew that while I would absolutely love to stop and walk a bit with them, that if I stopped I feared I wouldn't get going again.  Extremely tired but ready to "Just get it over with." 

 Right near the finish line.  By this point it was really warm out, however I hydrated enough along the way that I wasn't having issues with it.
The finish line where I received a Patagonia Jacket for finishing, an antique railroad spike with plaque and as much beer as I would like from a local brewery :)  

I love this race.  I'll be back again, June 20th, 2015...who's with me?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ready To Talk

This is Zoyi she is 6 years old and has Sickle Cell Anemia (SS)

Rusty and I flew to Ghana, April 5th 2013 to meet our sweet little Zoyi.   We started our adoption journey for Zoyi back in 2012 but in reality, we started searching out agencies March, 2010.   We have jumped through hoop after hoop, going so far as to fly a social worker to our town in order to get our home study complete because there was not a certified agency in Juneau.

We fought all of 2013 to get a court date, 7 failed court dates in all.  7 disappointing moments in our process.  The final court date being the end of January 2014.    Back in June, 2013 we found out that the extended family came forward stating that bio parents were still alive.  We waited for them to show up, to speak to our Power of Attorney and Social Welfare.  None came, so we proceeded because the only person coming forward was the maternal uncle.  

He wanted money.  We wouldn't give it to him because ethically that is completely wrong. As much as we loved and wanted Zoyi we would not bend or compromise our ethics to have her.  Our POA spoke with the grandmother (whom is blind and dropped Zoyi off at the orphanage 5 years ago) and she was still on board with the adoption, had decided she would attend court and give her blessing.

The day before our court date in Jan. the family came to the orphanage and removed her.  They refuse to tell where they are hiding her.  They met up with Social Welfare and our POA and when asked where she was, refused to tell.  They also were asked how they planned to care for Zoyi's health issues, because the conditions she is living in will grant her maybe a total of 14 years of life.  They simply stated they didn't care, they will bury her when she dies.

And that was that.  We lost our 2 1/2 year battle for her.  We had our agency put us in a 6 month hold to see if the country would open but unfortunately Ghana still has a ban on adoptions.  We made the executive decision to withdraw last Monday.   The only reason we pressed on to begin with was because we had Zoyi's referral before the ban was placed, she was special needs and we traveled to meet her prior to the ban.  But now we are back at square one.  If we switched countries we would have to re-pay all the fees and take two more trips over there.  We can't get back what has already been paid, with the exception of the fees we paid for post adoption work.

We have spent this spring re-grouping, fostering the relationships that became strained and were neglected during our stressful adoption process.   This is not an ending, oh this is just the beginning ;)  More than anything this lit a fire in Rusty and I.  Okay so adopting didn't work out...maybe we change tactics.  We have connections in Ghana and we have connections State side, we will use our resources to bring those two together and facilitate an organization that is passionate about working towards helping Ghanian farmers get their cocoa exported.  Baby steps, like I said, this is just the beginning. 

For those of you that think we should adopt a U.S. child...we looked into that.  We also looked into fostering but we just aren't ready yet.  However, we will be hosting an exchange student 2014/2015 school year :)

Neither Rusty or I are bitter or have regrets about our journey.  On the contrary we look at it as a blessing.  It has made us stronger, we banded together to grieve, to work through the disappointment and ultimately made us express where we see ourselves in 5,10 or 20 years.  Bottom line, together...that is where we want to be.  Together, working to bring light to the plights of the disadvantaged, to be a voice for the underdog.  So whether it takes a year or 10 years, we will be successful in the end.  Thank you for following along with our adoption and just hang tight... the best is yet to come :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sneak Peek

I've got a pretty large, 3 day street fair coming up in August so I've been working on new pieces to include.  I am totally loving boho nature style so these new ear cuffs portray that vibe:)

Plus, it's always fun when a piece is made entirely from recycled scraps! These two are made from sterling silver, and one teeny tiny copper butterfly I hand cut and soldered on.

They still need to be tumbled, buffed out, patina applied and a wax seal cured into them. This is by no means their finished state pictured. Once the finishing work is complete I will photograph them with my real camera ;)


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Humor For Your Tuesday

This is what an indoor workout looks like if a Griff is in proximity...

Wall squats attempt 2:

Crunches attempt 2 & 3 &4

I downloaded the 7 minute work out app for a cross training routine to coincide with my running program. Today was the first time I gave it a try and my dear Reuben thought he would join in the fun. I had to restart the circuit 4 times. 

This is life with a Griff, they keep it interesting and make sure you get your daily dose of laughter.

Return of Outdoor Soccer Nights

Outdoor soccer has returned to North Idaho...and Eastern Washington ;)

The cheer squad for the Lawlar crew, however they spent most of the evening climbing trees way too high for this Mama's liking. I had to stop watching, they were freaking me out.

Sunset over the Palouse.  We have had such great weather lately. Today is supposed to hit 60!! 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Life Lately

Many of you don't know, we own a house in Spokane that we rent out. Well the old tenants moved out the last day of Feb. and Rusty and I have been making trips over there to paint, fix the furnace, change switch plates, remove the heat strips from the roof AND transplant many of our amazing trees that we grew from seedlings over the past 8 years. 

Our very favorite tree is too big for Rusty and I, so until I can get an arborist over to transplant it I decided to give propagating a shot. Now, I've done my research and realize it is not the best time to try this out but I figured what do I have to lose?

So I cut last week, have dabbed their bases with a root growth powder and placed them in a bucket of willow water. This picture is from one week ago...

And this picture is from yesterday...
Every single one of the cuttings has gone crazy and started budding out. I'm not holding my breath that they will survive but so far they are doing okay.  We also transplanted 8 trees. 4 lilacs, 1 aspen, 1 maple, 1 spruce and 1 Japanese maple. 

Every single one is starting to bud and show new growth. Again, I'm not sure they will make it but we are giving it our best shot:)

We also made a raised bed for our garden using cedar and corrugated metal. I LOVE it. It's counter height so no more back breaking, knee busting gardening for me! We will make smaller ones for our herbs and also for the kids to each have a box to plant. We have a friendly family competition to see who can produce the best and most from their box ;) Winner gets ScaryWood tickets for October.  (Silverwood turns into Scarywood for the fall season)

Up next, we will be finishing our raised beds, fencing and laying the sprinklers, hauling in top soil, doing the trim around the house and yard for the flower beds, and finally we will call a company to hydro seed for us:)

I'll keep you posted on the trees!