Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sinks & Beans

I'm an eternal optimist and I don't see anything wrong with that, in fact, I think that everyone should be. My husband, bless his heart, is not always as optimistic. He prefers to say that he's a "realist", but what that means is that he's really waiting for the sky to fall. Not me, I'm a silver lining kind of girl. So when our bathroom sink went from draining slow to really draining slow, I decided to fix it this morning. Now, my beloved, still on crutches from knee surgery, suggested that I wait until Friday, because he will be allowed to walk, and also, contort his body into weird angles to fit under the sink. But I figured that I could do it, and I did. I used a couple of doohickies and a wrench, and wrenched that thing apart. Really apart, as it turns out. Sure enough, there was a nasty clog in the drain pipe which I triumphantly held up as evidence of my do-it-yourself awesomeness. At which point my husband calmly congratulated me, and then also pointed out that I had broken something important. I personally don't think that there is anything wrong with this scenario, I did after all, accomplish something amazing, and the fact that the sink is no longer functioning really feels like a side note. And on the bright side, I hated that sink, and this was a perfect opportunity to get rid of it. So I unscrewed some more things, grabbed a door mat to put under that ugly vanity, and dragged it successfully out into the living room. Then I noticed that the sheetrock behind the sink looked weird, and got a little concerned that maybe there was mold back there. So I got a hammer and a razor and pulled it out. The good news is that there wasn't any mold! The not-so-good news is that now the sheetrock needs to be replaced. But, Chris can walk again on Friday, and I'm thinking that I may have helped enough, getting rid of that pesky clog and all. We can just wash our hands in the bathtub, plenty of people have to get by with less luxuries than a bathroom sink, and this can be a great learning experience for the kids, especially when they have to help put in a new sink.

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On another note, I'm getting a little tired of cooking. So I have a clever plan, and it involves cooking weird food until I get kicked out of the kitchen! I just thought of this at lunch as I was making breakfast burritos for Chris and Aidan (home sick), only we didn't have enough eggs. (The hens are free loading through the winter again.) So I threw some refried beans in there. (It was really bean soup left over from last night that I blended so it looked like refried beans.) That didn't really look like enough either so I grabbed some of the tomatoes that I had roasting in the oven and added those. (It worked in my mind.) The good news is that I think I'm well on my way to getting kicked out of the kitchen, AND the bathroom. See? Silver linings everywhere!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Black Belt Spectacular

If every picture tells a story, then these pictures tell a story of perseverance.
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The Black Belt Spectacular
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Signing the certificate
More than 4 years of training, countless hours at the gym.
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Introducing Chloe
A grueling final testing process, heaps of stress, sleepless nights, and training 7 days a week.
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The black belt candidates
And nobody gets a black belt alone. Chris and I spent countless hours in the car, ferrying her back and forth. Aidan made dinners, and sometimes accompanied Chloe on her bike to make sure she made it safely on days we couldn't drive. I coached her soccer team because then I could choose the schedule. Some days felt like a merry-go-round that strapped you and wouldn't let go. On those days,  friends and family stepped in various ways, taking over portions of the carpooling, bringing dinner,  coffee and chocolate.
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Our little warrior
And not because Tae Kwon Do is so important, but because Chloe is. And if she sets her mind to accomplishing something, then we are going to do our darndest to support her.
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There was a whole community to celebrate with her. Grammie flew in from Oregon and spent three days cleaning our house from top to bottom. (Including the oven that caught on fire while roasting tomatillos for salsa. I was shoveling burning chunks out of the bottom with a metal spatula while Chris and my mom looked horrified. Don't worry guys, it's not my first fire. So then Chris recommends dumping baking soda in the oven. Brilliant plan, worked like a charm..and also filled the room with chalky dust. That's the point when Grammie decided that our competency might be a little lacking and took over. )
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The knife edge strike
I think I'm going to show this picture to every potential boyfriend, that is, when she's 39 and allowed to date.
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Board breaking
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Hammer Fist
This is her instructor's daughter holding the boards for Chloe.
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The spinning Crescent Kick, which is kind of like Chuck Norris' Tornado Kick
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On a side note-Chris is thinking about doing his hair like Master Tran-there on the right
We had a party to celebrate our girl. We made lots of food, chili and hotdogs, bacon wrapped dates, guacamole and salsa (hence the fire), cheesecake, orange spice cupcakes with chocolate ganache, cider, and chai...and our people showed up, crowding our tiny yellow house, bringing more food, (smoked pork and chili, pesto in canning jars, cupcakes and brownies...) and laughter, and the presents of community who wanted to honor Chloe.

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There she is
Chloe went to bed wrapped in a cocoon of happiness. She was completely blown away that so many people loved her enough to show up. And that feeling of being surrounded by people who love you, is more empowering even than a black belt.
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All the black belt candidates from Muy Thai and Tae Kwon Do
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