Race Days

Kiss Me Dirty 5K Mud Run
My first mud run! I was so excited to run with Linda and get muddy! It was really fun to not be afraid to get dirty. The very first obstacle required you to get muddy and wet up to your thighs, so after that you were not afraid to just dig in and get dirty. The obstacles were fun, but not too difficult. I think the hardest part was running with a ton of mud stuck to the bottom of my shoes. It seriously felt like my feet were now bricks. I got a few rocks in my shoes throughout the race, but it didn’t cause any blisters.
Right at the end of the mud run they threw pink color on everyone. As you can see in the picture, Linda got pelted in the face with the pink powder. As we were walking back to our car I saw some puddles and I thought, “why not? I’m already muddy.” So we both splashed in the puddles for a few minutes before heading back to the car and cleaning up.

Linda though it would be fun if we coordinated and went a little crazy. She bought superhero underwear for us to wear for the race. It was super cool and made us super speedy 🙂

Western Pacific 10K

The next weekend I headed to Fremont to run my 10k. I was not quite as prepared for this race as I had hoped to be. Most mornings I was somehow able to talk myself out of running. Needless to say, it was not my fastest 10K, but I’m glad I did it.

The morning started out nice and cool. It was a beautiful morning and perfect for a run. The sun was just starting to peak through the clouds as the half marathon runners started their race.

About halfway through the race, the sun came out in full force and it started to get pretty hot. The trail was flat (thank heaven!) but there wasn’t much shade. I didn’t think about the heat too much though because I was focused on finishing the race.

Since my time on this race was a little disappointing, and I still feel like I’m just starting to get back into running I think I will be doing one more race closer to the end of the summer. I’m not quite sure when, were, or what yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll run again!

Family Pictures

We got our family photos taken a few months ago while we were in Utah. I just realized I never got around to posting them! Here are a few of my favorites.

Lucy was cute while we were taking pictures! She smiled so cute every time the photographer tickled her or got close and made funny faces, but by the time he jumped back to take the picture her smile was gone. We tried so hard, and we did get one super smile, but the rest didn’t quite capture her full smile.

Can you tell this was near the end of the photo session? Both kids are starting to show their disdain for more picture taking.

I love this photo! 

A Thanksgiving Toast

We have gone to Sacramento three of the four years we’ve lived in San Jose (we didn’t trek out there the week after Charlotte was born, sorry!). We love having the Pratt family so close. It is so fun to plan trips and spend holidays together. The highlights of this Thanksgiving was the fun times we had in the kitchen cooking together, a late night run to Krispy Kreme’s, and having Jenn join us from Hawaii. 
My nieces are getting older now, and they all did a great job cooking or helping with some part of the Thanksgiving dinner. Even Miriam helped set the table!

Claire made a really delicious banana creme pie. Grace helped with the sweet potatoes. And yes, these were the most sugary, delicious sweet potatoes ever. It was practically dessert. Yum!

Charlotte loved the rolls. She wanted to be like everyone else, so she used her knife and fork to try to eat her roll.

Levi was such a good sport. Charlotte had been asking to “hug Levi” for at least a week before we finally headed to Sacramento to visit them for Thanksgiving. Charlotte was Levi’s little shadow for the few days we were there. She thinks he is the greatest and loves to play games with him. Thanks for being a great cousin Levi!

Just in case you were ever curious, this is what happens when you leave a bottle or Martinelli’s in the freezer for too long. Oops!

It was so fun to have Jenn with us for Thanksgiving. She was visiting from Hawaii and only a month away from having her sixth baby!

It’s always hard to say goodbye to your favorite cousins.

Painting Party

Friday night I was preparing for Charlotte’s birthday party when I had this really fun idea. I used some streamers and balloons I had on hand and put them up on Charlotte’s door as a birthday surprise. “She’ll love it,” I thought. Ha! I couldn’t have been more wrong. She stared at those streamers & balloons and decided that they were dangerous and should be feared. She wouldn’t not willingly touch or come near them. In fact, at one point she wouldn’t come in the living room because there might be a balloon around somewhere (we left a few stray balloons around thinking she might want to play with them, haha). Watching her cautiously peer around the wall to check for balloons was sadly hilarious.
To her credit though, after about two or three days she did get used to them and the streamers were no longer trapping her either in or out of her room. She would go through the streamers to get into her room (though she never really played with them or the balloons). 
Now, on to the party! I picked a painting party because I knew Charlotte loved to paint. She had painted only once before at the Children’s Museum, but you could tell she loved it. At her party, she got so excited when she saw the paints. The only thing that could keep her distracted while we set everything up was a banana muffin. 

We kept the party really small because we didn’t want chaos to break out or have kids fighting over the painting supplies. We had some fun rainbow themed fruit and veggie trays, sprinkled cupcakes, and banana muffins (one of Charlotte’s favorite foods). After a few bites, she actually chose a banana muffin over her birthday cupcake.

Lucy slept through the entire party. 

We took a break to light the candle for the birthday girl’s cupcake, which she actually blew out all by herself. After eating a few bites of cupcake and a banana muffin, Char was asking to paint again.

We had to take the paint brush out of her hands once everyone had left and we were mostly cleaned up. We would have let her paint longer, but it was starting to get cold outside and she was in shorts and flip flops (it does get kind of cold in mid-November…). Everyone had so much fun I think we might have another painting party just for fun!

Six Flags and More Butterflies

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Last Saturday we went to Six Flags to meet up with Chris’ sister and her family. When just Chris and I go to Six Flags we generally only ride the big roller coasters. As we stand in line for the giant roller coasters, we get funny looks from the people around us. I generally have Lucy in the Bjorn and Chris pushes Charlotte in the stroller. We look a little bit out of place among the teens. I told Chris, “I’m too young to be old!” We have not yet embraced that we have little kids and can’t always do exactly what we used to without kids. So far, it still works, but one of these days we will have to accept it.
After a few major rides, we went to find some of the animals and kiddie rides for Charlotte. This is Charlotte’s first encounter with a real tiger. He doesn’t look much like Daniel Tiger, and I don’t think he would be quite as friendly…. or sing as many songs.
Safari ride!

Lucy and I waited while Chris took Charlotte on a ride.

After seeing Charlotte get scared going down the slide at the park, I did NOT think she would enjoy this ride. Chris insisted she should try it, so I consented and he went with her. I was very surprised that she only got a little scared about halfway through the ride. She did very well! Maybe we’ll have to try the slide again.

Six Flags has a butterfly exhibit! Charlotte was so excited to see even more butterflies. She just walks around saying, “Butterfly! Butterfly!” It’s so cute.

Monarch Butterflies

You don’t often think about going to the beach in November, especially if the purpose of your trip is to see butterflies… but at Natural Bridges State Beach they have a grove of Eucalyptus trees which are a butterfly haven. Based on their migration patterns, the best time to see a ton of butterflies is in November. So, last Saturday we headed to the beach!
The Natural Bridges Eucalyptus trees are home to the Monarch Butterfly (see below 🙂 This butterfly was all by itself up near the visitor center in a little garden area where they showcase each kind of plant that the butterflies need to survive. 
We also saw several caterpillars in the garden. Clearly, they like these plants. The butterfly expert said that these particular plants are not as abundant as they used to be, so the butterfly population is dwindling. They said that if we plant these in our garden (alongside purple flowers to attract the butterflies) we can have butterflies and caterpillars in our own garden. I was convinced, so we bought a packet of seeds. We’ll see how it goes!

Down in the grove of Eucalyptus trees all you have to do is look up to see hundreds of butterflies. Those tiny little black dots on this picture are all butterflies. And those are just the ones who decided to fly around.

Tons more were just hanging out on the trees (it was a tiny bit too cold for them to be flying around).

Here’s a close up of the tree. You can see there are lots of butterflies just quietly sitting on the branches.

 Charlotte liked the butterflies, but she was most excited about the beach.

Ah yes, here we are with the sand between our toes.

While we were playing in the sand, Charlotte grabbed her bucket and politely said, “go get water.” We were pretty far away from the water and we didn’t want to get up, so Chris decided to distract her by telling her to go chase the bird. And she did. This is about as close as she ever got. 

Halloween Haunts

I’ve officially decided that fall is my favorite time of year. Unfortunately, in San Jose it is still pretty warm in the “fall”. Fall around here is more defined by the activities you do than the temperature and weather. 
Uesugi Pumpkin Patch

This was by far the biggest and most elaborate pumpkin patch we visited this year. They have lots of fun activities for the kids (and a couple for the parents). The whole place is decorated with pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows, and hay bales. It’s adorable.

We went on the enchanted hay ride. They take you through their corn fields and you get to see their beautiful fields of sunflowers and marigolds. The marigolds are hand-planted, it’s incredible.

It is nearly impossible to get Charlotte to look at the camera. I try and try….

They have a huge pyramid of pumpkins, it’s so festive! I had heard they also had pumpkin ice cream, and I was extremely disappointed to discover that it was sold out.

Spina Farms
For our weekly park day with friends, we changed locations and went to Spina Farms instead. They had lots of things for toddlers to do. Charlotte played in the hay maze for quite awhile. She got lost and was just wandering around until another older kid walked past her and Charlotte decided to follow them around, which eventually lead her back out of the maze. 
Ward Trunk-or-Treat
We donned our family costumes for the ward trunk-or-treat! I’m so glad that it all came together at the last minute. I was doing some last minute shopping for accessories the morning of the trunk-or-treat, and I wasn’t exactly sure how it would all look. I think we look pretty good! Charlotte’s lion costume is my favorite.

Santana Row Trick or Treating
Every year, on the Tuesday before Halloween, the stores on Santana Row give out candy to trick or treaters. It’s always crazy crowded, but we decided to go anyways. After her experience at the ward trunk-or-treat, Charlotte got really excited when I pulled out her lion costume. She knew what that meant, “turkey, turkey!” At least, that’s what ‘trick or treat’ sounds like when Charlotte says it. We worked with her and she can say it better, but then she gets excited and it comes out like “turkey, turkey” again. We’ve also taught her how to roar like a lion, but she gets really shy around strangers.

Can’t wait to go trick or treating tomorrow on Halloween! After all this practice, Charlotte will be a pro trick or treater tomorrow.

Twins Separated by 21 months?

Since the first time I looked at Lucy, I have felt like it is just like having baby Charlotte all over again. Lucy reminds me so much of Charlotte I thought I would compare their pictures side by side.

Charlotte
Lucy
Lucy
Charlotte
Lucy

Charlotte 

The more I stared at their pictures trying to find two pictures where they are in the same pose the more I noticed that I think Lucy’s eyes look a little different than Charlotte’s. Maybe it is just because Charlotte is squinting in her pictures, but I can see that as a possible difference. What do you think?

These are a few of her favorite things…

Charlotte loves to go places with me. Every time I mention the word ‘go’ I have to be ready to walk out the door. Once she hears we are going somewhere it’s all she talks about and she wants to leave right now. She has one pair of shoes that she can get on by herself (thank goodness!) and to keep her distracted while I finish packing things up to go I tell her to go get her shoes on. Most of the time she will go and excitedly put them on, but there are rare occasions where she just doesn’t want to listen.

Here’s Charlotte at the park near our house. She is finally getting big enough (and brave enough) to climb around and on nearly everything by herself (except the slide).

We have a pass to Happy Hollow which has a zoo, rides, and a playground. Charlotte likes a couple of the rides, but is very particular about the carousel. She will not ride on anything that goes up and down. They have one animal that is stationary (the giraffe) and that is the only one she can ride without clinging to me the whole time.

Charlotte has a ducky towel that we have always used after her baths. Now that we have Lucy, I decided to buy another towel. While I was looking for one at the store Char saw this one and wouldn’t stop hollering until it was in her hands. She carries it around during the day sometimes like its her favorite blanket. Luckily, though she loves it so much she still lets me use it to dry off Lucy after a bath.

 And of course, I just had to throw this in there. Lucy is two months old! Isn’t she cute.

Five Years Later

We celebrated our five year anniversary this month. We can’t believe it has already been five years since this:

For our fifth year anniversary, we wanted to do something a little bit special. We had two different date nights. The first night, we went out to La Fondue and did the full course meal. Yum! You get a salad, cheese fondue, meat (grilled), and then chocolate fondue (our favorite). It was all really, really delicious. We were getting pretty stuffed by the end, even though it was a very long dinner. From start to finish is usually around 2.5 – 3 hours. La Fondue is known for having some really adventurous meats that you can try, but we didn’t go too crazy. We had chicken, beef, lamb, and the most unusual was wild boar. Chris didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t my favorite. 
For our second date night, Chris had planned a surprise. And Chris loves to surprise me and drag the surprise out as absolutely long as possible. The surprise activity was Paint Nite! I was truly surprised. This is not something you see us doing every day. 

Paint Nite is where you come and they have everything set up for you and a simple picture that you will be shown how to paint by the instructor. They walk you through the paining step by step, and break it down so that even us accountants can paint a pretty picture.

I found that for me, the hardest part was to stop painting. I’m a perfectionist and I was never quite happy with how it looked. We had a 10 minute break while we let most of our painting dry before moving on to the second half, and I found myself fixing and tweaking parts of it for the whole 10 minutes. Luckily, though I was constantly painting, it dried enough for me to continue.

This is our nearly finished pictures (I think I spent another 15 minutes trying to fix just a couple more little spots…)

I thought this was a really fun way to celebrate together. We were able to talk and laugh while we painted.

Love you Chris!