All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Finishing Out Summer Fitness Plan

I need a new fitness plan.¬† After thinking on it for quite a while, I came up with the one linked here.¬† I’m testing in with my sit ups, pushups, and squats tonight and will kick that training off on Saturday.¬† I’m running up until then and am logging as of this week.¬† In case you’re interested, you can check it out, but don’t feel like you need to.¬† ūüôā


Happy 4th Weekend!

We had a darn good weekend!¬† Hottie had Friday off so we kicked off our Independence Day festivities a day early.¬† The weather was perfect and the kids were on their best behavior (until they weren’t, but that was rare), so we really maximized the outdoor family time.

On Friday, Matthew had camp and Bryson had a strange rash, so Hottie dropped Bryson and me off at the pediatrician on his way to drop Matthew off at camp.¬† I took the running stroller with me and dressed appropriately to just run home from there, but I felt guilty about ditching Hottie on his day off when I know he loves nothing more than getting a coffee together¬† ūüėȬ†¬† The doctor was super efficient for walk-in hours (grass mites – who knew?) and we were done before Hottie was back.¬† We ran a bit while we waited for him to pick us up.¬† We ended up getting drive-thru coffee and some donut holes for Bryson and then Hottie drove us to a trailhead and we ran home from there.¬† Our community does an amazing job with linking up all suburban trail systems, so I was able to run 5 miles back to our house without having to cross busy street without an overpass or underground tunnel.¬† It was a beautiful run!

We picked Matthew up with Ji.mmy Joh.ns in the car waiting for him and headed to the park.¬† The kids played, we stood and ate, and I got some super cute pictures of them in the covered bridge and along the creek.¬† It was a great way to spend the morning before naps!¬† Naps HAPPENED for 2+ hours so I mowed the lawn and Hottie washed our cars.¬† We had our favorite dinner as a family¬†(curry bison burgers which Bryson gobbled his up while Matthew ate leftover salmon from the night before) and then we went out for ice cream.¬† Baths happened on time and Bryson was in bed by 8:20.¬† Matthew and Hottie camped out in the backyard, leaving me to myself to make this AMAZING brussels sprout salad and this sparkler cake for the next day.¬† I finally dyed cake batter, which I’ve never done before, and it was super cute.¬† I did not take a single picture of my cake, but it looked just like¬†the one below¬†without the thin sliced strawberries on top.¬† The layers were blue, red, and blue and I added fresh blueberries to the frosting between the bottom and middle layers, and fresh strawberries to the frosting between the middle and top layers.¬† I’ll be making it again next year!¬† I’ll be making the brussels sprouts salad again next week!¬†¬†After cooking, I¬†sat in bed and spent some much needed alone-time while everyone slept – it was wonderful!

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Saturday started EARLY… at 3:45 AM.¬† HA!¬† I woke to the sound of a door opening and a bunch of “Shhhh.. they’re sleeping.”¬† It got too cold outside for the boys so they headed inside to sleep in Matthew’s bed together.¬† CUTENESS!¬† Bryson then woke up at 6:05 and snuggled into bed with me for his morning “Ogurt.”¬† I gave the boys until 7:00 to wake up but no luck, so Bryson and I went for a nice 5 mile run.¬† We arrived home about 5 minutes after the guys woke up so we all got ready together and headed for the parade.¬† WHAT FUN THAT WAS!¬† I was the official candy collector (of the candy that didn’t get picked by the kids = tootsie rolls) and Bryson was the official candy taster.¬† We saw lots of politicians due to Iowa being the first state in the nation to vote in the primaries¬†(ick) and a lot of fun trucks.¬† Success!¬† The candy was mostly mediocre and that reminds me I need to toss it out now that everyone’s asleep.¬† HA!

We had lunch and then naps… well, Bryson had a nap.¬† Matthew tried to sleep but couldn’t, so he got to help me finish prepping food for our dinner family playdate with some new friends.¬† The cake was a hit (the twin boys kept tasting the frosting and put the cutest finger prints in the side of the cake – making it obvious that Landon is the lefty and Andrew is the righty!), we learned that children need to be taught not to hold their friends under water (I shudder when I think of all the times we’ve stepped out of the bathroom with the boys in the tub together – they don’t understand that dunking is not a good idea even if the other kid likes it), and Matthew had a really great time with one of the boys.¬† Bryson kept to himself but came out of his shell when he got in the pool (clothes on) and hit it off with Landon who is more docile than Matthew and Andrew.¬† HA!

We headed home to grab some things for fireworks and headed to the park by 8:30.¬† This is when our day went from great to horrible in an instant.¬† We got tickets for the bounce house and let both boys go in.¬† We kept checking on them, keeping a close eye on the exit.¬† I saw Matthew at one end so I headed back to the exit where I met up with Hottie who had just seen Bryson on the other end of the bounce house.¬† Hottie asked where Matthew was, I said just on the other end, he looked, and… no Matthew.¬† He was gone.¬† I wasn’t too concerned at first – there’s no way he could have gotten far.¬† Wrong.¬† He was nowhere in sight.¬† NOWHERE.¬† Hottie took off to look for him as I loaded Bryson in the wagon and asked some moms to keep an eye out for him.¬† As I panned the area over and over again, I started to panic.¬† This hadn’t happened before – not like this.¬† There was¬†a sea of people and Matthew was not amongst any of them.¬† When I realized that he was not in the section of the park that I was in, I looked for a city festival worker to help me.¬† When he asked me what Matthew was wearing, I fell apart.¬† I mean – I sobbed, started to hyperventilate, and then almost threw up.¬† The guy called the police right away to help and I heard him put out the alert on the walkie talkie that a 4 year old boy named Matthew was missing.¬† JESUS.¬† He assured me that this had happened many times earlier in the day and that the kids are always found.¬† I nodded, fighting back tears (I remember blinking back tears, trying to nod confidently, and biting my lower lip.. oh, the lower lip is my tell), but it was getting dark.¬† This was different.¬† He told me to come back to where we were after a bit of looking and he was off like a shot rounding people up to look for him.¬† I decided to cross the road into the other part of the park (the bigger, scarier, too-close-to-the-road part of the park) when I heard Brian yelling for me.¬† He had him.¬† He had him in his arms.¬† Matthew had slipped out of the bounce house, thought that WE were lost because we weren’t there, and decided to find us.

“I got out of the bounce house and you were lost. I went to find you because you were lost. I found another Mommy (this is what we’ve taught him to do – yay!) and said, “I can’t find my daddy, he’s lost. Do you know where he is? I need help.”¬†¬†She picked me up and held me until daddy came. She was nice. She had on green (correct) and was eating popcorn.”

I don’t think I’ve cried happy tears like I did last night – total relief!¬† Seriously, at one point, I thought to myself, “he’s gone.¬† GONE.¬† He is GONE!”¬† He asked if I was mad and of course I wasn’t.¬† I then had to call off the search, thank everyone for their help, and go and meet this woman who picked up my kid and kept him safe for us until we found him.¬† All of that was done through tears and nervous smiles.¬† The festival guy said, “this is the 10th one today, and we’re still 100%.¬† I know it’s scary, but it will happen again.”¬† He was a rock – he was just the right person for me at that time.¬† Amazingly, this all only lasted between 5 and 10 minutes.¬† It felt like a lifetime.

With the drama behind us, we went “back to the car where we will wait for fireworks” (Hottie’s words).¬† Hottie came prepared with a picnic blanket, camp chairs, bubble blowers, glow sticks, etc. so there was no shortage of things to do.¬† Matthew stayed right next to one of us at all times – he had to be touching us at all times once we were back at the picnic blanket.¬† We obliged, and quite happily.¬† Fireworks started, they went on forever, Bryson and I packed up our stuff (he lost interest in the fireworks quickly), and we were out of there.¬† The kids fell asleep on the way home and transferred into bed without a peep.¬† Hottie and I sat up together, equally relieved and happy to be home with both boys safely in their beds, and watched a movie until 1:00 AM.¬† It was… perfect!

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Today, Sunday, was another beautiful day but I didn’t run.¬† Instead, Hottie got up with Bryson 6:05 (AGAIN) and I went into Matthew’s room to sleep in with him – we got up at 8:00 (that is WAY late for me!).¬† We tooled around the house, made breakfast hot dogs for the kids, and took a family shower before we went out for a late breakfast/brunch.¬† Bryson fell asleep on the way home with his sunnies on his forehead and¬†was tossed in the crib while Hottie and Matthew did some “house projects” together for a little bit (sanding and re-staining wood windows).¬†¬†At 1:50, I called it nap time and I crawled into bed with Matthew and slept with him until 4:15.¬† It was …. wonderful.¬† Hottie got more windows done while we all slept and then he made the boys’ favorite dinner, which Matthew thanked him for over and over and over again!¬† We went out for ice cream (again) and then the boys had baths and went to bed.¬†¬† My first order of business was to order these disposable ID wrist bands ¬†and Road ID tags for the boys’ shoes.¬† Done and done.¬† And here I am, with a sleeping Hottie beside me and my laptop right where it belongs before heading off to bed myself.

Great weekend – even with the scare of our lives!



“A Lot Can Change in…”

These last 5 weeks have¬†been… devastating, challenging, shocking, momentous, active, exhilarating, and emotional.


Five weeks ago today, at around 9:30 AM, my family’s life changed for what we thought would be forever.¬† My youngest cousin’s badly broken leg turned into the fight of (and for) his life.¬† We waited, prayed, and cried as Sam stayed in a coma for 8 days (a coma we were told to expect to last 2 weeks to 2 months).¬† I never believed that Sam would not get back to his normal easy-going self eventually, but I did think it would take a very long time – the doctors said “months” until any kind of improvement would be seen.¬† He defied the odds and woke up within 8 days, started responding and speaking almost immediately upon emerging from his coma, and then soared through inpatient therapy after therapy until he was released to go home this past Wednesday.¬† At one point before he woke up, we were told that there was no hope and that he would be a very slight version of himself for the rest of his life.¬† I have never fallen apart so badly in my life, not even when my niece was comatose for 6 weeks when she was one year old (I always believed she would be fine, and because my sister needed us daily, hourly – I could not allow myself to fall apart.¬† That niece, who I was called at work to come say goodbyes to 10 years ago, turned 11 this past January).¬† My lowest low, my saddest moment, my most fearful experience almost 4 weeks ago turned around the next day when Sam woke up, and we’ve all be on cloud 9 ever since!


A week and a half¬†ago, the confederate flag was removed from South Carolina’s state capital grounds.¬† Immediately following that decision, major retailers announced they would stop selling merchandise with the image of the confederate flag, and Ebay quickly followed suit.¬† No matter how you feel about the confederate flag or how you interpret its¬†meaning, it cannot be denied that this event is very significant for our country.¬† This event is historical and will likely start a domino effect.¬† I welcome that idea!


On June 25th, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) upheld Obam.acare.¬† Now, I’m not a fan of Obam.acare and I don’t believe that it was implemented in the correct (or best) way, but I still find this ruling to be very exciting for this reason:¬† Republican-leaning justices looked past their politics and interpreted the law the best way they saw fit, and ended up crossing party lines.¬† That’s a big deal to me, especially over something as polarizing as Obam.acare.


A week ago today, on June 26th, SCOTUS ruled that all marriages (between 2 people)¬†must be allowed and recognized by all 50 states, and not just the marriages between a man and a woman.¬† This decision is momentous to me – I never thought this would happen on¬†a national level in my lifetime.¬† Even a week later, I get emotional just thinking about how this decision has changed, and will continue to change, our country for the better.¬† I believe in the same¬†civil rights for all human beings, and last Friday got us one major step closer to all being viewed equally by the federal government.¬† AND, the best part of this, in my opinion, is that the populous seems to be accepting this change rather well.¬† For all of the hullabaloo over gay marriage leading up to this decision, I truly wonder if we were really all that divided or if the PAID lobbyists were just that good at telling us all that the nation was polarized on “the issue of gay marriage.”¬† When Iowa was making this decision 6 years ago, it was paid lobbyists from outside of our state that came in and swayed voters to retaliate against the judges who¬†opened up marriage equality to every Iowa citizen.¬† Having been through this before but on a smaller scale, I truly believe that the majority of Americans are much more open-minded than the religious right (who foots the bill of the lobbyists) wants us to believe.¬† Yay, America, for not falling for the paid rhetoric!


On July 31st, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma ruled that “the state must remove a 6-foot tall granite monument of the Ten Commandments from its capitol because it violates the state’s constitutional ban against the use of public funds or property to benefit a religion.”¬† I like this so very much.¬† Not because I have something against organized religion (I don’t – it’s just not for me even though I am a spiritual person who believes in a god of some kind, and that’s all I really need), but because I am a staunch believer in the separation of church and state as it is part of our nation’s foundation.¬† This fight had both Stan.ists and a minister on the same side.¬† How often do you see that happen?


A lot can happen in 5 weeks Рa lot of good, and not so good things (depending on how you feel about these issues).  Changes that will have a ripple effect for years to come.  Changes that will get more conversations going on how we treat one another.  Changes that will encourage some of us to modify how we behave (Sam, pay attention when you drive!).  Changes that will never be forgotten.  Changes that will hold a special place in our hearts forever.


Happy Independence Day Weekend, everyone!  This one is going to be my favorite one ever!


He’s Home!

Sammy went home yesterday!¬† After 4.5 weeks of a coma, then “emerging,” and then in-patient therapy here in DSM, he went home.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.¬† I heard doctors tell us not to get our hopes up, not to expect rapid recovery, to keep expectations low.

When this all happened, the doctors told Uncle D that Sam would be in a coma anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months.¬† I saw Uncle D yesterday as we loaded his car with all of Sam’s things, and he said, “can you believe this?¬† It’s like a movie ending.¬† Not even 5 weeks ago I was told that my son would probably need 8 weeks to wake up, and right now, he’s being discharged.¬† I thought to myself back then, ‘I can wait 60 days to see my son’s eyes again,’ but here we are.¬† And when this all happened, I was told to not hope for much, and all I hoped for was for my son to be able to communicate with me again, in some way, even if it was minimal for the rest of his life.”


As Hottie and I walked back to our car, I cried.¬† I cried because as hopeful as I was (I NEVER thought for a minute that Sammy wouldn’t fully recover), I did not expect to be sending him home so soon.¬† I was ready for 8 weeks of “sleeping.”¬† I was ready for lots of in-patient therapy (we were told “months”).¬† I was ready for a very long road.¬† I wasn’t ready for such a quick turn-around, and neither were his therapists.¬† As we said our goodbyes in Sam’s room, I asked one of his therapists, “is this normal?”¬† She said no.¬† She said that everyone is stunned by how quickly he recovered and that, “his young age is on his side.”

Sam truly is… amazing!¬† He defied every single odd when it came to coming down with FES in the first place, and he defied all the odds in his lightning-fast recovery.¬† My cousin posted on FB, “Can everyone please say, ‘BEST CASE SCENARIO?'”¬† But this is better than the best case scenario.¬† Although there is work to be done to get all of Sam’s functions “back to normal,” the¬† best case scenario told us months before we’d see much improvement at all, and that the road would be very long.¬† All things considered, the road has been quite short so far, and the road ahead will be much more pleasant than we were told it would be.

My Marathons for Sammy is complete – he’s home!¬† I am finishing out this week and I owe him 0.3 miles to complete 4 marathons for him (why I didn’t finish those this morning… ugh!¬† I had no idea!).¬† I ran 104.8 miles in the time it took him to recover.¬† I’m so glad he cut this challenge short for me¬† ūüôā