Saturday, October 22, 2011


The newest member of the Knight family... Pippin! Yep, we took the bold step of getting a puppy. He was eight weeks old when my brother and his wife shipped him from Alaska down to us. The kids were SO excited to have a pet, and, for the most part, have been really great with him.

Pippin is half black lab and half weimaraner. His mother, Katie (weimaraner), belongs to my brother and his family in Alaska. They typically breed her, but this one time, she got loose and well, she met the wrong breed of dog. A couple months later, bam! Eleven mixed puppies. My sister-in-law is basically a dog freak, so she knows everything there is to know about them. She watched the litter, kept her eyes open for the best mannered dog, and reserved him for us.

So far, I think things are going great. This is my first time having a puppy and they are definitely a lot of work. Basically like having another baby. Except this one I can leave at home unattended for a couple hours at a time!

Since Pip is half lab, he is very active. He LOVES going on hikes and long walks, then comes home and crashes. It is so cute! He is extremely soft and cuddly, sometimes falling asleep in my lap on the couch. He is getting very attached to Claire, following her every move on our walks. If she walks circles around a tree, he does. If she has to balance on the curb, he is mimicking her perfectly.

Since he is a puppy, he tries to eat everything. Seriously, everything. The good thing about this, is that it is really encouraging myself and the kids to keep things off the floor and put away. I have not had Legos all of the living room for a week now! My feet love it!

The above pictures were all from the first couple of days with Pip. He has already grown since then! We have only had him a week and a half!

This picture is from Forest Park, one of our favorite places to hike. In fact, it is where we are off to now!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SO Much Better Than Last Year

Exactly one year and three days ago, I was standing in church listening to the massive rainfall that morning. It was October 10th, 2010. I remember being amazed at the pounding and pouring that morning. I also remember not paying too much attention during Liturgy that day; and feeling very sorry for myself.

You see, a few weeks before that, I had developed a stress fracture in my left foot while I was training for the Portland Marathon. The stress fracture was so bad, that my doctor instructed me not to run the race and to basically stay away from running for 2-4 months. I know my inconsistent training is how I developed the injury. Training for a marathon requires a lot of 8+ mile runs, something I could not do with children and Hurricane's unpredictable work schedule. So, I ran on the weekends and then ran more consistently when the kids started school in September. My foot obviously did not like that, and protested the best way it knew how.

So that fateful Sunday morning, while the rest of the competitors were running in the massive downpour, I was bemoaning the fact that I spent $140 on a race that I would never run. I stared at the shirt and bag that falsely advertised my athletics. Humph.

In January 2011, things started feeling better. I did a 5K race with my sister-in-law and started running low mileage about twice a week. I registered for the Portland Half Marathon at the end of the month and by the middle of summer was in a consistent training schedule.

And boy, did it pay off!

This past Sunday, the 9th, I did the half marathon with my girlfriend who flew up from Utah. It was amazing!

Speaking of amazing, I have to brag a bit about Nicole. So, Nicole. She is pretty much the funniest person you will meet. Not only does she have a wonderful personality, she also has a positive attitude and a lot of courage. You see, she only started running this year. That is right! This year! Like me, she signed up for the half at the end of January. Like me, she started with a consistent training in the summer. However, unlike me, she did all her training on a treadmill! She only ran outside 4 times before coming to Portland for the half! She even did the longest training run, 10 miles, on a treadmill! How crazy is that? Pretty crazy!

But wait, maybe it was not so crazy when I tell you how much she rocked the half. Her first one. Ever. Well, here are her stats:

Half Marathon official time: 2:01
Official Pace: 9:18/mile
Overall Results: 443 out of 2272 (top 19%)
Women Results: 210 out of 1668 (top 13%)
Age Group Results: 29 out of 205 (top 14%)

I am SO proud of how well she ran. It was so much fun having her here for the extended weekend. I loved running with her and I cannot wait to do the next one!

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

Claire loved having someone around who actually knew how to fix her hair:

Hanging out with Claire at the LDS Portland Temple grounds Friday afternoon:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another Build

Remember Slim's room? It was literally a sea. Dark blues, browns, and light blue on every wall, with various sea animals painted everywhere.

Here is what it looked like the first time we walked into this house, back in January 2010.

Cute, but not almost seven-year-old-boy cute.

Finally, back towards the end of August, I was ready to tackle his room. I know what you are thinking. "August? The end of August? You mean immediately after you were physically, emotionally and financially drained from finishing your back patio and tree fort?"

Yes. You are correct. A mere days after we totally finished our back yard projects, I started feeling that feeling. That feeling you get when you want something changed and you want it changed now. This seems to be a constant struggle of mine. Finish one major project only to start another.

But this one was fun. Slim was ready for his room to be painted and I also promised him a bunk bed.

Since starting to build earlier this year, I have been dying for a bigger project. My desk was fun, but I wanted a more complicated challenge. A bed for Slim seemed perfect. This summer, in Alaska, Slim and his cousin slept on his newly build loft bed that my brother had made. This seemed like a great option. Only, unlike my nephew's bed, I did not want Slim's bolted into the wall.

Also, since my kids still like to sleep together, a loft bed seemed like the perfect fit. Peaches' bed would just go underneath, then, in the event she is ready for her own space, her bed can move and Slim still has a ton more space for Lego building.

I found some decent plans online and modified them to fit what we would need. Since I am cheap, I also bought build-grade lumber, which is only sanded with about 80 girt. Since this was a bed, I had to hand sand (also 'cause I am cheap & did not want to invest in a sander) all the wood for the bed three times. That is a lot.

Then I had to prime and seal the wood before I could paint it.

So, in between sanding, sealing, and painting I worked on the room itself. I primed the walls. I primed the ceiling (yes, they painted the ceiling! WHY?) I put up new trim and base boards. Because I wanted Slim's room to match Peaches', I hung chair rail and decided to paint the walls two colors.

Total the room took 10 days from start to finish. I also painted Slim's desk chair to match the bed and re-upholstered it with fun fabric. I bought individual shelves from IKEA and painted them to match the walls. They each have a reading light by their bed.

All in all, I think it turned out perfect. The only thing left to do is curtains. I have the fabric (a duvet cover from IKEA's 75% off bin) I just have to sew them!

Take a look at the progress!

Here you can see where I sample colors. You can also see the blue ceiling that I had to paint over!

Decided on blue and grey!
Ready for chair-rail, trim, and base:

Base, chair-rail, and trim up!

And voila!

Future fixes? Wood floors, new windows, new light fixture and the closet! But that will just have to wait...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Japanese & Rose Gardens

On what now is to be considered our last sunny summery day in Portland, I decided to take Peaches out to have some fun. Since she is most likely going to start full-day school in January, I am trying to make a conscious effort to spend quality time with her in the short time we have before Slim comes home.

Some days are better than others. This day, was perfect.

We got our Cultural Pass from the Library which covers admission for 2 adults and 2 children to various places in Portland. We decided on the Japanese gardens, and we invited a friend. Since the Japanese Gardens are right next to the Rose Garden, we enjoyed that too. Portland is the Rose City after all!

Here are the pictures: