Sunday, May 31, 2009

The weather has been so gorgeous and the kids(mainly Peyton) have been BEGGING for months now to set up the pool...So finally, I got it out of the garage, blew it up with the leaf blower...which I totally only took a few minutes, then realized it was filthy. I dumped a bit of dish soap and water in, gave each kid a scrub brush and voila...a productive, yet entertaining task. They actually liked it. Once semi-clean and filled up, they had a blast playing in the pool.

I planted some flowers this weekend in this cute planter I fell in love with at Lowe's. I'm planning to go back and get another one for the other side of the step.
Macy decided she wanted to try and pick it up and take it somewhere else...lucky for me, it's made of concrete.

Here's Macy running away from me and the camera.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Say Hello...

Say hello to a portion of our tax return.
Jon has been mowing since Sunday even though it didn't need it in the first place because some nice friends mowed our lawn for us while we were at church...nice suprise....
When I came back from my run tonight, Jon was outside standing in the driveway looking at the yard. He said that he was waiting for the grass to grow so he could mow again. :)

Memorial Day Weekend

His a bit of what we did this weekend...

Saturday morning...I ran my 20 mile training run with Lacy and Melia. In spite of the distance we had a ton of fun. Really pretty course we ran, down Port Orchard Boulevard to Bay street then along the water on Beach drive to Manchester then up to Alaska(ran about 2 miles too far because we were looking for a street that the map showed, but didn't exist) so then up to the top of Mile Hill through back roads then back to my house. Gorgeous weather! This week we got smart and planned some water stops. Jon took water & snacks out while we were running to mile 8 and 14 so we wouldn't have to pack it all with us. The run took about 3 1/2 hours. I have been truly exhausted all weekend, but thankful that I have no injuries going on, like shin splints, knees, etc...

Saturday afternoon, Jon got something he has been dreaming of for a long time...a new riding lawn mower. Funny thing, when he went to pick it up Home Depot actually loaded the wrong one...a nicer, more expensive one we didn't pay for. Jon reluctantly but honestly told them "um...I'd love to have this one, but I didn't buy it". So after an ordeal ours finally made it home. He is pretty excited. And here's my 2's cute too :)

Sunday we went to church then home for naps, then out to Delano Bay Camp. It is a camp on the water that our church goes to each year. We play games and have a BBQ. Very fun. We also went out on Monday afternoon. This morning our kids(and us adults) were all exhausted. At breakfast Easton told Jon..."my feet hurt, my legs hurt, my head hurts and I'm tired"...funny this is how I felt, but I'm old. I felt a bit bad sending him to school. Good thing, though, Macy has slept until 8am 2 days in a row! Here's a pic of her first "licking the beater" experience. (Note to self: Put her in the high chair nex time.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

My new hair...

Okay Andrea, I am so copying you. I, too, got a haircut and some highlights the other day. I just love highlights when summer is near. I feel like a brighter "sunnier" person. Plus I am working on my "tan" by running outside and with my new lounge chair Jon got me for mother's day. So highlights are expensive therefore I don't splurge very often. You probably can't really tell from this picture. It was kind of a bummer because I was dressed up from some real estate meetings, got my hair done, then had to go ruin it with my 9 mile run, which actually was beautiful along the water on beach drive. I took a picture so at least I could remember it. I just love how Karin (at Studio Red Salon in Gig Harbor) styles it. And Courtney, this would've been the perfect day for a new business bad you live far away... Hope everyone has a nice Memorial Day weekend. We are going to my office BBQ tonight. I am making broccoli salad and brownies. Tomorrow I have a 20 (gulp!) mile training run, the rest of the day will be spent nursing myself back to health by icing and resting and eating :), then off to a fun camp/park on Monday for some games and food.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


So Lindsay asked for my Taco Soup recipe so I thought I would post it here if someone else may want to try it too. This is actually Jon's mom's recipe. I will type is up as she gave it to me, then I will also add the various changes I have made over time. My changes make it lower in fat, lower sodium and less spicey for the kids...not to mention I like to save time, so I've also made it a little simpler...

Barbara Byrd's version of Taco Soup
Cook 2 lbs. hamburger with 1 med. onion, diced
1 small can of diced green chilis
3 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz. each)
2 cans Ranch style beans (this brand is at Safeway they are seasoned pinto I think)
1 can black beans
1 can homine or corn
1 pkg ranch style buttermilk dressing mix
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup water (or more if you want it more soupy)
salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in crock pot all day on low or on the stove for 2-3 hours. My crock pot is 5.5 quarts and it just fits. Serve with cheese, sour cream, chips or whatever.

Maria Byrd's version of the above
1 or 2 cups cooked diced chicken (ground turkey also works well)
1/2 diced onion (often I don't add this if I don't have one)
3 cans no-salt added diced tomatoes (14 oz size)
1 can homine and/or 1 can corn
1 can 50% less sodium black beans
1 can 50% less sodium red kidney beans (often I just use 2 black beans and no kidney)
1 can ranch style beans
1 pkg buttermilk ranch seasoning
1/2 pkg taco seasoning
water if you want it soupier (we kind of like it like chili)
ADD to crock pot same as above. If we have any leftovers the next day we like to pour it over rice.

This is a super fast easy, healthy recipe. I cook it at least every 2 weeks if not more :) It can totally be varied. I experiment with different beans, and I usually keep cooked chopped chicken in my freezer, so you can have dinner ready in no-time. If I don't have chicken I just add another can of beans.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Random Monday Musings...

So a few friends have put some creative headlines on their blogs or websites...I put "Following the Byrds" but I'm just not convinced it right. I also thought of Life as a Byrd, Jon jokingly suggested "Feed the Byrds". I think he gets a bit tired of my indecisiveness. I also think it's funny how I can be so indecisive, but know exactly what I want(or don't want). Usually I have a vision in my head, but unable to make it happen. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Today has been a fun day for me...I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that my house is pretty clean. For a Monday this is unusual. Often times Mondays are spent cleaning up after a busy weekend. So with a semi-organized house and happy Mama, off I went to Starbucks (of course, I had to find a place to sit and make my list ;) ), drop Peyton off at preschool, to Safeway, the bank, home to jput Macy down for a nap, throw Taco Soup ingredients into the crock pot, post a blog, catch up on emails and phone calls, get news of a possible offer on a listing, wake up Macy from her nap, go pick up Peyton from preschool, off to Costco for eating yummy hot dogs and pizza and more shopping. Whew. I am a bit tired, but feel accomplished. I even got everything put away, the car cleaned out again (Easton gave me a pot of dirt with seeds in it that he made at church...of course it got spilled all over the car) and it's only 3:30pm!

As I was driving to and fro today I have been thoughtful about some things I am thankful for that on another given day I may not are some examples.

1. Today, and only today, I am thankful that it is raining. Let me is my off-day for running. It usually rains when I have to run. So today no running, I choose to be thankful for the downpour because I don't have to be out in it.

2. I am thankful for my dishwasher. Growing up I never had one. Our first house did not have one. I think that is the reason I kind of like doing dishes. It's like magic. In goes the dirties, push a button and voila! It's a miracle. (side note: I'd rather do dishes all day, than laundry, which I hate)

3. I really like cute handsoap bottles. I found a set at Costco today, 3 big bottles, different scents for only $6. They are stylish, cute and affordable.

4. I love my Nike flip-flops. They are like having padded floors everywhere I go.

5. I love my pantry, junk drawer, closet, spice/baking cupboard and CD cabinet(thanks Jon). Why? Because they are newly organized and cleaned out!!! I have a big bunch of "Goodwill" items sitting on my porch waiting to go bye-bye. I LOVE LOVE LOVE organizing all the nooks and crannies that get messy and cluttered. I love throwing stuff liberating.

6. Lysol disinfecting wipes in a can. One of the best inventions...EVER.

7. Friends in the community. Seems like when I am out and about I usually run into to someone I know and maybe haven't seen in awhile. I just love it and it makes my day.

I guess I have rambled enough...just wanted to give you all something to read while you're not doing housework... ha ha. I know I can get so distracted with blogs, facebook, etc... Happy Monday everyone!

Double Date Night

Last weekend we found a sitter for Macy and headed out on a "double date" with our kids. Peyton & Jon, and Easton & me. We are starting early, teaching Peyton how a gentlemen should treat her and teaching Easton how to treat and respect a girl. He opened the door for me and did other sweet gentlemanly things. We went to eat at Gino's and then walked along the dock at the Marina. We had a great time, nice to do some things with the older kids while not being distracted by an escaping (but sweet) baby sister.

If you look close you can see Jon and Peyton in the distance.

What's up with kids thinking bunny ears are so hilarious...

Love this photo...I know Courtney, there is probably a better way to crop it...I need to learn some basics sometime...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Well Macy is definitely a girl. She LOVES shoes. It is too cute. Since the weather has been sunny for a few days and the kids like to play outside in the sprinkler, I wanted to get Macy some water-type shoes. Macy also loves "shee-shees" (fishies). Can't get enough of them. So when I saw these at the store & showed her, she was beside herself with glee. It is hard to see but the yellow parts on the straps are fish. I could hardly get them off when it was time. She even wore them to church with her pretty dress. She calls these her Shee-shoes.