Saturday, July 13, 2013


My brother Bryan and I had so much fun on the "FlowRider" at Maverick's in Sunriver. This is a surfing simulator. While I can't say we are ready to catch a tube in the ocean, it was a unique experience and I definitely recommend it!

Here is the FlowRider at rest and when they first turn on the water. The entire surface and all the walls are padded. At the top is a rubber grate to drain the water but keep your mangled body afloat. You'll see what I mean.

The bottom 2 photos show the lifeguard demonstrating how to surf the fake wave. Looks pretty easy!

This is the first picture I took of Bryan:
You can see his head at the top of the wave...he wasn't on the board long enough for me to even capture. 

Bryan demonstrates the whole process:
1. Get set up
2. Push off
3. Momentary thrill
4. Wipeout 
5. Regain your spatial bearings and hope (in my case) your swimsuit is still on

There were about 10 other people participating, so we had to take turns throughout the 90-minute session. I tried the wakeboard first: you start at the top and kind of leap face-first onto the board on your belly.  Somehow I messed it up and instantly lost the board, leaving me face down with water forcing my swim top off my chest. So after one attempt I chose to focus on trying to master the surfboard. 

Here are a few more pictures of Bryan wiping out before we get to some video action!
The pictures of him surfing look pretty good! Too bad he was usually down after only a few seconds. 

Each of us on an early attempt:
We look so awkward!

Two of my better rides, including a gnarly wipeout:
I was the only girl out of about a dozen participants (except an 8-year old who mostly did the boogie board), and I am PROUD to say I held the record for the longest ride! Based on Bryan's counting, I almost mastered the bull ride, at 7 seconds. (I think one guy may have reached 8 seconds toward the end, but until then, I was their idol, ha ha.)

The whole thing was tons of fun, and much harder than it looks! I have no idea how similar that is to real surfing, but it must be very challenging. Also, I think I got whiplash because that night I could not lift my head off the pillow without using my hands for support, and my neck was quite sore for a few days afterward.  Bryan and I agreed: it was totally worth it!

And now, just because WOW, here's that kid showing off:
In the second clip he's shirtless (you're welcome!) but it must have distracted him because he falls. One thing I didn't catch on video: he fell but the board kept "surfing" on its own on the wave. Bryan and I goaded him to walk through the water and jump on it, and he did it! It looked so cool, and we were awestruck nerds. :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Does anyone else think this inflatable slide is in very poor taste? It is a real party rental!

Turning one of the world's tragedies into party entertainment? Why is this more acceptable than a Sandy Hook Dodgeball Obstacle or Twin Tower Bungee Jump?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rugged Maniac 2013

I'm a huge fan of "adventure" races; I think it's much more fun than just running on the road. My sister Diana and I did the Rugged Maniac 5k at Portland International Raceway together.

First we must get our "outfits" on.

August is lookin' good!

I'm so grateful my parents came along - Dad watched my kids and Mom took lots of pictures!

Ready to get RUGGED!

Diana took the time to put on her "Age 21" bracelet and her "Free Beer" bracelet (which she will not need!)...

...then as we heard the final call for our wave to begin, she remembered she hadn't changed into her crappy shoes! Ha ha. 

The first obstacle was climbing through this waist-deep mud pit with a hundred or so other people. 

Diana navigating the uphill barbed wire crawl.

My favorite picture! (Rugged Maniac even posted it on their facebook page.) :)

My mom was only able to photograph a handful of obstacles near the finish line. There were over 20 obstacles over 3.1 miles.

Lots of climbing, lots of mud, tunnels, balance beams, and more.

And the big finish!

That was way more fun than the rest of it - lots of pretty tough challenges.


We did it.

Rugged chicks!

Madelyn did NOT want a hug from Mommy!

Our amazing photographer and supporter!

Next came the group showers. FREEZING cold water.
We had a little water fight with the guys next to us, and there were bits of debris everywhere, if you catch my drift. 

We can't wait to do this again...thinking about Race the Reaper this fall. It's 6 miles and the obstacles are SERIOUS.  I get excited watching the video on their home page - check it out!  We want my dad to do Rugged Maniac with us next year, he would do great!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My baby gets Glamour Shots by Deb

Deb would be (stoically) proud!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guide to Trading Candy

I love Halloween. One of my fondest childhood memories is of the post-trick-or-treating candy-trade. My siblings and I would come home with a sack full of treats, dump them in our respective piles, and carefully organize them by brand, size, etc. And then the serious bartering would begin!

And that is why this I found this video particularly hilarious. Although even those unfamiliar with the age-old candy-trading tradition will probably laugh out loud a few times.  This is so good it deserves multiple viewings to catch all its subtleties. 


Monday, October 1, 2012

Mystery Solved!

Read the tale of The Mysterious Vanishing Gift which I posted a few days ago.

And now for the exciting resolution!

My sister (who is mutual friends with these folks) delivered their gift to me today. I was shocked when she nonchalantly mentioned who it was from, and related the entire unsolved mystery to her before she explained: they thought we had a baby girl. Oops!

My sister encouraged them to sneak the gift away during the party with the intention to replace it with a more appropriate choice. While I understand how my friends may have felt embarrassed, it would have probably been less awkward to just express that feeling at the time, don't you agree?  We would have all had a good laugh about it, and the entire debacle would have never been.

Just in case my lovely friends ever read this stuff, allow me to state for the record that their generosity and thoughtfulness is most appreciated, and their effort to attend our gathering and celebrate with us was the best gift of all. As far as the gender error, it is completely understandable and forgivable!

I am just so thankful to have the mystery solved!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mysterious vanishing gift

Last Sunday we hosted a Welcome and Blessing Ceremony for our dear baby August. It was the kind of event that left me beaming with joy for the rest of the day! The wonderful people who came to celebrate with us, the love that filled the space, delicious and beautiful refreshments, and our emotive, handcrafted ceremony made for a perfect afternoon.
At the conclusion of the blessing, I headed through the kitchen to bring dessert out of the freezer. On my way I ran into a couple of friends who had just arrived. Unfortunately, they missed the ceremony, but I was very happy to see this family who lived down the street from our old house. After exchanging hellos and hugs, the wife handed me a lovely gift bag emblazoned with the colorful word "BABY" on the side.

"Oh no, you weren't supposed to bring a gift!"

"I know, but we didn't go to any baby shower or anything and we wanted to give you something."

"That is really sweet, thank you so much! I'm on my way to get dessert ready, so I'll set it right here for now. Thank you!"

And I set the gift bag on the corner of my kitchen counter in order to be a proper hostess and serve the promised dessert to our patiently waiting guests.

The afternoon continued gloriously with visiting and laughter, and eventually people began to depart. This gift-giving couple was among the last few families to leave, and as I hadn't had a chance to talk with them much since they arrived, we spent a few more minutes happily visiting in the foyer before they headed home with their two children.

After the party was mostly cleaned up and bedtime routines underway, something reminded me that our thoughtful friends had brought a gift which we had yet to open.  But back in the kitchen, the gift was nowhere to be found. Not in the place on the counter where I left it, or anywhere else. I asked Gary if he moved it, and he didn't even remember seeing it. I called my mother, because she and my brother had been extremely helpful cleaning the kitchen, but neither of them recalled moving any gift.

The gift bag was not small, and it was obviously a baby gift--all poofed up with tissue paper. It could not have disappeared behind a counter appliance or slipped accidentally into someone's bag. After searching increasingly implausible places, I was at a loss. Now the issue was not so much about what was inside the gift bag as the mystery behind its disappearance!

I can come up with only two possible explanations, but would love to know if I've missed another:

1. A child became enamored with the brightly colored gift bag, stole away with it, opened it in secret and somehow destroyed all the evidence.
[But the empty bag and tissue paper would probably be somewhere, and once the child discovered what was presumably a baby item inside, wouldn't he/she abandon it? Or if not, wouldn't the child's parents notice an item coming home that they didn't have before?]

2. My friends were offended that I did not open the gift in their presence, and perhaps took this affront to mean I didn't care enough or want the gift, and so they took it home with them.
[But our friends departed in a very friendly and happy state, without any gift bag in their hand at the time. Could they have sneaked it out to the car earlier?]

I would want to express my gratitude to these friends for their generosity, but now I wondered how I could appropriately do so. And the possibility, even as ridiculous as it seems, that they could have un-gifted the item, made me worry that if I said nothing it would confirm the suspicions (which possibly did not exist) that I did not care about their gift enough to notice it was gone! So I texted the husband: "Am I going crazy? I went to peek at your gift and I can't find it! Did you happen to move it somewhere? So weird. Sure loved seeing you all today!"

No response. Even now, more than a week later.

My husband insists I'm  being paranoid to make the following connection, and he's probably right because these friends don't seem to be the grudge-holding type. But in the interest of full disclosure, I must share this: we attended this friend's 40th birthday party back in March, and Gary accidentally left the envelope I asked him to bring on the entryway table (we had to meet at the restaurant). I was embarrassed showing up to a birthday party empty-handed like that, so I apologized to my friend that his gift card had been left at home. Of course he brushed it off as no big deal.  The thing is, I never followed up and mailed it to him after the party. So I can't help but wonder if the bag's mysterious disappearance is their idea of retribution for my own gift-related gaffe.

What do you think? Foolishness? Perhaps, but how would you explain this bizarre phenomenon?


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