Monday, June 27, 2011

The Beginning

Last week at work Todd heard the following from a co-worker:
"Todd, it is neither hunting season nor winter.  Why do you have a beard?"
Why, it's a Vacation Beard, of course!
We left Owensboro Saturday night at about 6:15.  Todd drove until about 9:30, after which I took my shift.  I have been staying up late the past few weeks painting and doing who-knows-what, so I was designated night driver.  I did great until I started to get a little sleepy around 11:30.  I think it is fair to say that between 11:30 and 1:00 I ate at least two pounds of peanut M&M's.  After that I got my second wind and was good until about 3:30.  Todd would dispute this, as he was awoken by a construction pylon hitting the passenger side mirror.  All I could do was laugh.  I was never sleepy and hazardous, the incident was merely a miscalculation on my part.  It was pretty funny.  For me, at least.
The girls were pretty good.  Riley and Macie fell asleep after the 9:30 stop, but Charlotte fought it until after 10:30 and then woke up a few times throughout the night to cry and whine. 
Carver was amazing and never made a peep.  What a stud. 
Everyone was awake by about six or seven.  We stopped at McDonald's for breakfast and got to Grandma and Grandpa Johnson's in Colorado about 10:30.  By far, the longest part of the trip was the last three hours.  I am now a proponent of night driving.  My children are much more lovely when they are asleep.
The girls are abusing Grandma Johnson and her snack cupboard for the day, then we are off to Utah tomorrow morning.  I am actually dreading this 8 hour drive, as the kids will be awake the whole time.

And just so I don't forget, last week Riley asked me, "Mom, so even if there weren't all these trees in Kentucky, THEN would we see the mountains?"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lady Panthers

We got the helmet personalized just in time for the last two games. We're on top of things like that.

(Mute so you don't have to hear my awkward commentary.)
This was an awesome hit! Since I was filming I couldn't really tell where it went, but from the sound of the bat, I knew she really smacked it! Riley went 3-3 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. (Stats courtesy of Todd, who will forever take stats in his head.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

The trip where my father saved the life of my children's father.

I was so proud of myself for clearing all the drop cloths and drying drawers out of the kitchen so I could put a Stoufers lasagna in the oven for Father's Day...then I read about Vegas steaks from Don's Meat and homemade rolls.  Oh well. I tried. 
I had (got?) to speak in church.
 I really don't mind speaking in church.  It is easier than sitting with the family and wrangling the kids.  I'll prepare a talk and sit on the stand any day. 
Of course, my topic was the eternal calling of fatherhood. 

I expressed that Dad taught me how to shoot a good jump shot and to stay out of debt - two things I will be eternally grateful for.  Thanks, Dad!
We gave Todd a bike.  A Giant.  It seemed fitting.  It is the first time he has had a bike since he was in junior high.  Poor tall people.  You really don't know how hard it is until you are married to one.  Now we can go on family rides.  We live right by the walking trail, and our ride last night was perfect.  We caught fireflies and everything. 
We also had to buy him a new GPS since ours was stolen out of his car a few weeks ago.  Ugh. 
I know we need one for the trip.  There is no way Todd would be confident sleeping while I navigate the roads between here and Utah.  We would end up in Minnesota or something crazy.
The painters put the last coat on the cabinets today.  I want to wait to post pics when we have all the knobs on and everything, and that won't be until we get back.  You have to let the paint cure for a week or two.  I learned some pretty valuable stuff from these painters.  It is definitely a job I could have done myself, but I am glad I didn't.  It was horrible to be without a kitchen for a week.  We ate at McDonald's WAY too much.  But, I guess if you did it yourself you could be a bit more organized and move the stuff to the garage to paint and dry. 
Good old George and Norman.  They are good guys.  I had some interesting religious conversations with them.  I am reminded, on a daily basis, that I do not know the Bible well enough.  I swear, people out here have it memorized cover to cover. 
It makes me feel pretty stupid.  On a good day, I can remember one or two scripture mastery verses...and that is a good day.
Obviously, I need to read my Scriptures more.  Obviously.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Don't retire in Kentucky

I have to share this funny story.  Our main painter, George, has a helper painter, Norman, who comes for a couple of hours each day.  Norman is old.  And he has a thick accent. 
George introduced me to Norman and Norman said, "Ya know, I'll only be here for a couple a hours cause I'm retaard."
Huh?  I just kind of looked at him and nervously smiled.
"Ya know, when you're retaard ya can only work a few hours a day."
I cringed a little bit, but then I realized he wasn't being horribly honest about his abilities, he was saying he is RETIRED.
It was so awkward.  I swear, he said "retaard" a dozen more times while he was here and every time it was weird.  By the fifth or sixth time I had to stop myself from giggling when he would say it. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


 {Todd dutifully wrapping the island in bead board.}

{Notice the color on the ceiling.  It's all the rage these days.  Or at least that is what they tell me.}

This is only day two.  It feels like day two hundred.  Seriously.  I am going crazy.  I sit and get ulcers just thinking about all my stuff piled in the living room.  All my drawers emptied and my inability to use the kitchen.  It makes me bonkers. 
I am still trying to love the color on the walls.  It is just so weird.  Sometimes it is blue, other times green.  Make up your mind already!
And I stress about how I am going to find curtains to coordinate with such a color. 
Oh dear, did I say I am going crazy?
I have been up until midnight or later the past four nights painting all the trim and putting up the bead board. I don't think I've been up past midnight since my college days.  It doesn't help with my anxiety.  Add to it the fact that Charlotte was diagnosed with strep throat on Monday, Macie with an ear infection today, and Carver being uncharacteristically cranky  - and you have VAL ON EDGE.  It's not pretty.
I can only imagine if I would have tried to do this by myself.  The only thing keeping me going is knowing that it will all be over in a few days.
I have often wondered about all those ladies and their DIY decorating blogs.  It's like they are always up to something.  Somehow making their homes look like a page out of Pottery Barn, all with D.I. finds and some stuff from their garage.  I used to really envy that.  Not so much anymore.  Anytime I take on a project I just can't wait for it to get over!   Those ladies are crazy.  They have to be. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We Take Our Youth Sports Seriously

That should be the motto for Owensboro, Kentucky.

Riley is playing on a coach-pitch softball team and it has been so much fun.  But it sure is a step up from Iona T-Ball.  Long gone are the days of moms coaching and throwing out some rubber bases in the shady spot of the park.
These girls are serious. 
Cleats? Yes.
Your own helmet and face mask? Yes.
Taunting the batter through rhythmic song and chatter? Yes.
Umpires in professional blues, complete with exaggerated strike calls and deep fist pumps for outs?  YES.
It's awesome.
It has been quite the leap, but Riley has caught on really well.  She learns quickly and is eager to listen to her coaches. (Which made us realize we should probably not coach her in basketball anymore, seeing as how she had no respect for us as coaches.)
Unfortunately she has to miss three games and the entire tournament.  When we told the coach he asked if Riley wanted to live with him instead of go to Idaho :)
We initially signed her up for fast pitch because that season has already started and ended, but the team held all their practices on Sunday.  Sad.
It was such an ordeal.  I specifically asked at sign-ups if any games would be held on Sunday and they said no.  I didn't even think about practice.  After about twenty calls to coaches and league directors we switched her to slow pitch.  Fortunately, this coach doesn't hold any practices on Sunday. That man will be blessed.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Every. Single. Day.

And I don't think it will ever get old.

In other news, I did something very unlike me.
I hired a decorator. 
Yep.  I did.
Now, before you get thinking what I know you are thinking, it only cost me $60 and it was worth EVERY PENNY.  I have this house full of mustard yellow and Christmas red paint.  Before we even bought this house I KNEW it had to be changed, but I have been frozen with fear for ten months.  I am so indecisive.  The area that needs to be painted consumes three living spaces - the family room, the kitchen, and the mud room.  And it will be a lot of work to paint.
And I don't want to mess it up. 
I want to get it right the first time and LOVE it.  I knew this was only possible if someone else told me what to do or at least confirmed that what I wanted to do was good. 
Yea for my new best friend Brian! (Who just happens to charge me by the hour to hang out.)
He confirmed that I was on the right track and told me what colors would work best.  Of course, I am still scared out of my mind, but I just have to keep reminding myself that Brian's taste rocks, he knows what I like and he has the vision of how I want it to look. (repeat, repeat, repeat.)
Yesterday I went over to the paint store to get my swatches.  I also decided to ask for some good, inexpensive painter references.  I got one bid and I actually toyed with the idea of hiring someone else to paint.  The  instant I even considered it, I had this sense of peace and calmness.  That moment of peace made me realize how wonderful it would be NOT to spend every night from eight to midnight for the next month painting! It was like this HUGE weight was lifted.  I was FREE!!  I was going to hire a painter!!!  Hallelujah!!!!
It makes me happy just thinking about it. 
(It makes Todd happy, too, because he knows how much work it would have been for him as well.) 
So, here is the before:

Here is the plan:
Walls-Benjamin Moore Gray Wisp (Sounds pretty drab, but it is light with some great green and even a little blue undertone.)
Island - Ben Moore Texas Sage with bead board (Earthy green.)
Fireplace walls - white with bead board
We are also painting the kitchen cabinets white. 
And, the part that makes me lose sleep at night, but I know will be so awesome...
the ceilings will be painted Mocha Cream. 
It's going to be so fresh and new and NOT red and yellow. 
Deep breath.
I have two more guys coming to make bids tomorrow and then I am getting this started ASAP...before I think about it too much and change my mind.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

No More

After my Dr. Google diagnosis, I had one too many people relate horror stories of stress fractures gone bad.  Ali's story of a friend with dead bone and pins in her foot was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I went ahead and made an appointment with the local orthopedic specialist.  I had my appointment today.  Today also marks four weeks of no exercise.  My ankle feels better, but not healed...but good enough that I almost felt silly going in.
I related how everything started hurting, my weird aches and pains and what not. The assistant poked and prodded and moved and twisted and sent me in for x-rays.  I came back after three scans and the Doctor came to view them. He poked and prodded and twisted and turned and showed me how the range of motion on my right foot was pretty much non-existent compared to that of my left.  To my surprise, when he held my heel bone and moved my left foot back and forth it was normal, but on my right it barely even moved.  It didn't cause any more pain, but it pretty much has no side to side movement.   He said if it was a stress fracture the healing would show up by now.  My x-rays came back clear, but he could see some dense area on the top of my foot.  He sent me back for two more views of my foot.  At this point I wanted to get to the bottom of things, but I was just wondering how much each x-ray was costing me.  Ugh.
He looked at the second set and explained that I have a "calcaneonavicular coalition".  Pretty much there are two bones in the foot that most people have a pretty good space between.  My space is small and filled with some fibrous something or other, limiting my motion and causing me pain.  It isn't injury related, rather something that has probably always been there, but gets more painful with running.  Mine isn't as bad as the picture.  I don't have a complete joining of the two bones; there is still a little space for movement. 
Long story short: there is nothing I can do.  It will always be there causing me pain unless I want to have surgery.  I have pain in my ankle because those two foot bones aren't doing their job moving and absorbing shock.  It gets transferred to the ankle, then the knee, then the back and so on.  Blah, blah, blah.
I don't know if I am discouraged or relieved. 
I am discouraged that it will always be there causing me pain and giving me an excuse not to run another marathon.  I am relieved that it isn't something that will cause more injury.  I feared that every time it hurt I was causing further injury and deterioration.  Nope.  Every time it hurts it will just hurt. 
I guess I will just get back in the swing of things and see how it goes. 
(Of course, swimming is recommended, but seriously.  How in the world, with four kids, is swimming for exercise and cardio purposes possible?  I tend to think it is not.  In order to beat my kids out of bed and get to the pool for some laps, I would seriously have to be up and out by 4:30.  No thanks.) 
Anyway, wish me luck.  I can handle the ankle pain, but I don't know if I can tolerate the knee pain and back pain...and what that may lead to.  Ugh again.
Any other Madsen's have foot pain and limited movement?  He said it was pretty genetic or hereditary or something like that.