New Year 100!

I might have created a monster!  Hailey has really become a runner and is motivated to keep running.  She asked me if I would do another 100 mile challenge with her.  Of course with the New Year and all of its resolution, making new, going to improve myself feelings I eagerly said yes!
Boy did I struggle to get this one done in time.  The weekends are just a killer for finding time to work out and with 7 days of zero miles, it left me needing to do 20 miles in 4 days!  Ack.  But if I have a goal, I am going to put every ounce of effort into it and Hailey wasn't about to let me give up.  She was telling me to get out there and get some miles. :)  So what if I couldn't walk for two days, I finished it!  I love Hailey and am grateful for her motivating me to be my best, but I sure hope she doesn't ask me to do another 100 miles for a long time!

Jumping January

I always go into bit of a funk in the New Year.  I LOVE Christmas time and January always seems so barren and bleak after taking down all the Christmas decorations and the kids go back to school.  It also ramps up for sports for the remainder of the year which equals a completely insane life for five months.
 Hank decided to try lacrosse this year instead of baseball.  He really didn't enjoy the baseball season last year as he was rotated from the bench through outfield.  But it seems it was meant to be because he loves lacrosse.  It combines all the things he loves.  It has elements of football, hockey, soccer and baseball!  That is all great except he has two practices a week and tournaments every Saturday all over the valley.
 Karlie has a two practices a week and a tournament nearly every Saturday and Kaitlin has volleyball practice and games as well.  Somehow we are suppose to be in Gilbert, Awatukee, and North Scottsdale all at 10am.  It makes for extremely complicated scheduling and begging for help from teammates.
On Tuesdays I pick Hank up from school and get home at 3:30.  At 3:45 we leave to take Kaitlin to practice.  After dropping her off at 4:00 I run home to put the finishing touches on a crockpot dinner.  At 4:45 I leave to get Kaitlin. As soon as Max gets home, he starts eating dinner.  Kaitlin and I get home and join the family dinner for 15 minutes before Max and Hank leave for lacrosse at 5:35.  We do the dishes and get ready for music lessons.  The music teacher arrives at 6:30 and Karlie starts off.  Karlie plays until her carpool ride to volleyball arrives to take her to practice.  Then Kaitlin and Hailey each play for a half hour.  Hank and Max get home around 7:45 just in time for Hank to wash his hands and sit down at the piano for his lesson.  Then we finish any homework and I try desperately to stay awake until it is time for me to leave to pick the carpool gang up at 9:30.  After delivering all the girls to their homes we get home around 10.  Karlie finishes homework and showers with the hopes of being in bed by 11!  Then we do a modified version all over again on Thursdays.
Between all the scheduling we have tried to pack in sleep overs and fun times too.  Karlie got to go to the Katy Perry concert with her friend and teammate!  She is growing up so fast.
 Our friends from Canada come to visit every winter and we always have a wonderful time eating, drinking and being merry.  Canadians are such nice people!
 Max and I even fit in a long hike one Sunday after church.  We were able to hike from our house to a new restaurant we have wanted to try.  It is near the base of the mountains so they are set up for bikers and hikers.  We were able to sit out on the lawn and sip a cold one.  The best part was calling our Uber Hailey to come get us!
January has been jumping and it is just the warm up for spring!

New Year's Resolutions 2018

January has been off to a very busy start!  I am having trouble returning text and emails in a timely manner, so blogging about resolutions has certainly taken a backseat.  I reviewed last years goals and can't believe what a year we had!  Max and I celebrated our 40th birthdays and made the most of it with rowdy, fun, and wild birthday parties.
 Max's entire family came out to help us celebrate.  It was a really special time.
As if Max's birthday was the opening act, my birthday was the closer!  Two of my sisters were in town and we got to act like college kids for a night!
I think they were the two best birthday parties either of us have ever had.  It will be hard to top for 50. :)
I also get to check a half marathon off my list and know the a full marathon is not anything that needs to be on my bucket list ever.  I am happy that I accomplished a half but hope to never run that far in one day again!!
On Memorial Day we hiked from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the South Rim!
It was truly a bucket list worthy adventure.
We hiked almost 25miles in 10 hours and 30 minutes.
If I ever do it again, I would like to stay at the bottom a night or two so I wouldn't feel so rushed to get out safely.  You would think an entire day would be enough, but I craved more time to gaze at its  awesome beauty.
 This is not an adventure without risk, a woman hiking with her children died hiking to the bottom from heat exhaustion a few weeks after we completed the hike.  We spent months preparing and reading about how to safely achieve our goal.  But knowing that a doctor with much hiking under belt succumbed to the harsh conditions made us truly realized what a feat it is and just how dangerous it can be.
We also finally got to reach Havasupi Falls!  This is another place that pictures don't do it justice and was worth the effort to get to.
It was stunning however the poverty of the Natives and knowing a man died the same day we hiked out left a lingering feeling of sadness surrounding our adventure and can only hope they figure out a way to make this national treasure profitable enough for all the tribe to have a better quality of life.
We checked off a huge goal in 2017!  MKHKKH has visited every state in the contiguous United States.  We loved seeing our capitol and all the history in this part of America.  We still have Alaska and Hawaii to visit before the MKHKKH Family 50 is complete.  So Alaska is in our sights for 2018.
Not that going to Mexico was a resolution, but it was a goal for 2017.
 It was our favorite vacation ever!  We snorkeled for the first time as a family and it was spectacular.
While we were there I was able to check off a life long dream of swimming with a dolphin.
I was fighting tears the whole time.
The kids are always talking about Mexico and dreaming of the day they get to go back.
This year is different for me.  I don't have any burning resolution or things to accomplish gnawing at me.  Of course flossing and drinking more water are always on my list.  :)  I am not sure my feet can handle many more epic races or hikes.  I do have a travel bug and always hope to travel somewhere new each year.  This will be our 20th wedding anniversary and we want to do something memorable.  I am thinking a tropical adventure!
Our pastor preached about trying this year one word that would be the lens through which all your resolutions would filter.  To focus on one word of change in you.  We sat down as a family after spending a week thinking about what word was on our hearts.  Max chose Intentional, I chose Grace, Hailey chose Underlying, Karlie chose Balance, Kaitlin chose Trust, and Hank chose Trustworthy.  I tend to lean in the type A personality if you haven't noticed.  I set goals, I am always trying to improve, and I have very high expectations for myself and for those around me.  I am fiercely loyal and love with every fiber in me.  However, if you wrong me, I have a very hard time with forgiveness.  If you don't live up to my standards I don't overflow with grace to put it gently.  In all my interactions I hope to put grace at the forefront.  I have already had many situations to extend grace and find myself withholding it and we are only a month into working on it.  I have much work to do but am encouraged that with each of these opportunities I am beginning to question my response.  So I guess I hope by narrowing my focus and resolutions with grace as the foundation I can resolve to be more like Christ.

Cactus Classic 2018

Over the Martin Luther King weekend we went to Tucson for Karlie's volleyball tournament.
The Cactus Classic is 3 days of volleyball from early morning until late at night.  A little too much volleyball for team MKHKKH.
While Karlie and I were courtside, Max took the kids to visit the University of Arizona campus.
I can't believe it is already time for Hailey to be looking at what schools she would like to go to!  This can't be happening.  She really liked the campus.  I guess 2 hours away from me would be manageable.
Hank found a meditation spot to rest.  Goofball!
Everyone headed home on Sunday which gave Karlie and me some girl time!  We did face masks and snuggled and talked.  I love getting alone time with each of them.
Karlie's team ended up in the PM pool which led to us starting behind schedule and not finishing until 10 at night.  It was a long weekend with some hard losses but the girls learned how to play as a team and I loved watching my lucky 13 in her new position as setter!  It is going to be a fun season watching these girls grow!

Lunch Dates

One of the kids' favorite part of vacation is they each get to go have a lunch date with Daddy at work.  They love going to the cafeteria with Max!  There is something in those burgers and curly fires they all love.  But I think what they really love is some special alone time with dad.
After lunch he takes them to his office where they get to look a different things under the microscope.  They looked at their hair, cheek cells, and paper fibers.  It is a really sweet tradition.

New Year's Day of New 2018

We hiked up Saddle Mountain as a family for the first time on New Year's Day.  Max, Hailey, and I had done it before but we had never all done it together. 
  It was a steep hike!
 But the views were so worth it.  Hank rode the peak like a bronco. :)
 We are blessed to have beautiful mountains all around us to hike.  While most of the US was experiencing a record cold snap, we were sweating in 75 degrees.  We will pay for our warm winter later in the summer for sure.
 A family that does yoga together on a mountain stays together. :)
The kids have finally reached the age that they no longer complain about the hike and were thrilled to take in the views at the top!  I guess it is like brain washing and if you do it enough, they eventually embrace it.
 For our new food, Kaitlin wanted to cook us dinner out of her new cookbook she got for Christmas.  It was baked chicken in puffed pastry with a side of goldfish crackers.  She was so cute.  She loves to cook and bake.  She inspired us to do something new and have one of the kids plan and cook a dinner each week.
Our new game we played was American Trivia.  I would think with all the traveling we had done we would be good at the game.  I was wrong.  It has some difficult questions.  I think we should keep playing all year to brush up on our American trivia in 2018!
Everyone wore new clothes on the hike which was not the best idea since half us snagged our pants on the rocks.  We also talked about our New Year's Resolutions and plans for 2018!  I am looking forward to a new year with my crew.

New Year's Eve

This year we had a nice sized New Year's Eve party.  Hailey invited a bunch of friends over.  Most of them stayed for the evening but some stopped by on their way to other parties.  The boys took off around 10.
 Karlie had her buddies over too.  All of Kaitlin's friends were on vacation, so she was very happy that Juju would be her buddy for the night!
 Our two party animals crashed and burned out before 10pm.  Any other night I can't get them to go to bed on a sleep over but the one night I wanted them to stay awake they could not keep their eyes open.  We woke them up at midnight and it didn't go so well.  They started 2018 off on a grumpy note.
 I love having everyone gathered around the TV to watch the ball drop and cheers!
 It is always a good time and a celebration when we are with Bill and Aimee!
 I am excited for new adventures in 2018!!
There is no place I would rather ring in the New Year than in the arms of my man.  A kiss kicks off the year in the right direction.
 The pyrotechnician portion of the evening did not disappoint.  Max pulled out a secret stash of fireworks that Pops had brought him that I didn't know we had.  They were a crowd pleaser as they shot into the air and lit up the sky!  I was grateful we didn't start a fire or that the cops came knocking.  What a show!
I can only hope that the beginning of 2018 filled with friends, family, love, celebrating, and fireworks is a foreshadow of the year to come.