the goose is getting fat

In the above title I am not referring to myself, though it could be argued. It is in fact a line from a jolly Christmas tune, if you've never heard it- look it up. All of this is just my clever way of saying Christmas is coming! It has been so fun to have our own house to decorate this year! We loaded up on Christmas lights and decorations last year at the after Christmas sales. Our front room has 100ft ceilings. OK, not really but it felt that tall when we were painting. Anyway, we wanted to put a huge 14ft tree in it this year. No such luck. Instead we got to send Sam all over the country for interviews (more on that later). Luckily I found this skinny little pre-lit mess for 30 bucks at JoAnn's black Friday sale. Behold, the Shumway family Christmas tree:
Sam and Landon also killed some time decorating the front yard. I was obviously at work while Sam sent the 2 year old up a 6ft ladder... alone.

black friday

I've never been a hardcore black Friday enthusiast. I have braved the early crowds occasionally, but more as company for those much more excited about it. This year however, I wear the label. It started Thanksgiving evening after sifting through mountains of store ads. A rumor was floating around the house that malls were handing out $50 gift cards. This sounded too good to be true, but upon further research we found it totally legit. We headed out. Our plan was to first hit Toys R Us and grab one thing for Landon, then head to the mall which shares a parking lot with Toys. They both opened at midnight and we showed up maybe 15 min early. BIG mistake. The line to get into Toys was wrapped around the entire building, twice. FREAKS! We ditched that idea and jumped into a not so long line at one of the many mall entrances. There was only one rule. Spend a combined total of $100 at any stores in the mall, and you get a $50 Westcore gift card. Sam dashed to Footlocker while I ran (literally) to the redemption line. Just my luck, in line I was surrounded by Chatty Kathy on one side, and Gothopotamus on the other. Sam joined me minutes later, and there we sat in my equivalent to hell for 2 HOURS! The worst part of the whole thing was the horrible dj they had set up in the center of the line that kept reminding us that quantities were limited and we were not guaranteed the gift card. Finally the last 15 minutes they started handing out tickets the the 1st 400 people in line. Wahoo! We got our gift card, then I went to meet up with my mom for some more shopping! I still don't consider myself die hard, but I'm always up for a good bargain!


I made 2 french silk pies. Oh, and a large portion of green bean casserole. Thanksgiving was delicious! Thanks mainly to my wonderful mother who prepared most of the feast. Small thanks also go out to family members for making my life full, green schlauff (not to be confused with shlom), and of course Dolly Parton for Hard Candy Christmas.

i turned...

For some reason this is the only photo from my birthday festivus. That is me enjoying a free sundae, and yes, that is Brad Pitt peering over my right shoulder. What more could a girl ask for. I got to do a lot of fun things, many of them involved eating food. Yay for getting old!


oops! we did it again.

We went to the midnight showing of New Moon. Besides waiting in line for far too long and being surrounded by the dumbest people in the world (not my friends of course), I liked it.


i did it!

My mother in law, Terry is in better shape than I ever was/will be. When I heard she and my sis in law Jocelyn, AKA Bean had signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon I followed suit, since in shape is something I aspire to be someday. Keep in mind I did this 7 months before the actual race, thinking I would have plenty of time to train. At first my training went pretty well, I would ride my bike to the gym every day and run. We then bought a house which for some reason contributed to my getting "too busy" to do anything, especially run. Fast Forward to 3 weeks before the race, and suddenly it hits me that if I try to run 13.5 miles I will die. It was really important that I accomplish this goal, so I started my accelerated "training" program. I knew that my original plan of running the whole thing was never going to happen, so I would run and speed walk everyday before the big race accumulating 28+ miles a week. Keep in mind this was in August in AZ. Pure Hell. Unfortunately the key is speed since the pace car would pick you up and dump you in the Pinocchio lot if you were going too slow. Fortunately, that pace car was only moving at 15 minute miles. We all started out together at 4am and before the 1st mile marker Terry had left Bean and I in the dust. We stayed together for a while until Bean had to take a pit stop. At that point my goal was to speed up and try to catch Terry. I ended up running most of the race, only walking when my knees were on fire. I loved it! It really was fun, and I felt so good... until about mile 11. At this point I was sure my feet were bleeding, and that the cartilage in my knees had disintegrated. Needless to say, this is when I did most of my walking (but not too slowly, we were all scared of ending up with Pinocchio). The streets were scattered with people encouraging you the whole way, but for the last mile they were completely lined with crowds. With people shouting your name and cheering you on it's hard to just mosey on through, so I jogged (which probably looked more like a horse trotting) the last mile through the finish line. I never did catch up with Terry because she stopped to get her picture taken with Alice and I passed her without noticing. Will I ever run a full marathon? NO. However, now that it's been 2 months since the race I would definitely consider another half! Congratulations, if you've read this entire post you've completed your own marathon of sorts.


After! Yes, my shirt is drenched in sweat.

"Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish, which trumps Did Not Start."


cotton headed ninny muggins

Why don't you just say it?
I'm the worst toy-maker in the world!!

Landon (or should I say we) made out big time this year as far as candy goes. My only complaint is that he insisted on passing up candy bars for suckers and pixie sticks every time! I really did have fun making our family costumes again this year. I figure costumes are great practice for learning to sew and we got plenty of use out of them at the many parties and events we got to go to.

spirit week?

Back in Student Council during my Gilbert High School days we would come up with themes the week of a big event and students would dress up each day to show their school spirit. I think during homecoming week we once even had a "Great Depression Day". Seriously. Does anyone else remember that?? Somehow 7 years later this has creeped up on me again. I coach tumbling a couple nights a week and our boss decided it would be fun for us to dress up the week of Halloween. Although she kept it on a lighter note than my previous spirit week experiences, the trick was finding a costume that went with the theme and that I could safely work in.


pure imagination

If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. We celebrated my lovely mother's birthday last week in true Smith fashion. Buff sent out a random txt inspiring the idea, then I brought it to life with a little help from my good friend CS4. There were treats of all kinds, enough to last for months! Of course, in this particular household they didn't last until 9pm. We spent the gluttonous evening watching the kids dance the night away to my mom's new hip-hop CD.
Mother must have been in heaven. This was the look on her face all night!

Told you.

I have the best mom in the world, btw.


blessings of liberty

We went to Gilbert's Constitution Week celebration this year. After a series of unfortunate comedians, magicians and adolescent boys singing and dancing around the stage, Francis Scott Key showed up and sang the National Anthem. He may or may not have forgotten some of the words, he did mumble through a few lines in the later verses. The fireworks were fantastic!


fifty nifty

Landon's obsession with numbers and letters has calmed down to just the letter sounds. However he has found a new interest, for now anyway. I got him this book a few days ago and he has us "read" it to him all the time. He knows all of the states on a few pages, he's not quite up to all 50. The hardest part isn't teaching Landon the states, it's getting a good video of it. Why don't kids ever cooperate when you're trying to show off their tricks?? Here's a little taste:
(please excuse my man voice)

I think we'll give it a little more practice before we attempt the east coast!


Labor Day

We met Sam's family in California for Labor Day weekend. More importantly for the big race, or what I like to call Doom's Day, but more on that later. We stayed in a hotel right by the beach and were able to do a bunch of fun things, like visit the Aquarium of the Pacific.

We then hopped onto a shuttle and toured the Queen Mary, which is one of my favorite hotels. It's haunted and we got to tour some of the scary places in the ship. Sam's Grandmother actually sailed to the United States from Scotland on this very ship, with all the war brides long ago. She has the best accent!

Beach days. I left Landon's hat in the hotel so I tried to smear gallons of sunscreen on his head. When that didn't work, a memory from my childhood slipped into my mind. I remember seeing my dad tie a hankie around his head (not the cool pirate way) to form a hat while he did yard work. I did my best to replicate the "hat", but it ended up looking like a pirate anyway.