Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter in Orinda

I never imagined having a snowball fight in the backyard, but that's what happened this morning. Every couple years we'll get a dusting on the surrounding hills. I remember it snowing once as a kid but I'm not even sure that was snowball worthy.

Blake and I took a bit of pre-snow time on Saturday morning running in the local Bah Humbug 5k. We both ran personal bests: me at 19:10 and Blake about 35 minutes. I had a great photo finish sprint to the finish with a high school kid, outpaced the 60+ guy in the last 1/2 mile, and ended up 2nd in my age group. Blake had a fun time and is pleased to have a new t-shirt to add to his school rotation. He continues with his sprint, walk, sprint approach but I think that just means I need to get out with him on a few slow paced training runs.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Racing Weekend

After Pam's big week, the rest of the family, sans Josh, got in some exercise as well this weekend. With a little encouragement from grandma - who organized the first time NorCal Kids Triathlon- Blake, Abby and Megan participated in their first triathlon. Megan swam while Abby biked as part of a team with their friend Emma. Blake, although hesitant at first, had a great time doing all three events. Pam was there in great 5 day post-partum form to help assist. The kids all enjoyed themselves and it was definitely a big success.

Really steep hill

Abby headed for for the finish

I missed the event while up in Folsom running a marathon along the American river. Pam had encouraged me to get one more marathon in this year - hoping to earn us a trip to Boston in the Spring. While a Boston qualifying time was not quite there (missed by 3 minutes), I had a great race posting a new personal best of 3 hours and 18 minutes and finishing 8th overall. I was lucky enough to have a friend meet me and run me in the last 6 miles and, finally, keeping up a steady pace with my slowest mile only about 35 seconds slower than my fastest. It was a max effort kind of day so if that's the fastest marathon I ever run, I'm pleased.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kiss me, Kate

We were thrilled to welcome Katherine Paige into our family on the 9th. She arrived without incident and weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz and was 19 1/2 inches. After having very eventful deliveries with the other four kids, it was refreshing to avoid such nasties as forceps, chest compressions, ICU stays, etc. We feel very blessed that Kate has arrived healthy and in perfect form. The kids are loving her up and taking turns holding her. Two days ago while Kate was at the hospital, Megan was busy nesting here at the house. She set up the pack and play crib with full bedding as well as the car seat all on her own.

Caught her with the eyes opened

Ready to travel

The girls put in a lot of work this week but are looking great.

I love grasping reflex

Faux smile

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Long Time in Coming

I enjoyed a great birthday this week. It was a day of spending a lot of money on myself followed by stuffing myself with a large sundae at Fenton's. After about 18 months of consideration, I finally made a bike purchase. Really, there were too many choices so I chose "none of the above" for the longest time. But, I'm really happy with the bike I ended up with and got a quick picture with some yummy ice cream as well.

The other thing that's been long in coming is baby #5. Not that we knew baby #5 was on the docket until about 33 weeks ago, but it's still been a while since having an infant around these parts. Pam dutifully posed for a picture tonight.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer Wrap Up

It's been a full and exciting summer. We've made trips to Canada, Oregon (twice), and Seattle. Now that the kids are back to school I have a few minutes to post some pictures.

Pam with her mom and sister Jackie up in Portland for her wedding reception. This was trip #1 to Portland. Short but sweet.

Death in the family. Megan brought home "Tippy" from school at the end of the year. He, unfortunately, smelled rather strongly and was banished to outside dwelling. We had some very hot weather a few weeks later which he did not survive. Funeral services were held that night and he was interred under the Japanese Maple that we were planting. In lieu of flowers please send condolences to Megan.

Fun visit in mid July of Melissa and Laura. The kids loved their time with their cousins.

After visiting Brooke's baby blessing in Seattle we drove down to Oregon for visit #2. Dad dragged the family off the main highway to take in Mount Saint Helens. The before and after mountain is amazing as is the changed landscape over 25 years later.

Abby and Megan enjoying some beach time with cousin Grace. We had a super time spending the week there with Pam's family.

Pam and the kids.

Joshua putting on a big smile. Our kids love nothing more than digging in the sand.

The summer ended with a first time boating excursion with the family. Here I am trying a bit of wake boarding. Blake was able to get up but not stay up on the wake board.

The kids really had fun the the pulled tubes. They got to try "Molly" here as well as the "Rock Star" which Blake flipped on several times. In all a great time out in the sun together as a family with the Carvers who let us come with.

Finally - back to school. Joshua has been SO excited for the start of kindergarten. After years of being the little guy, he's finally feeling like he's made it into big kid status. The only problem for him was that his first day was only one hour with mom and a few other kids as orientation day. He was trying to decide what to bring for lunch that first day and the older kids were giving him a hard time about it. "You don't need a lunch for one hour, Josh." Needless to say, he's now pleased that he's staying longer and bringing a lunch. He's even stayed afterwards for the 50 minutes until Abby and Megan finish since that's what some of the other kids do. Now, he's been asking when he gets to ride the school bus. He'll have to wait for a field trip for that.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Swim Team Summer

We had the kids do another year of swimming. They, mostly, loved it. Abby and Megan were on the 7-8 year old swim team with hour long workouts. Joshua did "Minis" with a couple of lessons a week while Blake 4 weeks of lessons not with the swim team. It's a big time commitment to do the swim team for Abby and Meg but they really have become very confident swimmers. They're not even close to the fastest around but the exercise and personal skill improvements have been tremendous.

Megan mid breath in breast

Abby ready up on the blocks

Josh swam in one meet at the end of the season. Here he's "diving" in on a medley relay team race.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jackie's Wedding-who are the real Canadians?

June 4, 2009 our family hopped on Bart to the San Francisco Airport headed to Canada. The kids were really excited because they hadn't been to Canada since last August. Once we arrived, we got the grooviest vehicle-a Ford Flex. So we grabbed our rental wheels, and started for Cardston. I don't think the kids planned on 10 hours of travel, but we made it.

The next morning Chris and I attended the wedding of David Gipson to my sister Jackie Glenn. David and Jackie had all of their siblings, several friends, and extended family members in Cardston. We took a bunch of photos, then David and Jackie took off to Waterton to take more photos. I was a little worried about the weather, because we got rain and hail on the way back to Calgary. But Jackie said they had the perfect weather in the mountains. The reception back in Calgary was lovely. I think the kids enjoyed running around with their cousins. By the time we left, it was really raining.

To our surprise, we awoke the next morning to three inches of snow. Wow! Snow on the sixth of June. I had to make sure the date stamp was set on the camera, so I could prove the date to myself. The kids were SOOOOO excited. I think Chris was pretty disgusted. We had planned to go to Banff so Chris could do a final high-altitude run, and we went despite the crazy weather.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


We've enjoyed some wonderful celebrations the last 6 weeks.

We drove to Portland for Thanksgiving and to celebrate Gabriella Wood's baptism. I, actually, wasn't part of the "we" and flew up Thanksgiving morning after some late night work. The kids had the whole week off so we took advantage. 2008, among other things, will be the year that the Severson family finally learned to take travel in stride. Sure, a few "are we there yet's" and minor scuffles in cars and airplane this year, but as a whole we move pretty effectively. Big breakthrough.

While in Portland, we visited my grandparents and the kids all took turns riding on Great-Grandpa's tractor. Blake was super thrilled to have even taken the wheel.

"Mary" Megan

We've enjoyed a magical Christmas season. I was fortunate to have a very favorable work schedule and, for the first time ever, was able to make every Holiday gathering as well as Christmas eve and morning. The kids love their new Wii and do a great job of playing it all together but, I think, they also appreciated Christmas for Christ and time spent with family more than ever.

On the 28th, Blake celebrated his 10th birthday. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since Pam and I gathered up our things for a trip to the hospital. Most of a day later, Blake arrived and has been a source of joy since.