Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sad Day for the Chilean Berryhills

Remember Delilah?  You know, the cute bulldog that we've been patiently waiting for for 2 months?  Well, this was the week.  Joe called the breeder and left a message, asking when we could pick her up.  Everything was ready.  We had taken the kids to pick out dog beds, toys, chicken wire for our pool gate so she couldn't squeeze through...We were ready.

I was making dinner on Tuesday night when Joe called and immediately told me I needed to find a place where I could talk.  "Make sure the kids aren't around."  Do you know what kind of task he was asking of me?  It was 5:45pm.  I can't even go use the restroom alone at this time of day.  Thankfully Kate had just put on a little "Party Rock" and the kids were having a dance party in the office.  
I escaped to the backyard.

"What is it?"  I knew this couldn't be good.

"Delilah died 2 days ago."  What?!!!!!!!  Apparently after the puppies all got their vaccinations, they got some time of gastritis and all but one of them were lost.   I was sick.  I knew Kate would be beyond crushed.  She has done 2 presentations at school about her bulldog and it's all she talks about with our family and friends.  All of the neighbor kids keep saying, "So, make sure you tell us when you bring her home!"  

I couldn't do it that night.  She was too happy and I wanted her to have a good night sleep.  So, the next night, Joe stayed late at work to talk with a coworker who used to breed bulldogs to figure out what we should do.  I feel as though our life could EASILY be a sitcom.  After I said prayers with the kids, I put Luke down, and then came back to talk to Kate and Jake.  We were sitting on Kate's bed when I said, "I have to talk to you guys about something."  This is what unfolded next:

Kate (to my left with a very distressed look):  "Delilah can't come to our house."
Jake (to my right in a panicky voice):  "You aren't going to help me write my story?!"
Me:  "It is about Delilah...She got really sick this last week and-"
Kate (falls to the bed and starts sobbing):  "What? Why?!  She died??!!!"  (My sweet girl kept sobbing.)
Jake (with a smile; putting his cute, little 5 year old hand on my arm and patting it):
"It's OK!!! We still have Luke!"  

And there you have it.  Everything will be fine.  We still have Luke.  He's kind of like a dog...I have seen him try to lick one of our flip flops before (that was a gross day) and as I've been reading up on how to train puppies, it seems oddly similar to children.  I LOVE Jake.  I love his commentary.  He says just what we need when we need it.  I LOVE Kate.  I love her extremely tender, gentle heart.  We were all sad about losing Delilah, but I knew it crushed her the most.  After a few nights of tears and packing up the supplies for now, she is doing much better--with the promise that we'll find another Delilah really soon.  

Buin Zoo with "The Boys"

Laura Hamilton wanted to take our boys to the Buin Zoo.  
Kate had just been with her class and we wanted to check it out too!!!  
So, I told her I'd keep her company :)  
 Thomas, Easton, Jake and Buddy Luke, after being thoroughly impressed with the monkeys swinging above them.
 Snacks anyone?  We had the best time together!  The boys did great and I thought this zoo was much better than the first one we went to when we first came to Santiago.  

 Luke was hanging right there with the big kids.  He loved looking at the camels, the ducks and especially the tigers.  He kept roaring at them over and over and over again.  It was hysterical!  And when he wriggled from my arms and took off, he went right back to the tigers home again for another quick glance.  

Jake taking care of his little bro 
 We made it to the sea lion and penguin show just in time.  Their little legs were starting to wear out and a front row seat was just what they needed to end our zoo trip on the right note.  

Seeing Jake smile like that just makes me melt.  He thought the dancing sea lions were the greatest.  Definitely worth skipping a day of school for this :)  

Backyard Bliss

I love easy going backyard afternoons
 We have to take advantage of them while they last!  It's starting to get a little frigid down here!
So grateful for the Whitt Family.  My kids have a blast with them and I feel the very same way about their mom.  This after-preschool pickup turned into a playdate, a "let's stay just a little bit longer" playdate, and then "Why not stay for dinner?"  It almost felt like summer again.  I loved it.
 Later in the week, we were watching another one of Jake's buddies, Thomas, and when I came out of the kitchen, I found the three kids in the backyard.  They had found wooden slats from the garden to use for seats, white boards, pens and the tops to some of my plastic drawers as desks.  Kate was teaching the boys some good stuff and they were eating it up!  Maybe I should consider her take over Jake's reading lessons :)  It was one of those-"I want to stretch out on the grass and soak up the sun's warmth" kind of days.  Did I mention how much I love days like this?! ;)

What Up Bro?!

This is the only way Luke like's to wear a hat.  
  I didn't know I had a brudda in the house.  

I'm glad they understand each other.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Run Baby Run

Way back when in December, I had hit rock bottom.  Well, not really.  But for the first few months after moving here, we would get so excited when we'd find things that reminded us of home...Oreo cookies, Oreo cookies, oh, and how about the mint Oreo cookies...that I'd buy them.  A lot.  I rarely bought Oreo's at home, but for some reason, they tasted really good here :)  One day I realized I couldn't do it anymore.  I had to do something drastic.  So, I signed up for the Santiago Half Marathon on April 7, 2013.  Wasn't in good enough shape nor did I want to do the full--they cripple me for a week afterwards.  Think I'm done with them.  But I could work towards a half and hoped that by signing up for it, it'd get me motivated.  Another motivation?  They don't have my Tall size down here, so if I ever grew out of my clothes, I'd be in biiiigggg trouble :)  
 The morning of the race came.  I mentioned to Joe that I thought I had read there would be about 20,000 runners doing this thing.  He laughed, "No way!  Maybe altogether with the spectators..."  We got a babysitter anyway for the kids.  I was more nervous about getting to the race than actually running it!  All of the streets were blocked off, so we had to take the Metro in.  I was SOOO relieved that Joe was there with me, just in case.  I would have been sad if I missed the whole thing because I got lost or turned around...It happens to me enough here, that it could have been a very real 
scenario ;)
 When we came up from underground, we realized we were wrong.  There weren't 20,000 people... there were 25,000 runners competing in three races, plus all of the people who came to cheer them on.  IT WAS INSANE.  I've never run a race like this before.

When it was time for me to line up, Joe started walking down with me.  We just started laughing, because there was no end to the sea of people  between those white gates.  I started worrying about getting trampled to the concrete when the gun fired, but then I remembered I was one of the tallest ones in the group.  It definitely has its advantages.  

I couldn't get over the mass quantities of people--everywhere!  When the gun finally did fire, I blew a kiss to Joe, turned my iPod on, and then just stood there :)  It took me a good 4 minutes to get to the starting line.
 I love doing races like this.  Everyone is excited, happy, and friendly.  The energy is fantastic.  I'd turn my music off when I'd come up to one of the points with the bands playing.  All of the Chileans running, would start singing to the song that was playing and they'd chant some Chilean chant together with their hands waving over the heads as they'd run by.  Then I'd listen to the sound of thousands of shoes hitting the pavement.  It was glorious.  I was one of the 751 "extranjeros" participating in the race, but I definitely didn't feel alone out there!
 The firefighters had posts along the way to cool us off.  And I almost forgot!  The funniest part about the whole race was all of the stray dogs running in and out and alongside the runners!  I watched a guy ahead of me for about 10 minutes with a stray trotting right alongside of him.  Turns out, the elite runners were complaining about the dogs, saying that it was dangerous to have them all throughout the course.  Kind of hard to take care of that complaint down here... comes with the territory.  
My legs were getting tired when I crossed the finish line, but I felt great!  I went and picked up my medal and some snacks afterwards and headed to the meeting spot that Joe and I had decided on.  He wasn't there.  I walked around a little bit, but at this point, I decided sitting sounded much more inviting.  After about 20 minutes, I started to worry!  Where was he?  I had nothing on me except a medal.  That wouldn't do me much good in finding my husband among the thousands of people!  I had  no way of getting home...I said a little prayer that he was ok and I stayed put.  45 minutes after I finished the race, he came walking up to our meeting spot.  What a glorious sight!!!  Turns out he was waiting along the course watching for me, but ended up missing me.  Eventually he looked at the runners and knew that I was a tad faster than that and headed to our spot.  
Yeah!!!!!!  I did it.  Felt great.  I didn't run with a watch.  I just wanted to run the entire time and enjoy the race.  My time was nothing extraordinary, but I ran faster than I thought I would and I achieved my goal.  Here were my stats just for kicks:  

Time:  2h 06 min 28 seconds
Overall:  4,501st out of 8,838 runners
Female: 681st out of 2,117 females
Age Group:  135th out of 412

Happy Easter!

I love Easter.  I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and the overwhelming love I feel when I think about what He did for ME and for every single one of us.  I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have that I will still be with this fantastic family of mine after we leave this earth.  It feels right.  I have no doubt that its true.  
I'm grateful that the kids got a few days off from school to celebrate Easter!  It was wonderful!!  We had no desire to vacation anywhere but home.  We traveled plenty over the summer and it was so nice just to have a few days to be together.  Sunday morning we woke up to green smoothies and homemade muffins.  Church started at 10am and I had to get there early to set up for the Easter program I was doing for the kids.   
 The kids found their bunny ears waiting for them by their plates.  I didn't really plan on that being a tradition, but it kind of turned into one.  They love putting the ears on before the big hunt. 
 Well...two of them do. 
 And let's not worry that "Jumbo" grocery bags are being used as Easter baskets.  We don't sweat the small stuff at the Berryhill household ;)  The kids like them better anyway-- easier to hold the eggs and you can get more of them!
The Easter Bunny left his mark.  We were ready to get started.  

 When the back sliding glass door opened, the kids tore outside and frantically started filling their bags.  Luke went to the first egg he found and slowly began opening the egg and then painstakingly worked on opening up the foil to reveal the tasty treat inside.  Meanwhile, all of the other eggs were being snatched up!
 He was determined to have a little chocolate before moving on to the next egg.

 Jake and Joe decided to show Luke what an Easter Egg hunt was all about.

 There was a special egg for each of the kids.  On them was a special message to direct each one to their Easter surprise.  

 They were pumped.  
 Jake understood his clue right away
 After a great start to our morning, it was time to get ready for church!  
Luke was ready to go.  

 My babes experiencing their first Autumn Easter. 
Didn't stop us from putting those Spring colors on.  

Happy Easter!

Time to Add a Little Color

Luke was down for a nap.  Perfect time to dye some eggs :)
 It's not that I didn't want him to enjoy this yearly tradition, but combining those weak little Chilean eggshells and all of that dye with a 2 year old didn't sound particularly thrilling to me.  
 He can join in the fun next year.  I figured as long as he'd get a little chocolate, we'd all be happy: 
 Kate and Jake would have more of their own eggs to dye, I wouldn't be scrubbing rainbow streaks off  of the floor, fridge, cabinets, and clothes, and Luke would get the much needed rest he deserves :)  Win win for all of us.  
 The kids had a blast and came up with some pretty brilliant colors in preparation for Easter.

Love it.  Love you.