Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bad Weather, Good Books!

Where is spring??  Since the weather has literally kept us inside for a couple weeks now, raining and snowing on and off, I’ve decided to make the most of it by working out at the gym (indoors) and picking up a few good books to read. For triathlon training I have decided to focus on my weakest portion, the run. I picked up a used copy of “Running Start to Finish” by John Stanton, founder of the Running Room, and “No Need For Speed; a beginner’s guide to the joy of running” by Runner’s World columnist John Bingham. I’ve started with Running Start to Finish, and even though I have just barely started it has really encouraged to make running a daily part of my lifestyle and to set some new goals for myself in the running department. I’ve been very discouraged lately as my weight loss had stalled out for a couple weeks (a plateau, I think), and my training partners have been dropping like flies, for various reasons. I really needed a positive lift and this book seems to set me back on track! I plan on reporting more good news about this soon!

I also picked up some parenting books. I truly believe in parenting with a purpose or “on purpose”, not with the goal of just making it through the day (or hour!) I really wanted a used copy of “Have a New Kid by Friday” since I’ve heard such fantastic reviews about it, but our local bookstore didn’t have it in. Actually, our church in San Angelo held parenting classes based on that particular book so I look forward to having the opportunity to read it one day. I did however pick-up a couple books by Dr. James Dobson “Dare to Discipline” and “Bringing Up Boys”, of course, both biblically based.

I also purchased “Boundaries with Kids”, which is the book I decided to start with. It is also biblically based and very good so far. I didn’t think that any parenting book would be a page turner but I haven’t wanted to put it down since I started it yesterday! It really puts into perspective that our goal as parents should be to help our children develop the character to make their futures go well. I especially agreed with the philosophy of denying your child some privileges now (by setting boundaries, and consequences) so that they can have successful marriages and careers of their own one day. It seems so simple, like all parents should think that way, but I must admit that I don’t always have that perspective. That is all changing though!

Since visiting Edmonton Harrison, Heidi and I have all come down with another cold. I sure hope we see consistent sunshine soon so we can all get and stay healthy!!

Friday was exciting for us because we purchased a tent trailer! This will mean many warm weekends of camping for us this summer, with friends, with family, and hopefully a few trips with just the Burnett Bunch. You'll have to wait for some pictures because we aren't bringing it home for a couple of weeks yet.  It is old (1974), and very retro with bright yellow counter tops but it has a sink, stove and fridge. I think it’s perfect for us!

Not much else new to report. We are counting down the days until Mike goes to Texas to bring our belongings home. I am also counting down the days until my first triathlon… only 70 more training days to go! Time to literally step it up!  Happy trails!

Josh, Cole & Harrison enjoying tub time

Time with Daddy

Shopping at West Edmonton Mall

Heidi Jo, 5 months old

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'd like a dry, skinny, single-shot cappuccino, please :)

I find it so crazy how the coffee culture has it's own language.  I am slowly learning but every now and then someone who (seemingly) knows their stuff will throw me a curve ball!  Keeps me on my toes!  I want to thank all of you out there who generously tip your local Barista.  I generally make anywhere from $5-$10  in tips per day, which I really didn't expect.  This has become my triathlon savings fund! So thank you from one very grateful Barista!

All has been fairly quiet on the triathlon training front lately and I am having a hard time getting going again.  Taking a week off to heal my thumb and to deal with our birthday marathon have really knocked my motivation off track.  I am also on the verge of achieving a large weight loss goal (the first large step of many to come) and I just can't seem to get past it.  It makes me wonder and think if it is a mental/emotional block in my life?  I desperately want to shed all the extra pounds that I have carried around for so many years! Why is my body holding on to them?  I pray that the Lord will give me the strength and dedication to blow through this hurdle and move onto better things in my life!

For the long weekend Mike, the kids and I travelled to Edmonton to spend some great time with Jim, Paula, Josh and Cole Tetz.  Paula is my Aunt and is my mothers youngest sister (of 8), so we are more like sisters than anything.  I love their family! Josh is 4 and a very sweet boy. Overall he is gentle and caring but as Paula says "he's upper management material".  When you ask him to do something (like get up and get something) he'll very casually say "Cole will do it"!! HAHA! And Cole does.  Josh is the boss and Cole is the happy worker. It is so interesting to observe their family dynamic.  Jim and Paula have done such an awesome job parenting. The boys are generally calm and very obedient which nothing short of a miracle.  I always thought a family of just boy would be wild and crazy, but Paula has definitely proven that line of thinking wrong!  I hope that Mike and I can get on the same page sooner rather than later and become more consistent with how we are raising our family. There's always something to work towards!

The weather in Edmonton was rainy (like most of the province) but the boys enjoyed themselves anyway.  You can tell Harrison doesn't have his own yard to play in because Josh and Cole lasted only a little while in the colder weather but we practically had to drag Harrison inside (literally kicking and screaming) because he just wanted to keep playing.  I hope when the good weather is here to stay that we can get him to the park on a daily basis.  The Tetz's gave him a sand toy kit for his birthday and I'm thinking he'll use it everyday once the weather improves! Later that evening I had fun getting all the boys in the tub for a final scrub before bed!

On Sunday we visited the West Edmonton Mall, did some sightseeing, window shopping and took the kids on a few rides in Galaxy Land. Harrison loved the train and riding on the cars. When Harrison rode the motorcycle and I rode with him it definitely made me motion sick. I just can't handle rides like I used to be able to!  Mike took Harrison on the train while Heidi and I watched and waved. Overall we had a lot of fun!

I was able to get some real shopping done while Mike took the kids back to the Tetz's to nap. The Gap and Banana Republic are outlet stores in the South Edmonton Common shopping center and they were both 40% off the entire store on Sunday.  I was able to buy men's GAP jeans for $13.00 a pair! What a bargain! I bought clothes for Heidi, Mike and Harrison at great deals.  I didn't spend anything on myself since I am between sizes anyway. That evening we prepared for our drive home on Monday, and hung out with Paula, Jim, Wes and Susan (another of my moms sisters). We had a great time learning new card games Up the River and Golf.

Monday morning we packed and drove out to Sue and Wes's for brunch. The boys played a little more, we enjoyed delicious sausage and omlettes, and then we were escorted to view Jim & Paula's new acreage.  They are building a new home in an acreage community called The Highlands. It is a very classy neighborhood with lots of young kids and I think that their family will be very happy there!  Congrats to The Tetz's!!

That about sums up our weekend. We had a fantastic time but we are also glad to be home and sleeping in our own beds again.  I am contemplating when to transition Harrison to a toddler bed. I am thinking of waiting for a couple more months, until is is completely used to sharing his bedroom with Heidi (and she hopefully stops teething).  Thanks for following us, keep reading and posting!

The Burnett Bunch

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The life and culture that you see working at a coffee shop is unique and defferent from anywhere I've ever worked before.  There truely are coffee conosours, officinados, or as my boss would say "coffee snobs" out there who certainly know their stuff.  Before joining the Cochrane Coffee Traders team I didn't know that coffee tasting is a lot like wine tasting.  A hint of chocolate, or caramel, or nuttiness.  To be honest, I enjoy serving the average Joe who hasn't a clue the difference between a light roast or a dark roast. He just knows that his coffee tastes good to him and helps him get through his work day.  These are the most grateful customers by far.
I generally don't go anywhere after work except home to shower because by the end of my shift I am saturated with the smell of coffee.  The other day I had to run to the bank before going home and when it was my turn, as I approached the wicket the male teller's ears perked up and his eyes glowed as he asked me "Is it your perfume that smells like COOKIES?"  I really didn't want to disappoint him, but I told him no, that infact I work with coffee beans all day long and that day I had been bagging many flavored coffees.  I think he was a little sad, but if you ever thought that the saying "A way to a mans heart is through his stomache" was cliche, here's definite proof that it's not!

Other news in the lives of the Burnett Bunch... we have officially survived Birthday Week 2010.  Harrison's birthday is May 5th, Mike's is May 8th, mine is May 12th and always somewhere in there falls Mother's Day, as well! And this year, to complicate things, I managed to gash my left thumb open (to the bone). It was not a pretty sight.  This happened on Harrison's birthday, and I couldn't do much for a couple days, including training.  It was a bit of a crazy week, sort of how Christmas will now work out for us, too.  Of course there's Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day but now we have Heidi's birthday on December 28th before New Years.  Twice a year our lives will be psychotically insane for the rest of our lives. Lord help us if we decide to have another child!!  I think we'd try to plan for a June, July, August birth, next time!

Speaking of June births, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new niece Isla at the end of June! Kimbra and Zach are expecting and we couldn't be happier for them! Our extended family is growing by leaps and bounds. I can't wait to find out the day that my brother Blair and his wife Danielle are expecting, it will be really special! I can't wait to spoil my nieces and nephews! Lots of their friends are having babies, so I hope it won't be too much longer!

Other news, Mike and I have decided that taking the kids to Texas to gather our belongings isn't the very best idea for this year, simply because they are so little and it is such a long trip (2100 miles, one way!)  It wouldn't be fair to haul them that far just to turn around 2 days later and come home.  This way I won't have to take time off work (our only income right now), and Mike will be able to do it much quicker without having to stop for a million different reasons. 

Ever since Mike and I have been married all of our belongings have never been all in the same place, at the same time, or unpacked all at once.  This is something that we truly are looking forward to.  It has been a long 3 years of "making due" and it is past due in both our opinions.  June 8th he will fly into Abilene, and drive to Brownwood to start loading the moving truck that he will drive across the country to meet Blair, Danielle, and I in Great Falls, Montana.  I will drive the moving truck across the border to avoid any complications, and then we will carry on to Cochrane.  Our goal is to have everything unpacked so that we can contribute items to a family garage sale with our good friends Paul & Cindy the following weekend.  I know that we have been storing items that we don't or won't need so it will be great to pare everything down, hopefully make some extra cash, and finally feel like we are HOME. It will be so nice, this is something I am looking forward to very, very much!

I hope that all my readers (there are some of you, right??) haven't dropped like flies. I am sorry that my posts come very inconsistently but I hope you keep reading nonetheless.

Blessings from The Burnett Bunch!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Falling Behind While Getting Ahead

I have created so many new and good habits lately; blogging regularly just isn't one of them! I realize I only posted 3 times in April even though so much has happened in our family life and my life personally. Where to start?
I have been blessed with what seems like the perfect job. Low stress, independence, casual & laid back, fun, fairly straightforward and easy, wonderful hours and the list could go on and on. Monday through Friday I work from 6:45 am to 1:30 pm and then I have each afternoon off to spend with my family. It works so well because the kids are still asleep when I leave so there is no separation anxiety, the kids will each nap while I'm at work so it gives Mike a little break and then Harrison is still napping when I get home and ready to go out for the afternoon! It is such a wonderful schedule for our family. It certainly doesn't hurt either that my boss is also a triathlete at the Ironman level and is full of race experience and general training wisdom (not to mention used gear galore!)  We continue to be so blessed!

You may be wondering how we spend our afternoons in this wonderful little mountain town... parks, walking trails, swimming pool, library and gymnastics are just a few activities that keep us and our kids busy. We have made Friday our family date afternoon and evening Mommy/Daddy date night. Our regular activity is to take the kids swimming at 3:30pm and then enjoy a simple meal out. By the time we get home they are worn out from swimming that they have a very peaceful night sleep, and we can either have a babysitter come over and go out or curl up on the couch and watch a movie and snuggle.

We are still waiting for Mike's permanent residency paperwork to be approved. I am so proud of the way he has stepped up into the role of being Mr. Mom. He keeps the kids on their schedules and they are equally content and happy with him as they are with Mommy and that says a lot! Gratefully the weather is improving daily so they will be able to get out of the house more often and get some fresh air and exercise. Sadly I heard on the radio that Canada receives an F for children’s fitness and health. Kids need 90 minutes a day of physical activity and on average Canadian children are not meeting the minimum requirements. Mike and I both have a passionate desire to make sure our children learn healthy living habits from us, so they never have to struggle with weight issues, so we are determined to make sure Harrison and Heidi both get the amount of exercise they need. No fat camp for this family!!  We are creating a NEW legacy in the name of Jesus!

My triathlon training is going really great for me. I have achieved some mini-milestones for myself lately that I am so proud to have accomplished. Since starting training I have lost 17.4 lbs and 51lbs from my highest pregnancy weight. That is a lot of extra weight to carry around! I still have a LONG way to go but to see such steady progress is really encouraging!

Today I set two new personal best times on the bike (15.5km in 37:30 and a 5km run in 37:45). This is very exciting for me too; I am seeing drastic improvements in my strength and endurance. The top female finisher in my age category for the Lake Chaparral tri completed the course in 1:07:52 (swim 11:46, bike 31:40, run 24:28). Not that I am aiming for first place my very first time out, but I am competitive by nature and want to do my very best, each and every time.   Currently I am 11+ minutes more on the swim, only 7+ minutes more on the bike, but 14+ minutes more on the run.  Thankfully I still have 3 months of training left and a lot more weight to shed!  It gives me an awesome goal to shoot towards and I find it very motivating.  My new road bike still hasn’t come in yet but can’t wait for it to arrive so I can get out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

May is literally birthday month for our family. Harrison, Mike and I celebrate our birthdays on the 5th, 8th and 12th, plus Mike’s dad and brother, and my cousin Kali. We are going down to Lethbridge to celebrate Harrison’s 2nd birthday with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Blair, Aunty Danielle, and possibly Jim, Paula, Josh and Cole. We are having a farm/cowboy birthday party; riding horses, tractors, the golf cart. It should be a great party!

This past weekend we went to about 5 garage sales where I bought some random trinkets that I really didn’t need, but isn’t that the point of browsing garage sales?!? I actually bought a large mirror for $5, and an old fashioned beater, framed picture of some grain elevators, and a metal scoop for $8. We also found a tent trailer that hasn’t officially hit the market yet because the family wants to use it one last time for the May long-weekend. It is a pop-up tent trailer with 3 beds, a sink, fridge, stove and electric power. I am so excited to go camping with my family this summer! Alberta has such great weather in the summer; it would be such a shame to waste any beautiful weekends.
Since all of our earthly possessions are in Texas we are planning a trip down to have a quick visit and to pick it all up, likely in June. We’d like to meet with all our family while we’re there but it is proving to be a little difficult to get 4 siblings and their families together for a visit and/or a family picture. Mike’s middle sister, Kimbra and her husband Zach are expecting their first child at the end of June and we’d like to be able to pass some baby items along to them that they might be able to use before the baby arrives. This will be the third baby girl born into our extended family this year, Jayden, Heidi and baby Tharp. We have only seen Jayden once so to visit again will be wonderful! It would be nice to see Kimbra and Zach’s baby too, but the timeline just isn’t in our favour. I pray it all comes together since I don’t think we’ll be able to afford another trip down for a couple years.

Last but certainly not least, I am anxiously awaiting the return of one of my best friends, Jill Callitz. Jill, if you remember, has been seeking alternative treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with a doctor in Mexico. Sadly the treatments are not working and the cancer is not going into remission and so Jill has been faced with the decision to proceed with chemotherapy and radiation treatments at home in Alberta. She is currently spending some much needed time with her husband in the Caribbean islands before she starts her new treatments mid-May. Jill is absolutely my hero and an inspiration to me! She is so brave and positive. She has started stock piling different wigs to off-set her hair loss and is actually going to shave her head and donate her hair before she loses it. I think that takes an enormous amount of courage! I can’t wait to see her sporting purple hair and Afro hair. I think it will really suit her!

Please pray for Jill and Jaco as they are having to make some very difficult decisions because of the possible side effects of the chemo. Jill may become infertile and unable to bare children and so they are considering whether to harvest eggs, how many, etc. I can’t imagine having to make these types of decisions, let alone within such a short timeline. I firmly believe that my God is so much bigger than cancer and can completely spare Jill from any and all negative side effects, but I also understand that they want to feel prepared in case that is not what God has in store. Please lift them up in your prayers, I love Jill so much and can’t wait for her to live out her life in full freedom and victory!!

Wow! This is a lengthy update. I really, really need to be more consistent about writing so my posts are more manageable to read. Thank you for reading, see you back again soon!

Sorry, these are not in order.  This the 5 km run course map for Lake Chaparral (August 7).

15.5 km Bike Course

750m open water swim course

Banff International course map (September 11)