Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Birthdays are special. They celebrate the day we came into this world.  Whether we live just one day or 36,000 days, a birthday should be a day to celebrate. 

Today was Cooper's 8th birthday and my brother's 39th. I remember when my water broke on my brother's birthday (5 weeks before my due date) I couldn't believe it. I felt kind of guilty that I was having my baby on my brother's big day. Luckily my brother thought it was cool that Cooper and him could share the day. 

My family has an odd thing with birthdays. I was born on my grandmother's birthday. Cooper was born on my brother's birthday. Then came Avery, my brother's daughter, who was born on my and my grandma's birthday. It seems we only have a few select days to have children in our family.  Once Avery came into the world and then quickly left it, I realized just how special sharing a birthday can be.  Sharing a birthday is like being in a secret club. Me, my grandma Norma and Avery have our own day. Just to celebrate us. Even though Avery and Norma aren't here to celebrate, I think of them every birthday (even when it isn't my birthday).  Like today.

Cooper was a tiny baby - only 6 pounds at birth - and wasn't very healthy at first.   I know, I know, you would never guess that by looking at him today.  He was scrawny and gray and didn't cry for the longest time. When he finally cried and I saw his little warped head, I sobbed. He was here.  He was healthy. He was mine. I have never loved anything more in my life. And I was so proud that he shared the same birthday with my one and only brother. It was fun. It was special. 

I thought of Avery today and wondered what she would have thought of her dad and cousin sharing a birthday. I wonder what she would have thought about sharing her birthday with me.  I know that by sharing my birthday with her, I am forever joined to her.  I have some of my grandma's traits... I wonder if Avery would have had any of mine.  I love that my birthday will always be "our" day.  I am thankful for that. I wonder if Cooper thinks that about his Uncle Mike.  I hope so.
Today we celebrated Cooper and Mike. A little basketball, a little baseball, some pizza, and cake. It is hard to believe that my tiny, 6 pound baby is now over 60 pounds and 8 years old. He can read anything, is incredibly fast on math facts, can ride a bike, tie shoes, play a mean game of Horse, and play the piano. He amazes me. And he has a terrific sense of humor... he has that in common (and much more) with his uncle.  Must be the birthday. I am honored to be Cooper's mom and Mike's sister. 

Celebrate birthdays. Even if the birthday boy or girl isn't with us anymore. Have fun. It will put a smile on your face and in your heart. A birthday reminds us that time passes quickly and to enjoy each other.  Be thankful for each and every birthday you are given.  Even if it is your 40th.  Heads up, Mike. It's coming...

Friday, March 16, 2012

How often do you clean out your refrigerator? Odds are it is more often than I do. My wonderful friend, Lindsey, suggested last week (or maybe two weeks ago) that I really should clean out my fridge. I don't know if she told me because she was grossed out or if she was worried I was going to make her children ill if they ate at my house. Anyway, I put it on my to-do list and today it actually happened. 

I sat Carter in his high chair, sent Cooper outside to shoot some hoops, got out a big garbage bag and got to work.  I had the usual stuff to clean out...old salad dressing, expired yogurts, and moldy cheese.  Or at least that is usual for my fridge.  It was pretty full of all kinds of stuff. I continued cleaning it out...and was surprised at some of the stuff I found.  I mean, I do get in the fridge EVERY day (usually several times). It isn't like this is some closet or drawer that things are crammed into. Yet, I had no clue some of the stuff that was lurking in it.

Two bottles of mustard (both half full), three jars of pickles (all full), and a bottle of tartar sauce with a 2010 expiration date. What happened to 2011? Apparently I went all year without cleaning the fridge.  There was evidence of Cooper's Italian meat phase (salami and pepperoni) from the fall, cake from two weekends ago, and at least four bags of cheese. Chili sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce. Three jars of cherry jam (one empty).  Seriously? Who has all this stuff in their fridge?  Please say it isn't only me.

An hour later I am the proud owner of a clean refrigerator. However, it is now a clean but empty refrigerator. I have eggs, some condiments and milk. It felt great to cross one thing off my to-do list. But it looks like a trip to Winco has been added to tomorrow's to-do list.

It is now safe to eat at the Chun House

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's all fun and games...until someone gets a black eye

Three days a week Carter is raised by his Auntie Susan. I use the term "raised" because saying "babysat" or "watched" doesn't begin to describe what Susan does.  She truly helps us parent both of our boys. I don't know what we would ever do without her.  I know my boys are as wonderful as they are in part to her.  She has helped teach ABC's, snuggled to sleep, changed too many diapers to count, taught how to share, and loved on them more than anyone. Carter is also a social bug because of his auntie.

Two of the days Susan has Carter she also has our friend's son, Brody.  Brody is exactly 34 days older than Carter and is Carter's best friend. They play together, they laugh at each other and they love to "help" each other. Brody likes to "help" Carter not use his pacifier by taking it from him; Carter likes to "help" Brody learn to share by biting him whenever he has a toy he wants. They love each other.

Over the past weekend, Brody figured out how to walk around things and push things. This was perfect timing as Carter is loving to ride on the little fire truck toy! Carter could ride...Brody would push.  Susan sent darling pictures of proud Brody pushing giggling Carter around on the truck. Check out these boys rolling at our friend Pam's house.

It was great fun. They loved it. Susan and Pam thought they were adorable. Until the crash.

The fire truck took a turn and went down. Carter took a header off the side and crashed to the floor.  He landed on the side of his head on a plastic toy. He started to cry which made Brody cry. Carter crying because he was hurt... Brody crying (we like to think) because he is such a good friend. With a bleeding baby and both babies crying, Susan started to cry.  Okay, not really (I may be exaggerating) but from the sound of it she was a little panicked. Auntie doesn't like it when kids get hurt on her watch.
The scratched eye and nose

I am sure this is only the beginning of injuries for Carter.  The odds are stacked against him; he is a boy, he loves to play, and he is the youngest.  Susan was far more upset about his scratched nose and eye than I was and Carter was over it the minute the bottle hit his mouth.  The marks will be gone by next week.

I can't wait to watch Brody & Carter grow and continue to hurt... I mean... love each other. I know there will be scrapes, bruises and maybe a few stitches or casts along the way. And for Susan? I can't wait for her to continue to help us raise "our" boys... with or without black eyes and scratched noses.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Roll-X Weekend

My favorite driver of the weekend, my dad
When we left for Pacific Raceways on Saturday afternoon, we were excited for the Roll-X Enduro race. We knew we would come home on Sunday with at least one more thing broken on the motorhome, a race car that would need some new parts and exhausted drivers and children. What we didn't expect to come home with was.... strep throat.

The Roll-X race was a blast. Going in to the event with a new car, a team of 4 drivers (with 2 rookies), and a lot of unknown variables... we didn't even know if we would be able to finish the 16 hours of racing. The car held up (minus some brake pads and a tire), the drivers were talented and the car only received a few tire marks on the driver door (courtesy of another driver trying to pass and Nascar John refusing to let them :).  The team finished in 4th place (only 2 laps out of 3rd). It was awesome! Cooper didn't fare as well.

Cooper didn't leave the motorhome all weekend. He slept. He didn't eat or get dressed or even play with his cousins or friends.  After sleeping all day Sunday and then all night Sunday, I took him into the doctor on Monday morning. Strep throat.  Here we are. 10 days of yucky medicine and hopefully some rest. 

We are gearing up for the next race - a Chump Car event - buying new parts, resting up, and as always, repairing the motorhome. I am sure the next event will be even better, hopefully without the rain, hail and snow during the race!  The drivers are excited - the kids are excited - the crew is ready to go.  Maybe next time we can come home with a trophy instead of an infection. 

Sean rolling in the hail

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Snap, Crackle, Pop

A few weeks ago, I woke up with a sore shoulder. As the day went on, it only got worse. By lunch I could hardly use my right arm because it hurt so bad. My friend, Paula, told me I HAD to go see her chiropractor. In fact, she called him for me right then and there.  This led up to my first ever Chiropractic experience.  I was excited. A little nervous but truly looking forward to my appointment.

You see, I kinda like weird and gross things. I should have been a dermatologist. I love to peel, pick, poke and the oozier it is... the better.  Things most people think are disgusting, I actually find joy in.  For example, using the bulb syringe on Carter's green, goopy nose. Hearing the snot get sucked up into the syringe and then shooting it out onto a rag bring me such enjoyment.  Seriously. When my friend Michelle had nasal surgery years ago and I got to pull out the 6 feet of packing.... it was as if I had won the lottery. Going to the chiropractor, I figured I would feel better and I knew I would hear my joints pop and snap so I couldn't wait.

My chiropractor, Dr. Seale, didn't disappoint.  He was friendly and funny.  He actually used to be a teacher. I was in his office for an hour. My body let out some LOUD pops. I am sure he thinks I am a freak.

Here is a synopsis of my appointment:
Talk with Dr. about symptoms and health history, Dr. talks about what he can do to help alleviate my symptoms, move to the table for an adjustment.  Enter the freak show, also known as Traci Chun.

I couldn't stop laughing or clapping. Anyone who knows me knows that if I laugh or get excited, I clap. Like a seal. It is the cheerleader in me, I guess.  Dr. Seale does the first adjustment and I hear a loud "pop". I instantly start clapping and shout out, (I mean it, I did shout out) "WOW! That was loud!  Will the other joints be even louder??"  Luckily, Dr. Seale has a great sense of humor and egged me on. Each and every time a joint would pop or snap, I would laugh maniacally and clap. No joke.  Hearing the snap, crackle and pop was PURE joy.

After my visit, my shoulder felt better... my hips and upper back felt better.... but the snaps and pops were the best.  I mean it.  I go again next week.  I start clapping and laughing just thinking about it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My life revolves around cars. My husband owns an automotive repair business and has several race cars.  I knew going into this life years ago that my life would include motor oil stains and countless trips to the race track. When Cooper came into our world, almost 8 years ago, I figured he would have a love affair with cars too. I knew that one day he would want a race car and would want to go fast. After all, my water broke at Woodburn Dragstrip, he traveled to a race in Boise at only 5 weeks old, and has spent every summer watching or listening to the races.  It is just in his genetic code. Now we are just weeks away from his race car debut.
Cooper will be driving this Junior Dragster this spring and summer. He may even get to race on his actual birthday. I knew this was coming. I am coming to terms with it.

Besides, I have Carter... he looks like me so he must have my genetic code, right?  He won't want to race cars and go fast!  Maybe he just wants to watch the races like his mom?? Carter's first trip to PIR on Sunday included some time in the driver's seat. 
After David took this picture, I realized I have lost both of my boys to the "automotive genetic code."

Looks like I need to start investing in helmets and racing suits now.

 in the "driver's seat

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Beef, it's what's for dinner

Here at A-B-C Weekend, we don't mess around. When we told our crafters they would be eating well this weekend, we weren't lying. When you have a meat packer in the family and you request some steak for the weekend, this is what you get.

Have you ever seen steaks this big before? Maybe on a Flintstone's episode? Maybe one of those eating challenges on the Food Network? They were HUGE.  They were DELICIOUS.  We managed to eat them. I guess we worked hard today. Sewing, crafting, shopping. We were hungry! Thanks to Ashley for getting the slabs of beef past TSA and for barbecuing them to perfection!

After steak and some ruffling, we managed to put away half of the Hummingbird cake too. Ruffling is hard work even with a ruffle foot attachment. Our new motto is "Everyday I'm Ruffling" sung to the tune of Party Rock Anthem.  I will be singing it as I shuffle the piles and piles of stuff out to the car in the morning.  The inaugural A-B-C Weekend comes to a close tomorrow morning at 11. It has been awesome. We are already planning another one!  If you are interested in attending an A-B-C Weekend, click on link, post a comment or send me an email and I will send you information!

Now... to do some dishes and then maybe a little hot tub!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Food & Forgetfulness

Notice the full sink - I ran the dishwasher 3 times today!
Today was all about food for me and crafts for Shannan. It was prep day for A-B-C Weekend (arts, beach & crafts) and this is where I spent my day.  I wanted to make as much of the food for the weekend today so I could help the crafters and not be in the kitchen the whole time.  I made meals for 8 people for the whole weekend... today. Phew.  It would have been much easier if I would have had all of my normal kitchen tools.  I made a cheesecake, a cake, cinnamon rolls, frosting, and whipping cream with a mixer with only one beater. Yup. That was one thing I forgot.

Shannan was in charge of setting up the sewing machines and all the crafts. She started at one end of the table and worked her way around... oiling machines, putting in new needles, loading bobbins.... until she got to my old sewing machine. No bobbin cartridge. How in the heck did I forget that?  Oops. Put it on the list for Joann's.  She moved onto my new Singer machine... power cord.  Seriously?  I brought two machines and both out of commission.  I was up to three things forgotten at home. What else?

Paper for tables. Phone charger. Italian salad dressing. Hair dryer.  I thought I was so organized!

After two trips to Joann's and Safeway, a phone call home for the power cord, and some creativity, I think everything will work out.  Sometimes I think forgetting things forces us to think differently. Even if things don't work perfectly at least I know we have enough food.  Now...a slice of cheesecake.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Last month, my friend Shannan and I went on a journey to Kansas for Craft Weekend. It was hosted by Meg Deurksen (a blogger who is famous, wonderful, kind, beautiful, etc.) and it was an amazing trip.  We met women from across the country who instantly became our friends. Time to craft and sew, laugh and eat, and just enjoy the company of others.  The best part? No one asked me what was for dinner, I didn't do any dishes and I got to sleep in.  Before our plane even left Wichita, Shannan and I decided we needed to do one closer to home.

Enter... A-B-C Weekend! Art, Beach & Crafts. We are here in Lincoln City in an amazing home setting up for our first weekend.  We have women coming from Idaho, Seattle and Vancouver. We may not be famous bloggers or as talented as Meg but still people wanted to come! :)

We have some fun projects for the ladies to do, some good eats prepared (Hummingbird Cake for one) and maybe an excursion to the Casino or Outlet Mall.  I am excited to meet some new people, bake some cakes and scones, and sleep in.  Can you tell that Carter is still waking up at 2 AM???

The highlight of the trip to the beach has to be the chocolate turnover from Arby's on the way down. Seriously. $1 and it tastes like it came from a high end French bakery. If you haven't indulged, I highly recommend one. Or two.  Shannan doesn't know it yet but she will be stopping on the way home.

The back of Shannan's Denali... 4 sewing machines, 2 coolers, 4 boxes of fabric... you get the idea

I hope to post some pictures between cooking and cleaning and crafting!  We may need a U-Haul to get everything home...