The scene for your first mental picture, Phoenix, Arizona. I think this might have been the first time in my entire history of living in Las Vegas that I have road tripped to somewhere hotter than Vegas. We left our high 90's to melt in their 106. Pretty pathetic escape on our part.
We hung out with our good friends the Whitmores and their fantastic new house. Their house, while nice from the outside, hides its true fantasticness in the backyard. It is enormous. It extends about twice the length of their house and includes a pool, a kids playhouse, a basketball half court, a garden, an underground trampoline and sidewalk patio while still being mainly dominated by lots of grass to run around on. My kids had the time of their lives and I was able to get all of my errands run. Jon even kept Asher for 3 1/2 hours without me there thanks to one pumped bottle and a significantly long nap. It. Was. Awesome. And a little bit lonely... but mostly awesome.
On Thursday, we headed out to the Phoenix Zoo. You would think someone who has lived in the heat as long as I have would know better than to plan an outing at 11 a.m. but obviously I am a tad slow witted. It was hot. The poor animals looked hot. Most of them had found a bit of shade in their enclosure, making them a tad bit harder to spot. But zoos are still really awesome. Favorites of the day included giraffes, rhinos, and the new orangutan exhibit.
Whenever I go to the zoo, I tend to ponder on one of my mom's "The Gospel According to Peggy" ideas. One of her theories is that the animals of the world may have easily come from the nursery of the pre moral world. "Look! Mine has a really long neck!" "Mine has spikes all over its body!" "Mine squirts really stinky spray out of its bum!" "Ewww!"
You can picture it can't ya? That always comes to mind at the zoo as you see some of God's most magnificent and crazy creations.
We would have loved to just spend the weekend with our fun friends but instead had to jet out that evening and pull into our home right before midnight. We had Friday to catch up on life a little bit before Jon and his friend A. J. hopped in the car at about 3 pm. to head up to St. George. It was MARATHON DAY!
Here was the plan for MARATHON DAY. Jon and his racing buddy were going to drive up that afternoon, enjoy a little pre-race festivities, and then catch a few zzz's in the truck before the run. (This whole plan would have been much different had we thought to get a hotel room much earlier. When we finally went to book one, there was one room left in town for a price we were not willing to pay.)
Since there was no hotel room, the kids and I didn't leave for the race until that morning. So instead, we hopped out of bed at about 5:30 a.m., loaded the three kids in the back of the car and made our way up to St. George. We parked right next to the temple where the kids got dressed for the day and we got into race mode. Here is your mental picture for this section. I had Rhode in a backpack leash that was hooked to my backpack. Scarlet had a more homemade velcro bracelet on that also attached to my backpack, the backpack was then hoisted on my back opposite of Asher who was riding in the sling in front. With all three children strapped to me leaving no room for losing anyone, we headed to find a race spot.
We pulled up a piece of driveway right on the last corner of the race and settled in to wait for day. We had a blanket, snacks, and signs ready to cheer him on. I kept an eye on the clock, knowing when he had finished last time and we cheered on the front runners while we waited.
I figured I still had about 20 minutes at least when Asher got hungry. I sat down to feed him and he was just about asleep when I see someone in the distance that just might be Jon. He was looking a little bald though so I didn't panic too much. But as he got closer, I remembered he had given himself a racer buzz cut just the day before and yes that was definitely him. Poor Asher got quite the jolt as I jumped up, threw the signs in the kids hands and started screaming like the crazy person I truly am. He gave us a big smile, ran over and gave us high 5's and finished the race.
He did a fantastic job. The guy didn't even look tired when he ran by us. He finished at 3:21:30, beating his last time by over 15 minutes. He was really proud of himself, as were we. He now has proof that in fact he is better than 90% of people out there. Well at least 91% of marathoners at that race on that day.
The next part involved fighting the crowds to meet up with him after the race. Scarlet chose that moment along with all moments to follow until we got to the car to be as ornery and whiny as is humanly possible. Rhode on the other hand was Mr. Pleasant and Agreeable all day long... explain that one to me.
I was very grateful for our leashes as we made it through thousands of people intact. The kids scored a popsicle and snow cone which improved their lives dramatically and we helped Jon ice down a little before hitting the road again. And one last time I strapped the children to the various parts of me and we made the final hike back to the car.
It was quite the day. By the time I threw the kids down for nap time and turned on Conference, I was done. No, I was overcooked. Can you guess what was the first talk I heard? Neil L. Anderson's talk on children. Oh the timing of life...
Anyway, we have had a lovely Sunday thus far with a few more catch up days before Asher and I head off on yet another adventure.
Now picture me napping... I am not but hopefully if everyone imagines it so the power of thought will turn it into a reality!