Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Race Ya!

There are many decisions I have made in my life that have meant a lot to me at the moment but later, as I look back, I don't really know why. For example, I was determined to be done at BYU in two years. Now I realize, how dumb am I? Let's hurry past the fun part of life and go get a job. I don't really get it.

My goal to run a half marathon five months after Asher's birth also falls into that category of decisions. Can't really explain that one to ya. I think it mostly came down to - I really was sick of feeling pregnant... and then post pregnant. I wanted to feel like I did a year before when I was running regularly and in pretty good shape. So I just jumped right back on the bandwagon.

The half marathon was my way of staying motivated. And it definitely worked. Whenever I considered skipping a run or two, the looming 13 mile race got me out of bed. Our training was an eight week course. Saturdays were our long runs and the week was filled with shorter runs and speed work. Every Saturday, we ran one more mile than we had the week before. The longest run of the training was a 12 mile run two weeks before the race.

Well, two weeks before the race happened to be Christmas Eve. So not only did I have to run 12 miles, I had to run it without my running buddies with Jon instead (he's not too bad but I am very aware the whole time of how slow I am going) and in 20 degree weather instead of 50 degrees.

We took off down Peninsula towards the freeway and then followed a path up the lake and past State Park then down Mae Valley all the way to the golf course where we looped around and headed back. Right as we were nearing our turning around point, Jon was asking me something about whether I wanted to loop around or not. I thought he was talking about some loop by the golf course so I let him decide.

That run was probably my best on record for two reasons: 1) the air in Moses Lake is so much wetter I didn't feel thirsty at all and 2) it was cold whether I was walking or running and only running gave me the hope of getting home sooner, so I ran. We crossed the park again and down the lake and back over the freeway. I then began to turn towards my house when Jon stopped me.

"No, we gotta do the loop."


Somehow he thought I had agreed to run PAST my house around the peninsula the long way. Who in their right mind would ever agree to that? I had a minor breakdown right there on the corner of Lakeshore and I-15, then sucked it up, kept moving and finally made it home.

After that experience, how hard could an extra mile be? I was getting totally geared up for race day. It will be warm and beautiful. I was so ready.

I now know it would have been intelligent of me to take a look at the elevation map. So you can get a better idea, I will let you look at it.

Just in case you are like me and can't really turn these things into a real visual, I will describe it to you. The race starts with a short but very steep climb straight uphill. Then you go up and down for awhile before going straight up. Then it will level a little, then go straight up again, and then lets do that one more time... no wait, let's make that one more time. Can you see the lack of flatness?

This race was hard. By about eight miles I was cursing racing and vowing to never step out in tennis shoes again as long as I live. But I kept moving and thanks to some very timely tracks on my borrowed iPod (thank you again Suzanne!) I finished.

Final Time: 2:34

Jon and the kids were waiting for me at the finish line.

Now that I have had some time to recover, I actually think I would like another try, this time without all of the up and down to see how I would do.

Runners really are as crazy as they look.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas 2011

We were pretty lucky this year. Not only did we get to fly home this year instead of drive (thank you Allegiant Air) but we got to spend 10 days in Moses Lake, including Christmas and New Years. I was in heaven. I love being home with my family, spending time with my siblings and being surrounded by willing babysitters. But, really ten days is a long time, especially when you bring three kids into the mix. So some of the participants in the group needed a little extra persuasion to make sure they enjoyed our long stay as much as I did.

We will start with Jon, who is the hardest sell of the group. Don't get me wrong, Jon loves my family. But, we are a little slow paced for him. He kept asking to go on a day trip somewhere to see more of Washington.... in December.
"Umm... Leavenworth?" I suggested.
"Is it fun? What would we do there?" he seemed intrigued.
"Uhh.. wander around Bavarian themed shops?"
He was less than enthused.

But, we have found the perfect formula to keeping Jon entertained in December in Moses Lake.

Step #1 - You keep him busy with projects, lots of projects. Solving the dance studio's sound problem, fixing my dad's sinking dock, installing motion sensor switches through the house... keep the list long and keep the worker bee happy.

Step #2 - You have some kind of death-defying adventure available and ready.

What better risky adventure than taking a hike across a (hopefully) frozen lake?
He found the frozen lake fascinating and distracting many times that week. In between that, several rounds of basketball and a few long runs, adventure time taken care of.

Step #3 - When all else fails, let him escape with Bryan to the mancave (aka basement) so they can have some uninterrupted "Save the World" time.

Step #4 - Get the perfect Christmas present..

not for Jon. No that won't bring that smile to his face. The perfect present must be for Brad.

Nothing makes him happier than a good gag gift, especially one that involves a fashion show.

And if he gets to use his "Aww I Wanted a Forever Lazy! for Christmas" face? Pure satisfaction.

Before you know it, your husband will be the one saying, "Time to go home already?!"

My mom loves having us there of course. But it has been a long old time since she regularly has little children around destroying her home. And she has collected some seriously nice Christmas decor over the years.

Luckily, I have also solved the formula for keeping her happy during our extended stay. Just let her dress my children!
Yeah, I know, its a big sacrifice on my part but I am nothing if not a team player.

My dad, like most men I know, is pretty easy to please. The formula is simple but proven.

First, you bring treats.

Second, you make dinner a few times while home. Sensing a theme here?

Third, supply only the cutest and smiliest of grandchildren.

Works every time.

Courtney, Kylie and Kendall are the easiest sells. Don't make them change any poopy diapers or clean up any other bodily fluids and they are good.
Next, my kids. Even though they love their grandparents and Grammy's house is like the funnest place ever, it is still a bit of an adjustment. No naps, lots of moms telling them what to (and what not to) do...

The first trick is making sure Santa has your new Christmas address.

Luckily, he was able to find us and bring Rhode's requested Toy Solder Drum.
Scarlet received a Bella Dancerella set which includes a full ballet barre, dance mat and ballet dance videos.

Secondly, let Grammy spoil them rotten.

Possible side effects, along with the possibility of your children turning into whiny, demanding, greedy little monsters (which thankfully didn't happen) there is a high probability you will get spoiled as well (which thankfully did happen).

Asher needed no convincing all trip. Constant attention, lots of new faces to smile at, tons of new toys to chew and drool on, and a cozy mom shoulder when the day is done.

Now that is the look of satisfaction.

Play your cards right and before you know it, ten days will have absolutely flown by, leaving you wondering how soon is too soon to do it all over again.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Clothes & Card

I would have never thought as a child that I would ever be relieved that Christmas was over. I still love the Christmas season with all my heart but normalcy ain't half bad, ya know? My sewing machine has been put away and I will be ignoring it for a good month or so. By then we should be on better terms. Sometimes you just need a little time apart to appreciate one another yet again.

I made the Christmas pajamas this year, mostly because Scarlet was begging for a nightgown. I have searched high and low for a decent nightgown for her (at a decent price) and struck out everywhere. So, out comes the handy dandy sewing machine.

And when you are already making a full nightgown, two pairs of pajama bottoms are hardly a drop in the Christmas crafting bucket.
Adding footies on the bottom of Asher's pajama bottoms might have seemed unnecessary... but I kind of love them.

Love these guys too.
Speaking of love, I really loved their Christmas outfits this year.

They were all thrift store finds, even the boy's matching shirts (talk about a score!). I thought Scarlet's dress was just beautiful. She dug it too.

Jon literally took 100 pictures of this pose hoping Asher would look at the camera. Yeah, that would be a big no.

And finally, the Christmas Card. I think after this year we are just going to have to stop sending cards for a few years. The pressure to outdo himself has put Jon a little over the edge.


My dad loves to show our card to his patients at the office. And more often than not, they will say, "Wow what an adventurous family!"

Then a moment of silence.

"Wait, that's not a real picture is it?"

Isn't it?