Monday, September 26, 2011

Best Summer EVER!!

Pretty much the best summer EVER.
I'm not sure.
Perhaps it is because we didn't have our "bucket list" to have to answer to.
Perhaps it is that my garden was smaller, therefore my time was more plentiful.
Perhaps it was because I didn't listen to the hesitation of my 15 year old, and drug him out for things I knew he would later be glad he did.
Whatever it was... it was wonderful.
We swam, and hiked, and traveled, and talked, and walked, and hiked, and swam.
We cooked, and jumped on the tramp, and so many other relaxing fun things.

I will forever be behind if I expect to update each thing with a long post, so each picture of our adventures gets a tagline, a "who was there", dates for the picture, and the most memorable part of the event. These will be my next several posts.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

26.2 ... DONE!

I ran a marathon.
I ran a marathon!
I ran a marathon!!!

Still can't believe that it happened.
I can't believe we survived.
I can't believe, looking back at the weather, that we pushed through.

It was a nice, organized race.  Buses were on time, race was on time... only down side was the rain for the 30 minutes before the race, that ended before the race started.  However, it was not to be the last we saw of the rain.
Starting line: mountain men in full dress with rifles fired the shots to start the race.
Mile 1: passed a sign reading HYRUM: 16 miles, LOGAN: 22 miles.  Reality check.
Mile 3:  Flags lined the road leading into the aid station.  Way cool.
Mile 4:  A little fall of rain
Mile 6:  rain ended, I left my rain jacket (aka black garbage bag) on the side of the road
Miles 1-14:  Blacksmith Fork Canyon scenery... amazing.  Clouds on the mountainside. Rain on the road. River, cattails, changing of the leaves on the trees.  Also had many compliments and laughs regarding our shirts we made for the race that said "WTF?? Where's the Finish??"
Mile 7:  Hail storm (without my "rain jacket")
Mile 11:  Crazy crazy downpour of rain. 
Mile 14: still crazy downpour combined with lightening and thunder.
Mile 15: crazy downpour with pelting hail.  We had to keep our heads down just to not get hit in the face.
Mile 16:  so wet we could feel the water running down our backs, down our legs and into our shoes.  Shoes weigh a ton.
Mile 18:  I hear "HEY DIP$#*T!" and turn to see a Honeyville neighbor from back in the day.  It was great to see her (and her family at the aid station at mile 3).  Not many people who can get away with such terms of endearment... she is definitely one of them.
Mile 20:  rain (sort of) subsides.
Mile 20:... this is when I envisioned hitting my LIMIT, but surprisingly, I felt good.  Perhaps it was the MANY stops at aid stations.  Maybe it was the overdose of ibuprofen along the way.  Maybe it was the optimism that comes with finally not having to run in pouring rain.  Maybe it was being able to see my family cheering us on (and taking my soaking jackets from me).
Mile 24:  Emotional just seeing Arica's family holding a sign with our names on it, cheering us on.
Mile 26:  I can smell the end from here.  We come around the corner and see the finish, and I get teary eyed.  WE DID IT!  Aspen comes running out from the crowd and runs across the finish with Arica and I.   It still feels surreal that we finished it.  It wasn't the most amazing time (5:26:23), but it leaves room for improvement for next time (did I just say NEXT TIME???)
Sadly, I had intentionally locked my keys in the car thinking Hayden had his lock set.
Sat in the cold rain, felling my muscles get cold and tighten up, shivering, while waiting for the Hyundai Roadside Assistance dude to show up.  Lunch at Center Street Grill.  A surprise spontaneous stay that night at Sherwood Hills (which I was glad for just so I could shower and warm up).

Thanks to my amazing husband who spent his whole morning chasing us in the rain and driving around Wade and Aspen.  Thanks to my kids for coming, and thanks to Arica for the opportunity to share this experience with someone as cool as she is (and for putting up with my non-stop talking) 

Before race day:  The days leading up to the big event were filled with nerves and anxiety.  Friday was Wade's cross country meet... then off to Logan to get my bib number, dinner at Maddox Ranch House, and check in at our lovely motel.  There was no room at the inn anywhere in Logan, or Tremonton... or Brigham City, for that matter.  Thanks to Wade, we found a little hometown "off the radar" motel in Tremonton to stay in.  It was surprisingly decent.  Thanks to the Sandman for the accommodations!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Old School Football

The  BYU / Utah football game is on Saturday.  I am sure I'll be half dead by kick-off time, so in honor of the game, I found this cute picture on Snow College Alumni facebook page, since I am a fellow badger, and the guy in red shorts... yeah... that's Bronco Mendenhall.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The countdown begins...

Back in April, I signed up for a marathon.
Many long, long Saturdays later, here I am...
4 days away from the Top of Utah Marathon.
More than once I have questioned my sanity
(as has my husband... but mostly when I'm gone for 4+ hours on Saturdays).
I am nervous... 
the nerves set in on Sunday when I realized I was under a week away.
I am excited...
excited to be faced with the challenge, and excited to have someone to run it with.
I am anxious...
Just let me not have to teach this week, and lets get up there and get this started.

I have worried about everything 
from my toes and feet and knees,
to what to eat and drink even four days before the race.

I am proud of myself for getting to this point.  
I have told Hayden and Arica to remind me when I try to sign up for another race,
about the pain and agony each Saturday has brought.
However...come Saturday
about 12:30pm
as I cross the finish line
I'm sure all that will be forgotten.

I'm sure I'll be looking for another place to throw down my 26.2.
Looking for more Saturdays to sacrifice to the cause.
Because, unless you push yourself beyond what you EVER thought you could do...
You don't realize you could do it all along.

4 days... and counting.
Bring it on.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I got my shoes, mom

We GET to drive by Trafalga each day on our way home from school, after picking Aspen up from Emily's.  Every day that the water fall is going, she lets me know that it is NOT closed (like we tell her it is so often).  Tuesday, she came home, got her non-flip-flop shoes on, and grabbed me by the hand and said "Let's go climbing... I'm ready".

I gave in.
I need to more often.
She had a blast and stayed on the wall CONSISTENTLY for a good 45 minutes.
I think she likes the hanging from the rope on the way down almost as much as she likes the climb up.

I went again with her yesterday as well... she is pretty good.  It is the most recent passion of hers.
And with the cooler weather in store, the water falls should be going off shortly for the afternoons... which means :)  that it is REALLY REALLY hard to tell if it is closed or not.  Pretty sure it's closed.  No water... no open.

At least that's the story I'm sticking to.

Doctor, doctor

Aspen has been having issues with her bladder since she was about 2.  Lately, with kindergarten quickly approaching next year, we realize we need to get some things checked so she is not humiliated in front of friends.  We took her to Utah Valley RMH to have an ultrasound done on her kidneys and her bladder, and then a VCUG to test for any reflux in the bladder.  Most everything turned out looking good, other than the amount of liquid the girl can discharge, even on a day when she hasn't had anything to eat or drink.  They gave her some meds that helped her relax and to not remember anything about the procedure when it was all over.  She had fun, if that can be said of a procedure.

That night she is sitting on her bed and calls me in.
"Mom the cat peed in here"
"Right here, under my bum"

Yeah... so we still have the bladder problem...
and thankfully, we also have an appointment to see someone at the University of Utah on the 29th.
She is such a great sport.

Happy Valentines Day... Hayden's version

For Valentine's Day this year Hayden gave me a "golden ticket".  Pick any concert you want to attend, and that will be your valentine's gift.  
So... I checked what was coming to town in the next few months.  
Nothing I was willing to cash in my "ticket" for, so I waited.
I knew a couple bands/groups that I wanted to see were slated to come to town in the fall, so I figured I would wait a bit, and see what the schedule looked like.
Middle of April rolls around and Hayden hands me his computer and says "Happy Valentines Day".  On the screen was a receipt for tickets to CHEYENNE DAYS to see his favorite band, Zac Brown Band.
Apparently, I waited too long (although no expiration date was ever written or implied on my gift).
So, the end of July found us flying into Denver, and driving to Cheyenne for the concert.
Cheyenne Days has a culture all of it's own.  I could people watch all day, and I've never so many pretend cowboys in my life.  (Pretend cowboy = someone sporting boots that look they have never seen a pile of cow crap... EVER... or wearing the cowboy shirt that still has the creases in it from the initial packaging)

We had GA tickets, and sat in line to get in an hour before the gates opened (which was an hour before the OPENING band of 3 went on).  We were at the front of our section with a great view!  

The opening gal, Sonia Leigh, was amazing (I need to find some of her stuff and download it).  Zac Brown, however, definitely was worth the trip, the drive, and the time spent in line!  He was a great performer, sounded good live, and sang the song that always makes me cry: Highway 20 Ride.
Lesson learned from the trip... next time, we stay in Cheyenne.  Even with sneaking out of the massive crowds before the encore, and getting out of the parking fiasco without a hitch, we didn't get back into Denver until 2am.  That was only after taking turns driving, rolling down windows, stopping for a little break to revive ourselves.

I was able to get my long run in while in Denver.  They have an amazing river front trail that runs for miles.  It was a warm morning, but I started early enough... ran past many many homeless people sleeping along the river.

We stayed at the Teatro, just a block away from the theater district.  We rented bikes and rode around town.  On the way to Cheyenne we stopped and had lunch with an old college buddy I hadn't seen for 20+ years.  The second night in Denver we had dinner at the Yard House with Hayden's cousin, Jenn, he hadn't seen in years, and we topped off the last evening by having dinner with an old co-worker at the Cheesecake Factory.
Lots of good food.
Great time together.
Good company... especially the crazy guy who planned this whole thing.
THAT is one SWEET hat, Hayden!!
before it started
first hour of the show
by the end... it was packed, from one end to the other
The Uintah's... from the air
the flight in to Denver
at the end of 16th street mall

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