Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy!!

I guess it's a little known fact that I do a lot of races throughout the season.  And every event you do, you get a shirt.  Some events give better shirts than others, but I never seem to wear them very often nor do I use them to work out in on a regular basis.

A couple of years ago, I hired Martha's Mom - a professional quilter - to make a quilt out of my shirts.
It was pretty awesome!  But, it was a huge project and she is a busy lady so I knew I needed to find someone a little closer to home and with a little more time to do the rest of my quilts.

I have been just hanging on to my 2009 and 2010 race shirts.  Bagged, just hanging out taking up space.  One night I got a wild hair and just posted on Facebook asking if anyone quilted and wanted to earn extra money.

Within minutes, one of my young women commented and said she does and she did.  YIPPEE!!

When I tried to find my 2009 bag, I couldn't but I grabbed my 2010 bag and toddled over with my shirts.  I love to see what ideas others come up with so when it comes to my quilts I really have to preference at all.  I love whatever anyone wants to do with them.  I showed her and her parents my shirts.  They asked if I had a special one that they could put in the center of the quilt.  That special one was my marathon shirt.  My first ever Marathon.  Yeah - it needed to be the focal point.

I left my shirts, told her to keep track of cost and time, and then she would tell me how much I owed her when she was done.

Every now and then she would mention her progess, but I really wasn't worried. She is a remarkable young lady with immense talent and is extremely conscientious and responsible so I just didn't give it too much thought other than excited to see what she came up with from her own creative juices.

Today, I got the message that she was DONE!!  And better, could she bring it over!!

(Tera Ann and her daddy Jim)

(I jumped in there - if I had showered, I might have smothered Tera in smoochies!)

(do you see the pillow? THAT'S MY MARATHON SHIRT!! - She made a PILLOW out of it!!)

I seriously SERIOUSLY LOVE it!

Tera Ann - you did an AMAZING job!  I bow to your creative genius!  And to Jim and Em - thanks for supporting her and letting her do this.

I think I even got a 'yes' to do my 2009 shirts now that I found the bag  : )

For the love of all things goggles, books and Jack

Sometimes all you need in life, is a good book, a nice pair of reading glasses and a loyal dog.

Boys will be Boys

Luke bought himself a shotgun a month or so ago and has really gotten into skeet shooting.  Today, Tuffy and Dave went out for some good ole' fashioned shooting of the clay pigeons!

Apparently Luke is a heck of a shot!

I hear Tuffy isn't too bad either!

And what did Splenda Daddy have to say?  My shoulders's sore.  He's even got the wounds to show it. 

What's missing?

Corb!  Although he is moving onto shotguns next week in school -  in addition to his PROMOTION (more on Marine Monday)

What else is missing?

The girls!

Since I know firing a shotgun will jack my shoulder and neck and no handgun to target shoot with yet, Chloee and I stayed home watching cartoons, doing laundry, playing cash register, singing the name song and (she) tormenting playing with Jack.

I also checked out gunsafes ( thanks JC), and started my Mother's Day gift list.

Pretty good Saturday morning if I say so myself!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay 2011 - without Legally Dead???

I'm in denial.  I can't believe it. I WON'T believe it!

After a long history of running the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay, our team, Legally Dead did not get in.

In years past, the race doesn't fill up until Spring, however this season, it was full in September 2010.  Imagine our captains surprise and dismay when he just happened to check in September only to find that it was full. 

Such a history for this team too.
The majority of the members have run every Wasatch Back except the first year it was ever held .The team was named Shinsplint Shufflers and Pace Makers before it was sponsored by Wayne's law practice and became Legally Dead.

(anyone who has run this relay, you will totally remember Mr Bones.  Our vans are NOT hard to miss!)

 Legally Dead has been in four consecutive Wasatch Backs.
None of us want to see that streak broken.  Granted, we are on a waiting list, but the uncertainty is killing us.
(last year at the start line)

 The saddest part is that many of the members of the team have or are overcoming injuries to run the race. Everyone has been training and rehabbing in preparation for the one race we all look forward to!

Sheesh, if you add them all up - Wayne had major knee surgery at the end of last season.  Duane is recovering from major knee surgery.  Jamie moved to Portland but was planning on coming back for the run.  Lisa has battled the Achilles tendon injury.  Kris has plantar fascitis that flares up and has to be taken care of, and myself?  I ended last season with a stress fracture and then had the back and neck injuries that rear their ugly heads every so often.  But all of us has been working so hard to get ready. 

The one event we look forward to.  The tradition. The fun.  The craziness.  The bonding of good friends.  The talks.  The secrets and laughs shared.  Sleeping on a gymnasium floor with 200 other strangers.  Showering with 5 other ladies.  Eating crap and then prepping for your next run.  Icing down in the 'burb.  Head lamps.  Butt lamps.  Spicy dogs at the Maverick.  Costumes.  The volunteers.  And finally, the finish line where 12 exhausted but exhilarated runners cross with complete and utter satisfaction.  Seriously, it's the one event that I let myself go and compete but have!

To think we might very well miss out this year is a sad, sad, thought.  If only we had known it would fill up so fast.  Who knew that it was becoming such a popular event!?  And having run other relays, I can honestly say that I understand why.  It's a well organized event that appeals to all levels of runners.   It's one of those experiences that you can't really describe to people.  The running, the people, the event organizers and all the volunteers.  Not to mention the beautiful Utah country we get to run through.  GAH!  It's just so wonderful!  I guess I understand why everyone has jumped on the bandwagon.

But couldn't we let just ONE.MORE.TEAM in? 

I guess I will have to assuage my sorrows in some diet coke, cross my fingers, and hope for a miracle that something opens up off the wait list and me and my Legally Dead 'mates can keep the streak alive!
(finish line 2010)

Legally Dead - I love you, here's to hoping!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

How a 4 year old should give a talk in Primary - Course 101

Or better titled, "How to command the attention of every child in Primary and make them laugh"

(no this has nothing to do with speaking in church, I just crack up when she puts these shoes on)

Chloee was asked to give a talk in Primary.  In our church, Primary is where the young children from 3 - 11 meet.  The first 40 minutes is class time.  They are divided by age and a gospel lesson is taught to them in an age appropriate way.

The next 40 minutes or so is called Sharing time.  Again, they are seated with their age group classes.  Each week one class is asked to do the scripture, theme, a talk and then the closing prayer.  As the children get older the talks kind of mature with them. After the talk, then they have music time and then another fun lesson from one of the leaders.

This was Chloee's first talk, so I wrote a very simple version of Easter, dug out my stack of pictures that corresponded to points in the story and then we practiced how it could go down.  I would read the words, she would hold the pictures.  Same way we did it when the boys were just little.

The talk as rehearsed:

Easter is more than a cute Rabbit bringing baskets of treats and eggs.

Easter is really all about Jesus and how he loved us so much that he spent an entire weekend showing us.
(hold up picture of Jesus)

First he had a special dinner with his apostles. He taught us about the Sacrament so we could always remember Him.
(hold up picture of last supper)

Then He went to a sacred garden and carried out the Atonement. The Atonement means he suffered and paid the price for all our sins, mistakes, disappointments, frustrations and sad feelings.
(hold up picture of Christ in Gethsemane)
He did this so we could be forgiven of our mistakes and so that He would know how to help us when we are sad or scared.

The next day, some unkind people who did not understand Jesus and were afraid of him, nailed his body to a cross.. This is called crucified. They crucified Jesus. He died on the cross.
(hold up picture of Jesus on the cross)

When He died, His spirit left His body and went to the Spirit world. His family and friends took his body to a tomb to be buried.
(hold up picture of the tomb)

Three days later on Easter Sunday morning, His friend Mary came back to the tomb to visit His body, but the tomb was empty. His body was not there.
(hold up picture of Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene)

Instead Jesus had been resurrected. That means that His body and spirit were reunited together again and that He will live forever now.
He showed his friends the nail prints in His hands so that they would know it was really Him.
(hold up picture of resurrected Savior showing the prints in his palms)

Because Jesus did all of this. The Atonement, being crucified, dying and then being resurrected, we can now repent and be forgiven of our mistakes, and be resurrected too. We can live with our families and Jesus and our Heavenly Father forever.

Because of Easter and all that Jesus did, I can see my Mommy again and be with her. That makes me happy.
(hold up picture of Chloee and Mommy)

I am thankful to Jesus Christ for his example and sacrifice for me.
I hope everyone can remember the true meaning of Easter and remember to thank our Savior Jesus Christ.

Then as we do in our church, we end our prayers, talks and testimonies in the name of Jesus Christ.

We practiced it, we talked about it, we had it down to a science.

How her talk REALLY went -
She stepped up on the stool, reached for  the microphone, pulled it down to her mouth and then as I made my way to stand next to her, she told me she was going to do it herself.
I handed her the first picture, and she handed it back again telling me she would do it herself.
She leaned right into the microphone and said,

"Easter is fun."

I tried to re-direct, reminding her how we had practiced.  She motioned for me to sit down, that she would do it.   Again, she leaned into the microphone and announced that "Easter is fun"

I tried again to assist her.  She told me I could hold the pictures and she would talk.  I held a picture, she leaned into the microphone and then decided that she didn't need help at all.  This back and forth went on and on for what felt like 10 minutes, I am sure it was more like 3.  I even looked at the Primary leader because at this point, the entire room was giggling and laughing.  I am sure that if we didn't rein something in, the reverence would never come back.  She offered to help Chloee, and girl insisted she would do it herself.

I was at a loss.  She didn't really know what to say but she had the spotlight, the crowd was laughing, and I think she was enjoying herself.

Some more re-direction and she finally decided she would hold the picture so I whispered in her ear what to say and basically scaled it waaaaay down.  But as soon as I would whisper the word, or phrase, she would say,  " No, no no, I will do it."  Then look at the picture and then ask me what to say.  As soon as I gave her what to say, it was back to the "No, no no, I will do it."  THIS went on for a little while before she got to the point where she held the picture, looked at it, I gave her a word or two, she repeated it and then we moved on. 

Thankfully, within about 10-12 minutes (at least it felt that way), it was over.  She reluctantly let go of the microphone and stepped away from the spotlight.  I retreated to the back of the room where I am pretty sure Splenda, Luke, and Karalee were peeing their pants in laughter.  Flat Daddy's expression never changed.  Guess he can hold it in better than the rest of us.

We waved goodbye to Chloee, told her what a good job she had done and then went to the hall where we all busted up laughing.

Seriously, how funny!  I WILL DO IT MYSELF!  I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO DO, BUT I WILL DO IT!  Strong willed? Independent?  Loves the spotlight?  Personally, I can see that she is a quick learner and once she sees how things are to be done, she is ready to do them the right way.  She sees the adults and older kids talking in the microphone by themselves and I think she was ready to do likewise.  Next time, we'll just have her memorize her talk and perhaps she can do a shadow puppet show or an interpretive dance as an object lesson instead of pictures.

And really, I think she was working the crowd like a pro.

For the follow up course?
How to take as many pieces of the sacrament bread and not get caught until you've touched them all.
(this is an advanced course as it requires the basic fundamentals of how to be sneaky and cute at the same time)

More gratuitous cute photos

His Sacred Name - An Easter Declaration

I know this video has been making the rounds. I think virtually every blog I read has had it posted in the past week or so, but it's well worth a second or third view, or if for the very first time seeing it, please let the message sink deep in your heart and soul. For a Christian like me, Easter is the ultimate holiday. The big one. Bigger than Christmas in it's significance.

For this reason, the Easter Rabbit comes Saturday to our home so that we can leave Sunday for the celebration of the religious importance of the day.

I will never forget the Easter Sunday that my oldest son Corbin, realized the message that his Primary leaders were trying to teach. He might have been about 5. He excitedly came to me and said, "Mommy, because of Jesus and Easter, you can see your Dad again!" He was thrilled with the concept that someone could be reunited with their loved ones after death because a Savior atoned and made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

And now, this Easter Sunday, I feel a great responsibility to teach this important and comforting truth to that once little boy's own daughter.

Know this little Chloee, you WILL see your Mommy again.  For this blessing, you have your Savior to thank and your Heavenly Father to obey and stay close to.

Happy and Blessed Easter to you all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I think we got a player here!

Chloee has been asking to play baseball for several months. It was finally time to get her signed up for T-ball and then try to wait patiently for the first meeting.

Every day on the way home from school, we pass some ball fields, and every day she would tell me about how she is going to play.  To say she was a little excited would be putting it mildly.

With our three boys - this is just the nature of our springs.  We've missed it for the past several years so the thought of sitting at a ball field and watching again is pure joy!  And for the love - do NOT tell her it's T-ball.  You will be promptly corrected and told it is BASEBALL.

Of course it was extremely important that Flat Daddy be there. And no, that is not the pee-pee dance, that is part of her wind up.

Watching the others bat at the tee.  She is a quick learner just by observation.  And boy can she throw STRAIGHT!

And finally her turn to hit!

The coach and his wife are very nice as were all the other parents.  She is playing with another boy from her school, so there is at least one familiar face.

I love to see her excitement!  It reminds me of her Daddy when he was her age.  In fact he started at age 4 as well.  I love how lowkey and laid back it is.  The kids get to have fun while learning lessons about taking turns, refining their large motor skills, and working on their coordination.

Splenda Daddy and I will be glad to sit back and relax.  For so many years, he coached, I was team mom and we both served on the board of our local little league.  It will be nice to be able to actually watch undistracted and ENJOY!

Bring on the t-ball baseball season!

Hoppy Easter - The furry long eared rabbit part

The Easter Rabbit comes to our house Saturday night so that we can leave Sunday for the religious part of the holiday.

First there was some coloring of eggs Friday night to be ready for the special nightly visitor with long ears.

(whoa are those Christmas mugs we were using?  Yes, yes they are - cause that is how we roll)

She then signed a note to leave the for big furry guy to please hide these eggs that would be waiting for him in the fridge

In the morning when she found out that we had the special visitor make it to our house - she was THRILLED!!

Each and every egg she found was just as exciting as the first one!  She loved her bat, and helmet for T-ball, but right now they are losing to the chocolate!

Happy Easter Saturday Princess!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kicking butt and taking names

Makes me laugh every single time!

You know who you are

That is all

Who cares?

Really.  Who gives a crap? 

They are people just like you and me.  Because someone decided some time ago that they are 'royalty' it makes their marriage so important?  And don't even start me on the money they are spending.  Aren't there better ways and people that those funds could go to?

I understand that the argument can be made that people are making such a fuss because of tradition, or even for the need of something light and happy in people's lives with all the scary and depressing things surrounding us.

I refute that argument with this:   Find the happiness in your OWN life.  It's there.  You have it.  Find it. 

Enjoy the sun.  Or even the moisture if that's your lot right now.

Enjoy your health.  Good or bad - if you're reading this, then you're alive.  Enjoy that.  Celebrate that.

Love and find happiness in your family.  Even if you are single with no children, you have parents or friends who are just LIKE family.  Hug them,  find happiness in them.

Be grateful for your job.  And if you are currently unemployed, find the positive in that you might have more time right now to spend with family, work on other projects or finish your education.

No matter our current lots in life there is happiness and joy to be found there.

This coming from one who is struggling right now beyond anything I ever imagined? 
Hypocritical much?

Nope.  Just finding something to be happy about and making some attitude adjustments.

But know this, I am not going to waste my time finding something pleasurable and happy across the pond. 
 I am ignoring that stupid waste of money and ridiculous amount of press coverage and instead finding my joy right here in my own house, in my own family with my own life.

Hope you will do the same!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An open letter to President Obama

Dear Barry,
Please get your ass back to work.  Get off the campaign trail.  Stop doing your little town hall meetings.  Quit holding sessions at universities attempting to secure the younger vote.  And Facebook?  REALLY?  Don't you have more important things that should be on your mind other than schmoozing with the social networks?

Get back to your office and get to work on the pressing problems at hand.  We got an issue in Libya.  Afghanistan.  Iraq.
We have a budget issue.  Unemployment.  Rising oil prices which in turn kill us citizens (your employers) at every turn.  Gas, food, commodities.

I realize Congress is on break, but you have plenty to do while they are out to keep you busy. 
Once they reconvene, get your ass into their sessions, pull out a seat front and center  IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE and start talking and problem solving.  A community organizer?  Then freaking organize the Senate and House to come to agreeable terms.  Lose your own agenda. 

Your whole strategy now of campaigning for 2012 is most certainly going to backfire on you when you have yet to accomplish anything of significant positives under your watch so far.

And, for the love of all that's holy, stop apologizing around the globe for America.  You forget, sir, that you are one of us.  At least you claim your birth certificate makes it so.  And by the way, I'm not necessarily a "birther" but if you have nothing to hide, why not show it and shut your critics up?  Your lack to do so, portrays arrogance on a whole new level.

Bottom line, you have not been doing the job you were hired for, you are currently not demonstrating any corrective action to begin performing your job duties in a satisfactory manner and I, for one, am sick and tired of it.
Especially with the past few weeks of clear and blatant campaigning rather than sleeves rolled up and working.
Stop it.
Do the job you were hired for.
Get to work. 
Get back to the office, bear down and tackle the tough issues.  Stop TALKING ABOUT THEM!  Stop campaigning for re-election.  It's not going to happen if you don't produce now.  And produce something that is meaningful and is in the best interest of your employers (us the citizens) and NOT what is according to your own agenda and those that seem to pull your strings.

Your employer who paid a significant amount in taxes and got nothing out of my employee. Get the hell to work.   Your time appears to be MY money.

Monday, April 18, 2011

300 miles of.......

Most know that I travel to southern UT for work fairly frequently.  I haven't been since early December thanks to a co-worker who jumped in and helped so we could get family needs taken care of.  This is my first away time from Chloee since then.  I don't know who is sadder.  Me or her.

It's about 300 miles one way.  I am either in the mood for music and singing thus producing ICC's (in car concerts) like you've never heard before (an empty milk dud box provides great acoustics) OR, I am in the mood for talk radio and just listening and letting my mind wander.

I pulled out of my office parking lot at 12:18.

12:40 - I think I should pick up Tuffy and take him back to my office to get my cooper so Splenda doesn't have to later.  He will have his hands full with Chloee and getting our stupid taxes filed.

1:30 - actually leave my office parking lot for real.

It's raining very, very hard.  Can't seem to find the right wiper timing.  Cursing large trucks and their extra spray

Alpine.  Realize I am extremely hungry.  See Wendy's sign at exit notice.  Mentally calculate what I could eat and maintain correct caloric intake with good balance of protein.

Pull off exit to discover that the Wendy's is 5 miles east.  Decide to hit the Del Taco since they are big enough to have nutritional information posted on line. 

Need a bathroom

See a new place JCW burgers.  Decide to try something new and will estimate calories if not on-line

Discover that they have chocolate peanut butter milk shakes.  Make different burger choice to kids burger

More rain as I continue south.  Now hit construction.  Traffic flow doesn't slow, so neither do I.

Spanish Fork - should I call Splenda?  Should I stop and see him?  Think about how busy he is and how stressed he's been and decide not to distract him.  Besides a lane change in the standing water appears slightly dangerous.

Watch a highway patrolman with his lights on following a truck for over 6 miles.  Truck doesn't pull over.  I pass them and wonder if I should motion to the dude that he's been nailed.  Instead, I stare straight forward and laugh inwardly.

Next small town.  Do I text my friend to tell her I love her?  If it wasn't raining, I totally would, but right now both hands are required on the steering wheel.

Rounding a bend into the next county.  Getting verrrryyyy sleeping.  Doze off.  Jerk alert with heart racing.  Continuing on, adjust self in seat.  Doze off again.  Jerk alert - heart racing.  Look for next exit to pull off and nap.

Mona *snicker* - exit and find a gravel spot.  Lock car, turn off engine and lay seat back.  Close eyes.  Immediately asleep.


Feel phone vibrating and hearing the hum.

Check caller ID - It's Kar and I've been worried about her.  Sit up, talk on phone.  Yawn a lot.  Call gets dropped.  Lay back down thinking I will fall back asleep.  Nope.

Back on the freeway, back into the pelting rain and standing water on the road.

Listen to talk radio and picture what the dj's look like.  Why do they sound so happy?

Yuba - getting a little drowsy again.  Adjust in seat and realize that my gallbladder hurts.  Think about my gallbladder.  Think about Bird who just had hers out.  Think about Bird's sister 'Antana.  Think about Tuffy and 'Antana.  Think about Sunday at church.  Think about the lesson I taught about the Temple. 

Past Scipio and onto Fillmore.  *snicker*  Getting drowsy again - call Tiburon to talk so I will not be so bored.

Envious that she gets to stay at home and go to the movies with her kids.  Discuss the options of doing the Goldilocks century ride.   Smoochies and goodbye

See Meadow.  Think of Mo.  What the hell do people do that live in Meadow?  Best mini mart around, but really what do people there do?  Think of Mo.  Think of Ann.  Think of Cherie.  Think of Tauna.  Think of Keeley.  Think of the fun at the cabin.  What's Katie up to?  How's Britt?
What the hell do people do that live in Meadow?  Really?

Continue over rise in the highway and recognize spot where accident occurred many years ago.  I was about the 3rd person on the scene.  Relive the whole ordeal.  Think about how glad I am that it wasn't raining then.  I probably wouldn't have wanted to help.  What are the odds of me coming onto the scene of an accident at the exact same place?  Numbers hurt my head.  Stop thinking of the odds. 

Cove Fort.  Remembering when Jill came with me on one trip and it was when the fire was raging there.  Think about a friend who ran smack into President Gordon B Hinckley in the Chevron.  Literally face to face.  Think about President Hinckley.  Miss him.  Think about my Grandpa.  Miss him.  Think about my Grandma.  Miss her.  Literally physically feeling the missing. 

Rain still pouring.

Have switched to AM for better reception.  Notice the difference between FM and AM.  Start seeing all the billboards.  Makes me think of Vegas.  Wanting a trip to Vegas.  Think of family living there.  Thinking of blog friends who live there.  One who has disappeared for over a year.  Wonder where she is.  See Outback billboard.  Want a date to Outback with Splenda. 

Beaver *snicker*  debate texting Tib.  See hotel where Splenda and I stayed the first year I ran the Red Rock with Legally Dead.  Think of that relay and how much fun we had.  Wish Red Rock hadn't screwed up so badly and ruined it last year.  Think of Kris's reaction at the finish line.  Laugh.  Sympathize.  Admire for doing what he really thought instead of the rest of us with painted on smiles.  Think of running in the hail.  Think of cows mooing at runners.  Think of bleeding nipples and stress fractures.

Parawon.  Who names a town Parawon?  or Paragonah for that matter?  And what do the people do that live there?  Starting to get drowsy.  Thinking that I am not meant to do these drives anymore.   Is that my gallbladder bugging me again?  Start that whole chain of thinking again.

Cedar City.  Pull into the Maverick for the bathroom and something to chew on to keep me awake.  Find some jerky.  Only 120 calories.  Can afford that small number.

Push on and find new radio station.  Country music.  Hear a new song about a woman whose clothes fall off when she drinks tequila.  Catchy tune.  Some Kenny Chesney.  Some singing about two pina colada's.  One for each hand.  I want a pina colada.  Virgin of course.  I want to be on the beach.  I want Cancun.  Starting thinking about Cancun.  Picture the villa.  The pool.  The ocean.  Our palapa.  The sand.  I can smell it.  I can smell Cancun.  I.Want.It.

Construction.  Dream over.  Too many trucks.  Have to slow down.  What would it be like to be a truck driver?  Decide that I couldn't do it.  I fall asleep too easily.  Rain has long stopped and roads are dry.  Why are these guys going so slow???  Find way to get around the trucks. 

Come up on the outskirts of town.  See exit to Eric and Ape's house.  Wish I had more time when I am down here, to see family and friends.  Wish I had Eric and Ape's house.  Think of Space Jam.  Think of their basketball court.  Think of trashtalking.  Think of how cute they are with each other.  Think of Blands.  Think how much I love them. 

Debate which exit I should take.  First one and have to do the blvd?  Or second one and backtrack to Smith's?  Decide the Blvd.  Love to just see town.  Love this town.  See all the familiar places.  Memories.  I ran here.  Many times.  In the dark, by myself.  Dinner here with family.  Dinner there with friends.  How could I swing living here?  Think about Chloee moving with Daddy and Karalee to (hopefully CA).  If I lived here, I would be closer.  Why can't I make that work?

Quick stop in Smith's for veggies for dinner and choco milk for after workout in the morning.  See new kind of skittles.  Need. 

Check in desk at the hotel.  They know me by name.  We chat and chat and laugh.  Promised a room for the marathon.  More jokes and then off to my room.

And that my friends is how the M-Cat spent 5 hours and 300 miles of her day today.

* last call of the night was from Chloee.  Sadness in her voice.  "Mimi - I want you to come home to our house."  I officially hate traveling for work.  Next time I come in July, she and a nanny will be coming with me.  No leaving her behind again!

**hotel room thoroughly checked for bedbugs.  Clear.  Still keeping all luggage in the bathroom!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Salt Lake CIty Half Marathon - no PR, but I'll take it

Remember when I did this a couple of years ago?  It was seriously one of my best runs ever and a PR for a half marathon on any course.

Last year, I did the bike tour instead.  Sure it was fun.  Sure I like to cycle, but as we stood on the bridge overlooking the runners coming in, I was desperately wishing I had run instead.  I vowed it wouldn't make that mistake again.

While this half has been on the agenda and was intended to be part of my overall training plan for my first of four marathons this season, with the myriad of injuries and illnesses, I never got my mileage in.  Didn't get properly trained.  I knew I would see it through, but knew that my PR was not going to be achieved and I could very possibly be walking a good portion of it.  I had resigned myself to that fact.  I was going to have to swallow my competitive side and just run as if training.

(getting ready - waiting for my ride)

Lisa and a 'burb full of girls picked me up at 5am, since I had no bike to load, my pick up was simple.  Just me and my water.
Next up was picking up Tiburon.  Once they got her bike racked, we headed to the U and the others began to unload.  The bike tour participants started their ride at 6am, while the runners weren't until 7am.  After the girls got off on their way, I jumped up front with my new friend Pam and we chatted while waiting for our turn to head to the start line.  Since this was in no way gonna be competitive for me, I had no nerves.  Nothing.  Just hoping that the rain would stop, and that it would be warm enough to run without my sweatshirt.

Finally at 6:30, we turned off the 'burb, I made sure I had everything ready to go, and then put the key in the slot that we thought it was supposed to go.  Turns out it was the cassette deck.  CRAP!  We wrangled our fingers in there trying to dig it out but to no avail.  I can't believe I stuck Lisa's spare key in her tape deck!  All I could think was Kris was straight up going to kill me.  After doing all we could, we gave up, got out, hit the lock and walked a few feet towards the area of the start.  That is when I realized that I locked my water bottle with my Gu and Shotbloks in its zippered handle.  CRAP!  Really?  This is SO not getting off to a good start.

We found the porta potties and the immense lines.  Pam jumped into a line and I wandered seeing if there was a shorter one.  I found one that basically had two people in it.  Jumped in, took care of business, turned to find Pam but had lost her in the sea of people.

I headed to the start line and as my psychological habit forces me, I got as close to the actual start as I could.  Yep, right next to the Kenyan and the big dogs that were running the marathon and whom I guessed would finish their full marathon long before I crossed for just my half.

Some warming up, the national anthem (why can't people be respectful - take off their hats, pull their headphones out of their ears, place their hands over their hearts and shut the hell up?) and then it was time to go.

The starting siren sounded, the crowd moved forward and we were off.  I had planned to meet a friend a few hundred feet or so down course where she was gonna jump in and run bandit.  We had coordinated some texting and right where she was meeting me, also happened to be Chad's truck.  Perfect place for me to lose the sweatshirt and get her into the mix.  Mission accomplished.

It was great to have Chris running alongside me.  Normally, I am not a chatty runner but since I was chalking this up to training, the racing instinct had been subdued and we settled into a fairly good pace.  She is definitely faster than I am, so it was great to have her push me a bit.  It was the perfect push in that it wasn't too much, but enough that I couldn't let myself get away with any cheating.

Before we even knew it, it was mile 7.  Over half way.  It felt like the time was flying!  We kept about the same pace, stopping only for a few brief walking steps at the watering stations.  About mile 9, I noticed my right calf starting to cramp and tighten up a bit.  I was making sure to drink at just about every aid station and I was choosing gatorade over water for the potassium.  At one point I even took an electorlite capsule that Chris had on her and I think that helped it from getting any worse. 

We rounded into Liberty Park and I was reminded about how much I hate that section.  I hate the cement.  I just wanted to get it over with.  As we came out and made the turn left heading west, I noticed the mile marker 10.  We only have a 5k left.  I pulled out my phone and looked at the time.  We were in it 1:36.  All I could hope for at this time was something close to two hours and I knew we still had the hill up state street.

I tried to call Splenda Daddy to let him know how far away I was, but no answer.   We kept a steady gait and at this point, you begin to see a lot of runners struggle.  Tiredness sets in, mental exhaustion hits, and cramps, soreness and fatigue all tend to drag a runner. 

We turned up state street, and remarked that the hill was looming ahead.  Chris picked it up a little and I told her to move on ahead and keep her good pace.  I was lagging back a bit, but still feeling pretty steady.  Pretty soon I saw her running with an instructor from our gym.  This instructor almost died from a cycling accident, and she has been so inspiring with her recovery, that I wanted to catch up .  I pushed it and made it up to them long enough to say hi, but couldn't keep their pace and lagged back once again.

My calf was really starting to hurt.  At the next aid station, I drank more water and gatorade and tried walking to see if that would help.  It still hurt, so I figured I might as well run, get it over with and take care of the calf later.  Walking wasn't doing it any good, so there was nothing to lose by running. 

I picked it back up and then called Tiburon to tell her where I was.  I anticipated another 20 minutes or so.  That last aid station was perfect, it did something mentally for me and once I made the turn onto south temple, I found myself running faster than I had the whole race.  I was able to garner a few road kills, keep my speed up and watch my form all at the same time.  Also, the crowds of people cheering are getting larger and larger and mentally, that seriously does something for you. 

With the bursts of energy, I pushed on, rounded the corner at gateway, sprinted the small block west, and then rounded into the chute.  By now there are HUNDREDS of people cheering and my eyes are searching the crowd for my family and Tiburon and still trying to focus on sprinting as hard as I can. 

(chloee and Luke making their way over to gateway)

(waiting and hoping I'll come soon - it was a little chilly)

(i'm somewhere in that sea)

(yay!  I see them, and they see me!)

I heard my name and looked to the left to see Splenda Daddy, Chloee, Luke and Tuffy all waving at me!  That was it, that was the final burst I needed to give it absolutely everything left in me.

Soon I see the clock.  It is sub 2 hours!  I run even faster only to see it flip to the 2 hour mark.  I muttered a quiet 'damn' but kept pushing.  Finally, I crossed the line.  I don't remember the exact time on the clock, but it was two hours and some extra numbers. 

(there I am, a spec in the crowd trying to push my way forward)

(getting closer)

(almost there)

(i've crossed now and desperately wanting water)

I let that soak in for a second.  A 2 hour half marathon with a body that has been plagued with one thing or another prohibiting training, and not enough mileage build up.  I was satisfied.  I finished without any significant walking and my body, particularly my legs felt great. 

I continued through the chute, got my picture taken, received my medal and then started hitting the food boxes.  An orange, some chocolate milk, free bags of chips, a creamie, some bags with rolls and cookies, basically anything that was free.

I soon met up with my family and Tib and she and I were able to congratulate each other.  I heard about her bike tour, she heard about my run.  We took some pictures and then headed to the cars and for home.

(yay for medals - any why does my bib have 666 in it?)

( a bestie at the finish line - what a friend!)

I felt great.  I felt exhilarated.  I felt satisfied that I had given the best run I could.  I felt that the season is going to bode well.  I was grateful for my family being there to support me and for my bestie to hang around and be at the finish line for me as well.  What a great feeling.

Final results:

1:59.57  - I will take it.  Broke sub 2 hours.  Granted by 3 seconds, but I am TAKING IT!
63rd out of 249 in my age division
666th out of 2715 overall women
1547th our of 4444 overall participants.
9:09 minute overall pace

Again certainly not my best times ever, but all things considered not too bad.  Of course, we all know my mantra for no excuses, this is what it is.
Should I have hydrated better the couple of days in advance?  Yes - I would have had less cramping
Should have I moved off the slope of the road earlier than the 6 mile mark?  Yes - my IT band would not be feeling it right now.
Should I have made sure I had my water bottle and all my stuff?  Yes - only a dork leaves those behind.

But again, it is what it is, I am not going to feel bad about it.  Instead, I'll give myself a little pat on the back that I came out better than I could have hoped for and use it as a lesson to not get lazy in my training and to remember all the things I need to remember when preparing for a race.

Thanks again to my diva's for their encouragement.  To Chris who paced with me, chatted with me and made the miles fly by.  But most importantly to my family and my Shark who made the effort to be at the finish line and cheer me through the chute!

And now, I'll take tomorrow off and rest up, ice, massage, roll out the angry IT band and start back on the training path Monday.

What a great way to start the racing season!

**thank you Tib for taking some great phots!**

Friday, April 15, 2011

Did you know?

Let's play a little game of Did You Know......  answers will be found in Sequential order at the bottom of the post.

Did you know that I found a funny new website?

Did you know that sometimes when I comment on other people's blogs I end up rambling on and on?

Did you know that having a female dog in heat and a male dog feeling his oats makes for miserable times at home?

Did you know that the more you watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the better you become at mocking eccentricities and the people who display them?

Did you know that Gene Wilder is GENIUS in that role? 

Did you know that skipping a workout the day before a race can be extremely therapeutic?

Did you know that  legal matters can be very drawn out and take a lot of money and time?

Did you know that the ruling in one hearing regarding something temporary does not mean victory?

Did you know that the laws regarding children are specific in that harm has to happen to the child FIRST before anyone can take action?

Did you know that it's tax day and I have no idea if Splenda Daddy has filed our taxes?

Did you know that I don't even know how much I make a year?

Did you know that a dog in heat has about as much patience as a woman on her period?

Did you know that male dogs have as little capacity to understand that fact as do male humans?

Did you know that I can watch  back to back to back to back episodes of  House and not get tired of it?

Did you know that I just spent over two full minutes looking for my phone because I heard a phone vibrating, thought it was mine and it really was House's on TV?

Did you know that I should be carb loading today?

Did you know that I am going to have to find a way to get Splenda Daddy to bringing home Francesco's for dinner?

Did you know that it may or may not involve the GB?

How did you fare on the answers? 

Yes I did.  Click here to check them out and then you sure as hell better come back.  They are even more funny if you happen to be Mormon.  Which I am. But I still swear.  Sue me.

True.  Check the comments section on the above website on the post about the general conference talk.  I was on a roll.

How many times do I have to say "GET OFF HER!"  Thankfully snip snip and removing of the uterus will be happening next week.

So far I am not tired of that show and yes, I am now good better at mocking.  Including myself.

I haven't seen Johnny Depp, but really, who can top Gene Wilder in that role? 

That's my story and I am sticking to it!

Yes, but when the cause at hand is as important as it is, time and money are of no concern.

Round two wheels are already in motion. 

I find this fact absolutely pathetic.  I'm not discussing my own situation since round two is in motion, but take for example, the  6 year old patted down at the airport.  The damage has been done.  NOW, someone is screaming about it and trying to instill changes, but the damage had to happen first.  I find this absolutely mind boggling and there is something seriously wrong with some of our laws regarding the well being of children.

Since I haven't signed anything, I am guessing he hasn't done them yet.  And considering that we pay out our arses, I would guess that he's waiting until midnight to post them.

Really, I don't.  I know.  Pathetic.  I usually know once a year when I see my increase.  But then I forget all about it.

Absolute truth.  Jack is on Jordan's VERY.LAST.NERVE.

And no, he doesn't get it.  Just like much of the male human population.  You would think after hundreds of years of women menstruating and all mood issues that come with it, the male gender would catch on.  What does this say about the aptitude of the male gender?  Let's leave that one alone.  Lucky Splenda, I no longer menstruate.  TMI?

I've watched nothing but House today.  Nope, not sick of it yet.

Yes.  Yes, I did just hunt for my cell phone for over two full minutes thinking it was going off just to discover it was really Houses' on TV.  I should go back to sleep.

One should ALWAYS carbload before a race.  My standard is pasta.  I never go wrong with pasta.

Francesco's will be the only acceptable option tonight.  That's the simple fact.

And yes, if it takes the GB to convince him, then so be it.  However, I have a feeling it's not gonna come to that.

So, learn anything new?

I doubt it - you are all much smarter than I am

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I have much to be grateful for today. 

Good friends.  I've said it before and I'll say again, probably until the day I die, but good friends are absolutely invaluable!  FB messages, texts, phone calls. emails......some just to keep in touch, some with words of encouragement, and some with just an "I love you" - all bring me such happiness and fill me with such thankfulness for a life blessed with good people.  I am surrounded by them. I am blessed to have them in my life.  My in real life friends, my virtual friends, my family who are also my friends, every last one of you are important and appreciated.  

My family.  I have the best.  Splenda Daddy is a saint.  My sons are supportive and loving.  Despite a fabrication that has been circulated out there, I did NOT kick Luke out of the house. He moved closer to school and to his job.  I get so frustrated by people who make stuff up.  Who lie about me and my family.  For the record.  He moved because he wanted to and needed to be closer to the things he does.  

My sweet doggies.  Sure Jordan barks a shrill, annoying, want to rip your ears off bark, but she is sweet, obedient and loving.  Jack is a cuddler, smart and loves Chloee.  They are important in our family.  Our litter.  And I love the happiness that they bring all of us.

My son's significant others.  Right now, 'antana is girlfriend status and Karalee is fiancee status, but I love them just the same.  I see how happy they make my boys.  How much they love them.  As a mother, you love anyone who loves your kids.  Both of those girls have a special place in my heart.  And when Luke finds his perfect one - she will nestle right in on in there as well.

My health. Right now I'm injury free.  As I ran a little this morning, I found a good pace that I think I will go for on Saturday for the first race of the season.  My legs feel good.  My cardiovascular is strong and besides some occasional gallbladder pain and a sore neck from a bad pillow last night, I am feeling great.  Strong and ready for the season.  Fingers crossed it lasts this way!

A great attorney.  I can't even believe we have had to retain one (and again - to clear up a fabrication out there, he is NOT charging us 12,000 a month - my goodness!).  He is a good person, who believes in doing the right thing and is doing all in his power to make sure that little people who can't decide things for themselves are protected.  He has made sure that he uses our funds wisely but also does not take shortcuts.  We are blessed to have his counsel, experience and wisdom.

And finally, Chloee.  A Thankful Thursday wouldn't be complete without expressing gratitude for her.  She is an amazing little one who brings happiness to our family and to our home.  I expressed concern a post or two ago about her not wanting to look at pictures of her Mommy.  She has since changed her approach.  On the advice of a professional, we took the framed collage down but left it in her room where she could get it if she wanted to.  Then on her nightstand left a stack of prints without making a big deal about them.  She now looks at the prints, carries them around, asks questions, talks about them and even has slept with them the past two nights.  I take that as a good sign.  I think giving her the control over when she wants to look at them and how, is good for her.   I will be glad to meet with her therapist tonight and get started on things we need to do to to continue to help her, and to work on transitioning her to a life with her Daddy and his new wife Karalee.    We know that it's gonna take time, and I certainly hope that Corb and Kar will take time to be newlyweds and enjoy being together without having a child to care for, so everyone understands that it's not going to be immediate, but there is a great long-term plan in place and I am so grateful for all the wisdom and counsel we have received from so many professionals regarding her and her best interests. 

Wow - what a blessed woman I am.  In spite of all the tough times over the past several weeks.  The frustration, the fear, the anxiety of the unknown, the unfairness of other's actions - it is refreshing to put down all the things that I am feeling thankful for and be reminded of how blessed I am.

So what are you thankful for today?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wrandom Wrambling for a Sunday morning

Just a bunch of random thought rumbling around in my head.

Do you ever notice that no matter what you say or write, that there is always that ONE person who always thinks it's about them?  Even when it's not?

Yeah me too.  Makes me laugh.

Chloee is ready to go back to school.  She talks about it every day, asks if it's time and talks about her teachers and classmates.

Me thinks she loves school.  That makes me happy.

The dogs got haircuts yesterday.  Shaved right down.  Did I mention that it's still rainy and snowy here?  That means that there were two cold and shivering dogs climbing under the covers last night.
That makes me happy.

Chloee and Poppa organized her room and cleared out some old books and toys.  Love organization.  Love clean outs.  Love de-cluttering.  Love drop-off's to the DI.

I think I have some sort of gallbladder issue going on.  Pain up under my ribcage on the right side.  Comes and goes.  I google diagnosed it and pretty sure it's gallbladder.  I've been eating healthy and everything.  No fatty foods.  Oh well, whatever.  No biggie.  It comes and goes so no worries.

I love my new camera - and according to most people, now I should find my old one right?  I really hope so!  If only for my memory card with all the pics.  I want those!

Skyped with Corbin last night.  Dude is getting HUGE!!!  Muscles on muscles.  I hope we skype again tonight and I will get some video for a Marine post on Monday.

Speaking of Marine's, my nephew is contemplating going into the Marine reserves.  He originally planned AF reserves, but re-thinking Marine's.  If you are my friend on FB - send me a message telling him to GO MARINE's!  I will pass them all onto him.  Nothing like some positive peer pressure eh?

My Canadian friend Wendy has taught me the eh? and I like to use it all the time.

Speaking of Chloee's school.  I was reading with her last night and she has some books that she has passed off at school and brought home.  I am astounded at her ability to read words.
We got out one of her favorite books about a shark and three little fish.  I listened and watched her sound out almost every single word on the pages.  I am absolutely amazed.  She is so smart.  I sing the praises of Challenger yet again.

Splenda Daddy made several prints of pictures of Chloee's mommy.  We are framing them and hanging them in her room for her to have.  We showed them to her.  She put them away and won't look at them again.  I don't know what that means.  She talks about her on occasion and we encourage her memories but she won't look at those pictures.  I am glad we have an appointment with a therapist this week so we can learn where to go from here.

Tuffy is not recovering well.  I'm more than a little worried.  Out of his pain pills, still in a lot a pain and do you think we can get a call back from the after hours service?  Nope.  He's tried twice.  Luckily, we found a way around the pain and he is coping, but I think I am more irritated at the fact that the doc on call can't take 5 minutes and call him.  Even if there is nothing the doc can do, just a call so that Tuffy isn't ignored would be nice.  Guaranteed there will be  phone call placed from Mama Bear first thing Monday morning to the appropriate people.  I am paying these guys - they have a responsibility to my son.  And their mission statement?  Yeah, there will be a phone call.

CRAP!  I just looked at the time and realize that if we don't hustle, we will be late for church. 

My random thoughts are now on hold. 
Maybe I'll come home from church with some great for a Spiritual Sunday post  : )

Friday, April 8, 2011

My new camera and the random shots we take with it

I lost my camera a few weeks ago.  I remember putting it in the bag with the cord, and then I can't remember what happened after that.  It just makes me sick to my stomach.  Not just the fact that I loved that camera, but all the pictures I had on my memory card.  GAH!!!

Splenda Daddy being the Splenda Daddy that he is took care of it for me this week and delivered a new one to me while I was waiting for Tuffy in surgery.

A sample of some of the random pics we've been taking.
Splenda's first snap - do I always look so intense or just when I am concentraing on work?

The weird rash the nurse told us to take so that we could monitor it if it got worse

The traditional self-portrait.  What is up with my hair?  Little high on my right side eh?

Bathtime - Chloee actually asked if I would take a picture.  And no she did not pee in the tub - it's those fun bath colors

After she has applied several layers of her "lipstick"

And passed out cold on the way home from the candy factory - with massive amounts of lipstick

Trying to fly her ladybug kite!

Just can't get it up and going but she was having fun anyway!

Really Splenda -why?  I look like crapola!

Jack on the other hand does NOT look like crapola
He is so dang cute and so fun.  We have all agreed that he is Kasey incarnate.  Same quirks, same mannerisms and they weren't even the same breed of dog!  But dang, we love him!  And Jordan hasn't been this happy since Kasey.

Chloee and I cooking some super spectacular soup tonight in our special aprons.
Thank you to my diva Lisa for mine and to Auntie Evil Genius for Chloee's - the sharks are the perfect thing for her!

So yeah, loving my new Cannon Power Shot A43300 IS
Nothing fancy.  Small and easy to carry, but takes decent pictures and it's all I need.