Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween fun!

Usually, we are Halloween fanatics and go ALL out! Ryan grew up with custom Halloween costumes made by his mom, (an amazing seamstress) and has even gone to the extent of shaving his head completely JUST for a great Halloween costume. I guess when you win $500 at the work costume contest, it's worth it.
This year, life is so busy and there are so many things going on, that we had to take our halloween enthusiasm down a notch. But we are still having fun with it. We went to one, of many, spooky parties and these are the costumes we came up with. There was no stopping these two little Power Rangers, once they are clad in their hats, jumpsuits, and boots! They were quite literally bouncing off the walls (and everything else). Princess Jasmine made me do a double take a few times, as I'm not accustomed to looking for a black-haired bueaty in my group. She was bejewled head to toe, as a princess should be. Our little pumpkin was just that...our little Pumpkin. He had a serious love / hate relationship with that costume. Then there's the witch and the warlock. What a majestic-looking, creepy-faced couple. This year, I guess second place at the party would have to do.
Carving pumpkins is always a fun, busy and messy event! We picked out 4 not-so-fresh pumpkins at the grocery store and we covered the floor in preparation for the carving excitement. It's always been our tradition to have a sort of creativity "contest" and see who can come up with the most unique jack-o-lantern. However, this year, the three older kids were actually big enough to design and carve their own. So, Ryan used his creativity in another way...why carve in your normal, every day state...add a wig and make it that much more exciting!
We may be busy around here, but never too busy to do away with Halloween fun COMPLETELY!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Almost Back...

I really am coming back...after THIS crazy month is over!!! {Maybe sooner}.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A little break...

I guess at this point, my plate is too full. So, I am trying to choose the "BEST" things for me to be doing right now, and I guess that means giving blogging a break for a little while. This will be difficult for me, as I find it so entertaining! I also find it draining too much of my time. If I can practice self control maybe it wouldn't have to get to this point. :)
I have to give my brain a little rest from some things, and blogging must be one. But, check back in a bit, I'm sure I won't be able to hold off TOO long! Happy Blogging!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Love It

I love General Conference Sunday. Two times a year we get to snuggle up in our jammies and listen to the General Authorities of the Church give council. A yummy big breakfast, baking cookies in between, and lounging all day without worries are just a few of my favorite things on this day.

I love listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and I LOVE that Elder Eyring is the new 2nd councelor. I have fond memories of him at Ricks College, he is such a great speaker. Also, when I see him I think of my friend Lindi. She adores him. For Christmas one year at Ricks, we bought her a book by Elder Eyring, tracked him down all over campus and had him sign it for her. I will never forget the look on her face when she opened that gift...priceless.
I feel so blessed to have a Prophet and other leaders today who give us guidance and words of wisdom to get us through the craziness of the world.
What a great day!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Don't be Haters-

The front page of the LA TIMES says it all. It's a sad day.
It wasn't easy being a sprinter in high school as a junior when the fastest person in the school was a girl. I wasn't going to let it stay that way. I had a serious motive here, oddly enough I remember contemplating how I might ask her to Prom on occassion. Yep, Marion Jones was all that back in '92. It was exciting to see professional trainers coming to our track practices and being interviewed by ESPN on what it's like to have a girl train with the guys team. Even better were the track meets. Marion was so blazing fast that by the time she got the baton in the 4x400 relay she could be half a lap behind and still win it by 50 yrds. Spectators laughed because they couldn't believe what they were seeing.
When she wasn't with her private trainer we were often working together on the track. We both ran the 100m, anchor in the 4x100, and long jump. In fact, it wasn't until her senior year that the coach suggested she give long jump a try. So she did. And that day at Camarillo HS she set a state record. Who does that?

So despite what all the sports critics have to say, Marion was a great athlete and a fun person to be around. For the longest time I tried to believe she was clean despite allegations, but the time has come and who knows why she confessed. My guess is that knowing she is a good person at heart, she actually has a conscience. But all the TV and newspaper critics are forgetting the major point here. She didn't get caught, she's confessing and saying sorry. If you saw the broadcast, you could easily tell that she felt as if her life was over and was quite remorse. I was sad too, but I can forgive that. People seeking forgiveness on their own rite is humbling, so critics, don't be haters.

Oh, and I did beat her my senoir year...phew!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

don't do justice.

I know these pictures are nothing like seeing the real thing; but we were completely taken aback by the landscape on our trip to Lake Tahoe! Leaving the desert country (pretty in it's own, brown way) and driving to the mountains was breath-taking! So, indulge in these photos for a minute or two and pretend you are there, breathing the fresh air and feeling the crisp chill. Aaahhhh, so refreshing!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Conquer! (updated)

I was going to wait until I had the official race stats before I posted about our run, but evidently, I would be waiting a LONG time! So, here's my run down of the event...

We arrived in beautiful Truckee, CA at about 10:15 p.m. on Thursday night. Our night was nearly sleepless with a 15 month old who doesn't like unfamiliar places. We were thankful the race was not on Friday.
It was perfect, 65 degree weather on Friday as Ryan and I drove the race coarse around the west side of Lake Tahoe. We were really getting nervous and excited now!! As we drove on, we came upon THE hill. We drove. It seemed ok. Kept driving. wow, big hill. CONTINUED driving UP! That is when my mouth was hanging wide open. This hill seemed like it was never going to end! Just when I thought it was over, it got STEEPER! Oh dear...how were we going to run this!? It was then that all of my racing expectations flew out the window (and into the lake below). The ONLY thing I wanted out of this race was to get up this hill without walking a single step. Even if I had to run backwards for a moment (which I did).
We took care of race business in South Lake Tahoe and mingled with fellow racers. We were so excited at this point that I felt like I could conquer just about anything!

RACE DAY: I slept blissfully, and felt great on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Ryan. Nerves got the best of his restful night. I walked out to the kitchen and was SHOCKED to look out the window and see 4 inches of snow, like a blanket, covering the outside world! SNOW!? We never heard anything about this! What a fun surprise...for the kids! Now our racing nerves were really fired up as we tried to figure out what snow attire we were going to need to race comfortably. Hats, gloves, leggings, double socks? Oh dear.

Dad drove Ryan and I to the starting line. We were over an hour early. You can never be too early, right? It was freezing. Literally, the first 100 yards of our race were icy. After trying to simmer down the pre-race jitters, we all gathered in a mob under the starting line banner. Freezing. I could not feel my toes. Really.The race started and we were off! The first two miles were all down hill! I felt great! Cold, but great. Everyone was just getting into their running groove and finding their niche.
Just as I'm feeling elated on the down hill (and finally feeling my toes), I see it. The sign: Welcome to the Hill from He__. Ok, here we go. I turn up the tunes on my ipod as to not get distracted by the hill. I press forward. Not so bad. I see a fellow runner ahead and think "just catch up to her". I did. Head down, ipod blaring, I am fully focussed on the hill I'm defeating. Another sign: Purgatory 100 feet I Ignore it. I recognize the stone wall that Ryan and I pinned as the half-way point of the hill. Yea! I'm Half way!

Then, I see it. Purgatory. It's steep and curvy. Oh no. " I will not walk, I will not walk...well, maybe just a step...that guy's walking, it would feel really nice." So, I turn around and run backwards, just a few steps, you know, to change it up a bit. Forward again, and now body parts are sore. Limbs are burning. Are your forearms supposed to feel like fire in your veins when you run? I've never run something like this before, so maybe they are. My whole body is burning and hurting trying to get to the top of this insane hill. I turn my ipod up a little more. JUST GET THROUGH IT! And finally, after 17 minutes of running UP-HILL I see it! Another sign: Heaven 100 feet. I can see the top, just ahead. I get a new motivation and try to pick up my pace just slightly. I have to do it. Just when I am on the verge of breaking down, I reach the top!!! One last sign: You made it! Fly with the angels! As hard as I try, I cannot keep the tears from falling. I have never felt such a sense of accomplishment in such a magnified way in my life. I threw my arms out and felt like I was flying down the other side!
The rest of the coarse was filled with ups and downs and it was difficult. It was hard to get through, but so glorious at the same time. The rewards of the amazing scenery and feelings of accomplishment far out-weighed the intimidating coarse. Crossing the finish line was the most wonderful, satisfying feeling! I would do it again. I found the results, finally, and a couple of things changed:

Overall Place: 79 (of 899)
Gender Place: 24
Age: 29
Class Place: 3(of 61)
Net Time: 01:56:18
Pace: 00:08:53.20

Overall Place: 54 (of 899)
Gender Place: 44
Age: 32
Class Place: 12 (of 59)
Net Time: 01:52:22
Pace: 08:35

I was surprised to see that I made the top 25 overall in womens and I got 3rd in my age division. Bonuses I wasn't expecting. My time was 1 hr. 56 min. I couldn't believe I ran it in under 2 hours. Ryan impressed me so much, especially for his first race longer than 100 meters! He's a trooper to make THIS coarse his first distance race!

We greeted some friends at the finish line. Darren and Hunter also ran the 1/2 and did awesome! Way to go guys! Kim and Kristen are truly my heroes and both ran the full marathon! You inspire me, Ladies! Way to go! It was great to see our friends!

Anything that someone works towards, trains for, or studies for takes so much effort! I know that what you put in, you get out. I think we should all find something to work hard for and accomplish. Whether it's a race, a class, a family goal...whatever it is; do it! The rewards are priceless!