Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dynamite Divas Rock the Relay

 I had an enjoyable weekend doing my first relay with ladies from my ward. It was the Red Rock Relay in Park City. Lindsey was kind enough to invite me to the party and I am so grateful for her thoughtfulness. It was just what I needed, to be able to hit the reset button on my life.

We left on Friday night and ate dinner at an Italian place in Midway. Dinner was lovely and it was fun to catch up with everyone. Katie C. sort of took on the role of hostess by asking questions to get the conversation going. We spent all night telling our "How We Met Our Husbands" stories, with a great deal of tangents thrown in.

Katie's family has a cabin in Midway and we slept there and were up super early to get to the starting line.

Katie was runner number one. She looks good, right?

She had to run in the dark and by the time she made it to the first exchange, the sun was breaking over the horizon. The sight was breathtaking; an idyllic, pastoral setting kissed by fluffy pockets of fog. Yep, it was going to be a great day for a run, or two.

Since our team was called the Dynamite Divas, we had a special hand-off, fist bump explosion thing going on. We were so cool, right?

Everyone is watching for Haley to come in on this leg. We were actually going faster than we expected and were catching teams all the time with the staggered start. You just can't stop pure awesomeness, I guess.

Until Lisanne's leg, most of the course was pretty mild. But she was getting ready to make a significant upward climb towards the Jordanelle Reservoir, 2.9 miles straight uphill. And she demolished it.

Here we are at the summit with Jordanelle in the background. Everyone has run a leg except for me, since Lindsey and I split leg #2. Katie was on her way down the hill to the reservoir, so she didn't make this picture.

I am ready to get going. My leg said 9.97 miles and my mind was ready for anything. I am not sure my body was, though.

Holy moley, holy hills. It was crazy what I was up against. The elevation gain was 1599 feet and the loss was 1477 feet. It was a net total gain of about 200 feet. It was intense. There were significant uphills and then immediate, significant downhills. The entire leg was a rudimentary gravel path. There were tons of turns and switchbacks and I have never done anything like that before in my entire life. I decided to just walk up the hills and then really try to gain time back on the downhills. It seemed to work as I did pass about 8 people. I only got passed 4 times. I was happy about that. And I was also happy about the fact that I was able to complete the course in 1 hour 55 minutes. It was not for the faint of heart. And my GPS watch said that the course was actually 10.3 miles long. Woosh! I was really happy to see that finish line and pass it on to Darcy.

Darcy went straight uphill for 7 miles to bring us into Park City, where she passed off to Haley again, who also went straight up for over 4 miles. And then Cassie and Lindsey ran together straight up 5 miles to get us over the summit and on the way to Midway again for the last leg.

That little red dot is Cassie, who had about a mile or so left from that point.

Lisanne brought us home by running eight miles down a steep, windy mountain road. It was great to have everyone at the finish line.  The team even competed in a push-up contest to win a dumb prize and I decided that since I really suck at push-ups I would just take pictures. Somebody had to, right?

Lisanne, me, Haley, Cassie, Lindsey, Darcy, and Katie.
 It was time to eat dinner and we were all starving. We went to Don Pedro's in Heber City and then hit the road for home. I think we were all pretty beat, but we sure had a fun time. I can't wait to do it again next year.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Party Time - 5 Year-old Style

It is just birthdays, birthdays, birthdays around here.  Julia and Harry turned the big 5 this past week. Since this is a milestone in life, at least I think so, I decided they each needed their own birthday party. Yes, I knew it was going to be painful for me to pull it off, but it just had to be done. You only turn 5 once in your life and I still remember my 5 year-old birthday party. It seems this is the age when you really start to remember stuff.

Julia's party was first. I held it on Tuesday at lunch and it was a princess tea party. Julia decided that she wanted it to be a Belle party. I think this can be attributed to the fact that she has a Belle dress. We invited over all of her friends from the ward, her soccer team, and a few homeschool friends we have met this past little while. I hung lights and chinese lanterns (from Catye's wedding), got out all of my fine china (from the thrift store, of course), and had everyone wear their fanciest party dress. It was perfection.  Eighteen little girls descended on my house and it was a lot of fun. 

I had a few surprises for them. They colored crowns, ate a fancy lunch, twirled, and painted fingernails by the wonderful Heather E. They also ate cupcakes and ice cream and Julia opened presents. Then, with 30 minutes to spare, the girls saw the princess make her grand entrance! Belle came to the party...the REAL Belle, according to Julia. 18 little girls were mesmerized. They sat down as she talked to them. Belle had a coronation ceremony for Julia and crowned her the official princess of Draper, Utah. She read them a story and sang them a bunch of songs. And then we took pictures. All of the girls were asking her if she could come to their party. It was most definitely a special day for my special girl.

That party was a ton of work. And then it was time for Harry's party on Thursday. Boy, what a difference boys make. Soooooo easy! I invited all of the boys from his Primary class. They are all adorable and they play well together.

I also did this party at lunch time. It was a LEGO party. I fed them pizza, sang a few songs to them, put LEGOS together, of course, and did an obstacle course in the backyard. They just loved the obstacle course. There was a balance beam, soccer kick, up the ramp to the trampoline, swerving through the stools, and then a crawl through the 'tunnel of death'. This occupied them for about 30 minutes or so.

Then they just played together and continued to make LEGO creations. I gave them all a little LEGO set, a few lollipops, and sent them on their way. It was fun and laid back.

And hallelujah, party season is over...until next year.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Noelle

My precious, gentle, squishy, rambunctious baby girl is one today. Has it really been one year? It has been a blur. Time moves so quickly. I was so anxious to be done being pregnant and I was thrilled when the doctor announced that it was a girl! Rinar and I were ecstatic. 

Noelle, you have been a blessing for our family in so many ways. We love you so much. In the beginning, you were a darling spectator as the daily circus passed before your eyes. You soaked it all in. I would just hold you in my arms for hours and hours.

But then, the spectating was done and you were ready to take the world head on. You have come so far. You walk and explore and destroy with perfect innocence. You give so much love to all of us: Dad, Raef, Zach, Eli, Harry, Julia, and me. You make us laugh and bring smiles to us all.

You are a pro at climbing up and down stairs, up and down the stroller, and love, love, love the toilet and all of its possibilities. You are now starting to talk and the words are forming and sorting themselves out. Today, you loved to say football. Maybe that is because you play in the front yard and watch your brothers practice their punting skills. You also love the wiggle board and have an obsession with my yellow iPhone, at least almost as much as I do.

You love it when I sing you to sleep and tuck you in and we always play a good game of peek-a-boo. You are a master peek-a-booer. Sometimes, you let me cradle you and sing to you and you will just stare at me, perfectly still. It is heavenly.

It is a privilege to be your mother. Thank you for choosing our family. You are my heart.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Precious Kid Moments

I just love the funny little moments in my kids lives, and I get a front-row seat.

Eli wore a green shirt to the park. Clearly, it perfectly camouflages him with the grass.

"Look mom, I am invisible when I squat down like this."

Yep, Eli. You ARE invisible.

And then we went home for lunch. It was a long morning at the park. Harry was parched.

Problem solved!

Kid Happenings

September has been a go, go, go kind of month. My calendar is packed with appointments every single day.  Here are a few things we have been doing...

I am part of a playgroup, which is comprised mostly of boys, and then there are the two girls, Julia and Molly.  A few weeks ago it was my turn to host this motley little crew. They had fun as you can see playing pool. And why bother taking turns when you can all go at the same time? Right?

Ryder, Boston, Sawyer, Harry, and Charlie
 Eli's flag football team, the Seahawks, play on Wednesdays at Galena Park. Our team is navy, Ryan P. and Jason B. are the coaches, and our entire team is made up of first graders, minus one second grader. All of the other teams are pretty much second graders so it has been a tough season.  The first game was very entertaining. When it was Eli's turn to be the running back, he really pulled out the juke moves. Of course, there was more juke than move, but it was still adorable.

And Zach was able to do the Kokopelli Triathlon again this year. I am really proud of my boy. He ended up placing 3rd overall! Whoa! I was not able to go down because I had to stay up here for Raef's football game and Harry's soccer game. But it was nice to have Rinar do the race with him and also have Monica W. down there spectating and cheering for Zach along with her daughter Natalie and husband Bart. They are good friends. We are blessed.

Zach with Natalie W.
 Julia has her soccer games on Monday, which is nice because Rinar is able to come to those. She is enjoying all of the girls and has made special friends with this cutie, Jocelyn. Whenever they are on the sidelines, this is what they are doing. But all of the girls are darling.

September is coming to a close and October will be here soon. One more month of craziness and then I will be able to breathe.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


September is my birthday month. It was a nice way to celebrate 38. Rinar was home and able to help me and do stuff to give me some free time. He even installed a bunch of motion-sensor light switches for the lights that always seem to be on, like the basement stairwell and the pantry. There is also one in the kids bathroom and the half bath. 

I was able to go to lunch with Melanie. She treated me to Blue Lemon, which opened on my birthday. There were some ladies walking around giving out presents and I came home with a t-shirt and a hat. I am a walking billboard!

Melanie and I had a wonderful lunch together and were able to catch up after a busy month of doing mom stuff.

And once again, not a word from my parents. Nothing. Crickets. It kind of bothered me for a bit, and even more so when they called me a week later. I just really didn't want to talk about it. I just didn't. It brought back memories of my 8th birthday when they completely forgot because they got into a big fight. It was pretty miserable, I am not going to lie. And every time this happens, it just takes me back there.  I have thought about what I want to do about it because it bothers me with how much it bothers me.

So now I have a plan. Next year, I am going to call them on my birthday. They never remember, so I will remember for them. I will call them and have a nice conversation and remind them that it is my birthday and then the problem will be solved. I really like this plan. I don't like all of the attention anyway. But it is nice for my parents to remember me.

Violin Recital

This past month has been pretty darn crazy. Every single day I have been taking the kids to something or another and Saturday is the worst because Raef and Harry have games and they are usually at the same time. The nice thing is that their games are always in the morning, so the afternoons are free. 

A few weeks ago Zach and Eli had their fall recital. It was wonderful. Eli played "Lightly Row" and he was a pro. He kept going even though he had a few little hiccups in his song. He also played "Old MacDonald" with a group in the middle of the recital. Zach's group piece was "Ashokan Farewell" it is a stunningly beautiful tune. I love it so much and his group played it exceptionally well.

Zach played Violin Sonata in E Major, 4th Movement by Handel. It looked like a walk on a sandy beach for him. No problem. 

Overall, the boys represented well. I am one proud mama.
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