Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bart and Family

We had some house guests again this weekend.  It was loads of fun.  Bart and Monica and their four kids came and stayed with us Friday and Saturday. They left Sunday morning.  Rinar met Bart because of his recent interest in triathlons. They have competed in several races together. Rinar has a triathlon group and they do lots of races together.

Why not come for a visit?  Monica also has an uncle in town, so they had several people to visit, I guess.  My kids loved their kids. It was a really good match up.  Eli hung out with their Zachary, Harry and Julia played with Sophia, and Raef and Zach kept busy doing stuff with Natalie and Josh.

Of course, we had to go and see some of the sights.  We headed to Lake Tahoe and went to Sand Hollow.

 It was a hit!  They climbed on the rocks and then played for quite a while in the sand. There was a militant Canadian goose that we had to take on, as it seemed to think we were required to bring it food.  But besides that, it was pretty peaceful.  The weather was absolutely perfect.

Then we did a loop through Carson City and Virginia City.

Other highlights included going on a hike and doing absolutely nothing.

They left this morning and now we are left with loads of packing for our upcoming move. Can't wait.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

He Loves Hot Dogs!

I took the kids shopping and bought them some hot dogs.  Harry was really, really  happy.  He was hugging those hot dogs, caressing them, cuddling them.  Aaahhhh! HOT DOGS!!!!

Eli really likes to go to Cub Scouts with Raef and Zach.  He started becoming aware of Cub Scouts over the past few months when we take the whole family to pack meeting.  He just loves it. Now he wants to go every week. I took him with me when I dropped them off. Of course, there is nothing for him to do there, so I took him to get some frozen yogurt instead. 

He really loved the frozen yogurt. Yummy!

Then we went back to pick up the boys and we stayed a bit so that they could play with their friends.  Frozen yogurt, friends, fun.  A perfect night for a 4 year-old boy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Journey to the Salt Lake City Marathon

It is a new year and I have new plans for my life. Last year I wanted to lose weight and get in shape, of course. But it just didn't happen. I am sure it is because I had no concrete goals.  Not this year.  I have written them down and now I just need to implement it, one day at a time.  My first goal is to run the Salt Lake City Marathon.  The race is April 18th.  This is my first day of a sixteen week training program. I am going to document my journey and share it all with you when I have a medal around my neck.

January 2, 2012

Today was tough. Yikes. My first day and I was hurting. I only had to run 3 miles. I can usually run around a 9:00 minute pace on flat ground if I feel okay, but not today. It was like I had weight around my ankles.  It might also be because I weigh 20 pounds more than I should. My starting weight is 165.  Holy cow. It can really creep up on you.  But my mental status is pretty good. It hurt, but I don't feel discouraged. I can only get better from here, and I will.


I ran out and back on the old 395 starting at the Bower's Mansion parking lot. The weather was beautiful, a bit cold but absolutely perfect for running.

January 4, 2012

I have caught a nasty little cough. I went to the doctor last night and since it is a virus, there is really nothing they can do.  This really sucks when you have to run and cough at the same time. Nevertheless, I got it done on the treadmill this morning.  

4 miles begrudgingly done...41:30.

January 5, 2012

Whoa, today was super tough. It was only 3 miles, but I just couldn't hack it.  My cough has gotten worse, so I can barely breathe. I am sure that has a huge affect on my dismal performance.  I couldn't even complete 3 miles. I did 2.58, and that took my 30:00.  I went outside because it is like summer right now.  I also decided to explore some dirt roads, so it was very hilly and a bit treacherous at points.  I am just happy I didn't phone it in today and I did something.  I can build on that.

January 7, 2012

The long Saturday run of five miles. I got it done. Rinar went with me and we found a cut through to Callahan Road. It was a nice run, even though I still coughed quite a bit.  It was really slow, but the first mile is through sage brush and treacherous terrain.  But once we got to the road, I definitely got into a groove.  Even still, it took just over an hour to get it done.

January 9, 2012

This cough is going to be the death of me. I parked myself on the treadmill to do 3 miles.  Cough, cough, cough, cough, cough.  This does not work well with my weak bladder muscles, if you know what I mean.  It is so friggin' annoying.  I know I can run a lot faster, but between the coughing and wheezing, I am just glad I finished. Even so, for a Monday I ran 3 miles in 30:28.  I know it is slow, but I am looking forward to better days.

January 11, 2012

This is my Wednesday run and I am feeling a lot better. I still have a runny nose and a cough, but for some reason I didn't have any coughing fits on my run.  It really made a difference. I decided to run outside today because it is still unseasonably warm weather.  I am really loving this. After putting in one mile in the neighborhood, I ran out Joy Lake Road towards Mt. Rose Highway.  This has an extreme elevation change, so the hill was an absolute killer. At one point I was running at about a 15:00 minute pace.  It puts the hurt on, believe me.  But I was able to make up for it on the way back, and get to a low 8:00 minute pace coming down the hill.  I hope my time will pick up as I lose some weight and get into better shape.

Overall, I had a really good time of 43:00.  I need to remember this day when I have apprehension about running. Right now, I feel so good. My legs are floating and feel so wonderful. I heart running.

January 21, 2012

I haven't updated my status for a little bit, but that doesn't mean I haven't been running.  I am still batting 1000.  I can feel myself improving each time and the time is slowly getting faster. Just this week I broke 30 minutes on the treadmill.  I know it isn't that great, but it is still progress in the right direction.  

Today is Saturday and I went running with Roz, a gal from my ward. It was perfect because she runs at my speed and our fitness level is about the same. She wants to get faster too.  Roz is going to run the Six Tunnels Half Marathon with me in March.  This is her end race, but just a warm-up for me.  We drove to the valley floor and ran around the trails at Damonte Ranch park.  The weather was ideal for running, except the last mile when it got a bit windy.  It was a 7 mile run, and we completed it in about 1 hour 8 minutes and some change.  That makes the pace 9:40.  Roz ran just a tiny bit faster than I would have gone on my own, so that was a very good thing.  We will definitely be running together again.

January 25, 2012

I think I have had a breakthrough.  Today was great. I had a 5 miler to do and I decided to run around my neighborhood. Since I live on the side of a mountain, this is no small feat. It is exceptionally hilly and there is no way to avoid it.  I just decided to take it head on, and ran up Joy Lake Road and around there and then back.  For one part, it is very steep for over 1 mile.  But in the end, my time was really good.  I did it in 51:18.  So I averaged a little over 10:00 minute pace, with steep ascents.  Yes, I can feel myself getting stronger, both physically and mentally.

February 1, 2012

It has now officially been one month of running.  I haven't missed one yet.  I am very grateful that my running schedule only does 4 days because it makes it very manageable.  

Today I ran 5 miles on the treadmill.  My time was 47:45. I felt great.

I also went ahead and registered for the half marathon in Las Vegas. It is on March 17th, the Six Tunnels To Hoover Dam Half. It is supposed to actually go to the dam this year. I am excited.

The only thing is that I am supposed to run 17 miles on this weekend, so I will have to add 4 on to the end of the run or at the beginning.

February 11, 2012

In this last week I have acquired some new running gear. I got Zensah compression leg warmers, pink of course, and a running belt that hold two water bottles and  place for my phone and stuff.  I have used the compression socks every day this week and I love it!  My legs feel good.

Today I did eleven miles with Roz.  We ran out and back on the old 395. It is really beautiful over there and more importantly, it is flat.  But it was annoying that I got a pretty nasty cramp after about 8 miles.  Why?  I have not missed a run yet. I should be over the cramps. Grrr....  It is fun running with Roz and since I have misplaced my iPod shuffle, again, it was good to have someone to talk to while I trudged along.

Things continue to move on and I got it all done this week...4, 5, 4, 11.  Now the serious mileage begins.

February 24, 2012

Last week, Rinar was out of town and I had to do 12 miles. I wasn't sure how I was going to tackle that.  For some crazy reason I thought it would be a good idea to just run the whole thing on the treadmill on Friday night.  I put all the kids to bed and was able to get going at about 9:30pm.  I am not sure how I did it, but by some miracle I was done by 11:30.  I had to stop once to go to the bathroom and eat a banana.  And then I was just tired and walked for a bit.  But it got done, and it was nice to not have that hanging over my head on Saturday.

Today, Friday, I did my long run again. I have a church meeting in the morning and I didn't want to have to get up at 5 am or do it after the meeting.  That is just a recipe for failure.  So, I parceled out the kiddos and went with Roz to crank it out.  I was so flippin tired.  I felt like I was running on empty.  Rose was a darling to watch my little ones, but she had to leave by 11:45, so there was no room for error. She put a burr under both of our saddles.  

Since Roz only had to do 12 miles, I ran 2 miles on the treadmill before I picked her up. We finished just in time and I picked up the kids with 2 minutes to spare.  I am so happy I am done. But then I can't help but doubt my abilities to actually complete a marathon.  I only did a little more than halfway today and it just about killed me.

Once again, I am just going to think about my next run and that is it. Do I really have any other choice?  Plus, I can't back out now. Rinar booked my airline ticket.  I am going to have to run.  Oh well. It is what it is.

March 17, 2012

I went with Roz to Las Vegas to run in the Six Tunnels To Hoover Dam Half Marathon.

It is an up and back, up and back course. You start in the middle of the course and go one way for 3 miles, then come back.  Then you go the other way.  The other way is where all of the of tunnels and the gravel road are located.  I had to run 17 miles to keep with my marathon training schedule. Therefore, I got there early and put in  4 miles before the race started.

Then Roz and I went to the starting line about 30 seconds before the race started.  We went all the way to the back and I saw several of my Las Vegas friends, like Stacey (Rinar's old boss), and Elissa. That was pretty darn cool. The weather was less than ideal and it was kind of windy, which is a total bummer. But besides that, it was a lot of fun.


Mile 7.  Rats. About a 1/2 mile into the gravel portion of the race, I did a Pete Rose onto the course.  I don't even know what happened. One second I was thinking about how I was completely miserable and didn't know if I would make it, and then thud, crunch, smack...I was eating gravel.  

Bloody knees and a very dusty shirt and shorts.
 I laid there for a minute or so.  Then I flipped myself over like a pancake and laid on my back.  I told Roz to go ahead and run and that I would be fine. Then I got up and dusted myself off and got going again a few minutes later. It took about a mile or so, but then I felt okay enough.  In the end I ran 2:13:34.  

Me and Roz at the finish line.

I saw Johanna on the race course and said hello to her when it was all done.

Johanna is a machine.  Love that girl.
March 30, 2012

I got the weather report and saw that tomorrow (Saturday) is supposed to be windy and stormy.  Since it is on the schedule to run the big 2-0, I thought I might as well tackle it today before the winds arrive, as they were predicted to come in the p.m.


As soon as I got out of my car, it was almost gale-force winds.  Well, it might not have been quite that bad but it was bad enough, believe me.  

Let's just say that today is one of those days when running is the pits.  YUCK!  I felt totally crappy after 3 miles.  3 miles!  It was terrible.  It took me almost 4 hours to get my run done.  It was awful.

I hate the wind!  And I am not a sailor, so it is okay to have is righteous animosity.

April 21, 2012

Race day has finally come and gone and I did it.  After many, many, many moments of wanting to push the abort button leading up to this race, I powered through it and did it.  I got my butt on that starting line and finished the Salt Lake City marathon.  Hallelujah!

Roz came with me. She did the half and I did the whole darn thing.  We flew in Friday afternoon, did a session at the Salt Lake LDS Temple, ate some dinner with my brother Jamie and his wife Leah, took in some sights and then got up really early today to get 'er done.  

We caught the very last train to the race and it was packed with racers.

We started the race about 10 minutes after the gun because we were just about last in line for the bathrooms.  But there was no way I was gonna start until I took care of my business. It is a good thing too because at the first port-a-potty station the line was really long.

As I ran I made sure to give all the little kids high-fives. That was fun.

Here I am at mile 11.  And yes, I updated my Facebook status when I stopped to walk.  I was feeling pretty darn good here at mile 11. 

And then it was like 15 miles, then 16, then 17, then 18, etc. etc., etc., ...the road just kept on going and going.  Ugh.

By the time I got to Liberty Park I had an epiphany.  Marathons totally SUCK!  At Liberty Park it is less than three miles from the finish line.  It might as well have been another 20. Seriously.  What was I thinking?  A marathon? It was like I had a death wish or something.

But I got a 5th wind (it might have been when the Ibuprofen kicked in, again)  and plodded on.  Then I took a right turn on to State Street. The mile markers said it was less then 2 miles, but it looked like the road went on forever AND there was a big hill.  For real?  A big hill on the 25th mile? That is just mean.

I decided I was not going to stopped. It hurt to walk or to run, so I might as well just run and get it over with.  I almost did, except for the last hundred meters up that darn hill.  I cried uncle there.  But I was able to come in strong to the finish line. 

And I never cried one time!

Yep, that is me.  Marathon finisher. My time was terribly slow, but since I didn't speed train at all I guess it doesn't really matter.

And here is a funny little andecdote.  This couple is from New Hampshire. Here name is Diane. I can't remember his name.  They flew from Reno, with us, and we talked to them and found out they were running the marathon too.  Then when we came out of the temple, they were there visiting the temple grounds and we talked to them there.  Then when I finished the race, they were sitting in some chairs and yes, we talked to them there. Isn't that hilarious?  I took their picture and promised I would send them a copy and now whenever I go to New England, I have a place to stay!

After the race, we went to dinner with Melanie.  It was loads of fun. We ate pizza, did some shopping, ate some gelato, and just had a fun girls night together.

Melanie had to stand in front of this Restoration Hardware dresser I really liked. I needed to have  perspective on how big it was.

April 22, 2012

We came home today.  Before we left, we were able to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform at the Tabernacle on Temple Square for "Music and the Spoken Word". It was great.  And a neat little tidbit... President Monson was there also. Apparently, 25 of the choir members were retiring and he was there to wish them well. Cool, huh?

It was a nice end to a good weekend.  Shockingly enough, I am a bit sore though.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock's Inspiration

For the past week, our family has greatly benefited from living out in nature. You might not know this, but we live in a beautiful house at about 6500 feet in the Sierra Nevadas.  The design of the house really embraces the outdoors because there are copious amounts of windows. They are big and beautiful and it enables optimal views of the trees and grass and mountains and the birds.

Birds...oh, like this one, let's just say.

This looks like a nice bird, right?  

But I am beginning to have a sneaky suspicion that Alfred Hitchcock, or his brother, or mom, or some cousin of his must have lived in the house before us.  Okay, the house is not that old, but Mr. Hitchcock might have lived around the corner and been inspired by a run-in with that robin I just showed you.

Every morning at about 6:30 am this robin tries to get into the house.  It hits the window repeatedly in our room in an effort to penetrate our mountain fortress.  Bang, bang, bop, bang, bang, bang.  

Then the clatter stops.  Five seconds later, he is testing the strength of the bathroom window. Bang, bang, bang, bop, bang, bang.

Then it is on to Harry and Eli's room. Bang, bang, bang, bop, bang, bang.

The robin then reassesses our room once again. Lucky for him, we have three windows in our room and all of them need to be checked, of course.

Bang, bang, bang, bop, bang, bang.

Don't worry, after about an hour the robin comes to his senses and stops.  I even had a stare down with this robin the other day. I flung up the shade and saw his little head peaking over the top of the window sill.  I looked at him sternly.  He looked back and said to me in not so many words, "What? You got a problem, lady?"

What could I say?  I didn't have any wings of my own handy so that I could go outside and hunt the little bugger down and put him in time out.

I am defenseless.

He knows it.

I will just throw away that alarm clock tomorrow.

Bang, bang, bang, bop, bang, bang.

Some Snapshots

We went to Red Robin on Friday night.  Eli and Harry thoroughly enjoyed the ketchup. All other food items were just apparatus for moving ketchup from the plate to the mouth.

Why do I buy them food? I think you can get ketchup for free.

I told Julia I wanted to take her picture. She gave me a lot of different angles, but the facial expression never changed.  What kind of a face would you call this?

Harry modeled a hat for me for about 0.000687 seconds.  Thanks, Harry. You look fabulous.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Candy Sorting Game

I thought this was really cute.  Harry loves this tricycle and he can be a bit demonic as he drives it around the house. The kid is fast and relentless.  But today he upped his game by taking his sister for a spin.  She was comfortably sitting on the back, holding on to Harry with her feet off the ground.  He gets around the place Fred Flintstone-style.

After they were done riding around, I broke out the muffin tins.  I got a bunch of Sixlets and then punched out construction paper in colors that matched the candy.  After piling an assortment into one of the muffin tin compartments, the kids went to town sorting them into the correct cups.  

They did it a few times and then ate all of the candy.  This game is a big hit and very easy to put together. Of course, I am now out of Sixlets, so I have to get some more.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Quote

This is a quote by President Thomas Monson.  The man knows what he is talking about because this is how he has lived his life.  I have this quote sitting under my computer where my kids can see it everyday. 

It inspires me.

Our Monday Fun

I finally caved and pushed them on the swings yesterday. They really had fun. Me...not so much.

Last night Raef made our Family Home Evening dessert...whoopie pies. Julia was right there helping. She even put one of my aprons on.

Eli licked the bowl clean. I mean, he stuck his head in the bowl and licked it clean. I always dream of immersing my head in a bowl of chocolate batter.  That is living.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Happy Easter

On Saturday, Rinar took Raef, Zach, and Eli to Sky Tavern to go skiing. I took Harry and Julia to an Easter Egg Hunt. Our friends Molly and Jimmy hosted a little shindig at their house.  There were lots of kids there from church and the neighborhood. Everyone brought twelve eggs per kid and then they could go hunt for twelve. 

Before the hunt, there were donuts and Julia made sure to lick off all of the chocolate.  Her face can attest to that. I didn't have a wipe or anything so it just stayed on her face for a while. 

Notice their "Easter" bags. What can I say? I really like to go all out for  holiday events.

Harry and Julia were a bit bewildered at the start of the hunt, but it didn't take them very long to figure it out.  Once they got their quota, they plopped down on the grass and proceeded to eat almost all of the candy. It wasn't that much and I was happy because they were quiet and peaceful. Aaaahhh! I could breathe for a minute. 

It was a fun morning with my little ones.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Week With Friends

We had a great time this last week because of some special visitors.  Dwan, Elizabeth, Josh, and Grace came to spend the week with us from Las Vegas. It was so awesome.  

After a Tuesday afternoon arrival, we went sledding on Wednesday. It would have been a lot of fun, but the wind was rotten. It was terrible the way the wind whipped down the hill. As soon as I got the little ones out, they started crying emphatically and wouldn't stop. As Rinar was pulling the sled, Julia was lying face down crying her eyes out. She was not happy.

But we stayed for about an hour and had some fun. Our friends had fun and that is all that matters.  But we soon were done and then we got the heck out of there.

We headed over to Lake Tahoe and ate some lunch at some dive in King's Beach.  Then we went home and relaxed. Well, the boys relaxed. Elizabeth and I went shopping: Charming Charlie's, Walmart, and the Goodwill Bookstore.  Elizabeth was in heaven at the bookstore and apparently I have now been assigned to be her personal book shopper.  Okay, I guess I will if you are going to twist my arm.

Rinar went back to work on Thursday, and I had stuff to do, like co-op and violin lessons.  So they did their own thing. Then Elizabeth helped me clean up the house and get it ready for my monthly dinner group.  I was hosting this month with a theme of tapas.  We hung out with the ladies, while the boys (and Grace) went to dinner and a movie.

We finished off Friday by going on a long hike together. Brown's Creek Trail goes behind our house and it was perfect. The air was crisp, the day was beautiful.  Harry really wanted to go, so I decided to take him, as Josh (being a typical teenager stayed home with Julia). He is a pretty strong walker and he did well.  Harry walked all the way up the mountain and then either I or Rinar carried him the rest of the way. It wasn't so bad and he had a wonderful time.  I need to take the kid outside more. He loves it.

It was a joy to be able to reconnect with old friends. I hope we can do it many more times in the future.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Nature Walk

It has been a beautiful Sunday, after a couple of days of rotten weather.  The rotten weather is Heavenly Father's way of cleaning up His house, like sweeping, scrubbing, disinfecting.  Now everything is so clean and crisp and lovely.

In between General Conference sessions, we decided to go take a walk at Galena Creek Nature Trail.  It couldn't have been more perfect.  The kids had so much fun. They diligently looked for bugs and found quite a few. They also threw sticks and rocks and did a lot of jumping and screaming.

Then when we got home, we whisked the little ones off to bed for a nap. Since they had walked the whole way, nap time was much more easily accomplished today.

We need to go on hikes with more regularity.

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