Monday, April 28, 2008

B...A...U...TEE...full !


I am so happy today, I feel like running and singing down the street! We have had good weather now for multiple days in a row. I was hesitant to express my joy...because I feel that I may jinx it...but I can't contain myself! I feel sunshine bursting out of my pores!

I don't think I realized how much of a role the weather plays in my emotions until this week. I think my feelings expressed in this blog entry prove my passion for the weather. I came out of church yesterday and outstretched my arms, closed my eyes and sang toward the heavens. Granted, my neighbor had walked out behind me and started laughing at my display of affection for the sun...but I could have cared less. I can worship the sun...after all, it is the center of the universe...maybe if we all worshiped the sun a bit more, it would answer our cold-weather blues with a little 'lovin' now and then.

I have really wanted a 'sit-down' with a certain Mr. Al Gore in regards to the global warming (...or lack of!) this spring! Doesn't global warming mean it should be warmer? I wouldn't mind some serious global warming, OK, maybe not global...just right here!!!
So I welcome the spring! I even welcome the yard work. (I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune about my yard work by the end of August...literally)...but I am so ready for the warmth. I feel like one of my many frozen cubes of ground meat I store in my deep freeze. I've finally been thrown in the microwave and I'm just starting to thaw out a little. I want to completely defrost...I'll even cook a bit on edges. So I say...Bring it on Big Al!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

13.1 miles! Wah-Hoo!



So...it is done! I finished the SLC 1/2 marathon this morning! I got a little nervous yesterday, and a 5k was sounding really good. Why didn't I start with a 5k, or even a 10k? What was I thinking..."I've never ran in my life...so why not sign up to run a 1/2 marathon?" Not to mention that I weigh more than I ever have before. (except when I was pregnant) What was I thinking!?! I guess I wasn't!

Considering I've had such problems with my shins, I am proud to report that I finished the race, and feel great.(no stress fractures!) After my doctor's visit a few weeks ago I was afraid I wouldn't even be able to attempt it. I had to come to terms with my physical limitations and swallow my competitive pride. I didn't push myself very hard, but even with taking it easy I'm pretty happy I could get in the mileage. Of course my shins are the most painful, but besides being a little stiff in the hamstrings and quads I feel quite normal. We will see if I can say the same tomorrow.

There was 14 or so women in our neighborhood who signed up and trained together. I am so glad I got to experience this with such an amazing group of beautiful women. It was so good to get to know each of them, and hear everyone's challenges and triumphs. The running blog was great, and the dinner parties should continue. I am so grateful to have been supported by these ladies! All you "Honey's" rock!

Some of us went up and spent the night in Salt Lake last night. A big thank-you to Michelle for lending us her kids beds, and her couches. "Holla!" It was so great to see everybody's families up there. Our group of ladies had their spouses, kids, parents, in-law, etc. I am so thankful Mike could watch the girls for me so I could go, and even though I didn't have family support, all those strangers cheering at the finish were awesome! I will forever be thankful for the volunteers along the way, handing me Gatorade, ringing bells, blowing whistles, and cheering me on.

A special "thanks!" to Allison for the chat during the first mile, and Mindy for the company during miles 6-9. And of course a "thanks!" to Brenda who came to cheer, support, and get up so early to drive us to the starting line!

I would also like to thank the makers of ALEVE. I could not have made it through the past 3 months without you!

And most of all, "thank you!" to my Heavenly Father who gave me bananas, water, and an incredible gift of a human body! We have so much inside of us to accomplish if we give ourselves the opportunity. I remember back in January when I ran my first mile, what a journey! It has truly been an accomplishment of mind, body, and spirit!This is my sexy running picture. Blah! (Keep in mind this was taken only a few steps before crossing the finish.) I can't believe I'm saying this...but I know I will run it again. I want to run the race without injury. Mentally I know I can do it, and I've already been training. Much of my training was just pushing myself through mental barriers. So, if I keep it up, next year will be even better!

Friday, April 18, 2008

More Spring Break!

Wednesday: My sister Sam came and spent the night. The girls absolutely love her, and I was tickled to have some help.

*On a side note...I watched the season finale of 'The Biggest Loser' last night! It was so inspiring, and I've never wanted to be a loser so bad in my life. (ok I am a loser, but not in the right way) I can't believe a female finally won...What a woman!*

We got up and went to breakfast at IHOP. My children love, love, love to eat there. I must admit I struggle with IHOP. Only because a few years ago, we went there and Lexi ate way too much. She blew chunks all over the car on the way home. You would think Lexi would be the one with issues, but I had to clean it up! Needless-to-say, everyone ate reasonable amounts (I made sure of it) and we all left satisfied.

We then went and saw a matinee showing of 'Horton hears a who', it was a cute show, but not what I expected. Sophie did real well and sat through the entire movie, and Addi didn't accuse us of stealing money...an overall success!
We headed home for naps and chores. Mike came home bit early so Me, Sam, Cori and Lexi could go to 'Color me Mine'. I absolutely love this place! Mike and I had taken Lexi here on a date before, but it was Cori's first time. Because I'm such a thrisy freak, we went on customer appreciation night, so there were no studio fees, and free doughnuts, juice, and choco milk. The girls were in heaven! My Mom met us there and painted with us!

It was great to spend the day with Sam, and we had a ton of fun!

Thursday: I decided to take the day off! Sorry kids, but Mom was just a bit tired, and the house was a mess. Cori and Lexi are so amazing at doing their chores! They did their scheduled Thursday chores, and then did even more chores to help me out! So before anyone thinks that this week somehow makes me some kind of 'Wonder Mom', please remember...I literaly go into hibernation for the winter. And my poor kids really suffer! This is just a little compensation for them putting up with me since November. (and I still make them do chores everyday!)


Friday: Things have slowed down for Mike this week, so he decided to spend a day with us. (Little did he know what he was getting himself into, hee, hee)

We started the day with picking up my race packet for the big day tomorrow. Then, gassed up downtown. (I know the gas seems irrelevant, but it plays a big part of our day later.)

We also had to run a couple last minute errands for 'race day'.

We went to Fat Cats for bowling. The building also houses a Costa Vida, which could not make me happier! So we got lunch and Mike pulls out his wallet to pay, and his debit card is missing! He quickly remembers that he used it inside the gas station that morning. I paid for lunch and get the kids settled into our bowling lane as he tries to call the gas station. Well, as luck would have it, the receipt didn't have a phone number on it. Mike calls 411 and gets the number. He tries calling 20 or so time over the next hour with no answer. Bummer!
The girls loved bowling! Cori has an awesome sideways shuffle-type run, and releases the ball with both hands. She was so disappointed in her results thanks to the Wii. She is a pro at bowling on that thing, she beats everyone she plays! So after some pep talks, she brightened up, and really enjoyed herself.

All the other girls used the ramp, which worked great, except for with Sophie. She is such a stinker, and didn't want any help! Multiple times she would push the ball right off the top side, bypassing the ramp, and landing with a loud smack to the floor. She also tried to run after her ball once and hit that slippery lane flat on her back with both legs in the air. It was quite a challenge to keep her from getting her hands smashed in the ball return machine, and keeping her out of other people's lanes. Whew! She's my child that will learn a lot in life the hard way!!

We left Fat Cats and went to the Bean Life Science Museum. (or as my kids call it...the "Museum full of dead animals!") We had fun, and one of us spent the entire time chasing Sophie. It went something like this..."Oh! Look kids, here are the _(insert animal)_...(2 second pause)...Crap! Where's Sophie!?!" As we were leaving Mike says "Seriously? Why do you ever leave the house?" and of course I answer with "Either way I feel like a crazy person, I guess I'd rather be crazy person who gets to leave my house now and then."

Overall, an incredibly fun day, especially with Mike along. I am heading up to SLC tonight for the race. I have to take a detour to hopefully find Mike's debit card!

Happy Spring Break!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Break!


I decided that since we weren't going anywhere fabulous for spring break, I would cram as many activities into 6 days as I possibly could. It is Wednesday, and so far, so good!

Monday: We started the day at Thanksgiving Point. Now...I have a momentous milestone in my life I have to mention. This is the first time I have ever, I repeat, EVER gone to Thanksgiving Point without a stroller. IT WAS WONDERFUL! I worried that Sophie would take off, but with the animals, she just wanted to stay there the whole time. I loved and cherished every push-free minute! We fit through doorways!

My sister met me there with her two kids, and we started early to beat the crowd, and the weather was awesome. Cori and Lexi are fascinated by all the facts, and have to read every sign. Addi loved to see the animals, and make sure I saw all the animals ("Mom look...Mom...Mom look...Mom...Mom!) and Sophie loved to stick her fingers in all the animals mouths and laugh! Literally! Cori was screaming and freaking out at her. I bought feed for the other kids, and Sophie just used her fingers. She even fed her fingers to the chickens! I thought it would teach her to stop, but she just laughed. When we got to the Huge horses, Addi turned her back to talk to me and the horse came down and tried to take her hat off with it's mouth! I had my camera in my hand and got the picture right before the "freak-out" moment! As he came down I said "Addi, turn around". (I didn't realize he would try to take her hat) She looked up and screamed right into the horses mouth. It was too funny! Then she yelled at me because she was sure it was my fault! (it probably didn't help that I was taking pictures and laughing-such a mean Mom!)

They loved riding the horses, and Sophie was just giggling the whole time.

Thank goodness for hand sanitizer!

We came home to nap and do chores, then we went to the dollar movies and saw "Penelope". We have only tried the movies one other time with all 6 of us. Addi just talks too much (and too loud) and Sophie struggles holding still for more than a couple minutes. As the movie was starting Addi kept asking for popcorn. Sounds normal, but here's the story...
Before we went in the theatre, we got dinner. I said "OK, the popcorn and treats are too much money in the theatre, so we can go get a dessert after the show. So... don't ask for anything in the movies. OK?" and of course, they agreed. We've had discussions quite often about saving money. (because I'm crazy about doing fun things as cheap as possible!) So we are waiting for the show to start and Addi asks for popcorn. I say no. Two seconds later, she asks again. Again I say no. A few minutes later, she asks again. I say no, and don't ask anymore. Five minutes later she asks again. Now, by this time, the row behind me think it's funny. They start whispering and laughing. I say no and try to ignore them. Sure enough, when she asks again, the row behind us all starts laughing. I lean over and say "No! we are not getting popcorn! We will get a dessert after the movie." Then, in her "yelling-loud" voice she says "Hows Daddy gonna steal the money for that?" The giggles behind us stop! "Daddy doesn't steal money!" I say, then she says "Who's he gonna steal money from?" I say "Addi, Daddy doesn't steal money!" She starts laughing and says "He's gonna steal money from peoples while we watch a movie!" By now, I swear the whole theatre is listening to us and securing their personal belongings. "Addi, stop it! Daddy has the money for us to get dessert, and if you don't be quiet...we won't get anything!" She laughs harder because she can see I'm frustrated and I just decide to ignore her. Luckily, the movie started, and she dropped the issue of popcorn and Mike's profession as a thief!

Anyways...the movie was cute! I really enjoyed the message of loving yourself regardless of the way you look. And while I'm glad it's rated PG and fun for kids, I think all women between the ages of 14 and 40 should see it!
It was a really fun day!

Tuesday: I decided to brave a restaurant with all four kidlets! We are big fans of Sweet Tomatoes, it is healthy, affordable, and my kids eat well when we go there. They have wonderful divided trays for the kids. So we go through the salad buffet and they choose any veggies they want! Coupons come in the mail, and lunch is cheaper to begin with. The girls eat more veggies there than they ever do at home, plus I can never store that kind of variety in my refrigerator! They devour the mac n' cheese, and end with a tiny ice cream cone. I was rather proud of myself for attempting this event, but it went surprisingly well!

Then we went to the Clark Planetarium. I parked in the wrong garage, so we walked through the Gateway in the rain. I love the Gateway, but I really think that when my kids are grown and I have free time, I will enjoy it much more!

We saw a special in the IMAX theatre on the human body. I thought it would be educational and interesting...and it was. The part I didn't anticipate was the fear and horror it would send through the girls. Cori and Lexi spent the duration of the show cradled in each others arms. Addi had her head buried in my arm, and Sophie was screaming into my chest and crawling up my neck. I'm sure the people around us thought it was my children's first public outing! There were lots of other kids there watching it just fine! The 'heart' was the worst part, at one point they were all crying! I guess I don't realize how much I shelter them. We don't watch much TV, and they've really only seen mild Disney and Pixar movies. They reacted so differently than I expected! and I was up with them last night due to nightmares!
They loved all the exhibits, and the older two especially loved all the information. Sophie would have been content climbing on the Mars replica all day, and Addi loved to peek through holes and pull, push, and turn any knobs she could get her hand on. At the KUTV weather exhibit, you could stand in front of a map and pretend to be a weather-man (weather-person). I got a kick out of the Mom who did a whole 5 minute pretend blurb. Her kids had moved on, and she was still enjoying the spotlight. It was hilarious!

Overall, it was an enjoyable day, hopefully the nightmares won't last long!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

So long vampires, farewell warewolves! It was nice knowing you all!

So it is done! I have now completed the series! For anyone who knows me, I just started reading a few years ago. I had never read a book for 'the heck-of-it'. I thought people who read were insane to waist free time on such a boring activity, and I couldn't read more than 5 minutes without wanting a 2 hour nap. I made the excuse of never having free time (which I still don't) and I never thought it would interest me. And while I still believe I should probably be reading self-help books, I have enjoyed quite a few best sellers over the past few years. My own mother was shocked the first time I told her about a book I was reading! I must admit...it does make me feel a bit smarter to start a sentence with "I was recently reading a book about...." How narcissistic is that!
I did enjoy the third book better than the second, however, it did not end how I had hoped. Sorry in advance to all of you Edward fans out there, but I really liked Jacob Black. I'm sure it all comes down to everyone's individual taste. Given the fact that I have a 6'7" hulky, athletic, dirt bike-riding husband it is no wonder. The sleek, sophisticated, highly-educated, Volvo-driving type of guy is just not my idea of attractive. I'd also be willing to bet that I'm not the only one who'd take a warm, cuddly mate, rather than a stone-hard, cold person! I'm just glad I got them read, so I can socialize with my little sisters, young women in my ward, and the crazy adult women who told me I would wish Mike was a vampire when I finished. And FYI, I don't wish my husband was a vampire but it sure has been a fun joke in our house. When I would put my book down at night Mike would lean over with his "bedroom voice" and with one eyebrow raised ask "So...do you wish I was a vampire?" I could not help but laugh every time!

So it's back to the edgy, controversial, thrillers for me!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Go Bama!



Mike and I went on an extended weekend trip to Alabama. Why Alabama? You mean it's not the hottest, most romantic vacation destination in the world? No kidding! However, anytime we get a weekend trip alone...it's hot!

Literally, 78 degrees, hot! I was in heaven. Alabama is where Mike served his mission from 1994-1996. He loved his time there, and it changed his life. He became good friends with a family down there, and 8 years ago, they came out here to take their son to the MTC. At the time, Mike and I were living in a two bedroom, 1 bathroom condo. Mike was taking 16 credit hours at the Y, and working 40 hours a week. Cori was a baby, and I was pregnant with Lexi.

We had such a great time (once I could understand what they were saying) and by the end of their stay Cori was saying "Hey" (all drawn out, and southern sounding) instead of "Hi". They are a wonderful family, and we love them dearly.

A few months later, their daughter became pregnant. They sent her out here to stay with us for a bit. We had some great discussions, and we promised her that if she would wait for a temple wedding, we would be there.

Jump forward 7 years...In January, we received a phone call. Our dear friend had found her eternal companion and we were buying plane tickets to Alabama!

Birmingham didn't have a temple when Mike was there, so he was so excited to go back. I had never been to the South, and I was excited to experience the southern hospitality and BBQ.

We had a fantastic time! Mike was able to see some of the members he knew, and I was able to put faces with names. The wedding was so amazing! First of all, the temple was beautiful. I have not been to the smaller temples Pres. Hinckley had built. It was about the size of our Stake Center, and the angel Moroni looked HUGE! At first I thought he was bigger, but then Mike reminded me I had never seen one so close. They were sealed together, then they brought her 6 year-old to be sealed to them. I had never witnessed a child getting sealed to their parents. The spirit was so strong. Then, her parents were sealed for their parents, whose anniversary it was! I was incredible! I got to help at the reception, and her new husband is a Marine, so there was sword detail and all kinds of cool stuff!

We attended testimony meeting in Ensley. This was Mike's first area. Seven people were shot and killed his first few days there. He was informed that missionaries no longer can stay in the city. He drove me by his first apartment, and there was police tape over two different doors. The congregation was so small, maybe 30 people or so. I was taken back by these wonderful members. They had such strong testimonies, and such beautiful spirits. I forget that I live in a bubble sometimes, and not only do I take for granted my quality of life, but I forget that my religion is my culture here in Utah. The Elders were there with some recent converts. Some of the people from Mike's time were there. I gained such an appreciation for missionaries. The work they do is so important, it changes people's lives. The people there LOVE missionaries, and I realized how they saw Mike.

I am so grateful Mike chose to serve a mission all those years ago. I admire his dedication, and the strength it must have took. I know that missionaries are truly doing the Lord's work, and he is using them to build the kingdom! It's so powerful!

I visited a Winn-Dixie! The cashier asked if I had a "Winn-Dixie" card, I giggled as I said no, we were just here on a vacation. He looked at me and said "Why would you come here on a vacation!?!" I told him it was for a wedding, and he felt better about it. Too funny!

I was "fixin' to" to anything I did, whether I did it or not. Everything was so green and spring was in full force. The streets were lined with blossoms and green growth from the ground to the sky. It was a great trip, and Mike bought me a gorgeous ring at a flee market!

It wouldn't be right not to mention the personal touches that made the trip memorable (or just the stuff that always happens to me). The night before we left, it was our championship Regional Women's b-ball game. I got an alarming forceful elbow to my face. So, I did have a remarkable black eye and purple swollen cheekbone for the trip. Yup, made for some nice pictures! I also couldn't find my recommend the morning of, and made us so late that we missed our flight! It might have been worth it if I had found it...but all that, and I didn't find it! So we paid to catch the next flight. Our flight home was delayed so incredibly long, that we got home at 3 am!

My sister is so wonderful to take all four of my stinkers, and although I missed them, they had such a good time while I was gone. My little Addi was the most homesick, she was so excited to see me, and counted down the days. I did however, discover that I've got to record the lullaby I sing them each night. It was a bit embarrassing at the reception, sitting in the bathroom stall, singing "the angel song" on my cell phone as quietly at possible! (but you know how bathrooms echo!) I thought it was bad, but then Addi handed the phone to Sophie and I had to sing it again! Oh well, you know those crazy Utah mormons!
Roll Tide Roll!!!