Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Saddest Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday, Miss Rowan! I wish you looked this happy today on your big seventh birthday. I wish you were getting ready to have all your girlfriends over for your "Girls Day Out" party at 11:30. I wish that you were bursting with anticipation about opening your pretty packages. I wish...I wish...I wish...that you were all better.

But instead, you are the saddest birthday girl today. Today, you are battling your sinus infection or whatever it is and your pediatricians keep calling to check on you. I just got off the phone with them again and emailed them this picture. They want you to come back in again today for another check.

Is this the saddest birthday girl you've ever seen or what? I love you, Rowan. Thanks for letting me be your mom and giving me this opportunity to take care of you. You've been melting my heart lately...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

She's a Wreck

Our little soon-to-be seven year old, Rowan Sue, is a wreck. She's had quite the week. It started a week ago Monday. She came home from her cousin Lily's birthday party and collapsed on our living room floor at 7:15. She was out like a light in about 30 seconds. The next day, the fever started and she had some minor cold symptoms. Then it was low grade fevers off and on for the next couple of days, general lethargy, weak appetite. She rallied a bit on Thursday and early Friday, but on Christmas Eve night, she was fading again. We noticed a cold sore forming on her sweet lips.

She opened her presents on Christmas with little enthusiasm. She did manage to eek out a couple of smiles that day, but she was far from her typical self. By the time we got home from our day's worth of visiting late Christmas night, she was wiped out and had another cold sore forming. I had no idea what they were from. None of our family has ever had cold sores before. Sunday she went through the normal motions and was unusually quiet. No smiles. Wouldn't eat more than a couple of bites at any meal. We all spent Monday together doing errands, and stuff around the house, and ended the daylight hours at the church parking lot trying to get Easton to ride his bike (which he did, by the way, but not without some tears from the "big" fall).

Rowan was miserable yesterday afternoon and evening. Teary, emotional, tired, sickly looking. I was getting really worried about her, then the fever hit hard. She started complaining that her head hurt and her eyes looked so sick. She took some Motrin and Ryan and Bob gave her a blessing last night. She broke out her first smile in two days about a half hour later. She and I got on the internet and started researching "how to treat a cold sore" and then I headed to CVS to consult with the pharmacist. I came home with a couple of topical things for her lips and then she hit the hay.

Awake at 4:00 am, totally crying and holding her head. Telling me it felt like someone was poking a pencil in her eye and pounding on her head. Miserable. More Motrin for the fever. At 7:00 am, her eye was swelling and getting red, one of the "danger signs" to watch for (per the trusty internet) when you get cold sores, because if they spread to the eye, it can lead to blindness. YIKES! At 7:55, we started calling Mesa Pediatrics and finally got through a little after 8:00. By the time we got to their office at 9:00, her left eye was swelling more and looking worse by the minute. The docs huddled for a pow wow and we got a second opinion. Not looking good. No, really?

Then came the referral to the pediatric opthamologist. She slept for four hours straight between doctor visits and wouldn't eat a thing. Thankfully, the eye doc did a full exam and found no "herpetic legions" on her eye, which is fantastic, but said that he believes she has a serious bacterial sinus infection simultaneous with the fever blisters, the combination of which is making Rowan miserable. He started her on antibiotics. I am generally against them, but we conceded as her infection appeared to be advancing quickly and is dangerously close to her brain and eye. Rowan hasn't been to the doctor in years (literally). We might have had one other visit by one kid this past year, but I'm not even sure about that. We are a pretty healthy clan.

At 9:45 tonight, she said she was feeling somewhat better, the fever had gone down, but the swelling seems to be getting a little worse. I've been taking pictures to track it. The pediatrician has called our house twice already to check on her. They are all a little worried, right along with me, as she looks so bad. She's sleeping now, as I should be, and I pray that those tiny chewable pills will work their magic and get to her infection fast.

Tomorrow is Rowan's birthday. We had to contact all her little girlfriends and let them know her "Girls Day Out" party was cancelled. So sad. But she's in no shape for guests. We'll just have to reschedule once she's on the mend, which I pray is ever so soon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Five More Days

The countdown is on. Five more days...

I have most of my wrapping still to do.
I think I still have a couple of small things to pick up, but I need to check my list.
Then check it twice.
But only one more work day this week, then I'm off for a week.
How sweet is that?
When I come back, I only work one day next week.
Then one day the week after that.
Then on to Utah for a little ski vaca and wedding action.
I'm super stoked.
Four work days in three weeks.
I could get used to that.
I think.

The kids are giddy about Christmas. They've been negotiating the waking time for the big day. I'm saying 7:00, but they've got the push on for 6:30. I might give in.

No one has tried to guess their reindeer name yet, but that's probably because there aren't very many packages under the tree yet. We've got Dasher and Cupid and Comet and Blitzen this year. I'm hoping that tonight or tomorrow night will be "the night" where I stay up wrapping until the wee hours. There's always gotta be one of those. Every year I swear that I'll "wrap as I go", but it never happens. Why break tradition now?

We had a great busy week last week. Relief Society progressive dinner, Rowan's 1st grade Christmas program, Easton's kindergarten program, Barrett & Afton's piano recital's and donut fry, Easton's gingerbread house decorating at school, the Ward Party and all the prep for that, a wedding reception, a bridal shower, some good runs, two birthday parties, Barrett's Christmas party at Katy's, Christmas open house at our new neighbor's Saturday night, a wonderful church service with lots of Christmas music and great speakers, and a special dinner at Mike & Shari's and FHE last night.


The ward Christmas breakfast turned out so fun. Great food, festive decorations, good music, spectacular ward friends and neighbors! And Santa came with all his bells and glory and the children were thrilled. What a fun day we had. It was my last gig as the ward activities director. Someone else will get to lead the charge for next year's parties. I'm moving on and settling into my new jobs as the ward music chairperson and RS teacher. I think I'm gonna really like both of the new callings. This Sunday is my second lesson and I've now officially joined the choir. I sang in it on Sunday and I have to say that it was actually really fun. The musical talent in our ward is amazing. Amazing.

I must confess, I'm pretty excited for this week too. In case I don't make it back to blog before Christmas, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monopoly & Bunks

Last night at the Brown house...

Ryan and the girls played a marathon game (two actually) of Afton's new "Build It Monopoly" game that she got for her birthday. It's been updated for modern times. Boardwalk and Park Place have been replaced with the new hip "districts", and you can no longer procure a piece of real estate for $380. Nope, we're talking millions now. The small bill in the bank is $10k. Some things cost upwards of $7 million. There are new hazards like power plants and sewer stations and prisons to diminish the value of your properties and make them "unrentable." You can build industrial or residential. You can pay $1 million to the planning and zoning department and get perks.

Yep, it's Monopoly for the present day. And our kids are diggin' it.

Meanwhile, the two youngers colored more Christmas pictures to add to our already fantastic display of kid art covering the office french doors. And they colored and fully assembled their very own "dream" book using the stash of scratch paper we keep handy for just such crafty occasions. Truly, I was impressed. Each page, illustrated by Easton and narrated by Rowan, expressed things they dream about in pretty amazing detail. Things like chocolate and monsters and Christmas morning and camp outs and bunk beds...

Ahhhh...that brings us to the newest addition to the Brown house. Yes, we got new furniture for Easton's room. Actually, it is now Easton and Rowan's room, and Afty Cakes is beyond stoked to finally get her own room. Rowan & Easton are sharing the new bunks - a twin over full number - plus two new dressers and a cool ladder desk. Their room looks super sharp and they are seriously loving it. All the kids are really. There's something a little magical about bunks. Kids are drawn to them. I about died day one just trying to sheet them up. I broke two nails and skinned my hand. Broke into a full sweat by the time I was done climbing up and down, moving the dang ladder back and forth. Lifting the mattresses. Tuck here, tuck there. Heaven help them to not wet their beds. I don't think I can handle sheet changing more than every few weeks.

But they're great for forts. Most of our linen closet has already toured their room in the tent parade in just three short days. Barrett has managed to sneak in the last two nights to sleep with Easton on the bottom full size bed under the guise that "she forgot to put clean sheets on her bed." Um, hummm....

So the bunks are a hit. We still have some rearranging to do in Afty's room now that she's minus one extra full sized bed. It feels enormous. Hopefully, the troops will be happy in their new digs, and Rowan won't make Easton crazy with her...her, um, everything. Messiness, 'tude, sassy pants. We'll see. So far, so good.

Monday, December 6, 2010

More Afty...many moons ago

In celebration of Afton this week, I just thought I'd post a handful of retro pics from her early days. These ones made me smile.

I remember this snow trip vividly. It was Afton's first time tubing up in Flagstaff, and she was amazing. She'd just turned four, but I swear she hiked up the big hill 100 times, over and over and over, and would just fly down with no fear. It was so fun to watch.

Afton with her baby sister, Rowan, back when we lived in our Gilbert house. Almost seven years ago now since this one was taken. Holy cow.

Afton has always wanted to be what she wanted to be for Halloween. Never really open to suggestions. Never what I thought she should be. She just knows. When she was almost three, she was super into the Blue Clues show. Hence, she wanted to be Blue, the main dog, which I thought was a little wierd, but then again, Blue is a girl on the show. But then she dressed up like Scooby Doo a couple years later (when Barrett was Daphne.)

Tonight we were at Water & Ice for our FHE treats after decorating Grandpa Reid's Christmas tree. Afty ordered her absolute favorite: a scoop of chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone. Her face looked just like this tonight. Really. That's just how she eats it. I think it must taste better when you go at it full bore, no regard for the chocolate mustache (or beard for that matter). Too funny.

Our awesome little Afton Kate. Our only brown-eyed kid. GC affectionately refers to her as her "Brown-Eyed Beauty" and I couldn't agree more.

My Newest Double Digit Kid

Here she is.
Miss Afton Kate Brown.
Code name "Afty Cakes."
She's newly ten.
Ten and fabulous, that is.

We enjoyed Sunday dinner at our house to celebrate with the family. Grandma Cheri made this killer giant cupcake using her new handy dandy pan. It was the maiden voyage for the oversized delight and it turned out great. Aunt Jayme brought her famous homemade cheesecake too, and it did not disappoint.

Grandma Cindy & Grandpa Steve bought Afton a new hoodie (which she is sporting here and which she has been wearing non-stop since she opened it on Saturday morning.) She also got a new pair of Vans, thanks to the lean mean shopping machine, also known as GC, or Grandma Cindy, who hit two Journeys, two Tilly's, one Van's store, and who knows how many others until she could finally procure the must-have style that Afty fell in love with. Sadly, they were too big, so we're hoping to find a half size smaller this week.

Grandma Cheri & Grandpa Bob scored with a new Build It Monopoly game and an inside smore maker with all the fixins. I'm sure that will be a huge hit in our house.

On Saturday, Afton's actual birthday, we all had a blast at Afty's cosmic bowling party at Brunswick. She invited five girlfriends for some cosmic bowling, pizza, and some arcade fun. It was such a score for me too, since all we had to do was show up and let the party hostess take over. No prep, no extra house cleaning, no game planning, no cooking. I just had to drive. And pay. What a screamin' deal. I'm thinking I like that kind of party...I like it a lot...Plus I got to bowl and did pretty dang good if I do say so myself. I bowled a mean 152, although that still wasn't enough to pass Grandma Cindy, who scored in the 170's. But then again, she is a bowling pro and bowled three games in her new Friday morning bowling league the day before. Yes, GC just filled the fourth spot on a team and joined a bowling league with a few of her good friends, and I am really excited for her. She hasn't bowled on a league since I was a little girl, but she's always loved it.

Riley, Barrett, Lily, Afton, Kelly & Sydney at the party

Easton had too much fun bowling, but he also loved playing some air hockey with his daddy afterwards. I'm not sure who was having more fun...Easton or Dad.

Happy Birthday my sweet Afton. We love you so much. Thanks for being a remarkable girl. Funny as heck, so sporty, beautiful voice, truly creative, ultra smart, super obedient, and good to the core. What would we do without you? I can hardly believe you're a double digit kid now. Oh, where did the time go?

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Weekend

I taught my first lesson in Relief Society yesterday. The topic was very appropriate given the season: Gratitude. Our lesson was based on President Monson's Oct 2010 General Conference talk, "The Divine Gift of Gratitude." My neighbor and I were talking about the upcoming lesson topic a week or so ago, after we had just had a whole stake conference full of gratitude messages and talks and lessons about it all month, and she joked that we were all going to be a little sick of being grateful by the end of the month :)

I cried a lot. No surprise. Hopefully everyone knows I cry often by now and they just accept that. I told Coralee, who is the Education Counselor in our Relief Society, that I was happy to accept the calling to teach, but that she better expect the tears. I'm sure I've blogged about it before, but my theory is that when the Big Man Upstairs was divvying up the "gifts" before we came to earth, he gave me an extra strong dose of emotion. My spirit is really tender and I am easily moved. I could rarely ever even make it through a primary sharing time without crying, let alone teaching in front of a bunch of women.

But I was still understandable through the tears, and I think it went pretty well. I bore testimony about the importance of being grateful, which is something I believe so strongly in, and shared a couple of funny stories about my kids. They are great, by the way. I love that they teach me so much every day. Truly, it's humbling. The lesson is over now, though, so on to the next one. My next lesson (the day after Christmas) is on D. Todd Christofferson's talk, "Reflections on a Consecrated Life." I've read it a few times already, and there is much to reflect on for sure. Glad I have a few weeks to ponder on that one before I teach again.

We got our outside lights up on the house and in the yard on Saturday. Actually, when I say "we", I mean Ryan. I can only take credit for the blinking lawn snowflakes, which I have to say are the sauce. The kids and I did a neighborhood spirit check on Saturday night - a quick drive-by really - to see who had the holiday spirit. We were duly impressed with Lockwood street (no thanks to the Berrey's - hint, hint...) as just about every house was decked out in awesome lights. There's got to be a lot of pressure living on Lockwood in the midst of all that lumination. It's awesome.

I have to say that the Harris Park effort was weak. Weak, I tell you. But we're hoping that the lack of lights is just attributable to the fact that it's still technically November and that hopefully by this weekend, we'll be seeing the lights in full force.

We also put up the tree on Saturday and got it all decorated last night. The kids were huge helpers. Really, they were. Especially Easton & Rowan. They carefully unwrapped each ornament and placed about a hundred of them side by side on the lower three feet of the tree. Then they handed them up to me on the 12 foot ladder so I could reach the high branches. We only had to do a little rearranging after we discovered we had no ornaments left for the whole left side of the tree. But it's all good now. Nicely placed. Well lit. We used every single ornament and I think I would like more. But we're not buying any new ones this year - really, we don't need more - I just like a really full tree. I think I get that from my mom. My kiddos turned on the lights this morning before school and sat by the tree. Rearranged a couple more ornaments - again. Moved them to the perfect spots - again. It made me smile.

Oh, and I have a full blown cold. Saturday night I sensed the beginnings of it. The perpetual sneezes. Dry throat. Dim headache. By Sunday morning, I was 75% sure it was going to hit hard. I made it through church with only a half dozen sneezes and a nose running like a sieve. I'm sure all the ladies in Relief Society just thought I was wiping my nose incessantly due to the tears I was shedding, but that was only half of it. Today I have the full blown head cold. The real deal. I'm about a third of the way through my newly opened Kleenex box. Since I can't breathe through my nose, my mouth is getting an extra workout, which makes my throat dry and leads me to chug more H2O. Which is good for me, I know, especially when I'm sick, but I'm wearing out the carpet on the pathway to the bathroom.

We've been healthy for so long. Especially me. I can't remember the last time I was sickly. I haven't run since the Turkey Trot, which means I've had three days off, four if I don't make it out tonight. I never take 3 days off. Really, never even two. So I'm a little worried about not running (you lose the stamina so fast), but I just couldn't peel myself out of bed this morning with my hollow feeling head and dry throat and the thought of the bone-chilling cold at 5:30 am. My iPhone told me it was 33 degrees, so I acquiesced and stayed in a bed wrapped tight in my blanket for another half hour.

Maybe tonight. Maybe not. For sure tomorrow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just a Bunch of Turkeys

We're keeping the tradition alive. Running the annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving has become a tradition for us, and we hope it keeps going on for many, many years to come. Barrett and Afton have two trots under their belts now. We were proud of them for coming out and being a part of the festivities. They both ran the 1-mile race again and did great!

The girls ended up running by themselves this year (well, not really - there were a thousand or so other runners doing the 1-mile fun run too, but no one else they knew). Jessie & her girls were planning to come and do the run too, but they didn't end up making it so our girls hot footed it alone. We saw them off and took some video footage, then made our way back to the park to watch them finish. Way to go girls! You were awesome!
Ryan & the girls after their race

Ryan and I both had a great race - personal bests for both of us - so we were pleased. We didn't beat the turkey, but then again, we weren't expecting too. His young turkey legs have a little more kick in them than ours do. After the race, we met up with all our Goodman family clan, who were also there participating in the annual trot just like they do every year. Barrett, Afton & Aunt Diane all hung together while we ran. My cousin, Willy, beat us all, but he was just a few seconds ahead of his dad, Bishop Uncle Jim, who was just a few seconds ahead of me. Ryan & Morgan both finished within 30 seconds of each other too, and Rita (my awesome cousin who just had a baby this year and started running again after several years off), was there running too and did so great. Jodi was thinking about running despite the fact that she has been so busy in law school and hasn't been running much, but she decided to cheer from the sidelines. I loved that we were all there together on Thanksgiving morning - burning some calories, juicing the legs, living strong. Just a bunch of turkeys we are. And I love it!

(Front row: Willy & Afton; Back Row: Rita, Jodi, Bishop Uncle Jim, Kelli, Ryan & Barrett)

Ryan & Morgan post-race. Ryan finished in 53:09 (8:30 mile pace) and Morgan finished in 53:38. Way to go guys! And check out those race bib numbers...

On the way home, a good of friend of mine from work, Richard Garner, called. He and his daughter, Kourtney, had also run the race and this was Richard's first race ever. He's been running for about a year or two now and finally decided to do a race. Well, we've been talking a lot about running over the past year and his goal was to run a sub-8:00 average which would be 49:40. He sort of egged me on at work when I told him I wanted to run a 50:something race, telling me that I could do a sub-8:00 10k. Well, as it turns out, I could and I did. Funny thing - he finished in 48:55, beating his goal and just eight seconds ahead of me. I ran a 49:03 race (7:53 mile pace), and I was really happy about that. I've never run a sub-8:00 10k before. Neither Ryan or I ever saw Richard or Kourtney before, during or after the race since they started a little ahead of us in the pack (and there were thousands of people there). But 8 seconds! We were cracking up as we talked. He said that if he knew I was only seconds behind him, he would have run faster. I told him that if I knew I was only seconds behind him, I would have run faster still, just for bragging rights at the office for the next year....

As always, the trot was a fun way to kick off another great Thanksgiving. Can't wait to do it again next year! Hopefully we'll get a few more of our Goodman cousin running crew to join us in 2011.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Walk Like an Egyptian

One thing I love about our kids' school is that they truly immerse the kids in learning. The teachers have designed curriculum to help the children really embrace their projects and create a memorable learning experience. This year, Barrett's sixth grade class is studying world history in social studies. The module they just finished up was Egyptian history. We've been eating, sleeping and breathing Egypt for about two weeks now, and I have to say I'm a little happy we're moving on. My kitchen counter has finally re-surfaced after being buried for a week under a paint cloth, glue gun, sticks, paint, clay, all sorts of adhesives, jewels, ribbon, scissors and all things crafty.

Here's Barrett's completed pyramid from the outside. After it was all finished, we sprayed a final layer of spray adhesive and then sprinkled sand (courtesy of our neighborhood park) all over the outside to give it an "authentic" feel.

Barrett did a great job on her weapon room. She has hand crafted axes, a shield, a knife, ropes & nooses, and sticks. Even though the room was pretty simple, this was actually my favorite room in the pyramid. I must be related to Michael :) Her "Treasury" room was filled with jewels and mirrors and a gold plated hand crafted mini-chair. So cute.
Other rooms in her pyramid housed the death trap room with the pit of snakes and torches, as well as her food chamber where hand crafted clay baskets were filled with beans, oats and other delights.

In the king's chamber, a ladder is the only way to reach the gold sarcophagus and chest of treasures. Barrett made the sarcophagus in her art class at school. Inside, is an awesome wrapped mummy.

Barrett's friends, Tea and Riley at their Egyptian festival. All of the kids had to select an Egyptian God or Goddess for the festival and then dress up like that figure and deliver a short speech. It was a hoot to see all the kids in their outfits. I was actually pretty impressed.

Barrett's friend, Scott Nelson, showing off his killer pyramid and costume.

I helped out in Barrett's class the day they made their Egyptian death masks. We made a mold of each of the students' faces using these plaster strips and water. It was actually a lot of fun and pretty cool to see how their molds turned out.

After we got the plaster molded to their faces, they had to sit for about 15 minutes until the plaster hardened. They were all pretty great sports about the whole thing.

Here is Barrett's finished death mask, hanging on the wall at her Egyptian fair.

This whole Egyptian immersion was definitely a family affair. I sewed Barrett's costume for her using a pattern my mom had from years ago. I pulled the skirt fabric out of my stash that I've been planning to use for new Christmas nativity costumes. This was supposed to be a wise man's tunic, but I made it into a wrap around skirt instead that will double as a sheath type thing that we will use this year in our nativity. And I seriously scored on her gold fabric as I wandered the clearance aisle at JoAnn after Halloween. 60% off. Nice.

Both Barrett and her friend, Katy Anderson, were dressed as the Goddess Maat (since they are in different home room classes, they both got to dress up as the same Goddess.) There's a whole story to the feather that Maat wore on her head. Ask Barrett to give you her speech and you'll learn what it's all about.

We were proud of Barrett and enjoyed her whole Egyptian immersion experience and fair. She did a great job and earned an "A."

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Great Day for 13.1

Saturday couldn't have been a better morning to run. It was cool and crisp and just absolutely gorgeous outside. Cold really, but for running - perfect! I love to run in the cold. So here we are, my honey & me, just getting ready to start the half marathon.

I love that all our kiddos were there to cheer us on. They didn't even complain about having to wake up at 5:45 am! But then again, all the fun they had at the event with the bouncers and face painting and never ending snacks helped a little I'm sure.

The race was great for both of us. Although we started the race right next to each other, as soon as the horn blew and we crossed the chip timer, we both just took off and never saw each other again until the finish. I felt really good the first several miles and was running several seconds ahead of my typical pace. But my heart and lungs and legs felt strong so I just kept it up. Thank goodness for my Garmin watch. I absolutely love that thing. It was so nice to be able to look down at each mile (or whenever) and check my pace. Shortly after the halfway mark, I noted that my overall average pace was slowing about 2-3 seconds with each mile, so I worked a little harder to keep it steady for the next couple.

Around mile 9 or so as I was heading west on Main Street, I saw a couple of runners far up ahead wearing those bright orange vests like traffic cops sometimes do. As I closed the gap a bit more, I was able to make out the words "Guide" on the back of the man. As I got a little closer, I saw that the two were connected with a leash of sorts, and then finally was able to read the rest of the writing on the back of their vests as I ran close up behind them. His said, "GUIDE. I'm running for my wife." Hers said, "Caution: Visually Impaired Runner." She was blind or very nearly so, running a half marathon with her sweet husband as her guide, tied together with a rope. He ran a half pace ahead of her so that she could "feel" the direction of the path through the pull of the rope. Of course, I teared up as I passed them. Again, another reminder that I always, always, always need to be grateful.

The last mile was my hardest for sure since I'd been running faster than I'd ever run for that distance, but there was a blessed fellow runner with red hair and a bright green shirt running pretty close with me the last mile or two. We kept passing each other, back and forth, and gave each other a little inspiration near the end to keep kicking it in high gear. Or at least the highest gear we could manage after mile 12. At about 12.7, I was starting to slow a bit, and he said, "Come on, we're almost there!" And that was all I needed to keep running hard.

Ryan and I both finished strong, better than anticipated, and really felt great. The muscles weren't even very sore that night or yesterday. Amazing! I guess all the extra post-race stretching helped. And the super long hot shower I took when I got home! Man, that felt like heaven. Oh, and the hour long rest I took with my feet up that morning :)

My goal was to run faster than last year's race (which was at 8:58 pace or 1:57:30) and Ryan's goal was to finish in 2:10. Since this was his first long race, he was just benchmarking based on his typical training times for long runs, and he did so terrific! I finished in 1:49:43 (8:22 mile pace) and Ryan finished in 1:59:29 (9:06 pace). We we were both really happy with the race and our effort. Great weather, cool race t-shirts, yummy pasta dinner the night before, plenty of restrooms and water stations, lots of fun for the family, and great post-race treatment. It was all good. Very, very well run event. I'm pretty sure we'll be going for Shun the Sun #3 in November 2011. We're kinda liking this new tradition in our family.

It was fun giving our kids high fives a couple of times during the race. They were waiting for us on the side of the canal bank along with Grandma Cindy after our first mile and at the halfway point, then they were all there cheering at the finish line.

Post-race. Happy to be done! See that reddish circle on my rib cage? Ya, that's blood. My sports bra was rubbing me wrong starting at mile 4, and that bothered me more than anything else the whole race. I was chaffed pretty good and ended up with a nice little patch of blood to show for it.

Rowan's amazing face painting. Seriously, they did a fantastic job! She just loved it and kept it on all day long on Saturday.

Me just shortly after crossing the finish line. I was pacing around in circles cooling down and bringing down the heart rate.

I love this guy!

Our crew after the race! Thanks again, kids and Grandma Cindy, for coming to cheer us on. What a great day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Top 3's

I have a bunch of fantastic ideas forming in the mass beneath my crazy head of highlights. All kinds of memories. So many unwritten treasured remembrances and traditions and loves... and pictures stacked in boxes from days gone by, just begging to be scanned. Memorabilia to tie in. I'm just not sure when the "season" will be ripe for me to put it all together in my oft-imagined Book of Life like I've schemed. It's gonna be a fabulous life history book someday. I can feel it. he he. But until then, I'll just keep plugging away at my blog and our scrapbooks here and there, keeping track of our highs and lows, our comings and goings, my thoughts about this and that. And a few other things. Maybe someday I'll pull it all together for publishing.

So today I was thinking about some of my top 3's. (That's one of the sections of my imagined book by the way.) Here are some of them:
  • 3 candies I love: sour jelly bellies, Hot Tamales, cinnamon bears
  • 3 colors I wear most often: black, aqua, hot pink
  • 3 vacations I've loved most: Kauai 2009, New York 2000, Park City 2010
  • 3 things I need to work on: daily scriptures, less snacking, saying "yes" more
  • 3 things I'd like to do more: read, sew, play games with my family
  • 3 games I love right now: Rook, Ticket to Ride, Take 2
  • 3 stores I spend too much money in: Costco, Old Navy, Michaels
  • 3 things I love to shop for: shoes, running clothes, fabric
  • 3 ways I usually wear my hair: flat ironed straight, big curls, ponytail
  • 3 places I often frequent for lunch: Rubios, Safeway Deli, Blimpie
  • 3 things that make me crazy: a messy house, un-gratefulness, whining
  • 3 favorite family vacation spots: Carlsbad, Rocky Point, Cabin
  • 3 things I rarely do: drink soda, get on the scale, sleep in
  • 3 things I hate to be without: cell phone, toothbrush, lipstick
  • 3 indulgences I deeply enjoy: fresh donuts, graham crackers & milk, ice old cream soda
  • 3 favorite dining spots for "family night out": Red Robin, Islands, Someburros
  • 3 places I want to go: Nauvoo, Grand Caymans, Alaska
  • 3 hard things I might do someday: run a marathon, publish a book, pay off our house
  • 3 things I'd like to be when I grow up: a professional photographer, 100% self-employed, the best grandma on the planet (although that position has already been filled)
  • 3 things I love about my life right now: my romantic husband, being a mom, living strong
  • 3 things that simplify my life: my mom, the gospel, my suburban
  • 3 favorite hobbies: running, scrapbooking, photography

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Last Saturday, I spent the day at one of my other favorite places (besides Bosa Donuts and the temple). It's been months - five actually, but who's counting - since the last time I spent any time with my scrapbook supplies, so I was really looking forward to a long, good day with my pictures and crafty spirit. I just booked the class a few weeks ago after realizing that we actually had a free Saturday and knowing that I had a bunch of store credit burning a hole in my account from all my past cancelled classes. It proved to be a great day. Lots of pages made. Lots of laughing with my girlfriends who I've missed. Lemon slushes from Sonic and Tia Rosas rolled tacos. It was all good. And Ryan and our kiddos had such a great day together. They need good father/kid days together where Dad spoils them rotten. They texted me pictures throughout the day at all the fun places they went. I was actually a tinge sad not to be with them, but since I was staring at their cute faces all day on my scrapbook pages, I managed to survive.

These are a few of my recent pages. The one at the top is my favorite page right now. Probably 'cause the kids are so cute and the memories from our summer Park City vacation are so awesome.

(I figured I should scrapbook last year's race since the 2010 race is only few days away. Now I don't feel so behind.)

(Yes, this is last year's 5th grade spread, but hey...we haven't even gotten the 2010 pictures back yet so I'm still ahead of the game, right?)