My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Girl

Today is Mary's Birthday...the big 4.
For some reason or another, this has been the most sentimental Birthday she has had, for me.
All day, I just keep pondering on her birth, her infant life, her toddler years and now her cute little preschool years. I guess it is just shocking to me that she is actually growing up...and fast...too fast.
Because of my reflective mood today and in light of her Birthday, I guess I will write a few of the things I have been reflecting on about Mary.

She was born in Rexburg, Idaho on one of the coldest days that year. I think it was in the negatives. My snot literally froze when I walked from the car to the hospital doors.

I labored for 14 hours with her and pushed for 2 of those hours. Mary went into distress and so did I. We fought together and made it through. She was a BEAUTIFUL baby! She came home on Christmas Day in a cute red dress. What a gift!

Mary was the most energetic infant I have ever seen to this day. She was CONSTANTLY moving her head, her arms, and her legs. She was very very alert. She had dark brown hair for about a month, and she was a CHUB! Oh man, she was adorable!

Mary had 8 ear infections (no tubes), strep, thrush, and so many horrible colds that we couldn't tell one from the next, in her first year of life. We later learned that mold under the carpet in our appt. was the culprit. We moved soon after. We went to the doctor a lot. We also discovered her allergy to penicillin that year as well. She is a fighter. She was also allergic to milk, which we didn't know until she was 9 months old. Like I said...she is a fighter.

As an infant, Mary LOVED rides in the car and the stroller. She also loved her swing. As long as she was moving, she was very happy. She also loved to be sung to. I made up a song for her that was so fun to sing. Kind of dorky, but cute. I loved to just hold her close and sing to her.

As a toddler, Mary was soooooo dang cute, and also incredibly strong willed. She LOVED to be outside and moving all the time. She got a sense of humor really fast and had us cracking up all the time. She is a very fun-loving child. She loved to just play, play, play. She was such a good sport with Ben and I both being in school and Ben working. She just rolled with the flow and had a good time.

Mary is now in gymnastics and preschool, and is growing up fast. I am shocked every day with the tricks she learns in gymnastics and with the educational things she learns in school. She has a big love of learning and trying new things. She accomplishes what she sets out to do, but she also has a lot of fun along the way. Such a great quality.

Mary has grown to be a beautiful, fun, happy, smart, athletic, and precious little girl. She lights up our lives in so many ways. She is such a sweet big sister to Sam and she has a big heart. She is very determined and is as quick as a whip in that head of hers. Nothing gets past her. She is so full of love and sunshine, and is the first one to spread the love around to those she comes in contact with.
We love Mary so much. Our lives have been so blessed and enriched with her in them. She is such a precious gift from above.
Love you baby girl!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The adventures of Mr. Ribbit

Some of you that have been following our blog, may remember my post about Mr. Ribbit, our bullfrog. We didn't know he was a bullfrog at the time we got him. We just figured he was an ENORMOUS tadpole.
By the time we discovered that he was a bullfrog and watched the sickening mutation from tadpole to frog (nasty), it was too late. We aren't allowed to sell him or give him is illegal. We can only donate him to a school lab once he is full grown. Bullfrogs ruin entire ecosystems, because of their huge appetite.
Right now, he is up to eating about 5 crickets a day (live crickets), but sooner than later, he will be moving on to mice and then birds. After three months, I finally got up the guts to feed him the crickets last week..out of necessity. Ben was gone. I really don't think I will be able to stomach the mice or the birds.
I cleaned out his little tank today, and realized that he is already getting so big, and he has only been an actual frog for three months. He is bigger than any full grown frog in the pet stores!!!
Supposedly, he will grow to be the size of a dinner plate. Hooray for us. Does anyone know where we can get a 10 gallon tank for free???? He needs a bigger home pretty quickly here. I was told that we will actually need a 30 gallon tank, if we want to keep him alive when he is full grown, but for now, I am just looking for a 10 gallon tank.
Anywhoo...somehow this frog is beginning to grow on us, and we kind of like him. He is quiet so far, and just does his own thing. I can only imagine what it will be like when the croaking begins.
I am wondering if our Christmas lights hypnotize him, because at night, when I plug in the lights, he just sits on his rock and stares at the lights. He doesn't move an inch. It is hilarious.
So there you you have it, two adults, two kids, a dog and a bullfrog. Can't get much more all-American than that...right?

Here is a picture of him. I took it while he was in a bowl waiting for me to clean his tank, so the background is all white. Hello Mr. Ribbit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Grandpa is 90 today!!!

Today is my Grandpa Hanks' 90th Birthday. My mom's side of the family had a HUGE birthday bash for him over Thanksgiving weekend. We weren't able to make it...big bummer. I am so blessed to have lived by and grown up close to both sets of grandparents, and I feel like I know and love them all deeply.
Grandpa Hanks (Wright Capner Hanks) is the last living grandparent I have. I have so many awesome memories with him. He always told the story of The Little Match Girl on Christmas Eve, and always cried. It is so touching. He made it to soooo many of my cheerleading performances, piano competitions, sports events, church events, and everything else under the sun.
My grandma was pretty big about Birthdays and always made them special. After she died (unexpectedly), grandpa kept the tradition going. He has never forgotten my Birthday and always sends the best cards. He came over to our house for dinner at least once a month and would tell so many stories about working a farm and herding sheep up in the mountains for months on end. His dad died when he was very young, and he had to do A LOT at a very young age in order to keep up the family farm.
He is a hard worker, and I have never heard him complain. He is very devoted to any and all church callings he has had, and he is a great example of doing your best in whatever situation you are in.
I love and cherish my grandpa so much. He is a really big influence in my life and I am so grateful for him. Happy Birthday grandpa Hanks, I love you!

This is one of the tables set up at his Birthday Bash. This quilt has all of his kids and grandkids photos on it. Pretty awesome!

This is my grandma's wedding dress and my grandpa's Navy uniform. He was a medic. during WWII. He sure saw a lot of crazy things and helped so many soldiers.

Grandpa Hanks at his 90th Birthday Party.

My mom and my grandpa (her dad)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Party Time!

Tis' the season of parties and we just scratched two off the list. Both turned out great, both were a lot of work, and both were for VERY special people.

We started the day out yesterday with Mary's party!!! We have had a lot of fun together picking out the theme, choosing games and crafts, picking out what kind of cupcakes to make, ect. Mary had an opinion on it all...and I must say, she has good taste for a soon-to-be 4yr old.

Her party turned out AWESOME!!!! We invited 10 kids and 8 were able to make it...well, 9 including Sam. The party was a Jungle Safari theme. The kids made their own binoculars and camo. vests. and took off on a trek, with Ben as the leader, to find the animals in the jungle.

Getting ready to go on a jungle safari...fully equipped with vests and binoculars

The kids all showing eachother the animals they found

They also played pin the tail on the lion (Ben drew an awesome lion!)and a jungle version of hot potato. It was all really cute to see these little kids having so much fun. My heart melted to see my little girl feel so special and to see her having so much fun with her cute little friends.

Mary getting ready to blow out her candles while we all sang Happy Birthday to her.

The party was a great success, and Mary was so happy, even when her hair caught on fire while blowing out the candles. No worries, just a few black hairs, one flame and some smoke. Sure scared me, but it didn't stop her one bit!

This was taken after blowing the fire out of her hair. She blew them all out this time around.

Here are a few of the cupcakes before they were devoured. They aren't the prettiest things, but they had animals on them and they tasted great. I am way more concerned about the Little Mermaid cake that needs to be constructed for the actual Birthday.

When all was said and done, we were pretty wiped out, and of course, had some party clean up to do, but Mary was grinning and we had a really fun time.

After we cleaned up from Mary's party, it was off to the ward Christmas party. Ben was in charge of setting up tables chairs and I am on the activities committee and had stuff to do, so we all headed to the church.

Ben and his buddy set up approx. 26 tables and enough chairs to go with each one. They also moved some other stuff and got the building ready to go for our committee to come in and decorate. Good job guys..way to work those muscles!

As the activities committee (all five of us), we cut LOTS of paper for the tables (about 48 large rectangles), decorated them with the centerpieces of pine cones, paper bags and crayons for the kids to color with, we taped the paper onto the tables (rectangular paper on round tables), helped get food ready, and just did what people do to get ready for a ward party. The party was a success and all went smoothly. We had a good time.
I was able to grab some food before helping in the kitchen and refilling the water cooler about 50 times, moving the drink table down the hall, taking down tables, refilling food trays, setting up the dessert room, ect. The food was soooo good! We had the right man for the job on that one. He is a great cook!
When the party was over, we cleaned, washed a TON of dishes, got the food donations taken care of and came home. Few!
Before coming home, we rented Lost, and are now totally hooked. Great show! We were up WAY too late watching it, but it felt great to sit back and relax a little. Love it!

It was a really fun and eventful day for our family. Both parties were full of good friends and good people. It makes it all worth it.
We have more parties this week, and this time we are not in charge, so we get to sit back and relax and savor the moments. Yippee!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


In gymnastics, there is a rope the kids try to climb as part of conditioning at the beginning of class. It is approx. 25ft high maybe higher. The picture is not of the rope in her gym, but it looks similar. Most of the 5yr old girls are just starting to make it to the top.
Mary made it to the top today (a few weeks shy of her fourth birthday)!!!! It is very amazing. Go Mary! It was so awesome.

The red card that I took a terrible picture of (yeah yeah, I need a new camera), is called a "wow" card. The coaches give it to the kids when they complete a hard thing or do a new trick. Mary got this one today. It is her first "wow" card since she has been moved up to this class. We are excited!

Some info. and a question.

Wow, I am feeling MUCH better...few! It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it wasn't too fun either.
I am chipping away at my to-do list, and I think I am actually making great progress! Thanks to a rockin' awesome husband who hung up the last of the white Christmas lights at 10:00pm last night (the red ones have been up for a while, but the white lights make it all come together). Come by and see them some night, they are pretty cute...just ignore the strands that aren't working. ;)
He also came home from work in the afternoon and picked up Mary from preschool and took her to the store, so I could sleep. He also helped clean our VERY dirty house. Now it is all nice and clean and Christmasy, just the way we like it. Thank you Ben! You deserve a gold star and a cupcake!

Ben's mom left the hospital yesterday and is now home. The tumor they removed was low grade cancer, and so far, she is all clear of any remaining cancerous issues that can be found with the tests they have done up to this point. She still has a long way to go with recovery and we wish her the best. We sure love her so much and have CONSTANTLY been thinking about her and we will still be thinking about her as she continues on in the whole process.

Now for my question...
Does anyone one know where I can get pictures (like family pictures) put on mugs for REALLY REALLY cheap! Wal-mart is the cheapest I have found, and they still charge $9.00 per mug! I need like 12 mugs done, so that won't work.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know if you know of anywhere that does it cheaper, or any way I could do it myself.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What timing!!!

Guess who has the stomach Blah!
This should make the week interesting.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My To Do List this week...look familiar to anyone else??

This week is soooooooo full of fun things and so much to do! I LOVE the holidays and being so busy with great things. I tend to get bored easily, so I love it when I have a lot going on. This particular week is pretty crammed.

To Do:
1.Finish hanging Christmas lights on house, now that Ben is back and can help
2.Plan Mary's Jungle Safari Birthday stuff and put goody bags together
3.Find a way to make a princess cake for Mary..and make it
4.Buy family gifts and ship them
5.Ward party stuff...I am on the is this weekend, same day as Mary's party (only free day we could do Mary's party)
6. Enrichment stuff..I am on that committee too (plan, coordinate and make calendar for 15 mini-groups every month)
7. Mary Kay skin care class
8. Find games to play at Mary's Party and make stuff for them
9. Get Christmas cards ordered and printed off
10. Address and mail Christmas cards (this is actually a big project)
11. Clean the is filthy after our weekend without Ben
12. lots and lots of laundry
13. Make cupcakes for pre-school party
14. order some last minute Christmas gifts online
15. Take care of a toll payment that is WAY overdue..lots of time on the phone for this one
16. Get back into a normal running routine. I have been going 2-3 times a week since the marathon, but now I am feeling totally recovered. Better start 4-5 times a week again, especially with all the holiday goodies coming our way.
17. craft group
18. Babysitting
19. Make and deliver Christmas goodies to friends and neighbors. This one is a favorite for me, and a fun FHE activity for our family.
20. Package and ship out Mary Kay product to some customers.
21. And all of the other normal day-to-day stuff that we do here in our home.

To some, this list may seem like nothing, but for me, it is pretty busy. I really like it this way though. All of these things...well most of them...are fun.
Yet another reason I love the holidays!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Twilight....for real.

This is what poor little Sammy went through in nursery today. The question I send him back????

You got it folks, that is a bite mark. And no little nip in the arm mind you. It is a full blown, cut through the skin, bleeding, bruised and swollen chomp in Sam's shoulder. The camera obviously didn't get the best picture, but you get the idea.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Update on Jolene (Ben's mom)

We spoke to Ben's dad a few hours ago. Surgery went well, but there was a lot more happening than first thought. Some pretty serious stuff. Please keep her in your prayers.
Looks like Ben, and possibly the rest of us, may be making an unexpected trip to Boise in the next few days.
We love you Jolene..see you soon.

It's Beginning to look a LOT like Christmas!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Sometimes it seems like there is nothing to post I don't post. But other times, it seems like there is way too much to post about. This is one of the times there is a lot going on and I want to record it all. So, I am just going to make one giant post of random-ness. Enjoy.

First of all, I found two great things while blogging the other day...and they made my I will share. Thanks to Jessica and Bethany.

I laughed so hard at this video that I almost fell off the chair. It gets better and better as it goes. Maybe you should finish reading the post and then come back to this.

Have you ever stuck your head out the window to see what side your gas tank is on? Well....from now on, all you have to do is look on your gas gauge. You will see a picture of a gas tank. The side of the tank that shows the gas hose, is the side of your car that your tank is on.

"Where's the tank?" Is your head out the window? NO LONGER!!

Thank you Bethany...I cannot tell you how many times I end up re-pulling up to the gas pump because the tank is on the other side.

So, according to this picture, the hose is going into the right side of the tank, so the gas tank is on the right side of the car. Genius!!

Another bit of news:
Ben's mom was taken to the ER last night with horrible stomach pains. She was put on morphine, had some tests done, and then later sent home. Pretty nerve-wracking for everyone! Today she was admitted to the hospital and they have found some blockage in her intestine. (horribly painful) They will be talking with the surgeon tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with her...please add yours.

More info:
Sam now has pink eyeS (yup, both of em') Meds should start working soon. Poor little fella.

And more info:
Chamonix gets his "lamp shade" off and his stitches out tomorrow!! Hooray! I am so happy for him. He will be feeling GREAT! Can't wait to take him running again.

Last tidbit:
I FINALLY talked Mary out of a princess, strawberry shortcake, or my little pony birthday party. (she loves all of those so much) Maybe next year. I would totally let her do it, and I really wanted to let her, but the friends she will be inviting are almost all boys. Looks like we will be having a Jungle Safari Birthday Party (with a princess cake). Mary found the Jungle Safari decorations at a store and got all sorts of excited. Few!

Guess who has Pink Eye?????

The picture doesn't do it justice. Maybe because he was eating grapes at the time, and I had just cleaned all the gunk out of his eye for the 10th time. ;) I actually haven't seen a case this bad in quite a while. Amazing! At least it doesn't seem to really bug him much. With the flu going around like wildfire, I am grateful it is only pink eye.

What an amazing person...he will be missed.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, the oldest living apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died last night, December 2, 2008, age 91.

Elder Wirthlin had gone to bed at his Salt Lake City home, and died peacefully at about 11:30 pm of causes incident to age. His oldest daughter, Jane Wirthlin Parker, was present. A member of the family had been staying and caring for Elder Wirthlin, whose wife, Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin, died in 2006.

He had continued to work at his office right up until the Thanksgiving holiday.

To add my own note: I am soooo grateful we have the gospel and the plan of salvation where we KNOW that we will all be together again. Death is only a short period of separation before life everlasting with those we love.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Life is Good

First of all, I LOVE the song we have playing on the playlist right now. It totally reminds me of Christmas at home (in Idaho). I used to cry every time I heard it, but now I just love it so much and I cherish the memories it brings to me.
Actually, I love the first 5 or 6 songs on the playlist. So, turn up the volume and enjoy.

I woke up this morning to the BEAUTIFUL big snowflakes falling silently down all around us and thought to myself, life is good.
We have had such an awesome week, and a wonderful start to the holidays. The past few days I have been reflecting on the past few months of our lives, and I have just been so grateful for how many good things have happened. We have really had a lot of fun and have been so incredible blessed.
Because I am feeling so much joy and gratitude, I am going to list the things that have helped me feel this way lately. no particular order.

1. Our friend Ryan Dorman came to visit...we had a ton of fun! Ben and Ryan went camping in the snow, we had Ben's B-day party, we toured Colorado Springs, ate at Olive Garden, etc....

2. Ben's birthday and Birthday party. It was a blast having so many close friends and family in our home sharing in the celebration. Birthdays rock!

3. Visit from grandma JoJo. We LOVED having her here, and the time went by way to fast. We did so much. We went to the mountains, Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs, the Veterans Day Parade, ect. We were so sad to see her go.

4. Ben was accepted to Regis University and has been able to begin the MBA program. HUGE blessing for us.

5. The Valley of Fire Marathon!! All of it was awesome, the whole package. The training was so hard, but at the same time, I loved it and it was so rewarding. I actually miss it already. Because we have a dog, I am able to run outside here and I can't seem to get enough of it. The marathon was amazing, and we had great trip! I was able to complete the whole 26.2 miles of hills and I am way excited about my time. The kids were amazing in the car and we had some scenery that words will never be able to describe.

6. Hanging out with and making so many awesome friends here. I will never take friends for granted again. California was a little rough in that area, because of where we lived, and I have been more than blessed here with awesome pals.

7. We were able to get Chamonix neutered and also get his poor eye fixed. Once the "lamp shade" is off, he is going to be loving life. No more pain!!!! It has been so awesome to know that he came from such a horrible place and we have been able to cheer him up, fatten him up, muscle him up, fix him up , and love him so much.

8. Mary has been loving preschool and has been doing great. She has made good friends. She also is attending a really good gym for gymnastics and has shown some incredible natural talent. Her coaches are awesome. She is a different kid here and has become such a little sweetheart. It is great to see her so happy and content.

9. We are in a house, and one that we really like. We have a yard that the kids can play in. Appt. living is fine, but there is nothing like having a home. We will never take a home for granted..that's for sure.

10. We live next to so many Ski Resorts it is almost ridiculous. Ben is in heaven.

11. Our family was able to hike almost every weekend in the summer and into the fall. It was great. Ben and I also hiked Pikes Peak and accomplished a big goal of ours.

12. Dan and Kristin came to visit. We had a BLAST with them!!! Wow, it has been such an awesome week.

This weeks wonderful moments:
1. Dan and Kristin being here. They are great company.
2. laughing until it hurt
3. Crash and Burn....such a fun game!
4. Movies every night
5. Twilight....aaahhhh
6. Taking Mary and Sam to the mall to see cute!
7. The snow...I am truly so happy about having snow for Thanksgiving. It brings magic into the air and gets us all giddy for Christmas. We woke up to 6in. and it is STILL falling. yippee!! Church was canceled an hour early because of it.
8. Thanksgiving dinner..way way way too good. Making it with everyone was fun too.
9. The amazing apple, caramel, pecan, yummy goodness they call a pie
10. Shopping Black Friday...(it began at 4:30 a.m. and ended around 9:00p.m.)Kristin and I LOVED IT!! We had way too much fun. I got all of the Christmas and Birthday shopping done for the kids. We went to 10 stores that day, not kidding, and had a great time! I want to do it every year! (Kristin, that means you have to come back every year for it)
11. Costco...seriously, it can be a fun place
12. Decorating the house for Christmas while blasting Christmas music. (after Thanksgiving of course)
13. Getting the most beautiful Christmas tree ever and decorating it. Always a favorite for me.
14. lots and lots of pizza..good thing the marathon was less than a week ago.
15. The Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. It was so cute to see Mary do the kids race. The 5K was great! I ran the last 1/2 mile with the worst side ache of my life and still got a PR. I was happy about that. The money was well worth it (it was actually pretty cheap for a fun run), the run was a blast, and I LOVE the shirt.
16. Not waking up early to run, and not worrying about it. I LOVE the week after a marathon for that very reason. I really do love running, but the break feels so good.
17. I went with Ben to get one of my Christmas gifts and I am so excited about it I don't know if I can make it another month!
18. Looking forward to more good times and more good memories! We have Mary's Birthday party, her Birthday, school party, Christmas, going to Idaho to see family, our Anniversary, New Year's with family, and so much more. The anticipation is always just as good as the actual events. This should be another great month!

LET IT SNOW!!!!! (at the time I am typing this post, about 4 hours after the pictures were taken, there is approx. 9-10in. of snow, and it is still coming..yippee!)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful for.....Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Wow, what a wonderful experience to sit back and reflect on how many amazing blessings we have been given and how grateful and thankful we are for every single one of them. I love it when the dinner topic turns to, "So, what are you thankful for..." and we all go around talking about what are thankful for. It brings in such a positive spirit and I come away feeling so blessed. I guess I should do this every day, and man, I sure try, but it is always a little easier when there is a whole holiday dedicated to it.
We had a GREAT Thanksgiving here in our home. Dan and Kristen (Ben's bro. and his wife) are here with us, so we have been extra blessed. Love it!
We actually started the festivities last night. The four of us went to Twilight!! Thanks to Mike and Mel for watching the kids. We owe you one. ;) Wow, I want to see it again tonight, and tomorrow night, and the next and the next.....It was a good night.
Today started with the YMCA Turkey Trot. It was really fun! Mary did the kids run and she rocked the house. Go Mary! It was so cute! She had her big cheesy grin and her little legs were pumping as fast as they could. Priceless.
The kids run was followed by the 5K. There were over 1000 people there, so it was a riot! I was worried about my legs not being fully recovered from the marathon, but they toughed it out with me, and it was a really great run! It felt good to get out there and run after the big break I have had. The turkey trot was great! It will be a new tradition of ours for sure. Mike and Mel also ran the 5K. Go neighbors! It was great to see them there. Good times, good friends.
Ben and Sam were such a good sports to get up early, wait in the cold while we ran, and cheer us on. What good guys, I am so lucky.
After that, we came home and did the usual...make food, talk, eat the food, play games, check out all of the ads for tomorrow, sit around, watch a movie, ect. The best part of all though is that it SNOWED!!! Hooray! Perfect ending to the day if I say so myself.
Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. We sure had a great Thanksgiving, and really, we are just thankful for days like this.

p.s. Tomorrow will be my first experience shopping Black Friday. I have always wanted to do it. I LOVE holiday shopping. I am pretty excited! Kristen and I are all geared up and ready to go. We have our lists and our boxing gloves. 4:30 a.m. baby! Be there or be square!

The Good Neighbors...and of course, Good Friends.

It was very cold, poor Mary was freezing, but tried to smile.

(below)Mary and Mom after the Turkey Trot.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two of a Kind

Our dog, Chamonix, was neutered and also had surgery on his eye yesterday. The poor thing has to wear the "lamp shade" for 10 days!!!! Needless to say, he is pretty miserable.
I have also just been able to crawl out of my "recovery cave" from the marathon. It was so incredibly awesome, but I have been soooo exhausted and hungry (starving actually) and SORE!! I finally made it up the stairs without screaming yesterday. Yeah! Good thing since I signed up and paid for the Turkey Trot 5K that is tomorrow morning. Sometimes I wonder about myself and if my whole brain is functioning properly. ;) I should be ready though...I am feeling great today!
So, the dog and I are shuffling around and sleeping it off together. I guess you could say it is some sort of man/dog bonding.

p.s. I am going to see Twilight in a few hours,and I can hardly wait!!!! Ben, his brother Dan and his wife Kristen are coming as well. Ben is even saying he would like to see it! I am not forcing him in any way. What a guy!
So.....2 full hours of vampires, love triangles, warewolves, twisted plots and complete bliss coming up! Wahoo!

Those are not eyelashes....they are stitches.

The lamp shade.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


"Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you
become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall
one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you
shall at last unveil."--James Allen

What's up friends and family? This is Ben writing. We just got back from Beck's race today and it was a success! She did very well and we had an excellent and fun time. I'm going to tell you all a bit about it.

We rolled up to the event and there were probably 350 people (racers and spectators) waiting around for the race to begin. Becky had been a little nervous the previous two days but not this day: she had her game face on and was ready to rock. It was a very climactic moment for me because I've seen how dedicated and determined she's been to stomp this marathon and now it was time to roll. I'm very proud of her. The gun went off and as they started I noticed that the first part of the race was a monster hill that you would only want to run up if you were a maniac. I thought,"Oh, no big deal, all of these runners are maniacs. They'll be fine."

Two hours and 20 minutes later the kids and I drove out on the course (the road was not closed to drivers and the whole day there was a lot of traffic on the road, which I thought was not smart of whoever organized the event) and found Becky. She was at the 15 mile mark. It was very emotional for me to see her during her race. I pulled up next to her as she was running. She said,"This course is a beast. It's all uphill!!!" This course was re-routed from previous years because it was so hard and there was no data concerning it's nature. (found out later that it was only more difficult than in years past) I guess we all thought it'd be mostly flat with a little up and down like most marathons. After seeing her and whooping and hollering in her behalf, the kids and I volunteered for a little while by directing runners. You can see Mary in one of the pictures pointing in the direction that they needed to go. Apparently, some of the runners were going the wrong way. So good job Mary.

After doing this I drove the course and began seeing exactly what Beck was talking about. There were lots of hills. Just as an example, miles 16-20 were one big hill, the last part of which was very steep. I'm not joking. I began seeing people dropping out. I talked to some of them and they were saying that it was a ridiculous course. Many people were mad about it, actually. For a typical marathon, the winner will finish in about 2.5 hours, sometimes even faster. The winner of this race finished in three hours. That was a testament to it's difficulty. (2 miles downhill is difficult for me) To make a long story short, Becky did very well. She finished fourth in her age group (20-30 years old). She ran the last half of it with a gentlemen named Phil. This was Phil's 26th marathon and he had never not qualified for the Boston Marathon (3.5 hours for his age group). Becky finished with him. Even though they didn't qualify for Boston (this was not Beck's goal) they finished in great time considering how hard of a course it was. I'm proud of Becky for finishing the marathon. It was very emotional watching her struggle through the last stretch of the course passing through the finish line as fast as she could, knowing she had just done something so hard. Something she had worked so hard to do. I'm very proud of her for simply being happy with her results. There's nothing like preparing and training for something, doing it, and just accepting and being happy with what you brought to the table. Good job Becky! You are an inspiration to all of us!


AROUND MILE 15....headed uphill for the next 5 miles that ended with a mile and 1/2 so steep that people were walking up it backwards


3 MILES TO GO...Phil was running next to Becky, but he held back for the picture

More pictures..and some words

Hey all,
This is Becky. Isn't my husband so sweet! I have talked so much about the marathon since it ended, that I decided to let Ben post about it. Thanks Ben, you're hired. To sum it up from my point of was awesome....difficult...amazing....a the HARDEST marathon in the world! (and I can quote dozens people who said that it was the hardest one they have ever run, all of whom have run at LEAST 100 marathons, some even more than 200) Now that is saying something.
I had no idea, along with every single runner there, how incredibly hard the course was going to be. Words will never describe the amount of steep hills there were. Truly amazing. I stopped counting at steep hill #11.(and that was pretty early on in the race)
I found a running buddy early on (Phil), and we truly kept each other going. I was dang proud of myself. In any normal marathon, keeping up with him meant that I may have qualified for Boston or at least run a dang fast marathon...for me. Rock on!
I am soooooooo happy that I did the marathon, and in this case....I am so proud that I finished it.
Ben and the kids were so supportive and the thought of seeing them at the finish line helped keep me going. They were there waiting with balloons, roses and open arms. It was so sweet. Ben has really been a huge support and a trooper through all of this. He is great!
So basically...I went...I did...I conquered....we all truly had a great time and a really good trip (the kids were awesome in the car)....I can't wipe the smile and the relief off my face.....and yes, there are plans for marathon #4 in the future, St. George sound good to anyone????? ;)




GOTTA LOVE THE TAN LINES..but I did get my shoulders burned during the run, so it will all even out.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Than You Know

This REALLY touched me today. I needed it more than you know. Thanks gals.

The Calming

I am now in control of myself. Few! I did my last three runs,nice and easy and so relaxing. I just let my mind go. It felt so good and the calming effect they had did wonders for me.
I am going into the marathon now with solid confidence, a great background of very good training, a HUGE support group, a way cute new running top, and I am sooooooo excited!!! I truly can't wait to get out there, meet people, travel (I love to travel...even with kids!), celebrate all of the hard work, get a cool shirt and all sorts of free stuff, run a GORGEOUS course, be surrounded by people that have the same passion for running that I do, and just have a blast!!! It will be so much fun!!!
I do have a goal set for a time that I want to finish in, but I am not setting myself up for disappointment either. I know full well that anything can happen and my time could be ruined from something as simple as a stomach ache or a blister. I know what time I am capable of, and I have already proven to myself that I can do that through my long runs. So I guess deep down, I have already jumped that hurdle and I have nothing to prove. I just want to finish and have a blast doing it!
As far as there only being 127 people in the race....I am just fine with that now. It freaked me out at first, but now that I have had time to think about it, it makes me more excited. It will actually be fun to do something different, and I think it will feel a lot more personal. Kind of like a big family out there. I am hoping to make some good buddies during the race. I am anxious to meet my fellow runners and support group. People can get pretty close when doing something like this together. It is really neat.
Thanks to all of you who posted comments and who have helped me work through the gitters. And thanks to all of you for putting up with my endless talk about running, but that's what I do, so thats what I talk about. Makes sense to me! I have great friends and family!
So here it goes. I MADE IT!!!! Oh man, I can't wait. Valley of I come! WAHOO!

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Official Freak Out!!!!!

O.K., I know you all are so sick of hearing about running and the marathon, but it is a HUGE goal I have been working on forever, and something I have been working my tale end off for, so I guess I deserve to talk about it a little. I apologize. You can just skip this if you want to.
According to the timer on the right of the blog, there are four more days until "the day." We are leaving Thursday, so really, only 2 1/2 more days until we are on the road. Wow, it is finally here!
So far, I have been doing pretty well with all of the mental games and the nerves. The long runs are done, the training is basically done, and I am supposed to be resting up and carb. loading. Sounds easy..but resting before a marathon can do wonders on my mind. I freak out after one day of not running, not to mention several days of not running or just doing very short runs.
So, I got an email from the marathon committee on Saturday and there are only 127 people running the marathon!!!!!!! I literally got so incredibly nervous, I freaked out and had to run to the bathroom. My stomach went psycho for a while after that. 127 people, are they nuts! Who runs a marathon with only 127 people. I figured there would at least be 2000, if the marathon was small! There are people coming from 4 countries and 31 states. That is not comforting at all. They are probably all pro marathon runners coming from all over to leave me in their dust.
The St. George marathon had 6000 runners in it. The Top of Utah marathon had about 4000 runners in it. That is good....the odds of coming in last were much more slim. And I did fine, I came in somewhere in the front of the middle of those two. Much less scary. I wasn't freaked out by those numbers at all....I even made some friends during those races.
127 people in the Vegas Marathon!!!!! Holy Buckets!!!! (as my friend Jen would say) Words cannot describe how incredibly nerve wracking that is. Oh man, there goes my stomach again. I have been walking around all sorts of freaked out for a few days now. My mind has been going nuts and I am becoming some kind of crazy person.
I am going to go do an easy run today and try to calm down and get excited again. Oh man!!!!! Maybe I can find my lucky pants...yes, I am still searching and hoping.
Thank heavens for a husband who patiently listens to my freak out sessions and is CONSTANTLY reminding me of how hard I have trained, how prepared I truly am, how great he thinks I will do, how I haven't gained 10 pounds and lost all of my endurance and muscle build after not running for one day, and how everything will be great and fun, how they are not all pro runners coming to wipe me out, how my time will be just fine,yadda yadda yadda. Thank you so much Ben.
So the goal for now.....back to being excited and confident. When it really comes down to it, I really am excited, I am more than prepared, and I can't wait. After all...If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear, right?
Breathe in, Breathe out, Breathe in......

Friday, November 14, 2008

Shoes..or should I say...shoe

This is Sam
This is Sam wearing one shoe.
This is how Sam has been for a month or so now.
Sam kicks his shoe off at the store (about 50 times)
Sam kicks his shoe off in the car
Sam kicks his shoe off when being held
Sam kicks his shoe off at church
Mom puts Sam's shoe back on
Dad puts Sam's shoe back on
Mary puts Sam's shoe back on
Sam kicks shoe right back off
Sam only likes his left shoe
Silly Sammy