My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

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

The Accident

I dropped Mary off at preschool at 11:45, just like any other preschool day. Around 1:00, I was home, getting Sam down for a nap when my phone rang. It was Mary's teacher. I immediately thought..."oh no, Mary fell of the monkey bars and broke her arm." All sorts of things ran though my mind when I answered. Her teacher told me that Mary had had an accident. Again, in my mind, I was thinking of all sorts of blood and broken bones.
Her teacher proceeded to tell me that Mary had wet her pants so badly that her shoes were even soaked!!!! I was so excited that Mary wasn't hurt, that I was almost glad to hear that she had only peed her pants...until the teacher further explained.
Mary always carries a change of clothes in her backpack (teachers orders to all the kids), but this day her show and tell was so big, she had to take the clothes out to fit her show and tell in. I figured it wasn't a big deal, because Mary hasn't had an "accident" in months! oops
The teacher told me that she gave Mary a change of clothes, but that Mary was in the bathroom crying and wouldn't come out. All of my relief that she wasn't hurt vanished, and I immediately wanted to get to my little sad girl. I felt so bad for her.
I grabbed some clothes and shoes for her and raced out the door. When I got to the preschool, I could hear Mary sniffling in the bathroom and my heart broke. I walked in there and there was Mary dressed in these HUGE poofy army pants, crazy yellow pannies and these clunker pink clogs that were three sizes too big for her feet. Her little eyes were all red and swollen and she looked at me and said. "My pants are way to poofy, and I don't match." I about bit my tongue off trying not to laugh.
She wasn't embarrassed that she had wet her pants....she was humiliated that she didn't match! HAHAHAHA Oh man, she is so dang cute.
I got her own clothes and shoes on her, and her kind teacher told the kids that Mary had just sat in water...and it ended well. We discovered that Mary wanted so desperately to finish her art project that she figured going to the bathroom could wait. Apparently, the bathroom couldn't wait. ;)
Mary went running back out to join the kids and all was forgotten.
Moments like these remind me how much my kids really do depend on me for support and emotional peace sometimes. It was a good reminder to me to make sure my kids can feel my love for them and to make sure I am the kind of mother that they can turn to for comfort and help. The relief in her eyes when she saw that I was there was priceless. I could tell that she knew everything would be o.k. I hope I can always be there for my kids and provide them the comfort they need when they are struggling, even if it is because they just don't match.


We are FINALLY having a decent snow storm!! I woke up this morning and I could smell it in the air before I even looked out the window. I am from Idaho, and I have learned to know if it is going to snow from the smell in the air. Yeah yeah, kinda nuts, but I have been right on for 6 years in a row. (The pictures don't really show it, but there is actually snow falling and blowing around in the air.)
One look out the window and I was all sorts of excited. Hooray!!! I grabbed the dog and my old running shoes (can't ruin the good ones) and took off into the white abyss. I was excited to introduce Chamonix, who is 1/2 husky, to the snow his ancestors grew up in. hahaha Kind of funny to think of a dog having ancestors. He sure loved it!! I let him pull me up the hills today( I rationalized by letting him know that he was born to pull in the snow, but really, it was a nice break for me) We had a lot of fun.
There is something about a run in the snow that is so amazing to me. I love it!!!!! Of course, my face was frozen, my feet were sliding all over the place on the hills, and I had snot shooting out everywhere...but it was soooo worth it. It is so refreshing to look out over everything covered with fresh snow and to have the silent snow falling all around me. AAAAGGGGHHHH Are you feeling it?????
The kids weren't old enough to remember the snow in Idaho, so they have had their little noses pressed against the window all morning. They think it is pretty cool.
We are off to the store in a few minutes to buy all sorts of snow clothes for the kids. I am sure it will all melt and it will be 60 degrees tomorrow,gggrrrrr, but we can always wish right. For now...we are absolutely loving it and soaking it all in. (no pun intended)
This snow storm is worthy of our cinnamon rolls we have every first snow fall. So, sounds like cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate, a movie and a fire tonight. (anyone is welcome to join us) Wish it was closer to Christmas and we would have the Christmas music blasting away!! Oh man, do we love this time of year. WAHOO!!!!!

p.s. Check out some of the recent quotes from our kids, on the right side of the blog. We had some good ones this past week.


Just wanted to say thanks to all of you who helped me out with some advise on what to do with the kids. I am excited to try them all out. We should be having some fun around here for a while. I knew I could count on you!!!
If any more of you out there have more ideas to add (including you ghost bloggers who don't comment, but check up on us) ...I am still open to more ideas. Your ideas benefit all of us who are reading your comments.
Thanks again all of you! You all rock!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Could Use Some Help...from you.

So...the days are getting colder and the nights are getting dark fast. I LOVE winter time, but I am running into a big problem. How do I entertain the kids!!!! A little snow would help, but I can't really control that. We are such an outside family, and now that we can't do a whole lot out there, I don't really know what to do. I could use some help/advise for sure!
I guess I am just not a creative mom, but I can't seem to find enough things to keep the kiddos busy. Mary has preschool 3 times a week and gymnastics two times a week. We go to the library, shopping, etc.
It just seems like there is SO much down time at our house and we are all walking around bored. Boredom leads to loneliness which leads to homesickness which leads to frustration which leads to all of us getting grumpy which leads to the whole house feeling down in the dumps. Not fun!
Mary has started watching WAY too many shows, but when I limit her, we have nothing to do. She is such an active girl...I hate to see her waisting her brain cells in front of the T.V. We read books a lot, but after about 10 books, I need a break. If any of you that live here ever want to let your kid come over....Mary would LOVE that!!!
What do all of you do? How do you entertain the kids that are home all day???? Any ideas of things that kids can do on their own so mom can have a break? I really really need some advise here. Help me out!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The light at the end of the tunnel

This week was the final week of my marathon training!!!! Words cannot describe how relieved I am, and how happy I am that I did it!!!! I did my last long run yesterday. (18 miles)
In a way, even though the marathon is yet to come, I feel like I have already conquered what I set out to do. I have trained to the point that I can run a marathon. My body is as ready as it possibly can be. The hardest part is over.
I survived the 10 week training program!!!! The program is 10 weeks long ,but before you start it, you have to be able to run at least 30 miles a week "comfortably." So in reality, it takes months and months. (for me anyway)

You may think that 10 weeks isn't very did I. This training program will make 10 weeks feel like 10 years. Let me explain....

Long runs...every single weekend. A long run is a run of 10 miles or longer...a lot longer.

Cold runs...running when it is literally FREEZING outside. Yes folks, I am talking ice here.

Early morning runs..... sometimes getting up as early as 5:15am.

Painful runs....I have run through sore muscles, horrible stomach aches, never ending steep hills, blazing heat and freezing cold, possible stress fracture, sore tendons, sore bones, etc.

Sad runs....I lost my favorite lucky pants, I have had to pee in a bush, I've been yanked all over by the dog (he actually sprained my fingers so badly that I couldn't straighten them for over a week), I have been peed on by the dog, almost hit by a car (twice), yelled at by a cross walk lady, and so much more.

Interesting runs....I have run next to a group of deer, I have watched a hot air balloon lift off, I have seen so many gorgeous sunrises, I have had a stranger race me, I have run in all kinds of weather, ect.

Tired runs....some mornings, I literally am not awake for the first few miles. I have had to drag myself out of bed and force myself to get my shoes on and go.

Exhaustion...Building miles for 10 solid weeks causes some serious exhaustion.

Mental weirdness....After every long run, I have so many brain farts it isn't even funny. I truly can't think straight.
One day I went to the bank after a long run, and I told the teller that Ben makes $600,000 a year, the guy behind me laughed pretty hard.
Another time I drove the wrong way on a one way road thingy and didn't know until I was staring into the face of the person in the car in front of me. I tried to back out and hit a sign. I had to do a 15 point turn to get out.
Another time I forgot about the clothes I had shed on the run for almost a week. When I remembered, I freaked out and then forgot again.
Another time I completely forgot my interview that was written on my hand and my calendar so I wouldn't forget. The stories go on forever.

Endless hunger....Never in my life have I had such a hard time getting full. I eat and eat and eat, and only feel full for about an hour. I have been hungry for almost 2 months now!!!!!!

So, needless to say, doing my final long run this weekend and completing the training was and is a HUGE deal to me. It is so mentally and physically challenging to keep going day after day with something like this. It is so amazing to know I did it! I feel such a weight lifted and I feel very ready to get out there out crank out the marathon. I truly have done my absolute best. Which brings me to a quote I love and have kept in mind when thinking of the marathon and the training.

"You know you have done your absolute best, when there is nothing left to fear."

The marathon is in less than two weeks...Nov. 22nd. The next two weeks are full of easy runs (nothing longer than 8 miles) and making sure my body and mind are ready to go. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!!

A Visit From JoJo

Early this past week, we got a call from Ben's mom....Grandma JoJo. She was coming to visit!!! Our little family has been sooooooo starved for family lately, so this came as a wonderful and very welcome surprise.
We had such an awesome week with JoJo and it went by too fast. We crammed everything in that we could.

Sam just stared at her and fell in love. He warmed up so fast! Mary grinned all week long and didn't leave grandma's side. Mary had so much fun with her, and for the first time ever, Mary cried when we had to say goodbye. She cried the whole way home. It about did us all in.
We had a lot of fun showing JoJo around. We drove up into the mountains, toured Manitou Springs (spelling?), went to the Veteran's Day Parade (so inspirational and amazing), checked out Black Forest and Monument, showed her Mary's preschool and gymnastics, watched a movie, went out to eat, and just had so much fun talking and hanging out.
Grandma JoJo left us with full hearts and uplifted spirits. She has a way of always making us feel so good and worth so much. It is so uplifting and refreshing to have her around. We love her! Come back soon JoJo!
We are soooo looking forward to the holidays and being able to have more family here and going to Idaho to see family as well. We truly can't wait!!!!!

Grandma JoJo and Mary playing "pirates"

Kids getting to ride on the Quarter machines in Manitou Springs...thanks to JoJo

JoJo is the hullahoop QUEEN!!!!

Veteran's Day amazing...really made us appreciate the sacrifices made for our freedom

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've been tagged...but this one is fun

Seven interesting things about me....I will try to get Ben to do this one as well. I don't like things that are all about me. Which brings me to the list.

In no particular order

#1. I am not shy, but I HATE HATE HATE being the center of attention! I do love to observe and be part of the group though. I am a people watcher. I would rather just not be there than be the center of attention. Birthday's were pretty rough for me as a kid. I have been dubbed as being shy because of this, but believe me, I'm not.

#2. It is sooooo hard for me to use something new. I have a fear, I guess, of stuff getting ruined. Or I just wait for the "right time." I have shirts in my closet that still have the tags. I think they are adorable, but I am too scared to wear them because I don't want to ruin them. I do the same thing with the kids new clothes. When I was young, I wouldn't take my toys out of the box after Christmas because I was afraid of breaking them or getting them dirty. Or I would set them all up and not touch them again, because I didn't want them to get messed up.
My sister who is 10 yrs younger than me had to actually play with some of my toys years later, because they were still so new. I do this with all sorts of stuff...running shoes, make-up, jewelry, home decor, the kids new toys, candles (very hard for me to burn them, because then they melt), etc.
Ben gave me a candy apple early last week, and I saved it until Sunday. I just didn't want to ruin it.

#3 I have a true blue though and through phobia of snakes. It is very real. I literally throw up and completely loose it when I see them. Yes, this has happened, and yes, I really do throw up. I have to pray every night not to have nightmares about them. I know, pretty silly. I have hopped out of my bed screaming several times in the past. I can hardly say the word without feeling really sick. There is a reason Satan is referred to as a snake. They should all just be banished.

#4 A lot of my friends here don't know this one. I don't tell people this at first because I automatically get judged. They know me well enough now though, so....
I was a cheerleader for 5 years. Disclaimer: I was not a cheerleader that just hopped around in a fancy skirt and acted like a dork. We worked our buns off and practiced twice or more a day. Even on game day. Sometimes we even practiced during lunch. We lifted weights, worked out and had gymnastics classes. We were even on ESPN for a National Competition in Disney World!!! We took second at Nationals in Disney Land my senior year. It rocked!!!! This one is pretty funny after reading #1, but #1 is still VERY true.

#5 The days I run, I am WAY more picky about what I eat. The days I don't run, I don't think twice about what I eat. Kind of reversed don't you think. Shouldn't you feel better eating on the days you burn the calories? Oh yeah, something else interesting that has to do with running. I ran the Top of Utah marathon with a piece of a guys knee bone in my pocket. I watched his surgery as part of a nursing class, (thats where I got the bone particle) and I felt bad for him because he would never run again. So, he let me run for him, as long as I took his knee along for the ride.

#6 I LOVE murder mystery books. Something about them is just so entertaining to me. I also love shows with a similar plot. 24 is by far my most favorite show ever!

#7 One of my favorite snacks is Reduced Fat Wheat Thins with Marshmallows. You have to make it like a mini sandwich with the mallow in the middle. I got all of my roommates hooked on this at BYU-I. Try it.

So there you go. I don't like to tag people, but if you want to do this one, it is fun for others to read. Good way to get to know people. So're it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Through The Grace of God

Our family had quite the scare today to say the least. It is only through the hand of God that we are all safe and sound tonight.
It is Nov. 1 and in the 70's so we decided to go on a hike. Gorgeous day!!! It started out great. We went with some fun friends and had a good time. They had to turn around at a point in order to get back for something, and we continued on.
It was approx. an 8 mile hike. We were about 3 miles into it when we got to the top of a ridge out in a clearing. The path forked so we were stopped trying to figure out which way to go.
There is a shooting range less than a mile from the hike, and we could hear the guns the whole time. No big deal, they shoot in the other direction and there were a lot of people on the trail. Nothing new.
As Ben was checking out one trail, I was looking at the other. Sam was on my back in the pack and I was holding Mary's hand. I had the feeling to move in closer to Ben. I didn't really listen. Then the feeling came again. I figured it was because I was in the sun and Ben was in the shade. Maybe I just needed some shade.
I took a few steps closer to Ben just as a bullet shot right past our heads, coming from the direction I had been standing only seconds earlier. It was so close to our heads that we could hear the bullet whistle as it went past our ears. Not kidding.
Had the bullet hit any of us in the head, it would have killed us instantly. Not a chance of survival. And we had been standing right there out in the open...easy targets.
We hit the ground and crept out to where we knew we were safe. It REALLY shook us up. Our lives could have been taken at that very moment, when we were least expecting it. As soon as we knew we were safe, and a little more calm, we immediately prayed. We thanked the Lord for literally guiding us out of harms way and for protecting and preserving our little family. We also thanked Him that our friends had turned back and were not present at that time. With more people there, it would have been an even bigger chance that someone could have been hit. We know that it was only through the grace of God that one of us wasn't killed in that spot today.
Needless to say, we hiked right back to the car and came home. Our hiking excitement was gone. We were totally shocked and so grateful that we were taken care of today.

Halloween night...go time!

We had originally planned on staying home halloween night and sticking to some of our fun little halloween traditions we do every year, but the beck and call of a night full of friends and fun took over. So, I put the candy bucket on the porch and hoped it would be there when we returned, (something I swore I would never do) and we headed out the door to a great halloween party.
We had a yummy dinner with great friends, some costume prep and then out the door went the kids and the dads.....hooray, time to chill with the ladies for some girl time (so rare, and so needed)!
NOT....five minutes into the girl time, just as the hidden cheesecake was pulled out of the fridge, in walks Ben with a teary eyed Mary.
Mary would not trick or treat without me. So, I bid my friends a farewell and headed out into the night with Mary. (I admit, I was quite miffed)
After a few houses of trick or treating, and finding her friend Kate to be with, she was totally fine. She and Kate raced from house to house, it was really cute. I just walked behind them, getting over the rage of not having any time to just hang out with the girls. I did get over it after seeing Mary's happy little face and full candy bucket. Precious.
We all ended the trick or treating experience with smiles on our faces. I am sure I will soon long for the moments when Mary just wants her mommy. Next time, I will not be so quick to anger.
My kind friends saved some cheesecake for me, and it was soooo good, so I guess all was not lost. ;) We continued to talk and hang out with everyone while the kids watched a show and played with toys. The night ended great, and it was a successful Halloween. We went home happy and again realizing how blessed we are to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. So fun!!!!

The "gang" all ready to go fill their buckets to the top!