Saturday was quite the day at the Maynard household. If it was happening, we were involved in it, or so it seemed. It took some serious coordinating and planning to pull it all off, but pull it off we did, and what an incredible day we had.
My mom started running in December of this year. In just four short months, she has worked, pushed, endured, and given what it takes, to be ready to run her first half marathon at Thanksgiving Point! And to top it all of, the race was on her 55th Birthday! So amazing and so inspirational to me.
My sister-in-law, Nichole, also ran the half marathon. She is such a cutie! It was so fun to run with family.
We woke up at 5:00am to get ready, and at 6:00am, we stepped out into a snow storm and got in the car. We didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the snow. We all grabbed a few more layers and hoped for the best.
My brother Devin came with us, so that he could take care of Sam. Sam was a VERY good sport to wake up so early and trek out in the cold with us. And Devin was a Saint to do it as well.
(Me, mom and Nichole all pumped up before the big race!)
There is nothing quite like the energy at the starting line of a half or full marathon. It is so contagious and so fun! It is one of my favorite parts of running these races. It was cold, but everyone just had fun with it. The music was blasting, the balloons were everywhere, the booths were being set up, and so on. I loved watching my mom experience it all for her first time. Excitement, nerves, joy, worry, awe, ect.
They shot off the gun, and a miracle happened. I think it was a Birthday gift to my mom from the man upstairs. The clouds broke, and the sun came out. We ended up having a GORGEOUS run. It was the prettiest run I have ever done. We ran through the tulip festival, the gardens and around a golf course. We ran past waterfalls, under tunnels made from tree roots, past a carousel made from trees, through a rose garden, over bridges, etc. It was breathtaking at some points.
My mom did not stop once. She ran the entire race. We ran it side by side, step by step. And there is no way to really express the feeling of running through that finish line next to my mom. It is imprinted on my mind and in my memory and there it will remain as one of my most fond memories and tender moments of my life.
(the last push to the end)
(crossing the finish line)
(we did it!)
While we were busy running, and Devin was busy taking pictures, watching Sam, driving us, and navigating, there was a whole other event happening back at home.
Mary had her first official gymnastics meet! My sister Kelsey stayed home in order to help Mary get ready for the meet, and to help Ben with William at the meet, so he could video and take pictures.
My mom did Mary's hair the night before (they couldn't have ponytails at this meet because the floor routines hurt their heads when they do certain tricks, so she had to have braids). I can't braid well, and we would not be there in the morning to help Mary get ready, so my mom did it. We sprayed her hair until it was rock solid, and it didn't budge when she slept. They got to the meet on time, and were able to video, get pictures, and support Mary on her big day.
(Mary headed down the vault runway)
Mary did awesome! She has improved a ton since her last unofficial meet. She did her vault all by herself, she stayed on the beam and remembered the routine, she did her floor routine to the music on her own, and she completed her bar routine with a difficult dismount that she finally got this week!
Her whole team did really well and took first place!
(Her team on the podium. According to Ben, the place was packed and it was so hard to get pictures. It is blury, but at least it is something.)
Mary's personal all-around score was amazing, and we were shocked to learn that if she can do this at her next meet, and get just one more point, she could qualify for the state meet and possibly move up a level! (her age may hold her back from moving up a level this year)
After the race, our group went straight to the baseball field where Sam had his team pictures. Ben and his group went to get Ben a haircut.
Sam is in a shy phase right now, and does not do well with pictures. After 40 minutes of standing in freezing temperatures, I finally got him to at least wear the team hat (the shirt was out of the question) and kind of get an individual picture. It will be hilarious, because they snapped the picture as he was running from the camera man. I think he ran away too fast to get in the team picture as well, but maybe they got his arm or his leg in it. I can't wait to get the pictures, and I really can't wait to show them to Sam 10 years from now. So funny.
His first game is this week, and we are all excited. He loves baseball, and once he warms up, I think he will really enjoy it.
While Sam was getting (or not getting) his pictures done, Ben and crew arrived home, got Mary dressed up in her princess clothes, and took her to a Birthday Party.
When our group got home, Ben and his group were just getting home from taking Mary to the party. I said a quick hello to Ben as he was headed out to the gym. The rest of us showered, rested and relaxed until it was time to pick up Mary.
We picked her up on the way to Olive Garden, where we met up with Ben after his workout. We were all finally together and we ate and ate and ate. We were absolutely starving by this point. It was 4:00pm and it was my first time eating solid food the entire day.
After Olive Garden, we all hung out and digested, which was a lot of work considering how much food we took in.
Once there was room to spare, we pulled out the Cold Stone Raspberry Cheesecake ice cream cake, and celebrated my mom's Birthday. I will never be the same, that cake was unreal. If there is cake in heaven, that would be it.
The rest of the evening we just hung out and talked about the events of the day. We watched the video of Mary's gymnastics meet, looked at marathon pictures, and basked in the goodness of a day well spent.
Devin and Nichole left that night, and Kelsey and my mom left the next morning. Ben taught Gospel Doctrine at church, and as always, did a phenomenal job. I substituted for Sam's teacher and taught Sunbeams and then it was off to choir practice after church. I am learning to really enjoy playing the piano for the choir. I love the spirit that music brings. We had some good friends over Sunday evening for treats and we all hung out and had a great time talking and letting the kids play.
And here we are, at the beginning of another week. I am not sure how that happened, but the weekend is gone, and the memories are here to stay. Until next time...