My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The harder you work the harder it is to surrender. ~ Vince Lombardi

Oh, how these words are ringing through my head right now.

One year of hard running.

Four months of serious marathon training.

One half marathon.

One Full Marathon.

Cross training..serious, hard, cross training.

Muscle building.

A big, hard, long, rewarding, and awesome journey that I have planned on continuing through the summer.

And now, I have to let it go, for a season.

The harder you work the harder it is to surrender. And yes, it is H-A-R-D.

I am dying inside right now. Not because I love running, and I have to stop. Oh no, there is so much more than that. The time, the dedication, the hard work, the mental work, the miles, and the journey. I have worked SO HARD to get to where I am right now. I had planned on blasting out the summer with some fun races and half marathons. I have been so excited. But, that is not going to happen, and I am trying to grasp it, and I am not doing well at it so far. Nope, not at all.

I just got back from the Orthopedic Surgeon. Here is my facebook status about it. I don't feel like ellaborating.

"verdict: stress fracture and severe tendonitis across the top of my foot. Dr. wanted to put me in a hard cast with crutches for six weeks, but after a lot of blubbering from me, we met in the middle and I am in a walking boot for at least a month. It isn't the end of the world, but right now, it feels like it. Bad day."

So, here I am. Me and my boot. It feels more like a ball and chain.

If all goes really well, best case scenerio, I will be running again in about 5 weeks. 5 weeks, just enough time to loose what I have worked so hard to gain. ugh.

In reality, and following what normally happens, it could be longer.

Worst case scenerio, the boot doesn't help, and I get the cast. But we won't go there.

As soon as I get over my pity party, and pick my sorry self up off this chair, I will make a game plan with swimming and biking. At least I got the ok for those.

ugh, ugh, ugh.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chalk It Up To Summer!

Summer has begun! So far, this summer has been FULL of events, visitors, visiting, and friends. It has been wonderful!

The past 9 weekends for us have been planned and full. Although it has been a blast, the rest days in between are welcome also. The balance is nice.

We have had the Thanksgiving Point 1/2 marathon and my moms Birthday, three gymnastics meets, the State gymnstaics meet, a 5 day visit to Pocatello, three dinners with Ben's relatives, a family reunion, mine and Williams Birthday, the Utah Valley Marathon, a visit from Ben's brother Wes and his family, a visit from Ben's dad, ward dinner group, t-ball games, a gymnastics recital, last day of school stuff, preschool graduation, trips to the splash park with friends, lots of trips to the park directly behind our house, and lots of sprinklers, and so on.

The next few weeks will be great as well. The 4th of July weekend in Pocatello (lots of waterskiing and fireworks), a visit from Ben's brother Dan, and his family, a weekend get-away with Ben to Lagoon (one of my Birthday presents), and a week long vacation with my whole family at a cabin on Payette Lake. There is also the Moonlight Half Marathon with about 5 other friends, Mary starts 1st Grade somewhere in there, and Mary and Sam have swimming lessons somewhere in July as well.

I don't mind busy, when it is fun busy. I wouldn't have our summer any other way.
Aside from the big events, there have been a lot of fun little events here in our neighborhood as well. Our ward family is wonderful, and we have made some great friends. It feels good to love and be loved. We are surrounded by some really neat people. Very genuine and down to earth.

This morning a bunch of us from the neighborhood got together for our very own chalk festival! Thank you Sheri! It was such a fun summer idea.
We have a really nice path that runs along our neighborhood,

(our house is the one on the far left..with the garage door open)

so we decided that each family could have 6 feet of the path to make their chalk drawings. There were about 15 families.

There was an awards ceremony and popsicles at the end.
The kids had a great time! William crawled all over everything, and ended up covered with chalk from head to toe. He did his fair share of walking as well. He is about 50/50 right now with walking and crawling.

Mary decided to do a beach theme, so we all went along with it.

Sam added a spider, a second sun, and a jellyfish.

The kids won the "fun in the sun" award.

All in all, it was a great summer morning activity, and a really fun way to be with all of our friends and have a good time.
We sure love summer and this neighborhood of ours!

p.s. Speaking of "summer," I thought it would be interesting to add that Ben is STILL snow skiing! One of the resorts is open until the 4th of July! This weekend he will snow ski on Friday and waterski on Saturday. Crazy huh! He is in snow skiing paradise, to say the least. ;)

oh, and one more thing..I am getting my foot looked at by a physical therapist in our ward. I am headed there in about 30 minutes. She is guessing it is a stress fracture, but she is going to check out the tendons as well. Depeding on what she thinks, I will probably go to an orthopedic surgeon soon. I am trying not to dwell on it, because it can get me really upset, and I am staying positive that it is a tendon and that I can heal it up in time for the next few races. Until then, I might just get really into swimming and biking!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Little Overwhelmed

I just got back from a great trip to Pocatello. It was supposed to be a weekend trip for Father's Day, but Ben had a business trip the following week, so the kids and I decided to stay for about a week.

It was full of goofy fun, great food, trips to the mall, a new purse, a feather in Mary's hair (hahaha, but really, she does have one), lots of playing outside, going to the gym, movies, and just some good ol' family fun.

I always take a nice breath of fresh air when I go home. It is so nice to not worry about all of the household stuff and busy schedules. It is great to be in my childhood home. I was all sorts of relaxed.

And then I came home.

And now I am overwhelmed.

I kind of forgot that our sprinkler system is broken, and now the grass is crunchy and we are in a bind.

I kind of forgot that we didn't mow the lawn last weekend, and it looks like a jungle out there.

I kind of forgot that we have company coming tomorrow and we have no food in our house, and the guest room needs to be cleaned. Actually, the house needs to be cleaned.

I kind of forgot that I am teaching piano lessons today.

I kind of forgot that Saturday is Mary's gymnastics recital, dinner group, Sam's t-ball banquet and the day we were supposed to go to the temple.

I kind of forgot that the choir is performing Sunday, and I am accompanying them. We are also supposed to be having dinner with one of Ben's relatives..I think.

I kind of forgot that our car is in the shop, so I can't run the millions of errands I have to do today until Ben gets home.

I kind of forgot that we turned our air off, so the house was 86 degrees when we got home at midnight, and we all boiled all night.

I kind of forgot that there is a ton of laundry waiting for me.

And to top it all off, I am pretty sure I have a horrible case of tendonitis in my foot or possibly a stress fracture. I am in a lot of pain, but I am terrified to go to the doctor. I don't want my foot to be put in any kind of restraint. I honestly don't think I could do it. That may seem trivial to some people, but to me, it is absolutely heartbreaking, and so, so, so discouraging. It isn't fun to think that 10 months of training and working your butt off, could be pretty much ruined. On a positive note, I am so very grateful that this is happening AFTER the marathon. I will be very sad to miss the half marathon coming up, but not nearly as heartbroken as I would have been if I had to miss the full marathon. I am still pretty bummed though, and praying that my foot will get better on its own.

Needless to say, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and kind of gloomy today.

On the bright blog book came today! Every year on my Birthday I make a book of all of our blog posts from the past year. I can't wait to look through it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

State Meet!

Mary's State Gymnastics Meet was this past weekend. Mary has been looking forward to it for a while now. My mom and sister decided to come down for it, and we were so happy they did. It made it all the more special and exciting.

It was held at Salt Lake Community College. It was so cool! When we walked in the door, Mary took one look at all of it and said, "whoa." It looked so professional and yes, a little intimidating.

The opening ceremony. Mary's team is in the purple.

The "solute." This made me crack up.

The whole thing was done really well. They made it fun and tried not to make it too scary. It was great.

We had to be there EARLY. Warm ups were at 7:30am, the meet started at 8. Mary did a great job and so did the team. They were a little tired and sluggy, but they pulled through and did so well!

It was a first for a lot of girls, and the judges were very considerate and kind. It really helped those, like Mary, who are new to the whole thing.

Vault: Mary got her high score here, which is hilarious, because it is her least favorite. She got an 8.9 and a 9.0!

Beam: She actually likes this event, and has a very pretty way of doing the routine.

Floor: She had to work so hard to learn the routine in such a short amount of time, and then 1/2 way through the season, they changed the music. She learned it though, and this has been a strong event for her.

Bars: By far her favorite event, and her best event. She is very strong!

They decided that for the level three girls, they would not have any top placing. Everyone got a gold or silver medal depending on your overall score. I was so glad they did this. That way all of the girls felt great and came home with something. Such a smart thing to do for their first introduction into competing.

We especially loved it, because they don't have age groups at the meets, and Mary is so young, it can be hard competing with girls two and three years older than you. Mary did great, and came away feeling like a star.

We are so proud of her for competing this season, and for holding her own even though she is young and she only had four months to learn everything for the competitions. (normally you have at least a year) She is still very innocent and does not worry at all about her score, or anything like that. She does very well and takes it seriously, but not to the point where she is stressed. She just does her best and likes getting her pretty leotards. It makes her all the more fun to watch. She is just out there to have a good time, and you can tell.

This paper says she qualified for the Junior Olympic Level State Meet Championships.

I decided to miss the Ragnar Relay that I was signed up to do this weekend, in order to go to this meet. I was pretty bummed to miss the Relay, and I know it would have been an absolute blast, but once we stepped into that gym and watched Mary's eyes light up, I knew that I wouldn't trade that for anything. It was a sacrifice that I was willing to make and would do again in a heartbeat.

She will stay in level three for the next few months. Her skill level is fine, but the coach wants to build her showmanship and confidence. (something that will come with age) Once that is done, she will go on to level 4, probably in the fall. It will be a BIG step, because level four is getting down and dirty. That is where you know if you will stay in the sport or not. It is more intense, to say the least. We are excited to see what the future holds for her. Either way, she has a great base for whatever she decides to do.

Mary and her coach, Kristy. She is an OUTSTANDING coach! Truly phenominal.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Marathon Story

I am doing this for journaling purposes, and because a lot of people have been asking me about the marathon. Thanks for the support everyone! It really means a lot to know people care. It was a big deal to me, and it is so cool to know that I have a good support group.

So, while it is fresh in my mind, here it is!

We drove to Provo on Friday, June 10th for packet pickup. There was also an expo there with booths and all sorts of running stuff. It gave me all sorts of butterflies in my stomach. I LOVE the bag they gave us. So cute!

The shirts are awesome as well. It is my favorite race shirt so far.

The front says "Utah Valley Marathon."

After the expo, it was off to Olive Garden. We waited FOREVER, but the food was great, as always, and we left satisfied and I left full of carbs to use for the race.

Then it was off to my Aunt Pats house for some sleep....not. I was so worried about sleeping in, and I was so nervous as well. I tossed and turned ALL night. In reality it was only for about three hours because I had to get up at 2:45am, and we got to bed at 11pm.

My worst fear happened, and somehow my alarm did not go off. I just happened to look at the clock at one point, and it was 3:05am!!! My cousin was coming to pick me up in 10 minutes. I literally ran out of bed and threw on my running clothes. Thank goodness my marathon bag was all ready. I did my hair in literally 30 seconds, said a prayer, and tried to choke down some food (didn't happen) and hopped in the car that had just pulled up to get me. I was shaking all over by the time I got in the car. It took me a while to calm down and get in a groove. It was SO nice to be with my cousin Lori and her friend. I hate being alone at these things. It is so nice to have someone to talk to and to be with.

The van picked us up around 3:30am and drove us up to the starting line. We lucked out with the van. Most of the runners rode busses. I thought the race started at 7:00, and found out in the bus, that it started at 6:00. I borrowed someones phone to text Ben that it started an hour earlier. A few minutes later, the phone no longer had reception. I am pretty sure the Lord was taking care of me. Without that text, Ben would have not been there at the finish line on time.

We got to the starting line around 4:00am, and the waiting began. They had barrels set up with fire in them, but we FROZE! The fires were basically just embers, and they weren't very warm. We were up in the mountains at 4:00am, and it was so cold you could see your own breath. I was shivering for a long time, and I was worried because of the energy that the shivering was taking. People started pulling sage brush to add to their fires to make them warmer. Some guy found some wood to add to our fire, and it helped so much. I sat down right next to the barrel, and tried to stop shivering. I set there for the next hour and 1/2.

With a few minutes to go, I filled my pockets with energy bites, hooked up my i-pod, took my running pants off, stuffed them in my bag and threw it into the truck that would take our bags back to the finish line for us. I thought I would freeze in my shorts, but I was so nervous, I didn't even notice.

After a long wait, we made our way to the starting line. I found my mental place and forced myself to stay there. I found my pacer right before the gun went off. He gave us (the six of us) a little pep talk and also said that he would not stop at all, so if we needed to go to the bathroom, we should get ahead of him. He also said that he would run the same pace the whole time, whether we were running up hill or down hill. He was the pacer for the Boston Marathon Qualifying group, for my gender and age division. (no, I would not run in Boston if I qualified, I just wanted to see if I was even close to being able to qualify..just for fun) His finishing time was going to be 3 hours 40 min. A HUGE stretch for me, (the closest I have ever come to that in a marathon was 4 hours 3 minutes),but I decided to at least try. My real goal was to beat 4 hours, which is still very hard to do. Boston was a reach for the stars, but why not try, right?

The gun went off, I cranked up my music, and started running. Of course, there were a little more than 1600 people, so it was tight quarters for a while. My height does not help when this happens and I got squished back from my pacer. Luckily, he holds up a sign the whole time, so after a few minutes I found him. On the down hill, I booked it, passed my pacer, and got as far ahead of him as possible. I really wanted to have some time in case I had to stop or something.

The run went through Provo canyon, and it was gorgeous! It was a very scenic route. I shed my long sleeve shirt around mile three and tied it around my waist where it stayed for the rest of the run.

I felt great for the first 10 miles. I was ahead of my pacer, I felt fine, and I was running about 8 min. 30 sec. miles. I would haul down the hills and try to keep a good pace up the big hills.

I made sure to drink at EVERY aid station. At the first one, I tried to run and drink. That is why I have purple poweraid all over my tank top. It literally went all over my face!! oops

Around mile 12 my stomach started going nuts. Not good. I knew it would happen though, and I was well ahead of the pacer. I hung on until the mile 15 aid station. To my horror, there was a line for the bathrooms, and whoever was in them, was taking a long time. I watched my pacer slowly getting closer. I wanted to try to go two more miles to the next aid station, but my stomach was hurting so badly that I was hunched over. And there I waited. And then, my pacer ran by us, and my heart sank. When I finally got into the bathroom, he was about a few minutes ahead of me. When I came out, I knew it was hopeless.

You don't sprint for a mile in the middle of a marathon, unless you want do absoultely die a few miles later. In my case, that is what I would have to do to catch the pacer. And the next mile was up a big hill. I started running, and then I started having my pity party. I cried. And I cried some more. I was getting all upset, when I fellow runner asked me if I was ok. I told him that I lost my pacer because of the bathroom line. He told me some things that made me feel so much better. He helped me to see how fast I really was running the marathon, and how amazing it was for someone my height and gender, to be running so fast. He told me to be proud of what I was doing, and to stop boobing about what was lost. "Boston Schmosten," he said. I don't quite feel like THAT, but he did give me the proper perspective.

After that I put my chin up, and took off. After all, my goal of beating 4 hours was not lost, and was still something to be very proud of. I put my mind toward that, and went for it. There were four or five big hills, but aside from them, it was a really nice route. In fact, it was my favorite marathon route up to this point.

I hit the wall when we came out of the canyon at mile 19 and headed down University Ave. toward the finish line 7 miles away. I crashed hard! All I wanted to do was lay down on the road and go to sleep. I wanted to do anything except keep on running. My legs were burning and cramping, my lungs were on fire and I was completely exhausted physically and mentally. I have been here before. The other three marathons were the same. Big, giant wall at mile 19. I am not a big cryer normally, but for whatever reason, running marathons makes me cry. I guess I don't cry, but I weap. I don't have the energy to waste on a full blown cry. I was teary eyed from mile 19 to the end. I was just in so much pain, and I was so tired. It is so incredibly hard to keep on running. Mentally and physically, I was in pain. I just kept on thinking about Ben waiting for me at the finish line with open arms. I thought about what he would be saying to me if he were next to me. I also thought about some texts and phone calls from friends and family before the race. The support helps so much, and it kept me going.

At the aid station, I grabbed a GU. I cannot stand those things. I avoid them like the plague, but I was desperate for any energy I could possibly get. I squoze the whole thing into my mouth, and swalled it all down with a powerade, trying not to taste it or feel it. I gagged, but I didn't care anymore. I was desperate for anything.

Then I kept on running. A few minutes later, I got a huge burst of energy. It was awesome! I began to think that I might just live to see the finish line after all. A mile and 1.2 later, I crashed again.

This happened for the remainder of the race. Every two miles (at the aid stations) I would eat a GU and/or a banana chunk. I would get energy for the next mile, suffer horribly the next mile, then start over again.

I had to remind myself over and over and over again, that I had worked to hard to hit my goal and that the only way to do it was to keep on running, and to keep a good pace. I would stare at the ground, think about Ben at the finish line with open arms, kind of go numb, and just keep running.

The last 4 miles are really cool, because there are people everywhere cheering you on. It is really neat. There were also a few mist spray things to run through, which felt wonderful! One lady in the crowd had a squirt bottle and squirted our faces. It was heavenly! There was a band playing music, kids giving us fives as we ran by and lots of signs, people and noise.

I let myself walk once every mile for the last four miles, for about 15-20 seconds. I made myself speed walk, but at least it was some sort of break from running. With two miles left though, the walking time went down to about 10 seconds.

I saw the finish line two miles ahead, and it looked like it might as well be on the moon. It seemed so far away. It was seriously taking every ounce of everything I had to keep on running.

The last mile was surreal. I was pretty much in zombie mode. I looked for my family, but there were people everywhere, and I didn't have the energy to look very hard. Between the full marathon, 1/2 marathon, and 10K, there were 6000+ runners there and their families. I saw a clock at a bank that said 9:55am. I couldn't believe it! I was going to beat 4 hours! It gave me a huge burst, and I ran as fast as I could (which was probably pathetic at that point) to the finish line. I looked up and saw the finish line clock which said 3:55:02, and my heart soared!

I thought I would burst with excitement. I did it!!!! I was so happy. The finish line was awesome. It opened up into an area for the runners, that had bananas, oranges, water, powerade, massage tents, first aid, our bags, pizza, smoothies, ice cream bars, ect. I just kept on walking in circles. My legs hurt so badly, and I knew if I stopped moving, they would cramp to the point of no return. I paced around and around until I finally saw Ben and the kids.

It was so great to get a big Ben hug. It made everything complete. He has been my number 1 fan, and I could see his pure happiness for me. It meant the world to me. The kids weren't to thrilled about being in the middle of so many people so early in the morning, but they gave me hugs too. We talked for a while, watched more runners come in, and just hung out for a while. I got my bag, drank some water, we let the kids play in the bounce houses they had set up, and then we finally headed home.

I got really sick right when we got home, and I couldn't keep anything in my stomach. Which wasn't too crazy, because I had nothing in my stomach anyway. Whatever was in there though, didn't stay long.

We ran some errands in the evening, and then crashed.

Of course, I am incredibly sore today. I can't walk normal, and I literally go up and down stairs sideways. My lungs are VERY sore as well. Suprisingly though, I am still not very hungry. My stomach has been really sensitive.

I am so happy though!!! I am really, really, really excited about completing the marathon, and about my time. For me, that is the best time I think I am capable of. I feel like I ran the marathon my absolute hardest. And that is a great feeling.

Someone told me to shave off the 5 minutes of bathroom waiting time and to just say my time was 3hours 50 sec. That sounds even cooler to me, because it is only 10 mintes from Boston Qualifying time! I actually had a shot at it! I can't believe it. It wasn't such a long shot after all. I am thrilled to have gotten that close, that is a great suprise to me.

So here are the stats.

Time: 3 hrs 55 min. or 3 hr. 50 min. if you take off 5 min. for waiting in a bathroom line.

Half marathon time (my time at mile 13.2) 1 hour 44 minutes

Overall placing. 579 out of 1635 runners (top 35%)

Age group placing: 31 out of 122 (top 25%)

Average mile split time 8min 40 sec. I ran the first half at about and 8 min. 25 sec. mile. The second half was slower after I hit the wall.

And to answer the next queston. Will I run another marathon.
The answer...I don't know.

I feel like I ran this one as hard as I could. I am so incredibly happy with my time. It may be slow to some, fast to others, but to me, I am thrilled!!!! I know that I probably won't be able to run another marathon any faster than this. It would be a great one to end on.


I know me, and I know that I may just get the desire to do another one of these someday. Something about the lure of the challenge to beat myself.

Oh, and yes, I do plan on running a 1/2 marathon in a couple of months. I want to see how fast I can run one. The one I did a few months ago was so much fun! It is a great distance, and I can see myself having a lot of fun running more of those.

Ben and I also plan on getting into those mini-triathalons. They are a great all-around sport.

Right now though, I am going to rest. I am going to enjoy a hard earned week of R&R and heal up my sore lungs and legs. I week of rest sounds like pure bliss to me!

I did it. I trained my butt off. I ran my hardest. I gave it my all. I beat my goal time, and I got closer to Boston that I thought was possible. I am so happy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Feelings I Feel I am Feeling.

The marathon is less than two days away. Less than two days!
The long runs are done.
The short runs are done.
Any kind of running is done, the next two days are rest days.
Or as I like to call them, Becky goes psycho from sitting around, stuffing in carbs and being nervous phase.
It is quite fun...for everyone.

It is all mental from here. And a little bit of physical I guess, because nutrition is key right now.

This part of the preparation, for me, is pretty interesting. It is a game. A big, huge, whacked out, jumbled, mental game full of bagels, crackers, rest and nerves. And it is hard, but also cool.

Hard, because just sitting here doing nothing is against everything I want to do when I am nervous.

Cool, because I know that right now, at this very moment in time, I am in the best shape I could possibly be in, and I am as prepared as I can possibly be. I am at the peak condition I need to be in to run a marathon. This is a phase that I cannot stay in very long. Maybe a month at the most. So I try to enjoy it.

I will spend today and tomorrow resting my legs as much as possible, taking Aleve to get any inflammation down, and carb loading. Not junk food loading, but carb loading. There is a difference, unfortunately. ;)

Tomorrow the games begin, and I am so excited!! We drive to Provo when Ben gets off work and pick up my race packet. This is actually an event. They have a HUGE running expo in the hotel with booths and all sorts of cool stuff for runners. They had one at the Saint George Marathon and it was so awesome. It gets me all excited and pumped up to be there with so many runners (approx 8000 of them between the full and half marathons). It really helps me mentally get in the groove and get where I need to be. Nothing like a bunch of runners, talking about running, learning about running, looking at booths about running, buying clothes for running, and sharing running advice and stories, to get you all pumped up for a marathon!

To us, it is super cool, to everyone else, it is probably like watching a bunch of over carbed, pent up energized lemmings getting all excited and pumped up before their big jump off the cliff.

After the expo, we are eating at Olive Garden for one final carb load. I am hoping to meet my cousin and my friend Trudy there. Olive Garden has proven to work like a gem in the past, so I am hoping it will follow through this time for me. We will see around mile 10. My stomach seems to have a relationship with the porta potty at mile 10.

Then it is off to my Aunts house and an early bed time. Um, maybe for my family. I am pretty sure I won't be able to sleep.

The morning starts at 3:00am, (no, that is not a typo, 3:00am really does exist, and yes, I really am getting up at that time) and it is off to the buses! My cousin is running the marathon as well, so I will be able to ride to the hotel with her, where the busses will take us to the starting line. This is a big deal to me. I have been dreading riding the bus alone and being alone at the starting line. It will be awesome to be with someone! The last bus leaves at 4:15 am. Rock on!

I am feeling about every feeling possible right now,

but I have an underlying feeling of peace and calm. I attribute that to all of the prayers I have been sending upstairs.

I am trying to stay busy (but not too busy, because my legs have to rest), and keep my mind occupied. For me, that combination is so foreign. The more anxious I am about something, the more I move. I am one of those people that walks laps around the house while talking on the phone, I fidget in my chair at church or school, I am always tapping my foot or moving some part of my body, and my mind does not shut down easily. I am not nervous all the time, I just like to be moving I guess. I am the kind of person that drives calm people crazy.

There may be a lot of blog posts coming your way. Just take it with a grain of salt, and laugh at me as I try to occupy myself without moving too much. Maybe it will be a good time to finish up my blog book for this year.

Anyway, any prayers sent my way Saturday morning would be greatly appreciated and felt for sure! I am off to eat a bagel with peanut butter.


He Graduates!

Preschool co-ops are an interesting thing. They have lots of perks. They are free, aside from a few dollars for supplies, they are with people you know, they are normally in the neighborhood, and you have control over the schedule.

Along with the perks, whether people admit it or not, it can be challenging. Lots of kids in your home, some willing to learn, some not, a lot of chaos, some moments of fun, and quite a bit of stress. Add a baby in the mix, and it gets really challenging.

The one week of stress is worth it though, because then you have 5 weeks off. Or is it???

The one reason it was worth it to me this time around...Sam LOVED it!
He had a great introduction to what school is all about, and he enjoyed it.

The kids were all really good kids. Naturally, the girls were more ahead of the boys, and more willing to participate and listen, but Sam and Landon (his "best friend in the world") did really well.

Sam went from scribbling all over the paper, to actually drawing people and things! I was so excited to see his first real picture. He also has learned how to write his name. That is a big step too.

I have discovered lately that Sam is incredibly creative. He has gotten really into blocks, and I cannot believe the things he can build! His mind and body are maturing really fast right now, and he is making the change from little kid, to big boy right before our eyes. He has changed a lot since the move, and out of everyone in our family, the move to Utah has made the biggest difference for good with Sam. He is thriving and happy and growing and maturing. It is a good set up for him.

This was the third co-op I have done. I did two for Mary, and have done this one with Sam. As cool as they are, Sam will do preschool next year over at the new Herriman High School. I admire all of the amazing women that can do preschool in their homes, and someday (when I don't have a baby in the house) I may give it a shot, but for now, preschool in our home needs to wait. The High School has a great program over there, and after visiting it once, Sam asks me every day when he can start. They are very organized, the classroom is adorable and really fun, and the curriculum is great. Landon will be doing it with him as well, so that is the icing on the cake. Everyone is happy!

Here is our group from Sam's preschool this year. They are an adorable group of kids! This is at the graduation.

Lauren Schmidt, Skylar Case, Ember Dressen, Annika Miller, Landon Serdar, and my Sammy boy.

Sam thought his diploma was a better telescope than a diploma. I think the picture speaks volumes about the way his mind works right now. They asked each kid what they wanted to be when they grew up. Everyone said Rapunzel (including and Sam whispered to me that he wanted to be a firefighter. He is still in a shy phase right now with some things, so I was his spokes person.

It was a cute graduation, and Sam enjoyed the year. We are excited to see what next year will bring! Love you Sammy boy.

Monday, June 6, 2011


William and I had our Birthday on Saturday. My 29th and William's 1st! I knew it would be special to share it with him, but when the day actually arrived, it was even better than I thought. I can't really describe the feeling, but there was just something between Will and I that day that was unique and so dear to my heart. We had a GREAT day. I was just happy to not be in the hospital on my Birthday, and that the sun was out. Those two things alone made it very nice. We opened presents first thing, because we knew the day would be busy, busy, busy. Ben spoiled me with a really nice pair of pearl earrings (I have been wanting a pair for a while now), a new camera (no more crappy cell phone picts on the blog!!!!), and a pre-planned weekend get-away for the two of us in July. We gave William a ball, some new clothes, and a really cool toy that lights up, makes music, has blocks on it, and all sorts of gadets. Then it was off to the gym. I had my last hard six mile speed workout before the marathon tapering week (this week). From there it was off to a Maynard reunion at the park. Ben and the boys stayed while I took Mary to a dress rehersal for a gymnastics recital the gym is putting on this month. Then it was off to TUCANOS in Salt Lake!!! So yummy. They sang to William and I, and William had his first taste of ice cream. Of course, he loved it. Then it was home and a mad rush to get ready for the party. I came home to these gorgeous flowers, and a balloon from my family. They had me smiling all day! The party was truly awesome. We had about 30 couples show up, and a lot of kids. We had lots of food, music and a full house. We partied until well into the evening. My heart was very full all day. It was just such a special and happy day. I know William felt it too. The celebrations continued on Sunday. William and I had our Birthday cakes. William had his first taste of chocolate, and I indulged in a yummy cheesecake. Then it was off to a friends house with more playing, laughing and talking with a bunch of families until well into the night. And to top it all off....William took his first three steps while we were there! We have video of it from a cell phone, but as of right now, I cannot get it on the blog. It was awesome though!
I remember being in the hospital last year at this time, wondering what my life would be like this year at this time, and also reflecting what had happend the previous year at that time. I was so scared about the move, I was sure that I wouldn't be able to find good friends, I was worried about finding schools, gyms, activities, and our groove. I was really stressed, worried and scared. I went to bed the night of our Birthday this year feeling so blessed for all the Lord has done for us this past year. We had a house full of good friends that care about us, and we them. Our kids are thriving here. They have great friends and they are so happy. Ben and I are happy here. We have a big, happy, adorable 1 year old. And we feel at home. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices that we don't understand. For us, it was moving to Utah. It was one of the hardest things we have ever done as a family, and a huge test of faith. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who allows us to stretch and grow through sacrifice and faith, but then gives us blessings more than we can even imagine, and more than we deserve.

It was a wonderful Birthday.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Olympics, Activity Day Style

Last night we had our Activity Day Recognition Night. Katie and I were in charge of it this time. Seeing that we have 40 girls in Activity Days in our ward, this was no small undertaking!

We decided to do an Olympics theme and have the girls and their families split into teams, and participate in different obstacle courses that represented the Faith In God topics. Learning and Living the Gospel, Service, and Talents. We had them put on some silly clothes to represent modesty with learning and living the gospel. They had to put a diaper on a baby for service, and carry an egg with a spoon for talent. We had the opening ceremony, where the girls all marched in to the Olympics music. We also had a podium ceremony at the end where they each got a medal.

We had some girls give a 1 minute talk about activities they have done and how it has helped them with their goals for their Faith In God. One of the girls is very shy, and she did a great job. I was so proud of her. It was a big deal.

We planned on about 60 people attending. We ended up with over 100. That is a good reason why I only have pictures from the very end of the activity. I was busy doing other things when it was all happening.

It was a huge success, and it really wasn't that bad. We kept the whole thing, including the decorations, very simple, but fun. That is our style, and being young mothers, it was a good way to save time and headache. We got it all set up in about 1/2 an hour, and taking it down was a breeze. We were proud of ourselves.

We ended the evening with red, white, and blue ice cream sundays. (vanilla ice cream, blueberries, strawberries, and some syrups) We got nervous, because when we got the food, we got enough for 60 people, not 100. But I believe the Lord makes food go a long way when you are doing a ward activity, or when you are feeding others for a good cause. We ended up with exactly one sunday left over, a handful of blueberries, and maybe 5 strawberry slices! We even had enough to serve seconds, give some to the boys messing around in the hall, and give some to the men that were there for a meeting. Amazing.

I am really enjoying my calling as an Activity Day leader. The girls are all one of a kind, and full of fun and personality. We have had good times together. I feel very blessed.

While I was at the church, Ben was with the kids at Sam's T-ball game. Sam has come a LONG way, and is wearing the shirt and playing in the game. I am so proud of him. They went to the park after the game, and Ben discovered that this certain someone LOVES to swing! I could seriously eat this kid.