My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

labor day

This Labor Day was awesome!!

It all started with a long run for me.

Fall running is my absolute favorite!  I love everything about it.  The crisp air, the gorgeous colors on the mountains and in town, the excitement in the air of change, just everything.

I filled up on zipfizz, blasted my jams, and headed out.  It was an awesome run up to midway, with views of fields, old barns, mountains, rivers, bridges, everything.  I pounded out 11.5 miles, and came home happy and refreshed.
sunrise over the valley, aaahhhhh, nothing like it.

When I got home, Ben headed out with a buddy to mountain bike for a while, and I stayed home with the kids.  We cleaned the house a little, and then played outside and enjoyed the beautiful fall day.

When Ben got home, we packed up some things, met up with the Sweats (Karli and her kids) and headed out to hike in the Uinta's. 

It was a beautiful hike!  The kids were happily playing with friends, Ben and I and Karli were able to hang out, and it was a pretty day. 
hiking up to Ruth Lake

BFF's for life


Sam and Blake, best buddies

Molly and Beckham...two peas in a pod

Mary and Bailey

um, yeah.

big buddy!

Luke and Boston

doing what they do best


We totally lucked out, and were able to find a spot away from the chaos of all of the other Labor Day hikers.  That is next to impossible here in the mountains, especially in Heber with Swiss Days going on as well.

The hike was great, and after we stopped at a little café in Kamas for some dinner.

When we got home, Karli invited the kids over for "kazookie."  Basically a giant cookie the size of the pan, smothered in ice cream, and candy.  Obviously, the kids loved it!
What a great Labor Day!  I smell a tradition forming...


So, the night I got back from the girls weekend, I was happy to be home and back with my family again.  I missed them a lot.  Ben was amazing while I was gone.  He got kids to soccer games that were down the canyon, he got all 5 kids to church, he cooked meals, the house was picked up when I got home, and he did not complain.  He is wonderful, and very supportive.  I am very lucky.

Later that evening after I got home, Ben and I discovered that our carpets were still soaking wet from a toilet flood that had happened 4 days earlier.  The whole house smelled like wet dog!!!
We ended up ripping up carpet that night.

We were up late trying to figure out how to dry things out and where to put things that were normally on the carpet.  It threw our room into disarray.  For most people, this would be no big deal.  But, with my Type A personality and my anxiety with clutter and things not where they should be, it was making me panic inside.  I fought it and just tried to go to bed.  I was completely exhausted from the weekend.

I woke up the next morning, did the morning chaos of getting everybody out door, and then my phone started dinging non stop.  I think I got over 50 texts that day.
Soccer coaches (three of them), school teachers, primary stuff, tumbling stuff, scouts, activity days, piano lessons, friends, family, everything. 
My calendar went from blank, to completely black in about 3 hours. 
In between all of the scheduling and juggling, I had to go grocery shopping, and run a ton of errands with the two littles who were still recovering from me being gone, and were pretty much glued to my legs.
I was also trying to clean the house and get things back in order, over the top of our carpet being ripped up.
I was trying so hard to keep it all together, and then I went outside for a breather and saw the for sale sign in Karli's yard. 
I completely lost it.
I did the ugly cry.
I wallowed in self pity for a while.
I got angry for Karli and for what she is going through.
I got sad for my kids whose best friends will be taken from them.
I got sad for myself, whose best friend will be taken from me.
I got mad at the stupid plumbing company who did a horrid job on our house.
I got mad at everyone who was texting me with one more thing to add to the schedule.
I was pretty much just sad, and frustrated and overwhelmed.

And then my friends from our girls weekend started texting.  The timing could not have been better.  They had no idea that I was freaking out at the moment.  They were just checking in, giving support to whoever needed it, and sending out love vibes.

My heart filled back up again, I stopped my blubbering and went to work.

It is amazing what a good friend can do.

This is was a girls weekend that just keeps on giving.

cedar city sheningans

This weekend, I went on my very first girls weekend since I have been married.

I went to Time Out For Women several years ago, but that was just 1 night, and it was in town.

This was a three day, three night, 5 friends, half marathon, hiking, swimming, Cedar City, Saint George, Las Vegas, girls weekend...and it was fun, extremely fun!!!

I went with my best friend and next door neighbor Karli Sweat, another great friend Julianne Michaels, a friend from the ward Jen Avery, and a girl I didn't know until this trip, Nicole Davis. 

I take that back, I actually met Nicole once.  She was the ER nurse that treated Ben last year when he was in the ER after a bike crash.

All of them are nurses in the ER here in Heber, and all of them are crazy, hilarious, fun, and a blast to be with. Oh the stories...
left to right:  Nicole, Julianne, Jen, Karli, me

We drove to Saint George Thursday night, where we stayed in Jen's parents vacation home.  We talked the entire way there, and I think we pretty much had the world's problems, and our own problems solved in that three hour drive. ha!! 
I also heard all sorts of crazy ER stories.We got there really late, so we pretty much just got there and crashed.

We woke up Friday morning and walked to a grocery store for breakfast and got food for the day.  Then we headed off to a lake.   

It was hilarious as we tried to smash in a huge paddle board, three blow up tubes, 5 women and a cooler into one vehicle.  I was literally hanging onto a tube on top of the car, while holding the paddle board in the car.  There wasn't enough room in the car for my whole body, so I was hanging out of it for a little while.  Everyone else was just as squished.  Luckily, it was less than a mile from the rental shop to the lake.  I am sure everyone heard us laughing and screaming the entire drive down to the lake.

that would be my head smashed between the window and the paddle board.

We rented some blow up tubes and a paddle board, and just hung out on the lake for hours, relaxing, talking, laughing our heads off, and enjoying some time to just chill. After the lake, we headed out to dinner, and then back to the house.

We bought a ridiculous amount of chocolate and treats, pulled out some games, and laughed our heads off until it was way past bedtime.  I seriously love these ladies so much.

We woke up at 3:30am, and got ready for the half marathon that morning.  Let me repeat:  3:30 a freaking m.

Yeah, waaaay too early. 

It was a necessary evil though.  We had to be at the bus line up at 5:30, and the marathon was about 2 hours away.

Rewind a little bit.  When we first arrived in Saint George, Julianne gave us all these really cool tank tops and bracelets that say "IGU" on them.
They represent a brand her brother in law in New York started.  IGU means I Got U.
This is what it means.
We all put on our bracelets and cried for a while.  Some of my friends that were there are going through some terrible situations right now.  We have all been trying to help get them through this for the past 6 months or so.  These hard times are what have bonded us all so closely together.  We have cried together, leaned on each other for support when giving up seemed the only other alternative, we have prayed for, fasted for, and done whatever is necessary to keep each other afloat. It was a very meaningful and special moment for all of us that morning.  Tears were shed, hearts were knitted even more together, and support was once again reinforced.

So, back to race day.  We all put on our IGU tanks, and headed out the door.

The Cedar City Half Marathon is supposed to be one of the fastest ones out there.  I have trained really well for it, and was excited to see what I could do.  We were all pretty excited...tired...but excited.

Lucky for us, the bus driver that drove us up to the starting line, let us stay on the warm bus as long as possible before we had to get out at the starting line.  It was 38 degrees up there, so the warm bus was a huge luxury!

We waited forever in line for a bathroom, and then walked up to the starting line.
we went to the DI the night before and bought sweaters that we could throw away on the course soon after starting the race.  I actually kind of liked mine, but it is gone...long gone.
Unfortunately, Julianne is dealing with some serious foot problems, so she couldn't run the race with us.  She is a great runner, and has several half and full marathons behind her, but she had to sit this one out. We really missed her.

We had all decided to run our own pace, and meet up at the finish line.  That way there was no pressure to run faster or slower than we naturally run.

I was feeling a little bit funny in my stomach when the race started, but I figured it was probably just the zipfizz I had just chugged and blew it off. I was excited and ready to roll.

I blasted out of the start, and was hauling down the mountain for the first 6 miles.  I was running a 7:30 minute mile, and super excited.  If I kept up that pace, I would for sure PR, and probably get a big PR.  The downhill was kind of a shock to my quads, but it was so fun to run fast that easily.

The course was stunning!  It was gorgeous!  I made sure to look around and enjoy what was around me.

Around mile 6, my stomach went completely psycho.  It was the ultimate gut bomb. It swelled up to the point where my shirt and pants got tight, and it started cramping like crazy!  I couldn't believe the pain to be honest.  It literally took my breath away, and brought me to a screeching halt.

Luckily, mile 6 had an aid station with a bathroom.  I figured I would just go to the bathroom, drink some water, and be well on my way.

I unleashed the demons in the bathroom.  Not kidding!  It was unbelievable!  (sorry so graphic)

I got out of the bathroom, not feeling any better, and tried to start running again. 

I ran the next two miles in pure agony.  I could hear all sorts of crap sloshing around in my stomach, and the cramping was horrific.  By this time it wasn't just my stomach.  I had double side aches, and back spasms going on as well. I looked down, and seriously looked like I was 4 months pregnant.  What the?!?!   I began to wonder if the ghost of my uterus was coming back to haunt me, with a vengeance!

At mile 8, I found another bathroom, and lost everything inside of me, and then some.  I saw Karli running by at that point.  She stopped to help me, told me I looked green and freaky, and then I sent her on her way.  I caught up to her a mile later, we ran a mile together, and then I stopped again at the next bathroom to unleash the demons yet again.

Karli kept running, and I soon found her the next mile up.  Worst game of leapfrog ever!

I was so dehydrated by this point that I was dizzy and cramping everywhere from lack of hydration. 
I found Karli at the next aid station, where we decided to stick together from there on out.  I think I may have scared her. Pretty sure I looked amazing by this point.
Karli has a bad knee, and she was in loads of pain.  I was pretty much being ripped from the inside out, so we looked at each, said, "I Got You" and started running, limping, and shuffling our way onward.

We kept each other going to the finish line.  We stopped when we needed to, walked when we needed to, and tried to run as much as we could.  I never would have finished that race without her.

We crossed the finish line together, where she stopped to get her medal, and I continued running right past the medal people, straight to the bathrooms.  Go me.
Thank you friends for making me take this lovely picture.  Sad, but true statement right there.
I know it sounds crazy, but even with being so sick, this was my favorite half marathon to date.  It was so fitting that Karli and I ended up fighting it out and helping each other endure and finish something hard.  That has been the story for us for a while now.  The scenery was gorgeous, the course was perfect and fast, and I was in great company.

Jen's IGU tank was too big, but she did have one.
After the race, while we were stretching, and I was still rolling around in agony, we discovered that Karli's energy chews she had kept in her bra had melted all over her, and Nicole had run the entire race with her pants inside out.

We burst into fits of laughter, which resulted in me running to the bathroom again.  Oh man, good times...good. times.

As soon as I could take more than a 10 minute break from the bathroom, we got in the car and headed back to Saint George to get Julianne.

Come to find out, she woke up feeling great, and did a 2 hour run while we were gone!!  Seriously!  She is still getting a lot of crap (all in good fun) for that one. 

We showered, some of us ate (definitely not me and pyscho stomach), slapped on our swim suits, and headed to a waterpark in Vegas.

The waterpark was a blast.  I pretty much just floated around the lazy river, waiting for my stomach to stop eating itself.

We did a couple crazy slides, and screamed and laughed.  We forced Julianne to go down an incredibly steep slide, (she is scared of heights) which took forever, because she just sat up there swearing for 5 minutes at the top of the slide, while we laughed our heads off and encouraged her to go for it.

After the waterpark, we headed down the strip to do some shopping and grab dinner.  Again, good times, good company, crazy moments, and psycho stomach doing it's thing.
Cheesecake Factory

We didn't get home until 1:00 that morning.  Needless to say, we were TIRED!!

The next morning we got up, ate, cleaned the house we were staying in, packed our backs, and headed to Kaneraville to do a hike.

This was hands down the most beautiful hike I have ever done.  The pictures don't even come close to doing it justice.  It was stunning.  I can't wait to take my family there.

Yes, I am standing in water with my shoes AND socks on.  I never, ever thought I would see the day, but I did it.  The whole hike is in water, and it is soooooo worth it.

After the hike, we grabbed some lunch at Café Rio, and then made the drive home.

It was a wonderful weekend, full of fun, laughter, bonding, healing, crying, recharging, and everything in between.

I am blessed.

miss molly turns 2

Molly's Birthday was this last weekend.

I was going to be out of town on the actual day, so we celebrated the day before.

It is so crazy with her, because as her Birthday approaches, I find myself getting really emotional, and fighting feelings of sadness and panic that she is growing up.

It must have to do with her being the youngest, but it just kills me to see her getting older.  At the same time, I love the age she is, her fun and cute personality, her cute words she is starting to say, and so on. 

Anywhoo, enough about me.  On to a better topic.  Molly!

We started her special day with a decorated house, and all of us giving her hugs and kisses.  I think she knew this was her special day.

The kids were begging to let her open her gifts before they headed off to school, so she opened her presents right off the bat.
she was really excited about the baby with a bottle that Luke picked out for her all by himself.

She got a barn with a bunch of animals.  She tried to carry ALL of the animals around with her.  She finally decided to let Mary hold a few for her, but it was after some serious negotiations.

Once the kids were off to school, I decided to try to do a little
photo shoot with her.  She was a great sport with it.  All I had was my phone and some fall décor to work with, but I think I got some fun picts. of my 2 year old!

Her stuffed horses are her most prized possessions.  Whenever we give one to her, she acts like it is the first time she has seen it, and she kisses it and squeezes it with all the strength she has. It is adorable!


I love this picture, because it captures her "angel kiss" on her hand.  One of my favorite things.

After her photo shoot, we headed off to Walmart to get ingredients for her cake, and to get her much anticipated helium balloons. 

The balloons were a huge hit!!!  Molly and Luke went nuts with them the rest of the day.
Luke was such a good sport the whole day.  He kept telling Molly Happy Birthday, and thinking of new ideas of things we could do for her to celebrate, or new gifts she might like.  It melted my heart to see him love her so much, and try to hard in his 4 year old ways, to help her feel happy and special.

Her best buddy Beckham came over and gave her the cutest gift ever!

They went to Build-A-Bear and made molly a pony.
  Inside the pony is a recording of Beckham saying "I love you molly."  Every time you squeeze the pony's foot, you can hear it.  It literally made me cry, it was the sweetest gift from the sweetest little boy.

We got Luke off to preschool for the day, and when we got home, Molly was definitely ready for a nap.  The poor girl was partied out for the moment.

While she was sleeping, I worked on her cake.

It turned out pretty well, for my limited cake making skills.
Luke thought it was the letter M, and William thought it was just a pile of different colored cupcakes, but Molly took one look at it and yelled, "nnneeeiiiggghhh" (the horse sound) and clapped her hands. That's good enough for me!
Molly played outside and played with her new toys until everyone got home.

After diner, we lit the candles and sang to her.
We taught Molly how to blow out her candles.  After she did it, and we all started clapping and cheering, she burst into laughter and could not stop.  She laughed and laughed and laughed, and begged to do it again.
So, we lit the candles, sang again, and she blew them out again.  We cheered, and she exploded into fits of laughter again.  It was hilarious, and adorable all at the same time.
And yes, we did it again, and again.

Once the candles were blown out a million times, we all dug in.
Molly loved it...of course she did, it was chocolate. :)

I think my sweet little two year old had a great day, and I hope she felt the love that we all have for her.  She is such a light in our lives, and completed us completely.

A few things about Miss Molly Grace:
She loves chocolate, tic tacs, Shakeology, and gum
She is talking a lot, and putting sentences together.
Her absolute favorite thing is horses.
She loves animals.
She is an outside girl.  She likes to jump on the trampoline, go down slides, hike, climb, and go on walks with daddy.
She is an absolute daddy's girl.  She is happy her at home with me all day, but when Ben is around, she gets an extra sparkle in her eye and hop to her step.
She is extremely coordinated.
She really, really likes books, and loves to be read to by anybody that will look at a book with her.
She thinks Mary is super cool.  She loves to go into Mary's room and explore, hold her guinea pig, go through her jewelry and chapstick, and just watch her older sister.
She is tall for her age, and at her last checkup, the doctor predicted that she will be around 5 foot 9 in!!  I about fell out of my chair.  Looks like volleyball and basketball are in the future.  Ironically, we waited a stinking hour for the pediatrition to come in the room, and during that time, Mary rolled up paper towels and handed them to Molly, who made 9 out of 10 baskets into the garbage every time.  It was amazing!
the garbage is a hole in the table right next to the Kleenex box.  About 3 feet away from Molly. She seriously made almost every shot.

We love Molly with all of our hearts.  She is so precious and so loved.

Happy Birthday Molly Grace!