Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dad's View

Over the years we've had a number of people say "I wish I could just peek into your house and see what goes on during your day." The proverbial fly on the wall to our typical chaos.

There have also been plenty of times that Aaron and I look at each other in the middle of dinner, amazed at the randomness of conversation, or the ridiculousness of something happening at the table, and wondered why we weren't filming it. Because some of it has definitely been worth preserving.

For years Aaron has suggested we set up a camera so that we can sit back and laugh at it later. If you're a parent you know there are plenty of things that aren't so hilarious when they are happening, but with a little bit of time and a perspective shift become pretty funny.

Thus we give you, Dad's view. You always hear from me, so now here are a few minutes of a peek into an evening in our family from Aaron's view. A little taste of the random weirdness that happens here.

A few thoughts; Yes, the musical chairs bit was real. If you ever have kids fighting over who is sitting where at dinner, I highly suggest it to diffuse things a little. And yes, the table is a little cozy right now, we're working on a fix that doesn't include buying new furniture. We finally figured out what we want to do, now it's just a matter of getting it done! The kids are super excited about the prospect of not sitting at corners.  Also, I swear I do actually wear makeup, real clothes, and do my hair. At least occasionally.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The big Wednesday news

Last October I ran the St George Marathon for the second time. (and never blogged about it. whoops.)
It was the perfect day to run a marathon.
Unlike the first time I ran St George when it was pretty darn warm, last year it was freezing at the start. Literally. It was right about 30 degrees.  Sitting in sweats and wrapped up in a foil blanket next to a fire and snuggled up next to Aaron, I was still cold!

Though all that time sitting there waiting for the start was pretty uncomfortable, it made for nice cool weather for the next few hours, and an amazing race.
A race that landed me a new marathon PR by over 20 minutes, and a Boston Qualifying time of 3:38:47. I just squeaked under the cutoff of 3:40 for my age group. But considering that a couple of years ago I truly never thought I would ever run that fast, it was pretty dang thrilling! Qualifying for Boston was really never on my radar until a matter of weeks before St George last year, and even then it wasn't something I was willing to really seriously consider.
Like not seriously considering it until near the end of the race when I realized that it could actually happen if I could just hold on to what I had going.

Last week I was able to apply for the Boston Marathon with all of the rest of the people who qualified by less than five minutes. I've been waiting for a week and a half to hear if I made it in, knowing nothing more than the fact that more people applied than there were available spots, and that last year if you didn't qualify by more than 1 minute and 38 seconds faster than your age group's qualifying cutoff, you didn't make it in.

Knowing that it would be announced today, and knowing that my friend Heidi qualified by over a minute more than I did, I was periodically checking the entrants list at the BAA website to see if *her* name was there. Because if she didn't make it after qualifying with 2+ minutes to spare, I definitely hadn't made it.
And then this afternoon, I found her name.
And braved searching for my own.

And I found it.

I'm in!

This lovely little email dropped into my inbox a short time later.

I'm going to Boston!!!
By 11 seconds, I'm going to Boston.
They had about 2000 more people apply this year than they had spaces available, so those who qualified by over 1 minute and 2 seconds made the cutoff for available spaces.  I qualified by 1 minute and 13 seconds.  ELEVEN seconds cleared me.  Count out 11 seconds.  Over the course of a 3 1/2+ hour run, 11 seconds is a blip. 11 seconds is just a few steps of walking at an aid station. A bathroom stop would have been well over 11 seconds.  Stretching my calf for just a tiny bit longer around mile 18 would have stolen 11 seconds.  Letting my mental monkeys get the best of me in the last mile instead of pushing till the end would have killed those 11 seconds.

I'm excited.
I'm excited to do some base building over the next couple of months.  I'm excited to pick through training plans again and choose one to use for this next 26.2 experience.  I'm excited to sneak away for a few days with Aaron for this little adventure! I'm excited to (hopefully) meet up with a few online running friends who are also going to be there. I'm excited to experience first hand this epic race that I've watched from home for the past couple of years and cross that famous finish line!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

And then six months went by....

People sometimes ask me if in the chaos of daily living I ever reach a breaking point.  Sure.  I definitely have triggers.  Wednesday alone often does it for me. 

Apparently my blogging breaking point was being pregnant with my tenth child and having a husband that traveled 100% of the time for work.  Going through a transition of learning to do everything by myself between Sunday afternoon around 3:00 until Thursday night around 11:00 was slightly challenging!  Solo parenting is no joke.  With the pregnancy exhaustion on top of that, I was in survival mode much more frequently than I would have liked. When Friday and Saturday rolled around every minute was consumed with trying to spend time with Aaron and chipping away at the big to-do list of things that I couldn't do without him. 
This left little to no time for dumping my thoughts and experiences here.  

Thank goodness for Instagram!  At least I have a photo journal and little pieces of thoughts and stories that I could jot down in a minutes or so. 

I miss blogging.  I keep thinking "I'll get to that this week!", and have even left a browser window open on the computer with this blog up and waiting for me to jump back in, all to no avail.  Life just keeps happening. 

Then this weekend a couple of my kids started talking about something I had completely forgotten.  A day when they got in the powdered sugar and strung it all over the house and then tried to tell me they hadn't been in the powdered sugar.  We all had a good laugh while I dug through the deep recesses of my brain trying to remember the incident.  I had completely forgotten about it.  Then as they kept talking I remembered that I had blogged it way back when.  

That's when I realized that I REALLY need to be blogging. Because this mommy brain just isn't what it used to be, and there are a number of things I am sure will be lost in the oblivion if they aren't jotted down here. That makes me sad.  I have written down random things in notebooks and on a list in my phone, but usually that is a quick little snippet to remind me of what I need to write down, and, well...yeah.  Let's just say that there are about ten snippets that were written down as blog titles and saved as drafts with the intention that I would come here and tell the whole story, and looking at them now I have no clue what I was talking about. And the notebooks? I may or may not ever see them again.  At least the little things I have on my phone might stick around long enough for me to do something with them! 

Now life has settled into another new routine, Aaron's job has changed to significantly less travel (yahoo!!), and I have found my motivation, it's time to dust off the old Zoo here and pick back up. Lots of missing pieces to fill in (um, the baby is almost three months old?!?), and lots of adventures coming up I have no doubt.  So many fun and exciting pieces of life to share, and many mundane and senseless things as well I am sure.  Because that's how we roll. 

Welcome back to the crazy! 

Monday, March 31, 2014

The nesting projects begin

I'm sure it's been covered before, but I don't nest like a normal person.  Normal pregnant people clean and organize and things like that.  I do things like build patios, stock up on running shoes and repaint most of my house.  At least we've come to know that this is normal for me.

I've been itching to hit a few house projects for a couple of months, but with the crazy of life and adjusting to Aaron's travel, it just keeps getting put off.  Enter a rapidly approaching third trimester (27wks today! yay!), and "let's get this done!" has kicked into high gear.

First up, the main bathroom.

Oh, this poor bathroom.

It's seen a couple of changes over the 8 1/2yrs we've spent here, like painting the vanity, and little things like changing the shower curtain.  But it had been beige in there for way too long.

I found a rug I loved a couple of months ago, so I bought it with changing the bathroom in mind.  Slowly stocking up on the things I would be using to change it up in there got me to the point where it was go time.

And so two weeks ago I went for it.

Bye bye beige!

It always takes me longer than I anticipate to finish these projects, but this time, it was done in just over 24 hours.  Ten people using one bathroom is some serious motivation!

Painting, replacing hardware, repainting the way more deep scrubbing than I expected.  It was harder for me to deep clean the shower and tub than to run 9 miles the weekend before.  Not sure what that says about me.  Or about the bathroom.  I'm just going to ignore that and move forward.

Went a step further than I anticipated and the light fixture as well.  Good choice, long overdue.  Super happy with how it turned out, loving the change!

And yes, I restricted my children from using it the day I finished so that Aaron could actually see it done, and still super CLEAN, when he got home.

Especially loving the hooks behind the door for towels, for some reason my picture of that won't load.  huh. I'm having all sorts of blog upload success lately.  Anyway, similar to this:

We have tried a number of different hooks in the bathroom and in bedrooms to keep kids' towels from piling up all over the place.  The 3M hooks that work great in our master bathroom keep getting broken in the main bathroom.  I hate the over the door hanger things.  This has been fabulous!  Granted it's been a whopping week and a half, but it is super sturdy and provides more places to hang than any other alternatives we've tried.  Not to mention it looks a little nicer!

Big project number one crossed off the list, and now, on to the next one!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Slowly getting things back up and running....

Nothing like a random smattering of posts as far back as August.  About half of the posts stuck in draft mode for so long have finally published (yay!), though some have weird placement, especially where pics are concerned.
Hopefully the rest will cooperate before too long.

I'll have to add it to my list of nesting projects.

Run for the Fallen

It's race season again!
Though I should probably say "race" season, because let's face it, I may be running races but I'm not doing any actual racing this year for obvious reasons.

This past weekend I had the privilege of running for an awesome cause.

Though the city I live in isn't exactly a small town anymore (30-something thousand people now?  maybe closer to 40,000?), there is very much a small town feel here.  Very much a sense of community, where neighbors know each other and a number of people who work in our schools also live in our community...for the most part it is really a fairly close knit area out here.

On January 30th, one of the officers that worked for our local Sheriff's office was killed on the job.  He had stopped to check on a car pulled over to the side of the highway to see if it was an abandoned vehicle or someone who may have needed help.  He was shot twice without warning while he was still sitting in his car.

I didn't know Sgt. Wride personally, but have always been grateful for the fabulous officers that serve our community.  Whether it was working with them in helping with local events, talking to them about neighborhood concerns, or just having them wave each time I'm out running, they are a very welcome presence in our community and we are incredibly grateful for their service here.

A 5k was put together to celebrate the life of Sgt Wride and as a fundraiser for his family, a small way for our community to thank them for their sacrifice and service.

I wasn't sure what to expect as far as race size, as when I had registered just a couple of weeks ago there weren't even 100 people registered.  The turnout was amazing, with approximately 700 people there.
While I often get emotional during our national anthem, the pre-race ceremony and color guard were particularly humbling and emotional.  There weren't many dry eyes left after the national anthem and hearing from Sgt Wride's wife, seeing the dozens of officers there, and the many people lining the course.

As to the race itself...
It was a morning that was colder than we've had for the past couple of weeks, wind chill from the nearly 40mph winds pushing the temp down to mid 20s, but people seemed to mostly deal well with waiting an extra 40min at the start while waiting for three busloads more than were expected to arrive at the start.  (Although I was glad I didn't have kids with me, as there were a ton of frozen and crying little ones trying to keep warm.)

Aaron and I were both running, though the cold really started to get to him after standing around for over an hour, so he headed off to run the course on his own before the official start.  (we have great paved paths out here, so he just ran along that since the road wasn't patrolled yet)  I forget how easily he gets cold with the bald head!  It was a good thing he went ahead though, it took him nearly an hour after he finished to start getting feeling back in his hands and feet again, as it was a much colder morning than anyone expected it to be.

The course was almost the same as my favorite local 5k, so I was excited to run it, and hopefully snag a relatively quick finish time.  It started a little bit back from the start of the other 5k that runs along here, which unfortunately put the first 1/4 mile uphill.  That was not something I anticipated.  Between that and my legs being frozen, I had a slow and stiff start, and didn't really feel like I found my groove until the very end.
I was able to maintain a decent pace, but could tell it wasn't going to be as quick as I hoped.  It was also very obvious that my body has made a shift from a month ago when I last "raced", and that things are going to just slow down from here on out.
Then my shoe came untied at about 2 1/2 miles.  Which was ironic because a friend and I had discussed shoe tying at the start line and I mentioned that I had only ever had my shoe come untied twice, both times in a race.  Go figure.
After having to stop and tie my shoe, apparently I was irritated enough to kick into high gear, as I found a little speed left in my legs after that.  The course was a little long at almost 3.3 miles (darn uphill start!), but my pace after mile 3 was a 7:08 pace!  Nice to know I can still negative split and have a finish line kick.
Aaron had made it to the finish before the actual race even started, thankfully it was a few degrees warmer on that side of the valley than on the start side.  Despite the fact that his fingers were frozen he was still able to snag a couple of pics of me coming in, which was fun.  He happened to get one that is one of my favorite running pictures ever, which is even more fun.  My running pictures always seem to be snapped at just the wrong time, making it look like I'm fake running or out for a slow jog or something.  I never end up with those pics that make it look like you're floating.
But now I have one.

(I don't even mind that it is frightening just how much my backside has spread over the past 25 weeks.)

Finish time by my watch was 26:47, 8:15 pace for the (slightly long) course.  Official finish times/places still haven't been published, but if I counted correctly I should have been about 10th female.  Though I'm totally good with that finish time, it is hard to be slowing down.  Considering that just a couple of months ago I logged a 5k over 4 1/2 minutes faster than that, the ego does take a hit.   Which feels odd to say because a few years ago I would have been thrilled to be able to run that pace at all.  Perspective is an interesting thing.

The race itself was good, but above everything else, this race made me very grateful to live where I do.  What a blessing to be surrounded by so many wonderful people who really care about the community and about those who serve us so selflessly!  One of those days where your faith in humanity is bolstered and you are grateful to be even a tiny part of something good.

For a peek at the day, you can go here:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

One day she'll be my running buddy

But until she's old enough for that, she sits and watches me when I'm on the treadmill.

Aaron picked the right dog.