Saturday, August 27, 2011

Twenty Miles. times two.

This whole marathon training thing is an interesting monster.
Some days you totally have it under control.  It's an incredibly energizing inspiring thing.
Some days it totally controls you.  You feel like a slave.  You wonder if you'll ever get to just run what you want.
For the most part, the past 13 weeks have been awesome.  Aside from the IT Band issues (Active Release Therapy is *amazing*!) and the Peroneal tendon thing (again-the ART-I had them addressed at the same time. Miracle!), physically things have been awesome.  I'm thrilled with how my body has taken to the increased mileage.  I'm thrilled with my weight. (I know!  When does that happen for women?!)  I'm super thrilled that I can eat as much as I'm eating now. That part is great.  I like food.  A lot.  As long as I remember to adjust accordingly when I'm not running 40 miles a week....

Pushing new distance may be my favorite part of this whole thing.  As my long runs have gotten longer, I feel so much more confident about this whole thing.  I've now tackled 20 miles twice.
The first time was four weeks ago when it was supposed to be an 18 mile run.  But when I hit mile 18 I was still over a mile from home.  It made no sense to walk that far so I just kept running.  And, well, 19 just didn't sound right so I wove around the neighborhood a little to hit 20.  It was really pretty exciting.  I felt good at the end of it.  While I was tired, I wasn't totally spent.  That's encouraging when you know you still need to tack another 6+ miles onto that distance.

I love that my body seems to find it's groove around mile 6, and then really settles in for the long haul around mile 10.  Wow I am in love with that feeling of just letting my mind wander, soaking it all in, and just running for hours.  It's magical when it all clicks.  And I'm really hoping I find that groove come marathon day......

The second time was the week after that when I actually had 20 on the schedule.  I felt good the whole way again, I feel like I have the fueling and hydrating down pretty well, and I felt good at the end.  I would have been able to finish that second 20 miler almost 5 minutes faster than the first one, but I was getting a little tightness in my leg around mile 16 so I walked for a few minutes.  I'm ok with that.

Last week I hit a mental wall.  I felt totally burned out.  I went so far as to skip my Saturday run completely.  It was a drop back week so it would have only been a 12-13 mile run, so I'm ok with missing it.  I think it did me better both physically and mentally to stay home and sleep in for a bit than it would have to fight through a run.  
I've had to push to make it through this week too.  That frustrated me after taking some days off last week.  I've had to revamp my training schedule, going from five runs a week to just four.  Between kids in school and Aaron gearing up to go back to school (late nights studying-boo), my time for running has suddenly become very limited.  Add to that the fact that it stays darker later in the morning now and gets darker much earlier at night than it did a month ago, and I'm trying desperately to adjust.  I've run on the treadmill three times in the past week-more than I did all Summer long.  As much as I hate the treadmill, I'm grateful to have one.

I really needed to just have a good running week this past week.  Thankfully I did!  Even with the treadmill runs, it was good.  Today I had the opportunity to run a leg of a trail relay and that was really just the icing on the cake!  Suddenly running was more like a game again.  No longer something on the schedule, but one big fat party.  Gosh I love races!!  I was able to sneak in a couple more miles, but have decided not to log another 10+ this evening to round out what should have been another 20 mile day.  With two under my belt already I know I can go the distance.  I'll make my drop back long run next Saturday a little longer than my scheduled 12-13 miles.  And then I'll be all ready for a 20+ in two weeks.  And that will leave me just three weeks to the marathon.
It's finally getting close!
34 days from today I'll be hanging out in St George.
Countdown is on!!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Sidewalk Chalk

Just adhering to the "go big or go home" theme we live by here.

Every single square.

On the entire patio.

I wish I had a picture of Alaina who may have succeeded in covering herself in more chalk than she used to create her masterpiece.


It's time to play 'What's Jamming the Disposal?'

We've not had this one before.


Even the camera must have been appalled because it wouldn't focus.


Thursday, August 25, 2011


I don't remember the day I first went running.  I know it was late February or early March of 2009, but that's all I know.  I was able to run all the way to the fire station before I had to take a break to walk.  That fire station is a just a little further than a whopping half of a mile from my house.  Oy.
But it was a start.

Today, August 25th, is one "Runiversary" I do remember.
Because last year on August 25th I went for my first run after Sam's birth.

My facebook status from this day last year read:
Only 2 miles, but not too slow, and it felt goooood!
The redistribution of weight is a little awkward, but oh well. :P

I had waited the full three weeks that I promised Aaron I would wait.  He made me promise that within hours of Sam's birth.  I was so ready to run.  Not so ready to be away from Sam, but he was very cooperative and slept through my short run.  It was two very liberating miles.

To celebrate today I logged what has now become my "short" run of the week, five miles.  I had to run it on the treadmill, but hey, Sam was very cooperative and slept through my short run.

It was a treat to be able to run through most of that pregnancy.  For a million different reasons, some of which make no sense unless you are a runner.  It's also a treat to see where my running has gone in the past year.  From building back up post-delivery, to dealing with injury that allowed me log only 20 miles in the entire month of February, to long runs that are now longer than my total mileage for the month of February.
Man, what a difference a year makes...


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day Pictures-the rest of the kids

First Grade

Third Grade

Fifth Grade

Sixth Grade

 The whole clan

(what a nice mom I am to let Malia stay all slobbed out for this picture)

Any bets on who is taller than who when we take the end of the year picture in May?
(only 179 more school days.  just in case you were wondering.)

Peer Pressure

How very appropriate that this post falls in the first week of school.

Everyone gets pressured somewhere along the lines.  We hope our kids are strong enough to stand up to the negative peer pressure, and be a force for good.  We hope that they will be confident and strong enough in their beliefs and values to hold to to what is right.

Wait, let me back up a little bit.

I got my ears pierced on my 12th birthday.  Not sure where that rule came from, but it's just the way it was.  We have adhered to the same rule in our family, which means that Malia got her ears pierced for her birthday last year.  Being 12 pretty much guarantees being responsible enough to be the one who can worry about turning the studs in the beginning, cleaning them appropriately, not losing earrings....all that jazz.
And yes, Alaina is still dying that she has to wait another two years and two months.  And as of today, eight days.  Not that she's counting.

Pierced ears freak my mother out.  She didn't want to have to deal with ours (mine and my sister's) when we got them done so I guess it's a good thing they made us wait.  I remember when my grandma's got infected and my mom was trying to help her with them.....more distinctly I remember my mom turning green and gagging and heaving as she tried to help with them.  It was kind of comical.

My mom took my girls out on Saturday night.  A little back to school date.  Malia is all about building her earring options right now so they stopped in at Target where she found her most recent favorite pair, and then went to Claire's because "they were having an awesome sale!"
When they came home they were all in a fit of giggles.
Even my mom.
And they all kept giving me that expectant stare, that one that screams "come on...notice so we don't have to spell it out!  figure it out!  soon!  or we might explode!"
It seemed a little odd, but took me a second to catch on.

And then I did.
No.  Surely it couldn't be.

Apparently, it could.

We all know that grandmas get wrapped around those little grand childrens' fingers entirely too easily.  Apparently the bigger those children get, the tighter the grasp.

My mother succumbed to pressure from my daughters.  And pierced her ears.  At least she stayed true to the "not till you're 12 rule", you know, since she's 50 something now.

I still can't decide if I'm terribly impressed or mildly terrified at the power my children wield with my parents.

First Day of School (round two)

Also known as meltdown round two.

Things went a little better at home this morning with Charlotte because she was excited about loading up in the stroller and walking to school with everyone.

Apparently somewhere along the line she interpreted this to mean that *she* got to go to school.

We had a lovely walk over to school with everyone-including Malia since she is off school today.
(yesterday was the day for just seventh grade, today is the day for just eighth grade so she is home)
Malia thoroughly enjoyed feeling like top dog as she shouted her hello's to all the teachers out working parking lot duty, and to the "little kids" that she knows that are still in elementary school.  Oh boy.

Then after the picture in front of the school sign,

Taylor, Alaina, Jacob and Dallin ran off.

Charlotte was left standing there with me.

Not even Malia going home with us helped.

Charlotte was sure she was going to school.

Geesh, I'm so glad she wants to be home with me.

 Time to get our little preschool going so she sees just how much fun being home with Mom can be.  So many fun things planned, I can't wait to get started!


Last School year....

I've had this post saved as a draft for, oh....three months.
It was to be a wrap up of the school year.  All the things I never blogged about, like the school play, the science fair, all that jazz.
Maybe now that it's a new school year I should get to that?


But if nothing else, before I post the pictures from the other kids' first day this morning I did want to share these ones.

Last year on the first day of school

and back in June on the last day of school.

There was waaaaay too much growing up going on on those nine months.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Middle School

At least I got an extra year, right?
If we lived anywhere else odds are she would have shipped off to middle school last year.  Yay for living where Middle School doesn't start till 7th grade!  It actually kind of freaks me out to say "middle school", most of them are Jr Highs here.

My oldest child went off to Middle School this morning.
My oldest child rode a bus to school for the first time.
My oldest child should be stepping on to that bus to head home any minute now.
I can't wait to hear how the first day was!

 I'm not sure if she was tired or nervous or what, but she wasn't smiling for pictures this morning.

Never fear-she was very excited.
Charlotte not so much.
She rolled out of bed right as Malia was getting ready to head out the door.  Determined not to be left behind, she threw on the first thing she could find as quickly as possible (thus the reason it's on backward), grabbed the first shoes she could find and came barreling out the front door crying.

"Me go with you Meela!  Go with you!"
It was cute.
It was sweet.
It was a little sad too.

Charlotte cried as Malia picked up her things to head off to the bus stop.

She cried harder as Malia walked off down the sidewalk.

Then she started screaming and chasing after her.
(loudly enough that our next door neighbor who had a window open came out to see who was dying.  Sorry Alicia!)

Off on her next big adventure in life.

I hope she loves it.

It's over

It just started.
And now, it's over.

Today Malia went back to school.  Tomorrow the rest of the clan follows.

How on earth did Summer fly by so quickly?

So many fun adventures.  Thus the reason so little blogging.  But hey, that means there is so much to share now, right?  Brace yourself for the onslaught.

I am excited for the opportunities this school year will bring, but sad to say goodbye to our long (kind of) carefree days as we lurch back in to real life.

This morning I drowned my back to school sorrows in scones.  Or maybe that was making up for the 35 minutes I spent with Jillian Michaels.  It's a toss up.  Either way, I highly recommend a healthy dose of fried bread smothered in honey butter on a Monday morning.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hey guess what?

Today is August 4th.  One year later.
Miracles happen.

Don't be so surprised.

Happy first birthday to my sweet little Sam.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stepping out of my comfort zone

Way out.

SUAR recommends doing something every day that scares you.  Some days that is fulfilled just by getting up and dealing with the chaos here.  Just kidding.  Mostly.

Last week I did something that scared me.
A local swimsuit company opened a contest for someone to join their next photo shoot.  I love their suits.  Really.  I have a couple, I bought Malia one this year too.  They are cute, fit well and are functional.  Any mom who has ever chased after kids in a swimsuit knows that good fit and functional are musts!
So when I saw their email about looking for a model, I checked out their Facebook page.  And there I found a fabulously encouraging thing.  They asked their fans what they would like to see in a model.  Overwhelmingly the answer was "a normal person".  Clarified with comments including no plastic surgery, someone bigger than a size zero and not six feet tall, and more than any other comment-someone who is a mom!  Awesome, right?  Right.  Then they posted their first round of submissions.  Most of them were just normal women-and I loved it!
And then in the back of my mind I thought, "hey-I could submit a photo....."
But you know what?  You only live once.  One of my new year's resolutions was to step out of my comfort zone and take chances.  Heck, the worst that can happen is nothing, right?

So I had Aaron snap a few pictures for me.  Since we rarely go anywhere and certainly don't go anywhere exotic, we had a little fun in the backyard.  The kiddie pool is where it's at!

And the best part was that it really was fun.  Or maybe the best part was being brave enough to take pictures in a swimsuit and ending up with cute ones that I wasn't afraid to share.

Well, I sent a picture in and now it's up on their Facebook page.  Not ^that^ one, but this one:

If you are feeling so inclined, feel free to hop on over to their Facebook page, like Hapari, and like my photo in their Model Contest album.  It's on the fourth row down...pretty hard to miss the red umbrella!  Feel free to leave a comment too if you'd like.

While Hapari will ultimately pick their winner, they are posting the submissions to get feedback from their customers and fans.  There are some killer bodies in some of those photos-much, much more impressive than my post 8 kids state for sure.  But I have to say that it just thrills me that the majority of the likes and comments are on those pictures of regular women and moms, not the air brushed super model types.  Hopefully they will listen to their customers and pick one of those cute women!  And while it would sure be fun if it were me, I will be beyond thrilled  to see any one of those other cute moms walk away as the addition to Hapari's next photo shoot.

Also, if you happen to be looking for a cute suit, check them out.  And no, they don't know I'm blogging this, nor do I get anything out of it.  Well, ok, except hopefully a few more comments and likes on my photo.   But really, they just have great swimsuits!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Charlotte is THREE!

Where the heck did July go?!
Summer is drawing to a close way too quickly.
So glad there are still so many good things ahead!

The end of July brings Charlotte's birthday.
One feisty little three year old girl that Charlotte.
And a girl who has been obsessed with Rodeo for the past two weeks.
Yep, she's still swinging that rope!

Over the past month or so she went from wanting a Tinkerbell cake, to wanting a Tangled cake, to all things rodeo.  Her final request (every day for the week before her birthday) was a pink cake with horses.  I googled pictures of horse cakes and she didn't like any of them, she wanted horses.  on a pink cake.  And that was all.
God bless simplicity.
And cheap bags of little plastic farm animals at Walmart.

Her party was small and simple.  Or at least as small and simple as one can be with so many siblings.  It was just our family and my parents, at my parents house.  All you other family members who bailed missed out!
Charlotte's birthday falls on the 25th, just one day after our state holiday-Pioneer Day.  My parents always put together a fun pioneer themed dinner for that, so the rodeo obsession worked out perfectly.

Dinner was served up at the Chuckwagon, on pie tins and eaten with large spoons.  It was awesome.

Charlotte went appropriately bonkers over the horse balloon.

Everyone got their own hat to wear-

Even Sam.

Who was also blown away by his Sheriff badge.

Charli got a special birthday "rodeo hat", complete with sequin trim.  That she sleeps with.  And wears for at least two hours every day now.

This cake:

was exactly what she wanted.  How do I know?  Because she helped make it.  And insisted on putting those horses their herself.  Not bad for a 3 year old cake decorator.  She totally cracked herself up that the light brown horse looks like it is eating the frosting.

And the candles make it even better.

Definitely not a show off kind of cake, but definitely one of the best we've ever had.  She was more thrilled at this cake than just about any other of our kids at any other birthday no matter how many hours I spent on a fancy cake.  I may just let my kids make their own cakes from here on out.

After blowing out the candles she immediately removed the horses and sucked off the frosting.
Smart girl.
Also there is a bad joke in there about hoof and mouth.

She was thrilled with the Dora glasses she's been coveting at Walmart.

Had more than enough help opening gifts, which is the norm in this group.

She was appropriately thrilled with every gift she received, and had an extra soft spot for her Tangled Barbie (which she calls "Tangled" instead of "Rapunzel"), and her Pony.

Then she was still so excited that she ran.

And just like last year, she ended up at her little spot on the garden wall, just chillin'.

And since one party wasn't enough for Malia, she put together a surprise party for Charlotte on Monday-her actual birthday.  When I say surprise, I really mean surprise.  Apparently she printed invitations for my parents and my brothers and included the phrase "this is a surprise, so please don't even tell my mom!".  Sweet.
My parents, being good sports (good is an understatement!), brought lunch and another cake out and joined us for Charlotte's second party.
The candles in pizza is always a hit.

And the additional decor of 783 feet of paper chains was fabulous.  (also courtesy of Malia)

Apparently my normal birthday decor in the kitchen just isn't good enough anymore.

But the real winner here is that Malia wanted to do a piƱata.  Not having had time to make a real one, she used a box.
Filled with balloons and what treats she could come up with from around the house.  Which is not as many as you might think.  My stash is nearly completely gone except for gum.  Dangit.

The kids loved it, and since it was a box, it was sturdy enough that everyone got plenty of chances to break that thing open.

Even the party master herself.

It ended when someone knocked it off the rope and Charlotte tried to beat it open on the ground.
My sweet docile little girl....
who finally just ripped it open.

Her afternoon was so eventful that it took it's toll.  I asked her what she wanted to do for the rest of her birthday and she said "take a nap in your room".  I thought she was joking and just wanted to play in my bed.  Since it was her birthday I told her to go ahead, and found her like this just moments later.

Heck, I probably could have gotten away with snuggling her.  She's growing out of that phase way too quickly....