Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Steve Harvey Road Trip - part one

Seriously, still reeling from this entire experience.  Really.

I'm having such a hard time even starting to put it in words, though if you talk to me face to face I'll likely go on for an hour!

I guess I should start at the beginning...

As I mentioned, we were contacted by a producer for The Steve Harvey Show back in the summer.  Gotta be honest, I kind of figured it wouldn't actually turn in to anything because I was contacted by a handful of people after I did the Hapari thing and it never went anywhere.
We were asked if we might be interested in being a part of an awesome segment that Mr Harvey does called Family Bucket List, where he sends families out on these super fun activities to allow them the opportunity to spend time together since that is often a challenge for many families.

But we told them we were interested, filled out their questionnaire about our family and some of our "bucket list" items, and kept in contact.  After verifying our availability for some dates in August, we did a Skype interview with them and they told us they would be in touch.  We sat all the kids down and made sure they weren't getting their hopes up and planning on it going through, just in case, but Aaron and I did chat about how fun it would be if it did work out.
After a couple of weeks we heard back, and they told us they were going a different direction for the dates they had checked with us.  It happens.  But we were surprised when they asked if we would be willing to be a part of something they wanted to orchestrate for our family a little later in the year.  Sure!
We had no idea just what they were orchestrating...

After some back and forth over the next couple of months, they asked if we would be willing to be left in the dark about things, if we (Aaron and I) would be willing to have it be a surprise not only for our kids but for us as well.  Sure!  Surprises are fun!
Wow, one heck of a surprised was established!

We did a little arranging to be available for some dates on our end, they did one heck of a lot of arranging for the Ultimate Family Bucket List experience on their end.

All we knew was that we would be traveling (they had us make sure we had ID for travel for everyone), and that at 8:00am on October 26th we would get further information. That was it. I was totally enjoying the surprise factor, especially as the date grew nearer and the anticipation heightened.  Aaron was a little more on the going crazy side.  He loves surprises, when he doesn't know they are coming.  Sitting and wondering on things when someone says "I have a surprise for you!" drives him nuts! Not going to lie, I kind of enjoyed watching that play out.  Any good wife would, right?

I did ask for info on packing, since with 12 people-especially little ones-it's kind of a huge undertaking, and I was doing nearly all of the prep on my own since Aaron works out of town. We were told that since it is Fall and weather can change, be prepared for warmer weather, or cooler weather.  And that we would have the opportunity to do laundry, so pack as lightly as we could and not worry about trying to cover 12 full days with our packing.

So there we sat, bags packed, blinds closed, all ready to go on the morning of October 26th, at 7:55am.  Just waiting, waiting for....something.

As I sat on the couch I saw something moving across our front yard through the closed blinds.

That's when the doorbell rang...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday is the day, and Dad's View take two...and three...

Part one of our Steve Harvey adventure will be airing today!
I know I said Monday, but the airing schedule got changed.
And then I can start telling you all about it!

In other news, while you're waiting on pins and needles to tune in (that's at least two of you, including my mom), have a peek at Dad's View episode 2.  The one where mom is gone.

If you need to kill five more minutes, here is episode 3.
(I know, I know.  I'm so behind.)

His attempted interpretation of Emily cracks me up. Spending all day with her I can totally understand her, his frequent traveling denies him that opportunity.  He'll get there.  Eventually.

He cut the part where I asked if the kids liked dinner.  And the part where I was relieved that only a couple of them liked it because I thought it was gross...along with the part where he agreed with me.
Also, I swear Malia gets dressed in more than a giant T-shirt occasionally. And we give the boys hair cuts.  
But yes, it's pretty much just loud here a lot of the time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

An Epic Family Adventure

We have just returned from 12 days out of town.
Twelve epic days.

I know the word epic is overused, but it applies here.

A few months ago we were contacted by The Steve Harvey Show.  A simple email turned into an amazing opportunity for our family!

The kicker-
We can't say much of anything publicly until it airs!
And it's SO HARD not to share things about everything that we were so blessed to experience!

Aaron and I were able to post a couple of little things on Instagram, but still have to stay very vague per our agreement with the amazing producers we worked with.  If you happen to follow Steve Harvey TV on Facebook or might find little snippets of hints there...

What I can tell you is that I am blown away by the amazing people that work for Mr. Harvey.  Every person we had the pleasure of meeting and working with was just wonderful!  I truly cannot say enough good about all of them.  We spent time with some truly awesome people who will forever hold a place in our hearts!
Then there is Mr. Harvey himself.  The guy is just as funny in person as he is in all of the clips from his show and from Family Feud.  Above that he is an incredibly kind, and generous person who does so much good. It really was such a treat to meet him!

With the first of the episodes that involve our family airing next Monday, details aren't too far off.
Check out to find out when it airs in your neck of the woods, then tune in Nov 17th and 21st for all the fun! I'm so anxious to see the finished product!
(and I hope I don't look like too much of a goof on air....)

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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

24 week check in

The breathe a sigh of relief week, because even a podunk hospital will take you seriously if something seems to be going wrong.  The big magic widely accepted viability cutoff week.

Even when everything is flying along and is totally peachy, there is always a bit of reassurance once you pass this point.  At least for me there is.

And here is your fair warning that if you're offended by bare bellies, you should stop now.  Or cover your eyes and scroll quickly or something.  I'll spare you a weekly update, but I have enjoyed looking back over the past couple of pregnancies at the updates I've blogged, so every few weeks or so until the very end I'll update.

24 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: by my scale I'm up about 15 pounds.  By my dr.'s scale at my appointment last week, 12.  I'm going with mine being more accurate since I'm always wearing the same thing and it's the same time of day when I weigh in here.

Maternity Clothes: Nope!  Yay!  Well, ok, I have a couple of long shirts that are technically maternity shirts that I've worn once or twice, and when I have a hankering for skinny jeans I do have a pair of those with a panel that I have to break out.  Real skinny jeans stopped happening a while ago.  But in general, low waist jeans a little bigger than normal are still doing the job.

Sleep: Meh.  Some nights are better than others.  Overall I really can't complain, usually I'm only up once in the night, but some nights include a lot of tossing and turning.  I find that usually on the nights when Aaron is home I sleep like a rock.  It's so nice.

Miss Anything?  Some of my clothes.  And some running related things; I do miss running fast (well, my version of fast anyway), I miss speed work and fast hill repeats.  I think I miss hard workouts in general.  I do miss really long runs as well, and am a little envious of my friends who are in marathon training mode right now.  But I think that is partly due to the days being a little warmer...if we were stuck in the polar vortex here, I'm guessing I wouldn't be longing for a 3 hour run!

Movement: Baby isn't as constantly active as most of my others have been.  I have an anterior placenta, but have with the last couple of kids as well and it didn't seem to make a difference in what I was able to feel as far as their movement, so apparently he's just a pretty chill kid?  I will admit it causes a little paranoia when I haven't felt him for a number of hours, but on the flip side it makes me appreciate it that much more when I do feel him being particularly active!  LOVE watching him jump around in there.

Food Cravings: Strawberries

Making me sick: Red meat, as is the case in most of my pregnancies.  And I haven't been able to stomach pita chips since I got pregnant.  Weird.

Showing: Yep.  For sure. The belly isn't huge, but I have thickened up a ton everywhere.  I see these cute little ladies who don't look pregnant anywhere but their belly-like that pregnancy Barbie from a few years back where you could just pop off the belly and she looked normal novelty to me because my thighs/hips/butt/waist thicken from the very beginning!

Gender: Boy!

Wedding ring on/off: On

How are you feeling? Every pregnant woman's favorite question!  Honestly, pretty darn good.  Feeling very blessed to be healthy and strong and not struggle through pregnancy the way so many do.  It definitely makes the hard work to be in shape between pregnancies worth it!  I will admit that at the end of the day I am pretty wiped out, and I get tired more easily than I would like to, but considering that this is my tenth baby, I appreciate how awesome that is!  Especially now that I'm officially medically "old" to be doing this.

Looking forward to: Eventually figuring out the right name for this child.  Since none of our kids' names start with the same letter, we figured we'd stick with that route, so any A, C, D, E, J, L, M, S, T names are out.  You'd think that with 17 letters left to choose from it wouldn't be that hard.  Our last name makes it a little bit tricky, we have to project ourselves to childhood and how any particular name could be twisted to be obnoxious and/or inappropriate with our last name. We have a list of about 20 names that are up for consideration, but none of them seem to fit just right.  This may be the first time that one of our babies arrives without a name!  Plenty of time still, but weird to not know yet.  We've found the right name by this point with all but one of our kids in the past.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sweet Tooth Sunday

It's baaack!

It's been entirely too long since Sweet Tooth Sunday was happening.
It's also been entirely too long since regularly blogging was happening, but I digress.

Since I'm in an indulgence phase at this point in time, I'm back to lots of baking and treats and all of those things that I cut out when I'm working to get down to a trimmed out place where I run faster.

I'm not up too terribly many pounds at this point, and I'm past halfway, so I'm good with a little indulgence.

This evening I needed something good, but not too rich, and super simple.

Found the perfect fit.

Go back with me a few years to the Coconut Cake.  Still completely delicious and ridiculously easy.  (There are pics there.  I'm lacking pics tonight.)

Since I was feeling the coconut vibe, but didn't want the heavy frosting, I whipped up some cream and added coconut extract.  Coconut whipped cream is fabulous.  You can actually whip coconut cream (like out of the canned coconut), but I had open cream hanging out in my fridge which saved me from jogging back downstairs to the storage room for another can of coconut milk.  Yes I was feeling lazy this evening.

Then the berries.  I'm loving berries right now.  Not super convenient when it's still winter, but at least strawberries are getting easier to find and a little less expensive.
I used our frozen mixed berries-blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  Because the frozen ones tend to be a little tart, I let them sit in a little sugar for a bit while cupcakes were baking.  4 cups of berries and between 1/4-1/3 cup of sugar.  Just mixed it all around and let them sit and get soft.

I did have to taste it and make sure it was acceptable of course.

And then it all got thrown together.

(I'm super irritated that my external flash isn't working, please excuse the horrid shadows.)

Oh my goodness it hit the spot.  And the way the juice from the berries soaked into the cake...mmmm...delicious.

The kids all loved it, Emily (literally) screamed for more.  I genuinely felt bad for Aaron that he wasn't here this evening to partake.

But wait.  There's more.

My friend brought over some pineapple jam.
Stay with me here.
Her son is living in the Philippines and sent her the recipe.  Equal parts pineapple and sugar, with a little vanilla.   It's not thick like jam, more like a pineapple syrup.
Being a pineapple lover, and especially a pina colada lover, my brain instantly went back to dessert.  I couldn't *not* try this.
Coconut + berries + cream + pineapple goodness = almost inappropriately yummy.

Yes I had dessert twice tonight.
It was totally worth it.
Good thing my appointment with a weigh in isn't until Thursday!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day Date Dash 5k

Time to start racing again!

I can't even begin to express how excited I am that Spring racing is here, despite the fact that it's still winter.  No complaints on my end, I have running friends who are having races snowed out at this point.  Others who are snowshoe racing because they have so much snow.

Today, in mid February, I got to race in shorts.

It was a little windier than I would have chosen, but with as warm as it was (nearly 40!), the wind was doable for sure.

I talked Aaron into doing this race last week.  What a good sport.
I also may or may not have signed him up for a half marathon with me in June as a Christmas gift.
Good thing he loves me!

With his working out of town currently, I actually was left wondering if he would even be here to run with me today.  His flight was supposed to get home Thursday night around midnight, he got stuck in Atlanta overnight, and then the weather was bad there leaving us wondering if he would make it home at all this weekend before he had to be back in Tennessee on Sunday night.

I told him if he really didn't want to race he could have just told me no in the first place instead of going through all of that hoopla to avoid it.
He didn't find that as funny as I did.

Hey, grasping at straws when the whole weekend schedule gets bumped and you play single parent all week to nine kids is completely understandable, isn't it?

Thankfully he did make it home for a fun Valentine's night with the kids, and for the race on Saturday.

We had to have our traditional arm's length photo for all of the races we do together.

 The race was good, course was nice.  I could have done without the uphill in the last mile, but I played the mental game I do on hills ("I am a strong hill runner!  Keep pushing!"), which seems to work well and let me pass two people.

I didn't set out to really race this, as with every pregnancy race my first priority is baby and how my body is reacting.  I happened to be blessed with a very comfortable running day and a little speed in my legs, which was a fabulous treat!  I realized at about mile 2 that I would at least be in the top 10 women, and toyed with the thought of being able to pull an age group placing.  Am I the only person who tries to gage people's age group from behind in races?  This is a much easier job in triathlon than it is in running.
I was able to pick of a few more people before the end, which is always fun.

Finishing a little quicker than I thought I would, especially with the uphill (25:10) was a treat.
I ended up taking 4th overall female, and 1st in my age group, which was even more of a treat!

Before I go, your fetal trivia of the day, at 21 weeks baby is now approximately as long as two tubes of Nuun.  And is poking out to say hi.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Proof that God has a sense of humor

I'm going to need a new picture on the blog.

This one.

Ok, so back in October we had that fun uterus rant.  It really was good natured at that point.  Hopefully it read that way here.
Heck, my friend and I even tried to have a little fun with it, and tried to spin the rumor in the neighborhood into her being a surrogate for those twins I was supposedly expecting.  Even though she has had a hysterectomy.  It got a few people talking but didn't catch on as well as we'd hoped. Dang.

Things got a little hairy when my kids started getting approached at school that very day questioning whether or not I was pregnant.  They had friends, and kids who were merely acquaintances, asking on behalf of their parents to find out if there was any validity to the rumors.  Come on people.
At that point I got irritated, and ended up throwing that out on Facebook.  While I'm not typically one to rant or throw personal issues on Facebook, the fact that my kids were being bugged at school multiple days in a row really bugged me.  So I put that out there.  Told people to suck it up and ask me if they had a personal question about me, and to leave my kids out of it.  That was also mostly good natured, a little obnoxious in my attempt to use the word uterus as many times as possible in the actual post and in the comments, but apparently a lot of people read it as me being very angry and mean.  Irritated, sure. Angry, no.
Apparently my overuse of the word uterus-it was in the post/comments 26 times-made a number of people uncomfortable though.  My apologies if you were one of them, because when I learned that I laughed.  Hard.


Life is funny.  So all we could do was laugh when we found not too long after all of that hoopla that I was actually pregnant.
Well, laugh and make a pact that this would stay a secret for as long as possible.

Aaron has a hard time not sharing exciting news.  Like the man can't keep gifts hidden away for intended occasions because he can't not share!
I really wanted to hit the halfway point before spilling the beans, and I got close.  He was a good sport and kept his lips zipped even after finding out it was a boy back in January.  That was even harder than just keeping the pregnancy a secret!

I pushed for a February spilling of the beans, and though I would have loved to have held off a couple more weeks, he was beyond ready to tell, and I am getting to the point where it's harder to keep it hidden, especially at night.

So there it is!  Baby boy on the way, due in July.

(Though if I were putting money on it I'd bet he's out by the end of June.  I could be wrong.  We'll see.)
Yes we are excited, even if we are a little overwhelmed some days.  Some days we were overwhelmed with one kid, two kids, three can be overwhelming sometimes!  Anyone who has kids understands that!  The kids are also very excited, which was kind of a relief to me as I was honestly a little nervous about how the older ones might react.  Thank heaven for great kids who appreciate a big family even though some days it is hard.

And to answer the question that I'll most frequently be asked regarding this pregnancy, yes we were planning on another.  The follow up, "is the the last one?" will, I'm sure, be asked nearly as frequently.  While our first thought is yes, this is our caboose, time will tell if we are still missing someone after this little guy's arrival.  We'll see.  I never thought we'd have more than 4 or 5 kids to begin with; life is often full of twists and turns we didn't expect!

I am still running and hope to run to the very last day of pregnancy this time like I was able to do last time around.  Baby already has three races under his belt (two 5k's and one half marathon), with a handful more "races" planned before his arrival.  I say "races" because let's be honest, there isn't much actual racing happening with a baby on board!  I love participating in the events and soaking up the race atmosphere, and even though I'm not going out to be speedy (a big change after last year!), I sure enjoy every minute of it!  It is good mental training for me to really listen to my body and adjust my efforts accordingly, and to be willing to not pay as much attention to the numbers.  Good therapy for the number obsessive side of me!

And as always, belly pics will be happening.  Weekly for me, not sure how frequently I'll subject you to them.  We shall see.  For the squeamish folks (example: you can't handle the word uterus), know in advance that I will be taking pics in a sports bra and my beloved Roga shorts each week.  If that's too much skin for you, I apologize.

Also look away now.

Almost halfway, baby #10.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Good News, Bad News

Good news: I did not actually fall off the face of the earth after a rant about my uterus!  Yes!

Bad news: Every post I have scheduled for the past 2+ months has not posted.  Lots of awesome things are missing.

Good news: Most of the them are still actually in existence, just stuck in draft mode.

Bad news: Still working on fixing that.

Good news, I think: once that's fixed things will post with the dates they should have!

Bad news: if you subscribe by email you'll get flooded like they all posted in one day.  Sorry in advance.

Good news: 2014 has already proven a year of big new adventures!  So many exciting things to share!

Bad news: I'm leaving that as the end of this post, so you're stuck waiting to find out about our newest adventures.

Good news (I can't end on bad news!): it's a beautiful sunny day here in the middle of the January thaw!  And more importantly, one day closer to spring, which means one day closer to warmer sunny days more often.  Hallelujah.

(also, if you're really hard up for entertainment, or just morbidly curious about the crazy that is my herd on a daily basis, Instagram is a happenin' place to be!)

Monday, January 6, 2014

On to a new adventure!

Sometimes life throws unexpected things your way.

Like your husband is content in his job (which hasn't always been the case), isn't actively looking to see what else is out there (which he had been until very recently), and then opportunity comes knocking at your door.

Or rather he gets a phone call, then another, then another and finally decides, "ok, let's see what this is all about."

And then it turns into a job offer that sounds too good to be true.
So we tell them that once we have everything in writing, we'd be happy to consider it.
And then get everything to you in writing.  In less than an hour.


Big changes!
New year, new job!  In a new state.

Aaron was offered a contract position for a company based in Tennessee.  Obviously this makes for a long commute when you live in Utah.

It was interesting how it all went down, and admittedly, how quickly it all went down.  He has been offered contract positions before, but they weren't things we were interested in for a variety of reasons.  At first glance this also seemed like one of those that we wouldn't be interested in for some of those same reasons.  But as we looked at it more seriously, talked about it and prayed about it, neither one of us could deny that it felt completely right.

So now we shift our routine again.
We are already used to Aaron being gone a couple of nights a week because he worked a couple of overnight nursing shifts each week in addition to his regular day job.  Now we just get used to a couple more nights without him.  It will be a blessing for him to not be working two jobs anymore, as it made for some incredibly long weekends for him on very very little sleep.  This job will allow a little more breathing room, and ironically despite the fact that it is a contract position and not a long term full time position (for now), a little more security.

Everyone's big question was of course about our moving to Tennessee, but that is not in the plans.  Will it be in the plans in the future?  Possibly.  If this turns into a full time job that is worth moving for then we would certainly consider that.  But for now we get to stay where we are, where we love the community, the neighborhood, the schools and our friends.  Could we love another place this much?  Maybe.  If moving becomes a real possibility, I certainly hope we could.

As the job kicks off it will mean a lot of travel, a lot of solo parenting for me, some working from home when he can, and some sacrifice from everyone for at least the next 6 months.  Are we nervous?  Sure, a little bit.  But we are very grateful the possibilities that lie before us, and look forward with excitement to what the next year will bring!