Thursday, June 25, 2009

Take a Few Minutes to Check This Out

I came across a new website that researches those Mormon Urban Legends that we've all heard. It really gave me a laugh because a few of them are stories that I've heard in the past week. If you have a few minutes you should check it out.

Holy Fetch

Monday, June 22, 2009

Real Men

I am pretty lucky to have such great men in my life. Mike is such a great father-in-law and I owe him so much because he taught Brandon to be such a good dad.

Rocky is nuts for both her grandpas.

My dad is definitely one-of-a-kind and anyone who knows him can tell you that he is a great guy. I love watching him with Rocky because it reminds me how fun he was with me when I was a little girl.

Brandon was born to be a father and Rocky was born to be a daddy's girl.

I've also got a brother and Brandon's brothers that are great men and fantastic dads. Thanks for stepping up at a time when a lot of men aren't up to the job.

Monday, June 15, 2009

San Fran

We had a blast in San Francisco. Brandon was in classes from 9 to 5 so that left a lot of time for Rocky and me to explore which made for some pretty creative photography.

Of course, we had to take the ferry over to Alcatraz. The Rock is poetic justice at its best. The nightmare of being imprisoned is multiplied by the beauty of the island and the view of the city across the bay.

Rocky was pretty confused and didn't understand why adult men would have to be locked up in cages. She felt that in order to really grasp the concept that she would have to do some hard time herself. Luckily our hotel provided her with a kid-sized cell.

We wandered the streets of Chinatown and found many beautiful parks.

Having a baby around is a lot of work and makes for a lot of pit-stops for snacks and diaper changes, but I was so glad to have my little buddy with me.

As you can see, she loves museums.

Apparently this "Laughing Sal" is as famous as she is scary.

Brandon was able to make some time to show his little girl the sea lions.

We were a little bit concerned when the trolley driver dropped Rocky's stroller off the back mid-trip and started rolling down the hilly street. They had to stop the car and he jumped off to get it. He was huffing and puffing as he ran back and the whole crowd giggled when he got back on and announced, "It's okay folks, the baby wasn't in the stroller.
We stayed at the most amazing hotel right in the middle of Union Square. There couldn't have been a better location. When we pulled up I was concerned because I knew that we had booked the cheapest hotel that I could find and there was no way that this was it. It was in a luxurious old building and really clean and fancy. We had gotten a very low price because we opted for the shared bathrooms. Our room was tiny, and made even smaller when we added the crib, and we had to go across the hall to use the bathroom and shower which kind of gave it a homey feel. I've never been to a hotel that I liked so much. We definitely lucked out.
I had to take Rocky to the SFMOMA -- San Fran Museum of Modern Art -- because I had really funny memories of being there when I was on a high school band trip. I wanted to see it again because I think that when I was a junior I was too immature to really understand the value of modern art.
I found that as a 27-year-old mom, I am still too immature. Maybe I'll have to go back when I'm 80 and see if things change.
Although I don't claim to have any understanding of most of what I saw, I will say that it was a lot of fun. I especially loved the sculpture and spacial art.

This was a bunch of black poodles surrounding a baby doll. I read the plaque next to it and it learned that a black dog symbolizes the devil, but these dogs are unique because they appear to be protecting the baby. I'm not sure what the theme of this piece really represents, but I will admit that it looked pretty awesome.

It is always an adventure to go to a big city and see all kinds of interesting people. Maybe after I sleep for a couple of weeks I'll start to think about traveling again.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Growing Pain

I know that every parent is amazed at how quickly babies grow up, but MAN my kid has grown up faster than any of those other babies.
She was this tiny newborn and now she's this spunky little girl that has all kinds of personality. Sometimes I feel like I don't even know her because she's picked up all kinds of new tricks. She babbles constantly and seems surprised when she is the only one laughing at her own jokes.

Recently she grew a gigantic tooth on the top. When she got her bottom teeth we called them nubs because they were cute little bumps. This new tooth would be more appropriately described as Mt. Kilimanjaro. I have personally become acquainted with the monster tooth because she has used it to gnaw on my shoulder. She acts all snuggly and cute and then, when I let my guard down I feel her fang piercing my flesh.
Because there is only one tooth up top it gives her a hillbilly-like appearance. I think she must be self-conscious about it because I wasn't able to get a single picture. Part of me thinks that the tooth's twin will be making an appearance soon, but I'm not positive because there definitely isn't room in that mouth for another of that size.

There must be something going on in that drooly mouth though, because I can't think of any other reason that Rocky would choose to chew on a pen after she found all that candy in her dad's backpack.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Jason and Zeyda made Brandon this Trifle for his birthday. It was beautiful to look at, and even better to eat.

Rocky loves Alexa and Xio. The Muellers are the best!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bib 358

When I was in seventh grade I went with my best bud Sharstin and her family to watch her dad run the St. George Marathon. I remember the two of us standing at about mile 25 screaming our guts out. He is an amazing runner and I think I felt as proud as she did when he went by. I also remember being inspired hours later when there were still people dragging themselves across the finish line.
There is something so special about a marathon and I decided in my 12-year-old heart that I would run my own 26.2 one day.
There are a lot of things that I thought were cool when I was 12 that have (wisely) fallen to the wayside, but the race never did. It took me 15 years to get up the guts to do it and it was pretty awesome.

At the end of September when we moved to Eugene I was woefully out of shape. I went out for my first run in "Track Town USA" and only made it a half a mile before I had to turn around and come back. By December I could handle a pretty solid 5K and had caught the enthusiasm from the people who run past my apartment on a daily basis. For the first time in my life I had no job, few time constraints, and no excuse for why I couldn't complete a training program. Besides, when in Rome...
I still didn't really think I could do it until Brandon signed us both up, then I knew that I had to do it whether I was ready or not.
Out of all the great things that have happened to me in Eugene, the training was one of the best. I spent many beautiful mornings pushing my little girl in her baby jogger and enjoying the trail system. If this were a movie, this would be the part with the montage of me jogging, sweating, and icing sore muscles. It looks really glorifying when all that work is shoved into 4 minutes with the Rocky soundtrack blasting. In real life it was a slow process of going a little bit further every run. Some days it was just a pain, or a chore that I needed to get through. But, for the most part, it was time for me to enjoy being outside and using my body.
My favorite moments were the long runs that Brandon would do with us. I can't really describe how awesome it has been to spend Saturday mornings on gorgeous trails with my best friend and my baby girl. Some of those runs were physically and mentally agonizing, but as we finished he would look at me with a big smile and I would feel like the happiest girl in Eugene.

The marathon itself was a lot more demanding than I had anticipated. I was starting to feel burnout at around mile 15 and by 16 my quads were experiencing cramping spasms. Brandon had a lot of trouble with his calves. I think that we under-trained because both of our legs just kind of fell apart. When I look back on the actual race I have a blur of memories, like a dream. I just remember one long, neverending road and aching legs.

My sister Jill had waited at mile 18 to cheer us on and give us a gel pack and she rode her bike with me for a couple miles which helped me more than I can say. Mike, Brandon's dad also really came through by standing at the coldest, most windy spot in the course at mile 23. When you are completely exhausted a familiar face and an encouraging word becomes invaluable.
At that point I knew that I was not going to even come close to my goal-time but it became a matter, not of running fast, but of running at all. I was passed by an old man and a really big girl that looked like she was going about a snail's pace. This was different than the blog I wrote last week because in this case I knew exactly how far they had gone and how far they still had to go. But, at that point, I didn't care at all what the people around me were doing.
As I got closer and closer to the finish line I wondered if my legs were going to collapse. When I rounded the corner at 26 the .2 was lined with cheering people and my eyes started getting teary when I knew for sure that I had made it.
I am pretty grateful to my body because it gave its all.
Eric had cruised so fast that he was there to meet me with the biggest grin I've ever seen and pretty soon I was yelling as Brandon came through. I was filled with euphoria and adrenaline.
We watched the finish line for a while, which is an emotional experience. You can't watch people who are completely physically drained accomplishing their goal without being touched. Marathon running is so cool because there are people of all ages and physical types that do it, and everyone is welcome and honored.
The second wave of pain didn't come for a couple of hours. My toenail had turned black and was barely hanging on and my shoulders, back and every part of my legs were aching.
I finished at 4:48 which was much slower than I had planned, but I feel good about it. The funny thing is that now that I have a P.R. I'm already figuring out how to beat it the next time.

I need to give a special thanks to Sharstin and Tom, Jess Kearns and Kristin Bell who have no idea how they have inspired me to achieve this goal. I also need to thank my friends at Spencer View, Stephanie and Laurie who have given me encouragement along the way. Thanks to my family and friends who have given me courage by believing in me. Thanks to my parents for watching Rocky and cheering us on, to Mike for braving the wind, and Jill for sticking with me in the hardest moments. Thanks to Eric who rocked the race, third male -- We will always have Newport. Thanks to my sweet husband who finished his first marathon the day after his 30th birthday. Without him I could have never done it.
One more special thanks goes to Rocky who patiently sat in that jogger for hours and hours without complaint.

Now the next question is, which race should I do next year? I think it has to be Eugene.