I just ordered a couple of these posters for Brandon's room. Aren't they cool? My cousin, Camilla, discovered them when she was hunting for some new decor for her little boy's room. She said she'd been originally looking into a superhero theme but, after finding these, decided that Book of Mormon heroes would be much better for her kids to look up to. I showed them to Brandon. Not only did I totally agree with Camilla on liking the idea of my son looking up to a Book of Mormon hero these particular posters looked like Brandon's style. He loved them. Wants to totally re-do his room in a Book of Mormon "warrior" theme. The two posters he picked out for his room were Samuel the Lamanite and Helaman and the Stripling Warriors. I'm really excited to hang them in his room when they arrive. I think they are going to look so neat!
They had a photographer at the triathlon taking official pictures of all the goings on. They got this shot of me coming into the finish line. I've had a lot of people ask me how the tri went. What it was like. And somewhat jokingly I've been telling them that it's kind of like labor. There's months of prep leading up to it. It's hard and it hurts. But at the end you feel amazing...the rewards and the feelings of accomplishment. And, most like labor, you forget about the bad stuff as time goes by and are anxious to do it again!
Before and after there were so many people offering words of support. It was an amazing feeling to find that so many friends and relatives were interested in this crazy thing that I'd decided to do. It actually helped a lot, believe it or not. The comment that pops into my head every time I see this picture is from my friend Brenda. She and I were both first-timers in this triathlon. After it was all over she posted a message on my facebook profile:
"YOU DID IT....YOU DID IT....YOU DID IT! Sing it, chant it, do the victory dance to it...whatever you want cause you are a champion...my friend!"
Thank you all, for the "good lucks", "way to gos", "good jobs" and "you can do its" over the past few months. I deeply appreciate it.
Memorial Day weekend consisted of drilling, cutting, lawn mowing, dirt shoveling, weed pulling and sunburn getting. The great majority of our time was spent building our garden boxes, installing a drip system and filling said boxes with dirt. But oh! Along with the sore muscles and sunburns came a great feeling of accomplishment! And you can't even imagine how excited I am to fill those boxes with little herbs and tomatoes and other various vegetable plants tonight!
Thank heavens for our truck! It took 3 loads of dirt to get all our boxes filled. Bryan drove the truck right into our backyard which made the hauling of dirt to the boxes so much easier.
We also planted a pretty little locust tree which will hopefully shade the patio eventually. Don't the boxes look nice? They are made from Trex decking. Bryan thought it would be nice to have them match our back deck. And they are surrounded by rubber mulch...the same stuff we have in our playground on the other side of the yard.
Friday I went on a search for patio furniture. I went to 6 different stores before I found the perfect set. We spend so much time out there on the deck. The girls read out there constantly. Now it will be much more comfortable. I'm hoping in the next few weeks to get a dining set for down on the patio by the BBQ.
Lilian really likes icecream. Honestly though, who doesn't? A few days ago, after spending some time running around in the hot sun, we came in for a cold icecream treat. I walked out of the room for a few minutes and when I came back I found her asleep in her high chair. I didn't have the heart to wake her so I decided to just put her down in her crib and clean her up after her nap was done. And I took a picture to document just how dirty she got herself. But then, going through a bunch of pictures on my computer recently, I realized that I have a whole lot of pictures of a messy-faced Lilian. And I started wondering if she's just at the age where kids get dirty so fast it's hard to keep up with them....or if I'm just a bad Mom for letting my child run around with a constantly dirty face.
Here's some examples....
A year ago Josh Groban performed in an in-concert version of the musical "Chess" in London. The soundtrack to "Chess" has always been one of my favorites and being the HUGE Josh Groban fan that I am, I knew of the concert and lamented the fact that I couldn't see it. I just discovered today that in a month PBS is going to air the concert. And if that weren't cool enough, the CD and DVD will be on sale at the same time! Another cool thing...Idina Menzel (the original Elphaba from "Wicked") is also in it. I am really excited about this! It'll go on sale June 16th and be on PBS on the 17th. Here's the trailer:
Can I also say how pleased I am with myself for finally figuring out how to post a video from youtube onto my blog? I've been trying to figure it out for weeks.
Yesterday was the big day. The day I'd been training for...with equal parts excitement and dread...for the past three months. The Women of Steel Triathlon. And I made it! I can now count myself among the few and the proud...and call myself a triathlete! Yes, I'm being a bit melodramatic. But after I got home yesterday afternoon and Bryan wrapped me in a big hug, I found myself crying. Not because it had been hard, though it was. And not because I was exhausted, though I was that too. But just because I felt like I had just accomplished something huge. In the full spectrum of things competing in a triathlon may not amount to much, I know. But never in a million years would I have thought I could do something like this. And I worked HARD for it. So to me, it was a big deal.
There were 15 of us from my neighborhood doing the tri. We all drove down together the night before to pick up our information packets, check out the pool, drive the bike route, have a big carb-filled pasta dinner at The Olive Garden and then check into the hotel rooms we had booked earlier in the month. Plans had been for some heavy girly gabbing and partying but most of us were tired and some of us were seriously nervous about the next day. (Count me in that group). We were in bed by 10:30. When the alarm went off at 6:00 the next morning I have to admit that my first thought was "Oh no!" My stomach was filled with butterflies. I had to force the oatmeal I was having for breakfast down my throat because I had lost my appetite. I was pretty nervous.
Even though I had been at the tri site the night before, it looked much more overwhelmingly crowded when we arrived Saturday morning. I made my way to my pre-assigned transition spot and set up my gear. My bike hanging on the rack, my towel laying on the ground on which I put my biking shoes, running shoes, socks, sunglasses, helmet, and snacks. I grabbed my swim cap and goggles and then headed over to be "body marked". Basically this meant that they took a permanent marker and wrote my race number on both my upper arms and also wrote my age on my left calf. And as I was racing throughout the next few hours it was kind of interesting to see people's ages as I passed them...or as they passed me. At one point I was running behind a 61 year old woman. Does it sound horrible of me if I admit that I badly wanted to make sure I passed her? That I didn't want a 61 year old woman beating me? At the same time, I did give thought to how awesomely tough she must have been to be doing this at her age! (And yes, I did pass her...)
The 300 meter swim started at 8:00. They had us line ourselves up in different groups according to how fast we thought we could swim. I placed myself back in the 9-10 minute area. And then stood there for the next 40 minutes waiting for my turn. There were two sections of swimmers on either side of the pool and they were letting them jump in every 12 seconds but wow, it sure took awhile. Finally it was my turn. I jumped in, started swimming, got halfway down the lane and thought, "Oh crap...I don't know if I can do this!" I'd practiced 300 meters plenty of times but the pool I'd trained in had shorter laps...which meant more of them, certainly, but my body was used to stopping every 25 meters instead of 50. So I was used to getting a good breath in every time I'd hit the wall to turn around. Not the case here. Kind of threw me off a bit. But I stuck with it. I did the freestyle, backstroke, sidestroke and breaststroke...all to get myself through it. I even walked a bit in the shallow end when I'd get too close to the swimmer in front of me. But I did it. Big sigh of relief. The hardest part...for me, anyhow, was over.
I went back over to my transition area and got myself ready for biking. The bike ride was 12.75 miles. This was only my 2nd real bike ride and two decent sized hills were involved. Well, four hills, really, because we did the loop twice. But I surprised myself by doing pretty well and really enjoying it. And those clipless pedals I was originally worried about getting? I could feel how productive they were making me and was quite glad that I had chosen to get them despite my fears. The whole course was really well layed out. There were policemen at each stop sign and signal giving those of us on bikes and running the right of way so we didn't have stop for traffic. And there were tri workers along the way with no job other than to cheer us on.
I pulled my bike into my transition area and was putting on my running shoes when one of my friends came over. She was eating oranges and looking relaxed...had just finished her race. And I still had 3 miles of running to go! But she said she'd be waiting for me at the finish line and pushed me on my way. I can run 3 miles now without too much problem. But not necessarily when it's coming after swimming and biking! And so, I admit, I did choose to walk up those two hills. I have no doubt I could've pushed myself and shaved a few minutes off my end time. Maybe next year. As I rounded the corner into the finish line a bunch of the women I had come with were waiting for me, cheering me on. It felt good.
In the middle of everything I had told myself that I'd probably never to choose to do a triathlon again. And yet, this morning as I woke up with a sore tail bone from biking, a sore shoulder from my backstroke, and various other sore and stiff muscles I was already planning in my head how next year will be. (One thing I already know...to bring a hat or bandana to cover my horrible hair for group pictures like this one. I look truly hideous!)
My overall time 01:51:19
First Transition 00:05:18
Second Transition 00:02:17
This is Julianne in August 2001. She could fall asleep anywhere. In this case, I believe she was sitting in front of the TV. See that red and pink headband? She picked that out at the mall one day. We weren't shopping for headbands...but she insisted. And then wore it every day. Didn't matter if it matched her outfit or went with her hairdo. Every. Single. Day. Even at age 3 she had a sense of style...knew what she liked and insisted upon it.
What's wrong with the above picture? If you look closely you'll see....
Two different shoes! Similar, yes. But definitely NOT a matching pair. Julianne woke up late this morning and missed the bus. She was a bit panicked because her class was taking end-of-year tests first thing and she adamantly informed me that she COULD NOT be late! After dropping her off and arriving back at home I found two shoes in the truck. One brown, one blue. Funny, I thought...I could've sworn I'd seen both pairs in front of the door earlier this morning. How had they got in the truck? One was a left, one was a right. And then I laughed as I realized that Julianne must have been trying to decide which shoe to wear as we rushed off to school. Brought both pairs with her and then forgot that she hadn't officially decided and was wearing one of each. I thought she'd call and ask me to bring the correct shoe to her. She didn't. She actually didn't even notice until someone in her class pointed it out to her and then she laughed and laughed. I've worn mismatching earrings before but never shoes!
The members of my family tend to fall asleep in odd places at times. The kids are especially bad at zonking out in places other than their beds, forcing us to haul their half asleep/half awake bodies to their rooms each night. Rebekah especially is funny when this happens because she talks sleepy nonsense on her way down the hall.
It was Rebekah's birthday on Saturday. She turned 13 years old. A teenager. And even though she's been acting like a teenager for quite some time, it still kind of shocked me. A teenager. Wow. How did that sneak up so fast? Remember when she adored "Winnie the Pooh"? Remember when she insisted on hauling her two favorite blankets around with her everywhere? Remember when we had to tie her binky to her bed so she could only suck on it when she was going to sleep? It doesn't seem all that long ago. But I don't want this to sound like I'm eulogizing the death of Rebekah's childhood....like I'm sad that it's gone. Because as wonderful as it has been watching Rebekah, my first born, make her way through her elementary years, I'm hugely excited for what's next.
So, a little about Rebekah:
*She loves shopping at Aeropostale. Most of her shirts come from there.
*Her favorite show on TV is "Survivor".
*She loves making homemade cards and bookmarks...and is really good at it too.
*She has been on the high honor roll at school this whole year. I never got on the high honor roll.
*She babysits a lot and has quite a stash of cash....some of which she is going to have to use to pay off her cell phone bill.
*She auditioned for and made it into the school's Concert Choir for next year.
*She likes boys...and they like her. One in particular...the one she emails and rides the bus with....brought her a cute bag and some chocolate for her birthday. She was thrilled. Maybe she'll let me borrow the bag sometime.
*She's a peacemaker....especially amongst various friends who find themselves at odds with eachother.
*She's confident, outgoing and friendly. People remember her and like her.
*But mostly she's our sweet Rebekah who holds an important place in our family and we love, love, love her.
Look at my sweet, little cripple. Actually, she's not much of a cripple anymore. Luckily, blessedly, thankfully the orthopedic specialist, when fitting Lilian into her hard cast, said that Lilian did not have to keep her weight off her leg. In fact, as soon as she felt up to it she could start walking. It only took a few more days before she started hobbling around. It was kind of like watching her learn to walk all over again. She was wobbly, lost her balance easily, fell over a lot. But now, just a few days before she gets the cast off, the girl can actually run. It's a funny looking run, certainly. You try running with a cast from ankle to hip! But she can do it. And I am SO relieved that I haven't had to carry her around for the past four weeks.
This is a picture of my sister Katie and myself after singing in a concert with The Sally Bytheway Chorale. Spring 2006, I believe. And I'm posting it today because I'm feeling a little sad. Tomorrow night the Chorale is singing in their first of three spring concerts. And I'm not singing with them this season. One of the concerts is the day of my triathlon so I made the (tough) decision to bow out this season. Silver lining....it will be fun to listen to the concert from the audience and enjoy the music as a whole instead of concentrating so hard on just the soprano part. Plus, it might be fun to make faces at my mom and sister and all my friends up there on the stage!
Rebekah ran a 5k on Saturday morning. Three miles. In the pouring rain. It was called the Knight Trek...a fun run sponsored by her school. Her gym teacher told the students that anyone who signed up and ran the 5k would get to opt out of all the timed runs for the rest of the year. Rebekah found that to be incentive enough. I wish I could've been there for it....I would've run it with her. Good practice for my own 5k part of the triathlon in two weeks. She ran the three miles in 33 minutes, however, which means I would've been hard pressed to keep up with her!
Can you see Rebekah over there running in her yellow jacket?
Rachel and Jackson (Katie's 7 month old), Melissa and Madelyn (9 weeks old), Sarah and Kaden (Mary's 8 month old), Katie, Mary
I had the chance to go to St. George with my sisters and parents this past weekend. Bryan's parents let us stay at their vacation home. Bryan offered to use his frequent flier miles to fly Mary in from Texas. All the husbands took days off work to take care of the kids. And we had a WONDERFUL vacation together....laughing, playing games, watching movies, shopping, swimming, eating all the meals that we love but our husbands hate....it was great fun! Here's some pictures of our adventure.
What would a girls weekend be without some serious shopping at the outlet stores? Trying on clothes together sounded a lot like this: "That looks so good on you!" "Does this make me look fat?" "This doesn't look good on me but I bet it would be great on you!" "Hey, can you grab me a different size?" "That is SO cute!" And the comment probably heard most often? "Jeremy/Bryan/Spencer/Ryan/Scott is going to kill me when he sees how much I bought!" I enjoy shopping...probably more than I should...but shopping with my sisters? SO much fun.
Most mornings looked like this...curled up on couches in sweats and t-shirts, talking and drinking slimfast shakes.
My sweet Daddy came along to be with all five of his daughters one last time before Rachel moves to Georgia. When hearing that my Dad was coming along, my brother-in-law commented that the poor guy was going to be bored out of his mind with all of our gabbing. Bryan laughed. "Where do you think Sarah gets it?" he commented. "Her Dad will be right in the thick of it!" And we loved that he was!
We decided to take advantage of us being all together to run over and get our pictures taken. This is us trying to decide on which pose turned out best.
What's a St. George trip without some swimming? We all came back a little pinker than we had been before.
And reading. Ah, reading. It's not a Dalton trip without books, books and more books!