Friday, May 29, 2009

Torch Run

Jeff and I ran the Colorado Springs Torch Run for the Special Olympics yesterday. There are many segments of the run, but we did the ceremonial half mile walk and 5 mile run in the afternoon. It was quite different than any other running event I've done before. First of all, there were a couple of people from the local new channels running it so there were all sorts of cameras in our faces in the beginning. You can see a video of it here, and you can actually see me in the video, behind the news chick, to the right, and Jeff to the left. (I know, we're TV stars!) We started off walking together (it was a small group, maybe 20 runners) through the middle of downtown with a police motorcycle escort. Jeff and I were betting on whether or not the motor cops would have to put their feet down cuz they were barely moving. It was quite a balancing act, we were impressed, although they did have to put their feet down to balance themselves once, that we saw.

Even once we started running, it wasn't a race by any definition; we actually all ran together with those in front sharing the torch. That alone was interesting because if you lagged behind then they tried to get everyone to slow down, talk about pressure! I wasn't expecting that, I've always been free to run my own pace, and was counting on that for this run because I was not properly trained. We've been so busy with planting our garden, preparing our yard for landscaping, refinishing our table, and getting over the flu, that there wasn't much time for training. My longest run before the torch run was 4 miles, and I was pushing it. Normally I would at least get the mileage up to 6 before attempting a 5 mile race. So I was planning on keeping an easy pace (right now that's an 11 or 12 min pace per mile), and just trying to stick it out. Well, that didn't really happen, cuz everyone was running a 10 min pace or faster most of the time.

Jeff did just fine, he was chatting it up with a fellow CSPD officer the last half, but I really started lagging at four miles and slowed down to a walk. I ended up runing about a 4.5 miles, then hopped in a van they had following us to pick up stragglers (yep that would be me). I should have just stuck it out because the end was just around the corner, more than a quarter mile short of 5 miles, I would have been done in just a couple minutes. Oh well, I wasn't the only one in the van. Besides, I'm pregnant! I don't really enjoy running pregnant, not even the first months. I'm just so low on energy, which I always feel the most whenever I try to run when I'm prego. Thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

So in the end Jeff did great, his first running event and he did 5 miles without much training at all! And he was barely even puffin' at a fast 10 min pace. Not bad, huh?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let Me Count the Days

How many times can the family get the flu in a week? Oh, let me count the days. The week before last, on Thursday morning, Jaden complained that his stomach hurt. He does this quite often so I usually just brush it off unless there are other symptoms, which I did that morning. Then, as I was driving him to my parent's house so my mom and I could go on a hike, he repeated his complaint, and as I looked back his lips turned white. He looked like he was about to hurl any minute. I warned him not to throw up in the car, and eased the petal down, grateful that we were almost there.

We arrived at my parent's house vomit-free and Jaden seemed to have recovered. I wasn't sure what to do, my mom had already planned the hike and was looking forward to it all week, and we were just about to leave. So with encouragement from my dad and an eager push out the door from my mom, we left. When we got home my dad reported that Jaden had thrown up, but then felt much better. He acted fine the rest of the day and I thought the episode was done.

The next Tuesday night my stomach started to hurt. The whole experience culminated with my head over the toilet at about five the next morning, and slowly concluded with a day spent in bed. Again, I thought the experience was finished.

A few days later, I wake up in the middle of the night to the always unwelcome sound of vomiting. It was poor Jaden again! He was fine by morning, and I counted myself lucky. Ha ha, silly me. The next night was puncuated with a quite different sound. I woke up to hear Carter screaming. When I checked on him he showed me that his pants were wet. Thinking that he had wet himself through his diaper I changed his diaper and pjs and tucked him back in bed. It was when I tucked his blanket around him that I discovered that one of the corners of the blanket was also wet, and couldn't be from a leaky diaper. I asked him if he had thrown up, and he calmly nodded. Poor guy! When the scream was repeated in a few minutes, I stripped him down again, armed myself with a bowl, a towel and nausea medicine, and set up a little bed for him beside my bed. Luckily he didn't throw up again, though he didn't sleep much and groaned and squirmed a lot. Again, he was fine by morning, but I wasn't taking any chances and kept the whole family home from church.

Everyone except Jeff has now had the flu at least once, and Jaden twice. You'd think we were done, right? Nope. Jaden threw up again, the next night! I swear we do wash our hands and we have been sanitizing, and disinfecting, etc. I just hope that this is finally the end. I have no idea how Jeff escaped, except that he has with every little bug out family has gotten since we moved out here. He has this special super-strong hand sanitizer they give him at work that kills bacteria for two hours after applied, but we all use it when we get sick, and it only seems to work on him! I guess it only works on cops.

Almost two weeks later, after many loads of laundry, much toilet cleaning, and carpet cleaning, a missed presidency meeting, activity, birthday party, and church, we've now had on vomit-free night. Are we done? I guess we'll see...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Prayers and Temples

Temples have been on my mind a lot lately. First of all, my temple recommend expired right after we moved here but with all the moving business it was left expired for far too long, so when I finally did notice it, it was pretty shameful. Then after missing two temple recommend appointments I felt even worse. Once I finally got everything together I felt a renewed commitment. Jeff and I went together shortly after. Since then I seemed to be reminded constantly that more frequent attendance would greatly bless our family.

I loved Elder Scott's talk from General Conference, in which he reminded us to set goals and specific dates for temple attendance ahead of time, then let nothing get in our way. Jeff and I usually just decide randomly that we want to go to the temple that day or the next, we've never tried to make dates.

Last night I attended an activity where Sister Baer, the Denver temple president's wife spoke. She reminded us that we should make regular plans and try to stick to them. She spoke a lot about her daughter who has 7 kids, who goes to the temple once a week while her kids are in school. I want to commit to a new approach myself, to make a date each month to attend the temple and stick to it! With May fast closing we need to do it soon! Its funny, but when you set goals like these the months just fly by!

Another thing I really want to work on is saying morning prayers. I always say prayers at night before I go to bed, but I've never been good at remembering first thing in the morning when there is so much ahead of me. When I do say a prayer in the morning I always pray that I won't raise my voice so much that day. I find that I remember that morning prayer throughout the day when I start feeling frustrated. Hey, its a start, although I'm sure I'll never be the most soft-spoken mom. Sigh.

I know this isn't the most interesting post, but I'm hoping writing this down will help me to remember my new goals. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I thought a lot about being a mother today, on Mother's day. I love being a mother. I love raising my children, I love teaching them and watching them learn. I love watching them grow, I love (almost) all the little stages and phases. I love their simple joy and wonder in the world. I love their innocence, their laughter, their tight hugs and cuddles, and I love that they need me and most of all, I love that I can be there for them through it all. I also love other mothers. As the years of my motherhood increase, so does my admiration and respect for other mothers. There is so much that I admire in others and I watch my friends as they mother their children and try to learn from their examples. I pray every day that I can be a better mother. There are only a few other things in my life (being a wife, and being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) that bring me such peace and joy.

I will always be grateful that I have such a wonderful and loving mother in my life. My mom has always been a source of passion, exuberance, energy, and love in my life. She filled my childhood with nature hikes and camping trips that I will never forget. She would often catch a bug, or a lizard, or a snake and bring it to us for us to see and touch. The world of insects and bugs and ampibians was a wonder to me as a child, I felt like natures endless bounty was open for us to explore. Every hike was like our own little petting zoo! We sang songs joyously as we hiked with the boundless energy of youth. We would walk along river and stream beds, climb the hills to a swimming hole or just walk to enjoy being in nature. We went camping every summer as children and these trips, piled with our friends and all our equipment into our car, are some of my fondest memories. Only now, as I plan camping trips as an adult, do I appreciate all the work she put into those trips! I just remember waking up early excited for each day, whether we would play in the ocean, go on an eary morning walk at low tide and search for shells and starfish, play games at our campsite, or go for a hike that ended at a lake and get into a crazy mud fight. I will always cherish my childhood because of what she gave to us. I will always try to follow her example with my own children.
She one of the most compassionate and unjudgemental people I know. She loves everyone. She would stick up for Satan if she thought he was being unfairly judged! She is such a great example to me, and I continue to find things that I can learn from her. She is a strength and a support to me. She understands me and makes me feel sane when I think I am going crazy. As we have grown our relationship has become more and more a deep friendship. I am so grateful that we have stayed close to family and that I can call her up to go to the gym with me or plan a lunch or movie date. She is the perfect mother for me, and I can never tell her enough how much I love her!

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Easter Fun

Jaden's preschool put together an amazing activity for Easter. We started out in the sanctuary where we sang some fun Easter and worship songs, then they split us up in groups and sent us through an activity circuit. We started out with face painting. Jaden was too scared at first, but after Carter did it (although he smeared it almost immediately) Jaden tried it, too. He asked for a bee.
Next stop was an easter egg hunt!

After that we decorated paper easter eggs, then went to story-time! A lady read a story about Jesus and Palm Sunday.

Next was a game room where they played Simon Says, and played parachute games.

After that they had a snack, and then it was back to the sanctuary for an awesome puppet show!! It was very creative, they had black lights and neon puppets. It was the best puppet show I've ever seen, by far. Very fun activity, the kids were exhausted by the end of it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bike Riding

I really started getting into a new hobby out here: bike riding. I absolutely love the wind in my hair and the burn in my quads (especially when I am pulling both my kids)! It was hard to get out and do in California only because there really wasn't anywhere fun and pretty to go, that was close by and safe to tow the kids. So one of the things I absolutely LOVED about Colorado Springs, the first time we came to check out the area when we were thinking about moving here, is all the trails everywhere! I just LOVE the Santa Fe trail, even in the off months, its still beautiful. Its perfect for my stroller/trailer whether I want to take the kids for a stroll and let them run around, or for a run, or a bike ride, and its so close and totally safe for them.

Just recently I met a new friend at Gold Gym and she bike rides a lot on the Air Force Base. She can bring me in as a sponsor; we went for a ride last Friday and it was so much fun. Of course, this was after quite a few annoying setbacks. I had gone for a bike ride by myself with the kids the day before and, like the airhead I can be sometimes, I forgot that I had the bike on top of my car and drove it right into the house! (What makes it even more infuriating is that was not the first, but the second time I've done that!!) Fortunately, the racks weren't ruined and my bike looked okay. I tried to count myself lucky and just forget about it. But the next day when I set my bike up with my friend, the brakes were continually locked on the wheel because part of the frame had gotten bent a little. We tried to fix it for a little while (all the time I'm feeling like an idiot for not checking out my bike the before coming to meet her), then tried to find some way to just tie the brakes out the way, I would just rely on my rear brakes, which are safer anyway. Once we got that figured out we rode down to the entrance, only to be turned away because I wasn't wearing a helmet (silly me!). We drove back to her house so I could borrow a helmet, duct taped my brakes out of the way, and tried again. By this time I was feeling really bad for causing so much trouble. Once we got back we unloaded the bikes, again, and rode down to the entrance, again. Only to be turned away, AGAIN, because I needed my driver's license! ARGH. After another quick trip back to the car we were finally admitted and on our way.

It was definitely worth all the trouble. It was so beautiful! It was a nice, cool day, and the ride was up hill the first half, and downhill on the way back, so we felt great by the time we got back to our cars. It was so exhilarating, and a great workout! My legs were pretty shaky the rest of the day. We decided to try to ride together every Friday, I am so looking forward to it!!

Jaden is Four (Last Month)

Jaden had his birthday April 3rd (I know, I'm really behind!). It was really fun because Jeff's parents were able to come out that weekend. It was General Conference weekend, and Jaden's uncle Zach's birthday also, so it was a busy weekend, but a very fun one! Saturday after General Conference we picked up Jaden's friend Solomon and we all went to Chucky Cheese's.

I made a cake for Jaden and Zach and put four candles for Jaden on his side, and ten candles on Zach's side because he was turning fourteen, and let them blow them out at the same time.

We all got in on the games!

Jaden and Solomon love to play together!

Jaden absolutely adores his uncle Zach! Zach couldn't be sweeter to Jaden, I've never seen a 14-year-old play so much with a 4-year-old!

Grandpa Rhett and Grandma Susan loved spending time with the kids!

I made a beautiful strawberry cake, per Jaden's specific request. Unfortunately, it turned out terrible. :(

Monday, May 4, 2009

Virgin Islands Paradise

I spent a week in April with my sister and her new baby, Scottie. I left the kids behind and flew out with my mom so we could help Juli out with the baby. He was older than we had planned when we arrived because he decided to come early, so he was two months old by our visit. We spent a lot of time just hanging out with him, but we did get out a few times to enjoy the beauty of where they live. We spend four days in Tortola, which is a British Virgin Island. We stayed at a friends house that had amazing views and was a short, though incredibly steep, walk down to the beach. This is the view from the house!

We had some amazing sunsets!

Isn't that about the most idyllic picture of the beach?

This picture was taken at the bottom of the hundred stairs you have to climb to get up to the house.

This was taken on our first day in St. John, where Juli lives. We went on an awesome hike, which eventually took us to the beach where we gratefully cooled off and rinsed off our sweat! It was Scottie's first time in the ocean!
Scottie prefers to sleep being held so Juli usually carries him everywhere in a sling (he was still only about 7 lbs at two months), but he did take one nice long nap by himself while we were there. He even smiled! Isn't he cute!!
All in all I think it was the most relaxing vacation I've ever taken! I got to sleep in, lay on the beach a few times, go for a run along the ocean, and all in the most beautiful place! It was such a nice break. And I didn't have to worry about my kids because we paid to fly Jeff's mom in to be with them. So everyone had fun, except maybe poor Jeff, who had to work. What a hero!