Tuesday, December 1, 2009


So, it's midnight and I'm sitting at the computer. Why, you ask? Because this annoying cough is keeping me up!! I have tried to fall asleep twice tonight, but each time I try within a minute or two I start hacking up a lung. ARGH! I'm amazed that Jake has managed to sleep through the whole ordeal. This past week I've been downing robitussin like it was gatorade and munching on cough drops like they were candy... nothing helps. I even tried this Xopenex inhaler I got last time I had bronchitis, to relieve my coughing... doesn't do a darn thing. I saw a GI dr today and asked him about my cough and he prescribed me some cough medicine. Turns out the stuff he 'prescribed' is actually an OTC medicine and I already bought it yesterday and have tried it and, nada. Nice. The dr also proceeded to tell me that my lung still doesn't sound very good. His exact words "Wow. I'm a gastro dr and even I can tell you have pneumonia in that right lung." Then he kept asking if I was really 'okay'. Honestly, the pain is gone. My chest feels tight in the morning and this cough is driving me crazy, but other than that I feel fine (just a little tired from this cough keeping me up!) I don't feel 100%, but I'm so much better than I was 2 1/2 weeks ago. So, about my cough, any ideas to give me some relief? I would love to hear them!

I'm not the only one in the house taking medicine right now. Josh is taking antibiotics for a burst eardrum due to an ear infection (which I didn't even know he had!) Over the weekend I noticed yellow fluid coming out of his ear and yellow chunks coming out of his ear canal (I'm sure you all wanted to know that.) I took him to the dr on Monday and sure enough, his eardrum had ruptured. Then Ben came to us on Saturday night and said his toe hurt. When he took his sock off, Jake and I almost freaked out. His big toe was swollen and red, with yellow pus around the base and side of his toenail and the top layer of skin was coming off. I took him to the dr on Monday with Josh and the dr said he has an infected ingrown toenail and prescribed him antibiotics too. I'm just waiting for Emma to come tell me some body part is falling off or fluid is gushing from some orifice. (knock on wood it doesn't happen) Sorry if I sound a little pessimistic at the moment. I guess I'm just a little tired and grumpy... and worried my coughing is going to give me a hernia.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Insanity!

Yes, I was one of the crazies out there last night/this morning, staying up all night to save a few bucks. This was my fifth year of being a Black Friday participant and I took it to a whole new level today, officially making me one of those insane people I always joke about every year. I found the ads a week or two ago on black-friday.net and spent days making my shopping list. Then I took it to the next level by going to Toys R Us, Target, and Walmart on Tuesday and casing the stores, mapping out in my mind where all my shopping items were stationed so I wouldn't waste any time once I entered the buildings. This year Toys R Us opened at midnight, a first I think. I heard a few hours before that the first 100 people in line get a Zhu Zhu hamster. I know this is the hottest toy right now and very hard to get (don't ask me why they are so cool, but kids seem to gravitate toward them). Thankfully, my kids have no clue what they are, but I thought if I could get a ticket for one, that would be a nice bonus to getting there early. I left our house at 10:20pm, with Jake shaking his head in disbelief. He asked me as I was heading out the door if I was sure I wanted to do this. I almost laughed out loud. I live for Black Friday and love the deals and the rush you get, running through the stores with a bunch of other crazy people like yourself. I got to Toys R Us at 10:50pm and was already about 80th in line. By 11:30pm the line wrapped around the store, out through the parking lot, and then almost to the stoplight on 13th East. I'm sure there were close to 1000 people out there! I became fast friends with a younger couple, and a mom and daughter from Tooele. It was nice to have some people to talk to while we stood in the cold for an hour. By 11:45pm it started getting insane. People were trying to cut in line and the security guards had to send them back. I was excited to actually get a Zhu Zhu ticket and thought that was worth the hour outside (if anything, I could sell the thing on eBay and make $35!) Right at midnight the doors opened, I grabbed my cart and headed down the main aisle. I ended up getting everything on my list and got into line to check out around 12:20am. I finally made it out of the store at 1:15am and then headed to Target. So, then I took the craziness to the next level and actually camped out from 1:40am until 5am, when the store opened. I was the 18th person in line, and I plopped my camping chair out, cuddled up with a blanket, heavy coat, and gloves, and munched on cough drops for 3 1/2 hours. There were 3 girls in front of me, Lacey and Brianna from Bountiful, and Nicki from Farmington. I think the cold and late night was getting to them because they were being very silly, talking about Twilight for nearly an hour, and about how they had to go pee but didn't want to leave the line. I was slightly entertained and have to be somewhat thankful for them, otherwise the 3 1/2 hours out in the below freezing weather would have completely overtaken me. At 4:30am a Target employee handed out maps that showed where the doorbusters were located. I was very thankful for that because the number one item I wanted from there was not where I thought it would be, so there was no guessing. When the doors opened at 5am I grabbed a cart, ran straight to the item, put it in my cart, grabbed Elf for $3.99, and a shirt for Ben, and then I was headed to the check-out. I was in Target a max of 7 minutes! Then I headed to Walmart and couldn't find a parking spot so had to park across the way at a car wash, and book it to the entrance. I walked in around 5:18am and already there were HUGE lines for the checkout. Thankfully, the things on my list there were not big 'wants' so if I didn't get them I wasn't going to be too crushed. I found a doll Ashleigh wanted me to get her, then I went back to find a FurReal Tuggin' Pup dog for Emma, regularly about $27, on sale for $9. I couldn't find them anywhere. Right in the middle of the toy aisle there was a lady standing by a cart with about 15 of the dogs in there and I went to grab one, thinking she was an employee because who in their right mind would load up a cart of 15 toy dogs? Well, this lady was very quick to tell me they were 'all hers' and they ran out about 5 minutes before. I searched another 5 minutes, hoping that someone had changed their mind and left one in an aisle, but no luck. So I got in line to check-out and there were about 40 people in front of me and eventually about 60 behind me (and this was all for ONE cash register!!) About 30 minutes into my wait I spotted TWO FurReal Pups discarded on a shelf and no one seemed to be going for them. I quickly asked the girl behind me to save my spot for 10 seconds and I ran over to the pets and grabbed them both! Oh JOY! The adrenaline was pumping and I was thrilled. I know, I know. Who cares about a dumb toy. But when you're shopping at Black Friday, it's those sweet surprises that make the whole day worth it. SO, all in all, I got everything on my list and I figured I saved an average of 50% on everything I bought today. Not too shabby. The best part is my Christmas shopping is 99% done! WOO HOO!

PS I ended up listing the Zhu Zhu hamster and the Fun House accessory I got at Toys R Us on eBay about an hour ago and expect to make at least a $50 profit. Nice! Black Friday, baby, it's addicting (and for crazy people like me!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Sweet Emma

As my mom was leaving on Sunday she told the kids to take good care of me since dad wasn't here. Emma took that job very seriously. She has been like a second mom these past few days, doing everything I have asked without hesitation (even with excitement), coloring with Josh and playing games with him, etc. Before my mom left, Emma and my niece Jayden drew pictures for me to help me feel better, then they secretly taped them all over my room to surprise me. It was amazing to see young children being so thoughtful. Last night I had a big talk with Ben and asked him to help a little more and to have a happier attitude about it (he's having a hard time with dad being gone and the kids' exciting lives of going to McDonald's twice a day with Grandma has stopped). Emma overheard our talk and I think that reinforced her willingness to help. I told all the kids that after FHE we were going to get all the garbage and put the can out on the curb and then put new bags in the baskets. While I was helping Ben with his homework, Emma went on her own and got all the garbage out of all the baskets and put the bags in the kitchen. She helped me bring them all out to our can in the garage. This morning she fed Truman without being asked, and then let him out to go to the bathroom. When she told me she had done it, she was grinning from ear-to-ear and then told me "And mom, you didn't tell me to do it, I just did it." She gave me a cute picture (below) that she says is me inside a rainbow of rocks, feeling better. Very sweet. Then before preschool today she asked how many minutes she had until Selena would pick her up. I told her she had about 20 minutes and then she said "20 minutes is a long time. I have a long time to help you with whatever you want. What do you want me to do, mom?" I could have cried, I was so proud of her. My sweet little 4 year old was trying to take care of me. I told her I was planning on doing some laundry and she of course wanted to help. She pulled all the pillowcases off the pillows and helped take the sheets off the bed. When everything was off I said, "Look at the great job you did! It's all done." Then she said "Mom, the bed is FREAKIN' naked!" I've never heard her say anything like that before and I busted up laughing. She can be so silly. Then she left for preschool. I feel so lucky to have such a sweetheart in our family. She definitely has her moments and can be quite feisty, but she is also very tender-hearted. Our family is lucky to have her. We love you, Emma.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pneumonia... Take 2

My mom, sister Ashleigh, and two nieces Jayden and Ryleigh drove here Wednesday night. We have all been looking forward to having them here. Wednesday night I started feeling the chills. Thursday I had a 103 temperature and my cough I've had for 2 weeks was getting really bad. I woke up Friday with pain in my right lung and temps of 101-104 all day. Jake had a board meeting on Friday night and Ashleigh and my mom went down to Provo to watch my youngest sister (Whitney's) performance for Divine Comedy at BYU. So I was babysitting my nieces and had my three kids and felt like death. Last night I had a horrible sleep and today I had a high 105 temp. I felt horrible and thought it was bronchitis, like I have had 2 times this past year. I went to Instacare and found out I have pneumonia. I had it two years ago and the dr said once you get it, you are more prone to bronchial problems when you get sick. Jake has a conference tonight and leaves in the morning for DC. Thank goodness my mom and sister were here these past few days. I feel bad that I was basically stuck on the couch the whole time they were here, but thankful they were here to help take care of me and the kids. They leave tomorrow morning after they take Jake to the airport. I'm hoping I survive these next few days on my own. Right now I'm doped up on hydrocodone (a narcotic cough medicine) and I actually feel like I can function a little. Tonight I'm really thankful for narcotics.

PS No pics this time around but you can use your imagination from this picture Jake took of me the last time I had pneumonia.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Merry Christmas... I mean, Trick or Treat

We had a great time watching the kids trick-or-treat. It was a busy day/night. We had lunch with our friends in Lehi, then we picked up Whitney (my sister) down in Provo. Then we stopped by my cousin's house, and then got home around 5pm. We all had dinner, got the kids ready and headed out the door around 6pm. We went to Jake's parents' house first and the kids saw their cousins, Hannah and Isabelle. Then we stopped by my grandparents' house in West Valley. Then we got back to our neighborhood in North Salt Lake around 7:45pm and the kids trick-or-treated for an hour. The weather was perfect, a tad cold but we will take it over snow and rain! Jake and Whitney were getting a little bored half-way through so told the kids to say "Merry Christmas" when people answered the door. It was funny to see some of our neighbors' reactions (and we got a kick out of it too.) Josh finally figured out the whole trick-or-treating thing at the last house, so I'm sure next year he will have it down.

In case you can't tell, Emma is "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast. She wanted brown hair so our neighbor, Kristin, let us use some of her brown hair spray and it worked really well. Emma loved being a brunette for the night. Ben is a green 3-D skeleton and loved that his costume had bony fingers and toes. Josh was superman and could care less about his costume. He just wanted chocolate, and lots of it. (A boy after my own heart.) Aunt Whitney is Sue Sylvester from Glee, the new show on Fox. Overall, it was a busy, but fun and successful night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sickies, Snow, and Sugar Cookies

Ben called me from school yesterday in tears saying he threw up during recess. When I got to the main office the poor guy was sitting there with his jacket and backpack, and looked so pale. I gave him a big hug and tears flowed down his cheeks as he explained how he threw up in the stairs outside during recess... not just once, but twice. I took his temp when we got home and it was nearly 103. I gave him some tylenol, tucked him in and let him and Emma watch Scooby Doo during quiet time. Ben was lethargic all day yesterday and is still sick today, but his temp is lower so hopefully he will be back to school tomorrow. I told him last night that this is actually a blessing because he will be better by Halloween so he can go trick-or-treating. If he got sick on Thursday or Friday, he probably wouldn't get to go. (That seemed to make him feel a little better.) I took this picture last night. Ben was resting on the couch and Emma and Josh climbed on top of him and tried to make him feel better. Ben was a good sport about it and let them. Ben says he is making his 'sick face' in the picture. After I took the picture and put my camera away, Emma came up to me and said "Mom, I just tucked Ben in really tight with his blankie and made sure he is okay." She is my mini-mom and such a sweetheart.

And yes, we have SNOW! This is the first snow of the season and I can't say I'm too thrilled. Thankfully, I'm sure it won't stay around. It should turn to slush later on in the day. I just want the kids to have fun trick-or-treating on Saturday and snow would put a damper on things. Last year it rained and we had to go home early. Crossing my fingers we have decent weather and no sick kids!

On Sunday we celebrated our sister-in-law, Mallory's birthday. After the cake-eating and present-opening, all the women helped the kids frost and decorate Halloween cookies. Emma, Hannah, and Isabelle really enjoyed it. The boys seemed content frosting their own cookies, eating them, and then going back downstairs to play. Although, Josh did stay the entire time. He's no dummy. When he's around sugar and mom is letting him go to town, he will take advantage of the situation. I would frost a couple cookies, then he would take a bite of one, put it back, take another, lick it, put it back, then get another one, etc. After he had his way with 3 or 4 cookies, I had to stop him. Funny kid! Thanks Grandma Schip for making the cookies at 4am that day, just so the grandkids would have them later that day. You're super-grandma!

I have to laugh at this last picture. My mom and dad sent some really cute clothes for the kids they found at garage sales. It was like Christmas, opening up this huge suitcase filled with clothes, weighing 48 lbs. Emma was more excited than I was. She kept pulling them out faster than I could look at them. She helped me separate all the clothes into piles, "too big" and "just right", and then into Josh, Ben, and her piles. She tried on all her clothes and picked out her favorite outfit (for the moment.) Then she asked me to take a picture of her, and this was the end result. She is definitely our little Diva.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Daddy Tears

Ben came home from school yesterday and had this in his backpack. He said he wrote it all by himself at school. It's a letter to dad. After he had me read the note, he said "Mom, I think I spelled 'could' and 'want' wrong. How do you spell them again?" What a smartie! He's in the process of writing a little book for one of his homework assignments and it's pretty cute. I'll post it when he's finished. I'm just amazed at how much he has learned in just these few months of 1st grade. He can read basically anything and is getting better and better at writing. So, when Jake came home he read it in front of Ben and got a little teary eyed. It was very sweet. We feel lucky to have such a wonderful little guy in our family. Ben is such a sweetheart and a great helper and brother. We love you, bud!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our Little Ham

Emma goes to the Canyon Preschool and loves her time there with Miss Kari and her friends. Tonight her class performed a Halloween program at the Bountiful Library. She has been practicing really hard and talking non-stop about this program for weeks. She ham'ed it up and Jake and I were really proud of her. Her teacher made her a CD of all the Halloween songs they were learning and Ben, Emma and Josh love to sing along to all of them in the car. Enjoy the video! (By the way, when you see Emma flinging her arms around, she's actually rocking out, playing an air guitar. Love it!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Family Pics- 2009

Our neighbor's daughter, Malissa, took our family pics last Saturday and my sister, Ashleigh, helped pick out some favorites and tweak a couple for me. I had found this really pretty trail 3 weeks ago with beautiful fall colors and knew this was where I wanted to take our pics this year. It's only about 1 mile from our house. Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. I love the cool, crisp air. I love to wear sweaters, as weird as that sounds. I love cuddling up in a warm blanket with hot chocolate. I love that winter hasn't hit and I don't have to worry about driving in snow or ice... yet. I love soups and stews, and making pumpkin cookies and bread. I love that we start heading into the 'holiday season' with Halloween so close, and then Thanksgiving and Christmas not too far behind. And of course I love fall because of the red, orange, and gold colors everywhere. I went on a great run Saturday and found myself in awe of the beautiful colors all around me. I better soak it all in because I'm sure in another couple weeks the leaves will be gone and snow will be here. (PS For some reason, the uploaded pics are not as clear as the originals and the coloring looks 'off' compared to the real copy. Weird.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Needing a Kick in the Butt

Our family has been dealing with some stress and big changes lately. Jake started a new job last week, working as the Executive Director and Staff Attorney for a non-profit organization that fights to protect Utah's forests and wetlands. He is excited about this change but it has taken a lot of time, prayer and faith to get us to this point. He's taking a huge pay cut and we have had to re-evaluate our lives and figure out what is most important, deciding the difference between genuine needs and just plain wants. We are trying to adjust and make this change work and it's going to be hard. Jake and I have put a lot of thought and prayer into the decisions we are making for our family and we feel, so far we are on the right track. We also know that a lot can change very quickly and so we are just trying to live in the moment, and having hope that no matter what happens in the next week, month, or year from now, we will be okay and it will all be for the best.

So... amidst all the chaos in our lives this past month, my exercise and diet got put on the back burner and guess what... I GAINED 5 lbs! Yes, I'm actually announcing this to the world. I need to be held accountable for my actions and so I'm using this post to re-dedicate myself to working out and eating 1500 calories a day. I sort of jumped back on the wagon last week and went to the gym twice and ran over 5.25 miles on Saturday. My butt-kicking officially started today, though. I ran 2 miles on the treadmill and then did speed interval training for another 2 miles. (As a side note, I love speed intervals! You burn more calories when you switch it up, instead of running the same pace for miles on end. When I say 'speed intervals' I mean I run 1 minute at 7.5 mph, then slow it down for 1 minute, then crank it to 8.0, then fast walk 1 minute, then 8.5, then fast walk, etc. I get up to 9.9, the highest you can go on a treadmill, then I bring it back down. I'm amazed my legs can run that fast without me losing my footing, falling off the treadmill and smacking my face on the floor (yes, I've thought about this!) Anyway, try the intervals. My friend Shana loves them too and says she has got down to her goal weight and toned herself by doing a lot them, so benefits all the way around!) Anyway, back to my workout. Then I did the cross country course on the elliptical for 20 minutes. Then I worked on strength training for 40 minutes and felt pretty good about what I did. I want to focus more on strengthening my adductors and abductors, something I feel will help me stay away from another IT band injury. After my workout I came home and opened my daily plate calorie counter on livestrong.com (highly recommend this website!) I made myself a fruit smoothie for breakfast (1 pear, 1/2 banana, 70 cals of strawberry yogurt, and about 10 ice cubes.) It was pretty good. Usually I throw in some apple juice too, but ran out a few days ago. So my smoothie was 241 calories, so 1259 calories left for the day. I'm jumping right back in full throttle and am pretty dang motivated to get these 5 lbs. off me (and maybe another couple more!) With the holidays coming up, I feel I need this attitude to keep the lbs. off. Anyone else want to join me?!

(PS The pic above is the most recent fam pic I have of all of us, taken about a month ago. We were hanging out with some of our best friends, Shawn and Amei, the night before they left for Toronto. Shawn started his post-doc there last month.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Birds and the Bees- Revisited

I swear I don't provoke these conversations with my kids... they just happen! Last night Jake was at a board meeting so it was just mommy and the kids all day. It was Emma's turn to pick the book before the kids went to bed and she chose the shark book Ben checked out at the library last week. They wanted to read about the insides of a shark (probably because there were some awesome and gory pictures of shark intestines, etc.) Well, Emma pointed to these two pics and asked what they were. They were pictures of the male and female sharks genitalia. So I explained that. Then Ben asked how girls pee since they don't have a penis.

Oh my. Here we go again. I actually don't mind these talks and appreciate the fact that Ben is comfortable and confident enough to ask me these questions. I just tend to be quite an open person and like to say things how they are but as my kids have grown older (and pick stuff up from Jake and I very easily) I have developed a buffering system, which of course should be there. So I'm very careful these days about what I say to them. Anyway, so Ben and I had a good long chat about the male and female anatomy which lead into another discussion about puberty. Ben at one point asked me if girls have bladders, "you know, the sacks that fill with water and has a ball in them." It took everything in me to hold a straight face and not laugh at that one. So I explained the difference between bladders and scrotums, and now he's not confused anymore. I just pray none of these conversations come out during Sunday School. ;)

Speaking of great mommy moments, I had another one yesterday with Josh. I took Emma and Josh to the park and decided to take a pic of Emma on a bridge. Within the 15 seconds it took me to pull my camera out of the case, turn it on and snap the picture, Josh had found a pile of dog poo and grabbed it with both hands. We were about 5 minutes away from our van, which had my purse in it (which carried my antibacterial wipes and purell.) So, it made for quite an interesting morning. Josh kept asking to hold my hand and didn't understand why I wouldn't. I decided just to carry him (hands away from him and me) and Emma and I raced to the van and made it there very quickly. Don't ask me what he was thinking. He sees Truman's poo and never touches it. Granted, this didn't look like Truman's so I could see his confusion. Either way, it was a very gross moment that I hope doesn't happen again... ever. (We can only hope, right?!)

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I had always thought migraines happened to stressed out menopausal women and I guess I thought I was immune to them... until the past couple months. I have had 3 or 4 migraines since March and the worst one happened this morning. I was eating blueberry pancakes for breakfast and noticed I had this weird blind spot in my right eye. I couldn't see out of half my eye (and I've learned via the internet that those blind spots are called 'auras') Within a few minutes my head started to pound on the left side, behind my eye and left temple. I felt tension down my neck and shoulder. I downed some rapid release tylenol, hoping that would make it go away fast, but it didn't help. I was miserable and felt absolutely sick. Jake and I drove to his parents' house and I had my head in front of the AC the entire way, trying to breathe in and out slowly so I wouldn't puke. As we pulled up to the house I got out of the car and made my way to the bathroom and threw up half my pancakes. When we got home I closed all the blinds, shut myself up in our room, and went to sleep with a cold washcloth over my eyes. I can't even remember the last time I felt this ill! Hard to believe your body can get this way all because of a stupid headache. I've been reading more about migraines, the causes and symptoms, and it's interesting stuff. My very first one was just 6 months ago and each time it's happened I've noticed I get an aura right before the migraine hits. (It happened once when I was driving, scared me out of my mind having blind spots... very dangerous!) From what I've read it's hard to pinpoint a cause but some factors that could contribute to them are hormonal changes (no, not on my period right now, just in case you were wondering), stress, diet, exercise, lack of sleep, etc. Hopefully this doesn't become a common occurrence. This morning was just awful! Anyone ever had one? What makes them go away quickly?

PS Thanks for all your advice on my last post. It was fun reading about your experiences and reading your advice. I think we just need to be honest and open, willing to answer whatever he asks... not too many details, but enough for him to understand. Anyway, thanks everyone!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Birds and the Bees

Ben and I had an interesting conversation at dinner time tonight. Here is how it went down:

Ben: Mom, how big are babies when they are in the mom's tummy?

Me: Well, they start out very, very small and then get to be a normal sized baby when they finally come out. Do you remember how big Josh was when he came out of my tummy?

Ben: Yes. So, I know the baby exits through a hole in your tummy (technically true for me because I had them all c-sections). How does the baby get in there? Does a ghost come into your tummy and then it turns into a baby and starts getting bigger?

Me: No ghosts. Actually, a daddy has some special seeds and the mom has a lot of eggs in her tummy. When the seed gets in the egg it makes a baby. Then the baby starts getting bigger and bigger and comes out when it's big enough to live outside of the mommy's tummy.

Ben: Do I have seeds?

Me: Not yet, but you will when you get older.

Ben: Whoa. That's crazy! So... how do the seeds get to the eggs?

I sat there for a second, staring straight at him and wondered how far I should take this. The protective mother in me, wanting to keep him naive forever, decided to say...

Go ask your dad. ;)

A few seconds later Ben then says "Speaking of seeds. Mom? When are we going to plant our garden?"

Wow, that conversation came out of no where. Ben is my smart little guy (will be 7 in December) and I'm just wondering how long it will be until I'm giving him a full Human Development 101 course. So, I ask you all... when did your parents teach you about the birds and the bees? Did you feel it was awkward? Interesting? What could have made the situation better/easier/etc.? I would love to hear your opinions and advice. I'm entering a strange new world of hard-to-answer questions now and I feel I need to be more prepared than I am.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sam Tsui

I found this on Youtube this morning. I was watching clips from the new Fox series "Glee". (Yes, I'm already hooked and it hasn't even started it's regular season yet.) I love how the cast performed Don't Stop Believin' and this kid, Sam Tsui (not on the show) posted himself singing the same version of the song (and yes, he is singing all 5 parts. You can't see him singing the 5th part because the screen is cut-off.) He's dang good! Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ben and the 'ladies'

So, Ben started 1st grade last week and has been loving every minute of it. He is no stranger to the 'little ladies', which I posted about last year. Today after school I took the kids to the grocery store. I asked Ben how his day was and here is our conversation:

Ben: It was fun. I talked a lot with Ashton. She sits at my table.
Me: Good. So Ashton is a girl?
Ben: Yep.
Me: Is she nice?
Ben: Yes.
Me: Is she pretty?
Ben: (with a smirk on his face) Yes... but not as pretty as you!

Well, good thing I have that boy trained. ;) I think he's definitely going to be a ladies-man and we are okay with that... just no kissing (as we instructed him today at dinner.) Love it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Beautiful San Diego

I flew out Friday afternoon to San Diego for my cousin's wedding. It was quite weird being without children for 48 hours. I kept looking around the airport for little ones I could keep my eye on. It was nice to get a little break but life just isn't 'right' without my kiddos and Jake, of course. He was a real trooper and managed to take the kids by himself to a wedding the night I flew out. So I flew into Vegas and had an hour layover. When I got on the plane heading to San Diego I sat next to a nice looking man in his mid-30s. His wife and 2 young daughters were seated a couple rows ahead of him. During the flight we talked quite a bit about his work, his family moving from San Diego to San Clemente next week, etc. He was very kind and it made the flight go fast. Halfway through the flight his youngest (nearly 4) climbed into the seat between us and I heard him talking to her and thought it was Spanish. With the cabin pressure and noise from other passengers I couldn't hear very well but thought for sure it was, indeed, Spanish. So I look down at the girl who was pretty shy and I asked her what her name was in Spanish and how old she was. Well, this little girl looked at me like I was crazy. I thought she just must be really shy or my Spanish was really crappy. A few minutes later the dad starting talking to her again and I realized it was NOT Spanish. I asked him what language he was speaking... Oh. It's Farsi. Yes, this family is Iranian. How could I think they were Hispanic? Who knows. Let's just say, I felt pretty dumb. No wonder the girl was giving me weird looks. Anyway, I got a good laugh from that and thankfully the man laughed too and was not offended. Anyway, I arrived in San Diego around 6:45pm Friday and my aunt Vicki and uncle Darrell picked me up and we went to the Marriott Hotel to meet the rest of the family. We ate at TGIFriday's and then I slept in my grandparents' hotel room with them. Saturday morning we went to my cousin, Krystin's sealing to her husband Andy. It was a beautiful wedding. The weather was perfect and everyone looked great. I had never been to the San Diego temple before and it is truly incredible. (Well, all temples are incredible but this one really is so beautiful.) After the wedding we drove 2 1/2 hours to Apple Valley, where my relatives live, and I helped my aunt Andrea get last minute stuff done for the reception. After the reception I went to my aunt Sam and uncle Kerri's house and slept there that night. Then Grandpa and Grammy, Hillary, Mark (her boyfriend), and I left California at 4:30am and we made it home around 3:30pm. It was a quick trip, but still I had a great time. It was nice to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins who I don't see too often and visit with them at their houses. The last time I visited them in Apple Valley was when I was pregnant with Ben... so quite a few years ago. Thanks to all my relatives for putting up with me for a few days. I had a wonderful time.

Here is Krystin and Andy coming out of the temple as husband and wife. Her colors were black and bright lime green. Check out her green converse. Smart girl, not wearing huge heels and killing her feet all day!

The Call Family (Krystin and Andy, my grandparents, Sam and Kerri, Vicki and Darrell, Andrea and Corwin, and a bunch of my cousins)

Krystin and Andy

I was taking a picture of the temple and a missionary (older couple) said he would take one with me in it so I said "Sure." Him and his wife are from St. George and were very sweet.

Vicki, Grammy, Grandpa, Sam, Kerri, and cousin Max (weird to see my cousins all growing up. I remember babysitting Max when he was younger than Josh's age and now he's 15 and definitely not a little kid anymore.)

Uncle Kerri, Grandpa, and cousin Hillary. (I imagine my grandpa was giving Hillary some counsel about dating/marriage as she is heading off to Utah State this fall as a freshman.) Again, I remember Hillary as this tiny 4 year old. Now she is 18 and going to college. She is a beautiful and sweet girl. I'm glad we were able to ride to Utah together and hopefully with her now only 1 1/2 hours away we can have her over for dinner sometime soon.

The reception theme was a whimsical party. There was an italian soda bar, chocolate fountains, and a candy bar. There was a dance floor on the opposite side of the gym and it did feel more like a casual party instead of a formal reception. Everyone had a great time. I enjoyed catching up with my cousins, Sean and Brandy, Brian and his girlfriend Brooke, and Jesse and Adriana.

Adriana and I. She has 4 kids and is only 26. She teaches at a high school full-time, is a yoga instructor, and I hear is a great chef and baker. She's amazing. It was great to talk with her and the rest of my extended family. I just wish I had more time to spend there... next time!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

3 - 1 = What?!

Ben started first grade on Monday so he is gone from 8:30am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday. I have to say, it's been a weird experience for me, but of course a great experience for Ben. He loves being gone and "not having quiet time after lunch." He has been counting down the days until school started again since the last day of kindergarten. He missed the learning and social time. I warned Ben all summer though that I was not ready to have him leave and be a big boy because I would miss him too much. His reply "Well, mom. Too bad. I'm going to school all day and you will just have to miss me while I'm gone." But then he says "I'll be back, though." Well, good thing. I've come to a huge realization this week... my babies are growing up, and growing up quick! I went basically from 3 kids to 2 in a matter of days and it's sad and sort of nice rolled into one. I know I need to soak up every minute I have with my kids now because soon they will be gone more hours than they are here.

Here are Ben, Emma, and Josh minutes before we left for school on Ben's first day. They all had to wear their backpacks and be like Ben.

Here is Ben looking very excited in the crowd of first graders. (You can tell first day of school is a little chaotic!)

Here is Ben with his friend, Elliott. They are in the same class and that was quite a relief for Ben to have him in there (and a few other kids he knew from t-ball and kindergarten last year.)

Elliott, Landon, Max, and Ben. They stuck together that morning and couldn't stop talking. I'm sure part of it was excitement and part of it was nerves.

Joshie being a ham, waiting for Ben to go with his class. He wouldn't let go of his backpack the rest of the day. In fact, even now when Ben leaves for school, Josh needs his backpack on when he walks outside to say goodbye to Ben. It's going to be really hard for him once Emma goes to school and he is the lone kid with mom.

And here is Ben leaving with his class, heading out to the new paved path the school put in over the summer. They had to fundraise and they met their goal right at the end of the year. It was cute seeing all the moms teary eyed as they waved good-bye to their kids. It's an exciting day for everyone (and emotional.)

So, besides school we've still been busy (does it ever get less busy?!) Emma starts dance again and preschool next week. I'm flying out to San Diego tomorrow for my cousin's wedding. And my mom has been here the past couple days. She dropped Whitney off at BYU (my little sister) and we have had fun playing today. She came with me to a Body Combat class this morning (her first ever) and I think she liked it... although, will be feeling it tomorrow. We went shopping, played Simpson's Clue with Ben twice, cooked the salmon my dad caught last week, and now the kids are in bed and we are unwinding for the night. She leaves in the morning. I took this picture just before the kids went to bed. You can tell they adore her. Emma told her tonight as she was brushing her hair how she didn't want her to go home because she would "miss her SO very much!" (Said in only the dramatic way that Emma can.) It's true though. We love when Grandma comes (and grandpa too!) and it's hard to say good-bye. We've been lucky though and have seen her quite a few times this year. Anyway, back to real life now.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hobble Creek Half Marathon- August 22, 2009

The start line. I love seeing the elite runners, so intense. Most of them come in around 1-1:20 minutes. Nuts! Amazing athletes.

Me at 6 1/2 miles, making it to the top of one of the 'hills.' My friend, Leslie, took the pic and cheered me on throughout the course. I know I look a little 'too' excited to be there... maybe I was! ;)

Yesterday was the Hobble Creek Half Marathon. It starts up the right fork of Hobble Creek Canyon in Utah county and ends at the Mapleton City Park. Friday night I drove down to Orem and picked up my packet at the Runner's Corner. I had some extra time so decided to drive the course since I had never been there before, and it would help me mentally prepare for the next morning.  I took notes of where the two hills were (one around 6 1/2 miles, and the other around 10 1/2 or 11.)  The drive was gorgeous and I was getting excited for the race.  I spent the night at a friend's house in Spanish Fork (thanks again, Nancy!)  She lives only 6 miles from Mapleton Park, where the busses were picking everyone up.  I woke up at 4:50am and was out the door by 5:20am.  I found one of my online runner friends, Heidi, pretty soon after I got there and we loaded the bus together.  It was nice to have the company and she educated me on fuel and why simple sugars are not great for your gut.  (By that point I was wishing I had some hammer gel to try!)  When we got to the top we saw Megan with her family and Becky and her husband (2 other online runners.) I also saw Lynette Bowers, a friend from the U's student housing. (Sorry we didn't get to talk very long. Great job, though! 1:36... you're awesome!)  Heidi, Becky, and I waited nearly 25 minutes to use the porto-potties and got up to the starting line at 7:10am.  (The race was supposed to start at 7:15am).  At that point they started separating the crowd into pace groups.  I placed myself in-between the 8 and 9 minute mile groups and then we just sat there.  The gun didn't go off until nearly 30 minutes later (7:45ish) because 3 busses didn't show up so that meant 3 groups had to wait at the bottom until they were picked up.  I was nervous about starting later because I knew it was just going to get hotter and hotter the more we waited.  I listened to music and tried to dance a little to keep myself warm.  I also talked a lot with these two guys next to me who were funny and seemed to be just as eager as I was.  I love people watching, and especially at events like these.  So many of us with a passion for the same thing, hearts pounding, blood pumping, ready to push our bodies hard.  I saw a 6-7 month pregnant girl in-line for the race.  (Wow!)  There was a girl with a backpack on, blasting music from a stereo inside it.  I noticed one lady with make-up caked on and I thought "Does she not sweat?!"  If I wore a lot of make-up, it would be dripping in my eyes and off my face by the end.  Amazingly, I saw her after the finish and she looked exactly like she did at the start.  Wow.  I guess some people are just lucky.  I saw one girl wearing just a sports bra and tiny shorts and she had a 12-pack... a tad jealous on that one. ;)  Anyway, finally the race started and I was on my way.  I felt really good the first 7 miles or so.  I was hitting my splits and I knew if I kept it up I would get sub-2.  (My last half I got 2:22 but I had IT band issues and I had to walk a mile, so this time I knew I could beat my old time, I just didn't know by how much.  I for sure wanted under 2:10 and knew I could do it. I really wanted under 2 but knew the stars had to be aligned for me to keep under a 9 min pace.)  I hit mile 1 at 8:47.  Mile 2 at 17 something.  Mile 3 at 25 something.  I was feeling good and kept thinking "Jamie, keep this up and you will do it!"  Mile 4 at 35.  Mile 5 at 44 something.  Mile 6 at 53 something.  (My 10K time was 54 min., which beats my last 10K time I did in September '08 by 15 minutes!)  At mile 7 I was at 1:03 something so I knew I was right on time, but getting slower.  Mile 8 around 1:13.  Mile 9 at 1:23.  Mile 10 at 1:32.  Mile 11 at 1:42.  Slowing down.  So at this point I knew I had 18 minutes to run the last 2.1 miles.  Physically I KNEW I could do it, but I was mentally running out of gas.  The course I had driven the night before wasn't actually the full course. After mile 7 it veered off to a bike trail, which was more hilly than I was prepared for and it messed with my head a little. My last two miles were slow.  Mile 12 at 1:54ish and my chip says I crossed the finish line at 2:05:57.  I was happy overall, but of course, a tad disappointed that I couldn't finish the last two miles strong. Leslie, another online friend who broke her foot doing a triathlon a couple months ago and was our photographer told me at the end how great I did, and next time I will get sub-2.  If I work more on my speed workouts and do more longer runs so I can work on my endurance those last few miles, I'm sure I can shave 6+ minutes off my time.  So... a goal for next time!  I want to experiment with different fuel too and see if that makes a difference.  

After the race I actually felt really good, a tad sore, but NOTHING like after the Salt Lake 1/2.  (I hobbled past the finish line and was in excruciating pain for days and couldn't run more than 1/2 a mile for nearly a month!  Found out I had IT band syndrome and so took time off from running and didn't really get back into it until last month.)  I took 2 aleve at the beginning of this race and 2 rapid release tylenol at the end and I never felt a twinge of hip or knee pain.  I want to thank Leslie for being there at the top of the hill around 6 1/2 miles.  She was on her bike, taking pics of all the online runners.  Not having dh and the kids there, it was nice to feel like I had my own 'little family' there cheering me on.  Around mile 10 Leslie was there again, cheering and reminding me I 'only had a 5K left.'  That was great to hear and get in my brain.  I knew I was so close. When I crossed the finish line I felt relief, happiness, and exhaustion all rolled into one.  

So this morning I feel fine.  My quads are still a little sore but overall my body feels good.  No knee pain at all!!  I'm really thinking hard about a marathon now.  If I can stay injury-free and work up my mileage slowly and get stronger, I know I can do it. Who would have guessed a year ago that I would be loving running so much, plotting out my next races, educating myself on electrolytes and endurolytes, thinking about Garmin forerunners, wondering what's better: Clif gels, shot bloks, Gu, or Hammer gels, and seriously contemplating a marathon?!! I think the best thing about all this is that I actually feel strong mentally and physically, something I can't say I've ever felt my entire life until now. Pretty cool.

This pic was taken about an hour after I crossed the finish line. It's of Vince and Becky (husband and wife), Heidi, me, and Leslie.

Last month some girls I met online through an LDS families forum met and had a playdate. We started a runners thread and we all post about our workouts, races, whatever is on our minds. I've learned a lot from these ladies and really appreciate their wisdom (and of course their friendships). From left to right- Crystal, Heidi, Becky, me, Megan, and Leslie.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Mother of All Posts

So, I realize I've been MIA for awhile and this post will explain why. We have been crazy busy this summer and it seems like we are just barely coming up for air. Here is what we have been up to the past 2 months:

June 25th we went up to Logan for a wedding reception. Jake taught the bride and her family on his mission in France nearly 11 years ago. Jake really loved the Membre family (still does) and has kept up with them through Facebook. We felt honored to be invited to Lucie's wedding reception. She married her husband in the Logan temple earlier that day. Jake had a great time catching up with Benoit and Veronique, Lucie's parents. (The 2nd pic is of Jake and his companion with Veronique on his mission back in the day.)

June 29th- My grandma, Alma Bagwell McDonald passed away. She was 87 years old and lived an amazing life. I was able to be with her the night she had her major stroke, 4 days before she died. I had some very sweet and tender moments with her that night, as we were the only ones there. I talked to her, held her hand, read to her out of the Ensign, sang to her. I didn't see her again until the funeral. My parents, 2 sisters, and 2 nieces stayed at our house the week of the funeral. It was nice to be together and celebrate grandma's life together. My mom and I spent a few days putting the program together for the funeral and my mom had decided at the last minute to take out the "Open remarks" section, which would have invited anyone to come up and talk. We were worried some would get up and be there for awhile and thought better to just take it out. Well, the one conducting didn't get the updated program and so he left that section in and really, it was a blessing. There were maybe 7 or 8 people who got up and spoke about grandma. I loved hearing stories of her in her younger years, because I never knew her like that. It really added to the program so we were glad it was left in. I sang "I Stand All Amazed" at her grave and amazingly I was able to do it with no tears. I kept thinking she was there in spirit, so happy seeing her whole family there together, and she was back with her family in heaven. (She was the youngest child in her family and the last one to die. Her mom died when grandma was nearly 13 so I'm sure it was quite the reunion in heaven when grandma passed.) Overall, it was a beautiful day.

July 10th-July 18th We went to Lincoln City, Oregon and spent the week with Jake's family at a beach house overlooking the ocean. The kids were in heaven, spending a week straight with their cousins. We celebrated Ryan and Kimball's birthdays while we were there, went to the Sea Lion Caves, the Newport Aquarium, whale watching on a boat in Depoe Bay, and of course, the Famous Mo's for clam chowder. We ate there 3 times that week and I never got sick of it. I also fell in love with their bay shrimp and cabbage salad. Yum! I gained a couple pounds while we were there (and thankfully lost it all the next week!) I had some fantastic runs while I was there, and I loved running at 6am, listening to the waves. It was so serene and made me want to live there for a second or two, or at least have a vacation home there. The weather wasn't that great, but when is Oregon beach weather great?! The first two days it poured rain. Then it was pretty cold and windy the next couple days. The last two days we were there it started to warm up a little, which was nice. We played Trivial Pursuit, the Wii, Phase 10, relaxed in the hot tub, played ping pong, and just had fun with the family. On the 18th Jake drove home with the rest of the Schipaanboord's and I took Ben, Emma and Josh and went up to Portland (2 hours away) to stay with my parents for a couple weeks to get ready for my high school reunion.

While we were in Oregon, I arranged a playdate with the kids' cousin, Leila. We had never met her before and I really wanted Ben, Emma and Josh to know who Leila is and have a chance to play with her. Leila and her mom, Jane (my brother's ex-wife) live in Vancouver, Washington. We all met at a park and already at 9:30am it was nearly 100 degrees! We were all dying in the heat, but the kids didn't complain. Leila is a doll and has blonde hair and a button nose like the rest of the kids. She is quite the daredevil, going up high ladders and doing things a regular 2 year old wouldn't do. She made Josh look a little wussy, but that's alright. ;) We had a great time with Leila and Jane and hope we can plan another playdate the next time we are in Oregon.

We had a blast being at Grandma and Grandpa Call's house for a couple weeks. My mom spoiled me (like she always does) by doing our laundry, dinners, taking the kids out, babysitting a couple times, etc. The kids loved spending time with aunt Whitney too (even though she was out of commission for awhile due to her surgery). I think Josh became attached to my dad, especially when he played his guitar. He would ask my dad "tar?" and make a strumming movement. So, my dad would pull it out and then Josh would be happy and watch him play. So cute. We went to the Washington County Fair, lots and lots of garage sales, Emma and Josh got pink eye, one night mom watched the kids so Naomi and I could go to a karaoke bar with Zach & Ksenia Everton, and Greg & Mandee Blaisdell, some high school friends of mine. I went on some incredible runs (which I talked about two posts ago.) I loved picking the wild blackberries as I ran down dirt roads. It was quite peaceful and made me fall in love with Oregon. We stayed up late watching So You Think You Can Dance, enjoyed Whitney's yummy (and sinful) chocolate caramel brownies, met Christ and Shari (a sweet couple who live a few blocks from my parents), went to the park a handful of times, watched the kids practice on their new scooters over and over (they got some owies but now they actually are pretty good at it!) We had some nice late night talks (love that about coming home), enjoyed going to mom and dad's ward for 3 weeks in a row, and so much more. While we were there, the NW had the hottest heat wave they have had in years. During that week we went to some fountains that the kids could play in (I believe it was 106 that day). The kids had a blast. (I couldn't help it, I had to put the pic of Ben in showing his little crack. He's so skinny, he often has a hard time keeping his pants up. The Schipaanboord boys will need belts for probably their whole lives!) Overall we had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa. Thanks for spoiling us!

July 26th- Josh turned TWO!! Hard to believe my baby is not a baby anymore. We celebrated his birthday at my parents' house in Oregon. We had my best friend, Naomi, and her husband Jeremy and their son, Hayden come over for the festivities. Josh loved his cake (thanks grandma!) and had fun playing with his new bowling set. The next day we went to this place called Out of This World (kind of like Kangaroo Zoo) and celebrated again with Naomi and Hayden, and ate pizza and breadsticks. Josh is my handsome little guy and I really feel lucky to have such a sweet son. Hopefully that sweetness sticks around as we start potty training soon! ;)

August 1st- The long and awaited day finally came and went... my 10-year high school reunion. My committee and I had been planning this thing for 15 months and it was nice to finally get it done. To be honest, I wasn't too excited about the night to begin with. The small talk with a bunch of people I hadn't seen in years wasn't so appealing, but really, once everything was set-up and people started coming, it actually was a lot of fun. I loved catching up with old friends and can't wait for the next one (thank goodness I have 9 years to recover before I start thinking about our 20-year!) I know some were complaining about the weather (it was in the high 90s, and we were outside with no a/c) but you can't control that. Overall, I felt like it was a success and was happy everyone had such a good time. Also, a thank you to Jake for flying out the night before and dealing with me, a crazy basket case. He was in-charge of the cashier desk and did a fabulous job. Thanks babe!

August 3rd- We drove home to Utah. It was bittersweet leaving my parents and friends in Oregon, but we were all definitely ready to be back home and sleep in our own beds. I couldn't have asked for the kids to do any better in the car. You would think we would have major meltdowns smashing 3 kids into a car for 12 hours, but they were angels (besides Emma putting an M&M in her nose 5 minutes outside of Pendleton. Thankfully, a couple blows and it shot right out. Don't ask me what she was thinking! That was the first (and I'm sure will be the last) time she ever does that.) When we pulled into the driveway around 8:30pm that night we saw a huge sign on our lawn that said "Welcome Home!" and had all of our names written around it. My sweet neighbor, Susi Mabey, made it for us and the kids loved it. We are lucky to have such wonderful neighbors and friends around us.

The kids were able to do two rounds of swim lessons this summer (one before we left for Oregon and one after). They loved swimming every morning for 2 weeks straight and learned a lot. They both seem to be more comfortable in the water and Ben can even go off the diving board and swim to the side with no help (something he couldn't do just a few months ago!) Emma is getting better at the 'front crawl' (freestyle) and just puts her head right into the water and goes for it. I'm really proud of both of them.

August 14th- I'm in the Primary Presidency and each year one of us is in-charge of a quarterly activity. With the help of Sugardoodle.net I found some cute ideas for a Scripture Water Olympics. The kids learned all about Jonah and the Whale, Moses and parting the Red Sea and 40 days in the wilderness, and Noah and the Ark. The best part was they had fun doing it, getting wet, and at the end there was a big water balloon fight (pretending to be Nephites and Lamanites.) Then at the end Abby (our president) gave out otter pops and I gave out gold medals made out of ding dongs. Those were a hit. We all agree the activity was a success. You can't go wrong with water games, popsicles and ding dongs!

August 14th- We went with Jake's family to Lagoon. The kids were counting down the hours and minutes until we could go. Ben loves "the Bat" and Emma had a great time doing whatever she was tall enough to do. We had a slight meltdown when we were in line for a ride and Emma was told she couldn't do it because she was too short. Her cousin, Isabelle, was kicked out of line too so that made the hurt not as bad. Overall we had a great time and the kids can't wait to do it again.

If you got this far, good job. WHEW! It's been crazy, and yet the craziness still continues. We got rid of Barkley on June 28th. I just didn't have the time to train him and I felt badly but knew it needed to be done. He went to a good home, and I'm sure his new owners love him to pieces. Emma still talks about him every once in awhile and misses him. She attacks Truman with love quite often, though, so I'm glad he's here for her.

Josh had another ear infection last week (that makes the fifth one this year!) and we are again contemplating tubes. I don't really know what we are waiting around for. I guess I was just hoping he would grow enough this year so he wouldn't need them, but I'm beginning to think we have a surgery in our future. We meet with his pediatrician this week and will discuss it.

Ben and Emma are so excited for school to start. Ben starts 1st grade next Monday, the 24th. He's in a 1st/2nd split class and I'm a little nervous about it for him, but I think it will be okay. Emma starts preschool on September 8th and she is so excited she gets to go to school like Ben. We went school supplies shopping yesterday and they both loved picking out their own backpacks. (Ben chose Mariokart and Emma chose a Hannah Montana one.) Then of course, Josh wanted one and he pretended Ben's lunchbox was a backpack but when he realized he couldn't 'wear' it, he threw it on the ground and cried. It's going to be pretty hard for this little guy to watch his two older siblings go off to school and not him. I'm looking forward to those few days a week that it will just be me and Josh. It will be weird to only have one kid at home though. Hard to believe my kids are getting so big! Soon they will all be in school and I will be wondering where my babies went!

My next race is Saturday, the Hobble Creek Half Marathon. I haven't done a race this long since April, when I had my knee injury, so I'm really hoping to crush my PR. I thought I might be able to do it under 2 hours but then since I was training in Oregon and then started training again here, it's taking me longer than I thought it would to adjust to the elevation change. Although, I ran 7 miles today (on the treadmill) and it felt great. I did it in 61 minutes, which averages out to 8:42 min. miles. If I can keep a 9:09 average, then I would get under 2 hours but honestly, I don't feel like I've trained enough to keep that up. My old time is 2:22, and I'm hoping for under 2:10. We'll see.

Well, that's it for now. I promise my next post won't be so overwhelming. Summers tend to be that way, though. As fun as the last few months have been, it will be nice to get back into a regular routine and start 'real life' again.