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 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.