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.


Kim said...

Wow! What a fun summer!
And we'll have to see about a race together in the future...although, I'm not sure I'll ever be as fast as you. How in the world are you so fast???

The Thornocks said...

Phew, how long did it take you to write that? It was fun to read and see pics of everything you've been doing. We need to get these blogs printed out somehow and make them into scrap books because we put enough time and effort into them, it would definitely be worth it. We miss you guys. Hopefully we can see you before Christmas, but if not, I'm still super excited. I've got my half marathon on Sep. 19th, but I haven't been doing any running. I'm not smart, I know. I don't know why I sign up for these things when I don't even train for them. Ugh, we'll see how it goes. Good luck with yours!

Loree said...

wow! i made it to the end of the post! i like long posts :) anyhow, glad you and the fam had a super summer. you sure did cram a lot in a couple months. good luck with your race! you'll do awesome. I have picked back up my jogging routine. even in this heat! YUCK! i am toying with the idea to race in an olympic distance tri in oct??? i am not sure though. anyway, great to hear from you again :)

Megan said...

That was a long post. I was wondering what happened to you, but it looks like I don't have to worry. Good luck with the race. I hope you are doing good. Let me know if you need anything.

Sonja said...

Loved reading the post and reliving it. We miss you guys and can't wait to see you again!

Leslie said...

Whew! What a busy and fun last couple months you've had! Glad you have you back, you'll do great at Hobblecreek, I'll be watching for you!

Nurse Heidi said...

Holy manoli, that IS the mother of all posts! I love the pictures of all the cousins together, especially with all their sleeping bags lined up. That is just the best thing in the universe :).

Can't wait to see you at Hobblecreek - call me when you get to the bus loading zone. I'll PM everyone on facebook with my cell # just in case you don't have it already.