Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reality is Stranger than Fiction

     Nine months ago . . . I repeat . . . nine months ago . . . Marisa, Jill, and I planned a dream trip to New York to run the New York City Marathon.  We all qualified for the race.  I knew I may never qualify again, so it had to be this year . . . November 4, 2012.
     We saved up money.  We bought our plane tickets.  We made a huge downpayment on an apartment.  We bought tickets to Broadway shows.  We bought tickets to see the Empire State Building.  We reserved tickets for the 9/11 Memorial.  We made lists, and lists, and lists of things to pack.  We had dreams of items to buy in the illegal shops in Chinatown.  I made lists, and lists, and lists for Grandma Sue and Grandpa David, who would be taking care of our children while we were gone.  I asked off of work.  I made plans for carpools.  I  . . . NEVER SAW HURRICANE SANDY COMING!!
     Last night, we listened to the news about Hurricane Sandy.  We viewed the horrible devastation to those living in New Jersey and New York City.  I was so thankful that we were safe and snug in Utah. I watched the reporters standing in knee high water.  I saw electricity going out.  I began to be concerned that our well-laid plans to visit New York City may be halted by the storm.
   What I didn't realize last night, was that the ONE AND ONLY (as far as I know) building in New York City to lose its facade (facade or façade (/fəˈsɑːd/) is generally one exterior side of a building, usually, but not always, the front. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face") was OUR APARTMENT BUILDING.  Did you read that?  The only building to be defaced (literally) was the building WE were supposed to be staying in.
     Now, I don't have any proof.  The property owner hasn't called to say anything about the wreckage.  But if you look at the photos closely . . . (Marisa, Jill, and I have all looked VERY closely, MANY TIMES) you can see a striking resemblance between the photos from the website that we rented the apartment from, and the photos with the missing walls from the news.
     What are the chances?  Are we just unlucky?  Are we not supposed to go on this trip?  Will it be nice to sleep in a bed with a nice, strong breeze at night?  I suppose we could run to Home Depot and buy miles of painter's plastic to cover up our missing bedroom wall or maybe if I call Mayor Bloomberg he will expedite the rebuilding of the wall by Friday afternoon.

     Back to reality . . . our families are safe, our houses are still standing, and our basements are not filled with water.  We are very lucky.  But seriously . . . what are the chances?  My reality really IS stranger than fiction.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Solution to Telemarketers

Ian answered the phone tonight.  A telemarketer was on the other end.  This is how the conversation went:

Ian:  Hello.
Tele:  Is this the Hebers?
Ian:  Yea.
Tele:  Can I give you a short survey?
Ian:  Sure!  (anything to talk to a girl!)
Tele:  Do you have any allergies in the house.
Ian:  Uh . . . yea.
Tele:  Are they dust, pollen, hair, or all of the above?
Ian:  Uh . . . pollen.
Tele:  Do you have a vacuum in your house?
Ian:  We don't have vaccines in our house.
Tele:  You don't have a vacuum in your house?
Ian:  Oh . . . a vacuum.  Yeah, we have a vacuum.
Tele:  How old is it?
Ian:  1 month.
Tele:  The next questions are demographic.
Ian:  Why are you asking me Democratic questions?  Is this about tonight's political debate?  Uh, I'm just a kid.
Tele:  What age bracket are you in?  20, 30, 40, or 50?
Ian:  You should talk to my mom.
Me:  (from the kitchen)  I'm busy!!  I can't talk.
Ian:  She can't talk right now.  Dad, can you talk?
Aaron:  (from the bedroom)  No!  Tell her we aren't interested.
Ian:  They can't talk right now.  We aren't interested.
Tele:  We only have a few more questions left.
Ian:  Really.  We aren't interested.
Tele:  Please, sir.  This would really help me a lot!
Ian:  No, thank you.


I think that I will have Ian answer the phone from now on.  He will gain some much needed listening and speaking skills and Aaron and I will escape the telemarketers!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Never Normal

You know we talk about breastfeeding a little too much in our family when you hear conversations like this around the dinner table.  Keep in mind, that the conversation started out completely innocent on my end!

Me:  I just found out that _____________ is going to go to Nursing School.
Aaron:  That is great!
Carson:  I didn't know ______________ is pregnant.  When is she having a baby?
Aaron:  Mom said she's going to Nursing School.  She's not having a baby.  What makes you think that?
Carson:  Well, she's going to "nursing" school . . .

It took us all a couple of seconds to catch on to Carson's train of thought.  Having a baby=go to nursing school . . .

All of us:  Oh, Carson!  Not that kind of Nursing School!  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!

The next 10 minutes were spent reenacting the class activities that go on at "nursing" school:

Aaron:  Ok, students.  This is how it's done.  Get your blankets out and cover yourselves up modestly.
Ian:  That would be so funny if the teacher was a boy, and had to show the girls how to nurse!
Aaron:  Yep.  He'd have to strap on a fake . . .
Carson:  Ha, ha, ha.  Ha, ha, ha.  Ha, ha, ha!

There is NEVER a normal conversation at the Heber house!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tales from St. George

     Caleb and I have tried to run 2 marathons together in the past:  Phoenix and Salt Lake.  Both marathons ended in tragedy for me.  I was deathly ill from my "yet to be diagnosed" celiac disease in Phoenix and spent 5 hours on the course (half of that time was spent going potty).  Salt Lake City was another nightmare; I ran 6, walked 8, and finally gave up without finishing because of a foot injury.  Caleb and I decided that the third time would be the charm!  We both trained for months to run in the St. George Marathon 2012.  Unfortunately, Caleb's knee started causing him problems a couple of weeks before the race.  We thought the gods may be speaking to us:  "You two are not supposed to run marathons together!"  Caleb decided to run on one good knee, and headed down to St. George on Friday night with me and Dad.
We hung out at the Expo on Friday night.  I bought myself a skin-tight pair of black calf sleeves to wear the next day.  I was hoping they would cut off the circulation in my legs so I wouldn't feel the pain during the race.  They didn't work. :)
I thought it would be a great idea to buy some of these "Nip Guards" for myself as well.  No girl likes to be "nipply" during a race.  When I picked them up for a closer look the salesman said,  "They work great to protect men from getting bloody nipples while racing."   He seemed surprised that I was interested in purchasing them for myself.  I held them up for size, and considered the purchase for a moment.  Unfortunately they were $8.  Too much money.  I decided that two pieces of  Scotch tape would work just as well.

I woke up the next morning to Dad's camera.  He got pictures of everything . . . even my success in the bathroom!  Wink.  Wink.
Caleb was thrilled to have a photo taken of himself getting the perfect racing hair style!

Next photo opportunity was down in the hotel lobby.  Dad got me practicing my stride.  He was such a champ waking up at 4:00 am to drive Caleb and me to the busses.
Dad also caught us practicing our victory stance.   The other people in the hotel lobby just smirked.

A couple of hours later, we were not looking quite so victorious.  I lost one of my water bottles at Mile 1.  That was a bummer.  We stopped for a potty break at Mile 3.  Boys are so lucky.  Caleb was able to relieve himself without anyone stopping to stare -- right out in the open.  The next 11 miles were pretty uneventful.  A couple of friendly runners tried to engage in conversation, but Caleb and I just focused on running.  Unfortunately, my stomach started to bother me at Mile 14.  Being a girl makes the potty process just a tad bit more difficult.  I have to admit, squatting by the side of the road with no bushes in sight, knowing that all the runners running up the road towards you can see your bare bum, is actually not as awkward as it sounds! :)

Jeff was waiting for us at Mile 18 with a fresh bottle of Zip Fizz and a Payday candy bar.  I tried to chew the peanuts and nougat, but my mouth was too dry.  I ended up chewing for a couple of minutes and then  spitting the peanuts out all over the road.  I'm sure it wasn't a pretty sight.  Chewing that nougat kept my mind off my tired legs though.

I hit a major wall at Mile 19.  I was exhausted.  I barely made it to Mile 20.  I just kept thinking, "I am going to eat a giant bacon cheeseburger and french fries as soon as I finish running.  All I have to do is run 6 more miles."  The cheeseburger and french fry fantasy wasn't super helpful.  I felt EVERY step.  Caleb and I separated for about 5 miles.  Just when I thought I couldn't make it one more step, with only .5 miles left to go, I saw Caleb back at my side.  We both had tears in our eyes as we ran the last part of the race together.  We crossed the finish line at the same moment.  We finally did it!!  We finished a marathon TOGETHER!!  I know it sounds sappy, but it was one of the coolest moments of my life.
Caleb, Marisa, Jill and I after the race.
In case you are wondering why I'm being so immodest . . . I hid some Blue Bunny Ice Cream bars in my top for later.  Bet you can't even tell!

Cheers!  Nothing like a Diet Coke after 26.2 miles.  Nothing could've tasted better (except for that bacon cheeseburger and fries).  The End!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Naughty, Naughty!!

Carson came home from school today with a strange smile on his face.  

"Mom.  I've got a joke for you. It's about the 'F' word, but don't worry.  It's not THE 'F' word."

"Okay, Carson.  Let me hear it," I said nervously.

"What starts with an 'F' and ends with a 'CK'?" Carson asked with a smile.

"Carson Grant.  Seriously?!" I exhaled deeply.  What is Elementary School coming to?

"FIRETRUCK!" Carson said, with squeals of laughter.

"Who told you that joke?" I asked in a serious voice.


"Well, that is a naughty joke.  Don't tell anyone else that joke.  And who is Ben?!"

After getting Carson to promise that he would never repeat the joke, he started in on another story from the school day.

"There is a new girl at school.  She moved here from Mexico.  She isn't nice.  She gives me the evil eye at school and also gives everyone the middle finger.  She is mean."

"Maybe the middle finger means something else in Mexico," I said jokingly.

"You are thinking of China, Mom.  In China, they use their pinky finger instead of their middle finger to be rude."

"Where did you learn this, Carson?"

"I learned it at school."

I am having second thoughts about Ben.  And school.  What happened to the ABCs?!

Student of the Month for September

Cali was voted Student of the Month for September at Maple Mountain High School.  Her teacher, Mr. Miner, had some beautiful things to say about her at the luncheon.  He said, "Cali has a smile on her face everyday, no matter what.  Even if I tell the class they have a 100 page reading assignment, she still smiles that same smile."  He also explained that Cali loves learning for learning's sake, not just for the "A".  I am so very proud of her work ethic.  She is an amazing girl!

The Tree Comes Down

I have absolutely HATED this tree that stands in our front yard.  It is dying and ugly.  It sends out shoots of baby trees that grow all over our yard and our neighbor's yard.  The tree is a menace.

My friend, Jill, kindly offered up her husband's tree cutting services.  When Aaron found out, he said, "Why would we cut down that tree?  I love that tree!"  Seriously?!  
 Aaron's love for the tree was not enough to keep it standing.  The sound of the chainsaw was glorious to my ears!

 Ian got to help Jason with the chainsaw.  He felt like such a MAN!  Now all I need to do is get rid of the stump.  Too bad the roots of the tree are completely wrapped around the electrical box.  Hopefully the entire neighborhood won't hate me when their lights go out.