Sunday, May 26, 2013

Aunt Flo and the Ogden Marathon

For the past 4 months, I have been training for the Ogden marathon.  I am getting old and my body has lots of aches and pains.  I just kept praying that I would stay injury-free until the marathon.  Running is hard enough without a broken ankle or a bum knee.  

What I hadn't considered as a hinderance to my race was Aunt Flo's visit.  If there are any men reading this blog entry, Aunt Flo is the code name used by many women for . . . the monthly menstrual cycle.  I know, I know . . . gross!!

Well, when Aunt Flo comes to visit me, she causes horrible problems when I run.  I suffer from fatigue,  breathing problems, "pirate stump legs" (this is when you feel like you are running on peg legs instead of the real ones attached to your hips), and other obvious problems like bloating, weight gain, etc . . . The worst problem with Aunt Flo is the potty problems she brings with her visits.  I usually have to use the restroom about 6-8 times during a long, Saturday run if Aunt Flo is in town.  Looking at the calendar, I realized that Aunt Flo would probably come to town the day before the race or the day of.  I had been training for a PR, but I had to reevaluate.  I knew it would be impossible to run fast for any length of time with my dreaded female problem.
Low and behold, on our drive up to Ogden, Aaron and I passed a truck that said, "Got Poop?" on the side.  I knew it was an omen of things to come during the race.

We got to our hotel, checked in, and went to our room to clean up for dinner.  Surprise, surprise . . . Aunt Flo arrived in town at the exact same moment that we did!!

I decided not to let Aunt Flo get me down even though Aaron and I were supposed to be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary.  Poor guy!

We woke up the next morning to rain.  Lots and lots of rain.  It rained on our walk to the marathon bus.  It rained while we were in line for the porta potties.  It rained while we stood in line for the race to start.  Aaron told me the night before that the rain might actually be my friend. "If you have to poo during the race, just go in your pants.  The rain will wash it away."  Am I married to a comedian or what?!
Caleb and I ran together the first 9 miles of the race.  I was quite an annoyance.  Both of my water bottles fell out of my pack.  A nice man retrieved one.  Caleb picked up the other and carried it for me.  After mile 9, Caleb decided to drop back and do his own thing.  I kept running, waiting for the potty problems to start.  I think my body was in shock from the rain and cold temperatures, because low and behold, I never had to stop to use the restroom.  
My legs started to fatigue badly about Mile 16.  Those hills are killers.

At Mile 25, just when I thought I couldn't go any further, I heard a voice beside me.  "Hey, Vanessa.  Let's catch those guys!"  It was Caleb and he was running strong.  

I gasped, "You go ahead.  I'm too tired."

Caleb took off like a bullet.  He looked like a pro.  That brother of mine is amazing!  He reached his goal time of 3:15.  

I got a PR of 3:16:16.  It was exhausting.  It was hard.  It was basically a miracle.

After the race, my body temperature dropped quickly.  I started shaking uncontrollably.  It was not enjoyable.  I stayed in the hot shower when we got back to the hotel for about 25 minutes to try to warm up.  

I will never forget this race:  Aunt Flo, the rain, the cupcakes . . .

We celebrated after the race with lots of food.  I found a cupcake shop that sold gluten-free cupcakes and promptly bought and ate two.  Delicious!  

Cali is a High School Graduate!

Our baby girl graduated from high school on Thursday!  Everyone keeps asking me if I'm sad.  For some reason, I'm not sad at all.  I am so unbelievably proud of her and all of her achievements and feel that she is ready for all that her future holds.  

 When I asked Cali what she wanted for a graduation gift from her grandparents and friends she replied, "I would love money so I can buy a nice camera bag to take to college."
I told Grandpa Markie what Cali had said about needing money, so I was a little bit surprised when Grandpa Markie brought a beautifully wrapped gift over for Cali's graduation (instead of an envelope).  

He said, "Cali, would you like to guess what it is?  I'll give you a clue.  It is something to help with your future occupation."

I could tell Cali was a little bit nervous while opening the box.  What was Grandpa surprising her with?
"Oh, Grandpa.  You shouldn't have!  A camera bag!  And it even has a pocket on the front!"
The bag was a cheap nylon bag.  It was definitely second-hand.  I brushed some dirt off the front for Cali.

"Thanks so much, Grandpa!" Cali said as she laid the bag on the counter.  I saw her pat it once to see if there might be something hiding inside.

Grandpa looked at her with a smile and chuckled, "Open the zipper, Cali!"

Cali was overjoyed to find a card with money inside.  Grandpa Markie is hilarious!  What a trickster.

 We all went to The Spaghetti Factory for dinner before graduation.  It was delicious and we got the lunch special since we ate at 3 p.m.!  Grandma Joannie's bill only came to $1.75.  She got the side salad. Curiously enough, Grandma was the last one at the table even though she ordered the least amount of food.  She asked for extra loaves of free bread to dip in her salad dressing and Ian's leftover side of shredded cheese.  Our family sure knows how to get a bargain!
 We had a BBQ in the backyard with family and neighbors to celebrate Cali.  We had a great time decorating the yard.  Cali is the creative one in the family, so she made her own banner!

 Grandma Sue and Grandpa David came from California for graduation.  They are so wonderful to travel to all the grandkids' events!  They gave Cali an awesome duffel bag for college and some money towards her camera bag.  She was ecstatic!

 We spent about 30 minutes taking photos after graduation.  We wanted to make sure not to miss a single pose or group shot with the "girl of the hour."

We love you, Calz!

Carson's 3rd Grade Graduation

Carson is now a 3rd grade graduate!  Time flies!  Here he is with his soccer buddies, Nick and Easton.

 This is Carson's friend, Xander.  They have been great buddies this year.
 Carson didn't want to dress up for the graduation ceremony.  I forced him to.  If you look closely, you will see one accessory that he snuck on that doesn't quite match the rest of his outfit!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

School Play, Artwork, Student Council, and Mother's Day

Carson recently performed in his school's short play, "Goodnight, Mr. Hitler."  He was the mayor, and he did a fantastic job remembering his lines.

                       Carson also painted this beautiful picture at school.  It makes me happy!

Ian and Nyah just ran for Student Council.  Nyah's campaign slogan was, "Hi-chews (choose) Nyah!"  If you haven't tried a Hi-chew candy, you haven't lived!  

Ian's slogan was, "Break the tie, Vote Ian Heber!"  He made bow ties out of duct tape for students to wear during his campaign.  I am very proud of them both for going out of their comfort zones.  It is hard for me to talk to people I don't know, so I can't imagine how difficult it is for junior high students.

Nyah was elected as a representative for 8th grade Student Council and Ian was elected as the President for next year.  I think this will be a great growing experience for both of them!

 Dad sent me a bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day.  There were so many flowers in the bunch that Nyah and I split them up into multiple jars.  I love them!

Aaron and the kids made me a fabulous omelet for Mother's Day!  Nyah made me a menu to fill out so I could have it made exactly how I like it.  I love my family!

Cali's Maple Mountain Prom

Cali went to prom this year with her Yearbook friend, Brian.  They had a great time taking pictures of their group in Provo, grabbing dinner at P.F. Changs, eating dessert at a crepe restaurant, and dancing the night away at Sundance.  Cali made the flower crown that she wore.  I love her sense of style.

Spring Break

"What did you do for Spring Break, Ian?"

"I stayed home and painted my entire house.  It was the worst Spring Break of all time!"

A little background information may be helpful to understand the painting project.  Cali painted a canvas to hang in our kitchen.  The kitchen wall I wanted to hang it on was florescent green.  Not a good match.  So, I decided the family would paint the walls grey.  I've wanted fresh paint for a long time, but there was never a free week available to do the work.  Thus, Spring Break equaled Heber painting project.

I decided we would paint in the mornings and then head out for a family activity each afternoon.  After all, I didn't want to be a tyrant. :)

Ian bought a new fishing pole, his "Ugly Stik", so we headed off to the reservoir for a fishing adventure.

 Carson gave up after a few minutes and took a nap.  No fish were caught by Ian or Nyah.  We did catch a case of the "grumpies" though, so we ended up heading home earlier than expected.  Fun activity #1 was a disaster.
The next "fun" activity was hiking to the "Y" and eating ice cream and french fries at The Creamery in Provo.  This activity was a success; I think because food was involved!

Our third activity was four wheeling with the Rucker family.  Our family is a little behind in the four wheeling department.  I had to be saved three times from certain death.  We all had a blast and are so grateful for patient friends who so graciously shared their toys with us!

 It was Jason's birthday, so we celebrated with Dunedogs (hotdogs eaten at the dunes) and brownies!
Jason taught our kids to start a fire with flint.  I think we are ready for Survivor now!

Even though we had a lot of fun times over Spring Break, all the kids remember is "painting the entire time!" I'm sure when they are adults they will all call and tell me that they've had to pay for years of therapy because of Spring Break 2013.