October 19, 2017

Earlier this year I told Stefan I wanted to run another half marathon. He told me if I ran a full instead he would be so proud of me, and he would get me a big prize. I really like big prizes, so I signed up to run the Big Cottonwood Canyon marathon in September. 

I mostly had fun training all summer. We live up on a hill on top of a hill on top of a hill, so for every run I drove my car down to our church building, parked it in the shade, and went from there. I started with a three and a half mile course around town and usually ended up building off that for my longer runs. I used the Nike running app and always listened to music, and somehow after a few weeks found myself running faster than I normally did. Before this summer I felt like I had run the same pace - no matter the distance - for a solid ten years of my life. Maybe because I was running more hills this summer - not intentionally, I just really can't get away from them in this town - but somehow I was going faster and it felt crazy and really good.

The week before the marathon I decided to run a local 10k race. If I was already training faster, I wanted to see how fast I could go when I was really racing. (The marathon wasn't going to be much of a race for me - more of just a finish.) I tried to be really smart about how I ran, and I ended up finishing five minutes faster than I thought I would. I even took second place in my age division so I got a big mug and a ribbon - first place beat me by four minutes, I beat third place by three minutes and there were fifteen total in my division.

The marathon maybe didn't go quite as well.. We waited a long time to book a hotel in Cottonwood Heights, so we ended up at a junky motel the night before the race. Our non-smoking room had apparently just become non-smoking right before we showed up - based on the smell - and it was hot and loud. I woke up really early to get a ride to the shuttles and there was a couple fighting outside the hotel.. good times. I ate a little breakfast and kept pretty warm up at the starting line, and before I knew it we were running.

I tried to stick close to the 4:25 pacers, but that canyon was so steep - it hurt my knees and quads more to slow down than to just let gravity pull me down the mountain faster. So I probably ran too many middle miles too quickly, and I think I missed out on some of the aid stations with food, and by the time I made it out of the canyon to the sunny uphill miles.. I was dead. That's finally where I was able to see Peter and Stefan though, so that cheered me up! But man.. those last couple miles were KILLER and I was walking a lot which made me really mad. It wasn't the way I wanted to finish the race, but I can't say I was upset about my 4:26 finish time. I'm still pretty proud of that.

I've decided half marathons are the sweet spot for me - it's a training program I can commit to without feeling overwhelmed and feeling like a burden on my family. It's a distance that still leaves me feeling accomplished, but doesn't beat my body up quite so badly. And now that I know I really am capable of keeping a faster pace, I'd love to push myself for faster half marathon times.  ..someday.

Hopefully I've said this enough already that he knows I mean it, but just to be sure I'll put it here too. I could not have done this without Stefan! He really always believes in me and lets me know it so genuinely. He sacrificed a lot of time to hang with Peter so I could go run. He's the best support team I'll ever have.


August 20, 2017

 ^^^ my boys in front of the big map at the MTC. it was pretty crowded so this was the best picture we could get. when they first walked up Peter pointed straight to Saudi Arabia.. the Stefan tried to get him to point to Belgium/The Netherlands, but those chubby little arms are only so long.

Yesterday was a good day with my boys. In the morning I went for a run and Stefan got a hair cut and after some running around getting ready, we all went down to Provo. We dropped Peter off at his great-grandparents' house for a nap, and Stefan and I drove down the hill to the temple where we were married. We hadn't been there for a while, and it felt good to be back. Once we were done there we went back to find Peter awake and playing with Stefan's grandma and it was the cutest thing ever. We tried to go to an early dinner at the Creamery, but their grill was closed for renovation so I guess we have to drive back down once it's done. I will always love the Creamery and will bawl my eyes out the day it is inevitably torn down for something bigger and better, based on BYU's track record. Anyway, we found dinner somewhere else and then headed to our tour of the MTC! The shuttle was only one hundred million degrees and Peter was ready to be out of his stroller before he ever got in it, but we all made it and ended up really enjoying the tour. It was all self-guided, but they had missionaries stationed around making sure you were heading the right direction - the fun part was that the whole Dutch speaking group was out when we were there so Stefan took the opportunity to catch every single one of them off guard when he started speaking to them in the language they are still trying to learn. Some of them handled it better than others. ;) I think it was fun for Stefan to be back and reminisce, and I admitted to him that I felt kind of left out of it all. I told him I wanted to be a nineteen-year-old girl bopping around the MTC, but I guess I'll have to be a sixty-year-old boppin' around instead. I'll take it. After that we met up with one of his best friends - from his mission! - for ice cream, and baby Peter got his very own cone for the first time. What a day!


August 08, 2017

July was a rough month. The roughest. On the first day of the month my best friend Meg lost her husband, Michael. Everyone - everyone - who knew Michael loves him so much. He is the funniest, kindest, most generous, caring, adventurous, (kinda sassy) guy. He and Meg (but Meg says it was all him) loved to host parties. When Meg told us Michael had been planning to throw Harry Potter a birthday party this year, well I was already making plans in my head before she finished the sentence. 

We had so much fun honoring (Harry Potter and) Michael that night. We all took the official quiz to get sorted in our houses, played some trivia, ate and drank lots and lots and lots of sugar.. seriously so much sugar. So many good wizarding treats and drinks! I don't even have pictures of all the decorations (Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom, spiders leading you up the stairs, "third floor corridor" sign blocking off the room I legitimately didn't want people going in because my decorating mess was being hidden in there..), treats, and costumes - people went all out for this and it made me so happy. We already have lots of plans to make next year's party bigger and better!

^^^ THEY DRESSED UP AS BROOMSTICKS. They're also getting married soon and if anyone didn't already think these two were perfect for each other, I think this picture seals the deal.

^^^ Draco Malfoy in the flesh

^^^ a Cornish Pixie and Luna Lovegood melting eeeeeveryone's hearts

^^^ Sybil and the Pixie. Okay this girl is the best because she admittedly doesn't know a lot about Harry Potter, but she came totally dressed up and brought little sorting hat treats and let us tease her all night long and I just lover her.

^^^ I found a really simple butterbeer recipe on pinterest and after all my worrying about it, it turned out pretty yummy!

^^^ we never even cut into this.. so many other treats

^^^ DOBBY! Stefan has requested Peter wear this costume on a regular basis because he looks SO CUTE.

^^^ Cat and James MADE CHOCOLATE FROGS! They also made the coolest "polyjuice potion" and "liquid luck" for us to drink - they were all glittery and seriously magical looking.

I truly do not have the energy to type out everything I could say about this party. If you're looking to throw your own party, Pinterest has never helped me more! Also don't feel like it's going to be mega expensive - so much of this was paper and printing things off and using what I already had. I just think Harry Potter is the coolest. What other series can bring people together like this!? It's so magical. The most magical. I love Harry Potter. Plus this was such a good way to say SEE YA, JULY. Here's to the next few months getting better and next year's party coming quickly.