Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

We had an eventful, yet relaxing, GORGEOUS and wonderful 4th of July!  It was pretty much perfect.

The day started off with Jeremy and the big kids going to a pancake breakfast and flag raising ceremony at Bennett Park.  Yummy pancakes.  Beautiful weather.  Playing at the park.  It doesn't get much better than that. (Laura was asleep or else we would have all gone).

Next up we went the world renowned parade in downtown Liberty (haha).  It is the smallest parade ever.  But luckily our kids don't know any better, so they love it.  It's not crowded so we got beautiful seats in the shade.  It was short and sweet and the kids even got otter pops and candy.  Happy day!

Then it was home to shuck and clean the corn on the cobb, slice up the watermelon, fold some laundry (what?!? chores on a holdiay?  Meanest parents ever).  Lunch.  Quiet time. 
After quiet time the weather was PERFECT for swimming.  So we packed up everything that we own and headed to the pool.  This was our FIRST pool outing of the year!  Side note:  It's pathetic that this was our first swim outing.  I know! I have a pathological fear of taking my 4 non-swimmers "swimming" without enough helpers... it's this whole fear of someone drowning... so we have mostly played at the splash pads and in the sprinklers this year.  I say all of this to explain what a big deal this was.  The kids were SO excited!!!
Laura was asleep when we arrived which was nice, but I am so glad that she woke up!  Because we finally got to put her in her adorable swim outfit (a hand-me-down from the Redd family - THANK YOU!).  And she was just too cute!  I wanted to eat her up.  Luckily I got to take a million pictures of her because she is just the cutest thing ever!!  And everyone at the pool got to admire her adorableness too.  :)   It was her first time in the water and she seemed to like it just fine.  She had a great time swimming with daddy and being admired by everyone.  Here she is:

After the pool fun we dried off, changed our clothes and headed to Brent & Michelle's house to play outside in the amazing July weather (high 70s with some cloud cover and a light breeze - it was beautiful!) and barbecue.  Dinner was yummy and the kids were happy for hours jumping in the trampoline, playing with water balloons, playing duck duck goose, and just being kids with their cousins and some friends.  The moms chatted and the dads even got a chance to play a game of bocci ball.  After root beer floats and picking up, it was time to head out to the driveway for fireworks!

Historically our kids aren't big fans of fireworks.  Okay - they are all scared of them. :)  But we decided to give it another try.  We started with pop snappers and smoke bombs.  Those were both big hits!  Then we did some quiet  bright ones and the kids loved it!  I thought we were out of the woods this year.  But then the loud ones started and the kids climbed on our laps, cried, and eventually ran inside.  After a few moments of that we decided to pack up and head home.  Luckily it was late and we had already had a TON of fun!!!

The magical ending of the night came when we were back home.  The kids were all ready for bed and we went into Isaac and Elise's bedroom, turned off the lights, and opened up the blinds.  There in the dark and safety of the room, snuggled up together, the kids watched the awesome firework show that someone in our neighborhood puts on.  It's not overly impressive or anything - but for our kids it was perfect!  As each firework went off the kids would point and laugh and smile and chatter with each other and say "more!".  They loved it.  They were warm and cozy and safe and free to enjoy the beautiful spectacle before them.  We cuddled on the bed together there for a while (Elise and Jeremy even fell asleep!) and it was the end of a beautiful day.  Happy 4th of July!!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Triathlon Fun

I had the opportunity to do an "informal" sprint triathlon and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  

I did my first sprint triathlon back in 2009 and LOVED it.  However, logistically triathlons are difficult to train for and participate in - so I resorted to just running over the past few years.  But I had been thinking more and more about wanting to do another triathlon soon because they are just so FUN.  The problem was I couldn't find a way to make the training schedule and the day of competing work.  Then I found out about a group of girls (members of my church who were in a different ward than I was) putting on an "informal" triathlon in my town.  Just 9 ladies swimming laps in their neighborhood swimming pool, biking, and then running.  I got super excited - that sounded like something I could do!!!  I contacted them to see if I could join in, and they welcomed me with open arms.  By the time I heard about the triathlon I only had 3 weeks to train (yikes!).  I was a little nervous about that.  But I finished and had fun and that is what mattered.  It was a fun group of ladies and a great day.   :)

We started at 7:00 am.  
Swim 10 laps (20 lengths) of the pool.
My time: 13:19

Jeremy and the kids completely surprised me by coming out to cheer for me!  I knew they "might" come to the finish line - but I definitely didn't think I would see them during the swim and throughout the race.  It was so fun to finish up my lap and see those cute faces cheering me on.  (I won't lie... my first thought and words to Jeremy were "watch that boy!"  Caleb and water make me incredibly anxious.)
Next up: Bike 8 miles 
Time: 44:08
This was definitely my toughest ride yet and the hardest leg of the race for me.  The wind was blowing fiercely against me and it was just a rocky transition for me from swim to bike.  But I did it!  And it was super fun to have the bike course go to the temple.  It's always fun to see the temple.  I'm lucky to live so close to one!
I trained for the triathlon with my biking buddy Erin (on the right).  She didn't get to race with me since her awesome sister was in town visiting.  But she still came to cheer me on!  What a rockstar friend!  It was fun to see their smiling faces.
Finally: Run 3.1 miles (a 5k)
Time: 32:24

Getting started on the run was so tough for me!  I was tired and 3.1 miles left to run felt more than a little daunting.  As Jeremy and the kids drove by and cheered for me, I suddenly had an idea.  I yelled out "Jeremy, I need Isaac to run with me!"  So Jeremy pulled over to the side of the road and Isaac hopped out to run with me.

Isaac took off at a fast pace and I said, "Hey Isaac!  Slow down!  Stay with mommy.  I need your help."
"But Mom, I thought this was a race.  Why don't you run faster?"
Awesome.  ;)

Isaac ran with me for at least a 1/2 mile, if not more.  And it helped me a lot!  It distracted me, gave me some momentum, and gave me someone to talk to.  Then of course Elise and Caleb also both had to have a short time.  I loved it!  (At the end of the race Jeremy apologized about how the kids must have "held" me back - ummm... NO!  I was super happy for the cheering, the company, and the love).

Well... I did it!!!  Here's the after photos of us strong mommas.

Final time: 89:51
I placed 5th out of the 9 women participating, which I was completely happy with.  I did it!  It felt great!  And I definitely have room to make progress and improve.  There is talk of doing another informal sprint in late August.  I hope it happens!!  I would love to do that again!!

The support crew.  They watched kids, set up water tables, cheered for us, timed us.  So grateful!
And my own personal cheering section!!  Love them. 
And my friend Erin, who taught me how to ride a bike. :)  And also loaned me a bike for the race.

A triathlon is definitely a "team" effort.  I am grateful that Jeremy watches the kiddos so I can get away to bike, swim, and run.  Exercise is something that I love and look forward to.  It does wonders for my emotional health to get out and run, bike, and swim.  I love being outside!  I enjoy the time with friends.  And it feels good to push my body and work hard.  I don't exercise to be skinny.  I exercise to become strong (physically and mentally)!  I exercise for my sanity. :)  And I exercise most of all because it makes me happy! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Isaac's 6th Birthday: The Party!

Isaac planned his birthday party this year ALL on his own.  And he was so ridiculously excited about it.  He wanted to have a Sports Birthday Party and he wanted to play organized sports, specifically t-ball, soccer, and football.  And he wanted to get wet.  So we scheduled it for an evening when Jeremy would be home (because Dad's help was a necessity for a sports birthday party with 8 boys) and a sports party is exactly what we did - and Isaac LOVED it!!!  And a happy birthday boy = HUGE success!

The evening started with the cousins over for dinner.  Isaac requested cheese pizza and watermelon, with root beer to drink, for dinner.
At 6 pm Isaac's friends began to arrive and the party started off with 20 minutes of t-ball/baseball.

Side note:  So grateful that Brent and Michelle (and their family) came to the birthday party.  It was fun (and SO helpful!) to have them. Brent played baseball with the boys and then helped Caleb and Luke watch the action from the swings.  Michelle helped with Laura. 

Next up was soccer!  About half way through the game Jeremy busted out the sprinklers and water soccer was a BIG hit!

Then we took a break for cake and ice cream!!!  I love this picture of these happy boys (L-R (clockwise): Haiden, Seth, Jack, Blake, Luke, Preston, Amdon, Isaac)!

Next up was Isaac's FAVORITE part of the whole day.  FOOTBALL.  He was in heaven and raced up afterwards to tell me about almost scoring a touchdown.  It was so fun to hear his excitement! Jeremy said it was the most difficult to orchestrate with that age of boys... but definitely worth it because football is one of Isaac's passions! Isaac loved it!!
The last order of business was presents!  Lego sets and footballs were the name of the game - which Isaac couldn't have been happier about!  He also got a super fun game called "Juggle up".

I am just so thankful that my boy has such wonderful friends to celebrate his special day with!!  I loved watching him do what he loves - play sports.  He was grinning and playing hard the whole time.  It was the perfect birthday party for him.  And I am so grateful to Jeremy for being an amazing dad and putting all of that together for Isaac.

(Now... no more growing up!!  6 is an old as you can get.  I will not even consider letting you turn 7.  It is ridiculous.  Stop growing up already!!)