Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From Hobbits to Dwarves--A Family Reunion

Earlier this month Peter Jackson released his sixth Hobbit Production Video Blog. The entire video is fascinating, beautiful, and totally worth exploring. Personally, our family found the clip around 9:00, Eweburn Station, particularly charming.

It's always nice to hear a sisterly "Good morning", even when Callie's not looking like her usual self. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Trail to the Dirty Hurty

February, with all its Run Swim Bike Cook-ing, must have worn me out, because I've been dragging since March. I seriously thought I might suffocate beneath the mounds of stinky laundry, dirty dishes, unfinished paperwork, and undelivered Girl Scout cookies.

Fortunately, we're starting to dig out enough to see the beautiful sun shining once more. Here are a few photo updates to catch up:

Eli Jameson
We snapped this photo of our little munchkin a few days before Jason cut his hair. Turns out that he loves haircuts, probably because Daddy turns on a movie just for him.
Other Eli favorites include counting, colors, and of course, reading.
Eli's finally started to talk up a storm. It's so fun to hear his little voice put together phrases. The other day he wanted some food. When I asked him what kind of food he wanted, he stopped, looked at me, and responded: "Lello (yellow) food." I guess that's one way to get your banana.
And of course, Eli still loves to laugh. Since adding a third child has certainly outnumbered Jason and I, we feel extremely fortunate that Eli is so easy-going.
Over the past few months, Eli's started to actively engage in creative play with his sisters. I love this transition from "baby" to "peer"--it makes Mom's life so much easier when the kids entertain one another. Even so, sometimes all the fun can be downright exhausting... Sweet dreams, Cheezestick!

Talia Lily
Even when we try to tame it, Talia's hair always seems to reflect her own style. Of course, it doesn't help that she keeps snipping bits and pieces...
This Saturday was an important day for Talia Lily. While she'd ridden a two-wheeler a few times in the past, she lacked confidence and wanted the security of her training wheels. This Saturday she hopped on her bike, allowed Jason to steady her for about half a second, and bid farewell to her training wheels for forever. Congratulations, sweet girl!
Of course, when you're five years old and play hard, it's easy to nod off just about anywhere.
She's seriously sound asleep in this photo. Kids do the darndest things!
Our spunky seven year-old was thrilled to abandon her school uniform this past week in honor of Dr. Seuss Week.
How'd we do with our crazy hair and mismatched clothes?
While I don't have any pictures of Brooklyn sleeping, her recent schedule has Mom seriously needing a nap. Girl Scouts has been SO busy! In addition to cookie sales, booths, and deliveries, we've celebrated 100 years of scouting with a different event every day for a week. World Thinking Day, Songs 'n Smores, cultural events (we saw Fiddler on the Roof), service projects, cookie parties, Daisy Petal Day...I think I deserve a badge just for being the chauffeur!
A fun story: the Girl Scouts all went to a St. George City Council meeting to hear the mayor read an official proclamation celebrating Girl Scout week. As were were sitting there, I was surprised to see Jason walk in. It turns out that he needed to present before the city council on behalf of an affordable Senior Housing project he's working on. Earlier that morning he'd also been quoted on the front page of the Spectrum (our local paper) about the same project. After making these connections, Brooklyn's eyes got wide and she whispered in awe, "So then Daddy really is famous!"

This Saturday marked my debut in trail running with the 13.1 mile "Dirty Hurty" half marathon. I guess they weren't kidding about the "Hurty" part...
Yup, I'll have you all know that I face-planted about three miles into the race. We were headed up the rocky mountain, I was admiring the gorgeous scenery, and apparently I forgot to pick up my feet. As much as I scraped up my hand and knee, I think my pride stung most. But hey, it's always good to have a bit of blood to go along with the guts and glory.

Trail running is very different from any road racing I've done before. We tackled some seriously major inclines and definitely tough terrain. It was impossible (or at least unadvisable) to "zone out" like I often do while running, yet I really enjoyed the constant challenge of the trail. Not only were the cragged cliffs beautiful, but it was fun to see the runners' bright shirts splashing color along all the switchbacks up the mountainside. (Of course, in watching those far ahead, I periodically thought, how in the world am I going to get myself all the way up there.)

As much as I had trained for this race, the extra challenge of the trail made it quite tough. At one point, I stopped to take off my new shoes while crossing a creek. If I'd had any idea how hard it would be to get going again after pausing, I probably would have splashed on through, soggy socks and all. Hard as it was, I'm happy to say that I pushed hard and kept running to the end, even when I felt exhausted. When I crossed the finish line at 1 hour 58 minutes and 30 seconds, I was thrilled.

Now for the full disclosure. While this race was supposedly a half marathon, I'm pretty darn sure that it didn't cover a full 13.1 miles. Those wearing a Garmin assured me that it was at least a mile short. So take that smokin' quick time with a generous serving of salt.

While I may not have been quick enough to actually break two hours, I was quick enough to miss my hubby and kids who came to cheer me on at the river crossing. While they never actually saw me, they did enjoy the spectacle of watching many other runners billy goat their way down.
Splashing on through. (By the way, did I mention the fact that even though I took my shoes off, I still managed to drop one sock in the water? Brilliant. It obviously was not my most coordinated day.)
Of course, Eli inherited his mother's grace. He apparently also went for a little slip, slide, and dip into the river, leaving his pants far too soggy for comfort.

At least Talia stayed dry. It'd be a shame to muss the fashionable ensemble she picked out herself.
I'd been done with the race for half an hour by the time Jason and the kids finally found me, so we never actually snagged any photos. Still, it was easy enough to pretend scaling down our retaining wall at home.
Despite the difficulty (and the extreme probability of biffing it once more the next time I race up a mountain), I really enjoyed trail racing. It was pretty exhilarating to spend a moment amongst such a unique crowd in such a beautiful place. Besides, it's worth the pain for the T-shirt. :)

And now for the sad news... Thanks to an unfortunate stomach bug, Jason didn't run the Dirty Hurty with me. Even though he started feeling better at the last moment, we'd already cancelled the babysitter. Shucks! In the end, I suppose it worked out for the best since he was pretty dehydrated and could still pick up all the cool swag.

Lest ye feel too sorry for the lad, let me remind you that he had an absolutely amazing retreat in Puerto Rico. While Puerto Rico certainly deserves a post of its own, here are few pics to whet your appetite.

Stay tuned!