Tuesday, January 31, 2017

St. Michael's Half (um...eight months ago)

I have no idea how this happened, but I failed to post about my half marathon last May. While I can forgive myself for forgetting the race (which was pretty terrible), everything else was perfect.

We left Friday afternoon and headed straight to our airbnb. We were able to snag this incredible place with an even better location. It had a kitchen, dance studio (which we didn't use, but still), plenty of bedrooms, a pool table, and a movie theater. Oh, and a slightly-nosy host, but more on him later.

After checking out the house a bit, we headed to dinner. Chuck and I ate here in 2014 and so we came back for good reason. The food is delicious.

In the morning it was race time! We could walk to the race start in about one minute, which was super convenient as it was raining. Not just raining, but pouring, and it continued to pour the entire race. The race itself was pretty terrible. I didn't train for speed but thought, HEY! I'll try to run fast anyway. Big mistake. Ha. My time was a 2:03:11, not bad thanks to my speedy start, but I felt that run for days. I swear I ended up weighing 20 pounds more than I did at the start because of all the rain I was holding in my hair and clothes and shoes and socks and...

The race was definitely the worst two hours of the trip for me. After we finished, we headed back to our place and made breakfast. We all brought something and it was quite possibly my second-favorite breakfast ever. Cinnamon rolls. Quiche. Yogurt and homemade granola. French toast casserole. Fruit. Just everything delicious. Turns out our penthouse didn't have an oven, so our host let us come down and use his, but that meant he stayed and chatted and ate our food. Ha. But the food was incredible, and probably would have been so even if we hadn't just run 13.1 miles. In the pouring rain.

I love that I have these women in my life. For reals. If I didn't run, I think I'd consider starting just so I could run with them.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Trip to Arizona

Last week we went to Arizona to visit Chuck's family. The first couple of days were gorgeous, the second couple were cold because we went to the Grand Canyon, and then the last two were rainy. It could have been better, but hey, it could have been worse. We got to hang out with Chuck's oldest brother and his family, I got in some AMAZING runs (one that is included in my top ten runs ever; and one where I almost ran into an elk whilst on the Grand Canyon Rim Trail), and we got to see what the desert looks like when they have a rainy January: green! Oh, and the boys got lots of hot tub time, which they used as pool time because the pool and too cold and they're little enough.

Ollie was clearly not having any of it.

My parents were in St. George and took a "little" detour to come hang out with us for 20 hours! Wahoo!

Thursday morning before the deluge, I took everyone to where I had my top ten run so they could hike some of it. They hiked three miles and didn't complain once. It was amazing. Also, no rattlesnakes, so bonus.

Ollie may not look happy, but that's just the picture. In fact, he requested that we hike eight miles (he changed his mind near the end, but still). But that cactus! So cool.

Arizona is really growing on me. Chuck's parents happen to live in a part where the desert is quite pretty, in my opinion. I feel like we need to experience it in the summer to get a real feel, but then I think, WHY?! Maybe we'll try it in April, so at least the pool will be warm enough to enjoy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I Made Something

For a ward service auction last fall, I offered to sew something. A friend of mine won it and asked me to make her a birthday banner. This is the result. I'm kind of in love with it. Seriously. I love the fabric so much. I wished that she didn't like it so I could have it back. I haven't heard how it was received so there's still hope. I even made the binding. Intense.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2016-2017 School Pictures

Here they are. This concludes what I'm going to do with these ridiculously expensive pictures of some ridiculously cute boys.

Third Grade


P.S. What you don't know is that Rhett wore the exact same shirt for second and third grade school pictures. Ha. Also, this is Ollie's retake after the first one looked a bit, um, shall we say, constipated?! I'm kicking myself that I turned it in before scanning it.

P.P.S. These pictures make five school pictures we've done with LifeTouch. Of the five, I've had issues with TWO. NOT a good track record, LifeTouch.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Little Lending Library

A couple of months ago, we got a letter from school asking if we'd be willing to erect a little lending library in our yard. Of course we said YES! There are a couple around our area and I think they are the adorable (as well as a super good idea). Plus, our local library is closed for renovations and our school is under construction, which is why I think the principal wanted these.

Big kids from the county's technical high school built them, we helped finish, and then we got to take it home and put it in our yard. The boys check it all the time. I love it. And kids in the neighborhood are using it! So happy.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy 12th Anniversary to Us

Christmas break week was mostly staying home and doing nothing with a bit of activity thrown in. We got one incredibly warm day and so we used that to go to Six Flags. We watched lots of movies at home, jumped on the trampoline a lot, went to the library, and even played tennis. (Ollie is constantly asking us to play tennis, even if it's nearly bedtime and completely dark outside; nevermind that he can't even play.)

But by Thursday, as I worked from home with all three boys driving me bonkers and Chuck and my anniversary coming up the next day, I'd had it. I started looking for things we could do to get us out of the house Friday. I remembered this post about shark teeth hunting and thought it would be right up my boys' alley. Turns out it was the right activity, but the wrong season. It was windy and cold and Ollie just wasn't feeling it. Chuck found some teeth and the boys found some cool shells, but we only lasted a couple of hours. So then we headed back to our luxury hotel (cough, cough, or not, but at least it was a suite) and watched lots of TV from bed. (We did make it out of the room for dinner and a tour of Christmas lights in La Plata.) The next morning we ate hotel breakfast and watched more TV from bed. In our TV-watching defense, I had a cold and was super tired so it felt really nice to just rest.

So that was our 12th anniversary. According to Wikipedia, the modern U.S. 12th anniversary gift is pearls. While we might not have traded pearls, at least we did get some sea treasures in the form of fossilized shark teeth and shells. Win!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Destruction of the Gingerbread Houses

And on New Year's Day (or New Year's Day Observed), we destroy those beautiful gingerbread houses. But not before we salvage all the good stuff off them, like the caramel chimneys, or the airhead ice rink, or all the sour patch kids.

And this year we destroyed mine by sitting on it. Not my most attractive moment. But still.

This is what everything looked like at the end. Another year, another tornado.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Gingerbread Houses

I love making gingerbread houses. This year Chuck and I constructed them in advance so we didn't have to spend that time on Saturday doing it. I was really impressed with Rhett's stamina and skill this year. He had some really creative ideas. I also think it was Ollie's first year doing his own, and he is the king of putting jelly animals on his house. And because I made all the parts and had some leftover dough, I tried to go BIG this year. I won't make that mistake again, even though I liked it. I might, however, try to create something of the same size, just different architecture. I should enlist my brother's help in the design.

Ollie. Gummy sharks, gummy butterflies, gummy worms, gummy...

Chuck. I want to eat that caramel chimney.

Rhett. Notice Santa's sled, coke bottle reindeer, strings of Christmas lights, Santa going down the chimney...

dynamite (three vanilla tootsie rolls) with a lit fuse. Because he's an 8-year-old boy.

Erin. I experimented with stained glass this year and love how it turned out. So easy.

I may used up all my ideas before I got to the back of the house.