Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year Day

No, it's not March 1.
Every four years, we add an extra day to the calendar to keep in sync with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. It takes 365.242199 days for the earth to complete a full rotation around the sun.
Our calendar, however, marks out a mere 365 days a year. If we did not add a day every four years, we would lose six hours from our calendar every year. That would add up to the loss of 24 days in the course of 100 years! I don’t know about you, but I can use all the extra time I can get.
(Google source)

In the course of reading a number of different running blogs I found one in particular that was hosting a virtual 2.9 run today on the 29th of February. I thought it would be fun to participate and so I got on my treadmill and ran as fast as my heart could go.  28:10 was as good as it was going to get for me today.  
Last night as me and hubby were getting ready for bed I was telling him about this virtual run I was doing and he thought it was a little odd to be only run that far.  He said "why not run 29 laps around a track?  THAT would be more significant."  Well, that got my wheels turning a little bit.  I didn't want to run 29 times around a track so I decided to try a few of my own ideas of 29.  So this is what my little brain came up with.
*Ran 2.9 miles in 28:10
*29 flights of stairs
We have 3 sets of 7 stairs for a total of 21 steps in our house.  I ran up and down them 29 times. (took me about 15 minutes)
*29 sit-ups-2 sets
*29 push-ups 2 sets (girl type-I'm so weak in the arms)
*29 jumping jacks 6 sets
*29 second planks 2 times
*29 lunges 
Then I was spent!  I cleaned up and got ready for my grandson to come play with me.  I was still thinking along the 29 lines and thought maybe I would give Miles 29 kisses!  Ha ha, that was a joke.  He wanted nothing to do with this endeavor of mine.  I think I got about three kisses and it was over.
My thoughts will still be swirling today as I try to come up with other 29 items I can pursue. 
What are your leap year traditions?  Do you do 29 of anything on this day?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

You May Think Twice Before You Run With Me

As I sit here contemplating my run today I'm filled with so many thoughts.  First of all, yesterday I had somebody tell me about a pretty neat trail along the mountain that was for hiking, running, and biking, called the Bonneville Shoreline.  I knew there was a trail there but I just didn't know where it ended or how to get down off the trail.  So when I learned more about it I was anxious to get up there and try it out for a run.  It's no secret that I have been wishing for over a year now that I had a running partner.  I know I have mentioned it a few times on the blog. Well....one of my good friends, Annaleesa, who used to run and whom I was hoping would someday start running again just signed up for the 2012 Ragnar through the company she works for.  That was super exciting news for me because now it means she has to start training, which also means I can go on runs with her at night when she gets home from work. (She also put my name down as an alternate-wahoo! I would love to run Ragnar!)  Well this morning we were texting and decided to head up to the hills and try this trail.  Ok, it was more my idea because I just really didn't want to run it alone for my first time.  I thought it would be a great idea also for Annaleesa because trail running is a lot better for your body than concrete or asphalt right?  WRONG! At least not in this situation.  We drove up to the parking lot and started our run and less than a mile into it Annaleesa rolled her foot and twisted her ankle!! Boo :(  No more running for Annaleesa today.  We headed back to the car and I took her home.  I felt so horrible.  We should have just stayed on flat ground for our first run together.  Wow, what a friend I am.  

I drove on home and made a pit stop and got a drink and than had Mark drive me back up to the parking lot.  I needed to still get my mileage in for the day and I still just wanted to know more about this trail so I told him I would explore the trail and then just run on home.  The one thing I did know for sure was that you could come off the trail on a road that goes right by the cemetery, which is an area I'm very familiar with.  So I headed out and enjoyed the sunshine but not the wind.  This was certainly one of the most windy days I have seen in a very long time. I was hoping that running right next to the mountain would have been less breezy but it wasn't. But I endured and kept running. When the cemetery was in view I headed down off the trail and went over to visit my boy.
Porter is always on my mind.  A day never goes by that he's not near my heart and thoughts, but especially more the past few days with the 2nd anniversary of his death coming in just a little over a week. I think about how busy he is, and how happy he must be. I still have my crying moments and my heart still aches for him to be back here with us. But the Lord's plan is not my plan, and I just look so forward to the day of being reunited with him.

I took a little jog around the cemetery and then headed on home.  I stopped at the mailbox to then open a small package from Intermountain Donor Specialists.  When Porter passed away we were able to have some of his tissues be used in the organ donation program and he was able to help a few people.  We receive quarterly newsletters called Heart to Heart with beautiful poetry and thoughts from others who have lost loved ones.  In the package I opened today was this beautiful medallion that could be used as a keepsake or placed on the grave.
The medal's designer, Kathryn Kochanowski described the inspiration and the meaning for the design as follows:
The Gift of Life Donor touches and gives new life to others.
The donor touches the hand of the recipient, and passes on the precious gift of life (the heart) and love (the rose).
This magnificent and honorable giving of oneself is illustrated in the rays extending from the heart. 

Enclosed was also a very tender letter stating their appreciation once again for Porter's priceless gift of donation.  It truly does warm my heart to know there are people out there benefiting from his desire to give.  So after reading this that came in the mail of course I was having a crying moment as Mark came down to the kitchen to ask how my run was.  Well, after completing 8.75 miles I would say it's been a pretty roller-coastery kind of day.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mark No Longer in his Comfort Zone

I have been married to this delightful man for 27 years now and have always loved and admired his willingness to serve in the church.  He knows how to get right in and fulfill his callings and makes things happen.  He's always been happy to serve behind the scenes and never likes to be in the spotlight.  He's just a gentle, loving, sweet person and I respect and appreciate him and all he does for me and our family.
Well, Sunday February 5th (also Cooper's birthday) Mark's world changed drastically.  Mark and I were both called in to visit with the Stake President earlier in the week for Mark to be called to a new position in our ward.  It was going to change Mark's level of comfort in a huge way.  We're talking in all the 27 years I've known Mark I've only seen him up at the pulpit to offer opening or closing prayers.  I've never heard him speak in church or bear his testimony. Well..... the Stake President asked mark if he would serve as the 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric. We were both sitting there completely speechless.  Of course, Mark accepted but he admitted right up front that this was going to be the hardest thing he's ever done and that it may take a long time to get over his fear of speaking in public.(If ever) I am super excited and thrilled for Mark to have a calling now that helps him move out of his comfort zone.  The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways.
We also had to do a mad dash shopping trip to Mr. Mac to buy Mark a suit. He owns a suit but it just doesn't fit him right anymore. They helped us out very nicely and was able to get him fitted and the suit tailored in 24 hours. I think Mark looks super spiffy, don't you?
The next Sunday, February 12th, our next door neighbor got a hold of our newspaper in the early morning hours and pasted this headline on the front.  What a funny guy!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Half Marathon, and Sister Wives House

 Bright and early Saturday morning, February 11th at the Utah Olympic Oval, in Kearns, Utah.
 
I signed up for another race to stay on target with my 2012 New Year's Goal of participating in at least one race every month.  I ran at the Utah Olympic Oval and ran 47 1/2 laps to complete a half marathon.  This race was a lot like the race I participated in on New Year's Eve called the Revolution Run in which you just run as long as you can for four hours.
 Going into this race I really wanted to try for a PR but wasn't sure what my body would say to that.  I started out at a nice steady slow pace, as usual.  Then every so often I would try to kick it into a little higher gear.  Because I was indoors my garmin wouldn't pick up the satellite and so I didn't know my pace.  I tried to keep track of my laps but totally forgot after awhile.  The race people were supposed to be doing that anyway. (They failed at that come to find out at the end) So, I ended up just taking off the watch and putting it away in my bag.  I do enjoy running at the oval for the fact that it is indoors and there are restrooms very accessible and also water and snacks every lap if so desired.  At the half way mark of supposedly 23 3/4 laps I could tell I wasn't going to be breaking any records so I just settled in to a nice easy pace, which really ISN'T EASY for me yet.  I'm hoping someday this whole running journey will feel a bit easier.  As some of the fastest runners were completing their laps we could hear over the loudspeaker names being called out and the amount of laps that were completed.  That was a little bit exciting to keep my ears perked up for my name to be called.  A little disheartening though to discover I had a LOT more laps still to do.  I definitely wasn't going to be breaking any land records today.
I'm guessing there were maybe a little over a hundred runners who participated in this race.  I probably finished in the bottom third.  I was just happy to get to be there and participate and get a good run in for the day.  As I finished my final lap and ran in one of the men helping the Oval with their computer system said there were problems with the counting of the laps and that I did AT LEAST a half marathon, possibly more.  I'm just glad I'm not a super serious runner who has to know the exact logistics.  My final time was 2:32:40.  Definitely not a proud number for me considering I ran St. George Half Marathon last month in the rain in 2:22:37.  But with the Oval still working the bugs out of the system I'm alright with that. 
I called my husband and said I was on my way home.  He said he would get an ice bath ready for me.  I firmly believe now that these are very helpful in the recovery of sore muscles.  After having done it twice now after long runs I can definitely tell a difference. 

I then had an engagement shower to go to of my niece out in Lehi.  My son Cooper decided he would go with me and said he knew exactly where the Sister Wives house was located and wondered if I wanted to go see it.  Of course I did, especially since I am such a fan of the show!  I'm definitely not a fan of polygamy but will admit I have some practicing family members that live out in Colorado City.  When we drove down the street it felt a little awkward and I totally felt like a stalker.  It's a one-way street and so we had to go down to the end of the lane and turn around to drive by it again.  Awkward once again!  I'm sure we weren't the only people in town to ever take a picture of their house. So here's my photo for your viewing pleasure. We think it's possible that Cody and possibly some others were actually there at the time because his little fast car he drives on the show was parked out in the driveway.  Sorry I have no more photos.  I was actually feeling a bit brave just to get this one photo.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Singing Valentine from my Love

Oh what an interesting and fun Valentine's Day it has been so far.  I got up super early to make clam chowder for a funeral. A dear sweet 92 year old man whose wife I visit teach passed away.  I decided to double batch the soup so we would have plenty to eat here at home too.  Well, my double batch sort of turned into about a 2 1/2 batch.  I tend to go a little overboard in my cooking sometimes.  I'll be handing out clam chowder tonight and tomorrow if anybody wants some.

After finishing that up I headed out for a 5 mile run and enjoyed the beautiful 33 degree weather in only this long-sleeved shirt I'm wearing in this photo.  There was absolutely no coat necessary while wearing this.  My good friend Annaleesa just gave me this underarmor shirt that is for colder climates and I'm here to confirm that this shirt does the job it says it will.    

As I was completing my run and heading towards home I saw these men a couple houses down the road from my house but only saw the back of them and wondered why 4 police officers were heading into the neighbors home?  I came on home and only a couple minutes later they were knocking on my door.  I opened it to discover not policemen but a barbershop quartet doing a singing valentine delivery from my sweet husband.  What a delightful surprise!! They came on in with the wife of one of these men, Alayne Schlappi.  We talked for a few minutes before they sang to me and I discovered that I personally knew each one of these men.  The one on the left, Roger Schlappi, is in my ward.  The next one, Richard Loosli, is the husband of my very first piano teacher when I was 11 years old.  I also babysat for them.  The next one, Jim Keller, was a man that was in charge of a house Mark and I rented when we were a young married couple with two little kids.  The last one, Lee Gillman, was my bus driver when I was in junior high and high school.  What a small world, and an amazing connection. 

video
They proceeded to sing two songs to me.  The first one was "Let Me Call You Sweetheart".  I wished I would have been a little more on my toes and gotten the camera out for that familiar song but then this second song here in the video was very sweet as well.  I was touched that they would pick that particular song for me.  It talks about having a guardian angel on high with nothing to do but give me true love.  Brother Schlappi knows about the loss of our son Porter and picked that out special for me.  Thank you Roger Schlappi.

But most of all thanks to my dear husband for sending this delightful Singing Valentine to me this morning to help make me smile all morning long.  I love you Mark!♥

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cooper's 24th Birthday

Today was a special day for two people in the family.  Mark was called into the Bishopric today and I will post later about that. February 5th is Cooper's special day as well.  This will be the last year I can buy only one box of candles to adorn his cake.  They come 24 to a box.  I think Jordan put the candles on the cake.  A little skee-wampus if you ask me.  Oh well, at least he wanted to help.  Daddy made the cake.  He has been wanting to find his mom's carrot cake for years and make it.  He finally did and was so happy with the outcome.  I will admit I was very impressed with the flavor and texture of this thing, especially the part about refrigerating it.  Mmmmm....cold carrot cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream just hit the spot nicely after a dinner of baked potato bar.

My mother is moving up in the world and has purchased herself a laptop and printer.  We are talking this is a major milestone for her!! She has never owned a computer and my dad is very skeptical that she will be able to operate this.  We are talking about someone who has to write instructions down on how to operate her VCR.  This should be very interesting to see how she does. Wade is helping her learn a few things here.  He set her up a facebook account and added all of her children and grandchildren.  Too funny!!  He also set her up a gmail.  She's not going to know how to use it for awhile though.  She doesn't have internet connection at her house but will be arranging for that to happen in the near future.  I'm sure there will be many, many, many phone calls and visits in the future with helping her learn how to be tech savy.
Of course there is always time for some romping with the little Mr. Miles.  He knows how to entertain a room full of people.  What a nice way to end a beautiful day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY COOPER MALONE FISHER!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Broken Alarm Clock

I've posted before how much I like President Hinckley's saying that states: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without".  And so many times in my life I have felt like if I have something old and it works just fine then why buy something new to replace it?  Well, that has been the case of this handy, dandy little alarm clock I have owned since about 9th grade. We're talking over 30 years people! I have awoken to this thing for many more years than I've known my own husband.  Now how many things can you say that about?  I think this definitely falls into the category of using it up or wearing it out.     
Well, the sad day has finally come that this handy little alarm clock has bit the dust.  One day a couple weeks ago it showed this strange code on the face and wouldn't budge another minute.  I tried changing the time, changing the alarm, turning it off, unplugging it, all for nothing.  It still would read the same strange code on the face.  I really can't complain though.  It has served me well.  Promptly it went into the trash and I headed into Porter's closet and found one of his old ones he had used.  It has taken some definite getting used to with all the different buttons and options.  And waking up to a radio??? That is a whole new concept to me.  But I am here to announce what a joyful way to wake up in the mornings this has been!! Why wasn't I doing this ages ago?  No more of that annoying, blaring, alarm clock sound that makes your heart panic and thump a few extra beats in the morning as you reach for the snooze button.  I wake up each morning now with some happy little song playing or the DJ's talking and laughing with each other.  No more extra thumps of my heart.  Just a peaceful rising. 
Good-bye little Spartus alarm clock.  Thanks for the memories-though not fond ones.  Who seriously likes to get woke up to such an ugly noise that you have produced for over 30 years?

On another note, my poor little Ford Taurus that I'm driving is falling under the category of "wear it out".  Mark is really pushing me to get another car but I'm staying firm with driving it until its life is over.  I really hate spending money.  The heater core is going out and I drive around with a lukewarm heater blowing inside. Its days really are numbered, so I may be getting a car sooner than later.  Mark also accidentally backed into it with his car (didn't do any damage to his) and knocked the side mirror off (which he glued back on) and put a nice big dent in the passenger side door.  He says he's not putting any more money into this car, and I agree.  But I'm still happy to just keep driving it till it dies.