Friday, September 30, 2011

Porter's 20th Birthday-September 13th

Dearest Porter, Even though you aren't with us today we still honor you and will every year until we see you again.
We celebrated your birthday this year on a lot more quiet scale compared to last year when we had that big concert and party in the back yard.  We went to Subway and everyone got a nice huge sandwich for dinner.  We took it up to Dry Canyon with the intent to eat it at the really nice resting place where all the rocks are on the trail.  Well, some of us were just too hungry while waiting for everyone to arrive and so we ate in the parking lot.  Little Miles just loves to run around and laugh and play and so that's exactly what he did instead of eat.
Once everybody arrived we hiked up the trail, taking turns carrying little Miles and trying to hurry to beat the daylight, and then the others who didn't eat yet did so as we rested. 
Grandma and Miles loves you Porter
Cooper and Miles loves you Porter
Mama and Miles (who is watching Jordan like a hawk playing with a grasshopper) loves you Porter
Jordan, Mark, Susette, Miles, Kali, Cooper all love you the whole world Porter.

And then a nice lone hiker was coming down the trail and offered to take our picture with everyone in it.
After the food was consumed we headed over to the base of the cliff where your special rock has been in the ground now exactly one year, the spot daddy put it on your 19th birthday. 
I'm so glad it's still there and it's nice to see greenery growing around it.
At this point it is getting darker by the minute and we decide to head back down the trail to the parking lot.  This photo shows the valley, the lake, and the sunset.  A beautiful combination on a birthday hike in your memory.
Kali gathered some wild sunflowers and wrapped a stem and leaves around them to hold them together. We drove over to your grave and visited you there for a little bit. I like to think that you were just with us the entire evening everywhere we went as we talked about you and shared fond memories of you.
Miles once again doesn't like to hold still and toddled on over to a grave with this cool dragonfly that kept changing colors.  Maybe we should get one for your grave as well. 

After hiking, eating, and visiting your grave we still wanted to be together and what birthday is complete without ice cream?
We went to Farr's and enjoyed some free samples and nice big heapings of deliciousness.  Of course, little Mr. Miles is now ready to eat.  This happy little guy never passes up the goodies.
We still think about you every single day and miss you more than words can express.  I hope you got to celebrate your birthday in heaven too. We love you Porter♥♥♥♥

Friday, September 23, 2011

Annaleesa's Birthday

Meet one of my very good friends Annaleesa.  I met this spunky little lady a number of years ago when her family moved into our ward.  She taught primary and then was later called into the young women's presidency I was serving in.  One of my early memories was her teaching a relief society class on cooking.  I don't even remember what she was demonstrating but I just remember feeling some sort of connection and being fascinated with her quiet and gentle demeanor.  So, when she was called to serve in the young women's program we started getting to know each other and finding out things we had in common. Some of the things we enjoy doing together are playing racquetball, going to plays, hiking, seeing movies, and running, when her knees cooperate.  Well, Annaleesa had a birthday a couple weeks ago and I took her out to dinner and then up to the Hale Center Theater in West Valley to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Dinner kind of bombed out because we waited over an hour to get in to Tucano's, when they told us the wait was only an hour, only then to find out there were still three more parties ahead of us.  We just didn't have time to wait and still get up to see the play in time.  So we headed a few doors over to Bajio and had dinner there.  It wasn't as tasty as Tucano's would have been but at this point I was so hungry I didn't care.  We enjoyed our food and chatted and then went to our 10:00 pm showing of Joseph.  What a dynamite presentation!! The show was so full of energy, music, and dance. 
We took these photos while we were wandering around the Riverwoods Shopping area waiting for our reservation at Tucano's.  (which never happened)

I've never been on a real live surfboard before in the ocean.  Have any of you?

Happy Birthday Annaleesa!  Some day we will get back to Tucano's for some of their delicious goodness.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

HIking the Majestic Mount Timpanogos

Ahhhh............My favorite mountain and my favorite hike of all time! It's been sort of a tradition of mine to try to hike this beautiful mountain at least once a year. The last few years have been pretty intense with moving, sickness of parents, bad weather and the death of Porter. I just haven't been able to get my body up on that mountain. Well, this year I figured with the Summer winding down it was probably a good time to just invite some friends and go for it. With the extremely wet and snowy year we've experienced this Winter and Spring I had heard that there was still a lot of snow up there so it was best to wait till later. I'm glad we didn't try to go earlier because there were a few snowy fields we had to cross which made for a little bit of excitement and eh hum....snowball fights.

Laurie, Kirsten, me, Ellie, Annaleesa, Sydney
So we started our morning out by meeting at Laurie's house super early-5:00 am. I wanted to beat the morning crowd up there. After all, this was Labor Day weekend and the mountain would be packed with people, and there's only a limited amount of parking spaces at the trail head. Well, after a nice ride up American Fork Canyon and hardly any cars in sight we arrived to find out that not only was the parking lot full but that we would have to drive another 1/2 mile up the road to find parking on the side of the road wherever we could. much for trying to be the early bird. We found parking and had a good 15 minute walk down the road just to get to the trail head. But really what's 15 more minutes when we are already hiking for almost the entire day right? We got our headlamps on, our backpacks and camelbacks and jackets and headed off.  Yes, it was still dark outside and very chilly.  We started at precisely 6:00 am and had to use our lights for about a half hour or more and then the sky started to lighten.  The hike was beautiful with lots of little water falls to cross.  We saw a moose off in a field munching on foliage.  We chatted, took turns being in front of the pack and snacked on goodies.  Somewhere near the top our group thinned out a little bit.  Two of the fast people hustled to the top.  I was in the middle and reached the saddle at 10:10 am.  The rear followed up only a little bit later. 
Laurie and her two cute daughters
You can see the little tiny hut just to the left of Laurie's neckline, which is the tallest peak on Mount Timpanogos.

One of the best parts of this whole adventure for me is reaching the saddle and finding a cozy little spot to nestle in and eat my lunch. If I'm lucky I'll also put my sweatshirt under my head and catch a few zzzzz's. After we all ate our lunch half of the group decided to head up to the very top peak where the tin hut is located. I've been up there a few times and feel perfectly content hanging back at the saddle. It's still just as beautiful to enjoy the valley and the sunshine, without the extra push, so I said good-bye to the three who headed off. That round trip should take about an hour. Well.....oops, the girls got a little lost and had to backtrack. We didn't see them for a little over 2 hours and so I was able to get a nice long nap. Annaleesa told me I was actually snoring.....hahahaha. I love it. I must have really been enjoying myself.
Ellie, Annaleesa, me
After Ellie, Sydney, and Laurie got back we got one more photo of all of us with the valley view behind us. We loaded up our gear and head back down the mountain at 12:25 pm. The descent definitely is not as hard physically unless you love your toes. They do take a beating and I had wished I would have worn a slightly larger pair of shoes. 
We arrived back to the trail head around 4:00 pm and figured we had been at this little adventure for 10 hours!! Then we had to hike another 1/2 mile or more UP a hill to get to the car. In talking to people on the trail and throughout the day it was interesting to find how many of them actually start this hike in the middle of the night and way early hours in the morning. Maybe that's the key to getting a good parking spot?

Actually, I had a fabulous day and enjoyed being with all these fun friends of mine.  Who's ready to go again?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Peach Days 10K-Brigham City

A few weeks ago my friend Jody invited me to come up to their city's Peach Days celebration and to run in the annual 10K. Mark was out of town at a trade show and I decided that this may be a fun little getaway that I was in need of. I got done teaching piano on Friday evening and made myself a huge club sandwich on ciabatta bread to eat in the car on my drive. Another friend had given me a baggie full of cherry tomatoes so I took those as well.  Eating a sandwich with fresh garden tomato slices is way too messy so I loved that I could take a bite of my sandwich and then pop in a few cherry tomatoes instead to mush around in my mouth with the sandwich. Such deliciousness!  I loaded up a cooler with a few other necessary food items and headed North for the 1 1/2 hour drive. (That actually turned into 2 hours because traffic on 1-15 was a nightmare.) I got there and enjoyed a relaxing evening visiting my friends and their daughter cortney and her friend.  We went to bed kind of late and then got up early and ate breakfast.  On race days my morning food consists of toast with peanut butter and banana on top.  More deliciousness! We headed down to the hub of the city and got our bibs and took pictures. My friend Annaleesa gave me this way cool bright yellow shirt and I couldn't get the safety pins to go through the fabric, plus I didn't want to ruin my new shirt so I just put my bib on my shorts.  Jody is a picture-taking nut like me so, of course, we had to have a little mini photo shoot before and after the race.

We got our bibs put on and put our jackets and stuff back in the car and just lingered around waiting to start.  This race was a lot of fun for the fact that there weren't 2500-3000 participants like the 1/2 marathons I ran.  We figured there were maybe about 400-500 people total.  The race started right on the main street and we were off at 8:00 am sharp.  Doran owns a Garmin forerunner 305, something I desperately want!  He loaned that to me because he didn't want to run with it in this race. For those who don't know what this is, it's a handy little satellite watch you wear while running that will tell you your speed, time and distance.  About 15 years ago I ran a 10K in Provo and that took me 1:06:06.  So for this race I was hoping to beat that by just a little.  The race course was very hilly which was a bit challenging. Every hill we climbed just meant a nice big downhill afterwards though which was nice.  I kept looking at that watch trying to stay ahead of that hour and 6 minute mark.  At one point we ran right by the new Brigham City Temple which is so pretty and still under construction. After running down the main street for a little ways the rest of the course was all around neighborhoods in the city and made a big loop back to the main street where we ended at the starting point.
Doran is Jody's husband and he had finished in about 53 minutes so he came back and ran me in.  He told me to put it into high gear and run hard to the end.  So I did and was pretty excited to see that clock read 59:46.  I went over to the drink table and got myself some water and gatorade and two giant peaches.  I sat on the lawn and devoured them.  Such a delicious treat after a morning run.  Here we are all together after the race.  Doran went back and got his wife and daughter as well.  He's such a good guy.  I keep telling him he should run a full marathon with all the extra running he does for everybody else.   
We stuck around for the award ceremonies after they had posted everybody's time. I was super surprised to find I had come in 3rd place in my age category out of 18 women. I earned myself this cute little medallion for what I like to call the old lady division. This was a fun but challenging race and I may just have to run it again next year.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Miles and the Bubbles

An expression of pure excitement!!  Could this child be any happier?  I think not.

This activity actually was my mother's 71st birthday party celebration and she loves going to the canyon for dinner. Each of us brought a different food item to share and enjoyed the cool evening together.  The boys set up the blongo ball and played that while the youngsters enjoyed the bubbles.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Born To Run

Just picked up this book from the library yesterday after being on a waiting list for about a month or so now. I've heard from a number of people what a great read it is.  I've read a few pages and am hooked already.  I'm anxious to see what I can learn from it, hoping it helps in my own endeavors.  I enjoy reading a lot but am doing good to get my scriptures, Ensign, and Prevention magazine read each month, so this will be nice to add additional reading material. I'm off to read, good-night!

Fourth of July Parade-Provo

Someday I'm going to do a blog book.  My friend Annaleesa had one made and it's the absolute COOLEST thing I've seen, so I need to get my photos and experiences put in here pronto!

This was Miles first real Fourth of July Parade and to be honest I had more fun watching him watch the parade than watching the parade myself.
We started the morning pretty early, getting up to go watch the hot-air balloons inflate but got down there and the weather wasn't cooperating so it didn't happen. So we hustled over to the parade route to watch the runners go by. That is always my most favorite part of the Freedom Days experience. I should probably just sign up and run with them next year, but then I wouldn't get to stand on the sidelines cheering and hollering like a crazy woman telling them all what a good job they are doing. I've been on the running side and I know how fun it is to have people cheer you on. It really gives you a little extra boost to keep going.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and napping. Kali had to work and so Wade and Miles went with me and Mark to the fireworks display later that night that Pleasant Grove puts on each year. I love the fact that you get to be on the lawn at the Jr. High school so close to where they let them off. Miles was very scared of them and hid under a blanket the whole time. It made us all laugh. The scary part for me is when shrapnel started landing all around us. We had nice big chunks of cardboard hit us in the head and face. Maybe we were just a little too close?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Number One Fan

Mark has always been my biggest support with this new-found love of running.  He has been to my races and cheered me on.  He will hop on his bike and go with me on Saturday mornings when I have to do a long run.  He carries the powerade, water, and oranges for me so I can be re-engergized with fuel at any given moment. He doesn't mind that signing up for races means spending money, and sometimes it means going out of town as well thus having to pay for a motel.
Well, he has run a little bit here and there on the treadmill but never going over about 3 miles.  Today he surprised me and said he wanted to go running with me.  My original plan was about 7 miles but I opted to shorten it so we could go together.  I'm so proud of him.  He kept going like the energizer bunny and we made it 5 miles together, going around the loop that I like to call the cemetery loop.  We get to pass right by Porter's grave.  It's the hardest part of the run, not just because Porter is buried there but because it's a pretty steep hill we have to climb. I just think about my boy and sometimes look over and wave as I'm climbing that hill and that carries me to the top everytime.  Then it's all down hill from there to home.
Way to go hubby!!!  I hope to do this again :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Running, Career, Church Service, Family, Life!

I have been trying to decide what direction to turn with my blog.  I have been pretty consumed with this new found love of running since December of 2010 and find a lot of inspiration and motivation reading other runner's blogs. One thought was that I should just start a different blog about running alone but then I realized I don't really post enough about that, nor do I want one more separate thing to keep up.  After mulling the ideas around for awhile my thoughts just kept going back to what this blog is really about:  Life!  I want to be able to document what's happening in me and my family's life.  I'm not very good at keeping a journal and my scrap-booking hobby has almost completely died off.  I'm hoping someday to start that up again but for now this blog is the next best thing.  So, some days I may blog about running and health and fitness, some days about my family or friends, some days about my grandson (because he is just so blasted cute!) As of right now I am feeling really behind on my blog posts but they are in the works and will be coming soon.  

It's all about balance and trying to find it.  Is it possible?