Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sweetness of a Brand New Baby

Baby Graham Porter Poulsen was born on September 29th, 2014.
He is a total package of sweetness and love straight from heaven,
Straight from his Uncle Porter's arms to Porter's big sisters arms, Graham's mommy, Kali.
On Sunday evening, the day before Graham was to be induced we decided to head up the canyon to take a nice long walk on the Provo River Parkway trail to hopefully help speed up the onset of labor.  Kali, Wade, the kids and myself went.  Wade pushed the kids in the stroller and away we went. When we parked the car the sky was looking a little ominous.  The clouds were heavy and dark but we decided to give it a chance anyway.
There were so many people out enjoying the beautiful cool, Sunday early evening.
Bridal Veil falls was packed and so we walked on past there and continued up higher on the trail.
After a great fast-paced walk the thunder started and the lightening was coming more often. 
A light sprinkling was hitting our faces.
It didn't take too long and we were getting pelted with a downpour before we could get back to the car.  It was pretty crazy, but funny.
Me and Harper after being in the rain, were enjoying a little piano time together when we got back home.  This little girl melts my heart.  

Well, Monday morning came and no labor.  Kali was waiting for the hospital to call and tell her when to come in for the induction.  Well...................oops.  The Dr's office had forgotten to schedule it.  
Kali was not happy.  She had to wait until way later in the day to go in.  
But all is well in the world and this little guy was still born on Monday Sept 29th. 
And here he is, all 9 pounds of him and 21 inches long.  Just as sweet and cute as can be.
Since he was born so late at night, around 10:00 pm we decided to wait and go visit the next afternoon.  
I went over by myself and had a sweet visit with a few others that were there already, my mom, Monica, Wade and the other two grand kids.  
Then they all left and I had a sweet visit with just Kali and the baby.
I loved it.
I could cuddle a newborn baby forever! 
They are just so precious.
Later that night I went over again when Mark got off work.  Jordan and his girlfriend Katelyn stopped by too.  Cooper and Kari would come visit at another time.
What a beautiful day it is when a new spirit enters this world.
Welcome baby Graham!
We are going to love you forever!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Huntsville Half Marathon

Wow!  Races in the rain are always a fun experience.  

I was asked to pace this half marathon a few weeks ago in the 1:50 spot.  I wasn't sure I could do it but told the pacer director I would give it a try.  I practiced 3 different times on a treadmill at the gym working on speed and was able to meet the challenge there.  I just wasn't up for trying it outside on the pavement.  I would much rather run in dirt on the trails when I run outside. But, I accepted the challenge anyway to pace.  

Friday evening I got to bed early around 9:00 pm and slept good for a few hours, and then tossed and turned from 2-5 am when the alarm went off.  Oh well, I take what sleep I can get on a pre-race eve. 

I headed North about 30 minutes to hook up with another pacer friend Rachael, who drove us up to Huntsville, another 60 minutes North in the pouring rain.  The sunrise coming through Weber Canyon was just incredible! 
We got to Huntsville and got our packets picked up and met up with the other pacers pacing the half marathon today.  I have run with all of these people before and enjoy the many friendships made through this crazy adventure of pacing and running.
Now, if you notice I am holding a 1:55 sign instead of the 1:50 I was asked to pace.  The dear sweet girl on the end, Melissa Willie, was ever so kind to switch me pacing spots.  Phew!!  I owe her some cookies!  I was so nervous about being able to hold an 8:28 pace for 13.1 miles on a not-so-much-downhill course.  The 1:55 spot made it so I had to keep an 8:46 pace instead, which was still a bit of a challenge today in the wind and rain.  
 This race was a very late starting half marathon-9:30 am.  What?  Crazy, but I was grateful since it was so far away from home and I would much rather sleep in my bed than a motel.  So around 8:15 we boarded the buses for the ride to the starting line.  I sat by my friend, London Riding and immediately I go into silly mode when the camera comes out.  Seriously, I need to just learn how to smile like a normal person.
 Even though I got to trade Melissa for 5 minutes slower I was still nervous about my job for the race.
Could I really do this when I am so used to running half marathons well past the 2 hour mark?
I just had to be so strong mentally and physically and perform well no matter what.  I didn't want to let the pace director down, or anyone else around me in the race who would have a goal to achieve.
 We got to the starting line area and I found my friend Josh Hansen.  What a great buddy.  I have run so many races with him since starting this running journey 4 years ago.  He is definitely like a little brother I've never had.  He is one funny guy.   
At 9:30 am the race started and we were off.  I wore my red jacket the entire race.  I think it only stopped raining for maybe a couple miles around 8 and 9.  Seriously?  My feet got wet, and I could feel blisters forming.  Keep trudging on though!!  The rain was coming in through my arm cuffs from holding my pacing sign and so I could feel rain pooling around my elbows.  Sheesh!  I still was having a fun time and just trying to stay focused on my task.  

The aid stations were great, almost every two miles, with oranges, bananas, pretzels, gatorade, and water.  The aid station at mile 10 was THE BEST!  It had cinnamon bears, swedish fish, and marshmallows.  You better believe I grabbed a couple handfuls!  I enjoyed those precious goodies for the next couple miles to help keep my mind off the extremely flat section we were running (in the wind no less)

I had a few people at different times throughout the course tell me I couldn't pass them.  That always makes me laugh!  I would slow down for a few seconds and tell them I would try not to, but of course I had to keep going on pace. I never had any one person stay with me for the entire race, which rarely happens anyway.  I did have a number of people come up and thank me after the race was over though.  I guess they were watching my sign from behind and grateful it was there.

I finished strong and feeling great with a time of 1:54:24.  Just 36 seconds under the 1:55.  Our pace director tells us we can be a little bit under the goal time.
 I headed over to the treat table and fueled up with some yummy goodness.  After-race treats are always a welcome sight for this hungry running lady.

Even though it rained so much, it wasn't a cold rain and so it was bearable.  It was a beautiful course with the fall leaves in the mountains and clouds down low.  Beauty everywhere and of course as I ran I was taking it all in with my thoughts being happy and spirits bright.  How can you not have a great experience when you get to behold the beauty of this great world we live while experiencing runner's highs?

I think this race will have to go on my repeat-for-next-year list.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Epic Rainy Corner Canyon Run

Such an epic day of running for this heart of mine that just needs to be free and moving and enjoying the great outdoors!  Where else can you find such peace, serenity, and pure exhilaration all at the same time?

I am currently training for a 50K coming up in Park City on the first weekend in October and these trails in Corner Canyon are the perfect place for training to happen.  The colors right now are amazing and the trails in such perfect running conditions. 
I slept in a little bit and was so grateful for some much needed extra sleep.  I rounded up my running gear and a little food and headed out to the car and noticed some rain drops and a sky full of clouds.  I made a quick decision to run back in and grab a light jacket.  That would turn out later to be a very smart decision. 
 I parked at a favorite trail head and headed up into the hills admiring the views and taking in all the fresh morning smells.  The sky was looking very ominous, yet I wasn't too worried.  A little rain is actually kind of fun to run in.  
 One of my VERY FAVORITE things to eat during a long run, or even after a good hard run is a peanut butter and honey sandwich on toasted wheat bread.  So, of course, that's what I brought along.  I was just a little sad I didn't have any running company to share it with me.  I found a bench along Ann's trail and sat down and munched the entire thing.  Sooooo delicious!

Solo runs are very good for me too though.  They allow me to talk to my Heavenly Father and share my gratitude, love, fears, and challenges of this crazy life.  He gets an earful.  I'm grateful he listens.  I'm still learning how to listen back.  
 There were so many colors to take in I had to keep stopping for photos, especially with the falling rain and everything so wet.  It was just so incredibly gorgeous!!
 Potato Hill has a lot of special meaning to me.  Recently, a newly made trail, called Red Potato Trail, has opened up so I had to do a little more rediscovering of this area as part of my journey today.  The two photos below show Potato Hill from a couple different distances away.
 Along my journey there were quite a few water crossings and I was surprised to find all of them with big, white, foamy bubbles in them.  At first I thought maybe someone played a joke and put soap in there but apparently not as there were bubbles in all the streams I took photos of.

 This sky full of clouds and rain just never eased up on me the entire 4 hours and 21 minutes I was out here.  I didn't mind.  It was just such a perfect day, and I was so grateful for a healthy body that could move, enjoy, and take it all in.  It was such a rewarding experience to be here this day.  I can't wait to go back!!! Hopefully soon!!!

 As I was coming to the end of this adventure (that I really didn't want to end yet) I decided to complete my run with a screaming fast run down Clark's Trail.  It's probably my favorite trail in all of Corner Canyon because of the speed.  I took off and just started giggling and laughing and crying "Weeeeeeeeeee"  because I'm such a little kid still at heart. Wow!  What a great adventure!  
Honestly?  I don't even know where the time went?  
16 miles just went by too fast.
Can I just live here?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Porter's 23rd Birthday

September 13th, 1991, a special day when I delivered a healthy baby boy, my baby.
I love this picture because of the way he is embracing us with his strong, long arms.  So warm!

Tonight we would gather together as a family and just celebrate for him, since he's not here.
I made a chocolate, buttermilk, zucchini, cake which is so moist and delicious.  I look forward to digging into this!
We decided to meet at 7:00 pm at the house and when all the gang arrived we got a photo on the stairway.  Oftentimes in the early years after Porter passed away I would picture him at the top of the stairs where Jordan is sitting just watching me work in the kitchen, and conversing with me because that's what he would do.  I thought a photo of us all on the stairs would be appropriate.
Jordan is dating a cute little gal named Katelyn and she was so worried about hanging out with us for this family event but I was very happy she did.  Her mom insisted on her bringing us balloons and flowers!  How sweet of both of them.
Cooper is also dating a very lovely girl named Kari.  We are anxious and hopeful that marriage will happen soon for them.
We headed off to Wallaby's BBQ for a yummy meal together.  Porter loved to eat, although he was as skinny as a rail it sure didn't show.  We ate plenty for him tonight!

We love you sweetheart!!!