9.22.2017

Our week...

Tried to take a few pictures this week:

Once at the gym the lady said, "Oh look Luna - your hair is excited!" It has stuck and is the best way to describe Luna's hair every morning.

Friends and playing... we have had lots and lots of playdates. I've reached the age where most my peers have older kids in school and 1 or 2 left at home. We make sure these "leftovers" get together as much as possible and it makes all our lives easier.

Banana face! A banana a day keeps the hunger pains at bay... for at least a minute.

Luna came to a Relief Society activity with me and scored some new "pink dough." It has made play dough seem all new and exciting again.

Took Fielding to the doctor - a breathing treatment and 2 inhalers later he is showing some signs of improvement... but still makes me want to gouge my eyes out on occasion with his coughing fits.

The library... nothing can beat it. The weather turned already and we have been hitting up all our favorite winter spots. It is too soon - I swear we had tan lines and were wearing swimsuits just yesterday.

Luna and I have been putting in the miles while Perry is at preschool. She is the cutest running partner around.

Date night... we took Paisley to Cheesecake Factory with us so she could be our photographer.  Not really but she appreciated the feast!

It was a drizzly wet week - we have major fall yardwork to be done but the weather has kept us indoors. Here is to hoping the sun will come out tomorrow and we can finally have that bonfire I promised the boys last Saturday!

9.19.2017

Bleeding...

Once in high school, I inquired of a friend how she was doing? She responded with, "I woke with my nose bleeding, cut myself shaving, and started my period - It's just a bad bloody morning." I loved her response - it was honest and funny and summed up bad high school mornings pretty darn well. So a few months later, when I had my own bad bloody morning I couldn't wait to tell her.

"I had a bad bloody morning! I cut myself shaving, started my period, and picked my zit until it bleed."

"Ugh - gross. Don't pick your zits."

Wait - what just happened. I thought we had something going with this. I thought this was our kind of funny. OK - OK - mental note: bloody nose - ok conversation, period - ok conversation, zits - no, just don't go there. Don't show them you bleed... if that bleeding occurs from a clogged pore.

I've thought a lot about this conversation in my life. About how I have a need to be real and relatable but how that sometimes leaves people looking at me disgusted.

This can especially be the case in Mormon-ville. Mormons have this thing - this obsession really - with happiness. We talk about it all the time and the things we need to be doing to achieve it and that if you aren't happy than obviously you are doing something wrong. I think the doctrine behind it, that we are to be living the plan of happiness is good, but the constant dialogue about it can be harmful.

I teach Relief Society (the 18+ women's class that meets the third hour of my church block) twice a month. Teaching is something that I feel I am naturally talented at. I think I have a way to get people to share, which in my opinion is the only way that true teaching occurs in my church, because the majority of us have been having the same lessons since we were Sunbeams (age 3). Unless people are bringing the realness of life to the discussion than we probably have heard it before - at least 2 dozen times.

I remember one particular Sunday, I laid it out. I showed them I bled and told all about my weekly moment of failure as I stood with 5 hungry and tired kids in my daughter's gymnastic foyer and yelled, "Get in the car now." It was ugly and real but currently that feels more like my life than happy sunshiny moments of everyone happily complying with my requests. I could see nods and relatable looks in their eyes and I thought it was a good thing that I shared. We spent the rest of the discussion talking about how bravery is sometimes just saying, "Tomorrow I will try again" and really that is all the Savior asks of us.

Then as I packed up to leave, I was approached by one of the sisters... one that always has it looking so put together and she said, "Wow - that was brave of you. I would never show myself like that." I don't know how she meant it - if it was supposed to be a compliment but it felt more like, "Ugh - gross. Don't pick your zits." 

It has made me reflect on my teaching, my conversing, and my blogging. How there are some who can appreciate seeing the blood - that for them they want it real and ugly and imperfect.

But then there are others who want it pretty. They don't want the zitty version of you - they want the you that put on your make-up that morning. They don't want to know you bleed... And I thought how I always feel a little gross around them.

9.15.2017

The good, the bad, and the ugly...

This week - 

The good:
*On Sunday we got home from our trip. After church and dinner, we all gathered in the kitchen to finish a puzzle and make apple crisp. Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah was playing on the computer and my house felt warm and full and happy. It was a quiet moment that testified to me that life lived simply can be so good.

*Rain - it poured and Perry and Luna frolicked in it. It was lovely!

*Pasta sauce was preserved. Every canning effort feels like a small victory.

The bad:
*Fielding had the worst dental appointment of all time. 4 fillings done in very different locations so 4 shots to numb him - and his frenulum (the piece of skin that connected his top lip to the middle of his two front teeth) needed cut back. He was so brave and good until the last procedure when he started sobbing... I felt so bad for him. It was torture for him and torture for mom to watch.

*Fielding has a cough that makes me want to shove toothpicks in my eyes... last night I made him a bed in the dining room since it is the furthest location I could find from my room. I hate that there are some lingering effects from his prematurity and his lung sensitivity is definitely one of them.

*Luna is a train wreck. Her sleeping patterns are all out of whack and it seems to be throwing off her whole day. Between her and Fielding's cough - sleep was a rough go all week. She has also become a bit of a tyrant and we are trying to show her who is boss and it is no fun for anyone involved.

The ugly:
*I signed up for the St. George Marathon. It was an act of bravery and stupidity... especially since the registration was closed and I had to go in as a charity runner - which means I just spent a lot of money to run 26.2 miles (in 3 weeks!) that I am not adequately trained for. I just wanted to have something that made me feel alive and something about running until the point where I want to die does that for me.

*Found another long forgotten sippy under the couch. Luna is down to two and they are constantly filled with sour milk which makes me want to vomit every time I have to open one. I had a very traumatic experience with a sippy cup, milk, and rootbeer as a teenager and I don't think I am quite over it.

*I took zero pictures this week - phone or camera... so I got nothing to go with this post.

9.11.2017

Utah done fast...

We did a quick trip to Utah this past weekend because my BYU freshman roommates were having a little reunion. They let me know about it back in April and this was how the text to Blake went down.

Cyndi: Can we go to Utah for a reunion with my old roomies in September.
Blake: Sure - what date?
Cyndi: The weekend of the 9th and 10th - don't have any other details yet.
Blake: That should work.

2 minutes later:
Cyndi: Did you find a race yet?
Blake: Found 2! How'd you know I was looking?
Cyndi: I know you.

So Blake got to run a marathon and I got to see long lost friends and the kids got hotel swimming, massive ice cream treats, and the best park I have ever been too.

Here was our whirlwind itinerary:

Friday:
7am- Wake up and pack since we were too wiped to do it the night before.
8am - Leave for Utah
8:30am - Re-leave for Utah after grabbing forgotten water bottles, pool floaties, the mail, etc.
2:00pm - Arrive at Grandma Nay's where the kids dump all her toys, eat all her treats, and enjoy the freedom of being out of the car.
4:00pm - Load back up and head to Blake's packet pick-up in Draper. Score hats, pens, backpacks, and hacky sacks.

5:00pm - Cyndi leads family astray on our hunt for Panda Express. After traffic stress (Utah roads drive me bonkers) we end up at a mall where we eat the most random dinner of Panda, pizza, and hot dog on a stick. 
6:00pm - Get to hotel in Midvale and the kids are in the pool within 15 minutes of arrival.

7:00pm - Cyndi leaves Blake and kids to swim and movie night it while she heads off to find her roommates in Salt Lake City at The Blue Plate Diner. Enjoy laughs and tears and catching up with Jess, KaraLee, Erin, and Heather (she was technically never my roommate but great to meet).

9:00pm - Blue Plate Diner kicks us out as they are closing and we head to Leatherby's. Unfortunately, I don't know my Salt Lake City geography very well and we definitely ended up on the wrong side of the tracks. The place was awful but the company was great so we made it do.

Saturday:
12:00am - We get kicked out of there due to them closing. We go our separate ways - Jess comes back to the hotel with me to sleep on the floor after a last minute detour to pick up Blake's 4am Gatorade at WinCo.
1:00am - Crash out in the noisiest hotel room known to man with a nervous-pre-race-energy-I-can't-sleep husband, and 6 other people in various states of snoring, coughing, and talking in their sleep. 
4:00am - Cyndi wakes up to take Blake to the buses.
4:45am - Cyndi gets back to the hotel where Jess crawled into Blake's spot and we whisper talk until 5:30am when she has to leave to the airport.
8:30am - Kids gratefully sleep in but this requires us to hurry to the complementary breakfast before they close it at 9. 
9:10am - Paisley is left in charge of the bigger kids while they watch cartoons and Cyndi and Luna head over to the race in hopes of getting there before Blake.
9:30am - Blake comes across the finish - 3 minutes after I arrived... thank goodness I didn't miss another one of his finishes.

Blake finished in 2:49 - a PR! He had a great race and him and this fellow marathon runner had quite the foot race for 6th place. They were finishing at the same time as the 2:49 half marathoners so it was kind of humorous to see all these casual runners taking their time and then these 2 blowing past as they gave everything that was left in them after 26.2.
10:30am - Blake finally cools down enough to head back to the hotel where we hit the pool one last time and clean up to go find lunch and meet my roommates at the park.
11:30am - Fight more Utah traffic, take a few wrong turns, but finally end up at Wardle Park in Bluffdale with KFC to bring Blake's salt and fat stores back up. A storm hit right when we got to the park and we froze for the first half. Then the sun came out and we were applying sunscreen by the end. I am so glad the weather turned because the park was incredible. Splash pad, zip lines, biggest tunnel slides ever... the kids loved it. And it was fun to see all of us being grownups with 17 kids between the 4 of us.
2:30pm - Take off and hit up a Leatherby's in Draper. Leatherby's is where Blake had our first date (and many more after that). It holds a soft spot in my heart and I am so glad we found one that had the same good-feels as I remembered.

And had the real goods too!!! We shared these and the kids were in love with the mountains of ice cream and fudge sauce.
3:30pm - Stop by to quickly say HI to Hank and Micah. They were in town as well as Blake's parents and my parents... it was a bizarre weekend where everyone was in Utah for some reason.
4:30pm - Leave to go to The Rule's, Blake's old roommate. It felt so good to finally arrive and know we didn't have anywhere else to go that night. We settled in, ate amazing enchiladas, played some games, and watched the ugliest BYU vs. Utah football game ever. The boys love going here because they have all boys and the coolest toys around. We crashed out about midnight again.

Sunday:
6:30am - Wake up and throw everyone and everything in the car. Speed home just in time for a quick bite of food and church at 1pm (I had to teach and after being gone so much over summer I really wanted to be back for it).

It was a fantastically full weekend of friends, food, and fast running. I am proud of Blake and proud of my roomies for all coming together - 2 from Illinois and 1 from North Carolina... It was a weekend I won't forget!

9.06.2017

hello...

Ummm... school started and it is magical and I am getting lots done... just not blogging.

Here is a speed update on what has been going on.

Perry had his first day of preschool yesterday. He gets to go to "Aaron's school" which is the best set up ever. Aaron is his best little buddy and his mom decided to teach preschool this year. Perry willing goes and asks every day if school is today - I think it is going to be a great preschool year!

Salsa party - we spent Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend making 28 pints of salsa... it was a great effort on Blake, Cyndi, and Kara's part. And all the rest of the crew that entertained kiddos.

Quieter days - Perry, Luna, and I have a great routine going during the day while the kids are at school. We are not nearly as frenzied as Summer and I think we all appreciate it.

Kelsi!!! My niece moved in with us for the year while she attends BSU. So far it has been great - Perry LUVS her, I love having another adult to talk to during the day, Fielding got to wash her car with her, and she helps the girls with the chores. Oh and she makes my house smell amazing... something that we could always use some help on around here.

While Kara was here - we snuck in a run, played lots of Agricola (Brenden and Kara creamed Blake and I over and over again... it was very humbling), and went to the river for our annual squash boat regatta.

Well - bon voyage! Hopefully the urge to write comes back... I think Summer sucked the life out of me... then Luna got sick so I am a bit of a sleep deprived zombie. 

8.28.2017

Hood to Coast 2017...

I ditched the kids and Blake for the weekend to go Hood to Coast it with mi familia.

Who:
2 brothers, 3 sisters, a niece, a nephew, a brother-in-law to chauffeur us, and my pops!

What:
200 mile relay race

Where:
Mt Hood to Seaside, Oregon

When:
Start time 9:30am Friday - Finish time 6:30pm Saturday

Why:
Because we are crazy!

Photo dump:

Chad told us to jump - my legs were shot and this is what he got.

Kara helped me out.

You can't complete this kind of event without some excitement. My trusty old mini-van blew a brake line hose - which means we invested in a lot of brake fluid and stressed more than we would have otherwise.
 
 Kara and Chad were savage and gorilla taped the crap out of this thing which allowed us to get home safely since the nearest replacement part was in Denver, Colorado. At least we came up with next year's team name: Half naked mechanics! (They were saving their running gear from brake fluid).

It was a ton of driving, a lot of running, and a lot of fun... we also got to celebrate Kara's 40th birthday and my Dad's 69th in route.

It was a party and finally crawling into my own bed last night felt so good.