Monday, May 24, 2010

Definitely Devilishly Handsome

Do you remember this photo?

Doesn't that oozing ooey gooey chocolate grin just make you want to squeeze those cheeks and kiss that nose dappled with freckles?
Okay...maybe not.
The result may not be very pleasant or cute. But you do have to admit that kid is charming, even if it is in a devilish sort of way.

Well, now that you've admitted it, you can let the rest of the cyber world know how devilishly handsome you think Ben is by clicking HERE and voting for him in a contest by Backroads Photography.  You can even let them know multiple times since you may vote once a day up until Sunday, May 30th at midnight.

Thank You from Ben and me.

*And I promise that I will enter no more contests or ask for your help or participation in any way for a nice long while...or until there is another great contest to try to win.*

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Remembering & Race Report

The weather last Saturday was beautiful. I really couldn't have asked for it to be any better.
In Ogden Canyon it framed the lake and the surrounding mountains with the feel of summer; yet the chill of the air and one glance at Snowbasin, with its runs still blanketed in snow and I was reminded that spring had only just made her debut. Still those subtle reminders couldn't keep me from recalling all the good times in summers past that I've spent in that same canyon. From night hiking & fishing at Causey, to waterskiing on Pineview Reservoir with the Young Men and Young Women, to sluffing school to lay out at Cemetery Point trying to bronze myself into looking like the Hawaiian Tropic model, only to end up looking like a lobster. They were good times. Really good times; all of them, but that day they were distracting me from the task at hand- creating another memorable time.
One that I hoped would be under 2 hours.
So with memories set aside, I got back to work on completing my first half marathon.
And never has 'work' been more awesome until I reached the point where the 5K portion of race starts and this happened...
I ran the 5K last year so I knew when I had arrived towards the last part of the course. I figured that I just got excited that there were only 3 miles left and.....  tripped. As I fell I tried to save my legs because I needed them to take me to the finish line, so I caught myself with my hands, then my elbow, then rolled to my left side, and landed on my hip.
My legs were unscathed, so I kept going.

The funniest part is that I didn't care that my elbow and knuckles were bleeding, that my hands were hashed, that my hip would have a bruise the size of a softball on it, or that I took a not-so-little roll on the pavement in front of about 75 people (okay, that one bothered me a little), what I cared about was that it all cost me seconds on the clock.
 Seconds to get off the ground.
Seconds to assess myself and my injuries.
Seconds to get back up to my pace.
And even more seconds when a half a mile later I almost did it again before  discovering my tripping culprit- my blasted untied shoelace.
That meant more seconds to finish untying and then retying the darn thing and more seconds to get up to pace again.

 Luckily, I still made it to the finish line in less than 2 hours. My official finishing time ended up being 1:59:02.
I was thrilled!
I managed to make another memorable time...despite seconds lost.

Family Finishers
Natalie- 1:59:02, my SIL, Shaleece- 1:57:00, my brother, Dan- 1:51:08, my brother Nate, 2:12:55 
This was the first time running a half marathon for Dan, Nathan & me.  

My time on my running watch. Check out my distance in the right hand corner. I went over a half a mile more than the 13.15 miles of the course. I guess I need to learn to run and stay in a straight line. 

Things I don't want to forget:
*My mom was there to cheer us on and see us at the finish line.
*Richard had all 4 kids up, dressed, and there to meet me at the finish line.

*My brother Nate, who trained only about once a week and only got up to a maximum mileage of 7 miles on a treadmill came in only 13 almost 14 minutes behind me. He sucks, but I still love him 
*The man along the course with the sprinkler and the other spectators that blew bubbles for us to chase.
*The site of clothes flying off up into the air and off to the side of the road as everyone started to heat up and shed their long sleeves as we climbed the one and only hill.
* That I came into the finish line listening to "Wonderful" by Gary Go. Not exactly the heart pounding, adrenaline pumping music I had planned on, but I found it very fitting so it became just what I needed to carry me across.
*And most of all, the tributes to little Ethan Stacy, who lost his life by the hands of his stepfather and whose mother tried to cover it up by burying his body in a unmarked grave at Powder Mountain just north of our start line. On Saturday, I think we all ran for Ethan. I know a part of me did.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Benism: The Wasp

Today Ben found a wasp trying to make its way into our house. He couldn't have that nasty thing getting in where it might sting us, so he took it upon himself to annihilate it- with a squirt gun. What else?

I worried he would end up just really ticking it off and instead of worrying about getting stung in the house he would need to start worrying about getting stung in the yard. But come to find out, Ben is a pretty good shot. He had that wasp on the ground in no time where I swiftly stepped on it. (Is it just me or are there a lot of posts about dead animals lately?)

Anyways, I forgot all about the wasp until tonight at bedtime when Ben mentioned that he needed to tell me something. As he led me into another room away from eavesdropping siblings, I wondered what horrible thing he was going to confess to doing now. I was surprisingly somewhat relieved when I knelt down to look into his eyes and he confessed in a whisper,

"You remember that wasp we killed today? I 'accidently' touched it with my mouth."

CPR perhaps?
Maybe he felt bad and tried to kiss it better?
Don't ask... because I didn't either. It has been one of those days and I didn't think I could handle the real answer.
But apparently, it is definitely something that needs confessing to your mom. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Secret to Recovery

At 5:00 yesterday morning I was awakened by the sound of my name. I worked to peel myself off the love seat where I had fallen asleep when my body gave out late Saturday night. After a busy Saturday of finishing my first half marathon, attending a bridal shower for my niece, and a belated Mother's Day dinner with my family, the 13 stairs to my bed were too much; I simply couldn't go any further. But at 5 a.m. with much effort I made it up those stairs and to the source of the call of my name. It was Ashton, hot with fever and a really sore throat.

He was given a drink and I took my sore quads back down the stairs to locate the thermometer. By the time I got back up to his room he was complaining of nausea and asking for a bucket, so my sore quads and I went down the stairs again to retrieve a basin. We made it back just in time.

After a few more trips up and down the stairs of agony, I made my bed on the playroom couch right outside his room, but I didn't sleep; luckily, Ashton did. When he woke up he felt better in the way that you do after you have almost turned yourself inside out beginning with your stomach and the exhaustive sleep that follows. He called to me and I went in to find a wide eyed excited looking boy. He said, "Wow, I feel better." I replied with some remark of how glad I was. He continued as serious as can be, "I guess while I slept my white blood cells must have opened a spicy can of kick-butt on that virus." I nodded and smiled and after trying to hold it in, I laughed. How could I not? A spicy can of kick-butt. Where do they come up with this stuff?

(My sickie)
The thing is that spicy can of kick-butt must have not been spicy enough since his fever and sore throat stuck around and he stayed home from school today. So if you happen to know where I can find a can that is spicy enough- please, let me know. I have 3 other children that love to play follow the leader.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Not Meant to Be

(Jason before his watery burial)

The morning after this post we found Jason, the goldfish, floating lifelessly in the fish tank.
Two down, one to go.
And "going" didn't take long.
We buried the third and last goldfish, Cocoa, under the raspberries this morning.
Three goldfish dead in the space of a week under our care.

Does it make you a little worried about my children?
Don't be.

I promise that we fed them enough, changed the water using the water conditioner, and made sure the water temperature was right. We did everything we were supposed to do.
It was just not meant to be.
And you know what?  Nobody seems to feel that bad.
Especially me.

(Oh, and I think we will change "Nice Crab's" name to Houdini, since it seems he has just disappeared... out of the fish tank... that has a lid on it. Gone. Just like that into thin air.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Weekend Plans

The little red line is where I will be tomorrow.

(Ogden's Half Marathon Route)

Please, wish me luck, say a little prayer for me, or just come to my funeral if I don't make it.
Either way, I'll see you on the other side.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dreams and Nightmares

Easter morning Ashton woke up after having a dream about owning a turtle with the desire and determination to have one of his own. Last Friday night, that dream came true since he had worked hard for and saved enough money to finally buy this Russian Tortoise.

Her name is Ricky; the short and feminine version of Richard, Ashton's dad. Can you tell my kids idolize their father?

I was not particularly fond of the thought of this purchase, but look at the smile on that boy's face? He even kissed her shell the other day when he took her school. Gross, I know. But how do you say "no" to a love like that? If you're a sucker like me, you don't....and you end up the co-owner of a turtle that will probably outlive you.
And this is where my nightmare begins. 

You can't have 4 kids and have only one of them get a pet. The others let out cries of unfairness and protest favoritism, so your husband takes them to the store and comes home with not another turtle, but 3 goldfish and 2 very creepy arachnid-esqe crabs. I know it is probably just payback from all the birds, lizards, hermit crabs, and turtles that I as a girl tormented my own parents with. But fish? Why did they have to want fish? Really, is there any pet stinkier than fish?

Anyway, our aquatic family members have been dubbed Cocoa, Jason, and Chad (who as of yesterday, is now swimming in the greater waters above. YES! I mean...How sad). Ben's crab is named Anchor and Emma's is "Nice Crab" as she so lovingly calls it.

Within the space of 24 hours we went from being a one psychotic cat family to a seven blended pet family.
A horrific nightmare, indeed.
Now I have six five more strange, stinky, slimy, scaly, somewhat freaky, and helpless individuals to help take care of....
Okay, maybe it is do-able.
It's not too much of a stretch from having kids.

Just kidding...I really do love them.
The kids that is.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

“Cause we're all we got on this bouncing ball”
-John Ondrasik

A friend of mine received some correspondence a few days ago. Most often, correspondence can be a good thing; a note from a friend, a message of encouragement, or even a reminder. The correspondence my friend received was none of these things. In fact, it was the complete opposite- hurtful, hateful, and just plain mean.

It bothered me. And truthfully, I think it bothered my friend…. a little. Being ever the optimist, they managed to find the good in it all and could laugh and joke about it. But behind the smile, jokes, and optimism it was still there- a tiny little glimmer of hurt. How could it not, even just a little bit? I knew how those things made me feel and they weren’t even directed at me.

I wanted to turn around and give the offending person a tongue lashing of my own. Then the thought struck me, “What good would that do?” I thought about it for a few hours and concluded that my answer was, “Nothing. I would just make someone else feel the way my friend does.” And whether they deserved it or not, I don’t want to be that kind of person.

After all, when everything has been said and done, nothing has been resolved, the environment for healing has not been established, and in most cases, no one feels any better. Sure there may be that temporary euphoria of getting something off your chest, but that feeling soon fades and you are left back feeling the way you did before your venting session and, if you are like me, you feel worse.

It really reminds me of the Coffee Shop scene in the film “You’ve Got Mail”. Meg Ryan’s character Kathleen Kelly, is waiting to finally meet the man she met and has been getting to know in an online chat room. Instead of Prince Charming, her nemesis (or so she thinks), Joe Fox, shows up. Usually, when Kathleen is confronted she clams up and is unable to say what she wants to…until that night. That night she has a ‘breakthrough’ and is able to say exactly what she wants to say, when she wants to say it. She is elated she has been finally able to say all the nasty things that have been floating around in her head about Joe Fox. Though to her dismay, after all the rude comebacks and insults have flown out of her mouth she is instantly filled with regret and feels worse about the person she is or has come to be.

I guess what I’m getting to is that.... life is hard enough with out intentionally trying making it harder for one another. So why can’t we all just get along? My mom always told me while I was growing up, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I think at 33 years old, I will finally start to obey my mother.

Maybe we all should.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dear Mom, My Mother's Day Apology

(The guilty parties responsible for me - my parents.)

Dear Mom,
I know this is late, so there is the first thing to apologize for. But this weekend was...crazy. I know only you could understand that. I also know you believe in  "better late than never." So here it is late.

(Oh, and it's not an apology for screwing up dinner yesterday. But I am really sorry about that too.)

I apologize...
.... for all the times I made you worry needlessly. I now know how it feels.

.... for anytime I was disrespectful and sassed you. I now know how it feels.

.... if I made a mess and didn't clean it up. I now know how it feels.

.... for the times when I didn't obey when you asked me to do something. I now know how it feels.

.... if I ever demanded anything from you when you were so tired from working all day. I now know how it feels.

.... if I ever begged for something, that you really wanted to give me, but couldn't. I now know how it feels.

.... if I changed my clothes multiple times a day creating bigger piles of laundry for you. I now know how it feels.

.... if I ever got frustrated with you for not knowing how to help me with my homework. I now know how it feels.

.... when I got upset when you were only trying to help me. I now know how it feels.

.... if you ever sacrificed so that I could have or do something that I felt was important. I now know how it feels.

.... if I ever spilled on, tracked mud on, or brushed crumbs onto your freshly mopped floor. I now know how it feels.

I am sorry, truly I am for all of these things, but I will not apologize for growing up, or leaving you to get married, or having four of the most amazing kids of my own to love because..... I now know how it feels to be a mother.

And it is the best feeling in the world.

Happy belated Mother's Day!
I love you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ahhh, To Be a Kid Again...

This is just one of the many reason why I think it would be fun to be able to travel back in time and be a child again....

Laundry could be considered fun again......but unlike Ben, hopefully, I would retain some of my adult smarts and know better about wanting to stick my head into a functioning dryer.

Who knew a broken dryer could be so entertaining?

For them and me.


I haven't posted a Ben-ism for a while because....I've been accused.
Of being partial.
By my mother.

I tried to explain that I can't help it if Ben is the main child home during the day that speaks in full sentences and does and says the silliest things, but it just doesn't stick in my mother's brain. I need to spread the love around, my mother says. So I have conceded to my mother to include some posts about some things my other 3 kids say.
And the truth... is they do say some funny stuff too.
Thanks mother.

*Emma and I went shopping one day. Our first stop was the Distribution Center to pick up my new scriptures.
As we walked toward the store Emma asked, "What we buy this store?"
"We are getting mommy new scriptures." 
"Get me scriptures too?"
"No. We'll buy you some when you turn 8 and get baptized."
(Really excited) "When I get my Holy Ghost?"

*Emma has taken after me and loves black "lick-lish". Only I call it "licorice".

*Dallin asked me what year it was in Canada.

*One morning as we hurried to get out of the door to school, Ashton asked Dallin, "Do you have lipstick on?" Dallin being embarrassed, hurried to wipe at his mouth as he emphatically declared, "NO!"  I explained to both boys that his lips were just stained from the Popsicle he had for a bedtime snack the night before. Ashton seeming somewhat relieved replied, " 'Cause dude, that's just not your color."  

*A few weeks ago we opened Ashton an e-mail account. The day after when he came home from school and I asked my usual "How was school?" question I was met with this very unusual and unexpected response as he ran upstairs- "I'll e-mail you."