Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vote YES on proposition 26.2!

So after plenty of gentle ribbing to complete a post about MY marathon experience, I managed to find a night where I can't do any homework (I accidentally left it at school . . . I have NO idea what I'm going to do to finish it, but hey, I'm enjoying the moment!). 
Before I begin, I should state that given a choice between Naomi's and my experience . . . I would take mine ANY day.  Not only did she have to deal with getting Brooklyn up super-early, but she had to ride in a car while Liz was driving! (that's a life-pass-before-your-eyes moment if I ever knew one! hehehe Liz you crack me up!) 
So my version of the story began at 3:30 AM Saturday morning, a morning not unlike any other Saturday morning, except for one tiny thing . . . insanity was in the air.  Jennie and I walked from my grandparent's condo in St. 
George, right next to the LDS temple, to the finish line of the race, where we boarded the bus that would take us to the start line.  Now, and incentive to board the first bus of the morning (4:00AM) is that you're given priority status in the massage line after the race, and one wicked-cool smiley sticker on your tag.  Did I mention the cool sticker?! Oh yeah, it was sure worth it to get on that %#^$% 4 AM bus! 
At the starting line, we settled down for the 2 1/2 hr wait until the start of the race.  I was actually pretty cool!  They had literally about 100 bonfires going on the side of the road to help keep you warm while you waited (we were grateful; it is COLD in the desert at night).  This was also the time that it started raining, and it didn't stop until well after the race. 
I was completely in awe at just how many people there were! I think a good metric of how many people there are in a race is how many porta-potties can be found lining the road at the start-line.  I couldn't count them, I'll leave it at that! 
Well the race started out great, and I loved it!  Now the rain has its pros and its cons during a long race like this.  
Pro: It helps cool you off while running so you don't over-heat
Cons: After running for over 3 hrs with wet feet, it turns your poor abused feet into soggy raisins! This actually caused problems for quite a few people.  Luckily, I didn't realize how sore it made my feet until after the race. 
So for the first 21 miles, I did great! I kept up a very even 8 min/mile pace, while kept me right at my goal of finishing the race in 3 hrs 30 min.  It was actually very enjoyable.  It's fun to chat with other runners and get to know people.  There's plenty of people who run "for a cause" and advertise their cause with pictures on the t-shirts and such.  It's fun to talk to these people and find out their stories. 
Well, the fun ended at mile 21.  There was a conversation that went on between my right leg and my left leg that went something like this: 
Right leg: Alright buddy, I've had just about enough of this, what do you say we end this?!
 Left leg: Yup, I'm with you! 3 hours of this torture is enough for me, let's get back at this schmuck!
 Right leg: Right! Al right, I've got a plan, and the count of three we'll both sieze up and lock all the muscles we've got in these legs! 
Left leg: Hehehe I like it, that's a great plan! This is going to be awesome! 
Right leg: okay, this is it! on 3, 1....2.....3! 
And of course, at this moment, every single muscle in both of my legs completely seized and locked at the knees and the ankles.  I sure this was humorous to people who saw it, as I looked a little like the Young Forrest Gump trying to run.  To me though, it was PAINFUL! I've actually never experienced pain quite like that before; it's not something I can describe.  It was the hardest thing in world to have my brain convince my legs to actually keep going.  I had to stop and unclench my legs several times by stretching them out, but I did end up making it.  The law of diminishing returns definitely applies, as that last 100 yards into the finish line was the longest 100 yards of my life! 
But I did cross the finish line, just 10 minutes shy of my goal, which is not too bad I'd say!  It was awesome, painful, extremely worth it and I'm going to do it again the next chance I get!

Naomi's Version of the St. George Marathon

Well, this has been a long time coming but its better late than never! On October 4th, Kevin and his cousin Jennie ran the St. George Marathon! That's right...the whole thing! Kevin will have to put his version of the race on here eventually because I didn't run it and don't know what it was like. However, Brooklyn and I had our own plans that day so I will update you on our adventures in St. George.
But before I begin, I will tell you what I do know. Kevin finished the race in the pouring rain with the time of 3:41:02! That's pretty awesome if you were wondering. Jennie finished somewhere around 5 hours and 15 minutes but I don't know the exact time. She also finished in the pouring rain and managed to run across the finish line with a ridiculous smile on her face as if she did that kind of stuff everyday! Way to go guys. You are the kind of "buff" that I have no desire to ever be...but still think is cool!Now for the rest of us. While Kevin and Jennie were starting their race, Sarah, Liz, Brooklyn and I were driving to the start of our "race". WE participated in the Mayor's Walk which was only 2.1 miles but still a good workout for us! It was pretty awesome. We dragged Brooklyn out of bed early (which was payback for all the mornings she wakes me up at 6am) and made it to the start line (thanks to Liz's crazy navigational skills) just on time to start walking. We walk/jogged the course which enabled us to finish in the top 100 out of 2,000 walkers even though we started dead last! That felt good even though 33 minutes is a horrible time to finish 2.1 miles. Anyway...long story short, it was inspiring and fun and now I have the courage to try a real race. I am signed up to run the "Beat the New Year 5K" on December 31st and am pretty pumped! Wish me luck!

Monday, October 20, 2008

All Great Things Come to an End!

Well, I will be leaving Minnesota tomorrow morning and heading back to my wonderful husband in Utah! So...I thought before I go I should post everything else we have done since Wednesday.
On Thursday we went to the park about a mile from Becca's house and played on the playground, in the leaves, and on the beach! It was so much fun to see the girls enjoying themselves out in nature. I think Brooklyn ate around 3 or 4 leaves before we left.
On Friday we went to the General Mills Headquarters to see where Taber works. It was AWESOME! Basically he works in a giant mall. You never have to leave for anything! You want food, exercise, shopping, banking, gas, car repair, a good hair cut or pedicure...YOU GOT IT! Its all there! Pretty cool Taber!

On Saturday morning Becca and I went to her ward's SUPER SATURDAY! We made "I Spy" Bags and designer baby wipe cases. Then we had an amazing lunch followed by berry-filled chocolate cups. Mmmmmm...chocolate!
That evening we went back to the Mall of American with Taber and Teya. Teya had fun riding the rides and trick-or-treating and Brooklyn enjoyed the chance to be as loud as she wanted without her mom scolding her. After the rides we ate at Rainforest Cafe again and it was TASTY! Thanks Becca and Taber!
Sunday was our "relaxing" day so nothing to report there, but today (Monday) we went to the Mall of America again and checked out their indoor aquarium. The girls all loved the different fish but were especially happy when we got to "Mr. Ray" and the "Finding Nemo" fish tank!
Here are a few pictures of Dori, Nemo, and the gang. We even got a picture of Crush!
Before we headed out the door, Teya and Brooklyn got to pet some stingrays. They were slimy and stinky but the girls thought it was the greatest thing on earth! We sure have had a wonderful time with the Riggs and will be very sad to go home without them. :( But that's OK. They will be back in Utah for Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Brooklyn in the woods

So Naomi made sure to chew me out that I haven't posted pictures from some the adventures we've had lately (before she took off and left for Minnesota . . . seriously, what's in Minnesota?!).

Much to my delight, it turns out that our little gir
l quite enjoys being outdoors, and loves it when we take her to parks, up the canyon etc.   We had a ch
ance to take her up the canyon directly above the home 
in Pleasant Grove.  Here's some fun pictures:

It's always great fun!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tourism at its BEST!

Well, Becca and I have been very busy since I arrived in Minnesota, so I am just barely able to give you an idea of what we have been up to! Here goes!

On Monday when our dad was still here, we all went to The Mall of America together. It was SO huge! There was an indoor amusement park right in the middle of the mall. Brooklyn was too small to ride on anything but she was just happy to be in her stroller so it was okay. After we checked out the amusement park we posed with a storm trooper made entirely of Lego's and then we ate at The Rainforest Cafe. We were seated right next to a huge saltwater aquarium and Brooklyn loved watching all the fishes! It was a very fun trip.
On Tuesday we ventured out to the Community Center and let the girls go crazy on the indoor playground. It was like a glorified McDonald's. They even had an area just for crawling babies and Brooklyn loved it! She was all over the place. I couldn't believe how mobile she really is when she has free reign of a space.
This is one of my favorite pictures that we took at the Community Center. Brooklyn is obsessed with Brinley and when she saw her on the other side of the mesh she pulled herself up and tried to touch her. It was so cute!

On Wednesday we went to the Children's Museum in St. Paul. It was amazing! All of the exhibits could be touched and played with by the children. They also had an animal exploration area for toddlers where Brooklyn got to crawl all over everything she saw.
Her favorite part of the animal area was the turtle mirror. She was laughing her head off at herself and all the other mothers were getting a kick out of her. She also liked the ropes, which she unsuccessfully tried to scale all by herself. She nearly gave me a heart attack!
But the Best part of the Children's Museum, by far, was the water exhibit. It had bubble machines and boat races, lots of tubes and water fountains, and a whole lot of weird gadgets. Brooklyn and her little friend Noah who are 3 days apart in age liked the water fountains the best. They splashed around forever in here.
Anyway, that is all I have for now but just so you all know, we are having a BLAST! Even though we desperately miss Kevin! Catch you later with more from our MN adventure!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lazy Sunday


Sunday was my niece Brinley's baby blessing! Church wasn't until 1:00pm so we were able to take our lazy old time getting ready for the big day. Aunty Becca even gave Brooklyn her first pigtails ever! Which was a big sacrifice of her time since she had 2 other little girls to get ready for church as well.
Here's Brooklyn with her hair done and her teeth brushed just waiting to go to church and see little Brinley get blessed. Don't you just want to pinch her big juicy cheeks?
After Brooklyn had her hair done she had just enough time to coach Brinley on the finer points of church manners...although when we got there she forgot about them herself!
Here is Grandpa Uda getting some morning snuggles in before we leave the house. He had SO much fun with Brinley...she is a very sweet and special little lady!
And this is all of us after the big event! Taber did an incredible job and gave a really beautiful blessing. Brinley was so quiet and good during the whole thing! Brooklyn and Teya had to be escorted out of the building though. Too bad they haven't learned anything from their younger cousin! Oh well...if we were all quiet the world would be a boring place to live!
For more info about the blessing, you can go to Becca's Blog at http://taberandbecca.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Minnesota or BUST!

On October 11th I flew with Brooklyn for the very first time to go see my sister Becca in Minnesota...WOW! Flying with a baby is NOT fun! On our first plane to Denver, Dad Uda sat next to us to help take care of Brooklyn. It was nice, even though he slept the whole time, because Brooklyn pulled at his eyebrows and poked his nose and eyes which kept her entertained. But on the next plane we ended up sitting across the aisle from dad and it turned out to be a somewhat embarrassing ride.

As many of you know, Brooklyn suffers from a volume control problem. She also strongly opposes being held still and in one place for long periods of time. To make a long story short, I was squeezed between a Chinese man who kept saying "Wow! Your baby is so energetic...she moves so much, she has quite a voice!" and a young single fellow who, despite the size of the plane, managed to shrink himself about 2 feet away from us by the end of the flight in order to escape Brooklyn's strong desire to eat his book. Ugh! Never again.

That being said...it has been so nice to see Becca, Taber and the girls! Brooklyn felt instantly at home and already worships her cousin Teya. Teya actually thinks Brooklyn is pretty great too...you just can't tell in this picture, but she laughs at EVERYTHING Brooklyn does and likes to give her kisses.
Brooklyn loves Brinley as well but she doesn't understand soft touches yet and keeps trying to poke Brinley in the eye or pump her guts out. Oh yeah! and she does NOT like it when I feed Brinley! She believes strongly that the only mouth I should ever put a bottle in is hers!

After the cousins met on day one and got used to each other, we all went to the park where we ate the most yummo BBQ I have ever had! Also, Brooklyn swung on the swings for the first time and LOVED it...and she played in the sand for the first time and did NOT love it!
One other new thing we experienced on our first day here was bath time for Brooklyn. She has been showering since she was 3 months because she's afraid of standing water. But as soon as we put her in the tub with her cousin Teya, she decided it wasn't so bad after all!
Teya liked it as well since she got to show off to her younger cousin! Here is a video of all the fun. Hope you don't mind the "children without clothes" theme!

video

Stay tuned for more about our trip to Minnesota! Also, look out for Kevin's posts on our hiking trip and his experience at the St. George Marathon!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Living in Pleasant Grove

Well...Since the last post, Kevin, Brooklyn and I have moved into my parents' basement in Pleasant Grove, where we will be until Kevin graduates in December. So far we are loving the change! It is so nice to be around family and, surprisingly enough, to have a little dog for Brooklyn to play with. She thinks my parent's dog, Gizmo, is her little brother and they spend hours playing together. I also enjoy his company since he frequently cleans up Brooklyn's food spills and provides a free babysitting service! (I never leave them alone together...in case you were wondering!) Anyway, I thought I would put up a little video tour of our new home as well as a picture of Brooklyn playing with all her cousins in our playroom after Tau and Sarah blessed their little baby Noa. Enjoy!


video