Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy 28th Birthday Kevin!

Today Kevin has officially survived for 28 years! As a tribute to him, Brooklyn, Lily and I sat down and made a list of 28 reasons that we are glad he was born! Here they are in no specific order:

From Lily-

1. Daddy changes my diapers even when I explode and smell like a dead animal
2. Daddy runs me around the living room like a lunatic and lets me chase Brooklyn
3. Daddy lets me ride his shoulders and suck on his hair
4. Daddy rescues me from Brooklyn when she clobbers me or steals my things
5. Daddy plays "Stand up, Sit down" with me

From Brooklyn-

6. Daddy lets me color with pens
7. Daddy makes me fly like a helicopter
8. Daddy reads me books every night
9. Daddy lets me pick up the mail while riding his shoulders
10. "I love his big face!" (Direct quote)

From Naomi-

11. I love the way you make me laugh, tell the same old jokes over and over, and have the sense of humor of an 80 year old man.
12. I love how you try to trick me into looking at you when you are randomly mooning me
13. I love how you come home from a busy day of work and immediately get busy making dinner, changing diapers, and cleaning house
14. I love that you are TRULY the best dad in the whole wide world
15. I love that you text me every random thing you do while you are at work
16. I love how you are willing to try new things and develop new talents even if it means painting your face and taking your shirt off in front of our bishop
17. I love that you can build anything I want you to, and that you actually get excited to do it when I ask you
18. I love that you are self motivated and ALWAYS stick to the goals you set for yourself
19. I love that you buy me fresh flowers every time the old ones die...just because you know I like it
20. I love "camping out" in the living room with you every weekend and watching NCIS
21. I love that you are so low maintenance and can balance out the craziness of a house full of girls
22. I love that you encourage me to be the very best I can every day, and that because of your example, I want to be the very best I can...every day
23. I love that you will go out in the middle of the night to get me candy corn, and then come back with 4 bags of candy...just in case
24. I love it that other girls flirt with you but you don't get it
25. I love how you giggle like a school girl when it is freezing outside and you get to go running in your shorts
26. I love how you totally NERD out every time you are with your siblings
27. I love all the random knowledge you collect and that you love to share it with me
28. I love that you love me, that I know you will always be there for me, that I never have to worry about what you are doing when I am away, and that you are my best friend in the whole entire world! I love YOU Kevin! Happy birthday Monkey!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Grandpas are EVERYWHERE!

Because we don't live close to grandparents, Brooklyn sometimes gets a little confused about what her Grandpas look like. She has the basics down and recognizes them immediately in pictures or in person. But occasionally she mistakes similar features in others as being exclusive to one of her grandpas and thus, we get funny stories like these:

The other day I left the TV on the HGTV network while I was cleaning. Suddenly Brooklyn started yelling from downstairs "Mommy! Mommy! Grandpa Uda is on the TV!!!" Vern Yip, who is a designer and judge on HGTV was on screen showing off a new room he had just finished. I had to laugh when I realized that Brooklyn mistook the Asian man as her grandpa.

When we got the September issue of the Ensign in the mail Brooklyn became very excited and started jumping up and down yelling, "Grandpa Uda! Grandpa Uda!" I took a look and sure enough, the man on the front looked a lot like my dad. Funnier yet, after a short pause Brooklyn asked where Grandma was and who the lady was that Grandpa was walking with.

This is the REAL Grandpa Uda with my mom at my sister's wedding. I think he is much more handsome than those other guys!

But it's not just Grandpa Uda that gets Brooklyn all confused. She often mistakes random men for Dell and just last Sunday when we got the programs in church she burst with excitement again when she saw this picture:

She was convinced it was her Grandpa Hanks and in my opinion it looks a lot like him. It might be the hair but whatever the reason, Brooklyn obviously has her grandpas on the mind.

Here is the REAL Grandpa Hanks holding Lily in August when we were blessed to have him and Grandma visit.

And one for the road:

Yesterday when we were going into the library, a random man was walking in wearing a dorky baseball know, the ones with mesh on the back that are really over sized. Any way, Brooklyn burst into laughter when she saw him and then she said, "Look mom! That silly man has a Grandpa Uda hat!" Ha Ha! I had to laugh at that one because she really nailed it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Random Happenings

Just some random things that have been going on at the Hanks house recently:

We decided that before General Conference, we were going to mount our TV on the wall. Just as Kevin was putting in some of the last screws, the drill started to smoke...and then the wall started to hiss. We were all out of the house in about 10 seconds and Kevin was bolting at full speed toward the clubhouse to find the maintenance guys. We thought we drilled through a gas line or something. Turns out it was just the air conditioning lines. We missed the first talk of Conference and had to watch the rest with our TV sitting on our dinner table, but we got things figured out after that. :)

Brooklyn did pretty good with Conference this year. I think she sat and listened to 2 whole talks before all other distractions sunk in. Kevin also made it through 2 whole talks this year. I was very proud of all my kiddos!

Kevin has been having a lot of fun doing laser tag games for birthday parties lately. Brooklyn also has fun when games come up because she gets to help daddy charge and load all the batteries.

Kevin recently discovered that poop can squish up the back of a diaper and onto a baby's back. How did he learn this great lesson? He changed Lily the other day and after he had wiped up all he could see, he turned to grab a new diaper. When he turned back, Lily had squirmed into a different position leaving a trail of poop on my carpet, her clothes, her legs, her hands etc. Kevin freaked a little and yelled, "where the heck did that all come from?" Just then Lily rolled onto her tummy and took off in the other direction, revealing poo smears all the way up her back from crack to neck...lovely! (We decided to post the clean diaper picture instead of the before picture.)

After a dreadful weekend of fighting off a wicked stomach flu, we all decided to reward our survival with a trip to Waterfall Glen. There wasn't really any water, but we all still enjoyed being in nature and seeing the fall leaves.

And for your viewing pleasure:

Lily has officially graduated from army crawling to bear crawling. She doesn't like to be on her knees for some reason so this is how she does it!

Brooklyn still thinks she is a princess and thus, has really gotten into wearing makeup. The other day she stole some of mine (luckily I never wear it) and painted her face red. You just gotta love that girl!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Adventures in New Hampshire

On September 20th at 1am I flew back to Chicago from Utah. On September 21st Jennie flew out to Chicago from Utah, and on September 22nd we packed the girls up in the car and started the long drive to New Hampshire for our next adventure.

We saw a lot of interesting things on the 17 hour drive. This man gave us a thumbs up for taking a picture of his back window.

We stopped many times to get our wiggles out, change diapers, eat food, and take potty breaks. Surprisingly enough, I think I needed the potty breaks more than Brooklyn did!

The first night we slept in Palmyra, New York. The next morning we took a little time to walk through the Sacred Grove before we started to drive again. It was really funny because Brooklyn kept yelling things to Heavenly Father, like how she loves him and how she was happy that he was dropping leaves for her. I'm sure her yelling took the Spirit away from some of the other people there, but it gave me happy warm fuzzies!

Later that afternoon we arrived in Nashua where we would be staying with my awesome big sister Becca! Woohoo!

It didn't take long before we were all outside enjoying the great weather and getting chalked up in Becca's driveway.

Later that night Jennie and I helped Becca make cake pops! I just like this picture because Becca looks so incredibly vertically impaired when she stands next to Jennie! :)

The cake pops were SOOOO tasty and were a great distraction while we were waiting for Taber to come home from the lobster bake he was throwing for his employees.

He even brought some lobster home for us. I couldn't eat it though. Something about eating a giant bug and having to barbarically tear its insides out just got to me. I think I might enjoy it though if someone else did all the dirty work.

The next day Becca took us to an apple orchard while her girls were in preschool. Brooklyn and Lily really enjoyed themselves and the apples were amazing!

Even the adults got great enjoyment out of the trip. We not only got to laugh at Brooklyn when she ripped a whole branch off with her apple, or at Lily trying to gum an apple to death, but we also got to eat YUMMO apple cider donuts and apples straight off the tree. Mmmmmm!

The next day, Taber, Jennie, and I all ran the Applefest Half Marathon. When we were done, Taber and Becca treated us to Outback steakhouse. It was so wonderful to stuff our faces after a run like that. This picture is of the girls in the backseat of the car, waiting to go into the restaurant.

On Sunday we got the girls all dolled up and enjoyed a peaceful sabbath together.

On Monday, Becca was kind enough to watch all the girls PLUS some extra kids while Jennie and I toured Boston.

We saw a lot of fun things, my favorite being Bunker hill, and got to walk out some of our race soreness at the same time.

The next day we packed up the girls and started the drive back to Chicago. We spent a night in Kirtland, Ohio before getting home to Kevin (who had been missing us for a whole month!) and these beautiful flowers he got to let us know he didn't really want to be a bachelor any more!

Thank you Becca and Taber for being such great hosts and Jennie for being the best Taxi driver alive! And thank you Kevin for letting us go play for so long without you. I love you all!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hot, Humid, and Hilly! The Applefest Half Marathon 2010

Last Saturday (2 weeks after I ran the Red Rock) I finally got the chance to run my 1st half marathon. I drove out to New Hampshire with my friend Jennie so we could run the race with my brother-in-law,Taber.

My sister Becca made sure we were well taken care of the night before the race. She invited over some friends of hers who were also running the race and together we loaded our stomachs with spaghetti, french bread, salad, and Gatorade!

The race didn't start until 10am, so when we woke up in the morning we didn't have to rush. However, the late start and some strange weather patterns left us running 13.1 miles in 86 degree temperatures with 65% humidity. Basically it felt like running in 95 degree weather! Also, the race directors made a last minute announcement that we couldn't run with our I pods so I started to feel pretty stressed before we took off.

When it came time to run, Jennie and I (mostly me) decided to start at the VERY back of the line so that no matter how slow I ran, nobody would ever pass me! It also helped boost my confidence a little to FINALLY have the opportunity to pass someone else while running.

Once we started running I realized that I needed to do something to distract myself from my running pains since I didn't have music anymore. So...I started to talk to people. ALL the people! Anyone who would listen and even some who wouldn't. I was cracking jokes, begging for rides on people's horses and bikes, and pretending that I was racing against the walking spectators since they were the only people I was passing at first. I got some good laughs out of other runners and even a few cops and it seemed to keep me fueled at first. But then the heat started to affect me.

At about mile 5 I started to feel my energy draining so I told myself I would try out the Chocolate GU Becca gave me as soon as I hit mile 6. When I finally got there, I drained the GU along with some water and Gatorade. To my glorious surprise, the GU tasted like a warm Brownie oozing down my throat on Christmas morning! Could anything be more wonderful? NO! I stopped running at this point and began prancing. I wanted to sing and dance and I couldn't stop shouting praises to the chocolate GU that had so blessed my life!

By now I could see the midpoint clock and realized I was right on target to finish in my goal time of 2 and a half hours. I felt good...and I kept feeling good until mile 9. Then something weird happened. I was quite aware that it was blazing hot outside, but for the life of me I couldn't stop shivering. I kept having waves of cold chills and clamminess. How bizarre. Well, I wasn't gonna let some out-of-place cold chills stop me so I kept pushing myself until I saw the infamous and dreaded hill on mile 10. It was steep as you can see below:

By now Jennie had convinced me that I was probably suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration so I decided that no matter what, I would run that awful hill, and then I would try walking a little to see if I could beat my chills. I pounded my way up the hill and even managed to pass a few people. By the time I got to the top I NEEDED to walk...

So I did. I walked about 3/4's of a mile before I couldn't handle my wussiness anymore and then I started to run again. That lasted until mile 12 and my last hill. Then I walked another 3/4's of a mile before I felt like I could run again without evaporating. I only had a little distance left so I gave it my all. I passed about 10 people and then saw the finish line. Another lady who had been bunny hopping me the whole race suddenly burst in front of me. She was about 5 foot 10 and had much longer legs than me, and thus, ran faster than me. I knew she was fast because no matter how much longer I ran than her, or how many times she stopped to walk, I just couldn't stay in front of her. When I saw her slide past me I knew that no matter what, I had to beat her and her ridiculously long legs.

So I did. (She's the one in the pink tank top.) And because of it, I get to have a cool sprint-to-the-finish picture to remember it by! I didn't hit my goal of 2 and a half hours, but I did hit my goal to finish despite the horrible weather. I came in at 2:55:28 and though it may sound slow, I'm actually quite proud of myself. That was a HARD race! And I completed it without taking a ride in an ambulance. That's victory if you ask me! Plus, I passed over 30 people before I finished! :) Woohoo!

As a reward for finishing, Taber, Jennie and I got apple-fest medals to wear whilst eating YUMMO apple crisp! And you know what, I think it was actually worth running that race for the apple crisp. It was good stuff!

When all was said and done, we went home, showered, grabbed our kids, and headed to Outback Steakhouse to replenish our missing calories. Thank you Taber and Becca for treating us! It was an awesome meal to end an awesome day!

Oh! And as a random side note, I was just thinking how awesome it will be to run my next half marathon because now I'm pretty much GUARANTEED to beat my previous time! YIPEE!