Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Story of my Life

Message on the answering machine: Hi, my name is __________ and we have a planner of Kelly's here at our house. We found it in the middle of the road outside the library, along with a movie and a book. There are credit cards and a check book in the planner, so you might want to come get it. I think you might have left it on top of your car.

Just a typical day in the life of Kelly. So grateful for honest people. So tired of doing mindless acts such as this one. Anyone else relate? Anyone?

I haven't told Jeff yet.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Tables have turned...

...Jeff is being cheered on by me. (and my kiddos!) On Thursday Jeff was invited to run on a Hood to Coast team and surprised me a little by saying yes. He has been running since January and has been doing great, but he always told me he thought Hood to Coast was nuts. And, he is right! Running in the middle of the night, getting zero sleep, being in a van with 5 other stinky people, eating bagels and candy, and don't forget about the porta potties- it is not for the faint of heart. But, it is an experience that I recommend to everyone!

So, with one day to prepare for the race, I prepped him as well as I could. His first leg was not until 10pm, so I hauled the kids to go cheer him on. I am proud of him and hopes he has a great time.

(You might notice Dallin's arm is in a splint. He had a little too much fun on the trampoline and then followed it up with a fall at Safari Sam's and broke his arm. He is having a tough time with it. Especially on his right hand when school is starting. If you have any ideas of how to keep him busy besides Guitar Hero, let me know!)
While he is gone and I am a Hood to Coast widow, I have time to think about the last 10 years with Jeff. We celebrated our 10th anniversary on Thursday. Between Dallin breaking his wrist (another story!) and our internet not working, I haven't had a chance to post. So, here goes.
I don't have any of our early pics scanned, so I will need to do that someday! Anyway, we met the beginning of my sophomore year of college. His apartment had internet access in the front room, so there was always lots of people in there using it. (Smart move, boys!) Jeff had a sort of girlfriend, so we definitely started out as friends. I was writing a paper about General Conference and had to use "the computer" so a paper that should have taken me a couple of hours took me 3 days because Jeff kept distracting me. :-) We were super comfortable with each other right away. We had a long talk in the shared laundry room of the apartment complex and ended up talking for hours. I made a bet with him about details that won't be shared (Jeff would get too mad at me) but he lost the bet and took me out for a Zuka juice. I thought that was the end of it, but my roommate Becky said, "You like Jeff, don't you?" I honestly didn't realize I had been falling for him. He took me out on a date on November 21, 1997, and the rest is history! We were engaged in June and married on August 21, 1998.

We have shared many things over the last 10 years. The underlying theme for me is how supportive Jeff has been. We have been through some really tough times, especially the last 2 years, and things weren't always wonderful, but Jeff has always been there for me and done his best to figure out what I need, even when I don' t know myself.

We went through the first 2 years in school together and moving around for internships. We had a lot of fun.

Here are the numbers:

7 different places in 4 states (last move was 7 1/2 years ago- so that tells you how much moving we did in the first 2 1/2 years!), 6 apartments, 1 house
1 BYU Dance
Many Games of Settlers of Catan
10 years of great in law relationships (we are very lucky here on both sides!)
3 kids
2 fertility-med babies, 1 surprise!
3 degrees- 2 BS, 1 MS (Jeff)
1 boat- (One of the best decisions we have made! We talked about waterskiing in one of our first conversations. We both love it!)
3 snow ski trips(including Jeff learning to snowboard, and my pathetic attempt!)
1 cruise- went to Catalina and Ensadada for our 5 year anniversary and we are looking forward to another one in October (thanks mom for watching the kids!)
6 marathons (and many smaller races), now 4 Hood to Coasts!- Jeff is always supportive of my goals and dreams
1 race together (soon to be another one!)
3 pro football games(Rams/49ers in SF)2 Rams/Seattle games, 3 pro baseball games (Dodgers on our honeymoon, 2 Red Sox/Seattle games), 3 pro basketball games (2 Jazz, 1 Trailblazer)
Many, many BYU games
2 pairs of roller blades, 2 adult bikes, numerous kid bikes (still wanting to become a biking family)
1 ER visit
1 Adult ADD Diagnosis(Me, not him!)
4 grandparents passing away, 1 father- Definitely the toughest time of my life, I don't know what I would have done without Jeff
1 "wicked" birthday weekend!

Jeff, you have been such an amazing husband, friend and father. I have loved watching you with each of our children. Thanks for being patient with me as I figure myself out. Thanks for supporting my crazy goals and believing in me. Thanks for letting me stay at home with the kids, even though it is definitely not the easiest job for me. Thanks for trusting me to take care of our kids. I love it! The thing I have loved most about our marriage is how much fun we have. I am glad we enjoy doing so much of the same things, but I am also glad we have our own hobbies. Thanks for letting me spread my wings. I love you and look forward to many more years.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Friends, Fun, Phelps!

I am officially addicted to the Olympics! Who can pull themselves away from watching history in the making? What an incredible ride it has been and it is not even over! We have had a great time explaining to Dallin how hard these athletes work. He loves Michael Phelps and always asks when he is on. Today he told me that when he is in the Olympics, it will be in gymnastics!
I can't believe we are down to the last 2 weeks of summer. It has flown by! I am really happy with what we have been doing and I think the kids have made some great memories. We have not done any camps or huge outings, but have kept busy.
Here are some of our most recent events that I have been too preoccupied to blog about!

Daddy/Daughter Campout- Emily asked about this every morning for the week before. She had a great time with Jeff. They camped in a tent and there was a pool there.

Cowleys visit- Angi and I became very good friends the summer after my freshman year. She married Jared a year after I married Jeff and we spent a lot of time together playing Settlers, (which they were lucky enough to witness our first fight over!) , going to BYU football and basketball games and just hanging out. Over the years we have lived in different states but have always managed to visit each other. Our 3 kids are within a few months of each other and always enjoy hanging out. They came to stay with us for a couple of days and we had a lot of fun showing them our favorite places and going out on the boat. Thanks Cowley family!! We love you guys and we had an awesome time!
Nate had a reason to be nervous on the tube- He and Dallin ended up in the water. It was a little scary for them, but they learned that life jackets really do work! And we learned not to buy tubes from Craig's List! Giant, safe, Costco tube- here we come!

Little Mermaid play- We were able to get tickets to a children's play of Little Mermaid thanks to the efforts of a good friend. You can imagine my little Emily was in heaven! My neighbor was kind enough to watch Bryce and I took Emily and Dallin. The play was very cute and after the actresses and actors signed autographs! This is definitely something we will do again next year!

Girls' Nights Out- Jeff has been very sweet and supportive of some needed time to myself. I went out for some great dinner and a movie with some of my closest friends. Then this weekend, I was able to get out again to go to the coast for the weekend. I love Ranell's condo and the girls who came. It was incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. We did a little bit of retail therapy, but mostly we just enjoyed have time to chat uninterrupted! It is nice being with other women and remembering that we are all just doing our best. These are smart, fun women who I learned a lot from. And, we watched a little Phelps!

We were too busy relaxing to take any pictures, except I took this one at the outlets where I randomly ran into my Cowley friends again later on in theirvacation! Too funny!

Everyday adventures- Going to the library, the park, hanging out with friends, playing in a pool without water- those are some of the other things that we have been doing. It has been very low key overall. I am excited for school to start, but it will be strange having Dallin gone all day. I hope we have been taking advantage of the summer enough. I feel like we have!
Still running and enjoying training with Jeff. We have paid a babysitter to do a few runs together. He is doing so great and may actually be liking to run. We have not always been able to meet up with our group to run, but when we do, it is always interesting. Ask Sarah about the cat story...

That's it for now. When I get a chance I am going to blog about some of the things I have learned. Until then...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Over the last few years I have written a lot about my dad, which I feel is understandable. It is time to talk about the amazing love of his life, my mother.

She is a perfect match for my dad because she, too, is so selfless and generous. She is always willing to give her time, money or whatever is necessary to anyone in need. She always writes thank you notes, sends letters, and is just the most thoughtful person I know.

She taught her daughters (and son!) how to love others. She is nonjudgmental and treats everyone she meets with kindness. She works for the local post office and knows everyone in our town. They all love her!!

She is the most beautiful, fun loving grandma I know. When she comes to visit, no one can believe she is my mom. ( I definitely look more like my dad!) She is so young and active and loves to play with my kids. They ask all the time when they can go to Grandma Nise's house. I love watching her with my kids, especially my little Emily. She is so kind and loves to send them surprises in the mail.

She has been my lifeline when I have had my babies. I was so disappointed when I had my first C-section and she came and really helped out. With #2 and #3 kid, I really enjoyed my hospital stay, knowing she was taking good care of the house and the other kiddos.

She was always such a great example to me of how to be a loving wife. She always spoke kindly to my dad, and when things were hard at the end, you never heard a word of complaint from her. She treated him so tenderly, it was one of the greatest blessings of my life to witness that love and care. Their marriage is so pure and beautiful and I am so grateful I was born into their family. She was married at 16, had my sister at 19, and it amazes me the maturity she must have had for how young she was! I don't think I truly appreciated this until I was married with children!

I was not an easy teenager and she showed me unconditional love, even when I didn't make the best choices. She always showed confidence in my ability to do the right thing and let me figure things out. She was extremely patient with me (and still is!) Having four teenage daughters so close together could not have been easy! I think she raised us very well!

So, mom, I wish I could be there with you today. I hope you know how much I love and adore and appreciate you and all you do. Happy Birthday!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Wow, where to start? I think about my dad every day, but it seems lately I have been thinking about him even more. I was able to go to the temple with Jeff on Thursday night and that is where I feel the closest to him. I also thought about him a lot during my triathlon. I know he is the first one I would have called when I finished. I also know he would have told me he was proud. I sure miss my cheerleader!
I am trying to simplify my life so I can just enjoy it as he did. Today would have been his 57th birthday. It is still hard to believe he is gone. We had his favorite dinner (spaghetti- see what I said about simple!) and we talked about some of our favorite memories of him. I hope I am always able to keep his memory alive with my children. My goal is to pass on the amazing legacy he left with me and my sisters and my brother. He was an incredible man of strength, integrity, compassion, and of course humor! The main thing I want my kids to know about my dad is how kind he was. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone. I am doing all I can to follow that example. I miss you and I love you, Dad. Thanks for everything!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Our first triathlon

The "our" is me and Dallin! I asked Dallin a couple of weeks ago if he would like to take part in the kids' triathlon and he has been looking forward to it ever since. He tells everyone that he runs into that he is doing a triathlon. I will admit watching him was the highlight of the day! He did the race with 2 of the boys of the moms that I trained with! The 3 boys stuck together which was very cool! Emily was really cute and wanted to be a part of it also.

I have been training for 8 weeks for this race. I have done many running races, so I was surprised by how nervous I was getting. It just all seemed so unknown and complicated to me. First of all, I had to lose my fear of the bike. :-) (Oh yeah, I also had to buy a bike!) Then I had to start swimming laps. I also had to figure out what to wear that would go from the water to the bike to the run! So many details! The best part was that I had 4 good friends going through the process with me. We met up for many of the training days so I think we kept each other motivated. We even were able to practice swimming in a lake this past week.

So, to add to my craziness, the night before when I was supposed to be getting good rest, I was doing this with my cute family:
We had such a great time at Oaks Park, but we got home about 10:15. I know Jeff was not looking forward to getting up early with the kids. Thanks for being a good sport babe!

*Warning- long race report! You can skip to the bottom for the results!*

I woke up at 5am ready to go because I wasn't really sleeping anyway! I met up with my friends at 5:45 and we were on our way!

It was fun setting up my gear in the transition area. I tried to talk to the women next to me, I figured we would run into each other during the race, but I did not feel the love! From that point on, the race felt kind of lonely to me.

We started in the water and the first buoy looked so far away! When the gun went off, I thought, what am I doing? When I finally hit the first buoy I felt a little bit better. As I ran out of the water I saw my cute family and that motivated me to run faster to get my bike. :-)

I had no idea how long it had taken me, but later found out it was 20 minutes. I tried to get my socks and shoes on as fast as I could, grabbed my helmet and bike and took off. The bike route was along the Columbia River and beautiful! But again, it was somewhat lonely. Just me and my bike. I said good job to the bikers that flew past me. They are so fast! I enjoyed the bike ride and was able to go faster than on my normal bike rides, which I was happy about.

Now I was ready for my favorite part- the run! I took my helmet off and ran out of the transition area. It was only later that I realized I forgot to throw on my cute skirt. So, I ran in just the spandex. Oh well! I thought I was going the wrong way, but another runner reassured me I wasn't. I enjoyed the running route around the lake, but my legs were trashed! I kept wanting to pick up the speed, but my legs wouldn't budge any faster! I passed a few of the people who had passed me on the bike, so that was fun! I actually thought it was motivating to see the age numbers on the other runners' legs.

*Overall results: 20 minute swim(1/2 mile), 3 1/2 minute transition, 43 minute bike ride (12 miles), 1:51 transition, 25:48 run (5k). So, my total was 1:34! My goal was to finish in about 1:45, so I was very happy with my finish! I was 90th overall (out of 330), I was 20th in my age group (out of 64). My favorite stat was that I was in 148th place after the bike, and ended in 90th place after the run! I placed 34th out of 330 in the run!
It was a great experience, but I am not convinced yet to switch to the triathlon. I am still a true Marathon Mommy at heart. My next plan is to train with Jeff for a 10k in September. I am looking forward to just running again, with maybe a swim or bike thrown in every once in a while. The triathlon was a little too lonely for me, but I am glad I did it.

The hardest part of the race was seeing my amazing friend, running partner, and triathlete training partner, Molly, after the race. She was in tears and looked so frustrated. She had gotten a flat tire during the bike ride and was not able to finish her race. I was so disappointed for her because I definitely know what it feels like to not finish a race. It was of course not her fault, but it was difficult to put all that training in and not see the results. She was the one who kept encouraging me when I was getting nervous for this race. I really hope she will try another one and I will come cheer her on!! Love ya, Molly! You can make it through anything with good friends! This pic has me, Stephanie, Marnie and Molly. (We are missing Mindy in this pic because she had already left for Utah with her family!) Thanks ladies! I had an awesome time training with you. What's next?!