Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A snake fell on me.

No joke.

Andrew and I were going to the park. Andrew was on his bike. However, he had so much to tell me that we needed to stop because he couldn't run his mouth and his bike at the same time. So we sat on the little bridge that runs through the woods over the (dry) brooklet on the way to the park.

And as I'm listening to Andrew something falls from the tree, brushes past my hair, lands heavily on my leg and then falls to the ground. I thought it was some big nut or branch or something.

Um. No.

It was a little green snake. He seemed rather startled at having fallen out of the tree and lay there looking rather embarrassed. He had his head way up and his tongue way out and he was looking at me out of one eye with slight trepidation as if wondering if I'd be mad about that fact that he'd smacked me in the head.

I jumped up but didn't scream. And I did what any normal person would do, I whipped out my phone and took pictures. I have to wait for Bert to get home to get them off my camera. As soon as I get 'em I'll post 'em. =)

Andrew said, "I like that snake! He's cool!"
And I said, "He really is cute isn't he?"
But I would have preferred that he not land on my head.

Emily texted, "Hahaha, I guess it partied a little too hard last night." =D
He did look like a teenager. Probably showing all his homies how fast he could slither up the branch and then...wwwwhhhhoooops! Fell off. =D

Monday, August 30, 2010

Trip to Utah Part Three: Friday 27th August 2010 - Saturday 28th August 2010

Friday 27th August 2010

Crawled out of bed somewhere around 6.30am, whipped on ma schtuff and headed outside.

Running in Grand Junction, Colorado.
I turned on my garmin and waited for it to locate satellites.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I think about 20 minutes or so.

Finally I felt the time crunch and decided to start running, hoping the garmin would locate satellites as I ran.

It didn't.

I ran up main and then meandered around all over the place running through a park and over a train yard and around and down and up and OH my GOSH was it harder to run in Colorado than in Kansas!!! Hooooooly toledo batman! Plus my lips immediately got all dry and cracked and ick. I was totally bummed at the bumminess of the run and the lack of Garmin data.

Colorado Garmin data: FAIL! Dingy dingy dingy dingy dang it.

We took our time getting ready as we only had a four hour trip ahead of us. Eventually after I ate a nomlicious breakfast that made Emily antsy (she doesn't eat breakfast and wanted to GO) we headed on out to Provo.

How about a nice big pack of shut the hell up?
We stopped at this awesome petrol station somewhere in the mountains. It had all kinds of really nifty stuff from this website here. I bought Andrew this gum.

And I bought Ben this gum.

I love it! =) I thought it would totally appeal to Ben's sense of humour and, as it turned out, it really did. He loved it when I gave it to him. Awesome. =)

I'm going to run that one day. Maybe.
So we're winding through the mountains and Emily's driving because she wants to. I'm staring up at the rocks towering above us not because I'm enjoying looking at them (though I am) but because I'm on the verge of totally sobbing my heart out and if I look up I can keep it together and keep the tears in my eyes instead of out all over everything.

All of a sudden I see it. AAAGGGHHHHH!!!!! A sign for Leadville!!! Holy cow! It's all the way up here! Ohhhhhhh my GOSH that race has to be absolutely stinkin BRUTAL!!!! I start yelling all excitedly and Emily's like "What? What? What??" but she doesn't get it even when I explain it to her so oh well nevermind.

Then we get to UTAH!

and it's all brown and red and rocky and then we finally leave I-70 after about fifteen million hours on it and then we're driving on this awesome little road (US-6) and then we're on I-15 passing Spanish Fork and then we're in PROVO! And we made it! And it was an awesome trip. And ohhhh my gosh I'm soooo sad this awesome drive came to an end. Poopy pants.

What happened after the awesome drive.
We got Emily checked into her apartment, got her stuff from the storage unit, checked into my hotel, wandered around one of my favourite places on Earth - the BYU bookstore, met up with Emily's friend Jordan and his parents and sister (that was really fun - what a nice family they are), went to eat at Macaroni Grill, then Emily dropped me off at the hotel and went back to her apartment.

The Marriot Hotel and Conference Center
And that bed. H.O.L.Y. COW!

View of Y mountain from my hotel window.

Saturday 28th August 2010

I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO didn't want to get out of that bed in the morning. Ohhh holy cow it was better than the one at home and I've never said that about a hotel bed before. Oh my gosh I wanted to stay under the covers FOR EVER.

Which meant that I was late for my run.

Running in Provo, Utah.
Dude. Though I washed my shirt in the sink one night, my running clothes were fairly wiffy. Yikes. Looking forward to washing those little monkeys.

Slapped 'em on with ma shoes and headed on out with my garmin and ipod.

Ipod died. Sheesh. Ran musicless.
Garmin fired right up. YES!!!

Up 100N, left onto University and along University.

Provo Library on University. I swear it wasn't here when we lived in Provo. Isn't this the old Brigham Young Academy building? It totally looks like it. When we were there the BYA building was kind of run down. Now it looks uber swanky, eh?

Anyway, I'm running along and I pass 700 N and as I pass this one house I look at it and think...

"...hold the phone."

Oh I wish I'd got to see them. I'm so sad I didn't.
And I turn around and look and the memories flood back.

OH my GOSH! That's the house where I used to work!!!

It was too early to knock the door so I continue running trying desperately to remember their names. After a couple of minutes my mind finally pulls Richard out of the depths. That was the name of the Dad. What the HECK was the name of the Mom? And the little boy? GAH! (Bert later reminded me the Mom was Chris and the boy was Alec. Sweet little munchkin he was.)

I gnaw on this perplexicity until my Garmin beeps at me and I turn around.

Just as I'm coming to the house again my brain produces Corey. I think that was his name. The name of Richard's son from an earlier marriage. He was maybe 12 when I worked there. He didn't live with Chris and Richard, but he met me a couple of times.

When we were living in Berkley, MI, a few years later we walked into our ward in Southfield and this missionary couldn't stop staring at me. Slightly disconcerting. Later when Bert came home he said the missionary had talked to him and it turned out he was Richard's son and he remembered me when he heard me speak.

He and his companion came around a couple of days later. He showed me his CTR tattoo on his arm and I was like "AWESOME!!!!" (Hey. I'm a convert. There were lots of things I didn't know) and his companion's sitting there shaking his head but Corey (is that his name?) and I have a wonderful time chatting. What a great kid.

And then as I walk up the driveway to the house my brain picks out Sydney. Sydney was the 5yo half sister of the little boy I looked after, from her Momma's previous marriage.

In the drive there are a couple of cars that look like they belong to teenagers. I realize that the 9 month old baby I looked after is probably about 22 by now, and one of those is probably his car. Dude.

I ring the doorbell. It's 8am on a Saturday morning and I'm a sweaty runner and who the heck would want to see me anyway??

I rang again. No-one stirred. My brain told me time was running out and I needed to finish my run. I turned, walked down the driveway, and ran off down University to my hotel.

Provo Garmin data: DONE!

Fathers, be involved with your daughters.
I later tell Emily about this experience and she was weirded out and said it was funky that I rang their doorbell. We were out of time anyway by that point and on the way to the airport, but even if we weren't I wouldn't have suggested we go back to see if they were awake because she was uncomfortable with it. I wish we could have though.

I tell Emily one of my main memories about Sydney - she was about Andrew's age when it happened. About 5. Her daddy lived in Moab. He had told her he was coming to get her for the weekend. She was soooooo excited and packed her little bag.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

9pm found her out in the driveway with her little backpack and her flashlight, looking for her daddy, waiting for him.

He never came.

I bawled my eyes out when I told Emily this. Emily cried too. Sydney's probably about 27 now, and here I am, breaking my heart over her little 5 year old self.

I tell Bert about this later and he says "Our children have imperfect parents too." Oh yes they do. They really really do.

Checking out.
Back to the hotel. Texted HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my no-longer-teenager daughter. Shower. Oh my gosh that hotel had awesome shampoo and conditioner. I took the bottle of lotion with me it was so delicious.

Ate breakfast. Nom nom nom nom. SOOOOOOOOO good. Oatmeal with raisins, granola, almonds and brown sugar. Oh baby. Then I had fruit and oj and it was intensely good.

Upstairs. Packed. Emily turned up and I gave her her pressies - Avatar, the last airbender seasons 2 and 3 DVDs. I'd given her the season 1 when she had her wisdom teeth out. We also gave her an ipod and some headphones for her birthday but she opened that with all the family earlier.

Went to Emily's apartment and met her roommate, Bethany. Then went to the bookstore for another hour. Then off we went to the airport.

Said goodbye to my sweet little girl. I love her so much.

Emily at the airport in the white shirt I'd bought her in Grand Junction. You can tell it was slightly windy, eh? =)

I'm coming home.
I sat in the Salt Lake Airport waiting for the flight to Dallas. Two army men turned up, one with a wife and child, the other without. The Dad played with his little boy - about 2 years old - the whole time. When it was time to get on the plane the airline invited uniformed military on first. The little boy started crying and yelling "Don't go Daddy! Don't go Daddy! Don't go Daddy!" Holy crap. It tore my heart out.

From what I could gather they had been home on leave and were heading back to Afghanistan for the last six months of their tour of duty.

The one chap got on the flight. The other with the child waited until the very last minute.

It turned out I was seated right across the aisle from them on the flight. As we're sitting there just before the plane leaves the gate the stewardess comes up and says to them, "There's a man with a seat in first class who says he'd like to trade with one of you. There's only one seat...."

They each want the other to take the seat, but end up refusing the offer with thanks. I get the feeling they're friends and want to stay together.

Everytime I've flown with military it fills my heart with joy to see the support they receive. Never have I seen any military personnel ignored. They are noticed and talked to and their hands are shaken and they are told thank you thank you. And they are loved.

Have you ever seen "Taking Chance"? Watch it as soon as you can.

So the sadness continued through to Dallas. I had nearly 3 hours to kill and was totally bummed out. Then Bert texted a sweet, loving note and told me where I could find Haagen-Dazs. The ice cream was delicious, but the note was better.

The flights home were pretty bad. Well, that is to say, the flights themselves were good, but I was sad and tried so hard not to cry.

And then I was home. Bert picked me up in the swanky car Infiniti was having him test out for the weekend. Pity that thing is so dang expensive. It's awesome.

The end.
So that was the trip. It was a really really special time with Emily. I loved driving across country. Maybe one day I can do it again. I'd like that.

Trip to Utah Part Two: Thursday 26th August 2010

Thursday 26th August 2010
Woke up at 6am, dragged my butt out of bed at about 6.10 and chucked on my running stuff. Emily headed to the fitness room. I went outside, let my Garmin acclimate, and then set off running.

Running in Abilene, Kansas
It was sooo gorgeous. The sun was just coming up and God painted yet another masterpiece. I passed an AWESOME house - it was an old converted railroad car. I thought about taking a picture but figured the family wouldn't be too happy about that. I took a picture of the sky. I took a picture of a dead snake.

I turned around when my Garmin beeped at me. I took a picture of the water tower.

It was a fabulous run.

Kansas Garmin data: Done!

Ok, then back to the hotel, grab a banana, hop in the shower, pack, chuck everything in the car. I ran back in to get a bowl of oatmeal because I was so stinkin' hungry. And off we drove into the sunrise. Ok, not the sunrise as the sun was completely up by this point but STILL!!!!

Stopped somewhere a short while later for the loo and Emily wanted to buy a rockstar because she was sleepy. I said forget that, sweetie! I'll drive, you take a nap.

So that's what we did.

The moods of the road
This was the quiet part of the trip.

Long trips are undulating waves of emotions. The scenery and the mood change as time meanders into the distance and loses itself somewhere on the horizon.

Emily and I laughed ourselves silly. We sang at the top of our lungs. We good-naturedly argued about the volume (I wanted it UP. Emily said my ears were DEAF because I was OLD and it hurt her ears. I said pfft). We talked about life and school and marriage and pain and joy and sex. We sat quietly together, lost in our own thoughts.

And for two hours, I sat alone while she slept through the end of Kansas and the beginning of Colorado and I thought and pondered and sobbed pretty hard.


I took a picture of the Colorado sign. And of the scenery. And of Emily sleeping. And of me. I wasn't crying then.

Fabulous Darlene in Dennys somewhere in someplace.
I'm pretty sure it was in Colorado. Had to be, because Emily was awake then. They don't have Dennys in Tennessee. I do not know why. It's a failing for sure.
So when we pulled into somewhere and saw Dennys I was all over that. The old codger at the door was fabulous and welcomed us then shuffled us to our table.

"Darlene will be with you in a minute" he said.

And she was. Warm and friendly, like we were family and she was interested in us as real people. We each had a salad and shared a buffalo chicken sammich. This was a mistake, as I found out later.

Anyway. I watched her make our salads out of the corner of my eye. She made them with great care, making sure everything was perfect. She created a side salad masterpiece just for us.

And then she fiddled the bill to charge us the least possible amount for it. So I gave her the difference on top of the large tip.

As we're paying she asks where we're going so we tell her where we're going and where we've come from and how long it's taking us to get there. Emily goes out to the car and Darlene looks at me and says with absolute sincerity,

"So do you live in the same town and that's how you know each other?" Implicit in the tone being the idea that we're driving to college together.

"Uhm. She's my daughter." I say.

Poor Darlene about fell through the floor with embarrassment. I do my best to smooth it over as well as I can and after a few sentences she obviously feels a lot better. And I'm glad. Because there's no way she should feel awful after paying me such a wonderful compliment.

And then I go to the loo and the buffalo chicken sandwich exacts its revenge to such an extent that Emily eventually texts me, "Are you stuck?"

Love that driving.
We pass Arriba and Bovina and Limon and Denver. Where are the mountains? we say. And are thrilled when they finally turn up.

It's browner in Colorado.

Grand Junction
We stop for the night in Grand Junction. It turns out our hotel - the Hampton Inn - is right on Main Street. It also turns out that there's some kind of festival going on. I like fairs. And if Bert is reading this he's cracking up right now because that's a bit of an understatement.

So we check in. It's nice. It's not as nice as the Holiday Inn Express in Abilene, but it's ok. The girl at the front desk does her job very well and is professionally friendly. But we're not welcomed like family. The hotel is absolutely full.

Grand Junction is bigger than Abilene, but still wide open, not closed like a big city.

We drop our paraphernalia in the room that's just fine but not Abilene and head on out to the fair up the street.

Main Street Fair
First thing we spot: Nutella crepes.

Nutella crepes!
Yes!!! I KNOW!!!!!! Of course we had one. And I thought of Ms. Ritz and missed the loop so much I got a lump in my throat. Or maybe that was the crepe.

Then we found a stall with hippie clothes and I fell in love with a skirt but Emily said it was just Meh so I didn't get it =( and Emily fell in love with a shirt and I was like "DUDE!" and bought it for her. That girl is sooooooooo gorgeous. We wandered up the road. We watched an older couple really swinging to some music and they were GROOVIN'!!! It was a joy to watch them.

We wandered down the road looking for food and admiring the sculptures. We rang some sculptured bells that I don't think you're meant to and they were LOUD!!

Then we found a sushi restaurant. Emily liked hers but I was like Meh. I ended up not eating some of it. That's how meh it was.

We found a sculpture that was so amazingly my husband that we had to take a picture of it.

I guess that makes more sense if you know that he does 100 mile bike rides and his favourite biking jersey is one with a skeleton on a bike called "The Longest Ride".

We passed by the sculpture of the naked people dancing and there were these four guys totally buzzed looking at it with astonishment. Then one...oh never mind. But it was really really funny.

Emily watched Jersey Shore as I wrote emails. OH my GOSH!!! It's the first time I've ever seen that show and it was just completely disturbing and shocking and just AWFUL. And not in a good way. I felt slimy and dirty after watching just a little of it.

Sleep. I drifted off to sleep dreaming about running a spectacular ultra and having Lance Armstrong massage my legs afterwards. I think there's something wrong with my brain. Is that a normal dream, do you think?

Part Three tomorrow

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Trip to Utah Part One: Wednesday 25th August 2010

So I'm meant to be in church right now but I'm just not holding it together well today. Ben came today. It was so wonderful to have him there. But he wanted to leave right after sacrament meeting so I brought him home. And then I just didn't go back. I feel I should, but I feel like such an idiot bawling my eyes out. It has to be uncomfortable for everyone and it's certainly not fun for me. So here I am.

I thought I'd chronicle the fabulous trip Emily and I took. I swear there's gypsy blood in my family. I felt like all was right with the world when we were driving and driving and driving. Each state so different and each beautiful in its own way.

Totally unrelated aside
Green skittles are gross.

Many apologies for the quality. I didn't bring a camera so the pics were taken on my very old cell phone.

Garmin and packing
If I didn't take my running stuff I could have fit everything for the trip in a backpack. I like to travel fairly light when I can. But I just HAD to take the garmin and my running stuff so I'd have data on runs in Kansas, Colorado and Utah. WHOOOT! So I took one of those little roller pilot cases. This enabled me to bring my pillow and teddy as well as my running stuff, so it worked out well.

Wednesday 25th August
I told Emily we MUST leave by 6am to get to Abilene at a decent time. The real time we had to leave was 7am but I didn't tell her that. =P Because I'm a genius, that's why.

Setting the tone of the trip
We set off at 7.30am. And immediately hit Nashville rush hour traffic on I65. There we were, shuffling along through boring traffic, when all of a sudden Emily says in quiet disbelief,

"Seth?" (She recognized his car. HIS CAR!!! How does she DO that?)
and then when she realized it was Seth she started screaming and yelling "OH MY GOSH IT'S SETH!" and as we pass him we're both yelling and waving and Emily's screaming and banging on her window to get his attention.

Hahahaha! INSANE!!! Total insanity. It. Was. AWESOME. It really set the silly tone for the entire trip and made it FUN! Later, someone called us Thelma and Louise and I guess we were kinda. Without the whole attempted rape, running away, sex with strangers, armed robbery, and meaningless suicide stuff. Though I guess I was running away kinda. I had plans to come back though.

Quote of the trip
So Emily is REALLY into rap music. How I raised a child into rap music I just DO. Not. Know. but somehow it happened. I guess that's what comes of living near Detroit.

Anyway, she's playing this horrendous stuff and I'm coping really rather well with it as long as I don't listen to the appalling lyrics too closely.

However, there was this one song and I'm listening to it and then I turn to Emily in absolute astonishment and say,

'Emily! Is he saying "Move your body like a Skank Ho??!!?!?!"

She about falls out the car laughing. I swear she nearly peed her pants.

"No, Mom! Move your body like a CYCLONE. You're so OLD!"

When we got to Abilene she made it her facebook status and apparently everyone thought it was very funny. Oh well. So "Skank Ho" became the phrase for the entire trip and when she made me a mix CD the night before I left she titled it "Skank Ho."

This morning as I was bringing Ben home I showed him the CD and we laughed about it. Then he said something very wise:

"There's not much difference between moving your body like a skank ho and moving your body like cyclone. Just sayin'."


State Lines
I wanted pictures of the welcome sign of every State we went through. Kentucky found me screaming "GET THE CAMERA! Get it! Get it get it aaaaagggghhhh Oh man too late." So did Illinois. And Missouri. And Kansas. yeah. Not very successful. On Thursday I did get Colorado whilst Emily was asleep, and on Friday we got Utah.

That was quick.

We stopped at a MotoMart near Shilo. There must be an airforce base nearby as there were military everywhere. Emily and I discussed how good military men look. Mmmm. Emily tried to describe a uniform she'd like to see David in. It sounded like Marines to me but she insisted it was Navy. I think not, baby puppy. Furthermore, run away from the Navy! Hot racking! Yikes!

St. Louis: Saw the arch!! Got a picture!

Independence: "Do you want to stop and look at the jail?"
"YES! Do you know where it is?"
"Uhm. No."
No signs to it. Didn't have a map. Oooohkay, bummer. I guess we're not stopping to look at it then. On we go.

We went through Topeka and I got all excited because last year when Andrew and I were learning the States and Capitals together Topeka, Kansas was one of his favourites. (Little Rock, Arkansas was another. And I think Providence, Rhode Island.) So I called and was like "We're going through Topeka!!! Do you remember Topeka, Kansas?"
No. He didn't. Oh well, so much for that.

We'd made good time and pulled into Abilene right around 7pm. Abilene was this cute little town in the middle of Kansas nowhere. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. It was SO clean and comfortable and everyone was so friendly and helpful and hot damn I just loved that hotel. The beds were sooooo comfortable.

The old hotel opposite the one where we were staying

Sometimes, you just don't know what ya got.
We ate at Subway as ... well, that's pretty much all there was and we didn't fancy McDs or Pizza Hut. A clone of Ben's friend, Nyle, was working there. An emo clone of Nyle. I think it's emo. Maybe it was a Scene clone or something. I can't get these genres straight. I KNOW for SURE, however, that he wasn't Metro. Maybe he was Indy. WHO KNOWS!!! He was a clone of Nyle's and had this aura around him of someone who wanted OUT of podunk Abilene. And I smiled, but felt sad. Because Abilene was wonderful. But sometimes ya just don't know what ya got.

Cried myself to sleep. How come I seem to be crying more these days, not less? I was pretty much dry-eyed for a week or so. I think I was just numb.

Part Two tomorrow.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Running and Homeschooling

Bert said he'd take Ben to Seminary this week - He is SO The Man!!! This means I got a lie-in until 6.30am.

I dreamed about Triathlons all night. Emily announced that she will be doing a sprint triathlon in October and bought "Slow Fat Triathlete". That book is AWESOME and I've been having so much fun reading it. I'm so proud of Emily doing a tri. =)

At some point I need to do one just so I can put this sticker on my car.

I also need to run an ultra because I want this shirt.

Anyway, so 6.30am found me dragging my butt out of bed and into running clothes. Going to try this running thing again. Did the 2 mile route. And you know what? There were two things going through my head:

1. How did I run 16 miles? There is no way I ever ran a Pikermi (half-marathon). How in the world did I do that? This is SO HARD!

2. Oh. Now I remember how I ran that far. Sheer bloody-minded stubbornness.

I'd think "I want to stop I want to stop oh please I want to stop."
And then I'd think, "I WILL NOT stop."

What kept me running all those miles? Sheer force of will. It never did get easier. I'm just mule stubborn.

I ran two miles. Because I forced myself to not stop. Excellent. Now I need to keep at it until I can run it a little faster than 11.30 - 13 mpm.

No pain in my abdomen. I was aware of it; it made itself known to me. But it didn't hurt. Excellent. I love it when a plan comes together.

In other news it was Andrew's second day at his tutorial. He goes every Monday from 9am-2pm. Leaving him last week was HARD!! Leaving this week was HARD!! He looked worried as I waved goodbye to him. Gah! He told me he's very shy and hasn't really made many friends. Time will tell how that works out. We shall see. He seemed to have a good time last week; he enjoyed playing the violin and playing outside. I hope he has a good time this week too. I love that boy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I do run run run, I do run run.

I need to keep reminding myself that it's only been eight days since I lost our baby and had a D&C.

I went out again today to see if I could run. I'm so out of practice I forgot my heartrate monitor and garmin. I felt almost completely naked without it. I had my ipod this time though.

My knees behaved pretty much the whole time. A little achy, but not the pain of Thursday. I think they're remembering and getting back into the groove. My abdomen was really complaining after a mile so I walked about 1/2-3/4 of a mile, then when the pain was pretty much gone I lightly ran the short way home.

2 miles in the bag. It's getting better. I'll run on Monday, and then I'll have to give it a rest for a week while I take Emily to college. The following week I'll try to run 8 miles, and then maybe 9 the next week....and then we'll see how I'm doing and if I can ramp it up a little faster.

I used to run nine miles a day during the week.

Anyway. I can't think about that. So much pain this summer has brought.

Let's focus on the positive. After funky dreams all night we crawled out of bed at about 4.45am (Well, I think Bert was up much earlier than that getting ready) and hopped in the car to drive to Murfreesboro where Bert was participating in the H.O.T. 100! =)

We got there just after 6am. It was a really sweet, small event - maybe a couple of hundred people is all. Bert had pre-registered so he picked up his packet and t-shirt (his jersey is on back order and will be sent to him), filled up his water bottle, went to the loo, grabbed his bike and they were off!!! =) They started pretty much on time; 7.05am. It was very informal ("follow the orange signs. We don't have police escort this year. Be careful. Don't park at the post office they get mad." =D) and really fun!

We waved Bert off - with Emily yelling at the top of her lungs "YEAH! GO DAD!" which was awesome and made us all smile. =) Then we came home. I've been getting text updates from Bert every so often. ("17 miles. Stopping to get some water and a sandvich. Make me strong." "35 miles. Sandvich and 2 cookies make me strong." I, of course, replied "Nom nom nom nom nom". None of that will make sense to you if you haven't played TF2)

I texted him, "I'm totally going to do that with you next year." Which has him totally geeked out. He's been trying to get me into biking for ages. It looks like a lot of fun. I rode Bert's bike once. OH my GOSH is it SOOOOOOOO much easier than running!!! Running is my first love though. It's so much harder - and therefore so much more BA and therefore keeps your body in great shape. =) As long as you don't eat birthday chocolates for 3 days straight.

When I come back from taking Emily to college, it's time to get back on the healthy eating wagon. The nausea has finally subsided so I have no excuses now. Dang. I wish I still had an excuse.

On the agenda today:
Farmer's Market
Pick up house

That's about it.

Tomorrow I go back to church. I'm glad I didn't go last week as I'm nervous enough about this week. I'm sure it will go fine though. Everyone is so sweet. Hopefully I won't totally lose it and bawl my eyes out. Oh well, if I do, no biggie, I'll just come home.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's my birthday and I'll run and cry if I want to.

Last night I cried myself to sleep. Blah! :-(

I dreamed that I decided to start running again. When I started out I found myself in a group of people and they were racing and I thought it was a 5k. I asked them what it was and they said it was a 5k, 10, half-marathon and marathon. I thought "What the heck, I'll do the half". I figured if it got hard because I hadn't run for two months, I'd walk it.

So is it any wonder I contemplated a run when I woke up this morning? Firstly, it's my birthday so Bert to Ben to school so I got a lie-in. Secondly....I can't remember what the secondly was.

The past few days whenever I thought about running I got all choked up and couldn't think about it. I couldn't run because I was pregnant. Now I can because I'm not. But I'd rather have a baby than be able to run. So thinking about running was very emotional.

But today I thought I'd give it a try. If I already had a bike I might have gone for a bike ride instead. But I don't. So I got up and put on my running stuff. It felt weird. My running stuff fit me just fine. Thank goodness. I booted up my Garmin for the first time in months and it came to life no problem.

As I lay in bed this morning contemplating the run I remembered a blessing I was given a week or so after we found out I was pregnant and the bleeding started. I can't remember exactly what the blessing said, but afterwards I said to Bert words to the effect of, "So I'm going to be pregnant for a few weeks - long enough that I won't be able to train in time for the Ultra - and then I'll lose the baby." I was contemplating that this morning and came again to the conclusion that the Lord knew all along what was going to happen. I don't know why it was necessary for me to be pregnant for ten weeks and then miscarry. I do know that it was part of the Lord's plan. We don't understand it right now, but we will one day.

I came downstairs in my running gear and Bert was tickled pink to see me in it. We talked a little about my thoughts on the miscarriage. He is such a wonderful husband. His love and support have lifted me through this experience. It's been a very difficult time for him too.

Anyway, so off I went. I walked for five minutes then started a light run. As soon as I started my right knee started complaining, followed closely by my left knee and then my abdomen.

Oh yeah, I got a uterine infection also because of the D&C and am on Macrodantin for it. So that may be why my abdomen hurt. That and the fact that I had a miscarriage five days ago. Maybe it was too early to start running.

Anyway, so I worried about my knees and abdomen and then the usual run thing happened...my mind wandered. I started planning out my recovery runs. "So if I do 2 today and 2 Friday and 3 Saturday then I can maybe do 2 on MWF next week and 4 on Saturday and then...."

At the mile and a half mark the pain in my abdomen interrupted my planning and I had to stop running. Yikes it hurt. Maybe it's too early to start running. Maybe I should start out a little slower. Eight weeks ago I was running 16 miles. Today I managed just under a mile and a half. And it hurt.

Anyway, so a half-mile walk back home, breakfast, shower, then I was off to enjoy my birthday present. =) My children and husband had schemed to get me some pampering, and I was given an hour long Swedish massage at my favourite Spa. =) It. Was. AWESOME!!!!! I could tell things in my abdomen aren't right as it was very tender as she massaged my lower back - but I that's to be expected really.

Then I had sushi with Emily and Andrew. =) YUM.

Then I came home and there followed a procession of one person after another. Everyone has been so wonderful giving me the space I needed after the miscarriage. Today though they came and brought gifts and chocolate and flowers and love and tenderness and support. There were many emails as well that I was so grateful for. What an awesome ward this is.

So now I'm sitting on the couch with my feet up tapping away on the computer eating ferrero Rocher and Frys chocolate creme. When I'm done with that I have Ben and Jerry's fudge brownie ice cream, Fry's orange creme, galaxy, mars bar and a ripple. Oooooh my good gravy. =) I also have two books to read. And beautiful flowers to look at. And I haven't even opened the gifts from my family which if I'm correct include a box of cookies. Nom nom nom nom. =) I'm totally going to need to start running after this. =)

Tonight we're going out to eat. I think we're going to Famous Dave's, because Andrew wants to go there and I don't have a strong opinion. I would have liked Thai, but the children might not like that and Bert and I are going on a date this Friday anyway and can go there then. =) Maybe we can hit a movie too? I'd like that.

It's been chucking it down rain and storming all day. It's been wonderful. Despite the stifled tears during the massage (I was face down at the time so she didn't notice) and the grief that occasionally hits me, this has been a really lovely birthday and I'm so thankful for it.

Damn, life is hard. And it hurts. But it's also very sweet.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Very sad news

It will probably seem like I've been pregnant for 2 seconds to you as I've only just announced it. However, we found out when I was only just pregnant, so we've known for two months.

It therefore came as a terrible shock on Thursday when I found out our baby died. My husband was out of town at the time, though luckily arrived home at 12.30am Friday morning. Just a few hours later I miscarried. I am so so so thankful he was there during that very difficult time.

We're grieving pretty hard, but know that this is all part of the Lord's plan. Our Heavenly Father is in charge and we trust in Him. He is carrying us both through this painful time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In browsing the blogs today I read Susan Wise Bauer's. (For those who don't know, she wrote the Well Trained Mind, and, if I am remembering correctly, teaches at William and Mary which is a GORGEOUS college that I really really want to attend. We drove through it when we were in Virginia....our hotel was about 2 minutes away. Drool.)

Anyway, she has this AWESOME social networking map in her blog post. Enjoy. (You can click on it for a larger picture, or go to SWB's blog for an even larger one.)

In other news, I am bleeding. A lot. Enough that I'm needing to wear a pad today. The clots and skin are distressing. All that is probably TMI. Sorry about that. It's just driving me out of my mind.

The past two days I've been doing some housework - and by housework I mean minimal stuff, not heavy lifting. Things like sorting out the bookshelf, organizing kitchen cabinets, doing the dishes, dusting, vacuuming, laundry, changing sheets, cleaning bathrooms etc etc. I've noticed a direct correlation between the amount of activity and the amount of bleeding, and this has me rather upset. I'm starting to feel like I'm finally getting a handle on the house...but I might have to quit if this horrendous bleeding continues. GAH!!!


Homeschooling starts tomorrow and I am SO not ready. Slightly panicky. Ben's high school is, as usual, being SO IRRITATING, losing papers etc. My gosh people, get your act together will you? PLEASE someone remind me of the idiocy and arrogance of school administration if I ever start to think about sending Andrew to school will you?

Only three more years. Just three more years. Then I don't have to spend one moment thinking about public schools except to say "Nyah nyah! Phew! Don't have to have anything to do with you!"

(Famous last words. Last time I thought something like that Ben ended up going to public school after all. Sincerely hope Andrew doesn't.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Uuuughhh I feel sick.

Uggggh I'm feeling kind of sick and blah today. Bert went jetting off to Las Vegas. Luckily it's only a short trip and he'll be back about midnight on Thursday. I woke up with mild vertigo. I'm fine as long as I don't move too fast.

Since the nausea hasn't been too bad at all this pregnancy, I decided to make myself a really healthy menu and eat it. Thus far I've basically been putting in my mouth whatever I think will curb the sickness. Yesterday was an experiment in eating correctly.

Cereal and milk.
Slice of pizza. Ok, that wasn't really healthy, but shhh. It made my tummy happy. I KNOW, bizarre, huh? Pizza making a wobbly tummy feel happy? Just ODD.
Tortilla, Laughing cow cheese wedge, large bowl of salad.
3 cups milk
Can of 100 cal light peaches
Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, two kinds of veg, gravy.
Sweet rice pudding...well, it's kind of like semolina sort of.

This was a much better menu than previous weeks in that I actually ate fruit and veges and drank milk. Unfortunately, I had THE most HIDEOUS stomach ache and felt sooo blah.

This morning I continued my healthy eating and had a blueberry smoothie. Uuuuugggghhhhh. I feel sick and icky.

Unfortunately, what has helped is sipping on coke. Who knew? I'm not a pop drinker. I eschew coke as evil and disapprove of it heartily. But my gosh it helps when I'm feeling awful.

Today on the menu:
blueberry smoothie
Egg mayo sandwich with salad
apple juice
pinto beans and eggs with salad

Uhm. I might vomit.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

I'm pregnant!

Well no wonder I was so tired in my last post. I was pregnant. I am, in fact, still pregnant. =P Still in my first trimester. Luckily not so sick/tired as I was with my previous three. Thank goodness! I feel so blessed.

Unfortunately I began bleeding about a week after I found out I was pregnant and this has continued apace other than a day here and there. My Dr. has banned me from running until it all stops so I've not been out on the road for several weeks now. It's pretty depressing. The ultra I was training for is now totally out of the question. *sigh* Dang. =( I'm so sad about that.

The lack of running combined with the fact that I need to eat often in order to keep the nausea at bay has resulted in weight gain. *sigh*. All my clothes were very fitted which means that they now no longer fit. My daughter took me out shopping this week ("Mom, can I dress you? Let me dress you!") and we bought some maternity clothes. So here I am, about 9 or 10 weeks along, in maternity clothes. I feel very pretty and maternal in some of them. Awesomesauce.

In other news, for our family holiday we went to Virginia and had a fabulous time! =) Friday was driving (about 12-13 hours), Saturday was Virginia Beach, Sunday was church and Jamestown, Monday was Busch Gardens and Tuesday was the drive home. It was the perfect length for the holiday. Pictures possibly forthcoming as soon as I get them off the camera.

Since we got home I've been kickin' butt on the house. Yeah baby!!! It feels good to do that. It's starting to come into focus. Bert's nearly done with the wall in Emily's closet and is currently cleaning her carpet so we'll *finally* be able to move her back in there. Then we'll be able to move Bert back into his office and I'll *finally* have my bedroom back. I can't wait! =)

Soon we'll have to rearrange all the rooms again in order to put the baby somewhere. =) I'm looking forward to that.

I had to buy a new vacuum cleaner as mine's been falling apart for years, so this morning I bought a Shark Navigator. It seems to work just fine - definitely has more suction on carpets as my old Kenmore which cost twice as much 11 years ago.

Other news:
Emily sent her missionary off to the England London South mission. He's been gone about 4 weeks now; just 100 more weeks to go! She's currently driving down to South Carolina to see a friend of hers and hang out at the beach. It's a hard life.

Ben celebrated his birthday yesterday as his actual birthday is the first full day back at school. *SO* not fun. We bought him a guitar - an Ibanez Semi-Hollow Electric.

He bought a strap for it with money from Grandparents.

He's pretty much done nothing but jam on it ever since he got it. =)

Andrew is gearing up for "school" - that is, Tutorial on Mondays and homeschooling the rest of the week. It looks like it will be a fun year if I can a) get myself organized and b) not try to do too much. It's Kindergarten! It's meant to be fun! =)

Bert rode 89 miles today on his bike in preparation for his 100 mile bike ride in two weeks. Yeah. I know. EIGHTY-NINE miles. Astonishing. Back to work for him on Monday, and then he's off to Las Vegas on Tuesday. Boo. =(