Sunday, November 21, 2010

(I made these tags and have them displayed in my home. I really really love them)

Right now I am in the calm before the storm. I am home alone, there is beautiful music playing, my kitchen is clean and I'm feeling the glow of a good weekend, where everyone got along and the house didn't get too destroyed. Tomorrow (and even a bit later tonight) all chaos is going to break loose. We are trying to get out of town for Thanksgiving and there is A LOT to do before then. But as long as I've got a few moments of serenity I'm going to record some of the things that help me feel blessed.

(in no particular order)
1. Health
2. The gospel of Jesus Christ
3. A beautiful family
4. Many friends that are continually supportive and such a great example to me and my family.
5. Abilities and Talents
6. My Patriarchal Blessing
7. My dogs
8. An ambitious husband that takes such good care of me
9. Extended family that are AWESOME! (really, there's no other way to describe it)
10. A beautiful home in a beautiful area
11. I'm able to get to the beach pretty much whenever I want
12. Medical advances
13. Technology that saves time, energy and living space
14. Faithful Parents
15. The best ward this side of Kolob
16. Vision, hearing, sense of smell and touch
17. Love of running (who would have thought)
18. Creativity
19. Color
20. Warm Jammies on a cold night
21. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
22. Brad has a job
23. The Book of Mormon
24. A cheerful disposition
25. Apple products
26. A dishwasher, a washer and dryer, a double oven, a telephone
27. Good schools and teachers
28. Indoor Plumbing (even though our kitchen sink currently has a leak, and I have to clean the bathrooms way too often)
29. Good books and my ability to read
30. My Swagger Wagon
31. The Gift of the Holy Ghost
32. Enough (food, shelter, clothing etc.)
33. Humor
34. Subway
35. Tender Mercies

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

(For Real This Time) I Deserve a Medal!

...oh wait! Look at me! I GOT one!

I got a medal for running the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon this last Saturday, November 6! This was my first race of this duration. I'm just pointing out that a 1/2 marathon is 13.1 miles. Ya! That's right! That was me! Please! Hold your applause.

Many of my friends have done this race in years past and I started thinking how great it would be to run by the ocean, in the cool sea air. I was right. It was a beautiful setting and just the right temperature. But as it turns out my friend Erin and I were the only ones that made it to the race this year. (And our valiant and very supportive husbands were there to cheer us on) Erin and I discovered that we are good running partners. We have about the same pace and don't have to chitchat to feel the camaraderie. She was a couple hundred yards a head of me most of the time, but I'll try not to feel too bad since she is 10 years younger than me. Ha! We came in together though and I can only attribute that to her need to puke (she didn't, but it slowed her down just enough for me to catch up).

There were many times I just wanted to stop. But when I analyzed the reasons I couldn't think of a good one. My legs felt fine, my breathing was good, nothing hurt. I just had to refocus and get my head in the game. I just kept going. That's how life is you know.

(Tiffiny is one of our friends that had to back out of the race at the very last second due to a back injury. This "running for..." thing is a bit of an inside joke. And there's really no room here to write about it and you probably don't want to know anyway... but if you do, go here)

Here are my stats:

~ Distance: 13.1 miles
~Time: 2 hours 21 minutes and 56 seconds

~I placed 874th out of 1552 women
~I placed 126 out of 225 in my division (ages 40-44) -- I'll let you guess which end of the spectrum I'm on
~I placed 1478 out of 2297 total runners
(if you do the math, I was about the middle of the pack in all of these categories)

My pace was about 10:50 per mile. I'm not disappointed with this, but I know I should have/could have done better. There was a massive, half mile hill at mile 11 that I walked most of. That's ok though, that's how life is you know, sometimes hills come when you are tired. It might throw you off a little bit, it might slow you down, but the point is, I kept going, I finished, I felt good and I still feel good! Now that's something to be proud of. Also I now know just how much work I have to do before I run that full marathon in May. YIKES!

Brad says making these little mini-movies is his form of scrapbooking. He really is quite talented. Here is what he put together for me. He did a great job (read didn't make me look to stupid) and even used the song I requested. I love it, and it just happened to be playing while he was filming me. Good karma I call it. (Even though the song is really called Underdog.)

A few more shots of the trip...

Goofy to the bitter end

Lunch and Shopping in Downtown Santa Barbara

And a trip down to that area would not be complete with out a visit to Jocko's, the best Steak House around. Total hole in the wall, but totally YUMMY grub.
We also had ice-cream at Pismo Beach, but we didn't get a picture. Nor did we get a picture of the full double rainbow we saw there. (What does this mean?)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

Here is our resident Haunted House! I love it! I wanted to do some crackly effect, but this time of year is too busy for learning new photoshop techniques. It's pretty spooky though anyway, don't you think?

Here's how we all dressed up this year.

"My fellow Americans..." -- ya, pretty much, I'm a joke!

Notice the dunk tank behind me -- how fun is that? These pictures were taken at our building Carnival and Trunk or Treat. Which incidentally it was my last activity as Ward activity chairman.

Imagine you're really arrogant. Knights like to think they are so much better than everyone else!
- quote from "Merlin". Kelsi's new favorite TV show (broadcast from the UK)

Check out the Gun Show over here! Boom! Boom! Fiah Powah!

Grizzly, ghouls from every tomb, are closing in to seal your doom.

So, I attempted sewing costumes this year. Not only that, but taught Kelsi how to sew her own costume. Again I ask the question, "What was I thinking?" In the end we had to do some switcheroos. Brad was supposed to be the wizard, but my sparkly, purple witch dress broke my thread or my needle about every 20 stitches. That project quickly got scrapped. So, I became the wizard and Brad became... um, errrr... well, let's say a "politician"... one that couldn't give a speech without a teleprompter. He had a great time "expounding" to us all in his best orators voice.

Brady's idea of a zombie was much simpler than the one I had in my head. Also he had no patience for fake blood or anything that had to dry, so that costume wasn't too painful.

Kelsi's costume was fabulous, of course. She really does have a vision and can make something from practically nothing.

Afton and Taylor Lawrence were matching football players. My best halloween deal came as part of their costume. They wanted red knee socks. I looked EVERYWHERE and there were just no red socks to be had (except some sparkly Christmas ones with snowflakes), let alone ones that came to the knee. Just about the time I was about to give up and buy ugly white ones for 6 bucks a piece. I found some on a neglected rack in Walmart. They were on the very bottom and covered in dust. The price was 2 pair for $4! SCORE!

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween everyone! I know we did!
Now to start thinking about costumes for next year.

Just as a side note: now that I'm not activities chairman anymore, maybe we'll do one of our famous Meyer Halloween parties again in 2011.