Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Did you think this post was about this?

It's actually more about this.

As you may or may not know someone very important to me had a birthday this week.  It was a major milestone birthday. 50 years is a lot of years to be alive.  50 years is more than438,291 hours. That is A LOT of hours.

One day while I was out running, I got to thinking about our friend and Bishop Loren Dickson.  A couple years back he ran 44 miles the week of his 44th birthday. I thought I might do that for my 50th birthday. Then I realized I couldn't count on that -- for me 50 is still 5 years away.  Who knows what my physical or mental state would be by then. But then I realized that someone very close to me was, indeed turning 50 this very year.  I thought about running 50 miles the week Brad turned 50, in honor of him.  Let me tell you, facing running 50 miles in a week, right now, is a lot more scary than thinking about running 50 miles in 5 more years. It's all about the procrastinator in me... I mulled it over and wondered if I could do it. That would mean 10 miles a day for 5 days. At that point the furthest I had been running was 5 miles per day. I decided to test the waters a bit. The next week I increased to 7 and the following week to eight. I did it but still didn't know if I could commit.  Then I got the dreaded jury summons for that exact week.  I didn't know if I was relieved or disappointed. There would be no way I could run 10 miles and still make it to the courthouse by 9am. Something in the back of my head told me to pray and have faith that I wouldn't have to serve (my odds weren't good though, the other two times I've been summoned I've been picked).  Long story short, I prayed, I had faith and I wasn't picked. The other things that I had that week also disappeared.  Brady's Graduation = over. Brad's Birthday = over. Helping with the Youth Activity = delegated. Family Reunion = postponed.

I still hadn't told Brad about my intended plan -- still a little unable to commit, but decided to at least try a 10 miler and see how I felt.  Hmmm, I actually did it. It just so happened that this day was also Brad's actual birthday.  So diving head first in, I told him what I was planning to do. I didn't know how he would receive the news. I thought maybe he would think I was crazy, or that I should do it for myself instead of for him. But he seemed pretty excited. I guess I was committed...

I DID IT! I actually did it!

Monday - 2 miles (the day I had Jury Duty)
Tuesday - 10 miles
Wednesday - 10 miles
Thursday - 10 miles
Friday - 10 miles
Saturday - 8 miles.

One of the highlights was seeing "Da Machine". Mind you I wasn't running in my/our neighborhood. I drove to a place and ran out there.  He was riding his bike this time. He still cracks me up.

Whew! Here's what I learned
- 50 is a lot.
- Enduring to the End is a good thing.
- My feet usually started hurting around mile 9.
- "Your legs are not giving out, your head is giving up. Keep going." is quite an inspirational phrase.
- The neighbors watched out for me. (it was actually usually the farm laborers and the tractor drivers, but on Saturday - when I had only 3 miles to go until the very end - I stopped at a yard sale and the lady, Annie, said she had been seeing me all week. I felt touched she noticed).
- Positive self talk is very important out there ("I've got this." "It's all downhill from here." "2 more miles? I can totally do this." "My legs aren't tired." "I'm not out of breath." "This is easy.")
- If I can let my mind go - I can solve all sorts of problems
- If you keep going your body will finally submit
- I have good running music
- Making your legs run to the beat of the music while your mind is thinking about something else is a good way to get through it.
- I think it was good to run for Brad, instead of myself. It was a big deal and I did it for him.
- Housework suffers when you spend a lot of time exercising
- Planning blog posts or Facebook statuses are a good way to pass the time (even though I rarely follow through).
- It was ALWAYS hard to get out there. I was ALWAYS glad I did it.
- It was hard not to get too relieved after each run, knowing I had to do it all again tomorrow.
- It is good to think of my running role models and people who inspire me.
- The roads out where I run are pretty much broken up into 1/2 mile, mile and 2 mile segments. It was nice to know exactly how far I'd be when I got to the corner (even though my iPod would tell me too)
- There is lots of beautiful scenery out on those seemingly deserted farm roads.

This last picture is one of my favorite's of all time. Not only is it just cool looking but it is very apropos signaling the end of a 10 mile run.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who Wants To Have Some Fun?

So since we are all about doing birthday parties early around here... (Kelsi's is at Easter, Brad's near graduation, Afton's in the middle of the summer and Brady's at Christmastime. See what I mean.)...

Afton's birthday, which isn't for another few weeks, has already been celebrated.  The day after school got out we worked out for a surprise birthday party for Afton at the beach.  Mr. Nick picked her up early for a "date" at the beach. Then a little bit later everyone else met here to carpool over. (At the beginning you can see her as a little speck in the water as we all file down the stairs. It didn't take her long to figure out that she knew us).

I took some  really cool pictures and I could write something really cool about what an awesome beach day it was, but my uber-talented husband made this uber-cool video documenting the day and there is no more that needs to be said... except, Happy Birthday my Tiny.  I love you more than cornflakes...


Friday, June 8, 2012

It's All Downhill From Here

So this coming Tuesday Brad will be officially reaching the top of the metaphoric hill.  Knowing this event was coming up, and not wanting to miss the opportunity to be roasted by celebrate with all of his friends, I threw him a surprise party.  Since it was a month early (exactly) he didn't suspect. Of course I'm not that sneaky, so I wouldn't be surprised if he caught wind of it and is just being nice about it.
I told him we were going on a surprise date and he just had to be ready to go at 7:00. In the mean time all the guests had gathered in the neighborhood rec-room. I told them to come dressed as old people. I thought it went hilariously well.

Afton and Nick helped me get everything ready. Seriously I couldn't have pulled it off without them. Except for the small, tiny, minor problem of them locking the only key IN the rec-room, while the chocolate covered strawberries melted in the car - and couldn't be brought home or Brad would have seen. It turned out to be only a small glitch in the end though.

Another thing each guest did was to take the Big Bad Brad Quiz. With some help from my online friend Angie - whom I've never met but I read her blog and we communicate via email every once in a while. She is cute and fun and creative and down to earth (her blog is here). So with her help, I came up with a fun way for people to pay tribute to their old good friend Brad.

They had to write a poem, fill in the blanks and then complete a small bio. We read them all out loud and tried to guess who wrote them.  I put them all in a folder so they can pulled out and read at Brad's funeral.  I just can't imagine Brad's funeral being a serious event, and these would be the perfect spring board for a rip-roaring good time. Our friends are so funny and quick.  I loved their answers. (Mind you, I'm not anticipating Brad's funeral anytime soon.)
Here's what the Big Bad Brad Quiz looked like 
(Take it if you want, send me a copy. I'll add it to the folder.)
And just incase one didn't get their fill of Brad Meyer, we also had a Brad word search.

Brad was so surprised when we walked in he was speechless. I'm glad we caught it on film, it doesn't happen often.

Now without further fanfare, here are the pictures of our hilarious friends and their interpretation of what an old person looks like.

Erin's got a hitch in her get-along.

Christy is a Hip Granny

The Darling Shattucks

Do I even need to say anything?

So these two proved that old(er) people aren't really as dorky as we made them out to be. Aren't they cute? Probably the coolest people at the party.

We've established that Christy is hip. Rob, just looks like he needs his daily dose of Metamucil.

I really want Erinn to be MY granny, she looks so cheery. Michael... um, it was nice of him to provide an awkward pillow for her to rest her head.

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple and a red hat, so Tiffiny. Brandon = combination of Matt Foley/Chris Farley (who lives in a van down by the river) and Groucho Marks.

Rick and Denise Shattuck in the awkward old couple pose.

Christy your slip is showing... Leif, you have too many items in the pockets of your leisure pants. It's weighing you down.  

Zac, I think I'd do whatever she says.

Aw, Andy and Jodi love each other even after all these years. (The tennis balls on the walker are my favorite).

I want Brad and me to look like Jen and Jared when we grow up. Aren't they just so cute? Maybe we'll even be lucky enough to have a jacket like Jared's. (Side note: Jared actually wears this jacket to church. Not realizing this, I told him I saw his jacket while I was looking for our costumes at the Salvation Army. Oops! Sorry, my bad.)

Louis and his Trophy Wife, Brandi. Seriously though can't you see Louis out on a street corner playing the sax?

This is a little bit scary isn't it? My outfit, is in honor of my Grandma Lindsey. She really was the cutest grandma ever. I don't do her justice. Brad reminds me a little of his dad.
(another side note: The 2 afghans in the pictures were made by my 2 grandmas - the rust colored, crushed velvet chair came from Brad's Grandma.)

This is an awful photo, but I wanted you to see the close up of my baggy hose.  Awesome, right?

So several of our friends age so well you can hardly tell they dressed up at all.

Mark and Melinda Lawrence

Brent and Camille Cardall

Delisa and Steve Russell

Derek and Angie Banks

Loren and Annette Dickson were there too, but we have no proof. You'll have to take my word for it.

A highlight of the evening...We convinced Brad to do the "Dad of the Dance". Basically just a little rendition of Irish Dancing.
He also showed us his ugly toes -- you can thank me later for sparing you the photo.

I thought his flood pants war so endearing.

He loved all of his gifts of efferent, laxatives, joint medication and the like. He was overwhelmed.

He blew out all 50 candles in two blows. Nothing wrong with his lung capacity.

Don't worry we checked for an indoor sprinkler system before we even lit the cake. cough, cough...

This is my favorite picture of the night. "The Bromance".  Brad and Brandon, can't you picture them in a park playing checkers and talking about the glory days? 

Brad I am so lucky to have you! You add joy and interest to my otherwise mundane life. I love you! Let's go over the hill together shall we?