Sunday, April 25, 2010

I did it!!!!

This weekend was full of appropriate occasions for me to make that statement. I guess it was kind of an exciting weekend for us.

I did it!! I graduated from BYU. Even though I finished at BYU in December, my ceremony wasn't until Friday. So although I already have my diploma and I've been done for awhile, I decided to walk in the convocation. Brennan really thought I should and I figured with no plans, as of now, to go to graduate school it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. My parents both came out for it. Which is kind of a funny story. I knew my mom was going to be here, but my dad made it clear from the beginning that he would be in the middle of teaching a class and wouldn't be able to make it. Then on Wednesday night I got a call from Brennan. He had called my parents' house to try to talk to my dad but my nephew, Caden, answered. He told Brennan that Papa was on his way to Utah. So without thinking, Brennan immediately called me because he thought that was strange. My first thought was that Caden got Papa and Grandma's plans confused or something. But then after a minute I said to Brennan, "I don't think I was supposed to know that." So anyway, they were planning on surprising me by having my dad fly out for the graduation, but Brennan inadvertently spilled the beans. (I don't think he'll be living that one down anytime soon. ) It was still a surprise, I just knew about 12 hours earlier than I was supposed to. It was great to have them here and I really appreciate all the sacrifices they both made to make it.

I've been a little disappointed with my choice in a major and what it has given me with only a Bachelor's degree. But still, I think I have learned a lot the last four years, both through my course work and through experiences outside of the classroom. I had the opportunity to get a college education at a good school and not everyone has that opportunity. So I will try to remember to be grateful for that and have faith that although it doesn't seem like it now my education will play a beneficial role in my life.

I did it!!! I ran a half marathon. A couple of months ago Stacy and Crystal convinced me to train for a half marathon with them. I hadn't been running on a regular basis until about 10 weeks ago when I started a training schedule. I think I asked myself why I was doing this almost every day, but I kept doing it. Then the week before the race my long run was supposed to be 9 miles and I completely failed. I just couldn't do it. I hadn't walked in any of my training runs up to that point, but I walked a ton that day. It didn't make any sense to me. I had just run 12 miles the week before without walking, and now I couldn't do 9?! It certainly increased my stress and anxiety about the race. But I did it!! My goal was just to run the whole thing without having to stop to walk at all. I didn't really have any time goals but figured there was a good chance it would take me at least 2 hours and 45 minutes. (Yes, I am incredibly slow. Yes, there's a good chance I could walk just as fast.) It was very frustrating to me to see people walking, running, walking, running but still going faster than I was. I had to continually remind myself I didn't care how fast I finished, I just wanted to accomplish my goal. And I did. And it felt good. I'm not fast, and I think I'm finally okay with that. I did, however, finish the race a lot faster than I thought I would. 2 hours and 32 minutes. Haha, I know, still slow, but hey, I'll take what I can get.
Stacy and I before the very early race. We trained along with Crystal but since she is in Iowa it was a little difficult to all run in the same race. :) We also cut the last week off the training program so we could run together before I move. Crystal and her running buddy race next Saturday. Good luck to them!!
Waiting for the race to begin. It was little chilly.
Stacy coming up on the finish line. She was a little speed demon and finished in 2 hours 13 minutes! Way to go!!
Coming up the last hill right before the finishing stretch. I thought it was a little cruel how hilly the last mile was.

There we are, just happy to have it over with. We couldn't have asked for better weather and the course was pretty and fun to run. Although I often wondered why I got myself into this, I am so glad I did it. Maybe I'll even do another one. :)
I've been trying to get in as much time as possible with these cuties. It's hard to imagine living far away from them again. Just thought I'd post this adorable picture of them from the other day. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Look, a Monkey!!!

Have you ever thought that the little person indicating that it is safe to cross the street looks like a monkey? Well, neither have I until Claire exclaimed from the back seat, "Look, a monkey!!!" We could not, for the life of us, find anything else in her view that she might think was a monkey. It gave us a good chuckle, but I think I can the resemblance...

So it was sleepover time again. Ever since the Festival of Colors the girls have been begging for a chance to come spend the night again. We babysat them Thursday night and the majority of our time spent with them was filled with making plans for the next day. There were a lot of plans made and a whole lot to fit in! I think we managed to get to most of them though.

The weather was beautiful so we started off with a Little Ceasar's picnic in the park.
We played at the park after dinner and it was a blast!!
There were no swings left so Libbie decided to squeeze into a baby swing. I thought it would have been pretty entertaining if she had gotten stuck.Underdog time!!

Libbie made up a game to play at the park where Brennan had to hide the football for the rest of us to try to find and then he had to act as a security guard and if we got too close try to chase us off.
Here are the girls hiding their faces in their shirts because they peeked too many times to try to see where Brennan was hiding the football.

We also played a monsters game where Brennan and I were monsters and just tried to catch all the kids. Mallory decided to trade teams, however, and ended up being the best member of ours!! She is so tiny but so quick! She would chase down the older girls and literally tackle them to the ground. It was pretty awesome.
Here she is with a victory over Libbie. She would just hold them in place until Brennan or I could come get them to take them to "jail".

After the park it was time to visit a few pet stores. Despite their disappointment at not being able to buy new fish for us, I think they enjoyed seeing all the animals at the store. They even got to touch a snake!

Somehow they convinced us to take them for ice cream after the pet stores. It was already getting a little late and we still had plenty on our agenda but I just can't say no!! So we all enjoyed kid sized cones at Macey's.
Brain freeze!!!

We whipped out our s'more maker when we got home. Yes, that's a lot of sugar. Shhhh!! Don't tell their parents. It didn't work quite as well as we had hoped. It was kind of slow at cooking the marshmallows and didn't really give them much of a yummy golden brown look but they were still good.


We settled down for a movie and bed after the s'mores. What a fun sleepover with some super cute girls!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Easter Epiphany

This post is a little late but we had a wonderful Easter. We got to dye Easter eggs and have egg wars to our hearts' content. It was fabulous. It was Conference weekend, which helped remind us of the real and wonderful meaning behind the holiday. I found myself appreciating the reason for the celebration more than usual this year. Christ came to earth. He lived and He died for me. And now He lives again. Sounds like a perfect reason to celebrate to me. I had a thought earlier in the week and I told myself I was going to blog about it. A bit of an epiphany if you will. Of course now I can't remember what sparked the thought at all but I will share it anyway. I think for the most part I have always thought of the Atonement as something Christ did out of love for our Father in Heaven. He was submitting His will to His Father's and He was doing it out of love. But sometime last week it hit me that He wasn't just doing it out of love for Heavenly Father, but out of love for me and for all of us. No, it's not like I have never realized that the Savior loves me or that He died for us all because of that love. But it just hit me how awesome and unconditional and all-encompassing that love had to be. He must love me A LOT to suffer like He did so that I can repent and gain eternal life. I mean I mess up all the time, and He knew I would but still felt like I was worth it. It's humbling really. Sorry, I know I'm just rambling now and probably not really getting anything across, so to sum it up...I realized this Easter season how much my Savior loves me and because of that realization I appreciate all that He did for me just a little bit more (still not anywhere close to FULLY appreciating or understanding all that He did) than I did before and I have a greater desire to be more like Him.

So...steering away from my tangent...and back to our Easter weekend. Conference was great!! We got to spend a lot of time together and just relax and it was very nice.
All of our wonderfully colored eggs.
Egg wars!! My favorite!! Brennan was merciless and beat be soundly EVERY time.
Mr. Studly sporting his new sunglasses from the Easter bunny and a birthday polo courtesy of my parents.
It's a little late but...Happy Easter!! I hope yours was as enjoyable as ours!