Tuesday, July 9, 2013

AF Canyon Half Marathon 6.15.13

My friend Ashley Potter convinced me to train for the AF Canyon Half Marathon with her and I am SO glad she did.

When I first started running after I had Parker I could barely run 2 or 3 miles at a slow 11 or 12 min/mile pace while pushing him in the stroller without feeling like I was going to die!  So at first I thought there was no way I could actually do a half marathon.  Much less under 2 hrs.  As we started training though it is crazy how our bodies adjusted and got stronger.  It was such a cool experience to feel my body getting stronger and being able to push myself harder and harder over the months of training.  It was fun to find a new hobby.  Ever since I quit dancing after high school I haven't found something that I love to do that makes me feel good and alive the way dancing did.  I think I finally did.  I don't think I will ever be the fastest or strongest runner, an ultra-marathoner, or excel at running in any particular way, but I found something that makes me feel alive again.  I love it. 

I needed it.  Not just in the sense that I physically needed to get more fit (even though I did after being pregnant), but mentally and emotionally it was so good for me to work towards something as well.  Transitioning into the role of being a mom has been the BEST year of my life!  I would not trade my little family for ANYTHING.  I've never had so much love in my heart.  It is crazy how your capacity to love increases after having a baby.  Even the love I have for Ki has grown bounds just through watching him be a protective, attentive father to Parker.  Watching them play and interact often makes my heart literally feel like it is fluttering.  But don't get me wrong I have frustrated, hormonal, crazy days too.  After I had Parker it took me probably 6 months before I started fully feeling like myself again.  I wasn't super depressed or anything... I just didn't feel like myself either... it is hard to explain, I just felt off.  But when I started running more, that is when I started feeling 100% like myself again.  Running helped make me feel more alive, gave me more energy, which made me feel more like me.  Does that make sense? 

For example, one of the things I struggled with the most soon after having Parker was the never ending repetitive chores.  Now that I was a full time mom I didn't get that sense of accomplishment that i used to get from getting good grades, or earning my bonuses at work, or getting a big paycheck.  It just felt like my life was a never ending to-do list that I was trying to survive.  Feed the baby (I actually mostly enjoyed feeding Parker so that in and of itself wasn't a chore, but feeding a newborn takes up so much time that it felt hard to find time to do the actual chores).  Do the laundry, go grocery shopping, what to make for dinner?  etc.  By the time I would finally get around to cleaning the house in between feedings- the laundry would need to be done AGAIN.  By the time I finally had clean and folded laundry - we wouldn't have a crumb of food in our fridge. haha.  I am of course being dramatic but to an extent that is how I felt/feel sometimes!

Now more then ever I appreciate what my mom and every other mom before me has done.  I realize now how much that mom's do over and over and over without complaining.  Laundry never gets checked off, weeding, making dinner, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, raising kids, etc... none of these things are ever "done and accomplished".  Maybe that is why it felt amazing to set a goal to run a half marathon and be able to check it off my list :)  To feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with succeeding at doing something you knew would be hard.   I don't know if any of these crazy rambling thoughts made any sense to anyone other then myself but I guess what I am trying to say is that training for this half marathon was good for me... Physically, mentally, and emotionally.  It helped make me feel like me again after having Parker, put me in the right frame of mind to be a good wife and mom, and gave me positive energy to tackle the endless "mom chores". 

AF Canyon Half Marathon Stats 2013  (for my sake mostly... I want to be able to look back when training in the future)
  • Finish time: 1:51:04.3  
  • Avg pace: 8:28.7
  • Overall place: 604/1877
  • Gender place: 292/1204
  • Age division place: 23/120 
  • Mile Splits - from Ashley P's watch.  We got separated around mile 9.5 so the last few mile splits I am guessing since we finished 2:42.1 apart
    • Mile 1 - 8:27
    • Mile 2 - 8:09
    • Mile 3 - 8:07
    • Mile 4 - 8:01
    • Mile 5 - 8:39
    • Mile 6 - 7:54
    • Mile 7 - 8:07
    • Mile 8 - 8:39
    • Mile 9 - approx: 8:55
    • Mile 10 - approx: 8:45
    • Mile 11 - approx: 9:01
    • Mile 12 - approx: 8:55
    • Mile 13 - approx: 9:10
Where we started the race at Tibble Fork Reservoir
Showing off our race tattoos before the race :)  Glad I have running friends in my ward!  So much more fun to have people to run with.
Obviously still feeling pretty good at this point (Mile 10ish)
Feeling a lot more tired at mile 13 - almost there though!
Ashley P, me, and Heidi after the race :)
With my two biggest supporters after the race :)  I couldn't have trained my Saturday long runs without Ki's support.  Thanks for waking up early to watch Parker while I ran all those Saturdays babe!!!
 I don't foresee being able to do the half marathon again next year... but hopefully again in 2015! :)


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Parker's 1st Birthday

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  First of all, I just have to say that this has been the fastest year of my life.  By far.  I can not believe Parker is 1!

We celebrated his birthday a little early because the weekend before his birthday is when our families were able to be there.  We figured it didn't matter anyways because Parker wouldn't know the difference :)

I did a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed party because Parker LOVES that show.  Whenever I need 20 min to myself to prep for cub scouts, eat, mop the floor, etc. I just put in an episode and he actually does sit and watch most of it haha.  His face breaks into a huge smile whenever he sees Mickey Mouse at the very beginning of the episode and he has started dancing to the "Hot Dog" dance at the end.  It is so stinkin cute!

We had one of Parker's favorite meals BBQ chicken sliders for dinner, then I made mickey mouse ear cupcakes for our families, and I made Parker his very own smash cake :)  I found a recipe that was a little more baby friendly and healthy then your typical cake recipe that had applesauce, bananas, greek yogurt, and other healthy ingredients instead of butter, oil, and tons of sugar.  The frosting was cream cheese and french vanilla yogurt.  It was the first cake I have ever made that wasn't in a cake pan, so I was pretty impressed with how it turned out.  The frosting didn't look as perfect as I wanted, but it was hard to frost because the frosting wasn't as thick as typical frosting.   But oh well!  It wasn't a total failure so we will count it as a success! :)  Especially as my first attempt at a cake.

Watching him eat his cake was by far my favorite part of the day.  At first he would touch it, then look at me like "are you seriously letting me eat this?"  I guess usually everything that he wants to eat like rocks, grocery lists, garbage, etc I quickly take away from him.  After he realized I was seriously going to let him eat it, he DUG IN.  He shoved handful after handful into his mouth and actually ate it.  I was mostly expecting him to make a mess and throw a bunch on the ground.  I didn't think he would actually eat a ton of it.  But he really did eat 1/4 of his 2 layer 6 inch cake all by himself.  At one point when we were taking pictures we got too close and he slimed our camera lens with his goopy cake hands.  Oops!

He loved to play with the balloons but when they would bounce back at him he would cling to Ki before attacking them again :)
What is in here?

Parker literally ate 1/4 of his cake.  He LOVED it!
Uh oh!  We got too close!
Grandpa Marty and Grandma Nat with Parker
My family with Parker
On Parker's actual birthday we went swimming at the Lindon pool with my mom and Aunt Shay.  He wasn't sure about the splashing kids at first, but ended up having a lot of fun.

Some details about Parker at 12 months:
  •  Has been walking since two weeks before his 1st birthday.  I was surprised he walked this soon since he didn't even crawl until he was 10 months old.  He is actually a quick walker now too.  If I thought he got into everything when he was crawling he REALLY gets into everything now :)
  • Did I already mention that he had a very unique crawl?  When he was crawling he would use his left knee and his right foot.  It was so funny looking.
  • Loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  • Loves to give his big bear (we are talking same size as him) lots of loves.  He always jumps on it, gives it hugs, kisses, and sometimes when he is tired he just lays down and uses it as a pillow haha.
  • Not saying many words yet.  Says tickle tickle and moo randomly, but I am not sure if he knows what he is saying yet.
  • He has 6 teeth with another 2 coming in.
  • He still hates getting his hair shampooed and his face wiped.
  • Ever since he learned to walk he has been in a super clingy phase.  He has become my little velcro.  Whenever I make dinner Ki tries to entertain him, but often Parker will walk over and hang on my legs.
  • He likes to be outside.  Mostly to eat rocks, bark, dandelions, and anything he can get his hands on :) 
  • Is a pretty good eater.  If he sees me and Ki eating the same food we offer him he will usually eat anything we eat.
  • I tried to transition him from a bottle of milk to sippy cup of milk before nap time but we have been unsuccessful so far.  He just gets mad and throws his sippy cup on the floor.
  • Still loves his binky, but now that he is 1 we try to only let him have it if he is in his bed.  With some exceptions for bad teething days, and when he has a new babysitter.
  • Has recently learned to flush the toilet, turn on the tub water, unroll toilet paper rolls, turn on and off light switches, and loves to push all the buttons on the front of our fridge.

Costa Rica -

*Warning*  Long post ahead

I know you are all shocked that I am posting on my blog twice in one week, but it is really happening!!  Before I start detailing our awesome trip, I just have to get this off my chestt.

Yesterday I went to the dentist and I have 5 cavities.  Booooooo!!!!  Perhaps I will start taking flossing more seriously...  I just more then doubled my lifetime cavity count.  from 4 to 9.  No Bueno. I know you all feel sorry for me.  So i have to get 5 cavities filled all at once.  It is going to stink.  Anyways back to the trip :)

This past April (8-16th to be precise)  Ki and I were able to go to Costa Rica with our good friends Russ and Ashley while my mom watched Parker.  It was an absolute blast.  We had so much fun with the Potters and it felt so good to spend so much quality time with my cute hubby and to have time to reconnect with each other.  By the end of the trip we were DYING to see our baby boy though :)  I think next time we decide to leave him we will be gone 7 days max.


Our adventures started right away in the Atlanta airport.  We took a red eye flight from SLC so when we landed in Atlanta it was quite early in the morning.  We decided instead of getting bagels to-go we that would sit down and eat them at this little cafe.  Obviously we were sleep deprived and didn't think about having to pay tip on already overpriced bagels.  Ki ordered an egg, bacon, and cheese bagel sandwich for himself, and then ordered a bagel with strawberry cream cheese for me like I had told him I wanted.  Well 15 minutes later they bring out our order and somehow there had been a miscommunication.  Because instead of 2 bagels they had just put my strawberry cream cheese on his bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich hahahahaha.  I laughed so hard!  When they brought it up to the table I couldn't help it.  I just burst into laughter :)  We hadn't even left the country and we were already having communication problems.  Awesome.

After a nap on the floor in the Atlanta airport and another flight we finally landed in Liberia, Costa Rica!  Hooray!  We were thrilled to finally be there.  Getting the rental car was a small nightmare.  We had reservations at this one no-name rental place so Russ took a taxi to go get it while Ashley (potter), Ki, and I waited and changed into some cooler clothing.  It seemed like Russ was gone picking up the car FOREVER!  We were so hot, and thirsty, and hungry.  But then we looked at our watch and it had really only been a half hour.  Well Russ finally pulls up in the rental car and it was sketchy.  We start driving away and it is so rickety, we are concerned we won't make it to where we need to go and worse the car has what looks to be blood splatters all over the interior...  So we take it back to the car place and say thanks, but NO THANK YOU!  We get to a new car rental place only to wait for another hour for a car... Sigh... Costa Ricans take their sweet time getting things accomplished I am telling you!  Totally different mentality from our quick paced impatient American society, but we finally got the car and Ki was somewhat well behaved considering how hungry he was, and his history for losing his patience with what he views to be incompetent service :)  Score. 

Now that we finally have the rental car, we decide to stop for some food.  We drive down a road then pass a subway.  Turn around Russ!  Food!  We attempt to make a U turn almost get hit by another car, but finally make it back to Subway.  We shouldn't have turned around :)  I am pretty sure we paid like $10 a sandwich.  But it made for a funny story anyways because they don't speak english, we don't speak spanish, and Ki didn't have the currency exchange rate down very good.  So we go to pay for our sandwiches, the cashier girl tells Ki in english it will be $20 (which is 10,000 colones), and then Ki hands her a 1,000 colones bill and asks for change.  It was hilarious.. maybe because I was so sleep deprived at the time, but I knew right away what he had done and I just couldn't help myself.  Hopefully they didn't think I was laughing at them :)  Nope.  Just laughing at cute Ki handing them the equivalent of $2 to pay for our sandwiches instead of $20 and then asking for change.  I just love him :)  Keeps me laughing.  That is for sure.

Hooray.  We have a car.  We have food in our tummy's let us be on our merry way.

After we had been driving towards where we were staying near Arenal Volcano for an hour I started feeling SOOO car sick.  Costa Rica's roads are TERRIBLE.  They are super narrow, one lane each direction, have lots of pot holes, often dirt, and the worst part is they are 3x as windy as any canyon road in Utah.  I have never been so car sick in my whole life.  Ashley P. started telling this really interesting story to try and distract me from how sick I felt, it actually was so interesting, I really did forget how sick I felt until Ki was like "Ash!  you're dry heaving!  Russ pull over"  At first I tried to insist I was ok, but as Russ pulled off the road I knew I was going to make it out of the car just in time.  I have never thrown up before because I was so car sick.... It was so gross.  But I learned my lesson and anytime we drove anywhere after this instance I took dramamine first.  I went through so much dramamine over the course of the trip haha.  At least where we pulled off the side of the road to let me puke that first day was beautiful!

We pulled up to Tabacon Hot Springs, the resort we were staying at, and jumped into bed after some room service because Day 1 in Costa Rica was going to start early and be jam packed full of adventure.


First on the agenda our Canyoneering/Zipline Tour
Gear on and ready to go!
Me repelling
Ki repelling
About to get drenched
So much water!!!
Add caption
Getting ready for the last and highest repel.  I was just a tiny bit nervous :)
haha.  I told him I felt like barfing.  Clearly he wasn't impressed
Nike.  Just do it.

It is a long ways to the bottom!
We didn't get any pictures of ziplining because it was impossible to hold a camera with the appropriate ziplining gear strapped to your hand and the pictures the tour took were super expensive and not very good, but it was incredible.  I seriously was shaking I had so much adrenaline.  On one of the ziplines I slowed myself down too much and didn't have quite enough speed to make it all the way to the platform so that was freaky because then I had time to look down as I was dangling hundreds of feet in the air from a zipline while I pulled myself the rest of the way on the cable with my hands.  It was terrifying and made me even more nervous for the remaining ziplines.  It was so fun though.  I was proud I didn't wuss out and not do it :)  Ashley Potter was the bravest and went upside down for one of the last ziplines!  I am so afraid of heights, so between the ziplining and canyoneering I think I've had enough heights for awhile. :)

After our adrenaline rush packed day, it was time to chill out and relax, so we headed to the Hot Springs at the resort we were staying in.  It was so crazy beautiful.  And the waterfalls gave a nice little massage to all our sore, tired, muscles.


On day two we hiked La Paz de Rio Celeste before heading to Atenas, Costa Rica where we were staying the rest of the trip before flying out of San Jose.

The hike is one of two places in the world where a chemical reaction between two rivers one that has sulfur, and the other calcium carbonate, causes the water to be turquoise blue.  The other place is of course Havasupai in Arizona. 

It took forever to get to and from the hike off the main road on this tiny dirt road that went through tiny villages, but the waterfall was the most amazing one I have ever seen and was worth the drive.

Here are a few pictures from the hike.  The waterfall ones don't even do it justice.  It was hard to get good pictures, because of all the mist in the air from the waterfall.

Ashley P and me :)

Russ and Ki
Where the two river's mix and cause the chemical reaction that makes the water so blue

On the way back to the main road from the hike, we stopped in one of the small villages for some food.  That was a huge mistake.  It was the grossest food I have ever forced myself to eat.  Ashley P and Ki ordered these hamburgers that were like fried or something they were so heavy and nasty.  Russ and I ordered Arroz con Pollo which is pretty basic and hard to screw up I thought... nope.  It was so nasty.  Yuck.  Being that I didn't want to offend I forced myself to eat every last bite.  It was hard.  After a 4 hr drive we finally arrived in Atenas at the house we would stay the rest of the trip.


We went into town to get some groceries and then spent the rest of the day at the house playing in the pool and playing card games.  It was weird having so much down time.  We almost didn't know what to do with ourselves... Until we entertained ourselves for an hour or more before dinner trying to get this shot of the 4 of us jumping all at the same time.  It took us like 500 tries haha.

Ki ninja kicking Russ in the face
Ashley and I trying to be ninjas too
Ki's favorite spot to chill - in the shaded hammock of course
The house we stayed in: Main living area and Kitchen on the left, the Potter's Bedroom on the right
Potter's bungalow on the left, ours straight ahead
Kitchen and Living Room

Later that night, we went out to eat at a restaurant.  I ordered Ceviche de pescado because my cute missionary brother Nathan said it was one of his new favorite foods that he has tried.  I tried it... I didn't like it... so I took another bite...  I still didn't like it.  I tried so hard to like it, but I am just not a fan of seafood!!!  I think the thing that I couldn't get over is that it was cold and a little slimy.  I tried to force myself to eat half of it so that the cute Costa Rican lady serving us wouldn't take offense but she obviously wasn't fooled since when she came back she said no te gusta? (or something like that) 


Woke up bright and early to get ready to head to Manuel Antonio beach.  I opened up the curtains to let light into our bedroom to see a monkey perched just 15 ft away!  It was crazy.  I was so excited :)  Ki tried to feed him a banana after we took these pictures but he swung away in the treetops with his monkey friends.  Monkeys are so cool.

Our capuchin monkey friend
 After a very long car ride and my typical (for Costa Rica) dramamine induced nap, we finally arrived at the beach!  It was sooo hot.  We couldn't wait to get into the water :)  It was so beautiful the way the Rainforest met up with the beach.  It is unlike any other beach I have ever been too.  But lets be honest, there weren't enough waves for my liking, so after a couple hours we walked 15 minutes to the less picturesque beach next to this one where the waves were much more suitable for boogie boarding :)  Because boogie boarding at beaches is where it is at.

Manuel Antonio Beach
Our Monkey friend at the beach
Sitting in the shade.  It must be true love :)  I never would have sat in the shade at the beach before our marriage haha.
 We had such an amazing day and thought about staying the night in a shared hotel room so we could spend the next day here as well, but decided not to last minute and drove back to the rental house in Atenas.  Turns out that was the BEST decision.  Earlier this morning before heading to the beach Ashley P and I had both had some strawberries that we bought off the side of the road the day before... This night we were both SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sick.  Montezuma's Revenge full throttle.  Can you imagine if we had to share a hotel bathroom?  The shared noises and the fact that one of us probably would have pooped our pants trying to wait our turn.  It would have been horrible.  Thank heavens we didn't decide to stay the night in a hotel!!!


Our plans for today were canceled due to the fact that Ashley P and I both didn't sleep much the night before and we didn't think our tummies were up for much adventure.  It became another play games and hangout by the pool kind of day.  We had a fun day nonetheless :)  Although we realized we missed our babies substantially more this day then the days when we were super busy all day long!  Luckily my family was posting pics of my cute baby like this one on FB so I could get my Parker fix all the way in Costa Rica :)

Aunt Shay & Parker 

Excited to go on a bike ride with Grandpa

Parker a little sleepy after his bike ride with Grandpa :)
Parker swinging with Aunt Kristin

We headed to the Waterfall Gardens.  Besides the waterfalls we saw tons of wildlife such as: toucans, macaws, monkeys, butterflies, frogs, snakes, etc. 
Waterfall Gardens
Ki's new pet
A butterfly landed in my ponytail
Pictures just don't do the rainforest justice
Waterfall #1
Waterfall #2
Waterfall #3

I feel myself running out of steam in writing this post.... but I am so close I better stick with it.  I am pretty sure each day I am putting less and less detail about what we did.  Readers of this blog might be relieved by that fact haha.


Day 7 was the last day in Costa Rica before we flew out of San Jose.  We decided to go to the beach.  The first beach we drove to was Jaco beach, but the waves were HUGE so we didn't stay.  I am pretty sure one of us would have drowned if we got in the water.  There was literally nobody on the beach, so we took that as a sign that we needed to find a different beach.  We drove to several other beaches, but they were all black sand beaches that we couldn't bear to walk on, so we kept looking.

Our guide book said something about Punta Leona beach but the instructions were very vague on how to get there.  We drove around and eventually found it.  I don't think we were supposed to be there because we weren't staying at the hotel located on the beach, but we stayed anyways :)  We had a blast boogie boarding and just relaxing laying in the sun. 

The only trouble happened at the very end of the day when Ashley P. and I tried to go get smoothies from a smoothie stand next to the hotel.  We had already been turned away from the hotel restaurant because we didn't have wristbands signifying that we were staying at the hotel, but we tried the smoothie stand anyways.  We asked the girl working at the stand if we were allowed to get smoothies even though we didn't have wristbands.  She nodded yes, but must not have understood us.  We paid for our smoothies and started walking away when a guy from hotel security came up and told us we weren't allowed to have the smoothies because we didn't have wristbands.  At least we are assuming he said that :)  He was talking completely in Spanish which neither of us speak.  We kept saying we already paid and would start to walk away when he would start pointing back to the parking lot (we are assuming he was asking us to leave).  We kept trying to tell him that we couldn't leave because our stuff and our husbands were on the beach but he just kept arguing with us in Spanish.  Finally we were like "no comprende espanol" and just walked away.  haha.  We didn't know what to do.  We didn't speak Spanish and he clearly didn't understand English, so we just left.  He grabbed his radio and called something in as we walked away as fast as we could.  We were nervous security was going to follow us and kick us off the beach, but nobody every came looking for us.

Love this hottie :) 
Punta Leona beach :)  WITH my smoothie haha


The last day was pretty uneventful.  We checked out of the house and headed to the airport.  We were a little nervous we were going to miss our flight when it took Russ longer to return the rental car then we expected, but ended up being just fine.

On our flight from Atlanta to SLC we were sitting next to a lot of people who had run the Boston Marathon and had been right in the thick of things when the bomb exploded during the marathon.  It was so crazy to hear all of their stories, and to hear about the chaos they witnessed trying to reconnect with their families and make sure everyone was safe.  (apparently cell towers were disabled for awhile after the bomb exploded)  One of the ladies had ran past where the bomb exploded just minutes before it exploded.  It is soo sad to hear of such violence and I cried for the family who lost a son and whose daughter lost her legs.  I absolutely don't understand in the slightest why people would want to harm innocent people who have done nothing wrong and who are just living their lives.  What was the point?  There is a reason I don't watch the news very often.  It mostly just makes me depressed to hear about all the evil in the world. 

After we got home at 2 am I drove to my parents house to sleep in my brother's room.  I wanted to be there first thing when Parker woke up the next day.  When Parker woke up, I jumped out of my bed so fast and ran in to get him!  When I went in there I said, "Good morning Parker!"  He sat right up, smiled, and reached for me to pick him up.  He wasn't very affectionate at first, but wanted me to hold him constantly.  Finally after I fed him breakfast and got him out he gave me lots of loves and kisses.  It was such a fun trip, but after the break, it was so good to get home to our baby boy!