Monday, June 30, 2008

Starting All Over

It's come down to this..... tomorrow is July 1st and that will be the start of my "real" training for this marathon that I have talked myself into doing.  A friend of mine lent me this book, "4 Months to a 4-Hour Marathon", so the beginning of July is my deadline to have 4 months until the November 2nd race.  I've been taking time off from running, trying to do other things, but truthfully not doing a whole lot of anything.  Yesterday and today I went out running and it is just like starting all over.  Forget the fact that I was running 10 miles every Saturday for awhile.  Forget the fact that I ran 15 miles one Saturday.  I now am starting from scratch basically, so my 4 months looks like a million miles away.  I know that it is going to go quickly so I really need to be consistent.  We are heading up to Mammoth in a few days, so I have the joy of some cooler weather to run in, but also the altitude that can be oh so fun for someone who is not used to it.  Wish me luck, wish me health, and wish me a quick 4 months of training.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Big Kids

Today we drove down to Huntington Beach to celebrate a birthday for Micah, the son of Garrett's long time friend Mark.  There has become an annual tradition of a water balloon fight that occurs at each of these parties.  Garrett and Mark have proven to be the biggest of kids because although I am sure the little ones enjoy the water balloons, it is really Garrett and Mark who can't wait to nail each other with a big SPLAT!  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Amazingly Awesome (Cont.)

Debbie, Sarah, Rochelle, Tina, Me 
(I had to steal this pic from Rochelle's blog since I didn't have any 
group shots on my camera)

My legs are finally feeling back to normal.  I was so sore for the few days following this hike I was wondering if I was ever going to be able to walk down our stairs normally again.  My knee still hurts if I kneel on it though, as I took a cute little trip/flip/splat into the creek on the way down the mountain.  At the time I was more embarrassed than hurts, but I guess I did bang my knee pretty good.

So, as the video shows, we started out at 4:30 to drive to Yosemite.  This of course meant that we were awake around 3:45 and I think I slept a total of 2 or 3 hours that night because I just couldn't get to sleep.  We were about a 40 minute drive from the start of the hike so we were hoping to get started up the mountain a little after 5.  I think we were actually to the beginning of Mist Falls Trail around 5:30, which was still a good start.  The Mist Falls Trail was amazing and definitely one of the hardest parts for me.  All stairs, wet from the falls, straight up to the top of Vernal Falls.  My legs were already feeling tired by the end of this first part and I was wondering how I could make it up the rest of the mountain.  But it's wonderful how your body quickly feels better as soon as you get to a not so steep part.  We chose to take the Falls trail because it was a little shorter, and I think it was much more beautiful.  We then continued up until we got to Nevada Falls.  Also beautiful, but we weren't as close to it as Vernal, so we didn't get covered by the mist this time.  From this point we just kept on trucking up the mountain with a few stops along the way for snacks and to care for our bodies.  Tina had a blister the size of a quarter on the back of her heel.  The guy at the shop in Yosemite told us the night before to put Duct tape on any signs of a blister before it got any worse.  So we tried that but it didn't work.  By the time we stopped to check on it again it had already popped and was huge.  Poor thing!  Then a little while later we got our first visit from "Charlie".  This was the name we gave Rochelle's major leg cramp.  A cramp/charlie horse that would not quit.  A cramp so bad to bring her to her knees crying.  But did she let it stop her?  NO!  Man, I was amazed at how determined one woman could be.  We took our time and made it to the top, with one more bad cramp right at the top of the cables.  What was awesome was the people we met along the way that offered things like water, bananas, and banana chips to help her out.  People were genuinely kind all throughout the trip and I loved seeing that in people.

The way down was definitely easier, but it seemed like it took forever.  We were all ready to be all the way down when we got back to Nevada Falls but that meant we had about 4 miles to go.  We went down the John Muir trail which was definitely not as pretty as the Mist Trail, but who wants go down slippery steps on tired legs.  We made it to the bottom just around 7:45, a whole 14 hours after starting.  It made for a very long day but I'd say it was all worth it!

Even though this was definitely not an easy hike, I loved every minute of it.  I love being outdoors, I love pushing myself to the limit, and I love being with friends....especially ones that I don't get to be with often!  When asked if I would do it again I didn't even have to think about it ...... I am planning for next summer with Garrett, or maybe May or September when it's not as crowded.  But definitely I would go again. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Amazingly Awesome

I had to include this video first, because who would have thought that a group of girls who have to do their hair and makeup before a big day like this would have made it to the top!  Honestly though, I could not have had a better group to go with.  Tina, my sister-in-law started planning this whole thing about 4 months ago I think.  She had everything planned out perfectly including cooking a lasagna beforehand, bringing it with her so that we could have a delicious meal after the hike.  So thank you Tina for bringing us all together to make the experience a memorable one!

When I said in the previous post that I had to get things organized before posting any more, I actually meant that Garrett had to get things organized so that he could work his magic and make another one of his masterpieces.  I had seen videos of the Half Dome climb on You Tube before going, and knew that I wanted my own video to post.  So I brought the video camera and took as many shots as I could.  I had put it away right before going up the cables thinking I needed to have my hands free, but it was so slow going because of the crowds that I got it out about ten steps up and kept it around my wrist the rest of the way just incase there was anything I had to capture.   Garrett has finished his masterpiece and has posted it on You Tube and on his Web Gallery, so you can see it either place.  

I have more to write, but I have to go to work for a little while to make up for some lost hours while I was huffing and puffing up the mountain.  I will write more! 

Saturday, June 21, 2008

We Made It!

We're back safe and sound from our big adventure!  Here's just a sneak peak at a few of the views.  I have more to show and tell once I get things organized.  All I can say for now is that it was an AWESOME trip!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Half Dome Here We Come!

"My bags are packed and I'm ready to go."  I'm leaving around noon today to drive on up to Yosemite.  Catch ya later!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lego Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Kevin's been entertaining himself over the past few days with his new Indiana Jones Legos.   Check out the video Garrett made from the footage I shot of Kevin's movie.

Swimming Lessons

Every year we enroll the boys in swimming lessons and every year we think, "Is this really worth it?"  Last year Zach spent the first week on the first step of the pool (out of a two-week lesson).

This year didn't start out much better.  Zach refused to take his shirt off on his first day.  He sat on the step for the most of the first day.  Garrett and I realized he was going to need some incentive to make it worth while.  So we told him that if he was going to choose not to listen to the teacher then he would lose computer time and Super Mario Gallaxy time.  This must have gotten through to him because the next day, yesterday, not only did he do everything that the teacher asked of him, he also participated in everything at his gymnastics day camp that he went to....including painting a picture (something he has not done the entire year of preschool!)  

Here's hoping that with this new incentive we will have a new swimmer by the end of the summer!

Monday, June 16, 2008

First Day of Vacation

Vacation has officially started for Kevin.  Zach has gone off to preschool this morning while Kevin gets to stay home.  I think he is extremely excited about this, even if it's just for a few hours.  

We had another fun filled weekend, starting the weekend off with Kevin's birthday.  This was also his last day of school and his last Pack meeting of the year for Cub Scouts.  Not only did he get cupcakes at school, he also got S'mores at Cub Scouts, and birthday cake following that.  How much more sugar can we put in one kid in a day?  
Kevin made Zach an honorary Tiger Cub by giving him his "old" hat and neckerchief, seeing as he wont be needing them anymore because he's now a big, bad Wolf!

On Saturday we headed down to San Juan Capistrano where we celebrated Garrett's brother's high school graduation.  Congratulations Mike!!  Now enjoy the summer.

Sunday we celebrated Father's Day at the beach.  The boys love the beach, but it was a little cool yesterday and so by the time it was time to go both boys were shivering but insisting they still wanted to stay and play.  

Still trying to figure out some sort of schedule for the summer days so that we don't get sucked into watching t.v. for most of the morning.  I am thinking of having some crafts or different "learning" activities each morning and then we can swim in the afternoon.  It gets so hot here that parks are almost out of the question as soon as July comes around.  

And four days until the Half Dome Hike.  I am getting so excited!!  I will definitely be taking lots of pictures and posting them here when I get back.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kevin's Seven!

Happy Birthday to our big 7-year-old boy.  A little trip down memory lane in honor of Kevin!

We love you LOTS and LOTS!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Picture Party

The morning of Kevin's party and our anniversary, I decided to throw in one more thing to make our day a little more hectic.  A friend of mine was throwing a "picture party" where each family was designated a 15 minute photo shoot and you get what you get.  She was basically helping out her photographer friend who is just starting out and trying to get her name out.  (If only Maile lived around here!)  I've put in a few of the best ones here.  I definitely think we need more than 15 minutes next time, especially to get a good family portrait to hang on the wall....but the ones of the boys turned out cute!

Monday, June 9, 2008

How Many More Days Now?

The boys are always counting down something.  This time Kevin is counting down the days until his actual birthday.  His actual birthday, when he will turn into a big 7 year old!!  I can't even believe that seven years have gone by already.  He started the countdown on day 60 by making his own checkoff list at school.  But he forgets to cross days off so is still continually asking, "How many days now?"  

We had a great time celebrating his birthday over the weekend with family and friends.  I love to have the house filled with people and seeing all the kids having a blast.  The kids went swimming for all of 20 minutes I think because the pool is still really cold.  They jumped in the jumper a long time.  And then when all the kids went home Kevin recruited me to jump with him.  I was trying to jump off all the cake that I enjoyed!  

His countdown to his birthday also happens to be the same countdown to the last day of school.  The last day of first grade and then I will have a second grader on my hands.  How can all of these things be happening at once?  I am looking forward to our summer, with swimming daily, not having to rush out the door, and having some fun!  I've already almost completely filled July with activities for the boys, which wasn't my original just sorta happened that way.  Hopefully my niece, Lauren will come down to visit again sometime (hint, hint).   I have to leave some weeks just to relax and play though.....I know this summer is going to fly by!  

p.s. Anyone who took pictures on Saturday, please send some my way as my camera was not brought out once all day!  :) 

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Love and Marriage

First Comes Love.....
Then Comes Marriage......
Then Comes Baby In A Baby Carriage!

Eleven years ago today Garrett and I were married in Chico, where we both went to college.  So much has happened since then......we were just kids!  So here's to you, Garrett, and all of our years together.  I love you lots!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Breakfast Burrito

It's amazing to me how one food can bring up so many memories.  I was making breakfast burritos for Kevin and myself last week, with sausage, eggs, and cheese and all these memories of high school started coming back to me.  My junior year I was on the swim team as well as jazz choir.  In order to make all the practices my friend Heather and I would sometimes go to swim practice at 6:00 a.m. so that we would be free to go to jazz choir practice after school.  My mom would pick us up from swimming and have breakfast burritos waiting for us in the car for the ride over to school.  They always tasted so good after a hard swim.  I think I've told Kevin about this every time I make them for breakfast, which isn't very often.  And mine never taste as good as I remember them!

And just for fun I've included a picture of my old swimming sweatshirt.  I got it out to wear the other day because I was cold and needed something warm and cozy to wear.  When I put it on Garrett said, "Wow, I haven't seen that in forever!"  I used to wear it in college when Garrett and I met out on the ultimate frisbee field.  Then I realized that the sweatshirt is 17 years old!  That will make someone feel old!!  And the fact that I still have it and occasionally even wear it is proof that I need to clean out my closets. :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Relay For Life

This weekend was packed full of activities ..... all weekend long.  Can you say exhausted?  This morning Zach was laying in bed next to me and said, "mama can you turn off the talking" (meaning my radio alarm).  I hadn't even heard it turn on, and that is not like me at all.  So I guess I was in need of some extra sleep.

So here's what the weekend consisted of:  a "fun" run with the Santa Clarita Runners on Saturday morning, Kevin's last baseball game Saturday morning, Relay for Life walking in the afternoon, Kevin's baseball team party later in the afternoon, back to Relay where Kevin and I spent the night, clean up at Relay on Sunday morning, and a party for our neighbor Sunday afternoon.  I was going to try and fit in an appreciation dinner for church Sunday evening but I just couldn't do one more thing.

Let me start by telling about the "fun" run on Saturday morning.  I got an e-mail on Thursday talking about how the runners club was meeting on Sat. morning to run the Towsley Canyon loop.  This is the same hiking area that I have been going on for a few months now, ever since that whole "lost in the canyon" episode I had a while back.  So I decided to join them.  I ran as much as I could, but walked most of the uphill.  I also was trying out my new trail shoes seeing as I will be wearing them in a few weeks for the Half Dome hike.  Not smart to try them out on a six mile run, so I ended up with a small blister but not bad.  

On to the next activity.  Kevin has improved so much this season and whacked a few balls on his last game.  He has told us that he doesn't want to play again next year, but we'll see how he feels in a year.  He had fun at his team party, eating pizza and cake and being as silly as one boy can be.  

The main event of course was the Relay for Life.  As I've mentioned before, I did the relay last year and found it very moving.  The most emotional part is the luminaria ceremony where they have a speaker, someone who is dealing with cancer now, or who has dealt with it in the past.  Everyone gets a candle and we all light a candle to represent the hope that there will be a cure for cancer some day.  The whole event raise close to $500,000 and the MOMS club raised around $2,700.  Thank you to those of you who donated.  It is very much appreciated!  

And as moving as the whole event is, it's also a lot of fun.  Kevin and I spent the night in a tent there and I was signed up to walk at 11 pm.  I figured Kevin would be sleeping by then, but he was wide awake and walked with me.  He was a real trooper for most of the time there.  I think he loves having the one on one time and especially loves staying up late!  He and I were up until around 12:30.  I was supposed to walk again at 4, but the coordinator of the MOMS club gave me permission to keep sleeping if I didn't happen to wake up.....I kept on sleeping.  We were up around 5:30 though because the sun was coming up and activity was starting all around us.  I was able to come home and nap for a few hours before heading across the street to our next party on Sunday!
Here's Kevin jumping rope at 11 o'clock at night.  Endless energy!
Luminary bags in honor of or in memory of those with cancer.
And a silly Harry Potter
So, on to the next week.  We are having Kevin's birthday party next weekend so this week will be spent getting ready for that.  Oh, and in case you were wondering what happened to my Monday Check-ins......they'll be back.  July 1st I am going to really start up the running again and getting ready for that marathon.  Until then, I am keeping up on my exercise and finding different ways to get in shape.  My neighbors just finished a bet with their friends about whoever lost the most percentage of weight between the couples then the loser would buy a cruise for the other couple.  Now that's some incentive!  I'm thinking I may need to get in a bet with someone soon!