Thursday, September 27, 2012

Three brothers, two pictures



Two weddings, two babies and one mission later, there's less hair for some and more for others but they're still brothers! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I crochet, he plays

Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Marathon or, I did it! I did a hard thing!

Let me begin by saying this: 

I hate running. 

Well, that's not entirely true. But I certainly don't love running.  I never want to go running when I'm supposed to--I'm always too tired, or too lazy, or what have you.  But I do love how I feel afterwards! 

I started running a few years ago when I met Jesse.  He was a runner in high school and ran a marathon when he came back from his mission.  I had always wished I was a runner, so I asked him to go running with me and it became one of the things we did together.  Eventually we decided to run a 5k.  That was in the fall of 2008, I think, and it gave me the running bug! The next year, I ran a 10k by myself, and had a great time!  And then, I sort of forgot about running for awhile...Jesse and I would go every now and then but it wasn't something I did very consistently.  Fast forward 2 years:  I gave birth to Nikolai in January and 6 weeks later I was still hanging on to a LOT of baby weight. Breastfeeding unfortunately didn't melt off the pounds for me like it does for many women, so I decided I had to take matters into my own hands! The doctor okay-ed me for exercise and I started running again.  It was painfully slow at first, and I had to stop every few blocks to walk and catch my breath.  But I persisted!  Eventually, I decided I needed to sign up for a race so that I'd make a training plan and stick to it. (Fun fact: I don't run consistently unless I've paid money to run a race--I don't feel like it otherwise, but if I've paid money, I won't let myself waste it!) 

When I ran my first race with Jesse back in 2008, there were other runners running a half marathon.  I remember commenting to him something along the lines of "Oh man, I can't believe people would want to run so far! I can't imagine ever doing that!"  and he wisely responded, "Oh, I don't know.  Maybe you will someday!" And he was right! Sometime in the last year I got the itch to run a half marathon, in part because it seemed like the logical next step from running a 10k, and partly because it was a HARD thing and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  So I hunted around, found a race, and made a running plan!  Some days sticking to my plan was hard--I didn't feel like it a LOT of the time, and I skipped a few days of running that I shouldn't have, but overall I got the miles in that I needed to so that I'd be ready for the big day.  

My race was September 22nd, the day before Nikolai turned 8 months old.  The buses were going to leave from the finish line to take us up the canyon to the starting position between 4:30 am and 5:30 am, so I had to wake up at 3:30 am to be there in time!  I tried to go to sleep early the night before, but I was so excited about the big day that I slept terribly!  As soon as I woke up, though, I was energized and ready to go.  The race started at 6:30, and it was still dark, but as soon as the sun came up we realized that they had picked the PERFECT weekend for a run down Big Cottonwood canyon.  The leaves had all just started to change colors so the whole canyon was aglow with rich reds, yellows, oranges, greens and browns.  I decided then and there that the whole ordeal was worth it just for the view! 

Something that also made the race better was that I made a friend! Well, a running buddy ;)  Her name is Suzanne (she's the one on the edge of my pictures down there) and we were both going about the same pace so we decided to stick together.  Having someone to run with really made the whole thing easier, because I had someone to talk to and generally focused less on how tired I was, etc.  It's also from Suzanne that I learned that without makeup on and my hair pulled back, I still look 16! Yaaaaaay.  Not.  Oh well.  But I also found out that she's 55 and is on her 13th half marathon--and I can only hope that I'm in that good of shape when I'm her age! 

Here's us, probably 6 or 7 miles into the race! 

And here's me, maybe half a mile from the end!

Jesse, my dad and Nikolai were awesome and came to cheer me on at the finish line. I got so excited to see them that it gave me this great boost of energy and I sprinted to the finish! They also made me this really awesome poster: 

The race was downhill so I had a really fast (for me) finish time: 2:20 (about a 10 1/2 min. mile), and I got a finisher's medal to prove it! 

(fun fact: the little leaf in the center spins!)

All in all, it was a really great race--super fun, exciting, beautiful, and an awesome experience! It was so great that I'll definitely do it again, and Jesse and I are even going to run a marathon together one day! Wish us luck! ;)

He's 8 months old!

Well's been a month since I've posted :(  In my defense, I've been really busy! I'll hopefully get around to posting about all that later, but until then, here's an update on our sweet boy!

First, some videos!

One time a few months ago, I was giving Nikolai a bath and I sneezed--and Nikolai cracked up laughing! Apparently sneezing is funny! Since then, we've used this as a cheap way to get him to laugh :) 

Here's Nikolai in his Johnny Jump-Up--he loves it! 

And finally, Nikolai's favorite game: spitting out his baby food when we're trying to feed him!

Some stats/feats: 

-Nikolai now pulls up to stand on furniture and walks along them to get where he wants!  Occasionally he lets go and stands there for a second without holding on, but that doesn't usually last long. 

-He has FOUR teeth!  Looking back at last month's post, he didn't have any, which means he got all 4 this month.  WOW! But the good news is, he was only fussy for the first two :)  

-He loves exploring--he crawls everywhere and explores everything!  He also loves to come find us when we leave the room--frequently I leave the room to get something from the back or go to the bathroom, and when I head back to the livingroom, there he'll be in the hallway, coming to find me! It's so sweet :D

-He loves giving kisses! He still doesn't know he's supposed to close his mouth but we'll work on that one :) Something sweet he does is this:  if either of us are lying on the ground, Nikolai crawls over to us and plants his open mouth on our face to give us a kiss!  Also, related to that, he'll crawl all the way over whoever is lying on the ground.  We call it "climbing Mt. Dad."  

-His favorite things include: banging on the piano, listening to mama sing (and then laughing afterwards), babbling "dadadadadada," reading pop up books (they make him laugh!), and sitting in the grass.  

-One last funny thing he does: when he's tired, he gets really attached to whatever thing he's holding, and if you try to take it away (it doesn't matter what it is) he'll scream.  He's also really good at holding on to items without you noticing, so frequently we'll be in the middle of changing his diaper before we notice he's still holding my phone or the tv remote! The other day, we went to pick him up from his nap, and found him like this: 

Oh yes, that's the remote.  And yes, he's cuddling it like a teddy bear.  Sweet boy. 

And lastly, two pictures: one funny, one sweet: 

Thanks for being ours, little boy! We love you!

Self-reliance has its down sides

There are pros and cons to making your own baby food.  

Pros include:
-knowing what your baby is actually eating
-it's way cheaper
-it's fun
-it tastes better

Cons must therefore include: 

-removing the emulsion blender from the pureed sweet potatoes while it is still blending and making a mess all over

Good thing I was already wearing orange!