Thursday, June 24, 2010


I have always wanted to do a triathlon.  A friend told me about this Tri For Fun series in Plesanton and I decided to give it a shot.  Going into it though I found myself feeling so anxious and a bit nervous.  I hate feeling unprepared and even less, dealing with the unknown.  I had zero expectations or goals for this one.  I just wanted to get my feet wet, and get a feel for how it all works.  So for those of you who might be contemplating an event such as this, follow along and just TRI to imagine what it was like for me.
TRI to imagine rows of bikes hanging by their seats, with little piles underneath them.  Painstakingly organized by the order in which the competitors will need them in.  Socks, riding cleats, helmets, snacks, running shoes, i pods, knee braces visors, towels.
Next imagine a strong wind blowing and swarms of first timers lining the "beach" listening to a vetran and training coach giving a detailed explination on how it all will work.
Now TRI to imagine everyone stripping down into skintight nothingness...(okay maybe don't try to imagine it, but there will be no photo's of this stage of the event) and then walking barefoot through goose poo over to the starting point at the lake.  They are let into the water in various waves determined by gender and age, and the let loose to swim a quarter of a mile.  Swimming is a very loose term for what really happens here though.  If you dare to swim and TRI a real stroke you will likely end up with a fist full of leg, and a mouthfull of goose poop soup or warm lake water, again you can call it whatever you want, the reality is still the same.  Pure grossness.  We splashed through the water around two big ball shaped bouys and headed back onto shore with aching arms.

TRI to remember to take off your swim cap and goggles as you race back to your bike where your towel is waiting, in perfect order.  Feet are quickly dried and shoved into socks and shoes, helmets are buckled onto wet heads, and for some shirts with your racing number are thown on.  Everyone jumps onto their bikes as soon as they have left the transition area and begin to fight the wind on the 11 mile course.  People of all shapes and sizes most of them with wet bums in the air climbing hills and peddling as fast as their legs will let them.

After rounding the last turn and heading back into the park, bikes are placed back onto the racks and the next perfectly laid out pile is put to use.  Ipods, knee braces, and running shoes are on and its time for a run.  TRI to imagine your legs are really there underneath the rest of your body and do your best to make them move.  They may just feel like a bunch of jello, but no worries, they'll be your regular old legs again, just give them about a quarter of a mile!  Imagine running on a trail that makes 3 figure 8's and is three miles long.  It's a bit nuts trying to figure out just where to go and whats over the next hill, but if you follow the crowd, eventually the destination and the finish are reached.
TRI to remember the intensity will only last 1 hour and 20 minutes, that you can make some new friends along the way, and when it's all said and done, there is a McDonalds just around the corner that is still selling sausage and egg McMuffins!   See it wasn't so bad, in fact it was pretty darn fun!  There are two more this summer one in July and one in August, come TRI it out!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pinewood Traditions

Every spring there is the most fierce competition throughout every LDS community.  There are techniques handed down from generation to generation.  Secrets, methods and strategy.  Dad’s scramble home from work and pull out their tools.  They’ll say its for their sons, but lets be honest this is all about the dads.  
It’s the Pinewood Derby!  Every dad who can remember racing their own car down that track, can also remember the thrill of the win or the blow of defeat.  Years later, armed with their own tools and a much better understanding of the laws of physics they are ready to give it another go.  All in the name of their sons of course.
The track set up and methods of determining the various heats, lane selections, and what order this all happens in can be the cause of more than a few heated “discussions”.  There is ALWAYS at least one child in tears by the end of the event.  
 The awards can be huge trophies, medals, certificates, or a firm handshake.  It doesn’t even matter.  Bragging rights are the reward these racers are after.  
Of course none of them will tell you any of this is true, and in the end they are all good sports.  They shake your hand and give you that smile, but if  you look closely you can still see the thrill or defeat in their eyes.  Better luck next year...and the tradition continues...
*not that this is exactly the way it goes down in my house, but rather a broad generalization, and not necessesarily a negetive one, just one that is entertaining when you are on the outside looking in!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


A converted garage.  
Seven friends with 3 year old daughters, busy schedules and zero interest in a co-op preschool.  
The most incredible teacher; beautiful, sweet, creative, and talented beyond belief.  

Together we got way more than we bargained for.
Two years later, and its over. 
Darling songs and dances. 
Amazing art projects, and sweet stories.  
Our daughters know their letters and sounds and have started to read things.  
They are confident and have strong friendships.  
They have another incredible woman to learn from, emulate, and love. 

They are ready for kindergarten
I just don’t know that I’m quite ready to let it all go! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Really, can't it just be as simple as getting into the car and going on vacation?  Nope, not for this crew anyway!  Last week I loaded up the boat with all of our camping gear and Jeff tied it all down.  He felt like he could use a bit more rope but for some reason we just loaded up and left for Whiskeytown Lake.  About an hour into the drive my big red duffle bag with all of my clothes and swim suits etc. took a detour!  It blew out of the boat and exploded onto the freeway!
The boys told Jeff that a lady in the car next to them was trying to get his attention.  (I was driving Jeff's car and was about 30 minutes ahead of them)  By the time the realized what had happened my bag was 2 miles back!  Pulling the boat with all of the gear made the recovery mission a little slower than we would have liked.  Jeff found the next exit, turned around and went back the opposite direction on the freeway, spotting my bag and a few loose articles of clothing and four pair of underwear spread across the freeway!
He took the next off ramp and got back onto the freeway, heading towards my clothes.  Just as he was pulling up to where my bag was, a CHP officer loaded it into his patrol car and drove off!!  Jeff had to chase him down to get my bag, then start the whole loop again to retrieve my loose articles.  A few of them had found new homes...
When we met up in the Target parking lot to buy more rope, I couldn't believe how trashed my bag was. The zipper was totally detached, there was a rip in the side, the handle was broken off and the rolling portion was destroyed.  The saddest part though was my shoes, they lost their bling!
Sometimes it seems like all we can do just to arrive at our destination in one piece!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eagles Peak...Practically

Sometimes, I feel like getting up at O dark thirty just for fun.  Then I like to drive off into the mountains in the very back of a minivan where I can be offered mini pretzels at least 10 times while listening to Wham-rap and trying not to get car sick for the first time ever.  Valuable lessons can be learned in these kinds of settings.  Like how carrying a bowling ball in your trunk just might help to get dinner on the table, not to stand at the bottom of the stairs at Bryan's parents house, the importance of good knot tying, and a few hair pointers on grooming and accessorising with ribbons.
There are lots of things to consider when making a trip like this. For example are your hiking companions too old to be exercising like this, if Blues Clues stripes are really the best option, where you should go for a massage afterwards, and exactly where all the bags of cookies are being carried.  Another important thing to decide is where you are going.  Lucky for us, our trail had a few options.
Don't pay a bit of attention to the distances noted in the sign though.  Really that's just there as a reference point, we are much better at calculating distances.  We figure we hiked 10 miles maybe even 12 to Yosemite Point.  That includes bonus distance for having intentions of hiking to Eagle Peak. 
 If it wasn't for those backpackers, who looked way too clean to have been out for a few days, telling us we couldn't have made it there without compass and a GPS, we would have made the treck to Eagle Peak.  Well, maybe them and the fact that Corey was so opinionated and practically forced us to go to Yosemite Point.  The tall guy wouldn't even tell us what he thought, but either way, the views were spectacular!
Hiking is one of the best times to solve the worlds problems.  We discussed how pleased we  are with our childrens productivity these last few weeks in school, how much we love the attendance policies the government has given us for our childrens education, and extolled the virtues of Chinese Massage parlors.
We are always grateful for fellow hikers who are kind enough to take our picture at the vista points and kinder still to re take the pictures because some people can't keep their things out of other peoples faces.  
Sometimes making decisions can be the worst.  I mean Lancaster is okay for the summer, but then really where do you go from there?  It doesn't really matter that you still have a few years before that choice must be made, is it ever too soon to think of these things? Another really tough one is what to name your first born.  That discussion can go on for hours and is a favorite of most husbands. Bryan especially.  They were so grateful we were all there to help them really think things through from an unbiased standpoint.  
One decision that wasn't hard to make was where to stop for lunch!  Corey and Kirsten pulled up on the best piece of real estate on the rock and were into their sandwiches before we made it down the steps!
Lunch on a hike always tastes better than lunch at home.  You seem to appreciate it so much more.  Thats why it was such a BUMMER when Reed finally figured out where his cookies were! 
Good thing Bryan is a strict carnivore.  He still had a bag of cookie crumbles to share! Whatta champ!
With our tummies full and our bodies ready for a good nap on the rocks, we did what all reasonable people do, we got up and hiked!  Over the river and through the woods...
(thats the top of Upper Yosemite Falls)
We are pretty tough though and needed a bit of a challenge.  Maybe not as big as Eagle Peak, even though we totally could have done it without the GPS and compasses, probably even blindfolded, if only Corey would have let us.  We'll never know though... nevertheless, we marched on to Yosemite Point
We did come a cross some snow, and there were even a few spots where we weren't exactly sure where our trail was.   But every good hiker knows to look for ducks when you get into these kind of situations. Dont worry we found one. A really big one.
And as every good game player knows after finding enough ducks, you're bound to find a GOOSE!
Just hope you don't run into this one on the way down the hill. Some sights can really be disturbing.  Especially for mothers in law.  Fathers in law can sometimes be a handful!
Especially when they take off down the side of a steep mountain running behind shirtless men with webbed feet, dragging thier sunrise buddies with them, and leaving you with a pregnant woman,  3 older women who can't even shop at all the stores they want to anymore, and carrying two packs!!
Not that Bryan minded though.  He enjoys nothing more than hiking with his lovely bride!  Well maybe hiking with his lovely bride, a nice slice of meat and a little Blues Clues are in a three way tie, but hey who's keeping track anyway?
At last we made it to the top of Yosemite Point.  It was totally worth it!

We only lost one pair of sunglasses, a few hundred calories from laughing, a pair of shorts, a gallon of sweat, and a couple of husbands for a short time.  We found slippery rocks, a few hundred mosquitos,  amazing views,  unwanted tan lines, filthy dreadlocks, sunburned necks, delicious Mexican food, and frienships worth seeing the sunrise.

And that is why sometimes I like to get up at O dark thirty.  It really can be fun!

**In all fairness since many of you don't know Corey...this depiction of him couldn't be further from the truth...just gotta give the guy a hard time.  He's easy going and wouldnt tell us which route he wanted to take!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


My Memorial Day weekend was not without a trip to the lake after all!  We spent the afternoon with the McCauleys and the Rickards families at Millerton Lake.  Here are the highlights of the day.
Cutest "Non Couple"
Hottest Mom
Best Sleepy Heads
Best Time Hangin' with Dads
Cutest Novice Tubers
Best Wipe Outs
Happiest Faces
Why do you Hate Me?
Best faces of Concentration
Sweetest Jump on the Surf Board
Best way to make up for not being at Whiskeytown!