Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Berries and Cream

Anyone who has spent any time at our home or on vacation with us in the last few years, undoubtedly knows about Jeff's little confection.  Fresh raspberries and blueberries that he freezes, marshmellows that he leaves out in the open to achieve that perfectly semi stale consistency, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of Nestle Quick powder usually used for making chocolate milk.
These ingredients are carefully layered in a styrofoam cup and then placed in the freezer for another 30 minutes before this little treat meets Jeff's standard of perfection.  The making and partaking of this confection is a nightly ritual at our home.  Like most of us when we find something we love, Jeff is eager to tell everyone about his little treat, and he'd be thrilled to make one for you if you're willing to try it. (I have yet to try one) While there is a long standing debate in our home as to whether or not this is actually low fat or considered healthy, I do agree that there are much worse things he could be hooked on.
My newest "Kristin" or helper/nanny is Diana.  One day after watching Jeff make his treat and listening to him extoll the virtues of his berries and cream her face lit up.  "Jeff is the guy from the Starburst commercial!! Totally!!!" She then shared this video with me on my Facebook Wall.
I think she nailed it! 

Friday, October 19, 2012


A sad little laugh escaped my mouth as I came padding in from the office with my laptop under my arm, and looked at the arsenal on my nightstand.  Ready to hunker down into my covers and escape into my happy place I was armed with all the necessities. Books, laptop, double stuft Oreos, and a mug of milk for dunking purposes.  The thought that preceded the laugh was, "Well that looks like trouble!"

The message on my mug hit home for me tonight.  The friend who gave it to me is exactly that kind of good friend who sticks with you until you are unstuck.  Sometimes I am just plain dumb, and on occasion I really blow it.  I am so grateful for a friend who sees me with all of my flaws and loves me still. I'm sure I don't deserve it.

We all cope in different ways with the things we get stuck in.  I have a few I tend to rely on.  Sleep, the master of all escapes, chocolate, exercise, retail therapy and just staying busy.  Tonight I read a great  blog post that I could so relate to.  It was titled "Busy; My Drug & My Defense".  I highly recommend the read.  But for tonight, busy isn't my problem. In fact quite the opposite. Tonight is a milk and cookies kind of night.  It's a loose myself in a book after some time on my computer kind of night.  I have all day tomorrow for busy.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Hiking the trail to Half Dome never gets old
While we may be past the prime age for shopping at Charlotte Russe, our bodies are still not too old to make this trip.  I hope they never are. 
Corey and Reed may bicker like an old married couple, but they never seem to tire of each others company
Never underestimate the power of a good cookie and water break along the trail
You'd never see us smiling like Shelley without them!
Shelley never needs to worry about anything when she's got her guy around, he always takes good care of her!
When I look at the dome from so far away it seems like we'll never get there!
You'll never be too old to heed your mother's advice not to get too close to the edge
Somehow the Greenlaws manage to never use the "facili-trees" out here. They just find a comfy tree to hang out on while the rest of us see what kind of pretty potties we can find.
"You mean that sign that says we can never go any further with out a permit? Yeah, we're not doing that!"  Luckily Reed worked his magic on a friendly ranger and they agreed on a swap for getting us to the top without permits!
Never let the mouth piece of your Camelback loose, those dribbles can really be embarrassing!
"Jen, we never did come across that flat spot you said was up here!"
Towering above a granite landscape, with branches reaching out on just one side, a single pine tree never seemed so defiant.
The view of the granite peaks seems never ending
You might never understand just how reassuring a set of sticks and a helping hand can be, until you have climbed the countless rocky stairs along this trail.
Never forge your way up the cables on Half Dome unless the sky is clear blue like it was for us on this gorgeous September day.
Kirsten has never smiled more while climbing up the cables. Between all the compliments she was getting and the up close and personal moments with some hikers smelling less than desirable, it was all any of us could do to keep a straight face!   
No matter how hard you try, you can never capture in a picture just how steep these cables really are.
  It was Kirsten's third hike to the top, but she'd never noticed that straight down drop on that cliff back there before! 
No matter how many times you've hiked to the top though, you should never pass up an opportunity to snap a picture of you and your lovely bride on top of the world.
Reed spent his time on top engaged in the sport of people watching.  That form of entertainment never gets old.  
In just two days she'd been told she looked young, fit, tough, and that she had a million dollar smile.  They probably meant to tell her she looked tan too.  You can never be mad at that!
Never try to just walk right up to this prime picture taking point at the top of Half Dome.  You probably won't notice unless you look really hard, but we learned there is always a long line of hikers waiting their turn, and they don't take kindly to cutters!
Corey almost never looked up while climbing down.  He's seen what's up there and he says he isn't interested...Whatever, I'm not buyin' it!
I determined I should never look up at Kirsten while on the cables because the faces she made as hikers passed her on the way up were hysterical! I thought she was going to have to ask some of them for their names! She had me laughing so hard I was worried I'd fall!
Shelley opted to wait at the base of the cables this year.  I've never wanted to quote a line from a movie as badly as I wanted to shout out to her the fat german accented caterpillar line from Bugs Life, "You all look like tiny little ants from way up here!" Yep, sometimes I act like I'm 7!
I never knew that we weren't supposed to leave gloves at the base of the cables for other hikers to use.  They consider it littering!
And I never would have guessed that carrying all those gloves back down to the ranger could be our permit-less price of admission to the top of Half Dome.  Nice negotiating Reed!
Shelley never cracked her book open while she was waiting for us to get back down, she just lounged on the rock like a lizard and took in the sights.
Checking to see if the marmots left him any snacks in his pack.  You never know with how aggressive they are up here!  At least this time they didn't eat any holes in our packs!
I'll never turn down an opportunity to spend the day with these two sweet friends!
You've never seen two girls so giddy from laughter and happier to be done with the gravely winding staircase of the sub dome.
You never know when the need for a nap or "just resting your eyes" will strike.  
Never pass up an opportunity to rest for a minute or two.  The joy is in the journey...
But never ask Corey if he wants to rest by the waters edge, he's had traumatic experiences in the past.
You'll never hear me recommending anyone hiking half dome with just two hours of sleep.  I may be wearing a half smile here, but I was a bit delirious!
In all of my trips to Yosemite, I've never seen the mist trail quite so dry.

I would never take fashion advise from this guy! Not only could you smell him from 10 feet away, but his bright orangey yellow shirt was tucked in at the waist and sticking out through his zipper!!!!!
Never a dull moment...Kirsten's stalker boyfriends from the cables, the sun screened albino on the way back down, Reed making besties with another group of random strangers, the bears we never saw, and laughter that never stopped.
Never a bad way to spend the day!

Friday, October 5, 2012

I'm Comin' For You!

In just over 24 hours I will be riding in a yellow school bus 26.2 miles into the mountains north of St. George Utah. The skies will still be an inky blue and all the sane people of the world will be tucked into their beds. I will be confirming  for the 4th year in a row that I am crazy. Crazy enough to think I can get my legs to carry me all the way back down into the city.  I have made this trip a few times now, but this year is different. This year I am ready.
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning 5 days a week and ran.  I got in every single long run.  I had friends who pushed me, made me laugh, and trained with me.  This year I have no injuries.  No excuses. Three years ago my knee gave out. Two years ago I didn't train enough. Last year I didn't have enough fuel to get my body to the finish line.  For three years I have been chasing the dream of running this race all the way through. From the time I enter the lottery in March until the race day in October, this marathon is hovering around in my head.  I endure scorching hot runs, and sleepless nights just to prepare.   I am not as fit or as fast as I was 3 years ago, when I first determined to run this race, but I am ready nonetheless.

I am not alone in this quest.  Billy and Janelle, Corey, Reed and Shelley, some of my favorite crazies, will be out there running the course too.  But the goal and the expectations I've set are mine alone.  I run for me, and compete only against myself.  This is the year I will finally be up to the task.  St George Marathon, I'm coming for you!