Well the first 10 miles weren't bad

As I'm sure you were all too well aware, yesterday I ran my first half marathon. I even managed to talk three of my girlfriends into running it with me. One of them had to drop out due to injuries, but it really worked out to our benefit because she was our hostess for the weekend.

Michelle flew in from California just to run with us and Mike & Brenna were so sweet to have all of us and our families to their house for a pasta party the night before. Even though she couldn't run she still wanted to cheer us on. Then, yesterday morning at 6:45 the remaining 3 of us set off for Schnepf Farms and London's Run.This is after the 13.1 miles. I can assure you that we looked like super models before we started.

We started off just talking and getting passed by everyone until about mile 4 where Rickie whispered, "We're finally passing people!" By mile 6 everyone was done talking and Rickie and Michelle turned on their music, but I actually like just thinking to myself for awhile, so I focused on trying to pass people. The course is on a farm and it had rained the day before, the ground was muddy making the path really thin at some points. Somewhere around mile 7 and 8 and trying to jut in and out in between people I lost Rickie and Michelle and ended up running my own race. I didn't even turn on my ipod until mile 10 because I was feeling really great, but around mile 11 I started feeling it. By mile 12 I was ready to be done. That last mile went on forevvvver. I probably should have pushed myself a little more, but I was OVER IT! I did manage to sprint to the finish and my official times was 1:57.04, so just under 9 minute miles. I was really happy with it being my first half marathon and all.

The sad part was. . . my family missed my finish. They were planning on heading over to the finish line at 2 hours flat. Dustin did manage to get Michelle at the end of her run.
They even had flowers and a poster for me :( Oh well, it's the thought that counts.
London's Run is a fantastic race because it pretty low key and family oriented. While we were running our husbands brought the kids down for a big pancake breakfast and took them around to all the attractions. There are bouncy housesbull rides, animals to pet, slidescrafts (Nate and Daven with their awesome "man bracelets")face painting, raffles, a helicopter and a whole lot of people you knew from way back when. I ran into two friends from college (Brooke and Sandra) and an old neighbor (Amy) who all ran the half and then two of my girl friends (Sarah and Meredith) both ran the 10K.I'm so proud of Meredith who had never run more than a mile in her life until November!

I'm so grateful to have such an amazing support system to go through this with. Dustin never complained when I took off forever on a Saturday morning and helped me on my quest for the comfiest shoes and socks and the music I liked running to the best. He even lugged 4 kids down to cheer me on. Even this guy: And of course the best girlfriends who spent every Saturday with me and hours on the treadmill because of me. There is no way I would have done this without those people by my side. I love you guys!!

Up next. . . ?? Any suggestions? It will feel weird to go to the gym on Monday with no real goal.


Things were getting hairy

So Luke's hair grows one way -- straight up. Actually, it grows sort of up and back creating the perfect fuzzball of hair. People loved to touch and rub his little static shock head. They asked me if I've ever cut it because it is a perfect little helmet of even length hair. I tried putting gel in it to give it little spikes, but it just sort of sprung back up into it's normal "do." Then one night Dustin informs me that we need to buzz Luke's head because he's starting to look goofy. I think my face looked like this: WHAT? You want to shave our baby's perfect little head? But he's so adorable (in a goofy sort of way).

Thursday night my neighbor offered to watch the kids so I could catch the PTO meeting and when I came back to pick up the kids we were talking about Luke's hair. Nonchalantly I toss out, "Dustin wants to BUZZ it," expecting her to be as horrified as I am. She kind of nods and says, "I can see that." WHAT??? So we start talking about how thin it is and how it will grow in a lot thicker and evener if we shave and I decided to bite the bullet and cut it at that exact minute. Literally that minute. I made her go get the clippers and buzz Luke's hair right then and there.

Nate summed up my feelings perfectly, "I miss Luker's old hair, but he sure looks handsome to me." Thanks Casey for doing it for me on my little impulsive whim. I still love that little noggin and now you can really focus on his adorable little face.


You've Had a Birthday Shout Hooray

January seems to be a really lazy month for me if you couldn't tell from my lack of blogging. However, today the rain is pouring and after surviving the trip for well-checks (Nate and Sadie) on the freeway where no one knows how to drive (case in point we passed two accident on the way there) in rush hour traffic, I've decided to stay home for the rest of the day. As I was loading the 3 kids into the car during a heavy downpour I was kicking myself for not owning an umbrella. And it doesn't look like it will let up anytime soon.

Sooo. . . Sadie had a birthday. She's THREE!
To celebrate we ate lots of bad food. And I threw her a party. I took her to the store to pick out stuff for her party and she just couldn't decide on a theme because she wanted ALL of it Now Sadie is a girl who knows what she wants and she knows how to get it, so we ended up with three of her favorites: Princesses, Ponies and Pet Shops.

The best way to throw a party for a 3 year old is to 1) Not invite too many kids and 2) Child labor. Ellie and her friend Hailey were *dying* to help out and were the best little helpers.

We did have one little Prince and he was so sweet to play along with the girls. Probably because we gave him a sword.

Sadie could not believe everyone was there for just her. Her face was so sweet when everyone was singing. It's hard to be the third sometimes - you've got to fight to get attention. Somehow Sadie manages to survive ;P
And then she was ESTATIC to open her gifts. Lots of My Little Pony and a SPECIAL thank you to Aunt Molly for buying the Pony house she's been dying for. It is really big with lots of small pieces. I guess that is the privilege of being my oldest friend -- you get away with presents like that.
Happy Birthday gorgeous! We love you and all the spunk you bring to our family!!

And in other news. . . Olivia Madelyn had her very first birthday (ie her ACTUAL birth day). She arrived on Sunday and is absolutely gorgeous. I am dying to hold her. Only 2 more weeks! EEK!



Well it's been awhile Nothing too exciting going on, but enough to keep us on our toes. You know how it is once the kids are back in school: You're busy, but you're not quite sure what on earth you're busy doing? I remember in High School my mom asked me to put my laundry away and I looked at her and asked, "What on earth do you DO all day?" Oh how funny it seems now.

Just the homework, the dressing, the driving, driving back, driving someone else somewhere else, packing lunches, friends, gym, laundry, laundry, laundry, feeding, feeding again, feeding the baby, reading stories, reading scriptures, building legos, playing ponies, vacuuming, mopping floors, wiping counters, wiping noses, wiping bums. . . there is always someone or something needing attention. Usually more than just one. Some days it's overwhelming but most days I still remember how lucky am I that I get to be their mom.

I never did put up pictures from Ellie's ballet recital.

Too bad she doesn't love dancing because she looks gorgeous doing it! She wants to try something new this winter.

Everyone is recovering form the gunk. Luke, of course, got it the worst and in typical Luke fashion ended up at the Doctor's office for hours trying to get his oxygen up to appropriate levels so he wouldn't have to be admitted to the hospital. He also picked the week Dustin was out of town because he really likes the drama.

Still no appearance from my soon-to-be-born niece, Olivia Madelyn Skinner. It's my sister's birthday and since she's sort of OBSESSED with her birthday, I thought for sure Olivia would make her grand entrance today. Unfortunately, Olivia does not seem to have the same sick humor as I do and she has decided to give her mom at least one last day to be the center of attention. So. . .
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS! Just a few things you should know about my sister's childhood:
1. I circled the day she would be born on the calendar. It was also during the worst snowstorm Chicago had seen for 10 years.
2. Because I was 7 years older than her, I would get up and change her diaper in the middle of the night while my mom made a bottle.
3. She wore boxer shorts under her dresses to Church because she was the ultimate tom boy.
4. My mom made her wear her hair in braids every day. At least she didn't insist on chopping it short like a boy like she did for me.
5. She was obsessed with horses and dolphins. A few years later it was the Olsen twins.
6. One time during sacrament meeting she was playing with her Cinderella paper dolls and she quoted the line, "LUCIFER! Come here," quite loud during the actual sacrament.
7. She has quite the talent for making signs.
8. Strange love for fake food and of course a totally understandable love for ABBA.
9. Hates tomatoes and tomato sauce and will not touch paper towels.
10. She is the BEST SISTER EVER!

Everyone should be so lucky to have a sister who is as clever and witty as mine. I know for sure I'll never be bored if she's around. Thanks for always making me laugh and for loving my kids like your own. She is the most fantastic writer and one day I can't wait to buy copies of her book for all of my friends (as long as I get to be a character). I hope you're getting spoiled rotten and sometime in the midst of all your celebrating, you'll find time to return my phone call (only joking . . . sort of). LOVE YOU SCUTTLEBUTT!


Happy New Year from the Invalid Ward

Yesterday started off great. Everyone slept in, made it to the gym, Ellie had a friend over all day, 75% of shopping at Target (with 5 kids and I didn't die), making cookies/brownies/meatballs, party at the Haymonds. . .
Good friends, lots of food, Band Hero (including Taylor Swift for Sadie), Mafia, Apples to Apples (where Chloe and Ellie actually killed the rest of us). . . All was good until bout 11 pm Nate comes into where the adults are playing games and lays down on the couch where he proceeds to hack up a lung. Literally. It was one of those coughing fits where he ended up throwing up his mucous. Poor kid.

So we rang in the New Year trying to pack up the car to get everyone home and into bed, get humidifiers set up, breathing treatments, meds. . . Poor Nate. He did manage to get a popper off before we headed home to the sick bed.

Luke's got some sort of croup-y crud, too. He's being a champ though and still just sitting around playing with toys. Just sleeping a lot. He slept through quite the ruckus last night.All in all, I can't complain. 2009 was a great year for our family! We were so blessed.

It was also kind of a turning point for me:
* I had my fourth, and last, baby
* Dustin and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary
* 5 years in our house (and possibly the longest I've ever lived in one house)
* I turned 30

I guess it's time to say good bye to all those "young life" mile stones and start welcoming middle life.

And this year is already looking great too! Just in the next 2 months I've got a new niece coming, a half marathon, a trip to visit my sister, a trip to Hawaii with no kids and a visit from my parents. Bring on 2010!!