Meanwhile they started the 3 mile run.And the 1 mile fun run, which all of my kids ran.No pictures of Ellie and Caroline, but I'm sure they had fun. Nate ran with his best friend Daven. That morning when I asked him if he was excited he said, "No! We should have trained!" He still did great. Look at those adorable pink cheeks! My lifelong BFF, Molly, ran with Sadie who took a sprint/run approach. I guess the whole time she kept saying, "If we just pass those people we'll win!" Well they did! And then Sadie yelled, "WE WON!"
Two of my extra amazing girlfriends, Tia and Julie, do not enjoy running, but they were so sweet to offer up their services and run some kids' games.When Luke got bored of ruining the parachute for everyone, he decided that maybe he should run the Fun Run too. I am grateful Mike saved him from the canal.
Back to our race. . . I think when things thinned out, Dustin and I were 8th and 9th. 2 miles in we passed our first two runners. VICTORY! Oh wait, they were 9 & 11. But they were seriously FAST! I can't believe they ran the whole thing. About 3 miles in, one of the Young Men got a cramp, so we passed him and then I noticed runner number 4 was slowing down. My competitiveness took over and I had to sacrifice running with my husband to pass him. I was convinced he was behind me the entire time, but Dustin passed him too. I came in #4 (first girl!) at 50:11 and Dustin was right behind me (#5 at 53:03). I am so proud of him!!
I am also grateful to everyone who helped out! My heart always over flows with gratitude when I think of this race. All the people who helped plan, brought snacks for the food table, entertained my kids so Dustin and I could run together, came out with their families, took pictures, donated food and clothes to the Food Bank we sponsored this year. . . I am so lucky to know the BEST people.
And of course a HUGE shout out to my husband who always gets suckered into my grand plans. He booked the park, helped make pies for prizes, colored in my route marker signs, left at 5:30 am to put them all up, dealt with the world's worst locks and everything else I throw at him. I am so lucky to have him and I know I don't deserve him!!
And of course I can't wait for next year. I think we're baptizing Nate that weekend too. Should be crazy!
I felt like we were running around like crazy when they were here, but maybe going anywhere with three 2 year olds feels like that. We went to our neirghborhood park, Tumbleweed Park, Joe's Farm Grill, breakfast at the Chandler airport, dinner with Doug's family, lots of running, Thanksgiving, and then getting ready for Christmas.
Zoe was very excited about Christmas and when she saw a Christmas tree she said, "I need one of those." And since they are moving across the country in a week, we decided we needed to give her a tree! So Dustin hauled out the tree and even let her put the star on the top.And since Dustin had gotten the tree out, why not destroy the house a little more and get all of Christmas up?Then we had a little mini-Christmas and opened some presents before we pushed the car off for California. We miss those sweet little faces!! I felt like a Laura Numeroff book because once I got one Christmas thing out, it was a like a frenzy to get it all done. Got my Christmas cards printed and addressed (just need a letter, BLAH!), got up all the decorations, finished up all of my shopping, got everything planned for the class parties. . . now I'm just waiting for December 1st to hit so I can use all the advent calendars!!
Maddy Rogers was born quickly. This detail may seem irrelevant, but that just means you don't know Maddy Rogers. From the very moment she entered this world she was exhibiting some strangely subhuman behavior-- the ability to do things at the most rapid of paces. What takes you an hour will take her a minute and what takes you a minute, she has already done.
She was born in Portland, Oregon to really attractive parents, no surprise there, Maddy Rogers is gorgeous. From there her attractive family state hopped for awhile before they decided to start continent hopping-- Korea, Austria and then BYU, oh my!
Maddy spent her youth in really embarrassing haircuts forced upon her by her mother. She also participated in some unique extracurriculars like ribbon dancing and sibling rivalries. When she was seven years old her very favorite person was born, her sister!
Maddy went to international schools, this she credits for making her a genius. Do not ask her to measure distances: inches, miles and yards will make her eyes unwillingly cross. Fun fact: she is the only one in her entire family with perfect eyesight!
Many people wonder if there is anything Maddy is NOT good at. The answer is... No. Her high school yearbook will show her smiling face on at least fifteen pages: model un, plays, cross country, honors societies, most talkative, biggest flirt, cutest person ever... You get the drill.
She did have detention once. It involved a paper airplane.
She took her SATs in the Slovak republic. She backpacked through Europe. Her hotel room was under video surveillance in Russia. She delivered a baby naturally. She is a superhero, seriously. She can’t remember the last time she ate a bagel.
She graduated high school without a driver's license and headed off to her holy land,
-- Provo, Utah. She is a true blue cougar. She will cut herself so you can see her bleed blue. This is not a joke.
While at BYU she met her giant husband by offering to let him host her birthday party in his apartment. They were married in the Idaho Falls Temple and had a backyard reception complete with barbecue and a mariachi band. Just kidding, they wanted the band but someone in the chain of command nixed it. Thankfully.
Maddy then started teaching fourth grade but decided to pop out their first baby (the gorgeous Ellie Rogers) smack dab in the middle of the school year. Okay, April... She finished out the year. She cleverly had the infant Ellie Rogers poop on grandma's Rolex so it would be gifted to Ellie in the will.
From then on she took on the task of being the world's greatest mother ever. Nate, the handsome, was born the day they moved into their current house involving a hilarious incident with taco bell, the famous Sadie came a few years later and then fireball Luke brings up the rear.
If you've ever been in the Rogers' home, you know it is a place full of love, laughter, volume and charisma. A lot of volume. Maddy is selfless and makes everything she does a little better. When she isn't baking goodies for her family and a small third world country she is volunteering at her kid's school, organizing the most fantastic of parties, running thirty miles at the gym and then outside, starting book clubs, teaching her children the gospel and school-esque things and somehow finding time to serve others.
There isn't enough time in a short synopsis to even begin to list her innumerable fantastic qualities or all the interesting facts in her life or go into detail on the question on everyone's mind-- when DID she get her driver's license??
Most people who have spent a minute with her love her and if you've sent five minutes with her you love, love her. Her energy for life really is superhuman and it is contagious. In the fifth grade her sister wrote her "hero" essay on Maddy... Nothing has changed! Although let it be known Maddy explained a certain puberty related condition to her sister in such grotesque terms that when her sister experienced said condition she had no clue it was actually happening…
If you don't know Maddy, you're missing out. And if you don't know her four incredible children, I'm sure you've at least heard them, you should probably offer to babysit them... They're pretty awesome themselves.
Lukas Magukas is a very opinionated child. Do not cross him. He will cut you. Luke will never actually like you. He will tolerate you if you are lucky. In order to help you accomplish the feat of becoming "tolerable", here is a list of things to NEVER do to Luke:
- Take away his iPhone. Oh wait, that's mine that he's taken over to watch Spanish YouTube videos of "Cars Two."
- Try to take a bite of any food he will be eating. He does not share.
- Talk to him at Church. He will scream and then *I* will cut you.
- Watch anything on the TV other than Pocoyo.
- Forbid him from riding around the neighborhood alone on the pink Barbie scooter that he stole from Sadie.
- Try to give him a high five at the store.
- Tell him, "No," try to put him to bed, change his diaper, take him shopping . . .
So Nate is having. . .the BEST WEEK EVER (is that show still on?). Not literally the best week ever, but it's been pretty good.
- He beat the turkey at the school Turkey Trot.
- He got all E's and 100s (ok a few 99s) on his Progress Report.
- His mom bought him Sugar Cookie Pop Tarts (I have never bought my kids Pop Tarts before in their entire lives).
- They're watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 2) tonight while I'm at the movies watching the world's worst end to a saga. Oh wait, there's also a part two to Breaking Dawn. It might not be the worst.
- He brought home the words to the songs for his winter concert and locks himself in his room for half an hour every night to practice singing them.
- We were watching Survivor together and he told me, "I would never go on Survivor. You know why? I would miss my family."
- He wrote his Christmas list and right after a long list of Ninjago Legos is: CASH.
- I asked him what I should write on the blog about him and his two contributions were, "My nickname is Nater Tater" and "I still haven't gotten to be the Star Student at school yet.
The other day Sadie decided to give her thumb up. It may have been because Ellie told her she would have to get braces and couldn't eat gummy worms. Or it could have been because I bought a La La Loopsy doll at Target an told her she could have it when she stopped sucking her thumb. But she gave it up.
I've tried to get her to do it multiple times before, but she appeared to also be lacking the will power gene. BUT, for some reason, it's magically working this time. She's gone FOUR days without sucking it. Could this really be? I'm really proud of her but slightly incredulous. Is she taking off the bandaids off at night when I'm not looking?? When she goes to the bathroom is she getting a quick fix? This girl LOVES (loved?) her thumb. It had blisters and cracks from being sucked so much. And now. . . nothing?
I keep randomly walking up to her and feeling her thumbs. So far they're dry. Except for the time she was eating an apples and then they were sticky. Cross your fingers!!!
In other great news. . .
It's almost Christmas time! Which means. . . ELF is on TV. Our big plans for the day: First we'll make snow angels for a two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle.
It started off the year I was going to turn 30. I thought it would be fun to have a 30 Things to do Before Turning 30 List. It was not to be. I don't think I accomplished half of them. I don't even think I came up with 30 things.
So last year right after my birthday I came up with a list of 32 things I wanted to do during the year before my birthday. I admit, I totally cheated and put a few things on here that I already KNEW I was going to do, but they were goals I set for myself so they got to be on the list. And so here is my list (everything in bold is a goal I never met in case you're a frienemey and take glee in my failure):
1. run Ragnar -- FEB
2. touch raw chicken -- MAR
3. bake bread from scratch -- MAR
4. find the best ever chocolate chip cookie recipe
(I had great plans for a Chocolate Chip Cookie bake-off that never came to fruition -- this one goes back on the list for next year)
5. go camping -- JUNE
6. see a Musical (wicked and mamma mia) -- JAN/MAY
7. read 50 books
(I only read 40)
8. trapeze -- MAY
9. girls weekend -- JAN/APR
10. take my kids to the zoo, because I hate the zoo -- MAR
11. Leave the country -- JAN
12. finish the B of M -- twice
13. Memorize the 13 Articles of Faith -- OCT
14. Have people over for Sunday dinner more -- Break the Fast with the Youth
15. Get my family to run a half marathon
16. Go to the temple 12 times -- check
17. make my blog into a book
(I turned this one over to my sister -- she failed)
18. Make orange rolls -- FEB
19. volunteer for a community project
(I suck, I didn't even do this! Can I count school stuff?? Art Masterpiece??)
20. Take my family on a vacation -- just the 6 of us -- OCT
21. Hang out on the beach -- JULY
22. Teach Nate to ride his bike
(I am currently hiring this out -- any takers?)
23. Make a new friend -- check
24. Take the kids on the Polar Express -- DEC
25. Cook our own turkey -- NOV
26. Organize my own race -- NOV
27. See my sister more -- March, April, July, Oct
28. Host a cooking challenge -- Jan & July
29. Send more packages/mail
30. Read Harry Potter 1 with my kids
(does watching the movie count?)
31. Go on a one-on-one date with each of my kids
(I spend lots of one on one time with them, but we never got out on our dates)
32. Make jam -- MAY
I guess I still have a few more weeks to accomplish a few of these. Sadie and I had our date yesterday! And I'm now accepting goals for year 33!
If the car is out of the garage, you'd better believe Luke will be in there riding around on a Barbie scooter. And if the car is blocking his ultimate playground, he'll just drag toys inside the house and zoom around the hallways.
Yesterday he wouldn't even stop for lunch, he'd just drive through the kitchen, ask for a cucumber and get back to the road.
However we have company coming for my birthday, so let's face it, my birth*day* extravaganza is not going to happen. And my very own parents sent me my birthday present a month early. I was going to refuse to open it until my birthday, but then I realized a perfectly good birthday gift is sitting in a box. I hate when people waste things just to prove a point.
And then I figured that since my parents sent it so early, they must have wanted me to open it early. So I did. I made the most delicious cake for Break the Fast. Plus, BONUS: It looks beautiful. Thanks Mom and Dad! And thanks Nate, the Photographer, who even told us how to pose.
You're probably wondering why someone who bakes as much as me has never bothered to get a Kitchen Aid before. I actually inherited my Grandmother's old Sunbeam stand mixer and I loved it. Every time I baked something I felt like my Grandmother was with me.
But after washing one of the bowls one day I noticed a chip and then I freaked out because I did not want to break my Grandmother's mixer. She made millions of cookies and cinnamon rolls in that mixer. And so up it went, on the shelf and I used the hand mixer Dustin and I bought for $10 when we were first married over 12 years ago.
And I got prideful. Who needs a fancy schmancy mixer when you can do things by hand, like the old days? Kneading dough for 15 minutes by hand makes your bread taste WAY better. And it means you love your family more. But, I guess my sister doesn't love her family as much as I do, and suggested to my parents it was time for me to get a new mixer.
Actually I'm pretty sure it's one of four reasons:
1. She wanted to talk to me on the phone more and always got really annoyed when I had to hang up to mix something.
2. She realized that this was going to simplify my life and make me so happy.
3. She wants me to bake more, which means I'll eat more, which means I'll get fat.
4. If I bake more, she will receive more packages of baked goods by default.
It may be a combination of all three. Who knows!
Fast forward to Monday night. NO costumes could be found. The basket is full of glow sticks and plastic wrappers. We found Nate's shirt with hot chocolate spilled all over it. Sadie's costumes from Thursday and Saturday were both filthy with food stains and Luke was refusing to be a Cowboy. I felt like going to sleep and never waking up again. Oh yeah, and Nate's glasses were missing, so we cut up those cheap glasses that have the nose and mustaches attached. Halloween Night was off to a good start.
We still managed to get the kids out the door by 6 and ready to trick-or-treat (most likely only because our sweet Relief Society President brought us dinner including homemade rolls which my children gobbled up). Unfortunately for YOU, my energy levels were low so I took a shamefully small amount of pictures. Also for Ellie's hair because it did not get put in the sock bun curl the night before as planned, which would have totally rocked the Hermione hair.
Luke ended up being a BYU football player because he owns a jersey and it when everyone is spazzing out (me! Just me! I'm the only one who was spazzing out), it's good to go with whatever will make everyone happy. Plus he got to carry a football. Win-win-win (source that quote)! Since this costume was not pre-planned, he ended up in 3 shades of navy in my mad dash to get him dressed. I think the fever was making me delusional. Dustin gets mad props for coming up with putting the black under his eyes to make it look like we put *some* effort in there.
The kids had a fun trick-or-treating?? I'm assuming? The pictures looked fun and they seemed happy. Luke learned to say "Trick-or-Treat," "Happy Halloween," and "I'm a Football Player," so he was already more verbose than any of the children that came to our door. I'm giving them (and their parents) the benefit of the doubt and blaming the fact that they all forgot to say Trick-or-Treat and instead shoved their baskets in my face on the fact that I looked and sounded so scary (being sick is a totally rad costume).
Every year I think my kids are going to get bored of just doing the 2 streets in our neighborhood and EVERY year they come home with their bags stuffed full. They were only gone an hour! Really? You don't want to go get more candy?? Nope. Our neighborhood is really generous. Thanks a lot neighbors.As you can see, Nate was REALLY done. I'll have to ask him what curse he is putting on us. Ellie wanted to go to the Martin's Haunted House (I'm assuming more to see everybody than actually go through it), so Dustin took the GIRLS and the wimpy boys stayed home with me. I then made Nate pass out all the candy (while I moaned, "Don't forget to make them say Trick-or-Treat) which he really enjoyed and I can't remember the rest. We have lots of candy. The end.
Stop reading this paragraph now if you already know this story, because you're going to be bored. If you *didn't* know (last chance, you probably shouldn't still be reading)-- Thursday afternoon (Dustin's birthday) I started feeling miserable. I downed some ibuprofen and started feeling better Friday morning (the day of Nate's birthday party). By that afternoon I was feeling miserable again, but drugged myself up again to get through the day. Saturday (Nate's birthday) I woke up unable to swallow so I headed off to the Urgent Care. Strep Throat. Gave me a script for penicillin and promised I'd be better in 24-48 hours. Saturday was miserable. I honestly don't even know what happened. Sunday was worse. Monday I went back in and it turns out the infection had gotten worse. They gave me a shot in the butt, doubled my dosage, gave me some prescription pain meds and told me to cross my fingers that I would feel like I was turning it around by Thursday. It's Tuesday night and after 4 days of no voice, a liquid diet, hot flashes, chills, a swollen face and ear aches so bad that my entire face radiates with pain. . . I finally feel better than I did two hours ago. I even tucked my kids into bed.
OK, so now that we've recapped how much strep sucks in adults, yadda yadda yadda. . . On FB, there is a "Postsomethingyou'regratefulforeverydayinthemonthofNovember" challenge going around. I was reading some and I thought, "I could probably fill 30 days just from this sickness." And so I did. And more. So here's a HUGE thank you to the 30+ people who made me grateful during a week where I was quite certain I might die:
1. Dustin -- I don't even think I can list everything he did, but his homemade chicken soup and constant trips to the store kept me as comfortable as possible. I mean, this is a man who took all 4 kids to tennis, picked up his own birthday dinner and cleaned up the mess. And I've been SNORING this whole week and he hasn't even exacted his revenge. Need I say more?
2. Karen -- Taking the kids Friday to make sure I could get some rest before the party, offering to take them to church (she even said if I was splitting them she would take LUKE -- you might think he's cute, but we all know he's a disaster at Church), bringing in dinner, taking Ellie on Today for homework and the massive activity run around day, driving all of our many carpools both ways, and always checking in on me, eben when I couldn't talk.
3. Casey -- Giving me very sound Nurse advice (without freaking me out like SOME PEOPLE -- I seriously appreciate it, I know you think I don't, but I do! Otherwise I wouldn't harass you for it so often), volunteering for just about anything you could think of (except for cleaning my bathrooms -- that was not on your list of offered services) and taking Sadie during Nate's party at the last minute.
4. Susan -- Texting me the second she found out to see what she could do to help with the party, volunteering to take the kids and insisting on taking Luke along with Sadie for the entire day so I could take a three hour nap. It's a good friend who takes your child who is still in the top half of his Halloween costume from the night before in a diaper that might not have been changed because "you look awful." I may forgive her for that comment.
5. Ellie -- Blowing up over 3 dozen balloons for Nate's party and many many hours of helping me with the kids and picking up some cleaning slack. Basically being the mom when I needed some extra help. But mainly for tickling my back and talking to me. You are an angel.6. Nate -- Getting me many many cups of water and always asking me how I'm feeling or if I feel any better. And when I started crying because I missed his birthday telling me it was OK and he knew I loved him and he hoped I felt better soon.
7. Sadie -- For playing with my hair and always coming in and talking to me when I was laid out in bed. You were always such funny company.
8-13. All my friends who still let me come to the October Birthday dinner even though I was sick and especially Brenna who even let me sit next to her. And for all coming back to my house and not caring that I wouldn't get out of the chair to be a good hostess. And also putting up with crazy hot temperatures because I was having chills.
(I'm just randomly inserting picture of my kids in here from last Sunday, when I was just being lazy, but laying around in bed and they all came and hung out with me, but for some reason there is no picture of Nate).
14. Heather Griffiths -- being my sick buddy and checking in with me all week to see how I was doing. Misery enjoys company and you were delightful company. Just complain more next time. I'll be the tough one.
15. Everyone at the Ward Party who asked my kids how I was doing. They noticed and they came home and told me. It made us all feel loved.
16. Brenda -- offering Jamba Juice and bringing over popsicles. We'll always be friends -- even if we aren't in the same Ward anymore.
17. Brenna -- bringing salad and dessert, although the bars were unevenly sized. I'm kidding! Brenna was very embarrassed that she sent over the wrong tupperware of dessert. They got the pretty ones and I guess we got the rejects. I think the kids devoured them before we could even check.
18. The Martin's -- showing up with a yummy plate of cookies which my kids gobbled down for an after church snack. Dustin was at Church meetings and I think they were starting to eye me to see if I would cave and tell them where the Halloween candy was.
19. Maggie -- answering all my million medical questions, and knowing how bad that butt shot hurts and the importance of good pain meds.
20. Kristine -- insisting that I should feel better by Monday, not worse and making me go back in, at which point I finally got enough junk to turn this baby around.
24-29. Sarah Slavinsky, Amanda Schouten, Maren, Rikelle, Julie, Karen Cherington -- all your sweet texts and e-mails checking in on me and offering to help, run to the library, bring me food. . . Did anyone offer to fold my laundry or clean my house?? Because I might take you up on that ;D
30. Tia -- dropping by a new kind of soup because as yummy as that chicken noodle soup was, I couldn't eat if for a 4th day in a row.
31. Stacy -- bringing in dinner on a very busy Halloween night so Dustin could have more time to get the kids ready and take them out to enjoy Halloween while I stayed behind to scare all the Trick-or-Treaters in my very real costume of "Girl Moments Before Death."
32 & 33. Becky and Heather Robinson -- knowing how much I love Golden Spoon and dropping by when I'm sure all my other friends are tired of doing nice things for me
34. Wendi -- many many icees were consumed due to her bringing by a giant box of otter pops. Both by me and by a very short and demanding male in our family who discovered if you threw them hard enough they would split in two.
35. My parents -- calling and checking in, even from work
36. My sister -- listening to me whine, laughing at me when I was totally drugged up and offering to blend up food and feed it to me. Only you could make being sick be so fun.
And of course there were even more nice messages and offers to help on facebook (Molly, Meredith, Kris. . . all my sweet friends who live far away). I think I'd overload this post if I started listing all of those. And I forgot LUKE! Oh who am I kidding -- he made this really hard and long by always trying to steal my icees or trying to drinking my water while I yelled, "I'M CONTAGIOUS!" He wouldn't let me watch any good TV and would jump on me if I fell asleep. And of course running out the door and down the street so far I had to get in the car to get him back, where the women at the park eyed me as I tried to explain that when you're really really sick you don't have to wear a bra or do your hair after you shower.
But seriously, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and I don't even know how to repay all of you. How do I even begin to say thank you? It's amazing how many people can touch your life in so many little ways. You all make my life better. Thank you for being my friends and I only hope I can brighten your day as much as you have brightened mine.
As always when you're going through something rough, you sit back and think, "What on earth is Heavenly Father trying to teach me?" And I think he taught me a lot about service. That it doesn't have to be huge, it can be a small little text or call. And you don't have to be pre-approved. Just showing up with something for them or theirir family will still brighten their day. I didn't know what I needed, but my friends did. I love you all!!