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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Price of Freedom

Tim and I really like to watch true life crime shows. We watched one today about a murder of a woman where a mad was wrongfully convicted. He served 16 years in prison before a new sheriff took over and was so bothered by the case that he actually did most of the work to get the man released. They interviewed the man who talked about the fact that he was not bitter, that he felt like he was the luckiest man alive to have a second chance at life. I was pretty impressed at his attitude and his refusal to be bitter.
At the end of the show they reported that he had reached an undisclosed settlement with the prosecuting parties that was reportedly for four million dollars. When I first heard the amount I was shocked, and felt like he had really done well for himself. That is, until I really started to think about the situation. He was wrongly accused, lost nearly everything, and spent over 16 years in prison. Would I trade that for four million dollars...not in a million years. The more I thought about it I realized that no sum of money would make up for the lost life, lost opportunities, lost chances. Money is nice, and can buy a lot of things, but freedom, happiness, no way! What about you, would you give up any period of freedom for the right price?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Speedy Spaniard

For at least ten years, my dad and I have been running the Speedy Spaniard, a 10k in Spanish Fork that is held on the 24th of July. This year I really debated whether or not to run, and only got signed up a few days before when I found out my dad was at the rec center and register for me. I have not been feeling so speedy this year, so I wasn't sure that I needed to pay money to have a clock confirm what I already know. But, my brother Jarin had signed up and we couldn't let him run alone. Last year was the first year he had run and he came in shortly behind me. Before the race even started this year, I let him know that I was throwing in the towel early and wouldn't be much of a challenge. Anyway, I wasn't anywhere close to a PR, I ran it in just under an hour. However, I'm glad I raced. It was good to push myself and remember that I can exceed even my own expectations if I am willing to get uncomfortable for a little while. I didn't have a camera but Julia was prepared. She said after that she was worried I hated pictures because I looked so mad, not mad I explained, just in pain and focused on my angry music (typical race ending)

A few years ago I finally made peace with my big calves. This pic reminds me to appreciate all the places those strong legs have taken me.

Oh man, I was back and forth with those two the entire race. I kept watching for a sprint at the end, but just when I got comfortable and decided that they weren't going to make a move, here they came and I didn't have a shot at keeping my lead.

This is the ever so famous Julia. For months I was just a blog stalker, then we finally met at the gym. We have bumped the relationship up a notch to become race friends. She is seriously great and I loved getting to chat with her before and after the race. She hit a PR for a 10k and I think should officially be crowned, the "Speedy Spaniard"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just Because...

They are so darn cute!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mona Days

Saturday morning E and I got up early and drove to Santaquin where I dropped her off and then headed out on my bike. I rode to Nephi and then looped back to meet up with Jarin and Jami and Co. at Mona Reservoir. I was too late to see E learn to wakeboard, but thanks for the mad teaching skills of Jami, she got up and loved it. As soon as the bruises and sunburn heal, she will be ready to go again. I got a quick run on the wakeboard. Last time Jami taught me to cross the wake so I did that quickly this time, rode for awhile, and once I was too tired, just dropped the rope and called it a day - much better than a bad crash due to tired legs. We didn't get any pics of the wakeboarding, but I loved these of Ada and Miles watching E on the tube.

After a shower and a nap, we headed back to Mona for the Mona Days fireworks. We went last year and were amazed. The fireworks are big and spectacular and are shot off about 50 feet away from where we sat, the entire park is lit up. Before the fireworks we did a little Boot Scootin Boogie in the park. Earlier in the day Ada told me she was most excited for the dancing because "she had some new moves". The dancing was great, little kids, old couples, and everything in between. We sang along to Taylor Swift and I even got to slow dance with Tim. Long day, but so much fun.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bel Canto

I read this book years ago and have since listed it on my Top Ten favorite books. I recently downloaded it from I-tunes and just finished listening. The story is fascinating, but I think it is one that is more powerful when read as opposed to listed to while at the gym, on a bike ride, etc. Even so, it was still great. I found myself in a hurry to finish and find out what happened, but at the same time, wanting the story, and the lives of the characters, to go on indefinitely. Definitely an A. Review
In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. His hosts hope that Mr. Hosokawa can be persuaded to build a factory in their Third World backwater. Alas, in the opening sequence, just as the accompanist kisses the soprano, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry.
Among the hostages are not only Hosokawa and Roxane Coss, the American soprano, but an assortment of Russian, Italian, and French diplomatic types. Reuben Iglesias, the diminutive and gracious vice president, quickly gets sideways of the kidnappers, who have no interest in him whatsoever. Meanwhile, a Swiss Red Cross negotiator named Joachim Messner is roped into service while vacationing. He comes and goes, wrangling over terms and demands, and the days stretch into weeks, the weeks into months.
With the omniscience of magic realism, Ann Patchett flits in and out of the hearts and psyches of hostage and terrorist alike, and in doing so reveals a profound, shared humanity. Her voice is suitably lyrical, melodic, full of warmth and compassion. Hearing opera sung live for the first time, a young priest reflects:
Never had he thought, never once, that such a woman existed, one who stood so close to God that God's own voice poured from her. How far she must have gone inside herself to call up that voice. It was as if the voice came from the center part of the earth and by the sheer effort and diligence of her will she had pulled it up through the dirt and rock and through the floorboards of the house, up into her feet, where it pulled through her, reaching, lifting, warmed by her, and then out of the white lily of her throat and straight to God in heaven. Joined by no common language except music, the 58 international hostages and their captors forge unexpected bonds. Time stands still, priorities rearrange themselves. Ultimately, of course, something has to give, even in a novel so imbued with the rich imaginative potential of magic realism. But in a fractious world, Bel Canto remains a gentle reminder of the transcendence of beauty and love. --Victoria Jenkins

Monday, July 18, 2011

Universal Language

Because I speak Spanish, I often find myself wanting to speak Spanish to anyone for whom English is not their first language. It seems logical, right? Anyone with an accent should be able to understand Spanish. A lot of people start speaking more loudly when it is clear there is a language barrier, I feel like I should be speaking Spanish. It actually works pretty well if they speak Italian, Portuguese, or even French, you can at least make yourself understood. Other languages, not so much.
So the other day Tim was speaking to a new client on the phone. She had a thick accent and he was having a hard time understanding and making himself understood. He finally told her that he was going to have his wife (me, the superstar translator), speak with her. I picked up the phone and introduced myself in Spanish, then asked a basic question about what type of home she was looking for. Silence... I repeated myself, thinking that maybe I hadn't spoken clearly or she couldn't hear me. Still more silence. She finally said, I'm sorry, I don't understand you, I'm Korean. Oops. Clearly Spanish is not the universal language. Poor lady. Next time I'll just speak louder, that should do the trick.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Poor Puppy


So, with that as an introduction, here is the story. Last week Everest had a spot on his back where he had scratched off all of the fur. We thought it was strange, but weren't super worried. The mosquitoes have been super bad at our house this year, so we thought maybe he just had some bites. We started spraying him with bug repellent and Tim even tried putting Neosporin on the spot that he had scratched. After a few days he had a second spot so we decided that we better take him to the vet. When the vet examined him, he discovered that he had an infestation of maggots. Apparently some type of fly had burrowed into his back, then laid eggs, and started a cycle of maggots. They secrete some type of chemical that had been eating big holes in his back, and everything was now infected. The vet shaved until he got to where the skin was clear, then treated it all with medication and gave him a big shot of antibiotics. Once we got him home we had to keep giving him pills which he refused to take. The first few nights were a joke because he wasn't eating anything because he was so sick, and I had to try to force the pills in his mouth and down his throat. Luckily he is a good dog, otherwise, I might have lost some fingers. Twice a day Tim cleans his wounds and puts on some medication. He still looks awful, but, the wounds are improving and he is also acting so much better, finally eating and drinking, and will come out to see me when I get home. He's doing well enough that it is almost funny when he runs into things with the cone...almost. Are you starting to itch yet? We have been since this ordeal began.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Raindrops on Roses....and Schnitzel With Noodle

These are a few of my favorite things...

Sunday Tim made a homemade German meal for us.

Schnitzel, spetzela (the noodles ), rotkohl (red cabbage),

and brown gravy.

For the noodles he had to make a batter, push it through

a spetzela press, boil the noodles, then cook in a pan.

It was all a lot of work and truly a labor of love.

The flavors are very distinct,

But absolutely delicious.

We capped off the theme by having him say the prayer in German.

Everyone agreed we need a repeat of the night.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Orem Owlz

Our Seven Peaks passes came with free passes to the Orem Owls,

A minor league farm team for the Aneheim Angels.

It was a perfect night for baseball.

Cool temperatures and six home runs in one inning.

Brycen in left field waiting for an over the fence home run.

Don't judge that I am wearing the same clothes as last week.
Choosing a new outfit it highly overrated.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Serenity Now

My brother Cory is a really great photographer, I am always amazed at his eye for objects and landscapes. He and his little family (Jenna and Calvin) have been a part of the Arizona clan (aka Compound North), but lucky us, they just moved to Utah. He created this slideshow of pictures he took along the way. I keep putting this on replay because the images are so calming to me. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Happened to Sports Radio?

At the risk of exposing myself as a talk radio nerd, I have to ask, what happened to sports radio at 104.7? Yesterday the station was sports talk with all of it's regular hosts and shows. Today it was Spanish music. Now I'm completely in favor of good Spanish music, but why did it have to kick sports radio out, and where did it go? This time of year they talk about a lot of things I wouldn't mind if I missed, but come college football season, it will be a serious problemo.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stadium of Fire

It has been over 15 years since I have been to Stadium of Fire and Tim has never been. This year we were wooed by Brad Paisley and the whole family decided to go. I may have a little crush on him. I'm sure his wife doesn't mind, Tim didn't seem to be too threatened (he knows I'm his forever). We went to see Brad who did not disappoint, but the entire show was entertaining. One of the funniest parts was the parachuters that came into the stadium. The first two came in and landed on the field without a hitch. The third one came in fast and skimmed some of the barriers, landing on his butt but made a good recovery. The last one totally missed the mark, knocked down a barrier and a camera man. Luckily the cameraman got up and appeared to be unhurt, that way we didn't feel bad laughing about it. I was surprised at how emotional I got at some of the references to patriotism and our country. It really was a great reminder of the freedoms we enjoy and the opportunities we have.

I was surprised at how emotional I got at some of the references to patriotism and our country. It really was a great reminder of the freedoms we enjoy and the opportunities we have. Today in church we sang the Spar Spangled Banner and I was touched by the last verse which I don't generally recall singing. Since last night I have been thinking a lot about the sacrifices that have been made to make my life better, men and women that have been fighting for freedoms for the past few hundred years. I'm not sure that I consider this as much as I should and hope that I can figure out how to better use my freedoms in a way to justify the sacrifices.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Boating at Mona Reservoir

Saturday morning Tim and I got up super early and met my brother Jarin for a quick bike ride. We left Santaquin and rode out to Nephi, then back to Mona Reservoir for our reward. It was a perfect day for boating: calm water, sunshine, great family, and nothing to do but play.

As you can see, Jami and Jesse were having a really tough day.

Can you see the resemblance?

It's hard work to do this much relaxing.

Josh worked hard to catch a dead fish.

More Four Wheeling Fun

Friday we took a quick four wheeler ride up Santaquin Canyon.
Miles was my riding buddy.
Clearly my arms weren't quite long enough for a great self portrait.
Sean and Tad did a little racing,
I'm not sure who the ultimate winner was, but
They both seemed to be having a lot of fun.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Oprah Burgers and Fruit Pizza

My brother Sean and the kids, Josh, Jesse and Tad have been here for the last week which means lots of family time, lots of fun. Thursday everyone came to our house for a BBQ, we were just missing Craig, Hailey and baby Roman. Several years ago my mom made Oprah burgers for us - she watched a show where Oprah said this recipe was her favorite. We all teased her about the burgers until we tasted them. The ingredients are distinct, but the combination is delicious. Tim's grilling abilities made them spectacular. Seriously, check out the recipe and give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

Have you ever seen a hat this great?
The moustache detaches for a sweet look.

Jami made fruit pizza.
She was a little shy so Josh agreed to showcase the goods.
Man I love fruit pizza, especially when made by someone else.

Jesse had to work hard to get Everest to pose.
As always, Gavin knows how to work a crowd and the camera.
He gives you his best pose,
Then immediately wants to see the picture.