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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Walk

Every October we go to North Logan to the Pumpkin Walk.  There are hundreds of carved pumpkins and lots of scenes that have been portrayed using pumpkins.  We met up with Tim's sister Cheri and her family this afternoon and went to see the latest. This year the theme was "Let The Games Begin" so there were game shows, board games, The Hunger Games, etc.  I'm not sure that Nacho Libre fit the theme perfectly, but he was so great, you wouldn't think of complaining.

Nacho Libre
I don't remember what this game was,
But the bunnies were amazing
Can you see what's in the middle?
Duck Duck......Goose

One of our favorite parts every year are the cutouts for pictures.  This year we got some really great ones.  The force was strong and Tim gave the obligatory, "Luke, I am your father".

You've Got a Friend in Me

Three lovely princess
Disney would be proud!

Erika is excited to practice driving anything with wheels.

Can you spot Clifford's new friends?

Cutest Baby Potter ever!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Six Months

Six months...half a year...180 days..any way you say it, I can hardly believe Luke is already six months old.  I still tell people that I have a newborn.  We were looking at pictures tonight from the day he was born, I can't believe how small he was and how much joy he brought us immediately.  Sometimes it feels like we just brought him home yesterday and other times it feels like he has always been a part of us. What I do know for sure is that he is the center of our world...I love him in a way that I never knew was possible.  While I'm at work Tim will often send me pictures of the boy and what they have been doing  - it sometimes makes it hard for me to breathe and I can't imagine how he could possibly be cuter.  He's had some big moments this month - he keeps growing like crazy and has moved on to size 4 diapers.  He has been spending more time on his belly and on the 10th had his first big milestone, he rolled over.  It was great, we made him do it several times so we could record it, every time he thought he was quite the superstar.  He has his own little personality and is starting to get feisty when he doesn't want to do something.  Hmmm, wonder where he gets that.  He has discovered mirrors and loves to watch himself and his reactions.  We read a lot of books and he already is learning to laugh at the funny parts.  We are grateful for every minute we get with him and love seeing him progress.

He loves his Grandma Whitesides
We are lucky that he gets to spend a lot of time
With her and grandpa.
He now has a big boy high chair
His new bouncer, love at first sight
Loves his blankie 
Cheered for mom and dad at his
First St. George Marathon
Mama's best boy!
On the day he was born Tim took me to
In and Out Burger for lunch while I was contracting
This weekend we went back for an
Anniversary lunch
Luke loved it

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Once We Were Brothers

I have been listening to a lot of books lately, more reviews to come, but when I can find the time, I love to actually read.  I don't remember where I heard about this book, but the reviews and summaries I read made me super excited to read it.  I was slightly disappointed by the quality of the book, but I still loved the story and how much it made me think.

Elliot Rosenzweig, a wealthy Chicago philanthropist, is attending opening night at the opera.  Ben Solomon, a retired Polish immigrant, makes his way through the crowd and shoves a gun in Rosenzweig's face, denouncing him as former SS officer, Otto Piatek.   Solomon is blind-sided, knocked to the floor and taken away.  Rosenzweig uses his enormous influence to get Solomon released from jail, but Solomon commences a relentless pursuit to bring Rosenzweig before the courts to answer for war crimes.  Solomon finds a young attorney, Catherine Lockhart, to whom he recounts his family's struggles and heroisms during the war, revealing to her that he and Piatek grew up as brothers in the same household.  Once We Were Brothers is a contemporary legal thriller and a poignant look back into the lives of small town Poland during World War II.  

I was fascinated by the plot line of this book, Ben is slow and methodical in giving the full history of his relationship with Piatek and how he and his family were ultimately betrayed by this "brother".  It was horrifying to read some of the things that Ben's family endured as Polish Jews and to realize that their stories were probably typical.  What was most amazing to me was to watch how Piatek evolved from a loyal member of Ben's family, to a power hungry Nazi officer - willing to do whatever was necessary to continue to advance in the party.  It gave me some insight into how a person can devolve into something that doesn't even seem human.   
Although the story itself was fascinating, I was disappointed in the quality of the writing and the storytelling.  It seemed pretty simplistic and was almost distracting.  With a better editor, it might have bumped up the rating into the A category and made this book one to highly recommend.  As it is written, I would give it about a B-

Thursday, October 11, 2012

St. George - The Rest of the Story

We love the run but we also love the tradition of a St. George getaway in the Fall.  I just have a few random shots...I always seem to forget to take the pictures I wanted.  Hopefully these will help capture some of the memories since this is the closest thing I have to a scrap book.

Man this Gavin loves Luke
Pretty soon though Luke is going to have to hold
Gavin to cuddle

I found this on my camera...
No idea
Sean is the original baby whisperer
Of course Luke loved seeing him again

The best part of the house was the
Private pool in the back yard

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

St. George Marathon 2012

There's a lot of talk, so if you want, skip the story and get to the pics, the best part.

This last weekend I ran the St. George Marathon, my 17th marathon since I started this crazy journey.  Kind of funny since I was clear that I was going to run "one and done"just to prove I could do it.  Looking back, running has brought me so much; physically, emotionally, and especially socially.  I've had so many different experiences at the various races I've run - some better than others. This year was interesting, I've never gone into a marathon with such low expectations and felt completely fine with it.  When we signed up for the race in April I was just about to have Luke.  Running a baby five months after having a baby didn't seem like a big deal at the time: this is where all the women who have had children laugh at my naivety.  I followed a loose training plan and really worked to make sure I got in my long runs, but it was hard and I was slow.  I got frustrated with myself sometimes but had to just keep remembering that I had spent the last year growing and having a baby and that this race would just be about enjoying the journey.
We headed down to St. George Thursday night and met up with my family.  That is one of the best parts of this race, the fun of being with family.  This year it would be my mom and dad, Sean, Jarin and Jami and kids, and me, Tim, Luke and Erika.  In all we had five runners and the best supporters ever.  Friday we went to the expo early and I tried to spend most of the afternoon resting.  It all seemed a little surreal and I don't know if it really hit me that I would be running until we boarded the buses the next morning.  Based on my training runs, I thought it would probably take me about 5:30 to run the race although I secretly hoped it would be a little closer to 5:00 hours.  Because I knew I would be slow, I said I would take my phone to keep everyone updated on where I was.  The bonus is that I got a few photos to document the journey.  As soon as we got off the bus we snapped a good photo then got in line for the porta potties - where I do my best stretching.  We saw several people we knew and before I knew it, the gun went off and we were running.  I spent the first mile or so without music, just enjoying the sights and sounds then it was time for the I-pod.  For most of my training I listened to books so it was really motivating to have music, and I had some really great songs this year.  Saturday turned out to be a good running day...I felt prepared and remembered why I love to run.  I was really happy with how I handled the hills, especially the one at mile 18 - I walked some but it was a fast planned walk, not one of the mentally defeated.  I talked to a lot of people, saw some really cute outfits, and drank gatorade and ate every orange I could find.  Towards the end when it was getting tough I was encouraged by the thought of seeing my family - including my sweet Luke - at about mile 24.  That was just enough to keep me moving.  As I ran the last few blocks I got really emotional.  I just felt so grateful to be running, so amazed to have Luke and so blessed to have so much support.  I crossed the finish line at 4:53...not even close to my fastest time...but for me, this was sweet victory.

A few of the songs that fueled my fire:
Heart of a Champion
While running up Veyo and the never ending hills:
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
As we got to Snow Canyon I was overwhelmed
With the beauty and at how well the race was going:
Carry On
Mile 24 and beyond:
This one's a fighter

We all look pretty good here, but for the final push:
Till I collapse

We've run a lot of marathons together
But this year I was so happy to have Sean
Leave me in the dust
He was smoking!

My best friend and greatest supporter
He ran a lot of training miles by my side...
Pushing Luke
My parents have been there for ever one of my marathons
Sooo proud of my dad for his 20th marathon
The entire crew
Thanks to these ladies both Tim and I could run,
Knowing Luke was in the best hands

Grandpa's fan club
This was my inspiration
Worth every slow mile