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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mt. Nebo Half Marathon

They say it takes a village to raise a child.....I think being part of a village generally makes life better for everyone involved.  I feel like it is such a blessing to live close to so many members of my family. The kids are lucky to be growing up with those connections, and Tim and I definitely benefit from the support.  Case in point, we decided we wanted to run the Mt. Nebo Half Marathon.  My parents let us stay at their house, then took care of the babies when we left.  I told my mom that it might be too much to get the kids over to the race so early and she didn't need to come.  But, true to form, when I finished the race, there were my mom, my babies, Jami and all of her kids (who were so cute and ran the last lap of the track with me).  It is amazing to have this type of support that not only lets me run and do the events, but makes me feel like a superstar.

Most of us planned to run the actual race separately, but after running Hobble Creek alone, it was much more fun to have the pre-race with my people.  The race started really early and we definitely were not on our A game to take a group shot at the top.  All that time standing in line for porta potties and we didn't think about even trying to take one until right before the race started.  I'm not sure why we didn't have someone else take the picture so Jarin could be with the group - did I mention it was early?

The race started and Tim was off like a shot, he took advantage of the downhill speed and never looked back.  He ran a PR which was especially impressive since this was his first long run of the summer.  Jarin started out with Jess and Alicia and I took my place towards the back.  I had been sick all week and a little worried about how awful I had been feeling.  But race day adrenaline is great and I was surprised to not feel too bad.  I tried to not focus too much on my watch and just ran the first few miles based on how I felt.  I eventually settled in with the 1:55 pacers and stuck with them for about 8 miles.  I could eventually feel them pulling away and I decided it would be smartest to slow a little.  The course is mostly down hill but towards the end of the canyon there are some flats and a few little uphills.  Right about the time I started to struggle, my dad appeared around a canyon - of course running up hill.  I was so excited to see him.  He ran and encouraged and kept me company for the rest of the race. I'm sure I could have done it on my own, but it was so much better with his support.  He had me feeling so good that I sprinted the last lap around the track and passed a few other runners.  I finished with a 2:01 which was much faster than I had hoped for.  Tim was amazing at 1:33.  Jesse and Alicia were impressive in their first half marathon and Jarin proved to be the perfect pacer.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Reviews - Liane Moriarty

In the past few months I have listened to two different books by Liane Moriarty.  She is an Australian author who sets her novels, not surprisingly, in Australia.   I read What Alice Forgot first and discovered I really like her writing style so it was natural to choose The Husband's Secret which I think is actually her most well known.  She has a brand new book out Big Little Lies.  It appears to follow the same basic structure of her other books and looks equally interesting, that might have to be added to my Audible wishlist.   They are both a little difficult to review without revealing too much, the thing that makes her writing so great is watching the story unfold.

Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.
A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes who she's become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice. (From the publisher.)

I loved this book, I loved the story and that it made me feel and think.  It has been a few months since I finished it and I'm still thinking about it. For as much as I loved it, I have had a hard time blogging about it.  The book is primarily about Alice and I could identify with her in a way that often made me cringe.  But there is a side story about her sister Elizabeth that was just heart wrenching because it was so real. There is such a build up of the characters and their lives throughout the story and I loved the journey, but the ending, oh it was amazing. I was actually on a long run and was able to listen to the last few hours straight through.  A couple of times during the last hour I actually had to stop and just stand still for a few minutes because I was so emotional (yes that means at one point I was leaned over sobbing and just hoping no one would stop to see if I was hurt). It's really the kind of book that is best to go into without any more of a build up.  Just do yourself a favor and read it, then we can chat.
Solid A

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read: My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died. . . .Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.  (From the publisher)

Who doesn't love a secret?  Of course I was in a hurry to try to discover the secret, and actually guessed it shortly before it was revealed.  The book is told from alternating narrators which really gave it a good personality and I liked the way their lives overlapped and unknowingly affected one another.  There were several parts that made me laugh out loud while I was running and I found myself really torn over how I thought the story would and should end.  The actual ending was a little unsatisfying to me....not a cop out, but there were a few key issues that bothered me.  Again, read the book and then let's chat.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ruby Eleven Months

Just the title of this post makes me want to is impossible to believe that almost a year has passed and my baby will soon no longer have her age measured in months, but in years. It feels like the time is passing even more quickly with Ruby than it did with Luke.  Because Luke was the only baby at home, I felt like we were able enjoy the baby stages a little longer.  Ruby is already chasing Luke around as quickly as she can crawl.  She seems determined to keep up with him even though he is older- most days she only has one nap like Luke, and will try just about food that she thinks he or anyone else will eat.  You can often find the two of them happily snacking on a slice of bread.  Ruby thinks Luke is hysterical and often babbles to get his attention and laughs at his attempts to entertain her.  Most of the time they are great together, but Luke has already started to tease her, he steals her toys, takes her blanket, and often tries to block wherever it is that she is going - especially if it is my lap.  She seems to have already mastered the indignant scream, I think I may be hearing a lot of that in my future.

As far as other milestones, Ruby has started waving bye bye but is pretty stingy and only does it when she really feels like it.  She has also learned to clap. Last week we were at the parade and I was surprised when she started clapping along with the rest of the crowd.  Little Miss is starting to get into mischief and loves to pull open drawers and their contents, drag shoes out of closets, and shut doors (often shutting herself into a room alone).  We may have to lower her crib soon because she is starting to pull herself up onto her knees and I'm sure she will be standing before long. She has only gained a pound or two, but she is growing quickly enough that I wasn't willing to invest in any more size 3 diapers, so she has made the big move up to size 4.  Ruby continues to be a happy baby and loves to watch others and catch their eye for a smile.  But with strangers, that is as close as she wants to get.  She has started to get a little clingy and definitely has a preference for me and Tim.  I guess it is about the right time for her age but it has been interesting to see her become so particular.  It does though make you feel loved as a mama.

It took a little convincing, but Ruby decided she likes to swim,
She is thrilled to sit between someone's legs so she can splash.
We hung out at the lake and the pool this month and let her practice.

So I had one of the scariest experiences I have had so far as a mother.  Ruby has grown and had a lot fun this month, but she has also spent more than her fair share of it sick.  She started with a cold while we were camping at Palisade Lake and struggled with a snotty nose and low grade fever for about a week.  The longer it went on the more I debated taking her to the doctor, but it didn't seem like it was serious enough to require medical attention.  On Sunday the 17th her fever seemed worse, she was fairly lethargic and I started to worry about an ear infection.  On Monday the 18th Jesse came over to watch the babies so Tim could go to Lagoon with Brycen.  She kept me updated throughout the day and gave Ruby some Tylenol at about noon.  I came home about 3:00 and was happy to hear that Ruby was asleep.  When I checked on her at about 5:00 she was crying in her sleep (break my heart) and shaking.  I got her up and was shocked at how hot she was.  I immediately called to make an appointment at the after hours clinic then searched for a thermometer (they all somehow disappear when you need one).  I knew she was warm but just stared at the thermometer continued to climb, finally stopping at 104.4.  She continued to shake and whimper and for the next hour while I just sat and held her, not knowing what else to do.  Turns out that if you find yourself in that situation, you should probably just get in the car and head to the ER.  After discussing everything the doctor thought she was having a febrile seizure and I have made myself sick with all the "what ifs" that could have gone wrong.
Once it was finally time to go, I loaded up her and Luke and headed out to the doctor's office where the entire appointment was quite traumatic.  Ruby screamed throughout most of the exam, clearly she was not feeling well.  The doctor started with the ears but when they only showed minimal infection, she recommended testing for a bladder infection because she was concerned about the cause of the high fever.  That required a catheter which I think broke my heart as much as it hurt the girl.  Poor Luke was beside himself watching his sister scream and just kept saying she needed a bandaid. When the doctor returned with the test results she was actually quite concerned, Ruby's urine showed extremely elevated levels of white blood cells, protein, blood and nitrates, any one of those are abnormal.  She worried that it had moved from a simple bladder infection into her kidneys.  The recommendation was to give her a shot that night, return for another shot on Tuesday and then on Wednesday switch to an oral antibiotic.  Fortunately she responded well to the medication and so far seems to have healed well.  Being a mama is definitely not for sissies.

These next shots were about a week later and may be a few of my favorite.
They completely capture her personality,
And thanks to a little static electricity,
Show that she really does have some hair.

It's tough to get a non blurry shot of her clapping.

As always, lot of time with family,
This girl is loved!