Monday, October 20, 2008

Farm Fun in the Fall

This was a fun weekend, we got to do lots of things with family. Saturday was my dad's birthday (and Joe's dad's also, but unfortunately we didn't get to spend it with him!) and we got all the family together for an outing. (Well, at least the family who live in town plus Danny who made a trip from Utah, but lets be honest, he wasn't here for the birthday or the festival, those were just coincidences, he'd gone too long without seeing Jessi!) We all went to Green Bluff for the Apple Festival. Sam was so excited all day to go to the farm and had a great time, but if you were to judge the day from these pictures, it looks like they were all miserable! I swear, they really did have fun!

Andrew was fearless with the animals. We were in the goat cage and just walked right up to the goat with no coaching and was petting it, I was shocked! Then, on the other hand, there is Sam who was not so excited about the goats. Here he is explaining that to Jessi. He said, " I just don't like them, that's all! I don't have to like them, it's okay." And it's true!He did humor us, though, so that we could just get a picture. (A quick side note, this smaller picture was taken at the same farm two years ago when Sam was almost the exact same age as Andrew, I thought that it was kind of fun to compare the pictures!)That takes us to the pea pit, a favorite of all the little kids. Basically, it's a huge sandbox but instead of sand it is filled with dried peas. Fun idea, and much easier to clean up than sand!
Sam and Jessi. He absolutely adores her, she was instantly one of his favorite people in the world...just goes to show that she is meant to be in the family! We love you Jessi!
Andrew wanted to climb into the corral with the ponies, but luckily Joe was standing guard. He settled for being allowed to pet the pony, instead. This was by far the biggest smile we saw out of Sam! He was begging the whole afternoon to ride the tractor ride (it was a little tractor pulling a line of these little cars) and so we let him do that right before we left. I was actually kind of surprised that he actually did it, I was sure that he would freak out when it actually came down to it, but he didn't! He loved it and talked about it the rest of the day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Good Times in San Fran

Well, better late than never, right? I started this post a week ago but due to some technical difficulties with our computer, I'm just now getting it posted...

Warning: The following post contains lots of "vacation pictures and stories" which may not be interesting to the casual reader, but due to the fact that this blog takes the place of a family journal, tell them I will!

Joe and I got to go to San Francisco for 6 days (3 of those, he was at a training for work) and we had a great time! The picture above was taken at the San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts...such a beautiful place! By the time we got into our hotel and made our way to Downtown (our hotel was soooo far away, we didn't plan that very well...) and had dinner, everything else was closed. So, we just wandered around and got an idea of where things were so we could come up with a plan of attack for the next day. Below, was taken the first night that we were there on the public fishing pier. I was a little shocked by how many homeless people were camped out there for the night, I guess I'm a little sheltered.
This picture was the next day when we were seeing how the area looked in the daylight, a much less scary experience! Behind us is Alcatraz, which we toured later that day.
This was during our tour of Alcatraz, I was in the solitary confinement part of the jail. I was spooked just being in there long enough to take the picture!
Here we are on the ferry, just after leaving Alcatraz. That was a cool place to tour, a little creepy but very interesting. I'd never known about the "Indian Land" period of the island's history, anybody else?
This was taken after Joe and I had just devoured a delicious crepe filled with chocolate and strawberries, it was so good! We ate so much good food on this trip, my waistline will be recovering from it for weeks. (Sigh) Isn't he cute!
After touring Alcatraz we rented bikes and rode to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a fun ride, beautiful trails that followed the bay with a killer hill leading up to the actual bridge. It was well worth it, though. Maybe I have a sick sense of humor, but I thought this was pretty funny! (In case you can't see, it's a phone that's hardwired to a crisis counseling the middle of the bridge!)Here we are, lounging on the Caltrain. That's how we got from our hotel in South San Fran (which, btw, is actually a separate city, yah, we learned that the hard way) to all of the tourist attractions in downtown. We took several trips on these trains, luckily it was only about a 20 minute ride. Sam would have loved it!Here are some more eating pictures, seriously, we did a lot of that! This was at the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory, we got these amazing sundaes.

Okay, and the final food pictures were taken in Japantown where Joe choose to eat on our last night. As a general rule, I hate Japanese food, but I agreed to for his sake. Turns out, I enjoyed mine (teriyaki chicken with veggie tempura) a whole lot more that he enjoyed his (some weird, gross looking Japanese stew). But the most amusing thing about the dinner was that I ate the whole thing with chopsticks (a first for me) it was a huge accomplishment. Below, are some kind of silly and embarrassing video clips of my attempts, lets just say that dinner took a LONG time!
The attempt....

...and success!!!

And, finally, me and the boys with the souvenirs that we brought them. I missed them so much, it was great to come home to the little rugrats!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Little Homesick...

This week marks a big first for me...first vacation WITHOUT my boys. I'm in San Francisco with Joe right now. He has a training for work and we decided that I would tag along and we'd take an extra couple of days to do some sightseeing. We left Monday morning and will be back Saturday night. It has been a lot of fun, almost like a second Honeymoon (until Joe had to go to his training and I was venturing through the big city on my own) but I miss my boys like crazy! My parents are watching them for me, so I know they are in good hands. I've talked to them on the phone and I can hear in their voices (and my mom's) that it's getting harder on everyone each day. I'm sure I'm homesick today because I choose to stay at the hotel most of the day and I'm pretty bored. But, seriously, after the run on Saturday and all the sightseeing we've done this week, my feet are killing me and they needed a real break! So, Joe will be back in an hour and we'll go and do something fun and exciting and tomorrow will be our last day of sightseeing and I'll savor the experience of vacationing without kids, but for right now I really miss my boys!

Oh, and I'll post all the fun pictures and experiences of our trip once we're back...or tomorrow if I get bored again!

Mission Completed!

Last Saturday was the big day...the Colbert Autumn Classic Half Marathon! The weather was cool and drizzly, but actually it turned out to be perfect for the race. After the months of training and talking about this day, the adrenaline was pumping! Here we are before the race (notice, I'm the only one not wearing makeup...)
The starting line....

...around Mile 2...
...the killer hill between mile 7 and 8...

...and still smiling at the finish line!

The celebration dinner! We went out to dinner that night with our hubbies to celebrate our victory. Talk about an awesome sense of accomplishment!
I can't believe that I did this, sorry if I sound way too impressed with myself, but it's true! It was an awesome life experience, hopefully not a "once in a lifetime" experience, but you only have your first once! I had set three goals: 1) FINISH!!!! (have to earn that "finisher's only" sweatshirt!) 2) finish in under 2 and a half hours, and 3) to run the whole way. I didn't quite meet #3, I walked about a 1/4 of a mile on the hill (in all fairness, my walking was the same speed as my running at that point, but it was technically walking). But, I finished in 2:20 (much better than I expected) so that made up for the walking! The last 2 miles I was on my own (Jaynee was a few minutes ahead and Amy a few behind) and that was the longest and hardest part of the run. Since we weren't allowed to run with headphones, I was left to my own head. I kept on reciting the 3rd verse from "How Firm a Foundation" (see Elaine Dalton's talk in the May 2008 Ensign to understand why; I "just happened" to read this talk the night before the race and it totally inspired me!) I'm so glad that I did this with Jaynee and Amy, you girls are awesome and I would never have had the guts to sign up for this or run it by myself! Thanks for all of the support and encouragement! And thanks to my wonderful husband who made posters and drove ahead of us and was there to offer encouragement when I needed it the most. Also, thanks to Mom and Dad for watching the boys that morning and bringing them to cheer me on at the finish line. The last mile all I could think about was seeing my family at the end, it kept me going! Many people have asked if I'll do it again, I think I will, maybe not that particular course (too many hills) and definately not next week! We'll see what the spring brings!