Tuesday, July 4, 2017


We rang in June 1 with Max's 5th birthday!
This little boy is just so sweet and so dear.  Max is so excited to be a big 5 year old, so excited to start kindergarten, and so excited to grow taller.  He is so expressive, tells great stories or retells movies/shows with grand hand gestures, and is still mama's little snuggler.  He loves to be carried anywhere, and always slips his hand in mine when we're walking somewhere.  We love his little mannerisms:

"Mommy, I'm drinky."

"Mommy, squish me so hard."

"Oh I see!  I figured it out!"--He's our little engineer and gets down on the floor to examine toys, pens, whatever, until he sees how it works, then he exclaims, "Oh!  I see!  I figured it out!"

"For real, Mommy."  or another good one, "Mommy, is this real life?"  Max often inquires if something is real, or real life.  I'm not sure when this started, but I'm thinking it has to do with either imaginary play where Pace and he will say let's pretend abc or xyz...or when they got into Star Wars and replicating movie scenes.  Max will often ask me to watch him do a move, and I'll comment "That's nice, Max."  To which he'll promptly reply, "Mommy, look for real."

He also loves playing with spaceships, calling them our "home".  He'll often say, And mommy?  This is our home now."  And then switch to another space ship and say, "And mommy?  This is our home now."  I'm not sure where this one came form, either, but I find it very endearing that he loves our home enough that he wants to make playtime his "home".  

Kmart is going out of business and we've been stopping in every so often to check on the legos.  I keep telling the boys we'll get some sets once they are marked at least 40% off.  The first time we stopped in, Max thought the "store closing" signs meant it was closing right that instant, and he was very earnest about getting Pace to hurry up because "Pace, the STORE is CWOSING!" (He still pronounces L's more as W's, which makes his earnestness and intelligence so adorable).  I explained store closing meant it wasn't going to be there anymore because not enough people shop there.  He reinterpreted that as, "So, the store is out of luck?"  So now every time we pass Kmart, Max says, "That's the store that's out of luck!"

Max also has an amazing memory, and I am constantly amazed at the details he remembers and things he brings up from ages ago--even back in our house in Orem!  His reading and vocabulary is amazing, and he is so astute for his young 5 years.  I love hearing how he phrases things--he constantly corrects us to get more specific, "Uh, mommy, did you mean...?"  Last year when we were visiting Bishka, she said something along the lines of a treat had Max's name on it.  He checked it out, didn't find his name, and he said, "Uh, actually, my name is not on that cupcake."  Today Max asked "Uh, mommy, what is in this chocolate milk, exactly?"  (I'd mixed together milk with leftover melted Costco frozen yogurt).   

I made big posters to serve as dart boards for the boys to use to target practice with their nerf guns.  max thought they were pretty cool.  Max is our resident choc-o-holic, and when I told him he could pick out whatever cake he wanted, he decided on the chocolate cake from Costco.  

Max decided he wanted to do a penny ride in our front yard.  So we flipped our quarter and walked around our yard for a bit and then sat on our picnic table for some birthday cake.

The very next day I left on another Ragnar!  A friend had to pull out of her Wasatch Back Ragnar team, and asked if I'd be interested.  I thought about it overnight, and decided this was perfect timing--I wouldn't have to spend a lot of time retraining for the event, since it was so close to the Zion Trail Ragnar, and David was more than happy to take a day off work and let me literally run away for the weekend.  The team I joined was Team Super Moms--6 moms, a total of 19 kids between us!  They had all the kids draw and write notes on the van for us.   This team was so great to be a part of!  I was little nervous not knowing anyone, but it was a non-issue.  They all live in the same neighborhood and run together in the mornings, and do events together all the time.  They give each other little team gifts, and even included me in the gift-giving (little things like protein bars, chapstick, bath bombs, socks, hair ties, etc)!  Unaware of this tradition, I didn't have a gift to share, but they had assigned me to the hardest legs, so I told them my gift to them was my running up all the mountains.  

After dropping me off, David was super dad and took the kids up to the zoo for the day.  They had a blast, David had looked at the schedule ahead of time and they managed to make every single show David had wanted to hit (bird show, reptile show, penguin feeding, etc.), and they rode the zoo train.   

The Wasatch Back Ragnar starts in Logan and ends in Soldier Hollow.  A normal team is 12 people, or two "6-packs"--two 6-member teams Ragnar pairs up.  So we didn't know anyone on the other 6 person team, and just communicated by phone with them to meet up as best we could at the exchanges.  Our first exchange was in a beautiful northern Utah town, and the party began!  

I feel like I look like an Amazon woman here--much taller and larger than the other girls on the team!

I was the second runner in the group, and my first leg was just 2 miles, so I hit it hard and finished under 18 minutes, even stopping to take a picture with my little running buddy!  

In Snow Basin, our second big exchange.  We were waiting for our last runner to come in and the other team to take off.  We got a bite to eat, enjoyed the beautiful weather and views, and sat down and rested a bit. 

My next leg was a night leg.  It was perfect for running--cool, paved road, and lots of happy runners all headed the same direction.  The leg was 8.5-miles with a slight incline the whole time, but I felt very strong and comfortable and like I was running on flat ground.  At the last mile and a half or so the road switchbacked up along a dam to a reservoir.  Too bad we couldn't see the view!  And then, my last leg, at the end of not sleeping for almost 48 hours, was in Park City up the ski mountains affectionately named "Ragnar Hill".  It was pretty nuts--a 6.5 mile run that was really a switchback hike from about mile 1-4.5.  This leg was titled "You've Gotta Be Kidding Me!" in the packet, and that phrase ran through my mind no less than 50 times--every time we'd turn on a switchback, it'd get even steeper.  They even hand out emergency bracelets mandatory for the runners to wear to call for help if needed, and they had Ragnar volunteers going up and down the switchbacks checking on runners.  I felt strong the whole time, ran when I could and power hiked when I couldn't, and finished the leg in under 2 hours!  This leg even gets its own "King of the Mountain" medal!  (next time I'll have to complain and ask where the Queen of the Mountain medals are!) 

My little trail buddy loved the snow...This was at the ALmost top of the trail.  After having hiked up 4-5 miles of ski lift trails, we had to top it off by hiking up that last little hill up to the top of the world ski lift drop off.  They had water/gatorade and snacks waiting for us, and then we were on our way down the mountain for the last 1.5-2 miles.  Oh wait, there was another incline at the end to the finish line--the guys I was running with and I turned the corner of that last switchback and there was the last 100 yards or so of uphill climb to the end--we looked at each other, shook our heads, said, "You've gotta be kidding me!", passed around some high-fives, and crunched out that last climb to the finish line.  

At the pass off and celebrating at the end.  These cute girls had made these neck wraps that were well worth it!  They sewed together little pockets and filled the pockets with gel beads, and we soaked them in ice water.  The gel beads filled up, and after hot runs, we'd throw one around the neck of the runner coming in.  It really helped and was such a great idea!

So.  Tired.  This Ragnar was a completely different experience than the trail one.  At least at the trail one we could just go back to our tent and lay down, take a nap, put our feet up, etc.  The running was great on this one, but the other part of Ragnar--the not sleeping, driving overnight (I was a driver between 11pm-4am, after I'd run my 8.5 mile night run!), the stress of dropping off runners, picking up runners, making sure we were at the right exchange, following the very poorly written directions...that part was definitely harder.  I don't know that I'd initiate doing this Ragnar on my own...if someone were putting together a team, I'd do it, and I'd request to do the same legs (I loved the legs I ran/hiked!), but not one I'd seek out doing again on my own. 

I got three medals for this event!!  The Ragnar medal, the King of the Wasatch medal, and the Mountains majesty medal for having done both the Zion Trail Ragnar and the Wasatch Back Ragnar.

David and the boys met me at the finish line, and they were all unhappy and melting down.  Max just wanted to sleep and poor Pace looked like he had contracted measles.  As soon as we got home I took a shower and we were off to the Instacare--Max had a fever and smelled like he had strep breath, and we had to figure out what was going on with Pace.  We'd gone to the dentist earlier in the week, and X-rays were all clear, but here he was, even more swollen, and it was affecting his speech, he was holding his jaw in pain, couldn't open his mouth all the way, his appetite and eating had gone way down.  And maybe it just looked bigger to me because I hadn't seen him for a couple days, but the poor thing was definitely not doing well.  Max was diagnosed with strep, and the doctor was pretty sure Pace had an abscessed tooth.  We had just gone in too early to show anything at the dentist, and he finally had a visible abscess...so we got antibiotics for both boys, and followed up with the dentist for Pace on Monday.  The poor boy had to have his tooth pulled.  Our pediatric dentist has movies or Star Wars video games the kids can play, so Pace was totally fine and distracted playing Star Wars right up until the tooth-pulling part.  He was very shaken and was all cuddles the rest of the evening.

Monday was also the day the boys started their summer Arts Fest classes!  I registered them for Lego Art and Star Wars Art.  It was pretty bad timing with Pace's tooth, but he was feeling better after starting the antibiotics, and his swelling had gone down by at least 75%.  He was feeling well enough to go to class that morning, we went to the dentist that afternoon, got him in bed with motrin that night, and he was good to go the next day.  No classes missed!  And it worked out great--I had two hours sitting in the hallway to study/research/work on papers for school.

After class one day Max had his kindergarten check up and the rest of his shots to start school.  To keep Max focused on the good part after shots, the boys and I went to Barnes and Noble to get Max's free birthday treat, and pick out some books for a couple birthday parties.  Max was limping the rest of that day and a little the next day (tetanus in his leg), but he was a trooper.

One Saturday the boys and I went to the library for a special Star Wars afternoon.  We got to meet 3CPO and R2D2, and then Rey came to do some padowan training.  

The boys got to make their own glowing light sabers and do an obstacle course.

And then...just as we were about to get a picture with the boys standing in front of the death star backdrop, Darth Vader and his crew came out!  They scared the beejeebees out of us!  We ran off that stage as quickly as we could!...And then went back up to get a picture.

Here's Engineer Max, checking out his light saber to "figure it out".  He was very excited to show me the lights he found inside the styrofoam that made the light saber glow.

One day at art classes Pace was running in the halls with the rest of the boys after a drink break, and he fell in the hallway.  I was trying to distract him by asking him about his lego ball, but he wouldn't be convinced to go back to class and sat with me until the next class.

Another day after classes I left Pace and Kayla with a friend with kids the same ages, and Max and I went to his Upstart Graduation!  Good job Max!  He stuck with this program for almost a whole year, going from August until June!  He is such a natural reader, is so smart, loves the games, loves figuring out how to pronounce words.  Truth be told, it was definitely hard the last coupe of months to get him excited about Upstart, so we were really glad to graduate.

More summer Art Class shenanigans.

Four our anniversary, David and I went to The Red Iguana in SLC and got some great Mexican food. Worth the drive.

Father's Day--the primary had kids fill out the cutest ties, and I love the boys' responses:
"He always says":  I love you Max (Max); Smile (Pace)
"He loves me because": I'm his son (Pace).
I know these are simple, but I think they definitely show the trust and love the boys have with their daddy.

Father's Day legos!

Just doing our workbook and reading.  I love the way Max kind of casually stands while reading!

Next camp: the kiddos had a little neighborhood camp with themes every day, sports, pirate day, backyard bash, etc.  It was my week off between classes, so while the kids were at camp, I got to go running!  The first day I just ran along the river trail, but the next day I spontaneously find a trail--so spontaneous I wasn't wearing trail shoes or my trail pack with my trail running buddy...and so I had to run it again, ready to go!  Second time around I had my buddy!  

David has done an amazing job of sticking with training for his HooDoo 300 race at the end of August.  He is up early every morning before work to either ride outside or ride his trainer not he mornings I go to the gym, and is gone every Saturday on a ride, with every other Saturday being a long ride.  Long as in, his first long ride, 7 hours, was his shortest long ride.  One Saturday he rode to Manti and back.  On his bike.  He's signed up for a couple more events in July, so he's got a packed schedule.  We're so proud of him for working hard and sticking with the training!  

We picked up some friends and went to the splash pad in Springville one afternoon.  Definitely a fun place!  Pace was loving all the sprayers and turned them into an obstacle course.  Max is a little more cautious with water, still doesn't like being splashed or sprayed, and he won't go in the water without being right next to me.

David took the boys to a Lego Convention at UVU another Saturday, they were amazed with all the legos and life-size models!

Creating a circuit board (a present from Uncle Jon Erik).

Pace gave a talk in Primary and did a fantastic job!  He talked about how following the principles and ordinances of the gospel is a way to choose the right.  We shared the game we like to play for FHE every so often.  Pace and I sat down and talked about the game, I asked how he would describe it, and I typed up what he said, then he read it, all by himself!

In celebration of my birthday we did birthday poppers before David took off for work, and then we picked up a friend and her kids, and hiked the hot pots trail.  It was a long hike...longer than we expected...but we had fun and wore everyone out!  Everyone had a great time cooling off and splashing in the cool running water (NOT the hot sulfur-smelling water!).  My friend's younger daughter I think was pretty convinced she had Pace nailed as her future husband--she only wanted to keep up with him on the trail, saying, "Hey, Pace!  Wait up!", or, "Pace, let's go this way!", or reaching out to take his hand.  So cute! 

And, of course, more splashing at home...

...and I got to put my feet up, reading a not-school book, and drinking a frozen hot chocolate.

The last day of June was a quiet day, the boys hung out watching shows and I cleaned the house.  

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