Sunday, May 30, 2010

Weekend Warriors...

Okay so actually it was more like "warrior". My baby brother Ben came up to help us build a deck. Aric and I were planning on taking on the project ourselves so on Tuesday I called Ben (he builds houses for a living) to get some advice and this is how our conversation went...
Me- Hey Benny got a minute?
B- Sure what's up?
Me- Well Aric and I are going to build a deck and I wanted to see if I could send you some pictures and tell us how we should do the foundation.
B- Who's building this thing?
Me- Me and Aric.
B- How big is it going to be?
Me- Oh...I don't know, like 14 ft x 20ft.
B- Ummm...let me see what I am doing this weekend. I want my nieces and nephew safe. Send me some pictures and I'll call you later.
On Thursday I call Ben and he says he will be at my house later that night. (He lives 3+ hours away)
****SIDE STORY****
Ben has been dealing with a crazy tooth issue. He lost a filling...the tooth got infected. His regular dentist couldn't fix it so he was waiting to get into a specialist who could do the very complicated root canal. He got the call that he could get in on Thursday at 3pm. I told him that he didn't have to come up but he insisted that he would be fine. So on Thursday night I get a call at 9pm saying that he was an hour away and that he was in pretty bad pain so he had to stop to eat something and take some pain meds. He told me that he wouldn't be able to drive for a couple of hours after he took the meds so he would be late. Well I went to bed at Ben. When we woke up at 7am there was still no Ben and he wasn't answering my calls or texts. I started freaking out. I called the family and the state police. After about an hour of praying and worrying that he was dead in a ditch, he finally called. He had taken two vicatin and they knocked him out. He stayed in a hotel and his phone wasn't working. Seriously...if I wasn't so happy he was alive I would have strangled him with my bare hands when he finally got to my house....
So after Ben and Aric wheeled and dealed they got all the materials purchased and delivered to the house at around 4pm.
The back of my house started out looking like this...
Then Ben started working his magic...
Oh and Aric helped too...

When it was all said and done, it looked like this...
(Ignore the melted siding...that would be the evidence of  grilling incident that could have been gotten us on Dateline)
Clearly our deck is not completely done...Aric and I will have a fun day tomorrow full of drilling and rail installing. Ben did the hard work and I couldn't be any more thrilled or grateful. He worked for meat (steak & ribs), Dr. Pepper and a ticket to the Shock game with A and the girls.

Seriously, there is NO WAY in this world we could have built this deck. Even with all of our handiness A and I would not have been able to pull this one off. There is a limit to our skills. I am so blessed to have a brother who would sacrifice his holiday weekend and build me a deck while recovering from a ROOT CANAL!!!!! Honestly, I feel so loved. Thanks Benny! I love you!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Tim,

I was thrilled to receive the invitation to your concert. I'm sure my small town was not top on your list for places to go on your tour. The venue was small but that turned out to be a good thing for me since our the tickets were bought last minute, the seats weren't the greatest but I still got a great view.
I was a little disappointed by how long it took for you to actually take the stage. I guess with Lady Antebellum being so popular these days, you had to give them a lot of time. Which totally would have been fine, had I known more than one of their songs.

I loved that you sang three of my favorite songs,
Angel Boy...
...Last Dollar (Fly Away)...
...and Barbeque Stain...

I only wish that I could have been down on the floor like these lucky people. I promise I wouldn't grope you like that one girl did.
The only complaint I have about your concert is that there is no fan screening. Seriously, there should be a breath-a-lizer test before people are allowed back to their seats. We got stuck right next to some real boozers. This guy was wasted before he even got to the show.
His ridiculously loud off key singing was a little distracting. I got this lovely shot of him as he was falling into my husband's lap.
I sat next to some lady who was getting loaded during the opening acts so by the time you got on stage she was a goner. She hit me a couple of times thinking I was her husband...
...because he and I look so much alike. She seriously couldn't even stand straight.
I don't get it! Why would people spend that kind of money to see you and then get so drunk that they can't even remember your performance!
Anyway, besides the crazy drunks, I genuinely enjoyed your concert. You put on an amazing show. I loved that you gave me a reason to put on these babies...
...they only come out a couple of times a year.
Even though you were nice to look at, and great to listen to, I must say that the best part about that night, was spending time with my husband. Don't worry, he totally doesn't mind my little crush on you because I think he has a little man crush of his own.
So thanks again for the great time!
Yours Truly,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Twenty Six Point Two....That Would Be Miles

It started the night before with some fellow runners:
Picking up packets
That would be my name with my number...103

We never took a training photo so this one will do...

We did some serious carb loading at Olive Garden...May 14 2010_3238_edited-1

The morning of the race I woke up at 5am. I couldn't sleep so I was more than ready to go. I am NOT a morning person so this really was ridiculous for me.
Off to the race...
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We had about a half hour to kill before the race started. Let's just say there was some praying and a whole lot of urinating going on...thankfully there are no pictures of this.
Here we are at the starting line. The tall blonde is my dear friend Cynthia who moved to Utah a few months ago, but came to run the race. We had no idea she was coming it was a fun surprise.

While I was waiting for the gun shot I realized that I had lost my knee brace. I thought I left it in the Romney's van. Good thing I brought my cell phone along, Ryan found it and had it for me at mile seven. This is me actually asking for it.
Notice no knee brace...
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... and now knee brace.
Can I just openly admit that I am a dork? Here is proof...
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Clearly I clap or do crazy things with my arms/hands when I am happy or excited. That qualifies for dorkness.

Do you have any idea how much I love orange shirts?I was so happy and excited every time I saw this orange shirt...not even because I'm crushing on Adam, my new bishop...
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...but because I was so happy to see these fun cheerleaders  with him!
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It also meant we were that much closer to the end.
Physically I really felt great until mile 20. Emotionally I was hurting for my right wing man, Cami. She got sick at mile 17 and had to pull back. Going on without her was the most painful thing about the race for me.

Thankfully I still had Meg to pace me.
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As we got to mile 21 I started feeling tired, by mile 22 I had hit my wall. I had to dig deep to get through the next 3miles. I actually called one of my brothers but the poor guy was at work and couldn't talk. So instead I read the texts and listened to the voice mails the Samp's had left me. Then I thought about all the emotional and spiritual marathons I had ran already in my life. I thought about my mother in law and the cancer marathon that she is running. I thought about all the hard things that people in my family have done and it got me through that wall.

I just kept telling my self that I could do it. It's just one foot in front of the other. Until I got to the finish line.

I had my loved ones waiting for me and cheering me into the finish line.
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We took a few pictures but it just wasn't right with Cami still out on the course.
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(Notice that I am "J Slow" and Jessica R is "J Go!")
This is what a four hour pace looks like...

This next picture is when I was telling Aric that I needed to go back and find Cami. I had rested for about 30 minutes and I couldn't stand just sitting around waiting for her.

I found her less than a mile away, Stacey joined us to cross the finish line.
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Now the picture is complete.
Cami and I ran through, hail, rain, wind and snow to train for this race. She ended up with some stomach issues but battled through them to finish it. I don't know if I could have done it.
cami and jess
In the end, I had the best race I could've hoped for. The weather was gorgeous, in fact it was almost too hot. I finished in under four and a half hours, which was more than I ever expected. I was determined to enjoy every minute of the race and have a smile on my face, and I did.
It's hard to put into words how it feels to accomplish such a huge goal. It's something I thought I could never do. I couldn't have done it with out my running partners, I LU HUUUUV them. I couldn't have done it without my wonderful husband and sister who watched the kids for SO many hours just so that I could get my training in.
(The men, minus Mark and Patrick, behind the women)
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I share this accomplishment with them and with you, my other loyal fans. Your prayers and words of encouragement helped to drag my tired legs across the finish line.
So here is a high five to you!