Timing Chip

Race/Timing Chip # 17792 go to this Website : www.rnrmarathon.com And you put in my moms # and it will track where she is.

This is Morgan Kristen's Daughter posting this for her cause she doesn't have computer access.


It's Here

Can it really be that after four months of training that the marathon is only 3 days away? Honestly, it just doesn't feel real that it is here. 

I am just a muddled up  bundle of emotion today.  I can't even pinpoint exactly what I am feeling.  I know I am feeling anxious about traveling tomorrow without my husband and kids.  I am anxious about getting the kids where they need to go tomorrow and getting to the airport. I am worried about getting all the packing done. I am worried about Lance getting all the bags, car seats, pack and play, paperwork, etc .. to the airport on Sunday. I am worried about how Lance will do traveling with all three kids by himself.  I am excited to go to San Diego. I am excited and a bit nervous to do the marathon. I am excited for the activities before the race and the time I get to spend in San Diego with my family afterwards. I am excited to see the sunshine.  I am excited to meet Sarah.  I am excited to reconnect with my husbands cousins Shannon and Courtney. I am looking forward to two nights in a hotel room by myself.  I am looking forward to having some time to read a new book (Lynn, my friend and encourager I am not giving up on Anna but she is too big and bulky to pack for my trip. I will be getting back to her when I return).  I am looking forward to our pasta party and victory party. I am looking forward to spending time with my teammates in San Diego. 

This morning I watched some video clips on you tube from last years marathon posted by team in training participants from around the country.  These clips had me in tears.  I don't know if it is the fact that I know how hard they have worked to meet their goal. I don't know if it is the sense of doing something to help other people. I don't know if it is about being part of a team.  I don't know if it was the look of joy on their faces as they crossed the finish line. I don't know exactly what it was but something in those video clips touched me.

It's here my bloggy friends! The culmination of four months of training.  Thank you for all your support and following this journey with me. I am sure you are plenty tired of reading about it!  I will do a final post (or two) on this journey from San Diego - the laptop is packed and so is the camera. Who knows what bloggable moments will occur??

Now I am off to snuggle with my kids, finish packing, and get life organized around here before I leave TOMORROW.  


Weekend Happenings

- field trip to the Discovery Center
- dinner out with Lance and my team on a rooftop patio - so fun!
- last training run
- BBQ with our neighbors
- shopping for spring/summer clothes
- bike ride
- picnic lunch in the park
- planting the salsa garden
- transplanting bushes and planting flowers 

the pulley chair at the Discovery Center
Landon's turn in the pulley chair
the bed of nails - landon thought this was very cool
dr. mauryn with her stethescope

 one corner of the salsa garden


Backyard Bonfire

It was a picture perfect spring evening last night. There was a slight breeze and the temperature was mild as the sun was setting.  We were sitting outside lamenting with our neighbors about how it would be the perfect evening to have a bonfire.  

About a month ago, our neighbors friend/daycare provider bought the house across the street and her backyard has a fire pit.  We decided to pack up the kids, ingredients for s'mores, wood, matches, and blankets and surprise our new neighbor by inviting ourselves over for a bonfire.  Of course if Pat and Val didn't know Joan so well we would never have done it!  I think Joan (a recent widow) was grateful for the company and distraction as last night was her first night in her new house alone.    

We got to enjoy a fun part of camping without having to sleep in a tent. The kids had a blast roasting marshmallows and sitting by the fire.  What a fun way to spend the evening!

Thank you Joan for letting us invade your backyard last night and disrupt your quiet evening!

Morgan - the poser (not sure where this comes from)
working on some marshmallows
Landon relaxing by the fire eating his s'more
Mauryn eating some marshmallows
Lance enjoying his s'more


Three words that make me cringe

Bathing suit season.

Why does it have to be so hard to find a bathing suit that fits my almost 35 year old post 3 babies body??

A new bathing suit is a necessity with our vacation coming up next week. I am sure there will be plenty of time spent at the swimming pool and visiting the beach. Shorts and a t-shirt don't really cut it as swimming apparel. 

My last suit has been confiscated by my family (mainly my husband) since it was 6 years old and well it wasn't in very good shape. Yep, I hadn't purchased a bathing suit (except a maternity suit) since June 2002.  Before that I had purchased a bathing suit since our honeymoon in December 1996.  Can you tell how much I dread the process!

Thank you Lands End for having free shipping so I can do this from the convenience of my own home (we know how much fun it is to try things on with kids in the dressing room) and to Sears for taking the returns - you will know me well by the time this process is over.  


DInnertime Offenses

The Offense: Poor table manners, goofing off during dinner, laying on the bench, looking out the window, pretty much doing anything but eating

The Offender: The boy

The Consequence: Retrieve booster seat from the garage and buckle the boy in it for the remainder of the meal and all meals today. For the boy, this is pure torture to sit buckled in for his meals.

The Reaction: "I know how to unbuckle this seat."  
      " I am going to take this seat apart and throw it away"

The Supportive Husband and Daughter: Thank you Lance and Morgan for helping with the situation at dinner last night. It sure made things easier with the two of you were laughing at the boy and not doing a very good job of hiding it.  Next time, leave the room! It is hard for me to not laugh with you and I needed to have the serious mom face.

The Verdict: Transitioning out of nap with this guy is not pretty.  The boy is stubborn and has a bit of a temper. When he melts, although it isn't a shining moment for him, the things spewing from his mouth are quite humorous (and it is so hard not to laugh).  We are trying to be patient, teach him how to handle his emotions more appropriately, and get him to bed earlier (which is hard now that it stays light outside so late).  My saving grace is that he gets over his meltdowns fairly quickly and returns to his sweet and loving little self.  



I started a journey four months ago with mostly selfish intentions - to lose some weight and complete an endurance event before my 35th birthday. Sure it was for a good cause, I would raise money for cancer research, and maybe make some new friends. 

Over the past four months, I knew that I would be challenged physically and I knew I would probably learn some lessons along the way but what I didn't expect was the emotional impact of this journey. 

A few weeks ago at one of our training runs, one of the office staff members came to speak to us. In her hands was a large gift bag that contained a large garbage bag filled with empty pill bottles from her sons chemotherapy.  Her son at age 9 started filling his body with chemicals to kill the cancer.  He is now 12 years old and in remission due to the advances in cancer research. Seeing all those empty pill bottles and knowing that they went into a little boys body touched my heart, especially as a mother, to the very core.

This past weekend, three of my teammates completed their marathons in Boise. In 95 degree heat.  With smiles on their faces. I am so proud of them!  For the last 50 yards of each of their runs, our team stood on the grass cheering, clapping, ringing cow bells, and blowing whistles to show our support and encourage them on to the finish line.  Each time, my eyes filled with tears. To see them complete their events that they had trained so hard for was awesome. Knowing that my event was two short weeks away, they gave me inspiration and hope.

I have taken more from this journey than I ever imagined. I was hoping that physically my body would change after all the training but I didn't even comprehend how emotionally I would be changed forever.  I didn't realize how bonded I would feel with the people I have trained with over the past four months.  I didn't understand how good it would feel to be part of a team.  I didn't realize how important the support and encouragement of others would be.  I didn't realize that this is truly about the journey and not the destination - until now.


After 12 hours

in the kitchen my marathon day of baking is over!  I made 16 dozen cookies, 4 pans of bars, and 2 types of mixes (chex and an almond bark) to sell at my bake sale tomorrow. It is our neighborhood yard sale weekend so as a last hurrah to my fundraising efforts I decided to have a bake sale.

I truly enjoy the baking and the kids were a big help with getting ingredients ready, mixing, and watching all the goodies bake. Landon was an especially big helper when it came to tasting!! After lunch he wanted a cookie, I said he would have to wait. He turns, looks at me and says "Mom, you can't sell these to people unless we have tried them to see if they are good."  Of course he earned himself a cookie for being so witty - and it helps he is fairly cute too!

As I was getting all my baked goods ready to take next door to set up, I was grumbling about how late I was going to be up cleaning from baking all day.  I had tackled a good portion of the cleaning throughout the day but there were still pans to wash, countertops to be wiped down, and a stovetop that needed to be scrubbed.  

When I returned from the neighbors I came home to a clean kitchen.  What a great surprise! This was such a gift, especially if you know my husband because doing dishes is not his thing.  Thank you Lance!


Lessons Across the Miles

My goal is to finish the race. I don't care about my time, I just want to enjoy the experience, do something to help people, and have fun. 

I have said this over and over again in the past four months. But deep in my ever so competitive heart I was keeping track of my times and hoping to finish within a certain time frame.  I wasn't admitting it out loud but I did care about my time - until this past week.

Our team had a meeting one night last week to talk about our travel, preparing for the race, and the overall plan for our event weekend.  During that meeting there were several things said by coaches and mentors that resonated with me:
- You have all worked so hard for this event. You need to soak in the beautiful scenery and enjoy this experience.
- This is a journey not a destination
- There is nothing like your first marathon
- Your time is not what is important, covering the distance you need to is what is important

Over the course of my training I had strained my IT band (most likely from pushing myself too hard for that time I didn't care about).  For the most part it is just a nuisance causing some tenderness, but there have been times when it sends a shooting pain through my leg.  I have been babying my knee, not training as hard as I would like, so that I can complete the marathon in less than three weeks.

On Saturday as we started our 20 mile run I found myself running with a group that paces a bit slower than I normally run.  As the miles added up our group started to spread out along the course.  I was running with the same woman I had been running with throughout the training.  I probably push myself a bit to keep pace with her at times.  She has an abundance of energy at the end of a race where my energy is about depleted.  When we came to the water stop at about mile 15, my calves were starting to cramp so I stopped to stretch and told her to go on with our coach while I waited for the group behind us.  I finished the run with the group that paces a bit slower but it felt good. I felt better those last five miles taking it easier on my body, enjoying the slower pace, and getting to know some new people.  

I truly want to embrace this experience.  By running at a little slower pace and not pushing myself so hard, I might be able to take in a bit of the scenery and soak up the experience. I know there will be tough points along the route where I will hit a wall and maybe feel like quitting. The good thing about being part of a team is there are people there to hold you up, support, cheer, and encourage you along the way.  

I could push myself harder, try for a better time but really will five or ten or even fifteen minutes matter?  I will just have run 26.2 miles, raised over $3600 for cancer research, and made some incredible friends - those are the things that matter.  I have made peace with not running for a time. I am going to go out and run the best race I can and cross the finish line hopefully with a smile on my face.


Dr's Visit and Weekend

I think the hearing has finally returned to my right ear after Landon's shots on Friday.  He screamed. loud. blood curtling screams. even before the needle went into his leg. yeah. not fun. 

Landon's stats: 39 1/4 inches tall, 35.5 lbs
Mauryn's stats: 29 inches long, 18 lbs 12 oz  

On Saturday I had my longest run before the marathon - 20 miles.  It went as well as could be expected - it was a gorgeous spring day. I was thankful for sunshine and cool breezes.  Only 3 weeks until the marathon. It is coming so quickly! 

Yesterday was a very quiet and relaxing day - just like I enjoy on a Sunday.  In the afternoon, we loaded up the bikes and went into Boise to bike on the greenbelt along the Boise River with our neighbors. It was so beautiful! I have run a few times along the greenbelt in the past month, but we were able to explore some new areas and parks.  After biking, we went to a new pizza/sandwich place outside of the downtown area. The food was great and a perfect place to take the kids.  It was a perfect Mother's Day with lots of family time. 



Nearly ten years ago we moved out of our first home.  We were young, everyone around us was young, either in vet school or graduate school, and no one really paid attention to the idea of being neighbors or neighborly.  We were all in transition knowing this was a place to rest our heads for a few years and then move on to bigger and better things.

When we purchased our first house it was in a newly developing neighborhood. We had hoped to buy a house in an established neighborhood with a yard and trees, but there just wasn't much on the market in the small town where we would be living.  We bought a new house, planted grass, put in bushes, put up curtains, and tried to turn this house into our home.  

The day we moved in to our house there was a HUGE thunderstorm that caused us to loose power for almost 24 hours.  Within a short time of the power going out, we had two neighbors (who we hadn't even met yet) come to the door with power cords so we could plug into their generators to keep our sump pump running (otherwise our basement would have flooded).

We lived in that house and neighborhood for 7 years.  Our neighbors became some of our closest friends.  They were people I could call on if I was running short on kitchen ingredients or to help watch kids spur of the moment.  They were people who welcomed us home with our first two children. They were the people we would spend time with in the evenings in our backyard - pushing kids on the swings, catching them on the slide, and playing ball. 

I liked our house but I LOVED our neighborhood and our neighbors. They made our small town feel like home. There were nights spent on decks watching fireworks or listening to music from downtown during the summer festival.  

Two and a half years ago we made the decision to move out of state.  One of the hardest things was leaving my neighbors.  I knew we had been blessed to be part of a wonderful neighborhood for those seven years.

The day before we moved into our house here we met our next door neighbors.  We learned they were Midwestern transplants like us and there was an instant connection.  Within our first week here they had introduced us to their friends, had us over for dinner, and had taken us to a baseball game.  They were so wonderful about making us feel at home, so far away from everyone and everything we knew.  They graciously answered my questions about garbage pick up, where to go grocery shopping, and the most convenient places to mail packages and get stamps.

We have come to rely on our neighbors as our family.  We celebrate birthdays and holidays together, share dinners or desserts on a regular basis, and serve as backup spur of the moment babysitters for each other.  

This past weekend someone told me " I hope you know how lucky you are to have such great neighbors."  I don't think I honestly realized what a blessing it is to have great neighbors.  I just assumed it was like this for other people as well.  I have come to realize we have been truly blessed, not once but twice with terrific neighbors who are more like family to us than friends.



As we were rounding the corner of mile nine on our run on Saturday, we saw a purple tent set up with staff members from our local team in training office.  They were standing by cheering us on as we turned to finish our last five miles.  As we were leaving the park, one of the workers run up beside us and said "You arrived ahead of schedule. Your families are on their way and will be here when you return."   

The last few miles the thought of seeing my family kept pushing me through to the end.  I was surprised to see that not only had my family made it but also our wonderful neighbors.  

I got a little taste of what it will be like on marathon day.  The cow bells ringing, the signs waving, and the feeling of great accomplishment.

Thank you Lance, Morgan, Landon, Mauryn, Pat, Val, Amiah, and Cooper for coming to surprise me! I know it wasn't easy coordinating everyone's schedules to be at the finish line but it really made my day to see all of you there supporting me.

the final leg of the run
this is right after i finished - ignore the bed head, sweaty head, in need of a haircut hair
why i didn't drop my coat along the way i will never know - it was such a pain to have that thing on me during the run

the family

* thanks Val for taking pictures :o)


Photo Contest

(photo entered in this contest)

This picture is taken the day our daughter arrived, the day we became a family of three, the day my husband became a father, and the day we started this parenting journey together. It encompasses the beginning of my journey into motherhood.



Usually all our mailbox contains is catalogs, advertisements, other forms of junk mail, and of course bills.  

A few weeks ago I had an unexpected surprise in the mailbox.  A note. Handwritten. From a friend. It wasn't my birthday or a special occasion. It wasn't a thank you note. It was just a kind, sweet note from one friend to another. 

The words in the note could easily have been written in an email. Instead this friend took time to pick a note card and handwrite her message.  There is something special about the time and care taken to handwrite a message.  The handwritten note or letter is almost a lost from of communication with the invention of email.  I know I am guilty of sending of a quick note over email rather than taking the time to put those same words to pen and paper.  

Since we moved, Morgan has been sporadically writing letters back and forth with her friends. Each time a letter comes in the mail, her eyes light up and she finds a quiet place to read her letter.  Then she hangs on to each letter or card like a treasure.  She finds a special place for them and rereads them often.  At the age of 8, she understands the time, effort, and love put into each letter or note.

The wonderful thing about the handwritten note or letter,  is that it is something to hang on to and treasure. I have a few I have received over the years that had messages in them that touched my heart. I keep those notes in a special place and when I am having "one of those days" I can pull them out and refresh my spirit.  

I am going to help out the postal service and make it my goal to send at least one handwritten letter or note a week.  I am going out to buy some cute note cards and stationary to make writing my notes a little more fun.  Or maybe I will carve out time to hand stamp note cards!  

Dear bloggy friends if you want to be added to my list of recipients, you can email me your address.  I would love to send you a handwritten note.  There is just something special about seeing a piece of real mail amongst the junk mail and bills.

* my email address can be found on my profile page