Friday, June 21, 2013

I can tell this is going to be the Best Summer Ever

My little ballerinas
The last two summers were crazy.  Just having so many really little kids, always having a newborn, and moving twice in two years has really been hard on summer activity enjoyment. Even the summers before that were difficult because no one was really coordinated enough to play soccer or tennis.   This summer has been so different.  Henry and Bea are both doing tennis lessons(during which I either do a swim workout, run or bike ride for an hour) and then they, along with Clementine jump in the freezing pool and do a swim lesson every day.  We stay and play at the park for a minute before going home to eat a delicious meal and the kids do Rosetta Stone Italian, practice instruments, read books and play outside until Vivi wakes up from her nap and then we go do something fun like play at the pool or go to a park, museum or friend's house.  Henry had basketball camp this past week as well.  The kids are going nuts because they are so happy! It's just so refreshing to have kids all old enough to be self sufficient.  Even Viv just follows the other kids around and just goes with the flow.  This past week Clementine and Bea had their big ballet performance of Pinocchio.  Bea was a schoolgirl and Clementine was a jack-in-the-box. The girls have so much fun getting into their costumes and putting their hair up and make up on.  It's also the only time of the year they're allowed to wear red lipstick.  They strictly stick to a "light pink only" rule with all make-up and nail polish for the rest of the year.  I even took them to get their nails done at the salon for the first time ever and they were totally behaved and loved every minute of it!  I have to say it was the ultimate girls week.  Anyway, next week we're off to a family reunion and we can't wait to see our long lost cousins! I love you summer and I love you little kids!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Last minute 10K

At the finish line
Justin and I along with our brother-in-law, Garrett did an XTerra trail race today.  Justin and I did the 10K while Garrett did the half marathon.   I got 6th place which wasn't so great because there were only 11 women competing in my race.  I didn't train at all for this race and I wasn't feeling strong at all, so I kind of wimped out.  My time was 58 min and I got passed by a lot of people.  The terrain was hilly and technical, which made it really fun, but I basically jogged and didn't have an ounce of power in my weak lead legs.  Not sure what happened, but it was fun anyhow!  Thanks Garrett for inviting us to run with you!   

The best part of the day was going to the spa and lunch afterward for a few hours.  I napped and relaxed and then we had a delicious gourmet lunch.  Then we rushed home to grab the kids for a campfire cookout up Big Cottonwood canyon with the Bradshaw family.  I think I can say I lived my life to the fullest today. No regrets!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Woman of Steel Triathlon

Me and Lucy after the race.  Check out my new triathlon suit! It looked hideous on me but it was so functional!

A couple weeks ago I did the Women of Steel triathlon sprint with my sister Lucy.  For the first time in my life, I actually felt pretty prepared for this race and I felt strong throughout the entire race.  The competition was steep, especially in my age group so I didn't do as well as I had hoped, but I still felt great about my performance.  I finished 7th in my age category of 70 women and 33rd overall out of over 400 women.  I have to also say that I love sprint races.  I can't think of anything more boring than running or biking for hours upon hours.  I just love the quick transitions and events of a sprint tri.  I am, however, doing an Olympic length at the end of the summer and I'll let you know if it was fun or not. 

The day was cold and it rained for the entire drive until I reached the event location.  It threatened rain and sprinkled a couple times during my race, but never let loose. I believe a lot of prayers kept the ran at bay because it was pouring everywhere else around the entire valley.  Before the race started, all the women were standing around the pool trying to hear what was being said at the pre-race meeting, laughing, dancing to try to keep warm and making sure they were in the right line.  We were all supposed to line up according to our projected swim line.  I got in line at the end of the 5 minute group, but I noticed that there were many women in front of me who were not swimming fast at all.  Looking back, I should have gone in the four minute group, even though I know I couldn't have gone that fast.  If I had been in that first group of women, I bet I would have had someone to keep up with during the bike portion because all the first women were the ones who won, even if they didn't have great swim times.  The swim was in a 50 meter pool, which made it an individual start and also made it so I wasn't competing with the women who were in my same category and ability.    So, for the swim, we started in an outside lane, did one lap, then ducked under the lane line and did another, ducked again and did another-it was very strange.  As I ran across the timing mat to start my swim, I slipped and fell.  I hit my knee, but the rush of adrenaline was too high so I didn't feel anything until the end of the race.  It wasn't too bad anyway, but kind of embarrassing, ya know.  The swim was hard for the first 100 meters and I felt like I wasn't getting any air, but then my blood started to flow and went faster and felt stronger.  I passed a couple women and so did Lucy.

I hopped out and ran to my bike in the freezing cold.  I pulled on my shoes, my arm warmers and started the two loops.  During the bike, I was only passed by one woman.  I was hoping to catch up to someone who was going hard, but I didn't and all the women in the second lap had all just started and were in the slower groups so I had no one to ride with.  I was disappointed to see that there was a bunch of glass in the bike lane and I saw at least 5 women changing their tires right after that.  I would think that they would have checked the route for any serious hazards.  Thankfully, I avoided getting a flat.  I lost about 10 seconds because my chain fell off, but I fixed it quickly and made up lost ground.  It was pretty cold outside and as I was riding I was so glad I borrowed Justin's biking sleeves, but I didn't want to waste time putting on my gloves so my hands were freezing as well as my feet.

My transition to the run was very fast.  All I had to do was take off my helmet and I was out of there in a flash.  My muscles felt a little strange, but since I had done quite a few bike to run workouts I felt better than I had felt during all my other triathlon transitions from bike to run.  The only problem was that my feet were frozen and couldn't feel a thing!  It took a little while to get up to the speed I wanted, but I was glad that I still felt like I had energy to push myself and wasn't just dragging myself along.  I was running hard and passing everyone, except for one woman who passed me.  She looked so fresh.  I wonder if she was in the relay or something.  Anyway, only one woman passed me on the run, so I felt great about that.  The last half mile was downhill, so it felt great to be sprinting downhill approaching the finish line.  I caught up to a lady who was running pretty fast at the end and had a sprint to the finish with her.  It was fun, until her children ran out and almost tripped me.  I beat her though.  Woo hoo! 

That was the end.  I was hoping to get podium, but the winner was in my category and there were a few women who were at least 5 minutes faster than me.  The two right ahead of me were only about 30 seconds ahead, so I might have been able to get 5th, but 4th place was way faster than I think I could have done so the podium was totally out of reach.  I was happy nonetheless.  I got a cute necklace instead of a lame medal and waited for my sister to finish.  She came in about 7 minutes behind me, but got 6th in her age group.  She did awesome!  It was so fun watching her run in and cross the finish line.  We ate some fruit and then headed to the car because the threat of rain that entire morning came to fruition and it started coming down.  We were so fortunate to have finished before it really started coming down and I had to get back to meet my family at the movie theater, so we left before the awards ceremony.  Lucy and I both thought, "why am I doing this to myself?" during the race, but afterward we both agreed that it was so rewarding we would do it again. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day Meltdowns

Last Mother's Day was wonderful.  Kids behaved, we went to church, I got way too many cards and all my delicious meals were taken care of by my wonderful family.  This year was a little different...

I woke up from tent camping after not sleeping due to the fact that I had to relieve myself all night but didn't want to get out of my warm sleeping bag and/or disturb my sleeping baby, so I just held it and woke up every time I found myself on my back feeling the need even more.  When I finally got up, I made breakfast for the entire camp and we spent the first part of the day with our cranky children, trying to have fun in Goblin Valley.  Both Clementine and Violette were not enjoying themselves and I ended up carrying them both.  After we ate lunch we hopped in the car and drove with a lot more screaming and crying all the way to my mom's place for Mother's Day dinner...which was re-heated Indian food.  Hmmm.  Not my favorite.  Of course my children didn't eat much and so my mom gave them 4 ice cream bars each because she "wanted to get rid of them".  I wasn't aware my children look like garbage cans because that's exactly where those bars should have ended up.  I didn't say anything because, hey, it's Mother's Day, right?  Justin gave me the gift that I found on the kitchen table a couple weeks ago because he forgot to hide it(still in the bag I put it in, not wrapped and not even one card from my husband or kids) and then we finally got home at 9:30 at which point Bea was having a meltdown because she couldn't find her blankie.  I told her to get ready for bed and brush her teeth and I would look for it while I was cleaning out the car.  She just stood there screaming at the top of her lungs that she wouldn't leave the garage without it and was angrier than I have ever seen her.  Could it have been the lack of sleep mixed with four desserts? Yeah.  Then came the kicker...After she didn't listen to me for the 10th time I said to her, "you're not being nice to me and it's Mother's Day".  Bea responded in the loudest scream she could muster, "I hate mothers and I hate Mother's Day!"

The only consolation is that she ended up having a fever in the morning so I can only imagine how she was feeling that I forgave her.  She's been making up for it all week by giving me dandelions from our horrible lawn.  Then it was all made better when I woke up the next morning to our beautiful lilac hedge completely covered in flowers and it was so warm and smelled so good outside.  I gathered 36 delicious eggs from my chickens, took 4 roosters and my mean, mean turkey to slaughter and did an awesome workout to get ready for my triathlon this weekend.  It is good to be home. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Let the races begin!

Pre race excitement with Becky
Well, I'm dedicated to keeping up on my blogs now that my farm is finally getting established.  I have been working from dawn until well after dark pruning, mulching, clearing woods, creating a giant garden, planting an orchard, and trying to get my pile of sticks and leaves that is taking over my driveway to disappear! That doesn't include taking care of chickens, turkeys, cooking, cleaning, driving around town, and taking care of kids...and keeping tabs on where our hairless rats are.  More photos to come on the subject of the farm, but I had to blog first on the duathlon I did a few weeks ago because it's the first official race I have done after Vivi was born!  I was such a slacker last summer from moving into my house and trying to survive with horrible allergies I have never had and just didn't quite feel up to it, but now I'm feeling great and started the year off good with a second place finish.  If any of you know me, I pretty much always get second place for some reason, but I'm actually fine with it, especially because I don't really train like I should for any of these races, so I don't even expect to do well at all.  The duathlon was called the Legacy Duathlon and it consisted of a 1.5 mile run, 11 mile bike and another 1.5 mile run and I loved it(a duathlon is different from a biathlon because in a biathlon there aren't three segments).  I am a sprinter at heart and being able to just book it as fast as I could run was so fun.  There was no pacing involved in the run and that's the way I like it.  The bike was tricky and I lost a lot of time because I just got a bike for the first time in my life 5 days before the race, so I couldn't remember what gears were which and had to concentrate too much on that and I got passed by quite a few people.  I ran it with my friend Becky who got first place(woot woot!) and the best part was at the awards ceremony they called the third place winner and they called Amelia and I thought it was me(and I screamed and high fived Becky lol), but then they said a different last name and another lady ran up, but then they announced second place and said it was another Amelia and it was me.  Phew! Then they announced the winner and said "first place is not Amelia" and then called Becky's name.  haha. It was hilarious.
On our rickety podium.  This race was ghetto.

Post race at the finish line.  They tents and blow up finish gate blew over in the wind.  lol.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Change of Seasons

Well, I was really happy to have my super simple life of ski, ski, ski every day but now that spring has sprung here in Utah (a lot earlier than the East coast I may add), there is a lot to do around the farm!  I'm busy getting areas ready to plant our orchard, raspberries and vegetable garden. I am so excited I think I may jump out of my skin.  More to come with that. 
I giant fish we caught

Posing on the bow

Justin attempting to be pulled behind the wimpy dinghy on a paddle board

One of many critters I dragged up from the bottom of the sea

Also, I've been asked to do a nutrition booth at the BYU Women's Conference and I got some friends to help me and we're really going full force with our nutrition ideas.  It's basically what has been known as "alternative" nutrition which is actually becoming a little more mainstream these days.  If any of you want to know what I'm talking about and want to know how to actually eat healthfully and avoid the health problems and cancer plaguing our country even though everyone is supposedly on the "recommended" diet, then you can go to the BYU Women's Conference 2013 website and find our booth title "Got Real Food" and look at our handouts.  They're a lot easier to read than the giant books we have been reading to put them together in the most condensed format for your convenience.  Or, you can come to the conference May 2-3 and visit us there!
The Captain and crew: Me, Erik and Emily Orton, Heidi and Paul Clark, York and Jane Young and Justin

The beautifully developed island of Virgin Gorda.  Every island was different and this one was the fanciest for sure

Playing around with the camera again.  I love the moon in this shot

Perfect beach

We've been traveling a lot lately as well. Justin and I went on an epic sailing trip for our 10th anniversary to the British Virgin Islands for a whole entire week after Henry's Birthday. I couldn't believe how relaxed a person could be!  I kept thinking every morning that I couldn't believe I had more days left because after three days I was good to go home.  I scuba dived for the first time ever and was in heaven at the bottom of the ocean.  I always say I was a mermaid in my former life.  I really love being underwater. 
Some interesting shells and coral I collected for the kids

Our catamaran, the Catatonic

We also traveled to Chicago with Henry for a weekend to visit the Chou family and let Henry play with Wee-o while the dads went to the AAOS meeting (orthopaedic surgeons).  It was fun to see some of our old friends and to explore Chicago.  It was really freezing there, but they make up for the weather by having some of the best museums I have ever been to and the best restaurant I have ever eaten at.  Justin and I went to Alinea, which is a 3 Michelin star rated restaurant and the food and presentation were more amazing than I can even describe. What a wonderful meal.

At the top of Willis Tower(formerly Sears Tower)
This past weekend we went camping in San Rafael Swell with some of our great friends here in our new ward and we explored two slot canyons, Ding and Dang (don't forget Ding Dang Dome in the middle) while we lowered 12 children down 10 food drops into freezing cold red muddy water for 7 hours.  It was an epic adventure that I may never do again unless I'm not with children.  I am Ding Dang Done with that slot canyon! That was pretty much nuts.  We saw some awesome Native American pictographs on the canyon walls which we were amazed by.
Amazing layers of rock at San Rafael Swell
Three of the cutest girls in the world! Clementine, Bea and our friend Emma Stapel

View from our campsite

Clementine holding her lizzard.  She loves this thing!

Vivi hiking through a goblin at Goblin Valley

Can't really tell what the artist was trying to depict with this super long arm.  Any guesses?

How cool are these? We got to get up really close to these pictographs which are just about the oldest things in our country

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bread rises again

The bread comes out like this every single time.  It's like having a new baby every day.  Pure joy to look at.

As soon as I start making bread, I know my life is back to normal.  I got a new dutch oven for Christmas and along with my older and larger one, I have been making delicious, crusty on the outside and squishy on the inside, bread pretty much every day.  I am basically obsessed.  I also got a bread book that has many more recipes for breads that I would love to try, so I'm going to be experimenting with those if I have enough time during the day.  The great thing about this bread is that it takes almost no time at all.  The night before you want bread, you mix 3 Cups flour, 1 tsp yeast, 1 heaping tsp salt and 2 C warm water in a bowl, cover and let stand for at least 12 hours and not more than 24 hours, preferably less than 18 hours. An hour before you want to bake your bread, warm your dutch oven up in your oven for a half hour at 475.  Let it sit in there for a half hour to get it nice and hot.  While it's warming, pour your bubbling bread mixture out on a well floured countertop and cover with flour for easy handling.  When your dutch oven is hot, carefully take it out of the oven, open the lid and plop in your ball of dough.  Replace the lid and put back into the oven for a half hour with the lid on and then 15 minutes with the lid off at the end.  Every time I take the lid off to see what lie inside, I am astounded at how beautiful it is and it seems like a miracle that it's so delicious and easy at the same time.  This bread is definitely easier than regular bread and doesn't take up a huge chunk of time all at once.  I make this bread every morning and sometimes twice every day because if I'm just home cooking dinner, why not throw in another batch of bread and take it over to neighbors and friends? It's that easy. 
Here's me in my marathon shirt, holding a delicious loaf of bread.  How ironic.  haha.

As well as bread rising again, I have gotten back into my exercise kick since I was knocked down by horrible allergies that I can't believe I've developed after all these years of being allergy free.  I'm almost considering moving to Antarctica just to live allergy free because I almost killed myself this summer because my body was interfering with my big plans!  So, now I'm finally training for the Moab half marathon in March.  I am not a distance runner and I should lose like 10 lbs if I want to be lighter on my feet and actually run this race well, but I'm just not built for it.  My dad and step mother are running it with me as well as a couple friends from my neighborhood and all I can hope is that I keep up with or beat my 57 year old step mother.  I may not even realize that goal.  She's pretty awesome.  Well, I've weighed in around 138 lately and if I can get down to 130 I think running will be easier for me.  Eating all this delicious bread is probably doing nothing for my weight loss goals, but I'm sure I'll get sick of eating it all day long soon and I won't be tempted. 

One of the other reasons I want to get in shape is that Justin and I are going on a sailing trip to the BVI's for our 10 year anniversary the end of February.  I really don't want to take a bunch of fat photos for our trip.  The ones of me in Italy look like I'm overweight, even though I'm really not.  So, fat, please melt away so I can not cringe at my anniversary trip photos!