Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey trot, trot, trot

(Bottom row, Lisa and Me, Top row, Dad, Nick, Craig in a turkey suit, Amy, Mike, Rachael, Richard (holding Rock))

My family has run the Turkey Trot in Mesa for like 30+ years now, or almost as long as they've put it on. It was just my dad for many of those years, but as you can tell, he's converted most of his children to the sport of running. This makes him a little giddy, as he loves running almost as much as he loves us.

Before you get any ideas about how lovely this all is, a family full of runners getting together early Thanksgiving morning to celebrate and enjoy one another's company, I have to tell you that this is not for fun, although we have fun. We are not occasional runners. We take this seriously.

For example here are some words we exchange with each other as we await the start:
What do you think your pace is going to be today?
What is your goal time?
How did you do last year?
Do you think you'll set a PR (personal record)?
Did you eat a good dinner last night?
What did you eat for breakfast?
Are you feeling strong?
How's your hip, calf, foot, etc.?
Remember, don't go out too fast (to the newcomer).

As we congregate on the patio above the sign in tables, we hand off all of our keys, wallets, phones, and newly acquired t-shirts to the spectators (usually mom, some spouses and small children). We stretch and jump and pin our bibs to our shirts. We discuss whether we think the weather will be good, and whether we should add or shed layers. My dad visits the portajohn a million times, just in case. We watch the 1 milers finish, and then the 2 milers. Then we start our descent to the start line (surprisingly this year, one of us was skipping very big skips to the start, I won't say who).

My eldest brother who runs 6 minute miles is usually right up near the line. The rest of us are nearer to the front than the back of the pack. We wait, and wait, until the gun goes off. And then we go.

No, we don't run all together.

We each have our own pace. Sometimes those paces match up, and we'll get two of us running together. This year was Rachael's first year, as she's a newcomer to the sport. Amy ran with her. They did awesome, although I know Rachael was slowed down by the massive ring on her left hand, placed there just the night before by Greg(g). I am excited to have another sister in the running ranks (Beka you are next). I am also excited to have another brother.

We weave in and out of the thousands of people. The crowds don't seem to thin at all, as it's a 10K and there aren't enough miles to separate them. We turn onto Brown, turn again at the end of the park, turn again on Adobe. All the time passing runners and being passed by runners as we find our paces.

I am surprised this year as I see my dad ahead of me. I catch him, smile, and run past him. I wondered, rightly so, if his injury was bothering him. I don't see any of my other siblings. I wonder who is ahead and who is behind me. I slowed down for mile 5, it's a slight upgrade. I get discouraged because I don't foresee making my first goal (53 minutes) and try to salvage my second goal (55 minutes). I hit mile 6, with .2 to go and realize if I kick hard enough I can make 53. I don't know how I made up the time, but I kick. I cross the finish line, then turn to the ropes to catch the rest of my family. I look for them, and pretty soon I see Nick, then Amy and Rachael. I cheer and then go find the rest of the family on the patio.

Someone tells me I beat Richard. What?! I came in 1st BM (behind Mike, who ran it in 42 minutes, the freak show). That can't be right, I say. Are you sure? I beat Richard?! I came in after Mike?! I let the reality of that hit. It was a wonderful feeling, sublime actually. Although I somehow missed them, Richard, Lisa, and Dad came in right after me.

We discuss the race back on the patio. We dissect the miles, recap our injuries and illnesses and how we feel now. We eat orange slices and drink water. And then we wish each other a Happy Thanksgiving and leave. Some of us go to the parents, some to the inlaws.

It's one of my most favorite holiday traditions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Ways to tell your children are turning into teenagers and you are turning into your mother:

Me: Why didn't you eat your lunch today? (asked as looking into a full lunchbox)
Child: Because no one brings those kind of chips to school. (Tortilla chips)
Me: When I was your age, I was grateful for anything to eat, and most days I had nothing!

Me: I bought you a new shirt today. How do you like it? (Holding up a nice striped polo)
Child: I'm not wearing that to school. No one wears those kinds of shirts to school.
Me: What's wrong with it? It's nice, and brand new!
Child: No one wears nice clothes to school, I'm not wearing it.
Me: Oh you'll wear it, if I have to duct tape it to your body!

Child: Do you want me to show you which boy I like? He's in the yearbook.
Me: Is it still that Mike kid? (Fake names have been used)
Child: Mom, he is soooo last year. He's totally old school.

Child: I need a cell phone.
Me: No, you don't.
Child: But all my friends have one!
Me: I didn't get a cell phone until I was 31, you are just going to have to wait.
Child: I wish we weren't so poor.

Child: Mom, are you going to blog about this?
Me: No. Well, maybe.
Child: Well I'll find out, all my friends read your blog.
Me: Ummmm, what?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Sometimes I mess up. And then I feel just awful about it. I'm not perfect. I've never claimed to be. I just wish I wasn't so human. And I wish I could hide under anonymity, so no one would ever have to know that I am a loser sometimes.
And if I want to dwell on this for a little while, I wish people wouldn't tell me to get over it. Because I will get over it, just on my own timetable.


I have magic scriptures. Yes, that's right, magic.

When I open my scriptures, I am almost always given the comfort, answers and admonitions I needed right then. Seriously, it's almost scary.

For example, I was complaining the other day (not perfect, remember?) about having to do something that seemed monumentally difficult. I complained to a few(5) people about said hard task (don't judge me, it's how my head works). I wallowed in a swimming pool of self-pity.

Then (10 minutes later) I realized I was wrong. I was really wrong. And I needed to apologize to all (5) people I had complained to. I needed to assure them that I would be fine, that my complaints were unfounded, that everything was actually going to be alright.

And then I felt really dumb. Why is it that when I feel really strongly about something I can't just stop my mouth from opening and my foot from lodging itself inside? Why can't I figure out the feelings I have on my own, without involving a whole slew of innocent bystanders, whom I've now converted to my way of thinking, and I have to reshape their view of the situation?

That evening, I opened my scriptures. Literally, I just opened them. And there, highlighted for my eyes to read was 1 Nephi. You know the part where Nephi speaks about his brothers murmuring, where they were saying it's a hard thing the Lord has asked them to do, but Nephi says he will go and do all things?

I wish I wasn't a murmurer. There in black and white and highlighted red, were the words I needed to hear, stop murmuring. Just go and do. My life is not hard. I don't have many trials, compared to some. Everything would be alright. Stop freaking out.

I wish my magic scriptures would've opened themselves a little sooner.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Can you see what's missing?
That's right, his first baby tooth popped out last week. And by popped out, I literally mean he hung onto it with every effort he could until it finally gave up the ghost. It was turning a very disturbing shade of dark and was distortedly twisted from lack of attachment. But he did NOT want to pull it, for fear of blood and pain, mostly pain (remember the drawing his blood incident?). Even the thought of free money wouldn't move him to yanking it out or permissing anyone else to touch it.
So it clung to it's perch on the front of his mouth. He would eat sideways to avoid using it. He would gently wiggle it just to make sure it was still there. And that is how he spent the last 3 months.
One day he was walking upstairs and POP! Out came the tooth on it's own, into his little hands. No blood, no pain, just a tiny tooth and the space where it used to be.
He came running in to tell me. I captured a few photos, and told him to go find the Tooth Fairy Pillow. On his way out the door he dropped it. Oh, the devastation.
We searched the carpet on our hands and knees. We enlisted sibling help. We combed the loft trying to find it. In the process I found all kinds of things that look like a tooth, crumbs, beads, legos, polly pocket pieces.
Finally, when almost all hope was lost, the tooth was found. And a celebration was had. And the tooth was quickly tucked into the tooth fairy pillow before it could be dropped again.

Oh how I love this kid.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Punny kids

Here are some of the latest jokes circling our home, A la Emme.

What do you call an elephant in a phone booth?


What is red and smells like blue paint?

Red paint.

Would you forget me if I was gone for an hour?

Would you forget me if I was gone for a day?

Would you forget me if I was gone for a week?

Me: Knock knock

You: Who's there?

Me: See, you forgot me already.

My friend likes to watch chickens cross the road all day.

I asked her why.

She said because it's poultry in motion.

What gives you the power to see through walls?

Why was Cinderella kicked off the soccer team?

Because she kept running away from the ball.

Want to hear a construction joke?

You can't, I'm still working on it.

I'm working on a magic joke.

I throw a pumpkin in the air and it comes down squash.

Why did the elephant cross the road?

It was the chickens day off.

Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?

He didn't have the guts.