Running Post Baby #2

This happened over four months ago and I'm just now documenting.  I'm afraid in those four months I've lost most of the profound/hilarious/painful details that make relay races so horribly fantastic and addicting.  What's left is just the overall sweet sense of accomplishment and the undeniable wanting.  Wanting to do it again, wanting to be on that kind of high every day, wanting to sign up for another relay race right this very minute.

But we won't be able to sign up for this exact one again, because they discontinued this course after this race!  So... ¡Viva Ragnar Las Vegas 2016!

This team consisted of a bunch of friends from Sahuarita--some old and some new.  Some I hadn't seen for years!  And I was able to convince Andrea, my champion running compadre, to come down from Utah and fill a spot.  

Genie, who moved away from Sahuarita years ago, opened her beautiful home to all of us for the crazy weekend.  It was nice to have such a comfortable place to get a good night's sleep before the fun? torture? began.  {Not to mention a place to shower after the first leg.}  Andrea and I bunked in the exercise room and snuggled on an air mattress like good old times, but the poor girl didn't get any sleep.  Like a great friend, I slept in blissful oblivion through the whole night by her side while she lay in pain.

Speaking of pain, our shirts were my favorite ever.

The next morning Andrea was feeling better, but was tired.  Like the champion she is, she got dressed and piled into the car with the rest of us to go to the first major exchange to meet the other half of our team who had begun the race in the wee hours of the morning.  They handed off the sweaty baton and then... well now the details get real fuzzy.  It was all sweat and trail mix and cheering.

This is where Andrea comes in.  Bless her heart, she jotted down notes in her phone every time something happened that had us rolling with laughter.  Some of them almost don't make sense anymore --clearly we were delusional, high on adrenaline-- but I'm going to include them anyway.

The van bottomed out more than once over the weekend, which I never knew if I should laugh or be concerned about.  And we weren't always driving on the right side of the road, but somehow despite the exhaustion and the poorly marked signage, we were able to get everywhere safely.  

Although one of the notes here says "getting lost."  I don't remember that, but it doesn't even surprise me.

We were graced with Genie's chicken impersonation several times throughout the weekend, which was hilarious as could be.

Hallie was barely six months old when I left for this race, and we were still nursing.  With a sense of de ja vu, I found myself sitting in the back of the van pumping with my electric breast pump quite often.  I was thankful this time that it wasn't awkward, what with all the moms around me.

I wasn't the only mom who had to pump!  It was so nice to have someone to commiserate with when dumping the liquid gold.

Just one day before the race began I found a sports bra that zipped up in the front!  Wha?!  I thought I'd hit the jack pot.  The front zipper would make pumping so much more discrete.  Never mind that it made things look weirdly lumpy under my shirt- it was all about the convenience.

Well after wearing that thing for 24 hours it started biting into my skin and making me bleed.  The girls were all making fun of me because I still refused to take it off even though I did have another bra in my bag.  "But it zips in the front!" I'd say, like that so obviously settled the matter.

Here's a riddle: How do you spot a team of mom?  Answer: By listening to the songs they sing.  You know, like the Super Why version of the alphabet song.  Classic.

My favorite run was in the middle of the night.  I want to say it was around 2am or so.  Van 2 definitely didn't get the most scenic routes, so the fact that I got to run through a grassy park was definitely a highlight.

Once in the middle of the night Andrea and I got out of the car to cheer Bonnie on during her run.  It wasn't until she passed us that we realized that wasn't Bonnie at all.  Which was fine- I'm all for cheering on strangers!  She was probably just confused as to why we kept shouting "Go Bonbon, go!"

We handed off the baton to the other van just at sunrise.  We were freezing and sleep deprived and too far away from Genie's house to justify the drive.  We grabbed our hot chocolate and headed out to the next exchange to see if there was somewhere to park.

Because we were going to have to attempt a "good night's sleep" in broad daylight, Andrea offered up her two extra headbands as eye covers.  She got that hilarious look on her face {a determined chicken is the best comparison} threw the headbands into the air and shouted, "FIGHT!"  Like she expected us to dive for them, throwing elbows just to get at a headband!  Hahaha, I'm laughing just typing this out.

We slept in the car.  Well, everyone else slept.  I was on the floor wedged between the captain's chairs and just couldn't get comfortable.  I decided to head toward the sand volleyball area that I'd seen on our way in, and I accidentally woke Andrea on my way out.  She came with and we slept amazingly well in a sliver of shade on the sand.

But I wouldn't call the sleep restorative.

Food is definitely one thing that defines a relay.  You're burning so many calories you just pound whatever is within reach.  McDonald's for breakfast?  Seconds?  Thirds?  No one bats an eye.  And then we waited for van1 at the next major exchange.  People watching {we found Betsy's husband's doppelgänger} kept us entertained until they arrived.

More favorite memories: There was a time we were coming up behind Jen to offer her water and give some encouragement.  She was walking, but when she heard our hysterical cheering she started, and broke into a run like the jaws of hell were behind her.  Maybe you had to be there {and be sleep deprived} but we were laughing pretty hard.  Also there was a runner on another team who wore shorts and a sports bra, showcasing a chiseled six-pack you only see in diet pill commercials.  We referred to her throughout the race as simply Abs.  "Oh, there goes Abs!"  "Hey look!  Abs is finishing right now!"

There was also that time when we missed Kristen.  It was her first relay and her first exchange.  She came to the handoff and no Sole Sisters were there!  Oops!  Genie, who was supposed to receive the baton, was in the latrine when Kristin came running into the parking lot, looking confused.  The moment Genie opened the bathroom door the baton was thrown at her, she screamed and raced away into what we all hoped was the right direction.

These shirts were so dead on.  During my final run my old knee injury flared up, which I was super disappointed about.  Luckily it was through the city and I had to stop every couple of blocks to wait for the little walking man sign telling me it was safe to cross.  It was a nice excuse to stop.

After finishing our last runs we were sore as could be, but so happy.  So delirious.  Laughing at things that weren't even funny.  Someone asked, "Do you know the Petersens?" and we all commenced laughing our heads off for ten minutes.  ... I don't even know.
Or Kristin scrambling around the bottom of the van chasing after fruit.  "Oranges, why you gotta be so round?"

Genie was our last runner.  All 11 of us waited anxiously at the bottom of the last hill, ready to cross the finish line together.  That girl came around the corner and got some crazy burst of adrenaline seeing all the crowds and the inflatable finish line and all of us tunneled around her, she busted her butt to the finish line and we all hobbled after her.


Go moms!  {All showing how many kids we have at home.}

We didn't stay at the afterparty too long.  There was a jacuzzi and air mattresses calling our names.  Van2 knows how to really party.

 Relays are always a good idea.  But ever since I've been trying to get my knee back in working order.  Hopefully I'll have it ready for another race soon!

In the mean time... coming home to these guys!  <3 <3 <3

Momentum of 2017

There's nothing like a car accident to bring life's priorities into greater focus.

I don't remember the accident, thanks to a really good bash on the head, but I do remember the fear and confusion after coming to surrounded by strangers.  And that fear stayed with me in the ambulance and in the ER and in the CT scanner.  But the moment Roy walked into the room it melted away.  Somehow he got me to smile again.  Lifted the fog.  Held my hand and gave me a renewed love and appreciation for what we have.  This guy is my favorite human on the planet.

Also, he's my little boy's biggest hero.  My little girl crawls at superhuman speeds to get to her daddy, wherever he is.  Watching Roy be such a sweet and caring father to both of our kids is something I truly cherish.

2017 has been the year of big goals.  One of them was to get out of debt, but we weren't planning on extra medical bills and buying a new car.  Oops!

More important are goals like; go on a date with Roy once a month.  Our dating track record hasn't been great, but this is the year to change that!  As much as I love all four of us being together, getting time away from home for just the two of us is a game changer.  It crumbles the monotony we sometimes find ourselves in, and its effects last weeks.

My mothering goal of the year is to get outside with the kids every day, rain or shine.  And my awesome brother in Phoenix is helping us achieve our temple attendance goals by watching our kids for us every other month.  I know it's only March, but I feel like we've got some great momentum right now.

Hallie is mastering her goals already, which include pulling herself up on every piece of furniture in the land and yanking every item of clothing out of every drawer.

Hallie is a determined little spirit, and has a remarkable amount of opinions for such a young babe.  She's getting around great on all fours, but really wants to be walking.  Her sweet laugh is the best sound in the world, and no one can get her to laugh quite like her daddy.  Favorite activities include pointing at things and stealing people's food.

And then there's this bond.  Just kills me.

Camden loves his primary class and his preschool class.  We're making new friends and keeping the old.

Oh, and big news!  Mickey Mouse has officially been replaced by PJ Masks, a group of kid superheroes.  Don't get me wrong, he still requests Mickey a few times a week, but PJ Masks is now the every day.  And all the make believe games involve superheroes and super villains and running at incredible speeds and locking bad guys in jail.

Four is pretty much my favorite age ever.  Camden truly has such a happy disposition, it amazes me.  He makes friends easily and is becoming so inventive and imaginative.  Still, his favorite thing to do is play tag, which he requests daily.  I always find myself dragging my feet, but eventually submitting to the game.  Without fail, it always gets me laughing and we honestly have the best time.  Even Hallie gets in on the action.  When she's "it" I lift her up and swing her around, trying to tag Camden with her toes.  That one always gets all of us rolling.

The love of hiking is still strong, and I'm planning on doing a better job getting out to do that with the kids.  I need to be prepping for a really big hike with friends this summer!

We went to a dinosaur tea party and met the author of Tea Rex.

This week all of the pink and white flowers have bloomed on the trees and I'm realizing we need to be wearing sunscreen whenever we go out.  We all got pink cheeks!  We are welcoming spring with open arms, but wouldn't mind one more snow flurry if March decided it wanted to go out like a lion.

I feel remarkably blessed to still be here with my family, and to be healthy.  My husband and kids are wonderful, healthy, and happy!  Here's to riding on this momentum and loving every minute.