Ironman Begins

Not a real Ironman - well, actually a real Ironman just not in the traditional sense. So my community has a run series they do and in conjunction with one of the upcoming races - a 5 mile trail run - they are offering participants an extra challenge: complete an ironman - but instead of doing it in one day, you do it over a 2 week period. I thought that sounded like a challenge I was ready for. I've kind of been in a fitness slump lately and felt like it was time to re-motivate myself. This challenge couldn't have come at a better time!

The challenge begins today, and before October 11th I need to swim 2.4 miles (155 lengths of the pool), bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles. My friend, Marilee, is doing it with me and we both did up schedules for the next two weeks. We just worked in what fits best into our schedules but some of our training we will definitely do together. I was also able to recruit a few other friends, Jenni and Emily, who also want to finish the challenge.

Today was day #1. My schedule for today was to run 3 miles and swim 40 lengths of the pool. Also, not part of the Ironman challenge, to do a lower body workout. So this morning I got up and ran about 2.5 miles, did my lower body workout, then ran home for a total of 5 miles. Then a few hours later Marilee and I hit the pool. We totally got into a rhythm and felt great so we decided to just keep swimming. I ended up finishing 100 lenghts - just over 1.5 miles. So, hooray, day #1 is over and I'm ahead of schedule. I figure I better do the most I can now - for some reason I had a lot of energy today but I'm sure after a few days of this I will be wiped out! Also, Jeramy is going to be gone for my second week, so fitting my workouts in are going to be more challenging since I won't be able to go early in the mornings.

Anyone else want to participate? It's not too late!!!



This year Ella finally started Kindergarten! I think the "finally" is from both of our perspectives :) Even though we have both been looking forward to kindergarten, school crept up on us so quickly this year! It seemed as though the summer had just started and suddenly she was off to school. The way it worked this year, it seemed as though we had 3 "first days" of school.

First Day #1 - Picture Day. This year they had registration and picture day at the end of July. In a way it seemed, to me, like the first day because when I grew up you always had pictures the first day of school. I remember it being a big deal, figuring out what to wear the first day of school, how to do your hair, etc. So, from that aspect it seemed like the first day.
We stopped for a few pictures outside the school before going in for
the "real" ones. The real picture is pretty funny! Every single one was
super posed cheese-ball smile. I figured there was no point in retakes
because they would end up looking the same.

First Day #2 - Meet the Teacher. On the first day that all the other classes started, they had the kindies come for 1 hour in small groups. We went to the school with 4-5 other kids and met Mrs. Washington. We looked around the classroom, unpacked supplies and the kids did a small little craft. Her teacher is fabulous!
Just before heading off to the school to meet her teacher.
She LOVES her backpack (and polka-dots!)

First Day #3 - The Real Thing! So, two days after meeting the teacher it was the real deal - the bus and all! She is in afternoon kindergarten, so I drove her to school and waited while the kids lined up and then went inside. The parents - all equipped with cameras - stayed for about 5-10 minutes while the kids got settled. After the parents were dismissed, I went down to the office because I was having a little anxiety about her getting on the right bus. The morning school started I changed her bus route so she would be on the same bus with another little girl she knew from preschool. I was kind of panicked that they wouldn't get her on the right bus, but they changed all her info and assured me my daughter would return home to me. So, at 4:12, Jeramy, Finn and I were all there waiting for Ella to get off the bus. It was priceless! She could not have looked happier. All she said for about 3 days was "I can't believe I get to ride the bus." Bus aside, she is loving kindergarten, has a wonderful teacher and has already learned a lot. It's going to be a great year!

I know, another collage. I just had so many pictures I liked, I
couldn't choose. I loved the way all the bus pictures looked in sequence.
I'm so happy I was there to get pictures of her getting off the bus.
How happy does she look?



This summer, Jeramy and I were super spoiled - again- and were able to head off to Maui all by ourselves. We cashed in airmiles, Marriott points and AmEx points and spent an essentially free week in Hawaii (ok, well we ate nonstop, so that was a cost a bit of money). My amazing, very generous parents came to Colorado and watched not only our kids, but my sister's 3 kids all together. Thanks mom & dad - sorry your week was a bit less serene than ours.

Since we went to Hawaii 2 days after getting home from Aspen Grove, we didn't feel the need for tons of adventure. We go to Hawaii for the beach! So, the beach is what we did - every single day!

It was such a great week and sadly, I didn't get too many pictures. I didn't want to take my camera with us to the beach because I wanted us to be able to both go in the water together and not worry about our stuff.

We bypassed the Road to Hana this year (I was pretty adamant about that one!), I still didn't do a surfing lesson (a little scared to do it by myself) and we absolutely ate at Mama's Fish House (the picture above is on the beach in front of Mama's. I typically didn't wear jeans and heels to the beach :)) We read a lot, got massages at the spa, I snuck in a pedicure - we were basically just really lazy the whole week.

It was a super low key, relaxing week and we had tons of fun just spending time alone together!

Wow, Hawaii is magic! Is that hint of a smile on Jeramy?

Not possible - another near smiling picture???

I thought everyone would enjoy my new hair accessory I picked up while in Hawaii. I'm really into fans! I think Mama's Fish House need to give their wait staff some photo composition tips :)

In one of the squares we walked through in Lahaina, there were dozens and dozens of these white blossoms all over the ground. I scooped some up and posed for a picture to show Ella - my little lallygagger, can't walk 3 feet without stopping to pick some flower, weed or blade of grass. Plus, it's about the only picture of me on our entire trip.

A beautiful view in Lahaina

Jeramy's best Forrest Gump impression. Not bad.

The view from our hotel our last night in Maui!


Aspen Grove

One of our highlights this summer was going to Aspen Grove Family Camp in Utah. We had a family reunion this summer with Jeramy's family. His grandparents surprised us all and paid for their children, grandkids and great-grandkids to go together. There ended up being about 80 of us. It was soooo much fun!!! What a wonderful place to go for a family reunion.

They had so many fun things for everyone of every age to do. Every day we would eat breakfast at 8:00 and then at 9:15, drop our kids off at their class. They had classes for kids of every age - newborn up through young adults. Then, at 9:15 we were free to go do whatever we wanted until 12:00 when we would pick up kids and eat lunch. Then at 1:30 we took the kids back to class until 4:30. And one of the days we were there - the kids stayed at their classes from 9:30-4:30. Then we'd eat dinner and in the evenings they had movies playing in the amphitheatre, talent shows, badminton. My favorite evening activity was a stop at the Aspen Grove Store for some BYU Creamery ice cream and/or a big pink cookie.

The kids would hike, swim, do arts and crafts they even got to climb the rock wall. They all had a great time getting to play with their cousins and do so many fun activities - BUT not as much fun as the adults!!! We hiked, did paintball, ropes course, archery, air rifle, hung out at the pool without kids :), pottery (NOTE: Jeramy and I and took a class together on the pottery on the wheel and it was so not like Ghost!) They had great guest lecturers like Susan Easton Black. Some people went tubing down the river and did some biking. It was fantastic! You didn't have to worry about a thing. You knew exactly when and where you were going to eat (the food was decent) and there were so many options for activities, there wasn't enough to fit it all in. I would highly recommend it - especially if someone else pays for you!

Jeramy on the paintball course

The most memorable thing I did that week was the ropes course. I thought I'd be a bit nervous, but I was terrified! You started on the pole with notches (on the R) then had to stand on top of the beam and scoot over to the rock wall part. I don't have any pictures of me doing it - they're probably all too blurry from me shaking so badly. Also, there's no way I'd post a picture of my rear-end from that angle - it was not pretty!!! This is my brother-in-law Eric.

The view from the backside of the the rock wall. Once you got to the top, you stood atop the platform then made your way through the rope course around the trees.

My brother-in-law Eric making his way through the ropes course. I thought the pole and rock wall would be tough and wasn't at all worried about the ropes part. But for me that was the hardest part. I could not stop my legs from shaking and then it would shake the ropes and make me more stressed. It was tough but I'm so happy I did it. I had no idea I would be that scared!

Ella, with her cousin Miles, getting ready for her turn on the rock wall.
She did so great! She didn't seem scared at all - she was a lot more brave than I was!
We only left the camp once during the week - just
a quick trip down to the BYU campus. I love going back - we
have so many wonderful memories of our time there.

The last night at camp, the kids did a program. Each class did a
little cheer and then performed a song

Ella's group did "The Twist" She was twisting her little heart out
with her cousins Matea (l) and Amelia (r)

Ella with her AWESOME group leaders, Erin and Blaine.

Ice cream obsession!

One last picture before we left the camp :(

Thirty minutes into our long drive home, Finn threw up EVERYWHERE. After we got him all cleaned up and stripped down, he seemed pretty happy. Luckily, he didn't get sick anymore on the trip - he just screamed at us a lot to get him out.

Two Wheels

This summer, after weeks of trying to fit it in between our trips, Ella learned how to ride a two-wheeler. She was so proud to take those training wheels off. She still needs a lot of practice, especially with stopping, but did so well!

One of the factors that really motivated Ella to take the wheels off came from my triathlon. Ella became very interested in triathlons and when she found out there are triathlons for kids, she decided she really wanted to do one. So, she decided she had better learn to ride a bike if she's going to do a triathlon. Here in Highlands Ranch they had a kids triathlon in August for kids ages 5-9. For the 5-6 year olds they swim 25 yds (one pool length), bike 1/2 mile and run 1/4 mile. So the first part of her"training" was to get her riding a two-wheeler.

Ready to get the training wheels off. And yes, she picked a
dress to wear for the event. Super practical!

The training wheels are off!

Oh, oh.....

Down she goes!

Down again. Finn to the rescue!

Getting the hang of it!

She has really been enjoying her bike a lot! I am so grateful for all the trails we have just right here. It makes me so nervous when she wants to ride her bike up and down the street with the other neighborhood kids. So the other day I took Ella and her friend (with Finn in the Burley) over to the park -- to get them off the road and away from all the cars -- and then we rode about 3-4 miles all around the trails - even a few good sized hills! They both had so much fun and were so proud of themselves.