Sunday, November 30, 2014

The November Post

Somehow my kids missed the memo that Halloween is over, and that this month belongs to the turkey, food and long family gatherings.  Those thighs though!

Cory was assigned to disguise a turkey for school. When I asked him how he wanted to do it I suggested a super hero disguise or maybe a different animal. He immediately said a bones turkey, because nobody would want to eat a bones turkey. You can't argue with that logic. His teacher must have appreciated his creativity and displayed his turkey in the school's lobby. I told you it is Halloween all year long at our house.
My favorite part of November was having my parents come and visit. We were planning to go to a BYU game, but freezing temperatures crushed our enthusiasm and we gave the tickets away. We spent our time cuddled up on the couch instead. I still don't regret that choice!
 These two kindred spirits loved being together while they spent some quality time with their Ipads.

Now I don't know how this happened, but the only picture I had of my mom from the trip was this little gem. We were having way too much fun getting ready. I can't help but feel happy when I look at this picture. I miss all of the little, everyday, completely ordinary experiences with this amazing women. It was hard telling them good-bye!
We finished our November off with a family trip to Salt Lake City to see the lights. The good news was that it was unseasonably warm the night we went, but the bad news was that the entire state of Utah seemed to be there too. It was so crowded!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The best post of the year

Remember how I was having an "off" running day at the Haunted Half Provo? Or that I cried as the last runners made their way across the finish? Well come to find out, I was bloated, tired and emotional because I was pregnant. Surprise! Baby Bird #3 is due July 17th. I had hoped for a pregnancy much sooner than when it happened, but one thing motherhood has taught me is that God has a plan for each of his children, and that plan is based on His timing, not mine.  I have moments of fear about having another baby, but mostly I just feel very grateful and excited. Pregnancy is a challenge, but I cherish the opportunity to help bring a child of God into this world.

I announced to Kevin by giving him a box of cinnamon rolls with a note on it that said, "If I'm going to get fat, so are you!" The best part was that he didn't even notice the note. He just opened it up and started eating one. I had to tell him to read the package. :)

I also made a surprise (It was a surprise to me too!) announcement at the Thankful 13 half. The race has you submit a list of "thankfuls" and they print some of them up and display them along the course. They chose mine that said, "The baby in my tummy....Surprise!" and displayed it around mile 11. It was so fun to see it. This picture was taken after the race, when we went back to get the sign.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Monkeys and scarecrows and snakes...Oh my!!

Our family loves Halloween.  I think this was my favorite Halloween ever, and here are some reasons why:

We won 1st place at our church's Trunk or Treat for our awesome pirate themed trunk.

We were able to go Trick or Treating at the Riverwoods with some family and friends. I love this picture of Nicolas and Cory. 
I loved seeing Mason wear this witch hat and wig around the house all month.
This was my first Halloween with a school age child, so of course I had to volunteer to go help out in his class that day. I dressed up as a scarecrow.
Mrs. Morgan's Kindergarten class
Cory and Mrs. Morgan playing Halloween games with the class
Cory performed in the cutest Halloween program ever
This monkey and cobra ninja love candy and dressing up more than anything, so I'm pretty sure Halloween was created just for them.

Everything is more fun with cousins!

Grandma Bird fed us a yummy Halloween dinner with donuts.
Holly (Sadie Chihuahua dressed as a spider) Steph and me sporting our Halloween Half shirts:
Trick or Treating 2014 was a success!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Random October Post

I'm always learning more ways to make eating healthy and cooking for a family easier. Here are two little tips that help make my life easier. When I get home from the grocery store, I prep all of the fresh food. I'll wash everything (I like to fill up the sink with cold water and a splash of vinegar) and then cut things like carrots and celery. I know I'm more likely to grab a healthy snack if they are ready to go.
I also like to buy chicken in bulk when I can get it on sale, and I'll freeze raw breasts in individual baggies (for my family of four, I usually do 2-3 chicken breasts per baggie). I'll also boil a big pot full of chicken, cut it up and freeze it in individual baggies. This makes it really convenient to add chicken to pastas, enchiladas, wraps etc. 

I'm in a bangs stage again. I really love how fixed bangs look, but inevitably I get tired of fixing them and I end up pinning them back. Maybe when I'm a real grown up I'll accept that I should do my hair every day. For now I'll just be sure to post pictures of the rare occasions that I do my hair.
My sweet Cory has a pretty severe allergy to cats, which is really sad since they are his favorite animal. If he touches his face he ends up like this. He was so miserable.
Cory was the student of the week this month, and we made this awesome poster all about him. I feel so lucky to be his mom. He really is such a special kid!
We took the boys to Jakers Pumpkin Patch, which has become an October tradition.
We had some really warm weather in October, so we also visited the park as much as possible. Mason and his friend Millie:

And last but not least, Cory's still loving swim lessons. He has now mastered going under and holding his breath for a few seconds, which is a big accomplishment for him.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Haunted Half Provo 2014

The Haunted Half Provo 2014, Race Review
 love Provo Canyon so much, and have run the first part of this course many times. I love running through such a beautiful canyon and seeing Bridal Veil Falls never gets old. 
It is a gradual down hill course until you exit the canyon. The last couple of miles were on new terrain and there was a steep hill around mile 10ish. 
Packet pickup was the day before the race at the University Mall. Everything was organized and they had some fun drop backs for pictures.

Race day support was wonderful. The buses ran smoothly, port-o-potties were available where promised, the aid stations were stocked and the volunteers were all friendly.

Racers get gloves in their packets that are cute enough that I couldn't bring myself to use them as "throw away gloves".
(pic from The Haunted Half Facebook page)

There were fires at the start to keep runners warm. The headless horseman starts the race (real rider on a horse). There was a scare tunnel on the last stretch into the finish. There was plenty of pizza at the finish line with bounce houses for the kids and backdrops for photos. There were race photographers through Flo Foto on the course and at the finish. (Pictures cost extra.) If you run both the Salt Lake and Provo Haunted Half Marathons, you earn a "double scare" shirt. Unfortunately none of the volunteers/workers knew anything about that and kept saying "check back later". Luckily I ran into the race director and he was able to give me a cute hooded shirt. The Haunted Half medals and customized race bibs are so fun.
(pic from The Haunted Half Facebook page)

(pic from The Haunted Half Facebook page)

The race shirts have become my favorite long sleeve tech shirts to run in, and my 5 year old wants to wear his every day.
(pic from The Haunted Half Facebook page)
According to the race results, there were 1436 half marathon runners and 682 5k runners. There was also a kids run, but it was really laid back (not timed).

Bottom line: I loved this race and will definitely run it again. My 5 year old and nephews loved the kids run and felt so important rocking their medals and race shirts. I loved seeing all of the creative and silly costumes. I loved the course, even the sneaky hill at the end. Of the two Haunted Half races, I liked this one best.
My experience:
I was having an off running day, so thankfully I was pacing a conservative pace (I would have been hating myself if I had a faster assignment.) I started breathing really hard the last 2 miles and never really felt strong. My pacing partner, Jay, was so much fun and we enjoyed chatting with runners through the canyon. Weirdly, we ran the last miles without many runners around us. 
My favorite part of this day was running the kids run with Cory and staying and watching ALL of the runners come in. It was so inspiring to see people cross the line who had obviously just poured all of their heart and strength into finishing. I was brought to tears more than once. Maybe it moved me so much because I remember finishing my first half and full.  All of the sacrifices offered during the training all come to your mind as you realize the goal you dared to believe was possible has in fact been achieved. I truly believe my love for running is rooted in the feeling of accomplishment that comes from doing something I once believed to be impossible. If you ever need some inspiration, watch the LAST runners finish a race.

My nephew, me and my son Cory at the finish.
I adore this little boy!

Cory's first race was a hit. He keeps asking when he can do another.