Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pregnancy Weeks 8-11

December began right in the middle of all the first trimester yucks. I only threw up when I had my cold. Mucus did it every time. Pregnancy makes me extremely rage-y, and my family had to endure some crazy mood swings. I had a lot of food aversions and was very opinionated about my food. Cory took this picture of me trying to cook some meat for dinner. Smells are so intense right now.
Some of my cravings were pears and scrambled eggs with ketchup. Of course I craved sweets, but that is just a constant in my life. 

 Here is one of those awkward pregnant selfies in the mirror. Not much going on as far as outward body changes. I keep telling myself that it is a boy, so that I'm not sad when we find out it is a boy. :) I was able to keep my normal workout schedule, but I had runs where I just plain could not breathe.  I had a cold that contributed to it, but I think my body was adjusting to the increase in blood volume or something. My heart rate would sky rocket at a really slow pace. Just when I thought I was done running until after baby arrived, I'd have a really strong run. I never knew how I was going to feel. I'm glad I stuck with it and didn't let the "bad runs" deter me. 
Luckily as the 11th week rolled around, by nausea and food aversions left. As the first trimester ended, I actually started to feel like maybe I wasn't pregnant after all. My runs started to feel better and better!

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Bird Christmas 2014

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to go to Holly and Jorge's house for soups, sugar cookie decorating, and watching The Polar Express in pajamas. This year was extra special because Holly and Jorge surprised their kids with a new puppy!

After eating our weight in sugar cookies and licorice, we got the boys to bed and let the Santa magic begin!  Somehow on Christmas morning Mason snuck into the living room without us knowing. I found him riding his new Strider bike around in the dark. The shiny red car was a second favorite of his.

The boys loved opening each and every gift.
Uncle Clark and Aunt Aimee sent them cameras. This was probably Cory's favorite present this year. He is quite the little photographer.
 Cory with his new Mouse Trap game.
 Cory made books for everyone for Christmas. Here he is giving Daddy his book.
My dad has a special relationship with the boys and they share a common interest in all things scary and gory. Grandpa definitely won the weirdest Christmas gifts ever award. He sent the boys a zombie horse mask and and creepy pug mask. Mason was totally freaked out by the horse unless it was on his head.

 We spent Christmas day at Grandma and Papa Bird's house. Don't we look completely exhausted. Ha!
 Here is a "normal" group shot followed by a picture that is more representative of how we actually are. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The December Post

December was a busy and fun month. We had an awesome snow storm blow through and took full advantage of playing outside. Watching my boys sled with daddy made me so happy! 


I know I complain about winter, but it really can be beautiful!
I was able to help decorate the church gym for the Christmas party. I think it turned out pretty great for "keeping it simple".
We enjoyed the Christmas party and Cory was able to spend some time with one of his favorite people. They were in preschool together last year and haven't been able to see each other as much this school year.
Of course Santa showed up at the party.

 We were able to dog-sit Sadie and then had cousin Jackson stay with us, which made things more exciting at our house. Mason was really sad when it was time for Sadie to go back home. It ALMOST makes me wish we had an inside dog. :) Look at that sweet little chubby hand.

 Cory and Jackson spent hours playing together in the snow. 

For one of our Family Home Evenings, we built a gingerbread house. I think this may need to be an annual tradition. Everyone loved it. Of course they ate more candy than what ended up on the house. 
 There is Mason's cute chubby hand again. I love the dimples and will grieve when they disappear.
 I just had to post this adorable picture of Mason enjoying the prelude music at church. He likes to pull out the hymnal and sing along.  

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!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful Half 2014 Review

My second year pacing the Thankful 13 was a blast! Not only did I get to run with some great people, the weather was perfect and I broke through a huge mental barrier. 

The first part of this post is an overall review of the race for those thinking of running this specific half marathon, and the second part is my personal experience pacing this race.

  Thankful 13 2014 Race Review
The Course:. This course is mostly flat with some downhill in the beginning and some uphill at the end. The Thankful 13 website states "There is less than 50 feet elevation change from start to finish.  There is a little hill, downhill at mile 2 and uphill at mile 11,  that is 400 feet long but the rest of the course follows the river and is very gentle." Eight miles of it is on the Jordan River Parkway. There are some pretty views, but you also run through some neighborhood sections. 

Support: There were 6 aid stations located at miles 1.3, 2.6, 5.4, 8.7, 9.5 and 11.8. Each aid station had water and Powerade, and 2 of the aid stations had GU. The volunteers were awesome (it was Thanksgiving morning after all!)

Extras: What more can I say than Mini Thanksgiving Feast at the finish line! There was hot cider, hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, rolls and more! I love the "Thankful" signs they post along the course. Runners are able to submit a list of things they are thankful for in the weeks prior to race day. Race directors print and post some of these "Thankfuls" along the course. Both years one of my "Thankfuls" have been along the course. They did giveaways on their Facebook page before the race and I won a 15lb turkey!!! Winner winner turkey dinner! The race also provided the RYR Pacers.
Here are all the pacers at the starting line, ready to go!

(shirt front)
(shirt back)
I loved the medals this year. They were sleeker than the previous year's cartoonish looking turkey, and I loved the saying on the back of the shirt and medal. 

Runners:  This race has grown a lot in the past 3 years. There was a really fun energy among the runners. I almost feel like there were too many runners for the course. Many sections on the parkway are narrow and we were running shoulder to shoulder. When the front of the pack made their way back, they were having to run on the dirt on the side of the trail to get by the back of the pack. There were also many strollers on the course that contributed to the problem. I think they may need to cap the number of runners, restrict strollers, and/or change the course. 
Weather/Conditions:  Great running weather for November. You really don't know what you'll get in Utah at the end of November, but both years I've run this race the weather has been great. 
Bottom Line: There is no better way to start your Thanksgiving holiday. This race is well organized and plain fun! I'll definitely be doing this one year after year.

My Experience:
I was 7 weeks pregnant when I ran this, and was still sick with a cold. Between the mucus, the nausea and the fear of miscarriage, I wasn't feeling too hot. When my oldest son was 2 years old I was pregnant and went for a run. When I got home I discovered that I was having a miscarriage. My doctor and everyone I talked to assured me that the miscarriage was not because of my run, but I always felt guilty that maybe I had caused it. A few months later I was blessed with another pregnancy: I chose not to run. Making the choice to run through this pregnancy was scary for me. It was and still is always on my mind when I'm running. Luckily my awesome pacing partner Susette and the awesome runners that stuck with us the entire race helped keep my mind off of my worries. I was able to really enjoy this race and felt way better than I ever hoped to feel.

Susette and I at the starting line.
Me with my "I'm thankful for...." sign.
Finish line with Cory and Corey, who started and finished with us. That rarely happens for us pacers. 
After the race I felt so great that Jorge (RYR Pacers) and I ran back to grab my sign. It really was a great day I gained n a lot of confidence that I would be able to run during this pregnancy.