Monday, August 24, 2015

*Monday Memos* (McKay's in Russia edition)


 (If pictures are too small, click to enlarge) 

dear summer run, I absolutely LOVE running in the summer!  There is just no other time of year that I love more.  I love that I can get out of bed at the crack of insanity and it's warm!  I don't even mind that it gets a little too warm!  I prefer warmth so much to the cold!  In the early mornings, it's starting to feel a little bit like fall is in the air and I am just not ready!  I really wish summer could last twice as long!  I wouldn't even complain if it lasted all year!
And it's so beautiful!
Oh summer, why do you have depart?

dear taylor, you took the day off to patronize Lagoon.  I had absolutely no desire to go to Lagoon this year. I was invited a couple times to go, but I was not interested.  I wonder what that says about my age?  Oh no!  Does that mean I am losing my adventurousness?  No, I think it just means I don't want to go and pay $50 to stand in long lines for a few minutes of fun.  I do love to ride the rides, and I would like to try out Cannibal...but not enough to make me want to go.  Maybe next year.

dear goodbye mtc...hello russia!  Wow, those nine weeks even flew by for me!  I can't believe it's already time for my baby to go to Russia!  I know he is more than ready, but I'm not sure I am!  Would it be too much to ask for him to just serve the next two years in Provo where I know he is safe and sound?  Well, duh...of course, it would.  He would absolutely hate that!  He was born to serve in Russia and his patriarchal blessing even talks about it (not by name per se), so we know that is where he is supposed to be.  So enough of my silliness.  I am going to be just as excited as he is.  But I can also be nervous and worried too because I am the mom and that is a mother's prerogative.  It is.  I promise!
 This is the group he will be flying to Russia with.  They look like they have had a lot of fun together.

We weren't exactly sure what time he would be calling us from the airport and so from about 3:45 on I was watching that phone!  He didn't call until 6:30 p.m. but oh my IT WAS SO GOOD TO HEAR HIS VOICE!  He sounded so good too!  He was happy and upbeat just like he always is and it was way too short!  He only got 40 minutes total.  I talked for a bit then Bryce did and then miraculously Dave walked in and was able to as well.  After about 30 minutes we hung up so he could call his bros Taylor and Sky. 
He said he was excited, but also nervous and a little scared.  He said his teachers told him to not sleep on the plane so it would be easier to adjust once he got there, but I told him to not even listen to that silliness and to sleep or he would be worthless when he got there.  It's a 13 hour flight once they take off from Vegas!  Dave told him that I knew where he was going to be serving.  I actually do.  A lady named Ksenya from Vladivostok who is on our private Vlad Facebook page sent me a private message telling me that she knew where he was going to be serving.  She said it was Angarsk - it's Siberia!  What!??  SIBERIA!!!!  I freaked out a bit, and got online and researched it and it said the current temp was -10!!!  Oh. my. gosh!  I later figured out that was Celsius!  Whew!  What a relief!  I was a little concerned with him going to Siberia first mainly because he will most likely still be there in the dead of winter when it averages 15 below and the low is 40 below!!!  Yikes!  Oh man.  But Dave thought it would be great for  him to be able to gradually adjust to the cold instead of coming from somewhere warm and then go smack bam into the tundra. I guess we will see.  Dave is very excited that he will be going there!  But I didn't tell him where because the lady told me it was a secret. I am not even sure if she is right anyway.  It was very hard to say goodbye.  I started to cry and I have never done that before with the other boys when they called from the airport!  But, I couldn't help it.  Russia is so far away!  I hope it didn't make it worse for McKay.  Then I was pretty sad for the rest of the night.  I am glad he got to call, but it really rips out the heart when you have to say goodbye again.  It will be the same feeling every time we Skype with him too.

He said he would try and call us from the Vegas airport if they let him.  He was worried we would be in bed and I told him I would be waiting by the phone no matter what time so don't worry about that. 

About 10 p.m. I got a text message with this picture!!!
The message read:
"It was a pleasure being on the plane with your son!"
Doesn't he look so happy and so cute!???

Then after Dave and the boys had gone to bed, he called!  It was almost midnight, but I was up and waiting and hoping!  I talked to him for at least 15 minutes this time.  I woke Dave up and he talked to him too.  We gave him some advice this time and just had a nice chat.  He told us that he did some missionary work on the flight from SLC to Vegas and the guy he was talking to was really interested and is going to contact the missionaries where he lives.  He was sooooo excited!  I thought that was pretty cool!  But we had to say goodbye....again!  
I was able to track his flight!  It was a long one!

The next day we received an email from his Mission President saying he arrived safely in Vlad with these pictures ↓.
 Then the next day, the Mission President's wife sent us these letting us know he was indeed going to be serving in Angarsk!  Ksenya was right! 
 These were taken before everyone went their separate ways.
 You can check out his letter on his blog HERE.
I was a little anxious and waiting rather impatiently for his first email to let us know how it all went.

Our sweet neighbor Betsy brought us over this delicious cherry pie to cheer us up she said.  I called it a "cheery pie".  She is not a member but I send her McKay's emails and she has been so sweet.
And so it begins...
Two years is a really long time!

dear fhe, our Family Home Evenings are now just US!  Me and Dave!  It's too weird!  I am not a fan! Taylor and Bryce are usually working on Monday nights so it's just us and they both head out soon which means it's going to always be just the two of us.  I have informed Dave that I will not be doing the traditional FHE with just us two.  I would be laughing the whole time I fear.  haha  So we now just play a game every week and call it good. 

dear rs dinner, I went and got Mona and took her to the Relief Society dinner that was held at the bowery.  It was potluck and so there was really yummy food.  Husbands were invited, but Dave had to leave after he ate to get to his meetings.  Mona and I left a little early too because she was ready to go.  We made plans for this week of things she needs me to help her with.  She is not enjoying not being able to drive.

dear run out west, look at these gorgeous cattails!   I ran out west today because I love the scenery.  

And look at this cat tail?  haha

Check out this gorgeous sunset!  It was 10 times prettier than this shows.  The sun was blood red and the sky was pink!  I wish I could have captured it better.

dear lunch bunch, on Wednesday Julie had the Lunch Bunch at her house.  She wanted to get all the new sisters to come but only two came.  It was still fun. I took a Key Lime Cake.  It was a new recipe, but it was a hit. I went and got Mona so she could get out and I think she enjoyed it.  She visited with some of the older sisters. 

This is Katelyn's new kitty Oliver.
Isn't he so adorable!

dear mona, I took Mona home and then went back a couple hours later and took her to her hair appointment.  After that she wanted to go the the Distribution Center and so we went there.  Then she wanted a drink and so we tried out the new place called Fizz.  Bad idea!  She didn't want to go in and so we went through the drive through and was in line for at least 20 minutes!  I feel bad I didn't get a picture of all our outings.

dear struggling elders, McKay has a couple of friends that have been struggling on their missions. I have been trying to help their moms this week.  It is so hard on the moms when this happens.  One of his high school friends came home after less than a week in the MTC but hopes to go back out. Another one of them he met while in the MTC and he is in Vlad right now.  He's only been there three weeks and wants to come home.  He is struggling with how brutal they are to Americans over there.  His mom has asked us to pray for him and she is hoping for a miracle.  One of his really good friends has also been wanting to come home due to homesickness.  He has been out about two months now but just got to his area.  It's so hard for these boys I know.  I have been praying hard they will be able to find what they need to stay.  I know if they just take it one day at a time and not feel so overwhelmed they will be okay.  UPDATE:  The Elder in McKay's mission is coming home.  The other missionary (his good friend) is sticking it out so far. 

dear byu education week, I decided last week that I wanted to head down to BYU ED WEEK this year for just a day.  I only had one day this week that I really could go and so I headed down at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday on the spur of the moment.  I am glad I did.  I LOVE Ed Week. I have been going off and on for over 20 years. There is such a great spirit there and I just love learning new things!  I always come home very inspired!  This year was no different!  With so many classes to choose from, I just have a constant prayer in my heart that I will be guided to the ones I need.  Amazingly it always happens.  This year I went to some really good ones.  I learned a lot!
The picture above is of a couple of the classes I went to.  The picture in the center is Jay Osmond and his wife standing up after Brad Wilcox introduced them in his class that I attended.  They were in the audience as students.  Some of the other instructors I heard were: Ron McMillan, Linda Cole, Jonathan Sandberg, Heartbound, Charles Hamilton, John L. Hilton, Jennifer Platt, Christian Raleigh, and Hank Smith.

I have to say one of the best parts of Ed Week is the BYU mint brownies!  OH. MY. HECK!  To die for!  I bet I could devour a whole pan in one sitting!  I also love to get a rice bowl for lunch/dinner.  If I get it a little later in the afternoon then I can justify getting an ice cream cone for dinner.  Best ice cream from the Creamery! 

They always have guests artists in the bookstore to sell their artwork and also to sign their prints.  I have always LOVED Liz Lemon....and this year I bought a real piece of artwork by her.  It is very unlike me because I NEVER spend a lot of money on art.  I just don't.  But I felt very impressed to buy this one called Come Follow Me.  It spoke to me.  I wish I had the full picture in this picture.  I love the frame and I love the size and I love everything about it!  I knew Dave would not be super happy with me, but there are just some things in life you know you are supposed to possess.  This was one of them.  I am in love. It's rather large and tall.  I am not sure where I will put it, but when you know you are supposed to have something, the perfect place will appear.  I spoke with her son Steve who was working with her that day and he is going to deliver it to me in a couple weeks.  Another friend of hers that works for her, told me the story behind this painting is really special.  She said this wasn't the picture she intended to paint but she actually painted Peter jumping out of the water in this as well and so it was much larger but as she was transporting the original, the part of Peter was bumped and a hole went through it.  So instead of thinking it was a total loss, she removed the part that was torn and this was the result.  She says the inspiration for it came from a quote by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin.  
"In the midst of the noise and seductive voices that compete for our time and interest, a solitary figure stands on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, calling quietly to us, "Follow Me".

I also bought this one ↓.  This print is much smaller.... 11x14.  It almost made me cry when I saw it.
This ↑ is by Cary Henrie.  I know his brother that lives in my city.  I fell in love with this on so many levels.  I also bought this print for a friend who has twin boys that just both left on missions.  They are McKay's good friends.  I gave it to her and she bawled and bawled.

Then I saw this book!  Oh my!  I am a lover of children's books and have quite a large collection but I haven't bought any for so long now that my boys are all grown up.  However, there was no way I was going home without this one!  SO CUTE and such a great principle.
One of the best parts of Ed Week is bumping into people you know.  I ran into my dear friend Becky Edwards.  She is an amazing person and we chatted for a long while about some of the classes we attended and then about what I feel my next mission in life is now that I am almost an empty nester.  I just love her.

As I was going into one of my classes (and there must be over 100 classrooms they use during Ed Week) right there above the door was the Russian flag!!!  WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!  It was so cool!  Can we say tender mercy?
I stayed until the last class and so it was dark by the time I started heading back to my car so I decided to take the shuttle.  There were only four of us on it and the lady next to me asked the two young guys in front of us where they were from.  The one guy said he was from South Korea!  Whaaaat!?  That is where McKay has to go every three months to renew his Visa!  I asked him all about it and then she asked the other guy where he was from.  He was from Provo.  No biggy - haha - so I talked to the South Korean again.  Then the other guy told us he served his mission in South Korea in Seoul!  Right where McKay will be going.  WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!
  Pretty amazing.  Just such a tender mercy to me.

dear friday run, since I have a half marathon tomorrow I didn't want to kill myself off and so I just ran 5 miles.  I even stopped to smell the flowers.  Okay, well I stopped to photograph them anyway.  They were just so happy and so pretty!

dear friday, I had to run to Logan to get my packet for the Top of Utah half marathon tomorrow.  Mona also needed me to pick up her clock from the repair shop and I also needed to go check on Taylor's deposit from Aggie Flats.  It was a quick trip but I got a lot accomplished.  I was a little shocked that the manager was at Aggie Flats.  I was happy to hear the previous one was canned.  He was not a good PR person and treated me very rudely on the phone.  I didn't get too far with this new one either, but at least she was decent and nice.  We will see what happens.  But if anyone is reading this that might have considered living at Aggie Flats, DO NOT DO IT!  They are thieves and very dishonest.  Taylor is out about $400 right now and it appears that he will never see it.  They still haven't returned his $200 deposit!  Long story...but suffice it to say I won't be promoting that place.  When I got home we had to run to Dave's dad's birthday party.  We had cake and ice cream and then he took me to Wingers for a rice bowl to carb load for the race.  I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. and so I tried to hit the sack by 10:00 but was up until a little after 11:00.

dear top of utah half marathon, this is the sixth time that I have ran this.  Jen came and picked me up at 5:00 a.m.  We met Robin and Grant and caught the buses to the start.  It wasn't as cold as we were expecting thankfully!  It was in the upper 40's.  We got our standard photo with the porta potties in the background with Adrian (we all love him!) and then did the porta potty thing. 
Adrian is one of the funniest guys I know!  He is very loud and very funny and you just cannot not love him.  He is so full of energy and so positive and sends out a good vibe.  He paced me last year at the Big Cottonwood full marathon.

Jen and I took off to drop our clothing bags in the bus and then saw a real bathroom across the way and so headed over there for one more stop.  There were some swings there and so we decided to swing for a few and decided we needed a picture!  There were two guys walking past and so I called out to them, "Hey will you take a picture for us?"  Nothing.  So in my little smart alec sort of way, I said (totally thinking they couldn't hear me), "Do you speak English?"  The older one turned to me and said very sternly, "Yes, I speak English!"   So I asked if he would take our picture and he agreed to do it.  The younger one was very nervous and just wanted to get to the race start, but for some reason I asked the older one where he was from.  He responded with, "Russia."  RUSSIA!!!!  Are you kidding me!?  He was from Moscow.  WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!   We chatted very briefly and then it was time to line up for the start.  Whoa, what are the odds?  What are the odds I would even ask him where he was from because I didn't think he was from out of state. I was just wondering what city!  And normally I wouldn't even ask that! I told him I needed a picture with him to send to my son in Russia.

The race was great.  I felt pretty good with the exception of I wish I would have used the little girl's room one more time.  Oh well, I figured that would be good training for the full.  Full marathon, not full bladder!  Robin and I started together, but then at the three mile aid station I ran through it and she stopped and I didn't see her again until the finish. I was trying to pace with the 1:55 pacers but then after mile three I decided I wanted to finish in 1:54 so I kept ahead of them.  They came up on me several times but I just did my best to stay ahead of them and not let them pass me. At about mile 10 when it really starts to get hard and there are uphills, I was really having to push it because they were closing in on me.  At about mile 11, I was a good quarter mile ahead of them.  

Then about mile 11.5 or 11.75, I saw the Russian guy I met at the start heading the other direction. He clearly had already finished and was walking back to probably find someone.  So I waved and yelled to him, "Hi Mr. Russian friend!"  Or maybe I said, "Mr. Russian Guy". The next thing I know he is right by my side saying, "I am going to pace you in!  What is your goal time?"  What?  Cool!  I told him I wanted to finish in 1:54 but the 1:55 pacers were not too far behind me. He looked at his watch and said, "Come on! Pick up your pace!"  So I did.  I stayed right at his side and he was coaching me on different things and then he told me to get right behind him to help with wind resistance.  So I did.  Then he would look over his shoulder and yell something back at me like, "Move your arms faster!" or "Lift your knees" or "Faster!"  He kept looking at his watch and then would yell something else back at me.  He was barking off all kinds of very firm orders!  He told me to start fishing.  I responded with, "Fishing, okay!  Fishing!"  Fishing is when you pretend to cast your line out and catch the person in front of you and then reel them in and pass them.  At one point, I was trying to make conversation (I have no idea HOW because I was pushing it so stinkin' hard!) and asked him about how long he lived here etc.  He very sternly looked back at me and yelled, "STOP TALKING!  FOCUS!!!!"  Focus, okay, FOCUS!  I didn't dare not!  He told me to pretend that I was swinging and not running and he said, "Forget the pain, enjoy the speed!"  There is a good idea!  I did my best but I was just pushing as hard as I could.  Then when we got closer to the finish line he really pushed me. He kept looking at his watch.  When it corals to the finish line he told me he was going off the side but to "SPRINT to the finish!!!!"  Sprint?  I have been sprinting for the last mile and a half!!!!  Of course, I didn't dare say that to him! Instead I dug as deep as I possibly could and I sprinted even harder!!!  I was going a 7:00 something mile!  I crossed the finish line at 1:52:45!!!  A new course PR!!! Woo-hoo!  I was SO excited!  I found out later it's not only a new course PR but a half marathon PR for me!!!!  Thank you Mr. Russian man! 
Here I am with him.  I actually got a smile out of him for one of the shots!  He runs in those crazy crocs!  So does his son!  His son finished in 1:10:42!  He took 7th place overall!  That is so fast!  BUT....when I congratulated him, he put his head down as if all ashamed because in order to be allowed to drive his dad (Mr. Russian man) said he had to finish in under 1:10!  So sad!  He was truly ashamed!  He kept putting his head down whenever I would tell someone how great he did.  Must be how Russians parent.  He apologized to me because he said his watch was off and he thought we were at 1:56 when we were at 1:54.  I'm not sorry...I am glad he pushed me so hard, otherwise I would have finished in 1:54.  Still would have been a course PR but not a half marathon PR. I couldn't be happier!  These Russian tender mercies keep popping up all over!
He talked to me for quite a while after.  He asked me what I had in the future with running and I told him I really wanted to qualify for Boston.  He told me that I could do that because of my time on the half and the fact I was able to push it so hard at the end and that I still had a lot left in me.  He said he had no doubt I could do it.  That made my heart soar!  He told me you have what it takes.  He said he could be paid a million dollars to train someone but if they don't have it, then all the money in the world can't get them there.  He kept telling me I was there and that he knew I could do it.  Sadly, he's not running St. George.  Or maybe that's good because if he paced me through that I might die!  His family is famous I guess and they have a running blog.  I do remember reading a story about them because they have nine kids and they all run (they push the babies in a stroller) and they all run in the crocs!  He also told me he was baptized in 1993 in Moscow and came here to go to BYU and he met his wife here.  She is an American.  He asked her to marry him but she wouldn't answer for two weeks.  She took him to her sister's house and asked him to change a diaper and after he did that successfully she told him yes.  Haha  He said families are small in Russia so she wanted to make sure he had it in him.
His son

So... I happen to meet a Russian before the race starts and then he happens to be walking by at the end and then he happens to decide to pace me to the finish to a PR. WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!!!!
I'm loving all these crazy Russian experiences! 

I took 5th place in my age division!  I was so excited!  This race awards five deep in each age division and so that meant I got a TROPHY!  I have wanted one of those for six years!  This race just keeps getting bigger each year and so I honestly didn't think I could ever win one! I WAS SO HAPPY! I got 5th out of 58 in my AD. 106 out of 753 in the women division. And 279 out of 1234 overall place.

At the finish with Robin and Chris.  I also saw Diane (on right) at the finish again this year!
With Robin.  With Rendi and Jen
My time....look at that last lap pace!  My near death pace!  My name was on the big board for placing 5th in my age division but you can't read it. My cute trophy!!!
Awards ceremony
With the other of the top five in my age division.  I have always loved these trophies!  I truly never thought I would be holding my own!  I was so excited!
The top five winners in the females age 50-54.  Still can't believe I am one of them!
The result page. This one is not complete but close enough!
With my cute trophy!  I am so so so happy!  I might sleep with it tonight!
Mr. Russian man (his real name is Sasha) won first in his age division. He finished in 1:15!!!  Wow!

Instagram post:
Top of Utah half marathon this morning. I've been trying for one of those trophies for six years! With the race getting so big I never thought it would happen, but today I brought one home! Course PR and 5th place in my geriatric age division. wink emoticon Maybe the most excited I've ever been after a race! Was paced the last 1.5 miles by a Russian runner I met before the race and he had me near death at finish line! #crazyhard #hesaidforgetthepainandenjoythespeed #soidid #feetonfire #legstoo #russianrunner #whataretheodds #roadtoboston #trophylove @runnerjen1 @runrunren @robbiesing 
My friend Adrian posted this on Facebook with the caption: Go Jodi! Always a smile and a head of the pack. At the Top of Utah Half Marathon.
 Some photos from the TOU website

dear saturday, I was asked to talk about how we prepared our boys to serve missions in Relief Society tomorrow and so I tried to get that put together.  I had to take Mona's clock to her and I also had to drop off the missionary picture to my friend Becky.  I wasn't sore at all.  I felt really good. I think I was still on cloud 9 after today's race!

dear sunday, I went and got Mona and took her to church.  After sacrament I went in Dave's office and asked him to read  and give me some feedback on what I had prepared for RS about how we prepared our sons to serve missions.  He gave me some help and then I went to RS and did it.  He came in to listen.  Great!  But there is actually something good that will come of that....I won't get asked to do things like that anymore if the teacher knows he will come in to listen because it makes them all nervous to have the Stake P in their class.  So I am not going to complain!  After church we had to hurry and eat because the home teachers were coming.  Later that night I made Amish bread due to Taylor's incessant begging for weeks! 

dear quotes:


Dawn said...

Tender Mercies are the BEST and you are getting so many. That's cool that your Russian Friend helped you at the end of your race and that you got a new PR...Woot Woot! Have a wonderful week my friend!

Jodi Wilding said...

Thanks my friend! STILL need to get together for our celebration lunch! Let me know what you have open for next week!

Nancy Mc said...

Your cool Russian friend has helped both of my runner sons with their training and in races. He is a nice guy.
Congrats on your PR!
I appreciate your sharing your tender mercies. Can't imagine having a missionary son in Russia. I'm got you got confirmation and pictures that he had arrived safely.
I know we are supposed to trust, but a little message goes a long way to ease a mother's heart.


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