Monday, April 3, 2017

*Monday Memos*


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge) 
Weekly recap of my rather crazy, insane, but fun and rewarding life!

dear 100 DAYS!!! Wow!!! It really is going to end soon!  I am a bit in shock in some ways, but very relieved in others. I am anxious to get that boy safely home on American soil!  He has loved Russia so much and he is not as anxious as I am for him to be back home, but come July I will get to hug that boy once again!   
 Okay, I made the above collage but realized McKay isn't wearing his name-tag in it.  They don't usually get to wear them except with the exception of church and conferences.  So I made another but with the wrong winter picture.  So, I am posting both because I don't want to redo.  
 I decided to add the one below ↓ because even though it's not a great picture, I love being able to see the snow in it.  

Here is my Facebook post:
100 DAYS.....(yes, I'm counting!).... until this boy is back home from halfway around the world! (Far East Russia, outer Siberia, and Korea and he hopes to get to Mongolia before he returns as well). He has loved serving as a volunteer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm trying not to be too excited, but two years IS a long time! We are so proud and grateful for the great work he is doing! I know he is savoring every last minute he is there and would probably stay much longer if he had his way! He loves the Russian people so much! It's been a great adventure for us all! #manyarecalledbutfewarefrozen #100days #vlad

dear monday run,  I was able to get in seven miles this morning. I left when it was still dark and I got in most of it before the rain started. I don't mind running in the rain as long as the wind isn't brutal.  I actually enjoy it.  It was a bit cold this morning, but I still enjoyed it. 
You can see how much it rained by the rain gutter and street gutter (and my hair!).  It was really coming down!  Spring is coming!!!  The flowers are in full bloom!

dear lunch with sil's...I met three of my sister in laws at Hug Hes in North Ogden for Carolyn's birthday lunch.  Karen also brought Mickey.  The food was amazing.  We had a good time but didn't stay super long.  I tried Mickey's fettuccine Alfredo and I am here to tell you it is the best I have EVER tasted.  Two thumbs up!

dear ma and pa's, after the lunch I ran over to my parents house to visit them and to take them some donuts from Lee's since they are only a minutes drive away.  We chatted for a good hour or so.  I am so grateful that I have both of my parents still.  I know that is rare and I do not take it for granted.  I am trying to visit them more often because I know their time is limited.  They are the greatest parents ever.  I have been so blessed!  I ran to Smith and Edwards on my way home to get some things for Carson's Easter package.  

dear fhe, we watched a DVD of a fireside featuring the two missionaries that were kidnapped in Russia.  The movie The Saratov Approach was based on their experience.   I figured since McKay is only 100 days away, I could probably handle it.  It was a very good fireside, but made me a bit more anxious to get him back here safe and sound

dear tuesday runI did my physical therapy exercises in the middle of my run where I had some privacy.  A few of them take a lot of space (grapevines and the side shuffles) and so it's nice to do them when I am outside.  No rain today!  Yay!  Here is a shot of last time's speedwork.  It looks kind of cool.

dear harp group lesson, my lesson wasn't until noon today which was good because Dave was off.  As far as the lesson, I messed up royally! For some reason I had the hardest time playing one of the songs when the other parts were added. I was a bit frustrated with myself. I am determined to get that song down perfect!  Nanette told everyone that I was running the Boston Marathon and they asked me some funny questions like, "Is this your very first marathon?"  haha   I just said no. Most people don't understand that Boston is a qualifying only race unless you are selected to run it for charity (by raising $10K).  So, in case you are one of those that are a bit confused how the whole process works, here it is in layman terms: 
In order to run the Boston Marathon you must meet the qualifying standards set by the BAA.  When I first tried to BQ (Boston Qualify) I had five extra minutes to do so (nearly six if you read the fine print at the bottom) than I do now.  That means if I finished a marathon in 4:15:59 then I would BQ.  However, they then changed the standard making it harder. I now have to finish in 4:10 and zero seconds. 
This ↓ is the new BQ standard they are using now.  Technically for my age division I have to be 5:59 faster than before.  And, even that won't get you into Boston.  They take the fastest of the fastest first for each age division which means you won't get in just because you ran it in your BQ time.  The year I BQ'd I had to be close to two minutes faster than my BQ time.  So technically take another two minutes off of this chart.  Make sense?   I needed a 4:10 to BQ.  My time was 3:58 and so I had a 12 minute window (I was 12 minutes faster than my BQ time had to be) which meant I was pretty sure I would make the cut off, since it is usually about two minutes under your actual BQ time.  Sorry, if I have confused you.  Bottom line, it keeps getting harder to get a BQ and run Boston!  
 The above ↑ graph is a breakdown of who ran Boston in 2015.  I would fall into the red pie slice (the +10 minutes) because I finished 12 minutes faster than my BQ time.  
This graph shows how many ran a marathon and out of that how many actually qualified to run Boston.  So, no, you can't just register and "run Boston" as most people assume.  It's quite a process.  In the running community, running the Boston Marathon is like the Super Bowl for runners.  Everyone dreams of doing it someday.  I was one of those.  I honestly NEVER thought I would or could ever qualify.  In my head, those who ran Boston are the super fast runners and I wasn't one of them. But, I set a goal and decided to give it my all.  It was something I wanted very badly and so that helped motivate me to really dig in and work hard.  I incorporated a lot of speedwork (which I feel is the secret to my finally getting a BQ) and followed my training plan religiously.  I pushed myself as hard as I ever have in my life and here I am getting ready to pack my bags and run it!   I feel SO blessed I actually did it. I want to scream right now as I write this because I still can't believe it's actually happening! This is a HUGE dream come true for me.  I have worked seriously hard to get here and that makes it that more special to me.  I am still pinching myself!  BOSTON OR BUST!  Is it really REAL?  I'm still wondering if I'm dreaming!  *Sorry to all you non-runners who wonder if I've lost my marbles!

dear mona, I took Mona some daffodils from our backyard.  She was in the lounge coloring when I arrived with some others. I felt like I had entered a preschool. Most of the residents were on the couch staring at the TV or sleeping.  It is just so sad to me.  So sad.  She nearly jumped off her chair to hug me when she saw me. She said, "I am SO glad to see you. I have been thinking about you so much!".  That was sweet.  I can tell she is getting worse mentally because she didn't remember I told her Mont had been released and Johnny was our new Bishop.  It really breaks my heart to see her have to live there without any of her friends.  It is heartbreaking. But she has a great attitude and makes the best of it.  I still feel bad that the reward for getting old is to live like that at the end of your life.  

dear viewing, I came home and made a cake for Sister Asay's funeral tomorrow.  Dave and I went to the viewing tonight. It was surprisingly upbeat.  I think everyone realized she missed Richard so much and was ready to go.  I heard her say often that she was ready to die and wanted to know why when a friend would die, why they got to go first.  She was one funny lady. Everyone just loved her.

dear taylor home, after Dave had gone to his meetings, Taylor burst through the door flying up the stairs.  He said he had a basketball game.  He is playing on the city spring league I guess.  I had to finish up some things I was in the middle of, but I then headed over to the school but on my way an ambulance passed me and headed down a street in our ward.  I decided I better see where it was going.  It ended up at Bev's house. I visit teach her and so I was concerned, but could see the EMT's were there and had it under control and so I headed back to the game.  On my way, I had a very strong feeling to go back.  So, I turned around and went back.  I knew their daughter that lives here was in the hospital and so maybe they needed some support. I got out of my car and went to the door but didn't dare knock.  I stood in the carport for a bit and then saw her husband and so that meant they were there for her.  After about 20 minutes the EMT's came out and I went in and asked Tom if I could do anything to help.  He said he wasn't sure what was going on but they were going to take her down to do some testing on her heart.  I left and kept wondering why I felt like I needed to turn around because it was clear all was okay and they didn't really need me.  If it had been Tom that was sick then Bev would have needed my support I am sure, but Tom seemed fine.  I have been thinking about this and I have decided that maybe it was more of a test for HF to see if I was willing to obey the prompting.  Maybe it is a test for something else that is coming and He wants to make sure I will listen. I don't always listen.  Quite often I talk myself out of promptings assuring myself that it was just me and not the spirit.  I have no idea why. I will just try to have faith there was a reason.

dear speedwork, I headed to the track on Wednesday morning to get in some speedwork.  Can I just say I hate speedwork!  No, I loathe it!  I dread the days I have to do it.  It is hard!  Really hard!  I want to collapse pretty much the entire time, but I KNOW it is the key to getting faster and so I suffer through it.  I was very happy because today I was able to get a 3:46! I haven't been able to do that this training yet. I pretty much kissed that goodbye once the injury happened.  I have only done speedwork three times this entire training (not good!) so I guess I haven't had much opportunity to get a 3:46. I think my record is a 3:29, but that may never happen again. My injury has really slowed me down but I think this is a sign it is finally healing!  The PT stuff I have been doing is working!  

I only had time to get in 5x800's but I felt good about it! 
I actually found a penny right on the track!!!  NOT normal!  And just as I got in my car, I found this camouflaged one!  I KNOW Tyson was saying, "Hi Mom!" today!

dear funeral, Dave and I headed to the church for Sister Anna Marie's funeral.  It was a very good funeral.  She was her own person and said what she thought.  She was a spunky lady for sure.  I'm going to miss her.  When you go to a funeral do you ever wonder what will be said at your funeral?  I do sometmies, but maybe I don't want to know!  

dear BOSTON JACKET! My Boston Marathon celebration jacket arrived on Wednesday! Oh my gosh I was so excited!  I immediately put it on and wore it all afternoon!  I can't believe this is mine!  I still can NOT believe I qualified to run the Boston Marathon!  I really can't!   Sherrie told me that when they got on the plane to come home, the entire airplane applauded when they saw them wearing the marathon jackets!  She said when you wear them in Boston people treat you like a rockstar. I have always wanted to be a rockstar so this should be fun! hah

dear chimichangas, I made homemade baked chimichangas tonight. I have been trying out a lot of new recipes but this one is a keeper.  The best part is they are baked instead of deep fried.  They were tasty. Here is the recipe:  

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

o    2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
o    1 cup of your favorite salsa
o    1 teaspoon ground cumin
o    ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
o    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
o    2 green onions, chopped (about ¼ cup)
o    6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
o    2 tablespoons butter, melted
o    diced tomato, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and shredded cheddar cheese for topping

1.     Preheat oven to 400°F.
2.     Mix chicken, salsa, cumin, oregano, cheese and onions. Place about ⅓ cup of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.
3.     Fold opposite sides over filling. Roll up from bottom and place seam-side down on a baking sheet.
4.     Brush with melted butter. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
5.     Garnish with desired toppings and serve with salsa on the side.

dear rs board mtg, only two of us showed up and then Shauna came so we mostly planned it ourselves.  We planned April.  We are going with my idea of Chocolate Appreciation Night and a getting to know you. Then Becky said we could have everyone bring their favorite purse and we could guess what purse belongs to what sister.  We did that with shoes once.  Then I said and we could call it, "Getting to know your PURSE-onality!"  Haha  They liked that and so we are going to combine the two - chocolate and purses!  Not sure how they go together but it will be fun!

dear sky, check out the fish he caught spear diving in Puerto Rico!  That big one is a barracuda! Yikes!  I asked him if he was going to eat him and he said, "Better me eat him than him eat me!"  LOL  They really didn't eat him though because they carry a disease.
His bud Jeremy

dear hurricane, I left when the sky was dark but not threatening thinking I would get back before it decided to open.  Nope!  I got to about mile three and the wind picked up and then the sky completely opened as wide as possible!  I felt like I was in a hurricane!  The wind nearly picked me up several times!  I had to put my hood on and duck a bit so as to not go flying like debris in a tornado.  It was crazy!  I don't think I have ever run in that powerful of a storm.  I had to take a short cut through a private field because I got stopped by a train. I'm grateful I didn't twist an ankle or something! If Dave hadn't been working and Sky had been home, I would have thought seriously about calling them.  But then I decided that it was good training for me in case Boston is like this and I decided to turn down anyone that asked me if I wanted a ride.  Surprisingly no one did.  I had four miles to get home and I didn't see hardly any cars. I did however see three other runner/walkers and so that gave me a bit more determination to fight through the wind and rain until I was back on my porch.  I got in seven miles. I could NOT resist the puddles along the way home.  I had my waterproof shoes on, but they were anything but waterproof. My feet were already soaked, so I had nothing to lose!  I was wetter than a dog when I arrived home.  I wanted a hot shower fast!  There is nothing like a hot shower when you are frozen to your core!  Ahhh.......
Puddles are irresistible!  Especially when you are already soaked to the bone! 
Check out this PURPLE HEART!!!  I think it is glass!  I kept it! 
You can see the storm clouds and how bad the wind was blowing by how inflated my jacket is.  That is the barbed wire fence I had to hop!
I got this in the middle of the hurricane!  Ya think???

dear harp, I practiced my harp for a long time on Thursday. I took a video of my hands as I played and I was disappointed my technique didn't look very good. So I would practice and then video again. It improved but not as much as the effort felt like or as much as it needs to.  It's amazing how I think I have high thumbs, but I don't when I watch the video. Technology is really an amazing tool we have to help us.  

dear boston, I spent a few hours trying to get the Boston stuff planned.  I researched a million things and I think I finally know what we are going to do while there.  Though I need to call Shauna and confirm.  My boys may have different ideas!
I check the predicted forecast for marathon Monday every day and right now it is looking like they took my order!  PERFECT for marathon running!  I pray it stays like this!  56 and sunny!
I am very excited Katherine Switzer is going to be running Boston this year for her 50th anniversary run!
I felt pretty unproductive today.  Went to the grocery store to get lemons so I can make Lemon Sugar Cookies. I've been craving them.  Dave didn't get home until 8 pm and he only got a 10 min lunch break.  With only three docs, and two NP's, no wonder.  They are short three docs right now.  I was freezing so I made some hot herbal tea and curled up in my electric wrap and read.  I also had on the TV to the movie Micki and Maude and it is one of the funniest ever.  Got in bed about 9:30!  I think that's a record! hah

dear friday,  I got up and went to the track to do my PT exercises.  It was extremely windy and was sprinkling. Brrrr...  I came home and cleaned out some of my closet. I got rid of 105 pieces of clothing. I counted!  haha  I did give some to my neighbor but the rest is going to DI.  I still need to get rid of at least that much more!  I didn't even tackle my running clothes. I have way too many of those too.  I love clothes, what can I say? 
I read a comment on a clutter blog a while back that I kept to motivate me because sometimes I feel like I am being wasteful to get rid of things that might still have tags on them or I only wore once.  This person's perspective helped me to just get rid of it and not worry about the cost or amount of money that I feel I wasted if I didn't use it enough or wear it enough.  If we have excess, then we should share.  This is the comment:
"More power to those who are into garage sales. Not I! I read an article a while back about how donating stuff to the DI or other consignment stores is a way we live the Law of Consecration. When we have excess of what we need, we share it with others without asking for money in return. There are times when I am on the fence about getting rid of stuff (I worry that as soon as I get rid of it, I will find a use for it again or maybe a family member or friend gave me a really ugly piece of clothing but I keep hanging onto it out of guilt) but looking at it like consecration has helped me un-clutter my life (quickly and without hoarding stuff for an eventual sale)..."

I needed to hear that!

dear bryce home, Bryce arrived back home on Friday.  He has been gone to Idaho Falls for the past six months working on his light park.  He will now be home until October.  It is so good to have him home.  He is just the most pleasant person to have around and so helpful with everything.  He is one of the hardest workers I know.  The word is out what a hard worker he is because he has a list of people wanting to hire him for things they need help with.  
His snapchat post.  What a cute apartment!  Too bad he had to get his couch off the curb.  True story!

dear last long run, well, if you can call 13 miles a long run after a 21 miler.  I still can! 13 miles isn't exactly a piece of cake but it sounds like it when compared to a marathon.  I am surprised how many people have no idea how far a marathon is.  In fact many ask (including my mom - lol) how far is each marathon I run. A lot of people thing the distance changes.  Some people call a 5K a marathon.  That always cracks me up.  Anyway, I had Dave drop me off to meet Robin and Sherrie at their mile 5.  Robin had to do a 17 and I only had to do a 12.  We met on Waterly Lane.  It was a bit chilly today.  The wind was crazy at spots, but overall it was great.  I think it was like 45 when I left.  We went to Perry again and ended up getting in an extra mile.  I got 13 and Robin and Sherrie got 18.  Robin didn't want to do the hill at Beecher because she had already got in her 17 at that point, but I told her she could do it and it would be good training for the San Diego marathon she is training for that has a hill at mile 24. She really didn't want to do it, but I talked her into it.  She was happy after.  I didn't take any Advil today because I wanted to see how my injury felt without it and it did great until about mile 11.5. I could feel it, but not as bad as usual. I really think it is healing! I am so glad I got into the PT when I did!  
Nope, we didn't plan the color scheme!

dear general conference, when I got home from my long run, conference had started and so I sat on the heater and listened.  Taylor was home as well. Him and Bryce played chess while they listened.  I wish I had taken a photo!  Dang.  The Saturday morning session was amazing.  I got in the shower between sessions.  When I got out, Dave had made brats for the boys.  I even had one.  That is a first but I was SO hungry. Marathon training really makes me ravenous.  The afternoon session was amazing as well.  
Cute Taylor heading to the Priesthood session.  He's such a good kid!

dear lemon sugar cookies, I made thee best cookies after conference. The only drawback is they took forever because it made 5 dozen cookies.  I sent some with Dave and the boys to take to his dads after the Priesthood Session but he forgot!  If you are a fan of lemony things, you will love these!

Here is the recipe:

Frosted Lemon Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

These Lemon Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are soft, moist and loaded with lemon! There's no chilling or rolling -- just stir, drop, bake and frost (if you want to!).
Serves: 24 (I got 5 dozen)
·         ½ cup butter, room temperature
·         2 cups granulated sugar
·         4 large eggs
·         ½ cup sour cream
·         zest of 2 lemons (I used one)
·         juice of 1 large lemon
·         ½ teaspoon baking soda
·         3 teaspoons baking powder
·         4½ cups all purpose flour
·         ¼ cup butter, room temperature
·         2½ cups powdered icing sugar
·         juice of 1 large lemon*  (I also add the zest of half of a lemon to the frosting)
·         yellow food coloring, optional

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.      In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
3.      Add eggs, sour cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat until combined.
4.      Add the baking soda, baking powder and flour and beat just until combined. Dough will be the consistency of thick cake batter -- it is quite sticky and soft.
5.      Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, trying to make drops as round as possible. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until no longer glistening in the center. Cool completely.
1.      With an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and lemon juice and beat until smooth, adding additional milk if necessary (you want it thick so it will set completely). Color with yellow food coloring if desired.
2.      When cookies are completely cool, spread with an even layer of frosting and serve.
*I use the juice of 1 lemon and no milk and the frosting has a strong lemon flavor -- if you prefer less zing, use the juice of 1 lemon and just enough milk to reach desired consistency.  This frosting recipe will only frost 4 out of the 5 dozen.

dear april fools, my FAVORITE holiday!  It came too fast this year and so I was not as prepared as I usually am!  Taylor came home.  Bryce was home. Sky was home.  I laid low all day.  I am sure they kept expecting something. In fact, when I made the lemon sugar cookies, Taylor told everyone to not eat them because it was April Fools Day.  I told him they were safe, but he didn't believe me!  So after they had left for the Priesthood session of conference, I headed to Maverick to get a donut box and to Smiths to get some Brussel sprouts.  You can see what I did in the photos below.  I left it on the counter so they would see it when they got home. I was hiding behind the wall so I could get a photo.  No one even opened the box!  No one looked at it until later.  If there was a Krispy Kreme donut box on the counter when I came home, the FIRST thing I would do is open it.  Nope...  They are much healthier eaters than I am.  
Taylor finally opened it and I got the photo ↓ of his reaction.  I guess he was hoping for a Krispy Kreme after all.  But knowing him, he as probably happier to see the Brussel sprouts!  

This was not up to my usual standard of April Fools, but I think it was pretty good for no preparation.  Hehe

dear sunday,
We got up and watched conference again. Taylor had to leave in the middle of the morning session because he was going to the afternoon session and had to go pick up his date in Logan.  We are getting five new temples!  Pres. Monson announced them but he didn't look too good. He missed the afternoon sessions of both days.  Not sure how much longer we will have him.  He is a wonderful man.  We had our traditional German pancakes between sessions.  

Bryce and Taylor had left and so it was just Dave and I.  Oh well.  They were SO yummy!  

I tried to stay awake for the afternoon, but I may or may not have dozed off just for a bit.  But that's okay because Pres. Uchtdorf said, "The healthiest sleep is church sleep" haha  

There were some amazing talks!  Conference is always such a boost and an uplift to my soul.  I am in awe of some of the talks.  I know this gospel is true.  How can anyone NOT after listening to these amazing speakers?  How can you not feel the spirit that bears that witness?  I am not sure the answer to those questions but I do know that I am most grateful I have this wonderful gospel in my life.  It is the greatest gift I have ever been given.  That is always reaffirmed to me each conference.  What a powerful thing to have a living prophet that still teaches us today what Heavenly Father wants us to know.  We are so blessed!!!! I felt like the theme was about the Holy Ghost and to treat others as the Savior would.

THIS was one of my favorite talks.  This man is the most adorable man!  I just loved him!  "I was so confused. I thought I was quite a catch!" -Joaquin E. Costa
You can watch all the talks on HERE.

We got quite the storm as well:

dear mr. cat, seriously what can I say?

dear manic manikin, she is baaaaack!  I got this shot of her coming back from our long run.  The guy was outside and told me her name is Gypsy Rose Lee.  I told him I post her on my blog.  He sounded like that was fairly common.  Lol  
I got this one earlier this week.

dear random, these popped up on my Facebook memories:
 I am glad I did it then because not sure I can anymore unless I kick this injury!

A long lost photo from this winter. ↓ I may make this my profile picture.  Well, I should have when it was still winter.  Now it would be depressing because spring is springing!  I think that bridge is so beautiful covered in snow.  All bridges should be blue.

Do you SPY why I took this photo?  Look close!

My visiting teachers know me well!

I see this guy when I am doing hill repeats.  He makes me smile!

LOVE this picture!

dear quotes,
                               Love this quote!  It applies to so many things in life!


Nancy Mc said...

I'm going to have to try the lemon cookies. I like the idea of not rolling them out. Your RS activity sounds very fun.
I too, loved Bro. Costa's talk. I'm happy to know that church is healthy. I love the tradition German pancakes between sessions.
The quote about decluttering will help me. I always think of the money I am wasting, but puts it into a perspective that I can embrace.
You are a RockStar-qualifying for Boston and Now running it. Best of Luck. Can hardly wait to read about it.
As always, love your Monday Memo's.

Dawn said...

You Run A Lot! It's getting time for your big race and I hope it's everything you have dreamed. I can't believe you son will be home soon....I knew when yours came home mine would be gone. I loved Conference...always do! Enjoy your race! Rah Rah!!!


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