Dreaming….

I have been showing homes lately as I have recently branched out in Real Estate.  As I am walking homes, I can’t help but imagine myself and my family there as well.  Sometimes I see certain features and think how great it would be to have that in my own home, or what about just a little more space.

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I come home though and feel incredibly grateful for the little things.  The comforts, the garage, the sounds,the smells and the familiar pattern that the little feet take and the equally familiar messes that those little feet make.

A few weeks ago I read another blog that talked about a dream home. I wish I could remember where it was to share it here, but she gave some good advice, she said, “Ask you kids, your family, what they love most about their home.”  I had a feeling that when I asked that question I would find that deep down inside I feel the same way.

I did it anyway.  It felt really good to listen to their sweet answers.  They love our home.  Just the way it is.  These little people don’t wish for a single thing more than just what they have.  How blessed…

“I like the stars on my ceiling”

“I like my toys here where you are”

“I like riding my bike outside”

“I like playing games at the table”

“I like eating too”

and some silly things like, “I like that door”, “I like this wall,” “I like my blanket,” “I like my bear,” and “I like our windows”  even though I like those things too.

I realized that these tiny ones are content just where they are.  They get it.  Already…when do so many of us lose this?  They understand right now what is most important-family.  They understand that being together and the small comforts are really all that matter.

They don’t need big crazy things…we may think they do just because they want it.  We may think that it matters so they are comfortable at school and have what their friends have, but I am coming to find with a girl in Kindergarten, they are stronger, more independent and damn smarter than we think they are.  They get this whole big world sometimes better than we do.

I think I am going to take this into daily life.  Whenever I think I need to do or be more, I am going to ask my small ones.  They will keep me grounded.  They will further support my own conclusions that I am pretty lucky and life is good.

You should try it…ask your kiddos what they love most about your home and be prepared to feel overwhelmingly grateful!

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Fish Lake Relay: Race Recap

Another relay is on the horizon, but life has been busy and I realize, that I have yet to write a recap of the Fish Lake Relay.  We had so much fun as a group and we can tell you what it feels like to barely make it before the time cut off.  We can also share with you what it feels like to be really slow.  What we can’t tell you is how not to have fun when in the company of great people.  I have wonderful friends and for that I feel very thankful.

The Fish Lake Relay is a fun, inexpensive South/Central Utah relay race that is 64 miles and ran during the span of one day.  It’s a great opportunity for you get your feet off the ground in the world of relays and enjoy some beautiful scenery.

As per our usual relay running style, we decided to get all dressed up and go all out.  We decided on a Super Hero theme this year.

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We also had the bus to keep us in style.

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We laughed and enjoyed the ride.  You start-up and then end going down hill.

It got really hot.

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This is the downside of this race.  There aren’t a lot of teams, which is nice, but the atmosphere is lacking. I was missing the fun exchange points and the constant support along the way.  The teams in this relay were pretty serious competitors it seems.  We aren’t slackers by any means, but somehow we found ourselves at the back of the pack.

This is not a race for those just wanted to get out and have fun.  Be ready to compete or feel really lonely.

I am so happy for the crew we ran with, and for our awesome super dad bus driver, but overall, this isn’t my favorite relay.  I think the extra money is worth it…for the atmosphere….somewhere else.  It’s hard for me to say this because I love Fish Lake. It’s one of my favorite places, but there was just so much running on the back of the city roads where the beauty just wasn’t and opportunity was missing up in the mountains where the real magic is.

Here’s a quick video though of my awesome team…we had so much fun as a crew that’s for sure!

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Where are you Mr. President?

In the last 24 hours I have received word that 4 police officers have been shot and either injured or killed in the line of duty.  My heart is with you, Illinois, Ohio, Louisiana, and Texas.  With the officers family, and his bothers on the line. I am growing weary.  I am tired of feeling fear and concern that my husband will not come home. I am tired of knowing that he is hated because he chooses to defend the good in the world.

Mr. President where are you?  I have heard nothing from you in support of these officers.  I have not seen public address to the people of our country pleading that we all do better.  I have not heard you asking for an end to campaigns that ask for “pigs in a blanket”.  These officers, these men and women, these husbands and wife’s, these brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, these humans are your responsibility too.

I am a patriot Mr. President. I love this country.  I have always tried to be respectful and supportive to whomever holds the office of President of the United States of America.  That has included you, but my heart is starting to ache.  You represent me.  You represent each and every individual American.  You are our voice.  You can no longer be silent.  You can no longer make slight remarks that lead others to conclude whether right or wrong that you do not support our police.  These officers are yours.  They are defending the good in this country just as you too, should be.  Speak for them.

Where are you Mr. President?

I see you. I see you in the news. I see you speaking about topics overseas and unemployment.  I also see the following:

I see you publicly shaming Sergeant James Crowley, stating that he “acted stupidly” when he arrested a black Harvard professor. Not only that, but “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played,” the president said at the time. “But I think it’s fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3 … that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.” Later you invite Crowley over for a beer and an apology when you learn of your mistakes.  Where were you Mr. President to publicly announce your error?  Where were you to change the path of hatred because of poorly placed judgement without all of the fact?

President Barack Obama, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sergeant James Crowley meet in the Rose Garden of the White House, July 30, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

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I have heard you over and over in the past few years use the terms “racist” and “embedded deeply in society.” I have heard you refer to cops as subliminally racist.  From this type of speech and lack of support the number of officers killed in the line of duty as nearly doubled since 2012.  Where are you Mr. President?

In the wake of Treyvon Martin you personalized the entire situation making it entirely racially motivated.  You connected it to law enforcement in ways that it never should have been.  You led the country on a path of self-destruction and anger.  What about those law enforcement departments that were in no way involved, but felt the blame because of your statements.  Where were you Mr. President in support of them?

In the case of Michael Brown you immediately stepped out in support of Brown and his family.  You sent representatives to his funeral.  You said that his death will “stain the hearts of African-American children”.  Why did race become a factor in this at all? Why did you make that happen? What about the officer in this situation?  What about his decision being the right one.  What about his family?  Where were you for them Mr. President?

And the two officers who were shot in Ferguson in midst of the violent protests.  You said the city’s law enforcement practices were “oppressive and objectionable” but there was “no excuse” for violence. Really Mr. President?  This is what you have to offer?  Oh wait, no you did offer more.  You said, “Whoever fired those shots should not detract from the issue — they are criminals, they need to be arrested, and then what we need to do is make sure that like-minded, good-spirited people on both sides — law enforcement, who have a terrifically tough job, and people who understandably don’t want to be stopped and harassed just because of their race — that they are able to work together to come up with some good answers.”  Supportive?  I think not. Where are you Mr. President?

In the wake of the Eric Gardner case in New York instead of supporting your own courts you instead offered a statement that included, “This is an issue we’ve been dealing with for too long and it’s time for us to make more progress than we’ve made. I’m absolutely committed as president of the United States to making sure that we have a country in which everyone believes in the core principle that we are equal under the law.”  Where was your support for the courts, for your officers?  Where are you Mr. President?

During the Baltimore Riots you encouraged “soul-searching”.  You didn’t stand up.  You didn’t support good in the world, you very nearly openly supported the bad.  Where are you really Mr. President?

After the death of Office Brian Moore. “that sense of unfairness, powerlessness,  of people not hearing their voices, has helped fuel some of the protests we have seen in Baltimore, Ferguson and right here in New York. the catalyst of those protests was the tragic death of young men and the feeling that law is not always applied evenly in this country.”    Mr. President you are making excuses for the guilty.  You are not supporting the innocent.  You are not supporting our officers.  Mr. President WHERE ARE YOU?

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It’s time Mr. President.  It is time for you to be the voice of the people.  All people.  It is time you step out in support of our police officers and start trying to put an end to the violence and hate.  Supporting the mission of the violent will not help our country rise and be great, the way it once was.  The example that you are provided for the youth in our country is despicable.  You are the President of the United States of American.  You claim status as an African-American man.  There can be no greater show of a lack of racism in a country as a whole than that.  Therefore, continued racism is an individual problem, not a country problem or a police problem.  You are fueling this.  You are causing this.  Step up now and do the right thing.  Try…Mr. President.  Try to protect our Police Officers.  It is your duty to our country. I’m waiting on your police specific public address.  This week of all weeks.  This deadly week in Law Enforcement a public address in support is warranted.

Where are you Mr. President?

I’m waiting.

 

 

 

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Kindergarten Eve

Tomorrow is a very big day.  This is the day that my first-born child will start Kindergarten.  It is monumental.  I am so proud of her, so excited and so utterly terrified all at the same time.  Tonight I sit and think about all of the moments in life.  All of the things I have taught her, or hoped to before she started school and I am faced with the feeling of complete and utter inadequacy.  I can only hope that many other parents have also felt this way.  I hope I am not alone.

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I think of all the things I have hoped to teach her .

I hope she loves herself most of all.  I hope she has enough love and enough confidence that she will be strong and happy against all odds.  I hope she will always see her worth and value.

I hope she knows that I love her. I hope she knows I am proud of her and on her side no matter what.  I hope she always talks to me about things the way she does now.  I Hope she will trust me as I do her and that this will never change.

I hope she keeps that personality that makes her so uniquely her.  She is so fun and so genuine and so full of life.  I hope that never changes and that she keeps that piece of her and that she doesn’t conform and become a part…too much.

I hope she is happy. Everyday I hope she feels more joy than any other feeling.

I hope she minds her manners and always shows respect.  I hope she remembers these lessons.  I also sit here hoping that maybe some of these manners and lessons that I have tried to undo over the last couple of weeks also stick.  You know like…always say excuse me when you fart…changes now as you see your child going out into the world to…only say excuse me if others can hear it and know it will be you.

I hope she doesn’t get teased.  Please oh please let them be nice to my baby.

I hope she doesn’t cry.  She is so sweet and so kind and I don’t want her to feel broken.  I want her to feel amazing and wonderful, because she is exactly that.  Amazing and Wonderful!

I hope she succeeds and learns so much. I hope she loves school and wants to go back every single day.  I hope she thrives and grows and becomes an even more amazing and wonderful contributing human being.

I hope she makes friends.  Good friends.  The kind that stick.

I hope she misses me a little.  I hope she thinks of our time together with fondness. I hope she remembers the good things we did together and not all of the moments that I wish I could change.  I hope she is happy with our time and doesn’t feel shortchanged.  In these moments I wish I would have spent more time, done more things, or been more.  But I still remember (because I promised myself I would) that in those moments I was doing the best I could at that time.  Tomorrow I can try better.

I hope she is kind to others and is the one who helps build another up. I hope she shares and makes others laugh because that is what I see in her. That is what I know she can be.

I hope I prepared her for the world.  It starts tomorrow.  So young.  All the lessons I taught her and hoped to prepare her for I realize tonight I did not.  There are too many that a mom can’t teach.  We can’t teach them all of the lessons because we don’t feel the way others in the world feel about our child.  We love too much.

I just hope she holds onto that confidence and that love and remembers tomorrow when she is just a small girl in a great big world that she matters.  Her spirit is big.  Her heart is fierce.  She is Amazing and Wonderful and she can do hard things.

Be kind to my girl big world.  Her momma loves her so.

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Grandma’s Hands

My grandma asked me to write this poem for her.   I am sure going to miss her!

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Grandma’s Hands

 

They were hands of aged beauty, tucked neatly in her lap

Upon the place the tiny ones, had rocked and slept and sat

The stories told were hidden deep within each tiny crease

But if you closed your eyes and listened each held a special piece

The day those hands graced the world, a momma’s heart so proud

They filled the tiny mouth to sleep and pushed away the sound

They grew and changed, these helpful hands, learning as they’d go

To bake and clean and sew and feed new things they didn’t know

These hands full size could work as hard as any man she knew

For a woman’s hands must be tough for all that they go through

A daily job is never done to keep the house a home

From dawn ‘til dusk they move along, a rest they’ve never known

But more than that these hands they hold the stories that are life

My favorite is the golden band when she became a wife

These hands of love had won the heart and ever held it near

They love and cherish and help hold up the one that is so dear

These hands could make the man she loved feel safe and always home

Because where the hands reside is the woman, he’s never alone

The love they share are in each line new memories that they make

Knowing that with each new line their world will grow and shape

Then babies come and in these hands they’re rocked and loved and kissed

Each tear that fell these hands would catch, never to be missed

They’d wrap the tiny babes and even when they’re grown

To love and hold, and fix it all, the way only they have known

One tiny little crease to each baby has it’s own

They grow and change and twist and turn the story lines are shown

These hands are more than hands you see, they are a life-longs tale

Grandma’s hands give new life, sustain and keep all well

The beauty is in the stories the hearts they helped to mend

Each time they touched they shared their love, to heal, to help, to tend

Grandma’s hands are magic, full of love and grace

They teach life’s lessons, heal the heart, and wipe tears from the face

The more the lines they carry, the more wisdom they contain

Because to give love to another, there’s no way to stay the same

Grandma’s hands are life, are comfort and are love

Grandma’s hands are a blessing sent from God above

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The Indian Princess on the Mountain: Timpanogos

A beautiful Indian Princess dances in the sun. The drums sound loudly in her ears.  Closing her eyes she feels the rhythm of life.  From afar he watches her, loves her, and hopes to one day catch her eye.  The day is coming and she will be chosen to wed.  To continue the traditions of her people.  He loves her.  He must show her.

They meet.  One day under the cover of the clouds he picks for her a wildflower.  She sees him for the first time and so it begins.  He fights for the right to join her tribe.  He passes the tests.  He wins the battles. She shares with him her story of life and fear to be wed to a man she doesn’t love.  He shows her through his tenacious perseverance of her love that he can save her and her people from the battle they are raging with nature.  By loving him, all her people could be saved.

This is not the way of her people.  Love or not, he is not of her kind and she has responsibilities.  She is beautiful and sought after and jealousy becomes rampant.  She pleads to her father to grant his blessing for her to love the man she chooses.  She prays to her God to give her this one gift, allow her this one love.  She will leave with him and give her place to another if he will only give her this chance. She will sacrifice all to be with him.

They run away, up to the place of the wildflowers, to their true beginning.  They are followed and he is ambushed.  She watches in sorrow as he is pushed from the top of the mountain.  He becomes water and finds his home surrounded by the memories of their love.  She cries out a sacrifice to her god that she will honor her prayer.  Take her life that another may save her people.  She feels her heart breaking and lays down upon the mountain.  With the final rip of her heart she becomes stone.  Facing heavenward a constant example to seek the promptings of the heart.

Her tribe overcomes the sadness of the loss and are indeed given the blessings of her sacrifice.  Love and service given, blessings and protection received. 

The Indian Princess of Mount Timpanogos watch over me.  

I set out at 3:30 in the morning with a group of friends with the hope to reach the summit in time for sunrise.  11,750 feet in the air, 4500 ft elevation gain and over 14 miles roundtrip was quite a journey.  I had a great group to run with and I appreciate very much their patience with me.  I play a few roles when in a group like this…usually I am the slowest.  I provide this service for those who are getting tired and don’t want to admit it.  Instead they can say, “I’m going to run with MeriAnn for a while so she doesn’t have to be alone.”  I also am a clumsy…so I take away any chance that another person will ever be more embarrassed than I am.  I fall.  A lot. Four times on this adventure in fact.  But, I get up and I keep going.  This was such an adventure.  A bucket list item for me.  Yesterday I said, not sure when I want to do that again.  Today, I think there’s a maybe.  That’s how things work.  It was just so beautiful and now I know just where to go.

Breakdown ahead..prepare for beauty.

We started running in the dark.  The first 2 miles there are lots of boulders and roots.  I found one right around mile 1.5.  I tackled the rock and then slid in hoping to win.  It hurt…not a good start.  There is a lot of loose slick rock areas and a few streams to cross.  At night..the sounds are magnified.  The streams across the rocks. Amazing.

Around Mile 4, you hit some switchbacks with more, bigger rocks. I fell once here too. IMG_8922

Around Mile 5, you reach a beautiful meadow of wildflowers.  Also the difference in elevation here was noticed.

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Around Mile 6.5 begins the climb to the area called “the saddle”IMG_8925IMG_8926My Sidekick had asked me to please lay on The Indian Princess’s Belly..so I did.  She wondered what it would feel like.  It feel pretty incredible babe…pretty incredible!
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Then it’s just over a half mile from there to the summit. This was the scariest part for me because of the slick rock and steep edges.  Breathtaking doesn’t even describe it.  I was scared.  But I kept stepping and I am so glad I did.  I was really worried going up about the coming down, but it actually was way better coming down and I am really happy that I made it to the top.

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IMG_8957 The white dots here and mountain goats.  We also saw some deer and even ran into a momma moose and her two babies.  We quickly ran the other way.  IMG_8932On our way down we ran into this man.  His name is Ben Woolsey.  He has done this hike over 700 times.  You can read his story here.  He’s amazing and so nice!IMG_8943 The meadows…IMG_8944 Looking back at the beauty.   IMG_8945IMG_8946 IMG_8947
looking back at part of the climb. The trail is there somewhere.  Maybe it’s a good thing it was dark when we first went up…IMG_8986The aftermath…only because I fell (four times) Stay on your feet and all will be okay! Or maybe just hike it.  Or go during the daylight. Or maybe it’s just me…

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My first summit of Timpanogos was quite the journey.  It was beautiful and incredible and I am so glad that I took the time to meet the greatest legend from the place I call my home.  Thank you princess for the journey.

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Great Adventurer

Today we are sending a great lady off on her final adventure.  We are sure going to miss her around here. image

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Great Adventures

She closed her eyes, then closed her book, the smell of leather to be found
She placed the book upon her lap, then opened her eyes and looked around
Upon the walls were tales as great as those that she’d just read
She looked to those, and began to dream, her own adventures, instead

A young mom stood there, with five small boys and her precious little girl
She’d run and play, and dress them up, those kids were her whole world
As they grew up, she did too, but never in her heart
The girl inside who was hip and fun, would always have a part

She took to the road with her love of homes and she sold quite a lot
An award one year, this social gal, for selling is what she got
Her success it came from her hard work and her people listening skills
Never interrupt, always show up, listen and close all deals

Then travelling came, across the land with the love of her life
Hand in hand they changed the world, Sparky and his wife
They often took their family too, to visit far or near
The memories that those young boys have will always be held dear

Legends and sagas and comedies too, they’re filling up the walls
To cowbell tales, or peeing men, two birds, she knows them all
Her jewelry all has stories and those pictures of her kids
And the music on the stereo, all the dancing that she did

She nursed with love and never gave up on challenges when they came
She learned from them, and shared her love, and left none to be the same
She truly loved her family, and everyone would say
They knew she cared and was proud of them, each and every day

This lady you could count on, no matter what the task
She’d show up looking lovely, you only had to ask
But you could visit her and never would you find
Her not ready for the day, she was not that kind

With wine in hand she’d appear and every head would turn
To listen to her stories, a new adventure they would learn
And all would laugh as she start to speak and gracefully would tell
Her memory strong, she’d not forget any small detail

She was funny too and played her part in pranking all their friends
Her adventures going all day and night, the laughing wouldn’t end
Those things she passed down to her kids, a piece each here and there
Especially to her daughter, I’m blessed her name to share

She was beautiful and stunning, her adventures they were great
But most of all she was proud of the family and life she made
Her legacy is strong, and she loves them every one
And in their hearts she will live on, her spirit isn’t done

So here we sit all mopey sad, missing this lady great
With SL She’s off adventuring, their trip just couldn’t wait
We’ll wait to hear the stories, this adventure about to begin
I know in my heart, the stories she’ll share, when we see her again

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Adventurer in Pearls

Today while driving Sidekick 1 asked me this question, “Why is God taking all of our people right now?”  I didn’t know how to answer her.  It made me feel very sad.  I don’t like posting all things gloom and doom but it has been a very rough month at our house.  We are currently in the process of sending one more very lovely lady to Heaven.  It’s hard not to ask why God is taking all of our people right now.  It’s hard not wonder if there is something that I have done wrong.  It is hard not to question my own strength.  It is even more difficult to watch the ones still here with me grieving and struggling.  The hardest part..is watching others suffer and not being able to help them.

I am personally thankful for all of the time I have been able to spend.  All of the lessons I have been able to learn.  Thankful for the memories, the stories and the time.  The greatest of generations is moving on.  What lessons can we take with us? What can we learn from them to make a better tomorrow?

I just keep thinking of my time spent, and I am so thankful that I spent time with loved ones, eyes open, heart open, and embracing the moments.

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This grandma of mine has come to me through marriage.  She is the one and only that I got to meet in my time as a Boxall.  She has brought so much into my life and I feel blessed to call her mine.  She is a woman of grace.  A woman of class.  She is the woman who when I was young I would have looked up to in awe. I still look up to her in awe and hope that some day I can have just a smidgen of her in me.

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She was always presentable. She woke each morning and dressed in fashionable clothes.  She kept up with times and ensured she dressed it.  She always had jewelry on and most often a scarf.  Nice shoes and perfectly curled hair. If you really paid attention you could smell her fragrance, always clean, always floral.  Her nails and hair were done weekly and it showed.  She was beautiful, stunning, a woman through and through. Even my sidekick could see it.

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She had presence and beauty.  She stood and walked tall.  When she entered a room you saw her.  Beauty and grace.

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I loved sitting with her.  She loved having the kids come to her place.  She always complained that it was too small, and she wanted more room. What she would do with more room, I have no idea, but she always wanted it.  I think it was because she was accustomed to things and liked them that way.

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She loved having the kids come and play.  She loved to hear their chatter.  She always thought they were the smartest and “so advanced” for their age.  She loved watching them dance and play.  I love how proud she was of my children.  My children were proud of her too.  They love her.  They loved to visit and spend time in her tiny place.  They loved drawing her pictures on post-it’s.  You would think grandma thought they belonged in a museum the praise she gave them.  I am surprised they didn’t end up on her wall.  She had a talent for displaying items as art.

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An example…In her room there was displayed a cow bell.  I loved having her tell this story because she would laugh the whole way through. On the night of her wedding their friends took them out for night.  They lived in Yuma, AZ so they were close to the border in Mexico.  They spent much of the night across the border.  She said she danced and had fun but her husband was anxious to get home.  She too, but in her story it was always her husband who was begging to go.  They were kept out the entire night by friends.  She said when they got back home to bed the next morning they laid in bed and found themselves itching.  Their friends had put some powder in the bed that made them itch, so they decided to turn the mattress over.  Upon turning over the mattress they found a cowbell had been securely fastened to the springs in their bed.  She goes on to tell how difficult it was for her husband to get the cowbell off of the bed because it was wired on tight.  She laughs and laughs.  Hanging in her room still to the day is the cowbell and the memory of the wedding night to the love of her life.  I love that sass, that charm.

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As fancy as she was she always knew how to enjoy a party.  She loved her Chardonnay.  She also loved beautiful old music. She was funny.  She would make jokes and razz people.  She always made me laugh.  One night when we went to visit and sat to have a talk, she tapped the top of her knees and said, “It’s a girl party, now what should we ladies talk about.”

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She had a beautiful home surrounded in my favorite things…real leather bound books.  They were so beautiful and she was so proud of them.  This is just one way we were kindred spirits.  I spent a lot of time with her one week when I went up to check in on her when her daughter was on vacation and we talked about those books in length.  She showed me her favorite and even offered for me to borrow them.  That was a sure sign of trust.  I didn’t, as I knew the love she had for them, but the honor I felt that she would have let me take one of her precious books was something I will never forget.  She told me so many stories that week. I wish I would have written them all down but I was too busy laughing.

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She was a top realtor in the state of Idaho.  She worked hard and was really good at her job.  She loved it and wasn’t ready to retire. Her business sense, her understanding of people, and her work ethic made her successful.  She truly listens and watches.  I can’t remember a time that she ever interrupted me when I was speaking. This is a talent and something totally genuine about her.  I would guess that her skills in this area led to her success.  That and her honesty.

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She adventured in life.  She is the adventurer in pearls.  She traveled with her husband, she spent time with her family. My husband spent a lot of time with her in his youth and I am thankful for her influence on him.

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She is quite the competitor though too.  I saw this in her stories, in the way she lived her life, and in the way she related to others.  She always wanted to “give” the best.  She didn’t realize that she already did.  She gave me my mother-in-law.  She gave me my husband.  Through them my children, one of which is named after her.  Really maybe they both are.  The way she lived her life and her last name.

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I am so thankful for her example.  She showed me that I can be bold and beautiful.  Smart and humble.  Kind to others but care for oneself.  I want to be just like her when I am older.  Lucky for me I have my Mother-In-Law.  A lady rich in class and kindness.  One that I am so blessed to have and lucky to learn from.

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So to all you classy ol’ broads.  I know the best!  Take a lesson.

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Heaven’s Farmer

Today is my Grandfathers funeral. He was such a wonderful man and I will miss him greatly.  To learn a little more about him, see this post here:  For today, here is a poem that I wrote for him.  He will be so missed.

Heaven’s Farmer

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I figured it out just last night, while lying in my bed

With thoughts of you, and memories too, running through my head

Heaven’s to be a beautiful place, more pretty than the rest

And God needed a farmer to tend his fields and picked the very best

I can see him now upon his throne searching the heart of each soul

I must keep looking, for my farmer’s hand, when I see him I will know

 

He needed a man who loved the land, just as much as he

A man with respect and a special heart that all beauty he could see

He needed a man who’d always work hard and show up every day

Who loved the work and the earth, the produce would be his pay

This man would have a heart of gold and always give his last

To another in need, with outstretched hand, he’d have never passed

 

The man he needed to sow his fields would be the best of the best

That one, I think, he looks just right, his works better than the rest

See this one has a memory and makes it easier for me

He saw it all and loved it all, blessed was his life story

And look at that family, he is so proud, it is his greatest feat

Oh this man, he’s a wonderful one, this farmer can’t be beat

 

And even more he sees that wife who’s always by his side

Yes, she’s the one who helped this farmer on his lifelong ride

A keeper she is and he worked hard, to show her she’s the one

The one he loves with all his heart, that love it isn’t done

But this farmers hand is needed now to ready all the land

For Heaven’s pastures need this man and his gentle hand

 

This man is great and makes me proud he always shows his love

That’s a blessing, seldom found, it came from up above

He used it well, throughout his life and for that I am proud

This man he lived a quiet life but his outcome it was loud

I think he’s the one to tend my fields and care for my pasture cows

I know it’ll be hard, and his hole will be great but I need this farmer now

 

I’ll miss this man and his gentle heart, his advice, and laughter too

I’ll miss his joy in all his stories, as if his eyes I could see through

I’ll miss his love and constant presence of good that’s on this earth

I’ll miss this farmer, and his words, that always showed my worth

I’ll miss his gentle spirit and the joy that showed each time

My babies jumped upon his lap and he’d say, “I’m glad your mine.”

 

I’ll miss the simple moments just sitting in a chair

And although asleep his presence strong, us breathing the same air

I’ll miss his strong example of love for that lady, his wife

I’ll miss his joy, his wonder, at everything that’s life

God needed a man who was rugged tough, but also had hands of love

He needed a man to prepare the fields for when we return above

 

I’ll remember that as I miss him and wish that he was near

I know he’s in a better place, with no pain and none to fear

But still I feel, here left behind, that life just isn’t fair

For my grandma and her quiet house, she’s now a half of a pair

So for her I’ll be strong and carry on, a smile on my face

Until the day we meet again, another time, another place

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Boise Ironman 70.3: A Recap from the Back of the Pack

I recently finished the Boise Ironman 70.3.  I wanted to write-up a recap for those who may consider doing this race in the future (if they get it again) and just to share my experience.  It has been quite a week for me and time prior to the event really takes a toll.

On Wednesday, I attended my grandmothers funeral.  We had set to leave that evening for Boise, but word of my grandfathers declining condition changed my plans.  I decided to stay at least one more day, and possibly miss the race so that I could be nearby where my heart-felt it wanted to be.  Thursday morning my grandfather passed.  We spent much of the day with family and left later that evening to go part way to Boise.

We got up early the next morning and headed out.  When we arrived in Boise in early afternoon we went directly to athlete check in.  It was well-organized and easy to navigate.  Upon check-in, however, bags must be dropped at two different locations.  I found myself very flustered trying to get everything in the bags last-minute and hoping I wouldn’t miss anything.  We dropped my run bag at the school and my bike up at Lucky Peak.  Apparently you can drop your bike the next morning, but it is a mad house and not advised. Here is my racked bike with my photo reminders of my mom, husband and two sidekicks who also sacrificed a lot of time playing playdough while I trained. Even though I didn’t get in quite the training that I wanted for the past few months, we made due and worked around it.  The day was here and there wasn’t any more time.

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Then off for family time and a chance to unwind for the even the next day. We had a little kids Ironman of our own.

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I met the shuttle just before 8 to head to Lucky Peak.  My family followed shortly behind.  Body marking went smoothly and quickly.  The event began at 10 AM, but my heat was not until 11 AM.  I spent a lot of time just hanging around.  Of course last-minute I became stressed and went to check my tire pressure, only to find all was well and I worried for nothing.  I had a great support crew and I am so thankful.  If you notice my arms, I had a few names written down.  I had Jean (my grandma) on one arm -look close, Lane (my grandpa) on the other and Dad on my hand because he felt so bad he wasn’t there.  I needed them to keep me going…and they did.

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Looking around can be quite intimidating.  People here are in incredible shape.  I donned my wetsuit anyway. I also had a neoprene cap and booties as well as earplugs to keep warm.  At ten minutes to my start time I went to the docks.  First problem.  Cramps in my feet. I wasn’t even in the water yet.  I had drank too much water and not enough electrolytes. Or maybe it was all the tears earlier in the week.  I am sure that didn’t add to my hydration. This was a bad start.  I was determined though and made my way to the water.  I knew I wouldn’t win so my plan here was to stay to the back and outside.  I wasn’t looking forward to getting kicked in the face.  I followed the plan.  It worked out well for me.  I moved slow and steady.  I continued to get cramps in my feet and legs.  I found myself on my back, feet flexed just swimming backstroke with my arms for most of the time. I would try to turn and crawl forward only to be pulled back over by the cramps.  In my head I thought there was no way I was going to finish the swim in time.  But alas…I kept moving. I wasn’t going to quit.  They would have to kick me off.  It was a poor showing, but I was happy when I finally was able to swim up the docks with a 56 minute swim time for 1.2 miles.  Not what I hoped for, but I made it.

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Off on the bike.  My least favorite part.  I have had issues before and I am just not a strong rider.  This is my most challenging part.  Right away I could still feel the cramps in my feet and my bike wasn’t shifting in four of my favorite gears.  I would try to use the gears and my chain would drop right off to the easiest level.  I was not happy.  Again…determined to make it I took inventory, realized which gears I couldn’t use and did my best to avoid them for the rest of the ride.  I was nervous about the hill coming over the bridge out of Lucky Peak, but it went smooth and I was feeling good. For the first 16 miles I was really happy with my ride.  I slowly climbed the big hill on Pleasant Valley Road.  For some reason the only time I would pass anyone on the bike was going up a hill.  I thanked my training here.  As I reached the top a woman coming the other direction said, “Incredible”.  I didn’t know if she said, “I’m” or “You’re” but I thought, “that sure is nice.” Then I reached the top of the hill and looked over and realized she was most certainly talking to herself and I almost peed my pants.  The other side was worse, much worse.  She was incredible and I wanted to be incredible too. I just kept spinning and decided I would worry later about the hill.

I had been told it was an ugly course and that I would really struggle.  This is where Grandpa Lane came in for me.  I looked at things from his perspective and realized it really was a beautiful place.  I saw hills of hay and sprinklers.  The barbed wire fence had rolled up barbed wire on the old wood fence poles and I felt like I was back in my youth. It took me to another place for a minute and I was able to just keep rolling on.  I thought it was pretty, I liked the sound of the sprinklers and I knew my grandpa was looking out. I even lucked out on the wind with only a couple of windy spots.

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At Mile 30 it hit me.  I was just not that great of a bike rider.  I watched as three of my companion riders (those who had been moving with me consistently from the start) decided not to go on. I didn’t blame them.  It’s hard stuff riding this slow.  I realized then that I wasn’t in better shape, I hadn’t trained harder, but that I had my grandma on my side. I was just more stubborn than the rest and I was just going to keep spinning.  So I did.  One measly little leg push at a time. I made it up the big hill and told myself I too was incredible. At mile 40 I got to see my support crew.  I stopped for some high fives and much-needed encouragement and went on my way.  For some reason the last 16 miles I passed people.  Quite a few people. Boy Grandma really is stubborn.  It feels good.  Press on.  I met support crew 2 a couple of miles before the finish and used their energy for my final finish. I finished the 56 miles bike ride in a very slow 4:07 (but that is 20 minutes faster than I had planned).

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I made my way into transition and knew then and there, no doubt, I would finish this race.  Bike over…looking forward.  I started out along the trail and came out a little too quick on my first mile. I slowed it down and just kept moving.  I was told this run was in the shade…maybe for the competitors but for me..it was sunny most of the way and I was hot.  At aid station 4, I started walking through the stations while getting my drinks and ice.  At mile 7 I joined up with those who were on their second lap, and then I even got to pass right by the finish around Mile 8.  It was just rude.  I just kept moving though. I saw my support crew a few times along the way and had to stop for some high fives and hugs.

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The last three miles I felt really good and I was anxious to get to the finish.  When I finally had the finish line in site, I saw my biggest supporter just outside the fence.  Luckily my family was wearing Orange and they were easy to see.  He pushed me at the end running along the outside and encouraging me on.  I finished the 13.1 mile run in 2:28.

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Running across the finish was actually quite emotional, especially after the week I have had.  I finished and was really proud of the accomplishment.  I was thankful to have my family there and my angels looking out.  The good part about being at the back…it’s super quiet all the time.  Except the finish line…where when you come in alone, you are guaranteed to hear your name called out as you cross the finish line.  That alone is worth it!

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I got a nice leg massage by my sister and a chance to sit in the hot tub that evening.  The next morning I woke up feeling really good. I wasn’t that sore at all. It made me realize that I may have been more prepared that I thought I was.  Maybe my dad was right when he texted that morning and said, “take your head out of it and just let your body do what it was made to do.”  So glad I did.  Now…to kick this off the bucket list.

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