Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Daughter

My daughter. These are words that give me a secret thrill every time I say them. After our long wait, there’s almost a relief, a release at being able to use them, as though all the uncertainty, misery and hopelessness we felt as we struggled with our infertility are washed away a little every time we refer to Kate. And we use them all the time. My daughter came into our lives on March 17th. My daughter is one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen. My daughter isn’t sleeping at night but the happiness at having her makes it a pleasure to feel sleep deprived. My daughter is dozing on my lap right now and I have been watching her thinking how lucky I am. Will I ever get tired of using those words, when she’s a teenager and thinks we’re idiots, rebels and causes us anxiety? When she makes mistakes? When she leaves us to start her own journey? No.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Kate

Meet our daughter Kate! After a long, long wait, we’ve finally had an addition to our family. Two weeks ago Chris and I made the trip to West Point Mississippi where we adopted Kate. She’s a sweet little girl and has brought a lot of happiness to us and to our home.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Road to Boston

My quest to run the Boston marathon began in November, 2011. I ran my first marathon, the Mesquite Tri States Marathon in 3:50:02 and thought that maybe qualifying was within reach. It seems silly now, looking back that I thought that cutting 15 minutes off my time would be easy, but the Mesquite Marathon is a pretty difficult course. The first 13 miles are a lovely downhill stretch of road that isn’t too steep, but just the right decline in elevation that you don’t realize how fast you are going. The last 13 miles, however, are brutal. There are some pretty steep inclines for long stretches and then some flat areas, but very little downhill that allows one to catch one’s breath. For the first 13 miles of my first marathon, I was on pace to qualify for Boston, but the last 13 slowed me down enough that I was averaging more than a minute per mile slower than I needed to go. But I thought if I could find a nice downhill course that didn’t have any monster hills at the end, I might just be able to qualify. So the training began. I was deterred for about 6 months with some injuries, which I’ve already written about, but got back up on the horse and in April of 2013 ran my second marathon. The Salt Lake Marathon doesn’t qualify as a nice downhill course and I wanted to run with Chris the whole time, and at that point he was quite a bit slower than I, so we finished in a time of 4:00:36. It was a practice marathon and I actually felt pretty good at the end of it, even though it had rained on us for 13 miles and I was soaked and freezing when we finally hit the finish line. I planned to make the Utah Valley Marathon my first actual attempt at qualifying for Boston, but I also signed up for the Big Cottonwood Marathon as a backup just in case I didn’t make it. The Utah Valley runs down Provo canyon and ends in the heart of Provo, the course is nice and downhill until the last 5 miles when it flattens out and goes uphill just slightly. I thought it would be the race, and I felt good up until I got out of the canyon and hit the flat and slightly uphill portion and then I faded quite a bit. My time ended up being 3:35:16, just 17 seconds slower than I needed to be, less than one second per mile too slow. I finished and saw my time and wanted to cry. It’s hard to work that hard for something and then miss out on it by so little (my blog post at the time was a bit melodramatic, I only quoted a poem and let it go at that). I felt that I had done all I could do and I didn’t know if I would ever be able to run that fast again, let alone shave any amount of time off. But I was still signed up for the Big Cottonwood and I had a little more than 3 months to try to get faster. I trained, but not as hard as I should have because of other commitments, vacations, heat. I wasn’t feeling confident going into the Marathon in September. Besides that, I was going to have to cut off more than 16 seconds if I wanted to get into Boston, so many people want to run Boston in 2014 because of the bombings last year, not to mention that registration opened for the fastest runners before the Big Cottonwood marathon was even run. I was going to have to cut off quite a bit of time and if by some miracle I was able to beat the qualifying time by more than 5 minutes, I was going to have to leave the finish line and go home and register immediately. So the odds were not looking good for me. Somehow, the combination of rest between marathons, the course, which was a lovely steep downhill for the first 17 miles with flat stretches and a few uphills for the last nine, the temperature and the really nice people I met on the course who talked to me and encouraged me including Chris’ dad all combined to help me to run my fastest marathon ever, 3:28:33 which is 6 ½ minutes faster than I needed to run. I was ecstatic! I was able to go home and register right away, though I didn’t know if I was accepted for another week. So after 4 marathons, 3 years of training, some setbacks and disappointments, I am running the Boston Marathon in April. It promises to be quite an experience.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tri Man

Chris has recently been interested in doing triathlons. His mother is a great inspiration to everyone she comes in contact with and she was able to inspire Chris to work hard at more than just running. Chris has been getting up early to swim and staying out late to ride his bike and after all his training he was finally able to participate in his first Olympic triathlon. He had done a couple of sprints earlier this year, but the Olympic was his real goal. He had been planning to do the Pumpkin Man Triathlon down at Lake Mead and had been working towards that goal for a long time and that goal was put into the jeopardy when the government decided to shut down and close all the national parks. They sent out an email to everyone who had signed up saying that if the parks were still closed that they could still come down and do the run portion of the tri, but that would have been a waste of time. We didn’t want to drive 6 or 7 hours both ways so that Chris could run a 10k. Luckily, the government ended their childishness a couple of days before the race and we were able to drive down so that Chris could do the whole race. He did pretty well, his transitions could use a little work, but he looked strong throughout the whole race and his run portion was amazingly fast. Good Job Babe!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hoping to Adopt

There has never been a doubt in my mind that Chris and I would eventually have kids. Whenever I would talk about the future, it would be “when we have kids…” not “if we have kids…”. I knew when I married Chris that it would be a little while before we started, he wanted to finish law school before trying and I agreed with him for the most part. I’ve always felt that I’m a bit immature for my age and I’m never quite ready to move on to the next step in my life at the same time as my peers. I wanted to get used to being married to Chris before starting our family, I think that I needed a strong marriage and a strong relationship with my husband before involving children. In addition to that, I wanted the decision to have kids to be a mutual thing, I didn’t want to force or cajole or bully Chris into starting a family when he wasn’t ready any more than I wanted him to do the same to me. So we decided to wait. When Chris finished law school and we moved back to Salt Lake I felt like it was finally time to start our family and I began to talk about it with Chris more and more. Chris is the kind of person who needs to think things through and get used to an idea over time, so I was okay with the delay at first, but my patience did wear thin. After a while, he finally agreed that it was time to start trying. I just knew that we would be able to have kids right away, I come from a huge family and his is rather large, so clearly fertility wouldn’t be a problem for us. However, after the first couple of months, I began to wonder. I started reading articles and books about infertility and began to get worried. I tend to overanalyze things and it was something that was constantly on my mind. I was starting to drive myself crazy when Mary handed me a training schedule for a half marathon. I had been doing a little running, but never more than a 5k and the idea of running a longer race was intriguing. I decided to give it a shot and if I should get pregnant, than I would just stop the training and be happy. I started thinking about the amount of running I was doing, what type of shoes I was running in, going for a run with Mary, who is a much better runner and I didn’t want to slow her down, etc. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t started running, I would have been a miserable person. I needed something to take my mind off the fact that I wasn’t getting pregnant and running was exactly what I needed. After my first half marathon, I kept going and I made Chris go with me. We did several half marathons together, Ragnar, and we started our first marathon together (Chris couldn’t finish due to a knee problem, but we had trained for the whole thing and made it about 17 miles in together). After that first marathon, I developed shin splints and then a knee problem and couldn’t run for about 6 months. I did not handle it well, I’m afraid. I had been so concentrated on running that I didn’t have much time to think about infertility, but when I couldn’t run, our infertility came crashing down around my head compounded by the fact that my distraction was just another problem to deal with. I felt pretty useless and shed many more tears than I’d like to admit. I had to face my problem head on and it was one of the toughest times of my life. Looking back now, I know that my injuries were the catalyst that finally sent us to the infertility doctor. If I had been able to run, I would have been able to push that particular problem to the back of my mind indefinitely and we still might be biding our time. However, in facing my problem, I made an appointment with an infertility specialist and we discovered what our problem is. We tried a few different treatments, all to no avail and eventually our choices were narrowed down to adoption or invetrofertiliztion. We fasted and prayed and made lists of pros and cons and talked to family who also fasted for us and did research on both options and after a while decided that adoption was the option for us. Through all the research I had done, I thought that LDS Family Services would be the best option for us and Chris agreed, so several months ago, we met with a counselor, went through orientations, interviews, home-studies, questionnaires and eventually made it to where we are now, with a profile up on It’s About Love, hoping that someone will pick us as the right family for their child. I continue to run to keep my mind off waiting and Chris continues to be his usual calm and serene self as we play the waiting game, but I realize that we’ve been married for 8 wonderful years, and a few more months is do able. I do hope that we are chosen soon, I’m eager to have an addition to our family, to share the amazing life I’ve been able to have with one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. I know we’d do a great job.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Big Cottonwood Marathon 2013

I did it!!! I qualified for the Boston Marathon with 6 ½ minutes to spare! This post will be longer than usual, so bear with me. We got up at 4:00 in the morning to get ready and drove down to get on the bus that was to take us to the start line. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it might be and it wasn’t raining, which was good because it had been raining all week and I was worried that I would have to go slower because I would slip and fall if I wasn’t careful. We were on our way up the course when we stopped because a bus had gotten stuck on one of the turns and we couldn’t get up the mountain. So we all had to get off the bus and walk around it to get up to where another bus was shuttling people back and forth. Of course after we had all been standing around for 15 minutes they got the stuck bus out of the way and we all got back on the busses who were now able to make it up to us. So the race actually started around 30 minutes later than it was supposed to. It was fine though. It was nice and cool all day, the temperature was perfect. Chris and I didn’t run together, I didn’t want him to slow me down and he didn’t want me to pressure him into running faster, but it turns out that he finished only about a minute behind me, so we probably could have run together after all. Anyway, I started off pretty fast. I knew that I was going to have to start off pretty fast and keep it up all the way through the canyon, it was my only chance of making it. For the first 19 miles, I ran sub 8:00 miles, which is amazing. I tried to be very mindful of my body, I was worried that since I had to start off so fast, I was going to burn out at the end, and I didn’t want that to happen so I kept close tabs on my breathing and the way my legs, feet and back felt to make sure I wasn’t in any pain. Things were going along great, so I kept it up and actually had my fastest mile at mile 13. Between mile 11 and 12, some really nice lady started talking to me. It was distracting, and nice to vent some of my feelings about wanting to qualify for Boston and she was very talkative herself, which was nice. She left me in the dust after about mile 14 though. At mile 17 we got out the canyon and the course started to flatten out. I was okay with that for a couple of miles and then I started to slow down. At about mile 19 or 20, I was hanging with the pacer who was going to finish at 3:25 but after mile 20 I had to slow down. I didn’t slow down a whole lot at mile twenty, but it was enough for me to lose him. I really started to get tired at mile 23. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. Luckily, Chris’ dad had agreed to support me through the race and I knew that I was going to see him at each mile and I didn’t want to disappoint him by walking so I kept going and only stopped at the water stations. At mile 23 I could feel my calves starting to get really tight and I knew that if I didn’t stop and stretch, I was going to start cramping up, so I stopped and stretched my legs for just a few seconds and then started right back up again. Luckily it was enough and I didn’t cramp up at all. The last mile and was able to go just a tiny bit faster. Mile 24 and 25 I was running over 9 minute miles but I was able to bring it back down for mile 26 even though it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The last .2 miles was really exciting for me. I had been keeping an eye on my watch and knew that I had a good buffer of time so that I could slow down at the end and still qualify and for those last .2 miles I could see the clock and see that I was going to finish with more than 5 minutes to spare. When I finished, Mary found me and gave me a huge hug and let me know that Chris was just a minute or two behind me. I got to see him finish, his time was a minute slower than mine, so I still have bragging rights for a little while. I probably won’t be faster than him for very much longer. Then we found Chris’ dad and I got to thank him for helping me finish and accomplish my goal. It was the best feeling in the world and even now I can’t help but smile when I think about it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Georgia and Florida

Chris and I just returned from an amazing trip to Georgia and Florida. We continued our quest to see all the baseball parks in the country be seeing three more, the Braves, the Rays, and the Marlins. We also went to Disney World, Universal Studios, Gater Land, went parasailing, and did a hop-on hop-off tour of Savannah. It would take too long to recount the whole trip, so below are some pictures that hopefully will do the trick.