Friday, January 28, 2011

St. George Runner's Series...

The week after the St. George Marathon, registration for the St. George Runner's Series opened up. If you're not sure what the series is, let me tell you... Before the St. George Marathon you have to run two races in St. George. They have to be approved by the runner's series, but it gets you a guaranteed spot in the marathon. Since the marathon is a lottery, it's the best way to do it if you want to for sure run it! Last year I ran two races that were series races, so I thought to myself "what the heck, I might as well register for the series in case I get the itch to run the marathon." Well, the day of registration I posted on Facebook "Just signed Brett and I up for the St. George Runner's Series. Here's to a year of stress!" And who do you think was the first to comment? My Dad. He said "You'll do it. Your determination and persistence is incredible. Love you!" Less than a month later, he was gone. All I have left of him are little comments on my facebook, pictures, memories, and the hope I'll see him again some day. After his death I thought to myself, "I have to run the marathon now." If my dad had the faith in me, then I have to have it in myself. I physically and mentally couldn't train for the St. George half that was last week, so I had to settle for the 5k. I felt a little silly running it, but it was all for the series. Our second race is a 50 mile relay in March, and then we will be qualified for entrance to the marathon. Running doesn't come easy to me. I've also taken a big break since my last half in June, so I'm a little rusty. Whenever I'm running and I feel like I'm hitting a wall, I just say to myself "don't give up. giving up is not an option. if I could have said that to dad before he pulled the trigger I would have..." And then I take deep breaths and keep running...
Brett and I took advantage of the race weekend and left the kids home with a sitter. My uncle Ron and cousin Cole were running the half too, so we met up and took some pictures before the races started...

Me and my uncle Ron (my dad's brother)

Me and Brett

Ron and Cole (they ran the whole way together!)

Our group (add my friend Lacey and it makes up our team for the 50 mile relay!)

Our friends the Carrs came down for the weekend and were super nice and came to the race! Here are the pics they took for us! (above) me finishing my 5k at 31:41

Brett hauling A to finish within his goal of 1:45. He made it with time to spare :)

Brett giving me the deets of his race and what he had to do to finish

proving that he had done it :)

us with Brett's super shiny blanket

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The rest of our December

Before anymore of 2011 slides by, I'd better write about the rest of our December!!
Ever since Haylee was a little baby, I've been dreaming of the day when she'd be old enough to take to the Nutcracker. I loved the Nutcracker growing up and enjoyed dressing up, going downtown, and attending a professional ballet! I was also in the Nutcracker when I was young, so it's always been a favorite of mine. I thought since Haylee was finally four, this was our year to go! And I'm so glad we did. It's now January 3rd and not a day goes by where Haylee doesn't make some sort of reference to the Nutcracker. She loved everything about it! She even sat and watched it all without getting too bored! That's my girl :) This will definitely be a tradition of ours that I will look forward to every December!

Me and my beautiful Haylee Bailey

The last festivities we had for December were Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of course!! Haylee was really big into wanting to bake her very own cookies for Santa this year, so one of the first things we did Christmas Eve morning, was bake cookies!! I decided when we started I was going to stand back, let the kids take control, and I wouldn't stress out over it! I obviously measured and mixed, but they had complete control over pouring and tasting :) They had a blast doing it and not too much flour ended up on the floor! We made Chocolate Chip Cookies without the chocolate chips. That's how our Santa likes them! It's funny, Brett doesn't like chocolate chips either ;)

watching the mixing happen

so proud of their mixing skills. they better be careful, Daddy will put them to work at the bakery!!

cleaning the beaters, a must!

That night we headed over to my parent's house to exchange presents with the cousins and my siblings. We were a tad late, because we had to wake Dylan up from a nap and were convinced he had an ear infection. But, nope, no infection, just really ornery!

the first smile of the night from Dylan! He loved his puzzle!!

Haylee kissing Jared to say "Thank You!" For her Strawberry Shortcake DVD's! Jared's the uncle who doesn't live in UT, so when he comes to town, he spoils the kids!!

Our next stop of the night was to my grandparent's house for the BIG cousin exchange and Christmas jammies!! Yes, we are almost 30 and we still get jammies :)

Haylee got a Taylor Swift CD, necklace, and bracelet from my cousin Justin and became the happiest girl a live! She loves Taylor Swift and can pick her voice out anywhere we go! We have now listened to her CD a gazillion times and it never gets old to Haylee!

Dylan got a pillow pet from his cousin Davis and has slept with it every night since!

The annual cousin jammies!!

our cute little fam damily (with a slight change of jammies. the kids get two jammies. one from grandma and one from great-grandma)

Our next stop was to our house so the kids could put out their cookies they made with a glass of milk! Then it was off to bed cozy and tight! Santa came to our house and the kids didn't even care to wake up until after 8:30 to see what he brought them! Brett and I didn't complain, it felt good to get some sleep :)

Haylee showing off a few of her favorite things... her new necklace, "hair band," and princess camera

Dylan trying to figure out how to bust his toys out of the box without having to untwist a thousand grey, wired, twist ties. He didn't have any luck by the way, so mommy got to do it later :)

After our house was a disaster and the kids were dressed, we headed off to Brett's parent's house for our annual Christmas breakfast. To make a very long and emotional story short... After having a mini seizer of some sort and a 4 hour trip to the Emergency Room, Brett's dad is fine and doing OK. It did make for a long morning of waiting to make sure everything was OK though. I also couldn't bare the thought of losing another dad anytime soon. Did I already mention that it was emotional? When Steve came back and ate breakfast, it was time to break out the gifts!
girl's pic! Haylee also wanted to show off her necklace again :)

Brett and my best attempt at a self taken pic! Man, we look like we've been put through the ringer!

Haylee loving her doll, who's name is also "Haley"

Dylan showing off his new power saw!

Next on our list was dinner at my grandma and grandpa Castleton's. My dad's parents. It was really weird not seeing my dad this year. He didn't do a very good job keeping in touch throughout the year, but you always knew he'd be there for Christmas. We have countless pictures with him by my grandparent's tree. Anyway, dinner was fabulous! My grandma is probably the best cook I know. She has a certain touch with everything she makes. If I can one day master her baked beans, chili sauce, and marsh mellow brownies I'd be one happy girl!

Our family on Christmas

My family with my grandparents

We made one more stop to Bountiful to see the Strattons, then it was off to home! We got home before 9:00 PM, but it felt like midnight. It was a very busy/emotional day and all we had energy for was bedtime!

Thank you everyone for your kind gifts and words this Christmas season. We are grateful for our beautiful children, who really are the best gift we have ever received! We are grateful for our Savior and his sacrifice in our behalf. I don't know what we would do without the knowledge of the Atonement in our lives. We're glad to celebrate his birth at this special time of year!