The end of vacation, getting back into normal life – including our morning bowl of granola with berries and yogurt, bumming at the beach, new hairdo, and licking the chocolate straight from the bowl after making chocolate-dipped bananas (thanks to the Friend magazine for that recipe). That’s what we’ve been up to these days.
I was pretty sure I’d made a really dumb move by signing up to run a 5-mile race today. It seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, June 30th is not July. So certainly it couldn’t be too hot. And I’m only 35 1/2 weeks pregnant, so it’s not like I’m as big as I’m going to be. Right? What could go wrong?
Well, for starters, it could be upwards of 80 degrees by the 9am start time. And then I could also suddenly be really, really tired. So tired that walking up a flight of stairs is about as much as I could handle.
But before we even got to the start line, there was the challenge of child care. Earlier this week I realized that we can push the boys in races. My go-to babysitter was skipping town (thanks Abby . . .) so either I needed to find a babysitter or I needed to be able to push the boys. I contacted the race director and he wasn’t helpful. He didn’t tell us we couldn’t push the boys, but he basically made it sound like a a really bad idea because of the heat. So I stressed about it and thought, once again, that I was probably the dumbest pregnant lady in the world for even considering doing this race, and then I asked our friends James and Valerie if they could help us out. Valerie was running, James was not, and he said he’d be happy to watch our perfectly behaved children while we battled the heat. Load lifted. We owe him (and his friend Tyson) big time.
With the kids taken care of, I realized that I had no excuses not to run. (Aside from the heat and the pregnancy, of course . . . hahaha.) So we took the train down to Coney Island this morning and Micah and I lined up with Valerie at the start line where we waited 15 minutes for the race to actually start. Once we got going, it wasn’t so bad. We kept it slow. Like, 2 minutes per mile slower than I would have run if it wasn’t so blasted hot. And we walked through the aid stations, drank plenty of water, splashed it on our heads, and crossed the finish line about 52 minutes later, not so too much worse for the wear. I felt great through all 5 miles. And was happy to have run.
But then we had to stand in line for a cup of water and some fruit. And there were no bagels. (Hot dogs and hamburgers, yes, but no bagels, which was really strange because 1. it was a race and 2. there were two bagel shops listed as sponsors on the shirt. I was counting on the post-race bagels since I don’t eat hamburgers or hot dogs.)
The moral of the story is this: it was a good run. It was before and after the run that was a little frustrating. Fifteen minutes late on the start? On such a hot day? Not cool. And another 15 minute wait for a cup of water afterward? Super not cool. But it really was the lack of bagels that gets me. I really wanted a bagel. Or two.
Of course, the experience was almost redeemed when we were on our way home from the beach and some guy covered in tattoos stopped me and asked if I’d run that morning. And then he informed me that I had passed him. It made me feel pretty good that he had noticed and remembered me, and that he was impressed enough to tell me about it.
This is – obviously – the cutest thing ever. The boys loved dressing up at the Hill Aerospace Museum when we went in Utah. They loved the planes, too, of course, and Simon has been talking about various kinds of planes since then. But my favorite moment, by far, was watching the two of them waddle around in their (too big – especially for Oliver) astronaut costumes to get a picture in front of the moon. I’m surprised they even let me take any pictures. But they did and I will use them to wow their dates with their incredible cuteness in a decade or so. (I’m sure they won’t be embarrassed at all.) Hahaha!
This was the first of three Blackhurst weddings this summer. Yes, three. Jarom got married this time. Next time, it’s Jess’s turn (in mid-August). Then, two weeks later, Isaac and his bride will take their turn. That’s four weddings in my family this year for those who are counting. “It’s about time!” we’re all saying. Although part of me wonders why it has to be the year, and the summer, I am giving birth. No biggie, though. The more family members, the merrier.
And, to their credit, they were all very accommodating of my schedule. “When is the latest you could travel before the baby is born?” Jarom asked. And then, a few weeks later, “When is the earliest you could travel after the baby is born,” both Jess and Isaac asked.
All in all, the Blackhurst family will have added six new members this year: four in-laws and two grandkids. And, as my dad said, the year doesn’t end in September! There will still be four months in which one of my three other eligible siblings could get married. Not that any of them are dating anyone, but let’s not dwell on those details.
Anyway, here are some photos from Jar’s wedding.
Just some notes: Simon was so grumpy right after the sealing. He was so tired. The only thing that kept him from rolling around on the grass and moaning was to put a camera in his hands. So we have lots of pictures with Simon taking pictures with various cameras. And lots of fun pictures taken from his perspective (including that last one of me – where even I have a hard time spotting the baby bump – black really is slimming). The reception was entirely different. Especially once the dancing started. The boy was unstoppable. And also not shy at all – even about stealing the bride for a dance or two. It was awesome.
As for Jar and Brittany, they obviously had a great time. Jar even got a solo session in front of the camera testing out his model poses. Sadly, I didn’t have my camera out at the time, so only the “official” photographer recorded it. But it was hilarious. That’s Jar for you. Congrats to the new couple and best wishes on the adventures that lie ahead!
These are the pictures I wanted to take last year on the flight home. But Oliver was in my lap and I didn’t have an extra hand to grab the camera.
I remember so vividly the feeling that overcame me as I watched the boys sleeping on the plane, with the sun just coming up and peeking through the windows. I wanted to remember that scene exactly as it was. I even sat down as we waited at the baggage claim to jot down what I remembered, for future reference.
But this year was nearly the same. Except that I had an extra hand, and my camera was handy enough that I could grab it. I don’t think there is anything I like capturing the moment of quite so much as the moments in which my kids are sleeping.
Maybe I should try to make a career out of it. Or maybe I should just enjoy it for what it is – something only a tired mom can truly appreciate.
Thanks to all who have responded to our name madness and submitted your picks. If you forgot, never fear. There is still time! The deadline isn’t for another week. So go ahead a fill out your brackets (go ahead and do it all at once) and send it back to us. I know some people have had a hard time opening the document we linked to earlier, so here’s an Excel spreadsheet that should be a little easier to use (I hope): heiseltnamegame. E-mail the completed brackets to me (heiseltea AT gmail DOT com) or Micah (heiselt AT gmail DOT com) by next Saturday. (We also welcome scans or photos of your completed brackets as well, of course.)
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your picks for the name of our little girl. And don’t forget! There is a prize for the winner: homemade cookies delivered to your door/mailbox.
Let me begin by emphasizing that I have very little visual artistic ability. And then let me continue by saying that it is sometimes fun to pretend that I do.
My sister asked me to help make a birthday cake for her daughter’s first birthday. She envisioned a zebra in honor of little Lydia’s first favorite stuffed animal. (There have been many other favorites since then, but the zebra was the first.) And, of course, I jumped at the chance. But how do you make a zebra out of a cake? We didn’t really have a clue. Should we do a sheet cake and cut it into a zebra shape? Should we just frost a cake in a vaguely zebra-ish way? Should we try to make it as funny looking as possible? After several days of letting it simmer in the back of my mind, I decided a round cake was the way to go. So that’s what we did. And since black frosting has never worked out well for us, we striped our zebra in pink and hoofed her in blue.
The result is somewhat comical, but rest assured Lydia didn’t mind. And neither did anybody else. I don’t think I’ll be making a career (or even a hobby) out of cake decorating, but it is fun to dabble in a couple of times a year.
We’re spending about 3 weeks in Utah this year. That’s kind of a long time for us, but we have lots of things we need to do. The first was to run a race. Like last year, my family was heavily involved in the Utah Valley race series. My dad ran the half (his first) as did two of my sisters and a brother-in-law, and a brother and sister ran the full marathon as well. Simon and Oliver ran the kids 1K, and Micah and I ran the 10K.
The 10K finished first, so I’ll start with that. It was perfect weather. Cool and clear, and not windy in our part of the course. My brother’s brand new fiancee was kind enough to take our children from us at the start line and meet us at the finish line. (Thanks Amber!) She also took some pictures of us as we started out. The course was pretty flat, and though we started out slow to let my body warm up, by halfway through mile 2 I was feeling pretty good. We ran the last 4+ miles at a sub-8:00 minute pace and I felt really great. I came in as the 13th woman, Micah was the 22nd man. It wasn’t a huge field for a 10K, but we feel good about our performance nonetheless.
We finished our race just a little bit before my dad was hoping to finish the half-marathon. (The 10K started an hour after the half and full marathons.) He’d had some ankle troubles the past two weeks and was a little anxious about being able to run, but run he did and came in with an extremely respectable time of 2:08, despite the ankle acting up the last 3 miles. It was clear that he was in pain as he crossed the line, but he not only finished, he beat his two daughters and son-in-law by a long shot. Jess came in at about 2:25 and Sarah and Paul crossed at 2:36. Both of my sisters ran PRs (personal records) and were really happy with how they’d done.
After that we waited a while for Isaac and Abby to finish the marathon. Isaac had a goal of running a sub-4:00, so we started looking for him about 15 minutes before that. We waited and cheered and cheered and waited and then Isaac came cruising past us like he was being chased by a pack of rabid dogs or something. He thought he was a little close to his goal time for comfort, but ended up beating it by a solid 2 minutes, coming in at 3:58 and beating last year’s time by more than half an hour.
We weren’t sure what to expect from Abby. Isaac had passed her at mile 5 and she said her stomach wasn’t feeling well and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to finish. We hadn’t seen her at the finish line yet, so we kept our eyes on the finish line chute and our fingers crossed that she wasn’t vomiting in some porta-potty somewhere. She wasn’t. She looked strong as she crossed the finish line, beating her previous marathon time by 18 minutes.
Things were going well for the family so far, but we still had the best race to come: the Kids 1K. Simon and Oliver were pretty excited about it, but Simon was super tired from our busy week. As we walked back and forth from the finish line chute to the finish line exit meeting people as they finished the races, he kept telling us that the more we walked the more tired he would be. So we were expecting a lot of walk-running for the race. And we were pretty sure Oliver would lose interest and want to be carried along the course. Micah accompanied Simon and I ran with Oliver.
But they defied our expectations. Both of them were super serious about this race. Simon weaved in and out of all the strollers and smaller kids and their adults, and was so focused on speed that he turned too soon and missed the finish line chute. We lost him for minute or so, but eventually found him. By the time we had, he’d crossed the finish line 3-4 times, or, as he said, he “won the race three or four times.” Oliver, bless his little heart, ran the whole thing. And he only fell down once. Sometimes he looked like he might be slowing down, but then he’d surge and get back on track. He totally had his game face on as we approached the finish line. And he got a chocolate creamy as a reward, which would have been awesome had he not been so distracted by the chocolate milk that he let the creamy melt and drip all down his hands. In true Oliver fashion, he spent a good portion of the day covered in sticky-sweet chocolate.
So there you have it. The Utah Valley Race series 2012! We were all pretty wiped out. Some of us have been limping, some of us have been sore, and some of us just totally crashed on great-grandpa’s couch during our post-race picnic.
The scene: The boys room. Simon is doing headstands in the corner of his bed. Oliver is lying on his. I am curled up next to him for our bedtime chat. Micah is walking out their door.
Micah: “Good night boys, I love you.”
Oliver: “I love you, Dad.”
Micah: “I love you, too.”
Oliver: “Why did Dad say, ‘I love you, too’?”
Me: “Because you said, ‘I love you, Dad,’ and he wanted you to know that he loves you, too.”
Oliver: “Why does Dad love me?”
Me: “Because you are his child.”
Oliver: “Why am I has child?”
Me: “Because he is your dad.”
Oliver: “Why is he my dad?”
Me: “Because dad and I made you.”
Oliver: “Why did you and Dad make me?”
Me: “Because we wanted to have another baby to raise. We really, really wanted you to be part of our family.”
I look over. He’s (almost) asleep.
I know for a fact that there are many of our loyal friends, family members, and possibly a random reader or two (assuming we have any of those these days) who have been eagerly anticipating the point in the pregnancy when we give you a sneak-peek into our possible name choices.
We hate to disappoint.
So here it is, for your guessing pleasure: Name Madness 2012! Featuring, for the first time ever, girls’ names!
As always, we encourage you to fill out your brackets (linked above) when you have a minute or two to procrastinate doing real work, and then send it back to us (heiseltea AT gmail DOT com). They’ll be scored according to our super-secret formula (which really isn’t that super or that secret), and the winner will be announced after the baby is born and her real name is announced (assuming we ever settle on one). The winner will also receive a prize of some kind. Probably closer to a package of homemade cookies delivered to your door, and farther from naming rights to any hypothetical 4th children we may one day have.
The deadline to submit your completed bracket is June 30, 2012, one month before the baby is due.