Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why is all the Spring Gone?

I am SO ready for Spring. Heck, I'll even skip right to the 100+ degree Summer for crying out loud. No more rain. No more tornadoes. No more snow. I'm ready to move to St. George. 

We had Stake Conference last weekend. I really enjoyed the Saturday night adult session. A woman played Joseph Smith's First Prayer on the piano and it was absolutely beautiful.  I closed my eyes and saw the last 3 years of my life flash before me. I only saw the good stuff. I realized just how much Heavenly Father has blessed me with, and it made me more grateful. The blessing I feel most grateful for in the past 3 years is that I got to marry my dear Watson. Happy 11 months tomorrow honey! 

Our last bunch of pics from  D.C.
Up close at the Capitol

The tiny Washington Monuement

The White House.

The Reflecting Pool at the Lincoln Memorial is being renovated so it was completely drained. I was so sad.

Vietnam War Memorial. When we walked up to the memorial everyone was so quiet and respectful. It almost felt reverent. Neat.
Isn't it beautiful? I was most excited to see the Lincoln Memorial. He was my favorite.

Jefferson Memorial off in the distance.

World War II Memorial -- look at the cool sky!

The ghost's on the Korean War Memorial

See? No reflecting pool. :(. Ugly.


Monday, May 16, 2011

More D.C.

Days 2 and 3 of our vacation were spent with Rob and Tina (Kam's brother and family). We did some hiking, some walking on the boardwalk, visited the Naval Air Base (where Rob works), played games, watched American Idol, ate good food, and visited a muscle car shop. Thanks to Rob and Tina for such a great time!

Me and Tina at the Chesapeake bay.

Muscle car.

My dear Watson, Me, and Kale!


A little frog we found along the way. 

The boardwalk at Solomons Island. That's the Patuxent river.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Washington D.C.

I love vacations. Most of the time when I go on vacation I say it’s nice to be gone but nice to come home; not this time. I did not want to come home.  Washington D.C. was so cool. We walked the same path as some of the most influential people in American History.  It almost felt like I already knew the city well because of all the movies I’ve seen that were filmed in D.C.

Day One:

Take Metro into the city, White House Tour, Union Station, Lunch, Natural History Museum, American History Museum, National Archives, Ford’s Theater, Dinner, Take the Metro back to Branch Ave and drive to Rob and Tina’s in Lusby, Maryland.

This was our expensive transportation day because it was a weekday which meant we had to pay for parking. We also had to travel during a peak rush hour time in the morning which they charge you extra for. We waited around in D.C. until 7:00 pm when the other peak rush hour time ended so we could save a little money on the way home.

My favorite museum was the American History. I loved seeing the flag that inspired Frances Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner, and the dresses worn by all the First Lady’s at the Inaugural Ball.

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were AWESOME! I saw John Hancock’s John Hancock!

Dinner was at a place called Austin’s Grill. Tex-Mex, and kind of nasty.  Our weird waitress told us that they offer a free Queso dip to all their first time customers. Of course when we heard free we said bring it on.  I asked her if there were any beans in the dip because my dear Watson is allergic. She said no and brought us the dip a few minutes later.  We tried two chips worth and thought it tasted gross—like melted Kraft Singles or something.  She comes back a few minutes later and the first thing she says is “But it is made with our Picadilly Beer”  I don’t know if she said Picadilly but something that sounded like that.  I was shocked. My dear Watson smelled it and sure enough, we could smell the beer. It probably wasn’t cooked out either, just poured in. I was surprised she didn’t say anything before because people with religious and moral standards are not the only people who can’t have alcohol. I’m sure there wasn’t much beer in the dip and we had a good laugh after the initial shock wore off.

I'll post more pics later!

Inside Union Station

Outside Union Station

That's THE Capitol in the background.

Archive building behind me. It was my favorite building as far as architecture. So Greek.

Ford's Theatre (where Lincoln was shot)
Outside the Natural History museum.

I'm there, kind of small at the top. National Archives again. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

I ran a 1/2 marathon on Saturday. It was at Thanksgiving Point and it was much, much harder than I expected. They advertised it as being a beautiful run through their tulip gardens, right at the peak of tulip season. Unfortunately, when I woke up there was 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground. Hannah (my sister who also ran the race) and I had to shovel snow off my car in order to drive to our race. Yuck.  It turns out I think I saw like 4 patches of tulips and they were covered with snow. My romantic vision of tulips completely engulfing me as I ran on the cobblestone walkway was a bit grandiose. Oh well, the few tulips I saw were beautiful. I've never walked through those tulip gardens but I learned that there are some p-r-e-t-t-y steep hills all along the gardens, and don't get me started about the golf course. Hill after hill after hill after hill after hill (are you wondering when this is going to stop? So was I) after hill after hill after hill after hill..... It was 8 or 9 miles of hills up and down. Not just little baby hills, GIANT hills--I felt like I should have brought rock climbing gear so I could get up and down safely.

I enjoy going up hill when I run because I like the challenge. It feels so good to reach the top.  After hill 20 the 'feels good' feeling was gone and I was just trying to see the end.  Luckily the race went pretty fast because I was just focused on getting to the part where the hills end, that before I knew it I had run 12 miles.  I tried to push myself up and down the hills (hoping again, that at some point it would end) so by the time I was finished with the race I was VERY tired and sore. Day after the race I felt sore in my calves, hamstrings and quads, but not as much as I expected.  I finished in 1:57:31 which turned out to be 7th out of 65 in my age group and something like 238 overall (out of 912).  Hannah finished much faster than expected as well considering she is a mom of 4 boys with a husband who works full time and is getting an MBA on the weekends. She didn't have as much opportunity to train but she ended up doing really well, especially considering how rigorous those hills were.

It was fun though, and that is why I love running. It was really cool to have my dear Watson there at the finish line waiting for me. This was the first race he has seen me run, and it was really cool to have him feel so proud of me for what I accomplished.  So, I've added another medal to my collection of race medals (you know, the ones they give everyone just for finishing) and my single trophy (that I actually won for placing 2nd in my age group). I hope to continue to add to my medal collection throughout my life.

Here are some very beautiful pictures of me and my double chin. I don't usually have a double chin but I guess running brings it out in me.  That's a little backwards.
Here I come.
Here's where I catch up to this lady and start booking it. So does she and I gave up last minute. I wish I wouldn't have but I was way too tired to keep sprinting!
Double chin. There was a worse one but I couldn't bear to put it on the internet. Ugh!

Here I am having an idea in the form of a blue balloon; drinking chocolate milk of course. The best after run drink.

So happy.