Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Kade Anderson Hall turned a big 1 years old on March 3. He had been very sick with the flu the entire week before so we didn't invite anyone to a his party. We celebrated it immediate family style and still had lots of fun. Before the party was over though, Jeremy Nelson and his daughter Nicole stopped by to visit which was perfect because the Nelsons have been to almost all our family's parties since we met them 5 years ago. He must have been inspired to stop by :)
Like I said, Kade was super sick the morning of his birthday and I was feeling kinda disappointed knowing that he wouldn't be very happy for his big day, but we carried on. After his afternoon nap though, he woke up acting so much better and he did actually eat cake and smile and play that night. He wouldn't open or play with his presents but he loved his balloons so much.
Things about 365 day old Kade that I don't want to forget:
-He is barely eating the first foods baby food. We have not been able to get that kid to eat solids very well at all! (He does love a good potato chip tho. He hears the bag rustle in the pantry and he is crawling as fast as he can to get one.)
-He is not walking, but could if he would just dare try. He can stand alone quite awhile until he realizes he is and he then will hurry and sit down.
-He waves bye-bye and plays pat-a-cake a lot.
-Whenever he inspects things for the first time, he flips the item with his fingers back and forth a few times.
-He loves to snuggle his momma lots! ( I love this!)
-Taking him outside will instantly turn him from a fussy guy into a grinning guy.
-He looks almost identical to Tori when she was this same age.
-He loves to raid his sister's room for toys.
-He grins a huge cheesy grin at you when he is touching something he knows he is not supposed to touch. He thinks if he smiles big enough that he won't get in trouble.
-He is a joy and we love him very much!
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
We always go to St George to get our taxes done. Not many better times to be in St G than tax time. Because I have the greatest mom in the world she took our 3 kids for us. It was the first time she has taken all three of them and we got to have a few days to just the two of us.
Way back many, many moons ago when Julie and I were brand newly married and moved to St George. Our first Sunday in St George we sat down in Sacrament meeting and the guy down the bench slid over and said "I'm James Mitchell. Welcome to the ward." We talked for a few minutes and he invited Julie and I over to their house for some ice cream that night. When we got there James and I found out we both served in missions in the Phillipines. He had been there about 9 years before me. (He got to experience the eruption of Mt Pinitubo. Which sounds pretty amazing. I know the country was a crazy with a capital CRAZ when I was there and things were pretty normal then.) While we were there he asked what we were going to do for work. We told him we were both looking and hoped to find something soon. He said he needed a receptionist to help in his accounting business. Julie had some experience doing receiption, accounts receivable and banking so she went to work for James. He and his wife were really good friends to us that first few years we lived in St George.
The fringe benefit Julie got from working for James was that he did our taxes for free and I got to talk his ear off. James and I have always had some good chats. Now, 11 years later we still go to James to get our taxes done. It is so much fun to see how his business has grown and changed over the years. Highly reccomend him to everyone. We have sent several friends there over the years and all have come away singing praises. The years we have had returns I know he has gotten us far more than Turbo Tax would have and the years we have had to pay I know we have paid far less than H&R Block would have had us paying.
James also happens to be a super runner. He has done over 20 marathons, he completed the IronMan St George last year. In his 20th marathon he carried a flag the entire way to celebrate.
Anyway, back to 2011, we were wrapping up our tax appointment and mentioned we were planning to go on a long run on Saturday morning. (Just in case I haven't mentioned it, I have had a sudden onset of stupid and decided on about the 1st of February to run a 50 mile race on March 26, http://www.buffalorun.org/ ) I told James if he wanted, he was welcome to come with us. He said he might and would call me later that night to let me know. James also owns the ice skating rink in St George ( I know, Ice Rink, St George???). Between that and tax time he hasn't been running since November, so he didn't want to do anything too crazy...
About 9 pm on Friday night James called. He had talked to a friend of his who does a lot of trail running and wanted to know if we would like to go in the morning. Julie had wanted to try some trail running so we made plans for James to pick us up at 5:45 am and we would go meet his friend and go on an "easy 12 miler." I should know this by now, but never ever trust a trail runner when they say "easy."
On the way to his friends house James explained him to us. His name is Jared and about 8 years ago he decided he was going to run the St George Marathon. The only thing was that Jared weighed something over 300 lbs and was a chain smoker. He finished the marathon and was one of the very last people to cross the finish line. First words out of his mouth were "I need a smoke" (apparently 7 hours without a smoke is pretty tough and he didn't think smoking during the marathon was a good idea). Jared kept on chugging away and kept entering races and kept smoking. Eventually he decided that smoking and running really didn't fit like a hand and glove to he let the smoking go. He would go running with James and some others and was always the slowing them down or making them wait. So they all started calling him Turtle. The name stuck and when Jared introduced himself to us that morning it was "Hi, I'm Turtle"
Turtle looked to be about 50 give or take 5 years, my eyes were still blurry from being up late the night before listening to the @#$$%^ baseball team from *&^%$ Lehi High School who happened to be staying at the same motel we were. It is amazing to me, I look around at all the good guys I know and think that those high school dorks who were yelling and being obnoxious all night will eventually turn out ok. Julie was slightly less than happy about them. I kept gritting my teeth thinking Karma is a pain in the @ZZ. I was having memories of high school wrestling trips when I acted the same way, and now back to the main story.
Turtle likes his name so much he even has a license plate "TURDL" on his VW bus that he uses as a crew vehicle for his big runs. James finished telling us that he had "paced" Turtle in the Wasatch 100 last year. That means James ran the last 25 miles with him. Turtle later explained to me while we were running that the only thing he has done that was a stupid as quitting smoking was the Wasatch 100 race. (100 miles of running through steep, tall mountains http://www.wasatch100.com/). The Turtle I met, was far, far below 300 pounds and a running machine.
We then drop over to the Chuckawalla trail head that is just off Bluff street in St George. We left a couple of cars there and jumped in Turtle's car. There we met Cameron, who is a pretty tough hombre. He claimed he wasn't a trail runner but he liked to hike. He recently hiked the Grand Canyon, rim to rim to rim. I don't know how many miles and vertical feet that is, but I have seen the Grand Canyon and know it is one big honking hole in the ground.
Turtle drove us over by the mouth of Snow Canyon and led us around and to a path that went right past Tuacan High School. We got to go up the ridge behind Tuacan and dropped down into Snow Canyon.
This is James, you can see the school in the background. The desert sunrises are so beautiful.
Here is Julie and I with the school in the background. It was an amazing view. The mile we spent from the school to the top over the ridge took us about 32 minutes to climb. For Julie, "going slow" is moving about 12 mins for a mile. This was very, very slow.
After we topped off the ridge and headed down into Snow Canyon Turtle (he is in the black below) was telling Julie and I some stories of his races. He has competed in the Squaw Peak 50 mile race a few times and many other ultra marathons. Then James piped up with "Turtle and Dana Miller are friends." I had not heard of Dana Miller so I asked James and he said "That is what makes this sport so great. He is a superstar ultra runner, like Micheal Jordan or John Stockton, only in trail running. He has won the Wasatch 100 five or six times. The superstars are good down to earth people, not like the guys in lots of sports." He then told us a joke about Tiger Woods and how there was another cat he should be named after, a very fast cat.
Turtle also mentioned after we had got to the top of the ridge behind Tuacan that he had seen rattlesnakes on that climb before. He didn't want to worry us before we headed up, but figured once we were past the danger zone then it was OK to tell us. Julie really appreciated that.
The section of the run after we topped the ridge behind Tuacan was great. We were running through some great sandstone in a large draw. There were several deep pools that had been carved into the sandstone and great twists and turns. The sand was wet and packed pretty hard. It was so amazing. That was the sort of thing I have come to love about running trails. I am able to see things that would normally be an all day hike or a multiday backpacking trip in much less time. It is about feeling, feeling the shoes slip on the wet sandstone and getting a little jump in my belly, feeling the sand compress and slip to the sides of my shoes when jumping off ledge onto it, planning out the next 3 steps across steep sandstone because there is no way to stop after that first step. Julie was explaining to me how she feels like it is almost a prayer to use our bodies to do things like that. To show God we appreciate the health and strength he has blessed us with. I hadn't thought about it that way before and was so thankful for the wife I have and that she does think of things like that.
After we got to the bottom of Snow Canyon we started on another trail that headed to the East. This would lead us back to the Chuckawalla trailhead where had parked the cars earlier that morning. The trail at that point was going through a lava field, the black rocks were sharp and sticking out into the trail at weird spots and it required lots of attention to stay on your feet. We had been going about half a mile when Turtle hooked his toe and hit the ground. He bounced up and stood there for a second and rubbed his leg. We were off again and just in time for Julie to hook a toe and go down too. She didn't have as good of landing as Turtle. She hit and did some major damage to her right leg (from her thigh to her ankle), her right hand and her right shoulder. She got up and said "I'm fine, I'm fine" We were looking at her and Turtle said "I left the keys in the car, you can go back and drive around." Poor Turtle hadn't lived with this girl for many years and didn't understand her "anything Adam can do I can too" mentality. She just shook her head and let him know she would be finishing the run, after all there was only about 6 or so miles left.
She then pounded her way on through the rest of the way to the trailhead. It was a great run. We got to see some amazing views of the Western St George Valley and had some great conversations with James and our new friend Turtle.
While we were at the trailhead going through the customery good bye's yada, yada Turtle looked down at Julie while James was taking these pics and said:
He then told Julie while James was taking this pic of me and said:
You can come run with me anytime but he didn't even get any dirt on him so he really isn't welcome again.
It was a great run that took us through some very pretty country. James gave Julie a ride back to the motel and I headed into the Red Cliff Desert Preserve again to rack up some more miles. Julie finished with about 12 miles and I finished with about 20 miles in just over 4 hours. Running though that deep red sand was tough. I was struggling with pulling out 12 minute miles on the dirt, then the last 2 miles back to the motel were on pavement and they were both under 8:30 per mile.
I have had problems before with my belly cramping and hurting really bad after long runs. On this run I was sucking on Margarita Shotblocks that had lots of salt in them and didn't have any problems with my belly the rest of the day. NOTE TO SELF: salt helped with the belly cramps.
After we had showered, we headed over to Panda Express for some grub. Then we went back to our motel and took a nap for a couple of hours.
After that we went over to our friends the Ridings. Dan and Cassie have been friends almost as long as James has. We had a great visit with them. Their kids are very cute and had lots of wisdom to impart. Emmet is 2 and up until last night had an alter identity of Buzz Lightyear. When they asked him to tell us who he liked to be he told Julie: "Santa" They made a wonderful dinner that Julie had to eat with her left hand because her right hand was jacked up from her fall earlier in the day.
It was about 9:30 when we headed back to the motel and Julie told me she didn't think she would be able to sleep because she had taken a nap. We got back to the motel and our high school friends were there still. We had been hoping they had been beat out of the tournament and gone home. They were playing in pool until about 10. Julie was laying down on the bed and I went to the bathroom. I came out to find her completely zonked out. Her book was laying flopped over and she was toast.
She didn't move again until 7:45 the next morning when she asked me to go running with her. She is a die hard, hard core runner. I was opposed to the running idea but she said "only 3 or 4 miles, pleeeease" When she finally decided we were done it was after 6 miles.
It was a really good trip. Thanks Mom and Dad, Thanks James, Thanks Turtle, Thanks Ridings.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I got a crazy hair at the first of February and decided I would run in a 50 mile race at the end of March. It is out on Antelope Island on trails.
I have been trying to find trails to run on around our area and have found lots of feilds and backyards I can cut through and fences to jump.
Today, I was trying to get down a hill into a vacant lot between two houses. One of the next door houses had a dog that was not terribly happy to see someone moving through the trees next to his yard. I slipped when he started barking and slid most the way down the hill. When I finally got up I had dark brown mud from my waist to my knees. I was still along way from home and only had one way to get back. I took off down the sidewalk and passed a dad and small boy walking by each other. The kid was about 5. After I passed them the boy said "Dad, is that mud?" The dad pretended to ignore him and so he said it even louder "Dad, is that mud?" Dad then said "I sure hope so"