Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Boo Update

It seems that blogs are becoming outmoded. I suppose mine is no exception. Anyway, I have been thinking lately that since I do a generally poor job of record keeping, the least I could do would be to write about each of my children and express my love to them on their birthdays. Boo's birthday has come and gone, but I wanted to start with him.

Dear Boo,

I am SOOOO glad to be your Mommy!!! You are such a happy, intelligent, kind-hearted, fun little boy and you make me smile everyday.

This year has brought some new experiences for all of us. You started Kindergarten! I don't know if I could have envisioned several years ago the day when you would go to school. You are in a small class with other beautiful children who also have special needs. They are your friends. Your face lights up when we talk about them and I know that there are a number of them who love to hold your hand during the day and play with you. They help you to behave more appropriately in the classroom, and you help them with their social skills as well. School is fun for you.

You are so smart! You have been learning how to read for the past year and it has gone very well. It took awhile for me to convince your teacher that you do, in fact, know how to read, since you speak so quietly and other people do not always understand your words. Just today though, a psychologist was telling me how impressed she was that, although she didn't understand what you were saying, you looked at her and acted like you fully expected her to. This is a good thing, developmentally.

You do some super endearing things that make me realize even more that you are a perfect spirit inside of a body with some serious limitations. One of your favorite things to do, in YOUR words is to "take all those toys on a stroller ride to see all those trucks!" You have always loved to watch the trucks on the freeway. Dad left a small hole in the fencing (about 3-4 feet) where he hoped to put a gate. Now we are keeping the hole indefinitely because you love to load up all your toys, blankies, laundry baskets, shoes, and anything else you find inside of my double jogging stroller and roll them across the backyard and dump them out right by that hole so they can see all those trucks too. How thoughtful!!!

You love blankies, especially the soft ones that you got when you were a newborn. You love to carry them around and snuggle us up in them every chance you get. You, of course, also love trucks, cars, trains, and all things that you can somehow pretend are vehicles (ie, pencils, hairspray cans, etc). You are starting to get over the pots and pans, but they still hold some appeal. You love taking your shoes off, and wouldn't you know it - all the new shoes I have bought for you in the past few months have been of the variety that you can take off by yourself at any given moment! (This was unintentional, of course!)

So far this summer, we have had a ton of fun at the cabin. We went up to Yellowstone a few times, and you hiked like a champ, never complaining. You loved the geysers and walking around on the boardwalks. You were so excited for your souvenir: a Yellowstone semi truck! You talk about your Yellowstone truck frequently, and you can name a number of the animals on it. For those animals you don't know, you call them either a "dog...woof woof!" (ie. wolf, bison) or a "kitty cat...meow!" (ie. mountain lion). You love riding on the Gator at the cabin, even though it makes me supremely nervous. You also love going to Grandpa's store to drive in those trucks!

At the end of the school year this year, you and I got to go on a field trip with all the kindergarteners to a farm. You LOVED watching all those cows get into that big truck to go on vacation to Idaho for the summer. They banged around like crazy in there and you laughed and laughed. Then, after we saw some other things, you started heading back and said "OK Boo, let's get in that truck!" We had so much fun!

I love watching you with your sisters. You always play so nicely with them. I believe that you would sometimes rather be doing your own thing, but you are ALWAYS kind to them and share with them. You frequently turn on their favorite shows for them, which they appreciate and which I do not always. :) And you always defer to them when they want something you have.

Your piano playing is unparalleled. Basically, one has to see you play to believe it. Just this week, we were singing a song as a family, and you went downstairs and played the song - in the same key we were singing in! Your talent is truly God-given.

You do a great job of helping around the house. You have been known to unload many things from the dishwasher, clean up toys, dust, clean windows, vacuum, and throw things in the garbage, among probably other things I can't think of right now. You even go so far as to occasionally put dirty dishes away for me! :) I love it!

Boo, I would sometimes wish for your limitations to subside so you could experience the world more fully, but I know that you, more than most, are living the life that your Heavenly Father intended. You are a remarkable example and light to many and you bring tremendous joy to our family. You are truly "like a star!" Thanks for being our boy!!!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Sorry All

I just finished deleting almost all of the pictures from our blog. The thing is, I want to keep our blog public, particularly for those parents of sick babies with similar issues as Boo had. But, I do not want to open the door for people to take our pictures and use them however they want to on the internet, which has happened to several people I am acquainted with over the past few months. So yeah...sorry. No more pictures. Hopefully anyone reading this blog regularly and who wants to gets our family Christmas card or sees us on a regular basis??

Anyway, as I was going through and deleting all our pictures, I realized how glad I am to have recorded some of these blog posts as I have forgotten many details over the past five years. And this coming from one who does not post very often at all. So I thought I would write a quick blog post, Christmas card style, for a family update.

1. Continues working full-time as an electrical engineer and seems to be succeeding in that regard.
2. As soon as everything dries up (very soon I think!), will start work on the backyard again!!! We are sooo excited to have a level backyard with a patio, fence, sandbox (please, please, please don't any cats come in in the interim...!!!!), swingset, grass (since it has been dirt since last summer), and a new deck/stairs! Yeah, this is tons of work, but something that has been high on our wish list since we moved here, and it is super fun to see it come to fruition. Last summer, S (with the help of brothers/brother-in-law) was able to complete a 2-foot retaining wall and fill the backyard with dirt (NOT clay!). We still probably need one more load of dirt. CeeCee and Boo were beside themselves about the dump trucks bringing "big dirt!" to our house, and CeeCee still talks about it frequently. It has probably been one of her main life events so far. :)
3. Finished reading "The Last Lion" books, of which there are three volumes of Winston Churchill's biography. He loved them, although he found a lot of overlap with the last book and the 6-volume World War II history written by Churchill himself. And he has read any number of other books, and probably every political article that has been published on any sort of credible website since 2008. I frequently find myself uttering the words "is there possibly any article written that you haven't read tonight?"
4. Loves to be "on the go" when he gets home from work, meaning that he and CeeCee and Boo run around the house and sing "Dad (or CeeCee or Boo or Mom or BBB) on the go!" to the tune of one of CeeCee's favorite Netflix shows, "Bo on the Go!"
5. Does a good job feeding BBB while I feed Boo at the dinner table. CeeCee eats all by herself, seemingly away from all the action at the table, but still very much a part of things as she has a nearly constant stream of conversational speech coming from her mouth.
6. Just got released from Sunday School Presidency at church, and we are excited to see what is next in store for him!

1. Has been running fairly regularly for the past 2 months now, getting ready for a half-marathon in July and probably a marathon in September, but we will see. The one I want to do is on our anniversary, so I may have to look at some other options for my full. I am finally making super good use of that treadmill I got two years ago for Christmas! Oh, and I watch "The Biggest Loser" at the same time, to ease my too-cold-and-dark-to-run-outside blues.
2. Recently discovered that I am trying to do too much. I filled up a whole sheet of paper which I entitled "Things I am Trying to do in life". Yeah - priorities are everything, people. And by people, I mean me. :)
3. Saw on facebook some kind of diagram which basically describes my life. Here is a gross representation of said diagram:
The house.
The kids.
Choose two of the above.
I tend to choose the bottom two, although this is not to say that I am happy to have a messy house.
4. Waits patiently for the postlady to bring the next "Downton Abbey" DVD from our blockbuster queue. Did I say patiently? Maybe I mean impatiently. Anyway, when I let the laundry pile up so that every item of cloth that we own from sheets to towels to clothes to underpants is in a big clean pile, you know it is because I am waiting for "Downton Abbey" so I can watch several episodes and fold at the same time. As I have aged, I rarely have the attention span anymore to just sit and watch something - I must be doing something else. And folding laundry at the same time is truly one of my favorite pasttimes.
5. Sometimes gets fatigued of poop.
6. Is beyond excited for our new Vita-mix blender!! And I have great ambitions to make whole food, nutritious, smooth, deliciousness for our family to consume, particularly BBB and Boo. I plan to do a partial blenderized diet for Boo in his feeding tube, as well as make some scrumptious purees for him to eat with a spoon. So we can get past this yogurt-only kick.

1. Plays the piano so well! This kid has incredible talent!! Yesterday, while I gave CeeCee a bath, Boo came up with the idea on his own, and taught himself "Here we go round the mulberry bush" perfectly! What four year old does that?? (I guess Boo...)
2. Has loved riding the school bus. And his bus drivers and aides have loved him. Even if he has had a tough morning, he runs to the school bus with a big grin on his face and has a great time. When I realized how long he was riding the bus after school (a little over an hour!), I thought I would do him a favor and pick him up from school, so as to not "waste" that hour. He was so sad to not ride the bus! He couldn't stop trying to run to it and get on and point to it and sign bus and everything short of crying to show me that he really wanted to ride that bus. So I decided that it was not a "waste" if it means that much to him! Unfortunately, as of next week, he will be going to afternoon preschool, which means... no bussing! Sad day! I already have this pit in my stomach caused by missing his bus drivers...
3. Knows a TON of stuff. You wouldn't think, since he still doesn't generally talk (although he is able to say things like "All done!" and "off" and "out" - as in "out of bed!", and "shoes". That is basically it.) He knows all the letters, numbers, colors, shapes, letter sounds, and more. He is academically quite ahead of his functional skills class at preschool.
4. He is finally starting to like sitting down and reading stories with me. He doesn't request it or anything, but if I pick him up and sit on the couch with him, he will read stories with me and not try to run away.
5. He just loves CeeCee. Loves. They are always happy to see each other. They love to do the same things together, like wrestle, and hop like frogs, and jump, and walk backwards, and about anything crazy you could think of.
6. He does a great job on his chores (ie. picking up all the pots and pans and chairs that he gets out, putting away the silverware and/or pots and pans from the dishwasher, general picking up around the house). He knows that he gets to play with one of his electronic toys if he does a chore, and you better believe that is enough motivation! In fact, he has recently taken to getting all the pots and pans out so he can then promptly put them away, and then request his reward. :)

1. Is such a sweet little companion. I love to go shopping with her. She is so complimentary and friendly and funny. She keeps me in a running dialogue all day long about whatever is on her busy little mind, which is way fun.
2. Loves to pretend with our fingers. Her finger represents herself and my finger represents "Grandma". (She also has toys that represent both of her grandmas in play). This is all in good fun, until we are in the grocery store and she keeps referring to me as "Grandma"!!! And not quietly either (that is her way - say it loud or not at all!). I'm not even thirty yet guys, I am totally NOT this girl's grandma!
3. Is starting to get really girly, which I love. I wasn't sure for awhile there, since she loved Lightning McQueen and Mater and "diggers" and stuff, but I would say she is now decidedly girly, and not because I pushed it either. I was perfectly complicit in dressing her in her brother's old Cars shirts, even if it wasn't my first choice. Now she talks about pink things, painting her "pigs", beautiful hair, wearing "wipstick", and her new "Tinkerbell shoes" (which do not have Tinkerbell on them, so they must have just reminded her of Tinkerbell).
4. Told me today: "[Boo] is my best friend!" :)
5. Really gets the hang of family relationships. She is glad to be BBB's big sister, Boo's little sister, and a cousin. She was only a little confused when I told her today that I am not Daddy's Mommy, Grandma is.
6. Dances like no one is watching. We love to turn on Pandora Toddler Songs and dance our little hearts out.

1. Has a tooth! I keep saying that her nursing days are numbered, but she has been mostly gentle so far, so we shall see...
2. Is seriously the smiliest baby. A lot of people have said that to us. In fact, a week ago her cousin D (age 12ish) told us that she is the smiliest baby he has ever seen. Later on that night, he looked down at her randomly, only to discover that she was already looking up and smiling at him! So fun. She did the same thing to my brother when he visited us right before he left for his mission. He said he will always remember her hanging out of her little high seat, smiling big at him before he even looked over at her. :)
3. Has been wanting to stand and sit straight up since birth. CeeCee held her head up since Day 1, BBB has been standing up since Day 1.
4. Laughs at her older siblings, particularly CeeCee, and their antics. Boo held hands with BBB for the first time tonight, which was fun for both of them. She grabbed his hand and he decided to hold on. :)
5. Is 90%ile for height!
6. Unlike her older siblings, does NOT sleep like a champ. Also, unlike her older siblings, she DOES EAT like a champ! Yay!

OK, that is all for now. Good night!

The Wheels on the Bus Part II

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Welcome, BBB!

Has it really been this long?? So, I guess I haven't updated at all during my last pregnancy - does that give any indication as to how it went for me? :) So this is my "Welcome to the Family" post for our newest addition: BBB! First, I should apologize to anyone who reads this because I cannot figure out this blogger paragraph formatting, so sorry about the paragraphs being all messed up! If you are thinking that this just looks like a newborn picture of Cee Cee, are right that BBB does look exactly like Cee Cee at this age. She is now 4 weeks old (is that any indication of how crazy these past few weeks have been?). The delivery was wild - at least for me and all people involved! Long story short, I thought I would literally die if I had to give birth non-medicated. Totally serious. But, I didn't die and BBB is perfect, so I proved myself wrong! :) I hope to never have to do that again, but already the memory of the immense pain and difficulty is starting to fade, and given how quickly it all happened, I probably will not have a choice if/when I get pregnant in the future. Do you want to know how it all went down??? I wasn't going to say, given how late it is and how precious little sleep I have been getting the past 4 weeks, but I can't resist. I haven't written it down yet, and I don't want to forget. So here goes. P.S. As I am typing this I am realizing that it is serious TMI - so don't read it if you don't want to know!!!! First of all, I had a very specific timeline for this delivery. This would be VBAC number 2 for me, so I should be a pro, right? Like, even be able to choose the date, right? Anyway, after dealing with Gestational Diabetes and lots of pain throughout the pregnancy, I was seriously ready to be done. I did not feel that way with Cee Cee, but I was counting down the days for a long time with this one. It was a tough pregnancy. I had my heart set on taking my children to the temple open house when I would be 37.5 weeks. The day after that was the first BYU football game of the season - probably fun to watch while in labor, yes? It also happened to be on a 3-day weekend for S, so he wouldn't have to take any vacation time from work. Perfect time to be born! Nope, not meant to be. I thought maybe the 2nd game of the season then. Not then either. A week before BBB was born, I started getting serious contractions. Braxton Hicks, of course, but sometimes close enough together and long enough to make me wonder. I never got to the point of actually going to the hospital, but we came close. Sometime in that week, I got concerned about my water leaking and went to the OB Emergency to make sure - it wasn't. Two days later, I fell down the basement stairs (really stupid - I, for the first time in my adult life, was too lazy/pregnant/sore/tired/etc to take the dirty clothes down the stairs so I just left them ON the stairs. And then when I finally got around to doing the laundry, I slipped on them because I couldn't see over my belly.). I had to go to OB Emergency again. Everything was fine. Both times, they could tell I was having lots of contractions close together, but both times it was clear I was not in active labor, so I was sent home. On Sunday, I woke up with crampy contractions - different then the ones I had been having all week. I thought maybe it was the real thing, but I had been fooled so many times during the week that I refused to believe it. We got ready for church and went. S started timing my contractions during sacrament meeting - 7 minutes apart and painful. I thought maybe I shouldn't be at church, but decided to wait it out in case it was a false alarm again. I skipped Sunday School because there were no cushy chairs available. While in the hall, a friend sat down and we chatted for awhile and then she started timing my contractions. We sat together in Relief Society and she timed them the whole time - 5 minutes apart, almost the whole time. She was really concerned, bless her heart. I was in a lot of pain, but I figured that we could just go to the hospital after it was over, so I waited it out. After church got out, I knew we needed to go to the hospital. We called S's brother and his wife to come watch the kids and left for the hospital around 1pm. At the hospital, they sent us in to OB Emergency, where I would be checked to see if I was dilated/effaced and the decision would be made to admit me or not. I was in a ton of pain by this point, and I was not getting much time to rest between contractions - 4 minutes apart, but the ramp-up and relaxation of each contraction ate up at least another minute. Anyway, the nurse checked me at 2pm and I was a 1 and 0% effaced!!! WHAT!!??!? I told her that given the amount of pain I was in and how close my contractions were, this HAD to be the real thing, right?!?! RIGHT?!?! I told her to call my doctor, because she let me have my epidural when I was only a 1 last time and Cee Cee was born 8 hours later. And I was in a TON of pain! "I need my epidural" - repeated about ten times. She said she couldn't call my doctor, but she would talk to the midwife who was there. The midwife said I couldn't get an epidural until I was a 5, and I couldn't be admitted until I was a 4, but since I was clearly in a lot of pain, I could stay and wait and walk around for a little while and see if labor progressed. Well, I was pushed up there in a wheelchair, so I wasn't going to be able to do much walking. And by this point there was about 1 minute between contractions. The midwife came in and talked to me herself (she was really wonderful, just not really grasping what was happening). She did not seem to want to call my doctor, even after I insisted several different times. Eventually the nurse came back in and said that she knew I was in a lot of pain and maybe it was time to check me again. I thought "Good luck at this point!" because there were only 30 seconds between contractions and that was not even enough for me to catch my breath, let alone be able to settle enough to get checked! She put on her gloves and then, thankfully, my water broke before she even got to my bedside! Talk about perfect timing. :) Of course, this meant that I would be admitted, so she took off the gloves and started to leave and I said "I think I have to push." She asked if I meant PUSH push, you know, like the baby. I said I didn't know for sure, I thought maybe more of a going to the bathroom kind of push, but I couldn't tell for sure I was in so much pain and struggling to catch my breath. She said I would be able to tell if it was the real deal, and then she left to go get the paperwork. As soon as she closed the door, I knew I had to push and I yelled for her to come back - "I'M PUSHING!!!!" Of course, she and the midwife ran back in and pushed the emergency button and I was rushed to Labor and Delivery. While they were wheeling me down the hall, I guess I said some funny stuff. I couldn't stop yelling, just like on TV. I wasn't doing it on purpose either, my body just made me scream the whole time. Oh well. I was yelling the whole time that I needed my epidural, and finally someone had the courage to tell me that it was too late for that. WHAT?!?!?! S tried to comfort me by telling me to think of all the money I was saving by not getting an epidural. I must have been crazy because instead of smacking him, I just repeated what he said, yelling "I'M SAVING MONEY BY NOT GETTING AN EPIDURAL!" Ha. Not much to say about the delivery room experience. It all happened so fast and was so painful, that it is a bit of a blur. BBB was born about 10 minutes after my water broke - 3:49pm. Her head is perfect. I thought that Cee Cee's head was perfect, but BBB's is REALLY perfect. They said that is because she spent so very little time in the birth canal. Go figure. My body felt better shortly after the delivery, but I didn't actually fully catch my breath and get over the anxiety and excitement of the whole thing until the next day. Oh, and I guess I should say that...she weighed 8lbs 13oz and was 21 inches long!! They actually consider all babies 8lbs 13oz and over to be "large for gestational age"! I had been worried the whole time about having a big baby and either having a traumatic birth experience or having to have a C-section (since having too big of a baby is one of the main things they worry about with gestational diabetes). And it happened! At one point, the L&D nurse asked me how I felt about everything (afterwards), and I said "it wasn't THAT bad of a nightmare." Ha. The midwife came in later and told me that now I could run a marathon or something and it wouldn't be so hard. I told her that I did run a marathon last year, and that that was WAY easier than natural birth! That's all for the birth experience. Our hospital stay was otherwise uneventful. Since I had Gestational Diabetes, they checked BBB's blood sugar a couple of times. Her first one, taken later in the night, was pretty low, but not too low, but the next few were normal, so she was fine. She breastfed like a champ from the get go, so that is a nice change from what I have been used to with the other 2. I have only used my breast pump a handful of times the past month. BBB is a wonderful baby. She is a joy to have in our house. Cee Cee adores her and talks about her all the time. Actually she talks about BBB's By-you (BYU) shirt all the time. Boo is not interested. I think the unpredictability of her movements kind of troubles him, so he stays away. But he is happy to point to her when we talk about her and he will touch her for a split second if it is mentioned that he should try it. Still, that is more than he did when Cee Cee was born, so I'll take it. BBB still wakes up three times a night, but that is OK - such is life as a newborn, right? And she is super sweet to take care of. She has the prettiest little face and big blue eyes. She has started giving smiles this week, but only to me, and only like three so far. She loves to be talked to and held. She will take a binky, but only if we can find where Cee Cee has put it (Cee Cee, who would NEVER take one as a baby, is suddenly very interested and likes to walk around sucking it). She is awake more and more in the day, which is really fun. Now I just have to figure out life enough to get her consistent tummy time and all that. She spends most of her awake time just observing the goings-on in our house. Which are many, although not very interesting at this point. 3 diapers and 3 feedings every 3 hours doesn't sound like much, but it has a little bit rocked my world. I am getting there though. And I am making a point of enjoying all of my children and putting off housework where I can get away with it. Life is good. :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Books vs. Ebooks

I posted this on facebook earlier, so sorry for the repeat. Just looking for more input before my 14 days of ability to return for a refund expire. So I got a kindle for Christmas and after a few days of using it I am considering returning it. Here are my thoughts on the matter. Am I missing something here? Aren't ebooks supposed to be better? Are they? I like it because: 1. It is kind of exciting - a whole world of books/magazines is at my fingertips and downloadable anywhere in the house or anyplace with Wifi at any time within seconds (seriously - 5 seconds or less!) 2. It is convenient to only have one "book" to carry around. 3. I can read in the dark (accomplish-able with just a reading light, of course) 4. The classics, for the most part, are free. 5. Most books are cheaper than buying retail/new. 6. I can get new books whenever I want (ie. Once we had to drive 25 minutes out of our way just to get a book we wanted to read on the road. We were lucky they had it!) 7. It holds my place in a bunch of different books without me needing to use a book mark or deface the book. 8. It will stay "open" on a treadmill, unlike hard copies of books. I don't feel like it is worth the money because: 1. I cannot see the setup of the book the way it is because all the pages are formatted for kindle. For instance, when I am reading Ivanhoe I cannot see where the footnotes go to because they are not necessarily differentiated from the rest of the text. Chapters start in the middle of the "page" and I can't necessarily tell what sections there are (ie. Introduction, Prologue, etc, which may or may not be an essential part of the text) and how they fit in or who they are written by, thus making it harder for me to determine whether or not to read them or from what point of view they are told, or if they are truthful or fiction!) 2. Suppose I just want to finish my chapter (often the case) - I have to flip through all the pages until the next chapter (which starts in the middle of a page) to see how far I have to go, and my place is not held while I do so. So I have to remember where I am in the book while I go searching around. Sometimes I like to look ahead in the book too, just to see what is coming - does anyone else do this?? If I am holding a physical copy of the book, I just hold my page with a finger. 3. There is just something about being able to flip through a book and tell how far you have read etc that is just impossible with a kindle. I mean, they have a little percentage on the bottom that will tell how far, but it is not the same as being able to feel it. Plus, they include all the pages in the book in their page count, not just the content of the book that I would actually end up reading (they include the notes and intros and everything, which does not make it a very good indicator of where you really are in your reading). 4. I would love for our kids to be in a reading mood and just go to our little home library and pick out a quality book. I am not sure how likely that is, and obviously it will be awhile before they start reading my kind of books, but in order for this to be a possibility, we have to physically have the books, not just digitally. Now, at least with the Nook I believe, you could share digital copies of the book. But that is not the same as being able to see how big a book is and read the back and see what kind of vocabulary level it is etc. 5. I am nervous about using it in the bathroom, kitchen, near the pool, etc for obvious reasons. 6. For some reason, perhaps intangible, I am finding it harder to "get into" the books I have got than I think it would be if I had a physical copy. I often read books that I think are page-turners that don't start out that way. 7. I could continue checking out books at the library or buying them used on amazon for less than the kindle copy. Please tell me what you guys think!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It is only fitting that the day after I finished my "running" post, Boo would...LEARN HOW TO WALK!!!!!!! I can't even believe I am typing this. I have dreamed of this day for so long, both literally and figuratively speaking (for those who know my kinds of dreams!). I have so much to do right now, since I have spent the bulk of my day either helping him to start walking (he needs help starting out and then he takes it from there) or announcing the good news, so I do not have time to tell the whole story. We will just say this - THANK YOU to our Shriner's hospital physical therapist, for now our little speed-crawler who, prior to this day had never in his life taken an independent step, has taken a record of 28 consecutive independent steps without stopping. Even our PT didn't expect this! (Today was the first day we saw him). That's all for now. Hopefully I can capture this on video soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


So this year was a big one for me, exercise-ically speaking. I have taken up running! Again. Ever since my mission (2004) I have run off and on and enjoyed it. I started running again in Feb of this year for the first time since CeeCee was born. My goal was to run a half marathon by the end of the summer. Luckily, I have a great neighbor down the street who also happens to be a personal trainer and who also happened to be in need of a running partner. We ran together, starting short and slow, in the mornings in February, March, and most of April. Then we had to part ways as things began coming up in our lives such that we could not consistently run together. Sometime between February and April, I somehow was convinced, albeit not wholeheartedly, that I could actually run a FULL marathon. Crazy? Yes, I think so. I mean, I was always the last person to finish the mile run in middle and high school, walking most of the way because I could not breathe, with 20 minutes being a good time for me. I have struggled with sports-induced asthma basically my whole life, and I have sometimes needed an inhaler, or struggled big time without one. I always thought there must be something wrong with people who run. What is chasing them? Plus, I didn't really know any runners growing up - running wasn't a big activity in my hometown.On my mission, out of necessity (due to my companion being an avid runner who, of course, needed me to be with her while she ran every morning), I came up with breathing exercises that made running for more than a minute or two possible for me. They still work for me now, even though I don't usually need to use them anymore. Long story short, I started training for, not a half marathon as I had originally planned, but a full - 26.2 miles. After my personal trainer friend and I stopped running together, I found a marathon training plan on the internet and decided to go for it, but without my whole heart and soul. At one point, after an extremely exhausting 14 mile Saturday run, S asked if I really thought I could run 26.2 miles, since I had so much trouble with 14. I told him, no, at that point I did not think I could run 26.2 miles - that is why I was training. Silly S. Essentially, I just stuck to the plan like glue until I got within about 5-6 weeks of finishing, and then I figured that I needed to sign up for one - of course, by then I had to pay a late registration fee, but I didn't want to pay at all until I knew I could do it! The week before my marathon, I decided to take the kids to the finish line of another marathon nearby and cheer for the runners (even though we didn't know any). All runners know how nice it is to have even strangers cheering for them. Anyway, it's way silly I know, but it was definitely an emotional experience watching all the people cross the finish line and accomplish such a lofty goal. I was there at around the time I figured it would take me to finish, and I was pleased to discover there were still many people finishing at that time. I knew I would finish, but I had been worried about possibly being the last. Of course, finishing last was still a possibility, since the marathon I signed up for had about 1/10 of the runners that the marathon I watched did. But I didn't mind finishing last anyway, I just wanted to finish, and preferably within my time goal.Can I tell you that my first marathon was one of the greatest experiences of my life? I chose seriously one of the most beautiful marathons I could have chosen (email me if you are interested) and at the end of July, I ran it! I felt totally great for the first half, and I even ran faster than the pace I expected (I had not been accurately timing myself during training, but my trainer/friend lent me her Garmin watch for the marathon). In fact, I felt great for the first 20 miles. Then I started to slow down a little, about 1 min/mile slower. I still felt great though. At mile 23, the farthest I had run during training, I felt pretty good, but about a half a mile later I really started slowing down. Like 1-2 min/miles slower. I was able to pick up the pace a little bit around mile 25, and a little bit more around mile 26, but I definitely crossed the finish line quite a bit slower than I was running at mile 20. But I finished! 42nd out of 65! S was volunteering at the finish line and my trainer/friend, who had run most of the last half along with me, ran ahead and took some pictures of me crossing the finish line. Ultimately, I have only two pictures of the whole thing, but I am glad to have even those because we had a lost camera scare which I am glad to forget. :) It is a beautiful thing to discover that my body is capable of doing so much more than I ever imagined! The marathon recovery period lasted from Saturday to the following Tuesday, after which I would never have known that I ran a marathon by the way I felt. In fact, just hours after running a marathon, I found myself at home with my husband, children, brother, and sister, with all of the adults sleeping but me, leaving me with my sore little body to chase the babies around. That night, we went to a tourist site about an hour away and walked around. I was pretty tired, but, again, surprised and thrilled that my body was handling all of this. Now, nearly 5 months later, it all seems like a dream. Isn't life just like that? I still look at people who have run marathons and think they must be crazy - only now I am one of them! Ha.