9.29.2015

Post-Marathon Blues

Ok I get it!! I finally get it! 

I used to think this was just really, really funny...
... Because it seemed like most people I knew who ran a marathon wouldn't stop talking about it. 

But I'm finally in your shoes and I understand why you won't shut up for a couple weeks after. 

The post-marathon Blues. 

I just heard about this a couple weeks ago and laughed at the idea. 
"Are you kidding me?! I'm going to be so glad it's over! Not depressed!" 

And here we are...

I wouldn't say I'm "depressed". That's not a word I like to use lightly. But I definitely feel a little sad and lost. 

You see, I spent months obsessing over one race. I trained. I ran for hours every week. I ate for the marathon. I drank for the marathon. I dreamed marathon. I couldn't (and am still struggling to) talk about anything else but marathon. I can hear people getting bored or annoyed and giving noncommittal responses to what I'm saying like "Uh huh" and "Oh yeah" because they stopped listening the second they heard the word "run" or "race" or "marathon." I know I am getting annoying. I'm so sorry, family! 

But, understand where I'm coming from. After one day, it's all over. The hard work and dedication are over. It's all gone. This one huge, amazing accomplishment that consumed my life is a thing of the past. But the high from it has stayed. Everyone else came and watched and went home and moved on to other things. They don't have the incredibly sore legs to remind them of how hard they worked. They don't have the medal hanging by their bed that still makes them tear up. They don't have the high or the experience to feed off of. To everyone else, it's over. And I know it's over for me, too, but it's hard to just let it go. It's hard to know what to do with myself. It's hard to look at an empty calendar that isn't marked up with tempo, speed and long runs. There's no more counting down the days. No more getting up at 4 a.m. to run. No more Sports Authority trips to get gels and shot bloks. No more carb loading. 

While some of those things are nice to embrace (I don't really miss the early mornings or the stress) it's hard to leave training mode and not feel like a fish out of water. It's hard to not sit down 3 days after the race and plan out your next one. It's like a drug. I need to know when I'm going to get my next fix. I never thought I would miss marathon training. And really, I think I just miss working hard and overcoming obstacles I didn't think I could conquer. But I do miss it. 

I don't want to bother my loved ones, so I'm trying my best to move on and find new things to talk about. I also don't want to be that person who always has to find a way to tell you how many marathons they've ran and how fast, when no one even asked. I need to cleanse myself of the obsession of the marathon. The experience will remain forever, but it needs to remain with just me. 

Unless people ask. *wink*

9.27.2015

The Marathon

***LONG POST WARNING***

I have so much I want to say in this post and I have many, many pictures, so grab some ice cream, a Diet Coke, or whatever relaxes you, and settle in; this could take a while.

If you've followed my blog for this whole journey, or you know me in person, you know the amount of anxiety this marathon has caused me has been nothing short of ridiculous. I'm a worrier by nature so I was kind of doomed from the get go, but I really tried to not think negatively and pump myself up to accomplish something I never (in a million years) thought I would do.

That anxiety level was pushed pretty high during the last 5 weeks or so. 6 weeks ago, I came down with a terrible UTI that I'm positive spread to my kidneys and I was down for the count for a good week. That was the second worst time I've ever been sick. I completed my 20 mile run right after that, but just barely. Also, due to scheduling conflicts, I had to do the 20 mile run 5 weeks before race day, instead of 3 like most training plans require. The following weeks were met with all kinds of obstacles that stole my running time: moving, plantar fasciitus, family trips, etc. I was supposed to be tapering, but I almost ceased running altogether; except for the 13 mile Big Cottonwood training run and the actual half marathon. All that time off made me super nervous and I doubted my abilities.

The crap hit the fan, though, Friday morning, when I awoke with UTI symptoms again. I promptly called the doctor and we made a quick visit right before I left to pick up my race packet. Sure enough, UTI. I wasn't feeling sick yet, so I was confident we caught this one early, minus being a little more tired than usual. But of course, it made me worried. The other one hit me pretty hard, pretty fast so I didn't know what to expect. But we started antibiotics and I had Cory and my dad give me a priesthood blessing. I had worked 5 months to get to this point, I would have been devastated if I was too sick to run. The blessing instantly calmed my nerves. I felt excited and I slept pretty great that night.

I awoke Saturday morning ready to get to work. I met my carpool and before I knew it, I was stepping off the bus at the top of Monte Cristo. I had over prepared for everything, especially for it being cold at the start. But as soon as we got off the bus, it became apparent it was going to be a HOT race. It was 8:30 a.m. at the top of a mountain and it was already hot enough we were all in our tanks and shorts. I knew it was going to be killer and there was nothing I could do about it, so I took a deep breath and prepared myself.

The views of the changing leaves at the top were BREATHTAKING! I took one scenic picture that apparently didn't save *insert frowny face* but that's ok, you can still see it in the background here.
The chick pictured above is my friend Shantell. We used to work together at Gold's Gym. She was pacing the 3:45 marathon time and hadn't really ran much in the last 6 weeks. She is a BEAST! She can do anything, I tell ya! How about them leaves, though?

I also ran into my new friend Robert, who you might remember me talking about from Big Cottonwood.

There were only 500 marathon runners and the first thing I noticed was how incredibly nice and supportive everyone was. Literally, everyone! I think marathon runners know just how tough it is to conquer that distance, which makes them more encouraging and supportive of others who are willing to torture themselves as well. Even on the course people were just incredible.

I enjoyed the views and listened as runners talked about trying to BQ (Boston Qualify) and admired their speed and determination. My only goal was to go slow because I wasn't sure what my body was going to do with the UTI, and most importantly, ENJOY IT! I did not want my first marathon to be a horrible experience. I did not care what my time was, I just wanted to cross that finish line without hating running and wanting to die.

We lined up and the gun went off and it was go time! Tears filled my eyes as I passed the start line. Here I was, running a marathon. Me. It was so surreal. I kept my pace easy and took in the amazing vibrant colors of the leaves. I don't think I've ever seen fall leaves that amazing.

The heat started to get bad around mile 5, and I also stopped for my first bathroom break. I walked slowly through each aid station and either drank two cups of water or drank one and dumped the other over my head to cool off. My body kept having the major urge to pee, so I kept stopping, and nothing would come out. I wasted a lot of time in the port-a-potties. At mile 7 my legs were feeling pretty achy, which scared me it was happening that fast, but then I remembered the ibuprofen I had brought. I took it and things started to feel much better.

I clipped along at a comfortable pace. I took my time at each aid station and ran to the next one. This continued until about mile 16 when I was really getting hot and needed to slow down a bit more. It was also around this time that I noticed a girl in front of me limping badly and seemed to be in distress. I ran up to her and asked if she wanted my extra ibuprofen I had brought. She started to cry and told me that would be wonderful and told me she felt like she sprained her ankle and was in a lot of pain. We were still a mile from the next aid station so she was going to walk to it and get some help. I gave her the medicine and tried to lift her spirits a bit before moving on. I felt so bad for her. I hope she was ok.

If you will remember, I originally signed up for this race with a friend. That friend ended up having to drop out because of injuries. The thought of running the last 6 miles alone terrified me, and I kept whining about it to my running friends. My dear, sweet, life-saving friend, Michelle, offered to drive up and meet me on the course and run the last stretch with me. I cannot tell you how much I needed and appreciated that. It was amazing! The mile markers were a little unclear on the map, so we weren't quite sure when we would run into each other. But at mile 18, around the corner, running up the canyon, was Michelle. I pulled off my headphones and threw my hands in the air and cheered! I was still in good spirits and seeing her meant it would be fun from here on out. I didn't have to do it alone, anymore.

And let me tell you, she saved me! She brought everything under the sun to help keep me going, including extra water to dump on my head. Even just-in-case stuff she was prepared for. I was feeling good overall and we kept plucking along.

Mile 20 was roughly when we left the canyon and started running through the rural streets of Huntsville. The shade was gone and the sun was HOT! Just after mile 22, I spotted Cory and his brother Jason on their bikes, who rode next to us for the rest of the race. They even rode ahead and got me "cold" water. It was supposed to be colder than what I was carrying, but it wasn't. They were a huge morale boost as well.

I never hit the wall, but at mile 23 the heat just zapped my energy. I kept soaking myself and guzzling water, which ended up making my stomach uneasy, and I had to walk quite a bit. My feet were done. Seriously done. The last 3 miles were insanely long and pretty miserable physically, but I was still having a good time and wasn't wanting to die yet. Then at 24 miles my legs were done. I kept trying to tell myself to push through the pain but I didn't have much left to give.

Cory and Jason rode on ahead as I got closer to the finish so they could see me cross. We rounded a corner  and there it was: the finish line. I blurted out, "Oh my gosh!" And started crying. I also learned it is impossible to run and cry and be able to breathe, so I had to stop and try and catch my breath. I was about to finish a marathon!! 26.2 freaking miles! I limp-ran to the chute. I passed my entire family -- just about everyone from both sides made it to support me -- and as I passed them, Michelle broke away


And Kennedy ran out because she wanted to run me into the finish.


I finally crossed the finish line and tried to choke back tears.

I HAD DONE IT!!

I got my medal and ice cold water and they shoved a bag of ice in my hand. My family found me shortly after and Cory surprised me with flowers, which made me lose all control of holding it together.

If there was anyone who deserved this victory as much as I did, it was Cory. He is what made all the training and time possible. He helped get me to that finish line. Gosh, I love that man.

Ok, more pictures:
Everyone who came out to cheer me on. I have the best family!
I remember telling my mom I wanted signs. I always see signs for others during races and wish they were for me. The kids helped her make them and they were GREAT!

I owe this girl so much! I don't know how badly I would have fallen apart mentally if she hadn't have spent her afternoon helping me out. Michelle, if you read this, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I AM A MARATHONER!!!
Alright, so pro's and con's. And FAQ's.

Pro's:
-the canyon was GORGEOUS!
-the race was well organized and the course was nice
-volunteers were great
-late start time meant I didn't have to get up at 3:00 a.m.

con's:
-too freaking hot
-the race fee was cheap which meant kind of cheap swag
-water was warm at most aid stations
-road kill along the course... oh my gosh, the stench!

How do you feel?
I feel amazing. I'm obviously insanely sore and sunburned, but I feel like I can conquer the world. I kept crying yesterday because I just couldn't believe I had actually ran a marathon.

Did you get any injuries?
My plantar fasciitus is flared up again and I have some pretty gnarly blisters, but no real injuries. Yay!

Was it worth it?
HELL YES!! I had the time of my life. Yes, it was physical agony but I've never felt so amazing.

Will you do it again?
Yep, probably. But not right now. I'm taking some time off from running for a little while to rest and focus on strength I've lost while marathon training (and losing the 7 lbs I've gained) but I'm sure the itch will come back before I know it.


This year has been incredible for me. I set myself some pretty lofty goals and achieved them all. I've ran 4 half-marathons so far, got a half-marathon PR, ran my first marathon, and passed level 6 at my gym. I feel like I've proven to myself I am capable of anything I put my mind to. I feel pretty incredible and I can't wait to see what the future brings!


9.26.2015

26.2

The Huntsville Marathon is over!! 

I finished. I'm alive. It was a great experience. 

Full recap tomorrow. I'm beat! 

9.19.2015

A Break and Our Weekend

Something happened to me last weekend. I don't know what it was. I accomplished two big goals and should have felt spectacular! But instead, I fell apart. I didn't complete them exactly how I wanted, and they were both harder than I expected, and I let those two things seep into my thoughts and poison all the self-confidence and joy I had. No matter what I just couldn't see clearly! To say I started freaking out about Huntsville would be the understatement of the year. 



After a pep talk from several friends and family, I calmed down and eventually was able to celebrate my accomplishments and have been keeping a positive mindset for this weekend. 


Because of my meltdown I decided to take a break from blogging until my stress levels went back down. 


Obviously me posting means I've calmed down and we're good to go. My goals for the marathon are to enjoy it and just keeping running. I don't care what my time is. I just want to cross that finish line strong. I can do this. 


Alright, so quick recap of our happenings. 


Friday we went to the RV show just for fun. The kids loved it and we dreamed about buying a bigger trailer someday. 
Friday night I also took off to Park City with some friends. It was my first girls trip without having to wake up butt-early for a race on Saturday. We had lots of fun staying up late, playing games, and going out to eat. I got weirdly homesick though and left before everyone went to the outlets. Next time I'll be sure and stay longer. 

Sunday we ditched church because it was family day up at the mine where Cory works. Since the land slide two years ago they have really tightened access to the mine and the visitors center has remained closed, so the chance to go inside and see everything was pretty special. We used to go when I was a kid but I had forgotten how huge everything was. The girls had a great time. I think their favorite part was the bus ride in and out. 

It was so cute to see B riding like a big kid. She thought it was the greatest thing. 
Then we got to see the entire mine, which can be mind boggling. 
Kennedy refused to cooperate for any picture. You could play a drinking game with this post -- a shot for every picture that Kennedy is being butt in. Here, I'll get you started. 
The next stop on the tour was to see all the equipment up close and personal. 

Brynlie wasn't impressed. 

This is my dad standing next to one of the huge haul trucks. 
... Which we got to go up on ...
And even sit in the drivers seat! 
They also fed us lunch which was delicious. I think my favorite part was how excited Cory was. He loved showing us what he does. In fact, all the employees were telling their families every detail of the mine with great pride. It was awesome. I'm so grateful for his job and that he gets to work for such a great company, even though his job is definitely not "traditional". 


This week I plan on resting, stretching and rolling, along with gaining weight from loading up on carbs. And maybe cleaning the house or something. 

9.12.2015

Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

Alright, full race recap, comin' at ya! 


My alarm went off at 3:45 and I quickly got ready.  I'm the type who can't be bothered to brush my teeth but I HAVE to wear mascara so I don't look like an albino in pictures. I know, priorities. I drove and met my carpool and we were on our way. 


We boarded the buses and got off at the Spruces Campground and sat around freezing, in the dark, with our space blankets. Seeing thousands of people sitting around quietly in little huddles in shiny metal blankets in the dark was kind of eerie looking. After a couple bathroom trips and eating my pre race fuel we walked to the start only to discover it was starting and almost no one was there. My goal time was 1:50 and I desperately tried to find the 1:50 pacer and not a single pacer was there. We decided to just start anyway because I had a pace band. 


I began the race with my friend and we set the pace and headed out. She spotted a mother moose and her baby off the road which was cool. The first few miles were a little rough for me until my legs warmed up and then it was time to fly. 
My goal for this race was to actually race. I usually hold back and try and conserve; I've never tried giving it my all and going all out. Today was my chance to try it. As you can see, I was cruising. I've never kept up a 7 min mile pace for more than a mile; much less for that amount of time. I was getting worried it was too fast for me but I felt stuck between not wanting to hold back and not knowing what was too much since I had never done this before. 


Mile 6 was my fastest time and my bladder was not having the down hill or the speed. It decided to retaliate and without any ability from myself to control it, I peed my pants. Like, full on, running down my legs, people laughing behind me, peed myself. It was mortifying but there was nothing I could do about it except let it dry and keep going. 


I kept a great pace until we came out of the canyon. Then my body just gave up. Part of it was because I had forgotten to take another energy gel and the other part was going too fast too soon. My legs weren't used to it and they REALLY struggled. As you can tell above, my time really slowed. 


By mile 10.5 I was still right on track with my goal time but I knew I just didn't have it in me to continue that pace. I chucked my pace band and decided to just do my best. My legs were toast and I was struggling. 


Towards the end I was spent and I noticed the runner in front of me had the number "4" written on his calf. The running group I'm a part of is called Run4Fun and to identify ourselves at races, we write a "4" on our body. I had one written on my arm so I caught up with him, tapped his shoulder and showed him my "4". His name was Robert and I owe so much to him. He helped encourage me and push me to the finish. It's amazing what support can do to your spirits. 


I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:54:26. Although it was a little slower than my goal time, it was 5 minutes faster than my previous PR. I think I could have completed my goal time had I been with a pacer (my first 9 miles were faster than goal pace), but that's alright. There will be other races. And I am super proud of what I accomplished, even though I died at the end. Prepare for a photo overload. 

Stretching after finishing. I have never wanted water more in my life.
My friend Lisa. She CRUSHED it today! Her goal was 2 hours and she didn't know if it was possible. Guys, she finished in 1:58 and her baby is only 9 months old. Way to go! I'm so proud of her! 
My support system. And these guys, too. 

This is just plain adorable. 
And they're as cute as they are because of this guy, who is my rock. 
Representing our "4"'s. This is my other friend who also got a new PR. It was a good day. 
Remember what I talked about last night about setting an example for my kids? Kennedy showed up in her running shorts and shoes that she picked out. And this picture makes me cry every time I look at it. Does it not perfectly sum up what I was talking about? 
The fact that she wants to be like me is so humbling and touching. 
Freak I love my family. A lot. 


It was a great race with good results. One more down before race season is over and this is the big kahuna. The full monte. I'm terrified. 


9.11.2015

Finally!!!

I may have mentioned this before, but every 3 months at my gym, we have what is called level testing. There are 6 different levels and once you pass level 6, you're considered a graduate and your monthly rate is cut in half. Level testing is not easy. 


Today I finally passed level 6!!! 
I was insanely nervous and totally psyched myself out but still managed to pass. Passing level 6 included:
(All these things consecutively, no breaks in between except the 1 minute our partner is passing off their exercise) 
- holding a squat for 5 minutes and 30 seconds 
- holding plank for 4 minutes 
- 45 push-ups in a minute
- 45 sit-ups in a minute 
- 20 burpees in a minute 
- running a mile in less than 9 minutes. 

I was the most nervous about the plank and sit-ups. The plank went better than expected, and the squat was hard but doable. I handled the run, push-ups, and burpees but barely passed the sit-ups. I really thought I wasn't going to make it and started cussing up a storm, unintentionally. I couldn't stop the words from coming! But, I barely made it. I came up on my last sit-up right as time ran out. When I've practiced at home I've done them with time to spare so I know my nerves got to me. 


I'm super happy I passed but I'm also very disappointed in how much I let myself down mentally. I thought I had developed a stronger mental endurance than that and it was kind of terrifying to see how much my doubts actually affected my performance. I feel like my confidence was rocked hard. It was very eye opening to the power of the mind, in a bad way. I've seen how a positive attitude can help this summer, and now I've experienced the negative and it feels awful. I shouldn't have let my fears seep in and control me like that. Has anyone else experienced this? I knew I was capable but just had doubts still. I've got a major pep talk to give myself before tomorrow. But, it's done. I'm a graduate. And that feels awesome! 


The best part of passing off testing was coming home though. I walked in and Brynlie ran up to me saying, "Momma! momma!" I've been trying to get her to say that for months now. Best. Moment. Ever. I even got a hug. 


Oh yeah, so tomorrow... Big day. Big race. 
This is the first race all year that I've had a time goal, so that ads some spice to things. I've got this though. And mostly I'm just so excited to FINALLY be back running this race. It's my favorite. 


Kennedy never stopped running the second we entered the expo and kept telling me, "Look, Mommy, I'm running!" It touched me and made me think of this: 
I'm getting all emotional while typing this because having my kids at the finish line motivates me to run faster because I miss them, but I never considered the example I was setting for them by having them watch me finish. This summer Kennedy has taken a great interest in running -- she has "running shoes", running shorts, and always wants to show me how fast she is when I've gone running -- so I know she's learning by example. I adore it. And I want my children to have examples in their life of hard work and dedication. They see it all the time with their daddy, but I want to contribute, too. 


Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to show them how happy a PR makes Mommy. 


Well, wish me luck! My alarm is set for the awful hour of 3:45 a.m. and everything is laid out and ready to go. Bring it on! 

9.08.2015

First Day for Two Things

Today was Kennedy's first day of preschool! She was so excited! Truthfully I think she was just so jazzed to finally get to use her lady bug backpack we got her a couple weeks ago, but whatever gets her going is fine with me. 


She woke up super happy and wanted to get ready and look cute, which she never cares about. And because she was so excited she gave me her creeper smile while taking the traditional (and nauseatingly overseen) first-day-of-school-in-front-of-the-house-with-a-backpack-on picture. 
Even in her toned-down, second attempt, the anticipation is breaking through. 
 And she was way too cool to hold my hand or even walk beside me as we went inside. She just took off towards the doors. I wanted to get a picture of her in her class but her teachers swooped right in and carried her off (probably anticipating having some criers) but Kennedy didn't cry. She gave me a hug and turned and left. She told me her first day was good and she fell down on the playground and cried. That's more than I ever got out of her last year, so the first day is looking awesome! 


We also had another first today... 

I don't know why I have waited so long to start matching them but I have developed a taste for it now, so they're 
screwed. The best part? These overalls were only $10. 


I also kicked dinners butt tonight. 
I made fajitas but went without the tortilla and topped it with Greek yogurt and fresh pico de gallo. Superb. 


Two more things:


I've accepted a challenge at the gym to go a week without refined sugar. Basically sweets. Today was day one. 
So far so good. 


I have developed a mild case of plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I want to keep it mild, so I haven't ran since last weekend and I've been stretching and wearing a compression sock. It has gotten better so I'm hoping it gives me zero problems this weekend for the half marathon. I'm also hoping the half marathon doesn't make it worse for the marathon. Why must I have an injury now?! At least it's not serious and I can still do my thang. 


Tomorrow is Wednesday. Hump day. Go and make it a great one. 

9.07.2015

Labor Day Ranch Retreat

We spent a couple days at the ranch this weekend. 

We left late in the morning Friday and headed up to the ranch. As we drove past Huntsville my stomach started turning knots and I felt super nervous and excited. It's crazy to me that the next time I make the drive up Monte Cristo it'll be to hop off a bus at the top and run back 26.2 miles like an insane person.  That'll make your bull run. 

We arrived and unpacked and enjoyed the quiet afternoon. Just kidding, we have kids; it wasn't quiet at all. But it was free of distractions which was wonderful. 
Someday we will have to break it to Brynlie that she's not a dog. I don't know how it's going to go. 

Then I made enchiladas for dinner (they were fabulous, in my opinion) and we watched The Avengers. 

*disclaimer* we watched A LOT of movies this weekend. More than I've seen in the past year combined.  

Saturday morning we woke up and had breakfast and then took the 40 minute drive to beautiful Afton, Wyoming. I think Afton is my dream place to live. It is so lush and gorgeous up there and the town size is perfect for me. It's close to Jackson Hole and the people are so nice and friendly. It's the perfect mix of city and country. You know, where everyone knows each other but not so intimately they can name every boyfriend you've ever had... 

First we went to see Intermittent Spring. 

It's an underground spring/geyser-ish thing (I hope that description isn't too technical for you) that fills up and surges to the surface every 12-18 minutes and tons of fresh spring water comes rushing out and down a waterfall, then it slows down and eventually stops until the pressure builds again, and then the process repeats. It was really cool. We got there just as it was slowing down but we waited at the top and were able to see the surge of water come out and rush down the rocky mountainside. 
Look how PRETTY!

The hike itself was immensely gorgeous. Even just the 4 mile drive up the canyon was breathtaking. Like, literally; I gasped a few times, you guys. Also fall was in the air and it smelled amazing and some leaves were just starting to change colors... *sigh* it was heaven. 

B's face... I just die. 

Our amazing hiker made it to the top. It was steep and slick getting up to the spring. 
The spring and Cory's butt. 
Family photo. 


After the spring we stopped and had a picnic lunch where the kids were able to run around, because apparently a 1.5 mile hike wasn't good enough. Kennedy and her cousin Braden are starting to form a special bond and I love it! 
 She literally. Never. Stops. Moving. 
Unless I have chocolate I don't want to share...


Then we went to see the construction site of the Star Valley Wyoming LDS Temple. I missed the whole presentation at the visitors center thanks to B, but Cory filled me in a little. They said that no lumber or materials used are marked or written on in the building process. If something is, they cut it out and don't use it. They want all the materials of the temple to be pure and not all marked up, so measurements and cuts for the temples must be a pretty intense process. I thought that was really cool. That's also all Cory told me - I wasn't kidding when I said he filled me in "a little". 
What the temple looks like currently. 
What it will look like when it's done. 
They also had a bucket of temple rocks you could take home. Kennedy picked out several before she settled on one. She calls it her "beautiful temple rock". That girl melts my heart. 

We drove back to the ranch after that and watched a couple more movies and had dinner in there somewhere. 

Sunday was great. Sunday was a day that, as a mother, makes all the hard days worth it. If you will recall, we got Kennedy a Jeep for her 4th birthday. All our family members went in on it. It was kind of a big deal. After a mishap with going too fast too soon, she's been scared to drive it and it has sat collecting dust. We decided to take it up to the ranch to see if she would drive it more. She wouldn't. Finally Sunday I convinced her to try again and plugged in my phone to the auxiliary jack (I know, kind of ridiculous and cool that it even has one) so she could listen to the soundtrack to My Little Pony while she drove. That did it! After a few uneasy laps around the driveway, it clicked and she didn't want to get out. 
She cruised and cruised and even told me, "I sure love this Jeep!" and mentioned how fun it was in her prayers that night. Brynlie is pretty happy too because she thinks riding in that thing is better than her binki. 

This is cheesy but watching her overcome her fear and try again made me so immensely proud. I told her that about 14 times that day, too! (I'm also relieved we no longer have a birthday present going to waste). Most of the time I feel like a terrible mother. I feel like I'm missing opportunities to teach my children life lessons. So to have a moment where she learned how to not give up and move past something that scared her, and seeing the smile on her face, almost made me cry. She was so proud of herself. Well done, Kennedy! 

She got really good as time went on, too. She will now reverse, and she even puts her arm on the chairs and looks back like an adult backing up a vehicle. She went over obstacles and holes in the ground big enough to put it on two wheels and she loved it! Moab training is going well. The force is strong with this one. 


We also played badminton and just enjoyed the cooler temps outside. 

I am so ready for fall and hoodie weather. 

We had a yummy lunch and then headed home. On our way out we stopped to see Grandma Joyce. Both kids were crying for the picture, but I think it makes it more real. 
We made it home after what seemed like a really long drive and got everyone cleaned, unpacked, and in bed, and then Cory and I had popcorn and ice cream for dinner. We earned it. 

Overall, it was a great weekend! I'm glad we got to get away.