Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Trying not to laugh

So, since we've been in California, we've tried to stay active with our church attendance (smile, wink, wink). There aren't a lot of young families that are able to afford to live in this area, so most of the families in Saratoga are a little older. Usually this chapel drowns in silence during the sacrament services but Andrew is not, nor has he ever been, wonderful at being reverent in church--so this usually makes us a little worried about what might happen when he has the perfect stage on which to entertain the ward. Reverence is something that we are really working tirelessly on, but sometimes he is just so stinking cute it kills me. . .

So for the last three Sundays, he gets really excited for the sacrament- hollering out "bwead" and "watew" when it is being passed out. He loves to stand on the pews and watch as the young men in our congregation reverently pass the sacrament. After all the bread is passed down the rows and the trays are collected the young men file down the isles back to the sacrament table. As he watched these boys quietly walking in a row, he observed in his darling, but very loud voice, "Mama, Choo, Choo, Twain!" I couldn't help myself. Michael and I were cracking up. I love watching him put things together. He really is so bright.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Join me on a long run

Every Monday I begin the week with a decent run-usually 5-7 miles. I've had Sunday to recover from my long Saturday run and I enjoy the fact that my run is MILES less than the one I ran two days prior. BUT, every Monday I also start trying to mentally prepare myself for the upcoming Saturday run. This last Monday and Saturday were no exception. I was going to run the farthest I had ever run before-15 miles. I was a little nervous all week about it. Each time I would lace up my shoes during the week, I would visualize myself on my course for the day, and try to mentally rehearse how much farther I would be running in a few days.

Saturday arrived and I was intimidated, but determined. It was sunny, 60 degrees and gorgeous outside . . . the best weather for a run! Michael uploaded a few hour-long NPR programs onto my shuffle to help pass the time. I printed up an outline of the course I was running and we agreed to meet 10 miles into my run so I could get a drink of water, stretch a little, and break up the monotony. I ran down the driveway, onto Chester Ave. and began running toward Gypsy Hill Road. My muscles felt relaxed, my heart was steady, and my mind was focused. I've begun to realize how marathon training is much more than just training your body to run for hours on end, it is also training your mind to endure. Three hours of running can be challenging on so many levels!

Sixty minutes into my run, I had 9 miles left and the first program was just ending. (You don’t need to be a math genius to figure out that I run really slow and steady!) I could hardly believe that I had been running for so long! The NPR broadcast was of a show that Michael and I have been listening to for a little while now—This American Life. It is a wonderful compilation of topics and Ira Glass, the moderator, delves into the heart of each matter. This program really gets you thinking about so many issues that our nation, our world, our family, and we ourselves face. He covers a huge range of topics from our trade agreements in Cambodia to finding ways to resolve “never-ending” sibling rivalries. Sorry, I digressed . . .
I usually listen to music when I run, I really enjoy peppy, energetic dance music that keeps my heart alive and my feet moving. I didn’t realize how engrossed I would become in these broadcasts, nor did I realize how quickly the miles would pass as I distracted my mind from the pavement. Ten miles into my run I still felt great. I met Michael, enjoyed a package of fruit snacks and couldn’t help myself from downing an entire bottle of water. We visited for a moment while I stretched my legs and then I was off again. Two hours in to my run I had enjoyed another episode of This American Life and was feeling more educated and a little worn. As I finished the last three miles of my run, I began to wonder if I should just run a few more miles. I had already logged 15 miles on to my Saturday run and it was going to take a lot of effort to get back to this point. It was still sunny and beautiful. Why not? I was sure I had a few more miles in me. Instead of turning onto the other end of Chester Ave to head home, I ran around the local junior college behind the Smith’s home and headed for the trail that I began my run on. Surprised by how good I still felt, I decided to sprint the last 200 yards back to the house!! I couldn’t believe how far I had run--17 MILES!!

This run definitely gives me hope for the marathon in April. I just hope the weather is just as nice and perfect; although, I’m a little skeptical. Boston weather doesn’t usually cooperate for Marathon Monday. Last year it was poring rain, the year prior it was freezing cold, and the first year we were in town I think we had record high temperatures so the runners were all suffering from heat stroke! Good thing we love Boston despite the weather. (Especially when we can escape to California for a little of the winter!)

Thanks to This American Life. It really helped pass the time.

btw, you can download podcasts for This American Life off of Itunes for free! You'll totally enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

To Cut or Not to Cut??

I have been debating this question for weeks. If the weather is humid, his hair is darling curly. If it is dry outside, his hair is out of control and long. It's almost always humid in Boston . . . so it will curl when we go home, but we're here for another month and it's a bit out of control. What would you do?

San Jose Children's Discovery Museum

It's a small little museum compared to the ones we enjoy in Boston, but EVERYTHING was just perfect for Andrew. He had his very own Fire Truck, Siren, and car to drive. Bubbles galore. Sand boxes. Water play. It was a great outing for a rainy California day. Jacob, stood back and let his brother enjoy all the glory this time around. But just you wait. . . someday . . . soon. . .

Friday, January 18, 2008

Snowmen--California Style

Sadly, we started to put Christmas away last week--taking down the lights, dismantling the tree, repackaging the trinkets, stockings, and ornaments, and saying "good-bye" to the pumpkins. The Smith tradition is to turn the Halloween pumpkin into a California snowman with a little white spray paint, a few googly eyes, a Santa hat and some great eyebrows. It has been a big hit with Andrew. Jacob might appreciate it next year . . . but the jury is still out this year for him.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Our Christmas won't end for a little while.

California . . . h e r e w e a r e . We are in heaven. We've moved in with Michael's parents for a little while. And this might just be the best Christmas present ever! (No, Michael didn't lose his job.) His company has an office in Menlo Park--only 25 minutes away from their home. And it has been w o n d e r f u l. (Minus the stomach flu that we have managed to spread to everyone on the west coast. But, it luckily only knocks you off your feet for about 18 hours and you are left a few pounds lighter--ready to start life again.)
We enjoyed having most of the Smith family here (we missed you Keysers!) and Michael and I were close to tears as we said "good-bye" to everyone as they left. However, I must say that staying here after everyone has left has really seem to stretch the Christmas break out for us. It usually feels like we are jumping on a plane right to visit more family after we open gifts and scarf down Christmas dinner. It has been so relaxing and pleasant this year.
There are so many things to love about California: first and foremost is the one-on-one time that they boys get with G&G, next (in no particular order) is the amazing weather, the year-round delicious produce, the weather, a front yard that is as big--or bigger--than our apartment in Boston for the boys to play in--because of the great weather, In-N-Out, free parking, well marked intersections, few pedestrians, two freezers stocked with I c e C r e a m, Michael working Boston hours in California (in a 6am, home at 4pm)!! and I nearly forgot to mention the weather.
We did have a terrible rain storm that came through this weekend though. The weather forcasters said that it was going to be pretty cold on Monday after the storm hit with the lows at 28 and the highs at 50! Wow!! are you kidding?
I checked the weather in Boston, just for kicks, and it was 5 degrees with a wind chill factor taking it down to -7 degrees. It wasn't just a coincidence that we came to California during the Boston winter! It's a little hard to train for the Marathon while slipping on sheets of ice that literally won't melt until April.
So, just to inform you, training is going well. Slow and easy wins the race, right? Well, not the Boston Marathon! I have NO aspirations of getting a great time during this race. I just want to finish standing on both feet. I think the stats for this Marathon are: 25,000 runners (who have all qualified at wickedly fast paces!) and 1200 charity runners (who will definitely take up the rear!). I am running about 10 minute miles and I am only running 11-14 mile long runs for the weekend. At this point, I can hardly imagine doubling that distance. But, I know I am going to have to! I ran 13 miles on New Years Day and I felt good after I was finished. It was a little tough on my knees to go down the stairs for a day or so, but all in all it wasn't to hard on my body. BUT, 26.2 is going to be hard on my body and I am a little anxious about it!

After being outside for a few minutes, we quickly realized that we could drop the jacket.

For Christmas, Andrew got a new tricycle and a "siren" hat. I LOVE THIS AGE!!