Sunday, October 30, 2011


In honor of Hallow's eve, a spooky post.

Earlier in the month, we went with our friends, the Gannons, down to Downtown Mesa to check out the new museum, Monsterland. It was more of a haunted house, and I don't know if it was just set up like that for Halloween time, or what? But it was scary for sure! They have a bunch of scary props from movies, and monsters, and all sorts of spookies.

I like how Drake is just paused in front of the doorman to get in.
It was so dark and scary that I just had to keep snapping pictures so the flash would light the way and we'd get an idea of what was coming up/where to go.
Steve and Jack. Jack was a little scared!
Seriously though, can you imagine walking through a room with this guy?? In the dark?? I was so glad we had kids with us because I'm sure they went easy on their efforts to try to scare us because of them.
Creepy much?
How about the skull walls?

Afterwards, we had to take the kids to get ice cream in an effort to alleviate the scary tension. But the kids loved it!! They want to go back. So if you're looking for something to do tomorrow night besides trick or treating, go check out Monsterland!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vegas Baby!!

Ahh Ragnar, sooo much fun! This one was especially fun because it was a family affair. Tawnya and Kolby, Tara and Andrew, Ryan and I; and Cec and Clint, Misty, Justin, and our new friend Joseph.

And what do you do when you have kids and you all are going to be running all day, all night, and all day?? The Taylors and Collards brought their kids to Vegas with them and then had Grandma's watch their kids. We opted for leaving our kids home with a very responsible babysitter. (she really was awesome, and the kids LOVED her) That way the kids could still go to school, do soccer, and practice for the Primary program.

Also something to consider when you're doing a destination Ragnar. If you are starting first thing Friday morning, you'll have to spend the night there Thursday night. Well I, ever being the cheapskate, booked an $18 hotel room.

Well, not until we were driving there, and I was telling my mom about our sweet deal, did the gravity of the situation start setting in. She asked "Can they even wash the sheets and clean the room for that cheap?!" Umm, no way! Crap, what did I do? Then as we were driving to the hotel, in a seedy part of town, we kept passing bail bond shops, and XXX stores, I vowed never to book a hotel that cheap again.

But, much to our surprise, we walked into a nice new lobby, and we were so thankful when we found that not only was the lobby re-done, but the rooms too! Clean towels and sheets!!! Yes! So I'm happy to recommend the Plaza Hotel (the one in all the old Vegas movies) to anyone looking for a cheap room in Vegas.

Okay, back to Ragnar. Our team name was "How the West was RUN", and we dressed up as cowboys and Indians. (I realize that dressing up as Indians is offensive to some, and I apologize to you if you are offended... but we ARE Indians, and I'm proud of who I am, so I'm totally not offended. In fact I love it! Just like the team "Curry in a Hurry" who were the India-Indians team.) Our girly van was the first van, and the manly van was van 2.

One little, Two little, Three little Indians...
Ceci was our first runner, heading out an hour late. But we couldn't help it. Our sixth girly runner wasn't able to make it out because of flight delays and travel problems, so we got a late start after figuring that all out. That meant that us girls had to pick up her legs too! We ran A LOT!
And here's Tara coming in from her first leg. Tara did awesome! In fact it was Tawnya and Tara who talked me into doing this Ragnar. (not that I took much convincing) It's so fun to be able to go running with my sisters!
This was in honor of Destinee, who couldn't make it. We dubbed her the Wind Runner.

And here's our team (minus Justin who was running) at the first major exchange. By this time, the boys had slept in, ate breakfast and went out to lunch. Us girls had gotten up super, duper early, and hadn't had a single meal! We totally got the short end of the stick!

This picture was from my night run. It was off on some trail in the middle of NOWHERE in the pitch dark of night. I could only see what my headlamp pointed to. And this trail had CUH-RAZEE hills. But the cool thing about it, was that at the top of each hill, I had a spectacular view of the city. I couldn't get a picture to turn out, but you get the idea.
Can you tell we're sisters?
Why is Misty pulling up her skirt over here? What was going on?
Um yep, that's what you gotta do during Ragnar.
And yet again, it is us girlies who welcome the sun on day 2.

And here's Tawnya, finishing up the last leg for us females.
Do you have any idea how nice it is to see that blue sign?!
And finally, finished.
And then a nice relaxing night at the Paris (after hanging out with the Wevers) and an easy Sunday drive home. Thank goodness the kids didn't burn down the house while we were gone.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NWM 2011

That's Nike Women's Marathon for the laypeople. ;)
Oh man, this race is glorious!
Running through San Francisco, with tons of other WOmen, great race support, fun expo, and the finisher's medal is a TIFFANY'S NECKLACE!!
And of course, the wall of runners. Right there is my little "Kristin McPhie" on the wall of Nike Town!
And so the night before the race. I always lay out what I'm going to wear the next day, and I wasn't sure what I'd wear. That meant a fashion show to get other opinions to help me choose. We settled on a fluorescent yellow shirt, black running skirt and hot pink compression socks for the purpose of me standing out. That way when my awesome cheering squad is waiting for me to run by, I'll be easy to spot. I'd totally stand out from the masses of other runners, right?
Well how about this?
I get to the race, and call my friend Jannah so we could meet up, and she says, "I'm in front of Swarvoski wearing a fluorescent yellow shirt, black running skirt and hot pink knee highs." Seriously?! The only other runner I know out of the ~23,000 runners is wearing the EXACT same outfit as me? So much for thinking that my outfit would be unique.
See, just look at this chaos!
And slowly herding our way to the start. I had lost Jannah by now. I crossed the start approximately 20 minutes after the start. Unfortunately, that meant that I was far enough back to be stuck amongst slower runners/walkers that I had to struggle to fight my way through. This really slowed my first two miles.
And check out my cool little Buster Brown shortly after the start.
I love this because I always wonder what they're doing while I'm running.
Without having to go into too many details, let's just say around mile four I started having some serious tummy issues that had me squatting behind a tree and thankful I had kleenex in my fanny pack. Seriously??? After my slow start, I was hoping to make up for loss time and this wasn't helping. Add in a couple more potty breaks over the next ten miles, and I gave up all hopes of having a decent time.
That is until I got a text from Ryan letting me know that him and the kids were waiting for me in the big park that we run through. I was so excited to see them, I picked up my pace. I was feeling better and finally felt like I could move! It helped that all the half-marathon runners split off from us in the park. Finally, just before mile 16, I got to see my cute kids screaming and shaking cow bells.
Here I am, mile 16. So happy, feeling good.
That good feeling didn't last long. 17-18 didn't feel so hot, but from 19 on, I felt much better. In fact the best I've felt at the end of any marathon! This was shocking to me since my training was poor. My highest mileage in my training was 17 miles, and I only had a few long runs in preparation. So I knew that my legs weren't prepared to keep running on tired legs. But I really think that my slow start helped to save my legs at the end, and for that I was grateful! I never felt like I hit a wall, so while my pace was slower, it wasn't nearly as slow as I've typically been the last few miles of a marathon.
My awesome family/cheerleaders.
(and Tara behind the camera)
I apologize for the swears on my blog.
Clearly I ran under the yellow side. ;)
Passing the fam around mile 26, heading towards the finish. Oh, that glorious finish line!!
And this is what awaits you at the finish.
Firemen dressed in tuxedos to give you a Tiffany's necklace.
Silly I know, but is this a girls race or what?!

Finally finished.
New PR.
Almost 11 minutes of it was time spent "not running", but I'll take the PR nonetheless!
Thank you to my amazing family for coming into the city to battle the crowds and sit around and wait to cheer me on.
I felt so loved!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Fall break means a trip to Nor Cal in our family. We load up the car, and drive up to Sacramento for a couple of days so we can see Grammy and friends. Too bad I didn't find my camera until after we left there, so it is undocumented. Oops. (but is was so good to see you Desi and Jeppesens!) At least we do have these sweet pics from our drive up.
Check out Drake. He picked this outfit, if you couldn't tell. Because what goes better with red shorts than a slightly different shade of red for a shirt? And then the cherry on top is the Cowboy boots. And he wore them for the entire 12 hour drive!
These kids conked out for a lot of the drive. And I'll bet they now regret picking the small booster seats rather than the ones with backs and head rests.
We had so much fun playing with the Taylors. We did the usual, parks, parks, parks. While it was incredibly warm for San Francisco (85º), it was much cooler than the 105º it was back home.

This park in the city has these super high slides the kids loved. Here's Gwenny at the top.
And now all the way at the bottom!
Aubrey's turn! This little girl is so stinkin' cute! We drove with her in the car with us, and she busted out with just about all of the words to the Maroon 5 song, Mooves Like Jagger, especially the part where Christina Aguilara does the solo.
And these best cousins were so happy to be reunited again.
A trip to the pier to see the STINKY sea lions. The kids didn't believe that they were sea lions. Because they weren't covered in striped fur. Silly babies.
Here they are checking them out.
Alcatraz. I will do that swim some day you know. I don't know when, but some day...
And here the kids are checking it out too. And just after this picture was taken, Aubrey climbed all the way up on the railing, and teetered almost over the edge before a man hurried and pulled her back. Holy cow. We all almost had a heart attack! Let's face it, Tara and I probably BOTH would have dived in after her. All the way down into the cold water, with nowhere really to swim to but onto the docks that the sea lions were on. So thank you kind sir, thank you!
Pier 39 also had some high quality entertainment for us. Enter Jack Spareribs. For two boys who LOVE all things pirates, and a 7 year old who loves learning new jokes, this was a dream come true! And imagine their excitement when Ryan was called up on stage to participate. He participated by giving Jack a $20 bill that he proceeded to cut up and burn only to later pull it out of a box, inside a box, inside a box. What the?? That's impossible! No, not for Jack Spareribs!! The kids were astonished. It was pretty cute.
I also have to give a shout out to this delightful pizza place.
All left full and happy.
We love getting to come to San Francisco and spend time with the Taylors. Thank you Taylors! (and yes, those are my sunglasses Ryan's wearing thankyouverymuch)
And thank you Grammy for driving out to San Francisco to spend one more day with us!!