Monday, May 30, 2011

A professional swimer, biker, and runner, hu?

Since I decided I wanted to do a triathlon sprint in the fall, I have been looking for a decent road bike at a good price (still looking), and I purchased my first speedo racer swimsuit since I was probably 12 and in swim team.  I also bought a swim cap, something I've never really used, and some good goggles.

Matt hasn't really been that supportive of me spending $$ on a bike and other stuff since I've never really biked and "don' t know if I'll stick with it". He wants me to spend no more than $100, but that is a joke!  Anyway, tonight as I was heading out the door to go do some lap swim, he saw me in my swim cap and jokingly said, "A swim cap? What, you want to be a professional biker, swimmer and runner now?"

My response was, "Why not? You'd rather that than I be a fat and lazy wife wouldn't you?" =) He couldn't not agree with that. hahahahaha.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Looking up

You know, life is looking up for me these days. It's a little ironic I'm writing this on a day that both of my kids have had low grade temps and one of them puked all over his bed at nap time. (update: today I found out they had/have hand, foot, mouth disease that caused the fevers and stuff.)  But I mean, overall, I'm feeling more content with life.

Dean's behavior has improved dramatically this past month. He has generally been very kind, helpful, grateful, and has started treating Walter like a playmate.  His whines and tantrums have subsided substantially, and he generally only lashes out (hitting) when he's really tired or sick.

Having no family or close friends nearby has been one of the biggest drawbacks for me living here in TX. (The one good friend I had from the get go moved away then moved back, but not as close, so we don't get together enough!) However, after 5 years of living here, I finally feel like I have some other solid,comfortable friendships. I have a great running partner. I have a good friend I can call for play dates. And I have been invited to some girls' nights recently (outside of church stuff).

After doing my half marathon, I feel very motivated. I felt so good doing it, and it made me want to keep setting goals and working for something specific rather than just running the same thing over and over every day. My running partner is signed up to do a full marathon in UT in September. I'll probably do a lot of the training with her, though I won't run that race. I'm more interested in doing a triathlon sprint next. There's one in Plano on labor day that I might just do. Before I decided to do a tri, I bought a mountain bike at a yard sale for cross training, but after riding it, I realize I really need something much lighter and all around better if I want to race.  I hadn't ridden a bike in over 15 years, and I've never ridden a gear bike before last week, so I am a complete novice!!! I've been stalking craigslist to see if I can find a decent bike in my price range.

I was starting to feel a little burned out on craft projects, so after Matt finished tiling, I'm feeling like I want to get our house put back together and better than ever. Rather than crafting, my time and efforts have been going toward organizing, decluttering, and cleaning out house. I have felt so happy with myself since this is NOT my strong suit. I bought a download for a cleaning system (printable) 2 weeks ago, and I've really liked it overall. It's cute little cards that break my day up into 3 pieces with each day designated to a different cleaning task. I have it sitting on my desk in a business card holder stand (without the rings that she has on hers). I like the look of the cards, and for the most part I like how the days are organized. I would add a few things and split up a few things if I were to make it myself (and I probably will when I feel like I get my cleaning style figured out), but it has been good for me nonetheless.  My house has been way cleaner the past 2 weeks.

I got my hair cut today, and I love that I have a husband who understands my need for short hair! I nearly went pixie short, but I like how a-line bobs grow out better. Maybe later in the summer I'll go pixie. The purple pics were taken about a month ago (by Dean), and the green were taken tonight.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our new floor

Here is a picture of our old linoleum while Matt was ripping it up. It was pretty nasty. There were very weird pink stains throughout the kitchen and bathrooms that we found out came from markings on the concrete slab. I have no clue why the marks were on the concrete or how they could have seeped up through the linoleum...
After 5 months of working a couple hours every night after work, Matt finished our tile in our bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room. It looks SO good (I'm so impressed with him cutting and laying tile. He taught himself everything and this was his first time tiling anything), but he said he never wants to tile again in his life if he can help it! Now I just have to paint the baseboards and touch up the cupboards and it will be complete!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Come on over baby

Happy mother's day! It started out quite rocky over here. I heard Walter start screaming at 6:08 am because Dean turned the light on when he woke up even though Walt wasn't awake yet. He came into my room to wake me up about 2 minutes later. The kids were both cranky and disobedient and I was cranky and short tempered. Apparently none of us got the memo that it was a holiday celebrating the joys of motherhood where the kids were supposed to be sweet little angels and I was supposed to be a perfect mother. So I called for a redo before we went to church.

Matt's stomach was really not agreeing with him this morning, but he didn't want to make me brave Sacrament meeting alone with the boys, so he came for the first hour. The primary did a very cute musical number and it was sooo cute to see Dean's head poking over the rail in the front of the chapel. Boy is he still a little guy compared to the older kids!  He didn't sing all the words, but I could tell he tried on the parts he kind of knew. I had a huge smile on my face nonetheless.

When the boys and I went to our classes, Matt went home until church was over so he could be close to a personal restroom. After I got home and put Walter in bed I thought, "wow. Did I actually leave their room this clean?"  And then I walked into the living room and thought, "I DEFINITELY didn't leave this room this clean." And then I walked into the kitchen and it was all picked up, the dishwasher was running, and it looked great. That was a great surprise. An added bonus? Matt used our horrible beyond horrible vacuum and said, "that thing is horrible! We need a new vacuum." I said that the first week we got it, but he was like, "meh. can't be that bad.". (It's a cheap Bissel bagless. THE WORST vacuum I've ever used.)  We may be in the market for a dyson soon...

And then what did I do? I took a nap. Ah bliss. It's been ages since I took a nap on Sunday.  While I was asleep, Matt made dinner (posole) and Dean made me a card and played on the computer.

We had a good FHE and got to talk to Matt's parents on skype. After that we played outside for a little bit even though it was time to get ready for bed. The redo was waaaaaaaay better than the original!

Despite all the frustrating moments and times I want to rip my hair out, 
I love being a mom. 

I love watching my boys watch their daddy so they know what to expect and how to act "when they grow up like a man."

I get to make cool things like this cardboard rocket ship and explore the moon (ie. the sandbox and playset)

I get to camp inside when the weather  is bad (and outside when the weather is good).

 And I get to see some of the best bedhead and smiles after good naps.

I get to be the subject of some pictures that turn out ok...and some that don't.

I get to help my kids make messy memories... well as good clean (and sweet) memories.

I get to try out cool things like homemade fizzy sidewalk paint.

And collect cool custom made pieces of ABC art.

And I get to hear my kids sing and learn new songs like this latest from Walter (and Dean at the end), "Come on over baby"

Come on over baby from Celia Brasfield on Vimeo.

yes. I love being a mom.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

13.1 miles

Today I ran my very first half-marathon. 13.1 miles. In Jr. high I couldn't run a mile without having an asthma attack. In high school I ran cross country, but felt like I would die if I tried anything over 3 miles. In college someone mentioned that they thought if I could do 4 I could do more, so I ran up to 7. And I haven't tried to go higher than that until this year. Surpassed it I did. In my 5 fingers nonetheless, so it was kind of like running it barefoot. Cool.

When I heard about the White Rock Centennial half, I was excited to train for it. Every half marathon here ends up on Sundays, so I never feel like it's worth it to me to compete. It was commemorating 100 years of races being run at on this course, and it was the anniversary today, so they had a special 1/2 marathon race to celebrate.  I am not currently pregnant or breastfeeding, I have children old enough to leave at home for a couple hours, and it was on a Saturday, so I couldn't ask for better circumstances.

My running partner Kirstin was interested in training for it also, so we have been following a training schedule the last 2 months. Prior to this race, the furthest I've ever gone consecutively was 7.5 miles and I was WASTED after running it. Like to the point I went to bed at 7 pm and had someone come over to help Matt give me a Priesthood blessing. Matt had to even carry me to bed.  I was totally dehydrated because I used to not run with water. Crazy!!!

Anyway, we did all of our weekday training runs with our strollers and kids, and we ran our weekend runs without kids. Two weeks ago Kirstin felt like she had a stress fracture, so she didn't run the last 20 miles with me in our training and let her leg rest in hopes that it would heal up enough to run in the actual race. It paid off for her and I'm so glad it did.

 My goals for this race were to:
1. Finish strong. I didn't want a hobbling in type finish. I wanted to have enough energy to sprint my hardest.
2. I wanted to finish under 2 hours. That would be under 9 min. miles.

The White Rock Lake was the perfect location for the race. It was beautiful and the weather was great. We started out between the 1:50 and 2 hour pace setters. I never actually saw either in the race, so I knew I was right where I wanted to be. We stayed together the first 8 miles or so and at that point I felt like I needed to step it up a bit in order to make my goal so I pulled ahead a little. I could glance back and see K. up until the 9 or 10 mi. mark, but after I hit 10 mi. I was in the zone. 10 was the longest I'd ever run in my training, so I really wanted to focus on my run from that point on.  I ran the entire race and didn't stop to walk once. I was really happy with that. I kept my arms loose the whole time, and I really felt great. With 1 mile left I tried to really get to my fastest-but-not-hyperventilating speed, and at about .1 mile left I was at an all out butt-kicking sprint. The crowd was cheering really loudly. I'm not sure if it was because I was running so hard or if there was someone else, but I'll take it. =) I was def. hyperventilating when I finished, but once I got some delicious cold water in me, I stopped.My time was 1 hour 59 min. and 23 seconds!!! I made my goals and I was super happy about it. I placed 26th in my age division and 415th out of 2011 runners overall. I think I did pretty well for my first half.

I had bought new running shorts this week, but I was super hesitant to run the race in them since I'd not done one training run in them. But I took the chance and it paid off. They were nice and light and the underwear that was built in didn't get soggy like cotton underwear, so that was nice. At my bro.'s suggestion, I used an anti-chafe stick which was helpful. I got a new hat, a new mp3 player, and lots of new music for the run. It was all really great. I love my fuel belt that Matt got me for Christmas. I went through all 4 water bottles during the race.

Kirstin was only 2 min. behind me, but I didn't realize that. I grabbed my water and went around to try and cheer her on, but apparently I missed her and she didn't see where I went. It ended up taking us 2 hours to find each other after the race since we didn't have our cell phones!

I am definitely tired, but I'm not wasted. I had an Isagenix bar before the race and Isadelights during the race. They helped a lot. I feel tired, but I also feel happy that I've accomplished this. Even if I never do another one, I did this one and I did it well. Something I can feel proud of.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Patience and Patients

Tonight Dean was "escaping" while I was going to get them water after they were in bed. I have had a horrible hacking cough all day and I just plain don't feel well, so I said, "Dean, please get back in bed. I don't feel well and I don't have the patience for this tonight."  Dean replied, "Dean have lots of patients. You, Dad, and Walter are all sick. You are all Dean's patients."


I also love it when he tells me, "Don't worry mom, Dean will take care of you."

And today after I made homemade bread for the first time in weeks (no I didn't buy regular bread, we just didn't have bread in weeks!) he said, "Oh, thanks mom! This is so de-LISH-ous."  That made me feel good. He also said dinner was delicious (homemade tomato soup, salad with lettuce from our garden, and grilled swiss cheese sandwiches on the bread I made), and after dinner he peeled his own carrot and said that was delicious also. He's usually not so generous with his food compliments. =)

And since we're talking about bread making, I did make a decision on my grinder. I decided to go with the wooden German mill, the Fidibus 21. So far I love it! I loved the direction booklet. "Plug in the mill. Turn on the mill. Put grain in the mill. Adjust the hopper to how fine or coarse you want your grain." That was it!  It should have included "Don't use the first X cups of flour due to grit from the stones." like my hand mill said. Our first batch of pancakes tasted more like sandcakes. After ginding 5 or so cups of grain, no more grit.

I love, love, love that I can grind every bit of my flour when I need it. I don't have a bucket of ground flour in my fridge because I can grind 1/2 cup of flour if I want it when I want it.  I'm happy with my purchase, even if it isn't the most "practical" of the options. Sometimes I just want something nice, and I want what I want. Ya know? It's the least annoying sounding mill I've ever heard! It has no whiny pitch when it doesn't have grain, and the frequency of the grains being ground is lower than other mills, so it's not nearly as ear piercing.  I figure by making my own bread and pancake mixes and muffins etc., I will have paid for my mill within a year easily, and I plan on having it much longer than that.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Apostle of the Lord

Today we had a special Stake Conference presided over by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. He was here for an area  leadership training and apparently our stake hasn't had an Apostle visit since 1973 or something, so we were "the winner".  It was really wonderful.

We got there at 8:30 and the meeting started at 9.  Walter was dawdling in the hall and Matt had gone in to get a seat ahead of us. By the time I got there, Matt said he'd had the opportunity to shake Elder Oaks hand. DRAT! How could I have missed such an opportunity because my child was...being a child???!  I was pretty disappointed until Matt said, "Hey, he's going up the other side of the building greeting people." So the boys and I went and sat at the opposite side of the cultural hall and "waited our turn" to meet Elder Oaks. By the time he got to us, Walter was laying all over me and Dean had turned my hand into a pillow, so I kind of had to wrestle my hand away to actually shake his! He said, "Sometimes it's hard to get a hand when you have such a handful." and then smiled an understanding smile. I stood Walter up on my lap knowing full well that he'd not remember the encounter, but wanting him to meet an Apostle of the Lord nonetheless. He patted him on the head and said, "Hello darling."  He was kind and genuine and I felt blessed to have the chance to meet him, even briefly.

I understand he is only a man, but my heart was touched to quiet tears as I watched him go through out the congregation, trying his very best to reach each person personally, to shake everyone's hand and let them know that they were loved.  I felt as though he was doing exactly what the Lord would be doing were he the visitor of our conference. Truly, in his word and action, he is a special witness of Jesus Christ.

He spoke on Priesthood authority in the home. It was somewhat difficult to hear all of his message because 2 little boys were so restless from sitting in the same place for 2 hours, however, I caught a lot more than I had anticipated. The most memorable part of his talk for me was when he spoke of his own family dynamics of having 5 children in his twenties and then a sixth child in their 40s. He said for his first 5 he mainly gave father's blessings at "big events" like when his kids went off to college, got married, etc.  But something he learned in the 13 year gap between his youngest and second youngest was that father's blessings were also for every day challenges as well. When a child is having a hard time in a specific class or with friends, etc. that we should teach them to seek after a father's blessing for comfort and direction. He said that by the time his youngest was grown, he realized he'd given the youngest more father's blessings that the other five combined.  Matt and I have always had a different view on how often one should give father's blessings, so I felt like this was good and applicable instruction for us.

I know that Christ lives and I know that there are living Prophets and Apostles on the earth today. I know that I shook the hand of a special witness of the Lord today, and I am grateful to have had that opportunity.