Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Vacation - Part 1

Our Summer Vacation has been very busy, at least it seems like it. Mostly, it has been filled with getting one or more girls ready/packed for one such thing or another or completing online summer classes to ease the coming school year. McKenna seems to have had one week here and one week away all summer long. Adri, too, since the middle of June. Unfortunately for Katy, not me, I've enjoyed it, she has been home to deal with the only child syndrome. She hates it. We had to carefully plan and finagle some calendaring to fit in a time away all together. We found about 5 days that didn't interfere too terribly bad with other things. So, we went to the Oregon Coast. I love the coast - not for the weather but for the absolute beauty that is there.

We drove through the Columbia River Gorge and made only one stop in The Dalles for lunch. We ate at a place called Mama Jane's. It was fun and we had some good laughs. The drive through Portland was torturous. I hate traffic jams. And we seemed to have them for hours. Finally we made it to our little highway that would take us to Newport. The road was twisty and slow but gorgeous. The Oregon coast is so green and lush. You truly can't see the florets for the trees and bushes and ferns and flowers. 

At Newport we caught our first glimpse of the ocean. I LOVE the ocean. I could live on the ocean and never get tired of it. Just a few short miles got us to Waldport and our Cozy Cabin. It was the near perfect place to stay. It was a couple blocks from the beach with no view but you could hear it. We shopped for groceries and cooked most of our meals here. It had a place for everyone to sleep and two bathrooms so all us girls could get ready easily. Trent is so good to get in and out so the hair can get completed.

Since we got there a little late, the girls ran to the beach while Trent and I fixed dinner. They had fun. It is always cold on the coast and mostly always windy but it doesn't matter all that much.


The next morning, Trent and I (i was so excited to go and Trent got up early just to make me happy) walked down to the beach while the tide was out. There are no tide pools on this beach just miles of sand. However we found a starfish that had lost its way. It was mostly dead but Trent put it back in the water anyway. There were plenty of puddles and streams to jump over and we had a great time. 

Once we were all ready, we headed north to Newport. Our first stop was Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. I love lighthouses. They are always in the most beautiful spots. I never seem to capture them in pictures but they are fascinating. Yaquina Bay was actually a house with the lighthouse on the top floor. We took the tour and learned a few things - like we are tall now.

Then we went to the Devil's Punch Bowl. Way out in the distance, almost so far you couldn't see, we made out an orca swimming. That was fun-ish. The punch bowl wasn't too active but was interesting. In a high tide, the water fills in and swirls around. This time we just saw the bottom.

Then we went to another lighthouse called Yaquina Head because this one is awesome. It is more traditional and has these birds that make so much noise you can hear them, and smell them, for miles. There is also a cobble stone beach full of tide pools and harbor seals that is fun to see. We climbed down to it and walked, very difficult I might add, along it. 

In Depoe Bay we all bought something warm to wear and Kenna bought a kite. We are chowder at the Chowder Bowl. I love chowder. Then we went back to Waldport. Shopping is exhausting.

In Waldport, we went to "our" beach to play. McKenna flew her kite because the wind is always blowing and you can fly a kite always, except it might have been too windy. It got a bit tattered. Amazingly, we found that sea star again and so we figured it was a sign to take it home with us. Not the best decision we have ever made, in hindsight.

After dinner, because it was so windy and cloudy, we watched a movie and most of us fell asleep. It had been a great day but an exhausting day. The wind can really zap your energy.

Life is good - being with family is such a blessing. We missed Collin!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The 5K Challenge

Back awhile ago, so long I don't remember when, our Stake Relief Society came up with this idea of a "Marathon to Moroni" meaning that we would run 26.whatever miles from St. Anthony to the Rexburg Temple. I thought to myself that is the craziest thing ever and only one maybe two people in our Stake are going to want to do that. But, then I learned that the marathon would be broken up into many different segments along the way. A friend of mine, in our Ward, said, "Robin, you are on my team." And in a moment of weakness, or stupidity, I said, "Yah, duh." But then I thought about how I can't even run from my door to the mailbox, let alone a "segment" of a marathon. Then, a long time passed, and I kind of forgot about it. When there is snow on the ground it is easy to forget about those things, 

Then came April and it was mentioned again and I had a choice to make, pull out with some excuse or get in shape to run. I decided to run. I started a Couch to 5k program with a friend. She was a dear to come with me at 5:00 a.m. each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It was cold and it was very dark. But we did it and we were getting better. The program works on building strength and stamina in small increments. Usually, each week has one routine made up of timed running and walking segments. It starts off with alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 of walking and that was hard. There was no way I would be able to run 30 minutes. I was dying at 60 seconds. But we kept at it and got all the way to Week 3 when BAM!!! I broke my toe. Actually, it got broken. Sure it was just a little pinkie toe but it was a whole lot of big pain. For weeks I couldn't get a shoe on. So, I did nothing because I couldn't.

Finally I decided it was time to start again. I thought that we would start where we left off but NO I couldn't run three minutes. We had to start again, back to the beginning, as if we hadn't done a thing EVER!!! It was terribly frustrating and disappointing. I decided that the toe was probably just the excuse I was looking for and could now pull out quite easily. After all, the doctor said it could and probably would plague me all summer. But, I really needed to get in shape and this was a good goal to keep in mind. So, we started AGAIN! With an additional goal - The Pioneer Days Fun Run.

I had read about the dreaded Week 5 and wondered about it but I refused to look at it until we were there. Well, we are there and it is a KILLER. Day one makes a big leap and you have to jog for 5 minutes and then recovery walking  like 90 seconds, then repeat.  Day 2 makes you run 3/4 mile two times with a 1/2 mile walk stuck in the middle. That was a killer. Thought I would die. But, nothing quite prepared me for the shock of Day 3 - JOG 2 MILES NO WALKING. Seriously, it must have been an app mistake. I checked online and it wasn't. I didn't sleep very well last night thinking about it, and, my running partner was out of town. I was on my own. 

This morning I, reluctantly, put on my running shoes, which are very comfy and cute by the way, and biked to the track. It was pretty lonely over there. Just me and a hooting owl in a nearby tree. With great trepidation I started out. And I kept going, and going, and going. I was like the Energizer bunny on it's last bit of battery power - still doing its thing but not too quickly. Doesn't matter because I FINISHED TWO MILES without stopping. I came through it with a new sense of "Can Do!" And we will. And I am not even scared of the Fun Run now. I've got this!

Life is Good - and that is the longest/furthest I have ever run in my whole entire life.

Monday, July 1, 2013

On The Road (River) Again!

That's right. "On the road (river) again. Going places that I've always been." I was back in the kayak on Saturday. It has been a long time. Last summer, I didn't go one time. After getting Collin on his mission, I was a mess and couldn't get myself together enough to go. I really missed it and have been anxiously awaiting a moment to go this summer. Finally, on Saturday, I made it.

It has been sooooo not and our house seemed to be a sweat lodge. It was the perfect moment to go, but there was a problem. I couldn't find anyone to go with. After much begging, and texting, McKenna agreed to come and she brought her friend Tazie. Yay!!! So, we loaded up and off we went.

It was absolutely beautiful out there. The river was warm and there wasn't even the slightest hint of a breeze. That is a rare find here in East Idaho. We enjoyed our float, our conversations, and the beauty of the river. Awesome!!!

Within a couple minutes of pulling out of the river, a major wind storm came up. The glassy river was now a torrent of white capped waves. Now that is the East Idaho I've grown to know and tolerate. Glad we made it just in time. We'll be back out there again this week.

Life is good - and have I mentioned how much I love to kayak?