We've lived in Utah, Nebraska, upper Michigan and now we've settled in Colorado...at least for now! Marley is 10, Isi is 6 and Enzo is 4.

Life is great!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Confession, Some History and Cat Lady

I hate cats! Actually I hate dogs too. And I pretty much can't stand anything that has fur. There's the confession. Now before you get all huffy and think I secretly want to be an animal serial killer, it's mostly because I'm allergic to anything with fur.

Some history...

These allergies have been acquired over the years. When we lived in Montana many Saturdays in the summer I would go to my friend's grandma's ranch. It was called the Parade Rest Ranch (cool ranch name huh?) and their branding symbol was a backwards P with a forward R connected to it. Does that make sense? Read it again and picture it! I would show you a picture but when you do an image search for PR everything has to do with Puerto Rico and Public Relations and nothing to do with ranch symbols. I coulda seen that comin' but, oh well.

Anyway, I remember their branding symbol because I remember seeing the brands scorched into the animals flesh. Not the actual process just the after tattoo. I was fascinated and yet disgusted. In my head, "Wow, what a great idea! That way you know what animals are yours and if anyone tries to pass one off as theirs....BAM! check their permanent brand! I should probably do that to my Kimberly Doll, so Liz doesn't color red streaks into it's hair with a crayola marker and grease it up with Vaseline. (same thought sequence) They BURN that into their skin!?!?! How sad and GROSS!"

One summer my friend and I joined one of the short horse back riding tours and I started sneezing and wheezing. Soon the sneezing escalated into coughing and LOTS of sneezing. My eyes were terribly itchy and watery and I think they started to swell, probably because I was scratching and rubbing them. Andy the tour guide (who I had a crush on and who was probably around 23 and I was probably 9) was worried about me and kept making stops to walk back three or more horses and check on me. He eventually moved my horse to directly follow the butt of his horse so he could just look back every couple of seconds. I'm sure he thought that one of those big sneezes was going to blow me right off that horse. Or maybe he thought my eyes would swell shut and I would become so exhausted from all the sneezing, I would fall asleep and slide-drop off the side of the horse. Sneezing is exhausting!

We made it back safely to the ranch. Andy took me and my friend directly to my friend's grandma, Shirley. Funny how I can remember Andy and Shirley's name but I can't remember my friend's name. I think it was something really common like Jessica or Jennifer. Anyway, by this time I had a fever and a rash all over my belly. Shirley made me change my shirt and she gave me a light weight, white undershirt. She called my parents to come pick me up. And I don't remember what happened next but there was no rush to the emergency. The closest one was probably at LEAST and hour away. My mom probably just took me home and had me sleep it off.

I don't recall ever returning to The Parade Rest Ranch but we didn't blame the horses right away. At first we thought I was allergic to the cotton wood trees. After subsequent close encounters with horses and my body's violent reaction, we knew it was the horses.

And that is when I first became allergic to animals. To this day my most violent allergic reactions are directly linked to close proximity to horses...or horse hair.

Cats are number two:

Liz's friend Amber Wilhelm's cat was about to have a litter of kittens. I remember Amber Whilhelms first and last name because their family lived in the old LDS church! It was COOL! And anytime I could finagle my way into a trip to the Whilhelm's house I did! Anyway, Liz asked my dad if we could have one of the kittens once the Wilhelm cat had her babies. Our dad said that it had to match the rest of the family, so only IF one of them had strawberry blond fur. I'm pretty sure he didn't think their cat would have a red kitten but it DID! ONE! so we got a cat. We named him Walter Cronkitty but we called him Wally.

When we moved to California Wally moved with us. He died soon after the move though. He wasn't used to the heat or fleas. He never had fleas in Montana. He got sick and nearly died at the feet of my mother. He did have pride though and slugged his way to the garage and died there. My parents didn't want us to see him but I snuck a peek and he looked gross! He was laying on his side and he had ooze coming out of his mouth. Wally never gave me any allergy problems just as the horses didn't at first.

So this leads me to explain a little more about Cat Lady. And know that I loathe cats, but think it's hilarious when they turn on their unsuspecting owners. Ha!

We have a perfect view of the back of the building to our south. We can see what is happening on every body's balcony, which on most, isn't much! Cat lady had a bench and a chair on her cozy nook. She would often leave her balcony door open and let her cat wonder in and out of the apartment. That's how she became named Cat Lady.

One day I saw cat lady bring kitty out to the balcony and she proceeded to try to brush kitty. Kitty wouldn't have it and he fought and squirmed and scratched. Despite Cat lady's shocked and pained face every time kitty got a chunk of flesh with her claws, Cat lady was persistent and she continued to wrestle and attempt to brush kitty for a good ten minutes. Needless to say I had a good hysterical 10 minute laugh that day.

The climax was when Cat lady finally gave up and how she gave up. I think the violent defeat was inspired by some deep claws to her legs. She wrenched kitty from her leg, pained look on her face and threw kitty with avengence to the ground. I nearly peed my pants! It was SO funny.

Though I never met Cat Lady, my visual surveillance told me she was a mean and onery old lady (so much for not judging, right?). I imagined her apartment being immaculate, except for the cat dander that was probably everywhere.

Cat Lady also had a large man friend that would occasionally take up the whole bench on the balcony. He was really gross because he often had no shirt on or just had on a flimsy old t-shirt that had been made into a tank top. Ick! I gathered he was a friend because he was younger than cat lady...but, he I guess he could have been her son and he probably lived there with her, since he was so comfortable being shirtless. That would explain the computer that faced the window. At night we would see this computer from our window and the screen saver was a slide show of the most unsavory pictures. We never used to look out the window at night for fear the screen saver was on. But, I guess now we can. Yipee!

I hope they moved to a house with a private enclosed back yard. They need their privacy!

This post was inspired by your curiosity about Cat Lady and the book I just read, "A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small In Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel. It's a memior of her childhood and it's hilarious! I LOVE THIS BOOK! You should read it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oblivious...but, not always.

Tuesdays are Nathan's long days at school. He is either working or in class from 9am to 8pm. Needless to say, I make sure he has a GOOD lunch on Tuesdays.

Since I pick him up an hour after Marley's bedtime, she gets to stay up late Tuesdays. Last night, her and I sat down to a delicious dinner of Chicken-A-La-King and three bites in:

She said, "Da-ty?"
I said, "He's at school."
She started to fuss.
I said, "We're gonna go get him later. It's ok."

She started pointing toward her bedroom and crying.
I said, "Are you done eating? Do you want to get down?"
She pointed to the ground which is her way of saying, "Yes, I'm done, I want to get down."
So, I got her down and she went directly to her room and started putting her pj's on.
I helped her get ready for bed. She always goes to get daddy in her pj's.

And then....

she climbed into bed.

In my head I thought, "What the heck!?!? it's only 6:30? Should I make her stay awake?" I sang to her and she went right to sleep. I guess she was tired.

Thankfully we have some neighbors we actually know now and they are in our ward. They pretty much live right above us and to the north. I ran upstairs and Brianne gladly came down and sat in our apartment while I went and got Nathan.

This morning, Marley and I had a long talk about how she needs to go to bed like that every night. She does pretty good but she still thinks she needs to cry herself to sleep and sometimes listening to it makes my neck tight.

This mid-morning she stood in her bed and cried, refusing to take a nap.

Looking out my window, I just realized that cat lady, who lives across the way, moved! I wonder how long she has been gone? Weird. I've been sick with a cold since last Thursday so I haven't been opening the curtains. Man! A lot can happen when you are oblivious.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Guess Who WE Had For Dinner!!!!

"Missing while in pursuit of local legend, reclusive scavenger claims,
'I have the key to One Eyed Willy?'"
No, we didn't have Chester Copperpot. He's dead! Remember!
NO! We didn't have One Eyed Willy.

We had One Eyed Marley!
(The picture below is, by far, my favorite!)
"Ok, can I get some dinner now?"
Notice the patch changed eyes...interesting.
Then in the middle.
Then on the forehead.
Then it's a really cute accessory...you know like a head band with a bow!
Aaaaand, One Eyed Marley's BACK!
In other news...
Marley sets sail on a new ship at bedtime.
After a week of just sleeping with the crib mattress on the floor and Marley sleeping next to it, on the floor.
We bought a toddler PIRATE SHIP!
Oh no! Pirate Over Board!!!!
Goodnight Punkie Doodle....
Sweet Pirate Dreams!

We love all you PIRATES!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Marley the Mermaid?

Marley the future clothes horse?
Or Marley the future actress with big fat wet tears?
Last night I had a hard time sleeping.
There were multiple reasons from which I will spare you. (nothing serious)
But, around 2am I prayed that I would be able to go to sleep.
I also prayed that Marley might sleep-in to 8 or even, heaven help me!
I first heard Marley talking to herself and kissing her stuffed animals at 8:11. (MuuAh!)
At 8:15 she started full out crying, the hurt cry.
I dragged myself out of bed, walked to her room with my eyes closed and opened the door.
I found this poor sad creature.

Marley has started to really like to do things by herself.

Somedays she will struggle for half hours to change her clothes, from one outfit to another.

The main word in that is struggle.

She struggles with getting her pants off. She hasn't figured out that she has to pull the back of the pants down too, not just the front. So, the pants stay hooked on her cheek's upper shelf...which is hard to believe that she already has one,but all Alger's cheeks have an upper shelf. Well, all the female Algers. The male Algers don't have butts.

I digress...

Then when it comes to putting clothes on, she often misses one of the shirt holes and an arm ends up in the neck hole with her neck. Just the like the picture above.

Also, she often gets stuck with both legs in one leg sleeve.

But, this time she actually stood up and pulled the waiste band all the way up.

Hence the Mermaid.

Even though I dragged myself to her room, half alseep, when I saw her self imposed hopeless tangle, I was awake, laughing and running for the camera.

And here is the movie: The Little Mermaid!

Watch in the close up at the end...you can still see her big fat wet tear!

And here is the Little Mermaid after her loving and forgiving King of the Sea father granted her heart's desire and gave her...what are they called again? Oh feet!

Or this is what she normally looks like her in jamies...and of course she's saying CHEESE!!!

We love you all! (so much!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Follow-up Pictures and Where We Placed!

"You did it! You ran 87.75 miles in the coldest weather on October 10th since the 1800's."
-Post Race Email, Market to Market Relay Race
I forgot to mention in my previous post, reporting on the race, that one our our runners, Sandy, had a Leg changed on her because of ice on the course. That stage changed from 3 miles to 6.5 miles!!! It more than doubled! She was our best runner so, we were all glad it was her and not us. She took the change in stride. I think it was her third leg and it was her second fastest time. The rest of us all said we would have CRIED the whole way!
Here are a few more pictures I got from Sonia. This is my second run beginning. Janelle is handing off to me.

And I'm off!

This is me coming in from my second leg.

Getting closer!

And here I am all hot and tired.
Me after my second run. Becky A. right in front of me, taking off.
Email from Sonia, the team captian and my personal trainer:

"Hello ladies,

Well race day has come and gone. It was a great day even with the cold and snow. I managed to take all the times that we had written down and figured out everyone's times for them. Just remember these are only estimated times. We were not 100% specific on them.
Becky A.- leg 1 7:13 min/mile leg 2- 8:08 min/mile leg 3- 8:13 min/mile Avg- 7:57 min/mile
Salley- leg 1- 7:10 min/mile leg 2- 8:00 min/mile leg 3- 7:46 min/mile Avg- 7:40 min/mile
Jana- leg 1- 8:39 min/mile leg 2- 8:00 min/mile leg 3- 7:43 min/mile Avg- 8:14 min/mile
Sandy- leg 1- 6:36 min/mile leg 2- 7:51 min/mile leg 3- 7:07 min/mile Avg- 7:16 min/mile
Sonia- leg 1- 7:47 min/mile leg 2- 7:10 min/mile leg 3- 7:23 min/mile Avg- 7:29 min/mile
Shauna- leg 1- 11:04 min/mile leg 2- 12:35 min/mile Avg- 11:26 min/mile
Janelle- leg 1- leg 1- 11:10 min/mile leg 2- 11:33 min/mile Avg- 11:23 min/ mile
Becky F.- leg 1- 11:47 min/mile leg 2- 10:03 min/mile Avg- 11:01 min/mile
Everyone did an awesome job and I'm glad that we could all be on a team together. In comparison to last year we ran 2 minutes faster this year. We came in 6th place in the women's division out of 14 teams. I would also like to say thanks to Salley for letting us use her van and making it very dirty. And thanks to everyone for being a part of our team, we had a great time. I have attached some of the finish line pictures.

Sally, Sonia, Sandy, Janelle, Shauna, Becky A., Jana, Becky F. (me!)
Marley wishes she to be in Arizonia, with her cousin Lois, where the weather is WARM!!!
(this picture taken during the construction of this post)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Race Was......

This is what I opened my front door to, at 4:15am.
Our first snow fall.
This is our first Runner! Becky A.

This is Sonia (my Jillian), Shauna, and Becky A., right before we left Becky A. at the starting line.

We had to bust a move to beat her to the first exchange.

The race started at 6am.
This is Becky A. running into the first exchange. She passed off to Sally.

This is my view from the back of the van. I wish I got a better one with the flash so you could see our team huddled in there.

Sally ran great, as did Becky A. The second exchange was too crowded so I didn't get a good picture.

The third exchange was Sally to Jenna. Jenna ran great too! She passed off too Sandy!

This is the fourth exchange where Sandy took off!
(That's a Christmas tree made from bikes.)

Here is Sandy coming into the fifth exchange. She handed off to Sonia.
(Still snowing!)

I didn't get pictures of the sixth or seventh exchanges because my batteries were "dying." But, Sonia handed off to Shauna and Shauna handed off to Janelle. Everyone ran great!

This is the eighth exchange from Janelle to Becky F. (ME!)
It was muddy but, I was the first runner to run with out the snow coming down.
This is me taking off.
And you think Nebraska is flat? Yes, almost all of it, except for where we ran the first part of the race. There were more hills than I expected for my leg. It was HARD! But, I never stopped running. I slowed, A LOT, on two of the hills but I didn't stop!

Then my camera "died." Later (the next day) I found out that my batteries were just cold!
Whoosy batteries!!!
While I run I try to think about things that will distract me from focusing too much on my breathing, my aches, my pains, and what-not. (Examples: Craft projects that are in progress at home, what to make for dinner, things I could look for on Craig's List, how I could organize my life so it's simpler and more meaningful, etc.)
While I ran my first leg, I couldn't think of anything to distract myself. There was a lot of adreneline pumping and that was pushing me, which was good! But, I still needed something to think about while I ran.
I prayed.
I asked that I wouldn't slip in the mud. I could just see myself running down one of those hills and slidding and the slide wouldn't hurt me, it would be my body panicing and trying to catch itself that would cause the damage. I would twist a knee or an ankle. I would not want to fall and have to finish running...with an injury and.....with mud on me face. How sad would that be?
I didn't fall.
I prayed that I would keep running the whole way.
I ran the whole way.
I prayed that I would feel my Savior's love as I ran. That I would not just trudge through the race but that I would enjoy it and look around at the beauty of the cold earth.
I prayed that this race would change me. That I would continue to exercise and start to make more drastic changes in my diet.
Working on it. Haven't exercised since, yet! But, my body felt SO GOOD on Sunday. I had a headache and my legs ached...and they got more sore throughout Sunday, but Sunday the core of my body felt SO GOOD!
I prayed that Nathan and Marley would be able to see me run at some point during the day. That I would hear them cheer me on!
It was a great prayer. I love prayer!
After I prayed, the thought that I kept turning to when my mind would focus too hard on my breathing, was, "When you are done running, you will see Nathan and Marley!" I wasn't sure that was true but I wanted it to be...so I ran!
I also ran to be a good team mate!
I also ran to accomplish what I had set out to accomplish!
I ran!
When the first set of hills and mud stopped I turned left (I think it was south) and at that turn there was a big pile of garbage, mostly cigarette cartons and beer cans. GROSS!!! I thought this was some silly "temptation" because there was a garbage removal contest that was part of the race. The team that collected the most garbage and turned it in at the end, got an automatic entrance into the race next year. Umm....I think I'll just run and not pick up garbage.
After that turn I ran through a country path and the trees were covered in snow. It was so pretty. The fields were covered too...everything looked like it had been dowsed in powdered sugar. And thankfully it was flat.
That path changed from dirt to pavement. I ran through a little park. Ran under an underpass. There was a woman under the underpass with a flag, she told me to stay to my left (there was mud to the right) and that I only had a mile left! I ran uphill through a parking lot and then ran over the overpass.
Nathan and Marley were there, watching me...but, I didn't know it. I pushed on and ran to the next person with a flag (uphill still). They jumped in the car and passed me just as a dog was trying to attack me. It came running full speed and knipped at my heels. (This was actually the second dog to do this too me during this run! Sheesh! And I'm scared of dogs! But I was brave and kept running.)
I was distracted when Nathan drove RIGHT NEXT to me and SMILED HIS BIG SMILE!
Once the car was a ways ahead I saw it and I gasped, "HA! That could be them!" I ran up another hill and at the top I saw the car parked and eventually realized there was Nathan holding Marley! They waved and cheered me on!
They jumped in the car and met me at my exchange around the corner. Nathan was so proud of his wifey running hard with perfect form! Up Hills! I was so grateful for their support.
They took off for my next exchange and waited for me to come for hours! They are my dedicated supporters. Marley LOVED playing in the car.
During my first run....19 or 20 people passed me.
I passed one.
Sounds discouraging huh?
Almost ALL of them said, "Good job!" "You're doing great!" "Keep it up!" or something like that, as they passed me. I loved that encouragement!
Running made me hot. It made us all hot! But, soon after the run....we were COLD!!! We got the shivers. We warmed up with coats and blankets and food!
My next run was a little sunny, but still cold! I took off and ran a flat dirt path. There was lots of beauty! The leaves actually changed this year, before they started to fall. Parts of the path were covered in fallen yellow leaves.
This time only 6 people passed me and I passed zero. Oh well, I still got lots of encouragement.
I even got to encourage someone.
A guy came slowly running up behind me, to my left. I could hear his struggled breathing and it sounded like his legs were HEAVY. I looked over and he looked SO tired! I said, "Good job! Keep going!" He said, "I'm dying!" And then he proceeded to pass me. That made me laugh, to myself. He's dying and I feel I'm dying...yet he's passing me. Huh?
Nathan and Marley were about a third of the way into my run. Marley was in the car but hung herself out the window to wave as I passed. She had her cousin Sam's big puffy green coat on, with the hood on. It was SO cute. Nathan was right next to the path. I said, "You think this is half-way?" He said, "Yes!" (it wasn't! and he knew it!)
That path went on forever! There were little bends in the path and I couldn't see the people ahead and I would think, the end is just around that bend. When it wasn't I said, "No! Duh! You still have a LONG way to go! Keep pushing!"
There were two times I thought I was going to stop. I didn't. I pushed through.
When I got to the end, my team was so happy! They expected me four minutes later! I came in FOUR MINUTES faster than they expected! I'm so glad they were there and ready anyway. There were times when a runner would run in and there team wouldn't be there....how disappointing!
I ran faster than they expected! Awesome!
We ran over the finish line at approximately 6:40pm. As we ran through the announcer yelped, "This is team 67! The Speedsters! (then he said each of our names really fast) from Lincoln, Nebraska!" It was awesome! I started crying! I was so sore and so happy!
They hurded us into a tent where they gave us free stuff and kept us moving through and then out. Our team took pictures outside the tent. I'll have to get more pictures from my team mates, and when I do, I'll share them with you!
Thanks for reading. Thanks for your support! I know there were many praying for me. I am so grateful!
I love you all!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Market to Market Relay Race!

Yea, this is me posing like I'm running. But, I don't think this is what I look like when I'm really running. You're welcome.
This is still not what I look like running either. Oh well.

It is finally here! Tomorrow is the big race day! Me and my team of 7 women will run 86 miles, from Market Street in Omaha to Market Street in Lincoln!
I am actually WAY more excited than nervous...which is the complete opposite of what I thought I would be the day before the race. I'm ready!
Running last Friday, 3.5 miles, went very well. Running 5 miles last Saturday went okay. I actually didn't run the full 5 miles because of a blister that made itself and popped itself all in 4 miles but I limped the last mile. I was bummed but still happy for the good run of 4 miles.
Nathan ran with me both times and then he ran again with me on Monday, 3.5. He pushed Marley in the winnebego (bike trailer/jogging stroller thing...my nemisis). What a champ!
Then I ran Wednesday, 4 miles. That went well also!
I was supposed to run 2 miles yesterday but didn't because "Aunt Flow" came to visit. You are welcome for TOO MUCH INFORMATION. But, I'm glad she came before Saturday!
After I pick up Nathan in about 40 minutes, I will run 1 mile, just keep me loose for tomorrow.
I'm drinking a lot of water today.
The sad part:
It's going to be COLD! Lows in the 20's and highs in the 40's with possible snow showers. It's hard enough to run....and then to run in the cold. Bummer. But, I'm going to run and I'm going to run hard! Ain't no cold gonna stop me!
Here are the details of the stages of the relay I am running:
Stage 8
Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
Length: 4.50 miles
Surface: Gravel, Crushed Limestone, and Pavement
Exchange Point: 114th and Fairview
Description: Your teammates almost got you to the top of the hill, after a short climb on Fairview you get to enjoy a downhill jaunt to Springfield, NE home of the Sarpy County Fairgrounds.
Stage 16
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Length: 3.58 miles
Surface: Crushed Limestone
Exchange Point: 250th and O St.
Description: Runners continue down the Mopac Trail heading west towards the next exchange point in Eagle, Nebraska. This relatively flat section of the Mopac runs parallel to O Street and passes Wright Cemetery on the runner's left. As soon as runners reach Eagle, they will make the transition to the next runner.
They have a great description of each stage, if you are interested in reading about more of the stages you can click here.
I am runner 8:
8 Person Team Matrix
Runner 1- Becky A. Leg 1 --> 2.77 H Leg 2--> 5.41 EM Leg 3--> 4.14 E Total 12.32 MH
Runner 2- Sally Leg 1 --> 4.19 MH Leg 2 --> 5.50 EM Leg 3--> 3.35E Total 13.04 M
Runner 3- Jana Leg 1--> 5.09 EM Leg 2--> 3.00 H Leg 3--> 2.72 EM Total 10.81 MH
Runner 4- Sandy Leg 1--> 5.00 EM Leg 2--> 3.59 M Leg 3--> 2.95 E Total 11.54 EM
Runner 5- Sonia Leg 1 --> 5.40 EM Leg 2 --> 3.91 EM Leg 3 --> 3.64 E Total 12.95 EM
Runner 6- Shauna Leg 1 --> 4.70 MH Leg 2--> 3.02 E Leg 3 --> Group finish 0.15 E Total 7.87 M
Runner 7- Janelle Leg 1 --> 3.49 M Leg 2 --> 4.33 M Total 7.82 M
Runner 8- Becky F. Leg 1 --> 4.50 EM Leg 2 --> 3.58 E Total 8.08 E
Stage Difficulty RatingsE= Easy EM= Easy Moderate M= Moderate MH= Moderate Hard H= HardLeg ratings are 90% based on elevation and surface and the remaining 10% is based on distance
I got the easiest position...but, that was my only stipulation. What? This is my first race...and I'm going all out!
After the race I'm going to keep running as long as the weather will permit it. After it get too cold I will go back to working out in our apartment. Sonia will help me make sure I feel the burn...bu-leave ME!
Even after the race I can't promise I won't still have posts about me crying while exercising....but, we'll see.
Wish me luck.... Actually, pray for me.
I'll let you know how it goes.
We love you all!

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Couple Things....

I've been trying to teach Marley how to pretend to be a puppy. Whenever I start, it's because she's crawling around the floor. Maybe she's just reminiscing about, "back in the day" when she used to crawl everywhere? Whatever she is doing it’s interrupted by mom saying, "Are you a doggie?" Then mom panting with tongue hanging out. Marley immediately stands up and starts looking for a dog. I say, "No, you're the doggie!" And she keeps looking. I think next time, I’ll get down on all fours and demonstrate. We can be puppies together.


I can’t tell you how many times Marley and I have watched the trailer for “Where the Wild Things Are” I TOTALLY want to see it! And I think that is one I want to see in the theatre…those big wild things are meant for the big screen!

I also can’t tell you how many times Marley growled during the many viewings of the trailer. I love her growl. Remember, she’ll be your best friend if you growl at her!

The other day Marley and I jumped from one fabric store to the next. We were looking for materials for some great Halloween costumes. (By the way, we were successful...betchew can't wait to see Halloween pictures!) There are times when I need to give Marley something while she sits in the cart, to keep her amused. Many times it's my car keys. When I hand them over, I take mental note, "Listen for them to hit the ground, we don't want to loose those!"

We lost them.

I didn't know until, of course, we had left the store and I was digging through my pockets and purse to find them. I was instantly SICK! "Where in the heck could they be? We've been all over that store!" Marley and I looked around. I kept saying, "Marley where are the keys?" She kept walking around "looking" for them with her hands in there air, palms turned upward, fingers spread. This mean, "GONE!!!" I tried not to panic. I did keep thinking, "Ah geeze! I don't want to have to enlist every person in this store to help me find MY keys!"

We found them.

(Marley and I...by ourselves...phew!)

They were at the cutting table.

I put them there...not Marley.



Wednesday I was to run 3.5 miles. Sounds easy enough right? However, this would be the longest run since the Incident of 2009 (dropping the bike trailer on my left foot). Well, it went badly...not because of my hurt foot....it was a myriad of reasons (Jeanna I used the preposition!). Mostly it was my body just not wanting to run, a long with my feet burning. I went the full distance but, I walked half the way. I felt so horrible. The race was a week and a half away. I felt old and fat! I felt betrayed by my body...though I've been betraying my body for awhile with not enough exercise and eating too much. Needless to say....I cried. I was actually an emotional wreck the rest of the night.

Nathan, as always, was so sweet and comforting. He poured out words of encouragement worked on refurbishing the confidence boosters. Hugged me a lot and let me cry into his shoulder. It worked he always makes me feel better. I love that man.

Why was I SO emotional?

I was SO scared for Thursday. I was to run 4.5 miles WITH my trainer AND another Relay Race team mate. They are both "runners" I was SO nervous. I didn't run well, I didn't sleep well and I was a big ball of nerves. I pushed through Thursday morning with the regular routine stuff and even did some extra cleaning to keep moving so I wouldn't cry.

I dropped Marley off at a friends house (Sonia, my trainer arranged for the babysitting...she is one AMAZING trainer). Then I dropped Nathan off at school. Then I met with my running partners. I told them I was nervous. They said, "You're gonna do fine!"

I cried twice on the way there. They couldn't tell because they ran about three strides ahead of me (which I liked). They also couldn't tell because there was a heavy mist about, our bodies were getting wet from the air. It felt nice, hot sweating body cooled by the mist. But, my feet burned and my body protested.

On the way back I didn't cry. I wanted to stop and walk twice. I told them. They said, "No, keep going. Almost there!" They were great. It even started pouring rain on us and they tried to get me to run faster...my body wouldn't run too much faster....but, my body kept running.

They encouraged me sporadically. They would slow to run by me every once in awhile. Sonia even spanked my boom boom (that’s my bum) twice! She said, “Jillian would do that!” I told you she’s my Jillian!

They talked and ran. I can't do that, so I listened. I loved listening to there faith filled conversation. Positive excited talk. Hopeful ramblings. I love these women. I felt so blessed to have such encouraging and loving and positive friends....not just these two lively and vivacious runners. My creative and thoughtful friends. My compassionate and humble friends. My fun and dignified friends. I felt blessed that ALL of my friends are ALL of these things.

At the risk of sounding like a "Golden Girl."

Thank you for being my friend!
(that's to all of you out there!)

At the risk of sounding like the Beetles…which is much better than sounding like the G.G’s.

I get by with a little help from my friends.

I ran the whole way.

I wore mole skin on my feet for the rest of the day. It helped, a lot. I kept moving by doing the grocery shopping.

Today I am to run 3 miles.

Tomorrow I am to run 5 miles.

Nathan offered to be my running companion and he will push Marley.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Just for taking the time to read ALL of this!!!

Here is your reward!

Nathan reading a book to Marley. Marley putting on her hat and saying “CHEESE!”

Marley reading to Nathan.

We love you ALL!!!