Yesterday, the movers came and packed all of our stuff into boxes and today they loaded it up on a truck and drove away. I spent the morning cleaning like a mad woman (hence no photos), while Phil took the kiddos to visit friends and run errands. There is something about having this part of the move done that makes me feel like the hard part is over. I think we've been anticipating this day for so long there was nothing left to feel but pure relief after that moving van pulled away.

Not to mention, I am SO happy to have our little family safely tucked away at my parents for a week while we wait for our stuff to make its journey eastward. ~Phew~


You'll have to excuse me but with the hulabaloo of everything going on lately, I failed to mention something rather important. This little girl is officially 18 months old. (Which I'm quite certain were the fastest 18 months of my life to date). I always seem to lack the words to adequately describe Penelope Rae. So for now I'll just say she is joy.

We are so excited that her vocabulary is starting to allow a brief phrase or two of English because now we can more fully understand her thought process and in turn more fully understand her cuteness :)

And if you wouldn't mind humoring me, I'm going to jot down a few of her phrases that delight me to the core.

1. P: Kno-kno (knock-knock)
    Smitten bystander: Who's there?
    P: Ah-choo! (a shoe)
    SB: Ahshoo who?
    P: throws her head back and laughs

2. Yelling Yet Doe! (Let go! You can thank Ryder for that one)

3.  Hey. Hay!

4. Walks over grabs your hand and pulls it until you follow her.

5. Huh-low!!! (Hello!!)

6. Me: Penny do you want ____?
     P: No.
    Me: Penny do you want_____? (Thinking she just doesn't understand so I'll repeat myself)
     P: Nooo!

7. Uh HUH!! (yes.)


I think it's funny when I find myself sentimentally attached to certain possessions, such as...

...our Suzi Q

Here she is being shipped off to our new home. She's forging ahead, scouting the way, making the tracks for which we are to  follow--{sigh}. Safe journey silver one.

For some reason this first step in our move has caused me to experience an upheaval of emotions. Scheduling our move has been rather rocky to say the least, so to see things--like them picking up our car--is starting to make me realize this whole thing is actually happening! As she (Suzi) was getting pulled away Phil looked at me and said So we're really moving across the country, it's really happening! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!! (that last part was me).


{Click to Enlarge}

For Fathers Day, our primary presidency asked all of the primary children questions about their dads and put them into a little book to give to their dad. I wanted to make sure we had Ryder's answers recorded somwhere.

Apparently, Ryder could use a lesson or two on units of measurement :)


When I compare our relationship now to our courting days and I feel a little sheepish when I think of what little we knew of each other when we committed to this big life with one another.

However, I did know you were a great person and were going to be an amazing father some day. 

I just never could've imagained how amazing.
(Sometimes I can't even help thinking cha-ching! Jackpot!)

Watching you be a dad has brought me some of the greatest joy this life has to offer.

And to my dearest Daddio: 

Oh gosh, I think you're great dad and I feel so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for all you still continue to do for my and my little family. I love you so very much.
Happy Father's Day!


I first saw this article:

A Latter-day Saint View of The Book of Mormon musical

 on Facebook posted by one of my friends and have later seen it make the rounds. I thought I'd do my part to spread these words from Michael Otterson (Head of Public Affairs, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in regard to the highly praised musical, "The Book of Mormon".

I'm sure I have shared with other members similar feelings of disappointment in regard to the popularity of a musical that I understand uses crude and blasphemous humor to make fun of the beliefs we hold dear.

Usually, these types of things make me madder than a wet hen, but for some reason I didn't feel the hurt and anger I usually do at such offenses. I've come to learn that feeling that way isn't worth it. There is a certain peace that comes when I see such darkness sweep society particularly when it is disguised as "entertainment"-- and that peace comes from what I know to be true. Good will always overcome the bad and light will always overcome darkness. Truth will always win out.

With that said, I am so grateful for this article. It makes me proud to be a Latter-day Saint. I love how Otterson focuses on true facts and statistics in regard to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's relationship to Africa (apparently the musical takes place in Uganda) as well as the missionaries who serve there.

He also addresses the reasons why there hasn't been a bigger outcry from members. His answer is simple: it's because we're Christian. He quotes from the 13th Articles of Faith (a.k.a. what we Mormons believe)

“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men…If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”

And well, the musical, "The Book of Mormon" just doesn't fall into the category of "things worth seeking after" for any reason.


The fact I did this is still very surreal to me.  Probably because for the majority of my life I thought there was no way, ever in a billion years, haha! you're kidding, right, nu-uh, no how was I ever going to run a half marathon. Psssh, I'm not a runner! However, after having Ryder, I found running was probably the most efficient use of my time when it came to working out. It was at that point I did the couch to 5k and went on to participate in a 12k (a little over 7 miles). It worked wonders for the baby weight and I found out once and for all, I didn't have asthma. 

Fast forward to baby number two. Cute girl. But of course, some more baby weight to take care of. When they say it's a lot harder to lose the baby weight with your second, it's because it is A LOT HARDER to lose the baby weight with your second. But that's okay. I've got a plan--I'll start running again. And that's how I'd say this whole thing started. 
My emotional twisty face

Knowing I'm completely hopeless without a running buddy, I decided to ask my friend Claire (who I had gotten to know last summer in Manhattan) if she would like to start running with me. I was just starting to get in the swing of things until I sprained my ankle sometime in October. Ewh. With that and the holidays we didn't start running again until January (and by we, I mean me. While I was babying my lame ankle, Claire did a whole 'nother half marathon). 

We dutifully ran 2-3 times a week. We woke up early in the morning and ran the BYU track, working up to a solid 4 miles (I don't know about other runners, but the 3 to 4 mile mark is a huge turning point for me. If your can reach that, adding on the miles starts becoming more realistic). This was a great phase for me. I realized that it doesn't kill me to get up 6:15 a.m. to get up and run.  Try as I may to accept that exercise is a daily thing (as opposed to a seasonal thing) it was really great to discover that if I were in bed by 10:30/11 p.m. I could wake up early to work out first thing in my day without feeling burnt out.  My biggest hope is to get back into this routine once our family gets back into a regular schedule. 

So we're just a runnin' with casual talk of eventually doing a half marathon. Which for me at that time were pretty big words (Yeah, ya know I'm gonna like run a half marathon...nooo biggy). Then March came. Looking at where we were in our training we had decided to do the Utah Valley race. Well, so did everyone else. In fact, spots filled up only a few days after sign-ups opened. Completely, unbeknownst (I like that word) to me, I go to a baptism one evening and some friends of mine in my ward who were hoping to do the same race were telling me how it was full. Luckily, one of the girls had called and found out you could still sign-up if you signed up as a group. It was a huge blessing to a) find out it was almost full and b) to find a group of girls that Claire and I could sign up with all in one evening. In hindsite, it was also a blessing to have to commit so quickly because who's to say I actually would've had the guts to sign-up given the opportunity to talk myself out of it. Now, there is something about spending almost $60 to sign-up that solidified my commitment. I was in for the long haul. It was good though and all of us got on the same training schedule and away we went.

Then graduation came. Not mine, Phil's, and Claire's husband, Nate's. And Claire told me they were moving to Layton for the summer. WHAT?!?! Booohooo.! Wahh! Nooooo! Even though she was still going to do the race, we had the last half (the most difficult half) of training to do on our own. Fortunately, I had those great women in my ward who let me tag along with them for some runs. And as shocking as it sounds, I did learn to semi-enjoy running by myself. Plus, if there was ever a time for me to do this it was now, while our family is in this rare inbetween school/job phase where I had Phil at home almost all the time so I could go running when I needed. Thank you, Phillip.

I experienced the most frustration around the 8 and 9 mile long runs. I thought to myself, why am I even doing this. Going by myself was getting old, it was so time consuming, I would worry and stress the entire day before every long run, oh, and that ten pounds I was hoping to lose throughout this process was sticking to me like white on rice. Fighting these thoughts, I sally-ed forth. I was so close and I knew if I couldn't do it within the ideal circumstances I had been blessed with, then I probably would never do it. So I sucked it up and did the 10 miler. It made me bawl. There was a slight miscalculation as to when I should eat (you forget that to run 10 miles takes 2 hours) and fatigued doesn't really describe how I felt after that run. BUT it was okay because, I did it and it was the last long run before the race. 

The week of the race I went on a couple of small runs and tried to load up on carbs (that part was sooo difficult). Claire came over the night before the race, which was a very fun way to get the party started. We loaded up on carbs (chocolate) and water and watched a chick flick. We attempted to get a solid 5 hours of sleep before getting up at 3:15 (we had to catch the bus at 3:30). I failed miserabely at this. Too many emotions and thoughts running through my head. We caught the bus, drove up the canyon to the starting line and had to wait in the freezing cold for an hour an a half. They had a bunch of mini bonfires set up that helped a little. Luckily, we had carpooled with the ladies in my ward, so there was a lot of laughing, chatt(er)ing and trips to the porta-potties to keep us occupied.
Keeping a lookout for mommy!

6:00. The race began! Now, if I haven't mentioned it before. I don't run fast. Some might even say I run slow. This is where I tell you how wonderful Claire is. I think this was her 4th or 5th half marathon, including one full marathon and so you could see that if she were to apply perhaps an ounce of extra effort she could easily leave me in the dust. We probably averaged an 11 minute-mile pace throughout and never had to stop to walk. Now if it hadn't been for that all to unfortunate, but very necessary potty break at mile 6 with a que longer than a polygamist's clothesline, I don't think things could've gone better. I didn't even feel the first seven miles, even the next three weren't bad at all. Then, it got a little harder. Around mile 11 it was a straight shot to the finish line, which after talking about it with my fellow participants, is what made this last leg so dang looong. At mile 12 you could SEE the finish line. It just sat there taunting me. I swear they were moving it farther and farther away. Like a bone in front of a dog. Like a carrot in front of a donkey. Like chocolate in front of a pregnant woman. Okay, I'm done, but it was a mean trick. But oh how wonderful are the people who cheer for you! I love each and every one of them. Especially, my cute family. I have issues with getting emotional anytime I hear anyone telling me "keep going," or "you're doing great" that triggers intense waterworks. I had to find away to get a hold of myself or else I couldn't breath. Turns out crying and running don't mix. You can imagine how difficult that was for me when I saw my beloveds. Which explains the weird twisty smile/furrowed brow expression on my face in some of my pictures. Just so you know. 

My time: 2:35. But would you mind if we just deducted like 5 minutes for that unfortunate bathroom business? Maybe? Making it a solid 2:30? You wouldn't mind, would you? No? Okay- great. 

Now as for Jasmine's Personal Take-Aways from Running a Half Marathon:

-On a more spiritual note, I couldn't have done this without help. Besides great friends and a supportive family, I prayed. A lot. And I know Heavenly Father helped me do this. Besides praying for the motivation, I prayed for the health to tackle this goal. I went the entire winter without a sniffle and after watching runners get all the possible injuries there are to get, I know it wasn't just luck that I was able to keep up with the training, especially given my inexperience. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure I would've missed the sign-up completely had it not been for some helpful interference.

Ryder helping with the cool down stretch

-Never say never, but if I do end up doing another half marathon, it won't be for a looong time. It's a lot to ask of your family to give up every Saturay morning for two months. Not to mention, I'm pretty sure your body experiences the same benefits from doing consistant 4-5 mile runs. Plus, I've got room to improve on my time, so sticking to 5k's and 10k's for awhile sounds great. 

-In the end, was it worth it? Yes! Because I met my goal. I was reading the list of New Year's resolutions I made and smiled when I saw "maybe try to run half marathon". And more than that, I'm at a point where 5 miles feels comfortable. That's what I feel I worked very hard for and what I hope to keep from this experience. I'm also very grateful for all the people who made this day such a happy memory for me. 


So today was Ryder's first swimming lesson. For me, these are the moments really make the motherhood thing entertaining.

He was so very excited. Now, if you know Ryder, he is rather warm and friendly--but there is this shy/bashful streak that seems to shine in moments like these. Although, he's completely happy to be in the big pool learning how to swim, you may start noticing a pattern:

(The photos aren't the best. They were taken from a balcony, indoors)

Oh, and the fact, he may not be the three-year old with the longest attention span in the world, may have had something to do with it.

However, he did start learning how to paddle:

...and how to kick his legs:

...And! (drum roll please) definitley last, but not least--Ryder learning how to do a backfloat!

Well...kind of :)

Oh man, that little boy kills me. 

I thinks it's safe to say we probably don't have the next Michael Phelps on our hands.


Today we got back from a little vacay to Seattle to which we (just Phil and I) took a mini-vacay within that one to Victoria B.C.  There was much fun to be had. Last Saturday we went to the Woodland Park Zoo, which is quite fun when you have Ryder around.

For example, his encounter with the komodo dragon...

Or there's Penny who is getting cranky that no penguins are swimming by...

The orangutans are my favorite...

And these little monkeys are pretty cute too (kids included)...

And lastly, my attempt at being artistic at the zoo...