Saturday, December 20, 2014

Starting Over

I fell off the blogging band wagon.... big time......
I always told myself, “Next week... next week I'll get caught up”
But the problem is, I let myself get so far behind that I didn't really know where to start!

I thought about not trying to catch up at all, because really, who reads my boring little blog anyway! But then I reminded myself, this blog is more for me than anything else. I am not the worlds best journal keeper.... hand writing things takes forever and my hand usually starts to cramp up before I finish an entry! So this is it.... my electronic journal..... and I have lots of catching up to do!

It still feels so overwhelming.... I never wrote about the time I went to Washington with my good friends Charmaine and Chantry..... or the time I invited myself on vacation with my cousin Kandi.... or the time I went to the zoo with my mom and sister and almost got eaten by a tiger! All of that was more than two years ago! And then there are the things that happened this year..... big things! Like running my first Ragnar and paying off my car!! Not to mention a seriously awesome summer!

I don't usually make New Year Resolutions.... mostly because I never follow through with any of them.... but my goal for 2015 is to be a better blogger/journal writer! Some of my posts will probably be really boring.... some might be really long... and others may be a million pictures! But one way or another, I will finally get caught up!

New posts coming January 2015!  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

....You Can Do It

Long before I got to California, I had started practicing smiling while I was running! I knew there would be photographers all along the course and I didn't want to get caught looking like I was ready to pass out!! But once the race started, there was no practice necessary... I couldn't help but smile because I was so excited to be running a Disneyland race!

My dad and Kaylee had the perfect beginning spot! They were the first thing I saw after I crossed the starting line and it was a huge boost to see them cheering us on! It was also really great to see them because I figured the only time I'd see them would be at the finish line!

My mom, Kari and I stayed together in the beginning. There were so many people that it was kind of hard to run. But once we really got going, and people thinned out, we wished each other luck and went at our own paces.

My music was working great and I was having a blast! I was so excited when I finally came up on the first mile post!! One mile down and I felt great!

We ran past the convention center and then onto Harbor Boulevard. There were some spectators standing along the street holding some really awesome signs! At that moment, I thought I would totally remember what they said..... but now.... I have no idea.... I think there was one about Ariel and "up where they RUN"...

And then it was into the back lot of California Adventure! I love seeing the behind the scenes stuff!! There were lots of Disney cast members along the course cheering us on and giving high-fives!! How cool that they would show up at 6:00 a.m. to do that!

We ran past Radiator Springs, ran over the Paradise Pier Bridge and past California Screamin'. Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie were there and you could stop to take pictures with them if you wanted. I was still kind of worried about how I was doing time wise, so I just kept on going!

We ran through the rest of the park and then ended up back on the road, running toward Disneyland! At one point a really awesome lady started talking to me about my crazy tutu and we ran together for a little while.

At that point, I knew I was halfway through the race and I was still feeling great! As I got closer to the entrance of Disneyland, I got another surprise. My dad and Kaylee were there waiting for me!! I was SO happy to see them there and it gave me an added boost to keep running!!

I ran into the park and down headed down Main Street. It probably sounds totally cheesy.... but it felt like a dream! I had trained for that moment and it was finally happening. After Main Street we headed toward Tomorrowland. Just past Space Mountain I stopped to take my first picture at the four mile marker.

I was kind of nervous at that point.... I had only ever run a little over four miles and I still had two more. But I knew that five miles was by the castle and beyond that I'd only have a little over a mile to go.

I got to see some more backlot as we ran behind It's A Small World and I was SO grateful for a drinking fountain in Toon Town.

I finally made it Fantasyland! The first character I saw was the White Rabbit. I was dressed as Alice in Wonderland so there was no way I was going to miss taking some pictures.... plus it gave me short breather! I also took a picture in the teacup, with the Queen of Hearts, and of course with Alice and the Mad Hatter.

I was standing in line, waiting to get my picture taken with Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, when someone came running by yelling "SWEEPERS". Everyone scattered! I looked behind me and there were race officials on bikes and behind them a golf cart. The bikers came by and told everyone to pick up the pace or they'd have to get in the cart.

I panicked a little (actually, I panicked a lot) and took off!!

I ran through Sleeping Beauty's castle and over the drawbridge and headed toward Frontierland.

At that point, I was starting to feel all of those miles and was getting kind of tired. At one point, while running up the hill near Splash Mountain, I started talking to a couple of the racers around me. We were talking about how crappy it would be if we got picked up at the end of the race. Another racer ran by and said " They can't make you get in that cart! Just run away from them"!!

We ran through the back lot again, behind Splash Mountain, and started running through Downtown Disney. The park was going to open soon so there were TONS of people on the sidelines.

By this point I was tried.... really tired..... and trying to run further that I had ever run before!! Despite my greatest efforts, I had to do a walk/run combo. At one point, when I was particularly tired, a guy on the sidelines shouted "Keep going! You can do it! Your medal is right around the corner"!! I looked over, and it was Sean Astin {Samwise from LOTR}.

It gave me just the boost I needed and I ran toward the finish line. Even as I think back to it now I get a little teary eyed!! It's not like he was directly speaking to me.... it was just the fact that someone was standing there, reminding me the end was close and the prize was waiting for me!!

As I got closer I saw my dad and sister on the sideline going crazy... I was already pretty emotional, but as I got closer, I realized my dad was crying! As I passed he was shouting "You did it! You did it" and it took everything I had not to burst into tears!

There is NOTHING like the feeling of crossing the finish line!
I had worked so hard to get to that moment.... so many things had happened that made me doubt whether or not I could actually do it!
But in the end, I made it!! And I ran almost every step of the way!

Just on the other side of the line, my aunt Linda, Katie and Kari were waiting for me! It was SO great having them there and was SO grateful for Linda's big hug!!

I had a lady at the finish line take a picture more me. Looking at it now, I realize how lame I look! I was trying so hard not to cry!!

After a quick picture at the finish line, I walked over and got my medal!!

I didn't know it, but my mom was there waiting for me! As soon as I saw her we hugged and cried!

I had taken SO much to get to that point and I had overcome so much..... self-doubt, broken bones and a cold!! But, as the great Walt Disney said "If you can dream it, you can do it"!  
I couldn't have done it without my mom's encouragement or my dad's support!! I am grateful for Katie and Kari for getting me into running in the first place! I was so thankful my mom agreed to run the race with me and for my dad and Kaylee for going with us and being our cheer squad!! I'm grateful for my aunt Linda, who told me I'd be able to do it, even when I didn't think I could. It was definitely a team effort!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

If You Can Dream It......

Race Day!
August 31, 2013

The day I had been counting down to since January!
The day I was SO nervous for!

It started early..... 4:00 a.m. to be exact! We didn't get in bed until about 11:00 p.m. the night before so I was nervous about running on only five hours of sleep!


The time went by way to quick and before I knew it, it was time to walk out the door! My fantastic dad had made me oatmeal and I took it with me to eat in the car. But I started to feel sick.....I was so nervous that I couldn't eat the oatmeal. I forced myself to eat a few bites because I knew I needed the carbs!

My dad dropped my mom and I off on the corner near the Paradise Pier hotel and left to find a place to park, while we walked toward the starting area. It was 5:30 a.m. but it was already 80 degrees and uncharacteristically humid for southern California!

We met up with Macks and took some fun pre-race pictures, since it was the first time we were all together in our finished costumes! After pictures I was nervous..... jittery nervous.... impatient nervous..... not very pleasant to be around nervous. I was also extremely excited! The 5k runners were going by, fun music was playing and I could see Mickey Mouse in his track suit!

We started heading for the corrals and things kind of fell apart. There were SO many people.... thousands.... like 12,000!! The crowd was making me anxious! Then I looked down at my race bib and read the name "Marilyn"..... I was wearing my mom's race bib! The race was going to start soon and we had to switch out our dang bibs, keeping track of eight tiny safety pins! For some reason, this stressed me out big time and I started to panic!

We finally got our bibs changed and then tried to find corral G. No luck.... so we hung out with the corral F group! Which worked out great because we later hooked up with Kari!

It felt like we stood there forever before the race got going. They started with corral A and started working their way back. I was nervous... and felt sick.... and I kept telling my mom I was positive they were going to end up picking me up along the course!

Our turn was almost up so I started to get my phone ready.... I had bought this really awesome case to hold my phone while I ran, but I couldn't get it to stay on my tutu.... there was way to much tulle!! So I was panicking about how I was going to get it to stay. I finally got that to stay..... went to turn on my music and....

Pandora wouldn't start....


That just about did me in....
I was already so nervous and so anxious and the stupid music thing made me so angry! How was I going to run without Donny Osmond singing "I'll make a man out of you....."

Trying not to cry, I closed all my apps multiple times and still couldn't get it to work.....
So I turned my phone off a couple times. No luck....
I was so frustrated, I was sweating like crazy from the dang humidity and all the stress, and I kept telling my mom it was NOT fun and I had NO idea why the heck we were doing the dumb race!

Luckily, I have a fabulous mom.... who was silently praying my music would start! Literally minutes before it was our turn, Pandora came on!! Prayers answered!!

With my music working, case on, wearing the right bib number, I was able to calm down a little and start to really enjoy the atmosphere! Finally, about 30 minutes after the initial race started, it was our corrals turn to go!! As I walked toward the starting line, all the fears and anxiety seemed to melt away and I knew that this was going to be my favorite run ever!!

To Be Continued......

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Amanda In Wonderland

It took me forever to decide what I wanted to dress up as for the Disneyland 10k and when I finally did decide, I waited WAY to long to get started on it! I figured making a tutu would be no big deal and I'd have plenty of time! Then August FLEW by and before I knew it, I only had three days until I left for California and still no tutu!

I did get extremely lucky though, because Hobby Lobby had their spools of tulle on sale that week and Joann's had a coupon for 60% off one cut of fabric! That 60% off coupon saved my life!! I about died when the lady told me my total!! Sparkly tulle is crazy expensive!!! 

Just in case you've never made a tutu, let me break it down for you! 

First, you have to spend a ridiculous amount of time cutting the tulle into strips! 
I started out thinking these strips needed to be all the same width and length.
But after five or six strips, I realized who the heck cares if they are even or not!! 

Second, you have to tie the tulle to the waistband.
This part really isn't that big of a deal.... just time consuming!! 
Especially when you have a large area to cover! 

The first night I worked on it, I was at my cousins' house....Their kitchen was covered in glitter by the time I left! THANK ladies for letting my make a mess of your house AND for getting me started! 

The second night I sat on the tile, on the cold bathroom floor, because I figured that would be way easier than trying to vacuum it out of my carpet! My thumb hurt from cutting all those dang strips of fabric one by one and my back was aching from sitting on the hard floor for four hours...... and BONUS...
I ran out of blue tulle!! Awesome.....

Day three.....(which also just happens to be the day beforeour plane left).
I worked on the tutu during my lunch break.....and ran out of white tulle.....
{obviously I am NOT good at sewing and have VERY poor judgment on just how much tulle it takes to make a tutu}
So I had to stop at Joann's on my way home from work to get blue tulle and my sister went to Hobby Lobby to get white. THANKS Kaylee for making an HL run for me! 

There was no way I was going to hang out on the tile again, so I sat outside tying my skirt.
This is the part of the story where life got a WHOLE lot easier! 

I have this awesome neighbor..... Kristen is her name! She saw me sitting outside, surrounded by a ridiculous amount of tulle, and came over to find out what was going on. Kristen is a sewing master...... seriously, she sews some pretty awesome stuff. And because of her awesome skills, she came up with a MUCH better and MUCH faster way to cut the tulle!! It saved me SO much time.... and saved my thumb too!

Not only that, but she sat on the grass with me and helped me tie the tulle to the skirt! Yes, she is one awesome friend! THANKS Kristen!! 

I sat outside until it was completely dark. My mom had to come and help me trim my skirt.... all while my other great neighbor, Kristine, came over and trimmed my bangs. And yes... they did this at the same time! 

Fifteen yards of tulle, ten hours, one sore thumb and one humongous mosquito bite later, I was finally ready to be Amanda in Wonderland! 

And how did this massive skirt GET to California you ask?
I had to shove it in a garbage bag, suck out as much air as possible, and then put in my a carry on bag.... Yes..... it took up almost the ENTIRE bag by itself.....But it made it!! 

By the way....
You'd think that with such a crazy ordeal that there would be lots of pictures of this process....
This is all there is.................

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Beautifully Deceiving Food

I had my first sushi experience back in November.
It's probably important to note that I DO NOT like fish.....

When my cousin Kandi suggested we go, I honestly
wasn't too thrilled (sorry Kandi), but I thought it would
probably be a good experience to try something new, so 
I went with it.

Looking at the menu, I had no idea where to start!
Once, on a vacation with my friend Christine in
Seattle, I tried smoked salmon. It really wasn't as
bad as I thought, so I was looking at rolls that
had salmon in them. 

Kandi suggested I try the Philadelphia roll since it
had both salmon and cream cheese. I also got a
Hawaii roll because it said it was deep fried and I
figured I could eat deep fried salmon, cream cheese
and crab. 

Before I tell you the rest of the story, 
I do have to say that sushi is very pretty food!!
The presentation of the rolls is really awesome
and makes them look absolutely delicious! 
{Philadelphia roll}

{Hawaii roll} 

So these pretty sushi rolls come out and I start
to think they really might not be so bad!
I had Kandi take a picture of me with the roll
so I could show my dad I was actually eating

And then things went downhill... 
I dropped the Philadelphia roll in the soy sauces...

And started to get really nervous about eating raw fish......

I shoved the whole roll in my mouth and bit down....
And it was bad....
REALLY bad....

My brain was saying "Just chew and swallow, chew and swallow"... 
While my mouth was saying "Get it out! Get it out NOW"! 

I was caught between the two and didn't know what to do...
I tried to drink some water.....
Thinking that would drown the fishy flavor.

But that made it worse.
I had a mouth full of water and sushi...
And I couldn't take it any more!

The sushi came back out.....
All over my face, my shirt and the bench next
to me. 

All while the poor Japanese waiter started at me with
huge eyes and my cousin laughed hysterically! 
Unfortunately, there are no pictures of that part.
Although, they probably would have been pretty funny!! 

But.... there was still the Hawaii roll......
I REALLY did not want to eat it.
But part of my brain was saying "It's deep fried. It will be better"

I could only take one small bite before I was done!
I did, however, swallow that piece! 
Mostly because I didn't ever try to really chew it at all! 

So.... needless to say,
I will NOT be eating sushi any time soon...
Or EVER again if I can help it!!! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

A month ago I went with my parents and sister to the ice castle in Midway. Everyone was posting all kinds of cool pictures on Facebook and Instagram, so I was really excited to go up and take a few of my own!
We went later in the evening when the lights were on and it was awesome! The only thing that could have made it "cooler" (pun totally intended) was if they had blasted the Frozen soundtrack the whole time!!
Olaf was there though.... and I swear one of us got a picture.... but now I can't find it!

Instead, here is an overload of pictures from that night!

After the ice castle, we did what any self-respecting Utahan does in the winter...... we drove into Heber to get delicious shakes from Dairy Keen!! It was an awesome way to spend MLK day!!