Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Number 17

 So my parents were blessed with grand baby number 17 on Tuesday June 24 when Jesse finally gave birth to baby Clancy.  She was 10 days past her due date, so they induced her early this morning.  All 8.3 pounds and 21 inches of Clancy J Crystal arrived at 2:09pm. Both baby and Jesse (who I never did get a really good picture of) are doing great.  In fact, Jesse looks a little too good for having just had a baby.
 Tyree seems to like him, and cousins Gideon and Parker were fascinated by him as well. 
 Although to be honest Parker was more interested in Jesse's visibly smaller stomach and asking her exactly how the Dr took the baby out of her tummy.  I don't think she was completely satisfied with the answer "very carefully" but she's three so that's all she's getting for now.

 The kids got to watch Clancy get his first bath through the window in the nursery, although Tyree was VERY upset anytime they made the baby cry.  Which he really didn't do a lot of, compared to many babies I've seen.  As soon as they put him back under the heat lamp he was sleeping.  Anyway, he's adorable! I can't wait to go snuggle him some more tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Another Saturday, Another Race

 So today was the Scenic River Classic Race from Snake River Landing up around the greenbelt and into Freeman Park here in Idaho Falls.  Since that's one of my typical training routes I figured it would be a good race for me.  Gideon wanted to do the kids' race and even though that didn't start until 10:30, he was ready to go just after six this morning.
 As for me I did pretty well.  I managed five seconds faster than last week's half marathon.  But there were no hills and no wind this week, so I think that helped, even if the temps were close to 20 degrees warmer.

 Parker started to feel left out because she didn't have a race number, so I pinned mine on her.

 The kids had a great time, enjoying free slices of bread from Great Harvest.  And then Gideon ran the one mile.  He did an awesome job and finished really strong.
 As he was coming into the finisher's chute, Parker decided she should run with him, so she finished with him.
 It was actually very sweet, the organizers let her have a race medal of her very own which she proudly wore around all day.
 And then of course there were the free snow cones and dance party afterward, so according to Gideon this was the best race ever.  Although he did tell me he'd rather do triathalon races because he's faster on his bike.  Guess I'll have to get him in swimming lessons again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ask Me How I Really Feel?

The news broke today.  The news I'd been expecting (and dreading) for a couple of months now.  Someone let it slip recently that LDS Family Services (the private agency owned by the church through which we were blessed with our babies) would no longer be acting as an adoption agency.  They will still offer counseling to birth parents, unwed parents, single parents and prospective adoptive parents, but they will no longer have any part in facilitating the actual placement of children through adoption.  And today it became official.

This news has hit me rather harder than I thought it would.  Travis and I knew even before Parker was placed with us, that she would be the missing piece that would make our family complete.  We had no designs on adding anymore children to our family.  And that's still the case.  We're complete.  Not just for now, but forever.  Our family is perfect. 

But it hurts because I know that we wouldn't have these children without LDS Family Services.  For starters we couldn't afford any other agency.  And believe me, we looked into several, but LDSFS was the only agency that offered a subsidized placement fee.  Meaning that instead of a set fee of $20K or more, we paid a set percentage based on our combined income.  Honestly, for our adoptions, we paid only 1/4 to 1/3 of what we would have otherwise had to shell out for a placement fee.  Furthermore, our birth mother chose LDS Family Services as the agency with which to place her child because she is LDS and wanted a family with the same religious background and similar values. 

I found the reasons for shutting down the adoption agency cited in the article to be vague and confusing.  How can taking away the only affordable option for so many families increase their opportunities to adopt? 

Anyway I know they said there are alternative options for couples and birth parents still trying to adopt, but right now it just seems confusing and heart wrenching for those families still trying to build their family through adoption.

Alright so now that I've rambled about something I can't change or fix, I'll post something positive.  So here's how awesome I am, today I put together a princess bed for my daughter.  Without instructions (because for some reason the manufacturer saw fit not to include any.)  And without help other than that from my children. True it took me all day, but I got it done.  And Parker has never been happier.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Family Fun with Daddy

 So this happened yesterday.  During a trip to the post office I thought I scraped my foot on the door but then my sandal started filling up with blood.  It wasn't a terrible deep cut and it didn't even hurt super bad, but because you're always putting pressure on your toes it wouldn't stop bleeding.  All day yesterday and through the night I bled through layers of liquid bandage and other wraps. So this morning as I was getting ready for my race, I put as much liquid bandage on it as I could stand and wrapped it as tightly as you can wrap a pinky toe and hoped for the best.  Even putting a running shoe on hurt and made it start throbbing, but I figured that's why we have advil right? 
 So the Teton Dam half marathon was a transformative race for me this year.  For starters it was my first half marathon in over a year (the last one was May 18, 2013 with Cami in Red River, NM.)  I took a year off from long distance races, other than relays, not so much because I wanted to, but rather because my school schedule and my internship were not allowing me to properly train or prepare for most races.  So my half marathon PR was set during the Hobbler Half (a downhill race) on July 7, 2012, almost two years ago.  That PR was 2:07.42.  My goal for this year is to break 2 hours in the half marathon and I feel that I will this summer at some point, but I wasn't counting on that during this race.  I was realistic going into this race, knowing that the course has more uphill than down, looking at the weather and realizing we'd be facing some stiff head winds for most of it, I told myself I'd be happy just to set a new PR, even if I didn't break two hours this time. I was kind of amazed at how easy this race was for me.  I found my comfortable pace within the first couple of miles and just cruised.  Literally the race just flew by.  I never felt tired or worn out, I never felt that I was pushing myself too much.  My toe throbbed some, but mostly it was just an easy run.  I realized why around the six mile mark when I ran past a girl who could have been me three years ago, the last time I ran this race.  She was probably 40 pounds overweight, shoulders hunched over, looking at the ground, huffing and panting up a hill, determined, it seemed, not to walk, even though her pace was barely faster than a walk.  I saw myself in her.  I saw where I was three years ago as fit runners of all shapes and sizes zipped by me.  I saw the determination not to quit.  I saw the frustration with her own slow pace and yet she kept moving.  I cheered her on, as I passed, realizing that somewhere along the line there's been a paradigm shift.  Suddenly I'm one of the "fit" runners, hardly seeming to be working as I cover the miles with my shoulders back and my long strides. In the end it was a PR by more than 4 minutes.  I crossed the line in a final time of 2:03.39.  And the best part about it, was that I felt good and comfortable, and like I could easily have gone on for a few more miles.
 My sweet family was frantically looking for a parking place as I crossed the finish line, so I met up with them after having made my way through the runner's corral.  Because I'm the best mom ever, I had packed us a picnic lunch early this morning and so we could go find an adventure.

 I changed quickly in a gas station bathroom (surprisingly my toe only bled a little and didn't completely ruin my socks or shoes) and we headed up to Mesa Falls for a little hike and picnic.

 The Nature walk from Upper Mesa Falls is a one mile trail that dead ends on a cliff above lower Mesa Falls.  So it's a 2 mile round trip, very easy hike that our kids did with no trouble at all.  In fact they enjoyed daddy telling them all about the different plants and animals along the way.

 (Sidebar: Parker was so cute, she insisted on wearing my race medal all afternoon.)

 Once we got back from the nature walk, we took the boardwalk path down to view Upper Mesa Falls.

 After all of that, we were definitely ready for our picnic.  We enjoyed our sandwiches in the sunshine before loading up in the truck and heading for Cave Falls.
 We'd seen the signs for Cave Falls before, but neither Travis, nor myself had ever been there, so we decided to take a little detour on the way home and check it out.  Really it's only 20 mile off the main road, but what we didn't know was that it was all on very rough, unpaved road.  Still it was a beautiful drive up there.  I know these aren't bluebonnets, but the ways these fields looked, made me homesick for Texas. 

 We were surprised as we got closer to Cave Falls, to realize that we were inside Yellowstone.  LOL.  I guess that was something we should have expected, but we didn't.  Anyway, Cave Falls is an area of Yellowstone that has 7 or 8 different waterfalls, all within walking distance of each other, so we decided after driving around and seeing a couple of them that we really need to do a trip up there one day to hike the trails and see all the falls.  As a bonus there's a Cave Falls Campground in Grand Targhee National Forest, right outside the border of Yellowstone, just a couple of miles from the trail head for the falls that is one of the prettiest and most secluded campgrounds I've ever seen.  Gideon was ready to get a space and stay the night but we had to remind him, we hadn't brought any camping gear, so that would have to be next time.

Anyway, it was a very fun day and we made it home at around 5pm with two very exhausted (and very filthy) children.  We all had a blast though, so we can't wait for daddy's next trip home so we can have more fun adventures together.