a runner is born

josh and i ran the salt lake city half marathon on saturday. i finished in 1:53:12. not my best time, but i'm pretty happy about, not thrilled since i really wanted to break 1:50 this time. then again, that still means i ran about 8 and 1/2 minute miles, in a skirt no less, which isn't bad for 13.1 of them. for some reason, it was harder than i thought it would be. but still awesome. i think half marathons are the perfect racing distance--it's a great challenge, you have to train for it, but it's not unnaturally painful and time consuming like a full marathon. don't you think? i finished in the top 13% of my age division (women age 25-29), top 24% overall. so i think that's pretty sweet. josh finished a BIT behind me. we'll leave it at that...
the real excitement of the day came at 10 o'clock, when joshua ran the first race of his running career. at his insistence, we signed him up for the "kids marathon," a 1K. they all got t-shirts, bib numbers (#378), goodie bags at the expo, and a finishers medal at the end. joshua was SO excited. he's grown up around races. i ran my first half marathon when he was 17 months old, a marathon shortly after he turned two. of course he's been there at them all, cheering me on and running around taking pictures with josh, grandpa jay, todd, grandma juna...in fact just yesterday he was saying..."mom remember that one race--you didn't run with katie or with daddy, just by yourself?" he remembers these things, the specific races.
now, at the ripe age of 5, he's thrilled to have joined the runners ranks. he told josh "daddy, you have to tell all the guys at work that i'm running my first race!" in his goodie bag there was some runners dry-mouth gum, as well as a sports drink mix. as soon as we got home from the expo he had me mix up the drink. i assumed he wanted to drink it. but no. he put it right in the fridge and said "that's for my race tomorrow." sure enough, he brought his drink. little did i know, he had also stashed the gum in his pocket, and pulled it out to chew shortly before the race began. afterwards he was saying "i need to find another race to run soon, maybe this summer..." and everyday since, the first thing in the morning, we have the same conversation...
mom! is today show and tell day?
no joshua, what day is show and tell day?
what day is today?
so when is show and tell?
you guessed it...for show and tell he's wearing his running shirt, and bringing his bib and finishers medal.
"mom, i think i'm the only kid in my class that's ever run a marathon..."
pretty cool if you ask me.
check him out...
pre-race, getting in the zone.

his first runner's high.

check out that stride! (not to mention the focus)

coming in strong!

looks like a runner to me...


the good life

sometimes i get caught up in the day to day, and i need to remind myself that that's not life, that's not me. when this happens, when i'm a little stressed, there are a few things that make me feel like myself. one of these things, and no matter what's been going on, i feel grounded. it makes me calm no matter how crazy things are. they bring me back to myself in the best way...

-playing guitar, singing loud, getting lost in the songs, feeling the words.
-sitting in the sun, just thinking. or not thinking.
-driving nowhere on a sunny day, especially in the mountains, windows down, wind in my hair, music LOUD.
-a so-hot-you-can-barely-stand-it bubble bath with a few candles, maybe a good book.
-a long run with good music and sunshine when miles melt away and i alternate from being completely lost in thought, my body on auto-pilot, to being completely in the moment, feeling strong and aware of every muscle. and even when it hurts it feels good because your doing it. your imperfect, sleep-deprived, i-have-two-children body is running miles and miles and loving it.

today it's sunny and warm. i played guitar and sang and the boys danced around the living room. we're going to the park for lunch and i'm bringing my book to read, but maybe i'll just sit in the sun and watch my boys play, and think or not think. tomorrow is our half marathon. so maybe after the run, and after an afternoon at the city library studying for finals, i'll have to take a bath just to round things out. i can't complain.


vicki sue

my mom is pretty amazing.
she is thoughtful and insightful. she really watches people and has a great sense of what they need. especially her own kids. i admit, sometimes i feel like the third wheel when grandma vicki comes around. the kids adore her. she adores them. and i'm chopped liver. but when push comes to shove, my mom would do anything for me, for her kids. not that she wouldn't for her grandkids...she would...she finds SO MUCH joy in her grandkids. but it's her kids she worries about. my sister lis just had her third baby. my mom comes to help take care of the kids, but her concern is for alissa. she worries, she notices. she knows she raised a few competent, strong-willed daughters who have a hard time asking for help, so she helps without being asked. she extends her visit because she can see her help is needed.

my mom worked her tail off while she was here. she came to stay with me the night before she left because we live close to the airport (and because joshua was very envious of all that time grandma spent at his cousins.) she was exhausted. normally she'll stay up late into the night laughing, playing games, or usually just talking with me. or with josh. a couple of nights i'd have to study, and i'd get home at 1230 and there they'd be, my mom and josh, sitting on the couch. talking away. i'm still hearing about some of the things they talked about those late nights. but tonight she tried to stay up for a little while, but we could tell she was completely worn out. her eyes were tired. her voice was tired. there's just no one like a mom to be there. to love you. to know what you need, and to do it even when they need a break too.

now, this was for my sister. but it means a lot to me because
1) alissa's my sister and i worry about her too
2) it could have been me she was doing it for. it has been me before.
there's so much more to my mom...i could go on and on...but you get the point. i saw this picture of her and i from this last visit. (joshua actually took this picture--nice work bud!) doesn't my mom look happy? she is happy. she's fun to be around. she's kind and silly. and she always tell me she thinks i'm doing alright, that i'm a good mom, that i'm doing a great job of balancing my full load. may sound simple, but it's the most wonderful thing to hear when these are the things you want and the things you work so hard at and the things you worry about. and they're things you don't hear too often. i feel greedy when i do hear them because i savor it so much. plus i know my mom's honest. she notices things. i love her.


Representative Tom Lantos

I wrote this awhile ago, and for some reason didn't post it....

An amazing man recently passed away. I imagine that most of you probably don't know much about him. Tom Lantos. He was a congressman--a democratic representative from California--but that's just the begininng. He was a Hungarian Jew. Survived the Holocaust. Lost his entire family but met his wonderful, adorable wife Annette, who had the same awful background. I first met him in 2000, when I was an intern in Washington, DC. On Febraury 4th of that year he spoke to a group of interns, and I was in awe. He spoke about how there are only two relationships of importance in life: 1) your relationship with a higher authority; and 2) your relationship with others. He spoke about how we need to share in our common humanity. He's an atheist, but his wife Annette, his children and grandchildren are all LDS. So he knew what it meant that we were from BYU. Yet, or maybe because of this, he stressed that theological committment is irrelevant. What matters is integrity, values, and your approach to humanity. As a Holocaust survivor, this view takes on added weight and meaning. He said that you have to be a free thinker--think for yourself! He said that you have NO IDEA how much power an individual has--as long as you don't approach others with arrogance. He pleaded with us to learn about other's way of life. He lived what he spoke. He amazed me.

I got to know him more personally that semester. My friend Kim interned for him, and so I would occassionally go by their office. My friend Matt and I decided we couldn't stand the Colonial Singles Ward scene, so we alternated between the Anacostia Branch and the Capitol Hill Branch, and it was one of the best things I did while there. In the Capitol Hill Branch I got to know Annette Lantos--this wonderful, strong Hungarian accent, these huge, black rimmed glasses. She was short, she was sweet, she was wholly devoted to her husband Tom. She also fell in love with Matt--which earned us personal capital tours and lunches in the Congressional dining room.

You can imagine my joy when I found out that he, of all people, would be receiving an honorary degree from BYU, and would therefore be speaking at my graduation ceremony in April of 2001. For me that small and simple thing was a gift from above.

I hope you will take the time to read this article about him--to read more about his life and what he stood for. He was a man of principle, of integrity. He was devoted to helping others. One of the most moral people I've ever encountered.