Friday, May 29, 2009

Running with Angels

One of my goals this year was to run a 5K, something that I thought would be impossible. I started training in February and was only running a half a mile at the beginning, running 2-3 times a week. I used the 5K Novice Training Schedule by Hal Higdon. I hated running at first; I wondered if I'd ever really like it.

My wonderful husband who is an avid runner ran with me every step of the way. I think there were only 2 training days that he didn't go with me. On those days I almost backed out- I didn't think I could do it without him, but I told him he couldn't run the race with me. I was doing this for myself and I needed him to be my biggest fan. So he patiently listened to my complaints about running and how I'd never run without chapstick, gum, or my MP3 player.

About six weeks into my training I really started to enjoy my running. I was looking forward to it everyday and I realized that it was my mind that was holding me back. I kept telling myself that I couldn't do it, that I'd probably give up or end up walking the whole way, but I kept going and pushed myself every time I ran. I was now looking forward to the 5K and even talking about continuing on to a 10K and then work my way up to a half marathon by the beginning of next year. I was able to run the full 3.10 miles a few times in my training prior to the race and it felt amazing.
It's hard to explain, but it became an emotional outlet for me.

My MP3 player decided to stop working on me so I got my very first ipod. The 8GB nano, it's beatiful and it works like a dream, so much more responsive than my Samsung MP3 player.

The morning of the race I felt great. I had been so busy with Girl's Camp that week I really didn't have time to get nervous. I had picked up my packet the night before and so we headed to the race site around 6:45am. The race was at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. The course actually ran through the Thanksgiving Point Gardens. The weather was perfect. When we first arrived it still hadn't really hit me yet. I actually chuckled when we reached all of the other participants becase I couldn't believe I was actually the one racing (normally its hubby).

Matthew and I before the race.
Sporting the new running outfit. Waiting with the herd of people.

Prior to the start of the race they released white doves. This was very emotional for me. In an email before the race they said: "I have heard wonderful stories from many of you who have overcome incredible difficulties in your lives. Please continue to share them, if you’d like. We’d also like to thank Pam Staich for bringing her doves to the starting line. We honor the memory of your loved ones as we release them. We realize many of you will be running in honor of those angels in your lives. We hope you have a heavenly run!"

Releasing the doves
I was shocked at how many participants there actually were. I didn't want to be in front of the line and get trampled on, so I waited back. My plan was to let the herd go ahead of me and then start a few minutes after the gun. Just as I as passing the Starting Line, my brother in law Justin put the poster in front of the camera!

If you look close, you can see me peeking above the poster.

I was so inspired by the participants. Just after passing the starting line, I passed some incredible people. One man had an amputated leg, he was walking with crutches; another also on crutches; a runner pushing their family member in a wheel chair and countless others wearing "in memory" signs. It was quite an emotional site. I was happy that I started in the back for that reason, but found it difficult to pass people on the course once we entered the gardens.

on the courseI'm in the middle looking to my left.Approaching the finish line (the girl to my left is trying to beat me)YAY!!!! I did it! :) And I think I beat that girl too!A look of pain (the course was much more difficult than I anticipated).
I thought I did pretty well. I felt like I was going to passout when I crossed the finish line, but I recovered quickly and hubby was right there to take the sweet picture above and give me praise. After the official results were posted I found out I finished in the top 20 for the females in my age group. I finished in under 30 minutes and I averaged a 9:40 mile which was quicker than I had been in training.

Just after finishing L to R: Our friends Dorothy and Cameron, Matthew, me, Justin, Jenny and my MIL, Linda.
Hooray!Love this picture! :)
This has been such a growing experience for me. I've come to appreciate myself and understand that I can do anything I set my mind to. I've lost 20 pounds since starting the 30-day Shred and my 5K training. I'd like to run a 10K on Pioneer Day (July 24th), but because of my busy schedule I haven't had a chance to start training.

I wish my father could have been here to watch my race. I know it seems silly, a 5K really isn't a terribly long distance, but I honestly never expected that I could, or that I ever would finish. I can't believe it's been almost 7 years since he passed away. I think about him everyday and this experience has made me feel closer to him. He always loved running and it was something he tried to get me to love. I only wish it didn't take this long. I wish we could have enjoyed this together. When the doves were released at the starting line, I looked toward the sky and tears fell down my cheeks, at that moment I wished he was there cheering me on. I'm sure he was a lot closer than I realize.

I ran this race in honor of him, but more importantly, I ran this race for me.
In taking time for myself, I realized that I am worth the time and the effort. I've learned that I have more to give others; I CAN love myself and feel amazing when I reach my goals, not because I received praise from another, but because I feel good about my accomplishments.

Yard Sale Fund Raiser

WARNING: Extremely long post ahead, but I'd still love you to read it! ;)

I've been meaning to post for several days now. Work has been extremely busy. I received a promotion at the beginning of May. While my position hasn't changed, the workload has significantly increased. I could probably work 12 hour days and still feel behind. I feel so blessed to have such a great job that keeps me busy and gives me opportunities to excel, especially with the economy.

I get home from work every night and find myself wrapped up in Girl's Camp preparations, 5K training, or other projects that I've been working on which have included sewn tote bags for birthday gifts, baby shower and bridal shower invitations, the secret Girl's Camp project, and other projects I can't name until after a certain baby shower next weekend. All of these projects keep me up until the wee hours of the morning. I've gone to bed past 2 every night this week and have still managed to get myself out of bed and to work by 8:30 every morning. I'm exhausted!!!

I have so much to post, so I'll start with our Yard Sale Fundraiser. It was scheduled for May 2nd, but we were rained out so we had to postpone until the following weekend (May 9th). I was grateful for the extra week. It allowed us more time to prepare for the Yard Sale and come up with a sweet little (actually BIG) contraption that we could hang all of the clothes on which allowed us more room in the yard for other items. It was a great idea that was possible because of my cute hubby's engineering and craftsmanship. :)

The signage below I worked hours on. I came up with a genius idea that if I used the cricut machine they would look amazing!!!! Little did I know how long it would actually take to create 18 (that's right I said 1-8) of the bad boys below! Thankfully, we had a friend recommend spray adhesive that saved our life, otherwise I think my hands would have fallen off in the gluing process. My wonderful hubby stepped up to the plate to help me again and so did my sweet SIL Jenny!! We busted out the glueing in only 2.5 hours. Jenny then came up with the wonderful idea of laminating the posters so we could use them in the future. GENIUS!!! I did get them laminated and from what I heard they were the best yard sale signs in Utah County! :)

Saturday morning started around 5am. We woke up and went to get breakfast for the girl's and start organizing. The yard sale was located at a neighbor's home so we had to head over early to get all of the clothing, furniture, etc. set up that was stored in our trailer and under a tarp in the neighbor's backyard. (I have never seen a tarp as big as this one in my entire life. We had another neighbor offer to let us borrow it when the weather turned bad the week before. The tarp literally saved our Yard Sale. Without it, I'm afraid we would have lost most of the items that were donated).

It took us over an hour to transfer all of the items from the back to the front yard. By 7:15 I was in a panic. The signs were not on their cardboard boxes, the yard was not organized, the clothes were not hung and we still didn't even have the big items from the trailer out yet. We continued to work and miraculously we were pretty close to perfect by the time 8am rolled around.

The beginning, mostly organized...

I was pretty scared that we weren't selling much. The clothes were flying off the racks at a doller per item, but none of the big ticket items were going anywhere. I just knew there was no way we'd get even close to making as much as we had the previous year. But we continued...

The sweet clothing rack made by hubby and friend.

By noon, we decided to go inside and count the money to determine how much we had made so far....

I was shocked when at noon we had made almost $1,000.00. Which already surpassed what we had made the prior year and we still had at least $100 in the cash box and still a steady crowd. At that point we started doing $1.00 per grocery bag. Anything you can fit into a bag is $1.00. Genius idea really, we sell our stuff for cheap and it leaves the yard so we have less to haul to DI. During this next stretch we went in shifts to buy slurpies for all of our hard work.

My cute girls
At 1:30 we started putting free signs on stuff and it kept disappearing. People were still stopping by and purching $1.00 bag packed with anything and everything. The yard started to look a little empty.

The monitor was one of the last things to go, but it did go for FREE! We started to clean-up and we made it home by 4:00pm and had earned over $1,300.00.

I feel so blessed to be in this calling. Things always work out, I don't know why I doubt it so much, but we were blessed. The girls were troopers and stayed most of the day. They even stayed around after I told them all they could go home. There were so many small and large acts of kindness from the neighborhood, community and our ward. I'm so happy it all worked out!

If you're planning to do a Yard Sale in the future, here are a few tips.

* Signage is everything!!! If you have great signs, you will get more traffic.
* $1.00 per bag 1-2 hours before you're finished really brings in the revenue.
* If people are still showing up-don't put your stuff away!
* Craigslist and local classifieds are your best friend! You can generally post online for free and you'll see more traffic.
* Friends tell their friends about your Yard Sale if you're willing to negotiate and bring your cost down.

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My worlds collide...

This past week was so incredibly busy. The time is flying and my worlds are colliding. I've put together some photos of the last few weeks, more to come after I get through another busy weekend!

Grace & I on Easter Morning!
Matthew & I
Spending time with the fam, flying kites on Easter- it was such a beautiful day!Let's go fly a kite!Seriously, only the second time in my life flying a kite- I loved it!
Matthew's family always received kites for Easter! We spent Sunday afternoon flying our kites and I'm now convinced that we will carry on the same tradition! It was a beautiful day and such a great way to spend time together as a family, even little Grace and Andrew had fun!

This past week I had my mom in town for Women's Conference. My sister Lori came along with her sweet little girl Nora. It was a stressful week-Yard Sale prep all week with the Yard Sale scheduled for Saturday. AND Matthew's sister coming home from her mission. I wasn't sure I was going to get through the week and I struggled trying to find the time to enjoy my family.

My mom and Lori drove in late Tuesday night. Wednesday I took a half day at work and we went up to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point. It was so beautiful. Lori and Nora took some pictures together.

Wednesday evening was spent with the Young Women- collecting items from the neighborhood for the yard sale and sorting everything so that we were ready for Saturday.

Thursday-I worked all day and attempted to get more things put together for the yard sale that night. We also went to dinner with Lori & Nora to PF Chang's.

Friday was packed-I spent the morning taking flyers around the neighborhood for the yard sale. Then I headed to Costco to get breakfast for the next morning. I got home just in time to shower and then we were headed to the airport.

Matthew's sister, Ashlee, arrived home on Friday from Uruguay where she spent the last 18 months serving the Lord. We met her at the airport and then spent the evening in Bountiful with his family. It was so neat to hear of her experiences and the people of Uruguay.

Saturday, we woke up at 5:30am to rain and wind. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the Yard Sale and push it back to this Saturday. I was stressed about making that decision, but it worked out for the best. After it had rained all morning, the sun broke through the sky about 12:30- just as we would have been finishing the Yard Sale!!! Of all the luck! I was able to spend the day with my mom and sister, and then spend a few hours with Matthew's family in the evening.

My favorite part of the weekend was watching Nora dance to Britney Spears!! She's just like her mama!!

This week is another busy one: More yard sale prep and Camp meetings. Ashlee's homecoming, Mother's Day and so much more!!! Hopefully I can get some R&R in with my favorite man!!!

PS. 16 days to my 5K!!! My training is going awesome and I feel incredible! I can't wait! :)