Thursday, September 30, 2010

September MauldenNews

I'm moving the Maulden newsletter to my blog. So here it is.

This month was the Month of Perpetual Fun at our house. Every weekend we did something different, and though I hadn't planned that, I like the way it turned out. Except for this...courtesy of Salt Lake County.

Labor Day weekend we camped with our church in the mountains outside of Coalville, UT, about 1.5 hours away. We had a bigger turnout, meaning some poor unsuspecting campers wound up sharing their cabin with us. Both kids fell out of their bottom bunks in the middle of the night, sending me or Bryan scrambling down from the top bunks to rescue them. I got up early one morning to run (training for the half marathon), and enjoyed a gorgeous morning, with beautiful scenery and a deep quiet that I don't get in the city...very, very nice.

September 11 - ran a half marathon in the Little Grand Canyon! Awesome. Great weather, great friends to run with, great scenery, great food afterwards. Love the endorphins and the feeling of being in the best shape of my life! Even better, I raised over $1000 for Holt Ilsan Center in Korea. THANK YOU everyone - you are good people!

September 18 - Alex milked her first cow at Wheeler Farm...

gave all of us tattoos...

and experimented with my camera during the car ride to Cascade Springs.

We had a wonderful time there...

until Sam fell in the creek.  Of course, we had brought a change of clothes.

Next weekend was the Oktoberfest at Alex's school. Rides! Games! Candy! Lederhosen! Bratwurst! Beer (in Utah!?!?!) Sauerkraut! and a special appearance by Yodel Man. Yeah, didn't know he existed but he has his own costume and can get a whole crowd of kids yodeling. We won free swimming lessons at the silent auction, but missed out on getting the principal's parking spot for a year - a total steal at $35. Speaking of winning, I also won a CD collection of Mahler's complete works, in a daily drawing for donating to our local classical music station. Mahler is OK, I guess, but I kinda wish it were something else. One friend's opinion of Mahler has always stuck with me: "Whenever I finish hearing Mahler, I feel like I have to ask what century it is." Maybe I can sell it on e-bay??

And as if all that weren't enough, we went to the Ringling Bros/Barnum & Bailey circus too. It was nuts, we paid way too much for popcorn and cotton candy, and it was everything a circus should be.

And now September is over. I'm relieved. Having all this fun has been hard work. Plus, I had to give three different presentations for work this month, and public speaking stresses me out. Glad that's over! I did have a very nice evening with some friends at Silver Lake.

Oh yes - a reading update. Book of the month was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She's a writer and mom of 2 living in New York City who diligently researched happiness and then tried to pursue it intentionally for a year. I liked her honesty and sense of humor. After reading the book, I joined a book club, which I know will contribute to my happiness. :-) Next month we're reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

I will end with something I'm thankful for - we all went to the dentist this month and got good reports.

Til next time,


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Five good minutes

The question of the night (in our church group): How do you practice listening, or silence, or stillness in your life?

Recently I enjoyed skimming a little book called "Five Good Minutes in the Evening." It's a collection of little "practices" you can do to quiet your mind at the end of the day, touch base with God, or your body or breathing, and let go of the day. I like it. I often do some praying during this time.

How about you?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

morning chat with Sam

This morning Sam asked me, "How do you make bread?"

I told him about mixing up flour and water and yeast, stirring and kneading, and putting dough in the oven.

Then he chimed in, "And then you cut a piece off and send it to your tongue!"

Send it to your tongue. How do kids come up with stuff like this?

Goodnight, I'm going to go send a few chocolate covered acai berries to my tongue.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey

Took the kids to the circus today - their first time ever. Alex claimed she did not want to go, but once we were there, she loved it. She kept yelling at the trapeze artists to "Be careful up there! That is VERY DANGEROUS!"

It's one of those things I would never do if I didn't have kids, but I enjoy it because I do have kids.

It was a good show - I especially liked the acrobats and the high flyers. The looks on the kids' faces as they gaped in amazement with their mouths wide open: priceless.

An act I don't remember seeing as a child: seven guys on motorcycles zooming around inside a giant metal cage, in the dark, with glow-in-the-dark helmets and uniforms on. Cool. Overall, I think the circus is better than I remember as a kid. I still don't really laugh at the clowns, though.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

new 10K PR

This morning: 10K in 1:04:27 - a new personal record (PR)! Tammy deserves the real credit - I was pushing to keep up with her. It was a beautiful morning on the Jordan River trail - loved being out there - and what a treat to go with a friend. It was totally worth the 4:40 a.m. wake-up.

OK, that was more than one sentence, but I reserve the right to take liberties on my own blog. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sam time

In reading "The Happiness Project" for a new book club, I am intrigued by the idea of writing a one-sentence journal. Maybe if I only had to write one sentence, I would blog more often.

Anyway, one thing the book made me think about is how all the little moments go by so fast. "The days are long, but the years are short." I wanted to remember something that happened this week.

I've been reading a really good book about raising adopted kids. The most recent chapter talked about "facial exploration" and how some adopted kids are fascinated with exploring their new parents' faces. Maybe as infants they didn't get the chance to do this as much as children who stayed with their birth parents. The book encouraged parents to help their children learn to explore - gently - and mirror their kids' actions to promote connection.

Anyway, the very next morning after reading that chapter, Sam came and climbed up in my lap when he woke up. He and I often are the first ones up in the morning, and we enjoy our special one-on-one time. This morning, I was smiling at him. He looked into my eyes, reached out one finger and gently touched my teeth. "Teeth," he said. I touched his front teeth and replied, "Teeth."

He touched my nose. "Nose," I said. "Nose," he replied.

Then he touched my eyes. "Eyes." I touched his eyes. "Eyes."

And so it went with cheeks, chin, lips, eyebrows, forehead. Then he touched my glasses and said, "Glasses." I reached toward his eyes and said, "No glasses!" And we both laughed.

I just wanted to remember this little game we played. It was very sweet.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Little Grand Canyon Half Marathon!

We did it!

This picture was taken only moments after crossing the finish line. Actually, I think I gulped a few bites of watermelon between the finish and this picture. Can you see the juice dripping down my chin?

It was cold at the start - upper 30's. Brrr!! Yes, I did have 3 layers on my top half and no, I did not get too hot at the end. I like to be warm.

The scenery was nice and the sun came up as we ran...ahhh...the weather was ideal, no wind and cloudless blue skies.

Isn't this a nice rock formation? Again, love the color of the sky. A beautiful cerulean blue.

This self-portrait was made at about mile 8. I think it was around that time I started to feel a little pickup from the triple-berry caffeinated goo (aka GU) that I sampled at the aid station. That stuff is weird. Like eating toothpaste. While running. Yeah. Weird.

More geologic wonderment.

Coolest feature of the run - ancient Native American pictographs painted on the canyon walls.

Holding up our medals (and Sno-Cone) at the end. We crossed the finish line together in 2:23 and something. Yay, us! and, a shout out to Jeff Galloway who gave us the virtual coaching and training schedule to finish strong. We ran 4 minutes, walked 1 min. the whole way except for the last mile which we ran in 9:39. Our average pace was between 10-11 min/mile, I think. We were soundly beaten by most of the crowd, of course, most notably by a couple pushing the cutest twins imaginable in a double stroller. On a dirt/gravel road. I marvel at the energy of any parents of infant twins to do such a thing. I really wish I had gotten pictures of the babies on the bus ride - they were smiling at everyone and really, really, really, really, really, really cute.

Speaking of pictures - all pictures (above) courtesy of my friend Tammy and nice friends along the way who helped out. There are more from Jessica's husband who captured us doing our warmup exercises, so maybe I'll add them later, if they're not too embarrassing. :-)

I am so grateful that I could do this! Grateful not only for a great race day, but for new friends and new experiences, even black toenails and weird goo along the way. I never imagined running would become a fun hobby for me. Life is strange, but good.

Last but not least - a huge thanks to all my friends and supporters - Holt's Ilsan Center is about to gain $1000 in donations! Thank you for making it happen. You're the best!