Sunday, October 20, 2013


Most of May was just about recovering from California but I had a big event - my very first sprint triathlon.  I actually already posted about it in one of my fitness blogs but I want to relive it.  :D

The kids love to use my camera and thanks to the digital age of photography I don't mind!  It's very interesting to see the world from their point of view.  This is apparently how Asher sees me and Jon.  It's pretty accurate, actually.

Kate is one funny kid.  Sometimes she just pops out with the funniest words or outfits.  She decided to become a modern cowgirl before bed on this occasion.  

In May I did my first-ever sprint triathlon called The Woman of Steel.  It was awesome.  AWESOME.  I'm so excited to do it again.  You should do it too.  If you're a woman.  My awesome sister-in-law's sister Sarah did it with me.  She is like Superwoman.

Most people training for a triathlon (or a distance variation within it) find swimming to be the most challenging bit and to be honest, when I started swimming it WAS difficult for me.  But spending twice a week to build my strength, to improve form and breathing, and to gradually get a little faster made the swim fairly comfortable for me.  I am by no means the fastest but I really felt good about the swim.  
My biggest issue with the swim is that people say they are faster than they really are, mostly so they wouldn't have to stand in the freezing cold for an hour.  I can't blame them for that, I guess.  We line up according to approximate swim time so I ended up trying to swim around people the whole time, especially as some people were just walking in the pool.  Next time I think I'll line up a little earlier than my time...

It's a weird part to love, but I love the transitions.  I love little tricks to make them faster.  I did pretty well except that I took my bike out of the wrong gate and lost about two minutes.  But I learned not to do that again.  :D

 I felt good about the run.  I actually did it way faster than I thought I would.  I just kept thinking that I didn't want to have any regrets about not pushing it harder. 

 All in all I was so happy with my whole experience and was so very glad I did it.  I felt like I achieved something I had wanted to do for a long time.  I am excited to do it next year.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sea World and the rest of vacation

 One of the best parts of vacation was just spending time together at the beach house.  Each found something to enjoy or just took time to relax.  We celebrated Easter over the weekend and got to watch the kids dye eggs, hunt for eggs and baskets, and make Easter dinner.  Nathan also celebrated his 40th birthday.  We partied hard with lots of cake and ice cream.

Kate sorting through her sea shells.  Nick kept warning her to boil them so they wouldn't stink.

Dying eggs with aunt LaRisse.

 Finding the baskets and eggs

 The tricky Easter bunny hid Kate's basket in the oven.  It took FOREVER to find but she was so proud when she did.

I made Cloud Cake for Easter dessert.  Here's a link to the recipe:
The house we were staying at didn't have a beater.  This really wouldn't be an issue except that I bought the ingredients before I realized there was no beater.  And it would take me hours to beat whip cream by hand.  So I found an open Walmart after about 3 hours of searching and got a $5 beater.  It was a huge hassle but at least we got our cloud cake.

 Nathan had a job blowing out all those candles so Darren helped him out.

Jon's other favorite part of vacation - doing nothing

We went to Sea World during the week.  It is one of Nathan's family's favorite places on earth.  Darren knows all his sea animals by name and was just mesmerized throughout the visit.  The shows were wonderful and I love that they concentrate on conservation. 

The ride Journey to Atlantis isn't anything extraordinary but the steep drop off into the water is just pure fun.  We all got a little wet and Grant got soaked.  They have dryers outside the ride that fit whole people in them but unfortunately it's around $5 so we just let the somewhat weak sun do the job.

  Asher has never been a patient boy, especially regarding his sister.  Such was the case standing in front of the Bat Ray.  Poor Kate just graciously agreed to give him his turn.

One of the funniest things there were the seals.  They have obviously learned that posing, barking, doing tricks gets them food.  The tourists can buy fish to toss and, if the seal is quicker than the bird, they are rewarded for their interaction with the people.  This one is quite a poser.

When I think Sea World I don't think of rides so I unfortunately didn't think to take Dramamine for my horrible motion sickness.  I didn't really think I would have to go on many beyond Atlantis.  The kids had other ideas.  I ended up on this Spinning Starfish ride.  I'd rather not remember anything else about it.

A mother's love for a child is extreme.  I selflessly demonstrated this at the end of the day.  Kate and Ainsley wanted to go on Shipwreck Rapids.  There was no line so we ended up just staying on the ride.  It wouldn't have been bad except that it wasn't really a warm day to begin with and by that time it was evening.  I got totally soaked and just shivered through dinner.  The girls had a great time.