Thursday, December 31, 2009

Feeling Resolute

How did you do on your New Year's Resolutions for 2009?

Perhaps your New Year's Resolution journey of 2009 bore some resemblance to mine. I took out my newly purchased, virgin notebook with the neat cover and not a single page scribbled on. Just like I envisioned 2009 to be. I listed what I wanted to do (in categories) and even went for smaller goals which then would add up to bigger goals.

I did good in January. I started slipping a little in February, and then by March I hid it in the bottom of my nightstand drawer so it would quit mocking me. Sound familiar?

As 2010 draws near, I've been thinking about New Year's Resolutions. And of course, me being such a list-nerd, I will make some. But first I want to share some of my thoughts.

*Warning: Old-person type ponderings are about to follow.

The older I get the more I realize that, for me, the most precious commodity is time. It never stops, it's finite, and you can never take back time you have wasted. The tradition of making New Year's Resolutions is really about prioritizing our time. You sit down and consciously think about what is really important.

A website on prioritizing techniques says this: "Prioritizing skills are your ability to see what tasks are more important at each moment and give those tasks more of your attention, energy, and time. You focus on what is important at the expense of lower value activities."

My hubby has a saying that drives my children nuts, but is so true:

You can do anything you want, just not everything you want.

May I suggest this year that for your New Year's Resolutions you really think about what's important and re-prioritize. Set resolutions that will focus on those things, rather than cluttering up the list with things that are good to focus on, but may not be the best to focus on. Don't sacrifice your time on lower value activities.

That's what I'm going to do.

Of course, I could always follow Calvin's example:

Have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Here's my favorite Christmas Carol, "Carol of the Bells," and a really cool version of it.

I love how it has the lyrics, because even though Carol of the Bells is my favorite, I never bothered looking up the words. I just sort of mumble-sang-along. "Oh hear the bells, mumble silver bells, mumble mumble ring" etc. *sheepish*

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting Creative

Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

In the thankful frame of mind

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to those things we are thankful for—and gorging ourselves with monstrous amounts of food. So, in the Thanksgiving spirit, I will share some of those things that make my heart swell with gratitude. BUT I want to dig a little deeper than the normal list of blessings: family, friends, house, cars, freedom, security, blah, blah, blah. Here are some more overlooked, but equally wonderful, blessings that I am thankful for.

• Central Air (with programmable thermostats) – can you even imagine life without it? I can, because I grew up without it.
• Power windows – Remember the days of the crank handle? Or, if it was like my car, the days when the handle didn’t work and you had to open the door, put a hand on each side of the window and wiggle it up or down.
• Email – Blessed, blessed email. I don’t have enough room to wax poetic about it.
• Twitter and Facebook – I can pretend to be social without ever having to actually speak to someone face to face.
• Electric Blankets – truly marvelous, especially the ones with 2 controllers so that I can crank my side up and be toasty warm while hubby has his side totally off and is usually sleeping on top of the covers.
• Indoor Plumbing – all you have to do is consider the alternative: outhouse in the middle of January or chamber pots. Yikes!
• Duct tape – the cure-all for even the most repair-challenged.
• Flash Drives – I am thankful for these with the very core of my being. Maybe you have not had your computer crash the day before a 400 page manuscript deadline, only to have all of your backup on discs, then go from friend to friend to friend to find that they don’t even make computers with a disc drive anymore. (Okay, breathe… I’m hyperventilating just remembering. And yes, this was a few years ago, so don’t think me that technologically-challenged.)
• Online backup – it was the best decision I put off for a year and then finally did 3 weeks before a complete computer crash.
• Cleaning magic erasers – you know, the white ones that get off practically anything? I would like to rain kisses on whoever invented it. Probably a woman, so maybe just shake her hand.
• Seamless running socks – they are worth every penny.
• Disposable Diapers – I don’t care how much money you want to save, dunking rags in the toilet to wash off the poop is so not worth it. Trust me, I’ve tried it.
• Microwaveable Pot Pies – I love the things, but heating up a whole oven for one weeny little pot pie and then having to wait 35 minutes for it to cook? I don’t think so! Now pop it in for 4 minutes and Voila!
• Calluses – I go without shoes as often as possible when it’s warm enough so my feet get lots of these.
• Sun – Ahhhh. Vitamin D!
• Homestarrunner – LOL
• Digital cameras – just keep clicking, just keep clicking. Clicking, clicking, clicking.
• Thesaurus/ – I cannot elaborate, announce, declare, affirm, convey, or verbalize how utterly, conclusively, and entirely appreciative I am for this website.
• Emergen-C – my coffee.
• My iPod – if my house were on fire and my family were safe outside, I might dive back into the burning building for my iPod. And my computer. And my pictures. Anyway… I love my iPod.
• Books – some people drink, some take drugs. I’m addicted to books.

Seriously though, above all I am thankful for all the special people I am privileged to know and love: my family, my friends and neighbors, and my brothers/sisters in the crazy, schizophrenic world of being a writer. You enrich my life. I am thankful for those who sacrifice for others and for the miracles I have witnessed. Please remember to take a moment and count your blessings this Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Keep Your Eyes on the Summit

A couple months ago on a Friday night some friends invited me on a hike early Saturday morning. We're not talking just a hike, though, we're talking Hike, with a capital "H." As in leaving at 5:00 a.m. and hiking for 12.4 miles and 10 hours up to the summit of a mountain, 11,749 feet in elevation. I see this mountain every day when I set foot outside, and I've always wanted to go to the top. But I had a list of things I planned on getting to on Saturday, and it was last minute. Plus it would be cold, and dark, and I was pretty tired from a long week. So I wasn't sure if I would go or not.

I spent an hour debating in pure Libra fashion. My husband finally turned to me and told me to list the pros and cons. There were several cons, and two pros: it would be fun and I've always wanted to do it. He said, "You can do all those other things any time, but this opportunity doesn't come along very often. I think you should go."

Which meant that he would watch the kids and clean the house all by himself while I was off playing. (I love that man.)

So I told my friends I was in and quickly packed. When the alarm went off at 4:30 and I was making myself eat a bowl of oatmeal, I was still questioning my decision. It was an adventure hiking in the dark, especially when one of my water bottles leaked all over my backpack, sweatshirt, and pants.

Then the sun started to come up.

And the aspen leaves whispered in the the breeze.

And it illuminated further than just two feet in front of me. I was no longer just avoiding rocks and mud and blindly following a trail someone else had made.

I could finally see--really see. And every single reservation disappeared.

It was still all uphill, but now I could see my amazing journey!

The goal was the very top. Yep, that very top.

There were many other people on the same path. Traveling the same journey. And we waved and smiled at each other. I felt safe that if something happened to me or my friends, there were dozens of others around who could--and would--help. We were all in the journey together.

At times the going was hard and maybe a little scary.

But we kept our eyes on our ultimate goal: the summit.

And when we got there, hours after we started and with really tired legs, it was unbelievable. And worth every single step, stumble, water spill, and bathroom trip in the trees.

Whatever summit you're aiming for in life, keep your eyes trained on it. When the sun rises, look around and enjoy the incredible journey. Notice the others traveling the path with you. Smile at them, wave to them, and stop to help.

And when you finally reach the top, it will all be worth it. Because anything really worth it is worth the hike to get there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Letter of Apology

Dear Blogosphere,

I must apologize for my neglect the last little while. You see, I'm doing this crazy fun writing project called NaNoWriMo (where you write a 50,000 word book in 30 days) and I'm so stubborn tenacious that I sometimes move along at a snail's pace just to make sure I'm still moving. So some days I don't always have time for you.

To all the blogs stacking up in Google Reader, I'm sorry. I will probably neglect you for a few more weeks, and by then I'll probably have 2000 un-read posts and might just have to clear them all and start over. But I'm sure your blogs are great.

To all my bloggy friends who are still posting awesome blogs while racking up insane wordcounts in NaNoWriMo, I'm sorry. You won't see many comments from me, but know I still love you. And you make me sick--in a purely loving, writer-crush kind of way.

To my own blog with its dashboard full of half-written, meaty, content-filled posts on Twitter, habits of successful writers, and other topics oozing profundity, I'm sorry. Please bear with me. Once I don't feel like brain cells are oozing out my ear by lunchtime I will finish you all--pinky promise. But maybe not until December, because not many writer-types would be reading them until then anyway.

To my husband who would like to play a leisurely game of whatever on the computer without his wife hovering and giving him the evil eye, I'm sorry. I know the computer isn't mine, just mostly mine. And I'll try and take my twitchiness in the other room.

To my butt that has spent a lot of time parked in the computer chair, I'm sorry. And I'm sorry for the treadmill workout this morning. But you are spending a lot of time parked in the computer chair.

To my Christmas shopping list and my yard work and my basement, I'm sorry. I'll get to you before Christmas. At least I hope I will.

To my friends and neighbors who I walk right past without acknowledging, I'm sorry. I'm not really being snooty, I'm just concentrating on stuff like plot points and character arc. Just peek at the contents in my shopping cart and if they look totally random then chances are I'm in my own book world.

To my Twitter and Facebook followers who've had to endure some really weird tweets the last week, I'm sorry. I'm blowing off steam and I *think* I make sense, even though sometimes I don't.

To my family who wonder if sometimes mom has gone off her rocker, I'm sorry. *hugs*

To my main character who just got made a complete fool of by genetically engineered kittens, I'm NOT sorry. And you better buckle up, buddy, cause it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Warmest regards,


Monday, November 9, 2009

Like Twilight? Give Firelight A Try.

Hilarious SNL parody of Twilight starring Taylor Swift.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Cannot Do My Run Today

This is a fabulous poem inspired by Shel Silverstein's poem "I Cannot Go To School Today." I cannot claim any of the brilliance, this is all If you like it please pop on over there to comment.

“I cannot do my run today,”
Said little Jack or John or Kay.
“I have shin splints and the runs,
A gash, a rash and achey buns.

My mouth is wet, my throat feels like Charmin,
My sunglasses broke and I lost my Garmin.
My hamstrings are as tight as rocks,
I’ve counted eight different chafing spots.

And there’s one more, that makes it nine,
I have the flu, maybe swine.
My heels hurt, it must be plantar fasciitis,
And on top of that
I have achilles tendonitis.

I feel queasy, running makes me choke,
My last track workout was a joke.
My hips hurt when I move my legs,
My hamstrings feel like scrambled eggs.

My back is tweaked, my ankle’s sprained,
My ITBS flares each time it rains.
I get dizzy when I stand too fast,
I have six blisters on my left calf.

My foot has a stress fracture,
My psoas is weak,
I hardly talk about when running when I speak.

My favorite shoes are losing their sole,
I think my motivation is starting to go.

My arches are flat, my gait is off,
My rock hard abs are going soft.

I have runner’s knee, there are holes in my waterproof gear,
My brand new compression socks are covered in beer.

I have a neuroma, my quad is…

What? What’s that you say?
You say…. that it’s my day to race?

Goodbye then! I’m going out to run my PR pace!”

Monday, November 2, 2009

Candy! Candy! Candy!

I don't buy candy just to have in the house. And it's not because my kids don't like candy. (Oh, they do! They really do!) It's because candy holidays are spaced pretty good to make sure we're almost always stocked up. And now that the Humongous-Candy-Fest otherwise known as Halloween has just passed, we are set until Christmas. All that will be left just in time for all the Christmas goodies are those orange and black peanut butter taffy things. Does anyone even eat those?

When the Trick-or-Treating was over and we surveyed the haul, I noticed something quite amusing.

Here's Professor's candy horde:

And Turbo's loot:

And Princess's:

Notice how they are all arranged into categories. Perhaps OCD tendencies are genetic. Dare I hope this will somehow translate into keeping her room clean? *please* (Remember this)

Let the Sugar Overdosing begin...

Friday, October 30, 2009

'Twas The Night Before Halloween

‘Twas The Night Before Halloween
©Lisa Barker

‘Twas the night before Halloween and all through the place not a candy was left how could Momma save face?

The kids were all tucked in their beds one through six while Momma was meeting her chocolate fix. The Hersheys were gone, the Snickers were, too, even the eyeballs with caramel goo. Wrappers and boxes and baggies galore littered the kitchen, the table and floor.

When what to Mom’s wandering eyes should appear but the floating Great Pumpkin with a glowering sneer. Shrieking in fright to her bed she did fly begging forgiveness for each pumpkin pie.

But the scene was a farce and not really real - the result of a sugar high and not the real deal. Still, the kids, now awake, cried out in shock when they discovered the candy bowl empty of stock.

“Hey, Mother, what gives? Where’s the candy galore? To the store you must go and get us some more!”

But none of the shops carried such folly. Instead they were decked with red bows and green holly.

“Christmas already? But it’s still October!”

“We’re sorry ma’am, trick-or-treating is over.”

“Oh, you can’t mean that!” mom cried, and looked hurt…as she throttled the clerk by the front of his shirt. “My kids are at home and they’re counting on me! Surely you must have some spooky candy!”

“Sorry again, ma’am, it really is true. In just a few weeks it’ll be Easter anew.”

Sometimes it happens, that a mom goes berserk. It could be at home or at church or at work. The pressures of life begin to take toll and Mom will assume an insane kind of role.

It happened that night, folks say in hushed whispers, when Momma took hostages while still in her slippers. “I want candy for goblins and I want it now! Bring me lollies and taffy and bags of brown cows!”

Even the cops couldn’t reason with Mum and they had to call Papa who came on the run. “Mother, dear Mother, please try to calm down. There’s plenty of candy all over town. Why, just as we speak the neighbors prepare to hand out some treats or a hearty good scare!”

“That’s right!” said dear Mom, “How could I have forgotten? There’ll be plenty of candy to make their teeth rotten. I just can’t explain it; can’t understand why. I’d completely forgotten the night that draws nigh.”

“Maybe you need to lay off the sweets. Let the kids get dressed up and do tricks or treats.”

Mom nodded dumbly and said with a frown, “I guess I’ve been foolish all over town. I just needed chocolate to help me keep calm, so hopefully we’ll forget this by the time it turns dawn.”

The town folks all said that they definitely did. They couldn’t recall that mom just flipped her lid. Well, who could blame her, who’d even dare? Look at the kids that are in her good care. Sometimes they’re sweet and a joy to behold, but sometimes don’t do what they’ve simply been told.

It’s not easy on Mom, it’s not easy on Dad, to not go berserk with the blessings they’ve had. So maybe we all should—one night in October—allow moms and dads to hand sanity over. Let them go nuts; let them go wild. Remember it’s all for the sake of a child.

Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Don't Always Trust the Spell Check Squiggle

The Spell Chequer

Owed Two A Spell Chequer

Eye halve a spelling chequer,
it came with my pea sea.
It plainly marques, four my revue,
miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
and weight four it two say,
Weather eye am wrong oar write
it shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid,
it nose bee fore two long.
And eye can put the error rite
it's rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it,
I am shore your pleased two no.
Its letter perfect awl the weigh,
my chequer tolled me sew.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

If My Boys Designed Barbie Dolls

My two boys are repulsed by all things girl. Easy Bake Ovens, mermaids, princesses, sequins, and dress ups are never free from their derision and ridicule. This morning when I overheard a conversation between them that involved the word
of course I stopped to listen. It turned out they were talking about the kind of Barbie dolls that toy companies should make. After I heard a couple of their ideas I knew I had a blog post on my hands. So, I asked them to elaborate.

Get ready for the New Barbie!!
Like you've never seen her before! (I promise.)

The Bodily Function Barbie Line:
  • Barfing Barbie - with a jeweled barf bowl
  • Burping Barbie - a dial on the back goes from "burp" to "belch"
  • Farting Barbie - a stylish outfit sporting blue flames
  • Diarrhea Barbie - for a special time only she comes with her own commode

The Action Barbie Line:
  • Bazooka Barbie - with the push of a button, the bazooka fires real missiles
  • Lunatic Barbie - her hair stands on end like magic
  • Suicide Bomber Barbie - with strap-on dynamite
  • D-Day Barbie - she's amphibious
  • Terminator Barbie - with glowing red eyes
  • French Revolution Barbie - she'll never have a bad hair day

The Paranormal Line:
  • Zombie Barbie - pull a string and she moans "brains"
  • Ghost Barbie - the only transparent Barbie
  • Vampire Barbie - Fangs never looked so fab

The Just Plain Disturbing Line:
  • Black Lung Barbie - accessorize with a pickax and coal car
  • Rabies Barbie - with foam-at-the-mouth action
  • Truck Stop Barbie - she swears like a truck driver (parental guidance suggested)
  • Circus Freak Barbie - hair, tattoos, piercings, and more hair
  • Blow Fly Barbie - squeeze her stomach and gel flies ooze out of her limbs

And there's plenty more where that came from. I've never seen my boys so excited to talk dolls.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quote to live by

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”

---Lance Armstrong

Monday, October 12, 2009

Today's Word

discombobulate - [dis-kum-bob-yuh-leyt] - verb (used with object)

to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate

I am completely discombobulated by computer events the last couple of days. I went to bed Saturday night and everything was fine. On Sunday morning my oldest son told me there was a weird dialogue box when he turned on the computer and every personal setting, document, picture, music file, bookmark, etc. was gone. The computer looked like when we turned it on the first time out of the box. *panic* Luckily I have online backup (aside: Get it. Do it. It's so worth $5 a month) and so I started restoring everything - a process that would take 12 hours.

Then hours later the online backup program showed that it had paused the restore and gone through its routine daily backup, and listed the files that had been changed. What??? It shouldn't have had anything to change, because there were no more files left! But what was even more valuable was it listed the changed files and their location on the computer, which was some freaky TEMP file where whatever had happened had stashed *everything*. So I hadn't lost everything. In fact, I now had duplicates of whatever the restore had gotten to. So I went on a hunt and delete party. I only got through most of the documents, and none of the pictures or music.

Then this morning I turned on the computer and my desktop wallpaper of Saturday was back (which it wasn't on Sunday) as well as all my internet settings, and my documents and pictures in the right places and not duplicated. There are a few files missing that I've quickly restored from my backup, but I'm sure I wasn't hallucinating all day yesterday because my family all saw it.

And that's why there hasn't been a good post with pics over the weekend, because all my photos disappeared, then relocated to a strange file in the cobwebby corners of my hard drive, and then popped back into place.

I'm beginning to suspect that my computer is possessed. I think it's been fraternizing with my hot water heater. *staring suspiciously at other appliances*

Monday, October 5, 2009

Soft Pretzel Recipe

This is a favorite at our house. (I'd love to claim the credit, but Jason's the one who always makes these.) Delicious!

Soft Pretzels

1 1/8 cups water (around 70-80 degrees F)
3 tablespoons light corn syrup (or can use brown sugar)
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons margarine (cut into 4 pieces)
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda

non-stick cooking spray
4 tablespoons margarine (melted)
coarse sea salt

Place the first five ingredients in the bread machine in the order they are listed (putting one margarine piece in each corner of the bread maker and the yeast in the center of the flour).

Select the “Dough” setting on the bread machine and let it run its cycle (should take about 80-90 minutes).

When cycle is complete, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into eight balls.

In a saucepan, combine water and baking soda and bring to a boil.

While soda water is heating up, use your hands to roll each ball into a rope about 20 inches long and then form into pretzel shape.

Carefully lower pretzels (one at a time) into the boiling soda water for about 10 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon, and place onto paper towel.

Spray baking sheet, place pretzels, baste them with butter, and liberally sprinkle salt.

Bake at 425 degrees F for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Kids Are Like Horses

Yes, my kids sometimes walk on all fours. And when Princess dresses up in her Hawaiian grass skirt you'd think a horse was eating hay in her room, but I'm referring to a specific way my kids are like horses.

Sugar cubes.

Some of you may not have had the joy yet of building a 3D model of one of the Seven Wonders of the World out of sugar cubes. Lucky for us, we've reached this milestone of life!

We are now the proud owners of a 2 1/2 foot high (slightly crooked) sugar cube model of the Lighthouse of Alexandria!

Artist's depiction of the lighthouse.

And our lighthouse.

But, as Professor was sure to point out to me, it can't be too perfect. It has to be sixth grade work.

I learned something about my children during this process. They have as much of a fascination with sugar cubes as do horses. The boxes of cubes on the counter were like black holes of temptation, sucking them over to stare with longing and pester me with questions.

"Mom, can we open them?" "I just want to see what they look like!" "Can I taste one?" "I just want to see them." "Can't we just look?" "What do they feel like?" "What do they taste like?"

My daughter even went so far as to shake the box of cubes so that grains of sugar would fall out, and then she would lick the sugar off the counter top. I wish I were kidding.

And then when we actually *opened* the first box to start making the model--the joy! The rapture! The requests to eat "just one"!

I did let them each have a cube. You'd think it was the greatest thing since... well ... sugar.

Lucky for us, we still have half a box left.

Maybe I should give them away as Christmas presents.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Last Saturday I got home from hiking a mountain with friends (yes, a blog complete with pictures is forthcoming) and discovered that Princess was on a story kick. And in our house, you don't just read stories or tell stories, you also write stories.

I am so proud. *sniff*

Sit back and enjoy Tales of a Six Year Old Imagination, by Princess Theler.

1. The Magic Ball

Once upon a time there was a dog who was playing with a magic ball. When he rolled the ball cats came out of it. When he bounced the ball water came out of it. He chased the cats and he drank the water. When he bit the ball paper airplanes came out of it. Then he went inside to sleep.

2. The Shop

Once upon a time there was a boy named Turbo* and a girl named Princess*, who wanted to start a shop. So they went and they got some wood and some nails and Turbo got the hammer. So they built the shop. Then they got some toys and some clothes. People came. Then Turbo and Princess got rich.

*names have been changed to protect privacy

3. Unnamed

Once upon a time there was a starfish who was looking for a friend. He looked and looked for a friend. He found a friend named Flippy. They played and they played. Then they got tired. Then they fell asleep. The next day the woke up then they ran and ran. They they got married and they had a baby.

4. Me and My Dad

My dad is so nice and I love him so much and he loves me so much.

*illustrated with a stick figure dad and stick figure daughter holding hands next to a large, orange heart.

5. Princess's Wish

Once upon a time there was a girl named Princess who wanted to meet a princess named Cinderella. There was many people. Princess was waiting until Cinderella said, "Princess? Come here. Let's do a makeover." When they were done there was spiderwebs all over the castle. Cinderella said there was a spiderweb spray on the mountains. So they went and got the spiderwebs spray and they sprayed the castle and Princess became a hero.

6. Untitled

Once upon a time there was a girl named Princess who had a magic cat. When she petted the cat it made another cat. When she chased the cat it went "meow" over and over. When she fell asleep the cat fell asleep.

7. Rainbows - a picture book
(illustrated in full color)

Rainbows are pretty. Rainbows are up in the sky. Rainbows are made out of water and dust.

The End

I love it that Princess makes her own books. I think she's been watching me. :) And I know there are more stories than that around the house, but those are all I can find at the moment. And it's so much cuter seeing it in her writing, but I'm too lazy to scan everything in.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

RedRock Wrapup

It's time to wrap up the RedRock Relay (which we're already planning on running again next year - yea!). Our van's turn was up and we drove through the beautiful Kolob area of Zion's National Park to the next van exchange in lovely La Verkin. Get ready for some absolutely gorgeous pics! I had a hard time deciding which ones to post, so I'm posting a lot of them. :)

This terrain reminded me a lot of where I grew up. *sniff*

The road less traveled...

Notice the dark clouds in the background? That's a nasty hail storm we just missed. (I found out about it in the middle of the night when we ran into a friend who had to run through it.) The weather for the whole race was just crazy!

You know why we're so happy? Cause we're not the ones running in 94 degree heat. (Poor Jenny.)

Not only is this a cool pic, but I had to capture the misspelled sign. (Sorry, writer-nerdiness.) I know for a fact the ones organizing the race were suffering from worse sleep deprivation than any of us.

Leaving Zion's...

... and on to the important stuff, like FOOD!

This was after we went to a grocery store, bought a few cases of bottled water, and got several strange looks as we laughed uncontrollably about counting items in the shopping cart ahead of us. Trust me, you had to be there.

Next up, some attempted sleep and then running in the middle of the night--with more crazy weather.

It started out hot and muggy, then progressed to a sprinkle, then a spectacular two-hour lightning storm across the middle of nowhere desert.

I tried and tried to get a picture of the amazing lightning, but my little camera couldn't catch it. I haven't seen a storm like that in years.

And then just before I was to start my relay leg, the heavens opened and dumped buckets and buckets of water. I was sopping in 5 seconds flat and ran in a literal stream of water running down the side of the road. My headlamp and visor kept slipping into my eyes because I was so wet they couldn't stay on. You'll notice the lack of pictures as my teammates stayed mostly dry in the car.

After a glorious hot shower and two hours of sleep in a real bed (thanks Elaine's aunt & uncle!), we were ready to head out again to finish the race.

The other van was very happy to be finished with their part.

Why yes, that is another hill...

More scenery that reminds me of where I grew up. *sniff again*

This is me starting on my last leg, which was the most beautiful, amazing, gorgeous 4.3 miles I have ever run. Hands down!

I don't have any pictures of Snow Canyon itself, because I was flying so fast the van barely caught up to me in time.

Okay, that's perhaps a *little* exaggeration, but I did run pretty fast. Gotta love downhill. :)

Here we are at the finish line. Not first, but not last either. And sooo happy to be there.

Van #2

Moms Run Amok *will* be back!