Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tri, Tri Again!

It's the Windcrest Freshman Triathlon! Again! I was ready this year, though. Last year, I threw an outfit together from the clearance rack at Ross (and the shorts threatened to fall off during the run), I rode my cruiser (everybody passed me--EVERYBODY), I swam not one yard in preparation for the race and it showed, BIG TIME. I had nightmares the night before the race and was really just glad to finish. Period.

THIS year, however... I still didn't exactly have the competition quaking in their boots, but I had trained and had all the right equipment, which made a huge difference. I even had the padded bike shorts, which I HIGHLY recommend. A friend who knows his stuff found me a road bike on Ebay--a red Specialized that I named the Firebolt. (When it arrived Ella and I were in the middle of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban".) Having been swimming 3-4 times a week for several months I knew exactly how long it would take me to do the swim, and I would have been dead accurate had there not been a pileup of slow people in front of me the last 50 meters. I passed one guy and accidentally elbowed him in the face. I am so hard core! I didn't crash spectacularly on the bike (I had only ridden it a few times by race day and was still a little nervous on it), and I ran most, but not all, of the 2 mile foot race. When I got off the bike, I had serious spaghetti legs and was amazed that I managed not to fall on my face. I had it better than some, though--as I started running, I could hear the guy behind me throwing up. I had the presence of mind to be grateful that he was behind me and not in front of me. (I am pretty sure he passed me soon after that.) I ended up coming in 4th in my age group in both the bike and the swim, but nearly last in the run. My first tri inspired me to swim, my second has got me running. I'm doing my next tri in a month--wish me luck! I'll be happy if I can run the 3 miles on my spaghetti legs and not throw up.

You can read all about my triathlete transformation at

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Happy Easter 2011

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Fiesta, Y'all!

Fiesta in San Antonio is a BIG DEAL. It is a week-long festival with various events all around the city: parades, street fairs, carnivals, what have you. The second graders at Ella's school make "floats" and the rest of the school lines the halls while the second graders parade their creations through the school. It's a pretty fun tradition and the floats were fun. Ella and I worked together to give the Barbie on her float a gown with a long, sparkly train, in the tradition of the Fiesta "royalty" who ride in the parades and wear the most amazing beaded creations. Here are Ella and Natalie with their floats:

Natalie struck a pose in front of her future elementary school, wearing a traditional Fiesta crown:

Another Fiesta tradition is that of cracking confetti-filled eggs, called cascarones, over the heads of loved ones. (Well, loved ones, strangers, anyone you can catch, really.) Ella made cascarones at school and she and Natalie went crazy with them in our yard. This is what Natalie's head looked like when they were done:

Greg, who is in charge of the care and nurture of Natalie's hair, was thrilled. But what can I say? Who can resist sisters having fun together?

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Unforeseen Blessings

I think all five or so of you who follow our blog know this already, but I started teaching early morning Seminary this week. (See above photo. Don't we look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?) Hoo-boy, when they say "Early", they are not joking. I took my first nap (first of two, and then I was in bed before 10pm--the last time I hit the sack that early I was pregnant with Ella) at 9:30 yesterday morning. I was attempting to study in my comfy chair and couldn't keep my eyes open, so I put some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on for Nat and crashed on the couch for an hour, then woke up STARVING because my body thinks it's lunchtime at about 10am. I am suddenly remembering why I spent all of high school snacking through science and sleeping through French. early Morning Seminary.

In addition to the wacky biorhythms, the last week or two have been emotionally exhausting. Extended family turmoil, an altercation with a neighbor over our guests' right to park on the (public) street in front of her house, a baby shower at our house at which a friend missed a step coming down the stairs and broke her foot... Did I mention that said friend is 6 months pregnant? The baby is fine, thank goodness, but the foot is broke. And yesterday my dishwasher went on the fritz. Come on! This is not the time for one of my hardest-working (and newest, might I add) labor-saving devices to konk out on me. It could be worse--I heard this morning that a friend of mine had a huge tree come crashing through her bedroom window at 3am. And she still managed to get her daughter to Seminary at 5:50! She is my hero today.

I get that doing the hard thing, the right thing, comes with challenges. But here's the thing--it also comes with blessings, often unforeseen. I went to the doctor today (routine check-up, nothing wrong) and I had an experience I have never had before. I stepped on the dreaded scale and the weight landed a full 7 POUNDS LESS than I was expecting. When does that ever happen?!?! I have had it happen the opposite way a gazillion times--pretty much every time, as a matter of fact. I questioned every medical professional in the office as to the validity of the scale, and they all swore by it, saying that people constantly complained that it was too heavy, not too light. I said, "I know! I am usually one of those people!" The ridiculousness of the situation did not escape me--I have been working my tail off to lose weight and get in better shape, and when I finally see a major pay-off, I try to find someone to prove it wrong. According to the doctor's scale I have lost 19 pounds since December, and I am a pound BELOW my goal weight. Time to set a new goal, I guess. I am going to stop arguing and go try on some jeans. Ooh, and eat some chocolate chips!