Monday, April 27, 2009

Sparatic at best!

Sorry for the lack of regularity around here - May is going to be a re commitment :)

So here is the scoop on what we have been doing since our last real (informative) post!

Hunter turned 9! So yea - he can be done getting bigger! Every day he seems to get up and be a little bit less of a little kid and it is making me sad. So goes the life of a mom of a pre-teen. He is quite the gadget kid and has been begging and pleading his case for an iPhone. (YEA RIGHT!) So instead for his birthday we became ultra cool parents and got him the next best thing, an iTouch! He loves it and never doesn't have it in his hands :)

He really thought we had given in and got him a phone!  

Easter was a blur. We were getting ready to go home shortly after but we did manage to get the obligatory Easter pictures.

We had the 3rd grade invention convention, and we survived and passed with flying colors. He created 'The Detector' a system of mirrors and a laser beam to know if I am coming to make sure he is doing what he was asked to do. :) Lets just say we will not be recreating it in full size.... I like to have the element of surprise on my side :)

Bart quit his job! He is consulting now and traveling but is really enjoying what he is doing. And for us, that is important so we are making the travel aspect work :)

And then there was the 56 hour whirlwind trip to Salt Lake City! Hang on folks we are going to see how many things we can pack into 1 quick weekend!

6:00 Am Friday morning and we are on our way to the airport. Flight leaves a little late but must have had great wind helping it once we got going because we made it into SLC 40 minutes early. Got the rental car, all of our luggage and we were off to pick up Bart's rental bike. Got to the Bike store and oddly enough the bike they had for him was purple! Well either it is a really cool bike and the color doesn't matter or they thought when I called and said I needed to rent a bike for my husband I was kidding and really needed a bike for me. Either way this is what he was getting because everything had been rented out for the weekend. So load up the bike with the luggage and the kids and down to the Salt Palace we go! Found Lauren, who is really cute pregnant (I didn't get to see her last time), got started collecting packets while we were still waiting on the rest of the crew. Still waiting so we went and met Bart's dad to drop him off with so they could go shooting while we did party preparations. Back to the Salt Palace, found Mom, Megan and the heard of small folks.

Collected the rest of the packets - 11 in all - and got everyone back into a seat belt.... off to Costco! 3 adults and 6 children under the age of 9 isn't such an odd site there but seemed kind of chaotic to me but we survived and managed to get out of there with 3 carts off food too! Off to Mom's to find an email from channel 2 news wanting to do a story on us! Holy smokes are you kidding me?!?!?! So I got tasked with the job of talking to them and figuring out what was going to happen. By the time the conversation was done the anchor of the 10 o'clock news and a camera guy would be out during our family pasta party to get some footage. Food for 30+ was prepared, cousins started rolling in, excitement started growing for the following day, and all the while the reason for our gathering in the front of our minds. Pictures of him at every turn, he was there, you couldn't help but feel him. The news came and went, then it was the family meeting to spread the meet up information and to have the all important 'what are you going to wear' conversations. Prayer was said and all dispersed. For some in was a unisom and bed, others it was play time in a hotel, for Mom and I - curl up on the couches in the media room and watch some tv, lay there wondering if the other one is asleep or if they are awake with the same nervous energy you have. 11:00 PM Lights out (in case you were trying to keep track that means I have been up for 19.5 hours today)

Hunter totally rocked the 5k!  I think I might have a runner living in my midst!

The crew getting ready for the kids race!

One way cool dude!

3:45 AM - I didn't even know that Megan knew this time existed but she showed up at Mom's just as planned. After all she did make the schedule for everyone so she better stick to it. Mom , Megan and Sandy were off! Holly smokes folks we are really doing this! Bart, Matt and I were in the next vehicle that was planned to be leaving in 30 minutes. Got the 2 sleeping beauties up. Neither of them really like that hour of morning either but we got off. We got Bart as close to the start as we could, and then headed out to park and take trax back up. We made it back up to the start line after and exhaustingly long trax ride with our vertically challenged balloons. Good thing Matt is tall so he could hold them and still have them be seen. And they worked! Met up with all the cousins, Shauna and Morgan, Kelsey, Lacey and Cody, John and from all accounts Katie was there just in the lines :) I even got to see Ang from the Marathon Mommies! That was fun! Now that we had collected everyone it was off to line up at the start line. We ditched to balloons on the handle of a cop car (so a Michael move) and we were off. Matt and I had planned to hang together and a moderate pace at the start.... well 2.5 miles in at a 9 minute pace I told him to just go! And off he went :) I got back to my original plan of a moderate pace. Was feeling really pretty good. Every time I saw someone with Michael pinned on their backs it gave me a great little boost. Between miles 4 and 5 we went into Sugarhouse park. It was fun to hear Katie yelling for me, had to stop and give her a hug (hadn't seen her yet) and kept on going. At mile 8.6 I was my first sign! (From all accounts I missed the first one) My mom's trainer had gotten pictures of Michael and made great posters for us to see along the way. They were such a lift for me.... it was as if I was given wings to keep moving forward. Alison and I ended up syncing up with Mom, Megan and Sandy at almost mile 13.

It was here that the purpose of this race became very clear to me. It was not going to be to get a great time, or to race the clock into the finish line. It would be to cross that line hand in hand with my sister. She was struggling, but was a real trooper! She had a huge blister on the bottom of her foot all ready by mile 15 so those last 11 miles were going to be tough ones! We laughed, we talked to people who asked about Michael, we ate jelly beans... oh yea and we maybe facebooked a little :) (hey a girl can multi task can't she)

Our support/cheering crew!

We would hunt for the next poster, stand and tear up, touch it and be on our way. Bart rode back and met us with about 7 miles left and gave his legs a big work out riding that slow back into the end with us. We got into Liberty park and got Megan to at least let Angela take a look at that blister, and oh boy it was huge! She started to doubt herself at this point... but oh boy we were GOING to finish this dang race if it killed me. Blister treated off we went. We would run (or at least move a little quicker) from one light to the next and walk to the next one. Once we dealt with a little dehydration and couple quick and small panic attacks we got to mile 25, and there was my sign. The one that was meant for me, even if it wasn't done on purpose. That one was coming into the end with me! Had to exert some freaky amount of strength to get it out of the ground but I wasn't leaving without it, oh yea and Megan! So sign in one hand leaned up against my head and shoulder (the wind was not co-operating) and Megan being drug with the other hand we were on our way! Hunter and Papa found us right before mile 26 and my little man took Michael and carried him in right there next to us. I collected my flag as we rounded the corner into Gateway and our support crew behind us running us in. It was a moment that can not even be created in my dreams. The overwhelming emotions that came over us as Megan and I crossed that line (at 6:07:00 not that it mattered) was something that words will never be big enough to explain. Not only did I finish my 2nd Salt Lake marathon with my little brother, I got to help my little sister cross one more thing off her life's goal list. 

That night we partied! A BBQ more like a block party. 100+ people, kids everywhere. A celebration of life! Ironicly as we were having a beautiful night my mom got word from a good friend that as we were out honoring Michael's life that morning her husband had met the same fate in an ATV accident. So many life lessons were learned this weekend but one that is for front in my mind is that my children will never ride an ATV. I know they can be fun, I have ridden them safely but there is too much risk involved with them that has been given to me in a very real form.

We are home now, but not for too much longer! 5 1/2 weeks until we head back up and there are two little people at this house that are counting down the days!