Wednesday, December 31, 2014

November

We've had a busy few months! Packed full of fun things.  Here are some highlights from November:

  • A fun baby shower for our friend Monique.  She's since had her sweet little boy! 
  • A surprise 60th birthday party for Kathy, Cameron's mom.  I can't believe Greg pulled it off!  We took her to dinner at Texas Roadhouse then went over to their house for dessert.  But much to her surprise, there was tons of family waiting to surprise her at the house.  It was so fun to celebrate someone who does so much for others.  We put a book together with messages from friends and family.  It was neat to put it together and see how much Kathy means to everyone.  We love you Kathy! 
  • We took a preschool field trip to Dick's Market. 
  • We had our friends Chace and Amy for a dessert night.  
    We forgot to take a picture, but Andy snuck in this shot. 
  • Cameron went to a work conference in Vegas. 
  • I had Young Women in Excellence.  It went really well!  Our theme was, "I Will Shine."  I was in charge of the to-go dessert.  Sweet Tooth Fairy to the rescue.  
  • We had a birthday dinner to celebrate my cute sister Abby's 15th birthday.
  • Cameron and I had the most wonderful night away!  Greg and Kathy generously watched the boys.  We started out with a couples massage, had dinner at The Copper Onion (YUM), then headed up to Park City.  We spent the night at a nice hotel at The Canyons.  We went hot tubbing, went to Walmart and the Outlets at 9PM...these are the exciting things you do when you're without kids. We watched a movie in bed in the morning (best thing ever), went hot tubbing again, then Cameron went out and got us breakfast.  McDonald's, cause we're classy.  We checked out of the hotel and wandered around the outlets for a bit.  Then headed back to McDonald's for hot chocolates because, again, we're classy.  We went to see Mockingjay that afternoon.  We headed back through Provo Canyon to pick up the boys and stopped at Tarahumara in Midway.  Basically, it was the best 24 hours ever.  We only snapped one picture: 
  • We had my cute cousin, Lauren, and her husband Jake over for dinner.  We're so sad they're moving! 
  • We had a fun trip to Discovery Gateway with Bryan and Aisling when they were in town.  
  • We got Sara's wedding pictures back.  Here are some of my favorites: 






  • We got our new mock built-ins put in.  Notice that I didn't say we did them...we hired Ben, our favorite handyman. :)  But Cameron did paint the molding!
  • Lots of fun moments with these cute boys.  


  • We did a really cool thing to honor my Messick grandparents.  They were supposed to go on "The Honor Flight" to DC.  It's a program that takes veterans to see the WWII memorials in DC.  Some health problems got in the way of them going, so my dad arranged "Honor Night" instead.  We all came together and read them messages about how grateful we are for their service in WWII.  It was really meaningful.  They don't have much to look forward to at this point in their lives, so I think it meant a lot to them.  I got to play the Army and Navy songs on the piano as they came in, and some military official was there to present a plaque to them. We saw Unbroken the other day and it got me thinking about how incredible the sacrifices are that they made.  I'm honored that my grandparents were a part of securing our freedom today.   Here are some pictures of them entering the room while everyone was cheering and clapping: 

  • We decorated the house for Christmas after Thanksgiving.  As expected, Andy loved it.  He was in charge of putting the ornaments up.  He put the tree up...And Max took it down.  A few times actually.  :) 

  • We went to a fun Christmas Concert with Greg and Kathy at Capitol Theater.  David Archuleta sang.  And so did one of the guys from Pentatonix.  

Thanksgiving

I'm going to be playing some catch-up for a few posts.  So...Thanksgiving! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  Last year, we had just moved here and were still in the newborn fog.  It felt a little easier to enjoy Thanksgiving this year.

I ran in a half marathon Thanksgiving morning, then Cameron and Andy went to play football with my family.   We went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner that afternoon.  The guests were all my immediate family (minus Christine and Ben), Uncle Dale, my cousin Kameron, and my Grandma Bonnie.  We brought coconut cream pie and a salad.  All the food was delicious! And it was one of those perfect meals, where you all sit around and chat for an hour at the table.  We all went around and said some things we're grateful for.  Max took a nap during the meal, but we fed him some leftovers when he woke up.

A family selfie before we left for my parents'.
The beautiful table, done by Sara.
Post-meal chatting. 
Cute Max eating his Thanksgiving dinner.
And we were lucky enough to have Thanksgiving, Round 2!  Cameron's family did their big meal the day after Thanksgiving. We brought some jello salad.  The Baker side came over and we had a wonderful feast.  We're so grateful to live near family.

Another family selfie. One of my favorite pictures ever.

This was our first year doing a Thankful tree.  I had ambitions that each of us would write something every day, which definitely didn't happen.  We'd skip days, then do a bunch all on one day.  But here are some things we wrote: 

Andy (in his own words) He understood the concept a little better as the month went on.  At first, he'd always tell me he was thankful for Monday.  ??? 
  • Mommy.
  • Monday.
  • Brendan. (Cameron's brother)
  • I'm thankful for Cayden. (his friend)
  • I'm grateful for Andy.
  • Maxy.
  • Daddy.
  • I love you.
  • Tristen is my best friend in the world. (his babysitter)
  • Jesus.
  • I'm grateful for Brendan.  Brendan's the best in the world.
  • School.
  • I'm grateful for Maxy. 
Max (as interpreted by me :) 
  • I'm grateful mom is done teaching piano.
  • My new tooth finally came through!
Cameron
  • I'm grateful I got nachos at Lone Star today.  
  • My fantasy basketball team is in first place!
Stephanie
  • Good friends!
  • I'm grateful I'm able to visit my grandparents.  
  • Online black friday deals.
  • I'm grateful I can play with my sweet boys today.
  • I'm grateful for cuddling Max.
  • I'm grateful today is over. :) 
  • I'm grateful for our beautiful new bookshelf.
  • Running!
  • I'm grateful Max slept through the night last night. 
  • The change of weather. 
  • I'm grateful for the beautiful fall weather we've had.  
  • Our family pictures!
  • Pie! 
  • Nice make-up. 
  • I'm grateful for green smoothies. 
  • I'm grateful Cameron's such a good dad.  
  • I'm grateful fotofly finally got our pictures edited. 
I forgot to take a picture of our Thankful Tree, but Andy saved the day with this obscure shot: 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Running in 2014

It has been so wonderful for me to get back into running and racing.  I used to race before Andy was born.  I liked it, but never really understood what moms were saying when they said they loved their exercise time.  Running (and exercising in general) was always a love/hate thing for me.  But lately, I just LOVE it.  It's my sanity!   The first few months of running (March-May or June) were really hard.  I started with just 2 miles or so and even had to walk a few times in there.  It didn't seem to get easier for a few months.  Running 3-4 miles at 10 min/mile was still killing me in May, and I wondered how I'd ever do a half marathon again.  Maybe partially due to the fact that I was still getting up with Max a few times a night and then getting up early to run? It was all very discouraging, considering I'd run 26.2 miles a few years before at 9:06/mile.  Anyway, I increased mileage VERY slowly (I was nursing and didn't want to lose supply) and prepped for the Deseret News 10K on July 24.   For me, I think longer distances become a lot easier as soon as I pass the 4 or 5 mile threshold.  Everything felt easier in June and July as my mileage increased.  

My sister Rachel did the 10k with me.  We had a blast!  Such a fun race.  It was fun running by the big crowds who were waiting for the parade to start.  I finished in 52:42, averaging 8:29/mile.  I was thrilled considering I wanted to do somewhere around a 9:00 mile!

Then began the prep for the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon.  I was still pretty terrified of running that many miles.  The nights before my long training runs, I was always so nervous!  But I pressed on.  Rachel and I did one of our long runs together.  Cameron even did one with me in Park City.  The big day came Sept. 13.  Rachel and I did it together and had a great experience.  Such a fun, well-managed race!  Gorgeous to run down Big Cottonwood as the sun is rising.  It was a great day for me.  I just kept thing, "I did it!  All the nights Max woke up a million times, I woke up and went running!  All those times I thought 3 miles would kill me, I pushed through! And now I did it!  I just ran 13.1 miles.  I can do hard things!"  It made me feel so good to work so hard to accomplish a hard thing.  I finished in 1:47, 8:09/mile, a new PR for me.  I was thrilled!  

It was FREEZING up at at the starting line.
So fun running with Rachel!  We couldn't train much together, but we'd always text each other about our runs.  

I decided to do the SLC Haunted Half in October.  I did lots of speed work and trained pretty hard to try and get a new PR.  Hopefully around 1:45.  And then the cold of death introduced itself.  It was awful!  I was so sad that I'd worked so hard to be fast for the race, and I knew it would be a struggle just to run it considering how sick I was.  The first 6 miles or so felt great.  I was on track to PR, averaging about 8/mile.  And then the cold of death said, "Hey!  Remember me? I'm here!  You can't keep running this fast!"  And then I DIED.  Oh my goodness, those last 7 miles were torture.  My lungs were dying.  I slowed way down.  Some of my miles were way slower, like 10 min/mile.  I still had a pretty good time, all things considered.  1:52, which is an average of 8:32/mile.  I pushed it a little too hard, my body revolted, and I ended up being sick in bed for a few days.  


I couldn't end the racing season that note, so I signed up for the Thankful 13 (on Thanksgiving Day) with my friend Lindsey!  We've always wanted to do a race together.  It was harder to do those long runs in the cold!  And, as luck would have it, I got sick AGAIN the week before the race.  I was so mad.  I whined to poor Cameron constantly about it.  I was so bummed thinking I'd be as miserable as I was during the Haunted Half.  And I didn't want to feel so sick for the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.  I decided I'd take it pretty easy and try to just enjoy it.  I took the first mile pretty slow (9:30ish) and then realized I felt pretty good so I sped up.  I felt great during the run.  I ended up finishing in 1:49, 8:18/mile.  I was thrilled!  I thought I'd be much slower, so it was a nice surprise.  Especially since it's a flat race and my PR time was for a mostly downhill race.

How grateful I am for running!  It's done so much for me this year, mentally, emotionally, and physically.  And of course, I'm so grateful for Cameron who has been so supportive.  He's on kid-duty during my runs, and never rarely complains.  ;)  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Andy the Photographer

 Andy is obsessed with taking pictures on my phone.  I have hundreds of them taking up precious space on my phone.  ;)  Most of them look like this:

But about 1 in 100 turns out pretty cute.

An artistic shot of the dishwasher.

He has mastered the selfie.




My favorites are the ones he gets of Max.





And here's a bunch of randoms:






His cute friend Addy at the park. 

I have no idea what's going on here.  
The stern selfie.
He took this one today and was quite proud.