Thursday, October 27, 2011

TriathaMom-My first Tri

I did it! I actually completed a triathlon and can call myself a triathlete. I had to work hard and overcome some fears to accomplish this goal so I am pretty excited to say the least. I am so lucky to have had the support system I did to keep me going...there were definitely some rough patches along the way in my training... so thank you to all, especially my family.
Let's start with rough patch number one, the swim. I knew how to swim, I had grown up taking lessons every year until I was certified in life saving...twice. So of course I thought I had it down. Wrong. That first day in the water was brutal and I almost threw up shortly after. Cheri did her best in giving me pointers and encouraging me, but I was feeling defeated already. That being said, I kept at it and I was happy to see those laps getting easier and easier within a few weeks.
Rough patch number two, meet the road bike. I had always been comfortable on a bike. I remember taking long bike rides with my friend Jessica. We would attempt Millcreek Canyon (I doubt we got too far), ride along Wasatch Blvd, or even bike down to the Swim and Tennis Club. I loved the bike. That is until I grew up and realized there was a potential danger with those dang cars. I do not like riding with cars even remotely close to me. This was going to be an issue in training so I knew I had to face my fears and saddle up. My first ride included my dad right in front of me and Tucker right behind. I felt safe that way and so we did a few more just like it. I soon started riding the 12-mile course of the race and tried not to freak out every time a car passed by as I was speeding down 11800th near Bacchus Highway. I was still nervous, however, and Tucker knew what to do. He bought me a bike. A great bike without clip-ins (hate those things too!) that I could learn to rely on. It worked and by race time I was ready to go.
The day of the triathlon started before the sun came up. It was cold and I was nervous. I was so glad to have some of my family there (Cheri and Cody organized the race) as well as two friends from my ward. Us three girls set up our transition area and did our best to keep warm and calm. When it was time to start, we stripped down to our trisuits and headed into the pool area.
Brooke Sanderson, Kate Dickman and I ready to head out
It was packed! There were 400 women nervous but eager to get started. I was so glad I wasn't the only anxious one. I finally got in and started with freestyle. I kept that up the entire time except for the holding times waiting for those in front to get going. It was frustrating getting stuck and it was so hard to pass, so I finished with a pretty slow time of 9:55.
Jump out of the pool and run as fast as your legs will carry you to transition area. I took just over 2 1/2 minutes in t1 and was off again on the bike. I was so happy to bike with my friend Kate up towards Bacchus. We had so much fun and were riding faster than ever. I loved listening to Kate cheer everyone on as we passed them, and we passed quite a few! I hadn't That is until I got passed by Kate. I had passed her on the way up the hill but she passed me on the way down. Unfortunately I am also afraid of going too fast downhill. I know, I am a wuss! I was thrilled that there was hardly any traffic to worry about and that I got my fastest time coming in at 41:43.
I dismounted, racked my bike, grabbed my iPhone and spent a total of 1:43 in t2.
Hooray! I had 2 events down and 1 to go and this was the event I was most comfortable with. It was going to be easy, right? Not so much. I think that first mile was the hardest part of the entire tri. My legs felt like lead and yet like jello. They were not working! Thank goodness I was back to normal within 10 minutes or so and finished the 5k strong. I cannot tell you how exhilarating it was to run across that finish line. I almost started to cry when I knew I had made it and had my whole family there cheering me on. I was on cloud nine and so was everyone else at the finish-such an incredible feeling!
I timed in at 28:12 (9:06 pace) for the run and the complete event at 1:24. I ranked 13th in my age division and in the top 70 overall (it really helps that this was an all women, non-competitive event!). I couldn't believe it and I knew right then that I had to do another tri. I can't wait to compete in the Daybreak Triathlon next year. I know the open water swim will be a challenge, but I can't wait to give it a go!
Me and my fans at the park (where we finished the race!)...
Capri wanted to wear my "medal," a necklace that said TriathaMom
Roman and I showing off our muscles!
The best husband ever to bring all of the munchkins to see me finish!
The best mom ever to help out-she watched the kids a lot while I trained!
Kate and I at the carnival-so happy to be done!
Our best attempt at a family picture-it was sunny. ;)
TriathaMom was created for women, especially mothers, of all levels. It was brilliant! You had women of all ages, shapes, some that had done several triathlons, and some this being the first. It was organized by Cheri and Cody's company, USTrisports, and Dani Lassiter (cofounder of Oh Sweet Sadie and organizer of the Goldilocks Ride), and they put on a great race.
The crew-Tyson Brooks, Cheri and Cody
Everyone was happy with how smooth everything went and was thrilled to see the delicious food (we're talking homemade cookies, bagels and cream cheese, and tons of fruit!) carnival at the end. It was perfect for families and they had everything from bounce houses to face painting. Plus, it was at a park which my kids thoroughly enjoyed...
Karoline on the slide-she couldn't get enough of it!
Capri on the monkey bars-I couldn't believe she could do that and think we may have a future triathlete!
Roman giving me the thumbs up-thanks bud!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

St. George With The Ladies

Back in September, some of the greatest girls got together and headed to St. George. We had an absolute blast! I cannot tell you how fabulous it was to have a weekend away from it all. Don't get me wrong, it was terribly hard to leave my kids and husband...I may have bowed out had it not been for the fact that we were staying at my parent's condo. I was so nervous but fortunately Tucker talked me into coming. So glad he did! We had so much fun packing in as much as we possibly could and all without having to worry about naps, tantrums, whining, cooking, bedtime routines...not a care in the world!
We arrived Thursday night and got settled in. It was late but we managed to chat it up til 2 in the morning. That may have been a mistake since the following morning was an early one. I had my first triathlon scheduled for the following week so I planned to complete my own tri while down there. Since these girls are that amazing, some even joined in on the bike and run. It was so nice to have such awesome company!
First up, the swim in the pool right in our backyard!
Got out of the pool and jumped on my bike with these lovely ladies. Our condo has the perfect biking/running trails nearby so we found a great ride.
Me, Cheri, Sariah and Jenn
To finish it up, I ran with Kate and Ashley and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as we ran along the river. With all that hard work, we decided we earned a hearty breakfast from the Egg and I. Best breakfast ever. Seriously. Here we all are:
The one thing that I could not wait to do sans the kiddos was to go to the pool. As a mother, we all know how stressful a day at the pool can be. So worried about keeping an eye on three children at all times, making sure everyone is having a good time, potty breaks, swim diapers-it can be rough! Here was our chance to relax and we did just that...
Katie, Annelise and I
The Bathing Beauties:
Heidi, Kate, Cheri, Alyse, Ashley, Annelise, Katie, Eliza, Jenn and I
After reading plenty of smut magazines and talking some more, some of us decided to get creative. Enter Synchronized Swimming. Let's just say we put together a sweet routine with this even sweeter hair:
That night we headed to the Pizza Factory for dinner, always a good choice with their delicious salad bar and insanely good bread sticks.
With a few minutes to spare, we opted to participate in a photo shoot. Here are some of my favorites:
Annelise and Cheri-it doesn't get much better than that!
Next up on the itinerary, Tuacahn's The Little Mermaid. I have always loved the music so it was a natural choice. The setup was incredible with water covering the stage and streaming from above. The acting? Not so great. I wanted to laugh every time King Triton opened his mouth. All in all, we had a great night out under the stars in the most gorgeous amphitheater singing along to some of our favorite childhood songs.
After another late night, we woke up to make the trek to Zion's. While waiting for everyone to arrive at the entrance to the park, we felt like jumping. We took some sweet jumping pictures...
Annelise and her sweet toe-touch!
Cheri is still quite the ballerina!
We were gearing up for our hike up Angel's Landing. The last time I hiked Angel's Landing was with my family years ago. David hiked it with us only he cruised up and back. When he passed away, we read his journal entry about that very hike. I was thinking about what he said about reaching the top, that "they called it Angel's Landing because there really were angels." Unfortunately I didn't know what it was like at the top because as soon as I started climbing with the chains I freaked myself out waited for everyone as they continued on.
So there I was, happy to hike with my girls but convinced that there was no way I would attempt those chains ever again...and that was ok.
Here we are starting the Squiggly Wigglies:
As I started to hike, however, I changed my mind. I was literally racing to the top and decided I would give it another go. Thank you Eliza for giving me that needed push!
As we started to climb, I was really nervous and there was never a time where my hands left those chains. But then I realized David was there and smiling. I was fighting back the tears as I hiked and then I was there. At the top. Just as I thought I had my emotions under control and we were all enjoying the insanely beautiful views, Cheri told me she had felt David with her. With that I started to cry.
Here we are full of accomplishment:
So happy to have made it! I am so glad I made it with such good company:
After an extremely successful day in Zion's, we headed home to get ready for the game. Not just any game, the U of U/BYU game. We had some serious fans bleeding blue and some serious fans bleeding red. We didn't have the right channel at the condo so we had to go to a sports bar. It was going to be interesting to watch together! A few of the girls were being extra good and went to the temple before. This brought our favorite quote of the night when Heidi said, "Ok, we will meet you at the bar after the temple!" It just didn't seem right. ;)
These girls were pretty happy when the Y was ahead...
...but that didn't last long! Here we are showing our U pride! Well except for Sariah who didn't care and Jenn, the one in blue. She was such a good sport though and we still had a great time!
A REALLY good time!
We were so loud and obnoxious, everyone would turn to see our reaction with each touchdown made. It was getting a bit ridiculous but we couldn't tone down our excitement for the the most important win of the season!
Yeah, we like to jump.
We also like to dance. After the game we headed back and although we were completely exhausted from two days of going nonstop, we started to dance. All those years of Dance Co. were flooding our minds and we could not refrain from the split rolls, fan kicks, and body rolls.
These pictures show us acting completely ridiculous that night... should see the video. ;)
Waking up early the next day, we realized we had slept for a total of 15 hours for the past three nights. With that, we loaded up on caffeine and headed home. The trip was absolutely perfect. I love these girls and I can't wait for our next trip!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

First Day of School and a New Routine

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed starting this new school year. The kids were going to be in school 4 days a week, Roman had swimming twice a week, Capri had swimming once a week, and she had ballet once a week. Roman also has speech therapy once a week and both started a play group. CRAZY, right?! I have always been one to say simplify your life, and I may have to cut something in the future, but so far so good. I guess we all do well keeping ourselves occupied and if we need a break we take it!
The first day of South Jordan Montessori 2011-2012:
Karoline had to jump in for a picture as well!
I can't believe how well they have been doing this year already. Capri was working on her sounds, double sounds, and triple sounds all of last year where Roman was much more into numbers. I have to admit, I was getting a tad nervous that Roman would never take an interest in sounds and hit the reading with a late start. I was wrong! Roman has been in school for only a month and has passed off all of his sounds and moving right along. His speech therapist has been so pleased with his progress as well and is confident she can get him reading before Kindergarten.
Capri has continued to progress as well and now brings her "ring of words" home. These are words that she has written herself (following her teacher's example) with sounds that she blends together to make a word. She is so proud of herself and knows this is a pretty big deal. She has also started to read the Bob books.
Both of them love doing their "works," and in fact, Roman tells me he likes "playing works" because he really thinks he is playing for fun! Capri has brought home many paintings and Roman tells me about the fun "practical life" works he does. I got to see them in action for music time (they have Kindermusik at school once a week) and I was surprised how much they got into the music and dance. They love Miss Carol and Miss Maryanne and even more, they love playing with their friends. Who knew school could be so much fun?!
I just posted about the kids and their great new swimming skills and I am glad I did because the very next lesson was terrible! Capri was screaming and crying just about the entire time because she was so freaked out doing her floats and going without goggles. I was honestly thinking of taking her out completely but then I remembered my post. She has come such a long way and I don't want to quit now. She since has had a lesson we were all happy about and she got her 2 stamps (their reward each lesson.) Hooray! Roman has definitely had his days of not wanting to go and this was one of those days. It didn't help that I then smashed his toe with the door. Let's just say, it was a bad day at the pool for the Nielsons. Have you had such days? Fortunately, Roman has continued to swim with such confidence and he really gets excited when he learns something new...
Capri has officially started ballet at Little Lady Ballet with Miss Natalie. I cannot tell you how much she loves it. Just the other day, we arrived to class a bit early. She wanted to jump out right away but I told her she needed to wait for some of her other ballet friends to go in. As soon as she saw that first one headed in, she told me she needed to hurry on in. She then gave me a kiss and told me she loved me. Then she jumped out of the car, turned around, and told Roman and Karoline that she loved them. She ran up the hill, turned around a second time, and blew me a kiss and waved. I was beaming. Here was my timid Capri who used to make me come in the class with her sitting at my side for most of the time, and now she won't even let me walk her in to the pink benches...
She loves to take stuffed animals to leap over and she always tells me about the fun things they do in class. It's even better when she shows me her leaps and skips. It makes my heart happy.
It makes it even more fun to dance with her friend Mikayla, one of my best friend's daughter. Love it.
So yeah, we are busy. Had I known I was getting a new and somewhat intense calling in church, I may have planned differently, but I think we are going to make it. Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Karoline at 18 months

This post was started awhile when Karoline was actually 18 months old...
Koko has become one smart cookie with loads of attitude. As I am sure I have said before but can’t say enough, she is full of sunshine and continues to brighten our day with her contagious smiles, grown-up antics (she must think she is 10 years older!), and eagerness to be one of the big kids. Our Karoline loves to laugh and we can’t get enough of that deep chuckle. Tucker can always get her to start by tickling her with his scruff and the twins love to pull silly stunts to trigger her sought after laugh.
What makes me laugh is the way Karoline tries to be funny. How could she be old enough to even know what is considered funny? She does have her siblings to help and we have already seen their influence. Roman and Capri are into the potty humor and think bums are about as hilarious as it gets. Well, just the other night, Karoline said, “poopy, poopy.” She must have been telling me what was to come because a few minutes later she was ripe. When I asked her if she had a poopy diaper she replied, “poopy bum!” and then laughed. Starting to tell jokes at the age of one, that’s our Koko!
Karoline is already learning to follow directions and my favorite is when I ask her to get a diaper. She actually gets excited to run over to the end table, open the drawer, find a diaper, grab the wipes, and run back with a smile. She is not, however, excited to actually get changed. She is such a pill these days when it comes to getting her diaper changed or getting dressed-just like Roman and opposite of Capri.
Karoline got her first haircut! We cut bangs and did away with the mullet in the back. The twins have to get their hair cut every 6 weeks so I figured I wasn't adding too much more work with the bangs and she looks so dang cute. I was a bit sad because of how much older she looked, but I couldn't stand the hair in her face all the time so bangs worked perfectly.
Sucker in hand for her first time at Cookie Cutters
She loves to feed herself. Koko loves to eat oatmeal for breakfast and cheese for every other meal. It's weird how much cheese this girl can eat! She also likes bear drinks (what my kids call Pediasure), my green drinks, chocolate milk, yogurt, chicken, turkey, ketchup, and In 'N Out.
She is also learning how to answer yes or no questions with uh-huh for yes and uh-uh for no. It really helps when I am trying to figure out what this girl wants because let me tell you, Karoline has some serious demands!
She can point and name several body parts including belly button, toes, eyes, teeth, nose, hair, and my favorite, brow...which is obviously her favorite too because she always starts with that one!
Karoline started folding her arms during prayers without even being asked or shown. So sweet.
I have stopped trying to keep track of all of Karoline’s words, but some of the newest additions to her vocabulary include stop, Grandma, drink, cookie, and show. She has also started putting words together and will say, “Daddy, look, bike," or "get down" and "all gone." Just the other morning, Karoline was making it known that she was awake by yelling out to us. Tucker went to grab her and she says, "night, night" and then signs "all done." Genius.
Koko loves her Pottery Barn blankets and calls them "bleh-beh." She has started to bite her blankets and when Capri saw this for the first time, she asked, "Mom, do only girls suck on their blankets?" No Capri, just you and now your sister! :)
Something we are really working on with Karoline is being nice to her cousin London. These girls are together all the time considering they share a backyard and their moms are inseparable. They have got to get along! London is as friendly and happy as they come-seriously an angel baby girl. Then there is Karoline who freaks out the second she sees London. She immediately clings to Grandma and her toys (things she does NOT want to share), and she makes her territory known. Karoline gives dirty scowls, hits and even bites her (she gets that from her dad-a terrible biter as a toddler!). We have to get mad and tell her no but it doesn't seem to be working. Karoline will now get caught being mean and immediately gives London a toy or hugs her-manipulative, I know. Any ideas? Let me know!
18 months and only eight teeth. She has two molars almost in on the top which will put her at ten, but still, not many.
She is still my water baby!
More than anything, this girl loves to play. She is pretty good to play with toys and her favorites are babies, purses, and cars. Karoline now loves to sing to her baby while rocking it in the cradle. Cuteness explosion. She has to have a purse to carry around and really, it can be anything that has a handle. She then puts her baby in the stroller and with her purse on her shoulder, she is a mini me. Cuteness explosion, again. What I didn't expect was her interest in cars. We can thank Roman for that, I'm sure, and I love that they have something to play together.
Karoline also loves to play outside and asks for "ah-side" all the time. She will climb into the stroller or wagon to be taken for a ride and is ridiculous disappointed if it doesn't happen. She also loves a day at the park. She is fearless when it comes to the slide and will fly down with an open-mouthed grin. She can't get enough of it and the swings come in a close second.
This girl loves her shoes. She puts on 3 different pairs a day. I could be in trouble.
One of her favorite games is one, two, three, fall into your arms. She stands on the ottoman and starts to count, "a, two, wee!" and you better be ready because she is coming no matter what!
Karoline has the most expressive face I have ever seen. When she is first waking up, she scrunches her face up with her lips puckered up and then scrunched up to her nose. She also pulls the ultimate cheesy smile with a big wide grin and closed eyes. Love her to death!
The Girls all ready for church

Labor Day Weekend

We have the greatest group of friends in our ward and we feel really lucky! Everyone gets along just swimmingly and so its always a good time with the Fords, Guymons and Ross'. Over Labor Day weekend, we all headed up to Ashley's family cabin located in the La Sal Mountains near Manti. It was absolutely gorgeous up there and the cabin was just as awesome. We hung out, let the kids play, ate, did some serious 4-wheeling, handled the sling shots, built some campfires, roasted marshmallows, and 4-wheeled some more. See? Good times.
The kids were obsessed with the 4-wheelers and all wanted to ride with Daddy. Even Karoline had a blast and never wanted to get off...
I love this of Roman-he thinks he is pretty cool on that thing:
Who knew my girly-girls would be so into this?!Here is Sara (who is the same age as Karoline), Karoline, and Sam watching the building of the fire:
Roman and Capri shooting paintballs with the sling shots. So. Much. Fun. I felt like a pro until I hit my own face. Nice.
Roman got pretty into it:
Meet Kalli, Capri's favorite friend. Capri asks to play with her constantly and draws a picture for her every Sunday. Cute girls!
Here's another group of cute girls...or should I say crazy tough chicks who tore it up on the 4-wheelers!
I would say the latter...
Yeah, I was covered in dirt! We had such a blast though and so it was totally worth it!
Such a great getaway with such great friends. It doesn't get much better than that!