Monday, September 28, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
My work schedule for August was insane. Mainly because the event I had been planning for 4 months had finally arrived. I was told by participants (most of them family) that the 5K was a success. To me it felt more like a disaster. I had never planned an event this large before. This event is pretty much the same every year. But when you have never been to this event and don’t know anything about it other than people go to it to run, it can be very difficult and overwhelming to plan. I didn’t have to do it all myself. Lucky for me I had a committee of 5K veterans that led me the right way the entire process.
Now let me walk you through the day of the race…Wake up at 4:00am to be at the race by 5:00am to set-up. It was dark outside. Too dark to tell what the weather was going to be like. About 30 minutes into setting up the wind picks up. Then the rain. Strong winds and heavy rain. We decided to move our set up area from outside to under a tent. But then the rain stopped. The wind died down. Going back to our original set up plan, we started setting up outside again. Then the mother of all wind and rain hit. Each one of my helpers and I were shocked. We literally took cover wherever we could. Then runners started to show up. It was 6:30am already!? We weren’t even set up! So with help from the runners, we frantically moved all of our stuff once again under a tent to begin registering participants. Everything was soaking wet. Pens don’t write on soaking wet papers. Ink also smears in the rain. Both of those combined made registration a disaster. To add to all of this chaos those that were pre-registered came 5 minutes before the race started, making the race start late. During this whole thing I’m running around with my head cut off finding pens that work, helping move along the registration line, and trying to read smeared ink on the race bags (which made it pretty dang hard to identify racers, let me tell you). Then in the line of runners guess who I see…the director of the health department that I work for. This was the first year he came to this event. Of course. Lucky for me he had no idea how the 5K was ran and thought everything was normal.
I wish I could say that everything went smoothly after the race had started. But no, of course not. Some people didn’t have bib numbers, making the race times off. Lovely. Frantically trying to fix the times before we post the times for the participants to see was insane. Then came the awards. We had a little misplace of the gal entering times, so we had to improvise and do the awards a little different. No one knew the difference, except me (and the others working the 5K). A lot of the runners went home because it was so dang cold, so the prize drawing was a bit small (more prizes for less people). Needless to say, I was relieved when it was over. I had never felt so stressed out in my entire life. And to top it all off I had a cold! All I wanted to do was go home, get warm, and quit my job. I’m grateful for a great husband who talked me down from my hysterical crying (yes, I was an absolute mess driving home and once I was home it was worse. I thought I was a complete failure. There’s so much more that happened that day that I didn’t even mention…so much more!).
That day was pretty much the longest day of my life. After getting home, I took a short nap, then was headed off to a bachelorette party sleepover for my friend Chana. I debated whether or not I should go…I’m so glad I did because it was just what I needed to cure my 5K blues.
Chana wanted her bachelorette party to be extra special. She didn’t want your run of the mill party. Bree, being the best friend she is, knew exactly what Chana would want. A slumber party at fancy hotel…sounds like a Pink Hotel Party at the Hilton! Each of us had to wear as much pink as we could stand (pink is Chana’s favorite color). Bree, Mystie, and I went down early to decorate the rooms. Chana met us there shortly after so we could all get ready together and spend some quality time before everyone else arrived. That was my favorite time of the evening, when it was just us four. Once everyone arrived we headed off to dinner at Buca di Beppo. This was my first experience here. I didn’t love the food, but I loved the atmosphere. We sat in the Pope room. The Pope’s head is located in the middle of the table. A little creepy, but with a little styling help the Pope had from seven crazy girls he Pope was one of us in no time. For those of you that have never been to Buca di Beppo, the Pope room is located at the top of the stairs so every new group that arrives must walk past it. We loved that. We would turn the Pope’s head around so he was watching each group that walked by. We made good friends with one of the hosts and a few of the waiters which we clapped for and hollered at every time we saw them. I’m sure they just love us (really I’m sure they just loved when we left!). Once we returned to the hotel, we played some games, had Chana open up her gifts, and then headed down to the hot tub. Seven very loud girls at 11:00 o’clock at night walking down to the hot tub all in our bathing suits was such a sight, I’m sure. Once we were kicked out of the hot tub (only because it was time to close up the swimming area) we headed back to our room for more girl time. How many girls can you fit into the Hilton shower…we’ll we fit 5 only because Mystie and I didn’t feel like cramming in (it was like an accident waiting to happen) so we just rinsed off in the other shower. The shower calmed us all down, and we finally went to bed. If I would have stayed up one more hour I would have been up a full 24 hours! I haven’t done that since summer nights in high school! Being the adults we are, we got up early so we could make it home in time to go to church (well at least that was Bree and mine’s reason…sorry to everyone else who got up with us). I’m also sorry for anyone that was staying at the Hilton that night, especially our neighbors who complained about us twice (come on, have you never had a hotel party…live a little)!
I’m so grateful for the great friendships I have with these girls, and how they helped left my spirits after a ‘tragic’ event.
Once we arrived it was time for some hardcore relaxing and sunbathing. Too bad we had missed all the nice weather. We went to the beach on Friday only to get blown away by high winds (not too out of the ordinary at Bear Lake), then Saturday it was cloudy with scattered rain. When it wasn’t raining we would sit outside and look for any sign that blue sky was coming…and there was none in sight. What are four (my Aunt Lyda, my Mom, my sis, and me) beach ready ladies suppose to do? Well we decided to brave the cold, be wild, and head to the beach for a little dip in the lake. My Aunt kept saying that the water wouldn’t feel as cold to us since it was so cold outside. That’s probably why we were all shocked that the water was colder than we had anticipated so instead of gradually getting deeper we all just decide to run for it and dive in (although I didn’t dive in all the way…I wasn’t going to get sick – my mom always told me to never go outside when it was cold with wet hair because I’d get sick; apparently that rule went out the window). We made sure to bring jackets and beach towels to wrap up in once we were done being wild and crazy.
When I first found out that my friend Katherine Purser was pregnant my first thought was ‘so happy for them!’, and my next thought was ‘oh I want to throw her a baby shower!’ So when her nine months were closing in I got together with one of our good friends, Shelli Gough, and we started planning Katherine’s baby shower. This was my first time throwing any type of shower or party for someone else, and hosting it at my house. It was a good thing I had a partner. I couldn’t have done any of it without Shelli. We didn’t want to play the same ol’ cheesy games and eat the same ol’ shower food so we tried to mix it up a bit. Not too many games and easy, yet yummy, food. Katherine said everything turned out great. And so did many of her guests. All and all everything went smoothly, sort of. Shelli and I made the invites (Shelli’s so crafty), but we had to change the day due to lack of party guests RSVP (most of them were in the same ward and there was a big ward activity the same day…). The change in date caused us to procrastinate a little. So we may have still been buying supplies for the games and putting the finishing touches on the games up until people were arriving. We (and by we I mean Shelli) also may have had a very big mishap with the main dish and had to remake that also up until our guests were arriving (Shelli put her salad on top of her car. You’re thinking she forgot it was up there and drove away with it on top of her car…nope. She shut her trunk a little too hard causing the salad to fall right off the top of her car. This happened as she was leaving to come to my house. Thus her having to remake the whole thing). I’m glad we had her gift ready and didn’t have to worry about that.
I’m grateful I had the opportunity to throw such a sweet best friend a baby shower. Katherine (and little baby Jovi) were showered with great gifts. I’m happy to say that Katherine has used many of the gifts already (Congrats again…Jovi is beautiful!).
I’m a big fan of music. Lately I’ve been listening to a new genre of music. I don’t really know what to call this genre. It’s more melodies. More guitar. More actual singing. Joshua Radin (thanks Jodi for introducing me to this great artist), Allred, Lenka (again thanks Jodi), and many more. Included in that list is Iron and Wine. They came to the free concerts at the Gallivan Center this summer. Knowing that Gordon doesn’t like my new taste in music and didn’t really want to go, I invited my good friend Mystie and her husband Dave to come along. Gordon came too, but only because it turned out to be a ‘couple’ thing. You can’t expect much when you go to a free concert. What you can expect is to not see or hear the band and smell a lot of stinky people that could use a little deodorant. However, the people watching is superb.
I’m not one to go to a lot of ward activities…to be honest I only go to the ones I’m either in charge of or helping with. I think that’s why Gordon and I received the new calling we did…co-chairs (with each other) of our ward activities committee. This is a BIG, IMPORTANT calling in our ward (young student married ward…so what if neither of us are students anymore, we’re still young and married). Our ward activities are the glue that hold us all together. And that’s why we’re a bit nervous to have this calling.
We knew we would be the co-chairs before we were actually given the official calling. We were called to serve on the activities committee to “observe” the current co-chairs and gain as much knowledge as we could from them. We helped with our ward camp-out, which is a very large event that about half of our ward attends. We had a lot of fun planning this event with our committee. We were able to see just how much time and effort the co-chairs put into these things…which is a lot by the way. We also had a lot of fun attending the activity. We were able to get to know a lot more people in our ward. We were also able to bring along the dogs, which I love doing (any chance I can get to bring them anywhere with me I do…although I have cut back a little ever since the rat poison incident).
Gordon and I are up for the challenges that will come serving in this calling. I don’t know if we’re excited yet, mostly because we have three big activities to plan before the end of the year, but I know we will be blessed serving our ward members. We’ll also get the opportunity to make new friendships, which is the part I’m most excited about.
Ever since I’ve been in Gordon’s family I look forward to two fun vacations each year. First, Labor Day girl’s weekend, and second his family reunion to Jackson Hole. Jackson is still a couple of weeks away, but Labor Day weekend has come and gone. This year we added a couple of new comers to the mix: Gordon’s Aunt Karen, and Matt’s girlfriend Jenny. They were both great additions. Also new this year we stayed two nights instead of one. I loved this addition most (sorry Karen and Jenny). I love staying in hotels because I don’t have to worry about cleaning or keeping it clean because it’s not my house! I also love any chance I get to have girl time.
Not new this year was going to Swiss Days to check out the crafts people were selling (also known as “where crafts go to die”), eating at the pizza place on Main Street, and shopping at the outlets. I had items that I was on the look out for at Swiss Days and the outlets. I was successful at purchasing all my listed items (and a few others that weren’t on my list) and staying within my budget (which was a good thing because Gordon bought his Cruiser this same weekend…it was a very expensive Labor Day Weekend for us).
Some highlights that will never be forgotten (and are brought up just about every time we’re together) are thanks to Gordon’s Mom LeeAnn. She made two comments that are going down in Hardcastle History. First, referring to Jodi’s good friend that happens to be a boy, a boy that LeeAnn wouldn’t mind Jodi marrying, LeeAnn asked if she was having “phone sex”, then quickly rephrased it as “text relations”…either way both questions were shocking and hilarious! Later that evening she told Jenny she was “bringin’ the naked” because she forgot her pajamas. This comment wasn’t so much shocking as hilarious. Love you LeeAnn! LeeAnn also made us laugh so hard we cried when we played a mean game of Uno. This wasn’t your regular game of Uno…you had to do certain hand gestures every time a certain color or card came up. LeeAnn was horrible at it. Her hand came up into a claw instead of a gesture. She wasn’t the winner of that game. She did win Phase Ten (after two nights of playing one game).
I love our girl’s Labor Day Weekend. I’m so blessed to have married into such a wonderful family who I get along with so well (at least I think so…they might say different).
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Gordon finally owns a cruiser...1978 FJ 40 Toyota Landcruiser that is. He, along with many others, would say it's a classic. I would agree. It's a beaut. It's painted the original blue cruiser color, has the original emblems, original motor--original just about everything. It even has the luxuries of drink holders and rear heating. And all the gauges work. Yes, we feel pretty luxurious driving/riding in it. It's our expedition vehicle. We're planning on taking it on our first expedition with us in a few weeks.
Gordon has wanted a cruiser just like this since he was a little boy. His Dad not so much. Gordon told me a story about one of the first times he saw a Toyota FJ 40 Cruiser on the road. He was with his Dad. They pulled up next to one. The man driving it had "hippie" hair, a beard, and was drinking a brownish liquid out of a mason jar. Gordon's Dad said those were the type of people that drove those. Gordon can't grow a beard, and he's done with his long hair phase, but he said he's not opposed to drinking out of a mason jar (his little brother drinks out of one daily).
Gordon has had two previous 'expedition' type vehicles; both Toyotas, both 4runners. I met him when he owned one of these. The first time we hung out he came to pick me up, but before he did he warned me and told me he had the top of his car. I was thinking he would pull up in some convertible sports car or something. Instead he pulled up in a rock crawling 1986 black Toyota 4runner with no top. It was lifted so high I could barely get in (eventually once we were dating he literally would push/lift me up into the passengers seat...he would push/lift me from behind...he loved it!) He made a lot of great memories in that truck. Many trips to Moab, many trips up Farmington Canyon, Ogden Canyon, Mantua, St. George...pretty much anywhere there was rock that could be climbed he took it. Right after he welded a roll cage in it he rolled it. He tipped it on it's side a couple of times (once while I was in it...). Many replaced parts and upgrades. Then shortly after we were married he sold it. Not on my account mind you. His decision. I cried when its new owner drove away with it. So many memories.
Although our new Toyota isn't as equipped as the 4runner (yet) there will be plenty of great memories made. Gordon said he's not going to be as crazy with this one as he was with his previous toys...but I don't think that will last too long and there's a small part of me that doesn't want it to. The rush you feel when you might fall out or off the side of a mountain is unbelievable. I never thought in a million years I would want to feel that feeling, but strange enough I do.