Layton Marathon

This summer I became disillusioned by summer school and I decided I needed to work towards something other than my Masters degree. I never had the desire to run a marathon before, but I decided it was time to give it a shot. I registered for a race, found a training plan to use, and committed that I would at least run the long runs. As summer ended Joe got a new job and had to work on Saturdays. This worked out perfectly for my training and I spent hours on Saturday mornings and afternoons running further than I had ever run before.

The morning of the race Joe and I woke up before dawn and drove to the bus pick up. Joe dropped me off and I boarded the bus with all the other runners. The drive felt long and followed the route of the race pretty closely.  I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. I kept reminding myself that as soon as I began running those feelings would fade, and they did.

The beginning of the race felt like a dream. The starting line was on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. It was dark and the full moon had just sunk behind the island, the only light came from the twinkling of the city miles away. As I ran I watched the sunrise and the landscape around me was brought to life. The sun sparkled and danced on the water as the sky became brighter and brighter. The sage brush and rolling hills of the island were familiar and I thought of all the memories I have made there.

Once I started running on the causeway to leave the island things became harder. The landscape wasn’t as beautiful and the stink of the salt water became more apparent. I began to gradually slow down. I started seeing Joe driving around in our car, cheering me on. I was very tempted to catch a ride and just be done with it all. I kept running and as I ran I began to get discouraged as I realized that my goal time was probably no longer attainable, and I ran slower. My legs hurt, I was tired, and I was getting really hungry.

My parents then joined Joe and all of them ran with me for a while. This was encouraging and I reminded myself that this was the longest I had ever ran in my life, I was in uncharted territories. My dad and Joe ran with me the last stretch of the race just before the finish line, and I made it. My time wasn’t what I wanted, but I finished and I’m proud of that.

I learned a lot from this race that will help me if I ever decide to run another marathon. Next time I will try to not be in graduate school so I can get in more runs during the week and not just the long runs on the weekend. I will get someone to train with in order to help push me at the end of long runs and give me more motivation to get out and run. Next time I will have a personal record to beat, which I feel confident I could do with better training.

Me running on the causeway. (This picture was taken by Joe)
Finishing the race
Joe and I at the end of the race. I loved the sign that he made for me.
I had never been so sore in my life, so Joe carried me to the car.

The above photos were taken by my mom.



A woman I visit teach recently gave me some chairs and off handedly said that they would be nice pieces if I reupholstered them. That sounded like too big of a project, but since the chairs were free I decided to take them. After visiting a friend’s house who had just reupholstered some chairs I decided I might give it a try. She gave me some tips and with some help from the internet, it wasn’t too bad.

Old Chair

I purchased the materials I needed: staple gun, staples, heavy fabric and then located the tools that I had on hand: scissors and a screw driver.


The project was fairly simple. I flipped over the chair, unscrewed the screws on the bottom, and popped off the seat. Then I measured the amount of fabric I would need to cover the seat and cut it to size.  I pulled the fabric taut and used my staple gun to keep it in place. Then I put the seat back in place and put the screws back. Old chairs made new.

New Chairs

What’s For Dinner?

Tonight we tried out a new recipe for dinner and got some great results. It was a recipe I found on pinterest a while ago and have been wanting to try. The recipe is titled peanut soba noodles with edamame and kale. The title pretty much sums it up. With several substitutions we decided it’s a keeper. We will make it again.


As a side note, Joe and I discovered soba noodles about a year ago when they were on clearance. We found they were delicious but didn’t know what to do with them. This recipe is perfect and pretty too, I loved the contrast of the two shades of green in the edamame and the kale.

Gourmet Pizza

Yesterday after our rainy adventure we decided to dine in and try a new recipe. It turned out incredibly well and left us feeling like gourmet chefs. The recipe was a tomato pesto pizza. The pesto base made for a welcome different taste and the tomatoes made us feel kind of healthy. We put a little more excitement in our pizza by adding salami and olives.



Since graduation things have not settled down, they have gotten busier. Our available time to go out and do fun things together has diminished to Saturday. Perhaps someday we can be like normal people and go on vacations and go out on Friday night, but for now we will just have to enjoy our occasional Saturday.

One of our most recent adventures took us to dangerous territory, Utah county. We took a tour of Timpanogos Cave. The cave itself was fascinating, our group members not so much though their behaviors gave us excellent suggestions of what not to do when we are parents someday.

There were a few nice people in our group, like the ones who took this photo for us.
Out of the cave, and glad to be by ourselves. Until we ran into the mother who was singing “The song that never ends” to her children.

Today we went on another adventure, this time in more comfortable territory in the Salt Lake area. Our hike up to Grandeur Peak became even more interesting with the threat of rain on the way up to the peak. We only spent a few moments at the top in anticipation of thunder and lightning that might come with the rain. As we trekked down the rain started lightly and got heavier and heavier until it started hailing. We ran most of the way down and even though we planned for the weather, our water resistant clothes were soaked by the time we made it back to our car.

On top of the mountain.
The beginning of the rain.
This is how the better part of the trail looked.
Soaking wet at the end of our hike.


Joe and I are done with our internships. It feels good to be done. Next step graduation.

Hopefully the effects of this straining semester will wear off quickly and we can feel human again. Joe has been especially tried with his grueling 70 hour work week (with only 30 hours paid). So if you haven’t seen much of us in the last four months, try us again sometime soon. We are alive 🙂

Adventure Shoes

As far as Utah winters go, this one has been fairly mild. And although Utah still has some time to change that, and it might, we are starting to get excited for even warmer weather. This is evident by some recent shoe purchases.  Joe bought me a pair of approach shoes for Christmas,these shoes are designed for hiking and light rock climbing. A few weeks ago Joe bought himself a pair because they were on clearance at his favorite store. Matching approach shoes are an addition to our other favorite warm weather  adventuring shoes, Chacos. While we are getting excited to use these shoes that have been hibernating for the last few months, we won’t mind if Utah decides to give us a winter after all. You can have adventures in all kinds of weather 🙂

Adventure Shoes


Winter Songs

I recently worked at a child care and as all the staff were getting excited for the Christmas season we were instructed not to play Christmas songs in the classroom. We could however play songs about winter or snow. This led me to a personal quest to find all the Christmasy winter songs I could. I found quite a collection and my mix became a favorite among the staff and the children. Ironically, in a very dry December, the snow never came; but Christmas still did.

In honor of winter finally hitting Utah, here is my favorite winter song.

Perfect Days

Last Sunday, we had the opportunity to go to Camille and Quinn’s baby blessing of their son, Alvin. Later during testimony meeting, their Bishop spoke about what makes a perfect day. What makes a perfect day are the people you are with and not necessarily the thing you were doing, he said. So I decided to make a list of perfect days:

January 8, 2012 – Hanging out with the Davidsons after their baby blessing, and visiting Hope’s family.

January 7, 2012 – Receiving a surprise visit from my old friend, Jeff Wegner, for my birthday.

December 24, 2011 – The car ride on the way to snowboarding with Hope and my brother.

October 22, 2011 – Making it to the top of a mountain with no accidents and then epically running down like we were in Lord of the Rings or some cool movie like that, with my running buddy, Hope.

August 5, 2010 – Getting married to Hope for eternity.

January 2009 – Hanging out with Bagz, Wendy Jo, Madison, and Marc eating ‘joy beans’ (eating soy beans with a man named Joe) and writing random things on Facebook (crustaceans and DTRs in hot tubs).

July 19, 2008 – Summiting my first Teton, Mt. Moran, with my good friend Clay.

January 2003 – Snowboarding at Teton Village with the Burbanks and Mark Perez.

So I noticed two patterns during the perfect days I could think of off the top of my head. The first is that most of them occurred in January, which is purely coincidence. The second being that there was much laughter and good times with really good friends who share the same values and sense of humor. Like the Bishop, I too resolve to have more perfect days in 2012.