Monday, August 18, 2014

Running an Olympic Triathlon: My Side of the Story

So, lets start from the very beginning. I get a text from Sally as I am driving home from Utah around Christmas time. She says, "Hey we are doing a triathlon in August want to do it with us!?"
I respond, "Heck YES! That sounds like a blast."

STOP: I had no bleeping idea what I was agreeing to.

She then proceeds to tell me the distances-1 Mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run.

I still think its a brilliant idea. I think what made me think it was a good idea is the fact that it was so far away. I'm saying and agreeing to this in early January, right after I have eaten so many sweets and goodies I just look down at my bloated self and say, this will be just right to get me in shape.

STOP: I had no bleeping clue how much work it was going to be.

Around April I tell Sally to pass on a small 3 days a week workout to prep me for the real training starting in late May. I start running a mile here and there, biking 5 miles here and there at the gym, (I don't own a road bike YET) I get a gym pass that has daycare so I can work out during the day-kill some time while Brad is step studying. I tell people I am running a triathlon. I don't even know what I am saying, I just deep down am hoping I don't ever REALLY have to do it. Like I'll break my foot or something. Unfortunately and fortunately that wish didn't come true, and fortunately I did run the Triathlon in the end.

STOP: I did sports in high school, basketball, track, volleyball, dance and cheer. I like competing. I like working for things. This helped me have a goal.

So starting in May came the real workouts-which became quite difficult considering Brad was literally never home before dark, and I needed to start running, biking outside, and there is no pool here where there is daycare at an affordable price-so I swim at Texas Tech-when Brad is home. So Brad would leave 1 hour a day for Miles and I, and that was from about 5:30-6:30 to eat dinner. So I started to workout during that time. It was not fun on our family-at all. But somehow we did it. Sally found a bike for me in AZ, and shipped it to me, I cleaned out my special stash of savings money from little side businesses I do-in my Paypal and my bank account (Separate from Brad) roughly 1200 dollars for a bike.

STOP: Now I have to do this.

All the while Sally and Greg own like 6 bikes between the 2 of them, and they go on leisurely 50 mile bike rides EVERY DAY-well maybe once a week. But still-I wasn't a biker. They told me what to buy to fit my bike all up and ready, saddle bag (What the HORSE), water bottles, pump, helmet, pedals, biking attire, bike rack, and so that I could go alone-a bike trailer. There goes another $300 PLUS. So this isn't a cheap endeavor-at all. Now I'm really in this. Oh not to mention flights to Phx (Which I bought with Southwest points anyway ;) , and the hotel while we are there, and registration, and insurance in case I bail out.

Working out everyday Monday-Saturday was tricky. Sometimes I did a really hard workout, like running 4 miles, or biking 15 miles, or swimming 16 laps. Some days I didn't have time, I would run a mile in 8 Minutes, or bike 5 miles with the bike trailer. I did what I could providing I really didn't have a spouse during that time, and I had a toddler.

June we went on a cruise, then we went to Utah, then Seattle & Portland, then back to Utah. My working out during that was sporadic and maybe 3 times a week. We came back to Utah beginning of July and that is when I was really able to work out hard. Brad was in school but he was home at 5 most days, and I got in a couple long bikes, and really long swims, and runs in July. Again, working out everyday for 2 hours is difficult when you are single and have no obligations. I had Miles, and a house and husband to take care of, and like 15 side things going on-businesses and what not. But somehow I was able to get the job done. Probably my house was a disaster, my child neglected, and frozen meals a go to, my husband and I off of sync. But we did it. There were times when I wanted to give up, stop working out, spend time with my family instead of swimming, biking and running, but I didn't I kept at it. And it paid off.

Brad said to me at one point, "You know Brit, I am really surprised-when you said you were going to do a triathlon I didn't think you really would do it. But you are, good job."

Talk about motivation right there. Well thanks honey, you think I'm a lazy pants, but I gave you a startle when I actually got off my bootie ta frutie, and did this. I'm so glad I could impress you so easily.

We visited Dallas about 3 weeks before my triathlon. We were staying with friends in Ft. Worth, and I decided to go on a 5 mile run that morning. I got up before everyone else and started off. I ran for a good 4 miles and the last mile of it was off the road on bumpy uneven grass. My ankle started searing with pain. Shooting terrible pain. I just started to bawl. I couldn't even walk. All I could think about were the hours and hours of training, and sacrificing, and money I had put into running this tri, all to be thrown away with an injury.

I kept trying to walk on it, and walked on the road instead, it started feeling better, not so terribly bad. I texted Brad to come get me, but he didn't respond, so I just kept walking. I was only a mile from home.

STOP: I have had several ankle injuries throughout my life, and once in college I injured it during an intramural basketball game. Thinking it was a sprain I just continued throughout my life, icing and bracing it but still playing on it. After about 6 months it still had shooting pain, so I decided to see a surgeon about it. Turns out it was fractured, and the ligaments were/are badly stretched and he suggested surgery to fix them. I wasn't on board so we decided to do 3-6 months of physical therapy. I did the therapy and exercises at home and didn't have anymore problems with it.

Running on the uneven grass, must have knocked something loose, undoing all of my PT. I took it easy for a few days, soaked it, iced it, biked instead of running or swimming (ankle movement in swimming killed it). Then I started up again running, and it seemed ok, but it burned like fire, so I just took it easy again. Two weeks before the Tri when I was supposed to be training REALLY hard, I was basically biking 18 miles at the gym, and running/walking here and there. Not sufficient. I wanted to get in at least a 25 mile bike, 1 mile swim, and 6.2 mile run before I actually did them all-back to back!

Circumstances would have it, that I wasn't able to do that. Also I was asked to be a team member for a consignment sale that week, so that meant 8 hour days on my feet-which left little time for training.

My mom convinced me to go to Utah/Idaho to a family reunion right before the Tri- which allowed me to be at a higher elevation for a few days. Get used to it a little bit before attempting a tri at 7000 feet. So, that basically was selling my sleep to the devil, going on vacation alone with a toddler, who JUST decided he is morally opposed to sleeping in pack n plays, and HAS to sleep with mom when traveling. And really there is no fighting that, because he can climb out of the pack n play, and run screaming out of the room only to sit on your lap like nothing is wrong. Not to mention he REFUSES to sleep on planes, or in cars, unless he has been without sleep for over 12 hours. Even then it is a COMPLETE gamble if he will sleep or not, and you must allow him to SCREAM bloody murder for at least an hour before he gives up and falls asleep due to exhaustion. He's a blast to travel with.

We went to Lava Hot Springs for the FAM reunion (that will have to be a separate post). He was wonderful but I think he drank too much from the kiddie pee pool that always has about 30 kids in it around the clock. Because upon returning home he vomited in the night several times, and the diarrhea came after. This is 3 days before the Tri. I was up half the night cleaning up vomit and giving him baths. And doing laundry. That next day, we (Sally Miles and I) jumped on a flight to Mesa from Provo. He held it together on the flight, he had been eating and drinking great all day.


I thought he was better, but deep down I knew that was too good to be true. We just had some pinch of miracle during that plane ride. And as soon as he got in my sisters car, he let loose. So much vomit. Such an awful smell. Vomit doesn't usually bother me, nor does poop, but something in that bug made it smell so awful. I have no words.

Hannah (my sister who lives in AZ with 5 girls) sprayed out the car seat. I took a shower with the culprit, and he continued to diarrhea through all of the diapers I brought. Between Thursday & Friday I had changed 18 diapers.

STOP: You may wonder why I am explaining my child's sickness to you. I just want you to see this triathlon through my eyes, feel what I felt while crossing the finish line. It was greater and bigger than the distance, it was much more achievement than swimming, biking, and running.

I told my sister I was going to lay down by Miles at 7:30 PM to help him fall asleep. We both crashed and slept until 7 the next morning. I am glad I got sleep that night-although he slept on a twin on the floor and I slept on a twin on a bed frame, and at one point I checked on him to make sure he hadn't puked or pooped his pants, and he was gone. My heart panicked-this having a child not in lock down during the night was new for me. He was completely gone, I searched everywhere in the darkness. My hands patting down the entire bed and surrounding the bed. My heart was seriously beating out of my chest, then I felt a foot. I followed the foot to find that his entire body was under my bed his body smashed between two large boxes under the bed. I was sure he was suffocated under there. Nope still breathing. I decided I would lay by him to keep him on the bed, but after several times of putting him back on the bed, I left him on the floor partially under the bed. (Those of you who ran the tri and sleep soundly through the night with no disturbances-good for you. Just good for you).

That day we drove to Sally's in Glendale, where Miles continued to poop his way through diapers upon diapers. Not to mention every time I changed him it had to be a 3 person job because his poop was 3rd degree burning his bum and an entire tube of Desitin could not stop that determined acid poo.

We decided we needed to swim in a lake-so we drove to a nearby lake, I tried on a borrowed wetsuit, and wahlah! Swam-it felt great, I felt confident, and non concerned about the swim. Miles slept next the the truck the entire time in his carseat. (we took it out of the truck and rested on the tire in the shade) (I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS ABOUT TO COME)




During the night Sally keeps her house at a cool 85 Degrees so we pretty much sweat to death. Miles slept on the floor and I slept on the couch. Miles pooped 4 times in the night, and I was awakened by the smell and pooping noises. So imagine me, and screaming burning butt Miles going through that night (Friday night 2 nights before the Tri). Oh not to mention he vomitted again all over Greg and Sally's workout mats. Now-how can a person be puked on 7-9 times, change 89 diarrhea diapers, and come out without a scratch?????

They can't.

Saturday Morning: 1 day before the Triathlon, it hits.

Flu for me.
Puking and diarrhea like you would not believe-while trying to take care of my child's sickness-at someone else's house.

Somebody describe a version of hell, and I will help you.

No sleep, diarrhea everywhere, puking everywhere, on someone else's turf and terms, need to pack and leave, and acid bum for a baby.

Luckily my cousin Tawney decided to stop by. Some sort of angel she is. She started packing my bags, bringing me sprite, cool rags, taking Miles while I vomited and he tried to repeatedly put toilet paper in the toilet while I barfed.

STOP: How am I going to swim a mile, bike 25, and run 6.2 in less than 20 hours, when I can't stand?

We drove to Flagstaff from Glendale. Roughly 2 hours. Greg and Sally pretty much did everything for me. I just felt like I was managing, managing my body and child on a very low level. Miles fell asleep instantly-I mean come on our night was atrocious. It took me a few minutes before I was also out. Arriving at the hotel I felt better. I could stand-without feeling like I was going to vomit.

Brad was there, man that felt good. Whenever I go through anything hard, its easier if Brad is around. He calms me down, he makes me see the silly in the bad. He makes everything  better. It wasn't even for the help with Miles. I had help (not in the night of course) but I was being helped by angels around me I'm sure-because my body had just been through a lot, and Miles was a sick tired traveling baby. We were exhausted, and it was such a relief to see him there, riding my bike around the hotel parking lot- he brought my bike-drove from Lubbock on Saturday only to drive back with us Sunday.


(Takes an army to change a burned diaper bum)

It feels good to be loved, and have support, and he is the person that loves me the most and supports me the most. The worst was over, that was for sure. Well minus the swim. That thing tops the charts for the worst.

We went to Olive Garden and I ate for the first time in 24 hours. I felt ok, not great but okay. I started feeling better by the minute. I could do this in like 12 hours. We went back to the hotel and got ready for bed at like 6 PM. We all crashed at like 8 PM because we were all exhausted.

STOP: Sally got locked in the bathroom for 30 minutes-doorknob broke. Makes me cry laughing to think about it. She texted us, "Would one of you please let me out of the bathroom." We were all outside working on my bike. (CRY LAUGHING EMOTICON)

STOP: Greg is by far one of the best guys that I know. And I'm very glad my sister married him amidst much adversity. (That is a personal story not fit for my blog)

Greg worked on my bike for a long time, making sure it was fit just right to me-I had been riding it completely wrong, and not to mention he thought it was so funny after he raised my seat 6 inches watching me mount my bike from behind and then try to get off it as it crotched me. He even felt so inclined to reenact my predicament of crotching myself. PS Crotched is a word, Crotching isn't. Crotch most definitely is a word, and I became very aware of the capabilities of pain in that area after a 25 mile bike ride with no padding.

We fell asleep, and around 10:30 PM which felt like the middle of the night, Brad sat up in bed, and was pointing and yelling. He seemed fit to function. You know his eyes were open, he was sitting up yelling. Something had to be wrong. He was pointing at something saying,"STAY AWAY FROM ME!!!!!" Mixed with some NO NO NO NO NOs and some UHHHH and AHHHS. I was in a panic. I don't do well in panic situations. I was clasping his shoulders saying, "What's wrong?! What's wrong!?" Greg and Sally were both awake, dazed and confused of course. I was sure someone was in our hotel room, but after a quick observation I saw nobody was there. I pulled him back down on his back and he said. "That was a really scary nightmare." All of us could not stop laughing, and once Brad came to, through his laughter I made out that a possessed baby was crawling up the wall and then onto the ceiling coming towards him, and that sent us into a hysteria of laughter. He assures us that it was a terribly scary baby with weird eyes. Greg assumed this was a normal occurrence, but no-Brad has never shot up in bed thinking a baby was going to get him.

We fell back to sleep, giggly our way into a nervous, gut wrenching sleep the night before the main event. Our alarms went off at 4 but, I was already awake. Miles slept great but I just couldn't relax. I mean, had I trained enough? Was the elevation going to kill me dead? Was I going to be able to run post flu. I mean it was still present flu due to my multiple episodes during the night. The nerves are enough to send a person into complete shock and confusion. And it was only a matter of time before I was there.



We reached the spot where we were running in the mountains in Flagstaff, AZ. I visited the nasty bathrooms a few times due to emergency release of my dinner via diarrhea. Greg instructing me to take as many pepto chewables as I could stomach, as to avoid that problem during the race. (Don't mind my oversized fleeze pullover-I was under prepared for the chill so borrowed a jacket from Greg.)

STOP: I am sorry this story involves so much diarrhea. But, it is my side of the story.

Greg was doing the half ironman so, 1.2 mile swim, 50 mile bike, 13.3 run. So he left first. We watched him get into the water, we were happy and laughing. 




Then we realized we needed to hurry and get our wetsuits on. We got those on and ran back to the dock for our entry. We got in the water and I still felt great. 100 people surrounding me as we were the last wave of tri-athletes to go. You know all the women, all the men over 50, a lot of relayers, etc. They blew the horn. All the sudden it was mayhem. People hitting me every which way, I can't keep track of Sally, the water is cold and murky is an understatement. I put my head in to swim a stroke and someone kicks me in the forehead. I come up for air and doggie paddle. I try again and come up for a breath and someone splashes a wave into my face and mouth, I come up coughing, and really the elevation has me thinking I'm suffocating. My heart is beating out of my chest, all my nerves are hitting me, the first buoy is so far, and that's just the starting point for swimming across the entire bleeping lake. Panic sets in, panic like I have never known. I mean, I've been stranded in basketball shorts and flip flops in the middle of winter with a truck that won't start in a snow bank after dark, with no means of communication, at 14, with my little sister who is 8. I know what panic feels like. I wouldn't say I have ever had a 'panic attack'. Until now.

I have most definitely experienced a panic attack. I see Sally just a few strokes ahead back stroking as people pour water over her face and swim viciously by her. I am doggie paddling as she gets farther and farther away. All the swimmers keep going, all the while I am drifting in this lake. I try to swim, my legs feel funny, my arms won't move, my breath is choppy, my heart won't stop beating in my neck below my ears. I see a kayak ahead, and I see about 5 women gripping it. I swim to it. I clutch the side and joined 5 other women who were also experiencing a panic attack.

"It's too far."
"Oh my *&!"
"Oh my *&%^&*$  #&!"
"I can't breathe."
"I can't do this."
"My legs are cramping."
"I can't breathe, Oh my *&!"
"I just want to be on my bike, I can't do this!"
"This elevation is making me not be able to breathe!"
"I can't do this!"

Surrounding myself with these women wasn't my choice, it just happened, and it facilitated my panic. I pretended to be the strong one.

"Ok guys we can do this."
"Lets make it to the first buoy."
"Lets get in a rhythm, 1, 2, 3."
"We have trained for this."

As I let go of the kayak, I continued to try to freestyle, I backstroked, I breaststroked, I backstroked. I couldn't get in a rhythm. They were right, it was too far. My heart wouldn't stop beating, I could hear it in my head, I felt like I was choking on my heart beat. I couldn't even see the buoy we were supposed to swim to, I knew it was there, so I kept swimming. I wonder how far actually I swam. I kept looking up seeing that I was going in the opposite direction. I would say about half way done with the swim, I talked and prayed myself into a calm collective state, where I could get in a rhythm. I thought of Brad waiting for me, proud of me, I began to cry as I swam, thinking of all that I had accomplished up to this point. I thought of Sally, looking ahead seeing white goggles and a red swim cap, telling myself it was her, that she was just right there ahead of me. It seemed like forever. It seemed like I thought of everything to calm myself. I thought of Miles, I thought of how he has chubby fingers and how he grabs my face to kiss me. I thought of how he says, "Please BABA, instead of Please mama." I thought of having another baby, how I can't wait to see another baby, what will they look like? What will the baby's personality be? I got in a rhythm and I knew it was going to be fine now.

That swim, changed me, it showed me that I really can overcome anything. I was in a lake. A muddy murky lake, and I had a panic attack, and I made it out. I reached the 2nd buoy, and now to swim back to the dock, I could do this. I was almost there, I swam and swam and realized I was swimming in 2 feet of water, I stood up and undid my wetsuit as my legs tried to run, they wobbled, and I stopped myself from falling back in, I decided to walk and not run. I started to speed walk, the rocks and pavement poking and prodding my feet was nothing in comparison, and I was finally at my transition area. I took off my wetsuit, fumbled with my biking shirt, tried to put granola bars in the back of my shirt, put my shoes on, put my sunglasses on, put my helmet on, and walked out of the transition area and onto my bike. I began pedaling and it felt like my legs weren't there. I think I even looked down once trying to tell them what to do. As I looked down I ran off the pavement into the grass on the side of the road, like in the first 3 minutes of riding. My legs couldn't be steady, I was all over the place. My bike swiveling into the road and back again.

I began to bike, and drink gatorade as fast as I could, I scarfed down a granola bar because I remember Greg saying we needed to eat for energy, even if we didn't feel hungry. I ate one, then stumbled with the wrapper and as it flew out of my hands I felt guilty for littering. 

My phone was attached to my bike and after trying to get it on Cyclometer I gave up and just took a pic of myself.

I kept pedaling and I heard a "To your left" as the lady who was sharing my panic passed me on the bike. I was proud of her. Proud that she made it out, she really was hauling, I still couldn't fathom what was going on, I was keeping a 14 mph pace. I was in no hurry. I remembered my goal was to finish. And I think was in a trauma state. I just had been through a lot ok, and I am going to enjoy this bike ride. I felt like I was completely alone. I couldn't see anyone ahead or behind me. I kept going. I tried to eat another granola bar but couldn't finish it and rather than mess with putting it back in my bike pocket I tossed it into the bushes. Thinking a hungry bunny will enjoy that. I started passing people that must have beat me in the swim, and from their body type I have no idea how they were ahead of me. But then I remembered I panicked and they probably swam with no problems at all. At about 7 Miles I thought I saw Sally biking back and I yelled, "HEY I KNOW YOU!!!" And she turned and looked at me but with no response. Then at about 10 Miles I really did see her, and I said, "SAL!" She yelled something about good job, love you, keep going. I started crying, wow, we were doing this and she isn't THAT far ahead of me, only about 4ish miles. I started my mile counter a little late so I wasn't quite sure how off it was until I hit the turn around.
STOP: Sally had an excellent bike time and that was for SURE her strong point. I guess it helps if you have been doing it for years, and bike long distances with your husband on a regular basis.

I passed a younger boy who was wearing high top converse white shoes, and riding a mountain bike, he looked as if he was struggling up the hill. I passed quite a few unlucky souls on the hill. For some reason it wasn't hard to me, probably biking in Lubbock wind helped me there. One girl shouted out, "THIS HILL SUCKS!" as I passed her. I laughed and kept going.

The boy that I passed on the mountain bike, said, "This is my first one." As if to explain why he was struggling. I just replied with , "Me too! Keep going!"

Maybe that pissed him right off, a girl is beating me, and its her first one too! I thought of that as I rode on. But, honestly bro, my bike is meant for the road-hence why I am passing you-trust me, these jello legs would not be able to had you brought a road bike.


That bike felt long, and my foot was cramping on the outside of it, the entire time, that maybe slowed me down a little but mostly it just bugged me.  But, honestly the bike was nothing compared to the swim I nickednamed 'swim of death' or 'panic attack central' or 'death by swim'. Right after the turn around, I heard a "Hey!" And saw Greg coming up behind me, we biked together, he gave me tips about going down the down hill, keep my legs in, keep going if the bike feels shaky, duck my head down to gather more speed. We chatted about how far he had, he seemed happy, he had to turn off to go around the lake again before heading back. I was sad when he turned off, I needed that though, and what a little miracle that we happened to match up at the perfect time to ride together. I passed a few more people on the way back, mostly on the downhills, maybe they were scared about going fast, I loved it. I wanted to go faster, when I saw I was going 28 mph I wanted to hit 30mph. It felt good to cover ground with no work. Just tucking my legs in and flying. I was not a fan of biking on the right of the white line, it was rocky and bumpy, and I didn't mention that the tri shorts I was wearing were a poor excuse for bike shorts. NO padding in comparison to what I have been biking with. I mean Sally and I did the dirty when we vasolined our lady parts, but that wasn't good enough for me, it was rip roaring pain in the downtown by this point. So I stayed to the left of the white line, there weren't many cars so I didn't feel it was a problem. A few times I felt that I could have grabbed on the mirror of the car like an action movie and left my bike behind they got so close to me.  Once a classic car truck flew by and the man yelled at me, MOVE OVER! Well, sorry fella, I have some throbbin crotch right now, I am NOT ridin bumpy. I need this smooth road for my future babies sake.

The last few miles felt long, I was just staring at the mile counter (I cannot think of its name at this point). Finally I rode down and saw the transition area. They coached me to get off my bike, I heard a distinct, "BRIT!!" Then I saw Brad holding Miles. I couldn't look at him, and even now it chokes me up. Why is this so emotional to me, I do not know-I am giving it my all, alongside much adversity, and I am actually doing it-thats why the tears are flowing. And he is here supporting me, he loves me, and he is proud of me. Miles started crying and reaching for me, as I changed out of my helmet. I put my sunglasses away, then realized I needed them while running. So I got them back out, I was just all over the place. Felt like I was in a daze.

I started jogging, they called my name as I crossed out of the transition area. That felt good. They handed me water, I tried to run and drink, but couldn't. I kept running until a cramp of all cramps hit me in my side. I walked, then made goals to run to the sign, run to the mile marker, run to the tree, walk again. Run again. Then I hit the uphill and I knew I was 1.5 miles in. I was walk running up that hill then I saw Sally, we embraced and cried, and told each other we loved each other, I screamed at her that she only had 1.5 miles left. She was so far ahead of me. I tried not to think about it. I was trying to do this run in an hour. My ankle started to burn. I kept drinking this Heed stuff they kept handing me hoping it will kill the cramp, I took Ibprophen for my headache, and cramp meds for my foot right after the bike. The foot cramp went away but was followed with this side cramp-or side ache, but it didn't feel like a side ache-it was a definite side CRAMP. People would yell at me, "GOOD JOB 36!!" That was my number pinned to my front. "Keep going 3-6!!!" It felt good to hear that.

I kept thinking about how far ahead Sally was, then somehow I reached the dirt road, where I had to run a little further. I turned around and was so excited to almost be done. I ran the downhills so fast, and passed several more people. I finally was at the 1.5 miles left mark. I walked a little here and there because I still had that awful cramp in my side, I met up with an elderly gentleman and I said, "We are almost there, we can do this!" As we ran side by side. He said, "You be my rabbit." I laughed and kept going. I wanted to walk again because this last mile felt like forever. I kept reminding myself it was just like running to the park and back, which I had done so many times in 8 minutes. I can do this in 10, I can do this mile in 10 minutes I kept saying to myself. I was just about to walk, then I saw Brad about .5 miles from the finish line. He had come out to cheer me on and run with me. I am so glad he did, I would have walked I'm sure of it. My legs and body had nothing left. We ran together and people were cheering for both of us. Haha, he liked that. He liked getting praise for something he didn't do. I told him I was going to speed up, and I started running as fast as I could to the finish line. It felt like sprinting but I need to watch the video it is probably a slow jog a Grandma could outdo.

As I crossed the finish line they said, "Brittany Clark from LUBBOCK TEXAS!!" Then he said, "You ran all the way from Texas!?" I saw Sally holding Miles and heard Miles crying for me. I hugged Sally and shortly after Brad came. Sally talked about how she vomited during the run, and I told her I puked a little during the bike, we talked about the swim, how we panicked.  She told me she got stung by a bee on the bike ride, and later she would send me pictures of the large welt.

We talked about how happy we were when we saw each other on the bike and run.

It all seemed surreal, surreal that my body was able to do it, and that it was such a fulfilling experience. Amidst all of our trials Sally and I finished. Injuries, puking, cramps, headaches, panic attacks, diarrhea, and no sleep.



We took pictures, I felt okay, I was walking talking laughing, you know just the usual Olympic Tri-athlete post race behavior. We needed to wait for Greg to finish, and he was supposed to finish around 12 noon or so. Sally was worried about him so she biked to find him on his run. She took him food and drink and found out he was cramping in his feet really bad. We sat as Brad ate the snacks for the athletes pretending they were for me. He would say, "Brit you want a cookie?" Then as I started to say no, he would say, "Ok you want 2? Okay I'm grabbing them for you." Then he would eat them.

We watched the winner of the half iron man waltz around in his bikini bottoms like it was no big thang. Finally Greg came across the finish line with a smile on his face. That finish line represented a lot that day. It is much more than completing a race. It is months of trial, and training that is crossing the finish line. Hence for the smile, hence for the tears.





Brad and I drove home, and I needed to stop to go to the bathroom-I got out of the car and couldn't walk. My body hurt for a few days. Sally's too, it kicked our trashes, but it felt so so good.


It was a remarkable experience, and Sally and I are already planning our next one this year. Stay tuned for many more triathlons from us.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Disappeared

I disappeared. I disappeared for awhile there didn't I? Wow. Its been almost 2 full months since I posted. That may be a blogging record for me. Not the kind I want to set. But I'm about to get you all up to speed on our last 2 months. You see there is this thing called Step. Step is a test that sucks all light from your soul, and then slits your throat. Thats really the best way of describing it. But somehow you survive the light sucking, and the throat slitting. Its a miracle really. And I'm not here to complain about step. I am just explaining to you where I went for 2 months. Well actually no, June was spent in blissful bliss, frolicking around the country (Countries) and gaining back any light that was sucked from us. If you can make it through 2nd year of med school with an aspiring surgeon. You can make it through anything. We went on a cruise! Which I was actually not looking forward to. (I know how lame of me to be worried about leaving my child for a week) That is all I could think about-all the stories of kids losing an arm while their parents were away on some trip. So....my mom came out and eased my worries a little, and she brought Faith who played with him and helped my mom out, and it was a break from my mom's day to day life with my autistic brother Ammon-so it worked out.

 So Brad surprised me on Vday with this cruise as my gift, anniversary gift, and post step gift. I know husbands are always normally gone 8-5 right? And that's fine, thats normal. And some are even gone more than that-but it wasn't that he was gone 8-5, home for dinner for an hour, then gone 6-10 every single day even Saturday and Sunday. It was just that he carried with him such an indescribable burden with him. This feeling of everything rides on this test. He wants to be an orthopedic surgeon (or some type of surgeon but he says its ortho 100%) and you have to do well on the test to be competitive, so if he doesn't do well, there is no other options, he has to do well, or basically he will be unhappy doing something else that isn't per-say his 'dream'. Its not pretentious its just what he wants, he loves, and he wants to do something he loves. 

So...everything rides on that, if he loved ortho and it wasn't competitive then he wouldn't have to score so well, and then he wouldn't be as stressed I would say. So the level of stress is what he carried, and naturally I carried it as well. So all along I knew the Lord would take care of us, and has a plan for us, so I just had faith that it would all work out. I don't think it put a 'toll' on our relationship, but it definitely made me feel like my relationship was different, kinda one sided I would say-as I had Mr. Jello Brain for a husband. He would come home and I would try to pillow talk and several times I would be mid sentence and wahlah he would jump, like the sleep jump. Twitching would have you. Mid-sentence! I mean...who is that tired? Who falls asleep when I say, "How was stu-!TWITCH!-dying?" He does. He did pre-Step. But don't worry. We remembered why we like each other spending every single second together for 8 days straight. PS We got his Step scores back yesterday, and phew....we are VERY happy with his score and he will after all...be able to be competitive as an orthopedic surgeon.

 So, all that stress for nothing. Actually, I am pretty sure he needed the stress to keep him going, and I needed the stress to age me 5 years so people stop asking for my ID when I try to buy wine. (I have never bought wine in my life.) Mostly just when I am walking through a casino is the only time its happened to me, and I love it. But seriously, we are so blessed and we know that, and we contribute it to all the prayers and fasting of our family members and loved ones.
Our cruise left from Galveston, so we just took the quick 9 hour drive down there and boarded our ship. We put our swimsuits on then had someone take this pic of us, then realized we didn't have time to swim so we promptly changed back into our dinner clothes. Cruise newbies. 

They always had performances and singers going non-stop, so we were frequent attenders to the shows and what have you.
We learned quick that the sit down dinners were fabulous and did not even compare to the buffet that was open all the time.
We attended many comedies. We went to the non-family friendly one and realized really quick we weren't in love with listening to the F word every other word. No joke, how does a person complete a sentence with that many F words. I didn't think it was possible, or funny at all. So we stuck to family friendly.
We went to several shows, and one time Brad wanted to go to the magic show and I was so tired, he told me he was going to go get us seats, and I could get ready then come down. I fell asleep and didn't wake up until the show had already started and by that time it was so dark in the theater and I couldn't find him, and it was mayhem and we had a small tussle because he was mad at me, then I got mad at him for getting mad at me for being exhausted, and then we were newlyweds again :). Actually no...because we fought a lot more as newlyweds than we do now. 
I usually ordered 1 or 2 appetizers every meal, then 1 or 2 entrees, then 1 or 2 desserts. Only once did I order 3 entrees. Just because I wanted to try all the crazy food. I tried alligator, shark, and I tried cow and fish and shrimp and lobster several times over ;). The portions were pretty small so I didn't feel too bad, plus my stomach was so stretched out by the end that was like a normal amount of food for me. 
Our ports visited Cozumel, Mexico, Belize, and Roatan Honduras.
In Mexico we swam with dolphins, which was way too expensive in my opinion for what we got. I thought we would be swimming in a cove with wild dolphins they roped in and we could do as we please, but no it was very structured with trainers and 1 dolphin and very money driven obviously as a freakin picture cost $30, but I watched families pay over $300 dollars for their precious pictures and I just said to myself-I will remember the moment I kissed a dolphin. Belize we got on a small boat and jumped off in the middle of the ocean and snorkeled with a guide I couldn't understand and he swam too fast for my looking needs. I got my salt intake for the next 3 years because sometimes I forgot I was snorkeling and I just would breathe through my nose, then that would fog my mask so I would take it off then I would rinse it then somehow putting the snorkel back in required me getting insane amounts of salt water in my mouth. 
In Honduras we got a cab with some random couple, and went to a restaurant in Honduras and ate the REAL non touristy Honduran food, because that is where Brad served his mission.  Then we went back to a beach and got completely sun burned because somehow the sun just was our next door neighbor that day, so hot.

We spent the nights of our cruising at shows, and on the Serenity deck where no kids are allowed, in the hot tub just talking to each other or strangers. We talked and talked, and some days we watched movies in bed in our room, and some days we just laid out all day. So basically it was wonderful on so many different levels. I didn't miss Miles too much the first 4/5 days, then by day 5 I would see a baby and hold back tears. I just got so....emotional about it, and I don't know why. I missed him, and I needed him more than anything. I knew this before but he is just part of me now and if I don't have his little grimy hands and too long of fingernails scratching my face and grabbing my cheeks and kissing my lips I get sad. So yes, it was a wonderful break from real life. It was a break and everybody needs those, couples need those. So it was worth the money, time, and leaving Miles to take an amazing trip with my amazing husband. 

PS I will add pictures later because we mostly took pics on Brads phone :) and I only have mine right now!

Citrus Lane June Box Review

I was out of town all of June so this is a little late, but I receive the Citrus Lane Box Subscription for my 22 month old baby boy. I love getting this box more than anything, it is such a pick up to receive a box full of wonderful things you barely paid anything for, and then you have all these top of the line items, toys, skin care, food, for your baby.

I love Citrus Lane and I recommend it to almost EVERYONE I talk to that has kids. It just is a wonderful thing to be a part of. You get quality items for half price, and its affordable. I have found my favorite toys, skincare, food items, books, and brands because of Citrus Lane. 

Here is a little price info:
1 Month: $29/month Free shipping, 
3 Months: $24/month Free shipping, 
6 Months: $21/month Free shipping,
12 Months: $19/month Free shipping.


You can get your first box for $14.50. Robbery.
Just to try it, you can get over $50 worth of goods for $14.50! Sell your old stuff on Ebay once a month and its paid for! That's what I am all about!
This box specifically is valued at $58.25 (which is the discounted Amazon Prime price) and you are going to pay $14.50 for it! A steal, a complete steal. Now sometimes you may get things you don't want or need, and in that case why don't you just keep a little gift stash that you paid nothing for!? My gift stash doesn't last long, and guess what? I give amazing expensive gifts because of Citrus Lane. And mostly I keep everything because its just too good to give away. And I really like getting crisp new things. It must be a disorder :)

This box featured so many wonderful items:
Zoo Straw Bottle from Skip Hop
Wet Bag from Bumkins
Mighty 4 Bars from Plum Organics
Pouch Puzzle from Mudpuppy
Special Offer from Third Love

And the included list.


Zoo Straw Bottle from Skip Hop $10.45 on Amazon 
I'm actually glad I am posting this late because I can really talk about these items. I mean REALLY talk about them. Every mom loves a new crisp sippy cup, because you know they get nasty. The babies carry them around everywhere and they just get washed 6,000 times, and so a new fresh one is like gold. And this one has become our constant companion. We take it everywhere. It has a velcro strap to hook to your purse, your arm, your stroller, your child's arm, your bike, your diaper bag, your belt buckle-you get the gist- and I love it.

It pops the straw right out and then closes again for NO leaking. And guess what my 22 month old figured it out in all of 5 seconds. He actually loves it, it makes him feel like he is independent and capable of opening and closing his drink. Score.

Wet Bag from Bumkins $14.84 on Amazon
You can get different prints on Amazon for different prices, but my print specifically was Mickey and this was a 'get to choose' item. Citrus lane usually lets you choose one item, or the color, or the type, and they send you an email and its a sneak peak to your box, and when I saw this one I loved it-and I also didn't realize it was going to be so big, and so useful! We go to the pool A LOT, and Texas is very hot so we go to the pool, then we usually change our little guy into normal clothes after, because he is in a swim diaper, and because he has this ability to turn blue and freeze to death even if it 109 degrees outside. So we get him out of the wet clothes ASAP after swimming, and usually we would wrap his wet clothes up in a towel and everything in our bag would be wet by the time we got home anyway. NOT ANYMORE!!!!! This bag is massive, and it holds all of our swimming suits and could hold more. I love it. I don't know how I lived without it. Since getting it we have been swimming 3 times and have used it and loved it every time.

Its big. You could almost fit a little human in it. But don't. Please don't. Just wet clothes please.


Mighty 4 Bars from Plum Organics $1.32 (.66/bar) on Amazon 
Plum products come frequently and I really love Plum, and these didn't disappoint. I could barely take a picture before Miles devoured them. I'm a sucker for all natural stuff-don't give me any of that other junk unless I'm really splurging on a fried donut, or Red Vines or something. Plus a $1.00 coupon as well. 


Pouch Puzzle from Mudpuppy $11.64 on Amazon
These varied in price, mine specifically on Amazon was over $20.00 but I took the Under the Sea Pouch Puzzle and priced it that way. This is a tad bit old for my 22 month old, it is a 12 piece puzzle, but I thought it was cute how it was in a zip plastic bag, and could be an easy travel piece also, the box tends to get ruined quick and this is durable and I loved the print of the Forest Friends. I'm a sucker for puzzles and games for kids (teaching Kindergarten gave me an outrageous collection) so this will be perfect for a center for my 3 year old preschoolers I teach starting in the Fall. 

Special offer from Third Love Valued at $20.00
This is a $20 off a $40 purchase coupon at Third Love. Third Love is a Bra/Lingerie company that sells all types of bras and even in half sizes. It matches your measurements perfectly to what bra size you need. Now as a mom we fluctuate bra sizes like nobodies business. So all my bras are strectched out from nursing and being pregnant, so I am up for a new bra for sure! So I will be testing these bras out for $20 for sure. Sometimes Citrus Lane includes coupons and deals, and sometimes I use them and sometimes I don't. I usually don't use them if they are 20% off or something, but this time I think I will, and I already know what bra I want and desperately need, but they don't have my exact size...so thats a bummer and I'm willing to wait for it!  


This box is valued at $58.25!!!! HOLY SMOKES. So you can pay $14.50 and get the similar items every month, or you can just try it, and participate in the amazingness and then you will be sold and subscribe. I promise. I love it and I know you will too.

                    Using this link CLICK HERE TO GET 1/2 OFF YOUR FIRST BOX

Monday, May 19, 2014

Citrus Lane Subscription May Box Review

Since several of my friends and family have asked me about Citrus Lane/I tell them about it-I decided to review Miles' monthly box. A perfect month to review because it has been one of my favorites so far. 
So just a little price info on the subscription box: 
1 Month: $29/month Free shipping, 
3 Months: $24/month Free shipping, 
6 Months: $21/month Free shipping,
12 Months: $19/month Free shipping.

Using this link you can get a one time box for $14.50! That is robbery! You can try it for literally no risk.
You can try it out for a month-no subscription-no commitment, and cancel if its not to your liking. I tried it out from a friend's link, and here I am, in love.

So, that being said they are affordable even for the med student's wifey like me. And...if you don't believe me, wait and see as I post all the things I got this month.

My box is specific to my child, so you put in your child, and what age they are, and you will get gender and age appropriate items.

And for me, I love getting all of these new hip things for my little one, but the best part for me is the surprise-I mean come on! Who doesn't love a complete surprise!!?? Its like Christmas every month. And it makes my week every time my Citrus Lane box comes. I have NEVER been disappointed with a box, sometimes I am not 100% happy with an item, but when that happens, I give it as a gift, and let me tell you, I have a baby shower/birthday party to go to at least once a week! And my gifts don't disappoint because they are usually Melissa & Doug, Hape, Skip Hop or Green Toys!  So if you are hesitant that you won't like an item-don't fret! I have a stash of gifts that essentially I didn't even pay for because they came in my box, and they weren't just right for me or Miles so I pass them on and they are brand new in the wrapper! So its a win win. (But this RARELY happens, I usually love everything in the box, and I never get duplicates) Also if you are a seller on Amazon-thats another great way to make some money back if you don't love an item. Just last month I did the mystery box through Citrus Lane and I got 2 items I already had, and so I just put them on Amazon and wahlah! Paid for my entire Mystery Box-and I kept the other 6 items! 

Also, you get to try all these products that you may have never heard of, or aren't in your normal shopping stores, and my cupboards are full of Citrus Lane dishes, and my toy boxes are full of Citrus Lane Toys, and my baby toiletries are full of all natural baby products from Citrus Lane, and guess what!? I found my favorite brands and things from doing Citrus Lane! And I have passed on some great product knowledge to my friends and family who were looking for the perfect item. 

Now I am going to list the prices as found on Amazon Prime, and it always turns out to be an amazing deal even with the amazon discount price-so that is another selling point for anyone who is on the fence! The retail price point is probably almost double what you can find it on for Amazon Prime, so if you don't have Amazon Prime, then you aren't in anyway going to find these products for that price. Totaling $53.84 in value (discount price points). Well take my breath away! If you are thinking about getting a box for starters at $14.50, thats almost $40 in product for free. 


May Box

Parthenon Sand Mold and Track Roller from Hape Toys
Hero from Goodbyn
Wooden Puzzle from Melissa and Doug
Fresh Feet Wipes for Kids from Jasmine Seven
Snack from Back to Nature
25% off from VineMarket.com


Fresh Feet Wipes for Kids from Jasmine Seven $6.95 Amazon Prime
These sanitizing wipes always come in handy, and because of Citrus Lane-I never have to buy any type of hand sanitizer wipe because they send something every once in awhile-a few months back I got a big container of wipes, and they JUST ran out so its just perfect. Also, something I love about Citrus Lane is they always send natural, organic, and recycled products. Which I am all OVER! So these are 99% natural and alcohol free. And they are compact-so I can throw them in my purse, and they smell amazing. They say feet in the title, but on the package it says for hands and feet!


Parthenon Track Roller from Hape Toys $7.99 Amazon Prime
How perfect for summer! I was just thinking-man I need more sand toys for Miles, because all of our parks are sand, and lately he has been taking his shoes off to use as a shovel! And what boy doesn't love something that rolls, and makes a print, and you drag it through mud and sand! Hello perfect boy toy! These are Hape brand which are high quality unique toys. And obviously we have green, but I saw the little girls who subscribe had pink!

Sand Mold from Hape Toys $5.63 Amazon Prime
In addition to the roller-we received this sand mold, which is another great addition to our sand toys. Everyone needs a sand mold.


Snack from Back to Nature $1.33/bag Amazon Prime (24 pack online)
Now I'm not a huge fan of snacks in the box, but these I can't complain about, snacks in the box are rare, I think I have only had about 3 snacks and I have been a subscriber for about a year. But these came a little bit crumbled. So I gave Citrus Lane a ring, and within 1 minute of being on the phone, they said they have a new bag of cookies sent out to me. So if you know me personally-I am a little bit obsessed with customer service. I didn't really need a new bag of cookies sent to me, but I just needed to know what they would do-because I have NEVER not EVER had a problem with anything in the box. So this being the first time, it was my first chance to see what they would do, and they apologized, and took care of it, with no-uh its just a bag of cookies attitude. I was impressed. Nice job Citrus Lane. PS, these cookies are delicious, and contain no artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, flavors or colors. Nice. Completely my kind of snack-er....treat. :)


Wooden Puzzle from Melissa and Doug $9.99 Amazon Prime
Now this...this sings to my soul right here. I am a Melissa and Doug fan through and through, and the best part about this is we got to choose our own about a month ago, so no it wasn't a complete surprise, but I LOVE that they let the subscribers do that, because it just so happens that my little boy is OBSESSED with fire trucks, and airplanes, and trains, and boats, and buses, and anything that has wheels, so I loved that I could choose this month, and it was a tough choice they gave us, we had to choose between about 6 different Melissa and Doug puzzles, and since I spend a small fortune buying them at TJ MAXX for Christmas, Easter, and Birthdays, I was happy I could choose one for the box.


Hero from Goodbyn $21.95 Retail
So this is a product I almost cried while opening it, but seriously, its shiny and glossy, and BPA free, dishwasher safe and cute and now when we go on picnics we won't have mushy sandwiches and plastic baggies galore. And this isn't even on shelves yet!!! Its a new product completely. And I am sold!


It has 3 compartments, 2 containers for dips, and a nice secure lid.


And its big enough to fit plenty of food. My hand is in this picture to show you my nicely done Mother's day manicure (my first one ever) and the size point. 

25% off from VineMarket.com

Now this is normal for Citrus Lane to include some sort of coupon or freebie online. Last month I got a free card from Treat.com, I whipped it out and paid .40 cents for postage, and it was valued at $4.00, I probably won't use this coupon, but its great for people that maybe want to try getting all natural snacks through an online source. Now I didn't include the value on this-but hey if you do it you could save some serious cash!

Oh look I snuck my Mother's Day pedicure in as well (not my first one). Miles played with this puzzle forever, and usually I love Citrus Lane box days, because my child gets a new toy and is engaged for a long time! 

I am excited for all of these new products, totaling $53.84 (discount price) and I am so excited for you to try them as well, because you will fall in love, and its pretty much like getting a lot of things free, and  you will probably find all of your favorite products from Citrus Lane.
Use this Link to join for $14.50/month




Monday, May 5, 2014

We Meet Again

We have just been so busy around here...but that's not always true because I have tons of time to blog, but my life with a toddler has just sorta been chaotic. If we stay at home all day, and I have goals to do the laundry and dishes, Miles' bedroom, and every other room gets trashed. So I have to prepare myself for that. If I make dinner, same sorta trade off. You trade off getting one thing done, only to have another thing to do when you are done with the other thing. I always say, "Oh my goodness thank you for helping me!" (As he picks up my pile of 40 folded shirts and hands it to me, unfolding every last one). Then under my breath I say, "not". Ha, he loves to help, he loves to bring you something and thinks he is helping. He brings me my laptop over the tile regularly, barely clinging to it, and I catch it right before it slips right out of his hands to its demise.

Brad is getting closer and closer to test day. That means he is getting more more more valuable. You know like those celebs that you never see come out of their house and the one picture the paparazzi has of them is all blurry and like 5 miles away. That's how I am starting to feel about Brad. Our moments together are fleeting and blurry. But we cherish them. The other night I paid a babysitter (which is like unheard of-come on trade groups for date night??? Be frugal Brittany come on). But seriously if my co-op falls through, I need that date. I look forward to getting out and doing fun things with my husband where one of us isn't wrangling our child. When we go out to eat, one of us is mostly engaged with Miles for the duration of the time. So its not really a date, its more of a decision to put ourselves in a stressful, draining situation for an hour, just for some hot pizza, spur of the moment. A date is pure and uninterrupted bliss of eating without wiping, cleaning, apologizing to the people around you, feeding, cleaning up spilled drink, asking for another for k, another cup, another spoon, another straw, more napkins. And eventually walking out with food all over you, sweating, probably have some claw marks on your face as you try to keep your child's limbs from hitting nearly every person at each table you walk by. I feel like I am also describing plane rides. Why is it that kids reach out and touch people at random? Is that just innate? Were we born like that? And some sicko taught us it was unacceptable and really its normal, and kids have it all right?

Well regardless, we hired a babysitter. It was pure joy. I get so happy on those dates. We went swimming at the Tech pool for a work out, then sat in the hot tub together. We pretended we were dating although any idiot could tell we were married if they really watched us, and people watched, well Brad tried to talk to me, and I never listen while I am enthralled in people watching.

Then, we got ready in the family bathroom-because we can. I realized as I was removing my swimsuit-I forgot my undies. My undergarments. My g-ments. As Brad and I call them. Shiiiiiiiii. If I go home thats a 20 minute detour in my already time crunched night. And we were ready to pass out from eating lunch at noon and it was almost 8 PM and we just swam for a workout. And we knew if we went somewhere nice we would have to wait....so I agreed to just go commando. Throughout the rest of the night, Brad would just say out loud-"commando" Pshh! I didn't mean to. He also would just randomly start laughing and say, "This is really funny, how do you forget everything?" He thinks its humorous how I can't remember movies, or anything really. I'm just forgetful and it has only gotten so much worse since I had Miles. So my underwear took the brunt on this one-or I guess I did, for having no undies.
Miles is a play mania, he loves to play-but it only lasts a few minutes at most, so I can go through like 15 activities in 20 minutes. Then I still have 2 hours left.

Brad is really good at playing-as you can see. He will play this game for hours. Get on back, fall off get back on.


We love IBC. I am sure I have like 30 different pictures of this.

Miles has this thing, that if you are on the computer or ipad, he climbs up and sits right on your lap, and he will climb up all over your face, and use any means to get there. Then he just plops down like you wanted him there, and he starts terrorizing you of course, slamming the keyboard and getting mad when you try to make him stop.

Miles LOVES watching videos of himself so we find ourselves taking videos just thinking he's going to love watching this later. Sometimes its our last resort, last defense for him.

I got this ball for him at Walmart after  him pointing to it like 15 times, I finally gave in. And he loves it, and we play with it all day long. Sometimes I get hit in the face with it, when I am not expecting it. Its so awesome.
We took a little trip to Arizona because Brad presented at a conference-two of my sisters live there-Hannah and Sally, it was way fun to see them and my mom and brothers (Shad and Ethan) came as well!
We stayed in the Westin Kierland Resort and it had an amazing pool and we asked for a pack and play and got this adorable fancy mini crib. I remembered how painful it is to sleep in the same room as Miles. He wakes up a lot and knows you are there and won't stop crying until you get him out and he is sleeping in between us. On our full bed because they ran out of King beds-and I would have got into the other full bed with him, but seriously I have zero brain function at 3 AM. 

So he cuddled with us all night. Such a stinker. Not to mention he had croup on Sunday night and we left Wednesday-he had to get a steriod shot and needed to go to the ER but it was earlier enough in the morning that I just stayed up with him all night until the doc opened (we have learned our lesson and after a scolding from the doc-we will now visit the ER if our child isn't breathing). So he was still recovering from that, and when he is sick I am just a pushover and let him sleep on me.

Uncle Greg is the best for playing-he helped Miles hang from this bar and Miles was so strong and hung for so long!

His cousins would carry him when he needed to be carried and it cracked me up because Halle would carry him all the time and he would just succumb to her carrying, and she is just a tad bigger so it looked hilarious. One time at the splash pad he went on the playground and Halle brought him back and he was saying "hot" "hot" "hot" And Halle said, "Its burning his feet" Haha! So cute.

We got to meet uncle Shad for the first time! And for some reason Miles had the worst gas, so he kept ripping farts and Shad thought it was hilarious!

Jeremy and Hannah have a massive lawn mower and Miles got to ride on it and that meant that was all he wanted to do the rest of the time we were there, he would go running to it as soon as we let him outside.


Uncle Jeremy and Miles riding together! I'm jealous of their gorgeous backyard. 

We picked up aunt Sally who is getting her PHD in Chemistry at ASU, and Miles is finally starting to like her :)

Sally lived with me when I was pregnant and was the first one to find out I was pregnant besides Brad of course. She witnessed the miracle of pregnancy. IE: Peeing my pants while vomiting my guts out every hour every day for 22 weeks. Pure bliss and joy. If you ever want to know why I'm not pregnant yet, you know expanding my family more yet, ask Sally. It was rough on me, and although I know the child is so worth it. I need more time to regenerate. Or as I have pleaded in my prayers every night: hopefully the next one won't hurt as bad. 

My mom and I eating the day she was flying home.


Hazel and Miles were so cute together, Hazel took care of him like she has since he was little. So precious.

I think Hazel wore that dress everyday we were there. LOL. Talk about getting use out of laundry.

Swimming with Hannah and her girls at our pool. It was not heated so we hit up the hot tub afterwards.

Splash pad fun! I am mad at myself for not taking a cousins picture, but this was during the time Miles was supposed to be sleeping so he was pretty much a zombie. We had to wake him up to go to the splash pad, in the 15 minute drive in the car, he completely konked out. Because Brad had taken him swimming all morning while I went shopping, so he was just pooped.

As he has gotten older I have become more relaxed, oh we don't have a dry swimsuit so we will just wear our shorts.


We hung out at the hotel together, and Miles took showers for like 45 minutes because he played with all the different bottles in the shower. He loves playing bowling with bottles. His hand acts as the bowling ball.

These are snap chat pictures-that I save to remember our little cuddles together.

Miles is cuddleable, you just have to get him in the right moment, sometimes in the middle of the night he wakes up crying and I go in and hold him and sit on our big chair with a foot rest and we both fall asleep like we used to when we were nursing. Sometimes I put him in a show and I cuddle with him on the couch and I fall asleep. Sometimes he just comes over and gives me a hug and a kiss and we have a fleeting cuddle.


Here is Brad right after his presentation-he said it went well and we were so blessed to have this opportunity!

Stella, chubbiest baby ever.

Splash pad portrait.

We went out to eat and got a babysitter, it was this hipster place, where it said "grass fed bison burger". So I got tacos, and the burger was delicious-I had a few bites of Brad's in a trade off for a taco.

Here we are altogether, Sally is married but Greg had a test he needed to prepare for, medical school-I know the feeling. Jeremy and Hannah are married and have 5 little girls. Crazy at their house!

Miles took a little spin on this motorcycle. 5 girls and a motorcycle!


We had such a blast with our cousins, and Maddie is at school so she is missing from this picture. I always ache when I am around family because I wish we lived closer. I wish Miles could play with these girls everyday, but reality has it that we live thousands of miles away.
Airport fun, we found a macho fan that could blow your clothes off.

We had such a fun time in Arizona and it was a good vacation to venture on. I am excited to spend the month of May at home, and hoping that we can prepare for the crazy month of June, where we will be going to 4 different countries, and 3 different states!!! All in time for Brad to start his 3rd year of medical school on July 1st. Time is flying, and I was thinking about leaving Lubbock in two years and I got so sad, this is our home now, this is where all of our friends are (minus a few besties scattered around) and this is what I know. But, if residency takes us somewhere new we will be excited and ready for the new adventure. I just cannot believe there are only 2 years left of Medical school at Texas Tech, and then we are starting a real life-away from student life. So absolutely crazy. I will savor these last 2 years here!