Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fun at the Desert Botanical Garden

We went to the Desert Botanical Garden on May 6th. Because this was National Public Garden Day,  we got free tickets online to go on this day. It was pretty hot, but we brought a lot of water and had fun looking at the different kinds of cacti and succulents. We picked Sareny up after lunch at school to have an educational time with us. The first time Keith and I visited here was, I think, in 2003 when Keith's grandma Carter came to stay with us for a couple of weeks. The second time I went was with my grandma and parents on Sareny's first birthday weekend. So it had been a while since we have visited, and I felt a little nostalgic looking at things I remembered seeing all those years before.
In the picture below, there were all these cacti that grew perpendicular to the ground. They looked kind of like snakes. Poor Sareny had sunscreen in her eye. Kind of hurts me just looking at her squinting.
I don't really know what this plant was, but it looked pretty cool. It was really tall with all these short little branches going up the sides.
Then we went to the butterfly exhibit. I think this was everyone's favorite part. There were butterflies everywhere.
You had to be careful where you walked, because the butterflies landed on the ground, too.
You weren't allowed to try to touch the butterflies, but that didn't stop Isaac from getting his face right up close to them.
Finley wanted to get a better look, too.
Then the kids could pretend to be butterflies and caterpillars.
Sareny took this picture of me and Keith.
Some cute kids.
Finley likes to help push the shopping carts, or the stroller. She is kind of in the way when she does, but it is pretty cute and sweet.

Sareny likes to take pictures, and kept asking if she could take another one of us. Behind me is a weird cactus that lookes kind of like intestines.
Isaac being silly. I love Finley in this picture. Right after I took it, she started copying Isaac's pose.
In addition to taking pictures, Sareny likes to run up to things, strike an odd pose, and tell me to take her picture.
Best friends.
We had to break out some snacks for the kids.
I love this picture of Daddy and his kids. And that is one bizarre cactus/tree thing they are standing in front of.
Mommy and her kids. Which I thought was an especially fitting picture, since this was two days before Mother's Day.
I loved this one too, so I had to put both of them up here. I think you can just feel the love in these pictures! Plus, most unusually, I look pretty okay in them.
Anther one of Sareny and Isaac. I think you can tell how hot it was that day from how red their faces are in this photo. It was over 100 degrees, which is not uncommon for this time of year. Today it is in the 60's/70's, which is uncommon.
A metallic sculpture that Sareny wanted to pose in front of.
And another picture of me and Keith that she wanted to take.
We had a lot of fun, despite the heat. Although we apparently took massive amounts of pictures, we were only there for less than two hours. Hopefully it won't be another six years before we venture back!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fancy Nancy Spectacular Spectales

Last month, Sareny's grade was assigned to do a character book report. They had to come in character and present their book to the class as that character. We tried to think up something Sareny could dress up as that we would already have on hand, and came up with Fancy Nancy.
We got up early that morning so I could curl her hair.
The night before, we worked on these glasses for her. We popped the lenses out of some old sunglasses, then painted them with clear nail polish and sprinkled them with glitter. I thought they turned out really fancy!
And here she is on the way to school. Her teacher said this picture looked like Nicole Kidman on her way to the Oscars. Recently I've had several people tell me she resembles Nicole Kidman...I don't really see it, but since Nicole is beautiful, it can't be bad to be compared to her!
Sareny's teacher, Mrs. Randall, sent me this picture of Sareny with her book. In addition to their book report, the kids also did a parade through part of the school in their costumes. What a clever way to make book reports fun!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Star Tower

After Pat's Run, one of the very few things we did that day was drive out to the Star Tower and walk to the top. It's a pretty cool structure that is less than ten minutes from our house. Lexi and Amanda.

Lexi and Amanda with all the kids. Seriously, the kids were in heaven with Lexi and Amanda around. The girls read to them, played jump rope with them, and just hung out with them. We were all sad when they left. :)

Our family.
Despite the fact that we were still all sweaty and gross and none of us had taken off our racing attire, we decided to take some "Teen Model" pictures.
Trackwear is the new look.
We make this look good.
Sareny loves having her picture taken, a thing which Keith cannot comprehend, since he has always avoided it like the plague.
Me and my boy.
Finley really took to Amanda. She talked about her for days after they left and asked when Amanda was coming back to our house.
Lexi showing Finley the ropes about how to be a teen mod. Somehow this ridiculousness all references back to The Brady Bunch episode where Marsha Brady gets hit in the face with a football and cries, "My nose! Now I'll never be a teen model."
All posed.
She's a cutie!
My cuties! I don't know why Fin squinched her face up like that, but it sure is cute!

Pat's Run 2011

On April 16th, we headed over to ASU stadium bright and early for Pat's Run. That is, if you can call 4:50 am bright and early...My sister Lexi and her roommate Amanda drove down from Provo the day before for the event. Keith and I had started training about six weeks before the race, but unfortunately, Keith was injured and unable to run the race, even though we had signed him up. (He would have struggled to even walk it at that point.) We also signed up Sareny and Isaac for the .42 mile kids race, which they were excited about. Pat's run is 4.2 miles, starts in the parking lot for the stadium, and ends on the 42 yard line where you are greeted by current ASU football players. I felt kind of nervous as we were waiting for the race to begin!
There were a lot of people here--over 20,000 people completed the race.
We are in that crowd somewhere, waiting for our heat to go. And when I say waiting, I do mean waiting. We didn't get to start the race until 40 minutes after the first runners...lots of people had already finished the race when we were starting! To start the runners off, a trumpet soloist played the national anthem, and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. I couldn't help thinking about what an amazing guy Pat Tillman was, and how that was what he gave his life for. By the end of the song I had tears streaming down my cheeks.
You can see a long row of porta-potties in the above picture. We were so glad we used them early, and before we crossed the street to the runners side. We had no waiting on the spectator side, but on the runners side the lines were huge and slow, and even when we were finally started to move towards the start line, there were still lots of people waiting for them.
The race itself was so awesome and inpiring, I can't even begin to describe how exhilirating it is to be a part of something like this. I had suffered setbacks in my training (shin splints, surgery) so I wasn't able to run the entire race, so I ran 5 minutes, walked 1 minute, and repeated. I had to modify it a couple of times, but this strategy actually worked pretty well. I made it to the finish line under my goal time, and I was shocked when I realized I had enough left to sprint for the finish. Here we are after the race.
The kids with Lexi.
While it was disapointing for Keith not to be able to run, it was convenient that he could watch the kids while we ran. He took them over to the bounce houses and the other kids things they had set up. They got free cotton candy, treats, jamba juices, and tattooes. Here is Isaac showing his Tillman pride.

And Sareny and Lexi being silly.
Then the kids ran their race. I was so proud of them--they did great! I was especially surprised to see Isaac running so fast, dodging around people and passing them right and left. He was so quick I didn't get his picture as he ran in, but here is Sareny with Lexi (you can barely make our her head,) who ran the race with her. (Amanda ran with Isaac.)
Afterwards, the ASU football players stuck around for pictures and signing kids shirts. I thought that was really nice of them.
We went home and relaxed for most of the day, but we couldn't stop talking about the race and how awesome it was. How glad I am that Holli and Johnny first got us interested in this race years ago, and that Lexi pushed me to do it this year! We are already making our plans for next year. You should join us!!