Sunday, April 20, 2014

i am a spartan? aroo?!!!

Back in January some friends of mine convinced me to participate in a race called the "Spartan". Originally I said no because it cost a lot of money and I didn't really want to. My friend, Heidi (my trainer for the marathon), however, convinced me to run it and even paid for me to do it! Thank you Heidi:). When they described the race they said it was an 8 mile obstacle course race. All I heard was that it was 8 miles and I thought..."how hard can it be?..." I should have done some research, but I didn't. Life is busy with 4 kids and all of our activities so I just exercised and trained with Heidi and didn't think much about the race. A few weeks before the race I went with Heidi to a training course for the Spartan race located in Toquerville and finally realized what I had gotten myself into. About half of the obstacles were things I could not or would not even try doing like jumping over 6ft and 8ft walls, climbing an incredibly long rope, throwing a javelin into a bale of hay, hopping on really thin "logs" that were pounded into the ground without falling (this was one of the obstacles that I thought I might be able to do - so I tried it and fell - it was a miracle that I didn't hit the other log in front of me as I fell - somehow I landed on my head with only a slight scratch - another woman did it shortly after me and fell and broke her sternum!). I was able to carry sandbags up and down long hills, jog long distances and pull extremely heavy weights with chains or with a pulley up a tree. After that day though I was overwhelmed with the thought of doing this race.
Paris' Birthday breakfast! Happy blueberry pancakes:)
Fast forward to April 5 - Race Day! Chris and I brought the kids to Vegas to run the race and celebrate Paris' 9th birthday! Chris was amazing and stayed with the kids in the hot Las Vegas desert out by Apex/Nellis while I ran the race. He compared it to three hours of Sacrament Meeting with the kids by himself:). He did say that the kids were actually pretty good so I was very grateful. Paris was so sweet to share his special day with my crazy race! The other members of our "team" didn't bring their families so they were kind and gave Chris and I their spectator passes so that Chris and the kids got in free - otherwise it would have cost each one of them $30 to get into the race!

Chris must've taken this of me after I finished all muddy, but I got my medal and I got my banana!
The members of the team were mostly people who worked together. Heidi brought her daughter Chamea and there were a few other "tag-a-longs" like me. During the race the team doesn't have to run together. The rankings are determined by the top 4 finishers of the team. Heidi wanted me to run with her and Chamea, but I was completely overwhelmed with the obstacles and the race in general so I told them to go ahead...I couldn't stand the idea of me holding them back.

My friends Heidi on the right and her daughter Chamea in the middle..."One of these things is not like the others":)  I don't think I'll ever "look" the part of a runner, but these women sure do!
To try and make the long story kind of short I did finish the race in 2hours and 52 minutes. The woman who actually won the race for the women ran it in 1hour and 20minutes. I am proud of myself for finishing the race. I am proud of myself that I tried all of the obstacles except for the rope climb. If you fail an obstacle or don't try one then your are supposed to do 30 penalty "burpees". I am not proud that I didn't do all the burpees that I should have done, but have since tried to make up the burpees that I should have done. If anyone wants to know more about the race you can look it up on you tube or ask me about it.

I love love love my family!!!  George was even inspired by the race and says he wants to do it when he is 13:).
 To finish off this post I have to recognize two men who helped me on the race course. One man helped me as I struggled to pull the heavy cement block up to the top of the pulley.  I had done it on the training course with no problem, but was really struggling with it and was about ready to give up when a man came up and helped me pull it up!  I hadn't asked him to do it, he just did it like it was what he was supposed to do without thinking about himself or his race time.  At the end of the race I was spent, but the last few obstacles were really challenging for me.  I was supposed to use a rope to climb up a slanted wood wall made wet and slippery by all the contestants and then get up and over the top and climb down...  Getting up the wall was no problem, but I couldn't get figure out how to get over the wall so I slid down and tried to figure out if I could just go around it, but it was all roped off.  A man saw me and knew I needed help...he demonstrated how to get up the wall and waited for me at the top, then he gently helped me get over the wall and made sure I climbed down ok before he crossed the finish line.  After I crossed I looked for him so I could thank him, but there were so many people there and he was gone, but his simple act of kindness will never be forgotten by me...  I was so tired and overwhelmed by the whole race and also by his kindness that I was crying when Chris found me...  I want to be like those two men...

Me and the kids - I wish I knew how to rotate these pics...
It's funny, after the race I told Chris that I would never do something like this again, but after thinking about and learning from these experiences I know I would if Chris or my kids or other family members were with me.  I don't quite know how to make this connection, but as I thought about it I realized that my pride made me refuse the help of my friends on the team because I didn't want to hold them back, but if I had run with them I would have had a lot more fun.  Then as I thought about these men I was just so grateful for their selflessness and their willingness to help a complete stranger... and I realized that (however silly this may sound) this life is like that obstacle course.  Heavenly Father put us here - hopefully we are surrounded by family and friends who love and support us through our journey, and hopefully we will be the kind of people who can look beyond themselves and help a complete stranger when we recognize that they are struggling...

To finish off the day we went back to our hotel to celebrate Paris' bday by getting slurpees, swimming and eating his Birthday dinner at The Cheesecake Factory!  I forgot to bring my camera to the restaurant, but it was delicious!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

finishing the race

Although I already posted about this on facebook, I had to put it in our family blog... Chris ran the St. George Half Marathon on January 18, 2014 and finished in 2 hours and 1 minute! I am so proud of him! If I had run it with him he would have "smoked me"! Our normal pace is about a 10 minute mile so he was really booking it. Chris' Mom came with us to cheer him on and Dad Crosby came to our rescue by taking George to his bball game. Russ also came to congratulate Chris and it was fun to see him. Incidentally, Chris finished fast enough so that we could run over and catch the last minute of George's game - which they won! Dad said that George did good too:) and it was fun to see him playing when we walked in.

Chris was a "runner" before I ever considered giving it a try, but lately he's shown more interest in it-so for Christmas, with the help of some Christmas money, we surprised him with his own Ipod touch and his mom surprised him with a gift cert. to buy some good running shoes. I was surprised to find out though that he and his boss, Mustufa Saifee, signed up for the half marathon only a week and a half before the actual race! They both did great and I am so glad they/he had a good experience. He's even made it a goal to run the St. George Marathon which I hear is also a goal for a certain brother and niece of mine!

You know, running is an interesting thing... I remember being an overweight child at the park with my siblings and having them "encourage" me to run with them. When I finally did, I remember hating every second of it! I couldn't keep up with them, my lungs felt like they were going to explode and it just didn't make me feel good physically or emotionally. The funny thing is that I still don't like running:) but I do it because NOW it does help me feel better physically and emotionally...

A month or so ago I read an article in the Church News about a marathon runner in the summer Olympics in Mexico during the 60's, I believe. I can't remember his name or many of the details of the article and I'm too lazy right now to look for the article, but the jist of the story is that this runner was expected to do well. However, early on in the marathon he fell and was injured. As you may have guessed, he didn't stop, but continued to run and, of course, came in last place. The reporter who reported on the marathon focused more on this runner than the winner. The reporter asked this injured runner why he had continued and finished and the runner simply said that his country didn't send him to start the race, but to finish the race.

I've thought about this article a lot lately... I've thought about running a lot lately too and I've thought about all those "cheesy" comparisons you can make about running a race and life and no matter how cheesy it sounds I know that Heavenly Father didn't send us here to start the race of life, he sent us to finish our race. We will all fall down and injure ourselves, it's inevitable. Trials come to all of us in all forms and to be honest, I hate that about the race of life! I hate facing sorrow and loss! I hate the temptations that come! I hate how unfair life is to all of us really... I hate how these things slow me down and I hate seeing these things slow those around me down. That's a lot of hate... In the end though, I don't care if I'm the last one in - all I care about is that I finished.

I was reminded of all of this again yesterday as I watched my husband come in 10 minutes earlier than I expected and cross the finish line with Paris, Erma and John all running behind him:).

Counting My Blessings

I have nothing profound to write, but felt like it was time to update the blog. I also feel the need to try and be more positive and I have four living and beautiful children to be very positive about. We took the kids to BLVD Home Furnishings during the holidays so they could see Santa and its amazing, even to me, that they are all getting so grown up. I don't know how much longer George and Paris will sit on Santa's lap, but if it were up to me I would have them do it forever:)... We had a nice Christmas and were so blessed by the generosity of our friends and family. Great Grandma Crosby made it possible for us to get a new trampoline! Grandma and Grandpa Crosby treated us to the Oakridge Boys Concert as well as giving each of the kids (and mom and dad) spending money of their own! Grandma Lamb gave each of the kids some games/toys that they were all hoping for. Santa brought George a shotgun and black hoodie. Those gifts combined with a knife from Erma and Uncle Alex made this year kind of a scary one for George:). Paris got a telescope from Santa which has been fun for him and his dad to look at the stars and planets together. Erma received an American Girl doll named Saige which has become her special friend and John got the WII game "Skylanders Swapforce" so he was in Christmas Heaven. We hope you all had a beautiful Christmas too! I have more blessings to post about so be on the look out for more to come.

Monday, December 9, 2013

hello and goodbye

Today was supposed to be a happy day with a happy announcement. Today I was going to go into the Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctors to have a check up. They were supposed to do another ultrasound and tell me that everything was ok with our 15 week gestational baby. This little baby was actually the reason why I decided to finally figure out how to blog. I was going to come home, type up this blog and tell you all that not only did I learn how to blog, but that we were going to have a baby! I had gone for 4 weeks without bleeding and Chris and I were finally feeling confident enough to let our family know that we were going to have another little baby on June 1st. Instead today I am recovering from losing that baby. I woke up around 5am on Saturday morning and knew that I was bleeding... I told Chris and we went to the hospital to determine if the baby was still alive. The doppler couldn't detect a heartbeat and the ultrasound showed a beautiful little baby, but no heartbeat or movement. Chris and I were going through the nightmare all over again. I was admitted to the hospital and went through the process of delivering this little baby. "Baby Lamb" was born close to midnight on Saturday, December 7, 2013. Baby Lamb was still so small that we are unsure of the sex although we think he was a boy. I didn't get to hold our baby because he was so small and delicate, but we did get to look at him and love the dreams we had for him and for our family... I have a lot of questions...questions that probably will never be answered. I found out shortly after the marathon that I was pregnant - I was actually pregnant while I ran the marathon and wonder if that had anything to do with the loss of this baby?... The doctors tell me that I didn't do anything to cause this loss, but in situations like this you can't help but wonder. Chris has questions too, but the doctors said it was an acute placental abruption and that there is no rhyme or reason as to why this has happened twice now. Natalie, I'm sorry that I lied to you, but we weren't ready to tell anyone yet. Chris doesn't want to tell his siblings, but I do. If I didn't it would seem like it wasn't real. We would appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone else though, even your children, unless you feel it is necessary. Because the baby was so delicate and small there will be no burial. Although our sorrow is just as great there was a different feeling with the delivery of this little baby than the delivery of Charlie... We love you all very much and hope and pray for your safety and happiness.

grandma lamb retires!

This has been a BIG year for Grandma Lamb - she has experienced many difficult and life changing experiences. In February her sweetheart, George Edward Lamb, passed away. She, well, we all miss him more than we can say. This loss triggered many other events. First during the summer she moved into a beautiful new home near the hospital. Although this was a difficult move we hope she is happy there and are grateful to have her closer - and the kids love how she lets them use her community pool! The last big event for Grandma Lamb was her retirement from working for 30+ in nursing and more specifically IHC! I'm sure the decision to work to support her family had to have been one of the most difficult of her life, but what a blessing it has been for her family to have the income they needed as they grew up. I am also grateful for the example she was to my sweetheart Chris. Because of her dedication and her knowledge she inspired Chris to become a nurse and explore his current profession in the healthcare field. We celebrated by going out to dinner without children on a Saturday night at Olive Garden. On Sunday we celebrated by having two of Chris' brothers, Alex and his family and Jared come over for a dinner at our house. We had a nice time and enjoyed the memories/pictures Grandma brought over and shared about Grandpa Lamb and about her nursing career. Although it is impossible to show your gratitude to your parents for their lifetime of service to you as a child we tried to honor her in a small way with a new kitchenaid mixer. Thank you Mom Lamb for your sacrifice and love!

thanksgiving 2013 and great grandma crosby's 90th

Christmas may be coming quickly, but we just recently celebrated some wonderful events. We combined our Thanksgiving Feast with my Grandma Mary Crosby's 90th Birthday. Thanks to my parents and my aunts and uncles we had an incredible day!
After having a yummy catered dinner at a LDS chapel, we went over to the college to honor Great Grandma with a paver stone. She is an amazing woman!
We finished the day off at Grandma and Grandpa Crosby's house with siblings and cousins. It was a wonderful day! I'm so glad that the Wallace and Garner family traveled safely and that I got to spend time with them as well as with cousins and family that I rarely get to see. I was especially grateful that my kids got to play with their cousins and spend time with their Aunts and Uncles. Thank you to everyone who made it an incredible Thanksgiving!
Some of the cousins ended the day climbing "Pride Rock" close to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
The goodbyes were inevitable... but before we said goodbye we braided hair:)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

George 5th Grade Football

Although blogging is old news by now it is time for me to join the blogging world and keep a record of our family events - good and bad - happy and sad. To begin with I wanted to celebrate George's 1st year of football. He was on the 5th grade Dixie Flyers Team with Coach Washington. We all had an incredible experience! George's team made it to the semi finals and then to the championship. They came in second place and we couldn't be prouder! I will try posting pictures.