Saturday, June 30, 2012


Sometimes it was a mental exercise for me. At night as I set my alarm for the early morning hours, I would envision myself stepping outside first thing in the morning, dressed for my run. I pictured my feet hitting the pavement, my easy breathing and the beauty of my surroundings. I could feel the thrill of the "after high" from having just pushed my body in an exercise of physical endurance. When the alarm sounded the next morning, the thoughts of wanting to snuggle under the covers and snag another hour of sleep was replaced with my last mental image from the night before. Mentally, I was half way out the door.

Running for me started as an answer to prayer. Strange, I know. Feeling completely overwhelmed with life, I had stolen away for a couple of uninterrupted hours in the canyons. I had been praying to know how to feel more balance and peace in my life. I had not been praying to know how to feel more healthy or more in shape. But the answer was very clear. The thought would not leave-I knew I needed to start running. Years later, I would wrestle with the temptation to question that answer.

I asked the girls consistently if they wanted to run with me. Maybe it was the time of day or maybe it was me, but they were borderline hostile in their response. Running was nowhere on their agenda. I love that we can always change our agenda.

I didn't start out "running" exactly. It was more like walking briskly mixed with a couple of jogging bursts. Little by little, my body caught up with what my mind wanted to do. Years later, I knew I was ready to attempt a "race." The Salt Lake Marathon was 9 months away and, usually a solitary runner, I joined a nephew in pursuing that goal.

And scleroderma raised her ugly head.
Knees and hips began to throb and ache. Hands stung and ached in the cold regardless of how many layers I heaped upon myself. Running was no longer my friend. In fact, it wasn't even an acquaintance. I have never run since.

Somewhere along the road since then, both girls have picked up where I left off and taken running to the next level. They are consistent and focused and determined. They also seem to love it.

Individually, they both set a goal to run a half-marathon and signed up with friends and roommates to make the dream come true. Gradually, the friends dropped out for various reasons and in the weeks leading up to the race, the sisters were comparing training schedules, routes, and injuries. The goal they had set for themselves personally had suddenly become a "team" event. In my mind, there could be no better team.

Race day was perfect. Jordan and Gabe and I waited at the nine mile mark and then the finish line to cheer on our team. As I saw them come around the corner glowing with sweat and exhilaration I tried to hide my face from my family. The wave of pride in my girls was overwhelming. Of course they would have to know I would cry. And not for a minute out of sadness for what my body would no longer accomplish.  But for the absolute thrill of seeing what grit, determination and effort combined with my daughter's healthy bodies could accomplish.  Sky's the limit, girlies.

Perhaps Danny provided some of Hailee's inspiration. Being roommates with an avid runner and marathoner will do that.
Kate and Steph were also at the finish line. They are entering their third year of cheering each other on in the game of college life.
 The nine mile mark in American Fork canyon.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ticket to ride

(Christian's graduation photos by Michelle Lenardt)

I can't believe it has been over a month since my last post! It would be easier to quit now than continue but I have found such gratification in being able to look back on the happenings of our life and see patterns of Divine guidance and feel gratitude for what has transpired. So much has happened that I hardly know where to begin, what to skim over and just what isn't important enough to include. 

What I do know is that much of this past month has seemed to revolve around this boy:

And I believe he is important enough to mention.

He has been busy with region and state tennis finals, seminary graduation, finishing and graduating from High School and leaving for (and coming home from) a graduation trip to California.

He arrived home late last night and as I locked up and headed to bed, I felt such a sense of contentment in having almost all of my kids gathered again safely under my roof.

He sat close to me on the bench today in church and sensing that I was cold, he placed his arm around me and pulled me in close. I couldn't keep myself from marveling at how BIG he was. He is not just tall and strong, but he has prickly, patchy facial hair (that he probably should have shaved for church), a nicely ironed white shirt, stylish pants, and a good looking tie that he put on all by himself. How is it possible that this boy of mine is so grown up? Where, oh where, did the time go?

Right now, "time" is waiting to be filled again. With a job, lawns, friends, more tennis, friends, high adventure trips, youth conference and more school. There are great opportunities for learning and growth on the horizon and I want to be careful that none of us miss a second. If "time" has taught me nothing else, it is that it carries on with or without your permission.

You either have to get on board or get left behind. I hate getting left behind. I'm buying a ticket to ride.

A graduation celebration for our two seniors: Christian and cousin Michelle.
 (who is strangely absent from this photo)

Christian and Miles-the-winner...Apparently there was a big argument beforehand in Jodi's family to see who got to sit by Christian. Jodi and Pat lost and were relegated to the end of the table. I hardly saw them all night.

Christian's sisters

Michelle and her momma.. (We were trying to get Vicki to do a "teenage girl" pose..)

And after the ceremony..

Christian and Tucker

The fam...
Questions: Why are the tallest of our group at the top of the hill? Why is my hair plastered to my head? And why did someone leave a box of fun dip under Gabe's chair rendering his teeth so blue that he was afraid to smile with his teeth showing all night?

And the Warner fam...

"Big" sis Britt...

Friend Savannah...

Grandma Kris...

other "Big" sis Hailee

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Coming out of the shadows

Jordan travels for work. A lot. Of the last three weeks he has been home 3 days. We miss him but we don't, if you know what I mean.  It's been such a part of the routine for so long now that we more easily step in and out of sync with his absence or his presence. Please don't mistake that for not caring. I would much rather have him here than gone. I am more relaxed with my husband home. It's so nice to have someone to sit with at Gabe's games or to spend a weekend night out together or to have someone to cook for that seems to appreciate the gesture, or someone that helps with dishes (I'm giving you that one, honey). I miss our pillow talk, him driving Gabe to school in the mornings, his sweet, random texts and his physical presence. Occasionally, I will catch a glimpse of a couple driving together in the car. The comfort of each other apparent in their animated conversation or their casual silence. And in those moments I miss him terribly. 

But most days my focus is my role as a mother-single as that might be. And most days, I feel like I have all the bases covered. Lately though...not so much. Current events have humbled me and shaken my confidence. I have been flailing, looking for support. Then here,out of the shadows, has stepped my husband- in a way...a role...a setting... that I could not have duplicated. Humbly I acknowledge this family's need for the presence of a husband and a father. Parenting is a joint venture for a reason. I refuse to be so glib as to think I don't need him. Neither of us are as good alone as we are together. And I'm so grateful that I have a great partner to do "together" with.  It's not ideal, but we're going to have to find a way to make "together" work no matter where he is on the globe. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Looking toward the finish line

We're getting there. Slowly but surely. "These things take time," I'm told. And although I struggle with patience, I can see that the time and effort being but into remodeling our beautiful, old home will eventually pay off. Eventually.....

Aussie loves riding over to the "new old house." 

The old garage came down. And with it, a lovely rat habitat. 

The new, detached garage. 
"The addition." The family room is the area with the fireplace. The small, attached garage is to the right.

Looking forward to....that doggie door. I am certain I will like the dog more with that addition.
The nickel board begins at the entry and wraps all the way around to the butler's pantry. Love it.

Thanks to nephew, Josh, at European Marble and Granite, we have some fabulous new countertops.  Jeff-the-builder had his carpenter, James, cover them and make sure nobody put anything on the counters. James took his responsibility very seriously. 

I love the arched entry from the garage entrance.  James, you rule!

Not loving the dust. And it's not just a little bit. Do you think it will ever be completely clean again?

Apparently, Pat and Jodi came by to have a look when we weren't there and decided to leave a little graffiti.  I can't blame them. It's like a magnet for self-expression.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sharing sushi with my favorites

That title might be a little misleading.  Seeing as how Jodi  someone in our group doesn't like to share. Her sushi as least. But I'm willing to overlook that tiny issue because I really, really like being with these people. Kelli and Brandt drove up from their new residence in California to support Jodi and Pat at their sealing and so we took full advantage of the few days that we had everyone in the same vicinity. Happy Sumo and Bear Country Cookies are a given. Non-stop chatter and laughter is a given. Feeling sick from overeating is a given. Jordan being out of town is almost a given. Pat making us all look like midgets is a given.  A heart full of gratitude that I get to call these people family--is a given.

L to R: Pat, Jodi, Erick, me, Kelli, Brandt

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rain, rain....

I woke up to rain again today. I'm not complaining. But please don't tell Christian that. Any day we have remotely warm weather and/or sunshine and it's his turn to pray he consistently prays; "thank you for this amazing weather we are having and please bless that we will have more of it." It make me smile. He gets cabin fever easily. He loves to be outside. And he is truly grateful when the weather allows him to be there.

Spring is notoriously fickle in Utah. One minute you've got the seat warmers on in the car, the next you are blasting the air-conditioning. Both boys play spring sports. Tennis and soccer. As a player or spectator the weather can be a hazard. Gabe played his game Saturday wet and cold. I opted out of cheering from the sidelines and instead had a pretty good view from the car. In case they couldn't hear me cheer when they scored, I honked instead.

Do you see that grin? Not only did he not complain about the weather, he loved it! Said it was "waaay fun". He even did a mud slide in his white shorts. Of course that makes you look like the more serious player.

I can't get enough of this kid. I will cheer for him here or there. I will cheer for him anywhere. (As long as I can watch from the car.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


v. to assure, confirm, or bind with or as if with a seal:

Saturday, Jodi and Pat were sealed together forever in the Bountiful Temple. It was their day and so I wont presume to know all that it meant to them. But it was a beautiful reminder to me of the promises and covenants that I've made and the amazing man that I made them with.

I can not begin to explain how happy it makes me to see her happy. I have a sneaking suspicion that this man by her side (forever) has a lot to do with that.
Jodi and Pat's crew...there is even one missing here. As I've said before, Jodi's life is not easier or less complicated but it is happier and more fulfilling. And is that not what life is all about?It is good to know people...Jodi and Pat's friend, Ryan, is the amazing photographer that took these photos. Check him out at