Sunday, August 30, 2009

Half marathon

I made it! I ran the Top of Utah Half Marathon yesterday near Logan and I survived! It was my first race and I had no idea what to expect. I achieved my goal of running the entire 13 miles and I finished in 2 hrs 19 mins. The run was beautiful-- the first half or so was in the canyon just as the sun was beginning to rise. There were more than 2000 people who ran and watching the start of the race is something I will never forget. I was in the middle of the pack at the starting line and all I could see were heads bobbing up and down. It was a cool feeling to be running with so many people with a common goal.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good I felt running. My stomach had been bugging me since Friday, but I think it was just nerves. I started feeling the burn at about 11 miles. From mile 11 to 12 the course was uphill, so that was pretty challenging since it was so close to the end. I just had to mentally push through it and kept thinking about all of the work I had put into training. I knew I'd be kicking my own butt if I didn't run the whole thing. The last mile was a straight shot to the finish and you could see the crowd. My adrenaline really kicked in and I finished strong. It felt so good crossing that finish line and seeing some familiar faces!

I feel really good about setting this goal and achieving it even though it was rarely convenient. We were gone for nearly half of the 9-week training schedule I followed and it was challenging finding time to run with a baby. I found myself running in hotel gyms, down mountains near my parents' cabin, through neighborhoods in Idaho Falls and at all times of the day and night. I'm glad all the work paid off.

Here I am with my "bragging t-shirt." I followed the half marathon training schedule and I would recommend it to anyone considering running one. I remember looking at the schedule in the beginning and being nervous about it, but it really does work.
I think I'll take it easy this week :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First day

Sean started school again yesterday! His schedule this semester is much better than last year. He told me it was nice not being a 1L anymore and funny to see the 1L's walking around campus. I've heard it said in regards to law school, "The first year they scare you to death, the second year they work you to death and the third year they bore you to death." I guess we'll see how true this is. Though the first year didn't seem too bad, I am happy to see it gone-- I'm sure Sean is too!

Something kind of cool this semester is Sean is doing an internship for Justice Ronald Nehring of the Utah Supreme Court. He's really excited about it and it should be a cool opportunity for him. Funny to think that next year will be his last first day of school!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Homemade marinara

When I came home I ventured out to the garden and was a bit shocked to find this:

I picked 50 ripe tomatoes off of three tomato plants. Yes, 50. In fact, there are another dozen or so that I could have picked but didn't because it started raining on me. I hate seeing food go to waste so I decided to try and make a dent in the pile by making homemade marinara sauce. I am a self-proclaimed marinara and pizza sauce snob. In my opinion, so many tomato-based sauces are way over spiced and that is all you end up tasting. I found a recipe from trusty old Food Network and I am not kidding when I say it is one of the very best things I have ever made. I modified the recipe to use fresh tomatoes. Basically the same process, but I had to take the skin off of the tomatoes by boiling them for a few minutes first.

I topped some penne with the sauce and added big chunks of fresh mozzerella and it was sooooo good. (Yes, it was good enough that I actually took a picture-- I know I'm a total nerd.)

I froze the leftover sauce in freezer bags and will definitely be using it again soon. Try it!

Quick Marinara Sauce
From Food Network Kitchens

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 (28-ounce) cans whole, peeled, tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt (use a lot less if using table salt)
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with about half of their juices (discarding the rest), the herb sprigs and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 25 to 30 minutes or until thickened.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More fun in NC

Jackson and I made a trip to the Orton Plantation with my friend Heidi and her kids. The gardens were gorgeous and so was the home...

Luola's Chapel-- Apparently used often in movies (most famous for 'A Walk to Remember')
Row of Oaks as you enter the plantation-- my favorite partMama alligator coming for us!I spy three baby alligators...Going to breakfast in downtown Wilmington at the Dixie Cafe. My sweet potato pancakes were DELICIOUS.
More fun at the beach
Looks like a little beach bum with his blonde curls :)
Just a funny picture hanging out one night...

Monday, August 10, 2009

New camera

Remember how I ruined our camera a few weeks ago? Well, I had been eyeing DSLR cameras for awhile and ruining our camera created the perfect opportunity to take that route. Also, it was good timing for our trip to NC. While I still know almost nothing about how to use it, I do know I like it because I can take pictures like this:

Notice, no red eye and clear! If I tried to take a picture this close with our old camera, it would have been a mess. I had a list of musts: 1) take the picture as soon as I hit the button 2) minimize fuzz and blurring 3) have good zooming capabilities 4) ability to take multiple shots quickly. We got a smokin' deal at Best Buy due to their price-matching program and Sean's salesman skills :) Now if I can just keep from ruining this one...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Welcome to North Carolina and the beach!

We're in North Carolina! Sean came to sell for a few weeks and Jackson and I tagged along for a vacation. So far we love it here. Wilmington is a charming little city near the beach. It reminds me a lot of Charleston, SC, which is near and dear to my heart. We love the South!

We've been to the beach nearly every day. Jackson loves it and I am so glad. I let him play in the surf and he enjoys trying to eat sand and chewing on shells. The beaches here are so nice! They aren't overly crowded since it is a smaller city, but they are maintained really well. Very clean and a good family-friendly environment. The water is also warm which is a bonus.

eating a sea shell (and apparently really contemplating the taste!)...
ok, now ready for a smile...
five o'clock shadow!

working on his skim boarding skills...
My summer children: Blake, Hallie and Brinklie. I have watched these kids grow up right before my very eyes!

A good way to finish out a great summer :)