Thursday, February 20, 2014
If ANY of you is still reading my blog, I'd like to direct you to another blog to check out occasionally as I will update it as I go. You can find it at www.thegospelhasanswers.blogspot.com I started this second blog as a means to provide a Q&A session regarding spiritual/religious/doctrinal questions. I love the Scriptures and the word of the Lord and I believe we can find all the answers we need through Scripture study, study of the words of modern prophets, and of course, prayer. If you have now, or ever have had a question you have struggled with or a doubt you simply couldn't reconcile, I invite you to seek with faith. Tell me your question and I will look to the Source for answers. Together we can draw closer to Christ, for He is Truth. Come check it out!
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Dear loved ones,
In 2012, we feel blessed to see that our year was made up of the joy of family.
In February, for Jonathan’s big 3-0, we took the family to Disneyland. Caleb ensured we went on every train-themed ride or attraction in the park. (You might be surprised how many there are!) Jonathan’s parents joined us for the trip which was a big help and a lot of fun. Later that month we enjoyed a lodge camping trip with great friends to Ensign Ranch in Cle Elum, WA. Caleb especially loved this weekend of friends. He graduated from Joy School in June and learned to ride a 2-wheel bike before starting Kindergarten this fall.
Caleb LOVES school. He loves riding the bus, recess, art Thursdays, and especially excels in reading. **BRAG ALERT** Caleb is reading at a second grade level. When his teacher needed an extra moment, she asked Caleb to read the day’s story to the class. Having never seen the book before, Caleb climbed up on the teacher’s rocking chair, and read the book to his 25 classmates who sat in rapt attention, enthralled that one of THEM could read like that. We are so proud of his academic achievements, but we have so much fun enjoying his kooky personality and the nutty stuff he says. For instance: “Sometimes James’ Shepherd is the Devil.” “James, you’re not the boss of Daddy…Mommy is!” Me: “You’re about to be a big brother again to a new baby.” Caleb, gesturing to James, “No, I will just have another assistant.”
First assistant James, on the other hand, is our Bam Bam. I once saw him sitting in a shopping cart, arched over backward to pick up a gallon of milk with one hand. True story. James is our little athlete who likes to pick things up and put things down. He loves anything that involves a ball, but especially baseball and it’s completely adorable when he turns the bat around and holds it by the fat end so that he can up the speed on his swing. James is VERY 2 years old. “I do it!” or “Mommy do it!” He opens every door, pushes all the buttons and has become an excellent bagger at Winco because he LIVES in the land of I-do-it. It’s funny to see him get angry over these things because being angry isn’t really in his nature, so it wears off quickly and he’s back to laughing at everything—even being disciplined. James is completely loveable, even if he is a menace.
And now, debuting Corbridge Gordon Wright, born July 29th, 2012. He was named for Jonathan’s mission president, Lawrence E. Corbridge, and for President Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Corby’s delivery was so easy (thanks to induction and an epidural), it didn’t feel fair to have him. He has mostly been a very easy-going baby. He has had some tummy challenges, as all our kids do, but has MOSTLY slept through the night since his second night (his Mom LOVES this). Corby ADORES Caleb, who is easily his favorite person. He starts giggling just LOOKING at Caleb. He’s long, big-brown-eyed and made the world’s cutest owl for Halloween.
Baby Corbridge meeting his namesake.
With three little boys, my day is largely spent feeding, cooking, cleaning, feeding, picking up cars and trains and little socks, and feeding. I’m still serving as Relief Society president in our congregation and love getting to know the women who have proven to be such incredible examples to me. Jonathan has been promoted at work and is now a lead therapist. This mostly means he assists in coming up with solutions to department problems and fields co-worker complaints. As a born problem-solver, this is a good fit for him. He is serving as ward Executive Secretary which means we’re supposed to be at a lot of the same early morning meetings, but we trade off and make it work.
At this time of year, we remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, who made it possible for us to be a forever family (we miss you, Grandpa Hubbard!). His life gives our lives purpose, meaning, and fulfillment. In this season of gift-giving, may we remember our greatest gifts—family, health and the matchless gift of God’s divine Son.
Jonathan, Becca, Caleb (5), James (2) and Corbridge (5m)
Friday, February 10, 2012
I can’t believe I never posted about this. Well, here goes:
After running the Ragnar Relay, I felt like I needed to take advantage of the extensive training I had already done. If I was ever going to run a half marathon, might as well do it when my body had a fighting chance of finishing it. So, I continued training. My good friend Robin runs like a gazelle and has all sorts of running feathers in her cap including running in the coveted Boston Marathon which she qualified for immediately. She made a running schedule for me which I stuck to, thanks to a loving and supporting husband and several good friends who were willing to run at my pace for many miles at a time, often in the dark of the evening, just to help me along in my training. After hitting the pavement for probably hundreds of miles, I was ready.
September 24th, 2011, Jonathan and I arrived at the marina where the race began to get our numbers pinned to our chest. It was an Indian summer day and we knew it would be warm by afternoon, but it was nice weather for a run. We were both a little jittery, but I was grateful to have run Ragnar before this so that at least my jitters were more under control. After all, this wasn’t my first race (it was my second…).
I had three goals to start this race. The first goal was to finish; the second to not walk and the third, to finish in under two hours. 13.1 miles in two hours averages out to be about a 9 minute 10 second mile—for 13 straight miles. However, I hadn’t actually done that math prior to racing—I just wanted to finish in under 2—without thought of the pace I would have to keep to accomplish that.
The race began and the momentum began with it. I was using Robin’s Garmin watch to track my pace and in the excitement, Jonathan and I ran probably a half a mile at a 7:30 pace before realizing we needed to settle down if I was going to finish. In my mind, I kept thinking I had to keep my pace under 9:30 and was averaging between 9:15-9:22 mile times.
I believe that better runners than myself can start running, get in the zone and then let their minds wander while their bodies do the work. While I was able to somewhat absently appreciate the scenery of running along the river, most of my thoughts were occupied by pace, keeping my shoulders back, grabbing a drink at the water station, how closely I was following the runners ahead of me, where I was in relation to completion of the course, etc. My mind never wandered far from my focus—finishing—in under 2. Around the halfway point, when we had a little over a half mile before we would turn around and retrace our steps, were some of my favorite moments in the race. We passed by a couple of houses with supportive residents, having fun with the runners. The first was a man outside with a huge speaker system playing the “Chariots of Fire” music. Jonathan had to do the slo-mo run with long strides as we passed that house both coming and going. Duh. The next was a van with a huge poster taped to the side with these words from the Book of Isaiah, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). I told them I was weary, but I was still running. These small gestures were surprisingly a great strength. It is so reassuring in running, in life, to know others are hoping for your success and even cheering you along.
On the way back, I looked down at the total time as well as my pace and figured out, I was not going to make it; not, anyway, at the pace I was setting. So, go faster. That was my only option. At around 8 miles, I started running around an 8:40 pace time. My focus became even more acute knowing I had to really dedicate myself if I was going to reach my goal. I couldn’t bear the thought of finally reaching the finish line, pushing my all and looking up to the time board only to discover I’d missed my mark by a matter of a few minutes. So, still nervous, at around mile 10, I picked it up again to around an 8:25-8:30 pace time. I tried to go faster again at mile 11 and found this was what I had in the tank and could still maintain. The same was true around mile 12. However, shortly after, maybe somewhere in the 12.5 area, and knowing this was the final stretch, I all out ran. I didn’t sprint—yet, but this was no longer my fast jog. I was running, breathing hard and thinking of NOTHING but crossing that line. At around 12.8 or 12.9 miles, with about a quarter mile left, I saw and heard my son Caleb cheering for us and knew this was it—the time to pull all the stops. I sprinted. With every bit of strength I had left (which wasn’t much) and knowing this sprint would never win a race, I crossed the finish line, sprinting, at 1 hour, 58 minutes and 12 seconds. I had met my goal.
Upon crossing and stopping, my head began to swim. All of my blood was in my limbs instead of my brain and I was becoming lightheaded. I found a grassy patch and lay down while my blood pressure slowed, clarity returned, and breathing became normal. In a way, I was grateful for this moment of lightheadedness because it assured me that I had truly given it my all. I hate leaving with a regret, but in this case, I was proud of myself. I had met my goal and done my BEST. I’m one of those people who often feels like if I fall short of my expectations, I should have just done better. I should have tried harder, given more, so it was a relief to finish knowing I’d given it my all.
Half marathon? Check.
And, just for funnies, if you haven’t seen this little gem wandering around FB, this picture is excellent. The trouble is, all my runner friends really are the top pic, and I’m truly the bottom one, but I accept my limitations with gratitude that my body is strong and does what I want it to—even if not as gracefully as I might like.
And FINALLY, since I didn’t have this pic before, but it’s the only awesome picture of me running that exists, here’s one more of me (with eyes closed) striding out in the Ragnar getting ready to pass the slap-bracelet baton to Shalise, the runs-like-a-gazelle runner that came after me.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
On or about, anyway…
Baby #3 is on the way! Ultrasound is March 5th, so I don’t know if we’re having another little prince or our first princess yet. I’m 15 weeks and FEELING good. BUT, if you ever feel like, “Hey, I wish I could play with two little boys right now,” mine would love to visit.
I’ll be trying to post more in the next little while, so check back (or get Google Reader already). See you then!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
TWO MONTHS AGO, I joined 11 other teammates and more than 2000 crazies in the Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay! It is nearly 200 miles from Blaine, WA (on the Canadian/US border) to Langley on S. Whidbey Island and these 11 other women and I ran the whole way. In two vans, we leap-frogged each other. Runners 1-6 would run while runner 7-12 rested, then vice versa. After Van 2 ran, Van 1 started over until each van’s runners had run 3 times. This was a major challenge and accomplishment for me. I’ve never counted myself much of a runner and all of a sudden, training for this race included regular 6 mile runs (3-4x week). Occasionally, I ran an 8 or 10-miler as well and in the final preparation, I ran several times in a day to simulate the lack of rest between runs in the Ragnar Relay. We ran three times in a period of about 24 hours with only about 3 hours of sleep in between runs. While this would never have been my original idea of fun, I am so thankful to the women I ran with, particularly my van who was so supportive to me personally in my training and runs. Thank you Robin, Megan, Angie, Bethany, Miryam, Shalise, Amy, Cami, DeAnne, Kimberly and Jenny!
Van 1 in reverse running order (I was runner 6).
The starting line! Only 190 miles to go!!
Robin and her GAME face. This girl is FAST! All these people had no idea what was about to hit them.
Way to go, Megan! She and I were among the novice runners and she did an excellent job!
One of Bethany’s legs in the race was extended by more than a mile. She’s still smiling!
Helpful AND cute! Love the running skirt, Ang!
Miryam was mad her legs weren’t longer. This is a world I’m not altogether familiar with…Also, have to love Miryam because her eating is so pure that 8 M&M’s was enough to have her WIRED! Pretty funny…
All the runners called them “kills” or “roadkills”—meaning, the number of people you passed while running. Robin pulled up our team average SIGNIFICANTLY. We would hear other teams say, “Where is that FAST girl? She has to be coming soon!”
Exchange point! They used a snap bracelet as the baton. AWESOME.
This was after my second run at the major exchange before Deception Pass. These are the ladies of my van all together—stinky, tired, and having a great time!
I felt blessed to have this experience. The Lord knows I need challenges (not just trials!) in my life to keep it interesting and I felt this was presented just for me.
My first run was through Bellingham and ended at Bellingham High School. Nothing too exciting. It felt like any other run through town. However, the second and third runs were special. My second run was at the very end of dusk and it was between two towns through farmland. I passed a barn and knew immediately this barn had chickens. I didn’t know my nose could tell the difference between manures, but apparently my childhood on “Chicken Patrol” stuck with me. The run was very flat until the last 3/4 of a mile which had a steep hill, but I felt strong. My pace was good and I finished running up that hill, arriving at a state park in the dark.
After some pictures and well wishes to the rest of our team preparing to run through the night, we laid out sleeping bags on a tarp and slept SOLID…for three hours. At such time, we received a text that van 2 was on it’s second to last runner and we needed to get to our next exchange so we could begin again.
Saturday morning’s run was quite foggy. I was feeling apprehensive about this run. The entire length of the run before me had been foggy and cold and I was not excited about the prospect of running without being able to see ahead. I felt anxious, but it was my turn, so I took the snap bracelet and took off. The blessing? Within about a mile and a half, the fog had burned off and it was a glorious day. I was on Whidbey Island by this point and could see the water, sailboats, wildflowers and greenery. That and the frequent hills were breathtaking! It was a very hilly course, but I knew this was what I had prepared for. This was my last run. Why hold back? I was determined that unless I had some major injury, I would not ever stop running. I would never stop to walk. I was conscious mostly of my own thoughts when in the back of my mind, I heard an indistinct, but unfamiliar screeching sound. When I heard it again, my mind registered the sound as unusual, so I glanced around for the source. And I stopped. About 20 feet from me was a bald eagle, spreading its massive wingspan landing on a tree. I gaped for about 5 seconds before it spread its wings again and took flight, but I was in so much awe of the majestic creature—one I wouldn’t even have seen in the fog.
My last run ended in a small town called Coupeville and I gave it everything I had. By this time I’d already run 13 miles and had very little sleep, but with nothing to lose, I set a PR for myself in pace. I ran my last run of 5.5 miles up and down many hills at a 8:58 pace. This won’t win any races, but given the distance, exhaustion and hilly terrain, I felt very proud of my effort.
So, being in the best running shape of my life, I knew this was my chance and since then I’ve been training for a half marathon that Jonathan and I are running on Saturday. 13.1 miles, here I come!
Thank you, DeAnne, for this fabulous video and the one cool running picture of me perhaps ever taken.
Monday, September 19, 2011
The first time Jonathan and I really decided we wanted to go to the Caribbean, it was because we were reading together the book by Elizabeth George Speare The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Kit Tyler (heroine) moves from her native Barbados to Connecticut to escape an unwanted marriage and talks frequently of home throughout the book. Jonathan and I decided we would one day have to go to Barbados. Well, since then, we’ve talked to people who have been to Barbados and apparently the Barbados of the 17th century and the Barbados of today aren’t really the same place. Still, barring that, we’ve hoped for 5 years or more that we would go to the Caribbean. Two weeks ago, we had our chance.
Jonathan’s mama came up to watch Caleb and James and we took a 5-night cruise from Miami to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. We LOVED it and got the sunburns to prove it. Get a load of this water!
Parasailing in Half Moon Cay…It shocked me a bit, but once we got in the air, it was the most serene thing I’ve ever done. It was silent and peaceful.Look at this unbelievable property in Nassau. If you look close enough, you’ll see these villas have beach front property in the front yard AND in the back. Nice.Look how HAPPY we are! At the end of the pier. This water is probably what? 15+ feet deep? I’m from CALIFORNIA! Are you kidding me?! I half expected California kelp to beat me across the face in our snorkeling adventure (waterproof 35mm camera. I’ll try to get those pics soon).
We also made friends with our dinner group! Thank you Jeremy, Kelsey, Jordan, Tiann, Andy and Katie for some good times!
We had a blast on the on-deck waterslide, laughed at the family friendly comedy shows, bust out one song in Karaoke, but more than anything we LOVED the water. It was the PERFECT temperature. It was cool and refreshing, but it took zero time to get used to. You could walk in freely and never get a chill. It was clean and amazing. We LOVED it. I could get used to swimming in the Caribbean every day.
Hot island get-away? Check. Happy belated sixth anniversary, Jonathan!
Friday, May 6, 2011
The Relief Society is the world’s largest organization for women, and I have been asked to accept the position of president of our local chapter. My Bishop (unpaid pastor/reverend) called me into his office almost a month ago to tell me he felt strongly that the Lord wanted me to be the new Relief Society president in our ward (congregation organized by geographical location). He said he had had my name on his mind for two weeks and had been praying and pondering whether this was a position right for me. I interpreted this to mean that Bishop had tried to get me out of it for two weeks before the Lord fully assured him that I’m it. I appreciate his efforts I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve the women and their families. My dear friend Jessica (who serves as RS president in her ward) told me it was a blessing to wake up every day knowing what you could do to serve the Lord and His people. I believe that. I also know I have two little children whose lives I cannot wildly interrupt just because I have this assignment. After all, my first priority will always be to my own family. I’m grateful, nervous, humbled and anxious to see what awaits.