Saturday, April 26, 2008

5K - mommy season

I like that quote (scripture) about there being a time and season for all things.
Running and racing has been a significant part of my life for about 7 years now. It paid for my entire education - undergrad and masters. It helped me meet some wonderful people from all over the world. I've had "seasons" where I trained fanatically and raced professionally. I've had seasons where I thought of little else other than how my next workout will help me win my upcoming race. And I did a LOT of races - as you can see from my collection of race number bibs. On the back of each is a thorough description of each race - my time, place, prize, weather, the distance, how I felt, etc. Obsessive? Perhaps. But that was that season of my life.
The next photos show the current season I am enjoying...

I have created a NEW wall of race bibs.
They are.... the mommy bibs. Three so far.
The race times written on the back are significantly slower. Almost embarrassingly slow, if I let my mind go that way...
The places/awards are usually nonexistent (unless by some fluke, no one shows up, as occurred at today's fun run).
But... there is nothing more rewarding than finishing my race and grabbing my baby from my sweet supportive husband. That is partly why the new race bibs are displayed in Brianna's room - I feel like I do this for her. She deserves a happy, healthy mommy, and running does that for me. Now I'm not saying that one needs to be a runner and participate in fun-runs to be a good mom. Some may say "yeah, duh." But I know there are other moms out there who would become defensive and/or self-conscious reading this. Like I said - babies deserve happy, healthy moms, and this is what does it for ME. Everyone gets their kicks in their own way.
This last photo is extremely heart-warming to me, and reminds me of another reason I support all these local 5K events. It is a blind man finishing the 5K with his guide dog. This particular run was a fundraiser for the Utah Council of the Blind (titled "3 Blind Mice, See How They Run." Cute huh). Almost every race and fun run is a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization. So as an additional benefit to this obsession I had (have?), I have supported hundreds of great causes.
I love this season of my life where I am focusing on the FUN part of the fun run. Despite being more flabby than fit, I feel good about myself because I know my focus is on the most important aspect of this life - that wonderful guy in the picture with me and the little munchkin in the stroller.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Trip to Spokane

Brianna took her first flight! And possibly her last... flying with an infant is no fun. She wants to wiggle and look around and nurse and have her diaper changed and be bounced and sung to... that just does not work well when Im stuck in the middle of two large people. That was on the way from SLC to Spokane, when I was solo. This pic is from the way back, where I thankfully had my better half with me to help with the wiggling baby. He asked the guy next to him to take this pic. That was after their 30 minute conversation. Brian just rolls like that, pretty much all the time... striking up conversations with strangers everywhere he goes. Funny kid.
Brian is crashed on my parentʻs couch. He got to tend Brianna muchmuch more than he is used to, so I could go play with my sisters and enjoy running in Spokane (I miss my old routes!). He made a comment about how tiring it is - "Brizzle [thatʻs his nickname for her] was terrible. First she wanted to just be held all the time, then dropped a bomb in her diaper, then wet all over her blanket while I was changing her, then was hungry, then fell asleep but woke up as soon as I moved her, then wanted to play again, then messed her diaper again, then was hungry again..." My response? Welcome to my world.
We went to Celebrate Recovery at Community Bible Church with Mere. Mom, Linds, and Brianna all went too. It was great. We waved our arms in the air, shouted AMEN, sang and clapped to their "hymns"... Brianna was so overcome by the spirit that she cried.
Mom is the coolest Nonny ever. She takes her grandkids upstairs to their playroom, puts the music on, and starts DANCE PARTY.
Almost every evening, I found mom and dad cuddled together on the lazyboy, watching the news, holding Brianna, with Dad eating his apple. I love how Dad eats his apple - shaving small slices off with a knife. He used to do that with me while we watched Simpsons. Isnt it interesting which childhood memories are most poignant and carry with them such strong positive sentiments... does that make sense? I just really love seeing Dad eat his apple this way. I miss Spokane.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Brianna's first trip to the ZOO

Well, it's not a ZOO-zoo... it's CAT TALES Zoological Park. It's like an animal sanctuary and school and public exhibit - the only one of it's kind in the country. And it's just a couple miles from my parent's home in Colbert/Mead/Spokane! Brianna absolutly loved it. Or maybe she just liked being carted around in her sling. We went with her Nonny and Papa, Dave, Jenny, Kiya, Cooper, Lincoln, McKay, Lindsay, Kyle (her BF), Cougar (yes, Cougar liked seeing the Cougars) and Brianna's wonderful daddy. We went during FEEDING TIME and got to see the cats shred raw meat to pieces. We were literally just a couple feet away from these awesome creatures. Pretty incredible to have an African Lion roar at you from 4 feet away.

Cat Tales has bears, a snake, and about 30 big cats - tigers, lions, pumas, cougars...even WHITE Tigers (like in two of these pics)... and a LIGER.
The liger is bred for it's magical powers.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Busted the Piggy open

Sorry, Brianna... I'm not saving my penny collection for you. After about 9 years of collecting them inside a dollar-store red pig given to me by Meredith, we cashed them.
So sad...had to perform major surgery to get that pig open.
But worth it - there were 3,357 pennies in there!!

Then the pig was trashed. I don't keep STUFF for sentimental reasons very much anymore. That's why blogging is so great, generally speaking... no stacks of photos to keep in boxes, or attempt to keeping movie stubs or special receipts... just snap a photo, blog it, and toss it! What a wonderful world we live in... what will they come up with next...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Brianna's first "dinner and a movie"

We're in Spokane right now, visiting Dad for his 60th birthday. We went to the theaters for her first movie (and my first in a LONG time - I'm cheap). Nim's Island. Super cute film. Highly recommend. Brianna LOVED it...or perhaps she just loved being cuddled tight in a dark room for 90 minutes. Lindsay is taking the pic, and Cougar is on his Papa's lap trying to escape. Didn't matter if he made a scene though...we were the ONLY people in the theater!

Afterwards, Rancho Chico. My parent's favorite Mexican restaurant in Spokane. Mom and I went drinkin there (funny story - ask me about it sometime).

Brianna wasn't too interested in beans and rice...she just wanted to eat her fist.

Monday, April 14, 2008

They shot my baby

I don't have any pictures to memoralize the event of Brianna's first immunizations... I was too busy bawling my eyes out as I watched them poke and torture my poor child. But I'm happy to say we survived it, and now my baby won't get polio. But for the record - that was probably the worst experience of motherhood so far.
Stats update: 12.7 pounds, 23 inches - that's the 86th percentile in height and 81st in weight. Head circumference was 54% percentile (so a slightly large head - must get that from her Dad).


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Surprises

Spring is here! We had the hottest day of the year so far - about 75 degrees - and absolutely gorgeous. I had a few surprises today... I found Brian outside on our backyard lawn with Brianna! We've never been able to take her outside til now for any length of time. He was out there changing her diaper (odd, I know...but everything is more fun outside). Of course my paranoid thoughts imagined a spider sneaking up and biting her bum, infecting her with some incurable life-threatening disease... but I guess I'll have to get over that, or just keep her in a bubble her entire life.

I also was surprised to find our daffodils had popped up...
And another one of our annual flowers. Don't know what this one is named. Blood rose, maybe? We were really fortunate to move into a home where the previous owner was a greenthumbed old lady. We have roses, strawberry plants, iris, purple things, and green things.

And my favorite surprise... Brian got me roses - - no reason! I asked why he chose white roses (he usually always gets me yellow, my favorite), and he said "aren't those yellow?!" I've heard that men are somewhat colorblind... oh well, I don't care. Just happy for Spring surprises.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Celebrity encounter

Dallin H. Oaks.... he's a good friend of ours. We go way back - we're tight.
Oaks asked if he could have a picture taken with B & b...
I said "sure, I guess so. But be quick, we have places to go, people to see...

Totally joking, of course. I had to do some serious maneuvering through the crowd to get to him for our pic.
Elder Oaks was a surprise guest at the semi-annual Filipino fireside. Brian and I always attend - it's each Sunday evening after General Conference. Brian likes to meet up with his mission buddies there. I like the authentic Filipino refreshments. Brianna likes crowds. So we were all happy.
Everyone was so surprised and delighted to have Elder Oaks there, along with his wife (who, BTW, is so pretty and so sweet! She's gotta be 20 years younger than him...) When they came into the cultural hall after the fireside, they were basically swarmed. But he put up with it so well! He let everyone take pictures and shake his hand... I would've gotten so annoyed, or at least claustrophobic. Brian and I decided to join the mob. Fortunately, it wasn't too hard to jockey through the Filipino crowd - we were bigger than most of them. I just got right up behind Elder Oaks, tapped his shoulder, and asked if he would stand in a pic with our baby! Yes, it was a brave moment for me. I was super nervous. Brian kept sayin "Chel, let's not do this...Chel, I don't know bout this...Chel, don't bug him..." But now he's the one showing everyone the photo we got.
I hesitated when titling this post using the word "celebrity"... it seems almost a demeaning insult or sacrilegious to title such an amazing man with the same title given to the likes of immoral Hollywoodites. But I looked up the dictionary definition of celebrity, and decided he fits: "the state or quality of being widely honored and acclaimed; A person of distinction or renown."
Excuse me now, I have to go. My friend Thomas is at the door. He brought Henry and Dieter with him!

Monday, April 7, 2008


my fear has come true... I am becoming a simple-minded SAHM. This realization occurred to me after spending a ridiculous amount of time in this peak-a-boo blanket game.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Brianna's first conference

Brianna raised her arm to sustain the leaders of the church

Her and her Dad thoroughly enjoyed conference....

Thursday, April 3, 2008


It's amazing how something as simple as a smile can make all the weeks of diaper changing and 2am feedings completely worth it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


So here's the story:
Last month at Grandma Berrett's funeral, I learned that she had been quite a prankster, back-in-the-day. She put For Sale signs in front of people's homes, called random numbers and told them their house is on fire, sent Valentine cards to male neighbors from female neighbors - both married, not to each other. Absolutely hilarious. So - I was inspired.
Being out here on planet Vernal, my options are limited. But thank goodness for internet so I could have some fun!
I saved the positive preg test from Brianna (is that weird? It's like a report card for me. You save the good ones.) BTW - dollar store tests work just as well as the expensive ones. I received some criticism from people for being "cheap" and just using the dollar store tests. Ridiculous. The only thing a dollar store test could produce is a false negative, if you're not far enough along. I'd rather exercise patience, wait a little longer, and save the money.
Anyways - so I took pics of the nearly year-old postive test, posted the pics, and let the chaos begin. My phone started ringing, I got texts, emails... Anne threatened to come over to my house and make me take another one. Some people swore they didn't believe me, yet they kept calling and asking. Brian was the most fooled...but it was an excellent test - he was really happy about it! Totally excited. Just a little upset when I posted the APRIL FOOLS sign, but only because he had called everyone he knows. We spent the evening sending out GOTCHA texts.
Just wait - next year I'm going to do this trick again... but will I be foolin?! We'll see!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


So I guess breastfeeding is NOT an effective form of birth control...