Russ the Spudman

Sunday, July 29, 2012

For the last few months, Russ has been training so hard for the Idaho Spudman triathlon. The Spudman is an olympic length triathlon (1 mile swim, 26 mile bike, 6.2 mile run). Russ definitely doesn't mess around... especially for this being his first triathlon! Usually Russ is the supportive spouse on the sidelines cheering me on during a race, but I had a blast being on the other side. Not only was it nice not feeling completely exhausted and like I kind of want to just lay down on the side of the road :), but I loved seeing Russ achieve something he has worked so hard on. And he did amazing! He is one speedy athlete.

Russ before the race with his awesome orange swim cap.

The Spudman is one of the most organized and well-planned race I have ever seen! And believe me, I've seen some pretty poorly organized events. It's a huge race with around 1,600 people, but everything was totally seamless. And I was so happy that I even got to catch Russ at every transition point. He always flashed his classic Russ-smile. 

We still don't know his official finish time -- the number below is not accurate as he was in the second wave. But either way, he did amazing. I keep asking him if he wants to another one now -- I still haven't gotten a definitive answer. :) 

 ... all I can say is that hopefully he is up for another one, because next time I want to be out there with him! He totally inspired me. I'm so proud of my triathlete!  


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

3 years ago today I married my best friend, the love of my life, and the best husband I could have ever dreamed of. I'm so incredibly grateful for these last 3 years, and I can't wait for the many years to come! Life sure can be a roller coaster, but luckily I have Russ by my side, and I know with him anything is possible. 

Happy 3 year anniversary, husband! Hurry home! 

Sunday Drive

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I'm a little sad that by posting this blog post, Grayson's face won't be the first thing you see. But I guess it was inevitable, right? We've had lots and lots of family time lately, you know, with the new and highly anticipated family member who has come into our lives and won all of our hearts over. 

Anyway, we had a lovely Sunday afternoon around the house, and then my mom had the brilliant idea of going on a little Sunday drive. I'm so glad she did. We went up the beautiful American Fork canyon that is just a short drive from our house. We ended up at Silver Lake. My dad and Russ had perma-grins on their faces as my dad pushed his Land Rover to the limits and literally "roved the land." Oh men and their machines.

Utah is so pretty with the amazing mountains that surround us. Sadly, going through the day to day routine causes one to take these mountains for granted (I know I do!), but nights like tonight remind me how grateful I am for the beautiful world God has created. This really is a beautiful place, isn't it? I feel renewed to start this next week of work, plugging away at our many responsibilities. It's amazing how a short drive out of your normal routine can remind you, once again, how good life really is.

PS. Aren't my parents cute?

Grayson Stuart

Sunday, July 15, 2012

These last 48 hours have been some of the most intense and emotional, yet beautiful moments for our family. My older sister, Brittney, gave birth to her first baby, Grayson Stuart Maxfield. Many of you know a bit about my sister's story that she has so bravely shared on her blog. In a nutshell, after 3 IVF's, one miscarriage, and 4 years later, a miracle came true today. 

I will let Brittney tell the nitty gritty about her labor experience if she wants, but I do need to say that my sister is the strongest person I know. I have always known this. I look up to her in more ways than I can count. She is unwavering, decisive, independent, and resilient. She has never given up. Even during her nearly 24 hours of labor that resulted in a somewhat emotional and stressful C section. She did whatever it took to get Baby G here, safely. And yes, that includes years and years of an emotional roller coaster we call "infertility." 

But he is here. And that is all that matters. 

I feel so honored to have been by her side during the labor experience. I sat in awe of her as we waited all day Saturday, through the middle of the night, and into Sunday morning. I sat in awe of her husband, Stuart. He will be the best Dad. I was in awe of the nurses and doctors that did what had to be done. I was in awe of all the family support that was there for B and Stu. This baby will be so loved he won't know what's coming! We think he is an old soul. He cried twice when he first came out, and then was wide eyed and alert for hours, just staring at all the expectant family members who smiled and talked to him. It's like he was listening, and telling us, "It's OK guys, I'm here now!" He is such a beautiful and calm baby.

I love being an aunt to Baby Grayson. I love that B and Stu now have a family of three. Life is good.

** All photos taken by the lovely Caitlin (Stu's younger sister you see in the above pic) **

California Dreamin'

We had a fantastic week in California over the 4th of July holiday. It was absolutely lovely! I must say getting back into "real life" was quite hard, but I guess that's the mark of a good vacation, right? 

We started the week in sunny San Diego and started the whole trip by running along the beach to one of the best doughnut shops I've ever been to. That totally makes sense, right? :) We then spent a lovely day at the beach. I'm not the biggest ocean fan, so I enjoyed my time on the sand. I got to hang with this cute kid. He pretty much melts my heart.

After San Diego we drove up to the "happiest place on earth" for a few days. Disneyland is fun, no doubt, but for some reason going with little kids really makes it magical. I think little Lucy was in constant awe for a good 24 hours. Mouth dropped and everything. (see the bottom left picture. adorable.) Oh, and by the way, Cars Land in California Adventure is awesome. Everyone needs to experience the beauty of Radiator Springs in real life.

Oh, and Benny was quite the brave little boy. He even conquered Space Mountain -- twice. What a champ. :) I sure do love that kid. 

We then drove up to the absolute gorgeous city of Santa Barbara. Holy moly, that place is amazing. Picture an ocean-side town with historic buildings complete with modern amenities and magnificent mountains overlooking the valley. It's quite breathtaking. We went to attend the Lewis family reunion in Grandma Lewis' hometown. We had such a great time with the whole family (a total of about 34 people sleeping under one roof!). It was great getting to know everyone better as I'm a relatively new member of the Lewis clan. One of the highlights of the trip was the bike ride from the top of Santa Barbara to the ocean. 

Other activities include a bonfire on the beach complete with smores and beach volleyball, an epic hike to Montecito peak, shopping on main street, 4th of July parade and fireworks, seeing the Santa Barbara sites, picking oranges off the orange tree in the backyard (best oranges ever), and lots of good food and good company. 

Thanks again to all of the Lewis clan for the good times. Can't wait till next time!

** By the way, I am posting this at 2:30 am from a hospital labor and delivery waiting room. That's right... my sister is finally having her baby! As most of you know, this day is a very long time coming. Come on Baby G!!! We are waiting for you not so very patiently! :)