Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Past 2 Months...

So, I fell off the blogging bandwagon for a while. I actually tried several times to post, but since we got a new camera, I've had issues with uploading pictures to Blogger (anyone else have that problem?). And of course we've been crazy busy as usual, but I knew I had to post before June came along. So what have we been up to?

Well, we took a trip to the happiest place on earth in April (aka "Disneyland"). I'm a little bit of a Disney fanatic and have been wanting to take Grace although she is still young. We purchased her an autograph book and a feathery sleeping beauty pen so we could look back and remember these magical moments (can you tell I was reliving my childhood?)!

Of course we had to meet Mickey and Minnie:

Riding on the merry-go-round... she looked like such a big girl holding on by herself!
Casey Jr.'s train ride:
We did some splurging and enjoyed lunch with the Disney Princesses at Ariel's Grotto. It was so much fun to see Grace meet each princess (reliving my childhood again). I have to laugh because she really had no idea what was going on and isn't looking at the camera in any of these pics... oh well.
Off to meet Tinkerbell...
After riding Dumbo...
Enjoying a ride on the teacups! Steve and I usually try to spin as fast as possible, but in this case, it was a pretty relaxed ride.
Encounter with Jack Sparrow... I just love Grace's expression in this one; they just stared at each other for the longest time.
The merry-go-round for a second time...
Grace looked so cute with her seatbelt on as we went from ride to ride. I was surprised at how many rides she could go on being so young... it was pretty cute.
Before leaving, we stopped by Build-A-Bear and got this cute little stuffed dog. Grace is obsessed with dogs as of late, and she can clearly say "doggy" and make an adorable barking sound. If we didn't live in such tight quarters, I actually would consider adding a furry friend to our family.
And in more recent news, our little angel is growing up quickly. I emphasize the "growing up" part because she really isn't "growing" all that fast and is quite petite. However, she is learning so many new things... it's amazing how quickly children learn! She loves this show called "Word World" and has been learning her letters! I have a bunch of magnetic letters that I made on the fridge, which she loves to point to saying "A, B"... "C"... "T".... "E". I was really surprised when she started doing this because I never really taught her any letters, but then I realized while she was watching her favorite show, she was repeating the letters that they spelled!
And here is a pic from Easter. I actually missed her first Easter egg hunt! I had to work that day, but Steve documented the event for me.
And, I always seem to find some time for crafting. I took an old tank top of mine and created this...

And after wanting to do a triathlon for the past 2 years, I finally reached my goal! I did a sprint tri in St. George, Utah. What made this event even more special was that I did it with my 2 brothers, my sister-in-law, and my niece who is in the pic below! My niece did awesome in her "mini-tri" race... following in her dad's footsteps!

I ended up placing 6th out of 27 in my age division, and 19th out of 147 overall for women... that was definitely a surprise!
I performed a lot better than I thought I would, especially considering that I really could not swim well at all 2 months ago. I decided to take some private swimming lessons since I never had lessons as a child. My first 2 lessons were torture and I was getting so out of breath. After some great coaching and a lot of practice, I was swimming much better within 2 weeks. I also had the added challenge of swimming in a lake, but luckily I scored an awesome wetsuit on Ebay and could handle the chilly water better. I think I look like I stepped out of Star Trek...
And meet "Coach Chris". This guy taught me how to swim in 4 lessons, and also gave me a lot of pointers on doing triathlons having completed several Ironman's himself. I probably would have been the last one out of the water if it wasn't for his help. I am now swimming in his Master's swim class and can swim 2200 meters!
Because I had so much fun doing this race, I actually said "yes" to my younger brother when he asked me to do a half Ironman with him this August! So, I basically workout now for 2+ hrs a day, and I'm getting used to waking up at 5 am or earlier to get my workouts in (I have to beat the heat here in AZ!). It sounds like torture, but surprisingly, I'm loving it!

And of course, my training won't stop because I got into St. George Marathon this October! I didn't make the lottery last year, and I was pregnant the year prior, so I'm super excited!

And before I wrap up, I have to mention that Steve is finally into his 4th year of medical school! He will be traveling a lot for his rotations this next year, but we are hopeful that it will help him get into a great residency program. He has decided on doing emergency medicine, and I think it will suit him well. And luckily, we get to do a rotation in Utah for 4 weeks!

More updates to come soon....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Time Travel

After putting off updating this blog for a month or so, it's time to take a journey back in time...

A lot has happened within the past couple of months, and I would hate to continue blogging about this and that, unless I mention a few highlights.

After living in AZ for a couple of years now, I have been dying to tap into my domestic side and plant a garden, but this is kind of hard to do as an apartment-dweller. However, I was determined to make it work! I bought a variety of planters and pots, hoping to sprout some home grown produce. Planting and growing season is different here in AZ, so this all started back in October... and sure enough within a few months, we had a variety of tomatoes, peppers, and some fresh basil and rosemary! And to add to our plentiful harvest, our apartment complex has about 15 grapefruit trees that bear the most delicious fruit... I even think it cures the common cold (and prevents it too!).
I couldn't figure out why all of my peppers were so small... I found out later they were of a dwarf variety.Just a few of the yummy tomatoes...A few flowers to add to the mix.Rosemary smells soooo good!Basil... yummy!The peppers had a hard time growing. Probably due to lack of sunlight because of the direction our building faces.I got one tomato that grew really well (seen at the bottom of the plant). I'm hoping they will all be that size the next time around since I will have more of a green thumb ;)Next up on our journey back in time is a visit from Nana, Papa, and Abby!

My parents came down to enjoy the AZ sun. And of course, we had to stop at my FAVORITE restaurant: Arcadia Farms. Just love this place! If you ever decide to try it out, make a reservation and ask to sit on their back patio.
Girl & I...Grace enjoying her grilled cheese... what toddler doesn't like grilled cheese!
The journey continues...

Grace and I made a very quick trip up to Utah because I simply could not miss a certain event! My friend Emily married Steve's cousin, Taylor. Emily and I have been friends for as long as I can remember (since age 5). I had the honor and pleasure to see this perfect couple marry in the Salt Lake Temple, and I couldn't be more happy for them!

A few years ago, I had this nagging feeling that I should line these two up. It makes me so nervous to do this because I always fear it may go horribly and I'll regret the whole thing! I couldn't shake off the prompting I had, and Steve and I joined these two for their very first date. I'm glad I didn't ignore that feeling and took a leap of faith that this just might work out because these two look so happy and are blissfully in love! The wedding was beautiful, Emily was gorgeous, and Taylor couldn't stop smiling!
Reunion of friends!Although our visit was short, we spent some time with cousins...
Up next: RAGNAR Del Sol 2011.

So, I have been wanting to participate in one of these crazy relay races for a while now... and I finally did last month! With an awesome team of 12 runners, we conquered 197 miles of crazy fun! I ran a total of 15.3 miles, divided into 3 legs, over a 24 hr period. Let's just say I was exhausted afterwards, but it was all worth it!

Our Team Name:
Van #2 buddies.Running into the gorgeous sunset...
Showing off our team spirit! (I am runner #11 & I had the pleasure of sharpie-tattooing some sweet bubble letters!) Warming up...Couldn't forget my pom-poms to cheer our team on!
"Say cheese!"
Glowing in the dark!We look a little like aliens!Our chorus line, but with no chorus... we are runners :)
Party afterwards!
Jamming with Mariah... yeah!And the last stop on our time travel adventure: an Indian wedding... AWESOME!

Steve and I had an awesome getaway weekend in Albuquerque, NM, without Grace thanks to my cousin Carli, to see these to happy lovebirds get married! I met my friend Neema through work when we first moved to AZ, and about a year later she met this fabulous guy, Ashish. They both happen to be Indian, and therefore, we were able to witness this spectacular event of Indian culture, food, and tradition! This was the first time Steve and I had left Grace overnight, and I can't thank my cousin Carli and her husband Dustin enough for taking such good care of her while we were away.
The evening before the ceremony, we learned some awesome Indian dances. Neema and Ashish had the most incredible attire for each event!
A gorgeous bride...Ashish greeting the bride's "village" and family.The happy couple :)
And so they danced...And before we leave this adventure, I have to post some pictures of the other love of my life. I can't tell you how much I love this little girl! She is growing up so quickly and learning so many new things. Just today, she repeatedly said "hi" over and over while we tried to Skype Nana and Papa (they never even answered, and she continued to say it!).

She is a little defiant and stubborn at times... and I have succumbed to the fact that she will learn to walk when she realizes that her knees can't take anymore abuse from the carpet, concrete, grass, etc. She gets where she wants to go, and that's all that matters to her.

And I can't believe I'm saying this, but she is starting to enjoy other shows besides Pingu! Her latest is "Ni Hao Kai-Lan." It reminds me of Dora, but the little girl is Chinese and teaches the kids Chinese phrases and culture. It kind of makes me laugh because Pingu is a Japanese-made show. Something tells me that Grace might explore Asia one day.

Showing off her wispy locks...Two words: ink cartridge.
Playdate with Tenley.Strike a pose."Little Sailor" photo shoot:
Ready for summer already sporting her watermelon swimsuit (from last year actually... this girl just doesn't seem to grow!)