Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Monday, May 23, 2011

Iron Kids San Diego 2011

I want to start off by saying that if you really don't enjoy sports/racing etc. then my blog is probably the one to avoid reading every year from the months of April-October. That is triathlon season and so that is what my posts are about. Exciting for us but maybe not so much for others. LOL!

Our girls did their first ever Iron Kids event this past weekend. We loaded up and headed to San Diego for the weekend. These pictures are not in good order so I thought I would show you what putting your kids in races does.........these photos below are our drive home late Sunday after the race.

Those of you with super high energy kids are seeing our master plan in all this aren't you? Ha!!

The girls had lots of family support as some drove in and stayed the night while my dad lives right by where the race was.

The girls were filling up on water and snacks after the race.

Ryanne sprinting towards the finish line.

Ryanne was SO fast in the bike transition. We barely had enough time to run up from the water and catch her taking off. She did great!

Here is Ryanne coming out of the swim. I have to hand it to all the kids that did the race because it was COLD out that day and to get in that ocean water.....BRRRRRR!!!

Can't have a race without a little blood now can we? Morgan caught her leg on her gear and was bleeding down into her shoes. The volunteers were great and such a huge help. Especially since the parents were not allowed to help in any way.

Morgan running toward the finish line. Ha, ha I caught my brothers thumbs up to her in the shot.

We prayed for the girls on the card ride over that they would have fun, be safe and have good attitudes. They were all smiles.

Morgan coming off the swim.

Caught them right before Morgan headed off to the start of the race. It was crazy having both girls in a race for the first time. We were running everywhere trying to keep up with where they were and where they were supposed to be. We met this girls Winter at the race. Her dad died of prostate cancer and so she started a race foundation to help fight cancer since her dad used to race. She races now too. Morgan had been looking for a race outfit she liked and decided she wanted to represent and help Team Winter. On the back of her jersey it says,"Who do you race for? MY DAD!" Morgan was very proud to wear that logo and Winter was a really neat 13 year old kid! Sweetheart!

Almost show time.

Getting inked up!

Waiting to get into transition to rack bikes.

See all the people!!! These kids were amazing!!

I don't know, think she might want to follow in dad's footsteps? :)
We were laying in bed last night and Dan said,"I got all choked up watching the girls race today. I got all teary when Ryanne accomplished the swim. I was so proud of them."

Early morning exit from the hotel heading over to the bay. The girls didn't want to get up at first but they were all smiles once we got going.

It's funny how quiet how hotels are at 6am in the morning. You can tell all the crazy people cause they are the ones pushing bikes out of the lobby.

Of course we couldn't be in San Diego and not hit up our favorite coffee house. If your ever down there look up Ryan Brothers Coffee. Best tea and coffee ever!!!

We are so proud of you girls! Thanks for a really fun weekend! And thanks for everyone who came out for the early morning cheering.
Ryanne we know how hard that ocean swim was for you because you just learned to swim and are fearful of not being able to see the bottom. You were scared to death but didn't quit. You pushed through and did it with a great attitude.

Morgan, so proud of your smiles and kindness on the race. You are a great example of a good sport.

150 yard swim, 4 mile bike and 1 mile run............
Morgan & Ryanne YOU ARE AN IRON KID!!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Embrace n: an encircling of the arms. To take up readily or gladly

I have been wanting to write this post for weeks but wrapping my brain and heart around the concept or should I say truth has taken some time. Also, I didn't want to ramble. My hearts desire is to make sense of it all. Suffering and pain that is. Seeing that we are only human and not whole until heaven that may be an unreachable feat. I guess I should be happy if I am even able to wrap my heart around it right?

I have shared with you in the past and been mostly open about the fact that I have suffered with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) since I was in my 20's, roughly 10 years give or take. The thing with RA is and most people don't realize this is that it's not your average arthritis. It's not just waking up feeling a little stiff or achy and so you pop a Tylenol and go on with your golf game or head off to the gym and work out. It's crippling. It causes inflammation in not just your joints but your organs. It causes you to often loose function of major things like your arm or leg or hand. Sometimes this can last only for a few hours or for days. Your circulation is bad so you don't have the feeling in your fingers and toes like before. It can affect your hearing, your vision.
The craziest part is you look healthy to most people. I think in some ways this makes it that much harder to be open with the average person. If your sick with it though you can spot it a mile away. Weird really.
Everyone's diagnosis is different and complex. Mine just happens to be very aggressive.

A couple weeks ago I was driving home from somewhere and I was having a rough day. I was in a lot of pain, didn't feel good and having a hard time getting around. I decided to let myself go "there" and be sad. Feel sorry for myself and be angry. I was mad about my health, mad that I can't do a lot of things I want to do or even the daily things that are easy for most. I was in tears. I turned on the radio and wouldn't you know there was a pastor talking about suffering. Except he was asking when the last time was that I had embraced my suffering. I turned it up thinking surely I had heard wrong. Embrace your suffering? Why?
I got home and checked my email to find someone had found me through my blog post review I did of Carolyn's Chocolates here in town. I love Carolyn by the way. I almost didn't open the unknown sender but felt like it was safe. This mom who emailed me had "accidentally" found my blog while looking up Carolyn's Chocolates. Embrace your suffering. And read a post about me having RA. Embrace your suffering. Her daughter is young, 15 and has tested positive for this disease. She was reaching out to me for help. Embrace your suffering. I shared my testimony with her and the road I have been down. Embrace your suffering. I then sent her to Dr. Wellhausen for the proper medical support. A month or so later we still have not met but email daily. Embrace your suffering. She is a daughter of the King. Embrace your suffering.

I started in that very first email to feel Gods presence. Who finds someone on the internet through a chocolate place and gets to build a relationship helping one another? God works like that. On the very day I needed it most God reminded me why I am sick and why I don't have to be happy about it but to be joyful in this time is entirely different. To embrace my suffering is to help other people. To let my pride go about being sick and needing help and shout it out from the mountain top that in all the suffering and all the chaos this disease causes me and my house God is in control and has a purpose. I can go kicking and screaming or I can go willingly and be used. To embrace my suffering means I am telling God that I am willing to hold on to what he would have be go through and learn from it. Our first instinct when something is painful is to throw it back, get rid of it, run, flee. Nobody in their own strength wants to be in pain. And it's different for all of us. Some of us struggle with physical pain, others emotional pain. Loss, depression, loneliness etc. But are we getting everything from the "storm" God is allowing us to go through? Or are we taking cover and avoiding the obvious growth he wants in us. I personally am learning to be more patient, to be still, to give over control. To be more compassionate of others weaknesses. To wait on the Lord and to accept no as an answer. Sometimes the answer to our questions about the storm is because God asked us to. Obedience.

I decided last night to finally break down and write this post. My mom called me; she has had RA since she was in her 20's as well. She had just gotten back from her hearing appointment and it did not go well. She has been loosing her hearing for a couple years now and is legally deaf. They told her yesterday they could not help her anymore and to prepare to loose the hearing that is left. She told me she melted down and cried and got mad and indignant and then she said what convinced me to write this. She said,"It's OK now cause God has a plan in me being deaf. I will miss hearing your girls voices and Morgan play the piano, but God knows."
I was torn between crying and feeling excited about how God will use my mom and our family in this. She is embracing her suffering. She's going along for the ride to see where it takes her. Not only is she going she is rolling down the windows, cracking open the sunroof and attempting to take in the scenery.

Suffer: verb to experience something unpleasant. To bear loss or damage. A cause of distress.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dan! Dan! The Iron Man!

We headed out of town for a week to St. George Utah so that Dan could participate in his first Iron Man race. He has been training for 6 months so the anticipation of this race was overwhelming for the entire family. We decided to spend the entire week leading up to the race at a cute little bed and breakfast so we could really get a feel for the town and the people there.

Sorry So many pictures but it was too fun not to post. :)

It was a REALLY long drive but the kids were GREAT!

This is the court yard of the bed and breakfast that was made up of like 6 individual little historic houses. And this is Ryanne asking if Daddy wants her to swim with him in the race. :)

This great little park was just across the street from where we stayed and was the "hub" of the Iron Man event. It was also the location for the finish line which was really convenient for the girls and I.

This is what the houses looked like in the neighborhoods in St. George. This is the house I told Dan he could buy me. White picket fence and all. The people in this town could not have been nicer if they tried. We talked to EVERYONE!

This little country store was next to our B & B. They sold old fashioned candy, snow cones and soda in glass bottles.

I tried to explain to Morgan that you really have not lived as a kid until your parents buy you some fake candy smokes and you walk around town with it hanging out of your mouth all the while blowing powdered sugar "smoke" in peoples faces. She wanted nothing to do with it. Whatever! LOL!!

In the park across the way they had fountains that shot up at different times in different spots so the kids played here every single day.
Right next to the fountains was a river with rocks and firemen statues that sprayed the kids. One day I sat in the shade and watched my girls play for THREE HOURS! They met all kinds of other kids from all over. Some locals and others from different states or countries there to watch their loved ones race the following weekend. Our kids are happiest outside soaking wet so this spot blessed us.

I loved all the old buildings we saw as we went for a walk every morning after breakfast.

This is Dan at the reservoir where the swim took place. Ignore the sun reflection on his belly button. Odd really.

Of course during Dan's practice swim's our kids found the quickest way to climb out on rocks and get wet. The water was sooooooo cold! I think they said in the mid 50's.

During the trial bike rides when we would drop Dan off and then drive to an ending location and wait for him we passed the camera around to keep entertained.

We waited A LOT that week as he has to do different things to get ready for the race.......

The girls were so good & supportive though. I tried my best to keep them entertained and not turn on me in the heat. LOL!

This is the evening before the race at the bike transition. I stood on a wall to get a shot of all the bikes racked. I couldnt get all 1,930 of them but you get the idea of the amount of crazy people here.

The night before the Iron Man our girls did an Iron Kids run through town. The finishers got to run across the actual Iron Man finish line, get a t-shirt and a medal.

Here is Ryanne after the race. Our friends Frank & Brandy from church were there volunteering at the race. It was so fun having people we knew there that week to hang out with and cheer Dan on.

Morgan after the race.

One of the houses at the B & B.

Me & the girls.

Dan & his biggest fans.

I found a life is good store just around the corner from where we were staying so I took it upon myself to buy a mother's gift I knew I would enjoy. What? Dan was busy racing, I was helping people. :)

Life IS good!!!

This poor unsuspecting lady fell in love with Ryanne....that is until Ryanne stomped on her wheel pedal and sent her creation flying everywhere. Oppsss!!!

Team Daddy in full force!

Our day started really early. In fact none of us slept the night before due to the excitement we had for Dan. To keep the girls entertained for 14 and a half hours I fed them whatever they wanted. Kettle Corn, ring pops, smoothies, salads, apples and peanut butter, AND yes snow cones.

I think her tongue is stained for life!

When Brandy was done volunteering she helped me keep an eye on the girls and she helped us eat all the fun foods too! What a good friend.

Here is one of the few good shot I got of Dan on the race. It was hard because you would wait hours to see him (and make sure he was still alive) and then when you saw him you would start screaming and jumping up and down and thanking God he's still in the upright position and then the photo op was over. He had such a good attitude and was always smiling when we saw him. I prayed all day he would blessed on his race and just have joy. He did.

There were 100's of people from all over the world at this race. They say it is the hardest Iron Man. The temperature was in the 90's so people were dropping like crazy due to illness and cramping. Not my Iron Man though. :)

Morgan and I waiting for Dan to cross the finish line. We were both all choked up every time people came across.
Dan just as he came across and got his medal. You weren't allowed near the athletes until after they wrapped them in blankets, sat them down and checked them out and gave them food and water. We zoomed over the nearest wall and kissed him anyway. Then they ushered families to the waiting area. See he's all smiles. Love it!

Our friend that was volunteering was nice enough to bring a chair to the wall so I could be with Dan. I was so excited for him that he accomplished something he had his heart set on. He waited here until a massage table was available and then got his legs all worked out. He felt great the next day except for..................(see below)

The skin on his feet started to peel off taking his toe nails with it. YUCK! And this is fun for people why?

I mean no offense, his feet weren't like "pretty" before but come on! Blaahh!!

Thank you to all of you who kept up with Dan via the Iron Man web site, through texting me all day and for praying. He really felt the love and support as did I. We really had the best time and he is already looking to his next adventure. The girls and I vote for Iron Man Florida. LOL! Might as well see the country and lay on the beach while he does these right? So again, thank you for supporting his dream to hear,"DAN YOU ARE AN IRON MAN!!"
2.4 Mile Swim-112 Mile Bike Ride-26 Mile Run
Finish Time:14 hrs. 33 min.