Lissa & Nate - Our Fairytale

Lissa & Nate ~ Our Fairytale
marriage brings greater possibilities for happiness than does any other relationship. ~Russell M. Nelson

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

About a Cool Experience

Yesterday we made the trip home from Oregon, and as we were driving in the lonely Nevada desert we came across a giant Winnebago pulled over by the side of the road with a man running ahead of it.  Nate, being the kind man he is pulled over to ask if they needed any help, to which I responded, "What if they're creepers?!"

To our surprise it was central station for a man named Steve Knowlton who is running across the country to raise money and awareness for Autism, but also to break the world record for fastest run across the country.  The current record is held by Frank Giannino at 46 days eight hours and 36 minutes.  Knowlton's goal is to make the run in 45 days, averaging 70 miles per day.  Pretty cool!

My week in OR included running, as I am training for my first 5K.  I bought new running pants and got some great tips from Christina about taking care of my legs as not to aggravate my shin splints and the pain in the muscles of my calfs. (I didn't give myself enough time to train)  One of the things she told me to do was use a rolling pin on my calfs to help break up the lactic acid buildup.  It's helped a lot!

As we were getting dressed and ready to leave in the morning I decided, instead of wearing my lounge pants for the long drive I wanted to wear my running pants, because they are super comfy. So I dug them out of my suitcase, already packed in the car.  Then during the long drive I kept wishing I had a rolling pin to work on my legs rather than just sitting there.  While driving through Fallon we passed a walmart so I made Nate stop to so I could pick up a rolling pin.  (quick stop, no on/off ramps, score!)  I spent a lot of time rolling my calfs during the next couple hours.  Little did I know about Steve up ahead.

So when we came upon Steve, I thought, I have running pants on, my legs are feeling good, I need to run 3 times this week anyway, I have a sweet little someone I love to run for... Why not?!  I got out and ran with Steve for 2 miles!  It was cool, and he was really kind to let me run with him.  That was when I learned he was 10 days into his run (now 11) and trying to break the world record.  I learned who he's doing this for, and that in 2010 he ran across country, from Seatle to Key Largo, only that time solo.  It took him 100 days.  What I didn't know about that run at the time was that he was running for Crohn's disease, which he was diagnosed with at a young age. I learned that he was inspired by another runner, Terry, who made a trip from St. Paul to Atlanta in 75 days at the age of 57.  Steve is "pushing 48" (as he put it).  We talked about some other stuff, nothing terribly deep, but still it was cool.

His legs are blistered from sunburn and his ankles are swollen and he runs, hoping his body will kick into auto pilot any day now and accept that this is what he's going to do.  I hope that for him too.  It's crazy to me but in a, "I wish I were that kind of crazy cool" sort of way.

I'm grateful to have experienced that.  I'm grateful to have spent a few minutes with someone who is an example of dreaming big and achieving those dreams.  And while the entire experience wasn't what I'd call life changing, (I only ran 2 miles after all), it was something for me to learn from~ about becoming and doing. And my small, menial tasks, goals and dreams may feel even smaller now, but they are mine, and I can accomplish them, and feel good about that.  I have a resolved desire to serve others, even if only in the littlest ways, but hopefully some big ways too.

It made me think of who I am becoming and to whom that matters most.  It made me wonder if my goals are aligned with the goals Heavenly Father has for me and if he's happy with what I'm doing with my time on earth.  And best of all I know that I'm still young and every minute is fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.  Now is the best time to correct my course and to finish goals and make more goals.

It was just a cool experience.

If you want to know more about it you can go to his website and his blog.  If you want to donate to Steve's Run for the cause for Autism go here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

About Preschool Volcanos

I was laying in bed this morning trying to figure out the absolute easiest way to do make a volcano (we learned the letter V today) without having to put in more effort or time than needed i.e. figure out the shape to cut paper for the cone.  I only have 3 little preschool boys and their attention never lasts long, not to mention it was just going to be destroyed by the eruption anyway.  Well it hit me and this is what I came up with... I went to the thrift store and picked up a small lamp shade, then tested it over several different glasses to find the best height and size fit. I think it turned out great!  Had I more time I would have spray painted the inside and outside brown to look even more like a volcano.  But who are we kidding, they are 2, 3 and 4.  They don't care what color it is, they just wanted to see it erupt!

I give you my Lampshade Volcano!

Monday, September 10, 2012

About Following the Right Path

I just received a text from Nate and I have to write it down.

    "Just finished a meeting with the museum art admin group.  I can remember the night we talked about this program as a possibility and how I felt.  I really think that we were led here."

Let me just start off by saying, I also remember the night we talked about this program and my feelings did not echo his in the initial moment AND any wife who has stood by her husband while he worked his way through school, changing programs, and career desires all the while can understand why.

When I met Nate he was a sculpture major working to complete his associates at UVSC (now UVU)  When we married it was the same story.  After one year of marriage he transferred to the U of U and finished his associates there.  Right about the time he was ready to enter the sculpting program (it may have even been a year into it, can't quite remember) he chose to change his major from Art Sculpting to Art Education.  I was surprised because sculpture was his dream and had been for so long.  I knew he wasn't giving up on it, but still I cried a little when he made that decision.  At the same time though I felt really good about it.  Maybe for selfish reasons but I felt more safe and secure with this new major so I didn't argue it.

Because Nate didn't start out as an art ed major he missed a whole year worth of classes that would have ended his bachelors with a teaching license, which meant in order to become a teacher we needed grad school.  Not a bad idea regardless.  At this point Nate was pretty set on becoming a teacher.  His high school art teacher made a very big impression on him and he wanted to be an influence for good for others.  Nate would have been a great teacher BUT....

When the time came for him to actually start applying for programs he started looking into other programs.  Now he thought it would be really great to do art therapy.  Nate would be very good at that. He researched all the best schools, their application fees and started applying over Christmas break.

So just for the sake of recounting...  in a matter of 3 years.

  • Art Sculptor
  • Art Education
  • Art Therapy (along the same line of work as teaching)
Like I said.  I felt good about his change in major.  Nate would have made both a great teacher and therapist.  And I felt like from the time he changed majors the options for his masters seemed to go hand in hand and I understood the progression.  Plus, I realize that the above is not a large amount of change where schooling and careers are concerned. It was what came next that made everything above feel hard and unstable.

Now back to my feelings on Nate's choice of masters program~ Just as he was winding up applications Nate decided to go on yet another hunt for a school and program.  This is when he found SUU's program "Masters in Art Administration".  What threw me for a loop is that it didn't seem to be in line with any of his other choices.  Art?  Yes.  Teaching?  No.  It felt like it came out of no where and I wasn't very thrilled.  I was supportive, because I had to be.  Not because of him, but because I love him too much to not allow him to follow his path.  My hesitation was that it was new and just as soon as he found it he was applying for it.  At this point the game change started to feel more like wishy washiness than a firm plan for our future and right at crunch time. It seemed to me that we really hadn't talked about it much beyond me kind of flipping a lid then relenting and saying that if thats really what he wanted to do he should do it because it's so important for our family that he be happy in his career decision.

I don't want this to sound like it was Nate's communication issue.  He has always been very good at communication, specifically on the most important things in life.  Also, it didn't take too long after the initial shock for me to fully accept it and be equally hopeful that we would end up at SUU.

In the end I think he only completely finished applications for 2 schools.  West Minster for a Masters in Art Education which would have taken us down the teaching path, and SUU for a Masters in Art Administration which path is yet to be determined, but we have a ballpark of what we might end up doing (a BIG ball park).  He got accepted to West Minster and wait-listed with SUU. (They only accepted 4 people to the program.)  We were assured that at least one person always declined acceptance to the program by the end of the summer and he was in a "prominent" spot on the wait list.  Apparently last year was the first year no one dropped out.  SO West Minster it was for us.  We were both bummed but going to move on with it.

At the end of the summer a full time job opportunity came up for Nate.  He deferred West Minster for 2 semesters and took the job in hopes that if he applied again to SUU he would get in.  It was an amazing year for us with a lot of struggle, but a lot of opportunity as well.  During the waiting period he recieved a priesthood blessing from his dad.  The one thing that I remember about the blessing is that he was blessed that he would be able to attend his school of choice.  That was a relief in a sense, but at the same time I wasn't sure if that meant this time he would get into SUU or that his school of choice would have to change to be in line with what Heavenly Father had in mind for us.

I think it was when we came to Cedar City for his interview that I started to truly have faith.  While he interviewed I drove around and I felt really good about being here.  It felt a little like home. And our faith and prayers were answered  eventually with an acceptance phone call, followed by the written word.  Until we actually got here it seemed surreal, but now it's just a dream come true.

I don't usually feel the need to justify a blog post, but I feel like people might be wondering why I wrote this.  Well here it is.

I know my Redeemer Lives and loves us.  I know our Heavenly Father loves us and knows us individually.  I know that as we strive to live according to his plan he will direct our paths and if we are doing our best, it's hard to stray from his plan.  I know that through prayer and scripture study we open ourselves to receive personal revelation through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Nate knew that his previous choices didn't quite hit the mark.  He would have been good at them and we could have been happy living those other lives BUT, we can live an even better life because Nate followed a prompting to keep looking. (There's that good, better, best theme again!) I am grateful for him.  I'm grateful for his faith and his testimony of his Savior.  I'm grateful for his humility to trust that the Lord will never leave us or lead us astray.  He  leads our family in the best way because he leads us in light.

I'm also grateful for the confirmation through the Holy Ghost when we are on the right path.  It's yet another witness that we are not left alone on this journey through life.

So~ happy in life I will leave you with this... GO THUNDERBIRDS!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

About Running in Cedar City

It was too much for a status on FB so I thought... why not use my blog?!  I really should be blogging more often, and maybe this move to Cedar is the perfect excuse.

For those who don't know and those who care or not, this summer and sporadically since last fall I have slowly been getting into running.  I really started getting into it when Nate got me a pair of running shoes for Mother's day. My initial goal was to be able to run a 5 k w/o stopping.  When I completed that goal I made a goal at the end of july to be able to do 4.5 mile w/o stopping.  I actually completed my goal! (unlike juicing, but I don't want to go into that right now).

I stopped running at the end of July because with moving I felt I had too much on my plate.  But as school has started for Nate and we get a bit more settled each day I feel the desire and need to start again.  So after a 4 week hiatus I started on Monday and have been going strong!  I realized that while I didn't think of it much in the last 4 weeks I really have missed it.

My first run Monday kicked my butt!  Not only have I given myself too long of a break but I cannot believe the difference elevation makes.  The elevation in Murray, UT is 4350 feet.  The elevation of Cedar City, UT is 5834 feet. That is a difference of 1484 feet. Big difference it turns out!  On top o the elevation difference I'm now battling hills - whether they be dramatic and short or the gradual, unrelenting increase, I didn't have too much of that in Murray.  The 3 issues have made running hard, and I can't lie~  I really wish I could just pick up where I left off so I can start a new goal instead of repeat my last one.

Yesterday as I was running and passing the south side of the school I noticed people on the track.  I've been wanting to time my mile for a while now so I thought I would give it a try.  (We won't talk about my mile time... but to be fair I had just run a mile+ with a chunk of that being up hill.)

And as Nate and I were having our pillow talk last night I talked to him about my running and such. I realized that if I ran on the track everyday I wouldn't have to fight hills and elevation at the same time.  Today I gave it a try and I really liked it.  Sure, it's not as scenic as some of the streets and neighborhoods, but I really like seeing how far I need to go till I hit that next mile mark.  It's going to help a lot.  When I feel like I've kicked elevation's butt I will challenge myself with the hills.

Usually when I run it's first thing in the morning before the kids are out of bed and before Nate's left for work.  Today I just wasn't ready to get out of bed.  I didn't want to.  BUT  In preparation for our move up here Nate and I bought a couple second hand road bikes so he could ride to school and I could have another exercise outlet for days I didn't feel like running.  We also purchased a bike trailer/jogging stroller for the kids so riding can be a family activity.  This is my first time having a jogging stroller and I love it! So back to not wanting to get out of bed... The upside was that if I didn't want to I wasn't missing my opportunity.  I could take the kids!  So after Nate left for work I packed the kids up, walked to the track and let them run around while I did my run.  It was fantastic!!!!

It wasn't a perfect, uninterrupted mom time run, but it was still exercise and it was a lot of fun to involve the kids.  Not only did they get to run around w/out being restricted a ton, but they got involved in the exercise too.  Bud ran almost a full half mile without stopping.  I can't believe it.  He's not even 4!  He only stopped towards the end.  I think this will be good for our family.  Champ toddled around a bit and I walked a lap carrying him and when it became apparent that he needed closer supervision because he'd discovered the groundsman's John Deer lawn truck I stuck him in the stroller and ran with him. I love having a double stroller!

I'm going to like it here a lot.  I love knowing that I can have my exercise to myself or involve my kids on days that I don't want to wake up early enough for that.  I love living right next to the track so if I do have my kids with me I can keep a close eye on them while I exercise.  I just need to remember not to put Champ in colors that blend in with the grass.  Must remember: BRIGHT colors = easy to see children.  

I also love having a bike (first bike in 15+ years!).  For days I don't feel like running I can switch it up and ride!

My next running goals are to be able to run a 10k then a half.  Eventually I want to do a tri-sprint with my sister... and now that I have a bike I can actually train for one!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

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