His Cup Runneth Over

So, we have one of these in our house now:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this creature, I believe the scientific name for it is Futbalia maniacas: A five-foot-two, 102-pound young male who, thrilled with the prospect of playing tackle football, gets up one random morning last week and puts on all his gear at 7 a.m. (yes, those shoulder pads are over his PJs). The curious specimen proceeded to wander aimlessly around the house for almost an hour, finally realizing that it is RIDICULOUS O'CLOCK and the only place to go from here is to have Mom take a picture.

Sorry, Ty... you asked for it.

So yes, the football frenzy has officially commenced in our home. I'm married to a Utah Man, am I (Ki Yi!), so we ramp up pretty quickly when August is upon us because it means football season is only a couple of weeks away. However, the excitement is amplified this year because Tyler has officially traded in his soccer cleats for football cleats... and mouth guards, and chin guards, and thigh pads, and a grundle of gridiron gear that I could SERIOUSLY go all season long without discussing... namely, ahem, athletic supporters/protectors.

And yes, I added "protectors" because, let's face it, is a cup really holding up anything? Protecting, yes... but supporting? Doubtful... at least, not on a 12-year-old. Ew, strike the thought, I don't want that image in my brain about my own kid, ARRGGH!

So last week, after we picked up the pads and pants and helmet, we made a list of all the whatever-else-we-need-in-order-to-hit-and-be-hit stuff to buy. Of course a cup was on the list, and Dave and Ty started talking about cups, and I started to squirm... and they picked up on that, and started to talk about cups ad nauseum... until it got to the point where I couldn't tell which one was the 12-year-old, and I said as much, and then left the room, and they chuckled because they've figured out how to make me uncomfortable and they LOVE it. Touchdown for them!

Football-crazed Males - 7
Outnumbered Female - 0

The next day, while I was at work and they were at the sporting goods store, Dave and Ty sent me this picture and I thought I would share it here:

In case you can't tell what these are, they are cups. Lots and lots (for the love of pete, why are there so many???) and lots and LOTS of them.

Yeah... you two are FREAKIN' HILARIOUS. While you're laughing about that, stop and think about all the people who saw you guys taking pictures in the JOCK STRAP AND CUP SECTION like a couple of WEIRDOS. Who's laughing now, suckers??

Woo-hoo, she SCORES!

Outnumbered Female - 7
Camera-happy Goofballs -7

I'll keep you posted with the play-by-play... looks like it's gonna be a great season. :)


Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Facebooking

So, along with a gazillion other people on the planet, Tyler has created a Facebook account. As he approaches official teenage status, along with all of his friends, I knew Facebook was only a matter of time... it was totally inevitable, and it is totally fine.

This morning Dave and I were discussing the "checks and balances" of having a pre-teen on Facebook. Specifically, we were talking about whether or not we should be checking his account from time to time and make sure nothing screwy is going on.

We floated this idea to Tyler this morning, explaining that we would need his username and password... and the result was one bent-out-of-shape kid who thinks the request is unfair.

As it happens, Dave and I don't agree on the issue... so I thought I'd open it up here for group discussion.

One of us thinks that having access to Ty's account is a good idea -- that all kids need to be accountable for what they say and do online as well as in "real life," and if he knows we have access to his account -- even if we never actually access it -- he will mind what he says. It's also not a bad idea from a security standpoint; it wouldn't hurt to check in once in a while to make sure that he isn't divulging too much information about himself.

On the flip side, one of us believes Tyler has a certain right to privacy, especially as he enters adolescence; that he should be able to interact with his friends freely without fearing repercussions from "Big Brother." He's a good kid and he has good friends (who, frankly, would probably rat him out if he said some inappropriate online anyway), so we should trust him to behave appropriately... the general idea being that granting trust initially will foster responsible behavior, which will, in turn, earn more trust.

Dave has a Facebook account; I continue to resist the Facebook craze (reasons behind this are for another post at another time). The compromise would be to have Dave invite Tyler to be his "friend" and, that way, Dave can check things out if need be... but Tyler wasn't crazy about this idea, either.

Here comes the "It-Takes-a-Village-to-Raise-a-Child" portion of the program.

Do you think Tyler has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of Facebooking with wild abandon, or should the parental dictatorship set some boundaries? I'd really love some input before we make our final ruling on this issue.


The Amazing (Relay) Race

It's been three weeks since I ran the Wasatch Back with my work peeps, so I think it's high time that I give you a "run" down of how it went.

When I look back through the photos, my first thought is: "Holy crap... I really did this!" I ran three times in a 24-hour period totaling 13.1 miles; there were six of us in our van, and we just started with Runner #1 in Logan and each took our turn (I was Runner #4); after we finished our legs, we would then pass the baton (a wristband, actually) to the other half of our team, six more people who were in another vehicle. They would run their legs, and then we'd take our turn again... and so it went for 28 hours, which is how long it took our team to cross the finish line in Park City.

Participating in this event was one of the hardest, and coolest, goals I have set and accomplished in a long time. It was exhausting and inspiring... and I can't wait to do it again next year! Here's the photo gallery, along with a bit of commentary:

Here's me with my teammates before the race began in Logan; see how fresh and clean and happy we all still look? From left: Mike, Jim, Bryce, Me, Jon (very mature, Jon... how old are you, nine?) and Brian. I work with everyone but Brian, who is related to Mike.

My first leg started around 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon, in a little town called Paradise. Here I am awaiting the hand-off and my official beginning of what would prove to be quite an adventure!

I'm off... and I'm thinking, "Crap, here we go... can I really do this???"

My first leg was my longest, 5.4 miles. In training for the race I had run 5-6 miles many times, just to make sure I could get through this leg... but it rained the entire month of June in Utah (and I mean, the ENTIRE MONTH) so, unfortunately, I didn't have much of an opportunity to run in the heat. This was probably the first bona-fide sunny day we'd had in about three weeks, and it was in the mid-70's... which didn't seem hot at all, until you were running in it. Therefore, this leg proved to be more difficult than I anticipated.
During this water break I'm handing Mike my "woobie" -- a wristband that I was accustomed to having every time I ran, kind of like a security blanket. Mike could tell you for sure, but I think in this photo I was saying something like "Oh my holy hell it is freakin' hot out here I can't breathe dude this SUCKS!" Which is why I'm handing him my woobie... because the last thing I need is to be clutching something hot and furry.

Check out the action shot Dave got at the end of my first leg; I almost look like an athlete here...

...but then the truth is revealed as I finish my five-plus blistering miles and gratefully hand off to Mike! I had to include this photo because, while I was panting like a dog then, it's pretty funny to look at now. In the last mile of this leg an old guy with white hair who was at least 70 years old blew past me and basically Kicked. My. Trash. Even now, that's still not very funny...

Now that I've caught my breath, I pose for a pic with Dave; he was my own personal pit crew, and followed us every step of the race in our car. I could never have pulled it off without his support -- thanks babe, love ya!
When you weren't running, there was some beautiful scenery along the way to hold your attention. This entire race route, which is basically all backroads from Logan to Park City, was really breathtaking. When we were done in our van and handed off the wristband to the other half of our team in a little town called Liberty, we found a park and took a little siesta out there on the grass. The we went to a restaurant called Eats of Eden (even country folk can be clever!), had a carb fest, and then drove ahead to the next exchange, where we started warming up for our second legs... which began around 8:30 p.m.

My second leg began around 11:15; it was 4.1 miles through quiet neighborhoods and ended in Morgan. My night run was, by far, my favorite run of them all. It was cool, it was quiet, there were a million stars... did I mention it was blissfully cool??

Great story about this photo finish... the last half mile of this leg, guess who snuck up on me again? You guessed it -- the elderly gentlemen who humiliated me earlier that day! Now, I know we're supposed to repsect our elders but, with all due respect, there was no way in hell he was going to beat me again. So I drafted him for a bit and then, with about 200 yards to go, I caught up to him, passed him and beat him to the hand-off. Suck on that, Grandpa Speed Racer! Actually, I walked over to him afterwards and thanked him for motivating me; he smiled and said he didn't mind being outrun by a young cute girl. Awwww.... :)

So... after our second exhange with the other team we headed to Coalville to catch some Z's... this is where having Dave and the comfort of my own vehicle was worth its weight in GOLD. I slept like the dead for FOUR HOURS... which may not sound like a lot but it really is, when the average shut-eye is about an hour or so. Around 7 a.m. on Saturday we began our third legs... and here I am almost missing my hand-off at Jordanelle Resovoir! Jon kicked butt up his hill and, frankly, I didn't expect him to come up as quick as he did.

This is is only other photo of me on my third leg, which is just fine with me... because it was a bit of an ugly finish. My last leg was 3.8 miles, and 2.8 of it was straight downhill, all the way down into Heber Valley, where I would then run another mile and be done. Well, the hill was fine, no problems at all... but when I hit the flat road, my quads seized up. And when I mean seized, I mean it felt like someone had ripped open the back of my thighs and poured quick-drying cement into my muscles, along with a few handfuls of glass for good measure. I had never, EVER felt any pain like that before... the cramping was just non-stop. I keep stopping to rub my legs out a bit, then would try to run and the pain would be so bad that I would have to walk and rub my legs some more. Needless to say, it was the longest mile ever. The last 100 yards I ignored the pain the ran to the exhange point, and by then I was crying pretty hard because I was in pain, and because I was angry that I had finished that way... but at least I finished.

After we were done we showered, rested and then headed to the plaza where the official finish line was... when your last runner is in the home stretch, it's customary for the entire team to join them and finish the race together. Cool, huh? So, here I am bringing up the rear with our entire team as we finish the race.

Look at those medals -- we are the champions! My peeps were the best!

Here's our entire 12-member team, the Screamin' Turtles. WAY TO GO TURTLE CREW!

We got home from Park City around 6 p.m. Saturday... where I took a warm shower and sat on the couch, icing my quads, for the rest of the evening. But of course, I had to pose for one last shot: Me, with my medal on the fridge (it's still on the fridge, as a matter of fact), and sporting my "I RANGAR UTAH" souvenir shirt.

Of course, there's no better souvenir than the experience itself. Sign me up for next year!


Pageant Mom

On Tuesday I went to Subway, my usual haunt, for lunch. I go there at least twice a week, so the staff and I have a pretty good rapport... we're always chit-chatting as I make my way through the line. That day was no different, until one of the Subway ladies leaned in a little and said to me:

"You know, you remind me of someone."

"I do? Who?" I have no idea where this is going.

She leaned over a little more, smiling, and said: "You look like a pageant mom."


"I'm sorry, what did you say?"

Which was stupid of me to say because, of course, she repeated it a little louder so that I -- and the 15 people behind me in line -- could hear her loud and clear. "Really? Uh... well, ok." I snatched up my sandwich and made a beeline for the door.

Oh no no no no, she did NOT just say that to me!!

So, now that the giggling (chortling/snickering/guffawing) has subsided, I'm sure all you enquiring minds want to know: What the hell was I wearing??? Here I am that day in my ensemble:

Pink, kinda-shiny blouse, black lacy (pretty lace, not slutty lace) skirt, chunky charm necklace, black wedges... So? Too sassy for a turkey sandwich on a Tuesday? Was she really putting me in the same category as these ladies??

If I had worn a feathery tutu, the comment would have made more sense...

My pink shirt looks NOTHING like this pageant mom's pink shirt... all I know is that this piece of work probably would have gotten her sandwich for free.

No blog post about pageant moms would be complete without honoring the PM of all PM's, Patsy Ramsey. (I know, can you believe it? The years weren't kind to her.)

I'm pretty sure Subway Lady meant it as a compliment (I know, YIKES)... but the damage is done. No more shimmery shirts and shiny baubles for me. I'm losing the lacy skirt and the wedges are going by the wayside, and tomorrow I'm ordering new clothes from the Amish Woman Unlimited catalogue.