Sunday, June 30, 2013

The BEAST!!!

Well, my sister Annie somehow (way too easily) talked all of us sisters and 1 brother in law into running the Utah Spartan BEAST!! Now there are Spartan races all over with 4 different variations of levels. The beast is the 3rd hardest of them all.

We normally run a Ragnar race together but we are all a little burnt out of them so my sister thought switching up to the Spartan might be fun. As I looked into the race and realized it was 12 miles of crazy hard obstacles I was second guessing this idea but everyone decided it was a go and OBVIOUSLY since I live the closest to Midway, UT where it starts (I'm the ONLY one in UT) I couldn't really say no...right?!

So months ago we signed up and about a month before the race I realized this was really going to happen. So I started running more (I never really stop cuz it is my therapy) but I didn't miss a run and took my miles up a bit and kept my weight lifting up. How do you really train and be prepared for something as crazy as this?!

As the day got closer I just kept thinking WHY are we doing this?! We really PAID for this?!

SO how was it?!

It was truly VERY fun, uphill, hard, muddy, uphill, crowded, muddy, uphill, challenging, muddy, rewarding, uphill, and FUN!! I couldn't have picked a better group to run it with!!! We totally lived it up and had a blast together. We went into it saying we were all gonna stay together and just make it fun and not care about winning but I'm not gonna lie...we are all pretty competitive so we pushed it for sure.

The VERY first obstacle was a muddy water pit that you had to jump into and crawl out so you started off the race nice and wet and muddy and it only got worse from there.

There were walls to jump over. Some so high that there was no way to get over without my brother in law Matt boosting us over. There were sandbags to carry up and around hills. Log stumps to balance and walk across. Ropes to climb up to the top and back down. Nets to climb over and down. 40 lb cement blocks to drag by a chain up a mountain and back down. Buckets (with no handles) to fill with little rocks and carry up and down a hill (this was one of the hardest). Walls to barely cling onto and scale across. Huge tires to drag down and then pull back with a chain. Monkey bars to cross with wet muddy hands. 60 lb cement blocks to pick up carry, drop, do burpees, and carry back. Javelin throw. Tires to jump in with your feet banded together. More and more mud holes to climb in and out of. The hills were so muddy and slippery that there was NO way to get out of them without people helping push you out. IT was crazy.

TONS AND TONS of uphill hiking on trails. A ton of the race was on tiny trails that you were hiking up to the top of mountains. It was a beautiful view though. There was NO way to run up them because they were so steep and on the hills you were literally lined up person to person going up. There were times where we could have hiked faster or even ran when it leveled out but you couldn't pass the people in front of you because there was literally no room on either side. Then going back down the trails was quite tricky cuz it was so steep you were worried about falling and hitting into people. There was SO much uphill!!

The very worst part was the end. There was barbwire low to the ground that you had to roll or army crawl under for a long ways. It wouldn't have been so bad but it was SO freakin rocky that you were constantly getting stabbed by rocks no matter what way you tried to go. It hurt so bad!! That was the only part that I was literally wishing I could just quite and be done because you would be dying but there was no way out and it was so crowded with people that you had to watch your every move.

We ended up finishing in 3 hours and 19 minutes which I thought was pretty dang good!! I ended up 888th out of 3,766 overall. 91st out of 1,036 woman, and 16th out of 190 in my age group. Our team ended up 75th out of 239 teams. We definitely could have been faster but there was some waiting around at obstacles...especially the rope climb. And just the waiting behind people on the trails. But we were super happy with the end result and most importantly we created some awesome memories!!!
Just getting our of the car all sunscreened up. Nice pretty smiles!! ;)

Starting to feel tough!! Bring it!!!

Getting closer to the our numbers...felling pumped and tough of course! ;)

Not looking so pretty anymore!!!

Sharing some coconut juice after. We were so thirsty!!

It was so worth it all though. TO do it with my sisters and Matt ;) was such a blast. It was a challenge but I'm  always up for a good challenge. It was fun to do something different then just run too. I would do it again for sure!!

We were super happy to be done. After it was over we got some pics before heading to the hoses to shower off. The water was FREEZING but it felt so good to get all (well most) of the now crusty mud off. We changed and then headed into Heber for some food and some milkshakes at Granny's!! We were SOOO hungry and exhausted!! It tasted AMAZING!!!

YUM!!! Ice cream...our favorite!!!

Then we topped it off with some pedicures. I felt bad for the poor people doing them...they were probably grossed out by our dirty nasty feet but it felt so good!!

Aw...relaxing and SO deserved!!! They had 5 chairs...perfect! Good thing my mom only had 5 girls! ;) The guy doing our nails told us our mom was a good baby maker ;)

We picked up the older girls from the cabin to come with us! Shea, Paige, and Logan.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

He IS doing AMAZING!!!

This cute little boy in this picture with Dakota made my WHOLE month!!!

He is our neighbor a couple doors down that is SUPER friendly in fact if you don't answer the door when he knocks he will walk right in! He even walked in on some other neighbors one morning and woke them up! ;) He is so stinking funny though.

If you are outside and he sees you, he comes running and says, "Hey my other friends!" We are known as his friends and the mom and the dad.

He is also a great worker and will pull my weeds for 1 cent a weed! ;) He gets to count all the ones that I pull with him cuz "I am helping HIM!" ;) I guess at that rate I can afford it! :)

He is curious about Dakota and will ask questions every so often but he never really interacts with him too much. He mostly talks with Zach and I.

The other day he came over and we were in the family room talking with Dakota. Dakota was smiling up at him the whole conversation and it made him smile. He looked at me and with the purest sincerity he said, "He  looks awesome today." This was the best compliment I have EVER heard. This little boy wasn't looking at what Dakota was wearing or his trach...he saw something about Dakota that was different inside of him that was shining through. He noticed the little changes that Zach and I had been seeing and in complete simplicity said it so perfectly!!

Dakota DOES look awesome these days...more awesome then normal. Ever since we got back from AZ towards the end of May there has been an amazing and hard to explain difference in him. He is happier, he is more responsive, he looks at you with more attention and understanding. He is progressing and continuing to amaze me!

Even his dentist who we just saw who hasn't seen him for 6 months noticed. He said, he looks so much better (and he wasn't talking about his teeth)!

We are SOOO in love with him and the progress he is making. Zach and I just said today again, IF he were to all the sudden be back to his old self, we of course would be ecstatic BUT we would miss SOOOO much about the boy he is today!

He is truly the light in our little lives!! Keep it up Dakota! Mom and Dad are soooo proud of you!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Happy Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to this incredible dad!!
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Word’s can’t express how grateful I am to have married a guy that loves his son so dang much! Before you get married you hope and dream of marrying a guy that will be the best dad to your unborn children. You may watch him around kids and think he will be good…but it’s not until you have your own kid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that you see REALLY what kind of dad he really is! Let’s be honest…none of us have any clue what parenthood is REALLY like until you have one of your own, ;)
From the moment Dakota came into the world…Zach has loved him like crazy!!
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He was his light when Zach’s world became dark.
He has ALWAYS been his workin buddy!
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His snuggle buddy!
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His best friend.
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Zach ADORES EVERYTHING about Dakota. He literally EVERY single day always says to me, “Look Tessie, come look at his cute face/smile.”

He is OBSESSED with holding his hands ALL the time!! The only good thing about Dakota’s accident for Zach is that he can’t pull his hand away and run away like any other 4 year old would do anymore! ;)
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He is not the perfect parent, nor am I. We have our differences in parenting (mine are right of course ;)). We both reach our limits and become impatient BUT his love for Dakota surpasses ALL of his imperfections as a parent. There is NO doubt in my mind OR Dakota’s that his dad loves him and would do ANYTHING for him!
Zach always says, the main reason he wants to have financial success is that he wants to give Dakota the best life possible! He wants to be able to build him a home that is convenient and comfortable for him. He wants to buy him EVERYTHING he can that would make his hard little life the best it could ever be.

He truly is the best and Dakota and I are SO SO grateful to have him in our lives!!!

On this Father’s Day we are of course also SO SO grateful for our dads as well. I couldn't have hand picked 2 better men to have in our lives! There love and willingness to give ALL that they have to us is quite outstanding.

My cute dad is more of the silent type but you can sit next to him, hold his hand, and feel his love through his body and face for you! He is there if you need to talk with words of encouragement and love! He will give you the shirt off his back ANY day! He was always the one growing up to go to if you needed any money. You just ask, “dad could I have some money?” He would whip out his wad of cash he always had and ask how much and give you a little extra of what you said. If mom said no, you could always count on a yes from him! He could never say no to his 5 girls then or now!! ;) He would stay out hours at a time with us to open the chutes for us to practice roping or throw balls for us to practice our hitting. He jumped at these opportunities but never forced us to do them. To this day I know I could call him and he would come running, even though he is 13 hours away!! His love radiates all the way from AZ to UT!!
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I sure love you dad!!! Thanks for always loving, supporting, and believing in me!!
Zach’s dad is nothing short of amazing as well! Zach’s cute mom had little papers for each of us to write our favorite thing about Doug. It was hard to choose just one, but the one thing that I have always loved about him is his desire to just give and serve. He will drop ANYTHING at ANY time if you called him and even gave him the slightest clue that you might need some help. He would be right at your doorstep. When you go to their home the minute you walk in the door he is asking you if he can get you a drink, some food, watch Dakota while you go do something. He wants everyone to be comfortable and happy before himself. He is also one amazing Poppy to his grandkids. I still smile at the day not long after Dakota was born, he just left his job in Layton (45 minutes away) for lunch time to drive all the way up to our house just to hold Dakota for a few minutes. He just loves being a grandpa and the kids all love him. He takes Dakota right out of our arms the minute we walk in the door. He offers to babysit all the time. He is just one great man and I’m so grateful that he has came into my life.
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Sure love you Doug!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Last Day of School

  So since summer school is starting for Dakota next week I figured I better blog about his last day of school! ;)
First of all, I LOVED LOVED LOVED this year of school for him! I can’t say enough good things about his teacher Miss Kari!
She was AMAZING with Dakota to say the least. She was SO SO SO involved with him, hands on, carrying him, on the floor with him, racking her brain on how to help him. She really went above and beyond for him. I was SO worried that he wouldn’t have many friends this year since there were only like 1 or 2 girls in his class and they were only there on 1 of the days Dakota was there…but the boys stepped it up this year and there were 2 boys in particular that REALLY took a liking to Dakota and took it upon themselves to be his friends, helpers, and protectors!
The nurse sent me a couple pictures of his sweet little buddy helping him sing and act along with everyone else.
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We were sad to say goodbye but luckily Heavenly Father answered my prayers and softened the heart of the head district special needs lady and she allowed Dakota to stay in preschool 1 more year!! After our transition meeting for kindergarten where we discussed the pros and cons of Dakota going to Kindergarten (I really wanted him to stay in preschool one more year) the district lady decided she would let me choose. Everyone in the room was shocked. The principal of the Elementary even told me she had NEVER seen that happen in her 7 years! YAY!! So hopefully we will have Ms. Kari again!!!
We LOVED his bus drivers too! They are SO SO sweet to Dakota!20130226_091208
Look at that happy face!!
Here are a few shots of his last day!
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Got his treats to give the bus drivers. Away he goes!!
Zach’s cute mom went to Dakota’s school one day to visit and captured a glimpse into his fun filled day! Thanks Vicki for getting all the pictures!
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Doing some coloring with Ms Kari
His little buddy is helping! Dakota gets to choose by looking what color of crayon he wants.
His teacher made this helper chart with pictures of kids helping Dakota so that they would feel comfortable being around Dakota…so thoughtful!!
Dakota has a WIDE variety of chairs and places just for him.
Of course the trusty wheelchair that gets him to and from school on the bus. That’s about the only time he is in it.
His tomato chair with wheels. This is one of his cute nurses Robin! We love Robin!! He is line leader on the right! Such an important and highly esteemed job for a preschooler!!
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His corner chair for circle time. Probably his least favorite chair since it makes him work the hardest and sitting up himself.
The Standard that lets him stand up like a big guy! It’s a lot of work but I think he likes being up and seeing everything around him!
And of course their is his sweet rides for gym and physical play time!
Just on my way to the gym!! How cute is this?!
Just playin with the kids!! It’s a rough life being pulled around! ;)DSC_1834
This picture cracks me up…that is his nurse Robin riding a trike next to him! LOL! Too cute!
They also put all these scooters together just for him!! I think he is in heaven! ;)
He even gets to go down the slide like the other kids! So sweet that they will help him do this!!
He has a mat when he is feeling like rolling and relaxin!
He likes story time most of the time. He especially liked a story where the doorbell rang. They let him use the IPAD to make the doorbell ring. He thought that was pretty cool!!
What a big helper!!

He enjoys snack time with the kids. Some days when he gets applesauce or pudding and the other kids get a cookie, he refuses to eat what he has and stares at the kids eating the cookies. The teachers finally figured out that he was wanting a cookie just like all the other kids so now he gets to suck on a cookie with them! ;) That’s my kid!! Loves his cookies like his mama!!
He gets lots of opportunity to make choices with pictures. He knows what he wants!!
This is how he feels about preschool most days! He has really enjoyed it this year and progressed so much. I look forward to another great year!
Until then, we will keep enjoying our summer! I love summer time!!
We have gone to the dollar movies and surprisingly this year he has really seemed to enjoy it. Usually by the end of the movie he is done but he has done really well!!
At the movies with our friends!!

We love playing outside and being with friends!!
Chelsea giving my arms a break! ;)

Ella...holding on to this big guy!

He is still going to therapy in Logan and is still LOVING this bike!!!! It is so fun!! Zach is gonna see if he can try and build one for Dakota to have for home. They are $4,000!!! YIKES!!
Until then…we will keep riding at therapy!!
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