Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rose Bowl

Last week we were able to go to the BYU/UCLA game at the Rose Bowl. It was really fun even though BYU lost. Matt was a nerd and insisted on wearing a Utah shirt to the game and cheering for UCLA (only because they were playing BYU...not because he actually likes UCLA). It was quite the experience. We'd never been to the Rose Bowl before.

It was huge! And we parked on a golf course, which was weird. There were quite a few BYU fans there. It was a great game up until the last few minutes. :(
It was probably one of the most expensive nights of our lives, with the tickets, parking, gas, food, and a babysitter, but when you have a chance to watch your team play at the Rose Bowl you take it!

The Utah football team is also coming to SoCal this year to play USC, so we will be going to that game too in a couple of weeks. Since we can't go to all the home games for both our teams like we used to, we'll have to do this instead.

And we found this really cool park in Riverside a couple weeks ago. It was amazing! It was a carnival themed playground and it had some really neat playground equipment. The kids loved it!

Missing out

We've been in California for nearly 6 months now. And I'm still struggling. Yes, it has gotten a little bit easier. And most of the bad things that kept happening the first few months have been resolved. But we are still struggling. A lot. And I'm frustrated about that. We really felt like moving here was our best option. I really thought that things would work out and we'd enjoy our time here.

We are trying to make the best of it. We're trying to take advantage of what Southern California has to offer. And some of it has been great. We've had some fun times. But I can't help but feel like we're missing out on a lot of things. And I hate that.

I hate that my kids are growing up without grandparents or cousins or even friends. It makes me sad to think about how they used to go out and play in the neighborhood with other kids and I knew they'd be safe. I hate that we live in a neighborhood with no kids. I miss seeing the neighbor kids riding bikes and scooters and playing and running around in their swimsuits through the sprinklers and eating popsicles on the porch. And I hate that our kids are missing out on having neighbor kids to play with. Even though we didn't have a ton of kids the same age as ours in our old neighborhood, I still miss seeing kids (or any people in general!) around the neighborhood. No one is ever home around here and when they are they just go inside and don't come out.

I hate not being part of family events or even knowing what's going on with our families. I feel like we're not even a part of anything anymore. That we're just forgotten. It makes me sad that Zach calls every male with grey hair "Bampa". It breaks my heart every time Emmy asks when she is going to get to see Rivers again. Or when we can go to the cabin. Or when she can play with her friend Avery.

And not only do I feel like my kids are missing out on having a decent childhood, I am so lonely. In the six months that we've been here, I think I've talked to another adult for more than a few minutes (besides Matt) maybe a total of 4 times. And it's killing Matt that he can't go to football games or talk about football with anyone around here because no one likes Utah football here. And he says that no one at work is very talkative.

I miss our old house. We've finally gotten most of the inside of our house fixed here, but it just doesn't quite feel like ours for some reason. And our yard is just depressing. We have been working on it for months and it's not getting any better. We don't even know how to fix it. It's so overwhelming. So the kids are missing out on having a decent backyard to play in too.

And I'm not getting much of a spiritual boost either because I spend church in the hall chasing Zach. And we haven't been good about going to the temple because of the kids either. I've been listening to conference talks most mornings during my jog, which has helped, but I feel like I need so much more.

I know I need to be better at reaching out to people and interacting with my kids since they don't have other kids to play with and spending more time working in the yard, but I just feel so overwhelmed by it all.

We are seriously hanging on by a thread. I hope someday we'll understand why we came here, but in the meantime, I hope we can figure out how to deal with all of this.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mother/daughter---father/son weekend

The weekend of my muscular dystrophy race, Matt decided he needed to go back to Utah for the Utah vs. Michigan football game. To make it fair so that we could both do what we wanted to do, Matt took Zach with him to Utah and Emmy stayed home with me.

Zach slept in a bed for the first time ever and it looks like he never actually slept in the bed, but wound up on the floor. Ha!

Emmy and I slept over at my aunt Ginxie's apartment the night before the race so that she could watch Emmy while I ran. Then we went to Disneyland for the day. It was really fun being able to hang out with Ginx, Dawna (Ginxie's friend and my adopted auntie) and Emmy.

Dawna and I convinced Ginx and Emmy to go on the Goofy's Sky School ride. Emmy was pretty nervous and both she and Ginx screamed the whole time. Then when we got off, Emmy said, "That wasn't as bad as I thought" and Ginx said, "We are never going on that ride again!" Haha! Dawna and I were dying laughing. It was also Emmy's first time on Radiator Springs Racers. She had a look of terror on her face in the picture, but she loved it! (As a side note, we found out about some hidden fast passes to Radiator Springs but they were hidden in a mailbox that was right behind Goofy. So we had to stand in line to meet Goofy in order to find the passes. Ha!)

Anyway, I had a fun time and hopefully Zach had a fun time hanging out at Grandmas and with Dad!

Pool sitting

So our neighbors asked us to water their plants and watch over their house a few weeks ago while they were on vacation. They also told us to feel free to swim in their pool while they were gone. We took advantage!

They have a beautiful pool and gorgeous backyard. We went swimming every day that week! It was so fun!

The kids LOVED it! Emmy is getting so much better at swimming. It's been fun to watch her progress this summer. Now Zach keeps asking if we can go to the neighbors and go swimming. Ha!

And they have a plumeria tree! I had to go sniff them every time! Mmmmmm......

I need to get my own plumeria tree! The neighbors are going out of town again next week and asked us to "pool sit" again! Woohoo!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Miles for Muscles

Last weekend I was able to run in the Disneyland 10K with Team Muscle Makers! It was awesome! I came in contact with Team Muscle Makers shortly after I moved to California and I knew I had to join up with them. They run to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This little team raises over $300,000 every year! They do 4-5 events each year, and for this Disneyland 10k/half marathon, the team raised nearly $65,000 for muscular dystrophy research. Pretty awesome! I was able to raise $500 for the MDA, and it was really neat being able to meet these people who all run in honor of loved ones who have muscular dystrophy.

Of course I ran in honor of my mom! Thank you to everyone who sponsored me in this! Here is the awesome Team Muscle Makers at O'Dark Thirty on race morning!
This was by far the biggest race I have ever done in my life. There were probably at least 10,000 runners. There were 5 total waves and I was in the 5th wave. I didn't even get to the starting line until about 25 minutes after the start of the race.
They had music and stuff in the waiting area at the start line.

And the Disney villians came out and announced that they had taken over the park. It was great!

Finally getting closer to the start line!

The first 2 miles or so were around Anaheim, outside of the parks. Then just after Mile 2 we entered California Adventure. My favorite part was running through Cars Land. They had fun Villian signs at every mile marker and several characters throughout the course. There was also a couple different college bands playing on the course.
After running through California Adventure, we made our way over to Disneyland. There were night shift custodians cheering us on. We also ran through some of the "backstage" parts of the parks. We saw the costuming building, employee restaurants, the barns where the Main Street horses are kept, and some nurseries for the plants.

There were so many great costumes! It was so fun to see. There were a few Russells (from UP), lots of princesses, lots of Minnies, several Toy Story characters, some Mikes and Sullys, I saw an Alice and a Mad Hatter in teacups...that was pretty awesome, a magic mirror, and even someone dressed as a churro!

The course was pretty crowded. At some points you couldn't even run there were so many people. But it was fun being around that much energy and excitement. The medals were pretty awesome, featuring the magic mirror and evil queen from Snow White.

They had these food boxes at the finish line that they gave everyone. Overall, it was a really neat experience and I'm really glad I did it!
And the shirts and numbers were pretty awesome too.

Team Muscle Makers had an amazing lunch for the team after the race at Naples in Downtown Disney. Emily and I went and had fun meeting more runners. I would definitely recommend joining up with Team Muscle Makers. Not only were they well-organized and lots of fun, they represent a great cause, raise lots of money for muscular dystrophy research, and got me finally running again!