Saturday, May 30, 2009

Backyard video

Here's some video from a few weeks ago that I'm finally getting online.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2009 Iron Girl triathlon at Lake Las Vegas

For purposes of full documentation, this post will have more information and pictures than I would normally post. I see no point in putting half the info here and having to duplicate it elsewhere, though. So here goes!

On Saturday, May 9, 2009, I participated in the sprint distance of the Iron Girl triathlon at the Lake Las Vegas resort. This was my third sprint tri, but my first after having Gabriel. I was absolutely thrilled to have my husband, children, parents, and brother at the event supporting me.

The excitement started on Thursday about 4 hours into our drive from Tucson to Las Vegas. I realized the front wheel for my bike was still sitting in our garage in Tucson. CRAP. Matt convinced me that we should not turn around and drive 4 hours back to Tucson to get it. And we continued on our way. Luckily we found a manager at a bike shop in Vegas who was incredibly helpful despite all his bikes being rented out, and he dug up a front wheel which he rented to me for a terrific price. WHEW!!

Triathlon morning: my ever-supportive brother showed his true dedication to me by rising at 4:30 A.M. and accompanying me to the race site to prep my transition area, cart around some gear, and keep me calm.

I always love the pics which show the body markings.
It makes me feel so tough.

Wetsuit on, warm-up swim in the lake complete.

My wave prepares to start our 1/2 mile swim...

...and we're off!!

My family created a shaded area for waiting
(remember, this is Las Vegas in May!).
Let the biking begin! The course was only 10 miles with the uphill portion fairly early on. Of the three disciplines, I have improved most on the biking and was pleased with my performance.

After a glimpse of me on the bike, the family wonders
what to do until the next glimpse an hour away.
My family reports that the 5k run started on a steep uphill. I actually didn't
notice the hills until partway through the course when the hills kept coming!!
Here I'm heading out to the unpaved portion of the run. My normal pace is a 9 minute mile, but this course took me 33 minutes. I thought that was terrible until I looked at all the other times in my age group and discovered that there were only 7 competitors out of 80 who ran it in under 30 minutes. WHOA! That's got to be a direct result of all the steep hills on the unpaved portion. Two years ago, I did a tri at this same location, but they had different swim, bike and run courses. I completed that 5k in 24 minutes. Huge difference, huh??

Home stretch, and thrilled about it!

Triathlons, even sprint ones, make for a long hard day. We were exhausted!

Las Vegas with the fam!

While in Las Vegas for the triathlon, we enjoyed spending time with Ed and Connie (Val's parents) and Edward (Val's brother). The first night we stayed in Excalibur, and Naomi was wild with excitement for weeks about staying at a castle! We also watched the fountains at the Bellagio, which prompted Gabe to clap (a skill not previously displayed by him).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Edward visits Tucson...

...and the Merrell kids LOVE him!

More details to come...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Yet another post about...

...why I LOVE our backyard!!!!

Watching a sunset
And why Naomi loves it:
it's the perfect place for popsicles!
Why Gabe loves it:
soccer balls and slides!!

Matt probably won't be thrilled about mowing it, but
he hasn't had to mow a lawn in years!! The landlords provided
an electric lawnmower, which was interesting.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My super sleepy boy!

Really, I'd like to post about the triathlon. But that will not be quick and easy to post, so that will have to wait until later.

In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Gabe. Normally he doesn't start his morning nap until mid-morning or later, especially if I keep him busy or we're out and about. This day he must have been especially tired...he didn't even stay awake until I finished scrambling his eggs!

Naomi Ballerina

After awhile of hoping and wishing for dance classes,
last Friday Naomi went to her
first dance class!

I was worried she would be a bit shy, but she joined right in. She was calling the other kids by name within 5 minutes, and she was so thrilled about the whole experience! The most difficult thing for her was understanding why she has to wait a whole week before she can go to another dance class!

Um...she might have been so excited that it was difficult for her to stay in line now and then. :)

In the car, holding tight to her dance shoes!

Naomi's in the pink leotard with the black skirt.

Getting ready to work on "pizza feet"

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Tri time!

I decided in 2006 that I wanted to start doing triathlons. This weekend will be my 3rd tri.

And I am excited!!

Many goals worth accomplishing require a journey and sacrifice. That includes triathlons. When I decided to start training for the triathlons, I did not realize that my decision would force my family to sacrifice as well. Despite my husband occasionally wondering if I've gone off the deep end, he has actively supported me and enabled me to be a triathlete.
I thank my family for allowing me to work towards this goal.
They are truly the best part of my life.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Bath shapes

Did you know that bath shapes stick not only to the bathtub and tile walls...
but to skin as well??

Naomi and I enjoy decorating Gabe during bathtime!

My absolute favorite thing about the new house...

...the BACK YARD!!
We are out there at some point almost everyday.

It has grass. In Tucson. Oh, yeah, baby!
And we've been watering it lots, so the grass it actually turning green.

Playing with Keira

Naomi & in crime!

Not lazy, just having problems unpacking boxes

Why I'm unable to unpack more than three items from a box at one time...

I'm always dashing off to save this little guy from hurtling off the edge of a raised surface!
And, of course, he thinks it's an absolutely hilarious game.