Friday, October 31, 2008


Awhile ago Bruce told me he wanted to be an astronaut for Halloween. The next day he wanted to be something else. And so on until last week when he finally settled on a black widow spider.
To achieve this lovely crafty outfit, we stuffed Scott's dressy socks with newspaper and pinned them to my black inside-out high school cross country shirt. We tied the sock-legs together and I was going to tie them to his wrists so they'd all move together but he didn't like that. So they just flopped around. To complete this fine look, we chopped an hourglass shape of red fabric from a bag I got at a business convention. I am definitely no Martha Stewart, but this costume is eco-friendlier than anything Martha can make anyways. And at this point, Bruce doesn't care what his costume looks like.
We went trunk-or-treating last night at the church parking lot. He and Scott walked around to a few cars and got some candy while I handed out candy from our trunk. Bruce was more into it than last year, but that's not saying much. After about 15 minutes, he came and sat in the trunk with me. After we ran out of candy, a few kids came and said "trunk-or-treat!" and Bruce reached into his bag and gave them some of his stash.
Our neighbors just invited us to go trick-or-treating with them, so it looks like we are headed out again tonight. But probably not for more than 15 minutes.

Farewell to Vitamins and other Stupid Hip News

Good news and bad news.

Good news first: I went to see Dr. Know-it-all and he said the structure of my hips is fine. The shallow socket business is too subtle to be out of normal range. So the good news is no major surgery is needed.

Bad news: What the heck is wrong with me?! After a nice long appointment, he said he thinks it's IT band syndrome. He prescribed a nice dose of anti-inflammatories and two months of physical therapy. He said the labral tear is subtle, if there at all. I think my new solution is to get back to running and tear it to the point that I come in on crutches and someone has to fix me. I really don't think it's my IT band; I know that pain and it's deeper than that. Argh! When does this end?!

In other fabulous news, I finished a big bottle of prenatal vitamins without ever getting pregnant. Yeah, I know, it takes more than vitamins to get prego. But I am officially sick of stressing out about Bruce being an only child. So I bought plain old multi-vitamins and boxed the few remaining maternity clothes I had left (I sent most stuff to my sister long ago). I haven't chucked Bruce's baby stuff yet, so I haven't lost all hope. But I'm not counting on it anytime soon. Sorry Bruce-man, you're going to have to be royally spoiled a bit longer. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Summer of the Oatmeal

Right after Scott and I got engaged, he flew out to Boston for a summer internship. I stayed in Utah to finish the track season and then spent a few weeks in Ohio before following him to Boston. I didn't have much money, but that didn't stop me from going to pricey Boston without a job or place to stay. I found a place quickly and bunked up with some awesome roommates near Harvard Square. It took me a bit over a week to find a job; I ended up as a secretary for a small medical technologies company.

The job was actually quite fun: I did the typical answering of phones and filing endless stacks of papers, but I also edited and illustrated a user manual for a brain perfusion machine. The job paid enough to cover my rent and transportation, but I guess I didn't make enough to buy more than about $10 of groceries a week. Since oatmeal is pretty much the cheapest thing you can buy, that's what I ate most of the summer. I remember the absolute low-point of the summer was eating a bowl of oatmeal for lunch at work. I didn't have anything to put on it at home, but I'd found a pack of abandoned Red Hots and sprinkled those on for the sake of having something other than oatmeal. That was gross. Anyway, I guess I never wrote about that moment (until now) in my journal, but here are a few other awesome poor moments from that summer.

June 19, 2003: A few nights ago Scott dropped in unexpectedly. I was eating rice with canned veggies on it. It was so gross, but it's food and I figured it'd fill me up just the same as anything else. Scott was appalled that I was eating such trash. He's provided dinner every night since.

July 10, 2003: Scott and I made pizza tonight. I wasn't quite sure what we'd eat tonight, but I had just barely enough of everything to make a delicious spinach-tomato pizza from scratch. I'm out of bread, milk, and just about all else. I do have one egg left and some cold cereal.

July 12, 2003: I'm down to 53 cents. But I'm happy, so who cares?

(by the way, my bro Dave made this awesome journal for me for Christmas)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My big family.

When my family gets together, it's quite an event. We take over someone's house, church gym, town hall, or whatever and chaos ensues. This weekend we took over Janis and Philip's house. Adults ate, kids played, and babies somehow slept. I wanted to document the madness so I walked through the house with a camera.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quick Trip to the Motherland

I left Scott and Bruce to themselves and flew to Ohio for the weekend. My brother and sister-in-law, who were married last year, went to the temple to be sealed (we believe that marriage can last beyond this life and this ceremony "seals" that bond of marriage to go past the typical "until death do we part" and into the eternities).
We can't take pictures inside the temple, but I got lots of them outside. And it was a lovely day.
Yep, they've been married a year. They waste no time.
Also this weekend, my older brother and sister-in-law blessed their month-old son. That's Caelan giving a little wave from the blankie.
And just for kicks, we all went to a Halloween party. My nieces and nephews had the best costumes of course. Sam was a Star Wars dude - Storm Trooper, I think.
Ruby ate donuts off a string with a little help from Karyn.
Emma made a fabulous Pippi Longstocking. I think all the Mars sisters have been this for at least one Halloween. I know I have.
And what girl's childhood would be complete without a sparkly mermaid costume? Eliza made a lovely princess mermaid.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

He really likes the library.

In case you can't tell, he's singing "Let's go to the library" over and over again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tuft's 10K

Today was the Tuft's 10K. This is my fifth in a row and I was happy to finish it. I lined up with the strollers behind about 7,000 women and ran with some friends from church - one of whom pushed a gigantic double stroller. It took me about four minutes to shuffle over the starting line and then I clicked off a few 11 or 12-minute miles. This was definitely a different experience than in year's past. I passed thousands of runners and walkers - many pushing strollers, wearing fanny packs, donning skorts (eww!), and I even saw two women dressed up as Sarah Palin "running for VP" - and there was a lot of dodging and zig-zagging in between runners. I'd never noticed quite how cramped a two-lane road can be with that many runners.

I could feel some pinching in my hip, but it didn't feel like it was dislocating or breaking, so by the fifth mile I decided to ditch my friends and open up my stride a bit. I always laughed at those people who ran most of a race insanely slow only to sprint the final stretch at world-record time. Here I was, one of them. I covered the last 1.2 miles in just over 8 minutes - this definitely goes with the race's theme of Start Strong, Finish Stronger - and finished with a handshake from Ms. Benoit-Samuelson herself.

So far, I can walk. My hip hurts, but I didn't sustain any permanent damage (at least anything new!); thus, it was a success. I finished in 2,172nd place with a blazing 59:06 chip time (1:03:21 gun time - counting all that time to shuffle past the starting line).

Hurray for five years of Tuft's 10Ks.

2008 - 59:06 - the year of the Stupid Hip.
2007 - 37:26 - not my best, but not my worst.
2006 - 39:49 - ran this at marathon pace 5 days before the Hartford Marathon.
2005 - 39:22 - five months after a C-section.
2004 - 36:54 - pregnant with Bruce, just didn't know it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Apple Picking - Again.

We went apple-picking yet again.
We went with a bunch of people from church and one of Scott's friends that served as a missionary with him in Russia who was in town for the weekend.

We went to a smaller orchard so there weren't any hayrides or moon bouncers or gimmicks; there were three tractors that kids could climb on.

Last year when we came to this orchard, they let us pick blueberries that were still left on the bushes from the summer season. There were hardly any this year, but we got a little handful to eat.
After running around the orchard for a few hours, Bruce was really tired. When he gets tired he sticks his hands up my sleeves; Ellen documented the moment for us.

After apple-picking, we went to a Wendy's down the road for lunch. We rarely go to fast-food places to eat and now I remember why: there's hardly anything to eat for a cholesterol-challenged person like myself. We went to this place last year and I remembered how nasty the side salad was, so I got a plain baked potato this year. I chowed on my potato and Bruce, who was sitting across from me, accidentally spilled his chocolate milk all over the table and my potato. So the last few bites weren't completely cholesterol-free anyway.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Proposal

This journal contains most of our courtship. Looking through it, I wonder how we ever had time to see each other. Scott had 21 credits as a double-major. I had 16 credits, worked as a photographer at the student newspaper, worked out with the track team, and traveled most weekends. We had a few dinner-and-movie-type dates, but most of our bonding was done in random slots of time throughout the day: a chat at his lab, a picnic outside the student center, a few miles of running in the afternoon, studying together, hanging out at the bookstore, a hot chocolate late at night. He brought dinner to me at the newsroom regularly - something he continued to do after we were married. He drove up to Idaho to surprise me and cheer me on at a track meet.

Not much has changed. We both keep pretty busy. And we support each other in that flurry of busy-ness. We make the most of the slots of free time that we do have. That gets a little trickier with Bruce around, but we do our best. A few months ago, we dropped Bruce off at the babysitter's and had a 45-minute power-date. Don't worry; we don't do this every time, but sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day and it's better to go on a short date than no date at all. Anyway, back to the journal. The exciting part.

April 28, 2003: When we were driving back from Bozeman, Scott said we had to pick up paperwork in Salt Lake City. We stopped at the post office. Scott took his bookbag in to pick up his paperwork. I thought that was suspicious. And he didn't elaborate on what paperwork this might be. We got to Provo and dropped Scott off at the financial aid office on campus. I helped Leslie unpack and then she dropped me off at my apartment. I talked to Moon and Ember about my wonderful weekend (I'd just met his fam for the first time), then I went for a run. I stopped at the fieldhouse to grab my spikes for a workout. Anika was there and I told her all about my weekend. She said maybe Scott would propose tonight. She said something to the effect of, "Maybe he will draw a standard deviation normal curve and he will put you at the top of it!" It makes no sense, but I know what she was trying to say anyway. I wouldn't be at the top. I'd be far to the right according to Scott.

I ran a 4 x 800-meter workout. Everyone ran 4 x 1200 at 5K pace today, but I decided that since I'd sat in the car for hours and hours, I'd settle for 4 x 800 at 3K pace. I was still tired even then. I'd told Scott I'd be at his place for dinner at 6, so I called to inform him how behind I was. No one was answering. I went to his place and ate dinner with him. After dinner, I helped Scott move his stuff to his grandma's house. I carried boxes and computer stuff. We talked to his grandparents for awhile. They are absolutely wonderful. They questioned us more on marriage and why he hasn't proposed yet. They're very blunt.

We went to Border's Bookstore because Scott wanted to get a book for me: Anna Karenin, a Russian novel. He had been talking about this book and how I should read it for two weeks, so I thought nothing of going to the bookstore to get it. We wandered around and found it, then Scott said he wanted to sit down and read part of it to me. I looked around and there was nowhere to sit. We wandered to the kids' corner of the bookstore and I saw a stool sitting behind an aisle. I walked toward it and more came into view...

A table with chairs and a dozen roses with a card that said "For Emily" in it. At the base of the roses was a piece of paper that said "Reserved for Ray-Dawg" (this was set up by his roommate). That's when I knew something was up!

I sat down and read a passage from the book. I could hardly concentrate, but I tried to focus on what the book was saying. Two characters in the book were expressing their love for each other. It was very beautiful. Scott asked me if I'd like to go for a walk. Of course!

We bought the book and carried the roses out to the car. We went to the Provo River Trail where it goes up into the canyon. We'd walked there before. We walked and then sat down in a field of grass and sagebrush. He put his coat down and we sat on it. He told me how amazing I am and how wonderful and so on. Then he asked me to write a message in his hand (a parallel with the scene in the book we'd just read). I traced the letters I-L-O-V-E-Y-O-U in his palm, then he said it was his turn. He traced W-I-L-L-Y-O-U-M-A-R-R-Y-M-E-? He pulled the ring box out of his coat pocket. He opened the box and the ring fell on the ground! In a field of tall grass! He frantically searched for a few seconds, but found it quickly. I skipped the palm-tracing and said YES!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Oct. 2002: Enter Scott

October 2002 was a very ink-filled month. I broke up with a long-time boyfriend (this is a post for another day) and scrawled all kinds of angry sentiments in my journal (after two years of writing hideously romantic vomit - I skipped all that for this series of journal entries). Just a few weeks after that firestorm, my roommate decided she would take matters into her own hands and get me out of the house and out of my funk. She called Scott, who I knew as a casual acquaintance from church, and told him to call me. So he did. Here's the entry.

October 31, 2002: Tonight Scott called. He asked what I was up to tomorrow night. Before I could even answer, Tia yelled in the background really loud, "Emily, invite him to come ice skating with us!" So I did. I'm so pissed at Tia! I don't want a date! After Scott called, John called. He asked me out for tomorrow night too! But I had to turn him down because of the ice skating thing with Scott.

November 1, 2002: I hate to admit it, but I had a lot of fun tonight. Scott and I went with Tia, Mooner, Austin Moon, Anika, Keith, Katie Rose, and Jared the Golfer to Laser Tag. I was killed miserably. I was ranked 24th of 25. Ouch. But I had so much fun. Then I played Scott in air hockey. He won the first game in 7-6. I won the next in 7-1. I love beating boys. After air hockey, I went to Scott's and we watched Mission: Impossible. I had a great time. He didn't try and hold my hand. He didn't try to kiss me. He didn't lay on the moves. He was himself. I was impressed. Scott is a cool guy.

November 8, 2002: All is crazy! Steve (ex-boyfriend) is sending mixed messages and Scott isn't sending any! Okay, maybe some. We went and saw Minority Report tonight with a couple people. I swear I am socially retarded. I can't flirt. I can't play these dumb boy-girl games.

November 12, 2002: I was supposed to run with Scott today, but he called and said he was sick. Nasty migraine. So I made him some honey oatmeal bread. I took it over to his place. I talked to Dan and John for a few minutes. Then I went upstairs. I put the bread in the kitchen and Scott walked in behind me. We talked for awhile, then he walked me home. He gave me a hug (which I totally botched - I don't know where my arm was going, but it proves that I am socially retarded!) and told me he'd see me tomorrow. Today was a good day.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Parent Night at School

I visited Bruce's school tonight and chatted with teachers, met a few parents, and saw all the cool stuff he gets to play with.

Checked out the tiny bathrooms too.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

It's officially fall.

We went apple-picking with some friends today.
They enjoyed chowing on apple cider donuts.

We picked a peck of apples. Bruce sampled almost every single one by taking one bite before putting it in the bag. We made apple crisp out of those ones today.
The farm had a bunch of kid-friendly activities: riding on mini tractors, climbing up a hay bale pyramid, a hay bale maze, goats and farm animals to feed and pet, and a castle-shaped moon bounce. Bruce had so much fun jumping in that thing that I had to take off my shoes and go inside to remove him.


A little background for this one: my high school cross country team had all kinds of weird rituals. The guys team would get together every year and sleep in tents and eat #10 cans of beans pried open with pocketknives. The girls team would go "partycarring" by driving through our small town with the windows down and the music up, screaming random stuff like "Your mom is awesome!" to any bystanders. Both teams also engaged in an annual tradition of TPing (that's toilet papering for those out of the loop) teammates of the other gender. We had many traditions and one of them was a "Choc-o-Challenge." The guys team started this; it might have been my bro that started this one. Anyway, they would buy gallons of chocolate beverage and have a contest to see who could drink the gallon the fastest without throwing up. My BYU cross country teammate and roommate, Mooner, came to Ohio to visit for a week in the summer. We decided to have our own version of the Choc-o-Challenge.

June 17, 2002: Marissa, Mooner, and I participated in drinking a 1/2-gallon of chocolate milk in 1-1/2 hours or less. We had a few people come over. Then we chugged the chocolate milk. I don't even like chocolate milk, so it was difficult. Marissa chugged about 3/4 of it, then hit the wall. She threw up; we had buckets ready. Then Mooner threw up next at abbout the 3/4 mark. She threw up everything. She had a gallon bucket and by the time she was done, it was half full. Mooner got the quantity award. I was last to finish, but I got the award for keeping it all down. I tried to throw up. I jumped on the trampoline, played dizzystick, hung upside down for awhile, pushed my stomach in, smelled chocolate milk (eww), stared into the toilet - everything. I've felt real fat since.

Friday, October 03, 2008

My one homeless night

My lease ran out on one apartment, but the other one didn't start for a few days. So one night my roommate, Anika, and I stayed in the fieldhouse. The other two nights we slept on friends' couches....

April 27, 2002: My housing contract ended today. So Hampton #7 is no more my home. The landlady's son is moving in today at noon. I was still cleaning and such when he came. I finished up and left with Keith and Anika. I put all my boxes and storage at Karyn's. Then I put my summer stuff at the fieldhouse. We went to a high school track meet for awhile. It poured rain. I was wearing BYU sweats, so I was like a sponge. After getting very cold and wet, we went to lunch at Olive Garden. I got soup and salad, so I warmed up. Keith challenged me with a double dog dare that he could eat more breadsticks than me. I won. Keith dropped me and Anika off at the fieldhouse. I organized my locker and all. Then I showered and dressed. Anika and I walked to Macey's and bought breakfast and stuff to last us through Sunday. We got a ride back to the fieldhouse from a friend Anika saw at Macey's. Then we got in our PJs and grabbed our blankets and headed for the gymnastics room. We had no problems getting in. We got the code from the polevaulters. We dug a hole in the foam pit. It's made of these 8" x 8" foam blocks. The pit is about 10 feet deep and really wide. We dug our way to the bottom then put flat mats at the bottom. We threw our blankets down and put a mat up against a cable so if someone walked in the door, they couldn't see us. I kept digging and Anika went and jumped on the trampoline. It was about 10 p.m. - when the fieldhouse closes - so I called her over and warned her to be quiet. She said something like "whatever" and the door opened. We ducked behind the mat and lay flat and still. The security guard turned out the lights and shut the door. We stayed still. We could hear him walk to the other door to lock it. I got that scared adrenalin rush where I'm so alert, then when I relax I feel like I've run a 10K. I took a picture with my camera of Anika's face - she was scared too. We didn't want to get caught! After my flash went off, more lights went off. They were from a window at the top of the room. There's another floor up there and the guard must have turned out the lights there. We were afraid he saw the flash so we lay still again. But we're okay. Now we're lying in the foam blocks with the little bit of light at our backs so that the light hits the paper on the journal. I am so tired though. Time for bed. I can't believe we're sleeping in the SFH. Crazy.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pudding Wrestling

September 17, 2001: We (my roommates and me) headed to a party tonight. It was at a warehouse-like dance studio in Orem. It was packed. We had a big group: Tia, Adrienne, Josh, Katie, me, Anika, Tiffany, Kassie, Breanne, Jessie, and Jessie's roommate. We danced for awhile and that was fun. After an hour or so, I got changed for the PUDDING WRESTLING. There was a tub full of brownie mix and pudding. Tia was to wrestle Adrienne. I was to wrestle Anika. Tia and Adrienne were announced. They got up there and then some other girls jumped in. So Tia and Adrienne backed out and let these girls go. They ended up with their shirts off! Then Tia and Adrienne went. They kept their clothes on and ended up getting booed. Anika and I decided not to go. It got trashy fast. So we decided to get out of there fast. I was glad we left but disappointed that I didn't get to wrestle. So when Tia came home, we went outside and found a mud puddle and wrestled. We ran. We flung mud. We smushed it in each other's faces. Mark, a polevaulter, had brought Tia home. So he came and joined the fight. Anika piled on. By 2:30AM, we were so covered in mud. It was in my ears, up my nostrils, in my eyes, gritting in my teeth - everywhere. We got pictures and then tried to clean up. Our house is covered in mud right now.

I told my coworkers about this a few years ago and they couldn't believe that I was so naive as to think that pudding wrestling could ever be considered a good, clean sport (as I thought before I went to the party at BYU). I do remember being terribly disappointed when we left, but mud wrestling with my roommates outside our apartment complex until the wee hours of the morning was pretty fun too.

My roommates were all on the cross country team and we had an apartment wrestle-fest about once a week. We wrestled over a WWF Championship belt that hung over the mantle in our living room. Most of the time, Mooner won with her "double Nelson" move (she was from Wyoming). I had my moments of wrasslin' glory though - just not in pudding.