Feathered Aspen




Oof.  Would you look at that little girl?  She’s dynamite.  On the mornings that we wake up together, she crawls onto the bed and snuggles in close, wrapping her arms around my neck and saying, “my mommy.”  She’s generous with her kisses and hugs in the morning, and man, it’s just the best way to wake up.  She also likes rubbing her face against ours and saying, “mmmm.”

Today, Joshua and I went for a run.  Let me just brag for a moment and say that I am 33 weeks pregnant and still running!  Because I’m super competitive, my goal was 32 weeks.  Stacy ran a 5k at 32 weeks, and I kind of thought she was ironwoman.  Anyway, now that I’ve run six weeks longer than I did with Lily, I’m thinking that I might just try and make it to the end.  This time around, I’ve learned that just because one day feels like the most pathetic run of my life doesn’t mean that I’ll feel the same way tomorrow.  I walk a lot, but I’d say that I’m still running between 60 and 80 percent of my 3 – 4 mile runs.  Today, I ran 2.7 miles before walking.  Because Joshua was pushing the stroller;)  I also have to say that having a running partner has made running much easier.  Between Stacy and Joshua, I’ve run by myself probably twice in the past month.


Joshua left us after the run to put in another long day at the new house.  We’re moving next weekend, and I’m a little terrified.  Despite Joshua’s long hours, there’s still no bathroom, no sink, no countertops, no electrical in Lily’s room, no hung lights, and plenty of painting left…  I’m just praying this little munchkin in my belly doesn’t plan on an early arrival; otherwise, we’ll have a newborn in a construction zone.


And speaking of bellies, mine is big.  As you can see, I can barely see my feet anymore, and these days, when I sit down, the top of my uterus shoves up into my lung space and makes me feel as though I’m suffocating a little bit.  I don’t really remember Lily doing this, but Lu seems to have the perfect vantage point to stick her little feet up and kick my ribs.  I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but sometimes, it kind of makes me feel like I’m going to barf.

Also, I think Lu is going to be bigger than Lily.  I can already feel the perfect little shape of her butt, and her knees and feet poke out, too.  I feel like she’s begun to outgrow the belly, and there’s still 7 weeks left!


After Joshua left, Lily and I headed out to Gallup Café to have brunch with Stacy, Margot, and her mom, Sandy.  We all had delicious bagel sandwiches and coffee, and despite having two little ones along, we had a very pleasant meal.  Afterwards, I had promised to take Lily to the park.  I had been thinking the park was much closer than it actually was, but alas, I think it was more than a half mile.  Carrying Lily much further than half a block isn’t really in the cards these days, so she ended up walking all the way there and all the way back.  She was actually a little champ, and the longest blocks were the last two, when she got pretty tired.

At the park, Lily tried out all the climbing features.  This is a new thing for us, but I’m super impressed by how well she does.  Between ropes and bars, I spot and she climbs.  To be honest, this is way more fun for me than the stairs/slide loop that we’ve been running heretofore.

Anyway, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I’ve felt so lucky to have this time with Lily.  Spring has given us lots of mommy-daughter time, and so far, this age is my favorite.  We talk and play, and she forges a little more independence every day.  It’s so fun to watch her grow, and I feel so lucky to be her mom.


A Test


Found myself remembering my racing days with an unexpected wistfulness. I was so fast! Decided to go out and run a mile on a track, just to see if I could run fast again. 6:28! A good 45 seconds slower than my PR at 17, but not too shabby for ten years later, no speed work, and a body that’s had a baby!

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April’s Numbers


22 Runs


26 hours 58 minutes 29 seconds

13,875 calories


2 rides

18.45 miles

2 hours 22 minutes 19 seconds

496 calories


2 Hikes

12.57 miles

6 hours 53 minutes 36 seconds

556 Calories


Colfax marathon here I come.  Logged more miles this month than I ever have in a single month.  Feeling good about going sub 4:00:00.  The 800 speed workouts have done wonders for me.  Two weeks out. Time to start tapering down.



12 Days of Christmas: 4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, and 2 Turtle Doves

Days 2 and 3:

We spent another couple of days with Grandma Eunice.  With Lily feeling under the weather, we didn’t do too much, but it was nice to just spend time with one another.

On Day 2, we did have an outing at the Art Museum, and although Lily didn’t seem too impressed, it was nice to walk around in a warm place.  It’s been pretty cold outside, and we’re trying to avoid the chill for Lily’s sake.  We explored the Japanese Landscapes, the American West, and Prairie Architecture before we got tired and retreated back to my mom’s place.

a respite beautiful grandma dad and me family hens for hen light lovely museumd are serious business... not as cool as the science museum slightly bored stairs twin cities


We spent the rest of the evening relaxing, playing on the living room floor and opening a couple more gifts from Grandma (flannel!  Someone was reading my Recipe post :)).

a fine cranium a spot in the sun musician nap play with me play sleep this is how you...


That night was terrible.  Lily’s cough has gotten worse, she’s pulling on her ear, teething, and seriously constipated.  Sleeping in a different bed and building a pillow mound to help alleviate the cough means that I was sore all over and not very well rested.  Co-sleeping is awesome, but traveling and sickness do pose some difficulties.

Joshua let me sleep in a bit more, and then we headed to Grandma’s.  While Grandma had some alone time with Lily, Joshua and I ran 9 miles!  It’s not the farthest either of us has ever urn, but it is the farthest I’ve gone since before I got pregnant, so I felt pretty darn proud of myself.  As we ran around Nokomis, we even saw a coyote, and that made us run a little faster.

We spent the rest of Christmas Eve trying to make Lily as comfortable as possible.  Joshua has more to share there, and I absolutely refuse to post pictures of poop on the blog, but suffice it to say that Lily was VERY backed up.  Brittaney told me about self-weaning, and we went a little crazy with solids.  Lily had little scraps of grapes, prunes, egg, oatmeal, squash soup, apple, clementine, and banana, and then she didn’t poo for four days.

Poor thing screamed and pushed and pushed, and then dad had to take matters into his own hands.

I took a bath with Lily and she was finally able to work one out on her own.  Not so cleanly.

While Lily slept a fevered sleep on my chest, Joshua wrapped presents, Grandma cooked up delicious food (falafel chili, pizza tostadas…), and we played with Grandma’s cacophony of instruments, singing Rudolph the Rednosed Raindeer and Jingle Bells.

It was a lovely time spent with Grandma…  And that’s all from Minneapolis, where the streets have lovely names like Longfellow, Nokomis, Hiawatha, and Minnehaha, the gardens are grown for victory, and the art museums are free.


Adieu to Break

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For our last few days as free agents, Joshua, Lily, and I escaped up to the mountains near Leadville.  The air was cooler, and we were able to spend time with one another without distraction.  We stayed at the Mayqueen Campground on Turquoise Lake for three nights.

We left on Sunday, stopping once to feed Lily.  On the second half of the trip, I sat in the backseat with her and sang songs while she held my finger with a vice grip and concentrated hard on my face.  At the campsite, I donned a new baby carrier that I picked up on craigslist for 20 bucks.  We still love the Ergo, but we discovered that there are a few drawbacks to the carrier as Lily gets bigger.  Lily loves facing outwards, and the Ergo is pretty broad at the bottom, so it’s pretty uncomfortable for her hips to sit facing out.  In general, the Ergo doesn’t seemed to be designed to allow the baby’s limbs to stretch out, and often times, Lily ends up all curled up.  This works great when it’s cooler outside and when she was tiny – it’s definitely cozier – but I wanted something that would allow her to see out and stretch out.  I absolutely love the Bjorn, and I feel like she gets even more support than the Ergo.  On the other hand, Joshua thinks it’s hellishly uncomfortable.  Oh well.  For 20 bucks, I’m pleased 🙂

While I walked around with Lily, Joshua set up camp.  When he was done, he said, “Hey Babe, I’m off for my run.  I’ll be back in 6 or 7 hours.”

If you’ll recall Joshua’s earlier post, his first run of any notable distance was with me on our second date.  Now, he’s definitely beating me at my own game.  I love that he loves running, and I love that it makes him feel great, but as I stayed back with Lily, there’s a part of me that thinks, hey!  I was the runner!

So while Joshua ran 23 miles on the trails where he’ll be pacing K in the Leadville 100 in a month’s time, Lily and I went for a 4 or 5 mile walk along Turquoise Lake.  When we got back, we hung out at the camp to wait for Joshua.

Of course, Joshua was back a couple of hours earlier than he had expected.  He felt great, and after 2,000 ft of elevation gain, he had averaged 11 minute miles.  Also, his Merrell Trail gloves now have a silver dollar sized hole in them, and so do all of the socks he wears when he’s running in them, so he basically ran it barefoot.

We had cornbread and chili for dinner, and Joshua shivered as he held Lily.  Skinny boy.

That night, Lily was great, and the next morning, we had breakfast and went for a little walk along the water.  Heading into Leadville, we walked around the Victorian homes surrounding mainstreet, and then we treated ourselves to coffee and a couple of sandwiches at a cafe.

Back at camp, Joshua went for a 9 mile run (two long runs in a row are part of his ultra training schedule) while I read, napped, and nursed Lily, and afterwards, I went for a 5 mile run.

For dinner, we ate Falafel, and as it got dark, we went for another walk along the lake.  Including walks, Joshua covered 36 miles in a little over 24 hours.  Stud?  I think so.

The next morning, we ate our breakfast near the creek feeding into Turquoise Lake, and then we headed out on Timberline Trail.  Lily was cute as a button in her sun hat (sidenote:  why are baby hats impossible to find?  We had to safety pin this one to make it fit.), and she stayed awake for much of the hike, enjoying the trees and Timberline lake.

It was so nice to take a long walk in the mountains with my two favorite people 🙂  Joshua and I talked a blue streak like always, and Lily seemed content taking in the world.  9 miles later, we returned to camp happy and tired (and out of diapers, so Joshua had to make an emergency trip to Leadville).  We relaxed for the rest of the evening, and I finished another book by Ann Patchet.  I loved State of Wonder so much, I was trying to recreate the experience, but alas, The Magician’s Assistant isn’t nearly as good.

The next morning, Joshua packed up while I went on a run with Oscar.  When we got back, we all bundled into the car and then drove to Leadville for breakfast at the Tennessee Pass Cafe, where everyone gaped and cooed at our beautiful baby 🙂  Lily slept all the way through our drive home, and Joshua and I agreed that our little camping trip was the perfect way to finish out our summer break.


A History of My Athletic Endeavors

Have you read Born to Run? I’m joking.  Actually, I’m not…  If you haven’t read it, you really should.  Its become my new bible.

Running has always been a struggle for me.  In the past year however, my attitude toward running has profoundly changed.  Running, hiking and adventuring are a significant part of who I am and how Ellie and I have built our marriage.  I’m writing this introduction after I have written the post itself.  In thinking about this post, I ‘ve been struck by just how important and crucial athletic endeavors are to Ellie and I.  Well, just read and see why.

When Ellie and I started dating our senior year in high school I started running.  Ellie was (and still is) an athletic all-star.  A three season athlete who ran cross-country, skied cross-country, and ran track, Ellie went to state competitions several times, won all conference, and earned so many letters on her letter jacket they wrapped around her sleeve. She was also voted captain of all three sports.  When we started dating I was intimidated.  I had played JV football and lacrosse.  By senior year I’d quit both teams, fed up with the boneheads with whom I played.  Instead, I went searching for the meaning of life in Plato.  But now, here was this gorgeous girl, this athletic phenom who wanted to date me.  When Ellie’s mom Eunice found out about me she asked Ellie, “oh, what sports team did you meet him on?”  All of Ellie’s prior love affairs were also athletes.  I, however, was a lost, some what EMO kid who liked to talk about philosophy.  “Shit,”  I thought everyday for the first couple of weeks of our relationship, there’s no way she’s going to stay interested in me if I don’t start doing some exercise.

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