Sunday, December 7, 2008


Let me just start by saying that I am amazed at how long it takes to prepare such a fantastic meal. Nathan and Carrie and kids came up to celebrate this thanksgiving with us. We had a great time hanging out and eating. I must say that Nathan really disappointed me this year--we got to the table and when I was finished with my plate, nathan was full and had only had a few bites. His new diet (which he looks great) has changed him. Thanks for coming up.

kansas city marathon

so I ran the kansas city marathon on october 18, 2008. this is awesome, because for the past 5ish years each new years I claim that I am going to run a marathon--and now I have done it and can't wait for my next marathon. here is the story:

first of all--thanks to my supporters: nick, nathan, carrie, caroline and rex -- as well as the distant support of both parents and families and soba. nathan and carrie came up from arkansas to show their support and make a weekend of fun in kansas city.

the story:

I woke up later than I was suppose to--lathered up, took a pill to help with my stomach and bathroom situation and realized that we had forgotten the pain killer. oops. Nick and I went to the starting line and I decided that I might as well run with the 3:50 pace group (hoping that I will feel so good and take off from that group and qualify for boston). That was the game plan. The course was great. It would all around kansas city's attractions and had many live bands playing.

Beginning: met some of my co-pacer friends and started the run. Screamed out to nick when I passed him--I was having a blast. (thanks nick for waking up so stinkin early and doing this with me)

Mile 8: This is where the course splits the marathoners from the halfs. I was unfortunately running by some halfers who were so happy that they only had 5 miles and were rubbing it in that the marathoners were just beginning--great. Not what you want to hear, but I was feeling great, so whatev.

Mile 9: I start to feel my right IT band acting up. which was weird, because I have had problems in the past, but during all of my 4 1/2 months of training it never acted up--until marathon day. I kept running through the pain--trying to stretch and keep up the same pace.

Mile 12: Both IT bands are in huge pain and I ran by nick, who is holding our video camera, and I am mad (watching the video footage is hilarious) and exclaim that my IT bands are killing me and that it isn't fair. Nick has me stop and he tries to do some intense IT band rubbings (ps. your IT band is the tendon from your hip to your knee--kind of feels like someone took a baseball bat and smacked the side of your knee with brute force).

By mile 18 I had to stop every 1/2 mile-ish and stretch. Each time I stop I had the reward of watching the next pace group pace by--slowly killing my dream of qualifying--pretty heart breaking and discouraging. I was in so much pain I was fighting off tears and realized: "I am not going to get close to the timing I trained for"--so my new goal was to just finish this.

Mile 21: I got to the water station and was in so much pain. I saw an old guy sitting on the curb stretching--and suddenly I thought to myself, "I might as well have fun," so I sat took a packet of jelly bellies and I sat down and relaxed and ate them.

After this it was basically a fight to keep running and it was nice that my name was on my shirt--because I had a lot of encouragement from all sorts of strangers.

I saw nick, nathan, carrie and co. close to the end of the finish line--they were so great for being there and so enthusiastic--but I couldn't even look at them I was hurting so bad. Nick started to run with me and asked how I was doing--I started bawling (bawling is a weird word p.s.) because of the pain and telling him how much I hurt and that I am so mad and I am not even tired, but just in pain. Lots of people saw this going on and started to cheer for me because of it and I felt really stupid. As I crossed the finish line I had feelings of serious pain and I was angry--I didn't lift my arms in triumph because I wasn't even tired--I knew I had so much more energy that I could have put into my running, but it was my stupid legs that were in so much pain (I was doing the old mans shuffle). I tried to throw a smile on for the picture, but I couldn't even fool the photographer--my pictures have a hilarious look of pain.

I filled up on treats afterwords. Went through that line a million times to get treats for me and the gang. I was really disappointed to find out that the Kansas City marathon didn't provide massages at the end--boo--that is there one downfall--and their medical stations aren't that great. I kept asking for icy hot, but they didn't have any.

My official finish time was: 4:20:27.

That night I couldn't get to sleep--I kept thinking about what was going to be my next marathon and what to do different so that I could run the race with full speed. I am thinking I would love to do the new york or chicago next october/november.

As for the rest of the week:

We ate out a lot and checked out the light district. Aunna and Phil came down for a day and the boys went to a football game, while the girls went to the art museum and a cute local cafe--where we ate quiche and an amazing raspberry pie.

Good times. Thanks everyone.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

slideshow part scooter

scooter for sale

as nick told you earlier, we sold our scooter. it was a sad evening and it happened so fast i forced nick into getting pictures taken with it that night--because it is such a cool ride that we had to have some pics with it. prepare to make fun of us.

Monday, November 3, 2008

slideshow part triplets

iowa state fair

on the list of top 100 things to do before you die is to go to the iowa state fair. so i think all of you should come out and visit, but let me give you a taste of what you would find. (it's awesome.) the boy you see with us is our friend brad. might i say that i am really glad he came to des moines.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

slideshow part dos


nath, carrie & kids moved to rogers, arkansas to work for the big man--walmart. they have the greatest place and we have so much fun that we keep going for more. they are only 6ish hours away. on one trip to arkansas, my mom came out and she rented a boat (if that is what you call it) and we checked. carrie and i ran for a child--that's what the race was for. we did a 10k together and i ended up taking 3rd in my age division (oh, is that good?). a famous gymnast (can't remember her name--she was on the gymnastics team for a few olympics) presented me with my medal. that almost makes me a world champion. i have been amazed at how beautiful arkansas is. good times. thanks mom, nathan & carrie.

get your popcorn--its slideshow time

hello cruel world. personal joke. ha ha ha. i love personal jokes. anyway, here are a bunch of pictures and things we've done that i have been meaning to post, but have procrastinated to the point that i am overwhelmed and so now i shall overwhelm the blog world with a bagillion pictures.


this was one of the most incredible trips. i am so glad that the parentals came with us. next time my mom will have to come. what did we do? glad you asked.

July 4th

Flew into mexico city and spent the night there. nick kept telling us that mexico is really cheap and that we would be able to find great hotels for 20 bucks--so this night we tried it out and what we got for that price was aweful--it was hilarious. looks like nick's standards of "nice" on his mission wasn't too high.

July 5th

drove to Temascal- there is a giant lake with an island of indigenous people in the middle of the lake as well as a crocodile farm/random small cool town. It is a crazy town, and one of nicks favorite areas because you are in the heart of old mexico there. nick took us around the place showing us the places he lived--we came to a house that nick remembered as good friends--they made bread--turns out they were still there and now the bishops family. we spent the rest of the day with them. i love this family--hermana tina, [insert names]. This family went out of their way to make us feel welcome--they dropped everything they were doing and spent the rest of the day with us--they even bought us traditional shirts--incredible people. Their son started a popular & thriving internet cafe--which we went and saw and we ended up running into a couple that nick had baptized at the market. turns out that recently their daughter was killed in a car accident and because of that loss they hadn't returned to church--the bishop had tried to get them to come, but when they saw nick, they both decided it was a sign that they should go back to church. After, the family took us to a fish farm and there was an alligator there. hello arch-nemesis. That night, we would drove back down to a city called Tres Valles which is a little bigger and safer than Temascal.

July 6th

Woke up to find out that mom monson hurt herself because she got up to turn off a fan and it was so dark she didn't see the step and she fell. sad. she was in pain all night. today we drove to Coatza Coalcos to have sacrament meeting for the ward nick was in and spent that day with friends. We got to Coatza and spent some time trying to find the church--the city had grown a lot from the time nick was there. We decided to stop at a grocery store and ask for directions. A taxi driver told us he would gladly take us there for a small fee--which we paid. We followed him out of the parking lot and across the street to the church building. yes, we were dooped. After church we went and spent the rest of the day with an incredible family--[insert name]. They made us dinner and then we lounged on their hammocks and nick talked to them while the rest of us took naps and just listened. This was so much fun. I loved this family. That night we walked along the beach and the boardwalk and had dinner. Our waitor approached us hesitantly because he could tell we spoke english--which he didn't--but was relieved to find out nick spoke fluently. He told us later he went back to his coworkers who were amazed that it went so smoothly--and he lied to then saying he knew english. it was funny--guess you had to be there. Poor dad monson got sick from the food. We spent the night there playing gnerts.

July 7th

woke up and went on a run with mom monson on the beach. she got like 10 cat calls. drove to Catemaco. This is one of those "hidden treasures" that nick had heard about but no missionaries were allowed in it because it is a huge witch-craft area. It's a legit rain forest where a lot of movies are filmed. There is an island in the laguna that is full of howler monkeys and all kinds of cool things that we saw. This place was awesome. We took a boat tour to check it out--went to a cool hotelish resort and they gave us a cultural tour that was neat. They have a white wizard that stays there-but unfortunately he was not in. That night we walked through the town and then went to our hotel room to play phase 10 on the balcony. I was set up to win the whole game until the end--dad monson won in the end. We went to go back into the room to find we locked ourselves out--how embarassado. Luckily someone was walking around to get help.

July 8th

Went on a run with the monson parentals. mom monson tripped on a root in the ground, got back up and almost tripped on the same root and hit her head on a branch. clever & hilarious. Today we drove on crazy roads to some incredible waterfalls that we hiked to and swam in. At the end of our hike it started to poor rain--it kind of got dangerous--which made it even cooler. We were amazed by how cool this place was--we decided to spend an extra night in some bungalows on the river that we saw on our tour. That night we went to our bungalows that have hammocks--and just layed there listening to the wildlife--it was beautiful. I highly recommend this place to everyone.

July 9th

Woke up and kayaked out to monkey island to feed the fat monkeys. The rest of the day was in relaxation. Part of the package deal with the bungalows was getting a traditional spa treatment--mud/mineral bath and a massage. I got to go first--so the woman took me into a partitioned off place which was easily viewed by all (family and anyone else within 2 miles)--while the others were just on the other side--she told me to fully undress. i was like--"serious?" and she said "yes" and i said "my dads are out there" and she comforted me by saying that it was no big deal and that is just how it is done and groups of people--families--do this together all the time. not normal. so of course i undressed--not. we kept it g-rated. silly mexicans. This was a great memory and so nice to relax after many days of on the go. My mom would have loved this.

That afternoon we drove to Veracruz and stayed the night. checked out the temple and had a chat with the temple president. Saw some really crappy hotel rooms and finally the guys got us a place to stay the night. We went to a restaurant nick had gone to on his mission and had remembered the pinneapple drink. It was so delicious, all of the food was--so much that I made myself so sick I felt so nauseous that I couldn't eat dessert. For those who know me--that was a first.

July 10th

Woke up and went on a run with the parentals. It was on the boardwalk and what was so cool is they had water stations set up for all the runners. We didn't drink the water, but it was nice. Today we went to the city center and saw the pier with the divers, did some shopping and got hungry so the group decided I should decide where to eat. not a good idea, I hate making decisions. We were in this cute terrace with 5 restaurants that had tables outside and they were all the same--the workers saw us standing there and they all started to try to persuade us to choose them--it got to be hilarious and a little ridiculous--but finally I made the call (I don't know if it was the right choice, but oh well). When we got sick of shopping it was on to El Tajin. I fell in love with the city of El Tajin. It is a city built on a mountain and one of the most charming places. We stayed in this old hotel in the middle of the town center and that night they had a market going--I felt like we went back to the 1920s carnival. The picture with all of us sitting on benches is here--nick got stuck talking to a drunk mexican trying to persuade him to stop drinking and go home.

July 11th

woke up and went to check out the ruins. Watched the traditional male pole dancers (it is not what it sounds like grossos) and one guy was in charge of collecting money--he needs to be fired, because he is mean. Then we went to check out the ruins. We paid for a tour guide--who was a passionate professor doing this on the side. it was incredible--these were fairly recent findings and they are still uncovering stuff. After the tour it was on to our next destination--Teziutlan. We were incredibly lucky the whole week with having mild weather. Teziutlan is one of nicks favorites because of its climate--much cooler than everywhere else he lived. This city is also on the top of a mountain. We got a room in a cool hotel with all sorts of antiques. That evening we walked around the city and ate the best taco--al hambre tacos--from a diner like restaurant that nick had heard about on his mission, but was told that it was expensive (which it is not) so he never went.

July 12th

woke up and went on an incredible run with the parents that was all hills, but worth it for the views we saw and the accomplishment. Had a mexican hot chocolate & conch breakfast at this cute town center bakery. (side note: americans, you are missing out--our hot chocolate is nothing compared to how the mexicans do it. i am not the same person--this stuff has changed me. thanks nick for making this for me all the time). Then we went to see Jesus--a long hike to a huge statue of Jesus on the top of a lush mountain. This hike was beautiful and we were all excited to get to the top--our faith was tried many times on this hike--a few of us kept thinking that it was right around the corner to find out we had another mountain to climb, but we did it! After the hike it was time to drive back to Mexico City to catch our flight the next morning. We stayed at a hotel that if we would have waited until 10pm we could have stayed for half the price, but we had to put our luggage somewhere--we found out by the next morning that this hotel was very well used by one-nighters, if you know what i mean. if you don't, ask my in-laws to tell you about their night. Tonight was our last chance to fill up on tacos--we found a street vendor that we had heard about--the best tacos al pastor of the trip.

Pretty much it was an incredible experience. I am so so glad we did this. I am extremely glad that the parents came. Thanks mom and dad monson and dad for coming and spoiling us. Thanks nick for putting this together and hauling us around and translating for us--this wouldn't have been able to happen without you. Thanks michelle for making up really cool songs during our long drives.

side note: thanks to my talented mom monson--she took all the pictures, gracias senorita.

questions? comments? ok. moving on to the next set of pictures.