Friday, November 17, 2017

Hood to Coast 2017

As far as I know Hood to Coast is the original relay of its kind. I've heard Ragnar got the idea for their relays from Hood to Coast and having run both, I can say they are very similar (almost identical). I'm sure they both have copied ideas from each other over the years. There are Hood to Coast relays in other places which just doesn't make sense to me because Oregon was the original and you literally run from Mt. Hood to the Coast. 

Hood to Coast is extremely popular in Oregon and I don't think you can say you are an Oregon runner until you have run it. I didn't get to run it our first summer here, so I was extremely excited to score a place on a team this year. 

The second counselor in the Sunnyside bishopric (Josh Din) started with leg 1 and is working his way through the legs until he has run all of them, so he can say he ran from Mt. Hood to the Coast. He organized the team and then Jake Egbert took over as the captain since he'd been captain before. I was a backup and got a place on the team right around the time we were moved into the Happy Valley ward. Fortunately there was already one team member in the Happy Valley ward (Angel Nielsen), so I wasn't the only one. And her son (Nick) ended up filling in at the last minute, so there were 3 of us from the Happy Valley ward and 9 from the Sunnyside ward.

I volunteered to design t-shirts for the team since I've done it twice before. Our team name was Kicking Assets which is funny considering we're a bunch of Mormons. There was quite a spirited debate about how we should have Assets on the shirts. I figured (and Jake agreed) if we were going to have that name, we should own it, so I originally designed the shirt as Kicking ASSets. Some weren't very happy with that, so I made a Kicking Assets version and a Kicking A$$ets version. 

Kicking A$$ets won the vote, so that's what we ended up going with. I had them printed through Custom Ink again and we were happy with them. Although I wished I had ordered an XS since my S was a little big.

I also cut out vinyl for the two vans.

I was supposed to be in van 2 until just a couple weeks before the race, one of the members of van 2 dropped out and Nick stepped in. Angel wanted to be in the same van as her son, so I volunteered to switch vans. One of the legs I was originally supposed to be running looked harder than I wanted to do and van 1 seemed like a more fun van, so I wasn't too sad to switch to what looked like an easier set of legs and the fun van.

We started at 5:15 am which meant we had to leave my house (we used our van, so we all met here) at like 3:45 am. I was in charge of a Relief Society activity the night before and hadn't packed beforehand, so I didn't get to bed until after 11:00 pm and had a hard time falling asleep. So I figure I got about 3 hours of sleep. Starting a relay like this with little sleep is definitely not something I recommend! Both Ragnars I did, I got at least 7 hours of sleep to start and that was much better! 

We were all tired and already laughing so much on the way up to the top of Mt. Hood.

Van 1 - Jackson Packham, Jason Packham, Jake Egbert, Josh Din, Lindsi Din, and me. All the guys' names started with J which was definitely confusing at times - especially being so sleep deprived and not knowing them super well before the race.

Jason started us off and then passed off to me.

Since we started at 5:15 am and we were up on a mountain it was pretty cold. I debated about if I should wear my ear muffs and my gloves. Ultimately I decided not to wear my ear muffs, but I did wear my gloves and I felt like that was the perfect compromise.

Jason and I were both literally running down Mt. Hood, so it was all downhill. I hadn't planned on an all downhill leg and after the downhill part killed me on my marathon, I was super nervous. I did some last minute downhill training and hoped for the best. It turned out to be super easy and possibly my favorite leg (although my 3rd leg was pretty great too). 

They had a timing app that you'd swipe each time a runner handed off to the next runner. It was great when you had service, but could get messed up super easily when you didn't have service and you didn't do it exactly right. Our van had it figured out, but van 2 struggled a little! It automatically took a picture and included the stats for that leg which is what you're seeing above. They had the distance set a little higher than what my Garmin calculated which made my pace look even better than it actually was! (See below.)

I passed off to Josh who passed off to Lindsi.

Lindsi passed off to Jackson who passed off to Jake and then our van was done with our first legs.

I took this picture and everyone agreed it was one of the best action shots of the race.

Jake came in super mad from his leg because his water stop was out of water. Apparently this was the first year they offered water stops and they hadn't worked out all the kinks. Luckily I didn't have any problems with the water stops on my legs and I was super grateful to have them. I hate carrying water!

We were pretty close to our houses, so we went home for a shower and a very short nap. Then we ate at Biscuits Cafe before heading into the heart of Portland to meet van 2 to start our second legs. I'd never eaten at Biscuits Cafe before and it was delicious! I couldn't eat my whole meal though because I knew I was going to be running pretty soon and I didn't want to be sick for my run!

I knew my second leg was going to be hot and I was dreading it! It was also my longest run (although not by very much) and definitely the hardest uphill. I lucked out and had more shade than I had anticipated (since it was getting later in the day - It was 5:30 pm by the time I ran). Otherwise, I wouldn't have made it! 

After we all finished our second legs we were able to go to a nearby lake house that Andrew Quiroz (in the other van) was selling. (He's a realtor and got permission from his client to have us sleep there.) It was a terrible windy road down to the lake house and I got so carsick. I was also deliriously tired and pretty much just wanted to die. I took a quick shower and then got a few hours of sleep. I slept terribly because my head was slightly sunburnt and I kept waking up feeling hot, but cold at the same time. Finally I got up and ate an apple because I was feeling shaky and weird. That helped and I got a little more sleep before it was time to get up and run again.

My third leg was a lot of uphill and downhill. It was the darkest of my runs although the sun was coming up as I ran. It was really foggy and I felt like I was sweating a lot (mostly just the moisture from the air though). The traffic was crazy backed up at the exchange and I passed my van waiting in line to get into the parking lot when I had about a mile left. So I finished and then had to wait 10-15 minutes for them to get to me! Despite being so tired, I felt awesome while I was running and was on a major runner's high. Then I crashed hard when I finally got back into the van!

When Jake (our final runner) got to the exchange after his run, van 2 was nowhere to be found! They had gotten stuck in traffic getting to us. That's one thing about Hood to Coast - it's much bigger than Ragnar, so traffic is a problem particularly at the end because you're on the one lane highways that lead to the coast.

We ate lunch at a place in Astoria that I did not enjoy. I wasn't feeling up to eating any of the food on the menu and didn't want to spend a lot on a meal I didn't know if I'd eat. So I ordered a salad and the waitress took pity on me and also brought me some bread. 

After lunch we finished driving to Seaside and most of us took showers at the local middle school. (You had to pay, but it was so worth it!) One of the big inside jokes from the relay came when I asked if anyone wanted to go shower with me. Since all (but one) of them were guys I obviously didn't mean actually shower with me. I just didn't want to walk over to the building where they had the showers alone. They made fun of me endlessly for that! 

Van 2 had a lot of our slower runners in it and we had to wait forever for them to get to the coast. They finally arrived and around 5:00 pm we crossed the finish line. It took us almost exactly 36 hours which is by far the longest relay I've participated in.

The whole team in the order we ran (starting with 12 and going down to 1) - Andrew Quiroz, Angel Nielsen, Jenn Quiroz, Jenny White, Debbie Quiroz, Jake Egbert, Jackson Packham, Lindsi Din, Josh Din, me, and Jason Packham. 

I didn't take many pictures on my phone and we didn't really share too many pictures after the relay. I figured we would - especially since our captain, Jake, is a professional photographer and he was endlessly taking pictures of us on his phone and with his fancy camera. He got a Go Pro right before the race and we were also endlessly taking videos on that, but we have yet to see any of those videos. Part of me is happy about that because I'm sure I made a fool of myself repeatedly on the videos, but I really would have liked to have more pictures!

This was the first relay I've done without Rog and it really wasn't the same without him. He stayed home with the kids and I was so grateful he'd do that and let me run. I told the team he'd run with them next year (because I will hopefully be pregnant and not be able to run), but the year after that we are doing it together!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Colorado Trip

We took a quick trip to Colorado in the middle of August. We flew out on a Friday afternoon.

The Phillips picked us up since we were going to be staying with them for the first part of the trip. Roger's parents moved to Arvada which is about 45 minutes away from Aurora where my parents live, so that makes our trips to Colorado a little less convenient. We loved when our parents both lived in the same ward a couple blocks away from each other. We had 3 tired kids on the drive to Arvada.

Saturday morning we got up and met my family in Denver for breakfast. Jared and Cailey were in Colorado, but were leaving Sunday morning and were busy most of Saturday with Cailey's family, so this was the only time we were going to be able to get the whole Ririe family together. We ended up eating at Einstein Bagels since the place we were planning on had too long of a wait. 

The 3 girl Ririe cousins.

After breakfast the Hobbs invited us to go to the aquarium with them. They have passes and were able to get most of us in for free. We had been to this aquarium before, but it was when Corbyn was barely a year old and I was pregnant with Peyton, so it had been awhile. We got to see the mermaid show which was new to us.

Rog put Logan in the splash zone for the flash flood and he was a little bit terrified!

I find it a little random that they have a tiger at this aquarium, but it is fun to see.

These three are good buddies. This just warms my heart.

The Hobbs' passes include a temporary tattoo, so the kids got to have that done. Logan got a dinosaur to match his shirt.

Peyton picked a butterfly.

And these boys got matching skeletons.

We spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday with the Phillips. On Sunday we had dinner at Rex and Edda's new house. Corbyn was happy to sit and watch Sam play something on his Kindle Fire.

Peyton was the odd one out with none of the girl cousins around, but she usually does fine playing with the boys. And Logan kind of played with Cooper (Rex and Edda's youngest).

After dinner we went to my parent's house and stayed there the rest of our trip.

Monday morning Rog flew back to Portland and got there just in time for the eclipse. He saw about a 99% eclipse although he was riding MAX home at the time, so he didn't quite get the full experience.

It was pretty ironic that many people planned trips to Oregon just for the eclipse and we accidentally planned to be in Colorado for it. We saw about a 92% eclipse which was still pretty cool.

Rog had gotten two eclipse glasses from work, so we kept one in Colorado and he took one home with him to Portland.

We had to take turns viewing, but were just glad we got to see it at all!

I had started this puzzle when we were in Colorado for Christmas and I was determined to finish it while we were there this trip.

Monday night we went to dinner at the Denver Biscuit Company with my parents and the Hobbs. We were extremely disappointed that they were out of biscuit cinnamon rolls for the day since that is what they are famous for.

Right by the Denver Biscuit Company is Sweet Cow, an ice cream place they like, so we picked up a couple pints of ice cream there to try when we got home. The kids all had fun playing on these cows.

Even cute little Grey!

On Tuesday we picked up lunch to go from Wholly Cannoli. They forgot my sandwich, so they gave the kids a cookie to enjoy while they made it for me.

We had Peyton and Skyler wear their matching outfits from grandma, so we could get a picture.

Blake had already gone back to school, so on Monday and Tuesday we left Corbyn with Diana and took Skyler with us when we took Logan back to grandma's house for his nap. That way the girls got to play and Corbyn got to play with Blake as soon as he got home from school. 

We tried to cram in a little too much Tuesday afternoon and things got a little crazy. Diana was teaching a yoga class at 5:30 that I wanted to go to, but we wanted to go swimming before that. The pool didn't open until 4:00, so my mom and I took Peyton, Logan, and Skyler there right when it opened. Diana was supposed to be bringing the boys and Skyler's swimming suit, but she was running a little bit late. Grey wasn't feeling too well that day, so she was waiting for Jason to come home to stay with him.

The boys and Skyler were only in the pool for a couple minutes when there was some lightning and we all had to get out. By then it was almost time for me and Diana to go to yoga, so we dropped all the kids off at grandma's house and headed to the class. My dad was working in the temple that afternoon (my mom had gotten a sub), so my mom had all 5 of the older kids by herself while me and Diana were at the class.

After we got home and things settled down a bit, we went back over to the Hobbs for an ice cream party for Grey's birthday. We all got to enjoy the ice cream, but since the birthday boy was sick, they waited to do his smash cake. We were sad that we missed it! Diana had dipped waffle cones and made a few really good flavors of ice cream and purchased a few others, so we all ended up eating more ice cream than we really needed.

We had to get a picture of the boys in their matching shirts from grandma too.

The next morning Grey was feeling a little bit better, so Logan helped him try out this new double stroller he got for his birthday.

I had made sure I finished my flag quilt before going to Colorado, so Dixie could quilt it for me while I was there.

She brought it over Wednesday afternoon before we had to leave to catch our flight home. We took a picture of my quilt and Dixie's quilt side by side. It's fun to see how two quilts made using the same tutorial can turn out differently. That's the beauty of quilting - it allows your personality to shine through in your creations!

I was in charge of a Relief Society activity Thursday night and then had Hood to Coast Friday and Saturday, so we flew out Wednesday afternoon. Diana had borrowed our Wizard of Oz Halloween costumes and we had been slowly bringing different pieces of them home each time we visited. This time Corbyn wore Rog's scarecrow hat home and he was cracking me up every time I looked over there and saw him in it. He was brave and sat by himself across the aisle, so I could sit by Logan and Peyton.

I love this view of Mt. Hood and all the beautiful greenery surrounding it when we fly into Portland on a clear day.

It was a quick trip, but we packed in a lot. It's always nice to visit family if only for a few days.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Rest of July

In addition to the 4th of Julymy marathon, and our summer activities...

I ended up with a bunch of vanilla ice cream and root beer leftover from my freezer meal activity. We discovered Logan loves root beer floats. But really, who doesn't?

Caught the boys playing together so nicely. I hope they can be good friends even with the age difference.

My garden started producing vegetables! First zucchini - July 3rd.

After a solid week of Corbyn not eating, we were happy to see him start eating again - messy face and all!

A fun evening spent with the Yates at Pfeifer Park.

Best buds - Beckett and Logan!

It's only a short drive through our neighborhood to Pfeifer Park (and the Yates' house as well), so we don't make the kids buckle up when we're driving to or from either location. 

(The other kids were there that night too. Apparently Logan was the one being photogenic though because I only have pictures of him.)

Summer means grocery shopping with all the kids. This was taken at Safeway where I hardly ever shop. I only go there when they have something on a really good sale (usually cereal) or if we need something really quick (it's our closest grocery store, but their normal prices are outrageous). The kids love these carts (especially Logan), but they aren't my favorite. (Logan's a bit of a crazy driver!)

Corn on the cob was a huge hit this summer!

Cow appreciation day at Chick-fil-A. Those cow masks are one of the best things I ever made.

My mom made fancy cow masks for her and the Hobbs. I love little Grey poking out from behind his mask.

First blackberry sighting of the year - July 14th.

Tay and Martha had us watch Mae the Saturday they were visiting while they went to a convention. We took her on a hike to Oregon's version of Bridal Veil Falls in the Gorge.

It was a little extra crazy with 4 kids, but not too bad.

Mae's pants got extremely dirty. Oops!

Berry picking with the kids. I get the ones up high, they get the ones through the fence.

I took the advanced tap class with the teens over the summer since they weren't offering an adult class. It was a much higher level than I was used to, but I was able to keep up with them (for the most part). We had a date night on a Thursday night (only night the Yates could watch our kids), so Rog got to come watch (after we picked up my marathon packet and grabbed dinner at Burgerville). 

Our fish had 6 tiny babies. It was really fun, but we didn't realize with that many fish in a small tank, we'd have to constantly change the water. So after a couple weeks they started dropping like flies - the big ones first and then the babies. 😥

Peyton got to have a playdate at Wren Tutt's house and she was in heaven.

We didn't make it to the temple before they closed for cleaning the last week of July, so we went to the visitor center for FHE. The kids don't see the temple as frequently as they did in Utah since it's on the other side of Portland and we usually only go over there without them, so we figured it would be good to take them there.

The Hobbs stayed with us for a night before they flew home after their family reunion. Blake was throwing up, so the boys stayed at our house while we took Diana and Skyler to Multnomah Falls.

Skyler and Logan fell asleep in the car, so Roger stayed behind with them and the rest of us hiked to the top.


By the time we made it back to the bottom, they were awake and exploring the lower views of the falls.

After the falls we ate at some food trucks and then took them to Salt and Straw.

On Sunday Blake was feeling better, but Skyler was throwing up. (We were sure our kids would get it, but they never did. 😅)

We took them berry picking and then I made a blackberry crisp to go with the dinner I made them before they had to leave to catch their flight.

It was very hot. Look at those red faces!

On the 31st, Roger left for a week to hike 50 miles with the scouts.

The kids and I celebrated Harry Potter's birthday while he was gone.

I got most of my Christmas quilt cut in July.

I also got some trees sewn. This was the first block I finished. 😍 One down, 63 to go!

Dixie made a flag quilt out of fabric strips and wrote up a tutorial on how to make it, but she didn't have any pictures of the process, so I decided to make one and take pictures along the way to post to her Instagram account. It took me awhile to gather the fabric for it. I ordered most of it from different Etsy shops.

My first attempt at sewing the red/white strips of my flag quilt together was a complete fail. I learned that when you're sewing strips together, you have to alternate which direction you sew the strips or you end up with a very bowed bunch of strips. (I'll talk about what I did to use that first failed attempt later.)

After that first failed attempt, I was very happy when my second attempt was a success!

I'm on a mission to make a door hanging for every month. I love how July's turned out!

USA blocks. I also made some (with different papers), for my friend, Melissa Yates because she served in the Navy (as a L&D nurse).

And that was our July!