Thursday, April 24, 2014

Siebel Scholars in San Francisco

I had forgotten, but it looks like I had this post halfway done before I abandoned the blog last year.  Since I already did the hard part, aka uploading the pictures, I'll share it just for kicks.

Loren had a conference in October [2012] for a scholarship he received his senior year.  It's called the Siebel Scholarship and is awarded to computer science and business majors at select schools.  Every year they have a conference.  The year you receive the scholarship, the Siebel Foundation also pays for you to attend the conference, so Loren went to Washington D.C. for the 2011 conference.  He wanted to go again the following year, so we headed off to San Francisco for a long weekend.  Shout out to my cousin Stephanie for watching Sophie!

Our designated conference hotel, the Claremont Resort.  Pretty fancy!

View of S.F. Bay from the hotel

It was certainly fun to go on a childless trip.  Unfortunately the bulk of the conference events were only for the Scholars, not their guests.  That meant I got in some quality time wandering around the town of Berkeley (as sketchy as you'd imagine) and the UC Berkeley campus (nice, but not as great as Stanford! ;)).

I was invited to the opening reception, where Condoleezza Rice was the featured speaker

The other event I was able to attend was a cruise around the Bay on Saturday night

Our cruisin' ship, the San Francisco Belle

The Bay Bridge

A couple more shots of our lodgings

On Sunday we had a few hours before our flight, so we trudged wandered around San Francisco before heading to the airport.

The 2013 conference ended up being cancelled, so who knows, maybe we'll go back this year.  Depending on the location, of course!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Volunteering at Robie

Last Saturday my dad and I volunteered at the Race to Robie Creek half marathon starting line.  We ran the race, billed as the "toughest half marathon in the Northwest", last year, but opted to just volunteer this year.  We got a free shirt for helping out, which was a nice incentive.

This is just one side of the line of Port-a-Potties

Let me tell you, it was the easiest gig ever.  We showed up at 9:30 as instructed, then basically stood around for two hours, periodically checking to see if any of the garbage cans needed to be emptied.  Only one can actually made it to that point.  Luckily it was a nice, warm day so it wasn't too onerous to just hang around outside.

I had time to take a selfie showing off my shirt 

The best part of Robie was that it brought L and S to town to run!  And even better than that, I finally got to meet their sweet baby!!

This year's race theme was "Killer Queen."  The course basically runs to the top of a mountain, then down the other side, so it was the "hill" that was the killer.  My shining volunteer moment came when I held one end of a rope to keep the runners back, while a drag Marie Antoinette literally (i.e. on a surfboard) surfed through the crowd to the starting line.  S/he gave a rousing speech, I pulled the rope back and they were off.  It was a not too shabby way to get a free shirt and some Vitamin D.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Prep

Hey there!  I'm still here, although in a different house in a different part of town.  Hopefully more on that later.  Moving on to current events, apparently Sophie thinks the Easter Bunny can be contacted, just like Santa Claus.  Earlier this week she asked me for the Easter Bunny's address and after a quick Google search left me empty-handed, I suggested she leave her note out and see if he would stop by and pick it up.  Luckily for her, the bunny did indeed stop by and I have it on good authority, has noted her Easter morning requests.  I'll translate her notes as best I can, but fair warning, she usually leaves out the vowels.

[Hello Kitty sticker] 
"Easter Bunny"

 "Dear Easter Bunny
I hope that you like my Pez
Love Sophie"

"Please put these eggs under my mom and dad pillows"
"Frozen doll... (unintelligible)

You, dear readers, will have to wait with bated breath to find out if all of Sophie's Easter wishes come true.  And to conclude, here are a few pictures of the girl herself:

 She didn't want me to document it, but here's proof we successfully partook in Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's.  Sophie is eating the cotton candy flavor, yuck

 Showing off her favorite stuffed animal thrift store finds

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Swimming Lessons

I am trying to take advantage of the summer weather, so Sophie and I bought swim passes for all the city pools, plus I signed her up for two weeks of swimming lessons.  She's done lessons before, but they were always parent-child classes where I was in the water with her.  Now that she's four, she's old enough to have lessons without me, which was supposed to be exciting, but has turned into kind of a mixed bag.  For proof, I direct your attention to the videos.

Of course, now that the lessons are nearly done, Sophie finally seems to be getting the hang of things, for the most part.  She was asked to leave her class on Monday because she was being disruptive (i.e. throwing a fit about having to put her head under the water), but today she let her teacher dunk her.  That's progress, right?  Being a parent and trying so hard to plan fun things for your child is exhausting and often feels completely not worthwhile!  Just listen to your teacher and participate, for heaven's sake!  But, whether she likes it or not, Sophie will learn how to swim, so what will we do?  Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fall 2012

For your viewing pleasure, a photo dump showing some of our autumnal activities in Boise:

Checking out City Hall Plaza

Can you see her expression?  So much attitude!



Having fun in our new abode; that window is next to our front door

We went to St. George in October to watch my dad run the marathon.  As a bonus, the condo we stayed at had a pool

The attitude also came to St. George

We went to a corn maze with our friends

There were rides too!

Sophie and her dear friend, H.

At the maze we mostly confined ourselves to getting pumpkins from the patch, trying the rides and taking pictures, with only a short time spent in the maze at the end of the night

Another selfie.  Sophie loves that her parents now have smart phones

Sophie got a kite and flying it was a special activity for her and Loren.  I say "was" because the kite is currently broken

Also, on another flight it got majorly stuck in a tree and required a two-man rescue effort.  Maybe it would be for the best if we got a different kite.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pocatello Half Marathon

Last fall I ran my first half marathon!  The race was the "Running the Gap" Pocatello half marathon and it was on September 1.  My awesome, marathoner dad ran it with me.  And do you know what?  I finished it!  I trained pretty diligently all summer and I think my longest training run was 9 or 10 miles, so I felt confident I could cover the distance.  Loren, Sophie and I drove east to Pocatello on Friday night and met up with my parents, grandparents, uncle, aunt and cousin for dinner.  Both my parents grew up there, hence all the family members.  My dad and I got our packets, got settled into our hotel rooms and I felt good to go.

Race day dawned with nice weather.  We made it on the bus to the starting line - not the first bus, but the last possible one, per my dad's advice.  That way you don't have to stand around at the cold starting line for longer than necessary.  There was also a full marathon going on, so the half marathon was just on the last 13.1 miles of the marathon course.  We watched the marathon runners go by, then we half-ers were off!

I felt good the first mile.  Like, really, really good.  Then I looked at my watch at the mile marker and it said 7 something and I panicked!  That was way faster than I needed to, or should have been going.  My official goal was simply to finish, since it was my first race at this distance, but my unofficial goal was to finish under 2 hours.  That works out to just over 9 minutes per mile, so it was good that I had some cushion on the time, but it ended up being too much.  I felt like after mile 5 or so I really started to fade and then it was a long, hard haul to the finish.

#1 - coming up on our family cheering section

#2 - sweet encouragement from Sophie

#3 - I love this one.  See you at the finish line!

Thankfully I had my dad and he stuck with me the whole race, even though he could have run much faster.  I'm so grateful we did it together.  I ended up learning that I was not very mentally tough, or at least not very mentally prepared for such a long distance, but he helped me keep going, mile after mile.  I felt like I walked a lot and I know I whimpered and complained a whole bunch.  Even when the finish was less than 2 miles away I still felt like I was never going to make it and it was really hard to keep going.  But you know what?  I did make it.  And do you know what my time was?  1:58:29!  I even placed third in my age group.  While I'm certainly glad I reached my goal, I wasn't too happy with the way I did it and learned some important lessons for my next half marathon.  I've been trying to be more mentally engaged while I run and I try to push myself, even when I think I can't make it.

Within sight of the finish line

We made it!  Sophie ran the kid's race

After the race we indulged ourselves at the Eastern Idaho State Fair.  My family used to go up the fair quite a bit when I was a kid, so it was fun to do it again and great to introduce it to Sophie.

The ultimate fair food- funnel cake

Stinky pigs

Loren and Sophie took a ride on the Ferris Wheel

Even though this race was months ago, I'm glad I got this post written.  Today I signed up for the Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon in April, which is supposed to be one of the toughest races in these parts.  My time may not be faster, but I will be mentally tougher, so bring it on!