Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dear Jane,


Last Sunday was your birthday, and in true middle child fashion, I haven’t had a minute to write a birthday post for you.  You don’t know that, of course, because you don’t read this blog, but hopefully this letter (read in the blog book in years to come), even two days late, will give you less fodder for the therapist…

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Jane, you have been radiating love since the day you were born. In your baby blessing, Heavenly Father blessed you with an ability to make people feel loved and to show them the way to Christ through that love.  People are drawn to you and you have lots of friends, children and adults alike.

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It’s been fun this year to watch you excel in school…sometimes middle children’s abilities go slightly under-noticed, but this year (with your amazing math abilities and 100% spelling test and 4th grade reading level) you made sure we didn’t miss what you could do!  You’ve loved school and made lots of friends and, even if the mornings have a few tears, you come home from school in a happy mood.

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Those tears are just evidence of a personality that exudes emotion.  You laugh louder, and more often, than you cry and we love to include you in an activity, a movie or a joke, because we know you’ll always LOVE it.  You’ve always been a chatter box and hope you never stop sharing with us everything that goes on in your life.

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You are truly beautiful on the outside (how fun!) but you are (more importantly) a kind and determined person on the inside, with a budding testimony of Christ’s Restored Gospel.  We are very proud of you.

Thank you for coming to our home.  Even though you are in the middle, we need you!  You aren’t forgotten and any struggles that come from having older siblings that make you think you don’t measure up, or younger siblings that are frustrating, are good for you and will help you become the person you should be.  We love our Janey-cakes more than anything!



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Marathon Details

(Sorry, but it was a big deal for me, so this is stuff I don’t want to forget).

The training:

It surprised me to realize that most of “A Marathon” is the training.  You sacrifice a lot to just train for the marathon.  I ran 20-35 miles a week for 16 weeks.  (No, Tammy, no weight loss—I put on a few pounds, but so did the rest of my training friends, so I didn’t feel too lame.)  I loved my Less-Is-More training plan and will use it again.  I also realized by the time I did my first 20 miler that I had trained my body to do that.  It wasn’t scary or hard, because I was so thoroughly prepared, physically and mentally.

The night before:


We met to pick up our race packets and carb-load at Olive Garden.  I think 80% of our conversation was about the marathon.  We started annoying even ourselves.

I had a little meltdown the night before (I think nerves finally caught up with me) when I couldn’t find my banana and my Glide (a lubricant that prevents chafing).  I was in tears so Ryan went and got the banana and I woke up Jane (cleaned out the car and loser of the Glide) and she found it for me.

The morning of:

I slept all right during the night and because we have such an early sunrise around here, I was up and getting ready at 5:00 am.  I ate a banana (phew!) and a yogurt and drank a few cups of water.  I put on the exact same outfit I’d done my last 6 runs in and we started picking up the marathoners.


My goal:

To finish in under 4 hours and 15 minutes—roughly a 9:40 minute mile pace.  This was the pace I’d consistently trained at.

The start:

I had let everyone know that I wanted to run my own race—I wanted to see exactly how fast I could go all by myself.  I was surprised with my fast starting pace (8:45), but decided to just run as long as it felt good. 

It felt good for a long time.  I realized at about mile 8 that I could actually do the marathon in under 4 hours, because I was feeling that good.  I realized I’d have to make a decision:  take it easy and have a fun marathon or push hard and see what my body would do.  I chose option 2. 

The cheering squad:


Ryan and the other husbands and all our kids were at about 5 points along the course with signs and cheers.  It was such a thrill to have them there!

The good miles:

Miles 6-15 felt really good.  I had my music on and it was a gorgeous day and we were running by the river.  I felt strong and fast.

The bad miles:

Anything after 18.  I was surprised by how difficult it started to be.  I’d run a 22 miler pre-race and it hadn’t been hard (but that had been at a 10 minute mile pace).  I was pushing myself really hard and my legs were feeling it.  I had no injuries or pain ( no out-of-the-ordinary-for-running-for-3 -hours pain, at least), but my thighs just hadn’t worked that hard—EVER. 

I got through them with the help of music, thoughts of people I know who have toughed out real life challenges and a half mile pep talk from Ryan (he ran alongside for a while).

The finish:


A little anti-climactic, I must say.  I realized at mile 23 that I couldn’t quite do a sub-4 marathon time, unless I pushed out 9 minute miles, and I just didn’t have it in me.  I gave myself permission to NOT feel bad about that (hello, I still beat my personal goal by 13 minutes) and just finished at whatever pace I could muster. 

Ryan had trouble parking and didn’t get there in time for the finish, but that was TOTALLY okay, as he’d been there at mile 7, 11, 14, 18, and 21.  There were no cheers as I crossed the line, but I was so glad to be done, I didn’t really mind.  I felt good about my time, for sure.

The recovery:

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Brutal!  I could barely walk (no exaggeration) Saturday and Sunday and was super sore Monday and Tuesday as well as extra exhausted.  I ran 2-3 miles today and I felt like I had rocks for legs! I need to figure out how to recover better next time.

Next time?

Totally.  I’m going to take a break for the rest of the year, but I’m thinking of doing this one again or (more probably) one of the fall Utah races.  Anyone up for doing it with me?

What I gained:


Deeper friendships.

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A greater appreciation for a husband that not only supports but has been there.  He has said the sweetest things and put up with all my Me-ness for the last week.

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More muscles for sure.

That cleansing, cathartic, endorphin driven high that only comes from 10+ mile runs.  They are addicting.

An understanding that you can absolutely make your body do almost anything you ask it to.  That feels so empowering.

Yay for me!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just Wait Until Spring

Just for the record:

between April and November…the place I live is the most BEAUTIFUL place in the country.


We live in a suburb of Spokane and it’s nestled in the crook of green mountains.  There are tulips and blossoms and huge lilac bushes all over our little carefully planned community. 

There are bike paths and one school and an LDS church with a huge white steeple; it’s truly picturesque. 

We have a lake that, if you go up a little into the mountains and look down, has brought tears to my eyes due to it’s breathtaking color: pink trees, blue sparkling water, yellow flowering bushes, big puffy white clouds. 

When I’m bike riding with my kids or running or walking late at night with a friend, sometimes I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to live here. 

(p.s.  these photos are, OF COURSE , not by me and my lame camera skills.  My friend Ashley, blog here, has allowed me to copy and paste her awesome photographs of our area for this post.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010



I ran a marathon.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We’re having a ball

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In case you were wondering…Glitter Balls are the New Big Thing at my kids’ elementary school.  Since I’m sure you are all SO interested in what excites the 3-12 year old set in the Inland Northwest, let me tell you about them.

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How to procure one:

1.  Get your big 11 year old self on a bike, with your newly earned babysitting money, and go with your cousin to the local grocery store and be the first big Glitter Ball Owner. (Emma)

2.  Have the parent go out and just buy you one because you want it.  (Yeah, right.  NOT how we roll in the Romney house.)

3.  Save your money and hound your parents all night until they take you to the local big chain drugstore and let you buy one.  (Jane, Seth)

4.  Wait till Grandma comes into town and sucker her into buying your first one (Faith), your second one (Seth) or your first AND second one (Gabe:  the newly popular mini balls).


How to play with one:

1.  Lose the Glitter Ball.

2.  Cry.

3.  Ask people, mostly your mom, 2042 times if they’ve “seen my Glitter Ball? wah, wah, wah!”

4.  EITHER:  Find one of your siblings playing with it, fight about it for a while

     OR:  Have mom find it in your backpack, the car, the drainage area, the slipper basket,etc.           

5.  Upon finding your Glitter Ball, cheer loudly.

6.  Quickly:  Lose the Glitter Ball again.

As you can see: SO MUCH FUN!  Rush right out and be the first to start the trend in your neck of the woods!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pretty Much Perfect

Ingredients to a perfect afternoon?

1.  Friends to talk  (and talk and talk) to.

2.  Learning how to bake Stacey’s Famous Rolls.

3.  Perfectly behaving kids.

4.  Eating Stacey’s Famous Rolls (and I do mean rolls—plural. Extra plural.)

5.  Feeding the family said Rolls (what remained of them) and Campbell’s Tomato soup for dinner.

6.  A sunny late afternoon spent reading because I didn’t have any dinner to clean up.

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Numbers 1-6 happened yesterday.  I think I’ll just sit and here and savor the memory (because there certainly aren’t any rolls left...)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The last few weeks

Here we go:


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is the worst tantrum-er I’ve ever had, or seen for that matter.  I won’t detail the last few days, because I don’t want to revisit them, but for posterity (specifically Faith’s children):  SHE IS THE MOST STRONG WILLED CHILD I HAVE EVER HAD.

is IN NURSERY!  That was me doing the jump where you click your heels together on the way back down the hall.  She didn’t cry a single tear (because she only cries when she’s not getting exactly what she wants and nursery, with all its toys and great leaders and kids, is apparently what she wants.) 

is speaking in sentences:  “Go side! (outside)” and “Book Fall” and “Dad bye, bye”.  She’s insanely smart and verbal.

is happy to read books for 11.5 hours a day.  Don’t even start if you come over because she’ll never, EVER let you stop.



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is reading.  I’ve never had a child read before kindergarten.  This is why I’m sending him to kindergarten even though he’ll only be 5 and 9 days old when school starts. 

is tying his shoes!  I did one teaching session and the next day, put him in the car with his shoes in his hands and told him I’d tie them when we got to the store.  I went to get him out and they were tied.  Well.

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lost his Sharing bag and cried his eyes out, because he had glitter balls (explanatory post to follow) to share.  Gabe found it and I have never seen a happier 4 year old.

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joined Jane in the elementary school’s backward day.  He wore his clothes backward until bedtime.  He look ridiculous.



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also cries all the time.  What am I doing wrong?

is also smart.  She LOVES LOVES LOVES school and is reading on a 3rd grade level and aces her math everything. 

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got out the sprinkler on our one 80 degree day a few weeks ago.  Faith joined her.

is DYING to be made Family Star of the Week and I even planned to give her the award this last Sunday (for a really sweet, self-initiated, humble apology to a neighbor girl she had been mean to), but she came up to me on Sunday and said, “Mom?  I think you should give Dad the Star of the Week, today.”  (Stay tuned to find out why.)



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has struggled with mornings, completely jobs in any decent manner and being honest about those things.  We came up with the idea to give him all of the “After dinner jobs”.  He’s in one area, NOT in the morning and his performance is easily monitored.  It takes him 30-60 minutes to sweep, clear the table and load the dishwasher but he does it.  I’m pretty proud of him.  Plus, he’s been on time for the bus every day for 2 weeks straight.

ran 4.5 miles in 45 minutes for his school’s after school running program.  He left me the cutest note asking to run with me some days.  Like I’d say no to that.

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received his Bear badge at Scouts.

LOVES his teacher.  Mr. Olsen is the best and Gabe comes home excited about what they are learning every day.  They picked Wax Museum people and he got Dale Chihuly.  He said “No one else wanted him, Mom!”  Can you tell whose mother was a Humanities major?  And went to a Chihuly exhibit last year?

is saving his little heart out for….a trumpet!  (?)  Mr.Olsen plays the trumpet as does Cool Older Cousin, Austin, so that’s what Gabe is dying to do.



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was as excited as the rest of us to receive 4 free tickets from Ryan’s co-worker to go to the Little House on the Prairie musical.  She, along with Gabe, Jane and Mom, had a great time.

was complimented by my neighbor for her help.  Laura was hosting book club and needed someone to come do the vacuuming, table setting, etc.  The next time we saw each other she raved about how incredibly helpful and enjoyable and interesting to talk to Emma was.  Emma’s kind of a gem.

was given the responsibility of setting her own alarm for her early morning violin class.  Sleeping in: 4, violin class: 2.



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found out he doesn’t need to take the GMAT to officially apply to his MBA program (they’ve changed their policy and will accept the GRE he took a few years ago.  For his OTHER master’s degree).  So…the last 3 months of studying?  Pointless.

was put in the Bishopric last week.  You don’t need to leave me consoling comments, wondering how in the heck he’s going to go to school, work, city council, church and be a father and husband.  You can if you want, actually, but we DO believe that callings bring a) Miracles and b)Blessings.


wants to train for a marathon every single week of her life.  Her knees feel differently.  (MAY 15!!!!)

is trying to love this aging face and body (Seth asked me yesterday: “Why does your skin crack by your eyes, Mom?”  That’s what I want to know, buddy.)

The whole family

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enjoyed a visit from Grandma Dorrie and her fiancé Rick.  We love showing off the hikes, desserts, gardens and crazy weather Spokane has to offer.

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had the best time with Grandma and Grandpa Nut, when they sweetly came up last weekend to participate in Ryan’s High Priest Ordination and calling.  We had a blissful, spiritual time with them.  Thanks, also, to Uncle Doug, Aunt Marcy, Alex, Heather and Kevin for being part of a sweet day.

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can’t take a decent Easter picture to save their lives.


Phew.  Done.