Sunday, September 30, 2012

So I have been stinkin' it up at this blogging thing!

Oh well. Here's a Colorado Herrick Family Update, Fall 2012. Where to begin? How about with the cutest baby in the world?
The last time I wrote, Judson McArthur was a few weeks from being born. Apparently having four kids put blogging on the bottom of my list for over a year. He's almost 18 months now (can you say nursery at church in two months? woot woot)and though it may sound cliche, he is a joy to have around. Everyone in the family loves this little crazy stinker so much. He and I always have a lot of quality one-on-one time in the mornings, since he habitually wakes up between 5:45-6:15. I'm often up then to go running or get stuff done before the rest of the family is up, so it works great. He loves to climb onto the table (or anything climbable really) and throw whatever is up there onto the floor. He also loves to kick balls, throw anything, & jump from the arm of the couch onto my lap. Sometimes that's painful. I have never seen an 18 month old dribble a soccer ball the way he can. Seriously impressive. Perhaps it's because he's been at the soccer fields watching Margaret & Cole since his days as a wee babe. It's awesome to behold. He attacks the ball with gusto. Sometimes in the morning he just kicks a ball around the living room for a much longer time thas seems age appropriate.

Jud often attempts something just beyond his ability. This makes looking after him particularly exciting. For example, the other day he found a spot in the neighbor's driveway with a crack just a little too high for him to step off of and be able to keep his balance. (Real time side note-just now took a moment to get him off the kitchen table. He loves it up there. We have to keep all the chairs pushed in so he can't climb up. I fear the day when he's strong enough to move the chairs wherever he pleases and climb onto anything. Of course now that he's off the kitchen table he's over here trying to help me type-safer, but more annoying.) So, this crack in the driveway, he'd step up, step down, run away up a slight incline, then turn around and run back down. He did this over and over, successfully completing the circuit without falling onto his diapered bum only half the time. He doesn't mind falling down and he'll do something over and over until he's mastered it or until I decide injury is eminent. A huge chunk of my job as a mom these days is keeping this boy safe and alive.

 Jud also has an incredibly ticklish back & neck. He's got an infectious gut belly laugh that induces laughter, giggles, and smiles in the whole family. He's not overly friendly to strangers, which is unlike my other babies. So the random passers-by may not get the pleasure of his fabulous personality. I guess people will just have to take my word for it. I've also decided to make this blog more of a family record, so if you lose interest reading halfway into my posts I won't be offended. Just trying to make sure I get some details recorded, since it turns out one really doesn't remember stuff once their brain gets full of more and more life details, and a calendar that will soon need to be color coded to keep everything straight.

So a few other things about baby Judson, Jud Bud, Juddy Buddy, Bubba Jub:
  • He doesn't have too many words yet. He says "dad" really clearly, "mom" when he's whining, and his own versions of "thank you," "amen," "ball," "dog," "bird". I'm usually pretty sure what he means, but a stranger would likely be clueless. 
  •  He's got several signs, which is helpful. He can do: please, more, all done, ball, bird, water, milk, food. He also folds his arms during family prayers. -
  • He's a good, though messy eater. He has the bad habit of throwing his food, rather than telling me he's all done. He loves all fruit and most vegetables I've given him. Although for whatever reason he will not eat cantaloupe. I love cantaloupe. Must take after his dad in that respect. -
  • He goes to bed really easily, most of the time. When I put him in bed I put his pacifier in and cover up his face with his blanket. Then he waits for a few seconds and pulls it down to say boo. 
  • Peek-a-boo is one of his favorite games. He peeks through his hands before he pulls them away, and has a mischievous grin all the while. -
  • He loves to be tossed around, hung upside down, and generally part of the action. He follows Cole and Stella around from room to room. -
  • Sometimes he hangs on my leg when I'm making dinner. It's not very convenient.
  • He loves music and is a pretty good dancer. He carries around the iPod with music playing & when it's time to put it away or we have to take it for any reason he commences a tantrum. This is one of the only times he throws a tantrum, so far. Knock on wood. 
  • Jud is the cutest baby in the world . . .even ask me, Matt, Margaret, Cole & Stella. 
My time for writing has run out today. I guess we'll do this update in parts. Perhaps one kid at a time. . .

Friday, April 15, 2011

Really, a year?

So, a lot has happened in a whole year. Most of you who will read this already know the major details, like, we moved to Colorado last August so Matt could start teaching at UNC in Greeley. We are expecting a baby in one month, due date May 16. We now own a minivan, live in a house, and our kids play city league soccer. Life is a little different than in NYC, but it's been good.

I have had some stuff happening with the pregnancy which has made it necessary to stay home and slow down, so I decided to update our blog. I figure that's a good, stay at home, resty kind of thing to do.

I will not attempt to update on everything I have missed. But instead start with the most recent special event for our family. Margaret turned 8 and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Before the baptism in her new dress, provided by Grandma Margaret.


The family at our chapel, me looking pregnant, Stella having just woken up from a nap. Grandma Margaret & Grandpa George came all the way from California to be here.


Dad and daughter. What an awesome blessing for Matt to baptize his first daughter!


Little namesake moment. What a wonderful Grandma we have!


Grandma Margaret & Grandpa George at our house.


Our day started out with soccer games in the most beautiful spring weather. Then we had time to clean up and get ready for the big event. At the chapel we were surrounded by our new friends we've been so lucky to meet here. We also had the pleasure of having our dear friend Marin drive out from Utah. Everyone came back to our house for food and treats and to congratulate Mags on her special day. When we asked her how she felt, she smiled and replied, "Wonderful!" I know it will be a memorable day always for me and I hope it will for her as well.

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I'm not making any promises about what's t come . . .after all I only have a few weeks left of this pregnancy, so there may be another pause in posting, but if I do end up putting up some more pictures, tidbits, recipes, or who knows what, won't that be fun?


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tonight


After we read from The Book of Mormon tonight (in 3rd Nephi when Jesus is in America, after his resurrection, and he's teaching the people to pray) Margaret, Cole and I had a great discussion. Cole started asking thoughtful questions, a particular talent of his. Well, questions are a talent, and observations as well.
When Jesus was on the earth, we weren't born yet. (-Cole in italics)
Nope, we weren't born yet.(-me in bold)
He had to come and create us, so we weren't born.
Well, he created Adam & Eve first, then they started having babies and it's gone on from there.
But Jesus didn't have a body?
Not until he was born. He was a Spirit.
A Spirit that lived up in heaven. Then how did everyone get here ever, even Mary?
From being born from their moms & dads.
Now Jesus has a spirit and lives up in heaven.
Well, now he is resurrected, so his body and spirit are together.
Can Jesus hear what we're saying right now?
Yes.
How can he do that?
Well, Jesus is all-powerful. He can even hear what we're thinking, even if we don't say it out loud. Like in the story he told the people to stop praying, but to pray in their hearts. That's because when you pray in your heart it's what you're thinking and hoping, even though you aren't saying it out loud.
He can hear us right now and he's so happy we're doing this and talking about him. (Margaret pipes in with a gem of wisdom.)
He has powers to lift up the whole earth?
He could if he needed to.
Can he hear everyone on the whole earth with his powers?
Yes.
At this point Cole is getting more and more excited about Jesus' powers. I'm starting to worry that we've moved out of meaningful discussion and now Jesus is becoming less like He is and more like Mr. Incredible in Cole's mind.
Margaret has been listening, putting in a comment here and there. Then she says the best thing of the night. The Spirit testifies that it's true right as she says it, "Cole, he has powers to do anything, but instead he uses his powers to take care of us."

There was also discussion of Satan tonight. Cole has decided it's okay to call Satan stupid. He busted out this for him during the Satan portion of our discussion, Satan, you're 100 stupids!
He also asked, Jesus won't let Satan be born unless he decides to try and be good and follow the commandments? I told him it's too late for that. Satan will never get a body. That's part of why he's so miserable and wants us to feel that way too.

Another great observation of the night once that tidbit started to sink in.
Sometimes you follow Satan when you get really mad. And sometimes I do (Margaret piped in here, "Like tonight when you sat on my head.") and sometimes Margaret does, and sometimes Dad does too.
Yes. That's true Cole. But, that's part of why Jesus' plan is so great. He knew we'd do that sometimes, so he made it so we can repent. Say we're sorry and try to do better.

Here comes another gem from Margaret, "His plan is so great, it just goes on forever and ever and ever. We can always keep trying to obey and follow him."

What a tender mercy to have these times with my children. The night ended with me telling them how grateful I am for the Savior's plan. I thought of Elder Bednar's recent words and counsel to speak with your children more frequently of Christ and to testify of him in casual settings. Nothing is more casual than all of us in our PJ's, the kids lying in their beds, surrounded by stuffed animals and blankets, the night light casting a soft glow around the messy room and their perfect beautiful faces. We're safe; we're listening to each other; we're feeling the spirit together; we're being fortified.

I blogged at Segullah this week; a great story about our prophet.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cookies Again

I have blogged for Segullah without posting here a couple of different months. Sorry to those who are still here, wondering what the heck. Below is a story I wrote for our Relief Society meeting. They asked some of us to bring "A Sweet with a Story". I misunderstood that it should be short and "sweet" and wrote this. No one wanted to read that while standing in line to get dessert. But I thought a few of you might enjoy it here.

Corrigan Chocolate Chip Cookies

by: Heather (Corrigan) Herrick

Preheat oven to 375°

Cream together until almost fluffy

¾ c. white sugar

¾ c. lt. brown sugar

½ c. shortening

½ c. butter (room temperature)

Add

2 eggs (room temperature)

1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together

2 ¾ c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

Turn mixer on low and gradually add flour. You may need to add more flour, a little at a time. You want the dough to cling to the mixer paddle, but not get too tough, so don’t add too much. But if you don’t have enough flour your cookies will be flat and break easily. If dough seems too stiff add a teaspoon of milk at a time until the right consistency.

When flour is combined, add 1 bag chocolate chips (approx. 2 ½ cups). Chopped walnuts optional (about 1/2 - 2/3 cup).

Spoon onto baking sheet, large golf ball sized mounds. Bake about 8-10 minutes, checking at the end. Do not overbake! They will be light on top. Allow to cool a few minutes on the pan, then remove to cool on wire rack.

Corrigan Chocolate Chip Cookies Story

My family is semi-famous for our chocolate chip cookies. I mean, we haven’t won any prizes, our recipe isn’t top-secret, no one’s paid us money to bake them in high numbers and sell them, to tell you the truth it may have just come from the back of a chocolate chip bag at some point, and yet we have a reputation for making good cookies. If there was a ward potluck and everyone was bringing desserts to share, people asked, “Which ones did the Corrigans bring?” And before you knew it, they were gone.

It seems silly really; I mean there’s not anything fancy about a chocolate chip cookie, and yet there are so many people who mess them up. I will allow for you to have differing opinions about what makes a great cookie. Some people like them crunchy, some like them cakey, some like them with only a few chips, some are all about the chocolate. Maybe the Corrigan cookie won’t meet your cookie requirements, it’s okay I won’t be offended. In my humble opinion the best kind is kind of chewy, a little crunch to the outside, warm with some milk.

We didn’t have a set “tradition” about when we made the cookies. But we all learned how and could whip out a batch by the time we were in jr. high. My mom let us help measure, sift the dry ingredients, crack the eggs, spoon them onto the cookie sheets and all that jazz from the time we were small. We have always had a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer and she still keeps our flour and sugar and chocolate chips within arms reach of the mixer. In fact, until I was a missionary I didn’t know you could make cookies without that mixer. I figured it out and whipped out some pretty awesome cookies, mixed by hand to do some of what the Elders in my mission called “Sister Pross” or “Cookie Pross”, always a hit with less-actives and new members.

We usually made a double batch when we did make cookies and the extras were kept in a Tupperware bowl in the treat cupboard. I still remember when my older brother was in high school and he and one of his friends brought a couple of dates back to our house to watch a basketball game. The boys plopped down in front of the TV, yelling and cheering, and the girls sat around the kitchen table eating Corrigan cookies. We had an entire, large Tupperware bowl of them when the night started, and they ate one after the other, laughing and giggling, probably glad the boys weren’t paying attention to them and how many cookies they were eating. Or maybe they didn’t care about that. The next morning when I was helping my mom pack lunches she stood slack-jawed after she opened the almost empty bowl. “Who ate all the cookies?” I told her it was the two girls that Doug and his friend had brought over. She looked at me suspiciously, “They couldn’t have eaten all of these.” Well, she could disbelieve me if she wanted, but I sat there and watched them do it. Maybe the cookies had special powers?

The recipe above is the one passed down from my mom. Now I usually just use all butter instead of half shortening, though it does change the consistency a bit and if I’m really going for the original I stick with the shortening. Also, my mom would NEVER use semi-sweet and that’s my preference. She said it just ruins the cookies if you use anything other than milk chocolate. I’m an adult and they are my calories to splurge on, so I always use semi-sweet (Jacques Torres if I can afford it, but otherwise, good ole Nestle toll-house.) Don’t tell my mom how many times I’ve ruined her recipe. On the other hand, I’ve made it so many times, I think it’s my recipe now. If you’re going to make them, for a good cookie, it’s not just about the ingredients, it’s about the process. One time my sister cried when she and her friend were making cookies and the friend didn’t sift the dry ingredients. I guess it was somehow pounded into us that every little step is important. Baking is a science, after all. So, follow the recipe, all of it, and make some good cookies yourself!


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Strong Will


Want to hear about a recent crazy NYC adventure? I posted a story over at Segullah. It's funny and thought-provoking too. Don't get scared away because it's kind of longer than your run-of-the mill blog post. I just couldn't leave out any of the juicy details.

A small side note involves how stinking exhausting it can be to try and get your kids to eat. You know, eat good food. Well here's a picture for you to enjoy and a shout out to Tim. He kept Cole and Stella while Matt and I sang at our stake Christmas concert the other night and he got Cole to eat an entire plate of rice and beans. "A triumph of the night," he said. "It took everything that I had." He took a picture to prove it. So glad he did.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We do Run, Run, Run


Okay, so we've been horrible bloggers. I don't know if I'll do better or not. But if you want to read a bit about my most recent marathon in Chicago, head on over to Segullah.

The Hard is What Makes it Great!

For more pictures you can visit my facebook page!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies


Or cinnamon rolls? What would you like to bake this weekend?

I made these cookies for Father's Day. A little smaller than the recipe calls for and then sandwiched Stew Leonard's homemade vanilla ice cream in between them, while warm.

Delicious!

Head over to Segullah for a few thoughts on Finding Courage.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sage of the Subway


Read about my encounter with a wise old man from _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _, yah, I still don't know where.

Over at Segullah.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

UPDATED WITH LINKS! Only Heaven Knows

Watch it here!





So, Matt's cabaret totally rocked! Can't wait for take 2 tonight.

We'll try to get some clips up here or on youtube or something so everyone can share the love.

If you want to read a little bit about my side of our love story (he shared his last night), head on over to Segullah.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Mom Corrigan, Mom Herrick, and Grandma Lorna:

This is for you.

We love you! Thanks for all you do! Your fabulous examples, unconditional love and never-ending support mean the world to us.

We're excited to see you soon!

video

Friday, April 24, 2009

Scripture Power

The fam on Easter morning. Stella left the bow in for the picture only.


Easter was awesome. We did a week of devotionals leading up to the holiday. It was an idea sent to me by my sister-in-law Tina. You start on Palm Sunday and then each night open an egg that has a scripture prophecy and reference about that week of Christ's life (along with a corresponding treat). We learned so much. It was wonderful!

Stella really liked finding food in the eggs. Luckily it was mostly goldfish crackers and cheerios.

It would lead to great discussions each night. I'd ask them questions and try to have them apply what they were reading, learning. I should have written it down that week, because I don't remember the details now :-(, but there were beautiful insights the kids made, right on their level of understanding that amazed me.

Kids with their Easter loot at cousin Colleen's

I want to hear about your successes and inspirational stories with reading and studying the scriptures.Come join in at Segullah.

Enjoying the backyard sunshine in New Jersey!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No Way Jose!

Join in the latest discussion at Segullah



Featuring a story from the insightful and delightful Margaret Gayle!


Photo circa 2007 (when this story came to pass)

Monday, February 23, 2009

How To Be Happy

For reals! There's research and everything.

Read all about it at Segullah.


My family being happy at the ward Valentine's Dance!






Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cole Quotes


A few months ago I started writing down funny things Cole said. Because he's funny and sometimes I can't remember why at the end of the day. My brain's not what it used to be . . .short-term memory loss and such.

Anyhoo here are a few favorites:

  • At Christmas when people would ask him what he wanted, "I want a car that has a remote control that when you push the button it drives by itself." (make no mistakes, not just a remote control car . . .)
  • He was asking me if we could go to a friend's apartment with the whole family. I said I wasn't sure if we were all invited or if he was just going to have a playdate. He made some sense of that, "That's because we have a bunch of peoples in our family. There's Stella and Margaret. There's me and you and Dad. That's a bunch."
  • "I just love hugging and kissing Stella more than anything in the whole world."
Who wouldn't? I mean look at that face!
  • This was before we had even visited Santa, before Christmas had come but the holiday season was in full swing. Out of the blue one night during scripture reading Cole said, "Santa Claus is my favorite person in the whole world." Margaret, older and wiser and feeling spiritual because of the scriptures I guess, asked, "Even more than Heavenly Father and Jesus?" With no hesitation Cole said, "Yep. in the whole world."
  • Singing to the little drummer boy, "Rumble bum, rumble bum, rumble bum."
  • For one last funny, and hey, it's even Santa related (I see a pattern emerging) visit Blog Segullah.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Sort and Purge

Some before shots:
Entry Way

Table


Top of entertainment center

One corner of living room

Check back in a couple days for the after shots. (We're not quite there yet.)

While you're waiting read about cleaning the kids' room and . . .
some stuff I learned while being silent for a week
at
Segullah.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

If you've been missinger her


Then consider this my gift to you . . .She loves you too, see the smile?

Friday, December 05, 2008

An Apple A Day


If it were only so simple. Sad sickness and musings on health at Segullah today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

1 + 1 = More than 2

You've been wanting to read some great poetry and personal essay, haven't you? Talkin' about synergy and the Summer 2008 issue of Segullah over at the blog. Click on over!

There's a shout out to Erin Beth in my post over there, but below find a Halloween slideshow with some of the people in my life right now, who make me more than I could be without them (and their kids, okay . . .and some pictures of me, and my kids too. It's not really all that related to the post, okay? It's just some picsfor those interested! You must be interested or you wouldn't be reading.. :-))

Friday, October 24, 2008

Buy this book!

Click the cover to buy the book!

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.
Cover designed by Maralise Photo Design


This is my dear friend and former missionary comp Courtney Jane Kendrick. We (some sisters from Segullah) helped compile some greatest hits from her blog into a book!

If you're already a cjane enthusiast, you need no introduction. If not, then what can I say to pique your interest? This girl has got a keen and hilarious way of looking at the world and a way with words that shares in a unique an insightful way.

I LOVE HER!

Many of you know or have heard about the story of her sister Stephanie Nielson. If not, you can click here to read more.

This book is just one more effort to help. All proceeds will benefit Stephanie. So if you're looking for a great read that will make you laugh and cry, or a gift to pass along to a friend, sister, mom . . .this would be a good one. And you'll be helping too.

Please do Enjoy it! I know I did.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MARATHON-Legs, Mind, Heart!

Cheese! Triumph at the ING Hartford Marathon!


Disclaimer
Okay, okay you were dying to hear all the details of the marathon and now it's been over a week and you're not so interested anymore, but I still want to write it all down. So beware, long post ahead! Don't worry if you've lost interest. I won't feel bad if you don't comment! :-)

If I've talked to you, then you know the race was awesome, great, amazing. Those are three of the most common descriptive terms I've used when people ask me, "How did it go?" Here's why:

Pre-Race
We took Peter Pan bus lines from Penn Station to Hartford, Connecticut. Margaret and Cole were just a little bummed that the bus we ended up getting on was actually a Greyhound and there were no pictures of Captain Hook or Tinkerbell on the outside, but there were comfy seats, and a bathroom, so if you ask me, it was all good.
In it for the long haul.

The freeway had construction, accidents, and holiday weekend traffic, so it took us more than an hour longer than it was "supposed" to, but we saw glorious fall foliage and I held Stella most of the way and kissed her cheeks over and over.
Thought you'd want to see the cheeks I was kissing all day.
Cole likes to kiss them too.

The guy across the aisle from me also struck up some conversation about wanting to be a good family man, like my husband, even though "black people" have a hard time keeping their families together. (He whispered that part under his breath, so as not to offend . . .himself?).

We walked from the bus station to the Expo center to pick up our race packets. Mags and Cole for the Kids K and me for the marathon. The expo was not as exciting as expected, but they gave us cool orange drawstring bags to carry our stuff in and one table had free cheese cubes to sample. I kept noticing all the runners around me, with their sinewy legs and amazingly fit bodies. I started to worry a little, maybe I am not actually ready for this race; I don't have sinewy legs, they still have cottage cheese; I don't appear amazingly fit, my belly is postpartum squishy. But then I noticed a few more people like me and remembered that I had done all the necessary prep, there was no way I would not finish this race.

We hooked up with our friends, the Ortons. Emily and I trained almost every single step of 340 miles together. We have talked about pretty much everything you can imagine during all those miles and runs. And in fact, here is a shout out to her . . . You Rock! I love you! It would have been miserable without her. She drove down with her family (husband and five kids) a little earlier than us and they were swimming at their hotel pool waiting to meet up with us for dinner. We were also waiting for the Astles, Carol came on most of the long weekend runs with us, but is speedy, so did other training without us and had a different race goal (finish in under four hours). We were also planning to see Reagan and Jake and their friend Deanna, as well as Jordan and Erin Colby. Jordan and Erin were stuck in traffic, so they missed dinner. Randy, and Carol made it to join us and we chatted for a few minutes on the street with Reagan and Jake before they head back to their hotel to rest up for the big day.

Luckily we found City Steam Brewery for dinner. They put our three families (nine kids between us) in the back room with the pool table, where we could still hear the live Jazz, but everyone else didn't have to hear us. We ate pasta (of course), bread, and ordered more than we needed in the way of kids macaroni and cheese or chicken finger dinners.

Afterward we took a quick dip in the hot tub, let the hubbies keep the kids down at the pool while Emily, Carol, and I went to get to bed.

From top, clockwise: Eli, Margaret, Me, Sarah jane, Cole, Matt hot-tubbing it at the Hilton

Up in the "runner's only" room we finally heard from Erin and Jordan that they had made it to their hotel. Hooray, we set up a meeting place for the morning and went about our pre-run preparations. I was anxious and excited so we did a little bit of chatting before I could finally get to sleep. My alarm went off the next morning and I didn't even want to stay in bed. Four months of training, hours of running, a hundred little details prepared . . .I couldn't believe race day was actually here. During the night Matt had slipped a card and gift under the door. I took it into the bathroom to read since my roomies were still snoozing in a bit, and cried. In the box he had left a necklace with a little "M" charm, for marathon mom. More than the token, it was the realization that he had supported me through every single run and though often called me crazy, really did admire my dedication.

After dressing, putting on glide, packing up our gels, filling our water belts with sports beverages, and pinning on our numbers Emily, Carol, and I met up with Erin and walked to the start line. Our families were still cozily bundled at the hotels, but we made our way through the masses of runners while someone was giving gurgled announcements over a loud speaker and found the back of the pack. Emily acknnowledged that when they said, "Marathoners, this way," they meant us! The sky was clear and blue and the air was brisk. I knew I wouldn't want my long-sleeves forever, but I was glad I had them then.

Erin Colby, Carol Astle, Me, Emily Orton, pre-race

Race

I didn't hear the gun but everyone started moving toward the start, so we followed. Hundreds of people lined the streets cheering and music blasted. I knew it would be a challenge to keep pace at the beginning of the race, because we would be just so darn excited and I was right. We ran around the big park and some of the Hartford streets and I kept checking my watch and holding everyone back. The Orton family found one of the first cheering stations where they smiled, jumped up and down, took pictures and held up home made signs. After a couple of miles Carol left us so she could reach her goal, and just after four miles Erin had to leave us as the half-marathon course split off from us.

So Emily and I followed the runners, the volunteers, the orange arrows on the streets and ran. One section of the course is an out and back on a beautiful Connectict road. I'd describe it as somewhere between suburban and rural, not to mention breathtaking. These homes were surrounded by giant maple and oak trees in an array of colors from green, to yellow, to orange, to fiery red. Some of the leaves had begun to fall and litter the green manicured lawns with their splashes of color. They had pots of mums on the windowsills, cheery orange pumpkins on the porches, corn stalks leaning against their mail boxes, and happy supportive people cheering for us in their driveways. We ran past kids having Saturday morning soccer games and families drinking hot chocolate after having slept in their backyard in a tent. Idyllic, yes! We talked about it together and to some of the other runners we chatted with along the way, "What are we doing in Manhattan?"

Another thing I loved about the out and back is that we were able to see and cheer for the leaders coming back the other direction, running, no exaggeration, twice as fast as us. We also saw Reagan, Jake, and Carol all right on track to reach their race goals.

People playing live music plus a few DJ's were spread out along the course to help us stay motivated. A young band rocking out, a fifty-something acoustic guitarist keeping it mellow, a middle-aged band covering Neil Diamond all contributed to the party-like ambiance. By the time we were hitting our painful, we still have a long way to go part around mile 18, we had a lot of positive energy stored up from all that had gone before. I received a call from Nate who's in Finland around mile 10, Matt texted me about the Kids K, we met runners from Boston, Los Angeles, upstate and asked questions of people wearing team t-shirts.

Cole and Mags, pre-race.

Cole and Loretta running the Kids K dash.

Margaret posing at the start line. She came in about 15th out of 80.

Impressive focus, no? She ran the 1/2 mile.

We talked politics and came up with some ideas on how to solve the world's problems. All of that filled us, so after being lead back into downtown via service roads, past railroad tracks, and up steep on-ramps that sucked a bit of life out of us we were still able to keep running. Next highlight, we saw the Ortons cheering for us again at mile 22. Emily made a quick stop to peek at her baby Lily and then had a spring in her step. Following that was a table of still cheerful volunteers holding signs and directing us to an aid station with gummy bears, sport beans, and fresh fruit. An orange wedge never tasted so refreshing.

Although my hips were stiff, knees hurting, right glut knotting up, quads burning and I could feel a couple of blisters forming on my big toes there was just NO WAY I WASN'T GOING TO FINISH! In fact none of that even mattered because my spirit felt totally unconquerable. Emily and I recalled a sign from the beginning of the race, my favorite. It read, "Legs, Mind, Heart." I called Matt as planned at mile 25. He told me they were waiting less than a mile away. Emily got choked up, which in turn choked me up and we told each other to stop crying so we could still breathe. I thought I might cry at the end, but because I'd be so spent or in so much pain, but really I was crying because I felt- triumphant!

Around the next bend as we approached our last stretch of road Matt, Margaret, Cole, Stella (sleeping in the stroller) Carol, Reagan, and Jake were there cheering, jumping up and down, holding signs, taking video. I veered over to kiss Matt and hug Mags and we soared up the road and around the corner to the finish line. We heard the announcers were applauding the runners coming in at this point, saying, "We saw the leaders come in two and a half hours ago. These people have been out there running for FIVE Hours! It takes a lot of dedication to do something for five hours." Amen! :-) They called out Emily's name and I looked up at them, wanting to hear my own and one of them put his hand over the mic and said, "What's your name?" Emily and I both called it out together and they repeated, "Heather Herrick. Way to finish it together ladies."

Emily Orton and I, finishing it together!

Post-race
We took our medals, hugged, and Emily said, "We just did that!" As we walked over to get water she said, "So, that took us four months!" Emily and I were both drenched in sweat, some of it already dry and forming salt lines around our foreheads, but the smile on her face and the tears in her eyes were BEAUTIFUL! Our families came running around the corner past the water station where more hugs were shared, photos taken. Matt asked me how I felt, "Amazing!"
"Are you proud of yourself?"
No hesitation, "YES!"
Then he kissed me, even though I was sweaty and gross.

We hobbled to the food tents and took one of everything: yogurt, cranberry walnut cookie, cup of mac and cheese, cup of apple crisp, potato chips, apple, banana, bagel and cream cheese, and fruit cup. We had to eat as we walked back to the hotel so we'd have time to shower before check out. I did have an adrenaline drop, and got really nauseated during that walk, but after showering, stretching, and eating every last bit of food off that plate I felt good again.

I'll spare all the details of a very long bus ride home, but even that couldn't dampen my mood too much.

More cheek kissing of Stella and Cole would sit by me, now that I wasnn't "fweaty".

Natalie and Victor invited all of the runners and their families to come to their place where she'd prepared a delicioso pasta dinner, with homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We swapped stories from the day and compared battle wounds, talked politics and took turns holding each others' babies.

Left to right: Jake, Deanna, Reagan, Me, Emily, Erin, Carol
Enjoying dinner at the Monreals, gracious hosts extraordinaire!

So all in all, it was AWESOME, GREAT, AMAZING! Thanks to everyone who made it possible. Let's do it again soon . . .errr okay, not too soon!
video

Friday, October 10, 2008

Life Lessons from Running


Margaret (in the red hoodie) and Loretta Astle (in the pink coat) running in the Kids K, last year while Matt and Carol ran the marathon.

Read all about it at Segullah.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Chili Cook-Off

The ward had its 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off and hoedown. I didn't win the $50 gift certificate for Dinosaur BBQ, booo! But many people enjoyed the Chicken Chili with Jalapeno Cheddar Hushpuppy Crust, so my cooking vanity was still well served. Plus Iris won, and she was about to have her new baby and is a fabulous person, so she deserved it! I love this activity. Professional square dance callers, cornbread, and chili . . .it's the perfect trio.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Margaret's Big News



From this . . .




to this!

Read all about it at Segullah

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Mom Had a Birthday


Still great at Fifty-___ (oh, maybe she doesn't want that info out in the world)

I guess I talk about my mom more than I realize, because even new friends I have will say things like, "Your mom sounds funny," or, "She must babysit a lot," or, "She's always helping out, huh?"

She is funny.



She does babysit a lot.

She is always helping out.

So whatever stories I am sharing must be accurate descriptions of her. Sometimes I hear people say things like, "I don't really keep in touch with my mom," or, "My mom and I just don't get along," and these are real people, not just angsty teenager characters on TV.

And even though I'm an adult and know that everyone is different, every time I hear that I still think, "That's CRAZY talk!" How could you not get along with your mom? And then I remember that not everyone has MY mom. If they did, they would get along with her, and these are the reasons why:

Kind.
Works hard.
Always considers the needs of those around her.
Loves to have fun.
Shares her fun with the people she loves.
Shares everything.
Doesn't mince words (this is a good thing, you know what she's thinking).
Good cook (who doesn't like getting along with someone who's a good cook?).
Loyal friend.
Devoted wife.
Caring sister.
Doting grandma.
Strives to learn and improve.

This list could go on. That's how great my mom truly is.

This awesome momof mine just had a birthday and I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Since I moved away more than four years ago I have only been home at her birthday once. We went to Sundance and rode the chair lift to see the gorgeous fall leaves. If I were there this year, I hope we could've done the same thing. I'd also love to just hang out and let the kids play in the backyard or nap while we kick it on the couch in the family room during the afternoon and chat, then we could go out to dinner with Grandma Lorna and Dad (he'd even be home on time, since it's your birthday and all ;-)). That would be great! I'm not there, but . . .
Maybe next year. In the meantime, know this:

I Love you MOM!

She always come to visit and help when I have a baby, as much as I love her though, I think I'll have to try and get her here some other way this next time.Grandma Gayle checking out new baby Stella last Feb.