Friday, March 26, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon

Typical animated family film, in the sense that it was funny and so very cute. A little predictable, but just a sweet story. Of course, the dragon reminded me exactly of Gadoo so I was in love from the get-go. And have I mentioned that I'm loving the "new" 3-D? No cheesy effects like we had in the 80's, just stunning imagery. A friend of ours worked on this movie and I was definitely impressed!

I want one!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are? is one TV show that has affected me in a really positive way. Granted, it's a little cheesy... But it is a simple premise with a big pay off. Basically, celebrities talk to historians and researchers to find out more about their own family history. We saw Sarah Jessica Parker trace her family back to the Salem witch trials and Emmitt Smith learn about his family members who were involved in the slave trade.

It is completely fascinating to me.

And it makes me hungry for knowledge. Our family history has not been readily available to us. We never really talked about where we came from. I know very little about life beyond my parents. Only recently have I learned details about my Mom's experiences growing up. Or heard some of my Grandpa's war stories. I honestly don't even know my Finnish Grandmother's maiden name. It scares me a little that these people will leave us before I get a chance to obtain more information. Both sides of my family have a legacy and I want to pass that on.

I know I have relatives who have done a little genealogy work and it's time for me to be involved in that as well. It's something I've always wanted to do, but like many things it gets put off. I know if I just put in the time, it's something my family can cherish for many, many generations to come.

For instance, I believe I'm related to this guy somehow through my Grandma Nugent. I want to find out how!

Hans Olaus Sorenson

I don't want our family story to die with the people who leave us. Maybe it goes along with my love of photography, but I need to do all I can to preserve the history and memories.

*UPDATE: I found out that Hans is my Great-Great-Grandpa! Cool right? He migrated from Norway! Made the trek to Utah in 1870.*

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I want to preface this post by saying that I AM NOT A RUNNER. I never have been. I've always hated running. My theory was that if it wasn't necessary to run, there was just no need for it. It's way too hard! And I resisted it for years. Even when my husband would suggest a little jog, I'd just give him a "look" and scoff at the idea. You've GOT to be kidding.

Fast forward to today - I just ran 45 minutes (almost 4 miles) without stopping. It's no marathon, it was my personal best! EVER in my life!

It all started about 4 months ago, after chatting with an old high school buddy on Facebook. He told me that he had recently dropped 30 pounds. Well of course I wanted to know How? His simple answer was: (you guessed it) Running. My response: Noooooooo. I really was hoping you wouldn't say that. It's the one thing I haven't tried and I. Don't. Wanna! Hey, at least I'm mature about it.

But that very same week I decided to just go for it. For my first run, I think I made it all the way around the block. As soon as I stopped, my calves were ON FIRE. Like I could barely walk. Holy crap, it was so hard. But I was interested to see how long I could keep it going. So every other day, I added a little more distance. Until I was running about a mile and 1/2. Surprisingly, after 10 years of NOT running, it only took me about a month to get up to that point.

But then I was stuck. I couldn't seem to push past that distance. Once in a blue moon, I'd have a good day where I could go almost 2 miles, but it was really rough most of the time.

So I started the Couch to 10K program (there's an app for that) and so far it's been going really well. I'm in week 8 of the 13 week program and it's really helped me build up my tolerance for running. My workouts are 3 times a week and about an hour long. It takes a lot more time than my little mile and 1/2 used to, but I'm actually enjoying it. Some days I really lack the motivation, but I keep thinking about where I started and how far I've come. I don't want to go back to the beginning when it was so hard. (Don't get me wrong, it's STILL hard, but not AS hard.) So that gets me out the door.

Unfortunately, the weight hasn't fallen off like I hoped it would, but that's just a battle I don't know will ever be won. So for now, the focus is being healthy. That's the most important thing right????! So I'll keep exercising, eating better and... feeling pretty darn good, I guess! And major props to the true runners out there. When I see that a friend has been training for a marathon or someone ran 6 miles for fun, it totally pumps me up. Maybe that'll be me someday!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Family Weekend

My mom, brother, sister and nephew all came to visit this last weekend. My sister graduated with her Master's Degree (!!) so this was her grad gift from Mom - to come out for an all-expenses paid trip to visit yours truly. They were here for about 3 days and, as always, it went by too fast.

Day one was Disneyland. This is already my nephew's 3rd trip (lucky guy!) and so far this one was the most fun. He is 2 and 1/2 now and so there was more emotion from him this time - he got excited to say hi to the characters and ride the choo-choo train and fly with Dumbo. He went on his first roller coaster and got scared of the dark on some of the other rides. I didn't realize how creepy Disneyland can be for a little kid! But he was such a trooper and honestly, just so well-behaved and fun to be around. I love this boy. He is just too cute for words. Even I got to do some rides that I've never done before, so it was just an awesome day. And, by the way, Captain EO has returned for a limited time, so that was 80's awesome!

Day two, we kind of got rained out! So that was a bummer. But everyone insisted it was a good thing because they got to rest after the long day at Disney. We grabbed a late lunch at the world-famous Pink's and hung out at the house watching movies and the Olympics. We played a couple games and stayed in for a pizza dinner. It was a packed house, but I kind of like it that way. It's cozy and reminded me of growing up together in our small house.

Day three, the girls went shopping and the boys slept in. Hubby baby-sat and even though he was nervous to be left at home with the kid, it went just fine. Everyone wanted different things for lunch, so we got it all to-go and ate back at the house. Then we stopped by to see the In-Laws and eat Thrifty ice cream before they had to get back on the road. All day, my poor nephew kept asking if we could go back to "Dinneylan" and ride the "Geo-Trax Train" (aka the Monorail). When he realized we weren't going back, he was so sad and cried big crocodile tears. I felt so bad! I wanted to take him back right then and there. But there's always next time. And hopefully that next time is sooner than later.

Here he is wearing Grandma's glasses - upside down. Totally crackin' me up!!!
I know they all got home really late last night, but hopefully it was a worthwhile trip. I know for me, it was so much fun. I even cried when they left! Come back soon, ya hear?!