Friday, November 11, 2011

My first Marathon- NYC!!

I ran my first marathon on Sunday November 6th. It was the ING NYC marathon. This is one of the most difficult marathons to get into and I was SO lucky to have gotten in. I think I got in because I was only one minute behind the qualifying time from my NYC half marathon I ran (1hr.38), qualifying time is 1.37.  Anyway, I have been training for this basically since the half which was in March. I started to get really serious about my training about 16 weeks before the race. I trained by myself, which was hard. I am not going to lie, there were times I was asking my self why was I doing this. BUT, it all paid off last weekend. I have to say it was probably one of the best weekends of my life! So here is how it went...
So my parents were nice enough to support me and flew in all the way from SLC to support me in this race. They flew in Friday afternoon. Before they got in I was running around all day trying to get my bib and make sure things were in order so I could just enjoy their company and focus on race day. I raced to get my apartment cleaned mean while I could feel a cold coming on. When they got to NYC I was really excited to see them and my pounding headache went away. It was fun to see them and it got me even more excited for the race. We decided to grab some dinner at Angelo's pizza, just down the street from me (it is actually the pizza place right above the Letterman show). As we walk up the stairs to go to our table Scott had gotten up there first and he was just smiling ear to ear, I asked him why he was smiling so much and then I looked at our table and sitting there was my sister Kristina and her husband Rob!!!!! They had flown all the way from SCL to see me in the race!!!  When I first saw them I thought I was dreaming. I didn't believe my eyes! I had just talked to her the day earlier telling her I had wished that she could be there! And here they were! Kristina and my mom had planned it many weeks ago and had kept it a secret all that time! It worked out perfect because I my brother-in-law Rob was in NYC a couple days earlier and so Kristina just had to fly out.  SO I was on cloud 9!!! Saturday was fun we walked around Central Park and took pictures of the finish line we had a fun lunch and then went home to rest up before dinner. That night went to one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Apizz, which is an AMAZING Italian place and ate delicious carb filled food! We had some of the best butternut squash ravioli and gnocci with braised beef I have ever had. And of course all the pasta was home made! Then I hit the pillow, or at least tried! I actually felt my cold coming on strong and was up multiple times in the night, but when it came time to get up 4:55am the next morning I was SO excited! I took the subway to the Staton Island Ferry where we headed to our starting point the Verrazano Bridge. I was in the fist wave after the professional men. Mayor Bloomberg introduced the race and said, "Runners, New York City is waiting for you" and then the cannon went off and the music "New York New York" played over the loud speakers as I started running across the Verrazano Bridge. The weather couldn't have been better. The sun was shining, there was no wind, and it was a perfect 54 degrees. Perfect running temperature. I looked over the bridge over to Manhattan and thought, wow, I am going to be running all the way over there!  
I started out a little faster than I had planned, but was feeling great and just went with it.  My goal was to run a 8 minute mile and finish 3 hours and 30 minutes. We ran through Brooklyn, Queens and then over the Queen's Bourgh Bridge in to Manhattan up into the Bronx and then Back to Manhattan along 5th avenue into Central Park, along Central Park South and then finished  through Columbus Circle into the park where the old Tavern on the Green was. I was feeling great. At about mile 10 I got some cramps in my stomach but I didn't let them slow me down. I was loving every minute of it. There were fans along the side of the road almost the entire way!! IT was the fans that pushed me through it! I purposely ran right by them and worked the crowds to get some cheers! My sister Katie had recorded messages for me at mile's 13 and 22. As I ran past these miles there was a huge screen that played the video for me. They were at the perfect spot's because at mile 13 you are feeling it a little bit and then mile 22 you are feeling it alot! She said with my nephew in one message "MaryLynn we believe in you!" I started to cry when I heard that and I picked up my pace! The second message she said " Go MaryLynn, you are AWESOME" and of course I cried again! I honestly was smiling the whole way, just trying to take in every moment of this race I had dreamed of running since I moved to NYC. I was able to see my family at mile 16! It was SO COOL to hear them and see them! Seriously, I was so excited to see them, that was what kept pushing me through the first half of the race! It was at about mile 19 that my knee started hurting. This was at the top of 1st avenue where not many people were cheering. But, I told my self not to let my brain register pain and to keep plugging along. Thankfully they were passing out gue and I grabbed some and went on my way. Once I got over the bridge into the Bronx, I was so happy to see fans. They really helped me keep going. Getting back to Manhattan was super exciting! There was a DJ playing songs and yelling out cheers when we crossed the 3rd avenue bridge and I pointed at him and he did a shout out to me! It was so cool. One lady was yelling, you have done 22 miles, what is another 4! I knew I would see my friends and family soon in the park so I was really excited, but my phone had died so I had no idea where people would be. That was SO disappointing. I ended up not seeing my friends or my family because I didn't know where to look. They were all looking so hard for me but I was going pretty fast and I must have just passed them by. Anyway as I ran into the park, I knew I was really close. I got a burst of energy along Central Park South, which was the last mile of the race. I could feel the ending near. As I ran down the street I totally worked the crowd and everyone was cheering hard. As I turned on into Columbus Circle and headed into the park, I just started sprinting. I don't even know where the energy came from, but it just did. The street was lined with flags from all the countries who had people running the race, it streched about a half a mile. It was really cool. The cheers got louder and louder as I got closer to the finish line. As I crossed the finish line I couldn't believe I was done! I had beaten my goal! My time was 3.28 45!! It was SO amazing to finish this race. I had always wanted to run a marathon but always doubted whether or not if I could do it. But I had done it, it was a huge accomplishment for me. I had sacrificed many hours of running time and it all paid off.   Honestly it was my family, friends and the fans that made this race the coolest thing I have ever done. Never had I felt SO much support from not only my family but all of NEW YORK CITY!! The one day that everyone cheers just for you! WOW!! How do I top that! My family was waiting with flowers and huge hugs when I reunited with them! I was on CLOUD 9!! Thank you Scott for being SO supportive of this goal of mine, and thank you to everyone including my parents, sister Kristina and Brother in law Rob and ALL my friends and family who sent me texts, emails face book messages and who came to the race to support me. EVERY SINGLE message meant the world to me. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!! 
Oh and I found out I qualified for the Boston Marathon!! Maybe April 2013! 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

So we are now waiting out Hurricane Irene. This is the first Hurricane I have ever been in. We have been preparing the last couple of days. I have gotten gallons of water, lots of food, and updated 72 hour kits. Thankfully I had been stocking up on water and food storage for a while. This has been a really crazy experience. It started a little while ago when there was a hurricane/disaster preparedness class during church. Then earlier this week there was an earthquake but I didn't feel it, thankfully and neither did Scott (he was golfing), then we got word that the Hurricane Irene was coming our way. Our ward sent out slides of emergency preparedness slide show which was helpful. Then as a visiting teacher, we had to check on the people we teach and make sure they were prepared and whether or not they were staying. Then there was an evacuation of lower Manhattan. There has been multiple emails sent to our stake about cancelation of church and where we can go if we need a place to go. As far as our situation, we are up on a hill in Midtown so we did not have to evacuate but we do have large windows that are very whimsy and we are very concerned about. We have taped our windows and moved our valuables out of our living room incase our windows blow. We have been glued to the TV to watch this storm. The worst things that could happen would be that our windows blow out and that our power and water will be out. I filled up our tub and pots and pans with water so that if we don't get water, it will be ok for a little bit. We do have renter's insurance so we are covered if our stuff is ruined. I feel prepared for the storm but I don't know what to expect so for that reason I am nervous. I just really hope our windows don't blow out. It was crazy today, we went out for a bit and the city was a ghost town. There was a car driving through Central Park with loud speakers saying that Central Park was closed and that people (if any) needed to leave it. The MTA shut down completely at noon today and while I was running this am there were literally 5 or 6 cafes open, which is crazy for the city that never sleeps!! This is CRAZY! Here is hoping this Hurricane Irene is not too bad.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My great BIG family!

Zoe and Ryan

Zoe loved her cousin Ryan! They are 3 days apart. He is a cute shy little guy. Zoe tends to be VERY LOVING to him! We stayed with my sister and her kids (Ryan's mom) for a couple of days in SLC.

May- Zoe's birthday in Salt Lake City!

Zoe turned Two while we were in SLC on May 12th. She had a princess and prince party! My sister Kimberly and I threw the party for Zoe and her cousin Ryan who are just 3 days apart. Zoe wore a Princess Rapunzel dress with a purple crown, she loved it! We had all her cousins and some friends over. We had a princess cake and cupcakes with pizza. The kids made their own prince and princess crowns and then we all played games. We had SO much fun! Zoe had a blast!! I can't believe she is this old! Wow time flies. Scott's parents came down for the Zoe's Celebration! We decorated with lots of balloons and fun princess and prince party favors!

Zoe turned Two while we were in SLC in May. She had a princess and prince party! My sister

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

April Fun

One day in April Scott came with us to the play ground! Zoe had so much fun even though it had just rained. She loves her Daddy. He is SO much fun!

Bronx Zoo!
This year we did a coop preschool with some of the mom's in my ward. Zoe LOVED it! One of the days I hosted I had the letter V and the number 3. So I busted out my dusty violin and played it for the kids. We had a great time. I am embarrassed to say I haven't played it in a while but the kids didn't seem to notice!

Catching up-April 2011

Spring had sprung in NYC! There is no better feeling than seeing the leaves and the flowers start forming after what seemed like a never ending winter. Spring and Summer are the best in the city. Zoe and I took some pictures one day in April in Columbus Circle, just 2 blocks from our Apartment. She ran wild on the little island circled by zooming cars. It was nice to see some color amongst the greyness of winter.
EASTER EGG HUNT! As you can see Zoe had a blast at our play group's Easter egg hunt. Everyone brought eggs and goodies and we hid the eggs and had a egg hunt for the little kids and an egg hunt for the big kids. Zoe came home with tons of eggs filled with candy and goodies.
She was really good at finding the eggs! She filled a big basket full of them.
We had a great Easter of our own on Easter Sunday. Zoe woke up to a basket full of books and little toys. We had a little Easter egg hunt in the morning in our living room. The first egg she found she opened it and found candy! It took some prompting to get her to continue gathering the other eggs because she just wanted to eat all the candy as fast as she could! We had a nice dinner with our friends after church.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NYC- half Marathon- March 20th

I ran my first half marathon in March! It was really cool. We went around Central Park and then down through Times Square and then down the Hudson High way. It was super cool, I did much better then I expected I finished in 1 hour and 38 minutes! The training was tuff in the cold freezing wet whether, but it paid off. Here is hoping I get into the NYC marathon!

Suprise Birthday for Scott!

I threw Scott a surprise 30th Birthday party! His birthday was March 2nd and we were in Naples so I thought I would surprise him and have friend party. We went to dinner and our friends were there waiting for him!
I made this cake for our relief society birthday party. I got Scott an entire cheesecake from Cheesecake factory! It was the one thing he wanted for his birthday and so I got it for him and he loved it!

Miami March 2011

Katie and Jeff had a play ground on their Island they lived on. Zoe loved playing at the playground. She also loved the water fountain that she could run through. It was one of those ones that turns on and off. One time she was running across and it came on right when she was in the middle! She froze and then ran as fast as she can to get out of the flow, it was hilarious!
Buddies! Baby Izzy made a HUGE impression on Zoe. She still (months later) asks about Baby Izzy. She asks me where she is and then mumbles stuff I can't understand. She also named her "build a bear" doggy Baby Izzy Dog! She LOVES baby Izzy!
Zoe was in heaven at the beach! She loved playing in the sand and running in the water. We also found jelly fish which she loved touching. She still asks if she can go to the beach!
We got to feed the giraffes at the Miami Zoo!! It was Amazing! The Miami Zoo was AMAZING! It is my favorite Zoo yet. Zoe even grabbed some lettuce and fed them herself!
Ritz Carlton in Miami- we spent the day there and it was beautiful.
Miami had so many cool out door shopping and restaurant places. This was one of them, it was fun to walk down and see the shops.
Miami Beach
Miami Zoo

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Naples, Florida March

So back in March we went to Naples, Florida for a conference Scott had to go to and we had SO much fun. Our good friends Katie and Jeff Wood were able to meet up with us and stay with us in Naples which was super fun and then Katie, Izzi, Zoe and I hung out all week! We were lucky enough to stay at the Ritz one night and then the rest of the time at The Naples Grand Waldorf Astoria. They were both amazing hotels with amazing pools and amenities. We even got upgraded to a sweet at the Naples Grand! We all had a blast in the pool especially Zoe because she was able to run in and out like a beach. There was a water slide that we went on too. It was so fun having Katie and Izzi to keep us company. Zoe LOVED "baby Izzi," she was so sweet to her. She still asks for baby Izzi, in fact, she named her stuffed dog baby Izzi!
Scott celebrated his 30th there and for that we were able to go out to dinner at an amazing restaurant called Trulucks. We had amazing sea food there, it was such a treat for us to go out on vacation, it was all thanks to Katie for watching Zoe! Thanks Katie!
So the first night we were there, we had a fun dinner at the Ritz on the beach and then all came back and stuffed into one King bed, as you can see in the picture above! NO JUST KIDDING, we had separate beds but it was like we were having a big old slumber party with 6 of us in the same room! Zoe was taking up the bathroom so if nature called during the night, too bad! We then headed off to the Naples Grand Resort where we spent most of our time. Scott was at the conference most of the time (and by conference I mean, eating out, golfing and going to some meetings), while Katie the babies and I played in the pool. One day we met some really cute little girls that played with Zoe and Izzi so cute. Katie and I got to have some time to just chill and that was SO fun. I just LOVE Naples, Florida it is one of my favorite places to go in Florida because it is such a nice town. There is a super cute downtown area with fun shops and really good restaurants and every one is so nice (mostly retired people from the mid west), so they love kids and are so patient. The resort was beautiful where we spent most of our time so that made the trip so nice and relaxing. After we left Naples we headed across the peninsula to Miami to stay with Katie and Jeff. There will be more pictures to come of that.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Surprise

Scott came home early on Valentines day and surprised Zoe and I. Zoe had a BLAST playing with her daddy. She LOVES her dadda!!!

Daddy is my Valentine

These are the cards that Zoe made (with her mommy's help) for her Dad for Valentines day.

Valentines Day!

Zoe and I went to a Valentines party with her Little Tikes Play group! It was so much fun. We made Valentines for the kid's Daddy's and had yummy snacks and played with lots of toys.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Real Toddler

I feel like my baby is a real toddler now! Today she walked with me all the way to the store (three streets up and one street over), just holding my hand and loving every step. She had her first day of preschool today where they learned the letter D and the number 4 and she did so great! She is talking SO much, telling me what she wants and using magic words- please and thank you (well, most the time), and expressing her self with constant movement! When she gets excited she runs in place, when she dances she runs in a circle, and when she gets really mad, she has started using a very loud, very scratchy scream that only a toddler can make!

Zoe has been loving all the activities we have been doing to keep ourselves busy during this long and cold winter. On Mondays we go to a little play group with kids her age. She loves going to other people's houses or play rooms. I set this up to help her get to know her nursery friends so she will stay in nursery with out Mom and Dad. I am happy to report that last week Zoe stayed in nursery all by her self! Yeah for Zoe and Yeah for Mom and Dad who can finally get something out of church instead of sitting in nursery the whole time! On Tuesdays we go to her little preschool class we do with similar age kids. We just trade off each week doing the little lesson. This week was her first week and she had a blast! It was very well planned, the kids loved it. On Wednesday's we go to the church for our ward play group which is fun to just let the kids run wild in the gym. Last play group I was there the kids and I (yes I was the only adult), played hide and seek! It was hilarious, I had about 10 kids just running after me and yelling BOO, when they found me. I would then go look for them and find them all in the same hiding place! Thursday's are open- which I will hopefully be starting a music or art class. We have been doing a music class for city kids called music for Aardvarks and Zoe has LOVED it. She learned a song about a Taxi, which only city kids would fully understand!! She actually sings the Taxi song and jingle bells, where ever we go in the stroller.
Friday's are especially fun because Scott usually gets home early and we either head up to the American Museum of Natural History, down to Toys R Us, or the Disney store in Times Square and Zoe has a blast!! She talks all about the Dinosaurs at the Museum and at Toys R Us. The museum has tons of Dinosaur bones configured to be life size, which are amazing, and Toys R Us has a life size T-Rex that moves and Rorrrrs. They also have a huge ferris wheel that is super fun to ride too! I love the toy stores and museums in NYC, they are out of this world! As for our afternoons, we usually go to friends apartments or run errands, or just play inside. Thanks to all these activities, we are actually enjoying the winter, well most days!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Winter Fun

Zoe found a puddle and loved walking in it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Zoe has been loving to play hide and seek. She runs and hides and says "I see you dadda, I see you mama." Actually she says "I see you", to lots of things she sees now. Anyway tonight before bed we looked out the window to find the moon, I told her it was too foggy to see the moon tonight. And she looked out the window and said, "I see you foggy."
Zoe loves animals- all animals, at night she will name as many animals as she can and ask me if they are sleeping- as if to make sure all the animals are going to sleep the same time she is. Of course I have to repeat every animal and tell her that they are all going to sleep.
Zoe; "Frogs seeping?"
MaryLynn; "Yes Zoe the Frogs are going to sleep"
Zoe, " Zebras seeping?"
ML: "Yes Zoe, the Zebras are going to sleep"
Zoe, " Dinosaurs seeping?"
ML: "Um, well yes they have been sleeping for a long time"
Zoe, smiles in satisfaction and goes to sleep.
And lastly, because of the song I sing to her about the monkey's in the trees, every time we go outside in the park she looks up at the trees and asks for the monkeys. "Monkeys??" Where are the monkey's why are they not in the trees like the song says??? I just smile and tell her it is too cold for the monkeys to be in the trees!

Fixes for the Winter Blues- Thanks Michael Jackson!

So this winter I am apprehensive to admit, only because I would like to think of my self as a positive person however, that I have had the a case of the winter blues. Don't get me wrong I love the snow it is great, although, I have to admit I was not prepared for some 20+ inches we have received, I guess it has just been an absence of the sun and seasonal sickness either mine or Zoe's that has gotten to me. ANYWAY, today I was thinking, I have GOT to find some sort of fix, exercise can only get you so far and for so long, although it helps A TON.
I have found a fix, I went on to itunes and downloaded all my favorite Michael Jackson songs and after listening to them and yes dancing a little, I am feeling better. SO thanks to the late and very talented Michael Jackson!!
Oh and just so you know making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, or any treats for that matter, won't take away the blues, they just taste really good at the time and after you eat too many you are just right back where you started but with a little more chiggly! (Do I sound like I am talking from experience?:) um yeah!)
Of course another fix for the winter blues would be to get the heck out of town, find some warm sun and stay there for a while, which thankfully, we are doing at the end of February (Naples & Miami, FL, YEAH!!), but that still means I have one more month to survive!!
So I am calling out to my buddies that read my blog, do you guys have any remedies for the winter blues? I need some more, Michael Jackson can only get me so far seeing that New York winters last FOREVER!!!!! Well ok, not forever but it seems that way :) Your comments would be much appreciated!
At the end of the day, the good thing is is that the Spring ROCKS here in NYC. It is SO beautiful and fun, so I know I have something to look forward to, it is just getting to the spring that is the long and hard part!!!

Update on Zoe's eyes, she went to the Doctor the other day ago and we had to up her contact prescription- which was a bummer. As well as up the time she wears the patch- it went from 4 hours/day to 8 hours/day. The good thing is that she can see well out of the contact and so she doesn't fight the patch or putting in the contact weekly as much, so that is really good. The doc says she will be wearing the patch for a while, but, with time, we will correct the laziness of her eye, so that is GREAT!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Grateful...Today and Some day!

I am not sure if it is all the time I have been spending in my apartment with a sick kid that has got me thinking of all the things I hopefully will be grateful for some day or, if it is just having lived in NYC for a while now that has made me appreciate the small things most people take for granted. So I am blogging my thoughts so I can always remember what to be grateful for someday if, I ever have the chance to have these things.

Grateful for SOMEDAY!
-A NORMAL bed that I don't have to put up and take down every single day- fold sheets and blankets, take off and put back on cushions pull out and put back in, (i.e. couch bed).
-A kitchen that is more than barely two people wide and two people plus a high chair long!
-A store that carries EVERYTHING close by that I don't have to rent a car to get to.
-A drive way, where I can park and take my groceries right inside my house.
- A back yard, which means emediate access to more space and the semi fresh air.
- A play room- where it is ok for toys to be left out because it is not your living room, your bed room, and play room.
- More counter space.
- Room for a normal kitchen table that fits more than two people.
- A day care at my gym that doesn't cost a fortune.
-Customer Service- even when you are not paying ridiculous amounts for it.
- Wind that doesn't bite your face off when it blows because it is SO cold.
-Silence- instead of constant horn honking, siren blowing, and snow plowing noises while trying to sleep.

Things I am grateful for TODAY!
- Having stores, restaurants right out side my door.
- Central Park
-Awesome architecture
-Funny accents
- The lights from Times Square
-Energy from the city
-WHOLE FOODS so CLOSE- I love this place!
- Shopping- especially Zara
-delivery- food, groceries, basically everything
-New places to explore
-A couch bed-even though I hate making it and putting it away twice a day!
-I robot vacuum- finally my floors are clean!
-Florida- instant sunshine just a two hour flight away!
-My gym, even though there is no day care.
-Scott's 10 minute commute to/from work.
-My windows- they allow me access to the world when I can't go outside because it is too cold or Zoe is sick. Seriously they have saved my life this week.
-The sun, whom I hardly ever see this time of year because winter lasts SO long
-The Natural History Museum- where a quick trip is so doable
-Trees- that give us some fresh air.
- The clock and temperature gage on top of the building right across the street from me.
-Access to food and things all around the world.
-Time Out and Time Out Kids magazine- to know what is going on in the city.