Sunday, July 31, 2011

family pictures

knowing we most likely won't be back in utah for a few years, we took the opportunity to get together for a quick weekend. k and e came up from arizona and d and h from southern california. we figured if we were all together, we had to document it somehow. and so you have the kinnersley-heavy part of the kinnersley-hauley clan.

this is as good as it gets, folks. it was 7 in the morning. 
recreating a picture from 1994. except we were wearing only denim in that one. nice. 
the originals. nice dan. he's just recreating the face he pulled in all of our family portraits.
siblings. kelli is wondering why she was ever born into our family. 
ah, that's better. she decided to join the ranks and show her true self just like the rest of us.
 a leah sandwich. 
the newest additions. 
apparently there was something more interesting than a camera to look at if you were under the age of 50. 
and you can't have a kinnersley family shoot without one of these. 
the end.

timpanogos half marathon

a few months back when ryan and i were trying to figure out when we would pass through utah on our way back east, my sister hinted that if we were there on the last saturday in july, she and i could run the timpanogos half marathon together.

as this statement was completely uncharacteristic of kelli, my jaw dropped and i immediately jumped on board. she ran track in high school {and was good!} but isn't much for long distance running.

it turned out that that particular weekend was a perfect weekend to pass through, so we both signed up. as this was kelli's first half marathon, she had some questions as far as a training schedule and increasing her mileage. so, we drew up a plan and went on our separate training ways. 

i thought.

apparently if you live in arizona where it is hot, hot, hot {almost unbearably so} all day long and your husband just started a new job where his training requires him to work all sorts of day and night shifts and you have two kids two and under, it's kind of hard to find time to train.

on the evening before the race, my mom, kelli and i headed down to my mom's townhome to eat dinner and spend the night. i went to bed at the unmentionable hour of 10:00. i'm not sure that has happened at any other time in the last decade.
the morning of the race, we woke up dark and early, dressed in our matchy matchy shorts {and this is all you'll see of them because my legs are 2x the size of hers}, posed for our bright-eyed, bushy-tailed pre-race photo {thanks mom!} and headed to the buses at american fork high school. from there, the buses took us up american fork canyon to tibble fork where we waited in some ridiculous port-a-potty lines and jammed ourselves into the starting huddle.

kelli had some concerns about how long it would take us to complete the race. i assured her we'd get in sometime within the "twos" as my fastest half was 2:02 and my slowest - my first - was 2:48. i knew we'd get in faster than that time as my mom and i had walked a lot due to some knee and back pain. so sometime between the two was my best hypothesis.

i had one goal: to never stop to walk. 

kelli had one goal: to finish. 

we both made one promise: to stay together until the end.

after a slight delay, and as the sun began to peek over the crest of the mountain, we heard the gun and were off. the course was beautiful. it took us steadily down a slight decline for 8 miles out of the canyon, the river running by our side. after that, we ran for a few miles on paved recreational trails before we headed to the streets for the last couple miles to wind to our final destination.

as the miles increased, so did some pain. i jogged in place while kelli took some necessary walking breaks, but we powered on.

my mom, patiently waiting at the finish line, stood with her eyes scanning the distance and her camera ready. as the race clock neared and then passed three hours, she began to get worried. i don't think she was aware of the 25 minute delayed start, but we were also behind our anticipated goal time. 

as we turned the final corner we heard cheers not only from my mom, but also from kelli's husband and two darling, pajama-clad kids.

we crossed the finish line, kelli with tears in her eyes {just like me after my first half!}, in 2:59:something. she did it!

we made sure to take the obligatory post-race photo, where we are proudly displaying our stats. #1 for kelli and #12 for me.
and, to top it off, there were great nike performance shirts and creamies at the finish line. the latter made the whole race worth it. mmmm....

Friday, July 29, 2011

the game to end all games

one of our first stops in utah was to settle the score of an infamous basketball game from 12 years ago. i've heard the story many times. the details are the same no matter who tells it. it's the ending of the story that is highly debated. 

what we know:
ryan and his friends were in high school
they played basketball after school every day for hours
on this particular day, it was ryan and chris {good} vs. bryce and reed {evil}

what we don't know:
who really won.

good says good won. evil says evil won. i wasn't there, so i'll never know. 
{chris, bryce, ryan, reed and ben - the alternate}
so, after 12+ years, they decided to settle the feud. first order of business was to eat a huge dinner at the training table. check. 

second order of business? lace up their ankle braces {they are 30, remember}. check. 
third order of business: lay out the ground rules. three games. first team to seven points wins. 

they played hard. 

first game? good wins!
second game? evil!
third game? um, they were too tired. 
and it was bedtime for the kids. they played hard too, you know.
and so it continues. i'm sure i'll have an update for you by 2021.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

load 'er up

monday night, with lots of help from the elder's quorum in our church...
we moved everything out of the house...
 onto the driveway...
and into the pods...

 or the truck...
 wednesday morning, we were greeted with donuts, juice and lots of friends...
and said our final goodbyes to the beloved 515 sierra vista #2 {we loved that place. no shared walls? garage? washer and dryer? i think so.}...
and then we drove away...
 i teared up multiple times on that 15 hour drive {we were following ryan in the truck and he had a governor on in that wouldn't let him go over 70!!!}. 
it seemed at each rest stop i found sweet notes from wonderful friends in my purse or my bag or the treat box for the car. notes full of memories, well wishes and love. 

we so appreciate all the help and service our family was shown. it will not be forgotten.


our last couple of weeks in california were jam-packed. we returned from our family cabin in the wee hours of sunday morning july 10th and we went non stop for the next 16 days. we crammed a lot of people and a lot of things into every hour, but i loved every second of our time. just for memory's sake, here's most of what we did:

sunday, july 10: piano duet in church with lindsay bauman
monday, july 11: leah school, dinner at the baumans
tuesday, july 12: leah school, leah immunizations, maren last bunco
{back: lindsay d., elaine, afton, kristen, whitney, lindsey h., meaghan, jessica, front: maren, tierny, ?, kim}
wednesday, july 13: leah school, santa cruz beach boardwalk
thursday, july 14: leah school, haircuts, farmer's market, last yw activity
{lauren, sarah, madeleine, elizabeth, max, michelle, maddie, maren, grace}
friday, july 15: leah school, great escape with lindsey and kristen, harry potter 7
saturday, july 16: great escape with lindsey and kristen, dinner with the mcphies, surprise party
sunday, july 17: sing in quartet in church, last lesson to the young women, farewell for the katz family
monday, july 18: leah school, dental exams, dinner at wheatley's house
tuesday, july 19: last run with jaimi, dental cleanings, dinner at crepevine with yw leaders, anne of green gables the continuing story movie night {gilbert blythe - sigh} i didn't get pictures of anything this day is beyond me!
wednesday, july 20: ryan dental appointment, ifly, dinner with rett moms
thursday, july 21: ryan and leah dental cleanings, last farmer's market
{jaimi, sarah, leah, maren and tawni - the original farmer's marketers}
friday, july 22: claire and chloe come to visit leah, pack pack pack!
 {leah and crazy chloe}
{leah sweet claire}
saturday, july 23: last run with sarah {8 miles!}, pack!
sunday, july 24: last day at los altos ward
monday, july 25: pods delivered and packed, pick up moving truck, dinner at harman's house
 {sarah's 'smile' - my favorite}
{truck driver leah}
tuesday, july 26: continue packing pods, continue packing truck, dinner at blowfish
{the pods all packed}
wednesday, july 27: donuts and juice with friends, on our way...
{leah and sarah saying goodbye}
i was one tired girl. happy, but tired.


meet jeff, sarah and family:

jeff is my cousin by birth. sarah is my cousin by choice. juuuuuuuuuust kidding. in all honesty, jeff and his brothers were NOT my favorite people growing up. they were older and bigger and simply mean. but jeff happened to grow up and meet a beautiful and wonderful girl who whipped him right into shape. and then just 6 months after ryan and i moved to california, jeff and sarah moved to california - with their first son jack, who was born just 20 minutes after leah. 

it was so nice to have family so close and even nicer that we had our little twins to tote around. we've spent a lot of time with j and s throughout the past 4.5 years. farmer's markets, sunday dinners, park dates, you name it. but somehow we never ever went on a date together. we babysat for the other couple to go on a date, but never went out together, just the four of us. 

we all decided this was ridiculous, so the night before we moved, we finally did it. the restaurant of choice was blowfish - a local sushi bar and sarah's fav. ryan also loves sushi and i'm willing to try. sweet {and restless} lauren joined us for the evening and we all had a great time! there may or may not have been some quarreling between j and s about which sushi to share and we may or may not have stopped by pinkberry {another of sarah's favs} afterward even though we were stuffed to the hilt with raw fish. but we had a great time. 

and we realized we really should have done it more often.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

sister z

we were so lucky to have a special helper for leah at church each week. with the help and love of "sister z", leah was able to attend primary and learn and have fun just like the other kids. 

leah loved sister z. her bright blue eyes got even brighter every time we mentioned her name. 

they gave goodbye hugs on our last day at church. 
and then leah got a beautiful, hand made surprise from sister z just before we left. you can read more about the surprise and read sister z's words here

all my bags are packed...

...i hope i'm ready to go.

i'm overflowing with gratitude for all the meals and helping hands that have helped us out these past few weeks. the pods are {nearly} loaded and we're ready for our 3,100 mile trek to our new home, with a brief layover in utah.

i'm excited to catch up on recording all that has happened in the past few weeks. girls' nights out, parties, getaways, dinners, farmers markets, lots of "lasts" and packing, packing, packing. 

we've practiced wearing our winter gear and feel ready to tackle a new england winter. feel free to ask me again how i feel about that in march. i found this fashionable hat on clearance at target for $3 and i think it will serve me {and leah?} well.
and don't worry. we didn't forget to pack our most valuable possession. 
i'll be back in a few weeks with updates and tales of our cross country adventure, as well as my must-do list for the bay area. so long, ca.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the trouble with my name

when ryan and i got engaged, i thought a lot about my soon-to-be last name. my maiden name is kinnersley and, although i loved it for many reasons, it caused a lot of problems. no one - and i mean no one - could pronounce or spell it and i was constantly correcting people. so layton seemed kind of dreamy to me. how in the world can you mess that up, right? 


i have more problems with layton than i ever did with kindardsky - i mean kinserley - i mean kinnersley. layton is a city in utah, so it's a common word that most people around there have heard. the only problem is the infamous utah accent. utahans are known for not pronouncing the "t" sound when it comes in the middle of a word and even moreso when it also ends in an "n" sound. just ask my sister, she's a pro. moun-uhn, wri-uhn, ki-uhn...and lay-uhn. i've been told no one can tell i'm from utah because i don't really have the accent. but i know plenty of people who do. there's nothing wrong with it - it's unique just like any other accent common to a geographic location. but it causes me all sorts of problems.

when i tell people my name {especially when i'm in utah}, i often make a special effort to specifically pronounce the t. 

what's your name?
maren layTon. 
{blank stare or lifted eyebrow and confused look.} could you spell that for me? 
{sigh} l-a-y-t-o-n.
oh! lay-uhn. like the city!
yes. just like the city. 

and, defeated, i walk away. because if i were to say "lay-uhn" they'd ask me to spell it. when i spell it with the t, the'd say, "oh! lay-uhn" like it was something completely different than what i had said just moments prior. it's really never ending. so i had to laugh when my sister {the one with the excellent utah accent} emailed me a link to this article on "the case of the missing t" today. made me miss my friends and family and those majestic moun-uhns in my old back yard.
image sources here and here