Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Andrea's Nationals

A couple weeks ago, Andrea competed in the NCAA Track and Field Nationals in the steeplechase, and Norah and I had the chance to drive to Eugene, OR, with Edie to watch her race.

I was nervous about bringing Norah on a long road trip because our last Utah trip in February was such a disaster. But I've never had the chance to see Andrea run a steeple, and this was NATIONALS, so we decided to take the chance.

Our plan was to drive to the Tri-Cities on Tuesday and stay the night in Kennewick with the Brashears, long-time friends of the Doug and Edie. Then, on Wednesday, we would drive to Salem, OR, to drop off our things at the Petersens' house (Carolyn's in-laws) and then on to Eugene that night for the race.

Lots of driving. And lots of new people. Such a great combination for a two-year-old right. Did I mention that she was getting a couple molars at the time? (I didn't know that until after we got home, though.)

Things actually went pretty well for us, all things considered. Norah was super clingy and took A LONG time to warm up to strangers and pretty much never let me put her down, but it could have been much worse.

The drive to the Tri-Cities was probably the worst part of the trip. We intended to use Doug and Edie's (rather old) portable DVD player to entertain the toddler, but, an hour into the trip, we realized that wasn't going to work. If you didn't hold it at the perfect angle (which I was terrible at finding), the movie would skip non-stop. And then we couldn't get the player to charge. Ugh.

So we took selfies for a good chunk of the drive.  

Yeah, I bought a new DVD player in the Tri-Cities. Best hundred bucks I've ever spent. The rest of the drive, Norah was golden. GOLDEN.

I tried to put Norah down for a nap at the Brashears while I went to buy the DVD player, but she wouldn't have it. She talked Grandma into holding her, and somehow Grandma managed this. No idea how. This girl hasn't fallen asleep in my arms for over a year. Lucky Grandma.

The next morning was said goodbye to the Brashears (and Norah said goodbye to Kramer the dog and all of the fun toys) to head on over to Oregon.

She sat like this the entire drive from Kennewick to Salem. I am not exaggerating. She was in heaven, probably because we watched Frozen at least 4 times. 

Mt. Hood.

I didn't get any pictures of it, but I fell in love with Portland as we drove through it. We drove right through the city, and it was gorgeous. I don't think I'd mind living there.

After a quick stop and lunch graciously provided by the Petersens, we headed to Eugene. Thankfully, Norah fell asleep for most of the hour drive. We stopped by Andrea and Jed's hotel room and said hi, and then Edie and I got semi-lost trying to find a cheap parking spot. We did get to see some more of the University of Oregon's campus, though. College campuses always make me ache to see BYU again.

Finally, it was race time. And $18 a person, later, we were in the stadium. (They don't give those tickets away. At least Norah was still free.)

I wasn't sure how Norah would handle sitting in bleachers for an hour, but she liked watching the runners. She got excited when all the people around us started cheering and especially enjoyed the slow clapping for the pole vaulters, and she started asking for more each time she saw runners jump over the steeple barriers.

I love the flowers on the side of the water jump. Oregon really knows how to host. 

I caught some shots before the race and happened to catch this. I know it's all about the timing, but Andrea almost looks like she's doing some kind of meditation here. Sorry, Dre. I just thought it was funny. 


I know the race didn't go as well as Andrea wanted, but it was amazing for me to be there to watch her run. I mean, she made it to Nationals. What an honor! I am so glad Norah and I made the drive over. Way more than worth it!

We went out to eat after the race, and I made sure we got a group shot, since I'm not very good at remembering those.

The next day, Norah, Edie and I headed back home. Again, the DVD player was a lifesaver. We did have a little bit of a freak out about two hours out from Spokane after she woke up from a nap, but it wasn't anything Frozen couldn't solve.

She seriously had this dorky grin almost the whole drive. She loves her movies way too much, I think.

Multnomah Falls, as seen from the freeway. It was such a beautiful drive in Oregon. I'm used to the Spokane to Utah drive, which is rather lacking in beauty once you get out of the mountains. So all of the green was a welcome change. (Although the drive from the Tri-Cities to Spokane is not that great either. It's funny because there is almost literally a line where the trees start once you get close to Spokane.)

I'm so glad Norah and I were able to make the trip. I loved being able to see Andrea race. And I also learned that road trips with a two-year-old aren't as bad as I thought. That's good news because we're going to Utah some time this summer, and that's an even longer drive.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Quick Post

I am feeling a little behind lately, so I'm rushing out this post just to catch up.

Rich got the chance to go to Fayetteville, Arkansas, with Gonzaga two weeks ago because his steeplechaser, Nick Roche, made it to Regionals. This also meant Rich got the chance to watch Andrea run in her steeplechase and to visit with family who live in Arkansas.

I tried to load the video of Andrea's race on here, but for some reason I can't find it when I search on Blogger. Whatever. Here's the link. You should watch it. It's amazing. Andrea came from behind to clench third place and the final automatic bid to Nationals. Seriously. Watch the race.

Mt. Hood from his airplane

Doug and Edie flew in to watch the race, and Doug's sisters, Marj and Naomi, and his mom live only about half an hour away from Fayetteville. I wish Norah and I could have made it to Arkansas for the race and to see so much family!

While Rich was out of town, Norah and I did whatever we could to help pass the time. Thank goodness this time friends kept us pretty busy. Seriously, I was so grateful for my friends who kept texting me, asking to do something. We spent so much time at the park, and that helped a lot.

 Nuh-Nuh (Norah) and Ayi-yah (Alivia) loved seeing so much of each other.

We hit up Target at least two times every time Rich is gone.

Cuh-razy hair!

 Grace, Alivia, and Norah

Norah was watching me get ready one morning, so she thought she'd take a shot at plucking her eyebrows.

  I've started running with Norah in the stroller again in the morning (I haven't really run with her since last year). I've been worried that she'd hate being in the stroller for that long, so we usually run to the park so she can play. She appreciates the break, and I appreciate that I can get a run in before it gets too hot outside.

I asked her to get a book to read. Naturally, she needed ALL of her books. 

Another shot of her cheese face. Or what I get when I ask her to smile. 

Can't get enough from just one cup. 

And, finally, here is our 2014 FIFA World Cup standings board. Rich LOVES sports logos, so he was so excited to make this and set it up. Looks pretty good, huh? Bring on the World Cup!